Launditch Hundred: Scarning

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, 'Launditch Hundred: Scarning', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) pp. 38-47. British History Online [accessed 23 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Launditch Hundred: Scarning", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) 38-47. British History Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Launditch Hundred: Scarning", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809). 38-47. British History Online. Web. 23 May 2024,

In this section


The principal lordship of this village was held by Fredric, a freeman, or Saxon thane in the reign of Edward the Confessor, but on the Conquest was granted to William Earl Warren, there was one carucate and a half of land held by 4 villains, and 6 borderers, with 3 acres of meadow; one carucate in demean, and one amongst the tenants or men, a mill, &c. valued at 30s. his predecessor had only the protection of them, but their predecessors had the soc. (fn. 1)

Scarning Hall.

This was possessed by the family of De Fransham, and Sir William de Fransham (a descendant of Gilbert, who was enfeoffed herein by the Earl Warren) was found in the 3d of Edward I. to hold here and in Fransham Magna, one fee of the Earl Warren, and in the 19th of Edward II. a fine was levied between Geff. de Fransham and Joan his wife, querents, and Roger de Swanton: and Thomas Parson of Scarning, defendants of this manor; settled on Jeffrey and Joan, and their heirs, she being probably daughter of Roger de Swanton: Jeffrey de Fransham, Esq. son of Gilbert, dying in 1414 without issue, left his 5 sisters his col ei s, and the greatest part of his inheritence here was settled on Alice his second, and on Agatha his fifth sister and coheir.

Alice married—de Thuxton, by whom she had Theobald de Thuxton, who left 5 daughters and coheirs, Alice, married to — Pinkeman; Margaret to Robert Broom; Annora to — Aslake and after to—Lesingham; Beatrix to—Bamburgh, and Catherine to—Harneys.

Agatha married to—Arnold, who with her sister Alice had such an equal moiety of this manor.

Edmund Swathing, Esq. son of William who married the third sister and coheir of Jeffrey de Fransham having purchased three parts of the five parts of the moiety of this lordship with that of Dallington, viz. the parts of Alice Pinkeman, Beatrix Bamburgh, and Catherine Harneys, three of the five daughters and coheirs of Theobald de Thuxton, son of Alice aforesaid presented in their right to the rectory of this church in 1423, and Thomas Sharington, son of Thomas Sharingtou, son of Henry Sharington and Elizabeth his wife, daughter and heir of Edmund Swathing, held the same in the 19th of Henry VII.

In 1434, Thomas Arnold of Rollesby, and Henry Sharington of East Derham, and in 1438, &c. and Thomas Arnold, Esq. in 1441, in right of Agatha's moiety of this manor; and before, this in 1438, Margaret, widow of Robert Broom, in right of her 5th part of the moiety of her mother Alice; and in 1453, Henry Lesingham presented in right of the fifth part of Annora his wife.

After this the two moieties of the two sisters abovementioned seem to be united and possessed by Roger Townsend, Esq. who presented in 1509, and in 1537, being then a knight, and Hellen, relict of John Townsend, Esq, his eldest son, presented in 1553, and Sir Roger Townsend, Knt. was lord in 1595, but in 1597, Edmund Anguish was lord and patron, who purchased it of the Townsends.

In 1723, Richard Warner, Esq. was lord, and presented to the rectory on his death in 1757, and a division of his estate, it came to John Conyers, Esq. of Essex, by the marriage of Hannah, one of his daughters and coheirs.

Northen-Hall, Gunton's or Wendling Abbey Manor.

This manor belonged to the Earl Warren's fee, and was situated at the north end of the town; the family of the Skernings were ancient lords of it, and Alexander, son of Roger de Scerning, settled by fine, in the 8th of Edward II. 9 messuages, a toft, 106 acres of land, 8 of meadow, 8 of pasture, and 36s. rent per ann. on John de Gunton.

