Launditch Hundred: East Lexham

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

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'Launditch Hundred: East Lexham', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) pp. 5-8. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

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East Lexham Manor.

The principal lordship of this village was in King Edward's reign possessed by Oschetel, and after by Federic, but at the survey William Earl Warren held it in capite for a manor, having two carucates of land, and 8 borderers, at the survey 12, and 4 servi, with 2 acres of meadow, 2 carucates in demean, and 2 amongst the men, paunage for 30 swine, a mill, and 12 socmen had a carucate of land, formerly 3, now 2 in demean, 4 runci, now 3, 8 cows, now 9, &c. and there were 200 sheep, valued always at 40s. per ann. (fn. 1)

This William, the first Earl Warren, granted this lordship and many others to Wimerus his dapifer, whose posterity enjoyed it, and from them it came to the Stutviles, Foliots, Hastings, and to the L'Estranges, as may be seen at large in Gressenhale. Hamon Le Strange, Esq. died possessed of it in the 22d of Elizabeth, and Thomas was found his son and heir.

Sir Philip Wodehouse of Kimberley, and Grisel his wife, daughter of William Yelverton, Esq. of Rougham, and late widow of Thomas L'Estrange, Esq. of Hanstanton, held it in the 31st of Elizabeth, and Edmund Wodehouse, Esq. second son of Sir Philip Wodehouse, dying lord sans issue in 1727, it came to his nephew, Sir John Wodehouse, Bart. in which family it continues.

Rouse's Manor.

The manor also of Hermerus de Ferrarjis, (fn. 2) ancestor of the Lords Bardolf in Litcham, extended into this town; and this part was held by Sir Richard le Rus in the reign of Henry III. who dying in the 6th year of Edward I. Alan was found to be his son and heir, and a minor who is said to have been born and baptized in this town, and in the 15th of that King, Alan, son of Sir Richard le Rousse was found to have view of frank pledge, assise of bread and beer of his tenants here, and by the eschaet rolls in the 3d of Edward III. Alan le Rous was found to have held here, in Dunham, &c. one fee of the Lord Bardolf.

After the Rouses it came to the Lexhams, a family that took their name from this village. Richard de Lechesham lived in the 8th of Richard I. when William de Huntingfield and Isabel his wife conveyed 60 acres of land to him in this town, by fine, and William, son of Richard de Lechesham, gave the monks of Castleacre all the tithes of his land called Raleswode.

Edmund de Lexham son of John was living in the 6th of Edward I. and lord of Norton: John de Lechesham was living in the 26th of Edward I. and Edmund de Lechesham, son of John, in the 15th of Edward II.; to this Edmund, Edmund de Leche of Beeston, and Margaret his wife, passed lands in East and West Lexham, Newton, and Dunham Magna, in the 14th of that King, by fine.

This Edmund and John his father were lords also of PuddingNorton by Fakenham, and in the 17th of the aforesaid King, Edmund de Lexham settled 6 messuages, with lands in the Lexhams, Newton, &c. on himself for life, remainder to John, son of Catherine de Gourney and Joan his wife, in tail, Edmund de Lexham and Maud his wife were living in the 20th of Edward III.

Soon after this it came, probably by marriage, or heirship, to the Mundfords. John de Munford was lord of Pudding-Norton (and I presume of this) in the 21st of Edward III. as was Osbert Mundeford in the 46th of Edward III. and Osbert his son, who died about the year 1400, was found to hold in this town, and in Dunham Magna, half a fee of the Lord Bardolf. Osbert was his son and heir, whose will is dated in 1456; and was found to die seized of the manor of Rouse's in this town, &c.

By Mary, sole daughter and heir of Osbert Mundeford, Esq. it came by marriage to William Tindale, with the manors of Hockwold and Pudding-Norton, who was created knight at the creation of Arthur Prince of Wales, and in the 26th of Henry VIII. Sir Thomas Tindall of Hockwold, Knt. settled it on dame Winefrede his wife, daughter of Thomas Cawse, alderman of Norwich, widow, first of Henry Dynne of Heydon in Norfolk, Esq. and secondly of Sir Henry Fermour of East Barsham.

In the 32d of Henry VIII. John Wright of Kilverstone died seized of the manor of Tindal's and Rouse's in East Lexham, parcel of the possessions of Sir Thomas Tindale, and it was in the Wrights till John Wright of East Lexham sold it, about 1656, to Sir Philip Woodhouse, in which family it remains, Sir Armine Woodhouse, Bart. being lord of the whole town.

