An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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Windham, Wimondham, Wimundham, or Winmuntham, notwithstanding some have imagined it of Roman original, is certainly Saxon, and might take its name from its pleasant situation, for pm signifies a chosen or beloved place, so that [win-Munte-ham], is, the village on the pleasant mount, and the situation exactly answers. As to its being the ancient Sitomagus, as a late author would make it, there is no likelihood of it; for, besides the reasons already given at p. 6, and 7, upon viewing the place, I can find no remains of any fortification of any sort whatever, neither hath there been any coins, urns, or other Roman antiquities found here that I could ever hear of, which, had it been a place of such repute as Sitomagus was, must have happened; and indeed till the erection of the monastery, it had no liberties beyond the neighbouring villages, in any respect, till it afterwards increased so, as to swallow up some of its neighbours, so that their very names, had it not been for that inestimable record of Domesday book, had been quite lost; and indeed are so far gone, that the towns which at that time went by the name of Dikethorp, and Hidichethorp, are now contained in it, its limits being so far extended, that even in King Stephen's time it contained the half hundred of Forehoe.
It is at present a market town, its market being kept every Friday, the jurisdiction of which belongs to Lord Hobart, who is lord paramount, in right of his leets belonging to his manors of Cromwell's and Grishaugh in this town.
The whole of Windham, in the Confessor's time, belonged to Stigand the Bishop, at whose disgrace the Conqueror seized it, and gave it to Ralf de Warren, but he also forfeited it, and at the survey it was in the King's hands, and in the custody of William de Noiers; it was then above four miles long and two broad, and paid 6s. 8d. geld; it had been but 20l. per annum, but was then of 60l. value, and would have been worth much more, if Ralf de Warren, when he owned it, had nor wasted it, by lessening the socmen from 87 to 18, all which were then held by Will. de Warren, Ralf de Beaufo Earl Alan, and Roger Bigot, as Domesday tells us at fo. 50. (fn. 1)
Dikethorp, at the Conqueror's survey, belonged to Ralf Baniard, and in the Confessor's time was owned by one Norman, a freeman, being then worth 40s. and now 4l.; it was four furlongs long, and as much broad, and paid 11d. ob. geld; (fn. 2) it is now called Dikebeck, and lies west of the church.
There was a small part which William Earl Warren had here worth
40s. a year at the survey, which was after called Stanfield manor, of
which Domesday, fo. 94, hath this.
Terre Willi. de Warenna. Feorhou H. et him. In Wimundham xxx. liberi homines quando recepit mo. xliii. semper i. car. terre tunc et post v. car. mo. ii. semper vi. bord. et vi. acr. prati, totum val. xl. s. Hoc totum est de escangio de de terra Sanctorum.
The whole town, including all its present hamlets, (except Stanfield,) was one manor in the Conqueror's hands, who gave it to William de Albany, along with Bukenham, Snetesham, and Kenninghall, to be held by the service of being butler to the Kings of England, on the day of their coronation, for which reason he was called pincerna Regis, or the King's butler; but it did not continue whole long, for on his founding the priory of Windham, he gave about a third part of it to that convent, with liberty to hold a court and receive all the amerciaments of their own tenants, whether they were amerced in his leet, or market-court; (fn. 3) and this part became the abbey manor; the rest still remained in William's hands, in whose posterity it continued till the division of the Albanys estate, and then it was allotted to Sir Robert de Tateshale, in whose family it went, till, for want of male issue, it became divisible between Caily, Driby, Bernak, and Orreby, (fn. 4) to which division some of the manors of this town owe their original.
Contained a third part of Wimondham, with a third part of the leet, which extended over part of the hamlets of Norton, Sutton, Watlefield, and Silfield, and each paid a separate leet fee to this manor, and chose their several officers, as constables, aletasters, woodwards, &c.; Silfield leet fee is 3s.; Watlefield or Waters, 5s.; Suton 4s.; Norton half a mark. This manor fell to the share of the Bernaks, as you may see in vol. i. p. 374, and passed from them to Sir Ralf Cromwell, Knt. whose name it still bears: and after that, went with Bukenham, till one moiety went to Fitz-Williams, and the other to the Knevets. (fn. 5) Fitz-Williams's moiety, in 1546, was sold by Rob. Drury, and Robert, his son and heir, and Agnes his wife, to John Flowerdew of Windham, Esq. who, in 1558, settled it on Edw. Flowerdew, Esq. who, in 1564, sold it to Edw. Clere of Blickling, Esq. and the said Edw. Clere, in 1565, granted an annuity of 40s. per annum out of it to Edward Flowerdew aforesaid; and in 1636, Eliz. Clere, widow, was lady here, from which family it passed with Blickling to the Hobarts: the other moiety continued in the Knevets, (fn. 6) till Sir Philip Knevet sold it to Sir Henry Hobart, in whose family it hath passed ever since, John Lord Hobart being now  lord; it is now joined to Grishagh, Rusteyns, Matshal, and Calthorp, all which manors and free tenements united in the Hobarts, and so continue. The Little-Park in Wimondham belonged to this manor; and in Sir Tho. Knevet's time, the quitrents were 57l. 10s.
The eldest son is heir, the fine for demean land is 6s. 8d. an acre, for other land, 4s. the lord's rents are gathered by the heywards, which are chosen for the four hamlets.
Contained the other two third parts of Wimondham manor, and the two third parts of the leet, with the advowson of the abbey, and at the division was allotted to Thomas de Caily, who, in 1316, had a charter for free warren granted to him, and Margaret his wife, here, and in Wolferton, Babingle, &c.; from the Cailys it passed to the Cliftons, and from them to the Knevets, (fn. 7) in which family it continued, till Sir Philip Knevet sold it to the Hobarts, in which family it still remains, John Lord Hobart being now lord. Grishaw great park, and Grishagh wood, belonged to this manor, and the manor of Cromwell's is called a member of it, it containing a third part of it; the whole being held of the barony of Tateshale, by the service of the butlership on the coronation day, as in Bukenham at large.
The eldest son inherits; it gives a moiety dower; the rents are collected by the heywards of the several hamlets, viz. Norton, which pays 3s. 9d. leet fee. Silfield 3s. Watlefield 5s. and Sutton 2s. 8d. the quitrents being formerly about 50l. per annum.
Was part of the capital manor, granted by the Albanys to Alan, son of Reginald, who left it to Maud, his sister, who died without issue, and left it to John, son of her brother Robert, who, in 1227, sold it to Will. Rusteing, from whom it took its name; he held it at the sixth part of a fee, of the great manor. In 1279, upon Alice Rusteing's marriage with Ralf de Kirketon, it was settled on them by Will. Rusteing, the son, perhaps, of the former William; in 1333, Peter de Uvedale and Margaret his wife settled it, with their manor in Tacolneston, on themselves for life, then on Sir Thomas Uvedale, Knt. remainder to Hugh, son of Sir John de Uvedale in tail. In 1345, the said Margaret had it: and in 1401, the said John Uvedale held it of the Cliftons, as parcel of Tateshale barony; in 1557, Sir John Clere, Knt. owned it, and in 1592, Sir Edward Clere, Knt. was lord, from which family it passed to the Hobarts, and John Lord Hobart now hath it, and keeps the court with his other manors; but in 1611, at the first general court of Philip Knevet, Baronet, who was trustee, it was held separate from Grishagh and Cromwell's, the style then being, Rusteyns alias Rystons, Mattishall and Calthorps, which two last are small manors or free tenements, that were formerly purchased by the lords of Rusteyns, and joined to it. The fine is at the will of the lord. The site of this manor is on a mount, double moated in, and Sir Edward Clere built a farm-house on it; there were about 100 acres of demean adjoining to it.
Stanfield or Stanfield Hall Manor
Belonged to the Earl Warren in the Conqueror's time, and after to the Bigot's of whom it was held by Katherine, wife of Roger FitzOsbert, in 1306; and in 1346, Maud, widow of Oliver de Mouton, conveyed part of it to Bartholomew de Salle, and Richard de Bittering, who joined it to that part that Rob. de la Salle of Norwich had in 1280. Another part remained in John, son of Thomas de Mouton and Ivetta his wife, to the value of 100s. per annum; in 1348, the said Bartholomew held it at the fourth part of a fee; in 1394, William Appleyard paid his relief for it to Margaret Dutchess of Norfolk, it being then held of the honour of Forncet; and in 1448, Edmund Appilyard of Windham, son of William, gave it Anne his wife for life, remainder to William, Geffry, and Edmund, his sons. Another part of this manor belonged to the Rokeles, and after, to the Cursons, and was held by Richard le Curson in 1256, who was then summoned to be made a knight, as holding a whole fee here, and in Ketringham; in 1307, Sir Will. Cursoun held his part of Richard de la Rokele, by the eighth part of a fee, and had a capital messuage in which he dwelt, 144 acres in demean, besides many lands, rents, and services here, and in Ketringham; in 1317, Katherine Curson, widow of Sir William, is called lady of Stanfield; she held it for life, and was succeeded by Sir John Curson, her son and heir, who, in 1339, had Sir William Curson, by Margaret his wife; in 1333, Oliver de Mouton and Maud his wife settled their part on this Sir John Curson, who had now married Ivetta, widow of Thomas de Mouton; in 1349, John de Berford, Roger Mundegome, rector of Brakene, Joan, widow of John de Bumpstede, Peter de Bumpstede, Emma, wife of Bartholomew, son of Nich. de Apilyerd, and Richard, son of Bartholomew de Salle, held jointly the manor of Stanfield, which they all settled on Emma for life, and afterwards released for ever to Will. Appleyard, who had possession in 1463. In 1514, Sir Nicholas Appleyard, Knt. granted an annuity of 6l. issuing out of the manor, to John Griffyth and Margaret his wife; in 1528, Roger Appleyard, Esq. of Brakene gave it Elizabeth his wife for life, and then to John, his son and heir, who held it in 1549. It looks as if Philip Appleyard, Esq. sold it, for in 1563, James Altham, Esq. kept his first court, who, in 1564, sold it with Hethill in common, to Edward Flowerdew of Hetherset, Esq. and Henry, a younger son of Sir Robert Townsend, Knt. deceased; and the same year, Flowerdew conveyed his half to Thomas Townsend of Brakene-Ash, Esq. Roger Townesend of Raynham, Henry Heveningham of Ketringham, Will. Curson of Belagh, and Francis Windham of Lincoln's-Inn, Esqrs. who, in 1569, reconveyed their right to the said Edward Flowerdew and his heirs. This Edward settled at Stanfield Hall about 1566, for in that year, by the name of Edward Flowerdew of the Inner Temple, Gent. he purchased all the furniture of John Appleyard of Stanfield Hall, in order to come and dwell there; in 1573, he was become an eminent barrister, for then Thomas Grimesdiche of the Inner-Temple settled an annuity of 40s. issuing out of his manor called Joyce's, in Little-Hadham in Hertfordshire on him, in consideration of the good and faithful council he had given him; and in 1575, he had such another grant of 5 marks a year for life made him, by Simon Harecourt of Stanton Harcourt in Oxfordshire, and Walter, his son and heir, issuing out of their manor of Stanton Harcourt. In Mich. term, 1580, he was called to the degree of serjeant at law, and in 1584, 23d Oct. was made Baron of the Exchequer. By the inquisition taken after his death, in 1599, it was found that the manor was in feoffees hands, to the use of Elizabeth his wife, as her jointure, and that he was seized of a moiety of Hetherset manor in Hetherset, and of the site of the abbey, and that Anthony Flowerdew, Gent. was his cousin and heir being son of William his brother; and that he was 29 years old. In 1631, Sir Rob. Gawdy had his share of Sir Nathaniel Bacon's lands in Stukey, in right of Winefrid his wife, one of his daughters and coheirs, and had this manor settled on him for life only, remainder to Dorothy, his daughter and sole heir, then married to Sir Philip Parker of Arwarton in Suffolk, Knt. and her heirs; in 1642, it was purchased by Sir Thomas Richardson, Knt. in which family it hath continued ever since, William Jermy, Esq. and Elizabeth his wife, being the present  owners. (See p. 449, for Richardson's pedigree.) The fine is at the lord's will.
