An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Ramsey Abbots, or Popenhow Manor.
The principal manor of this town was given to the abbey of Ramsey, in Huntingdonshire, by Ailwin Duke of the East-Angles, also styled alderman of the East Angles, on his founding of that abbey in 1069, by the name of Five Hides in Walsokne, and was confirmed to that house by King Edgar: the said abbey held it at the grand survey by the name of the Land of St. Bennet of Ramsey, the abbey being dedicated to that great patron of the monastick order; it consisted then of one carucate of land held by 11 villains, and 6 borderers, with 12 acres of meadow, one carucate in demean, and half a one amongst the tenants, a fishery, &c. and 7 socmen belonged to it, with 13 acres, valued at 20s. (fn. 1)
This manor was called by the name of Popenho; and in the 44th of Henry III. a fine was levied between Hugh, abbot of Ramsey, lord, and Geffrey de Marisco, or Marsh, one of his chief freeholders, about the repairing of the walls, and cleansing the drains, which Geffrey and his heirs were to repair, &c.
In the 3d of Edward I. the abbot was found to have wreck at sea, assise of bread and beer, in Walsoken, Popenho, the 3d part of the village belonging to him, with the advowson of the church held in capite of the King, and belonging to his barony.
In the 26th of the said King, there being a contest between William de Luda, Bishop of Ely, and John de Sautre, abbot of Ramsey, about the lete of this village, it was agreed that the lete of it should be jointly held by the bailiffs of the Bishop, the abbot, and the prior of Lewes, (which shows that there were 3 distinct manors here then) in common, and that the secrets of the lete, with the verdict should be given to the Bishop's steward, or bailiff, who should communicate it to the other bailiffs, who should declare it to their proper tenants: and the profit of their lete, &c. should be taken by each steward, of their proper tenants. About this time this manor was worth 15 marks per ann. to the abbot.
About the year 1400, in the 5th year of Thomas, the abbot Richard, son of John Almere, of Walsoken, carpenter, being a villain of blood of this manor, paid the abbot a fine of 2s. per ann. for liberty to live out of it, though still to be his villain; and in or about 1428, the temporalities of the abbot in this town in rent, mill, perquisites, and cattle, were valued at 23l. 19s. 9d. per ann.
On the dissolution of this abbey, it came to the Crown, and was granted by King Henry VIII. February 26, in his 36th year, by the name of Popenhowe, alias Walsoken manor, with the advowson of the rectory, to Sir Thomas Wriothesley, and Sir Richard Southwell, (which Sir Richard was one of the King's visitors of the abbies, priories, &c.) with all the rights and privileges enjoyed by the abbots, and as specified in the 14th of Edward I. by a quo warranto, together with the manor of Westfield in Mitferd hundred Norfolk, which belonged to the Charter-House, London: and in the 3d of Elizabeth, it appears, that the rent of assise of the free tenants was 24s. 8d. ob. Jeffrey Colvile's, Esq. rent 8s. assise of the customary tenants 6l. 13s. 4d. the custos, or chaplain of Trinity 4s. per ann. perquisites of court 2l. 19s. 10d. ob.
On the 25th of January, in the 24th of Elizabeth, it was conveyed by Sir Richard Southwell, to Thomas Barrow, Esq. of Cranworth in Norfolk, together with the pension of 40s. per ann. payable to the lord by the rector; being then valued at 101l. 14s. 8d. per ann. in the whole, as by a particular account under the hand of Sir Richard appeared.
