City of Norwich, chapter 42: Hegham or Heigham

Pages 503-509

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 4, the History of the City and County of Norwich, Part II. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


Which was in the hundred of Humbleyard in Norfolk, till it was afterwards made part of the county of the city of Norwich, as it now remains, it being in the ward of West-Wimer, and as such enjoys all privileges, &c. of the city and ward.

It took its name from its situation on the river, Ea-ham, or Heham, being no more than the village at the water. This town was given by Wulfricus, a Saxon, (who then owned it,) to the abbey of Holm in Norfolk, (fn. 1) and I take it to be that Wolfric, who began to repair the chapel of St. Benedict at Holm, after Inguar and Hubba the Danes, had demolished the old chapel, and killed the hermits that resided there, of whom there is a full account in the Monasticon, vol. i. fo. 283; for it appears by Domesday Book, (fn. 2) that it belonged to the abbey from its foundation, and was held at three carrucates, two of which were demeans, and the other in the hands of the tenants; the whole in the Confessor's time was worth 4l. per annum, and 5l. in the Conqueror's. There was also a freeman under the abbot's protection, (fn. 3) who had 33 acres of land and meadow valued at 2s. per annum, and it paid 2d. 3q. to the geld or tax. Abbot William, the first of that name, granted to Thomas, son of Thurburn the priest, this town of Heham, in fee-farm for life; and William, the second abbot of that name, granted it to Richard Basset in fee-farm for life, at 10l. per annum, and agreed to receive him into the fraternity of their convent, and annually kept his obit. This deed being curious for its form, handwriting, and seal, Sir Simonds D'ewes, to whom Sir Will. Neve, Clarencieux, gave it, had it engraved, and the exact representation of it appears on the copperplate here inserted: concerning which, I have added a note of Sir Simond's own writing. (fn. 4) In the time of Hen. II. a fine was levied of this manor, and it was confirmed to the abbot by Will. de Neovillâ or Nevile, and Henry his brother; and the King gave special order, that the abbot should not lose his land, enclosed within the New Ditch that the burgesses of Norwich had made without the town, after the death of Henry I. (fn. 5) This included all Lower or Nether Heyham, which was always in the suburbs of Norwich, and was made as the boundary for the liberties of the city. In Henry the Third's time the Abbot had view of frankpledge, and the assise of bread and ale, a common gallows, and other liberties, so that the King's Bailiff of Humbleyard hundred was present in court, and received 2s. yearly. And it appears, that this manor was then held as parcel of the abbot's barony of Tunsted. In 1227, the abbot granted to Peter and Nicholas Chese, (fn. 6) 24 acres of land, and half a water-mill, in Heham, with common of pasture for 200 sheep; and in 1242, the abbot conveyed to Robert Hauteyn, common of fishery in the waters and rivers of Heham and Heylesden, viz. free fishing from the head of the mill-dam of Heham (fn. 7) on both sides the river to Kelbes-acre; and Will. le Boteler released to Abbot Nicholas, all his right of commonage in King's Holm and Unkelbeve meadow, and elsewhere in this town; these mills were called

Chese's, Bumpstede's, Appleyard's, or Westwic Mills, and stood near Heyham-gates in Heyham; Robert son of John Chese, sold his part in 1292, to Peter de Bumpstede and Kat. his wife. John son of Peter had it; and now there were two mills under one roof, one held of the abbot, and the other of the Prior; they after belonged to Will. Appleyerd, and Nic. Appleyerd, Esq. and in 1470, to Margaret Appleyerd; in 1536, the Bishop of Norwich, as Abbot of St.Bennet, leased out all his watermill in Heigham next Norwich, and all the houses belonging thereto, and a meadow between the mill-dam and the water descending from Scalby, and the great meadow, and the meadow environed with water coming from the said mill, lying on the east part thereof, and all the right of fishing from and against St. Laurence's-acre, on the west part of the mill, unto, and against the creke of water, between Heigham-common, and the great meadow on the east part of the same.

In 1393, it was agreed and acknowledged by the city, that the abbot's tenants and the parishioners of Heigham, were not to be summoned or distrained by the bailiffs of Norwich, in any case.

The abbot was taxed for his temporalities here at 13l. 9s. 7d. and the whole village paid 2l. 5s. to the tenths, but had a deduction of 9s. out of it on account of the lands belonging to the religious.

