Hundred of South Greenhoe: North-Pickenham

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Hundred of South Greenhoe: North-Pickenham', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London, 1807) pp. 65-69. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

In this section


From Domesday Book we learn, that part of this village called Pickenham, was a berewic, a little lordship or hamlet, belonging to the King's manor of Sporle, and was valued with it; and Godric then managed it for, or farmed it of, the King; there were 2 carucates in demesne; the village was half a mile long, and four furlongs broad, and paid 12d. gelt, when the hundred paid 20s. (fn. 1) Another freeman held 12 acres, of Berner the archer, of the King's soc, all valued in Sporle. (fn. 2)

Ribald also held under Alan Earl of Richmond, two carucates of land, which Goodwin held, to which belonged 6 villeins, 3 borderers, &c. pannage for 10 swine, 8 acres of meadow, a mill and a fishery, and 6 freemen held 1 carucate, valued in the Confessor's time at 30s. at the survey at 60s. (fn. 3)

Out of the abovementioned tenures we find two lordships which continue at this time, Hugglesford's and Virley's.

Hugglesford Manor.

Ribald, brother to Alan Earl of Richmond, was lord of Midleham in Yorkshire, and held this manor, whose issue male failing, in the reign of King Henry III. it came by the marriage of his eldest daughter and coheir, Mary, to Robert de Nevill Lord of Raby; and by an inquisition taken in the 32d of Edward I. we find that John de Wanton died in that year seized of it, which he and Margaret his wife held jointly to them and their heirs, of the feoffment of Mary de Nevill of the honour of Richmond, by one fee, and performing castle-guard at Richmond. It consisted of a capital messuage, a water mill, &c. and was then valued at 15l. 7s. per annum; Margaret his wife survived him, and Joan was his daughter and heir, who proved her age in the 34th of the said King, and was then married to Hugh de Hepham. (fn. 4) In the 9th and 12th of Edward II. the aforesaid Margaret held this manor, and dying soon after was buried in the church of this town. After this Sir Robert Knolls was lord, and in the beginning of Henry VI. John Monkton held it, with Houghton and South Pickenham, of George Nevil Lord Latimer. (fn. 5)

On a division of the last Lord Latimer's estate, about the 20th of Queen Elizabeth, this manor was sold to the Bedingfields of Oxburgh; and in the 32d of the said Queen, Thomas Bedingfield, Esq. sold to George Noon, Gent. a fald-course, certain free-rents, chapel-close, containing 68 acres of pasture, dove-house close, a capital messuage called the falcon, with 126 acres, part of this manor; a capital messuage called Frostes, with 94 acres and 1 rood of land here; and on an inquisition taken the 12th of Charles I. it was found that George Noon, son of William Noon and Jane his wife, (afterwards married to Clere Sacheverell, clerk, died under age 28th of June, in the 10th of the said King, and left 2 sisters; Mary, aged 7, and Iocosa or Joice, aged 4 years) possessed as above.

In the family of the Beding fields, the manor with the remaining demeans continued till about the 12th of George I. when Sir Henry Beding feld, Bart. sold this to Henry Eyre, Esq. of Bures-Hall, in Hale, and John Eyre, Esq. his brother, to Mr. Penson of London, in whose family it now remains.

This manor pays a fee farm rent of 4l. per annum to the Honour of Richmond.

Virley's Manor

Takes its name from its lord; Roger de Virley was lord in the 1st of King John, (fn. 6) and exchanged lands at Waketon in Berkshire, with Robert de Cley and Avice his wife, for lands here; and in the 8th of Edward I. Hugh Virley died seized of it.

Simon Blake of Swaffham, Gent. left by his will, in 1489, to Thomas Blake, his nephew, the manor of Virley's, in North and South Pickenham; in the 11th of Henry VI. a fine was levied between John Smith, &c. querents, John Wheeler and Anne his wife, defendants, of a moiety of this manor, and several messuages, &c. conveyed to Smith; and in the said year there was another fine, between John Parker, &c. querents, and John Wheeler, and Anne his wife, defendants, of the other moiety; and in the 6th of Edward VI. a fine was levied between Anthony Beding field, querent, William More, and Margaret his wife, defendants, of the 4th part of the manor of Francham, alias Bures Virleys, &c. (fn. 7) It was sold by the Bedingfields, lords of Hale, to Naylour, and Francis Naylour, Esq. was lord in 1687, and from the Naylours it was conveyed to Dr. Cannon, late Dean of Lincoln, in whose family it still remains.

Earl Warren's Manor.

