Hundred of South Greenhoe: West-Bradenham

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.

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'Hundred of South Greenhoe: West-Bradenham', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807) pp. 142-147. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

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We find in Domesday Book, under the title of invasions (fn. 1) in this hundred, that William Earl Warren held in Bradeham half a carucate of land, which Godric held; and two freemen held two oxgangs, valued at x. s.; this was forfeited, and the King seized it, and Robert Blund farmed it of the King, and Godric, who paid into the Exchequer xx. s. per annum, and the freemen of the hundred could not say how it passed to him.

Under the land of Ralph de Tony, it is said that he held in Bradenham, half a carucate of land; and 8 socmen held half a carucate and four acres of meadow; (fn. 2) and under the title of the land of William Earl Warren, that a freeman held 30 acres, which formerly belonged to S. Osmund, who had the soc and sac, then and now valued at 5s. (fn. 3)

The Kaillis or Caleys were no doubt very early enfeoft in this town by the Earl Warren. In the 9th of King John, a fine was levied between Adam de Kailli, petent, Michael de Ponyngs and Margery his wife, tenant, of the dower of Margery, from John de Kailli, her first husband; and in the 12th of Henry III. an agreement by way of fine was made before Martin de Pateshull, archdeacon of Norfolk, Stephen de Segrave, William son of Warin, William de Insula, &c. itinerant justices, between Adam de Kailli, querent, and Margery, widow of John de Kailli, about waste made in the dower of Margery, in the wood of Bradeham, she being to have only reasonable estover of house-bote, hedge-bote, and wood to burn, by the view of the forester of Adam; it appears there was a park here full of wood, and several woods about the park, whereof Adam was to fell a fourth part yearly; and if Margery should want wood to repair her houses, (fn. 4) she might have it. In the 15th of Edward I. the jury say, that Osbert de Caley claimed free-warren here, the assize of bread and beer, view of frankpledge, weyf, &c. In the 9th of Edward II. Thomas de Cailley was lord, and held four fees of the Earl Warren, in Bradenham, Hilburgh, Cranwich, Denvere, and Hillington, and settled this manor, excepting the advowson, on Michael de Calley for life, and the 3d part in reversion, after the death of Joan, then wife of William de Wasteneys, Knt. widow of Adam de Cailley, she holding it in dower. In the 9th of Edward III. it was settled by Adam de Clifton and Eleanor his wife, on themselves in tail with Cranewiz, &c. and Sir Adam was lord about the 40th of the said King; and in the 51st of the same King, Sir John de Clifton was lord, and then granted to Richard Holdich, &c. and their heirs, this manor, that of Cranwich, &c. in trust. The 12th of King Richard II. Sir John de Clifton and Elizabeth his wife held this manor, and Constantine was his son and heir. In the 3d of Henry IV. Margaret de Clifton held the 5th part of a fee here of the Earl of March; and in the reign of Henry VI. John de Clifton was lord; and by his will dated 16 Aug. 1447, wills that this manor and others should remain in the hands of his executors for 12 years, and then return to his right heirs, and by this will it came to the Knevets of Bukenham Castle; and on an inquisition taken the 5th of Henry VII. it was found that John Knevet, late deceased, held this manor (and that Sir William was his heir) of the Earl of Arundel, as of his castle of Castleacre, by knight's service, and in the 8th of Henry VIII. Sir William died seized of it, and it descended to his heirs. In the 33d of the said King, a fine was levied between William Read, citizen and mercer of London, and Anne his wife, querents, and Edmund Knevet and Anne his wife, defendants, of this manor, conveyed to William; and William Read, his son and heir, was lord in the 34th of the said King, on the death of his father, and is then said to hold it of the honour of Clare. In the 1st of Queen Elizabeth, William son of the last William Read, had livery of these manors, West Bradenham, Gooderston, &c. in Norfolk, with three in Suffolk; and by a daughter and coheir of Sir William Read of Massingham in Norfolk, it came by marriage to Sir William Wythypole of Christ Church in Ipswich in Suffolk, descended from Robert Wythypole of Wythypol in Shropshire, who bare

Per pale or and gul. three lions passant in a bordure counterchanged.

In 1649, Colonel Leicester Devereux was lord of one third part, in right of Elizabeth, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir William Withipole, who was son of the Lord Viscount Hereford, and Robert Yallop, Esq. who in right of his wife, another coheiress, had two parts of three, of this manor: in 1665, the Lord Viscount Hereford having purchased the whole, sold it to Henry Warner, Esq. of WormillHall, near Mildenhall in Suffolk, who sold it to Robert Thompson, Esq. about 1684; from the Thompsons it descended to the wife of Anthony Burward of Woodbridge in Suffolk, and the said Anthony holds it for life.

Bradenham's Manor.

In the 24th of Henry III. William de Bradenham son of Simon, held here the fifth part of a knight's fee of the Earl of Gloucester, and he of the King; this was no doubt that part which Ralph de Tony was lord of at the survey; and in the 20th of Edw. III. the heirs of William de Brigham, and the heirs of Thomas de Woodehyrde, held the same. Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. died also seized of this manor, and left Margaret his sister and heir, married to Edmund Bedingfeld of Oxburgh; but it was afterwards united to the Earl Warren's manor, with which it now remains.

