An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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That is, a town by the wall or mound which was to defend it from the tides, &c. and called West in respect of another Walton in this hundred, &c. lying east of it. Toche, a freeman, was lord of it in the Confessor's time, a Saxon thane of great possessions, lord also of Castleacre, in both which William Earl Warren and Surry succeeded him on the conquest, when he was dispossessed. St. Peter held under him one carucate of land; to this lordship belonged 60 villains, 66 borderers, 8 servi, 100 acres of meadow, and 5 carucates in demean; there were 6 carucates amongst the tenants; seven salt works at the survey, and formerly 36 breeding mares; at the survey none, &c. paunage for 114 swine, and 800 sheep; 6 socmen also belonged to it with a carucate of land, and 40 acres of meadow; there were also 17 borderers and 3 carucates and an half, and 7 saltpits; the whole valued at 17l. 10s. per ann. and is 4 leucas long, and 2 furlongs broad, whoever is lord of it, and pays 2s. of a 20s. gelt. (fn. 1)
This is of the fee of Fredric. By St. Peter we are to understand the priory of Lewes, which was a cell to the abbey of St Peter in Burgundy, in France; and by this it appears that the priory of Lewes was founded by the Earl Warren, (to which he gave this manor,) before the survey.
The Prior of Lewes's Manor.
Fredric abovementioned often occurs in Domesday book, in towns and lordships of the Earl Warren, and seems to be lord of it after Toche, before the Earl Warren had possession of it; thus Gressenhale in Launditch hundred.
Henry II. by his charter, sans date, granted and confirmed to the monks of St. Pancrase of Lewes, all the lands, tenures and churches they had in the time of King Henry his grandfather: A (Alured) Bishop of Worcester, and Henry, son of Gerold the chamberlain, witnesses.
In the 3d of Edward I. the prior was found to hold wreck at sea, gallows, assise of bread and beer, &c. with the moiety of the advowson, (or a mediety) of the church of West-Walton, of the gift of Hamelyn Plantaginet Earl Warren and Surry.
About this time it appears from an old deed, sans date, in the Exchecquer court, amongst the evidences of the priory of Lewes, That whereas there had been suit between that prior on the one part, and Sir Thomas, Knt. of St. Omer, Symon le Curteys, and others, parceners in Upwell-Marsh, as well before the King's justices, &c. about common of pasture in Upwell-Marsh, in Norfolk, in which the prior claimed right of common, and the others denied it; at length it was agreed that the prior and his successors should have right for all their own cattle belonging to the manor of West Walton, freely; but the prior, his tenants, villains, &c. should not bring any cattle belonging to any other of his manors to feed there, &c. and that the prior should be helping to them to maintain the liberty of common according to the quantity of their lands in Upwell, &c. to which the said parceners put their common seal:
On the 7th of May, 1434, Robert Auncell, prior of Lewes, granted to William Pyrton, subprior, and his successours, 10 marks per ann. for their support, viz. 4 marks of the pension of this church of West Walton, and 6 marks of the pension of St Olaves, Southwark, to celebrate an anniversary for this prior after his decease.
On the dissolution of the priory of Lewes, Robert, the last prior, granted this lordship, that of Walsoken, &c. by fine, passed in St. Michaelmas term, to King Henry VIII. in his 29 year; and on the 22d of December in the said year, the King granted it to Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, together with the mediety of the church belonging to the said priory, to be held in capite by knight's service; but was forfeited to the Crown afterwards, on the attainder of the Duke of Norfolk, and granted July 1, by Queen Elizabeth, in her 23d year, to Philip Howard Earl of Arundel, son of Tho. the late Duke, which Philip being also attainted, it came again to the Crown, and was granted November 22, in the 6th year of King James I. to Thomas Earl of Suffolk.
And on December 1, in the 10th of King James I. this lordship, with that of Walsoken and Walpole, late belonging to the prior of Lewes, was conveyed to John Hare, Esq. son of John Hare, mercer of London, (brother of Sir Nicholas Hare) by Dorothy his wife; which John Hare, by Margaret his wife, daughter of John Croch of Cornbury in Hertfordshire, Esq. had Hugh Hare, who was created lord of Colrain in Ireland, August 3, 1625, and by Lucy, daughter of Henry Earl of Manchester, had Henry Lord Colrain, who by Constantia, daughter of Sir Richard Lucy of Broxbourn in Hertfordshire, Bart. had Hugh Hare, Esq. who died before his father, and left by Lydia his wife, daughter of Matthew Carleton of Edmunton, in Middlesex, Esq. Hen. Hare his son, born May 11, 1693, Lord of Colrain, who married Constantia, daughter of — Hanger, of London, merchant.
