An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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We learn from the Conqueror's book of Domesday, that there were at that time several fees, or lordships, in this town.
Hermer de Ferer, (or Ferrers,) a Norman nobleman, who for his services was rewarded at the conquest with 25 lordships in this county, and had by his own power, (a practice common on the conquest,) seized on, and invaded the lands of 32 freemen here, who, in the reign of King Edward the Confessor possessed 120 acres: of 25 of these, the predecessor of Hermerus had the protection, with 2 carucates, valued at 35s. Bordin holds of Hermer 3 of them, and a moiety of the rest; (fn. 1) and 7 of the 32 were under the protection of the predecessor of Roger Bigot, (on these the predecessor of Hermerus had no claim; and this was valued at 5s.) Hermerus had invaded them also. Of this Hermerus, see in Wirmegay. Out of this tenure arose 2 lordships, that of Curple, and that of Timworth.
Curple Manor, or Pentney Priory Manor,
Assumed its name from its lords.—Jeffrey Curple held half a fee in the reign of Henry III. (when an aid was granted on the marriage of that King's sister to the Emperor) of the honour of Wirmegay,
In the 9th of Edward II. Catherine and John Curpell were found to hold the same half fee in this town, Fincham, Roxham, and Fordham, of the Lord Bardolf, Baron of Wirmegay; and Roger Curpell was lord of it in the 3d of Henry III This Roger gave it to the priory of Wirmegay, and his grant was confirmed by the Lord Bardolf. (fn. 2)
After this, when the said priory was united to the priory of Pentney, it was vested in that convent; at the dissolution of Pentney priory, it came to the Crown; and, in the 29th of Henry VIII. was farmed by John Dethick, Esq. at 4l. 15s. 3d. per annum of Thomas Earl of Rutland, who had a lease of it from the court of augmentation.
On April 11. Ao. 4 of Edward VI. it was granted to Thomas Thirlby Bishop of Norwich, and his successours, and is now held o that see by Sir Simeon Stuart, Bart.; the site of it was in in a close, called Hall-Close, south-west of the abbey of Derham, and near to the fens.
This was most likely that lordship which John Houton Capellane gave to the priory of Wirmegay, held of the Lord Bardolf, by the 4th part of a fee, and payment of 6s. 8d. per annum to the manor of Wirmegey, Ao. 9 Edward III.
This manor assumed its name from its lords. Sir William de Timworth, lo d in the 2d of Henry III. and Richard de Timworth, held the fourth part of a fee of the honour of Wirmegay, in the said reign.
Thomas de Timworth was lord in the 14th of Edward I. and in the 5th of Edward II. this lordship was settled on John de Beccles, and Hawise his wife, probably daughter of Thomas.
After this, a fine was levied in the 10th of Edward III. when Robert, son of Ralph de Hemenhale, Knt. and Agnes his wife, settled a moiety of it on their trustees; and Robert Hemenhale, and Richard Bachecroft were found to hold it in the 4th of Henry IV. of the Lord Bardolf as part of the barony of Wirmegay.
John Badgecroft held it in the reign of Henry VI. and Richard Badgecroft held it in the reign of Edward VI. and left it to his son and heir Thomas, who was lord of Bexwell; and since that time has been enjoyed by the lords of that town,—Holt, Esq. of Redgrave in Suffolk being lord of Bexwell, and of this.
Roger Bigot, ancestour to the Earls of Norfolk, had, at the survey, a lordship consisting of 9 acres of land, with 3 borderers, valued at 10s. of which 6 freemen had been deprived, which Hugh held of Roger—In the said town he had 16 acres, of which a freeman was deprived, valued at 12d. and Hugo held it. Sunsant had only the protection or commendation of this freeman, in King Edward's time. (fn. 3) Roger had also 60 acres of land, of which Godric, a freeman in the Confessor's time, was deprived, held by the said Hugh; but the predecessor of Roger had the protection only of Godric.
This came by some grant to the abbot and convent: and, in the 2d of Henry VI. it appears by the eschaet rolls, that Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolk died seized of the moiety of one knight's fee in West-Derham. The estate of the Bigots came to the Mowbrays.—Of Roger Bigot, see in Pentney.
William Earl Warren had 30 acres of land given him on the expulsion of a freeman, and half a carucate (fn. 4) of this Earl; see in Castleacre.
In the 3d of Henry IV. the abbot was possessed of this, (and then found, of the Earl Warren's fee lately) in pure alms, and the 4th part of a fee; before this, in the reign of Henry III. he held the same.
Rainald, son of Ivo, had 32 acres of land belonging to six freemen. Wihenoc had invaded and seized on them; and, in his predecessor's time, they held it only under protection. (fn. 5) Wihenoc was a dependent (and held lands) of Ivo; the lands of this Ivo came after to the Earls of Clare; see in Crimplesham. In the reign of Henry III. the abbot held the 6th part of a fee of the heirs of William de Narford, he of the Earl of Clare; and, in the 3d of Henry IV. the abbot held it of the Earl of March, heirs of the Earls of Clare.
Ralph Lord Bainard held at the survey, and Luvell under him, one carucate of land, and one villain, with a carucate: out of this the abbot of Ramsey had 20s. rent in King Edward's reign, as the hundred witnessed; and there belonged to this manor 50 acres of land, held by freemen in the aforesaid reign, with one carucate and an half, &c. valued at 10s. the abbot of Ramsey had the soc of these men. (fn. 6) This last seems to have been part of the Lord Bainard's manor of Stoke, and was measured with it.—On the forfeiture of William Lord Bainard's estate, for his rebellion in Henry the First's time, this came by the King's grant to Robert Fitz-Gilbert, a younger son of Richard, ancestors of the Earls of Clare, which Robert was father of Walter Fitz-Robert, one of the witnesses to the foundation deed of Derham abbey, and who probably granted it to the said monastery.
The abbot of St. Edmund of Bury had a socman, with 6 acres.— The abbot also of St. Bennet of Ramsey had 3 socmen at the survey, with 6 acres of land, and half a carucate, valued at 12d.
The lordships abovementioned being united, and belonging to the abbot and convent of West-Derham, came to the Crown on its dissolution, and so remained till granted to Sir Thomas Lovell of East Herling, in the 1st and 2d of Philip and Mary.
