Launditch Hundred: Colkirk

Pages 471-477

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.

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This lordship was in the Bishops when the see was at Elmham, and held at the survey by William de Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford: when Ailmer Bishop of Elmham held it, there were 2 carucates in demean, one villain, 12 borderers, 4 servi, paunage for 55 swine, 4 acres of meadow, 7 cows, &c. 10 sheep, at the survey, 160 goats, a church endowed with 40 acres valued at 2s. and 14 socmen had 66 acres, and 3 carucates, then valued at 6l. at the survey at 9l. it was 5 furlongs long and 4 broad, and paid 11d. gelt. (fn. 1)

Arfastus, or Herfast, Bishop of Elmham, had seized on a wood called Fangeham, containing 60 acres; this was granted in fee to Bishop Beaufoe, who gave it to his see, and so was united to the manor aforesaid.

In Domesday Book it is wrote Colechirca; Col bespeaks some brook or rivulet, and gives name to many towns; as Colbrook in Middlesex; Colby in Norfolk; and Coleshill from the river Cole in Warwickshire, &c.

The adjunct Chirca may set forth a clear stream, or water, as Sherlburn in Dorsetshire, and Sherbrook in Derbyshire, &c. and not from its site near a church or Kirk, it being so called by the Saxons before their conversion to Christianity.

The word kirk itself denotes a brook, or stream of water, as Kirkburn in Yorkshire, Kirkstead in Lincolnshire, Kirkdale in Lancashire, &c.

The family of De Colekirk was early enfeoft of this manor by the Bishops of Norwich, (fn. 2) and so, according to the practice of that age, assumed their name from it; Richard de Colekirk, with William and Richard his sons, were witnesses to a charter of Eborard Bishop of Norwich, in the time of Henry I. William de Colecherch was lord of this town, and of Hempsted, in the 12th of Henry II. and in his 18th year held two knights fees, of the old feoffment of the Bishop of Norwich: (fn. 3) of this family might be Peter de Colechurch, who begun to build the stone bridge of London in 1176.

Sara, the heiress of Colechurch, on her marriage, brought it to the family of St. Denys (de Suncto Dionysio,) and Roger de St. Denys, probably husband of the said Sarah, held it in the 2d of King John: in the 13th year, he was found to have this lordship, late William de Colekirk's, and paid 10s. scutage, for half a fee. (fn. 4)

Sir Richard de St. Denys, Knt. was his son, and lord in the 29th of Henry III. By a deed dated on the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, in the 43d of that King, Sir Richard de St. Denys covenants with Sir Richard de la Rokele, Knt. to confirm to him in fee this lordship, with the advowson of the church of Rokely, granting to him and Meliora his wife the manor of Wokindon in Essex, excepting the advowson, wards, eschaets and fines, and certain lands in that town, &c. part of the said manor, with license for St. Denys and his wife, to hunt in the warren, and fish in the fish-ponds of the said manor, but not to sell the game, and that he might amerce the tenants, and take the revenues, but not to levy tallage on them; St. Denys to maintain the buildings of the manor-house, who also covenants to deliver seisin of Colkirk, to Rokele, before the Monday after the feast of St. John, Port Latine, following the same; witnesses, Sir John de Vaux, Sir Ralph de Camois, Sir William le Blund, Sir Hamon Burd, Sir Ralph de Gatele, Sir Reginald de St. Martin, Sir William de Wokendon, Sir Ralph de Pavill, Knts &c. and in the said year he granted to Rokele the reversion of one carucate of land, which Mabel his daughter formerly held, and the lands which Joane, widow of Roger de St. Denys, held in dower, and 40s. rent which John de St. Denys, son of John de Colkirke, held of his gift for life only, and sent his tenants of the manor notice thereof, by his precept dated at Wokyndon, May 8.

But Roger Le Ken and Joan his wife, with John Mansel and Isabel, had still some right herein, which they conveyed for 40 marks of silver to Rokele, in the 4th of Edward I. by fine.

Sir Richard de la Rokele was found to die seized of it by the service of 3 fees, valued at 31l. and chattels valued at 9l. in the 24th of the said King, and Richard was his son and heir, who by the eschaet rolls died in the 32d of the aforesaid reign, lord of this town, held by two parts of three knights fees, with Margery his wife, who survived him, valued at 20l. and of the lordship of Gately valued at 5l. 4s. per ann. leaving Maud his sister and heir, the 3d part of these manors being held in jointure by his mother, whose name seems to be Cecilia.

