Mitford Hundred and Half: East-Dereham

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.

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'Mitford Hundred and Half: East-Dereham', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) pp. 204-218. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

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This market-town is situated at the north-west point of the hundred of Mitford, and nearly in the centre of the county of Norfolk. It is sometimes spelt Dearham, Deerham, and anciently Derham.

It was burnt on the first of July, 23d of Elizabeth, as we learn from a book then published, and entitled "An Account of the lamentable burning of East-Derham, in the county of Norfolk, July 1, 1581," (fn. 1) in verse printed in black letter, 1582, at London.

On the 3d of July, 21st Charles II. it was again almost entirely destroyed by fire, five persons were then burnt, many horses and other cattle, 170 houses; the loss by which was estimated at 11,020l. and by goods and merchandise at 8,423l. the whole amounting to 19,443l.

The principal manor in this parish is that of

East-Dereham of the Queen.

This manor was granted to the monastery of Ely, by Ethelwold Bishop of Winchester, in the reign of the Saxon King Edgar, anno 963.

In Domesday book it is said to have belonged to St Edeldrede, (that is, to the church or monastery of Ely,) and to consist of five carucates of land; in Edward the Confessor's time there were twenty villains, in the Conqueror's 16, then 20 borderers, now 25, then 2 carucates in demean, now three, then eight among the tenants, now 7, then paunage for 600 swine now for 300; there were always three mills; three beasts of burden twelve young cattle, 20 swine, 100 sheep, 7 socmen, 30 acres of land, and 2 of meadow, three acres of wood.

It was valued then at 10l. now at 13l. It is one leuca long, and half a leuca broad, and pays 15d. in gelt or tribute. (fn. 2)

This lordship continued a part of the possession of the monastery of Ely till the foundation of the Bishop's see there in 1109, (9 H. I.) when it was assigned to the Bishop, and made a part of his barony.

From a MS. book, entitled "A Book of the Survey of the manors belonging to the bishoprick of Ely, taken in the time of Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, and in the 21st year of his consecration;" viz. in 1277, is extracted the following account of it;

"This lordship is in the Bishop of Ely's hundred of Mitford, except the north street of the town, (fn. 3) and that is in the hundred of Launditch, (which belongs to John L'Estrange of Lytcham) in which hundred the men inhabiting in the said street, meet once in the year to renew their pledges, at Strutyman's-dyke, in the presence of the bailifs of both these hundreds and pay a fine of 2s. ne occasionenter, (that they may not be disturbed, sued, or put to trouble,) whereof the Bishop's bailiff is to have 1s. 8d. and the bailiff of Launditch 4d. or to eat with the other bailiff at the Bishop's charge."

"The advowson of the church of Derham with the chapel of Hoe, belongs to the Bishop. The church of Derham, is in the archdeacon of Norfolk and deanery of Hingham. The chapel of Hoe is in the archdeaconry of Norwich, and deanery of Brisley."

The demean lands are then described, the lands of the free and copyhold tenants, the rents, customs, services, heriots, &c. &c. the several commons belonging to the manor, are abutted, and thus mentioned:

"On Estlingker common, (fn. 4) the towns of Yaxham, Mattishall, and Tuddenham, are to intercommon with the Bishop's tenants, hut not to cut wood or turf without the Bishop's leave; the Bishop and his tenants are likewise to intercommon on the other side of the bank with them and in Tuddenham here."

"On Brunesmor common, the town of Derham, with the homage of William de Bellomonte of Little Derham, Gilbert de Fransham of Scarning, and William de Stutevile of Gressenhall are to intercommon with the Bishop, as before, and the Bishop, and the town of Derham, with them, on Scarning common."

"On Bukemede, the town of Derham the homage of William de Stutevile, in Gressenhall, of Thomas de Hereford and Gilbert de Fransham, and the homage of William de Bellomonte, in Little Derham intercommon with the Bishop, who with his tenants are to intercommon on the other side of the bank with them."

"On Galewetremor the whole town of Derham, intercommon with the Bishop."

"On Northalegreen the town of Derham, and 13 of the homage of William de Stutevile, and Thomas de Hereford, living near that common, intercommon with the Bishop.

"On Estlingegreen the towns of Derham, Yaxham, Mattishall, and Tuddenham, intercommon with the Bishop."

"On Morgate green, the town of Derham, the homage of William de Bellomonte of Little Derham of William de Stutevile, and Gilbert de Fransham, in Scarning, intercommon with the Bishop, and the Bishop and town of Derham likewise intercommon with them in Berkeslehell."

"On Suthwodegrene the towns of Derham, Yaxham, Matishall and Tuddenham, intercommon with the Bishop."

"There is a common likewise in Hoe, called Apelho, and LynCroft, in which the Bishop's tenants, the tenants of William de Stutevile, and Thomas de Hereford, intercommon with the Bishop.

"The Bishop makes annually about 10l. of all the abovementioned commons."