The site of the abbey, with the lands following, were granted on December 3, Ao. 32 Henry VIII. to Thomas Derham. Esq. of Crimplesham, viz. Carter's Close, Great Moon-Shines, with Derham Grange, Barsales, East Brake Close, Fen Crofts, with the fishery in the waters of West-Derham and Roxham, &c. to be held by the 20th part of a fee, and the payment of 46s. and 3d. per annum, together with West Brake Close, Calf's Close, Oxclose, Heath Close, Old Tallow Beatles, New Tallow Beatles, Church-field, Redhill-field, Well-head-field, Downham wood, and lands in Feltwell, which the said Thomas died possessed of, August 29, 1554; and, about the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, Sir Thomas Lovell conveyed to Thomas Derham, Esq. the lordships abovementioned; all which remained in the family of the Derhams till the death of Sir Thomas Derham, Bart. when the inheritance came to Sir Simeon Stuart, Bart. (by the marriage of Elizabeth, sister and sole heir of Sir Thomas Derham,) who dying in 1762, his son and heir, Sir Simeon Stuart, Bart. of Hartley Mauduit in Hampshire, is the present lord, and knight of the shire in parliament for Hampshire. Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, married Hewar Edgley Hewar of Clepham, Esq. and left no issue. Ann, the 3d daughter, married George Bourne, Esq. of Enfield in Middlesex, and left a son and a daughter; also Mary and Sophia, the 2d and 4th daughters.
Sir Simeon Stuart married Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir Richard Derham, Bart. of Derham abbey in Norfolk, by the honourable Frances Villiers his wife, eldest daughter of Robert Lord Viscount Purbeck, and Elizabeth, daughter of the late Sir John Danvers, brother to Henry Earl of Danby, and sole heir to her brother, Sir Thomas Derham, who died at Rome in January 1738–9, and by her had Elizabeth, married to Hewer Edgley Hewer of Fotheringhay castle in Northamptonshire Esq.; he died Nov. 6, 1728, s. p. and Ann married to George Bourne, Esq. of Enfield in Middlesex; she died December 7, 1739, and Simeon, his only son, now living, Thomas and James dying in their minority, and other daughters, Mary and Sophia Derham.
The family of De Derham is of great antiquity.—Richard de Derham, Nicholas de Derham, and Elias de Derham were brothers, and witnesses to Hubert, the Archbishop's foundation deed of the abbey; and from this Nicholas, it is said, the family is descended. Jeffrey de Derham, and Alice his wife, impleaded Nicholas, son of Gervase, and John de Perchehaie for a free tenement in Riston, Ao. 10 R. Johs. (fn. 7) — Herluinus de Derham held lands of Ramsey abbey, and paid 7d. rent per ann. to them, as lord of the hundred, sans date.
Ralph de Derham was found to die seized of lands in Derham, Roxham, and Crimplesham, of Roger Mortimer Earl of March and Clare; Ao. 22 Richard II. and Thomas de Derham was living in the said reign.
Thomas de Derham, Esq. (probably his son,) lord of Crimplesham, was an eminent lawyer in the 5th of Henry IV. a feoffee for the manor of West Herling, and sealed with a buck's, or deer's head caboshed. In the 7th of Henry VI. he was justice of gaol delivery of East Derham, for the liberty of the Bishop of Ely, and married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Baldwin de Vere, Esq. of Denver, younger brother of Robert de Vere, Esq. of Addington in Northamptonshire, and was father of Thomas Derham, Esq. of Crimplesham, who by Alice his first wife, (fn. 8) daughter and heir of Gilbert Haltoft, one of the barons of the Exchequer, had John, who died a minor; and Elizabeth, who married John Fincham, Esq. of Outwell in Norfolk; and by his 2d wife, Joan, daughter of John Bennet of Bunwell in Norfolk, Gent. married in 1470, had Thomas, his son and heir.
Thomas, son and heir, a minor, by Joan (at the death of his father, who was buried at Crimplesham in the 13th of Edward IV.) married Isabel, daughter of John Paynell, Esq. of Boothby in Lincolnshire, by —,daughter of Philip Tylney, one of the lords of the Close of Lincoln minster. He died in 1531, leaving Thomas his son, Dorothy, a daughter, married to Thomas Gawsell, Esq. of Watlington, &c. Thomas, son and heir, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Audley, Knt. Banneret of Swaffham in Norfolk, and dying 1554, left by her a numerous issue.—Jane married Robert Lade, alias Baker, of Tyrington; Alice, to Humph. Guybon of King's Lynn, Thomasine, first to — Throgmorton of —, Esq. next to John Repps, Esq. of West Walton, and after to John Heath, Esq. of London.—Also 5 sons, Thomas, son and heir, Robert, John, Baldwin, and Audley; Ela, their mother, surving their father, married Thomas Guybon, Esq.
Thomas Derham, Esq. eldest son and heir, married first Amphillis, daughter of Sir Francis Lovell of East Herling; his 2d wife was Ann, daughter of Richard Catlyne, Esq. serjeant at law; but dying sans issue, Ao. 19 Elizabeth, was succeeded by Baldwin, his 4th brother and heir.
Baldwin, by his first wife Margaret, daughterof John Heath, Esq. of Durham, had a numerous issue; 1, Thomas; 2, Roger, rector of Branston in Leicestershire, and D. D.; 3, John; 4, Baldwin; 5, Robert, rector of Stukeley, in Huntingdonshire, and D. D.; and 6, Nicholas; and 5 daughters; Ann, married to — Prat, Esq.; Mary, to Sir Hugh Hamersley, Lord Mayor of London; Margery, to — Turfet, Gent.; Elizabeth, to Ant. Peninston, Gent.; Susan, to Henry Farington, Gent.; and by his 2d wife —, daughter of — Booth of Cheshire, he had Jane, married to Thomas Coventry of London, Gent.; Thamasine, to John Edes, rector of Lawford in Essex.
