West Flegg hundred: Rollesby

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: Rollesby', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) pp. 183-188. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp183-188 [accessed 20 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "West Flegg hundred: Rollesby", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) 183-188. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp183-188.

Blomefield, Francis. "West Flegg hundred: Rollesby", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810). 183-188. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp183-188.

In this section


In Rolvesbj, a freeman under the protection of Almar, bishop of Elmham, had 80 acres of land, 2 of meadow, and 5 borderers; and 10 free men had 2 carucates; this was granted by the Conqueror to William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, to be held as a lay fee, who had also by the said grant 80 acres of land here, which another freeman held under the protection of Bishop Almar, and of Alwald, abbot of St. Bennet's, who by his tenure had not power either to give away or sell this land; one borderer belonged to it, with 2 acres of meadow; and under Beaufoe there were 11 freemen with 40 acres of land, and 3 acres and an half of meadow, and these freemen had always two carucates and an half among them, valued in King Edward's time at 10s. at the survey at 30s. (fn. 1)

Bishop Beaufoe at his death, left this manor and many others, to the see of Norwich.

Roger de Blaunchevill (Whitfield) and Amabilia his wife, daughter of Hugh Havere, grant by deed, sans date, to Matthew de Gunton and his heirs, for 2 marks and a half of silver, 10 acres of land in fee, which Hugh held here of the fee of William Barr. Witnesses Sir Bernard de Burc, Robert de Bassingham, Alexander de Faux, Nicholas de Scrotesby.

Matthew de Gunton was lord, and left John de Gunton his son, who dying s. p. his inheritance came to his five sisters and coheirs: Juliana, married to Simon Peche; Margery, to John de Melwood or Methwold; Catherine, to Simon de Lincoln; Sibill, to John de Gimingham; and Isabell, to Roger de Bavent.

In the 5th of Edward I. there was a pleading wherein Simon de Peche and his wife, &c. claimed the patronage of the church of Rollesby, against Ernald de Rollesby; and in the 14th of that king, Juliana claimed the assise of bread, &c. and held half a fee of the bishop of Norwich, as part of his barony; and William Peche, who was outlawed for felony, was found to have held in the 31st of the said reign, when John Peche, son of the said William, and Rose his mother, took the profits of it.

William de Reppes and Thomas his brother, quitclaimed to John Bishop of Norwich, and his successours, in the 31st of Edward II. by deed, all his right in the manor and advowson, dated at London, March 21; witnesses, Sir Walter de Norwich, Sir Richard de Playz, Sir William de Cleydon, Sir Richard de Len, and Sir John de Caston, knights, Nicholas Fastolf, Peter Duffkyn, &c. and the Bishop entered on them as an escheat, on account of the felony of William Peche, aforesaid.

After this, it was in the family of Bois. John Bois, Esq. of Coningsby in Lincolnshire, by his will, dated at Rollesby in 1420, and proved July 10, 1421, (fn. 2) orders his body to be buried in the church of the Holy Trinity of Ingham, and appoints Sybill his wife executrix.

This John Boys of Rollesby, (son and heir of John Boys, Esq. lord of Coningsby) and Sibill his wife, conveyed in the 7th of Henry V. by fine, the manor of Derby, in Lincolnshire, to Robert Feriby of Burton Stather, in the said county, and Isabel his wife.

In the 23d of Henry VI. the lordship of Boys in Rollesby was settled by fine on Robert Mortimer, and Sibilla his wife, (probably a Bois) by John Damme, &c. trustee, and the heirs of Sibilla in tail.

Brian Bois, of Rollesby, Gent by his will, dated in 1483, appoints his body to be buried in the chancel before the altar of St. George; (fn. 3) names Ellen his wife, &c. executors, proved May, 1483.

James Boys died lord April 24, ao. 1 Henry VIII. and Richard was his son and heir, aged 16.

William Cappes and Etheldreda his wife, held it in the 32d of Henry VIII. and in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary; and— Cappes in 1572.

