Smethdon Hundred: Shernbourn

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, 'Smethdon Hundred: Shernbourn', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) pp. 350-361. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Smethdon Hundred: Shernbourn", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) 350-361. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Smethdon Hundred: Shernbourn", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809). 350-361. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

In this section


Called in Domesday Book Serlebruna, Scernebrune, Shernebuna, taking its name from a brook or rivulet of clear water, as Shereford in this county; Chereford in Hampshire; Sherborne in Gloucestershire; Charing, and Cheriton in Kent.

It was then in the hundred of Docking, but now in Smethden hundred.

Sir Henry Spelman, and the rest of our historians, relate that one Thoke was lord of this town when Fœlix, the Bishop of the EastAngles, came into this part of his diocese, in King Sigebert's time, about the year 640, to convert it to Christianity; and being one of his converts, built a church here dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, the second that was erected in the Kingdom of the East-Angles, the first being a little before founded by the encouragement of the said Bishop at Babingley, where he first landed.

The heiress of this Thoke, married Ingulfe, whose posterity enjoyed it till the time of King Canute, the Dane, when that King granted it with Snetesham, &c. to Edwin, who came with him into England out of Denmark in 1014, on his marriage with the heiress of the family, and descendants of the said Ingulfe.

Edwyn enjoyed it peaceably till he was ejected at the conquest in 1066, and these lordships were seized on by William de Albini, the Conqueror's butler; (fn. 1) and William de Warren Earl Warren, to whom the King had granted many lordships in these parts. Upon this Edwin made application to the Conqueror, and proving that he never before, at, or after the Conquest, had acted any thing against the Conqueror, he received an order to be restored to this lordship, &c. which the possessors abovementioned would not comply with. But William de Albini granted him a messuage, 300 acres of land, with 3 foldcourses in Snetesham, and William de Warren 400 acres of land, with a messuage and 4 foldcourses, with a lordship to be held of him by certain services, reserving the rest to himself, with the advowson of the church.

After this Sir Ralph de Ibrenijs, a Norman, to whom the Conqueror had granted the manor of Southmere cum Docking, imprisoned the said Edwin, who making his escape, applied to William de Albini for relief, who sent for an illegitimate daughter of his, out of Normandy, and married her to Ascurus, the son of Edwin; on this Edwin lived peaceably and quietly, and died soon after.

This relation is taken from a MS. of the family and pedigree of the Sharnburns, wrote (as it seems by the hand) about the time of Henry VIII. formerly in the possession of Sir Henry Spelman, or lent to him; and now is in the Ashmolean library or Musæum at Oxford, amongst the MSS. of Sir William Dugdale, Garter King at Arms, fol. 57.

It was in the family of the Southertons, who married the heiress of the Shanburns; and the Lady Southerton desired Francis Gardiner, Esq. alderman of Norwich, (afterwards mayor in 1685,) to deliver it to Sir William Dugdale, and to acquaint him it was her desire it should be deposited in the library of the Herald's Office, which Sir William forgot to do, and so gave it with his other books to the Musæum abovementioned.

But I must take the liberty of saying that the truth and authority of this relation, and manuscript is not to be depended on, and to justify myself, shall lay before my reader, some substantial and satisfactory reasons, (as I presume) taken from the most ancient and authentic manuscript of English History, and old tenures, the book of Domesday.

The town of Shernborn appears from that book, made in 1085, to be divided into several little tenures and lordships.

Odo Bishop of Baieux in France, and Earl of Kent, had one socman here, who held 5 acres; this belonged to, and was part of Odo's great manor of Snetesham, which Stigand the Archbishop of Canterbury held in Edward the Confessor's reign, (fn. 2) of which Stigand was deprived at the Conquest, and it was granted then to Odo, the Conqueror's brother.

It appears by this that Edwin had no lordship in Snetesham, or right in, or to this part of Shernborne; his name not occurring in King Edward's, or King William the Conqueror's time, and this was only 5 acres, and held in soccage.

William de Warrenna held then a lordship, which four freemen held in King Edward the Confessor's time, consisting of 2 carucates of land, and one freeman held then 40 acres; 5 villains, and 3 carucates belonged to it, and it was valued at 60s. (fn. 3)

This could not be Edwin's, of which the Earl of Warren is (as the MS. aforesaid) said to have deprived him, because it was possessed we see by 5 freemen in King Edward's time, and no mention is made of Edwin; he could not be one of these freemen, their tenure was small, and he was lord (as it is said) of the whole town.

