Hundred of South Erpingham: Hevingham

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: Hevingham', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807), pp. 374-381. British History Online [accessed 13 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Hevingham", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807) 374-381. British History Online, accessed June 13, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Hevingham", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807). 374-381. British History Online. Web. 13 June 2024,

In this section


Or the village by the low meadows at the water; the capital manor and advowson belonged to Leustan, the ancestor of Teheli, in the Confessor's time, and after Teheli it came to Earl Ralf, who forfeited it to the Conqueror, whose manor it was, and Godric the sewer took care of it for that prince; who soon after granted it to a freeman, a priest, who held it at the survey, by the tenure of singing three masses every week, for the soul of the Conqueror and his relations; (fn. 1) and this priest left it to the Bishop of Norwich and his successours, who were lords and patrons. The town, including Ripton, was nine furlongs and a perch long, and five furlongs and a perch broad, and paid by itself, without Ripton, 5d. ob. geld. In 1250 Walter de Suffield Bishop of Norwich obtained a charter of free warren in all his demeans here and in Marsham, into which village this manor extended; and he it was that made it one of the country seats of the bishops, by building a palace, making a park, and every thing so convenient, that many of the Bishops resided much here, as being a convenient distance from Norwich, and a pleasant country; but none so much as Bishop Bek, who lived great part of his time, and died here, (fn. 2) it being his beloved palace, he made every thing convenient and grand. In 1284, the Bishop had view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, a common gallows, free warren, and park, (fn. 3) allowed in eire. In 1401, the Bishop held it in chief of the King, as part of his barony, and it remained so till Bishop Nix's exchange of the revenues of the see, and then came to the Crown, and continued there till King Henry VIII. in 1531, granted it, among others, to Sir James Bulleyn of Blickling, Knt. who in 1540 parted off the park, by granting it to William Bulleyn, clerk, and his heirs. In 1553 Sir James Bulleyn had license to sell the manor to Edmund Lomner, and Thomas Payne, and their heirs, during Bullen's life, the reversion by Sir James's settlement being in the Queen; and soon after it came to the Crown, and in 1572 Queen Elizabeth had it, of whom it was held of Sir Henry Bedingfield in 1588, and in 1594 by Bedingfield's will, was sold to the Lord Morley: afterwards passing through divers conveyances, it came to the Pastons, and is now part of the estate of the late Earl of Yarmouth, who was sole patron and lord of the town; the Pastons having purchased of the Hobarts, the

Manors of Ripton-Hall, alias Catts, cum Criketots.

Rippetun was a separate berewic, and paid as much to the geld or tax as Hevingham did, viz. 5d. ob. so that it contained half the town; it belonged to William Bishop of Thetford, and attended that see, till the Bishop infeoffed Walter Gifford in it, (fn. 4) who held it of the see at the Conqueror's survey, and it was always held of the see of Norwich, as part of its barony; it seems at the Confessor's survey, that Herold held it of the bishoprick, that it was then worth 30s. and at the conquest 50s. per annum. In King John's time Roger le Chat, or Cat, had it, from whom it still bears the name of Cat's manor; William le Cat owned it in 1275, Henry le Cat in 1285 was lord here, and had joined one half of Criketot's manor to this, which he held at the 8th part of a fee of the Earl of Gloucester; after him John Catt had it, and he was succeeded by Henry le Cat, who in 1314 held it of Clare honour, and Norwich see. In 1316, this Henry had a charter for free warren for the manor, and died this year leaving Margery his widow, who had her dower in it; in 1319 she released her dower, and William Cat and Catherine his wife settled the estate on themselves for life; and Robert and John his brothers released all right to them, with remainders to Henry Cat, son of William and Catherine, Thomas, Henry, and Robert, their other sons. In 1345 Sir Constantine de Mortimer held it during the life of his wife, in her right, she being widow of William Cat, as I take it; and their shield, viz. Mortimer impaling Catt, was lately to be seen in Attleburgh church windows. In 1398, Henry, second son of William, was lord here. In 1418 Henry Cat of Hevingham was returned by the justices of peace for the county as a proper person to serve King Henry V. in his war against France, his arms being, gul. three cats passant guardant arg.; he was succeeded by William Catt of Hevingham, his son; and he by his son, Henry, who died young and without issue, leaving his two sisters his heirs, one married to William Thetford, in her right lord of a moiety of Rippeton alias Catts and Criketots in Hevingham, and the other seems to have married a Yaxley, for in 1558, Richard Yaxley held a moiety of the manors, and William was his son and heir, of whom it was purchased by the Thetfords John son of William Thetford, by the coheiress of of Cat, was lord in 1493, and had two wives, Catherine and Thomasine, daughter of John Twaits of Hardingham, who by his last wife had William Thetford, his eldest son, who married Barbara Harwood, and died before his father, leaving Robert his son and heir lord of a moiety at his grandfather's death in 1556, being then only three years old; he was buried here in 1591, and Thomas Thetford his son succeeded whose wife Alice, was buried in 1603; they had 8 sons and 5 daughters, of which Thomas Thetford, Esq (his two elder brothers being dead without issue) inherited, at the death of his uncle, Andrew Thetford, Gent. who was buried here in 1594; this Thomas, in 1628, married Margaret Reppes, widow: he sold the estate to Sir Henry Hobart, attorney general, and his trustees, in 1608; and it continued in the Hobarts till 1684, (fn. 5) and was after sold to the Pastons, and was the estate of the late Earl of Yarmouth.