In 1549, Thomas Holl farmed the manor of the bishoprick, at 16l. 16s. 3d. q. per annum, and had for his fee as bailiff of it 4l. per annum, and 4l. 16s. for 6 combs of corn to be delivered at the palace for the Bishop's use. (See Pt. I. p. 147.)

The manor is now held by lease of the bishoprick, and the advowson of the rectory is still appendant to it. The following


Were Presented By The Abbots Of Holm.

1313, John de Hovetone, accolite.

1314, Will. de Broke, accolite, who changed for Swanton rectory, in

1320, with Alexander de Berneye, priest.

1327, Silvester at Gates of Norwich, priest, who changed for Brunton, in

1354, with John de Thefford, who was succeed by
Rob. Kenton.

1397, Roger Batt, on whose death in

1443, John Poppy was instituted, who resigned in

1445, to Master John Aylesham, at whose death in

1449, the said Rob. Poppy, who was then a licenciate in the decrees, was instituted again, and in

1454, changed it for Weston Longvile, with Master Simon Thornham, who the same day changed it for Yaxham, with
Master Hugh Acton, who died in 1455, and was succeeded by
Tho. Folkard, who was buried in the chancel in 1461, and gave a silver cup and cover to the altar; and was succeeded by
Ric. Brakeburge, on whose resignation in

1465, John Munde had it, and was buried here in 1504.

Elias Bartram succeeded, and died rector in

1517, and Henry Wyat, Knt. as assignee to the abbot, gave it to
John Thuxton, who resigned in 1523, to Cornelius Balls, who died rector in

1526, and Will. Page, A. M. was the last presented by Holm convent.

In 1555, the Bishop, as Abbot of Holm, having all the spiritualities and temporalities of that abbey, presented
Will. Askoe, (fn. 8) and the Abbot's portion of 20s. out of this church, was taxed at 2s.

1576, John Morgan. The Bishop reserved two parts of the tithes of the demeans to himself, at this institution.

1585, Tho. Plumbe; he died rector in 1660, and was succeeded by Paul Chapman, A. M. and afterwards, B.D. who in the year 1603, returned 140 communicants in this parish, and that he held it united to Titshall; (fn. 9) at his death in 1630, (fn. 10)

Tho. Stokes, A. M. was presented, and was ejected out of this, and Carleton-Road rectory, by the Earl of Manchester, Apr. 28, 1644, though he had a wife and three children, for refusing to contribute to the rebellion, &c. (fn. 11) and after many intruders in 1652, Bishop Hall, after he had retired to this suburbian village, instituted
John Whitefoot, (fn. 12) sen. his friend, into this rectory, who enjoyed it peaceably till his resignation, to his son
John Whitefoot, junior, (fn. 13) in 1682, at whose death, in
1731, the Rev. Mr. Anthony Aufrere, A. M. the present [1745] rector, was instituted, being presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in right of his option.

It is valued in the King's Books (by the name of Higham by Norwich) at 6l. 13s. 4d. and pays 13s. 4d. yearly tenths, and not being discharged, is incapable of augmentation; it pays no synodals, as being in the Bishop's patronage, but 6s. 8d. procurations, being subject to the visitation of the Archdeacon of Norfolk; but pays no first fruits. At Norwich Domesday's valuation, there was neither house nor glebe; it was valued at eight marks, besides the abbot's portion of 20s. which was a perpetual composition made with the rector, in lieu of two parts of the tithes of his demeans, which were due to the convent, The carvage was 2d. and the Peter-pence 18d. The church was dedicated to St. Bartholomew, and there was a gild kept in it, in honour of that Saint and the Blessed Virgin. It is called in many wills, "Staunford St. Bartilmew next Norwich," and the town is sometimes called Heham or Staunford.

The religious concerned here were, the Abbot of Bury, (fn. 14) who had land of the gift of Gilbert le Claver, and confirmation of Alexander de la Cressimere. The Abbot of Langley, who had 46s. 3d. of lands and rents here, and in Erlham; and the Prior of Bukenham 2s. 6d.

The church and chancel are 26 yards long; the breadth, including the isle, is 11 yards; there is a north porch, and square tower with three bells in it; the church is thatched, the isle and chancel are leaded.

In 1377, Alice de Rockland was buried in the church, and Ralf Stalon, barkere, or tanner, in 1471.