Sir Thomas Derham, son and heir of Baldwin, and heir to his uncle, Robert, which Robert is by some said to have purchased the lordship of Derham of Sir Francis Lovell of East Herling, was knighted by King James I. at Newmarket, Dec. 1, 1617. By his first wife Catherine, daughter of Sir Henry Anderton of London, had Thomas, his son and heir; 2, Henry, who married Olivia, daughter and coheir of Jeffrey Kirby of London, Esq. (fn. 9) by his 2d wife Ann, daughter of Thomas Gooding of Bliburgh in Suffolk, Gent. (fn. 10) and relict of Richard Gotts, Esq. He had no issue.
Thomas, son and heir of Sir Thomas Derham, was created a Bart. June 8, 1661. By Elizabeth, his first wife, he had John Derham, who is said to have married —, a daughter of — Codde, and died (as I take it) before his father, whom, by his marriage, or otherways, he had disobliged, so that Sir Henry Derham, Bart. was heir to Sir Thomas, by Elizabeth, his 2d wife, daughter and heir of Sir Richard Gargrave, Knt. of Nostell in Yorkshire; by Catherine his wife, daughter of Sir John Danvers. Sir Henry Derham, Bart. having no issue by —, his wife, daughter of Sir John Maynard, and dying in 1682, was succeeded by his brother, Sir Richard, who wasted his patrimony, and died in foreign parts; so that this estate was conveyed to his relation and cousin, Sir Thomas Derham, Knt. who for many years was envoy at the court of the Duke of Tuscany; after that resided here, and built the stately superb edifice of Derham abbey, now standing; and dying in 1697 a bachelour, made Sir Thomas Derham, Bart. son of Sir Richard Derham, Bart. by Frances his wife, eldest daughter of Robert Villiers Viscount Purbeck, his heir; who being bred in the court of the Duke of Tuscany, resided there, lived a single life, died at Rome, January 16, 1738, and was buried there in the church of St. Thomas, belonging to the English nation.
On his death, the inheritance came to the honourable Sir Simeon Stuart, Bart. of Hartley Mauduit in Hampshire, in right of his wife Elizabeth, only sister and heir of Sir Thomas Derham, Bart. aforesaid; and their only son and heir, Sir Simeon, is the present lord, and knight of the shire for Hampshire, and one of the chamberlains of the Exchequer, as his father was, who died August 11, 1761.
The abbey of West-Derham is about a mile south of the parish church; the old gate-house or tower is still standing, and entire, and seems to have been built in the reign of Henry VI. It is a noble, lofty, four-square pile of curious workmanship of brick embattled; at each corner arises an octangular tower, with quoins of freestone, and over the arch of the gate, which is of stone, wide and lofty, is this shield: azure, three buck's heads cabosed, or; the buck's head in base was pierced with a crosier staff, and was the arms of the abbey; this staff has been cut out some time past; but in the bow window of the room over the arch it still stands painted in the glass. The common seal of the abbey was, in 1429, and in the reign of Henry VIII. of an oblong form, and red wax,—The Virgin Mary standing under an arch, holding in her arms the child Jesus; over her head a star, and on each side of her an angel with a palm branch: the legend, Sigillum abbatis et conventûs See. Marie de Derham. On each side of this elegant gate or tower adjoining to it, Sir Thomas Derham, the envoy, built a long, stately, and lofty wing, with a quadrangle and a cloister on the south side, containing many grand rooms, galleries, &c. like the Italian palaces; and many offices, that it is capable of receiving any prince, and pleasures the taste of the most curious judges.
In a wainscoted parlour are these arms over the chimney, the quartered coat of Derham; azure, a buck's head cabosed, or, Derham, quartering, argent, on a cross gules, an annulet, or, Vere in the 1st quarter; and gules, an eagle displayed, argent, Goddard in the 3d quarter; gules, three dexter gauntlets, argent, and a canton checque, or and azure, Denver in the 4th quarter, impaling Anderton, argent, a chevron between three crosses flory, sab. and about the room are the arms of several families that married with the Derhams; viz. Fincham, Audley, Lovell, Catlyn, Repps, Guybon, Carvill, Hamersley, Montford, Gawsell, Pratt, Heath, Penniston, Painell, Booth, &c.
Derham impaling Scot; argent, three Catherine-wheels sab. in a bordure ingrailed, gules; Derham impaling Heath; also Booth, Catlyne; also impaling Haltoft and Bennet, ermin, an escutcheon gul. surmounted with a bend, ingrailed sab. and Painell, gules, two chevronels in a bordure, argent.
In this parish, south of the town, near the fens, is a farm-house, called Barsale, accounted formerly as a lordship. Thomas de Barsale was living in the reign of Edward I. In the 11th of James I. it was settled on Thomas Derham, Esq. on his marriage with the daughter of Sir Henry Anderton.
Afterwards it was sold to the Harbords of Gunton in Norfolk; and, about 20 years past, conveyed by them to Mr. Say of Downham in Norfolk; and Captain Say of the militia now possesses it. William de Barsale was living in the 50th of Edward III. and sealed with . . . . a fess dauncy, between six escallops, seemingly. In the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, Thomas Derham held it in capite, of the King, lately belonging to the abbey.
The tenths of West-Derham were 10l.—Deducted 1l. 6s. 8d.—Ramsey abbey temporalities were 3s. 6d.—The lete in Sir George Hare.
The town takes its name from the British word Dur, water, being near the fens, and the river Wissey; and also having three or four little rivulets or streams of water running through it. Thus Durham, Derby, &c.
Derham, St. Andrew's Church. There were in ancient days two churches in this town, that of St. Andrew, and that of St. Peter; that of St. Andrew is (as I conceive) the church now standing; and west of this church, in the churchyard, the site of that of St. Peter's may be perceived. In a small pannel at the summit of the present church may be seen the portraiture of St. Andrew painted on the glass.
It is a single pile, built of flint and other stone, in length about 52 feet, and in breadth about 20, with a chancel about 33 feet long, and 20 broad, covered with thatch. At the west end of the church is a large round tower of stone, found in pits in this neighbourhood, and called rag-stone, and on that is raised an octangular one of brick, embattled and coped with free-stone; on the decay of the old tower, in the reign of Henry VI. as I take it. On the summit is a cap or cover, with a weather cock; and in this tower hang 4 large modern bells.
