Hundred of Depwade: Tacolneston

Pages 164-171

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.

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Commonly called Tackelston, (fn. 1) belonged to Stigand the Bishop, in the Confessor's time, who held it as a berewic to Wimondham; it was then worth 10l. per annum, when the Conqueror's survey was made 20l. and it belonged to that Prince, and was under the custody or care of Godric his sewer; it was about three miles in length, and one in breadth, and paid 10d. ob. to the geld or tax. (fn. 2) There was then a part of it which belonged to Roger Bigot's manor of Forncet, (fn. 3) and went as Forncet manor did, and continues with it to this day.

The whole town, except Bigot's part, was in the Crown, till Hen. I. gave it to Richard de Lucy, who held it at three fees, and paid castleward for them to Dover castle, and he gave two of them to Sir Rob. de Munteney or Mounteney, who held them in 1161; and the other fee to Hugh son of Hamel, or Hameline, (fn. 4) who then held it of Dover castle, and they were always held after of the honour of Dover, of the Fitz-Walters, as of their manor of Hemenhale.

Hugh son of Hamel was succeeded by Reginald Ovedale de Uvedale, or D'ovedale, and John de Uvedale his brother: the first held his part at half a fee of Walter Fitz-Robert, and the last held his of him, at the fourth part of a fee; and this constituted the manor called afterwards from its owners Dovedale's, or Tacolneston manor. Simon Fitz-Richard held a fourth part of a fee, which made up the manor called afterwards the Earl's manor, Hugh son of Eustace of Tacolneston held one fee of Walter Fitz-Robert, which was after called William's manor; and Bartholomew son of Philip Malherbe held one fee of Walter Fitz-Robert, which was after joined to Takeleston manor; and the aforesaid manors had their several shares in the advowson, all which were purchased by Hugh de D'Ovedale, and so the advowson attended Dovedale's manor.

