An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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The church of St. Butolph is the mother church, St. Peter's being only a chapel of ease, belonging to it, and had no separate rector, but was served by a curate, nominated by the rector, at whose pleasure he was removed; at Walter's taxation in 1254, St. Butolph's and St. Peter's were taxed as one rectory, (master Cantelupe being then curate of St. Peter's,) at 16 marks, of which Cantilupe's portion, for his service was estimated at 3 marks; Norwich Domesday tells us the rector had a house and 30 acres of land; it was then valued at 26 marks, the separate portion of tithes belonging to Castle-Acre at 5s. the portion of Thetford monks, at 5s. It paid procurations, and 2s. synodals, Peter-pence 18d. and carvage 6d. ob. It is a rectory undischarged, which stands in the King's Books thus, Morley St. Butolph, with the chapel of St. Peter; it is valued at 14l. 1s. 2d. ob. and pays first fruits, and 1l. 9s. 1d. 3q. yearly tenths, and is not capable of augmentation. In 1382, Tho. de Flitcham and others settled lands here on Flitcham priory; the Prior of Bromholm was taxed for his temporals at 12d. the Prior of Kerseye for his at 7s. the Prior of St. Faith's at 2s. the Prior of Windham, at 11s. 10d. and the Prior of Norwich for his, at 1s. 1d. The second Register of the church of Norwich tells us, that Walter, son of John Gerard of Morley, gave them a rent of 1d. per annum, and that Robert, son of Ralf, son of Odo, of Morley, gave them 9 acres and 3 roods of his fee in Morley, which they granted off, to be held of them by the rent of 12d. a year. This town paid 3l. 10s. to every tenth.
The Church of St. Butolph hath a nave, chancel, and south porch, which are tiled, a large square tower and three bells. The chancel was fitted up and adorned by Sir Thomas Warde, who was instituted rector in 1480; on the top of the screens, on the chancel side, is an old drawing of that rector, with his name over his head, in the middle is the parsonage-house, with the word Rectoria over it, on the north side is the church of St. Butolph, and on the south, the church of St. Peter; on one side he is represented in a priest's habit, giving alms to the lame, blind, and poor, and on the other side, in a shepherd's habit, looking after a flock of sheep, the one to signify his charitable disposition, the other, that of his pastoral care. In the east window he stands in a rich vestment, like that he served in at the altar; over him is a shield, which is now reversed, having on it a scepter and crosier in saltier, and the letters J. D.. for John Ward, alderman of London, one of his patrons, if not brother, and T. D. for his own name; the device of the sceptre and crosier being to show the mutual dependance of church and state on each other, and his own attachment to both; his grave-stone (as I take it to be) now lies broken upon the chancel floor, and was a thick coffin-stone. The rest of the window, which was finely adorned, is now defaced.
In the south chancel window is a shield, viz. arg. on a fess gul. three lions passant or, in chief a label of five points az.
On a small brass plate,
Orate pro Anima Margarete Agas cuius Anime propicietur Deus.
On a black marble in the midst of the chancel, Crest, an eagle's head erased barrulee.
Grigson, G. two bars, in chief three annulets, arg. impaling
On a chevron between three croslets botone, three escalops.
Susan the wife of Will. Grigson Clerk, died 30 August 1713, aged 56.
Will. Grigson Clerke, late rector of this church, died 17 Jan. 1725, aged 76.
At the door of the nave lie two old coffin-stones, under which the founders were interred, because the stone the pillars of the door stand on was laid when the wall was built, and it was usual for founders to reserve places for their own interment at the door.
There is an altar tomb in the yard, under which lie John Pooley senior, who was buried Feb. 6, 1708, and Priscilla wife of John Pooley Gent. who was buried 9 Oct. 1680, with John Pooley Junior, son of John and Priscilla, who was buried Oct. 4, 1708.
In 1478, Will. Mortimer of Morley, Esq. was buried in the churchyard, and left Mariana his wife executrix. In 1518, Margery Haymount was buried in the church, and was a benefactress to the gild of St. Butolf held in this church, and to the gild of St. Peter held in that church.
