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 church is dedicated to all the Saints, and hath a square tower and three bells joined to its west end; the chancel and nave are thatched, the south porch tiled, and a south isle and north chapel leaded, which is dedicated to our Lady, and had a gild held in it to her honour, and another in honour of the Baptist. In the chancel on a monument against the north wall,
To the Memory of Richard Skottowe Gent. (who died the 22 May 1656.) Bridget his Wife (one of the Daughters of Sir Char. le Gros of Crostwicke in the County of Norf. Knt.) erected this Monument; by whome he had twoe Daughters, Franc. whoe died the 5 of April 1655, and Eliz. the 5 of June 1656.
Elizabeth Wife of Thomas Scottowe Gent. and Heiress of Chris. Coulson Esq; of Great Ayton in Yorkshire, Aug. 31, 1718. Jane their Daughter Oct. 20, 1699, aged two Months. Christopher their Son July 23, 1702, aged 5 Months. This on a black marble.
Stay; shee'll awake e're long, then cease to weepe, The Damosell is not dead, but shee's asleepe, She (like her Sister) did but take a taste Of Mortal Life, then breathed it out in haste; Soe twoe at three Yeares old interred be, In Expectation of the One in Three.
Sacred to the Memory of Thomas Johnson Gent. Son and Heir of Mr. Rob. Johnson, who died June 7, 1714 And also of Mrs. Mary Johnson, the eldest Daughter of Mr. Rob. Johnson, who died Aug. 29 1716, both single persons, brought up in the sound Principles of the Church of England, and of true loyalty to their Sovereign. This Monument was erected at the Charge of Mrs. Mary Johnson their surviving Sister, A. D. 1718.
Here under lieth the Body of Dorothie the Wife of Edmund Anguish, and Daughter to Robert Marsham Gent. And also the Body of Rob. Anguish her Sonne, which said Robert Anguish deceased the 2 Day of June 1664, and the said Dorothy the 19 of the same Month following.
Robert Johnson Gent. Sept. 17, 1680. A steady Churchman, a Loyal Subject, a loving Husband, an indulgent Father, and a hearty Friend. Mrs. Mary Johnson his Wife June 13, 1704, the most obliging of Wives, the tenderest of Mothers Our Flesh shall rest in hope, Ps. 16, 9.
In 1501, Thomas Batchcroft, lord of this town, was buried in our Lady's chapel, and in 1558, Rob. Allen, Gent. was buried in the church. In the north window of this chapel is a shield, on which, S. a chevron er. between three lions rampant arg. and in the south isle window, arg. a chief gul. over all a bendlet az. Cromwell.
This advowson was given in 1121, by Ralf de Monte Caniso or Montchensy, and was confirmed by Warine de Montchensy, his nephew, (fn. 1) to Gilbert, prior of Ixworth in Suffolk, and the convent there, to which it was appropriated by Pope Honorius II. The rectory-house, and 24 acres of glebe, and the great tithes were assigned to the convent, who presented the vicars till its dissolution; it was first taxed at 10, and afterwards at 12 marks; the vicar had a house and 12 acres of land, and all the small tithes; the vicarage was valued at 4 marks and an half, but was not taxed; afterwards, the rectory and all that belonged to it, was granted to the vicar and his successours, paying the prior a perpetual pension of 46s. 8d. a year. (fn. 2) The present terrier of the parsonage and vicarage, hath no house, but about 33 acres of land. In 1538, King Henry VIII granted it to Richard Codington of Codington in Surrey, (now Nonesuch,) in exchange for the manor of Codington, along with the manor of Ixworth, &c. and he with other trustees in 1554, sold it to Francis Chamberlain of Great-Melton, who in 1561, held it in capite with the glebes and tithes thereto belonging, till by deed dated May 8, 1577, he conveyed them to Emmanuel college in Cambridge, (fn. 3) which hath presented to the vicarage ever since.
1275, (fn. 4) William.
In 1554, he was deprived, and Richard Coddington, Esq. presented Tho. Hewe, who was also deprived in 1555, and Walter Sparry was instituted; he died the same year, and Ric Wheatly was collated by the Bishop.
1587, Rob. House; he held it with Baburgh, and in 1603, returned answer, that in his two vicarages there were 158 communicants, that the valuation of the rectory and vicarage of Melton together, is in the last valuation 5l. 6s. 8d and that the first valuation of the vicarage alone, was 53s. 4d.
This town belonged to Edwin in the Conqueror's time, who settled it at his death on the abbey of St. Bennet at Holm in Ludham in Norfolk; it was then worth 40s. afterwards 60s. and at the Conqueror's survey 4l. and was then held by Godric the Sewer, after Earl Ralf's forfeiture. There was also another manor here, and in Great Melton, held by one of the Confessor's thanes, which Godric also had; LittleMelton was one mile and an half long, and 1 mile and 1 furlong broad, and paid 8d. q. to the geld. (fn. 5) Ingreda, wife to Edwin, confirmed her husband's grant, but after their deaths, Ralf their son agreed with Richer the Abbot, Ralf the Prior, and the monks, that he should hold it for life, remainder to Letseline, his wife, for life, and the heirs of Ralf for ever, if he had any, if not, it was to revert to the convent, of which it was to be always held, by a clear rent of 10s. a year. It was called in this deed Medeltun the Less, or the Middle-Town. King Henry II. sent a precept to the sheriff of Norfolk, that the Abbot of St. Bennet should hold quietly this manor, which Hubert de Montchensy had disseized him of, during the war, and which he had acknowleged before the Archbishop of Canterbury, to be of that convent's fee; whereupon it was agreed, that Hubert and his heirs should hold the town of the convent, paying a fee-farm rent to the Abbot, of 10s. which is now paid to Bishop's manor of Heigham, which belonged to that convent. In 1284, William, son of Sir Warine de Montchensy, had view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, free-warren, &c.
