An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 4, the History of the City and County of Norwich, Part II. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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AIETUNE, ETTUNE, EATON, OR ETUN,
Signifies the town at the water, it standing close by the river. This also was formerly in Humbleyard hundred, and is now in the county of the city of Norwich, and in the ward of St. Stephen. In the time of the Confessor, Edric de Laxfield, the ancestor (fn. 1) of Robert Malet, owned the chief part of this village, and the said Robert after him, at which time the church had 14 acres of glebe, valued at 14d. per annum; there were also 4 freemen in Stoke-Holy-Cross, under the protection of Edric, as belonging to his manor here; and Erlham also then belonged to it, as is before mentioned, the whole belonged to Robert Blund, and was then valued at 4l. and when it was seized by the Conqueror, and committed to the care or custody of Godric, (fn. 2) it was estimated at 7l. per annum and the freemen at 3l. Eaton was then a mile long, and as much broad, and paid 7d. q. to the geld or tax; and the manor extended also into Kirkby-bedon, Witlingham, and Plumstede; Witlingham was a berewic belonging to it, of 80 acres of land, &c. and Plumstede was another, of half a carucate; and in Wotton also 2 freemen held 12 acres of this manor, which the Conqueror gave to Flahald, who left it to his son Alan, the ancestor of the family of the Fitz-Alans, afterwards Earls of Arundel; and this Alan gave it in the time of Henry I. to the church of Norwich, (fn. 3) and Will. Fitz-Alan his son confirmed it. It belonged to the Prior and convent to the Dissolution, and the monastery revenues, in lands, rents, a wood, water-mill, and commonage of young cattle, were valued to the taxes at 13l. 8s. and from that time, to the present, it belonged to and hath been leased out by the Dean and Chapter.
King Henry I. granted liberty of free-warren, to the manors of Thorp and Eaton. In 1204, on a dispute between the prior and citizens concerning the right of commonage on the land between Herforth bridge, Lakenham, and this town of Eaton, (see Pt. I. p. 41,) a fine was levied, and it was settled, that the citizens should inter-common with them, paying one penny a year for each ox and cow, and the like for every 5 sheep; it appearing by Domesday, (see Pt. I. p. 16,) that a carucate and an half of this land, joining to the city in the Confessor's time, belonged to Wicman, who held it under Stigand, not as part of the hundred of Humbleyard, but as part of the hundred of Norwich; (fn. 4) and that Rainold Fitz-Ivo had it as two carucates, at the Conquest, when it was in Norwich liberty, and had a fald-course for 100 sheep, which right was at the time of the contest in the city; in lieu of the right of commonage aforesaid, the city now enjoys the Town-close, rented at 50l. per annum, (fn. 5) which is yearly divided among the poor freemen. King John granted to the prior and convent, in all their manors and lands, sac, soc, tol, and theam, infangenethef, and outfangenthef, with the ordeals or judgment by fire, water, and iron, and a common gallows in each manor; with view of frankpledge, and assize of bread and ale, of all their tenants; and in 1286, Lakenham and Eton were found to be ancient demeans of the Crown, and as such, to be entituled to the privileges of ancient demean. In a survey made in the beginning of Edward I. the jurors valued each acre of land at 15d. a year, and that then there were 150 acres arable in demean, 44 acres of meadow, &c. the whole manor lands then, were 104 acres and an half, and the tenants of the manor paid bosage, (fn. 6) as well as the citizens. In 1379, their water-mill was rebuilt, and the sheeps walk, wood, and warren, are mentioned. 1519, the celerar accounts for nothing for the site of the manor, because it was appropriated for the reception of the prior; the quitrents were then 10l. 14s. 5d per annum, and the walk carried 1200 sheep. The wood-reeve's fee was 26s. 8d. and the netherd's 53s. 4d. I his village was valued to the ancient taske or tax, with Newton-Flotman and Kingesham or Kiningham, and Eaton part was 1l. 5s. but had a deduction of 12s. on account of the revenues of the religious here.
The manor of Cosseye, and that of the Abbot of St. Bennet's of Heigham, extended hither; and in Edward the Second's time, that Abbot is reckoned as one of the two lords of Eaton, and was taxed for his temporalities at the rate of 40s; his tenants inter-commoned with oxen, cows, and sheep, with the Prior's, to Lugard's Sty, and up to the way leading from St. Stephen's-gates to Hertford-bridges. And the Prioress of Carrowe's tenants common also with the citizens there, paying as they do.
The church is dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle, and had a gild kept in it to his honour; it was a rectory till 1204, and then John de Grey Bishop of Norwich, after the decease of Roger Luvel, then rector, appropriated it to the sacrist of the cathedral, (fn. 7) reserving a pension of 2s. per annum to the celerer, and the patronage of the vicarage to the prior and convent, and all episcopal and parochial jurisdiction, to himself and successours, so that it became exempt from all archidiaconal jurisdiction, and paid neither synodals, procurations, nor Peter pence; and only 3d. carvage. The rectory-house was taken to the monks part, and all the great tithes, for which they were bound to repair the chancel, and pay to the taxes for their rectory, at the rate of 6 marks; the vicar who had all the small tithes, being to pay at the rate of 40s. to the taxes, for his vicarage, (fn. 8) which is not valued in the King's Books, but being sworn of the clear yearly value of 30l. 1s. it is capable of augmentation, and pays neither first-fruits nor tenths.
1735, The Rev. Mr. Lynne Smear was instituted; who holds it united to the consolidated rectory of Alderford, and vicarage of Attlebridge; and is also curate of Bowthorp (fn. 9) and Bawburgh, (fn. 10) and minor canon of the cathedral.
The north porch, nave, and chancel, are all thatched; they are 28 yards long and 8 broad. In the chancel, John Scamler, clerk, rector of Thugarton, (fn. 11) and minister of this parish, and Cringleford, died 1688, 65. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters, by Mary his dear and vertuous wife, who was buried by him, in the 75th year of her age. Mr. Rob. Browne 1652. Barbara Covel his 1st wife 1625. Awdry Alldes his 2d.
Which divides the county of Norwich and Norfolk, the river being the boundary. It is often wrote Herdeford, and might be so called from the difficulty of passing the ford, before the bridge was built; though I rather think it took its name from the family sirnamed de Hereford, one of which first built a bridge here in King John's time; and in Henry III. Will. de Herford or Hereford, was prosecuted for holding view of frankpledge in Humbleyard hundred, without the King's bailiff of the hundred being with him.