Hundred of South Erpingham: Cawston

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 Erpingham: Cawston', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807) pp. 254-268. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

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Commonly called Caston, at the Confessor's survey was found to belong to Herold, then Earl of the East Angles, and afterwards King of England; and at his death, this and his possessions belonged to William Duke of Normandy, commonly called William the Conqueror, who slew him at the battle of Hastings in Sussex, and seized his crown; the manor was then a very considerable one, having no less than eleven carucates of land, 80 acres of pasture, 36 villeins, 26 borders, 6 household servants, and 4 carucates in demean, and the freemen held 26 carucates; there was a wood so large as to feed 1500 hogs, 2 mills, 60 sheep, 50 goats, 5 hives of bees, and 10 socmen, all which King William held at the survey taken by him, (fn. 1) so that the whole town is ancient demean, and enjoys the privileges of that tenure, as also those of the dutchy of Lancaster, of which this manor is a member, and consequently within its liberty, but was exempted from the jurisdiction of the dutchy, by John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster; in token whereof at this day, a brazen gauntlet (or hand) is still carried before the lord of the manor or his steward, whenever they hold court here, some say, as the device or rebus of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, who assigned all the royalties to be held of him, by the lords of the manor; and the plough-coulter in the hand denotes the manor to be held in free-soccage and not in capite, or by knight's service. An exact representation of it, may be seen at p. 246. This I take to be the real fact; though there are other accounts that say, that this manor was held of the dutchy, from its first erection, by the service of being champion to the Dukes of Lancaster, of which office the gauntlet is a token, it being the very thing, which every one that challenges another to fight, according to the law of arms, throws down, and if the challenged takes it up, the combat is agreed on, and now the sending and accepting a glove (the gauntlet, being the iron-glove of a suit of armour) is the way of giving and accepting an honourable challenge, (if true honour can have any such thing.) But as to record, I find nothing concerning this entered, and our great antiquary, Sir Henry Spelman, who mentions it under Cawston, in his Icenia, knew nothing of its original; which is not very much to be wondered at, because the manor was always returned befor the erection of the dutchy, as held of the Crown by homage and knight's service, but since that time, there being no service nor homage done at the death of the lord, the tenure being altered from knight's service to soccage, (fn. 2) I always find the returns made by the juries on the several inquisitions taken, were, that they knew not by what service it was held, which they could not do, the tenure being non-apparent in the feodaries' books.

At the first survey it was worth 30l. at the second 40l. by tale, and was then above two miles long, and as much broad, and paid 7d. to the geld or tax towards every 20s. raised on the hundred; there were several berewics or manors belonging to, and held of, this, in the several villages of Marsham, Blickling, Olton, Matelask, Strattonstrawless, Colby, Wickmere, Boton, Whitwell, and Branteston, and of the freemen belonging to the manor: Rainald Fitz-Ivo held 2, William Bishop of Thetford 2, Godric the Sewer 2, which Earl Ralf (Guader) held, when he forfeited, William de Warren 2, and Roger Bigot 2, besides those held of Alan Earl of Richmond.

It remained in the Crown some time, for in 1193 Eustace de Nevile farmed it with Aylesham manor, of King Richard I.; and it is said that in 1156, William, brother to King Hen. II. held it, and that William de Cheyney, then sheriff, had an allowance for looking after it. In 1197, when King Richard I. levied a tallage upon all the burghs and manors of ancient demean, Robert Fitz-Roger, Osbert Fitz-Hervei, William de Glanville, Michael Belet, and master Roger de Sancto Eadmundo, his commisioners for that purpose, laid 7l, 12s. 6d. upon the tenants and men of Cawston, and 117s. 3d. upon the men of Saham; (fn. 3) and it continued in the Crown till

King John, in the 3d. year of his reign, ano 1201, granted it to

Hubert de Burgo, or Burgh, Earl of Kent (fn. 4) to be held in capite of the Crown, by what service was not known, but the record called Testa de Nevil says, it was believed to be held by the ancient annual farm. Hubert died in 1243, and Margaret his widow, had her dower in this manor, which she released in

1246 to John de Burgo, her son-in-law, son of Hubert, by Margaret daughter of Sir Robert Harsick, Knt. his first wife, together with her dower in Newton, and many other manors in Suffolk, Sussex, Somersetshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Dorsetshire and Cornwall. This John was knighted on Whitsunday 1229, by King Henry III. and married Hawise, daughter and heir to William Lanvaille, (who brought with her the barony of St. Clere,) and of Maud his wife, daughter of Gilbert Peeche; in 1242 he had a protection from all debts due from him to the King, as well in the Great Exchequer, as in the exchequer of the Jews, they being to be respited as long as he was in the King's service in Gascoigne; (fn. 5) in 1251, when the King raised a tallage on the tenants in ancient demean, this John, lord here, and of Sutherton, was forced to raise the tallage on the men and tenants of those places, as ancient demean. (fn. 6) In 1253, he had a special license to hunt any where in the King's lands, in this and divers other counties. In 1372, by the name of John de Burgo, senior, he granted to King Edward I. in fee, the manors of Cawston in Norfolk, Whately, in Northamptonshire, Weyland in Essex and Suffolk, Estwode and Ralegh, with Rochford hundred in Essex, Saham in Cambridgeshire, Kingesbury, Camelmelborn, Crompton, &c. with its hundred in Somersetshire, Wynford in Dorsetshire, and Banstede in Surrey, for which the King was to pay him a clear annuity of 500l. per annum, (fn. 7) for life, and convey to him the wardenship of the Tower of London for life, the custody of Colchester Castle and the hundred of Tendring, and John de Burg, junior, Knt. his son and heir, (fn. 8) confirmed it; it seems this took place immediately, for in

