An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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This ancient town takes its name from the Britons. In the grand survey, or book of Domesday, it is wrote Lena, and Lun, and in the foundation deed of William de Warrenna (Earl Warren) of the priory of Lewes in Sussex, in the reign of King William I. Lunea. In the British language it signifies a pool, or lake. Giraldus Cambrensis calls Lhyn Savathan in Wales, Lacus Magnus, a great lake Leland in his Itinerary, and Camden give the same interpretation, and Selden in his notes on Drayton's Polyolbion confirms the same. (fn. 1)
That the same word was used in the same sense by other nations, appears from the town of Lyn in Suitland, and Lunden in Denmark, also a city in Sweden, and that the site of Lynn Regis is agreeable to, and answers the derivation abovementioned, in a good measure at present, and more so in ancient days, is evident.
Camden was of opinion that the town was not of any antiquity, but sprung up out of the ruins of what is called Old Lynn, or West Lynn, which lies on the west and opposite side of the great river Ouse, and with Sir Henry Spelman, supposes it to be called in the time of the Saxons, Maydenburg, importing, the Maiden's-Bowre, Virginis Sacrarium et velut Thalamus, the chapel, or retiring place of the Virgin, that is of St. Margaret the Virgin, the tutelar saint, or patroness of the town, but that it ever was so called is gratis dictum, and the interpretation of Mayden-Bowre, quite erroneus and fanciful.
Magdeburgh, or Maydenburgh, a city of Germany, seated on the Elbe, is indeed by historians called Parthenopolis, and Virginopolis, which words literally interpreted, signify a Maiden's-Town, but Heylen justly calls this a mungrel word made up of Greek and Latin, (fn. 2) and is by no means a true derivation of Magdeburgh, which is a Saxon name, taken from its site, as was the custom in the Saxon age, and before. May, or Mag, signifies some considerable water, or river, thus Mayence, or Mentz, a city in Germany, on the Rhyne, and Maestrict, seated on the river Maes, &c. Den, bespeaks a low situation, in a valley, and Bowre, is from Bow-Re, that is where the water makes a bow, a turn or winding; of the same derivation is the town of Maidenhead, or Maydenhethe in Berkshire, on the confluence of the Thames and the Kennet.
Etymologists have been very deficient on this subject: they relate that this town assumed its name from the head of one of those eleven thousand virgins, or Maidens' Heads, who suffered with St. Ursula, which head was had in great veneration and worshipped in the said town of Maydenhead; (fn. 3) but Sirmondus, a learned jesuit, has exposed this stale monkish tradition and fiction, and shewn that Ursula, and Undecimilla were 2 virgin saints and martyrs, and the name of Undecimilla came through the ignorance of some transcriber to be wrote and changed into Undecem Millia, that is in English 11000, and thus by one stroke of the pen, so great a number of virgins were canonized.
And that the real and true derivation of Maydenhead was as I have above observed, is confirmed by what Leland says, (fn. 4) that its ancient name was South Ailington, which signifies a town lying by the water, or in watery meadows.
At this Maydenburgh, as some have fancied Lynn to have been called, they also suppose St. Edmund the King of the East Angles landed, when he came out of Germany about the year 870, but why Lynn should be thus called at that time, and not so in the time of the Confessor A. 1043, but should lose the name of Maydenburgh in the space of about 170 years, and be then called Lyn, will be a difficulty to be accounted for.
It is therefore most probable that this was altogether owing to some monkish artifice since the conquest, to magnify the ignorant passive zeal of the vulgar, for the tutelar saint of this town, St. Margaret the Virgin; as that was at Maydenhead for the 11000 virgins and saints: so that Lynn may be justly supposed to have retained its ancient British name without any change or alteration to this time.
Many townships in this neighbourhood owe their names to the Britons, with some small addition, as that of Ton by the Saxons, as I shall show under those towns, which is a proof, that the Britons had many towns and settlements here; and among them, this of Lynn may, on account of its advantage in site, &c. be esteemed the most considerable.
The name is not only a proof of its antiquity, but the principal lordship of the town confirms it, which was at the survey, and in the reign of the Confessor, in the see of Elmham, or East-Angles. What King gave it to that see, does not appear, but it is highly probable that Felix, the first Bishop of the East-Angles, was in possession of it and of Elmham, about the year 630, and Bedwin was Bishop of Elmham in 673.
That its situation answers its name and derivation appears from its real site, on a great level and flat filthy rich soil, close to the east side of the great river Ouse, which brings with it to this port, from its rise in Northamptonshire, the waters of Buckingham, Bedford, Huntingdon, and Cambridgeshire, with those of Norfolk and Suffolk, and empties itself below this port into the great German Ocean.
The river Nar, or Sechy river, falls also into the Ouse, near the south gates of Lynn.
The river that comes from Ashwicken, Mintlyn, &c. runs cross the town, and empties itself at Lady Bridge, as does the river from Geyton and Lesiat by Purflete Bridge.
To this we may add, that the sea meeting all these waters with great rage and violence on spring tides, and tempestuous, windy weather, forces them back, and at times occasions inundations, and more frequently in former times, before the many banks, mounds, &c. were raised which now guard and defend it, which if removed or neglected, would reduce it to its original state, and render it again as a pool or lake.
The country also on the west side of the Ouse, called Marshland, is subject, from its site, surrounded on every side with water, to be overflowed both by fresh and salt waters: before the year 1181, it was so drowned, that there was no dwelling-house or land, that any profit could be made of, in the town of Wygenhale St. Mary Magdalen, from Bustard Dole, to the southern bounds or end of it, except the monastery or hermitage of Crabhouse, or Crab-Ouse, but all was a sea.
The river Nene also used to flow directly from Peterborough to Lynn; and in the 3d of King Edward III. it was found to do so, till Walter de Langton Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, Lord Treasurer to King Edward I. had 28 years last past stopped up the passage of it at Upwell, to drain his manor of Coldham; the waters that then bounded Lynn were called the waters of Lynn, and the marshes on that side, as far as West Walton, were called the marshes of Lynn.
In the 11th year of King Edward II. a commission of sewers was directed to John de Ingaldesthorp, and Richard de Walsingham, reciting that in South Lynn, above 500 marks damage was done on account of the defect of gutters, sewers, and drains; and in the 11th of Edward III. the said township was greatly damaged and impoverished, by inundations from the sea, and the loss in the country about Lynn was so great, that the King, in compassion, remitted their taxes.
In the 2d of Richard II. a commission was directed to William Ufford Earl of Suffolk, &c. on complaint of the towns of Wygenhale, Islynton, Tilney, Clenchwarton, Watlington, Rungton, Holm, Sechy, and West Winch, that the river Ouse, which ran through those townships into the sea, and was within 30 years past not above 12 perches broad, by the breaches in, and decay of the banks, was grown to the breadth of a mile; upon which, by an inquisition at Wigenhale, it was found that the banks on both sides of the said river were so much broken, that not only those townships, but also South Lynn and Hardwick, were in danger of being destroyed; and in 1570, on the 2d and 3d of October, all Marshland was so drowned by the sea waters, that there were not ten rods of whole sea-bank from Old or West Lynn to Mag- dalen Bridge in Wigenhale; and on November 1, 1613, the sea broke in with such violence, on Marshland, that the damage was estimated at 37862l. and many inundations have been since that time.
On the south-east parts of this town, from the hamlet of Hardwick, (which signifies a turn of water at the point of hard land) to the south gates of Lynn, is raised a long and broad substantial causey over the marsh, as a security (as well as a road) against the waters on that side; and between Hardwick and West Winch, is a considerable ditch and bank (anciently called Green Dike) joining to the aforesaid causey; and like banks, &c. may be observed to the east and north-east parts of the said town, as far as Gaywood bridge.
Such a situation as this was particularly made choice of, on account of the difficulty of access in time of danger, or approach of an enemy; being easily fortified and defended: and on account of trade, ease, and conveniency of importing and exporting all manner of goods and merchandise, to and from foreign countries. Such a situation as this Camillus, the Roman Dictator, applauded and boasted of in his speech to the citizens of Old Rome, and encouraged them to keep possession of it, and not to desert it, when the Gauls had sacked it.—Non sine causa Dij, Hominesq. hunc urbi condendæ locum elegerunt, flumen enim opportunem, quo ex mediterraneis locis fruges devehantur, quo maritimi commeatus accipiantur. Mare vicinum ad commoditates, nec expositum nimia propinquitate ad periculum classium exterarum. (fn. 5)
Having thus treated on the name and site of this Burgh, the next particular that offers itself, will be to consider the ancient tenures of lordships of it; the most ancient and authentic account of this, is from the Conqueror's book of Domesday, made in the year 1085, at which time, and in the Confessor's, this town, with the townships or hamlets of West, North, and South Lynn, we find to be all included under the general name of Lena, and Lun, the distinction of West, North. and South not being till some centuries after, as will appear under the history of those places.
In this most valuable book we learn that Ralph Lord Tony had a lordship in Lena, which Harold held in King Edward's time, and which he lost with his crown, at the battle of Hastings; this was South Lynn.
Ralph Lord Baynard, had in Lena, a lordship, this also was in South Lynn, and extended into the other hamlets.
Hermer de Ferrarjis had in Lun, a lordship; this was in West Lynn, and also extended into the other hamlets.
Rainald, son of Ivo, had a lordship in Lena, which extended into all the hamlets.
The abbot also of Bury, had in Lena a lordship; this was North Lynn.
These are the only lordships (with some few particulars that are to be found relating to them) that occur under the name of Lena, and Lun, and of those 1 shall treat at large, in their proper place.
But none of these lords were the chief, or capital lords of that part of Lena or Lynn, which is now called the Burgh: the two great lords of that in the Confessor's reign, were Agelmare Bishop of Elmham, as lord of Geywode, in right of that see, and Stigand, as lord of the manor of Rysing, and of the hundred of Freebridge, which Stigand was Archbishop of Canterbury, but held this and many more lordships in his own right, as a lay see. Agelmare and Stigand are not expressly named under the name of Lena, to be lords of the town, though Stigand is mentioned to have the soc of the lordships of Ralph Lord Baynard, Hermer de Ferrariis, and Rainold, son of Ivo, probably as lord of the hundred, and the reason of their not being mentioned as lords of this part, (the Burgh part) is, because that was included, valued and accounted for under the lordships of Geywood and Rysing, and the Burgh part was as beruites, or little manors, depending on those great and capital ones, which extended into that part. Many towns are not mentioned in the book of Domesday, which has induced historians to conclude, that they were not in being at that time, and has been the occasion of great mistakes, they not reflecting on the true end and design of the book, which was to set forth every tenure, under the capital manor to which it belonged, in the town where that capital manor had its site; so that the town wherein such a tenure lay is not often mentioned, and when it is, it is named to be a beruite to the said capital manor. Many examples of this are to be found, and such is the case now before us.
One part or moiety, at least, if not more, was (as I have observed) in Agelmare or Ailmar, Bishop of Elmham, a Saxon married prelate, in the time of King Edward the Confessor, in right of his capital manor of Geywood, which extended into this town, and being deprived of his see of Elmham, of which Geywood was a member, in 1370, was succeeded by Herfast, or Arfast, who removed his see from Elmham to Thetford, and was lord. On whose death William de Beaufoe was preferred to it, and was Bishop when the grand survey was made, in 1085, when it appears from the said book, that he was Lord of Gaywode, (and consequently of this manor) in right of his see of Thetford. (fn. 6) Herbert his successour translated the see to Norwich, and on his foundation of the priory of the Holy Trinity in his church of Norwich in 1101, gave the church of Lynn, with a manor, all his salt-works, and marshes, at Geywode and Lynn, to the priory aforesaid, to hold them as freely, quit and exempt of all customs and services, as he himself, Arfast, and William his predecessors enjoyed them; and erected also a priory as a cell to that of Norwich, on the south side of St. Margaret's church which he had built.
That it was a place of trade and consequence, before and in the reign of the Conqueror, and the capital manor in Lena, appears from its enjoying the privilege of certain duties and customs, with a tolboth in this town, and before the Norman conquest, payable on the arrival of any goods or merchandises by sea or land, and the Bishop was then in full possession of a moiety; which the Conqueror on his deprivation seized on, and gave to his brother Odo Bishop of Baieux, in Normandy; and on his rebellion against King William II. that King granted it to William de Albini, his butler, called Pincerna Regis, as I shall show when I treat of his manor; how long before this the Bishops of Elmham enjoyed this, I cannot determine, or when they had the first grant of this manor, but it is highly probable, it was very early in the Saxon age, and at that time they had the grant of the towns of Dunwich and Elmham, about the year 630, and Bedwin, on a division of the see of Dunwich, held the see of Elmham in 673.
King Henry I. granted to the priory of Norwich, a fair here, for three days, on the feast of St. Margaret, &c. with soc, sac, and other customs, as was found by an Inspeximus of this, in the reign of Richard II. and King Henry II. confirmed to the monks, all the grants and privileges of his predecessors, and what Herbert Bishop of Norwich, &c. had given them.
William of Newburgh, who lived in the reign of Richard I. calls Lynn, Urbs commeatu et commercijs nobilis, (fn. 7) a city noble, or of note, for its trade and commerce; and the Jews, a people in all ages famous on this account, had great numbers (as he relates) of them settled here, and being enraged on the conversion of one of their body to Christianity, they set upon him, in order to have slain him; who to prevent it, took sanctuary in a church: they broke open the doors, and would have taken him out by force. On this noise and uproar, a number of the Christians came to his rescue, but the inhabitants being in fear of the King, who had taken the Jews under his protection, acted on the reserve; on which many young strangers and foreigners, who were in the town on account of their trade, fell on the Jews, killed several of them, burnt and plundered their houses, and these foreigners, to avoid the King's anger, took shipping directly with their spoil. At this day there is a street called from them Jews-street, where they lived together: they had then great indulgencies, which they paid the government for, bought houses and lands, which rendered them hated by the natives and Christians; and in many ancient deeds may be seen a form of warranty against selling land, &c. to them; viz. Et cuicunq; dare, vendere, et assignare volue'nt, præterquam domuj religiosæ et Judaismo, vel Judæis.
John of Oxford Bishop of Norwich granted in the said reign, 1187, to the altar of his church of the Holy Trinity, at Norwich, 3 marks of silver per ann. to be paid out of his Stone-house, which he had built on the sea bank, by St. Nicholas chapel, in Lynn to the west, and Peter, son of Gaufride, son of Durand of Oxeneford, and his heirs, to whom we granted the said house, shall pay the said old rent, also 12d. per ann. to us and our successours, and shall reserve to us one of the cellars that is in the front of the house for to put wine in. (fn. 8)
John de Grey, who succeeded in the see of Norwich, in his fourth year, 1204, being desirous of possessing those lands, privileges, &c. in this town, which Herbert his predecessor, &c. had conveyed to the priory of Norwich, made an exchange with them, granted to them his manors of Secheford and Great Cressingham in Norfolk, and all the lands thereto belonging, excepting to himself and successours, the advowson of the church of Great Cressingham, with the knights fees and services belonging to the said manors, as he had in other manors of the monks; and the priory resigned to him and his successours, all their rights and profits in the fairs of Lynn and Geywode, with the Saturday mercate, all their lay fees therein, the annual rent of 3 marks in a house by St. Nicholas' church, and a messuage by Purflete bridge; all their salt works, with their profits, and their right in half a mark per ann. paid by the dean of Lynn, all their right in the toll, all their rents and perquisites which they had in Lynn, or without, exoept Hagelose, which they held by virtue of a lay fee.
And the said Bishop, by another deed, then dated, appropriated to the said priory, the church of St. Margaret, with all its spiritualities, tithes, oblations, and obventions, with the chapels of St. Nicholas and St. James, also the church of Mintling, with all its appertenances, with all the tithe belonging to the demean lands of his lordship of Gaywode, on condition that they take care to have the said churches and chapel served by their chaplains, to be removed or admitted (on any just cause) at the will of the Bishop, and that it should be lawful for him only, to erect any chapel in the aforesaid parishes, and if any was erected, the priory should have the sole profit of it. The town by this exchange being for the greatest part again in the Bishops of Norwich, obtained the name of Bishop's-Lynn, and was so called in all deeds, and writings, till alienated to the Crown in the reign of King Henry VIII.
Before this exchange in 1201, he had built a stately palace, with proper appertenances at his manor of Geywode, and now was intent of obtaining great privileges by his interest with the King, for this town; and having certified the King of this exchange made between him and the priory of Norwich, he obtained a grant from the King of a free burgh for this town.
The King in his charter sets forth, "That on the request and petition of John, the second of that name, Bishop of Norwich, he had granted that the village of Lenn should be a free burgh for ever, and have all the liberties and free customs, which free burghs have in all respects, saving to that Bishop and his successours, and to William Earl of Arundel and his heirs, those liberties and customs, which they have of old held in the said village, &c."—The witnesses were Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury, William Bishop of London, Geff. Fitzpiers Earl of Essex, Rand. Earl of Chester, Jeffrey de Say, &c. Given under the hand of Simon de Wells, provost of Beverley, at Lambeth, 27 Jan. Ao. 5°.
Joannes Dej gratia, &c.— Noveritis Nos ad instantiam, et petitionem venerabilis patris nostri, Joh. Norwic. Episci. secundi, concessisse, et hâc p' senti chartâ nostra confirmasse, qd. villa de Lenn, sit libr. Burgus in perpetuum, et habeat omnes libertates et liberas consuetudines quas liberj burgi habent omnib; salvis ipso Episco. et successor. suis, et Willo. Comitj Arundel, et heredib. suis libertatib; et consuetudinib; quas ipsi in p'dictâ villâ antiquitus habuerunt. Quare volumus, et firmiter p'cipimus qd. p' dicta villa de Lenn, sit liber Burgus in p' petuum, et habeat omnes libertates et consuetudines liberas quas liberi burgi nostri habent omnibus, bene, et in pace, liberè et quietè et integrè, plenariè et honorificè, sicut p' dictum est. Testib; Dno Hubo. Cantuariensi archiepisc: Wo. Lond. Episc. G. Fil. Petri Comite Essex, R. Comiti Cestrie, Galfr de Say, &c. Dat. p. man. S: Præpositi de Beverley, et apud Lamb. 27 die Jan. Ao. regni nostri quinto.
The said King also in his fifth year granted to the Bishop and his successours an annual fair on the translation of St. Nicholas, and for 15 days following, saving to the Earl of Arundel and his heirs, the rights belonging to them, (which seems to be a moiety of the profits, toll, stallage, piccage, &c.) and saving to the city of London their liberties. (fn. 9) The King also granted to the said Bishop a fair at Lenn, for 15 days, on the feast of St. Margaret, 7 days before and 7 days after the said feast, sans date.
The feast of St. Margaret was kept on July 20, and agreeable to this charter it was thus held in the beginning of the reign of King Edward I. when the fair of Robert de Tateshale, and Sir John de Vaux, at Boston in Lincolnshire, was found to be greatly injurious to this of St. Margaret. After this, in or about the 3d of Henry IV. Henry le de Spencer Bishop of Norwich, had it altered, and held on the feast of St. Peter, ad Vincula, or Lammas day, August 1, and for the same number of days as above mentioned.
It is to be observed here, that as the King had by charter granted Lynn to be a free Burgh, so it was necessary that the Bishop, as lord of the burgh, should do the same, and was undoubtedly obliged also to certify his consent, and approve of the same.
In a charter therefore to this purpose, he certifies,
"That he had granted to his village of Lenn, viz. to all the parish of St. Margaret, in the said village, and all men dwelling therein, all and every the same liberties which the Burgesses of Oxford enjoy, the King having granted to him a power of choosing any burgh in England, and that his village of Lynn should enjoy the same liberties that any burgh enjoyed, which he should thus make choice of, and that he made choice of the burgh of Oxford."
