An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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This town in the Confessor's time, belonged to Bishop Stigand, and was held of him by Aldwin or Ailwin; but at the Conqueror's survey, it was in three parts; (fn. 1) the head or principal manor, called afterwards Overhall, belonged to Roger Bigot, who infeoffed Durand in it, (fn. 2) for which reason it was always held of the Earl of Norfolk's honour of Forncet, at one fee. It was then a league long, and half a league broad, paid 9d. geld or tax, and had a church and 16 acres of glebe; the advowson of which, then solely belonged to this manor; but when the tithes of the manor called afterwards Nether-hall, were joined to it; the lords of that manor presented to one turn, and those of this to another; but when the moieties were separated, and one of them given by the Sheltons to Langley abbey, and the other remained with Netherhall manor, till that fell into the Sheltons, then the turn that belonged to the convent, being sold to John Jenney, senior, Esq. it passed as at p. 40, and 220, till it was sold to the Gleanes, and they joined the alternate presentation to their manor at Hardwick, with which it now remains.
The Manor of Nether-Hall,
At the Conquest, was held by Nigel of Robert Fitz-Corbun, and was then worth 20s. per annum; (fn. 3) it passed afterwards with Boyland's manor in Scole, as at p. 132, vol. i. till 1322, when it belonged to Sir Ralf Hemenhale, Knt. and after to John de Hemenhale, (for which family see p. 185, 6,) and before the extinction of that family, was vested in the Sheltons' trustees, and ever since, hath been joined to their
Manor of Over-Hall,
Which went as the capital manor of Scole, to the Scheltons, very early; which family, though they took their name from this village, were anciently seated at Stradbrooke in Suffolk. John de Shelton, by deed without date, tied his manor in Stradbrook, (fn. 4) to the Prior of Butle, to excuse that house from all suit and service to the county courts or hundred courts; and John his son and heir confirmed it. Nicholas de Shelton, in 1215, had purchased all the estate of Robert Maloysel and Alexander his son, in Weybred, and was then, one of the rebelling Barons against King John, and upon the surrender of Framlingham castle in Suffolk, he submitted, and gave his son Robert as a pledge for his future allegiance.
In 1225, Ralf de Shelton was married to Catherine daughter and heiress of Henry de Illegh, with whom the manor of Burnt-Illegh in Suffolk came to this family, and attended it many generations; her inheritance was large, for he gave 18 marks to King Henry III. and did homage to that King for three whole fees, held of the honour of Will. de Helyun; this Ralf owned an estate, and the advowson of Mundham.
In 1239, Robert son of Henry de Shelton, conveyed an estate here to Jordan de Shelton; and in 1424, Henry de Shelton held 3 fees; and in 1244, Ralf de Shelton, father of Henry, was dead. In 1257, Nic. de Schelton was lord here and of Burnt-Illegh, and in that year gave lands there to the Abbot of St. Osith in Essex. In 1270, Henry de Shelton held this manor of the fee of Arundel, and divers lands of Nic. Shelton, with the manors of Arsa sive Illeye Combusta, Brent, or BurntIlleye, in Suffolk, the manors of Scole and of Bedingham in Norfolk; and
Robert his son and heir was above 25 years old, who had livery of them all at his father's death, and in 1286, had liberty of free-warren allowed to them in eire. This Sir Robert settled lands in Illeye, to maintain divers lights in that church. In 1302, he had fees in Mundham, Shelton, Bedingham, and Scole; in 1305, he and Isabel his wife held them with Burnt-Illeye manor for life, John de Shelton being their son and heir, and of full age; with remainder to Tho. and Henry, their other sons; Sir Robert died this year, and in
1306, John de Shelton, held Shelton and the lands in Hardwick, at one fee of Forncet manors. By his wife Maud, he had John Shelton, on whom this manor was settled for life, and on Agatha his wife, by his father, in 1308. In 1313, John Shelton settled it on himself and Joan his wife, and their heirs.
