Hundred of Diss: Dickleburgh

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

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Francis Blomefield, 'Hundred of Diss: Dickleburgh', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1( London, 1805), British History Online [accessed 22 July 2024].

Francis Blomefield, 'Hundred of Diss: Dickleburgh', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1( London, 1805), British History Online, accessed July 22, 2024,

Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of Diss: Dickleburgh". An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1. (London, 1805), , British History Online. Web. 22 July 2024.

In this section


Is a large parish, containing the whole town of Semere, (fn. 1) which, at the Conquest, was as large as Dickleburgh itself, to which it is now a hamlet. This town was anciently divided into four parts or portions, each of which had a rector of its own, and served in their turns in Dickleburgh church. The first portion was called sometimes Fouldon, sometimes the Portion in the Marsh, (it being the lowest part of the town,) sometimes the Portion of Henry, who was rector in 1256, but most commonly, the Portion of Richard, who was rector of it when the Lincoln taxation was made, it being then valued at x. marks; out of this portion the Abbot of Bury had an annual pension of xv.s. The second was called, the Portion in the Fields (it being the upper part of the town,) sometimes the Portion of Henry, (fn. 2) and sometimes Culphoe's Portion, John de Culphoe being rector at the Lincoln taxation, (fn. 3) and John of St. Edmund's Bury, at the Norwich taxation, when it was valued at c.s. and paid a pension to the Abbot of St. Edmund of ix.s. yearly. The third portion belonged to that part of the town which is now called Langmere, (fn. 4) and is still a hamlet belonging to it, all which lies in the hundred of Earsham, and hath a separate leet, which now belongs to Dickleburgh Hall manor, and its jurisdiction extends to all that part of the town which lies in Earsham hundred. The leet and royalties of the other part in Diss hundred belonging at this time to the lord of the hundred, but there are no leet fees due to either of them; this was in the Conquest included in Semere, of which it was near the half, and was given to Butley priory, after the decease or cession of Ranulf the chaplain, who had been presented thereto by William de Aubervil, and Maud his wife, which Maud was daughter to Ranulf de Glanvil, and belonged to the land that the said Ranulf held of Thomas Noell; at the Norwich taxation it was valued at x. marks, and in the Lincoln at xiii. marks; it was appropriated to that convent about 1180, by John of Oxford, Bishop of Norwich, without any vicar to be endowed, they being obliged to find a stipendiary chaplain only, who was to administer the sacrament, and perform all duties to the parishioners of that portion only; (fn. 5) this was confirmed by several Archbishops of Canterbury, and by Thomas de Grey, and Thomas de Blundevile, or Blomevile, Bishops of Norwich; and thus it continued till 1454, when it was disappropriated by consent of all parties, and consolidated to the other Portions, the Abbot of Bury giving the prior security that the future rectors should ever pay to that priory, a yearly pension of 3s. 4d. a year, clear of all service due from the said portion. The prior also had lands in this part of the town, given by Ranulf de Glanvil, which were taxed at 1d. 0b. (fn. 6) The fourth Portion was called Semere, (fn. 7) and contained the other half of Semere, that lay in Diss hundred, and was sometimes called Matthew's Portion, from Matthew, (fn. 8) who was rector of it at the Norwich taxation, when it was taxed at vj. marks; it was after named Alexander's Portion, but most commonly John's Portion, from John de Hemenhale, who was rector of it at the Lincoln taxation, in which it is valued at 6 marks and an half; this portion was of the smallest value, because it was chargeable with a pension, (valued in the Norwich taxation at 8s. and in the Lincoln at 10s.) payable every year, to the Prior of St. Faith's at Horsham; concerning this pension, I find in a register formerly belonging to Bury abbey, (fn. 9) a grant made by Reymund, Prior of St. Faith's, to Sir Ralph Hemenhale, parson of the fourth part of Dickleburgh, and his successours for ever, of two parts of the tithes of the demeans formerly of Sir William de Cheyney, of the fee of his barony of Horsford in this town, by the authority and consent of Ralf de Walpole Bishop of Norwich, and his chapter, for the annual payment of 10s. sterling, which tithes were given by the said William to that monastery; all which demeans, with their several quantities, names, and tenants, are recited therein. The deed was sealed by the Bishop, the Abbot, the Prior of St. Faith's, the Rector, and the Prior of Norwich; and for this pension the Prior was to allow and pay 12d. tenths. (fn. 10) The two Portions called Fouldon and Semere were consolidated in 1429, (fn. 11) and in 1449, they were consolidated to the Portion in the Fields; and in 1454, the appropriation of Langmere Portion being resigned, it became one rectory, chargeable with the annual pensions of 3s. 4d. to the Prior of Butley, 10s. to the Prior of St. Faith's, and 24s. 1d. 0b. to the Abbot of Bury, (fn. 12) and hath so continued ever since.