He therefore wills that this his village should be a free burgh, and have all the liberties in every respect as the burgh of Oxford, saving to himself and successours for ever, all those liberties and customs which he held and does hold in the said village of Lenn according to what the charter of John King of England witnesses, which he has granted concerning the liberties conferred on the said burgh — To this, the witnesses were—Jeffrey, archdeacon of Norwich, Thomas, his brother, Master William de Linn, Master Robert de Gloucestre, Master Ran. de Harpel, Jordan, the chaplain, John de Uffinch, Henry, son of Simeon, Robert de Grey, Nicholas de Lisney, Richard Basset, Reginald de Nottingham, &c. granted at London, by the hand of Jeff. de Derham, 9th of the calends of April, in the fourth year of his pontificate.
Charta Joh. Le Grey, Episci. Norwic.; Burgensibus de Lenna.
Omnib; ad quos præsens scriptum p'venerit—Johan. Dei gratia, Norwicens. Episc. salut. in Dno. sempiternam—Noverit universitas vestra nos concessisse et p' sentij chartâ confirmasse ville nostre de Lenn, viz. Toti parochie eccl'ie Sce. Margarete in eadem villa, et omnib; hominib; in eade. parochia manentib; omnes et easdem libertates quas habent burgenses de Oxeneford, quia Dominus Rex nobis, p. chartam suam concessit, ut eligeremus burgum in Anglia quemcunq; vellemus, ut easdem libertates quas burgus ille habet, haberet et villa nostra de Lenna, et nos elegimus Oxenefordiam. Et ideo volumus, qd. eadem villa liber sit burgus, et easdem libertates habeat, quas habet burgus de Oxeneford in omnib; salvis nob. et successoribus nostris in perpetuum, omnib; libertatib; et consuetudinib; quas habuimus et habemus in villa nostra de Lenna, secundum quod charta Dni Regis Anglie Johannis testatur, quam nobis fecil de libertatib; eidem burgo collatis. Quarc volumus et p'cipimus, ut p'dicti burgenses habeant et teneant omnes res et possessiones suas liberè et quietè honorifice, plenariè et integrè secundum quod supradiximus—Hijstestib; Galfrido, Archidiacono Norwic. Thome Fratre suo, Magro. Willo. de Lenna. Magro. Robo. de Gloucestre, Rano. de Harpel, Jordano Capellano, John de Uffinch, Heno. filio Simeonis, Robo. de Grey, Nicho. de Lisney, Rico. Basset, Regino. de Nottingham, et multis aliis—Dat. apud London. p. manum Mag. Galfridi de Derham 9°. kalend. Apr. Pontificat. nostri Ao. Quarto.
To this was the Bishop's seal, his effigies in pontificalibus, and Joh. Dei gratia episcop. Norwicens.—the reverse—the holy lamb, with the cross, and Ecce Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi.
What these liberties were will best appear from the charter of King Henry II. who made that a free burgh.
"KNOW ye that I have granted and confirmed to my citizens of Oxenford, all the liberties, customs, &c. which they had in the time of my grandfather King Henry I. Namely, their merchants gild, with all its liberties and customs, &c. so that no one who was not a brother of that gild should merchandise in the said city, or suburbs; that they should be free from all toll, passage, and all duties, &c. through all England and Normandy, by land and by water, &c. with other customs and liberties that they held in common with the citizens of London, and that they serve on with the said citizens, in the office of his butler, and carry on merchandise with them in London and all other places. And that if at any time they should be in doubt, what they should do, they should send their messengers to London, and what those citizens determined, they should confirm it, as right; and that they be not impleaded on account of any claim, out of Oxenford, but if they were, they might traverse the same according to the laws and customs of the city of London, and no otherwise; for they and the citizens of London had one and the same custom, law, and liberty." He also grants them soc and sac, toll and theme, infangtheof, and all other liberties and customs, &c. as they held in the time of his grandfather, King Henry I. and as all the citizens of London enjoy.
These were considerable liberties and privileges; and no wonder, as this King had a love and affection for this city, on account of their fidelity to his mother Maud, the Empress, and to himself in the war against King Stephen; this charter therefore the Bishop made choice of: as he had been secretary of King John, and a justice itinerant, he was no doubt well apprized of the greatness of it; and as I take it, he was a native of Oxfordshire, and born at Greys, or Greys-court in that county, where his ancestors had large possessions. His father, Richard de Grey, was a benefactor to the monastery of Eynsham. Hawise de Grey, his brother's wife, gave to it the church of Cornewell in the said county, and the Bishop gave the church of Swetford, with the chapel of Sinewell in the said county, to the canons of Ousey.
Agreeable therefore to this choice and request of the Bishop, King John grants what is called the Grand Charter of Lynn, in his sixth year, September 14, by which it became a free burgh for ever, with soc, and sac, tholl, theam, infangthief, and utfangthief, free through all his land and ports, of tolls and tallage, passage, payage, pontage, lastage, lione, and Danegeld, and all other customs, excepting the liberties of the city of London, and from all suit of country or hundred court, for tenures within the burgh of Lenn; and that none of them should be impleaded out of the burgh in any plea, but in those of foreign tenures, and that all trials of murder should be in the said burgh, and the burgesses freed from all trials by combat or duel, and if impleaded in any, except a foreign one, they might traverse the same, according to the law and custom of Oxford; that no one should have dwelling or entertainment there by force, or assignment of the Earl-marshal; that no miskenning be allowed; that they keep a husting-court once a week, and have a merchant's guild, &c. according to that of Oxford, and all pleas thereto belonging, to be held at Lenn. And if any one throughout all England should take toll or custom from any burgess, except the citizens of London, the provost of Lenn may recover damages by the writ of namium. That all merchants whatever may come to the said burgh, with their merchandise, and depart freely and safe, having paid the just customs and dues of the said burgh; and no one is to offer any injury to, or molest the said burgesses under the penalty of 10l. and if the burgesses should be in any doubt in any point what to do, they should send messengers to Oxford, and what the burgesses of Oxford should determine, should be firm and valid, saving to the said John Bishop of Norwich, and his successours for ever, and to William Earl of Arundel and his heirs, the liberties, &c. which they have held, and ought to hold, in the said village of Lenn, for ever. Witnesses, Jeffrey Fitz Piers Earl of Essex, William Earl of Salisbury, William Briewer, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Simon de Pateshull, William de Cantilupe, James de Poterna, John de Stokes, Andrew de Beauchamp.— Given under the hand of Hugh Archdeacon of Wells, at Lutgareshall, 14th September, ao. 6.
Johannis Dei gratia Rex Angl. D'ns. Hib. Dux Norm. Aquit. Com. Andeg. Archiep. Episc. Abbat. Comit. Baron. Justic. Vicecomitib; Prepositis, Minst. et Omn. Ballivis et Fidelib; suis, Salut.
NOVERITIS NOS ad instantiam et petitionem venerab. patris nostri J. Norwicens. Epis. secundi, concessisse et p'senti charta nostra confirmasse Burgensib; de Lenna quod burgus de Lenna sit lib. burgus in p'petuum, et habeat socc. et sacc. tholl, theam, infangenethief et utfangeneth. et quod ipse per totam terram nostram, et per omnes portus maris quieti sint de tholon. stallagio, passagio, paag. pontag. lestag. et de line, et de Daneg. et omnia alia consuetudine, salva libertat. civitatis London. et qd. nullam sectam comit. vel hundredor. faciant de tenuris infra Burgum de Lenna. Concessimus autem eisd. burgens. et hac charta nostra confirmavimus qd. nullus eor. placitet extra Burgum de Lenna de ullo placito, preterplacita de tenuris exterioribus. Concessimus et eis quietantiam murdri infra Burgum de Lenna; et qd. nullus eorum faciat duellum, et qd. de placitis ad coronam p'tinentib; se possint disrationare secundum legem et consuetud. Oxon. et qd. infra Burgum p'dict. nemo capiat hospitium p. vim, vel p. liberationem marescallorum; et qd. in Burgo illo in nullo placito sit miskenninga, et qd. husteng semel tantum in Edomada teneatur. Concessimus etiam eis gildam mercatoriam, et qd. terras et tenuras vadia sua et debita sua omnia juste habeant quicunq; eis debeat, et de terris suis et tenuris que infra Burgum p'dict. sunt rectum eis teneatur secund. legem et consuetud. Burgi Oxon. et de omnib; debitis suis que accommoda fuerint apd. Lennam, et de vadiis ibidem factis placita apud Lennam teneantur; et si quis in tota Anglia theolon. et consuetud. a Burgens. de Lenna ceperit, excepta ut superius civitate London postquam ipse a recto defecerit, prepositus de Lenna Namium inde apud Lennam capiat. Insuper ad emendation. p'dicti Burgi de Lenna concessimus qd. quicunq; mercatores petierint Burgum de Lenna cum mercato suo, de quocunq; loco fuerint, sive extranei, sive alij qui de pace nostra fuerint, vel de licentia nostra in terram nostram venerint, veniant, morentur, et recedantur in salva pace nostrâ reddendo rectas consuetudines illius Burgi. Prohibemus et nequis p'dict. Burgensib; injuriam vel dampnum vel molestiam faciat, super forisfacturam decem librarum. Preterea concessimus eisd. Burgens. qd. si de aliquo judicio dubitaverint vel contenderint quid facere debeant, de hoc mittant nuntios suos Oxon. et qd. inde Burgens. Oxon. judicaverint, ratum et firmum habeatur. Salvis in p'petuum p'dicto J. Norwic. Episco et success. suis, et Willo, Comiti Arundell et hered. suis, libertatib; et consuetud. quasi in p'dicta villa de Lenna antiquitus habuerunt et habere debuerunt. Quare volumus et firmiter percipimus qd. p'dicti Burgens. de Lenna et heredes eor. hec omnia p'dicta hereditarie in p'petuum habeant et teneant, bene et in pace, libere quiete integr plenarie, et honorificè sicut p'dictum est— Testib; Gaufrido Fil. Petri Com. Essex, Willo. Com. Sarum. Willo. Briewerr, Tho. Basset, Simone de Pateshull, Willo, de Kauntilup. Jacobo de Potern. J. de Stoke, Andr. de Bellocampo.—Dat. p. manu' Hugonis Archidiac. Wellens. apud Lutegareshal decimo quarto die Septemb. anno regni Nostri Sexto.
And what privileges could not this powerful and rich prelate obtain of his King who in his fifth year had pawned to him his regalia, the great crown of England, the gilt sword, surcoat, tunick, and dalmatick of Edward the Confessor, with his girdle, sandals, gloves, spurs, &c. all which he received by the hands of John de Ufford, the King's chaplain: to this we may add, that all, or most of this King's prime ministers, were natives of this county. Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury, &c. was born at West Derham; Hubert de Burgh Earl of Kent, lord justiciary of England, governor of Dover castle, &c. at Burgh, in Flegg hundred, as was his brother Jeffrey Bishop of Ely; and John de Brancaster, (fn. 10) and Jeffrey Fitz Piers Earl of Essex, justiciary of England, &c. was founder of Shouldham abbey.
In the said sixth year the tax or tallage of the King, amounted to 635l. in one year, (fn. 11) which is a proof of the trade and flourishing state of the town at that time, London then paying 836l. 12s. 6d.
We find also another proof of its good state, from there being mints here for the coining of money, belonging to the King and the Bishop; this was a privilege granted to several bishops and great abbots, in the Saxon age; and in his 9th year, (1208) King John sent his mandate to all the mint-masters, keepers of the stamps in Winchester, Exeter, Chichester, Canterbury, Rochester, Ipswich, Norwich, Lenn, Lincoln, York, Carlisle, Northampton, Oxford, St. Edmund's Bury, Durham, &c. to bring (cuneos vestros) your stamps, and not (nostros) ours, to Westminster, in the space of 15 days, from the morrow of the feast of St. Dennis. (fn. 12)
Before this, in the 6th of the said King, it appears that there were 3 mints in Chichester, two belonging to the King, and one belonging to the Bishop, (fn. 13) and that the King had also his mint here in the 35th of Edward I. We find from a writ, then dated, and directed to the wardens (custodib;) of it in Lenn, to seize upon all prohibited money, and to put the statute against it in execution; also from a compotus of the chamberlains of Lenn, at that time, wherein 6d. stands charged given out of courtesy to a messenger of the King's, bringing a writ to the keeper of the mint.
Some persons have fancied that the mints were not in Lynn, but at Mintling, a little hamlet at this time near Lynn, which took, as they conceive, its name from them, whereas the name is taken (as I in its place shall show) from its site. Mints were not permitted to be in such private villages or hamlets, but in cities or in burgh towns, and in fortified secure parts thereof. How long it held this privilege is not clear; King Edward III. in his 18th year, reduced all coinage to the standard of the Tower of London, and enjoined all other mints to take their coining-tools or stamps from the Tower, allowing them but one pound and 5 shillings profit in the coinage of an 100l. so that other mints grew weary, and left it off; and probably from this time, the mint here became useless.
It is a traditionary report, and believed by the good people of Lynn, that King John also granted to this burgh, the honour and privilege of a mayor; but historians attribute the grant to King Henry III. Sir Henry Spilman was also of this opinion, and says that King John gave them only a prætor, on the entreaty of Bishop Grey; and that King Henry III. honoured them with a mayor, for their fidelity to him against the rebellious barons; but, it is certain, that there was a provost at the head of this burgh when King John granted his charter in his 6th year, and no mayor; and, it does not appear that Oxford, whose privileges, liberties, &c. the Bishop chose, and adopted for his town of Lynn, had at that time a mayor. (fn. 14)
It seems to me, that the person who was at this time at the head of the burgh, the præpositus, was one named and appointed absolutely by, and at the will and pleasure of, the Bishop, and was probably his chief steward, or bailiff. The time assigned for King Henry's grant of a mayor is in his 52d year, 1267, but this is gratis dictum, and will be found to be a grand mistake; that it was a mayor town before the death of King John, is evident from the Patent Rolls.
King John by his letters patents, dated at the Devizes in Wiltshire, June 7, in his 18th year, to the mayor and good men of Lenn, enjoins them to receive into that town of Lenn, all those whom Fulk de Oiry, William de Ross, William Bigod, and William Gernon, should look upon to be faithful and trusty to him. This shews that it was a place of strength, and fortified. This Fulk was a person of great power in Lincolnshire, and lord of the manor of Gedney, and the King had granted him a charter for a weekly mercate there, in his sixth year.
How long it was before this that they had their charter, I cannot ascertain; this is however a sufficient proof, that King John was the king that granted this honour, and not King Henry III. and that it was a mayor town of some continuance in the year 1233.
Here I shall take the liberty of representing what surprising troubles and distresses King John underwent for the space of above 4 months before his death, flying from one place of defence to another for refuge, in constant dread and fear of his rebellious barons, being truly persecuted and hunted by them, as a partridge on the mountains: taken from the authority of the Patent Rolls.
On the 3d of June, in his 18th year, 1216, he was at Winchester, on the 7th at Lutgardshall in Wiltshire, at the Devizes in Wiltshire on the said day, as by his patent to the mayor of Lenn abovementioned, also on the 9th; at Wilton the 14, at Sherminster 15, and at Bere in Dorsetshire 20th; at Corf Castle the 24th of June, and 4th of July; at Warham July 7; at Corf Castle the 16th; at Hay, on the edge of Brecknockshire in Wales, and Herefordshire the 21st; at Hereford the 30th; and at Lemster the 31st; at Blaunchminster August 7, at Whitchurch the 9th, at Shrewsbury 14, at Bruges or Bridgnorth 16, at Worcester 17, at Gloucester 18, at Berkley in Gloucestershire, 19, at Bristol 21, at Corf 25, at Wells 27, at Bath 28, and on the said day at Sherbourn in Dorsetshire; at Bradford 29, and Chipenham in Wiltshire, 30; at Cyrencester in Gloucestershire September 1, at Burford in Oxfordshire 2d, at Oxford 3, 4, and 5, at Reading the 7th, at Sunning the 8th; after this at Wallingford, Aylesbury, Buckingham and Bedford; at Cambridge September 16, at Clare in Suffolk 18, at Clive or King's Cliffe in Northamptonshire the 20th, at Rockingham 21, at Lincoln 22, at Scoter (in Lincolnshire) 25, at Lincoln 28, and October the 1st and 2d; at Louth October 4, at Grimsby the 7th, and at Spalding the 7th, at Lenn October 9 (fn. 15) and 10, at Wisbeach the 12th, at Lafford (Sleford) 15, on the 18 at Newark, where he granted that day a patent to F. de Breant, of the honour of Luton, late Baldwin's Earl of Albemarle, and on October 19; he died in the night, at this town.
Some historians relate that he was poisoned by a monk of Swinstede abbey; but he seems by this journal not to have gone by Swinestede: it is certain that he was past that town on the 15th, and was at Sleford, and it is not to be conceived, had he been there poisoned, he could have proceeded to Newark, and died there about five days at least, after he had taken the poison, which killed (as is said) the monk who took the same, in a very short space of time.
The places abovementioned where he took refuge were places of strength, and had their castles, whereas Swinested was no place of defence or security: the daily success of his rebellious barons, with Lewis the French King's son at their head, his many losses, and constant fatigue, had so much impaired his health, that it is no wonder if they hastened his death, and that he was no longer able to bear them.
Stow, in his Chronicle, (fn. 16) informs us that King John made Saveric de Malione captain of Linne, and began to fortifie it; he was a Poictovin or a Gascoign, one of the King's chief commanders in Poitou in France, in 1214: this was, as I take it, on or about the 10th of October before his death, when he was in person present here; and about this time, I find that Hervey Belet, who was lord of East Rudham, and a great benefactor to Coxford priory, had authority from the King to confide in all things that Saverick de Malo Leone, William Earl of Albemarle, and Fulk de Breant, should mention to him for the fealty, interest, and honour of the King; so that he may also be supposed to have some honourable place here under the King.
At this last visit of the King, and residence here, it is probable he gave them his most curious cup, and most venerable piece of antiquity, of silver gilt with gold on the inside, adorned with beautiful imagery and enamelled work, in the keeping of every mayor, used on certain solemn occasions, and shewn to gentlemen as a great curiosity, in memory of their founder and great benefactor, filled with sack.
Stow says that the townsmen received the King with great joy, and honoured him with large gifts, and that he got a surfeit here with filling his belly too much, and fell into a flux.
As for the sword, it is believed that the King gave none to be borne before the mayor; and Spelman has given a very good reason for it. It was, says he, an episcopal burgh, the Bishop of Norwich being lord of it, and not a royal burgh, or demeans; and there seems to be proof that no such insignia belonged to it in Henry the Fourth's time, but was a grant from King Henry V.
In the 7th year of this King, the bailiffs of the town produced their charter, that no one out of this burgh should be impleaded out of the burgh, (fn. 17) for lands and tenements therein, and it was allowed them in the King's court, and was allowed also in the King's Bench, in a cause between Margaret, widow of Robert de Wenton, and the mayor of Lenn, (this is also a proof that there was a mayor then) which was ao. 4 Henry III. Plita Coron. Rot. 19.
License was granted to foreign merchants to come with safety to the fair of Lenn, ao. 8 and 9 of Henry III. Pat. M. 6. & M. 2. and in the 11th of that King, a talliage was granted to the King by the Bishop: the oath of the burghers then was, "You shall faithfully pay your talliage made by the lord (bp.) at his will, of all your chattels of your own property, whatever they are, and of the chattels of your wife, and all that is your due to pay." About this time the Bishop was found to hold this burgh of the King in capite, but by what service the jury knew not; but in the 17th of the said reign, Thomas de Milton, and Warin, son of Imbert, were named by the King to assess the talliage, and all the demeans of the see of Norwich.