Tacolenston, or Dovedale's Manor,

Descended from Reginald de Uvedale to Benedict his son after whom Hugh de Uvedale had it; (fn. 5) this Hugh, in 1214, purchased a part of the advowson of Rob. Mortimer, and became lord and sole patron; he was son of John de Uvedale, brother to Reginald, by Amicia daughter and heir of Roger Malherbe of Tacolneston, by which match, Malherbe's (fn. 6) part was united to this. In 1274, he had liberty of free-warren allowed to the manor, and view of frankpledge, and assize of bread and ale over all his tenants; and in 1285, the King's charter for liberty of warren was allowed an eire, but the other liberties belonged to the King's hundred, whose bailiff was to be present at every lete, and receive three shillings a year of the lord for liberty of holding a lete. He was succeeded by Sir John Dovedale, his son and heir, about 1306, when he held here one fee of Roger Bigod of Norfolk. In 1318, this John gave his manor of Bedingham to the canons of Walsingham, upon which an inquisition being brought, the jury presented, "That besides the manor of Bedingham which John de Uvedale gave the canons of Walsingham, at that time John had his manor of Tacolneston, and several lands and tenements in Newton Flotman, to the value of 40l which would fully satisfy all customs and services, as well of the manor so given, as of the lands remaining; in scutages, view of frankpledge, aids, tallages, wards, fines, redemptions, amerciaments, contributions, and all emergencies; and that the said John might still be put on all assizes, juries, and recognisances, as before the said gift, so that the country would not be more charged than before the said John gave that manor." (fn. 7) This I have transcribed at length, as showing in a good measure, the reason for making the statute of mortmain. In 1332, Isabell widow of John de Dovedale, daughter of Gilbert de Eton and Alice his wife, (which Alice was one of the three sisters and heirs of Thomas de Tichesey,) paid a relief to the King for Tichesey manor, which the said Thomas held at two fees of the King. In 1321, Sir Peter, son and heir of Sir John de Uvedale, had the manor at the death of his father; and the inquisition says, that it was held of the Earl of Norfolk, who held it of the FitzWalters manor of Hemenhale; that the manor-house had 90 acres of land adjoining, woods, groves, a windmill, and 3l. 10s. yearly quitrents; that he held also manors in Cambridgeshire and Surrey, and that Peter his son was 26 years old. This Sir Peter married Margaret, daughter and coheiress of William de Rusteing of Congham, with whom he had Rusteyn's manor in Wimondham, in 1333, and the two manors were then settled on Sir Peter and Margaret his wife, remainder to Sir Thomas de Uvedale, Knt. remainder to Hugh son of John de Uvedale (fn. 8) in tail. Sir Peter died about 1345, for the then Lady Margaret his widow held it of the Earl, and presented in 1349. After her, Sir Thomas de Uvedale had it, and paid 3d. ob. a year out of the manor, to St. John's commandry at Carbrook; he presented in 1361, but was dead before 1374, for in that year John de Uvedale presented; he was, as I take it, son of Hugh, on whom the manor was intailed; in 1388, he obtained a charter from King Ric. II. confirming the charter of King Edward I. dated 16 May, in the 32d year of his reign, (1303,) by which that King granted to Sir John de Uvedale and his heirs, a weekly market on Wednesday, to be held at his manor of Tacolneston; (fn. 9) and two fairs yearly, to be held at the said manor, the one on the vigil, day, and morrow, of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist; and the other on the vigil, day, and morrow, of All-Saints: and also liberty of free-warren in the said manor. In 1401, the said John held one fee of it of Thomas Mowbray, as of the manor of Forncet; one fee of Robert Mounteney, who held it of Mowbray; he presented in 1410, and it appears that he married Margaret Rees, and died about 1434, for in that year, Robert Clere, Esq. of Ormesby, held his first court for the manor of Tacolneston, D'Ovedale's, jointly with Eliz. his wife, only daughter and heiress of Tho. Uvedale, Esq.; she outlived him, and died in 1492, and was buried by her husband in Norwich cathedral, (see vol. iv. p. 35,) and settled a rent charge out of her manors of Cleydon and Threston or Tharston, for one of the monks to pray for their souls, and founded two priests to sing before Rees's altar in the collegiate church of St. Mary in the Fields in Norwich, for her own and husband's soul, and those of Will. Rees, Esq. and Margery his wife, her father and mother, who were buried there, (see vol. iv. p. 176,) she gave 4 bushels of malt to every teuant and householder in Ormesby; and legacies to Robert Clere her son; and to Audry and Dorothy his daughters, 200l. each, their sister Anne being a nun at Denney; she gave legacies also to John and Ralph sons of Sir Ralf Shelton; and to her daughter dame Margaret Shelton, a pair of gold beads for life, and then to Alice Heveningham, daughter of Sir Ralf Shelton; to Eliz. Beding field, daughter to her son Robert, her goddaughter, 500 marks, of such money as she and her son Robert ought to have of Sir Edmund Bedingfield, Knt. for the marriage of John his son and heir, to her god-daughter. In 1493, Philip Calthorp, Esq. and others, held their first court to the use of Robert Clere, Esq. and in 1506, a court was held in his own name, and that of Alice his wife, daughter of Sir Will. Boleyn of Blickling, Knt. and he was succeeded by Sir John Clere, Knt. his heir, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Tho. Tirrel, Knt. and in 1550, Edward Clere, Esq. his son, held his first court; he married Frances, daughter and heiress of Sir Ric. Fulmerston of Thetford, Knt. (fn. 10) and settled this and Tharston manors on Anne his mother for life, Sir John Tirrel, Knt. his uncle, being trustee; at his death, Sir Edward Clere of Ormesby, his son, had it; he married Margaret, daughter of Will. Yaxley of Yaxley in Suffolk, Esq. whose son Sir Henry Clere of Ormesby, Baronet, mortgaged it to Mr. John Browne of Sparkes in Tacolneston, who afterwards joined with Sir Henry, and sold it to Richard Brockden or Brogden, alderman of Norwich, son of James Brockden, sheriff of Norwich in 1679, and Rebecca Gascoign his wife; he married Mary Douglas of Norwich; their son James Brocden was killed before Namur about 1695; he had three wives; 1, Mary, daughter of Hugh Bokenham, alderman of Norwich; 2, a daughter of Martin Skypp of North-Tudenham; 3, a daughter of Tho. Woode of Brakene, Esq. but had no issue; his mother Mary held this manor for life; and afterwards remarried to John Ladd, surgeon of Norwich; and it after belonged to Benjamin Andrewes, who sold it to Edmund Knipe of Tacolneston, Esq. the present lord, who hath a good house here, about two furlongs west of the church, anciently the seat of the Brownes, called Sparkes; William Knipe, Esq. is his son and heir.

