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 granted to Rainald son of Ivo, a Norman, of which Ketel was Lord in King Edward's time, and deprived, 2 carucates of land then belonged to it, and 16 borderers, 3 servi, 3 acres of meadow, 2 carucates in demean, and one of the tenants, 2 mills; and when Rainold entered on it there were 3 horses, 30 cows, and 180 sheep; 5 acres with half a carucate of land belonged to the soc. Four socmen were also added to this manor with a carucate and an half of land, which the King gave him livery of; and 7 borderers, with 3 carucates and 2 acres of meadow, one mill, and the moiety of onother; this was valued at 4l. and 4 tenants paid 40s. it was half a leuca long, and half broad, and paid 24d. gelt, and there was a church endowed with 30 acres, valued at 2s. per ann. (fn. 1)
Turtevile's and Irmingland's Manors
A family who assumed their name from this village was early enfeoffed thereof. Jeffrey and Hugh de Stivekey lived in the reign of Richard I. and in the 4th year of Henry III. a fine was levied between Philip de Stivekey, and Bartholomew de Stivekey, of 15l. per ann. land in this town, Warham, and Irestede, in a plea of warrantia charta, whereby Bartholomew grants to Philip 4l. 0s. 8d. rent per ann. of the said land, held by Philip in Warham, &c. in tail, with 19s. 4d. land in this town, which Beatrix their mother held in dower, and the rest was to be Bartholomew's.
William de Turtevile, and Gratiana de Hevincham, (or Heveningham,) grant that the land here, and of Cokesford, which Jefferey de Slivekey their cousin died seized of, was held by knight's service, and that Sibilla his wife was to have a dower therein.
In the 2d of Edward I. and in the 11th of that King, William de Hevingham, and John de Turtevile agreed to divide the estate of Jeffrey aforesaid, and to present alternately to the rectory of the church of St. John Baptist, in this town; from this arose the two manors of Turtevile's and Heveningham's. William de Hevingham and Isabel his wife were living in the 31st of Edward I.
After this Heveningham's moiety came to the Irminglands, and Ralph de Irmingland presented to the church of St. John Baptist, in this town, as lord in 1327; Ralph and Maud his wife were living in the 5th and 12th of Edward II.
Robert, son of William de Turtevile and Alice his wife, held a moiety in 13th of Edward III. and Robert presented to the church aforesaid; and in the 20th of that King, the said Robert and Agnes de Irmingland, widow, (and second wife to Ralph,) held one fee of the honour of Clare, which William de Hevynham formerly held.
After this the Irminglands moiety came to three sisters, and coheirs. —Cecilia, married to Thomas Weston, Anne to Thomas Daubeny, (fn. 2) and Margaret to Jeremy Wodehouse, Esq. 4th son of Sir John Wodehouse, of Kimberley, and after remarried to John Usher; and these daughters of Richard Irmingland, Esq. conveyed their right to John Winter, and John Wynter, Esq. presented as lord to the church of St. John, in 1491.
The other moiety, called Turtevile's, was held by William de Turtevile in 1383, and seems to be in Sir William Yelverton in 1458; and soon after it came to John Winter, Esq. (fn. 3)
In the 28th of Henry VIII. John Winter, Gent. conveyed it, with Dorothy his wife, to Sir William Fermour, of East Barsham, Knt. and Thomas Fermour, Esq. by indenture, November 4, in the 12th of Elizabeth, passed it to Thomas Andrews and his heirs, together with the lordships of Stiffkey, Curlew, Est Hall, &c. in this town, and 30 messuages, with the advowsons of the churches of St. John Baptist and St. Mary's of Stiveky; from whom it was conveyed to Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord-keeper in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who gave it to his son, Sir Nathaniel Bacon, Knt. of the Bath, by whose daughter and coheir, Anne, (married to Sir John Townsend, Knt. of Rainham) it came into the family and so continues, the Right Honourable George Lord Viscount Townsend being the present lord.
Richard Curlew was found to hold half a fee of the Earl of Gloucester, in the reign of Henry III. and Alexander de Curlew was impleaded about the 14th of Edward I. for 21 marks due on account of the pur chase of a manor here, which he had bought of Richard de Dokkyng, late rector of Cockthorp.
Thomas de Curlew conveyed it in the 7th of Edward II. to William de Turtevile, and Robert, son of the said William, and Alice his wife, possessed it in the 13th of Edward I. and so became united to the manor of Turtevile.
Geffrey Est was found in the 8th of Edward II. at his death, to have half a fee in this town, Wells and Warham; and in the 20th of Edward III. Thomas Est held it of Robert Turtevile, he of Richard FitzSimon, who held of the Earl of Clare, formerly possessed by William de Hengham; and John Est, was lord of it in the 4th of Henry IV. after which it was united to Turtevile's manor.