Was a part, that, on the division of the Albanys estate, came to Roger de Montealt, by grant of Robert de Tateshale; it was infeoffed in Robert de Milliers, who held it at half a fee of Roger's castle of Rising; it afterwards belonged to Godfrid de Millers. In 1314, William, son of John Florence, had it; in 1345, John Lytlehare and John de Bonyngton were lords; and in 1401, John Gonvile and his tenants owned it; in 1462, Humfry Bouchier Lord Cromwell, and Joan his wife, Jervace Clifton and Maud his wife, settled it on their trustees; in 1480, Sir Robert Wingfield, Knt. died seized of it, in right of his wife, the heiress, of Gonvile, as you may see in vol. i. p. 321. The manor after came to the Cleres, about 1550, and since that, belonged to the Talbot's, by purchase from Sir Edward Clere; and Tho. Talbot, Knt. came and settled at Gonvile Hall; he left it to Tho. Talbot, Esq. his son and heir, who married Anne, daughter of William Herne of Tibenham, whose son, Thomas Talbot of Gonvile Hall, lived in it in 1664, and married Jane, daughter of Sir John Mede of Lofts in Essex, Knt. by whom he had Thomas, 24 years old in 1664; he married a Flowerdew of Norwich; his brother John was a clergyman, and married a daughter of Sir Arthur Jenny of Knotshall in Suffolk, and settled at Icklingham; Thomas, son of the aforesaid Thomas Talbot, married Mary, daughter of - - - - Haws, M. D. and in 1695, bare his paternal coat, viz.
Arg. a chevron gul. between three talbots passant sab. Crest, a swan's head and neck, arg. winged and collared with a ducal crown or.
He had two sons, Thomas and John, and a daughter named Anne. This manor is said to have been given by Mr. Wright, an attorney at law in Bury, to Mr. Joshua Grigby, town clerk there, who is the present  lord. The Rev. Mr. Taylor, late vicar here, in his account of this town, says that the custom is, that every tenant that does not pay his quitrent on the court day before dinner, forfeits 2d. to be added to every shilling that he pays.
Stalworthy's Burfield, and Nothe's Manor,
Was formerly three separate manors; the first was held of the Abbot's manor, it being a parcel of it granted off by the Prior of the house; in 1284, Nigel de Stalworth lived here, and was lord of it in 1474; Thomas Crofts of Westhall in Suffolk, Esq. was buried in St. Mary's chapel in St. Andrew's church at Westhall, and gave this manor to be sold. In 1578, John Bacon of Hesset, Esq. owned it, with its members, of Bones-Magna and Parca; in 1600, Mr. Robert Blackbourn purchased it of John Bacon of Hesset, Esq. in which family it continued in a lineal descent, till Edmund Blackbourn of Windham, Gent. died, and left it to his widow, who now owns it.
Burfield Hall, belonged to the great manor, and was a part of it, given by Sir Robert de Tateshale to John de Thorp, and Alice his wife, who held it at the sixth part or a fee of Tateshale barony; in 1315, Sir John Thorp was lord; in 1472, Thomas Thorp and Agnes his wife sold it to John and Robert Yaxley, and Rob. Woodhall; in 1501, John de Overhall or Woodhall had it, and held it of Grishagh manor; in 1498, it was bought by William Lamb, who purchased Stalworthy's, and united them; in 1544, Edm. Bainard had them, who joined Nothe's free tenement to them, which had been in his family for many generations, they after came to the Bacons, and passed ever since united as they now  remain.
Windham Reginæ, or The Abbots Manor,
Was given by the founder to that house, and passed with it to its dissolution, and was granted by Henry VIII. in 1545, to Henry Earl of Surrey, at whose attainder it reverted to the Crown, and was assigned to the Princess Mary, before she came to the Crown; in 1556 King Philip and Queen Mary kept court here, from whom it came to Queen Elizabeth, who held her first court in 1558; in 1573, the Queen had the manor and rectory, and the rents were 102l. per annum; in 1622, it was assigned to Charles then Prince of Wales, afterward Charles I.; it after belonged to Philip Harbord of Besthorp, Esq. and then to Susan, his widow, who remarried to Francis Howard Baron of Effingham; it hath gone with Besthorp ever since, which you may see in vol. i. p. 500. and is now  owned by the heiress of Mr. Shaw and Mrs. Paston.
Choselee manor in Windham hath a leet, with sole jurisdiction over its own tenants, it was part of the great manor given by Will. de Albany, before 1146, with the consent of Will. Turbus Bishop of Norwich, to God and St. Mary, and the church of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, (at Burton,) and the brethren serving God there, for the souls of Stephen King of England, and Maud his Queen, and of Adeliza, or Alice, widow of King Henry I. then wife of the said William, and for their children, friends, and benefactors, living or dead, as the original grant, among the evidences of the city of Norwich, informs me; it contained six score acres of land in Windham, lying between the manor-house and the field.
Salmon, in his Roman Stations, p. 8, gives us the following account of an old chapel here:
"On the north-east side of Windham, at half a mile's distance, stands what is left of a small antient building, called Windham Chappel. The foundation is a bridge of three or four arches over a brook, running north and south, the chappel east and west. The bridge is about three foot wider than the chappel, so there is a foot way over by the chappel side, (fn. 8) which a horse too may go upon in a flood, this is thought to have been the cell of some anchoret, who lived upon the alms of passengers. Just by stands a meeting-house of the quakers, who formerly made use of the chappel, till it became ruinous, as one of the neighbours informed me. By what revolving jumble of ideas they came to fix upon hallowed ground, is to me a mistery, unless the murmuring stream did the office of an organ, and served as a vehicle to their sighs."
This is called Westwade chapel, from the little stream it stands over, and was founded by the said William, and made a cell to the lazars at Burton, who placed a master and two or three brethren to dwell here, in order to get what they could of the passengers that went by; it seems the custos was looked upon as lord of this manor, for I have seen a copy in Henry the Sixth's time, the style of which is this: Wymondham. "Curia Domus fratrum Sancti Lazari," and no mention of Burton; and when the admitting part comes, it says, "Dominus," which I suppose means the custos, and not domini to mean the brethren.
At the Dissolution it was given by Henry VIII. to John Dudley, Knt. as part of the dissolved house of Burton Lazars; in 1545, he sold it to Will. Kett, and in 1578 it belonged to the hospital of Norwich, as it still doth, the Corporation of that city being now lords.
Palgrave's or Hetherset's Manor
Was held in 1401, by John de Hethersete, of the manor of Forncet, at a quarter of a fee: it came since that to the Palgraves; in 1545, Clement Palgrave, Esq. owned it, after that, John Palgrave, Esq.; and in 1648, Sir John Palgrave, Knt. and Bart. sold it to Samuel Smith, of Norwich, Esq. Robert Willimot of Greys-Inn, Esq. and Will. Bond of London, which William, in 1667, sold it to Sarah Bispham, relict of Samuel Bispham, M. D. and her heirs, with Hetherset, and Woodhall in Hetherset. It once was owned by Mr. John Aid of Horstead, of whom Mr. Henry Smith of Coltishall, the present  lord, purchased it.
Downham Hall Manor.
At the time of the Conquest, this part of the town was a separate village or hamlet, called by the name of Hidichethorp, and was a distinct manor extending into Windham, Kimberley, and Hingham, the whole of it being then worth 30s. a year; it was seized by B. inard, who did not keep it long, before the King took it, and laid it wholly to Windham, from which time it hath always been taken as an hamlet to that parish. (fn. 9)
It soon after lost its original name, and took another, by which it hath passed ever since; [wi-dic-Dorp], signified the village at the hill, by the ditch or water, and [dun-ham], by which name it went in Henry the Second's time, is "the village on the hill," both which answer to it situation; at the foundation of the priory of Windham it was given by the founder to that house, and was afterwards assigned, with all its rents and services, to the Abbot thereof, who built a country seat or house of retirement, on the top of the hill, which is called DownhamLodge, which with the manor was assigned to the Lady Mary, after the Dissolution; but she did not enjoy it, by reason the Abbot foreseeing the approaching fate of his convent, leased it out to John Flowerdew of Hetherset, Esq. which lease did not expire till 1561, it being called in that lease Downham Hall, and Downham Hall manor; during this lease, it seems the Cottons obtained a grant of it; for in 1565, Will. Cotton and Ursula his wife conveyed the manor, site, fald-course, free-fishery, and common of pasture in Downham shifts, to Will. Thornton, and in 1573, John Thornton of Soham in Cambridgeshire, Gent. granted an annuity of 26s. 3d. out of it, to Edw. Flowerdew, in recompense for his good council and advice given him. In 1623, John Thornton, Esq. sold it to Rich. Buxton, Gent. from whom it came to the Woodhouses, in which family it continues at this day; they having left their old seat at Kimberley, and settled here, it being far the most agreeable situation. The house stands on the summit of a hill, in a most pleasant park, and commands two fine views, the western one overlooks a vale with a rivulet in the midst, a large bason of water of about 12 or 14 acres, (made by the present owner,) rendering it most delightful that way, as the fine visto doth on the other side, which commands the valley, and terminates in a most agreeable landscape towards Barford. It now  is the seat of Armine Woodhouse, Esq. one of the present members in parliament for the county of Norfolk.
Brockdish, Springwell's or Findern's Manor,
No doubt belonged to the several families, whose names it retains; in 1545, Tho. Findern of Wiclewood was lord, who was descended from the Finderns of Essex and Derbyshire; it continued a good while in that family, George Finderne was lord, and afterwards it belonged to the Duffields, and now Mr. Charles Humfrey of Norwich is lord.
Thuxton's and Beacham's
In Windham, Bunwell, and Carleton, formerly belonged to the Beauchamps, from whom it took its present name; it after belonged to Sir Philip Woodhouse, Knt. who, jointly with his trustees, sold it to Rich. Page, whose son, Will. Page, held his first court in 1587. It lately belonged to John Tallowins, after to Mr. Rob. Bullock of Hingham, and Mr. Robert Bullock, his son and heir, is now lord. I find a manor here called Wadkar in Windham, which court was held at Windham single, 37th Henry VIII. but in Philip and Mary's time, it seems to be joined to Kirkeby-Bydon or Kirby-Bedon, at which town the court was then held; in 1664, the style was thus: Witlingham, alias Wicklingham, Wadkers in Wimondham, and Kirkby-Bedon, where the court was held, so that I imagine, that Wadkers in Windham and Wicklingham, being in the same lord, were joined and kept as one court; and this is all I find of the manors here.
Was given by the founder to the prior, who got it immediately appropriated to the monastery, and it continued (all but the vicar's part) in that house till its Dissolution, and then came to the Crown, where it remained till Queen Elizabeth, by letters patent dated 27th June, in the 42d year of her reign, among other things granted in exchange to the Bishop of Ely and his successours for ever, "the rectory of Wimondham with the tithe barn, and all the tithes of the demean lands, late parcell of Wimondham priory," and ever since, it hath been held as it now is, by lease of that see. Mr. Burroughs of Windham being the present  lessee.
The vicarage was settled in 1221, the Vicar being to have half the offerings at the altar, except on the four feast days, of the Purification and Birth of the Virgin Mary, (on which days great feasts were held here, the church being dedicated to her when it was finished, and to St. Thomas Becket, (fn. 10) ) Christmas and Easter, and on them the Prior was to have the whole, the vicar was to have the wax-candle offerings, by the name of cerage, besides other small tithes, as calves, lambs, &c. all the confessions of the parishioners, and a corrody in the monastery, (in lieu of which a pension was granted at the Dissolution to the vicar,) and Walter the Archdeacon then agreed, that he and his successours would receive but one mark yearly for procurations; the vicar was to have the tithe of all corn growing in the parish, and converted into bread-corn there, by the name of lofecorn, besides other tithes, the whole of his profits being taxed at 12 marks, all which the Pope, Bishop of Norwich, and the Prior there, confirmed by their several deeds. Walter's taxation gives us this account: the rectory, with the manor, &c. is taxed at six score and six marks and an half, and the vicarage at 10 marks, Norwich Domesday gives us this account: here is a cell of monks belonging to St. Alban's monastery, to which the parish church is appropriated, together with the chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr, and the impropriation is valued at 120 marks, the vicarage at 13 marks, the vicar hath a house but no land; synodals and procurations are 3s. 4d. Peter-pence 10s. and the town pays yearly carvage to the high-altar of Norwich cathedral, by the vicar, every Whitsun week, 2s. 1d.
