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 this town was, after the conquest, granted to Tovi, one of the Conqueror's attendants, on the deprivation of Ketel, a freeman, who was lord in the reign of King Edward, when there belonged to it, 3 carucates of land, 2 villains, 8 borderers, with 5 servi; there were two carucates in demean, one and an half among the tenants, &c. with a rood of meadow, a mill, 4 cows, &c. 21 swine, &c. and 300 sheep; there were 18 socmen, with all their customary dues, who held 56 acres of land, and 2 carucates, and of these he had the soc.
To this lordship 3 freemen were added; two of them were under the protection of Herald, and one under that of Gert, and held a carucate and half of land under Tovi's predecessor; 9 borderers and 7 socmen, with 4 carucates, and 16 acres of land belonged to them, &c. the whole was then valued at 6l. afterwards, and at the survey, at 8l. per ann. it was one leuca broad, and long, and paid 2s. gelt. (fn. 1)
Soon after the survey, probably on the death of Tovi, it came as an eschaet to the Crown, and was granted by King William II. to his great favourite William de Albini, his butler (Pincerna Regis) ancestor of the Earls of Arundel, lord of Wymondham, Rysing Castle, and Buckenham, who enfeoffed Hubert de Munchensi thereof, ancestor of the Lords de Munchensi; and Agnes widow of Warin de Monchensi held it in dower in the 33d of Henry II.
Sir Warin de Montchensi had a charter of freewarren, in the reign of King Henry III. and Thomas de Holcham released to him in 1227, common of pasture for 200 sheep, 7 cows, with all his right in two marshes, called Burgh marsh, and Little marsh, saving his own right of common.
William Lord Monchensi, his son and heir, left a daughter and sole heir, Dionisia, who brought it by marriage in 1296, to Sir Hugh de Vere, a younger son of Robert Earl of Oxford, being held of the Lord Tateshal, who married one of the heiresses of the Earl of Arundel, by half a fee; and had a sheepwalk, the lete, wreck at sea, &c. and having no issue, this lordship came to Adomare de Valentia Earl of Pembroke, son of William de Valentia Earl of Pembroke, and Joan his wife, sister of William, Lord Monchensy, father of the said Dionysia.
On the death of Adomare de Valentia, in the 17th of Edward II. and a division of his inheritance, it was assigned to David de Strabolgi, in right of Joan his wife, daughter of John Comyn, Lord of Badenagh, in Tindale, by Joan his wife, one of the sisters and coheirs, of the said Adomare, where it remained, till his descendant David Earl of Athol, on his death, in the 49th of Edward III. left it to his two daughters and coheirs, (Elizabeth and Philippa,) by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of the Lord Ferrers of Groby.
Elizabeth, the eldest, married first Sir Thomas Percy, and secondly Sir John Scroop, and had livery of a moiety of this lordship, in 1377; and in 1388, being then a widow, conveyed it to Sir John Halsham, of Kent, and Philippa his wife, (her sister,) who had for her first husband, Sir Ralph Percy, brother of Sir Thomas.
In 1395. John Halsham, Esq. was found to be son and heir of Philippa, and was lord in the 3d of Henry V. Sir Hugh de Halsham died lord in the 20th of Henry VI. Petronella his wife surviving, when Joan, daughter and heir of Richard Halsham, his brother, wife of John Lewkenor, Esq. of Goring in Sussex, was his heir, John Lewkenor, Esq. in the 4th of Edward IV. settled it by fine on Thomas Randolf, with the manor of West Lexham.
Thomas Gresham, Esq. purchased it of Sir James Boleyn, by fine, in the 4th and 5th of Philip and Mary. By an inquisition taken May 9, in the 39th of Elizabeth, the Lady Ann Gresham, widow of Sir Thomas, was found to have held the manor of Holkham, and Burghhall; and William Read, Esq. was her son and heir, by her first husband, William Read, Esq. This was held of the heirs of Tateshall, by half a fee.
