Clackclose Hundred and Half: Crimplesham

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, 'Clackclose Hundred and Half: Crimplesham', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807), pp. 310-314. British History Online [accessed 22 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Clackclose Hundred and Half: Crimplesham", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807) 310-314. British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Clackclose Hundred and Half: Crimplesham", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807). 310-314. British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024,

In this section


Rainold son of Ivo, had a grant from the Conqueror of the lordship that Ailed, a free woman, was deprived of, which she possessed in King Edward's reign, consisting of 2 carucates of land, 8 villains, 4 bordarers, 7 servi, and 8 acres of meadow. There were then in demean 3 carucates, and at the survey 4, one fishpond, one runcus, 2 cows, 2 swine, 240 sheep; at the survey 300. Twenty freemen also belonged to this manor, of whom the lord had the soc, with their protection, or commendation, with 60 acres of land; formerly they had a carucate and a half, at the survey one carucate.

In the same town Turchill held a carucate of land, with a bordarer, and one servus, 8 acres of meadow, a moiety of a fishery; 5 freemen also belonged to it, with 4 acres, who were under the commendation and soc only of Turchill. When Rainald had the grant of these, they were valued at 8l. per ann.

These freemen also had a caruca te of land, with 4 bordarers, and 12 acres of meadow, and of these Turchill had the commendation, with all customary dues; this was granted to Rainald, valued at 16s. but at the survey at 9s.—All Crimplesham with Toimere (a town adjoining) was one leuca long, and a leuca broad, and paid 8d. to the gelt, when the hundred paid 20s. whoever was lord. (fn. 1)

Rainald was a Norman baron, attended William Duke of Normandy in his invasion; and, on the conquest of England, was rewarded for his services with this lordship; those of Fincham, Barton, Toimere, Werham, Stoke, Boughton, Shouldham, Bicham-Well, Foston, in the hundred of Clackclose;—those of West Winch, Wiche, and Massingham in Frebridge hundred—of Stanford in Grimsho hundred—of Caldecot Cley, Pickenham Houghton, in South Greenhow hundred — of Panworth, Ashley, Threxton, in Weyland hundred—of Sutton, in Launditch hundred—of Yaxham, in Milford hundred—of Pensthorp, in Gollow hundred—Rainham, in Brothercross hundred—Wiveton, in Holt hundred—Walsingham Magna and Parva, and Stukey, in North Greenhow hundred—of Carleton, in Loddon hundred—of Whitwell, Wichingham, Haverland, Norton, in Eynford hundred—Felthorp, in Taverham hundred—Scothow, Ingworth, Torton, Caston, Baningham, in South Erpingham hundred—Sloley, in Tunsted hundred. From Raynald, it came to the Earls of Clare.—Gilbert Clare Earl of Clare gave the church, as lord, in the reign of William II. to the priory of Clare.

This Gilbert is called in Domesday-book, Gilbert, son of Richer Earl of Brion in France, and attended the Conqueror into England; was ancestor of the Earls of Clare. He with Richard his son, and Rohaise his wife, were great benefactors to the abbey of Bec in Normandy; and as this Gilbert had the lordship of Clare in Suffolk in 1190, and was after a cell of Benedictine monks, to that abbey, so it is reasonable to conclude, that he was also lord of this town; (fn. 2) and Gilbert, son of Richard, who died 1151, we are told by a French antiquary, was buried at Clare, a cell which Gilbert his grandfather had given to the monks of Bec.

Stoke-Clare Priory, or College Manor.

Richard de Clare Earl of Clare and Gloucester, is said to have removed the cell at the priory of Clare, to Stoke-Clare in Suffolk, in 1224, and to have endowed it with a lordship in this town; and in the 52d of Henry III. that prior had a park here.

John de Aula, or Hall, of this town, held a messuage, 72 acres of land, 8 of meadow, with 14s. rent of divers free tenants, of the prior, in the 17th of Richard II. and William was found to be his son and heir, aged 22. Thomas Derham held it of Thomas Hendercote, prior of Stoke-Clare, in the 2d of Henry IV. At the Dissolution, it was granted to the Derhams; Thomas Derham. Esq. held it of the Crown by soccage, in the 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary.

The temporalities of this house, being a college, when dissolved, were valued at 3l. 1s. 6½d.

Prior of Tunbridge's Manor.

