An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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La Mers, or the Marsh; so called from its situation, the churchyard being washed by the river Bure: at the Conqueror's survey it was part of Buxton, (fn. 1) and valued with it, all but 20 acres, which a free woman then held; it is now in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster.
It was parted from Buxton very early, and became a separat manor, and a church was consequently erected on it, it being now divided from Buxton by the river that runs between them, the lord of Lammas having free fishery, as far as the bounds of the parish extends on the Lammas side, as the lord of Buxton hath, as far as that parish extends on the Buxton side.
It was first granted by Ralf de Bellafago or Beaufoe, to Osbern, who his said to have founded the church, and to have given the advowson to Holm abbey, to which it was confirmed by King Henry I. in 1177, and by Pope Lucius II.; but notwithstanding this, Reginald le Gros, (fn. 2) lord here in 1227, presented to it, and held it of the honour of Rhye, and Roger le Gros also had it; but in 1248, Stephen de Redham, and Robert Abbot of Holm had a long suit, which was settled before the itinerant justices (fn. 3); when Stephen agreed, to hold his land in Scotthow, Lammas, and Riston, of the abbey, by the yearly rent of 50s. and 50 bushels of barley, and he released to the abbot all his right in a carucate of land in Scothowe, and the abbot released to Stephen all his right in this manor and advowson. Bartholomew, son of Stephen, succeeded his father; and in 1281 sold the manor and advowson to Oliver de Ingham, (fn. 4) there being then 120 acres in demean, and 15 messuages held of the manor; John son of Oliver succeeded, and had it in 1309. In 1327, Mariona de Ingham was lady, as was Joan, relict of Sir Roger le Strange, Knt. in 1349. In 1350, Sir Miles Stapleton, Knt. of Bedale in Yorkshire had it, and settled it on himself and Joan his wife for their lives, remainder to their son John, and Isolda his wife and their heirs, and it continued a long time, in this family, as you may see in Ingham at large, which manor it constantly attended, through the Stapletons and Calthorps, till William Calthorp, Esq. sold it about 1561 to John Culpepper, Esq. and not long after, it was conveyed to the Allens of this town; John, Rich. and Robt. Allen, brothers, were lords in 1579; the last of these sold it to Mathew Sparrow, Gent. and it after belonged to Mr. Thomas Sadler, who died in 1667, whose daughter Susanna carried it to her husband, Edward Eyre, Gent. who was buried here in 1709, and Mary his only daughter married Thomas Damant of Lammas, Gent. who was lord here, (but not patron, the patronage being sold from the manor,) she died in 1709, and the said Thomas, in 1731, leaving it to Mr. Thomas Damant, the present lord, his only son by Alice Sancroft, his second wife.
The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, whose image stood in a tabernacle in the chancel, in the east wall on the north side of the altar, which was the station or place of the principal image in every church, (fn. 5) under which the officiating priest always stood, and so doth at this day; the rubrick of the communion service enjoining the priest to stand at the north side of the table.
Here was a gild also kept in honour of that saint, which supported a light always burning before his image. There was also an altar of our Lady in this church, (fn. 6) and a light burning constantly before her image, there was also a light kept up before the rood on the rood-loft, and another before the brown-rood.
There is a rectory-house and six acres and two roods of glebe; it paid 8d. synodals, 4d. Peter-pence, and 4s. archdeacon's procurations, but now it pays with Hautbois-Parva, which is consolidated to it, 12d. synodals, 6s. archdeacon's procurations, and 21d. visitatorial procurations, it standing thus in the King's Books:
And being discharged, it is capable of augmentation. The religious concerned her were, the Prior of Bromholm, whose temporals were taxed at 7s. 2d. those of the Prior of Norwich at 18d. and those of the Prior of Hickling at 4d. The whole village paid 30s. clear to every tenth, besides 16s. paid by the religious for their revenues here. It is laid with Hautbois-Parva at 276l. 15s. to the land-tax, and pays 6s. 6d. to every 300l. levy of the county rate.
The Virgin answers, The to Fede, In me nogh reedy. (fn. 7)
The Naked calls out, For Cold J Oual. (fn. 8)
The Virgin says, Habe Drynv for the Lord that ye Lebe. (fn. 9)
The Stranger cries, Hostel, J Crabe. (fn. 10)
There are stones for Mr. Thomas Sadler, 23 September 1667. Katherine his late Wife, 13 May 1649. Susanna his second Wife, 3 June, 1676. Susanna Wife of Mr. Edward Eyre, only Child of Mr. Thomas Sadler, by Susanna his Wife, January 20, 1693.
Hic jacet sepultum Corpus Edvardi Eyre Generosi, obijt 2° die Febr' A. D. 1709, Æt. suæ 76. Hic jacet sepultum Corpus Mariæ Damant, uxoris Thomæ Damant de Lammas Generosi, et Filiæ unicæ prædicti Edwardi Eyre, obijt decimo die Maij, Anno Domini 1709. Æt. suæ 39.
Sacred to the Memory of Thomas Damant, Gent. who died the 8th of July 1731, Aged 62 Years; here also lie the bodies of three of his Children, by Alice his Wife, viz. William-Sandcroft, buried April 16, 1713. Allen, Nov. 23, 1715, and Alice, 16 March, 1716.
About six Foot from this Wall, resteth in Hopes of a joyful Resurrection, the Bodies of Robert and John Scales, Father and Son late of Hauteboys parva, of the same Occupation, as was their blessed Saviour and Redeemer; Robert departed this Life the 12 of November 1727, Aged 79 Years, and John died the 28th of January 1727, in the 40th Year of his Age.
Rectors of Lammas only.
1428, Thomas Clerk. Henry Earl of Northampton, Sir John Talbot, Thomas Scales, Ralf and Henry Grey, and Thomas Kerdeston, Knts. William Paston, John Roys, William Ascogh, Edmund Stapleton, Esqrs. and John Brakeley, friar, (fn. 11) feoffees of Brian Stapleton.
Rectors of Lammas with Little-Hautbois.
Edward Warnes, who died rector in 1700: he was a great benefactor to Norwich city, on which he settled Little-Hautbois-Hall, &c. and to Yarmouth. His will, and an account of him, occurs in vol. iv. p. 93, &c.
In 1738, the Rev. William Lubbock, B. D. late fellow of Caius College, was presented by James Taylor, (fn. 12) patron in fee simple, and it was united to Stalham vicarage, which Mr. Lubbock since resigned, and now holds it by union with Scothowe vicarage.