1274, this manor was found to be in the King's hands, and was settled on his Queen, with Fakenham, Aylesham, &c. and the two hundreds of north and south Erpingham; in 1229, William de Curson of Carleton in Norfolk was the King's steward here, and paid 34l. and half a mark clear, for the arrears of the farms of the King's manors of Aylesham, Cawston, Hautbois, and the hundreds of north and south Erpingham, and was allowed a deduction for Cawston-mill, which was blown down. In 1285, the King assigned it to Queen Eleanor his consort, who was found to hold it with Aylesham, and the hundreds of north and south Erpingham, the whole being then worth 100l. per annum. William Curson being her steward, and such he occurs in 1301; at her death it came to King Edward I. again, who died seized, leaving it to his successour,

King Edward II. who in the 2d year of his reign, ano 1309, granted it to

Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and the heirs of his body, with the manors of Fakenham-Dam, Aylesham, and the two hundreds to be held in capite, by the service of two knights fees; but on Gloucester's death without issue they reverted to the Crown, and in

1314, the King granted them all to David de Strabolgi Earl of Athol, to hold them till his lands in Scotland should be reduced to the King's subjection, and he restored, and peaceably settled in them; he was lord in 1316, but they were restored to the Crown sometime before 1330, (fn. 9) for in that year, Causton, Costesey and Fakenham were granted to

Robert de Ufford Earl of Suffolk for life; and in 1336, to the heirs male of his body, for his late loyal service that he performed for King Edward III. against Roger Mortimer late Earl of March; (fn. 10) besides those, he had a grant for life of the town and castle of Orford in Suffolk, of Gravesend in Kent, Burgh in Norfolk, Gestingthorp in Essex, &c. in all amounting to 300 marks per ann. In 1355 Thomas de Cokefield farmed them under him; in 1368 the Earl died seized of this manor, held in capite at one fee, and of the honour of Eye, town and castle of Orford, Benhale, &c.

William de la Poole, his son and heir, succeeded him, who in 1381 was lord here, and patron, and died this year, and Roger de Scales, Knt. Robert de Wilby, Knt. and Henry de Ferrers, Knt. were his cousins and heirs; and so for want of issue of his body, it devolved again to the Crown, where it remained till

1385, and then King Richard II. granted to

Sir Michael de la Poole, Knt. (fn. 11) chancellor of England, (fn. 12) now created Earl of Suffolk, and to the heirs male of his body, 20l. per annum out of the profits of Suffolk county, and 500l. yearly out of the hereditaments of William Ufford, late Earl of Suffolk, for which the following manors were conveyed to the said Earl, and confirmed to him by the King's girding him with a sword, Burgh, (fn. 13) Cawston, Baketon, (fn. 14) and Costesey, with knights fees in Blickling, Bawdeswell, Hethill, Stanfield, &c. in Norfolk, castle, town, manor, and honour of Eye, the hundreds of Hertesmere and Stowe, the manors of Combs, Haughley, Trendon, Lowestoft, and Lothinglond hundred in Suffolk, and Gestingthorp in Essex, of which he died seized in 1414, and

Katherine his widow held Cawston, and the chief of the estate for life, and was lady here in 1415, and Michael de la Pole Earl of Suffolk was heir in reversion; who had three daughters, Katerine, 4 years old, Elizabeth 3 years old, and Isabel 1 year old; but he never inherited it, for on his death without male issue, after Katherine's death it went to his brother,

William de la Pole Earl of Suffolk, who held it in capite in 1425, with the advowson of the honour of Wormegeye at 1 fee, with Burgh manor: he died about 1449, seized of the whole estate, and

John de la Poole Duke of Suffolk, his son and heir, was then 7 years old: he died seized in 1491, (fn. 15) and the estate went to

Edmund de la Poole Earl of Suffolk, who was attainted, (fn. 16) and so this manor and advowson came to the Crown in 1494, 10th Henry 7th, and remained there till

1504, and then Henry VIIth granted it to

Gerald, son of the Earl of Kildare, and Elizabeth Zouch his wife, and their heirs male; this Gerald was a great man in his time in Ireland, as the Annals of that kingdom testify; he had two wives, but this manor being limited to the heirs male of Elizabeth Zouch, who had none, at his death in 1514 it fell to the Crown; and then Sir Robert Drury, Knt. Sir John Heydon, Knt. and Edmund Gelget, preferred a petition to the King on the behalf of Margaret de la Poole Countess of Suffolk, late wife of Edmund de la Poole, whose jointure it was, setting forth that she had a right for life in the manors of Westhorp, Wiverston, Huntingfield, Thorndon, Virleys, Moundevyles, Swanes, Nedding, Benhaule, and Haughle in Suffolk, Cawston, Kerdeston, Saxlingham, Burgh by Aylesham, and Segesford in Norfolk, and they were assigned her; but devolved to the Crown at her death, which was about 1516, and there remained till

1539, 31st of Henry VIII. and then that King granted Cawston and the advowson (fn. 17) to

Sir James Bulleyn, Knt. and Elizabeth his wife, in exchange for the manors of Haverseale and Kempsing in Kent. In 1550, the 5th of Edward VI. for 500l. paid into the Exchequer, it was granted to remain after the death of Sir James Bullen, Knt. and Elizabeth his wife; and the longest liver of them to the Lady Eliz. (fn. 18) daughter of Queen Anne Bullen, by Henry VIII, and afterwards Queen of England, and so it came again to the Crown.

