An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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Braccas, Braccles, Brakene, commonly called Braconash, signifies the Broad-leas, and was part of the possessions of Roger Bigot at the Conquest; (fn. 1) one part he gave to Olf the Dane, who joined it to Flordon manor, and that contained 98 acres; all the rest either belonged to, or else was infeoffed by him, in the Peverells, in which family it continued, and passed with Peverel's manor in Great Melton, as may be seen at large at p. 18, and was held of the honour of Peverel, as that was, at one fee; and in 1250, Hugh Peverel had a charter for free-warren here; and in 1285, the assize of bread and ale of all his tenants in Brakene, allowed him in Eire, and lete also, paying 6d. per annum to the hundred court; and Robert de Tateshall and the Prior of Wimondham, (fn. 2) owned lands here, and had the same liberty allowed their tenants, and the manor was then valued at 6l. 2s. 11d. rents. He claimed intercommonage on the green and commons of Mulbarton (which contained 63 acres) for all his tenants of Brakene; but in 1291, was cast in his action, and the common allotted to Mulbarton tenants only. In 1362, it was severed from Melton, for then Sir Robert de Bayhouse, Knt. and Maud his wife, sold it to Bartholomew Appleyerd, and settled it on William Asger and John Page, senior, for the use of the said Bartholomew and his heirs; he was descended from Ric. son of Will. de Applegart of Dunham in Norfolk, who lived in King Stephen's time; this Bartholomew was a citizen of Norwich, who raised a good estate, and one of the bailiffs of the city in 1372, and one of their burgesses in parliament in 1374, and 1412. He was a benefactor to St. Andrew's church in Norwich, (fn. 3) where he was buried, and was succeeded by William his eldest son, who was a man of principal figure and fortune in the city, long before his father's death, being nine times burgess in parliament; (fn. 4) bailiff of the city in 1386 and 1395; first mayor thereof in 1403, which office he served five times more, in the years 1404, 5, 11, 12, and 18. In 1402, he was escheator of Norfolk, and died in 1419, leaving issue by Margaret his wife, Nicholas Appleyerd, Esq. bisson and heir, then 25 years old, who married Margaret Thornbury of London, who survived him; he was succeeded by John Appleyerd of Brakene, (fn. 5) his son and heir, who settled here, and built Brakene-hall, (which is now demolished, and was a very large building,) and at his death in 1473, left it to Nic. Appleyard of Brakene, Esq. his son and heir, who married Agnes, daughter and heiress of William Rookwood of Warham, and Alice his wife, with whom he had the manors of Hales-Hall in Warham, Hales manor in Holt and Testerton, and Netlestede in Suffolk, with a good estate in lands and money: the year after his father's death, he was summoned to take upon him the order of knighthood, and upon his refusal, was convened before the privy council, and upon his petition to be dismissed, he sets forth, "that he was not possessed of lands and tenements to the yearly value of 40l. by the space of three years, before the King's warrant with proclamation, was awarded against him," upon which he was excused till the three years expired, and then he was knighted; he died July 11, 1511: his son John died without issue, and Roger Appleyard of Brakene, Esq. inherited, as son and heir; he married Elizabeth, daughter of John Scott of Camberwell in Surrey, relict of Sir John Robesart of Sidisterne in Norfolk, Knt. and died July 8, 1528, leaving John Appleyard his son and heir, not then two years old; and by his will, ordered to be buried in the Gray-friars church in Norwich; he gave to this church, his vestment of blue sarcenet, and his gilt image that belonged to his chapel, and a legacy to build a church porch; and to Eliz. his wife for life, his manors of Stanfield in Windham, Newton-Flotman, Hethill and Keteringham; and 200l. to each of his daughters, Frances and Brigit, to be raised out of his manors of Hales in Warham, Holt-Hales, and Testerton-Hales; Bygrave manor and advowson in Hertfordshire, to raise money for marriage of his sister Mary; and East-Carleton manor was settled for other uses. John Appleyerd of Brakene, Esq. his son, succeeded; he was high-sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1558, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Hogan of East-Bradenham in Norfolk, Gent. who, jointly with Thomas Hogan, her brother and trustee, levied a fine in 1569, in order to sell part of the estate; and soon after, sold this manor and advowson, to Tho. Townesend, senior, Esq. son of Henry Townesend, the youngest son of Sir Robert Townesend of Reynham, Knt. and in 1599, it was purchased by Sir Edwyn Rich, Knt. by whom it was sold in 1622, to Robert Woode of Brakene, Esq. and his heirs; he was son of Robert Wood, mayor of Norwich, who was knighted by Queen Eliz in 1578; by Anne his wife, 3d daughter of Augustine Steward, Esq. and married Eliz. daughter and coheir of John Woolmer of Tharston, Esq. on whom this manor was settled; Robert Wood, their son and heir, inherited, who lies buried by his wife in the chancel here, under a stone having the arms of Wood and Richardson impaled, and this inscription,
Here lyeth the Body of Robert Woode of Braconash in the County of Norfolk Esq; eldest son of Robert Woode Esq; and Anne his Wife, one of the Daughters of John Woolmer of Tharston in the County of Norfolk Esq; he married a Daughter of Sir Thomas Richardson, Lord Chief Justice of both Benches, by whom he had five Sons and four Daughters, of whom three Sons and one Daughter survived him; he was born Aug. 4, 1601, died Dec. 31, 1680.
