An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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So called from its site, in a watery valley. Lambert was enfeoffed of it, and held it at the survey under the Earl Warren; two freemen, who enjoyed it in King Edward's reign, being dispossessed of it: it contained a carucate of land, 17 bordarers, 2 servi belonging to the demean, who had amongst them, 2 carucates, and a church with 5 acres, and this, with the Earl's fee in Creke, was valued at 20s. but at the survey at 17s. 4d. and was, with that, 3 furlongs long, and 2 broad, and paid 12d. gelt. (fn. 1)
In the 3d of Henry III. Reginald de St. Martin held in this town, and Hempton, by Fakenham, and East-Barsham, one knight's fee, of the Earl Warren, and Roger de St. Martin, his son, held half a fee, of Hugh Bardolf, who held of the aforesaid Earl; and the prior of Fakenham (viz. Hempton) held half a quarter of it in the said reign.
Simon Le Grant conveyed it, in the 12th of that King, by fine, to William de St. Martin, and Petronel his wife, and to her heirs; and in the 3d of Edward I. Roger de St. Martin had the assise of bread, &c.
A fine was levied in the 2d of Edward II. between Robert, son of Richard Adelward of South-Creke, querent, and Richard, son of Robert Adelwald, of the same, deforciant, of 5 messuages, a mill, 80 acres of land, &c. with 5s. rent here, settled on Robert. After the death of Roger de St. Martin, John de Mileham was lord, and in the 7th of Edward III. a fine was levied between William Durant of Sechith, by Lynn, and Millecent his wife, (daughter and heir of Thomas de Mileham,) and Tho. de Mileham and John de Gately, parson of Doketon, who settled this lordship on William, and Millecent in tail; and William Durant, and Millecent, were found in the 20th of the said reign, to hold half a fee of Bardolf, of which the prior of Hempton held half a quarter, late Roger de St. Martin's; and John de Wolterton is said to have aliened to the prior of Damsend, (Hempton,) lands, or a manor here.
In the 39th of Henry VI. William Walton, Esq. was lord of Waterden-Hall, in right of Catherine his wife, daughter and heir of John Dorant, son of William. In 1st of Richard III. John Walton, Gent. son of John Walton, Esq. sold by deed, dated July 18, this manor to Thomas Sefoule, Gent. Richard, and Robert Whinburgh; and the said Thomas was lord in the 14th of Henry VII. and died before the 7th of Henry VIII. and made Elizabeth his wife, and Henry Fermour his executors: he was descended from John Sefoule, a justice of assise, with John de Milford, and John de Hedersete. In the 7th of Edward II. Sir Ralph Sefoule, and Beatrix his wife, were living, and sealed with vert, a cross patonce, or. In the 14th of Edward III. and in the 38th of that King, Edmund Sefoul had lands in Frenge in Norfolk.—George Sefoule purchased land of And. Castell, and Margaret his wife, in this town, 26th of Henry VI.—George and Thomas Sefoule were feoffees of lands in East-Barsham, in the 34th of that King; and George Sefoule of Waterden, according to his will, dated August 5th, 1469, was buried in the church of Waterden, All-Saints, and mentions therein, Margery his wife, Thomas his son and heir, his sons, William, John, and Edward, (fn. 2) Elizabeth his daughter, married to Thomas Davy, &c.
Gyles Sefoule, Esq. was lord in 1556, and married Alice, daughter of Laurence Norton of South-Creke, and heir to her brother John, and had a daughter Margery, married to Henry Hastings of Yaxham, Esq. and Alice, to Richard Manser of North-Creke, and Catherine, to John Hull of Barsham.
Thomas Sefoule, Esq. of Waterden, occurs lord, in the 4th of Elizabeth, and by deed, dated May 3, in her sixth year, grants to Thomas, his son and heir, by Elizabeth his wife, this manor and advowson of the church, and to his lawful heirs in default of which to Anne, and Catherine his daughters, remainder to Nicholas Coote, Gent. and his heirs, &c. and Thomas Sefoule, Esq. on the 10th of June, in the 18th of that Queen, sold to Thomas Farmer of Dunton, lands, with a foldcourse here, of the gift of his father Thomas. Nicholas Sefoule of Waterden, Esq. and Bridget Sefoule, widow, mother of Thomas, were witnesses to a deed, in the 43d of Elizabeth. In the said year, William Thirleby, Gent. and Bartholomew Johnson, had a prœcipe to deliver to William Armiger, junior, Gent. and William Reymes, Gent. this manor; and Henry Sefoule of this town, Gent sold lands in East-Barsham to William Beaumont of Lycham, in Norfolk, Gent. July 10, in the 22d of James I.
The Church of Waterden is dedicated to All-Saints: Roger de St. Martin was patron in Edward the First's reign; the rector had then a manse, with 24 acres of land, valued at 12 marks; the prior of Castleacre a portion at 18s. Peter-pence 18d.—Simon Bishop of Norwich confirmed to the monks of Castleacre, two parts of the tithes of the demeans of Robert de Barsham, Roger de St. Martin, and a mediety of 20 acres of the demeans of William de Burnham.—William, the third Earl Warren, confirmed to that priory, the tithe of Waterden, of the donation of Lambert de Rosej.