William the Conqueror was lord of a manor, out of which Toke had been ejected, of one carucate of land, and 11 borderers, 6 servi, a carucate and a half in demean, and one of the tenants, 5 cows, 12 swine, 200 sheep, &c. 2 acres of meadow, and the moiety of a mill. And there was a little lordship belonging to this manor that extended into Wells. They were valued in King Edward's reign at 4l. at the survey at 6l.
Part of Stivekey was also a beruite to the King's manor of Alesham, 4 borderers had in King Edward's time a carucate, and there was the same when Godwin received it, and half an acre of meadow; this was valued in Alesham. (fn. 4)
All this was managed for the King, by Godwine, who was his steward, and all belonged to Toke before the Conquest. The King, had also in his own hands half a carucate of land here, belonging to his manor of Wighton.
All these possessions abovementioned remained some time in the Crown; the first that I find in possession of them, and held them in cupite, was William de Wendevale, a Norman, whose brother, Robert, dying s. p. they escheated to the Crown, and were granted to the Earls of Pembroke, &c.
William de Valentia, half brother to King Henry III. and Earl of Pembroke, had a grant of this united manor, belonging to the Crown in the 32d of the said King, and a confirmation of it in his 35th year, to be held by the accustomed services, by half a fee; to it belonged a lete, assise of bread and beer, view of frank pledge, &c. and the advowson of St. Mary's church in this town. (fn. 5)
Aymer de Vatentia Earl of Pembroke, his son, inherited it, on whose death, in 1323, it descended to David de Strabolgi Earl of Athol in Scotland, in right of his wife; on whose death, in the 20th of Edward II. it came to his son David, who being a rebel, and in the Scots army, King Edward III. granted it, April 4, in his 9th year, to Sir Walter Manny, Knt. who presented, as lord, to the church of St. Mary in 1349 and 1352. He held it till David, the 3d Earl of Athol, was of age, who dying possessed of it, and of Holchem, in the 49th of Edward III. left issue, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Henry Lord Ferrers of Groby, two daughters and coheirs; Elizabeth, who married Sir Thomas Percy, a younger son of Henry Lord Percy, who had by her the lordship of Holcham and Possewyke; and Philippa, or Mary, who married Sir Ralph Percy, brother of Sir Thomas, and had this lordship and that of West Lexham; she surviving Sir Ralph, remarried Sir John Halsham, lord in her right, in the 12th of Richard II.
John Halsham presented as lord in 1413; and Sir Hugh Halsham dying lord in the 20th of Henry VI. and having no issue by Petronilla his wife, this lordship came to Joan, daughter and heir to his brother, Richard Halsham, wife of John Lewkenor, Esq. from whom it came to Sir Jeffrey Boyleyne, Knt. and Lord Mayor of London, in 1457, whose son, Thomas Boleyn, presented to St. Mary's church in 1461, and 1463, as did Will. Boleyn, Esq. his brother, in 1474, &c. and Sir James Boleyne in 1542.
After this, James Calthorp, Esq. had an interest herein; but in the year 1564, John Baynard appears to be lord, who, with Edmund, Baynard, sold it in the 13th of Queen Elizabeth, to Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper, and he gave it to his 2d son, Sir Nathaniel Bacon, who, by Anne his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas Gresham, left 3 daughters and coheirs; and by Anne, the eldest, it came in marriage to Sir John Townsend of Reynham, and the Right Honourable George Lord Viscount Townsend is the present lord.
This church belonged to Ralph, son of Ivo, and so to the honour of Clare, and was afterwards (if not then) dedicated to St. John Baptist. It was a rectory, anciently valued at 20 marks, and paid Peter-pence 1s. 6d. The present valor is 18l. 8s. 4d.
1327, Will. de Horseford was instituted rector, presented by Ralph de Irmingland, hac vice. In the 12th of Edward II. a fine was levied and William Storm settled this manor and advowson (as a trustee probably) on Ralph and Agnes his wife.
Also these arms; gules, on a fess, between six billets, argent, three Cornish choughs, sable, Irmingland.—Calthorp—Bacon—L'Estrange. —Masculy, gules and ermin, de la Rokeley.—Sable, a chevron, between three lioncels rampant, argent, Reymes.—Checque, or and sable, a fess of the first, Winter.—Gules, four bars, gemell, or, on a canton, azure, five billets, sable, Inglois.—Or, three pallets, sable (quere, if not Barsham?) quarters, argent, a chevron engrailed, between three leopards heads, or.—On the outside of the porch, in freestone, Irmingland and Daubeney, gules, 5 fusils in fess, argent, and 2 martlets in chief.