Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Westgate

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 Westgate', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807), pp. 32-40. British History Online [accessed 23 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Westgate", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807) 32-40. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Westgate", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807). 32-40. British History Online. Web. 23 June 2024,

In this section


Hugh de Montfort was lord of a considerable manor, in Burnham, at the survey, (which I take to be that abovementioned) which Bond, a Saxon thane, held in King Edward's reign; and Hugh was infeoffed of it, by Hugh de Montfort. It contained, in Bond's time, 2 carucates of land, 14 bordarers, 2 carucates in demean, one amongst the men, &c. 1 acre of meadow, a mill, a salt-pit, &c. and 7 socmen had 60 acres of land, and 1 carucate, valued then at 4l. and the same at the survey: it pays 3s. gelt in this hundred, and is measured in another. (fn. 1)


Stood in a close, which retains its name at this time. It took its name from the lords of it. Sir Hugh de Polstede married Hawys, daughter of Hugh de Candois, lord of Burnham-Mercate, and coheir, by Anselina his wife, daughter and coheir of William de Grandcourt: Julian, the other daughter and coheir, married William de Gymingham, and in the 7th of King John, they recovered one carucate of land, as heirs to William de Grandcourt, against Walter de Grandcourt: this Sir Hugh gave, by deed sans date, to the monks of Castleacre, for the soul of Hawys his wife, a piece of land in St. Margaret's parish, at Beresmere, by Depedale; witnesses, Sir Thomas de Sniterton, Sir William de Gimingham, &c.

Sir Hugh de Polsted and Sir William de Gimingham were found to hold two fees of the honour of Haughley, when an aid was granted on the marriage of King Henry the Third's sister to the Emperor of Germany; and in the 20th of Henry III. gave 25l. relief, for 5 knights fees, which he held of the King; and in the 26th of that King, paid 5 marks fine, for not attending the King into Gascoyn; he was son of Sir Hugh, by Hawys aforesaid, against whom Walter de Grandcourt brought an action in the 1st year of King John, for making Julian, his wife's sister and coheiress, a nun, (she being in his custody,) that so he might enjoy the inheritance of the said Julian; but it appears, that she afterward married William Jernegan, and in the 10th of that King, Hugh de Polstede and Hawys his wife, William Jernegan and Julian his wife, divided the estate, which came to them, as heirs to the Grandcourts, and the said Julian was remarried to Sir William de Gymingham.

In the 34th of Henry III. John de Polsted, and Edmund, son of William de Gymingham, were lords; and in his 50th year, Hugh de Polsted died, seized of a lordship here, containing 166 acres of land in demean, the medieties of the advowsons of two churches; and Hawisia aged 22, Petronilla 18, and Roesia 14 years old, were his heirs: this Hugh granted to the monks of Waverley in Surry, his manor of Compton, in 1260; witnesses, Sir William Branche, Sir Hugh de Ross, Knts. Stephen, prior of the convent of Christ's church in London, granted to Hugh de Polsted, by deed sans date, their land near the Thames, which William the priest held of them, who conveyed it to Hugh, for 19 marks, and the said Hugh gave the prior 2s. and the convent one sextary of London measure (unum sextarium Londinensem) of wine; and in the 51st of the said King, Petronell and Rose, daughters and heirs of Hugh de Polsted, had a right in the patronage of the church of Burnham All-Saints, and in that of Polstede in Suffolk.

In the 12th of Edward I. Edmund de Kemesek and Petronella his wife, daughter and coheir abovementioned, grant to Emme, daughter of Robert le Moyne and Roesia his wife, sister of Petronella, the moiety of the church of All-Saints, in Burnham, for that turn; Hawise, the other sister and coheir, was married to Thomas de Lambourn, by whom he had James his son; and in the 14th of that King, the sheriff of Norfolk had a præcipe, to deliver to Sir Ralph de Hemenhale, and Emme his wife, his right, or part, in this manor; the said Emme being daughter and heir of Roesia, by Robert le Moyne; and the said Sir Ralph, and Emme, and John de Gimingham, (fn. 2) appear to be lords in the 17th of that King.

Lambourn, who married Hawise, the eldest daughter and coheir of Polsted, resigned, as it seems, his right in this manor, for that of Polsted, in Suffolk; for in the 43d of Edward III. William de Cheyne, who married Joan, sister and heir of William de Lambourn, was lord of it. Petronella de Kemesek, by her deed, dated May 23 in the 1st of Edward II. conveyed her part, or right, in the manor of Polsted, in Suffolk, to Sir James de Lambourn and Mary his wife; her seal is of red wax, the impress being a woman bearing in her right hand an escotcheon, argent, fretty sable, and in her left, a chief indented, the first being the arms of Polsted, the other probably that of Kemesek.

