An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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This town, at the grand survey, was in the tenure of several great Norman lords; the Earl Warren had 2 carucates of land, of which a freeman belonging to the soc of Ramsey abbey was deprived, and Hugh held it under that Earl; also the lands of 24 freemen, with 6 borderers, 4 servi, 10 acres of meadow, 2 carucates in demean, and half a carucate of the tenants, valued at 60s. (fn. 1) The said Earl had here the tenures of 8 freemen, who were expelled, with 11 borderers, 5 servi, being 2 carucates in demean, half a carucate among the tenants, 16 acres of meadow, and when he took possession of it, there were 200 sheep, &c. 6 cows, &c. 4 runci, valued at 60s. at the survey, before at 40s. (fn. 2) —William held this of the Earl.
William Brant held of the Earl in the said town 2 carucates of land, of which a free woman was deprived, with 2 freemen, 4 borderers, 4 servi, 16 acres of meadow, 12 carucates in demean, &c. valued at 30s. with 12 acres, valued at 12d. (fn. 3) This whole manor of Fincham was one leuca long, half a leuca broad, whoever was lord, and when the hundred and half paid 20s. gelt, it paid 16d. gelt.
The town seems to take its name, as seated by low meadows, &c. thus Finchley in Middlesex, Finching field in Essex.
This was a very considerable manor, and took its name from the family of Talbot, who were soon after the conquest enfeoft of the same by the Earl Warren, to this lordship and family, the patronage of the church of St. Michael in this town belonged. William Talbot gave it to the priory of Castleacre, founded by the Earl Warren, and was confirmed by John Bishop of Norwich, who ordained that the monks should receive a mark of silver yearly. This John was John of Oxford, Bishop in the reign of Henry II. The deed of William Talbot is sans date; (fn. 4) he gives therein the advowson, and all things thereto belonging, which he or his heirs had therein, or could give:—Witnesses, John Bishop of Norwich, Thomas, archdeacon, (fn. 5) John, archdeacon, Master Peter de Tilneia, Master Gervase, son of Nicholas. Jeffrey Talbot, by his deed sans date, gave to the said priory a croft, called Bekelofvescroft, and 7 acres of land:—Witnesses, Richard Curpeil, Hugh de Suldham, Sampson his nephew, John de Swaffham, William de Geldeford: he also gave the homage of William Swein, with all his cattle, &c.—Witnesses, Roger and Richard Curpeil, William de Littlewell, William de Suldham, &c. and in the reign of Henry III. when an aid was granted to that King, Sir Sampson Talebot, and Adam Talebot held two knights fees here of the Earl Warren; the said Sampson confirmed the grant of the advowson aforesaid, and also gave to the monks of Castleacre a toft called Skevening, and 4 acres of land:—Witnesses, William, prior of Rudham, (fn. 6) Hugh de Suldham, William his brother, John de Fincham, &c. In the 35th of Henry III. a fine was levied between Hugh, son of Adam Talbot, querent, and Sampson Talebot, tenant, of one carucate of land and an half here, in West-Derham, &c. released to Sampson; (fn. 7) after this, the said King granted to Robert le Bigod the lands of John Talbot in this town, who took part with the rebellious barons.
In the 14th of Edward I. John de Pagrave, chaplain, settled lands as a trustee on Adam Talbot, and Petronella his wife. (fn. 8) This Adam had a manor and free tenants, a messuage, 2 carucates of land, 10 acres of meadow, a windmill, free bull and boar, 16 customary tenants who held 50 acres in villanage, and 7 cottages, held of William de Wauncy, and he of the Earl Warren.—In the 9th of Edward II. Peter Talbot, and Cecilia his wife, held the same; in the 20th of Edward III. John Talbot was lord; and in the 35th of that King, on the 18th of June, the prior and convent of Castleacre, let to farm (as patrons of St. Michael's church) to Thomas Buxkyn, rector of the said church, with the consent of Thomas Bishop of Norwich, two parts of the demeans, formerly of Nigell, and William de Spineville, Sampson Talebot, Richard de Mayners, Richard de la Coumbe, and of John de Littlewelle in Fincham, containing in all 860 acres of land, at the rent of 7 marks per ann. (fn. 9)
Thomas Talbot, son and heir of Thomas, was lord in the 17th of Henry VI. and sealed with six dexter hands couped at the wrist, which was the shield of Wauncy, who bore them, argent, in a field, gules; and Thomas Talbot, Gent. died seized of it, March 18, 1477, leaving Christopher his son and heir, John his son, and Florence his daughter; (fn. 10) and appoints Catharine his wife executor, and John Fincham, Esq. supervisor.
In the 36th of Henry VIII. John Spring, Esq. conveyed it to Edmund Lumnour, and Rose his wife; and in the 7th of Edward VI. Lumner conveyed it to Thomas Drury; (fn. 11) but most of the demeans were separated from it before this; and soon after it came to the Finchams; and William Fincham conveyed it, 12th of Elizabeth, to Charles Cornwallis, Esq. who married his sister; Cornwallis, on Nov. 1, in the 28th of that Queen, to Thomas Gawsell, Esq. &c. On Aug. 30, in the 32d of the said Queen, it came to Francis Gawdy, Esq. (afterwards a judge) and by the marriage of his grand-daughter to the Earl of Warwick: and on May 20, and in the 18th of James I. was conveyed by him, Sir Thomas Cheek, and the Lady Essex his wife, to Sir Ralph Hare of Stow Bardolf, in whose family it continues; Sir George Hare, Bart. being late lord.
William de Littlewell was lord before the reign of Henry III. Sampson de Littlewell, in the said reign, held one messuage, 60 acres of land, 2 of meadow, with free tenants and villains, free bull and boar of the Earl Warren, by the moiety of a fee. (fn. 12) In the 17th of Edward II. John de Littlewell of Fincham conveyed it to Hugh de Holewoton, alias Helgeton, and Maud his wife, and Simon their son; and Maud, widow of the said Hugh, gave it to Agnes her daughter, by deed, sealed with barry of eight. Gregory Attelathe held it in the 14th of Richard, II. and after that Thomas Thoresby; but, in the 9th of Henry IV.
William Thuxton and Margaret his wife conveyed it, by fine, to the Lady Alianore Inglethorpe, relict of Sir William, who, in the said year, gave it to John Allen of Fincham. After this, Nicholas Geyton was lord, who by his will dated Nov. 10, 1476, gave it to Thomas his son; and was buried in the midst of St. Martin's church here; but in 1489, this manor, with 2 fold-courses, free bull and boar, &c. with a right of fishery, and pools in Littleport, Southrey, Hilgey, Fordham and Well, passed from the Geytons into the family of Fincham. In the 32d of Henry VIII. John Fincham died lord of it; and in the 12th of Elizabeth, William Fincham conveyed it to John Heigham, from whom it came to Thomas Gawsell, Jasper Blake, &c. who in the 32d of that Queen, sold it to Edmund Guybon and John Mundeford, Gents. then to Judge Gawdy, &c. and in the 17th of King James, Sir Thomas Cheek, &c. conveyed it to William Rolph, and so came to Sir Ralph Hare, in whose family it continues, being united with their other manors here.
