Launditch Hundred: Swanton-Morley

Pages 53-59

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

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Was the lordship of Ralph de Bellofago, or Beaufoe, at the survey, but in the Confessor's time, Godric, (fn. 1) a freeman, was possessed of it, when there were 8 carucates of land, 24 villains, afterwards 30, and 38 borderers, at the survey 54, 6 servi, with 10 acres of meadow belonging to it; there were 4 carucates in demean, at the survey 5, 13 carucates amongst the men, at the survey 18; paunage for 500 hogs, 3 mills, a fishery, &c. also 7 socmen belonged to it with all customary duties, and 11 borderers, with 2 acres of meadow, and 2 carucates, and a freeman with 12 acres of land, and two of meadow, and half a carucate, but at the survey he held it not; Ralph's predecessor had only the protection of him, the soc was in Mileham, Eudo (fn. 2) held it, but Ralph, now, of the gift of the King; a church endowed with an acre and an half valued at 2d. per ann.; the manor was valued at 8l. per ann. afterwards at 12l. but Ralph afterwards farmed it out, or let it, at 25l. it was one leuca long, and one broad, and paid 10d. gelt. (fn. 3)

By this it appears to be a large and valuable manor: the town seems to take its name, as seated near the joining of two streams or rivulets, called probably Suan, Swin, or Swan; thus Swineshead in Lincolnshire; Swinburn in Northumberland; Swinbrook in Oxfordshire, and Tua (not Tuna) which I interpret the two rivers, or waters, and Morley-Swanton from its ancient lords.

Ralph de Bellofago, or Beaufoe, was a near relation, if not son of William de Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, chaplain and chancellor to the Conqueror, and held at the survey these following lordships, with Swanton;—Newton, and Bircham in Docking hundred;—Ringsted in Smethden hundred;—Walton East in Freebridge hundred;—Elingham in Shropham hundred;—Lechesham, and one in Derham, in Launditch hundred;—Depeham in Fourhou hundred, with Morley and Berford and Crownthorp:—Hokeling, Tudenham, and East Tudenham and Mateshale in Mitford hundred;—Bastwick, and Tunestalle in Walessam hundred, as then called;—Plumstead, and Blofield in Blofield hundred;—Caster in Heinsted hundred;—Reydon in Diss hundred;—Wroxham, Rachey and Taverham in Taverham hundred;— Salle in Einesford hundred;—Buxton, Brampton, Scothow, Hobbies, Lammass, and Belaugh in South Erpingham hundred;—Sloley in Tunsted hundred;—Mulbarton, Carlton, Swardeston, and Markeshall in Humbleyard hundred;—Thrigby, Alburgh, Norton, and Raveningham in Clavering hundred.

Ralph de Beaufoe left a daughter and heiress, Agnes, who was married to Hubert de Rie, castellan of Norwich castle, who was son of Hubert de Rie, (according to Dugdale (fn. 4) ) a trusty servant to Will. Duke of Normandy, and sent by him to King Edward the Confessor, when that King lay on his death bed, in a pompous equipage into England, and returned to his master with those tokens, whereby he was by that King declared his heir to the Crown of England; viz. a sword, in the hilt whereof were inclosed some relicks of Saints, an hunter's horn of gold, and the head of a mighty stag; for which service he had the promise of being steward of his household.

Ralph was his eldest son, and made castellan of Nottingham; Hubert was his second son, made governor of Norwich castle; Adam, the third son, had large possessions in Kent; and Eudo, a fourth son, was a great courtier, steward of the King's household, and rewarded with many lordships in several counties.

This Agnes, with her son Richard, granted the church of Aldby to the priory of Norwich, which King Henry I. confirmed, on the petition of Henry de Rya, son and heir of Hubert, and Anges de Rya, and her tithes of Wrokesham; witnesses, William de Tankervile, and Richard Basset.

A descendant, if not son, of the aforesaid Henry, was Hubert de Rie, who in the 12th of Henry II. certified that he had 35 knights fees, for which he paid 35 marks to the King, and dying without issue male in the 18th of the said King, 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 Isabell, who married Sir Roger de Cressie; widow of Jeffrey de Chester, which Jeffrey was probably a nephew to Robert Fitz Roger, a great Baron of Northumberland, who in the first of King John gave 300 marks for the younger daughter of Hubert aforesaid, to marry unto a nephew of his.

In the 18th of King John, John Marshall answered for 17 fees and a half, a moiety of the barony of Rye, and was lord of this town: (fn. 5) in this family it remained till John Marshall, son of William, dying in the 10th of Edward II. left Hawise, his sister and heir, married to Robert de Morle, 15 years of age; (Ela, wife of John, survived him, and was remarried to Robert Fitz Payn;) he died seized also of Hingham, Hokering, Buxton, &c. and had free warren, weyf, view of frank pledge, a ducking stool, assise of bread and beer in this town.

