Hundred of Forehoe

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

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Francis Blomefield, 'Hundred of Forehoe', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2( London, 1805), British History Online [accessed 22 July 2024].

Francis Blomefield, 'Hundred of Forehoe', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2( London, 1805), British History Online, accessed July 22, 2024,

Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of Forehoe". An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. (London, 1805), , British History Online. Web. 22 July 2024.


The hundred of Forehoe, or Feorhou, takes its name from the four hills where the hundred court used to be kept; they lie between Barford and Kimberley, in the field belonging to the parish of Carleton, from them called Carleton Fourhoe, on the south side of the great road leading from Norwich to Hingham; upon what account these hills were first made, whether on some engagement between the Saxons and Danes, I cannot presume to determine, but am apt to imagine them to have been raised upon some such account.

The hundred is bounded on the west by Wayland, on the south by Shropham and Depwade, on the north by Mitford and Taverham, and on the east by Humbleyard, and the county of the city of Norwich.

It belonged to the Crown, and was called the hundred and half of Fourhou, and was given by King Stephen to William de Cheyney, in exchange; but that being revoked, it came to the King again, and the half hundred, which contained only Wymondham, and the lands of the fee of the Earl of Arundel, was given to that Earl, and attended the castle of Bukenham, as you may see in vol. i. p. 371, &c. and went with the manor of Wimondham, in which it now [1739] rests, that town not being under the jurisdiction of the whole hundred, which King John, in the year 1215, gave to John le Mareschal, lord of Hengham. and his heirs, with which manor it hath passed ever since, and still remains,

Sir John Woodhouse of Kimberley, Bart. being lord thereof.

When the grant passed, it was valued at 8l. per annum, and in Queen Elizabeth's time, it raised 67l. 18s. to every tenth granted to the Crown.

It appears by a record made soon after 1242, when Isabell Countess of Arundell held Wymondham in dower; (fn. 1) that she was exempt from the hundred, and had a leet, gallows, pillory, ducking-stool, and assize of bread and ale in her manor and lands, as the half hundred, by grant of Henry II. It was found that the manor of Cossey, then in Queen Eleanor, mother to the King, had the same liberties and exemption as Wimondham, and that Walter Geneys, Rob. de Mortimer for Barnham, Rich. Goley for Wiclewood, and several other lords, did their suit to Cossey, and not to the hundred. The heirs of Giles de Wachesham had all the liberties as Windham, except the leet. The Prior of Canterbury had his leet and privileges as in Windham, to his manor of Deepham, and John de Stutvile had the leet to his manor of Kimberley, Will. de Carleton had the leet of Carleton to his manor there, and the Prior of Windham had the view of frankpledge and sole jurisdiction over his men and lands, not only in Wymondham, but in Wiclewood, Morley, and Carleton.

Thomas de Helwetune had the leet of Wramplingham, so far independent of the hundred, that the bailiff thereof was not permitted to attend at it, as he generally did at others.

Will. Gostleyne of Kimburle, and Tho. Gostleyne, had a leet to their manor at Kimburle.

Jeffry Fitz-Walter of Hingham, Alan, son of Nigell de Kimburle, Thomas de Kimburle, and Richard Muriel, had the view of frankpledge of their men, and all these were exempt from the hundred's jurisdiction.

In 1413, Thomas Lord Morle, Lord-Marshal of Ireland, as lord of the hundred, prosecuted Thomas and John Fouldon, for enclosing without his leave, a small parcel of waste in Welbourn, and it appeared, that he was lord paramount of all the hundred, except those towns which were exempt and held a leet of their own; in 1476, the fishery called Semere in Hingham, belonged to the hundred, as it now does. We have an account of this hundred and some of the villages in it, at p. 303, of the Atlas, but it abounds with errours, many things and places being quite confounded one with another, as the account of Sir Oliver Hingham, as he is called, which should be Sir Oliver Ingham of Ingham in Happing hundred; Carleton Rode, instead of Carleton Forehoe, &c.

This whole hundred is in the deanery of Hingham and archdeaconry of Norfolk.


  • 1. See vol. i. p. 371.