In 1562, when Queen Elizabeth had the manor and advowson, there was an exact survey of it made by William Minne, William Dix, and Thomas Sidney, Gents. her commissioners for that purpose, on the oaths of 13 tenants on the jury, who said, that the Queen was lady and patroness, and had court-baron and lete, weyf and stray, with all game and royalty of fesaunt and partridge to the same belonging; that it was ancient demesne, and a liberty within itself, and that no sheriff or escheator could serve process in the manor, the tenants of which were not to appear at any assizes or sessions, or any other courts out of the franchise; also no spiritual officer could serve any citation there, but the clarke of the town; and they were not to appear before any spiritual juage out of the lordship. The Queen had a warren of conies, and a fald-course in her several ground, called the Park, and a lodge lately built on her several ground called Leeches (fn. 19) adjoining thereto; the fald course is let at 5l. per annum. It hath a fair, market, and all escheats, worth 26s. 8d. per annum; a wartermill let by copy of court roll at 4s. per annum; they sue all fines on the freehold by their own steward or his deputy, and pay a set fee of 2s. 4d. each fine sued, for the recording it, and the fines sued on the base tenure only 4d.; the customary fines for the demised lands of the site of the manor, or ancient demeans, is 2d. an acre; the tenants have been judges in traverse for the freehold; the free-rents are 12l. 13s. 10d. per annum, with the stikepence, and the base tenure rents or quitrents are 12l. 16s. Item, our Custom is, for the whole fines of the base tenure lands 2s. an acre, and for the petty fine (or fine of alienation) when lands are sold, xiid. the acre, and more for issue for every acre for the year 1d.

The Commons are in general for all the inhabitants of Cawston, and in the precinct of the manor, viz. at Falling 1 acre, BaywoodGreen 5 acres, the common from Blakebrigge towards Heydon north 8 score acres, set out by marks and crosses. The 4th common is going from Causton-Woodrow on the south side of the Queen's several ground, called the Park, leading to the common water-run of Causton and Aylesham, towards Marhsam, Buxton-Doles, and Heveringland, &c. Malborne's Haven, between Causton and Marsham, &c. 1 acre of common against William Alexander's house, &c. by Branteston, 10 acres lying between Booton common south, and Reed's close north.

The site of the manor is a messuage called Leeches or Baywood, much dilapidated, a brew-house, stable and long barn of 4 bayes, &c. the old site is builded with divers cottages, holden by copy of court roll by divers tenants, the which site, with certain other demean lands, as the faldcourse, warren and wood, by the old extent with the profits of the fair and market was formerly 11l. 18s. 8d. but are now raised. (fn. 20)

In 1572, it was 55l. per annum, and was afterwards granted by the Queen for a term to Sir Thomas Gresham, Knt. but that being out in

1610, King James I. granted it to Sir Henry Hobart, Knt. his attorney general, who purchased it of him, to be held by knights service to him and his heirs in fee; his son,

Sir Henry Hobart had it in 1612, whose son,

Sir John Hobart, in 1662, sold it to

Erasmus Earle, sergeant at law, for 3450l. and James Long his trustee, in whose family it still continues,

Augustine Earle, Esq. being now lord and patron, for which family see under Heydon.

In 1605, James I. granted them his charter of certificate, that they and the tenants of Burgh manors by Aylesham, were tenants in ancient demean, and as such were free from toll, stallage, cheminage, pontage, panage, picage, murage and passage, in all England, and this charter was renewed in King Charles the First's time, ano 1625. (fn. 21)

1207, Jeffry Fitz kept two gosshawks, to have all the timber falling in Causton-Park, and all the windfalls of the top-wood.

1457, Ela wife of Robert Brewse, Knt. died seized of 200 acres called Jerberg's Park in Cawston, and Robert de Brewse her son proved that it was not subject to the liberty of warren belonging to Cawston, and had no dependance on that court, because John son of Sir Hubert de Burgh, granted it absolutely free to William, son of William Gerrridge or Jerberge of Yarmouth, when he severed it from Cawston manor: in 1636, Roger Townesend, Bart. died seized of Gerberge's wood and park, containing 200 acres in Cawston, held in free soccage of Cawston manor; and Roger, his son and heir, was 8 years old.

In 1200, Henry III. first granted a charter to Hubert de Burgh, for liberty of free warren in his manor of Cawston.

In 1263, John de Burgh obtained a charter from Henry III. for a weekly market every Tuesday, and a fair on St. Remigius's day (October 1) and morrow.

And Edward I. granted a fair, which is kept here on St. Agnes's day, 21 January, and morrow, it being the dedication day of the church; and there is a sheep-shew, or fair for sheep, at the Woodrow-house on August 14; and formerly the church-wardens were obliged to pay an annual sum to make a crown for the principal image of St. Agnes, standing on the north side of the altar, at the east end of the chancel, and to adorn it.

Banningham, a member of Cawston, was granted off by Henry I. to Walter Tusard, who holdsit (per arbalisteriam) by the serjeanty of finding one archer, or foot-soldier, with a cross-bow, for the King's service; and Avis Tussard held it, when the record called Testa de Nevile was wrote.

