Clackclose Hundred and Half: Upwell and Outwell

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: Upwell and Outwell', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807) pp. 454-478. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Clackclose Hundred and Half: Upwell and Outwell", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807) 454-478. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Clackclose Hundred and Half: Upwell and Outwell", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807). 454-478. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

In this section


The greatest part of these towns with their lands, lie in Cambridgeshire, or the isle of Ely, but as the churches of both stand in Norfolk, I shall offer some particulars relating thereto. In the book of Domesday, Outwell in Norfolk belonged to the abbey of Ramsey, is said to have 16 borderers there, with lands valued at 5s. per ann. (fn. 1) the capital manor of these towns belonged to that abbey and lay in Upwell, and extended into Outwell, called Wella, as having their site on a river: Ailwin, a Saxon, Duke of the East Angles, on his foundation of the said abbey in 969, granted it to that house; there belonged also to it 20 fishermen with their manses and tofts, who were to find it with 60,000 eels yearly, &c. all which was confirmed by the Conqueror.

In the 4th of King John, Upwell was a town of such account, that it appears form the Pipe Rolls, that the abbot had, as lord it, a mercate.

In the 20th of Edward I. it was agreed between William de Luda Bishop of Ely, and John de Sautrey, abbot of Ramsey, at Wiselyngham on Saturday before the feast of St. Mark, that the lete of Welle should for the future be kept by the bailiff of the abbot, in the presence of the Bishop's bailiff, if he so thought fit, as it used to be peacefully kept till the 14th of Henry III. and that the Bishop should have his court of his tenants without the hundred of Clacklose, of all pleas belonging to a court baron.

King Henry VI. grants to the Bishop of Ely, and John, abbot of Ramsey, one common and open mercate weekly, and a fair yearly, on St. Peter and Paul's day, at Upwell, with all the profits; dated the 5th of April, an. 1, at Lincoln; and in 1428, the temporalities of this abbey, in Upwell and Outwell, were valued at 19l. 13s. 4d. and their spiritualities here and Modeney priory in Helgey, at 2l.; on its dissolution it was granted, on 20 of July, in the 38th of Henry VIII. to Edmund Beaupre, Esq. on the payment of a fee farm rent of 1l. 9s. 4d. per ann. which payment was made in the first of Queen Mary, on the 16th of June; and by Dorothy, daughter and coheir of the said Edmund, came by marriage to Sir Robert Bell.

Bishop of Ely's Manor.

That there was a lordship in Well, belonging to the church of Ely before the conquest, appears from ancient records, and seems to be part of the endowment of Ethelwold Bishop of Winchester, on the founding the Benedictine monastery therein, who purchased, about the 10th year of King Edgar, the whole isle of Ely free from all royal subjection, and gave it to that church; (fn. 2) but on the erection of the see of Ely, it became part of the Bishop's endowment. In the reign of Edward I. it appears from a register of the see of Ely, that the Bishop's manor here was in Cambridgeshire, or isle of Ely, in the hundred of Wichford, but extended into Norfolk; several tenants being in that county, and the hundred of Clackclose: the Bishop had foldage of his free tenants, weyf and stray, several fisheries and all royal fisheries in the Bishop's liberty belonged to him, giving 4d. to the finder; and the patronage of the church of St. Clement in Outwell, was in that see; the demesne was only 8 acres, called HallCroft. The lord may have a wind or a water-mill, but his tenants are not obliged to grind there: Sir Ste. de Marisco, Knt. held 4 messuages; the prior of Mirmound, 100 acres, which belonged to Henry de Alta Villa, 2s. per ann. the prior of Molycourt, a croft which belonged to John Supereure, at 6d. per ann. the canons of Thrilling, 24 acres at 6d. per ann. John de Walpole 1 acre by knight's service, which was Alan de Enemeth's.

In an account of Edward Pierpoint, receiver general of the reve nues of this see, about 3 and 4 of Philip and Mary, the Bishop's revenues in Well amounted to 2l. 5s. 2d.; after this in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it was vested in the Crown.

There being anciently several disputes and contests between the Bishops of Ely, and the abbots of Ramsey, (fn. 3) there were boundaries settled to their mutual satisfaction, which are still upon record.

Beaupre-Hall Manor.

The site of this manor is in Outwell and in the county of Norfolk, and takes its name Beau-pré, or de Bello Prato, from the fine meadows that surround it. The first lord of this manor that I meet with on record is Sir Thomas de St. Omer, Knt. in an old deed about the end of the reign of Henry III. (but sans date,) in the court of the Exchequer. In a bag of deeds of the county of Norfolk, it is recited, that whereas there had been difference between the prior of Lewes, and Sir Thomas, Knt. of St. Omer, Symon le Curteis, and other parceners in Upwell marsh in Norfolk, in which the prior claimed common, and the others denied him; by this deed it was agreed that the prior should have right of common for all his own cattle belonging to his manor of West Walton, freely, but neither the prior, his tenants, or villains, &c. should bring cattle out of his other manors to feed there, and that the prior should be helping to them to maintain the liberty of common according to their quantity of their lands in Upwell. Witnesses, Adam de Hakebeche, Walter de Denevere, (fn. 4) Knt. Josceline, son of Nicholas de Walpole, &c.

This family of St. Omer is on the roll, amongst those persons of note and eminency who came over with William the Conqueror, (Hugh de St. Omer is mentioned as a baron of the realm by Mat. Paris,) and no doubt was seated here, nigh the time of the conquest; and mention is made by Sir Henry Spilman of John de St. Omer, of Well, who wrote an answer to a monk of Peterburgh, who in the reign of King John, wrote a lampoon in Latin against the country people of Norfolk, and Sir John de St. Omer was keeper of the wardrobe to King Henry III. an. 33.—In the fourth of Edward I. 1276, Everard, prior of Mulicourt, leased lands to Sir William de St. Omer. In 1274, he, with Thomas de St. Omer, and William de Rivers had the King's letters of protection, as proxies for him, then going to the council of Lyons; and in 1275, Sir Thomas was with Simon de Grey, justice itinerant in Cambridgeshire. Sir William de St. Omer lived at Well in the 42d, and in the 53d of Henry III. was judge of the assise at Cambridge, — and living an. 14 Edward I.

Sir Tho. de St. Omer was his son, and had large possessions left him by his father, being lord of Brundal, Mulbarton, &c. in Norfolk. In a north window of Mulbarton, was to be seen painted in the glass, an armed knight kneeling; behind him his lady kneeling, and behind her a young lady, her daughter, kneeling; on his armour and over his head, was his arms, azure, a fess between six cross crosslets, or; on his lady's vestments, and over his head, was gules, three sinister hands couped, argent, under them, this French legend, Priez pour les almes de Mounsieur Thomas Seutomeris et Dame Petrinelle sa femme, qui sit faire ceste fenestre. His lady Petronilla, was the daughter of Nicholas de Malmains; (fn. 5) this is to represent that Sir Thomas who was living in the reign of Edward III.

