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 town has its name from its long ford over the adjoining river. In the time of the Confessor, Bond was lord; at the survey, Hugh de Monte-fort or Montfort, who had 2 carucates in demesne; there were 21 villeins in Bond's time, now 17, pannage for 100 hogs, 25 acres of meadow, 2 mills and a fishery. It was a mile long and half a mile broad, and was valued in the Confessor's time at 6l. at the survey at 5l. 5s. and paid 8d. to the gelt, when the hundred paid, and was taxed at 20s. (fn. 1)
In the reign of Henry II. William son of Richard de Francheville gave two parts of the tithes of his lordship here to the monastery of Bermondsey in Surry. This Richard held this of Hugh de Montfort (descended of Hugh, the 1st lord,) which Hugh confirmed in the said year the same grant, and gave the tithe of his manor-house here, and at Bodney, Wyke's, and Naketon, to the said abbey. (fn. 2) In the 12th of Henry III. a tine was levied between William de Francheville, querent, and John de Jarpenvill, defendant, of the third part of two knights fees here, against a fine levied the 1st of Richard the First in the King's court, before Hugh Bishop of Durham, William son of Audelin, Michael Belef, and Robert de Whitsend, justices itinerant, at Glemsford, between John de Jarpenvill and Isabell his wife, mother of the said John, whose heir he is, and William de Franchevill or Frevile, father of the said William, whose heir he is, granted now to William; and in the 24th of the said King, William de Boyton held a lordship here, and a fine appears to be levied in the 35th of the said reign, between Lauretta de Boyton, querent, and Ralph de Francheville, defendant, of 5 marks rent in Gorbodesham, released to her and her heirs, with the manor and advowson of this town, paying two pair of white gloves, or one penny per annum.
In the 15th of Edward I. William de Boyton claimed to have view of frankpledge, assize of bread and beer in his manor; and in the 22d of the said King had a grant of free warren here, in Combes and Finburgh in Suffolk, he then being styled de Boyton in Suffolk, where I suppose he resided. (fn. 3) In the 30th of the same reign, Sir William de Boyton held this lordship of Roger de Heveningham, lord of Totham Parva in Essex, by the service of half a mark per annum and the 3d part of a knight's fee, it being worth 18l.; and by an inquisition then ad quod damnum, the jury present, that it would not be to the King's prejudice, if Sir William granted one messuage, 50 acres of land, &c. in Old Newton, Suffolk, held in capite, to William his son and heir, then of age; by this it appears, that by the old laws of England, a tenant in capite could not grant or assign without license.
William de Boyton was lord in the time of Edward II. and one of the knights of the shire for Suffolk in three parliaments of that King, and sued, in the 9th of that reign, Alexander de Clavering, sheriff of Suffolk, for 27s. and odd pence, his wages as knight, and recovered it, the jury finding that Clavering had levied the money of the county; (fn. 4) he died about the 19th of the said King, when this manor descended to William his son, held of the heirs of Sir Philip Heveningham by the service of 6s. 8d. per annum. In the 19th of Edward III. Osbert de Boyton died seized of it, and the lordship of Totington, and John was his heir, aged 11 years; and in the 32d of the said King, Sir Bartholomew Bateman, Knt. who had a grant of a rent charge of 20 marks per annum, issuing out of this manor and Old Newton in Suffolk, from Osbert aforesaid, released by his deed, to John his son, all his right therein, and to Sir Thomas Felton, Knt. (fn. 5)
After this the Methwolds were lords, and John Methwold presented to the church in 1408; Margaret Methwold, widow, likely, of John, presented in 1446; her will bears date on St. Andrew's day in the said year; she desires to be buried in the churchyard of Langford St. Andrew, (fn. 6) mentions her sons John, Thomas, and Robert supervisor of her will, her daughter Isabel, and her brother Hugh Bokenham. In 1496, Richard Methwold presented and died soon after, son (as it is said, of Hugh, and Margaret his wife, (fn. 7)) and the said Rich. was lord 15th of Edward IV. William Methwold, Esq. was lord after Richard, and died the 26th of October in the 30th of Hen. VIII.; of this family was William Methwold, who by deed dated 5th October, in the 34th of Henry VIII. sold all his lands and tenements in Glemsford in Suffolk, called Methwolds and Wymbolds, to John Smith of Cavendish, and sealed with six escallops, and named Alice, widow of William Methwold of Langford, Esq. Richard Methwold of Breccles in Norfolk, Gent. John Oliver, of West Toft's, yeoman, and Edmund Bytson of Langford, clerk, his executors. John Methwold was son to William Methwold, Esq. and Alice his wife, and died lord in the 3d year of Edward VI. (fn. 8) and had by Jane his wife, Thomas, who was lord in 1571, and married Elizabeth, sister of Robert Downes, Esq. of Bodney; and on her decease, had a second wife named Dorothy; by his first wife he had Thomas Methwold, lord, who presented in 1596, and probably James Methwold, Esq. who presented in 1603. In 1626, Thomas Methwold, Esq. was lord and presented, and died in 1632.
