An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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Brampton, or Brantuna, is without doubt, a town of Roman original, and takes its name from the bodies that were so frequently burned, (fn. 1) at the burial-place here, according to the custom of that people; and though there are some that would make it a Roman garrison, and place of great strength in those days, (fn. 2) as there are no remains of buildings, camp, or any thing of that kind, I am quite of another opinion; for it was not the custom of that people to have their burial-places in stations and camps; (fn. 3) though near them, it was usual to have a fixed habitation or town, for convenience of the reception of those that attended the funeral rites of their friends thither; and accordingly, the town of Burgh (fn. 4) aforesaid is parted from this, only by the river Bure, by which in all appearance, many of the dead deposited here were brought up; that there was some sort of defence provided there to guard its inhabitants, the name itself testifies, but there being no remains appearing, it is plain it was not considerable.
Sir Thomas Browne in 1667 published an account of some urns found in the large arable field, lying between Buxton and Brampton, but in Brampton parish, and very near to Oxnead park, where I went and found several myself; and indeed the numbers that have been dug up, plainly show that it was a noted burial-place: Dr. Browne says that none were found above three quarters of a yard in the ground, but I could find not one a foot deep, all being so fleetly covered with earth, that they are all injured and cracked by the plough going over them; the Doctor's observation from the urns, that this country hath not been all woodland, as hath been generally thought, is very right; but that the earth hath little varied its surface, by being constantly ploughed, doth not appear so to me; for I cannot imagine but it hath sunk in its surface at least a foot, since these urns were deposited there, for in all places, where I have found them, as at Redgrave, Fersfield, Elmham, &c. there are none exceed 3 feet, and few above 2 in depth; these urns are of different sizes and various earths, inclining to blue, some white, and others grey; some will hold near three gallons, others of a middle, others of a smaller size; the large ones I take to be family urns, fit to receive the ashes successively of their relations, and those but rarely found; some with their mouths upwards, covered with a flat stone or sort of tile, which I suppose, might have more to put into them, others with their mouths downwards, in token they were to receive no more; neither is this position at all inconvenient, for the earth being closely pressed, and especially in pots of this shape, with large bellies and small mouths, as the urns generally are, they are in a posture more likely to continue, than the other, as being less subject to have the earth fall in, or the rain to soak into them; I could find none with any inscription, though the Doctor saw some with the word NVON, upon them, and CRACVNA. F. on another earthern vessel, importing the potter's name in all likelihood; he had a silver Denarius, with the head of Diva Faustina, on the obverse side; and the figures of the Emperor and Empress joining their hands on the reverse, with this inscription, Concordia; as also coins of Posthumus and Tetricus, two of the 30 tyrants in the reign of Gallienus, from which we may infer, that urnburial lasted longer in this country, than is commonly thought; good authors think that this custom ended with the reigns of the Antonini, the last of whom was Antoninus Heliogabalus; yet these coins are above fourscore years lower, and as Tetricus's head hath a radiated crown, we cannot think it made before his consecration, which was in the reign of the Emperor Tacitus, and was not commonly circulated abroad before Probus's time, who reigned 5 years, and succeeded Florianus, brother to Tacitus, who reigned but 6 months and an half, and Florianus but 2 months. It is to be observed, that there are so very few coins found here, that what there are, may be supposed to have come out of the urns, that have been broken by accident or by digging up; and it is to be remarked that coins are always rare in burial-places, otherwise than in the urns, though they are so very common in all their camps. I saw a fair piece of pure gold found here, and is now in the hands of Mr. Munnings, grocer in Norwich, with this on the obverse,
D. N. CONSTANTIUS. MAX. AVGVSTVS.
And on its reverse, GLORIA. REI. PUBLICAE. TES. VOT. XXX. MVLT. XXXX.