It appears that Sir Thomas, aforesaid, son of Sir William, left no issue male, and that this lordship became the inheritance of Christian daughter and heir of Sir Thomas St. Omer, who lived in the reign of Edward I. she married John, son of Gilbert de Beaupre, whose ancestors had considerable possessions in these townships. This John FitzGilbert appears, by ancient deeds, to have inherited also from them a manor in Well; (fn. 6) to this John, Nicholas Durdant, rector of Lucham in Norfolk, for a certain sum of money, granted several villains, cum totâ sequelâ, and the lands they held of him by deed sans date; witnessess, John de Dunham, John de Arsicks, Ralph de Rothyngs, Knts. and to the said John Henry de Hale, clerk, granted the advowson of the priory of St. Mary de Mulicourt, by deed dated at Utwell, on Thursday after the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula, in 1313, soon after which the said John Fitz-Gilbert died.

Richard de Beaupre, son and heir of this John, was lord, and married Catherine, daughter of Osbert de Mundeford, Esq.

Sir Thomas de Beaupre was his son and heir, who married Joan, daughter of Thomas Holbeach. Esq.; he lived in the reign of Edward III. and by a deed dated 1362, to which is his seal, it appears, that his arms were, on a bend, a pallet between two cross crosslets, and the same were to be seen in the east window of the chancel of Outwell.

Nicholas was his son and heir, who married Margaret, (fn. 7) daughter of Richard Holdich of Didlington, in Norfolk, Esq.; this Nicholas, by his will dated the 1st of September 1380, bequeaths his body to be buried in the chapel of St. Mary in Outwell, to the repair of the church 11s.; to the high altar 12d.; to the repair of the church of Welyngham 11s.; to the high altar 12d.; and the residue of his moveable goods, to Margaret his wife and Thomas de Walton, prior of Molycourt, to dispose of as they see good, for the honour of God and his soul's health. This Nicholas died in 1404.

The will of Joan, mother of Nicholas, and late wife of Sir Thomas, is dated on Sunday after the feast of St. Matthew, 1392, and bequeaths her body to be buried in the churchyard of St. Clement in Outwell, to the lights of every altar in the said church 12d. to the repair of it 13s. 4d. to the mending of two bridges 11s. and appoints Nicholas her son, and Thomas, rector of that church, executors.

This Nicholas had a son of his own name, who by his will dated 24th of September 1428, ordains his trustees in the manor of Wesenham, &c. to keep the same for the raising of 200 marks to fullfil his last will, to be disposed of in masses, &c. for his soul, and those of his ancestours; bequeaths vestments to the value of 20l. to the church of Outwell, to the prioress of Blackberge 13s. 4d. per ann. (fn. 8) out of his lands, &c. in South Lenn; xs. to be given amongst the poor of Outwell, to Elizabeth his daughter 10 marks, 10l. to be disposed of for his burial; to the guild of Corpus Christi 40d; to that of St. Mary 6s. 8d. to that of St. Christopher and St. John in Outwell 40d. to be equally divided; to Margaret, his son Thomas's wife, 40s. for her own use; to Alice, wife of Martin Capper, 13s. 4d.; to each of his executors 40s. and to the monks of Mulicourt 20s.; and to be buried in the church of Outwell, by Margaret his late wife; and proved by his son Thomas, the 9th of March 1429. Regist. Surflete. pt. 2. fol. 52.

Thomas de Beaupre was his son and heir, who married Margaret, daughter of John Meers of Lincolnshire, Esq.; she, by her last will, dated on Monday after the feast of Easter, 1439, bequeaths her body to be buried in St. Mary's chapel in the church of Outwell, before the image of St. John Baptist, gives to the guilds and church of Outwell, 8 marks, for a priest to pray one year for her soul, &c. and it was proved on the 6th of June following.—In the year 1452, the will of Thomas de Beaupre bears date on the feast of St. Dionysius, bequeaths to Margaret his wife the manors of Frevyles and Southall in Welyngham, Norfolk, for life, and 40s. per ann. out of his manor in Outwell, and the said manors to Robert his son (on the death of Margaret) if he should so long live, and to his heirs male, and in default thereof, then to Thomas his son and heir, &c. to John Brigg, 10l. per ann. out his manor in Wesynham, (which John married Elianore, daughter of the said Thomas,) till he should receive out of it the sum of 50l. and then to his son Thomas, &c. by this it appears he married a second wife, Margaret, who was, as I take it, daughter of Osbert Mundeford, Esq. senior, and by a deed dated 1448, the said Osbert delivered seisin of the manors of Frevyles and Southall in Welyngham, to the said Thomas and Margaret, which he had of the said Thomas; which was most likely on a marriage settlement.

Thomas de Beaupre, Esq. was his son and heir, who in 1459, his father being then alive, married Margaret, daughter of Robert Ashefield, Esq. of Stow-Longtoft in Suffolk.

Nicholas de Beaupre, Esq. was his son and heir, who in 1493, married Margaret, daughter and coheir of Thomas Fodryngey, as will appear from this following covenant.

"This indenture made the 14th day of November, the 7th year of the reigne of King Harry the VII. betwix Sir Robert Radcliff and dame Katherine his wife, on the oon party, and Nicholas Beaupre on the other party, witnesseth that whereas the said Sir Robert and dame Katherine, have in their kepyng and governaunce oon Margaret Fodringgey, oon of the daughters and heyres of Thomas Fodrynggey, late of Brockley in Suffolk, gentilman, the said Nicholas, before the feast of the nativity of St. John Baptist next comyng, by the assent, help and favor of the said Sir Robert and dame Katherine, and for the faithfull love, that the said Nicholas hath long time had to the said Margaret, shall by the grace of God, marry and take to wif the said Margaret, and espowsells between them shall be solemmynised, for the which, &c. the said Nicholas shall be bound; and cause also with him, Thomas Beaupre, his father to be bound, &c. to the said Sir Robert and Katherine, &c. in the sum of xll. payable, &c. and the same Sir Robert and Katherine, &c. graunteth by these presents to delyver the said Margaret, to the said Nicholas, unassured to any person, &c."

