An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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Or Middle-ton, had two churches standing very near one another in the same churchyard; that dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin is now standing, and in use; it belonged to the manor of Hacon's or Hakun's in this town, and when Norwich Domesday was made, Ric. Hakun was patron of it; the rector had a house and four acres of land; it was first valued at 9, and after at 12 marks; it paid 13d. synodals, 6s. 8d. procurations to. the Archdeacon of Norfolk, 12d. Peter-pence, and 2d. ob. carvage. The tower was built in 1440, and hath three bells in it; the church hath only one isle, which is thatched, as is the south porch; the chancel is tiled. The rectory remains undischarged, being valued in the King's Books at 6l. 13s. 4d. and so pays 13s. 4d. yearly tenths, but no first fruits. It paid to the ancient tenths 3l. 16s. clear. It is 27 yards long, and 6 yards and an half broad. In the chancel, on a marble, is this,
Eliz. Infant Daughter of Francis Bacon of Norwich Esq; and Dorothy his Wife, who died at Nurse with Rob. Tilles of this Town, was buried July 21, 1661. Life is even a Vapour that appeareth for a little Time, then vanisheth away, Lam. 4, 14.
In 1527, Rob. Boleyn, wax-chandler of Norwich, after the death of Alice his wife, gave a messuage and 8 acres and 3 roods of arable land, and a piece of meadow containing two acres and an half, and two acres of arable land late Robert Barker's, lying in the town and field of Great Melton, with the course of a faldage of 200 sheep, to the parish church of our Lady of the said town, to be in the hands of 10 or 12 persons (feoffees) dwelling in the said parish, to hold to them and their assignees for evermore. The church-wardens for their year to receive the profits, out of which 6s. 8d. to be yearly reserved towards discharging the parishioners of the King's taxes. His own and wife's obit to be kept in the church yearly on Whitsunday, with placebo, dirige, and mass of requiem, and the rest to repair the church. (Regr. Palgrave, fo. 17.)
The Prior of Wimondham's temporals were taxed at 9s. and the Prior of Walsingham's at 3s. 8d. this was given to that monastery by Master Vincent de Becco, or Bek, and issued out of the lands which he held of Will. Fitz Jeffery, and of Richard son of Ribald, and that convent sold it to Ric. de Hethersete, rector of this church, paying 3s. to the convent; and Pandulph Bishop of Norwich licensed Master Vincent de Bek to purchase 15 acres of the free land of St. Mary's church at Melton, (with consent of the rector and patron,) to him and his heirs, paying 3s. to the rector for ever, in 1221. In 1484, Henry Heydon received 5l. of Thomas Batchcroft, Gent. in full payment for the lands late the Prior of Walsingham's in Melton-Magna
Rectors of Melton St. Mary.
Robert Hope was rector here, and resigned in 1471, to John Chapman, who was presented by John Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Talbot, &c. he died in 1506, and was buried in the chancel, and gave a legacy to our Lady's gild in this church, and another to that of the Baptist in All-Saints church.
