An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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Is the next adjoining town eastward, through which the great road passes to Yarmouth; on the left hand of which, stands the church, on a hill by itself, there being no house near it but the parsonage, which joins to the east side of the churchyard. The advowson always belonged to the Earl's manor here, with which it now continues.
In Norwich Domesday we read, that the rector had a house and 30 acres of land, that it was then valued at 15 marks, and paid as it now doth for synodals 1s. 9d. procurations 6s. 8d. and 12d. Peter-pence. It stands in the King's Books thus:
And consequently pays first-fruits, and is incapable of augmentation. The church stands included in the glebe, which is much the same in quantity as it was when the aforesaid survey was taken. It is in Norfolk archdeaconry, Redenhall deanery, and Duke of Norfolk's liberty, though he hath no lete, warren, paramountship, or superiour jurisdiction at all in this town, the whole being sold by the family along with the manors of the town.
In 1603, there were 103 communicants here, and now there are 50 families, and about 300 inhabitants; it was laid to the ancient tenths at 4l. but had a constant deduction of 14s. on account of lands belonging to the religious, so that the certain payment to each tenth, was 3l. 6s.
The Prior of Thetford monks had lands here of the gift of Richard de Cadomo or Caam, (fn. 1) who gave them his land in Brokedis, and a wood sufficient to maintain 20 swine, in the time of King Henry I. when William Bigot, sewer to that King, gave to this priory all the land of Sileham, which from those monks is now called Monks-hall manor, and the water-mill there; all which Herbert Bishop of Norwich conveyed to his father, in exchange for other lands, he being to hold it in as ample a manner as ever Herbert the chaplain did; and in Ric. the Second's time, the monks bought a piece of marsh ground in Brokedis, to make a way to their mill, which being not contained in the grant of Monks-hall manor from Hen. VIII. to the Duke of Norfolk, William Grice, Esq. and Charles Newcomen, who had a grant of such lands as they could find concealed from the Crown, seized on this as such; and upon their so doing, the owner of the mill was obliged to purchase it of them, by the name of Thetford-Mill-Way, and it hath ever since belonged to, and is constantly repaired by the owner thereof.
Rectors of Brockidish.
1356, John Knyght of Exeter. Mary Countess-Marshal, widow of Tho. de Brotherton, who recovered the advowson by the King's writ, against Sir J. Wingfield, Knt. and Thomas his brother, William de Lampet and Alice his wife, and Catherine her sister, and so Wombwell was ejected.
1417, he exchanged with Thomes Barry, priest, for the vicarage of Berkyng church in London. John Lancaster, Ric. Sterisacre, and Rob. Southwell, attorneys to John Duke of Norfolk, EarlMarshal and Notyngham, who was beyond the seas. Barry resigned in
1586, Aug. 4, Master Richard Gibson was instituted, who was buried Oct. 1, 1625; he was presented by Robert Nichols of Cambridge, by purchase of the turn from William le Grice, Gent. and Hester le Grice, wife of Charles le Grice, Gent. true patrons.
The church is dedicated to the honour of the apostles St. Peter and Paul, and hath a square tower about 16 yards high, part of which was rebuilt with brick in 1714; there are five bells; the third, which is said to have been brought from Pulham in exchange, hath this on it;
The nave, chancel, and south isle are leaded, the south porch tiled, and the north porch is ruinated. The roof of this chancel is remarkable for its principals, which are whole trees without any joint, from side to side, and bent in such a rising manner, as to be agreeable to the roof. The chancel is 30 feet long and 20 broad, the nave is 54 feet long and 32 broad, and the south isle is of the same length, and 10 feet broad.
Near this Place lays Elizabeth Wife of John Moulton Gent. who died Oct. 31, 1716, aged 32 Years. And here lieth Mary the late Wife of John Moulton, who died March 20, 1717, aged 27 Years. And also here lyeth the Body of John Moulton Gent. who died June 12, 1718, aged 38 Years.
In 1465, Jeffry Wurliche of Brockdish was buried here, and in 1469 John Wurliche was interred in the nave, and left a legacy to pave the bottom of the steeple. In 1518, Henry Bokenham of Brockdish was buried in the church, as were many of the Spaldings, (fn. 2) Withes, Howards, Grices, Tendrings, and Laurences; who were all considerable owners and families of distinction in this town.
The chapel at the east end of the south isle was made by Sir Ralf Tendring of Brockdish, Knt. whose arms remain in its east window at this day, once with, and once without, a crescent az. on the fess, viz. az. a fess between two chevrons arg.