Some persons digging at a little distance from where they found the urns, at about three-quarters of a yard deep, happened upon the following work, worth our remark: it was square, about 2 yards and a quarter on each side, the wall or outward part, a foot thick, red, and looked like brick, but was solid, and without mortar or cement, being of one whole piece, so that it seemed to be made and burnt, in the place it stood in; in this were 32 holes of about two inches and a half diameter, and 2 above a quarter of a circle in the east and west sides; upon two of the holes on the east side, were placed 2 pots with their mouths downward; by these holes the work appeared hollow below, and in that was contained about a barrel of water soaked in from the earth; the upper part being broke and opened, they found a floor about 2 feet below, and then digging onward, three floors successively under one another, at a foot and half distance, the stones being of a slaty and not bricky substance; in the partitions some pots were found, but broken by the workmen's hard blows in breaking the stones; and in the last partition but one, a large pot with a very narrow mouth and short ears of the capacity of 14 pints: it laid in an inclining posture close by, and somewhat under a kind of arch in the solid wall, and by the care of Mr. William Marsham, who employed the workmen, was taken up whole, almost full of water, clean and without smell, which being poured out, there still remained in the pot a great lump of an heavy crusty substance; the Doctor leaves us to conjecture what this work was, which one would think to be a family sepulchre, and that the urn below contained the ashes of some eminent person, brought into that lump by the water in it, seems pretty plain, and the urns fixed into the holes were children's ashes, their position showing no more was to be put into them; the spaces between were left high enough to be filled with the family urns, which were all broken by the workmen, and might be put in by opening the sides, and the holes might be, after the whole was filled, but the upper part, to let in the ashes of the rest of the relations. This burial-place partly extends into Oxnead park, and part of it into Buxton parish, in which many urns have been found; (fn. 5) and Sir Robert Paston digging in his park, met with many pieces of urns, &c. and a coin of the Emperor Volusianus, with this, Imperatori Cæsari Caio Vibio Volusiano Augusto, the Emperor's head having a radiated crown, so that it was coined after his death, and consecration; on the reverse is an human figure, with his arms extended, at his right foot an altar, with the inscription, PIETAS; this emperor was son to Caius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus, with whom he jointly reigned after the Decij about the year 254; he and his father were slain by the Emperor Æmilianus.
This town belonged to Earl Harold, and was seized with the crown by the Conqueror, and given to William de Warren; Drogo or Drue claimed it, as being part of the lands forfeited by Ainfrid, but as Warren proved he had it before either of them, it was confirmed to him; it was then 6 furlongs long and 5 broad, and paid 5 pence halfpenny to the geld; (fn. 6) and there was a part belonging to Marsham manor, (fn. 7) as at p. 286; the soc, lete, or superiour jurisdiction belonged to Cawston, and passed with it and came to the dutchy (see p. 254, 268,) and was granted to the Hobarts, with Skeyton lete in 1622, as at p. 398.
It came to the Fitz-Walters ancestors, and was held always at one fee of them, by the family who took their sirname from the town, and held it for many ages; there being few examples of the continuance of an estate so long in one family even from William Rufus's time to 1668,
For in 1099 Botyld had it, whose son,
Aylward, sirnamed himself de Brampton, and left
Hermer de Branton his son and heir, who owned it in 1198,
William de Brampton held it of Walter Fitz-Robert, he was eldest son of Hermer, and left it to his brother,
Peter, whose son,
Ralf, settled it in 1267, on his eldest son,
Peter, son of Andrew, was lord and patron, and sold the advowson to Robert, son of Peter Mariot, of this town, which was repurchased to the manor again before 1386; this Peter de Brampton (fn. 10) married Alice, third daughter and coheiress of Sir Peter de Basingham, Knt. of Basingham in Norfolk, who after his death remarried to Sir John Colby, Knt. who held Brampton in her right.
William de Brampton, her son, left it to his son,
Andrew de Brampton, who married Margaret, daughter of Sir Alexander Walcote of Walcote, Knt.; he repurchased the advowson, and left the whole to
Robert, his son and heir, who by Margaret Wolterton had
Robert Brampton Esq. (fn. 11) who married Isabell, daughter of Simkin Cock of Norwich, and are both interred in the chancel, their arms are lost; their effigies looking out of their winding sheets, remain fixed to the north chancel wall, our Saviour and the Virgin are over them, and on two labels between them,
Mirgo Deo Digna, precantibus esto benigna.
Mater magnifica, miseris miserere Maria.
