An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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Part of this town was a beruwite in the reign of the Confessor, to Herold's lordship of Fakenham after the battle of the Hastings, wherein he (being King of England) was slain, the Conqueror took possession of it, consisting of two carucates of land, 10 villains, 11 bordarers, &c. 1 carucate in demean, and 3 amongst the men, and half an acre of meadow, &c. 80 sheep, and 4 socmen, with a carucate and 6 acres, and this was valued in the manor of Fakenham. (fn. 1)
It remained in the Crown till King Henry I. granted it to Ralph de Beaufoe, to be held by the service of half a knight's fee; in the 5th of King Stephen, Ralph de Beaufoe had a pardon for 10s. Dane's gelt, and in the said year, Agnes de Beaufoe accounted for 35 marks of silver, her son being then with the Earl of Flanders; and in the first of King John, Gilbert de Norfolk had a patent (for 100 marks and a palfrey given to the King) to enjoy the inheritance of Emme de Bellofago, or Beaufoe, his wife, niece of Ralph de Beaufoe, and in the 7th of that King, she had a charter for her own inheritance here, &c. and her dower of the estate which belonged to Gilbert de Norfolk, her husband, deceased, with a proviso that she should not marry without the King's license. About this time there appears to have been a contest between the said Emme, and Ralph de Beaufoe, a descendant of the aforesaid Ralph, who in the 1st of King John gave a mark to have an assise of D' Ancestor, for half a knight's fee in this town and Burnham, against Gilbert de Norfolk and Emme his wife, and was probably son of Thomas de Beaufoe, who confirmed the grant of his brother Ralph, of the church of South Creak, to Castleacre priory, in the 27th of Henry II. This Thomas came to the estate of Ralph his brother, in the 28th of the said King, and paid then a fine of 100 marks.
In the 10th of King John, Emme conveyed by fine to Hubert de Burgh Earl of Kent, this manor, with that of Ludham, in Nottinghamshire, granted him in reversion after her death; the said Emme had also the lordship of Flitcham in Norfolk; (fn. 2) and gave lands in Nottinghamshire to Thurgarton priory; but in the 17th of Henry III. it appears to be in the family of de Beaufoe, Ralph de Beaufoe then having 12s. per ann. settled by fine, payable for certain services and customs, for 96 acres of land here, and in Burnham, held by John son of Richard.
John Beaufoe died seized of this lordship, in the 10th of Edward III. and in the 20th of that King, Alice Beaufoe was found to hold half a fee in capite of the King, and paid 20s. on the knighting of the King's son, a whole fee being charged at 40s. William Beaufoe, son of John, died lord in the 23d of the said reign, and John was found his son and heir, aged 15: and in the 50th of Edward III. John Beaufoe died seized, and Thomas was found his son and heir, aged 5 years; Sir William de Burgh held it in his nonage, and it was extended at 106s. 8d. per ann. In the 3d of Henry VI. Sir John Beaufoe died possessed of it, and Sir William his brother was his heir.
In the 36th of Henry VIII. John Basset conveyed it to Roger Townsend, and Sir Roger Townsend, Bart. died lord of it in 1636, in which family it remains; the Right Honourable Charles Lord Viscount Townsend died lord, and his son, George Lord Viscount, now enjoys it.
Hugh de Montfort had a lordship in this town, given to him by the Conqueror, on the deprivation of Bond, the Saxon lord, who had 2 carucates of land, 4 villains, 6 bordarers, and 4 servi, with 3 carucates amongst the tenants, or men, and 2 in demean, &c. valued then at 60s. at the survey at 4l. and was one leuca long, and one broad, and paid 4s. gelt. (fn. 3)
Creak Abbey Manor.
The family of de Bodham was early enfeoffed of this lordship. Ralph de Bodham and Nicholas his brother released by deed sans date, all their right in the presentation of this church; Sir Ralph de Bodham was lord in the reign of Henry III. and in the 15th of Edward I. the jury present, that the said knight had 2 fees here, and paid 10s. per annum into the Exechequer, and 20s. per annum to Dover castle ward, and that he gave it to the abbey of Creak, then in possession of it. On the dissolving of Creak abbey, it was granted by King Henry VII. to his mother, the Lady Margaret, Countess of Richmond, who granted it to Christ's college in Cambridge, where it still remains, as in Creak abbey.
The Earl Warren's lordships in North Creak and Burnham Thorp extended into this town; Baldwin de Rosey, or de Roseto, who held considerable lands of the Earl Warren, confirmed by deed sans date, all the benefactions of his ancestors, with a mill in Creak, to the priory of Castleacre; and Roger de Rosey, in the reign of Henry III. possessed the 20th part of a fee, of the Earl Warren; (fn. 4) and in the said reign John de Cocfeld and William Athelwald, held a quarter of a fee of Walter de Calthorp, and he of the aforesaid Earl.
In the 14th of Edward I. it appears by an assise, that Richard, son of Robert Adelwald, had unjustly disseized Robert, son of Richard Adelward, of a free tenement, in Suthcrek and Waterden, with 2 messuages, 70 acres of land, a wind-mill, and 15s. per annum rent, &c.; and in the 29th of that King, Robert seems to convey it to Richard, with lands in Sidestern and Burnham; James Athelwald held, in the 20th of Edward III. a quarter of a fee, and paid 10s. scutage, formerly John de Cockfeld's, and William Athelwald's. Thomas Athelwald of Weston, passed by fine to James, son of Edmund Athelwald of South Creak, and Joan his wife, two messuages, a toft, and 80 acres of land, and to the heirs of James; in the 3d of Edward III. and in the 7th of Henry V. Richard Athelwald of this town was lord, who married Maud, cousin and heir of Beatrix Molebisse, and Mary de Bassing, foundresses of Spiney priory in Cambridgeshire.