William's Manor

Was granted to William sirnamed of Tacolneston, the place of his birth and habitation, from whose christian name the manor took its name; he was succeeded by Eustace, and he by Hugh his son, who owned it in 1196; and in 1249, it was found, that he held it at a whole knight's fee, but was not yet knighted. In 1256, Adam de Tacolneston had it; and in 1284, William de Tacolneston was returned of full age, and fit to be knighted; and in 1285, by the name of Sir William de Tacolneston (though he is often called Sir William Fitz-Eustace) he had view of frankpledge of all his tenants, and assise of bread and ale; the King's bailiff of the hundred attending at the lete, and receiving 18d. per annum; he was lord in 1297. In 1305, Richard de Tacolneston had it; in 1308, R. de Tacolneston settled on Anastaia, daughter of Robert de la More of Brakene, divers lands, &c. here and in Forncet, for life, remainder to himself; and in 1316, the said Richard was lord. In 1381, John de Tacolneston was lord; the famous John Tacesphalus (I believe) who was born here, and was elected prior of the Carmelites or White-friars in Norwich in 1404, of whom Pitsspeaks, p. 607. He was D. D. a man of great learning, remarkable piety, and a good orator; a great preacher against the disciples of Wickliff, Hus, and the Lollards; he published two books by way of comment on the Revelations; a collection of sermons for the Saints days, and many others; and to make them of the greater authority and esteem, he went to Pope Martin V. to Rome, to obtain his approbation and publick recommendation, which he had just obtained when he died, and was buried there; and it is probable, the manor fell by escheat, to the lord of Forncet manor, of which it was held, and continued with it till about 1570, when the Earl of Arundel was returned lord of William's manor in Tacolneston, and chief lord of the commons there, in right of the Earl's manor, which belonged to Forncet manor; but it was sold by the Earl to the Cleres, and by them to the Brownes; and in 1623, Edm. and Rob. Browne, son and heir apparent of Edm. articled with Tho. Knevet, Esq. and for 1900l. sold him Tacolneston manor, and the manor of William's, with the advowson and the rents of assise there above 11l. per annum, 6 capons, 2 hens, and 5 eggs; but it did not take place, for William's manor descended to John Browne, who joined and sold Tacolneston manor as aforesaid, to James Brockden, but kept this to himself; in 1657, the said John Browne the elder, Gent. was lord, and in 1664, John Browne, his eldest son and heir, kept his first court, in which it was found, that the custom of the manor is to the eldest son: and it hath continued ever since in the Brownes, and at the death of Richard Browne, it descended to his son, the Rev. Mr. John Browne, rector of Ashwelthorp, who is the present lord.

Earl's Manor

Was held as aforesaid by Simon Fitz-Richard, and in 1199, by Richard Fitz-Walter; in 1277, Robert Fitz-John and Maud his wife settled it on Richard de Eye, and it had three messuages, seven score and three acres of ground, 50 acres of wood, a mill, &c. In 1306, Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk and Marshal of England held it jointly with Alice his wife, of Robert Fitz-Walter, by the service of two parts of a fee; and from that time to this, it hath passed as Forncet manor.

The church is dedicated to all the Saints; when Norwich Domesday was wrote, Hugh de Dovedale was patron; the rector then had no house, but two barns, and 23 acres of glebe, though now there is a house, barn, and outhouses, adjoining to the north side of the churchyard, and about 30 acres of glebe. It was first valued at 10, after at 12 marks, and paid 6s. 8d. procurations, 3s. synodals, 2s. 6d. Peter-pence, and 8d. carvage; and the town paid 2l. 10s. clear to every tenth. The Prior of Bokenham's temporals were taxed at 6d. and those of the monks of Thetford at 2s. ob. The rectory stands undischarged in the King's Books at 12l. pays first fruits, and 1l. 4s. yearly tenths. There were two gilds here, the one of All-Saints, and the other of St. Nicholas. The church was rebuilt about 1503, for there were about that time, many legacies given to the foundation of the church of Tacolneston. The tower is square and hath five bells in it; the nave and chancel are thatched, the south isle is leaded, and the south porch tiled. In 1520, John Bannister was buried in the churchyard by Cicily and Beatrix his wives, and gave his manor of Aldham-hall in Lancashire, to his eldest child. In 1543, Will. Bexwell of Tacolneston, was buried in the church.

