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 abbot of St. Bennet at Holm had the principal lordship of this town in King Edward's time, and at the survey, when there was one carucate of land held by 2 villains and a borderer, one carucate in demean, and one among the tenants, &c. 4 acres of meadow, one runcus, 6 swine; and one of the abbot's men held 29 acres of land of the abbot in King Edward's reign, and half a carucate and 2 acres of meadow; the King and the Earl had the soc, and 9 freemen held 75 acres and 2 carucates then; the abbot had only the commendation of them; the King and the Earl had the soc. (fn. 1)
William de Stalham was found to hold of the abbot of St. Bennet, the 5th part of a fee of the old feofment here, and in Beston, in the 12th year of King Henry II. (fn. 2)
In the 34th of Henry III. Sir Will. de Stalham, son of William, released to the abbot all his right in the advowson of this church. Nicholas, abbot of St. Bennet, brought a writ of escheat, in the 11th of Edward I. against William de Stalham, for lands in Irstede, &c.
Sir Robert de Curzon, dying s. p. Sir William de Stalham, father of this William, had entered on the lands of Sir Robert, though no relation, but the abbot finding by an old roll, that Will. son of Ralph, some time held the lands in Stalham, Beston and Irstede, by the 5th part of a fee; and, in another roll, that William, son of William de Stalham, and Bartholomew, de Calthorp, held the same, Bartholomew holding them in Beston, by the tenth part of a fee, and the said William, half the lands in Beston, and the lands in Stalham, and Irstede by the 10th part of a fee.
This William de Stalham married Isabel, daughter and heir of Matthew de Gunton. And in the 22d of that King, the abbot impleaded Jeffrey Wythe and Isabel his wife, daughter and coheir of William de Stalham, for the guardianship of Joan, Alice, and Ellen, her sisters and coheirs.
In the 20th of Edw. III. Oliver de Wythe, and John, son of Robert de Ingham, held this lordship of the abbot, by the 4th part of a fee: Robert probably married also one of the aforesaid daughters and coheirs; and in the 3d of Henry IV. the prior of Ingham, John Colvile, and Richard de Stalham, are said to hold the said fee.
In 1285, it appears that the abbot and convent had a pound of incense yearly, and 2 garbs or 2 parts of the tithes of the ancient demeans of William de Stalham. (fn. 3)
In an extent of the revenues of the see of Norwich, after the death of Bishop Ruggs, among the rents of several towns, mention is made of the rents belonging to the see in Stalham, on the exchange of the lands belonging to the abbey of Holm, made with Bishop Rugg and Henry VIII. No doubt the interest and lands in this town, that belonged to that abbey, were granted to that Bishop, and alienated after by him to Sir William Woodhouse, as is said.
Alan Earl of Richmond had a lordship of which eleven freemen were deprived, who held 100 acres of land and 2 carucates of meadow, and the moiety of the soc, under commendation only, and the King was possessed of the other moiety of it; Alan had also 15 acres of land here, of which 2 freemen were deprived, of whom Edric had the commendation, with the moiety of the soc, and the King and the Earl the other moiety; valued (with the manor of Ingham, &c.) at 100s. and at the survey at 6l. (fn. 4)
Robert Malet laid claim to these 2 manors, which Edric his predecessor had only in King Edward's time, the commendation, and says that his father was seized of them, and Roger Bigot witnesses the same; and they were 2 leucas and an half long and 12 perches, and one leuca and 10 perches broad, and paid 15d. gelt.
The family of de Ingham held this lordship and that of Ingham, in the reign of Richard I. from whom it came to the Stapletons; part of it seems to be given to the priory of Ingham; and in the 3d of Henry IV. the prior of Ingham, was returned to have a lordship here, and part of it came from the Stapletons to the Calthorps, and was sold by them in the 26th of Henry VIII. to Thomas Woodhouse, Esq. of Waxham, was afterwards in Sir William Woodhouse, and Sir Henry his son was lord in 1575.
Roger Bigot had also at the survey a lordship with 60 acres of land, and a carucate and a half, and 3 acres of meadow, of which 9 freemen, who were only under commendation of Edric, were deprived, who had half the soc, and the King and the Earl the other half, also 15 acres of which a freeman was deprived; to this belonged many privileges. (fn. 5)
Several persons had an interest herein; Richard le Butler and Nicholas de Stalham, in the 24th of Henry III. divided by fine this inheritance, here and in Wykmere; Nicholas had Stalham, and Richard Wykmere, who dying soon after, s. p. Nicholas enjoyed the whole.
In the 37th of Henry III. Geffrey de Turgijs and Julian his wife, with Simon de Boleyne, released to Jeffrey de Bourdevile, 2 parts of a manor, and 2 knights fees here and in Brunstede, which were to descend to them from Robert Malet, uncle of Julian, and cousin of Simon; the 3d part of the same belonging to Jeffrey de Bordevile, from Robert Malet his uncle; and Petronilla, widow of Robert, held the same in dower.
In the 14th of Edward III. John, son of Robert de Ingham, had an interest here and in Brunstede; and in the 9th of Edward II. Jeffrey Wythe was returned to be lord, as marrying Isabel, a daughter and coheir of Sir William de Stalham.
Edmund de Clipesby was lord, and John Clipsby, Esq. his son, released all his right to the same, and lands here to John Derby, Esq. in the 2d of Henry V. and John Limford, by his testament, dated August 2, 1456, gives his body to be buried in this church; appoints Sibilla his wife, and John Stokewyke, of Somerton, his executors: gives certain lands and tenements, to Sibill, in this town, Ingham, and Hickling, for life, and mentions Margaret his late wife.
This afterwards was part of the possessions of the college of Heringby in Norfolk; and on April, 13, in 36th of Henry VIII. the manors of Stalham Hall, Linford, and Wild's, were granted by that King to Sir William Woodhouse, being given by Hugh Attefenn's will, in 1475, to that college, the founder of it, with 10l. per ann.
Opizo de Castellis, Decret. Dr. rector: he complained, That whereas he had been rector of this church for 20 years; and received the profits, the abbot and convent of Holm feigning him to be dead, had presented to the Bishop, Alan, son of Gilbert de Thornton, and afterwards, in 1290, feigning him dead, presented twice; first, Mr. Bartholomew de Benevile, and secondly Mr. William de Luda, to the great damage of the said Opizo, in 500 marks, Alan receiving the profits of one year, to the value of 60l. sterling.
1352, Robert Burewode to the vicarage: the rectory was appropriated to Trinity Hall, on November 10, this year, for 10l. per ann. being settled on the vicar, which was taxed at 5l. and to be in the patronage of that hall; and the rectory was valued at 27 marks and an half, and the Bishop was to have a pension of 20s. per ann. the vicar was also to have an agreeable dwelling; the hall was to present two persons to the vicarage, and the Bishop to choose one.
Here lyes the body of Katherine, one of the daughters of Thomas Castell of Raveningham in Norfolk, who first married John Riches of this town, gent. and afterwards the Revd. William Smith D. D. one of the prebendaries of the cathedral church of Norwich, and was his widow, she departed, &c. May 26, 1718, aged 78; and these arms, Castell impaled between Riches and Smith.