Berner, captain of the Conqueror's cross bowmen, or archers, had also at the survey a lordship in King Edward's reign by one freeman, to which there belonged one carucate of land, and one in demean, &c. five borderers belonged to it, a mill, the 12th part of a salt pit, and the 12th part of a mill, 2 acres and an half of meadow, it was then, &c. valued at 16s. at the survey at 20s. per ann. (fn. 4)

This small fee could not belong to Edwin, lord of the whole town, it being held by one freeman in King Edward's days, valued then but at 16s. per ann.

Ivo de Tailgebosc held at the survey, the principal lordship of this town, belonging to 16 freemen in King Edward's reign, who held it under Herold, consisting of 5 carucates of land, and when Ivo had the grant of it; but at the survey there were but three, and the same freemen held it under Ivo; 3 villains belonged to it, one acre and half of meadow, a mill valued at 40s. but at the survey at 4l. per ann.

Ralph Earl of Norfolk was lord of it, when he forfeited it, on his rebellion; and it was granted to Ivo: the whole town was one leuca long, and half a leuca broad, whoever was lord of it; and paid 27d. to a 20s. gelt.

Earl Ralph, one year before he forfeited, took from it a carucate of land from Roger, son of Renard, as the hundred witnesses. (fn. 5)

Ivo was also lord of Newton in South Greenhow hundred, at the survey.

From this account it appears that this was the capital lordship in King Edward's reign, when Herold (afterwards King of England) was lord of it, and on his death was granted (as we see) to Ralph Waher, or Guader, created Earl of Norfolk by the Conqueror, who being about 1075, in the rebellion against King William, (who had granted it to him) it was forfeited to the Crown, and given to Ivo aforesaid, so that Edwin had never any interest in this lordship.

Here was also another small tenure in this town placed under the title of invasions, belonging to Peter de Valoines, (at the survey,) a Norman baron, who had invaded or seized on a socman of Harold who held 60 acres of land belonging to Secheford manor, and now held under Peter de Valoins, by William de Pertenaj, of whom he had livery of it, valued at 6s. 8d. per ann. and there was a freeman belonging to it, who had 6 acres, valued at 6d. (fn. 6) of whom Peter de Valoins had the protection; this was held by the Sharnborns.

This last account is of great service, to prove that Edwin had no interest, either in this whole manor, (as the MS. asserts) or in any part of it; so exact is the Domesday register, that not only every lordship, but that the smallest part of a knight's fee is accounted for; the lords and owners are specified both in the reigns of King Edward and of the Conqueror, that every one's particular service as due to the King, and his own right and title might be clearly known, and supported by such an undeniable voucher and authority.

If so little an invasion, or encroachment, could not be omitted, how can any one imagine that such a large manor as this, (if we suppose that all the tenures above specified were united and held by Edwin, with the lordships of Snetesham, Stanhow, &c.) could ever be passed by, or omitted at the grand survey, where no account is to be found of Edwin?

But the aforesaid MS. is not only false in respect of Edwin's tenure here, but in respect of time; Edwin is said to have come into England with King Canute, in the year 1014, and to be living at the time of the Conquest and after; and that he was taken prisoner by Ralph de Ibrenijs, to whom the Conqueror had given the manor of Southmere cum Docking.

At the time when the survey was made in 1085, the manor of Southmere was, as Domesday testifies, in the Conqueror's own hands, and had been so from the death of Herold the King, and was not granted till some time after his reign to the ancestor of the family of Lovell, (about the reign of Henry I. as may be seen in Southmere) and a descendant of the lords of Iberj in France.

Fuller, in his Worthies, calls this Edwin by the name of Shanburn, and relates that he traversed the title of the Earl Warren to this lordship, and being a Norfolk man durst go to law with the Conqueror, and question the validity of his donations; yea, he got the better of the suit, (says he) and the King's grant was adjudged void.

