An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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BUKENHAM-PARVA, OR LITTLE-BUKENHAM,
Is so called to distinguish it from the other towns of the same name in this county. At the survey we meet with two lordships here, (fn. 1) one held by Hugh de Montfort, and the other by Roger, son of Renard. (fn. 2)
Hugh de Montfort had one carucate of land and 4 acres of meadow, which a freeman held in the time of the Confessor, and there was one carucate in demean, and half a mill, it was valued at 8s. per annum; the whole was one league long, and half a league broad, and paid 8d. of the 20s. gelt; the soc was in the King, and the Earl of Norfolk.
This lordship was held of the Montforts soon after the Conquest, by a family that assumed their name from the town, and William, son of Sir Ralph de Bukenham had a charter for free-warren here, in Ellingham, and Illington, 38th Henry III. (fn. 3) and before this, in the 4th of King John, a fine was levied between William de Bukenham tenant, and Petronilla de Mortimer, petent, of the advowson of the church of Bukenham-Parva, and the moiety of a mill; and in the 3d year of King Edward I. Simon de Nevyle was lord, and had the assize of bread and beer of his tenants, and was patron of the church; (fn. 4) but in 1300, Hubert Hacon held it, and presented; after this, Margery, relict of Roger Cosyn of Elyngham-Magna, presented in 1313, as lady of the manor; and in 1323, John Polys of Wilton; but in 1337, Sir Simon de Hederset, Knt. was lord and patron, and 20th Edw. III. (fn. 5) Sir John de Hederset, Edm. Le-Warde, and Edm. LeHall, held here and in Stanford half a quarter of a fee of Richard de Belhouse, as of his manor of Bodney, which Richard held it of the King. In the years 1349 and 1357, William de Hedersete was lord and patron, but soon after, it was in the hands of Rich. Gegge of Saham-Tony, who presented to the church in 1367; and in 3d Henry IV. Rich. Gegge and Edm. de Hall held here, and in Stanford, half a quarter of a fee of John Reymes, as of his manor of Bodney, and in this family of Gegge it continued till about the reign of Edward IV. when it came to John Austeyn, Esq. by the marriage of Margaret, one of the daughters and coheirs of Rich. Gegge, Esq. (fn. 6) After this, in Easter term, 17th Henry VII. a fine was levied between Thomas Spring, and others, querents, and Margaret Austeyn widow, defendant, of this manor, with lands in Stanford and Linford; and in Michaelmas term, in the 23d of the said King, another fine was levied between Thomas Spring and others, querents, and Hugh Coo, and Ann his wife, defendants, which Ann was daughter of John Austeyn, and Margaret his wife; and 2d Edw. VI. Sir John Spring died lord, and William Spring, Esq. his son and heir, had livery of it in the 1st of Queen Mary; this William was afterwards a Knight and lord of Pakenham in Suffolk, and died on 10th Feb. 42 Eliz. seized of this manor, and those of Pakenham, Cockfield-Hall, Whatfield, &c. in Suffolk, leaving John Spring, Esq. his son and heir, aged 40, who lived not a year after his father, the inquisition on his death being dated Jan. 2, 44th Elizabeth, by which it appears that he died Nov. 4, in the 43d of the same Queen, and William his son and heir was then 12 years old. (fn. 7)
In the reign of King James I. we find it in the family of Rich; and in 1614, Sir Robert Rich (afterwards Earl of Warwick) presented as lord; but in the reign of King Charles II. Mr. Appleton, who married the widow of Sir Robert Crane of Suffolk, Bart. enjoyed it; (fn. 8) and Robert Fairford, Isaac Preston, and Mr. Cradock, conveyed it to Mr. Vincent, who built here the hall that is now  standing, and is a neat pile of brick, on the summit whereof is a lofty lantern or turret, and on the top of this house he (being a very great humorist) erected a fish-pond, with a bason of lead to contain the water, and had pipes of lead which brought water by an engine from a canal in the gardens, into every room (as it is said) of the house: he also built an elegant stable, and other offices, and made a park. From this Mr. Vincent (who mortgaged it to Sir Tho. Meers) it came to Robert Partridge, Esq. who dying in 1710, it passed to Henry Partridge, Esq. his brother, and on his death, to his son Henry, who sold it about 1736 to the
The other lordship was held at the survey by Roger, son of Renard, who had a carucate of land, and 20 acres, valued at 11s. and the King and the Earl had the soc (fn. 9)
This soon after came to the Earl Warren, and was held of him by the ancient family of Mortimer of Atleburgh; and in the reign of Henry III. John Langetot was found to hold half a quarter of a fee of Sir Rob. de Mortimer, and he of the Earl Warren, and the Earl of the King; (fn. 10) and 34th Edward I. Nicholas de Langetot, and Margery his wife, had it; but 9th Edward II. Hen. de Walpole was lord, a fine being levied in the 7th of that King, between Henry de Walpole and Alice his wife, querents, and Nicholas Langetot and Margery his wife, deforciants, by virtue of which it was settled on Henry and Alice for life, remainder to Simon and Thomas, their sons, in tail. In the 20th Edward III. Sir John de Hederset and Jeffrey de Hall held it of Sir Constantine de Mortimer, he of the Earl Warren, and the Earl of the King; (fn. 11) and in 3d Henry IV. it was in the hands of Richard Gegge, and so became united to the other manor, and hath continued so ever since, and for his lordship there is an yearly rent paid to the lordship of Hilburgh at this day.
The Church has been so long demolished, that the very site of it is not known; it is said to be about the upper end of the canal in the gardens, near the garden-house; it was dedicated to St. Andrew, and there was in it the image of our Lady, as appears from an old will that I have seen, wherein a legacy was given to repair her perke. (fn. 12)
1300, 9 Feb. William de Caston, Hubert Hacun. (fn. 13)
1471, 13 Aug. William Ungot. (fn. 14) John Austeyn, Esq.
1597, 21 Jan. John Newman or Newham, A. M. Ditto. In his answer to King James, in 1603, he observes that there were then about 10 communicants here, and that they go to church and receive the sacrament at Stanford, the church of Bukenham being long since utterly decayed.
This rectory is a sinecure, valued in the King's Books at 3l. and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 15l. per annum, is discharged of first fruits and tenths; synodals are 20d. Bishop's procurations 18d.
And thus we have passed through Grimeshou Hundred, which, according to the signification of its name, is a hilly, champaign, open country, the land being sandy and barren, unless improved by the farmer's industry, or by the flocks of sheep which are kept in almost every town in the hundred for that purpose, there being no where better mutton than this barren land affords, the sheep being not liable to the disease called the rot, as they often are in the more fertile parts of this county; the soil, though it is a sand at top, not only affords excellent chalk for lime, but good earth for brick, and in some places blue clay, which laid upon the land, makes an excellent manure, and produces abundance of corn. The rabbits also, which are on the most barren part, are not only the more excellent for that reason, but renders that, which would otherwise be of no use to be of equal value with much better land, so that by this means, though the champaign, or fielding country (as it is commonly called) may appear to the traveller to be of little value, either to the owner or occupier, it is in reality far otherwise, being rendered by these improvements as valuable as a far better soil.