The will of this Nicholas is dated on the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, 1513, wherein he bequeaths his body to be buried in the chapel of St. Mary in the church of Outwell amongst his ancestors; (fn. 9) to Henry his brother ccs. per ann. out of his manors of Beaupre, Southall, &c. and his son Edmund to enter in the said manors, &c. when he comes to the age of 21 years, and to him and his heirs, and in default thereof, to Nicholas his son; to the said Nicholas his manor of Northall in Wesingham; mentions his daughter Margery, cousin Fincham, and cousin Munford, proved the 24th of January 1514, and the said Margaret, died the 20th of February, in the 6th year of Henry VIII. seized of Brockley in Suffolk, and Edmund was her son and heir, 13 years old, (fn. 10) which Edmund married Margery, daughter of Sir John Wiseman, of Great Thornham in Suffolk, and Elizabeth, his wife, as appears from the will of the said Elizabeth, (then his widow,) dated the 4th of October, 1548, wherein mention is made of this Margery, and her four daughters, by the said Edmund; Catherine, Elizabeth, Mary, and Ann, who were then all alive, and was proved the last day of October 1551. His 2d wife was Katherine, daughter of Philip Bedingfeld, Esq. This Edmund, died the 14th of February, 1567, and by the marriage (as it is said) of Dorothy, another daughter and coheir to Sir Robert Bell, this manor of Beaupre was vested in that family. In the will of Lady Wiseman abovementioned, this Dorothy is not mentioned, the daughters of Edmund Beaupre there mentioned, I find from several ancient pedigrees to be thus disposed of, Catherine, married Edmund Wright, — Elizabeth died young; Mary married Richard Berwick; and Ann married Nicholas Wright. Spilman says (fn. 11) that this Dorothy was by the late wife of Winter, (fn. 12) but does not further explain himself. It appears that she was married to Bell on the 15th of October 1559, which is about eleven years after the date of the Lady Wiseman's will. Sir Robert Bell was Speaker of the House of Commons Ao. 14 Elizabeth, was chief baron of the Exchequer, and died of the pestilential vapour, at Oxford, at the assizes there in 1577, which destroyed also the high sheriff, most of the grand jury, and above 300 more, and his widow was married to Sir John Peyton, lord lieutenant of the Tower of London.

In this family the manor of Beaupre continued till the death of Beaupre Bell, Esq. in 17 - -, who dying unmarried, gave it by will to his youngest sister, Elizabeth, who married William Greaves, Esq. of Fulborne, in Cambridgeshire, who in right of his wife is the present lord. See the pedigree following of Bell.

I find also from an old record, that on the death of Edmund Beaupre, Esq. many of his lands came to Mary, late wife of Richard Berwick, Anne Wright, widow, Edward Wright, son and heir of Catherine Wright, and Christian, daughters and coheirs of Edmund Beaupre, Esq. but this lordship was given by the said Edmund, to Dorothy, his daughter, by Catherine, daughter of Philip Beding feld, Esq. who married Sir Robert Bell, and afterwards Sir John Peyton, lieutenant of the Tower of London. (fn. 13)

The Pedigree of Beaupre, Bell, &c.

West Derham Abbey Manor,

This consisted of parcels of lands, fisheries, rents and services, given by many persons: the principal persons were Thomas de Burgo, son of Walter, who in the reign of Henry III. gave to that abbey a messuage and 50 acres of land in Upwell; Alan, the merchant of Well; William le Curteis, who in 1237, bequeathed his body to be buried there; Ralph, son of Stephen Ruch; John, son of Osbert de Well, Albrict, son of Walter de Wells, &c. gave them lands here, &c.; and in the 19th of Edward I. the abbot of West Derham was found to have a manor here, which extended into Outwell and Emneth. In 1428, the temporalities of the said abbey here were valued at 10l. 13s. 8d.

On its dissolution it came to the Crown, and on the 16th of June in the first of Queen Mary, was given to Edmund Beaupre to be held by knight's service, it being then farmed by him with lands thereto belonging in Outwell and Emneth, in the tenure of Nicholas Steward; (fn. 14) and it passed (as is observed in Beaupre manor) from him to the Bells, &c.

William Earl Warren had at the survey 6 borderers in Outwell. (fn. 15)

In the 3d of Edward I. the Earl Warren was found to hold a manor here, after this I find no further account of it; being held by the Beaupres, as I take it, and united to their manor of Beaupre-hall.

Lord Bardolph's Manor, alias Criktots.

At the survey, Hermerus de Ferrariis, ancestor of the Lords Bardolph, had six bordarers here. (fn. 16)

In the 50th of Henry III. Thomas de Yford (Ufford) held it, and had a swan mark on the water of Well, he impleading divers for taking them, and the sheriff returned that the malefactors lived in the isle of Ely, or confines, and that he could not do his office by reason of those persons, who were disinherited, and lurked thereabouts.

Hugh, prior of Lewis, granted by fine in the 56th of the said King, to Robert de Oford, one messuage, 55 acres and 3 roods of land, and a moiety of a fishery here; but in the 27th of Edward I. Sir William de Criketot of Criketot in Suffolk was found to hold the same in soccage of Hugh, Lord Bardolph, in Upwell, valued at 5s. per ann. with the manors of Ashfield, Ixworth and Ousden, in Suffolk, leaving William his son and heir.

In the 47th of Edward III. William Walsham and Thomas Ikeworth, released to Richard de Pakeham and Joan his wife, heir to the Criketots, all their rights in the manors of Upwell and Outwelt, Criketots, and in all the lands, &c. in Ashfield Magna and Parva, Hunteston, Langham, Walsham, Wyverston and Wetherden in Suffolk, and to the heirs of their body, excepting the lands that Alberick de Wyke gave to William Criketot and Isabel his wife. In the 1st of Richard II. a fine was levied between Nicholas Goddard of Tirington, querent, and Richard Pakenham and Joan his wife, deforcients, of lands here, and the 4th part of a fishery, granted to Nicholas. After this, Gilbert Haultoft, Esq. baron of the Exchequer, in the reign of Henry VI. was lord: (fn. 17) he was buried in the church of Outwell, and left it to his daughter and coheir, Alice, who married Thomas Derham of Crimplesham, Esq. and by Elizabeth, his daughter and coheir, it came by marriage to Thomas Fincham, Esq. in which family it lately remained.

Fincham's Pedigree, of Outwell.

Sautreys, or Wells, Norton's manor and Hackebech in Upwell; these manors Edmund Beaupre, Esq. was found to die seized of; they came also to the Bells, and are now held by William Greaves, Esq.

Thurning manor in Upwell, with its appertenances, granted 28 July, in the 30 of Henry VIII. to Tho. Meggs to be held in capite.

Walsingham Manor.

Walter de Burgo released by deed, sans date, all his right in the homages, reliefs, services, &c. of the lands given by Roger Godlomb to the canons of Walsingham in Norfolk, and held by him in Upwell, opposite to Mullicourt, containing in all 380 acres with the tithes. (fn. 18) Simon de Outwell, Jeffrey, his son, and Reginald, son of Jeffrey, gave them also several lands here; in 1428, the temporalities of this house were taxed at 1l. 10s.

On the Dissolution, it was granted 12 September, in the 36th of Henry VIII. to John Eyre, Esq.

The nunnery of Nun-Eaton in Warwickshire had also a manor here that extended into Elme, and Emneth, the temporalities of which were taxed at 2l. 11s. in 1428; this was granted 6 of June, in the 33 of Henry VIII. to Thomas Mannours Earl of Rutland, to be held in capite, and was then in the tenure of William Fyndon. (fn. 19)

The tenths of these towns were 13l. Deducted 1l. Remain to pay 12l. Upwell lete fee, is 3s. 4d.

Many religious houses had possessions here—Abbot of St. Noet's, was charged at 20s. per ann. for his temporalities given by the Earls of Clare. (fn. 20)

The prior of Lewes, was taxed in 1428, for his temporalities in Upwell and Outwell, 2 marks.

