Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Thorp

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.

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Francis Blomefield, 'Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Thorp', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807), pp. 11-15. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Thorp", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807) 11-15. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Thorp", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807). 11-15. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,

In this section


There are several towns here adjoining of the name of Burnham, so called from a neighbouring stream, or brook. Toke, a great Saxon thane, was lord of it in the reign of the Confessor, and was, at the conquest, deprived of it, and many more considerable lordships, when this was granted to William Earl Warren, and is placed in Domesday book, under the hundred of Gallow, and not in Brothercross. Walter then was infeoffed of it, by the aforesaid Earl.

In Toke's time it contained 2 carucates of land, 10 villains, and 29 bordarers, with 3 servi; there were 2 carucates in demean, 5 amongst the tenants, &c. 1 acre of meadow, the 3d part of a mill, 2 runce, 1 ass, 4 cows, &c. and 345 sheep: 9 socmen belonged to it, with one carucate of land, &c. a church, then endowed with 80 acres, the whole then valued at 60s. at the survey at 4l. per annum, was 1 leuca long and an half, and 1 leuca broad, and paid 3s. to a 20s. gelt, whoever may possess it. (fn. 1)

Walter, who held it at the survey, under the Earl, seems to be the ancestor of the family of de Burnham; Philip de Burnham was lord, in the reign of King Stephen, (fn. 2) and had 2 sons, William and Reginald; William had a son Philip, who was lord in the 30th of Henry II. and one of the same name in Richard I; but William de Burnham dying without issue in the reign of Henry III. this lordship came to Sir William de Calthorp, by the marriage of his sister and heir, Cecilia, as may be seen in Harpley.

Some make the Burnhams to descend from a cousin-german of Hamelin Plantaginet Earl Warren and Surry, but as that Earl lived in the reigh of Henry II. and Richard I. and as the Burnhams were lords long before their reigns, it is more probable that Walter was their ancestor.

In the 55th of Henry III. Sir William de Calthorp and Cecilia his wife had a charter for a fair at Burnham, on the vigil, the day, and the day after, of St. Peter ad vincula, and a weekly mercate on Saturday, dated at Westminster, July 24th. William de Grancourt had also an interest here, and in the 45th of the aforesaid King, released by fine to Sir William de Calthorp, and Cecilia, 2 carucates of land, and to the abbot of Creke, his right in 15 acres, and 2 parts of a mill, and in the 14th of Edward I. Walter, son of William de Grancourt, confirmed the same.

In the Calthorp family it remained till Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip, and sister and heir to Philip Calthorp, Esq. brought it, by marriage, to Sir Henry Parker of Erwarton in Suffolk, who had livery of it, in the 3d of Edward VI. and Sir Calthorp Parker dying seized of it in the 13th of James I. Philip was found his son and heir, aged 17, and Sir Philip Parker presented to the church, as lord, in 1681, and Peter Lombard, Esq. in 1715.

On the death of Peter Lombard, Esq. it came to the honourable Horace Walpole, Esq. by the marriage of —, one of the daughters and coheirs of the said Peter, and is called Burnham Thorpe manor, cum membris, viz. Coldham's and Hayward's.

Windham Manor Priory.

In the 18th of Edward I. the prior impleaded William de Calthorpe, for breaking his fold, when it was found that he had no liberty of foldage, from the middle of March to the feast of St. John Baptist.

This, on the dissolution of that house, came to the Crown, and was granted, February 12, in the 4th and 5th of Philip and Mary, to John Cajus, doctor of physick, who gave it to Cajus college of Cambridge, of which he was master, and in this society it remains.

The tenths were 3l. 10s.—Deducted 1l.—Burnham Thorp lete fee to the lord of the hundred, was 2s.

William, son of Philip de Candos, confirmed by deed sans date, (fn. 3) all the gifts which Philip his father made to the monks of Castleacre, and in particular the land that William Pulchard held here.

Virley's Manor.