And under them this,
Subter hoc Marmore Corpus iacet ecce Roberti Brampton Armigeri, finientis Vita perhenni Anno Milleno Januarii Die secundo Quater (fn. 12) C. Serto Xi: Octo migrantis e mundo Consors eiusdem Jsabella contumulata.
Emma their daughter married William Reymes, Esq. and is buried in the chancel, with the arms of
Reymes, sab. a chevron er. between three lions rampant or, impaling Brampton.
There are four sons and twelve daughters on their stone.
Orate pro anima Emme Reymes, nuper urorus Willielmi Reymes Armigeri, et Filie Roberti Brampton de Brampton Armigeri, que obiit Decimo die Mensis Septembris, Anno Dni' M.cccc.lxxxiii, cuius anime propicietur Deus.
Thomas Brampton, Esq. eldest son to Robert, was lord here; and in 1489 bought of the prior of Montjoy in Heverlond, the heath and land called Hasock's, and added them to the manor; he married Olive, daughter of Robert Aylmer of Tattington in Suffolk, Esq. and died after 1499; but the memorial of his interment being gone, I cannot fix the time certainly, though he was dead before 1505; but in a window I find.
Brampton impaling Aylmer, arg. on a cross sab. between four Cornish choughs proper five bezants.
Elizabeth Brampton, his sister, married Robert Breton, Esq. who is buried in the chancel with this,
Hic iacet Robertus Breton Armiger, qui obiit quinto die Mensis Novembris Anno Domini Mcccclrrir, qui desponsavit Elizabetham Filiam Thome Brampton de Brampton, Armigeri.
Breton, quarterly per fess indented gul. and arg. in the first quarter a mullet sab. for difference, impaling Brampton.
Breton, and Er. on chief gul. five fusils arg. over all a barrulet sab.
Breton, and Arg. a chevron between three birds feet erased sab.
John Brampton, Esq. his eldest son, succeeded him, who built Brampton-hall, and fixed the matches of the family in the windows, and other shields of such families as they had been related to, or held fees of.
He married first Thomasine, daughter of Sir John Jermy of Metfield in Suffolk, Knt. and secondly Anne, daughter and coheir of Henry Brome of Bromehall in Blonorton, from whom the Bramptons of Blonorton are descended, for whom see vol. i. p. 244, 5. He had nine children, for on his monument there are the effigies of four girls left, those of the five boys being lost, as are the arms of Brampton impaling Brome; though Brampton impaling Jermy, still remains, and this inscription:
Of your Chariti pray for the Souls of John Brampton Esquier, and Thomaseygn and Anne his Dybes, the wiche John departid the iiii Daye of November in the Yer of our Lord God XVc xxxv, on whose Souls Jesu have Merci.
Robert Brampton, Esq. his eldest son, succeeded, and was buried in the chancel in 1547, by Jane, daughter of Jeffry Cobb of Sandringham, his wife, but the inscription is lost; her will was proved in June, 1358; their arms remain in the hall, where
Brampton impales Cobb, sab. in chief two swans respecting each other, proper, in base a herring naiant or.
Their daughter Alice was buried by them, but the inscription for her is taken out of the church, and fixed on the left hand of the porch as you enter the house, and is,
Alice the Daughter of Robert Brampton, departed this Life 1595.
Edmund Brampton, Esq. their eldest son, in 1543 married Catherine, daughter of Robert Berneye of Gunton, Esq. who survived him, and was buried by him in the chancel in February, 1558, where he had been buried the May before, and James Brampton, his brother, became guardian to his nephew. (fn. 13)
Edward, who was lord here, and of Walsham's and Brian's manors in Northwalsham, and other towns, in 1571, and married Jone, daughter of Christopher Daubeney, Esq. their effigies, and those of their children, on brass plates, being fixed to their stone, and the arms of
Brampton impaling Daubeney, gul. five lozenges in fess arg. in chief two martlets respecting each other sab.
Here lie the Bodies of Edward Bramptone, Esq; and Jone the Daughter to Christopher Daubene of Sharington in Norfolke, Esq; they lived married about 48 Yeeres, and had Issue six Sonnes and three Daughters, both died Anno Domini 1622.
