An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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THE HUNDRED OF EARSHAM.
This hundred or rather half hundred, is wholly in the liberty of the Duke of Norfolk, and joins to Diss hundred on the west, Depwade and Lodne on the north, and Waveney river (which divides Norfolk and Suffolk) on the south; the east end of it terminating upon the town of Bongeye in Suffolk, which island, (fn. 1) by the winding of the river northward, juts out as it were into Norfolk.
The fee of it is appendant to the manor of Earsham, and was first granted with it, to Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, by King Ric. I. and was confirmed to Hugh Bigot by Henry II. when he made him Earl of Norfolk, (fn. 2) In 1269, Roger Bigot, then Earl, held it as parcel of his barony. In 1285, Robert de Tateshale, lord of Bukenham-castle, sued Roger le Bigod Earl of Norfolk, and John Grenecurtel, his warrener, or game-keeper, (fn. 3) for this half hundred, for taking away his dogs, and two hares, from the game-keeper of his manor of Denton, in the half hundred; upon which, the Earl sets forth his liberties, and shows, that in the Confessor's time, Bishop Stigand had the soc and sac of all the half hundred, except Thorp, which belonged to St. Edmund's at Bury, Pulhams, to St. Etheldred of Ely, and such parts of Redenhall and Denton, as belonged to Earl Ralf who had the soc, sac, and all jurisdiction of his own men or tenants there, when he forfeited; and when the grant of the hundred passed to his ancestors, they then had, as he now hath, free-warren through the whole hundred; and the letes, or superiour jurisdiction and paramountship, in his own, and all other persons fees, except those before mentioned; with view of frankpledge, assise of bread and ale, a common gallows, infangthef, weyf, (fn. 4) and all other liberties belonging to a hundred. (fn. 5) The whole, with Earsham manor, being valued at 30l. and held of the Crown by a feefarm of 40d. (fn. 6) to which Robert answered, that he had free-warren also to his manor of Denton, and it appearing that it was that part which belonged to Earl Ralf, it was agreed between the parties, at the instance of R. de Ingham, and his fellow justices itinerants at Norwich, that both should have free-warren in Denton. In 1352, the jury for the hundred presented, that the inhabitants of Bongeye used, time out of mind, to repair the bridges between Bongeye, and Suffolk, and those between Bongeye, Ditchingham, and Earsham in Norfolk. (fn. 7)
In 1374, there were free-rents paid to the hundred from Brockdish, Lyncroft, Prilleston, Reveshale, Sterston, Redenhale, Aldebergh, and Denton. The perquisites of eleven hundred-courts held at Harleston, were 5l. 9s. 6d. The profits of the nine letes belonging to the hundred 5l. 8s. 7d. and of the eight views of frankpledge 3l. 17s. The profit of Harleston market and fairs, 3l. 10s. &c. The whole received this year from the hundred and accounted for to the head manor of Forncet, was 46l. 15s. 5d. 3q. and in 1537, Rob. Appleyard, steward, accounted for the profits received of the bailiff of the hundred, to John Robsart, receiver-general, much the same as before.
This is often written anciently Erlesham, and was thought to take its name from the Earls of Norfolk, the lords of it; but it is not so, for it was called by this name long before it belonged to the Earls: Hersam, as spelt in Domesday, seems to signify the station of the army; and accordingly there is an encampment by the church; this hundred (with that of Diss) makes up the deanery of Redenhall in the archdeaconry of Norwich, and paid clear to every tenth, 49l. 18s 4d.
|valued with Rushall.|
|Wortwell in Redenhall||87||10||0|
The Manor of Earsham
Was the chief manor of the hundred, and belonged to Stigand the Archbishop at the Confessor's survey, (fn. 8) when there were 3 carucates in demean, 2 mills, wood sufficient to maintain 300 swine, 3 saddle horses, 30 goats, &c. and was worth 11l. being then a mile and an half long, and a mile broad, and paid 6d. to the geld or tax. At the Conquest it belonged to the Conqueror, who committed the management of it to William de Noiers. The soc and sac belonged to it, and the whole was risen to 40l. value. There were then belonging to this manor, 12 socmen in Denton; Stigand had the soc of nine of them in Ersham, and the Abbot of St. Edmund had the soc of three of them, who held 40 acres, which they could neither give nor sell, without license from that church.