Plais's Manor.

In the 17th of Edward II. Richard le Plays, and his tenants, held here of the Earl of Pembroke, of his castle of Acre, a quarter of a Knight's fee; this descended to the heirs of Plaiz, the Earls of Oxford, and it was acquitted of all services by the deed of Ralph de Plaiz, paying 4s. per annum to the manor of Weting; this was held by William Maupas, and Ralph atte Rode, of Sir Giles de Plais, 31st of Edward I. but has been long since united to the capital manor.

The tenths of this town were 2l. 16s.

The church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and consists of a nave, a north and a south isle, all built of flint, &c. and covered with lead; the nave is in length about 44 feet, and in breadth, with the two isles, about 36 feet; the roof of the nave is supported by pillars formed of 4 pilasters united together, making 8 arches 4 on a side, with a window over each arch. In the nave lies a marble gravestone thus inscribed,

Here lyeth the Body of Mr. Thomas Clemence, who in hopes of a joyfull Resurrection, departed this Life the 29th Day of October, 1727, aged 66 Years.

At the west part of the south isle stands a four-square tower of flint, with quoins and battlements of freestone, and on the summit is a small weathercock. In this tower hang three bells; on the second is,
Virginis egregie Nocor Campana Marie.

The lower part of the tower is open, and serves as a porch to the church, there being a door on the south side.

The chancel is separated from the nave by an old wooden screen, over which the King's arms are painted; and it is in length about 29 feet, and in breadth about 18: on the pavement towards the west end, lies a very antique marble gravestone deprived of its brasses; its inscription was between two fillets of brass round the verge of the stone, at the summit of the stone, in a niche like a quaterfoil, was the head of a priest in brass, and a cross runs the length of the stone with some thing couchant at the feet of it; from the incision made to let the letters of brass in, this appears to be the inscription,
Continet. Hæ Fossa. Thome. nunc. Corpus. et Ossa. Ecclesle, Gector. Huius. ertitit. Atque Hrotector Gratia. Oueso. Dei. Propitietur. Ei.

This is in memory of Thomas Cayley, who was rector here in the reign of Edward I.

On a marble gravestone near the communion table, Here rest the Bodies of the Rev'd Mr. Samuel Needham Minister of this Parish about 33 Years, and of Mrs. Alice Needham his Wife, who liv'd respected, and died lamented by all that knew them.

He Died 28 September 1718, Æt. 63.

She 16 August 1719, Æt. 72.

Only two of their children survived them, Peter Needham, D. D. rector of Stanwick in Northamptonshire, who paid this last instance of duty and gratitude to his excellent parents, and Elizabeth Needham married to the Rev. and worthy Mr. Thomas Townshend, rector of Shipdham in this county.

Against the south wall of the chancel, near the east end are three arches, with seats for the bishop, priest, and deacon, one seat rising higher than the other, and at the head of the uppermost is an arch for holy water. In the north wall is a neat carved arch, to preserve relicks in: these arches and cupboards in walls to be observed in many chancels, were the tabernacula or repositories, (fn. 5) where the holy oil and chrism, eucharist, and sometimes relicks, were preserved and secured.

On the top of a north window in the chancel, is a shield of Caley.

In the reign of Edward I. the Caleys were patrons; the rector had a manse with 40 acres of land valued at 10 marks, Peter-pence 5d. ob.


Thomas de Caley was rector in 1318, and is buried here, as before. Son, as I take it, of Sir Thomas.

1324, Elias de Grymsby. The King, as guardian to the heir of Thomas de Caley; he was chaplain to the King.

1340, John de Brynkele; he was rector of Morston in the diocese of Canterbury, and exchanged with Grymsby, and was presented by Adam de Clifton. Brynkele was afterwards archdeacon of Nottingham, about 1352.

1352, Roger de Wylby. Robert de Rokeland, Robert Byshop, William Hulle, and Laurence Mendware of Bukenham.

The advowson of this rectory, was given to the priory of Bukenham in Norfolk, by Sir Adam de Clifton, and on the 27th of April, 1384, was appropriated to that convent, by Henry Spencer Bishop of Norwich, and a vicarage was settled to take place, at the death of Roger de Wylby, then rector. The vicar was to have a convenient habitation, and to receive to the value of ten marks per annum, out of the profits of the rectory, that being computed to be the 3d part of the real value of it. (fn. 6) The vicarage was to be taxed at 40s. for firstfruits, and the prior and convent were to pay a yearly pension of 10s. (fn. 7) to the Bishop, and 3s. 4d. to the prior and convent of Norwich; and the Bishop was always to nominate to the prior and convent, who were obliged to present on such nomination.


17 September 1395, Rowland de la Rode, (fn. 8) the first vicar, was presented by the prior and Convent of Bukenham, and nominated by the Bishop of Norwich, as were all the vicars to the Dissolution.

