Clackclose Hundred and Half: Shouldham Thorp

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.

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Francis Blomefield, 'Clackclose Hundred and Half: Shouldham Thorp', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807), pp. 427-430. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Clackclose Hundred and Half: Shouldham Thorp", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807) 427-430. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Clackclose Hundred and Half: Shouldham Thorp", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807). 427-430. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,


In the grand survey, or Domesday book, it is called Carboisthorp, from a clear stream of water or rivulet, arising here and running to Fincham, &c. thus Carbroke, and Bo Isse, a winding water, as Hobois, Boethorp, or Boesthorp, &c. Hermerus de Ferrariis (of whom see in Wermegay) had seized on 80 acres of land, and 5 of meadow, possessed by 11 freemen, and the moiety of another, with a bordarer and 3 carucates valued at 17s. and the moiety of the church endowed with 16 acres valued at 12d. (fn. 1)

In the reign of Henry III. Alexander le Moyne, or Monk, &c. held it of the Lord Bardolf, Baron of Wirmegey, and after them the Russels. In the 9th of Edward II. Nicholas Russel held it, and paid yearly, a pair of gloves. Ralph Russel was lord in the 20th of Richard II. Nicholas Seman and John Sewel kept their court here in the 19th of Henry VIII. after this it came to the Harpleys; Thomas Harpley, junior, of this town, and Dorothy his wife, sold it to the Gawsells. Thomas Gawsell and Richard Godbold, held their first court on April 10, An. 8 Elizabeth, and William Butts, Gent. son and heir of William, kept his first court September 27, An. 11 Elizabeth. William Butts, his father, married Ursula, relict of Richard Gawsell, Esq. of Watlington, and presented to that church in her right in 1563.

William Butts, Esq. by his will, dated March 21, 1624, was buried in this church near to his mother, his father being also here buried: on his death the estate came to his brother Leonard, who conveyed it to Sir John Hare, and lately possessed by Sir George Hare, Bart.

Another part of Hermerus's fee was held by a family that assumed their name from this town. In the 54th of Henry III. Walter de Thorp, conveyed to Gilbert de Thorp 2 carucates of land with lands in Bekeswell, and in the 11th of King John, Emma Belet sued Eda de Thorp for certain-customs and services, &c. and for finding a man 3 days in harvest with meat and drink, to preside over the reapers with his rod or wand.

Martin de Thorp, and Reginald his son, in the 7th of Edward III. sold it to Adam de Fincham, with 2 messuages, 54 acres of land, 10 of pasture here, in Stradset, &c. 11s. 7d. with foldages, homages, ward, &c. and John Fincham was lord in the 16th of Richard II. and then alienated lands here to Ely priory. Afterwards it came to Judge Gawdy, so to the Earl of Warwick, Sir John Hare, &c. as above.

Rainald son of Ivo, had at the survey in this town called Thorp, one socman, who possessed 2 acres valued at 3d. (fn. 2)

This came to the Earls of Clare, and was part of the priory manor of Shouldham.

Ralph, Lord Bainard, had a grant of the lands here and in Totenhill, which 22 freemen and the moiety of another were deprived of, who held under Ailid, in the time of the Confessor, 110 acres, and a carucate in demean, valued at 40s. in the whole it was 4 furlongs long and 3 broad, and paid 6d. gelt, and Ralph claimed it by an exchange. (fn. 3)

Of this Ailid see also in Shouldham. On the rebellion of William Lord Bainard, against King Henry I. this lordship came after from the Crown by grant, to the Earls of Clare, and being held of them by Jeffrey Fitz-Piers Earl of Essex, was granted to his priory of Shouldham. On the dissolution of that monastery it came with the priory to Thomas Myldmay, afterwards sold to Judge Gawdy, so came to the Earl of Warwick, and to Sir John Hare, Sir George Hare, Bart. being the late lord.

The tenths were 2l. 16s. Deducted 6s. 8d. Temporalities of Shouldham priory, 8l. 14s. 10d. Of Wirmegay, 12s. Lete in Sir George Hare, Baronet, fee 2s.

The Church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, has a nave, and chancel covered with lead, the tower was at the west end, with three bells, and fell down in 1724; at the west end of the nave (which is about 49 feet long, and 21 broad,) lies a large marble gravestone, and had a brass plate on it:

Oratep. aiab; Tho. Foston et Margarete uxs. sue nup. de Shouldham Thorp, qui diem clausit extremum 210. mensis. Decemb. Ao. Dni. 1434.

By his will he gave 12l. to buy a halle sowte of vestments to serve to the honour of God, and ower blessed Lady.—I will that the image of our Lady in the church be new and gylted, and peynted with my goods, and at my cost, and to the making a vestry house in the church, 6s. 8d.—to our Lady's gyld 6s. 8d. to St. John Baptist's gyld 6s. 8d. and to All-Saints gyld 6s. 8d.