In the 18th of this King, a fine was levied at Westminster in Trinity term, before Robert de Lexington, William de York, Ralph de Norwich, William de Lisle, Adam Fitz-William, and Ralph de Rokele, the King's justices, between the mayor and burgesses, querents, and Thomas Blundevile Bishop or Norwich, deforcient. (fn. 18) The mayor, &c. complained that the Bishop had impleaded them in a court-christian, (ecclesiastical or spiritual court,) and had excommunicated them because they had created a mayor among themselves, and had taxed and talliaged themselves in the said burgh without his assent; and it was agreed between them in the said court, that the Bishop should grant for himself and successours, and his church of Norwich that the said burgesses for the future, may choose and create to themselves a mayor, whomsoever they pleased of their own body, on this condition, that immediately after this election or creation, they should present him to the Bishop and his successours wherever they should be in the diocese of Norwich, who on the presentation should be admitted by the Bishop, without any contradiction; and for this fine and concord, the mayor and burgesses grant for themselves, their heirs and successours, that whosoever shall be so created and elected mayor by them shall promise on his good faith and fealty, by which he is engaged to the Bishop, and his successours, that he will observe all things that belong to his office, as long as he shall continue therein, and preserve as much as is in his power, the liberties of the church of Norwich.
And this agreement and fine was made in the presence of the King, who consented to it.
This King, as appears from many instances, sate frequently in the court of King's Bench, at the head of his justices.
The mayor and burgesses liberty of holding courts, and having cognizance of pleas were allowed them, (et quod justitiam plenam faciant) ao. 34 Henry III. (fn. 19) and it was lawful for them to sell their inheritance, or that of their wives, and their portion, as they thought proper, on condition that their wives were present at the sale, and consented, and in a full court of the burgh.
In the 35th of the said King, the merchants coming to Lenn were allowed to be free De Prisis; and in the 37th, William Hall, and Catherine his wife, conveyed by fine, to John Curtess and Joan his wife, a messuage and lands in Lenn Regis, and South Lenn, in a street called Coldhyrn.
The mayor and burgesses were, in the 41st year, commanded by the King, to permit the men of Ely to come here and sell their beer, and to exercise merchandise as before the disturbances. At this time mention is made of St. Margaret's fen, and the King's justices held an assise here this year.
The King in his 50th year, commanded the sheriff of Norfolk to cause 36 tuns of wine to be sent to him, then at the siege of Kenilworth castle, in Warwickshire, bought by the King's purveyors at Lenn, famous at that time for importing wine; and in his 52d year, by his charter, dated at Westminster, March 26, confirmed all their former liberties, and that of choosing a mayor of themselves, without presenting him to the Bishop, and to be in place of a Præpositus Villæ.
This probably induced Sir Henry Spilman, &c. to look upon it as the first and original grant of a mayor, which was only (as may be seen from what I said before) a confirmation of that liberty.
In his 55th year, Simon de Lawedsman of Tofts, grants to John Constantine of Westacre, burgess of Lenn, and his heirs, 10s. rent per ann. out of his messuage in Damgate, which messuage extended itself from Damgate southward, to the common flete, north. Oliva, daughter of Seward de Badele, and Edmund her son, grant to Ralph, son of Semeine de Lenne, and Maud his wife, a messuage in St. James'sstreet, lands, &c. which Seward gave to Oliva, to her son and heirs, paying 10s. per ann.—Robert, mayor of Lenn, Ralph Kellock, and Robert Fitz-David, were witnesses; this was in the year 1173, ao. 56 Henry III. when Robert de London was mayor.
John, son of Stephen de Wyrham, held in part, by heirship, with the Lady Alice de Boyland, (wife or mother, as I take it, of Sir Richard de Boyland, a famous itinerant judge of this time,) in the north part of this town, a hall called Boyland-hall, with a kitchen, cellars, chambers, &c.; it is mentioned to have a great stone front, and to extend from the tenement of Warine de Mundeford west, to the messuage of Simon Drew, to the east; and the aforesaid John grants to this Simon, his part, paying 21s. per ann. and excepting to Sir William Esturmy, his heirs and tenants, free egress and regress, under the stone front. This was in the aforesaid year, and the witnesses were Robert de London, mayor, Richard, alderman, (that is of the merchants gild of the Holy Trinity,) &c.
William de Esturmy was at this time custos or keeper of the city of Norwich, appointed by the King.
About this time Richard Noth, by deed, sans date, released to the monks of Castleacre, a tenement which he held of them in Lenn, and his right therein at Rond's hill, called also Bellasis.
William, the prior of Lenn, with the consent of the priory of Norwich, had granted to the monks of Castleacre, an hoga (a how or hill) called Bellasis, by the causey of Lenn, to be held of them by the rent of 6d. per ann. to be paid in the church of St. Margaret, of Lenn. The said Richard also granted to Godfrey Fitz-Godfrey, 80 feet of land here; witnesses, Ralph Kelloc, Ralph, son of Rainer de Wirham. I find also a windmill to be at this place.
At the entrance of Audry causey over the fens, into the isle of Ely, there was a strong tower erected, called Bellasis, to defend that passage, and probably there was one here, which I take to have been on the right hand as you turn to enter at the south gate.
That Lynn was a mayor town in the 18th of King John, has been proved; but through length of time, want or decay of evidences, the names of very few mayors are to be met with before the year 1284, ao. 12th Edward I. from which year the list is regular and complete.
The first that I have met with, is Robert, son of Sunnolf, in a deed, sans date, which I have here copied, that a convincing proof may be had of it.
Sciant, &c. quod ego Simon de Well, clericus, concessi et quietem clamavi in p'petuum Robo. filio Sunnolfi, majori Lenn. et heredib; totum jus qd. habui in omnib; terris el tenement. que fuerunt Lemari filii Blak in Well, &c. exceptis terris quas idem Robertus mihi concessit—Hijs testib; Simone filio Roberti de Lenn, Gilberto filio Warini. (fn. 20)
Sunnolf, who as this deeds testifies, was father of Robert the mayor, it is probable, might also have been mayor himself, and from him the flete called Sunnolf's flete seems to take its name. Rob. was a person of considerable estate, and held a manor with messuages, and lands in Wells, Holm, Neu Londe, Brokene, Henemeth, Hakebeche, and Wisbeche, with all the homages, services, and rents of his demeans, which he grants by deed, sans date, to Gilbert, son of Warin, his grandson, to be held of him, paying to him and his heirs 45s. and half a pound of cumin. To this deed is his seal of green wax, hanging by a twist of red and white silk,—a spread-eagle with 2 necks, and this legend round it,—Sigillum Roberti Filii Sunnolfi.—The witnesses were Michael de Belvaco, William Hereward, Adam, son of Seman. This Robert was undoubtedly one of the first mayors. Gilbert son of Warine, son of Robert, son of Sunnolf, was living in the year 1238, as the following deed testifies;
Notum sit quod ego Philippus fil. Walteri de Thorp, concessi et dimisi ad firmam Waltero rectori de Grimestun. fratri meo et Gilberto fil. Warini de Lenn. messuagium illud in Well, quod bone memorie Tho. de Blun'ville Norwic. Episc. mihi dedit cum marisco qui vocatur Wyke-Fen. Hanc autem concessionem. &c. eis feci duraturam a prima septimana quadrigesime anno incarnationis D'ni. millesimo ducentesimo, tricesimo, octavo, &c. Hijs testib; Mro. Joh. de Monteacuto, Michaele de Belvaco.
To this Gilbert, Walter Suffela Bishop of Norwich grants all his land in Welle, by deed, dated at Westacre, 6 of the calends of May, in the 2d year of his pontificate, ao. 1246
This Gilbert, William de Carleton, John Costyn, Andrew, John de St. Omer, were also mayors in the reign of Henry III. as seems from old writings, but sans date.
Alexander Kellock, mayor, and Richard de Norwich, seneschal (of the Bishop) were witnesses to a deed of Richard, son of Adam Codlin of Lenn, sans date, wherein he grants to Richard de Geyton, a certain piece of land by Sunnolf's flete, between the land of Sir Robert de Scales, and the land in the use of the friars-minors of Lenn, in breadth, and between the common gutter, and the said flete in length, paying yearly to the Bishop of Norwich, and the prior of St. Margaret of Lenn, 10d. at 4 equal payments, at each payment 3 halfpence to the Bishop, and 1d. to the prior. I find this Alexander Kellock admitted a brother of Trinity gild, in 1248.
Andrew seems to be mayor about 1269.
James de Belvaco, or Beaufoe, was elected mayor in the 56th of Henry III. and entered on it, as was customary, on St. Michaelmas day, 1271. The computus or roll of his expenses, from that day to St. Michaelmas following, is still preserved, and from it I have collected the most material occurrences.
To 4 messengers of the King, and Prince Edward, at 4 times, whilst the King was at Norwich, payed by the mayor, 2s.—To John the clerk of William de Plumstede, half a mark.—In bread and wine sent to Sir William de Middleton, on the vigil of St. Faith, 3s. 2d.— In wine to Gilbert de Well, a sextary, (fn. 21) 14d.—In bread and wine to Sir Roger de Vaux, 18d. ob.—To Simon de Stanle and Henry de Gernemutha, for their expenses at London on the King's burial, 20s.— In bread and wine to Richard Urri, (the Bishop's steward) at Gaywode, on the vigil of St. Lucy, 18d. ob.—In wine to Mr. Jeffrey de Depham 14d.—In bread and wine to Sir William de Goldingham 18d. ob.— In bread and wine to Sir William Bardolf, junior, 18d. ob.—and to Sir Robert Burnell, 18d. ob.— To Simon Sichard for a pipe (pipa) of wine for the use of Richard Urri, 1l. 15s.—To Humphrey the goldsmith, for a gold ring for the King's marshal, 10s.—To Thomas Clerk for his fee, (solido) on the nativity of our lord, 5s.—and for arrears due in the time of Andrew the mayor, 7s. 10d.—To the mayor, his fee due then, 7s. 10d.—In wine sent to the prior, a sextary, 16d.—To the mayor, a sextary, 14d.—and to the Lady Nerford, 14d. —To the official and dean of Lenn, 2 sextaries, 28d.—To Sir John de St. Omer, and to John Coston, each, two flagons, (lagen) 14d.—To Sir William de Tyrington, 4 lagen. and an half, 16d.—To Sir R. de Wyrham a sextary, 16d.—To Sir William Belet at the house of Robert de London, in Lenn, 2 sextaries, 3s—To 2 salmons and 2 casks (cadis) of wine, to Sir Robert Tateshale, and Sir Robert de Montalt, one mark. —In 5 salmons sent to the Bishop of Norwich, at South Elmham, on Monday before the feast of the purification, 20s.—In bread and wine, to the Lady Lisle at the steward's house, 24d.—To Thomas Clerk, his fee at Easter, 5s.—To Sir William de Pakenham a sextary of wine, not charged.—To one ton (dolio) for the use of Sir John de Vaux, 50s.—To the steward of the Countess of Gloucester and attendants, in jewels, (jocalib;) 27s. 8d.—To the grooms, (garcionib;) 3s.—To the mayor his fee, 6l.—In 4 salmons to Sir Robert Burnell, at Haesclose, 16s.—To one cade of sturgeon sent to the Bishop at Gaywode, 14s. on Saturday after the Annunciation.—To Sir Richard de Boyland, his fee, 30s. He was a judge itinerant.—To 100 bord for the use of Sir Richard, for his advice against the people of Lincoln, 1 mark.—To Sir William de Saham (a judge also) for his advice 40s.—In 12 pieces garnarii, sent to Sir William Middleton, and Sir Richard de Boyland, 6s. 8d. ob. — To Richard Urri for his services, a tun of white wine, 3 marks and an half. — To the keeping guard in the town whilst the justices of the King were there, 12d.—In wine to John de Hengham 10s.
It appears that the mayor's salary at this time was 10l. per ann. and paid by the chamberlains,
I have also seen a remarkable deed to which this James was witness, whereby Brother Richard de Sulegrave, Knt. master of the whole order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, (fn. 22) and all the brethren of the said order, dwelling at Burton, by common assent and council of the whole chapter, grant to Alan de Kele, burgess of Lenn, his heirs and assigns, (religious houses, and the Jews being excepted) a certain piece of land called Lazer Hill, lying by the common wall of the said village, containing 7 perches and 7 feet in breadth, on the north side, and 10 perches and 14 feet on the south side, 5 perches and an half broad on the east side, 6 perches broad in the middle, and 7 on the west side, &c. — Witnesses, Robert de London, (fn. 23) James de Belvaco, or Beaufoe, mayor of Lenn, Alexander Kellock, alderman, Richard Lambert, John de Lindesey, Edmund de Colton, &c.
Here we find Robert de London to take place before the mayor.
The seal is of white wax, and the impress a W.
This piece of land I find afterwards in the hands of Rd. Spany, and of John de Teryngton, in the reign of Richard II. It appears also by this deed, that the town was walled in 1271.
St. Margaret's Church and Priory.
This church and priory were founded by Herbert Bishop of Norwich, in the reign of King William II. and dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, St. Margaret, and all the maiden saints. In the register of Hoxon priory, in Suffolk, it appears by the deed and grant of this Bishop, that the said church and priory were built by him at the request of the men of the town of Lenn, and to perform this the better, he granted an indulgence of 40 days pardon to all who should contribute to it; appointed that all tithes and ecclesiastical dues of the whole village, should be paid to this church, which he appropriated to the priory, and had it confirmed by the Pope. Most writers have asserted that he was obliged by the Pope to do this, as an atonement for his simony, but it does not appear so from this.
On the foundation of the priory Herbert gave them all he had or possessed, as far as the church of William, son of Stanquin, on the other side of Sewaldesfeld, (fn. 24) in rents, lands, and men, except Seman and his land, and the saltwork which the mother of Seman held; (fn. 25) he likewise granted the Saturday mercate and the fair on St. Margaret's day, all which he gave to his priory of the Holy Trinity of Norwich, to which convent the priory of Lenne was a cell; he also gave them the new mill in Gaywode marsh, with that marsh, the churches of Gaywode and Mintling, the priest at Mintling, the tithes of his demeans at Gaywode, with a villain called Edward, and all his land, also his saltworks in the said town, except two, and that which Leofric, son of Limburgh, held, and the mother of Seman; also the church of Sedgford, with the tithes, and all that Walter the archdeacon had as he held it; the church of Thornham, with the tithes and all belonging to it; his land at Freinges, with 70 acres of land in Secheford, free and quit of all service, with the land of Owen of Lakesle.
This being made a cell to the priory of Norwich that house appointed a monk of their body, to be prior here at Lyn, who appears to be responsable to the priory of Norwich, for the rents and profits he received, and seems to be removable at pleasure.
Bishop Turbe granted to this priory the church of Wigenhale St. Germans, of the gift of William Giffard Earl of Bucks, with two parts of the tithe of North Rungton and Middleton. See there. Reg. Norw.
Bishop Turbe of Norwich confirmed to the monks of Norwich, the church of St. Margaret, and all their former grants, with the soc, the men, (and the fair as granted by his predecessor, Herbert) in the reign of Henry II. et quondum grevam, between the 2 bridges: greva, a place on the sands by the water side.
William occurs prior in the reign of Richard I. To this William, Henry the prior, and convent of Castleacre, grant totam Hagnelosam, (Haclose,) or what is now called Haveless Hall, (fn. 26) to be held of him by the rent of 20s. per ann. and all their land in Myntlyng, which is held of the church of St. Margaret of Lyn, for 20 years, at the rent also of 20s. per ann.
In the beginning of King John's reign, William, prior, and convent of Norwich, granted to John de Grey Bishop of Norwich, the fair of Lyn, the Saturday mercate, and all the pleas and profits whatsoever which they held, by virtue of a lay fee, with a messuage near the chapel of St. Nicholas to the west, and a messuage near Surflete bridge, with all their salt pits in the villages of Lyn and Geywode, and the toll which they held there, in exchange for the manor of Cress. Magna, and Sedg ford in Norfolk. (fn. 27) Witnesses, Mr. William de Lenn, Mr. Jeffrey de Derham, Mr. Robert de Tywe, &c. sans date, about the 7th of King John.
This Bishop confirmed to the monks of Norwich, the church of St. Margaret, with the chapel of St. James and St. Nicholas, and the church of Mintling, and all the tithes of his demean lands at Gaywode, except those that belonged to the church of St. Faith of Gaywode, dated 11th Kal. April, Anno Pontif. 5°. witnesses, Master William de Lenne, Master Robert de Gloucestre, and Alan de Grey. (fn. 28)
Adam de Schipdam called late prior in 1285.
1309, John de Bromholm, occurs prior: quere, if not of Norwich ?
John de Stratton, prior, had a license from the Bishop of Norwich, to take confessions in the town and deanery of Lynn, and to absolve and to enjoin penance, dated at Norwich 11th Kal. March, 1325.
William, prior of Lenn, grants by deed to William and Henry, son of Richard, son of Turuf, one shop in the fair of St. Margaret, which was between the shop of Richard, son of Edward, and John, son of Peter, to be held of the church of St. Margaret freely, &c. paying 11d. per ann.; sealed with the seal of St. Margaret, sans date.
In the 6th of Richard II. in 1382, Henry Spencer Bishop of Norwich aliened to the prior a piece of land in Gaywode, called Ryfield, and 50l. of land in Thornham, Thorney, Hilderston, North Elmham and Blofield.
Ralph de Marham occurs prior in 1378, and 1387.
Frater Alexander, Ao. 4 Richard II. quere, if not of Norwich?
John de Carleton occurs in 1397, and Walter Ornesby in the said year.
Richard de Folsham occurs in 1398 and 1399, in his computus to the prior of Norwich, from the feast of St. Michael, in the 22d of Richard II.
1403, John Elys.
In 1426, the temporalities of this priory in St. Margaret's parish, in rent, were taxed at 5l. 6s. 8d.
In 1426, the prior charged for temporalities here at 5l. 6s. 8d. and depending, with St. Margaret's church, the chapel of St. Nicholas and St. James's, on Norwich priory, was exempt from the archdeacon's visitation and jurisdiction, belonging to the Bishop; and for their temporalities and spiritualities were taxed at 7l. 16s. in 1428.
1430, Master John de Derham, S. T. P.
Thomas Heveryngham occurs in the 16th of Henry VI. 1437; quere, if not 1422?
John Fornsete, brother or friar, 1437, in the 16th of Henry, and in the first year of John Heveryngland, prior; his compotus or accounts from the feast of St. Michael, in the 16th of Henry VI. (to the prior of Norwich, John Heveryngland) to the said feast in the 17th of that King stand thus:
In remains of the last year 3l. 5s. 4d.—received in rent at Lyn 4l. —in rent at Geywode 11s. 11d.—in Myntlyng rents 1l. 2s. 3d.—in Hyslington rent 4s. 9d.—in a pension of the church of Geywode 3l. 6s. 8d. —in a pension of the prioress of Blacborgh 6s. 8d. (fn. 29) —of a farm of lands and houses at Lenn 7l. 19s. 4d.—of lands and houses at Geywode 3l. 19s. —of a farm of land at Wells 20 comb of oats—of a farm in Wigenhale 11s.—of the manor of Haveclose 6l.—by (focalibus) fewell sold there 1l. 9s.—of tithes in Myntlyng 12s.—in oblatia and obventions of St. Margaret's church 44l.—in ditto of St. Nicholas chapel 10l. 10s. 8d. ob.—ditto of St. James's chapel 13l. 9s. 6d.—in tithes 60l. 12s. 3d.— in legacies of the deed 7l. 11s. 10d.—in mortuaries 5s. 2d.—in masses and de certo (fixed) 6l. 7s. 1d.—in oblation at the images in the church and the chapels 3l. 2s. ob.—in wax sold 4l.—of the monks (de fratribus) pro quartâ parte canonica 2s. 6d.—of the boarders 6l. 17s. 6d.— in exit domus 1s. 3d.—Total 190l. 7s. 1¼d.
