An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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Church is dedicated to All the Saints; the rector had a house and 20 acres of land, valued with the whole living at 12 marks, procurations 6s. 8d.; 16d. synodals, Peter-pence 12d. In 1671, the rector had license not to repair all the chancel, but to lessen it; and in 1684, he was discharged of dilapidations. Here was a gild of St. John Baptist. John Bygot of Welborne died in 1437, leaving Alice, his wife, his administratrix.
1289, Thomas de Hengham.
1304. James Daunger. Sir Rob. de Baconsthorp, Knt.
1320, Rob. de Welburne. Sir Rob. de Hingham, Knt.
1323, John de Aylesham. Sir Rob. de Baconsthorp, Knt.
1328, Walter de Stanes of Elveden. Sir Edm. de Baconsthorp, Knt.
Master Stephen de Rughton. R. Ditto.
1339, Rich. de Bergh. Ditto.
1345, John Ive of Gestweyt. Ditto.
1349, John Scot of Sustede. Ditto.
1394, Will. Strykere. Nic. de Wichingham.
1396, Rich. Shroesbury. R. Ditto.
1402, John Purs, change with St. Laurence Poulteney's chantry in London. Ditto.
1402, Will. Roos of Schelyngton. Ditto.
1416, John Champeneys, rector.
1437, Will. Langford. O. Will. Billingford, Esq.
1485, Mr. Will. Backe. R. Edmund Jenney and Tho. Bannyard.
1486, Will. Manes. Ditto.
1532, Tho. Candeler.
1541, Rich. Garnet, deprived. Edm. Billingford, Esq.
1554, Andrew Deane, S. T. B. Austin Steward, Alderman of Norwich.
1555, James Proctor. O. Ditto.
1556, Rich. Garnet, again, united to Matishal, Aug. 9, 1558. Ditto.
Nich. Corker. O.
1585, John Barnard. Will. Steward, Esq. He returned 63 communicants.
1624, John Leggat, A. M. Robert Craske of Norwich, Esq. United to Barnham-Broom.
1646, Richard Alfield, clerk. A. B. on Legat's resignation. Will. Fisher of Wisbitch, Esq.
Jessop Webb, resigned.
1688, Nic. Barwick, clerk. United to Colton. Jessop Webb, Esq.
1692, Peter Copping, clerk, on Barwick's death. United to Carleton. Ditto.
1694, John Hardy, clerk, on Copping's resignation. United to Elsing. Ditto.
1697, Tho. Pateson, on Hardy's resignation. Ditto.
1700, Edward Heyhoe, clerk, on Pateson's cession. Jessop Webb.
1719, Edw. Heighoe, clerk. Lapse. United to Matishall Bergh.
1720, Rob. Godrick, clerk, on Heighoe's resignation. Edward Heighoe, Gent. true patron.
1722, James Stagg, clerk, A. B. on Godrick's cession. Edward Heighoe, senior, Esq. United to Gerveston.
1734, the Rev. Mr. Grigson Heighoe, on Stagg's resignation. Edw. Heighoe, clerk, his father, patron in fee. United to Yaxham. He is the present  incumbent.
This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 5l. 18s. 4d. and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 43l. 12s. it is discharged of first fruits and tenths; but the parish paid 18s. each tenth. The temporals of the Prior of Windham were valued at 6d.; the parish was valued at about 300l. per annum, of which Peter Le Neve, Esq. at his death, had a third part in free and copyhold land, but no manor.
The steeple here is round, and hath three bells; there is only a nave, which is thatched, the chancel is tiled; there is only one modern inscription, for Frances Grime. There are no arms in the windows.
