Hundred of Diss: Frense

Pages 140-148

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.

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Was always one manor, (fn. 1) which in King Edward's time was held by Edric, (fn. 2) of Edric, for one carucate; and in the Conqueror's time by Hubert, of Robert Malet, lord of Eye; it was then worth 15s. per annum, being five furlongs long, and four broad, and paid 3d. Danegeld.

It was always held of Eye honour at one quarter of a knight's fee, and paid x.s. relief. I do not meet with any lords' names (fn. 3) before 1280, (fn. 4) when John de Ludham was lord and patron, whose family took their sirname from a village so called in Suffolk, in Wilford hundred, (fn. 5) which they held many ages. In 1297, it was settled on

William de Ludham, and Alice his wife, and John their son, and his heirs. In 1329,

Joan, wife of Sir John Ludham, and John Lowdham, Knt. son of Thomas, was 21 years old, and held this manor; and in 1336, purchased several large parcels of land of Ralph de Shimpling, and Katerine his wife, being the first of this family that had Boyland's manor; both which, together with this advowson, in 1343, they settled by fine on themselves, and the heirs of John; Edmund de Ufford le Frere, and Peter de Teye, being feoffees. In 1351,

Sir John, son and heir of Sir John de Lowdham, and Joan his wife, held this and Boyland manor in Osmundeston, Frenze and Stirston; he died in 1355, and Joan his wife had it to her death in 1371, and held it of Edmund, son of Sir Thomas de Ufford, lord of Eye.

John, son of Thomas de Lowdham, Knt. inherited, and died in 1373; and

Sir Thomas de Lowdham, Knt. brother and heir of John, son of Thomas, son of John, and Joan his wife, held it, jointly with Maud his wife; he died in 1385, and

Sir Robert Corbet, senior, Knt. held it, as guardian to John Lowdham, who dying, left it to his wife;

And in 1401, the lady which was the wife of Sir Robert Corbet, senior, Knt. held Boyland's in dower, and Sir Robert Corbet, junior, her son, held Frenze, during the minority of John Lowdham, son of Thomas de Lowdham and Maud his wife, who, when his father died, was but seven years old. This John died 28th April, 1428; Alice his wife surviving him: he left only one daughter,

Joan, then 14 years old, married to Thomas Hevenyngham, Esq. and after that to Ralph Blaverhasset, Esq. both which she outlived, not dying till June 20, 1501, being 97 years of age: she was seized of Boyland's, the other moiety of which was granted by John Lowdham to John Woodhouse.

John Blaverhasset was her son and heir, being 77 years old at his mother's death. This is a very ancient family, taking their name from Bleverseta, or Bleverhayset, in Cumberland, where the eldest branch continued a long time. In 1382, Alan Bleverhasset was mayor of the city of Carlisle, as was John, in 1430. (fn. 6) In 1412, Ralph Bleverhayset was parliament-man for that city, and so was Thomas, in 1584. In 1510, this John died, in the 87th year of his age, seized of Frenze, and a moiety of Boyland's; he had two wives; Jane daughter of Thomas Heigham of Heigham Green in Suffolk, Esq. by whom he had SirThomas, his son and heir, now 49 years of age; and Jane, daughter of Sir Thomas Tindall of Hockwold in Norfolk, Knt. He came from South-hill in Bedfordshire, to Frenze, which estate he gave to John, his son by his second wife, who dying without issue, it was divided among his four sisters,Margaret, married to Robert Warner of Besthorp, after to William Drury of the same; Jane, to Sir Phillip Calthorp; Anne, to Sir Henry Grey of Wrest in Bedfordshire, Knt.; Ellen to Miles Hobert of Plumstede in Norfolk, Esq. second son of Sir James Hobart, Knt.

Sir Thomas died seized of Frenze and Boyland's, June 27, 1531, leaving

George, his eldest son by his first wife, his heir: he died in 1543, and by his will gave Frenze to Margaret his wife for life, and Boyland's moiety to Mary, his daughter and heiress, then married to Thomas Culpepper, Esq. she being to have Frenze also at Margaret's death. This Mary, by fine, settled Frenze on

Francis Bacon, Esq. her second husband, and Edmund his son, for their lives, both which had it, Edmund Bacon of Harleston being seized of it in 1572: after whose death it reverted to

John Bleverhasset, who had enjoyed Boyland's ever since the death of the said Mary. This John was brother to George, her father: he sold the moiety of Boyland's to Sir Thomas Cornwaleis, Knt. and his heirs, but Frenze continued in this family; for in 1587,

George Bleverhasset held it; and in 1595,

Samuel Bleverhasset. How or when it went from this family I do not find; but in 1666, 24th Nov.

