Hundred of Henstede: Surlingham

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: Surlingham', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5, (London, 1806) pp. 462-470. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section


Sutherlingaham, or the village of low meadows on the south side of the water, was in several parts at the Confessor's survey; the chief manor belonged to Ulketel the Dane, and was after given by the Conqueror to Roger Bigot of whom Ethard de Vaux held it at the survey, (fn. 1) when the town was a mile long, and half a mile broad, and paid 19d. to the geld, towards raising every 20s. tax, laid on the hundred: this constituted the manor of Surlingham, which had the advowson of St. Mary's church in Surlingham belonging to it; and it contained also, the greatest part of the adjacent village of Bramerton, the advowson of which church also belonged to it, as also the advowson of the parochial church of

St Saviour in Surlingham, which was given with the church of St. Mary there, to the abbess and nuns at Carrow, by Norwich, by Maud de Multon, lady of the manor, and patroress of them both; and immediately after the gift, the rectory of St. Saviour, was appropriated to that house, which to its dissolution received all the great and small tithes belonging to it, paying a yearly stipend out of them to a serving chaplain here: and it continued a distinct perpetual curacy till lately: in 1630, in the Revision of the Archdeaconry of Norfolk it is returned, that James Culley, clerk, was then curate and proprietor, (fn. 2) that it paid 18d. synodals, and 5s. archdeacon's procurations, and was appropriated to Carrow, and there being no vicarage endowed, it was never entered in the King's Books: the Abbess in order to get it appropriated, pretended that it was only a chapel belonging to the church of St. Mary; but that was contradicted by the return then made, and entered in Norwich Domesday Book; where it is said, that Surlingham St. Saviour had the same patroness with St. Mary, and that though they had now valued it with it, yet heretofore it was a mother-church, distinct from the other church, and had baptism and burial; for the Lady Maud de Multon, formerly patroness of the same, declared that all infants born in that parish, were baptised there, and that her own brother, and many others, lie buried in that church, and that the parishioners have been buried there immemorially.

In the Chorography of Norfolk, St. Saviour's church at Surlingham was returned to be a donative, sometime belonging to the priory of Carrowe, and purchased of the King after the Dissolution, whereto belongeth one barn, and no other houses, and 30 acres of glebe; about 1705, it was settled by consent of all parties, that the impropriator, should pay for ever a clear rent charge of 16l. a year, by quarterly payments, and so should enjoy all the great and small tithes and glebes, belonging to this parish; and soon after, the service was removed to St. Mary's, and the church dilapidated; it never had any steeple, the bell hanging in a niche at the west end; the nave and chancel were of an equal height and bigness, each being 15 yards long and six broad; and had a south porch.

In the yard lies an old coffin-stone, with a cross floré on three grieces; and on a grave-post is this,

Here lieth the Body of Mary the Daughter of Francis Field, and Margaret his wife, who departed this Life Dec. 24, 1685.

It stands on the side of a hill, about two furlongs north-east of

The church of St. Mary the Virgin, which was given also by Maud de Multon, lady of the manor, to which the advowson was till that time appendant.

Rectors of Surlingham St. Mary,


1303, Sir Will. de Carlton.

1304, Master Will. de Dallyng, LL. D. 1324, he changed for Hecham with

John de Thirstone, who was the last rector.

For in 1349, they got it appropriated to their house on the 10th of July, for to find clothing for the nuns; (fn. 3) the original appropriation is extant in the 4th Institution Book, fo. 24, 26, by which it appears, that the Bishop was to nominate the vicars on every vacancy to the prioresses, who were obliged to present the persons so nominated: the vicar had a vicarage-house assigned him, with the tithes of hay, wool, and all other small tithes and offerings whatever, belonging to the parish; with 33 acres of glebe land, and an annual pension of 10 marks out of the great tithes. (fn. 4)



1349, 2 Sept. Roger de Geyst, priest, the first vicar; he died in 1381; his will is in Regr. Haydon, fo. 157.

1382, Barth. Broun, subdeacon, who changed in 1384, for S. Walsham St. Laurence with

Bartholomew Pocock, who lies buried in the choir of the hospital church of St. Giles in Norwich.