Walter Sparry, who had it united to All-Saints, and was licensed to serve these churches alternately, and so held it as one living, with Nemy Tracy, alias Bower, in Devonshire, Thomas Downes being his curate here; he died in 1557, and she gave it
Joseph-Ben-Ellis, in whose time an act passed, (12 Annæ Session.1,) by which, this parish and that of All-Saints, were consolidated and made one rectory, advowson, and parish; the church of All-Saints to be pulled down, and the materials to be laid out in repairing St. Mary's church; the same officers to serve both parishes as one; and with the consent of Edm. Keene, Esq. lord of the manors, and patron of the churches, and of Amyas, rector of All-Saints, and Ellis, rector here: at the next avoidance they were to be one rectory, with one presentation, double institution fees, and all other fees due to the King, Bishop, Archdeacon, &c. to be paid as usual heretofore, and all the parishioners to be liable to repair St. Mary's church; and the act to be deemed a publick act. The advowson was afterwards sold to Gonvile and Caius college in Cambridge: and Dr. Ellis having resigned, in
1723, William Selth, A. M. fellow of that house, was presented to it, as one rectory, and held it united to St. Michael in Coslany in Norwich; (see vol. iv. p. 493;) he died and was buried here in 1740, and in
The Manor of Hakun's or Hacon's,
Which Edwin, a thane of the Confessor's, held in his time, when there were two carucates of land in demean, ix. villeins, v. bordars, and iiii. servants; wood sufficient to keep lx. swine, lx. sheep, iii. hives of bees, &c. the whole of the manor being then worth 6l. and at the Conquest 7l. The King and the Earl of Norfolk, had the soc or superiour jurisdiction, and Godric the sewer then held it. (fn. 1) It soon came into the hands of the Meltons of Great Melton, and Thomas de Melton Magna had it; his son Jeffry succeeded, and his son William was rector here, patron, and lord, in 1199; and Thomas Fitz-Walter, released it to him as 2 carucates of land in 1200; and in 1205 Rob. Hacun had bought it, and settled it on Ric. Hacun, it being then held at half a fee; and in 1219, Hubert, son of Ric. Hacun had it, and was then under age, and in the custody of Hubert de Montchensy, of whose barony it was always held; in 1229, Hubert granted to Robert son of Thomas Hacun, lands here, and to Simon son of Herbert de Hetherset, the homage of Anastatia, daughter of Bartholomew of Melton Magna, and her free tenement; in 1240, Will. de Muntchensy, capital lord of the fee, and patron, resided here; in 1267, Hubert Hakun, then lord, hindered his tenants paying to the Earl's or sheriff's turn, or hundred court, for which he was impleaded by the Crown; but on paying the King 4s. 7d. per annum he had a lete and view of frankpledge allowed to this manor, and free-warren, and so became exempt from the hundred court. This was allowed in Eire in 1274, and 1284; at which time, Ric. Hacun, then lord, acknowledged that he held the whole fee, and all liberties thereto belonging, of William de Muntchensy, his capital lord: and now the lete of Melton was held in the name of the said William, and in 1285, Simon, son of Hubert Hacon, and Anne his wife, conveyed to William, son of Warine de Montchensie, capital lord of the fee, the advowson of St. Mary, the lete, and the moiety of the churchyard, containing 1 acre; and the same year a fine was levied between John son of John de Bohun, and Ric. son of Hubert Hacon, and Anne his wife, by which the 4th part of Ofton manor in Suffolk was settled on John; and in 1290, John Hacon of Shouldham and Anne his wife. Hubert son of John Hacon and Katherine his wife, conveyed many lands here to Simon of Hetherset; and in 1302, Hubert son of Sir Richard Hacun, Knt. had the manor only, out of which he granted 6s. 8d. per annum, to the said Simon; for Hugh de Vere and Dionise his wife had the lete and advowson, and held it as part of the fees of Rob. de Tateshall, which Thomas de Caily then had. In 1312, they settled them by fine on Gilbert Baliol, and Katherine his wife, who were found in 1315, to hold them, as Hubert Hacon did the manor. In 1318, Ric. Hacun of Great Melton married Anne, second daughter of Roger, and sister and coheir of Ric. Loveday of Great Brisete in Suffolk, and in 1320, Hubert his father settled this manor on him after his own death, which happened about 1323, for then Hubert's heirs had it. In 1345, (fn. 2) Ric. Hacun held it with Brisete Magna in Suffolk, which he had of his wife's inheritance, and in 1360 he was lord here. In 1342, Gilbert Baliol conveyed the advowson and lete, &c. to Sir Richard Talbot, who presented in 1347, in which family it continued till lately, as the several presentations show, to which I refer you. The manor continued in the Hacons; for in 1432, Will. Hacon of Ipswich, and Margaret his wife conveyed it to John Hacon of Wyveton, whose son Thomas of Cley in Norfolk, in 1450, sold it to Robert Toppe, merchant and alderman of Norwich, who died in 1467; and his son Robert of Great Melton in 1487, gave the manor and his whole estate, to Sir Gregory Lovell, Knt. his nephew, and to Anne Lovell, his sister, and to John Toppe, his bastard son, divers legacies; and it continued in that family till 1534, (see vol. i. p. 323,) and then Thomas Lovell, Knt. and Eleanor his wife, settled it on Ambrose Wolley, and in 1557, Roger Woodhouse, Knt. settled it on Henry Drury, as trustees only to the Lovells, from which family it went to Edward Downes of Melton, Esq. who married Katherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Lovell of Herling, Knt. relict of Sir Thomas Knevet of Bukenham, and of Edward Spring, Esq. in which family it became joined to, and remained with,
The Manor of Peverell's
In this town, to which the advowson of the church of All-Saints, with the chapel of of Algar's Thorp, always belonged. This church, since the act for that purpose, is ruinated; the steeple is square, the nave is 20 yards long, and the chancel 9, it had a south porch, but no isles: on a stone in the altar are three coats impaled, 1st, 6 escalops 3, 2, 1. 2d, Anguish. 3d, a boar's head cooped:
Here lieth John Anguish of Great Melton Esq; who after a faithfull Discharge of his Duty to King Charles the first of blessed Memory, in his Wars during the wicked Rebellion, died on the 12 of Febr. aged 79 Years.
