West Flegg hundred: Clippesby

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1810.

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Francis Blomefield, 'West Flegg hundred: Clippesby', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) pp. 157-164. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp157-164 [accessed 20 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "West Flegg hundred: Clippesby", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) 157-164. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp157-164.

Blomefield, Francis. "West Flegg hundred: Clippesby", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810). 157-164. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp157-164.

In this section


In the reign of the Confessor, 4 freemen, two of them being under the commendation of Almar Bishop of Elmham, one under Alsi, and one under the abbey of St. Bennet, held 100 acres, 10 of meadow, and there were under them 6 borderers, with a carucate and an half.

William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, on their deprivation, had a grant of it, and was lord at the survey, when it was valued at 20s. but in Edward's time at 5s. It was 3 furlongs long, and 5 broad, and paid 12d. gelt. (fn. 1)

The abbey of St. Bennet at Holm had also one freeman. (fn. 2)

Bishop Beaufoe, at his death, gave this lordship which he held by a lay fee, to his successours; and on the exchange of lands between King Henry VIII. and Bishop Rugg, what the abbot of Hom held came likewise to the see of Norwich, and so continues at this time.

Osbert de Salicibus, alias de Willows, was lord in the reign of Henry II. and in the 9th of King John, Henry was lord and patron of the church of Clippesby, (as the jury find,) and that his father Osbert presented the last, rector, and William was son of Henry.

In the 10th of Henry III. John de Salicibus held half a fee of the Bishop of Norwich; and in the 19th of that king, Hugh Pickering granted lands by fine to William de Salicibus.

Nicholas de Salicibus was found in the 20th of that reign, to hold here and in Repps, half a fee of Ralph Holeback, and he of the Bishop; and William de Salicibus granted to Henry de Billakeby half a fee, to be held of him and his heirs for ever.

In the reign of Henry III. Mathew de Bukeskyn conveyed to Walter, son of William de Bukeskyn, and his heirs, a messuage, and 50 acres of land, with a windmill in this town, Rolesby and Thurne; and Walter granted to Matthew, a messuage called Kamesworth, with lands, &c.

The said Walter granted to Willium de Bukeskyn and Julian his wife, the aforesaid mill, messuages and 50 acres in the 44th of that King.

Peter Buxkyn, in the first of Edward I. settled on himself for life, 18 messuages, and tenements, with lands here in Askeby, Oby, Repps, &c. remainder on Robert his son and Alice, his wife, in tail.

In the 35th of that King, Robert de Glenham and Alice his wife, settled by fine, on Mr. Walter de Pykering, and Walter son of Robert de Pikering; and John de Billokeby granted a messuage, &c. to Nicholas de Salicibus and Elen his wife, in the 9th of Edward II.

Peter Buxkyn, as lord, presented to this church in 1320, &c. and in 1338; and in the 17th of the said King Edward II. Walter parson of the church of Clopton, granted to Walter, son of William de Pickering, messuages, lands and rents here, &c. for life.

William de Stanton and Julian his wife, granted in the 19th of that King, lands here, &c. to Peter Buckskyn; and in the 3d of Edward III. John Hibberd released to William Bukeskyn a messuage, &c.

In the 19th of Edward III. Sir John Buxskyn claimed a moiety of 6 messuages, 30 acres of land, 10 of meadow, 8 of furze, one of moor, and 30s. rent, a hen, and 4 — in this town, &c. by the grant of John de Pickering, and William his brother, late Peter de Pickering's, and another of John and William de Pickering's; and it appears that the Pickerings had a lordship here, and what was held of it was partible between the heirs male.

In 1361, Edmund Pickering, John his brother, and Catherine, presented to this church.

In 1389, Edmund de Clipesby, John Pickering and Jeffrey Curteys, presented; and in 1390, John Pykering and Jeffrey Curteys, in right of their wives; and John son of John de Pickering, and John, son of Edmund de Clipesby, held here and in Repps, half a fee of Robert de Martham, of the fee of the Bishop of Norwich.

