An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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In Domesday book occurs by the name of Gerolfestuna, and part of it was a beruite to the manor of Whinburgh, held by Hermerus de Ferrarijs, of which Turchetel, a freeman, lord in King Edward's reign, had been deprived: this part contained one carucate of land, held by one villain, and one borderer, with one carucate and 4 acres of meadow, one runcus, 3 cows, and 44 sheep, (which was valued together with Whinburgh, and measured with it) and a church endowed with 7 acres.
Another part of this town was also held by Hermerus, of which 19 freemen had also been deprived: this contained an 100 acres of land, 4 carucates and 9 acres of meadow, valued in King Edward's time at 20s. at the survey at 55s. and 4d. of these Bordin held 24 acres, valued at 4s. and accounted for in the aforesaid value. The hundred testifies that Hermerus's predecessor had no customary dues from these freemen, but only their protection; on this there was a challenge to try it by combat, which one of the men or tenants of Hermerus accepts of it, to prove that the predecessor of Hermerus had all customary dues in the reign of King Edward, except the soc that belonged to St. Adeldreda, (that his the church of Ely,) who had the hundred court, &c. and that the predecessor of Hermerus had power to sell the land; and to prove this, pledges were given that it might be tried by combat. This part of Garveston was 5 furlongs long, and 4 broad, and paid 13d. gelt. (fn. 1)
The town takes its name from the river Gar, which arises here. Gar or Yare, is a British name, and frequently met with: thus Gerboldesham, and Gerboisthorp in Norfolk; Garford and Garston in Bedfordshire, Garforth in Yorkshire, &c. and also this river gives name to Yarmouth or Gernemutha, where it empties itself into the German ocean.
Heremerus's descendant assumed the name of De Wermegay, and by the heiress of De Wermegay it came to Reginald de Warren, 2d son of William Earl Warren, and from that family to the Bardolfs, barons, of whom see at large in Wirmegey.
Robert de Gerneston held it of the Lord Bardolf, in the 35th of Henry III. when John, son of William de Thurston, conveyed by fine to the said Robert, several customs and services demanded by Robert for free lands held by him in this town, and Thurston, and Robert released to John all his right in the common of pasture on the east part of Littleford bridge.
In the 38th of that King, William Lord Bardolf had a charter of free warren, and a fair, being lord and patron in the 41st.
Henry, son of Robert de Gerveston, conveyed to Robert, son of John de Gerveston, messuages, and lands in the 16th of Edward I. and Thomas Lord Bardolf, and Richard de Thurston, were returned to be lords in the 9th of Edward II.
This lordship on the attainder of Thomas Lord Bardolf was granted to Sir Thomas Beaufort, Knt. afterwards Duke of Exeter, the King's brother, in the 9th of Henry IV. with the honour of Wirmegay. On his death, s. p. Sir William Phelips, in right of his lady, had a grant of it, and came from him to John Viscount Beaumont, and on the death of William Lord Beaumont, to the Crown; and in 1537, Richard Southwell, Esq. presented to the church as lord and patron.
After this, it was in the Cranes of Wood-Rysing, then in Sir Robert Clayton, and Sir William Cleyton; and William Cleyton, Esq. member of parliament for Bletchingley in Surry, is the present lord.
Tenths 3l. 10s. Deducted 12s.
The Church is dedicated to St. Margaret, and is a rectory. The ancient valor was 15 marks, and paid Peter-pence, 16d. The present valor is 7l. 16s.
It is a small pile, and has 2 isles and a chancel; at the west end a tower with 4 bells. On the tenor,
Sancta Maria ora pro nobis.
A marble gravestone in the chancel, for,
Stephen Pool, rector, who died November 22, 1703, aged 48.
The chancel was out of repair and unused for many years, till Mrs. Barbara Lock, who kept a little alehouse near the church, gave 200l. to the repair of the church and chancel, and 100l. to the poor of the parish, about 1695. The font is ancient, adorned with carving, and the church is neat, in good repair, and covered with lead.
1305, Adam Folyot instituted rector, presented by Thomas Lord Bardolf.
1309, Nicholas de Teneryng, by ditto.
1318, Oliver de Wachesham.
1326, Nicholas Noleman.
1326, L. Maister.
1338, John de Foxton, by John Lord Bardolf.
1349, William de Rokesdon.
1349, Thomas Wright.
1356, William de Aldby.
1360, John Calyon.
1375, Robert Hyrde, by William Lord Bardolf.
1392, John Salyng, alias Alger, by Sir Thomas Mortimer.
1394, John Newman, by Sir Thos. Mortimer.
1401, John Thornton, by Thomas Lord Bardolf.
1402, Thomas Smith, by Agnes Lady Bardolf.
1403, John de Holmeton, by Thomas Lord Bardolf.
John Ringhere, rector.
1425, Thomas Parker, by Sir Reginald Cobham.
1428, Thomas Tanfield, by Thomas Etchingham, Esq. who recovered the presentation against Sir Reginald Cobham, Lord de Sterburgh.
1435, Christopher Knollys, S.T.P. by Sir Reginald Cobham.
1440, Robert Style by Sir Reginald and Agnes his wife.
1485, William Hudson, by Sir William Knevet, and Lady Joan his wife.
1501, John Haule, by the Earl of Oxford, guardian to William Lord Viscount Beaumont.
1537, Edward Bachelor, by Richard Southwell, Esq.
1587, Richard Church, (fn. 2) by Sir Robert Southwell; in 1603, he certified that there were 195 communicants.
1635, Richard Thedder, by Henry Lord Matrevers, &c.
1638, Rowse Clapton, by Richard Crane, Esq.
1647, Samuel Willan, by William Crane, Esq.
1668, Stephen Poole, by Francis Crane, Esq.
1683, Stephen Poole, by Sir Robert Clayton.
1703, James Stagg, by William Clayton, Esq.
1741, William Baker, by the Bishop, a lapse.
1744, William Herne, by Sir William Clayton, on Baker's cession.
There were in this church our Lady's light and Salowmass light, that is All-Souls.
In the church windows the arms of Whinburgh, impaling azure, on a bend, gules, cottised, argent, three martlets or.