Hundred of Grimeshou: Coulston, alias Colveston

Pages 229-232

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.

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Lies on the opposite shore to Cranwich, on the north side of the river Wissey, the hundred of Grimeshoe crossing here that river, and taking in this town and that of Ickburgh. In Domesday it is wrote Covestuna, and derives its name from the Saxon word Love, a small creak, and tun or ton, a town or village.

At the survey it was the lordship of William Earl Warren, but in the Confessor's time, was held by a freeman of Harold's, afterwards King of England, who had one carucate of land in demean, 12 acres of meadow, and a fishery, and was valued at 8s. per annum; it was five furlongs long, and four broad, and paid 5d. ob. when the hundred paid 20s. gelt. (fn. 1)

Soon after the Conquest, this village was held of the Earl Warren, the capital lord, by a family that assumed their name from it, a practice frequent in that age, and Jordan de Colveston, lord, by his deed sans date, (about the reign of King Henry I. as I take it,) gave to the monks of Castle-Acre, the rent of 3s. per annum, out of his mill called Wor-Milne, in this place; (fn. 2) the witnesses were, Jeffrey his heir, Robert his brother, Gilbert de Rising, Richard the priest of Mundeford, William his nephew, &c. After this, about the reign of King John,

Richard de Gelham held it of the aforesaid Earl, by the service of half a knight's fee; but in the reign of King Henry III.

Sir John de Loden, son of John de Loden, was lord, and gave by deed to the monks of Castle-Acre, 3s. per annum out of his manor, instead of the 3s. given them out of the mill above-mentioned; witnesses were, Sir Osbert de Caily, Sir Gilbert de Fransham, Sir Reginald de Dunham, Sir Alexander Arsyk, Sir Frederick de Capervill, Master Edmund de Massingham, Alan de Wessenham, John de Hoo, &c.

In 3d Edward I. Robert de Loden, or Lodne, was lord, and had the assize of bread and beer here; (fn. 3) and the men of this town and Ickburgh are said to be obliged to go to the leet of the hundred of Weyland, and to pay 12d. there; but in 9th Edward II. (fn. 4)

Lettice Atte-Hooe was returned lady of the manor; and in the following year, John Earl Warren aliened, with the King's license, (fn. 5) this lordship to

Sir Ralph de Cobham and his heirs, to be held of them in capite; and in 20th Edward III. this Ralph Lord Cobham was found to die seized of it; and

John was his son and heir, aged 20, by Mary his wife, daughter of William Lord Roos, and widow of Thomas de Brotherton Earl of Norfolk; and in the next year proved his age, and had livery. In 33d Edward III. being then a knight, he served that King in the wars of France, and had in his retinue Sir John de Northwold, Sir John Crispin, John Devenish, John Atte-chirche, &c.; and in the 37th of the said King, the 3d of June, he grants to King Edward III. and his heirs, (after his own decease,) this manor, with many others in several counties, and delivered a ring of gold to the King, in name of seisin, and was found to die seized of it in 1st Richard II. (fn. 6)

On the death of Sir John Cobham, the lordship came to John de Herling of East-Herling in Norfolk, to whom and his heirs King Edward III. gave the reversion, on the 8th of November, in his 38th year, after the death of the aforesaid Sir John Cobham; (fn. 7) but in the 3d of Henry IV.

Richard Holdich, Esq. was found to hold it in capite; and in 5th Henry VII.

Thomas Holdich held it of the King, of his manor of Methwold, by knight's service; and

Robert was his cousin and heir, and lord in 1536. In the sixth year of Queen Elizabeth,

Miles Holdich, son of Richard, had livery of it; and in the 12th of the said Queen's reign,

John Holdich, Esq. was lord; and in 1592,

Henry Holdich, Esq. presented to this church. After this, it came by the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Henry Holdich, Esq. to

Sir John Sidley of St. Cleers in Kent, Knt. and Bart. who sold it in the year 1650 to

Robert Wilson of Merton in Surrey, Esq. who left it to his second son,

Edward Wilson, Esq. who built a neat manor-house here, now [1738] enjoyed by his eldest son,

Robert Wilson, Esq. of Didlington.

There is nothing now remaining of this old village, but the aforesaid manor-house, and a farm-house adjoining.

The leet is in the lord of the hundred. The tenths were 2l. 1s. 4d.

The Prior of Bromhill was taxed for his temporalities here in 1428, 4s. 6d.

The Church has been in ruins time immemorial; it stood a little west of the present farm-house, and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary; (fn. 8) It formerly belonged to St. Bartholomew of Ichburgh, as the mother and baptismal church, concerning the advowson of which there had been a dispute between Jeffry, son of Jordan of Colveston, and the monks of St. Pancrace of Lewes, to whom he released, before Bishop William of Norwich, Jordan Prior of Acre, Ralph de Albini, and Roger de Waxtenesham, the Bishop's notary. (fn. 9) In it there were the arms of England, the Earl Warren, and the Earl of Clare. (fn. 10) John de Lodnes, lord of the town, by a fine levied in the 20th Henry III. (fn. 11) granted the patronage of it to the Prior and Convent of Lewes in Sussex; but it appears from the Institution Books, that that convent did not present till the year 1375.


1329, 24 March, William de Surlingham. (fn. 12)

1347, 23 Jan. William de Sutton. King Edward III. on account of the minority of the son and heir of Sir John de Brews, Knt.