William Earl Warren, held at the survey half a carucate of land, which Osford held in the Confessor's time, and was always valued at 10s. (fn. 8)

This, as I take it, is what John de Burhille held in the time of Henry III. by the 4th part of a fee, of Robert de Monte Alto, and he of the King. (fn. 9) In the 34th of Edward I. a fine was levied between Hawisia de Mikelfield and Joan her daughter, querents, and Sibil widow of Robert de Cave, defendant, of the 4th part of 15 messuages, 7 virgates, 110 acres of land, 14 of meadow, 20 of heath, 17s. 10d. rent in Pykenham-Wade, (by which name this town often occurs,) which John de Burghill held for life, by the courtesey of England, settled on Hawise and Joan, and the heirs of Joan. (fn. 10) In the 20th of Edward III. it was held by John Maupaz, which John de Belhouse formerly held of Robert Monthalt; and in the 3d of Henry IV. Henry Pakenham held it of the Dutchy of Lancaster, and paid 5s. per annum. After this it was united to Hugglesford manor.

The Tenths of this town were 3l. 10s. In this parish is an hamlet called Cotes; (fn. 11) Ralph le Briton held lands here, in Henry the Third's time; in the reign of Edward III. Robert Ward of Cotes conveyed lands here, to Edmund Oldhall, and sealed with a cross moline, with three estoiles in chief, and one in base; to this hamlet there belongs a Lete, which is in the lord of the Hundred; lete fee 4d.

Sporle priory was taxed for their temporalties here at 5s. Westacre priory for theirs, at 15s. and for the spiritualities of the abbey of Conchis in their possession, 4s. The Prior of Bokenham for temporalties, 5s.

Osbert Pickenham, D. D. was bred a Carmelite at Lynn, and lived in Edward the Second's reign, and was a great writer, and prior of the Carmes or white-friars at London, when he was buried about 1330; and William Pykenham, L. L. D. dean of Stoke-Clare in Suffolk in 1493, were born here, or in South Pickenham. (fn. 12)

The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and built of flint, stones, &c.; the body is about 42 feet in length, and with the south isle annexed, is about 30 in breadth, both covered with lead; about the middle of this isle lies a marble gravestone, whereon was a cross flory, and round the verge an old inscription in brass; by the incisions on the stone, it seems to have been,
Grate pro anima Margarete de Danton

This Margaret was here buried in the reign of King Edward II. as is above shown. At the west end, on the pavement, lie two gravestones; one in memory of John Wilkin, who died in 1728, the other, of Mary the wife of William Greenwood, who died in 1730. At the west end of the nave stands a four-square tower of flint, &c. with a wooden cap covered with lead; here are four bells; on the tenor, which is split,
Sum Voce pulsata Mundi Maria Vocata.

On the north side of the nave is a chapel about 14 feet, covered with lead; the chancel is in length about 14 feet, and covered with tile.


Robert de Nevyle, rector.

1302, Ralph de Nevyle, on the resignation of Robert, by the Lady Mary de Nevyle, Lady of Midleham.

1311, Hugh de Midleham. Ditto.

1312, Richard de Midleham. Ditto.

1329, Henry de Dodynton. Ralph Lord Nevyle.

1333, Robert de Ellewyke. Ditto.

1333, John Austen.

1362, Robert de Bulwere, on an exchange with Austen, for the rectory of St. Nicholas in Durham. Ditto.

John de Sutton.

1375, Richard de Whitton; he exchanged with Sutton, for the rectory of Houghton. Sir Robert Knolles.

1399, William Drayton. The Bishop of London, John Drew, rector of Harpley, &c.

1400, John Heylot. Ditto. Res.

1424, John Winter. Ralph Earl of Westmorland.

1436, Robert Chester. George Nevil Lord Latimer.

Peter Dalton, rector.

1456, John Nicholson. Ditto. Res.

1462, William Harwood, res. Sir Robert Danby, &c. feoffees of George Lord Latimer.

1462, Thomas Aleyn, res. Richard Earl of Warwick.

1466, John Pye. Sir Henry Nevyll, Knt. son and heir of George Lord Latimer.

1495, Gregory Norwich; he was Prior of Bushmead, and rector here, res. Richard Nevill Lord Latimer.

1503, John Helmesly. Ditto.

1506, Robert Wamerly. Ditto.

1512, Thomas Hyanson. Ditto.

1538, John Bretton, res. John Lord Latymer.

1539, Richard Peers, res. Ditto.

1542, William Harpur; he died rector. (fn. 13) Ditto.

1558, Roger Ocley. (fn. 14) William Mingay hac vice on a grant from John Jenny, Esq.

1585, Robert Frances, A. B. See in Houghton.

1587, Henry Coilison; in his answer to the King's Quæries in 1603, he says here were 70 communicants.

1611, Thomas Brown.

1613, Simon Thompson, A. M. Sir Henry Bedingfied, Knt.

1637, Thomas Booth, A. M. obijt.

1687, Henry Tinckier.

1715, Henry Wastell, A B.

1719, Waters Rolf, A. B. Sir Ralf Hare, Bart. He was the last rector, it being now consolidated to Houghton.

