An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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Called Benemare, in Domesday book, when it was the lordship of William Earl Warren, and held of him by Ralf. It was a beruite to Rudham: four socmen held then sixty acres of land, and three bordarers had one carucate and an half, and a church belonged to it. (fn. 1)
Coxford Priory Manor.
Ralph abovementioned was the ancestor of the family of de Caineto, or Cheyney, (of whom see in Rudham,) and a younger branch of that family being enfeoffed of this town, assumed, according to the custom of that age, the name (as I presume) of de Barmere. Nicholas de Barmere gave to the priory thirty acres of land here, in the time of Henry III. and in the said reign, the prior held here, in Rudham and Sydestern, one knight's fee, and an half, of the Earl Warren, when the aid was granted on the marriage of the King's sister to the Emperor.
The temporalities of the priory, in 1428, were valued at 4l. 13s. 4d.; at the Dissolution, King Henry VIII. on May 9, in his 29th year, granted it to Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, with the advowson, all its liberties, courts lete, and view of frank pledge, foldcourse, &c. for 1000 years; and the Duke of Norfolk granted it to Robert Bozoun, Esq. of Stodey, ao. 9 Elizabeth, a pepper corn per annum, if demanded: Bozoun conveyed it to Roger Townsend, Esq. January 8, in the 12th of Elizabeth, with lands in Berwick, in exchange for lands in Wyssingset, in which family it remains, the right honourable George Lord Viscount Townsend being lord.
Castleacre Priory Manor.
In the 4th of King John, a fine was levied between John de Matelaske, and Edith his wife, John de Bermere, and Emme his wife, of lands here conveyed to John de Bermere. It appears from the Register of Castleacre, that Martin, son and heir of John de Bermere, gave to that priory several services of his tenants, and several yearly rents, confirming also the grants of Richard de Bermere his brother: (fn. 2) he also gave the moiety of his heath, called Whinberghe, the moiety of his foldcourse, a croft, called Bruecroft, four acres of land, called Bocherendale, with view of frank-pledge, assise of bread and beer, and free bull and boar, sans date; but in the reign of King John, he also gave them four acres, three acres, and five roods of land, and the yearly rent of 14d. which Sir Osbert de Stratesete paid him for land here.
In the 20th of Edward III. the prior held a quarter of a fee here, and his temporalities were valued at 18s. 7d.
At the Dissolution it was granted, May 9, in the 29th of Henry VIII. to Thomas Duke of Norfolk; and Thomas Duke of Norfolk granted it, in the 9th of Elizabeth, to Robert Bozoun, Esq. who conveyed it to Roger Townsend, Esq. as is above observed, &c.; from the family of Townsend it came to Sir—Chaplin, Bart. and from him to Mr. Edward Glover, the present lord, 1757.
The manor of Berwick extended into this town in the 20th of Edward III. William de Calthorp held the fourth part of a fee here of the heirs of the Lord Tateshall, which Reginald de Calthorp, and Richard his brother formerly held; and Sir William Calthorp of Calthorp, Knt. died possessed of it; in the 9th of Henry VI. Sir Philip Calthorp was lord, as appears by his will, dated March 27, 1532. Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Philip, brought it by marriage to Sir Henry Parker, lord also of Berwick and Stanhow; and Sir Philip Parker had livery of it about the 20th of Elizabeth. Soon after this it came to the Townsends, and so was united to the other lordships.
The tenths were 2l. 13s.—Deducted 13s. 4d.—Lete fee 12d. to the lord of the hundred.—Concealed lands here were granted September 22, 17 Elizabeth, to John Herbert and Andrew Palmer.
The Church is a little pile; stands on a hill, and is covered with tiles: the chancel and the north isle are in ruins; it is dedicated to All-Saints, and has a round tower or steeple.
It was a rectory, valued at ten marks, with the portions, and in the patronage of Coxford priory, appropriated thereto by Walter Bishop of Norwich, and again by William Bishop of Norwich, 14 Cal. September, 1326. Peter-pence 12d.
The spiritualities of Bynham priory, in 1428 were 6s.; a knight of the Lord Valoins, whose manor of Rudman North-hall extended here, gave two parts of his tithe to the priory on its foundation; the temporalities of Bukenham priory 3s. 11d. ob. and of Walsingham 6d.
In 1302, Andrew de Cutun, presented by the prior, &c. of Cokesfield.
In 1326, on the second appropriation, a vicar was ordained, who was to have tithe of all the fruits and obventions belonging to the said church, corn excepted; the vicar was to pay procurations and synodals, and the Bishop had a pension of two marks per annum.
1326, Jeffry Styward, vicar, presented by the prior, &c.
1327, Thomas Hancock. Ditto.
1335, Thomas Spanye. Ditto.
1341, William de Melton. Ditto.
1349, John Peggon. Ditto.
1353, John de Southgate. Ditto.
1387, Thomas Penebrigge. Ditto.
1389, Richard Willing. Ditto.
1404, John Willys. Ditto.
I find no institutions after this, and is held of a curacy in the patronage of the Earl of Orford.
In Domesday Book, this village is wrote Benemara; Bene sets forth its site on a rivulet or stream, called Ben, as Benington in Hertfordshire, Benford in Warwickshire, &c. and Mara, by some mere, or standing water. Barmere, by a hill and a mere.