West Flegg hundred: Oby

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: Oby', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) pp. 174-179. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp174-179 [accessed 20 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "West Flegg hundred: Oby", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) 174-179. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp174-179.

Blomefield, Francis. "West Flegg hundred: Oby", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810). 174-179. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp174-179.


Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, was lord of Oby at the survey, and Stanart held it then of Roger. Kingulf, who was lord in the Confessor's time, being deprived, it consisting of 30 acres of land, half a carucate and 6 acres of meadow, and six freemen held under him 30 acres of land, and one acre of meadow, with half a carucate; Roger Bigot laid claim to them by the gift of the king, and they belonged to the fee of his predecessor Alwi of Thetford, and were valued at 4s.

Stanart also had under Roger in this town, the land of Godwin a free man, who was deprived, containing 30 acres of land, and a carucate with 5 borderers; and three freemen held under Godwin 15 acres of land, one of meadow, and half a carucate, valued at 4s. and these Bigot had as belonging to the fee of his predecessor Alwi.

The said Roger Bigot had the land of a freeman who was deprived of six acres of land, one of meadow, with 2 oxen, valued at 7d. per ann. (fn. 1)

Stanart or Stannard, who was enfeoffed of this lordship, had also another in this town, of the abbot of St. Bennet.

In the 20th of Henry III. William de Ormesby held here and in Burgh, one fee of the Bigods, Earls Marshal; and in the 14th of Edward I. William de Ormesby and Agnes his wife, were possessed of it; and Alice Caly in the 20th of that King.

William de Ormesby, the abbot of St. Bennet, and Nicholas in the Willows, were returned to be lords in the 9th of Edward II. and in the 11th of the said King, William de Caley and Catherine his wife, settled this lordship on themselves for life, remainder to John his son and his heirs.

Sir John Kaley of Owby and Maud his wife, held it in the 10th of Edward III. and John Caly, parson of Rollesby, released to William de Caly his brother, all his claim of lands here, &c. in the 20th of that King; and Sir William Caley and Alice his wife, settled on themselves in the 47th of the said reign: remainder to the heirs of Sir William Caley—Witnesses Sir William Cardeston, Sir John Mauteby, Sir Edm. de Clipesby, &c.

Sir William and Alice his wife, living in the 2d of Richard II. and in the 17th of that King, Alice widow of Sir William Caly, by indenture between her and Dame Cecily de Kerdeston, Sir Bartholomew de Bacon, and Sir Stephen Hales, knights, settled this manor on her 2 daughters, Eve and Agnes; remainder to the right heirs of Sir William Caly, who died in 1380.

Robert Newent, parson of Reefham, in the 3d of Henry V. confirms to John Clipesby and Roger Harsyke this manor, which he had of the feoffment of Alice, widow of Sir William Caly, to them and their heirs; remainder to the right heirs of Sir William Caly.

This John Clipesby, and Roger Harsyke, were the sons of Edmund Clipesby, and Sir John Harsyke; who married the two daughters and coheirs of Sir William Caly and Alice his wife; Clipsby marrying Eve, and Harsyke Agnes

Alice, widow of Sir William Caly, and Cecilia de Kerdeston, were sisters, and daughters of Sir John de Brews of Topcroft; and in the 8th of Richard II. the Lady Cecilia de Kerdeston calls Alice, widow of Sir Roger Newent, her sister.

John Clipesby, Esq. son of Edmund, on a division of the Calys inheritance, enjoyed this manor in the 9th of Henry V. and let to farm 126 acres of land and the manor house; except the chambers on the east side of the hall, with the solary above, and the chapel adjoining, with the stable, and free ingress and egress, perquisites of court, wards, &c. and swan-mark at 20l. per ann. This John died in 1454.

In this family it remained, till on the death of John Clipesby, Esq. it came to his three daughters and coheirs.

In the 37th of Elizabeth, it was found that Thomas Guybon, Esq. son and heir of Humphrey Guybon, Esq. of Lynn, was lord of Oby in right of Audry his wife, daughter and coheir of John Clipesby, Esq. as in Clipesby.

The abbey of St. Bennet at Holm had at the survey one carucate of land, two villains, 10 acres of meadow, 2 carucates in demean, and two bovates or oxgangs belonging to the tenants, 3 runci, 2 cows, 6 swine, valued formerly at 20s. then at 30s. it was 6 furlongs long and 3 broad, and paid 9d. gelt, &c.

