Blofield Hundred: Witton

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, 'Blofield Hundred: Witton', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807), pp. 264-267. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Blofield Hundred: Witton", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807) 264-267. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Blofield Hundred: Witton", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807). 264-267. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


Part of this town is accounted for under the hundred of Walsham, and part under that of Blofield; that in Walsham was granted to Earl Ralph, on the deprivation of 2 feeemen of Gert, who had 140 acres of land, 6 bordarers, and 10 acres of meadow, one carucate in demean, one among the tenants, valued at 15s. when Earl Ralph forfeited it. After this Blond had it, and, at the survey, Ulchetel, by the King's grant. (fn. 1)

Ralph Stalre had, before the conquest, 4 freemen, who held 60 acres of land, and 11 of meadow, with a carucate. On the conquest, it was seized on, and Godrick took care of it for the Conqueror; the soc of them was in the King's hundred of Blofield, and they held it of the King at the survey. (fn. 2)

Ulchetel had also the lordships of Rushworth in Gillcross hundred, and of Lerling in Shropham hundred. Ulchetel's lordships came after to the Crown, and both of them so remained, but part of them was granted to the family of de Vetula, alias de Veile, by King Henry I. in the Roll de Dominab; in the custody of the King's Remembrancer, it appears, that Richard de Veile held considerable lands here, &c. and died before the 30th of Henry II. leaving Roger his son, and 5 daughters, in the custody, of Emma his mother, daughter of Guy de Botetort, and Thomas Basset his uncle; Emma, aged 30 years, and Roger 6, &c. and that the land here was worth 60s. per annum. In the 2d of King John, Roger de Veile held it with Fishley, by the service of being the King's falconer. Thomas de Veile was lord in the 17th of Henry III. son of Roger, was afterwards a knight, and paid 25s. relief.

In the 3d of Edward I. John de Veile was lord; and, in the 23d of that King, John his son had a messuage, 43 acres of land, 15s. and 7d. rent of assise, and died seized of it in that year, when it descended to Reginald de Dunham, son of Beatrice, sister of John his father; and, in the 31st of the same reign, Reginald was found to hold it by grand serjeanty, by keeping the King's hawks.

After this, Peter Buxskyn was lord, in the 9th of Edward II. and in the 18th of Edward III. conveyed it to Roger Hardegrey, citizen of Norwich; and, in the 20th of that King, Roger held it by the fourth part of a fee, late Downham's, which Reginald de Downham, and Beatrice his wife, paid scutage for in the reign of Edward I.

Robert Letham, Esq. was lord and patron of the church in 1480; by his will, he gives his manor here, and advowson to Margaret his wife for life, remainder to Robert his 2d son, then in custody of John Ratcliff Lord Fitz-Walter, who dying a minor, it was in the following year sold by Richard Southwell, Esq. feoffee, and confirmed by John Loveday, Esq. executor of Robert Letham, to James Hobart, Esq. with a manor in Plumstede: he presented in 1508. Miles, his 2d son, was lord, and presented in 1531. In this family it remained till mortgaged by Sir Miles Hobart, Knt. about 1653, as in Plumstede Parva.

In 1700, William Hewar, Esq. was lord and patron, also one of the said name in 1742.

Nicholas le Boteler had a lordship in the reign of Henry III. which came to Adam de Brancaster, and William de St. Clere, in right of their wives, heirs to Nicholas. In 1272, St. Clere sold his part to William de Heveningham, and Brancastor's part was sold to Guy Botetourt; and Sir Guy Botetort was returned as a lord in the 9th of Edward II.

In the 7th of Richard II. license was granted to Margaret Countess of Norfolk, to alien to the nuns minoresses of Brusyerd, in Suffolk, the lordship of Witton, to pray for the soul of Anne, daughter of the said Margaret, deceased, late Countess of Pembroke, and for her own state whilst living, and her soul when deceased: but, in the 12th of the said King, another patent was granted to exchange for this manor, one messuage, 6 shops, with 200 acres of land in Sauston, Badburgham, and Pampesworth, in Cambridgeshire: in the said year a fine was levied between the aforesaid Countess of Norfolk, and John Winterton, and Margaret his wife, who conveyed to her a manor here.

There was also another considerable manor in the see of Norwich, held by the family of De Breydeston, lord of Breydeston, (which was also held of that see,) and extended into this town. From the Bredestons it came to the Catestons, or Castons, and from them to the Carbonels, as in Breydeston, &c. and the patronage of the church was in this manor.

The tenths were 1l. 14s.—Deducted 4s.