"The tenants are to put their cattle on the above commons and lands, (except in those lands, which are lately cleared of wood) from the time that harvest is finished to Lady-day, but the lord is first to put his cattle on, and in recompense for this right of common, the Bishop's tenants are to plough his lands called Graserthe. The Bishop has free warren over the whole manor; he has likewise the fisheries of Eastmill, Kirkmill, and formerly he had that at Bethousemill, but was late hindred there by the lady of Belhouse manor in Tuddenham. There are two water-mills, one wind-mill, and the Bishop might erect another if he pleased. The market is worth 10 marks per ann. The stock to be kept is 10 cows, a free bull, thirty hogs, a free boar, and 200 sheep."

"The Lady Alice Mareschall held three fees by knight's service of this manor. A fine called childwite is to be paid for every bastard born, and another called gersuma, upon the marriage of a son or daughter.—A heriot is due of a death, or 20s.—The widow is entitled to half the husband's lands for life."

"Here is a wood belonging to the Bishop, called Toft-wode, (fn. 5) containing about 70 acres, and worth by the year 19s."

In the rolls of the King's Bench it appears that the Bishop had a fair, and that the town was 16 leuca distant from Norwich, by which it is plain that a leuca was then accounted only one mile, Dereham being exactly 16 measured miles from Norwich.

The Bishop had likewise a prison here, (fn. 6) for his hundred of Mitford, and return of writs.

On Tuesday after Palm-Sunday, here was a gaol delivery before Thomas Derham, John Manning, and William Yelverton: this gaol was near the market-house in the reign of Henry VI. Some part of the wall is now standing, and is a part of a house near the assembly room.

In the 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary, Edmund Pierpoint, the Bishop's receiver, accounted for 52l. 14s. 9½d. profits of this manor for one year.

In the first of Elizabeth this manor, &c. &c. were by act of parliament granted to the Crown; and in that year the rent of assise was 23l. 19s. 0d.; to customary villains, 14l. 5s. 0d.; rent called Hedermuth, 0l. 3s. 2d.; moveable rent 1l. 1s. 3d.; rent of the demeans 13l. 13s. 2d.; herbage, 0l. 5s. 8d.; a mill 6l. 0s. 0d.; market and stalls 3l. 3s. 8d.; one acre's rent 0l. 1s. 6d.; profit of the fair 0l. 3s. 8d.; the whole amounting to 62l. 19s. 6d.

In the 18th of James I. Charles Prince of Wales, &c. &c. held his first court here.

In the 20th of James I. Miles Hobart and Richard Grimes, Esq. had a grant of the stewardship of this manor, from Charles Prince of Wales, during pleasure, and 54s. annual fee.

In the following year, Richard Ashcroft, Esq. receiver to the said Prince, accounted for 59l. 9s. 5d. ½. in rents, and for 27l. 19s. 5d. perquisites of the court, and fines of land only.

In the 26 of James I. Robert Phipps, citizen and grocer of London, had a lease, of all those buildings called the Stalls and Standings, and the profits arising from the stallage of 35s. per ann. from the Prince for 20l.

In the 14th of Charles I. Henrietta Maria, Queen of England, held the manor,

In the 15th of Charles II. Philip Harbord farmed the manor under the Queen.

In the 34th of Charles II. Charles Whitgrave of Carlton, in Bedfordshire, held it by lease.

In the 4th of James II. Catherine, Queen Dowager, had the manor, and Sir Charles Harbord, surveyor general, farmed it of her, and bought the reversion for his two sons, Philip Harbord, Esq. and Colonel John Harbord.

It belonged afterwards to — Shaw, Esq. and came from him to the Byron family by marriage. The present lord is Gould, Esq. a colonel in the army.

The Bishop had a park belonging to this manor, which was granted to — Crompton, — Wright, and — Meyrick and their heirs, by patent, dated in the 24th of Elizabeth. John Duke, M.D. of Colchester, was seized of a moiety of it, (which he purchased of Mr. Fountain,) and by his will, gave it to Anne his wife, who settled it in 1636, on Robert Paynell of Norwich, Gent. and Judith his wife, one of the daughters and coheirs of the said John, and Anne Duke, the said Paynell paying 800l. to Thomas Cook and Elizabeth his wife.

Dr. Fountain, dean of York, now owns one part of it; and — Evans, Esq. grandson of Thomas Evans, Esq. late recorder of Bury, owns the other.

In 1600, Leonard Mapes of Norwich, Gent. was lord.—1614, Leonard Mapes, Esq. his son. 1625, Thomas Asty, Gent. and Margery his wife.

In 1703, Asty George, of East Dereham, Gent. was lord. 1724, Thomas George of East Dereham, Gent. was lord. 1764, Asty George of Norwich, son of Thomas George, Gent. was lord.

Colbowrn's or Mowle's Manor.

