Mitford Hundred and Half: Hokering

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

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Francis Blomefield, 'Mitford Hundred and Half: Hokering', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809), pp. 228-231. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Mitford Hundred and Half: Hokering", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) 228-231. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Mitford Hundred and Half: Hokering", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809). 228-231. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,

In this section


Called in Domesday Book, Hokelinka, as lying on a hill, by the water, was the lordship of Ralph de Bellofago or Beaufo, of which Sigar, a freeman in King Edward's reign, was deprived.

It contained then 4 carucates of land, held by 3 villains, and 23 borderers, with 4 servi, 4 carucates in demean, and 7 among the tenants, paunage for 200 swine, and 15 acres of meadow, one mill and the moiety of another, 9 cows, &c. 80 sheep, and 3 socmen held 60 acres of land, valued at 4l. at the survey at 5l. 10 freemen also belonged to it, and the moiety of another, with 2 carucates of land. (fn. 1) It is measured in North Tudenham.

This Ralph de Beaufoe was a near relation to William de Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, the Conqueror's chancellour. Ralph left an only daughter and heiress, Agnes, who married Hubert de Rie, castellan of Norwich castle, second son of Hubert de Rie, a trusty servant to the Conqueror, when Duke of Normandy.

His descendant, and probably grandson, was Hubert de Rie, who in the 12th of Henry II. certified that he held 35 knights fees, for which he paid 35 marks to the King, and dying in the 18th of that King without issue male, his two daughters and coheirs were Aliva, who married John Marshall. (nephew of William Marshall Earl of Pembroke,) made Marshal of Ireland by King John, in his 9th year, and Isabel, the wife of Roger de Cressi.

In the 13th of King John, John Mareshall, answered for 17 fees and an half, as a moiety of the barony of Rye, and was lord of this town; Aliva or Avelina le Mareschall was living in the 34th of Henry III. when a fine was levied between Maud de Belhous, and Aliva of the fishery of Whytford, and the moiety of the fishery of Kerwin in Tudenham Faldgate, (that is North Tudenham,) which Aliva granted to belong to Maud, so that neither she nor her heirs should take any reeds therein, or have any right of common in Kerwen; and also she released all right to a suit of court to her manor of Hokering, which she demanded of Maud, for a tenement in Tudenham, but it was agreed, that Aliva and her men of Hokering, Tudenham-Faldgate, and Mateshale, might take reed, &c. in Whytford, within the old bounds, and the same argeement to be kept about swans, as in a fine of the 24th of that King.

John le Mareschal, in the 6th of Edward I. held this lordship and advowson, as the capital manor of the barony of Rye, which those of Matsale, Burgh Parva, North Tudenham, Folsham, Swanton, Worthing, Banham, Hingham, Byntre; the hundreds of Eynford and Fourhow, with the manors of Alby, Thurlton, Reydon, Morley, Wicklewood, Cringelthorp, Ellingham, Barford, Tunstall, Depeham, Harpham, Snetterton, Shropham, Hackford, Bircham Newton, Sloley, Lammas, Scothow, East Tudenham, Drayton, Scarning, Fransham, Dunham, Mulbarton, Brundale, Wroxham, Posswick and Lexham, and died seized of them, as the eschaet rolls testify, in the 11th of Edward I. and the jury, in the 15th of that King, find that he had a weekly mercate in this town on Monday, that William was his son and heir, a minor; and John de Bohun held it during his minority by a grant from the King.

William Rosceline was found to hold Aldby manor by one fee,— Jeff. Eschalers, Thelton, by one fee.— Robert de Morley, Reydon Wicklewood, Morley, Bereford, Cringelthorp, by three fees.—Gerard de Wachesham, held in Wortham in Suffolk, Ellingham, Cringelthorp, Deepham and Morley four fee, and a half in Suffolk, &c.

Roger Bygod Earl of Norfolk, held in Chedertune, Eston, and Gislingham, 3 fees and an half.

Jeff. Eschalers, one fee in Thelton of the Bishop of Ely, but now belonging to Sir John Marshall, who held also 3 fees of the Bishop of Ely, belonging to his manor of East Derham, by knights service, and is said to pay to Norwich castle 1l. 15s. 6d. ob. q. per ann. and 15s. Waytfee, and was called Baron of Rheye. See in Swanton Morley.

On the death of John le Marshall, in the 10th of Edward II. it was found that there was a capital messuage and a park here, a wood called Swynehagh, with a little wood, a watermill, and windmill, &c. valued at 50l. per ann.; that Dionysia and Hawysia were his sisters, and coheirs; that Dionysia lately dying, Hawysia was now his sole heir, married to Sir Robert de Morley.

Sir Robert de Morley, and the lady Hawise his wife, paid their relief for all this barony 100 marks, in 1323: in this noble family it remained till the death of Robert Lord Morley, in 1442, who leaving an only daughter and heir, Alianore, was after married to William a younger son of William Lovell, lord of Tichmersh, who died seized of it in 1475.

Henry Lovell Lord Morley, his son and heir, inherited it, and being slain at Dixmue in Flanders, in 1489, having no issue, Alice his only sister, married to Sir William Parker of London, inherited it, and had livery of it in the 5th of Henry VII.