Here lieth interred the Body of Eliz. the 3d. Daughter of Sir Thomas Richardson Knt. Lord Cheif Justice of both Benches, Wife of Rob. Woode of Braconash Esq; she departed this Life the 13th of July 1655, being aged 48 Years, and leaving him three Sons and two Daughters.
THOMAS WOODE, the eldest Son of ROBERT WOODE, by Elizabeth the Daughter of Sir Thomas Richardson; he had two Wives, Eliz. his first Wife was Daughter of Anthony Penning Esq; of Little-Badow in the County of Essex, by whom he had one Son and one Daughter. His second Wife was Anne Daughter of Tho. Peyton Esq; of Rougham in the County of Norfolk, by whom he had one Son and six Daughters, of whom one Son and two Daughters were living when he died; he was born Aug. 24, 1626, and departed this Life Dec. the 2d, 1699. Requiescant in Pace.
Thomas Woode, Esq. of Braconash, son of the aforesaid Thomas, is now lord and patron; he married first, Ellen, daughter of Tho. Eyre, Esq. and lies buried in this chancel, with the arms of Woode impaling Eyre, arg. on a chevron sab. three caterfoils or. Crest, a martlet volant, with an olive branch in his mouth; and this,
Here lyeth the Body of Ellen the Wife of Thomas Woode of Bracon Esq. and Daughter of Thomas Eyre of Harsop in Derbyshire Esquire, by a third Daughter of Sir Henry Bedingfield, who died 20 Aug. 1712, aged 27 Years.
Worthy of a longer Life, more worthy of eternal; so adorned with bright Endowments of Nature, so graced with Vertues, that it may be a Question, whither those more embellished the Woman, or these the Christian, prudent beyond her Age, of so early and constant Piety, that it grew up with Reason, and survived it; so obliging, that she knew not how to disoblige; so far from Pride, that Humility seem'd not an acquir'd Vertue, but an innate Perfection; of so discreet, and yet of so engaging Behaviour, that she equally gain'd the Esteem and Love of All: So dutifull a Wife, that while she wanted no Pattern to coppy after, she might justly be an illustrious Pattern of conjugal Love and Behaviour. Thus ripe for Heaven, she dyed on Earth, that she may never cease to live above, where her ardent and swift Desires had already fixed her Heart.
Mr. Thomas Woode, their son, died July 8, 1746, and was buried here; he married Mary daughter of Hen. Bedingfield of Coulsey Wood in Stoke Ash in Suffolk, Esq. by Mary daughter of William Havers of Thelton, Esq. but left no issue. (See vol. i. p. 151.)
M. S. Elizabethæ Wood Prudentis et morigeræ Uxoris Thomæ Wood de Braconash in Com. Norfolciæ Armigeri, Filiaque Edwardi Heath de Hemlington in Com. Prædicto Generosi objit die Mar. V. Ao. Domini MDCCXXIII, æt. suæ xxxi.
There are other stones in the chancel for, Edmund, son of Robert Woode, Esq. Oct. 4, 1616. Eliz. eldest daughter of Robert Woode, Esq. and Eliz. his wife, Dr. of Sir Thomas Richardson Knt. 1649, æt. 9 Years and 7 Months. There is an altar tomb under the south chancel wall in the yard, for Philip 3d son of Robert Woode of Therston, Esq. July 8, 1668.
Peyton impales Yelverton. Here lieth the Body of Thomas Peyton, younger Son of Sir Edward Peyton Bart of Isleham in Cambridgeshire, by his second wife Jane, the Daughter of Sir James Calthorp of Basham in the County of Norfolk, widow of Edmund Thimblethorp; he had two wives, his first wife was the Daughter of Sir Will. Yelverton of Rougham in the county of Norfolk, who by the Death of Sir Will. Yelverton her Brother, without Issue, had Rougham for her Inheritance; she left 4 Sons and one Daughter. His second wife was the widow Hacon, by whom he had no Children. He was born 1616, and died Oct. 12, 1683. Requiescat in Pace.
