An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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The town of Heydon is not known by that name in Domesday Book, but was then in Eynsford hundred, and was called Stinetuna, (fn. 1) or Stinton, which is said now to be in Salle, because the manorhouse was afterwards, though anciently, removed into the part of Stinton manor, that extended into Salle bounds; Whither, a Saxon, was lord of it at the Confessor's survey, from whom the Conqueror took it, and gave it to William de Warrenna, or Warren, of whom Ralf held it at the Conqueror's survey, when there were 3 carucates of land in demean, and 8 in the tenants hands; there were 9 villeins, 39 bordars and 3 servants, wood that maintained 100 swine, 1 mill, two working horses, 40 swine in the yards, 120 sheep, 27 goats, 3 bee-hives, the advowson of the church, which had 14 acres of glebe, 14 socmen that held 80 acres of land, and had 4 carucates of ploughed land among them, wood that maintained 10 hogs, 1 acre of meadow, and one bordar, two of the socmen Earl Ralf held, when he forfeited his estate, and they had 12 acres of 20 pence yearly value; the whole manor was then worth 5l. and rose to 7l.; the town was above a mile long, and half as much broad, and paid xi.d. to the King's tax, towards every 20s. raised in the hundred: the present name of Heydon, or Haydon as it is commonly called, signifies the high down or plain on the hill, which is agreeable to its situation. It is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster, and had a weekly market, (fn. 2) now disused, which was kept on the market-green, on the south side of the church; this manor continued in the Warrens till they infeoffed William Caineto or Cheyney in it, who, when he founded his priory of regular canons at East-Rudham, about 1143, (afterwards removed by John Cheyney to Cockesford,) gave it to that house; (fn. 3) for by the record called Testa de Nevile it appears, that all Heydon was of the Earl Warren's fee, of whom the prior of Coxford held it at 2 fees; but afterwards alienated it from that monastery; for in 1239 John de Corpesty was lord, and settled it on himself for life, and then to Roger de Clere and his heirs; this Roger divided it, parting from one half, and the advowson, to John le Brus or Brewse, and this was the manor called Heydon, alias Stinton-Hall; and the other half he sold to Peter le Butilier, or Butler, which was afterwards called Heydon manor only; and in 1249 Maud, widow of Roger, sued John Bruse and Peter Butler, for her dower in her husband's estate in Haydon alias Stintonhall manor, and in Haydon manor there.
In 1256 Roger Brewse was lord of Stinton alias Heydon, and had a pillory allowed him there; and in 1267 Richard de Brewse had it, who in 1285, jointly with Alice his wife, had these liberties allowed in Eire, viz. view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, a common gallows, pillory and cucking stool. In 1310 Sir Giles de Brewse of Stinton-hall owned the manor and lete, and market there, and it appears that the lete, till this time, belonged to Cawston manor, to which the lord of this manor paid 5s. per annum for it, it being granted from Cawston, with the part of Heydon advowson belonging to it, by John son of Sir Hubert de Burgh; so that Heydon advowson afterwards belonged to Stinton manor wholly. Sir Giles died this year, and Lady Alice his widow presented to Heydon; at her death the whole descended to Sir John Brewse their son, who occurs lord about 1330, and was a knight in 1335, when he was found to hold this manor and advowson, in Stinton, Heydon, Corpesty and Olton, of the barony which Sir Giles de Brewse formerly held, and which was held of the Lord Say, and that Lord held it in capite: in 1360, it was settled on Sir Robert de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, and other trustees, to the use of Sir John Brewse, senior, Knt. In 1406 Sir Robert Brewse, Knt. settled it on Sir William de Willughby Lord of Eresby, and several other feoffees; and in 1433 Elizabeth his widow owned it. Their son, Sir Thomas Brewse of Stir-tonhall in Salle, Knt. was lord and patron in 1476, and died about 1489, (for whom see vol.v. p. 406,) and after the death of Elizabeth his 2d wife, who presented here as his widow in 1497, it went to