It appears from ancient deeds that there was a park in this village, called Bywick park, and that Avelina le Marescal, in her widowhood about the 40th of Henry III. granted the tithes of her mill of Suanetune, and of the eels taken at the mill and pools, to the priory of Norwich, at the request of Will. Ithane de Kyrkeley, then precentor.

Sir Robert de Morle was son of William de Morle, a parliamentary baron, and had livery, with Hawise his wife, of this lordship in the 10th of Edward II. was marshal of Ireland in right of his wife, and truly famous for his many gallant actions both by sea and land, being lieutenant of Norfolk, and admiral of the King's fleet, obtained such a notable victory near Sluse in Flanders, (as historians record it,) that the like sea fight had never before been seen, was also in the glorious battle of Cressi in France, constable of the Tower of London, summoned to parliament from the 11th of Edward II. to the 31st of Edward III. and died in the 34th of that King, then attending him in France, leaving Sir William de Morle, his son and heir, by Hawise his wife.

The last heir male of this noble family was Robert, son of Thomas Lord Morle, (fn. 6) (fn. 7) and the Lady Isabell his wife, daughter of Michael de la Pole Earl of Suffolk, who dying in the 21st of Henry VI. left by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of William Lord Ross, Alianore his daughter and heir 6 months old, who afterwards married William Lovell, a younger son of William Lord Lovel of Tichmersh, who in her right was Lord Morley, and inherited the estate of that family, and died seized of it July 23, 1475, leaving Henry Lovel his son and heir, Lord Morley, aged 11 years, and in 1487 was slain at Dixmue in Flanders, leaving no issue by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of John de la Pole Duke of Suffolk, so that his estate descended to Alice, his only sister, wife of Sir William Parker of London, Knt. who was lord of this town, &c. and on his death she remarried to Sir Edward Howard, second son to Thomas Duke of Norfolk.

Henry Parker was son and heir to Sir William, by his lady Alice; he was Knt. of the Bath, and in 1529, summoned to parliament as Lord Morley, and by Alice his wife, daughter of Sir John St. John of Bletsho, by whom he had Sir Henry his son and heir, who married Grace, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Newport of Pelham in Hertfordshire, by whom he had Henry his son and heir, Lord Morley, who by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Edward Earl of Derby, had Edward his son and heir, Lord Morley, who married Elizabeth, sole heir of William Stanley Lord Monteagle, fifth son to Thomas Earl of Derby, and in her right was also Lord Monteagle; he died April 1, 1618, and was buried in the church of Stepney in Middlesex, but before his death sold most of the estate descended to him, from the Morleys, Lord Morley, and this lordship, to Sir Thomas Lovel of Herling, and so to Sir Henry Beding feld of Oxburgh, and Thomas Beding feld, Esq. died seized of it in the 32d of Elizabeth, in which family it was in the reign of Charles the First.

In 1659, Gybbon Goddard, Esq. was lord, and charged in a mi litia rate in that year at 65l. per ann. for his manor and lands; he was serjeant at law, and recorder of Lynn; and in 1654, it appears that William Small, Esq. of Hadleigh in Suffolk was lord, and by his will dated October 4, in the said year gave 10l. per ann. towards the education of poor children, and binding out boys apprentices, born in this town, and settled lands for the same, called Eye-Park in Suffolk, and in 1688, Daniel Farington, Esq. alderman of London, possessed it, and on his death his sister, Mrs. Phill of London.

About the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, I find this lordship valued at 57l. 1s. 5d. ob. that is to say, Wood-Gate Street rent 10l. 4s. 11d. ob.—Grene-Gate Street 10l. 7s. 5d. ob.—West-Gate Street 30l. 0s. 6d. ob. over and besides the rent of 14s. 6d. ob. q. holden by - - - - - - - - - - -, and Goose-Gate Street rent 4l. 12s. 3d.

The site of this manor was near to the church, encompassed with a moat, but the most ancient site is said to be by the river, against Below, now called Newcastle.

Hereford or Hertford's Manor.

In the reign of Henry III. John de Herford was found to hold in this township the 6th part of a fee of Thomas de Ware, and Hugh Sneterton, they of William de Marshall, and he of the King; and one of the same name settled by fine in the 6th of Edward II. on himself and Mabel his wife, in tail, remainder to Mabil, daughter of William Pontyn of Walden, and her heirs, 6 messuages, 260 acres of land, 16 of meadow, 20 of pasture, one of wood and an half, with 5 marks, and 6s. 8d. rent here, in Hoo, Betele, Mateshal, and East Derham.