Walebrun or Welbourn, at the Conqueror's survey, belonged to William Earl Warren, and was held of the castle of Lewes, and afterwards of Castle-Acre. (fn. 1)
In 1267, James de Welborne held a whole fee, and was not a knight, but was obliged to take that honour, in 1280, by the name of James de Thorp of Welborne; he conveyed the manor to Sir Robert de Hengham, with lands in Baconsthorp, in trust; in 1304, Sir Rob. de Baconsthorp was lord; in 1315, Sir John de Baconsthorp, and in 1323, Sir Rob. de Baconsthorp; in 1327, Edmund de Baconsthorp, and Margaret his wife, settled the manor and advowson on themselves in tail; I find him to be the same person called Edm. Bacon of Gresham; in 1344, Edmund de Baconsthorp settled it on Will. Fraunsham, master of Mettyngham college, Roger Townsend of Reynham, Will. Langford, rector here, John Welles, and others.
In 1390, John de Brunham or Barnham, and his parceners, were lords, and held it at a quarter of a fee of the Earl of Arundel; and in 1401, he infeoffed Nich. de Wichingham, Henry Maupas, clerk, Simon Gaunstede, clerk, James Billingford, Jeffry Somerton, John Alderford, Will. Chaumpeneys, junior, and John Wissingsete; in 1425, Will. Billingford held his first court; in 1435, Edmund Playter, Gent. held his first court. Tho. Wetherby was lord in 1440, when his first court occurs; in 1449, John, son and heir of Will. Byllingford, had his first court; in 1563, it was in the hands of Tho. Playter, Gent. of Saterly in Suffolk, who died seized of this, Saterly, and Uggeshall in 1479, and William was his son and heir; in 1485, Henry Heydon, John Paston, and Ralf Shelton, Knts. Edmund Jenny, Will. Gurney, Rob. Drury, Tho. Jenny, John Yaxley, Will. Jenny, and Will. Mekylfield, junior, kept their first court; in 1527, it belonged half to Plaiters and half to Billingford; and in 1530, Edm. Billingford, and Tho. Billingford, Gent. his son and heir, Edmund and Christ. Plaiters, and Anne his wife, Rob. Whiting, and Elizabeth his wife, Anthony Poley and Joan his wife, Roger Docking and Margaret his wife, all joined and sold the manor and advowson to
Augustine Steward, citizen and alderman of Norwich; he married first Elizabeth, daughter of William Read of Beceles, secondly Alice, daughter of Henry Reppes of West-Walton in Norfolk, by whom he had
Edward Steward of London, and two daughters, Elizabeth, and Alice married to John Aldrich of Mangreen; by his first wife he had
Will. Steward of Gaulthorp Hall, in Swerdeston, lord thereof, and of Welborne, in 1566, when his father died; he married first Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Christ. Jenny of Great-Cressingham, by whom he had
Augustine Steward of Linn, their son and heir; but he did not inherit this manor, for by his marriage settlement, dated 13th Dec. 1575, he settled on Edw. Sulyard, Tho. Edon, Rich. Edon, Esqrs. Tho. Sotherton, Rob. Wood, Christ. Layer, citizens and aldermen of Norwich, Ralph Shelton, Esq. Henry Bird, S.T.P. and John Sotherton, junior, of Norwich, grocer, in trust for his second wife, Grissild, daughter of Tho. Edon of Sudbury, and her issue ; she had two sons, Thomas and Edward; and accordingly
Thomas Steward of Swardeston and Welborne, her eldest son, inherited; he married Mary, daughter of Henry Lord Grey of Groby, who survived him; she was buried in St. Stephen's church in Norwich, 5th Sept. 1650, and had issue, Henry, Mary, and Anne; he was buried in that church in 1637.
In 1619, John Mingay, citizen and alderman of Norwich, held his first court, as trustee to Steward; he joined with Thomas Steward, and sold it to Robert Crask, citizen and alderman of Norwich, Tho. Atkin, Gent. and Rich. Crask of Wendling; the said Robert, in 1638, gave the reversion to Rob. Allen and Jane his wife, and Robert their son; in 1639, the said Robert and Jane held their first court; the said Robert sold the advowson from the manor, which by his will he gave to Tho. Allen, his kinsman, who was only son of Tho. Allen of Norwich, clerk, Robert's eldest brother, whose will was proved in 1693, and the said Tho. Allen, about 1705, sold it to Mr. John Hook of Norwich, surgeon, who is the present  lord.