An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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Ralph de Tony had the grant of a lordship here on the expulsion of two freemen, who possessed 80 acres of land, and a carucate, and was part of Tony's capital manor of Necton, in South Greenhow hundred. (fn. 1)
The ancient family of De Caldicote, lords of Caldicote, who held lands there of the aforesid Ralph's fee in that town, had an interest herein in the reign of King Stephen; and in the 16th of Edward I. William, son of Eudo de Caldkote, grants to Thomas, son of Stephen de Ware, several rents, services and homages, held of him and his ancestors, in Shingham, Caldecote, &c. in the 3d of Edward III. Stephen, son of Thomas de Ware, held rents here, of 44s. per annum in Oxburgh and Caldecote, and in the 10th of Richard II. Richard Holdich held a lordship; and Thomas Fykes, in the 10th of Henry IV. held a court, as Sir William Calthorp did in the 4th of Henry V. but in th 16th of Henry VI. Hugh Methwold, and Alice his wife, conveyed by fine their right to Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knight, who being beheaded in 1461, and having no issue, Margaret, his sister and heir, inherited it: the widow of Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. and Sir Edmund, her grandson, were found to hold it an. 13 of Henry VII. in this family it remained till conveyed by Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Baronet, to Samuel Tayler, merchant, of Lynn Regis, in the reign of King George I. Andrew Tayler, Esq. his son, died s. p. 1760, and left it to William Fowlks, Esq. who married his sister and coheir.
Besides this small fee, or lordship, there was another lordship that extended into this town, that of Well-Hall in Beacham-Well.
In the 10th of Richard I. William de Schengham appears, by a fine, to hold considerable lands here and in Well, and Sara, daughter of William de Scheiengham, claimed part of it in the 8th of Henry III. as her inheritance.
Henry, son of Walter de Shengham, held a messuage, 33 acres of land, 2 of meadow, 3s. and 4d. rent per ann. in the 3d of Edward I. of Gilbert de Well, and Maud his wife.
About this time, I find, by an old parchment roll, that this village lay partly in two hundreds, and that there were 60 dwelling-houses, (habitabiles mansiones,) wherein persons dwelt or inhabited in the hundred of Clacklose, and 20 in that of South Greenhow, whereas at this time, there is only a farm-house, and a little tenement; the farmhouse, being in the south part of the old village, is in the hundred of South Greenhow. and the church and tenement in the north part, in the hundred of Clacklose.
The Earls of Clare, being the capital lords of this town, had always the patronage of the church, but on the death of Gilbert Earl of Clare, who was slain at the battle of Bannocks-Burn in Scotland, in 1313, his great inheritance came to his 3 sisters and coheirs; Margaret, married first to Piers de Gaveston, and after to Hugh Lord Audley; Eleanor, to Hugh, Lord De Spencer; and Elizabeth, to William Burgh Earl of Ulster.
In the 20th of Edward III. John, son of Peter de Wells, and Edmund his brother, were found to hold the 4th part of a fee of the Earl of Gloucester, and the Earl of the King, which Peter de Well formrely held.
After this it came to the family of the Trussbuts, of whom see in Rungton Holme, and in Shouldham; Thomas Trussbut, Esq. son of Laurence, by his will, dated December 31, 1451, gives to William, a younger son, his lordship of Shingham, who dying s. p. it came to Jane his niece, daughter and heir of his eldest brother, John Trussbut, who brought it by marriage to Thomas Colt, Esq. of Grey's Hall in Cavendish, Suffolk, one of the privy council to King Edward IV. in which family it continued, until conveyed to the family of the Lovels of Beacham-Well, who sold it in the reign of King James I. to Thomas Athow, Esq. serjeant at law, of Beacham-Well, and was conveyed by William Athow, Gent. to Sir Simon Tayler of Lynn.
Samuel Tayler, Esq. merchant of Lynn, his son, was lord, who by Mary his wife, daughter of Sir Robert Stewart, was father of Andrew Tayler, Esq. he dying a bachelor, in 1760, left it to William Fowlks, Esq. who married his sister and coheir.
Near to the church arises a find spring, and from hence flows a stream or rivulet that separates the hundred of Clackclose, from that of South Greenhow, and empties itself into the river Wissey: probably its ancient name was Schin or Shen;—Shengay is a town in Cambridgeshire, Shenfield in Essex, Shenly in Hertfordshire, &c.
The Church is a very antique building of flint stone, &c. all of an equal height, without any additional chancel; part of the east end of this church, being taken in with a screen, serving that purpose, and without any tower, having an arch of stone on the summit of the west gable-end, where formerly hung a bell. It is dedicated to St. Butolph, and is a rectory valued in the King's books, at 4l. 6s. 8d. and discharged. There belonged to it 20 acres of glebe, and a house, but that is now destroyed.
Richard Fitz-Gilbert, surnamed Crispin, a kinsman to the Conqueror, ancestor of the noble family of the Earls of Clare, having a grant of this lordship on the death of Rainald, son of Ivo, left it to Gilbert his son, who with Adeleidis his wife, grant by deed, sans date, for the redemption of their souls, and of their ancestors, to the priory of Castleacre, this church, the land of Edric the priest, the tithe of the mill of Welle, &c. (fn. 2) this was probably some portion of tithe.
Bartholomew de Walsingham, rector.
1328, Richard de Geistwayte on Walsingham's resignation, presented by the Lady Alianore Le D'Spencer.
John de Kerdiff, rector.
1344, John de la More, on Kerdiff's resignation, by Hugh Lord De Spencer.
In 1410, Nicholas Blaunch died rector.
Thomas Woodrofe died rector in 1540.
William Shimpling died rector.
Thomas Watson, rector in 1557.
John Fox, died rector in 1624, the King then patron; in 1632, he returned 33 communicants.
Luke Sheen, rector in 1650.
William Constable, rector.
1706, Edward Hogan, by the King.
1734, Mr.—Morehouse, on Hogan's death. Ditto.
1763, Mr. Forby. Ditto.
The temporalities of West-Derham abbey in 1428, were 7s. 6d. Of Westacre priory, 2s. 8d.