An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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Lies at the northern extremity of this hundred; it was taxed at 1l. 12s. but had a deduction of 12s. a year, on account of the revenues of the religions here. The rectory is valued in the King's Books at 6l. 13s. 4d. and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 41l. 11s. 8d. it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of angmentation. The situation answers its name, it being a hill-island. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle, to whose honour there was a gild held here, and another of the Holy Cross: the image of which Saint stood on the north side of the altar, and was new painted in 1502. In the Lincoln taxation, the rectory was valued at 5l. and the rector had a house and 52 acres of glebe; but in the present terrier, there is a house and only 36 acres. It paid 1s. 8d. synodals, 6s. 8d. procurations, 9d. Peter-pence, and 3d. carvage.
The church consists of a nave only, which is 17 yards long, and 7 broad; the chancel is 10 yards long and 7 broad; it hath a round steeple tiled at top, in which are two bells. On the south wall of the nave is a small memorial for Richard Browne, Gent. who died Oct. 20, 1674, aged 58, with the arms of
Browne of Diss in Norfolk, per chevron O. and B. in chief three estons of the second, in base a wyvern arg.
On the north side is an altar tomb of wood, with Yaxley's arms, and this inscription,
Here lyeth buried the body of Henry Yaxlee Esq; who died in the Faith of God's true elect Catholick Church, not trusting in the Merits of any, but the alone Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and his Death and Passion. He died March 6, 1650. They that know thy Name will put their Trust in thee, for thou never forsakest them that seek thee, Psalm 9, 10. This is Life eternal to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, Joh. 17, 3.
Tota Sapientis est Meditatio Mortis.
The same monument also shows, that John Tomson, Gent. died March 17, 1575. Will. Yaxlee of Boston, Gent. 1625, and Raphe Yaxlee, 6th son of Henry aforesaid, 1636.
There is a brass for Robert Pitcher May 1, 1641.
1302, Henry de Norwich.
1303, Hugh de Creyk.
1304, Henry de Norwich aforesaid, he was son of John de Norwich, all these were presented by Sir John de Malherbe, Knt.
1337, Will. de Eston. Ric. de Melton.
1338, Francis de Wesenham. Ric. de Bradenham.
1351, Will. Pope of Witton, buried in the church in 1400, being succeeded by
Will. de Fornham, at the presentation of Ric. de Melton.
1418, Will. Norwich. John de Melton of Colney.
1436, John Norwich.
John Broun of Colney; he was succeeded by
John Drery, who resigned in 1441, and
John Josse was presented by Tho. Blak, who had this turn in right of Brown's manor in Colney.
1455, Sir Tho. Bettys was presented by John Melton of Colney;
he lies buried in the chancel, with this on a brass plate over him,
Qwan the Belle ys solemplye cownge. And the Messe wyth Debosyon songe, And the Mete meryly hete, Sone shall Sere Thomas Bettys be forgete. On whose Sowle God have Mercy, Amen. Qui obiit vo die Aprilis Ao. Dni. Mcccclrrri.
1481, Henry Alycock. Robert Melton this turn. He was also
buried in the chancel, with this on a brass plate,
Orate pro anima Henrici Alikok, quondam Rectoris istius Cccle' sie, qui obiit vio die Sept. A. Dni. Mo vc. iio.
1502, John Aleyn. John Yakesley, serjeant at law.
1511, Aug. Thurkeld or Thyrkyll. Eliz. Yakesley, widow; he resigned in 1533, and she presented
Rich. Whetelay, who held it united to Erlham.
Christopher Joye succeeded him, at whose death in
1567, James Warcupp was presented, by the assignee of William Yaxley, Esq. on whose death in
1592, George Vowell was presented by the Queen, as guardian to Henry Yaxley.
1600, William Johnson, he returned 60 communicants here. Chris. Knolls, Gent. in right of Henry Yaxley of Bowthorp, the true patron.
1614, Will. Moore, presented by Roger Binks, assignee of Henry Yaxley and Edward Walgrave; he was deprived in 1616, and the King gave it to
Edw. Tiddeswell, at whose death in
1647, Alex. Burnet was presented by Mary Ward, widow; he lived till 1670, and then
Sam. Harding had it of the gift of Ric. Browne of Colney.
