Hundred of Forehoe: Easton

Pages 394-399

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

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Or the East-Town, so called not in respect to its situation from Norwich, but from Hingham, the head town of its deanery, it being north-east of it, and in the most eastern part of Forehoe hundred.

In ancient writings it is called Estone by Honningham.

The Church is dedicated to St. Peter, who had his gild here, and the Blessed Virgin had a gild also kept to her honour, in her chapel at the east end of the north isle, at the west end of which, stands the tower, which is square, and hath three bells; the church, chancel, and north isle are leaded, and the south porch is tiled.

When Norwich Domesday was wrote, William, son of William de Herforth, was patron; the rector had a house and 60 acres glebe, it was valued at 10 marks, paid 6s. 8d. procurations, 2s. synodals, 13d. Peter-pence, and 10d. ob. carvage.


1310, Thomas de Depham was rector; he died at Norwich in 1317.

1317, 5 kal. May, Nicholas de Gosford. Petronel, relict of William de Herforth.

1349, 25 June, Will. de Gosford, shaveling. John Bateman of Honyngham.

1359, 13 April, Walter Urry of St. Osith's, priest. Simon de Babyngle, Ralf Urry, and John de Merston, clerks.

1364, 20 Dec. Rob. de Depedale, priest. Ditto.

Walter Yngald, died in 1379, buried in the chapel in the Field.

1379, 5 Aug. Will. atte Fen, priest. The Dean, and Secular Canons of St. Mary in the Fields in Norwich, who got it appropriated to them.


1403, 12 April, Will. Reder was presented by them to the vicarage.

1403, 18 Sept. Tho. Walsham. Change with Schaldeton in London diocese.

1412, 11 Feb. John Bertelet. Change with Bedingfield.

1414, 1 June, John Balle.

1414, 5 July, John Bertelet, again.

1417, 21 Feb. Thomas Burgh.

1420, 12 Feb. John Forth.

1438, 27 Jan. Rob. Primerose; he resigned.

1444, 27 June, Rich. Primerose; he resigned.

1452, 6 Oct. John Chapman.

1471, 4 Aug. Edmund Aggys was buried in the church in 1486.

1486, 8 March, Richard Vincent.

1511, 27 March, Richard Strete.

1515, 5 Oct. Tho. Kynsman. O.

1533, 5 Oct. Tho. Carter. The last presented by the Dean.

1555, Tho. Chevele.

1560, 17 July, George Mitchell. Miles Spencer, Esq. He died vicar.

1585, 2 Dec. George Mayhew. The assignee of William Yaxley, Esq.

1594, Tho. Heath, vicar.

1597, 24 Sept. Francis Downes. Thomas Vincent of Easton, Gent. He returned 64 communicants.

1616, 13 Feb. Will. Burgess, A. M. Will. Wotton and John Bateman.

1619, 23 Aug. John Reyner. John Bateman, Gawdy Brampton, &c.

Christ. Stinnet.

1663, 1 March, Nicholas Barwick, on Stinnet's resignation. John Ringall of Easton, Gent.

1672, 21 May, John Paris, on Barwick's resignation. Ditto.

1681, 23 Dec. Barthol. Harwood, on Paris's resignation. Ditto.

1700, 17 Aug. Tho. Patteson, on Harwood's deprivation. Martin. Ringall, Gent.

1724, 28 May, The Rev. Mr. John Brand, on Patteson's cession; he is the present [1739] vicar. Martin Ringall, Esq.

This Vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 7l. 11s. 10d. ob. but being sworn of the clear yearly value of 23l. 15s. 8d. it is discharged of first fruits and tenths.

The town paid 40s. to the old tenths.

The Abbot of Sawtre's temporals were valued at 2s.

The Abbot of Langele's at 5s. 5d.

The Abbot of St. Bennet of Holme's lands and rents at 4l. 0s. 6d.

In 1392, Sir Richard Cossyn of Easton, Knt. was buried in this chancel, by Dionise his wife; Roger Prior of Wangeford, and John Loveday, his son, were his executors.

The family of the Davys or Davies were anciently seated here, and had a good estate; in the mansion-house of which, Robert Davy lived, in 1450, he left John Davy, his son and heir, whose son Robert (as I take it) lies buried between the font and the church door, with this on a brass plate,

Orate pro Anima Roberti Dahn qui obiit riiio Die Septembris Ao Dni. mo ccco, Irrrbo et pro Anima Margerie Uroris sue, que obiit riio Die Deccembris A Dni: ccco. Irrrbii.

