East Flegg Hundred: Filby

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Francis Blomefield, 'East Flegg Hundred: Filby', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) pp. 216-221. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp216-221 [accessed 21 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "East Flegg Hundred: Filby", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) 216-221. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp216-221.

Blomefield, Francis. "East Flegg Hundred: Filby", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810). 216-221. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp216-221.

In this section


Ralph Stalre was lord in the reign of the Confessor, and had 2 carucates, and 47 acres of land, 8 villains, &c and 2 borderers with one carucate in demean, and one among the tenants, and 14 acres of meadow, 2 runci, one cow, 7 swine, &c. and 3 socmen had a carucate and an half with an acre of meadow.

Fourteen freemen had also half a carucate of land, and 6 acres, with 2 carucates and an half, and one acre of meadow, valued then at 40s. at the survey at 50s.

On the expulsion of Stalre, the Conqueror granted it to Rabel the artificer, who had the command (as an engineer) of all the engines or brakes, and the direction of them at the battering of forts, &c. and had also from the Conqueror, the lordship of More, a village in Blofield hundred.

The King and the Earl of Norf. had the soc of the freemen; and the town was one leuca and three furlongs and an half long, and half a leuca and 25 perches broad, and paid 2s. gelt. (fn. 1)

This seems, soon after the survey, to have been in the Crown, and in the reign of Henry II. was possessed by William de Cheney, a son of Robert Fitz-Waller founder of Horseford priory; and by his daughter and coheir Margaret, came to Hugh de Cressi, whose de scendant, Stephen de Cressi, dying s. p. it came as an escheat to the Crown.

King Henry III. granted it to William de Valentia, his brother-inlaw, Earl of Pembroke, about the 50th year of his reign.

In the 14th of Edward I. that King ordered his justices itinerant, by a mandamus, not to admit of any plea against his beloved uncle William de Valentia Earl of Pembroke, on account of this manor, who in the preceding year had granted to Roger de Colvile and Ermentrude (alias Alice his wife) widow of Stephen de Cressy, for dower, 5 marks rent for dower per ann. and her dower in Certeley, and Pillescole in Bucks.

This Earl had the lete, assise, and wreck at sea. Audomere his son, Earl of Pembroke inherited it.

From that Earl it came by marriage to David de Strabolgie Earl of Athol, who died about the 49th of Edw. III. and by his 2 daughters and coheirs, Elizabeth, by marriage, first to Sir Thomas Percy, and after to Sir John Scroop; and by Philippa his other daughter, to Sir John de Halsham.

The heiress of this last family brought the whole to John Lukenore, Esq. as in West Lexham.

In the 3d of Edw. IV. Sir Jeffrey Boleyn died seised of it, having purchased it of the feoffees of the Halshams; and in the 4th of Edw. VI. Sir James Boleyne conveyed it to Thomas Clere, Esq. of Stokesby, 2d son of Robert Clere, Esq. This Thomas married Ann, daughter and heir of Robert Gygg, Esq. and was lord of Stokesby.

Mr. Gooche lord and patron in 1740.

Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earl of Norfolk, had at the survey a lordship of which 4 freemen were deprived, who held together 118 acres of land, a borderer, 2 carucates, and 4 acres of meadow, with 2 saltworks, and the moiety of another, valued at 5s. and Stanart held it under Bigot. (fn. 2)

The ancient family of De Filby, who assumed their name from this town, and were lords of this manor, who bore argent, an escotcheon and an orle of matters, gules.

Sir Ralph de Fileby and Isabel his wife, were living about the year 1280; and Robert de Fileby was lord of East-Hall in this town in 1315; in the 4th of Edward III. he was living, and had 2 daughters and coheirs; Joan, married to Richard de Berking, and Isabel, to John de Holbek, who held it by equal moieties. In the 9th of Edward III. Richard de Berking and Joan his wife, settled the moiety of it, and the advowson of the church, on their heirs.

He and Holbek were bound to hold it of the Earl-Marshal in the 33d of the said King, and had alternately the presentation.