In the 4th of of Edward III. Adam de Cockfeld, and Isabel his wife, conveyed by fine several messuages and lands in Burnham Westgate, and Depedale, with the services of certain tenants, to Robert de Swaffham and Christian his wife; and in the 21st of that King, John de Hemenhale, son of Ralph, had a lordship, and Ralph de Hemenhale, son of John, was found, in the 44th of the said reign, to pay 20s. per ann castle-guard to Dover, for his lordship held of the honour of Haughley. Sir Robert, son of Sir Ralph Hemenhale and Joan his wife, held it in the 3d of Richard II. she was daughter of Sir John Detapole. Knt. (son of Richard, son and heir of William Delapole, merchant of Hall, in Yorkshire) by Joan his wife, daughter and sole heir to John Lord Cobham; in the 3d of Henry IV. she was the wife of John Reginald Braybrook, who in right of his wife was lord, as was Sir John Oldcastle, in the 3d of Henry V. (her fourth husband) on the death of Sir Nicholas Hawbeke, her 3d husband. (fn. 3) Ralph de Hemenhale, Esq. cousin and heir of Sir Robert, having granted to Sir John Oldcastle, (called Lord Cobham,) and Joan his wife, this manor of Polsted-hall, in the 9th of Henry IV. the said Ralph was son of Thomas, brother of Ralph, who was father of Sir Robert de Hemenhale, husband of Joan.

In the 4th of Henry V. a proclamation was issued, that whoever should take Sir John Oldcastle, late Lord Cobham, (then attainted,) should be paid by the King, 1000 marks, and have 20l. per ann. for life; and if any corporation took him, an exemption from tenths and fifteenths through the kingdom: and on the 28th of April in the next year, this manor of Polstede-hall was granted by the King to Sir John Rothenhale, on whose death, about the 8th of the said King, it was granted to Sir Lewis Robsart, Knt. of the Garter, for life.

King Edward IV. in his 12th year, gave it to Thomas Ashe, for life, and on February 22d, in his 21st year, confirmed to John Fenys, and Anne his wife, for their lives. John had a prior grant in the 25th of that King.

In the 35th of Henry VIII. February 14, Edward Warner had a rerversionary grant of it, and Sir Edward Warner died seized of it in the 8th of Elizabeth, when it descended to his brother Robert, who had a license, in the 16th of that Queen, to alien it to his son, Henry Warner of Mildenhall, Esq. and in the following year conveyed part of it to Francis Cobbe; and in the 44th of the said reign, Thomas Rouse, Esq. had a præcipe to render the manor of Polsted-hall to Hen. Cornwallis, and Robert Drury, Esq.

By an indenture dated, December 6, in the 14th of King James, Sir Stephen Soame, Knt. &c. purchased of Charles Cornwallis, &c. Polsted-hall manor, with its appurtenances

Thomas Harris, Esq. lord in 1724. Pentney Wilkinson, Esq. is the present lord, and a justice of the peace.

In the 17th of Elizabeth, license was granted to Henry Warner, for alienating to Robert Jenyson, of this town, and his heirs, 200 acres of land, 60 of pasture, and a foldage in Burnham Westgate; and by an inquisition taken April 9, in the 25th of Elizabeth, on the death of Robert Jenyson, who died in the 22d of that Queen, it was found that he was possessed then of a capital messuage in this town, called Jenyson's house, held of the manor of Carbrook in free soccage; of 124 acres of land, formerly Heyward's, held of the manor of Thorp, in free soccage; of a fold course, called Tariff, and pasturage, called Breccles Lynge, and all the lands, late Warner's, held of the King in capite, and 50 acres called Pomfret's, held of that manor in free socage; and Thomas was his son and heir, aged 46.

The Earl Warren's manor of Burnham Thorp extended into this town, and was held of the Burnhams, lords of that town: (fn. 4) Ralph, son of John de Burnham, released by deed sans date, to the monks of Castleacre, a capital messuage which he had of them, with the homages, rents, services, &c. in Burnham. This descended to the Calthorps, by the marriage of Sir William de Calthorp, with Cecilia, sister and heir of William de Burnham.