Keritoft, alias Crytoft manor,

Was held by Peter Jordan of Leringsete, of the Earl of Clare, at the 8th part of a fee in King John's time, and one moiety was afterwards, by Tho. Jordan, his son, granted (fn. 6) to Richard de Lounde, (fn. 7) from whom Simon de Criketot, whose name the manor still retains, (though corrupted in its spelling and pronunciation,) had it. Ralf de Criketot had a daughter named Emma, on whom Simon aforesaid settled this manor in 1239. It divided after into several parts, for in 1314 Bartholemew Hauteyn, William de Merkeshall, and Reginald de Refham, had each their parts, which the next year were held by John and William le Marshall, Alice Hauteyn, and Reginald de Refham; in 1344 Richard de Leyham and Alice his wife settled it by fine on William Butts, senior, and John de Buxton; in 1379 William de Morley, Knt. held it. In 1401 Robert Calthorp was lord, and afterwards it was joined, and hath ever since passed with Ripton-hall, and still remains with it.

The Church is dedicated to St. Botolph, and the chancel to St. Mary, and there was a gild, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, held in her chapel on the south side of the church; and another to the honour of St. John the Baptist, in his chapel on the north side of the church; which chapel was taken down by Mr. Andrew Thetford, then church-warden, who with the materials built part of his house called Ripton-hall, which his son sold to the Hobarts, with all his estates here; St Mary's chapel, which belongs to, and is the burial-place of, the lords of Cattes, or Ripton hall manor, being in decay, the lead was taken off and sold, and the chapel repaired and tiled, in which is this inscription,

Hæc Capella renovata fuit ac instaurata, per Henricum Hobart Militem, et Baronettum, Dominum Summum Justiciarium de Communi-Pleas, ac Dominum manerij de Catts, Anno Regni Regis Jacobi 12, Annoque Domini 1614.

These two transept chapels, made the church in form of a cross; the tower is square, in which there are five bells; the chancel, nave, and south porch are leaded.

There are many stones here, but the brasses are reaved; there remains one plate by the font, which shows, that Richard Rayner died 27 August, 1593.

In the south chapel windows are the arms of Hobart quartering Lyhert and Hare, impaling Bell. (fn. 8)

A great number of the Cattes and Thetfords are interred in this chapels, (fn. 9) but their memorials are all lost, except one brass plate, now loose; which came off a stone at the entrance thereof, which hath this on it,

Here lyeth the Body of Andrew Thetford, Esquire, who Diseased the laste of Desember, Ano 1594.

Thomasine his Wife, Daughter of Thomas Thorne of Westwood, was buried 1610.

