An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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Or the Floure Downs, was in many parts at the Conquest, Roger Bigot held two freemen, &c. of Odo Bishop of Baieux, which Stigand held in the Confessor's time. (fn. 1) Guert a freeman, held 7 acres of Alan Earl of Richmond, which belonged to Cossey manor. (fn. 2) The third part belonged to Hethill manor, being 15 acres of the demeans, and was then owned by Roger Bigot, (fn. 3) who had the chief of this town, which was held by Olf the Dane, of him; (fn. 4) Earl Ralf had a part of it, which he forfeited, and Godric the sewer had it. (fn. 5) The antecessor of Roger de Ramis had a freeman also; but all centered at last in Roger Bigot, and Olf was the lord under him. It was a mile long, and five furlongs broad, and paid 9d. 3q. to the geld or King's tax. And from that, to the present time, the manor was always held of the Norfolk family, and lately of their honour of Forncet, at one fee.
This manor came to the Buttevelyns very early, and passed with Gissing, as you may see in vol. i. p. 177. In 1139, Rob. de Buttevillane was pardoned by King Stephen, for 13s. due for Danegeld. William son of Robert, succeeded, who founded Pipewell abbey in Northamptonshire in 1143, (fn. 6) and married Joan, daughter of Sir Ralf Camois, Knt.; and when Henry II. went into Normandy, he had a writ directed to the Bishops of Lincoln and Norwich, and to all his liege people, English and Normans, of Northamptonshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, granting to William Buttevilan, the lands of his father Robert, in Cotesbroke and Pipewell in Northamptonshire, in Florenduna in Norfolk, and Flichestona or Flixton in Suffolk; with soc and sac, thol and theam, and infangenethef, and all other liberties which his father honourably enjoyed, both in woods and plains, waters, &c. In 1154, Robert his son was lord, and in 1216, had a pardon from Henry III. for being one of those Barons that had levied war against King John, and notwithstanding such a favour, he was afterwards one of them that opposed Henry III. and was proved in 1255, to have been one of the rebellious Barons, and to have been against the King in the battles of Lewes and Evesham, for which he was fined, and his estate restored. In 1292, Sir William Butteveleyn, Knt. had it; his wife Margaret was daughter and only heir, of Sir Thomas Mose, first husband of Christian, daughter of Sir William Latimer, Knt.; (see vol. i. p. 77;) he released to Sir Robert son of John de Thorp, divers of his villeins, which lived in Thorp, but belonged to this manor, and consented that Sir Peter Rosceline, Knt. should convey to the said Sir John Thorp, Knt. a meadow held of him in Flordon: in 1305, he held this and Flixton at two fees. In 1310, Robert Buttevyline, Knt. and Nicolea his wife, had Cotesbroke manor settled on John de Foxton, their trustee, except the third part, which Agnes widow of Will. de Buteveline held in dower, In 1314, Lady Nicolea was a widow, and had her dower assigned, and Sir William her son and heir inherited; and in 1316, had a charter for free-warren here, and in his manor of Cotesbroke in Northamptonshire, and Hynwycke in Bedfordshire; in 1363, Lady Nicolea was married to Sir Giles de Ardern, Knt. In 1337, Sir William was married to the Lady Julian, and in 1345, they held this and Flixton, of the Earl-Marshall, at two fees. In 1344, Thomas son of William Botevelyn, Knt. sold the manor and advowson of Newton, and Brandon and its advowson, in Essex and Suffolk, to William de Bohun Earl of Northampton, and Elizabeth his wife. In 1348, Sir William settled on Nicholas de Poininges, Knt. his manor of Cotesbroke in reversion, after Lady Nicolea's death; and in 1354, he settled this on Edmund de Caston in trust. In 1383, it belonged to Robert Butevelyn of Flordon, Esq. In 1369, Thomas Gardener of Gissing, Esq. (see vol. i. p. 170,) granted to Robert son of William Botevelyn, Knt. an annuity of 20 marks, on his marrying Katherine his daughter. Their son Robert Butevelyn inherited, (fn. 7) whose son William Butevelyn, was an ideot, and was seized in 1447; (fn. 8) and at his death, his estate went to John Kemp of Weston, Esq. &c. as at vol. i. p. 177–9, and hath continued in that family with the manor of Gissing, to this day.
The church is dedicated to St. Michael; the rector had a house and 60 acres of glebe, now reduced to 24; it was valued without the portion at 17 marks, and the portion of the monks at Thetford at 13s. 4d.; (fn. 9) it paid 2s. 4d. synodals, 12d. Peter-pence, and 5d. carvage, and stands in the King's Books at 6l. 13s. 4d. and is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 42l. 19s. 6d. ob. it is capable of augmentation.
The Abbot of Creke had temporals here taxed at 6d. and the Prior of Norwich had rents taxed at 18s. 1d. issuing out of lands in this town, which belonged to Hapton manor, and were given them by Will. Puleis and Margaret his wife, and Roger de Puleis his son, and Agnes his wife, Roger son of Gosceline de Flordon, Walter son of Alveric de Flordon and Wido de Verdon, principal lord of Puleis's fee in Hapton, confirmed them. This village paid clear to each tenth 2l.
The steeple is round and hath three bells, the church is 24 yards long and 6 broad, and hath no isles; the nave and chancel are tiled. There is no memorial of any kind, in the church; but there lies an old stone in the porch, broad at one end and narrow at the other, which shows it to have been laid over some priest by its shape, and accordingly,I find that Roger Northwold, rector here, who died in 1371, is buried under it. There is a very large stone in the churchyard, for Mary daughter of William and Mary Dade, Jan. 3, 1718, 16. Martha, another daughter, 23 March 1718, 4. And Mary their mother, died at Great-Melton June 5, 1721, 45. There are stones for John Hakecon 1722, 2. And Anne wife of Thomas Baxter, 1694.
Rectors of Flordon.
1323, John de Northwold. Sir Rob. De Aspale, Knt. Rob. De Canterbury, John De Framelingham, Jeffry De Castre, and Tho. De Oxford, clerks, executors to Lady Alice De Hanonia Countess of Norfolk, who was guardian to the son and heir of Sir William Butevileyn, Knt. deceased. He was dispensed with for non-residence, as being chaplain to Lady Benstede.
1731, to the Rev. Mr. Thomas Kemp, the present rector, who holds it united to Gissing, and was presented by Sir Rob. Kemp of Ubbeston, Bart. his father, and now Sir Rob. Kemp of Ubbeston, Bart. his eldest brother, is lord and patron.