The chapel of St. Peter stands near three quarters of a mile southwest of St. Butolph's, on the road leading towards Atleburgh, and was founded by Sir William Bardolph, senior, Lord Bardolph, before the year 1240, the Bishop granting him license so to do, and it being esteemed much to the ease of the parishioners, it was made a parochial chapel, dependant on St. Butolph's church, and had baptism, sepulture, and liberty of administration of all the sacraments allowed it; the rector, who had consented to its erection, was to serve it by a chaplain, and to allow him a salary of three marks a year for his service, and from the time of its foundation to the year 1375, there was a chaplain named by the rector, (who was sometimes called rector of St. Peter's,) and the separate salary allowed, but then it was perpetually annexed to St. Butolph's, and the rector was always to serve it himself, and be no more obliged to find a separate chaplain. In the year 1361, Sir John Bardolph, lord of Wormgeye, and patron here, endeavoured to erect a chantry for his own and ancestors' souls, and to have divers priests fellows of it, who should say daily service in St. Butolph's church; and in order therto, he conveyed the advowson of St. Butolph, with St. Peter's chapel annexed, to Sir Rich. Walkefare, Knt. and other trustees, who in 1363 obtained a license under the broad seal of King Edward III. to found Morley chantry, and in this year the living became void. There is a deed among the Bishop's Evidences, sealed with his seal, by which he appropriated the church of St. Butolph, with the chapel of St. Peter annexed, to the custos and chaplains of Morley college, new founded, and not then sufficiently endowed, reserving to the Bishop a pension of 16s. a year. It appears the advowson was given to the chantry or college, and vested in the custos and chaplains hands, but yet the Prior of Norwich would not confirm the appropriation, as is apparent by that part of the deed being not sealed nor filled up, so that the whole having no other endowment, came to nothing, and Robert de Walton and John de Wineghton, who were to have been chaplains, and were trustees for the advowson's being settled, were obliged to present to the rectory, and they presented John at Dammesend, who was to have been the first custos; but this was not the only attempt, for in 1447, 14th July, Sir Andrew Ogard, Knt. Sir John Clifton, Knt. and Will. Rogers, Gent. gave the advowson to Wimondham abbey, and obtained license of the King for its appropriation, notwithstanding which, the convent could never obtain the Bishop's license, and so never enjoyed it, the advowson remaining in the trustees' hands till 1453, when Sir Andrew presented to it himself; about 1620, and in 1676, the inhabitants of St. Peter's endeavoured to make them separate parishes, they would not pay towards the repair of the mother church nor come to it, but on the hearing of the cause, they were decreed to be but one parish, only had this liberty allowed them, to choose chapel-wardens, if they pleased, which has been since so far extended, that the officers and rates are distinct, and certificates as to the poor are given from one to the other.
The Chapel hath part of a large square tower remaining at its west end, in which hangs one bell, the nave is leaded, the chancel and south porch are tiled. There are five black marbles by the altar.
Crest, a goat's head erased erm.
Sedley, az. a fess wavy between three goats heads erased erm. impaling
Erm. on a pile in point a leopard's face jessant.
1. M. S. Here reposited are the Remains of Edw. Sedley of Morley in the County of Norfolk Esq; descended from John Sedley of South-Fleet in the County of Kent Esq; the Ancestor of the Baronets of that Name. Edward Sedley married Mary Daughter of Hen. Somner of Dinton in Buckinghamshire Esq; by whom having no Issue, gave his Estate to Henry Somner, under the Obligation of taking the Name of Sedley, he being Nephew to him, and also to Mary his wife.
Edw. Sedley died 12 Sept. 1727, aged 57.
2. John Son of Will. Sedley Esq; died 10 Oct. 1712, aged 49.
3. Anne Wife of Will. Sedley Esq. died 8 Nov. 1709, aged 70.
4. William Sedley Esq. died 10 Oct. 1704, aged 64.
5. Abigail Daughter of William and Anne Sedley died Aug. 19 1709, aged 30.
There is a monument against the north wall in the nave, having the arms of Sedley quartering Mounteneye, and several other imperfect coats, and this inscription,
MARTINE SEDLEY Esquier, descended from the Worshipfull and antiente Famelye of the Sedlyes of South-Fleete in Kent, and of Elizabeth Daughter and Heyre of Tho. Mounteney of Mountnesing in Essex, Esq: had to his first Wife Anne, descended of the antiente and Worshipfull Famelye of the Sheltons of Shelton, by whom he had Issue, Edmonde who died without Issue, Sir Ralphe Knt. and Amy who married to John Smythe Esquier, and surviving the said Anne, he toke to his second Wife, Abigail, descended of the Worshipfull and antiente Famelye of the Knyvettes of Ashwell-Thorp, & had Issue by her, Martine, who married Bridget the Daughter of Sir John Pettus of Norwiche Knighte, Robert, and Abigail, who died without Issue, Meriel who married to Brampton Gurdon of Assington in Suffolk Esquier, and at his Age of 78, in the Year of Grace 1609, happelye exchanged this Transitory for an Eternal Lyfe. In Memorie of whom, the sayde Abigail his sorrowfull Wiffe, as a Testimony of her Love & Pyetye, hath erected this Monumente.