Sir Roger Townshend, one of the judges of the common-pleas, in right of Anne his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir William, son and heir of the said Sir Tho. Brewse, who had for his eldest son and heir, Sir Roger Townshend, who was knighted in 1525; but he did not possess this manor, for at the death of the Lady Anne Townshend his mother, in 1551, it came to Roger, son of Richard, son of John Townshend, next brother and heir to Sir Roger Townshend, who died without issue; and he being then a minor, was in the wardship of Philip and Mary, and was lord and patron here in 1576. In his time viz. ano 1581, there was a most fair and perfect drag or extent of the manor of Stinton-hall, in Salle, Heydon, and other adjacent villages, made by John Goodwin, then supervisor of the manors of the said Roger Townshend, Esq. which is a fine folio MS. now in the possession of the lord of the manor, with this acrostick and verses at its beginning:
I nspice per totum, Lector, non invide, Libru M N ec poteris magna quicquam reprehendere Culp A R es facile minimum faciles absolvit Acume N O mnis at in tanto, mens est fundenda Labor E G randis enim Labor est, et quæ Solertia Majo R E sse potest? Quod majus opus? quam mente Scient I R ura fatigato peragranda patientia Curs U I psius ante tuum breviter proponere Visu M T alia per certas sunt hic quasi tradita Classe S O mnia proponit, quæ Rure videre licebi T V t tibi quæque Domi pateant manifestè Sedent I V illas hìc videas, hìc Arva virentia, necno N N igrantes Lucos, qui vertice Sydera Tangun T S tagna Paludoso cernas circundata Junc O E t varium currens Sinuoso Tramite Flume N N on desunt læti præbentes pascua Camp I D ulcia prata legas, diverso consita Flor E I nsuper hìc quæcunque tenent Agrestia Nome N A nte tuos, quicunque legis, sunt obvia Vultu S R es etiam recte formis Liber omnibus Ist E M ensural, verèque refert, ut planius Isti C I nspicias propria descriptum quidque Figur A G randior iste Labor si sit, mitissime Lecto R E x opera Scriptum, Scribentis consule Libru M R ugas, Oro, Cave, Placidâ lege singula Front E I sta tuum nam ritè docet Clementia Nome N.
Quisquis es, hùc torvo qui flectis Lumine Vultu Et tacito nostrum murmure carpis Opus, Antea quam carpas, si possis, corrige Culpas, Aut meliore meo doctior adde Libro. Hoc bene si possis, tamen hic male Crimina Carpis, Debuerant veniam, nam meruisse tuam, Sed mea si carpis, cum tu nihil addere possis, En tibi Ridiculi Signa propino Viri.
At Roger's death in 1590, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John Townshend, Knt. at whose death in 1603, Lady Anne, his widow, had it, and presented in 1612, and after her death Sir Roger Townshend, Bart. enjoyed it till the year 1643, when he sold it to
To the manor of Stinton-hall belong: 1, The Queen's lete, held by the lord of Stinton yearly on Lammas-day. 2, Heydon lete, which includes Corpusty wholly, and great part of Olton. 3, Stinton or St. Andrew's lete, because held on that day; this lete extends into Salle and Dallyng, and the lete-fee paid by the tenants is 2s. 4d. ob. q. 4, Heydon St. Andrew's lete, which includes part of Salle, and all are in the drift of Stinton lete; and to this manor belonged the patronage of Salle and Heydon.
Heydon cum Membris.
Heydon manor being parted, as is before observed, from Stinton, and vested in Peter Butler, it was by him divided into many under manors or fees, which took their names from their several owners; but the principal part, called Heydon manor, came to Maud de Longa Spata, or Long-Spee; and in 1285 Beatrix, widow of John de Corpesty, had an interest in it. In 1315, it belonged to Edmund Bacon, who with Simon de Creping, the prior of Coxford, Aymer de Valence Earl of Pembrook, &c. had lordships here. In 1327, Sir Richard Mortoft lived at Mortoft in Heydon-field, and had one of the small manors here. (fn. 4) In 1401 Thomas de Morley held Heydon manor of the honour of Rhye, and in 1404 it was found that Elizabeth wife of Sir William Heydon, daughter and heir of Sir John Say, held one of the under manors here, called Loverd's (from a family of that name, to whom Butler first granted it) of the King, as parcel of the dutchy of Lancaster.