Richard de Clare abovementioned, founder of this priory, endowed it with a lordship in this town: Walter, son of Adam Davy, held it in the reign of King Henry III. of the priory, by the eighth part of a fee; and, by a pleading in the 25th of Edward I. it was found that certain lands here, called Inglewith, Stafford, North and South field, belonged to this priory. In the 8th of Edward III. and the 3d of Henry IV. the heirs of Davy are said to possess it.

On the dissolution, it came to the Crown, and so remained, till on the 20th of October, in the 6th of James I. it was granted to Robert and Thomas Derham for the sum of 64l. 1s. 8d. with a capital messuage, and 115 acres of arable land, valued at 5l. 7s. 6d. per ann. eschaets valued at 12s. twelve acres of mowing ground at 12s. 3d. of pasture at 18d. per ann. Rent of assise, due at St. Michael, 15s. at St Andrew 15s. and the same at Easter, with one pound of cumin, valued at 1d. the hens at Christmas, valued at 9d. perquisites of court 6s. 8d. per ann.

Crimplesham's, Talbot's, Coldham's, and Wesenham's Manor.

Besides the two lordships above specified, several persons held of the Earls of Gloucester and Clare (the capital lords) certain lands, and had an interest herein. Gilbert de Crimplesham was lord, and witness to a deed of Sampson, abbot of Bury. King John, in his 18th year, October 11, grants to his beloved clerk, John de Pavilly, all his lands here, which were Roger de Crimplesham's, with the appertenances, and commands the good tenants to perform all that was incumbent on them; dated at Lyn; (fn. 3) and this but a few days before his death. Theodore de Crimplesham was lord in the 34th of Henry III. and in the following year, the Earl of Gloucester, as capital lord, had the priviledge of a gallows, felon's goods, &c. frank-pledge, assise, the lete or his tenants, and would not permit the King's bailiff to enter into his lordship. William Criketot, who married Maud, daughter of Peter de Crimplesham, held in her right 4 messuages, a carucate of land, 20 acres of meadow, paying 26s. per ann. and had free bull and boar.

Anselm de Lound had also the 8th part of a fee, which came by his daughter to Robert Bardolf, and so to Sir Ingelram. Belet, as in Wercham.—Ralph de Wyrham held in the said reign of Henry III. a messuage, one carucate of land, 6 acres of meadow in demean; and William de Bereford 2 messuagss, with 60 acres of land, and 10 of meadow, of the Earl of Gloucester, as appearr from a roll, by the 8th part of a fee.

In the 21st of Edward III. Ralph de Stafford, and Margaret his wife, convey to John de Wesenham, citizen of London, a lordship from the heirs of Margaret. Maud de Bereford, also, in the of 20th Edward III. the 8th part of a fee; and Stephen de Talbot held lands here, in Derham, &c. as by the escheats in the 45th of Edward III.

After this, in the 22d of Richard II. it was in the family of the Derhams. Ralph de Derham was found to have held at his death the 8th part, and the 6th part of a fee of Roger Mortimer Earl of March, in this town, Derham, &c.; and, in the 13th of Edward IV. Thomas Derham Esq. was found to die seized of the manor of Wesenham, held by the 4th part of a fee; and Thomas was his son and heir, aged one year; and William Purchase had a grant of the custody of him, and his lands.

In the reign of James 1. Thomas Derham, Esq. was lord of Wesenham, Coldham, and Talbot manors, all which being united, were sold by the Derham (of whom see in West Derham) to the Soames; and Colonel Edward Soame died lord in 1706, whose daughter and heir, Mary, brought them by marriage to Soame Jenyns, Esq. of Botleshamhall in Cambridgeshire, (son and heir of Sir Roger Jenyns, Knt. by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Peter Soame, Bart.) member of parliament for the town of Cambridge, and one of the honourable lords of trade and the plantations, who is lord of the whole town.

In the 32d of Henry VIII. Thomas Derham had the grant, December 8, of the messuage and lands here belonging to the abbey of West-Derham.

The lete was in Sir George Hare; the fee 16d.

The tenths were 5l. 14s. 8d.—Deducted 1l. 6s. 8d.

The Church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was a rectory, Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Clare and Brion in Normandy, gave in the reign of William II. the lordship and the church of St. John of Clare in Suffolk, to the abbey of Bec in Normandy; (fn. 4) and this church was confirmed to them by Pope Alexander III. and was appropriated, the spiritualities being taxed at 20 marks, (a vicarage was settled, valued at 40s.) and there belonged to it a manor with 50 acres of land.


Alexander occurs vicar in the 27th of Edward I.