This advowson, with the manor now called The Rectory Manor, was procured by Syward, a monk of Bury, at which time it belonged to the manor of Titshall, (fn. 13) and with that was given to this monastery, there being at that time only one chaplain or parish priest; but before the Conquest, the Abbot had given the manor to the church, and infeoffed it in two priests, who held it at the survey; (fn. 14) these, with the parochial priest, made three portions, all which were in the presenta tion of the Abbot of Bury till the Dissolution, (fn. 15) each rector having a house, with a carucate of land, a third part of the manor, (which they divided,) and the tithes of their separate portions; at the Dissolution, the advowson went to the Crown, and was granted, in 1536, to Thomas and James Bacon, Esq. and the heirs of Thomas; in 1547, they aliened it to Nicholas Bacon, Esq. and his heirs; and he, in 1550, to Thomas Godsalve and his heirs, who, in 1557, sold it to William Mingay, and he soon after to Stephen Lacy, Gent. and he to John Whitman, who, in 1567, aliened it to Charles Le-Grice, Esq. and his heirs, who kept it but a little while; for in 1570, it belonged to John and Thomas Whipple, and John Whipple of Pulham-Market, in which family it continued some time; for in 1603, William and Thomas Whipple were patrons, who left it to their daughters; the one married to Robert Boiens, the other to George Gawdie, both which held it in their wives' right in 1632, (fn. 16) from whom it came (I suppose by sale) to Thomas Buxton, who at his death left it to Thomas, his son, and he dying without issue, left it to his wife, and her heirs; and soon after it belonged to one Congham of Wells, of whom George Chamberlain, D. D. Fellow of Trinity-College in Cambridge, purchased it, and presented his nephew Samuel Needham to it, after whose death he gave it to the Senior Fellow of Trinity-College for ever.

The rector hath a good house and 80 acres of land adjoining to it, together with the Rectory Manor, the Custom of which is, that the copyhold descends to the youngest son, and the fine is at the lord's will. It is in the deanery of Redenhall, and archdeaconry of Norfolk, and liberty of his Grace the Duke of Norfolk, and is thus valued, the pensions being bought off:

King's Books Tenths. Acres Glebe. Synodals. Procurations.
28 0 0 2 16 0 80 0 0 0 3 8 0 7 0


The First Portion, called Fouldon, or the Portion in the Marsh.

1256, Henry was rector.


1291, John de Melford, priest.

1334, Robert de Penteny, accolite.

1376, 21 March, John de Watton, priest.

1410, 28 Sept. Robert Serjeaunt, priest.

1411, 27 October, John Tybbynham, priest, in whose time Semere Portion was consolidated to this, viz. Octob. 25, 1429.

1446, 17 Sept. John Brigge, chaplain, on Tybbynham's resignation, at whose death, in 1454, they were consolidated to the Portion in the Field, and John Bulman had possession of them Dec. 13, 1454.

The Second Portion, or the Portion in the Fields. Roger the parson.

1231, Henry Freeman, rector.

1276, John of St. Edmund's Bury, rector.

1291, John de Culpho, rector.

1316, 13 kal. Oct. John de Culpho, sub-deacon.

1329, 7 id. Octob. Andrew de Bynham, priest.

1329, 6 id. March, Robt. de Norton, priest, on Bynham's reignation.

1349, 30 October, Robert de Fouldon.

Godfrey de Snetisham.

1391, Will. Cornewaille, priest, on Snetisham's resignation.

1392, Richard Marwyk, on Cornewaille's resignation.

1393, Thomas Elyott, on Marwyk's resignation.

1394, Richard Aylweyn, on Elyott's resignation.

1402, 25 October, William Bardoclyff, on Alyweyn's resignation, John Osberne. (fn. 17)

1417, 27 Jan. Tho. Wode, a shaveling.

John Knowlls, on whose resignation

John Bulman succeeded, in 1449.

The Fourth Portion, or the Portion of Semere.

1231, Matthew of Cambridge, rector to 1256.

1256, Jan. 18, Master Rustand, sub-deacon, chaplain to the Pope, presented by the King, during the vacancy of the abbey.

Alexander the priest.

1266, Ivo the priest.

William de Lopham.

1288, Ralph de Hemenhale, on Lopham's death.

1291, John de Hemenhale.

1302, 10 kal. Apr. Robert de Gravenny, or Craneby, priest.

1322, 5 id. July, John de Hemenhale, priest.

1349, 4 Nov. William de Melford.

1357, Henry, son of John de Lydgate, priest, on Melford's resignation.

1360, 22 Decem. Peter de Hoo, on Lydgate's resignation.

1360, 6 March, Thomas Osberne, priest, on Hoo's resignation.

1361, 17 Nov. John de Edlington, accolite.

1365, 27 April, Gilbert de Wortham, on Edlington's resignation.

1399, Richard Fysch, priest.

1400, 8 Octob. Thomas Page, priest.

1402, 5 August, Simon Smith, on Page's resignation.

1402, 9 August, Thomas Faldyngworth, on Smith's resignation.

Thomas Wylomond, at whose resignation in

1417, 3 Sept. Thomas Kynthorp was instituted.

1421, Thomas Savage, priest.

William Brixey, on Savage's resignation. He died 1429, and in that year

October 5, it was consolidated to Fouldon, or the Portion in the Marsh.

1449, John Bulman (fn. 18) was instituted to the Portion in the Fields, on the resignation of Thomas Wode; and in 1454, 13 Dec. the consolidated portions of Fouldon and Semere were consolidated to this, and possession given to John Bulman aforesaid, who held the whole benefice till 1497, and then resigned it; upon which, in

1497, 6 June, John Alleyn, A. M. was instituted to Dekylburg, with all the portions annexed. (fn. 19)

1531, 24 Dec. Rich. Eden, doctor of the decrees. The King, by grant from the Abbot.

1551, 4 Aug. Tho. Cardon, A. M. on Eden's death. Tho. Godsalve of Norwich, Esq.

1554, 23 Dec. William Stockwith, priest. Ditto.

1557, 30 October, Richard Lusser, A. M. on Stockwith's resignation.

1558, 2 Sept. James Green. William Mingaye, Alderman of Norwich.