At the survey, the abbot or church of Ely, was found to hold, as in the Confessor's reign, lordships in Marham, Beckeswell, Fincham, Fosthorp, Hilgey, Fordham, and Downham in Clackclose hundred;— West Walton and Islington, in Freebridge hundred;—Feltwell Northwold, and Muntford in Grumshow hundred;—Bridgham, Roudham, in Shropham hundred;—Banham, Norton, Rushworth, in Gillcross hundred;—Oxwick, How, in Launditch hundred;—Derham, Thorp, Calveley, Tudenham, Shipdam, Matteshall, Thurston, Yakesham, in Mitford hundred;— Brunsthorp, in Brothercross hundred;—Pulham, Pilerton, in Ersham hundred;—Titeshall, Thelton, in Diss hundred; —Thurton, in Loddon hundred;—Stratton, in Deepwade hundred.
Bishop of Ely's Manor.
St. Adeldreda, or St. Audrey, that is the church of Ely, held in the time of King Edward, and at the survey, a lordship containing then 4 carucates of land, 20 villains, 40 borderers, and 13 servi, 100 acres of meadow, a fishery; there were 5 carucates in demean, and 3 amongst the tenants, 24 saltworks, 1300 sheep; and 47 acres in Islington belonged to it, which 2 villains held; and 7 socmen had a carucate of land, and 11 borderers, and 3 servi, with 2 carucates, and was always valued at 15l. per ann. (fn. 2)
The lands belonging to this manor, the many villains, borderers, &c. and the value of it, at that time, testify that it was a large and capital manor, and indeed we find it to take in part of Walsoken, Walpole, Tyrington, &c.
By inquisitions of the free men of the Bishop of Ely's manor, in 1277, it was presented that this town was within the Bishop's lete in Marshland, where the bishop's bailiff within the lete might hold pleas of all things which the sheriff might, with writ or without; had return of writs, cognizance of all measures; that the Bishop had a moiety of the advowson of the church, with his demeans and homages, and the demeans and homage of Sir Stephen de Marisco; the demeans were 201 acres of arable, to be ploughed by two ploughs of 6 oxen each, and 3 scots to harrow; there were lost by the inundation of the sea, and turned to marsh 33 acres and an half; there were 63 acres of wood, 90 acres of pasture, common of pasture in West-Fen.
The whole town was to cleanse 5 furlongs of the Poke-Dike. The stock was 10 cows, one free bull, no hogs, one free boar, 300 sheep, one windmill; and the free tenants were Henry, son of Osbert de Walpole, John de Walpole, William de Sculham, John de Ingaldesthorp, &c. divers customs of the manor are mentioned, as Heriots, &c.
In the 34th of Henry VI. the Bishop's manor was valued at 69l. 8s. 6d. q. per ann. and it continued in the see of Ely till the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when by an act of Parliament it came to the Crown, (fn. 3) and in the 21st of King James I. it was possessed by Charles Prince of Wales, and afterwards was held by Katherine Queen Dowager of King Charles II.
Sir Stephen de Marisco, as has been observed, held here and in Walsoken, &c. a lordship, which afterwards came to the Colvile's, (of which family see in Walsoken) the Bishop of Ely's fee extending into that town; and Robert Colvile, Esq. of West Newton, in the isle of Ely, was lord in 1762.
Osbert de Stradeset, son of Roger de Stradeset, also held lands of the see of Ely; he and his wife Maud gave by deed sans date, to Castleacre priory, (fn. 4) 26 acres of marsh here, which was the land of Roger le Hare, and all the right they had therein, for the health of their souls, saving to the Bishop of Ely, half a mark of silver yearly, to be paid at the four stated umes of payment, and saving the work (fn. 5) that was to be done at the castle of Wisbeach, with other freemen of Walton;—witnes es, Walter de Nieuth, steward of the Earl Warren, Geff. de Melders, Adam de Hakebech, Ralph Dalioun Alexander Sewer of Acra, John de Fincham, Ralph de Barsham, &c sans date.