In the north-east corner of the chancel is an old arched monument, by which lies a stone, but the inscription was so covered with dirt, I could make out only the words, Dum Ludis, transit Vita, but it was laid over Edmund Anguish, Esq. lord and patron, who died Nov. 5, 1657, æt. 84.
The rector, when Norwich Domesday was made, had a house and 23 acres of land, valued without the portion, at 12 marks, and the portion of the Prioress of Redlyngfield, being a portion of the tithes of the demeans, was valued at 1 mark, afterwards at 30s. the synodals 2s. procurations 6s. 8d. Peter-pence 1s. 4d. carvage 2d. The present terrier hath a house and 25 acres of glebe. There was a gild of St. John Baptist held in the church. The south porch was new built in 1455, and this parish paid to the old taske or tenths, 1l. 17s. out of which there was a deduction of 8s. on account of the lands and revenues of the religious here. It stands in the King's Books by the name of Melton Flotman. All-Saints rectory is valued at 6l 13s. 4d and pays 13s. 4d. yearly tenths, but no first fruits. There is a good house, called Melton hall, north-west of the churchyard at a small distance, in which the Rev. Mr. Lombe now dwells, which is the site of this manor.
Rectors of Melton All-Saints,
1476. Henry Bozun. Will Paston, &c. buried in 1487; he was son of John Bozun of Great Breccles, and had a brother William, whose son Henry and his brothers were his heirs. 1488, Rob. Jermyn, lord of Peverel's manor, Will. Paston, and other feoffees; united to St. Mary.
Was owned by Ketel, a Dane, in the Confessor's time, and contained two carucates; there was a wood to maintain 100 swine, two beehives, a faldage, and 60 sheep, and in the Conqueror's time 114, when it was held of Ralf Peverel, one of the Normans who came in with that prince, by Garinus or Warine, who had 7 freemen under him; the church was valued with the manor, and had 3 acres of land worth 2s. the manor and church was in King Edward's time valued at 6l. and in King William's at 7l.; the whole of the town and both manors, paid 16d. ob. to the geld or tax.