Abbot of Thorney, 7s. 6d.—Prior of Ely, 1l. 2s.—Monks of Thetford, 1l. 16s. 8d.—Abbot of Peterburgh, 4s.—Prior of Norwich, 2l.— Prior of Ixworth, 2l. 8s.—Prior of Hempton, by Fakenham in Norfolk, 16s.—Bury abbey, 12s. (fn. 21) —Prior of Castleacre, 3s.—Priory of Crabhouse, 12s.—Simon Selvald of Upwell, with the consent of Maud, his wife, gave the monks of Castleacre the moiety of all his land. Witnesses, Hugh dean of Fincham, Sir Osbert de Stradsete, &c. (fn. 22)Droge confirmed the grants made by his father, and gave all that he had in Wells to the said priory. Witnesses, Valerian, canon of St. Mary de Sudwerk, Odo, priest of the parish, &c.—Alexander de Alezun gave, with his body, to that priory 40 acres, and 40 to the monks of Lewes. Witnesses, Ralph, prior of Castleacre, Eborard, capellan. de Hagebech, &c.—Gilbert, son of Richard, the tithe of a mill in Well, and another in Wireham to that priory.—The prior of Lynn had lands here in 15 of Henry VIII. joining to Sheep Load, and 3 furlongs of that load was to be scoured by him. Amongst the manuscripts of Peter Le Neve, Norroy, was a curious discourse of the marshes and fens in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire; by Francis Audeley, 1604.

In the time of Adam de Boothby, abbot of Peterborough, there was an indictment at Northampton against a stoppage of the water at Upwell, so that the river Nen could not have its course to Lynn; whereby the counties of Northampton, Lincoln, Bedford, Huntingdon, and Cambridge, were much endamaged; and a decree was procured from Geffrey Le Scroop, the King's chief justice, for clearing the passage. And it appears by a presentment of the jury, made in the 3d of Edward III. that the course of the water of the Nene, came from Peterborough, through the limits of Upwell, and that Walter de Langton Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry, asurer to King Edward I. in order to drain his manor of Coldham in that neighbourhood, stopt the course of the river with earth and sand, to the great damage of the country. They say on their oaths, that the river Ouse, descending from Huntingdon, and the river Nene from Peterborough, met at Benwick, had used to run directly thence to the port of Lenn, by Outwell; and that by the said stoppage, no navigable vessels could afterwards pass to and from Lenn, as they had wont to do. And Dugdale observes that the river Ouse, whose current now discharges itself into the sea by Lynn, passed in King John's time, under the town of Littleport in the isle of Ely, and so on to Wellenhee, (Welney,) and through the two towns of Upwell and Outwell, whence it had the name of Well Stream, and so under Walsoken sea bank, through the washes between Lincolnshire and Marshland, into the sea; where the river Nene, that comes from Peterborough through Wisbeach, runs through those washes now, and slides into the sea. (fn. 23)

The Church of Upwell is dedicated to St. Peter, and is a large regular pile, consisting of a nave, a north and south isle, with a chancel, all of stone, embattled with brick, and covered with lead; the length of the nave is about 71 feet, and the breadth, including the isles, about 51. About the middle of the nave, lies a marble gravestone, with this inscription on a plate of brass,

Orate p. aiab; Wilhelmi Damet et Clarisie uxoris ej; qui quid' Wills. obt. ix. die Novemb. Ao. Dni. M. cccccxxvii. Quor a'iab; p'pit. Deus, Amen.

Near the desk, on an old grave-stone, deprived of its old plate, is this modern inscription—

Here lieth the body of Abel Butler, gent. son of Abel and Elizabeth Butler, he departed this life July 10th, 1714, aged 38 years.

On several marble stones, here are the following inscriptions,

Here lyeth the body of Abel Butler, gent. who departed this life November the 8, 1702, aged 65, also Elizabeth his wife, who departed this life March the 5, 1683, aged 24 years.

On a brass plate,

M. S. Elizabetha, Petri Ashton de Grantham in comitatu Linc. armig. filia, natu secunda, nupsit Petro Dymond de Upwell infra insulam Eliens. in comit. Cantab. armig die Lunæ 25 Januar. 1652, quæ præmissis octo filijs, atq; unâ insuper filiâ, relictis tribus filiabus, atq; unico filio, tanquam tot charissimi conjugij sui pignoribus mortem obt. Sept. 29, 1676, An. ætat. suæ 49.

And under this plate,

Under this stone lieth also Mrs. Frances Audley, who departed this life April 15, 1728, aged 77.

And this on a brass shield above, argent, on five lozenges in fess, gules, between three mullets sable, five escallops of the 1st, Dymond, impaling, argent, a mullet, sable, Ashton.

Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Audley, gent. who departed this life, the 27 of August, Ao. Dni. 1722, aged 24 years.

And near to the reading desk stands a large eagle on a pedestal; supported by three lions, all of brass. As you ascend,

Maria uxor Tristr. Dymond armig. filia Petri Pretyman de Bacton in com. Suff. gen. obt. 15 Julij 1663, annoq; ætatis suæ 57.

On a plate, the arms of Dymond, and

Tristramus Dymond armig. obt. 6 Julij 1660, Ao. Æt. suæ 52.

Below this,

Under this stone also lieth the body of Sam. Audley, who departed this life the 7th day of November, Ao. D. 1727, aged 66 years.

The roof of this nave is ornamented with carved work, and angels, with their wings expanded bearing insignia relating to the crucifixion, bear up the principals; the whole is supported by neat pillars forming six handsome arches on each side, with as many windows over them. At the east end of this nave, on the south side, is a stone turret and staircase which led to the rood-loft; and on the north side is a table of the benefactors.

"Thomas Lamb of Upwell, by his will, December 27, 1562, gave to the poor of this parish in Norfolk, and the isle of Ely, a messuage and 3 acres of land in Plawfield, Upwell, to which was allotted by the adventurers a parcel of land in Neatmoor, abutting on Popham's Eau north; rent to be distributed by the church-wardens at Christmas."

"John Fox, by his will, April 15, 1626, gave to the poor of Upwell in the Isle, an house with two acres of land in the said Isle, in Upwell, abutting on the river Neen south, to which appertain a lot in Euximoor, abutting on the 16 foot drain; the rents to be distributed on Easter Monday."

"Also to the poor of Upwell in Norfolk, one house, abutting upon Small Load Creak, to which appertains a Neatmore lot abutting upon Welney road, to be distributed on Easter Monday.—Also an house adjoining, abutting on the said Creak, with a lot in Neatmore abutting on the said Welney road, and Mumbrede Drove; the rents of these to the repair of the church."

"There belong also to the poor of Upwell, 3 acres of land in or near Adcock's hill in High Fen, given to the Isle.—Also 3 acres of land in a place called Shrewsnest, abutting upon the old river, and river Neen given to the Isle."

"John Boss, gave by his will 10l. to the poor in Norfolk, Upwell, the interest or rent of the same, to be distributed in bread, yearly, at the feast of St. Thomas."