The Church is a rectory, dedicated to St. Margaret; was valued at 12 marks:—paid Peter-pence 12d.—Carvage, 2d. ob.—The present valor is 6l. 13s. 4d. and is discharged.


In 1321, William de Ormesby instituted, presented by the Lady Joan, relict of Sir Robert Caston.

1318, Mr. Roger the Saham. Ditto.

1321, Robert de Stradeset, by John de Caston.

1323, Ralph de Caston, by Sir John de Caston.

1349, Mr. Richard de Blofield, by Mr. Robert de Cleydon, and Salom, rector of Caston.

1349, William Dun, by Sal. rector of Caston.

1389, William Atte Cross de Spalding, by Lady Catherine, relict of Sir John de Caston.

1391, Walter Russell. Ditto.

1401, Nicholas Stradeset, by the Bishop, in right of his manor of Breydeston, John Carbonell, son and heir of Sir Robert Carbonel, and Margaret his wife, being a minor.

1405, Maurice Atte Howe, by John Carbonel.

1418, John Scambylby, by Sir John Carbonel, and Margery his wife.

1426, Robert Walter, by Lady Margery, Carbonel.

1475, John Hewyck, by Robert Letham.

1498, Edward Dixson, by Richard Southwell, Esq. and John Walter.

1508, John Bleyk, by Sir James Hobart.

1516, James Stuard, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1531, Arnold Wytton, by Miles Hubberd, Esq.

1556, William Moore. Ditto.

1559, Ad. Barker, by Thomas Hobard, Esq.

1572, Edmund Bishop, A. M. by William Blennerhasset, Esq. and Lady Etheld Warner.

1580, Edward Fisher.

1591, Edmund Bentley, by Henry Hubbard, Esq. assignee of Miles Hubbard, Esq.

1613, Ralph Barlow.

1627, Richard Pierson, by Sir Miles Hubbard.

1663, Henry Pierson, by Fran. Cory, Esq.

1700, John Russell, by William Hewar, Esq.

1723, John Morrant, by Hewar Edgely Hewer, Esq.

1723, John Russell, junior. Ditto.

1745, Norwood Sparrow, by William Blackbourn, Esq. and Ann Jackson, widow.

In the church was the guild of St. Margaret.

John Dade of Witton, by his will dated in 1505, was buried in this church; orders, "That the old roofe of this church be taken down, the walls helped, and a new roof to be made after the patern of Little Plumstede; and because I am not able to lede it, I wyll, that it be redid and made at my coste." (fn. 3)

Besides the towns here mentioned, there was, as appears from the book of Domesday, a town called Mora, in this hundred, granted, on the deprivation of Siricius, a freeman, to Rabel the artificer, containing at the conquest 2 carucates of land, 8 villains, 4 servi, a carucate and a half in demean, half a carucate among the tenants, and 10 acres of meadow, &c. one saltwork, &c. valued at 40s. was 8 furlongs long, and 5 broad, &c. and the soc and sac was in the King. (fn. 4)

Where this town stood is at this time unknown, probably the lands belonging to it are not included in Limpenho and Thorp, where Rabel held also lands, as will there appear; also lord of Filby in East-Flegg hundred.


  • 1. Terre. Ulchetelli.—In Witona. ten. ii. libi. hoes. Gert T. R. E. de cxl. ac. tre. sep. vi. bor. x. ac. pr i. tc. i. car. in dnio. mo. i. et dim. sep. i. car. houm. sep. val. xv. sol. quando Rad. se forisfecit, ten. in manu. suâ, et p. Blond. et P. P. breve Regis fuit resaitus in manu Regis.
  • 2. Terra Regis qua. Godricus servat. —In Witona iiii. lib. hoes. de lx. ac. tre. et xi. ac. pti. sep. i. car. de istis e. soca in Hund. et reddit viiii. sol.
  • 3. Regist. Rix. fol. 314.
  • 4. Terre Rabelli artificis.—In Mora ten. Siric'. i. lib. ho. T. R. E. ii. car. tre. tc. viii. vill. p' et mo. v. tc. iiii. ser. p' et mo. ii. tc. i. car. et dim. p' et mo. ii. in dnio. sep. dim. car. houm. et x. ac. pti. mo. i. r. semp. iii. an. tc. iii. p' et mo. xii. mo. c. ov. et i. sal. tc. val. xl. sol. p' xxx. mo. xl. et ht. viii. qr. de longo, et v. de lato, et de gelto xx. sol. et soca et saca e Regis et Comit.