Hundred of South Erpingham: Irmingland

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

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Francis Blomefield, 'Hundred of South Erpingham: Irmingland', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807), pp. 320-326. British History Online [accessed 14 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Irmingland", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807) 320-326. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Irmingland", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807). 320-326. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024,

In this section


Edric a Dane owned Irmingland at the Confessor's survey, and it contained two carucates, one belonged to the lord in demean, and the other was in his tenants hands, the whole was then of 20s. per annum value. (fn. 1)

At the Conquest it fell to Walter Giffard by that prince's gift, and then was worth 30s. per annum, and the town was six furlongs long, and as much broad, and paid 3d. geld, towards every 20s. raised in the hundred.

This was afterwards called Whitefoot-Hall manor.

Turold, a Saxon, and Herold, a Dane, had two other parts here, (fn. 2) which came to William de Warren of the Conqueror's gift, as part of the lands allotted him on the exchange of Lewes castle, and this was afterwards called the manor of Hastyngs-Hall.

Rectors of Irmingland.

Ernald, rector here, was living before it entered into the Pope's head to forbid lawful matrimony to the clergy; for Margaret, daughter of Ernald, rector of Ermingland, by deed without date, granted lands in Olton of the fee of Roger de Saxlingham to Ralf son of Ralf de Ermingland; to which John de Ermingland was a witness.

1286, John son of William Thurston of Limpenhowe, rector.

1302, Simon de Claxby by lapse. 1308, John de Cokefield, recovered the advowson by suit against Hugh Tirrel, (fn. 3) and presented

John de Sibeton. (fn. 4) 1326, Sir William de Birston, rector of the 3d part of Iteringham, gave it to

Peter de Birstone, to whom Sir William afterward conveyed the advowson in 1327, jointly with Thomas de Birstone, who in 1343 settled the advowson on divers trustees, and they and the trustees, in 1345, conveyed it absolutely to the prior and convent of Munge or Montjoy in Heveringland, that convent having obtained a license in mortmain from King Edward III. for that purpose; and on the 24th of April, 1352, it was appropriated to that house by the Bishop of Norwich, (fn. 5) who reserved a pension to him and his successours of 30s. the convent was to receive the whole, and serve it by one of their own canons, or pay a stipendiary priest for that purpose.

In 1428, the prior paid 12s. to one tenth for this church, and 4s. ob qr. for his temporals here; the church being valued at ix. marks. In 1490 the prior leased the impropriation to Thomas Betts of Irmingland for 90 years, and in 1530 it was disappropriated by consent of all persons concerned, and

William Halls, Esq. now sole patron, presented

Sir Robert Schillit, chaplain, to the reinstated rectory; at whose death in

1557, William Woodehouse, Esq. gave it to

Sir Thomas Bury, who held it united to Saxthorp.

1557, May 20, Sir Reginald Thompson was instituted by Robert Knowles, notary publick, his proxy, and had it personally united to Corpesty vicarage, being presented by

Edmund Lomner, Esq. who had this turn from John Aldrich and William Mingay of Norwich, who had it from William Halls, the true patron. It is plain that Irmingland church was now in use, for on application for a perpetual union, which was obtained, he gave security to serve both churches as usual

1572, William Robinson, A. M. to the vicarage of Corpesty and rectory of Irmingland perpetually united. Sir Christopher Heydon, Knt. patron of both. On his death in

1575, William Doluston had it. Sir Christ. Heydon Knt. and in

1577, Robert Greene was instituted to the perpetually united rectory of the churches of Mannington and Irmingland, and the vicarage of Corpusty, at the presentation of Sir Christopher Heydon; Knt. but in 1589, Mannington was disunited, and John Coates and Thomas Jex presented

William Olyot, to Corpesty and Irmingland; and in

1594, Thomas Percy held them as one living; but in 1615 Sir Christopher Heydon, Knt. got it disunited by the Bishop and presented

Richard Snoden to Irmingland rectory, and he held it by a personal union with Corpesty vicarage.

1625, Andrew Holiburton.

1633, Paul Ammirante, united to Wulterton; he was deprived of both, 20th of March 1627, (fn. 6) and

William Richards, A. M. was presented to Irmingland, by Thomas Knevet of Ashwellthorp. In

1660, Edmund Bacon of Hockwold, son of Clipesby Bacon, Esq. sold the advowson to John Earle of Heydon; and in 1661, at Richard's death, Martin Earl, Esq. presented

William Simpson, A. M. who held it united to Heydon, and was succeeded in both by

John Basset, who held them by a personal union; but at his death, when

Arthur Gallant succeeded, they were consolidated upon the statute, in 1706, and he held them united to Brinton,

And ever since, this rectory is part of Heydon rectory, for which see p. 250.

