Tunstede Hundred: Tunstede

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, 'Tunstede Hundred: Tunstede', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) pp. 70-73. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp70-73 [accessed 20 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Tunstede Hundred: Tunstede", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) 70-73. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp70-73.

Blomefield, Francis. "Tunstede Hundred: Tunstede", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810). 70-73. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp70-73.

In this section


Called Tonesteda in the Saxon age, from its site on a rivulet, called Tun, or Tony, as Tunbridge, &c. Tone is a river in Somersetshire. Alfer, a nobleman, or thane of Herold was lord of it in the time of the Confessor, on whose deprivation it was given to Roger of Poictiers, in France, 3d son of Roger de Montgomery, who was made Earl of Lancaster.

This was a very considerable lordship in Alfere's time, it consisted of 5 carucates and an half of land, 23 villains, and 16 borderers, 2 carucates in demean, 12 among the tenants, and 8 acres of meadow, paunage for 12 swine, 3 cows, &c. 140 sheep, and 24 socmen held a carucate of land, and then 12 carucates of meadow; these were added in the time that the Conqueror held it, and Ralph, Earl of Norfolk added 6 freemen, with a carucate and an half of land, of these St. Bennet had the soc, the protection of one, and the forfeiture of three of the socmen; the 6 freemen had under them 4 bordererers, who had then 4 carucates of meadow. (fn. 1)

Robert, the cross bow-man added lands after Earl Ralph's forfeiture in Hoveton to it, (as may be seen in Hofton) the whole when Robert held it under Godric, (and it was in the King's hands) valued at 10l. at the survey at 11l. it was one leuca and a quarter long, and one leuca broad, and paid 17d. gelt.

Roger de Poictiers Earl of Lancaster, is said to have been deprived for rebellion, and in the reign of Henry II. it appears to be in the family of De Grelley, who were barons of the realm.

Albert de Grelley died possessed of it, whose son was a minor, and in the King's custody in his 30th year, under the care of his uncle Gilbert Basset, (fn. 2) aged 11 years; but this lordship was with the rest of his lands and barony, committed by the King to Nigell, son of Alexander, and Robert de Buron. Albert, married —, daughter of Thomas Basset, by whom he had this son and three daughters; she being a widow, and holding lands in capite, was at the King's disposal, and after married Wido de Croun; in her own right she held the manor of Blakeston, which in the space of one year and three quarters had brought her in 9l. 3s. 6d. per ann. and corn to the value of 101s.

This lordship of Tunstede was valued at 30l. and that of Swinehead in Lincolnshire, which were her husband's, at 102s. per ann.

In the aforesaid year, Lauretta Picot, daughter of Eustach Picot, had some interest here, in her own right, then widow of Hugh de Burdelys of Scoulton in Norfolk.

Thomas Grelley was lord in the 44th of Henry III. and had then a grant of a mercate weekly, and of an annual fair, and held it of the honour of Lancaster.

On the death of Robert Grelley, in the 10th of Edward I. was an extent of this manor, and Thomas Bardolf was found to hold three parts of a fee of it in Spikeworth, and paid 6 marks per ann.

John, son of Henry de Hoveton, held the 4th part of a fee, &c. the barony extended into Suffolk, Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and Rutlandshire; and the jury find it worth 54l. per ann. with the advowson of this church, and held in capite; Thomas was his son and heir under age, and in the King's custody, and Robert Bishop of Bath and Wells, the King's chancellor, had the care of his lands.

John de Overton, the Bishop's bailiff, impleaded in the 14th of the said King, John Wyke, who had opposed him (vi et armis) in his office, and recovered of him 10 marks damages, and 40s. for himself, Wyke being taken into custody; and at this time it appears that here was a park.

Thomas de Grelley was lord in the 32d of Edward I. but in the 9th of Edward II. Nicholas de Meldon held it of the Earl of Lancaster, and in the 14th of that King, William de Meldon and Maud his wife, convey it to Michael de Meldon, with 204 acres of marsh, 7 marks, and 8s. rent here, in Spikesworth, Hoveton, Westwick, &c.

In the 1st of Edward III. he held it by one fee, and the service of 10s. per ann. to the castle of Lancaster. Soon after he sold it to Sir John Stretche, who possessed it in the 20th of the said King.

John la Warr and Joan his wife, had also some interest herein, which they conveyed to Sir John Stretch, viz. 332 acres of land, 4l. 10s. rent, with the advowson; it is probable this Joan, was daughter of Grelley; the Wests, who married the Lord De la Warr's heiress, and assumed their title from them; quarter Le Warr's coat, gules, a lion rampant, and crusily of cross crosslets, argent;—and that of Grelley, gules, a bend, and two bendlets sinister, or.

In the 27th of Edward III. Sir John Stretch conveyed it to Henry Earl of Lancaster, with the advowson, and on the accession of Henry Duke of Lancaster to the crown, was made part of the Dutchy of Lancaster.

In the 19th of Charles I. Robert Draper, Esq. of London was found to die seised of three messuages, a pigeon-house, 3 barns, 3 gardens, 120 acres of land, 60 of pasture, 30 of furze and heath in Tunstead and Hoveton, and St. John's, by the payment of 58l. 7s. 8¼d. fee farm rent to the Crown; after this it was held of the Crown, by Lepington Carey, and conveyed by him, in the reign of the said King, to Sir Richard Berney, Bart. and is now possessed by his heirs, Sir Hanson Berney, Bart.

The tenths were 6l. 18s.- -Deducted 18s.—Temporalities of Bromholm priory 2s. 6d. ob.

The church was dedicated to St. Mary.

Robert de Grelley was lord in the reign of Edward I. and held the patronage of it; the rector had then a grange, and 20 acres, and was valued at 24 marks, Peter-pence 18d.

