Hundred of Forehoe: Depham

Pages 490-496

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

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Is so called from [deop], deep, and [ham], a village, that is, the deep or miry village. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, great part of the town was owned by one Lewin, a freeman, it being then a very considerable manor, but was much increased by the Conqueror's adding six freemen, which Eudo held, and their lands and services, all which he gave to Ralf de Beaufo, who let the manor for 12l. but was forced to fall to 8l. 15s.; the soke or superiour jurisdiction of it belonged to Hingham. The town was then 10 furlongs long, and 6 broad, and paid 17d. 3q. gelt, as Domesday informs us at fol. 212, 213. (fn. 1)

The whole of this manor continued in the descendants of Ralf de Beaufo, and was carried by Agnes de Belfo, or Beaufo, to her husband, Henry de Rya or Rye, lord of Hingham, (see p. 432,) who, in 1146, gave two parts of the manor and advowson to the monks of Christ-Church in Canterbury, and put them in possession by offering his knife at the high altar there, in the presence of Theobald the Archbishop, Walter the Prior, and many others; and for this, he was received into their fraternity, and made partaker of their devotions, in as ample a manner as any of their domestick brethren. (fn. 2) This donation was confirmed by King Stephen, Henry II. and several succeeding kings. King Edward II. granted them a charter for freewarren here, which was the only liberty that the monks ever enjoyed in this town, except that of the leet and paramountship of their own manor, which the donor gave them, he being then lord of the hundred; though in the aforesaid King's reign, they would have claimed several other immunities to belong to this place, but upon a quo warranto brought, they had nothing allowed but their leet, to which belonged the assize of bread and ale of their own tenants, and freewarren, and since that time they never claimed any further exemption. On the Dissolution, King Henry VIII. settled it on the dean and chapter of Canterbury, with the impropriation, and the advowson of the vicarage, all which that church hath enjoyed ever since; Mr. John Amyas of Hingham now [1739] holding it by lease from them; they were taxed for their temporals at 8l. 8s. 4d. ob. and for their spirituals at 16 marks. It appears from King Stephen's charter of confirmation, that Hubert de Rye, Castellan, or Governour of Norwich castle, gave upon his death bed the manor and advowson of Muche-Berdestuna, or Mul-Berton, instead of which, his son Henry gave them Depham, by their own desire: all the feodaries tell us, that the Prior held his manor here at a quarter of a fee, of the manor of Hingham, as parcel of the barony of Rhye, in frank almoigne.

Blomevile's Manor

Was in two parts, the first contained the third part of Henry de Rhie's manor, and the third part of the advowson, which the said Henry gave to William de Blundevile, or Blomevile, whose son Richard gave his third of the advowson, in 1226, to the monks of Canterbury, and Tho. de Blundevile or Blomevile, uncle (as I take it) to Richard, confirmed this donation; this William, brother to the Bishop, was of Newton Flotman, where the family continued many ages; the said William held it at a quarter of a fee of Hingham: the other part belonged to the Wacheshams; and in 1227, was conveyed by Giles de Wachesham to Alan de Creping, who was to hold it at half a fee of the said Giles and his heirs, who held it of Hockering, as parcel of the barony of Rye; in 1272, Hugh de Creping held it of Giles, son of Giles de Wachesham, as of his manor of Wortham in Suffolk; in 1249, John de Blomevile had the Blomeviles part; and in 1260, Will, de Blomevile was lord, to whom Hugh de Creping conveyed his half fee, which ever after retained his name; in 1282, William de Blundevile held it of Gerard de Wachesham, and he of Giles Plais; in 1302, Roger Cosyn had it, either as guardian or trustee to the heirs of Will. de Blomevile; in 1320, Will. de Blomevile settled it on Margaret his wife; in 1345, Ralf Bokyng held it in right of his wife, it being her dower, of the inheritance of Will. Blomevile. In 1401, Rich. Blomevile had it; in 1489, Rich. Blundevile was lord, who died about 1503; it was afterwards sold in reversion to Roger Woodhouse, Esq. for in 1572, Henry Richers, Esq. was lord, during his wife's life, who, it seems, died in or about 1578, for then Roger occurs lord, from which time it hath gone in that family, Sir John Woodhouse, Bart. being now [1739] lord.