In the 34th year of King Henry III. Roger, son of Adam and Cecilia his wife, passed by fine to William son of John de Wendling, a messuage and lands; and in the 52d of that King, the said William settled on Nicholas, abbot of Wendling, and his successours, 5 messuages, 87 acres of land, one mill, and 10s. rent by fine then levied; this with other lands given made up the manors of Northen hall, and Gunton's, in Scarning Parva, all which belonged to Wendling abbey, and was granted by King Henry VIII. in his 35th year, to Robert Hogan, Esq. to be held by knight's service by patent dated November 1; he died seized of it November 4, in the 1st of Edward VI. leaving Thomas his son and heir, who with Sasan his wife, by license under the great seal, dated March 20, in the second year of the said King, aliened them to Thomas Hoo, and Richard Hoo, father and son, who lived at Burnham Overy in Norfolk, and Richard having the manor of Barrys in East Tudenham, they made that their residence. This family was descended from Robert Hoo, third son of Sir William Hoo, by Alice, daughter of Sir Thomas St. Omer, as the pedigree following testifies.

Hoo's Pedigree,

This Richard Hoo of Scarning, Esq. left by Alice his wife, two daughters and coheirs, Elizabeth, married to John Games, Gent. second son of Sir John Games of Newton, in Brecknockshire, in Wales; and Roberta, married to Francis Steward, third son of John Steward of Braughing in Hertfordshire, and of Marham in Norfolk, Esq. by whom he had Hoo Steward, Esq. a bencher of Grey's Inn, London, who sold his moiety of this lordship to Alderman Farrington of London, who presented to this church in 1690.

Farrington bore argent, a chevron gules, between three leopards heads, sable.

John Games, by Elizabeth his wife, left 3 daughters and coheirs, Florence, married to Richard Lucy, clerk, of St. Davids in Wales; Elizabeth, married to Thomas Walker, Esq. of Grey's Inn, counsellor at law, and Catherine, who was unmarried in 1689, who all joined, and conveyed their moiety of this lordship to Oliver le Neve, Esq. in the said year, with the impropriate rectory and advowson of the vicarage, who sold the same in 1701, to Humphrey Prideaux, D.D. afterterwards dean of Norwich.

Waltham Abbey Manor.

William, son of Aylmer de Skerning or Skerling, gave by deed sans date to this abbey his messuage and lands held of Gilbert de Fransham by 2s. rent, and his land held of William de Drayton in this town, by 4d. rent, which William, for his own and the soul of Aveline his wife, confirmed it. (fn. 2) Robert, brother of William, Gilbert de Fransham. RogerGelafre, and Beatrix his wife, widow of Gilbert, also confirmed it.

Of this family was Alexander de Skerning, who married Nichola, daughter and heiress of Roger L'Estrange, about the 34th of Henry III.

Thomas, son of Baldwin gave them lands at the church, the house called Stubbes, and lands called Sponesbrugge.—Ralph, son of Peter, gave them lands.—Roger de Freville gave them his meadow between the chapel of St. Botolph and Sponesbergh, Lecia his wife also gave lands.

William de Drayton, by deed sans date, gave them the moiety of the church in the time of Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury, and John Bishop of Norwich, his cotemporary, confirmed it, saving all dues to the Bishop, and a competent support for a vicar, to celebrate in that moiety, and there being a controversy between the rector and the abbot about houses and barns near the church, they exchanged one with the other; and about the tithes of the abbot's moiety, the rector remits them wholly to the abbot, and the said abbot gave to St. Katerine and the nuns of Blackberewe all the tithes of their free land, and of the land which was William's, son of Aylmer.

Pope Innocent the Third confirmed to them their right in this church, that no tithes should be exacted of the lands they held, dated 1198, and King Henry III. granted them March 30, in his 37th year, free warren here.

At the dissolution of this abbey, the possessions thereto belonging, the impropriate rectory with the patronage of the vicarage, were granted, September 9, to Sir William Fermour, who on the 24th of July following, in the 37th of Henry VIII. conveyed them to Richard Hoo of Scarning, Gent. and so came to Games and Steward, &c. as above.