The church has a nave, with two isles; and a chancel covered with lead, a square tower, and 5 bells.


In 1307, William de Derleton, instituted rector, presented by Sir Thomas Grelley.

1334. Michael de Meldon, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, on account of the farm of this manor.

1341, Mr. Henry de Cokkam, by Sir John Stretche.

1342, Mr. Robert Persone. Ditto.

1344, Sim. de Brusele. Ditto.


In 1351, Henry de Taterford, was presented to the vicarage of Tunstede, by the prioress of Campes in Suffolk, and nominated by the Bishop of Norwich.

Henry Duke of Lancaster granted the rectory, and the advowson of the free chapel of St. James, to the convent, on the request of his sister, the Lady Maud de Lancaster, then a nun of the said priory, and it was appropriated to them, for the support of a chaplain to celebrate mass daily. (fn. 3)

On this the vicarage was settled, taxed at 10 marks; the appropriated rectory at 14 marks.

1375, John de Lexham. Ditto.

1376, Henry de Taterford.

In 1424, the vicar had a house assigned him; John de Walsingham occurs vicar in 1428, and in the 18th of Richard II. Henry Stoket was vicar.

Jeff. Briggs, occurs vicar of Tunsted, cum Scornston, about 1600, then valued at 18l. 9s. 6½d. and returned Catherine Brend, widow, to be the patroness, and Jeffrey Bishop, lately patron; communicants 90, and that he received only a pension of 20l. per ann. of the proprietary, Catherine Brend, widow.

Henry Waite instituted 1639.

1729, John Beale by William Pearce, Gent. on the death of Alexander Guthere.

1745, William Clark, on Beale's resignation.

In 1740, Mr. Peirse was patron.

On the Dissolution of the priory of Campes, King Henry VIII. granted, November 6, in his 35th year, the appropriated rectory of Tunsted, with the patronage of the vicarage to John Corbet, and he had license to alien 30s. rent, and all the lands in Hickling, and Stalham; part of the rectory of Tunsted, and Scornston, to William Woodhouse and his heirs; and in the said year Corbet had license to alien a messuage, and 15 acres of land in Tunsted, and Scornston, and a moiety of Tunsted, and Scornston rectory to Edward Russell.

Christopher Amias was found to hold a barn (fn. 4) in the parsonage-yard in Tunstede, with a parcel of land adjoining, containing an acre, and 15 acres and an half of wood in Tunsted and Scornston, with a moiety of all the tithes of Tunstede and Scornston of the King in capite, and John Amias was his son and heir. Escheat, Ao. 7th Edward VI.

William Brende and Catherine his wife had a moiety of the rectory and churches of Tunsted and Scornston, with the glebes and tithes in the reign of Elizabeth, and March 1, in the 18th of James I. aliened by Jeff. Bishop, Gent. to Francis his son and heir.

In the church were the arms of Le Gross, of Inglose; and of France, and England, quarterly, a bordure, argent, born by Thomas of Woodstock Duke of Gloucester, youngest son of King Edward III.

In the church were the guilds of St. Margaret, Trinity, and St. John Baptist, and his image in his chapel, the lights of St. Mary, Trinity, St. Peter, St. John Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, St. Anthony, St. Thomas of Canterbury, St. Catherine, and the plough light of Upgate in Hungate, with that of St. Nicholas; also the tabernacle and image of our Lady of Pity, the tabernacle and image of the Trinity standing by St. Ann.

The chapel of Scornston abovementioned belonging to the church of Tunsted is wrote in the institution books Sculmertone, which was no doubt an hamlet of Tunstede.

Robert de Greylle was patron of it in the reign of Edward I. when it had all the insignia of a mother church, viz. baptism, chrism, and burial; and to the said chapel belonged 24 mansions, with all their obventions, great and small, and was valued at 7 marks, paid Peterpence 4d. ob. it was dedicated to St. Michael; there was also his guild and light, and St. John Baptist, Trinity, and St. Mary; St. Mary, St. Nicholas, and St. Christopher's lights.

Sculmerton signifies a town by a shallow meer.

William de Ufford Earl of Suffolk was lord of Scornston in the 47th of Edward III.

Sir Henry Ingloss died lord in 1451, and Sir Edmund Jenny left it to his son John in 1522: afterwards in the Potts.


  • 1. Terre que fuer'. Rog. Pictaviensis —Tonesteda ten idem Alfere Tegn. Heroldi, T.R.E v car. et dim. tre. sep. xxiii vill. et xvi bor. t'nc. et p. ii car. mo. dim. tc. xii car. hou. p. et mo. vii viii ac. p'ti. silv. xii por. tc. iii an. t'nc. iiii pos. mo. i ic. cxl ov. mo. c. et xxiiii soc. i car. tre. tc. xii car. p. et mo. v. et ii ac. p'ti. et ide st. additi t. r. w. et R. Comes addidit vi lib. ho'es i car. tre. et dim. ex his ht. Scs. Benedictus, soca' et de uno com'endationem et de xxiiii atres forisfacturs et ht. vi lib. ho'es sub. se iiii bor. tc. iiii car. p. et mo. iii et ii ac. p'ti. huic manerio addidit R. Arbal. p. Rad. forisfecit, &c. qu'de Rotb. Arb. eam ten. in manu Regis sub. Godrico, val. x lib. mo. xi et ht. i leng. in long. et i qr. et i leug. in lat. et xviid. de g.
  • 2. Rot. de Dominat. Pueris, &c.
  • 3. Lib. Instit. Norw. 5, fol. 6.
  • 4. Christ. Amyas, and Edward Russell, bought the parsonage of Tunstede with Riston, of the King, (as is said,) in or about 1543.