The author of the MS. is not known; had he heard of the family of de Ibreo, lords of Southmere, and of Thoke, a great Saxon thane, whom he places under the reign of King Sigebert, and in the time of Fælix, the first Bishop of the East-Angles, whereas Thoke was lord of Rougham, West Walton, Castleacre, Gressenhale, Hitcham, &c. in the reign of King Edward, and deprived of them all at the Conquest, when they were granted to the Earl Warren.

So that this MS. history is founded on common report, on vulgar, anile tradition, which encreases as a snow-ball, and makes mountains of mole hills.

That part of this town which Stigand held in King Edward's time, of which he was deprived at the conquest, was granted, together with the manor of Snetesham, to Odo, the Conqueror's brother, and on the rebellion of the said Odo, against his nephew, King William II. was forfeited to him, who gave it to William de Albini, his butler, ancestor to the Earls of Sussex, as may be seen in Rising, and was held of the said Earls and their descendants, by the Shernborns; it was only 5 acres held in soccage, and the said William had also a grant (as I take it) of Taylbois manor.

Rusteyn's Manor,

Was that part or lordship which was held by four freemen, and being ejected on the Conquest, came to the Earl Warren, under whom the Rusteyns held it, of whom see in Snetesham. William de Rusteng was found in the 3d of Edward I. to have the assise of bread and beer of his tenants, and other liberties.

In the 17th of Edward II. Walter de Norwich was found to hold lands of the said fee, as of the Castle of Acre.

John de Titchwell, and the heirs of John de Mileham, held the 3d part of a fee here, &c. by the said tenure.

In the 3d of Richard II. Katherine Brews, a nun at Dertford in Kent, was found to be seized of half a fee here, &c. called Rusteyn's, and William de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, was her heir, son of Margaret, sister of Sir Tho. de Norwich, father of the said Catherine.—Escheat. Rot.

The manor that Berner held, and which belonged to one freeman in King Edward's reign, who held it (as I take it) under Harold, and after under Earl Ralph, and was on his forfeiture, granted to Berner, with the lordships of Scoulton and Ashill, which were of the same tenure, and came after to the Picots, and Burdelys's family, and were held under them, as is most likely, by the Shernborn family.

The capital lordship which was possessed at the survey by Ivo de Tailgebose, and by 16 freemen, in King Edward's time, under Harold, was first granted to Ralph, and on his forfeiture to the said Ivo, who had only at the survey, this manor, and that of Newton by Castleacre in this county.

Ivo possessed it but a little time, King William II. bestowing it on his favourite, William de Albini, whose descendants, Earls of Sussex, enjoyed it, till the death of Hugh Earl of Sussex, who dying s. p. male, it came by marriage of Isabel, the eldest sister and coheir, to Sir Robert de Tateshale, and was held by the Sharnburns, the Rusteyn's, &c. under them.

The part or lordship which Peter de Valoin's had invaded, was most likely united to his adjoining lordship of Dersingham, but it appears that it was afterwards held also in demean, of the Valoines, by the Sherborns.

This Peter, and Albreda his lady, gave two parts of the tithes of this manor to the priory of Binham, on their foundation thereof. (fn. 7)

In the year 1260, on the fourth of the calends of August, a composition was agreed on, dated at Dersingham, between the prior and convent of Binham, rectors of Dersingham, and the prior and convent of Pentney, rectors of this church, whereby the tithes of Mengend furlong, were to belong to Binham, and the furlongs of Longland, Shortland, Cranhill, Dole, and Prestrete Gate, to the priory of Pentney.

Having thus accounted for the several lordships anciently in this town, it remains that some account be given of this family of Sharnburn, who thus held the greatest part of it.

The MS. of the family (abovementioned) says that "Ascur, son of Edwin, had by his wife, (a natural daughter of William de Albini) 3 sons and several daughters, and died about the end of King Stephen's reign; Maud, one of his daughters, married to Nicholas, son of Ralph de Docking; another married Alan, son of Robert de Ingaldesthorp, and a third to Sir Nicholas de Tofts; that Jeffrey de Sharnburn was his eldest son and heir, chief steward to William Earl Warren, who died on St. Agatha's day, in the reign of King Henry II. that he married Etheldreda, daughter of Roger de Dersingham, relict of Sir Fulco de Sharnbourn, and after the death of Geffrey, she married Sir Roger de Rusteyn."