In the 20th of Henry VII. Ralph Fupson and Elizabeth his wife, convey the manor of Buxkyns, with lands in this town, &c. to Sir Henry Collet, alderman of London, and mayor in 1405, on whose death, in the 21st of the said King, John Collet, D. D. dean of St. Paul's, his son by Christian his wife, daughter of Sir John Knevet of Ashwell-Thorp, and Elizabeth, sister and heiress of Sir John Clifton, Knt. of New Buckingham in Norfolk, inherited it; who by his will, dated August 22d, 1519, appoints that after his death, and of Dame Christian his mother, an estate should be made to John Nele his servant, of all his lands, tenements, rents, services, wards, &c. in the towns of Clippesby, Rollesby, Burgh, Billokby, Ouby, Repps, Bastwick, Martham, Askeby, and Thurne in Norfolk.

This came afterwards to the Clipesbys, lords also of a manor, and by the heiress of that family to Sir Randolph Crew, and his son, Sir Clipesby Crew. From the Crews it came to Sir John Potts, Bart. of Manington, who settled it on his 2d wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Samuel Brown, one of the judges of the Common Pleas.

Sir Algernon Potts, Bart. sold the reversion of it to George England, Esq. who was lord in 1720; and England conveyed it to Capt. Clark; Mrs. Clark's heirs are said to have had it in 1740.

In the time of the Confessor, Earl Guert, brother of King Harold, had a freeman under his protection, who possessed 20 acres of land, and 4 of meadow, and 3 other freemen of his had 17 acres of land, and 3 of meadow, with a carucate, valued at 2s. 6d.

In Clipesby a freeman of the Confessor's had 20 acres, and half a carucate, and three acres of meadow, valued at 2s.

All this was in the Conqueror's hands at the time of the survey; and Godric also took care of 4 acres and an half of land for the Conqueror, of which a freeman was owner, and deprived. The Conqueror had also 46 acres of land, and 5 of meadow, the part of a saltwork, and one carucate, which 5 freemen were deprived of, valued at 3s. at the survey. On Almar's deprivation, Godric took care of it for the King.

These tenures were granted from the Crown to a family who took their name from the town; the first that I meet with is Hugh de Clipesby, living in the reign of King Henry II. whose son Richard conveyed by fine to Stephen de Rolvesby 60 acres of land here, and in Burgh, Stephen granting to him 10s. per ann.

Richard, son of Hugh de Clipesby let lands to William, son of Alan de Reppes, and Scientia his wife, in Reppes, for 30 years.

In the abuttals of the land, mention is made of the lands of John, son of Osbert de Clipesby; and for this grant William de Reppes and Scientia his wife, gave to Richard, 39s. two swords of the price of 9s. one bearded arrow of 2s. and one of 15d. with a pound of pepper.

This deed is sans date, but was about the first year of King John. The witnesses were Reginald Prest, de Askeby, Wimer de Sypa, Roger de Suffield, Stephen de Rollesby, Wimer de Burgh, Henry de Askeby, Hugh, son of Richard de Clipesby, &c.

About this time was also living, John, son of Elfred de Clipesby, who gave to William, son of Algar de Clipesby, lands here; witness William de Salicibus, also Ralph, son of Osbert de Clipesby, who gave lands to William de Sparham, who gave to Ralph 35 marks of silver.

Richard de Clipesby by deed, sans date, grants to Hugh his son, by Mabel his wife, 30 acres of land here, belonging to the fee of the King, with several villains, with all their progeny, and all the homages belonging to the fee of William de Owby, and villains, &c. and Hugh gave to Richard a palfrey, and a gold ring, in gersuma; witnesses, Ralph de Somerton, Robert de Malteby, Simon de Ormesby, William and Thomas, sons of Richard de Clipesby, &c.

