Hundred of Shropham: Illington

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 Shropham: Illington', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1, (London, 1805), pp. 446-450. British History Online [accessed 14 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of Shropham: Illington", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1, (London, 1805) 446-450. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Hundred of Shropham: Illington", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1, (London, 1805). 446-450. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024,

In this section


Illinketune, Ilsingtune, or as it is now called, Illington, is a small village joining to Rowdham and Lerlingford; the church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and is a rectory in the archdeaconry of Norfolk, and deanery of Rockland. It hath a rectory-house and glebe, and was valued at 6l. 19s. 2d. in the King's Books; it was sworn of the clear yearly value of 37l. 2s. by which means it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, though it pays 1s. synodals, besides the archdeacon's procurations. In 1603, there were 32 communicants in this village, and now [1737] there are about 60 inhabitants; it paid 53s. to the tenths, and is now assessed at 257l. to the land tax; the chief if not the whole of this town, belongs to the Churchmans, whose seat stands about two furlongs. NW. of the church.

The Church and chancel are very small, having a square tower at the west end. There is an altar tomb in the chancel for,

Sir JOHN CHURCHMAN, Knt. sometime patron of this church, who suddenly departed this life, Feb. 24, 1688, Ag. 56.

Moriendo perpetuam Vitam Lucramur.

At the foot of the tomb are two small stones, for,

GORE, son of WILLIAM CHURCHMAN, Esq. and SUSAN his wife, who died Jan. 12, 1692, aged 9 months.

SUSAN their daughter an infant, buried April 23, 1692.

As to what is said concerning the history of this parish in the Atlas, p. 342, there is not one word of it true, as to this town, but part of it may be applied to Islyngton in Mershland.

The Prior of Bukenham had lands here of the gift of the Bukenhams, taxed at 2s. 9d.

The Abbot of Sibeton in Suffolk held the twenty-fifth part of a knight's fee, which was either given or sold to that house by Henry de Esthall, before 1291, for then the Abbot was returned to hold it of the said Henry, who held it of Adam de Cayly, he of the Earl Warren, and he of the King, to whom the Abbot paid his part, to make his eldest son a knight. It was taxed at 11s. 3d. 0b.

Here was a parcel of land given to the abbey of Bury, for which the sacrist of that monastery was taxed at 2s.


1313, John de Bukenham, rector.

1334, 17 kal. Apr. John de Bukenham, priest. Elizabeth de Bukenham.

1349, 5 Aug. Will. Cark of Bukenham, priest. Will. de Bukenham.

1375, 6 Octob. Giles de Welham, priest. James de Wrotham, and John Chaa, of Thefford.

1398, 18 Aug, John Rykedon of Hockham, priest. Rob. Flemyng of Bonewell.

1421, 2 June, William, son of John Calkewell. Tho. Flemyng, Esq.

1426, 22 Octob. Robert Merston, who changed his vicarage of St. Peter, in the isle of Thanet for this, with William, son of John Calkwell.

1434, Martin Bole, rector.

Thomas Sporle, rector.

1450, 16 Dec. Thomas Hansum, on Sporle's resignation. Sir Tho. Flemyng, Knt.

1460, 10 Oct. Tho. Blythe, on Hansum's death. Ditto.

1469, 30 May, Bartholomew Wyke, priest, on Blythe's death. Margaret, late wife of Tho. Flemyng, Knt.

1495, 16 April, Tho. Parys, on Wyke's death. Henry Heydon, for this turn.

1528, 18 July, The Bishop collated Will. Heye, rector of Lerling, by lapse, and united it to Lerling, at Parys's death.

1531, 5 Jan. John Heydon of Bakonsthorp, Knt. patron of the advowson, granted the next turn to Richard Clark of East-Wrotham, and Robert Hychyn of Gyrston.

William Burbie, rector.

1555, 5 July, Robert Halman, priest, on Burbie's death. Fulk Gray, Gent.

1556, 24 February, Richard Mortonne, priest, on Halman's death. James Downes, Esq.

1566, 2 Octob. Richard Bromell, on Mortonne's death, united to Lerling. Jerome Spring, and Eliz. his wife.

1591, 25 Sept. John Chatterys, on Bromell's death. Christ. Gascoigne.