Of this pedigree I shall scrutinize.

The register of Windham priory mentions Geffrey de Sharnborn, son of Eudo, but nothing of Edwin.

Some make the said Eudo to be son of Fulco de Sharnborn, and place him at the head of this family, and that he married Etheldreda, daughter of Sir Roger de Dersingham, which is a more probable account.

This Eudo lived in King John's reign, and was lord of this town, as will appear, ao. 10th of King John, and gave it to Nicholas de Sharnbourn.

"Geffrey, by Etheldreda, had 3 sons; Sir Adam de Sharnborn the eldest, knighted in the Holy Land, in the time of Richard I. by William Earl of Arundel, and died single; Sir Andrew, the 2d son, knighted in the Holy Land in the reign of King John, by William de Albini, the fourth Earl of Arundel, and married Susan, 3d daughter and coheir of Benedict de Aungerville, lord of West Newton, &c. she dying s. p. he remarried to Alice, daughter of — —, and relict of Silvester de Rysing."

"Sir Andrew died s. p. 1249, and was buried at Sherborne before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, near the south wall. This lady is said to have built the chancel of this church, and to be there buried in 1260."

In the reign of King John, Nicholas de Sharnborn was lord, and gave the church to the priory of Pentney.

Sir Andrew was one of the jurors with Sir Peter de Peleville, and William Luvell, to settle the true bounds of this county, and of Lincolnshire, as the register of Spalding testifies, (fn. 8) and disseised William de Snetesham of lands in Snetesham, in the 48th of Henry III.

There was also a Geffrey de Sharnborne living in the 42d of Henry III. who with his wife Rosamond, (said to be daughter of William, son of Robert de Ingaldesthorp,) had an interest in this town, when one Pagan agreed by fine levied, to pay to the said Jeffrey and Rosamond, and their heirs, 2d. ob. per ann. for a tenement and 30 acres of land here held of them.

This Jeffrey was found to hold here and in Snetesham, half a fee, and had a son, William.

About this time also lived Thomas, son of Jeffrey de Sharnborn, and Henry, son of Ralph de Sharnborn, who gave lands here to Wymondham priory. (fn. 9)

"Sir Peter de Sharnborn, 3d son of Jeffrey, succeeded his 2 brothers in the inheritance, and was in the Holy Land, and married a lord's daughter in France, whom he forsook, came into England, and married Cecilia, daughter of Silvester Rysing, by whom he had several children; and dying in 1259, was buried on the north side of the high altar of the church of Sharnborn."

Peter de Sharnburne was witness to a deed, sans date, about the end of Henry III. as in Dersingham.

"Andrew de Sharnborne was 2d son and heir to Sir Peter, and married first, Emma, daughter of Godfrey de Toftres, rector of Hunstantor, by whom he had Alice, married to James Styward of Holme by the sea, and secondly to Richard de Gerneston, burgess of Lynne; she died s. p. in 1809, and was buried in St. Margaret's church at Lynn, under an arch on the south side. Andrew, by his 2d wife, Christian, daughter of Sir Alan le Gross of Woodnorton, had a son of his own name, who died young; she survived her husband (who died in 1282, and was here buried) many years, and remarried Edmund, son of Sir John Gelham of Dersingham."

The pedigree it is to be feared, is very faulty, as appears from several remarks I have already made. (fn. 10) It is certain that Will. de Sharnborn, son of Geffrey was lord of a manor in Snetesham, in 1275, and had then the assise of bread and beer, and liberties of his tenants.

In the 5th of Edward I. Robert de Pyrewe conveyed lands here by fine, to Andrew de Sharnborne: he and Walter his brother were witnesses to a grant of lands in Dersingham, (fn. 11) to the prior of Binham, sans date.

"Walter de Sharnborne, Esq. succeeded his brother in the inheritance, and married Juliana, daughter of Adam Rydout, senior, who dying s. p. Margery, daughter of Stephen de Geyton, was his second wife: he was esquire to Sir Thomas Rosceline, Knt. and was on the King's side at the battles of Lewes and Evesham, and was signed with the sign of the cross on his right shoulder, went once, but was prevented his second going into the Holy Land, died in 1307, and was buried in the churchyard on the east end of the chancel wall, having a son, Andrew, born 5 days after his decease, by Margery, who died of the pestilence in 1349, and was buried before the south door of this church."