The Church was dedicated to St. Andrew, but is now ploughed up, so that there are no apparent ruins of it. It stands thus in the King's Books:

5l. Irmingland rectory, 29l. clear yearly value.

So that it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; it pays 9d. synodals, and 2s. archdeacon's procurations, and 15d. visitatorial procurations; the town is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster, and hath not above two or three houses in it; it paid 2l. 12s. to each tenth, of which sum, the religious paid for their revenues here 20s.; it is valued to the land-tax and county-rate, with Corpesty (which see.)

The prior of Wayborne was taxed at IX. d. for his temporals here, the abbot of Langley at 3s. and the portion of the prior of Norwich, was a mark a year, being a composition for two sheaves out of three, of the tithes of the demeans of John de Irmingland, which was paid to the cellerer; this portion Bishop John de Grey appropriated to the convent, and Bishop Thomas de Blumvyle confirmed it.

Hasting's-Hall Manor.

The first I find of this manor, is that Osbert de Summerleton held it at half a fee, and that Robert de Baconesthorp held it of him, and that John de Raveningham had it of him; in 1303 Hugh Tirrel of Mannington had an interest in it. In 1323 it was found to be held of Castleacre castle; John de Dallyng and John de Bintre, who lived at Byntre, were lords, in the latter end of Edward the First's time, and in 1332 Thomas de Byntre had it. In 1360 it was settled on Thomas de Bintre and Margaret his wife for life, and after their deaths, to John de Carlton (fn. 7) and his heirs. In 1349 Sir George de Felbrigge purchased the reversion of Carleton, and in 1378 sold it after the death of Margaret, widow of Thomas de Bintre, to William Hastyngs of Aylesham, whose name the manor still retains; and in 1388 Hastyngs reconveyed it to Sir George Felbrigge, Knt. and his trustees, and in 1390, Thomas de Bintre, the heir of Thomas and Margaret, released to Sir George all his right, in trust for Hastyngs. In 1391 Edmund son of William Hastyngs settled on Joan, widow of his father William, her dower here, and in Bintre manor, and Sir George Felbrigge, and all the trustees, released to Edmund; who in 1406 settled it on Alice his wife, who in 1410 was window of Edmund Hastyngs of Bintre; this Alice conveyed the manor to John Betts of Olton, senior, and his trustees; and in 1433, Agnes, widow of John Hoddys of Buxton, daughter and heiress of William Hastyngs of Irmingland, and Cecily her daughter, released all right to John Bettes, senior, of Irmingland, and so it became joined to

The Manor of Whitfoot's-Hall,

Which anciently belonged to a family sirnamed from the town; in 1196 Warine de Irmingland (fn. 8) and Godfry de Irmingland held it at the 3d part of a fee, as parcel of the honour of Clare; he was son of Ralf, and father of that Ralf, that was lord here in 1249; in 1302 John de Ermingland had it, and in 1315 Ralf de Irmingland and John aforesaid, whose family continued long here, and had lands; but the manor was sold by Ralf in 1327, to Thomas Whitefoot and Alice his wife; Robert Whitefoot, parson of the moiety of Reepham St. Mary, John his brother, and Margaret his sister, all of Reepham, being trustees; and in 1336, Godfry (fn. 9) son of Ralf de Ermingland, released all his right; in 1394 Henry Whitefoot had it, and he and his feoffees in 1396 mortgaged it to John Spoo and Nichola his wife; and in 1410 released it to Roger Taylor of Wulterton, and John Mertoft; Richard Whitefoot had it, and Joan his widow in 1422 released it to Taylor and Mortoft, and in 1423 Taylor, Mortoft, Spoo, and his wife, sold it to John Bettes, senior, and his trustees; and in 1427 Robert, son and heir of Henry Whitefoot of Gressenhall, released all right, and so Bettes became sole lord, and afterwards joined the two manors, as they now remain.

