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 stands in a great valley, which Strath is said to signify; and several places in Scotland take their names from it, as Strathern, Strathnavern, &c. and in England, Stradshall, Stradbrook in Suffolk, &c. At the survey, Fulber held 2 carucates of land of Hermerus de Ferrariis, who had a grant of this town on the expulsion of Suartine a freeman, lord in the time of the Confessor, when there were also 6 villains and 2 bordarers, 1 servus, 8 acres of meadow, the moiety of a fishery, and 2 carucates in demean, 2 oxen, 1 runcus, 2 cows, &c. a church endowed with 30 acres, 140 sheep, &c.—In the said town were 13 freemen, who were deposed, and had 210 acres, and a church with 30 acres, 2 carucates and 7 acres of meadow, which were delivered to Hermer for one carucate, to make up one manor. The whole was valued at 4l. 15s. the protection of 2 of these freemen was, before this, in the Lord Bainard, his predecessor. The whole was 7 furlongs long, and 4 broad, paid 8d. to a 20s. gelt. (fn. 1)
Fulbert, who held this lordship of Hermerus at the survey, was probably ancestor of the ancient family of De Stradeseth, Richard de Stradeseth, by Lœtitia, daughter of Robert de Capravilla, was father of Robert.—Jeremy, son of Robert, was witness to a deed of William de Wirmegey, lord of Wirmegey, in the reign of King Stephen, (fn. 2) and Robert to a deed, in the time of Henry II.—Sir Osbert de Stradeseth (son of Sir Roger) and Maud his wife gave to Castleacre priory 26 acres of land in the moor of West Walton, late the land of Roger le Hare, for their souls health, except the payment of half a mark per ann. to the Bishop of Ely, and the work due to the castle of Wisbech, sans date;—witnesses Walter de Neishall, steward to the Earl Warren, Adam de Hackbeach, John de Fincham, &c.
Roger de Stradeset held one knight's fee, when an aid was granted on the marriage of King Henry the Third's daughter to the Emperor. Nicholas was lord in the 34th of that King, and was after a knight. In the reign of Edward II. Nicholas, son of Nicholas and Maud his wife, settled this lordship in tail, and by an inquisition taken Ao. 20 of Edward III. Nicholas de Stradeseth was a minor and in the ward of John Lord Bardolf, being part of his barony; he dying s. p. Elizabeth, his sister and heir, married John Hawkyns, Esq. serjeant at arms to King Edward III. who was lord in the 47th of that King. On his decease it came to their two daughters and coheirs, Alice, married to Sir Ralph Pooley, and Margery to—Neffield, Esq. In the 9th of Henry VI. George Neffield, Esq. son of Margery, was found to have held a moiety of this manor, and Rose Pygot, daughter of Alice, was his cousin and heir, then aged 40. (fn. 3) This Rose was the daughter and heir of Alice, by Sir Ralph Pooley: the said Alice married, to her second husband, Thomas Lathe, Esq. (fn. 4) who died in 1418, and was buried in Stradeset church, by whom she had children, and John Cavendish, Esq. was her 3d husband, by whom she had 3 daughters, and died his widow in the 6th of Henry VI. The abovementioned Rose married first Bartholomew Picot, Esq. lord of Framlingham Picot, and dying in the 11th of Henry VI. left Thomas, her son and heir, aged 26 years; this Thomas removed from Framlingham Picot, and settled here in 1437. He was succeeded by his son Thomas, who died on April 10, in the 3d of Henry VIII. and left John his son and heir, aged 30, who married Jane, daughter of Peter Bedingfeld, Esq. of Quidenham. This John made his will October 13, 1550, which was proved the 26th of May following, appointing his wife Jane, and Jasper Blake, Esq. his executors, and his body to be buried in Stradget church by his mother. His son and heir, John, had livery of this lordship, &c. in the 9th of Queen Elizabeth, and paid for this lordship to the Queen, 10s. 4d. per ann. and for lands late Robert Rowse's, and Edward Steward's, 2s. per ann. He was succeeded by John his son, by Alice, daughter of William Butts, Esq. of Shouldham Thorp, and his son Francis conveyed it to John Goldsmith, Esq. (son of John Goldsmith of Wilby in Suffolk,) who married Elizabeth, 2d daughter and coheir of Gregory Wood of Risby in Suffolk, Esq. after whose death she married Sir Henry Chauncy, Knt. serjeant at law, of Hertfordshire; by Goldsmith, she had a son John, and a daughter Elizabeth, married to Thomas Thurston, younger son of Nathaniel Thurston, of Hoxne in Suffolk.—John being a lunatick, the estate was in his sister Elizabeth, whose daughter and heir Elizabeth, married to Robert Buxton, Esq. of South Elmham in Suffolk, inherited it, on the death of her mother in 1728, which Elizabeth Buxton dying in 1729, it came to her daughter and heir Elizabeth, who married—Searle, Esq. and dying under age, s. p. — Goldsmith, Gent. succeeded as heir to this lordship, and conveyed it, in 1747, to Philip Case, Esq. of Lynn, who now possesses it.
