An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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Called in Domesday Book, Wallinghetuna, (that is a town with mounds or walls of earth fencing it against the watery meadows.) Hermeras seized on it, being in the Confessor's time the possessions of Turstan, a freeman, who had an hundred acres of land, and 15 acres of meadow, valued at 12s. and was only under protection; here was a church with 26 acres, valued at 16d. In the same were seven freemen in the Confessor's time who held 60 acres, valued at 14s. per ann. of six of these Hermerus's predecessor had the protection only, and Guert the Earl (fn. 1) had it of the seventh, valued at 20d. and Hermerus seized on this freeman: the whole is 4 furlongs long, and 3 broad, and paid 6d. to the gelt; over all these St. Bennet (Ramsey abbey) has the soc. (fn. 2)
Roger Bigot (Earl of Norfolk) had also 30 acres of land, which Husgarla, a freeman, held in the Confessor's time, and Hugh holds it of Roger, valued at 3s.; this part was soon after in the hands of the descendants of Hermerus, and held by the Bardolphs, lords of Wirmegey, and with the foregoing parts made up the manors of SybetonHall, and Eston-Hall in this village.
What has been said of this hall in Thorpland, will serve also in this town, being possessed by the same lords, and passed (as is there observed) through several hands, till it came to Philp Bell, Esq. as above.
This also passed (as has been mentioned in Thorpland) from the family of Eston, to William Hunt, who was lord in the 3d year of Henry IV. and afterwards came to the family of the Gawsells. Thomas Gawsell, Esq. died lord of Eston-Hall, in this village and Thorpland, as appears from his will, dated September 14, and proved November 17, 1500; (fn. 3) with lands in Carboisthorp, Wymbotsham, Stow, Foston, Eastwinch, Wygenhale, &c. and gave lands in Fordham, Helgey, Denver, Riston, Roxham, Upwell, Outwell, and Tilney in Norfolk, and Littleport in Cambridgeshire, to Richard, a younger son. And Elena Gawsell of Wallington, widow of the aforesaid Thomas, by her will dated on the feast of St. Clement, 1504, and proved June 3, 1507, gives to John Gawsell, her eldest son, the manors of Wallington and Thorpland, and Woodleves in Fordham. (fn. 4) In the 16th of Henry VIII. Thomas Gawsell, (son of John,) and Catherine his wife, convey their manors of Wallington and Thorpland to William Conningsby, Esq. (fn. 5) (one of the justices of the King's Bench, in the 32d of the said King,) son of Sir Humphrey, who was made justice of the King's Bench, May 21, in the first of Henry VIII. descended from Roger de Coningsby, lord of Conings by in Lincolnshire, in the reign of King John. Sir Humphrey was son of Thomas Coningsby, Esq. second son of Thomas Coningsby, Esq. of New Solers in Shropshire, who lived in the reign of Edward IV. William Coningsby, Esq. aforesaid (who first settled here) was father of Christopher Coningsby, Esq. who was slain in the first of Edward VI. at the battle of Muscleborough in Scotland, and left by his wife Ann, daughter of Sir Roger Woodhouse of Kimberley, 3 daughters and coheirs; Elizabeth, the eldest, was married to Francis Gawdy, Esq. who in her right became lord of this place, and Thorpland; he was the 3d son of Thomas Gawdy, Esq. of Harleston in Norfolk, by his 3d wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas, or (as some say) Oliver Shyres; in the 30th of Elizabeth, he was serjeant at law, and Queen's serjeant, May 17, 1582, and in the 20th of the said Queen, bought of Sir Thomas Mildmay, the manor of Sybeton in this town; in 1589, he was made a judge of the King's Bench, and August 25, 1605, chief justice of the Common Pleas, being then a knight: he died of an apoplexy at Serjeant's Inn, London, before he had sate a year in the station, and was buried in the neighbouring church of Rungton.—Sir Henry Spilman says, that having this manor, &c. in right of his wife, he induced her to acknowledge a fine thereof, on which she became a distracted woman, and continued so, to the day of her death, and was to him for many years a perpetual affliction; (fn. 6) he had by her an only daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married to Sir William Hatton, who died also without issue male, and left a daughter and heir, Frances, brought up with her grandfather the judge, and was secretly married, against his will, to Sir Robert Rich, (afterwards Earl of Warwick,) son of Robert Earl of Warwick. The judge being shortly after made Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, (at a dear rate, as was reported,) was suddenly stricken with an apoplexy, and died without issue male, ere he had continued in his place one whole Michaelmas term, and having made his appropriate parish church a hay-house, or a dog-kennel, his dead corps being brought from London to Wallington, could for many days find no place of burial, but growing very offensive, he was at last conveyed to the church of Rungton, and buried there without any ceremony, and lyeth yet uncovered (if the visitors have not reformed it,) with so small a matter as a few paving stones. And indeed no stone or memorial was there ever for him, and if it was not for this account it would not have been known, that he was there buried.
This village, with that of Thorpland, thus brought by Judge Gawdy's grand-daughter into the Warwick family, on the death of Robert Earl of Warwick, (who left 3 daughters and coheirs,) came by marriage of Essex, the 3d daughter, to Daniel Finch Earl of Nottingham, who sold it to Philip Bell, Esq. from whom it came to Philip Bell, Esq. his nephew, whose son was late lord, &c. The hall is the only house now standing; the town was depopulated by Judge Gawdy, who had a park here. (fn. 7)
Coningsby bore gules, three coneys sejant, argent, in a bordure ingrailed, sable.—Gawdy, argent, a tortoise, passant, vert.
The Church of Wallington was dedicated to St. Margaret, and is now in ruins, nothing being standing but the tower, which is owing to its being profaned by Judge Gawdy; that it was standing in 1509, appears from the will of John Hale of Wallington, who bequeaths his body to be buried in the churchyard of St. Margaret. (fn. 8) —And Christopher Coningsby of Wallington, Esq. by his will dated July 20, in the first of Edward VI. and proved April 9, 1548, bequeaths his body to be buried in the church of Wallington. That it was formerly a distinct parish, appears from its endowment in the Conqueror's time, when there belonged to it 26 acres of glebe land; but in 1416, it is called a chapel belonging to Rungton. In Edward the First's time it was called a rectory in the patronage of the abbot of Bury, belonging to Rungton, valued with it, and paid Peter-pence, 7d.