Rifley's, Easthall, or Crosse's Manor,

At the survey belonged to William Earl Warren, and passed from that family to the Lord Bardolph of Wormegeye, of whom it was always held at a quarter of a fee; in the survey of the honour of Wormegeye, made in Edward the Third's time, it appears, that the Bardolphs infeoffed Sir Neel or Nigel de Rifley, who gave a messuage, 40 acres of land, and the services of several tenants here, with the advowson of St. Andrew's church in Wiclewood, to the Prior and Convent of Bromholm, who sold them to Richard Starcolf, and his heirs, who held them in 1328, and died seized in 1333; and soon after, the services were sold off to the tenants, except those that the Prior reserved, for which Bromholm convent was taxed at 9s. 8d.; there was another part, which Will. de Ellingham (who in some evidences is called de Dullingham) held, which in 1282 belonged to Rob. de Baconsthorp, and was formerly Tho. de Baconsthorp's; in 1330, Edm. de Baconsthorp and Margaret his wife had settled it on Thomas Curzon of EastCarleton, and Ralf Oldland of Ellingham, in trust for them and their heirs, it being then called Easthall manor; it is plain that in 1345, these parts were separate, for in the feodary of that year, William de Cringlethorp held half that part which was Bardolph's, and John atte Cross the other half, and Edmund de Baconsthorp held his manor at half a fee of Rye barony; but in 1355, they were joined, John atte Cross purchasing Easthall of James de Baconsthorp, and Alice his wife; and in 1401, John Crosse, junior, his son, had it; in 1447, John Cross of Depeham, Esq. lived here; he sealed with sab. on a fess between three mullets pierced arg. as many croslets patee of the first. I meet with no more mention of it till about 1464, and then Catherine, relict of William Goodered (or Goddard) of Middleton, late one of the King's justices, gave this manor to be sold after her death; this lady was a great promoter of the rebuilding of the noble church of Walpole St. Peter in Marshland, in the windows of which her effigies is placed, as the plate of it under that church will shew you. In 1510, Sir James Hobart had it, and in 1553, Lady Anne Hobart of Depham, widow, late wife of Sir Walter Hobart of Morley, Knt. was buried in St. Butolph's chancel at Morley, and had an interest in this manor in her lifetime.

Of the part which belonged to the Earl Warren we meet with this in Domesday, fol. 94:

Terre Willi: de Warrena. Feorhou H. et dim.In Depham xxx. acr. terre i. liber homo in cadem carucata. semper v. bord et i. car. et est in codem pretio. (sr. de) tota soca in Hincham Regis.

Robert's, alias Knapele's Manor.

I find that Robert Fitz-Richard had it in Richard the First's time, from whom it might take its name; Laurence de Reppes owned it in 1315, and had it of the inheritance of Joan his wife, it being held in soccage of the Prior of Canterbury's manor of Depham, by the rent of 13s. 4d. and was then worth 5l. per annum; he died in 1322, and left it with North-Repps, and Edynthorp manors, to his two daughters and heirs, Sibill, wife of Rob. de Reppes, and Elizabeth, wife of Tho. de Wylby. In 1618, John Pepys, Gent. and Rob. Jaques, Gent. sold it to Henry Pannet and Calibut Walpole, Esqrs.

Two parts of the advowson were given, as before observed, by Henry de Rye, in 1146, to the monks of Canterbury, to whom it was immediately appropriated by Will. Turbus, then Bishop of Norwich, (with the church of Tofts,) and a vicarage endowed; and Robert, the first vicar, agreed to pay a pension of two marks a year out of his vicarage to the monks; and in 1181, John of Oxford Bishop of Norwich confirmed it; in 1226, Rich. Blundevile or Blomeville gave his third part of the advowson to the monks, and Thomas de Blundevile, then Bishop of Norwich, appropriated it the same year, for the sustenance of strangers and poor people that visited the shrine of St. Thomas the Martyr at Canterbury, on his own day, on condition there be a vicar appointed, to be presented by the monks, by the Bishop's advice, whose stipend should not be less than 10 marks a year; and also that the church of Canterbury claimed no exemption, but acknowledged this church to belong, as to all ecclesiastical jurisdiction, to the see of Norwich; and in 1227, Rich. de Sybeton, Official to the Archdeacon of Sudbury, summoned a jury of thirteen laymen, and twelve clergy, the first of which were, Nigel, custos of Hingham deanery, Reymond de Morley, William, Vicar of Wiclewood, &c. to settle this vicarage, which they did in the following manner, the vicar to have all the alterage, (i. e. small tithes,) which was then worth 6 marks a year, and half the great tithes of Tweytfield in Depham, and all the great tithes of Somerscroftfield, which contained 7 acres, except two parts of the tithes of 7 acres in Tweytfield, which belonged to the Prior of Norwich; the tithes were then worth 3 marks 2s. 8d. a year, and two acres of land on the east side of the churchyard, with the Prior's messuage upon it, for a vicarage-house, the said house and land being of the Prior's lay fee; and 3 acres of the glebe land, lying on the south side of the church, worth 6s. per annum, 16s. of the yearly quitrents of the Prior's manor, to be paid by the Prior, so that the whole endowment, which was to be 10 marks a year, was assigned at 12 marks and 4d. for which overplus the vicar was to pay all synodals, &c.; the vicar was also to have free liberty of commonage on all the commons of Depham, belonging to the Prior's manor there; and now all things being settled, in 1235 the Bishop and his chapter gave their consent, and there was a bull obtained from Pope Gregory IX. confirming the whole. (fn. 3)

