Hundred of Henstede: Poringland

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

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'Hundred of Henstede: Poringland', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5, (London, 1806) pp. 438-444. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

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There are two villages of this name, one called East, or GreatPoringland, and the other, West, or Little-Poringland; both of them are in the liberty of the Duke of Norfolk, and formerly were but one village, the whole of which (except the parts of other manors which extended hither) came into the hands of Rog. Bigot, (fn. 1) and have continued in the Norfolk families ever since, descending in the same manner as Forneet manor, to which I refer you.

But the advowsons and other parts which were granted off by the Bigots, constituted other manors lying in both parishes, of which I shall treat separately. It is plain, that the church of Great Porland (as it is commonly called) was founded before the Confessor's time, for in his survey we find it mentioned, as having then 12 acres of glebe worth one shilling an acre, of which Ulketel, a Dane, was then patron, as belonging to the manor of Framlingham; to which, the chief part of this town always was, and now is, appendant: the style of the court anciently being Framlingham cx parte Poringland.

At the Conqueror's survey the towns were a mile and a quarter long, and a mile broad, and paid 12d. to the geld or tax. In 1285, Roger le Bigot, superiour lord of both the Porlands, claimed view of frankpledge, assise of bread and ale, and free-warren over all his tenants; and afterwards the Earl-Marshal, lord here, was sued for exceeding the bounds of his free-warren in Porland-Parva, by extending it above half a mile towards Shotesham, when it did not really extend over the way leading from Norwich to Bungeye, beyond which Sir John de Norwich claimed free-warren, and in all his demean lands Cruche-Stoke, Howe, and Porland, which liberty he had of the grant of King Edw. III.

The advowson of the church of Great-Porland, which belonged to the Earl's manor of Porland-Magna, as a member of his manor of Framlingham-Earl, was given with divers lands by the Bygod family, to Clement de Porland, whose son Roger de Porland and Joan his wife, gave it in Henry the Third's time, to the monks of St. Mary at Thetford; (fn. 2) in which house it continued till its dissolution, and then was granted with it to the Duke of Norfolk. (fn. 3)

This family sirnamed of the town, continued here many generations; John de Poringland and Katherine his wife owned the estate of that family in 1268, and in 1313, Roger de Porringland and Margaret his wife had it; and after them, Alexander their son; from whom descended Robert de Porland, a monk of Norwich, (fn. 4) and brother Ric. de Porland. a gray friar there; (fn. 5) as also, another of the same name, vicar of St. Stephen's: (fn. 6) this estate came to the Fustolfs, and was sold by Thomas Fastolf, Gent. in 1594, to Thomas Bransbye, Gent. (fn. 7) which family continued some time here.


alias Porland, alias Polland, alias Palling, alias PoorEngland; for by all these names it is called in various institutions.

John Pounches, resigned in

1317, to Ric. Pycot, who the same year, with the consent of the monks of Thetford, the patrons, exchanged it for Trimingham with Nic. de Castleacre, and he in

1323, with Roger de Gunton, for Gunton rectory. In

1324, John de Foxton had it, who changed it for Hedenham in

1334, with Rob. de Swathyng. In

1349, Tho. de Mor of Saham, deacon, was presented by Mary Countess of Norfolk, by the King's grant, who had the temporals of Thetford priory in his hands, as an alien; he was one of the 60 clerks that the Pope dispensed with, being when instituted about 20 years old, on account of the great pestilence that had swept away most of the clergy in the diocese.

Abraham Barri, in whose time the church and chancel was rebuilt, and the chancel windows glazed; in the north window next the altar, part of an inscription still remains in remembrance of him, under his effiges in his priest's habit, holding the church in one hand, and the crosier and keys in another,

aham Barri de. Rectoris istius Ecclesie

1410, Robert Spenser of Shadingfield; it seems he arched the inside of the chancel roof, for his arms still remain thereon, with those of the benefactors to the rebuilding of the church, which was finished in the year 1432, as the date on an upper south window shows: besides his own, there are the arms of Brotherton, Bateman, France, and England, with a label of three ar. and V. a cross ingrailed, ar. counterchanged.

1423, Tho. Lambert of Westley, who resigned in

1451, to Rob. Curtyour, and he to John Morgan, and he in

1459, to John Derham, whose successour Tho. Weston, resigned in

1473, to Robert Draper, alias Peresson, alias Parsons, who lies buried under a stone in the chancel, with the cup and water on it, and this inscribed,

Orate pro anima Roberti Peresson nuper Rectoris istius Ec- clesie, cuius anime propicietur Deus.

This rector built the seats in the chancel, and the screens, and painted them neatly with the twelve Apostles, each having a sentence of the Creed in labels from their mouths; there are twelve other effigies of prophets, kings, and confessors, with labels also.