Browne of Tacolneston, or, a bend vert. Crest, a buck passant proper Guillim abridged, vol i. p. 55.

Ricardus Browne de Sparkes in hâc Parochiâ Gen. hic jacet Sepultus, qui mortem obijt 21 Die Augusti A. D. 1678, æt. suæ 45.

Browne impaling Knevet. Pietate et Charitate.

Hic jacet Corpus Murielis nuper Uxoris Johannis Browne, apud Sparkes Generosi, quæ fuit una Filiaram Johannis Knevet Generosi, et Vitam hanc cum morte commutavit 16° Die Marcij 1671.

Hic jacet Corpus Johannis Browne, apud Sparkes Generosi, qui Vitam hanc migravit 29° Die Sept. A. D. 1666.

Hodie mihi, Cras tibi.

Margaret Wife of Thomas Browne, one of the Daughters of Mr. John Framingham of Stucay, 19 Jan. 1682.

Death was thy Gain, tho' Loss to me, Who lost my better Half in Thee.

John son of Thomas Browne of Tacolneston, died in 1587. Thomas son of Ric. Browne late of Brundish, Sept. 18, 1679. Tho. son of Tho. Browne, April 30, 1696. Mary late wife of Tho. Browne 1696.

Mary Knipe, March 30, 1705. Henry son of Edm. Knipe Gent. 30 Dec. 1713. All these in the nave.

In the south isle is a stone for, Mary Catherine Browne Dr. to Mr. Robert Browne, and Mary his Wife, Jan. 14, 1675.

There is a stone in the churchyard, for Thomas Browne of Saxlingham-Thorp, 24 Oct. 1720, 51. The Brownes are an ancient family, having been in this parish ever since Henry the Sixth's time.

In the chancel, Anne the dear Wife of John Baldocke, Rector of Redgrave cum Botesdale in Suffolk, was buried here Oct. 11, 1692. Phillippa their daughter lies on the north side, 1676.

Mary daughter of Robert Kedington of Hockham, Esq. in Norfolk, and of Philippa his wife, Nov. 19, 1691.

William Lynne of Bintre in Norfolk, Gent. 27 Dec. 1678.

In the east window, quarterly, 1, Barry, or Berry, arg. a chevron between three bears heads sab. muzzled or. 2, lost. 3, Paston. 4, Mawtby. In a north window Bohun.


1310, Hugh de Dovedale, accolite. Sir John son of Sir Hugh de Dovedale, Knt.

1311, George de Uvedale, accolite. Ditto.

1311, Hugh de Dovedale again, being now sub-deacon; he was instituted by George de Uvedale, his proctor, who resigned to him. Ditto.

1349, Nic. de Islde. Lady Margaret de Dovedale. 1361, Sir Thomas de Uvedale, Knt. gave it to

John Broun, or Browne, vicar-general to the Bishop, (fn. 11) and dean of Chapel-Field college, where he was buried, (fn. 12) who changed this for that deanery in

1374, with John de Henneye, late dean. 1400, John Fremingham and other trustees, presented

Stephen Praty; and in

1410, Roger Haghe had it, of the gift of Tho. Uvedale, Esq. In

1443, Sir Robert Stevenson succeeded, on the presentation of Eliz. Clere of Tacolneston, widow, (fn. 13) late wife of Robert Clere of Ormesby; on whose death, Robert Clere, Esq. her son, gave it to

John Pynder, who in 1494, resigned, and Richard and Robert Southwell, Esqrs. as guardians to the heirs of Richard Holdich, late of Didlington, Esq. presented Thomas Castleford, who resigned in

1498, to William Isbellys, who upon his institution, gave security to the Bishop, that he would pay a pension of 5 marks per annum to Thomas Castleford, that now resigned to him, as not being able to serve the cure. In 1540, at Isbell's death,

Robert Frosdit or Frosdike was presented by Robert Eusing, Gent. and John Simond, chaplain, by grant from Sir Tho. Clere, Knt. About

1556, Sir Robert Poynter had it; at his death in 1562, Edw. Clere, Esq. gave it to

