Hundred of South Erpingham: Great-Hautbois

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: Great-Hautbois', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807) pp. 297-302. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]

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Or Hobbies, church, hath a round steeple, a nave and chancel leaded, and stands alone, not far from the river; it hath no memorial in it, but this on a brass plate:

Orate pro animabus Richardi Hall, et Sillibe uxoris sue qui obiit ir die Octob.Anna Domini Moacccii.

The advowson of the church of the Assumption of St. Mary the Vingin here, was given in the year 1199, by Peter de alto Bosco or Hautbois, to the prior and canons of St. Mary at Cokesford, in the parish of Rudham in Norfolk, in consideration of which, the prior released to Peter all right he had in the church of Tutington, and in the tithes of the tenants of the said Peter, and of Pickenham mill, and of the fishery there, and of the hay in the meadows there, all which the said prior and convent had right to, by the deed of his father; and immediately after this, Hautbois rectory was appropriated to the prior of Coxford, who served it by a stipendiary parochial chaplain, (fn. 1) and in 1277, the Bishop of Norwich, upon a suit between Robert Baynard, then lord, and the prior, returned it to be legally appropriated, and that the lord had not any just claim to it, but that it was valued at 6 marks, and that accordingly the prior paid 8s. to each tenth for it, so that the King was answered all just dues, the said prior having only 4s. rent of temporals in the said town. The Abbot of Caen in Normandy had temporals here taxed at 5s. 9d. ob. and the Prior of Bromholme had his, taxed at 3s.

In 1480, the church was disappropriated, and a rector instituted; and from that time the priors of Coxford always had the patronage, to the Dissolution, when it was granted to the Duke of Norfolk, and it hath ever since remained in that family, and their trustees or feoffees have constantly presented to it.


1480, 13 October, Gregory Voket. The Bishop collated

Richard Young, because the prior presented an unfit person; he died in 1505, and

Nicholas Blake had it by lapse, at whose death

Oliver Hinde had it in 1532, and was the last presented by the prior; at his resignation in 1547, Thomas Nobbes, who had a grant of this turn, gave it to

John Cocks, who held it by union with Colteshall.

1557, William Galebank. Thomas Duke of Norfolk.

1561, Thomas Carr, by lapse, united to Scothow.

1564, Simon Bullock. Thomas Duke of Norfolk.

1569, Nicholas Ailand. Ditto. At his resignation in 1574, William Dix, and William Cantrel, feoffees to the Norfolk family, gave it to Richard Coope, who resigned in 1589, and Dix and John Holland, Esq. another feoffee, presented

Roger Chidlow; and in 1604 John Holland of Kenninghall, Esq. feoffee, gave it to

John Chidlow, who was buried in Siseland church, December 4, 1652, and

John Rose had it, at whose death, in 1661, Henry Lord Arundel of Wardour, &c. gave it to Edw. Warnes, who held it united to Lammas, and at his death, Christian Warnes his wife, who had the next turn from the Norfolk family, gave it in

1701, to John Barker, who held it also united to Lammas, and at his death, Francis Taylor, Esq. gave it to

The Rev. Mr. Samuel Taylor, his son, the present rector.

There is no rectory-house, but eleven acres and 3 roods of glebe. It stands thus in the King's Books:

4l. 6s. 8d. Hautbois, vulgo Hobbies Magna rectory 35l. clear yearly value.

So that being discharged, it is capable of augmentation. It pays 13d. procurations to the Bishop at the visitation, synodals 8d. archdeacon's procurations 4s. and the old valuation was six marks.

The village is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster; and paid 30s. to every tenth, besides 4s. paid by the religious for their lands here. It is laid to the land-tax at 234l. 15s. and pays 5s. 6d. to every 300l. levy of the county rate.

In this church was a famous image of St. Theobald, commonly called St. Tebbald of Hobbies; it was much frequented for its many pretended miracles, so that pilgrimages used to be made to it. In 1507, in the will of Agnes Parker of Keswic is this, "Item I owe a pilgrimage to Canterbury, another to St. Tebbald of Hobbies, and another to St. Albert at Cringleforde," (fn. 2) and in 1507 Thomas Wood of Cowteshale gave legacies to the gild of the Virgin Mary, in the church of the Assumption of the Virgin at Hobbies, and to paint the new tabernacle of St. Theobald there, and this saint being so famous, made some mistake the dedication of the church, and suppose it to have been dedicated to St. Theobald, which is not so.