Part of this town was a lordship or beruite belonging to the Earl Warren's manor of Gressenhale; to it belonged half a carucate of land, 5 borderers, &c. one carucate in demean, and one amongst the men. (fn. 3)

Wimer held it at the survey, and it was valued with Gressenhale, and had the same capital lords as may be there seen.

John de Lacy, and Thomas de Erleham, held it of Richard Foliot in Edward the First's time, and John Poynter, and John Sterling of the Hastings, in the 3d of Henry IV. and this was the manor (as I take it) that William Aggas, Gent. died possessed of in 1458.

Ralph Lord Baynard had a small fee or lordship belonging to his capital manor of East Bradenham in South Greenhow hundred, viz. 80 acres of land, and 3 of meadow, and 2 socmen held 12 acres of land, but the soc was in Mileham manor. (fn. 4)

Roger de Hunting feld held it in King John's reign, and was found to withdraw it from the hundred suit, after the war commenced between that King and his barons.

Joan de Huntingfeld claimed free warren here in the 15th of Edward I. and William de Huntingfeld, lord of Bradenham East, was found to possess it in the 7th of Edward II. and Roger was his son, aged 8 years.

Anne Hungate sold lands here and in East Bradenham held in capite, to Sir Francis Bacon, 13th of James I.; and in 1659, Henry Hungate, Esq. had an estate here 100l per ann. as then taxed.

Drayton Hall

Was part of Ralph de Beaufoe's lordship in East Derham, and Swanton, at the survey, and extended into this village; it took its name from its ancient lords, and it was seated in a close that retains its name; see in East Derham.

Agnes, one of the daughters and coheirs of Will. de Drayton, had by a fine (in the 14th of Henry III.) this lordship which the services and homage of Thomas, son of Baldwyn, being the fourth part of a fee settled on her and William Lanveisey her huband, held of the Marshals, lords of the barony of Rhye. Alice, the other daughter and coheir, married Jervace de Bradfield, and afterwards William de Bellomont. Godfrey or Geoffrey de Bellomonte, or Beaumont, his son, claimed the assize of bread and beer of his tenants, the lete and view of frank pledge, with the view of the King's bailiff of the honour of Hokering, in the 15th of Edward I. and in the 21st of that King, John de Beaumont had a charter for free warren in his demean lands in this town, East Derham, Drayton, Taverham, &c.; he was brother of Godfrey who died about this time; and it appears that Godfrey had married Cecilia de Ferrarijs, and died without issue, but some records call her Alianore.

In a court of this manor held in the 3d year of Edward III. the jury swear that William de Bellomonte, late lord, granted to Roger de Beston of Scarning, that he might common with his cattle (averijs) any where in the common pasture in Scarning, called Toftwood hill, for a certain messuage situate in Brendwode.

In the 39th of Edward III. William Catts was lord, and paid 3s. 9d. per ann. on the feast of Holy Cross, in May, to the Lord Morley, lord of Hokering, and to the lord of the hundred 2s. lete fee, 22d. moterent, and suit of court to the hundred at Easter and St. Michael; and in the 13th of Henry VII. Sir Henry Heydon conveyed it to William Bardwell, junior, Esq. in exchange for the manor of Wit chingham, in Salthouse and Kelling, on September 8, and Robert Bardwell, Esq. son and heir of William, was lord in the 3d of Henry VIII.

On the 4th of March in the 4th of Henry VIII. Sir Robert Southwell sold to William Wotton, all his right in the wardship, custody, and marriage of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Robert Bardwell, Esq. by virtue of a grant to him from Sir Edward Howard, held of the said Edward, in right of the lady Morley his wife: and John Wotton of North Tudenham, Esq. who married the said Elizabeth Bardwell, died seized of it November 14, in the 37th of the aforesaid King: about this time it appears that there belonged to it 200 acres of land, 40 of meadow, 200 of pasture, 60 of wood, 200 of moor, and 6l. rent per ann. in this town and Dillington.