1, Moses, with yellow horns holding the law,

In Principio creavit Deus Celum et Terram.

On the screens are Adam and Eve plucking the forbidden fruit, and an angel driving them out of Paradise.

On the north end of the seat, directly over his grave, is Peresson's own effigies in his priest's habit, on his knees, saying,

3, A person Crowned, and this, Dominus dirit ad me, Filius meus, es Cu.

4, An Angel, Erre Uirgo concipiet et Pariet Filiium.

5, Post lrr hebdomadas occidetur Christus Domini.

6, Ero mors tua O mors mortus tuus ero inferne.

7, Spiritus meus erit in medio Uestri, nolite timere.

8, In Errlesiam Populi Dei, convenerunt Populi Judei.

9, Cum odio habueris diruitur Domine Deus Jsracl.

10, Suscitabo Filios tuos Syon.

11, Ego do vobis viam et Uite et Mortis.


On the south end, he is in a red cope, with this,

Jesu Fili Dei miserere mei.

He was succeeded in

1490, by John Drake, at whose death, in

1527, Tho. Greene had it, being the last presented by the Prior; and in 1529, he had it united to Porland Parva; at his death in 1546, the King gave it to

Will. Robinson; and in 1559, the Duke of Norfolk presented

Hugh Duddesbury, who held this and Porland-Parva as really united, and had a personal union with Howe; he died in 1570, and Thomas Duke of Norfolk presented

John Gascoigne, who held Little-Porland, and in 1603, returned answer that he had 94 communicants in his parish of Porlands, which were really united about 67 years since, and valued together at 6l. but at his death they were disunited again; and in 1612, the Duke gave it to

William Coppin, who the next year had Little Porland by personal union; he was buried here Jan. 1, 1624, and Thomas Earl of Arundel gave it to

Sam. White, A. M. (fn. 9) who was succeeded by

Nic. Sheppherd, at whose death, in 1672, Henry Lord Howard, of Castle-Rising, presented

Thomas Frost, L. DD. who died in 1674, and then by the name of Henry Howard Earl of Norwich, he gave it to Richard Webster, on whose resignation in 1681, Henry Earl of Aurundel gave it to

John Paris, who held it united to Porland-Parva; he was succeeded in

1696, by Rob. Fawcet, who was presented by Hen. Duke of Norfolk, and held it with the adjoining rectory of Castor, by union, till his death; and in

1736, Arthur Womack, eldest son of Laurence Womack, late vicar of Buxton, and rector of Castor by Yarmouth, was instituted, on the presentation of Francis Taylor, Esq. and Francis Loggin, Gent.; he held it united to Hillington rectory, till Aug. 9, 1738, when he died, and was buried in the rails on the north side of the altar, being succeeded in Oct. 25, following, by

The Rev. Mr. Vincent Hotchkiss, A. B. the present rector, who was presented by the said Francis Taylor, Esq. and Francis Loggin, Gent. patrons in full right.

The church is dedicated to All the Saints, hath a steeple round at bottom and sexangular at top, with three bells in it, on one of which is this,

Nos sociat Sanctis semper Nicolaus in altis.

There are two porches both tiled, a leaded nave, and thatched chancel. (fn. 10)

In the nave, on a brass at the west end,

Orate pro anima Eomundi Canwold, qui obiit blo die Martli Mo. ccccco primo, et pro anima Cecilie nuper Uroris predicti Eomundi Canwold que obiit ultimo die Decembris Ao D. Mo. vC. iiio.

Orate pro anima Willi-Body, cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen

Thomas Beverley died Feb. 11, 1723, aged 41.

Thomas Harod Clarke, rector of Bungeye, 2 May 1686, æt. 68.

Thomas Badleye, deceased 27 May 1607.

Mrs. Mary Dilke widow, daughter to the Rev. Mr. William Cecil, late rector or St. Michael Coslany in Norwich, died Aug. 20, 1736, 57. This in the altar rails on the south side.

In the south chancel window is the Salutation very perfect; in one pane the Blessed Virgin, in the other an Angel meeting her, with

Ave, Gracia plena Dominus tecum.

In another window St. Catherine with the wheel; and in a north window, St. Christopher carrying our Saviour over the water.

The present fabrick (except the steeple, which is much older) was begun about 1400, and finished about 1432; the windows were glazed at the expense of divers benefactors, whose effigies and names, with their arms, were originally fixed in them, though now much defaced. There was a tabernacle of All the Saints, and two gilds, one of St. Anne, and the other of St. Andrew, held at the two altars, which stood in the nave, on either side of the entrance of the chancel. In the north windows are the following arms, &c. viz. of

Hare single, and Hare impaled with Bassingbourne. Parts of a man and woman praying, and over them, Sancta Trinitas unus Deus, miserrer Nobis. And the shield of the Holy Wounds, viz. Arg. a cross az. on which a wounded heart gul. in chief two hands, in base two feet, all cooped and wounded gul. and under it Jesu Christe. St. Sebastian holding an arrow. Our Saviour standing with the crown of thorns on, and the purple robe; his hands erected, and under him a woman on her knees praying, with this over her in a label,

Ut intendas et defendas Morte tristi.

