An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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West Winch Manor.
Rainald, son of Ivo, held the chief lordship of this town, at the time of the grand survey, by a grant from the Conqueror, which Godwin, a freeman, Earl of Kent, and father of King Harold, held in the reign of the Confessor, consisting of 14 villains, 6 borderers, and 1 servus, at the survey, but of 4 in King Edward's time, 20 acres of meadow, 2 carucates in demean, and half a one amongst the tenants, 2 salt pits, &c. 23 socmen held 36 acres of land, with half a carucate, and 4 acres of meadow, then valued at 3l. afterwards at 100s. at the survey at 10l. per ann. From this Rainald it came to the Earls of Clare, as may be seen in Crimplesham. (fn. 1)
Ernald de Torley, about the reign of Henry III. held half a fee here of Simon, son of Richard, and he of the Earl of Clare; and in the 41st of Henry III. the guardianship of James de Beauveys, who held land, in this town, was granted by Stephen de Beauveys and Julian his wife, to Michael de Merlaw: this James was son and heir of Bartholomew de Beauveys, and probably was the same James de Beauveys, or de Belvago, one of the first mayors of Lynn, in 1270; and before this, in 1267, Thomas de Warblington, who held lands here of the honour of Clare, with Isabel his wife, granted them by fine to the said James, with rents and services.
In 1312, John de Merlaw seems to be lord of this manor, and then presented to the rectory of this church; and in 1323, Walter Henry of Babingley, conveyed lands here, by fine, to the said John Merlaw and Margaret his wife: in 1295, and 1311, he was mayor of Lynn.
William and Christiana de Suburgo presented in 1321, and John Attewode, in 1349, as lords of this manor; in 1387, John Drew, burgess of Lynn, and in 1388; but in 1389, John Bolt, of Lenne, who in 1398, gave the patronage of this rectory, with an acre of land to the priory of Blackburgh.
Robert Rands, of Horsham St. Faith, bequeaths by will, in 1452, his lordship here, to Richard, his son. (fn. 2)
In the 6th of Henry VIII. Sir Robert Southwell was found to die seized of this manor, which extended into Hardwick, Sechy, and South Lynn, held of the honour of Clare, and 10 messuages, 500 acres of land, 40 of meadow, 100 of pasture, 60 of wood, and 10s. rent, and left it to his cousin and heir, Richard, son of Francis, brother of Sir Robert; but in Trinity term, in the 29th of Henry VIII. Richard Southwell, Esq. conveyed it to William Conynsby, Esq. and it came after that to Sir Francis Gawdy, (as in North Rungton,) and so to the Earl of Warwick, and was bought of him in the 10th of James I. by John Pell, Gent.
On the 22d of September, in the 18th of King James I. the jury find that Richard Shebbs of Sedgeford, in Norfolk, Esq. was possessed of this manor of West Winch, called Fincham's, and that he had infeoffed therein, Sir Philip Wodehouse, Bart. Edward Paston, Esq. &c. by deed dated the 10th of June, in the 12th of the said King, to the use of himself for life, remainder to William Yelverton, junior, (son of Sir William, and Dionysia his wife, eldest daughter of the said Richard) and on Ursula his intended wife, daughter of Sir Thomas Richardson, &c. and was after in the Pells.
Under the title of Invasiones, we find that Hermerus de Ferrariis had seized on a freeman, who held one carucate of land, and 12 borderers, valued at 6s. 8d. (fn. 3)
John de Wilton, in the reign of Edward III. had a manor in West Wich and Hardwick, called Wilton and West Winch Moigne, held by a quarter of a fee of the Lord Bardolf. Christopher Conynsby held this, and so was united, as I take it, to the lordship of West Winch, held of the honour of Clare, as aforesaid.
The temporalities of Wirmegey priory were valued at 6l. 5s. per ann. Westacre priory temporalities at 4s. Massingham priory temporalities 3s. 7d. ob. Blackburgh priory had lands let at 4l. 10s. per ann. A close called Townesend belonging to it, granted July, 27 in the 25 of Elizabeth, to Theophilus Adams, and Robert Adams.
The priory of Castleacre had two parts of the tithe of the demean of Richard, son of Simon, (of the honour of Clare,) of the grant of the said Richard, saving to Gilbert, rector of West Winch, his right and possession as long as he lived, 1265, paying 5l. per ann.
Robert Baston bequeathed to the reparation of the church, in 1528, a house that he had bought of John Davy, and wills as good a cross to be set up at the south end of the town, by his executors, as was at the north end of the town.