Walter, the first vicar. The Prior and Convent.
1280, Nigel Payn.
1290, Baldwin, the Prior's nephew.
1317, Robert Wauncy of Kingswalden; he resigned and went to Colton.
1333, Henry de Mashworth, who resigned Hapesburgh.
1349, Rich. Estrild. R.
1349, Richard, son of John Richard of Kimburley, changed in
1365, with John de Stukele, for Colton, who changed in
1388, with Thomas de Killingworth for St. Butolph in Norwich.
He was buried in the church in 1397.
1397, Tho. Praty.
1397, Rob. Wright. R.
1408, Rob. Basage, changed in
1424, with Tho. Pilecok, for Stanhawe. He died vicar.
1434, John Girding. O.
1466, Tho. Draper. O.
1479, Rob. Irby. R.
1499, Tho. Porter.
1513, John Drye, A. M. ob. 1538.
1538, Eligius Ferrers, then Abbot, was the last presented by the convent. He lies buried under the fine old monument on the south side of the altar.
1539, Henry King, S. T. P. resigned; he was installed prebend of Norwich in 1548, was rector of Great-Fraunsham in 1551, and next year of Little-Fraunsham, but was deprived of all in the beginning of Queen Mary's reign; but afterwards being reconciled, he died rector of Winterton in 1557. The Crown.
1555, Will. Wyllis. Ditto.
1556, Tho. Briggs. Lapse. Ditto.
Sir Harvy Hoping. Ditto.
Mr. Mason. Ditto.
1573, Tho. Lewger. Ditto.
1581, Anth. Carington. Ditto.
1581, John Woodfall. Ditto.
1590, Sim. Wells; he returned 1600 communicants here in 160s. Ditto.
1607, Edward Agas. The Bishop of Ely, who is now  patron, the advowson being settled on that see by Queen Elizabeth.
1629, Joshua Meen; he was born at Waybred in Suffolk.
1600, Henry Younger.
1663, John Marshall.
1666, Francis Lewes. O. He was rector of St. Mary Magdalen, Old Fish-street.
1683, Tho. Baron. O.
1686, Tho. Wright, buried in the chancel.
1691, Will. Hawys. O.
1701, George Taylor, buried in the vestry.
1737, 8 June, the Rev. Mr. Robert Cremer, A. M.  holds it united to Ashill.
This vicarge is valued in the King's Books at 10l. 14s. 4d. ob. and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 49l. 13s. 2d. is discharged of first fruits and tenths; it is there called Wymondham, alias Wyndham. It hath a vicarage house and some small parcels of glebe, given by John Westgate and Alice his wife in 1472, "to the vicar of Windham my close called Brothiways in Cakewike in Windham, that he and his successors should keep a certayn for our souls." I am informed it lies in Mr. Drake's estate, who pays the vicar the rent of it yearly At the Dissolution there was a pension paid to the vicar, of 6l. 10s. per annum, which was 5l. per annum only in 13th Elizabeth.
The Priory or Abbey.
The priory of Wimondham was founded in the time of King Henry I. by Will de Albani, Butler (fn. 11) to that King, for his own and wife's souls, and those of his father, mother, and ancestors; he endowed it with the parish church of Windham, and all the tithes and revenues whatsoever belonging to it, and gave his manor house, with the courtyard, orchards, alder-car, fisheries, and moats round the house and court-yard, and also the mill in the court, and the mill called Westwade, with 30 acres of pasture by it, the grove called Biskilmid, and the little grove at South-Wood, the wic and 10 tenants in Suthwode by the wic, as much arable land in the said town as was let at 13l. per annum, 45 acres of which laid in Northfield, 80 acres in Eastfield, and 80 acres in Silfield, with 40 tenants, and their lands, in the same town, and 18 freeholders and their services. He also granted leave to the Prior and Convent to hold their court in the said town, and to have all the amerciaments of their own tenants, whether they were amerced in his leet or in the market-court. He gave them also the tithe of his woods in Bukenham, and liberty for their swine to go there, 40s. land in Nelond, Molefen, and Brakene, the lands in Wramplingham, which Rob. Grym, Elsey, and Ribald, held, the advowson of Colton, with the lands there, with Ulf, the parson or priest, then held, with the land of Adelstan and of Colman le Kinge, the whole town of Hapisburgh, except the land of Ansgot the chamberlain, the church and the market, with all that belonged to it, namely wrec, tol, team, and other customs; two carucates of land, a faldage, mill, and 13 men in Barnham, with two parts of the tithes of his demeans in that town, all which he held of Henry I.; the church of Snetesham, with all that belonged to it, one carucate of land and a free-fald there, two parts of the tithes of all his lands, and liberty of fishing in all his fisheries, in Grimston, Flitcham, and Pikenham, all which he granted to the Prior, and Convent of St. Mary at Windham, of his own foundation, free from all custom and secular service; he also ordered, that whenever the priory was void, the monks of Windham should elect a new prior, one of their own convent, and present him to their founder, who should not refuse to confirm him, unless he could shew a sufficient cause; the founder also made it subordinate to St. Alban's, and ordered that whenever the Abbot of St. Alban's came to Wimondham, he should be honourably entertained, and as a token of their dependency as a cell to St. Alban's, the Prior of Windham was to pay one mark of silver on the chief festival of St. Alban the Martyr, to that Abbot; and whereas Richard Abbot of St. Alban's, and the chapter there, had given him leave to found an abbey, which he had only made a priory, he ordered that if ever he himself made it an abbey, or the King, or any of his successours, that the Abbot should be chosen out of the monks of Windham, and that then it should be an independent abbey, free from the mark a year and all other acknowledgments: and the Abbot agreed, that it might be made an abbey whenever he pleased; Roger Bygot, Ingulf de Morley, Ingulf Prior of Norwich, Stephen Prior of Thetford, Alward de Wimundham, and Richard his son, Edric de Wymundham, Morell de Morley, and many others were witnesses; afterwards, the founder, at the burial of his wife Maud, (fn. 12) daughter of Roger Bigot, for her soul, and those of Henry King of England, and Adeliza his wife, for the souls of William Rufus his father, and Maud his wife, and their ancestors, and also for the souls of Roger Bigod, and Ebrard Bishop of Norwich, confirmed all Hapisburgh whatsoever, church and all, except Ansgot the chamberlain's land, and a hamlet called Eccles, and this he did because it was of her inheritance, and he gave the convent possession on her burial day, by delivering them a cross of silver for their use, in which were many precious relicks, as pieces of the wood of the holy cross, of the manger our Lord laid in, of the holy sepulchre, and also his gold ring, and a silver cup in shape of a sphere, of excellent workmanship, for to keep the holy eucharist in, all which he offered upon the altar by the hands of Bishop Ebrard, just at the end of the Letany, and as the Bishop was going to celebrate mass for his wife's soul: Nigel Prior of Windham, Ingulf Prior of Norwich, Stephen Prior of Thetford, Hugh Prior of Acre, and William, Luke, Wibert, Gregory, Thomas, John, Silvester, Paulinus, Florentius, Hugh, Eudo, and Stephen, then monks of Windham, (fn. 13) Jeffry de Morley, and many others; and the same time, William de Cruciona or Curson gave them 20 acres of land and all his tithes of Stanfield in Windham, in the presence of Alice Bigot, mother of the deceased, Agnes de Beaufoe, and Almund, her daughter, and others.
Henry I. King of England, the foundation being completed, confirmed to God, and St. Alban, and the church of St. Mary in Windham, all the gifts of William de Albani, his Butler, with these that he gave, besides what is aforementioned, viz. all his tenants that he held of the Earl Warren in Windham, 40s. land in Hahilla or Hethill, a marsh in Redham, a rent of 2000 eels a year from Elingeya or Helgay, all wrec from the division on the coast between Eccles and Happisburgh, all along west to the division, between the hundred of Happisburgh, (now contracted into Happing,) and Tunstede, two parts of the tithes of his demeans in Congham and Rising; beside this, the King, by virtue of his royal prerogative, granted them liberty of soc and sac, tol and theam, infangethef, utfangethef, flemensfermthe, blodwyt, forestal, danield, wrec, murdre, and all forfeitures for murder, with liberty for all the convent's tenants to buy and sell, in all cities and places that had not then charters granted to the contrary, all things toll-free: he also granted that none of his officers should enter or intermeddle in any of the convent's lands, or with any of their tenants, unless with their consent, but that the Prior should have his own officers, who should keep his liberties, without any disturbance from the King's. Soon after this, the founder, to augment his convent, gave the great wood in Windham, called South-Wood, and the meadow and lands before the church-doors, that the monks might not be molested, serving God in the church, by the noise of passengers, for which reason also, he obtained the King's license, and changed the highway, which before laid close by the church, and turned it by his own house.
Will. de Albani, grandson to the founder, confirmed all the aforesaid gifts, with those of William Earl of Arundel, his father, viz. liberty of fishing one day and one night in all his moats and new fisheries made by his house, namely, the day and night before the anniversary of his grandfather, their founder, unless they liked it better at another time; the land of Richard, son of Adam de Dunham, the land of Bonda and Oschetel in Branteslund, the land of Richard, son of Ansgot the chamberlain, in Windham, and Hapesburgh, 3 acres in Popiland of the fee of Reginald the Forrester, Godsacre in the same furlong, of the gift of Nigel Rustendene or Rusteyn, with common of pasture, and land in Teldebote's, Smethe or Smee, 6d. yearly rent in the burgh of Bukenham, of the gift of Alexander the Cook, and the advowson of the church of Besthorp, which his father gave them, for the souls aforesaid, and in particular for the soul of Lady Agatha, daughter of Ralf, son of Saveric; the furlong called Sparrwestoft in Besthorp, which Robert de Brathwant gave them, 7 acres which Robert his son gave them, 40s. land in Nelond, Molfen, and Binchene, which his grandmother gave, the tenement which John and Luke his sons held in Kerebroc or Carbrook; he gave them two carucates of land in demean, a mill, faldage, and manor, with two parts of the tithes of his demeans in Buruh or Burgh, which were his grandfather's; Richard Noth gave them a saltpit, and 2s. rent in Utthuna or Wotton, by Lyn; Roger de Verly gave them an acre in Pykenham, and 11 acres in Redeham, besides the fen, all which he confirmed to them, with the advowson of North Wotton, in the presence of Godfry, his brother, Roger Bigot, and others.
It being thus endowed, the Abbot of St. Alban's began, after the founder's death, to extend his jurisdiction so far over it, as to take the confirmation of the prior elect to himself, and about 1300, to present a prior to it, to be confirmed by the Bishop of Norwich, and mostly the monks of St. Alban's contrary to the foundation, were admitted priors on their Abbot's presentation, much against the minds of the true patrons of the priory, and thus it continued till 1448, when it was erected into an independant abbey on the following occasion, as Mr. Weaver relates it at fo. 809.