In the 5th of Henry III. John, parson of Burgh, conveyed to Hugh de Clipesby 5 acres and a half of land here; and in this family this lordship continued, till the death of the last heir male John Clipesby, Esq.

Clippesby's Pedigree.

(a) The old pedigrees of this family are (as far as I can see) very faulty, and supported by no proofs or evidence; Algar and Osbert de Clipesby are made sons of Morcarius, and placed at the head of the pedigree, and made brothers to Ralph de Clipesby, who is therein said to be grandfather to this Hugh; whereas it appears by undoubted evidences, that Algar and Odbert were living in the reign of King John; and that Hugh, father of Richard de Clipesby, was living in the reign of Henry II. and what is yet more unpardonable there are 15 descents made between the 10th of King Richard I. and the reign of Richard II.

Sir Richard de Clipesby was witness to a deed of Robert, son of Richard de Mautebi, sans date.

In an assise of last presentation to this church, the pedigree stands thus, Ao. 9 of King John:

(b) Sir Robert de Clipesby was lord of this town, and had rents, free tenants and villains, in Repps, Bastwick, Martham, Skow, Rollesby, Billockly, Burgh, &c.

This Robert is said to have married Agnes, daughter and heir of John de Salicibus, or de Willows, and John de Salicibus and Agnes the daughter and coheir of William de Stalham.

(c) Edmund de Clipesby, Esq. married Eva, daughter and coheir of Sir William Caley of Oby, and was lord in the 48th of Edward III.

Some pedigrees make this Edmund to be father of John, and some say John was son of Edmund de Clipesby, junior, son of Edmund, senior, which Edmund, junior, was outlawed, for the murder of Walter Cooks, husband of Julian Cooks, in the 16th of Richard II. then aged 26.

In the 10th of Richard II. Edmund de Clipesby enfeoffed Sir John Jenny in this lordship and advowson.

(d) In the 3d of Henry IV. John Clipesby, Esq. son of Edmund, and John, son of John Pickering, senior, were found by an inquisition taken at Norwich on Thursday after St. Michael, to hold here, and in Repps, half a fee of Robert de Martham, of the Bishop of Norwich; and in the 2d of Henry V. John de Clipesby, son of Edmund, released to John Derby, Esq. all his right in the lands, villains, wards, marriages, in the village of Stalham, &c.

In the 12th of Henry VI. John settled on William de Clipesby his son, by Alice his wife, a moiety of this lordship, &c. on his son's marriage with Alice his wife; John was returned in the 7th of Henry VI. to be a gentleman of ancient coat-armour, and to serve the King with his lance, for the defence of the kingdom.

John Clipesby of Owbey, Esq. made his will April 26, in 1454, to be buried in Owby church, and it was proved July 8, following.

William Clipesby, Esq. (fn. 3) son of John, living in the 10th and 22d of Henry VI. when he enfeoffed John Fitz Ralph, and William Grey, Esq. of this manor, &c.

Catherine, his wife, remarried Edmund Paston, Esq. died April 18, 1491, and was buried at Askkeby; William died in 1355, when William Yelverton, Esq. jun. and this Catherine his wife, presented to this church. Yelverton died in 1481, and she after married Edmund Paston, Esq.

(e) John de Clipesby, Esq. in the 8th of Edward IV. enfeoffed Newent, &c. in his lands, tenements, &c. and advowson of the church of Plumstede Parva. John presented to Clipesby in 1507.

In the 6th of Henry VIII. Thomas Duke of Norfolk, great marshal, and treasurer of England, granted to William Paston, Esq. and Constance, widow of John Clipesby, Esq. the wardship, and custody of the lands of William Clipesby, son and heir of John Cliespby, Esq. deceased, and held of the Duke, and on February 14, in the 17th of that King, they grant to the said William, the benefit of his marriage, for the virtuous manners and good conditions which he according to his duty hath used to the said Constance his mother.