His altar monument stands against the east wall, north and south, and hath a sort of cupola over it, with a holy-water stope by it, and a pedestal for the image of the saint to which it was dedicated, to stand on, so that it served both for a tomb and an altar; the brass plates of arms and circumscription are lost.
On the north side, between the chapel and nave, stands another altar tomb, covered with a most curious marble disrobed of many brass plates of arms and its circumscription, as are several other stones in the nave, isle, and chancel. This is the tomb of John Tendring of Brockdish-hall, Esq. who lived there in 1403, and died in 1436, leaving five daughters his heirs, so that he was the last male of this branch of the Tendrings. Cecily his wife is buried by him.
Obdormit hìc in Domino, lætam in Christo expectans Resurrectionem, Robertus, Roberti Laurence, ac Annæ Uxoris ejus, Filius, hujusce Ecclesiæ de Brockdish in Comitatû Norfolciensi Rector, ejusdem Villæ Dominus, ac Ecclesiæ Patronus, jure hereditario (si vixîsset) Futurus; Sed ah! Fato nimium immaturo abreptus; Cœlestia per Salvatoris merita sperans, Terrestria omnia, Juvenis reliquit. Dec. 31°. Anno æræ Christianæ mdccxxxixo. Ætatis xxvo. Maria, unica Soror et Hæres, Roberti Frankling Generosi Uxor, Fraterni Amoris hoc Testimonium animo grato, Memoriæ Sacrum posuit.
Lawrence impaling Lany and his quarterings, viz. 1, Lany. 2, Aslack. 3, Cooke. 4, Bohun. 5, nine de-lises, 3, 3, and 3. 6, Bardolf. 7, Charles. 8, on a chevron three de-lises. 9, Ramsey. 10, Tendring. 11, on a fess two coronets. 12, Wachesam, arg. a fess, in chief two crescents gul. 13, a lion rampant. 14, Lany.
There is a picture of this Robert drawn in 1629, æt. 36. He built the hall in 1634; it stands near half a mile north-east of the church, and was placed near the old site of Brockdishe's-hall; the seat of the Tendrings, whose arms, taken out of the old hall when this was built, were fixed in the windows. The arms of this man and his wife, and several of their quarterings, are carved on the wainscot in the rooms.
In Memory of Richard Tubby Esq. (fn. 3) who died Dec. 10th. 1741, in the 80th Year of his Age.
The town takes its name from its situation on the Waveney or Wagheneye, which divides this county from that of Suffolk; the channel of which is now deep and broad, though nothing to what it was at that time, as is evident from the names of places upon this river, as the opposite vill, now called Sileham, (oftentimes wrote Sayl-holm, even to Edw. the Third's time) shows; for I make no doubt, but it was then navigable for large boats and barges to sail up hither, and continued so, till the sea by retiring at Yarmouth, and its course being stopt near Lowestoft, had not that influence on the river so far up, as it had before; which occasioned the water to retire, and leave much land dry on either side of the channel; though it is so good a stream, that it might with ease, even now, be made navigable hither; and it would be a good work, and very advantageous to all the adjacent country. That [Brod-dic] signifies no more than the broad-ditch, is very plain, and that the termination of ò, eau, or water, added to it, makes it the broad ditch of water, is as evident.
Before the Confessor's time, this town was in two parts; Bishop Stigand owned one, and the Abbot of Bury the other; the former afterwards was called the Earl's Manor, from the Earls of Norfolk; and the other Brockdishe's-hall, from its ancient lords, who were sirnamed from the town.
The superiour jurisdiction, lete, and all royalties, belonged to the Earl's manor, which was always held of the hundred of Earsham, except that part of it which belonged to Bury abbey, and that belonged to the lords of Brockdishe's-hall; but when the Earl's manor was sold by the Duke of Norfolk, with all royalties of gaming, fishing, &c. together with the letes, view of frankpledge, &c. free and exempt from his hundred of Earsham, and the two manors became joined as they now are, the whole centered in the lord of the town, who hath now the sole jurisdiction with the lete, belonging to it; and the whole parish being freehold, on every death or alienation, the new tenant pays a relief of a year's freehold rent, added to the current year: The annual free-rent, without such reliefs, amounting to above 3l. per annum. At the Conqueror's survey the town was seven furlongs long, and five furlongs and four perches broad, and paid 6d. to the geld or tax. At the Confessor's survey, there were 28 freemen here, six of which held half a carucate of land of Bishop Stigand, and the others held 143 acres under the Abbot of Bury, and the Abbot held the whole of Stigand, without whose consent the freemen could neither give away, nor sell their land, but were obliged to pay him 40s. a year free-rent; (fn. 4) and if they omitted paying at the year's end, they forfeited their lands, or paid their rent double; but in the Conqueror's time they paid 16l. per annum by tale. There were two socmen with a carucate of land, two villeins and two bordars here, which were given to Bury abbey along with the adjacent manor of Thorp-Abbots, but were after severed from that manor, and infeoffed by the Abbot of Bury in the lord of Brockdishe's-hall manor, with which it passed ever after. (fn. 5)
Brockdish-Earl's Manor, or Brockdish Comitis.