Two sons and two daughters lived to inherit the estate, of which Charles Brampton, the eldest, was married in 1625, for then he and Anne his wife granted an annuity of 8l. to Charles, eldest brother of John Paris of Merton, and John Mannock of Catton, in trust for Thomas Green of Badingham in Suffolk; this Charles died without issue, and was buried under a stone thut inscribed,
Hic jacet Corpus Caroli Brampton Armigeri, qui obijt quarto Die Junii A. D. 1631.
Edward Brampton, his brother, was sole heir, who died also without issue, and all his brothers being dead issueless, the whole estate descended to his two surviving sisters,
Phillippa, married to Thomas Whall of Catton in Norfolk, Gent. and Alice, to Mr. Bray, who sold the whole to
Guybon Goddard, Esq. serjeant at law, and recorder of Lynn, who came and settled here; and in 1663, Alice Bray, widow, and Augustine Whall, son and heir of Phillippa, signed a deed dated July 17, reciting that, "whereas the worshipfull and ancient name and family of Brampion of Brampton-hall, is lately expired and extinct, by the death of Edward Brampton the younger, without issue; whereby the remaining estate, and all the rights and interests of that family did descend and come by right of inheritance to the said Alice Bray, and Augustine Whall; and whereas during the time of the late persecution and troubles, they were inforced at first to intrust, and after absolutely to sell and convey (about 1650,) unto their very worthy friend Guybon Goddard, Esq. the manor of Brampton, and the scite of the said manor, and several lands to the same belonging; being the ancient inheritance of the said Bramptons, ever since King William Rufus's time; in which transactions, they found all ingenuity, fidelity and integrity, in the said Mr. Goddard, having been since that time, severally obliged by his kind and worthy respects, for which considerations being willing as well to leave some lasting respects of mutual goodwill to the said Mr. Goddard, as also desirous that the arms and crest of the Bramptons, which are like otherwise to be totally lost, may be united to the ancient estate and seat of that family, and both to be transferred and setled together in the person and family of their worthy friend Mr. Goddard, whereby some memory of that ancient family of the Bramptons, may be continued and preserved in that place; they did give and grant unto the said Guybon Goddard and his heirs, (so long as he or they shall continue Lords and Owners of the said manor of Brampton) all their full and whole estate, right and interest in the having, bearing or using of the said coat and crest, belonging to the said family of Brampton, (that is to say)
Gules, a St. Andrew's crosse between four cross croslets fitché argent. The crest, upon a wreath or ducal cap, a lion rampant or.
"Giving and granting as much as in us lyeth unto the said Guybon Goddard, and his heirs as aforesaid, full power and authority to bear and use the said coat and crest, in what sort or manner, either by quartering the same with his own, or otherwise, as he shall think most decent and meet; and we do further request and desire, all Heralds, Kings, and other officers of arms, that they do ratify, confirme and approve of this our grant, whereby it may stand and be most effectuall, according to the tenor, true intent and purpose thereof."
And soon after, the serjeant repaired the south chapel or burial-place of the Bramptons, called the hall chapel, it being repaired by the lord of the manor, and placed his own arms of Goddard, gules, an eagle displayed or, quartered with Brampton. Malmains, gul. three dexter hands cooped at the wrist arg. a canton chequy or and az. and Brome.
With the crest of Brampton and Goddard, a demi-eagle or.
Goddard, with his quarterings of Malmains, &c. impaling Green.
He also repaired all the arms and matches of the Bramptons in the hall windows, and church windows, many of which still remain, as Brampton, impaling Basingham, Colby, Walcote, Wulterton, Cock, Aylmer, Jermy, Brome, Cobb, Berneye, Daubeneye, &c.
Reymes, Breton, Garnish, Wichingham, Wotton, Holdiche, Waldegrave, Sherborn, (fn. 14) Allen, &c. impaling Brampton, which shows that all these families married to the Bramptons.
Brome impales Charles, Shelton, Mautby, Calthorp, Winter and Appleton.
Jermy impales Hopton and Mounteney, and Reppes impales Jermy.
Willougby impales Walcote, and so does Felbrigge, as Carvel doth Cobb.
The arms of Styward and Godsalve are single.