In 1390 John Berking of Rollesby presented as lord.

John de Holbeck was probably son of Ralph Holbeck, and Margery his wife, to whom Sir Alexander de Clavering in the 25th of Edward, I. granted his manor of Stokesby.

The manor of Berkings came to the Giggs. Robert Giggs, Gent. of Sparham, held it at his death in 1434, and was patron of the church, and came after to the Cleres of Stokesby.

The Earl Warren had a lordship of which Estgar a freeman was deprived, who held a carucate of land and 9 acres, one villain and 3 borderers, with a carucate in demean, and half a carucate among the tenants, with 2 acres of meadow, and 3 saltworks. &c. then valued at 8s. at the survey at 16s. and Turold held it under the Earl Warren. (fn. 3)

Richard Aguillon was lord in the reign of King Henry II. whose daughter and heir, Isabel, brought it by marriage to Sir Robert de Holm, who was also lord of Holme Hale.

His son Sir Gyles was lord in the 24th of Henry III. and held it of the Earl Warren by a quarter of a fee.

Sir Robert de Holm, one of the justices of trail-baston in the 3d of Edward I. had the assise of bread and beer, view of frank pledge, &c.

Gyles de Hulmo claimed the same in the 14th of that king. Gyles and Joan his wife, and one of the same name, was living in the 18th of the said reign, who dying without issue it came to—de Plumestede, by the marriage of Alice, sister and heir of Gyles.

John de Plumstede kept his first court at Filby in 1324. Alice his daughter and heir brought it to Sir Edward de Illey, who died lord in 1349.

1367, Sir Richard de Illey, son of Sir Edmund, sold to William de Topcroft, burgess of Yarmouth, the 3d part of this lordship of Holm Hall in Filby, and also granted an annuity of 5l. per ann. to Ralph Norman, &c. of Filby, and of his manor of Plumstede Parva.

About this time Alianore de Burghwood had a 3d part, which she conveyed to Ellen Colyn of Yarmouth, who possessed it in 1386, and Isabel Gegges in 1402, who conveyed it in trust, &c. to Matthew de Salle, parson of Stokesby, with all its rents, &c.

In 1373, John, son of Ralph Norman, had 2 parts of this manor, and John Norman, senior, held it in 1402.

Matthew de Salle granted Gegges part in trust to William de Frisseby rector of Filby, 1412, and Edmund Norman, son of John, died lord in 1444. In the following year, John Lynford of Stalham, released to Sir John Fastolf the 2 parts that Norman held; but this was in trust, for about this time Wm. Pickering and Cecily his wife, held not only the 3d part called Burghwood's, but also Norman's 2 parts purchased of his executors.

The said William settled it on John Paston, Esq. who released it to Nicholas Pickering in 1450.

In 1474, Edmund Jenney and Catherine his wife, impleaded (as heirs to Illey) in her right, John Pickering on account of this manor.

After this it was in the Pastons. Sir William Paston died seised of it in the first and 2d of Philip and Mary.

In the 11th of James I. on the death of Sir William Paston, he was found to hold it of Thomas Clere, Esq. as of his manor of Stokesby, in soccage, and 10s. rent per ann.

The abbey of St. Bennet of Holm, had a lordship in the time of the Confessor, and at the survey, containing one carucate of land, and 20 acres, with four borderers, one carucate in demean, and 3 acres of meadow, a saltwork, &c. and 3 freemen held under commendation only of the abbot, 42 acres, one villain, and a carucate and a half, with an acre and half of meadow, valued in the whole at 30s. (fn. 4)

This on an exchange with other lands belonging to the abbey at the dissolution, was granted by King Henry VIII. to the see of Norwich.

William de Valentia held 42 acres of the abbot of St. Bennet in the 3d of Edward I.

William de Scohies had a carucate of land and a half, with 13 acres, 2 borderers, and the moiety of another; and 2 carucates and a half with 13 acres of meadow, 5 saltworks; a church with 5 acres, valued at 6d. of which a freeman was deprived.