"Thomas Dixon, 20l. to the poor on both sides; to be distributed in money on Good Friday."

"Matthew Batman, gave by his last will, 5l. per ann. out of his estate, for ever, to be distributed amongst the poor in the Isle side, in cloaths, at Christmas; the whole estate is security for this."

"John Bond and John Raper, Church-wardens, 1727.

The north isle has a neat oaken roof, with angels, &c. as the nave, and on the braces, are many swans carved. At the east end of this isle has been a chapel and altar; on the pavement there lies a marble grave-stone, with the portraiture of a priest; and on a brass plate,

Hic jacet D'ns. Willms. Whitemete quond' rector de Yaxham, qui obt. vii die mens. Septemb. Ao. Dom. Millo. ccccxxxii. cuj; a'e p'pit. Deus Amen.

Whytemete was also rector of Oxburgh, which he resigned; his will is dated 4 September 1432; he thereby desires to be buried in the church of Upwell, before the altar of St. John the Evangelist. (fn. 24)

At the west end of this isle stands a tower, the bottom part is foursquare, the upper octangular, of boulder, &c. embattled with brick; on this is a shaft or spire of wood covered with lead; in this tower hang 6 large bells, and here is a town clock; it has a porch of stone, covered with lead, and a room over it; on the old door are also several swans carved, as a rebus, likely, to some benefactor of that name, or as a compliment paid to King Henry IV. who had a swan for his badge or cognisance.

The south isle has also a roof of the same work, &c. with the north, ornamented with swans; at the east end of it has been an altar; on the pavement lies a marble grave-stone, with the portraiture of a priest in brass, and on a plate,

Hic jacet D'ns. Henricus Martyn quond. rector eccles. de Yaxham, qui obt. primo die mens. Januarij Ao. Dni. Millo cccc.xxxv. cuj; &c.

At the west end of this isle lies a stone in form of a coffin, carved, &c. and adorned with crosses pattée.

On the screen that divides the chancel from the nave, has been painted, our Saviour bearing his cross, his ascension, the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, the Trinity, an altar with the cup and wafer, supported by two bishops, also several female saints now obscure. The chancel roof is also supported by angels, as the nave, but not of equal beauty; here also are the effigies of demons, grinning, horribly as offended with the work. On the area of this chancel, which is in length about 44 feet, and about 20 in breadth, lies a marble stone, with a large portraiture of a priest in brass; it has been ornamented with curious canopy work, a rim round it, shields, and a plate of brass, but of these it is now deprived, and was, no doubt, in memory of a rector of this church, probably Mowbray. Here also lies a marble grave-stone, with a large plate of brass, and thereon the portraiture of a man and his wife, with a desk between them; behind the man kneel 7 sons, and behind her 4 daughters; and thus inscribed,

These following verses are alluded to Jane Bell, deceased, the last wife of Sinolphus Bell, Esq. who being aged 62 years, departed this life on Munday, being the 26 of February, 1621.

Here lyeth buried of whome may be sayd For parentage equall with most in this land. Noe wyves, maydes, or widdows more hartily pray'd, Then she in her closset, whose liberal hand, Was ever releeving the poor in their neede, For they and diseased of her did well speede. Her name was Jane Caltropp, as being a mayde, Her mother a Rookwood of awncient discent, She married a Bell, and never delayed, By deeds and good usage to give him content. Children she had eleven, whereof daughters four, Of whom remayne seven alive at this hower.

Against the south wall is this achievement, Bell with his quarterings; 1, sable, fess ermin, between three bells argent, Bell; 2, argent, three piles wavy, gules, between twelve martlets sable, Col; 3, argent on bend, azure, a pallet between two crosslets, or, Beaupre; 4, azure, fess between six cross-crosslets, or, St. Omer; 5, argent, a maunch, gules, in a bordure, azure, Tony; 6, quarterly, or and gules, a cross lozengy, sable, in the 2d quarter an eagle displayed of the 1st, Fotheringaye; 7, gules, eagle displayed, sable, in bordure engrailed, or, Strange; 8, ermin, on chevron, sable, three crescents, or, Dorward; (fn. 25) 9, argent a cross between four escollops sable, Coggeshall; 10, argent, lion rampant, gutté de sangue, Fitz Symons; 11, argent, a bend raguly, sable, - - - - - - -; 12, argent on chevron sable, three escallops of 1st, Hawkwood; 13, or, a chief indented sable, Harsike; 14, argent on a bend, gules, three buckles masculy, or, Watshall; 15, ermin, a maunch, gules, Gestingthorpe; 16, quarterly argent and sable, on bend, gules, three mullets, or, Clipsby, impaling Calthrop and his quarterings; 1, checque, or and azure, a fess ermine, Calthrop; 2, gules on chief argent, two mullets sable, Bacon; 3, argent, three escotcheons, gules, Davillars; 4, azure, three griffins in pale, passant or, Wythe; 5, gules, fess dauncy between ten billets or, Brett; 6, azure, a cross formy or, Mautby; 7, St. Omer, as before; 8, argent, lion rampant, sable, Stapleton; 9, per pale, or and vert, a cross moline, gules, Ingham, and this motto, Guarde le Foy.

Above the screen fronting the chancel is a large piece of painting, in this the church of England is represented by a venerable matron, clothed in white, crowned, and seated on a throne, at her feet is wrote, The church of England; on her knees lie the Bible and Common Prayer-Book, Book of Homilies, and the 39 Articles; in her left hand, she holds a cup, by this is wrote, Drink ye all of this; her right hand points to a font, round which stand godfathers and godmothers, &c. and an infant in the arms of one, by this, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; over the head of the venerable matron, Many daughters have done well, but thou exceedest them all; by her is the communion table spread, and communicants on their knees, under all, this poem; (fn. 26)

I joy dear mother, when I view, Thy perfect lineaments and hue, Both sweet and bright.

Beauty in thee takes up her place, And dates her letters from thy face, When she doth write.

A fine aspect in fit array, Neither too mean, nor yet too gay, Shows who is best.

Outlandish looks may not compare, For all they, either painted are, Or else undrest.

She on the hills, which wantonly Allureth all in hope to be By her preferr'd,
Hath kissed so long her painted shrines That e'en her face, by kissing shines For her reward.

She in the valley, is so shie Of dressing, that her hair doth lie, About her ears.

While she avoids her neighbours pride, She wholly goes on th' other side, And nothing wears.

But dearest mother (what those miss) The mean thy praise and glory is, And long may be,
Blessed be God, whose love it was, To double moat thee with his grace, And none but thee.


King John, in his 15th year granted this church to Robert de Gloucester for life, with the appertenances. (fn. 27)

John de Offenham occurs rector 1260, and, by deed, then granted to John de Burgo, leave to erect a chapel in his own grounds, saving the rights of his church.

1303, John de Hadenham, deacon, presented by the abbot of Ramsey.

1331, John de Sandale, by ditto.

William de Uredale had, in 1335, license not to reside.