1694, Rob. Harsnett. Jeremiah Norris, Esq.; but in 1698, he was obliged to be re-presented by the King, as to a lapsed rectory.
1701, Tho. Clayton, official to the Archdedcon of Norwich, and rector of St. Miles at Plea in that city, was presented by Teresa Norris, widow; at whose death in
1743, The Rev. Mr. John Brooks, who holds it united to the rectory of St. Augustine in Norwich, (see vol iv. p. 67, 76, 128, 477, 570,) was presented by Francis Loggin, Gent.
The whole town belonged to Earl Ralf before his forfeiture, after which it was divided into two parts or manors, distinguished by the names of West-hall and East-hall.
The Manor of West-Hall
Was the capital one, and to that the advowson was many years appendant; it was given to Godric the sewer, of whom Walter held it at the time of the Conquest, who purchased and added to it, part of the other manor, which then belonged to Roger Bigat; at the Confessor's survey, this part was worth 30s. and at the Conqueror's 40s.; the whole town was then a mile long, and as much broad, and paid to the geld or tax 8d. farthing. (fn. 1) It after came to the Tateshales, and in 1201,
Sir Rob. de Tateshale had it conveyed to him by Gilbert son of Hervy, together with Witton in Norfolk; (fn. 2) and soon after it was sold to the Malherbes. In 1239,
William Malherbe was lord and patron; (fn. 3) and this year he had a warm contest with Kalf de Cringleford, concerning liberty of commonage for his tenants of Colney, with the tenants of the said Ralf, on a common called Sunderwoodhowe; and it went so far, that a duel was adjudged, and at the time, they both appeared armed in court; but then the judges decreed, that they should be inter-commoners, and that each should have the several services of their villeins and tenants, with prohibition that the lord of Cringleford should not plough, grub up, or any way alter the common from what it heretofore was. In 1302,
Sir Ralf de Malherbe, Knt. owned it, who in 1291, had sold a fourth part of it to
Elizabeth de Colney. This manor was held of Rob. de Tateshall, who had and held it of Rob. Fitz. Roger, at one fee, for which reason it was ever after held of the honour of Horseford. In 1309,
Sir Ralf Malherbe and Eliz. his wife, settled it with the advowson, on
Henry son of John de Norwich, rector here, and Roger son of Gilbert Bourne, in trust for them for their lives, and then to
Gilbert Malherbe, remainder to Roger in tail; it had then, a manor-house, mill, 240 acres of land, 12 acres of meadow, and 14 of pasture in demean; the quitrents were 35s. and 9 quarters of oats, and it extended into Hetherset, Melton, and Cringleford. In 1326,
Tho. de Brockdish, and Robert de Welholme had it; and now it seems that the 4th part of it, which had been sold to Eliz. de Colneye, was purchased by
Sir Rob de la Rokele, lord here, whose son Robert (fn. 4) in 1331, conveyed the 4th part and the advowson, to
Rich. de Melton, citizen of Norwich, and Maud his wife. In 1345,
Jeffry de Snoring had the remaining three parts; and in 1346,
John Braham, Esq. and Anne his wife, daughter and coheir of John Tindring of Brockdish, and Cecilia wife of Rob. Ashfield of StowLangetot, another daughter and co-heiress, settled it on
William de Norwich, junior, and his heirs; and in 1370, William Wiset and other feoffees, sold it to Catherine widow of Sir William Capele, Knt. and Sir Edmund their son; and in 1401,
Will. Rees owned it, soon after which it was joíned to
The Manor of East-Hall,
Which was forfeited by Earl Ralph, and afterwards given to Roger Bigot, of whose gift Waregerius held it in the Conqueror's time, when it was worth 30s. per annum. (fn. 5) In the Confessor's time it was of 20s. value only, and Stigand was the then lord. The successour of this Waregerius assumed the name of Colney from this village, and
Sir Ralf de Colney, Knt. was lord here in 1260. In 1291,
Sir William de Colney, his son, had it, and held it at a quarter of a fee of the Earl-marshal, who held it in chief of the King, as did
Jeffery de Colney after him; and in 1306,
Ric. de Colney; in 1310, Sir
William de Colney and Eliz. his wife settled it in trust on John de Whinbergh, who was to hold it for their use during their lives, remainder to Jeffery, Ralf, John, and Roger, their sons, in tail: it contained then three messuages, one mill, 200 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, and 32s. annual rent in Colney, Carleton, Parva-Melton, Erlham, and Merkeshall, and was held of the honour of Forncet.