Anne, the only daughter and heir of John Wotton and Elizabeth his wife, married first Sir Thomas Woodhouse, of Waxham, secondly Henry Repps, Esq. by whom she had no issue; and about 1555, she married Bassingbourn Gawdy, Esq. second son of Thomas Gawdy, serjeant at law, and Thomas Hoo, Esq. resigned to him and Anne his wife, all his right in 26s. 8d. rent in the 3d of Elizabeth, issuing out of this lordship payable to that of Northern hall, &c. Bassingbourn Gawdy, Esq. son and heir of Sir Bassingbourn and his lady Anne, kept his first court here in the 13th of the said Queen.

In the 15th of James I. there was a præcipe for John Boldero, Gent. to deliver it to Eustace Darcy, Esq. and Thomas Godbould.

Afterwards it was possessed by the Repps of Mattishale, and by Richard Warner, Esq. who died seized of it in 1757, and by his daughter and coheir is brought to —Conyers, Esq.

Concealed lands and a close called Games granted to Edmund Dyer and Henry Cressener in fee farm, in the 16th of Elizabeth.

The temporalities of Carhow abbey in 1428 were charged at 3l. 0s. 4d.; Wendling abbey 22s. ob.

The town takes its name from Scar, a rivulet that arises in this parish, and Ing, that is meadows on the Scar; thus we find Scargill (the rivulet of the Scar) in Yorkshire, Scars-Dale in Derbyshire, Scarle in Nottinghamshire, &c.

The Church is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and contained two medieties, one in the patronage of the Franshams, lord of the manor, and the other appropriated to the abbey of Waltham: the first mediety was called the portion of Hugh de Fransham, which was valued at 20 marks, he being rector of it when it was thus taxed in 1256; the present valor is 9l. 0s. 1d. ob. and pays first fruits and tenths.

By an inquisition taken in the reign of Henry II. by Sir Roger Freville, Martin de Helegate, Roger, son of Simon, &c. it was found that Robert de Skerning, who was formerly rector of this church, and lord of a fee, gave the tithes of his fee to the church of Norwich in the time of St. Thomas Becket the Martyr, without any diminution.

Afterwards Richard, son of the said Robert the rector, farmed the said tithes of the monks of Norwich in his father's life time; and, after his death, being rector also, farmed them all his life for 6s. per ann. and the said Richard, taking to himself a wife after the Archbishop Becket's death, resigned the said rectory and the tithes into the hands of the monks: on this resignation, (fn. 5) Richard de Draiton became rector, and did not farm the said tithes; but Simon, son of Richard de Skerning, the aforesaid rector who resigned, farmed them.

On the death of Richard de Draiton, Vincent became rector, and on Vincent's death, the abbot of Waltham, and Simon, son of the said Vincent, being rectors of this church, sued the abovementioned Simon, son of Richard de Skerning, on account of the said tithes farmed by him, insomuch that he resigned them into the hands of the said monks, who let them to Adam, brother of the said Simon, who agreed to resign them to Simon, son of Vincent the rector, and he farmed them all his life at 6s. per ann; after this, the said Simon, being desirous to provide for his nephew, Jeff. Pecche resigned his moiety or rectory to Geff. who was instituted rector, and kept still the farm of these tithes all his life.


1299, Alexander de Fransham, presented by Sir William de Fransham.

1323, Thomas de North Pickenham, by Jeff. de Fransham.

1334, Jeff. Duraunt. Ditto.

1361, Robert Hubert, vel Hoberd, by Gilbert de Fransham.

1372, Walter Toucester, by Agnes, relict of Gilbert.

1377, John Bynges. Ditto.

1412, John Coupee, by Sir John Heveningham, Knt.

1423, Thomas Gerrard, by Edmund Swathyng, Esq. Stephen Noble, rector, resigned.

1434, William Wroo, by Thomas Arnold, of Rollesby, and Henry Sharington of East Derham.

1438, Mr. William Hall, LL.B. by Margery, relict of Robert Broom.

1441, Robert March, by Thomas Arnold, Esq.

1453, John Westhawe, by Henry Lesingham of Crostweyt.

1485, Jeromy Crow, by Thomas Sharington of Crostwait, Gent.

1509, Greg. Hochekyns, by Roger Townesend, Esq.

1511, John Wright.