On the screen of the hall, or manor-house, are the arms of Pigot, a fess checq. — between three pickaxes, and on the ridge tiles, were pigs and goats, as a rebus to the name.
This seems to be made up of certain lands, &c. taken out of the lordship of Stradset, by Alice, daughter and coheir of John Hawkins, Esq. abovementioned, and given to her daughters, Elizabeth and Emma, by Thomas Lathe, Esq. Elizabeth was married to John Curteys, and Emma to John Squirry, and in the 17th of Henry VI. a fine was levied between Curtis and his wife, querents, and Squirry and his wife, deforcients, of 12 messuages and several parcels of land here, and in Fincham. (fn. 5) After this, Elizabeth married, to her second husband, Thomas Styward, and by her will, proved August 20, in the 19th of Edward IV. she gives several lands, rents, and services here and in Fincham, and Crimplesham, to her husband Thomas Styward and his heirs, on condition that he and they keep yearly her anniversary, and that of her parents in the church of Stradset, where she desires to be buried. From this Thomas descended Francis Steward, Gent. whose daughter and heir dying under age, possessed of the manor of Paradise, in Stradset, Fincham, and Crimplesham; and in the 5th of Edward VI. Lawrence Steward, brother to her father, was found to be her heir, aged 40, and had livery of it.
Mr. Benn lately (as it is said) possessed it, and his daughter, married to — Randall, inherited it, but most of the lands, &c. are sold from it.
Sir Osbert de Stradeset gave, in the 34th year of Henry the Third's reign, the patronage of the church of Stradset, with a manor thereto appertaining, to the abbey, and in the 3d of Edward I. the abbot was found to hold 42 acres of land the gift of the said Osbert, and 30 acres of the gift of Ralph de Barshale, or Barsham. It continued here till the Dissolution, when, with the advowson of the vicarage, it was granted, November 17, in the 38th of Henry VIII. to James Hawe and Henry Hawe, to be held in capite, though some lands in the tenure of John Derham, belonging formerly to the said abbey, were granted on July 23, in the 2d of Queen Mary, to Thomas Reeve and Giles Isham. Afterwards it came to the Stewards, and Francis Steward presented to the vicarage in 1556; in 1579, Thomas Parlet, In this family it continued, till a daughter and heir of Parlet brought it by marriage to Mr. Read, and his daughter to Edmund Saffery of Downham, Gent. the present possessor.
The tenths were 5l. deducted 1l.
The lete was in the abbey of Ramsey, and in Sir George Hare, Bart. the fee 16d.
The temporalities of Derham abbey, with those of the priory of Winwaloy, were taxed at 9s. 8d. in 1428, and the spiritualities at 9 marks.
The temporalities of Shouldham priory at 8s. 4d.
In the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, Sir John Perrot had lands here and in Barton, given him July 27, lately belonging to the nunnery of Blackburgh.
At a little hill, on the common of this town, by the road from Norwich, Watton, Swaffham, &c. to Downham, called Clacklose hill, was the sheriff's turn, or hundred court, kept, as may be seen in the account of the said hundred.
The Church of Stradset is dedicated to St. Mary, and is an ancient single fabrick of flint and boulder, or carr stone, having a body in length about 60 feet, and in breadth about 19, covered with reed; at the west end is a four-square tower, with quoins and embattlements of free-stone, wherein hang 3 bells: about the middle of the pavement of the church lies a very large gray marble grave-stone, whereon has been a cross florall, and at the foot of it a lion couchant of brass, near the rim, between two fillets of the same metal, was the inscription, all which is now reaved; by the incision in the stone, made to receive the brass letters, it appears to be in old French, and Saxon characters; viz.
