Hundred of Humble-Yard: Swainsthorp

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

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Francis Blomefield, 'Hundred of Humble-Yard: Swainsthorp', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5( London, 1806), British History Online [accessed 18 July 2024].

Francis Blomefield, 'Hundred of Humble-Yard: Swainsthorp', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5( London, 1806), British History Online, accessed July 18, 2024,

Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of Humble-Yard: Swainsthorp". An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5. (London, 1806), , British History Online. Web. 18 July 2024.

In this section


At the Confessor's survey, was known by the name of Thorp only, and before the Conquest began to be called Swains-Thorp, from the swains or country men, that inhabited there. Ralf Stalra, Bishop Stigand, and the antecessor of Godric the sewer, had it at the first survey, and it belonged to Tovi at the second, all but Godric's part, which was then of 2s. 8d. annual value, and belonged to him. (fn. 1) The whole was then a mile long, and as much broad, and paid 11d. geld. The rents of the manor were 29s. per annum, and one of the churches had 23 acres of glebe. It afterwards came to the Bigots, by whom it was given to a family sirnamed de Sweynesthorp, of which Gilbert de Sweynesthorp, is the first I meet with, that assumed that name; he left it to Walter his son, who by deed without date, granted lands here to be held of him and his heirs, to Ralf de Kynegham or Kiningham, son of William de Shotesham; in 1195, it was settled by Rob. son of Reginald and Ulf de Sweynesthorp and William his son, on William de Fulbourne for life, from whom it took the name of

Fulbourne-Hall Manor,

And soon after, Robert son of Reginald de Sweynesthorp, and Bartholomew son of Jeffry de Sweynsthorp, were lords here; and in 1225, Ric. de Sweynesthorp, who that year obtained a market to the town of Laxfield in Suffolk. (fn. 2) In 1249, it appears, that there had formerly been a serjeantry belonging to this manor, the owner of which was obliged to find a cross-bow and archer in time of war, to guard Norwich castle for 30 days, at his own cost; but the lords here, granted divers lands to the then value of 3l. per annum to the Erlham family, chargeable with the whole serjeantry, (see vol. iv. p. 510,) which after came to Robert de Worthsted, who parcelled it out to the Earl-Marshal and others; and in 1362, John Berney had a part with his manor of Fishlee, and after John de Hales had it; and in 1345, Rob. de Holveston. In 1286, Isaac, chaplain to the Jews at Norwich, and many others, both Jews and Christians, were tried for breaking the churches of Sweynsthorp and Newton. It after came to John de Sweynsthorp, and then to Walter de Bradenham; and in 1315, Ric. de Bradenham was lord, who in 1352, settled the manor and advowson of St. Peter's church here, which belonged to it; 6s. 8d. rent in Colney; the 4th part of Malherbe's hall manor, and the 4th part of the advowson of Newton Flotman thereto belonging, on himself for life, remainder to Roger le Haukere of Redenhall, and Mary his wife, in tail; and Tho. de Swathyng and Robert, parson of Sweynesthorp, son of Walter and brother to Ric. de Bradenham, confirmed it; and in 1372, Roger le Haukere of Redenhall, was lord, and held it of the Norfolk family at half a fee, and in 1386, Mary his relict had it, and soon after it was united to the other manor here, called