John Baynard, Esq. died possessed of this manor, as by his will, dated March 26, in the 14th of Edw. IV. he devised it to be sold. (fn. 7) In the 15 of Henry VIII. Henry Parker of Moughton was lord of it. In the 31 of Elizabeth, there was a prœcipe to William Stanhawe, Gent. Robert Palmer, &c. to render to Thomas Heryng, Gent. the manor of Colbbowrn's, Mowle's, or Massingham's, lying in East Dereham, Hoe, North Tudenham, and Yaxham.

The lands belonging to this manor are said to be most of them manumised.—The present lord is Mr. Asty George of Norwich.

This at the survey was probably a part of Ralph de Beaufoe's lordship, called

Creke's or Oldhall's Manor.

Ralph de Beaufoe had a lordship here which Harold held, as a lay fee, of Stigund, Archbishop of Canterbury. In King Edward the Confessor's reign it was granted to Ralph at the conquest, under whom Odar held it: in the Confessor's time it consisted of 2 carucates of land; there were then four villains, 15 borderers, 2 servi, 6 acres of meadow, and 2 in demean, now only one, and another might be restored; there were 2 carucates among the tenants, paunage for 30 swine, one mill and 5 socmen, 43 acres of land, and 2 acres of meadow, then and before, one carucate, now half an one, and the whole might be restored; then there were one beast of burden, 4 young cattle, 7 socmen, now 2, then 7 goats, now 8; it was then valued at 20s. now at the conquest at 40s.

The whole was one leuca and 5 furlongs long, half a leuca and 3 furlongs broad, and paid 10d. gelt. (fn. 8)

The whole soc was in the King's manor of Mileham.

This lordship stands accounted for under the hundred of Launditch, as belonging to Mileham manor, and lying in the parish of Dereham; it also extended into Scarning, and was called Drayton Hall, in Scarning, from its ancient lords, the Draytons.

In the 14th of Henry III. Agnes, one of the daughters and coheirs of William de Drayton, who married William Lenveyse, had it assigned her on a division of his inheritance.

After this, William de Bellomonte was lord of it in the 5th of Edward I.

In the 11th of Edward III. Nicholas Oldhall seems to have possessed it, when an agreement was made between him and the Bishop of Ely, for the service of certain land held of the Bishop. From this Nicholas descended Sir Edmund Oldhall, Knt. who by Alice his wife, one of the daughters and coheirs of Jeffrey de Fransham, lord of Fransham Magna, had Sir William Oldhall, who on the 20th of July, in the 10th of Henry VI. had the King's protection, being then abroad in France, in the retinue of Thomas Duke of Exeter.

He was afterwards Speaker of the House of Commons, and attainted of treason, for being concerned in Jack Cade's rebellion in Kent, and a writ of outlawry was confirmed against him by parliament, about the 33 of Henry VI.

By his daughter and heir Mary, his manors came to Walter Gorges, Esq. who was found to die seised of the manor of Oldhall and Creke's in the 6 of Edward IV.

From this family it came Sir William Capel, who died lord in the 7th of Henry VIII. and his descendant, the Earl of Essex, is the present. lord.

Here is another small manor, called the

Rectory Manor.

Of this the rector is lord.

The Church of East-Dereham is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and has a chapel belonging to it at Hoo; it was valued with that at 110 marks, and the vicarage at 14 marks. It paid Peter-pence, 22d. The rectory is a sinecure, valued in the King's books at 41l. 3s. 1d. ½. and has the patronage of the vicarage, which is valued at 17l. 3s. 4d.

It appears by a receipt, without any date, of Hugo Monaldi and others, citizens of Florence, that they received of the prior of Wymondham, 120 marks sterlings (the profits of this church) wherein the said prior was bound to — —, Bishop of Ostia in Italy, and rector of this parish.


1240, Robert Passelaw, chaplain to King Henry III. he was chancellor of the Exchequer, archdeacon of Lewis, (elected by the canons,) Bishop of Chichester, in the 30 of Henry III. but was set aside, and died rector.

1301, Herv. de Stanton, collated by the Bishop of Ely: — he was founder of St. Michael's-house in Cambridge, and chancellor of the Exchequer.

1327, Alan de Hotham, collated by the Bishop of Ely: See Newcourt's Repertor. vol. iii. p. 291.

1351, John Barnet, LL. B. collated by the Bishop of Ely: he was canon of St. Paul's, rector of Westmyll in Hertfordshire, and of Norton in the county of Durham, and afterwards Bishop of Ely.

1367, John Barnet, jun. collated by the Bishop of Ely: he was archdeacon of Essex: See Newcourt's Repertor. vol. i. p. 70.

1371, Michael de Causton, S.T.P. he was chancellor of Cambridge, prebendary of Wells and Chichester.

1396, Richard Metefeld.

1403, John Bernard, collated by the Bishop of Ely.

1407, William Wynnewyk.

1412, John Selborn.

1424, Henry Merston.

1428, Step. Noble.

1437, William Ascough, the King's chaplain, by the King.

William Erard.

1439, John Elys, M.D. collated by the Bishop of Ely.

1450, Haymo Haydock, by the Bishop of Ely.