In the north chancel window is a shield of chequy arg. and gul.; and in the yard at the south-east corner of the chancel lies a fine ridged coffin-stone, with a broad plain cross carved on it, under which, it is to be presumed, one of the rectors was interred.
These arms were formerly in the windows, viz.
Lord Morley, Ufford, Vauz, Arundell, Matravers, Lord Lovell, Lord Scales, &c.
1244, John, son of Elen de Thomston. Sir Will. Bardolf, senior, Lord Bardolf. Because this William would not be divorced from Christian his wife, but held that his marriage was lawful, and that priests, according to the Apostle's doctrine and example might marry, he was deprived in
1258, and Will. de Saham was presented by the same patron.
1316, Ponceard de Monte-Martini. Sir Tho. Bardolf, Knt. Ymbert de Monte-Martini. Sir T. Bardolf, Lord of Wormgeye.
1218, Rob. de Appehage, priest. Ditto.
1327, Tho. de Caylly of Wroxham, priest. Ditto.
1329, Robert of Wiclewood. Ditto.
1333, Master Hugh of Hakeford. The King, as guardian to the heir of Sir Tho. Bardolf.
1349, Edmund Flaundry of Paston. Sir John Bardolph of Wormgeye.
1375, Sir John at Dammesend, alias Elmham, buried in St. Butolf's chancel in 1418. Rob. de Walton, John de Wineghton, clerks, trustees.
1418, Rob. Ellot was instituted by his proctor, Roger Prat, rector of Hegham by Norwich. William Westacre, Archdeacon of Norwich, Walter Eton, and John Biskele, citizens of Norwich. He resigned.
1435, John Howlet. Ralf Lord Cromwell, Will. Estfield, and Tho. Dale. He resigned.
1439, Howlet resigned to Ellot. W. Estfield, Knt. Alderman of London.
William Sparrow, who died rector.
1451, Master Tho. Winchcombe. He resigned.
1453, Sir Richard Esh, priest, who was buried in 1646, in St. Peter's chancel. Sir Andrew Ogard, Knt.
1466, Master Stephen Maynard, who died rector.
1480, Sir Thomas Ward, priest, whom I have already mentioned. Will. Purchas of London, mercer, John Fortescue, Esq. Will. Boleyn, Hen. Heydon, Will. Southwell, Esqrs. John Ward, alderman and grocer of London, Henry Spelman, and Thomas Lovell, Gents.
1500, William Pake. James Hobart, Gent.
1535, Sir Nicholas Hart, chaplain. He died rector.
1548, Sir Peter Gale, chaplain. Anne Hobart, widow.
1571, Edw. Clerke. Owen Hobart, Gent.
1589, Will. Castleton. T. Hopkins, by grant from Owen Hobart.
1616, Edm. Topcliffe, A. M. on Castleton's resignation; he returned 138 communicants. Sir Henry Hobart, Knt. and Bart. Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench.
1631, Will. Hyde, A.M. Miles Hobart, Esq.
1674, Will. Grigson, A. M. on Hyde's death. Ditto.
1726, The Rev. John Francis, LL.B. (now LL. D.) the present  rector, holds it united to the rectory of St. John in the MadderMarket in Norwich: Thornhaugh Gurdon, Esq. patron of this turn.
The advowson belonged to the manor of Shadwell's and Cockarell's, but when that was sold to William Grigson, it was excepted by the seller, Mr. John Whitefoot, whose daughter married Mr. James Elmy of Norwich, to whom Mr. Whitefoot gave the advowson, and the said James is the present patron.
Dr. Grigson's seat here is the manor-house of Shadwell's and Cockarell's, in Morley St. Butolph, and stands about half a mile west of that church, against Morley-Green.
The manor-house, and ancient seat of the Sedleys, is in St. Peter's, and stands about half a mile westward of that church.