In rent paid to the Bishop of Norwich, with a fine, suit of his courts, &c. 2l. 10s.—ditto paid to the prior of Castle 1l.—ditto the prior of Mountjoy 6s. 6d.—rent to the Lord Nevil 2l. 0s. 1d. ob.—ditto to the abbot of Sawtree 1s.—ditto to John Drew 1s.—to suit of the King's court 1s.—in a pension to the chapel of Myntlyng 3l. 6s. 8d.—in stipends to 3 priests 3l. and 5s. ex gratia—in stipend to 2 clerks 5l. 6s. 8d.—in wine for the church and hospitalib; 2l. 14s. 3d.—in oyl 18s. 7d.—in other expenses in the church and chapels 3l. 14s. 7d.—in 32 quarters and 6 bushels of wheat 7l. 15s. 8d.—in 52 quarters of malt 7l. 2s. 9d.—in 53 doliis of beer 3l. 9s. 1d.—in flesh and fish 11l. 16s. 6d. ob.—in salt and spices 1l. 2s. 9d.—in provisions at market 28l. 4s. 1d. ob.—in focalib; and carriage 8l. 8s. 1d. ob.—in servants wages 7l. 6s. 6d.—in cloth for the servants livery 3l. 0s. 10d.—in the prior's expenses 1l. 18s. 4d.—in a horse that was bought 2l. 1s. 8d.—in shoeing the horses 17s. 10d.—in bran, oats and bread 11s. 8d.—in repairs of the cellarer, &c. 3s. 11d.—in repairs of the houses within the priory 10l. 4s. 8d.—in building a new house in Stonegate 19l. 6s. 8d.—in repair of the pavement in town 6s. 6d.—in repairs at Haveclose 8s. 10d.—in linen for the napery 1l. 7s. 8d.—in brass vessels for the kitchen 1l. 10s. —in one garnish of pewter vessel 13s. 4d.—in an 100 of tallow candles 12s. 6d.—in the prior's pension 3l. 6s. 8d.—in the cellarer's pen sion 13l. 6s. 8d.—in the chamberlain's and pitancier's pension 1l. 6s. 8d.—in a pension to a scholar 14s.—in gifts to brother John Folsham for his acts 13s. 4d.—in a moiety and fourth part of a tenth to the King 6l. 7s. 11d. ob.—in a contribution laid on then for the subsidy to the siege of Calais, in collecting the tenths and installing of the prior 4l. 5s. 3d. ob.—in necessary expenses and divers officers 1l. 3s. 11d. ob.—in small and foreign expenses, &c. at divers feasts 4l. 3s. 5d.—in gifts, rewards or presents given by the convent 1l. 9s. 10d. ob. —in oblations for the convent on the feast of the Trinity 6l. 12s.—to the servants or serjeants at the said feast 1l. 2s. 10d.—to the monks carriage 2l. 16s. 5d. ob.—in gifts to them 1l. 8s.—at our first coming to Lenn with 2 brother monks 10s. 1d. and in carriage of cloaths and books,—on the day of this compotus or account 3s. 4d.—Total expenses 196l. 8s.
In 19th of Henry VI. offerings to the images were 52s. 3d. Ao. 1440.
In 1447, the offerings to the image were 30s. 4d. ob.
In 1448, it appears here was a prior, a cellarer, a pittancier, and a camerarius, or chamberlain.
Nicholas Bardeney occurs prior Ao. 4th of Henry VII.
In 1403, John Ellis occurs prior.
In 1509, and 1517, George Elyngham, prior.
George Elyngham in the 1st of Henry VIII. accounted of 24l. 10s. received of the offerings of the parishioners, on the principal feast days, masses of requiem, churchings, weddings and holy bread—6l. 4s. in the same account, from St. Nicholas chapel, and 2l. 6s. 9d. for that of St. James's chapel—21l. 8s. for the personal tithes of the whole town— 30s. for legacies—6s. 8d. taken out of the boxes at the images of Saints, in the church and chapels, including the chapel of St. Mary at the bridge—16l. 10s. for the profits and offerings of the chapel of the Virgin Mary at the mount—3l. 0s. 4d. for the offerings of the good cross in St. Margaret's churchyard—18s. for mortuaries sold—40s. for certeyns, or annual masses, including the certeyn or annual stipend of the gild of the Holy Trinity.
Edmund Norwich occurs prior: by the compotus of his, from St. Michael 1535, to St. Michael 1536, I find received in rent of a house at Lynn 6l. 12s. 10d.—rent in Bawsey and Gaywode 14s.—rent of land on this side and beyond Geywood bridge 8l. 3s. 4d.—rent of Outwell and Wet. 5s. 6d.—for Haclose manor 12l.—rent in Myntling 30s. (said to be detained by Thomas Thursby)—in Wigenhale 18s.—rector of Geywode's pension 66s. 8d.—prioress of Blackburgh 6s.—received of the oblations of St. Margaret's church, on the principal feasts and masses for the dead, and of the guilds, with the holy bread 14l. 5s. 4d.—of St. Nicholas's chapel for oblations, &c. 4l.—of St. James's chapel, ditto 3l. 4s. and for personal tithes of the whole village of Lenn 23l.—expended to the King's baylif for rent of land in Lenn and Gaywode and Myntlyn 48s.—to the bayliff of the hundred of Freebridge 12d.—to the prior of Castleacre 20s.—in bread and corn 8l.—in malt 9l.—in provision bought at the market 24l. 7s. 4½d.—in two barrels of white herrings 24s.—in 3 cadis of red herrings 20s.—in candle of tallow 13s. 4d.—in bread to celebrate 10s. and in wine 30s.—to barbers and laundresses 18s.—in wages to several 9l. 18s.—to a stipendiary chaplain 13l. 13s. 4d.—pension to the prior of Norwich nothing, on account of the poverty of the cell—to the prior of Lyn nothing, on the same ac count—to the treasurer 16d.—in fuel bought 40s.—in wax bought 49s. 11d.—in repairing a tenement in Lathe-street 4l.—in making a lode called Mayde lode, at the command of the King's lord chief justice 23l.—the King's tenths 6l. 13s. 4d.—in carriage of the monks 6s. 8d. —in the visitation of the priory 40s.—in servants livery 3l.—in parchment and writing of the compotus 20d. on the day of the compotus 3s. 4d.
In Henry the Third's reign William de Lewis gave to this priory 12 acres of his land in Wigenhale, for his own soul, that of Maud his wife, and Godfrey his son and heir, s. d.; witnesses, William de Sarcell, Walter de Capravill. (fn. 30)
1509, Out of the boxes (pyxidib;) of all the Saints in the church of St. Margaret, St. Nicholas, and St. James's chapel, and that of St. Mary at the bridge 6s. 4d.
In the 19th of Edward III. Sir John de Wylton, Knt. conveyed by fine the advowson of a chantry here to John de Munpinzoun in this church, with 2 messuages and lands.
John de Grey Bishop of Oxford, in the fifth year of his consecration, confirmed the charters of his predecessors to the prior and convent of Norwich: at which time they released to him all their right in the profits of the fairs of Lynn and Gaywode, and the Saturday market at Lynn, and all their salt pans, lands, rents, houses and lay fees, which belonged to the priory of Lynn, for which he gave them, in exchange, all his right in the manor of Sechesford, and the manor of Great Cressingham; except the advowson and the service of the knight's fees there, reserving to himself and successours the same authority that they had in the other manors of the monks.
This priory was on the south side of St. Margaret's church (built and founded also by Herbert) and appointed by him as a cell to his new monastery, founded at Norwich, in his cathedral, of the Benedictine order, and endowed by him with that church, &c. and the manor of this town, &c.
After the dissolution of it, it was partly pulled down, to enlarge the churchyard: part of it is still standing, as may be observed, and the lane adjoining retains the name of the Priory Lane.
The monks of Saint Margaret and the Holy Trinity growing wealthy and powerful, beyond the design of the founder, John Grey, Bishop of Norwich, in his fourth year, to recover the interest and power in this town which his predecessors had, made an exchange with the priory of Norwich, to whom this cell belonged, for other lands belonging to his see.
John de Grey Bishop of Norwich, by deed dated on the same day and year with the exchange of lands between him and the prior and convent of Norwich, appropriated the church of St. Margaret to the convent of Norwich, viz.
OMNIB; sanclæ ecclesiæ matris filijs, Johannis Dej gratiâ Norwicensis episcopus, salntem: Noverit. universitas vestra nos divinæ pietatis intuitu concessisse, et p'senti charta comfirmasse dilectis filiis nostris Monachis Norwic.ecclesiam Stæ. Margaretæ de Lenn, cum omnib; spiritualib; ad cam pertinentib; tam in decimis, quam in oblationib; et allijs omnib; obventionib; spiritualib; cum capellis suis, scil. St. Jacobi et St. Nicolaj' in proprios usus in perpetuum possidendam, &c. Et ecclesiam de Mintling, cum omnib; ad eam pertinentib; et omnes decimas de dominio nostro de Gaywood, præter illas quæ ad ecclesiam Stæ. Fidis de Gaywood pertinent, ita ut faciant in prædictis ecclesijs et capellis ministrari competenter p. capellanos suos, p. rationabili voluntate suâ amovendos et admittendos, et ita qd. nulli, nisi soli episcopo in curiâ suâ propriâ si voluerit and usus suos (sicuti in alijs manerijs suis habet) liceat infra parochias p'dictar. ecclesiarum de Lenn et Mintling, capellam aliquam præter authoritatem episcopalem, & consensum prioris et conventus, monachor. et si quœ constracta fuerit in proprios usus cedat monachorum.
The church of St. Margaret was built, probably, on the site of some old church there, but whether that old church was also dedicated to St. Margaret is not certain.
An order from the mayor, &c. Ao. 36 Henry VI. to build the belltower of St. Margaret's church.
Bishop Turbe enjoined the clergy not to receive in his church, any mariners, or any who came to the port of Lyn, or to receive or demand any benefit, or gift of them, or to afford them burial, that the church of St. Margaret might suffer thereby, which church was founded by Bishop Herbert, of holy memory, for this end especially, that all applying and coming to the port of Lyn by sea, pay obedience to the said church, and the offices and duties of Christianity.
In 1506, the Bishop of Norwich interdicted this church, because the inhabitants were not obedient to some of his orders, and the quire only was permitted to have service in it, and baptism to be performed.
By a bull of Pope Innocent, all persons drowned between St. Edmund's point and Staplewere, were enjoined to be buried in the churchyard of the monks of Norwich, at Lenn, that is in this churchyard.
The church was valued at 106 marks.
In the 35th of Edward III. a patent was granted to enlarge St. Margaret's churchyard.
St. Erasmus altar was in this church.
In the 8th of Henry IV. a patent was granted to found St. Margaret's gild.
In the 19th of Henry IV. a patent for establishing the aldermen, scabins, and brethren of the great gild of merchants or fraternity of the Holy Trinity in this church.
In the 16th of Richard II. license was granted for 5 messuages, 1 key, 11l. 6s. 8d. rent, and a ferry boat.
In the 26th of Henry VI. license for a messuage and land in Lenn.
In the 9th of Henry IV. there was a patent of license to found a chantry here: quere, if not Thoresby.
In 1677, return of a commission to place the organ;—1697, an order to remove it.
In 1624, the Bishop consecrated a piece of ground, added to the churchyard.
The impropriation of this church being purchased (as was said before) by the corporation of Lynn, from the bishoprick of Norwich, at the general dissolution of the monasteries, there is now no revenue belonging to it, save only some few annuities which are applied to the repairs thereof, and are as follows:
Notwithstanding this, the dean and chapter of Norwich still retain their ancient right and privileges as formerly, of presenting a curate or minister to this church, who as such, is obliged to perform, or cause to be performed, all divine offices, both here and at the chapel, for which services he is entitled to receive the surplice fees for christenings, marriages, burials, &c. as also, all other perquisites thereunto belonging, as herbage, dolefish, &c.
But the preachers (who are styled, and accounted lecturers) are chosen and appointed by the corporation, who generously allow to each, a certain salary of 100l. per ann. which is paid them by the chamberlain for the time being, without any trouble or incumbrance whatsoever: and note, they have this further advantage in it, which makes it the more valuable, that this preferment does no ways disqualify or incapacitate them from holding other livings, with the cure of souls.
There are two at present under this denomination, viz. the Reverend Charles Bagge, D. D. curate and lecturer, and the Reverend Van Eyre, archdeacon of Carlisle, both eminent in their performances, who alternately preach twice every Lord's day, here and at the chapel of St. Nicholas.
Here was some time since, in my memory, a sermon or lecture, every Thursday, for which the preacher was allowed a certain salary by the corporation, and at which the mayor, with the sword and serjeants at mace, were generally present; and after the service ended, the clergy and others (whom it was thought fit) were entertained by the mayor, at a plentiful dinner; the master, usher, and scholars of the free school, were also obliged to attend the church, &c. but this has long since been discontinued, viz. from the year 1692. Here also is a sermon on every new year's day, for which the preacher receives 20s. the gift of John Stroger's, late cook of this corporation, who also gave yearly for ever, 14s to 14 poor widows in Trinity-hall ward, in this town, the place where he lived and died; as also 10s. to 10 poor widows in Sedgford-lane ward, and 10s. to 10 poor widows in Stonegate ward, &c. as by his will, dated 20 April, 1670.
Likewise a sermon is preached in this church every Good Friday, for which 20s. is appropriated, being the gift of Mr. Edmund Robinson, Gent.
As also another sermon every 4th year, in commemoration of Mr. John Crane, late apothecary in Cambridge, a good benefactor to the poor of this town.
And I find it upon record, that sermons have formerly been preached here in this place, upon holy days, begun in the year 1616, for which the minister received only the voluntary benevolence and contributions of the inhabitants, and no certain salary, but this last was soon discontinued, upon the death of the preacher.
It is not beyond memory, that before the Restoration, and for some time after, I observed the time and space in preaching the sermon was generally conformable, and directed by the hour-glass, set up in most churches in England, in an iron frame for that purpose; accordingly a very fine one here was had from Holland, which cost xviiis. as appears in the church-wardens accounts, ao. 1661; but this, and the use of it, are now every where laid aside, and I wish that machine was not by some people more regarded and taken notice of than the minister's precepts and discourse, according to that of the prophet Amos, 8 and 5, saying, "When will the new moon be gone that we my sell corn, and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, &c." as thinking the time too long ere the glass was run out.
Having said thus much with respect to this great parochial church in particular, I come now to those monumental inscriptons and funeral epitaphs, which were extant in and about the quire, side isles and chapels, ao. 1725. Notwithstanding, I cannot but regret the loss of so many beautiful, rich, and costly portraitures in brass fixed here upon the graves and tombstones of our ancestors, in order to perpetuate their memories to posterity, which have been so impiously and sacrilegiously torn away and defaced, of which, some few now only remain, not unworthy the observation of the curious, for exquisite and rare workmanship of fine engraven figures, and other decorations delineated thereupon, and those only but five in number.
And I cannot omit taking notice of one remarkable article which I meet with in the church-wardens account for the year 1645, where it is thus inserted, viz. "Item to William King for defacing supersti"tious epitaphs, 5s." Too great a reward for so bad a service.
The Charnell Hall.
On the north side of the churchyard stands an ancient pile, a chapel, adjoining to the west end of the north isle of the old church of St. Margaret; the upper part of this pile was a chapel, and the lower part a charnel-house, where the bones take out, on the digging of the many graves, were deposited. Every abbey and priory seems to have had one belonging to them, and a chapel over it, as at Norwich, &c.; the upper part or chapel was turned, at the Dissolution, into a free school, and so continues. Quere, if not St. John's chapel? probably that mentioned in Sir William Sautre the priest's case, parson of St. Margaret's, who was condemned in the visitation of Archbishop Arundel, Ao. 2 Henry IV. and a special writ made for his burning, in the parliament of the 3d of that King.
On an inquisition taken in the 3d of Elizabeth, by certain commissioners (see in Trinity guild) the jury present, that there was a charnelhouse in St. Margaret's churchyard, which is now a school-house; the founders thereof were Thomas Thursbye, Walter Coney, and — Locke, merchants of the said town, but to what use it was founded they knew not; to which there belonged one bell, taken down by the mayor, since the death of Henry VIII. in what year they knew not; and that there did belong to the charnel-house, certain lands and tenements lying and being in King's Lynn, Wigenhale St. Mary, and Gaywood, n the tenure of divers men, whose names they knew not, to the value of 10l. per ann.
Trinity Chapel in St. Margaret's Church.
On the north side of the chancel of St. Margaret's church is the chapel of the Holy Trinity, belonging to the gild or fraternity of the Holy Trinity.
Emma, late wife of Robert Russel of Thorp, in her pure widowhood, gives and grants to Martin, son of Roger de Thorp, and his heirs, three shillings rent, which she and her ancestors used to have of the Gyldhalle of Lenn, with all the rights, power, and liberty, any ways due from the said tenement, or tenants thereof; witnesses, Sir John Curpel, Sir Adam Talbot, Knights, Hugh de Schuldham, Hubert Hakun, of the same, (&c. sans date,) John de Nova Aula in Fyncham, Walter Godsyl of the same.
In the quire of St. Margaret's, on the north side of the most easterly window, Heydon, impaled, with Peyton, sable, a cross engrailed, or. On the windows over against it, on the south side of the quire, many more coats quartered; in the south isle, the most easterly window argent, two chevronels, sable, on a canton of 1st, an annulet of 3d. In the north isle, most easterly, a stone in brass work, and portraiture of Walter Cony, and Joan his wife. A stone more north of Attelath, all brassed over.
King Edward I. in his 33d year, granted this town a patent for a gild, (Trinity gild) of merchants.
In the 35th of Edward III. there was a patent for a cemetery or churchyard here. Pat. 3. M. 14.
In a plea against the burgesses of Lenn, temp. Edward III. for merchandises, imbraciandis, the jury say that King John, by his letters patents, gave to that burgh, divers liberties, in which is granted them a certain guild of merchants, (viz. Trinity gild,) which liberties, the present King (Edward III.) has confirmed, and say that from the time of that grant and confirmation of the same, they have bought and sold these merchandises, mill-stones and marbles, for altars and gravestones, as often as they were brought to the said village, by two men of the gild aforesaid, called skiveyns; and they further say, that every merchant, as well in the town as without, who is willing to buy any such merchandises, may buy them freely and quietly. Plita Pasch. Term. ao. 38 Ed. III.
Thomas Bishop of Ely gives and grants license to Richard Salisbury, Robert Hamond, Henry Wright, John Smyth, and William Andrew, capellanes, that they may give and assign two messuages, with the appurtenances which were held of him, and of his fee, to Henry Thoreshy, alderman, Simon Pigot, Richard Cosyng, Thomas Benet, and William Pilton, custodes or scabins, and to the brethren of the fraternity or gild of merchants, of the Holy Trinity of Linn Episcopi. Dated die sabbati, before the feast of St. Faith the Virgin, 25th of Henry VI.
In the 26th of Henry VI. Henry Thorisby, alderman, and the keepers and scaburnes and brethren of the fraternity or merchants gyld of the Holy Trinity of Lynn Bishop, purchased of Sir Thomas Scales and Imania his wife, and William Godend, by fine, then levied, the mill called Scales mill in South Lynn.—Fin. Norf. 26 Hen. VI. L. 2, N. 116.
In the 26th of Henry VI. this guild had a patent for a messuage and 7 acres of meadow in South Lynn.
St. Nicholas's Chapel.
This chapel of St Nicholas is supposed to have been founded by Turbus or de Turbe Bishop of Norwich, in the reign of King Stephen, who, after it was built and consecrated, gave it to the monks of the priory of Norwich cathedral, with all its profits. At its consecration it was debarred (as a chapel to St. Margaret of the rites of baptism and marriage, to witness its dependency on St. Margaret's, the mother church; but the parishioners, about 25 years after its consecration, attempting to make it a parochial church, occasioned the successour of the founder, Bishop John de Oxford, solemnly to decree, that it should be a chapel only, dependant absolutely on the church of St. Margaret. However, the same humour still prevailed, and one of the chaplains officiating herein, procured a license from the Pope, that it might enjoy the rite of baptism, which bull was recalled at the instance of the Bishop, and the prior and convent of Norwich.
