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 in the time of the Saxons belonged to Agelwin, an alderman or nobleman of that race, who gave it with the church to the abbey of St. Bennet in the Holm; and it was confirmed to that convent by the charter of King Edward the Confessor, (fn. 1) and settled to find provision for the monks there. In Domesday we find that Earl Ralf was seized of half the convent's land, when he forfeited his estate to the Conqueror, by his rebellion, and that a freewoman then held it of him; (fn. 2) but the Conqueror gave it again to the monastery which held the whole at the survey, except two freemen that formerly belonged to Guerd the Dane, (fn. 3) and 16 acres, &c. which belonged to the manor of Ailesham. We meet with no mensuration of this vill in that record, and the reason is because it was included in the measures of Crachefort, Ailesham, and Banningham, to which all Crachefort belonged, (fn. 4) and indeed the style of the manor is Tutington cum Crackforth, (fn. 5) which extended into Oxnede; (fn. 6) the manor was held of the convent by Sir Peter de Hautbois, as of the Earl Warren, who had it originally from that house; in 1234 it was a rectory, and the Abbot of Holme presented John son of Sir Peter de Alto Bosco or Hautbois to it, and soon after, Adam, abbot of St. Benet, granted the church and manor to Thomas de Thirkelby and his heirs, to be held of the convent; and to this deed Sir Roger de Thirkelby, one of the King's itinerant justices or judges, was witness; this Thomas de Thirkelby gave the advowson to the prior and convent of Bromholme in Norfolk, but the manor went to Cecily his widow; and at her death, to Sir Walter de Thirkelby, brother of Sir Roger, (fn. 7) who granted it to Henry son of Robert de Hastyngs of Aylesham, (fn. 8) and his heirs. In 1274 the Earl-Marshal was found to have freewarren here and in Coleby and Aldby; and in 1284 Henry de Hastings brother of Jeffry de Hastyngs, died seized of it, it extending then into Banningham, Erpingham, Ingworth and Oxnede, and it was found, that Thomas de Wighton or Witton, to whom Henry conveyed all but the Erpingham part, in his life time had it, and that part Jeffry had; Wighton and Hastings conveyed all to Roger Bygod Earl of Norfolk, who in 1285 was allowed free-warren, and had a fair held here, upon the vigil and day of St. Butolph, (fn. 9) in 1315, (fn. 10) the Earl-Marhal Bigod, and the Abbot of St. Bennet, of whom he held it, were found lords here; the Abbot of St. Edmund's manor of Sexton's in Ailesham extended hither, and John de Banningham, Isabel late wife of Hen. de Hastings, (who had her dower for life in it,) and Robert de Crakeford, had free tenements here and in Banningham. (fn. 11) In 1328 John son of Roger Bigod of Felbrigge, (who assumed the name of Felbrigge,) and Lucy his wife, settled it on themselves and their heirs; and in 1338 the said John purchased the free-tenements here.
In 1393 George Felbrigge of this town, (so called to distinguish him from Sir George of Felbrigge, Knt.) owned two parts of Hales-hall manor in Loddon, by the courtesy of England, his wife, the heiress thereof, being dead, and the inheritance being in William de Kerdeston. In 1418 Sir Simon Felbrigge, Knt. of the Garter, settled this manor, (fn. 12) with the rest of his estate, by which settlement it came to the family of the
Wimondhams or Windhams, with Felbrigge, in which family it hath continued ever since, William Windham of Felbrigge, Esq; being the present lord. (fn. 13)
This town is in the dutchy of Lancaster; its church is dedicated to St. Peter and Paul, and was a rectory in the patronage of Holm abbey till that convent granted the advowson to Thomas Thirkelby, and he to the prior and convent of Bromholme, to which it was appropriated in 1275, (fn. 14) and the vicarage endowed, which was to consist in every thing belonging to the living, except the tithe-corn, and the house where Sir John, late minister here, lived. The vicar is to pay the synodals, and the impropriator the archdeacon's procurations, and repair the chancel, and upon this the prior and convent presented Sir Benedict de Bromholm, their first vicar.
The Prior of Bromholme was taxed for his spirituals at 18 marks, including the vicar's portion, and 53s. 4d. for their other lands and revenues here, viz. the tithes of the demeans of William de Glanvile in Burgh, &c. which were by him given to Bromholme priory.
In 1314, on the death of the first vicar, there was a jus patronatus, to know if the nomination was not reserved to the see, and it was found not to be so, upon which John de Wesenham, then 30 years old, an unbeneficed priest, was instituted vicar, at the prior's presentation; and in 1349 Henry Hervy of Tutington, priest; he resigned the same year to Clement Tyllock of Colby, on whose death, in 1352, Nicholas Wolverys had it; in 1419 Thomas Pepyr was vicar; in 1446, Robert Smith, in 1500 Roger Blether died, and the convent gave it to John Warmalle. (fn. 15)
At the Dissolution, the rectory impropriate and vicarage fell to the Crown, and continued there till Queen Elizabeth settled them on the see of Ely, the bishops of which see have leased out the tithes, and presented Anthony Iveson, Thomas Marsh, &c. as also Mr. Connold, the present vicar, who holds it united to Stratton Strawless.
The Church fell into great decay, upon which, in 1749, a faculty was obtained by which the lead was sold off the nave, and it being new roofed, was covered with tiles; the round tower had a spire on it covered with lead, which was taken down and sold; the second bell is now in the steeple, the first, third, and fourth, being sold; the south porch is leaded and the chancel thatched; there were the arms of sab. a castle trippled towered or, arg. a lion rampant sab. quartered with England; Felbrigge in a bordure ingrailed gul. ditto in a plain bordure gul. Sir Simon Felbrigge in his coat armour kneeling, and arg. on a cross gul. a label of three az.; but most of them are lately broken.
In 1487, Mrs. Elizabeth Clere settled an estate here and in Burgh by Ailesham, on Gonvile hall, for the stipend of one fellow, &c. which is now held of Caius college, by Peter Elwin, Esq. of Booton, who also holds by lease the great tithes of Ely see.
Herelyeth the body of Anne Elwin, late the Wife of Peter Elwin, Gent. only Daughter and Heiress of Thomas Scamler of Hevingham, Esq; and Great Grand-daughter of Edmund Scamler formerly Lord Bishop of Norwich, who departed this Life, the 26th Day of September, in the Yeare of our Lord 1697, and of her Age 37.
Valuation to the land-tax, 313l. 15s.;—a 300l. levy of the county rate, 5s. 6d.;—old tenths, 3l.;—synodals, 1s. 6s.;—the Bishop's procurations, 1s. 3d.;—archdeacon's procurations, 5s.—old valuation of the living, 18 marks,