Thomas Bunting; at his death in 1574, Tho. Paris, Gent. presented

Will. Mellinge, on whose resignation in 1577, Sir Edward Clere gave it to

George Gurnay, who in 1603 returned answer, that here were 120 communicants. In

1618, John Taylor; he held it united to Thugurton, and was presented by Thomas Palgrave of Pulham, who had it of the gift of Sir Thomas Knevet of Ashwell-thorp, Knt. and he in 1589, had the turn of Eliz. Trevor, who had it of Sir Edw. Clere. In 1643, John Taylor, senior, clerk, gave it to

Daniel Colby, who resigned the same year, and Taylor, senior, gave it to

John Taylor, junior. In 1660, Bobert Baldock, Esq. presented

Will. Smithies, who resigned in 1671, and then the said Robert, by the name of Sir Robert Baldock, Knt. gave it to

John Baldock, who resigned and took Redgrave in 1681, and Richard Kerrington had it of the gift of Robert Baldock, Knt. serjeant at law, who was deprived for not taking the oath to Will. III. and in 1690, Sir Robert gave it to

Charles Ward, afterwards rector of Mileham, who held it united to Hockering; he resigned in 1705, and

Horace Towneshend had it, of the gift of George and Mary Towneshend; at whose death in

1706, the Rev. Mr. Thomas Townshend, the present rector, who holds it with Shipdham, was collated by lapse.

The advowson was sold from the manor by Sir Henry Clere, and was after purchased by Sir Robert Baldock, who descended from an ancient family of that name in this county, for Richard Baldock of Neketon owned a good estate there in 1263; in 1683, the said Robert was appointed King's serjeant by patent, and being an active man in King James the Second's time, he was one of the King's council at the trial of the seven Bishops in 1688, (fn. 14) in which cause, showing much zeal, he was the same year made one of the justices of the King's Bench, in the room of Sir John Powell, Knt. who was turned out for maintaining, that the Bishops petition to the King could not be a libel; because it was founded upon the King's incapacity to dispense laws; which was very true: he had two wives, first Mary Bacon; 2d, the relict of Sir William Hewet of Breccles; by the first he had two children, Henry his only son, who died without issue, soon after his father, and left his only sister Mary, then wife of George Towneshend of Little-Wrotham, Esq. his sole heiress, whose only surviving son is the present rector. Sir Rob. Baldock aforesaid built a house opposite to the south part of the churchyard, which is commonly called Tacolneston-Hall, in which he dwelt, but now being decayed, great part of it is pulled down. This estate with the advowson, was sold some years since to Mr. Ferrer, who left it to his son William Ferrer, Gent. and his sister, carried it to her husband, Bernard Hyde, Gent, of Seven-Oak in Kent, the present patron.


  • 1. Villa Tacolvi. From some ancient owner.
  • 2. Sub tit. Terre Regis quam Godricus servat. Depwade Hund. Domsd. fo. 56. Tacolnestuna tenuit Stigandus pro berewita in Wimundham, v. car. terre, semper xvi. villani et xxi. bor. et sex servi et iiii. car. in dominio, tunc xiiii. car. hom. post et modo v. xii. acr. prati, silva xx. porc. et semper i. mol. et iiii. runcin. et xvi. anim. et. I. porc. et lxxx. oves, et xv. capr. et v. soc. xii. acr. semper dim. car. et viii. liberi homines i. car. terre et ii. villani. et viii. bord. tunc iii. car. post et modo ii. viii. acr. prati. Tunc valuit x. libr. modo xx. blancas, et habet i. leug. et dim. in longo et dim. in lato, et x. den. et obulum de Gelto.
  • 3. Terra Rogeri Bigoti. Domsd. fo. 140. Depwade H. In Fornesseta, &c. In Tacolnestuna i. lib. homo Stigandi xv. acr. et iii. bord. i. car. et ii. acr. prati.
  • 4. See vol. i. p. 13.
  • 5. 1305, Stephen son of Benedict de Uvedale of Tacolneston, confirmed lands to Sir John de Thorp of Fundenhall, but had no concern in the manor.
  • 6. See vol. ii. p. 516.
  • 7. Regr. Walsingham, fo. 142, 12 E. II.
  • 8. See vol. ii. p. 501. This was a very numerous family, many of them being considerable owners in this county, see vol. i. p. 516.
  • 9. The market and fair have been long since disused.
  • 10. See vol. ii. p. 66.
  • 11. Vol. iii. p. 632.
  • 12. See vol. iv. p. 170.
  • 13. Regr. Wolmer, fo. 161.
  • 14. Rapin, vol. xv. p. 143, 4.