On the pavement, at the east end, lies a black marble gravestone with these arms quarterly; in the 1st quarter, argent, a chevron az. between three squirrels sejant, gules, Lovell; 2d, sab. a cross argent, between four lions rampant, or, Bendish; 3d, vert on two chevronels, argent, six cinquefoils (3 and 3) gules, Muswell; and in the 4th quarter, barry of ten pieces, argent and gules, a lion rampant over all, or, crowned argent, with a ducal coronet, Brandon; the crest a plume of peacock's feathers.
—Here lyeth interred the body of Gregory Lovell, Esq. born in this parish, who departed this life the 29th day of Aug. Ao. Dni. 1693, in the 63d year of his age.
Against the north wall of the chancel is a neat marble monument; on it
Robertus Derham, armiger, filius natu secundus Thomæ Derham, armig. et Elæ Audley, filiæ Johs. Audley, militis banneretti, magnis impensis, crebrisq; summæ pietatis officiis in universam Derhamorum familiam, eximiâ humanitate in omnes singulari in colonos suos, et tenentes beneficentiâ, nativâ quâ quadam in pauperes West-Derham, et Crimplesham, (fn. 11) benignitate (cujus post se locuples et perenne pignus sanctum reliquit) deniq; integritate, prudentiâ, pietate, æquabiliq; morum constantiâ posteris multum cclebris et colendus; una cum patre suo charissimo Tho. Derham, armig. filio Tho. Derham, armig. et Isabellæ Painell, filiæ Johs. Painell, armig. annis plenus et cœlebs placide in Christo obdormivit.
Quibus propatri, patruoq; indulgentissimis, nec non omnibus officiis nominibusq; colendissimis Tho. Derham, filius Baldwini Derham, armig. pronepos, nepos et hæres monumentum hoc qualecunq; piæ memoriæ, et religioni sacrum posuit, dicavitq;.
On the summit of this monument is Derham's quartered coat, viz. Vere, Goddard and Denvere; on the right of this shield is Derham impaling Audley and Touchet quarterly; and on the left, Audley and Touchet quarterly. On the sides of the monument are several shields; Derham impaling Catlyne; Derham impaling Lovell; Derham impaling Booth; Throgmorton impaling Derham; Heath impaling Derham; Derham impaling Heath; Derham impaling, argent, three bulls caboshed, sab. attired, or, Walrond; Repps impaling Derham; Gybon impaling Derham; Lade, alias Baker, impaling Derham.
On the basis of the monument are these verses, now almost obliterated:
Propater et patruus quanvis sint morte perempti, Myriades vivent cælis cum conjuge Christo. Nam pater et patruus Christus, nos sanguine puro Ut consanguineos sibi fecit adoptionatos. Sic queis pura fides, queis vitâ hâc, pauper, egenus Sunt chari, quamvis cineres conduntur in urna; Hi tamen ut sancti penetrabunt nubila celsa, his Vita, salus, spes, pax, æternaq; gaudia Christus.
Against the said wall is a most elegant, curious monument of marble, made at Florence in Italy, with a large quartered shield, viz. Derham impaling Vere, Goddard, Denvere, and lozengy, argent and sable, on a bend of the second, three crescents of the first, Gargrave. In the sixth quarter, argent on a chief indented, gules, three cross crosslets, fitchée of the first; in the seventh, sab. three lions passant, in bend, between two bendlets, arg. Brown.—In the 8th quarter, sable, a cross flurt between four annulets, argent.—Also two crests, a boar sejant, sable, muzzled and chained, or, with a collar, and on his shoulder an annulet, argent, the ancient crest of Derham, and a falcon rising, or.
Under this in a lozenge, arg. on a cross gules, five escollops, or, with a mullet, sab. in the dexter quarter, for difference, Villiers. The ornaments of this monument are highly beautiful, and what is most curious is, that the field, with the bearings on each field and arms, is of marble, all in their proper colours, and inlaid.
D. O. M.
Thomas Derham, Baronettus, (fn. 12) Richardi Derham, Militis et Baronetti, et Franciscæ Derham, filiæ primogenitæ Roberti vicecomitis de Purbeck, filius; erga prudentem, providam et amantissimam matrem, necnon erga liberalitatem Tho. Derham, Militis olim-Jacobi II. Regis Angliæ apud Cosmum III. Hetruriæ magnæ ducem, ablegati, Richardi Derham de Boston in comitatu Lincoln. armigeri, primogeniti Richardi Derham, Militis et Baronetti Consobrini. Qui in manerium de Derham se redegit, propriis sumptibus denuò ædificavit dominationem redituum ampliavit, Viduam Consobrini Executricem Testamentariam, et filium hæredem constituit, et memoria beneficæ magnanimitatis illustrium Decessorum suorum posteritati transmitatur adhuc vivens hoc grati animi monumentam posuit, Ao. Dni. 1722.
Against the south wall of the chancel, enclosed with iron rails, is a sumptuous monument of marble and alabaster, rising to the top of the wall; on the summit is gules, a chevron between three mallets, or; the crest a hawk on the lure, Soame; on the cornish, a Cupid mourning, with two lamps. On a basis of veined marble stands the effigies of Colonel Soame in full proportion, in armour of alabaster; the workmanship of an eminent Italian carver, who, from a curious picture of the said colonel, has taken a wonderful likeness. On the pedestal is this inscription:
In a vault near this place lies the body of the honourable colonel Edmund Soame, of Derham-Grange in this parish, son of Edmund Soame of London, merchant, and Mary his wife; which Edmund was one of the sons of Sir William Soame of Thirlow-Hall in Suffolk; and she the daughter of Simon Middleton of Hackney, in the county of Middlesex, Esq.—In the reign of King William and Queen Mary, he went a volunteer into the wars of Ireland, and to their majesties and country's service dedicated the revenues of a plentiful estate, which he inherited; and having a captain's commission given him, behaved himself in all the wars during the reign of that king with such eminent courage and fidelity, that when Queen Ann came to the crown, her majesty first rewarded him with a lieutenant-colonel's commission, and afterwards with the command of a regiment; and being by his sovereign sent on an expedition into Spain, died as he was going, at Torbay in Devonshire, Sept. 8, 1706, in the 38th year of his age, being thus immaturely cut off, when he was in pursuit of, and ready to be rewarded with the highest military honours. In the time of peace, and during the recess of arms, he was several years a representative in parliament for the ancient borough of Thetford, in this county, where he approved himself to be as true and faithful a patriot in the senate house, as he was a brave and honourable commander in the field.