Soon after it was purchased by William Wheatly, Esq; prothonatory of the Common Pleas, who was also lord of Hill-Hall, in this town, and left it to Anthony his son and heir, who by Anne his wife, daughter of William Armiger, Esq. of North Creke, had 3 daughters and coheirs; Muriel, the eldest, brought it by marriage to John Coke; Esq. fourth son of the famous Sir Edward Coke, lord chief justice of England, as I shall show in the pedigree of that family.
Part of this town was a beruite to the King's manor of Wighton, held by the Confessor, and at the survey by the Conqueror; it contained 3 carucates of land, but it lay waste then. (fn. 2)
The Conqueror had also a carucate of land, of which Alwin a freeman was deprived: this also belonged to his manor of Wighton; and there were 3 borderers, with 7 socmen, who had 2 carucates among them, and him, who held the land.
This seems to be possessed by William de Ken, lord of Wighton, in the reign of King Richard I. and King John; and by his son William, in that of Henry III. who forfeited it on his rebellion; and it was granted by that King to Philip de Albini, (as the lands of the Normans,) who was lord in the 29th year of that reign, but in the 32d of the said King, it was conferred on William de Valentia Earl of Pembroke, the King's half brother, and his son, Adomare de Valentia, inherited it, and so it became united to the lordship abovementioned, and came to John Coke, Esq.
Alan Earl of Richmond had in this town, at the survey, in Warham, and in Well, the tenure of 11 socmen, and 6 borderers, who held 2 carucates of land, and an acre of meadow, valued at 40s. Ribald was enfeoffed of it by Alan. Edwi, the Conqueror's steward, laid claim to one of them, who had 30 acres, as the hundred witnesses: (fn. 3) of this see in Warham.
William Earl Warren had also a small fee, which Walter held under him, half a carucate of land; this was part of the manor of Burnham Thorp, and valued with it. (fn. 4)
In the 12th of Henry III. Bertram de Holkham had an interest here; and in the 20th of that King, Peter de Holkham held a quarter of a fee, Richard Hacon the 16th part of one, and Walter Dakeny, the 6th part, of the Earl of Arundel; William Veuter held also at the same time the 16th part of a fee, and John, son of Adam le Bret, a quarter of a fee, of the honour of Arundel.
Baldwin de Akeney had a lordship in the aforesaid reign, which came to John, his son; and Baldwin, son of John de Akeney, and Alice his wife, had the lete, in the 14th of Edward I. which the lord of Wighton formerly held, also tenements and lands which were royal demeans, with freewarren, pillory, tumbrel, as granted by King Henry III. to his ancestors, with a weekly mercate on Monday, and a fair on the feast of the decollation of St. John Baptist.
On an inquisition taken in the 34th of the said King before the stewards of Sir Hugh de Veer, Sir William de Calthorp, (who held the Earl Warren's fee) and the prior of Walsingham, concerning the foldcourses, the jury find that there were 9 common fold courses; (fn. 5) 2 belonging to Creke abbey, 3 to the prior of Walsingham, 4 to the prior of Peterston, Martin Godwyn, and John de Brett, with others near the salt marsh, belonging to Sir Hugh de Veer, the prior of Walsingham, and the abbot of West Derham.
In the 9th of Edward II. John, son of Henry Underburgh, of Burnham, and Cecilia his wife, conveyed by fine to Richard Neal, of Burnham, and Catherine his wife, lands here, and in Swainsthorp, held of the Earl of Pembroke, by the fourth part of a fee; and the said Richard held it in 1323, and in the 20th of Edward III.
The tenants of Walter Hacon were found to have the 16th part of a fee, John Kirkham, a quarter of a fee, of the heirs of Sir Roger le Brome, of the Arundel fee, which John, son of Adam le Brett formerly held; and Jeffrey Miniot, a quarter of a fee late Eustach. de Brett's, and John Veutre, the 16th part of a fee, late William Veuter's.
Thomas Neal in the 50th of Edward III. was found to have held a lordship here, with a tenement in Kypton, by Wesenham: Margaret, his sister and coheir, was the wife of John Quarles, and Mary, the other sister, was the wife of John de Lyng.