The ancient family of the Heydons took their name from this town, where they originally sprung; but as their chief residence, when in full prosperity, was at Baconsthorp, I design to speak of them at large under that place.
Dynnes, an ancient family here, of which great numbers are buried in the church; in 1493 John Dynne died seized of Pinkny-hall in Taterset; and in 1493 Robert his son and heir was buried here. In 1517 died Henry Dynne of Heydon, Esq. who married Winifred daughter of Thomas Caus, and left Robert his son and heir, whose custody and marriage the King granted to Sir John Heydon, Knt. and two daughters Cecily and Mary; he died seized of Pinkny-hall manor, and those of Begvile's, Lucy's, and Taterset, Heydon, Taterford, and Bromesthorp, besides others in Heydon, Salle, and Oulton; he was buried in this church, and willed, that if his son died under age, all his estates should be sold, and 100 marks given to Norwich cathedral, 100 marks to our blessed Lady at Cokkesford, &c. He made his aunt, Dame Margaret Dynne, and his brother Thomas Wilkins, executors, and his master, Sir John Heydon, supervisor. In 1572 Sir Christopher Heydon had a manor here, but in 1581, the whole came to be vested in Henry Dynne of Heydon, Esq. one of the auditors of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth, and he it was that built Heydonhall, the present seat of Augustine Earle, Esq. which is a good strong building, pleasantly situated, not far distant from the church northwards; he was buried here in 1586. In 1588, William Colfer, senior, settled his manors of Heydon, Leeches, Coxfords, Lewes, Overbeeks, Benfields, Loverds, Creping's, &c. (all which were now joined, and sold on the death of Auditor Dynne) and extended into Heydon, Salle, Corpusty, Thirning, Wood-Dalling, Gestwick, Foulsham, Repham, Iteringham, Olton, Briston, Saxthorp, and Coston, on William Colfer; junior, and Richard Colfer, after this, it came to Robert Kemp, Esq. who was buried here in 1616; and in 1650, Sir Robert Kemp of Finchingfield in Essex, his son, sold all his estate in Heydon and Salle, to John Earle, Esq. and John Drury his trustee.
The manor of Heydon cum membris, in general makes the eldest son, the heir; but the fines of the several united manors are various; those ex parte Lewes, are arbitrary; those ex parte Crepings 2s. an acre; the fines, ex parte Howards, Overbecks, Loverds, &c. are 4s. an acre.
The family of the Earles, who now are, and for several generations have been, lords of this place, is of great antiquity, and had its origin in the adjacent town of Salle, which is very remarkable, for its giving rise to three of the ancient families of this county, viz. Fountaine, Briggs, and Erle; about 1350, it seems as if the family divided, for Alexander le Erle owned an estate at Willingham, and Sotterly in Suffolk, and was settled there, but
2. John Erle, was owner of divers lands purchased by him in Salle about 1405, and his descendants continued purchasing and adding to the estate, both in Salle and Cawston; though I do not find any lands belonging to the family in Heydon, till,
4. John Erle of Salle, his son and heir; he added to the estate by purchasing in Heydon; by his first wife, Agnes Locksmith, who was buried at Salle in 1560, he had no issue; but by his second, Catherine, who was buried there in 1606, he had 3 sons and 7 daughters; and dying in February 1611, was buried with his ancestors at Salle.