It was a league and 3 furlongs long and half a league broad, and was aways held of the Peverells; (fn. 3) for in 1204, Gerebert de Sancto Claroheld it for life, of the fee of Will. Peverell; but it was the manor only, for the Peverells had the advowson, lete, and royalties as capital lords all the while. Mathew Peverel gave to the monks of Norwich, lands and rents belonging to his manor here; (fn. 4) in 1186, Will. Peverel, his son and heir, held five knights fees of the honour of Peverel, of which this manor at 3 fees, and Brakene manor, which attended this, at 1 fee; and Oliva his widow held it in jointure; and William de la More gave Ric. I. 40 marks to marry her, and have the custody of Peverel's children and lands till they came of age; she after married Hugh de Risings, and in 1204, William his son had seizin of this and Brakene, and paid the King 20 marks, and a palfrey for livery thereof; and the same year, Cecily de Sancto Omero, or Sent Omer, lady of Brundale manor, promised King John 10 marks, if he would put her in seizen of the land of Will. Peverel, as freely as King Richard I. gave the custody thereof and of his heir, to William de la More, and William's widow to be wife to the said William de la More, which was granted; and the year following, Will. Peverel took it out of her hands; in 1218, Mat. Peverel held here, and in Brakene, Keteringham, Carleton, and Riveshall, 4 fees, of the honour of Peverel, and Jeffry Tregoz one in Billingford. In 1242, Hugh Peverel held Melton at three fees, and John his son and heir was 23 years old. In 1246, Alice widow of Hugh Peverel held it till her dower should be assigned; and the custody of the heir and estate of Hugh, was granted to Peter Braunch. In 1249, Alice his mother was married to Alexander de Vaux, or de Vallibus; and Oliva, grandmother to Hugh, was alive, and married to Mat. Peverel.
In 1350, King Henry III. granted him a weekly market and fair to his manor of Melton and free warren to it and his manor of Brakene, and assise of bread and ale, which was allowed in eire in 1284; (fn. 5) with liberty of a cucking-stool, paying 16d. ob. per annum to the King's hundred court, for the exemption from its jurisdiction. In 1291, Sir Bartholomew de Redham, Knt. gave the moiety of Scotow manor with his daughter Joan, in marriage to John son and heir of Sir Hugh Peverel, and Sir Hugh gave lands to Sir John Peverel, the parson of Scottow; Sir Thomas, son of John Peverel, his grandson and heir, died in 1295, and was buried in Bodmyn priory in Cornwall. In 1298, Sir Hugh, and Maud his wife, held it as of the honour of Hatfeld Peverel, at 3 fees, and Braken manor at 1 fee; and the same year conveyed Melton to Hugh Wykeman, parson there; by which they settled this manor and advowson on themselves for their lives, remainder to Sir Robert de Bajocis, Knt. and Maud his wife, daughter of John Peverel, their grand daughter, in tail. This Sir Hugh was buried also in Bodmyn priory, to which he was a benefactor.
Sir Rob. de Bajocis, Baieux, or Bayhouse, was of the ancient family in Lincolnshire of that name, owners of the honour of Baieux in that county. John de Bajocis was justice itinerant, and conservator of the King's royalties and wreck in Devonshire and Cornwall in 1218. In 1302, John son of Hugh Peverel had it. In 1308, John Peverel and Joan de Redham his wife settled this and Brakene in trust, on Remigius, rector here, to hold to their uses for their lives. In 1327, it was settled on Hugh Peverel and Margaret his wife, in tail. In 1338, Thomas Seymour, lord of Pulton by Cirencester, and John de Lyle, lord of Harwood in Yorkshire, released to Eliz. Peverel, Ric. de Bayhuse, and Will. de Burton, Knts. this manor, and Pishobury in Hertfordshire, the church of Wimpol, the manors of Coveney, Rampton, Cotonham, and Westwyk, in Cambridgeshire, with many others; in all which, Alice his wife, daughter of Rob. de Lisle, and Eliz. Peverel, &c. were infeoffed. In 1342, Ric. de Bayhouse, Alice de Seintmor, Eliz. Peverel, Will. de Burton, Knt. Edm. de Benhale, and Henry Ewenny, granted them to John de Lisle, lord of Harwood; and in 1344, John de Bayhouse quitted all his interest to Sir Hugh Peverel, Knt. lord here in 1346. In 1349, the jury found, that John son of Edmund Peverel died Nov. 15, but long before his death had conveyed his manors, in trust, to John de Insula de Rubeo Monte, Hugh Bray, and others, and Tho. de Verdon and Alice his wife had them for life; but the said Alice being dead, Margaret, now the wife of William de la Pole, junior, sister and heir to the said John Peverel, was 20 years old, which said William de la Pole, released all his right to John de Insula and his heirs, and that the said John Peverel died under age, and the King's ward. In 1351, Sir Hugh Peverel, Knt. and Maud his wife, settled the manor and advowson on themselves for their lives, remainder to Sir Robert de Bajocis, and Maud, daughter of John Peverel, in tail; and in 1360, they conveyed all their right to Robert de Bumpstede and Thomas his son, except 20s. rent, and two knights fees belonging to the manor. In 1372, Maud, daughter of Robert de Bajocis, Knt. and sister of Sir Richard de Bajocis, Knt. released all her right in this manor and advowson, to William Burton, Knt. and Eleanor his wife; this Sir William was one of the justices of the King's Bench in Edward the Third's time, whose chief seat was at Talethorp in Rutlandshire; he died in 1374, leaving issue by his first wife, Sir Thomas Burton, Knt. 40 years old; and by Eleanor his 2d wife, Nicholas. (Wright's Rutlandshire, p. 128.)