In the same vault, lies the body of his only sister, Margaret Green' who died Aug. 10, 1710, relict of Giles Green, Esq. according to her desire, between her husband and her brother; and in her last will, requested her executrix, Dame Elizabeth Jenyns, wife of Sir Roger Jenyns of Botlesham hall in Cambridgeshire, to erect this monument.
In the churchyard is an altar monument for
Thomas Baron, Gent. who died Aug. 4. 1725.
Ann Derham, Gent. July 6, 1567. William Fearnsley, Gent. Feb. 12, 1583. Peter Barton, Gent. Sept. 18, 1584.—Gibbon, Gent. Feb. 12, 1592. Robert Derham, Esq. Dec. 6, 1592. Cath. Derham, wife of Thomas Derham, Esq. June 21, 1616. Ann, wife of Roger Prat, Gent. July 21, 1619. Lady Ann Derham, wife of Sir Thomas, May 28, 1605. Edward Brampton, Gent. July 7, 1640. Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Derham, Esq. Jan. 24, 1640. John Derham, Esq. May 20, 1644. Sir Thomas Derham, May 28, 1645. Baldwin Derham, Gent. Sept. 11, 1658. Ann Derham, Gent. May 19. 1672. Lady Elizabeth Derham, Nov. 12, 1677. Sir Henry Derham, Bart. May 27, 1682. John Baron, Gent. Nov. 29, 1683. Gregory Lovell, Esq. Sept. 1, 1693. Sir Thomas Derham, Oct. 7, 1697. Colonel Edmund Soame, Sept. 26, 1706. Gyles Green, Gent. 1695. Mary Green, Gent. Aug. 1710.
William and John Millsop gave each 20l. in 1660, with which a town-close in Whintoft field was purchased, containing two acres and a half, let at 2l. per ann. and given to the poor.
Gregory Lovell. Esq. gave by will 500l. with which land is bought at Upwell in Norfolk, let at above 30l. per ann. He appointed a sermon to be preached in this church on Lady, Midsummer, and St. Thomas's day, by the curate of the parish, and 40s. for each sermon to be paid to him, the rest to the most necessitous poor.
In 1706, Mrs. Green of Derham Grange gave a large silver flagon, and inclosed the communion table with decent rails and banisters.
This abbey was founded in the reign of King Henry II. by Hubert Walter, then dean of York; the particular year is not known, but was between the year 1168, when he was preferred to that deanery, and the year 1189, (fn. 13) when he was preferred to the see of Salisbury, having bought the land on which it was built of Geffrey Fitz-Geffrey, and belonging to his own fee or lordship.
It was dedicated to God, and the Virgin Mary, for regular canons of the Premonstratensian order, who were to pray for his own soul, the souls of his father and mother, Ralph de Glanvile, justiciary of England, (who had the care of his education,) and of Berta his wife, as appears from the foundation of the charter.
— Omnib: sancte matris ecclesie filiis p'sentib; et futuris Hubertus, Dei gratia Eboracensis ecclesie decanus, æternam in Domino salutem.— Prudentis est hiis, que saluti anime proficiunt, dum potest intendere, et transitoriis æterna commutare. Quod quidem intelligentes in honore Dei, et gloriose Virginis Marie, matris ejus quoddam cænobium premonstratensis ordinis in feodo nostro apud Derham fundavimus, p. salute anime nostre, et patris et matris nostre, et Domine Radulphi de Glanvile, et Domine Berte uxoris ejus, qui nos nutriebant, et, p. salute fratrum sororum, consanguineorum, familiarium, et omnium amicorum nostrorum et p. fate domui et canonicis dedimus, et concessimus, et p'senti charta nostra confirmavimus totum tenementum in eadem villa cum 'pertinentiis quod de Galfrido filio Galfridi emeramus, &c.
The witnesses were John Bishop of Norwich, Ralph de Glanvile, lord chief justice of England, Walter Fitz-Robert, Geffrey Fitz-Peter, Richard de Derham, parson of the church, Nicholas de Derham, and Elias de Derham, brethren.
Walter Fitz-Robert, one of the witnesses, was ancestor of the Lords Fitz-Walter, and had a grant of the lands forfeited by the Lord Baynard. He married Maud, a daughter and coheir of Sir Richard de Lucy, justiciary of England, &c. Geff. Fitz-Peter was afterwards Earl of Essex, and Elias de Derham was afterwards one of the founder's executors, Ao. 7° Johs.
The founder was a native of this town, son of Hervy Walter, brother of Theobald Walter, chief butler of Ireland, from whom the noble family of Butler Dukes of Ormond are descended.
The first preferment in the church that I find him possessed of was a fourth part or portion of the church of Felmingham in Norfolk; (fn. 14) after this he was dean of York, one of the barons of the Exchequer, Bishop of Salisbury, and Archbishop of Canterbury, legate to the Pope, lord chancellor, and chief justice of England; no clergyman, before or after him, had so great a power and authority, and no man ever used it with greater prudence and moderation, being the prime minister of King Richard I. and King John.
In the 3d year of King John, he had a grant of the custody of the castle and forest of Windsor, dated May 4, apud Aumorl. viz. Albemarle in France; (fn. 15) and in the said year, one to recover all his demeans that had been lately alienated, dated at Vernole.
King John, in his first year, granted to the abbot and convent a weekly mercate on Wednesday, and an annual fair for four days, viz. on St. Matthew's, and the three following days, with toll, stallage, and all liberties belonging to a mercate and fair; dated at Westminster, June 10. Witnesses William Bishop of London, Hubert Bishop of Salisbury, (the founder,) Geff. Fitz-Peter Earl of Essex, William Marshal Earl of Pembroke, Hamel Earl of Warren, &c.