Richard Nixon, Esq. died seized, and.

Richard was his son and heir, whose son, Diamond Nixon, sold it to

Sir Robert Kemp, Bart. whose son, Sir Robert, is now lord and patron. [1730.]

The Church is a small building, of equal height, covered with tile; and having no steeple, the bell hangs on the outside of the roof, at the west end: there is no partition between the church and chancel, but there is a beam fixed across the east chancel window, on which the rood was conveniently placed. The church is about 24 yards long, and 7 yards wide; the south porch is tiled. It is dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle, (fn. 7) as appears from the will of Ralph Bleverhasset, who desired to be buried in the chancel of St. Andrew at Frenze. The meanness of the fabrick hath preserved the inscriptions from being reaved, for it looks like a barn, at a distance. In the chancel, according to his will, is buried Ralph Bleverhasset, Esq. whose effigies, standing upon a lion, still remains on a stone, and this inscription:

Hic iacct venerabilis Uir Radulphus Bleverhansett Armiger qui obiit riiio die Mensis Novembris Ao dni. Mo CCCC lrrbo. cuisu Anime propicietur Deus Amen.

There are four shields still remaining.

1. Bleverhasset with an annulet quartering Orton;

2. Ditto impaling Lowdham;

3. As the second;

4. Lowdham single.

The inscription for his wife is now lost, but was, as we learn from Mr. Anstis's MSS. (marked G. 6, fol. 39.) as follows:

Here lyeth Mrs. Joane Bleverhasset, the Wife of Ralph Bleverhasset, Esq. the Daughter and Heir of John Lowdham, who died the 20th Dan of June 1501.

The same MSS. hath the following inscription, now gone:

"Here lyeth the venerable Gentleman John Blaverhasset, Esq; who died the 27th of March, in the Year of our Lord, 1514."

On a stone by the south door is the effigies of a woman bidding her beads, with three shields under the inscription.

1. Hasset with an annulet, quartering Lowdham;

2. Ditto impaling Tindall, quartering Fecklin;

3. Tindall quartering Orton and Scales.

Pran for the Soule of Jane Bleverhayssett, Wedow, late Wyf onto John Blaverhayssett, Esquier, Whiche Jane departed oute of this present Lyf, the bi Day of October, the Yere of our Lord God, M y rri on whose Soule Jhu have merry, Amen.

On a stone at the east end,

Here lyeth Sir Thomas Bleuerhayssette, Knyght, which decessyd the ryii Dan of June, the Yere of our Lorde M yo rrri. and rrriii Yere of the Reigne of our Sobe raygne Lord Kyng Henry the viiith, whois Soule God Pardon.

At each corner is a coat:

1. Hasset with an annulet, quartering Orton, impaling Lowdham and Keldon, quartered.

2. Hasset and Lowdham quartered, impaling Heigham, his first wife.

3. Hasset, Lowdon, Orton, and Keldon, quartered, impaling Braham, with a crescent.

4. Hasset, and the three quartered as in the last, impaling two lions passant.

His effigies still remains, in complete armour, having a surcoat of his arms, viz. Bleverhasset with the annulet, (which this branch always bare for difference,) with his quarterings, Lowdham, Orton, and Kelvedon; (or Keldon;) under his head lies his crest, viz. a fox passant.

On a marble three yards long, and a yard and half wide, is this on a brass plate:

Here lyeth Dame Margaret Bleverhayset, Wedowe. late Wyf to Syr Thomas Bleverhayset off Frens, Knyght, Domghter to John Braham of Metheryngset, Esquyer, who bad Yssue by the said Sur Thomas, two Sonnes, Thomas a Pryst, and John Bleverhayset of Bargham, by Beclys in Suff, and fyve Dowghters, that ys Elizabeth Fyrst married to Lyonell Lowth, after to Francis Clopton, Agnes married to Syr Antony Rows, Knyght, Anne married fyrst to George Duke, after to Peter Rede, Margaret fyrst married to John Gosnold, after to Antony Myngfyld, who dyed the rriii of Julye in the Yere of our Lorde, 1561.

The first coat is lost, but was Braham impaling Reydon.

