An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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Aysele, Asschelee, the Ashy Leas, or the Hill of Ashes, in Latin Fraxinorum Collis.
The Church is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and at the time of Norwich Domesday, here was both rector and vicar, the latter at the presentation of the former, whose rectory was then a sinecure; but before 1300, the rector ceased presenting, and took the whole cure, and so made it an absolute rectory, and as such it continues to this day, though the old valuations always valued them separately long after the union, viz. the rectory at 20 marks, and the vicarage at 7 marks, the portion of the Prior of Thetford, 20s. Peter-pence 22d. There is a house and 40 acres of glebe, it is valued in the King's Books at 19l, 13s. 6d. ob. and pays first fruits, and 1l. 19s. 4d. q. tenths.
In 1458, 17 May, Jeffry Coo was buried before the altar of St. John Baptist, and ordered his executor to make a new window by that altar; in 1507, Richard Coo was buried by him, and had a black marble laid over him. He gave legacies to all the gilds here, viz. St. John Baptist's, St. Nicholas's and Trinity gilds, to the torches and common light, 6s. 8d. and 5lbs. wax to our Lady of Pite's light, 20d. to the young men's light, to the blessed rood 3lbs. wax, to St. Nicholas's light 2lbs. wax, and made his master, Sir Robert Lovell, Knt. supervisor.
7 Rich. I. Thomas de Watton.
1301, 11 kal. Aug. Thomas de Haverhill, clerk. Sir John Beauchamp, Knt.
1317, 4 non. March, Alan de Rochale. Sir John de Hastyngs, Knt. Lord of Bergaveni.
1335, 1 Sept. William de Horbury. The King, as guardian to the heir of John de Hastyngs Earl of Pembrook.
1386, 10 July, Roger de Cestrefeld. Ditto. Exchange for Ipelpen, Exeter diocese.
1391, 30 April, Simon Gaunstede. Ditto.
1391, 4 Feb. Nicholas Lod. Sir Reginald de Grey of Ruthyn, Knt. lord of Weysford.
1394, 26 May, Roger Grey. Ditto.
1394, 23 Dec. John de Thornburgh. Ditto.
1398, 20 March, Robert Parys. Ditto.
1401, 24 Oct. Thomas Gosten, resigned. Ditto.
1439, 28 Oct. Gabriel Lang ford, died. Ditto.
1447, 15 Feb. Brother Tho. Joys, a friar minor. Sir Edmund de Grey, lord of Hastyngs, Weysford, and Ruthyn.
1463, 20 May, Brother John Evesby, abbot of Woburn, of the Cistercian order in Lincoln diocese, who held it in commendam; he resigned.
1481, 3 Oct. Mr. Thomas Shenkwyn, licenc. in legib. Edmund Grey Earl of Kent. He resigned.
1494, 18 April, Mr. Robert Beckensaw. George Earl of Kent.
1495, 14 May, Mr. Whitamore, LL. B. resigned. Ditto.
1496, 30 Nov. Walter Prior. Ditto.
Mr. Humfry Gascoyne. Ditto.
1501, 4 Feb. Richard Ward. Ditto.
1524, 22 June, Roger Weld. Henry Wyat, Knt. on account of the manor of Uphall in Ashill, by recovery against the Earl of Kent.
1530, 8 Jan. Will. Coven. Ditto.
Ralf Cook. Ditto.
1534, 28 March, Robert Jeckler. Ditto. He died rector.
1560, 18 Sep. John Underwood. John James, this turn.
1583, 5 May, William Stone, S.T. B. The Crown, by lapse. George Gardiner. He was Dean of Norwich.
1586, 13 Oct. Edmund Suckling. Robert Suckling.
1587, 10 June, Robert Frances. Thomas Frances.
1602, 13 Sept. Richard Betts. The King, on account of the minority of Henry Bedingfield, Esq.
1621, 6 Sept. Mr. Richard Huxley, A. M. Sir Henry Bedingfield, Knt.
1676, Hillary Baily.
1687, 26 July, John Kidd, A. M. on Baily's death. John Kidd, Esq. this turn.
1729, 26 Sept. Hugh Parnell, on Kidd's death. Hyde Parnell, Gent. his father.
1737, 2 July, The Rev. Mr. Robert Cremer, A.M. on Parnell's resignation. Hide Parnell, Gent. the present  patron. United to Wymondham vicarage.
