An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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This town is called in evidences, Hakeford by Hingham, to distinguish it from another town of the same name in this county; it stands in the King's Books by the name of Hakeford alias Hackforth R.
The advowson belonged to Sir Andrew de Hengham, who, in 1276, gave it, with 3 acres of his demeans, to Mary then Abbess of Marham, and the nuns of that house, on condition that the convent obliged themselves to find a chaplain at their own cost, from the time of the appropriation of the church, to pray for the soul of the said Andrew and his ancestors, and the overplus to be laid out in finding clothes for the nuns; it continued a rectory till 1329, when it was appropriated by Will. Ayremine Bishop of Norwich, and a vicarage endowed, and so it continued till 1428, at which time the Abbess was taxed at 6 marks and an half for her spirituals here, which were, the rectoryhouse, the great tithes, and 18 acres of land; but in 1433, the profits being small, after the chaplain was paid, the convent renounced their appropriation, and presented to it as a rectory, and as such it continues at this day; it paid 7d. Peter-pence, 6s. 8d. procurations, and 7d. synodals; it is valued in the King's Books at 4l. 15s. 10d. and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 21l. 13s. 4d. is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; the Prior of Norwich had lands here, for which he was taxed at 4s. 1d. ob. the Prior of West-Acre for his, at 2s. and the Prior of Bromholm for his, at 1s. The whole town raised to each tenth 13s. 4d.
The Church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and hath only a nave and chancel, both which are thatched: the south porch is leaded, the steeple is square, and hath been higher; it is now covered with board, and hath one bell in it.
In the south window of the church are Verdon's arms. On the font, two keys in saltier, for St. Peter. The Symbol of the Sacrament. A saltier ingrailed. Bendy of sixteen pieces. A fess nebulee between six croslets fitchee.
Rectors And Vicars.
1293, Ralf de Banham.
1311, Ralf de Tofts. The Abbess, &c.
1329, William Bishop of Norwich appropriated it to the convent of Marham, at Toft's death, to clothe the nuns.
1341, Walter Morice, the first vicar. The Abbess.
1349, Rich. Sharp of Fakenham. R.
1352, Henry Fole.
1361, John atte Hithe of Downham Hithe.
1408, Tho Fuller.
1416, John Messager.
1433, the profits being small, the Abbess renounced the appropriation, and so it became a rectory again.
1433, Simon at Esh of West-Bradenham. The Abbess.
1437, Simon at Esh. Ditto. R.
1476, Brother Tho. Bate.
1469, Hugh Cook. O. Lapse.
1471, Rob. Beryche. John Herryson. O.
1492, Rich. Almayne. Sir John Windham, Knt. to whom the convent sold the advowson.
1515, Tho Lightowne.
1518, Will. Everod. O. Sir Tho. Windham, Knt.
1523, Will. Custeworthe. Elizabeth relict of Sir Thomas.
1525, John Arland. John Bourchier and Elizabeth, relict of Sir Thomas Windham, Knt.
1556, Thomas Shipton. Sir Edm. Windham, Knt.
1559, Stephen Longe. Ditto.
1565, Henry Coke. O. Ditto.
1593, John Rosse. John Holland of Norwich, Esq. and Steph. Copping, Gent.
1597, Edw. Paris. Lapse. United to Rakhithe. He returned 50 communicants here, in 1603.
1599, Leonard Howse. Sir Henry Hobart, Knt. O.
1663, Will. Cullyer. O. Rob. Long, Esq.
1710, the Rev. Mr. Rob. Stone, the present  rector, holds it united to Little-Brand. Eliz. Long, widow.
The manor was owned by Ketel in the Confessor's time, and by Tovi in the Conqueror's, when the town was three furlongs long and two broad, and paid 7d. q. gelt, as Domsday tells us at fo. 278. (fn. 1)
It was after in the Barons of Horsford, of whose barony it was held as of Horsford castle, by Thomas de Burgo or Burgh; and in 1205, Simon Fitz-Walter and Sara his wife released the third part of the town, which Sara then held in dower, of her first husband, Tho. de Burgh, to Tho. de Burgh, in exchange, he granting them lands in Somerton, &c. for it. It belonged to John de Hackford about 1340; in 1391, Ralf Vernoun seems to be concerned in it; he was buried this year in Welbourne church, Sir Rob. Berney, Knt. being his executor, and it looks as if he sold it; for in 1401, Thomas de Bockyng held it of the manor of Horsford, as of the heirs of Robert Ufford, and one part was held of the castle of Castle-Acre, and another of the manor of Hockering; in 1412, Thomas Bockyng and Cecily his wife conveyed it to Edmund Oldhall, in trust, for her heirs; she left only one daughter, Margaret, married to John Fox of Castle-Acre, Esq. who died seized in 1484, and by his will ordered his body to be buried in the monastery church there, and gave the manor to his wife for life, and then to be sold, as it was accordingly, to Sir Thomas Windham; in 1572, Edm. Windham had it, who sold it to Richard Johnson and George Woball, who in 1592, conveyed it to Tho. Heyward and Stephen Copping, Gent. who sold it to Will. Thurleby and Henry Spyller, Gents. and they, in 1597, to Froxmere Cocket, Gent. and James Gill; and in 1608, it belonged to Sir Henry Hobart, Knt. Attorney General; and in 1639, Miles Hobart, Esq. died seized of the advowson, it being then held of Horsford, John Hobart, his son and heir, being then 12 years old; it was afterwards sold to the Longs, and in 1663, Rob. Long, Esq. had it, and Francis Long of Spixworth, Esq. lately owned it; he had two sons; Robert, the eldest, who was disinherited, and Francis, the second, who inherited, is also dead, and his son, now a minor, is the present  lord and patron.