In the beginning of the reign of Henry III. Richard de la Comb was lord; and Edmund de la Comb, son of Richard, in the 16th of Edward I. whose daughter and heir, Joan, relict of Simon de Harptegne, possessed it in the 3d of Edward III. as appears by her deed and seal, with a head (probably that of St. John Baptist) in a charger and a bird in chief. She had two sons, Simon and Edmund; Simon assumed the name of Comb, and was lord in the 21st of the said King, as appears by his deed sealed with 4 escutcheons, two in fess, each charged with two men's heads couped, and respectant; one in chief, with a lion rampant, and one in base, with a lion couchant. Edmund aforesaid held of the Earl Warren one messuage, 20 acres of land, one of meadow, several free tenants, and had 3 villains, who held 18 acres. In the 6th of Henry IV. the heir of Thomas Combe of Fincham, held the same of the duchy of Lancaster, and was then (being under age) in the king's ward. In the 16th of Henry VI. John Stourton, and others were pardoned for purchasing without license of the dean of Wells this manor; but in the 27th of that king, John Bexwell was lord; and Thomas Bexwell, in the 4th of Edward IV. In the 4th of Henry VII. Richard Bexwell kept his first court as lord; and on March 28, in the 20th of Elizabeth, Francis Bexwell, Esq. sold it to Charles Cornwallis, Esq. then it came to Thomas Gawsell, &c. as above, and to Sir Ralph Hare, &c. and so it was united to the other lordships.
John de Benefeld was lord in the reign of Henry III. William Benefeld his son (as I take it) married Agnes, daughter of Richard de Mayners; which Richard had also a lordship here, and gave the tithe of his demeans to the priory of Castleacre. This Agnes being a widow, and Isabel her sister and coheir, wife of Philip Newland, came to a division of their inheritance about the end of the aforesaid reign, whereby Isabel was to have lands in Marham, and her heirs; and Agnes, and her heirs, lands in Halseton and Orlarswyk in Sussex; and both agree, that the land in Fincham, held in dower by Latitid, their brother Ralph's widow, should be equally divided after her decease; but the capital messuage there should be Isabell's. In the time of Edward I. Richard de Benefeld held it of the Earl Warren, by the 4th part of a fee; he had 60 acres of land, with a messnage, 6 of meadow, several free tenants and villains, free bull and boar. In the reign of Edward II. John de Benefeld was lord; the manor was then valued at 9l. 2s. 4d. ob. per ann. rent of assise of the free tenants, and the capons at 25s. and 4d. of the villains 7s. 8d. hens 8s. 2d. and the customary works, at 13s. 4d. per ann. about the 6th of Henry IV. it was in the hands of Joan, widow of John de Benefeld. Afterwards it came to the Finchams, Gawdy, and so to the Hares, and is united as above.
In the reign of Henry III. Ralph Newland was lord; the said Ralph held of the Earl Warren a messuage, 6 acres of land, one villain, who held 6 acres of land, free tenants, and one cottager by the 4th part of a fee. Barthol. Newbant was lord of it in the 20th of Edward III. but about the 6th of Henry IV. John de Fincham was possessed of it; from which family it came, in the reign of Elizabeth, to Gawdy, &c. and so to the Hares, and is united to the other lordships.
New-Hall, and Neleshall Manors.
John, son of John of Newhall, was lord in the 7th of Edward II. and John of Newhall, and Catherine his wife, in the 3d of Edward III. in the 17th of Henry VI. John, son of John de Benefeld, and Richard Say, conveyed the manor of Neleshall to William Isle, &c.; but in the 33d of Henry VIII. John Fincham died possessed of them; and in the 12th of Elizabeth, William Fincham sold it to John Heigham; from him it came, in the 32d of that reign, to Gawsell, so to Gawdy, &c. and the Hares, and is united to the other lordships with that of NewHall also.
Was a considerable lordship, held by a family that gave name to it under the Earl Warren. Nigellus de Fincham was lord in the reign of William II. and gave the tithe of his demean to Castleacre priory. Osbert de Fincham lived in the time of Henry II. Reiner, eldest son of Osbert died s. p. Robert his brother had a son John, and Richard was son and heir of John, as appears by a pleading in the 43d of Henry III.
William de Fincham, and Julian his wife, occur in the 52d of Henry III. Adam was his son and heir, who married Annabel, daughter of David Denys. Adam was attorney-general to King Edward II. Ao. 18. Thomas de Fincham was son of Adam, as by a fine, Ao. 22 Edward III. and sealed with a lion rampant, and a bend, ermine: John, and Christian his wife, called also son of Adam, were living in the 45th of that King; and in 48th, she was the wife of Simon de la Hay. (fn. 13) The first wife of this John seems to have been Alice, daughter and heir of Robert de Causton.
John Fincham, son of John, aliened lands in the 16th of Richard II. to the prior of Ely. Simon Fincham, son of John, married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of John Tendring, Esq. of Brockdish in Norfolk. His last will is dated Nov. 25, 1458; (fn. 14) was buried in the church of St. Martin's of Fincham, and appoints John his son, and Elizabeth, his wife executors; he had a daughter Alice married to John Batchcroft, Esq.
John Fincham, Esq. son of Simon, was steward of the manors of the abbot of Ramsey, and took to wife Beatrix, daughter of Thomas Thoresby of Lynn; and dying Setember 6, 1496, was buried in St. Martin's church.
John Fincham, son and heir of John, died soon after his father, on April 30, 1499. He seems to have married two wives: in the church of St. Martin's, on his gravestone, were to be seen the arms of Fincham impaling, argent, a fess between three martlets in chief, and a chevron in base, azure, Tey of Essex; Jane, daughter and heir of Sir John Tey, was one of his wives; also Fincham impaling, lozengy . . . . on a chief, an eagle displayed . . . . .
John Fincham, his son and heir, married to his first wife Alice, daughter of Thomas Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, and to his 2d wife Ela, daughter of Gregory Edgar; he died Oct. 8, in the 32d of Hen. VIII. Ela, his widow's, will is dated Jan. 24, in the 32 of Henry VIII. mention is made therein of her son Thomas Fincham, and her daughter Ela, her father Gregory Edgar, her sister Calibut, her cousins Osbert Mundeford, and Richard Batchecroft; (fn. 15) Ela her daughter died a maid, Feb. 28, after her mother. In her will, dated Feb. 9, she desires to be buried in St. Martin's church; appoints her brother Thomas executor; Sir John Spilman, supervisor, mentions therein her aunts Newton, Skipwith, and Calibut by the father's side; her cousins Mary and Catherine Calibut, her cousins John Shouldham, Sim. Fyncham.