Berking Manor.

Bartholomew de Marham granted by deed sans date, to Warine de Rollesby, with Agnes his daughter in free marriage, all his land in fee here; except a tenement, out of which he gives one mark of silver rent per ann. Witnesses, Peter de Meauton, Ralph de Candos, Adam Grose, William de Burc, Peter de Martham.

Agnes, widow of John Warine, was living in the 5th of Henry III. and granted lands to Warine de Waxstonesham.

William de Rollesby was lord in the 14th of Edward I.

John, vicar of Ramsey, as trustee, settled on Richard de Berking and Joan his wife, 7 messuages, 100 acres of land, 12 of heath, &c. with 4s. rent per ann in the 9th of Edward III. and in the 20th of that King, Joan, with John Holbeck, and Isabel his wife, held a quarter of a fee of the Bishop of Norwich, which Robert Bill held in the time of Henry III.

Richard de Berking, in the 33d of that reign, by deed, dated at Rollesby, January 3, grants to Roger de Estreford, clerk, &c. all his part of the manor of Rollesby, and Filby, except a rood of land called Old Mill Mount, and the advowson of Filby church, paying 20 marks per ann. Witnesses, Robert Clere, Robert Rollesby, &c.

In 1451, Sir Miles Stapleton and Ed. Clere of Castre, Esq. and Robert Bainard, were feoffees of the manor of Rollesby, for Thomas Sotterly, of Sotterly in Suffolk, Esq. which he had devised to Elizabeth his wife, and heirs, she dying before him; he now orders it to be sold, and the money to be disposed of for the soul of the said Elizabeth, &c. but Robert Baynard was to have a refusal of the purchase.

John de Berking and the heirs of Thomas de Upton, held a quarter of a fee of the Bishop in the 3d of Henry IV.

John Smith, LL.D. chancellor of Norwich, gave by will, 1489, his manor of Rollesby, to St. Gyles's hospital at Norwich, for 80 years, and on license of mortmain for ever.

On the exchange of land made in 1535, between King Henry VIII. and Bishop Rugg, these manors were conveyed to the King.

The abbey of St. Bennet's at Holm, had a lordship here in the reign of the Confessor, containing one carucate of land, with 6 villains; and one carucate in demean, half a carucate among the tenants, &c. and 8 acres of meadow; and 11 freemen held under their protection 44 acres of land, one of meadow, and half a saltwork, and 2 carucates, and had paunage for 3 hogs, valued then at 20s. at the survey at 26s. 8d.

There now belongs to this manor 15 acres of land; it was 10 furlongs long, and 9 broad, and paid 25d. 3 farthings gelt. (fn. 4)

This lordship continued in the abbey till the Dissolution, and no doubt, on the exchange of lands made between the King and Bishop Rugg, was not, as I can find, granted to him, but was then vested in the King, together with the two lordships abovementioned, and so remained united, till granted (as some say) by that King, to Mary Dutchess of Richmond.

In the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, Rollesby manor was granted December, to Anne Shelton for life, free from all rent, and the wood, and underwood, only excepted.

In the following year, on September 10, Edward Lord North had a grant of the same.

The chamberlain of St. Bennet had a pension of 40s. per ann.

Thomas Eden presented to the church as lord in 1586, and in 1591; and after that Roger Drury, Esq. who died lord in the 41st of Elizabeth, held by knight's service, and not in capite.

Sir Drue Drury his son, by Catherine his wife, daughter of John Lovell, Esq. was knighted August 27, 1603, who married Anne, daughter of Thomas Lord Burgh, Knight of the Garter, and was lord in 1625.

Catherine, wife of Roger Drury, Esq. by whom he had Sir Drue, was relict of William Lyster.

By an inquisition, taken at Norwich, January 15, in the 14th of Charles I. Francis Mapes, Esq. was found to die March 9, in the preceding year, lord of Rollesby Hall, and the advowson of that church, the manor of Bois's in Rollesby, and the manor of Berkin's, alias Bills, in the said town, and left 2 daughters and coheirs; Catherine, wife of John Gybon, and Anne, aged 12 years.

