An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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Called also Botune, Tortune, and Bowton, was in two parts or manors at the Conqueror's survey, the one called afterwards Botonhall, and the other Midelton's in Boton and Wichingham, but the lete always attended the hundred, and Queen Elizabeth's steward held it.
Gueric a Dane, and Osbert a Saxon, held Botune in the Confessor's time, and Teheli had it of the Conqueror's gift, as a whole manor, including that socman and his services, which belonged to Herold at the first survey. (fn. 1)
The manor called Tortune, afterwards Midleton's, Herlewin had it in the Confessor's time, and was of the same value with Botune manor; (fn. 2) to this the Conqueror, when he gave it to Rainald-Fitz-Ivo added 2 socmen, which belonged formerly to Herold, and were valued with Causton manor. (fn. 3)
William de Schoies, or Scot, had a socman here, and the church had 9 acres of glebe, then valued at 6d. per annum only, and a 3d part of its advowson belonged to these three several parts of the village, the whole of which was then half a mile long, and as much broad, and paid 7d. geld.
The manor of Boton, and advowson, came to the Pecches, Jeffry and Simon (fn. 4) Pecche his son had it, and William Pecche granted it to Roger de Gyneto, or Gyney, the moiety of the advowson, William Bartholomew and Fulk de Gyneto, being witnesses to it; the said William in 1205 having recovered part of it against Ralf and Eborard, sons of Simon, father of William, who presented to it, and were lords of Midleton's manor, and of Scot's part, which was now joined to Midleton's.
Soon after this, Richard de Skeyton held this, (fn. 5) and Agnes de Baldeswell, and William de Thorp the other manor here, at half a fee, of the manor of Panworth-Hall in Ashill, and that of the Earl of Gloucester.
In 1255 Simon Pecche of Brandeston had free-warren in his manor here, and the whole advowson belonging to it; and in 1259 William Pecche, his son, agreed with John de Thorenton, lord of the manor of Midleton's, that they should present by turns.
In 1263 John son of Alexander de Vallibus or Vaux of Aslacton and Keswic, had a charter for free-warren to his manor here, and in Branteston; and in 1285, Roger son of William de Gyney, and Margaret his wife, released all their rights here to Richard de Skeyton, in whom both manors were vested; and in 1314 Petronella or Parnel de Nerford held Botune of the honour of Clare; and in 1315 Roger de Gynney held a moiety of her, as one manor, (fn. 6) and Ralf de Skeyton the other moiety, as another manor. In 1323 Oliver de Redham, and Ralf, rector of Skeyton, as trustees, settled this and Skeyton on Sir Ralf de Skeyton aforesaid for life, and then on Maud de Nerford and her two sons, Ralf and Edward.
This Maud (fn. 7) was concubine to William Earl Warren, and had by him these two sons, who took the name of Warren, the Earl having no legitimate issue; (fn. 8) and Sir Edward Warren, (fn. 9) Knt. (fn. 10) had the manor here; his 2d son, Sir John de Warren, Knt. succeeded him here, and was buried in Boton church in 1382; this Sir John, in 1347, was not in possession, for then Felicia de Skeyton held it in dower at half a fee, of Thomas de Nerford, who held it of the honour of Clare; Sir John married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Sir John Stafford of Wykham, Knt who afterwards remarried to John le Mayne Warren, who in 1401 was lord here; and in 1427, Laurence Mainwarren had it. In 1450 Sir Henry Inglose, Knt. gave the manor and advowson, to be sold by his executors; and in 1495 Henry Calthorp had it; he lies buried in the chancel, with his effigies, and this inscription on brass plates:
In 1529, Thomas Tropnel and others settled Boton and Skeyton manors on Lawrence Warren, Esq. and Sibil his wife; and in 1531 John Horseman kept his first court at Booton, and after him George. Horseman of Boton, Esq. (fn. 11) his son and heir, who was buried by his father in Boton church in 1558; Frances his widow, married after to Jocelyn, who had it, for in 1562 Frances Jocelyn, widow, kept court here; about 1570, George son of John Horseman had it, and conveyed it to Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorp, Knt. who in 1573 sold it to Christopher Layer, alderman of Norwich, and his heirs, John Stanley, Gent. of Scothowe, Edward Fisher of Great Wichingham, Gent. Anthony Warner, John Mapes, clerk, and Thomas Armiger of Baconsthorp, being trustees; and the said Christopher held his first court here this year. (fn. 12)
The family of the Leirs or Layers, (fn. 13) are descended from George Layer of Bury in Suffolk, who lived in 1429; he increased his own estate by marrying Margaret, sole heiress of Peter Butefaunt, Esq. who after his death remarried to Henry Baniard of Bury. Their son,
William Layer, was sheriff of Norwich in 1526, mayor in 1537, and is buried in St. John Maddermarket, with his wife, being succeeded by his son, (fn. 14)
John Layer of Norwich, (fn. 15) who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Marsham of Norwich; he died in 1560 seized of good estates in Saxham, Faverton, Westley, Midleton, and Lowistolft in Suffolk; they left
Christopher Layer, their eldest son and heir, (fn. 16) who purchased Boton, was a merchant of Norwich in 1561, sheriff of that city in 1596, mayor in 1581 and in 1589, and burgess in Parliament for the city in 1584, and 1596; he was buried in the church of St. John Maddermarket in 1600, and died seized of Boton, &c. and Barbara his wife, 5th daughter of Augustine Steward of Norwich, was buried by him in 1604, (fn. 17) leaving three sons and five daughters.