In 1315, Ralf son of John Shelton held three fees in Bedingham, Shelton, and Scole. In 1316, John son of John de Shelton, Knt. and Robert his son, sold their manor of Heverlond, to Nicholas Shelton son of the said John and Alice his wife, and Thomas their son, and others, for their lives; and this John, as appears by his seal, bare a fess between three mullets; he was lord also of Illegh.
In 1323, Robert de Shelton and Maud his wife settled this manor on themselves and their heirs. In 1330, it was found that Sir Ralf Shelton, senior, Knt. held Burnt-Illeye jointly with Joan his wife, then living, and that he died Oct. 16, in that year, leaving only 3 daughters; Joan, aged 12 years, Margaret, 5 years, and Isabel, half a year old. In 1332, Margaret wife of John de Shelton deceased, having long before his death separated herself from him, of her own accord, and lived with her gallant, lost her dower in Illeye manor for so doing; so that Sir Ralf, who died, had it wholly from his father John's death. In 1333, Alice wife of John de Shelton died seized of Shelton manor, and Ralf their son was 18 years old; and Robert de Shelton, clerk, had lands here.
In 1345, Sir Ralph Shelton was lord; in 1346, King Edward III. granted him his letters patent, signifying that he was in the King's own company in the battle of Cressy, and there received the order of knighthood, the King pardoning him the contempt and penalty which he had incurred for not taking that order upon him before, when his Majesty issued his proclamation, that all those who had 40 pounds a year in land, should take that order upon them. (fn. 5) And the same year, on his marriage with Joan daughter of Sir John de Plais of Wetyng, he settled this and Bedingham manors on himself, wife, and their issue; in 1355, on going beyond sea with King Edward III. he had his letters of protection, and being in the battle of Poicters, he took John Rocourt prisoner; for whom he obtained a safe conduct in 1356. This Sir Ralf was cousin and heir of Sir Ralf Burgulion of Kerdeston and Thirsford; by his will proved in 1375, by the name of Sir Ralf Shelton, senior, Knt. he ordered his body to be buried in the chancel of St. Mary's church at Shelton; and accordingly he was interred there, and his gravestone lieth in the midst of it, with his effigies in complete armour, and a Saracen's head cooped for his crest; over his head,
Sir Ralf Shelton, junior, Knt. his son and heir, who was then married to Alice, daughter of Sir Tho. Uvedale of Tacolneston, Knt.; in 1385, he attended John Duke of Lancaster in his great expedition into Spain, and was at the famous battle of Nazaret. In 1398, John son of Ralf de Shelton released the manor of Gedney in Lincolnshire to the Abbot of Ramsey. In 1405, the jury present, that Joan widow of Sir Ralf de Shelton, senior, died seized of Burnt-Illeye manor, and was buried by her husband, with this on a brass plate,
Sir Ralph, son of Sir Ralf, who was 58 years old. He was in the voyage of St. Maloes de L'isle, and in that into Scotland with King Ric. II. and in that into Spain, where Sir Hugh Hastyngs died; this Sir Ralf died 25 April 1424, as the inscription on his tomb in Great Snoryng church saith.