There belonged to this manor 10 freemen under the protection of the abby, with 84 acres, 14 acres of meadow, and 2 borderers with 2 carucates, valued at 6s. — A freeman also of the abbot had 23 acres, and a carucate, and 6 acres of meadow, valued at 30s. (fn. 2)

This lordship was given by King Canute to the abbey, on his foundation of the same.

Anselm, abbot of St. Bennet, granted to Richard, son of Stannard, the land of Ouby, as free as Walter Rufus held it in the time of Richer, the abbot, and to his heirs, paying 80 measures of bread corn per ann. and Richard gave of his free gift to the cellarer, 3s. per ann. payable at St. Michael. (fn. 3) Witnesses, William, the abbot's nephew, son of Harman, William de Redham, &c. Richer was rector about 1125, and Anselm about 1240.

William, abbot, 1127, Ao. 28 of Henry I. confirmed the said grant of Richer the abbot, to Richard.

William de Ouby, held in farm the abbot's lands, and was signed with the cross, when there came a precept from Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, William, bishop of Norwich, to endeavour by ecclesiastical censure to make William de Oubj to restore to the monks their portions, before he proceeded on his journey, as fully as Richard his father received it of the abbot. This was about the year 1165.

Sir William de Oweby was witness to a deed, sans date, of Robert de Mauteby, about the year 1200.

William, son of Alexander de Sparham, confirmed to Robert, son of Reginald the priest, the grant of the lands of his father, and late Peter de Oubey's. Witnesses, Hugh de Clipesby, Richard de Askeby, Herdwin de Clipesby. This was in the time of Henry II

William, son of William de Sparham, confirmed to Roger de Suffield, William his brother and their heirs, all the corn land that he held of the abbot, in Ashby, Oby, Repps, Bastwick, with the homages, rents, services, &c. to be held of them, paying during their lives, 80 minas of hreadcorn, sans date. Witnesses, Sir Reyner de Burgh, Roger de Ormesby, Bartholomew de Somerton, Robert Bill, William de Heringby.

Sir Roger de Suffield and William his brother, grant to the Lady Dyonisia, wife of Sir William de Sparham, a moiety of the cornland (or myne land) as her dower, for life, sans date. Witnesses, Reymer de Burgo, Roger de Hemesby, &c.

Sir Roger de Suffeld's interest herein came to his wife; probably a daughter and coheir of Sir William de Ouby.

Sir Roger's daughter and heir Christian, brought it by marriage to William Hempstede; Hamon de Hempstede his son inherited it, and by his daughter and coheir, Agnes, it came to her husband, Hugh de Caly, Symon de Hempstede, her brother, dying without issue: and there was an agreement between this Hugh de Caly and Agnes his wife, and Adam, the abbot of St. Bennet, that as often as any of the heirs of Agnes should die, they should pay relief to the abbot for the lands they held of him in Flegg hundred, 40 minas of breadcorn, and no more; (fn. 4) this was about 1260.

This Hugh and Agnes his wife, were living in the 6th year of Edward I. Agnes his widow in the 14th of that King, as appears from a fine.

Sir William Caley was lord in the 14th year of Edward I. as appears from a pleading; and the said William and Catherine his wife, settled it in the 11th of Edward II. on their son John and his heirs.

In the 10th of Edward III. Sir John Caly of Owby and Maud his wife, settled it on William their son by fine.

In the 47th of Edward III. Sir John Brews, &c. as trustees, settled this manor of Owby on Sir William Kaly and Alice his wife, and the heirs of their bodies, &c. Witnesses, Edmund de Ufford, William de Cardeston, John de Mauteby, Edmund de Clipesby, &c.

This Alice was daughter of Sir John Brews, and afterwards mar ried to Sir Roger Newent, and was his widow in the 10th of Richard the Second.

Sir William left by Alice his wife, 2 daughters and coheirs; Eve, married to Edmund de Clipesby, lord in her right of Oby; and Agnes, to Sir John Harsyke of Southacre, lord of Hecham by Snetesham in her right; but it appears that there were two Edmunds de Clipesby, the father and the son.