From the time it was granted to the Norfolk family along with the half hundred from the Crown, it passed with Forncet manor, to which I refer you; the Duke of Norfolk being lord of the manor and hundred, and owner of the park here, which is now disparked, though in 35 Edw. I. it was well stocked, and belonged to the lodge or manor house, which had 286 acres in demean, 16 acres of meadow, and the hall dykes or fishery, a watermill, and many woods and fens; (fn. 9) all which were kept for the use of the family of Roger Bigot, then lord, who chiefly resided at his adjacent castle of Bongeye.
There was a manor here, which formerly belonged to William de Fraxineto, or Freney, who gave the tithes of the demeans of it to the monks at Castleacre; (fn. 10) it after came to Rog. de Glanvile, who confirmed that donation, as did Simon Bishop of Norwich in 1265; but it extinguished or was joined to the other manor, for I meet with nothing of it since.
The church is dedicated to All the Saints; Norwich Domesday tells us, the rector had then a house and 40 acres of land, and now hath about 37 acres; it was first valued at 24, and after at 30 marks, and paid 2s. synodals, 7d. Peter-pence, and the village 4l. 8s. clear to every tenth. It is incapable of augmentation, and so consequently pays first-fruits and yearly tenths, and stands thus in the King's Books:
1466, John Wace; he was buried in 1502, and gave a piece of alder-carr to repair the church, and a piece in North-Meadow towards paying the town charges for evermore. (fn. 11)
1558, to Alan Persey, (fn. 12) brother to Anne Countess of Arundell.
1585, Edward Key, A. M. Will. Mayster, LL. D. this turn; (fn. 13) in 1603, he returned answer that there were 260 communicants in this parish.
1618, Nic. Sherwood, A. B. he was ejected in 1643, by the Earl of Manchester, but lived to be restored, and died Apr. 19, and his wife Apr. 22, 1671. (fn. 14)
1718, Samuel Ganning, (fn. 15) Ditto. At his death in
1740, The Rev Mr. John Burcham, the present rector, (fn. 16) was presented by his father, who purchased this turn of Mr. Ganning, who is said to have purchased the advowson of the assignee of the late Duke of Norfolk.
The church stands on an old encampment, which, by its oval form, seems to have been a work of the Danes or Saxons. The tower is square, and hath three bells, the nave, the chancel, and south porch, are tiled, and the north porch is leaded; at the door of which, lies a stone over Thomas Berry, Apr. 17, 1653.
On a mural monument in the chancel, on the south side, by the
Juxtà depositæ sunt Reliquiæ, Gulielmi Lamb Generosi, Vitæ integri, Scelerisque Puri, Dei servi, veri Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Filij, Pacis æque ac Charitatis Alumni, omnibusque Amici, obijt 20 Aug. 1724, Ao æt. suæ 54°. Cujus Memoriæ hoc sacravit in Lachrymis Filia ejus unica Martina.
Near this Place lies interred the Body of Robert Gooch late of this Town Esq; who departed this Life upon the 29th Day of Sept. A. D. 1704, and in the 76 Year of his Age. To whose (never to be forgotten) Memory, his Niece Dame Barbara Ward, Wife of Sir Edw. Ward Bart. of Bixley in this County, has caused this Monument to be erected, as a small, but lasting Token of her Gratitude, to so good a Friend, and just a Guardian.
Hic iacet Simon Throkmerton, secundus Filius Johannis Throkmerton, nuper South-Clmham, in Comitatu Suflalcie, qui fuit secundus Filius Thome Throkmerton, nuper de Throkmerton in Comitatu Wygornie, obiit decimo Die Julii, Ao Dni. Mo ccccc rrviio.
The estate formerly the Throkmertons, was afterwards the Gooches, and then the Buxtons, on which John Buxton, Esq. built the present house called Earsham Lodge or Hall; and afterwards sold it to Colonel William Windham, who is interred under the altar; and it is now the seat of the Windhams.