This manor always attended the manor of Forncet after it was granted from the Crown to the Bygods, along with the half hundred of Earsham, for which reason I shall refer you to my account of that manor at p. 223, 4. It was mostly part of the dower of the ladies of the several noble families that it passed through, and the living was generally given to their domestick chaplains. In 3 Edward I. the Abbot of Bury tried an action with Roger Bigod, then lord and patron, for the patronage; (fn. 6) pleading that a part of the town belonged to his house, and though they had infeoffed their manor here in the family of the Brockdishes, yet the right in the advowson remained in him; but it appearing that the advowson never belonged to the Abbot's manor, before the feofment was made, but that it wholly was appendant ever since the Confessor's time, to the Earl's manor, the Abbot was cast: notwithstanding which in 1335, Sir John Wingfield, Knt. and Thomas his brother, William de Lampet and Alice his wife, and Catherine her sister, owners of Brockdishe's manor, revived the claim to the advowson; and Thomas de Wingfield, and lady Eleanor wife of Sir John Wingfield, presented here, and put up their arms in the church windows, as patrons, which still remain; but Mary Countess Marshal, who then held this manor in dower, brought her quare impedit, and ejected their clerk; since which time, it constantly attended this manor, being always appendant thereto. In 15 Edw. I. Roger Bigot, then lord, had free-warren in all this town, as belonging to this manor, having not only all the royalties of the town, but also the assise of bread and ale, and amerciaments of all the tenants of his own manor, and of the tenants of Reginald de Brockdish, who were all obliged to do suit once a year at the Earl's view of frankpledge and lete in Brockdish; and it continued in the Norfolk family till 1570, and then Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, obtained license from Queen Elizabeth to sell it; it being held in capite or in chief of the Crown, as part of the barony and honour of the said Duke, who accordingly sold the manor, advowson, free-fishery, and all the place or manor-house, and demean lands; together with the lete, view of frankpledge, liberty of free warren, and all other royalties whatsoever, free and exempt from any jurisdiction or payment to his half hundred of Earsham, to
Charles le Grice, Esq. of Brockdish, and his heirs, who was descended from Sir Rorert le Grys of Langley in Norfolk, Knt. equerry to Ric. I. and Oliva his wife, whose son, Sir Simon le Grys, Knt. of Thurveton, was alive in 1238, and married Agnes daughter and coheir to Augustine son of Richard de Waxtenesham or Waxham, of Waxham in Norfolk, by whom he had Roger le Grys of Thurton, Esq. who lived in the time of Edward I. whose son Thomas le Grice of Thurton, had Roger le Grice of Brockdish, who lived here in 1392; whose son Thomas left John le Grice his eldest son and heir, who married a Bateman, and lies buried in St. John Baptist's church in Norwich; (see vol. iv. p. 127;) but having no male issue, William le Grice of Brockdish, Esq. son of Robert le Grice of Brockdish, his uncle, inherited; he married Sibill, daughter and sole heir of Edmund Singleton of Wingfield in Suffolk, and had
Anthony le Grice of Brockdish, Esq. (fn. 7) who married Margaret, daughter of John Wingfield, Esq. of Dunham, who lived in the place, and died there in 1553, and lies buried in the church, by whom his wife also was interred in 1562. His brother Gilbert Grice of Yarmouth, Gent. (fn. 8) first agreed with the Duke for Brockdish, but died before it was completed; so that Anthony, who was bound with him for performance of the covenants, went on with the purchase for his son,
Charles le Grice aforesaid, (fn. 9) to whom it was conveyed: he married two wives; the first was Susan, daughter and heir of Andrew Manfield, Gent. and Jane his wife, who was buried here in 1564; the second was Hester, daughter of Sir George Blagge, Knt. who held the manor for life; and from these two wives descended the numerous branches of the Grices of Brockdish, Norwich, Wakefield in Yorkshire, &c. He was buried in this church April 12, 1575, and was found to hold his manor of the hundred of Earsham, in free soccage, without any rent or service, and not in capite; and Brockdishe's-hall manor of the King, as of his barony of Bury St. Edmund in Suffolk, which lately belonged to the abbey there, in free soccage, without any rent or service, and not in capite, and