In the 6th of King John, a fine was levied between William de Sculham, querent, Robert Hawteyn and Joane his wife, of a messuage, 20 acres of land and 12s. rent in this town, Walsoken and Haggebech, (in Emneth) granted to William, from the heirs of Joan: and in the 35th of Henry III. a fine was passed between Agnes the widow of William de Sculham, querent, and John de Sculham, tenent, of the moiety of 720 acres of land and marsh, 3 mills, 4 salt-pits, 3s. rent, and the third part of the twelfth part of one knight's fee in this town, Walsoken, Walpole, Tirington, Tylney, Sechithe, Clenchwarton, and Lenne, which Agnes claimed as her dower, with 2 crofts in Clenchwarton, &c. granted to her in dower, she releasing all her right (to John) in the rest.
Lovell's Manor, &c. Clare Fee.
The family of Repps had also lands in this town, held of several lords. Thomas de Repps was a commissioner of sewers, to view the sea walls, bridges and causeys along the sea coast between Wygenhale, Tyrington, and Lenne, and to levy money for their repairs, in the 2d year of Edward III.; and in the 38th of Henry VI. William Lovell held here, in Walpole, &c. one fee of the honour of Clare.
In the 24th of Henry VIII. Robert, prior of St. Pancrase, of Lewes, and the convent, demised to John Repps, late of West Walton. Gent. their manor of West Walton, the site of the manor, houses, demesne lands, meadows, feeding pastures, (except the hall, and two chambers at both ends of the hall,) with the garden, the meadow called Bromstoven, and the New-Hall, at the yearly rent of 26l. 13s. 4d.
Repps was to farm the same, to find the prior's officers, when they they came, oats, hay, and beans as long as they staid; the prior to repair the sea banks, sea dykes, fen dykes, and to pay the King's dues; and in the 31st of Henry VIII. the manor of Sybelis, or Syblys, with messuages and tenements in West Walton, and Walpole, was conveyed to him by fine, from Thomas Holland, Gent. which manor (as I take it) was late Henry Smith's, Margaret, one of his daughters and coheirs, being married to this John Repps, another daughter and coheir to Holland.
By an inquisition taken at Norwich, October 1, in the 5th of Charles I. it was found that Henry Repps, Esq. died in the 4th of Charles I. on the 23d of March, seized of a capital messuage, 324 acres of land, of which the messuage with 58 acres, was held of the King's manor in West Walton, in soccage, and paid 12s. 1½d. per ann. also of 16 acres held of Colevile's manor, in soccage, of 54 acres held of Hunston's manor, in soccage, and of 196 acres held of the manor of West Walton, in soccage; and the manor of Clare, in Walpole, held of the King, of the honour of Clare, by knight's service, and John was his son and heir, aged 18, September 16, in 1629, by Ann, daughter of — Cotterell Esq.
John Repps, Esq. died possessed of it about 1750, leaving 3 daughters and coheirs; Frances, married to the Rev. Mr. Baldwin, rector of Brand Parva; Dorothy, married to George Schutz, Esq. and Vertue, to John Hays, Esq.
The family being extinct in the male line, by the death of John Repps, Esq. who died at Matteshale, in Norfolk, in 1750, I shall here give a copy of the direct descent of the said gentleman, taken from his pedigree.
Laurence Danyel of Walsoken died seized of 180 acres of land, in this town, and Walsoken, in the 33d of Henry VI. in the 32d of the said King, he was found aged 50, and to be heir and cousin of Joan, widow of Thomas Chepstede, and thereby had the manor of Stanhow Marshes or Marshes, in Norfolk, which he enjoyed but one year, and left them to his son, Thomas Danyel, who was then 30 years old: this Thomas was constable (as I take it) of Rysing Castle, and afterwards a knight: see in Rysing.
The Church of West Walton is dedicated to St. Mary, it has a curious free-stone tower, standing south of the church, about 22 yards, in which are 5 bells, a nave, a north and south isle, all covered with lead, with a chancel, and consists of two medieties.
Here lyeth John Reppis, of West Walton, in the county of Norfolk, Esq. who decessed the 25th day of March in the year of our Lord God m. ccccclxi, which had 2 wyves, the whiche was Margaret, eldest daughter, and one of the heyres of Henry Smythe, by whom he had yssue Henrye Reppes, that now ys, and seven daughters; and hys second wife was Thomasen, daughter to Thomas Derham, by whom he had Ela and John.
