Mitford Hundred and Half: Hardingham and Flockthorp

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: Hardingham and Flockthorp', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) pp. 221-227. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

In this section


The town of Hardingham is not mentioned in the book of Domesday, and was then, no doubt, an hamlet or little village included in the township of Flockthorp, whereas that has been depopulated for many centuries, and is now included in Hardingham.

The Conqueror had in Flokethorp a considerable lordship, which Godric farmed or took care of for him, of which Hacon, son of Swain, the eldest son of Godwin, Earl of Kent, and nephew to King Harold, was deprived, who was lord of it in King Edward's reign, containing 2 carucates of land, held by 12 villains; with 6 servi, and 12 borderers, and paunage for 60 swine, 10 acres of meadow, a mill 3 carucates in demean, 4 among the tenants or men, &c. and 26 sheep, with 80 goats; and a beruite belonged to it called Mantateston, with one carucate, and 30 acres of land, and another beruite with 30 acres and a carucate of land, and 22 socmen held a carucate of land and 6 acres of meadow; and then there were also 5 carucates.

The whole was valued then at 5l. at the survey at 10l. and was one leuca long, and half a one broad, and paid 28d. gelt. (fn. 1)

And in Cranworth, and in Shipdam, one socman of Stow held 30 acres of land, and 8 of meadow, &c. valued at 2s. Robert Blund had these socmen, but Godric never had.

Besides this lordship, the Conqueror had in his own hands here, 40 acres, held by 3 borderers, and one acre of meadow, valued under Hingham; also one freeman, who had 30 acres of land, an acre and half of meadow, with half a carucate, held by 2 borderers. (fn. 2)

He was expelled at the conquest, and his land was at the survey in the King.

Camois Manor.

Out of these tenures arose 2 lordships; one was in the family of De Camois, who were soon after the conquest enfeoffed of it. Andrew de Camois was a baron of the realm in the reign of Henry II.

In the 10th of Edward I. David Earl of Huntingdon, in England, and of Carrick in Scotland, a younger son of David King of Scotland, had the custody of Stephen de Camois, (fn. 3) a minor, and his lands, and owed the King 200 marks for the same.

Ralph de Camois held in Flokesthorp one fee, and a fourth part of one in Hardingham, of the King in capite, in the 12th of King John; and in the 3d of Henry III. the jury find that Ralph de Camois, senior, held at his death in this town, 280 acres of land in demean, 34 of meadow, and Ralph was his son and heir, aged 40.

This Ralph was sheriff of Sussex and Surrey, in the 27th of that King, &c. and died in the 43d, and Ralph was his son and heir; and in the 5th of Edward I. he died seized of a messuage, 280 acres of arable land, 24 of meadow, 24 of alder, and 50 of wood, held by half a fee, and of the manors of Hengeston, Orwell, Wode-Ditton, and Burwell in Cambridgeshire.

In the said year, John de Camois was summoned to attend the King into Wales, in his expedition against Lewellyn, Prince of Wales; he paid 100l. relief for his lands; in the 15th of that King he claimed free warren here, &c.

This was that John who married Margaret, daughter and heir of John de Gatesden; in the 26th of that King, she came before the barons of the Exchequer, and is styled late wife of Sir John de Camois, and took an oath not to marry without the King's license, holding lands in capite.

Dugdale says Sir John de Camois, by deed, &c. granted her over to her gallant Sir William Paynel, whom she afterwards married; and sued Eve, relict of Robert de Tybetot, for her dower, in the 3d part of the manor of Burwell in Cambridgeshire, and recovered it; but by the judgment of parliament, in the 30th of Edward I. was deprived of her dower. (fn. 4)

Ralph de Camois was his son and heir; he gave to Margaret, (daughter of Mary, wife of William de Brews, for life) this manor: she was probably his wife, for it appears on his death, in the 33d of Edward I. that he and Margaret his wife were seized of it, and of Moulton in Norfolk.

Ralph de Camois was his successour, and performed his homage for it in the said year; in the first of Edward II. he and his wife were summoned by writ to attend on the coronation of that King, and was lord in the 9th and 13th of that King, and presented then to this church; and Thomas his son in 1329.

He, with Margaret his wife, conveyed it by fine, with the King's license, to John de Holveston, who presented in 1342, and 1349, and died lord of this manor and that of Bilney, in Heveringland, in 1354, this being then valued at 20l. per ann. and Thomas was his son and heir, as may be there seen.

Sir Thomas de Holveston died about the 38th of the said King, and William was his son and heir, who was seized of it in the 45th of that reign.

In the 3d of Henry IV. Sir Thomas Barre was lord, and before this, in 1392, presented as lord in right of his wife Elizabeth, who both presented in 1417, and about this time there was a contest for the right of advowson between the said Sir Thomas and Robert Hill, of Marsham in Norfolk, and John Crane.