"Peter and Robert de Sharnborne, were younger brothers to Walter; the first was esquire to Sir Hugh Peche, the other to Sir John de la Hay, and were on the side of the barons against King Henry III. Robert obtained the King's pardon, but Peter was, banished and lived in France."

Andrew de Sharnburn, 2d son of Sir Peter, married first Emma, sister of William Godfrey, of Toftys-Rys, rector of Hunstanton; and to his 2d wife, Christiana, daughter of Sir Alan le Gross, of Woodnorton; she survived him, and married Edmund, son of Sir John de Gelham.

"Sir Andrew was the eldest son of Walter, and at 12 years old, contracted to Emme, daughter of William Gostelyne of Snetesham, chief steward to Robert, Lord Montalt, lord of Rysing, &c. he was esquire to Thomas de Brotherton Earl of Norfolk, in the Scotch and French wars; and in 1426, accompanied Maurice de Dersingham to the Holy Land, and there knighted, 1348, at the Holy Sepulchre, with Sir Armand de Aspays, by the Viscount Caremayne, in the presence of many French, Spanish, and German nobility: he had many sons and daughters who died s. p."

"Andrew, his 2d son, was his heir, born in 1328, was at the battle of Cressy, and at the siege of Calais, in the retinue of the Earl of Warwick, and after at the siege of the city of Rennes, in Bretagne, being wounded by a great stone, he languished and died, about a year after, aged 31, and was buried in this church, and succeeded by William his brother, 6th son of Sir Andrew."

Sir Andrew de Sharnbourn, knight, in the 30th of Edward III. had the King's protection, being to accompany the Prince of Wales into Spain: (fn. 12) this was that Andrew whom the MS. calls esquire, 2d son of Sir Andrew, and at the siege of Rhenes, in 1359: he died in 1860, supposing the MS. true.

In the 8th of Edward III. 1334, a fine was levied between Andrew de Sharnborn and Emme his wife, lord of this manor, and Thomas, son of William Gostelyn, &c. on a settlement.

Sir Andrew de Sharnburne, purchased messuages and lands of Henry Broun, in Tilney, by fine, in the 37th of Edward III. ao. 1363.

"William de Sharnborne, 6th son of Sir Andrew, and heir to his brother, succeeded, and left two daughters and coheirs; Margery, the 2d daughter, wife of William Champneys, who had issue, but they dying s. p. the whole interest and inheritance of the Shernbourns in this town, &c. was in Clarice, eldest daughter, and wife of John Toly, Esq. and descended to Margaret, their sole daughter and heir, who married Richard Elleswich, Esq. 1408, of Ribchester in Lancashire, father of Thomas Elleswyke, Esq. who assumed the name of Sharnbourne: he was groom of the chamber to Queen Margaret, consort to King Henry VI. and married Jemona de Cherneys, one of her maids of honour, a French woman, and dying in 1458, Feb. 3, was here buried."

William de Sharnborne, Esq. married (as I find) Joan, daughter of Sir Robert de Ilketeshale, of Ilketeshale in Suffolk, and of Kelling and Hedenham in Norfolk, by whom he had 2 daughters and coheirs, Claricia and Margery, or Margaret, who were coheirs to Sir Robert.

This William had the manor of Kelling, demised to him, by Sir Robert de Morley, Knt. and Claricia his wife, (late widow of Sir Robert de Ilketeshale, and mother of Joan) for 10 years, as a portion for his wife, Joan, as appears from a deed of Sir William de Kerdeston, Knt. feoffees of that manor, and of release to William aforesaid, in the 5th of Richard II.

In the 11th of Henry IV. a fine was levied between Henry Malpas, clerk, William Dersingham, &c. querents, William Champenys, and Margaret his wife, a daughter and coheir of William de Shernborne, of the moiety of this manor, with lands in South Lynne, Wygenhale, &c. conveyed to Dersingham, by fine, in trust.

In the 7th of Henry V. Richard Ellyswyk, Esq. of Sharnborne, and Margaret his wife, were querents in a fine, and John Champneys, of Reynham, junior, &c. deforciants, whereby the moiety of this manor was settled on Margaret in tail, quit of the heirs of John Champneys.