In the 55th of Henry III. Sir William and Cecilia had a grant of an annual fair (in this town, as I take it,) on St. Peter's day, the vigil, and day after; also free warren, which seems to be only a confirmation of a prior grant to the Burnhams; for in the 41st of that King, Hugh de Polsted and Juliana de Gymingham took stallage, in the market of Burnham; and Juliana was a widow, in the King's donation, holding lands in capite of 12l. per ann.

In the 3d of Edward I. the said Sir William and Cecilia, were found to have a Saturday mercate, assize of bread and beer, and had, with Richard de Snetteton, wreck of sea at Burnham, and paid 20s. per ann. for it, to the Earl Warren; and in the 15th of that King, Sir William and Cecilia, Ralph de Hemenhale and Emme-his wife, and John de Gymingham, were found by a pleading to have a week y mercate, to take stallage, and toll of every cart passing over the causey of Burnham.

In the family of Calthorp it remained till Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip, brought it by marriage to Sir Henry Parker.

Breccles Manor.

The family of Breccles held also of the Earl of Arundel a lordship, which (as I conceive) was held, or farmed, at the survey, under the King, by Godric; Ulf, who was lord of it in the reign of King Edward, being deprived of it. (fn. 5) It contained three carucates of land, twenty bordarers, twelve servi, three carucates in demean, one among the men, &c. two mills, with the moiety of another, seven runc. &c. 600 sheep, a salt-pit, and one beruite belonged to it, with one carucate of land, &c. and thirty socmen belonged to it then, with two carucates. The whole then valued at 8l. per annum, and after, when Ralph, the Earl of Norfolk, possessed it, at 23l. and 12s. at the survey; it paid in tail 20l. and in the same village, Ketel, a freeman, had 20 acres, and another freeman, Oia, 30 acres.

On the forfeiture of this lordship, by Ralph, the Earl of Norfolk, the Conqueror being seized of it, and being in the Crown, and held by Godric, it remained so till King William II. gave it to William de Albiny, ancestor to the Earls of Arundel, of whom see in Rising.

John Benedict de Breccles died possessed of this manor, and the advowson of a moiety of the church of Burnham Westgate, St. Mary, with the manor of Grimston, (as may be seen under that township,) in the reign of Edward II. and John Breccles, his son and heir, was lord in the 20th of Edward III. but in the 15th of Richard II. Sir Robert Hemenhale was found to die seized of it; and Ralph Hemenhale, his nephew, released to Sir John Oldcastle, and Joan his wife, the manor of Breccles, and the advowson of the churches of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Margaret the Virgin, and All-Saints, in Burnham, in the 10th of Henry IV.

Reynham's or Lexham's Manor.

The ancient family of de Rainham gave name to a lordship in this town, held of the honour of Clare; and by the eschaet rolls, in the 46th of Edward III. Humfrey de Bohun Earl of Hereford and Essex, was found to die seized in capite, of the 8th part of a fee, held by the heirs of Ralph Hemenhale, formerly by Sir Edmund de Reynham.

Thomas Langton, and Agnes his wife, were deforciants, and Mr. William Yelverton, &c. querents, in a fine of the manor of Reynham, in Burnham Westgate, Burnham Norton, Burnham Sutton, St. Andrew's, Ulp, St. Edmund's, &c. when an annuity was settled on Agnes for life; and in the 15th of Henry VII. William Lexhom, Esq. died possessed of it; and, by an inquisition taken April 15, in the 9th of Henry VIII. this manor consisted of 500 acres of land, 500 of pasture, 20 of meadow, 40 of wood, and 100s. rent in this town, Norton, &c. after this, Mary, or Margaret Roos, widow, one of the daughters and coheirs of William Lexham, Esq. married first to William Lynn; William Dudley, Esq. son and heir of Frances, another daughter and coheir; George Chapman, and Joan his wife, a daughter and coheir, and Edward Beaumond, and Katherine his wife, another daughter and coheir, convey it with six messuages, and three fold-courses in the aforesaid towns, to Richard Southwell, Esq. in the 29th of the said King: Sir Richard Southwell was lord in the 38th of that King, who paid out of this manor, to that of Polsted-hall 34s. 4d.; to Burnham lete 9d.; to Burnham Sutton lete 4d. to the bailiff of the manor of Walsingham-Parva 4d. ob. to the bailiffs of Gallow and Brothercross hundreds; to the sheriffs 2s. 4d.

Richard Southwell was lord in the 6th of Elizabeth.—Afterwards in the Soames, in 1623;—then in the Harris's.

Thomas Harris, Esq. lord and patron in 1724.—Mr. Wilkinson, merchant of London, lord in 1758.