5. Thomas Earle of Salle, his eldest son and heir, had 2 wives, Margery, daughter of William Oxburgh of Aylsham, who died in 1599 without issue, was his second wife; but by Anne, daughter of John Founteyn of Salle, Esq. who was buried at Salle in 1598, he had one son and three daughters, and dying in September 1605, he was buried at Salle by his wives, and left his father, and father in law, executors, and guardians to his son,
6. Erasmus Earle, Esq. who was baptized at Salle, September 20, 1590; he was sent early to Norwich school, and after he had passed through his studies there, was admitted student of Furnival's Inn, but removing thence, was admitted of Lincoln's Inn, April 7, 1612. (fn. 5) In 1639 he was autumnal lecturer of that society, (fn. 6) and bencher of it in the years 1635, 6, 7, 8, 9, 40, and 41; and for some time treasurer there: (fn. 7) and now having made great proficiency in the law, he became concerned for many principal people, but especially transacted the affairs of the chief families of his own county; (fn. 8) and behaved with so much reputation, that in 1644, he and Mr. Thurloe were secretaries for the English at the treaty of Uxbridge; (fn. 9) and on the 12th of October, 1648, he was called to the degree of serjeant at law; (fn. 10) and the same year succeeded William Denny, Esq. as steward of Norwich city, (fn. 11) and in the latter part of it, was chosen recorder there, in the room of Samuel Smith, Esq. in which post he continued till 1653; (fn. 12) December 6, 1648, he was sent with a commission of Oyer and Terminer to Norwich, (fn. 13) though the trials did not come on till Christmas Day; and afterwards sent with the like commission the York circuit. In the long parliament begun 1640, he was chosen member for Norwich city; (fn. 14) when Oliver Cromwell took upon him the protectorship, he made him his own serjeant, (fn. 15) and after his death, he enjoyed the same post, under his son Richard, being likewise serjeant to the Commonwealth. Such was his reputation in business, being esteemed one of the most able lawyers of his time, that in the Norfolk circuit he had almost monopolized it: at the Restoration he took the benefit of the King's pardon, and was on the 21st of June, 1660, again called to the degree of serjeant at law, with Sir Thomas Bedingfield, Hugh Windham, John Fountaine, and others, and continued in great reputation and business to the end of his days.
He raised a good estate, and among many other purchases, bought the manors of Salle, Cawston and Heydon, (fn. 16) to the last of which he removed from Salle, and the manor-house called Heydon-hall, hath been the seat of the family ever since. He married Frances, daughter of James Fountaine of Salle, Esq. February 25, 1616, and she was buried at Heydon, 13 September 1671, and had 4 sons and 2 daughters. Having lived to a good old age, he died at Heydon 7 September 1667, and is buried in the east chapel of the north isle, under an exceeding large altar tomb, over which is a mural monument with the arms and inscription, as here exhibited to your view. (fn. 17)
7. John Earle, Esq. his eldest son was baptised at Salle, in April 1622, was admitted of Pembrook-hall in July 1640, was afterwards of Lincoln's Inn, barrister at law, and sheriff of Norfolk in the year 1654. (fn. 18) He married Sarah, one of the daughters of Sir John Hare of Stow Bardolf, Knt. sister of Sir Ralf Hare, Bart. by Elizabeth, only daughter of Thomas Lord Coventry, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, by Sarah daughter of Edward Seabright of Besford in the county of Worcester, Bart. She died in 1667, and was buried at Heydon, by whom he himself was also interred in 1697. His eldest son
8. Raphe Earle of Salle, Esq. (fn. 19) was admitted fellow commoner of Pembrook-Hall, under the tuition of Mr. Neech, in 1672; but died single in 1679, and was buried by his grandfather at Heydon.
9. Erasmus Earle of Heydon, Esq. 2d son of John, became heir at his father's death; he married Eleanor, daughter and sole heir of Augustine Castle of Raveningham, Esq. having been fellow commoner of Pembrook-Hall, under the tuition of Dr. Browne, and high sheriff of Norfolk in the year 1690. He was buried at Heydon in March 1721, and she in 1736. They had four sons,
2. Erasmus Earle, Esq. was admitted pensioner of PembrookHall, under the tuition of Dr. Long, the present master. He married Hannah-Maria, sister to Colonel Thomas de Grey of Merton, in 1717, daughter of William de Grey, Esq. and widow of James Calthorp, Esq. son and heir of Sir Christopher Calthorp of East Barsham, Knight of the Bath, who died before his father, and left by her one son only, who died without issue.
