Hundred of South Erpingham: Baconsthorp

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: Baconsthorp', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807) pp. 502-513. British History Online [accessed 28 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Baconsthorp", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807) 502-513. British History Online, accessed May 28, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Baconsthorp", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807). 502-513. British History Online. Web. 28 May 2024,

In this section


This village occurs in Domesday Book by the name of Thorp, and took the additional name of Bacon to distinguish it from other towns of the name of Thorp in this county, the Bacons being anciently lords of it.

At the Conqueror's survey here were two lordships, one belonging to Roger Bigot, ancestor to the Earls of Norfolk, (fn. 1) of that name, held of him by Turold, which Chetelburn held in the Confessor's time, a free man, with 60 acres of land; to it belonged five bordarers at the survey two, one carucate in demean, and half an one amongst the free men, and one socman, valued at xx.s.

The other lordship belonged to Guard, a Dane, in the Confessor's time, and was held of him by Uluric, or Wulric, a freeman; at the conquest it belonged to Robert Grenon, and Osbert held it of him; (fn. 2) to this there appertained 3 villains, one slave, and 2 carucates in demean at the survey, one carucate and an half among the free men, a church endowed with 30 acres, 80 sheep, 40 goats, and a socman, who had 8 acres; the manor was worth 30s. per ann. was six furlongs long, and five broad, and paid 6d. 3 farthings to the gelt or tax.

Both these manors, soon after the survey, were possessed by Grimbald, the ancestor of the family of the Bacons, in this town; he is said to be a Norman, related to William de Warrenna, or Warren, Earl of Surry, and came into England with him at the conquest, and was founder of the church of Letheringsete, in Norfolk, (fn. 3) where he resided; he had 3 sons; Ralph, lord of Letheringsete; Reynold, or Ranulf, lord of this town; and Edmund, rector of Letheringsete; Ranulf took the surname of Bacon, George Bacon was his son, who gave lands at Lodne to Maud, widow of Sir Roger de Hales, (fn. 4) and had Thomas Bacon, his eldest son, who married Agnes: this Thomas, by the inquisitions in the reign of Henry the III. was found to hold in this town of Baconsthorp, half a knight's fee of Robert Fitz Roger, and he of the Earl of Cornwall, as of the honour of Eye, but having no issue, Roger his brother succeeded him, who was sued by Agnes, his brother's widow, for distraining her tenants in Baconsthorp and Lodne, and breaking her park, (fn. 5) her jointure being in the said towns, and in Hardle and Dalling; he released to his own sister Agnes, all the lands of his family in Normandy, and was in the arms with the barons against King John, had his estates seized, (fn. 6) but was restored to favour by King Henry III. and had his lands again in 1216, and left them to his son, Robert Bacun, or de Bacunsthorp, who was lord, and in 1227 settled a part of this lordship upon his brother, Roger de Baconsthorp, alias de Hingham, and his heirs.

Reginald, son of Robert succeeded, and is often wrote de Baconsthorp; he gave to the church or priory of St. Mary at Binham, a rent of 8d. per ann. issuing out of his lands in Letheringsete, and a moiety of that advowson in 1261, (fn. 7) Richard Bacon of Lodne was his son and heir, and married Alice, daughter of Conan, son of Elias de Moulton; he bore gules, on a chief argent two mullets sable; and she sable three barrulets, and in chief as many annulets, or, as appears from the pedigree of the Bacon family, in the possession of St. Edmund Bacon Bart.

Sir Robert Bacon of Baconsthorp, Knt. his eldest son, bore argent, a cross ingrailed, counterchanged gules and sable, and married a daughter of Sir Robert, son of Sir Richard de Hingham, or Ingham, whose arms were per pale, or and vert, a cross moulin, or a ferdemolin gules, pierced of the field.

His successour and heir was Sir Thomas Bacon, Knt. lord of this town and Cockthorp, who in 1249 was returned to be one of the principal knights of this county, and bore gules, 3 boars passant, or, in allusion to, or as a rebus to, his name; by Elizabeth his wife, he had George, his eldest son, Roger, his second son, and John, (his third son) Bacon or de Baconsthorp, a Carmelite friar and eminent divine, in his time of such learning and strength of argument that he was styled the resolute doctor; all historians make worthy mention of him, and he is said to die in 1346. (fn. 8) In 1269 George Bacun was lord here, and of Lodne, where he had a grant for a fair on the vigil and day of St. Martin, from King Henry III. and appears to be lord here in 1274, but dying sine progenie, Roger his brother was his heir, and claimed free warren in this manor, as lord, in 1284, and in the following year, he purchased of Edmund de Swathing, and Alice his wife, 22s. annual rent in this village, and in the Berninghams, and joined it to his manor here. In 1311, this Roger, and Margaret his wife, granted the manor of Cockthorp to Richer, son of Ralph de Repham and Joan his wife, for their lives only: by Margaret his wife, he had Thomas, who occurs lord in 1315; he and Elizabeth his wife had an interest in the manor of Channons, in Tibenham: (fn. 9) Roger Bacon was son to the said Thomas, who in 1320, with Margery his wife, settled this manor and advowson on William de Calthorp, parson of Bayfield, Roger, parson of Gunton, Thomas, son of John de Antingham, &c. in trust; and in 1333 he settled Bacon's manor, in Lodne, on Thomas de Antingham and other trustees, to his own use for life, with remainder to Thomas Bacon his son, and Joan his wife, daughter of Roger de Antingham, (whose arms were, argent, a bend sable,) as her marriage settlement; this Roger was afterwards a knight, and was succeeded by the aforesaid Thomas his son, who in 1360 was found to hold this lordship, by the service of one knight's fee, of the heirs of Robert Fitz Roger, and they of the King.