Hasting's-Hall cum Whitefoot's-Hall Manors,

Were thus vested in John Bettes, senior, son of Thomas Bettes and Maud his wife, who lived at Swannington in 1386. In 1448, John the father, (who died about 1450,) settled them on Thomas Bettes his son, (fn. 10) who was chief steward to Sir Miles Stapleton of Ingham, Knt. and one of his feoffees; he married Alice, daughter of John Bertram, Esq. about 1458. In 1471 he was secretary to Catherine Dutchess of Norfolk: in 1501 the executors of Thomas Bettes, according to his will, settled the manors and all his estate, on John Bettes, Gent. his son and heir, with remainder, for want of male issue, to Richard, Thomas, and William, his brothers; but in 1579, (fn. 11) John Betts, probably the eldest son and heir of the aforesaid John, cut off the entail by fine and recovery, and then settled an annuity for a jointure of 40l. per annum on John Dodge of Mannington, Esq. and in 1595 he settled the manor-house here, and several lands, on Thomas Gawsell of Watlington, Robert Gawsell of Ruston, and Edmund Gawsell of Denver, Gents. in trust, for the use of himself for life, and Margaret his wife, and then to Edmund Betts his son, with remainder to Anne, Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary and Hellen his daughters, conditionally; but in 1598, he and his wife, and Henry his son and heir, sold the whole to Thomas Catlyn of Lakenham, and his heirs, (fn. 12) who in 1604, with the consent of Judith his wife, sold the whole to Sir Nathaniel Bacon, Knt. and Dame Dorothy his wife, in trust for his said Lady, and William-Roberds Smith, her son; he built Irmingland hall, (fn. 13) and fixed this inscription over the door,

Nathanael Bacon Miles, Anno Ætatis suæ 63, pro Dorothea Uxore, et Gulielmo-Roberds Smith, Filio ejusdem Dorotheæ, has Ædes erexit Ano 1609.

In the windows of the farm-house, which I take to be the old hall, are these arms,

Bettes, sab. in chief, two swans proper, respecting each other, in base, a herring naiant or; sometimes the field is per chevron gul. and sab.

Bettes impaling Baniard, Ditto impaling Berdewell,

Bettes impaling Wigmore, arg. three greyhounds current in pale sab. collared or; anno 1585

This family of the Smiths descended from Sir Thurstan Smith of Cratfield in Suffolk, Knt. who married Willoughby, daughter of Edward Brewse, 4th son of John Brewse of Wenham in Suffolk. Simon Smith of Cratfield had William, whose son Simon of Winston in Norfolk, and Beccles in Suffolk, married the sister and heir of William Roberts, town clerk of Yarmouth, and attorney at law in Beccles, who purchased the manors of Whetacre-Burgh, with the members, in Gillingham, Winstone, Geldestone, and Kirsted in Norfolk, and Burgh-castle, Easton-Bavent, Wyset, Kessingland, Redham, &c. in Suffolk; they had three sons, William, Thomas, (fn. 14) and Nicholas; Thomas Smith of Winston, Esq. had two wives, by Mary his first wife, he had Simon Smith of Winston, who married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Sir Edmund Mundford, senior of Feltwell, Knt. (fn. 15) by his 2d wife, Mary, daughter of Nicholas Garnish of Redesham-hall, Esq. he had several sons; she died in 1656 and is buried in Gillingham All-Saints church.

William Smith of Burrow-castle, Esq. died in 1596, (see p. 101,) and Dorothy his widow, daughter of Arthur Hopton of Witham in Somersetshire, Esq. remarried to Sir Nathaniel Bacon of Stukey, Knt. of the Bath; she died in 1629, and was buried by her husband, as at p. 101.

William Roberds Smith was of Cambridge and Grey's-Inn, but died single in 1609, and left Irmingland, Wysete, Burgh castle, &c. to

Sir Owen Smith, Knt. his brother; (fn. 16) who settled here; he was buried in the north chapel of Olton church, 21 March 1637, aged 43, and married Alice, 8th daughter of Sir John Crofts of Saxham in Suffolk, Knt. who outlived him 41 years, being buried by him in 1678; she left Anne Baroness Lovelace, daughter of Thomas Earl of Cleveland, by Anne, eldest daughter of Sir John Crofts, her executrix.

Thomas Smith of Winston, Esq. son and heir of Sir Owen, died 6 June 1639, and by his own appointment was buried in the churchyard of Gillingham All-Saints, but left a daughter, Frances, who married to

Charles Fleetwood of Newington in Middlesex, and in 1648 Simon Smith of Winston settled the Smiths estate on them.

This Charles was son to Major-General Charles Fleetwood, so well known in the Usurpation; they were succeeded by their son,

Smith Fleetwood, Esq. who married Mary, daughter of Sir John Hartop; (fn. 17) the said Smith Fleetwood was born at Feltwell St. Mary 1644, baptized in 1647, and was buried by his father at Stoke Newington in Middlesex.