Thomas Deynes, Gent. and Sarah (fn. 10) his Wife, he died May 28, 1700. She Sept. 29, 1703. Posuit Ricardus Deyns, Nepos.

Robert Newhouse late of this Parish, 23 July 1717, 72.

In the nave, by the entrance of the chancel,

Crest, a lion couchant, Leigh of Surrey, arg. on a chevron sab. three lions rampant or, impaling,

Hunt of Norfolk, per pale vert and or, a saltier counterchanged on a canton gul. a lion passant of the 2d.

Here lieth the Body of Woolley Leigh, Esq; (fn. 11) he died the 26 Day of December 1715 Aged 52.

Thomas the Sone of Woolley Leigh, Esq; and Mary his Wife, was borne June 15, 1707, and died July the 4th 1707.

There is a black marble thus inscribed,

Hic jacet corpus Reverendissimi Viri Adami Scamler Armigeri, Unius Justiciariorum Domini Regis ad Pacem pro Com' Norfolciæ, qui obiit 18 die Sept. A. D. 1645, qui voluit tria sequentia Carmina per se composita Monumento suo inscribi.

Vixi! et quem dederat Cursum Natura, Peregi, Et - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - In Christi meritis, quia Spemque, Fidemque refixi.

This Adam was 2d son to Bishop Scamler, of whom at vol. iii. p. 558. He was of the Inner-Temple in 1617, from thence he wrote a letter to his eldest brother, James Scamler, Esq. of Wolterton in Norfolk; he married Dorothy, daughter of John Athow of Brisley, and was escheator of Suffolk, and justice of peace in both counties; he left

Thomas Scamler his son and heir, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Marsham, Gent. of Stratton-Strawless, and had issue, Anne their daughter and heiress; he was buried under a marble here, with the arms of Scamler impaling Marsham, March 27, 1676, and she under another, with the same arms, and this inscription,

Hic jacet Corpus Elizabethæ, nuper Uxoris Thomæ Scamler, que nata in Stratton, hìc obijt 25° die Aprilis, A. D. 1686.

At the west end of the nave,

Augustine Monsey, 15 May 1684, 27. John Watker, February 14, 1698, 71. Alice Wife of John Watker, Son. Oct. 16, 1691, 73. John Watker, Jun. their son, October 23, 1683, 28.

Francis Die, 8 May, 1707, 79. Joane his Wife, 18 Jane 1709, 77 Andrew their son, 9 Aug. 1697, 35. Johannes Folke, Gent. ob. 21 Feb. 1667, Æt 51. Mary Daughter of Philip and Mary Procter, and Infant, 1726.

In the chancel,
Orate pro anima Roberti Medow, cuius anime propicietur Deus.

William Heylett, Junior, and William his Son; Son and Grandson of William Heylett, Minister of this Parish; the Father died Dec. 9, 1699, the Son Dec. 27, 1699. Posuit Conjux et Mater Maria Heylett, Vidua.

Jane Pycroft, died Feb. 11. 1707.



1307, Richard de Sutton, priest.

1319, Mr. John de Glyntone; he resigned in

1338, to Anthony de Goldesburgh, in exchange for Brook deanery, and he resigned, in

1346, to John de Otrington, in exchange for Sudbury deanery. In

1354, Walter de Donewico resigned this rectory, to Silvester at Yates, in exchange for Brinton. In

1374, William Halliday, chaplain to the Bishop here, was buried in Colteshall church. In

1419, William Sponne, archdeacon of Norfolk, was rector, for whom see vol. iii. p. 644; and in

1430, John Bulman, of whom see in vol. i. p. 195. In

1471, Henry Candeler, rector, was buried in the chancel for whom this remains on a broken brass plate, loose in the chest,
Orate pro anim Hencici Candeler, quondam Rectoris istius Ecclesie, qui obiit riro die Wensis Mail, Ino Domini Mo cccclrro cuius anime pcopicietur Deus Amen

Ralf Pulvertoft, master of the Charnel at Norwich, was rector, for whom see vol. iv. p. 11, as was

