An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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Is variously written in different ages, first, Totessala, or Tiveteshall, after Tifteshale, now Titshall; these churches and manor were begged (fn. 1) of his parents by Syward, (fn. 2) a monk of Bury, whom Leofstan the abbot had made dean, who at his request gave it to that monastery. And by an inquisition taken in 1274, (fn. 3) it appears that he was son of Osulph (Le-Sire) and Leverun his wife, (fn. 4) who held it of the Crown in capite, by the annual rent of 20s. which the Abbot paid quarterly at Norwich castle, by the name of waytefee, and held it as part of his barony, having court-leet assize of bread and ale, and liberty of free-warren; the whole was allotted by the Convent to the Abbot's own use, who was taxed for his temporalities here, at 30l. 12s. 4d. and paid yearly 5s. 10d. to the lord of the hundred, to excuse him and his tenants from all suit to his hundred court. In the Confessor's time there were two churches, with 40 acres land, and the manor extended into Gissing and Shimpling, and was then valued at 7l. and in the Conqueror's time at 9l. 15s. it being then a league and 4 furlongs long, and half a league broad, and paid 17d. Geld; (fn. 5) and from this time it continued in the Abbots, till the dissolution of their monastery, when it was seized by the Crown, and was granted by King Henry VIII. in the year 1542, to
John Cornwaleys, (fn. 6) and the heirs of his body, (fn. 7) who for his singular courage and conduct, under Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, at the taking of Marlaix in Britany, had the honour of knighthood then conferred on him; and soon after his return from those wars, was made Steward of the Household to Prince Edward. He died seized in 1549, at Asherugge, (or Ashridge,) in Buckinghamshire, and is buried under a noble monument in Berkhamsted church (fn. 8) in that county, leaving it to
Sir Thomas Cornwaleys, Knt. his son and heir, who had then livery of it, he being Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in the last year of Edward the Sixth's reign, raised great forces against the opposers of Queen Mary's title, for which services he was first sworn one of the privy-council, then made Treasurer of Calais, and after Comptroller of her Household. At his death in 1604, it went to
Sir William Cornwaleys, Knt. of Brome in Suffolk, who died seized Nov. 13, 1610, leaving it to (fn. 9)
Frederick Cornwaleys his son and heir, who was created baronet by King Charles I. by letters patent, dated May 4, 1627, and having served that prince both in court and camp with great fidelity, for which he suffered in those unhappy times, both imprisonment, exile, and the loss of his estate; in testimony of which, to reward his great merits and accomplishments," he was by King Charles II. in 1661, made a baron of the realm, by the title of Lord Cornwallis, Baron of Eye in Suffolk, with remainder to the heirs male of his body. At his death it went to
Charles Lord Cornwaleis his son and heir, who is buried at Culford in Suffolk; he left it to
Charles Lord Cornwaleis, his son and heir, who was one of the Lords of the Admiralty in the reign of King William III. and Lord-Lieutenant of the county of Suffolk; he left it to
Charles Lord Cornwaleis, his son and heir, at whose death it descended to the present 
Charles Lord Cornwaleis, his son and heir, who sold it to
His Excellency Horatio Walpole, Esq. who is now lord and patron.
Another part of this town belonged to Winfarthing manor, for which see Winfarthing.
Another part belonged to the Abbot of Ely's manor of Pulham. (fn. 10)
Another to William Bishop of Thetford, which was of his own inheritance, and not in right of his bishoprick, of whom it was held at the Conquest by Reinald de Perapund, and was of 20s. value, (fn. 11) it was after held by the Le Neves, from whom it was called Neve's Tenement: Robert Neve, (fn. 12) one of the owners, ordered to be buried in St. Margaret's churchyard; he left it to John Neve his son, in which family it continued till the 16th century.
For another part of this manor that extended into Gissing, see p. 168, note 9.
Besides these, there were several tenements, or manors, as they are often called, all which had their originals by the Abbots feoffments, and are now included in the great manor.
In 1307, William Bateman, Bailiff of Norwich, a man famous in his time, from whom sprung William Bateman Bishop of Norwich, purchased a free tenement here.