2. Hasset, Lowdham, Keldon, Orton, Skelton, and Hasset, impaling Braham; the third is lost.

Adjoining is another stone, having had two coats, which are reaved, as is the effigies of the man; that of the woman remains; her head lies on a pillow, and her beads hang before her; the two remaining shields have these arms:

1. Duke quartering Banyard, with the difference of two annulets interlaced on the fess.

Park and Ilketshall impaling Hasset, quartering Lowdham, Keldon, Orton, and Skelton.

2. Hasset, and his quarterings, as before.

Mr. Le Neve says, that the two coats lost were,

1. Duke and his quarterings, as before.

2. Duke, &c. impaling Jenney, quartering Buckle and Leiston. Buckle, or, a chevron between three buckles.

Heare uner lieth George Duke, Esquyre. who marryed Anne, the Dowghter of Syr Thomas Bleverhaysset, Knyght, the whiche George died the rrbi day of July, in the Yere of our Lorde God, a. M. CCCCC. li. whos Sowle God Pardon, Amen.

Another stone hath its inscription torn off, and one shield; the other is

Cornwaleis impaling Froxmere.

The next hath a man in armour, his sword hanging before him on a belt, his hands erected.

Hasset quarters Lowdham and Orton; Orton or Lowthe impales Heigham.

Hic iacet venerabilis bir Johannis Bleber hayset, Armiger, qui viresimo viiio die Mens: Novemb: Ao Dni. Mo bo r. cuius anime propicietur Deus.

On another stone: crest, a fox sedant on a wreath, under it, in a lozenge:

1. Hasset, Lowdham, Orton, Keldon, Skelton, Duke, frette - - - Lowthe.

2. Culpepper quartering - - - - a chevron between eleven martlets, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, impaling Hasset, and quarterings as before.

3. Bacon impaling Hasset and quarterings.

4. Hasset and quarterings.

5. Duke, with an annulet, quartering three pelicans vulning themselves, and - - - frette - - -

6. Orton.

Mariæ filiæ et hæredi unicæ Georgij Bleverhasset, Militis inaurati Enuptæ primo Thomæ Culpeper, Armigero, qui hic, postea Francisco Bacon, Armigero, Qui Petistiræ in Comitat: Suff. tumulatur, sine prole, Defuncte vii Septembr. 1587, Ætatis suæ, 70. Viduæ, Piæ, Castæ, Hospitali, Benignæ! Joannes Cornwaleis, et Joannes Bleverhasset, Memoriæ et amoris ergo posuerunt.

On a brass fixed to the north chancel wall:

Here under lyethe Thomazin Platers, Daughter of George Duke, Esquyer, and Wife to William Platers, Sonne t Heier of Thomas Platers of Soterley, Esquier, whiche Thomazin dyed the 23d day of December, in the second Yere of the Reigne of our Sovereigne Lady Quene Elizabethe, Ao 1560.

Platers, arg. three bends wavy az.

Platers impaling Duke and his quarterings.

More towards the east, on the said wall, remains the impression of a brass effigies, and inscription now lost, but in a MSS. (marked E. 26, fol. 23.) in Mr. Anstis's hands we have the following account:

Platers's arms and Duke's:

Orate pro animabus Willi Platers et Thomazin uroris suæ filiæ Duke

As also of this, now lost:

Orate pro Domina Johanna Braham, vidua ur: Johns: Braham de Lowdham, Armigeri.

Braham impales Duke.

On a stone having the effigies of a woman in her winding sheet, bidding her beads:

Hic iaret tumulata domina Johanna Braham, vidua ar Deo dirata olim uror Johannis Braham Armigeri que obiit rbiiio die Nobembris Ao Dni. Millimo CCCCC rir. cuius anime propicietur Deus, Amen.

Braham single, and again impaling Reydon. Reydon single.

On a brass plated stone near the north door, a man in his winding sheet, and this:

Pray for the Sowle of your Charite, Of Thomas Hobson to the Trynyte.

On three flat marbles:

Nixon, on a chief, an axe impaling three roundels.

Here lieth the Body of Richard the Son of Richard Nixon, Esq; and Susan his Wife, who departed this Life the 28th Day of August, 1678.

In the 22d Year of his Age.

Nixon, impaling a chevron between three lions rampant:

Reliquiæ Richardi Nixon, Armig: Qui obijt 24° Novemb: Ano Dom. 1666, Ætatis suæ 77.

Per fess embattled three pheons impaling Nixon:

Here lyeth the Body of William Cooper, Gent. who died the 30th Day of March, 1693, Aged 54 Years.