Ther was also a chantry here, founded and endowed by John Parham, with divers lands here, and in Hobies-Parva, Scoriston, &c. of which John Castre was chantry priest in 1442; at the Dissolution King Edward VI. in 1557, granted among other things to Thomas Woodhouse of Waxham, Esq. the Chauntry called de alto Bosco, in the town of Hautbois-Magna, with all the manors, letes, lands, rents, and services thereto belonging in Norfolk, to be held in soccage by fealty only, of the King's manor of Brook, and the next year he sold it to William Mingay of Norwich, notary publick, and his heirs, John Blomefield, Esq. being witness. Under this grant also passed,
The Hospital of St. Mary, commonly called God's-house, at the head of Hobbies Causeway, which was founded about 1235 by Sir Peter de alto Bosco or Hautbois, for his own and ancestors souls, for the reception of travellers and poor people; he settled ten acres and one rood of land in Great-Hautbois, and 2 acres and an half, and all Millfen Marsh, by Great-Hautbois Causeway, and all the rents and services which Stephen de Walton and 26 other tenants paid, together with all his lands in Little-Hautbois, Worsted, Swannington, and Banningham, and Roger son of Roger le Povere, Roger Trussebut, and Sir Richard de Cham, Knt. lords of the several fees of the lands given by Sir Peter, released all their right to Peter Olive, chaplain, the first custos or master of the Hospital. (fn. 3)

The founder appointed the almoner of St. Bennet to be principal guardian of this house, enjoining him to commit the custody of it to the master or custos of the hospital of St. James, at the head of the Causeway of St. Bennet at the Holm, who should yearly account with the almoner, and govern this house, by a deputy appointed by the said master, who should be custos of this hospital, and as such, account yearly with the master of St. James's hospital.

The master was to be free from all dues to Sir Peter, as lord of Hautbois manor; Thomas de alto Bosco, and Richard his son were witnesses.

This house was licensed by Pope Alexander the 4th, in the third year of his pontificate, to have a chapel, bell, and proper chaplain, for the use of the poor of the hospital, the revenues being able to bear the expense, and Roger, then custos, certified this license to the Bishop of Norwich.

The revenues of this chapel of St. Mary were taxed at 18s. 10d.

The Manor of Hautbois-Magna,

Belonged to the Abbot of St. Bennet at the Holm, one part, of the gift of King Edward the Confessor, and of Elgelwin, a Saxon ealderman or thane, lord of it, under that prince, and the other, of the gift of Ralph Earl of Norfolk, when he granted the burial of his wife to that monastery, with the King's consent; (fn. 4) this part was held of the abbey at the Conqueror's survey, by William de Warren, of whom Ralf Stalra held it, and the other part was held by Ralf de Beaufoe, of whom Eudo held it; the whole village being then six furlongs long, and four broad, and paid 2d. to the geld or tax, towards every 20s. raised by the hundred. (fn. 5)

Soon after the survey, Herman held one half, under the abbot, at the will of the convent, but his son,

William, who took the sirname of De alto Bosco or Hautbois, was infeoffed in the half of Great Hautbois; which he was to hold of the monastery, at half a fee; he had also all Little-Hautbois, with the Abbot's land at Calthorp, the land of Ulf, and the land of Ralf in Erpingham, to hold at half a fee more, and had the stewardship of the abbot, granted him by Alfwold, abbot there; his son

William was a great man in his days, being very much concerned for the affairs of the monastery all his life time; he had several sons, as Peter, William, Thomas, &c, from whom issued several branches of the family, (fn. 6) but the principal estate went to his eldest son,

Sir Peter de alto Bosco, or Hautbois, (fn. 7) who was a knight, and paid at the rate of a quarter of a fee for his manor here, to the Earl Warren, his chief lord, of whom he held it; he appears to be very old in 1234, and died about 1239, for in 1238 he released by several deeds to the Abbot of St. Bennet's all his right in the manors of Thugarton, Thwait, Antingham, and Shipden, and in the hundred of Tunsted, and in the offices of the stewardship and procuratorship to the monastery, for 17l. a year, to be paid him for life, for his better support in his extremity of age; he was founder of the Mason Dieu here, and gave the advowson to Coxford priory.

He sealed with barry, an orle of holly leaves proper, circumscribed,

He left Peter, Thomas, and John, who was vicar of Tutington.

Peter de alto Bosco, in 1242, paid the King 25s. relief for his lands here, which Sir Peter his father held, of the inheritance of the Earl Warren, that Earl being underage, and the King's ward; this Peter being seized also of the manors of Calthorp and Erpingham, which had passed with this manor ever since the Conquest, settled them on Maud his mother in dower, and during her life, sold them to Walter de Suffield Bishop of Norwich, and William de Calthorp and his heirs, and Peter, by fine levied, settled Calthorp advowson on the Bishop in 1246.