Hugh held it at the survey under William de Scohies, when it was valued at 80s. before at 40s. the King and the Earl had the soc. (fn. 5) This went with Scohies manor of Stokesby.

The tenths were 9l. Deducted 1l.

The Church of Filby is a rectory, dedicated to All-Saints, anciently valued at 22 marks. Ernald Bill had the presentation or advowson of it granted him by King John in his 2d year, and was depending on the Crown manor, which was granted, as is above shewn, to William Cheney and his descendant.

Roger de Cressi as lord, released to Ralph Byl and his heirs, all his right therein, in the 24th of Henry III. by fine.

In the reign of Edward I. the priory of St. Faith's had a portion of tithe, valued at 4 marks per ann. The hospital of Norman in Norwich a portion valued at 15s. per ann.; and the priory of Norwich one at 13s. 4d. being 2 parts of the tithes of Morelleys de Merlay and Emme his wife.

Peter-pence 2s. The present valor is 11l. 1s. 4d. ob. and pays first fruits and tenths.

Thomas de Blumvile Bishop of Norwich confirmed to the priory of Norwich their right here. (fn. 6) The portion of Norman's hospital was 2 parts of the tithes of the demeans of Sir Robert de Hulmo.


1315, John de Wykelwode instituted rector, presented by Robert de Fileby.

1328, Robert de Fileby, by John Fitz Ralph de Holebeck.

1335, William de Berdefeld, by Richarde Berkyng.

1347, John Holbeck, by John Holbeck.

1390, Richard de Derlington, by John Berking of Rollesby.

1404, Mr. William Fryseby, by Thomas Spayne, John Rusheby, John Knight.

1436, Robert Inglos, by Sir Henry Inglos.

John Berking of Rollesby sold to Sir Henry a rood of land in Filby, with the advowson, and Sir Henry by his will in 1451, ordered it to be sold.

1474, Mr. Andrew Jenney, A. M. by Bartholomew Whyte, Esq. of Shotesham.

1505, John White, S.T.P. by Symon Whyte, Esq. he resigned in 1512.

Thomas Stafford was rector about 1600, and Charles Clere, Esq. patron.

Nicholas Staynes compounded for first fruits, &c. May, 12, 1620.

James Wace died rector in 1722, and was succeeded by Thomas Whaits, presented by Robert Gooch, Gent.

The Church has a nave covered with reed, a north and south isle covered with lead, and a chancel, and a lofty tower with 5 bells,

In the chancel on a marble stone,

Here resteth the body of Charles Keene Gent. who died Decr. 1, 1646, lord of the manor.

One in memory of John Keen,

Hic jacet Johs. Keen Generosus qui obt. 5 die Sept. 1686.

Also these arms, a talbot passant, in chief indented, 3 cross crosslets, impaling a chevron, between 3 pair of wings.

One for James Wace, clerk, rector 40 years, he departed May 25, 1722, aged 66; and Anne his wife, daughter of Thomas Wild, Gent. who died May 14, 1721, aged 52 years: a chevron between two mullets, a buck's head impaling.

In the church,

Orate p. a'i'ab; Willi. Botolf et Agnetis uxoris sue.


In memory of Eliz. daughter of Sam. Spendlove Gent. the wife of John Liffere, who died Septr. 21, 1679.

One for Eliz. wife of Sam. Spendlove, who died January 11, 1710, aged 82.

Here resteth the body of Sam. Spendlove Gent. who died Octr. 28, 1678, aged 60.

In the chancel were these arms: Argent, three crescents, sable, Lamerton, impaling sable, a chevron, between three hunters horns, with bandricks, sable, Hunter.

Walter Lemerton of Filby Gent. buried in the church in 1503.

In 1444, Edmund Norman of Filby buried in the church of Cromer, gave 10 marks for 2 new windows on the north part of the church at the west end, and 40d. to St. Baptist's chapel in Filby church, in which windows were the images of St. Edmund, St. John Baptist, and St. Mary; with an orate for him, Margaret his wife, and Edmund his son, and this shield.

