An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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Stands at the south-west point of this hundred, north of the OuseParva, near the great level of the fens, it belonged, together with Wilton, (to which it now joins, and of which it was then a part,) to
Alveva, a Saxon lady, in the reign of the Confessor; at the survey, William Earl Warren was lord: in the Confessor's time, they were valued at 6l. per annum, at the survey at 10l. and were both one leuca long, and half a one broad, and paid together 17d. of the 20s. gelt. (fn. 1) It occurs in the survey by the name of Hocunelia, Hoc, or Hoke, signifies a dirty low situation, a vale, sometimes an angle, nook, or corner, and Wella, a place or spring of water, the other name Hockwold, relates to its site, in respect of Northwold and Methwold.
Agatha, by Sir Rob. Aguillon, had also four daughters and coheirs, (fn. 2)
Sir Robert Aguillon held a lordship in these towns in the 20th Henry III. when an aid was granted to that King; in 3d Edward I. Sir Luke de Ponyngs (fn. 3) who married Isabell, daughter and coheir of Sir Robert Aguillon, was found to have a lordship here, and claimed the assize of bread and beer. (fn. 4) In 17th Edward II. Michael de Ponyngs, and his tenants were found to hold several fees in Hockwold, Wilton, Shipdam, Belhawe, Letton, Foulsham, &c. (fn. 5) And 1st Edward III. Michael de Ponyngs settled on Thomas, his son, the advowson of Hockwold and Wilton, which Margaret, widow of Michael, held for life. (fn. 6) This was that Michael Lord Poynings, who by deed dated before Calais, 20th July, 1347, granted his crest of a dragon's head between two wings ermine, to Sir Stephen de Valoynes, Knt; about the same time, the same lord had a grant from King Edward III. of 200 marks a year, for the better support of the honour of a banneret, which he received of the King. (fn. 7)
In 4th Richard II. Richard, second son of Michael Lord Poynings, was lord; he was one of those noblemen who accompanied John Duke of Lancaster into Spain, in the 9th of the said King, and had a protection on that account. (fn. 8)
The jury in 25th Henry VI. on the death of Robert Lord Poynings, find him to have held this manor of Hockwold cum Wilton, and the advowson of the church of Hockwold, two messuages, 200 acres of land, 10 of meadow, and 100s. rent, of the manor of Castle-Acre.; (fn. 9) and in 1464, Elizabeth Lady Poynings presented to the rectory, as lady of this manor.
After this, it was held by Sir Edward Poinings Lord-Warden of the Cinque-Ports, son of Robert Poinings, second son of Robert Lord Poinings, who presented to the church of Hockwold in 1497, and died on the 20th of Oct. in 13th Henry VIII. and Henry Earl of Northumberland was then found his cousin and next heir, his grandfather having married Eleanor, daughter and heir of Richard Poinings, eldest son of Robert Lord Poinings, which Richard died in 1430, before his father and the aforesaid earl had livery of it, in 14th Henry VIII. (fn. 10) But in 21st Henry VIII. a fine (fn. 11) was levied between Robert Ratcliff Viscount Fitz-Walter, Thomas Duke of Norfolk, George Lord Hastings, Sir Richard Walden, Knt. &c. querents, and Henry Earl of Northumberland, defendant, of this manor, an act of parliament being before this passed, that all the lands of the Earl of Northumberland, for want of heirs of the body of the said Earl, should come to the King.
Afterwards it was conveyed, by Robert Earl of Sussex, to Thomas Tindale, Esq. son of Sir John Tindale, and William Tindale, Esq. son and heir of Sir Thomas, and John Tindale, his brother, sold it to Sir William Paston.
Clement Paston, Esq. on the 20th of Jan. in 26th of Elizabeth, (fn. 12) had this manor of Poinings, with those of Scale's, Mundeford's, and Stewkey's, in Hockwold and Wilton; and by an inquisition taken 3d Sep. 1613, after the death of Sir William Paston, it was found that he had settled the aforesaid manors, several marshes in Feltwell, &c. by deed dated 30th Sept. in 44th Elizabeth, on Bridget Heveningham, wife of Sir John Heveningham, his grandaughter, after his own decease, and her issue in tail male. (fn. 13) William Heveningham, Esq. son of Sir John, was lord in 1631, and presented that year to the church of Hockwold; this William was one of King Charles the First's regicides, and being attainted in 1660, this, with the manors abovementioned, came to the Crown; and on 28th Sept. 1661, were granted to Bryan Viscount Cullen, Sir Ralph Banks, Sir Thomas Fanshaw, Knight of the Bath, Edward Pitts, and Charles Cornwallis, Esq. and by them were sold to Sir John Crofts, Bart. of Westow in Suffolk, and after his death, and that of his lady, were conveyed by her executor, Edward Proger, Esq. Groom of the King's Bedchamber, to Sir Cyril Wyche, on the payment of 12000l.; Sir Cyril was Secretary of State in Ireland, in the reign of King William, and was the son of Sir Peter Wyche of London, and Isabell his wife, daughter of Sir Rob. Bolls of Lincolnshire, which Sir Peter was Ambassador in Turkey, Comptroller of the King's household, and one of his (fn. 14) privy-council, and fourth son of Richard Wyche of London, merchant, who died 20th Nov. 1621, and was buried at St. Dunstan's in the East, London, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Salstonstall, Lord-Mayor of London. Sir Cyril dying on the 28th Dec. 1707, left this lordship, &c. to his son, Jermyn Wyche, Esq. and it is now  enjoyed by his son,
Robert de Scales, by the marriage of Margery, one of the daughters and coheirs of Fulk de Beaufo, had a part and lordship in this town; and in the reign of King Henry III. held three-quarters of a fee in Hockwold and Wilton.