William le Grice, Esq. was his eldest son and heir, who at the death of his mother-in-law, was possessed of the whole estate; for in 1585, William Howard, then lord of Brockdishe's-hall manor, agreed and sold it to this William, and Henry le Grice his brother, and their heirs; but Howard dying the next year, the purchase was not completed till 1598, when Edw. Coppledick, Gent. and other trustees, brought a writ of entry against John son of the said William Howard, Gent. and had it settled absolutely in the Grices, from which time the two manors have continued joined as they are at this day; by Alice, daughter and heiress of Mr. Eyre of Yarmouth; he left
Robert Laurence of Brockdish, Esq. (fn. 10) who married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard, son of Edmund Anguish of Great-Melton, by whom he had
Robert Laurence, Esq. his son and heir, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Aslack Lany, who survived him, and remarried in 1640, to Richard Smith, Gent. by whom she had one child, Eliz. buried here in 1641: he died July 24, 1637, and lies buried by the altar as aforesaid: he built the present hall, and had divers children, as Aslak Laurence, Robert, born in 1633, buried in 1635, Samuel Laurence, born in 1635, Ellen, born in 1635, Elizabeth, who married William Reynolds of Great-Massingham, Gent. and
Francis Laurence of Brockdish, Esq. his eldest son and heir, who married Ellen, daughter of Thomas Patrick of Castle-acre, Gent. widow of Mathew Halcote of Litcham, Gent. who survived him, and held Brockdish in jointure to her death, which happened Jan. 6, 1741, when she was buried in the nave of Litcham church: they had Frances, and Elizabeth, who died infants; Mary, who died single about 1736, and was buried in the vestry belonging to Castleacre church; Jane, married to Mr. Thomas Shin of Great Dunham, by whom a Thomas, a son, &c. she being dead; Ellen, now widow of Thomas Young of Oxboro, Gent. who died Oct. 1743, leaving issue, the Rev. Mr. Thomas-Patrick Young of Caius college in Cambridge, Benjamin and Mary, and
Sir Stephen de Brockdish in it, from whom it took its present name; he was to hold it at the 4th part of a knight's fee of that abbey: it contained a capital messuage or manor-house, called now Brockdishe's-hall; 105 acres of land in demean, 12 acres of wood, 8 of meadow, and 4l. 13s. 10d. rents of assise; he left it to
William, his son and heir, who in 1267, by the name of William de Hallehe de Brokedis, or Will. of Brockdish-hall, was found to owe suit and service once in a year with all his tenants, to the lete of the Earl of Norfolk, held here. He left this manor, and the greatest part of his estate in Norwich-Carleton (which he had with Alice Curson his wife) to
Reginald de Brockdish, his son and heir, (fn. 11) to whom he gave Brockdish-hall manor in Burston, (see vol. i. p. 127, vol. ii. p. 506,) but he dying before his father, was never lord here; his two daughters and heiresses inheriting at his father's death, viz.
Alice, married to William de Lampet about 1355, and Catherine some time after, to William son of John de Herdeshull, lord of North Kellesey and Saleby in Lincolnshire, who inherited each a moiety, according to the settlement made by their grandfather, who infeoffed Sir John de Wingfield, Knt. and Eleanor his wife, and Thomas his brother, in trust for them; (fn. 12) soon after, one moiety was settled on Robert Mortimer and Catherine his wife, by John Hemenhale, clerk, and John de Lantony, their trustees; and not long after the whole was united, and belonged to
Sir Ralf Tendring of Brockdish, Knt. one of their younger sons, who built the old hall (which was pulled down by Robert Lawrence, Esq. when he erected the present house) and the south isle chapel, in which he and Alice his wife are interred; his son,
John Tendring of Brockdish, Esq. who was lord here and of Westhall in Colney, (see p. 5,) and was buried in the said chapel, with Cecily his wife, died in 1436, and left five daughrers, coheiresses, viz.