1609, 8 July, John West, A. M John Gascoigne, Gent. In 1617, he held Thetford St. Peter united to this.

1626, 8 Dec. Henry Rose, A. M. on West's death. Cotton Gascoign, Gent.

1643, 6 April, John Palgrave, A. M. on Rose's death. Sir John Palgrave, Bart.

George Fish, rector.

1664, 19 June, Peter Lock, clerk, A. M. on Fishe's resignation. John Churchman, Knt. united to Hockham in 1667.

1672, 6 Jan. Henry Goodrick, A. M. on Lock's death. Ditto.

1712, 10 Dec. The Rev. Mr. James Holman, A. B. on Goodrick's death, who holds it united to Croxton. Will. Churchman, Esq. the present patron [1737.]

East Hall Manor.

At the time of the Conquest the whole town belonged to William Earl Warren, (fn. 1) and was of 20s. value in the Confessor's time, and 30 in the Conqueror's; the whole was something better than a mile long, and a mile broad, and paid 7d. geld, and was held of the castle of Lewes, though at that time the superiour jurisdiction belonged to the hundred of Shropham, the lord of which is now lord paramount of this town, keeps the leet, and receives 6d. for quitrent of the manor, and 18d. for leet fee. In the Earl's time, Berner his servant held it at one fee, for life, and afterwards it went to Hubert de Burgh, of whom Gilbert de Morley held it; and from him it came to the Crown, and King Henry gave it to Reginald de Warren, of whom William de Illingtune had the whole fee, and left it to Henry his son, who built and settled in the east part of the town during his father's life, and assumed the name of Easthall; he divided the manor into many parts, reserving to himself the half of the town, which he held at half a fee of Adam de Caily, as of the castle of Bukenham, and this he called East Hall manor.

Bukenhams, West Hall or Illington Hall Manor.

The other half fee he divided into many parts, all which were held of him, and became so many small manors. In Henry the Third's time William de Easthall, his brother, held a fifteenth part of a fee, John atte More held a twentieth part, John Dolon a fortieth part, Ralph the merchant a thirtieth part, John de Rowdham a fortieth part, Simon de Ropere a twentieth part, Adam Pain a twentieth part, Robert, son of Adam de Long, a fortieth part, and William de Bukenham a quarter of a fee, which was the original of Bukenham's, West Hall or Illington Hall manor.

This family had another quarter of a fee in this and the neighbouring towns, which belonged to the Earl Warren, and afterwards to Adam Caily, who infeoffed it in the Bukenhams, and this they joined to the other part, purchased of Henry de Easthall, together with the advowson, so that Westhall or Bukenham's became now the capital manor; and in 1253, Will. de Bukenham had a charter for free-warren here, in Ellingham and Bukenham. In 1304, William de Bukenham purchased the part which was Will. de Esthalle's (fn. 2) of John de Illington; and added it to his manor. In 1313, Ralph de Bukenham and Elizabeth his wife had it settled on them in reversion, by Thomas Spriggy of Munesle, who held it in right of Julian his wife, who held it in dower, as widow of a Bukenham. In 1316, Hen. de Esthall bought many lands of Ralph de Lerling, merchant, and Agnes his wife, and added them to his manor; and in the same year William Albon of Old Bokenham; (trustee, I suppose, of Ralph de Bukenham,) settled Bukenham's manor here, by fine, on Lucia de La-Maynewarin of East-Herling; it had then 9 messuages, 229 acres of land, 6 of wood. and 20s. quitrent belonging to it, and extended into Lerling, Hockham, and Rowdham. In 1329, Adam de Wrotham settled two messuages, &c. on Jeffry de Holbech of Illington, with remainder to Aveline, widow of Roger De-la-Maynewarin, who was heir of Jeffery.