In 1339, Jeffry le Scroop held Neyland manor in Essex and Suffolk, of this manor of Cawston, by the service of one rose a year; and Sir Henry le Scroop, Knt. his son, held it after him, in 1392.

The original of Leche's manor, was by a grant made by John de Burgh, of part of the lands and rents of the great manor, to Baldwyn son of John de Cankewelle, in 1274, with 52 acres of land, within the hedge of Causton Park, the said Baldwin being to have all royalties in his part or manor, paying yearly to the said John and his heirs a bearded arrow; and from that time, the lord of this manor always had an iron bearded arrow carried before him or his steward, whenever a court was held; at this time there is a mace carried at every court, having a bearded arrow at top, in token of the tenure, and to shew that it holds of the chief manor by it, and so is consequently held of that, as of the dutchy of Lancaster, in free-soccage. See this exactly described under Heydon, at p. 246.

It came afterwards to Robert Leeche, and after his death in 1399, William Leeche of Newton by Castleacre held that manor, with lands in Cawston and Olton of this manor, and Katerine wife of John Wisbitch, (fn. 22) was his sister and heir; in 1405 William Leeche held it, and John was son and heir 8 years old. In 1460 Agnes Bacon, late wife of William Leche, and Nicholas son and heir of John Cannon, and Alice his wife, daughter and heiress of the said William and Agnes, sold it to John Heydon.

In 1521, Sir Roger Townsend was lord of Leeches manor in Cawston, and let the manor-house in Cawston, warren of conies, faldage and manor for 20 marks, and the 2d of October, in the 2d of Edward VI. he and his son Thomas (fn. 23) sold the whole manor of Leeche's to Sir James Bulleyn, Knt. and so it became joined to, and hath continued with the great manor ever since.

Caston's Manor in Cawston.

Walter de Cawston lived, and had an estate here about Richard the First's time, and was succeeded by Robert his son; Richer de Causton, and Stephen and Henry, sons of Richer, are mentioned to live in the time of Roger, prior of Norwich. In 1251, William de Causton was married to Maud, daughter of Vincent, and had divers lands granted them from the manor by John de Burgh; in 1267 Hugh their son had lands here and in Branteston. In 1289, John de Causton and Selona his wife purchased another estate here, of John de Wigenhale and Egidia his wife: in 1304, Robert de Causton purchased of Thomas de Whitwell, chaplain, 2 messuages, 116 acres of land, 4 of meadow, 3 of pasture, and 4s. rents, in Caston, Heydon, Oulton, Heveringland, Swannington, Branteston, and Boton; this Robert was one of those wise men whom Edward III. in 1304, thought fit to appoint to meet at Westminster, to be of counsil to his beloved son Thomas of Woodstock Duke of Gloucester, whom he had appointed Custos of England, during his absence in the French wars, with the Prince of Wales, and many noble lords in his company. (fn. 24) In 1302 he and John de Wesenham were commissioned to lay an embargo on all ships from the mouth of the Thames northward, and to supply them with men and arms to resist the French, then making an invasion. 1460 John de Causton, Knt. had it, and in 1368, Robert de Causton died, and half a tenement in Stanford, part of the manor of Causton, of the manor of Wormegeye, with rents in Breydeston, and left two daughters, Margery 7 years old, and Mary 4: in 1506 John Curson, alderman of Norwich, buried at Letheringset, gave all his estate in Cawston, Boton, Hevingham, Heverland, and Branteston, with the court-leets and warren, to Thomas his son, to sing for him 5 years, and then to go to John his son, &c. In 1637 Sir Edmund Sawyer and Anne his wife, sold it to Sir John Hobart, Knt. and Bart. and he sold it immediately to Sergeant Earle, and so it united to the great manor.

Mey's or Sterling's Manor,

Was parcel of the great manor, granted off by Henry I. and King John; in 1201, William son of Robert le Mey, had 20s. lands formerly the King's demean, and William son of Arnold, 40s. worth; and in 1231, William conveyed other lands here, to Jeffry de Causton; this William, in 1249, had other lands, rents, &c. here, of the ancient demeans of the grant of Henry I. held by the serjeanty or service of keeping and feeding one bloodhound. (fn. 25)

This William married his daughter Christian, to Stephen de Aylesham, and conveyed to him with her, Hervy de Ingworth his villein, and his land, which Stephen gave to Bury abbey. In 1255, William son of William le May, paid a relief of 10l. to King Hen. III, to have seizen of all his father's lands; in 1274, a part of this manor which laid in Stanho, in Smithdon hundred, was now parted from this, and held by John King and Joan his wife, who, with William May, held the whole serjeanty of keeping a large hunting-hound for the King.

