An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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This village lies at the north-east angle of the hundred, and adjoining to the hundred of Mitford. In the Conqueror's survey it is called Bradeham: in the Confessor's time one Ailid, a Saxon lady, held it; but on the Conquest it became the lordship of Ralph Bainard; it was half a mile and 2 furlongs in length, and three furlongs in breadth, and was valued in the Confessor's time at 6l. per annum, at the survey at 12l. and paid 18d. to the gelt. Here was also a church with 15 acres of land, valued 15d. (fn. 1)
In the reign of Henry II. this manor was parcel of the possessions of Saer de Quincy Earl of Winchester, who gave to the Canons of Dunmow in Essex a yearly rent of 10s. issuing out of this lordship: (fn. 2) he no doubt held it under the Lord Baynard, by which family the aforesaid abbey was founded. Sawer, his eldest son, enjoyed it, and on the marriage of his eldest son Robert with Hawise, 4th daughter of Hugh Kiveloc Earl of Chester, gave him this lordship to make a dower for the said Hawise, by whom he had Margaret, wife of John Lacy: Randolph Blundevile (brother to Hawise) Earl of Chester and Lincoln, surrendered this last earldom to Robert Quincy, (fn. 3) from whom, by his daughter Margaret, it descended to John Lacy aforesaid.
Between this John Lacy Earl of Lincoln, and Roger de Quincy, second son of Sayer, and brother to the aforesaid Robert, were divers law-suits: but in the 14th of Henry III. they came to an agreement by fine then levied at Westminster, between Roger de Quincy, querent, and John de Lacy, constable of Chester, Earl of Lincoln, and Murgaret his wife, deforciants, of the inheritance of Saer late Earl of Winchester in this town, &c. and of the inheritance of Margaret de Quincy Countess of Winchester, daughter and coheir of the Earl of Leicester, and wife to Saer, viz. the moiety of the honour of Leicester, whereby John and Margaret acknowledge all the lands and inheritance of Saer in England, and the moiety of the said honour, and the whole inheritance of Margaret Countess of Winchester in England and Normandy, to be the right of Roger; who grants to John and Margaret this manor, that of Kingston in Dorsetshire, &c. This John Earl of Lincoln died on the feast of St. Mary Magdalen in 1240, and his bones, with those of his ancestors, were removed from Stanlaw in Cheshire to Whaley.
In the 3d of Edward I. John de Lindeseye, bailiff to the Earl of Lincoln, erected a gallows here, and claimed the assize of bread and beer, and view of frankpledge, as part of the liberty of the barony; and in the 15th of the said King, Walter de Sturton, who held it under the Earl of Lincoln, claimed free-warren here, and the other liberties.
In the 2d of Edward II. Henry Lacy Earl of Lincoln, son of Edmund, son of John, by Alice, daughter of the Marquis of Saluces in Italy, which Henry married Margaret daughter and heir of Sir William Longespee, conveyed by fine this manor and advowson, which Juliana de Stourton, widow of Walter, held for life (which is three parts of a knight's fee, and Huntingfeld held here, the fourth part of the said Earl,) to Thomas Abbot of Bury, and to the convent, who was to receive the Earl as a benefactor: (fn. 4) this Earl died on St. Agatha the Virgin, in 1310, in Chancery-lane, London, and was buried on the south side of the altar of St. Paul's, aged 60 years. The cellerer of the abbey of Bury (fn. 5) at that time was John de Eversdon, as appears from a receipt of this Earl of Lancaster, for 500 marks, paid by the abbot and convent, in part of 1609 marks, which the abbot, &c. owed him on bond, and which was no doubt for this purchase; and Julian, widow of William de Sturton, by deed in the 3d of King Edward II. released all her right to the abbot. The witnesses were Sir William Fitz Payne, Sir Edmund de Hengrave, Sir Hervey de Stanton, Sir Edmund de Pakenham, Sir Symond de Cockfield, John de Sturton, Alesander de Acre, &c. And in the Regist. Nigrum Vestiarij Sei. Edmundi, in the hands of the Bishop of Norwich (Dr. Moor) in 1699, fol. 137, &c. are entered, 1st, the letters patent of King Edward II. dated 3d of March in the 2d year of his reign, of license to Henry Lacy Earl of Lincoln, to grant the manor and advowson of this town, which Julian de Sturton held for life, to the monastery of Bury. Secondly, an agreement between Thomas Earl of Lancaster and Leicester, Steward of England, who married the daughter and heir of Henry Earl of Lincoln, and Richard Abbot of Bury, with the homages and services of the tenants, &c.; and the said abbot grants the wardship of the lands which were William de Huntingfeld's late tenant of the said manor of East Bradenham, to hold till the full age of Roger de Huntingfeld, his son and heir, and so from heir to heir, if he should die within age; but the wardships of the next heirs to come to the abbot and his successours, dated 22d April, 7th of Edward II. and it was confirmed by the said King.
