West Flegg hundred: Somerton, West and East

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: Somerton, West and East', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) pp. 188-190. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp188-190 [accessed 21 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "West Flegg hundred: Somerton, West and East", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) 188-190. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp188-190.

Blomefield, Francis. "West Flegg hundred: Somerton, West and East", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810). 188-190. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp188-190.

In this section


Wihunmard held at the Conqueror's survey a considerable lordship under Alan, the great Earl of Richmond, of which Alfric had been deprived, it extending also into Winterton. Alfric was a freeman, and seems to have held it under the protection of King Herold.

It contained 3 carucates of land, 4 villains, 11 borderers, 6 servi, 3 carucates in demean, with one and a half among the tenants; 30 acres of meadow, one saltwork, and the moiety of another, and 9 free men had 2 carucates of land. There were 3 runci belonging to the hall or manor-house, and 2 cows, 12 swine, 100 sheep, &c. with 20 acres of meadow, but 2 of the freemen, and the moiety of another, did belong to St. Bennet's abbey, but Godram seized of them in the time of Ralph Earl of Norfolk, and 3 carucates belonged to it

And at the survey there were 7 socmen with 67 acres, and a carucate and a half of land, valued in the whole with the socmen in the hundred, at 5l.; it was one leuca and 8 furlongs long, and 10 furlongs broad, and paid 30d. gelt. (fn. 1)

Many persons had an interest, and held parts of this lordship under the Earls of Richmond.

King Henry II or Richard I. gave a part of it to Ralph de Glanvile, Lord Chief Justice of England, who founded the priory of Butley in Suffolk, and an hospital in West Somerton, for the King's soul, his own, and that of Barta his wife, for 3 lepers, and gave the care or guardianship of it to the said priory, and was confirmed by Pope Innocent III. and Honorius III.

William de Aubervile, who married Maud his eldest daughter and coheir, gave the advowson of the churches of West Somerton to the said hospital, (fn. 2) in the 20th of Henry III with the 3d part of the advowson of the churches of Upton and Chadgrave in Norfolk, Wanton, Aspal, Benhale, Baudesey, Finburgh, and a moiety of the church of Glenham Parva, with lands in Butley and Stratford by fine to the priory of Butley.

In the 6th of Edward I. William son of Henry de Gyselham and Isabel his wife, gave by fine to the priory of Butele, lands and tenements here in Repps, Bastwick, and Martham.

In the 14th of that King, the prior claimed view of frankpledge, assise of bread and beer, as part of the barony of Richmond, held by him In 1299, the temporalities of the priory in West Somerton were taxed at 71s. and 4d. by Mr. Thomas de Skernyng, archdeacon of Suffolk, and Mr John de Flemyng, canon of Lincoln.

In the 30th of Henry VIII. Thomas Manning, then suffragan bishop of Ipswich, and prior of Butley, conveyed this their manor by fine to the King; and King Edward VI. in his sixth year, gave it to Edward Lord Clinton.

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Sir Thomas Woodhouse of Waxham was lord; and his son Sir Henry conveyed it about the 19th of that queen, to Sir Thomas Rivet, merchant of London, and alderman, with the impropriated rectory; and by Muriel, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas, it came to Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorp, who sold it to Henry Hobart, Esq. of Blickling, afterwards a judge and a baronet.

Earl's Manor.

This was also a part of the great lordship of Alan Earl of Richmond, and granted in 1312 by King Edward II with the manor of Cossey in Norfolk to Sir John de Clavering, (lord of Horsford,) for his life; and on his death, King Edward III. in 1329, gave it to Sir Robert de Ufford, and was held by him in the 19th of that King, being then Earl of Suffolk, from whom it took the name of the Earl's Manor, and had a lete here and in Winterton, into which it extended.

William de Ufford his son, Earl of Suffolk, in the 5th of Richard II. was found to die seised of a messuage, 40 acres of land 3s. and 7d. rent in Somerton and in Winterton.