Thomas de Harford held, in the 4th of Henry IV. the sixth part of a fee of the Lord Morley, which John de Hoo formerly held.

Bernard Utber was lord of it, and Thomas Utber his son, who lived at Hoo in 1666, of which see in Hoo, and Gressenhale.

It appears that the site of this hall was in the bounds of this parish, by the field book.

The Church is dedicated to All-Saints, and is a rectory anciently valued at 50 marks, the present valor is 15l. 11s. 1d. and pays first fruits and tenths; and Worthing is an hamlet belonging to this parish, having a chapel dedicated to St. Margaret, served by this rector: the Peter-pence was 12d.


Thomas de Kenyngham occurs rector in 1306.

1333, John Payn, presented by Sir Robert Morle, Marshal of Ireland.

1349, John Trayley. Ditto.

1361, William Pecto, by Sir William Morle.

1368, Robert de Congham, by ditto.

1371, William de Beverley. Ditto.

1377, Mr. John de Babingle. Ditto.

1379, Andrew Hoker, by Thomas Lord Morle.

1417, Thomas Frampton. Ditto.

William Lee, rector.

1428, John Pelle, by Thos. Lord Morle.

1437, Simon Brailis, by Isabella, Lady Morle.

1453, William Strather. Ditto.

1489, Andrew Avelyn, by Henry Lord Morle, and with the chapel of St. Margaret of Worthing annexed to it.

Edmund Pilgrim died rector 1503.

1503, Thomas Larke, by Sir William Parker.

1515, William Lane, by Thomas Duke of Norfolk, assignee of the Lady Morley.

1516, Lanc. Atherton, by Lady Alice Morley, widow.

1519, Harman Tullyman, by Henry Parker Lord Morley.

1540, Henry Brow. Ditto.

1550, Thomas Morley. Ditto.

1554, William Gippers, by Sir Henry Parker, assignee of the Lord Morley.

1555, John Christopherson, S.T.B. (he was dean of Norwich, and Bishop of Chichester) by Henry Parker Lord Morley.

1557, Richard Cheyney, S.T.B. by the King and Queen. (fn. 8)

1558, Charles Parker, by Henry Lord Morley.

1571, Roger Matthew, by the Queen.

1592, Robert Neave, by John Graunge, Gent. and Joan Neave, widow.

Robert Neave, iterum, 1592, by the Queen, ad coroborand.

1632, Richard Neave, by John Graunge of Swaffham Bulbeck, Cambridgeshire, by a grant from Edward Lord Morley.

1643, Francis Neave, (fn. 9) by Richard Neave, clerk; Richard bought the advowson of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, lord of the manor.

1670, John Goflin, by William Small, Gent.

1680, William Jegon, by Charles Neave.

1711, Charles Neave, by the Bishop of Norwich, a lapse.

1744, Thomas Ewin, by Thomas Day, Gent.

In this church were the guilds of St. Mary, St. Thomas, St. John Baptist, St. Anne, All-Saints, and the Holy Trinity, St. Mary's Light, with that of the Sepulchre.

The priory of Norwich had a portion of tithe valued at 40s. per ann.

The church stands on a hill, in the middle of the town, and was building in the year 1379, as appears from the will William Lord Morley, dated 26th of August, in the said year, wherein he gives to the work of the church of Swanton Morley, (fn. 10) then begun, 10 marks, and his gilt cup,

It consists of a nave or body, with 2 isles and a chancel; covered with lead, and under the east end of that, a large charnel; and there is a tall square tower with four bells.

In the south isle on a gravestone, with a plate,

Pray for the sowlls of the Tho. Wygthman and Agnes, and Kattryn the wyfs of hym, and - - - -, the date of ower Lord God 1533.- - - - Hic jacent Thomas Baret et Margareta, uxor ejus, quor; a'iab; p'pitiet. Deus, Amen.

In the nave,

Orate p. a'ia. John. Neve, cuj &c.—Orate p. a'ia. Robt. Rokysby cuj; a'ie p' pitiet. Deus.—Orate p' aia Willi Barnar, qui hic jacet tumulatus.

In a window of the chancel an effigies of a priest in a blue robe, praying, and

Orate p. a'ia Edi. Pylgryme, quo'd. rector. ist. ecclie qi. obiit xxvii die Julij, Ao. Dni M. V. iii. cuj. a'ie, &c.

On a small stone on the pavement,

Hic jacet instrusor cui nomen Goslin, 1671, but now scarce eligible.