1561, Tho. Roberts, A. M. on Green's resignation. Lapse.

1576, 28 June, Robert Sayer, D. D. on Robert's death. Henry and Tho. Whipple of Dickleburgh, Gent.

1622, Christopher Barnard, dispossessed by the Earl of Manchester in 1643.

1643, Elias Crabtree had it, at the dispossession of Mr. Barnard; (fn. 20) he signed the attestation of the ministers of this county, Ao 1648.

1662, Mr. Barnard was restored, and the 22d Sept. in this year, he subscribed the Articles, being at that time master of arts. (fn. 21)

1680, 11 October, John Richar, A. M. on Barnard's death. John Richar, and Nich. his son, for this turn.

1684, 19 April, Samuel Needham, on Richar's death. George Chamberlain, S. T. P. Fellow of Trinity-College in Cambridge, perpetual patron.

He was succeeded by John Whitfield, D. D. of Trinity-College, Cambridge.

The Rev. John Baker, D.D. the present [1736] rector, succeeded at the death of Dr. Whitfield. Trinity-College, Cambridge, patrons.

In 1643, Christopher Bernard, "was dispossessed by the Earl of Manchester, who tendered him the covenant, and offered him to keep his place if he would take it, both which he generously refused, and by necessary consequence brought on himself the common calamities and fate which then attended loyalty and fidelity to his Majesty, for his house was plundered and rifled of a great deal of plate, linen, and other goods; he was also seized and dragged away towards Norwich castle, but by his excellent life and doctrine, he had so much recommended himself to his parishioners, that they thought a greater judgment could not befall them, than to loose him, and so by consent they followed the party that had him in custody, and rescued him: they also gave this further testimony of their affection towards him, that when the villains had designed to plunder his house a second time, unknown to him, they voluntarily went, and by force secured the remainder of his goods in their own houses, and even the very women and children assisted in this perilous undertaking, to the manifest hazard of their safety, perhaps of their lives, if it had been discovered. He had at the time of his sufferings, a wife, and at least nine young children, which helped to compleat his misery, and sufficiently aggravated the barbarities which were exercised upon him; 'tis remarkable he had always a firm perswasion of his Majesty's Restauration, which he afterwards lived to see, and was himself one of the first ministers restored in this county, after which he enjoy'd his rectory 20 years, and having been admitted about the year 1620, and not dying 'till 1680, (in the 84th year of his age) he must in all have been rector of it near 60 years."

Thus far Mr. Walker, (fn. 22) in which account there are some small errours, all which may be corrected by this inscription on his stone in the chancel, viz.

D. S.

Christopherus Barnard Filius secundus Roberti Barnard de Langham, juxta Wells in Comitatu Norf: Gen: hujus Ecclesiæ per quinquaginta, Et octo annos Rector, et Alicia uxor ejus, Henrici Congham de Wells, Gen: et Annæ uxoris, filia primogenita, ex Quâ decem suscepit Liberos, Filios silicet, quatuor, Henricum, Edwardum, Robertum, et Christophorum, Filiasq; Sex, Sc. Ceciliam, Annam, Mariam, Aliciam, Brigettam, Et Sarah, E quibus altera Obijt xxio Die Mensis Octobris Ao Dom: MDCLX. Ætat: Suæ LXII. alter quinto die Mensis Octob: Ao Dom: MDCLXXX. Ætat. Suæ LXXXIII. contumulantur Heic, in quorum Memoriam, Alicia Filia Humphredi Rant, Gen: uxor, hoc Marmor L. M. P. P. Isti sunt Liberi Edwardi Bernard, Rectoris de Dyss, Anna, sepulta 11 Febr. 1662. Edwardus sepult. 16 Sept. 1665. Sarah sepult. 16 Jan. 1668. Dorothea sepulta. 16 May 1670. Quorum Exuviæ ad Caput hujus Marmoris Sunt Depositæ.

The Church is a regular building, having its nave, two isles, with a chapel at the east end of each of them; the chancel, vestry, and south porch all covered with lead, a square tower and five bells at its west end, on the second, third, and fourth bells are these verses:

2. Sonitus Egidii acccndit ad Culmina Celi.

3. Dulcis Sisto melis, Campana vocor Michaclis.

4. Sum Rosa pulsata mundi, Maria vocata.

It is dedicated to the honour of all the Saints, and had a gild held in the south isle chapel, which acknowledged St. Peter and Paul for their patrons. The guildhall now stands on the west side of the churchyard, and is used as a town-house.

The following arms were in this chancel as Mr. Anstis's MSS. tell us:

Bishop Lyhart, ar. a bull passant in a bordure sab. bezanté.

England with a label of five az.

Wakering, ar. three falcons leures sab.

And in the upper windows of the church there still remain the cross-swords and cross-keys, the emblem of St. Peter and Paul, the patrons of the gild, the emblems of the Trinity and of the Sacrament; the instruments of the Passion; the arms of Bury abbey; of the EastAngles; and of St. George, and also an imperfect coat of three escalops, the arms of the bishoprick. Erm. a fess lozenge gul. Gul. a fess ar. Az. a cross floree between five martlets or.

Round the step of the font is this:

Grate pro anima Roberti Buring, et pro animabus quibus tenetur, qui istum

Fontem in Honore Dei fecit.

On a stone in the middle alley near the pulpit, Jarnegan's arms, with a crescent for difference. Crest, from a coronet a demi-eagle displayed.