John, the seventh of that christian name, Abbot of St. Alban's, could not endure a certain monk of the house, whom he had made archdeacon, whose name was Stephen London, because he would tell him of his faults; therefore, to be rid of his company, his admonishments being distasteful, he persuades the archdeacon to take upon him the charge of the priory of Windham, then void of a prior, the archdeacon accepts of it, and was admitted prior by the Bishop of Norwich, in 1446, and being a worthy man, pleased both his flock, and Sir Andrew Ogard, Knt. his founder, very well, which more displeased the Abbot, who within one year sent express commandment, to discharge him of him priorship, which was hainously taken by himself and his patron, insomuch that in 1447 the Prior and Sir Andrew petitioned the King, that they might have his license to obtain a bull from the Pope, to erect it into an abbey, and set forth that the founder, William de Albany, had reserved liberty in the foundation deed, for the King and the patron or founder, to do so at any time; he complained also, that the Abbots of St. Alban had presented monks of St. Alban, contrary to the founder's intention, which tied the priorship to the monks of Windham's own election out of their own number; and it appearing true, the King licensed Sir Andrew to procure a bull for it, which he did from Pope Nicholas V. in 1448, by which it was made an independent abbey, Steph. London, then Prior, was made the first abbot, all the future abbots, according to the foundation, being to be elected out of Windham monks, unless all consented to the contrary, and to be admitted as the priors were, by the Bishop of Norwich, and presented to the founder or patron, who could not refuse any, unless for notorious crimes: and thus it became an abbey, and continued so to its Dissolution; its whole revenues being then rated, according to Speed, at 72l. 5s. 4d. and according to Dugdale, at 211l. 16s. 6d. per annum. It was founded in 1130, for in that year the founder appointed to the first prior. All the manors and lands of this monastery enjoyed the liberties of St. Alban's till its erection into an abbey, and then it enjoyed them in its own right. The Register of St. Alban's says, that it was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Alban, and was a Cell of black monks, belonging to St. Alban's; the abbots of which monastery had continual contests about the patronage of it.
In the time of Abbot Robert, and of William de Albani Earl of Arundel, son of the founder, Ralf de Nuers, a man very religious, and of a good character, though too passionate, was Prior of Windham: in his time the men and tenants of Hapisburgh, which belonged to that priory, refused to pay their dues and services to the Prior, upon which, he takes all the convent's servants, and went thither, with a design to oblige them to it, but they resisted him to his face, which so urged him, that he called the Earl's servants to his assistance, who broke open the tenant's doors, bound some of them, and as a seizure for the Prior's dues, carried off the goods of the Prior's tenants; upon this, the tenants taking the broken locks, &c. go to St. Alban's, and there complain to the Abbot, as their superiour lord, of the Prior and the Earl's servants, who finding themselves led into such difficulty, immediately turned their rage against the Prior, who had led them into it, and said that the Prior had persuaded them to do it in the Earl's name: the Abbot considering it a difficult matter, resolved to come to Windham, to make out the truth, but when he was about eight miles off, the Prior and monks met him, and told him, the Earl's officer and servants were ready to resist his entering into the church or monastery, upon which the Abbot designed to go to Norwich, and send a messenger to the Earl, to know whether it was by his order; but one of the young monks said, it was better to go and see first if it was so, because there was no ground for such a message if it proved otherwise; but as they went along, a messenger came to tell them, the Abbot's cook, who was gone before to prepare a supper for him, had his horse taken from him, upon which the monks rode, and recovered the horse from the person that had taken him, and they and the Abbot hastened to the town, and at the convent's outward gates a great number met him, calling out that they received him both as their spiritual and temporal lord also, following him to the churchyard gate, and there Roger de Millers, the Earl's officer, and many of his attendants, hindered the Abbot's entering, whom the Abbot knowing, says to him, "You know that I am Abbot of St. Alban's, and when I took that office, I took also the care of this place, which is a daughter or cell to it," and so spurring his horse, he went through the whole company without any resistance; but as the Abbot came from church, Roger and his company entreated him to return, and not provoke the Earl, who was exceedingly angry already, upon which the Abbot was prevailed upon to send messengers to the Earl, namely, the Prior, Richard de St. Clare, and Henry de Gorham, the Abbot's uncle, who brought word the Earl would meet the Abbot on such a day at Burnham, on which day they met, and the Abbot told him that the cause of his coming was on the complaint of the tenants of Windham and Happisburgh, whom his servants had oppressed and spoiled, and claimed his right so to do, from the Earl's father's grant, and said he visited once a year, and staid as visitor as long as he pleased: the Earl answered, he had nothing to do there, neither did the affair concern him at all, he having no right by his father's grant but for a mark a year, and good entertainment only once a year when he visited his cell at Binham, and that only one night in going and one night in returning, so that he had not above 13 horsemen with him; to this the Abbot said, that he created the present Prior, and what right he had, he held from him; and the Prior in presence acknowledged it so; the Abbot also said, that Richard Abbot of St. Alban's had the visitation, and was not confined to nights nor days, nor number, but came and went as he pleased, and received the mark a year as a token of subjection, and visited it as often as he would; upon which the Earl, in a great passion, rose up and told him, as long as he had a knight's girdle on, he would not suffer that to be, which never was before, and so departed, and the Abbot went again to Windham, and resolved to go to Hapesburgh to make out the truth; upon this the Earl sends a large posse of men thither, charging them not to suffer him to enter the house belonging to the monastery, and swore them to oppose the Abbot all ways to the utmost, which they did, for which the Abbot cited the Earl to Northampton, where he appeared, and promised to make him amends to his liking at Windham, for that violence, upon which the Abbot, by the justices leave, came again to Windham, but the Earl deceived him, and was again cited before the justices at London, but nothing was done; but at length, by the interposition of great men, they agreed, and the Abbot gave the Earl 40 marks to confirm all his father's gifts, which he did, except the church of Rising and some portions of tithes, which, though in the King's confirmation, were never enjoyed by the monastery; notwithstanding which, the Earl was not yet inwardly contented, as he had no reason to be; for now they got from him the power of confirming the Prior, and so they sent monks of St. Alban's for Priors, and recalled them at pleasure. After this, the Abbot, desirous of having the sole authority over the monastery of Windham, and all that belonged to it, quarrelled with Thomas Bishop of Norwich, being desirous that the Priors of Windham and Binham should not be subject to him, or yield any obedience to his episcopal authority, and pleaded such exemption for all that belonged to St. Alban's, but at last there was a composition made between the Bishop and Abbot, that they should yield all reverence and episcopal obedience to the Bishop, in relation to their parish churches and vicarages, and the Priors of Binham and Windham, for the future, should be presented to the Bishop, and perform their canonical obedience, and come to the Bishop's synod, or send their proctors, or have their letters of ex cuse allowed, and shall sit among the other priors in their riding habits, in their caps and spurs; all the vicars of their parish churches shall be instituted by the Bishop, viz. the vicars of Windham, Snetesham, Binham, Darsingham, and Hapisburg: the Abbot also agrees, that the visitation of these churches shall not hereafter belong to the Bishop, but that they pay him annually, in lieu thereof, 20s. for the priory of Binham, and 40s. for the priory of Windham; (fn. 14) the Abbot reserves power, as before, to elect the priors, remove the monks, and do every thing in the priories exclusive of the Bishop, according to the rule of the order of St. Bennet: this agreement was dated in St. Paul's church in London, in 1228, and from this time the town of Windham, as to all spiritual jurisdiction of the monks and all their tenants, became exempt from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Norwich, and the probate of their wills, &c. all belonged to the priory, as a member of St. Alban's: after this, in 1450, the whole of the inhabitants claimed exemption from the Bishop, and alleged this 40s. paid by the Prior to include all of them, but it being otherwise, they were glad to compound in the following manner, that the Bishop should have all the spiritual jurisdiction over them, but should appoint an official, who should live and exercise it in the town, and that none should be compelled to go to the court at Norwich, unless they were accused of heresy, necromancy, &c. and that every Bishop should hold his visitation there every seven years, according to custom, (fn. 15) without any molestation. It seems the convent had been some time designing to bring this on the anvil, for in 1419, when the Bishop went through Windham, they would not ring, or the Prior would not let them, least it should be owning their obedience to the Bishop, but the Bishop understanding it, it being a parochial church, prosecuted them, and interdicted the church, upon which Sir John Beverich, and three chaplains more, and four of the chief parishioners, were obliged to appear at his great chapel in his palace at Norwich, and submit to him, and perform their pennance, before they could get off the interdict.
There was also another controversy between the Abbot of St. Alban's, the Priors of Windham and Binham, and the Archdeacon of Norfolk, which was carried so high, that the parties appealed to Rome, and in June, 1249, Innocent IV. made this final determination, that notwithstanding all the privileges and spiritual jurisdiction that the Popes and Kings had granted to St. Alban's, the Archdeacon's jurisdiction over the parish church, vicar, and parishioners, was not injured, it appearing that they had it only to their abbey and cells, of which this was no part, for though the quire and church were used in common, they for their daily service had a passage from the monastery, and the parishioners had another from the common street, and used it as a parochial church, and as such it was for ever subjected to the Archdeacon's jurisdiction, with all the other churches belonging to Windham and Binham, and though they proved they had recovered against the Dean of Waxham, for exercising his jurisdiction in the church of Hapisburgh, it was of no moment, but set aside; and upon this, the Archdeacon having recovered the sole jurisdiction over the church and all the parishioners, named a resident official here, to exercise his jurisdiction continually, as all his successours ever did: Walter de London, who was then Archdeacon, was also the Pope's chaplain, and by his interest in that court, came off so well; after this, the monks being uneasy with the visitation, agreed with the inhabitants, and took the choir, two transept chapels and steeple, to themselves, and assigned the nave or body of the church, and the north isle, to the parish, which continued ever after.
After this, Isabell de Albany Countess of Arundel attacks the Abbot of St. Alban's, and claims the sole power of confirming the Prior of Windham, according to the founder's charter; and at the death of William de St. Alban, Prior there, which happened in 1262, she claimed the presentation, and sued for it at Rome; but in Oct. 1264, she compounded with the Abbot of St. Alban's, on condition he made William de Horton, a monk of St. Alban's, prior, which he did, and for the future, the Countess and her heirs, on every vacancy, should name two monks of St. Alban's, one of which the Abbot should present to the Bishop, and thus this also ended; but when Sir Robert de Tatehale came to be patron, hearing the Abbot of St. Alban's designed to visit it, he entered the monastery, and shut up the quire doors, and all its gates, and would let nobody out or in, or suffer the Prior to meet the Abbot, or acknowledge he had any thing to do there, alleging that they had forfeited all their right there, if they had any, by reason that John de Berkhamstede, Abbot of St. Alban's, had refused to deliver him a certain quantity of bread and ale from the convent, which they were obliged to do, having always done it to his ancestors, that is to say, four loaves and four flaggons of ale, every day, whenever he comes to his manor of Windham, which the said Abbot, fearing his power, granted to him and his heirs, after which he was honourably received at Windham; John Abbot of St. Alban's succeeded, who had suffered this payment, (which was estimated to come to about 8l. per annum,) to be unpaid, for which reason, at the death of Adam Polein Prior of Windham, in 1303, the King's escheator seized and took possession of the monastery, set a guard at the gates, summoned the whole homage of the priory manor, the next day, to do their homage, but the Prior not being buried, it was respited; and after, upon the tenants refusing to do it, it being not customary, their goods were seized and detained, and all on pretence that Robert de Tateshale, heir of Sir Robert de Tateshale, was a minor, and in the King's custody, and injured by the non-payment of bread and ale, and that a Prior could not be presented; but the Abbot of St. Alban's sent, with the King's consent, John de Stevenache to be Prior, who was received as such, and all the tenants goods returned; but by such means as these, he found his convent in debt 1600 marks. Walter de Gloucester was escheator beyond Trent, and Will. de Curson sub-escheator for Norfolk; soon after, the Prior, for 245l. assigned to John Leche of Egmere, (rector of Massingham,) the manor of Hindringham, called Parnow Hall, and the tenement which was John de Brunham's, late parson of Wodedalling, Hindringham, and Burnham. After this, the Bishop of Norwich being made general collector of the subsidy, granted by the clergy in 1380, made the Prior of Windham one of the deputy collectors, which occasioned long contests, the Abbot of St. Alban's insisting on his being exempt by their privileges, and got the better of the Bishop, Richard II. in the fourth year of his reign, granting the Abbot and his cells exemption from being collectors or assessors of any subsidies.
Other benefactors that I have met with to this monastery, are, Robert de Rusteyng, who gave them a marsh in Snetesham, called Nothere, and 40 acres in Sharnbourn, of the fee of Nich. de Sharnbourne, for his own, and Aldred his wife's soul, and those of the Albanies his lords.
Ralf de Verli gave them many lands in Snetesham.