Thomas Holly, or Holl, of Aylesham, married Lucy, daughter of Mr. Newport of Pelham in Hertfordshire; he bare or, on a chevron sab. three unicorns heads erased, attired arg. Crest, a sea-dragon gul. gutté de or, which was confirmed by Rob. Cook, Clarencieux, A° 1576, in which it is said, to be first granted to John Holly of Norwich, he died in 1557, (fn. 15) and is buried in this church, and left John, Thomas, and Henry, his brothers, Tho. and Edmund, his sons, and the advowson of Swanton, he gave his wife. Tho. Holl, Esq. his eldest son, lies by him; who by Jane, daughter of Mr. Barker of Norwich, had two sons, John Holl of Metton in Norfolk, who married Alice, daughter of Mr. Anthony Styles of Norwich; and Thomas Holl, Esq. his second son, who died March 3, 1630, as a brass plate shows, on which is his effigies. Thomas Holl, lord of the manor, died 1628, 62. Elen, Dr. of Augustine Holl, Esq. 1633. Holl impales Wodehouse of Waxham, for Frances, wife of Aug. Holl, Esq. eldest daughter of Will. Wodehouse of Waxham; which Augustine was son of Rob. Holl, by a daughter of Jenney's. Rob. Holl, brother and heir to Augustine, (who had no issue,) married Anne, daughter of Sir Tho. Guybon of Thursford, and had Augustine Holl, lord of the manor of Twyford in 1720.

In the chancel, Bishop Hall's monument, and other stones of his family, for which see Pt. I. p. 580.

In Memoriam Thomæ Hearinge Armigeri qui obijt xxi° die Martij A. D. 1636, Æt. suæ 85. Hoc Monumentum Thomas Dey, and Rob. Norse Generosi Executores Testamenti sui posuerunt.

Quis jacet hic? Thomas Hearinge, qualis, Deus ipse, (Dicere si fas sit) Largitione Piâ.

Quæ fecit, dum vixit, egenis munera sparsit, Qualia, vix unquam secula nostra vident, Mors qualis fuerat moribundus pace beatus, Dona serens, summi scandit ad astra poli.

On a hatchment, 1st sab. three pheons arg. quartering Herring, az. three herrings arg. impaling, arg. on a bend az. between three demilions passant gul. three bezants, a chief indented per fess arg. and sab.

Gwynn, gul. on a chevron between three lions saliant or. Eliz. wife of Rice Gwyn of Fakenham, Esq. 1654. Eliz. daughter of Robert and Mary Johnson 1669. Charles Rawlins senior, 1646. Anne his wife, daughter of Nic. Dannock Esq. 1654. Mr. John Brabourne; he gave 100l. to the Children's hospital, 12l. to 12 poor parishes, and 5l. to the poor of this parish. Mrs. Anne Guybon 1688.

Sir Peter Seaman (see p. 282) bought the lease of the manor and estate, &c. of Mr. Holl; and Thomas Seaman, Esq. about 1720, sold or mortgaged it to Sir John Blount, Bart. upon his purchasing Beeston by Norwich.

There is a mural monument for Tho. Seaman, Esq. who died in 1700. His arms and those of Copland, art impaled, viz. arg. two fesses and a canton gul. a bend az.

Thomas Seaman of Heigham, Esq. some time sheriff of Norfolk, and also some time Sheriff of the City of Norwich, married Eliz. daughter of John Copland of Yoxford in Suffolk Gent. and had six sons and four daughters, died Aug. 18, 1700, æt. 68.

There are stones in the body of the church for, Anne wife of Will. Fitz-John, 1698, and Will. their son. In the south isle, Edmund Cullier 1687, 56. Will. Callyer 1715, 65. Thomas son of Laurence Marsh. Martha late wife of the said Laurence, Dr. of Tho. Elwin, 1667, Laurence Marsh 1690, 82.

Augustine Elwyn son of Will. 1666, 35. Will. son of Thomas Elwyn 1655, 60. Eliz. wife of Edw. Culver Dr. of Will. Elwyn 1679. Tho. son of Will. Elwyn 1648, 82. Mary wife of Daniel Reeve, Dr. of Will. Elwyn 1668. Eliz. wife of Will. Elwyn, eldest son of Thomas, 1666, 66. Will. Elwyn 1686, 46. Tho. son of Will. and Eliz. Elwyn 1676, 2. Eliz. their Dr. 1679, 1.