In 1346 Laurence, eldest son of Jeffery, eldest son of Sir William de Colney, owned it, and sold it the same year to Will. Blomvyle, Richard Hakun, Hugh, parson of Melton All-Saints, and Edmund de Lesingham, feoffees in trust for the said William, Hugh Curson, and John de Welholm; in 1377, William Pope, rector here, Richard Carter, Nic. atte Launde and Anne his wife, settled it on Rob atte Launde for life; remainder to Nic. and Anne, and their heirs; which Nicholas enjoyed it in 1401; and in 1432, Anne Launde had it for life, reversion to John Browne and his heirs, it being purchased by him in 1401. In 1451, Nic. Browne died seized in fee tail of Browne's manor in Colney, with the moiety of the advowson, which by purchase had been added to it, and Nic. Dunston of Norwich was found his next heir; in 1480, Rob. Bumpstede of Willingham St. Mary in Suffolk was buried in the chancel of St. Mary's church of Soterley in Suffolk at the entrance of it, and made John his eldest son, and Rob. Bumpstede, chaplain, his son, executors; and gave his manor in Willingham, to Marion his wife, and his manor of Colneye to his son Peter, if it could be recovered out of the King's hands, there being then a contest about it, between him and the heirs of Browne; about 1490, John Melton had it, and in 1497, settled it by fine on
John Yaxley and his heirs; in which family it continued (as the presentations show) till the late troublesome times, when one of the Yaxleys being a papist, settled this and Bowthorp, (see Bowthorp, vol. ii. p. 387,) and a considerable estate in Yorkshire, on his kinsman, Rich. Browne of Colney, whose son, Henry Browne, sold it to Mr. Hunt of London, who sold it to Mr. Jeremiah Norris, from which time it hath continued in that family. The Spelmans, Dethicks, and Walgraves, were concerned as trustees for this manor, in many settlements of it, made by the Yaxleys.
Jeremiah Norris of Norwich, Gent. is the present lord.
The Manor of Melton's
Took its rise from the 4th part of Westhall, which was sold as aforesaid in 1331, to Rich. de Melton, who presented in 1337, and Richard de Bradenham, his trustee, in 1338; it afterwards belonged to Thomas de Bumpstede, whose trustees, William, rector of Colneye, Ric. de Bitering, John de Plumstede, and others, settled it on Rob. de Bumpstede, (fn. 6) who presented in 1351; it having been settled in 1348, by Thomas the son, on Rob. de Bumpstede, the father, and Cicily his wife, Philip son of Edmund Browne, and Margaret his wife, and their heirs. In 1399, Nic. son of John Corpsty, and John son of Philip Browne, released it to Ric. de Melton; and his trustees, Sir Miles and Sir Brian Stapleton, Knts. Thomas Bose, parson of Wramplingham, Rob. Serjeant of the same, and John Lingwood of Norwich, settled it on John, son and heir of Richard de Melton, who presented in 1418, and 1455, and Rob. Melton his son in 1481; and in 1497, John Melton sold it with the manor of East-hall to John Yaxley; from which time it hath been joined to that manor.
There was a freeman and 30 acres of ground, &c. held by Rob. de Vals (Vallibus or Vaux,) of Will. de Schoies, and after by Roger de Ebrois, at the Conqueror's survey; (fn. 7) part of which was afterwards settled in 1196, by Roger Picot, on Deodate, prior of St. Faith at Horsham, and the convent there, which in 1428, paid 2s. to the taske.