In the aforesaid year, King John, by his charter dated at Roan in France, Sept. 7, at the request of the founder, confirmed to this abbey all their lands, rents, services and advowsons, which had been given by the founder of his own fee, and which he had of Geffrey Fitz-Geffrey, in the town of Derham, and exempted them from the services which Walter Fitz-Robert did to Hubert, their founder, which shows that Walter was a benefactor,) and to Geffrey Fitz-Geffrey, and the services which Hubert did to Walter Fitz-Robert. (fn. 16)
And, as far as belonged to his regal power, appropriated to them the church of Kirby Malgedale, which Adam Fitz-Adam gave the church of Katham, with the appertenances of the gift of Hugh de Diva. One knight's fee in Walton of the gift of Margaret, daughter of Alexander le Moine, and of Roger Buch, about which there had been a suit in the King's court, and they, by consent, gave up their right therein. The land at Iclington, which Hubert their founder, and Walter his brother gave, and which Hamo, son of Walter held, except 30s. rent per ann. belonging to the monks of Iclington. Land and tenements of the gift of their founder in Oxford, held of the priory of St. Frideswide, the rent of 40s. per ann. issuing out of a moiety of the fishery in Mersh-Fen, given them by Hamelin Plantagenet Earl Warren, and Isabel his wife, which William Curteis used to pay them at three terms in the year. What they held in Smalbregg, of the gift of Henry de Pomerai, and Walter de Marmion, paying to the said Walter 20s. per ann. Nine acres given by Simon Britton in the marsh, or sea-shore at Wrangle in Lincolnshire, to make salt-pits, with ground for a house, on the toft of William the priest, by Rythfleet bridge, with common of pasture for 36 cows or oxen.
Forty acres of land in Hillington in Norfolk, the gift of Roger de Pavilli out of his demean, with liberty of a fold, paying 2s. per ann.; the rent of half a mark in Playford, with certain homages, given by Hervey Fitz-Peter, (fn. 17) a moiety of the mill at Acton, which Walter, son of Peter de Warham, and the rent of 15s. in the mill of Ringland, which Julian de Swathfield gave; the rent of half a mark out of the mill of Tichwell, which William Luvel de Ibery gave: half a mark's rent given by Peter Fitz-Walter out of his mill at Irstede, to buy wine for mass in their church, &c. with soc, sac, tholl, and many other royal privileges, all granted by the King, under the hand of Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury: witness, Geffrey Archbishop of York.
Besides the benefactions here confirmed, I find the following persons to have been benefactors to this abbey.
Thomas de Burgh gave a messuage, many lands, quitrents, and a fishery at Upwell; and the abbot had a manor there.—Alan, son of John de Tilney, lands in Wigenhale, St. Mary Magdalen, and others of that name; lands at Lynn Seche, Tilney, Sadlebow, &c. and they had a manor at Tilney.—Hubert Ruffin, and Robert his son, lands at Oxburgh, in the reign of Henry III. and a several marsh in Stoke-fen.— Barth. de Brancaster, lands in Boughton, and at Barton Eastmore, where a manor belonged to them.—Sir Osb. de Stradeset, lands at Stradeset, with a fishery at Denver, Fordham, &c. in the river Ouse, and was buried in the abbey church; and Cecilia de Stradeset, lands at Stradeset, daughter of Richard de Stradeset.—Adam, son of Alan de Wigenhale, and many of that name, gave lands in the towns of Wigenhale.—Peter, son of Robert de Watlington, and Alice his wife, daughter of Roger de Wigenhale, lands in Wigenhale, St. Mary Magdalen.—Sir Frederick de Capravil, lands in Wigenhale; Robert de Capravil, and John his son, lands there, and in Islington.—Lætitia, daughter of Robert de Capravil, and wife of Richard de Stradeset, lands in Werham.—William de Sculdham, lands in Clenchwarton, South Lyn, Walton, &c.—Cecilia, daughter of Roger de Bukton, widow of John de Shouldham, lands in Bukton, and half a fold-course, there.—Will. de Meysi of Werham, lands in the field of St. Winwaloy in Werham, with a rent from Will. de Brancaster, and lands in Boughton; and Arnold de Meysi, lands in Werham.—Ralph son of Reginald de Barsale, lands at Riston; and Roger de Barsale, a messuage and lands there.—Will. de Ginney, a fishery at Helgey; Thomas de Agenny and Peter, son of Stonild, fisheries there.—Stephen de Stoke, lands at Stoke, and a right in 2 fisheries.—John de Badescroft a fishery in the river Ouse,—Peter de Narford, a fishery between Stoke and Witendun, and his right in the mill at Aketon.—Tho. de Buketon, and others of the said name, lands in Boketon, Berton, &c.—Ralph and Robert de Langwade, lands at Langwade, and in Oxburgh; the abbot had a manor here and in Cley, with a close, called Frith Croft in Shingham, leased in the 11th of Henry VIII. to Sir Henry Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, at 33s. 4d. per ann. all wards, reliefs, &c. excepted.— Alexander de Mara gave lands at Skredinton in Lincolnshire, in the reign of Henry III.—Hugh, abbot of Salley, granted to Roger, abbot of Derham, &c. his right of common or pasture, in the forest of Gysebourne in Yorkshire, as by fine, Ao. 53 Henry III. for the sustentation of his manor of Rahaved.—The abbot had a lordship at Ilketeshall in Suffolk, called Lions, and lands at Weybrede.—Jeffrey Platt gave 100 acres of marsh.—William Curteis of Well, in 1237, bequeaths his body to be buried here, and 15 sticks of eels yearly to the convent. (fn. 18)
In the 3d of Edward I. the abbot claimed the lete here of his tenants, and the assise of bread and beer, a fair, toll, weif, &c. the amercements of his men, who were exempt from being impleaded in any court baron, or county court, but in the King's court alone, and a gallows.
Sir William Howard, the famous judge, ancestor of the Dukes of Norfolk, gave lands in Tirington and Tilney, anno 29 of Edward I.
In the 19th of that King, the abbot had a lordship, in Barton; in the 12th of Edward II. license to purchase 38 acres of land and 5 of meadow in Berton over the ditch, and one messuage, with 12 acres of land in Tilney, of Richard Rigges and R. Goldy; and in the 18th, it appears that the convent was obliged to pray for Adomare de Valentia Earl of Pembroke, as heir to the Lord Monchensy, who had been a principal benefactor. The convent had a manor or lands in East Walton, given by Amica, wife of Alexander de Buterwythe, and one in Hillington.