In the reign of Edward I. this rectory was valued at 18 marks, besides the portions, viz. the portion of the abbey of Coverham in Yorkshire, 16s. that of the priory of Windham, 20s. and the pension of the rector of Northwold 20s.; the rector had then a manse with 30 acres of glebe.

In 1432, Edward Fayerman gave legacies to the light before the principal crucifix, to St. John Baptist's gild, and to St. Mary's chapel on the north side of the church, and Nicholas Braunton in 1457, of Pickenham-Cotes, to St. Mary, the crucifix, St. Erasmus, the sepulchre lights, and the torches. (fn. 15)

In this town was an hermitage, with a chapel dedicated to St. Paul, held by John Caius, M. D. in the 4th and 5th of Philip and Mary, by Rowland Heyward, Esq. and Thomas Dixon, in the 8th of Elizabeth, soon after by Mynne and Hall.

This rectory is 5l. 14s. 2d. in the King's Books, and being of the clear value of 48l. per annum, is discharged from first-fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; synodals 2s. procurations 7s. 7d. ob. visitatorial procurations 16d.

Burials, from the Register.

1581, George Wynne, Gent.

1613, John Nunne, Gent. 1616, George Nunne, Gent. 1633, George Nunne, Gent.

1657, William Buckworth, Esq. justice of the peace, buried in the porch.

1657, John Nunne, Gent.

1667, William Soames, Gent. 1678, Thomas Soames, Gent.

1691, William Millet of Cornwall, Gent.


  • 1. Terre Regis quam Godricus servat. Alia beruita Pickenham tunc (temp. R. Edw. Confess.) xiv. vill. et quando recepit (Godricus) i. mo iv. bor. tunc iii. serv. mo ii. tunc in dominio ii. car. et post. i. mo ii. tunc inter homines iv. car. silva ad vi. porc. semp. i. mol. viii. acr. prati, et viij. sochemanni in hac terra, et nter eos tunc v. car. et post iii. et xxiv. acr. terre mo v. car. semp. i. mol iv. ac. prati tunc ii. an. et xii. porc. et i. r. xx. oves, xx. capr. et habet dim. leug. in longo, et v. quar. in latit. et xiid. quando hund. scotabat xxs. quicunque ibi tenent. (Doms. fo. 20.)
  • 2. Terre Berneti Arbalistarij. Doms. fo. 285. In Pikenham ten. i. liber. homo xii. acr. et i. domum defendo R. Comitis et est in Socâ hundredi, semper i. mol. et val. vii. sol hoc liberavit R. Blundus.
  • 3. In Pickenham ten. Ribald q. ten Godwin. ii. car tre. tunc et semp. vi. vill. et iii. bord. et ii. ser. et ii. car. et vill. iii. silva ad 10 porc. viii. acr. prati, i. mol. i. pisc. et vi. liberi homines ibi manent semp. et hab i. car. tunc val. xxx. sol. mo lx. terre Alani Comitis. (Doms. fo. 62.)
  • 4. See in Houghton. Esch. 32 Ed. 1, N. 33. Claus 34 Ed. 1.
  • 5. Fin. div. Comitat. Hen. 6, Lib. 4, N. 23.
  • 6. Fin. div. Comit. Johs. N. 41, Esch. N. 41.
  • 7. Regr. Tipps. Norw. p. 20. Ped. Fin. Term. Hill. ii. Hen. 8, N. 2. Ped. Fin. Term. Mich. 6 Edw. 6, N. 379.
  • 8. In Pickenham ten. W. (de Warr.) dim. car. tre. quam tenuit Osfordus T.R.E. tunc ii. vill. et mo semp. i. car. silva ad iv. porc. ii. ac. prati. semp. i. mol. semper val. 10s. (Doms. fo. 97.)
  • 9. Inquis. 24 Hen. 3.
  • 10. Ped. Fin. Comit. Ed. 1. L. 5. N. 45. Inq. 3 Hen. 4.
  • 11. This is that part aboven entioned to be held by a freeman, of Berner.
  • 12. Bale de Scriptor. p. 131. Pitts, p. 422, gives a good account of him and his writings, "cjus fama non Angliam solum, sed et Galliam, (fuit enim. S. T. D. et professor Parisiensis ubì diu vixit, et docuit,) ita pervasit ut inter doctissimos sui seculi viros non immeritò computaretur."
  • 13. Mr. William Harpur not married, parson of North Pickenham, and of Samford Courtney in Devonshire, was lately a monk in the monastery of St. MaryGrace near the Tower of London, and hath a pension of 5l. 6s. per annum, and another of 36s. 8d. by reason of the late college of Stoke in Suffolk.
  • 14. Dns. Rog. Ocley presbyter non conjugatus, satis doctus, non residet, non hospitalis, in Cantabrigia, non prædicat nec licentiatus, nullum aliud.— (Parker's Certif.)
  • 15. Regr. Caston Norw. p. 135, and Regr. Aleyn, p. 222.