Burnham Westgate paid to the lord of the hundred, lete-fee, 3s. 6d. ob.

Concealed lands here, in the tenure of Robert Jenyson, granted September 22, in the 17th of Elizabeth, to John Herbert and Andrew Palmer.

The Church is dedicated to St. Mary, and consisted of two portions; that of St. Mary, belonged to the priory of Coxford, and that of St. Edmund, each valued at 12 marks. The prior of Coxford's moiety was appropriated, and had a manse with 30 acres. James de Thorp was patron of the other mediety: Peter-pence, 17d.—The prior of Castleacre had a portion of tithe out of the demean land, valued at 7s. per annum. Hubert de Britheworth claimed, in the 15th year of King John, the right of presentation to the church of St. Mary, against the prior of Coxford; and the jury, on the case, find that Hubert, grandfather to the present Hubert, had impleaded Ralph Belle, on account of the said right; and Ralph's right was allowed, (and he presented Thomas de la Folie to the vicarage,) as the prior's was at this time.

The church has a nave, a north and south isle, with a chancel.

The steeple is at the west end of the church, and embattled, and under the battlements is the old cipher, or name of the Virgin, and several small figures in niches; and four bells.

On grave-stones in the chancel, the following memorials:

Henry Thurlow, and Mary his wife, descended from the Thurlows of Burnham Overy; he died May 29, 1678.

Hic jacet Anna Dunwell, filia Thomæ Ducket, Generosi, Suffolciensis, Charissima Christopheri Dunwell hujus Ecclesiæ rectoris, obiit Decembr. die octavo, sepulta decimo, Ao. Domi. 1675. Bone lector, quicumq; es, et undecunq; advenis, quæso, ne amoveas hæc ossa.

Mary, the other daughter of Thomas Sotherton, of Taverham Esq; wife of John Thurlow, of Burnham Westgate, Gent. died April 12, 1705, aged 30, leaving three children, Mary, Anne, and Thomas;— with the arms of Thurlow, impaling Sotherton, argent a fess, and two crescents in chief, gules.

At the east end of the north isle lies a gravestone, with the effigies of a man in his gown, and a talbot at his feet.

On another, the portraitures, or effigies of a man between his two wives; and on a plate,

Of your charite, pray for the sowls of John Huntely, Mary and Anne his wiffes; the whyche John departyd to Allemyte God the 5th day of Jenevere, the yere of our Lord God m.ccccc.iii. on whose sowelles, Jeu. have mercy. Amen.

In the nave, on a large marble gravestone, with the portraiture of a priest in his habit, and a plate of brass,

Of your charite, pray for the soule of Sir William Hoker, otherwise called Gasteld, the wiche dessecid the xvth day of Nov. Ao. Dni. m.v.xl. on whose soule Jesu have mcy.

In the church were the arms of Hamenhale, or, on a fess, between two chevronells, gules, three escallops of the first. Delapole, azure, two barrulets undée, or, Scales, and Morley. The Earls of Clare, or, three chevronels, gules; and Reynham, sable, three mallets, argent; also those of Calthorp.

In the churchyard, an altar monument in memory of Robert Thurlow, woollendraper, who died September—, 1678, Aged 55.—and for Thomas Ward, Gent. who married the widow of Robert Thirlow, and died October 31, 1710, aged 63.

In this church were the guilds of St. Salvator, and that of St. Margaret.


1303, William de Rademylde, presented to a moiety by the prior, &c. of Coxford.

1305, Peter de Buxton. Ditto.

1308, Roger Swethyene. Ditto.

1328, John de Hickling, by Sir Benedict Brecclis, Knt.

Robert Weynold.

1348, Robert Chattok, by the prior &c.

1349, Hugh Richemay. Ditto.

1349, Robert Waryn, by John, son of Alexander Falstoff, of Yarmouth.

1361, John Clement, by Sir Ralph Hemenhale.

John Skemard.

1371, Simon de Helgay, by William de Hemenhale, and Regin. de Eccles.

1375, Henry Lydgate, by Regin. Eccles, and John Muriel.

1388, John Merch, by the prior, &c.

1390, Richard Wapound. Ditto.

1397, John Mason.

1898, Frenshe

1398, Thomas Wyght, by Sir Reg. Braybrook.

1408, Bartholomew Hoggard. Ditto.

John Balle.

1412, Thomas Codyth, by the prior, &c.

1412, John Terry, by the attorney of Sir John Rothenhale, Knt.

