An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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The Crown had the lordship of this hundred, and King Henry I. directed his writ to Ralph Basset, and Aubrey de Ver, to the sheriffs and barons of Norfolk, certifying his grant to Eborard Bishop of Norwich, for life, of 100s. per ann. out of the profits and issues of this hundred, and that of Walesham.
Sir William de St. Omer farmed these two hundreds, in the 52d of Henry III. at 9l. per ann.; and in the 3d of Edward I. Sir William let them at 24l. per ann. together with that of Taverham and Walsham;— Nicholas de Castello of Raveningham farmed them at the King's pleasure, in the 10th of that King.
The jury, in the 15th of Edward I. find that John Blaber of Attlebrigg had took sanctuary in the church of St. Matthew in Norwich, in the liberty of the prior of Norwich, and that he confessed himself a thief; but the said church, though in the liberty of the prior, was in the precinct of Blofield hundred, and not in the city liberty, as appears from the records and rolls of Nicholas de Turri, and his associates, late itinerant justices; and that the whole parishes of St. Matthew, St. Hellen's, St. Martin's, and St. Paul's, in Norwich, were in Blofield hundred, and not in the liberty of the city; that Ratone-row, Tomb-land, and all the land to the river Wenson, Norman's land, or Paul's hospital, Holm-street, and St. Giles's hospital, were all in the said hundred, before the charters of the King granted them to the city, which had no hamlet or village belonging to it, out of its walls or suburbs, but Heigham. Sir John de Clavering held this hundred of the Crown in the 9th of Edward II. Bartholomew de Pyveyer had an annuity of 40l. per ann. January 24, in the—of Henry VII. for life, out of the issues of the hundreds of Blofield, East and West Flegg, Happing, Taverham, and Humbleyard; and King James I. by letters patents, dated December 22, Ao. 4°, granted to Sir Charles Cornwallis, Knt. during the lives of Charles, eldest son of Sir William Cornwallis, Thomas Cornwallis, Esq. second son of Sir Charles, and Thomas Cornwallis, Esq. son of Sir William, the hundred of Blofield, with all the rights and profits, paying for the same the rent of 6l. 10s. 4d. per ann.
It appears from the register of St. Bennet's Abbey, that when an estate, which ought to do suit to the hundred court, came to be divided, by sale, descent, or inheritance, by divers persons into divers parts, yet but one suit was to be done. (fn. 1)
There was anciently a deanery with its proper deans, collated by the Bishop of Norwich. The deanery still retains the name of Blofield, but no deans have been collated for above two centuries past, (see in Blofield town,) and this hundred made part of the said deanery.
On an appeal of death, in the King's Bench, in the 38th of Henry III. the defendant pleaded, that he was a clerk, and would not answer; and J. R. then dean of Blofield, came into court on the behalf of the Bishop of Norwich, and demanded him, as a clerk of Norwich diocese, by letters patent of the Bishop, testifying that he constituted J. R. to require and receive him of the court as a clerk of his diocese, and he was delivered to J. R. the court speaking to him, that he should exhibit quick and full justice to him, in the court ecclesiastical, according to the laws ecclesiastical.—This shews the manner, at that time, of pleading the benefit of the clergy.