Weld impales Hall. M. S. Hic sita est Lectissima Fæmina Anna Præsulis illius incomparabilis et per orbem celebris Domini Joseph Hall Norvicensis olim Episcopi Filia Domini vero Georgij Hall, modo Cestriensis Episcopi soror, animi Corporisque Dotibus cumulatissima, quæ Gascoigno Weld juncta connubio, annos plus sex decim integerrimis suavissimisque moribus insigne præbuit viva solatium, defuncta Reliquit triste desiderium. Nata est Jan. 2, 1622. Denata Febr. 19, 1660.
Weld, arg. a fess nebulé between three crescents er. impaling Gascoign, arg. on a pale sab. a luce's head erected and cooped or, being the arms of Eliz. his wife, daughter of Gascoign of Illington. (See vol. i. p. 449.)
Joseph Weld, son and heir of Gascoign Weld, æt. 13, Ao. 1664, was alive and lived here. Eliz. his sister lies buried here with the arms of Rutter, gul. three garbs in chief a lion passant arg. impaling Weld.
Here lieth the body of Eliz. Rutter widow, late the Wife of Richard Rutter Esq; of Kingsley in Cheshire, who was daughter of Gascoigne Weld late of Braconash Esq. who departed this Life the 4th of Dec 1714, æt. 69. The Remains of Phillip the wife of Gascoign Weld Esq; Daughter of Phillip Calthorp Esq; Aug. 4, 1704, 72. Barbara Weld ob. æt. 18, 1690.
There was a good estate here purchased by John Weld in 1618, and much added to it in 1620, by Mat. Weld. All this family are interred in the south isle. Alderman Edward Weld, who died in 1746, and is buried at Cawston in Norfolk, was of this family. (See vol. iii. p. 451.)
The church is 36 feet long, and 18 broad, and the chancel is 33 feet long and 16 broad; the south isle is 36 feet long and six wide; there is no steeple, but one bell hanging in a shed at the south-east corner of the churchyard; the nave, isle, chancel, and north porch, are all tiled. In the chancel windows are the arms of the East-Angles, and England; and in the yard at the east end of the south isle, is a memorial fixed for Thomas Corbould, who died in 1709, aged 78, and Eliz. his loving wife, 1713, 74.
Sir Hugh Peverel was patron here when Norwich Domsday was made, and then the rector had a house and 55 acres of land, and now there is a house and 64 acres and two roods of glebe; it was first valued at 15, after at 21 marks; it paid 2s. synodals, 6s. 8d. procurations, 18d. Peter-pence, and carvage 3d. and there was a Gild held in the church, called our Lady's gild. It now stands in the King's Books by the name of Barknash R. (alias Brakenash,) is valued at 10l. pays first fruits, and 1l. yearly tenths, and being undischarged, is not capable of augmentation.
Rectors of Brakenash.
1445, Sir Rob. Blount succeeded, being presented by Nic. Appleyard, Esq. William Yelverton, one of the King's justices, Sir John Curson, Knt. Oliver Groos, Esq. and Edm Wichingham; and at his death in 1466 Sir Will. Yelverton, Knt. John Selot, clerk, Edm. Clere, Will. Yelverton, junior, Will. Tendale, Esq. and Henry Spelman, presented
Will. Bedingfield, A. M. who quitted Ashwelthorp, and had this united to Wrenningham, with Nelonde; he is buried in the chancel, on the north wall of which, a mural monument adorned with Bedingfield's arms, and Woode impaled, hath this inscribed thereon:
M.S. Hic jacet Gulielmus Beddingfield, Humfridi, de Whighton in Agro Norfolciensi Generosi, Filius quarto genitus, hujus Ecclesiæ Rector perquàm Gratus, apud Musas diù Vitam egit Collegij Amor, Academiæ Deliciæ, ea enim Ingenij vis, ea morum suavitas, ut quos habuit Familiares, sui avidos quos notos, sui cupidos, ignotos sui desiderio reliquit. Hic etiam exuvias posuit Elizabetha Uxor ejus dilectissima, Thomæ Woode Armigeri Filia, Fœmina egregiæ Indolis, eximiæ pietatis, vix trimestris superstes marito qui obijt xi Apr. Ao. Dni. 1694.