ICI. GIST. DAME. EMMA. DE. MOVNAVT. FEMME. DE. DEVX. BARONS. DIEV. PAR. SA. PITIE. AVEZ. MERCI. DE. SA. AME.
This Emma married, first, Richard Fitz-John, a baron, patron of Shouldham priory, who died an. 25 Edward I. and after to Roger de Monte-Alto, a baron, lord of Castle Rysing in Norfolk. In the 26th of that King, she held in dower, the manor, chase, and park of Whaddon, the manors of Ailsbury, Burton, and Quarndon in Bucks, the manor of Schalford, and the park of Alford in Surry, &c.
In the south window at the end of the nave, has been the effigies of St. John the Baptist, the lower part of it still remaining; at the bottom of the window, S'ci Joh'is bapt'e q'i ista' fenestra' fieri fecerunt. At this window has been an altar; the place for the holy water is still to be seen, and a niche in the wall for a statue: here the priests belonging to the guild of St. John Baptist, in this church, officiated; the window opposite, on the north side, seems to have a large cinquefoil, or, in a shield, and the windows of the chancel are beautified with the same bearing; most likely in honour of the Lords Bardolf, the capital lords, who bore the same. Nothing was more practised in times of popery, than the beautifying and illuminating windows, especially those where any altar was annexed; thus we find that Mary de Valentia Countess of Pembroke glazed the seventh window in the church of the Gray-Friars at London, she caused it to be made and painted at her own expense, to the ancient altar under it.
The chancel is divided from the nave by a screen of wood, being of oak, neatly carved, with flower pots and pillasters of the Ionick order; the breadth of the chancel is equal to that of the nave, and the length is about 26 feet; the communion table is railed in, and has an ascent of three steps. In the east window are the arms of the see of Ely, the arms of the East Angles, or Bury abbey, and the arms of Derham abbey. In the north window is a serpent twisting itself about the feet of a dove, and over it—Ut serpens, ut columba. On the pavement on the north side of the communion table lies a black marble,
M. S. Johan Scott, A. M. pastoris fidissimi, prudentissimiq; et per annos 43 hujus ecclesiæ vicarii, qui tandem exutò corpore, senex et cælebs hic requiescit in Domino. obt. Octob. 24 an Sal. 1727, ætat suæ 67.
Against the south wall is an achievement, (Plate I. Fig. 26.) gules, a lion rampant, argent, Wood, impaling on the dexter side, gules, a cross patonce, argent, on a chief azure, a lion passant, or, Chauncy; and on the sinister side, sable, a fess between three crescents, argent, Goldsmith; it being the shield of a woman impaled between her two husbands. Henry Chauncy of Yardleybury in Hertfordshire, afterwards Sir Henry, married to his second wife, Elizabeth, relict of John Goldsmith of Stradset in Norfolk, Esq. one of the coheirs of Gregory Wood of Risby in Suffolk, Gent. by whom he had no issue; she was cut off by the spotted fever at London, 14 August, 1677, and here buried. On the pavement adjoining lies a black marble; on the summit are the arms of Goldsmith, and
John Gouldsmith, Esq. (son of John Gouldsmith late of Wilby in the county of Suffolk) was buried the 23d of January, 1669, aged 58 years; also here resteth the body of Elizabeth, the relict of the aforenamed John, who departed this life August 14, 1677.
Against the north wall is also an achievement (Plate I. Fig. 27.), sable, three bugle horns, or, stringed and garnished azure, Thurston, impaling Gouldsmith; and on a black marble on the pavement—
Here lyeth Thomas Thurston, the fourth son of Nathaniel Thurston of Hoxon in the county of Suffolk, Esq. who married Elizabeth, the 2d daughter of John Gouldsmith of Stradset in the county of Norfolk, Esq. by whom he had 3 children, Elizabeth, Mary, and John; he died October 30, 1683. Here lyeth John, the son of Thomas, who dy'd May 14, 1684, and Elizabeth the wife of Thomas, who dy'd the 30th of December, 1728, aged 74 years, she liv'd his widow 45 years.
On the said pavement lies a little gray marble, having the portraiture of a man in complete armour, his hands conjoined, and a lion couchant at his feet in brass, and on a plate
Hic jacet Thomas Lathe armig. (fn. 6) qui obiit in vigil. S'ci Bartholomei, Ap'li An. Dni. M. ccccxviii. cuj'q; a'ie p'p'tiet. Deus, Amen; there have been three brass shields belonging to this stone, but only one remaining, with the arms of France and England, quarterly.