(fn. 23) Here resteth in the Lord Mrs. Elizabeth Whipple, Wife unto Thomas Whipple, Gent: and Daughter of Mr. John Jarnegan of Belton in Somerlee, Esq; Sonne unto Sir John Jarnegan, Kt. which said Eliz: departed this life the 4th Day of Sept: 1617. Aged 65.

What worth in Woman, or a Wife could be, What Goodness vailed in fraile Mortalitie, A godly Mind, a goodly shape in Youth, A bounteous Hand, wise Heart, unspotted truth. These Jewells ceased to'th High King's Use, by Death, Lo heere laid up, their Owner, Elsabeth. Veni citô Jesu.

On a stone in the chancel:

Dorothea Mason, Relicta Thomæ Mason, Vicarij de AshlyMagna, in agro Leicestriæ, Obijt Maij 7mo. 1690.

Anne the wife of William Owls, minister of Billingford, daughter of Thomas Sayer, was buried here in 1620, as appears by a circumscription on a stone in the altar rails.

On a black marble in the chancel:

H. S. E. Maria, Johannis Whitfield, S. T. P. hujus Ecclesiæ Rectoris Uxor, Filia Gulielmi Palgrave nuper de Pulham, Gen: Quæ dum in Connubio vitam ageret, per Quadrennium cum dimidio, Conjugis optimæ et amantissimæ Vices præstitit, Pietate in suos, Benignitate in propinquos, amabilem sine obtrectandi Usu, præbere se voluit, et quidem Egenis sublevandis Operam dare, ei maximam erat in delicijs, occubuit Fato, Christi Meritis fidens, Julij 21mo. die, Anno MDCCXXX. Ætatis suæ tricesimo tertio, Hunc Lapidem Conjugij eorum memor, Maritus posuit Mærens, Ipse etiam, apud Wem in Agro Salop: Natus, Coll: S.S. Trin: Cant: aliquando Socius, vir, bonis Literis, Eloquio, & Humanitate, si quis alius, insignis, sub eadem hoc Lapide requiescit, 16 Octob: 1731, Ætat: 50.

Arms are, a bend between two cottises ingrailed, impaling a lion rampant.

On the north side of the chancel is a noble mural monument, of various sorts of marble, with a lady holding a book, and under her the following inscription:

(fn. 24) Here under lyeth buried, the Body of Dame Frances Platers, the daughter and heir of Charles Le Grys, of Billingford in Norff. Esq; she marryed Sir William Playters of Satterley in Suff. Knt. & Bart. sometimes one of the deputie Lieuetenants, and Vice Admir: of the said County, and Justice of the Peace & Coram, and Coll. of a Regiment of Foot, 'till turn'd out of all, by the then Rebellious Parliament, and in fine out of that Hous of Parliament, whereof he had the Misfortune to be a Member. She had Issue by him only Tho: who married with Rebecka, the Daughter and Co-heir of Tho: Chapman, of Woormly in the County of Hartford, Esq; which said Sir Tho: was a great Traveller, before and after Marriage, his Ladie sometimes beyond the Seas with him, a learned Scholler, an exact Linguist, expert in all Arts and Knowledge, of rare Temper and Courage, and of great Esteem in most Courts in Christendom, High Sheriff for the Countie of Suff: by Commission from his Majestie of Blessed Memorie, Ao 1646, 'till forced by that fatal Parliament, to flee to the King at Oxford, where by Commission from his Majestie, he raised a Regiment of Hors, wherewith he performed remarkable Service, 'till his Majesties Forces were totally ruin'd, and then he departed the Kingdome, arriving in Cicilia, where by Commission from that Viceroy, he had Command of a Squadron of Six Shipps, against all Enemies to the Crown of Spain, which being prepared, he put to Sea, and performed many gallant Services, much to the Honour of the Spanish Flagg. In July 1651, he put into the Port of Messina with a very rich Prize, and posted to the Court at Palermo, where he met with an Honble Reception, for the several good Services he had performed, but at 4 Days End, he there fell ill of a violent Fever, whereof within 8 Dayes he died, aged about 35 Years, and by the Princes Ordir, had an honourable Intermt. & much lamented there, but much greater cause at Home, leaving no Issue, but a sorrowful Widw & sad Childless Parents; the said Dame Frances dyed at Billingford-Hall the 9th of Sept. 1659, from whence by her own desire she was brought, and interred in this Parish, to which she often manifested a Charitable Affection.

On the top are the arms of Platers, bendy wavy of six, ar. and az. impaling

Le-Grice, quarterly az. and gul. on a bend ar. three boars sab.

Plater's crest, on a wreath ar. and az. a lion rampant ar. crowned or.

Le-Grice's crest, on a wreath ar. and gul. a boar sab. armed or.

Platers with Ulster arms, and his quarterings, viz. 1. Ar. a chevron sab. between three estoils gul. 2. Vert, a lion rampant ar. 3. Sab. a chevron erm. between three Catherine-wheels ar. 4. Ar. a chevron between three nags' heads cooped sab. bridled or. 5. Sab. a fess between two chevrons or. 6. Ar. on a fess az. two crowns or. 7. Az. three cinquefoils or. 8. Erm. on a chief gul. three lozenges or. 9. Ar. on a chief gul. three de-lises or.