1461, Richard Bole, LL. D. archdeacon of Ely, rector of Balsham, and the Bishop's official, by the Bishop.

1465, Alexander Wodrington, by the Bishop.

1465, Peter Jascar, by the Bishop.

1477, Richard Sherborn, by the Bishop.

1496, Henry Edyal,

1520, Nicholas Hawkyns, LL. D. by the assignees of the Bishop of Ely; he was archdeacon of Ely.

1534, Edmund Bonner, LL. D. in 1538, he was installed Bishop of Hertford, and in 1540, Bishop of London; in 1549, he was displaced by Edward VI. and restored again by Mary in 1553; again displaced in 1559, and died in the Marshalsea in 1569. He was the natural son of a priest, named Savage, but his mother, Elizabeth Frodsham, marrying one Edmund Bonner of Henley in Worcestershire; he was called by his name.

1540, David Poole, LL. D. by the Bishop of Ely: he was Bishop of Peterborough in 1557.

1557, John Fuller, LL.B. by the King.

1560, William Mowse, LL.D. by the Queen.

On the 28th of September 1579, the patronage of this rectory, and that of Tyrington, was granted for a time to William Deighton of Stanfield in Lincolnshire, Gent.

1588, Hugo Thornley, by John Hogan, assignee of the Queen.

1597, Thomas Stone, by the assignee of the Queen.

1627, And. Byng, S.T.P. by Sir William Woodhouse, assignee of the King.

1628, And. Byng, S.T.P. by Sir William Poley of Boxsted in Suffolk.

The rectories of East Dereham and Tyrington were leased (being sinecures) by King James I. on March 8, 1612, to Sir William Poley, his executors, &c. with the advowsons, for 90 years.

Gerrard Wood, S.T.P. he had Sir William Poley's interest herein.

1664, John Winter: he was author of a book entitled Spicilegium, &c. Printed in quarto for William Oliver at Norwich, 1664.

Robert Garret.

1677, James Verdon A.M. on Garret's resignation, was presented by Susan Wood of Norwich, widow of — Wood, and patroness; and in 1716, he was collated by lapse; he was rector 63 years, and died in 1741, aged 89.

1740, Samuel Clarke, A.M. on Verdon's resignation, by Mr. Verdon.

1761, Francis Wollaston, LL.B. by Francis Wollaston, Esq. in 1769, he was collated to the rectory of Christ church in Kent, by the Bishop of Rochester.


1286, William is mentioned as vicar.

1342, Walter de Stuttee, presented by Alan de Hotham, rector.

1349, Ed. de Hotham, by Alan de Hotham.

1365, Sym. de Fennyr.

1369, Henry Tutyng, by John Barnet, rector.

1373, William de Greene, by Michael de Causton, rector.

1389, Thomas de Derham, by Michael de Causton, rector.

1405, Thomas Bery, by John Bernard, rector.

1407, John Bernard, by William Wynnewyk, rector.

1437, Robert Woller, by William Ascough, rector.

1442, Sim. Whatlock, by John Elys, rector.

1445, Henry Chantrey, by John Elys, rector.

1447, John Paveley, by John Elys, rector.

1451, Constant Dalby, by Ham. Haydock, rector.

1458, Robert Sheringham, by Ham. Haydock, rector.

1467, Ed. Kelyng, by Peter Tascar, rector.

1479, John Goose, by Richard Sherborn, rector; he gave a house in Baxter-Row, (fn. 9) and three inclosures to the the town.

1503, Roger Balkewell, by Henry Edyal, rector; he gave all his lands, both free and copyhold, to his successours.

1537, George Ledys, by Ed. Bonner, rector.

1554, Richard Garnet, by Dav. Poole, rector.

Stephen Phearne.

1563, Roger Maltby, by William Mowse, rector.

1590, John Thornley, by Hugh Thornley, rector.

In 1603, his answer to some royal questions was, that there were 660 communicants, that the rectory was a sinecure, and that Mr. Thomas Stone, rector, was patron by lease.

1612, John Breton, by the assigns of Thomas Stane, rector.

1623, John Breton, by Robert Lane, &c. pro hac vice.

1630, Thomas Verdon, by James Verdon, rector.

1681, James Verdon, by the Bishop of Norwich, a lapse.

1716, William Leach, by James Verdon, rector.

1741, Samuel Clarke, A.M.

1761, Frances Wollaston, LL.B. rector of Chiselhurst in Kent in 1769.

1769, John Currey, A.M. by Frances Wollaston, rector.

This church is a large pile built in the form of a cathedral or collegiate church; it has a nave, north and south isles; two transepts. or cross isles, and a chancel all leaded; there is a tower between the body of the church and the chancel, which is of antique building, as in many cathedrals; in the transepts were formerly the chapels of the Holy Cross, St. Mary, St. Withburga, &c. the south or Holy Cross chapel, was repaired by the family of the Botons, who lived in Henry the Seventh's time: the treasury or ammunition chamber, was over this chapel, for the keeping of which a salary was annually paid till Henry the Eighth's reign.

