An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Was a beruite to the King's manor of Holt, with 30 acres; 5 borderers belonged to it with one carucate, and half a carucate of the tenants, &c. then valued at 5s. and 4d. and at the survey at 33s. and 3d. and was one leuca long and one broad, and paid 7d. gelt. (fn. 1)
A family, who took their name from this town, were early enfeoft of it. In the 29th of Hen. II. Simon de Hempstede and Hamo his son quit claimed to Henry de Marisco and his heirs, the advowson of this church for 6 marks of silver, at Northampton, before Ralph Glaunvile, justiciary of the King, Roger, son of Reynfr. William Basset, and William Mald, Camerar. Regis. (fn. 2) This Hamon, called also de Empstede, gave lands to Castleacre priory, lying near Holt mill.
In the 24th of Henry III. Richer, son of Hugh de Causton, and Julian his wife, Stephen de Causton, and Beatrice his wife, grant to Simon, prior of Norwich, the advowson of this church and that of Plumstede.
William de Ormesby and Agnes his wife, grant, in the 22d of Edward I. to Henry, prior of Norwich, the advowson of this church for 20l.; (fn. 3) and in the said year, settled by fine, on John their son, and Catharine his wife, this lordship, with that of Gestwyke, remainder to Robert and William their sons; but some disputes arising about the right of this advowson, it was conveyed to the prior by another fine, in the 31st of that King, by the aforesaid William and Agnes, after a solemn inquisition, when it was found that the prior and his predecessors were possessed of it before the statute of mortmain.
In the said year Sir Robert de Hengham bought of William de Ormesby, and Agnes his wife, a mill, with the pool in Hemstede, with several villains, rents and services, William and Agnes, and the heirs of Agnes, to have the liberty of first grinding therein, but not to erect any mill here.
William de Ormesby, by his deed, dated at Ouby, on Thursday after the feast of St. Paul, confirmed to Sir Robert the grant of the watermill, called Wademill, with the pool in Henstede and Holt, with all the fishing, in as ample a manner as Agnes his mother and her ancestors ever had, paying 40s. per ann. and Sir John de Ormesby was lord in the 20th and 24th of Edward III. and is said to hold it of the Earl of Albemarle.
In the 3d of Henry IV. the Lady Alice Caley, relict of Sir William Caley, of Oby, had this lordship; and by Agnes, one of their daughters and coheirs, it came to Sir Jh. de Harsike of Southacre, by marriage. Sir Rog. Harsike his son enjoyed it; and by the marriage of Joan, one of his daughters and coheirs, it was brought to Richard Dorward, Esq. who possessed it in the 33d of Hen. VI.; from the Dorwards it came by marriage to John Wingfeld of Dunham Magna, and Thomas Wingfeld and Elizabeth his wife conveyed it by fine, in the 28th of Henry VIII. to Thomas Jermyn.
Richer, son of Hugh de Causton, and Julian his wife, confirmed to Thomas, son of William de Lose, for 60s. of silver, lands, with the homage of Roger de Bruario, and Richard his son, and the said Thomas was found to hold half a fee in demean. William de Lose was found to die seized of it in the 16th of Edward I. and Thomas was his son and heir, on whose death, Claricia his sister, wife of Thomas de Ubbeston, was his heir.
After this, it was in the priory of Norwich, in the 9th of Edward II. who, in the first of Richard III. grant it to Henry Heydon, on his releasing to them certain lands in Hindringham, who died lord, as did John Heydon, in the 19th of Edward IV.
Sir Christopher Heydon held it at his death, in 1579; his son, Sir William, in the 34th of Elizabeth, assigned it to Thomas Fermor, Esq. of East Barsham, for payment of debts, and soon after, Thomas Croft, Esq. and Thomas Oxburgh, Esq. had a prœcipe to deliver it to Edmund Stubbe, Esq. and Thomas Thetford, Esq.
The prior of Norwich had possessions in the 2d of Henry II. when they granted lands to Henry de Marisco; (fn. 4) and Philip de Candos gave, in 1176, lands to John Bishop of Norwich, which Pope Alexander III. confirmed by his bull. Hugh de Causton, son of Richer, gave his part of a watermill, called Mary's Milne, with the pool and fishery.
The Church was anciently a rectory, valued at 15 marks. Peterpence 7d.; but being appropriated to the priory of Norwich, by Walter Bishop of Norwich, in 1249, a vicarage was settled, taxed at 4 marks, and the patronage of it in the priory. The pretent valor is 7l. 2s. 6d. and the patronage is in the dean and chapter of Norwich.