1351, William de Stratton, by the abbot of Ramsey.

John Benet, died in 1374.

1396, Peter Baker, by, &c.

1396, The name in the institution book is omitted. I take Thomas Tyrington, to be the person, by the King, the temporalities of the abbey of Ramsey being then in his hands.

1412, William Mowbray, on the resignation of Thomas Tyrington, by, &c.; this was on an exchange for Fynchyngfeld in London diocese. Mowbray, by his will dated 9th of November, 1428, and proved the 15th of November following, desires to be buried in the chancel. (fn. 28) Newcourt, in his Repertor, has omitted this Thomas Tyrington.

John Blome succeeds William Mowbray, as he calls him, in the vicarage of Finching feld in Essex; vol. ii. p. 264.

1428, John Martyn, by, &c.

1446, John Harnham, L. L. B. by, &c. on the death of Martyn; he was commissary to the Bishop of Ely.

1447, John Ewbank, on the resignation of Harnham, presented by John, abbot of Ramsey. (fn. 29)

1466, Thomas Cooke, L. L. B. on the death of Ewbank, &c. prebend of Bedford major, in the church of Lincoln.

1493, Thomas Hutton, Decret Dr. on the death of Cooke, by, &c. rector of Gravely, and Wardebois in 1495, archdeacon, as I take it, of Bedford, and of Lincoln, and prebend of Brampton in that church.

1494, Richard Skypton on Hutton's resignation, by, &c.

1497, Thomas Hobbys, S. T. B. on Skypton's death, by, &c. I take this Thomas Hobbys to be prebend of Strenshall in the church of York.

1505, John Harrys, Decret. Bacc. on Hobby's resignation, who had a pension of 10 marks per ann. settled on him till he could get a benefice, or benefices of 40l. per ann.

1517, Thomas Leson on Harrys's death. I take him to be prebend of Gaia Minor, in the church of Litchfield.

1539, John Badcocke, on Leson's death, by Thomas Brakyn, Esq. on a grant hac vice, from the abbot; after this the patronage came to Edmund Beaupre, Esq. as an appendix to the abbot's manor, together with a pension of 2 marks per ann. paid by the rector of old, to the sacrist of Ramsey, and which was confirmed by John of Oxford Bishop of Norwich: Presbyter non conjugatus, S. T. P. satis doctus, non residet, non hospitalis, in Cantabrigia. (fn. 30)

1562, (fn. 31) Richard Barton, by Thomas Barrow, Osbert Mundford, Esq. and Edward Leeds, A. M. executors of the last will of Thomas Goodrick, late Bishop of Ely, on a grant of the presentation hac vice, from Sir Edmund Montague, lord chief justice of the King's Bench, to whom, John, abbot of Ramsey, had granted the next presentation. Non p'dicat. nec licentiatus, null. aliud.

1567, Henry Bedingfeld, by Edmund Beaupre, Esq. rector also of Southacre.

1582, Peter Fuller, on Bedingfeld's death, by John Peyton, Esq.

1595, John Richardson, S. T. B. by Sir John Peyton, and the Lady Dorothy; he was afterwards regius professor of divinity, at Cambridge, master of St. Peter's and of Trinity college, &c. In 1603, 525 communicants were returned to be in this parish.

1625, Thomas Reeve, on Richardson's death, by Robert Bell.

1662, Nicodemus Parlett, A. B. on Reeve's death, by Edm. Bell, Esq.

1666, Francis Goldwell, A. M. on Parlett's death, by ditto.

1691, Michael Griggs, L. L. D. on Goldwell's death, by the Lady Susan, wife to the Lord Howard of Effingham, rector also of Cressingham Magna.

1698, Talbot Hobart, A. M. on Grigg's death, by Beaupre Bell, Esq.

1701, Hugh James, A. M. on Hobart's death, by ditto.

1740, Timothy Rutter, on James's death, by John Holmes, merchant.

1757, Richard Walker, D. D. late rector of Fakenham, by William Greaves, Esq.

1765, Edward Pemberton. Ditto.

This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 16l.—Tenths are 1l. 12s.—synodals 3s.—procurat. 4s.—the old valor was 10 marks.

From ancient wills, these altars appear to have been in this church; the Holy Trinity—St. Mary—St. John Baptist—St. Thomas the Martyr, and St. Edmund's. (fn. 32)

And these lights, Corpus Christi—Holy Cross—St. Mary, our Lady of Pity,—St. Christopher—that of the Resurrection—St. Gregory— St. Laurence.

Thomas Wellys of Upwell, advocate, by his will dated 14th of January, 1475, bequeaths his body to be buried in this church; to the light of Corpus Christi 13s. 4d. on condition, that light hanging in the chancel burn night and day for ever, and to the other lights according to the direction of his excutors, a meadow piece of 30 acres, to find a chantry priest (and a meadow called Sallow meadow, for the said use) to pray for his and his wife Alice's soul, and Henry Wellys's late archdeacon of Lincoln, and William Whytmete, late rector of Yaxham, &c.

In this parish was also a chapel, dedicated to St. Botulf.

In this town and Outwell lived the ancient family of Wells.

Outwell Church is dedicated to St. Clement, and is a large regular building of carr and boulder-stone, &c. consisting of a nave, a north and south isle, and a chancel, all embattled with copings, of stone and brick, the roofs of oak, covered with lead; at the west end of the nave is a foursquare tower of the aforesaid materials, with quoins of free stone; on that is raised a neat spire of wood, covered with lead; in this tower is a ring of five bells, and a town clock, the length of the church from the west door to the chancel, is about 78 feet, and the breadth, including both the isles, about 53 feet.

On a stone in the nave an inscription,

In memory of Robert Mesures, Gent: who married Mary, daughter and heir of Thomas Spencely of South Lynn, Gent: who dyed 27, Dec. 1666, Æt. 45.

Here also is a large brass eagle.

The roof of the south isle is raised like that of the nave, supported by saints and angels bearing scrolls in their hands, and here is an anchor carved, the insignia of St. Clement: the east end of this isle is enclosed with a screen, and is the ancient chapel of St. Mary, the burial place of the Beaupres, &c.

Against the south-east wall of this is a large gray marble altar monument, with its wall-piece; on the summit is the shield of Beaupre, with his quarterings; 1, argent on a bend azure, a pallet between two cross crosslets, or Beaupre; 2, azure, a fess between six cross crosslets or, St. Omer; 3, Quarterly, or, and gules, a cross lozengy sable, and in the 2d quarter, an eagle displayed of the 1st, Fotringey; 4, gules, an eagle displayed, sable, in a bordure, or, Strange of Suffolk; 5, ermine on a chevron sable, three crescents, or, Dorward, 6, argent, a cross between four escallops, sable, Coggeshall; 7, or, a chief indented sable, Harsick.