Henry Parker, his son and heir, was summoned to parliament in the 21st of Henry VIII. by the title of Lord Morley, Baron of Rhie.

Sir Henry Paker, Knt. was Lord Morley, baron of Rhye in 1561: his son Edward sold great part of his estate to Sir Thomas Lovell of East Herling, in Norfolk, and Sir Francis his son inherited it, and died about 1625, and then it came to his brother, Sir Charles Lovell, who was lord in the reign of Charles I.

Thomas Berney, Esq. of Swerdeston, lord in 1658; John Berney, Esq. in 1676; Thomas Berney, Esq in 1720; and in 1740, Ash Windham, Esq.

It is probable that here was anciently a castle, as it was the capital manor of the barony of Rye.

The rent of assise of free and customary tenants of this manor in the 36th of Henry VIII. was 28l. 4d.

The tenths were 1l. 14s. Deducted 6s.

The Church is dedicated to St. Michael, and is a rectory, valued formerly at 15 marks, and paid Peter-pence, 8d. The canons of St. Mary of Southwerk, had a portion of tithe valued at 40s. per ann. and the prior of Norwich one of 4 marks per ann. The present valor is 7l. 2s. 6d.

It is a single pile, with a chancel, and a round tower with one bell.

In the chancel, on a gravestone,

Hic jacet Tho. Houghton, clericus, qui obt. 13 Martij 1677, et Maria uxor ejus quœ obt. 22 Octob. 1635.

On one with a brass plate,

Milleno quingenteno annoter quoq; deno, (fn. 2) Et nono Domini, dum rex Henricus et Annum Primum post denos tres regni octavus agebat Hic fuit Humfridus Smalpiece, œstate sepultus.

Also this shield, quarterly, in the first sable, a chevron engrailed, between three cinquefoils, argent, Smalpiece; in the 2d, a maunch, as it seems, in the 3d, a chevron, between three birds, 4th as first.

This family of Smalpiece had a very considerable estate in this town.


About 1232, Reginald occurs rector, and the prior of Norwich impleaded him for two parts of the tithes of the assarts of John le Marescal, lord of the town, valued at 7s. per ann.

In the 16th of Edward I. Robert de Wetherby was rector.

Mr. Laurence de Leek, rector.

1327, Henry de Hokering instituted, presented by the prior and convent of St. Mary Overy in Southwerk, at the nomination of Sir Robert de Morley.

1332, John de Bolyngham. Ditto.

1332, Guy de Cockfield. Ditto.

1349, Robert Atte Brigg. Ditto.

1361, Roger Hunne, nominated by Sir William de Morley, presented by the prior, &c. This Roger in 1374, was sued by 6 persons for disposing of the trees growing in the churchyard, at his pleasure.

1405, William Atte Hirne.

Bartholomew Fenwick, rector, in 1603, accounted for 84 communicants here, at that time, and that Martin Trot was patron, and lately the Lovels.

1603, Cuthbert Norris, D.D. instituted on Fenwick's death.

1621, Thomas Stoughton.

1678, William Starkey, D.D. rector.

Mr. Sydner, in 1723.

Mr. George Howes is the present rector.

Here was the guild of St. Michael.

In the 6th of King John a fine was levied between John Marshal, lord of the town, and Alice his wife, and the prior of St. Mary of Suthwerk, who the granted to John, &c. the advowsons of this church, and that of Burgh, with the consent of John de Grey Bishop of Nor wich; the prior and his successours were to have a pension of 6 marks per ann. out of these churches, the prior to present, and John and his heirs to nominate; which is the first time I meet with such a distinction; and in the 17 of Edward I. the prior recovered the 6 marks by suit, of Robert de Wetherby, rector.

King Henry I. confirmed to the priory of Norwich the grant of Hubert de Ria, and Agnes his wife, of the tithe of his demeans here, at the request of Henry, son of Hubert; witnesses, William de Tancardvill, and Robert Basset, &c.

This portion was valued at 4 marks per ann. The temporalities of Norwich priory at 12d.—of Pentney at 4s.—of Carhow at 3s.

Thomas Lord Morley aliened, in the 13th of Richard II. to the Austin-friars of Thetford, a messuage, and 4 acres of land in Thetford, and tenements here, &c.

The township had, in the 36th of Henry VIII. 7 acres of meadow land, in 5 pieces, in Broad meadow, and paid to the lord 10d. per ann. also a guildhall, and paid ½ per ann. also half an acre of meadow, and paid 1d. and an alder car of an acre, and paid 1d.


  • 1. Terra R. de Bellefo—Hokelinka ten. Sigar. lib. ho. T.R.E. iiii car. tre. et sep. iii villi et xxiii bor. et iiii ser. tc. iiii car. in dnio. mo. v tc. vii car. hou' mo. v silva cc por. et xv ac. p'ti. et i mol. et dim. sep. ix an. et xxxiii por. tc. lxxx ov. mo. cxiii tc. iii soc. mo. vii lx ac. tre. tc. val. iiii lib. mo. c sol. huic manerio jacent x lib. ho'es et dim, ii car. tre.
  • 2. Viz. Ao. D'ni. 1539, et Hen. VIII. ao. 31.