In 1276 William le Mey, as a tenant in capite, was summoned to attend Edward I. in his expedition into Wales: in 1285 Johanna or Joan le Mey was lady, and the serjeanty is thus expressed (per serjantiam custodiendi unum burtelettum ad voluntatem (fn. 26) sumptibus suis proprijs.) In 1308 Robert Bedingfield and Joan his wife held Mey's manor, of the inheritance of the said Joan, in Causton and Stanhowe, by keeping a hound for the King, whenever the King sends one for that purpose, and Katherine and Elizabeth were their daughters and heirs; and in 1316, Joan le May of Cawston, wife of Robert de Bedingfield, infeoffed it in William son of Bartholomew de Stanhowe, and Walter March, and the heirs of Walter in it; and now it was found, that if the King sent the hound, he was to pay 14d. a week for their keeping it, and that no tenants of the lands held by this serjeanty ever served on juries, (fn. 27) or appeared on any recognizances, by reason of the tenure. In 1353, Robert le May of Causton had license to sell the Causton part of manor there, to Henry de Brampton and his heirs, viz. 9 messuages, 80 acres of land, 4 of pasture, a sheeps-walk, and 5s. rent, to be held at the 6th part of a fee so that the sergeanty now all laid on the Stanhowe part, called May's manor in Stanhowe. In 1458 John Aggys, Gent. lord here, ordered his wife Margaret to sell it, and to be divided among Henry, Edmund, John, and Thomas, Katherine and Alice, his children, and William his bastard son. In 1543 William Knightly of Norwich, Gent. gave Mey's manor here to his son George; in 1565 Thomas Gaudy, Esq. sold the manors of Mey's and Sterling's, in Cawston, Branteston, and Heveringland, to John Gibbs, with the sheep-walks belonging to it; it was after this John Peter's, who sold it to John Jenny, Gent. and Thomas Deye, Gent. and in

1655 Clement Herne, Esq. was lord, the rents of assize being then 1l. 5s. 5d. and it now belongs to

Paston Herne, Esq. of Heverlond.

The old site is in a close at the division of Cawston parish, almost by Heverlond: it is enclosed with an old moat, and contained about an acre.

The Church is dedicated to St. Agnes, and stands thus in the King's Books.

15l. 13s. 11d. ob. Cawston Rectoria, alias Caston, 1l. 11s. 4d. ob. qr. yearly tenths.

Hubert de Burgh gave 10 acres glebe to the church.

The advowson belonged to the manor, till Mr. Earle settled it on Pembrook Hall in Cambridge, (fn. 28) who are always to nominate two of their fellows to the lord of the manor, who must present one of them so nominated.

1283 John de Wyckham was rector, and the living was then worth 60 marks a year.

It is in Ingworth deanery and Norwich archdeaconry, pays first fruits and tenths, and is incapable of augmentation.

In 1378 Sir Roger Boys, Knt. and others, aliened to the prior of the Holy Trinity at Ingham in Norfolk, a messuage and 87 acres, in Worsted, Scottowe, Buxton, and Causton.

1477, lands in Boton, Salle and Causton, aliened in mortmain, to Mary Magdalen's college in Oxford.

Synodals 1s. 1d.; visitatorial procurations, 3s. 11d.; archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.; tenth of the lands of the religious here, 2l. (fn. 29)


1189, Henry de Castello, rector.

1316, Henry de Hale, priest. David de Strabolgi Earl of Athol.

1348, Adam de Skakelthorp; he made his will in 1370, and was prebendary of Paynes hall in Lincoln diocese, and lies buried in Cawston chancel, before the principal image of St. Agnes; he was a very great and wealthy person; among others, he gave legacies to his friends, William de Lughteburgh, rector of Salle, John de Pyeshale rector of Alderton, William de Aylesham, rector of Heydon, John Broun, rector of Tacolneston, and Peter de Mindham, vicar of Byker; he gave his organs, then standing in Cawston chancel, to Hickling priory, and to each canon 12d.; he had letters of fraternity, and was a benefactor to every house of friars in Norwich, and his obit kept accordingly; he was a great benefactor to the building of the south isle of Dennington church in Suffolk, and to the repair of the chapel and altar of St. Mary, at the east end of that isle; and to St. Margaret's chapel and altar, at the east end of the north isle there. He appointed brother Hugh de Boundale, prior of Yarmouth, to pray for his lord Sir Robert Ufford Earl of Suffolk, and Margaret daughter of Sir John Norwich, Knt. his wife, to whom he was chaplain; and ordered, that the day after his death he should be carried in his coffin into Cawston chancel, and there set on two stools, and be covered with a green worsted cloth, and then two wax-tapers, each weighing two pound and a half, to be placed in two iron candlesticks, one at his head, and one at his feet. Proved in 1470.

1370, John de Lynsted, rector.

1371, Sir John de Pyeshale, priest, (concerned in founding Brundish chantry.) Sir William de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, lord of Eye, Framlingham, and Cawston.

1621, died Edward Hammond, who is buried in the chancel with this,

Hic jacet corpus Edwardi Hammond, rectoris hujusce ecclesie, quadraginta septem annos, qui obijt decimo die Junij A. D. 1621.

1621, Thomas Colby, rector. D. D. and 1644.

1661, Mr. Conyers, rector, died Aug. 6th.

1663, Mr. Thomas Durham, rector.

1666, Edward Earle gave a receipt for tithes. 1675, John Hildeyerd, rector, commissary to the archdeacon of Norfolk, 1683 L. L. D; be married Elizabeth Duncomb of Ipswich, and had by her, John, Francis, Edmund, Philippa, and Elizabeth. He was son of Christopher Hildeyerd, son of Richard, second son of Martin Hildeyerd of Winestead in Yorkshire, by Emma, daughter of Sir Robert Rudston of Yorkshire, from whose eldest son, Sir Robert Hildeyerd of Winestead, and Henry of Lincolnshire, descended.

Robert Whitefoot, rector, died August 14, 1720. He was son to the Rev. Mr. John Whitefoot of Norwich, for whom see vol. iv. p. 189.