Edward Clere, Esq. and Frances his wife, sold to Sir Thomas Woodhouse, Knt. of Waxham, the manor of Earl's in 1564, containing 13 messuages, 15 cottages, 200 acres of land, 40 of meadow, 40 of pasture, 2 of wood, 40 of heath, 40 of marsh, with 40s. rent, liberty of foldage, and the advowson of Winterton.

Sir Henry Woodhouse succeeded his father Sir Thomas, and had livery of it about the 15th of Queen Elizabeth, and presented to the church of Winterton, with the chapel of East Somerton in 1577, and 1601.

In the 3d of Henry III. Robert de Hensted was found to hold one fee in Somerton of Ralph de Gernon, and Ralph of the lord of Angre, and of Margery de Riparijs or Rivers, lady of Angre.

This family held the manor of Sporle in Norfolk of the Earl of Richmond.

The tenths were 8l. 8s. Deducted 1l. 0s. 4d.

The church and chancel of West Somerton is thatched, and has a round lower, the upper part octangular; it was appropriated to the priory of Buttley in Suffolk, by John of Oxford Bishop of Oxford, before the year 1200, and was confirmed to them by William de Aubervill, who married Maud, the eldest daughter and coheir of Ralph de Glanvile, the founder of that priory, who gave the advowson to it.

On the appropriation a pension, of 30s. per ann. was settled for a vicar; but it appears to have been always served by a stipendiary curate, the rectory was taxed at 18 marks, and paid Peter-pence 15d.

In the 14th of Edward I. Hump. de Bessingbourn and Mary his wife, claimed an interest herein, and after a long suit settled the advowson on the prior, who paid to them 20s.

This Hump. was lord of Wicken in Cambridgeshire, and made a claim in right of his wife's ancestors.

In 1512, the rectory was leased by the prior to William Lacock, canon regular of Bromere in Wiltshire, for 7 years, paying 8l. per ann. and he was to bear all charges, synodals and procurations, &c. and to serve the cure; there are in the register of Butley, late Peter le Nevis, Esq. many evidences relating to this priory, and agreements between them, and the rectors of Winterton, and the prior of Norwich about tithes.

At the Dissolution it came to the Crown, with the manor, and was granted (with the hospital manor, &c.) by King Edward VI. in his 6th year, to Edward Lord Clinton.

Sir Thomas Wodehouse had the impropriate rectory; and Sir Henry his son, who conveyed it to Sir Thomas Rivet, merchant and alderman of London, and of Chipenham in Cambridgeshire, second son of Thomas Rivet of Stow-market in Suffolk, by Joan his wife, daughter of Thomas Raven, who gave it with Muriel his eldest daughter, by Alice his first wife, daughter of Sir John Cotton of Landwade in Cambridgeshire in marriage to Sir Christopher Haydon of Baconsthorp in Norfolk, who sold it to Henry Hovart, Esq. of Blickling, aftewards a judge, and Bart. who was lord in the 17th of James the First; and on an inquisition taken in 1634, Gyles Killingworth was found to die possessed of it, and James his son and heir was aged 15.


  • 1. Terre Alan Comitis—In Somer. tuna' tenet Wihunmard qu' tenuit Alfric T.R.E. S. homo Heroldi iii. car t're. tc. iiii villi. p et mo. ii se'p. ii bord t'nc. vi ser p et mo ii semp. iii car. in d'nio se'p. i car. et dim. ho'um et xxx ac. p'ti. et i sal. et dim. et ix lib. ho'es. ii car. t're. se'p. iii r. in aula et ii ann. tc. xii por. mo. xxiiii tc. c ov. mo. cc se'p. x por. et xx ac p'ti. et duo dim. cx istis fuer. S' ci. Ben de Hulmo. et Godram. invasit te'pr R Comitis se'p. iii car et adhuc su't ibi vii soc. lxvii ac. t're. se'p. i car. et dim tc. et p hoc tutu' val. v lib. mo. ix lib. cu' soc. q su't in hund. et h't 1 leug. in long. et viii qr. et x in lato.
  • 2. Chart. Prior. de Butteley, fol. 52.