In 1379, Sir Roger Bacon was lord and patron, son, (as I take it) of Thomas Bacon and Joan his wife, who dying intestate in 1384, Sir William de Baconsthorp, chaplain, administered; in 1395 Catherine Bacon, widow (probably of Sir Roger,) and her trustees, held this manor, and in 1491 John Bacon, Esq. his son, by the service of one fee, of the manor of Horseford, who by Maud, daughter of Sir Thomas Bedingfield, had John Bacon of Baconsthorp, Esq. his son and heir, who in 1426, married Margaret, daughter of Robert Baniard, whose arms were, sable, a fess between two chevronels, or, (fn. 10) on whom Baniard's manor in Spectishall in Suffolk, the manors of Baconsthorp, Lodue Bacons, Hacforths, Channons and Westhall in Tibenham, were then settled: he died at his house in Norwich, in 1462, (fn. 11) and was buried there in the conventual church of the Austin-friars, by John Bacon, Esq. his father, and Maud his mother, and gave legacies to Robert Baniard, his father-in-law and Margaret, his mothèr-in-law, to Margaret his wife this lordship and advowson, with the lordships of Channons, Westhall and Hacforths in Tibenham for life, and then to Thomas his son. She afterwards married Nicholas Radclyff, Esq. who presented to this church in her right in 1478.

Thomas her son succeeded, and dying about 1485, left two daughters, and coheirs, by Margery, daughter of John Jenny, Esq. (who bore, paly of 6 gules, and or, a chief ermine,) Elizabeth Bacon married to Sir John Glemham of Glemham Parva in Suffolk, Knt. whose arms were, or, a chevron between three torteaux; and Ann, to Robert Garneys, or Garnish, of Kenton in Suffolk, Esq. who bore argent, a chevron ingrailed azure, between three escallops sable. And on the division of the Bacons estate, this manor and advowson was settled on Robert Garnish, Esq. who presented to the church in 1527; and in 1554, his son, (as I take it,) Thomas Garnish, succeeded, and dying in 1573, left it to his only daughter, Elizabeth, who in 1583, with her second husband, Mr. Phillip Strelley of Strelley in Nottinghamshire, sold it to William Heydon, Esq. with Bacon's manor in Lodne, this being then found to be held of the manor of Forncet, by knight's service.

The family of the Heydons take their name from the town of Heydon in this hundred of South Erpingham; Thomas de Heydon was a justice itinerant in Norfolk in 1221, from whom descended William Heydon, of Heydon, Esq. whose son William lived at Heydon in the reign of Edward I. Simon Heydon Esq. was his son and heir, who had two sons, Sir Richard Heydon, who died in the wars of France, in K. Edward the Third's time, and David Heydon, his eldest son, who by Margaret his wife, had Hugh, his son and heir, who married Alice, daughter and heiress of Loverd, by whom he had the manor of Loverd in Heydon, whose arms, argent, a pair of windmill sails, sable, was quartered by the Heydons,

By Alice, he had William Heydon, Esq. who by Isabel, daughter of John Moore, of Norwich, Gent: (fn. 12) had Robert Heydon, Esq. of Heydon, who married Cecily, daughter and heiress of Robert Oulton of Oulton in Norfolk, Esq. an eminent lawyer in the reign of Henry IV. whose arms, quarterly, vert and gules, a lion rampant argent, over all, the Heydons quartered.

He was succeeded by his son and heir, William Heydon, Esq. who married Jane, daughter and heiress of John Warren, of Lincolnshire, whose arms, Chequer or and azure, on a canton gules, a lion rampant argent, is also quartered by the Heydons family; he was the first of hi family that settled here, having purchased a moiety of the manor of Woodhall in this town, and was buried in the chapel in the north isle, with this epitaph, now lost,

O Jesu tolle a me quod feci Et remaneat mihi quod tu fecisti, Ne pereat quod sanguine tuo redemisti.