Thomas Barrow, Esq. and William, his son and heir, sold it April 2, in the 31st of the said Queen, to Richard Catlyn, of Honingham, Esq. and Dionysia his wife, who October 12, in the 33d of Elizabeth, conveyed it to Sir Henry Gawdy, of Claxton, in Norfolk, whose son Sir Robert, conveyed it by fine levied in Michaelmas term, in the 20th of James I. to Everard Buckworth of Wisbeach, Esq. John Adderley, John Hewar, &c. trustees for Sir Thomas Hewer of Emneth, who by will dated January 21, in the 5th of Charles I. settled it on Laurence Oxburgh, and his heirs male, son of his nephew Thomas Oxburgh, Gent. son of Thomas Oxburgh, Esq. and Thomasine his wife, sister of the said Sir Thomas Hewer, enjoining him and his heirs to write themselves Hewer, alias Oxburgh, and for want of such issue, on Thomas Hewer, son of John Hewer, late of Mileham, in Norfolk, &c. the aforesaid Laurence Hewer, alias Oxburgh, with his son Laurence, conveyed it, July 15, 1669, to John Colvile, Esq. and John Wise, whose son, Josiah Colvile, Esq. (to pay his father's creditors) sold it April 21, 1685, to John Creed, Esq. of Oundle, in Northamptonshire, and in this family it remained in 1742, and in 1762.
Marshe's or Ely Manor.
Here was a manor called Marshe's, from the family of De Marisco, who held lands of the see of Ely, and of the abbot of Ramsey. In the 4th year of King Henry III. a month after Easter, a fine was levied before Hubert de Burgo, chief justice of England, Robert de Vere Earl of Oxford, Martin de Pateshull, Ralph Hareng, Steph. de Segrave, justices, between Henry, abbot of Ramsey, petent, and Stephen de Marisco, tenent of 60 acres of land here, the abbot having impleaded him for 11 virgates of land in this town, which he released to the abbot, who grants to Steph. the 60 acres aforesaid, and 60 more in this fine for the free rent of 5s. per ann. the said Steph. held also in Walsoken, and Newton, one fee of the Bishop of Ely.
In the 44th of the said King, Geffrey de Marisco covenanted to repair the walls and banks of the sea and marshes, for which the abbot was distrained, and on this, Geffrey and his heirs were received into all benefits and prayers made in the abbey church for ever; the custom in this town and all Marshland being then, that the freeholders of the manors repair the banks so far as their lands lie; and the said Geffrey, in the 3d of Edward I. held in this town, West Walton, Walpole, &c. one fee of the bishop of Ely.
This lordship came on the death of Geffrey, by marriage, to Sir Roger de Colvile, a family of great antiquity in Cambridgeshire. Robert de Colevile was living in the 3d of Henry III. Sir Henry de Colevile was sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, in the 35th of that King; Philip de Colevile defended in the 53d of the said reign, the castle of Gloucester, against that King's son, and had a pardon on December 25th in the said year.
In the year 1277, the Bishop of Ely was the capital lord, had the lete, return of writs, cognisance of all pleas, when it is said that the whole town entered commoners in West Fenn, and were to clean their portions of the Pokedyke, 5 furlongs and 16 perches; the Bishop, and the abbot of Ramsey had each a moiety of the sea wreck, royal fishes, &c. with free warren.
A fine was levied in the 15th of Edward I. between Geff. de Sandiacre, querent, and Roger, son of Roger de Colvile, and Desiderata his wife, of this lordship, settled on Geffrey for life; this Roger was, as I take it, son of Sir Roger, (who was sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, in the 51st of Henry III. and Nicholaa his wife) and married Desiderata, daughter of Stephen de Marsh, and had by her also the lordships of Tydd St. Gyles, and Newton.
Jeffrey de Colvile was son of Roger, and Desiderata his wife: between this Jeffrey, and Robert de Watervill and Desiderata, (his wife) a fine was levied in the 2d of Edward II. of this manor, settled on Jeffrey; and in the 11th of the said King a composition was made between the Bishop of Ely and him, about the view of frank-pledge, the lete, and amerciaments of the tenants here.