Charles Fleetwood, Esq. their son and heir, had Irmingland and Winston, and lived at Newington, but died single, and the estate descended to

Smith Fleetwood, Esq. his brother, of Wood-Dalling, who was buried there October 28, 1726, aged 52. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. Athill, since remarried to John Gibson, Esq. who is dead, but she is living; they had one daughter,

Elizabeth, married to Fountain Elwin, Gent. of Thurning, where he was buried by Fleetwood, his only child by the said Elizabeth, in 1735, but Elizabeth his wife was buried at Dalling Dec. 9, 1732, in the 22d year of her age; on the achievement for her in this church, are the arms of Elwin, impaling

Fleetwood, per pale nebulé sab. and or, six martlets in pale, counterchanged.

On her death the estate went to her aunts; for besides the aforesaid two sons, Smith Fleetwood had by Mary Hartopp, six daughters;

1, Mary; who married Abraham Coveney, now living; she died in 1720, without issue, and is buried at Dalling.

3, Elizabeth, who died single in 1728.

4, Caroline, who died single at Newington,

5, Anne, married to William Gogney, and died at Booton, without issue;

So that Irmingland is now owned by the 2d sister, Mrs. Frances, and the sixth sister, Mrs. Jane Fleetwood, who are both single, and live at Stoke Newington aforesaid.


  • 1. Terre Walteri Giffardi, fo. 239. In Erminclanda i. car. terre tenuit Edricus liber homo. T R. E semper i. villan. et iiii. bord. et iii. soc. vii. acr. terre, semper i. car. in dominio, et i. car. hominum et iii. acr prati silva xxx. porc. et due partes mol. tunc val. anim. modo viii. et i. runc. et viiii. por. tunc val. xx. sol. modo xxx. habet vi. quar. in longo et vi. in lato et iiid. de Gelto.
  • 2. Terre Willi: de Warrenna H. Erpincham Suth. doms. fo. 83. In Urminclanda tenet Turoldus i. liberum hominem viii. acr. terre i. car. et val. xid. In Erminclanda idem (sc. Wills, de Warren,) i. soc. Heroldi in Caustuna, i. car. terre semper v. villani et i. car. et dim. et iiii. acr. prati, silva lx. porc. tercia pars mol. et valet x. sol. totum est pro escangio de Laques.
  • 3. 1302 Hugh Tirrel of Mannington bought this advowson of Benedict Rayl, and John son of Walter Seffrey, but they had not a sufficient right.
  • 4. In 1322 the jury certified the Bishop of Norwich, that Sir John de Cokefield, Knt. who presented John de Sibeton, left it to Sir John de Cokefield, Knt. his son and heir, who sold it to Robert de Twiford, and he to William de Birstone, rector of the 3d part of Iteringham, who now holds it, by deed dated at Melton in 1319, Stephen de Estele or Ashley being witness
  • 5. Lib. Institut. IV.
  • 6. There were many suits about this advowson; Sir Edward Clere claimed it as impropriate, and concealed, and took a grant of the advowson from Queen Elizabeth; one William Bois had another grant from King James I. but to no purpose, it being disappropriated before the Dissolution, and granted by the convent to Halls, so that it never came to the Crown at the Dissolution.
  • 7. He sealed with a chevron between three crosslets fitchè.
  • 8. This was a numerous family.
  • 9. He sealed with a bend between six de-lises.
  • 10. William Betts, merchant of London, brother to Thomas Betts of Irmingland, Gent. son of John 1456.
  • 11. In 1539 Robert Bettys of Irmingland was admitted a member of the Fraternity of St George in the Tower of London, to encrease the science of shooting in long-bows and hand-guns throughout England, Ireland, Wales, Calais, and the Marches, by Sir Christopher Norris, Knt. master of the Ordinance, Anthony Knevet, and Peter Meutas, gentlemen ushers of the privy chamber, and others; he died in 1558, and Elizabeth his widow survived. This family sealed with a fess ingrailed between three escalops, anciently.
  • 12. Sir Gilbert Dethick, Knt. Garter, granted to Richard Catlyn of Hackfordhall, per chevron sab. and or, three leopards passant counterchanged, the ancient coat of the Catlines, to which he added, on a chief arg. three bezants.
  • 13. It appears that the house cost 3391l. 6s. 3d. when the whole estate cost but 2886l. 19s. 10d. and that he built it at the earnest request of his lady andher son.
  • 14. He had no issue.
  • 15. An estate there came to this family, by this match
  • 16. Mary Smith, sister to Sir Owen, married Ant. Drury of Besthorp, Esq.
  • 17. Baronetage vol. i. 361. Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Fleetwood, married a Sir John Hartopp, Bart.