1721, Thomas Browne, rector, fellow of Pembrook-Hall. Erasmus Earle, patron. He lies buried in the chancel, under a stone thus inscribed,

S. H. M. Sepulta jacet Elizabetha, viri reverendi Thomœ Browne, A. M. hujus ecclesiæ rectoris, uxor dilectissima, nusquam satis deflenda, cum duobus, Thomâ scilicet, et Jacob-Augustino filiolis, beatam resurrectionem expectans, nata November xvio MDCXCVo denato Junij xxiiio MDCCXXVIo.

On a chevron between three lozenges, three mullets.

The Rev. Mr. Leonard Addison, A. M. late president of Pembrookhall, succeeded Browne, and is the present rector, and holds it with the rectory of Salle, and vicarage of Saxthorp.

1460 John Barker of Cawston buried there, gave ten marks towards seating the church, and 10 marks towards building the rood-loft, commonly called the candlebeam, and 20 marks towards the new steeple now building at Heydon, and a legacy towards building one of the porches, (fn. 30) and 100l. to his wife Katerine.

There is a brass in the church, for one of the family,
Orate pro anima Johannis Barker, qui obiit A. D. Mbro vii cuius anime propicietur Deus.

1504 Richard Broune of Caston, buried before the image of our Lady of Pity, in the chapel of our Lady, in the church of St. Agnes at Caston, gave 4 marks to paint a pane of the rood loft, to our Lady's gild kept in this chapel 3s. 4d. to St. Agnes gild in the church 3s. 4d. to Sir John Browne his brother, to sing for him and his friends at our Lady's altar in this her chapel 1 yere 10 marks, and 10l. for a cope.

William Gelyons, was a benefactor to the gild of St. John the Baptist, held in that saint's chapel, and to the gilds of St. Peter, and of St. Thomas, and that of the Holy Trinity; to the plough-lights of Cawston town, Sygate, Eastgate, and the dams, to the lights before St. Agnes, St. Mary, St. James, &c. in the church.

The Church is a noble free-stone pile, having a fine square tower 40 yards high, and 6 bells and a clock in it, a nave, 2 isles, 2 transept chapels, a north chancel chapel, (fn. 31) and north vestry and south porch, all leaded. This noble fabric, except the north isle, was built by Michael de la Poole Earl of Suffolk, lord here, and Catherine his wife, daughter of Hugh Earl of Stafford, son of Michael de la Pole Earl of Suffolk, and Catherine daughter and heiress of Sir John Wingfield, his wife; his patron, St. Michael, with the dragon, is carved on stone over the west door, with the arms following on 7 shields,

1. De la Poole, with an annulet on the fess for difference. The arms of Miles de la Pole, fifth son of the founder, and a benefactor.

2. Morley, impaling De la Pole and Wingfield quartered; Wingfield's bends are not cotised. The arms of the founder's eldest daughter, Isabel, who married William Lord Morley; both of them were benefactors to the tower.

3. Delapole and Wingfield quartered, impaling Stafford, or, a chevron gul. arms of the founder and his lady.

4. Delapole and Wingfield quartered; the arms of the founder's, father and mother.

5. Delapole and Wingfield quartered, impaling England, with a label of three points.

6. Chequy, a bend ermine Clifton, impales Delapole.

7. Delapole, with a de-lis, on the fess for difference. This was the shield of Alexander de la Pole, sixth and youngest son of Michael the founder, who was a benefactor to the building.

Over the north door is this,
Orate pro anima Roberti Orburgh, et pro quibus tenetur qui istub Ele fieri fecit.

Between the arms of Ufford and Delapole are Wingfield quartered, and at top, on each side, are the arms of England and France, all carved in stone

On the arch of the porch are Delapole and Wingfield's arms quartered.

There are two old gravestones on the south side of the churchyard, near the cross isle, one with the effigies of a man, the other of a woman, of very ancient sculpture in relievo, the supposed founders of the south chapel; but it is not likely, the tombs appearing much older than the building.

In the nave on antique stone:

In the chancel, before the altar:

Orate pro animabus Tohanis de Lynstede, qui fecit fieri istam aut perpetuam Amen.

In the east window are the arms of the East-Angles, Edward the Confessor, Bishop Nix of Norwich, Ufford Earl of Suffolk, Delapole Earl of Suffolk quartering Wingfield, France and England, and the arms of Sir James Bulleyn, Knt. lord here in 1540, quartered with Butler Earl of Ormond, impaling sab. on a fess gules between three mullets arg. three croslets or; Sir James's effigies kneeling in his surcoat of arms, and that of Elizabeth his wife were here formerly, but are now defaced; there was also another effigies, with a surcoat of arg. on a chief sab. two mullets of the field.

In the north chapel, against the chancel,
Orate pro amimabus Maargarete Harwarv, et Willi. Herward, et Nichi. Herman, et Tohannis Domsyng, nuper Uirorum predicte Margarete.

In a north window, az. five de-lises in chief or.

Pihet qui istam fenestram fieri fecit

On the screens are painted the four Doctors of the Church, the 12 Apostles, and many saints, and this,
Prey for the Sowlis of William Athereth, and Alice his Wyff, the wcche dede these iiii Panys Peynte be the Erecutoris lyff

In the nave,
Orate pro animabus Willi. Denne, et Elianore Uxoris eius qui obiit rioDni. MoUoiiio

In 1503 William Denne of Cawston, oon of the atturnes of the common law, made his will, and ordered to be buried here by his wife's tomb, under oon stone and gave a legacy to repair the church.