On the 3d of April, in the 26th of Henry VIII. Edward Calthorp of Kirby-Cane in Norfolk, Esq. and Thomasine his wife, sold the manor of Roses in this town, Holkham, &c. which Mrs. Elizabeth Calthorp, widow of William Calthorp, Esq. held for life, with the reversion of all the lands held by her, to John Pepys of South Creak, merchant; she was daughter of Ralph Berney of Redham. Thomas Pepys his son, by his will dated October 1, 1569, desires to be buried in this church; bequeaths to John and Roger his sons, to Susan, Eliabeth, Anne, and Barbara his daughters 40l. each, to be paid by Farmer Pepys, his son and heir, and executor. This Thomas sold this manor, July 20th, in the 8th of Elizabeth; but his son Farmer bought it by deed, dated September 30th, in the 12th of Elizabeth, of Edward Goulding, and Mirabel his wife.
In the 3d of Richard I. William, son of Matthew de Candos, gave 17s. rent in Creic; Philip de Candos gave Ringulfwith his tenure, Uschetill with his tenure, Bond the priest, and Letstane his companion, (fn. 5) with their tenures, in this town, with several others here.—Witnesses, William his son, who consented to the grant, and laid the deed on the altar of St. Mary, in the sight of many, Ralph de Roseto, Ralph, de Crec, &c.; and by another deed, wherein he styles himself Philip de Crec, he grants the same things for himself, and Ralph de Roseto, of whose fee it was, Andrew, son of Walter de Suthcreke, Alice, daughter of Ulf de Creke, and mother of Robert, son of Andrew de Creke, granted lands here.
Bartholomew de Creke gave the monks a villain; Robert, son of Hyrdman of Cree, gave several pieces of land here to the convent.— Witnesses, Sir Hugh Bastard, Hosebert de Cailli, Yvan, son of Athelwold, and William his son.
At the Dissolution, Thomas, prior of Castleacre, and the convent, in Michaelmas term in the 29th of Henry VIII. convey it to Thomas Duke of Norfolk, with the appropriated rectory, and the patronage of the vicarage, of this church; Ao. 15th of Elizabeth, license was granted to Francis Pepys to alien it to Richard Percy and Edmund Russel; and September 1, in 22d of James I. Robert Drury aliened it to Edward Fotherby.
By an inquisition taken October 23, in the 14th of Charles I. Henry Beke, Gent. was found to die August 21, 1638, possessed of this manor and impropriation, held of the lordship of Beaufoes in soccage.
The church was a rectory, valued in 1428 at 85 marks; Ralph, son of Ralph de Beaufo, gave it with all its tithes, lands, and homages, to Castleacre priory, for the soul's health of King Henry I. who brought him up, and that of his lord, King Henry II. his grandson, with the meadow at Barsham, and his wood at Stibberd. Witnesses, John, prior of Sporle, Henry, the dean of Fakenham, &c. Thomas de Beaufo confirmed, 29th Henry II. all his right therein for the souls of the said Kings, and his father Ralf:—witnesses, William de Bodham, Robert de Cherevill, &c. and Ralph de Beaufo, son of Thomas, confirmed the grant of Ralf his grandfather and Thomas his father, with all obventions:—witnesses, Simon de Pateshill, Henry, archdeacon of Sleaford, James de Poterna, Richard de Muchegross, Ralf de Stokes, Richard be Gosefeld, &c. they were itinerant justices in the reign of King Henry III. in Norfolk. Gilbert de Beaufo (reciting, that whereas there had been a controversy between him and the monks of Castleacre, about the said church) resigned all his right by the Bishop's advice, and sealed them a deed thereof:—witnesses, Roger, the archdeacon, Reginald de Warren, Ralph de Roseto: and, by another deed, he gave them two parts of the tithes of the demean of his brother. It seems that Alexander, prior of Scheldford (in Nottinghamshire, as I take it) had some grant formerly from this family of the patronage of this church, and had the Pope's bull directed to the abbots of Leicester, of Geronden, with the official of the archdeacon of Leicester, as delegates or judges, who finding the invalidity of their title, released by deed, sans date, to the convent of Castleacre, all their right therein.—The abbot and convent of Creke quit-claimed all their right in the advowson, Ao. 17th Edward II.
Mr. Arnold de Lupo was rector in 14th of Edward I. and had a manse, with one carucate of land; presented by the King; the prior of Castleacre had it appropriated, but the King recovered it, and presented Arnold.
1326, Robert Godwyn, vicar, presented by the prior; in the 14th of Edward I. the vicarage was void by the cession or removal of Hervey the late vicar, but it was appropriated again; the vicar had no manse or land.
King Henry I. before the death of Bishop Herbert, confirmed the church of South Creak to the priory of Castleacre. John of Oxford Bishop of Norwich confirmed to Castleacre priory all the tithes of corn, the farms and houses, and all other things, excepting the offerings of the altar, and small tithe, which were the vicar's; and William Turbe, bishop before him, had appropriated it. The vicar had a patent for a messuage in 24th Edward III.