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 township is now reduced to a single farm-house, which stands south of a little rivulet, which divides the hundred of South Greenhoc from that of Clackclose; it lies to the west of Shingham, and north of Oxburgh. In Domesday Book it is wrote Caldanchota, and Caldechota, from [Cald] a cold, and [Cott], a village or house; at which time here were two manors, one held by Rainald son of Ivo, which a freeman held in the Confessor's time; (fn. 1) the other was held by Ralph De Toenio, or Tony, and was styled a berwic, viz. a manor depending on a superiour one, as this did then on Necton, the capital manor of the Lord Tony, in this neighbourhood; the township was then half a mile in length, and 4 furlongs in breadth, and paid 5d. geld. (fn. 2)
The first account that we find of this village, after the Conquest, is in the 11th of King John, when it seems to be under one lord, and a fine was levied between Hugh de St. Philibert, petitioner, who held this and several other lordships of the Earl of Clare, (to which Earls the lands of Rainald son of Ivo descended,) and Will. de Ware, and Hugh de Langwade, tenants, of a moiety of a mill here. (fn. 3) Under the St. Philiberts, the Caldecotes (who took their name from the town) held a lordship here, of which family was Osbert de Caldecote, who lived in the reign of King Stephen, and Thurgis de Caldecote, who lived in the time of King John; (fn. 4) also Sir Henry de Caldecote, who is on the roll with several other Norfolk knights, who served King Edward I. in his wars against the Scots; and bare party per pale or and azure, on a chief gules, three leopards faces of the first: King Henry III. by his writ, dated 5th October, in his 53d year, commanded Richard de Ewell and Hugh de Tower, officers of his wardrobe, that they cause to be provided for Henry Caldecote, (whom the said King, on the Feast of St. Edward, will honour with the order of knighthood, those things which belong to his new knighthood, as the King hath accustomed to find to other new knights.
In the 1st of Edward I. a fine was levied to the uses of Isabel daughter of Margery, and Margaret her sister, by Peter de Caldecote; and in the 16th of Edward I. William son of Eudo de Caldecote, chaplain, grants to Thomas son of Stephen de Ware, several rents, services and homages, held of him and his ancestors here, and in Shingham and Cley, the scutages, wards, reliefs, eschaets, &c. to be held of the capital lords, paying for them to Hugh St. Philibert, Knt. the services due; (fn. 5) so that the whole town seems to be in him. And in the 3d of Edward III. Stephen son of Thomas de Ware, settled on John Bardolf of Spikesworth, and Richard Holdych of Didlington in trust, his capital messuage here, with 7 others, and 20 acres of land and pasture, the moiety of a watermill, and 44s. rent in Caldecote, Oxburgh, Shingham, and Cley; and about the same time Margery daughter of Thomas de Ware granted to Thomas, son of Christian de Caldecote, and Alice, (sister, as I conceive, of Margery,) all her lands, tenements, &c. which fell to her by heirship, in the villages and fields of Caldecote and Oxburgh, with all the homages, wards, reliefs, rents, eschaets, &c.
In the 9th of Edward III. Robert Durant of Takelstone, and Oliva his wife, (fn. 6) grant to Richard Holdych aforesaid, his capital messuage here, and all other his right, in the third part of the manor and estate.
In the 31st of Edward III. John le Man held the third part of the manor of John de Denham, and John of the Earl of Clare, which Rich. Holdych, gave him and his heirs; John married, as I take it, a daughter and heir of Ware.
The Earls of Clare were the capital lords of this town, but in the 3d of Edward I. Humphry de Bohun, Earl of Hertford and Essex, held this town of the King in capite, by the service (as it is said) of the constableship of England, it being given to him on its forfeiture by Gilbert Earl of Clare; (fn. 7) but on the marriage of the said Gilbert with Joan of Acres, the King's daughter, it was restored to him and his heirs; and in the 8th of Edward II. Robert Belet held one fee, &c. in Caldecote, Bechamwell, Fordham, Upwell, Outwell, Wyrham, Crimplesham, &c. of the honour of Clare, and Ralph Earl of Monthermer, presented to this church in 1304, as lord of the town, being then the husband of Joan of Acres, late wife to Gilbert Earl of Clare; after this the De Spencers were the capital lords; Hugh de Spencer (and as some say Earl of Gloucester) marrying Elianor, eldest sister and coheir of the aforesaid Gilbert; 10th Richard II. Richard Holdich conveyed a third part to William Ode, and Alice his wife, probably a Ware: In the 6th of Edward III. a fine was levied between Osbert de Boyton, querent, Stephen de Ware, and Alice his wife, defendants, whereby the third part of the manor and estate was conveyed to Boyton.