1385, Will. de Boton. (fn. 5) In

1412, Edm. Coupere, resigned to

Nicholas Hales, for St. Julian's in Norwich; he was buried in this churchyard in 1432, being succeeded by

Master John Alnwyk, a relation to William Alnwyk Bishop of Norwich, who nominated him to this vicarage; he gave the present town-lands to this parish, to repair the church, and lies buried in the chancel, with this inscription under his effigies in brass,

Magister John iaret hic, dirtus prenobilis Alnwyk, Qui dedit Errlesie plurima dona sue, Et Mundum renuit, celica Regna Petit, Anno Milleno C quater L quoque deno.

He resigned this in 1449, and Robert Cotyller succeeded, and in 1475, John Chaumberleyn had it, and in

1487, Rob. Scott; in

1496, William Gore, who died next year, and lies buried in the chancel, with this on a brass plate,

Orate pro anima Willi. Gore quondam Uicarii istius Ecclesie qui obiit Anno Domini Mcccclrrrrviio.

Ric. Lumhalx succeeded him, and lies buried by him with this,

Orate pro anima Domini Ricardi Lunchawkys quondam Rectoris istius Ecclesie qui obiit rro Die Decembr: Ao Dni. M. vc, riii. cuius anime propicietur Deus.

Thomas Langworth succeeded him, and resigned in

1517, to Stephen Logon, who was deprived, and in

1525, Alexander Duckworth was nominated by the Bishop, and was the last presented by the Prioress; he died vicar.

1552, Reginald Witten, A. M. the Bishop nominated to Anne Shelton, owner of Carrow, he died vicar, and in

1557, James Greene was presented by Sir John Shelton, Knt. at the Bishop's nomination.

1584, Robert Peachye, A.M. who in 1603, returned answer, that there were 154 communicants here; (fn. 6) he died vicar, and in

1639, Samuel Willan was collated by the Bishop, and after him it was served by licensed curates, and in

1677, Wil. Brooke was licensed to it; in

1683, James Bowgin was instituted by lapse; and in

1706, Francis Brooke was instituted to the vicarage of Surlingham St. Mary, at the nomination of the Bishop, and presentation of Naphaniel Axtell, owner of Carrow, on the death of

James Bowgin, clerk. Hitherto the impropriation had gone with Carrow, but soon after this, Mr. Axtell sold the impropriations of both churches, and the presentation to the vicarage; and on the sale, settled a clear annuity of 16l. to be paid quarterly out of the great and small tithes of St. Saviour, and the parsonage-house and glebe lands of St. Mary; besides which, all the small tithes whatever of St. Mary's parish belong to the vicar, which are now let to the impropriator. In

1725, Thomas Manlove, A. B. was instituted by Thomas Tanner, S. T. P. on the resignation of

John Fox, and presentation of Rich. Gent, at the nomination of the Bishop of Norwich, to the vicarage of the parish of St. Saviour and St. Mary of Surlingham, and was inducted by the Archdeacon of Norfolk. In

1731, Gilbert Bennet, A. B. on the cession of

William Evans. Ditto. In 1736, on Bennet's cession,

Roger Giddings had it, and held it with Moulton rectory by union; he was nominated by the Bishop, and presented by Ric. Gent the elder, patron and impropriator, whose son, Mr. Richard Gent of Surlingham is the present impropiator and patron, at the Bishop's nomination.

The Prioress of Carrow had temporals here, taxed at 9s. 4d. The marsh belonging to the Prior of Norwich, was taxed at 4s. 4d. The temporals of the Abbot of Langley at 11s. 9d. And the whole vill paid clear to each tenth, without the religious, (who were taxed by themselves) 14s. 8d.

The church of St. Mary, hath a steeple about 50 feet high, round at bottom, and octangular at top, and four bells in it; on the

2d, Da Gloriam Dco. 1505.

3d, Uirginis Egregie vocor Campana Marie.

4th, Johannis Cristi care, dignare pro nobis orare.

The nave and north isle, are both twelve paces long, the church nine broad, and the isle three; the chancel is ten paces long and six broad; there is a south porch, all leaded.