Robert Powell, Gent. some time Sheriff of Norwich, 1695. By will proved in the Archdeacon of Norfolk's court, Dec. 2, 1675, John Powell of Heigham, Gent. tied his house and lands in Heigham for an annuity of 20s. for ever, to be paid to the church-wardens on St. Thomas's day, by them and the overseers to be then divided, where most needs is, and not to ease any rates.

Will. Rogers, who was mayor in 1542, and 1548, gave 300l. to the relief of merchants and other inhabitants of Norwich, to be lent interest free yearly, by 5, 10, or 20l. at the most, by the mayor and three justices of the peace; no man to have any of the sums above two years at the most; and tied 200l. of it to be forfeited to the town of Yarmouth, if any part of the money be lost, and the rest to Lyn, for the same purposes; he purchased and gave Pakenham's manor in Shropham, to God's-house, and tied it to pay 10l. per annum (for the discharge of tolls and customs in the market and fairs kept in the city) on every Michaelmas day, and the rest to clothe the poor in God's-house. And Kath. his wife gave 100l. in like manner as her husband's 300l. and 12 acres in Heigham, out of which, 30 shillings yearly to be divided on the day after the Epiphany, when the account of the loan money is to be publickly passed by the mayor and three justices, who are to declare to 60 poor people, who are to be summoned to attend at the door, who have the several sums. The mayor to have 5s. the three justices 5s. the town-clerk 5s. for engrossing the account and declaring to whom the money is lent, the chamberlain for keeping the bonds and books 20d. to the sword-bearer 1s.; 2s. to two officers to warn the persons, 4d. to the door-keeper of the council-chamber, and 10s. to be equally divided among the 60 poor people. (Ex Indent. in le Gild-hall, and Will Book, fo. 16.)

(138) The Leper-houses at Westwic or Bennet-gates, were purchased in 1584, by the city, of Thomas and Nic. Layer, and were called the Spitel-cotes, or cottages, and had a garden belonging to them.


