An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Ralph, brother of Ilger, had a grant of this town, on the deprivation of Edric, a thane, or one of the lords of the Confessor, and Humphrey held it at the survey of Ralph, when there belonged to it 4 carucates, and 6 acres of land, 8 villains, and 16 borderers, with 2 carucates in demean, and 2 among the tenants, with 8 acres of meadow, one mill, 3 cows, &c. 4 swine, &c. 30 sheep, &c. and 4 skeps of bees; a church endowed with 20 acres, valued at 20d. and 7 freemen, with the moiety of another who were only under commendation, had 70 acres, and 2 carucates, &c. there were also 4 freemen added to this lordship, in the Conqueror's time by Ralph, and Humphrey had them; they held 90 acres, formerly 3 carucates, and now 2 and an half valued at 15s. of two of these his predecessor had only the commendation, and the predecessor of Robert Malet the commendation of one, the King and the Earl had the soc, valued then at 40s. at the survey at 60s. and it was one leuca long, and half a one broad, and paid 15d. gelt, whoever was lord. (fn. 1)
This Ralph had also a grant of Edesfield and Stody, in Holt hundred;—of Erpingham, in South Erpingham hundred;—of Honing in Tunstede hundred, with Ridlington.
Humphrey, who held it of Ralph, at the survey, was nephew, or a near relation to Ralph, who enfeoffed him of this and other lordships, and assumed his name from the town of Edesfeld, or Edgefield, of which he was also lord.
William de Edesfeld, and his mother Maud de Walcote, by deed, sans date, (fn. 2) granted to the monks of Bromholm, two parts of the tithe of his demeans here, and confirmed the gifts of Peter his father, and Humphrey his grandfather, to that priory which Humphrey was probably the lord above mentioned. William de Edesfeld was living, and lord, in the reign of Henry II. Peter de Edesfeld, by Hawise his wife, had a daughter and heir, Letitia, married to Sir William de Rosceline, and brought it into that family, as may be seen at large in Edgfield, in Holt hundred.
In the 51st of Edward I. the lete was in the King, and the lord paid 2s. per ann. for it. Peter de Rosceline, in 14th of Edward I. claimed wreck at sea, frank pledge, &c. he and Mabel his wife, living in the 9th of Edward II. Sir Thomas his son, inherited it, and dying s. p. his six sisters and coheirs inherited it, as in Edgfield; Joan, the fourth sister and coheir, married John Lord Willoughby of Eresby, who purchasing their rights herein, died seized of it, held of the manor of Horseford.
On the death of William Lord Willoughby, in the 18th of Hen. VIII. it descended to his daughter and sole heir, Catharine, who married Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk; she survived him and having no issue by him, remarried Richard Bertue, Esq. by whom she had a son, Peregrine Lord Willoughby of Eresby.
After this it came to the Woodhouses, and Sir Henry Woodhouse was lord of this manor, called East Hall, and that of West-Hall, in this town, in the 18th of Elizabeth, and sold the demean and copyhold lands to the tenants.
This lordship is now in the Earl of Orford.
About the reign of Henry III. this town seems to have been held by two different lords; and divided into East Hall, and West Hall. In the 24th of Henry III. Sir Jeffrey Tregoz, Sir And. de Hengham, Sir Thomas Bacun, and Sir Adam de Tyveteshale, with Roger de Thurkelby, and Letitia his wife, were petents in a fine, and Thomas de Walcote, deforciant, of the advowson of this church, who was lord of this moiety, and living in the 34th of that King, and in the 9th of Edward II. Alexander de Walcot was lord and presented to this church in 1302, and this lordship was settled with 120, acres of land, 15s. rent, &c. on Alexander and Maud, in the 9th of Edward II. and on Cecilia, Elizabeth, Mariota, and Margaret his daughters.