Elizabeth, wife of Sir Thomas, died in the 9th of Henry V. seized of this lordship and advowson; and Sir Thomas her husband, dying also in the same year lord of Knebworth, in Hertfordshire, left John their son and heir, aged 10 years, aftewards a knight, lord of Clehangre and other manors in Herfordshire, Bolinghope, &c. in Worcestershire.

The aforesaid Elizabeth was before her marriage, with Sir Thomas, relict of Sir Edward Kendal, of Wrestlingworth, in Bedfordshire; and in the 24th of Edward III. Sir Edward and the said Elizabeth his wife, had the King's license to travel to Rome, with 4 persons and 4 horses.

Sir Thomas Camois is said to have granted it to Sir John Arundel, afterwards Earl of Arundel, who granted it to Sir Maurice Berkley, who presented to the church in 1444, and in 1445, William Earl of Arundel.

Thomas Earl of Arundel, was lord and patron in 1504, as was Henry Earl of Arundel, in the 38th of Henry VIII.

This Henry sold this lordship about the first of Elizabeth, to Thomas Gresham, Esq. of London; and in 1580 it was sold by the Lady Gresham, with 10 messuages, and a foldcourse for 1000 sheep, for 1500l. valued at 66l. 13s. 4d. per ann. to Anthony Thwayts, Esq. together with the advowson.

Anthony Thwayts, Esq. presented in 1541, but not in his own right, but by some grant of the Earl of Arundel.

In 1584, Anthony Thwayts presented as lord and patron; and in the 4th of James I. the said Anthony, with Jerome his brother, Sir Arthur Heveningham, Daniel Reeves, S.T.B. convey it to Sir George Coppin, with all its appertenances, situate, lying and being on the north side of the King's high way, called Olley Way, leading from Hardingham church towards Kimberley, but excepting the right of advowson.

The said Sir John Coppin of Kensington, and Anne his wife, sold it December 1, in the 6th of that King, to Thomas Bateman, Esq. and his heirs; and Anthony Bateman, Esq. of Hardingham-hall, and Constance his wife, held it in the 21st year of the aforesaid King.

By an inquisition taken at Norwich castle, January 14, in the 22d of James I. the aforesaid Anthony, son of Anne Bateman, was found to die on November last past, seized of the manor of Flockthorpe, and to leave by Constance, a daughter and coheir, Philadelphia, married to William Rochester, Esq. of the Middle Temple.

After this, — Tayler, Esq. a justice of the peace, was lord, and lived at Hardingham-Hall, and left a daughter and heir, Constance, married to Robert Rugg, Gent. by whom he had 3 daughters and a son, Thomas Rugg, Gent. who was lord in 1660, he dying without issue, by Elizabeth his wife, the estate was divided among his three sisters and coheirs, and their children.

Justice Tayler had, by will, devised 1000 marks payable out of this lordship, as a portion to the 3 daughters aforesaid, (his grand daughters,) and Constance, widow of Robert Rugg, their mother, had remarried, first, to John Cowper, of Reymerston, and after to Thomas le Hunt and by her had George Hunt. Elizabeth, the widow also of Thomas Rugg, was living in 1680, and in the 6th of William and Mary, and then the wife of Henry Beecher, Esq. of the Inner-Temple, and had an interest therein. About the same time it appears that John Pagrave, Esq. John Meres of London, Gent. and Richard Parker, had a right also. About the year 1713, Ambrose Meers of Easton by Norwich is said to have 3 parts of the said lordship, and George le Hunt of New Bukenham, a 4th part.

Gurney's and Swathing's Manor.

The Gurneys were early enfeoffed of a moiety of this town. Matthew de Gurnay demanded in the 8th of King John, of Gilbert de Runhale, a carucate of land in this town, Swathing, and Runhale, which William his father held in the reign of Henry II.

Hugh de Gorney granted by deed sans date to Robert, the Burgundian, the manor of Swathing in Hardingham, with the church and appertenances in fee for 20s. sterling per ann, and for the gift of one horse, at the time of making this grant; witnesses, Gerard Calebut, William de Cheyney; it was granted at Ferretre, before the men or tenants of the said Hugh, a town probably in Normandy, the Gourneys being lords of Gourney, a town in Normandy, from which they took their name, and came into England on the Norman invasion, and this Hugh gave to the chapter of the church of St. Ildebert of Gorney in Normandy, the said church.

Hugh, son of Hugh Gornay, confirmed to Hugh of Burgundy, son of Robert, the aforesaid grant, as his father held it, sans date; witnesses, Andrew de St. Martin, Lewis de Gorney, &c.; and King Henry III. confirmed, at the petition of Robert, the father, this grant of the land of Swathing to Hugh his son.