In the 16th of Edward III. the abbot certified to the treasurer and barons of the Exchequer the value of their lands, &c. in Derham, Upwell, Riston, Stradeset, Stoke, Wretton, Cley, Oxburgh, Caldecote, Senghham, Fincham, Buketon, Barton, Bicham, Werham, Islington, Thorp, Lenn St. Peter's, and North Lenn, Clenchwarton, Bexwell, Fordham, Watlington, Holcham, Rigland, Weston, Thimblethorp, Carleton, Brocke, Aseby, Cleidon, North Tudenham, &c.
In the 33d Henry de Weting, chaplain, and Stephen Talbot of Fincham: gave one messuage, 140 acres of land and pasture, with 3s. rent in Riston, West Derham, Denver, Downham, East Walton, &c.; and in the 44th a patent for lands in Cambridge; and in the 16th of Richard II. one for 26 acres of land in Holkam, and a several fishery in Merche; also for a moiety of the manor of Denver, in the 47th of Edward III.
Henry de Wells, dean of Chapel field college in Norwich, archdeacon of Lincoln, &c. was a great benefactor, and at his death, 1431, buried here.
Besides the temporal possessions abovementioned, the abbot and convent had an interest in the following churches.
Derham, St. Peter's, given, as it seems by their founder, and appropriated to them, valued at 21 marks, and paid Peter-pence 11d.— Derham, St. Andrew's, given by Sir William de Timworth, Ao. 2° Henry III. and appropriated. The jury, in 3d of Edward I. found it to be the gift of that knight; that he held it of R. Curpel, he of the Lord Bardolf, who held it in capite, for this grant of Sir William Ralph, then abbot, and the convent covenant that he should be partaker of all their prayers, &c. valued at 21 marks, &c.—Kirkby Malondale, in Craven, Yorkshire, given by Adam Fitz-Adam, and appropriated.—Wretton in Norfolk.—One moiety granted by Peter de Narford, the other by Gilbert Buxi of Buckton, and Hugh Buxi, Ao. 16 Henry III. and appropriated.—Stradset in Norfolk, the gift of Sir Osbert de Stradeset, Ao. 34 of Henry III. for the relief of the poor and needy who shall come to the abbey gate; the rectory appropriated, and the abbot, &c. patrons of the vicarage.—Thorp St. Mary alias Geyton Thorp, in Norfolk, a moiety appropriated in the grant of Thomas de Hastings.—Ringland St. Peter's, in Norfolk, given by Julian de Swathfield (and appropriated) Ao. 2° of King John. —Holkham in Norfolk, consisting of two medieties, given by William Lord Montchensy, Ao. 2°. of King John, and appropriated by John de Grey Bishop of Norwich. One of the medieties is said to have been wrested from them by a lay-hand, and the other was recovered and confirmed to them July 16, 1347; the Bishop of Norwich nominated to it, and the abbot, &c. presented the vicar.—Holy Trinity church in Cambridge, of the gift of William de Gernemutha (Yarmouth) called vineter (a vintner there) appropriated, and patrons of the vicarage.—Katham, given by Hugh de Diva, Quære, if not in Yorkshire? —St. John Baptist's chapel, in Barton Eastmore, Norfolk, given by Barth. de Brancastre, to find two canons of this abbey to officiate therein: see in Eastmore.—Oxburgh in Norfolk; the patronage of this church was granted by — de Gournay, and Hugh de Holand, in the reign of King Edward III. and that King, Ao. 50, granted license to appropriate it, but it had no effect.—King Edward III. in his 10th year, granted license to the Lady Elizabeth de Burgo, to give, &c. to the abbot and convent 7 messuages, 112 acres of land, &c. to find a chaplain in the chapel of St. Winwaloe at Werham: see there. —Grimston in Norfolk.—King Edward III. in his 48th year, gave leave to Simon, rector of Castre, and Nicholas de Massingham, to appropriate this church, which they had of John de Wesenham, and of John, son of Benedict de Breccles, and that a vicarage should be settled, to be presented by the convent, and to which they presented in 1399. After this, the Earl of Arundel, who was lord of the fee, recovered it, being granted without his consent.
The spiritualities of this abbey, with the priory of Wynwaloy, were valued in 1428 at 81l. 6s. 3d.—The temporalities at 138l. 7s. 5d. q.— at the Dissolution. Dugdale says, it was in the whole valued at 228l. 0s. 0¼d. Speed, at 252l. 12s. 11½d.
Augustin was the first abbot.
Ralph occurs in the reign of Richard I. in the 2d and 12th of Henry III. of this Ralph I have seen the following deed:
Omnib; &c. Radulfus Dei gratia abbas de Derham, et ejusdem loci conventus salutem in Dno. noveritis, &c. Nos concessisse, &c. Adæ filio Galfridi de Hagebeche et heredib; &c. quator viginti acras terre que jacent in Uttwell inter terram prioris de Lewes, &c. reddendo inde nobis annuatim in p'petuum duodecem denarios de censu, &c. Et ut hec nostru donatio, &c. eam sigilli nostra appositione roboravimus.—Hiis testib; Rado. de Walpol clerico, &c. The seal to it is oblong, (Plate I. Fig. 3,) a dexter hand holding a crosier erect, alluding likely to their founder the Archbishop, and the legend—Sigillum abbatis et conventus de Derham.
Remigius was abbot in the 15th of Henry III. as by a fine then levied.
Angerius, in the 16th of Henry III. as by a fine.
Roger, in the 52d of Henry III.
Dionyse Walter, in the 14th of Edward I. as by a fine; and, in the 25th of that King, was an executor to William Lord Montchensy.
Simon, in the year 1304, as by the Register of Castleacre.
Walter de Donton elected abbot, had license given him to receive his benediction from the Bishop of Ely, on March 1, 1305. (fn. 19)
Paul de Tilney was admitted abbot December 21, 1313, and made to the Bishop of Norwich profession of obedience, which was in these words:
Ego frater Paulus, &c. electus Abbas, &c. subjectionem, reverentiam et obedientiam a sanctis patrib; constitutam secundùm regulam, &c. Tibi, Domine, Pater, Episcope, tuisq; successorib; canonice substituendis, et sancte sedi Norwic. salvo ordine nostro perpetuo me exhibiturum promitto.