  • 1. Regr. de Hulmo, fo. 6. B. in Bib. Cot. Galba. E. 2.
  • 2. Domesday, fo. 202, b. Hvmiliart Hund. Heeham tenet semper Sanctus Benedictus iii. car. terre, semper iii. vill. v. bor. ii. car. in dominio. tunc i. car. hom. modo dim. et una car. et dim. posset restaurari xxx. acr. prati ii. mol. i. runc. vii. porc. xii. ov. et vi. soc. de dim. car. terre semper ii. car. Tunc val. iiii. lib. i. modo c. sol. Huic manerio est liber homo sub abbatie commendatione tantum, et habet xxx. Acr. et dim. car. iii. acr. prati. val. 2 sol. Habet (Heeham) x. quar. in longo, et vii. in lato, et ii. den. et iii. ferd. de Gelto.
  • 3. This was afterwards escheated to the abbey, and granted by Abbot Will. II. in King Stephen's time, to Balderick de Taverham, and his heirs, in fee, and became a manor held of the abbey; in 40 Edw. III. Balderic, son of Nic. de Taverham sold to Bartholomew de Appleyard, and Sir Will. Parson of Intwood, Rob. Boteler, and his rent of a pound of pepper, for the lands he held of him in Hegham.
  • 4. In istâ pergamenâ, verum exaratur ectypum antiquissimæ Chartæ, et magni cerarij rotundi, coloris fusci, eidem Chartæ per lemniscum ex albo corio appensi, cujus autographum (ni fallor) incomparabile, mihi Simondsio Deuuesio, de Stowhall in Agro Suffolciensi, Equiti Aurato, primò credidit, et postea concessit Gulielmus Neve, Eques Auratus, Rex Armorum, Clarencieux; in cujus archetipi cerario, visuntur effigies armata, et decorum, sive insignium clypeus Ricardi Basset, filij Radulphi Basset Normanni, olim in vivis cum eodem filio suo, sub Gulielmo Rege primo, et capitalis tandem Angliæ sub Rege Heno. Io. Justiciarij, quem itidem iste Ricardus, filius ipsius, gradum, postea sub eôdem Henrico occupavit: istud affirmare ausim cerarium, decora Bassetti gentilia, ipsis Memorencianis antiquiora exhibere, quos toties jactavit eorum Gallia, primitus inter Christianos alieno imperio subditos, insignia gessisse: a femellâ ejusdem Ricardi Basset cohærede oriundâ, Anna Deuusia, prima uxor mea, filiaet unica hæres Domini Gulielmi Clopton, nuper de Luton's Hall, vulgò appellata Kentwelle, in consulatû præ dicto, Equitis Aurati, die undecimâ Martij A° Dni. 1618, Jacobi Regis A° 16. defuncti. Postremò, illud monendum duxi, quod etiamsi illud cerarium, dicto autographo appensum, ex parte mutilatum, ab initio receperam, uti in hoc ectypo (et duobus alijs me penes) exactè exhibetur: post illa tria tamen exemplaria, ex ipso originali cerario feliciter adumbrata, maximo nostro cum dolore, die viz. Mercurij, die 31° Aug. A° Dn. 1636, tantum ab eôdem per incuriam ablatum fuit, et amissum segmentum, ut non summitas duntaxat caudæ grypis, sed ut istæ literæ etiam capitales subsequentes - - RDI. BAS - - quæ in ectypo visuntur (et magnam partem cum nominis tum cognominis, dicti RICARDI BASSET constitueoant) infelicissimè perierint; quod ipse, veritatis in omnibus amator et indagator (qui semper cum viro isto incomparabili, sui seculi historicorum facile principe, Jacobo Augusto Thuano, ipso joco quidem mentiri abhorrebam) fideliter verissimèque propriâ subscriptione testatus sum, instante die Saturni die 10 Novemb. A° Dni. 1649. Calculo veteri, sive stylo Juliano. SIMONDSIUS DEUUESIUS. Liber sive Epistola Henrici Huntindonensis, de Contemptû Mundi, ad Walterum, Familiarem suum, tempore Regis Stephani, vel H. II. exarata; Codex vetustissimus. MSS. in Bibliothecâ Cottonianâ. Fo. 8, b. "Preterea viros clarissimos, scilicet, Radulphum Basset et filium ejus Ricardum justiciarios totius Angliæ, et Galfridum Ridel, et Galfridum Clintone justiciarios tocius Anglie, et alios absque numero, quibus jamdudum Magni constamenti servicium impendere jocundum mihi videbatur." Chartæ antiquæ in Arce Londinensi L. No. I. In Chartæ Regis Hen. I. de fundatione Ecclesie Sci. Bartholomei de Smetefeldiâ; testes sunt diversi Barones regni, et inter eos Ricardus Basset, proximo loco post Albericum de Ver, et immediatè antè Milonem de Gloucestriâ. A°. Dom. M°. C°. xxxviij°. 33 H. I.
  • 5. Regr. Holm. fo. 3, 26, 33.
  • 6. This Nicholas in 1222, settled two marks of yearly rent out of this mill on the prior of Norwich, and a weekly grist of 3 bushels of wheat toll-free, for the convent; in 1322, the celerer received 14s. of the miller for his rent; and John, son of Thomas Chese, heir of John, son of Nic. Chese, confirmed it.
  • 7. See Pt. I. p. 13.
  • 8. Sir Will. Ascew, rector, bur. the 4th June, 1573.
  • 9. Hist. Norf. vol. i. p. 209.
  • 10. Paul Chapman, D.D. rector, buried Nov. 1, 1630.
  • 11. Walker, fo. 367, Part ii.
  • 12. See p. 278, and Pt. I. p. 581.
  • 13. See p. 189. He is buried in St. Gregory's chancel, by his father.
  • 14. Regr. Alb. fo. 26.
  • 15. Hist. Norf. vol. ii. p. 451.
  • 16. Domsd. tom. ii. Bockingehamshire. tit. xix. et Hertfordshire. tit. xix. Radulfus Basset tenens memoratur. 20 Willi. primi Regis.
  • 17. Domsd. tom. ii, Bodefordescire. tit. xxviii. Ricardus Basset tenens. Lib. Rub. Scac. fo. 105, a.
  • 18. Rot. Magnus Pipæ A° 1 H. II. Rot. xi. M. i. a.
  • 19. Ordericus Vitalis Histor. Ecclesiast. Lib. 13. p. 905.
  • 20. Escaet de A° 17 Jacob. Regis Part 2. No. 112. b.
  • 21. Jacobi Augusti Orküani Vita Lib. 5. p. 81.