In the nave there are stones for, Mary Newman 1661. Anne, Daughter of John and Florence Newman, 1667. Ursula Wife of John Newman 1663.

On the font are the emblems of the 4 Evangelists, the shield of the instruments of the Passion, the emblem of the Trinity, that of the sacrament, viz. three cups, with a wafer on each of them, and the arms of the East Angles.

In the north isle,

Orate pro animabus Audrie Syr (Sire) et Alicie Walisch (Welsh) Audrie, quorum animabus propicietur Deus Amen.

Orate pro anima Germyn Lessyngham, Ao. Dni. M. vc rrvo.

In the east window,

Orate pro animabus fratrum et sororum Gilde, St. Salvatoris. (fn. 7)

In a south window are two broken effigies, one of a false witness, and under him, Testis iniquus In a label this, De Jures bana per ipsum. The other hath the word Mechus under him, and this in a label, Tuos benerare parentes.

The Capital Manor of Surlingham, with Bastwick's Panclose, and Verdon's, annexed.

Surlingham manor belonged to Aitard or Ethard de Vaus, (fn. 8) who held it of Rog. Bigot in the time of the Conqueror, and it continued a long time in his family, and passed with the manor of Keswick, as you may see at p. 434. It remained in the Vaux's family till about 1250, and then John de Vaux gave it, with his daughter Maud, in free marriage, to Thomas de Multon or Moulton, of Gillesland in Cumberland, and they in 1252, had a charter for free-warren in all their demeans, by the grant of King Henry III.; but notwithstanding this, and other favours conferred on him by that King, he deserted him, and joined with the rebellious barons against their Prince; upon which, the King seized upon this manor, and gave it to William de Saint Omer, and directed his writ to the sheriff of the county, to deliver him seizin; but the sheriff favouring the barons, would not do it, but for his refusal, he was next year fined 10l. and after that 20l. and the treasurer of the Exchequer was ordered by the court to levy it; (fn. 9) but after this, making his peace with the King, he died seized, and in 1275, Maud his wife settled it by fine on herself for life, and then on Hubert de Multon her son: she was found to have freewarren, assise of bread and ale, and view of frankpledge, in the towns of Surlinghum, Bramerton, and Rockland, but that the lete or view of frankpledge, belonged to this manor only for 30 years past when Andrew Walceline, bailiff of the King's hundred of Henstede, to which these letes belonged, took of the then lord of Surlingham, 20s. and a robe, to say nothing of it. In 1295, it was found that Maud de Vaux, widow of Thomas de Multon, died seized, (fn. 10) and left it to Hubert her son, as guardian to Thomas her grandson, son of her eldest son, Thomas de Multon, who died before his father; but when the said Thomas the grandson came of age, he released it to his uncle Hubert, who held it of the said Thomas de Multon, who was found to hold five fees in Surlingham, Denham, Kirby, Keswic, and Cringleford, of Forncet: at Hubert's death, John de Multon his son inherited, who held it of that Thomas de Multon of Gillesland, who had released it to his father Hubert; and it seems that John died a minor, and was succeeded by Margaret du Bois his sister, then the wife of Sir William Legh, Knt. for Will. de Legh, Knt. and Margaret his wife, settled it in trust, on Adam de Brampton and Will. de Tofts, it being then worth 32l. 14s. per annum. In 1378, Sir William Legh, Knt. was sole lord, and granted off a 40th part of a fee here and in Rockland, to the Abbot of Langley; that part here, constituted the Abbot's manor; he died seized this year, and Will. de Legh, Knt. his son, succeeded him; in 1415, he settled this manor and Bramerton advowson, on himself and Agnes his wife, in tail; Henry Preston and others being trustees; he gave lands in Cringleford to St. Giles's Hospital in Norwich; to the deed is his seal affixed, circumscribed, Sigillumi Domini Willi: de Legh militis: The crest is a falcon rising from a torce; the arms are, two bars surmounted by a bend chequy; he died in 1427, and Agnes his wife survived him, and Sir Will. Legh, Knt. (fn. 11) his son and heir, had livery of his lands; he died about 1492, and Thomas Legh or Lye, his son, inherited, who died in 1494, seized of this manor and Bramerton advowson, which extended into Bramerton, Kirbybedon, Yelverton, Bixley, Poringland, and Framlingham: it being held of the Lord Dacres, who held it of the Norfolk family, as of Forncet manor. Rob. Legh, his son and heir, succeeded. In 1527, John Legh, Esq. paid to Richard Bainard, Gent. feodary to the Duke of Norfolk, 4l. for an aid to marry Catherine, daughter of Thomas Duke of Norfolk; he holding Surlingham manor at four fees, of his honour of Forncet. After him, Tho. Legh, Esq. and Maud his wife, owned it, who seems to have been a Redman, it being settled at their marriage on Mathew Redman, in trust. In 1556, Thomas Samson, a trustee, released to Thomas Legh, the manor, with a warren of conies, free-warren, &c. in Surlingham and Bramerton; in 1568, Tho. Legh, Esq. conveyed it to Ric. Lowther; and in 1570, Sir Tho. Gawdy, Knt. of Claxton, was lord, and had free fishery in the river, belonging to it; in 1587, at the death of Sir Thomas Gawdy, Knt. one of the justices of the Common Pleas, who died the 5th of Nov.; it was found that Henry, his son and heir, was then 36 years old, and that the manors of Bastwick's in Surlingham, (fn. 12) and Panclose there, (fn. 13) were held in capite of the King, that Verdon's manor (fn. 14) in Surlingham was held of Forncet, as was also the capital manor of Surlingham. In 1603, Sir Henry Gawdy, Knt. was found lord, as heir to his father Sir Thomas, who purchased it of Mr. Legh; the fines are certain at 2s. an acre.