In 1609, was the last effort to make it parochial and independent, but on an hearing in the consistory court at Norwich, it appearing by depositions, that all the inhabitants within the limits of St. Nicholas's chapel, though they received the sacrament or communion there, yet paid their personal tithes and offerings to the farmers of the rectory (or dissolved priory) of St. Margaret, and though persons were buried at St. Nicholas, yet none were baptized or married there, without special license or dispensation, and that there was no font in the chapel, and that from its foundation, to the priory's dissolution, it was served by a monk of the priory of St. Margaret, assigned by the prior, and afterwards served by a curate; it was over-ruled.
St. Nicholas's Chapel and St. George's Gild.
In the mayoraltry of Jeffrey Talb, 1374, the Pope's bull was granted to build this chapel.
In this chapel was the guild of St. George:—to this guild the jurors report, in the 3d of Elizabeth, that there appertaineth a hall, called St. George's Hall, with house and buildings thereunto annexed, with certain tenements, cellers, curtilages and gardens to the same belonging, lying, and being in King's Lynn aforesaid, in the tenure of the mayor and brethren of the said town, to the yearly value of 40s. Item, there did belong to the said guild 16 acres of pasture in Wigenhale, St. Peter's, late in the tenure of William Pers, to the yearly value of 40s. —Item, more in Wigenhale, St. Mary's, 12 acres and an half of pasture in the tenure of Thomas Fenne, to the value of 30s. by the year.—Item, there belongs to this chapel a great bell containing by estimation 20 hundred weight.—Item, there doth belong to the said chapel certain houses, lands, tenements, and pastures lying and being in the said town of King's Lynn and Gaywood; to the yearly rent of 6l. 6s. 8d. in whose tenure we know not, nor to what use they were given.
That this chapel was an ancient one, appears by King John's appropriating St. Margaret's church with this chapel, to the monks of the cathedral of Norwich.—An ancient deed, sans date, (perhaps before this,) was executed in it, (a practice highly ancient.)
Ego Lemarus de Walpole, et Beatrix uxor mea, dedimus et concessimus priori de Lewis et conventui suo. &c. et ad hanc venditionem; firmiter et inconcusse tenendum et contra natos et non natos warrantizandum; primo in ecclesia St. Nicholai de Lenna in manu Herberti de Helingeat affidamus, et postea in camiterio St. Jacobi de Acre, (fn. 31) sup. quatuor Evangelia juravimus.
This guild of St. George was confirmed (in the first of Edward IV.) or founded, and had then the King's patent for it. First of Edw. IV. part 5 M. 17. The hall is in Chequer-street.
King Henry IV. on the 3d of February, in his 7th year, gives to Thomas Lathe, Esq. and Alice his wife, and their heirs, one messuage and 6 cottages, here in Lynn, formerly William Hanwyks, given by him to the fraternity of St. George, in the church of St. Nicholas, and forfeited. Pat. 7 Hen. IV. p. 2. M. 3.
St. George's guild had 7 acres of land in Sadlebow, held of Sir Thomas Bedingfeld, lord of Seche, in the reign of Henry VIII. Evid. Bedingf.
Of St. Andrew's guild here, (quere.)
John Alcock Bishop of Ely, June 3, 1490, granted 40 days pardon or indulgence, to all the brethren and sisters of the guild of St. Etheldreda in St. Nicholas's chapel of Lynn, at the altar of St. Etheldreda, the most holy Virgin, there founded, and to all who should hear mass, at the said altar, and to all who said quinquies before the said altar, the Lord's Prayer, and the Salutation quinquies. Reg. Alc. Ep. El.
Matthias Swallow, curate, named by the dean and chapter of Norwich, under their seal, January 3, 1628.
Nicholas Toll, A. M. admitted curate, 1657, December 14.
Nicholas Price occurs, 1621.
William Falkener, D. D. died April 9, 1682.
Mr. Killeingbeck succeeded him, of St. Nicholas's chapel.
John Arrowsmith, one of the assembly of divines, 1643; quere, if curate?
John Jaggard, S. T. B. died November 11, 1702.
Thomas Fish, rector of Stavely in Yorkshire, and of Ringstead St. Peter's, Norfolk.
William Falkener, D. D. preacher here, published Christian Loyalty, or a Discourse to prove the King's supremacy in ecclesiastical affairs: printed at London, 1684.
And a Vindication of Liturgies, or set Forms of Prayer: printed at London, 1680.
Henry IV. by his letters patents, gave and granted license to John Brandon, Bartholomew Sistern, and John Snailwell of Lenne Episcopi, that they might make, found, and establish to the honour of God, and the glorious Martyr St. George, a certain fraternity, brotherhood, and perpetual guild of themselves and others, who out of their devotion were willing to be of the said fraternity and guild: and that brothers and sisters of the fraternity and guild, for the time being, might choose make and ordain one alderman, and four custodes of the said fraternity and guild, yearly, for the good and profit of the same, and out of the brethren of the said fraternity and guild: and that the said alderman and custodes, and their successours, by the names of the aldermen and custodes of the said guild, should have power, and be able to take, receive and hold any lands, tenements, rents, and possessions whatsoever, or should be by any ways or means granted to them, and to do in all other respects, &c. and to act as the rest of his liege subjects, or persons do, and have power, and are enabled to act.
And further the said King, out of his abundant grace, granted and gave license, by his said letters patent, for himself and his heirs, to the aforesaid alderman and custodes, and their successours, for the time being, that they might receive and hold to themselves and their successours for ever, and purchase of John March all the right that Richard Waterden had therein of all that tenement, with a kay adjoining, with all its buildings and appertenances in Lenn aforesaid, which belonged to Robert Baylly, which tenement is in the street called Le Cheker, between the tenement formerly of John de Couteshale and the heirs of the late William Bytering, now of William Hundredpound, and the heirs of the late John Wyntworth, on the south part, the tenement formerly of Nicholas Swerdeston, late of John Wyghton, wherein Walter Tudenham now dwells, and extends itself in length from the common way towards the west, to the tenement formerly of Dominick Baude, afterwards of Richard Denue, lately of John Greene, clerk, then of Thomas Botekesham to the east. And the aforesaid kay lies opposite to the said tenement, in breadth, between the kay formerly of the aforesaid John Couteshale, lately of the aforesaid John Wyntworth, to the south, and the common lane (venellam) called Cornelane, on the north, and extends itself from the common way to the east, to the great bank (ripam) of Lenne to the west, as well for the maintenance of one or two chaplains, as to pray for the good estate of the King and his most beloved consort Joan, Queen of England, as long as they lived, and for their souls after their deaths, and for the souls of his most beloved lord and father, and mother deceased, as also for the good state of all and singular the brothers and sisters of the fraternity and guild aforesaid, according to the will and ordinance of the aforesaid alderman, the custodes, and their successours.
Richard Waterden demised, quitclaimed, and confirmed all the aforesaid premises, to John Maryell, alderman of the aforesaid guild, Henry Marchall, Thomas Bryan, John Adams and Simon Scotland, the custodes, and to the rest of the brethren, &c. and their successours for ever, all the aforesaid tenement with the kay opposite to it, with all the edifices and appertenances which were Robert Baylly's, and all his right, &c. which he had therein, to have and to hold the same, &c.
John Spicer, mayor, Thomas Hunte, alderman of the great guild of the Holy Trinity; witness, Thomas Thoresby, John Parmenter, William Spire, John Brightyeve, Philo. Frank, burgesses of Lenn, &c. Dat. apud Lenne, Epo. 20 June, in the first of Henry VI.
Thomas Lathe, Esq. and Alice his wife, gave a messuage and 6 cottages to the guild of St. George, in St. Nicholas, which he had by a grant of King Henry IV. February 13, Ao. 7°. formerly William Haunkeyn's.
In the 7th of Henry V. John Muriel, alderman; Henry Smith, Thomas Bryan, Henry Lombe and Thomas Creton, then custodes.
In the 18th of Henry VIII. William Serveys, Edward Baker, John Dowty and John Scales, scabini of St. George's gild.
King Edward VI. when he granted, the 21st of May, in his 2d year, and Thomas Leyton, alderman, to the mayor and burgesses, the lands, tenements, &c. belonging to the guild of the Holy Trinity, granted also to the mayor, &c. one capital messuage, or hall, called St. George'shall, with the houses, &c. thereto annexed; viz. a cellar, pantry, kitchen, also a tenement on the south side of the said hall in the tenure of John Fragis, one tenement, with a camera (warehouse) by the garden there, on the south side, in the tenure of Thomas Taylor, one storehouse with chambers over it, in the tenure of William Mowthe, one curtilage by the port there, in the tenure of Robert Palmer, one storehouse in the tenure of Edward Baker, one storehouse in the tenure of Thomas Waters, one in the tenure of William Baxter, one tenement called Le Lynneshy, in the tenure of Robert Mowthe, one garden in the tenure of Richard Sanderson, one piece of land for the laying coals on, in the tenure of Robert Mowthe, and one parcel of land, or garden, in the tenure of the said Robert Mowthe, lying and being in Lynn; one piece of meadow, containing 7 acres, lying at Germin's Bridge, in the parish of Wigenhale, in a meadow there, called Sadlebow, late in the tenure of Thomas Feryour, one parcel of land lying in Seche, in the tenure of Thomas Springold, late parcel of the lands, possessions, &c. of the gild of St. George the Martyr, in Lynn; and all other lands, tenements, &c. belonging to the gild of St. George: also all the stock of mill-stones, amounting to the value of 30l. late parcel of the goods of the guilds of the Holy Trinity and St. George.
Edward the VI. by the grace of God, &c. whereas certain lands and tenements and other hereditaments, lying in our burgh of Lenn Regis, South Lynne, Hardewyk, Gaywood, Sechehithe, Middleton, Westwinch, Snelisham, Shernborn, Eaton, (or Gayton,) and Ingaldestorp, in the county of Norfolk, and certain lands and tenements lying in Brandon Ferry, in Suffolk, which amount to the yearly value of 32l. 12s. 11d. (fn. 32) besides all reprises, were formerly given and granted to the alderman, custodes, or scabins, and the brethren of the merchants gild of the Holy Trinity in Lenn Regis aforesaid, and to their successours. And whereas other lands and tenements lying in Lenn Regis aforesaid, Wiggenhale, St. German's and Seche, in the said county of Norfolk, were formerly given and granted to the alderman, custodes, and brethren of the gild of St. George the Martyr in Lenn aforesaid, and to their successours, which amount to the yearly value of 5l. 3s. 8d. all and singular whereof came to us and are in our keeping by virtue of an act of parliament made at Westminster, 4th of November, in the 1st year of our reign, and whereas the rents and profits of the same were formerly laid out in defending the breaches of the sea, repairing of banks, walls, fletes and water courses, &c. in Lenn aforesaid, without which the said village could not be kept and preserved against the violence of the sea; we therefore, considering and having regard to the good state and defence of the said village, out of our good will, and by the advice, &c. of our most beloved uncle, Edward Duke of Somerset, &c. and our other counsellors, have given and granted to the mayor and burgesses of Lenn aforesaid, out of the aforesaid lands, tenements, &c. two messuages, one water mill, 241 acres and 2 roods of arable land, 6 acres and 1 rood of meadow inclosed, and 46 acres of pasture inclosed, lying and being in the villages and fields of Snetisham, Ingaldestorp, Eaton, and Shernborn, now, or late in the tenure of William Overend, one messuage, called the Chequer, with 2 acres of land thereto belonging, and another messuage called Pepers, with 2 acres thereunto adjoining, 120 acres of arable land, 3 acres of pasture, and the liberty of a fold for 340 sheep, and the rent of 21d. per ann. in Brandon Ferry aforesaid, in the tenure of John Atmere. Also one tenement now, or lately in the tenure of William Bolton, two tenements in the tenure of John Salter, one tenement, now or lately in the tenure of Thomas Wyer, one tenement, now or lately in the tenure of Thomas Wilde, one tenement, now or lately in the tenure of John Standfast, one tenement, &c. in the tenure of John Shoemaker, one tenement, &c. in the tenure of James Mayner, one pasture in the tenure of John Waters, one messuage, or inn, called the White Harte, &c. in the tenure of Thomas Mese, one tenement in the tenure of Edward Baker, one tenement in the tenure of Richard Norman, one tenement in the tenure of Richard Newgate, one tenement in the tenure of Beatrice Isloppe, one tenement in the tenure of Joan Wilson, diverse tenements in the tenure of George Felton, two tenements in the tenure of James - - - - - - -, one tenement in the tenure of Robert Bleisby one tenement in the tenure of Edward Newton, one tenement in the tenure of Edward Irishman, one tenement in the tenure of the mayor and burgesses, 2 tenements in the tenure of William Mauderson, one tenement in the tenure of - - - - - Jareth, one tenement in the tenure of Alan Newton, one tenement in the tenure of - - - - - Coke, one tenement in the tenure of John Harte, one tenement in the tenure of Nicholas Ferier, one tenement in the tenure of Franc. Bolden, one tenement in the tenure of John Cragge, one garden in the tenure of John Wrenche, one tenement in the tenure of Cornelius Andriamon, one messuage, called Le Guild-Hall, in the tenure of the mayor and burgesses, one tenement in the tenure of - - - - - Wilson, 7 houses, called warehouses, and 6 chambers over them, on the north side of the port called the Common Stath, 9 houses, called the warehouses, with chambers over them, on the south side of the Cammon Stath, one tenement in the tenure of Thomas Courte, one tenement in the tenure of Robert Smith, one tenement in the tenure of Cath. Atkynson, one tenement in the tenure of Robert Rowse, 2 tenements in the tenure of William Clayborne, one curtilage in the tenure of John Wilson, one curtilage in the tenure of Thomas Lockwood, one curtilage in the tenure of Robert Parke, one curtilage in the tenure of Sim. Newell, one tenement in the tenure of John Curson, one tenement in the tenure of John Eldred, one tenement in the tenure of John Sharpe, one tenement in the tenure of Thomas Furnes, one tenement in the tenure of Thomas Ackers, one tenement in the tenure of And. Skite, one tenement in the tenure of Thomas Maltward, one tenement in the tenure of Reg Tayler, one tenement in the tenure of Robert Weyman, one capital messuage, late Brasum, now, or lately in the tenure of the guild of the Holy Trinity, one messuage, called Newhall, in the tenure of the mayor and burgesses, one garden in the tenure of Thomas Miller, and one passage over the port of Lenn, late in the tenure of Oliver Braiket, all and every part of which are and lie in the village of Lenn aforesaid. And also 15 acres of land in Islyngton, in the tenure of Robert Balding, 15 acres of land in Sechehithe in the tenure of Thomas Springold, one inclosure in Middleton, in the tenure of John Barvell, 3 acres of land in West Winch, in the tenure of Malachy Cogley, 3 acres of land in Seche, in the tenure of Thomas Baker, one pasture in Gaywood in the tenure of Barnard Water, and one messuage, 46 acres of land, an 100 acres of pasture, 45 acres of meadow, and 50 acres of marsh, with the appertenances lying in South Lenn, in the tenure of Henry Bleisby, also a certain yearly rent of 8d. issuing out of tenements called Barrett's, in Lenn aforesaid, and another of 6s. 8d. issuing out of tenements late Richard Humphrey's, in Lenn, a yearly rent of 8d. issuing out of the tenements of W. Pipers, the yearly rent of 12d. issuing out of tenements, late Wilson's, the yearly rent of 13s. 4d. issuing out of tenements of Thomas Dawson, the yearly rent of 4d. issuing out of tenements late John Alexander's, the yearly rent of 6s. 8d. issuing out of the tenements of John Parmyter, the yearly rent of 12d. issuing out of the tenements late of Robert Amflet, lately belonging to the mayor and burgesses of Lenn, the yearly rent of 12d issuing out of a curtilage late of John Baxter's and William Hall, the yearly rent of 4d. issuing out of the tenure of Robert Gervys, the yearly rent of 4d. issuing out of the tenements belonging to the warden of the chapel of St. James's in Lenn, the yearly rent of 3d. issuing out of a pasture called Paradise in Lenn, a yearly rent of 4d. issuing out of tenements late John Power's, a yearly rent of 4d. issuing out of the tenements of Henry Duplack called the White Horse in Lenn, which were lately parcel of the lands, possessions and revenues belonging to the merchants gild of the Holy Trinity in Lenn, aforesaid, together with all the wood-timber, trees, underwood, &c. liberties of foldage, and all other lands, tenements, &c. lying in Lynn Regis, Snetisham, Ingaldesthorp, Eaton, Shernbome, South Lynn, Hardwyk, Gaywood, Sechchithe, Middleton, Seche, and West Winche in Norfolk, and Brandon Ferry in Suffolk, belonging to the gild of the Holy Trinity, to be held of the King and his heirs, paying 13l. 16s yearly, at the feasts of St Michael and the Annunciation. by equal portions, at the court of augmentation. And we further grant to the said mayor and burgesses, all the stock of mill-stones, amounting to the value of 40l. late parcel of the goods and chattels of the gild of the Holy Trinity: and we further grant to the said mayor and burgesses and their successours, that they may purchase and acquire to themselves and successours, lands, and tenements to the value of 100l. per ann. or any other sum there, without any fine to us, or to our use, and that these letters patent should be granted them, without any fee to be paid, or given. Dated at Wansted, 20 May, Ao. 2°.
St. Fabian's and Sebastian's Gild.
At a colloquium, or general meeting (in the reign of Henry VII.) of this gild, held in St. George's Hall, on Sunday next after the feast of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian, September 2, John Nicholl was chosen alderman; John Johnson, William Manning. Robert Bachelor, William Whithed, scabins; clerk of the gild, Thomas Haw, dean John Gyles. The chattels of the gild in the scabins keeping.
It was then ordained, That the skevmths shal bere all as they have done before-tyme;—also the said skevens shall have of every brother on the general day, as many as dine there, 2d. and the morspech 1d.— Also ordained, that Thomas Rudwell and John Lowyn, shall bear the ded money: and Thomas Rudwell received 9s. the said John Lowyn received 9s.—Also that the said Thomas and John, shall give for occupying of the ded mony, by year, 11s. 8d.—Also ordained, the electioners (fn. 33) shall find to the encresse of the company, and in the worchep of God and the seynt, the furst morspech; the alderman shall find the second with the help of the feloshep, that he may have to the profits of the seynt.—Also that the skevens shall bere the 3 morspechs, beside the general day, accordyng to the beforesaid.
I find at this time several men and women admitted brethren and sisters, the men paying 2s. admission, and the women 1s. among them Domps. Robs. Metford, monachus, and paid 2s. and Prior William Lobbis or Cobbis, 2s. It was a mean gild. At one colloquium I find expended in lervis 9d. in pane 3d. in casu et carn. 3d.
Colloq. tent. in aula Hen. Bretenham, Die Dominic, prox. post fest. Sce. Cather. Ao. Hen. VII. 3°.
Colloq. Gen. on the feast of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian, Ao. 3 of Hen. VII. John Nichol chose alderman, &c. when it was ordered that there shall be kept 2 morspech in the yere, besides the general, and that the skevins shall have of every brother and sister of the general day, as many as dine and sup, 2d. and the morspech-pence.
Colloq. Gen. in St. George's Hall, on Sunday next after the feast of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian, Hen. VII. 4°.
Robert Johnson, chose alderman; ordered that there be but one morspech in the year, besides the general day, this morspech to be kept the Sunday before St. Margaret's day.—Ordered that the brethren and sisters dyne and sup together, and pay every brother and sister that dine and sup 1d. and the morspech 1d. when it appeared that they had goods and chattels belonging to them.—Ordered that the clerk's wages shall be 12d. and the dean's 10d. per ann. and we will that John Sturmyn shall bere the perk money, for to find the perk lights.
Dna. Alice Belle, a recluse, entered and paid 1s.—1492, Adam Mylke, then alderman—Henry Bretenham, chose alderman, 1492, after Mylke, when I find children entered brothers and sisters, under age.
Dompn. Geor. - - - - -, prior of Lyn, entered brother 1495.
Mem. that the alderman gave a drinking the first Sunday in May, and 3s. 4d. was gathered and delivered to the alderman, to be delivered the next general day to the brethren again, with his good devotion to God and to the good Holy Seynt, and in encressin of the gyld.