Donatus Prior of Windham granted to Alan, son of Robert de Snetesham, 5 acres of the demeans of Windham convent in Snetesham, and 6 acres there, which Cecily de Verli gave to that monastery, and one acre which the said Alan purchased, of the fee of Roger de Pavely, all which, Alan was to have for ever, paying 28d. per annum to the priory; the witnesses were, Robert, son of Richard of Windham, Samson the sub-prior, Benet the monk, Aluered the chaplain, Roger the deacon, Nigel the butler, Reginald the cook, Herbert the ostiler, Jeffry the chamberlain of Windham, and many others.
Will. le Veuter of Burnham gave 6 acres in Burnham.
Hugh Earl of Arundel gave a windmill, house, and two acres in Barwick, with the church of Berwic.
Isolda, daughter of Alured or Ailward de Plesseto, gave them 60 acres and an half in Besthorp, with her body to be buried at Windham, and lands in Atleburgh and Finebergh, with the consent of William de Arderne, her son.
In 1256, Ralf son of Will. de Bukenham, and Hugh Beaufoe, gave William Prior of Windham the advowson of Newton, in exchange for lands in South-Wotton.
Will. de Alneto or Alney gave land in Flitcham.
Roger de Verli gave lands in Pykenham.
Mathew Peverel and Alice his wife gave them tenants and their services in Melton, with other lands, Roger de Hereford, Jeffry Clerk, Hugh Noble, and Richard, son of Ribald, gave lands there.
Reginald de Montcorbin, and Ralf, gave them lands in Wiclewood.
Geffry, son of Eudo, gave land in Nelond, Roger Malherbe of Tacolneston gave lands there.
William, son of Walter, and Waryn, son of Ralf of Wramplingham, gave lands in Wramplingham.
William, son of William de Albani, the founder, gave them the chapel of St Thomas the Martyr in Windham, which he had founded.
Rob. de Baveut gave land and part of the church of Besthorp.
The church of Congham was of the gift of Adam, son of Alverede or Alured.
Ansketill de Stanfield gave 30 acres in Windham.
Will. de Uvedale gave Will. Palmer and his tenement.
They had half a mark rent of the gift of Roger Rosai of Elingham, and of Ralf Bainard.
Eustace de Riflei, William, son of Odard, Fitz-Walter, &c. gave lands in Wiclewood.
Hugh, son of Alward, Hugh, son of Ulf, Richard de Dunham, and Reginald de Montcorbin, gave land in Ketringham, of Anschetill's fee.
Rob. Fulcher gave land in Fritton.
Baldwin, son of Eudo, gave land by Thorp park.
Matthew Peverel's mother gave lands in Brakene.
Hodierne and Richard Noth gave land in Witton.
Eudo de Melles gave 10 acres in Besthorp; most of these were given before 1182.
King Stephen granted the Prior a three-day fair in Windham, viz. on the eve, day, and morrow of the nativity of the Virgin Mary, and also confirmation of the market there.
Rich. Fitz-Hammon gave lands in Snetesham.
Will. Earl of Arundel granted them to be toll-free in Lyn, and all other his market towns.
Adam, son of Alvered, gave lands in Carleton.
Rob. de Carleton-Rode gave lands in Stanfield.
Will. Curson gave lands in Ketringham.
Will. Bloet gave lands in Ormersbei and Depedale.
In 1249, the Priors of Windham and Penteny agreed to divide the tithes of Sir Richard Curson's sheep, feeding in Windham and Ketringham, Sir Rich. Curson being witness.
Cecily, daughter of Odard de Snetesham, gave them lands there.
Roger de Rustein gave them a mill there.
Sir Robert Tharum, Knt. and Estace de Bavent, gave lands in Sharnborn and Snetesham, with all the heath, his lord, the third Earl of Arundell, gave them in Swangey, with a marsh and 200 sheep, for which the monks were obliged to find a chaplain in St. Mary's church at Snetesham, at the altar of St. James there, to pray for him and his family.
John de Ferthington granted to Rich. Noth, son of Gilbert de Kimburle, lands in South-Wotton, and common pasture for 100 sheep, and he gave them with all his lands in South, and North-Wotton, and Geywood, to the Prior.
Thomas, son of Thomas de Ingaldesthorp, gave them 27 acres of land in Sharnbourne.
The Prior of Langley agreed to pay this prior 24s. per annum for Peche's marsh, which they had of the gift of Robert Fitz-Roger.
Balderic of Taverham, son of William, son of Alexander de Drayton, gave lands in Kesewic and Drayton.
John, son of Robert le Mason of Norwich, gave them the advowson of the church of St. Bartholomew in Berstrete in Norwich, and the official of Will. de Raleigh Bishop of Norwich confirmed it to them.
Stephen de Camois gave them a windmill in Flokethorp, with the site and suit, saving to himself the grinding for his family, and the tithe to the church of St. George of Hardyngham.
The Prior and Bishop granted leave to Sir Rich. Curson, Knt. to have a chapel and chaplain in his house at Stanfield, in Windham, on condition it was no way detrimental to the mother-church.
In 1251, Walter the Archdeacon gave the vicar an acknowledgement that he would receive only a mark a year from his vicarage, for procurations.
Edward I. granted the Prior free-warren in all his lands, manors, and demeans by charter dated at Carnarvon, in the 12th year of his reign, and particularly in Windham, Hapisburg, Snetesham, Bury, the Wotton's, Widewood, Cringlethorp, Carleton, Wramplingham, Riston, and Sharnborn.
The Prior agreed with Walter parson of Grimston to receive a pension of 40s. per annum, in lieu of all tithes due to him, out of the ancient demean lands of the Earl of Arundel, in 1242.
The rector of Melton St. Mary paid 6d. a year for a portion of tithe corn.
In 1308, Reginald Bone aliened lands here and in Hippisburgh to the Prior.
In 1314, Thomas de Cailli gave a messuage and 13 acres in Windham.
These are the chief of the benefactors that I have met with, though doubt not but most of the noble families that were patrons were benefactors also.
The whole of their spirituals in Windham were taxed at 80 marks in 1423, and their temporals there at 13l. 4s. 9d.; their whole spirituals in Norfolk were taxed at 170l. 10s. per annum, and their temporals at 152l. 16s. 1d. q. so that they were taxed for both spirituals and temporals in Norfolk, at 323l. 6s. 1d. q.
After the Dissolution, the site, &c. with Windham abbey manor, was given, in 1545, to Thomas Howard Earl of Surrey, during the life of Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, his father, if the Earl so long lived, paying into the Court of Augmentations 9l. 7s. 7d. a year. It came after to the Crown, belonged to Queen Mary, and was granted by Queen Elizabeth, in 1564, to Walter Haddon, to be held by the fee-farm of 11l. 9s. 8d. per annum. In 1574, it belonged to Sir Henry Cobham, Knt. and Anne his wife, late wife of Walter Haddon, Master of the Requests, who sold it that year to Edward Flowerdew, serjeant at law, it being then in the occupation of him, and William Knight, alias Kett; this Edward died seized of it, being then one of the Barons of the Exchequer, and left it to his brother and heir, John Flowerdew, Esq. who left it to John Flowerdew, Gent. who died in 1587, and left it to Edward Flowerdew, his son and heir, above seven years old, since which time it came to the Cleres, and have passed with the manor ever since.
In 1130, Nigel, the first prior, was nominated by the founder, and installed accordingly.
1136, Alexius was prior.
1160, Ralf de Nuers, was a monk of St. Alban's, and the first cho sen and presented by that abbot.
Donatus. Sampson was then sub-prior.
1200, Ralf de Dunstable.
1210, Ralf de Stanham, presented by William de Gisney Governour of Montjoy priory, by leave of the Abbot of St. Alban's, and the founder.
1215, Alexander de Langley.
1217, Ralf de Whiteby, formerly prior of their cell at Whiteby, where he was sent again, and died there after he was recalled from hence. Upon his revocation the Abbot preferred
William de Fescham, whom the Earl of Arundel, patron of the house, deservedly refused, and
Thomas Medicus, or the physician, who travelled into the Holy Land in pilgrimage with the Earl's father, and brought back his dead body to the monastery, was made prior, about 1224.
1257, William of St. Alban's; he died on St. Gregorie's day, 1262, and is buried in the choir here.
1264, William de Hortone. The Abbot of St. Alban's, at the founder's request. He is buried here.
William de Waltham, was chosen by the Abbot of St. Alban's, it being agreed, that the patron or founder should always nominate two monks of St. Alban's to the abbot, who should present which he pleased to the Bishop of Norwich, to perform canonical obedience.
Roger de Here or Hare.
1286, Adam Poleyn or Pulleyn. He died on Christmas day 1303, and is buried here.
1303, John de Stevenache, the Abbot, with the King's consent, the patron being a minor.
1317, Brother John de Hurlee. Hugh Abbot of St. Alban's.
1334, Brother Richard de Hethersete. Ric. Abbot of St. Alban's.
1347, Brother Henry de Stukeley.
1368, Brother Nic. de Radcliff, S. T. P.
1380, Brother Will. Killingworth, Archdeacon of St. Alban's.
1394, Brother Tho. Walsingham.
1400, Brother John Savage.
1405, Brother Will. Boydon; he resigned.
1416, Brother John Isham.
1420, Brother Will. Alnwyk; he soon resigned, and was afterwards Bishop of Norwich.
1420, Brother Will. Boydon, again.
1425, Brother John Hatfield, Dr. in the decrees.
1437, Brother Peter Waleys, or Wallis.
1446, Brother Stephen London, S. T. P. who, in
1448, became the first Abbot.
Brother William Bokenham was first a monk of Norwich, then Prior of their cell at Yarmouth, and in 1466, Abbot here, at London's death: he was elected by the monks, as all the abbots were, they were obliged to choose one of their own monks, and present him to their patron, who could not refuse him without plain cause so to do; it seems the monks and patron agreed to elect him, or else he could not have been abbot, not being a monk here.
1471, Brother John Kertelyng.
1502, Brother John.
1511, Tho. Chandeler, a monk of St. Faith's.
1514, Tho. Chamberlain.
1517, John Bransforth, S. T. P.
1520, The Right Rev. Father in God, John Lord Bishop of Lechlin in Ireland.
1526, William Castleton, who resigned this for the priory of Norwich, of which he was prior at the Dissolution, and the first dean.
1532, Eligius or Elisha Ferrars, D. D. was the last Abbot; he was after the Dissolution Archdeacon of Suffolk, Prebend of Norwich, and dying in 1548, lies buried under the old monument in the south wall, in the altar rails in Windham church, but it hath no arms nor inscription. In 1534, this Abbot, Tho. Lyn, Edmund Shawe, precentor, and eight other monks, subscribed to the supremacy, and at the Dissolution, the Abbot had a pension of 66l. 13s. 4d. assigned him.
At the Dissolution, it appears, this monastery was found to be in a regular state, there being no crimes laid to the charge of the Abbot or any of the monks, except four, which they pretended owned themselves incontinent, viz. Tho. Lynne, Rich. Cambridge, Robert Colchester and John Wyncham. In 1555, there remained the following fees, pensions, and annuities, payable out of the revenues of the dissolved monastery, viz. to Richard Hoo, auditor 13s. 4d. per annum fee.
Annuities, to George Ferrers 40s. Tho. Carewe 3l. 6s. 8d. Robert Agas 40s.
Pensions, to Thomas Essex 6l. per annum; Robert Cornwall 40s.; John Beeston 4l. 13s. 4d.; John Borroughs 40s.; Robert Burey 5l. 6s. 8d.
The Founder of the monastery, at the foundation, had his seat or manor-house by the stream that runs southward of the church, all which he gave to the monks, who inhabited in it while the monastery was building, the Earl removing his seat to another place north-west of the church; it seems he pulled down the old parish church, and in its place built the present one, with the quire, which is now in ruins; it was at first in shape of a cross, and consisted of a quire or chancel, with the chapel of our Lady on the north side of it, a tower at the west end between the nave and chancel, which is still called the abbey steeple, a nave, north isle, and south isle, over which, till the Dissolution, the monks lodgings were joined to the south side of the church, the two transepts or cross chapels made the cross, that on the north side was the chapel of St. Margaret, and that on the south side the chapel of St. Andrew, and the abbey vestry; the monastery itself was a large square court, the church making its north side, and the high wall or gable, now standing on the east side, was the chapterhouse; when it was demolished the south isle of the church, which was leaded, was demolished also, but the King gave them ground out of the site, to make the present south isle on, viz, 80 feet in length, and 28 in breadth, the old isle being only 11 feet broad.