He flourished in the reign of Henry Vth. and was succeeded by his son and heir, John Heydon of Baconsthorp, a lawyer of eminent practice and dignity in the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward the IV. whereby he much advanced the estate and fortunes of his family, being a feoffee and trustee to most of the great estates in this county; in 1431 he was made recorder of Norwich; in 1442 he obtained a patent from King Henry VI. that he should not at any time be called to the degree of a serjeant at law, (fn. 13) (so different were those times from the present,) being in singular favour with that prince for his attachment to the house of Lancaster. In 1447, he was executor to the will of Joan Lady Bardolf, and to that of Sir John Clifton, Knt. of Buckenham castle.

In 1466, he purchased Pateslee manor, and the moieties of the manors of Hedenham and Kelling; and in 1464 appointed by the will of the Lady Isabel Morley, counsellor to her executors; in 1473, Walter Lyhert Bishop of Norwich left him by will, his cup, that he daily used, of silver gilt, with the cover. He married Eleanor, daughter of Edmund Winter of Winter Berningham in Norfolk, Esq. and was buried in a chapel which he built for the burial-place of himself and family, on the south side of the cathedral, joining to the present consistory on the west, now in ruins, to which cathedral he and his family were benefactors, as their arms in many places testified; by his last will he gave to the prior and convent all that they owed him, on condition they erected a tomb over him, and buried him: (fn. 14) he died in 1480, (and his will was proved on June 20th, in the said year) seized of the lordships of Baconsthorp, Losehall, in Hemstede, Bodham, Brache's in Salthouse, Loverds in Heydon, Saxlingham, Oldton-Hall and Leches in Oldton, Thurfford, Walsingham Magna, Bokenham's in Carlton-Rode, Hocham Parva, Laundes in Tibenham, Pensthorp and Hackford cum Repham, called Heydons manor, there.

Sir Henry Heydon, Knt. was his son and heir; he was steward of the house to Cecilia Dutchess of York, widow of Richard Duke of York, father and mother of Edward the IV. King of England, &c. and made by her supervisor of her will, (fn. 15) with orders to see her buried in Fodringhey collegiate church, by her husband; was also chief bailiff of the honour of Eye; in 1497 an exchange was made between him and William Berdwell, jun. Esq. who settled Witchingham manor in Salthouse and Kelling on Sir Henry, and he gave to Berdwell his manor of Drayton-Hall in Scarning and Dillington: was also lord of Dorkettys in Snoring Parva.

He built the hall, or manor-house, at Baconsthorp, a spacious, sumptuous pile, entirely from the ground, except the tower, (which was built by his father,) in the space of 6 years; also the church, and a noble house at West Wickham in Kent, (fn. 16) which place he purchased before the death of his father, and dwelt there, and it continued in the family till the reign of Queen Elizabeth; the church of Salthouse was also built by him, and the causey between Thirsford and Walsingham was made at his expense.

He married Elizabeth (some say Ann) daughter of Sir Jeffrey Boleyn, Knt. Lord Mayor of London, and dying in 1503, was buried by his father in Heydon chapel aforesaid; by his lady he had three sons, Sir John Heydon, and Henry Heydon, Esq.; in 1543, the moiety of Hide manor in Pangborn, Berkshire, the moiety of the manor and advowson of Nutfield in Surrey, the moiety of Shipton Solers manor and advowson in Gloucestershire were settled by John Armstrong, on the said Henry Heydon and Ann his wife, as her inheritance. (fn. 17) William Heydon, 3d son, was slain by the rebels in Kett's insurrection, 1549, and buried in St. Peter's church Mancroft; also 5 daughters; Amy, married to Sir Roger le Strange of Hunstanlon, Knt. Dorothy, to Sir Thomas Brook, son and heir to John Lord Cobham; Elizabeth, to Walter Hobart of Hales-hall, Esq.; Ann to William Gurney, Esq.; and Bridget to Sir William Paston, Knt.

Sir John Heydon, the eldest son and heir, was created Knt. of the Bath at the coronation of King Henry VIII; he was a great courtier, and is said to have lived profusely in his father's time, but afterwards became much reformed; the lordships of West Wickham, Baston, Keston and Southcourt in Kent, forfeited by Sir Robert Belknap, lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, in the reign of King Richard II. he was forced to repurchase of Sir Edward Belknap, who was restored in blood and lands by the parliament in the 7th of Henry VIII. He married Catherine, daughter of Christopher Willoughby, Lord Willoughby of Parham, and died in the 82d year of his age, August 16th, 1550, his lady in her 72d, 1542, and are both buried under an altar tomb, in the north isle of this church, now deprived of its brass plates, but these arms are still remaining,—quarterly, argent and gules, a cross ingrailed counterchanged, Heydon quartering Warren, and Oldton, and impaling Willoughby, or, fretty azure, with the crest of Heydon, a talbot passant ermin, and motto, Regardes Que Suyst, De Vertue Null. Male.