William, executor; who in 1420, had been executor to John Tolle, rector of Snoryng. This William Shelton, Esq. died seized this year, of the manors of Over-hall and Nether-hall; by his wife Catherine, daughter of Simon Barret, who lies buried in Shelton chancel, with this,
He had the manor of Barrett's in Hardwick, (see p. 218,) and was also possessed at his death, of the manors of Snoryng-Magna, Thursford, and Burgullion's in Kerdeston, as heir of the Burgullion family, and of Burnt-Illeye in Suffolk; all which he left to
Ralf his son and heir, one quarter of a year old, by Margaret his wife, who had Burnt-Illey for life, and remarried to Robert Alyngton; and her son Ralf was 46 years old at her death. In 1487, he had a grant from Henry VII. of the custody and marriage of the body and lands of Ralf, brother and heir of Robert Berney, Esq. of Gunton; he married Margaret daughter of Rob. Clere of Ormesby, (fn. 6) and Eliz. his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas Uvedale, by whom he had John, his son and heir, Ralf, Richard, Elizabeth, and Alice (fn. 7) married to John Heveningham: (fn. 8) he was living in 1492, but dead before 1500, for then, Margaret Shelton of Shelton, late the wife of Sir Rafe Shelton, Knt. willed to be buried in Shelton chancel by her husband, in "a tumbe which is ordeyned to that intent;" (fn. 9) she gave the tenements in Moringthorp called Roper's, with the appurtenances, to pay the fifteenths, for the towns of Shelton and Freton.
In 1512, a pardon was granted to this Sir John Shelton, who married Anne, daughter of Sir William Bolleyn of Blickling in Norfolk, Knt. and died Dec. 21, 1539, in the 62d year of his age, (fn. 10) and is buried in Shelton chancel with this over his head, (fn. 11)
Johannes Shelton Miles quondam istius pagi Dominus, Si Fortunam, si Uitam, si Felicitatem, scire cupis, Hec Carmina tibi dicent. Lege, Uive, et Uale. Morborum vicia, et Uite Mala marima fugit, Nunc careo pacis, pace fruor placida. Uirit Annos 62, Ao 1539. Bene merenti Uror posuit.
1, Shelton. 2, Illegh. (fn. 12) 3, Burgullion. 4, Shelton quartered in the nombreil. Cockfield, Shelton, and Bullen impaled.
The east window of this chancel was glazed at his charge, and in it is his own effigies, in a praying posture, with his arms on his surcoat; and that of his wife with Bullen's arms Over his head, Shelton and Bullen impaled; over her's, Shelton and Burgullion, quarterly or and gul. on the 2d and 3d quarters, three annuletsO. over all a bend sab.
Sir John, son and heir of Sir John Shelton, Knt. called Sir John Shelton the younger, was high-sheriff of Norfolk in 1522, and again in 1525, and had livery of the manors of Shelton, Stratton-Saies, Refham-Burgulions, Scole, Bedingham, Snoryng, Gallowes, &c. in Norfolk, and of Burnt-Illegh and Meldyng in Suffolk. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Hen. Parker, Knt. son and heir of Henry Lord Morley; and was one of those gentlemen that joined Queen Mary at Kenninghall, in order to advance her to the crown.
Raphe married the Daughter of Sir William Woodhouse. (fn. 13)
Anne, married the Son and Heir of Sir John Godsalve. (fn. 14)
Alys, married the sonn and Heir of Sir Tho. Josselyn. (fn. 15)
Marye, now Ladye Scudamore. (fn. 16)
Sir Ralph Shelton, Knt. high-sheriff of Norfolk in 1570, had livery of his father's inheritance, viz. the manors of Shelton, Snoryng, Carrow; &c. he married two wives; 1st, Mary, daughter of Sir William Woodhouse of Waxham, Knt. 2dly, to Anne, daughter to Thomas Barrow, Esq. of Barningham in Suffolk, who afterwards married to Sir Charles Cornwaleis. He lies buried on the north side of the altar.
Raphe Shelton maryed Mary the Doughter of Sir William Woodhowse, the 13 Daye of Septembre, Anno Dom. 1551, by whom he had Issue, Tho. John, Raphe, Edward, Margaret, and Audrey, and dyed 15 June, 1568.
John Shelton (fn. 17) was borne 20 Dec. 1559.
Margaret Shelton (fn. 18) was borne 24 Dec. A. D. 1556.
Audrey Shelton (fn. 19) was borne 10 June 1568.