Miles Spencer, L. L. D. of whom at vol. i. p. 366, vol. iii. p. 633. In

1570, John Spink rector, was buried here, and was succeeded by John Dix, at whose death in

1608. John Plumstede, A. M. had it; he is interred in the chancel with this, by his predecessor Dix:

D. O. M. S. Johannes Plumsted Clericus, Rector nuper hujus Ecclesie de Hevingham Qui tempore Vitæ suæ ducentas Libras in collapsis ac pene dirutis Rectorie Ædibus reficiendis impend. - - - - ob. 20 die Martij 1622 - - - -

Edmund Young succeeded, who resigned in 1625, and

Edmund Porter, prebend of Norwich, (for whom see vol. iii. p. 666, and Walker, part ii. fo. 57,) had it, and resigned about 1544; his successour,

William Hall, died suddenly in 1659, (Susan his wife died in 1657, and was buried under the marble, with brass scrolls on it, on the right hand coming out of the vestry of St. Stephen's church in Norwich, being succeeded by

William Heylet, who lies buried on the north side of the altar with this,

Here remains the Body's of the Reverend William Heylett, (fn. 12) and Hannah his Wife, who died the viii Day of January Mdclxxxxiiii, and he died the xviii Day of Sept. Mdccxx, he was Rector of this Parish Lxi Years, Aged Lxxxxii, all his Life, he was very much beloved, and at his Death as much lamented by his Parishioners.

The Rev. Mr. Andrew Shaw, the present rector, succeeded, who holds it united to Heydon, as at p. 250; he was presented by Richard Hayes, merchant, patron of that turn, 1720.

This town is in the dutchy of Lancaster, is valued at 400l. 10s. per annum to the land-tax, pays 8s. to every 300l. levy of the county rate, and 4l. 8s. to the old tenth. The prior of Binham was taxed for his spirituals, being a portion of tithes here, at half a mark; and there was a portion of tithes granted by King Edward VI. to the dean and chapter of Norwich, as at vol. iv. p. 560, the prior of Bromholm was taxed for his temporals at 13s. 5d. and the prior of Weyborn for his, at 7s. 2d.; it stands thus in the King's Books,

10l. 16s. ob. Hevingham rectory, 42l. clear yearly value. (fn. 13)

So that it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation. It pays 22d. synodals to the Bishop, and 2s. and an halfpenny procurations at his visitation, but no procurations at all to the archdeacon, who hath no power to visit the church; the parish being exempt from archidiaconal jurisdiction, as being one of the manors belonging to the see. (fn. 14) There is a rectory-house and about 12 acres of glebe, among the old revenues taken away from the see, as in vol. iv. p. 533

Hevingham manor, Palace, Park, Advowson of the Rectory, &c.

The Advowson was granted by itself to Richard Cromwell alias Williams, who in 1544 had license to sell it to Thomas Hall or Holl, whose son Thomas, in 1572, sold it to Richard Catlyn and his heirs, but afterwards being again vested in the Crown, King James I. granted it to Sir Henry Hobart, attorney general, and ever since it hath passed with the manors, and continues to do so still.

Thomas Bulwer, Gent. of Buxton, gave 100l. to the poor here.