Edmund de Beaupre, the sonne and heyre of Nicholas de Beaupre and Margaret his wyfe, whyche Margaret was one of the daughters and heyress of Thomas Fodryngaye, Esq; heyre to Syr John Dorward, Knyght, Syr William Coggeshall, Knyght, and Syr John Harsyck Knight.— Under this—Hic jacet Edmundus de Beaupre, Armiger, filius et hæres Nich. de Beaupre, Armiger, et Margaretæ, uxoris ejus, unius filiarum et hæredum Tho. Fodryngaye, quondam de Brockley in comit. Suff. Armig. qui obt. quarto decimo die mensis Feb. Ao. Dni. millesimo, quingento. sexagesimo septimo, cujus animæ p'pit. &c.—under this, another shield, Beaupre and St. Omer, quarterly, impaling Fodryngaye, quartering Strange, Dorward, Coggeshall, and Harsyk.

Nycholas de Beaupre, married Margaret, one of the daughters and heyres of Thomas Fodryngaye, Esq;—Hic jacent Nich. de Beaupre, Armiger et Margareta, uxor ejus, una filiar. et hæred. Tho. Fodryngaye, quond. de Brockley. in comit. Suffolc. Armig. et consanguinea et heres Joh. Dorward militis, Joh. Harsyck, militis; et Will. Coggeshall, militis, qui obt. duodecimo, die Febr. An. Dni. millesimo, quingentesimo, duodecimo, quor. animab. p'pitiet. &c.

The east window of this chapel, contains several figures of saints painted on the glass, St. Edmund the King, St. Edward the Confessor, St. Anthony, St. Laurence, &c. and on the summit is the profane representation of the Deity (as in the time of popery) vested in robes of blue, seated in a chair of gold, with an orb in his hand; but this will less surprise us, when we are told by Onuphrius that "In the church of St. Latryn, at Rome, behynd the high altar, there stands a chair, which God sat in, and who that sitteth therein, hath the third part of alle hys synnes relesy'd." (fn. 33) The shield of the five wounds, gules an heart, or, between a dexter and sinister hand, and a dexter and sinister foot couped, saltire ways, argent; and azure, a cup, or, with the wafer or panis, argent.

And in the south window the figures of St. Peter, St. Bartholomew, St. Agnes, St. Margaret, St. Catherine, &c.; within the south wall is an old enarched monument, for the founder, without any date, arms or inscription; against the wall hangs an achievement, with the arms of Bell, sable, a fess ermine, beteween three bells argent, and the same is carved on the roof. The south window aforesaid seems to have been thus beautified by Margaret, wife of Thomas de Beaupre, who died in 1439, and therein is still to be seen a lady on her knees.—This isle has a porch, with a room over it.

About the middle of the north isle, in the wall, is an arch, and passage to a chapel, which is in length about 18 feet, and about 15 feet in breadth, with a good oaken roof and painted, supported by angels, with the insignia of the crucifixion in their hand, and wings expanded, covered with lead. Against the north wall of this chapel is an altar monument, but the brass plate that was thereon, is gone: in the east window are the broken remains of persons on their knees, and this date, M.CCCCXX. and on the south wall over the arch, is the salutation of the Virgin Mary, painted; it is called Lynn chapel, and probably might belong to an ancient family of that name, of good account in Cambridgeshire.—On the roof may be observed some chevrons, gules.

At the east end of this north isle is a large chapel about 26 feet in length and 18 in breadth, coved with lead, the windows of this chapel are beautiful. (fn. 34)

On the summit of the east window, are the figures of our Saviour, St. Michael, with the triangular emblem of the Trinity on his breast, and slaying the devil, St. George, with the red cross on his breast, slaying the dragon, and that of St. Audrey, with a crosier staff in her hand, and the arms of the see of Ely.

In a north window near to this; the figures of St. Edward the King and Confessor, with the gold ring in one hand, and a sceptre in the other, St. Edmund the King and Martyr, with an arrow in one hand, and a sceptre in the other, St. Ethelbert, King and Martyr, with an orb and a sceptre, all these well executed, as large almost as the life, in their robes and crowned. Over St. Edward the King are the arms of Fincham, argent, three bars sable, over all a bend ermin—impaling, quarterly in the 1st and 4th, argent, a fess gules, between three eagles displayed, sable, Elmham, as I take it; and in the 2d and 3d, argent, three bars wavy, azure, Wells. Over St. Edmund the King, gules, a bend between six cross crosslets fitchee, argent, Howard, impailing, azure, a fess between two chevrons argent, Tendring of Suffolk. In a garter, over St. Ethelbert, Fincham impaling Tendring.—In the same window are these arms, Fincham, on the dexter side, or, on a cross azure, a torteaux between four bezants, in a bordure ingrailed of 2d; on the sinister, - - - - - - - sable, three lozenges, ermine, in a bordure, argent, Haultoft, azure, a buck's head cabosed, or, Derham.—In the lowest north window, gules, a chevron or, between three leopards faces, argent, Carvel, impaling Fineham, and Haltoft, quarterly, argent, on a chevron gules, three birds or, - - - - - - - - -, impaling Fincham, Haltoft and Derham, argent, lion rampant, sable, Stapelton, impaling Fincham and Haltoft, quarterly.—Fincham impaling Derham and Holtoft, quarterly.—Fincham impaling argent, a fess in chief, three martlets, and in base, a chevron azure, Tey of Essex.—In this window are the figures of the wise men, with their offerings almost as large as in life, and the Virgin teaching the child Jesus.—On the area lie a marble gravestone, with a brass plate,

Hic jacet Margareta Haultoft, quondam ux. Gilberti Haultoft uni. baronu. sc'aij nup. Dni. Henrici VI. reg. Ang. cuj. a'ie, p'pit. Deus. &c.

It appears from the arms in the windows, and on the roof and stone work, that it was built by John Fincham, Esq. who married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas Derham, Esq. and Alice his wife, who was daughter and coheir of Gilbert Haultoft, and his wife Margaret, which Gilbert, is also here buried, and gave certain lands to find a chantry priest to say mass in this church, for the souls of the said Gilbert and his wife, and Sir Robert Hakbeach, &c.—On a marble gravestone,

In memory of John Fincham, Esq. who dyed March 24, 1709, in the 80 year of his age; here also lye his wifes Mary and Susan, by whom he had 2 sons and 7 daughters, all here buried, Mary, Frances, Jno. Jane, Catherine, Christian, the last Elizabeth, wife of Matt. Hardy, gent. who departed, &c. August 2, 1731, aged 61; with the arms of Fincham.

The chancel is in length about 42 feet, and about 20 in breadth, and is covered with lead. In the east window are the arms of Beaupre, and St. Omer, and in a small pannel transposed quarterly in 1st and 4th sable, a chevron between three spear heads argent; in the 2d and 3d, argent on a bend, sable, three roses, argent; as I take it, Morgan Bishop of Ely.

On a beam, Orate p, ai'a. Robti. Bottler quond. hujus eccles. rectoris; and on the roof, S. R. B. to shew it was repaired or erected at the said rector's charge. Within the rails of the communion table, on a grave-stone,

Here lyeth the body of William Stanton, bach. in divinitye, and parson of this church of Outwell, which deceased xxi, 1580.