In 1384, John de Holkham died lord of a manor here, in Holme, and Ringstead, as appears by his will, dated on St. Stephen's day, (fn. 6) wherein he mentions Margaret his wife, and Gregory his son, and gives to John, his son, the manor of Burnham Deepdale; in the said year, Ed. Holkham, Esq. living in the abbey of Holm, was buried there.
By the inquisitions taken in the 3d of Henry IV. Thomas Dikeman of Old Lynn held then the 16th part of a fee late Hakon's, Sir Robert Knolls, William Calthorp, Simon Veutre, John Hicklyng, and the prior of Walsingham here, in Burnham, and Wighton, the 3d part of a fee of the honour of Arundel; Gregory de Holkham a quarter of a fee of the said honour, and Simon Veutre here, and in Stivekey, half a fee of the dutchy of Lancaster.
Thomas Lucas, Esq. of Holkham, lord of Neal's manor, bequeaths his body to be buried in the church of St. Withburga of Holkham, by his testament, (fn. 7) (dated February, 25, 1446) and gives this lordship, with those of Surlingham, and Swainthorp, the advowson of St. Laurence's church in Laringsete, the manor of Kypton in Wesenham, and Raynham, to his wife Etheldreda, till his daughter Elizabeth came of age, then the moiety of Kypton was to be his daughter's; remainder of the whole to his daughter and her heirs.
In 1533, William Wootton, Gent. and John Wootton, Esq. convey it to William Pepys, Gent.; and Thomas Pepys, Gent. died seized of it by the name of Neels, alias Lucas manor, in 1569, and orders it by his will to be sold. In 1572, it was possessed by William Wheatly, Esq. who was afterwards, by the purchase of the Greshams estate, lord of the greatest part of this town, and so descended to John Coke, Esq. as above shown.
In 1247, a fine was levied between Hugh de Cressi, petent, and Ralph de Akeny, tenent of half a messuage, and half a carucate of land in Holcham, which Ralph had, who granted to Symon, prior of Petreston, the moiety thereof to the west, except the capital messuage, and the windmill, which were to remain to Ralph, with a proviso, that Ralph, or his heirs should not set up a fold, but that the prior and his successours might, as belonging to their moiety.
The prior had a patent in the 11th of Edward II. to purchase 50 acres of land, and 4s. rent of William Bulman, in this town: but in the 28th of Henry VI. the prior of Walsingham had a grant of these lands, and the said priory; and so continued till the Dissolution, when they came to the Crown.
Reginald, son of Jeffrey de Holkham, granted by fine to William, abbot of Creke, a messuage, and 40 acres of land in the 31st of Henry III. and their temporalities were valued in 1428, at 58s. 5d. ob. and those of the monks of Thetford at 16d.—of West Derham 96s. 6d.
Lands here in the tenure of Roger Hopkins, containing 40 acres, granted July 27, in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, to Sir John Parrot; also 18 acres granted in the 19th of Elizabeth, to Ed. Grimston, November 28.
The great antiquary and historian Camden, derives this family of Coke, from "William Coke, (fn. 8) of Dodington, (fn. 9) in South Greenhow hundred, Norfolk, mentioned in a deed, in 1206, who held also in the said year, the lordship of South Burgh in Mitford hundred, and conveyed lands there, held by knight's service, to William, son of Geleran, by Felice his wife. William had Jeffrey his son, residing at Dodington, in the 36th year of Henry III. who married Mar garet, daughter and coheir of Alen de Attlebrigg, and left Thomas Coke of Dodington, living in the 50th of that King, and father of Thomas, of the said town, living in the 44th of Edward I. who had John Coke of Dodington, in the 9th of Edward II. and was father of Sir Thomas Coke, lord of Dodington, Fouldon, &c. by his wife Eleanor, daughter of - - - - - - - Stanlaw; as may be seen in Colling's History of the Peerage."
To this I shall add that Dodington abovementioned should be Didlington, a town adjoining to Fouldon, and that Thomas Coke of Didlington, in the 24th of Henry III. was found to hold one fee and a half of the Earl Warren, in that town, and that Roger Coke held the same, as lord, in the 34th of that King, had view of frank pledge, and Robert Coke was lord in the 9th of Edward I. and had the assise of bread, beer, &c.