Mr. Edward Dewing late of Cawston, 1731. 65.

Æque maritus per Amans, ac pater Indulgentissimus, tam Herus benignus, quam Amicus sincerus, factis sine Fuco et Fallaciâ, nec non ei potissimum Egenis succurrere fuit.

Elizabeth Wife of Edward Dewing Yeoman, Daughter of Augustine Breeze of Cardistone, 1711, 54 Years and 9 Months.

Mary, Daughter of Edward Dewing, June 10, 1711. 15.

Elizabeth, the Wife of William Lowe of Norwich, Daughter of Edward Dewing of Caston, 1st of July 1719. 29.

Clement Leedes of Cawston 1732. 29.

In the north cross chapel,
Orate pro anima Roberti Rumpe, qui obiit rriodie Septemb. Ano Dni. Mccccrrio cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.

The south transept windows are adorned with the several histories of the Creation, Deluge, Passion, &c.; and in it are the following memorials:

Anne Sporle Widow, 1694. Edward Lomb, Gent. August 24, 1670.

Depositum mortale Thomæ Lomb, Gen. è Christi Collegio in Academiâ Cantab. A. B. super ipsius almæ Matris gremio Vitam hanc meliori mutavit, 4 Octob. A. D, 1687.

Edward Lombe of Weston in Norfolk, Esq. 4 February 1703, 42. Elizabeth his wife 5 November 1702, 37. and 6 of her children.

Lombe, az. two combs in fess between a broken standard, the one part in chief, the other in base barways arg. impaling three estoils two and one.

Orate pro anima Henrici Goodman, qui obiit Ano. Dni. Mo Uo rrci.cuius anime propicieiur Deus Amen.

On a stone having the effigies of a man and woman,

Here lieth the Body of William Gurney, Gent. March 10 1578, and Anne his Wife 19 January 1596, they had 1 Son and 3 Daughters.

Gurney impaling Waytes of Norfolk, az. a fess or between three fishes naiant arg.

In the windows, which are very fine painting,
Orate pro animabus Thome Hogehyns, et Annicie Uxoris sue, Patris et Matris ejusdem Thome>

Orate pro animabus Richardi Barter, et Matildis uxoris eius.

This, on an old reading-desk, having the four doctors of the church carved on it, and his effigies, kneeling on a cushion, with his cap by him, and she kneeling also on a cushion,
Orate pro animabus Roberti Sparham de Causton et.

The parsonage-house stands on the south side of the churchyard. These arms were formerly in the windows, of which few now remain,

Mildmay, per fess arg. and sab. three greyhounds heads erased counterchanged collared or.

Sir Christopher Heydon's whole coat, impaling Lady Gray, his relict.

St. George. Delapole, quartering Wingfield and Stafford.

Az. two chevrons or, Delapole quarters Arundel, 1. Paine, arg a chevron vairè between three lions rampant az. quartered with Jermy, with a crescent for difference.

Paine, impaling Bulleyn, with a mullet.

Poley, er. a lion rampant sab. with a crescent, and Tempest, arg a bend between six martlets sable with a crescent.

Dengaine, gul a fess dancette between six croslets or.

Bulleyn, with a mullet. Ormond, Lord Hoo, quarterly sab. and arg. Gurnay, arg. a cross ingrailed gul. with a crescent impaling Wayte. Waterton, barry of six er. and gul. three crescents sub.

Quarterings of Pain or Bulleyn. 1. Lord Hoo, quartering Morley. 2. St. Omer. 3. Tremaine, az. three dexter hands arg. 4. Wichingham. 5. St. Legar, az. a frette arg. a chief gul. 6. Spencer.

I find a hamlet, called Alvington, in Cawston.

The cross and shambles are in decay, the market being much declined.

The Romans have been in these parts, as is evident from their coins found hereabouts; in 1728, a brass coin of Favstina was dug up in sinking a cellar.

Value to lard tax, 905l.; county rate to a 300l. levy, 1l.; the old tenth of the town, 10l.