Maud, sister and heir to her brother, appears to have married Sir Roger de Fraxino, or Atte-Ash: in the 35th of Edward I. he and Maud had a writ ad quod damnum, for changing a way in this town, and died lord in the 1st of Edward II. leaving Lucia his daughter and heir, aged 2 years, who afterwards was the wife of Robert Baynard, son of Robert Baynard of Whetacre: and in the 3d of Edward III. Robert Baynard and Lucia, by a fine levied between them and Symon, parson of Whetacre, Adam de Sheringham, and John de L'Esh, settled on John, this manor and advowson, and the manor of Gatele, with messuages and lands in Gunthorp and Field-Dalling, paying to Robert for life 40 marks per ann. out of this, and 20 marks out of Gatele manor per ann. and in the next year this manor was settled by fine on Lucia for life, remainder to Thomas Baynard, son of Lucia, and Maud and Joan his sisters; remainder to Lucia's heirs.

On an inquisition taken April 16, in the 4th of Edward III. Robert Baynard was found to die seized of it for life, by the courtesy of England, being the inheritance of Lucia his wife, late deceased, held of the Bishop of Norwich of his manor of North Elmham, by the service of paying at the end of every 32 weeks 10d. castle guard.

The lordship then had a capital messuage, 160 acres of arable land at 4d. per acre, 3 acres of meadow at 12d. per acre, 10 acres of pasture at 1d. per acre, 20 of underwood at 6 years growth worth 3s. per acre; rent of assise 53s. 4d. payable at Christmas, Whitsuntide, and Michaelmas; a windmill valued at 10s. per ann. also 40 quarters of barley at 2s. 8d. per quarter, payable at St. Michael, 50 hens payable at Christmas, at 1d. per hen, the day's work of the copyholders worth 10s. per ann. pleas and perquisites of the court baron, with court lete 10s. per ann; he likewise held the manor of Gateley, and the moiety of that of Batheley.

In the 16th of Edward III. it appears that Sir Edmund de Thorp, lord of Ashwell-Thorp, held this manor in right of Joan his wife, sister and heir of Thomas Baynard, by virtue of a fine levied in the 6th of the said King: in this family it remained till Isabel, daughter and coheir of Sir Edmund de Thorp, (the last heir male of the family, being killed in the wars of France, about the end of King Henry V.) brought it by marriage to Philip Tilney, Esq. of Boston in Lincolnshire, whose son Frederick, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Lawrence Cheyney, Esq. of Ditton in Cambridgeshire, left a daughter and heir, Elizabeth, who married Sir Humphrey Bourchier, eldest son of John Lord Berners, slain at Barnet Field on Easter day, 1471, on the part of King Edward IV. Sir John Bourchier, son and heir of Sir Humphrey, inherited it as heir to his mother, and was summoned to parliament as Lord Berners in the reign of Henry VII. and left by Catharine his wife, daughter of John Howard Duke of Norfolk) at his death in 1532, two daughters and coheirs, Mary, who died without issue, and Jane, married to Edmund Knevet, Esq. serjeant porter to King Henry VIII. who had livery of this lordship in the 25th of that King; and in 1560, being a widow, gave then by will this manor to William, and that of Gateley to Edmund Knevet, &c. her younger sons, who both joined and sold Colkirk and Gateley to their nephew, Sir Thomas Knevet of Ashwell Thorp, who with his eldest son, Thomas Knevet, Esq. conveyed them to Michael Hare, Esq. of Stow Bardolf, (fn. 5) on July 8, in the 33d of Elizabeth.

About this time, by a rental of this lordship, it appears that there were 275 acres of pasture ground inclosed, 247 of arable, 40 acres in copyswood, free rents per ann. 58s. 6d. 246 acres of copy-hold land fine at the lord's pleasure, 9l. 16s. 8d. rent barley per ann 6 quarters, lacking half a bushel, at 8s. the quarter, 47s. 6d. rent capons 17s. rent hens 5, 2s. 6d. with feed for 400 and a half of sheep, in the shack from harvest ended to the anunciation of our Lady next after, at 2d. per sheep 4l. 1s. the patronage of the parsonage valued at 40l. per ann. communibus annis, common, or waste ground 40 acres, perquisites of court and lete communibus annis 3l. 6s. 8d.—Item, there are diverse bondmen regardant to the said manor, and do yearly pay the chevage.

Michael Hare, Esq. aforesaid, by his will dated July 15, 1609, gives this lordship and that of Gately to his brother Robert Hare, for life, and then to Nicholas Timperley, Esq. his nephew; and the said Robert died seized November 2, in the 9th of James I. and Nicholas his nephew was then found to be the son and heir of Thomas Timperley, Esq. by Audrey his wife, daughter of Sir Nicholas Hare of Brusyard in Suffolk, and sister of Michael and Robert Hare aforesaid.