John de Rocham, vel Rowham, a canon of West Derham, elected, admitted by the Bishop of Norwich, May 21, 1325, presented by the abbot of Welbeck in Nottinghamshire.
Nicholas occurs abbot in 1339.
William de Holt, admitted abbot by the Bishop, April 6, 1368, presented by the abbot of Welbeck.
Constantine occurs abbot in the 16th of Richard II.
John Flete occurs abbot in the 1st and 7th of Henry IV. he paid 6d. relief for lands held of the manor of Werham-Hall, at a court here, on Saturday before the feast of St. Margaret, Ao. 4 Henry IV. due on the death of Constantine, late abbot. (fn. 20) One
John occurs abbot, Ao. 21 Richard II. probably the same John, as appears by a deed of his, about lands in Well.
John, consecrated abbot October 5, 1412, in the Bishop's chapel at Thorp by Norwich.
Robert occurs abbot in 1428.
John Saresson, alias Wygenhale, occurs abbot in 1429; he was rector of Oxburgh, Yaxham, Massingham Magna, &c. dean of Chapelfield house, chancellor to the Bishop, &c.
John Lynn, abbot in 1459 and 1473.
William Makesley occurs in 1482.
John Martin, in 1488 and 1504.
John Wisbeach, in 1506.
William Norwich, admitted abbot by the Bishop of Norwich, Nov. 30, 1511.
Roger Forman, alias Formey, elected about 1522; in the 14th of Henry VIII. the bailiff of the Bishop of Ely had orders to distrain on the new abbot of West-Derham, holding a fishery at March in the isle of Ely by knight's service of that Bishop, 5l. being then due, and 2s. for relief. At the Dissolution, he surrendered the abbey, obtained a pension from the Crown of 66l. 13s. 4d. per ann. and in 1544 was instituted rector of Boughton, and died in 1548.
At the Dissolution, several of the canons of this house were found guilty of incontinency in a most shameful manner:
Ric'dus Norwalde, alias Marke, dicit in vim juramenti, et conscientiæ quod si omnes tamen ingenuè faterentur sua commissa Dno. Regi ut deberent, reperiret ne unum quidem ex monachis, vel presbyteris, qui aut utatur femineo congressu, aut masculo concubitu, aut pollution. voluntar. vel aliis id genus nephandis abusibus quare optaret—ex animo ut liceret eis omnibus quotquot velint uti remedio conjugii, et sperat Regiam Majestatem in hoc divinibus missa' esse in terris.—Sic dicit eliam Ric'dus Watlington.
—Præterea D. Tilney et Roger. Gargrave, qui gerebant curam animarum ruri, interrogati de usu nimis sodomit. dicunt quod illud crimen regnat ut plurimum in presbyteris tam secularibus quam regularibus et juvenibus qui nondum sunt conjugati, et illi etiam optarent remedium conjugii talibus concedi. (fn. 21)
In 1553, here remained in charge these following annuities or pensions to religious persons of this house: (fn. 22)
Thomas Hawe, 2l. per ann.—James Hawe, 1l. 10s. per ann.
John Jackson, 5l. per ann. This man was married and divorced from his wife in the reign of Queen Mary; he then lived at Werham, and probably served the cure there.
This abbey being of the Premonstratensian order, it may not be improper to give here the genealogy of it, which was always religiously kept, and observed in all religious houses.
Premonstratum begat Liskes. — Liskes, a Norman Premonstratensian abbey begat Newhus. — Neuhous in Lincolnshire, the first Premonstratensian abbey in England, begat Welbeck. — Welbeck in Nottinghamshire, the 3d Premonstratensian abbey in England, begat West-Derham.— West-Derham in Norfolk, the 12th Premonstratensian abbey in England.
In 1465, the 5th of Edward IV. the state of this abbey is thus represented in a MSS. Register of the Premonstratensian Order. (fn. 23)
1. Archiepiscopus Cantuar. est Fundator.
2. Abbas de Welbeck est Pater Abbas.
3. Quinq; habet ecclesias curati; quidam canonici perpetui, quidam seculares, quidam revocabiles.
4. Fundatum erat in honore B. Marie Virginis ad festum assumptionis, Anno Dom. m.c.lxxxviii.
Hubert Walter, the founder, being afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, all his successours in the see of Canterbury from him had the title, and in times of necessity were applied to, as founders, or patrons.
The abbot of Welbeck was father-abbot, because Derham had its first canons from Welbeck; and for this reason, when the abbot of Derham died, the canons always sent his seal to that father-abbot; and, at the same time, prayed him to fix a day when he would be at Derham to see them make a fair election of a new abbot, and himself intsall him; and it appears that the abbot of Welbeck presented the new abbot to the Bishop of Norwich for admission, &c.
In 1506, Thomas Wilkinson, abbot of Welbeck, and commissarygeneral to the abbot of Premonstratum, went his progress to visit all the abbies of this order. He arrived here 20th of October at suppertime; on the 21st he visited this house; on the 22d he made an end, and lay that night at Ely, at the charge of the abbot of Derham.
Persons here buried:
Sir Osbert de Stradeset, Knt.—Roger de Hengham, rector of Buckton, alias Boughton.—Henry Wells, archdeacon of Lincoln, and dean
of St. Mary's College in the fields at Norwich, buried here in 1431. (fn. 24)
—Ellene Gawsell, Gent. (fn. 25) of Watlington, by will dated on the feast of St. Clement, 1504, desires to be buried in the monastery of Our Lady at West-Derham, and gives to John Martin, abbot, an image of the salutation with a vernakill. (fn. 26) —Thomas Gawsell of Walyngton, Esq. her husband, wills in 1500, to be buried in the chapel of St. John in Derham abbey.—Richard de Fransham, Esq. wills in 1378 his body to be buried here, proved 8 May, the said year, dated at Langford, Norfolk; John de Methwold, his nephew, and executor.—Reg. Heyton.