It was sold by Gawdy to Mr. Corbet, and belonged afterwards to Mr. Corey, (fn. 15) and after that, to old Major Hauteyn, who sold it, the advowson of Bramerton, and the warren excepted, to Colonel Thomas Sidney of Randworth, whose two daughters and heiresses had it; Mary married to Sir Brownlow Sherrard, Bart. who released their right to William Perry, Esq. of Turvile Park in Buckinghamshire, the present lord, who married Eliz. Sidney, sister to the said Mary.

The court is usually kept at Coldham-Hall, commonly called the Wood's End, which formerly belonged to one of the united manors, but is now a publick-house belonging to a private owner.

Earlham's Manor in Surlingham, with Little–Breeche in Rockland.

This manor belonged to Godric the sewer, and ALNOT the Saxon, when the survey was taken; (fn. 16) in 1215, Roger de Veteri Ponte or Vipond, had it; it was sometime owned by John de Earlham, from whom it took its present name. In 1272, it had assise of bread and ale, and Will. de Carleol, a minor, in the custody of Sir Ric. de Boyland, had it; in 1285, Sir Tho. de Helgeton or Hellington, owned it, and joined his manor of Little Breche in Rockland, to it, which hath passed with it ever since.

In 1315, Tho. de Helgeton was lord; and in 1381, John Latimer of Norwich: in 1401, Nic. Briant, or Brian, held half a fee here; in 1404 Ralf Dacre, and in 1409 Tho. Dacre held it. In 1429, Thomas Baxter, alderman of Norwich, willed it to be sold; and in 1446 Tho. Lucas of Holkham, Esq. gave it to Etheldred his wife, and after her death to Elizabeth his daughter. In 1520, Kat. Bosard, widow, died, and left it to Margery her daughter, then the wife of Thomas Naunton, Esq. and Will. Naunton their son, had it after them.

Earlham's manor, had then 26s. 8d. quitrents, &c. and the lands belonging lately to Metyngham College were joined to it. (fn. 17) How it passed from the Nauntons, I do not find, but Sir Tho. Gawdy purchased it of Mr. Holdich of Ranworth, and left it to Hen. Gawdy, Esq. his son, and it was sold by the Gawdies; and in 1720, Tho. Rant, Esq. of Yelverton, was lord, at whose death, James Rant, Esq. of Mendham, his brother had it, whose son, William Rant of Mendham, Esq. sold it to James Bransby of Shotesham, Gent. the present lord.