Hubert de Rye, Castellan of Norwich, gave a portion of tithes here to the Prior and Convent of the cathedral at Norwich; Henry de Rye, his son, and Agnes Beaufo, his wife, and the Bishop confirmed it; and soon after, King Stephen confirmed it also, with the church of Aldeby. which Agnes gave to the monks. (fn. 4) It seems that there were some small lands and rents also, for in 1256, I find "The homage of the Bishop of Norwich" mentioned. This portion was appropriated to the celerer of the monastery, for which he was taxed at 24s.

The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew; when Norwich Domesday was made, the rector had a house, manor, and carucate of land; the vicar had a house and 3 acres of land, the vicarage was valued at 6 marks, but was not taxed; the procurations were 6s. 8d. synodals 3s. and Peter-pence 16d.; it is valued in the King's Books at 5l. 7s. 11d. and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 19l. 9s. 10d. it is discharged of first-fruits and tenths; and in 1719, 3d Jan. was angmented by the Governours of Queen Anne's bounty, the Rev. Mr. Rix, vicar, giving 200l. to its augmentation. This town paid 5l. to each tenth.

In 1210, there was an agreement between the Prior of Norwich and the vicar, for the two garbs of the tithes of the demeans of Hubert de Rye, and the two parts of the small tithes, for all which the vicar used to pay 6s. and now was to pay 9s. per annum. In 1227, the convent of Canterbury bound themselves to the Prior of Norwich to pay the celerer yearly 24s. for the tithe corn of their portion.

1504, 26 July, Will. Seaman gave 2 acres in Westfield, to find two lights, one before our Lady of Pity, another before the rood. (fn. 5)

Here were four gilds, of St. Andrew, St. John, St. Thomas, and the Assumption.

The south chapel at the east end of the south isle was the assumption chapel, in which that gild was kept, and these arms were in the windows of that chapel, viz.

Marshal, Shelton, Blundevile or Blomevile, (to whose manor the chapel belonged.)

Wood's, sab. on a fess gul. three croslets between three mullets pierced arg..

The chapel at the east end of the north isle was St. John Baptist's, and in it his gild was kept. In the windows here were the arms of

Coggeshale, Ufford, Brom, Stafford, Verdon, Morley, Calthorp with an annulet, and Tiptoft quartering Herling, with an escutcheon of pretence of Gonvile.

There were also the arms of Bourchier.

The arms of Canterbury impaling Gouldston or Goldston, sab. in chief a cross formy fitchee arg. and are the arms of Thomas Goldstone, Prior of Canterbury, who died in 1517, (fn. 6) in whose time this church was repaired and beautified.

Erm. on an escutcheon gul. a plate.

Blundevile or Blomevile, quarterly, per fess indented or and az. a bend G.

The following arms are carved on the steeple and buttresses: 1. Five chevrons. 2. Quarterly in the first and fourth a bend, second and third chequy. 3. Bendy of twelve pieces. 4. Quarterly. 5. A saltier. 6. Shelton. 7. A cross treflee. 8. Three bars nebule. 9. The Symbol of the Trinity. 10. A cross. 11. Blomevile's arms. 12. Quarterly in the second and third quarters a crescent. 13. Wood's arms.

The church is a good fabrick, having a large tower and five bells; the north and south isles and chapel are leaded.

On the rood-loft in the south chapel, S. M. On the north, J. B..


1146, Robert, the first vicar.

1227, Ralf.

1319, Will. de Tatersete. The Prior and Chapter of Canterbury.

1349, Tho. Taylour.

1368, Tho. Patrickswyk; he changed for East-Tilbury, in

1371, with Rich. Pullyng.

John Greenhill; he changed for Takele, London diocese, in

1398, with Will. de Alfeston, who, in

1399, changed with Nic. Fuller for Floketon, who in

1413, changed with Walter Hert for Epworth chantry, who in

1423, changed with John Prys for Berford, who in

1438, resigned to Will. Bedwell, who died in 1463; in

1461, he resigned to John Bownde, who in

1468, resigned to Brother John Unkar, an Austin-friar, who in

1482, resigned to Rob. Hareward, who died rector.