Thomas his son lies buried under a large stone, partly covered by the desk; on it is this inscription on a brass plate,

Orate pro Anima Thome Dabn qui obiit riioDie Octobris Ao christi mo. cccccorio Animc propicietur Dens.

By his will, dated in 1509, he bequeathed to the township of Eastone by Ringland, the house at " the briggs fote ther, called the GwyldHouse, and to the repair and maintenaunce of the same, a tenement lying by, within the yerde thereto belonging," (fn. 1) it abuts on the high way west, a meadow east, a common path north, and the river south.

In 1532, Robert Davys, senr. died seized of three messuages and 110 acres of land, and 8s. rent in Eston, Marlingford, and Cossey, held of the manor of Cossey in soccage.

Here is an inscription for Sarah wife of Robert Davy of Horne, who died 25 Febr. 1683.

On another stone,

Davy, sab. a chevron ingrailed erm. between three annulets arg. impaled with a cross floree, a crescent for difference. Crest, a cannon on its carriage.

P. M. S.

Hic jacet Simon Davy Gen: Maritus Amans, Pater indulgens, Amicus verus, pauperibus miserecors, Liberalis, omnibus Hospitalis, vicinus benignus, vir probus, Christianus, pius; Heu! nil nisi longius defuit Vita; obijt vicesimo primo Die Aprilis Anoque Dni: 1696. Ætatis suæ 63.

On a stone by the altar,

Gironne of eight, on a chief three annulets, impaling a chevron erm. between three eagles displayed.

Here resteth in assured hopes of a joyfull Resurrection, the Body of Thomasin the dearly beloved Wife of William Rolf of Norwich Gent. youngest Daughter of John Ringall Gent. and Anne his Wife, who departed this Life Febr. 5 1694, in the 20th Year of her Age. Also Anne, the Daughter of the said William and Thomasin, who died the 21st of January 1694, aged 13 days.

There are stones in the chancel for,

Anne Wife of Philip Vincent Gent. Daughter of John Ringall Gent. who died 10 Sept. 1680,

- - - - - Sons of Will: - - - - Phillips of Norwich Gent. 1693, Ringall Phillips 1695. John Ringall sen. Gent. Apr. 1695, Æt. 75,

Johannes Ringall Clericus, Exuvias hic posuit. Martij 21° Anno Salutis Mdclxxxix°. Ætatis suæ 26°.

In the church is an old coffin stone, with a cross flory, and an imperfect circumscription,

And also the following inscriptions on other stones,

Hic depositæ sunt Mortalitatis Reliquiae, Johannis Gobbet Junioris, obijt 25° Decembris 1674, Annos Natus 16°.

Vivis, disce mori, nulli Mors pallida parcit, Nunc Juvenem rapuit, mox rapit illa senem. Hodie mihi, cras tibi.

Thamar Wife of James Springall of Norwich, Worsted-Weaver, eldest Daughter of Simon Drury of Easton Gent. died the last of May 1691, aged 30 years.

On a small mural monument on the north side of the nave,

Meeres or Meares, gul. a fess arg. between three waterbougets erm.

To the Memory of Ambrose Meares Esq. whose Piety to Heaven, peaceable Behaviour and Love to his Neighbours, and general Humanity and Charity to all Mankind, opened a Way for him to that Place, where only such Vertues can be rewarded, who dyed Dec. 14 1712, this Monument was erected by his loving Wife.

Under the monument is a stone over him with his arms, but no inscription.

In the north isle there are inscriptions for the following persons,

Samuel Norris, Oct. 5. 1721, Æt. 21.

Eliz. Wife of Edmund Hickling 7 Jul. 1697.

Thomas Hickling, 8 Jan. 1675, Æ. 87.

Edmund Hickling, 19 June 1685, Æt. 10.

This is a Truth we always find.

God takes the best and leaves the worst behind.

On a brass plate,

Orate pro Anima Jsabelle Albert, cuius Anime propicieture Deus, Amen.

In the east chancel window, gul. three chalices or, on each a wafer arg. the emblem of the priesthood.

In another window is the symbol of the five wounds.

In a west window was Ufford's coat, and party per pale az. and gul. a lion rampant or.

In a north window,

Delapole quarters arg. a lion rampant double quevee or, a chief gul. and the same coats quartered, impaling France and England.

In the north isle is a neat small mural monument for,

Philip Vincent, Esq. who died in 1721, and Elizabeth his Wife in 1728.

This village is to be observed for its producing no less a man than one of the Roman cardinals, Adam de Easton, who was descended from the family of the Eastons, (who lived here, and were considerable owners here and in Hunningham, as appears by a fine levied in Henry the Third's time, between John de Estone and Philip de Estone,) and was a Benedictine monk of Norwich, doctor of divinity, a man of great wisdom and learning, as is evident from his being created Cardinal of St. Cecilia, for his worth only, without any money or favour.