They had four daughters; Elizabeth, married to Thomas Darcy of Tolston Darcy in Essex, Esq.; Eleanor to John Townsend, Esq. son and heir of Sir Roger Townsend of Rainham; Margaret, to Sir Everard Digby of Rutlandshire; Alice, and Ursula, who died single; and several sons; Sir Christopher, the eldest, married Ann, daughter of Sir John Heveningham of Keteringham, and dying before his father, in 1540, he had four children; John, who died young; Catherine the wife of Sir Miles Corbet of Sprouston, and Mary, wife of Roger Windham, Esq. son and heir of Sir Edmund Windham, &c.

Sir Christopher Heydon, his son and heir, who inherited on his grandfather's death, in 1551, cut off the entail that laid on his estate; he was in great esteem and veneration for his many excellent qualities, particularly for his justice, charity, and remarkable hospitality, equal to his ample estate, and is said to have entertained 30 head or master shepherds of his own flocks, at a Christmas-dinner at Baconsthorp; was knighted at the sacking of Cadiz, and was buried in the south isle chapel of this church, and on his tomb is this inscription, (leaving Agnes, his 3d wife, daughter of—Crane of Chilton, in Suffolk, who afterwards married Sir Edward Clere.)

Here under this tombe lyeth ingraved the bodies of the Ladie Anne Heydon, daughter of Sir William Drury Knyghte, sometyme wyfe of Syr Christopher Heydon, of Baconsthorp in the county of Norfolk, Knt. which Ladie Anne deceased the vth. day of Sept. Ao. 1561, and the said Christopher, the 10th. day of Dec. 1579, and also the Ladie Temperance Heydon, secund wyfe of the said Sir Christopher, daughter of Sir Wymunde Carewe, Knt. which Ladie Temperance deceased the nynthe, day of October, in Ao. Dni 1577.

HEYDON Miles, eram, jam factus vile cadaver, Et citò pulvis erit, quæso, memento mori. O Cæla! O Lacrimas! O Mortis dira potestas! Insignis Miles mortuus ecce jacet.

On the tomb are the effigies of Sir Christopher, his two wives and children, with the quartered coat of Heydon, and the arms of Drury, and or, three lions passant in pale sable, Carew.

He died possessed of the manors of Baconsthorp Hall, and Woodhall, and the park in Bachonsthorp, Lound Hall and Michel Hall in Saxthorp, Nowers alias Estes in Saxlingham, Salthouse, Thorp's and Ests in Repham, Thursford, Letheringset, Booles and Walcots, alias Snoring Parva, Netherhall, and Loosehall in Hemstede, Loverds in Heydon, with Cockford's Averbeck's, Creping, and Lewes in Saxthorp, Leches and Olton-Hall in Oldton, Bodman, Kelling, Cley, Holt, (fn. 18) Hackford-Hall in Repham, Gunners in Cromere, Wiveton, Blakeney, Waborn, Corpusty, Threxton, the reversion of La Viles in Letheringset; Waborn and East Beckham rectories, the site of Waborn priory, with the advowsons of East Beckham, Waborn, Holt, Cley, Kelling, Salthouse, Bodham, Snoring Parva and Magna, St. Dunstans free chapel in Saxthorp, in Norfolk. The manors of West Wickham, Baston, Keston and Southcourt in Kent. By his 2d lady he had no issue; by the 3d a daughter Ann, married to Sir Theophilus Finch; by the 1st, 3 sons, Sir William Hedon, Henry, and Christopher, and 4 daughters; Mary, married to Thomas Bleverhasset of Barsham, Esq. Elizabeth, to John Wentworth of Mounteneys in Essex, Esq.; Ursula, to Roger Townsend, Esq. and Jane.

Sir William Heydon, son and heir, by engaging in several projects with certain citizens of London, contracted a large debt, and sold much of his paternal estate, was one of the deputy lieutenants of Norfolk, a justice of the peace, admiral of the admiralty jurisdiction, and high sheriff of the county; he died in 1593, March 19th, and was buried in the south isle chapel, where, on a mural monument, is the effigies of him and his lady, kneeling at a desk, with the quartered coat of Heydon, and the arms of Wodehouse of Hickling, quarterly ermine, in the first and fourth, and azure, a leopard's face, or, in the second and third, and thus inscribed over his head,

Vixit Annos Quinquaginta tres, Menses quatuor, Obt. 19 Die Mensis Martii, Ao. Dni. 1593, and under him,

HEYDONOS inter Patres Gulielmus, Avosq. Hic Ille est Procerum, Religionis Amor; Norfolciœ fidus Patriæ, Terrâq; Mariq; Officiis Belli claruit, atq. Togæ.