In the 41st of Henry III. Rulph Redker and Isabel his wife, conveyed lands to William, son of Roger de Swathing, and in the 52d of that King, William de Swathyng held of John de Gurney, a messuage,.54 acres of land, and 3 of wood, in this town and Reymerston, with free grinding, without toll, at John's mill, called Ravensholm, as he and his ancestors before had at Little mill, whilst Little mill was repaired, and if they should be both out of repair, that they could grind at neither, then John to pay 6s. 5d. per ann. till they could grind.

John likewise granted to William and his heirs a free bull, and a free ram, with a free fold course, and common of pasture, over all his lands, for all his cattle (tempore aperto) in time of shack, as his ancestors had; William releasing to John, 2 acres of land, called Shymere.

William de Gurnay claimed free-warren in the 15th of Edward I. and John Gurney was lord in the 9th of Edward II.

In the 20th of Edward III. Sir John de Mereworth held one fee of the Lord Bardolf, and he of the King, late John Gurneys; and in the 43d of Edward III. it was granted to Sir Hamon Felton, Knt. for life, (fn. 5) remainder to Edmund Gurney, and Catherine his wife, and John their son, in tail.

Edmund Swathing and Catherine his wife, in the 17th of Richard II. conveyed by fine the manor of Swathing, to Ralph Bateman, except 2 messuages, 24 acres of land, 12 of meadow, 16 of wood, and 20s. rent per ann.

William Gourney, Esq. son of Thomas, and his wife, daughter of Sir William Calthorp held the manor of Swathing and Hardingham in the 2d of Richard II.

In the 3d of Henry IV. John Gurney was lord, and in 1469, Thomas Gournay of West Barsham, sen. Esq. by his will, bequeaths all his rents and services, called Swathing, which he had bought of Catherine Sturmer, to be sold. (fn. 6)

Anthony Gurney, Esq. was lord in the 26th of Henry III. and soon after it was in the family of Thwayts.

Anthony Thwyates, Esq. grants in 1589, to Thomas Thwyats of Hardingham, Esq. his father, and to Richard, Thomas, and Francis his brothers, all his right in the manor of Swathing.

This family descends from John Thwaits, Esq. who had possessions in this town in the reign of Henry VII. who by his will dated January 29, in the 19th of Henry VII. and on his death in the 22d of that King, was found to die seised of the manors of Thwaits, Denton and Ackworth in the county of York; he was son of Thomas Thwayts by Alice, daughter and heir of Thomas de Hay, son of John Thwayts of Thwayts, in Yorkshire, by Joan, daughter and sole heir of Robert Thornton; which Robert married Alice, daughter and sole heir of Ralph Leke, by Margaret his wife, eldest daughter of Philip Lardiner, immediate descendant of David, called Lardinarius to the Conqueror, and lord of Davy Hall at York.

John abovementioned, by his will, desires to be buried in the chapel of our Lady, in the church of Hardingham, and gives 13s. 4d. to the high altar of the said church, and by Anne his wife, daughter of Sir William Knevet, he had Thomas, his son and heir, Edward, Anthony, and Christopher. Thomas left a son John, who died a minor in the 3d of Henry VIII. Anthony, his uncle, succeeded in the inheritance, and by Margaret, his wife, daughter of Thomas Singleton of Michelfield in Suffolk; had Thomas, his son and heir, who married Bridget, daughter of Robert Spring of Lanham in Suffolk, Esq. by whom he had Anthony Thwayts, Esq. his eldest son, lord of Quidenham in Norfolk, by the marriage of Frances, daughter and heir of Humphrey Bedingfield, Esq. and also lord of this manor, and leaving a daughter and sole heiress Elizabeth, married to Jeff. Cobb, Esq. of Sandringham. Anthony (as I have above observed) gave it in 1589, to Thomas Thwayts, Esq. his father, and to his brothers: Thomas died in the 31st of Elizabeth, and by his will was buried in the chapel of St. Mary in this church.

In 1632, Francis Thwayts, Gent. was lord, and presented to this church, and about 1695, Richard Thwayts is said to be lord, and soon after it was possessed by Francis Long, Esq. of Spixworth, lord in 1718.

Alan Earl of Richmond had at the survey, a socman belonging to Harold, this was depending on his manor of Cossey. (fn. 7)

The tenths were 5l. 6s.—Deduct 12s.

The Church was dedicated to St. George; in the reign of Ed. I. it was valued at 35 marks and the rector had a manse with 60 acres; Sir John de Camois was patron, and the Peter-pence were 3s. 4d.

The present valor is 15l. 3s. 4d. and pays first fruits and tenths.


In the first year of Edward I. William, occurs rector.

In the 22d of Edward I. Mr. Stephen de Hepworth.

1309, John de Hampton instituted, presented by Sir Ralph Camoys.

1319, William de Paston. Ditto.

1329, Hugh Lovel, by Thomas, son of Ralph de Camois.