About this are several shields—ermin, three chevronels, argent, Repps, with a crest, a plume of feathers, ermin, issuing out of a coronet, with a pair of wings, or.—Repps, impaling Heveningham, quarterly, or, and gules, in a bordure ingrailed, sable, of eight escallops, argent;—Jermy, argent, a leopard salient, guardant, gules, with his crest, a griffin passant, gules;—Jermy impaling Mouteney, azure, a bend between six martlets, or;—Jermy, impaling Worth, argent, on a bend sable, three lions heads erased of the first, crowned, or;— Repps, impaling Jermy; Repps, impaling Holditch, argent, on a chevron, or, two sea-pies proper;—Repps and Smith, (quarterly) or, a bend, azure, between three trefoils sliped, vert;—Repps, impaling Derham, azure, a buck's head cabosed, or.
Monumentum viri multiplici eruditione insignis, sincerœ pietatis, verœq; justitiœ, cultoris egregij, Henricj Reppes, Armigeri, cujus corpus in cineres resolutum, anima verò in Dei manu superstes diem restitutionis omnium placidè expectat. Qui dum patriœ charus in vivis agerat duas fœminas virtute spectabiles, et origine illustres uxor es duxit, nempe Dorotheam filiam Christopheri Jenny, Militis, et Elizabetham filiam Franciscj Lovell, Militis: Dorothea duas tantum filias partu dedit; Margaretam quœ nuptui tradita fuit Francisco Woodehowse, Armigero. et Elizabetham quœ naturœ debita citissime solvit; Elizabetha, vero in Dorotheœ vicem parens fœcundior succedens hisce sex liberis Henricum auxit, Henrico, Annâ, Johanne seniore, Thomasinâ, Francisco, Joanne juniore; ex quibus Joh. seniore, et Franciscus hujus lucis usurâ modo fruuntur: Johannes duas sibi virgines lectissimas uxores adjunxit, primum Annam, filiam Henr. Weston, Militis, deinde Mariam, filiam Richardi Lambert, Armigerj; Franciscus locatam accepit Janam filiam Humfri di Guybon, Armigeri, tandem œrumnosœ vitœ metam pertingens, Henric. corporis hujus tabernaculo terrestri deposito exequiarum justis potitus est 10 die Octob. Ao. ab Incarnato Messiah, 1566.
About this, are the shields of Repps and Smith, impaled, and the crest of Repps; Woodhouse, of Waxham, quarterly, ermine and azure, a leopard's head, or, impaling Repps;—Repps and Smith, quarterly, impaling Jenney, ermin, a bend, gules, cottised, or;—Reppes and Smith, &c. impaling Weston, ermine, on a chief azure, five bezants:—Repps, &c. impaling Lovell, argent, a chevron, azure, between three squirrels, sejant, gules;—Repps, &c. impaling Lambert,—, on a bend engrailed between two lions rampant, three annulets;—Repps, &c. impaling Guybon, or, a lion rampant, sable, over all, on a bend, gules, three escallops, argent.
The portion belonging to the patronage of the priory of Lewes, was called William's portion, and was valued at 21 marks, and the prior had a portion of tithes also, valued at 4 marks. Present valor 16l. 13s. 4d. and pays first fruits and tenths.
William de Sculham, by deed, binds himself, that nothing shall be withdrawn from, or any loss ensue to the mother church, in prejudice to the person of Walton, on account of the chapel which he had erected in his hall, at Walton; that the chaplains shall swear fealty to him: all obventions to be paid to the mother church; the chaplain shall not receive the confession of any parishioner, or perform any spiritual act without license (Regist. Lewes); and if the chaplains there should offend in any thing aforesaid, it may be lawful for the chaplains of the mother church to interdict them;—witnesses, Robert Bozun, prior of Acre, Mr. Robert de Bilney, official, &c. and there was to be no bell in the said chapel; this was about 1230.
Adam, son of Ralph de Walpole, gives one mark of silver per ann. to the prior of Lewes, for all his free land belonging to the two medieties of the churches of Walpole, and Walton; witnesses, Jeffrey de Feltwell, Alan de Ingaldesthorp, &c.
The chapel of St. Catharine, (fn. 6) in West Walton, lately dissolved, valued at 53s. 1d. ob. in 1555, the pension of William Clerk, late chantry prest 55s. 3d. an annuity paid by the Crown.
The Bishop of Ely had a grant from King Henry III. of a weekly mercate here, on Wednesday, and a fair every year, on the vigil, the day, and day after the assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Regist. Lewes.—The church is dedicated to the Virgin.
The church of West Walton consisted of two medieties, one in the patronage of the Bishop of Ely, the other in the prior and convent of Lewes: this which was in the Bishop, was anciently valued at 18 marks, and called Nicholas's portion: Peter-pence 8d. the present valor 16l. and pays first fruits and tenths.