The eldest son is heir, and it gives no dower.

The court is usually kept at the publick-house called the Ferry, (fn. 18) which is owned by Lady Ward of Bixley.

Abbot's, or Langley Manor

In Surlingham, was granted (part by Sir Will. Leigh, part by Ric. de Hoe or Howe, and part by others) to that house. (fn. 19) In 1285, the Abbot was summoned to show why his villeins of Surlingham did not do suit to the King's hundred court? but the Abbot was discharged. on proving no such suit was ever done. In 1401, the Abbot held a 40th part of a fee here, and in Rockland, of Sir Will. de Leigh, and Nic de Castello or Castle, and another part of the heirs of Hubert de Multon: this continued in the abbey to its dissolution, and it seems afterwards to have been joined to the capital manor.


  • 1. Terra Rogeri Bigoti, fo. 109. De escangio terra Isaac. In Sutherlingaham tenuit Ansger i. lib. homo Godvini T. R. E. viii. acr. terre et ii. acr. prati Aitardus tenet. Adhuc in eadem xxx. liberi homines Ulketel, c. acr. terre et x. liberi homines Stigandi, l. acr. terre sub. xxx. istis i. bord. et sub. x. liberis ii. bord. inter omnes xxxii. acr. prati, tunc iiii. car. habebant xxx. post ii. et dim. modo iiii. tunc habebant inter x. i. car. et dim. post et mo i. tunc lii. xxx. val. xv. sol. post et modo 22 sol. et vid. tunc li. x. val v. sol. post et mo viii. sol. et vid. et habet i. leug. in longo, et dim. in lato, et de Gelto 19d. sed plures ibi tenent. Idem tenet (sc. Aitardus de Vals.) (Fo. 112.) In Sutherlingaham ii. lib. hom. ejusdem xii. acr. terre semper arant cum ii. bovibus. idem tenet, sc. Ulchetel or Ulketel. (Part of Framingham manor.) In Sutherlingaham integri ii. lib. et dim. hom. Godwini sub Stigando, de 20 acr. terre, idem tenet sc. Ulketel. (Part of Bixley manor.) In Sutherlingaham ii. dim. lib. hom. Ulfi, hoc tenet idem. (Part of Framlingham manor.)
  • 2. Presbiter parochialis ecclesie Sci. Salvatoris, Ao 1449, fuit capellanus gilde sive fraternitatis Sci. Salvatoris in ecclesia Sancti Salvatoris de Surlingham.
  • 3. In 1347, the King licensed them to appropriate this church; see vol. iv. p. 527, 8, 557, 8.
  • 4. 26 H. VIII. Compot. Prioresse Carrow, &c. solut. vicario de Surlyngham pro pensione sua 17l. 7s. Item pro procurationibus ecclesie de Surlingham 10s. 1612, a pension of 33s. 4d. was paid yearly to the Bishop of Norwich, afterwards remitted, it not being paid now as Lam informed. The Chorography of Norfolk says, that St. Saviour had formerly a barn, and no other houses; and (as it is supposed) 30 acre; of glebe.
  • 5. In 1428, Priorissa de Carrowe taxatur ad 32 marc. pro ecclesia de Surlingham, in qua est vicaria dotata ad 11 marc. et vicarius solvet procuracione sua 14s. 3d. et sic Priorissa solvet 28s. 3d. pro integra decima. The Prioress was discharged from paying it, on account of the parish being much damaged by inundations.
  • 6. Surlingham Sce. Marie Vicar. Dns. Episcopus habet jus nominandi ad ecclesiam &c. proc. episcopi 20d. Sinod. 18d. Proc. Achidiaconi 7s. 7d. ob. It stands in the King's Books thus, 6l. 13s. 4d. Surlingham alias Slingham vicaria, 22l. clear yearly value. So that it is capable of augmentation. The Chorography of Norfolk says, that Sir Charles Cornwaleis was patron of St. Mary, in right of the heir of Shelton, and that to it belongeth a mansionhouse, back-house, barn, and a stable new builded, and 4 acres of glebe, besides the site of the houses which joins to the east side of the churchyard. Revis. Archid. Norf. Ao 1630.
