Blofield Hundred: Plumstede Magna

Pages 238-240

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

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Guert, brother of King Harold, and slain with him at the battle of Hastings, had a freeman, who possessed under him a carucate of land, which Godwin after held. William de Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford was lord, at the survey, in his own right, as a lay fee, by grant of the Conqueror. Five bordarers belonged to it, one carucate in demean, and half a one among the tenants, &c. and there were ten freemen, with 30 acres of land, who held under the protection of Godwin a carucate and half of meadow, then valued at 10s. at the survey at 40s. (fn. 1) After the Conqueror was King, Almar Bishop of Elmham invaded, or seized on this land, as forfeited, on account of the marriage of a woman who remarried within the term of one year expired after her late husband's death, probably Godwin abovementioned.

Bishop Beaufoe had three acres of land here, which a socman of Archbishop Stigand possessed; this was added to Plumstede manor by Ernast Bishop of Elmham; the socman ploughed it with 2 oxen, and paid 5d. in Stigand's time.—Ernast, or Arfast, succeeded Ailmar Bishop of Elmham, and removed the see to Norwich.

Earl Guert and Stigand had also 2 freemen, who possessed 50 acres of land, with 2 of meadow, and 2 bordarers had a carucate. Ralph, the Earl of Norfolk, had these before he forfeited, and Robert Blund afterwards; valued then at 5s. at the survey at 3s. Bishop Ernast had invaded these, and Beaufoe was then lord in fee, by the grant of the Conqueror.—And Bishop Almar had a freeman under his commendation, with half a carucate, and 16 acres of land, at the survey; 2 oxgangs, valued formerly at 2s. but then at 16d. this was also granted to Bishop Beaufoe.

When the Book of Domesday was made, Plumstede was not divided into 2 townships; however it appears, that all these tenures were, at that time, in the possession of Bishop Beaufoe; and, at his death, he gave them to his see of Norwich, and, making one considerable lordship, was held of the see; but some time after, it seems to be divided, by some grant of a Bishop, to the priory of Norwich.

In the reign of Henry III. I find, in old writings, this town to be called Grimere-Homestede; and, in the—of that King, Walter Bi shop of Norwich, as lord, had a charter of free warren. The family of De Cateston, or Caston, had an interest herein, held of the fee, as had John de Tofts in the said reign.

Robert de Tofts, and Agnes his wife, settled on themselves, &c. by fine 18 messuages, 160 acres of land, 5 of meadow, 10 of pasture, 20 of marsh, 10 of turbary, and 13s. 4d. rent in Greymere Plumsted Witton, Brundale, Breydeston, Plumstede, &c. in the 12th of Edward III.

The prior of Norwich appears to have a lordship in the 24th of Henry III. when a fine was levied before Ralph, abbot of Ramsey, William de York, provost of Beverley, Henry de Bath, &c. justices itinerant, between Simon (de Elham) prior of Norwich, patent, and Simon de Cateston, and Massa his wife, tenants, of 30 acres of land here, conveyed to the prior, who reconveyed it to them for life, and John their son. (fn. 2)William de Leams, and Elizabeth his wife, in the said reign, grant to the prior lands for 100s. in Grimer Plumstede Magna, in the 14th of Edward I. and in the 3d of Edward I. the prior claimed the assise here, in Pockthorp, and Holm Street, with weyf, &c. In asurvey made in the time of prior William de Kirkeby, about 1280, mention is made of 2 acres at the head of Grymere, (fn. 3) probably some mere, so called, and land at the chapel of St. Benedict, the abbot; of lands in Castle-Croft; and in the whole of eight score acres, &c. here, belonging to the prior.

In the 23d of Edward I. Rose, daughter of Reginald Baseley of Grimere Plumstede held 14 acres of heath.

The temporalities of the priory in 1428, were 9l. 8s.

In the 1st of Edward VI. Sir Thomas Cawarden had a grant of it, late the priory's (of Norwich's) manor, with a foldcourse in this town, Plumstede Parva, Posswick, &c. and, in the said year, Cawarden had license to alien it to Henry Ward of Posswick, Esq. Thomas Ward, Esq. died seized in 1632, and Sir Randel Ward, Bart. of Bixley, died lord in 176-.

William de Scohies had, at the survey, 8 acres of land, which, in the Confessor's time, were in the hands of 2 freemen of Harduin; and Hugh held it of Scohies, and ploughed it with 2 oxen, always valued at 2s. (fn. 4)

From William de Scohies it came to Walter Giffard Earl of Bucks, and from that family, by marriage, to the Earls of Clare.

Alan Hovel, son of Peter, held lands of this fee, which he granted to William de Kirkeby, prior of Norwich.

The tenths were 2l. 4s.—Deducted 10s.

The Church, with the chapel of St. Eustachius, was appropriated by John de Grey Bishop of Norwich, to that priory, to find 2 chaplains, saving a pension of 10s. per annum to the cellarer, and a vicarage was settled.—The appropriated rectory was valued at 15 marks; Peter-pence 18d. ob. carvage 2d. ob. and was dedicated to St. Mary.


1300, Gilbert de Hecham, instituted vicar, presented by the prior of Norwich.

1305, John de Elmham. Ditto.

1333, John de Bernham. Ditto.

1349, Roger de Madour, alias Repps. Ditto.

1950, William Britheeye. Ditto.

1373, Thomas Moyse. Ditto.

John Bacon, vicar.

1408, John Broun. Ditto.

1419, John Cammurtin. Ditto.

1421, Thomas Bishop. Ditto.

1591, Thomas Pearcy, or Pearson, by the Bishop, a lapse.

Here were the gilds of St. Mary and St. John.

The patronage of the vicarage is in the dean and chapter of Norwich, with the appropriated rectory.—The chapel of St. Eustachius, I find, to be repaired in 1460.


  • 1. Tre. Willi. Ep. Tedfordens. de feudo.—In Plummesteda ten. Goduinus libum. hoem. Gerti i. car. tre. mo. tenet W. Eps. sep. v. bord. sep. i. car. in dnio. sep. dim. car. hom. silva viii. porc. i. ac. pti. semp. ii. an. et ibi. s. x. lib. hoes de xxx. ac. tre. com'dati. tantu Goduini. sep. i. car. et i. ac. pti. tc. val. x. sol. mo. xl. et p'q. Rex. W. venit in hanc terram invasit Almarus Eps. p. foris factura, quia mulier que tenuit nupsit intra annu. p'. morte viri. —In Plumesteda i. soc. est additus ab Ernasto sed fuit Stigandi iii. ac. tre. sep. arat. cu. ii. bovib; et reddit 5d.—Adhuc in Plumesteda ii. lib. hoes. Gerti et Stigandi qd. Ernast. Eps. invasit L. ac. tre et ii. ac. pti. sep. ii. bord. sep. i. car. hos tenuit R. Comes quando foris fecit et R. Blund. ad censu. tc. val. v. sol. mo. iii.—In Plumesteda ten. i. lib. ho. Almari comd. tantu. xvi. ac. tre. tc. dim. car. mo. ii. bovs. tc. val. ii. sol. mo. xvi. d.
  • 2. Reg. Cath. Norw. fol. 101. 189. 190.
  • 3. MSS. pen. Edm. Themilthorp, Gen. de Norwich, Ao. 1714.
  • 4. Terra Willi. de Scohies.—In Plumestede, ii. lib. hoes. Hraduini T. R. E. viii. ac. tre. qd. tenet Hugo. sep. arat cu. ii. bovib; sep. val. ii. sol.