At the time of the Conquest there were two manors, which still continue.
The Manor of Morley Hall,
At the Confessor's survey, contained two carucates; the priest or rector had one, and 5 freemen the other, and it was then worth 60s. but at the Conquest 40s. only; as Domesday informs us, at fo. 94. (fn. 1)
From this time the manor passed with the town of Hingham, (as as you may see at p. 432, &c.) till it came to the Morleys; the Atlas of Norfolk, p. 308, tells us, " that this town is famous for giving name to this family, which hath afforded several men of worth and honour, as well as wealth, as Robert de Morley Lord Morley, Admiral of the northern fleet; Thomas Lord Morley, Marshal of Ireland, &c." Matthew de Morley (fn. 2) held it at two fees; in 1253, Sir Robert de Morley had free-warren granted him here, and in Roydon; it continued with Hingham till after 1359, when Sir Will. de Morley, Knt. assigned it to Sir Robert Morley, Knt. his half brother, he being eldest son to Robert deceased, by Joan, his second wife; this Robert was often in the French wars, and died in 1385, leaving Sir Robert de Morley, Knt. his son, who, in 1401, held this manor of the manor of Hockering at one fee, which his cousin, Thomas Lord Morley, then held, in 1414, he and Petronill his wife had this, Glosthorp, and Framesden in Suffolk, and died soon after, leaving it to Thomas Morley, Knt. his son, who died in 1416, and Robert Morley, his brother, inherited, who, in 1466, was executor to Rich. Essh, rector here; soon after 1490, I find Eliz. Morley (his wife, as I take it) was buried in the nun's church at Carowe; in the will she calls the Earl of Suffolk her brother; at their deaths, without male issue, the manor reverted to the Lord Morley, and so became joined again to Hingham, and passed with that in the family of the Parkers till 1545, when it was sold by Sir Henry Parker, Knt. and Eliz. his wife, to John, William, and Martin Sedley, and their heirs, the quitrents being then about 8l. per annum. This John was of South-Fleet in Kent, and by Eliz. Cotton of Staffordshire, his wife, had William and Martin aforesaid, William, the eldest son, had issue, John, whose son William was created a baronet, but the manor was given to Martin, the second son, who came and settled here; he married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Mounteney of Mountnesing in Essex, and was succeeded by Martine, his son and heir, who died in 1609, and was buried here; by Anne Shelton, his first wife, he had two sons and three daughters; Sir Ralph, his second son, married, but left no issue, so that Martine, his eldest son by Abigail Knevet, his second wife, inherited; he married Bridget, daughter of Sir John Pettus of Norwich, by whom he had many children; John Sidley, his son and heir, of Barford and Morley, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Spring of Pakenham, Knt. by whom he had Will. Sedley, his son and heir, who married Anne, daughter and heir of Peter Wetherick of Norwich, and heir to her grandfather, Edm. Boreman of Norwich; they left Martin, their son and heir, whose son, Edward Sidley, married Mary, daughter of Henry Somner of Buckinghamshire, who died without issue in 1727, leaving his estate to Henry Somner the present  lord, who, according to the will of Edward, hath taken the name of Sedley.
The Manor of Shadwell's, or Cockarell's,
Was owned by Ralf de Beaufo at the Conqueror's survey, and by Lewin, a freeman, at the Confessor's, when it was worth 40s. a year; there were several freemen added to it in the Conqueror's time, when the soke or paramountship belonged to Hingham, as an appendant to the hundred; this town was better than a mile long, and as much broad, and paid 14d. 3q. gelt, as we learn from Domsday, fol. 213. (fn. 3)
Whether Hugh that held it under Beaufo, at the Conquest, was an ancestor of the Bardolphs, I do not know, but find it in the Lord Bardolf very early, in whose family it continued many ages, as the institutions shew you; it after belonged to the Cromwells, Ogards, and Lovells, by whose trustees it was sold to the Hobarts, in whose family it continued till after 1674, when it was sold by Miles Hobart, Esq. to Sir Joseph Pain of Norwich, whose grandson and heir, Rob. Pain, gave it to Susanna his sister, who married the Rev. Mr. John Whitefoot, rector of Heigham by Norwich, and they sold it to Will. Grigson, rector of Morley, whose son, Robert Grigson, M.D. is now  lord. The patronage was excepted on the sale, and hath passed as is before observed.