Thomas Fincham, son of John and Ela, married Martha, daughter of William Yelverton, Esq. of Rougham in Norfolk, afterwards married to John Heigham, Esq. His will is dated March 1, 1550, and proved 21 Dec. 1551; (fn. 16) mention is made therein of his son William, and daughter Ann, his brother Henry Yelverton, his uncle Calibutt, his cousins Fincham of Well, and Fincham of Westwynche; appoints his wife executrix, and her father Yelverton, supervisor. He died possessed of several manors here; manors, lands, and tenements in Burnham Depedale, B. Norton, B. Westgate, B. Sutton, B. Ulpe, Brancaster, Hunworth, Holt and Edgfield, in Barton Bendish, Stoke Ferry, Wretton, Werham, Buckton, Shouldham, Roxham, and Seche, in Norfolk. Of manors, lands, and tenements in Brantham, Catywade, East Bergholt, Capell, and Sutton in Suffolk.
William Fincham, his son and heir, succeeded, and married — daughter of — Lovell; and dying without issue in the 14th of Elizabeth, having conveyed this lordship, as is before observed, to Charles Cornwallis, Esq. who married his sister Ann, and conveyed it to Thomas Gawsell, whence it came to Gawdy, &c. so to the Hare family; and Sir George Hare, Bart. was the late lord.
Burnham, or Bronham-Hall.
Philip de Burnham held also a lordship here, under the Earl Warren, as I take it. (fn. 17) He and Emma his wife, and William his son and heir, gave to the monks of Castleacre his mill in this town, with the site thereof, viz. five perches of land, which he exchanged with William, son of Osbert of the said town; witnesses, Frederick de Hakeford, Roger Spriggens, Rein, de Dunton, John de Watlingeton, &c. and Emma in her widowhood confirmed the same grant; witnesses, Frederick, &c. sans date: afterwards it came to the Grandcourts.
Roger Grancourt and Joan his wife grant, in the 18th of Edward II. to Ralph de Keteleston, burgess of Lynn, &c. two parts of this manor in Fincham and Stradset; (fn. 18) also the 3d part which William de Atehaw and Agnes his wife held in dower; and in the 12th of the said King, Ralph de Keteleston held a court as lord; but in the 25th of Edward III. John de Fincham was lord, and kept his court, (Keteleston's right being conveyed to him,) and in the 29th of the said King, William de Barsale, Robert Eyle, and John Emmesson held a court in right of some part of the same; but soon after the whole was in the Fincham family, and came with their other lordships to the Hares.
The next capital and considerable lord at the survey was Hermerus de Ferrariis, who had 3 carucates of demean land, 3 villains, 15 bordarers, 7 servi, 13 acres of meadow, &c. and a right in the 4th part of a church, and 260 sheep; to this belonged a wood half a leuca long, and the manor was a quarter of a leuca broad, and a quarter long, valued at 8l. per ann. He had also seized on 20 freemen, who held in the Confessor's time 2 carucates of land, 2 carucates and 10 acres of meadow, valued then at 60s. after at 58s. and 4d.—Also 16 acres, valued at 10d. per ann. (fn. 19) Eight of these freemen were under protection, belonging to the lord's fold, in King Edward's time; the rest of these freemen held their land under protection only.
This afterwards descended (as may be seen in Wirmegay) to the Lords Bardolfs, and constituted also several lordships, as follows:
Was part of the barony of Wirmegay, and seems to be held of it in the 20th of Henry III. by Waleran de Teyes. In the beginning of the reign of Edward I. Roger de Predetyn, son of Peter and Ascelina his wife, held it under the Lord Bardolf by the service of half a fee; it consisted of free tenants, 21 villains, who held 60 acres, and cottagers; 2 messuages, 2 carucates of land, 10 acres of meadow, free bull and boar. It came afterwards into the family of Trusbut; and Laur. Trusbutt, Esq. was lord in the reign of Richard II.—On the death of Will. Lord Viscount Beaumont, who died without issue in 1507, the barony of Wirmegay eschaeting to the Crown, King Henry VIII. on the 23d of May, in his 6th year, let to farm this manor, with the perquisites of court, to Sir John Tilney, Knt. and John Fincham, Esq. for 21 years, paying 8l. per ann. and in the 5th of Edward VI. it was granted to Thomas Horsman, who in the said year had license to alienate it to John Aysborough, to be held of the Crown, in capite, by knight's service.
In the 4th of Elizabeth, Sir Richard Sackville had license to alienate it to Thomas and William Guybon of Lynn; (fn. 20) William Guybon was lord in 1570: he married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Drury, Esq. of Fincham; and—Guybon, Esq. of Thursford in Norfolk sold it about 1720 to Richard Warner, Esq. of Elmham in Norfolk, who soon after conveyed it to Dr. Rudd, rector of North Rungton; and, by the marriage of his daughter, came to Dr. Deck, M. D.
Was held by Jeffrey Curple, and Roger Curple, in the reign of Henry III. when an aid was granted to that King, on the marriage of his sister to the Emperor, (by the service of half a fee,) of the Lord Bardolf. This Roger appears to have had 4 daughters, Alice, Isabel, Catharine, and Agnes; and Catharine their mother, widow of Roger, granted lands in Sudbury, in Suffolk, &c. to Roger of the Exchequer, in the 42d of Henry III. John Curple, in the 16th of Edward I. held it, consisting of a messuage, one carucate of land, 4 acres of meadow, a windmill, free bull and boar, with free tenants, villains and cottagers. In the 12th of Edward II. Roger Curple conveyed to Maud, widow of John de Causton, messuages, lands, and a mill. This Roger died lord in the 3d of Edward III. his sister and heir married John Talbot, and their daughter and heir Alice married Robert de Causton; the said Robert and Alice, in the 16th of that King, settled lands on John de Fincham, and Alice his wife in this town, probably daughter of Robert, on her marriage; but in the 41st of the said reign, Nicholas Fastolf, and Joan his wife, held the 3d part of this manor; and in the 15th of Richard II. John de Wesenham conveyed a 3d part, with the appertenances in Buckton and Roxham, with the fishery of Redebeche, which he had of Hugh his father, to John de Fincham; and in the following year, Bartholomew Elys of Yarmouth, and Margaret his wife, conveyed their 3d part to the aforesaid John, so that the whole centered in him; and William Fincham (as is above observed) conveyed it to his brother Cornwallis, and so came to Gawsell, Richard Cheek, &c. to the Hares, in which family it continued, and is united to the other manors.
