An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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The principal lordship of Edgamer (as it is wrote in the book of Domesday) was in the see of Thetford, and held by Ailmer, Bishop of Elmham, in the time of the Confessor, when it contained 3 carucates of land, 14 villains, 2 servi, 2 carucates in demean, and 2 amongst the tenants, &c. 180 sheep, and 7 socmen belonged to it, with 45 acres and 2 carucates, valued then at 30s. at the survey at 45s. 4d. and one socman of William, the Bishop, ploughed one carucate, with 2 oxen. (fn. 1) Morel held it of this William Beaufoe, bishop, at the survey; and it seems to take its name as being seated near some mere, or moor.
In the reign of Henry III. Agnes de Mortimer, was found to hold half a fee, William de Shipeden, half a fee, and Godwin de Thornham, half a quarter of one, belonging to the see of Norwich; and William Athelwald had 4 messuages, with lands conveyed by fine to him by Thomas Hunt and Christian his wife, in the 11th year of Edward II. This William was lord of a manor, and presented to a moiety of this church, in the 5th year of the said King; and in the 10th of the said King, John de Shipedene, of Eggemere, and Catharine his wife conveyed to him several messuages, lands, rents, and services, but in the 15th of Edward II. the said William conveyed his manor and right of advowson to Edmund de Leech of Beeston, in Norfolk, and Margaret, his wife, who regranted them to William for life.
John Leche, in 20th of Edward III. was found to hold half a fee of the Bishop, which William de Shipeden formerly held; half a fee, which Robert de Kelling, with half a fee, that Goda de Thornham formerly held; and in the 25th of that King, John Leche, clerk, William, parson of Ingaldesthorp, Edmund Gurnay, John de Holcham, pass it by fine to John de Wolterton, parson of Harpley, &c. who in the 27th of the said King, conveyed it, with one messuage, 240 acres of land and 5s. rent here, and in other towns, to John de Egmere and his heirs.
John Corbet had an interest herein, in the 13th of Richard II. and was allowed freewarren, as granted to John Leche, by King Edward III. in his 18th year, and in the 17th of Richard III. William Winter had a confirmation of it.
In the 3d of Henry IV. John Aysbornham, held half a fee of the Bishop, with one fee formerly John de Leche's; and in 1418 William Winter, Esq. presented to this church: soon after it seems to have been in the hands of certain trustees, who had license on March 3, in the third year of Henry VI. to alien this manor of Eggemer, with the patronage of the church, to the prior and convent of Walsingham; the names of these trustees were, Sir Simon Felbrigg, Sir Edmund Berry, John Wodehouse, Esq. William Paston, &c.; it was valued at 13l. 6s. 8d. per ann. and paid 3s. 6d. for every fee every 30 weeks, to Norwich castle guard, and 10s. relief. (fn. 2)
On the dissolution of the said priory, King Henry VIII. on the 22d of March, in his 30th year, grants it to James Bulleyne, in exchange for the manors of Heverreal, and Kemsing in Kent: after this it came to Sir Thomas Gresham, Knt. whose widow, Lady Anne, sold it to Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and his descendant, Sir Edmund Bacon, Bart. died lately possessed of it, and his daughter, Mary Bacon, held it in 1758; and presented to the church, as lady of the manor, 1761.
The Earl Warren had also an interest in this town, half a carucate of land held by 3 borderers, and a socman, with 12 acres, held by Elvolt, a freeman, in King Edward's time, but delivered to Frederic, to make up his lordships, and was valued in Barsham. (fn. 3)
William, son of Richard de Walsingham, was a minor in the 20th, and in the custody of the Earl Warren; and in 1385, Sir John Plays presented to a moiety, after this it was united (as I take it) to the fee abovementioned.
Part of this town was a beruite belonging to the King's manor of Wighton, (of which manor see there,) this part was half a carucate of land, &c. and the town was in the whole half a leuca long, and also half broad, and paid 6d. gelt. (fn. 4)
The prior of Petreston, in the reign of Henry III. was found to hold a quarter and half of a fee, of the Bishop of Norwich; and in the 29th of Edward I. this priory gave to that of Westacre, a messuage, and the moiety of a carucate of land, at Rushmore, in Suffolk, in exchange for a messuage, and a moiety of a carucate here; this came to the priory of Walsingham, when the priory of Petreston was united to it.
The Church is a rectory valued at 8l. and is now demolished, and the inhabitants go to the church of Waterden, and are there buried, &c. Sir Nicholas Bacon is said to have profaned it, and turned it into a barn. Here were anciently two medieties, one called the portion of Richard, valued at 5l. the other of Roger, of the said value, and paid Peter-pence 8d.
1543, Thomas Bulman, by George Townsend, on a grant from the prior: Bulman seems to have been the last prior of Wayborn, in Norfolk, and had a pension (fn. 5) for life from the Crown of 4l. per ann.
On July 8, in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, John Elliot, and Alexander Chesnall had a grant of the patronage of this church; but in 1558, Thomas Penny was instituted, on the presentation of Humphrey Rant, who pleaded a grant from the late prior; he was succeeded by,