The south porch was built by Roger and Margaret Boton, whose names are now to be seen in the stone work.

The font is very handsome; it is of stone, the form octangular, there are the representation of our Saviour's crucifixion, and the seven sacraments of the Romish church carved upon it, below which are eight of the Apostles at full length, and at the eight corners beneath them are the Four Evangelists and the symbol of each, namely, an angel, lion, bull, and eagle.

The ascent up to it is by a double octagon; the upper octagon is curiously worked in the Gothic taste; it was erected in 1468.

The following extract from an old church account of the expense of erecting it is very curious.

"Costs of the new Funte."

li. s. d.
Imprimis. Payd to the mason quan he toke the seyd funte in arnest iiij
Item. Payd for makyng of an obligaceon, in the which he was bound for the seyd werk iiij
Item. Payd for lying of the fre stone that was for the seyd funte atte Lynne xxij
Item. Payd for cranyng of the seyd stone ij viij
Item. Payd for carying iiij lods of the seyd fre stone fro Lynne to Est Derham, per i lod carying ijs. vjd. Suma. x
Item. Payd to Thomas Plafote for carying of iij lodes of fre stone be the seyd space takyng for a lode iijs. Suma. ix
Item. Payd for di. chaldyr of lyme xxd. and cc tyle bowt atte Norwich, xvid. iiij
Item. Payd to Rob. Crane for carrying of the seyd lyme and tyle xx
Item. Payd to Ric. Westhawe for iron work to the seyd funte xj
Item. In expens upon help quan the funte was in the reysing ij
Item. Payd to the mason for werkmanship of the seyd funte x
Item. To his reward. xx
Item. Payd to Will. Plomer for ledyng of the newe funte ij v
Item. Payd William Pylche for makyng of the stole to the funte, and the keveryng of the same xx
Item. Payd for makyng of aquetance betwyx our mason and us. ij
Suma xij xiij ix"

Of this money fifty shillings and two-pence was raised by a voluntary subscription of the inhabitants; the rent of the church lands, (at that time very small,) the Sunday gatherings, and the legacies or questword of the deceased, supplied the rest, and were the funds from which the church was repaired and ornamented.

To this stone font, in the year 1678, was added a Gothic top, ornamented in the taste of the time, and supported by four fluted pillars.

Before the font, facing the middle isle, stands a fine large brass eagle, on a pedestal of the same, supported by three small lions; it is gilt, and was formerly used as a Litany desk.

In the middle isle hangs a brass branch, consisting of a double circle of candle-sticks, twelve in each circle, it was purchased in 1738, and cost 25l.

The church is very regularly and handsomely seated, the fronts of the seats towards the middle isle are of pannelled wainscot; there is an exceedingly good vestry, with proper cases for town writings, &c.

In the beginning of the sixteenth century (1501) and in the latter part of Henry the Seventh's reign, the tower in the middle of the church was thought not strong enough for the bells; part of that and the bells were then taken away, and the large tower (then called the new clocker) in the churchyard, on the south side, and about 20 yards from the chancel, was begun; it was several years in building, and benefactions towards carrying it on were given from 1508, to 1516; in it are now a clock and eight bells; it was never completed, but the present flat roof was put up and leaded in Henry the Eighth's reign.

In 1458, in this church were the guilds of St. Mary, St. Witnburga, St. Mary Magdalen, Corpus Christi, Holy Cross, St. Peter, Holy Trinity, St. George, St. Thomas, St. Margaret, St. Catharine, St. James, St. Michael, and that of Jesu, erected in 1457.

Thomas Spyrk, by his will dated in 1474, desires to be buried by the chancel door: he gives legacies to St. Mary's light, to the light and guild of St. Nicholas, to the lights found by the guilds before the image of the Trinity, to those of St. James, St. Thomas of Canterbury, St. Michael, St. Catherine, St. Margaret, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Anne, the rood, and St. Withburga: also to the keeping of the light in Church-row and that of Sand-pit-row; he mentions Sir John Aylward his confessor, and one of the three chaplains serving in the church.

Heymer's manor in Hoe was to find an 100 masses to be said for his soul, with "Placebo et Dirige."

There are monuments, marble stones, and other memorials to the memory of the following persons interred in the church and chancel.

There was formerly round the rim of an old stone, still remaining, a brass with this inscription,

Orate pro animâ Walteri quondam vicarij hujus ecclesiæ, qui obiit 1349.

This was in memory of Walter de Stutelee.

The following brasses still remain,

Orate pro animà Magistris Kelyng, quondam vicarij isitus ecclesiœ, qui obiit xxv die mensis Septembris, Anno Domini 1479, cujus anime propicietur Deus.—Orate pro a'ia Etheldrede Castell, que ob. 1486.

John Kylvyngton, Esq; was buried 1490,—Orate p. ai'a Robti Palmer qui ob. 1491.—Orate p. aia Grace Braddenham que ob.