In 1703, Leonard Mapes, Esq. was lord, and presented to the church, who by Bridget, daughter of Humphrey Ront, of Yelverton in Norfolk, left Leonard his son and heir in 1664, lord in 1687. Leonard Mapes, Esq. presented in 1708, and Leonard Mapes, Esq. was lord in 1740.

Roger Bigot, ancestor to the Earls of Norfolk, had certain freemen here and in Reppes, belonging to his lordship of Sutton, as there may be seen.

The King had one freeman who had 15 acres of land; this Godric took care of for the King. (fn. 5)

In Rollesby Almarus took care of 8 freemen, and the moiety of another, who held under Gert 55 acres of land, in soccage, and six of meadow, and a carucate and a half, valued then at 4s. at the survey at 8s. (fn. 6) who were under no particular lordship, in King Edward's time, but the Conqueror added them in farm to Calveston, that is to Caston.

This Almar was son of Godwin, as said.

The tenths were 7l. 9s. Deducted 20s.

The temporalities of Hickling priory were 18s.; of Norwich priory 2s. ob.; of Holme abbey 49s. and 10d.

The Church of Rollesby is dedicated to St. George, and is a rectory. The ancient valor was 30 marks, and paid Peter-pence, 20d. q.

Walter Rug was rector in the reign of Henry II. presented by Richard de Rollesby; and in the 24th of Henry III. Robert Bil granted by fine his right in the advowson to Roger de Gunton.

In the 4th of Edward I. William, son of Arnold de Rollesby, sued Julian de Peche for this advowson, which his ancestors possessed, and after released it to her by fine.

In the 20th of that King, a fine was levied between Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and in the 22d another between Philip Burnell, cousin and heir of the Bishop, and Simon de Lincolnia and Catherine his wife, of their right in the advowson, with the moiety of Gunton manor.


William de Anmere occurs rector in the 22d of Edward I.

1302, Alan de Ely, collated by the Bishop of Norwich, archdeacon of Norfolk.

1303, John de Caylly, by Sir William de Ormesby, hac vice.

1321, Firminus de Lavenham, by the Bishop, pleno jure.

1324, Mr. Laurence Folstaff; he was dean of St. Chad's in Shropshire.

1327, Mr. John de Skyren, by the Bishop.

1337, Mr. Gilbert de Welleton, Juris Civilis professor, master of the hospital of Tybeburn in London diocese.

1338, John de Flete.

1340, Walter Hurry.

1349, Simon de Rykenhale.

1361, Simon de Babingley occurs rector.

Mr. Robert de Sutton, rector.

1377, Nicholas, son of Arnold de Lyons, of Weston.

1401, Thomas Bradmore.

1424, James Audeley.

1436, William Thrulby.

Mr. John Selot, rector, archdeacon of Sudbury, 1462, chancellor of Norwich, Decret. Dr.

1449, John Knolls.

1453, William Hoper Decret. Doctor.

1454, John Brygge.

John Bulman, rector.

1497, Bartholomew Northern.

Nicholas Car. LL. D. rector in 1519, dean of Chapelfield house, and chancellor of Norwich.

1531, William White, LL. B.

1554, Hugh Twyford, by the assignees of Richard, late Bp. of Norw.

1555, Mr. John Blomevyle. Ditto.

1586, Baldwin Easdall, by Thomas Eden of Martham.

1589, William Bollinge. Ditto.

1591, John Ponder, LL. D, Ditto.

1625, Hamo Claxton, by Henry Claxton, Esq. assignee of Sir Drue Drury.

1663, Henry Julyan, by Leonard Mapes, Esq.

1671, John Smith, by John Smith, clerk.

1684, John Gibson, by Christopher Betts.

1708, William Adams, by Leonard Mapes.

1742, William Adams, by ditto.

The present valor is 17l.

