An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Alan Earl of Richmond had the principal part of this town at the survey: two freemen, one of whom belonged to Edric, the other to St. Bennet's abbey, were deprived of 161 acres, and had 13 borderers, and 2 carucates and an half, and 18 acres of meadow.
The said Earl also possessed 80 acres of land, of which the said Edric, a freeman, was deprived, with 12 borderers, and a carucate in demean, one among the tenants, and 6 acres of meadow, 6 swine, 2 cows, and 100 sheep belonged to it, valued at 10s.
Edric added to it 2 socmen of St. Bennet's abbey, in the time of Ralph Earl of Norfolk, with 3 acres and an half, valued at 6d. and 8 freemen, under protection only, had 80 acres of land and 2 carucates of meadow, valued, at 5s.
Edric had the whole at the time when Earl Ralf forfeited; the King and the Earl had the soc. (fn. 1)
There were formerly two towns of this name, one called Waxham Magna or Waxham St. John's, and Waxham Parva, or Waxham St. Margaret; great part of both these made up Earl Alan's manor, of which the ancient and noble family of Inghams were soon after the conquest enfeoffed.
From this family it came by marriage to Sir Miles Stapleton, and from that family, by marriage, to Sir William Calthorpe, whose grandson, William Calthorpe, Esq. sold it to Sir Thomas Woodhouse, and Sir William his brother succeeded him, and left it Sir Henry Wood house, who was lord in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and of the manor of Ingham, as may be seen there at large.
This family of the Woodhouses is a distinct family from that of Kimberley, and bore, for their arms, quarterly, azure, and ermin, in the first quarter a leopard's head, or; which arms belong to the family of Power, and I find these Woodhouses to be formerly styled Woodhouse, alias Power.
The abbot of St. Bennet of Holm, was lord of a manor here at the survey, and in King Edward's reign, consisting of 2 carucates and 8 acres of land, with 3 borderers, one carucate in demean, and half a one among the tenants, 60 acres of meadow, &c. and 25 socmen and the moiety of one, had 160 acres, and 3 carucates and an half of meadow; 2 freemen under protection only, had 20 acres and a carucate; of these two the King and the Earl had the soc, and there was another, the soc of whom was in the abbey of St. Bennet.
The whole was valued at 4l. and what the freemen had at 34d. It was one leuca and an half and one furlong long, and one leuca broad the gelt was 30d. (fn. 2)
This lordship, which appears to have been a very considerable one was no doubt, at the dissolution of religious houses, in the said abbey, and granted with its other lordships, &c. on the exchange of lands between the King and the Bishop of Norwich, to that see. (fn. 3)
It probably took this name from an ancient family, De Gelham, who might have held it of the abbots. Soon after the exchange, which was in 1535, Bishop Rugg seems to have leased it to Thomas Woodhouse, who had several large grants of lands, &c. belonging to the abbey of St. Bennet, &c. from the said King; and rents are mentioned payable out of Waxham, in an extent of the revenues of the see, made after Bishop Rugg's death, so that it is at this time held (by lease of the Bishop,) by Berney Brograve, Esq. who presents to the 2 churches.
The Church of Great Waxham was a rectory, dedicated to St. John; the rector had a competent manse with land, was valued at 9 marks, paid Peter-pence, 2s. 8d. and Oliver de Ingham was patron in the reign of Edward. I.
Rectors of Waxham Magna.
Rectors of Waxham Parva.
This church is said to be confirmed to the abbot of Hulm, by Pope Lucius, in 1183, in which year Thomas de Skerning was instituted rector, also the 3d part of the great tithe of the demeans of Oliver de Ingham. In the reign of Edward I. there was a rectory, valued at 10s. and a manse with land, but appropriated, as said, to Hickling priory.