In the 16th of Richard II. the lords, at the request of the commons of England, that no eyre, or trayle le baston, nor any general oyer and determiner, should be holden till the next parliament, except the oyer, &c. in Norfolk, touching the death of Edmund Clipesby the elder, and Walter Cook, &c. (fn. 5)

It is a quære which of these two Edmunds married the said Eve; and it seems that Alice, widow of Sir William, enfeoffed this manor, so that Edmund de Clipesby never enjoyed it, it being in the 18th of Richard II. released by William Argenton, and John Geneye, knights, to the Lady Cecilia, widow of Sir William de Kerdeston.

Robert Newent, parson of Reefham, confirmed to John Clipesby, son of Edmund, this lordship, which he had with other feoffees, of the gift of Alice, widow of Sir William Caly, &c. (fn. 6)

Sir William Caly's will is dated October 11, in 1330, and proved November 11 following, his body to be buried in the chancel of St. Mary of Askeby.

In this family of Clipesby this lordship, with that before mentioned, remained, till the death of John Clipesby, Esq. the last heir male: and on a division of his estate among his daughters, this town came by Audrey, one of his daughters, to Thomas Guybon, Esq. (as may be seen in Clipesby) who was lord in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and James I.

Their son, John Guybon, Esq. inherited it, and was lord in the the reign of King Charles I. and married Catherine, daughter of Francis Mapes of Rollesby, Esq. by whom he had Clipesby Guybon, Esq. lord in the reign of King Charles II. and by Bridget his wife, was father of Clipesby Guybon, aged 10 years in 1664; he mortgaged it to Colonel John Harbord of Gunton, who was lord of it, and sold it to Thomas Doughty, a mercer in Covent Garden, London, and dying seised of it, ordered his executor, by his will, to sell it, and by a decree in chancery, it was sold to Dr. Humphrey Prideaux, dean of Norwich, in 1708; and in 1729, was bought by — Le Heup, Esq. of Gunthorp, of — Prideaux, Esq. son and heir of the dean.

In 1690, I find these particulars relating to this lordship: "Ouby Hall is a large house, built with brick and stone, having large barns, granary, malthouse, stables, dovehouse, garden, orchards, fish ponds, &c. with timber worth 500l. the manor rents of free and copyhold tenants, with profits of court, valued at 6l. 1s. 9d. per ann.; there were 235 acres of good arable and pasture land, most inclosed, in rich feeding marsh, and meadows, 345 acres, at 16s. per acre, and the malthouse at 15l. per ann."

The tenths were 1l. 8s.

The town takes its name from a river near to it.

Stannard's Pedigree.

I do not find from the institution books of Norwich, any mention of a church here; the tradition is, that many ages past, it sunk into the ground; but it seems to have been a hamlet to Askeby, where the inhabitants at this day go to church.


  • 1. Terra Rogeri Bigoti—In Obei. tenet Stanart qua' tennt Ringulf i lib. he' te'pe R. E. xxx ac. t're sep. dim. car. vi ac. p'ti et vi l bi. ho'es et sub eo xxx ac. t're. et i ac. p'ti. sep dim. car. hos reclamat R. Bigot ex dono Reg et f't de feudo Alwi a Tetforde antecessoris sui' sep. val. iiii sol. In ea'd, ten. i lib. hom Goduin. xxx ac. t're. mo v bor. i de' Stanart. sep. i car. et iii lib. ho'es sub eo xv ac. t're. i ac. p'ti sep. dim. car. sep. val. iiii sol. hoc. ht R. Bigot de feudo Alwi antecessoris sui—In Othebei i lib. ho. vi ac. t're. i ac. p'ti. cu' ii bovibus val. viid.
  • 2. T're. S'ci Benedicti de Hulmo— Orbi ten. sep. S. B. i car. t're. sep. ii vill. x ac. p'ti. in d'nio, et ii bov. hom. iii runc ii an. vt por. tc. val. xx sol. mo. xxx ht. vi qr. in long. et iii in lat. et de g. ixd. q'cq; ibi ten isti manero, p'tinent x libi. ho'es Sc'i. Benedicti com'd dclxxxiiii ac. et xiiii ac. p'ti. sep. ii bor. ii car. val. vi sol.—In Houby i lib. ho. de xxiii ac. sep. i car. vi ac. p'ti. val. xxx.
  • 3. Reg. Abbat. S. Bened. in Bibliot. Catton. fol. 3.
  • 4. Reg. Holm. fol. 131, &c.—Reg. Walsingh. fol. 105; Reg. Holm. fol 144.
  • 5. Cotton's Abridgement of the Records, p. 347.
  • 6. Reg. Heydon. Norw. fol. 178.