An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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Manor was held of Roger Bigod, as of his manor of Forncet, by Alger, (fn. 1) at the time of Conquest, and another part of it belonged to Alan Earl of Richmond, (fn. 2) and was valued with his manor of Cossey. Little Moulton belonged also to the said Roger, and Alger held that also, of him; (fn. 3) it had then a church and 15 acres of glebe, and the King had two freemen here, named Gouta and Osketel, who had the inheritance that Ascius their father held of the abbey of Holm, to which the advowson belonged.
Both the parishes were three miles long and a mile broad, and paid 13d. ob. geld.
In William Rufus's time, the Earl of Norfolk infeoffed William de Verdon in it, along with Brisingham, as appears in vol. i. p. 49; and it attended that manor for many ages, being held by the Verdons; one half fee of it of the Norfolk family, and one 5th part of a fee of the honour of Bainard's castle, which was purchased of Ralf de Camois, and added to the manor. It after went with Brisingham, till Isabell, daughter and heiress of Sir John Verdon, by Isabell his second wife, married
Sir Imbert Noon of Shelfhanger, and carried it into that family, as in vol. i. p 119, and it passed with it till 1512, and then Henry Noon of Shelfhanger, Esq. sold it to
Thomas Spring of Lanham, clothman, and Thomas Jermyn his feoffee, together with the advowson; at which time it extended into Waketon and Forncet; by him it was soon after conveyed to
Leonard Spencer of Blofield. It after belonged to
Sir Thomas Jermyn, Knt. then to
Sir William Drury, Knt. after to
Robert Wetherby and Eliz. his wife; and in 1562, to
Andrew, John, and Anthony Rivet, and in 1570, to
John Rivet of Brandeston, Esq. in which year it was found, that the superiour lordship over the commons, &c. belonged to the manor of Forncet. It continued in this family (as appears by the institutions) till after 1689; and in 1717,
Mrs. Eliz. widow of Tho. Chute, Esq. had it, and now it belongs to
Mrs. Anne Elwin of Norwich, widow, and Tho. Lobb Chute, Esq. in joint tenancy, and a third turn of the sinecure rectory of Wacton-Parva is appendant to it, as also this patronage.
Rectors of Moulton-Magna.
1303, Jeffry de Halcote. Sir Thomas le Verdon, Knt.
1317, William de Brisingham. Sir John Verdon, Knt.
1349, John Malyer, resigned. Ditto.
1350, John le Smith. Ditto.
1391, Nic. de Rockyngham. Ditto.
1392, Ralf. Swathyng, ob. Sir Edm. Noon, Knt.
1438, John Goorle. Hen. Noon, Esq.
1445, Roger Hese, deprived. Ditto.
1453, John Domlyn. Ditto.
1460, Will. Smith, resigned. Ditto.
1488, John Stanton, resigned. Eleanor Noon.
1495, John Rudham.
1497, Henry Wytham, resigned. Rob. Wingfield and Eleanor Noon.
1507, John Oxclyff, resigned. John Noon, Esq.
1509, Tho. Taylor, ob. Hen. Noon, Esq.
1516, Ric. Drake, LL. B. ob. (fn. 4) united to Gryston. Leonard Spencer of Blofield.
1526, Sir Thomas Clark, prior of Montjoy, ob. Ditto.
1540, Peter Brinkeley, S. T. P. resigned. Sir Tho. Jermyn, Knt.
1543, Tho. Wells, alias Martin, ob. united to Moulton-Parva, deprived of both by Queen Mary. Sir William Drury, Knt.
1555, Henry Bradshaw, resigned.
1556, Richard Clegge, united to All-Saints. Rob. Wetherby, and Eliz. his wife.
1560, John Dodd, ob. Elizabeth Wetherby, widow.
1565, John Hill, ob. united to All-Saints. Andrew, John, and Anthony Rivet.
1581, Will. Matchet, A. M. united to All-Saints. John Rivet of Ipswich, Esq. buried here.
1620, William Roy, A. M. Nicholas Rivet of Brandeston, Esq. united to All-Saints.
1640, Richard Lancaster, ob. Ditto.
1661, Philip Goodwin, resigned. John Rivet, Esq.
1673, Samuel Williams, A. M. united to All-Saints. Thomas Rivet of Rendlesham, Gent.
1689, Ric. Wilson. Tho. Rivet, Esq.
1717, Thomas Browne on Wilson's death. Eliz. Chute, widow.
1726, Will. Nedham; he was succeeded by the present rector.
The Rev. Mr. Jonathan Wrench, vicar of Aylesham.
The church is dedicated to St. Michael, was first valued at 10, after at 12 marks; the rector had a house and 20 acres of glebe; it paid 6s. 8d. procurations, 1s. 10d. synodals, 10d. Peter-pence, and 3d. ob. carvage. The portion of the monks of Thetford was valued at 6s. 8d. and in 1612, was paid to Aslacton manor in right of Thetford priory.
There was a chapel of our Lady in this church, and an altar dedicated to her also in it, by which stood her image, with a light burning before it. In 1504, Walter Taylor gave a legacy for a new bell, and in 1674, a license passed to lessen the great bell. It stands in the King's Books at 6l. 13s. 4d. and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 30l. it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; and the whole parish paid 5l. clear to every tenth. In 1239, lands here and in Herdwick were settled on William prior of the Holy Trinity at Ipswich, by Richard de Mundham and Eve his wife, William Weybred and Beatrix his wife, Walter de Thorp and Eda his wife, and R. Fuger and Christian his wife; and the Prior of the monks of Thetford was taxed for divers temporal rents here, belonging to their estate in Aslacton, at 13s. 5d.
The steeple is round at bottom and octangular at top, and hath five bells; the south porch, south and north isles, and nave, are leaded, and the chancel, is tiled; the arms of Verdon, Vice de Lou, and Noon, were very often in the windows, and az. a bend arg. and arg. a fess gul.
In the nave,
His jacet Corpus Johannis Roope Gen. qui obijt 30 die Julij 1667.
In the south isle,
Hic jacet Corpus Roberti Roope Gen. qui obijt 27 die Oct. 1666.
Dorothy Roope 23 Oct. 1673.
In the chancel,
Ric. Wilson, Rector 27 Years, 28 Nov. 1716, æt. 60.
Will. Nedham Rector, is buried north and south under the altar.
On a brass,
Hic jacet Willelmus Machett, quondam Rector istius Ecclesie qui obijt xio die Sept. A. D. 1620.
Vivo tibi, moriorque tibi, mi Christe Redemptor, Tu mihi sola salus, tu mihi Vita manes, Expectata diù, tandem venit hora salutis, Quæ michi summa dedit Gaudia fixa poli.
On an altar tomb by the south chancel door.
Wickham, arg. a chevron sab. between three roses gul.
Thomas son of Tho. Wickham (fn. 5) Gent. Apr. 5, 1661. Tho. Wickham Gent. the Elder, Dec. 16, 1688, 66. Mary wife of Tho. Wickham 23 May, 1706, 80. Will. their son, Aug. 5, 1706, 45.
At the south-west corner of the churchyard is a very antique altar tomb, but no arms or inscription.
John Moulton born here, a White-friar or Carmelite in Norwich monastery, flourished about the year 1400; Pits, page 568, tells us, that he was a pious, learned, and eloquent man, and an excellent preacher: he published a book of 90 sermons.