Roger Grancurt was possessed of it about the beginning of King Henry the Third's reign, and William de Grancurt in the 45th of that King, who held it of William de Calthorp, and Cecil his wife, whose inheritance it is said to be, and she of the honour of Wirmegay; the said William had also then a grant of the reversion of the land which William de Wigenhale, and Isabel his wife held in dower of Cecil's inheritance here. Walter de Grandcourt held it in the 14th of Edward I. by the 3d part of a fee of the Lord Bardolph; it consisted then of a messuage, 80 acres of land, 2 of meadow, of free tenants, and 6 villains, who held 24 acres of land; but in the 20th of Edward III. Thomas de Keteleston was lord; and in the 3d of Henry IV. John de Fincham, in which family it continued till William Fincham, Esq. conveyed it to Thomas Heigham, in the 12th of Elizabeth; and in the 22d of that Queen, it came to Gawsell, who conveyed it to Guybon and Mundeford; so to Gawdy, Rich, Sir Thomas Cheek, and the Hares.
Simon de Brothers-Hall was lord, whose daughter Gunelda conveyed it by fine, with lands in this town, to John Talebot, in the 24th of Henry III. John de Causton held it in the reign of Edward II. and in the 19th of Edward III. gave to John de Brympton a portion of it. On the 1st of May, in the 12th of Elizabeth, John Carsey of Revesby in Lincolnshire sold it to Hugh Hare, Esq. in which family it remained, Sir George Hare, Bart. being late lord. I take this to have been held of the honour of Wirmegay, though the tenure does not appear from any evidences.
A third great lord in this town was Ralph Lord Bainard, who at the survey was possessed of the manor that Alid, a free woman, held in the reign of the Confessor, and was deprived of. consisting of one carucate of land, 4 bordarers, 3 servi, a carucate, and 12 acres of meadow; and when Ralph entered on it, there were 2 runci, &c. 40 sheep, &c. valued at 50s. but at the survey at 40s.—St. Audrey, that is, the church of Ely, laid claim to it, as the hundred witnessed.— And in the said town there were 6 freemen who had a carucate of land, with 2 bordarers, and a carucate, and 9 acres of meadow, which Ralph had a grant of on their expulsion. He had also invaded the lands of 6 freemen, with 2 bordarers, a carucate, and 8 acres of meadow, valued at 20s. but at the survey at 40s. his tenants claimed it, by an exchange, but had not livery of it. (fn. 21)
This Ralph Lord Bainard had from the Conqueror, for his services, a grant of many lordships in Essex, Suffolk, &c. and in Norfolk of these following—Kerdeston and Resham in Einsford hundred—Skeyton in South Erpingham hundred—Crostwick and Berton in Tunsted hundred—Riston in Happing hundred—Hemenhale, Boyland, Hatestun, Fritton and Hardwick in Depewade hundred—Raveningham, Southwood, Kirkeby, Norton, Jerpestuna, Hales, Whetacre, Hadesco and Thurton in Claveling hundred—Fincham, Barton, Shouldham, Garboisthorp, Tottenhale, Wiggenham, Boughton, Stoke, Fordham, Derham and Bekeswell, in Clacklose hundred—Sturston in Grimshoe hundred—Bradenham in South Grenhoe hundred—Merton in Weyland hundred—Wilby in Shropham hundred—Titleshale, Wellingham and Scarning in Launditch hundred—Wicklewood and Dikethorp in Fourhow hundred—Chatgrave and Carlton in Lothing hundred.
This lord by Juga his wife had Geffrey, his son and heir, who lived in 1106: unto him succeeded William Bainard, who taking part with Elias Earl of Mayne in France, against Henry I. lost his barony of Bainard's castle in London, which was given by that King to Robert, a younger son of Richard Fitz-Gilbert (progenitor of the Earls of Clare:) from this Robert the noble family of the Lords Fitz-Walters descend, who held this lordship in capite.
In the 44th of Henry III. William de Ireland conveyed to Robert de Cantilupe, and Ivetta his wife, a messuage, with a carucate of land and 4s. per ann. with the land which Alice, wife of John de Risley, held in dower. (fn. 22) After this, John de Cantilupe his son held it of the Lord Fitzwalter, by the service of half a fee; it consisted of a messuage, a carucate and an half of land, 2 acres of meadow, free tenants, and 9 villains held 40 acres of land, and a free bull and boar.
In the 16th of Edward I. there was a suit commenced between Robert Lord Fitzwalter, Richard Bishop of London, and William de Boyton, about the right of the wardship of Isabella, daughter and heir of the aforesaid John, and Matilda his wife, who being then the widow of John, had the care of her daughter consigned to her till it was determined; but in the 33d of that King, it was settled by Robert Lord Fitz-Walter, on Adam de Waldingfeld for life. (fn. 23) In the 2d of Edward III. it was found to be worth 6l. 13s. 4d. per ann. and in the 27th of the said King, John Lord Fitzwalter claimed a right of felons goods here.
In the reign of Henry VI. it came into the Ratcliffe family, by the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Walter Lord Fitz-Walter, to John Ratcliffe, Esq. and in the 21st of Henry VII. was settled by Margaret, widow of John Lord Fitz-Waller, and Robert her son, on trustees. After this, it came to the Finchams; and John Fincham, Esq. died seized of it, in the 32d of Henry VIII. In this family it continued till William Fincham conveyed, in the 12th of Elizabeth, to his brother Cornwallis, and so came to Gawsell, Gawdy, Rich, Cheek, and Hare; Sir George Hare being the late lord.
Rainald, son of Ivo, held also a manor here at the survey; 16 acres of land, and one of meadow, held by a freeman in King Edward's reign, valued at 2s. per ann. Wihenoc seized on this, and held it under Ivo; and Herluin, a dependant of Ivo, seized on 15 acres, which a freeman held, valued at 16d. and Mainard seized on one acre and an half, valued at 9d. (fn. 24)
This came afterwards to the Earls of Clare, and was given partly to Shouldham abbey by Jeff. Fitz-Piers the founder. In the 20th of Edward I. the prior of that house held it; and Gilbert de Clare Earl of Clare gave 10s. per ann. rent here to the convent of Stoke, by Clare in Suffolk.—The prior of Shouldham paid 20d. for his temporalities in 1426.
The church of Ely had at the survey 16 acres of land, held by 3 bordarers, and a carucate and 10 acres of meadow, valued at 10s. (fn. 25) In the reign of King Edward I. John Talebot was found to hold one messuage, 20 acres of land, a windmill, free bull and boar, of Simon de Lylde, and Sim. of the Bishop of Ely, by the service of 10s. per ann. He also held a messuage of the prior of Castleacre, and the prior of the Earl Warren, paying 2s. per ann. In the 16th of Richard II. John Fincham, and others gave lands here, and in Werham, &c. to the prior of Ely.