Thomas his son inherited at his grandfather's death in 1600, he being then 12 years of age, and Christopher Layer, Gent. his uncle, was his guardian; he married Susanna, daughter of Mr. Downing of Grimston in Norfolk, relict of Giles Bladwell, Esq. and was buried at Boton in 1644, and left
Christopher Layer (fn. 18) of Boton, his son and heir, who sold Midleton's manor here, and in Wichingham in 1649; and so it became joined to Wichingham manor; he married Susanna, daughter and coheir of John Frere of Ashen in Essex, who was living in 1659; they left Booton to
Christopher Layer of Booton, who married Mary, daughter of Mr. Cracheroode of Essex, relict of Mr. Bull, serjeant at arms; she is buried at Booton, but had no issue; so that Booton went to his nephew,
Christopher Layer of Aylesham, attorney at law, only son of his brother, John Layer of London, by Mrs. Bernard (fn. 19) of Caxton in Cambridgeshire. He married a daughter of Peter Elwyn of Aylesham, to whom he sold Booton in 1713; Peter was buried at Tutington in 1721, as was Peter his son in 1731, and Booton came to his nephew,
Peter Elwin of Booton, Esq. the present lord and patron, who resides in the manor-house called Booton Hall, which is about a quarter of a mile north-west of the church, on the opposite side of the road. He married Phillippa, third daughter of Thomas Marsham of Stratton Strawless, Esq. (fn. 20) by whom he hath four sons;
Valuation to the land-tax, 380l. 10s.;—county-rate to a 300l. levy, 5s. 9d.;—old tenths, 2l. 12s.;—old valuation of the rectory, 15 marks; —synodals, 1s. 1d.;—N. V. 15d. ob.;—Bishop's procurations, 2s. 3d.; —archaeacon's procurations, 6s. 8d.
The Prior of Walsingham was taxed for temporals here at 2s. 4d.; the prior of Longaville, at 5s. 8d.; the prior of St. Faith, 0d.; the sacrist of Bury at 12d.; and in 1447, Mary Magdalen college in Oxford had license to purchase lands here, and in Branteston, Salle, and Cawston; and in 1584, Queen Elizabeth, at the request of Henry Lord Wentworth, granted to Theopolitus Adams, and Thomas Butler of London, five roods by Booton church, &c. lately belonging to the gild here.
Rectors of Botone.
1564 Edward Fenton, (fn. 21)
This family were owners here many hundred years; in 1363 John Hewke of Boton and Alice his wife were living. In 1447 Richard Hewke of Boton, and John his son married Margaret, daughter of John Springwell, and died in 1471 as above; their estate belonged to Robert Muncey, clerk, in 1707, father of Dr. Mouncey, physician to Chelsea college.
This family had a good estate here, Robert Harward of Aldburgh married Mary, daughter of John Berney of Redham, and had Clement Harward of Aldburgh, their son and heir; but Robert, their 4th son, had Boton estate, and settled there; he is buried in Boton church, with his three wives; by Mary, daughter of Thomas Duke of Brampton in Suffolk, he had John, his 2d son, but heir, who married Bridget, daughter of Christopher Perne of West Barsham in Norfolk; he was buried here in 1568; Robert, his only son, died without issue, and Elizabeth, his sole daughter and heiress, married to Thomas, 2d son of Hamond Claxton of Great Livermere in Suffolk, who was 2d son of William Claxton of Cheston in Suffolk, and Elizabeth Throkmorton his wife, and so brought their Boton estate to the Claxtons, in which family it continued till lately.
In 1330 William de Claxton, prior of Norwich, (of whom in vol. ii. p. 602,) first raised this family: of which, in 1476, Hamond Claxton was sheriff of Norwich, and mayor in 1485; and in 1619, Thomas Claxton was alderman of Norwich. In 1559 Hammond Claxton the elder of Cheston, Gent. was much in favour with Thomas Duke of Norfolk; Hammond Claxton of Livermere and Norwich married Anne, daughter of Thomas Clarke of Okeley in Somersetshire, who is buried in St. Mary's in Coslany in Norwich. Ano 1605, with the arms of Claxton and Clarke, as in vol. iv. p. 371, 490.