Leonard Mapes, Gent. patron in 1742.

On the north side of the chancel is an altar tomb of freestone, with the effigies of a woman, resting her head on her right hand.

Rose Claxton daughter and heir of William Lyster, and wife to Francis Claxton departed this life the 30th day of May in the year of our Lord, 1601, in the 23d year of her age and 7th year of her marriage, leaving to the World no living testimony. But her virtue was here interred with excessive tears of her friends, especially of her sorrowful husband, who hath made his heart a treasury of her excellent virtue, and this sepulchre one part of his perpetual love.

With the arms of Claxton, gules, a fess, three boars passant, or, &c. quartering or, a fess quarterly, azure, and gules, between three mascles of the 2d, Crekeman; and azure, three piles, wavy, or, with a canton, ermin, Stafford; and in the last qurte, gules, a bend, vairy, argent and azure, between two cotises or, Bowyar, and impaling Lyster ermine on a chevronel, sable, three mullets, argent.

On the south side lies a gravestone, where probably Bryan Boys, Esq. was buried; in the window near it are the arms of Boys.

A stone in memory of

Anna Gleane uxor charissima Thomas Gleane Armigi. obt. Sexto Die Januarij Ao. D'ni. 1680;—and ermine, on a chief sable, three lions rampant, argent, Gleane impaling Mapes.

In præmature - - - - - memoriam Philippi Mapes Gleane filij Tho. Gleane Armigi. Anneq; Uxoris, obt. Junij 12, 1680.

On a mural monument,

Here under resteth the bodie of Leond. Mapes of Beeston next Norwich Esq who had issue by Katherine his wife 7 sons and 2 daughters. He depd. this life February 4, 1619.

Also the portraitures of him, his wife and children, and on the summit of the monument the arms of Mapes, sable, a fess fusily or; —or four fusils in fess, or, impaling Southwell and Mapes, impaling per pale, argent, and sable, an eagle with two necks displayed, and counterchanged.

Here were the guilds of St. Mary, St. George, and St. John Baptist, also their lights and those of St. Thomas, and the rowel light before the crucifix.


  • 1. T're Willi. Epi. Tedfordens. de Feudo.—In Rolvesbj, i lib. ho. com'datus erat Almari Epi. lxxx ac. terre ii ac. p'ti. et v bord. et x libi. homines semp. ii car.—In ea'd. Rolvesbej i lib. ho. de lxxx ac. t're Almari Epi. et Aluuoldi Abbatis com'd. tantu' et hic erat ita in Monasterio qd. n. poterat dare terra' s'um' nec vendere semp. i bord. ii ac p'ti. et sub ipso xii libi. ho'es de xl ac. terre et iii ac. et dim. p'ti se'p. intr. eos ii car. et dim. tc. val. x sol. mo. reddit xxx sol.
  • 2. Reg. Hurning, fol. 82.
  • 3. Reg. Belings Norw.—Of the Bois family see in Honing.
  • 4. T're. S'ci. Benedicti de Hulmo.— In Rotholfuesby ten. S. B. T. R. E. i car tre. sep vi vill. et i car. in d'nio et dim. car. hom. vii porc. viii ac. p'ti. et xi libi. ho'es S'ci B. com'd. tantu' de xliiii ac. t're. et i ac. p'ti. et dim. sal. sep. i car. silv. iii por. tc. val. xx sol. mo xxvi et viiid. Adhuc. p'tinent isti manerio xv ac. t're. h't. x qr. in longo et ix in lat. et xxvd. de g. et iii ferding.
  • 5. Terre Regis qu' Godric. servat— In Rotholfuesby i lib. ho. de xv ac. t're.
  • 6. Et in Rothb' fuesby ten. ide' Almar. xiii lib. ho'es et dim. sub. Gerto. lv tac. t're in soca, et vi ac. p'ti se'p. i car. et dim. tc. val. iiii sol. mo. viii in firm. Calvestune sed T. R. E. n'p'tinuerunt, et ibi s't additi.