Finitimos Armis decorans, et Legibus armans, Munera Pacis obit, Munera Pacis habet.

Under his lady,

D. G. H. Militi Generosissimo Norff. admirallio quondam et summo Vice Comiti Legato Consulari, et Irenarchœ, D. Anna H. Uxor D. G. Woodhous Militis filia, Suspirans et Sperans, Conjugale hoc Monumentum Sacro Sancti Amoris ergo Vivens posuit.

By his lady Anne he had three sons, Christopher, William and John; Christopher, the eldest, had his education in the University of Cambridge, and afterwards travelled into many foreign countries, was high steward of the cathedral church of Norwich, and knighted at the sacking of Cadiz, by Robert Earl of Essex. It appears that this knight, and Sir John Heydon his brother, were concerned with the Earl of Essex, and that they both had a pardon passed in 1601; (fn. 19) when the privy council, in 1620, issued letters to all the nobility and gentry in England, requesting a loan for the recovery of the Palatinate, Sir Christopher (who earnestly solicited it) sent a letter to the privy council, acquainting them that the Papists were as ready to assist the Emperor, as the King was to assist the King of Bohemia, and that they met at the house of Mr. Henry Kervile, at St. Mary's in Mershland, upon which he was sent for up and imprisoned, but soon discharged, and the matter dropped. He was an eminent scholar, and published a defence of Judicial Astrology, printed at Cambridge, in 1603, 4to. a work (as Wood observes (fn. 20) ) of no common reading, and carried on with no mean arguments. He resided as much at Saxlingham as at Baconsthorp, and in the chancel of Saxlingham, buried his first lady Mirabel, daughter and coheiress of Sir Thomas Rivet, Knt. merchant of London, over whom he erected a most curious and sumptuous monument, which takes up almost the whole area, inclosed with iron rails, there being just space enough left to go round the monument, which is raised in form of an Egyptian pyramid, of marble and stone, supported by pillars, and reaching almost to the top of the chancel, having an urn on the summit; in the arch under the pyramid, and which supports it, is the effigies of a lady kneeling on a cushion, with a desk before her, on which lies a Bible opened with these words, — "I am sure that my Redeemer liveth, &c." Over her head, an oval stone projects, so curiously polished, as to reflect her effigies, as from a looking-glass; and at each corner are two children, 4 boys and 4 girls, on their knees; there are four steps to ascend to the effigies of the lady; at each corner of the second step, stands a Dorick pillar; on the top of that which stands south-west, is the statue of a woman veiled, her left foot treading on a tortoise, with a dog by her right foot; on the north-west pillar, a swan charged with stars or estoils; (fn. 21) on the north-east, a centaur in a maze, or labyrinth; and on the south-east pillar, a man in armour kneeling on a cushion.

This pyramid is ornamented with many hieroglyphical figures and representations; on the east side, is a man blowing bladders, &c. Heydon's crest, and Heydon quartering Loverd, Moore, Owlton, Warreu and or, on a chevron gules three swans proper, and azure, three mascles argent in semi of cross croslets or, impaling quarterly in 1st and 4th argent three barrulets, and in chief as many trivets sable, Rivet; and in the 2d and 3d per pale argent and sable on a chevron between three lozenges, as many martlets counterchanged, Rivet, with the crest of Rivet, an arm couped at the elbow, per pale argent and sable, holding a sword proper, and this inscription:

M. H. T. (fn. 22) Rivet Militis et A. Cotton filiæ Fæminæ pientissimæ Christophorus Heydonus, Uxori suæ, de se Optime merenti, Amoris, Virtutisq. causâ Lugens posuit. Also Rivet impaling Cotton with his quarterings.

On the west side, Haydon's crest, and a thunderbolt, Prov. 31, c. v. 28, &c. Filii assurgentes beatam prædicant eam, Maritus ejus similiter laudat eam. Fallax Gratia, et vana pulchritudo, Mulier Reverentiâ Jehovæ prædita, Ipsa laudem comparat sibi. Heus! bone Viator! Fxpolitum quod vides virtute, non fænore partum est, neq; Omnibus decens Monumentum.

Here are the arms of Cotton of Cambridgeshire, a chevron between three eagles heads erased sable, quartering 1, gules, a chevron between three pears or, Abbot; 2, argent, in a bordure ingrailed, three eaglets heads erased, sable, Sharpe; 3, sable, a cinquefoil in an orle of eight martlets argent, Staunton; 4, azure, three eaglets displayed, or, and a canton ermine, Fitz-Symon; 5, ermine on a bend gules, three eaglets displayed or, Bagshant; also Spencer, quarterly, in the 1st and 4th, azure, a fess ermine between six seamews heads erased argent, quartering in the 2d, ermine on a chevron gules, five bezants, Grant; and in the 3d, argent on a bend between two lions rampant sable, a wivern of first Catlyn or Rudings.