In the 5th year of King Richard II. A° 1382, (fn. 2) he is called by that King, Cardinalis Norwicensis, or the Norwich Cardinal, and was then Dean of York, and had the King's letters to make attorneys to prosecute for him.

I am sensible, Godwin, in his discourse of the English Cardinals, saith he was a Herefordshire man, and born of mean parents, (see God. p. 698,) which is a great mistake; and Fuller also mentions him; but it is evident from the Records, that what I have said of him is fact.

The Manor of Easton.

Was always appendant, and belonged to Cossey manor, and was held by divers socmen at the survey, being then three quarters of a mile long, and five furlongs broad, and paid 13d. ob. gelt. (fn. 3)

In the appendix to the Register of the honour of Richmand, under the title of Earl Alan's lands belonging to Cossey manor, it is said that he had seven socmen in Bereford, Estun, and Hunincham, and that those three towns were farmed by those socmen; (who accounted yearly to the steward of Cossey for their farms;) these socmen were only tenants to the lords, and had no right in the lands they farmed, but were removed whenever their lords pleased; it contained the whole town and advowson, and went with the manor of Cossey, to which it belongs at this day, Sir George Jernegan of Cossey being now [1739] lord of the manor and waste.

Wawces's, Vaux's, Herford's, or Ashe's Manor,

In Easton, was part of this town, which was granted by the lord of Cossey manor, about Richard the First's time, with the advowson of the rectory of the church of Estone, to Brian le Ewer, who held it at the third part of the fourth part of a fee of the King in capite, as of Cossey manor.

It after belonged to the Vauxes, from whom it assumed its first name, and then to the Herefords or Herforths, whose name it still retains; William de Herforth was lord and patron, and Katerine his widow, in 1257, and so was their son William, whose widow, Petronil, presented in 1317; in 1349, it belonged to the Batemans, and passed backward and forward in trustees hands, till it was conveyed to the Dean and Canons of the college of St. Mary in the Fields in Norwich, except the manor-house, 80 acres of land, 6 acres of meadow, and other its demeans, in Dunston and Mannington, all which were conveyed to the same house in 1392, by Henry Lumnour and others, and were then held of Costessey manor.

The advowson being thus in the college, they soon got it appropriated, and endowed a vicarage, to which they presented to the Dissolution, their impropriate rectory and revenues here being taxed at 10 marks.

At the Dissolution, the manor of Vawce's Hall in Eston, the liberty of faldage, and the messuages, lands, &c. in Eston, Marlingford, Colton, Hunningham, Baburgh, Heigham and Smallburgh, that belonged to the college, were granted to Alexander Mather, who the same year conveyed them to Walter Vincent and his heirs, whose son, Thomas, had livery of them in 1562; and in 1569, it was returned that the said Thomas held this manor with the appurtenances, and 60 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, 40 acres of pasture, 300 acres of furze, heath, and bruery, in the fields of Easton, Marlingford, Hunningham, and Baburgh of the Queen in capite.

But the rectory, at the Dissolution, was granted to Miles Spencer, with the advowson of the vicarage, and all the glebes and tithes, to be held in capite, and he presented in 1560; and in 1570, aliened it to Edmuud Bedingfield and Thomas Townsend; and in 1585, William Yaxley, Esq. had it; and in 1593, it was purchased by Thomas Vincent of Easton, Gent. and joined to his manor, with which it now continues.

This Thomas settled the manor, rectory, and advowson of the vicarage, on William Wotton and John Bateman, &c. as trustees for Anne his wife, who owned it in 1615; in 1663, John Ringal of Easton, Gent. had it, and left it to Martin Ringal, Gent. to whose heirs it now belongs.

The lodge on Easton Heath, commonly called Easton-Lodge, seems to be an ancient building, and exceeding strong; but I take it to be no more than designed for its present use, and was built so, to survey the heath, and resist the weather, which it stands much exposed to, it being formerly the lodge of the game-keeper of Cossey manor.


  • 1. Regr. Heydon, fol. 100.
  • 2. Rot. Francie. 6 R. 2 M. 23.
  • 3. Terre Alani Comitis (sc. Richmondiæ) Feorhou H. (Doms. fol. 63.) Huic manerio (sc. Coteseia) jacent xliiii. socm. iii. car terre, tunc xii. car. m°. viii. et iiii. possent restaurari. et terra sochemannorum habet vi. quarent. in longo et v. in lato et xiii.d. et i. obolum de Gelto, et hoc est Estuna.