It appears in the register called Pinchebek, fol. 195, that Walter, the son of Norman the Dean of Norwich, held a free tenement, with 60 acres of land, and divers rents and services of the Abbot's grant; he was succeeded by Thomas his son: it belonged afterwards to Thomas de Pakenham, then to John de Ho, who infeoffed Sir Richard de Boyland in it, who jointly with Elen his wife held it in 1294. (fn. 13)
The manor called Uphall, had its first rise in the time of Samson Abbot of Bury, who first infeoffed Thomas, son of John of Tifteshall, in it; and soon after it came to Adam of Tifteshall, Kat from him to John his son; and in 1266, William of Uphall of Tifteshall was lord. In 1285, it was in Thomas, son of John of Tifteshall of Uphall, who left it, about 1290, (fn. 14) to Robert of Uphall, his son; he quite left off the sirname of Tifteshall: in 1292, he gave it to Isabel de Bokland, of Hergham, by the name of Uphall Manor, and in that year the said Robert and Isabel, jointly with Maud, widow of Robert, son of Thomas of Uphall, daughter of Isabel de Bokland, released all their right to Sir John Thorp, and William their son, in this manor. In 1294, Robert, (fn. 15) son of Sir John de Ayshewellethorp, and Maud his wife, granted to Robert Carleford of Shotesham, this manor, in exchange for the said Robert's manor of Nelonde; and afterwards the said Robert de Carleford released this manor again to Sir Robert de Thorp aforesaid, and Maud his wife. In 1304, it was settled on John de Thorp, and Alice his wife; (fn. 16) he died in 1323, and then held it of the Abbot at 5s. per annum, it being then valued at 3l. 5s. 8d. It seems to continue in this family till it was sold to Sir Edward Jenney's father, for so the said Edward declares in his will, in 1522, (fn. 17) when he gave it to his brother, and the next heir male; from the Jenneys it came to the Crown, and was granted in the 24th Henry VIII. to the Duke of Norfolk, who afterwards conveyed it to Edward White of Totsall, to be held of the manor of Forncet, by knight's service; his son, George White, sold it to John Cornwaleys, Esq.; and so it fell into the great manor; it extended at that time into Dickleburgh, Shimpling, Moulton, Pulham, Gissing, and Watton.
Several lands settled for obits, and other superstitious uses, were seized in 1547, and were granted to Thomas Wodehouse, Gent. and his heirs, to be held in soccage of the King's manor of Broke.
The Customs of the Manor are these; the fine is at the lord's will; the copyhold descends to the eldest son: they cannot waste their copyhold-houses, nor fell timber without license.
In 1266, (fn. 18) there was an extent made of this manor, at which time the copyholders of Titshall and Shimpling, (fn. 19) if the lord was at Bury, were obliged to carry two parts of the Abbot's provision, and the men of Dickleburgh and Semere, (fn. 20) the other third part; the lord had then a large park, and a sneid or sneth fenced round, which was repaired by the tenants yearly; William de Uphall held this manor by the payment of 4s. 2d. per annum, and 8d. a year to the Abbot, to be free from suit of the hundred court, for which freedom the Abbot paid 5s. a year for the whole town. Galfry de Bosco and his partners, and Walter Fitz-Roger and the homages of John Fitz-Jeffery, and of John of Uphall, and of Hubert de Schimpling, and the homages of the Abbot in Schimpling, and Ivo the chaplain and his homagers, and the homage of master Anseline, and Hubert de Shimpling and his parceners, (all which held free tenements or small manors under the Abbot,) were to do suit to the Abbot's court, and to plough and cart, with all the cattle they had, for the lord, and were to pay a third part of the Abbot's general aid for Titshall and Shimpling, and to find a third part of the lord's wine, and carry it to Palgrave bridge; and to fence in the park, sneid, and stack-yards, and repair them yearly. These free tenements being first granted by the Abbots, to be held of their chief manor upon these conditions.
Here are two Churches, about a mile distant from each other; the mother church is dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, the other is a parochial chapel, whose patroness is St. Margaret, both of ancient foundation, even before the Conqueror. It was always a single institution, appendant to the manor, as it still remains, though the parishes are separate, and hath now, and ever had distinct officers.
1301, non. May, Andrew of Nortwall, rector, was collated to a prebendary in the college of St. Mary in the Fields in Norwich, by the Bishop; at his death, in
1307, 2 non. May, Sir Tho. de Butteturte, sub-deacon, one of an ancient and good family in this county, was instituted, but upon his institution was obliged to swear to William de Knapeton, then Archdeacon of Norwich, that whereas he was then a pluralist, and held Eustone and Trostone livings in this diocese, both of which had care of souls, that he would immediately resign one, unless he obtained a dispensation from the Pope, as soon as he quietly received the profits of Titshall.