In the 31st year of King Henry VIII. the parishioners and inhabitants of the town, desirous to save their noble church from destruction, petitioned the King to have the following parts of the church, which was to be destroyed by the late Act, as belonging to the monastry, granted to them they paying for the bells, lead, &c. according to their value.
First, the abbey steeple as it stands, with the bells as they hang, giving weight for weight for the bells, the lead being 21 foot broad, and as much long, contains at 20 feet square to each fodder, one fodder 16 feet.
The vestry belonging to the abbey with all the right-up isle on the south side of the steeple and parish church, to the cross isle, the lead being 44 feet long and 11 broad.
The monks lodgings builded over the south isle of the parish church, 76 feet long, and 11 broad, all leaded.
The chapel of St. Margaret on the north side of the abbey steeple, the lead being 28 feet long, and 21 broad.
The choir and our Lady's chapel, with all the whole work as it standeth, to be taken down at pleasure, the lead 68 feet long, and 30 broad.
Item, the whole chapel of Bishop Becket, standing in the midst of the town, with two little bells there hanging, to give warning to the people of every chance of fire, or other sudden business happening, the lead being 71 feet long, and 30 broad.
The whole being 17 fodder, and 31 feet lead, all which the inhabitants paid the King for, at the rate of 4l. the fodder, and the King gave them the timber-work of the roof of the chapter-house, within the late abbey, with such stone, glass, and old windows there, as shall be fit for the building of the new isle.
By this it appears, that the tower and bells at the west end, the nave, north isle, north porch, and vestry over it, with the land on the north side, now the present churchyard, at that time solely belonged to the parish, whose good intent (though they paid the money) was frustrated by Serjeant Flowerdew, who stript the south isle, and abbey vestry, and all the lodgings, the town vestry, and part of the abbey steeple, of all its lead, and carried away all the freestone from the south cross isle, the chapel of our Lady, and the quire, (which he demolished in a good measure,) and all the freestone from the foundation of a wall that was set by the inhabitants between the rest of the abbey ground, and the ground given by the King's Majesty to enlarge the parish church; and thus the choir being demolished and the beauty spoiled, the inhabitants pulled down the rest, and new built the present south isle; but this very thing was in a great measure the beginning of the rebellion, for the Ketts, who were chiefly concerned in the purchase, and were very desirous to save the church, being at that time principal inhabitants here, never forgave Flowerdew, but endeavoured to do him and his family ail the prejudice imaginable ever after.
The east part of the nave was now made the chancel, the repairs of which the impropriation bears; and in 1573, Queen Elizabeth allowed the inhabitants a large sum to repair the chancel; and at that time the three windows and wall on the north side of the nave, now the chancel, were rebuilt, and these letters, R. E. ANNO 1573, set thereon, to denote Regina Elizabetha.
The site of the abbey contained 33 acres, the old wall at the west end of the tower was part of the charnel-house, which with Becket's chapel, the abbey steeple, St. Margaret's chapel, the south cross isle, and vestry, with St. Mary's, chapel, were granted to Connell and Pistor, as concealed lands, but to no purpose, the inhabitants shewing they had a grant of them already.
After the inhabitants, by agreement with the Prior, had quitted their common right in the quite, and had the nave and north isle appropriated to them, for a parish church, not liking to have no other bells for their parish use, but them in the abbey steeple belonging to the monks, they began to raise contributions, with consent of the lord of the town, to erect a tower at the west end of the church, and what by contributions, and legacies given by persons that died here in 1410, they took down a porch at the west end of the gable, and began the foundation of the noble tower which is now standing there, it being no less than 56 yards high: upon this, the prior and monks indict the townsmen for breaking the porch and wall, and erecting a tower and three bells, and for stopping up the door between the nave and chancel, alleging that the church and all was theirs, and that the townsmen ought to come there at the sound of the abbey bells: this made great confusion, which lasted about a year, and then Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury came hither, in his metropolitical visitation, and settled the matter between them, licensing the townsmen to build their tower and hang what bells they pleased in it, on condition they never rang them to disturb the monks, that is to say, before 6 in the morning, nor after 6 at night, it being their resting time, and that in the day-time they should be rung for divine service, or the dead only, unless on Christmas day, Easter day, at the coming of the King, Archbishop, or Bishop, or in case of any publick enemies, thieves, fire, or robbery: upon this, Sir John Clifton, Knt. sets about the work, and with the assistance of many benefactors, not only builds the tower, but the top part of the whole nave, as the arms cut on the outside of the north windows show us.
On the first window westward, is a mitre and crown, to show the regal and episcopal jurisdiction over the church, and that it was not an exempt of the monks.
On the second, is Sir John Clifton's arms, and those of Ufford Earl of Suffolk.
On the third, the arms of Nevile and Shelton.
On the fourth, the arms of Caily, and a saltier with cords cross it at each corner.
On the fifth, the symbols of the Trinity and the Passion.
On the sixth, the cross swords and cross keys, for St. Paul and St. Peter, to denote the Pope's supremacy.
On the seventh, the crown and mitre as before; and the other three windows were rebuilt by Queen Elizabeth, as hath been observed.
Over the west door of the tower, which hath five large bells and a clock in it, are three shields.
Sir John Clifton quartering Caily, impaling Thorp, viz. az. three crescents arg. the arms of Joan his wife; (see vol. i. p. 377) the crest is a plume of feathers. The other coats are:
A star of eight points impaling nebulee.
A bend quartering chequy, made as I take it, though not exactly done, for Cromwell and Tatshall.
It was a long time before it was finished, and the bells hung, viz. from 1410, to 1476. In 1461, Nicholas Dote gave 6s. 8d. In 1464, Will. Cobald, chaplain, gave 5l. towards the building it, by his will. In 1468, John Langforth of Windham was buried in the church, and gave 20s. to the tower. In 1472, John Westgate gave 5 marks. In 1473, John, the Official of the Bishop, was buried in the church, and gave 13s. 4d. to the tower.
At the Dissolution there were divers gilds well endowed with lands and tenements, held in this church, viz.
Of the Holy Trinity, which gild had a gild-hall at Spooner-Row, and is sometimes called Spooner Rowe gild.
Of St. Peter of Sutton, to which Aveline Bird gave 8 acres of land.
Of our Lady at her altar in her chapel here, which gild kept a light before her image in her chapel, called our Lady's Light.
The gild of St. Margaret kept at her altar in her chapel.
The gild of St. Andrew, at his altar in his chapel, where there was a new rood-loft erected in 1497.
Watlefield gild, or brotherhood of St. Thomas, kept at his altar in this church, and sometimes in his chapel in the middle of the town, and is sometimes called Middleton Gild.
The gild of the Holy Cross.
Of St. John Baptist.
Of St. George.
All which gilds supported lights here in honour of their patron saints. Besides which, there were the rood-loft light, and the light of Jesus.
At the Dissolution many gave gifts towards purchasing the abbey bells, steeple, &c.
The lands and tenements belonging to these gilds remained for the most part in the Crown, till Queen Elizabeth, in the second year of her reign, Ao. 1559, upon the humble suit of the inhabitants, gave them to the town, and settled them on feoffees, they being then of the yearly value of 40l. towards maintaining a school in St. Thomas's chapel, and other Godly uses in the said town, as repairing the church, &c.; but the feoffees being negligent, and the chapel or school being stript of the lead, and in decay for want of covering, they neither kept the school nor repaired the church, but employed the money to other uses, upon which a complaint being lodged with the Privy-Council in 1570, the feoffees were called to an account, and the lands settled to maintain a schoolmaster, and repair the church, and immediately the chapel was tiled, and the schoolmaster had a salary always allowed him out of the lands, which at present is 20l. per annum and a dwelling-house for the master, given since the restoration, by Mr. Christopher Deye: this chapel is now the schoolhouse, and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered in 1130; it was founded by William de Albany, son of the founder of the monastery, and was well endowed, King Edward I. in 1292, confirming all donations made to it. The master of the school is elected by the majority of the feoffees, the Rev. Mr. William Evans is now  master; in 1574, Matthew Parker Archbishop of Canterbury did give unto this town a scholarship to his college, called Corpus Christi or Bennet college in Cambridge, the scholar to be chosen out of this school, and born in this town, and must have continued at school here two years without intermission, and must also be 15 years old; James Frosdyke, alias Poynter, was the first chosen, March 20, 1574, by Mr. Thexton, vicar of Aylesham, and was admitted to it March 26, by Mr. Norgate, master of the college: in 1567, the said Archbishop gave a sermon to the town of Windham, to be preached yearly on the Monday in Rogation week, for which he settled 6s. 8d. a year, to be paid the preacher, out of his manor and farm at Hethill; it is to be preached either by the master or one of the fellows of the said college. Dr. Pory, master of Bennet, preached the first sermon in 1567.
Over the door of the school was this, now illegible,
Ano Dni. 1635. Musarum Ædes Wymondhamenses. Ne Pulsate fores, Sint tecta Silentia Musis.
But to proceed to the persons of note buried in the quire and St. Mary's chapel, by the side of it, both which are now down.
First, in the middle of the quire, right before the altar, lie interred William de Albani, the founder, and Maud his wife, daughter of Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk. His epitaph was this,
Hunc Pincerna Locum fundavit, et hic iacet, illa, quæ dedit huic Domini, iam Sine Fine tenet.
He died 3d Henry II. 1156, to his memory, was this on the monastery wall,
Pray yre for the Soul of William de Albany Founder of this Abby.
Which shews it was placed there after it became an abbey.
William de Albany Earl of Arundel, the founder's son, who died at Waverley in Surrey, 3 id. Oct. 1176, was buried by his father here; he is called sometimes Earl of Sussex, sometimes Earl of Chichester, and was founder of Bukenham priory, and Pynham by Arundel, and the chapel of St. Thomas the martyr in Wyndham, and was a great benefactor to several religious houses.
William de Albani Earl of Arundel, his son, grandson of the founder, went with King Richard I. into the Holy Land, and remained with him in Almuin all the time of his imprisoment, and died at Waverley, some say the same year with his father, others, in 1196, the Waverley chronicle 1193, but all agree he was buried by his father here.
William de Albani Earl of Arundel and Sussex, the inheritor of his father's honours and virtues, went with Ralph Earl of Chester and many other nobles into the Holy Land, and after the winning of Damietta in Palestine, in his return home, died at a town beyond Rome called Camel, and his body being opened and embalmed, as he desired, Thomas, his physician, brought it to Windham, and interred it by his ancestors, for which good service from a monk of St. Alban's, he was made prior here about 1224.
Hugh de Albany, his brother and heir, Earl of Arundel and Sussex, died in 1242. or as Weaver, in 1243, without issue, and was buried here by his ancestors, so that all the Alban's Earls of Arundel and Sussex, great nobles in their time, lie here interred under the rubbish of the quire or chancel, and it is to be supposed most of their wives also, who were all persons of the greatest families at that time; Isabell, widow of this Hugh, was daughter of the great Earl Warren, and foundress of Matham nunnery.
In 1420, John Snowe, clerk, was buried in St. Mary's chapel.
Sir John Clifton of Bukenham-Castle, Knt. died in 1447, and was buried here, and settled 10l. per annum on the prior for ever, to find a monk to sing for his soul, and the soul of Joan his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir Edmund Thorp, the younger, Knt. of Ashwell-Thorp, widow of Sir Robert Echingham, who was buried by him. (See vol. i. p. 377.)
Sir Andrew Ogard, Knt. and Margaret Clifton, sole daughter and heiress of Sir John, his wife, are both buried here; he died in 1454, she in 1460.
Joan, daughter of John Lovell.
Isolda Arderne, who was a benefactress.
A gentleman called None, who, because he gave nothing to the religious of this house, had this distich made to his memory, as Mr. Cambden tells us in his Remains, p. 321.
Hic Situs est Nullus, quia Nullo nullior Iste, Et quia Nullus erat, de Nullo nil tibi Christe.