Le-Grice and his quarterings, viz. 1. Gul. three crescents or, a fess ar. 2. Sab. on a chevron ar. three holly leaves vert. 3. Barry of ten ar. and az. on a canton gul. a lion passant or. 4. Ar. on a chevron ingrailed sab. three mullets of the field. 5. Quarterly, or. and az. 6. Az. a fess indented between three martlets or. 7. Sab. a chevron between three cinquefoils or. 8. Er. a cross chequy or and gul. 9. Sab. two lions passant guardant ar. 10. Ar. two chevrons gul. 11. Az. a fess between two chevrons ar. 12. Vert, three round buckles or. 13. Or, a raven ascending proper. 14. Ar. a cross ingrailed sab. 15. Barry of ten gul. and az.

On the east side of this monument is an ancient painting on the wall, half of which hath been lately renewed, viz. Christ bearing his cross; the other part that is still obscure, I take to be Christ rising from his sepulchre.

The plate belonging to the altar is very fine; the flaggon holds about two quarts, on which is this:

A Gift to the Church of Dickleburgh, Ao 1715.

The cup is a very good one, and was purchased by the parish in Queen Elizabeth's time, together with a neat small salver for its cover; on it is this,


There is also a good salver, on which, Tho. Buxton, Gent. et Eliz: uxor, de Dickleburgh, Norf: 1697.

An offering plate of silver, on which,

Ex Dono Aliciæ Rant.

Here is a grave-stone which was laid over Robert Frense, (fn. 25) in the Middle Alley, though the brass is now gone.

The Town Lands And Gifts

Are, a messuage called Clerks, and a close adjoining, lying in ThorpAbbots, abutting on the highway south, and the common called Thorp Green, and a close called Langlond, north, and abuts west on Thorp Green, and also one acre in Thorp, the west head abuts on Thorp glebe; and also a piece of meadow in Thorp, together with 14 acres in Titshall, all being freehold; the Thorp lands were given by John Billorne, chaplain, anno 1483, and the Titshall lands by William Hyll of Dickleburg, anno 1484, and were all settled by deed of feoffment, dated Febr. 10, 1500, to the use of all the inhabitants of the town and parish of Dickleburg, (fn. 26) as well those that inhabit in the greater part of it, which is in the hundred of Dysse, as those that inhabit in the hamlets of Langmere and Lincroft, which lie in the hundred of Hersham, towards the payment of the tallages and fifteenths of our Sovereign Lord the King, on this condition, that the sixth part of the profits shall go towards discharging the hamlets aforesaid. This land now belongs to the parish.

They have also a pightle of one acre, called Dove-house Pightle, and a close of two acres, called the Town Close, both which belonged to the gild, and were purchased by the parish with the guildhall.

There is a gift also of 20s. a year, called Chapman's Dole, paid out of lands in Burston, which was given by Ralph Chapman, anno 1618. (fn. 27)

The Earl's, or Dickleburgh Hall Manor,

Was the most considerable in this town, (except that which was granted by the Abbot to the rectory,) though its beginning was very small, as we learn from Domesday; (fn. 28) but soon after the Conquest it was enlarged, by the Abbot's infeoffing the Earl of Norfolk, in this part, and all those lands, services, &c. which belonged to the Abbot's capital manor, and were not granted with the rectory manor; and in this family it continued, till the death of Roger Bygod, the last Earl of that line, who held it jointly with Alice his wife in the year 1306, at which time it contained 180 acres of land in demean, 7 of meadow, 7 of pasture, 40 acres wood, 2 windmills, &c. and was held of Robert Fitz-Walter, lord of Diss hundred, at 2s. per annum rent, paid to his hundred of Diss, to which the leet of this part always did, and now [1736] doth belong. This Roger died in the 35th of Edward I. without issue, upon which it came to the Crown, and was granted anno 6th Edward II. to Thomas de Brotherton, EarlMarshal, with the barony of the Bygods; in 1315, the CountessMarshal had it. In 1351, John Lord Segrave of Fulkestone in Kent had it, in right of Margaret his wife, daughter of Thomas de Brotherton. In 1360, Edward Mountague, (fn. 29) (or de Monte Acuto,) and Alice his wife, one of the daughters and heirs of Thomas de Brotherton, held one moiety as part of the barony of that Earl, and Joan their daughter, then wife of William Ufford, was their heir. In 1371, Walter Manney, Knt. held the other moiety in right of Margaret his wife, late wife of John Lord Segrave, and one of the heiresses of Thomas de Brotherton. In 1331, William de Ufford Earl of Suffolk died seized of one part: and in 1399, Thomas de Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, who had been banished for speaking disgracefully of King Richard II. (fn. 30) died in banishment at Venice, of the plague, in his return from Jerusalem, seized of this among other manors in 1406, and it was after held by Elizabeth his widow, who after married to Sir Gerard de Usflete, and died July 8, in the 3d year of King Henry VI. leaving it to John Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, who, in 1432, held it as of Forncet manor; and in this family it continued till the male issue failed, and then it descended to the Howard family, and continued in it till seized by Queen Elizabeth in 1572, upon the Duke of Norfolk's attainder; notwithstanding which, in 1576, Nov. 17, William Dyx of Wickmere, Esq.; and William Canterell of Norwich, (Gent. as trustees to the Norfolk family) let to Thomas Whipple of Dickleburgh, Gent. the liberty of fishing and fowling in Semere Moor, and the Damm's Dyche in Dickleburgh, that is, as much as to that manor belonged, for 21 years, at 3s. 4d. a year. In 1602, Thomas Lord Howard and Henry Howard held it; in 1604, John Holland and Thomas Holland kept their first court, as trustees to that family, and some time after sold it, with their consents, and by their order, In 1641, (fn. 31) John Tindall, Gent. was lord; and in 1649, Aslake Laurence, Esq. kept court here. In 1654, John Tindall kept his first court, after it was conveyed to him by Aslake Lawrence. In 1656, Mary Tindall, widow, kept her first court; and in 1657, Robert Congham, clerk, had his first court; in 1658, he leased it to Thomas Buxton, Gent. and Anne Congham; in 1665, Anne Congham, widow, was lady of it; in 1667, Thomas Buxton, and Robert Howard, Gent. kept court; and in 1669, John Noblet, clerk, was lord. In 1672, Anne Noblet, widow; in 1678, Thomas Buxton, Esq.; in 1681, Thomas Buxton, Gent. held his first court; in 1698, Elizabeth Buxton, widow; in 1700, John Michael, clerk, in right of his wife; in 1716, Elizabeth Michael, widow, who during her widowhood granted it to Samuel Nedham, clerk, rector of Dickleburgh, and his heirs, after her decease; who at his death gave it to Lydia Nedham, his wife, who kept court in 1724, and she, jointly with Mr. William Nedham, late rector of Moulton-Magna, her eldest son, sold it, in the year 1733, to