10. Augustine Earle of Heydon, Esq. one of the hon. commissioners of the excise, and member of the society of antiquaries in London, who now enjoys it; being lord of the several manors of Heydon, Salle, Cawston, &c. at this time, and hath his residence or country seat at Heydon-Hall.
1. Erasmus Earle, his eldest son, was admitted fellow commoner of Pembrook-Hall, under the tuition of Dr. Long, the present master, and is now fellow of St. Peter's college in Cambridge, and member of the society of antiquaries in London.
The synodals are 1s. 6d. the archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.; the whole town paid 4l. 3s. to every tenth, but had a deduction always of 30s. allowed, on account of the revenues belonging to the religious, lying in the parish; for the prior of St. Faith had as many revenues as were estimated at 20 marks, the prior of Coxford had ix s. iii d. in annual rents, and the prior of Lewes 27s. It is laid at 460l. to the land tax, and pays 9s. to the county rates at every 300l. levy.
Rectors of St. Peter's Church at Heydon
1310, Roger de Brewse, subdeacon. Lady Alice, widow of Sir Giles de Brewse, lord of Stinton manor in Salle, to which this advowson belongs. He died this year, and held Stinton and this advowson, of Jeffry de Say.
1406, Robert Hygge, priest. Sir William de Willughby Lord of Eresby, Miles de Stapleton, Simon de Felbrigge, William de Argentein, Knts. William Scheffeld, rector of Salle, William Hewe, rector of Hasketon, John de Yelverton, Robert de Martham, and Robert Rouse, patrons for this turn as Brewse's feoffees.
In 1472, Richard Hokele, or Hokell, one of the serving chaplains in this church ever since 1445 gave 5 marks for a new bell, and was buried in the north isle, in the chapel of which, he served at the altar of St. John Baptist, at the end there, and his brass thus inscribed still remains;
1538 William Call, S. T. D. sometime warden of the gray friars in Norwich, and minister provincial of the order, (though a great enemy (see vol. iii. p. 202, 1568) to Bilney the martyr, could turn, rather than burn, as he did,) was instituted by William Burtfield, his proxy, at the presentation of Sir Roger Townesend, Knt. patron here, in right of the Lady Anne his wife; on Call's death, in
1645, John Davy, who lieth buried in the chancel, with the arms of Davy and Calthorp impaled, and Davy's crest of an elephant's head upon a crown, from which comes a chain which turns over the elephant's trunk, and this,
Sacred to the Memory of the Rev. John Davy Clerke, of this Parish, ob. 1647. Æt. 39. John Davy of Heigham, Gent. his Son ob. 30 January 1710. Æt. 63. Judith Davy relict of John Davy, Gent. 11 September 1724, 80.
There is a rectory-house on the east part of the churchyard, and a croft of 3 acres adjoining, besides other glebes in Heydon and Corpesty, and in 1480, there were 18 acres 1 rood of glebe, and 1s. 6d. rent, and now the rectory of Irmingland is consolidated to this.
The church is a good regular building, having a nave, 2 isles and chancel, covered with lead; the north vestry is in decay; there is a handsome square tower and three bells, and north and south porches, tiled.
There are many memorials for the Dynnes, an ancient family residing here; (fn. 20) their motto is, nec temere, nec timide; their arms, sab. a plume of four feathers, between four croslets patte arg. and a plume for their crest.
Nic iacet Dompnus Thomas Dynme filius Johannis Dynne, nuper Monarchus Sancti Beneicti de Hulmo qui obiit rriro die Julii Anno Domini Mo cccclrrb ruius anime propirietur Deus Amen. (fn. 21)
Hic iacet Robertus Dynne Armiger, qui duas durerat Urores, viz. primam elizabetham, Filiam Radulfi Willikins, quondam Civis et Maior' Civitatis Uorbici, Secundam Beatricem, Filiam Johannis Tendall Militis, qui quidem Robbertus obiit rrodie Martii Anna Dni' Millmo Ouingentessimo Octogessimo
Here under lyeth buried the Body of Henry Dynne of Heydon Esquier, late one of the Auditors to our Soberaigne Ladie Eliza beth Oueene of England, of her highness honorable Courte of Erchequer, habng Issue by JOhn his Wife, William, Thomas Robert, Henrie, Anthony Elizabeth, Prudence, Alice, Minifride, Margaret and Beatrice, who deceased at his House in London the rrv Dan of November, in the Yere of our Lord God Moccccclxxxvi, being the Time of his Death, of Age of Liii Years.