This Nicholas died on January 1, 1623, and left by Anne his wife, daughter and coheir of William Markham, Esq. of Oakley in Northamptonshire, Thomas, his son and heir, who succeeded him as lord of this town and Gateley: he was afterwards a knight, and by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of John Shelley, Esq. of Sussex, left two sons, Michael, and Nicholas, which Nicholas died in 1658, and was buried here, as I shall show; also in the church lies buried William Timperley who died in 1660, and Nicholas Timperley, Esq. who died September 24, 1662.

The last of this family who enjoyed this estate was - - - - - - Timperley, Esq. who about the year 1721, sold it to Henry Kelsal, Esq. of the treasury, and having wasted most of his estates and fortunes, and being a Roman Catholic, went abroad, and lived in some convent.

The present lord is the Lord Viscount Townsend.

The Timperleys descend from Thomas Timperley, Esq. of Bowdon, in Cheshire, who removed thence into Suffolk in the reign of Henry VI. and had John his son and heir, who married Margaret, daughter and heir of Roydon, and is buried in the chancel of Hintlesham church in Suffolk, under a blue marble stone, with his portraiture and that of his wife, on a brass plate, with an inscription setting forth that he was heir and lord of Hyntlesham, and died in 1460: he was father of John and Nicholas. (fn. 6) John married a daughter of — Tydd of Weston, and left a daughter and heir, Elizabeth, wife of Firmin Rookwood of Weston, in Norfolk.

Nicholas, the 2d son of John, died before his father, and had William Timperley, Esq. of Hentlesham, his son and heir, who lies buried under a marble stone there, and died March 10, 1527; (fn. 7) and his son, Thomas Timperley, Esq. with Audrey his first wife, and Katharine his 2d; also Nicholas his son, with Anne his wife, lie there buried.

I have also met with Robert Timperley, who married Joane, found in the 10th of Edward IV. to be daughter and heir of Robert FitzSimon.

Baynard, lord of this town, bore sable, a fess between two chevronels, or. Thorp, lord of this own, bore azure, three crescents, argent. Tilney, argent, a chevron between three griffins heads, erased, gules. Bouchier, argent, a cross ingrailed, gules, between four water budgets, sable. Knevet, argent, a bend, and bordure engrailed, sable. Hare, gules, two bars and a chief indented, or. Timperley, quarterly, gules and argent, in the first quarter an escallop of the first.

The tenths were 2l. 6s. 8d. Deductions for the lands of the religious, 4s. Peter-pence, 6d.

The temporalities of Walsingham priory in 1423, valued at 1s.

Ralph de Thornkyn of Colekirk gave them land here. (fn. 8)

The temporalities of Fakenham-dam (or Hempton) 2s. 4d.; of Nor wich priory, in pasture, 12d.

I find also 12d. per ann. paid to the fraternity (or preceptory) of Kerbroke.

The Church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was a rectory valued at 30 marks per ann. Present valor 10l.

There was formerly a vicar under the rector, who was presented by the prior of Wayburne. Peter-pence 12d.; and has 5 bells.

In 1346, all the altarage profits were assigned for the support of the vicar, and all the lands wherewith the church was endowed, except the site of the rectory, and 3 roods of land opposite to it, to the south.

A mansion was also to be built within six years, at the charge of the convent of Waburne, and liberty of fishing in the pool against the rectory; 40d. per ann. for wine, at the altar; and the repair of the chancel, &c. to be in the convent.

On the north wall of the chancel is a monument with the arms of Timperley, and this motto,

Prœvide, provide, ne prœveniare.


Here at the foot of this wall resteth the body of William Timperley' who died 10 of May, 1660.


However young and strong, be not in breath Too confident, since by untimely death (A pistol breaking in his hand) lies here, A Timperley was slain; rather a tear Distill, then judge, since he so worthy dies, Rather let fall another from thine eyes And (serious) say (ask not a reason why) Better dye soon, then longer live and dye.

And on the said wall a mural monument of black and white marble, with the arms of Timperley.

Nicholas Timperley, Esq; died September 24, 1664. Anne Barker, sister to Nicholas, died May 8, 1662.

Successive nights and days we had on earth Extracted from one womb, a second birth Here sleeping we expect day without night, To wake (we hope) into eternal light.

Against the south wall, on a mural monument, an hour-glass with wings, a pearl, and an eye with wings, and these verses,
Lo Time!—Pearl,—Eye, a rebus, which to thee Speaks what I whilom was, a Timperley. Wing'd Time is flown, so is the world from me, A glittering Pearl whose gloss is vanity. But th' Eye of hope is of a nobler flight, To reach beyond thee (Death) enjoy his sight, Who conquer'd thee, hence springs my hope, that I Shall rise the same, and more a Timperley.