In the 9th of Edward II. the Abbot of Bury, and the heir of Will. de Huntingfeld, are said to be lords of this town. In the 3d of Henry IV. the Abbot of Bury held this manor and that of Huntingfelds, being together one knight's fee, of the Earl of Lincoln, that Earl of the Earl of Rutland in right of his wife, who held in capite, as parcel of his barony called Bayniard, and in this abbey, this manor and that of Huntingfeld's (now united) continued till the general Dissolution, when the King seized it; and in the 35th of his reign granted the advowson of the church to Robert Hogan, to be held in capite; but the manor was farmed of the Crown by the said Robert Hogan, Esq. and after in Queen Elizabeth's time by Thomas Hogan, Esq. for 34l. 13s. 4d. per annum; and in the 34th of the said Queen, Henry Hogan, Esq. was possessed in his own right, and made a jointure of the manor to Anne his wife, daughter of Sir Henry Woodhouse of Waxham, and dying in the said reign, left Robert his son a minor, which Robert, at the instigation of his mother, who had him in ward, being near his full age; and in his sickness, of which he died, levied a fine 10th of King James I. of his lands here, &c. part to the use of his mother, then the Lady Cæsar (being remarried to Sir Julius Cæsar of Bennington) concerning which, there were great suits at law, between this Lady Cæsar, and his own sister, married to Mr. Day.
After this it was possessed by the Hungates, (fn. 6) and was mortgaged and sold by Henry Hungate, Esq. who died in 1668, and then by Mrs. Lucy Hungate; afterwards it came to Mr. Morris, whose niece being married to Sir William Goulston of London, who presented to the church in 1683, brought it into that family; from Sir William it descended to Maurice Goulston, Esq. who lately sold it to Edmund Beaghn, Esq. whose son is the present lord.
Of the Huntingfields I find that Roger, lord of the manor of Huntingfield in Suffolk, soon after the Conquest, assumed the name of his lordship, and left it to William de Huntingfield, his son and heir, who founded Mendham priory in Suffolk, and died in 1155, and had by Sibil de Harleston, his wife, daughter of Roger Gyny, nine children, besides her eldest son and heir, Roger, who flourished in Henry the Second's time, and left William, his son and heir, (fn. 7) who was a baron in King John's time, and had two wives; Alice de St. Lys, and Isabel, daughter and heir of Roger de Gressenhale in Norfolk, relict of Osmund de Stutevile of Brantingham in Yorkshire; they left one daughter, Alice, married to Richard Solers, and Roger their son and heir, who in the 14th of Henry III. purchased this manor of John de Lacy Constable of Chester, and Earl of Lincoln, and Margaret his wife, it being of the inheritance of Saer de Quincy, late Earl of Winchester; he married Joan, daughter and coheir of William de Hobing or Hobrugg; she died the 25th of Edw. I. and left William de Huntingfield their son, who died about xi. EdwardI. leaving his son, Roger de Huntingfeld, lord here, who was one of those noble peers that sent Pope Boniface word, that the kingdom of Scotland was not of his fee, and that he had no jurisdiction in temporal affairs over either of the kingdoms, which was subscribed at the parliament held at Lincoln; and in the 30th of the said King, he held the fourth part of a knight's fee here valued at 7l. 13s. 4d. and died about this time, leaving Joyce, daughter of John D'Engaine, his widow, and William his son and heir, whose widow, Sibil, remarried to William le Latimer. He died in the 7th of Edw. II. seized of this manor and lands in Skarning, and Roger was his son, eight years old; and in the 13th of the said King, Sir Walter de Norwich gave account of 30l. per annum of the custody of the lands which were William de Huntingfeld's in East-Bradenham and Mendham, during the minority of Roger, son and heir of William; (fn. 8) and he, as a baron of the Exchequer, accounted for Hunting feld-hall manor in Suffolk. In the 10th of Edward III. Roger de Huntingfeld held the fourth part of a fee here, with its appurtenances, of the Earl of Lancaster, as of the honour of Leicester; and in the next year died seized of this manor, and William was his son and heir, seven years old, who in the 28th of the said King was one of those barons of parliament who signed the letters of procuration to Richard de Wymondsold, &c. to declare their consents, as far as in them lay, to what should be agreed (before Pope Innocent the 6th at Avignon, as a private person, and not as a judge) betwixt the envoys of the King of England, and the messengers of the French King, in order to establish a lasting peace, and to prevent the war which followed, by reason that treaty took no effect; (fn. 9) and in the 30th of that King, he accompanied Edward the Black Prince into Gascoigne, and had letters of protection dated the 30th of February. Amongst the inquisitions in the 50th of Edward III. the jury find that William Lord Huntingfeld, long before his death, was seized of this manor, and of Mendham, Benges, the advowsons of Hunting feld, Cokeley and Petrestre, with that of the priory of Mendham in Suffolk, Maklyngton in Essex, and thereof enfeoft John de Stykford, clerk, John de Lynsted, clerk, Rich. Franceys of Tichewell, John Bate of Kerketon, and Thomas son of Robert de Toft, to them and their heirs, and levied a fine thereof in the 47th of the said King, to the right of John Bate, who, with the others, regranted them to William for life, remainder to themselves and the heirs of John Bate; which John Stykford, and John Bate, &c. released their right to John Linsted and Richard Franceys, by a fine levied in the 48th of the said King, between William de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, querent, and themselves defendents; and the manor was settled on the said Earl for life, after the decease of William Lord Huntingfeld, remainder to Thomas, William, and Edmund, sons of the said Earl, (all whom died without issue male,) and Alice, widow of Sir John de Norwich, Knt. his kinswoman, was his next heir, (fn. 10) and 30 years old, but had not the land because of this settlement. After this it came to the three sisters of William Earl of Suffolk.