At a drinking on Sunday next before All-hallows mass, at John Bevies Smith, gathered 2s. 4d. for the perk money.
Dnus. Nicholas Berdeney, intrat. Ao. 4 Hen. VII.
The morspech held on Relick Sunday, 1490, Robert Johnson, alderman.
In the 7th of Henry VII. Ad. Mylke, chose alderman;—ordered that every brother, on the next morrow after the general, shall wait on the alderman for the time being, at our Lady of the mount, (fn. 34) at 9 of the clock, and there every brother to offer then, and what brother come not, without a lawful excuse, shall pay at the next morspech following after the general, half a pound of wax, without any grace, and he that come not, to send his offering, and every brother having a wife, or sister, they to offer betwixt them, a half-penny.—This general held Sunday 22d of January.
In 1492, Adam Mylke, occurs alderman, chose on Sunday after St. Fab. and the feast in St. George's Hall.
Adam Mylke, alderman, 1493.
In 1493, there seems to be 38 of this gild, the morspech pence being 3s. 2d.
In 1493 the second paid at their dinner and supper, by every brother 1d. to the gild and 1d. to the scevyns, a brother and his wife 3d. — 1d. to the gyld, and 2d. to the schevens.
In the 10th of Henry VI. Henry Bretenham chose alderman, on Sunday next after St. Fabian and Sebastian, and occurs 1495. Ordered that the skyvens on the day of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian, or one of them, come to the church, and do ring none, and see that the candles about and afore the awter be light, at evening and at service, on the day, on pain of dim. lib. of wax, each of them to the lightward; and I find 4 minstrells belong to them and brethren.
In the 13 of Henry VII. Bretenham occurs alderman.—The altar light, perk, &c. kept by the guild, and that of the bason, and the dead.
In 1500, H. Bretenham, mayor, and 1501, H. Bretenham, alderman, and 1502, and 1503.
In the 2d of Henry VIII. Thomas Trunch, late alderman, died.
In the 4th of Henry VIII. Robert Baker, chose alderman.
Concerning the Antiquity of St. Nicholas's Chapel.
Whether the dedication of this chapel was intended to the memory of that St. Nicholas mentioned Acts 6 and 5, a proselyte of Antioch, and one of the 7 deacons there, chosen and appointed by the holy Apostles, to distribute the alms and oblations of the new coverts to Christianity, amongst the poor widows of the Greeks and Hebrews, who had then likewise embraced the Christian religion, or else to one of the same name, who was also canonized a saint, and some time Bishop of Myra, a great city in Lycia, (which is a province in the Lesser Asia) who lived about the beginning of the fourth century, as both the Greek and Roman legendaries do inform us, and whom we find registered in our church calendar on the 6th of December, I will not presume here to determine, as not so material to our purpose, though I rather incline to the former.
We can neither speak positively as to the founder of this chapel, nor the precise time of its foundation and building, as is much to be wished, but thus far we may reasonably conclude, that without all doubt, it must be above 400 years standing and upwards, if the following evidences may be allowed of.
First, it is very remarkable that upon the front, or top of the porch, which is the only one, but that very neat, adjoining to this sacred structure, are placed the figures of a lion and an eagle, cut in stone, and fixed on pedestals, the two supporters of the arms of King Edward III. which, if I may be permitted to conjecture, gives some reason to believe, that this chapel was first founded before, or at leastwise finished in some part of that King's reign, which began in 1326, and continued above 50 years.
Secondly, again we find here the sepulture and interment of one William de Bittering, (who was divers times mayor of this corporation, in that King's reign,) together with his wife Julian, to be both in this chapel, in the south isle towards the east, under a very large fair stone, 10 feet long, and 6 broad, all covered over with brass, having their effigies cut in the middle upon the same, neatly engraven, and embellished with fine decorations round the verge, which is still to be seen almost entire, and whose mark or symbol (which we find in divers places on the plate of his tombstone) is also still remaining, fairly depicted or stained, in a south window near his grave.
Thirdly, Moreover it is recorded (as I before intimated) that in the year 1379, Pope Urban VI. sent his bull hither (which was received with great veneration) to authorise and allow the baptising of infants, and other adult persons in this chapel, which doubtless before were always initiated in the parish church of St. Margaret: that part of the old font, called the bason, then made use of in this holy place, (before the erecting that now standing, granted and consecrated by S. Harsnell, D.D. and Bishop of Norwich, in the year 1627, and which resembles that at St. Margaret's) I am prone to believe is the same which I observed to lie upon the ground (with the pedestal at some distance from it) among the rubbish and lumber, in a certain place on the north side of the quire, perhaps formerly some oratory, chapel, or chantry.
It is of free-stone, 164 inches in diameter, upon the superficies within the verge, and 9 inches deep perpendicular from the bottom, carved on the outside.
Lastly, the fourth and last evidence which offers itself to our observation, concerning the antiquity of this elegant chapel, though of much later date, is that sometime since, in a window next to the north door, I found there the year of our Lord, fairly depicted or stained in the glass, in very beautiful and yellow characters, but it is now demolished and gone, notwithstanding having taken care to pre serve a transcript of it, we have endeavoured to imitate it, as near as we could, and given you as follows,
Anno Dom. m. cccc. xm.
St. James's Chapel.
In the certificate and presentment of William Butts, Christopher Walpole, Gent. &c. taken 29 September, in the 3d year of Queen Elizabeth, before Sir Nicholas Le Strange, Knt. Thomas Guybon, Henry Mynn, and Henry Spilman, Esq. commissioners to the Queen, the jurors find that there was a chapel dedicated to St James, then defaced by the mayor and his brethren, saving one cross isle, which was then re-edifying and repairing by the mayor of the said town, which chapel contained in length five score feet, and in breadth 24 feet; the cemetery or churchyard of the said chapel containeth 3 acres, and is used to bury the dead: it was a chapel of ease, and the founder thereof was Bishop of Norwich, whose name we know not; there did belong to it 4 bells, taken down by the mayor of the town since the death of Henry VIII. but in what year we know not, which were worth by estimation, with the bell of the charnel-house, ccl.
Item, we say that there did belong to the said chapel and charnelhouse, stone, iron and glass, to the value of 100 marks. Item, timber and lead to the value of 300l. Item, plate jewels and stock, to the value of 200l. but where they are bestowed we know not. Item, there do belong to this chapel certain lands and tenements in King's Lynn, to the yearly value of 5l. in whose tenure we know not, nor to what use. Item, we say that the evidences concerning the lands and tenements belonging to this chapel, which were in the custody of one John Parkynne, and John Hall, were taken away from them by the mayor; and as to the writings of all other lands, &c. who hath the custody, we know not.
Item, there were other chapels, as St. John's, our Lady on the Bridge, which are defaced; St. Catherine, our Lady on the Mount, St. Laurence, but who were the founders we know not. Item, a house called Trinity college, Thomas Thoresby, late of the said town, merchant, founder, to what use we know not, which college was sold by the mayor of the said town, to one—Houghton, now owner, before that a brew-house. Item, a charnel-house in St. Margaret's churchyard, now used for a shool-house, the founders of it Thomas Thoresby, Walter Coneye, and—Lock, merchant, to what use founded we know not.
There was a chapel called Trinity chapel, in the chapel of St. James's at Lynn, in 1535.—Regr. Godsalve, fol. 82.
It was ordered on Friday before the feast of St. Tiburtius and Valerian, in the 35th of Edward III. by the commonalty assembled in the guild-hall, that the clerks of St. James's in Lynn, for the future, shall carry the holy water from the east gate of Lynn, through all the south part of Damgate, and through the whole street called Webster Row, and that the clergy or clerks of St. Nicholas shall likewise carry from the aforesaid gate, through all the north part of the aforesaid street of Damgate.
That this was a chapel in the beginging of Henry the Second's time, appears from the charter of Bishop Turb, Bishop of Norwich, of this chapel, that of St. Nicholas, and that of Myntling. Witnesses, William and Roger, archdeacons of Norwich, Master Itanu, Mr. Nicholas Magis, Godewyn, Ernold Lupell, Mr. Walter de Colne, Mr. Alan, capellan; Ralph capellan; Roger, clerk; Lambert, clerk; Joel, dean; and Staner, pecert of Lenn; Robert Pincerna, Roger de Scoles, William de Jernemuta, Ralph Coche, Turgetell and Syric, David de Bylney, &c.—Regist. 1 p. Ecc. Cath. Norw. fol. 27.
This chapel was converted to a town-house for the manufacturing of stuffs and lace, but without success, as Spilman mentions in his History of Sacrilege, page 249.
In St. James's chapel was our Saviour's image, in the east end.
Saint James's chapel was founded by Bishop William Turbe, at the same time with the chapel of St. Nicholas, and on the same terms and conditions, and appropriated to St. Margaret's. Reg. Nor. Prior. 4, fol. 21.
Our Lady's Chapel on the Bridge.
This chapel was defaced before Queen Elizabeth's reign, as appears by an inquisition taken in the 3d of Elizabeth.
Isti sunt fratres et sorores gild, tigulat. fundat. honor. Pur. Be. Mariæ ao. r. Rs. Edw. III. post conquest. 3.—Tho. de Langham et Christiana uxor ejus.—Carolus de Secheford et Alicia uxor ejus, Robt. de Derby & Margar. uxor ejus, Wills filius ejusd. Robti, &c. admitted, as I take it, this year.
St. Catharine's Chapel.
Where it stood is not certain. It was defaced before the 3d of Elizabeth, as appears by an inquisition then taken.
In the 5th of Richard II. Henry le Despencer Bishop of Norwich wrote a letter to Roger Paxman, mayor, and to the burgesses of Lynn, wherein he disires that they would, for the love they bear to the Bishop, grant their part of the house of St. Catharine to one John Consolif, late servant to the Lord le Despenser, brother to the Bishop, there to live a solitary life, upon the alms of the good people; the other part of the house belonging to the archdeacon of Norwich, being before granted to the said John Consolyf, archdeacon of Lynn.
This chapel of St. Catherine is mentioned 1497, and the charity gyld of the town of Lenn; quere, if not the houses of Lepers at Gaywood, Mawdelyn, and Setchyth. Regist. Seyve.
Our Lady on the Mount or Wall, and Gild.
This chapel was defaced before the 3d of Elizabeth, as appears from an inquisition then taken.
In Doctor Edward Brown's Travels, fol. edition, p. 43, is a cut of a Greek monastery, very much of the same form with this chapel, of 4 stories in height, one less than the other, the three lowest square, the uppermost story an octagon, like a steeple.
These are the brethren and sisters of the guild Tigulat. founded to the honour and purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, ao. 3 Edward III.
Thomas de Langham and Christian his wife.
Charles de Secheford and Alice his wife.
Robert de Derby and Margery his wife, William, son of the said Robert, &c.
Robert seems to be alderman of the guild.
These are the four morwespeches of the said guild: the first morwespeche is on the Sunday (le Dymeynge Prochein) after the purification of the Blessed Virgin, the second on the day of the annunciation of our Lady, the third on the day of the assumption of our, Lady, the fourth on the day of the conception of our Lady.
It is ordained that if any of the brethren be summoned on any of the four morwespeches, and are in the said town, and make default, they shall pay 1d. to the honour of our Lady.
Here is a chimney, now standing in it, erected during the plague, when it was made a pest-house.
In 1509, it was in use, when in the compotus of the prior of St. Margaret, we find,
De pixidib; omnium sanctor. in eccles. St. Margaret. et capellis St. Nicholai et St. Jacobi una cum capella beate Marie ad pontem—6s. 4d.—De capella beate Marie de Monte 16s. 10d. which shews how great the Madona here was held.
St. Ann's Fort.
Quere if there was not anciently a chapel near this fort, called St. Ann's, by St. Nicholas's chapel, there being a gild called St. Ann's gild, as appears by the inquisition taken in the 3d of Elizabeth.
Hermitage, or Lynn Crouc.
The mayor and commonalty petition William (Bateman) Bishop of Norwich, begging his favour towards John Puttock, to admit him as a hermit, who had in the Bishop's marsh by Lenne, on the sea shore, in a certain place called Lenne Crouch, made a cave there till he could build himself a proper mansion, purposing, as he declares, to spend all his time, by your permission and license, in the service of God there; and the said John Puttock has there erected a certain remarkable cross, of great service for all shipping coming that way, of the height of 110 feet, at his own great cost and charge. Dat. 8 Cal. Dec. 1349.
John de Grey Bishop of Norwich, persuaded King John to found the guild of the Holy Trinity, at Lynn, the brethren of which were bound, under the penalty of a gallon of wine, to have mass celebrated every Trinity Sunday, in St. Margaret's church, for the souls of the said King and Bishop.
It was called the Great guild of the Holy Trinity it Lenn, in respect to other less guilds in the said town. The head or chief person of this guild was styled the alderman or custos, and was chose by the commonalty of the said town, and continued so on that choice for life, unless upon account of some very great infirmity or inability, or some other reasonable cause, he was set aside and removed.
This guild is said to have its rise and beginning before the reign of King John, as appears from the answer or certificate of Thomas Botseham, alderman of it, (temp. Richard II. (fn. 35) ) and his brethren, to a writ of enquiry of that King, relating to its foundation, authority, &c. that its original was not known; that King John, considering the great concourse of merchants to this town, granted the alderman that then was, and the commonalty and their successours, by letters patents, bearing date in his sixth year, that they might have a guild of merchants in the said town; and Henry III. son of the said King John, by his letters patents, granted one of their own body and community to be mayor of the said town, which said mayor and alderman, for the time being, should always have the rule and government of it, and which said alderman in the vacancy of a mayor, or in the absence of the mayor from the said town, should have the rule and government of the said community, as the alderman, and his predecessors, the aldermen of the said town, had and enjoyed.
As to their possessions, &c. they are thus returned to the aforesaid enquiry.
That they had a place, called the Common-Stath, with its appertenances, valued at 42l. 6s. 8d. per ann. clear, besides all reprises.
That the goods and chattels of the aforesaid gild amount in the whole to 260l. 13s. viz. in ready money 60l. 13s. in divers merchandise 200l. and that in many books, vestments, chalices, and other ornaments for the chaplains of the said guild performing divine service as well in the parish church, as in the chapels annexed to the said church; and that in wax for lights in the said church and chapels, to the honour and laud of the Holy Trinity yearly found, and for torches at the funerals of poor brethren, &c. of the said guild, and that out of the profits of the Common Stathe, and out of the goods and chattels aforesaid, together with divers goods and chattels bequeathed and left to the said guild; the alderman, &c. sustain and find thirteen chaplains dayly and yearly, to pray as well for the King, his ancestors, and for the peace and welfare of his kingdom, as for the souls of all the aldermen, brethren and benefactors of the said gild, also for the souls of all the faithful deceased, six of which officiated in the church of St. Margaret aforesaid, four in the chapel of St. Nicholas, and three in the chapel of St. James in Lenne, who all day, as they are stated and appointed in the church and chapels aforesaid, celebrate high mass by note, and on Sundays and other festival days, celebrate mass at Mattins, and at Vespers by note. And if any of the aforesaid chaplains neglects his duty and office, or is not of an honest life and conversation, when he has been admonished by the alderman, and does not amend, he is removed from the service, and the said alderman appoints another able and honest one in his place. And further, that out of the profits of the said Common Stath, goods and chattels aforesaid, many alms, deeds, and works of charity, were yearly given, which one year with another are computed at 30l. viz. towards the support of the poor brethren of the said guild, to the blind, lame, and other distressed persons, to poor clerks keeping school, and to poor religious houses, as well of men as women, to the lepers near and about Lenne, and in the repairs, &c. of the parish church and chapels aforesaid, and in the ornaments of the same, together with the alms given to the four orders of friars in Lenne, and to the maintaining of several aquæducts for the use of the said town; all the goods and chattels aforesaid are in the hands of the said alderman and of four men of the said gild, called Skyveyns, (fn. 36) who yearly distribute the said goods as aforesaid, and further, that the brethren of the said gild never had, or used any one suit of livery either in their vestments, or hoods.
1. If any stranger is willing to enter into the fraternity, he ought to pledge into the hands of the alderman, 100s. et jus p'dict. domus; scil. to the alderman 4d. to the clerk 2d. to the dean 2d. and afterwards out of the 100s. pledged with the alderman and his brethren, ad melius - - - - - - - - poterit, and shall immediately give one sextary (fn. 39) of wine, viz. 10d.
2. If any brother has a son, or sons legitimate, who are willing to enter into the said fraternity, each one ought to pay for his entrance 4s. the aforesaid right being excepted.
3. Whoever will enter into the said fraternity, ought on the first day of his admission to wait and serve before the alderman and the brethren honourably, in neat cloaths, and - - - - - (fn. 40) of gold, or silver.
4. The alderman is to have on the day of Pentecost, one sextary of wine, and the dean half a sextary, the clerk half, and each of the skivins (fn. 41) the same day half a sextary, and every day after as long as the drinking shall continue, (fn. 42) the alderman shall have half a sextary, the dean, clerk, and each of the skivins, one gallon, and each of the attendants half a gallon, at evening.
5. If any of the brethren shall disclose to any stranger, the counsels of the said guild, to their detriment, without the assent of the alderman, and his brethren, he shall forfeit the sum of 32 pence.
6. If any of the brethren shall fall into poverty, or misery, all the brethren are to assist him by common consent out of the chattels of the house fraternity, or of their proper own.
7. If any brother should be impleaded, either within Lenne, or without, the brethren there present ought to assist him in their counsel, if they are called, to stand with, and counsel him without any costs, and if they do not, they are to forfeit 32d.
8. None of the brethren is to come into the guild before the alderman, and his brethren, with his cap, or hood on, or barefoot, (fn. 43) or in any rustick manner, if he does he is to be amerced, 4d.
9. If any one should sleep at the guild, either at the general meeting, or their feasts and drinking, (fn. 44) he is to forfeit 4d.
10. If any one turns him rudely to his brother, or calls him by any rude name, to be amerced 4d.
11. If any one is called and cited at a prime, (or general meeting,) and does not come before the issue of the first consult, he is to pay 1d. by order of the dean, and if he refufes, and sits down, he is to be amerced 4s.
12. If any one shall be cited to the prime, and shall be found in the town, or shall come late to the drinking, and the dean shall say to him to be there at the next prime, and he does not come, before they begin to take judgement of defaults, he shall either make some reasonable excuse, or pay 12d. and if he comes before the defaults are adjudged, and shall depart without leave, shall pay 12d.
13. If any one of this house shall buy any thing, and a brother shall come in unexpectedly, before the agreement, (fn. 45) or at it, he ought to be a partner with him that buys, and if the buyer refuses it, he is to be amerced half a mark.
14. If any servant of the brethren comes at the drinking, or the prime, he his to lay down the cap and cloak, and give it to the janitor to keep whilst he enters, and speaks to his master, and then he is to depart forthwith; if it is at the drinking, let him drink once or twice, provided he does not sit, and then he is to depart, and if he does not, his master is to be amerced.
15. If any one refuse to obey the precept of the alderman, or dean, for the honour and profit of the house, he is to be amerced 12s.
15. If any poor brother shall die, the alderman and brethren shall see that his body be honourably buried, of the goods, or chattels of the house, or out of alms, if he has not wherewith to bury himself.
17. If the alderman shall die, none belonging to him, neither son or other, can act in any thing as alderman, but the brethren may choose a new alderman whom they please.
18. If any brother shall die, the dean is to summons all the brethren to make their offerings for the soul of the deceased, and if any one is absent, he is to give one half-penny at the next prime following, for the soul of the defunct, and the dean is to have 4d. of the alms collected for citing the brethren.
19. If any brother, or alderman, shall act contrary to the ordinances of the house, he is either to forfeit his brotherhood, or to pay half a mark, for the good of the house.
20. No one shall intrude himself whilst the drinking continues.
21. If any brother shall offend another brother, in word, or deed, he shall make no complaint, but to the alderman first, and the mayor, if he does not, he is to be amerced half a mark.