In the south windows, St. Laurence. Brotherton's arms. A man. and woman kneeling, but their subscriptions lost, all but Uroris eius, There is a fine bust of the Holy Virgin crowned; and in the upper part of the east chancel gable in the churchyard, are three niches, in one of them, part of an effigies of the Trinity still remains.

The rectory is in Norfolk arcndeaconry, and Brook deanery, and stands thus in the King's Books,

6l. Poringland vulgo Porland Rectoria. 40l. sworn real value.

And being discharged of first fruits and tenths, it is capable of augmentation. It pays 2s. syndols, 5s. procurations to the Archdeacon. (fn. 11) The Prior of Thetford had a pension paid by the rector of 13s. 4d. per annum, which is now paid to the Duke of Norfolk in right of that house. It paid 12d. Peter-pence, and 8d. carvage; and the town paid 1l. 8s. clear to each tenth, besides 5s. paid by the Prioress of Carrow for her temporals here, and 7s. by the chamberlain of the monastery of St. Edmund's Bury for his temporals, which were part of Brook manor, that extended hither. When Norwich Domesday was made, the rector had 10 acres of glebe, but no house, though now there is a very mean cottage, 10 acres and an half of glebe, and two pieces without contents; there is a piece of glebe about half a mile southward of the church, towards Howe, called the Old Churchyard, where the parish church originally stood, before it was removed for convenience to the site of the present church, which seems to have been done about William Rufus's time.

The family of the Hares fixed here, and owned a good estate in 1344, which John, son of Ralf Hare and Catherine his wife, purchased of Rob. Toke and Catherine his wife.

In 1502, Thomas Hare, by his will, tied his close under the south side of the Park, to find a mass with dirige and requiem without end.

In 1503, John Prat of this town gave two acres of land in Poringland Field, at Car-mere, to keep a light burning before the image of our Lady of Pete, in the church, and 12 acres more (now the townlands) lying in eleven pieces (all of which are plainly described) to the church-wardens and parishioners for ever, on condition they pay the rector yearly for ever 4d. on Advent Sunday to say mass for the dead, and for his soul in particular; and also cause the bells to be rung that day; and the rest of the profits to be disposed of by the church-wardens, "Pro taxis Domini Regis, et alijs oneribus, predictis parochianis et villanis, in perpetuum venturis." (fn. 12)

Ever since the first union, the parishes joined in choosing officers, (as they do now as to overseers), but since the consolidation of it to Howe, they pay their church rate to Howe, as well as all their tithes, and choose one constable and one surveyor for themselves; Great Porland is valued to the tax at 421l. and Little Porland at 250l.

Poringland Manor

Was part of both the towns, which Rog. Bigot gave to Rob. Fitz.Roger Helke, or de Clavering, who in 1198 founded Langley abbey, to which he gave it; (fn. 13) and the abbots always held it of Forncet manor till the Dissolution; and in 1543, King Henry VIII. granted the manors of Porland, Rockland, &c. to John Corbet, Esq. who sold it immediately to Roger and John Gostlyn, and their heirs; and in 1548, at Roger's death, Agnes his only child, then married to John Poynet, had livery of them; and in 1588, Sir Thomas Gawdy, Knt one of the justices of the common pleas, died seized, and left them to Henry his son: in 1623, Sir Rob. Gawdy of Claxton, Knt. had them; and they continued in that family, till sold by Tho. Gawdy, Esq. and divers mortgages, to Mr. Crowe; and in 1723, Roger Crowe, Gent. was lord, who left it at his death to John Bedingfield of Beeston, Esq. the present owner.

The abbot was taxed for his temporals in both the Porlands, at 7l. 6s. 10d. ob.

Another part was granted by Rog. Bigot, to Robert Fitz-Roger aforesaid, which he did not give to his monastery at Langley, but was always held at half a fee of Forncet manor, by the Roscelines, to whom the Claverings had granted it; from whom it took the name of

Roscelines, or Rustelines in Poringland.

In 1235, Peter de Roscelyne held it of Rob. Fiz.-Roger; in 1317, Thomas, son of Sir Peter Roscelyne, Knt. let it to farm to Sir Walter de Norwich, at 6l. 11s. 8d. a year, when it extended into both Porlands, Cruchestoke, Shotesham, both Framlinghams, Yelverton, Trous, Brakendale, Surlingham, Kirkeby, Holveston, Bramerton, Rokeland, Lodne, and Langley. In 1327, William de Shotesham, Clerk, settled it on John de Shotesham and Margaret his wife; and in 1638, Edmund Doyley, Esq. died seized, and was found to hold it of the King's hundred of Henstede, in free soccage; Susanna his daughter being then only three years and nine months old. But whether the whole of this manor was manumised, or into what hands it afterwards came, I have not found.