On a brass this imperfect epitaph, in memory of — Aquila.

Alta petens Aquila istac jam conditur aula Qui manet precibus justorum gaudia lucis, Hic rexit ternis viginti da - - - - - - - annis, Luce sepultus ea fuerat dran - - - - - - - te Maria, Anno Milleno D'ni quingentenoque trino.

Under it on a shield a chevron, and in base an eagle with a label inscribed,

Benedictus Deus in donis ejus, Orate p. aiâ Joh'nis Paynter qui ob. 1526.

In the church formerly,

Here dead in part whose best part never dyeth, A benefactor William Cutting lyeth, Not dead, if good deeds could keep men alive, Nor all dead, since good deeds do men survive.

Gonvile and Kaies may his good deeds record.

And will no doubt him praize therefore afford, Saint Katrin's nere London, can it tell Goldsmiths and Merchant Taylors know it well; Two county towns his civil bounty blest, East Derham, and Norton Fitz-Warren West, More did he than this table can unfold, The world his fame, this earth his earth doth hold.

He deceased the 4th day of March 1599, ætatis suœ 50,

This was done at the charge of Willin Berlok, goldsmith, one of his executors,

There are many other old stones, but as the brasses are gone, nothing can be said of them.

Henrie Perrimond ob. 1637.—Anne Perrimond ob. 1643.—Elizabeth Ward, ob. 1644.—Thomas Asty ob. 1634.—Thomas Asty, Gent. obt. 1704.—Thomas Margetson, ob. 1705.

In the chancel a monument with the following inscription:

Juxta deponuntur Anna, uxor prima Jacobi Verdon, A. M. filia, Gulielmi Balam, Armigeri, 13 die Februarij 1684.

Etiam Samuel unicus illorum infans circiter, Duas hebdomadas post illorum illam, necnon Isabella uxor ejus 2d. filia Rodol: Outlaw, Clerici, die 20, Septemb. 1690.

Prœterea Eliz. filia p' dicti Dom. Verdon Et Eliz. 3tiœ ejus uxoris, nomine virginali Clopton, die 19 Martij 1704.

Etiam Maria filia eorundem parentum Septembris 26, 1711.

Dicta Elizabetha et Jacobus, Et Eliz. illorum soboles.

Supersunt Hic aut loca hœc circiter ut Spero in posterum acquiescere Usq; ad resurrectionem.

Susan Lane, ob. 1713.—Francis Margetson, ob. 1719, aged 85. —Francis Brown, gent. ob. 1725. Arms, per bend, argent and sable, three mascles counterchanged.

Mary Browne, ob. 1726.—John Leeds, gent. ob. 1726. Arms, Leeds, argent, a fess, gules, between three eagles displayed, sable, impaling Basset, paly of six, or and gules, on a canton, argent, two bars, nebule, sable; crest, a cock, gules.

Mary Basset, ob. 1726. Arms, Basset, impaling Earle, azure, a fess, double cottised, or.

James Aylmer and Frances his wife, ob. 1730.—Johannes Sayer, M. B. ob. 1736. Arms, gules, a chevron, ermin, between five sea-mews proper; crest, a hand couped at the elbow, proper, clothed gules, holding a dragon's head, erased, vert.

Roger L'Estrange, gent. ob. 1736.—John Hase, ob. 1715.— Ann Hase, ob. 1722.—Ann Hase, ob. 1725.—Anne George, ob. 1737.—Edmund Nelson, ob. 1740.—Thompson, gent. ob. 1741.

On a monument in the chancel Mortalitatis memor Hanc sibi tabulam vivens posui.

(Suos aliquando cineres depositurus juxta) D'nus Jacobus Verdon, A. M. Hujus ecclesiœ cum capellâ de Hoe, Per annos 60 jam elapsos Seu rector seu vicarius.

Hasce cancellorum ædes Deo Trin. & Uni sacras Non exiguo sumptu reparavit ornavitq; Vicariam injuriâ deformatam & pœne collapsam Restituit.

Cetera disce ex oppositâ tabellâ.

Vale & prospice æternitati ob. An. Salutis 1741. Ætat. 89.

Sara Rash ob. 1742.

Peace to thy gentle shade and endless rest, Be thou with him that made thee ever blest, Be thou from envy and from hatred free, And kings may wish to lead a life like thee.

William Basset, gent. ob. 1743.—Elizabeth Leeds, widow of John Leeds, gent. ob. 1743, aged 78. Arms, Leeds, impaling Basset.

Anna Penelope Rash, ob. 1743; and Robert Rash, ob. 1743.— Judith Ward, ob. 1747.—Benjamin Money, gent. ob. 1748. Arms, Money, checquy, argent and gules, impaling Basset.

Ann Hase Money, ob. 1748.—Elizabeth Basset Money, ob. 1749, —Ann Brown, wife of John Brown, gent. ob. 1749.—John Brown, gent. ob. 1752. Arms as before.