Richard de Dunmowe resigned this for Palgrave in Suffolk; and in 1357, 3 May, Tho. de Calkhyl, priest, succeeded, who resigned Palgrave.
1367, 7 June, Calkhyl changed with Tho. de Blofield, priest, for Mulkberton, of which William de Hoo, Knt. was patron.
1394, Mr. William Rolf, a shaveling.
1398, 17 Dec. He changed with John Alleyn, for Frekenham.
1400, 14 April, Will. Heyward, priest, on Alleyn's resignation.
1410, 27 Jan. John Lolleworth, priest, on Heyward's resignation.
1416, 27 Dec. Thomas Lank, priest.
1418, 19 Nov. Nicholas Derman, (fn. 21) bachelor in the decrees.
1424, 24 Dec. Robert Clermont of Carleton Rode, priest.
1431, 5 Nov. Walter Martyn; he changed Intwood for this, with Robert Clements. (fn. 22)
1434, 20 August, John Heyghundern, on Clements's resignation.
1455, 17 October, Richard Tateshale, A.M. at John Heyghunder's deprivation.
1460, ult. April, John Fletcher, on Tateshale's resignation.
1487, 30 June, John Hughson, on Fletcher's resignation. He died in 1490.
1490, Tho. Asty.
1533, 11 August, Robert Bosall, on Asty's death; he was the last rector presented by the Abbot.
1546, 27 Oct. Elias Lache, on Bosall's resignation. John Cornwaleis, Esq.
1578, 16 June, John Crane, S.T.B. Thomas Cornwaleis, Knt.
1578, Tho. Crane, A. B. on John Crane's resignation. Ditto.
1596, 16 April, Michael Denbigh, A. M. Ditto.
1600, Paul Chapman, who in 1603, answered, that he was a bachelor in divinity, and held these two churches, being one benefice, with the benefice of Heigham by Norwich; he was instituted June 15, on Denbigh's death; presented by Thomas Cornwaleis, Knt.
1631, 21 April Jeremiah Burrowes, clerk, A. M. on Chapman's death. Jane Lady Bacon of Brome in Suffolk, widow, late wife, of Nat. Bacon, Knt. of the Bath, before that, of William Cornwaleis, Knt.; he was deprived, and in
1638, John Boys, clerk, was instituted.
1661, George Kent, (fn. 23) at the death of John Boys. Harbottle Grimstone, Bart. Charles Cornwaleis, Knight of the Bath, and Edmund Harvey, Esq.
1668, John Jermy, A. M. on Kent's death. Charles Lord Cornwaleis, Baron of Eye.
1672, 10 January, Christopher Burrell, A. M. on Jermy's resignation. Ditto. He died in 1701, and is buried in St. Margaret's chancel.
1701, March 2, Charles Gibbs, A. M. the present  rector. Charles Lord Cornwaleis.
St. Mary's is the mother church, (fn. 24) over which the Bishop and Archdeacon's visitatorial power extends, to whom it pays 1s. synodals, and 7s. 7d. ob. procurations; it is an old building having its nave, chancel, and south porch thatched; a square tower, and five bells; on the biggest is this:
Petrus ad Eterne, durat nos Pasrua Uite.
The following arms were formerly in the windows of the church, steeple, and chancel, but are all lost, except these first three, viz. (fn. 25)
Boutetourt, erm. a saltire ingrailed gul. Fitz-Otes, bendy of six, or and az. a canton er.
Or, a saltire ingrailed sab. England, St. Edward the Confessor, the East-Angles, St. Edmund, Boyland, Kerdeston, Ufford single, and with all the following differences, viz. a label; a de-lis; a baton az.; a baton erm.; a baton chequy az. and gul.; an annulet, Lowdham, Norwich. Gul. a chevron between three estoils sab.; or and sab. mascule surtout, Lowdham with a label gul. impaling az. on a chief gul. three leopards or, and again siding gul. on a chief or, two annulets sab. Bacon. or a fess gul. impaling Scales. On the Roodloft, an escutcheon of the Lady Jarnegan; viz. 1. Jarnegan; 2. Ingaldesthorp; 3. Fitzosbert; 4. Mortimer, or semi-de-lises sab.; 5. ar. on a chevron sab. three escalops erm.; 6. Pierpoint.; 7. or, a saltire ingrailed in a bordure sab.