Curson's Manor,

Which was that part that belonged to Godric the sewer, and afterwards came to the Cursons, who held it of Tateshall honour; Will. le Curson was lord here, and patron of the church of St. Mary, which was appendant to this manor when Norwich Domesday was made, and in 1315, Rob. le Curzon had it; in 1338, he settled it on himself and heirs in tail. In 1316, Ric. Neel, held here and in Holkham, a fourth part of a fee of the honour of Lancaster; and in 1323, he held it of the barony of Montchensy, late of Aymer de Valence, and the next year Peter le Bret's heir had it, and in 1348, John son of Rob. de Thorp. In 1381, Will. de Hockham and Christian his wife, settled it on John Stukele, vicar of Windham, in trust; and in 1399, John Curson had it, and the same year it belonged to Henry Luminour, who joined it to the other manor, and so was seized of both; in 1402, he was found to hold Fulbourne-hall manor, of the Duke of Norfolk, as of Forncet manor, at half a fee, and this manor of Will. de Kerdeston, and he of the heirs of Montchensie, and they of the heirs of Maud de Cromwell, and they of the King, at the 8th part of a fee; and in 1406, the two united manors and their advowsons, were settled by John Mays and Robert parson of Swainsthorp, their trustees, on the said Henry Luminor and Margaret his wife; and in 1409, John Peverell owned them all, who presented jointly with Eliz. his wife in 1429; in 1440, Eliz. then widow of Nicolas Blomvile (who held them for life) and William Blomvile, settled them by fine, on William Paston of Paston, and his trustees, Rob. Clere, Esq. John Dam, &c. In 1447, Tho. Lucas of Holkham, Esq. gave the moiety of his manor of Swainsthorp, to Etheldred his wife for life, remainder to Stephen Lucas his brother, with the reversion of the other moiety in tail. In 1450, John Paston, Esq. was sole lord, and died seized in 1465, and his feoffees presented in 1467, and in 1505, Will. Paston and Bridget his wife had it, and the next year, settled it on Sir John Fineux, Knt. Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and he on Sir Robert Rede, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, Edward Poininges, Knt. John Moore, Serjeant at law, &c. to the use of Agnes Paston, widow, for life, remainder to Will. Paston, Esq. and his heirs, to perform the will of Sir William Paston, Knt.; and in 1516, the said William Paston infeoffed Sir John Heveningham, Knt. and others, and in 1536, Sir Will. Paston, Knt. and Bridget his wife, and Jeffry Paston, Esq. and Mary his wife, sold the manors and advowsons, to Sir Ric. Gresham, Knt. who left it in 1548, to Sir John Gresham, Knt. his son and heir, who had the whole, and held Fulbourne-Hall of Forncet at half a fee, Curson's of the dutchy of Lancaster, and the serjeantry of the King in chief. In 1570, Sir Tho. Gresham, Knt. owned them, and his Lady after him; and then Sir Will. Gresham his nephew had them, when the customs of the united manors (now called Swainsthorp-Hall) were found to be, that the fines are at the will of the lord, the copyhold descends to the eldest son, and the widow's dower is a third part. In 1580, Will. Gresham, Esq. owned them, and in 1609, Sir Will. Gresham, Knt. held it of Forncet at half a fee. In 1616, Sir Will. Gresham and Elizabeth his daughter, sold it to Christopher Colby, &c. in trust for Sir Henry Hobart, Knight and Baronet, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; and in 1617, they all joined and sold it to Tho. Steward and John Pickerell, and their heirs; and in 1622, they conveyed it to John Myngay, alderman of Norwich, who had a grant of the lete, during the lives of Sir Charles Cornwaleis, &c. (see p. 1,) it belonging to the hundred. In 1640, Mary, relict of Thomas Steward, Esq. and Henry her son, released all right to John Mingay aforesaid; and in 1650, Rob. Rich, Esq. administrator to Sir Edwyn Rich, released all his right (which was a mortgage only) to John, son and heir of John, Myngay, who settled it in trust on Roger Myngay, Gent. his brother. In 1662, Mary, relict of Alderman Roger Mingay, had it; and John, Anthony, and Roger, her three sons, released it to her; and the next year, she, and John and Roger, conveyed the manors, advowson, and whole estate to Anthony Mingay, her second son, who in 1666, married Anne, daughter and coheiress of Charles Cornwaleis of Mileham, Esq.; he died 28 Dec. 1713, and is buried in St. Stephen's church in Norwich, and left Frances his only daughter and heiress, who first married Mr. Lane of Bristol, by whom she had no issue, after to

William Brooke, Esq. recorder of Norwich, who is the present lord and patron. She died Aug. 23, 1729, and is buried in St. Stephen's, having no issue now surviving.