In the History of the Peerage, it is also said, that "John Coke was lord of Dodington, in the 9th of Edward II. and father of Sir Thomas Coke, who served in the wars of France, was lord of Dodington and Foulden, created a knight banneret, and in the 22d of Edward II. had a grant of 100l. per ann. In the 25th of that King, he is styled late Seneschal of Gascoign, had a grant of a place, called De La Trene, of the value of 200l. per ann. for life, lately enjoyed by William Ferreol, a rebel: his son Thomas dying s. p. his inheritance descended to John Coke, second son, brothe of Sir Thomas, who had a son John, and he a son Robert, who married Agnes, daughter and heir of Roger Crispin."
In an old pedigree that I have seen, I find that John Coke, Esq. of Crostwick, in Norfolk, was father of Robert: this John, (fn. 10) (as I take it) was son of John Coke, the brother of Sir Thomas, and removed from Crostwick, to East Ruston, and was father of Robert Coke, of East Ruston, Esq. who married Agnes, daughter and heir of Roger Crispin, Esq. of Hapsburgh in Norfolk.
(b) Robert Coke, Esq. of Mileham, by Winefrede, his wife, daughter and coheir of William Knightley, Gent. descended from the Knightleys of Fausley in Northamptonshire, was bred to the law, fellow of Lincoln's Inn, and dying in 1561, was buried in St. Andrew's church, in Holbourn; where he had a monument erected to his memory, by his wife, who remarried Robert Bozun, Esq. of Wissingset, who was lord of the manor of Burwoods, in Milcham, and left Edward, his only son and heir, and seven daughters. Thomas Hawley, Clarencieux, granted to him these arms, in the 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary June 9, —argent, a chevron engrailed gules, between three tigers heads erased, sable, about their necks a gemell, or;—crest, a turkeycock proper.
(c) Sir Edward Coke was born at Mileham, lord chief justice of England; of his great character, dignity, &c. see his epitaph in Titleshale church, where he lies buried. I have seen three different prints of him—one a copper-plate by Loggan, a folio, Vera effigies viri clarissimi Edvardi Coke, equitis aurati, nuper capitalis justiciarij, ad placita coram rege tenenda; with his arms and crest.
Another in octavo, in his robes, as a judge; and one less, with this motto round his effigies, Prudens qui patiens: and at the bottom,— Jurisprudentium eloquentissimus, et eloquentium jurisprudentissimus.
By Bridget his first wife, daughter of John Paston, Esq. he had 6 sons, and 3 daughters; and by Elizabeth, his second wife, daughter of Thomas Cecil Earl of Exeter, he had 2 daughters: of this judge and the family see at large in Collins, vol. iii. p. 507, &c.
His three daughters, by his first wife, were Elizabeth, who died young; Bridget, married to William Skinner, Esq. and Anne, to Ralph Sadler, Esq. the two by his second wife were Elizabeth, who died single, and Frances, married to the Viscount Purbeck, brother of the Duke of Bucks.
Edward, first son of Sir Edward, died an infant.—Sir Robert, the second son, was lord of Hunting feld, in Suffolk; he married Theophila, sister to the Lord Berkley, daughter of Thomas Lord Berkley, died s. p. in 1653, and was buried at Epsom, in Surry.
Arthur, third son, was of Bromfield, in Suffolk, Esq. he married Elizabeth, daughter and sole heir of Sir George Waldgrave, of Hitcham, (fn. 11) in Norfolk, died s. p. and was buried at Bromfield, in 1629.— Of John, the 4th son, I shall after treat, and of Henry, the 5th son. —Clement, the 6th son, of Langford, in Derbyshire, Esq. married Sarah, daughter and coheir of Alexander Readish, of Reddish, in Lancashire, buried in the Temple church in 1629, and was father of Edward Coke, of Langford, Esq. created baronet by King Charles I. Sarah his wife died in 1633, seized of the manors of Reddish, Pendlebury, Tetlow, and Crumwell, in Lancashire, as her own inheritance.