His Excellency Horatio Walpole, Esq. who is the present lord. [1736.]

The Customs of this Manor are these: The eldest son is heir; the fine is at the lord's will; it gives a third dower; the tenants cannot waste their copyhold-houses, nor fell timber upon the copyhold, or waste, without license.

There were formerly three other manors, all which belonged to Semere, and are now fallen into Dickleburgh Hall manor, of which I meet with the following accounts.

The chief of Semere was, at the Conquest, in the Abbot of Bury, (fn. 32) who held it as a manor, worth at that time 40s. it being a mile and quarter long, and as much broad, and paid 6d. geld.

This was soon after the Conquest divided into three parts, the first of which belonged to the Glanvills, and was given by Ranulph de Glanvill, with Maud his daughter, to William de Aubervil, who married her, and was one part of that land which belonged to Thomas Noell, of whom it was then held; it was after changed with Cecily Carbonel, for other lands which she had in Wauteshall. In 1249, Ralph Carbonel was lord of it, and had the assize of bread and beer of all his tenants, as the inquisition at that time shews us. From him it went to Hugh de Semere, who held it of the Abbot; and in the latter end of Henry the Third's reign, John de Somery held in Semere the fourth part of a fee: it continued in his family till 1401, and then was aliened by John de Somery, (fn. 33) to John de Boune, and not long after seems to be joined to the Earl's manor.

The second part of Semere was, in the Conqueror's time, held by Walter, under Robert Malet, (fn. 34) lord of Eye, to which honour it was appendant for some time; and about the year 1200, (fn. 35) Sir William Cheyny had it, as part of his barony of Horsford, from which time I meet with no accounts of it till 1370, (fn. 36) when it belonged to Robert Bacon, who was outlawed for felony; he is said to hold it of Edmund Ufford le Cousyn, by knight's service, as of his barony of Horsford. (fn. 37) It then contained two messuages, 120 acres of land, &c. and Joan was wife of the said Robert, who, in 1391, sued the King for it as her right, at her husband's death, in 1414; (fn. 38) she had license granted her by the Bishop of Norwich, to have mass said to her in any decent place. These licenses were then usually granted to aged people that could not come to church, or to people of distinction that lived at a distance, in which case the priest always had a consecrated portable altar to officiate at. In 1455, Richard Bacon had it; in 1538, John Shelton and Anne his wife conveyed it by fine to Henry Whipple, in whom it was joined to the Earl's manor.

Mantelake's, or Manclerk's Manor,

Was the third manor in Semere, and had its name from some of its former lords, though I meet with none of them of that name. In 1191, (fn. 39) a fine was levied of it, Alan and William Walter (two brothers) being petents, and Roger de Dicclesburc tenant, whereby they released it to Roger and his sons, Ivo, Thomas, and John; this Robert enlarged it by purchasing many lands of Robert de Cokefield and Postalina, his wife, in Titshall, Dicclesburc, and Riveshall, in 1267. I know nothing more of it till the 15th century, and then Thomas Abbes held it of the Duke of Norfolk, as of his manor of Forncet. In 1514, (fn. 40) Ric. Spooner held it of the King, by the service of 12s. per annum, and it was then valued at 10 marks. In 1544, Thomas, son and heir of John Cornwaleis, Knt. died seized. In 1556, Thomas Gawdye had it, and Thomas, his son the year following, who seem to be trustees only; for in 1598, Thomas Spooner, Gent. sold it to William Holmes and Thomas Edwards, and then it extended into Sethyng, Mundham, and Loddon; and in 1683, there were divers lands in Sethyng held of this manor, and soon after it was lost in the Earl's manor, to which it had some time been joined.

Diccles-Burc, or Burgh, may take its name from some remarkable Saxon that settled here, and raised a fortification, of some sort or other, to defend himself and his adherents against the insults of the Danes, for [Burg] originally signifies a fortified place, or a place of defence, (fn. 41) and is pronounced differently in divers parts; in the south parts, bury, in others burgh and brough, and often berry and barrow. The reason we meet with so many places thus called, in all parts, may be this, because the Saxons were obliged to get together in bodies under their leaders, and to fortify themselves in the best manner they could, against the continual incursions of the Danes, and therefore in those times, wherever the head fortification of every district was, (if I may be allowed to call it by that name,) there they assembled in great numbers, and fixed their habitations, as well to guard their persons and goods, as their dead bodies, from the insults of these pagans, and in honour of their first leaders, that raised these fortifications, they generally called them after their names; thus Attleburgh, Dickleburgh, &c. seem to have had their names, though in some cases the name of burgh only continues, without the personal addition, but in such I believe often the name of its founder may be omitted long since its foundation; Burgh in Lothingland is an instance of this kind, it being anciently called Cnober's-Burgh, from Cnoberus; and thus it is very plain, that all places that retain this name have without doubt been places of more than common note in early ages, and the great number of them that still retain this name made me enlarge thus much upon it, that it may suffice for them all.