1537 Henry Salter, by Sir Roger Townsend.

1553, John Echard, by Helen, relict of John Townsend of Brampton, Esq.

1557, Hugh Castelton, by the Queen.

1583, Michael Denby, by the Bishop by lapse.

1595, Thomas Crane, by the assignees of Roger Townsend.

1597, Thomas Crane, by Edmund Anguish.

George Hall, occurs rector 1605, and died 1628, and rector of Sidistern.

Richard Anguish compounded for first fruits May 25, 1639, A.M. ejected in 1644, by the Earl of Manchester.

Peter Burgess.

1661, Nicholas Repps, D.D.

1623, John Lane, by Benjamin Lane, clerk.

1723, John Lomb, by Richard Warner, Esq.

1739, Thomas Eglington, D.D. by Richard Warner, Esq.

1741, Richard Tappes. Ditto.

The other moiety of the church was given by William de Draiton, to Waltham abbey by deed sans date, lord of Drayton hall in the time of Hubert Walter Archbishop of Canterbury, who was a witness to it; and John Bishop of Norwich confirmed it; it was valued at 20 marks as a rectory, and was appropriated to the said abbey, a vicarage being settled, now charged at 9l. 19s. 2d. and is discharged of first fruits and tenths.

John de Ferentine, dean of Holt, proctor of the archdeacon of Norfolk, to institute in the said archdeaconry in the vacany of the see of Norwich, certified that the vicarage, with the consent of the abbot and convent aforesaid, was taxed in this manner. The vicar to have all the altarage of the said church, and to sustain all episcopal and archidiaconal charges due and customary, to keep residence, and the said abbot and convent at all times shall present the vicar to the ordinary of the place, dated October - -, 1235, and confirmed by William (Raleigh) Bishop of Norwich, 15 Kal. September, in his third year.


1322, Jeff. de Causton, presented by the abbot and convent of Waltham.

1349, Adam de Steynburgh, vicar, presented by the abbot and convent of Waltham.

1350, John Shortwode. Ditto.

1358, John Stykelin. Ditto.

1381, Robert Sopper. Ditto.

1431, John Lalle, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1435, Henry Carleton, by the abbot, &c.

On July 22, 1444, the vicarage was augmented, the abbot being to pay 6 marks per ann. to the vicar.

John Fayrman, vicar.

1479, Robert Baker, by the abbot, &c.

1503, William Slapp. Ditto.

1524, Oliver Fenton. Ditto.

1525, Nicholas Walsham, by ditto. Henry Salter.

1553, Thomas Steines, A.M. by Richard Hoo, Gent. and Thomas, his son. (fn. 6)

1554, George Leeds. Ditto.

1555, John Echard, united to the rectory. Ditto.

1567, Hugh Castilton, A.M. prebend of Norwich, by Richard Hoo, Esq.

1583, William Marshall, Ditto.

Thomas Crane, occurs vicar 1596.

1662, Ralph Tench, vicar.

1668, Robert Britton, vicar.

1690, Peter Burgess, presented by Daniel Farrington, Esq.

1712, John Lane, A.M. to a moiety, and united to the rectory by Benjamin Lane, clerk.

1723, John Lomb, by Richard Warner, Esq.

1739, Thomas Eglington, by Richard Warner, Esq.

1741, Richard Tappes. Ditto.

The church is a single pile, without any isle, and has a strong square tower of flint-stone, &c. about 75 feet high, with 5 tunable bells, and a chancel.

By the communion table in the chancel lie several grave stones; on one this shield; gules, a fess voided between three spear heads argent, Browne, impaling, ermine, three chevronels sable, Repps.

Hoc marmor tibi monstrat Riches Browne, Gen. cujus in vita nihil arguere volvas, nihil in moribus damnare pietate, justitia, temperantia nulli secundus; charitate benevolentia adeo insignis, ut se conscio neminem egere permitteret: si vitam contempleris, si mortem, dubites an potuerit vivere sanctior, an obire securior. Aug. 18, 1704, Ætat. 62, animam efflavit. Sic te vivere sic te decet mori.