He died about 1247; for in 1248 Samson, son of Isaac, a Jew, at Norwich, impleaded Robert de Torkesey, then abbot of St. Benet's, before the justices assigned for the custody of the Jews, for a part of the lands of Peter, and Samson recovered; and then he and Isaac de Warwic, by their starr, (fn. 9) released all right in this land to the abbot, and in the land of Robert de Worstede, with warranty against all Jews. I suppose he died without issue, for Walter son of Richard, who was son of Thomas de alto Bosco, son of Sir Peter, was found to be his heir, after the death of John, vicar of Tutington, who was brother of Peter, who in the beginning of Edward the First's time was lord here, and is often called de Calthorp, as well as de Hautbois; he left no issue, so that Maud, Margery, and Eufresia, his three sisters, (fn. 10) inherited, and they all jointly with Hamon, son of Nicholas de Sibton, husband to Eufresia, released all their right to the abbot of St. Bennet's, (fn. 11) in all the estates late of John son of Peter de Hautbois in Great and Little Hautbois, Colteshall, Tutington, Banningham, Calthorp, Thugarton and Erpingham, and so this manor vested in the convent; and in 1315 the Abbot of St. Bennet was returned lord of it.

The other, part which Eudo held of Ralf de Beaufo, he of the Earl Warren, and he of the Abbot of St. Bennet's, came to the Baniards, and passed in that family with Merton, which you may see in vol. ii. p. 299.

Hugh de Milieres had a part under the Baniards, for he granted to Roger son of Reiner de Hobbosia, land of his fee lying here, by the land of the fee of Sir Bartholomew de Redham, who held another part of it, under the Baniards. In 1251 Stephen de Redham had that part, and in 1275 Bartholomew de Redham impleaded Roger Baignard, and William his brother, in the Earl Warren's court, at his castle of Castleacre, by the King's writ, for 1 messuage, 66 acres of ground, 10 acres of marsh, and 10s. rent of assize in Great Hautbois; and in 1285, the King had the Lete over all Robert Baniard's tenants; but in 1299, after a long suit, Bartholomew de Redham recovered the manor against Robert son of Robert Banyard, who renewed the action the year following, and the sheriff accounted for 20l. for the profits of this year; and now it appeared that Bartholomew de Redham was diseised by the bailiffs of the Queen Consort, of a messuage, 120 acres of land, 20 of meadow, and of 5s. rent, which Bartholomew had just recovered against Rob. Baniard, before Barth. de Lovetot, and Richard de Tony, justices of assize, at an assize held at Aylesham; and after the Queen's death it came to the King's hands, who ordered the sheriff to deliver them to Bartholomew's heirs, who had now possession, and the same year William de Newton, and Margaret his wife, the heiress, I suppose, of Redham conveyed it absolutely to the said Robert, son of Robert Baniard and his heirs. It containing then 9 messuages, 7 cottages, 131 acres of land, 20 of meadow, 4 of aldercar, a free fishery in the river, 1 acre and half called Dovehouse-yard, 5s. rent, 2 messuages, 14 acres in Scothow, 15 villeins, and their families, &c.

In 1307, Joan, widow of Robert Baniard of Whetacre, and John Baniard, settled this manor on Sir Robert, son of the said Rob. Baniard deceased, and Maud his wife, and their heirs; and in 1312, Sir Robert and Maud held it, and resided here, and now built the manor-house, called Hautbois Castle; so called, no doubt, because he had a royal license to embattle it after the manner of a Castle; in 1313 he added much to the manor, by purchasing here and in Scothowe, of John Peverel and Joan his wife. In 1315 Sir Robert and Maud settled the whole on Henry de Stanton, and Alfred de Brok, for their lives. In 1318 Robert gave to the abbot of Langley 100 acres of land, and 5s. rent in Chatgrave and Whetacre, which he held of Robert Fitz Walter, as parcel of the manors of Whetacre and Chatgrave, &c. in 1329 Robert Baniard held the 3d part of a fee here and in Tutington and Calthorp, and of Earl John de Warren's castle of Acre, and

Thomas Baniard was his son and heir, who sold the revertion after the death of his mother, Maud, widow of Sir Robert, to