1308, Walter Baldwin instituted, presented by the prior and convent of Stoke by Clare, in Suffolk.

1335, Robert Rikke. Ditto.

1381, William Sempiere, by the King: the temporalities of the priory then in the King.

William Normanton, vicar.

1390, John Stratton. Ditto.

1397, Nicholas Duffield. Ditto.

1398, Simon Attemore, by the prior, &c.

1440, Simon Bergh, by the dean of Stoke Clare.

1443, Robert Arnold.

1462, Thomas Hecock. Ditto

1486, Simon Jollyf, by Richard Ednam Bishop of Bangor, and Dean of John Baptist college at Stoke.

1509, Robert Bitson, by the dean, &c.

1515[?], Thomas Smith.

1523, William Penyon, by the dean, &c.

1527, Thomas Moor, Ditto.

1538, John Brcylisforth, by Thomas Westler, L L. B. on a grant, hâc vice, from the dean, &c.

1541, Thomas Underhill, by the dean, &c.

1554, Robert Parson, by Henry Hawe, Gent. who farmed the rectory of the Crown

1556, Robert Newton. Ditto.

1581, Elias Comeliche, by the Queen.

1589, William Ellis. Ditto: in 1603, he returned 89 communicants.

1608, Stanley, Waller, by the Bishop of Ely; the impropriated rectory, and the advowson of the vicarage being granted to that see, on the exchange of lands belonging to that see, and the Crown, by act of parliament.

After this, I meet with no presentation, the great and small tithes being leased out by the Bishop of Ely to his tenants, and so is now served by a stipendiary curate, and still stands charged at 8l. as a vicarage in the Valor Beneficiorum.

In this church was the guild of St. Mary.—It is a single pile, with a chancel covered with reed, and built of coarse stone, found in the neighbourhood; has a square tower, embattled, &c. with 5 large bells. On the pavement of the church lie some old marble grave-stones deprived of their brasses, in remembrance, probably, of the Derhams. Baldwin Derham, Gent. of Crimplesham, by his will dated in Febr. 1527, requires to be buried in the church near the south door; and, in the reign of Henry VI. there was a chantry founded here for Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Derham, Esq. of this town, daughter and heir of Baldwin Vere of Denver, Esq. brother of Robert de Vere of Addington in Northamptonshire, Esq.—Thomas Derham, Esq. buried here Ao. 13th Edward IV.

In the windows were formerly, argent six annulets sab. in a bordure, ingrailed, gules, Bexwell; sable on a chevron argent, three annulets of the 1st between 3 pewits heads erased, ermine, beaked gules, Gillour; also the arms of Scales and Bardolf.

In the churchyard, an altar-tomb in memory of Thomas Bishop, Gent. who died 1703, aged 72.

Queen Elizabeth, on the petition of Henry Lord Wentworth, granted, August 8, Ao. 27, to Theophilus Adams, and Thomas Butler of London, Gent. certain messuages, with considerable lands, late belonging to the college of Stoke, held of the King, as of the honour of Clare, in soccage, by Thomas Crimplesham.

The town takes its name from a small creeping run, or stream of water, here rising, and proceeding to West-Derham.


  • 1. Terre Rainaldi filii Ivonis—In Cre. plesham ten. Alid liba fem. T. R. E. ii. car. tre. sep. viii. villi. et iiii. bor. vii. et ser. et viii. ac. pti. tc, in dnio. iii. car. p. iii. mo. iiii. sep. i. pisc. et i. r. ii. an. tc. ii. por. tc. ccxl. ov. mo. ccc. huic. man. jacent xx. libi. hoes. ac socum et comd. de i. x. ac. tre. i. car. et dim. mo. i.—In eade. villa Tchillus tenet i. car. tre sep. i. bor. et i. s. et viii. ac. pti. et. dim. pisc. tc. i. car. jacent etiani v. libi. hoes. de iiii. ac. ad. soca. et comd. tantu. Hoc totu. val. sep. viii. lib.—In Creplesham iii. lib. hoes. de i. car. tre. sep. iiii. bor. et xii. ac. p'ti. de istis ht. comd. et consuetudine. tc. val. xvi. sol. mo. viii. —Totum Creplesham (et Toimere) ht. i. leug. in long. et dim. in lato. et reddit. vii. d. de xx. sol. de gelto Regis qcq. ibi teneat.
  • 2. Neustria Pia, p. 547, &c.
  • 3. Pat. 18. m. 1.
  • 4. Dugd. Mon. vol. iii. p. 1006, &c.