M. S Reliquiæ Elizab. charissima uxor Fran. Neve, rect. hujus eccl. expiravit 4, Julij Ao Dni. 1664.

A grave stone, arms a frett,

In memory of Geo. Fleming, Gent. and his only son Roger Fleming, citizen and Merchant Taylor of London, who dyed April 9, 1713, ætat. 65.

Here lyeth the body of Nich. Parham, Gent. who died Janu. 2, 1712, aged 87,— and these arms, —on a chevron between three mallets, as many eagles legs erased,—impaling—, a fess, ermin between three birds.

In memory of Rachel, wife of Nich. Parham, Gent, who died November 10, 1714, æt. 77.

Parham impaling ermin three roses.

Sacrum memoriæ Petri Parham, hujusce pagi indigenæ Coll. CaioGonvill, socij et amici summi, apud Norwicenses, M.D. solertis et integri, qui famâ tandem annisq; satur; relicto, omnibus præcipuè egenis grave dedesiderio, sui quo'd. mortale habuit, sub hoc marmore reposuit ano, Christanæ salutis M. DCC. XXII°. Ætat. LXXXIX.

A stone with the arms of Jegon, argent, two-chevronels, gules, on a canton, azure, a falcon rising, or.

Here lyeth the body of William Jegon, A.M. sometime fellow of King's college, in Cambridge, and 30 years rector of this parish; a man of great learning and exemplary piety; he was born May 6, 1650, and died Nov. 18, 1710.

Vivitur ignoscandoAlso the body of Mary his wife.

Hic jacet exemplar virtutis, gloria sexus, Vita, animo, vultu, Sara, Susanna, Rachel.

Susanna, uxor Caroli Neve, Clerici, et hujus ecclesiæ rectoris, sepulta fuit, Feb. 16, 1672.

Also in the church,

Repositœ sunt hoc sub marmore, in spem beatæ resurrectionis exuviæ Thomæ Davy, Medicinœ Baccalaurei, qui obt. 23, die Martij 1692, ætat. 33.

Upon the lamented death of Thomas Flemminge, Gent. attourney at law, born in Swanton-Morley Dec. 24, 1615, buried here Aug. 15, 1657.

Weep widows, orphans, all your late support, Himself is summon'd to a higher court, Living he pleaded yours, but with this clause, That Christ at's death should only plead his cause.


In memory of Cecily, wife of Thomas Parham, Gent. buried March 17, 1656.


For Thomas Parham, Gent. born Nov. 1, 1678, and died Aug. 21, 1723.


For Elizabeth, wife of Peter Parham, Gent. who died April 22. 1718, ætat. 44.

A gravestone,

In memory of Amya, wife of John Sheldrake, the fifth daughter of Hamond Farrous of Wendling, Gent. buried Dec. 2, 1658, ætat. 29.

In October 1638, Clement Dawbrey, Gent. was buried in this church, and in January 1643, John Wortham, Esq.


  • 1. Probably Earl Godwin father of King Harold.
  • 2. This Eudo is called son of Clama, in some places of Domesday, and had the manor before Ralph.
  • 3. Terra R. de Bellofago — Suanetua ten. Goduin. lib. homo. T. R. E. viii car. tre sep. xxiiii vill. tc. et p' xxxviii bor. mo. diiii tc. et p'. vi ser. x ac. p'ti. tc. iiii car. in d'nio p'. iii mo v tc. et p'. xiii car ho'um. mo. xviii silva D. por. sep. iii mol. et i pisc. sep. i r. tc. ii an. tc. xxxviii por. mo. xlviii tc. lx ov. mo. lxxxv huic manerio jacent vii soc. c' om'i consuetudine. et ht. xi bor. et ii ac. p'ti. sep. ii car. et i lib. ho. xii ac. tre. et ii ac. p'ti. tc. dim. car. mo. nichil de quo suus antecessor habuit T.R.E. com'datione' tantu' soca in Mulla' et Eudo ea' tenuit et Rad' tenet dono Regis. i ecc'lia i ac. et dim. val. 2d tc. et p' val. viii lib. mo. xii s. p'q habuit dedit ad firmam xxv lib. et ht. i leug. et dim. in long. et i leug. in lato, et xd de gelto.
  • 4. Baron. vol. i. p. 109.
  • 5. Of these Marshalls see Dugd. Baron. vol. i. p. 600.
  • 6. Regist. Eccles Norw. 4, fol. 8.
  • 7. Of this family see Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 26.
  • 8. Cheyney was afterwards Bishop of Bristol and Glouc.
  • 9. Franc. Neave was ejected, and one Robert Dalzeel, an intruder, held it from 1653, to 1660
  • 10. Regist. Haydon, Norw. fol. 160.