The tenths were 42s.—Deduct 6s.

The temporalities of Castleacre priory in 1428, were 3s. per ann.; of the monks of Thetford 5s.; Langley abbey 8d.; St. Faith's priory 15d.; and of Westacre priory 5s.

Roger, dapifer to the Earl Warren, son of William, lord of the honour of Gressenhale, gave to the monks of Acre, for the soul of Oddo his brother, and William his father, one mark of silver out of his mill of Lechesam, and also the said mill, except 11s. which Baldwin de Frevill had in the said mill: (fn. 3) Basilia, wife of Baldwin, gave them 2s. in pure alms, for the soul of her husband, out of the 11s. rent paid by them for the aforesaid mill, which grant she laid upon the altar before Walter de Winebotsham, William de Walton, John Capelane de Newton, Ralph de Neketon, sans date.

Sir Richard le Rus of East Lexham, Knt. gave them 5 acres in Lechesham at Markegate; also 12s. per ann. to be paid by his son Ralph of lands called Cranweswong, with his body to be buried in their church of Castleacre priory.

Wimer, dapifer to the first Earl Warren, gave the church of Lexham East, to the priory of Castleacre, with all the land belonging to the church, the tithe of his manor, and the advowson, before the death of Hubert Bishop of Norwich, in the reign of Henry I. Drogo, son of William Dapifer, his descendant, confirmed of it; and William de Stutevile acknowledged, by a fine levied in the 40th of Henry III. before Henry de Bath, Mr. Symon de Wanton, Robert de Shotingdon, and John de Cokefield, the King's justices, the right of patronage to be in John, prior, and the convent of that house, and the said William granted to the prior a mark rent out of Tudenham, &c.

The ancient valor of this church, which is a rectory, is dedicated to St. Andrew, was 10 marks, Peter-pence 6d.; the present valor is 8l. 5s. 11d. ob. and is discharged of tenths, &c.


Master Lambert, presented by Hugh, the prior, and convent about 1190.

John de Norton, rector, presented 1300 by the prior and convent of Castleacre.

1320, John de Poperyng, by the prior, &c.

1323, William de Boulge, a papal provision.

1330, John de Helegy, by the prior, &c.

1356, Henry de Redgrave.

1357, John Pilleston, by papal provision

1360, John de Clere.

1376, John de Walpole, by the prior, &c.

1386, William de Horndon Ditto.

1394, John de Swarsby. Ditto.

John Smith, rector.

1444, John Norman. Ditto.

1484, Nicholas Palmer. Ditto.

1486, Thomas Gouwant. Ditto.

John Symson, rector.

1507, Thomas Rychardson. Ditto.

1541, William Burton, by Thomas Duke of Norfolk.

Thomas, the prior of Castleacre, conveyed by fine the patronage to King Henry VIII. in his 29th year, and on December 22, in the said year, the King granted it to the Duke.

1564, Thomas Bertie. Ditto.

1567, John Jackson, by Nicholas Mynne, Esq.

1575, William Simson, by Ham. L'Estrange, Esq.

1614, Edward Sheene, by Thomas Sheene.

1649, Edward Fitlin, by Sir Philip Woodhouse.

1671, Henry Tyrrell. Ditto.

1672, Thomas Brown. Ditto.

1689, Richard Brown, by Edmund Woodhouse, Esq.

1702, John George. Ditto.

1741, Peter Smith, (the present rector,) by Sir John Wodehouse, Bart.

The church is a single pile, covered with lead, the chancel with glazed gutter tile, and has a four-square steeple embattled with brick.

In it were the guilds of the purification of the Virgin Mary, of the Trinity, and the light of the holy sepulchre.

In the chancel lies a grave-stone

In memory of William Alpe who died January 1629, aged 83.

Beloved of rich, and pious to the poor,
Fewe in his time livyng deserved more.


  • 1. Tre Willi. de Warenna—In Leccesham tenet id. qd. tenuit Oschetel lib. ho. T. R. E. p' Federicus p. man. ii car. tre. tc. viii bord. mo. xii tc. iiii ov. ii ac. pti. semp. ii car. in dominio. tc. i car. hom. modo. ii silv. de xxx porc. semp. i molin. et xii soc. i car. tre tc. iii car. modo. ii in d'nio. iiii runc modo iii tc. viii an. modo ix semp. xxiiii porc. et cc ovs. semp. val. xl sol.
  • 2. See in Litcham, and Dunham Magna.
  • 3. Regist. Castleac. fol. 27.