1348, 31 Dec. John Vesey. King Edward III.

1349, 9 Aug. John Craton. King Edward III. &c. About this time, the Prior, &c. of Lewes recovered the presentation against Sir John de Brews.

1351, 17 March, Thomas de Asheborne, on the resignation of Craton. Lapse.

1375, 26 Sep. Roger Couper. The Prior, &c.

1381, 3 March, Thomas Veill. Ditto.

1390, 28 Apr. Thomas Brakkelle. Ditto.

1408, 27 Aug. Roger Wace. Ditto.

1428, 1 March, John Russell, on the resignation of Wace. Ditto.

1439, William Ogyll.

1464, 24 Apr. David Thoryn. Lapse.

Thomas Mildenhale.

1478, 6 Oct. John Prymier, on the resignation of Mildenhale. Richard Holdich, Esq.

1494, 11 Oct. Thomas Rakke, on the resignation of Prymier. Richard and Robert Southwell, Esqrs. trustees for the estate of Richard Holdych of Didlington.

James Bothe.

1536, 4 March, Robert Halmon, on the death of Bothe. Robert Holdych, Esq. He was also rector of Boughton, and deprived in 1553, being a married priest. (fn. 13)

1554, Feb. James Skamler, on the deprivation of Halmon. Lapse.

1556, 28 July, Robert Spirgyn, (fn. 14) on the deprivation of the last rector. Richard Holditch, Esq.


1578, 17 Feb. Edmund Turner, on the resignation of Chapman. Vicar also of Didlington. Lapse.

1592, 12 Oct. Thomas Hopes, alias Hooper, A. M. (fn. 15) on the resignation of Turner. Henry Holdiche, Esq. He was vicar also of Didlington, and afterwards rector of North-Rungton in Norfolk.

1616, 19 March, Anthony Wilkinson, on the resignation of the last rector. Benjamin Cooper, Gent. He was vicar also of Didlington.

1622, 19 Sep. Benjamin Barwick, A. M. Tho. Edgely and Tho. Carvett. He was vicar also of Didlington.

Andrew Needham.

1676, 17 Oct. Wormley Martin, on the resignation of Needham.

Borage Martin, Esq. This church was at this time consolidated to that of Didlington.

1685, 30 July, John Ellis, A. M. The King.

1720, 11 Sep. The Rev. Mr. John Brundish, A. M. on the death of Ellis. He is the present [1738] vicar of Didlington. Robert Wilson, Esq.

This is a rectory consolidated with the vicarage of Didlington, and the real value of both being but 40l. per annum, no tenths or first fruits are paid.

This rectory was valued at 4l. 2d. ob.

Prior of Lewes patron, a house and 24 acres, valued at 4 marks and an half, procurations 3s. 4d. synodals 1s. Peter-pence 6d.; consolidated to Didlington in 1616. (Domesd.)

Henry Constable, by his will dated 20 Dec. 1489, gives 12 acres and an half of land in Didlington, to the rector of Colveston, on condition that he prays for his soul, and to St. Mary's gild here, 6 acres and 3 roods of land in Didlington. (fn. 16)

Tho. Hogg, by his will in 1492, gives two ewes to the gild of St. John Baptist here. (fn. 17)


  • 1. Terre Willi. de Warrena. (Domesd, fol. 88.) In Colvestuna i. car. terre i. lib. hom. Heroldi iiii. villi. iiii. bor. tunc ii. serv. xii. acr. prati, tunc et post ii. car. in dnio. tertia posset esse, mo i. et semper i. car. hominum et ii. mol. et i. piscar. silva de xv. por. et val. viii. sol. hoc. est pro castellatione aquarum, totum habet v. quar. in longo, et iiii. in lato, et red. v. den et ob. de xx.s. de Gelto.
  • 2. Regr. Castle-Acre in Biblioth. Comit. Oxon. p. 101. b.
  • 3. Rot. Hund. in Cur. Recept. Scacarij.
  • 4. Nom. Villar.
  • 5. Brevia ad quod damnum 10 Ed. 2. N. 83. Esch. 20 Ed. 3. N. 18. Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 66, 69.
  • 6. Rymer's Fœd. vol. viii. p. 136. Claus. 37 Ed. 3. m. 28. Autog. pen. Camer. Scacarij. Esch. 1 Ric. 2. N. 146.
  • 7. Pat. 39 Ed. 3. Part. 1. M. 32. Inquis. 3 H. 4. Esch. 5 Hen. 7. Lib. Liberat. fol. 126.
  • 8. Regr. Paynot, Norw.
  • 9. E. Regro. Lewensi, fol. 266.
  • 10. MSS. pen. Joh. Anstis, Armig.
  • 11. Fin. div. Com. 20 Hen. 3. N. 65.
  • 12. Lib. Inst.
  • 13. Lib. MSS. de deprivat. in Offic. Regr. Norwic. p. 43.
  • 14. Presbyter non conjugatus, mediocriter doctus, residet hospitalis, non prædicat, nec licentiatus. Archiep. Parkeri Certificat in Coll C. C. Cant.; by this it appears the church was standing in his time.
  • 15. He left 6s. 8d. per annum to the poor of this town, and Didlington, paid by the rector of North-Rungton out of lands given to that church.
  • 16. Lib. Consignat. 1627.
  • 17. Regr. Typps Norw.