By a fine, levied in the 10th of Henry VI. Laurence Fitz-Piers, son of Margery, daughter of Idonia, one of the sisters of Sir Thomas Ilketeshale, knight, deceased, and Margery, late wife of Thomas Seyve, another of the sisters of Sir Thomas and Margaret, late the wife of Richard Elleswyke, daughter of Joan, who was another sister (as said) were found to be heirs of the said Sir Thomas Ilketeshale, by which it appears that the said Richard was then dead; Margaret's son, by Richard, changed his name; for it appears that Thomas Sharnborne, Esq. (fn. 13) son and heir of Richard Elleswyke, was bound to Thomas Deyvile in 500l. by bond, dated November 18, ao 34th of Henry VI. with a condition to stand to the arbitration of Sir Thomas Tudenham, and John Heydon, between him and Isabel, widow of Sir Thomas Ilketeshale, about the differences between them.

Deyvile married the said Isabel, and this difference related to the lordships of Kelling, and Hedenham.

Thomas died about the 4th of Edward IV. in which year the relief was paid for lands in Midleton, held by him.

"John Sharnborne, Esq. succeeded his father, Thomas, and took to wife, Anne, a daughter and coheir of John Curson, of Billing ford, by Joan his wife, by whom he had Henry his son and heir, and several daughters; Joan married to George Kelsull of Ramsey, and Elizabeth to Edmund Doget, of Henyngham, &c."

He died seized of this manor in the 3d of Henry VII. 1487.

"Henry, the eldest son, was born 1474, and married Isabel, daughter of Sir Richard Fitz-Lewes of Essex: he was knighted by King Henry VIII. provost marshal, and Vice-admiral of England, and was killed in a sea fight with the French.

Sir Henry was knighted in the year 1511, ao. 1 Henry VIII. had a patent May 7, ao. 20 Henry VIII. to be marshal of the King's Bench; and in the 26th of that King, Isabel was his widow, and Thomas Sharnborne, Esq. her son, was living.

Thomas, son and heir of Sir Henry, was with his father when killed, and aged 18, and afterwards deaf by discharge of the guns; was servant to the Princess Mary, and married Elizabeth, daughter of — Atwell, maid of honour to the said princess, by whom he had children who died young; by Blith, his second wife, daughter of John Brampton in Norfolk, he had several sons and a daughter, Dorothy, wife of John Plumsted, Esq. remarried to Robert Nicholls: he died March 22, 1559, and Blith surviving, married Launcelot Smalpiece of Hokering, Gent. and died in 1602, being here buried by her husband.

The will of this Thomas is dated April 11, 1557, and was proved May 12, 1559. (fn. 14)

Christopher Sharnborne, Esq. eldest son of Thomas, was born October 12, 1542, by his wife, Anne, daughter of Aubrey de Vere, brother to John Earl of Oxford, and dying July 7, 1575, aged 34, was here buried, leaving Francis his son and heir.

Christopher had livery of it, and of Hedenham manor, and Cecile's in Snetesham, about the 5th of Elizabeth.

Francis Shernborne, Esq. was the last of this family that bore the name of Shernbourn; he married Martha, (as it is said) a daughter of Sir George Colt, of Cavendish in Suffolk, and had by her, Mary, his daughter and heir, married to Sir Augustine Sotherton of Taverham, by Norwich.

Anne his mother, survived his father, Christopher, and remarried John Stubbs of Thelveton.

In the 24th of Elizabeth, Edward Mannock, and Stephen Drury, had a præcipe to render to Richard Bladwell and Edward Allen, East Hall manor in Sharnburne.

This town, after the death of Francis Shernborne, was sold to Francis Ashe, a Muscovy merchant of London, who gave it by lease and release, dated 1654, and August 15, 1655, to Emanuel college in Cambridge, who hold the lordship at this time.

Windham Priory Manor.

Jeffrey, son of Eudo de Sharnburne, gave them lands; (fn. 15) and Rob. de Rusteyn gave 40 acres here, of the fee of Nicholas de Sharnburne, for his own, his wife Aldred's soul, and for the souls of the Albineys, his lords, Earls of Sussex.