By the inquisitions taken in the 20th of Edward III. it appears that John Colvile then held half a knight's fee in Walsoken, West Walton, and Walpole, of the Bishop of Ely, and in the 35th of the said King, Sir John de Colvile (fn. 2) died beyond sea, seized of the said manors, with those of Newton, Tydd St. Gyles, Mersh, (or Marche) in Cambridgeshire, and Sir John Colvile, Knt. was his son and heir, aged 23; this Sir John Colvile, Sir John Shardelowe, Sir William Cheynee, and John Leverington, were appointed in the 10th of Richard II. in the county of Cambridge, to proclaim that no grasiers, or sellers of cattle, or horses, &c. should sell them at a higher price than usual: he married Alice, and held together a moiety of the manor of Strete, in Kent, (probably Stone Strete) called Chiveler's, and dying possessed of this lordship, &c. in the 17th of Richard II. John Colvile was his son and heir, 29 years old, as appears from the eschaet roll, which says he held 207 acres of land here, belonging to his manor. This Sir John scaled with the arms of Colvile, as his father, and quartered or, three chess rooks, gules; (fn. 3) crest, a lion passant, in the 46th of Edward III.
About this time lived William Colvile, Esq. who was one of those who accompanied John Duke of Lancaster into Spain, in the 9th of Richard II. and by the eschaets, in the 14th of the said King, Joan Colvile, first the wife of John Engayne, afterwards of Sir William Colvile, Knt. aged 30, then died. John de St. Quintin is therein called her brother. Sir John Colvile, and his tenants, on an inquisition taken at Lyn Bishop's on Monday before the feast of St. Agnes, Henry IV. Ao. 3, before Sir John White, Knt. held half a fee here, in Walton, and Walpole, of the Bishop of Ely.
In the 8th of Henry V. Sir John Colvile granted to Thomas Langley Bishop of Durham, Sir Thomas Erpingham, &c. feoffees, this manor; and to Thomas Duke of Clarence, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, &c. feoffees, his manors of Newton, in Cambridgeshire, and Tydd St. Gyles; and is said to die in the 4th of Henry VI. some of these Colviles married a daughter of Mackworth of Normington in Rutlandshire; and in the church of Newton, was a shield of Colvile, impaling Wythe, azure, three griffins passant, in pale, or.
In the 8th of Henry VI. Sir John Colvile of Newton had an inquisition, ad quod damnum, on his settling 5 messuages, 110 acres of land, in Newton, Leverington, Wisbeach, Elme, and a fishery, called Depewere, in Wisbeach, on a chantry in the church of Newton, and died, as is said, about the 24th of Henry VI. leaving Sir John Colvile, his son and heir, who married Ann, daughter of Sir Henry Ingels of Dilham, in Norfolk, and died in the fourth year of King Henry VII. and in the 9th of the said King, it appears she was remarried to Sir Robert Brandon.
Francis Colvile, Esq. succeeded his brother, Sir John, and died seized of this manor in the 9th year, and then a knight, leaving Richard, his son and heir, by Katharine, daughter of John Townsend of Reynham, in Norfolk, Esq. which Richard, by an inquisition taken at Thetford, November 2, in the 17th of Henry VIII. was found to die September 5, in the said year seized of this manor, that of Newton, &c. and Geffrey was his son and heir, aged 11 years, by Etheldreda his wife, who had livery of it, &c. in the 27th of the said King: he married Katharine daughter of Sir John Hind, of Madingley, in Cambridgeshire, who joined with him in conveying by fine to Edward Thwayts, and Elizabeth his wife, the manor of Strete in Kent, and died in the year 1575, leaving John Colvile, his son and heir, who was found to hold this manor of Queen Elizabeth, as of her manor of West Walton, by the 8th part of a fee, late parcel of the Bishop of Ely's lands; which John Colvile, Esq. married Ann, daughter and heir of Nicholas Pincebek, of Pincebek, in Lincolnshire, Esq. by whom he had Richard Colvile, Esq. lord here and of Newton, who by Mary his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas Bernardiston of Ketton, in Suffolk, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Thomas Hauchet, had Sir Thomas Colvile, Knt. his eldest son, who married Alice, daughter of Sir William Spencer, of Yarnton, in Oxfordshire, and dying sans issue, October 17, 1611, was succeeded in this manor, &c. by his brother, Richard Colvile, Esq. who in 1638, sued Sir Philip Landen, Knt. in the court of chivalry, for words, &c. and dying in 1650, left by Sarah his wife, daughter of Sir John Laurence of Iver, in Buckinghamshire, Bart. several sons; John, who died unmarried, William Colvile, Esq. who was justice of peace for Cambridgeshire, and married Ann, daughter of Sir Richard Stone of Stewkley, in Huntingdonshire, and died sine prole.