Here are the arms of Howard, Brotherton, Warren, Moubray, Segrave, Morley, Scales, Kerdeston, Gerbridge, Herling, &c. of which I suppose the Bramptons held lands and fees.
The Goddards are sprung from Godardus, who in 1241 had license with Robert de Norfolcia to receive lands held of the Crown; in 1390 Mounsier John Goddard, then 40 years of age, was examined in the court of chivalry in the cause between Richard le Scroop, Knt. and Sir Robert Grosvenour, Knt. concerning their arms, on the behalf of the former of which, he sware that the arms of az. a bend or, belonged to Sir Richard, and that he bare them in the battle of Spaine, when he accompanied the Duke of Lancaster thither, and that William his son bare them there, with a label of three, as the distinction of the heir apparent; and that he had seen them so armed in the wars, and in company with the Duke de Duras, and at Venice, and twice in Scotland, once when the Duke of Lancaster was there, and once when the King was there; and that he had always heard them reputed the ancient coat armour of the Scroops, and were never claimed by any, before Sir Robert Grosvenor claimed them in the last Scotch expedition.
From him descended William Godard or Godered of Middleton, who sold Terrington-hall manor, to the Lord Scales; he was made serjeant in 1425, King's serjeant in 1431, and justice of the King's Bench, July 3, 1434. He married Catherine Schuldham, widow of Walter Bawde, and Ralf Middleton, who died in 1464, being a great benefactress to the noble church of St. Peter in Walpole in Marshland, (fn. 15) in which her effigies remains kneeling on a cushion; her gown is quarterly gules and or, the arms of Middleton, fimbriated with a bordure sable platee, the arms of Bawde, with an eagle, for the arms of Godrede and Schuldham, they differing only in colours, the former field being gul. the latter az. and in both the eagle or; from them descended
Thomas Goddard of Stanhow, Esq. who married Frances, daughter of Francis Buxton of Tibenham, Esq. and had
Thomas Goddard of Stanhow, Gent. who died before his father; but by Mary, daughter of William Guybon of Watlington, Esq. he left,
Guybon Goddard, Esq. who being brought up to the law became eminent in his profession; he was a great antiquary, and laborious collector of the antiquities of this county, to whose collections I am much indebted for many things related in this work, and in particular for his observations and extracts out of Doomsday book, an exact copy of the whole of which relating to Norfolk was transcribed by Mr. John Bradshaw, one of the deputy chamberlains of the Exchequer, who lived in King James the First's time, for Thomas Howard Earl of Arundel, who lent it to Sir Simonds D'Evoes, and it afterwards fell into Mr. Goddard's hands, and after that belonged to Peter le Neve, Norroy, from which I have hitherto printed the account of every town.
He was called to be serjeant at law in 1669, was chosen recorder of Lynn-Regis, and when he purchased this manor, left Flitcham, where he had lived, and settled here; he married Mary, daughter of John Green, serjeant at law, of Bois-hall in Essex near Stoke parish; who died in 1672, and was buried at Northflete in Kent. He was buried in the Bramptons' burial-place here, and though there is no memorial for him, I saw the plate lately dug up, which came off his coffin on which was this,
Guybonus Goddard, Serviens ad Legem, et pervetustâ Familiá Goddardorum in Com. Norff. obijt xxix Die Maij A. D. 1671, Æt. 58, cujus anime propitietur Deus.
He left Thomas Goddard his son and heir, (fn. 16) who married 1st, Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Crofts of Saxham in Suffolk, Bart. He mortgaged the estate to William Crompton, Esq. of Kent, who dying without issue, his nephew Bruikhurst, became possest about 1701; and now the lordship and patronage belongs to Charles Townley, Esq. of Clapham in Surrey.