This Nicholas, though lord here, is not mentioned in the MS. Henry, son of Ralph de Sharnborne, gave lands, as did Sir Robert Tharum, Eustace de Bovent, and Thomas, son of Thomas de Ingaldesthorp, gave 27 acres in this town.

King Edward I. in his 12th year, granted the prior free warren herein, and 1428, their temporalities were valued at 3l. 3s. 4d. per ann.

Lewes Priory Manor.

The priory of Lewes had the assise of bread and beer of his tenants here, ao. 3d Edward I. and in 1428, his temporalities were valued at 2l. 10s. per ann.

The arms of Sharnborne were gules, a lion rampant, or, which were the arms of their lords, De Albiny, of whom they held lands, and a canton, ermine, was added for distinction.

In the old hall, and other rooms, were formerly these following arms, painted on the glass:

Gules, two greyhounds combatant, or, Dogget, impaling argent, a chevron, between three seamows heads, sable; Norman, quere if not a chevron, azure, between three unicorns heads erased; Sharnbourne and Elleswick, argent, on a chevron between three eaglets, with two heads displayed, gules, as many bezants, quarterly; Sharnborne and Elleswick, quarterly, impaling gules, a saltire between four cross crosslets, fitchè, argent, Brampton; azure, three standing cups, or, barry of eight, argent and azure, a griffin, segreant, or, Caus; ermin, a bend, checque, sable and argent, Curson; Sharnbourn, impaling Curson, and Felton quarterly; or, a fess between two chevronels, gules, and a canton, ermine, Ilketeshale; azure, three lions heads erased, argent, Tooly.

The tenths were 4l. 10s. Deduct 13s. 4d.

The Church is an antique pile, dedicated to St. Peter, but not built by Fælix, the Bishop, as the Sherborn MS. represents, by fabulous tradition; (fn. 16) has a body, with a south isle covered with lead, never had any tower, and the chancel has been long in ruins.

At the upper end of the church was a gravestone with the portraitures of a man and his wife, and

Tho. Sherneborne camerar. D'ne Margarete Anglie regine, et Jamone uxor. ejus quo' da' domicellarie ejusd. regine.

Under the inscription Sharnborne, impaling three martlets in fess, and a file of three in chief, De Cherneys.

Weaver says this monument was so foully defaced in his his time, (fn. 17) that nothing could be made of it, the vulture displayed only remaining, the crest of the family.

In the nave, a stone for

George Houghton, gent. who died in 1737, aged 57.

In the church were the arms of the Lords Mowbray, Albiny, Ross, Vaux, with those of Walkfare, Felton, Wesenham, Gourney, Repps, Elmham, or Ellingham, Stanhow, Calthorp, Harsick, Ingaldesthorp, and ermine, on a fess, gules, three escallops, or, Seckford; sable, chevron, between three trefoils, sliped, argent, Fitz-Lewes.

Also the guild of St. Peter, and that of St. John Baptist in the church.

The rectory was appropriated to the priory of Pentney, and the presentation to the vicarage was in that house.

In the 3d year of Edward 1. the jury for the hundred present that it was given to that priory by Nicholas de Scarneborne in the time of King John, and their spiritualities in 1428, were valued at 12 marks; the priory had a grange, with 20 acres of land, the vicarage at 40s. Peter-pence 11d.

Peter Lord Valoines, and Albreda his wife, on their foundation of the priory of Binham, gave two parts of the tithes of their lordship here to it; but that being held of the Valoines by the Sharnborn family, Wydo de Sharnborne, in the 10th of King John, conveyed it by fine to Nicholas de Sharnborne, who presently after gave the whole tithe of the town, belonging to him, to Pentney priory. And it is to be observed, that no mention either of this Wydo alias Eudo, or of Nicholas, though both lords of the town, or of this gift, is made, in the MS. aforesaid. (fn. 18)

The temporalities of Pentney priory were 4s. 7d. ob.

At the dissolution of the rectory, it came to the Crown, and was granted with the patronage of the vicarage, to the Bishop of Ely, by act of parliament, ao. 4 Elizabeth, for lands belonging to that see, by way of exchange.

The present valor of the vicarage is 8l.


1300, Stephen de Linn, vicar, by the prior, &c. of Pentney.

1306, William de Strattone.

1309, Adam de Saxlingham.