In 1395, John Peverel of Melton was lord of a moiety, and patron. In 1401, the said John had settled a moiety on Will. Curson and Margaret his wife, and they three held it of the honour of Hatfield Peverel at half a fee. In 1435, John Peverel, Esq. died, and was buried in the church of the Austin-friars at Norwich, and left Eliz. his wife executrix, who was afterwards buried by him. (fn. 6) In 1436, the said Elizabeth, then widow of John Peverel, settled the moiety on herself and William Paston, Ric. Elsy and Margaret his wife, who presented in 1444; and in 1467, Elsy and his wife conveyed their right to Rob. Skerne, and others, trustees for Will. Paston, who presented in 1476, and 1488. In 1523, Sir Gilbert Talbot the younger, Knt. was lord and patron; and in 1543, Tho. Ashley had it in right of Mary his wife, one of the daughters and coheiresses of the lady Anne, late wife of Sir Gilbert Talbot, Knt. (fn. 7) In 1545, Robert Newport and Margaret his wife settled the third part of the moiety of this manor and advowson on Sir John Clere, Knt. In 1547, the King licensed Anthony Littleton to alien a third part of the manor to Robert Richers, and his heirs; in 1548, Tho. Asteley and Mary his wife sold their third part to the said Robert; in 1559, Rob. Richers held three parts of the moiety of this manor, and in 1575, had got the whole moiety, and sold it to Rob. Downes and his heirs, who had purchased the other moiety before 1531; for in that year he presented in its right, and died in 1547, Francis his son being 16 years old. It appears that Thomas Downes first purchased this moiety of Tho. Appleyard, Gent. and Avice his wife. (fn. 8) In 1558, the said Francis Downes was lord also of Thorney manor; and in 1561, Robert Downes had livery of this, and was returned lord in 1570; in 1574, Edward his son was born, Apr. 8; he married Katherine daughter of Sir Tho. Lovell of Herling, Knt. relict of Sir Thomas Knevet of Bukenham, Knt. and of Edward Spring, Esq. In 1589, Rob. Downes of Melton, Esq. (fn. 9) and Dorothy his wife, presented; and in 1609, they sold the whole to Thomas Anguish Esq. and his heirs; he bare gul. a cinquefoil or, a mullet for difference sab.; crest, an adder sleeping in a fern bush proper; (fn. 10) and the same year it was settled on Edmund Anguish, Gent. and his heirs; he was second son to John Anguish, twice mayor of Norwich; this Edmund presented in 1631, died in 1657, and was succeeded by John Anguish of Melton, Esq. his son, who presented in 1680. He gave it by will to John son of Edmund Woodhouse of Lexham, who married Anne his daughter; (fn. 11) he was lord and patron in 1692, and John Woodhouse his son sold it to Edmund Keene; and by the particular then delivered, it appears that the quit and free-rents of the two manors were 9l. 10s. per annum; that the fines were at the lord's will, and each manor had weyf, estray, letes, and all other royalties, and that the whole demeans and estate were above 400l. per annum. In 1701, Edmund Keene was lord of the town, and afterwards one of the South Sea directors, he died single at Bath, Jan. 21, 1723, but before his death, had sold Melton to Edward Lombe Esq. who settled in the hall here, (fn. 12) and died Apr. 1738, being succeeded by his brother,