(f) William Clipesby, Esq. of Oby, by his will dated November 28, 1540, orders his body to be buried on the north side of the chancel of this church, appoints Lettice his wife, and John his son executors, proved October, 29, 1541.—Reg. Haydon. Norw.—Lettice after married William Cardinal, Esq. of Bromley Magna, in Essex, and presented here in 1561.

(g) By an inquisition taken in the 37th of Elizabeth, Audrey, Frances, and Julian were found to be the daughters and coheirs of John Clipesby, Esq. Audrey married Thomas Guybon, Esq. son and heir of Humphrey Guybon, Esq. of North Lynn, and had with her the manor of Oby,—Frances died single, and Julian married Sir Randolf Crew, lord chief justice of the King's Bench, in the reign of King James I. by whom he had Sir Clipesby Crew, lord of this town, by the inheritance of his mother; from the Crews, it came to Sir John Potts of Mannington in Norfolk.

Sir Algernon Potts, Bart. held it, and conveyed it to William Clarke, Esq. who presented in 1721.

(h) Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, had the lands of a freeman of St. Bennet, and was part of this manor of Oby; this came to the Clipsby's, by the heir of Sir William Caly, lord of Oby, and so was united to this manor of Clipesby, and held of the manor of Forncett in Norfolk. (fn. 4)

(i) The abbot of St. Bennet had a freeman here at the survey; what he held came on the exchange of land, between King Henry VIII. and Bishop Rugg, to the see of Norwich, and so was united to the Bishop's manor before mentioned. (fn. 5)

And the Conqueror had at the survey, the lands of 5 freemen, which Almarus took care of for him, they belonging to no particular fee, who held 46 acres of land, 5 of meadow, the fourth part of a salt pit, with a carucate, valued at 3s. but at the survey at 4s. these were added by the Conqueror to the lordship of Causton. (fn. 6)

George Knightley, Esq. was lord in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and in her 10th year had a præcipe to deliver it to Edmund Pirton, Esq.

The tenths were 5l.

The Church is a rectory dedicated to St. Peter. the ancient valor was 12 marks, Peter-pence 12d.


In 1320, Thomas de Spyney, instituted, presented by Peter Buxkyn.

1326, Peter de Pagefield, by William, rector of Askeby, &c.

1338, Ralph de Depham. Ditto.

1338, John Urri.

1338, Ralph de Urri.

1352, Edmund de Fresingfeld.

1361, Henry Gottes, by Edmund Pykering, John, his brother, and Catherine Pres.

1389, Henry Waggestaff, by Edmund de Clipesby, John Pykering, and Jeff. Curteys, in right of their wives.

1409, John Dynynton, by John Clipesby, domicellus, Robert Kent, &c.

1432, Barth. Fuller. Ditto.

1433, Walter Drury, by John Clippesby, Esq.

1440, John Heroun. Ditto.

1459, John Dalton, by William Yelverton, junior, and Catherine his wife.

1471, Thomas Hauley, by William Clipesby, Esq.

1473, Richard Foo. Ditto.

1477, Roger Grenegrass. Ditto.

1490, Thomas Foulsham, by Edmund Paston, Esq. and Catherine his wife.

1507, John Owdolf, by John Clippesby, Esq.

1513, John Makins, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1542, William Smith, by the assignees of William Clippesby, Esq.

Richard Crowder, rector.

1561, Edward Sharpe, by William Cardinal, Esq.

1593, John Nevinson, by John Clipsby of Oby, Esq.

1602, William Parry, by Thomas Guybon of West Lynn, and Ralph Crew, Esq.

—, Thomas Dockwra, presented by William Clark, Gent.

Isaac Laughton died rector in 1718.

1719, George Hill. Ditto.

1721, Charles Trimnell. Ditto.

1723, William Adams. Ditto.

1742, Robert Goodwyn, by John Goodwyn, Esq.