I meet also with 2 younger sons of the said Sir Thomas Edred, and Jeffrey Colvile, who by—, daughter of—Peak, of Walsoken, had Richard Colvile, of Newton, in the isle of Ely, who married Frances, daughter of Thomas Carter, alderman and lord mayor of York, (fn. 4) which Thomas died in 1686, aged 52.
Also John Colvile, Esq. who is said to have been a goldsmith of London, and purchased the manor of Popenhoe, in this town, and had by Dorothy his wife, daughter of — Bishop of London, Josiah Colvile, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn, London, in 1685, then aged 27, died at Wisbeach, December 25, 1705, and was buried at Newton, leaving Ann his sister and heir. Robert Colvile, Esq. of Newton, in the isle of Ely, is now lord.
I find also a little manor, called Colleter's, or Collector's, in this town, held of the Colviles. In the 9th of Henry VIII. Sir John Audley, and Elizabeth his wife conveyed to Thomas Spring, &c. a messuage, 380 acres of land, 10s. per ann. rent, by fine, in this town, Walpole, West Walton, Tirrington, &c. and in the 15th of that King, Thomas Spring was found to hold the manor of Collectors, of Sir John Colvile, Knt. in soccage, and the rent of 13s. 8d. with one cock, and one hen, per ann. and in the 11th of Elizabeth it was conveyed from the Springs, to Henry Hunston, of whom see in Walpole.
The prior of Lewes in Sussex had also a manor here belonging to his lordship of West Walton, which in 1428 was found to be worth 6l. 12s. 8d. ob. per ann. which on the dissolution was granted to Thomas Duke of Norfolk: of this see in West Walton.
Against the wall of the steeple, facing the nave of the church, is the effigies of King Solomon, sitting in a chair, or throne, in royal robes, projecting from the wall, and on each side of him, a large piece of painting, representing the history and judgment of that King, on the two harlots; and at the east end of the nave, that of King David, with his harp; and under it the picture of King Charles I.
M. S. Petri Wensley, Generosi, Rob. Wensley, clerici, filii, qui obt. 18°. Martij, A. D. 1711, œt. 28, hec non Eleanorœ conjugis ipsius quœ morti cessit 13, Julij œt. 25. Juxta hos inhumatur Rob. Petri, frater, ob. Oct. 4, 1733. œt. 49, and this shield, - - - - -, four escallops, with their heads meeting in the fess point, - - - - - -, impaling - - - -, a chevron between three mullets, on a chief, three bucks heads cabosed.
H. S. corpora Joh. Oldman, Generosi, et Gratiœ, primœ uxoris ejus; ille obt. 27, Martij anno salut. 1733, œt. 57, illa 15 Jan. 1727, œt. 50, juxta etiam Anna, eor. filia, uxor Edw. Wignal, de Wisbeach in Eliensi insula, pharmacopolœ.
In memory of William Edwards, of Walsoken, Gent. who died May 29, 1680, in his 46 year; and for Steph. Edwards, his son, who died Jan. 30, 1709, aged 34.—For Eliz. late wife of William Edwards, Gent. who died May 31, 1701, aged 53.
On the pavement in the chacel, a marble grave-stone, with the arms of Wright, azure, two bars engrailed, and in chief, three leopards heads, or, impaling gules, a chevron between three triple-turretted towers, argent, One by.