The church of St. Mary was demolished at the Reformation, it being in a decaying way ever since its consolidation to the present church of St. Peter; for in 1503, it was called the old church, and the principal image of the Virgin, was almost decayed. William Curson was patron of it at Domesday making, when the rector had a house and 20 acres; it was valued at five marks, but not taxed in the last valuation; it paid 2d. synodals, 12d. procurations, 2d. carvage, and 1d. Peter-pence; and in 1435, an image of St. Anthony was given to the church. (fn. 3)

The RectorsI have met with are,

1315, Peter le Moyne. Rob. le Curzon.

1333, John Duke, of Morle. John Hales, trustee.

1349, Roger de Southgate of Sweynesthorp. John Gosselyn of Sweynsthorp.

1361, Roger Ward.

1366, James Motte. Roger de Hales, Ric. White, and Jeffry Galt; he exchanged the same year for the mediety of RingstedeParva, with Seman of Ipswich.

1373, John Sykeling was buried in St. Mary's church at Stratton, before the great rood, and was formerly sacrist of Wingfield college.

1406, Robert, rector of Sweynsthorp St. Mary.

St. Peter's church is 39 feet long, and 22 broad, the north isle is 34 feet long and 12 broad, and the chancel is about 22 feet long, and as much broad; the whole is tiled, except the nave, which is leaded; the steeple is about 50 feet high, is round at bottom and sexangular at top, including four bells.

In the chancel,

Mathew Stonham, clerk, deceased 17 Apr. 1659, 50. And this on a brass plate, having the arms of Havers, with a mullet for difference.

Here lieth the Body of Gilbert Havers, Esq; who served Queen Elizabeth, Captain in Barwick, then in Scotland, after in Ireland, and last in the Netherlands 22 Years, he married Frances Dr. and Heir of Tho. Nashe, he lived 87 Years. and died the 5 of May, 1628.

In the north isle,

James Long, Gent. died Aug. 17, 1679. Alice his first wife, Aug. 19, 1658.

Mors nuptos separat, separatos nubit utrosque Hos se divulsit, junxit utrosque simul.

Whom Death did Part, the kinder Grave of late Hath joined, once again, in spite of Fate.

This James, by the name of James Long of Swainthorp, Gent. had a grant of arms from Sir Edward Bishe, Garter, dated Feb. 14, 1651, to him and Matthew Long, Gent. his brother, and their heirs, viz. arg. three pales sab. each charged with as many leopards heads or. Crest, on a hill vert, a greyhound passant sab. collared and chained arg. which now belongs to the family seated at Dunston.

The following arms are on the chancel roof, and in the windows:

1, arg. a plain cross gul. Bygod of Seterington. 2, Inglethorp, gul. a cross ingrailed arg. 3, Shelton. 4, ar. three crescents G. Butteveleyn. 5, Wingfield. 6, Wolterton, quarterly or and az. a bendlet gul. 7, az. a bull's head caboshed or. 8, Hoe, quarterly A. B. over all a bend gul. 9, Mingay, or, on a bend az. three leopards heads arg. impaling three cross croslets fitché arg. 10, Mingay impales Pratt, sab. on a fess between three elephants heads erased arg. three mullets of the field. 11, Mingay impales Cornwaleis. 12, Gournay, arg. a cross ingrailed gul. 13, Fitz-Ralph. 14, Kerdeston. 15, sab. a cross or. 16, quarterly G. and Ar. 17, Thorp. 18, arg. a cross sab.

The rectors here had anciently an house and 30 acres of land, and the rectory was valued at 15 marks, paid 2s. 5d. synodals, 6s. 8d. procurations, 5d. Peter-pence. And 3d. carvage, and 20s. to each subsidy. It now stands in the King's books by the name of Swaynsthorp, is valued at 12l. 13s. 4d. pays first fruits, and 1l. 5s. 14d. yearly tenths, and not being sworn under 50l. per annum it is not discharged, and so not capable of augmentation. This village paid 2l. 9s. to every tenth; and the religious concerned here, were the Priors of Bromholm, whose temporals were taxed at 3d. of Mendham 3d. of Alvesborne 16d. and of St. Faith 16d.