In 1603, here were 224 communicants, and now there are about 80 houses, and 400 inhabitants. It paid 3l. 16s. tenths; the parliament valuation was 1032l. and the present one is, for Langmere part, 335l. and for Dickleburgh part, 668l. [1736.]

In 1428, the Abbot of Bury was taxed at 31s. 2d. ob. for his temporals in this town, it being part of the land belonging to his manor of Titshall, that extended hither, together with a tenement given to the abbey in 1120 by Thomas Noell; (fn. 42) the customs and services remitted by the Abbot to Henry Freeman and Mathew de Cambridge (fn. 43) are said to be these, viz. that the tenants of the rector's manor were before obliged to do suit of court every fifteen days, at Titteshale court, and to pay aid and tallage whenever it was laid on the town of Tifteshale, and to carry part of the Abbot's wine and bord from Norwich, or Yarmouth, to Palgrave Bridge, and to hedge and ditch round Tifteshale Stack-yards and to plow one day and reap another, the Abbot finding them diet. In 1274, the rectors had assize of bread and beer of all their tenants allowed them upon a Quo Warranto.

Humphry Rant, (fn. 44) Esq. of Dickleburgh beareth, erm. on a fess sab. three lions rampant or. Crest, out of a coronet ar. a lion seiant or. Granted by Cook, Clarencieux, anno 1574.

The Commons are Semere Green, which contains about 60 acres; on this Pulham-Market intercommons as far as Pulham Bridge; Dickleburgh Moor contains about 80 acres, and Pound or High Green about 50 acres, on both which Dickleburgh commons solely. And whereas it is said in Norwich Domesday, that all this town is the King's, (fn. 45) (tota villa est Regalis,) when the Crown was never concerned in the manors, it will be proper to observe, that it is meant of the jurisdiction and special privileges which the Crown had in this and many other towns, all which were granted by Edward IV. to John Duke of Norfolk, and is now in the present Duke, whose liberty extends all over this town, as before observed, and will be treated of at large under Lopham. (fn. 46)