In memory of Dorothy Wright, widow, daughter of John Oneby, of Leicestershire, Esq; relict of Ezech. Wright, late of Thurcaston in Leicestershire, clerk, by whom she had 2 sons, Nathan (fn. 5) and Ezech. and a daughter Dorothy, wife of John Twells, late of this town, Esq; who died Sept. 26, in her 65 year, 1691.
Near this place lye interred the bodies of John Herring, M.A. thirty six years rector of this parish, aged 75, buried June 2, 1717, and of Martha, his wife, daughter of Thomas Potts, of the parish of St. Gregory's, London, aged 44, buried Jan. 3, 1704.
In this church were the guilds of the assumption of our Lady, that of St. Thomas the Martyr, the nativity of our Lady, that of St. John, and that of the Trinity, as appears from the will of William Honyter, of Walsoken, in 1513, who desires to be buried in the chapel of our Lady in the church of Walsoken, by his brethren: by this it is plain that the east end of the north isle, was that chapel; Thomas Honiter being there buried.
John de More was rector, and by deed sans date received Robert Mautelent into the vicarage of the church of Walsoken, paying to him 14 marks of silver, per ann. and to the monastery of Ramsey the old pension of 20s. per ann.
Mr. Stephen occurs rector in 22d of Edward I. and in the 28th of that King, a fine was levied between Roger, (son of Roger de Colvile,) and Desiderata his wife, of the advowson of this church, and the abbot of Ramsey; whereby for 100l. sterling, they confirmed it to the abbot, Roger pretending that Geffrey de Marisco, ancestor of Desiderata was seized thereof in the time of King John, who had issue Stephen, who was father of Desiderata.
The ancient valor of this church was 40 marks, besides the portion paid to the abbot of Ramsey 40s. per ann. Peter-pence, 3s. 4d.—the portion paid belonged to the sacrist of the abbey, and was granted by John of Oxford Bishop of Norwich.
These arms were anciently in this church, argent, a chevron engrailed sable, between three griffins heads erased, azure, on a chief, gules, a star between two mullets or, the arms of Dr. Hare, rector.
Pope Urban VI. Boniface IX. Martin V. Paul II. and Sixtus V. granted to the brothers and sisters of this fraternity, and to all who were benefactors to it, surprising indulgences, as will appear from what I have here subjoined, taken from a rude and imperfect copy of a deed of admission of two persons into this fraternity, under the seal of the aforesaid Eborard.
Universis S'ce matris eccl'ie filijs ad quos p'sentes litter. p'venerint, Eborard. custos capelle et hospitalis S'ce Trinitatis de Walsoken, Norwic. dioc. et ejusd. loci confratres et consorores salut. in D'no. se'pitern. noverit universitas vestra veneranda qd piissimus in Xto, pater et Dominus noster D'nus Urban, divinâ miseratione Papa Sextus, de plenitudine sue pietat. nobis indulsit qd. eis qui de facultatib; suis. &c. nobis subvenerit, et in sanctam societem nostram statuerunt se collegas, nobis - - - - - - - - - - - - que beneficia prœstiterint, annuatim septi'am partem panitent. - - - - - - relaxavit tres annos et centum dies venie totiens quotiens hoc fecerunt vel meruerint, concessit ac eciam plenariam participat. omnium missar. et aliar. oration. spiritual. que fiunt et decet. fient in universati ecclesiâ ad quas p'tin fuerint interdict. ipsis qu. mori contigerit nisi excommuni. vel no'iati interdicti aut publici usurarij fuerint ecclesiastica sepultura eis non negabitur et curatieor. qui habent curas a'imar q; suar. possint eos absolvere ab omnib; eor. peccat. contritis et confessis, ac etiam oblitis, nisi forte talia com'iserint p'pr. que sedes apostolica sit merito consulenda, quas quidem concessiones sanctissi in Xto, patres Bonifacius Papa non. Martinus quintus, Paulus secund. et Sixtus papa quintus misericorditr. p. ampli. confirmat. confirmavi et. qd. dilecti. nobis in Christo Tho. Hutton - - - - Dekkys, caritat subsidia nobis donaver. in dictam confraternitatem nostram eos assumimus, et intr. nostros confratres Xti. pauperes - - - - - - - - amus eos - - - - - - - in Deo possumus omniam bonor. spiritualium intr. nos confratres habitor. et in posterum habendor. missar. et alior. omn. jejunior. vigiliar. abstinentiar. elemosinar. et peregrinat. participes esse volumus p.p'sentes. In cujus rei testimon. sigill. custod. hospital. nostri p'dicti p'sentib; est appensum. Dat. apd. Walsoken in capella n'ra sexto die Octob. Anno D'ni Millesimo cccc. lxxxi.