On a grave-stone were Aylmer's arms, viz. ar. on a cross ingrailed sab. five bezants between four magpies proper; it lies in the chancel, but the effigies, arms, and inscription are gone.
Here are two black marbles, one hath an escutcheon of a griffin and a crescent, for John Boys, rector, who died Dec. 30, 1661; the other is for Hellen his wife, who died September 1, 1661.
In the churchyard, on the south side, is an altar-tomb, covered with a black marble, for Mary wife of Robert Kettle, daughter and heiress of Mr. William Fuller of Brisingham, who had four children, Henry, Mary, John, and Grace, all buried by her, obijt Feb. 27, 1728, aged 63.
The parochial chapel of St. Margaret acknowledges no visitatorial power but that of the Bishop only, for it pays the archdeacon no procurations; but as much again as the mother church does to the Bishop for synodals.
The nave and south porch are leaded, the chancel thatched; the tower is square, and hath five bells in it, on one of which is this,
SANCTE EDMUNDE ORA PRO NOBIS.
On the screens are Aylmer's arms in proper colours. In the chancel, under an arch in the north wall, is an old freestone altar monument, with a cross formy on it, but no inscription to discover who he was, though without doubt it was for some religious person that founded the chancel. On a brass,
Hic jacet Brigitta nuper uxor Antonij Barry, Generosi que obijt 4th Die Maij Ao 1635, Ætat. 21.
Here are three black marbles, the first for Christopher Burrell, late rector, who died Jan. 6, 1701. The second for Charles, son of the Rev. Mr. Charles Gibbs, rector, and Elizabeth his wife, who died much lamented April 22, 1721, aged 16 years:
Quem Dij amant, Adolescens moritur.
The third for Mrs. Margaret Stannard, relict of Mr. John Stannard, late of this parish first married to Thomas Halls, Gent. whose character as a wife, mother, mistress, and friend, needs no encomium, she died Sept. 1, 1735, in the 75th year of her age.
The Customs of this Rectory are these; they pay 6d. for every calf under seven, and 1d. 0b. for every cow instead of tithe milk; and 1d. every house for harth-silver, for all wood burnt in the town, all wood sold out of the town pays tithe according to its value, and all other tithes belonging to this rectory are paid in their proper kinds.
The parish of Titshall St. Mary hath a small cottage situate near the church, a piece of land containing half an acre, which abuts on Mill Green north, south, and east, and on Henry Goodwin's lands west; a small piece called Sent's Yards, about one rood, rented at 6s. per annum, 10l. in money, the interest of which is given to the poor yearly upon Easter Monday, and the poor receive yearly 10s. from the church-wardens of St. Margaret's.
The parish of St. Margaret in Titshall hath 6 acres of land lying in Moulton, part is copyhold, and part free, which is rented at 3l. 10s. a year, and was given by Jeffery Neeve; it abuts on Moulton Common on the west, and Mr. Fulcher's on the south, and on the way leading to Moulton High Green on the east; the rent is received by the church-wardens; 16s. 8d. is paid every Easter to the poor of St. Margaret's, and 10s. to the poor of St. Mary's as aforesaid; the rest is given towards repairing the church.
The Commons are Titshall Green, Bateman's Green, Mill Green, Pound Green, and Beck Green, all of them containing about 100 acres.
In 1603, there were 93 communicants in St. Mary's parish, and 108 in St. Margaret's; there are now  about 35 dwellinghouses in St. Mary's, and 150 inhabitants, and 40 in St. Margaret's and 180 inhabitants; they were valued at 3l. together to the tenths, and 1394l. to the parliament valuation; but now they are assessed single to the land tax, viz. St. Mary's at—l. and St. Margaret's at 544l.
The whole Hundred is enclosed, and abounds much with wood; it being reckoned as part of the woodland half of Norfolk. The roads are very bad in winter, especially this part by Gissing and Titshall. The lands in general are moist, occasioned by their being flat, and having a blue clay within a foot or two of the earth's surface, through which the water cannot pierce, it containing 20 or 30 feet in depth in many places. The soil is in general rich, and about one half of the land is used for the plough, the other for the dairy, and grazing; it produces much wheat, turnips, clover, and all other grain in abundance, except buck or brank, and cole-seed, of which there is but little sown.