The abbot of Bury held 16 acres of land, and 4 of meadow, valued at 2s. 8d. (fn. 26) This was held by one socman afterwards, as appears from the Register Pinchbeck of that abbey, p. 180.
The tenths were 14l.—Deducted 3l. 6s. 8d.
The lete of this town was in the abbot of Ramsey; and on the dissolution of that house, was given to the Hares.—Lete-fee, 3s.
The temporalities of Derham abbey, with the priory of Winwaloy here, were valued at 15s. in 1428;—the temporalities of the priory of Wirmegay 11d.—the temporalities of the sacrist of Bury at 8s.— of the prior of Castleacre at 12s. and 1d.—the abbot of Ramsey for the lete, &c. 20s.—the prioress of Carhow, 5s. and the temporalities of Shouldham at 20d.
Fincham St. Martin's Church. This is a large, regular, wellbuilt church of flint, boulder, &c. consisting of a nave, a north and south isle, and a chancel at the east end of the nave, all covered with lead: at the west end of the nave is a very lofty, four-square tower of the same materials, with quoins and embattlements of free-stone, neatly worked; on the buttresses, and also on the battlements, may be seen the arms of Fincham, the founders or benefactors of this pile.
In this tower hang 4 bells; on the least is this inscription; Sancta Maria Ora pro Nobis; and on the tenor, Viventis Misere Pater Omnipotens Miserere. This bell was used on the death of any person, and was called the soul peal, or passing bell. The nave of this church, from the west door to the screen, is about 83 feet in length, and the breadth, including the north and south isles, is about 43 feet; the roof is of good oak, supported by principals, on the heads whereof are angels, and monks in their cowles and habits, but with heads like dæmons and furies. The vault of this nave is supported by 10 arches, 5 on each side, with a like number of windows over them. At the west end of the nave stands a large stone font, with a four-square bason about a yard square. On the south side, or square are the figures of three men, under three arches of stone, in a very rude and antique dress. (Plate I. Fig. 4.) On the west side, something resembling a crib or manger, and a child therein; over that two heads, (like oxen,) but broke; also above them something like a star, to set forth the birth of our Saviour, and the wise men with their offerings. (Plate 1. Fig. 5.) On this square are also two figures, one much broken, the other like an ancient Druid, probably to represent John the Baptist. On the north side is the figure of a Bishop in his robes, and with a mitre, and crosier staff, and is likely to represent St. Augustine, the apostle of the English: the 2d figure is like that of a priest in a pulpit or desk, and the 3d figure is obscure.—On the east side is Adam and Eve, and another figure not to be seen, the font here joining to a pillar. This Gothic font, with it rude arches, figures, &c. in basso relievo, is undoubtedly a piece of great antiquity. That the ancients used thus to adorn their fonts, may be seen from that curious one erected by Constantine the Emperor. (fn. 27) —On the pavement, at the east end of the nave, lie several old marble gravestones, now deprived of their brass ornaments and inscriptions. On one is the portraiture of a woman in her shroud, with her hands across; but the legend is reaved. On another is the effigies of a woman in her shroud remaining: by the incision of the stone, it appears that here was also the portraiture of a man in his shroud between his two wives; part of the other woman is preserved in the chest. Here were also several shields, and a plate of brass, but they are all reaved. This, probably, was in memory of John Fincham, who died in the 23d of Henry VIII. and of his two wives. A modern author asserts, (fn. 28) that in the parish church here, were divers monuments for several of the family of Fincham, but all ancient, viz. the 14th century. Whereas what I have already observed is all the monumental remains of this family now in the church, and the brasses have been reaved time immemorial. Weaver, who took things upon trust, or else was negligent in his own survey, accounts only for three inscriptions on the many gravestones of this church.
Orate pro anima Joh. filii. et hœredis Johs. Fincham, filii Symoniso
Fincham, qui aobiit ultimo die April. m.cccc.lxxxxix.—Orate pro
anima Elizabethœ quondam uxoris Symonis Fincham, armigeri, et
unnius filiarum et hœredum Johs Tendring de Brockedyn, (fn. 29) in comitatu
Suffolc. armig. quœ quidem Elizabetha, obt.- - - - - - m.cccc.lxjiii.
—Orat. pro anima Johs. Fincham, filiiet hæredis Symonis Fincham de Fincham, armig. qui obt. vi die Septemb. Anno Dni. m.cccc. lxxxxvi. (fn. 30)
On the pulpit:—Gregory Watson, servant to the right worshipful Sir Francis Gawdy Kt. made this at his own charge, Anno Dom. 1604. At the east end of the south isle is an ascent as to an altar, and in the east window is the effigies of some abbess or saint, probably St. Audrey, with her crosier staff, and crowned. The east end of the north isle has a like ascent, where there has been also an altar; and in the east window is the effigies of Mary sirnamed Salome, the wife of Zebadee, with her two little children by her side, St. John and St. James; John in a blue gown, bearing in his hand a cup, with a dragon issuing out of it; and James in a green gown, and an escollop shell in his hand. In the window are these arms (Plate I. Fig. 6, 7.) Azure, an eagle displayed, or, beaked and membered, gules, Shouldham. Barry of six, argent and sable, a bend over all, ermine.—Fincham, azure, a fess between two chevron, argent, Tendring. Gyrony of eight azure and ermine, Trussbutt; and in the same window the arms of St. George, argent, a cross gules. The chancel is divided from the nave by a screen, (over which the Commandments and the King's arms are handsomely painted,) and is in length about 31 feet, and in breadth about 19. On the pavement near the lowest south window, lies a gravestone, to which was fixed a brass plate, which is now preserved in the church chest, but is much broken.
Efitaphium Generosissimi Herois THOMÆ TOWNSENDI. (fn. 31)
Elizabetha suo tumulum charissima conjuæ Townsendo, insigni condit amore, viro. Hunc terra indignum patriæ cælestis ad oras Flor . . . juventutis mors properata, tulit. Si tu bis denos annos adjunxeris octo, Townsendi ætatis tempora certa scies. Hic jacet . . . . . et tristi claudat mors sæva sepulehro Membra, sedes superas mens tamen alta petit. Ærumnas æquâ virtutis lance libravit Si quid pecca . . . . ultio virtus erat. Injurias omnes absorbuit atq; retudit, Duro serenus tempore vultus erat. Heu fata dura nimis quæ te fecere sepultum Pulvere, quem domini gloria celsa beat. Conjuge, prole, domo, felix, et funere felix, Multum flenda bonis, stirps generosa, vale. Obiit xii. Januar. Anno Dom. 1570.