In 3d King Edward I. Alice Lady Scales recovered damages of Richard Maule, for the taking two swans and seven cygnets out of her fishery here; (fn. 15) and in the reign of King Henry VI. Robert Lord Scales was found to hold three-quarters of a fee here, of the Earl of Arundel; and in 13th of the said King, John Hened, parson of Wridlyngton, and William Bateman, granted to John Cley, clerk, Nicholas de Massingham, &c. this manor, which they had of the feoffment of Robert Lord Scales.
After this, it was held by Anthony Woodvile Lord Scales, (fn. 16) and Elizabeth his wife, daughter and coheir of the Lord Scales; and on the death of the said Elizabeth, sans issue, it descended to Will. Tindale, who was knighted at the creation of Arthur Prince of Wales, and declared heir of the kingdom of Bohemia, in right of Margaret, his great-grandmother, daughter to the Duke of Theise, and niece to the King of Bohemia, the wife of Sir Simon Felbrigge, whose daughter and heiress, Alana, was married to Sir William Tindale of Dean in Northamptonshire, and Redenhale in Norfolk, &c. grandfather of the aforesaid Sir William Tindale of Hockwold, who kept his first court here, with Mary his wife, in 6th Edward IV. This Sir William died on 22d Feb. 12th Henry VII. (fn. 17) and John was found his son and heir, who was created Knight of the Bath, at the coronation of Queen Ann Boleyn, and married Amphelicia, daughter of Sir Humphry Conynsby, one of the Justices of the Common-Pleas, and was succeeded by his son, Sir Thomas Tindale, who, on 14th Dec. 26th Henry VIII. settled this lordship for the payment of 42l. per annum, by way of jointure, on Dame Winifred, his second wife; and William Tindale, Esq. son and heir of Sir Thomas, with his brother John, sold it. (as has been observed above, in the manor of Poinings, to Sir William Paston,) and so it came as above to Cyril Wiche, Esq. the present  lord. (fn. 18)
And from an inquisition taken in the reign of King Edward I. it appears that John de Mundeford held in Hockwold and Wilton threequarters of a fee of the Earl Warren, which, as I take it, was given him by Thomas de Ingaldesthorp, who married Joan, one of the daughters and coheirs of Fulk de Beaufo, the aforesaid John having married Sibill, daughter of the said Thomas. In 9th Edward II. Osbert de Mundeford was returned to be lord; (fn. 19) and in 17th and 29th Edward III. Osbert de Mundeford was found to hold the same of the Earl Warren. His will, by the name of Osbert Mundeford, senior, is dated 26th August 1371, and was proved 24th April following: (fn. 20) he bequeaths his body to be buried in the church of Hockwold, gives to the high altar there 10s. to Margaret, daughter of Adam de Mundeford of Saxham, 100s. &c. and names Alice his wife, executrix.
Osbert, his son, kept his first court on Wednesday after the Feast of the Holy Trinity, 46th Edward III.; and by his will, dated August 1396, he orders his body to be buried before the altar of St. Nicholas, in Hockwold church, (fn. 21) gives several small sums of money to the churches of Wilton, Fellwell St. Mary, and Mundeford, and to several religious persons, and appoints Elizabeth, his wife, executrix, who, in 3d Henry IV. was found to hold three-quarters of a fee here of the Earl of Arundel, and the Earl of the King.