And soon after, in the fourth or fifth year of King Richard II. it was alienated to the abbey of Bury with the King's license, by Sir Roger Boys, Knt. Robert de Ashfield, Roger Wolferton, &c. on their paying 10l. per annum; but on an inquisition ad quod damnum in the 14th of that King, it was said it would not be to the King's prejudice if that rent was released to the abbot, which was accordingly done; and it continued in the abbey till its dissolution, and has had the same lords since, as is observed before in the other manor, to which it was then united.
In the 3d of Edward III. Thomas Virley held here, and in Euston in Suffolk, &c. lands of Thomas Lord Bardolph; and in the 13th of Rich. II. William Lord Bardolph of Wormgey in Norfolk held the fourth part of a knight's fee here, and in Yaxham, Shipdam, &c. part of the portion of Agnes his wife. In the 5th of Henry VI. Thomas Beaufort Duke of Exeter held the same, which was then held by Rob. Fishpool, as parcel of the honour of Wirmgey, and Euston was held of him by John Rookwood, as parcel of the said honour: it afterwards belonged to the Hammonds, and then to the Hungates, and was joined by William Hungate, Esq. to the other manors, and so continues.
In this town arises a spring, which making a little rivulet, passes by North and South Pickenham, Cressingham-Magna, Hilburgh, &c. and empties itself into the great Ouse below Helgey-Bridge; I cannot learn that it has any name, till being joined by other rivulets, it is called below Cranwich, &c. the Wissey.
In the reign of Edward I. the Earl of Lincoln was patron; the rector had then a manse, with 30 acres, and was valued, together with the portion of the priory of Donemow, at 22 marks, of which the priory was taxed at 1 mark, Peter-pence 4d. ob.
The Church of East-Bradenham is dedicated to St. Mary, and consists of a nave, a north and south isle, with a chancel built of flint, stones, &c. and covered with lead; the vault of the nave is supported by octangular pillars, forming 8 arches, 4 on a side, and is in length about 57 feet, and in breadth, with the two isles, about 39 feet; at the west end of the nave is a convenient and decent gallery erected for the singers, joining to the tower, which is four-square, and of the same materials with the church: in this tower hang three bells. On a gravestone in the south isle is a brass plate thus inscribed;
Reliquiæ Johannis Green Armigeri Comitatûs Norfolciæ diu Justitiarij in cujus piam Memoriam, non hoc uno contenta Marmore, Monumentum ad lœvum posuit ex antiquâ Hungatorum Familiâ, Oriunda Martha Mœstissima Conjux.
Johannes Green Armiger, Vice Comitis Officio apud Norfolcienses, summâ cum Laude defunctus, Deo rationem redditurus, ad Cælos abijt, April 28, Ano Salutis 1684, Ætat. suæ 35. Tu autem Lector, hunc verum Ecclesiæ filium, fidelem Regis Subditum, Cleri, Bonorumque omnium Amicum, omni quo potes modo prosequere, supremi Judicij Memor.
Near to this, on the pavement, is a marble gravestone, with the arms of Green, in memory of Joshua Green of East Bradenham, Esq. who died the 9th of July, 1659. Near to this, another with the arms of Green impaling Hungate, in memory of five children, three sons and two daughters of John Green, Esq. of East Bradenham and Martha his wife. Adjoining is another in memory of Sarah wife of George Townsend, Esq. of West Wretham in Norfolk, daughter to Joshua Green of East Bradenham, Esq. who died October 16, 1667.
1361, William de Humberstane. (fn. 11)
1381, John Ive. (fn. 12)
1470, William Duffeld, res. (fn. 13)
1632, William Strode, S. T. B. ob. Thomas Spring, Esq.; he was son to the Lady Day, sister to Robert Hogan, who died a minor, as has been observed; but Sir Julius Cæsar and his Lady Anne brought a quare impedit and recovered the advowson. (fn. 16)
This church is a rectory valued at 12l. 2s. 8d. ob. in the King's Books, and the tenths are 1l. 4s. 3d. qr. synodals 18d. visitatorial procurations, 3s. 11d. ob. archdeacon's procurations, 7s. 7d. ob. The church, at the Conquest, was endowed with 15 acres of land, and there is at present a small manor belonging to the rectory.