By Anne Barrow, his second wife, he had issue, William, who died 12 Dec. 1583, leaving Henry Shelton his brother and heir, then 7 years old, and two daughters. (fn. 20)
Thomas Shelton, Esq. his son and heir, married Eliz. daughter of Edw. Flowerdew, Baron of the Exchequer; (fn. 21) and was lord of Shelton, Snoryng-Magna, Hardwick-Barrets, Thursford, &c. and gentleman porter of the Tower; (fn. 22) he died 15--- and was succeeded by his brother,
Sir Ralph Shelton, Knt. born as above in 1560, who married Dorothy, daughter of Sir Rob. Jermyn of Rushbrook in Suffolk, Knt. He was killed at the isle of Rhè in France, (fn. 23) and dying without issue,
Henry Shelton, only surviving son of Sir Raphe Shelton, by Anne Barrow his second wife, inherited, who was a captain in the Low-Countries 60 years; he married Eliz. daughter of Thomas Jermyn of Depeden in Suffolk, Esq. and dying 18 Oct. 1634, at Barningham, was buried here, and was succeeded by his son,
Maurice Shelton of Shelton, Esq. (fn. 24) and of Barningham in Suffolk, which he had as heir to Maurice Barrow, son of William Barrow of Westhorp in Suffolk, brother of Anne Barrow aforesaid, his grandmother; he married Eliz. daughter of Sir Robert and sister of Sir Robert Kemp of Gissing, Bart. (fn. 25) and is buried at Shelton, leaving four sons, and four daughters,
Maurice Shelton, the eldest brother, married Martha, daughter of Robert Appleton of Great Waldingfield in Suffolk, Esq. and Martha his wife, (fn. 26) daughter of Thomas More of St. German's Wigenhall, and Martha his wife, daughter of Mr. William Jackson, whose daughter and heiress, Martha, (fn. 27) married to Lile Hacket, son and heir of Sir Andrew Hacket, son and heir of Bishop Hacket of Moxhull in Warwickshire, and had a son, John; this Maurice dying without issue male, was buried at Shelton, and the estate went to his second brother,
Here lieth interred the Body of HENRY SHELTON of Barningham in the County of Suffolk Esq. who married Hester Daughter of Sir John Churchman of Illington in the County of Norfolk Knt. (by whom he had two Sons, Maurice and Henry) who departed this Life the 24th Day of May 1690, Æt. suæ 36°.
Maurice Shelton of Barningham in Suffolk, Esq. and now of Bury St. Edmund's, who sold the manors of Over-hall and Nether hall in this parish, with the alternate right of presentation to the rectory of Shelton, to
The Church is dedicated to St. Mary, was first valued at 14, and after at 15 marks; it paid 17d. synodals and procurations, 10d. Peterpence, and 3d. carvage, and was in medieties; the Abbot of Langley was patron of one, and that rector had 16 acres of land, but no house; and Sir Richard de Boyland was patron of the other, having purchased it in 1277, of Roger de Taseburgh, and the Rector of that had a house and 18 acres of land. The whole now lies as one rectory in the King's Books, valued at 8l. and the village used to pay 2l. 17s. to every tenth. The present fabrick was built by Sir Ralf Shelton, Knt. (fn. 28) and is a fine uniform brick building, having a nave, two isles, and chancel leaded, a square tower, and one bell. His name is expressed often in the windows, viz. Aia with an escalop shel and a tun, which cannot fail of making Sheltun. There is now a handsome new built parsonage-house, and above 30 acres of glebe.
Rectors of the south part, or Schelton's mediety.
1305, Gilbert de Belawe, instituted by Will. Freeman, rector of Prillestone, his proctor. Sir John de Boyland Knt. (fn. 29)
1823, Alan le Man. Ditto. (fn. 29)
Rectors of the north part, or Langley mediety.
In 1445, the two medieties being void, and the convent having sold their mediety to the Sheltons, they were perpetually united by consent of the patrons; the Bishop reserving double fees on all institutions. (Reg. Inst. 10, fo. 97.)
