An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Godwin Earl of Kent, and father of Harold King of England, had a lordship in this town in the reign of the Confessor; William the Conqueror seized on it, and at the grand survey, Godric was bailiff or stewald of it for that King; 3 carucates of land belonged to it with 9 villains and 14 borderers, one carucate in demean, and one among the tenants, 20 acres of meadow, 14 breeding mares, 2 runci, 23 swine, 71 sheep, then valued at 4l. at the survey at 6l. quit rent: it was 8 furlongs and 12 perches long, and 8 furlongs broad, and paid 12d. ob. gelt per ann. (fn. 1)
In the 4th of Richard II. John de Eccles aliened to the prior of Hickling a messuage, 40 acres of land, 30 of pasture, 10 of furze, and the rent of 60s. here, with lands in Waxham, and other lands here, as will appear.
Alan Earl of Richmond had a small fee belonging to a freeman in King Edward's time, who had 30 acres and half a carucate; Edric, Alan's man or tenant, had seized on this in the time of Ralph Earl of Norfolk, and it was valued at 2s. per ann. (fn. 2)
In the 19th of Henry III. Walter de Ingham held this; and in 1261, there was an agreement between Adam, abbot of St. Bennet, and Sir Oliver Ingham, about wreck at sea, between Palling Cross and Wenkell Ditch, when Oliver released to the abbot his right therein, and the abbot regranted to him and his heirs half of it, and they were to gather it and keep it at their charge, till the abbot's bailiff of Ludham should come, and if any royal fish should come on shore, it was to be carried to Oliver's court at Waxham, and there be equally divided. (fn. 3).
Roger Bigot, ancestor to the Earis of Norfolk, had, at the survey, one carucate of land with 5 borderers, one carucate in demean, and 24 acres and one carucate among the tenants, of which a freeman, Guert, (brother to King Harold) was deprived; 5 freemen also in this town, held 33 acres, and one carucate, which Hugh de Hosden was enfeoffed of by Roger Bigot, valued at 20s. but at the survey at 40s. 4 of these 5 freemen could not leave it without paying 2s. (fn. 4)
Sir Roger Bigot of Felbrigg had a grant of free warren in the 9th of Edward I.—Sir Simon Felbrigg was lord in the 6th of Edward II. and had lands here conveyed to him by Richard de Refham, and Joan his wife.
In the 25th of Edward III. the prior of Hickling had license to purchase this manor, (as I take it,) and held in the 11th of Henry VI. half a fee of John Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, late Sir Simon de Felbrigg's.
The abbot of Holm's manor or revenues of Horsey and Palling, were, in the 33d of Henry VIII. April 9, let to farm to Sir Thomas Woodhouse of Waxham, for 99 years, with the parsonages and vicarages, and wreck at sea, and Sir Henry Woodhouse sold the lease in the 31st of Queen Elizabeth, to Nathaniel Bacon of Stivekey, the wreck at sea, extending from a tree called Mark Tree, standing between Eccles and Palling, from thence to a cross in Palling, and so to a dike called Wynkel Dike, and a cross in the ground called Headless Cross, by the said dike, dividing the bounds or hundreds of Happing, and of East and West Flegg, with all tithes and offerings, paying 25l. 10s. per ann.
Before this, on the 12th of July, in the first and 2d of Philip and Mary, Sir William Woodhouse of Hickling granted to Sir Thomas his brother, and his heirs, his right in the wreck at sea, which he had by the grant of King Henry VIII.
In this family it remained as in Hickling; and Martin Calthorp, Esq. was lord in 1717, when Wortley Montague, Esq. entered on it; afterwards purchased by the Lord Walpole, who possessed it in 1740, and his son, the Earl of Orford, is the present lord.
In 1603, there was no vicar, and it had been served by a curate, as an impropriation. Sir Henry Woodhouse sold the impropriated rectory and patronage of the vicarage to Nath. Bacon, who conveyed it to the Calthorps, and Martin Calthorp was patron, in 1717.
William Gostelyn of this town wills in 1473, to be buried in this church, and gives an acre and half of land, in Cotyote field, to fynd the holy brede lof, as long as the world endureth, and to the church, a messuage, in Merefeld, &c. Reg. Caston, Norwich, 188.