An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford held at the survey a manor belonging to his see, which Aylmer the Bishop of Elmham, held in the time of the Confessor, with one carucate of land, 7 borderers, one servus, and one carucate in demean, and half a one among the tenants, and 2 acres of meadow, valued in his lordship of Thornage, and a church endowed with 12 acres, and of Thornage manor, (to which this was a beruite,) the said Bishop had a carucate and an half valued at 20s.; it was 7 furlongs long, and 5 broad, and paid 2s. gelt.
The aforesaid Bishop had also another manor in this town, in his own right, as a lay fee, which two freemen held under King Herold, with a carucate and an half of land, and 7 borderers, with 2 carucates and 5 acres of meadow, the moiety of a mill, valued then at 20s. at the survey at 30s. and Lagaam, a freeman, retained here 30 acres and one borderer. Here was also a carucate and 2 acres of meadow valued at 5s. now at 7s. (fn. 1)
These two lordships though now accounted as lying in the hundred of Holt, are there mentioned at that time, as being in the hundred of Galgou, or Galhow. What I have met with, relating to them, I shall treat of according as I find it in order of time.
In the 10th of Richard I. a fine was levied between William de Noers, petent, and William, son of Roger, tenent of lands here, and in the said year another between Peter de Mealton petent, and Roger, son of Gerold, tenent, of the fourth part of a fee in Saxlingham, and Langham, whereby it was acknowledged to be the right of Peter, who granted the land in Saxlingham, to Roger, to be held of Peter, except Hobb's Croft in this town, and all the arable land which Roger held in Langham.
Thomas, son of Ulf, acknowledged in the 12th of Henry III. that he held lands here of Simon de Nodarijs, (Nowers,) by fine then levied, and about the 20th of the said King, John de Saxlingham was found to hold a fee of William de Shipden, and he of the Bishop; and in the 14th of Edward I. Roger de Saxlingham, and Simon de Noers were lords, and patrons of the church; and John de Saxlingham and Margaret his wife were querents, William de Colby deforciant, in a fine in the 2d of Edward II. of 8 messuages, 3 tofts, 1 mill, and 140 acres of land, in this town, Bayfield, &c.; and in the 6th of that King, another between Robert de Nowers and Alice his wife, and John de Saxlingham, parson of Swanton, of this manor and advowson, and Tweyt manor, settled on Robert and Alice. Edmund de Mounpinzun, Robert de Thursferd, &c. trustees, confirmed to the aforesaid Robert and Alice, in the 13th of the said King, the homages and services of John de Saxlingham, for a knight's fee here, and the manor of Hungry Swanton, with the advowson.
In the 24th of Edward III. John de Noers grants to Fulk Mompinzun, Adam de Sheringham, &c. in trust, his manor of Iteringham, lands, rents and services, in Elmham; a mill, 50 acres of land in Swanton, and Bruningham, (fn. 2) with the reversion of Saxlingham, Swanton, and Tweyt manors, which Alice his mother held for life.
Sir Stephen de Hales presented in 1383, and Robert Plomley in 1413, styled Domicellus, (fn. 3) and was in right (as I take it) of John de Saxlingham's lordship.
The manor of Nowers was after in John Bertram, Gent. who by his will dated July 15, 1462, bequeaths his body to be buried in the chancel of this church near to his first wife, and appoints his sons, Thomas and John, executors; to his wife 10 marks per ann. out of his manor of Nowers for life; to Thomas his son this lordship in tail male, with that of Gunthorp; (fn. 4) to John the manor of Flitcham for life, or till he should be promoted to a higher ecclesiastical degree, then that manor to go to the priory of Walsingham, to find one canon there, and to keep his anniversary: to Elizabeth his daughter, a nun at Carhow, 40s. per ann.; to Mary and Anne his daughters 40s. per ann. each, out of his manor called Reevets in West Newton, for their lives, and his messuages called Woden and Pagets, to be sold with that manor afterwards.
Soon after this both manors were united, and in the Heydon family, and in the 33d of Elizabeth, Thomas Croft, Esq. and Thomas Oxburgh, Esq. had a prœcipe to deliver the manors of Saxlingham, Nowers, or Bertram's, with that of Linacres, to Henry Sidney of Walsingham, Esq. with those of Letheringset and Hunworth, from Sir Henry Sydney, this united came to Thomas Jermy, Esq.
Sir Francis Guybon was lord in 1696, and his son and heir sold it to Richard Warner, Esq. of Elmham, about the year 1715, and was lord and patron, on whose death it came to Elizabeth his daughter and coheir, relict of Paul Jodrell, Esq. Attorney General to Frederick Prince of Wales.
Over the porch of it are the arms of Heydon, quarterly, argent and gules, a cross engrailed, counterchanged:—crest, a talbot, and supporters, two naked men; also Heydon impaling quarterly, in the first and fourth a cross ingrailed, Ufford, and in the 2d and 3d a cross moline, Willougby; Heydon impaling Drury.
In the great parlour, Heydon and his quarterings, impaling Drury with his quarterings—Heydon and his quarterings impaling Carew of Cornwall and his quarterings; Heydon, &c. impaling Woodhouse of Waxham—Heydon, &c. impaling Rivet and his quarterings—Heydon impaling Crane of Suffolk; and on the top of the house is a place to take a view of the country.
Peter Lord Valoins had a lordship which Theodorick a freemen held before, consisting of half a carucate of land, and one carucate with 2 borderers, and 2 acres of meadow, valued formerly at 2s. at the survey at 5s. (fn. 5) and placed under Gallow hundred.
In Henry the First's reign, on the foundation of Binham priory, Tire, a knight of his enfeoft of his manor, gave two parts of his tithes to that priory. (fn. 6)
About the 3d of Henry III. Agnes de Ratlesden held in this town, Dalling, Geystweyt, and Riburgh Parva, two knights fees of David Cumin, descended from the Lord Valoins; and in the said reign Agatha de How held the fourth part of a fee of Simon de Ratlesden, and Sim. Ratlesden was found in the 14th of Edward II. to hold of Admund le Comyn.
In the 18th of Edward III. a fine was levied between John de Scothow and Agnes his wife, John Franks and Aveline his wife, querents, William de Berkele, chaplain, and John Neuman of Scothow, deforciant, of the fourth part of the manor of Northall in Saxlingham, of 2 messuages, 36 acres of land, 5 of meadow, 7 of heath, with 4s. rent in this town and Briston, conveyed to John Scothow; and in the 20th of that King, William Miles and his parceners held the fourth part of a fee of John de Ratlesden, which Agatha de How formerly held. Roger Atte Cross and his parceners held it in the 3d of Henry IV.
The Church is a rectory dedicated to St. Margaret, the old valor was 20 marks, Peter-pence 12d.; the prior of Bynham had a portion of tithe valued at 10s. per ann. The present valor is 12l. 12s. 8d. ob.
In the area of the chancel, covered also with lead, is a very curious monument, erected by Sir Christopher Heydon, for his Lady Mirabel, with her effigies kneeling under an arch, and over her a pyramid rises near the height of the chancel, adorned with many hieroglyphical figures, after the manner and taste of the Egyptians; a large account and description of it, may be seen in the account of the Heydon family in Baconsthorp.