In 1272, Reginald de Argentein and Lora his wife purchased several lands here; and in 1318, John son of Reginald, held one part of the manor at the 16th part of a fee, of Aymer de Valence Earl of Pembroke, valued at 3l. 1s. and another part of Holm abbey, valued at 17l. 9s. 8d. and then Emma de Bek and others held a part of Hertford fee, valued at 20s. of all which he died siezed; as also of Keteringham in Norfolk, Halesworth in Suffolk, Wimondly Parva in Hertfordshire, and several manors in Cambridgeshire, &c. John his son and heir being one year old. In 1381, Sir John de Argentein, Knt. settled it on Sir William, his son, and Isabel his wife, daughter of Will. de Kerdeston, Knt. after the death of himself and Margaret his wife, who had it in 1383, the quitrents being 10l. per annum, as also the manor of Keteringham; and Joan, wife of Bartholomew de Naunton, Knt. and Margaret their daughter, 40 years old, Alice wife of Baldwin St. George, Knt. and Baldwin their son, 21 years old, and Mand wife of Ivo Fitz Warine, Knt. were heirs. In 1445, Will. Wymer, and Margaret his wife, who was daughter and heir of John Toll of South-Elmham, settled it on John Alyngton, junior, Esq. and Mary his wife, remainder to Will. Alyngton, junior, father of the said John and Eliz. his late wife, remainder to Anne Alyngton, cousin of Elizabeth. In 1469, John Alyngton and Mary his wife owned it; and in 1534, Giles Alyngton and Mary his wife, sold it to Eliz. Marsham, widow, when it extended into all the Meltons, Hetherset, Bawburgh, and Colney: she was widow of John Marsham, mayor of Norwich, who was buried in the chancel of St. John Maddermarket in Norwich, Ao 1525, (see vol. iv. p. 290.) In 1557, Tho. Marsham, alderman of Norwich, was buried in St. John's Maddermarket, and left Elizabeth his wife, and Ralph his brother, each a moiety of the manor; James Marsham, his kinsman, was executor, with Eliz. his mother, Eliz. his wife, and Hamon Claxton, Gent.; his sister, Eliz. Layer, had John, Thomas, and Christopher, his nephews. In 1567, Ralph Marsham of Norwich, grocer, was sole lord; he married a daughter of Hamon Claxton of Livermere in Suffolk, and left it to Robert Marsham, his son and heir, who married Elizabeth. daughter of Robert Downes of Bodney and Great Melton, who had first Edward Marsham of Little Melton, lord in 1612; who married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Edmund Grey of Bunwell in Norfolk; second, John Marsham; third, Thomas Marsham, alderman of London, from whom descended Sir Robert Marsham of Winfarthing, created Lord Romney in 1716, (see Peerage vol. iv. p. 298.) The manor was sold about 1620, for then it appears by a particular made for its sale, that it was let at 125l. per annum, and contained above 16 score acres; and the freehold rents belonging to it were 8l. 12s 2d. per annum, most having been manumised by the Marshams. In 1623 Tho. Sayer and Will. Barker settled it on Laur. Sotherton, Gent. and his heirs. In 1636, Augustine Scottowe, Gent. died siezed of Melton Parva, and left two sons, Richard his son and heir, aged 10 years, and Augustine, aged two years. Richard Skottow died in 1656, Augustine Scottowe in 1683, and it continued in this family till Thomas Scottowe of Norwich, Gent. sold it to
Melton-Hall, Hertford's or Hereford's Manor,
Belonged very early to Roger de Melton Parva, and Muriel his wife, about 1180, and after to Roger his son, and Roger his grandson, who sold to Master Vincent de Bek, all his lay fee and freehold, which he and his father held of Will. son of Jeffry of Great Melton, in order to enable him to go in pilgrimage to the Holy-Land, having settled on Emma his wife the land late Rob. de Melton's, his kinsman, near the land of William the parson of Little Melton. In 1228, Will. de Bek held it at half a quarter of a fee of the heirs of Montchensy, who held it of Sir Robert de Tateshall, who held it of the honour of Peverell; in 1280, William de Hereford (from whom it took its name) owned it; in 1318, Emma de Bek had it; and in 1323, Will. de Hertford held it at the 8th part of a fee, of the Earl of Pembrook, and John Dames had it soon after. In 1338, by the name of Burfield's manor, an 8th part of it was settled on John Skilman and Margaret his wife, and John their son; and in 1345, it was found that the heirs of Will. de Bek held it. In 1371, the feoffees of Margaret widow of Ralf de Bocking, released it to John Dunnyng and his heirs; in 1401, Thomas de Blickling, son of Thomas, son of William de Blickling, and Julian, daughter of William Spynk of Norwich, his wife, held it; but he being a minor, it was in the King's hands; in 1408, Rog. Blickling had it; in 1418, it was sold by John Swan and Ric. Monesle, to John Briston, Esq. Henry Lesingham, and Robert Harrington and Eliz. his wife; in 1459, Robert Allen, senior of Erlham, and Henry Spelman, mortgaged it to Simon Thornham, &c. for 110 marks; and in 1501, Tho. Batchecroft of Melton Parva gave it to Christian his wife, by will, for life, and then to be sold; in 1574, Rich. Calle of Melton, Gent. and Edith his wife, and Tho Calle, Gent and Catherine his wife, sold it to Nichoals Sotherton, junr. of Norwich, Gent. and his heirs, in whose family it afterwards became joined to Melton-Parva manor,