The seal is oblong, having under an arch the effigies or representation of God the Father, supporting our Saviour on the cross, as was frequently and profanely used in the church of Rome; below that the custos at prayers, with a legend, Sigill. - - - - - confrat. et consoror. - - - - - - - Trinit. de Walsoken,
The absolution on the admission of a brother, &c. Auctorilate Dei Omnipot. et beator. Petri et Pauli ac auctoritate apostolicâ mihi in hac parte commissâ, Ego Te absolvo ob omnib; peccatisp. te vere contritis et mihi confessis, nec non ab omnib; peccatis tuis oblitis de quib; velles confiteri si tue occurrerit memorie ac septimam partem penitent. Auctoritale literar. et postolicar. concessar. relaxo, in nomine patris, &c.
By a like deed, John Berners, Esq. was admitted in 1476, (who was second son of Thomas Berners, Esq. 2d son of Sir John Berners Lord Berners) who married a daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Brain of South Okendon in Essex, remarried to Robert Harleston.
To this guild there also belonged certain chaplains. Thomas Martynson, priest of the hospital, in 1512, wills to be buried in the chapel or chapel yard of this hospital, as that shall please the master.
On its dissolution, King Edward VI. granted, it on the 21 of August, in his 6th year, to Mary Duchess of Richmond and Somerset, with all the messuages, lands, &c. belonging to it in Walsoken, West Walton, Wisbeche, Leverington, Elme, and Enmyth, to be held by knight's service, and in capite of the King.
Soon after this, and in the said year, Robert Balam held it in capite of the King, by the 3d part of a fee; and 125 acres belonged to it, as appears in the 21 of Elizabeth, when Alexander Balam had a pardon for purchasing it of Robert Balam, without license, which Robert died September 2, 14 of Elizabeth, and left Elizabeth his wife daughter, as it is said, of Sir John Cressener of Morley in Norfolk; —Balam of Barton-Mills in Suffolk, son of Alexander Balam, was his cousin and heir, on whose death it came to Charles Balam Esq. (fn. 6) younger son of Alexander, which Charles was found to die seized of it May 31, in the 34th of the said Queen; and Robert was his son and heir, aged 12 years; and the said Charles also held a capital messuage in Walsoken, called St. Rokes, with 4 acres, &c. belonging to it, held of the King in capite, and the service of 26s. 8d. per ann.
Probably this capital messuage was the chapel of St. Roche's, to which Thomas Martynson, priest of Trinity-Hospital aforesaid, was a benefactor, and left a legacy to the light of St. Anne in St Roche's chapel, in 1512; and in November 3, in 1639, Charles (fn. 7) Balam, son of Robert, died possessed of it.
The prior of Mermond had lands in this town, granted July 23, in the 2d of Queen Mary, to Thomas Reve, and Giles Isham, taxed in 1428 at 4l. 10s. 2d. ob. and at the said time had a grant of lands belonging to the priory of Mirmound. The temporalities in 1428, were 4l. 10s. 2d. ob,