On the north side two dexter hands joined, a hare couchant, a cornucopia, trumpet, and a vine branch, and Vixit Annos XXII, Menses VI, Obiit XV Julii Ao. Dom. 1593.

On the south side, a rose, the wind blowing on a cock's tail, several stars, a quiver full of arrows, hanging on a palm tree, Rivet's quartered coat impaling Cotton's quartered coat, and these verses:

Mirabella jacet Virtute et Nomine Bella, Mira magis Christi Pheumate, Bella magis Rivetto Genetore sata, Genetrice Cotona, Et Spenseræ Aviæ Stemmate digna suæ. Heydono sociata Thoro, cui perbrevis Octo, Pignora Conjugii, Pignus Amoris erant. Prole domum, sic Viva beans, et divite Sorte, Exuit, heu! Moriens, Divite Sorte Domum, Heydono pretiosa suo, Sors Æmula Terra Quam non digna sat est, Condere, Christus habet.

It is said that Sir Christopher published a treatise explaining the several hieroglyphical figures about this monument, which is inclosed in iron rails.

His second lady was Anne, daughter and coheir of John Dodge, Esq. relict of Sir John Potts of Mannington; she was buried in this church of Baconsthorp: on her gravestone is the arms of Heydon and Dodge, and,

Here lyeth the body of dame Anne, one of the daughters and heirs of John Dodge Esq; she was first married to John Potts, of Mannington, in the county of Norfolk, Esq; and was afterwards wife to the renowned gentleman Sir Christopher Heydon Kt. (who died before her) but desired that she would be buried by him, in memory of whose conjugal affection, and her own appointment in her last will, this stone was laid upon her grave, by Sir John Potts, Kt. and Bt. eldest son of the said Dame Anne, who died Jan. 28, 1642, age 75.

Sir Christopher died at Baconsthorp in 1623; by his first lady he had Sir William Heydon, Sir John, Henry, Nathaniel, &c. and a son Thomas, and 4 daughters by his 2d.

Sir William, the eldest, succeeded him, but he died without issue, being slain in the expedition against the isle of Rhee in 1627, and Sir John his brother was his heir: Wood says (fn. 23) he was as great a scholar as a a soldier, especially in the mathematicks, created L. L. D. at Oxford, December 20th, 1642, being then lieutenant-general of the ordnance to King Charles I.; he suffered much for the King's cause, and died October 26th, 1657, leaving two sons, Christopher (as it is said) afterwards a knight, and William, and three daughters; Anne, married to Colonel Richard Nevile of Bellinsbere in Berkshire, Mirabella, to Laurence Lomax, Esq. who is buried at Eye in Suffolk, on whose gravestone is this inscription;

Here lyeth interred the body of Mirabella Lomax, wife to Laurence Lomax, Esq; and second daughter to the ancient and noble Sir John Heydon of Baconsthorp, in Norfolk, Kt. and general of the ordinance to King Charles the 1st. and one of his privy council, who departed this life the 2d. day of May in the 63d. year of her age, Anno Dni. 1702. Here also lyeth the body of William Heydon, Esq; second son of Sir John Heydon, and last heir male of that family, who died September 7, A. D. 1689 —

Frances, the 3d daughter, married first to Henry, son of Nicholas Draper of Bromley in Kent; secondly, to Philip, second son of Richard Vincent of Frisby in Yorkshire, rector of Stoke Dabernoon, in Surry. As to Sir Christopher, the eldest son, I have met with no account; before the death of William Heydon, Esq. the second son, the estate here was sold and confirmed by him, to Mr. Bridges, a woollendraper, in St. Paul's churchyard, London, the whole estate and inheritance (as I presume) being altogether impaired in the time of the civil wars. Mr. Bridges had possession of this lordship about 1680, but being afterwards a bankrupt, it was sold by the commissioners to Zurishaddai, Lang, M. D. in 1690, who lies buried in the midst of the chancel, under a black marble stone, on which is a rock in the sea, and a coney sitting by its burrow, an emblem, or rebus, in allusion to his Christian name, signifying in Hebrew, GOD is my ROCK, &c. (fn. 24) and this epitaph,

Hic jacet Mortale Depositum Zurishaddæi Lang M. D. de Parochiâ S. Brigidæ alias S. Brides Londini, Socii Colegii Regalis Medicorum Londinensium, et hujus Ecclesiæ parochialis Patroni; Natus in parochiâ S. Catherinæ Christi, alias S. Katherines Creed Church, Londini 29 die Martii A. D. 1619. Denatus in Villa Baconsthorpe in Com. Norfolciæ 8 die Junii A. D. 1692. Vixit Annos 73, Menses 2, Dies 9. Johannes Lang, Proles unica, Mæroris ergo posuit, Augusti 24, 1698.