Mr. Weaver, fo. 811, hath it thus Englished,
Here lyeth None, one worse than none for ever thought, And because None, of none, to thee O Christ, gives nought.
The same author tells us, that he had read this following epitaph also, on this sirname,
Hic recubat Nullus, nullo de Sanguine cretus, Nullus apud Vivos, Nullus apud Superos.
None lieth here, of Linage none descended, Amongst Men None, None, mongst the Saints befrended.
Much like that, as Cambden says, found also in the Register of Windham, for Pope Lucius born at Luca, Bishop of Ostia, Pope of Rome, who died at Verona:
Luca dedit Lucem tibi Luci, Pontificatum Ostia, Papatum Roma, Verona mori; Immo, Verona dedit tibi vere vivere, Roma Exilium, Curas Ostia, Luca mori.
In 1472, John Westgate was buried at the west-end of the present church, near the font; he gave Sewal's close to the gild of St. Thomas at Windham, to pray for him and Alice his wife, and Catherine her sister, and all benefactors; to the vicar, Brothwayt's close for a certeyn; to the rector of Hackford, his tenements called Rosys or Norwyk-House, and that called Clerys-Clerks, and their land lying on their west sides in Hackford, and his tenement in West-Acre, called Bishop's, to the Prior of West-Acre for ever, to pray for them. (fn. 16)
In 1426, Thomas Wyteman of Windham was a great benefactor to the gilds; he was buried in the churchyard.
In 1506, Thomas Dalys, chaplain, was buried in the church.
In 1507, William Browne was buried in the present church, and gave to the monastery a close called Gravours, to keep an obit on his year-day, with placebo and dirige for his and his wife's souls.
In 1528, Sir William Knevet, Knt. (fn. 17) was buried in this monastery church, under the new work by him made, (fn. 18) before the high-altar of the quire, on one side of the founder, under a stone of marble inlaid with his arms, being buried at the feet of
Sir William Knevet, Knt. his father, and Dame Jane his mother; he gave 40l. to the monastery to pray for him; to the Abbot 20s.; to every monk being a priest, 6s. 8d.; to each monk not a priest, 3s. 4d.; to Sir Thomas Thaxted, monk and celerer, to pray 10 years for his soul, 5 marks a year.
The arms of Albany, Cromwell, Tatsall, Clifton, Caily, and Windham, were in the north church windows, and those of Flint, Chaucer, &c. on the south side, but all are now gone.
The nave, south and north isles, with the north porch, are all leaded, an exact copper plate of which, with the abbey steeple, and ruins, was lately published by Mr. Buck, in his set of ruins for Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, and indeed is not only a good picture, but an exact likeness.
At the west end of the nave, on the south side, is a mural monument thus inscribed,
Jacet infra, Johannes Hendry, Virtutis Mortalibus Exemplum Immortale relinquens.
Pietate, Charitate, præclarus, Ecclesiæ, Cleri, Pauperum, Religiosus Amator.
Vicarium hujus Parochiæ Liberalitate suâ singulari Promovendæ Pietatis ergo Omni Seeulo remunerans.
Scholam ibidem, egenæ Juventutis erudiendæ Gratia, Piorum Benevolentia erectam Larga manu Sustentans, Morbo nimis acuto diu laborans Animam tandem Deo reddidit, Duodecimo die Martij, Anno Dom: 1722.
Ætatis Sexagesimo Quarto.
Vitæ tam bene peractæ, Mercedem Per Jesum Christum præstolans.
This Mr. Hendry, by his last will and testament, dated Nov. 12, 1722, gave 400l. to be laid out in the purchase of an estate of freehold land in Norfolk, to be settled on trustees, for the benefit of the vicar of Windham for the time being, for ever, conditionally that he preach, or cause to be preached, two sermons every Lord's day in Windham church for ever, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon; upon his neglect or refusal, the profits to be applied to the charity school in Windham; he gave 5l. towards conveying the estate, and also 13l. 10s. per annum to the vicar of Windham out of lands called Flora's in Windham, for preaching a sermon in Windham every Friday in Lent; he left his estate at Crownthorp, then about 15l. per annum, to the charity school at Windham, chargeable with 50s. yearly, to be paid to the ancientest maids in Windham, and 10s. a year to the poor of Crownthorp for ever; he gave a velvet pall and six mourning cloaks, to be let out at the discretion of the vicar. The 400l. was laid out in 1724, for a freehold estate in Wiclewood, which was settled according to the will.
On the fifth bell is this,
1653, Tuba ad Judicium, Tympanum ad Ecclesiam.
There now remain only the arms of Marshall and Burnel in the windows,
On the first north pillar is the dedication stone, with the word MARJA, in a cipher.
There is a fine old font, on which are the emblems of the four Evangelists, of the Holy Trinity, and of the Sacrament, and a shield with three crowns; and round the steps is an inscription, now illegible, all but
Dunwule et Animabus.
There is a stone for Susan Wife of Miles Filby and his three Children, William, Miles, and Anne, who all died in 1737.
In the north isle, towards the west end, are stones for,
Edmund Son of Henry Blackbourn Gent. 9 Sept. 1720, aged 82.
Henry Blackbourne Gent. 4 March 1671, aged 70.
Blackbourn, arg. a fess wavy between three mullets sab. impaling Anguish.
Crest, a lion's head erased, a fess wavy for a collar.
Anne his wife died 1693.
Anne and Francis, Children of Francis Le Neve, by Anne his Wife, Daughter of Henry Blackbourn, she died 1673, he 1680.
Alice second Wife to William Le Neve Gent. died 21 Dec. 1701, aged 43.
Will. Le Neve, Gent. died May 27, 1720, aged 77.
John King Senior died July 22, 1726, aged 60, Anne his Wife July 16, 1737, aged 71. Susan Swift her Sister, Sep. 22, 1737, aged 62.
Faith's turned to Vision, Hope fruition tasts, And Pray'r is turned to prays, that always last.
Cullyer, arg. a club erected in pale sab.
Quicquid Josephi Culyer, sibi vindicare potuit, Terra lubens his amplectitur, Juvenis, spe eximia, ad excolendas Virtutes, quasi de Industria Naturæ compositi: quem tamen alta ratio, perpetuumque Judicium, non Corporis Temperies, esse bonum dedere; Cui ut in pedestram, se recepit, ad Philosophiam, deinde et Theologiam affectanti viam, idque Ingenio summas calcanti Difficultates, mire proventum est in hisce Studijs, Interea vix dum annum vicesimum quintum emensus, de repente hinc e medio excessit, Junij die 27°. Anno 1681, postquam Cantabrigiæ, Gradum Magisterij in Artibus, nec immerito, et Coll: Corp: Christi, ejusdem Academiæ sodalitium, consequutus fuisset, vel in ipso almæ matris sinu moriens primæ, natali suæ reddi humo expetivit. Hic etiam sitæ sunt Exuviæ, Josephi Gay, prædicti Josephi Nepotis, qui obijt, 17° Jan. 1711, Ætatis suæ 20°.
Reponit Anna Carver, Filia Gualteri Carver defuncti, et Mariæ Uxoris, ejus relictæ, Virgo omni Virtute eximia, seculi intacta Vitijs, Annorum Primitias Religioni dicavit, Pietate, Charitate, Liberalitate exuberans, Omnibus dilecta vixit, viva Pauperibus benigna, quos moriens beneficio donavit, hand Senio confecta sed acuta correpta Febre animam placidissima reddidit. Sept. 5to Ano. Dom: 1720, Ætat. 24°.
Mary Relict of Walter Carver, died 25 Jan. 1724, aged 65.
Crest, a dragon's head issuing from a coronet, and Carver's arms, sab. a chevron erm. between three croslets arg.
Walter Carver Apothecary, died Oct. 5 1717, aged 61, and his 4 Children, Anne, Mary, Eliz. and John.
Here was a chapel, as the fine roof and niche for the holy water shew us, but I cannot say to what saint it was dedicated, though the name [Maria] is on the roof; the old vestry is here, which was made in 1674.
The Drakes are buried in this isle, though there is no memorial over any of them.
There is a hatchment in which Le Neve impales
Arg. on a chief az. a lion's head erased between two battle-axes or. a saltier gul. between four holly leaves proper.
By the door of this isle lies
Mary Daughter of John and Susanna Talbot, who died, March 17, 1729, aged 22.
Her Time was short, long is her rest, God take them first, whom he loves best.
George Kett. Senior, died Jan: 4, 1722, aged 83.
Anne Wife of Thomas Carver Apothecary, Jan: 1, 1736, aged 39 Years, and their Children, Philip, Walter, George, Anne, and Elizabeth.
Over the door is an old piece of painting, on the wall, representing naked people in a boat in great danger, and several others suffering for righteousness sake, on the right-hand; and on the left the devils, some offering a can of drink, others a purse of money, encouraging sinners to their own destruction.
Charles Shepherd 1724. Anne Norton 1702. Henry Norton 1707.
In the nave on the first pillar, towards the west end, on the north side, is a mural monument with this,
Lector, propter hancce columnam, sitæ sunt Exuviæ, Thomæ Seaborn Gen: qui in omni negotio Sapiens, magno etiam animo Servus Dei, ac Phillipæ Uxoris ejus, quæ ingenij erat benignissimi, in Vicinos, in Pauperes, pia in Deum, atque humilis, et Jacobi Seabourn Gen: Filij Primogeniti, qui justissimus erat et liberalis.
Hic etiam sepultus est, Jacobus infans, Roberti Seabourne Gen: filius, obijt Apr. 18 1695.
Crest, a talbot's head erased arg. collared az.
Seabourne, barry wavy of 10 arg. and az. a lion rampant or.
There hangs a noble branch in the middle of the nave, given by Elizabeth Hendry.
Mary Wife of John Jubbs Gent. 27 July 1676.
Nil nisi Pulvis inest, perfectum Gloria Corpus Reddet, disce cito vivere, disce mori.
Hawes and Gleane impaled.
En Viator! quod æquum est, Patris & Filij in eundem coactas Tumulum reliquias, idem antea nomen gradum, Facultatem, adeptorum, discedenti Patri, Decem. 15 1679, Filio Superstite, non defuit Monumentum, Quo licet demum Fatis functo, Aug: die 19° Ano Dom: 1683, etiam dum Johannes Hawys vivit, uterque hominum Memoriâ, egregius Medicus, uterque apud Cœlites consummatissimus Theologus.
Richard Buxton Gent, of Downham Lodge, died 2 Jan: 16- -
Anne Daughter of Thomas and Anne Mallsop, died Feb. 19 1715, aged 10.
This Friend of ours, for whom we weep, Is safely come unto the shore, She is not dead but fallen asleep, And only gone to Bed before; And when ended is our Pain, Shall sleep with her, and wake again, Mean Season as for her we know, Where, and with whom, and how she dwells, In Heaven with Christ, and Myriads mo: Whose Presence all delight excells, And there she sings with high Desire, Her Haleluyahs in full Quire.
In the chancel, on a mural monument,
Anna Wright, Patientiæ et Charitatis omnimodæ Exemplar, ob: Dec: 12, 1712, conjugemque T. W. [Tho. Wright, Vicar.] sepultum (hic) readmisit 5 die Febr. 1731, æt. 77.
On a mural monument close by the north end of the altar,
M. S. Isaaci Sayer A. M. Coll. Gonv. et Caij Cantabr. Scolæ Wymondhamensis per Annos ix Moderatoris. Pietate, Modestia, Morunmque Integritate inter Primos numerandus, in pueris erudiendis, Sedulitate et Solertia plurimis (dicam omnibus?) anteferendus. Obijt xii Cal: Febr. Anno Ætatis xxxvi, Christi vero MDCCXXI. Maria Uxor ejus per an: xiii. Amoris simul ac Doloris hoc Monumentum, P. F.
Browne, per bend arg. and sab. four mascles counterchanged.
Hawes, az. a fess wavy between three lions passant or. Crest; a lion's head erased, issuing from a crown or.