Afterwards this lordship was sold to Thomas Garrard of London, salter, who was lord in 1648; he married Ann, daughter of Francis Jacob of Creeting in Suffolk, and was buried in the church of GraceChurch street, London, was son of John Garrard of Berking in Essex, and by Ann his wife had Jacob Garrard of this town, created baronet 16th August, 1662, who married Mary, daughter of Ambrose Jennings of London, Gent. by whom he had Sir Thomas Garrard, Bart. who married Sarah, daughter of Nicholas Berman of Peasonhale in Suffolk, and had by her Jacob Garrard of Lang ford, Esq who died before his father, and left by Abigail his wife, daughter of Sir John Holland of Quidenham, baronet, two daughters; Alathea, married to Sir Francis Bickley, Bart. of Attleburgh in Norfolk, by whom there is no issue, and Sarah, married to Charles, 3d son of Sir George Downing of East Hatley in Cambrigeshire, Bart. so that this lordship came to Sir Nicholas Garrard, Bart. second son to Sir Thomas, who married Cecilia, daughter of Sir Edwin Steed of Steed's-Hall in Kent, who died in 1727 without issue, and Jacob Garrard Downing, Esq. son of Charles aforesaid, is the present lord.
The church of Langford is dedicated to St. Andrew, and stands near to the manor-house, on the west side of it, and is an ancient fabrick of flint, as appears from the old Gothick arch over the south door, and from the arch that divides the church from the chancel; it is a single building, covered with tiles, as the chancel is, which is camerated and plaistered; at the west end is a square tower embattled, in which hangs one bell. In the east window of the chancel in a pannel of glass is the broken effigies of a Methwold, lord of this town, in complete armour, with his arms on his shield, and under him Methelwold, azure, six escalops or. In the south window of the chancel is the same shield, and on the summit of a north window is the effigies of St. Christopher.
The Remains of Dame Sarah, Daughter and Heir of Nicholas Berman of Peason-Hall in the County of Suffolk, Gent. Widow and Relict of Sir Thomas Garrard Bart. by whom she became Mother of 9 Children, viz. Jacob, Mary, Sarah, Thomas, Sarah, Nicholas, Katherine, and Esther twins, and John. The same Dame Sarah departed this Life on the 12th Day of May Ao. Dni. 1703, to whose honour'd Memory her much oblig'd Daughter in Law Dame Cecilia, Widow and Relict of Sir Nicholas Garrard Bart. as a grateful Acknowledgment of many Favours, humbly dedicates this marble Ao. Dni. 1729.
Against the north wall of the chancel is a very large and costly monument of marble and alabaster raised altarwise, and with a back or wall-piece; on the body of it lies on a mat the effigies of Sir Nicholas Garrard in full proportion on his right side, and leaning on his right hand, in the dress and habit of an old Roman; at his back is a pedestal, and on that an urn with a flame, &c. On each side of this pedestal stands an effigies in full length, &c. of alabaster, the one of Sir Jacob, the other of Sir Thomas Garrard, Barts. both in the aforesaid dress. On the pedestal is this inscription:
Near this Place lye interr'd the Remains of Sir Jacob Garrard, (eldest Son and Heir of Thomas Garrard, Esq. an Eminent, Wealthy, and Honourable Citizen,) the Honour of Knighthood was conferred upon him by his Pious and Royal Master King Charles I. in the Year 1641, and by King Charles II. he was created a Bart. in the Year 1662, having aided and assisted the Royal Family with Men, Money and Arms. in their Distress and Exile, for which he became Obnoxious to the Usurpers of Authority, and was Try'd by the Committee for raising Supplies, as a Delinquent, but nobly Defended both his Life and Estate with unshaken Resolution and stedfast Loyalty. He departed this Life in September 1666, having Eternized his Memory by living Acts of Charity, continued Acknowledgments for the Mercy of God received in his Deliverance. He married Mary Jennings, a lady of exemplary Piety and Virtue, by whom he had many children, several of which died young, four only surviving, Thomas, Jacob, Isaac and Mary, the Eldest Son Thomas succeeded his Father in Honour and Estate, the two younger Married but left no surviving Issue, Mary the Daughter, married with Richard Berney of Reedham in the County of Norfolk Esq.
