An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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NORTON - SOUPECORS.
A freeman who was under the protection of the abbot of Bury, and had 30 acres of land with a carucate and an acre of meadow, and 9 freemen held under him 20 acres; at the survey Goscelin possessed it as a moiety of a carucate, valued at 5s. the soc of these 9 freemen was in the King, and the Earl of Norfolk; here was a church endowed with 20 acres of free land, also a freeman in King Edward's time with 8 acres of land and 2 bovates, under protection, valued at 12d. (fn. 1)
Gosceline abovementioned was also lord of Loddon, and assumed his name from that town; (fn. 2) the last of this family of De Loddon dying without issue male, his inheritance came to his three sisters and coheirs; Amicia, one of them, marrying William de Beauchamp, had an interest herein, and his descendant, John de Beauchamp, of Fishyde, granted in the 7th of Edward II. to Simon de Herdeset and Cecilia his wife, the advowson of this church, which came to him by heirship, on the death of his father, Roger de Beauchamp.
Gosceline de Lodnes, as the register of Bury testifies, was enfeoffed of one carucate of land, 5 villains, and 5 bordarers, by abbot Baldwin, in the reign of the Conqueror; and in the 8th of Richard I. a fine was levied between Sampson, abbot of Bury, and Ernald de Charnels, of a manor in Norton-Subcross, which he then acknowledged to hold of the abbot, with those of Ellingham, Quidenham, and Thurton, by one fee, and by castle-guard to Norwich.
In the reign of Edward I. Sir Roger de Hales, as one of Gosceline de Loddon's heirs had an interest in it, and was patron of a moiety of the church. In the 25th of that King, Sir John de Beauchamp, and Roger de Hales, levied a fine of the advowson of the church, and agreed for them and their heirs to present by turns.
Godric had the grant of a small fee, consisting of 37 acres and an half, and a carucate, of which 3 freemen of the abbot of Bennet of Holm were deprived, valued at 5s. On Godric's death it came as an escheat to the Crown, and was granted with the manor of Heckingham, of which it was a part, to the Earl Warren, as may be there seen, and Sir Roger de Thurkelby, a judge, gave it in the reign of Henry III. to Langley abbey. (fn. 3)
Robert Grenon had 12 acres of land, as part of the demean lands belonging to his manor of Loddon, which Osbert held of him; (fn. 4) this was the manor of Bacon in Loddon, to which I refer the reader.
Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, had the grant of 8 acres, out of which Ulketel, a freewoman, was ejected, valued at 8d.; this is placed in Loddon hundred: he also had here 30 acres, of which Ulchetel a freeman was deprived, and 2 tenants held it at the survey of the fee of Ulchetel: there was always a bordarer, with half a carucate and an acre of a meadow, and a freeman under Bigot, with an acre. (fn. 5)
John de Gernemuth, in the 7th of Edward I. had a grant of free warren, in this town, and in Heckingham, and in the 2d year of Edward II. a fine was levied between Roger de Hales, parson of North Walsham church, Ralph de Hales, querents, Roger Grys and Mirabel his wife, deforciants, of 3 messuages, 31 acres of land, with marsh ground, and 6d. rent here and in Helmington.
Ralph de Beaufoe had at the survey, 33 acres, with a carucate and an acre of meadow, of which 2 freemen under the protection of archbishop Stigand were deprived, valued at 2s.; (fn. 6) this was part of Beaufoe's manor of Aldby, or Aldeburgh, (of this see there,) and held by the Roscelynes
Ralf Lord Baynard had the grant of 30 acres, possessed before the conquest by a freeman, and of 2 acres and a half of land, with a carucate and 2 acres of meadow, valued at 10s. which 2 freemen had possessed; (fn. 7) this was part of the Lord Baynard's manor of Kirkeby.
Besides the different fees abovementioned, the Conqueror had in this town, at the survey, 30 acres of land, which belonged to a freeman of the abbot of St. Bennet at Holm, and 2 bordarers with half a carucate, and a half acre of meadow, valued at 4s. and Gosceline de Norwich held it of the King, but now was independant of any lord. (fn. 8)
The abbot of St. Bennet's manor of Reedham extended into this town, and in the 3d year of King Henry III. there was an agreement made between Stephen de Redham and Robert, the abbot, whereby Stephen was to hold the abbot's land here in Norton, by half a mark rent per ann. and in the 11th of Edward I. Nicholas, the abbot, granted to Sir Bartholomew de Redham, that if the manor of Redham should be recovered of John de Ingham, and the manor of Northon, of Sir Thomas de Roscelyn, that then the abbot should give back to Sir Bartholomew the deeds which he gave to the abbot; and by another deed, Sir Bartholomew quit claimed to the abbot the homage of Sir Thomas Roscelyne, for the manor of Norton; dated Ao. 11 Edward I.
It was valued in 1428, at 6s. 8d. and in the reign of Philip and Mary there was a rent issuing out of it, of 4s. 8d. then belonging to the Bishop of Norwich, and formerly to the sacrist of St. Bennet.
The Church is dedicated to St. Margaret, and was a rectory. In the 52d of Henry III. a moiety of the advowson was granted by Maud, widow of Roger de Hales, to Roger, son of Walter de Hales, with lands in Hale and Loddon, and in the 7th of Edward I. John de Beauchamp gave his moiety to Simon de Herdeset and Cecilia his wife.
1324, Gregory de Hedersete was instituted, presented by Sir Symon de Hederset. In the 24 of Edward III. license was granted to Sir John de Norwich, and Remigius Hedersete, to give the advowson of this church to the master and chaplain of St. Mary of Raveningham. Sir John's interest herein, came by his mother Catherine, wife of Sir Walter de Norwich, and a sister of Sir Symon de Hedersete, a judge; and Sir Roger de Hale's interest herein, was also in Sir John Norwich.
In 1350, William Bishop of Norwich appropriated it to the master and chaplains of Raveningham, founded by Sir John de Norwich, reserving a pension of 29s. per annum to the see, and ordaining a vicarage, valued at 10 marks, and the charter of foundation is dated that year.
In 1387, the chantry at Raveningham, for 8 chaplains and a master, was removed by the King's license, and that of Henry Bishop of Norwich, and by Sir John de Norwich's will, to this town; there were then 13 chaplains, and a new fine chapel was built.
1552, John Whyte, by the Lady Joan Denny, relict of Sir Anthony Denny. (fn. 9)
In the 33d of Henry VIII. Sir Anthony Denny had a grant of this appropriated rectory; Roger Castle, Esq. had it in the 8th of Elizabeth, and the curate is said to have the tithe of this town, for officiating here and at Raveningham.
The church is a single pile, and thatched, with a round tower and 3 bells; in the chancel is, azure, three barrulets, argent, and on a canton gules, a lion passant, or, Hales, and ermin, a saltier engrailed gules, Botetourt; also the arms of England in a bordure, argent.