A stone near this,

For Mary his wife, daughter of John Reppes of Mattishall, Esq. who died April 16, 1708, aged 63.


In memory of Barbara, wife of John Brown, Gent. daughter of L'Estrange Mordant of Congham, Esq. who died May 19, 1714, aged 36:—with the arms of Browne impaling Mordaunt.

Several grave-stones, in memory of the Blackhalls, and for

Anne Blackhall, wife of Edward Blackhall, Gent. who died Janu. 23, 1687, aged 55.


Elizabeth Batch, relict of John Batch, Gent. who died Janu. 24, 1712, aged 53, and for John Batch, Gent. who died May 12, 1704, aged 38.—and for Edw. Batch, Gent. who died Sept. 2, 1680.

A mural monument by the east window, with the effigies of an infant in alabaster,

In memory of Edward Games an infant, son of John Games of London, Esq. who died 1623; with this shield: quarterly, in the first and fourth, sable, a chevron between three spear-heads, argent, Games; impaling quarterley, argent, and sable, with a file of three, gules, in the 2d and 3d, Hoo.

On a gravestone in the church,

Hic jacet in spe beatæ resurrectionis Thomas Brett, Gen. Norfolciens. necnon grammatices, - - - - - - archididascalus: denatus prid. Kal. Feb. 1691, æt. 41.

On a brass plate,

Orate p. anima Johannis Russell, qui obt. 1537. Depositum Joh. Burton, A.M. viri. imprimis eruditi, hujus scholæ suo tempore celeberrimæ Nordovicensis demum magistri vigilantissimi 16 Cal. Augusti Ao. 1699, ætat. 70, defuncti.

On a north window, the arms of the Lord Bainard.

The spiritualities of the priory of Castleacre were valued at 55s. per ann.

In 1428, they had the tithes of the fee of Roger, son of Simon, before 1260, and in in 1265, Simon Bishop of Norwich confirmed to the said priory two parts of the tithes of the demean of Gilbert de Fransham, and of Saer de Frevil, and the tithe of the assarts of Heringshawe.

In 1366, the prior and convent aforesaid let to farm to Robert Hoberd, rector of this church, with the consent of Gilbert de Fransham, and Thomas Bishop of Norwich, 2 parts of the tithes of the demeans formerly Gilbert de Fransham's of Saer de Frevile, Ralph de Ingresham, and of the assarts of Heringeshawe, in the village and fields of Skerning containing 252 acres of land more or less for 20s. of silver per ann. to be paid at Easter and St. Michael. (fn. 7)

The prioress of Blackburgh had a portion of tithe valued at 10s. per ann.

The rectory of Didlington had also a portion belonging to it of the said value; and the spiritualities of Norwich priory was one mark.

In 1514, it appears that there was a chapel here dedicated to St. Botolph.

In this town is a free school well endowed.


  • 1. Tre Will. de Warenna—Scerningha tenuit Fred. Regis lib ho. T. R. E. i car. tre et dim. sep. iiii vill. et vi bord. iii ac. p'ti. semp. i car. in d'nio et i car. hom. silva de xxx porc. semp. i molin. tc. val. xx sol. modo xxx de feudo Fedrici et suus antec. habuit comd. tantu'. etsui antecessores habuer'. soca ipsimet.
  • 2. Regist. Abbat. Waltham.
  • 3. Hic jacet (Gressenhala) semp. i berewita Scerninga dim. car. terre et v bord. et i ac' pti. semp. i car. in dominio et i car. hominu' et xx porc. et iiii an. &c. Wimerus tenet.
  • 4. Tre. Rad. Bainardi—In Scerninga sunt dxxx ac. tre. hoc. jacet in Bredenham et iii p'ti et ii soc. xii ac. tre. soca e sep. juste in Muleham.
  • 5. Regist. Cath. Norw. 5.
  • 6. On Sep. 9. Ao. 37 Hen. VIII. Sir William Fermer, and Catherine his wife, had a grant of the rectory and vicarage belonging to Waltham priory.
  • 7. Regist. Castleac.