Osbert, his son and heir, succeeded, and by his will, dated at Hockwold, 4th October, 1456, and proved 20th December following, he bequeaths his body to be buried in the church of Hockwold St. Peter's before the chancel door, gives to the churches of Hockwold, Wilton, Mundeford, East-Lexham, Norton by Fakenham in Norfolk, and Barrow in Suffolk, 6s. 8d. apiece, and vii. marks to be distributed amongst the poor of Hockwold, Wilton, Mundeford, Feltwell, Methwold, Northwold, Cranewyz, and Weting, for a feast at his burial; to the gild or fraternity of Hockwold St. Peter, 6s. 8d.; to that of St. Mary of Weting, 6s. 8d.; and the said sum to St. Margaret's of Norton; to Margaret his wife, a chamber in his house at Hockwold, for her and her maid, and 12 marks yearly; also meat, drink, wood, and candle, out of the issues of his manors in the said towns, and the moiety of his household goods for life, remainder to Osbert, his son, and Elizabeth, his daughter; to Elizabeth, daughter of Osbert, his son, 20 sheep, to Esselina, wife of Adam his brother, 20 sheep, to Adam his brother 48l. per annum out of his manor of Barrow in Suffolk. (fn. 22)
This last Osbert was also succeeded by a son of his own name, and dying without issue male, left only a daughter and heiress, who being married to Sir Will. Tindale, Knight of the Bath (who died 12th Henry VII.) brought this lordship into the family; from which it passed as is above shewn, to the present  lord, Cyrill Wyche, Esq.
The Mundefords were of an ancient and noble extraction, descended (as it is said) from Hugh de Montfort, one of the commanders of the Army of Duke William (afterwards King of England) against Henry King of France in 1054. Their pedigree, since their settling in this town, is as follow, (fn. 23) (fn. 24)
By the inquisitions taken in the reign of King Henry III. John Carle and John de Hockwold were found to hold one quarter of a fee of Adam de Cockfield and Andrew de Sackville, which came to them by Agatha and Margery, two of the daughters and coheirs of Aguillon. In 9th Edward II. John de Hockwold was returned as lord; and in the 15th of the said King, a fine was levied between the said John de Hockwold and Joan his wife, querents, William de Suthery, parson of Hargrave, and John Luton, deforciants, of messuages and lands in this town, &c. But in the 20th Edward III. Roger Pottys, and Richard Horn, held here and in Wilton one quarter of a fee, which was John Carle's and John de Hockwold's; and 3d Henry IV. the aforesaid Roger and Richard, together with William Soper and Edmund Langtoft, held the same: after this, 34th Henry VIII. Edmund Prat had it, and died lord, and John was his son and heir; (fn. 25) and in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Edward Prat was lord; and in 1650, Osbert Prat; after this, it was sold to the Master and Fellows of Caius college in Cambridge, and is now  held by Cyrill Wyche, Esq. by lease from that society.
Cockfield's, alias Ellingham's, or Allen's Manor.
By the inquisitions taken in the reign of Henry III. Adam de Cockfield, and Andrew de Sackville, were found to hold three quarters of a fee in Hockwold and Wilton of the Earl Warren, and the Earl of the King. In 9th Edward II. John de Cockfield, by deed dated on Wednesday before the Feast of St. Barnaby, in the 10th Edward II. grants to William Bateman, citizen of Norwich, and Bartholomew his son, and their heirs, this manor in Wilton and Hockwold, with the advowson of the church of Hockwold. His seal is a cross gobony, on the right side of his helmet is a wivern, and on the left, a round buckle; but in the 29th Henry III. Roger Poteys was lord, and sealed, as appears by his deed, with a fess between three rowels. In the 3d Richard II. John Wright of Hockwold, and Sibill, his wife, daughter of Agnes Poteys, and Joan, daughter of Catherine Poteys, sister of the said Agnes, granted to Osbert Mundeford, this manor, which John de Elyngham, and Emma his wife, held for her life, on the death of John Poteys their cousin; and in 1453, John Aleyn died lord, and left it to his son William, and in the 10th Elizabeth it was held by Thomas Watts. In the 21st James I. Francis Baxter of StanfordRivers in Essex was lord, who in 1631 conveyed it to Thomas Heyward, Gent. for 2400l. and Heyward, in the same year, conveyed part of it to Richard Tyrrell, Gent. and part to William Rolph, and it is now possessed by Cyrill Wyche, Esq.
Thomas de Ingaldesthorp, by deed dated 20th August 8th Edward II. gave to John de Mundeford, and Sibill his wife, his manor of Stewkey's in Wilton and Hockwold, being the fourth part of the said townships, with the advowson of the church of Hockwold.
John de Ingaldesthorp of Ikeburgh, released in 21st Richard II. to Elizabeth, wife of Osbert de Mundeford, 10 marks yearly rent in the manor of Stewkey's; this was held in the same family, till Mary, daughter and heir of Osbert Mundeford, brought it to Sir William Tindale, from whom it passed (as I have already observed) to Paston, Heveningham, &c. and is now  enjoyed by Cyrill Wiche, Esq.