Rectors of the whole Rectory.
1481, Master Archibald Davy. John Jenney of Intwood in Norfolk, Esq. and Eliz. his wife. This rector was licensed to solemnize matrimony between Sir Richard Fitz-Lewes, Knt. and Eliz. Shelton, and between John son and heir of Thomas Heveningham, Esq. and Alice Shelton, in the oratory or chapel, in the manor-house of Sir Ralf Shelton, Knt. father of the said Eliz. and Alice, at his manor of Shelton.
1508, Sir John Shelton, priest, whom I should have taken to have been the poet laureat of that name, mentioned at vol. i. p. 30, had it not been, that this man died in 1523, and the laureat lived to 1529. John Bliant, Gent. in right of Anne his wife, this turn.
1746, The Rev. Mr. John Salmon, the present rector, had it of his father's gift, who purchased this turn of John Howse, Esq. lord of Shelton; and the next turn belongs to Barret's manor in Hardwick, which Mrs. Frances Bacon of Earlham, widow, now enjoys.
There was a grand antique mansion or manor-house here, built by Sir Ralf Shelton, in a square form, with an outside wall imbattled, and a turret at each corner, moated in, with a grand gate space at the entrance, and a turret at each corner of it. In the windows and ceilings were many coats of the matches of the Sheltons, &c. but the whole is now ruinated. The demeans and the park, &c. were sold by the Sheltons from the manors, as I am informed, to Sir Rob. Houghton, Knt. serjeat at law, and one of the justices of the King's Bench; who died seized of the manors of Leffley, Buxhall, Bretenham, and Hecham, in Suffolk, and their letes; leaving Francis his son and heir, 30 years old; who died in 1629, leaving Robert his son and heir 6 years old, who inherited the said manors. (fn. 30)
This judge was born at Gunthorp in Norfolk, Aug. 3, 1548, and was buried 6 Feb. 1623, in the church of St. Dunstan in the West, London, for whom there is a noble canotaph in this chancel, with his effigies in his judge's robes, and those of his wife, and son and his wife, kneeling on the top of it, and this inscription,
Optimi Mariti Roberti Houghton Equitis, Judicisque de Regis Banco, cujus Cineris Divi Dunstani Templum infra Londinum Custos est, Hic quoque Locus, cum Filij sit, Patris etiam Monumentum esse Optimo Jure videtur vendicare. Memoriæ piæ, Charissimi Filij nostri Francisci Houghton Armigeri, necnon Helenæ Uxoris ejus (ut quorum Corda conjugalis Amor, Animas, Una Fides (uti spes nostra) in Æternum univit, eorum ossa Unum hoc Sepulchrum condat, conjungat.
Ego Maria Roberti Richers de Rootham in Comitatû Cantij Armigeri Filiæ, bene Merito marito, duobus Filijs, Filiabus tribus, Oh Dolor ! orbata, totiesq; partim Mortua Johanne Houghton, Unico minimoque Natû superstite, Reliquorum Consortij Avida, Potissimum verò Coronam Beatitudinis Anhelans, utq; cum Salvatore Vivam, Dissolutionis cupientissima, hoc Poni Sacrum, meas Reliquias Hìc condier Jussi. Per mortem itur ad Vitam. 1623.
In the windows of this church and chancel were all the matches of the Shelton family put up, many of which still remain; and the same were in the windows, and on the ceilings in Shelton-Hall, and are the same exactly, as those in Carrow abbey, which see at p. 529, vol. iv. only the impalement of Burgulion is there omitted, it being lost.