The south side of the chancel is embattled and coped with freestone, as is the wall of the south isle of the church, and adorned with pinnacles: and on the north side of the chancel is a vestry covered with lead, on the wall a niche for a statue; and here seems to have been a place for an anchoret.
Here were anciently in this church, besides the arms above-observed, these following;—argent, a chevron gules, between three sqirrels, sejant, gules, Lovell. Or, a chief indented sable, Harsick; quarterly, sable, and argent, over all, a bend, gules, Birston; quarterly, sable and argent, Lord Hoo; argent, a lion rampant, gules, a baston in bend, sable, Braunch; the arms of the Lord Bardolph; Fincham, impaling quarterly, a fess gules, between three eagles displayed sable, Elmham; barry wavy of six argent and azure. (fn. 32)
In the south isle, Fincham impaling, azure on five fusils in fess, or, as many escollops, gules, Edgar.
Thomas de Grancourt grants by deed, sans date, to Roger de Grancourt his brother, the advowson of this church; and Roger son of William de Grauntcourt, remitted and quitclaimed to his lord, Hugh Bardolph, all his right in the said advowson, on the 11th of May, in the 32d of Edward I.
Edmund Bardolf occurs rector in the 22d of Edward I. Pryn's Hist. of King John.
1304, John de Warton, subdeacon, presented by Sir Hugh Bardolf Lord Bardolph.
1310, William de Rotyngdene, by the Lady Isabella Bardolf.
1314, Simon de Ayscheles, by the Lady Isabella, &c.
1331, Thomas de Pulteneye, by the Lady Agnes, relict of Sir Thomas Bardolf.
1333, Richard le Dyer of Kiderminster, (on the resignation of Pulteney,) by the Lady Agnes, &c. he was prebendary of Tixhill, in the church of Litchfield, and exchanged with Pulteneye.
1345, Richard le Dyer of Kiderminster, presented by the prior and convent of Shuldham in Norfolk. About this time, John Lord Bardolf granted to the prior of Shuldham the advowson of this church; and in the said year there was a patent from the King to appropriate this church.
1350, John de Boys, presented by the prior, &c. on the 10th of October, this year, this church was appropriated, by William Bateman Bishop of Norwich, to the monastery of Shouldham, and a vicarage was settled; the vicar was to have a convenient dwelling, 10l. per ann. the Bishop of Norwich to nominate, and to have a pension of 24s. per ann. and the prior was to present the vicar: the vicar was taxed at 7 marks and an half per ann. and the prior and convent for their tenths 29s. and 4d. per ann. the spiritualities of the said house for this church being taxed at 22 marks.—In 1354, Oct. 10, William Bishop of Norwich appropriated the altarage, the tithes of hay, wool, milk, flax, and hemp, chickens, colts, lambs, pigs, eggs, pigeons, geese, ducks, honey, wax, apples, pears, plants, fruit, wood, mills, turf, mortuaries, and all the glebe belonging to the church, and 100s. per ann. to the vicar.
1351, Rob. Coslard, presented by the prior and convent of Shouldham: it is highly probable that the house of Shouldham, after this appropriation, prevailed, by some means or other, with the last rector to resign, a practice then very common.
1361, Tho. de Stedmere, presented by the prior, &c.
1400, Nich. Essex, presented by the prior, &c. rector afterwards of Stockton in Norfolk: and in Dec. 1402, chantry priest in St. Radegund's chapel in St. Paul's, London.
1402, Matt. Aylmer, (on the resignation of Essex): he was rector of Stockton, and exchanged with Essex; presented by the prior, &c.
1402, Richard Person, presented by the prior, &c.
1404, Robert Folsham, on the resignation of Person; he was rector of a mediety of the church of Brome in Norwich diocese, and exchanged with Person; presented by the prior, &c.
1409, John Clerk, presented by the prior, &c. on the resignation of Folsham: he held the church of Woodnorton All-Saints in Norfolk, and exchanged with Folsham.
1424, Nich. Thurston de Fyncham, presented by the prior, &c. and nominated by the Bishop of Norwich.
1455, Tho. Palmer, presented by the prior, &c. he occurs vicar in 1479.
1493, Henry Kyrkeby, presented by Tho. prior, &c. Laurence Cootes.
1504, John Wenham, on the resignation of Cootes, presented by the prior, &c.
1506, Robert Davy, on the resignation of Wenham, presented by the prior, &c.
1534, Richard Sparhawke, on the death of Davy, presented by the prior, &c.
Thomas Freke occurs in 1545, and in or about 1562, Presbyter non conjugatus, satis doctus, residet, hospitalis, ibidem, non prædicat, nec licentiatus, duo, (fn. 33) and rector of St. Michael's, Fincham.
1586, Anth. Fletcher, presented by the Queen; on the dissolution of the house of Shouldham, the patronage came to the Crown.
1587, Roger Gunson, presented by the Queen.
Roger Gunson. In his answer to King Jame's queries in 1633, he says there were 176 communicants here; rector also of Denver.
1615, William Parker, A. M. by the King.
1161, Daniel Gardiner, A. M. on the death of Power, by the King; in the Consignation book, 1664, it appears he was admitted to this church on the the 4th of August, 1653, at Whitehall, by the commissioners, Power being then dead or ejected. (fn. 34)
1682, Daniel Baker, A. M. on the death of Gardiner, by the King.
1723, Joseph Forby, L. L. B. on the death of Baker.
1745, William Harvey, A. M. on the death of Forby. This vicarage is taxed in the King's books at 10l. and is discharged of tenths and first-fruits, being in real value 33l. per ann.
This rectory of St. Martin's was valued, with the portion of Carhow, at 22 marks:—Peter-pence 16d. and had a manse, with 30 acres of land, and a fold of 200 sheep, in Edward the First's reign.
On the dissolution of the monastery of Shouldham, this church came to the Crown, and Queen Elizabeth, by her letters patent, dated the 17th of Feb. in the 16th of her reign, demised to Thomas Drury this rectory, with the appertenances, and all the houses, &c. except the advowson of the vicarage (which remains in the Crown) for 21 years, paying 8l. per ann. which letters patent being surrendered and cancelled, the Queen, for 16l. fine, demiseth to William Gybon, Gent. and Ann and Frances his daughters, the said rectory for their lives successively, paying 8l. per ann. and the best beast for an heriot: dated 22d June, 27th of Elizabeth, p. 17.
Simon Fincham, by his will, dated 23 Nov. 1458, desires to be buried in this church, and bequeaths to the bell tower fabrick 7l. 6s. 8d. by which it appears the tower was built at that time.