This church was given in the beginning of King Henry the Third's reign to the abbey of West Derham, by Sir Osbert de Stradset, and soon after, in the said reign, it was appropriated to the abbey, and a vicar endowed; the abbot had a manse with 30 acres of land, valued at 6 marks; the vicar had a manse with 54 acres of land and 2 of meadow, which the abbot detained, and kept to himself; Peterpence, 12d.
1314, Nicholas de Duntone, presented by the abbot, &c. of WestDerham.
1349, John de Totyngton, by the abbot, &c.
1349, Thomas Caldwer, by the abbot, &c.
1368, Henry Pollard, by the abbot, &c.
1390, Henry Brampton, by papal provision.
1401, William Okely on the resignation of Hunnock, by the abbot, &c.
1408, John Andrew, by the abbot, &c.
1416, John Attonesend of Conyngton in the diocese of Lincoln, on the resignation of Andrew, by the abbot, &c.
1428, Henry Shaw of Rungton-Holme, on the death of the last incumbent, by the abbot, &c.
1472, John Phelip, canon of West-Derham, by the abbot, &c. on the death of Asthell.
1482, Thomas Wigenhale, canon of West-Derham, by the abbot, &c.
1484, William Feltwell, canon, &c. by the abbot, &c.
1505, Robert Morpit, on the death of Feltwell, by the abbot, &c.
1520, Peter Tilney, on the death of Morpit, by the abbot, &c. this vicarage was then valued at 40s.
1540, William Susanne, on the death of the last vicar, presented by William Peers, and John Cresy, on a grant hâc vice from the abbot, &c.
1555, Hugh Tayler, collated by the Bishop of Norwich, by lapse, rector of Downham also.
1556, Roger Walker, by Francis Steward, Gent.
Dns; Rog. Walker, presbiter non conjugatus, mediocriter doctus, residet, non hospitalis, ibidem, non prædicat, nec licentiatus, nullum aliud. (fn. 7)
1579, Elias Comelick, on the deprivation of Archer, by Thomas Parlet of Downham Market: in his answer to King James, in 1603, he observes that there were 60 communicants here; he was A. B. and rector of Boughton by dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
1603, John Hodgson, A. M. by Francis Parlet; he occurs vicar till 1651; in which year I suppose he died.
1651, Myles Tayler, signs himself minister in the parish register.
Robert Gilbert occurs vicar in 1656, as appears from the said register.
1662, William Life, A. B. on the death of Gilbert, by Edmund Parlet, clerk, buried in his own church, 15 April, 1682.
1682, John Scot, A. B. on the death of Life, by Ann Parlet; buried in his own church, 27 October, 1727.
1727, William Harvey, presented by Edmund Saffery, rector also of West Wynch, and of Fincham.
1745, Love Shipley, by Edmund Saffery, Gent. rector of Snoring Parva.
This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 3l. 6s. 8d. and being in clear value 25l. per ann. is discharged of tenths and first-fruits.
Peter Machon, by his will, dated 5 July, 1471, desires to be buried in the churchyard of St. Mary Stradsete, bequeaths to St. John's gild for a light 6d. to St. Mary's gild here, 4d. to St. Mary's light, 4d. (fn. 8)
Francis Steward, Gent. 16 March, 1559.—Elizabeth, daughter of John Pigot, Gent. 18 July, 1582.—Thomas, son of John Pigot, Gent. 10 February, 1583.—Laurence Steward, Gent. 24 March, 1605.— Gilbert Pigot, son of Thomas Pigot, Gent. 23 February, 1609.—Mary, daughter of Francis Pigot, Gent. 1 November, 1611.—Thomas Pigot, Gent. 8 October, 1612.—Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Pigot, Gent. 30 December, 1614.—Susan, daughter of Francis Pigot, Gent. 8 June, 1617.—Alice Pigot, widow, 6 November, 1620.—Mrs. Ann Vahon, 22 May, 1657.—John Gouldsmith, Esq. 22 January, 1669.—Elizabeth, wife of Henry Chauncey, Esq. 18 August, 1677.—Barbara, wife of John Thurston, Gent. 24 June, 1682.— Thomas Thurston, Gent. 9 November, 1683.—Mary, daughter of Thomas Thurston, Gent. 7 January, 1684.—Mrs. Elizabeth Thurston, 3 January, 1728.—Mrs. Elizabeth Buxton, 17 October, 1729.