Sab. a chevron between three trefoils arg Wytchyngham, Howe, Scutumbre, Heydon, and Boleyn. Calthorp quartering Burgullion. Dovedale impaling gul. a chevron erm. between three de-lises or. Fitz-walter and Shelton. Stapleton and Hingham. Clere and Dovedale. Clere and Haukforth, Howard, Bedingfield, and Shelton. Boleyn, Butler, and Ormond. Boleyn, Howe, and Wichingham, and az. a fess between six cross croslets or. Vere quartering Howard and Plays. Shelton and Plais. Shelton quartering Clere and Dovedale. Yelverton and Brewse. Braunch and Bardolf. Lowdham and Shelton. Brewse and Shardelowe. Mundeford and Barrett. Knevet and Shelton.
And many of the arms were in the chapel in Shelton-hall, where the several lodging rooms were called after the names of those families whose arms were placed in them, as Morley's chamber, Howard's chamber, &c.
And formerly, there was a MSS. kept at the hall, which had a drawing of the house in it, a copy of which I have by me, and the arms of such families as the Sheltons married into, and many of the quarterings of those families. The grand coat of Shelton there, was,
1, Shelton and Fitz-hammond. 2, Ditto and Gedding. 3, Cretyng. 4, Vaux. 5, Herling. 6, Martin. 7, Illegh. 8, Plais. 9, Bures. 10, Tendring. 11, Winter. 12, Mellers. 13, Ufford. 14, Thorington. 15, Burgullion. 16, Cockfield. 17, Lowdham. 18, Dovedale. 19, Heveningham. 20, a fess between three de-lises or. 21, Mohun. 22, Peyton. 23, Stapleton. 24, Calthorp. 25, Poynings. 26, Gilbert. 27, Barret. 28, Lewes. 29, Brewse. 30, Thorp of Ashwellthorp. 31, St. Philebert. 32, Delabere. 33, Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury. 34, Clere. 35, Notingham. (fn. 31) 36, Marke. 37, Brome. 38. Bedingfield. 39, Boleyn. 40, Wodehouse of Kimberley. 41, Notingham. (fn. 32) 42, Parker Lord Morley. 43, Wodehouse of Waxham. 44, Cromwell. 45, Barrow. 46, Appleyard. 47, Jermyn.
1, Bernardiston impaling Shelton. 2, Lowdham impales Shelton, as do the following names, viz. Wentworth, Fitz-walter, Ufford, Heveningham, Bedingfield, Bullen, Knyvet, Danny, (fn. 33) Godsalve, Scudsmore, Walsingham, Hunt, Lewes, Josceline, Aske, (fn. 34) Woodhouse of Kimberley, Stanton, Nappier, Bacon, (fn. 35) Southwell, and Fernley. (fn. 36).
Shelton impaling; 1, Dusing, sab. three swords arg. hilted and pomelled or, their points downwards. 2, Batteld, gul. a griffin sejant or. 3, Ferne, per bend arg. and gul. indented. 4, gul. a leopard saliant in a bordure indented arg. 5, Walden, sab, two bars and three cinquefoils in chief arg. 6, arg. three hurts between two bendlets gul. 7, St. John. 8, Le Port, barry of six A. B. a saltier gul. 9, Cornwateis. 10, Mac Williams. 11, Bruning, sab. two bendlets wavy arg. 12, Kalley, sab. two falchions saltier-ways arg. hilted and pomelled or. 13, Plott, vert, on three caterfoils arg. as many lions heads erased sab. 14, Morgan, arg. a griffin sejant sab 15, Husey arg, a cross vert. 16, Ferne, or, a bend between two lions heads erased sab. 17, Starley, pally of six arg. and sab. 18, Daniel of Suff. 19, Rush, gul. on a fess or, between three horses current sab. as many hurts. 20, Arnold of Cromere. 21, Barrow, 22, Jermyn. 23, Kemp.
I find two small manors in this and the adjoining towns of Hemenhale, Fritton, &c. called Blomefield's and Seaman's, as the abuttals of the lands in Shelton Court Books mention; and the estate late the Houghtons being the Park, &c. which Charles Houghton owned in 1665, belongs now (as I am informed) to Sir Edmund Bacon of Garboldesham, Bart.