West Flegg hundred: Somerton 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 East', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) pp. 191-192. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp191-192 [accessed 20 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "West Flegg hundred: Somerton East", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) 191-192. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp191-192.

Blomefield, Francis. "West Flegg hundred: Somerton East", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810). 191-192. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp191-192.


Stigand Archbishop of Canterbury was lord in the time of the Confessor, and was a lay fee; Archisti, a freeman of his holding it under him, with half a carucate of land, 12 villains. 11 borderers, 6 acres and a half of meadow, one saltwork, and the moiety of another; there was one carucate in demean, one and a half among the tenants, 4 runci, 8 cows, 140 sheep, with 2 skeps of bees.

Besides this there were 19 socmen, with 4 carucates valued at 20s. at the survey the Conqueror was lord, and William de Noiers was his steward, and of the great lordship of Mileham in Norfolk, &c. the soc belonged to the hundred of West Flegg, and Archisti had power to sell it, without the license of Stigand. (fn. 1)

In the reign of King William II. this lordship was granted by that King to William de Albini his butler, ancestor to the Earls of Arundel, and was held of him by the family of De Somerton.

Hugh de Somerton, who married Susan, sister and coheir of Gosceline de Lodnes, was lord, and father of Ralph de Somerton, whose son Ralph de Somerton left a daughter and coheir Alice, who married William de Buckenham, and was father of Ralph de Buckenham, who was a benefactor to Windham priory in 1256.

In the 12th of Henry II. Ralph de Somerton paid 60s. pro reireantia, (fn. 2) for his cowardice in refusing to fight; the father probably of Ralph abovementioned, and in the 15th of King John, Beatrix de Somerton resigned to William de Lions and Alice his wife, lands in Somerton and Winterton, claimed by Alice, as her dower, being the lands of William de Reedham, her former husband.

Bartholomew de Somerton was lord in the 41st of Henry III. and sued Beatrix de Flegg, about a way through certain grounds; and in the 4th of Edward I. Alexander, son of Richard Fastolf, and Bartholomew de Somerton agreed by fine to present alternately to the church of East Somerton, and the church of Winterton.

In 1310, Sir Bartholomew de Somerton presented to the church of Winterton, and chapel of East Somerton.

Sir Bartholomew is said to have left Thomas de Somerton his son and heir; on whose death this manor is said to have been divided between his seven heirs.

In the 6th of Edward III. William Briton purchased of Robert Fastolf, lands, &c. in this town and Winterton; in the 8th of the said King, Richard, son of Walter Fileby, recovered the yearly rent of 5 marks, from Robert Falstolf out of the manor of Somerton; and in the 16th of the said reign, William Bretun of Wichingham and Elizabeth his wife, conveyed by fine to Robert Clere and Alice his wife, daughter and heir of—Filby, of Filby in Norfolk, the advowson of the chapel of East Somerton, and in the said year Edmund de Melliers and Ellen his wife, conveyed their right to Robert Clere and Alice his wife; the family of De Milliers held lands in Hopsburgh of the Earls of Albini, and these inherited the estate of Sir Bartholomew de Somerton, in Somerton and Winterton.

In 1342, Robert de Clere, as lord of Winterton and Somerton, presented to the church of Winterton and chapel of Somerton in 1342, and Alice his widow, in 1359, and in the same family it remained in 1545, when Sir John Clere, presented, who died lord and patron in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, August 21. Sir Edward Clere his son sold it to Sir Thomas Woodhouse of Waxham; about the year 1564, Henry Woodhouse, Esq. presented as lord and patron in 1577, and by his assignees in 1601.

John Stotevyle and Richard, hired Flegg-hall manor of the Mautbys in 1414, at 5 marks per ann.

Thomas de Stotevile had also an interest here, holding tenements, lands and services.

Catherine, wife of Richer Stotevile, late wife of Stephen Fourbishour, died in 1438, and Catherine Stanhow, of East Somerton, widow, by her will dated April 9, 1459, (fn. 3) gives legacies to her son-in-law John Stotevile, and to Joan his wife, her daughter, by Ralph Stanhow, her late husband, and appoints a chaplain to pray for her soul, that of Ralph her husband, and of Joan Pesenhale her mother in East Somerton church.

William Stutevile, was son of John, and had considerable lands in East and West Somerton, &c he was buried as by his will in 1495, in the church of St. Mary of Somerton, by Joan his wife, and names Agnes his executrix.

In Somerton William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford had a fee at the survey, but as this went with his lordship of Winterton, I shall there treat of it.

There was formerly a chapel in East Somerset, into which the rectors of Winterton are instituted, but has been in ruins many years; it was dedicated to St. Mary.

The tenths of East Somerton were 5l. 4s.—Deducted 14s.

The towns of Somerton take their name from some river or meer, Some, and So, being names of rivers; Somegill is a river in Radnorshire, thus Semerton in Sussex; Somerford in Wiltshire; Somersham, and Soham in Cambridgeshire; Solesby in Yorkshire; Sowick in Lancashire, &c.


  • 1. Tre Stigandi Epi. quas custodit W. de Noiers in manu Regis. Somertuna tenuit Archisti i libu' hom' d. i car. tre. semp. xii vill et xi bord. et vi ac. et dim. pti. et i sal. et dim. semp. i car. in d'nio. et i car. et dim. hom. et semp. iiii r. tc. viii an. et semp. et cxl ov. et ii vasa apu' adhuc su't ibi xix soc. et i car. tre. et iii car. sep. val. xx sol. e hanc. t'ram ten. W. de Noiers in firma de Meleha et soca e. in hund. et potuit ea' vendere sine licentia Stigandi.
  • 2. Madox Hist. Exch. p. 382.
  • 3. Regist. Doke, p. 130, and Reg. Wilby.