In a north window was a man bearing Ufford's arms, and by him stood pictured a lady in the arms of Shelton, covered with a mantle of Lowdham. (fn. 8)

In the next window, or, a fess gul. Hasset, Scales; many funeral escutcheons for Hasset; one for Catherine, wife to Thomas Froxmere, Gent.

In the windows, Hasset and Lowdham quartered. Lowdham,— Ufford,—Dalimer, arg. three inescutcheons gul.; Shelton, Mortimer of Wigmore, Ufford with a label, again with a de-lis, again with a batoon gobonne arg. and gul.; again with an annulet arg.

In the west window Lowdham.

Lowdham impales Bacon, gul. on a chief arg. two mullets of the field, pierced sab.

Or, a fess gul. impales Scales.

Lowdham impales az. on a chief gul. three leopards faces or.

Mascule or and sab.

Most of these arms still remain in the windows.

I find among the evidences of Brightlead's tenement in Scole, that Thomas Ropkyn was buried here, with this inscription, now lost:

Pray for the Sowle of Thomas Ropkyn.

I have now by me three brass shields, which I am apt to think were stolen from this church some time agone; the arms being

Shelton impaling a cross ingrailed erm.

Shelton impaling a fess between fifteen billets, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Paston impaling Shelton.

At Mrs. Hill's at Castor, near Yarmouth, I saw an ancient canvass surrounding two rooms, painted with the matches of the Bleverhassets; (John Bleverhasset, who married Mrs. Hill's sister, and died in 1704, was the last of this branch;) their names are under each coat; but with hanging against moist walls, several are worn out: those that are perfect I have added here, though they are so displaced, that the time of the matches cannot be determined by their succession.

Bleverhasset, gul. a chevron. erm. between three dolphins embowed arg.

Crest on a wreath, arg. and gul. a fox seiant, gul.

Impaled with all the following coats:

Frogmorton, gul. on a chevron, or, three bars sab.

Braham, as in p. 134.

Tindall, arg. a fess indented in chief three crescents gul.

Eyre, arg. on a fess, - - - three trefoils or.

Pickerell, as in p. 48.

Clopton, sab. a bend arg. cotized, indented or.

Lowthe, sab. a lion rampant or, armed gul.

Cressi, arg. three beacons sab.

Culpepper, arg. a bend ingrailed gul.

Covert, gul. a fess between three lions heads or.

Baynaugh, gul. a chevron between three bulls faces or.

Brampton, gul. a saltire between four croslets fitchee arg.

Meawes, pally of six, or and arg. on a chief gul. three croslets formy of the first.

Lowdham, as in p. 134.

Kelvedon, (or Keldon,) gul. a pall reversed erm.

Orton, arg. a lion rampant guardant vert, crowned or.

Skelton, az. on a fess between three de-lises, or, a crescent sab.

Cornwaleis, Hare, Heydon, Wyngfield, Reape, Kempe, Gosnold, Spilman, Colby, Alcock, Rowse, Drury, Hubbard, Heigham, Warner, quartering Whetnall, Calthorp, Lovell and Ruthyn.


1294, John de Petestre, rector. (fn. 9)

1325, prid. non. Jan John de Novadomo (Newhouse) de Snapes; presented by Cecily, widow of Sir Robert de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, and lord of Eye, Robert de Shelton, and William Tastard, guardians of John de Lowdham.

1349, 21 Sept. Walter Manneysyn (after wrote in Deeds Malvesyn.) Sir John Lowdham, Knt.

1381, 7 May, William Payok, priest. Thomas de Lowdham, Knt.

1382, 6 June, John Baxter, priest. (fn. 10) Ditto.

1393, 4 June, Peter Rous, priest. Sir Robert Corbett, senior, guardian to John de Lowdham.

1394, 20 May, Henry Brakkele, priest, (fn. 11) Sir Robert Corbett, senior, guardian to John de Lowdham.

1397, 6 Decem. Sir John de Scoles, priest. Ditto.

1401, ult. Jan. Michael Crowe of Kenninghall, priest. Ditto.

1404, 4 Oct. Sir Tho. Warner of Leyham, priest. Gilbert de Debenham, for this turn.

1408, 8 Nov. Robert Pope of Frandeston, priest. John Lowdham of Burgate.

1416, 18 Oct. Tho. Bukke of Melles, priest. (fn. 12) John Lowdham of Ipswich, patron, by right of inheritance in a lineal descent.

1416, 20 Jan. John Greeve. Ditto.