In the 13th of Edward III. Alexander de Walcot conveyed his right herein to Sir Walter de Walcote, who was lord in the 20th of Edward III. and died in the 29th of that King, leaving three daughters and coheirs, (as in Snoring Parva,) who conveyed their right to Robert Herward, Esq. and Margaret, widow of John Elys, in the 6th of Richard II. and in the 6th of Henry IV. Thomas D'Engain, Esq. and Margaret his wife, passed it to the Lord Willoughby, and so was united with that of East Hall.
The Church is a rectory dedicated to All-Saints, and in the reign of Edward I. valued at 20 marks, and the rector is then said to have most beautiful edifices, and many acres of land: the prior of Bromholm had a pension of 20s. Peter-pence 20s.
In 1302, Hugh de Walcot, instituted, presented by Alexander de Walcote.
1329, John de Walcote. Ditto.
1347, Symon de Walcote, by Thomas de Walcote, rector of Felbrigg.
1383, Walter de Feundenhale, by John Plays.
1389, Mr. John Deen, by Sir Roger Boys.
1400, William de Sheffield, by the prior of Ingham, alienated to him, by Thomas Moor, in the 16th of Richard II. as in Ingham, and after appropriated thereto.
1402, Ralph de Middleton. Ditto.
1403, Warin Jeffrey, vicar, presented by the prior.
1409, Robert Pays.
1414, Alan Smith.
1416, John Reve.
1422, Roger Maggys.
1424, John Avelyn.
1447, John Straget.
1450, William Dancastre.
1457, William Langton.
1460, And. Smalbergh.
1477, Robert Calow.
1487, Sim. Sheringham.
In 1555, Robert Constable, curate.
1591, John Bird, vicar, by the Bishop.
William Hembling, occurs curate in 1618; and before this in 1603, Thomas Canon, who certified that there were 110 communicants.
This rectory impropriate was granted (as I take it) with Ingham priory, to Sir William Woodhouse, by King Henry VIII. who exchanged it with Bishop Rugg, with the said priory, for Hickling priory, &c. and this impropriated rectory remains in the see of Norwich, and is served by a stipendiary curate, nominated by the Bishop.
In the chancel,
Hoc in busto mortalitatis suœ exuvias spe resurrectionis lœtœ, lœtus deposuit Joh. Collings, S.T.P. qui Boxstedœ, in agro Essexiensi nutus, Oxon. in colleg. Lincoln. educatus, Norwici S. Ministerio, 44 annis functus, illic et educatus. Gregem, concives omnesq; pietatem vere umantes, summo in luctu reliquit. Gregis sui pastor vigilantissimus, veritatis pugil, errorum malleus, Theologiam sanam, morum integritate illustravit, eruditionem multiplicem vitœ simplicilate ornavit, humili; et humanitatis exemplar, non vulgare. Benevolentia, et beneficentia, nulli secundus, qui cum verum Dei ministrum, p. famam et infamiam, illam merendo, hanc ferendo se diu approbaverat tandem secutum hoc tanto hospite indignum deseruit, cœlumq; ubi diu antea versatus est lubens immigravit, xv calend. Febr. Ao, salutus 1690, œtat. 67.
In the church were the arms of Calthorp.—Also Felbrigg; and ermin, a maunch, gules, argent, on a fess ingrailed, between three escallops, argent—and ermin, on a fess gules, three escallops, argent; —gyrony of ten, or and gules.
Thomas, son of Walter de Walcot, confirmed by deed sans date, the deed of the land, which Peter, parson of this church, gave to his successours;—witnesses, Master Walter de Sudfeld, Sir Adam, parson of Worthested, Mr. Peter la War, dean of Waxtonesham, &c.
In the church was the altar of St. Mary.
The tenths were 6l.—Deducted 2l.
The temporalities of Bromholm, 17s. 4d. 0b.
Besides the lordships abovementioned, Ralph, brother of Ilgar, had invaded, or seized on the property of 3 freemen, who had 90 acres, and 3 carucates, valued at 20s. per ann.; (fn. 3) this was also held by Humphrey, and added to his manor aforesaid.