Sir Thomas Rosceline, Knt. in 1345 Margery de Champain, widow of John, released to Sir John Willoughby, Knt. lord of Eresby, and Joan his wife, all her right in the sixth part of this manor, held for life, by Maud widow of Sir Robert Baniard, and in all the manors and estates descended to her, as one of the six sisters and coheirs of Sir Thomas Rosceline, Knt. and William son of Robert de Bokenham, cousin and one of the heirs of Sir Thomas, sold his 6th part to the said Sir John; and Sir Robert Tiffour, Knt. and Maud his wife, sold their 6th part, and in 1348 Sir John and Joan his wife held the moiety of Whetacre and Hautbois of John Lord Fitzwalter, and John Willoughby was their son and heir, and the next year it was found that Maud widow of Sir Robert Baniard held Whetacre, and this manor for life; one half of Hautbois was held of Sir John Willoughby, Knt. lately deceased, and of Joan his wife, one of the coheirs of Sir Tho. Rosceline, and the other half of the said Joan, who was then living, and had the other half, of her own inheritance.

In 1402, William de Willoughby and his feoffees settled the moiety of this manor on John le Strange, Knt. and other trustees; in 1309, Sir William Bowet and Joan his wife settled it with Horseford; in 1427, Sir Thomas Dacre, junior, Knt. and Elizabeth his wife, had it, and settled it with Horseford, in 1447; in 1487, Joan, widow of Richard Fynes Lord Dacres, Knt. had it, and Thomas Fynes was her cousin and heir; in 1491 she held it with Horseford, Burgh St. Margaret, the advowsons of Langley abbey, and the priories of St. Faith and Petereston, &c. in 1511, Thomas Fynes Lord Dacres died seized of them all. In 1553 Thomas Fynes Lord Dacres held Hautbois, by knight's service, of the Earl of Arundel, and Georges Fynes was his son and heir, who in 1570, by the name of George Lord Dacres settled it on Roger Manwood and other trustees to the use of himself and Lady Anne his wife for life, and their heirs male; in 1606, Sampson Lennard, Esq. and Margaret his wife had it with Horseford, and settled it on Sir Walter Covest, Knt. it was afterwards separated from Horseford, and passing through divers owners, it lately belonged to the Aides of Horsted-Hall, and at the death of Mr. Thomas Ayde of Horstead, was sold by his only daughter Susanna, and the Rev. Mr. Charles Tillet, her husband, to the present Lord Leonard Batcheller, Esq.


  • 1. Sir Peter, parochial chaplain of Hautbois.
  • 2. Regr. Rix, fo. 300.
  • 3. Regr. Holm, Lib. Cott. fo. 67. 71. 108. Tanner's Notitia, fo. 358.
  • 4. Dug. Mon. vol i. fo. 284. Ego Eadwardus &c. do et concedo Deo et Ecclesiæ Almiflui Confessoris sui Benedicti, &c. terram que fuit Ægelwini Alderman, in Hobbesse, &c.
  • 5. Terre Willi: De Warrenna Doms. fo. 83.) In Hobuist i soc. Radulfus Stalra clx acr. et jacet in Hovetuna, quam Radulfus Comes dedit Sancto Benedicto cum uxore sua, concedente Rege ut dicit abbas, semper ii bord. et i soc. et dim. xiii acr. terre tunc i car. et dim. modo i semper dim. molend. iiii acr. prati val. v sol. et iiil den. In eadem ii soc. Sancti Benedic ti clxxx acr. terre semper i vill. et ii bord. tunc ii car. modo i car. et dim. val. x sol. hoc fuit liberatum pro i car. tere, totum est pro escangio de laqueis. Terra Radulfi de Bellafago (fo. 217.) In Oreouuessa dim. car. terre i soc. Sancti Benedicti semper iiii bord. et i car. et ii acr. prati, silva xx porci et dimid. molendini, tunc valuit xs. modo xii hanc terram habuit Eudo, de liberatione ut Radulfus dicit, Qbuuessa habet vi quar. in longo iiii in lato et iid. de gelto.
  • 6. I find Alan de Hautbois and Roger de Hautbois, and in 1251, Richard, who had lands then in Great Hautbois, &c.
  • 7. In 1191 I find him called often Peter de Calthorp, of which town he was lord.
  • 8. I have several of his seals and deeds by me.
  • 9. Per STARRAM, Regr. Holm, fo. 87. A Jew's starr, so called from the stars or astericks usually made on them and cut in two when they were executed, these conveyances are written in Hebrew characters, and are indentures, each party having a part.
  • 10. He had only one brother, John, who was a priest.
  • 11. Regr. Holm, fo. 103.