M. S. Wilhelmi Hawys, hujus Ecclesiæ per decennium Vicarij de Coll: Corp. Xti. apud Cantab. A. M. Viri honestis apud Norwicenses Parentibus nati, Morum Probitate, Vitæ Innocentia, bonarum Literarum Studijs, clari, Sacris initiatus, quum abdicante Rege in Ecclesia motus excitatos viderit, hancce Vicariam, ita voluit suprema Lex, vacuam, sola Conscientia Duce, subijt, eandemque ea Animi Temperie tenuit, ut neque Partium Simultates, nec Inimicornm Rabies, in Vindictam Religione (quam Sincerus coluit) Christiana indignam eum vel minimum potuerunt allicere Æquo Animo passus omnia, quod summa Potestas in suorum Salutem et in Contumacium Terrorem decreverat, id, his ipsis Testibus, in sui Causam factum esse (Rarum Exemplum) quum potuit, noluit, immatura Morte, Annos 35 natus, charissima Conjuge, teneris Liberis, bonis omnibus (nec Injuria) lugentibus, Febre violenta correptus obijt Maj: 16°. Anno Æræ Xtianæ 1701.
Uberiorem Justitiæ Mercedem tandem expectaturus.
Repositum Thomæ Baron hujus Ecclesiæ, Vicarij meritissimi, Anglicanæ, Filij optimi, eoque nomine Regiæ Majestati subditi deditissimi, Amicis jucundissimi, omnibus denique benignissimi, et quibus notus, optatissimi, Obijt quarto iduum Dec: Anno salutis 1680, Ætatis suæ 38.
Christopher only son of Robert Deye Gent. and Frances his Wife, died 4 Feb. 1669.
Rob. Deye Gent. 5 Aug. 1673, Frances his wife 2 March, 1664.
In a Vault under the Stone, lies Mr. John Hawys, of Norwich Apothecary, who died 28 March, 1663.
In the south isle, in a window,
Sab. on a chevron ingrailed arg. between three crescents erm. two lions rampant combatant gul. quartering, per pale S. and A. in the sable, a chevron or, in the arg. a chevron gul.
Mary Style died 4 Aug. 1673.
Against a pillar at the east end of the south isle,
This in Memory of Ann Talbot, the only Daughter of Thomas Talbot of Gunvill-Hall Esq: and Jone his Wife, the Daughter of Sir John Mede of Lofts in Essex, a Virgin whose Piety, Charity, Duty, and Curtesey, was exemplary to those of her Age, she departed this Life the 6th Day of December 1669, and of her Age 20 Years, and lies interred near her Father, and where her Mother designs to be buried.
Robert Ages, June 23 1677.
Le Neve impales Browne.
Ester Wife of Mr. William Le-Neve, Sept. 19, 1677, aged 20.
Sleep sacred Ashes, let us only prie, What Treasures in you did involved lie, A Wife so young, and yet so wise, oh! here's, Wisdom, Example, not the Child of Years, So full of Business, and so pious, well! Devotion dwells not always in a Cell, So free, so innocent, so good, so kind, All moral Vertues were in thee combin'd, And with thee took their Flight into the Skie, Joyne Forces, and make up one Galaxy, So various Gums dissolving in one Fire, Together in one Fragrant Fume expire.
Esther Daughter of Will. Le-Neve, and Ester his Wife, bapt. March 1576, died Apr. 5, 1681.
Her Life was short, the longer is her Rest, God call them soonest, whom he loveth best.
Thomas King, Clark and Sexton 65 Years, died Sept 14 1680.
George Gay Gent. died Oct. 24, 1697, Susan his wife Aug. 15 1683, aged 84. Roger their Son, 6 Aug. 1716, aged 76, and Benjamin an Infant:
Crest, a unicorn's head erased sab. issuing from a coronet or. Hawes, impales Le Neve.
Thomas Son of Simon Hawes, Aug. 2 1714, Susan Wife of Simon Hawes, Oct. 26, 1724. Richard their Son, Nov. 4, 1724. Sarah Daughter of Richard Hawes, Dec. 29, 1724. Mary another Daughter, Jan. 11, 1724.
Stone of Wimondham, arg. a lion passant sab.
Robert Stone Gent. died June 15, 1717, aged 64, Hellen his Wife Jan. 9, 1736, aged 84.
Crest, a bird's head issuing from a crown.
Smith of Surrey, arg. a chevron between three croslets treflee gul. impales Stone.
Elizabeth Wife of John Smith, died Aug. 5. 1730, aged 53.
There is a mural monument against the south wall, towards the west end of the south isle, for Stephen Gibbs who died Aug. 7, 1723, aged 89, and Prudence his wife, who died Aug. 15, 1706, aged 55.
The new vestry is at the west end of this isle, in which the Archdecon's court is held; in the midst is an altar tomb, having the arms
and crest of Hawes, and this inscription,
Hic super Reliquias suas, Monumentum simul et Tabulam Marmoream voluit Johannes Hawys Generosus, ut par mortuo atque vivo, illi esset Fortuna, alijs. potius quam sibi, profuisse. Natus est A°. 1669, Mortuus 1727.
Before the vestry was made, in this place stood the table that the poor were paid their weekly collection on, and afterwards on this tomb, which supplied its place.
On a black marble is this,
H.S.E. Georgius Taylor annos triginta fere Sex, hujus Ecclesiæ Vicarius fidissimus, cujus Jura et Emolumenta magnis sumptibus, magno etiam vigore Animi, fœliciter asseruit et vindicavit, nec minus tamen Animarum Curæ fortiter incubuit, obijt xiv Calendarum Februarij, Anno Ætatis lxiii°, Humanæ Salutis Mdccxxxvi°.
The town is divided into several divisions, viz. Middleton or Marketsted, Damgate, Chaplegate, Vicar's-street, Towngreen, and Cakewick, all which are in the insoken, or in the town; the hamlets in the outsoken, are Downham, which lies northward of the town, Stanfield eastward, Silfield about a mile distant S. E. Watlefield about two miles S. Spooner-Row, about a mile and an half S. W. Sutton, Norton, and Brawick, "It is famous for a mean manufacture, viz. the making of taps, spindles, spoons, and such like wooden ware, in abundance; men, women, and children, are continually employed in this work: an innocent employment for a maintenance, and much better than (if not so gentile as) idleness," (fn. 19) which this town seems to abhor, there having been a bridewell or house of correction for idle persons and such like, many ages, which is still kept in a house belonging to the county, appropriated to that use, the keeper of which, in Queen Elizabeth's time, had a salary of 40s. a year, paid by the county treasurer. The inhabitants enjoy their writ of privilege, as ancient demean, and serve not at assizes or sessions, &c. but their privilege of not being cited to answer in any spiritual court, but before the official in their own town, was neglected at the Reformation, since which time I do not find any peculiar officials either of the Bishop or Archdeacon, made for this town only.
The country hereabouts, including all Forehoe hundred, is a rich clay, which makes the roads bad, the whole is enclosed land, and abounds with a good quantity of wood and timber. In the year 1903, King John first granted the market here, to be held as it now is on Friday, and a fair on St. Catherine's day, Nov. 25, which is now removed to Candlemas day; another fair was granted to be held here on St. Philip and St. James's day. May 1, which is removed to May 6, and the other fair, which was granted to be held on the day, the day before, and the day after, the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Sept. 8, is now kept the 13th day after Michaelmas day. All these removals, without authority, are very prejudicial to the fairs themselves, and disappoint tradesmen very much, who expect the fairs in all places to be on the days the printed lists mention, and not otherwise.
In 1244, the King had an escuage granted him of 20s. out of every knight's fee; (fn. 20) and it appears that he was this year at Wymondham, for there the writs are dated, which were sent to all the sheriffs, to proclaim in their counties, that all the King's tenants in capite, who held an entire knight's fee, or twenty pounds by the year in land, (which was at that time an equivalent,) and were not knights, should on penalty of forfeiture of their lands repair to the King at Whitsuntide, to receive arms from him, and be made knights.
On June 11th, 1615, this town was damaged by fire to above 40,000l. value, there being above 300 dwelling-houses consumed, as the brief tells me; it appears it was fired on purpose; I have the original confession of one Margaret Bix, alias Elvyn, then under sentence of death, made before the under-sheriff, &c. in which she acknowledges that she was privy to the fact, and that it was committed by Ellen Pendleton, who was also under condemnation for it, and that the said Ellen lighted a match, and she placed it in the stable where the fire first began; Will. Flodder was not condemned, but his brother John, and others, were condemned also: it appears that they were Scots, but went under the name of Egyptians, all but this Bix, whom they promised to carry with them into their own country, and maintain well, and procure a pardon from the Pope, for committing the fact.
In 1631, the city of Norwich raised 103l. 5s. 7d. for the relief of the poor inhabitants of Wimondham, then grievously visited with the plague.
The flourishing family of the Windhams had their name from this town, which family hath spread into several branches, as Sir Hugh Windham of Pillesden-Court in Dorsetshire, Bart. extinct. Sir William Windham of Orchard-Windham in Somersetshire, and Sir Francis Windham of Trent, in the same county, Barts. The Windhams of Crownthorp, now divided into three families, at Felbrigge, Cromere, and Earsham.
Persons of this name concerned here were; Alice, relict of John, son of Sara de Wimondham, but the deed having no date, I cannot say in what time they lived, though I take the hand to be about Henry III. They were descendants from some of the sons of Alward de Wimondham, who was a witness to the foundation deed of the priory here, with his three sons, Richard, Hugh, and Pagan or Pain, as was also Edrick of Wimundham.
In 1265, King Henry III. granted to Thomas de Wimundham, clerk, his treasurer, the next ward that tell to him worth 50l. unless he should provide for him by giving him a prebend or benefice, or some other church dignity, to the value of 200 marks, and also a ship load of wood for his fire, yearly; (fn. 21) he was alive in 1271, and then treasurer.
In 1293, William de Wimundham was overseer of the silver mines in Devonshire, (fn. 22) and had offices in the Exchequer; he was a great chemist; by his art he refined this year 270 pounds of fine silver out of the lead ore, which King Edward I. gave for a portion with his daughter Eleanor, to the Count De Barr: in the next year, there were 521 pounds of silver sent to London and coined, and the following year, when the Derbyshire miners were sent to help the Devonian, Mr. Wymondham sent 700 pounds of silver to the mint.
But as this town hath been famous for producing men profitable to the commonwealth, I must observe that is also infamous for the birth of those execrable rebels the Ketts, that so much harassed the country, and vexed and injured the city of Norwich, in the history of which city I propose to treat largely of their rebellious actions, Robert Kett, the principal ringleader, being hanged in chains upon the castle of Norwich, and William Kett, his brother, upon the high steeple of Windham, as a terrour to all such presumptuous villains, Sir William Windham being at that time sheriff of Norfolk, so that as this place had the misfortune to produce such notorious offenders against the peace of the country, at the same time we ought to give it its due honour, in having an officer, originally sprung from hence, who, according to his duty, always opposed their unjust proceedings, and at last executed due punishment for their traitorous acts, to the quiet of the whole country.
I find an ancient family of good repute here, sirnamed Mechil, alias Randolf, and another sirnamed Le Deye; in 1345, Cecily le Deye, widow, owned an estate here, which, in 1577, belonged to Thomas Deye, and it still continues in his posterity, Dr. Deye being its present  owner.
Sir John Robsart, Knt. and Dame Elizabeth, his wife, dwelt in Stanfield Hall in 1546.
The whole town paid to every tenth, 13li.
In 1622, upon a commission of charitable uses, concerning the town lands, it appeared that King Edward VI. granted unto Sir Thomas and Sir William Woodhouse, Knts. the messuage called the Gild-Hall, with 11 acres of land, which belonged to Corpus Christi gild in Windham, to be held in free soccage of East-Greenwich manor, who, in 1549 infeoffed them in divers feoffees to the use of the town. In 1594, Robert Ringwood, feoffee, surrendered all the lands and tenements called the Town Lands, lately belonging to St. Peter's gild, "for the fynding of a learned maister, to teach within the seyd Towne." In 1604, Tho. Plommer, feoffee, surrendered two messuages, viz. the Old and New Gild-Halls, to the same uses. There were about 90 acres of land, and 8 or 10 tenements, then let at about 50li. a year.