John Geyton, clerk, of Fincham St. Martin's, by his will dated 12th Jan. 1476, desires to be buried in the chancel before the image of St. Martin; and leaves money to Nich. Fincham to sing for his soul one whole year. (fn. 35)
Ela Fyncham, daughter of John Fyncham, by her will, dated 9th Feb. and proved 8th of March, 1540, desires to be buried in this church. (fn. 36)
John Bexwell of Fincham, Gent. by his will, dated 22d of May, 1546, and proved 5th Aug. following, desires to be buried in this church. (fn. 37)
Fincham St. Michael. This church is built of flint and boulder, and consists only of a nave, or body, with a chancel covered with lead. At the west end of the nave stands a large square tower embattelled with quoins and copings of free-stone, and a pinnacle at each corner; and herein hang three bells. The length of the nave, from the west door to the chancel, is about 60 feet, and in breadth about 27. The roof is supported by oaken principals; on the head of which have been the effigies of religious persons in their habits; but their heads are broken off. In the upper window of this nave, on the south side, were these arms (Plate I. Fig. 8, 9,) argent, a lion rampant, gules, Bokenham of Norfolk; quarterly, azure three cinquefoils, or, in the 1st and 4th, Bardolph; and barry of six, or and vert, a bend over all gules, Poinings. The chancel is in length about 33 feet, and in breadth about 18; the upper part of the wall on the north side is of brick embattled, and coped with free-stone; also a little free-stone porch or passage into the chancel; in the centre of the arch there seem to be cinquefoils cut, the arms of the Lords Bardolfs.
On the pavement here is a gravestone thus inscribed:
Here lieth the bodies of Robert and Sarah (aged the one 8, and the other 7 years) the son and daughter of Arthur King, of Tilney, Gent. and Sarah his wife, who were buried, Robert on the 2d, and Sarah on the 15th of Oct. 1683.
Hail happy souls, who like their angels were Young, active, chaste, and free from vice, And now are called by God's indulgent care, To dwell with them in paradise. God grant we by repentance may obtain, What you by innocence did earlier gain.
On the communion table: William Hubbard died 1623, and gave this table. In the east window are the arms of Derham abbey— Against the north wall is a little decent copartment of stone, and in the centre, on a black marble,
Sub felices resurrectionis spe Christi præstolans epiphaniam, hic juxta situs est Reverendus Vir Daniel Baker, A. M. hujus ecclesiæ per xl annos, rector orthodoxœ Christi ecclesiœ, dictis, scriptis, precibus exemplar et incomparabile propugnaculum; Divini Jobæ patientiæ quam poesi depinxit, verus vitâ imitator. Idem ex indefessa operâ in studiis, assiduâ pietate in Deum, rara amænitate in suos, spectata probitate in omnes, æternam admirandus. Annorum satur ad cælos migravit, Feb. 19°. An. salut. m.dccxxii.Ætat. 69.—Maria uxor mæstissima hoc in perpetuum conjugatis amoris memoriam erexit.
Against the said wall, east from this, is an inarched monument of stone: in this arch is a raised tomb about 2 feet from the ground; on each side of this arch, on the summit, is a niche carved for some statue; there is no inscription or arms about it, and probably it was the Sepulchram Domini, or the sepulchre of our Lord. Opposite to this, on the south side of the chancel, are three stone seats or stalls, raised within the wall, having 3 arches, one over each seat; which seats are about 2 feet in depth, and above 3 in height; on the summit of each arch rises a pyramid of stone, carved, and pointing to the cornish, which juts out from the wall about 3 inches. Such seats and stalls are still to be seen in many old churches, and were for the bishop, priest, and deacon, or the rector, curate, or chantry priests. The stalls here differ from others in this; that of the bishop or rector is about two inches higher than that of the priest; and the stall of the priest is the same, in respect of the deacon. Over the stall of the bishop are these two shields; quarterly, France and England; (Plate I. Fig. 10.) and quarterly, (Plate I. Fig. 11.) argent in the 1st and 4th; in the 2d and 3d, gules, a frett, or; over all, a bend, sable; in a bordure of the last, eight mitres of the 2d. Spencer's arms, Bishop of Norwich, in the reign of Edward III. and Richard II. when I conceive this church was built. Over the arch of the 2d stall, (Plate I. Fig. 12,) quarterly, checq. or, and azure, in the 1st and 4th quarter, Earl Warren and Surrey: in the 2d and 3d, gules, a lion rampant, or, Fitz-Alan Earl of Arundel. Azure, (Plate I. Fig. 13.) three cinquefoils, or, Lord Bardolf. Over the arch of the lowest seat, (Plate I. Fig. 14.) or, a fess between two chevronels, gules, Lord Fitz-Walter. Gules, 3, 2, and 1 escallops, argent, Lord Scales. These arms were all washed over with whiting, but no doubt were formerly painted in their proper colours. The lords above-mentioned held lands in capite in this town, as has been shown, except the Lord Scales, and he had a lordship in the adjoining town of Barton, which extended here.
Besides the arms above observed, here were anciently in the windows, the arms of Birston, as in St. Martin's, Fincham. (fn. 38) Azure, a oend, argent. Trusbut, as in St. Martin's, Fincham, and Bardolf. Tendring and Braunch, as in St. Martin's church. Argent, six dexter hands, 3, 2, and 1. Wauncey and Talbot. Sable (rather azure) a cross compony argent and gules, borne by Cockfield and Felbrigg.
Simon Bishop of Norwich confirmed to the prior of Castleacre two parts of the tithes of the demeans of Nigell, and William de Spinevill, Sampson Talbot, Richard de Meyners, Richard de Calcomb, and John de Littlewell, in 1261; these demeans contained 860 acres of land, and more: two parts of these tithes the prior let to Thomas Buxkyn, rector, and his successour, for 7 marks per ann. in the year 1361.
In the 33d of Henry III. a fine was levied between John, prior of Castleacre, Peter, and Adam Talbot, tenant of the advowson of this church, granted to the prior. (fn. 39) By this it seems that the advowson of this church belonged to the Earl Warren's fee, and was held by the Talbots; but before this, it appears from the register of Castleacre, that John Bishop of Norwich confirmed to that priory this church, of the gift of William Talbot, patron; and that the monks should receive a mark of silver per ann. of the parson of the said church; and Sampson Talbot confirmed the donation of his uncle William. It was valued at 16 marks: Peter-pence, 14d.
John de Pagrave occurs rector, and resigned to Derham, who was instituted in the 9th year of Bishop Walter Suffield.
Jeffrey de Derham, rector: (fn. 40) in the 37th of Henry III. a fine was levied between him and Roger Talebot of half an acre of land here, granted to Roger, who thereupon gave to the said Jeffrey a messuage, garden, and curtilage, to be held by him, and his successours, late Hugh's, father of Roger, at the yearly rent of 5d.; (fn. 41) he occurs also in the 43d of the said King.