  • 1. See Semere in Domesday.
  • 2. This was one Henry Freeman, who was rector of it in 1231, in which year there was a fine levied, to confirm the agreement made between the Abbot and him, the Abbot remitting to him and his tenants of the rectory manor, the services of carrying part of the Abbot's wine from Norwich, or Yarmouth, to Palgrave Bridge, and from paying part of the tallage of Titshall, for a yearly pension of 15s. 1d. 0b. per annum to be paid to Bury monastery for ever.
  • 3. Valued at xvi. marks in the Lincoln Taxation.
  • 4. That is the Long Mere.
  • 5. "Salva tantum portione sufficienti portionis predicte, pro sustentatione unius capellani parochianis eidem portioni pertinentibus divina et sacramenta ministrare," Lib. Inst. xi.
  • 6. Abstract Cartar. Abbat. de Butley, fo. 5.
  • 7. The Mere, from a large mere in it.
  • 8. Matthew de Cantabrigia, or of Cambridge, Ao 1231; he also made agreement with the Abbot, for release of the same services as Henry Freeman did, for which he was to pay ix.s. per annum only; and this was the original of the pensions paid out of these portions to the Abbot.
  • 9. Regr. Nigr. Vestiar. fol. 70, 71.
  • 10. That is, not yearly tenths, but to the tenths and fifteenths, which were never paid but when imposed in convocation.
  • 11. Regr. Curteys, fol. 25.
  • 12. See p. 191, note 3, and note 9 of this page.
  • 13. See Titshall manor.
  • 14. Terre Abbatis de Sancto Eadmundo et Dice dim. Hund. (Domesd. fol. 182.) Diccles-Burc, tenuit semper Sanctus Edmundus pro manerio et duobus carucatis terre, modo tenent duo presbiteri de Abbate, semper iiii. villan. et xij. bordarij, et ii. car. in dnio. et iiii. car. hominum, silva xvj. porc. vj. acr. prati et iiii. soc. xx. acr. semper i. car. i. acr. prati. val. xl.s. hab. v. quar. in longo. et iiii. in lat. et vj.d. de Gelto. Ecclesie xxx. acr. val. iij.s.
  • 15. Norwich Taxation. Portio Henrici x. marc Portio Abbatis Sci. Edm. in ead, xv.s. Portio Johannis de Sancto Edmundo c. s. habet Abbas de dca. portione ix.s. Portio Mathei vj. marc. Portio Sancte Fidis de dominico de Semere viij.s. Portio Prioris de Buttele in eadem x. marc. Norwich Domesday, which is according to the Lincoln Taxation, says thus: Prior de Buttele habet unam partem in proprios usus. Abbas Sancti Edmundi est patronus trium partium, quilibet rector habet mansum cum una carucata terre. Tota villa est regalis. Estimatio Portionis Prioris de Buttele xiii. marc. Estimatio Portionis Henrici, nunc Johannis de Culpho in eadem xvi. marc. Estimatio Portionis Alexandri postea Johannis de Hemenhalc in eadem viii. marc. et dim. Estimatio Portionis Richardi postea Johannis de Melford in eadem vj. marc. et dim. Estimatio Portionis Prioris Sce. Fidis de Horsham in eadem x.s.
  • 16. MSS. pen. A. Norris, Cl.
  • 17. 1487, John Osberne, rector of the second Portion, was buried here, he gave 6s. 8d. to repair the church, 20s. to repair the chancel, a vestment, two napkins, a portufory, and silver cup, to St. Mary's altar, before which he was buried, viz. in the east chapel of the north isle, which chapel now belongs to Langmere, and in which the chaplain for that Portion officiated, before it was disappropriated.
  • 18. He was secretary to Bishop Walter Lyhert, rector of Hevingham, and prebendary of the college of Stoke-Clare, rector of Rollesby; (for which church he resigned this;) he willed to be buried in this chancel, under a black marble stone prepared, with an inscription thereon put, with mention of John Bulman, his father, and Beatrix, his mother, who are there buried. He gave divers vestments to keep his and their obits, and a pair of silver candlesticks, weighing 60 ounces, a little silver cross gilt, a gilt silver cup, two osculatories of silver, two crewets of silver, his best missal, altar-clothes, &c. and ordered a priest to officiate five years after his death, for his and his father's and mother's souls, and his good lords, Thomas Browne, and Walter Lyghert, formerly Bishops of Norwich, Richard Hedge, William Ivor, and Margaret his wife, and Stephen Brasier, and all his benefactors.
  • 19. MSS. Coll. Caj. D. 23, p. 76, where there is much to be seen concerning this rectory.
  • 20. Calamy i. vol. Supl. printed at London 1727, p. 628.
  • 21. Consignation Book.
  • 22. Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, part ii. fol. 204.
  • 23. Le Neve's Monuments, vol. ii. p. 42.
  • 24. Ibid.
  • 25. 1451. Rob. Frense of Dickleburg, buried in All-Hallowes church there, order'd a grave-stone to be laid over him, without the pewe, on the south side of the north pewe, with his name graved thereon, "He order'd a priest to syng for him three yeares, and gave 10l. to the begynning of a rewell in this church." In 1504, Rose Becket was buried in the church, "She gave a monstre of silver gilte, to be made by the executor's advice, to serve in the churche for the sacrament to be borne in, to be ministred to the parishioners for ever, and a vestment of white baudkyn, a pair of Latin candlesticks to stand in the cancel, and a vestment of red and blew to Shymplyng churche."
  • 26. Feoffments in the Church Chest.
  • 27. See Diss, p. 36.
  • 28. Terre Abbatis de Sancto Eadmundo. Dice dim. Hundr. fol. 182. In eadem (Sc. Semere) tenet Fulcherus i socman. Sancti Edmundi de xx. acr. et ii. bord. et dim, car, et i. acr. prati val. v. s.
  • 29. Esc. 25 E. 1. Esc. 35 E. 3. 2. p.
  • 30. The Atlas Norf. p. 335, errs in saying King Edward II. instead of King Richard II. Vincent against Brook, 246. Dug. Bar. vol. 1. fol. 130.
  • 31. For the following account I own myself much obliged to Mr. Francis Nedham of Northwalsham, Steward of the Court.
  • 32. Terre Abbatis de Sco. Eadmundo Dice dim. Hund. (Domesd. fol. 182.) Semere tenuit semper Sanctus Edmundus pro manerio de duobus carucatis terre, semper xii. bord. et ii. car. in dnio, et ii. car. homin. silv. xii. porc. iij. acr. prati. et. i. soc. de x. acr. semper arant cum duobus bovibus. valet. xl. s. habet v. quart in longo. et v. in lato. et vi. d. de Gelto.
  • 33. The family of the Semeres, or So. merys are very ancient; besides those mentioned as lords, I find Jordan de Semere lived in Ed. the First's time.
  • 34. (Fol. 76.) Terr. Rob. Malet. Dice dim. Hund. In Semere tenet (Galterus) i. liber homo sub Edrico commend. tantum xl. acr. et sub eo. iii. bord. semper i. car. inter homines silva. iiij. porc. et ii. acr. prati. val. viij. s.
  • 35. Regr. Nigr. Vest. Ab. Bury, fol. 23.
  • 36. Escaet. 45 Ed. 3.
  • 37. The Ufford's had both Eye and Horsford.
  • 38. Lib. 7 Instit.
  • 39. Reg. Nig. Vestiar. 174, Fin. Norf. H. 3. Lig. 9. No. 83.
  • 40. Ex bundello 2 virtute officij, &c. H. 8.
  • 41. Camden's Remains, p. 95.
  • 42. The White Regr.
  • 43. Regr. Pinchbeck, fol. 187: see p. 191, note 3, and p. 192, note 9.
  • 44. Humphry Rant of Dickleburgh, Esq. by will dated May 13, 1722, proved in the archdeacon's office in 1726, gave 35s. a year to the poor, as long as William his son lived, in these words: "Item, I give to the poore of Dickleburgh and Langmere, the sum of 1l. 15s. to be paid yearly, and upon Newyear's day, as Chapman's dole is, by my son William, during his life." He was grandfather to the present Mr. Rant. The house called Dickleburgh Hall is a good old seat, having about 230 acres of land belonging to it, and is owned by Henry Harold, Esq. of Crowfield Hall, in Suffolk.
  • 45. See 193, note 7.
  • 46. See Lopham, for the grant of the Duke of Norfolk's liberty.