E. Elsegood, widow, ob. 1755.—John Watts, gent. ob. 1756, aged 81. Arms, Watts, ermin, on a chief, gules, an annulet between two billets, or; in an escutcheon of pretence, the arms of Brown; crest, a lion's paw erased, and erected, or, supporting an escotcheon, or.

John Watts, ob. 1755.—Lydia Pillans, late wife of Mr. Richard Pillans, merchant, of Rotterdam:

They in both countries who knew her, Know their loss and mourn it: They who knew her not, have a real loss In wanting an example so worthy imitation.

Thomas Guybon, ob. 1759, aged 16. Arms, or, a lion rampant, sable, debruised by a bend, gules, charged with three escallops, argent; crest, a demy lion rampant, sable, on his shoulder three escallops, argent.

Mary, wife of William Donne, gent. ob. 1755.—Frances, 2d wife of William Donne, gent. ob. 1759. Arms, Donne, azure, a wolf, saliant, argent, impaling Sayer, as before, and Nelson; a cross, moline, over all a bend.

Thomas Rash, ob. 1760, and Thomasine his wife, ob. 1745.—John Woodbine, gent. ob. 1760.

On a very handsome mural monument, are the following arms and inscription; Clarke impaling Verdon, or, two bars, azure. in chief, three escallops, gules, impaling sable, a lion rampant, argent; crest, a dexter arm, couped at the shoulder, proper, holding an arrow, or.

Infra Reverendi Samuelis Clarke A.M. Hujus ecclesiæ p' annos viginti pastoris fidi In collegio sancti Trinitatis Oxonij Studiis academicis probé instructi Reliquiæ quiescunt.

Qui ecclesiœ rituum sedulus defensor, Malorum omnium strenuus oppugnator, Christianæ religionis sincerus cultor, Miseris & indigentibus verus amicus.

Cui religio pura Fides, integra, nudaq; veritas Quam paucos invenient pares? Tandem Maij die xi placide obdormivit, Anno Domini mdcclxi œtatis suæ lxvi.

Veri affectus erga maritum hoc vult specimen Consors mœrens.

Susan, widow of John Watts, gent. ob. 1762, aged 82; arms as before.

Robert Rash, ob. 1764, aged 78; Anne his widow, ob. 1766, aged 77.

James Nelson ob. 1767, and Ann his wife ob. 1767.

A neat Gothic monument for

Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Rash, Esq. who died 1768, aged 40.

From the parish register it appears that in the year 1547, here died during the months of March, April and May, 106 persons.

At the west end of the churchyard are the ruins of a very ancient baptistery, over which was formerly a small chapel, dedicated to St. Withburga.

At the east end of the baptistery there is now remaining a curious old Gothic arch, from which runs a spring of clear water, formerly said to have had many medicinal and healing qualities. (fn. 10)

The fabulous account is, that this spring took its rise in the churchyard from the place where St. Withburga was first buried.

In the year 1752 it was arched over, and converted into a cold bath.

In the 11th of Henry IV. the Bishop of Norwich granted a license for a chaplain to perform divine service in this chapel, which appears to have been taken down in the 7th of Elizabeth, from the following entry in the church accounts:

"Payd to Wyllam Crosse for taking downe the chappell ruffe and caryen it into the churche viij."

This entry relating either to this chapel or to one which formerly wood at the east end of the north isle, and into which you went through the present north door of the chancel.

In 650, (fn. 11) a nunnery of Benedictines was founded here by Anna, King of the East-Angles, for Withburga, his youngest daughter, whom he made prioress. (fn. 12) This house is reported to have been so poor at its institution, that by the prayers of their prioress, the nuns are said to have been miraculously supported by two does, which came constantly to be milked at a certain time and place; this resource was but of short continuance, for the bailiff of the town envying them this supply, most maliciously hunted them away with his hounds, and as a just judgment upon him soon after broke his neck as he was pursuing his favourite diversion of hunting.

Withburga died, and was buried in the churchyard, after which the pagan Danes coming into England, the nunnery was destroyed, and the church made parochial; this happened about 55 years after her decease.

About the year 798, her body being found uncorrupted, was taken up, and translated into the church, where it remained near 200 years, when, to complete her story, we are told that Brithnod, abbot of Ely, and his monks, concerted a scheme for conveying her body from thence to Ely, which they effected by having men and carriages stationed upon the road, ready to receive it from those appointed to steal it away.

Their scheme succeeded, and they brought the body to Brandon ferry, where it was put on board a vessel, from thence conveyed to Ely, and there enshrined, before the men from Dereham could take any step to recover it.

This is styled by the Historia Eliensis,—Sanctum SacrilegiumFidele furtum, Salutaris rapina.

That is, a sanctified sacrilege,—a pious fraud,—a soul-saving robbery; it was indeed a robbing of Peter to pay Paul.

Her obiit was kept on the 17th of March.

Here was a famous guild or society of this Withburga, which had a strong brick-house called the Guildhall, where their feasts were kept, and other ceremonies performed.