Also a stone,

In memory of Nicholas Barker, Esq; who died the first of January, 1660, with the arms of Barker, barry of ten, or, and sable, a bend over all, gules.

Within the rails of the communion table, a gravestone,

In memory of Anne Jessop, wife of Mr. John Jessop, minister of Colkirk, daughter of John Hills, gent. and grandchild to Sir John Potts, baronet, who died February 28, 1659.


1305, Thomas de Fraxino, alias Atte Ashe, instituted rector, presented by Roger de Fraxino.

1324, John Baynard, by Sir Robert Baynard, Knt.

1337, Nicholas de Oxwick, by Adam de Shyringham, and John Atte Eshe, who recovered the presentation against Adam de Thorle.

Peter de Creting, rector about 1345, and succeded by Ralph Broun.

In the 12th of Edward III. the church was appropriated by Anthony Beck Bishop of Norwich to the prior and convent of Wayborn in Norfolk; and William Bateman, Bishop, his successour, ordained in this manor, that the vicarage should be endowed with all the fruits and profits belonging to the altarage, and all lands wherein the church was endowed, except the rectory, and 3 roods of land opposite to the rectory on the south side; the religious to build for the vicar a mansion-house with offices, sufficient out-houses within six years; in the mean time the vicar shall dwell in the rectory-house, on the penalty of 40s. to be paid by the religious to the high altar of the church of Norwich, the grange, barns, and one stable of the said rectory being excepted.

The right of fishing on the lake was allowed the vicar, and liberty of watering cattle in common to both; the vicar's portion limited at 10 marks, that of the religious at 20, towards the paying of tenths and other dues; the reparations of the chancel, books and vestments, shall belong to the religious, the vicar to be at all charges in per forming divine services, the religious paying to him 40d. per ann. dated March 4, 1346.


1349, Edmund de Wharles instituted vicar, presented by the prior and convent of Waburn.

1368, Robert, son of Jeffrey Robyn, by ditto.

1392, John Kensale, on the Bishop's nomination and the prior's presentation.

1395, John Holbeck. Ditto.

1396, John Atte Medwe. Ditto.

1410, Edmund Drake. Ditto.

1411, Charles Aleyn, by Edmund de Thorp, knight, who recovered the rectory from the priory of Waburn, after they had possessed it 80 years.

The RECTORY Restored.

Walter Barker instituted rector 1425, presented by Henry Inglose, &c.

1461, Ralph James, by Humphrey Bouchier and Elizabeth his wife.

1475, William Alcock, by Thomas Howard, Esq.

1481, Henry Pedder. Ditto.

1504, William Goodynow, by Thomas Earl of Surry.

1537, Thomas Bolt, by the assigns of Edmund Knevet.

1538, Oliver Soley. Ditto.

1546, William Crosby, by Joan Knevet, widow.

1556, Thomas Thompson, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1558, Thomas Hunt, by Joan Knevet, widow.

1558, John Beaumond. Ditto.

1580, William Burgeis, by Sir Thomas Knevet.

Elias Bate, 1623, by the assignees of Nicholas Timperley, senior.

Jonathan Jessop.

1662, John Ward, by Samuel Smith of Colkirk.

1669, Timothy Caryan, by Thomas Timperley, Esq.

1712, George Hughes, by Thomas Bendish, Esq.

1741, William Powell, by the Lord Townsend.


  • 1. Hund. de Brodercross— Terra Willi. Epi. Tedfordensis ad Episcopatum p' tinens T. R. E.—Colechirca tenuit A. T. R. E. p. man et p. ii car. tre. mo. e. in d'nio. tc. i vill. mo. nullus, sep. xii bor. tc. iiii ser. mo. ii sep. ii car. in d'nio. silv. lv porc. iiii ac. p'ti. vii animalia xxvii porc. tc. x ov. mo. clx cap'. eccle xl ac. val. ii. sol. et xiiii soc. de Lxviac' tc. iii car. mo ii et dim. tc. val. vi lib. mo. ix ht. v qr. in long. et iiii in lat. et xi d. in gelto.
  • 2. Regist. 1. Cathed. Norw. fol. 24.
  • 3. Lib. Rub. Sccij.
  • 4. Rot. Pip.—In Colekirka invasit Areastus, silva. de Fangeham, et est in longo lx acr. Terra ejusdem de feudo.
  • 5. Of the Hares see in Stow Bardolph.
  • 6. Nicholas Tymperley, Esq. lies buried in the church of Buxhall in Suffolk, where it is said he died May 20, 1489.
  • 7. In the south isle of St. Stephen's church is buried "Dame Mary, sum tyme the wyfe of John Tymperley, knight, late the wyfe of And. Sulyard, Esq. who died January 13, 1546.
  • 8. Reg. Walsing. 113.