John Lang, Esq. of Baconsthorp, (fn. 25) his son, was lord and patron, in 1752, and resided here in the hall, which is about half a mile northwest of the church; the chief part of this hall was pulled down in 1650, that which is now standing was the tower, or gate-house; in the windows are the arms of Heydon, and his crest, also his quartered coat impaling Rivet as above, Heydon impaling Loverd, and Moore, quarterly; Heydon impaling these, Owlton, Warren, Boleyn, Hevenynham and Woodhouse; also impaling gules, a chevron between three boars heads couped argent, each with an apple in his mouth, or. There is likewise the portraiture of the Lady Ann Heydon, daughter of Sir Jeffrey Boleyn, on her knees, with her beads, and a Prayer Book on a desk before her, with the arms of Heydon and Boleyn on her mantle, and on labels, "Miserere mei, Jesu Christe;— Quia per passionem tuam Me redemisti."

In September, 1754, John Lang, Esq. died and left great part of this estate to the Rev. Mr. Girdlestone, rector of this church.

Woodhall Manor.

Baconsthorp lordship, held by Grimbald, ancestor of the family of the Bacons, included at that time the whole town, and so continued till the year 1227, when Robert Bacon, or de Baconsthorp, settled a part of it on Roger de Baconsthorp, his brother, and his heirs, and a manor in Hingham, where he dwelt, and thence he is called sometimes Roger de Hingham; this part thus settled was called Woodhall, and was held by him of his brother Robert and his heirs, and he of Rich. de la Rokele, or de Rupibus, and Richard of the Earl-Marshal, as part of Roger Bigot's fee, and afterwards of the manor of Forncet by half a fee.

In 1274, Thomas de Baconsthorp alias de Hingham, was lord; and in 1284, Robert de Hengham, alias de Baconsthorp, (fn. 26) who also was lord of Helborne, Sir Edmund de Baconsthorp, his son, and Margaret his wife, held it; and in 1354 Sir Edmund de Baconsthorp, Knt. and James his son, with Alice his wife, sold a moiety of this manor to Thomas, son of Sir Roger Bacon, who annexed it to his manor of Baconsthorp-hall: in 1378, the aforesaid Alice, relict of James Baconsthorp, was buried in the chancel of Welborn, by her husband, and made Sir Thomas Fastolf, Knt her executor.

The other moiety, which was unsold, came from the Baconsthorp to John Gournay of West Basham, Esq. who died lord of it in 1407, and John Copledick held it in 1432; but in 1447 Sir William Oldhall, Knt. and Margaret his wife, joined, and she conveyed it from herself and her heirs to William Norwich, jun. and his trustees; from that family it passed to the Heydons, and so became united to the manor of Baconsthorp hall.

This township is in the dutchy of Lancaster, and is valued at 446l. 10s. to the land-tax, and pays 9s. to every 300l. levy of the county rate.

The Church is dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, the nave, one isle, a chancel, with the chapels at their east end, are covered with lead, as is the north porch; the vestry on the north side of the chancel is tiled; the tower was square, but fell above half down in 1739, and contained five bells. In the chapels at the east end of the isles were the guilds of St. Mary and St. John Baptist. In 1567 Sir Christopher Heydon had a chapel for his family in Baconsthorp hall. In the church besides the monuments above, lies a stone.

Obitus Alicie filie Henrici Heydon Armigi. XII Sept. Ao. Dni' MCCCCLXXXX.


1331, Ralph.

1351, Roger Bacoun.

1379, John Goodwin; he resigned Kelling; presented here by Thomas Bacoun.

1395, Roger de Wickingham, by Kather. Bacon, John Winter, &c.

1409, John Playford, by John Bacon, Esq.

1432, John Candeler, on Playford's death.

1434, William Trendel, on Candeler's resignation, by the feoffees of John Bacon, Esq.

1450, William Baggot, on Trendel's death, by John Bacon, sen. Esq.

1473, William Wright, by Nicholas Ratclyff, Esq. in right of Margaret his wife, late wife of John Bacon, jun. Esq.

1480, Henry Wingfield, A. M. by John and Robert Wingfield, Knts. William Hopton, &c.— in 1482, he had the Pope's dispensation, that though his fingers were crooked, he might take all orders.

1500, Seman Tuwald, by William Wingfield, Esq. on Henry Wingfield's death.

1514, Thomas Clayton, by ditto.

1527, James Carthroppe, on Clayton's resignation, by Robert Garnish, Esq.

1554, Ralph Doker.