Against the wall of the nave, at the south-east corner, is a mural monument of stone, with the effigies of three children kneeling; over them, Blessed are the dead which dye in the Lord; and on the summit three shields; the first is azure on a chevron, between three estoils, or, as many lozenges, gules, Butts; impaling argent, a fess dauncette, and in chief, three crescents, gules, Tyndal of Hockwold in Norfolk; quartering in the 2d quarter, or, a lion rampant, vel sal. gules, Felbrigg, of Felbrigg, Norfolk. In the 3d, sable, an eagle displayed with two necks, gules, arms of the Duke of Theise, as I take it: Sir Simon Felbrigg, Knight of the Garter, in the reign of King Henry V. married Margaret danghter of the Duke of Silesia and Theise, and niece to the King of Bohemia, by whom he had Alana, his daughter and heir, married to William Tyndal, father of Thomas, whose son William was knighted, at the creation of Arthur Prince of Wales, and declared heir of the kingdom of Bohemia, in right of Margaret, aforesaid. In the 4th quarter, gules, 3, 2, and 1, escallops, argent, Scales. In the 5th, argent, three flowers-de-lis, gules, Mundeford. In another shield is the quartered coat of Steward, of which see in Marham, impaling, quarterly, in the first and fourth Butts, as before, in the 2d and 3d, party per bend, argent and sable, three flowers-de-lis in bend, counterchanged, Cocket.

The 3d shield is Butts impaling Cocket, and on the monument this inscription:

In this chancel lyeth buried, Jane, Ann, and John, three of the children of Thomas Steward, of Little Barton in Suffolk, Esq; and Frances his wife, eldest daughter of William Butts of this town of ShouldhamThorp in Norfolk, Esq. deceased; the said Jane was buried the 27th day of February, An. Dom. 1590; and the said Ann, the 19th day of November. An. Dom. 1591, and the said John, the 11th day of February, An. Dom. 1602.

At the end of the nave lies a gravestone, thus inscribed,

John Dawnes, Gent. born at Outerborne, in Hampshire, died June the 16th, 1722, in the 55th year of his age.

The chancel is divided from the nave by a screen, and is in length about 18 feet, in breadth, about 17. On the pavement lies a little marble stone:

Here lyeth the body of John Godfrey, the son of John Godfrey, Esq. late of Hindringham, who died the 28th of October, 1667, aged 3 months.

Against the south wall is a little plain black marble stone, in the centre of this is a small piece of white marble, wherein is delineated the portraiture of a man on his knees, with a desk before him, and the shield of Butts, impaling Coket, and this epitaph:

Here under lyeth buried until his Redeemer cometh, who lived in his fear and dy'd in his faith, the body of Thomas Butts, 3d son of William Butts of this town, deceased 1600.

The seats of this chancel are of good oak, and carved.

This church was given, together with the manor, by Jeffrey FitzPiers Earl of Essex, to the abbey of Shouldham, and appropriated to it on its foundation; it was then a rectory, and had one carucate of land, valued at 10 marks—Peter-pence, 6d. Hermerus (as Domesday Book informs us) had half of the church, &c. by which I understand an alternate turn in it, but his descendants quitted, most likely, their claim; for we find it given wholly to Shouldham, by the said Jeffrey Fitz-Piers, and the church was served by a canon of that house, or a stipendiary curate: the prior &c. paid, about 1349, 13s. 4d. for the tenth of this church, granted then to the King, the priory being then, as it is said, much impoverished by mortality, pestilence, and the leaving off of tillage; and the prior paid the same for tenths in 1424

On the dissolution of Shouldham abbey, this appropriated rectory came to the Crown, and was given by King Edward VI. in his 7th year, to Thomas Mildmay, Esq. to be held by him in free soccage of the manor of Greenwich. After this it came to Francis Gawdy, &c. and went together with the lordship, as is above shewn; and Sir George of Stow Bardolph, Bart. was impropriator and lord.

In 1603, Richard Harrison was curate, and certified that here were 98 communicants, and was served by him with Shouldham, for 13l. per annum.


  • 1. Invas. Hermeri de Ferrariis. — In Carboisthorp. xi. lib. hoes. et dim. lxxx. ac. tre. et pti. i. bor. tc. iii. car. mo. ii. et val. xviis. &c. dim. ecclie. xvi. ac. val. xiid.
  • 2. Tre. Renaldi filii Ivonis—In Thorp. 1 soc. ii ac. et val. iiid.
  • 3. Tre. Radulfi Bainardi.—In Carboisthorp, et in Tottenhella xxii. lib. hoes. et dim. de cx ac. ten. Ailid T.R.E. sep. i. car. et val. xl sol. tota hab. iiii. qr. in long. et iii. in lat. et reddit. vi. de gelto. hanc reclam. p. escangio.