The present valor is 6l. 13s. 4d. and is discharged; the advowson goes with the lordship, and the heirs of Mr. Clark were patrons in 1740.

On a gravestone in the church, the pourtraiture of a man and wife in brass, and

Orate === Tho. Pallinge et Emme uxoris ej. qui. obt. 20 die Augusti, 1503.

On one in the chancel,

Orate === Will'mi Clypesbye, Armig. qui obt. 10 die Januarij, 1511: and the arms of Clipesby, quarterly, argent and sable, on a bend, gules, three mullets of the first.

On a raised altar tomb, on the south side of the chancel, are the pourlraitures of a man and his wife in brass,

Here layes the bodyes of John Clipesbye, Esq. and Julian his wife, who had issue William deceased, and left Audrey, Francis, and Julian his daughters and coheirs, which John died 31st of March, 1594; and these shields of arms, Clypesbye, impaling Jerningham; — Clypesbye, impaling Woodhouse of Kimberley;—also a shield containing 12 coats quarterly;—the first, is Clypesby;—2d, sable, three martlets in a bordure ingrailed, argent;—3d, vert, an eagle displayed, argent, bruised with a bendlet, or;—4th, azure, a chevron, between three herns, argent;—5th, azure, a pike hauriant, argent;—6th, or, a saltire between four cross crosslets, sable;—7th, Clipsbye;—8th, gules, on a chief or, three torteaux;—9th, gules, a lion rampant, argent;— 10th, argent, a chevron between three lioncels rampant, gules;—11th, barry of eight, or and sable;— 12th, Clipsbye; all these are above the epitaph, and below are the following shields;—Clipsbye, impaling quarterly, in the 1st and 4th, ermin, in the 2d and 3d quarter, paly of six, or and gules, Knightley;—Clipsbye, impaling sable, on a chevron between three women's heads, argent, crowned and crined, or, as many roses, gules; —Clypsbye, and Spilman;—Clipsbye, and Paston.

In memory of the Rev. Mr. Geo. Hill, rector, who died Oct. 22, 1721, aged 66.

On an old brass,

D'nj. Joh. Heron, quo'da' rectoris, isti. eccle qui obt. xxvo. die mens. Sept. Ao. Dnj. M. CCCCLXXIIo.

The lady Julian abovementioned, who married Sir Rand. Crew, died at Kewe in Surry, in 1603, and was buried in the chancel of the church of Richmond, on her monument, was

Antiquá fuit orta domo, pia vixit, inivit Virgo pudica thorum, sponsa pudica polum.

The temporalities of Hickling priory were 6s.—of St. Bennet at Holm 6s. 10d.— of Weybridge 11s.


  • 1. T're. Willi. Epi. Tedfordens. de Feudo—.In Clipesbei iiii. libi. homines, ii ex his Almari Epi. comdat et i Alsi. i S. B. de c. car. terre modo ten. W. Eps. x ac. p'ti. et sub eis vi bord. semp. dim. car. et i car. tc. vol. v sol. p. et mo. xx sol. ht ii qr. in longo. et v in lato. et de gelto xiid.
  • 2. T're S'ci. Benedicti de Hulmo. In Clipesbei i lib. ho.
  • 3. This William died in 1455, and was buried in Ashby church. It appears that there were two William Clipesbys, probably father and son, the abovementioned William, who died 1455, whose widow Catherine married William Yelverton, Esq. and presented in 1459.
  • 4. Terra Rogeri Bigoti—In Clipesby i lib. ho. Sci Bened.
  • 5. Tre. Sci. Benedicti de Hulmo.— In Clipesby i lib. ho.
  • 6. Lib. ho'es T. R. E. ad nullam firmam, p.tinentes quas Almar. custodit. qui additi st. ad firma' de Calnestune T. R. W.—In Clepesbej ten ide v liberos. ho'es de xlvi ac. tre. et v ac. p'ti et qr. pars i sal. sep. i car. tc. val. iii sol. mo. iiii.