  • 1. Rex (sive terra Regis) Doms. fo. 11, 12. Erpingham SVD hund. Caustituna tenuit Heroldus T.R.E. xi. car. terre xxxx. acr. tunc et post xxxvi. villani modo xxxv. tunc et post xxvi. bordarij mo xxxiiij. tunc et post vi. servi, modo iv. tunc et post iv. carucat. in dominio, modo iv. et due possunt restaurari, tunc et post xxvi. carucate hominum mo xvi. et alie possunt restaurari, xx. acre prati tunc silva M.D. porci modo M. semper ii. molendina, tunc iv. runc. modo similiter, tunc xx. animalia et modo semper xl. porci et cx. oves, et l. capræ et v. vasa apum et x. socman. T. R. E. ex hoc habet Rainaldus filius Ivonis ii. et Willus episcopus ii. et ComesAlanus l. et Godricus ii. ad feudum Regis, quem tenebat Comes Radus. cum foris fecit. et Wil. de Warrenna ii. et Rogerus Bigot i. Et adhuc tenebat in Caustuna, Heroldus T.R.E. Marsam, Blikelinca et xxiii soc. et hec duo maneria tenet Willus. Episcopus et Erfastus tenuit. Et Galterus Giffart tenet xxvi. soc. quos tenuit Bodinus antecessor suus, tenebat etiam Heroldus v. socm. huic manerio, quos tenuit Radus. Comes, modo Godricus ad feudum Regis, tunc valuit xxx. libr. modo xl. ad numerum et habet ii. leug. in longo et ii. in lato, quicunque ibi teneat, et vii. den. de Gelto. Huic etiam manerio semper jacebat i. Beruita Oulstuna, &c. In Matelasc xxx. acr. terre tenuit Heroldus et val. v. sol. In Sratuna lx. acr. terre berewita in Caustuna, &c. In Colebei, &c. In Wicmara i. liber homo Heroldi, &c. In Hevincham, &c. in soca de Caustuna (fo. 43.) In Erminclanda, &c. soca in Caustuna (fo. 83.) In Brantuna soca in Caustuna (fo. 83.) In Tortuna tenet idem (Sc. Herlwinus) ii. soc. Heroldi in Caustuna lx. acr. terre &c. (fo. 277.) Botuna, &c. soca in Caustuna, &c. (fo. 273.) In Witewella i. berwita que jacet in Caustuna tenuit Heroldus T. R. E. &c. In Brantestuna iv. liberi homines, &c. sunt in pretio de Caustuna. In Banincham &c. soca in Caustuna (fo. 288.)
  • 2. A sock is a plough-share, so that soccage tenure is when lands are holden by or for certain husbandry services, to be performed to the lord of the fee, and socmen are tenants that hold by service of the plough, so that the lord was only obliged to pay a plough-coulter or share, in token of the tenure, to the superiour lord of the fee.
  • 3. Madox, Hist. of the Exchequer, fo. 87.
  • 4. He sealed with a large seal, himself, on horseback on one side, adorned with lozenges vaire, and on the other side his arms on his shield, of gules seven lozenges vaire, 3, 3, 1, circumscribed, Sigillum Johannis de Burgo Comitis Nancie. Vincent's Discovery of Brook's Errors, 278.
  • 5. Madox. Exchequer. fo. 550.
  • 6. Madox's Exch. fo. 517.
  • 7. The King granted him also the fee farm of London, Midleton manor, &c. in Kent, this was done to acquit a debt of 12000l. due to the King. Fin. diversor. Com. 2d E. 1. Lig. 1. N. xi.
  • 8. This John sealed with his father's arms and a label of three points for difference circumscribed, Sigllium Johannis de Burgo.
  • 9. In 1330 Edward the 3d declares that his mother, Queen Isabel, on whom they had been settled, had surrendered them to him, all but Aylesham and Fakenham.
  • 10. Joseph Barnes's Hist of Ed. 3, fo. 53. See also vol. ii. p. 410.
  • 11. Cotton's Abridgment of Records, fo. 310. Rot. Parl. 9 Ric. 2.
  • 12. In the Atlas, p. 270, there are several mistakes as to this town.
  • 13. In South Erpingham hundred.
  • 14. With Bromholm priory advowson.
  • 15. See vol. ii. p 410.
  • 16. He was beheaded in 1513.
  • 17. With the manors of Morehall in Salle, and Egemere lately belonging to the priory of Walsingham, and the manors of Heveningham, Kerdeston and Reepham.
  • 18. Edmund Lomner, Esq. and Thomas Paine, Gent. were trustees for the Lady Elizabeth by license from Queen Mary. ano 1553.
  • 19. See Leeche's manor.
  • 20. Autog. penes Pet. Le Neve, Norroy, A D. 1725.
  • 21. Autog. inter Cartas Edn. Lombe, Armigeri.
  • 22. Simon their son was found heir, but died without issue.
  • 23. In 1518, Sir Thomas Wodehouse, Knt. Roger Townesend, Esq; of Stinton, Christopher Calthorp, Esq. and Robert Harward of Boton, Gent. sold Leeches, to John Legge of Causton, Gent. and Eliz. his wife, which manor they purchased of divers persons ano 7th of Hen. 8. (Madox Formulare Anglicanum fo. 396) and in 1537 Roger Townesend, Knt. conveyed it to his son Thomas, and William Salmon, and Hen. Clifton his trustees, (ibid 414,) &c. and in 1547 they all sold it to Bullen. It lies next Cawston-heath.
  • 24. Rymer, vol vi. fo. 138, 167.
  • 25. Brachettum sive lunerium pro veneriâ, is a bloodhound for hunting.
  • 26. Ad voluntatem, signifies that it was always to be ready when the King called for it.
  • 27. Cawston et Stanhove serjeant, quod nullus tenens ejusdem ponatur in assissis juratis, &c. Inquis. Ano 10 Ed. 2. No. 93.
  • 28. Erasmus Earle, Esq. of Heydon the elder, settled it with Salle, he being educated at Pembrook-hall.
  • 29. Ecton's last Valor in 1742, says, the living is 100l. a year, and that it formerly paid a 2d. rent to the Duke of Suffolk.
  • 30. It must be the north porch, which was only designed but not built.
  • 31. The length of the nave and 2 isles is 90, and their breadth 54 feet. The chancel is 46 feet long, and 25 broad; the south transept chapel is dedicated to our Lady, and is 15 feet wide, and 25 feet long, the north transept chapel hath the image of St. Edmvnd in its east window, by which it seems to have been dedicated to that King; the chapel on the north side of the chancel is dedicated to St. John Baptist, and is 5 yards wide and above 8 long.
  • 32. The town at the castle, see vol. ii. p. 284.