In 1513, Thomas Inglis was buried in this church, which consists of a nave and south isle, both leaded, a south porch which is thatched, as is the chancel; it hath a square tower and six bells. In 1668, Elizabeth Cotton, widow, was buried in the church, and in 1652, Martha, daughter of Anthony Cotton, Esq.
1688, 12 Aug. Two acres of freehold land, called the Remnant, were purchased by the town, and settled on trustees for the use of the poor.
1644, 31 March, Eighty-nine of the principal inhabitants of this town, according to the order of the lords and commons, dated 2d Feb. 1643, all subscribed the league and covenant, under the rector, who subscribed in these words:
Juravit Richardus Huxley, rector, quatenus concordat cum verbo Dei. Anthony Cotton, junior, Anthony Cotton, senior, &c.
On a black marble at the altar,
Spe beatæ Resurrectionis, hic depositæ sunt Mortalitatis Reliquiæ, Reverendi JOHANNIS KIDD, (Johannis Kidd nuper de Lyn-Regis in hoc Comitatu Armigeri, Filij unici, et) hujus Parochiæ per Annos 40ta Pastoris vigilantissimi, tandem post longum adversæ Valetudinis Examen, invictæque Patientiæ Probationem, placide in Christo obdormivit 16° die Junij An: Dom: 1729, Ætatisq; Suæ 75°. Apud Dextram jacet MARTHA, propter singulas tum Animi, tum Corporis Dotes, quibus prædita fuit Uxor ejus dilecta, amatuq; dignissima, quæ varijs Morbis cruciata, hanc Vitam pro meliore mutavit 30° die Augusti 1719, Ætatisq; suæ 66°. Apud Sinistram, THOMAS, prædictorum Filius natú minimus, qui Febre percussus, expiravit 12° die Augusti 1727, Ætatisq; suæ 34°. In Parentum charissimorum Memoriam, hoc Saxum moesti posuerunt Liberi.
The arms are, a fess between three lozenges, impaling four inescutcheons.
On a white marble monument against the north chancel wall,
Cotton, az. an eagle displayed arg. quartering, 1st, arg. three martlets gul. 2d, B. two fesses arg. 3d, arg. a fess gul. a label of three az. impaling Wright.
Near this place lies interr'd the Body of JOHN COTTON, Esq; (Son and Heir of ANTHONY, only Son of THOMAS Cotton, late of Panfield-Hall in Com: Essex, Esq; the Heir male in lineal Descent of the Cotton's of Hamstall-Ridware, originally of Cotton under Nedwood in Staffordshire) who married Anne Daughter of JERMYN WRIGHT, (late of Kilverston in this County, Esq;) by whom he had Issue, Robert, John, Anthony, Thomas, George, (which two last died Infants) Jermyn, Charles, Anne, and Alice; he died 21st Dec. 1696, Ætat: 55°. ROBERT the eldest Son died un-married, 25 Aug. 1599, Ætat. 30, and lies also interr'd near this Place, at whose Desire this Monument is erected, in Memory of his Father.
On a beam of the roof, Gul. Cotton, R. Wiborow, 1618, it being then roofed.
Arg. a cross in a bordure sab. on the font.
Beauchamp's arms in a south isle window.
A brass shield of a bend on a disrobed stone in the church.
In the churchyard, on an altar tomb by the porch, much defaced,
Here lieth the Body of Mrs. Margaret Jackler 39 Yeares the Wife of Thomas Jackler Clarke, by whom she had 6 Sons and 4 Daughters, she dyed 28 of Jan: 1626, in the 67th Yeare of her Age, and third of her Widowhood, unto whose Memory, her youngest Child John Jackler, erected and dedicated this Stone, the Monument of his Love and Duty, the 17th Day of April A°. Dni. 1632.
Ashill or Uphall Manor
In Ashill, was the capital manor, to which the advowson always belonged, till it was sold by Mr. Eyre, to Hyde Parnell, Gent. the present  patron.
In the time of the Confessor, Aluric, a thiain of Harold's, was owner of it, when it contained two carucates, one of which was in his own hands, and the other in his tenants; there was wood with mast for 120 swine, and the whole was worth 50s.; he had also six freemen that held half a carucate worth 10s. and at the Conquest the whole came into the Conqueror's hands, who gave it in exchange to Ralf Earl of Norfolk, upon whose forfeiture it was given to Berner the Archer, who had it at the survey. (fn. 1)
William de Hastyngs was Steward to King Henry I. by virtue of the serjeantry of his manor of Ashele, the service being to take charge of the nappery, viz. the table-cloths and linen, at the King's coronation. Of this William and his descent, you may see at p. 169, vol. i. it passing along with the manor of Gissing, called Hastyng's, till that went to a younger son of William de Hastyn's, and this to Henry, his eldest son, who married Ada, daughter of David Earl of Huntington, which Henry died in 1249.