In 1343, John de Esthall held half a fee of Adam de Clifton, he of the Earl Warren, and he of the King, which half fee was held of the said John by the Abbot of Sibeton, William Payne, Simon Ropere, John atte More, William de Easthalle, Robert, son of Alan Le-Long, John de Long, Ralph the merchant, John of Rowdham, and Henry de Esthall; and in the same year, Ralph of Illington and his tenants held a quarter of a fee of the said Adam, half of which William de Bukenham held of him; and thus these small manors continued in various hands, and were called by divers names, according to their possessors, till 1375, and then James de Wrotham, and John Chaa of Thetford, were lords of most of them, and each having a moiety, they presented jointly; and in 1392, they became all united in the two chief manors of Westhall and Easthall, together with all the lands belonging to Welholme and Denvere Hall manors in Lerling, which laid in Illington, the moiety of all which were then conveyed by Henry Pakenham, John de Brecclys, Tho. Finch of Thetford, and Eliz. his wife, to John Brusierd, from the heirs of Eliz [Chaa]; and the next year John Bokenham, junior, William and John Rookwood, and John Breccles, settled the other moiety on John Rookwood and his heirs, in trust for Robert Flemyng of Bonewell, and Alice his wife, who was daughter of the said John; and soon after John Bokenham, jun. John Brusiyerd, and Joan his wife, settled the first moiety on John Rookwood, in trust for Robert Flemyng and his heirs, who now became sole lord of the whole town. In 1421, William Flemyng, Esq. was lord and patron; but before 1428, it was divided again into moieties, the first of which (with the whole advowson) was held by Richard Flemyng, Esq. and the second by John Groos of Irsted, who died seized in 1428, as you may see under Welholme's manor in Lerling; (p. 429;) and from this time it went by the name of East Hall manor, and extinguished with the said manor of Welholme's.

The manor of West Hall or Bukenham's continued in the Flemyngs; and in 1450, Sir Tho. Flemyng, Knt. was lord and patron; in 1469, Margaret his wife had it; in 1503, the whole was joined, and a fine levied between William Tye and Nicholas Bukenham, querents, and Lawrence Gower and Maud his wife, deforceants, of the advowson and manors of Easthall, Westall, Welham's, Stratton, and Illington, in order to settle it on the Jermyns; and in 1530, Sir Tho. Jermyn, Knt. settled it on Sir John Heydon, Knt. and Katherine, wife of Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorp, Knt. and in 1539, a fine was levied, confirming the same; it after belonged to Fulk Gray, after that to James Downes, and in 1556, Jerome Spring, and Elizabeth his wife, had it; but in 1671, Christopher Gascoigne was lord and patron, who held it till about 1600, and was succeeded by John Gascoign, Gent, his son and heir, whose son Cotton Gascoign, Gent. had it; in 1626 he married Anne, daughter of Sir William De-Grey of Merton, Knt. who had it settled on her in jointure; she after married to Sir John Palgrave, who was lord and patron during her life, the reversion being sold by Cotton Gascoign, Esq. to

Sir John Churchman, Knt. who presented in 1664, and settled here. This family is descended from John Churchman, citizen of London, and Emme his wife, in the time of King Richard II. who in 1387 were joint purchasers of Skeburgh manor and advowson, from whom descended Ozias, or Ozill Churchman, merchant-tailor of St. Augustine's parish in London, in 1632, in which year he married Mary, daughter of Caly of Lothbury, from whom descended Sir John Churchman of Illington, Knt. who married Hester, daughter of Sir John Gore of Geldeston, in Hertfordshire, Knt. (fn. 3) and had John Churchman of Illington, Esq. who was buried here in 1688, who, by Susan, daughter and heir of Fiske of Stiveky in Norfolk, who, after his death, remarried to Maurice Shelton of Barningham in Suffolk, Esq. had William Churchman of Illington, the present [1737] lord and patron, (fn. 4) who bears arg. two bars, in chief as many pallets sab.

In 1346, Peter de Esthalle held 42 acres in this town, of Seckford's manor in West-Herling, (see p. 300,) and the several manors in Lerling, Thorphall manor in Wrotham, East-Herling manor, &c. extended hither.


  • 1. Terra Willi. de Warenna, (fol.91.) In Illinketuna ten. Willus. i. lib. hom. i. car. terre et dim. semper vii. vill. et x. bord. et iiii. acr. prati et vi. liberi holes. xxii. acr. terre, semper i. car. in dnio. et iii. car. hom. tunc. val. xx. sol. post et modo xxx. soca in Bucham. totum habet dim. in longo et iiii. quar. in lato, et vii.d. de Gelto, et hoc de Castello de Laquis.
  • 2. See p. 381, 424, note 1.
  • 3. Chauncy's Hertfordshire, fol. 189.
  • 4. The manor of Illington is now very small, the greatest part (if not the whole) being purchased by the lord.