Coxford mediety was granted May 9, Ao. 29th Henry VIII. to Thomas Duke of Norfolk. In 33d of Elizabeth, Richard Bunting had a præcipe to deliver to Thomas Bunting, and Edmund Anguish, a moiety of this church.

In 1603, Mr. Nicholas Steere was rector, and certified, that there were 150 communicants; he was S. T. B. and the patronage was in Sir Charles Cornwallis.

Nathaniel Thornton compounded for his first fruits, of the medieties of Burnham St. Mary, St. Margaret, and All-Saints, in 1633, and Thomas Lushington, in 1640.

Mr. Spurling occurs rector 1696.

1724, Thomas Grome, on Spurling's death, by Thomas Harris, Esq. with, &c.

1742, William Smith, to St. Mary Westgate, St. Margaret, and All-Saints medieties, by Everilda Thornhill.

Burnham Westgate St. Edmund.

John le Moyne was patron about the time of Edward I when a chaplain resided, and served the cure, had a manse, and 20 acres of land, no Peter-pence paid, and valued at 40s.

1323, John de Ryskington, presented by Sir Walter de Calthorp.

1330, Thomas Matthew, by Sir William Calthorp.

1334, Thomas Derk. Ditto.

1341, William de Marston. Ditto.

1345, Alexander Mose. Ditto.

Anthony Wilkinson occurs 1627.

1628, Nath. Thornton, by the King, during the minority of John Soame.

1639, Thomas Lushington, S. T. P. prebendary of Sarum. (fn. 6) Ditto.

1655, Christopher Dunnell, by Sir Richard le Strange.

1685, Henry Spurling, by John Harris, Esq. He held it with St. Mary, mediety of St. Margaret, and the church of All-Saints, Ulph.

1724, Thomas Grome, to St. Mary Westgate, &c. as above, by Thomas Harris, Esq.

1742, William Smith, to Westgate, St. Mary, &c. by Everilda Thornhill, spinster.

Burnham Deanery.

It contained 35 parishes.
Mr. Adam de Walsingham was dean, 1218.

1316, Richard de Sutton, collated by the Bishop,

1333, Stephen de Sutton. Ditto.

1347, John de Hales. Ditto.

1349, Thomas de Wilton. Ditto.

William de Hales.

135-, John Carleton. Ditto.

1375, Walter Sandhull. Ditto.

1389, Richard Maudelyne, collated by the Bishop.

1412, Richard Golle. Ditto.

1420, Thomas Lane. Ditto.

1421, John Frank. Ditto.

1440, Thomas Wate. Ditto.

1452, Thomas Talboth. Ditto.

1494, James Godwell. Ditto.


  • 1. Hund. de Brodercross.—Tra. Hug. de Monteforti. in Bruneham, ten. ide. qm. ten. Bond. lib. ho. T. R. E. ii. car. tre. semp. xiiii. bor. sep. in dnio. ii. car. tc. houm. i. car. modo. d. silva ad viii. por. i. ac. pti. i. mol. tc. i. sal. sep. ii. r. tc. vii. por. modo iii. tc. c. ov. vii. tre. tc. i. car. et mo. i. tc. val iiii. lib. mo. simil. In hoc hundret. reddit iii. sol. de gelto, et in alio mensurata.
  • 2. John de Gymingham married Sibilla, daughter and coheir of Matthew de Gunton.
  • 3. Hawbeke, her husband, was living in the 9th of Henry IV. Oldcastle was convicted of Lollardish, in the 1st of Henry. V.
  • 4. Regist. Castle. fol. 45.
  • 5. Terre Regis qua. Godric. servat H. de G lgou in Bruneham, ten. Ulf. T. R. E. iii. car. tre. tc. xx. bord. mo. xvi. tc. xii. ser. mo. viii. tc. iii. car. in. dnio. p. et mo. ii. tc. hom. i. car. p. i. mo. nichil. silva. ad iiii. por. ii. mol. et dint. tc. vii. r. et mo. et xl. por. et dc. oves. i. salina, est i. beruit. huic man. de i. car. tre. tc. i. car. p. et null. mo. i. et. alia beruita de i. car. tre tc. i. car. et p. null. mo. i. huic. man. ptinent xxx. soc. de i. car. tre. tc. ii. car. et p. null. mo. i. Totu. hos valuit T. R. E. viii. lib. et p. qu. Radulf. Comes eum tenuit. xxxiii. lib. et iiii. d. mo. xx. l. ad numer. et in eod. villa. lib. ho. Ketel de xx. ac. et al. lib. ho. Oia. de xxx. ac.
  • 6. See Athen. Oxon. v. 2. p. 225.