1317, William de Colkirk.

1327, Richard Wymer.

1333, John Yol.

1349, Richard Stanynge.

1349, Gilbert de Holkham.

1352, John Mayster. Richard occurs vicar, 1370.

1371, Martyn de Newton.

1378, Stephen Reynald.

1383, William de Wate.

1392, John Ryche.

1409, Symon Brunne.

1410, John Knot.

1410, Thomas Hogun.

1411, Thomas Wreetre.

1472, Thomas Godwill.

1438, Roger Janneson.

1443, Thomas Clerk.

Roger Multon.

1460, John Vernon.

1478, John Sterling.

1505, Simon Lawrimer.

1530, Florence Semer.

15--, Thomas Pety.

1544, Thomas Aunger, by John Dethick, Gent. assignee of the prior, &c.

1555, Edward Arnold, collated by the bishop, a lapse.

1557, Thomas Rogerson. Ditto.

1572, Edmund Frankling. Ditto.

1573, John Lynley. Ditto.

1574, Marmaduke Cholmley, by the Queen.

1577, John Sharparrow, ditto; in 1603, he certified that there were 153 communicants.

1616, Roger Wolterton, by the Bishop of Ely.

1620, Roger Wolterton. Ditto.

1626, Francis Drake, by the King, the see of Ely then void.

1660, William Houghton, by the Bishop of Ely.

1699, William Houghton. Ditto.

1748, Charles Buckle, on Houghton's death, by ditto.

1751, Archibald Kerr. Ditto.

In the 13th of Elizabeth, there was a pension called perpetual, by the Queen's receiver general, to the vicar, of 17 marks per ann.


  • 1. Spelman's Icenia, p. 146. Dugdale's Baron, vol. i. p. 118.
  • 2. Terre Epi. Baiocensis.—Snettesham, ten. Stigand' temp. Regis Edv. &c. et in Scernebruna i soc. v ac.
  • 3. Tre. Will. de Warrenna. — In Scernebuna iiii lib. ho'es ii car. terre et i lib. ho' xl ac. semp. v vill. et semp. iii car. et val. lx sol.
  • 4. Terre Bernerj arb.—Scernebrune ten. T.R.E. i lib. i car. tre' tc. i in d'nio p' ii mo. i v bor. i mol. duodecim'. pars sal. et xii pars i mol. ii ac. pti et dim. tc. et p' xvi i mo. xx.
  • 5. Terre Ivonis Tailgebosc.—In Serlebruna, xvi. lib. ho's T.R.E. quos ten. Heroldus tenentes v car. et q'do recepit simil. mo. iii et ide' mo. ten. de Ivone sep. ii vill. et i ac. et dim. p'ti. et i mol. tc. et p' val. xl sol. mo. iiii lib. hanc tra' tenebat Rad' qu. forisfecit. tota nt. i leug. in long. et dim. in lato q'cq. ibi teneat. et reddit xxviid. de xx sol. de hac terra tulit Rad. Comes i car. tre' uno anno antequ' forisfaceret, Rogero filio Rainardi. teste hund.
  • 6. Invasiones in Nordfulc. Peter Valoniensis—In Scernebruna i soc. Heroldi lx ac. q. jacebat ad Sexsorda' T.R.E. mo. tenet. W. de P'tenai de eo, et reclamat liberatore' val. vi sol. et viiid. in ead i lib. comd. tantu' vi ac. val. vid.
  • 7. Regist. Bynham Priorat. fol. 2.
  • 8. Assiss. apud Thetford Rot. 17.
  • 9. Reg. Wymond. p. 62. 93.
  • 10. Rot. Hund. in Cur. Recept. S'ccij.
  • 11. Reg. Binh. fol. 150.
  • 12. Rot. Vascon.—Reymer's Fœd. v. p. 845.
  • 13. This Thomas married Jamona, a maid of honour to Queen Margaret, consort to King Henry VI. to which queen the said Thomas was chamberlain.
  • 14. Regist. Sagges, Norw. p. 58.
  • 15. Regist. Abbat. Wymond. p. 62, 83, 92, &c.
  • 16. See in Flitcham.
  • 17. Fun. Mon. p. 825.
  • 18. Regist. Priorat. Binham fol. 2, &c.