1406, Thomas Huberd, rector, by will dated in 1436, desires to be buried in the churchyard here, gives legacies to St. Mary's light, that of the crucifix, St. Andrew, and St. Peter.

1454, Robert Mounshawe, res.

1454, Thomas Baldwyn, res.

1475, Robert Gammelyn, ob.

1497, William Millesent, res.

1528, Edward Warde.

In the 32d of Henry VIII. on the dissolution of the priory of Bukenham, the rectories of West Bradenham, and Shropham, the college or chantry of Tomson, with the rectory, &c. were granted to Edmund Knevet, Esq. to be held in capite by knight's service, but the patronage of the vicarage remained in the Crown.

1554, William Thorp, ob. (fn. 9) presented by the Queen.

1568, William Hattersley, res. Ditto.

1572, William Howling, ob. Ditto.

1559, John Bretton, A. B. He was also rector of Little Fransham. Ditto.

1603, William Cowper, A. M. ob. The King.

1625, Benjamin Estey, A. M. licensed preacher, ob. He was presented by the Bishop of Ely. The patronage of this vicarage came to the see of Ely, by virtue of an exchange made for these spirituals, for some of the temporals of that see.

1662, Luke Skippon, S. T. P. ob. He was afterwards rector of Mileham, master elect of St. Peter's College Cambridge. The Bishop of Ely, who presented the following vicars:

1676, Nicholas Booth, A. B.

1682, Francis Nicholson, A. M. res. Lapse.

1685, Samuel Needham, A. M. ob.

1718, Thomas Topping, vicar of Whittlesey St. Andrew in the isle of Ely.

30th September, 1724, the Rev. Mr. Henry Topping, on the resignation of Mr. Thomas Topping his father, presented by the Bishop of Ely, and is the present vicar.

This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 7l. 1s. 10d. ob. and being in clear value 44l. per annum, it is discharged of tenths and first-fruits, and is capable of augmentation.

Synodals are 2s. 6d.; visitatorial procurations 1s. 9d. qr.; archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.

Here was a chantry called Curtis's chantry, valued in 1582, at 8l. 1s. 5d. per annum.

The chantry called St. Catherine's chantry here, was then valued at 4l. 8s. 1d. ob. per anuum.

The two chantry priests officiated in the church daily, one at the altar at the east end of the south isle, and the other at the altar at the east end of the north isle.


  • 1. Invasiones. Wills de Warrena tenet in Bradeham dim car. tre quod tenuit Godricus, semper v. vill. et ii. bord. et i. serv. i. car. in dnio. i. car. hom. et ii. liberi homines tenentes terra. duor. bovium silva xx. porc. iv. acr. prati tunc val. x. sol. et modo similiter sed homines Willi dicunt quod ipse ex eo nihil habuit, hanc terram tenebat Wills' antequam foris-fecerat, sed ut testatur hund. tenebat eam R. quo foris-fecit et postea Robertus Blundus, ad firmam Regis, et Godricus in thesauro reg. in brevi suo per xx. s. et postquam fuit in manu Regis, nec videre hoes. de hundred. Breve vel Legatum, quo. liberasset eam ex illo. (Doms. fo. 300.)
  • 2. Terr. Rad de Toenio: in Bradenham semp. dim. car. tre. et i. car. et sub ipso viii. sochem, tenentes d. car. tre. et semp. i. car. silva ad xx. porc. iv. acr. prati, &c. this was the manor of Necton, as I take it, extending itself here. (Doms. fo. 229.)
  • 3. Terr. Willi. de Warren. In Bradenham ten. quidam lib. hom. xxx. acr. ib. semp. iii. bord. S. Osmundus habebat soca. et saca. silva ad x. porc. ii. acr. prati tunc et mo val. v. solidos. Doms. fo. 96.
  • 4. "De duobus cheveronibus, vel tribus, ad domos suas reparandas." Which I take to be timber for spars for the roofs; from whence the word chevron in heraldry.
  • 5. Lynwood seems to approve of such places to preserve the Eucharist in. Ut mihi v.detur, commendabilior est usus aliorum locorum quæ vidi, &c. in Hollandia et Portugallia, in quibus ordinatus unus locus singularis honestus propè altare, in quo reponitur eucharistia sub clavibus infra parietes vel locum bene munitum, conservanda, sic quod nullus ad ipsam eucharistiam accedere poterit, nisi sacerdos loci illius clavem custodiens. Lynwood's Provinc. p. 247, 248.
  • 6. The original endowment of this vicarage may be seen, in the Institution book, in the Bishop's Office, fo. 345. See vol. i. p. 275, 6, 385, 6, 8.
  • 7. These pensions were released by Bishop Thirlby, and the Dean and Chapter in 1550.
  • 8. William Roode of West Bradenham, by will in 1478, bequeaths to St. Mary's gild 12d. and to St. Andrew's gild here 12d. to St. Mary's light 6d. to the torches 6d. to the light of the faithful deceased 6d.
  • 9. Dns. Wills' Thorp, presbyter, non conjugatus, mediocriter doctus, residet, hospitalis, non prædicat nec licentiatus, nullum aliud.