(d) John Coke, Esq. of Holkham, 4th son of Sir Edward, (on the death of his three elder brothers, without issue) succeeded in the inheritance; he died in 1661, leaving Edward, his son and heir, who married Elizabeth, daughter of George Lord Berkley, and dying s. p. the estate came to his cousin and heir, Richard Coke, Esq. John had 6 sons, who all died s. p. and the 9 daughters. Of this John Coke, Esq. and Muriel his wife, see afterwards.
(e) Richard Coke, Esq. was son and heir of Henry Coke, Esq. (5th son of Sir Edward) of Thorington, in Suffolk, by Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir Richard Lovelace, of Kingsdown, in Kent, and on his death, in 1661, was buried at Thorington, of which he was Lord, and of Swaffham Bulbeck priory, in Cambridgeshire. Richard married Mary, daughter of Sir John Rous, Bart. of Henham, in Suffolk, and was father of Robert Coke, Esq. of Holkham, who by the Lady Anne, daughter of the Duke of Leeds, had Edward, his son and heir, who took to wife, Cary, daughter of Sir John Newton, Bart. of Barrow Court, in Gloucestershire, by whom he had three sons, Thomas, Edward, and Robert: Edward, the second son, had the estate of Sir Edward, Coke, Bart. of Langford in Derbyshire, and dying s. p. in 1733, Robert, his younger brother, inherited it; and was vicechamberlain to Queen Caroline; he married the Lady Jane, eldest sister and coheir of Philip Duke of Wharton, relict of John Holt, Esq. of Redgrave in Suffolk, on whose death, in 1737, the Langford estate came to the Honourable Wenman Coke Roberts, Esq. son of Philip Robarts, Esq. major of the 2d troop of horse-guards, by Anne his wife, daughter of Edward Coke, and Cary his wife. Carey, the eldest daughter, married Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, Bart. and died s. p.
Thomas Coke, Esq. eldest son and heir, married Lady Margaret, (3d daughter and coheir of Thomas Tutton Earl of Thanet,) and Lady Clifford, a Baroness in her own right; he was created Knt. of the Bath, Baron Lovell, of Minster-Lovel in Oxfordshire, and Earl of Leicester, one of the post-masters general of Great Britain, and fellow of the Royal Society, &c.
By the Lady Margaret he had Edward Lord Viscount Coke, a young nobleman of most eminent parts, who represented the county of Norfolk in parliament, married the Lady Mary, daughter and coheir of John Duke of Argyle, and died in 1753, without issue.
The town takes its name from its site, lying near to some remarkable hills, Hoe-lig-Ham; and, as tradition says, was one of the country seats of Anna King of the East-Angles; and Withburga, his youngest daughter, who was sainted for her piety, (of whom see in East-Derham,) was here born and educated.
It was anciently a place of consequence, and eminency for trade and shipping. In the 4th year of Edward II. the King sent his writ to this town, Burnham, Snetterley, Lynn and Yarmouth, to provide ships to be sent to Scotland, the King being then at war with the Scots; (fn. 12) and this town, with that of Burnham Deepdale, was appointed to provide one ship in the reign of Edward III. in order, with others, to transport the King's army from Dublin, in Ireland, to Scotland.
But what renders this village highly remarkable in this present age, is the noble, stately, sumptuous palace, erected by the late Right Honourable Lord of it, which may be justly said to be in all respects, one of the best houses (if not the best) in all Great Britain; and may it so remain a splendid monument of his great worth and dignity, to latest posterity!
The building of Holkham-house was finished by Margaret, Countess Dowager of Leicester, in the year 1764, having expended therein upwards of eleven thousand pounds since Lord Leicester's death; and the furnishing of the house was completed in the year 1766, at the additional expense of more than three thousand pounds, by her Ladyship.
Influenced by a tender regard to indigent, and widowed age, in the year 1755, her Ladyship built and endowed, and in 1763, further endowed, in this parish, an alms-house for the maintenance of three men and three women, to have sixpence a day each; one chaldron of coals each, annually, and to have new cloaths once in two years; to be elected by the possessor of Holkham-house, out of some parish in which the estates thereto belonging lie: the building and furnishing the six dwellings, and purchasing the rents and estates for the support and maintenance of the whole, cost her Ladyship about two thousand three hundred pounds.