  • 1. Terre Regis, quam Godricus servat. Erpincham Sud. H. Doms. fo. 43 In Hevincham i liber homo, presbyter, xl acr terre in eleemosina, et cantat unaquaque hebdomada, tres missas, semper i car. et i acr. prati, silva x porci et val. v sol. et iiii den. et i soc. viii acr. et val. xx den. Hunc tenuit Leustan antecessor Tiheli T. R. E. et Radulfus eum tenuit quando foris fecit, et de soca de Caustuna, modo eum tenet Godricus, sed Turaldus homo Willi de Warrennaeum saivisit super Regem, et tenuit per tres annos, modo deratio. natus est super eum et reddit Turaldus v sol. de catalla Regis, et dedit vadem de justicia facienda.
  • 2. See vol. iii. p. 505.
  • 3. In 1285 Henry de Helgheton and others, were prosecuted for breaking the park by night, and killing 3 bucks, with John de Vaux's dogs, for which they were fined severely.
  • 4. Terre Wateri Giffardi, fo. 239. Domsd. In Evincham xxii. socmanni Heroldi ii. car. terre et ii bord' semper vi car' et iiii acr' prati silva x porci, tunc valuit xxx sol' mol. et habet ix quar' et i perc' in longo, et v quar' et ii peltic' in lato, et v den' et obolum de gelto. Et Rippetuna est in eadem mensura, et reddit similiter v den' et obolum.
  • 5. In 1683, Lady Mary Hobart held Hevingham and Marsham manors, the quit and free rents, being 17l. 8s. 9d. ob. per ann. The manors of Catts-hall and Keritoft or Crytof there, and in the adjacent towns, the free and quitrents being 5l. 18s. 4d. ob. per ann. The fines of these manors being certa n at 4s. an acre, and both advowsons are appendant to the manors.
  • 6. The other moiety was by him sold to Henry le Chat, and joined to Riptonhall.
  • 7. Agnes, widow of Richard, held it some time.
  • 8. There were also in the windows of this chapel, though now lost, the arms of Smallburgh, sab. a chevron between three bears heads or. Le Cat, or Catts, gul. three cats passant guardant arg. Yelverton; Cat impaling Bois of Dilham, arg. 2 bars and a canton gul. Cat impaling Mawtry, Bacon, az. two boars passant guardant arg. impaling Thwaits, arg. on a fess between three de-lises gul. 3 besants, and Bishop Bateman's arms, and above it an effigies of King Edward III.
  • 9. William Cat of Thetford removed to Hevingham about 1411 (vol. ii. p. 152); 1462 William son of John Ryder of this town, and Joan his wife, deceased, who was daughter of William Eccles or Ekelis of Martham, and of Margery his wife, one of the coheirs of Henry Cat of Hevingham, released all right in Riptonhall, alias Catt's manor here, to William Thetford, who descended from Alwin of Thetford, as at vol. ii. p. 139. In 1301 Richard de Thetford was vicar of Methwold (vol. ii. p. 101.) In 1338 Brother John de Thetford was prior of Thetford canons (vol. ii. p. 101.) In 1383 William de Thetford was sub-prior of Norwich monks (vol. iii. p. 526, 603.) In 1411 Sir Walter de Thetford was rector of Hingham. In 1519 another John de Thetford was prior of the same house there (vol. ii. p. 101.) In 1536 Thomas Thetford was sheriff of Norwich, and lies buried in St. Peter's of Mancroft (vol. iii. p. 219, vol. iv. p. 214.) Many of this family are buried here; Alice wife of Thomas Thetford of Ripton-hall, Ano 1603, and four of their 13 children 1545 Mary Thetford of Hevingham, buried in the chancel, &c.
  • 10. She was sister to Serjeant Weld; see Weld's arms in vol. v. p. 87.
  • 11. He was son of Sir Thomas Leigh of Addington in Surry, by Hannah, daughter and heiress of Anthony Rolf of Tuttington, Gent. according to P. L. N. sed q.
  • 12. Vigorous Longevity, or a good old Age, &c. a Sermon preached at Hevingham, Sept. 25, 1720, being the Sunday after the funeral of the Rev. Mr. William Heylet, late rector there, who lived to the age of ninety and two, and was a constant, pious, judicious, and practical preacher, until the week before his death. By John Graile, rector of Blickling in Norfolk. Psalm, ninty two, verse 14 Printed at London in Octavo Ano 1720. In the account of him it appears, that Sir John Hobart, grandfather to the present Sir John, was his patron; that his grandfather, Mr. Starkey, was vicar of Felmingham, and that he was of Corpus Christi college in Cambridge, &c. See the Sermon.
  • 13. In the New Valor, it stands by the name of Hevingham alias Honingham,-porcio Normanni, 20s. Porcio Sancte Trinitatis Norvici 6s. 8d.
  • 14. Hevingham non visitatur ab Archidiacono, nec solvit procurationes, quia est de manerijs Domini Episcopi. (Revisio Archidiac. Norwic.)