An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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REYDON, or RYDON,
Was in King Edward's time a beruwite, or berwick, appertaining, or belonging to Stigand the Archbishop of Canterbury's great or capital lordship of Snetesham, consisting of one socman, 25 borderers, and 2 servi, who held one carucate of land, 6 acres of meadow, with one carucate in demean, and a half one amongst the the tenants, 2 salt pits, or salt works, and 8 socmen had 2 carucates of land and 16 acres 5 borderers, also 2 carucates, and one salt pit, and the moiety of another, all which were valued together with Snetesham, and held by Stigand as a lay fee. (fn. 1)
It takes its name from Rye, or Rei, of which see in Rysing, and Don, or Dun a hill. Odo taking part with Robert Duke of Normandy, the Conqueror's eldest son, against King William II. was deprived of this, and all his estates in England, and then granted by him to William de Albini, pincerna regis, (fn. 2) or the King's grand butler, ancestor to the Earls of Albini and Sussex, in which family it continued till the death of Hugh de Albini Earl of Sussex, &c. who dying without issue in the 27th year of King Henry III. and his estate being divided amongst his sisters and coheirs, this lordship came, together with the honour, or manor, of Rysing-castle, to Roger de Monte Alto, or Montault, by the marriage of Cecily, fourth sister and coheir of the said Hugh; and at the same time the patronage of the rectory was on the said division granted to Robert, Lord Tuteshale, who married Mabel, the eldest sister and coheir, as his part of the advowsons belonging to the said inheritance, after the decease of Isabel, widow of the aforesaid Earl Hugh, who held it in dower.
In the 12th of Henry III. a fine was levied of customs and services, to be done for lands in this town and Congham, between Emme, daughter of Robert de Bintre, and Robert her son, querents, and Alan, son of Jeffrey de Rydun, and William, son of Humphrey; and in the 20th of Edward III. the heirs of William de Blakeney, &c. were found to hold the fourth part of a fee, in Reydon, which Robert Rydon for merly held, belonging to the Earl of Arundel, which was afterwards in the hands of Edmund Belzeter, William Rising, and their parceners, in the 3d of Henry IV.
Sir Richard de Wodehouse, son of Sir William, lived in the reign of Edward III. and was lord of Rydon, and by virtue of this lordship, &c. held of the castle of Rising, was obliged to repair and maintain a tower of that castle called Wodehouse's tower, and paid a sum of money yearly for the castle guard, and as I presume lived here.
It appears from a MS. of William de Worcester, alias Boloner, (fn. 3) who lived in the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV. that he was in the retinue and family of Sir John Fastolfe, Knt. of the Garter, (his herald, and one of his executors,) that this John Wodehouse built here a large and most royal and beautiful manor-house, called the Rey, on the river hereby, which cost him above 2000 marks sterling, with stately offices, &c about a mile from Rising, in which he died in 1430; and that this noble edifice was entirely destroyed, and pulled down to the ground, by the advice and assistance of Thomas Lord Scales, about September 21, 1454, by the consent of the heir of the founder, and his particular friend; the reason assigned is, that Thomas Danyel, Esq. of Lancashire, late sheriff of Norfolk, by the assistance and power of John (Mowbray) Duke of Norfolk, on account of his marrying a kinswoman of the said Duke, pretending a right and title to the said lordship, falsely asserting that Wodehouse, the heir to his father, (fn. 4) (the founder) had given it to him. On this pretence he several times entered the same by force, and a great army of the Duke. And this the Lord Scales did out of a good intention, though much to the loss and damage of Wodehouse's heir.
Upon this I presume the said Thomas Daniel became lord, and was also constable of Rising castle, &c. but on the accession of Edward IV. the said Thomas is said to have been attainted, and it was then most likely granted to Anthony Woodvile, who was created Lord Scales, having married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas Lord Scales, abovementioned; on the death of this lady, in the 13th of Edward IV. it was found that she held this manor of Rydon; and Anthony Lord Scales, &c. in her right presented to this rectory in 1473 and 1479.
On the death of Anthony Lord Scales and Earl Rivers, it probably came again into the Wodehouse family, in 1552, and 1561, Margaret, widow of Thomas Wodehouse, Esq. eldest son of Sir Roger Wodehouse, (who died in 1547, before his father,) being jointured herein, presented to the church, and Roger Wodehouse, Esq. was lord in the 36th of Henry VIII.
Soon after this it was possessed by Ralph Waller, Esq. who presented to the church in 1564, and 1572, afterwards Richard Hovell, Esq. was lord of it. In the 2d year of King James I. the receiver of Henry Howard Earl of Northampton, accounted for 1100l. paid to Richard Hovell, Esq. for the purchase of the manor of Rydon, and in the next year a fine was levied thereof, and of lands bought there of Thomas Foster, and Edward Callow, &c.
The said Earl, by deed dated April 13, in the 8th of King James, granted to Owen Shepherd, the next presentation of this church, to which is his seal of arms, four coats, viz. Howard, Brotherton, Warren, and Mowbray, within the garter; and died possessed of it in 1616, and then came to Thomas Howard Earl of Arundel, his heir, and afterwards to the Howards, Earls of Berkshire, and to the present lord, the Earl of Suffolk, as in Rysing.
I have seen a brass coin of Queen Isabel, mother of King Edward III. when she resided here, and held this lordship in capite, somewhat larger than our present shilling; (fn. 5) on it these arms—quarterly, an antique ship (as in that age) in the sea, or water; the old arms of this borough, (though the modern arms are represented to be a castle triple-towered) the legend obscure.
The reverse, in a lozenge, the arms of that Queen, as a widow; four flower-de-lis of France; at that time the Kings of France bore semy-de-lis; and on King Edward the Third's claim to that crown, he assumed, and quartered the same; the legend is obscure, but, RA. is plainly to be seen, for Regina, as I take it.
The present valor is 5l and is discharged of first-fruits and tenths, and exempted from all episcopal and archidiaconal visitations, except induction, and the rector has a probate of all wills in this parish.
1707, Elisha Smith, A. M. by William Fielding, Esq. and the lady Diana, his wife, rector of Tydd St. Gyles, in the Isle of Ely, and published 2 volumes of sermons in 1740, and a treatise "the Cure of Deism."