In the spring, 1767, her Ladyship began to repair Holkham-church. All the outside walls and stone window frames were repaired throughout; the roof made strong, and part of it new leaded; the inside of the whole stuccoed and cieled; the floors entirely new paved; the pews and seats all new, and erected in a regular form. The pulpit, desks, communion table, and rails thereto, all mahogany; a marble font; plate for the communion; linen and books for all the services; the old monuments restored: the vestry room fitted up, and all the windows new glazed. The whole was finished at Easter, 1768, at the sole expense of her Ladyship, amounting to about one thousand pounds.
A book of this nature, as a public record, with great propriety endeavours to eternize the memory of those truly great and noble benefactors, to whom works of consummate excellence, and public acts of piety and charity, have deservedly given superior distinction in the age in which they lived.
His Lordship's arms were per pale, gules and azure, three eaglets displayed, argent, (as granted to Sir Edward Coke the judge, by Robert Cook, Clarencieux,) crest, on a chapeau, gules turned up ermine, an ostrich, argent, with an horseshoe in his beak, azure; supporters, two ostriches, argent, gorged and collared, with a ducal coronet.
The Church stands east of the town, near the sea, on a hill, and is a noted sea mark, commanding an extensive prospect over the great German ocean; the hill seems to have been thrown up in the Saxon age, and Danish invasions, and to have served as a speculum or fort; and there is another hill at a little distance, where several human bones, and pieces of iron armour have been found in digging, and was probably a large tumulus.
It is dedicated to St. Withburga, and has a nave, north and south isle, with a chancel, all covered with lead. At the south-west corner of the south isle, stands a strong four-square tower embattled, with 4 bells; the lower part serves as a porch to the church; the north and south isles extend on each side of the chancel, and serve as buttresses against the raging wind, &c. of the sea. The east end of both these isles were chapels, and are inclosed.
In the chapel on the south side, against the east wall, is a large marble monument,—To the reviving memory of William Wheateley, Esq; and Martha Skinner his wife, and Anthony Wheateley, Esq; and Anne Armiger his wife, and also of Muriel Coke, late wife of John Coke of Holkham, in the county of Norfolk, Esq; the fourth son of the Right Honourable Sir Edward Coke, knight, late chief judge of the court of Common Pleas, and afterwards chief judge of the King's Bench, and one of his Majesty's privy council, by Bridget Paston, one of the coheirs of John Paston, Esq; her father; and the said Muriel Coke was sole daughter and heir of Anthony Wheately, by Anne Armiger his wife, and the said Anthony was son of William Wheateley, Esq; late prothonotary in the court of Common Pleas, by Martha Skinner, daughter of Anthony Skinner, of Warwickshire, Esq; and the said Anne Armiger, wife of the said Anthony was one of the daughters of William Armiger the elder, late of North Creak in Norfolk, Esq; by Anne Manjuer his wife, sole sister and heir of Richard Mansuer, Esq. her brother. Her loving husband, John Coke, Esq; to whom she bare six sons, and nine daughters, and lyeth here buried, erected this monument to her memory; she died the 4th of July, in the year 1636.
On this monument are small pourtraitures of the abovementioned William Wheatley, and Martha his wife: of Anthony and Anne his wife; of John Coke and Muriel his wife, on their knees, with desks before them, and these arms; quarterly in the first and fourth, sable a fess, ermin, between three talbots, passant, argent; in the 2d and 3d, argent, a bend between two bears salient, sable, both borne by the name of Wheatly; and impaling sable, a chevron, between three griffins heads erased, argent, Skinner; Wheatley impaling azure, two bars, argent, between three helmets, or, Armiger; also Coke impaling Wheatley.
