Mitford Hundred and Half: Yaxham

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: Yaxham', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) pp. 281-284. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

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In Domesday Book is wrote Iachesham, taking its name from its being near to a morass or bog, as Yaxley in Suffolk and Huntingdonshire. Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, had a grant of a lordship here from the Conqueror, with 30 acres of land, of which Aldin, a priest, and a freeman, was deprived; 8 borderers belonged to it, with a carucate of land, &c. 4 acres of meadow valued at 10s. per ann.

It was 7 furlongs long, and 5 broad, and paid 20d. gelt. (fn. 1)

Ralph, son of Walter, held it under Bigot; the said Ralph held also Wissingset, Shotesham, and Watton, under him.

Roger Bigot held also, soon after the conquest, of the abbot of Ely, 14 socmen in this town, with 90 acres of land, 2 carucates and 4 acres of meadow, but at the survey, he held this of the King, and it was then valued at 20s. so that it appears both the Conqueror and Roger, made no scruple of robbing the church of their possessions.

The family of De Curzun or Curson, was early enfeoffed of this lordship, which Ralph de Curzun was lord of in the first of King John, and held of the Earl of Norfolk. In the 8th of Henry III. Ralph Picot granted by fine, a carucate and an half in this town, to Robert Curcun, and in the 35th of Edward I. Roger de Curson held one fee of Roger Bigod Earl of Norfolk.

Richard de Thurston, &c. settled it by fine (as trustee) on Roger de Curzun and Beatrix his wife, and the heirs of their bodies, in the first of Edward II. and in the 12th of that King, he had a charter for free warren; one of the same name was lord in the 20th of Edward III.

In the 11th of Richard II. Thomas Curson of Folsham, son of William, released his right in two parts of this lordship, and those of Gerberge and Gelham, in Wode-Norton, to William Curson of Berford, and his heirs, and William Gerberge, son of Sir Roger, granted to Alice, widow of Sir William, in the 13th of that King, an annuity of 10 marks, out of this manor.

William Gerberge was lord in the 3d of Henry IV. John Curson is said to hold a 2d part of it in the 2d of Henry VI.

In the 11th of Henry VI. Henry Sturmer and Catherine his wife, and John Docking, had an interest in it.

In the 15th of that King, John Crane, Esq. of Wodenorton, and Alice his wife, conveyed to Sir William Oldhall a moiety of the manor of Ilneys, and 2 parts of the manor of Yaxham.

Sir John Curson of Billingford, by his last will, dated January 10, in the 11th of Edward IV. orders his trustees if they should recover his right in the 3d part of the manor of Yaxham, to settle it on Edward, his youngest son.

This lordship of Yaxham was about this time divided into 4 parts, or manors; first, Curson's, sold to Henry Slurmer, whose wife sold it to John Hastings, who gave it to his son, Robert, and Sir John Curson claimed a right herein; 2d, Gerberge's manor, of which Hugh Gerberge was lord; this was divided into two parts, Crane held one, and sold it to Henry Sturmer, from whom it came to Hastings, and John Docking had the other part, who sold it to William Paston, Esq. 3d, Ilneys manor; this was also divided into 2 parts, Crane had one, and sold it to Sturmer, and he to Hastings, and John Docking had the other part, who sold it to Paston.

John Hastings, son and heir of Sir Edward, John Heydon, William Stather, &c. were querents in a fine, and Roger Drury and Ann his wife, deforcients, of the manors of Yaxham, Cursons, Gerberge, and Ilneys, conveyed to Stather, in the 16th of Edward IV. from the heirs of Anne; she was daughter and heir of Henry Sturmer, and had also Southall manor in Geyst, and that of Besthorp, of her own inheritance.

About 1640,—Hardy was lord; his son,—Hardy, rector of Elsing, inherited it, and sold it to William Murrall, yeoman, of Sparham, lord of it in 1713.

In the reign of Philip and Mary, it paid 7s. per ann. to the see of Norwich, formerly due to the penitentiary of the abbey of St. Bennet's of Holm.

Hermerus de Ferrarijs had 4 socmen, which belonged to his predecessor, (with 20 acres of land,) in King Edward's reign, a carucate, now half a one, and one acre of meadow, then valued at 4s. at the survey at 2s. (fn. 2)

Hermerus was ancestor of the Lords Bardolf, barons of Wirmegey.

In the 38th of Henry III. the Lord Bardolf had a grant of free warren.

In the 9th of Edward II. Robert Atte Haghe held here, in Shipdam, and Letton, a quarter of a fee 120 acres of land, with 3 tenants, and a moiety of the Rode fee, of the honour of Wirmegey, and in the 5th of Henry VI. Robert Fishpool held the same.

In the 38th of Henry VIII. Sir Richard Southwell held it, and so came to the Cranes and Claytons.

Alan Earl of Richmond, had 2 socmen, with 24 acres of land, and half a carucate, belonging to his manor of Costesey, or Cossey, under which it was valued, of which Earl Guert was lord in King Edward's time. (fn. 3)

The Lord of Cossey held it in the 41st of Henry III. and the Bardolfs refused to pay suit of court to the lord of the hundred.

The tenths were 3l. 10s. Deducted 10s.

Temporalities of Wendling abbey, 3s.

