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 Conqueror had a lordship here consisting of half a carucate of land, held by Alvin, in King Edward's time, with 4 borderers, paunage for 4 swine, one acre of meadow, and one carucate and an half valued then at 20s. at the survey at 40s. and this was added to it, out of the land of Ailmar, Bishop of Elmham. It was one leuca long, and four furlongs broad, and paid 6d.½ gelt. (fn. 1)
Here was also another lordship belonging to the Conqueror, of one carucate of land belonging to the King's manor of Causton, (in South Erpingham, which King Harold held,) to which there belonged eleven borderers; there was one carucate in demean, and one among the tenants, &c. with 2 acres of meadow, and this manor was valued, &c. in Causton. (fn. 2)
The first lordship abovementioned was held at first of the King, by the ancient family of Avenel, and after of the honour of Clare, and the last mentioned lordship by the family of De Mey, &c. and each of them had a moiety in the advowson. I shall therefore treat of them jointly, and according to the series of time.
Ralph Avenel paid 10 marks to the King in the first of Henry II. to have soc and sac of his lordship; and in 1201, William, son of Robert le Mey, had 20s. lands, formerly the King's demean, granted by Henry I. and held (as I take it) with Causton, by grand serjeanty, the keeping a hound (brachettus) for the King.
In the 9th of Edward I. a fine was levied between Bartholomew le Mey of this town, Bartholomew de Bodham, and Ralph Avenel, by which it was agreed that Bartholomew Mey and his heirs should have the first presentation to this church; Ralph Avenel and his heirs, the 2d, Mey the 3d, Avenel the 4th, Bartholomew de Bodham the 5th, and Avenel the 6th; but after this, Ralph, son of Bartholomew de Mey, &c. conveyed their right to Ralph Avenel.
Alice, late wife of Ralph Avenel, sued, in the 28th of the said King, John, son of Ralph, for dower claiming a moiety of a messuage, 200 acres of land, 20 of meadow, 15 of wood, 30 acres of pasture, and 40s. rent in this town, Bathely, and Sharnton, with a moiety of the advowson of this church.
In the following year, John son of Andrew Avenel, as a trustee, settled on John Avenel, and Joan his wife, in tail, 5 messuages, 100 acres of land, 20 of meadow, 40 of pasture, and 40s. rent in this town, and Sharnton, with the advowson of this church.
After this, Avenel's interest here came to the Welbys, by the marriage of Jane, daughter and heir of John Avenel, with William de Wilby, of an ancient family who had considerable lordships and estates in Lincolnshire, and the said Joan, relict of William de Wilbeygh, presented to this church in 1396.
In the 18th of Henry VI. William Wilby was lord and patron; and on his death, in the said year, Thomas was found to be his son and heir, and died possessed of it, May 18, in the 5th of Henry VIII. William, his son and heir, being aged 19.
Gregory Davy, Esq. died lord in the last year of Philip and Mary, and was succeeded by his son, Richard, who was lord and patron, on whose death, in the 17th of Elizabeth, Christopher Davy was found to be his son and heir, by Ann his wife, daughter of William Cobb, Esq. of Sandringham; Christopher married Elizabeth, daughter of Clement Pagrave, of Norwood Barningham, by whom he had Gregory, his son and heir.
Binham Priory Manor.
Peter Lord Valoins had the grant of a lordship at the Conquest' which a freeman of King Harold possessed, of half a carucate of land 7 borderers and one servus, and 2 carucates, &c. one acre of meadow valued at 10s.; this he had livery of to make up his manor of Berney. (fn. 3)
At the Dissolution it was granted by King Henry VIII. in his 33d year, to Thomas Paston, knight, or as some accounts say, Bishop Rugg exchanged it in the 34th of that King, with Dersingham impropriate rectory, &c. and gave to that knight the manor of Paston, &c.