The Prioress and nuns of Thetford had a moor here and a fishery, which, on the Dissolution, came to John Eyr, Esq. who sold it, 38th Henry VIII. to Thomas Tindale, Esq. and so it it became annexed to the lordship of this town.
There is a little peddling fair kept here on St. James's day, which is the remains of the wake, or dedication-day of Wilton church, is dedicated to that Apostle, as is before observed, but it is commonly called Hockwold-Fair.
The Church of Hockwold is dedicated to St. Peter, and has a south isle annexed to the nave or body, which is in length about 47 feet, and in breadth, with the nave, about 36 feet, built of flint and boulder; on the pavement lie several marble grave-stones, in memory of the Mundefords, but the brass plates are all reaved. At the west end stands a four-square tower of flint, &c. adorned with quoins of freestone, in which hang three bells.
The chancel is of the same materials with the church, but covered with reed, and is in length about 37 feet, and in breadth about 23; at the upper end of the south wall, are three neat arches of stone, worked in the wall, making three seats or stalls for bishop, priest, and deacon; and at the head of these seats is another arch for holy-water; on the summit of these arches are several shields, now daubed over with whiting. Against the east wall of the chancel is a large marble compartment, with the busts of a man and a woman, in alabaster, and ornamented with several instruments of musick, with two angels, one on each side of the monument, and two pillars of the Corinthian order. On the top is this shield,
Crest, a dexter arm couped, holding a trefoil. And this inscription,
Maria Hungerford, Johannis Hungerford, Armig: Ex eadem secum Atiquâ stirpe oriundi, Vidua, omnibus Virtutibus ornata, Munificentia in Pauperes Ornatissima, Piam efflavit Animam, 21 Die August: 1719.
Jermyn Wyche Armiger, Cyrilli Wyche Militis Filius Qui Uxorem duxit Mariam Hungerford, unicam Mariæ et Johan: filiam, Virtutum et Rei ex æquo Hæredem, de qua, tres Qui supersunt, suscepit Liberos, Vir Sciens, Prudensq; legum vindex acerrimus, Obijt 7° Janu: 1719. Hoc Marmor Pietatis et Amoris ergo posuit Maria Wyche, filia et uxor.
Against the end of the north wall is a little compartment, thus inscribed, Near this Place lye interr'd, the Body of William Smyth, Rector of this Parish of Hockwold, who departed this Life the 28 of Decem. 1665, aged 64 Years.
And this shield, Smith, az. two bars wavy erm. in chief three bezants, impaling Gul. two bendlets verry arg. and az. on a canton or, a buck trippant sab. Ford, as I take it. Crest, an ostrich's head arg. holding in his beak an horshoe or.
Duisquis eris qui transieris (fn. 26) sta perlege, plora, Sum quod eris fueramq; qund es, pro me precor, ora. Obitus Amfelicie Hendall Cenuad Decims Octano die Mensis Januar: An: Dni: Millesimao cccccrrriio
In 7th Edw. III. (fn. 27) the King recovered against Margaret, widow of Michael de Ponyngs, by quare impedit, in the right of Robert de Scales, under age, and in ward to the King, son of Robert and Isabella his wife, son of Robert, son of Robert, and Margery his wife, daughter and coheir of Fulk de Beaufo, who was lord of this town and Wilton, entirely.
20th Edw. III. John Poteys was rector. (fn. 28)
1421, 16 Nov. William Tumbrell. Walter Medford, clerk, John Martyn, Richard Wakehurst, Thomas Fykeys, John Bodney, Richard Shirfeld, and John Blast, feoffees for the Lord Robert de Ponyngs, in his manor of Hockwold.
1539, 6 July, John Reynoldson, on the resignation of Bacon. (fn. 29)
1547, 15 July, Gregory Bishop, on the death of Williamson. Tho. Tyndale, Esq. He was also rector of Clenchwarton in Norfolk. Gregory Bishop, A. M. presbyter, non conjugatus, satis doclus, residet, hospitalis, non prædicat, nec licentiatus, duo. (fn. 30)
1720, 13 Sep. the Rev. Mr. Tho. Macro, A. M. the present  rector, on the death of Topcliffe; he was afterwards D. D. preacher at Bury, and now curate of Great Yarmouth. He holds it united to Wilton.
Norwich Domesday tells us, Sir Luke de Poinings had two turns, Sir Adam de Cockfield the third, and Sir Reginald de Argentein the fourth; that there was a house and 40 acres of land, that there was 8d. Peter-pence paid, 18d. synodals, 16s. 8d. procurations, and all the turns or portions were really united. 46s. 8d. pension to Caius College for the old pension to Lewes. 1349, Sir Rob. Scales, Knt. and Osbert de Mundeford, released their right in the patronage.