In Henry the Second's time, it is said that Henry de Hastyngs held this manor by serjeantry, namely, of being the King's Steward, and that it was worth 5l. per annum; and in 1194, he being dead without issue, William de Hastyngs gave 100 marks to King Richard I. to have his deceased brother's serjeantry.
In the account of the coronation of Eleanor, wife of King Hen. III. who was crowned at Westminster on Sunday before the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, in the 20th Year of his reign, it is said that Henry de Hastyngs, whose office it was to serve the linen, from ancient time, served in the nappery that day, but Thurstan the Steward challenged that office from him, affirming he had it of old; but the King adjudged it for Henry, who after dinner took the table-cloths, napkins, and other linen, as his fee, belonging to his office.
In 1249, Henry, son and heir of Henry, held it, as the King's paneter or pantler, (fn. 2) and it was worth 10l. per annum, he married Joan, daughter and heir of William de Cantilupe, in whose right he became Lord Abergavenny, and was one of the competitors for the crown of Scotland, in Edward the Second's time.
Sir John de Hastyngs, Knt. his son and heir, was born at this town in 1262, and executed his office at the coronation of Edward II.; he married first, Isabell daughter of William, sister and coheir of Aymer de Valence Earl of Pembrook, by whom he had issue; secondly, Isabell, daughter of Hugh le Dispencer Earl of Winchester, by whom he had Sir Hugh Hastyngs, Knt. from whom the Hastyngs of Elsing are descended.
In 1286, this John prosecuted Will. de Blundevill, the Subescheator of Norfolk, for seizing this manor at his father's death, into the King's hands, and cutting down 100 ashes then worth 3l. and for taking fish out of his pond to half a mark value, and he was forced to answer the damage; and this year he prosecuted John le Waleys for 4 messuages, and 40 acres of land, &c. in Tibenham and Carleton, and recovered them to this manor, by proving that his father had only leased them for a term, which was now expired. Thomas de Hastyngs, rector of Quidenham, and Henry de Hastyngs, rector of Oxburgh, seem to be brothers to this John, who died in 1313, leaving
John de Hastyngs, his son and heir, of full age, then married to Julian, daughter and heiress of Thomas de Leibourn, who held it after her husband's death in 1315, to her death in 1366, she being remarried to William de Clinton Earl of Huntingdon, Laurence Hastyngs Earl of Pembrook, her son, being dead it descended to
John Hastyngs Earl of Pembrook, her grandson, and from that time passed with the manor of Winfarthing, as you may see at fol. 186, 7, 8, vol. i.
In 1399 Reginald Lord Grey of Ruthyn exercised the office of the nappery, and had all the table-cloths allowed him for his fees, as well in the hall as elsewhere. In the great cause in Henry the Fourth's time, between Grey and Hastyngs, in the court of chivalry, it appeared that John Hastyngs Earl of Pembrook, son of Laurence, settled most of his manors and lands on feoffees, but excepted this and Totenham in Middlesex, and by his will inrolled in chancery, gave them to William de Beauchamp; his cousin, for want of issue of his body, being angry with his heir at law, Reginald Lord Grey of Ruthyn, for hunting in his chase of Yertly in Northamptonshire. In 8th Henry V. Reginald Lord Grey of Ruthyn served the nappery at the coronation of Catherine Queen of England, wife to Henry V. (fn. 3)
In 1512, Richard Earl of Kent sold this manor to
Sir Henry Wyat of Kent, who died seized in 1536, and
Thomas, his son and heir, had livery of it; he left it to
Thomas Wyat of Boxley-Abbey, his son, who forfeited it to the Crown,
And in the second and third of Philip and Mary it was granted to
Henry Bedingfield, Esq. with the united manors of Gaynes, Collards, and Monnock's, in exchange for the manors of Wold-Newton, and Baynton in Yorkshire, from which time it continued in that family, (of which I shall treat at large under Oxburgh,) till
Sir Henry Bedingfield, Bart. sold the manor and advowson to
John Eyre of Holme Hale, Esq. who sold the manor to
Sir Francis Andrews, the present  lord, having separated the advowson from it, as is aforesaid.