1504, Walter Bernard. O. Lapse.

1512, John Hole.

1539, Peter Galt was the last presented by the Prior, who in

1553, resigned to John Broughton. Mr. Amyas, farmor of the rectory.

1554, Edm. Fuller, on Broughton's deprivation. Lapse.

1556, Steph. Long. John Flowerdew of Hetherset, Esq. farmor of the rectory.

1565, John Godfrey. Ditto.

1598, Mark Rame. Nic. Brook, Esq. O.

1598, Edmund Payne. O. Tho. Cooper and Will. Beale.

1642, Antony Cooper. The Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.

1657, Will. Cullyer. Nic. Bragg, Esq.

1713, Henry Rix, united to Colton. O. Dean and Chapter.

1728, Will. Cory, A. B. O. Ditto.

1736, John Wells. Ditto.

1737, the Rev. Mr. Robert Nun, on Wells's resignation; he is now [1739] vicar, and the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury are the present patrons.

In 1465, John Walter, senior, was buried in the church, and gave a good estate, which he owned here, to Richard, his son. In 1382, Tho. de Flitcham aliened lands here to Flitcham priory. There was a very ancient family, sirnamed Of Depham; Godwin of Depham had lands here in 1198, and Sir Stephen de Depham, Knt. who lived in Edward the First's time, bare arg. on a fess gul. three lions passant gardant or.

This village was famous for a linden tree of a vast bigness; to the eye it overlooked all other trees thereabouts, when viewed at a distance, as a giant above so many pigmies. It stood in Mr. Amias's yard, and was taken down about 30 years since; at the foot of it is a spring, which petrifies sticks, leaves, &c. which accidentally fall into it, if they lie any time, as the Atlas tells us, at p. 309; Mr. Evelyn, in his Silva, or Discourse of Forest Trees, fol. 82, gives us this description of it, which he says, he received from Doctor Brown of Norwich in the following words:

"An extraordinary large, and stately tilia, linden, or lime-tree, there groweth at Depeham in Norfolk, ten miles from Norwich, whose measure is this. The compass in the least part of the trunk or body about two yards from the ground, is at least eight yards and half: about the root nigh the earth, sixteen yards; about half a yard above that, neer twelve yards in circuit: the height to the uppermost boughs about thirty yards, which surmounts the famous tilia of Zurich in Switzerland; and uncertain it is, whether in any tilicetum or lime-walk abroad, it be considerably exceeded: yet was the first motive I had to view it, not so much the largeness of the tree, as the general opinion, that no man could ever name it; I find it to be a tilia fœmina; and (if the distinction of Bauhinus be admitted from the greater, and lesser leaf) a tilia platuphylos or latifolia; some leaves being three inches broad; but to distinguish it from others in the country, I called it Tilia Colossæa Depehamensis."

He tells us also, that " a poplar tree, not much inferior to this, grew lately at West-Herling, at Sir William Gaudie's gale, which was blown down about 1690."


  • 1. Terre Rad. de Bellofago. H. Feorhou. et dim. Diepham tenuit Leuinus liber ho. T. R. E. i. car. terre et lxxx. acr. modo tenet idem, semp. xi. vill. tunc x. bord. mo ix. tunc et post ii. serv. mo nullus. semper iii. car. in dnio. et i. car. et dim. homin. silva xii. porc. et x. acr. prati. semper. i. runc. et dim. hom. silva xii. porc. et x. acr. prati, semper i. runc. et x. anim. et xvii. porc. xxxii. capr. huic manerio iacent semper xxv. soc. et i. car. terre et xxvi. acr. semper vi. car. et dim. et preter hoc vi. liberi homines additi sunt huic manerio T. R. W. quos tenuit Eudo et hab. cxx. acr. terre et xx. bord. et v. car. et vi. acr. prati, tunc val. iiii. libr. caput manerii. et Radulfus dedit totum ad firmam pro xii. libr. sed mo tamen non reddit nisi vi. libr. et vi. liberi homines val. lv. sol. hoc testatur hundret. horum, iii. fuere sochemani Stigandi et socam in Hincham Regis, et habet x. quar. in longo, et vi. in et xvii.d. et iii. ferding.
  • 2. Mon. Ang. vol. i. fol. 22.
  • 3. Excerpt. ex Archivis Ecclesiæ Christi Cant. num. 5. Carta de Dyenham &c.
  • 4. Reg. I. Pr. Norw. fo. 54.
  • 5. R. Pepy. 534.
  • 6. Dart's Hist. of the Antiquities Cant. Cath. fo. 188.