Another lordship in this town was, at the survey, in the possession of Robert de Verley, held by Godwin in King Edward's time, and after, by Ralph Earl of Norfolk, who on his rebellion in the reign of the Conqueror, had forfeited it: one carucate of land belonged to it, eight bordarers, and one servus; there was then one carucate in demean, and one among the men, &c. two freemen resided on this carucate, valued then at 40s. at the survey at 30s. per annum. (fn. 4)

Robert de Verley held also at the survey a manor at West Herling, in the hundred of Gilcross, Dulling manor in North Greenhow hundred, and Tunstal in the hundred of Walesham.

From Robert de Verley this lordship came to the Earl Warren, and by a branch of that family to the Bardolfs; Robert gave by deed, sans dated, to the monks of Castleacre, the whole fee and service, which spring in hold of him, in Burnham.

William de Riseby held half a fee here, when an aid was granted in the reign of King Henry III. on the marriage of his sister to the Emperor of Germany, of the honour of Wirmegey; and Robert Crow was possessed then of half a fee of the heirs of Virley, held of the Earl Warren, as it is said.

By the eschaet rolls in the 3d of Edward III. Philip Virley appears to have died seized of two fees in this town, Euston, Herling, &c. belonging to the Lord Bardolf; James de Pinkeney had the moiety of a fee in the 20th of Edward III. and at the same time William, de Calthorp held half a fee, lately held by Robert Crowe, of the heirs of Virley, and they of the honour of Wirmegey; and that of the Earl Warren; and Sir William Calthorpe was lord of a whole fee in the 1st of Henry IV. held as before-mentioned; so that this lordship became united to that of Burnham Thorp, and passed with that, as is there mentioned.

The Church is dedicated to All-Saints, and is a rectory; the present valor is 19l. 10s.—It contains a chancel, have with two isles, covered with lead, and a lower with one bell.

In the middle of the church lies a grave-stone ornamented with a rim of brass, thus inscribed,

Will. Calthorp Miles, quondam Dnus Manerii et Patronus Ecclie. de Brunham omn. Scor. Com. Norff. filius Oliveri Calthorp Militis, et Sibille Uxoris ejus filie - - - - - - - - sub hoc marmore in Ecclia. predicta requiescent obiit xx. quarto die Decembris Anno Dni. m.cccc.xx. quor. animabus propitietur Deus, Amen.

At the upper end of the said stone, are (in two shields) the arms of Calthorpe, and St. Omer;—azure, a fess between six crosslets, or. The arms of Sibilla, his 2d wife, daughter and heir of Sir Edmund de St. Omer; under each shield is a bird standing on a mount with this label, Pensey de Fyner; below is the effigies of Sir William in armour, between two fillets of brass; on that on his right side,—Quisquis eris qui transieris, sta, p. lege, p. lora. The fillet on the left side is reaved, whereon, no doubt was, Sum quod eris, fueramq; quod es, pro me precor ora.—A grave stone in memory of Frances Paston, daughter of Sir William Cornwalleys the younger, by his wife Catherine, daughter of Sir Philip Parker, the relict of Thomas Paston, Esq. and 2d son of Sir Edmund Paston, Knt. who died November 6, in her 73d year, and in 1675, with the arms of Paston impaling Cornwalleys. Also,

Hic positæ sunt Exuviæ sanctissimi Viri Philippi Cornwaleys hujus Ecclesiæ quondam rectoris Gulielmi Cornwalleys Militis, filii natu minimi, qui obiit Decemb. 30, 1688.

This on a stone with a brass plate.

One in memory of Peter Lombard, son of Peter, who died January 1, 1717, aged 19. Here are two penons with the arms of Lombard, argent a chevron between three lions heads erased, azure.

A grave-stone in memory of Francis, wife of Samuel Richardson, clerk, daughter of Thomas Cornwaleys, Esq. who died January 24, 1684; and one for Catherine Hoo, daughter of Philip Russel, Gent. who died March 9, 1604, wife of Clement Hoo, Gent.

It appears, that in the reign of Edward I. there was also another church in Burnham Thorp, dedicated to St. Peter, but at that time consolidated to Burnham All-Saints.—Walter de Grancourt gave to the monks of Lewes these two churches; and in 1229, sentence was given in favour of that prior, for an annual pension of 20s. to be paid by the rector of All-Saints, formerly called St. Mary's: the said Walter also gave them a chapel, which stood before his court or house.