The Church of Yaxham is dedicated to St. Peter. William de Wendling was patron of it in the reign of Edward I. and about the same time, Sir Robert de Curson the rector had then a manse with 40 acres of land, and was valued at 22 marks. Peter-pence 20d. the present valor is 10l. 9d. ob. and pays first fruits and tenths.


Nicholas occurs rector in the 14th of Edward I.

1308, Robert de Curson, presented by the abbot and convent of Wendling.

1313, Mr. Robert de Houton, Bishop of Norwich, a lapse.

1325, John de Thirston. Ditto.

1375, Mr. Thomas de Hedersete.

1388, Henry Sturdy, by John de Palgrave.

1391, John de Norwich, by the abbot, &c. ut supra.

1392, Roger Panton. Ditto.

1409, John Roche. Ditto.

1425 Mr. John Paresson, licentiate in the canon law.

1429, William Whytmete. Ditto.

1432, Henry Martyn. Ditto.

1436, Mr. John Wygenhale. Ditto.

Mr. Hugh Acton.

1455, Mr. Symon Thornham, LL.B. Ditto.

1456, Mr. John Smith. Ditto.

1489, Mr. Henry Falk, decret. Dr. Ditto.

1496, John Goos. Ditto.

1503, Edmund Crow. Ditto.

1505, Richard Rolston.

1508, John Brown. Ditto.

1525, Thomas Taverham, by the assignees of ditto.

1530, James Womcock, by the abbot, &c.

1533, William Foster, by the abbot, &c.

1558, John Peck, by Sir Richard Southwell, and Thomas Hogan, Esq.

1561, John Maydwell, by Bridget Calybut, widow, and Thomas Huggen, Gent.

1585, John Maydwell, junior, by Thomas Hogan, Esq.; in 1603, he returned 180 communicants.

1649, Robert Neve, by William Crane, Esq.

George Wright, rector, and on his death, Edw. Heyhoe, in 1718, presented by Thomas Scott, Gent.

1733, John Salmon, by Edward Heyhoe, clerk.

1734, Grigson Heyhoe, by ditto.

Reverend Mr. Richard Drake, rector, by Jermyn Heyhoe, Gent.

The Church has a nave, north and south isle, covered with lead, and a chancel tiled; at the west end of the nave is a round tower, with 5 bells.

Here were the guilds of St. Peter, St. Mary, and of the Trinity; lights of St. Mary, St. Nicholas, St. Catherine's, &c.

In a south window of the chancel, azure, fretty, argent, on a canton, gules, the sun, or; or, on a bend between three crosier staffs, gules, three pales, or bezants, Wendling abbey arms. In the windows of the south isle, gules on a chevron, argent, three torteaux azure, three cinquefoils, or; also quarterly, Hastings and Foliot.

In the first year of King John, William Earl Warren, granted by fine, the advowson to Ralph de Curzun.

Robert de Curzen conveyed it to William de Wendling in the 43d of Henry III. who granted it to the priory of Wendling.

There were also in this hundred some towns when Domesday Book was made, which are now, and have been for some centuries past, destroyed, viz.

Flockthorp, now included in Hardingham; Calveley, now included in Reymerston; also Thorp, which is now included in Shipdam.

The town of Bicherston, or Boxton, now an hamlet to Bernham Broom in Fourhou hundred, is placed in Domesday Book in the hundred of Mitford, and was part of the invasions of Hermerus de Ferrarijs.

"In Bicherstuna i lib. viii ac. comd. tantu' val. vid."

Appethorp, part of this town, is placed under the hundred of Fourhou, and part in this hundred of Mitford, and was of the lordship of Alan Earl of Richmond, and before of Earl Guert belonging to his great manor of Costesey.

"In Appethorp i soc. Guert xxx ac. t're, sep. ii bor. et i car. et iii ac. p'ti. silva xv porc. in eode, p'tio.

In what town this is now included is uncertain.

Baskeney was also a town in this hundred, belonging to Alan Earl of Richmond.

"In Baskenea xii ac. t're. i soc. ejusd. (Guert.) in e'od. o'tio.

Where this stood is also uncertain.

Ocselea was another town, where, and in Rising in this hundred, the Conqueror had 3 borderers, who held 12 acres of land, valued in Hingham; where this stood is uncertain.


  • 1. Terra Rogeri Bigoti—In Iachesham tenet Ranulfus f. Galt. xxx ac. t're. q's. tenuit Aldin. p'br. lib. ho. T.R.E. et viii bord. semper i car. silv. v porc. et iiii ac. p'ti. et val. x sol. et ht. vii qr. in long. et vi in lato et xxd. de gelto.—Terra S'ce Adeldrede—In Iachesham xiiii soc. lxxxx ac. semp. ii car. iiii ac. p'ti. val. xx sol. Rog. Bigot ten. de abbe. sed. p. et de rege.
  • 2. Terre Hermeri de Ferrar.—In Iachesham iiii soc. sui antec. xx ac. terre T. R. E. tc. i car. modo dim. et i ac. p'ti. tc. valet iiii sol. mo. ii.
  • 3. Terre Alani Comitis—In Iachesham ii soc. ej' de' (Guert) xxiiii ac. tre. sep. dim. car. in eodem p'tio.