Sable, a cinquefoil, and a chief indented, argent.

Nicholas Pykering was buried in 1466, in the steeple of this church; gives to St. Mary's light on the Perke, 6d.; to that of St. Nicholas 4d.; to that of St. John in his chapel in the church-yard, 6d.; to St. Margaret's guild at the west end of the town, a quarter of barley, and a comb to St. Mary's guild at the east end of the town; to every order of friars at Yarmouth 10s.; to the sisters of the hospital there, 2s. to the lepars at each gate of the town, 2d.; 5 marks to buy an antiphonary for Filby church; names John his son and Alice his daughter; and gives an acre and a half glebe to the church.

Walter Shipdam buried in 1466 by St. Mary of Pity, in the church.

The prior of Hickling had 6 acres of land here in the 15th of Edward I. Their temporalities in 1428, valued at 9s.

On March 26, in the 27th of Elizabeth, George Petre had a grant of the tithes late the prior of Horsham St. Faith's in this town, Taverham, and Newton, with those of Shelfangre, lately belonging to the prior of Eye in Suffolk, for 21 years. The temporalities of Weybridge priory 12d.


  • 1. Terre Rabelli Artificis—In Phileby ii car. t're. et xlvii ac. ten. R. Stalra T. R. E. p. man. tc. viii vill. p. et mo. vi et ii bor. sep. i car. in d'nio. et i car. hou'm. et xiiii ac. p'ti. sep. ii r. et i an. tc. vii por. mo. x et iii soc. xv acr. sep. i car. et dim. et i ac. p'ti. et xiiii lib. ho'es. dim. car. t're. et vi ac. sep. ii car. et dim. et i ac. p'ti. tc. val. xl sol. p. et mo. I. Rex et Comes scca' de lib'is ho'ib; et ht. 1 leug et iii qr et dim. in long. et dim. leng. in at. et xxv perc. et ii sol. de g. q'c'q; ibi teneat. In Phileby li. acr i lib h'o. T. R. E de uxore illius h'ebat tu'c Ailuuin; comend't'm. &c. eadem uxor nichil h'ebat ex hac t'ra. & Comes R. ex hac t'ra seisit; erat q'n forisfecit. & Rob. Blund. eam tenunit ad censum in manu Regis. Postea sub Godrico invasit idem Ailuuin; Antec. R. Bigot & Stanart filius ejus eam tenebat & ex hoc dedit. vadem. Rog. Bigot enim revocat. hanc terram ad suum feudum mo. servat Godricus in manu Regis & est in illa t'ra i car. & i car. & dim. p'ti. val. v sol.
  • 2. Terra Rogeri Bigoti—In Fileby iiii lib. ho'es simul cxviii ac. t're. et i bor. semp. ii car. et iiii ac. p'ti. et ii sal. et dim. et val. v sol. hoc tenet Stanart.
  • 3. T're Willi de Warrenna—In Phdeby Tarold. tenet i libu' ho'm Estgari. T. R E. i car. t're. et ix ac. tc. i vill. sep. iii bor. et i car. in d'nio. et dim. car. hom. et ii ac p'ti. tc. iii sal. mo, ii tc. val. viii sol, mo. xvi.
  • 4. T're. S'ci. Benedicti de Hulmo— In Phileby tenet sep. S. B. i car. t're. et xx ac. sep. iiii bor. et i car in d'nio. et iii ac. p'ti. et i sal mo. i runc. et iii libi. ho'es com'd. tautu. xlii ac. sep. i vill. et i car. et dim. et i ac. et dim. p'ti. val. iii sol.
  • 5. Terra Willi. de Scohies—In Filebei tenet Hugo i (lib. hom.) i car. t're. et dim. et xiii ac. sep. ii bord. et dim. et ii car. et dim. et xiii ac. p'ti v saline. i ecclia v ac. et val. vid. tc. val. xl. sol. mo. lxxx Rex. et Comes socam.
  • 6. Reg. i Ecc. Cath. Norw. fol. 37