Rectors of Swainsthorp.

1202, Walter.

1311, Brice.

1327, Rob. son of Walter de Bradenham. Ric. de Bradenham.

1372, Robert Cariol of Redenhale. Roger le Haukere of Redenhale.

1373, John de Bulmere. Mary, relict of Roger Haukere.

1386, Robert Edwards. Mary, relict of Roger Haukere.

1429, Thomas Glyse. John Peverel and Elizabeth his wife.

1444, Will. Cotyng. Will. Paston of Paston, and John Dam. In 1450, he exchanged for Tichwell, with

Richard White. John Paston.

1467, Robert Boys. Feoffees of John Paston.

1503, Sir Peter Petite, chaplain, on Boys's death. Sir John Paston, Knt.

Sir Henry Halman on Petite's death, res. William Paston, Esq. 1526, Halman resigned for a pension assigned him for life, by the Bishop's consent, and

Sir Chris. Lante, chaplain, was presented by Will. Paston, on whose death in

1537, Sir Ric. Gresham, Knt. gave it to

Rowland Rabye; and in 1554, Lady Isabel Gresham, relict of Sir Richard, presented

Will. Fawcet, A. M.: and at his death in 1556, she gave it to

Sir Richard Hudsone, who resigned in 1571, and Sir Thomas Gresham presented

John Fenton, and in

1598, Anthony Locke, A. M. was presented by Will. Gresham of Intwood, Esq.; in 1603, he returned 67 communicants, that Sir William Gresham, Knt. was patron, and that he held it united to Tybenham vicarage.

1619, John Foorth, A. M.; he was ejected in the rebellion, (fn. 4) and

Mat. Stoneham got into his place, but died in 1659, and Foorth was restored, who died about 1671, and was succeeded by

Samuel Snowden, presented by Israel Long, who purchased the next turn of Mr. Anthony Mingay. He held it united to Newton Flotman, and was succeeded by

The Rev. Mr. John Swift, the present rector, who holds it united to the vicarage of Swerdeston. Rob. Swift, by grant from Anthony Mingay, Gent. of Norwich.


  • 1. Sub tit. Terra Toui. Domsd. fo. 279. Hund. Humiliart. In Torp xv. liberi homines, clv acr. et de xi. et dimidio habuit RadusStalra, comd. T. R. E. et de iii. Stigandi, similiter et de dimidio antec. Godrici dapiferi similiter, tunc vi. car. modo vii. et dim. et xi. acr. prati, et dim. mol. et xii. bor. et val. xxix. sol. i. ecclesia xxiii. acr. et i. bord. et dim. et Torp habet dim. leug. in longo et dim. leug. in lato, et xid. de gelto. Sub tit. Terra Godrici Dapiferi. H. Humiliart. Doms. fo. 169. In Sueinesthorp ii. soc. xxxv. acr. semp. dim. car. i. bord. et i. acr. prati, et val. ii. sol. et viiid.
  • 2. Claus. 10 H. 3. M. 22. Liberat. 10. H 3. M. 1. Suff.
  • 3. 1548, John Nesh or Nash, of Swainsthorp, buried there, left Thomas his son and heir, and William his brother, and Amy his wife, executors, two daughters, Anne and Barbara; Edward and John Blomvyle, Esq. were brothers to Amy his wife. Reg. Wymer, fo. 81. Frances, eldest daughter and coheir of Thomas, son and heir of John Nashe, married John Wright, alias Haley, of Shotesham, who died in 1586, and left Frances his daughter and heir, four years old, who had 120 acres of pasture, called Nethards, in Newton and Bedingham, held of Horseford manor, &c. Cole's Inquis. vol. iii. p. 99.
  • 4. Walker, Part II. fo. 245.