Sir Thomas Garrard Bart lies, (as also doth Sarah his Wife,) near this Place, she was the only Daughter and Heiress of Nicholas Bermen of Peason-hall in the County of Suffolk Gent. by whom he had 9 Children, 4 Sons and 5 Daughters, 6 of them viz. 2 Sons and 4 Daughters dying in their Minority were likewise buried here, and 2 Sons and a Daughter viz. Jacob, Nicholas and Mary surviv'd: Mary married with Samuel Kerridge of Shelley-Hall in the County of Suffolk Esq; she departed this Life in April 1702, and is likewise interred in this Chancel; Jacob the Eldest married Abigail Daughter of Sir John Holland of Quidenham in the County of Norfolk Bart. by whom he had several Children who all died Infants, except only two Daughters, Alathea married to Sir Francis Bickley of Attleburgh in the County of Norfolk Bart. by whom she had several Children, who all died Young; and Sarah married Charles Downing Esq; Comptroller of his Majesty's Customs, third Son of Sir George Downing of East-Hatley in the County of Cambridge, Knight and Baronet, by Francis Howard, Grand-Daughter of the Right Honourable the Lord William Howard of Naworth in the County of Cumberland, by him the said Sarah hath had several Children, of which the only Survivor is Jacob-garrard Downing, Esq; Jacob Garrard died in the Life time of his Father Sir Thomas Garrard, and is with his deceas'd Children interr'd in this Chancel.
Here likewise is deposited the Body of Sir Nicholas Garrard Bart. 3d Son of Sir Thomas Garrard, he succeeded his Father in Title and Estate, lived infinitely beloved, and died equally lamented without Issue, the 11 of March, Ano Dni. 1727, leaving behind him his disconsolate Widow Dame Cecilia Garrard, only Daughter of Sir Edwin Stede of Stede-Hall in the County of Kent, by Cecilia Daughter of Sir William Clard of Ford in Wreatham in the same County, which Dame Cecilia Garrard to perpetuate the Memory of her Dear and entirely beloved Husband, together with his worthy Ancestors, hath in Duty and Respect, as much as in obedience to his Desire, caus'd this Monument to be erected.
Opposite to this monument, against the south wall, are fixed several insignia of honour, as the shield, mantle, torce, helmet, spurs and sword, and several banners, one of Garrard impaling Jennings, arg. a chevron, gul. between three plummets sab. another of Garrard impaling Berman, arg. a flower-de-lis gul.
Burton observes, p. 97, that a sword was hung up in the church at the funeral of a knight, and not of any person under that degree, because knights, at their first dubbing, did in former times take an oath to defend religion and the church, and in memorial of that, this weapon was allowed to be hung up there.
The Lady Wiche brought an action in the King's Bench against the parson of St. Margaret's church in Lothbury, London, for that the said parson had taken away a coat armour and certain penons, with the arms of Sir Hugh Wiche, her husband, (once Lord Mayor of London, who died the 7th of Edward IV.) and a sword out of the chapel where he was buried: the parson pleading that these arms, &c. were matters of offering, and oblations, and therefore of right did belong to him; but Justice Yelverton held it no plea, and that they are not intended as offerings or oblations, but were hung up in honour of the deceased, and therefore do not belong to the parsons. And if the parson has not a right to take these down in his chancel when once hung up, no other person can lay any pretence or claim to them.
In a window on the north side of the church are the arms of Methwold, arg. three barrulets gul. in a bordure az.—Moulton in the said church formerly was arg. a cross flory vert, on the dexter part a crescent gul. and Sefold.
This rectory, in the reign of Edward I. had a manse with 40 acres of glebe, and was valued at 4 marks and a half, besides the portion of the abbey of Bermondsey, which was taxed for it at 20s. Peter-pence 10d.
1408, Robert Osberne of Len Episcopi, by John Methwold of Langford. In the 12th of Henry IV. the Prior of Bermundsey recovered damages against Osborn, &c. for beating of his servants, and hindering them in gathering of his tithe corn at Langford. (Montfort's portion no doubt.)
1561, Richard Wingfeld, (fn. 9) by Robert Downes, Gent. Thomas Ashill died rector.
This Rectory is valued at 4l. 15s. 10d. and being consolidated with Ickburgh, and both but of 43l. 6s. 8d. clear value, is discharged of tenths and first fruits, and is capable of augmentation; synodals 16d. procurations 5s.
30 July, 1608, Dorothy, wife of Thomas Methwold, Esq. 25 January 1630, Judith, wife of Thomas Methwold, Esq. 22 December 1632, Thomas Methwold, Esq. 4 September 1666, Sir Jacob Garrard, he died at West-Ham in Essex; in this year John Garrard, son of Sir Thomas, and Sarah his wife, formerly buried at West-Ham church, was removed here. 23 May 1669, Mary, wife of Sir Jacob, formerly buried in Grace Church chancel London, and now removed here, on account of the great fire. 1st April 1677, Thomas, son of Sir Jacob Garrard, Esq. 6 January 1679, Thomas, son of Sir Jacob Garrard, Bart. 10 January 1681, Jacob, son of Jacob Garrard, Esq. 19 August 1682, John, son of Jacob Garrard, Esq. 2 April 1684, Jacob Garrard of East-Ham, Esq. 22 April 1602, Mary, wife of Samuel Kerridge, Esq. of Shelley-Hall in Suffolk.