Philip de Candos gave to the monks of Castleacre the tithes of his lordship here. In the 9th of King Stephen, Walter, son of Philip, presented. In the 9th of Richard 1. Philip de Burnham recovered his right of patronage against the prior of Lewes, it being found that Walter, son of Philip de Burnham, presented in the time of King Stephen.

It was anciently valued at thirty marks, Peter-pence 1d. ob.


Ralph de Cidisterne occurs rector in 1229.

1314, William de Horseford, presented by Sir Walter de Calthorp.

1317, Alan de Marham. Ditto.

1330, John de Kyskington, by William, son of Walter, &c.

1334, Thomas Mathew, by Sir Walter, &c.

1337, Edmund de Walpole, by Sir William Calthorp.

1357, John de Cambridge. Ditto.

1364, Edmund de Calthorp, by Sir Oliver de Calthorp; he was instiuted into the church of All-Saints, with that of St. Peter in the said village, annexed.

1378, William de Ingoldesthorp.

William de Rudham occurs rector, 1379.

1398, Richard Prat, by Sir William Calthorp.

1418, Ralph Wolman, alias Harpley, to All-Saints. Ditto

1427, John Maundevile, by the King on the minority of the heir of William Calthorp.

1441, Richard Ferrour, by William Calthorp, Esq. and Elizabeth his wife.

1467, Richard Kegyll. Ditto.

1483, John Dussyng. Ditto.

1506, John Hedge, by Sir Philip Calthorp.

1510, Robert Dussing. Ditto.

1540, William Wingfield, (fn. 5) by Philip Calthorp, Esq.

1554, Peter Stanclyffe by Sir William Woodhouse, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir Philip Calthorp.

1563, Hugh Hely. Ditto

1586, Thomas Stafford, by the Queen, a lapse.

1587, Herbert Warde, by Sir Philip Parker.

1643, Philip Cornwallis. Ditto.

1681, John Beardmore, by Sir Pilip Parker, Bart.

1715, Francis Osborne, by Peter Lombard, Esq.

1716, Samuel Maclanburgh, by Peter Lombard, Esq.

1720, Thomas Smithson, by Peter Lombard, Esq.

1755, Edmund Nelson, A. M. by Hor. Walpole, Esq. on Smithson's death, and to St. Albert's rectory, with the medieties of St. Margaret, and All-Saints.

Here were the gilds of St. John Baptist, and Allhallows.


  • 1. Tre. Willi. de Warrena. Hund. de Galhou.—In Bruneham Torp. ten. Galt ii. car. terre quas tenuit Tocha T. R. E. ii. car. tre semp. x. vill et. xxix bord. tc. iii. se v. semp. in dominio ii. car. et. tc. homin. v. carr. modo ii. poss. restaurate ee. silva. ad viii. porc. i. ac. pti. tertia pars i. mol. tc. ii. runc. modo. vi. eti. asin. tc. iiii. an. et modo. et xxviii. porc. et cccxl. et. v. ovs. et. xx. soc. jacent huic. man. de i. car. tre. et ht. ii. car. i. ecclia lxxx. ac. tc. val. lx. sol. et p. modo. iiii. lib. et ht. in longo i. lg. et dim. et i. lg. in lato. et de xx. sol. reddet iii. sol de gelto quicunq. ibi teneat.
  • 2. See in Harpley.
  • 3. Regist. Castleacr. fol. 45, &c.
  • 4. Terre Roberti de Verli hund. de Galhou. In Bruneham Torp ten. Godwinus T. R. E. et p. Radulfus que. se foris fecit, i. car. tre. sep. viii. bor. tc. i. car. tc. in. dnio, i. car. mo. dim. houm. i. car. mo. dim. tc. ii. r. mo. i. tc. clxxx. ov. mo. xxi. et ii. lib. hoes. manent in hanc car. tre. tc. val. xl. sol. mo. xxx.
  • 5. Wingfeld was the last prior of Westacre.