1417, 22 Oct. Roger de Knyveton, priest. John Hevenyngham, senior, Knt. Will. Shelton, Esq. Will. Lord, clerk, and John Intewode, for this turn.

1419, 22 Dec. John Rawe, priest, on Knyveton's resignation. John Lowdham.

1423, 31 May, Simon Warner, priest. (fn. 13) John Lowdham, Esq. son and heir of Thomas Lowdham, Knt.

1428, 10 April, John Bubwith, priest, on Warner's resignation. John Hagh, Esq.

1479, 18 July, Henry - - - - - - -

1484, 22 Sept. Robert Stukely, collated by the Bishop. I meet with no more institutions till

1597, 21 April, Edmund Stanhaw. The Crown (as guardian to Bleverhasset.)

1598, 20 Oct. John Smith, A. M. on Stanhaw's resignation. Samuel Bleverhasset, Esq. united to Scole.

1603, John Smith, rector, of whom the Answers of the Parsons inform us, that he was a preacher allowed by the late Lord Bishop of Norwich, but no graduate.

1618, 21 April, Tho. Hall, A. M. united to Scole. Samuel Blaverhasset of Lowdham, Esq.

1642, 10 Sept. John Gibbs, A. M. on Hall's death. Richard Nixon, Gent.

1651, 18 Febr. Toby Dobbin. Ditto.

1673, 22 Sept. Tho. Wales, A. B. on Dobbin's death. John Fincham of Outwell, in the Isle of Ely, Esq.; he had Thelton.

1702, 7 Oct. Tho. Palgrave, on Wales's death. Diamond Nixon, Esq.

1725, 24 Aug. Will. Baker, on Palgrave's death. Robert Kemp, Bart. united to Wacton-Parva.

1734, the Rev. Mr. John James, the present [1736] rector, on Baker's resignation. Sir Robert Kemp, Bart. patron.

King's Books. Clear Value. Synodals. Procurations. Norw.Taxa.
2 13 4 30 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 0

Lincoln Taxa.

6 marks.

This rectory is in Redenhall deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry; and being sworn of the value of 30l. per annum only, is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; here is a rectory-house, and about 3 or 4 acres of glebe. It is a small village, having only 6 houses, and about 60 inhabitants. [1736.] In Norwich Domesday it is said, that the rector then had a house and 20 acres land, not taxed. The old tenth was 1l. 5s. the association valuation, 204l. per annum, and the present valuation is 149l.

The Custom of the Manor is to the eldest son, and the fine is at the lord's will; the leet belongs to the hundred, the leet-fee being 5d. per annum.


  • 1. Boyland's in Scole, is sometimes said to be in Frense, because it extends into it, as did the manors of Titshall and Thorp-Parva. The Abbot of St. Edmund, lord of Titshall, in the Conqueror's time, had two socmen here. (Domesd. fol. 181.) In Frense ii. soc. Sci. Edmundi de xvj. acr. Semp. dim. car. val. ii. sol. Ao 1195 - - - - - Hasting, held 23 ac. i. villan. of the Abbot's fee. 1367, Will. de Frenze held it.
  • 2. (Domesd. fol. 77.) Terre Rob. Malet, Dice Dim. Hundr. Frisa tenuit Edricus sub Edrico, pro. i. car. terre. modo tenet Hubertus, tunc et post i. villan. modo ii. tunc et post. i. bord. modo ii. semper i. car. in dnio. semper arant homines cum duobus bovibus, et iiii. acr. prati, modo i. mol. tunc et post valuit x.s. modo xv. habet v. quarent. in longo et iiii. in lato et iii.d. de Gelto.
  • 3. It seems as if the Ludhams had it from the Sheltons.
  • 4. Liber Cedular.
  • 5. Nomina Villar.
  • 6. Willis's Notit. Parliam. vol. ii. p. 293, 4.
  • 7. Regr. Castone in Archiv. Norw. fo. 183, b.
  • 8. MSS. pen. J. Anstis, Gart. A. 23, fo. 222. Another MSS. marked E. 26, fo. 23.
  • 9. Regr. Curteys, fol. 294.
  • 10. Baxter was vicar of Earlescoln in Essex, and changed with Payok; he died 1393, and was buried in this church.
  • 11. Rector of Brensete in Canterbury diocese, which he changed for this.
  • 12. John Greve was minister of Wiley in Essex, which he exchanged with Bukke for this.
  • 13. After minister of Thurrock in Essex.