The whole village is taxed at 271l. per. annum to the land-tax, pays 5s. to every 300l. levy of the county rate, and to each tenth when the taxes were raised that way 3l. 2s. It is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster; the church is dedicated to St. Peter, was valued at 10 marks, and paid 4d. ob. Peter-pence; the rectory now stands at 5l. in the King's Books, and being returned of the clear yearly value of 32l. it is capable of augmentation; there is a rectory-house, and above 16 acres of glebe; it pays 1s. 3d. visitatorial procurations to the Bishop, and 9d. annually to him for synodals, and 4s. to the archdeacon of Norwich for procurations. The steeple is octangular at top, and round at bottom, in which there are 2 bells; the nave and south porch are thatched, the south chapel and chancel tiled; besides those already observed, I find the following memorials here:
On a mural monument, on the south side, are the arms of Beevor, arg on a fess indented sab. three lioncels or, impaling Betts, sab. on a bend arg. cotized or, three roses (and sometimes cinquefoils) gul.
In the Alley near adjoining, was buried the Body of Margaret the Wife of Thomas Beevor of Norwich, Gent. She was sole Daughter and Heiress of Robert Betts, Gent. of this Parishbeing the last of that Family, and the first of the Family of the Beevor's in this Town, she died May 23, 1716, Aged 24 Years, and left no Issue living.
On a stone in the alley,
Rose, the second Wife of Thomas Beevor, Gent. died December 3, 1723, Aged 32 Years, and left Issue, one Daughter.
There are four gravestones in the porch for,
Anne Wife of William London, late of Chedgrave, Daughter of Edmund Suffield, late of Brampton, died Jan. 6, 1725, Aged 67 Years and Eleven Months.
Margaret, Wife of John Marsham, Daughter of William and Anne London, died March 23, 1728, 38,
Roger Son of Nicholas Suffield, died 4 March 1657. Nicholas Suffield, 29 June 1629.
1312, Robert de Brampton, rector.
1333, Peter, son of Peter Mariot of Brampton. Robert son of Peter Mariot, and brother of Peter, patron.
1356, Ralf, son of John de Colby. Thomas de Norton and Margaret his wife,
1361, Adam Pain, Lionel de Bradenham and Robert de Ashfield.
1365, John de Felbrigge.
1386, John son of Simon Wanrod of Totington. Andrew de Branton of Branton.
1404, Simon Dack of Wood-Dalling. Roger Dack of Heydon, and Robert Suyver.
1419, Thomas Martin of Marsham.
1434, Robert Halys. Robert Brampton, Esq. in right of Brampton manor; he changed it for Stradbrook in 1436, with John Torell.
1439, Richard Poppy. Ditto.
1450, Peter Wright. Ditto. Res.
1475, Robert Brampton. Robert Brampton, Esq. Res.
1485, William Woodryse. Ditto. He changed for Lammesse in
1494, with Robert Childerhouse, who was buried in the chancel in 1504; he made John Brampton his executor, gave 8 marks to the church, and all his good to repair the steeple. Thomas Brampton, Esq. He was succeeded by
Sir Edmund Felmingham. John Brampton, senior, Esq. who with Sir Robert Northern, vicar of Buxton, was executor; he was buried in 1504. and in 1505, John Brampton gave it to Christopher Barlow.
1514, John Corbrygge, buried here in 1541; and John Parker of Tutington, who had this turn, gave it to
Thomas Bower, who held it united to Burgh, adjoining; at his death in 1566 Roger Windham, Esq. guardian to Edward Brampton, gave it to
Andrew Mitchell, who resigned it in
1568 to Robert Sherlock, who was presented by Sir Edward Windham, Knt. as guardian to Edward Brampton, who in 1617 gave it to
1620, John Greenwood, D. D. was ejected, and near ruined for his loyalty; his family was forced to sue for the publick charity of the corporation of ministers' widows; (fn. 17) in his absence
Nathaniel Gill, rector of Burgh, served this living, as I find by entries in the register; (fn. 18) he was buried here Oct. 9, 1663, and Guybon Goddard, Esq. gave it to
Francis Curtis, A. M. at whose death in 1680, Mary Goddard, widow, gave it to
Thomas Curtis, A. M. at his death in 1698, she gave it to
John Bookey, who died rector; and in 1714 William Abell, Gent. patron of this turn, gave it to
Rowland Clark, who held it united to Skeyton, who was buried here in February, 1743; and in 1744, Charles Townley, Esq. gave it to his son,
John Townley, A. M. who resigned it in 1749, and The Rev. Mr. Robert Atkins, the present rector was presented, by the same patron.