22. If the skyvens shall merchandise with the chattels of the house, no brother shall have any part therein, but the whole profit to go to the use of the gild.
23. The skyvens are to swear, when they receive the chattels of the house, that they will employ the same faithfully, to the good of the guild, and will fully account and answer for the profit.
Corpus Christi Guild.
License was granted that John de Brumham, and John Waryn of Lenn, might give one messuage, 75s. 7d. ob. rent, with the appertenances in Lenn, and that Richard Dun might give the rent of 12d. and the profit of one passage boat beyond the port of the village of Lenne, with the appertenances, to Thomas de Couteshale, master of the said guild, (as I take it,) and the aforesaid John and Richard might give to Thomas de Couteshale, one shop and one solar. with the appertenance in the said village, which Thomas de Couteshale holds.
John de Brunham, John de Penteneye, and Adam Skert, burgesses of Lyn, grant, &c. to Jeffrey Talboth, Thomas Botekysham, John de Dockyng, &c. 2s. which they used to receive of the heirs of John de Syssewell of West Lenne, for the liberty of a ferry, a passage boat over the water.—Dated at Lenn Bishop on Sunday after the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin in the 3d of Richard II.— Jeff. Talboth then mayor:—witnesses, John de Tyteleshale, Roger Paxam, &c.
St. John's Chapel.
The chapel on the south side of the chancel of St. Margaret's church is called St. John's chapel.
St. Mary Magdalen's Hospital,
on the Causeway, between Gaywood and Lynn.
The history of St. Mary Magdalen is recorded in the Holy Evangelists, and her anniversary observed on the 21st of July, and it is much to be wondered at that none of our English historians (that I can meet with) have taken notice of this so noble and ancient a foundation.
In a fair manuscript vellum book, among the archives of the town's repository, there is a full account of its ancient and present situation, which begins thus:
In die Decollationis St. Johannis Baptistæ, A°. Rni. Regis
Jacobi Angliæ, &c. Annoq; Dni. 1617.
Compositus est iste liber mandatum Joh'is Wallis, majoris, majoratus sui tempore secundo, Thoma Oxburgh, Armig; recordature consulente, Rico Stonham in proximi anni majorem electo; Thoma Baker, Thoma Gibson, Johanne Spence, Matheo Clerk, Joh, Atkyn, Thoma Soame, Joh. Wormell, Thoma Leighton, Will'mo Doughty, Will'mo Atkyn, et Thoma Gurlyn, aldermannis modernis annuentibus et approbantibus.
Magdelena tuis tandem renovata resurgunt, Pauperibus domus ac prædia rapta diu.
Hoc opus effecit celebris tibj proxima Lenna. Protegat omnipotens, Hanc, inopesq; tuos.
This book briefly expresses the original foundation of the ancient hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, upon the causeway between Lenn and Gaywood, long since dissolved, the lands and possessions whereof have been long concealed from the Crown, and turned to the gain of private men, and how the mayor and burgesses of King's Lynn, at their great charge and expenses, have lately purchased the King's letters patents, of grant of the site of the said hospital, and the lands and tenements thereunto belonging, for relief and maintenance of poor people, unto the mayor and aldermen of the same town, who by the same letters patents, are incorporated by the name of the mayor and aldermen of the burgh of Lenn Regis, in the county of Norfolk, governors, &c. of the hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, &c.—of the foundation of James King of England, &c. together with a true relation of the proceeding of the said mayor and aldermen, (since the said letters patent to them granted) for the establishing of the possession of the said lands and tenements in them, the said governour and their successours, for ever; and in what state the possession and revenues of the said new founded hospital now stands.
This ancient hospital was founded by one Petrus Capellanus in the reign of King Stephen, in honour of St. Mary Magdalen, and consisted of a prior, 12 brethren and sisters, in all 13; of whom 10 (the prior being one) were sound, and 3 unsound, or leprous, some ecclesiastical and some secular, bound to perform superstitious rites, and prayers for the souls of men departed this life. viz. for the soul of Petrus Capellanus, their founder, the souls of popes, bishops, abbots, priors, kings, queens, and others, their benefactors, as appears by their ancient book of Obits and Orisons, and by the ancient instrument of articles which the brethren and sisters were bound to observe. And all, or most of the lands given to the said hospital, were for the maintaining of prayers for the dead, as appears by divers deeds and charters without date, of the first donations of the said lands.
Petrus Capellanus, their founder, died upon St. Paul's day, being the 25th of January, A. D. 1174, in the 20th of Henry II. as appears from the said Obit book.
By an indenture made the 8th of March, Ao. 12 of Elizabeth, between Thomas Hasket, prior of this hospital, and the brethren and sisters of the said hospital, as well whole as sick, on the one part, and John Pell of King's Lynn, on the other, let to John Pell, 4 acres of pasture, belonging to the said hospital at Geywode.
Hasket was buried the 16th of January, in the church of Geywode, Ao. 1585.
Robert Hullier, of King's Lynn, Norfolk, merchant, grants to Peter Cartwright, mayor of Lynn, &c. all that fraternity, or hospital of St. Mary Magdalen; all lands, tenements, &c. whatsoever, which he the said Robert and Thomas, Grave, Gent, lately deceased, had to them and their heirs of the gift of Theoph. Adams of London, Gent. (in the 24th of Eliz.) dated in the 36th of Elizabeth. An enfeoffent to the mayor and corporation.
John Dixon, governour and keeper of this hospital, Ao. 6 Edw. VI. and Ao. 9.
King James, in regard of the service done heretofore in the wars, by Thomas Battie, and of his maymes susteyned therein, gives and grants to him, the room and place of governour or guyder of this hospital for life, June 4, Ao. 5.
Richard Leke, occurs prior of the hospital of Lazars Ao. 15 Henry V.
Robert Wilson, master then.
Wilson married Isabell, widow of Thomas Hasket.
Richard Leke prior: the brethren and sisters, as well the seke, as the hole, by consent, took into their fraternity Catharine Jurdan, the wife of Humphrey Jurdan, and grant to her a chamber, with a garden, late in the tenure of Frere John Goldesburgh, doctor, for the time of her life; the said Catharine to repair, susteyn, and uphold the same, at her own costs and expences; and the said Catharine to have her part and portion of all rents, ferms, almesses, legacies, gifts, offerings, &c. as any brother or sister shall receive;—Dated July 22, 12th of Henry VIII.
Several other like admissions of men and women, priests and laymen, I have seen.
Sir James Bastard, parson of Massingham Parva, admitted 14th Henry VIII.—at his admission, covenanted that he should be present among the said brethren and sisters, in the said hospital, 4 times in the year, and at any other time of nede, when he shall be desired by the prior, brethren, &c. and he was to have a standing for his horse, as often as he come, and for them that come with him.
Thomas Hasket, prior, in the 12th of Elizabeth.
Nicholas Bryggs, prior, ao. 18 Henry VIII. and occurs 21.
Roger Adams, prior, ao. 26 Henry VIII.
John Dalman, prior, ao. 8 Edward IV.
Richard Bull, prior ao. 3 Henry VII.
Nicholas Portland, prior, ao. 22 Edward IV.
22d Edward IV. Henry Burgh, prior.
William, son of William de Congham, grants to God and St. Mary Magdalen, and the brethren there serving God, 5 acres of land in the fields of Gongham;—witnesses, Sir William Rusteing, &c. sans date.
Roger, son of Alexander Arsick, of Dunham Magna, grants and confirms all the lands which his father gave, with liberty of a fold; and Margery Arsick and her heirs, confirm and warrant the same; sans date.
Thomas, son of Ammaricius de Babingle, gives to this house, lands at Geywode, belonging to the of Bishop Norwich's fee, sans date; Robert, the mayor, Michael de Belvaco, &c. witnesses.
Nicholas Portland who occurs prior on Saturday before the feast of St. Simon and Jude, in the 22d year of Edward IV. and William Basset, capellane, surrendered them at a court, with the lete, held at Geywode, a messuage and half an acre of land, to the use of John Herison, and Alice his wife, for their lives, then to remain to the said prior and his successours.
Mr. Cheyney prior.
Humphrey Jordan succeeded prior, who married Cheyney's widow.
Robert Wylson prior.
John Dyxon his son, succeeded prior.
Mr. Knoles prior.
Humphrey Dene, prior.
William Collyson, prior.
Robert Dyxon, made master or prior in right of Isabel his wife, who suffered all the decay and injury of this hospital lately.
Robert Wylson, master of this house, married Isabel, late wife of Thomas Hesket, late master, and after Collyson's own house, there lately built, now fallen into great decay; hath 6 acres joining to the said house, now in their own hands, which is all that they have in occupation in their own hands. Also Mr. Thursbye occupies one marsh, lying in Geywode and Myntlyn, the old rent thereof was 20s. per ann. which is well worth 4l. per ann. at the least, and he is to have of the house for rents belonging to the manor of Geywode, 42s. 3d. per ann. Mr. Spence occupies one close, lying in Gannock, which is called 10 acres, but in truth is 14 acres at the least, and he pays but 33s. and 4d. per ann. Park of Holm, holdeth 11 acres at Sechyth, and pays but 33s. and 4d. per ann. well worth 4l. 13s. and 4d. per ann. Also Mr. Strannge hath a foldecourse and lands in Lexham, which wont to pay to the said house, 23s. per ann. and by the space of 30 years hath unpaid, and by the report of them that know it, it is well worth 4l. per ann. Other lands in Congham and Creak abbey, the value whereof is not yet made. Also Wrothes of Geywode holdeth one pightle, worth 6s. per ann. and pays nothing. Item, one close or pightle lying in Geywoode by South Wotton, has been let for 8s. per ann. but now none will give above 3s. or 2s. 8d. per ann. Item, one rede dole in Geywode, containing 8 acres, the old rent is 8s. Item, Mr. Pell occupieth 3 acres by the house; the old rent was 10s. and now 20s. Item, Thomas Gybson of Lynne occupies one close of 3 acres, by the house; the old rent was 20s. and now 40s. Item, he occupies—acres lying by Maudelyn bank, and pays 24s. per ann. and it is worth 50s. Item, 2 acres by Dersingham-lane, worth 20s. per ann. the old rent 10s. Item, in Geywode fen, 3 acres; the old rent 6s. now 15s. per ann. Roger Lauson has an acre and an half; old rent 10s. now 26s. and 8d. per ann. Six acres lying by Salter's load; the old rent 10s. now 20s. per ann. Item, a whole piece there, and pays 4s. 6d. per ann. Item, 5 acres in Narford, rent 9d. now 3s. Item, 5 acres in Hockold, let for 2s. 6d. per ann. worth 5s.
This I have taken from a little piece of paper, wrote (as I take it) in Queen Elizabeth's reign.
The seal of this hospital was large and oblong, of red wax, and very curious; in the middle of it was the effigies of St. Mary Magdalen, in her right hand a box, (fn. 46) and in her left a palm branch, on the right side of this, a shield, with 2 keys in saltier; on the left, the triangular emblem of the Trinity; the legend, Sigillum commune—Marie Magdalen.
1. Friars Carmelites or White friars in South Lynn.
2. Friars Minorites, or Gray friars.
3. Friars-preachers, or Black-friars.
4. Augustine friars.
5. A cell or college of priests belonging to Norwich.
The four first were purchased of Hen. VIII. by John Eyre, Esq. one of the King's auditors or receivers, who in his lifetime conveyed the same to a priest, from whom the corporation of Lynn purchased the Carmelites and Minorites, (both which are now in their possession,) as also the impropriation of the church of St. Margaret; the other two, viz. Friars-preachers, and Augustine-friars, came to two private families in town, in whose hands they now remain, but never continued in any descent.
The cell of priests was near the guild-hall, and the prior's house, was somewhat remote from it, by St. Margaret's church; the site of the prior's house was lately consecrated and annexed to St. Margaret's churchyard, for a burial-place.—Priory-lane has its name from hence.
There remains now nothing to be seen of these friaries and religious houses, but ruins and rubbish, being long since utterly demolished; notwithstanding the places of their situation are still apparent in town, all of them being separately walled round, and commonly known at this day by their several denominations aforesaid.
The former of these, the Carmelites steeple, having continued upwards of 360 years, being at length fallen to decay, and become very ruinous for want of timely reparation, fell down suddenly of itself, and which is the more remarkable, on a very still and calm day, the 9th of April, 1631, as it is mentioned on record, and asserted to me for truth, by several ancient inhabitants that knew it, and were then alive.
"The Gray-friars had undergone the same fate of desolation, had it not been mended and repaired 30th Henry VIII. (as the following inscription on the west side denotes; John Perceval mayor, 1631,) by the stones (as it is said, and not improbably) at the pulling down of some part of a ruined and disused chapel, of which as follows;
"This consecrated fabric was dedicated to the memory of St. James the Apostle, and stands very near the Gray-friars, in an inclosed ground or cemetery walled round, where many persons are still interred, and it is very remarkable, that no less than 220 were buried in this place in the year 1591, during the time of the great sickness, then in town; a great part of this chapel was pulled down, an. 1549, ten years after the general dissolution of abbies, &c. but upon what occasion I know not; and in 1587, the pinnacle of the same was likewise taken down, and the steeple builded flat."
"In 1581, it was at a great expense of the corporation prepared and made a place for the manufacturing of bays, &c. but soon came to nothing.—About an hundred years after, 1682, it was again at a great charge fitted up by the corporation, and other inhabitants, to be a receptacle for poor children, to learn to spin wool, where they are well provided for, and taught to read, &c."
"It bears this inscription, on a marble stone set over the door:"
"E. Ruinis Capellæ St. Jacobi Orphanotrophium hoc erexit S. P. Q. L. An. Dni. M. D. C. LXXXII. Simone Taylor Prætore."
"They have also endowed it with 20l. per ann. and it is since, by act of parliament, ao. 1701, and 12 William III. for erecting hospitals and workhouses, in King's Lynn, &c. settled and vested in the guardians of the poor, as by the following clause, amongst others in the said act, more fully appears,—"The workhouse founded by the mayor and burgesses, called St. James's Workhouse, and all lands, tenements, rents, revenues, goods, and chattels belonging to the same, are (by this act) vested and settled in the guardians of the poor, and their successours." There is also appropriated a farther addition to the revenue and maintenance of this house, 4d. per chaldron on all coals imported into this town, by strangers, which (communibus annis) amounts to 200l. per ann. and upwards."
But leaving this decayed fabrick, I shall only remark, that the arms of the famous Queen Elizabeth, finely cut in stone, quarterly, France and England, supported by a lion and dragon, was taken from this demolished chapel, and set over the guild-hall, where they now stand, as I was well informed by ancient inhabitants.
A little distant from the town, and near the walls thereof, stands another ruinous fabrick, called the Lady's Mount (alias the Red Mount) in which (no doubt) by some remains of architecture, it appears there has been a chapel dedicated (as the aforesaid title imports) to the Blessed Virgin; this religious place (say the ancient inhabitants) was a receptacle for the pilgrims, who took it in their way to say their orisons at, as they travelled along, towards that sometime famous and celebrated priory or convent of our Lady at Walsingham; a village so much renowned all over England, for pilgrimages to the Virgin Mary, that he who had not in that former age visited, and presented with offerings, was accounted irreligious.
The chapel there, says Erasmus, (who was an eye-witness of it, amongst other observations which he relates,) Vide Weaver's Fun. Mon. p. 860, had little or no light in it, but by the tapers and wax candles, which yielded a pleasant and odoriferous smell; nay, if you would look into it, you would say it were the habitation of some heavenly saints indeed, so bright shining it is all over, with precious stones, with gold and silver, &c. Thus far he.
It was supprest the first of August, 30th of Henry VIII. and valued after the rate of those times, at 446l. 14s. 4d¾. per ann.
To this Lady of Walsingham (to make but one remark more) the aforesaid Sir Henry Spelman tells us, when he was a child, there was a common story, that King Henry VIII. went barefoot from Barsham, a town lying about 2 miles south-west from Walsingham, and there offered a necklace (monile) of great value to the Virgin Mary, (Icenia, p. 149.)
But in the 30th year of the same King, Cromwell carried her image from hence to Chelsea, where he took care to have it burnt. Hollinsh. p. 971.
Mr. Fox, our famous English martyrologist, and historian, mentions another church here in Lynn, belonging to St. John's hospital; but no remains of either are now to be seen; the story is this:
Sir William Chatris, alias Sautre, (it being usual in former days to give the title of Sir to the clergy) parish priest of the church of St. Margaret, in the town of Lynn, being convened before Henry Spencer Bp. of Norwich, recanted and renounced divers conclusions, which he formerly held and published, and also promised he would renounce publickly as the said Bishop should appoint, the aforesaid conclusions to be erroneous, and heresies, in the parish church of Lynn, and Tilney, and in other places, as the Bishop should then direct and appoint.
Then, next after this, upon the 25th of May, in the year 1399, in the churchyard of the chapel, of St. James, within the town of Lynn, the aforesaid William, in the presence of the aforesaid Bishop and clergy, and the people of the said town of Lynn, standing round about, publickly declared the aforesaid conclusions to be erroneous and heresies.
And after that, on the 26th of May, in the year aforesaid, in the church of the hospital of St. John of the said town, the said Sir William, before the said Bishop, sitting as judge, swore and took his oath upon the Holy Evangelists, that he would never after that time, preach openly or publickly, the aforesaid conclusions, &c. in the presence of Friar John Smerman, Master John Rickynghale, doctor of divinity, William Carlton, doctor of both laws, and Thomas Bulton, officer of the liberty of Lynn aforesaid, with divers others.
He was afterwards burnt, for holding again the same conclusions, which before he had renounced.
WHITE FRIARS, or CARMES, in the Lane called South-Lane, alias White-Fryers, dedicated to St. Mary.
This monastery stood near the south, a little south of Allhallow's church, close to the river Lynn; great part of the old brick wall, and a gate-house, are still standing, though in an old map this is falsely called the Gray friars. It was founded by the Lord Bardolph, about the year 1269; though others say it was founded by Thomas de Feltsham; the Lord Bardolph, the Lord Scales, and Sir John Wigenhale, were also considerable benefactors to it.
In the 45th of Henry III. William le Breton was a considerable benefactor to it, and gave them lands in South Lynn, and in Burgh Green, Dillingham, Brinckley, Willingham, and Carlton in Cambridgeshire. Esch. 45 Hen. III. Nr. 18.
In the 13th of Edward I. they had a patent de Venella.
In the 9th of Richard II. William Lord Bardolph died, and was buried amongst the Carmes here.
In the 12th of Richard II. they had a patent for the rent of 10 quarters of frumenti, and 10 quarters of barley, to receive them annually of the manor of Stow Bardolph, granted by John Lord Bardolph.
In 1379, April 13, Sir Hamon Felton of Litcham, wills his body to be buried in the church of the Carmes at Lenne. His will dated at Glosthorp, proved the first of August following.—Regr. Heydon,
It seems by the deposition of Friar Peter of Lyn, sub-prior of the Carmes, that the family of Hastings were considerable benefactors to this house; for in the 9th of Henry IV. he swore (on a trial then commenced) that the arms of Hastings, were painted for 40 years past in their house, and they had a banner of the arms 38 before, to his knowledge, and Friar Aleyn, the Gaywode reader in divinity there, aged 59 years, deposed the same. MS. Le Neve.
An anchorage belonged to it, and was near it.
The site of this priory was purchased by John Eyre, Esq. February 20th, in the 36th of Henry VIII. who was one of that King's auditors, or receivers, and he conveyed it to a priest, from whom the corporation of Lynn purchased it, and is leased out by them at this time.
The steeple of the Carmes church is said to have fallen down for want of due repair, on April 9, 1631, having stood upwards of 360 years.
This house was surrendered by the prior and 10 brethren, the 30th of September, 1539, in the 30th of Henry VIII. Willis Hist. Abb. vol. ii.