  • 7. 1449, John Sprott de Surlyngham, legavit vicario de Surlyngham omnes denarios fratrum et sororum de consuetudine consuetos, de gildâ Sancti Salvatoris de Surlyngham: idem etiam legavit presbitero parochiali ecclesie Sancti Salvatoris de Sulyngham.
  • 8. Aitardus de Vallibus habuit manerium de Surlingham, et Robertus, et Hubertus, post eum, et Ao 1239, Jollandus de Vaux. Placita 24 H. III.
  • 9. Placita Corone, Term. Mich. 51 et 52 H. III. coram Rege. Roto 2d.
  • 10. She is said to die seized of one fee in Thorp, Walton, and Winch, held of Petronilla de Nerford, and of Denham manor in Suffolk. In 1315, John de Multon was returned lord; in 1331, Margaret widow of Sir Hubert de Multon was lady, see vol. iv. p. 79. In 1345, William de Legh was lord. The Multon family, continued in Lincolnshire, after they had nothing to do here. In 1367, John de Multon of Holbech, son of Sir John de Multon, Knt. died, and left Maud his daughter and heiress, married to William de Spain of Boston.
  • 11. This Sir William, purchased of Ric. Gatefaweld and Joan his wife, John Lowecowe and Agnes his wife, &c. the manor of Trissington in Cumberland; and Agnes his wife was the heiress to, and brought him the manor in Cumberland.
  • 12. So called from the name of the lords; in 1373, the heirs of Peter le Brett held the 4th part of a fee, of the Earl of Pembrook.
  • 13. Peter son of Jeffery de Holkham in 1189, settled it on Vincent Clerk of Surlingham; it had 42 acres in demean. In 1240, Will. de Burgh conveyed it to Jeffry de Say and Alice his wife, the rents being two marks a year; it after belonged to Thomas Levebaud, and then about 1285, to Master Ric. Levebaud, and in 1345, to John Sparrow.
  • 14. This manor was in the family of the Verdons, and passed with Brisingham, as at vol. i. p. 49, &c.
  • 15. Mr. Corey of Bramerton owned it, it being bought by Sir Robert Reeve, whose two daughters had it. P. L. N.
  • 16. Terre Regis quam Godricus servat. Heinestede H. Doms. fo. 27. In Suterlingeham iii. lib. hom. et -dim. Alnot commend. de xlv. acr. terre semper i. car. et v. acr. prati, et sub eis v. bord. Terra Godrici Dapiferi Heinestede H. fo. 165. In Sutherlingaham ii. integri liberi hom. Edwini et iii. de xl. acr. terre et iii. acr. prati, et iiii. bord. semper i. car.
  • 17. In 1401, Sir John Norwich, Knt. held a quarter of a fee here, of Roger Sturmyn, Edw. Syre, and Sara Picot, of Arundel's fee, formerly of Ralf de How's; and now John Neve, clerk, master of Metyngham college, holds it. In 1266, Will. Esturmy or Sturmyn, settled it on Laurence Clarice, and Nicolas Sturmy, after the death of Muriel his mother. In 1312, Ralf Syre of Surlingham settled his estate here on Vincent Syre. The Sturmys Syres, and Surlinghams, are three old families, owners here; of the last, Will. was rector of Colveston; see vol. ii. p. 231. And John de Surlingham was rector of Barsham.
  • 18. The ferry, called Surlingham ferry, is a very great passage over the river, and the ferry-boat is both large, safe, and convenient.
  • 19. Terra Willi. Epi. Tedfordensis, de feudo. f. 151. Heinestede. H. In Rokelunda Wills. de Noers, et Sutherlingaham ii. vill. de xvi. acr. et ii. acr. prati, semper tunc dim. car. arant cum duobus bovibus, pertinet in Langale. (Fo. 162.) In Sutherlingaham i. liber homo Elmari commend. T. R. E. de x. acr. terre et ii. acr. prati, et ii. bord. semper arant cum duobus bovibus semper val. xvi. d. modo tenet Wil. Episcopus.