Here lieth the Body of Robert Kempe, Esq; who descended of that ancient Family of Spayneshall in Essex obijt July 1615, and next unto him lyeth the Body of his loveing Wife Mrs. Frances Kempe, who died December 1633.
Here lieth Dorothy Daughter of John and Fraunces Castell of Raveningham, late Wife of George Mordaunt, second Sonne of Henry Mordaunt of Massingham Parva, they had Issue, LeStrange, Robert, John, Henry, Mary, George, and Thomas, of whom she died in Child-Birth, in December 1681, Anno Domini 1618.
Hic jacet Amia Taverner, Uxor Thomæ Taverner Generosi, una Filiarum et Coheredum Edmundi Richers de Swannington Armigeri, procreata de Corpore Elizabethœ Bedingfield primæ Uxoris suæ, que quidem Amia obijt vicessimo Secundo die Februarij Anno Domini 1630.
Here lyeth the Body of Edward Colfer, Esq; Councellor at Law, late of Lincolne's-Inne, who yielded up his Soul to God, His Life to Nature, His Body to the Earth, His Memory to the World: Isabell Colfer, his sad and sorrowful Wife, most unwilling to Part with him, but most willing to Honour him, hath dedicated this Monument to his Memory, as a loyal Testimony of her Love and Affection to him: He dyed at Aylsham in Norfolk, in the Year of our Lord 1657, and of his Age the 65th.
Here lyeth the Body of Nicholas Steward Batchelour, obijt 2 October 1708, Æt. 75. He was Bailiff to Erasmus Earle of Heydon, Esq; for the space of 29 Years, during which Time, he approved himself a faithful and honest Servant, in the Discharge of so great a Trust, and as a gratefull Testimony of his Love for the Family, wherein he had so long serv'd, he bequeath'd all he had (except a few Legacies) to the said Erasmus Earle, Esq; who in consideration of his faithfull Services, caused this Monument to be erected to his Memory, A. D. 1711.
To the Memory of Erasmus Earle late of Heydon, Esq; second Son of Erasmus, Grandson of John, and Great Grandson of Erasmus Earle, Esq; Serjeant at Law, who departed this Life at Bath the 19th of October 1728, in the 36 Year of his Age, and lies here interr'd.
Here rest the Remains of the Rev. ARTHUR GALLANT, late Rector of Brinton and Heydon cum Irmingland, a faithfull Pastor, lived greatly Esteemed, and died much Lamented, July 3, 1713, Aged 56 Years. His eldest Daughter Susanna the Wife of Francis Stafford of Norwich, affixed this Stone to his Memory.
The windows are much defaced, but were formerly adorned with many saints, confessors, martyrs, &c. as the legend of St. Margaret (fn. 22) in a south window; St. Peter, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, Jude and Ozias in the north windows; but there is one north window very remarkable; on it are painted many young swearers, drunkards, diceplayers, and other profligate livers, with a representation of hell, and such sinners as those in its flames; placed there, no doubt, as a view and warning-piece, for to deter youth from such living.
Alas my Child have the thus dyth, The cursyd Swerrerys, al be hys Lemys be rent asundryth. Alas! my Mone, how may I mendene, the Thevys on the Cros lympeth, Thei wyst nowt thua theyed inded. but the may wete beter Thyngs, Yuth therfore, therfore ye ben qwers than thei tore Ye that with Othys grevyth the on Erth so Thou grevist up hymself seyth in his Sawtyer Lo.
Here were held gilds in honour of St. Peter, St. Mary the Virgin, St. John Baptist, the Holy Trinity and the Annunciation, and there were lights kept in the church, at our Ladies Altar, and the Sepulchre, besides those, of the Assumption, and of our Lady of Pity.