  • 1. Terre Regis quam Godricus servat. Doms. fo. 28. Heinestede H. In Porringelanda ii. liberi hom. Alnoth commendatus de xiii. acris terre semper 1. car. i. acr. prati. (This belonged to Alnoth's manor of Howe, in the Confessor's time.) Terre Episcopi Bajocensis. Doms. fo. 60. In Porrigalanda i. lib. homo, et i. soc. de xxi. acr. semper dim. car. (This belonged to Framlingham manor.) Terra Rogeri Bigoti, de escangio terre Isaac. Fo. 112. Heinestede H. In Porrinkelanda vii. integri lib. hom. ejusdem. (sc. Ulketel's) xxx. acr. semper dim. car. i. ecclesie xii. acr. val. xii.d. Idem (tenet Ulketel.) appretiati sunt omnes isti in Framingaham. In Porrinkelanda i. lib. homo, Edrici de xii. acr. terre et dim. acr. prati, semper arat cum tribus bovibus tunc et semper val. xii.d. hoc tenet idem, (sc. Aitardus de Vals alias Ethard de Vaux) Porringalanda habetv. quar. in longo et iiii. in lato, et de gelto xii. d. fo. 133. Terra Godrici Dapiferi, fo. 165. In Porrinkelanda i. liber homo Edwini, T. R. E. de xii. acr. et i. bord. et dim. acr. prati. semper dim. car. Et iste Edwinus fuit Teinus dominicus Regis Edwardi. Soca in Hundredo. [Heinestede H.] (This part belonged to the hundred.) Terra Abbatis de Sancto Eadmundo fo. 179. H. Heinestede. In Porringelant i. liber homo Guert commend. pertinens in Broc xxx. acr. et i. bord. de dim. car. ac. semper i. car. (This belonged to the abbot's manor of Brook.) Sub. tit. Invasiones in Nordfulc. fo. 302. H. Heinesteda. In Porringhelanda i. liber homo Edwini, commend. T. R. E. post Godricus et post propter forisfacturum Aluredus, et de illa foresfactura quietum se fecerat, teste hundredo. Sed per preceptum Episcopi Bajocencis servavit Rogerus Bigot in manu Regis et adhuc servat. tenet xv. acr. tunc dim. car. mo ii. bov. semper val. xvi.d. (This was afterwards called Little Poringland.)
  • 2. Sir Wil. de Castre, and Sir Wil. de Calthorp, Knts. Wil. Howard, Peter Branche, Wil. Reymund of Thetford, and others, were witnesses to the deed.
  • 3. See vol. ii. p. 116.
  • 4. See vol. iv. p. 40.
  • 5. Ibid. p. 112.
  • 6. Ibid. p. 147.
  • 7. E Registro. Bertram Doylye, Gent. and Jane Bransbye married, 1632, and was ordained 1633. 1638, Tho. Bransbye, Gent. buried. 1637, Marmaduke Ladlo, practicioner in physick, buried. 1638, John Corbet, Gent. and Eliz. Turner, married. 1640, Sam. Rookwood and Eliz. Curzon, married.
  • 8. Por-inge-land, I take to signify. poor-wet-land; and such is great part of the land, of that tract called Porland Heath, though the hill on which the windmill stands is the highest ground in the whole county of Norfolk.
  • 9. Catherine, wife of Sam White, rector, buried 25 Febr. 1651.
  • 10. The nave is ten yards and an half long, and eight broad; the chancel is as long as the nave, but only six yards broad. The steeple is 49 feet high.
  • 11. Dominus Johannes Holland miles, patronus (as trustee to the Duke of Norfolk.) Sam. White, A. M. rector. Valor 6l. Decim. 12s. Procurationes Episcopi. 18d. Sinod. 2s. Proc. Archid. 5s. Revis. Archid. Norf. 1630.
  • 12. Regr. Popy, fo. 317.
  • 13. E Cartaceo Libro MSS. olim pertinen. abbathie de Langley, remanente penes Rev. virum Jacobum Baldwin rectorem de Bunwell in Norf. Aula de Schoteshill in Poringland mentionatur. Rector de Poringland tenet unam peciam quondam Emme Wype de Yelverton, pro una pecia vocata Godes-Aker. John Hard of Porland, settled lands on John his son, and Margaret his wife, for life; and then to Thomas, William, Nicholas, and John, their sons; and Alice their daughter; and after their deaths, to Langley abbey.