At the coronation of King James II. Sir Henry Bedingfield, Knt. as lord here, claimed to perform the office of the nappery, and to have all the table linen when taken away; but it was not allowed, this manor having no pretence now to this claim, because when it was granted by the Crown to his ancestors, the tenure was altered, it being held from that time by Knight's Service, and so the grand serjeantry extinguished in the Crown.
Collards's, Gaynes, and Monock's.
In 1282, William de Saham bought of Nicholas, son of Nicholas de Stradsete, lands, rents, &c. in Ashill. In 1393, John Braytoft and Margery his wife sold to John Paynter and others, Collardy's manor in Ashill. In 1526, William Coe and Etheldred his wife sold it to Thomas Jermain. In 1547, the Queen granted the united manors of Uphall, Collard's, Gaynes, and Monox, which were forfeited by Sir Henry Wyat, Knt. to Henry Bedingfield, Esq. to be held by knight's service, by the third part of a fee, and they have been esteemed as one manor ever since.
Panworth Hall Manor.
Pennewrde, or Panworth, was a town in the Confessor's time, owned by Harold, afterwards King of England; it contained a carucate and half, and was worth 40s. had wood for a 100 swine, &c.; another part of the manor laid in Ashill, and was in the soke of the King's manor of Saham, and that had wood also for 100 swine, and was worth 30s. per annum,; the whole was better than a mile long, and as much broad, and paid 15d. gelt; it was given by the Conqueror to Rainald FitzIvo, who owned it at the survey. (fn. 4)
In Richard the First's time, Jeffery Fitz Jeffery held Panworth by the service of 7d. per annum to the ward of Norwich castle. In 1218, Peter de Nerford and John his brother held it at one carucate, of the honour of Clare, the lords of which were always capital lords of the fee; it was held by Petronill de Nerford in 1315: in 1343, Tho. de Nerford and Alice his wife held it at two fees, and John was their son and heir; this Alice, after her husband's death, had it; and in her will, dated at London March 21, 1393, by the name of Dame de Nevile of Essex, she being widow of Sir John de Nevile of Essex, she gives to Margery de Nerford all her goods in this manor, with the furniture of her chapel here; in 1398, Peter de Nerford had it, and soon after it belonged to
Thomas Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, whose wife Margaret held it in 1406, and from this time it passed in that family. (fn. 5)
In 1543, Robert Hogan of Bodney, Esq. held the manor of Panworth Hall, lately Sir James Boleyn's; and in 1546, gave it by will to Francis and John, his younger sons, who in 1552, conveyed it to Tho. Hogan; in 1563, Robert Hogan conveyed it to Francis Hogan and his heirs, and in 1566, Tho. Hogan and Susanna his wife had it settled on them, when it contained 1000 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, &c. and a fold-course in Ashill, Holton, Pickenham, and Hale, and was held of the Queen in capite.
About 1571, Thomas Bradbury, Esq. had a manor here, and soon after
Henry Jarnegan, Esq. which I take to be this.
It after came to the Cokes, and still continues in that family, Lord Lovell being the present owner.
The religious concerned here were,
The Abbot of West-Derham, with the Prior of St. Wynwaloy, whose temporals were taxed at 17s. 11d. ob.
The Prior of Norwich's temporals at 3s.
The Prior of the monks at Thetford was taxed for his spirituals at 20s. namely for the tithes of the lands of Harlewin de Panewurda or Panworth, which he gave to this house, as you may see p. 111, and also 12d. for temporals, which was only a rent of that value paid them, from lands here, which was given with the tithes.
The Prior of Castle-Acre also had temporals taxed at 5s.; of this I find, that Richard, son of Drogo of St. Edmund's, gave the monks of Castle-Acre a yearly rent of 10s. to be paid out of the estate of Robert de Horse-Croft, his villein, &c. (fn. 6) and Humphry, son of the said Richard, confirmed it; after this, Henry Prior of Castle-Acre, and the convent, granted to Simon de Saham all their land here, with Godiva and her children, with their lands, homages, &c. paying the yearly rent of 5s. Witness, Henry, the dean of Fakenham, Richard, the priest of Snetesham, &c.
The family of the Cottons have been of good repute in this place, where they have had an estate, &c. for about two centuries.
This town paid 5l. 12s. to the old tenths, and is now assessed at 768l. 3s. 4d. to the land tax.