John Burwood succeeded him, and held it with Rendlesham.

1607, William Greaves, A. M. by Nicholas Strelly, Esq.

1608, Edward Wright, by Sir Christopher Heydon.

1610, Robert Watson, by ditto; he held it with Hempstedc.

1661, John Lougher, by William Crow of Bilney.

1664, Joseph Clark, by Hannah Noel, widow.

1701, Valentine Haywood, on Clark's death; he held it with Bodham; by John Lang, Esq.

1721, John Rush; he held it first with Iteringham, and after with Wulterton; by John Lang, Esq. he died rector, and is buried here; on his grave stone is the arms of Rush, argent, a saltier between four cross crosslets, fitché sable, and

To the memory of John Rush, rector of this parish; a man learned and laborious, of manners gentle, of peace a lover, yet steady to himself, his family, his neighbour, a friend. He died July 19, 1747, of his age 63, and rests by the side of his wife, who died July 17, 1738, aged 59.

1747, Zurishaddai Girdlestone, by John Lang, Esq.; he holds it with Bodham.

In the church on a grave stone;

Hoc sub marmore sepulta jacet Alicia, Roberti Jermi nuper de Bayfield Armigeri, filia, Thomæ Newman, nuper de Baconsthorpe, Generosi relictæ. Cùm xxii annos singulari pietatis et prudentiæ laude vidua vixisset; animam resignavit in spe beatæ resurrectionis 2do die Julii Ano Dom. m.d.ccxix. et Ætatis suæ lxxv.


  • 1. Terra Rogeri Bigoti.—In Torp, i. lib. homo ejusd. lx. acr. terr. modo tenet Turoldus, tunc et post v. bordarij, modo ii. semp. i. car. in dominio, et dimid. car. hominum. silva v. porci et i. socmannus i. acr. val. x. sol. mo. xx.
  • 2. Terr. Rodeberti Grenonis.—Torp tenet Osbertus quod tenuit Uluricus liber homo Guerd, ii. car. terr. T. R. E. semp. iii. villani et x. porci, tunc ii. servi modo i. tunc iii. car. in dominio modo ii. semp. i. car. et dim. hominum et i. ecclesia de xxx. acris in eleemosina, tunc silva xl. porci, modo xxx. semp. ii. runcini et xvii. porci, tunc. c. oves, modo lxxx. et xl. caprae, et i. socman. viii. acr. semp. dim. car. semper valet xxx. sol. et habet vi. quar. in longo, et v. in lato, et vi. denar. et iii. ferding de gelto.
  • 3. Lib. Prioratus de Binham MSS. nuper in custodiâ Tho Witherington, militis.
  • 4. Regist. Abbat. de Langley, fol. 90.
  • 5. Assis. apud Norw. in septimana Pasche anno 5 Hen. 3. Rot. 4, coram Rege.
  • 6. Fin. 2 Joh. Rot. 13.--Claus. i. Hen. 3 part 2d. m. 1.
  • 7. Mon. Angl. v. i. 514.
  • 8. See Fuller's Church History, page 272, and his Worthies.—Bale de Scriptor. page 136.---Pitt's, page 451.--Cambden's Britan. page 97.
  • 9. See vol. v. p. 482, &c.
  • 10. This John Bacon changed the colour of the field in his shield, from gules to azure, three boars passant or.
  • 11. His will is dated July roth 1462, Reg. Brosyard, part 2, fol. 334.
  • 12. Moore bore gules, a garb or, quartered by Heydon.
  • 13. Pat 21 Henry 6, p. 1. m. 19.
  • 14. Regist. Caston. fol. 49, 173.— Escheat. 19 Edward 4. No. 72.
  • 15. Regist. Mills in Cur. Prerog. fol. 25.
  • 16. Philpot's Villare Cantian. page 363.
  • 17. In 1432, Ann was found cousin and heir to Ant. Turnho.
  • 18. Also of Thursford manor, with estates in Hindringham and Berney, Mountgrace's, manor in Field Dalling, with Dalling appropriation, Rose's and Heydon in Repham, Hackford, &c. with Heckford advowson, Gunners in Cromere.
  • 19. Rymer Fœd. v. 16, fol. 432.
  • 20. Wood's Athen. Ox. vol. i. page 324.
  • 21. Representing in this hieroglyphical manner, the modesty, prudence, fidelity, and candour of his lady.
  • 22. Viz. Mirabiliæ Heydonæ, Thomæ, &c.
  • 23. Ath. Ox v. 2. Fasti. p. 26.
  • 24. Psalm 62, v. 7.
  • 25. John Lang, Esq. married Dorothy, daughter of Joseph Clark, rector of Baconsthorp.
  • 26. Robert had free warren then allowed him here, and was summoned to be made a knight, holding a whole fee, and being of full age.