This was dissolved by Henry VIII. and in the 2d of Edward VI. was granted to Thomas Wodehouse of Waxham, Esq. and his heirs, for ever; he the next year, granted it to William Skarlett and William Atle, both of East-Dereham, who the same year granted it to John Cane, clerk, of the same place, with all the appurtenances which it had before the Dissolution, consisting of 5 tenements, 20 acres of land, and a rent-charge of 2s. 2d. out of lands called the Headborough lands, all which were for the maintenance of the fraternity belonging to the guild, and originall given to pray for the souls of certain persons deceased, and for the souls of the faithful in general.

This house now belongs to James Smyth, Esq.

In 1615 is an entry in the town accounts of a payment of 30s. to Mr. Halman, for charges in confirming the assurance of the old shire-house to the town.

Over the eastern entrance of the churchyard, was formerly a school-house belonging to the parish, which was taken down in 1662.

The rectory house is dilapidated. There are a large barn, a granary, one close of meadow, of about 6 acres, and another small piece of meadow, at the west end of the churchyard, of about half an acre, belonging to the rector.

The vicar has a very good house, gardens, &c. and about fifty acres of glebe lands.

There are upwards of 53 acres of meadow and arable land belonging to the church, which most of them lie in the parish; the rents amounting to 50l. per ann. and upwards, are appropriated to the repairing and ornamenting the church.

The following are Benefactors to the poor of this Parish.

Mrs. Christian Gooch, by deed, dated 8 September, 1634, gave an estate in North Elmham.

N.B. Out of this charity 20s. is paid for a sermon, and 3l. 10s. are paid to other parishes.

Henry Smyth, Esq. in 1626, gave a rent charge of 3l. 4s. issuing out of an estate at Stoughton in Leicestershire.

Mr. Thomas Moor, physician of this parish, gave lands in this parish, and other lands in the parish of Hoe.

Mr. William Jeg gave a small piece of land in this parish.

Mr. William Potter of Scarning, in 1697, gave a rent charge of 12s. now paid by the overseers.

Mr. William Mountain in 1697, gave a rent charge of 4l. 18s. issuing out of an estate in this parish.

Mr. William Barker, in 1720, gave money, with which a piece of land in Yaxham was purchased.

Mr. Edmund Williamson, in 1721, gave a piece of land in Shipdam.

These benefactions amounting to between 40 and 50l. a year, are distributed in money and wearing apparel to the poor inhabitants, (who do not take collection) every Christmas.

There are likewise upwards of 20 acres of land called Headboroughland, lying chiefly in this parish, the rent of which is to keep the streets, bridges, &c. &c. in proper condition.

Mr. Aaron Williamson, in 1710, gave a dwelling-house and a small piece of land, called Roomes, the rent of which is to be applied in putting out poor orphans apprentices to trades.


  • 1. See Anecdotes of Topography, page 371.
  • 2. Terre S'ce Adeldrede H. de Mittefort.—Derham tenet sep. S. A. v car. tre tunc xx villi. modo xvi tc. xx bor. mo. xxv et ii ser. tc ii car. in d'nio. mo. iii tc. viii car. hom. mo. vii tc. silv. dc por mo. ccc sep. iii mol. iii runc. xii an. xx por. c ov. vii soc. xxx ac. ii ac. p'ti. iii ac. silve tc. val. x lib. mo. xiii ht. i leu. in long. et dim. in lat. et xvd. de gelt.
  • 3. Now called Dillington: it lies on the other side of Stunton heath, on which heath the hundreds divide.
  • 4. Now Badley moor.
  • 5. This was leased in Queen Elizabeth's reign, and the rent was 4l. 11s. 3d.
  • 6. In 1275, (3d Edward I.) complaint was made that men were brought hither out of the hundred of Freebridge.
  • 7. See in Geystweyte and Wood Norton.
  • 8. Terre R. de Bellofago.—In Derham ii car. t're. ten. Herold. sub. Stigando. mo. ten. Odarus, sep. iiii villi. et xv bor. tc. ii s. vi ac. p'ti. tc. ii in d'nio. p. et mo. i et alia posset restaurari. sep. ii car. ho'um. silv. xxx por. sep. i mol. et v soc. xliii ac. t're. et ii ac. p'ti. tc. et p. i car. mo. dim. et tota posset restaurari tc. i r. tc. iiii an. tc. vii por. mo. ii tc. vii cap. mo. viii tc. val. xx sol. mo. xl. totum ht. i leug. et v qr. in long. et dim. et iii qr. in lat. et de geld xd. q'cunque ibi teneat, tota soca in Mulham.
  • 9. So called from a family of that name who owned most of it in Henry the Sixth's time.
  • 10. At some distance from the churchyard is another spring called St. Withburga's Well.
  • 11. Dugd. Monast. Ang. vol. i. p. 176.
  • 12. Bp. Tanner says that Withburga herself founded the above priory.