1333, Robert Eam. Ditto.

1342, Hugh Enges, by John Holveston.

1349, Thomas de Schadenfeld. Ditto.

In 1371, Thomas Fraunceys occurs rector.

1379, Thomas occurs rector.

1392, John Hockyngham, by Sir Thomas de la Barr.

1417, Richard Corston, by Sir Thomas Burre and Elizabeth his wife.

1444, Clement Denston, by Sir Maur. Berkley.

1445, Richard Bishop, by William Earl of Arundel.

1494, Richard Wyot, by Sir Henry Heydon, and Sir Thomas Lovell.

1504, Edward Crow, by Thomas Earl of Arundel.

1505, Richard Mylner. Ditto.

1520, Thomas Bleverhasset, aged 11 years, ditto, by a bull of the Pope's dispensation.

1522, William Hogeson, by Thomas Earl, &c.

1541, Edward Thwayts, by Ant. Thwayts, Esq.; in 1603 he returned 162 communicants to be here.

1632, Nathaniel Flick, S. T. P. by Francis Thwayts, Gent.

Nathaniel Joceling, A.M.

1662, Ger. Wood, S. T. P. by Matt. Chapman, &c.

1665, Robert Steward A. M. by William Brown.

1675, John Sutton, by Mary Steward, widow.

1681, Phil. Hill, by Mary Sutton.

1702, Thomas Coleman, by William and Roger Coleman.

1719, James Smith, by Robert Stone, clerk, executor of Thomas Coleman.

1720, John Bourn, by Robert Stone.

1724, John Coleman. Ditto.

1733, John Coleman, by John Howes, Esq.

1753, Edmund Hopkinson, died rector in 1758; the patronage in Clare-hall, Cambridge.

1759, William Green, rector, presented by Clare Hall.

In a north chapel dedicated to St. Mary.

Orate p. a'ia Margarete Whytwell, olim uxor. Joh. Whytwell, que migravit de hoc seculo 25, Jan. 1497; and the arms of Whytwell, a cross patonce, impaling a chevron, between three owlets, Appleyard.

Orate p. a'ia Geor. Thwayt, Gent. and a gravestone for Edward Thwayt, Gent.

Here were the guilds of St. George, the Trinity, and St. Mary, and a new tabernacle made for St. Mary in 1451; also the lights of St. George, the Trinity, St. Mary, St. Nicholas, and St. Christopher.

Pope Eugenius, by bull, confirmed the grant of the noble woman, Mabilia de Bec, of lands and the men of John, son of Ablac in Flokethorp with their customs and services to the church of the Holy Trinity of Norwich. (fn. 8)

John de la Chambre aliened a messuage and 20 acres of land here for a chantry in this church by patent Ao. 6 Edward II.

Temporalities of Norwich priory were 63s. 4d. of Wyndham 5s. of Hickling 6d.

Camois bore, or, on a chief gules, three plates—Swathing, azure, a bend argentThwayts, argent, on a fess between three lis, gules, as many bezants.


  • 1. Terra Regis qua' Godric. servat.— Flokethorp tenuit Hakena lib. ho. T.R. E. ii car. t're. sep. xii vill. tc. vi ser. mo. iii et xii bor. tnc. silv. lx por. mo. xl et x ac. p'ti. sep. i mol. tnc. iii car. in d'nio. p. et mo. ii et i posset restaur. tnc. iiii car. ho'um. mo. v et xii por. et xxvi ovs. et lxxx cap. huic jacet i beruita Mantatestona xxx ac. t're. tc. i car. ct alia beruita xxx ac. t're. tc. i car. et xxii. soc. i car. t're. et vi ac. p'ti. tnc. v car. mo. iii et dim. totu' val. tc. c sol. mo. x lib. blancas et ht. i leu' in long. et dim. in lato. et xxviiid. de gelto.—In Craneworda et in Scipdam xxx ac. tre. tenuit i soc. de Stow et viii ac. p'ti. silva iii por. et val. ii sol. et Rob. Blund. eos habuit i Godric. nu'q; habuit.
  • 2. Terra Regis—In Flocthorp xl ac. et iii bor. et i ac. p'ti. et e. in p'tio. de Hinham.—In Flocthorp xxx ac. t're. i lib. ho. et i ac. et dim. p'ti. tnc. dim. car. et ii bor.
  • 3. This Stephen gave, by deed, sans date, to the priory of Windham, a mill here, with the site and suit thereof, except the grinding of his own corn, and the tithe to the church of St. George of Hardingham. Reg. Windh. fol. 76. 111.
  • 4. Baronage, vol. i. p. 767.
  • 5. See in West Barsham and Harpley.
  • 6. Regist. Jekyl.
  • 7. Terre Alani Comitis.—In Flokethorp, i soc. Heroldj.
  • 8. Reg. 1 Ecc. Norw. fol. 70.