To the pious memory of Miles Armiger, gent, the son of William Armiger, deceased, late of North Creak, Esq; which William, by his wife, Anne Mansuer, the sole sister and heir of her brother, Richard Mansuer, Esq. had issue, William his eldest son, who married Catherine, the sole daughter of John Hoe, Esq. by whom he had issue ten sons and nine daughters; Miles the 2d, and Mansuer his 3d son. Anne his eldest daughter, married to Anthony Wheatley of Hill Hall in Holkham, Esq. who had issue, one daughter. Susan the 2d daughter, married to John Fountaine, of Salle, in Norfolk, Esq. one of his majesty's justices of the peace. Jane the 3d daughter, married to John Osborne of Tile-Hall in Lachingdon, Essex. Miles died a batchelor May 10, 1639, aged 64 years.
Here lyeth interred Susan Doyley, only daughter and heir of Edmund Doyley, Esq; and Bridget his wife. Edmund was the only son and heir of Sir Henry Doyley knight, of Shottesham-Hall in Norfolk. Bridget was the eldest daughter of John, son of Sir Edw. Coke, &c. she died February 18, in the 5th year of her age, 1639.
The church had anciently two medieties, one belonging to the King's manor, the other to that of Tovi, which coming into the Crown, the patronage of both rested there, till granted with those lordships from the Crown.
Hubert de Montchensy, lord of one, by deed, sans date, and Gilbert Fitz-Richard, lord of Cley, gave to the priory of Castleacre, two parts of their tithes in Holkham, and Cley juxta mare, of all things tithable; (fn. 13) —witnesses, Jeffrey de Tresgoz, Henry de Claia, Ralph Fitz-Eudo, Roger de Montchensi, Warin de Montchensi, his brother.
An agreement was made between John, the prior of Castleacre, and Simon, abbot of West Derham, reciting that the prior of Castleacre had let to the abbot two parts of the corn tithes of the demean lands, formerly Sir Warin de Montchensy's, in Holkham, at the yearly rent of 40s. the abbot to be at all charges, and in default of the rent, or any part thereof, to pay 20s.
The said abbot and convent tie all the lands and tenements which they hold of the fee of the Earl Warren in Norfolk, that the bailiff of the said Earl, for the time being, may distrain goods and chattels, found in the said tenements and lands, and keep them back till the prior was fully satisfied for the said 40s. rent, and 20s. by way of damage, for not keeping the term of payment; dated the day after the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, 1304.
William Lord Montchensi gave a moiety of this church to the abbey of West Derham, and King John. (fn. 14) in his 2d year confirmed it with all its rights. This was valued at 35 marks, and was appropriated by John Bishop of Norwich.
King John, in his 16th year, granted to the monastery of St. Martin de Monte Viterbij, in Tuscany, 30 marks per ann. out of a moiety of this church: witnesses, William Archbishop of Burdeaux, R. Tetragor. episcopo, and signed by Ralph de Nevill, (the King's chancellor, as I take it, then dean of Litchfield, and after Bishop of Chichester) dated May 26, at Partnay.
This mediety was also valued at 35 marks, and appropriated to the monastery of St. Martin, and a vicarage was settled, called Walter's, valued at 5 marks. This mediety was let to farm to the prior and convent of Walsingham.
1321, Walter de Helweton, presented by Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, to this mediety, as rector; who recovered it in the King's court against the abbey of St. Martin, and so set aside, the title not being clear, and no Bishop consenting to the appropriation.
In 1347, the abbot of West Derham, having obtained titles to both these medieties, and advowsons, Will. Bishop of Norw. this year, reappropriated them, settled the 2 vicarages again, and consolidated them, Fransham and Herring resigning their 2 medieties or rectories, and Herring was instituted to the consolidated vicarages, the Bishop reserving a pension of 4 marks per ann. to the see, and 5s. per ann. to the sacrist of Norwich priory, and the nomination to the vicarage.
On May 2, in the 3d of Edward VI. the rectory and patronage of the vicarage, lately in West Derham, being in the Crown, was granted to Sir John Clere; and about the said time, Dr. Thirlby Bishop of Norwich released to the King 59s. 8d. pension issuing out of the rectory.
This family's name is of great antiquity: Coke or Cocke (from whence it is derived) is the name of a river (so called by the ancient Britons,) in Norfolk and other counties, as Cokesford, and CockThorpe, Cocker, or Cockre, in Cumberland, Cokeley, in Suffolk, &c.