Reginald de Cressenhale was rector of Fincham in 1293: he was dean of South Malling in Kent, (fn. 42) and rector of Upmonyngham in the said county, and died in the aforesaid year. In the 3d of Edward I. the jury for the hundred find, that the prior of Shouldham held 9 acres here, of the gift of Philip Newland, and Richard de Ennebys, in the reign of King Henry III. and the abbot of Derham 12 acres, of the gift of Sampson de Littlewell, held of the Earl Warren.
1311, Adam de Saxham, presented by Walter the prior, and the convent of Castleacre.
1313, Jeffrey Brian, presented by the prior, &c.
1317, Mr. Steven de Kettleburgh, by the prior, &c.
1320, Edmund Gulafre; he was provost of the church of CastleCulby, in the diocese of Bangor, and exchanged with Kettleburgh; presented by the prior, &c.
1330, William de Monte Acuto, (Montague,) by the prior, &c.
1335, John de Faloniis, on the resignation of Montague, by the prior, &c.
1349, William Roche, by the prior, &c.
William de Happeton.
1352, Thomas Atte-Lathe, on the resignation of Happeton, by the prior, &c. rector also of Rungton Holm.
1356, Thomas Buxkin, on the resignation of Atte-Lathe, by the prior, &c. He was rector of Stokesby in Norfolk, and exchanged with Atte-Lathe.
1393, John Sekirsteyn, by the prior, &c.
1409, Edmund Pevys of Wygenhale, by the prior, &c.
1409, Jeffery Schavere of Thuxton; he was vicar of Wygenhall St. Mary, and exchanged with Pevys, by the prior, &c.
1412, John Wyrmegeye of Newton; he was rector of Ickworth, and exchanged with Schavere, by the prior, &c. On the 18th of October, 1413, after a long trial, he was obliged to pay 4 marks per ann. to the prior of Shouldham. (fn. 43)
1420, William Attemylle, vel Attewood; he was rector of Mundford, and exchanged with Wyrmegey, by the prior, &c.
1431, Thomas Marchal (on the resignation of Attemille;) he was rector of Sothrey in Norfolk, and exchanged with Attemille; by the prior, &c.; rector also of Bexwell.
1434, Richard Domysday, by the prior, &c.; rector also of Caldecote in Norfolk.
1436, John Walpole, by the prior, &c.
1454, William Wright, on the death of Lety, by the prior, &c.
1460, William Ray, on the resignation of Wright, by the prior, &c.
1477, John Shawe, on the death of Ray, by the prior, &c.
1485, Nicholas Barker, in Decretis Baccalaur. on the resignation of Shawe, by the prior, &c.
William Langland, on the death of Barker, by the prior, &c.
1493, Henry Sharpe, on the death of Langland, by the prior, &c.
1502, John Edmond, on the resignation of Sharpe, and paying to him a pension of 4l. per ann. This church was at this time valued at 16 marks; presented by the prior, &c. Edmond was prior of Shouldham.
1504, Christopher Wynde, on the death of Edmonds, by the prior. By his will dated 21 April, and proved 28 July, 1525, he desires to be buried in the chancel of his church, and bequeaths money to the making the ruffe of the said chancel.
1525, James Coole, on the death of Wynde, by the prior, &c.
1530, Thomas Colman, on the resignation of Coole, by the prior, &c.
1539, John Alowe, presented by Thomas Duke of Norfolk. The advowson of this church coming to the Crown, on the dissolution of Shouldham abbey, was given by King Henry VIII. to that Duke, on the 22d of December, in the 29th year of his reign, a fine of the advowson of the said church being levied between the said King, and Thomas, prior of St. Mary's, Castleacre, in the 29th of that King's reign.
1545, Thomas Freke, on the resignation of Alowe, by the Duke of Norfolk: see in St. Martin's, Fincham.
1587, Robert Gunson, presented by the Queen.
1587, Roger Gunson, by Robert Gunson, and John Edgeley, patrons, hâc vice; and in 1588, Oct. 15, he was reinstituted on the presentation of Fran. Gawdy, Esq. In 1603, he certified the King that there were 77 communicants in this parish
1617, John Collin, A. M. on the death of the last rector, presented by the Lord Rich.
1661, Daniel Gardiner, on the death of Power: see in St. Martin's, Fincham.
1682, Daniel Baker, A. M. on the death of Gardiner, by Sir Thomas Hare, Bart.
1723, Joseph Forby, on the death of Baker, by Thomas Forby, Gent.
1745, William Harvey, on the death of Forby, by Martha Forby, widow.
This rectory is valued in the King's books at 7l. 6s. 8d. but being in clear value 45l. per ann. is discharged of tenths and first-fruits.
The portion of the prior, &c. of Castleacre out of this church, was 5 marks per ann.
John Talebot, senior of Fincham, by deed, acknowledged to have had of Adam, prior of Castleacre, &c. a windmill here, to be held at 4d. per ann. (fn. 44) Witnesses, Mr. John de Pagrave, Reg. de Geyton, William de Aula, &c.; also a messuage here, called Skevingestoft, and 4 acres of land, of the fee of Sir Samp. Talebot, part lying between the land of Roger Curpel, and Ralph de Meyners, &c. also an acre of land of the fee of Philip de Burnham, at the rent of 2s. per ann.—This church was a few years past, pulled down, and the two parishes consolidated.
This town gives name to a deanery, called from it the Deanery of Fincham, which includes the whole hundred and half of Clackclose.
Deans of Fincham.
Galfridus, dean of Fincham, witness to a deed sans date. (fn. 45)
Hugh, dean about the reign of King John, as appears by a deed sans date.
Hugh de Swaffham; and he occurs (as I take it) rector of Barton St. Mary in 1308.
1326, Edmund de Welle, on the resignation of Hugh de Swaffham, collated by the Bishop of Norwich.
1347, Richard de Norwich, collated, &c.
1349, Matt. de Asheton, collated, &c.
1349, Roger de Stalham, collated by ditto.
1350, Gilbert de Asheton, collated, &c.
1377, William de Oxburgh, collated, &c.
1383, Robert Takel, collated by ditto. He was canon of the free chapel of St. Mary's in Stafford, and prebendary of the prebend of Whitegrene, in the said chapel, in the diocese of Litchfield and Coventry, and exchanged with Oxburgh.
1389, John de Mundeford, collated, &c.
1393, Hugh Bridham, (fn. 46) collated, &c.
1429, Thomas Asplyon, on the death of Bridham, collated, &c.
1497, William Porteland, A. M. collated, &c.
1501, John Aberfield, collated, &c. He was rector of Great Cressingham.
1518, Thomas Bilney, on the death of Aberfield, collated, &c.