Thomas de Lenna, prior of this house, S. T. D. occurs prior, the 20th of July, 1400. MS. Le Neve.
Alan de Lyn, a native of this town, D.D. and prior of this house, was a learned man, and turned the history of the Bible into allegories, and compiled indexes to above 50 authors and books which he wrote, (see Bale, p. 551, and 552) he flourished in 1420, bred at Cambridge, and buried here, 1421, and was the Friar Aleyn abovementioned, as I take it.
This house was valued at 1l. 15s. 8d. at the Dissolution at 35s. 10d.
GRAY FRIARS, alias Friars - Minors, Franciscans.
In vino miss. fratribus Minorib; die Sti. Francisci, VI. lagen. xviiid. Rot. Joh. St. Omer, 13 Ed. I.
This monastery stood in Fuller's Row, and was founded by Thomas Feltham, or de Folsham.
In the 7th of Edward II. they had a patent for bringing the water to this house, from a spring in North Rungton, called Buken-Well. Pat. 2 Ed. II. pt. 2.
In the 38th of Edward III. they had a patent for 2 messuages, to enlarge their manse. B. 38 Ed. III. pt. M. 8. and 16.
The house was surrendered by the warden and 9 brethren, October 1, 1539, in the 30th of Henry VIII. Willis, Hist. Abb. vol. ii.
The site of it was granted to John Eyre, Esq. the 20th of February in the 36th of Henry VIII. who sold it to a priest, who conveyed it to the corporation, who are the present owners of it. Pat. 26.
The tower of this monastery is still standing in Fuller's Row, though called falsely in an old map, the Monastery of the Carmes.
The Gray Friars settled here about the 52d of Henry III. and built this convent near Synolf's fleet, on which the mills, formerly called Swagg's mill, afterwards the Common mill, or town watermill, stands.
John Tynmouth, a Gray friar of Lynn. Ath. Ox. vol. i. p. 662.
Richard Peverel, of Tylney, Esq. by will dated March 15, 1423, bequeaths his body to be buried in the church of the Friars Minors, of Lynn Bishop, appoints Mr. John Spencer, vicar of Tilney, his executor proved May 15, 1424, Reg. Hurning. fol. 122. I take him to have been descended from Rob. Peverell, Esq. brother of Walter de Langton Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry, and to the Lord of Coldham Hall in the Fens, near Wisbeach.
This Richard left a horse of 10l. value to the Duke of Exeter, to be supervisor of his will, of whom he held lands.
In 1287, Bernard le Estree purchased of William de Lindesey in St. James's street, a certain area, and gave it to enlarge the Friars Minors area.
In 1287, on Monday August 7, in the court at Lenn, Ad. de St. Omer being then mayor, and Richard de Walsingham, steward, Rich. Sefad gave by deed 12d. rent per ann. which his ancestors used to receive out of a certain area, by the churchyard of St. James's to the west, which the said Adam de St. Omer purchased of Adam Silvester, for the enlarging of the area, where the Friars Minors now inhabit.
BLACK FRIARS, or Friars - Preachers, Dominicans.
This monastery stood in Clow Lane, in the eastern part of the town, and was founded by Thomas Gedney, valued at 18l. per ann.
In vino misso fratrib; p'dicatorib; die Bcati Dominici confessoris 11s. Rot. Joh. de St. Omer.
Thomas Thorndon aliened to these friars-preachers a piece of land 18 feet long, and 21 broad, in Lenn Episcopi in the 3d of Edward III.
In the 3d of Edward III. the friars-preachers had a patent to enlarge their house here.
Simon Parche, alias Tyler of Watlyngton, Norfolk, wills in 1442, to be buried in the chancel of the Friars-preachers, or Black-friars of Lyn, and gives to the fabrick, de la stalles, in the said chancel, to be new made, 16l. Reg. Doke, Norw.
In 1488, John Braynes occurs prior.
The chapel of St. Catherine, in the church of the Friars-preachers, mentioned in 1497. Reg. Sayve Norw.
The image of our Lady in the body of the church.
The convent of Dominicans surrendered by the prior and 11 brethren, on the 30th of September 1539, in the 30th of Henry VIII.— Willis Hist. Mon. vol. ii. valued at 18s. 1d. ob.
The site of the Friars preachers granted the 20th of February, in the 36th of Henry VIII. to John Eyre, Esq. with lands there in the tenure of John Kemp. Pat. 26.
This John Eyre, on the Dissolution, had 37 messuages, 9 gardens, in the tenure of divers persons, given by King Henry VIII. in his 36th year, and messuages and tenements called Bishop's Stath, and an house, called the Steward's Hall, with other messuages and lands here, belonging to the see of Norwich. Pat. 36 Hen. VIII. pt. 26, 20 February.
John Eyre, Esq. conveyed it to a priest, from whom it came to Thomas Waters, of - - - - - - -, who had Edward Waters, and a daughter married to George Baker. Edward died without male issue, and left it to Elizabeth his daughter, who married first Nicholas Killingtre; 2d, Edward Bacon; and 3d, Sir John Bolls of Scampton in Lincolnshire, Bart. who sold it to Killingtree, whose son, William enjoyed it, and he sold it to Henry Barkenham, miller, who sold it to John Rivet, about 1646.
This house of the Friars-preachers was in the patronage of Thomas, Earl of Rutland, as Leland, vol. i. p. 102, as lord, perhaps, of Wrongey.
An anchorage belonged to it.
The Black-friars settled here about the time that the Gray friars did, as appears from a writ, Ad quod damnum, for a fountain, or spring granted them in Middleton, by Lenn, by William, Lord Bardolf, called Brokewell, and a certain aquaduct coming from that spring, or well, to their convent at Lynn, Esch. in Turri Lond. Ao. 21 Ed. I. No. 71.
The Friars-preachers were here in 1272.
Friars de Penitentia Jesu,
perhaps the same with Gray Friars.
In 1307, Roger de Flegg was vicar-general of the order of friars de Penitentia Jesu in England at Lenne.
A chapel out of the east-gates of Lenn, in 1467.
A grammar-school maintained time out of mind, in the charnelhouse at Lynn, adjoining to St. Margaret's church, by the mayor and burgesses: the master had a good house belonging to it, and a stipend of 10l. 10s. per ann. and the usher a stipend of 7l. per ann. in 1562. See Margaret's church.
Stephen Guybon of North Lynne, by his will, gave to every house of lepars about Lenn, viz. West Lynne, Cowgate, Herdwyk, Setche-Hithe, Mawdelyn, and Geywode, 12d. dated in 1432. Stephen was son of Laurence Guybon: Agnes, his daughter, was wife of Stephen Grey; John and William his sons. Reg. Surflete, Norw.
Augustin Friars of Lynn.
The Augustin friars settled here in the beginning of Edward the First's reign, as appears by a writ, Ad qd. damnum, for a messuage in Lynn, granted by Margaret de Southmere, to them. Inquis. 22 Ed. I. in Turri Lond. N. 112.
This monastery stood in the northern part of town in Hogman'slane, alias Hopman's way.
These friars had a patent granted them by King Edward II. in his 4th year, for the purchasing of Thomas Lexham, one messuage, contiguous and adjoining, for the enlargement of their manse, or house. —Pat. 4th Ed. II. pt. 2, m. 14.
License was granted by King Edward III. to Thomas Drew, William Bitering, John de Couteshale and John Drew of Lenn Bishop, that they might give and assign five messuages in Lenne, adjoining to the manse of the prior and brethren of hermits of the order of St. Augustine of Lenn, to the said prior, &c. for the enlargement of their manse, on condition that the reverend father, Thomas Bishop of Norwich, of whom the said messuages are held, (as appears from the inquisition of William de Middleton, late eschaetor of Norfolk,) will grant his license to the said prior, &c. and the said King gave license to Robert de Cokesford, Agnes his wife, and to Richard de Houton and Alice, his wife, that they may give one messuage in Lynn, (not held of us, as appears by the inquisition of Roger de Wolfreton, eschaetor or Norfolk) to the Bishop and his successours, on the same condition of granting license to the prior, &c. of receiving the aforesaid 5 messuages of Thomas Drew, &c. Teste Rege, dated at Westminster the 6th of May, in the 38th of Edward III.
Trin. Term; 38, of Ed. III. Roll 336 in dorso.
Sciant p'sentes et futuri qd. Nos Tho. p'miss. divina, N. epi. de consensu capit. nri N. concessimus et conf. priori. et frat. he emitar. de ordine S. Aug. ville nre. Lenne quod ten. cum p'tin. ubi ecclia cum manso eor. scituat. in villa nra. p'dca qd. totaliter est de feodo nro. p'ut jacet i't. tenem. qd. quond. fuit Tho. de Rigges et commun. fletam. E prate Austr. e. dict. frat. ib. et ten. Margar. Folkard et Margeriæ sororis ej. et ten. qd. a Joh'is Costyn et ten. Ric. de Dokkyng ex Austr. et commun. viam vocat. Hopeman's gate, ex ag. cuj. caput oriental. abut. sup. ten. Hamonis be Cokysford et ten. Adæ de Eggemer et caput occid. sup. commun. viam quæ ducit de Gresmarket usq. ad eccl S. Nich. dict. ville, hab. et tenend. p'dict: prior. et frat. et success. de Nobis. et success. n'ris p. servitium dim. libre pip's ballivo nost. et success, nost. de ville annuat. in p'petuum. Dat. 28. July 1364, consecrat. n're 9°. 38. Ed. III.
In the 6th of Richard II. they had a patent for a certain aquæduct, to be made by them from Gaywode. Pat. 2. M. 23.
In the 7th of Henry IV. they had a patent to enlarge their manse Pat. 2. M. 36.
And in the 1st of Henry V. a patent for certain messuages granted to them. Pat. i. M. 17.
Margaret de Suthmere, aliened a messuage in Lynn, to this monastery. MSS. le Neve.
Hæc indentura facta 12 die mensis Junij An. Dni. 1461, int. priorem conventus Lenne ord. fratrum heremitar. Sci Augusti. et totum conventum ex una parte; et Aliciam relictam Rici. Cosyn ac. Will. Pilton executores dicti Rici. ex parte altera testat. qd. cum p'dici Alicia et Will. concesserent eisd. fratribus totum proventum de quibusdam tenementis quorum numerus et scitus expressi sunt in quad. carta amicis d'cor. fratrum inde confestu.
Nos d'cus. prior & convent. partim obligati tali dono et partim condescentes illor voto ccncessimus pro nobis et success. nostris missam de Benedicto nomine Jehu celebrandam, omni sexla feria nisi quande impedimentum nobis acciderit tunc eam differemus missam usq; in crastinum tota autem vita dictæ Aliciæ erit missa illa cum nota et post decessum ejus sine nota quam sic servar. perpetuis temporibus p'mittimus. Insuper concedimus quod obitus ejusd. Rici. tenebitur in eccles. nostra Dominica in albiscum exequiis in sabbato an illam Dominicam, atq; p. majore secuntate, et ut hœc cautius observetur, annotabimus hanc concessionem nostram in kalendarijs nostris ad futuror. memoriam. Insuper qd. calix inscriptis nominibus dictor. Rici et Aliciæ assignabitur dicto altari de nomine Jesu in p'petuum principalit. qd. et si necesse fuerit ad alia altaria deserviet. - - - - - quor. omn. - - - - - et robur huic parti penes nos remanenti sigilla dictor. Alicie et Will, appendent et alteri parti penes ipsos manent. sigill. venerabilis prioris provincial. et sigill. commune dicti conv. append.—Esch. n. 112.
In the reign of Henry V. William Wellys, or Wallys, was a monk here, a learned man and general of his order; he died in 1421, and wrote many books.—Bale 558. Holinshed, Chron. p. 584.
In the 23d of Edward I. they were here; a patent being then granted to them; R. fratrib; Sci Augustini, and in the 34th of Edward I.
On the 20th of February, in the 36th of Henry VIII. it was granted to John Eyre, who conveyed it to a priest, who sold it to Shavington, a bastard, who by will gave it to — Waters, who dying without issue, it reverted to Shavington's heir; John Ditfeld afterwards had it, and his son John gave it in marriage to Thomasine, his sister, married to Christopher Puckering, brother to the lord keeper of that name, and they sold it to John Lease, who pulled it down, and sold the stones and the ground to divers persons: See Spelman Sacr. p. 250.
This house was surrendered the 30th of September 1539, in the 30th of Henry VIII. by the prior and 4 brethren.—Willis Hist. Abb. vol. ii.
The site of it was granted to John Eyre, (as abovementioned) the 20th of February in the 36th of Henry VIII. (Pat. 26.) then in the tenure of Thomas Cotes, &c. valued at 1l. 4s. 6d.
This was in the patronage of the Bishop of Norwich, and was taxed at 5 marks; it paid to the archdeacon of Norwich, for synodals at St. Michaelmas 58s. and at Easter the same sum, and Peter-pence 25s.
In 1315, Mr. Roger de Snetesham, priest, collated by the Bishop.
1324, William Culpho. Ditto.
1324, Edmund le Straunge. Ditto.
1335, William Ode. Ditto.
1349, Henry de Winterton. Ditto.
1382, William de Bylingham. Ditto.
1385, Roger de Elmham, by the King; the temporalities of the see then in him.
1391, Mr. William Oxeburgh (exchanged for the free chapel of St. Radegands, in St. Paul's cathedral) by the Bishop.
1392, John Staunford. Ditto.
1421, John Walker.
1444, Richard Haynow.
1458, Thomas Ellesmer.
1471, John Ayshfield.
1472, Thomas Ayshfield.
1478, John Aphowell, A. M.
1493, William Goldwell.
In 1543, William Bishop of Norwich, granted the next advowson of this deanery, with the liberty of the peculiar jurisdiction of Lynn town, to George Deyners, but in 1547, it was granted by the Bishop, to the archdeacon of Norwich.
The Bishop's House in Lynn.
John Bishop of Norwich grants to the altar of the Holy Trinity of Norwich, 3 marks of silver yearly, to be paid out of his stone house at Lynn, which he had built on the bank of the sea, near the chapel of St. Nicholas, to the west; and Peter, son of Jeffrey, son of Durand of Oxford, (and his heirs,) to whom he had granted the said house, were tied to pay the said rent, and likewise 12d. yearly, to the Bishop, and his successours, and then were to reserve to the Bishop and his successours, a great warehouse free, which was in the front of the said house, to put wine in. Dated 1187. Regr. Sacrist. Ec. Cath. Norw. f. 14.
Will. prior, and the convent of Norwich, grant to John de Grey, the fair at Lenn, or Gaiwode, and the Saturday market, the pleas, all perquisites which they hold in the said village, on account of their lay fee, and a messuage to the west of the chapel of St. Nicholas, and a messuage by the bridge of Purflet, and all the salt-pits in the aforesaid towns, and the toll which they had there, in exchange for the manors of Secheford and Cressingham, excepting the knights in the said towns of Secheford and Cressingham; witnesses, Master William de Lenne, Mr. Jeffrey de Derham, Mr. Robert de Tywa. Regis. 1. Ecc. Cath. Norw. fol. 226.
It appears that the Bishop had a house here. Plita Coron. apd. Lenne, 41 Hen. III. R. 24.
It was found that John Wentworth, mayor of Lenn Episcopi, and the commonalty, had unjustly disseised Henry Bishop of Norwich, of his free tenement here, 100 acres of land, and 20 acres of pasture, he being seized of it in right of his church of the Holy Trinity of Norwich, except the tenements. Plita. Assis. Norw. 4 Hen. IV.
In the 16th of Richard II. Henry Bishop of Norwich, &c. aliened to the priory of Lenn, a piece of land called Ryfeld, in Geywood, with 50l. land in Thornham, Thorneyge, Hilderston, North Elmham, and Blofield. Esch. Nr. 138.
The Bishop's High Steward
Was an office of the Bishop, granted by patent: in the Saxon age he was called Capitalis Senescallus Episcopi, and as such received all the revenues of the Bishop, held all the courts belonging to his lordships, and passed the accounts of the inferior officers, as bailiffs, &c. He often sate in court with the mayor, on trials, and grants of places, and officers in the town, &c. who was often sworn by him, &c. and it was held by the Bishop till Henry the Eighth's charter to the town, when it was granted to the corporation. The like office at Yarmouth, and Norwich; and other corporations have the said office.
SENESCALLI DE LENN, or the Bishop's Stewards.
Magister Toly, sans date. Reginald de Hemmington, 1275.
1281, Elias de Midleton: quere if not Bishop Midleton. Jeffrey de Bryseyard, 1336; see in Watlington,
1312, John, brother to Lambert de St. Omer. Ralph Urri, clerk, 1362, ao. 57 Edward III. Alan de Blencestre, steward about the 46th of Henry III.
1372, Richard Urri, 56 Henry III. see the Rot. of James de Belvaco, mayor.
Richard de Norwich, temp. Henry III. see the Rot. of Alexander Kellock, mayor.
Richard de Walsingham, 1280; see Ad. de St. Edmo. Mayor. Laurence de Burnell, 1322, ao. 16 Edward II.
Ao. 5 Edward III. William de Whetacre steward of the liberties of the town of Lynn, and had return of writs and execution of them; quere if Bishop of Norwich or Ely's steward.
William Bishop of Norwich, by letters patent, constituted John Mannyng his seneschal of all his lands and letes in Norfolk and Suffolk, and enjoined all his bailiffs, &c. to aid and assist him in his said office; and to enjoy and take all fees due and customary for the said office, given under his seal at his house (hospitio) at London, on Monday before the feast of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, in the 9th of Henry VI.
1422, The Bishop granted the office of bailiff of the town of Lyn, and collector of his rents of assise, rents of his lete, and the court kept every Monday, and of the high steward's hall or courts with a pension of 4 marks per ann. to William Payton, for life. Lib. Inst. vol. v. fol. 140.
1423, William Paston, the Bishop's steward then, (after the judge, as I take it:) the prior of Walsingham having withdrawn one yearly suit of court, which he owed to the Bishop's court at Lynn, the Bishop directed his mandate to this steward and bailiffs of his liberty of Lyn, to prosecute and seize his lands for so doing, but being tried in the Monday-Hall at Lyn, it was found that the prior owed no suit to the court or hustings held there.
The hustings-court and pleas held every Monday at Lyn by the Bishop's steward.
In 1425 the Bishop constituted a new steward, John—by letters patent, dated at his hospitium at London, under his seal on Monday before the feast of the translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, in the 4th of Henry VI. This was ad nostrum beneplacitum duratus.
I. The first charter of liberties granted to the town, was by King John, at Lutegareshall, 14 September, ao. reg. sui 6, 1204.
II. The second was that of King Henry III. his son, dated at Westminster, the 6th of February, ao. reg. sui 17, which fully confirms what his father had granted: this was 1233.
III. The third was that of the aforesaid King Henry III. dated at Westminster, the 26th of March, ao. regni sui 52, wherein he not only confirms all former grants, but further, for the laudable and faithful service and valiant assistance, (as the words are,) which the burgesses of Lynn had done for him in his troubles and civil wars, granted them by this charter, to choose themselves a mayor instead of their præpositus, which was ao. Dom. 1268.
This charter was first founded upon Bishop John de Grey, and the dean and chapter's charter of Norwich, for a mayor, and was confirmed by King Henry III. aforesaid.
The first mayor, by this charter, was elected into that office on St. Michael's day, ao. Dom. 1268, aforesaid.
And the first that has any date that I can find, was Johannes de Hispania, 9Ed. I. but of course he must have been elected at Michaelmas, 1281, which was the Michaelmas in that year, and but two months before the expiration of that King's ninth year.
I reckon from Michaelmas, in every year, fall it in as it will with the King's reign, which vary as their predecessors die, and they succeed, and the first mayor in every King's reign, is accounted from the St. Michaelmas after the beginning of this reign.
But I find mayors mentioned in the test of old deeds, without any date, which I cannot apply to any year; and there being no more than 13 years from the first mayor to that time, I shall (in the subjoined list) insert them first, as by their names and by the deeds not bearing date, they must of course be the eldest.