In the 13th of Richard II. William Ode, who married Matild, daughter and heir of John Man, held the third part of this manor, and in this family it continued till about the end of the reign of King Henry VI. when it was conveyed to Richard Sparwe, Gent. of Oxburgh, who in the year 1482, settled it on a chantry, which he then founded in the church of Oxburgh, of which more may be seen under Oxburgh.
In the 10th of Henry IV. Thomas Fykes, &c. held a court here, as lords of the other parts of this town; in the 4th of Henry V. Sir William Calthorp held his first court. In the 16th of Henry VI. a fine was levied between Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. &c. querents, Hugh Methwold, and Alice his wife, defendants, of two parts of this manor, conveyed to Sir Thomas, who died seized thereof in 1461, without issue; (fn. 8) and Margaret, his sister and heir, being married to Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. brought it into that family, and in the 13th of Henry VII. Sir Edmund Bedingfeld, Knt. of the Bath, grandson of the aforesaid Margaret, was found to have the lordship, whose immediate heir and descendant, Sir Henry Bedingfield, Bart. of Oxburgh, is the present lord.
In the 21st of Edward IV. Richard Holdych, senior, of Didlyngton, quit claimed to Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. William Grey, Esq. &c. all his right in this manor, which was a third part that came by Dorant; and in the said year, Thomas Kypping, rector of Narburgh, enfeoffed John Ratcliff Lord Fitz-Walter, and Thomas Heveningham, Esq. in all the messuages, lands, tenements, rents, services, and a fald course here, and in Oxburgh and Shingham, which he had lately of Thomas Lovel, Esq. William Grey, Esq of the gift and grant of Henry Whiston, son and heir of Thomas Whiston, late of Caldecote: this seems to be the third part which was held by Fykes, &c. which soon after came to the Bedingfelds also, and so they were lords of the whole town.
The church, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, hath been in ruins above a century past; many of the walls are still standing; the site of it is on an hill on the north side, and near to the yards of the manor, or farm-house; it was a single building of flint, chalk, &c. in length about 27 feet, and 17 in breadth, with a north and a south door and two stone pedestals or perks for images; are still to be seen by the said doors; and against the east wall or gable, are two arches or niches, for the said purpose; to this body there was anciently a chancel annexed, as appears from the foundation walls, about 20 feet in length, and 13 in breadth; the great decay of this and other churches in Norfolk is owing to the materials, which are for the most part small pebbles, flint-stones, and calk or chalk, to be found in plenty, in the fields and lands; the Romans, when they made use of such small stones, used to have a layer of their brick, in the space of about a foot and an half, to press and bind them together, which method Virtruvius, the prince of architecture, recommends. Here was the gild of the Holy Trinity, as appears from the will of Richard Mark, chaplain of Barton Bendish, in 1420. (fn. 9) (fn. 10)
1305, Roger Boydin. Ralph Earl of Monthermer. (fn. 11)
1423, Thomas Poye, resigned. Richard Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, and Lord de Spencer, capital lord of this town, by the marriage of Isabell, daughter and heir of Thomas Lord le de Sépncer and Earl of Gloucester.
Thomas Kypping, rector here, held it united to the rectory of a portion in the church of Narburgh, and was also chantry priest at Oxburgh; by his will, in 1489, he left 20l. to the repair of this church.
1497, Thomas Woderofe; he was also rector of Shingham, and a chantry priest at Oxburgh, and was there buried 17th May, 1540. (fn. 12)
1558, Richard Carter, A. M. ob. King Philip and Queen Mary. (fn. 13)
1583, William Strickland, A. B. The Queen. He was also rector of Melton St. Mary. (See vol. v. p. 14.) In his answer to the King's Queries in 1603, he observes that the church was then profaned, and had only a case standing, and one house in the parish.
Daniel Donne occurs rector in 1636, (fn. 14) and was then vicar of Besthorp, ob.
In Edward the First's time, the rector had a house and 30 acres of glebe; the rectory is valued in the King's Books at 3l. 1s. 10d. ob. and is discharged of tenths and first fruits; the old value was 5 marks, and the vill paid 20d. Peter-pence.
The rector receives from the lord of the manor 6l. 13s. 4d. per annum, and it being returned of that clear yearly value, it is capable of augmentation. It pays 18d. synodals, and 7s. 7d. ob. Archdeacon's procurations, and 9d. ob. visitatorial procurations to the Bishop.