An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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William de Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford held this town in fee at the survey, of which Edric, a freeman, and captain of King Edward the Confessor's ship, was deprived, containing one carucate of land, 4 villains, and one bordarer, with 2 servi, and 4 acres of meadow, one carucate in demean, and half a one of the tenants, &c. 6 cows, and 60 sheep, 16 goats, a church endowed with 10 acres, valued at 10d. there belonged also to this lordship 10 freemen, with the moiety of another, who were only under the commendation of Bishop Beaufoe's predecessor, with 80 acres of land, 3 of meadow, and 2 carucates; this was valued in part of Birlingham. (fn. 1)
Edric, who was deprived by the Conqueror, fled into Dacia, and was outlawed. Guido, who was seneschal to the Bishops Herbert and Eborard, (who possessed it in right of their see,) by the gift of Beaufoe, was enfeoffed of it, about the year 1095; his descendants assumed the name of De Breideston. Adam de Breideston was lord, and patron of the church, and father of Thomas de Briedeston, who was living in the reign of King John, and left 3 daughters and coheirs; Egidia, married to John de Caston, Oliva, to Robert de Boyton, both living in the 24th of Henry III. as testified by a fine, and Elizabeth, the wife of Robert de Blomvile. Oliva and Elizabeth dying sans issue, the whole estate came to Sir John de Caston, father of Sir Robert de Caston, who married Joan, daughter and heir of Richard Barry, lord of Barry's manor in Rockland Tofts, and was lord of this in the 3d of Edward I. had the assise of bread and beer, &c.
Sir John de Caston possessed it in the 9th of Edward II. and one of the same name presented to this church in 1346. Sir Robert died lord about 1350, he had 2 daughters and coheirs; Margery, who married Sir Robert Carbonel, and Mary, (or Alice,) the wife of William Fastolf, who died S. P.
Sir Robert Carbonel was lord in the 3d of Richard II. and died September 14, an the 21st of that King, as appears from an inquisition taken by Roger Cavendish, eschaetor of Norfolk, &c. John was his son and heir, aged 14. Sir Robert was son of Sir John Carbonel, lord of Baddingham, &c. in Suffolk, the custody of John, his son and heir, was granted by the King, to William Feriby and Thomas Upton, but on the petition of Henry Bishop of Norwich, it was revoked, and granted to that Bishop, December 2, in the 22d of the said reign, this manor being held of that see.
Sir John Carbonel, by his testament, dated, on Friday next after the feast of St. Martin, 1423, gives to Margaret, wife of his son Richard, a chain of gold, to Richard, his silver vessels, jewels, and goods in several manors; mentions his lordships of Breydeston, Caston, Shipdam, West Tofts, Hapton, Tybenham, Brisingham, Ryveshale, Metton, and Antingham in Norfolk; (fn. 2) Baddingham, Saxham, Dalinghoe, Creting, and 3l. per annum in Cratfield, Suffolk; appoints Margery his wife, John Mannying, and John Boys, executors, and was buried in the church of St. John Baptist, of Baddingham: the will was proved March 29, in 1425. He was also lord of Pencethorp, Strumpshagh, Wylby, Wytton, and the Burlinghams in Norfolk.
The will of Sir Richard his son, is dated November 24, 1429; he bequeaths to Margaret his wife (daughter of Sir Thomas Tudenham of Oxburgh) several silver vessels, and jewels; (fn. 3) John his son to have after her decease the moveable altar, and the old heir-lomb, called Caston's-Bolle, (every old family had anciently some particular cup, bolle, &c. that went from the father to the son and heir, and was carefully preserved, highly reverenced, and esteemed,) to Margaret his daughter, a primar, (that is a psalter MSS.) also a silver cup and salter.—Margaret his widow, was buried in 1431, in the church of the Franciscans, at Norwich. Sir Richard is said to have died 1429, in foreign parts, and his son John seems to have died soon after his mother, S. P.
Thomas Peck, clerk, was appointed trustee for the estate of this family, by Sir John Carbonel; and in the 10th of Henry V. he enfeoffed Sir Robert Brews, John Fitz Rauf, Oliver Groos, William Paston, John Mannyng, Henry Pakenham, &c. on the feast of St. Philip and James. Great part of which estate, that particularly which Sir Robert Carbonel held in right of his wife Margery, daughter and coheir of Sir Robert de Caston, came to the Berneys, as heirs to Thomas de Berney, who married Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir William de Reedham, and Margaret his wife, daughter of Sir Robert de Caston and Joan his wife, heiress of Richard Barry abovementioned.
John Berney, Esq. son and heir of Thomas Berney, and Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir William de Reedham, by his will dated in 1440, inherited this lordship, &c. and ordered his feoffees to make an estate of it, to Thomas his son, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir John Heveningham. (fn. 4) Thomas married Elizabeth, daughter of John Clipsby, Esq. and by his will, dated on Thursday next after the feast of St. George, 1441, appoints his wife to have a 3d part of this manor, &c. for her jointure: in this family it remained till sold to Sir James Edwards, Bart. about 1700.
The length of the church is about 22 yards, the breadth 7 yards, is a single pile, has a little square tower about 45 feet high, with 3 bells, also a chancel, which with the church is covered with lead.