William Howard, his eldest son and heir, who died in 1566, seized of many lands in Cratfield, Huntingfield, Ubbeston, and Bradfield in Suffolk; and of many lands and tenements here, and in Sileham, &c. having sold this manor the year before his death, to the Grices as aforesaid; but upon the sale, he reserved, all other his estate in Brockdish, in which he dwelt, called Howard's Place, situate on the south side of the entrance of Brockdish-street; which house and farm went to
The site and demeans of the Earl's manor, now called the place, was sold from the manor by the Grices some time since, and after belonged to Sir Isaac Pennington, alderman of London, (see vol. i. p. 159,) and one of those who sat in judgment on the royal martyr, for which his estate was forfeited at the Restoration, and was given by Car. II. to the Duke of Grafton; and his Grace the present Duke of Grafton, now owns it.
One close called Algorshegge, containing three acres, (fn. 13) and a grove and dove-house formerly built thereon containing about one acre, at the east end thereof; the whole abutting on the King's highway north, and the glebe of Brockdish rectory west: and one tenement abutting on Brockdish-street south, called Seriches, (fn. 14) with a yard on the north side thereof, were given by John Bakon the younger, of Brockdish, son of John Bakon the elder, of Thorp-Abbots; the clear profits to go yearly to pay the tenths and fifteenths for the parish of Brockdish when laid, and when they are not laid, to repair and adorn the parish church there for ever: his will is proved in 1433. There are always to be 12 feoffees, of such as dwell, or are owners in the parish, and when the majority of them are dead, the survivors are to fill up the vacancies.
In 1590, 1 Jan. John Howard, Gent. John Wythe, Gent. William Crickmere and Daniel Spalding, yeomen, officers of Brockdish, with a legacy left to their parish in 1572, by John Sherwood, late of Brokdish, deceased, purchased of John Thruston of Hoxne, Gent. John Thruston his nephew, Thomas Barker, and the inhabitants of Hoxne in Suffolk, one annuity or clear yearly rent-charge of 6s. 8d. issuing out of six acres of land and pasture in Hoxne, in a close called Calston's-close, one head abutting on a way leading from Heckfield-Green to Moles-Cross, towards the east; to the only use and behoof of the poor of Brockdish, to be paid on the first of November in Hoxne church-porch, between 12 and 4 in the afternoon of the same day, with power to distrain and enter immediately for non-payment; the said six acres are warranted to be freehold, and clear of all incumbrances, except another rentcharge of 13s. 4d. granted to Hoxne poor, to be paid at the same day and place
In 1592, John Howard of Brockdish sold to the inhabitants there, a cottage called Laune's, lying between the glebes on all parts; this hath been dilapidated many years, but the site still belongs to the parish.
1553, 1st Queen Mary, paid for a book called a manuel 2s. 6d.; for two days making the altar and the holy-water stope, and for a lock for the font. 1554, paid for the rood 9d. 1555, paid for painting the rood-loft 14d. At the visitation of my Lord Legate 16d. To the organs maker 4d. and for the chalice 26s. 1557, paid for carriage of the Bible to Bocnam 12d. for deliverance of the small books at Harlstone 15d.; the English Bibles and all religious Protestant tracts usually at this time left in the churches for the information and instruction of the common people, being now called in by the Papist Queen. Paid for two images making 5s.; for painting them 16d. for irons for them 8d. But in 1558, as soon as Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne, all these Popish, images, &c. were removed out of the church. Paid for sinking the altar 4d.; carrying out the altar 5d.; mending the communion table 3d.; 1561, paid for the X. Commandments 18d.; for pulling down the rood-loft 14d.; paid Roger Colby repairing the crosse in the street 26s. 8d.; for a lock to the crosse-house, &c.; 1565, for digging the ground and levelling the low altar, (viz. in the south chapel,) and mending the pavement. For makyng the communion cup at Harlston 5s. 4d. besides 6s. 2d. worth of silver more than the old chalice weyed. 1569, paid to Belward the Dean for certifying there is no cover to the cup, 8d. 1657, layd out 19s. 4d. for the relief of Attleburgh, visited with the plague. Laid out 17s. for the repair of the Brockdish part of Sileham bridge, leading over the river to Sileham church. This bridge is now down, through the negligence of both the parishes, though it was of equal service to both, and half of it repaired by each of them. In 1618, the church was wholly new paved and repaired; and in 1619, the pulpit and desk new made, new books, pulpit-cloth, altar-cloth, &c. bought.
1593, Daniel son of Robert Pennington, Gent. bapt. 13 July. 1626, John Brame, Gent. and Anne Shardelowe, widow, married Sept. 2. 1631, John Blomefield and Elizabeth Briges married May 30. 1666, Roger Rosier, Gent. buried. 1735, Henry Blomefield of Fersfield, Gent. single man, and Elizabeth Bateman of Mendham, single woman, married Feb. 27.