In the south window of the chancel there was formerly this antique piece of painting, A matron in a white robe and blue mantle, on her knees, between four men; at her feet, a fox hanging on a tree, wounded in the neck with two arrows, behind and before two monkies with bows, shooting at the fox.

In this church, there appears from old wills, to have been these guilds, Corpus Christi, St. Mary, St. Christopher, St. John, and St. Clement.

And these lights, Corpus Christi, Holy Cross, Our Lady in the chapel, Lady of Pity, St. John Baptist, St. Christopher, St. Erasmus, St. Nicholas, St. Thomas, St. Margaret, St. Elyn, St. Ann, St. Michael, St. James, St. Catherine, and Holy Trinity.

The feast of the dedication of this church was kept on the 21st of November, and changed by Walter Heart Bishop of Norwich, about 1470, and enjoined to be kept on the 24th of September.


Sinolphus, son of Sir Robert Bell, 25 November, 1628. Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Bell, 2 August, 1629. Anthony, son of Sir Robert Bell, 20 May, 1631. Beaupre, son of Sir Robert Bell, and Mary his wife, 27 August, 1638. Sir Robert Bell, 31 October, 1639. Dorothy, daughter of Fr. Bell, Esq. 14 April, 1682. Mary, daughter of Sir Robert, 16 April, 1645. Mary, daughter of Fr. Bell, and Dorothy, 20 May, 1685. Lady Mary Bell, 10 September, 1656. Catherine, daughter of Fr. Bell, and Dorothy, 14 September, 1685. Elizabeth, daughter of Fr. Bell, Esq. 5 August, 1673. John, son of Beaupre Bell, Esq. 9 February, 1704. Dorothy, daughter of Fr. Bell, 4 September, 1676. Mary, daughter of B. Bell, Esq. 20 August, 1710. Phill. Bell, Esq. 3 March, 1677. Dorothy, daughter of B. Bell, Esq. 28 November, 1715. Francis Bell, Esq. 4 November, 1680. Margaret, wife to B. Bell, Esq. 20 October, 1720.

George Boteler, parson of Melton, by will, in 1541, gave his house in Oughtwell, called Stonhams, after the decease of Agnes his sister, to this town, on condition that the parish clerk shall dwell in it for ever, at the assignment of the church-wardens, and the clerk to give xiiid. to the poor people on Midlent Sunday.

Rectors Of Outwell, St. Clement.

In the Deanery of Fincham, Norfolk.

1216, (17 of John's reign) Robert de Gloucester, presented by the King, in the vacancy of the see of Ely, he was archdeacon of Stafford.

John Walerand, rector, an. 41 Henry III.

1252, John de Chishull, presented by the King, the see void; he was afterwards Bishop of London.

1328, Peter de Mortiniaco, (fn. 35) collated by the Bishop of Ely; before this, in the beginning of the reign of King Edward I. the book called Norwich Domesday (which was wrote then, and is in the custody of the dean and chapter thereof) acquaints us that the Bishop of Ely was then patron, and that the rector had at that time, neither house nor land.

1334, William Tothe, on the resignation of Mortiniaco, collated ut supra.

1335, William de Heppeworth, on the resignation of Tothe, collated, &c.

1337, Henry de Melburn, occurs in 1337, presented by the King on February 1, in that year; the see of Ely void.

1337, Oliver de Schelton, on the resignation of Melburn. collated ut supra; he was rector of Staundon in the diocese of Litchfield and Coventry, and exchanged with Melburn.

1349, Thomas Northern, presented by John de Oo, vicar-general to the Bishop of Ely, then in foreign parts.

1354, Edward Southward, on the resignation of Northern, (he was vicar of Hinton in Cambridgeshire, and exchanged with Northern,) collated by the Bishop.

1366, Simon Knyght, on the resignation of Southward; he was rector of Chelde in the diocese of Litchfield and Coventry, and presented by King Edward III. the see being vacant.

1383, Thomas de Leverington, on the resignation of Knyght, (he was rector of Farnynho, and exchanged with Knight,) collated by the Bishop.

1400, Robert Newman, on the resignation of Leverington, collated by the Bishop; he was perpetual curate or chantry priest of one of the three chantries in the church of St. James, Garlick-Hythe, London, and also at the guild-hall, London, and exchanged with Leveryngton.

Robert Massingham occurs in 1402, and 1414, buried in his own church; his will was proved 25 November, 1427. Regr. Surflete, p. 13.

1433, John Mydewell, S. T. B. collated by the Bishop, &c.

1434, Ralph Rochford, on the resignation of Mydewell, collated ut supra.

1427, William Freverdowe, L. L. B. collated ut supra.

William Cley, occurs in 1460.

1472, William Ryddyk, collated ut supra.

1495, John Holme, on the death of Ryddyk, collated, &c.

1503, Robert Butler, on the resignation of Holme.

1529, Robert Cliff, L. L. D. on the death of Butler; collated by the Bishop of Ely: he was also rector of Northwold.

William Harvie.

1552, Christopher Barton, on the death of William Harvie, by the Bishop.

1554, James Hall, by the Bishop, &c.

1556, Adam Loftowse or Loftus, chaplain to the Earl of Sussex, afterwards Archbishop of Armagh, 1562, in Ireland, and chancellor; he was of Trinity college, Cambridge, and D. D.

1562, James Ingram, M. D. by the Bishop, &c.

1574, Daniel Bacon, A. M. on the death of the last rector, by, &c.

1578, William Stanton, on the promotion of Bacon; collated by the Bishop of Ely. About this time the rector is said to have a parsonage-house, &c. 3 acres of arable and 3 acres of pasture, adjoining to his house; it is thought parson Butler purchased the pasture and left it to the church.

1580, John Snowden.

1583, Thomas Weller, on the death of Snowden, presented by the Queen.

1595, Richard Crowche, A. M. on the death of the last rector, presented by the Queen.

1597, Andrew Bradenham, A. M. on the death of the last rector, by the Queen; buried in his own church 22 January, 1618. In his answer to King James's queries, he says there were in 1603, 320 communicants in his parish.

1618, Sam. Calverley, A. M. by the King.

1654, John Leigh, A. M. admitted by the commissioners at Whitehall, appointed for the approbation of public preachers.

1709, Thomas Pyle, A. M. on the death of Leigh, by the Bishop of Ely.

1718, Simon Hamden, on Pyle's resignation, by the Bishop, &c. rector also of West Walton.

1758, Henry Southill, by the Bishop.

1760, Richard Oram, by the Bishop.

The church is valued in the King's Books, at 16l. Tenths 1l. 12s. Synodals, 4s. Procurations 4s.; the old valor was 10 marks. Peterpence, 8d.

In this parish was the hermitage of St. Christopher. In the 22d of Edward III. a patent was granted for building a chapel to it. (fn. 36)

Mulicourt Priory,

Called also the Chapel of St. Mary de Bello Loco.

In the parish of Outwell, and county of Norfolk, on the right hand of Well-Creak, on the bank as you go from Downham to Outwell, stood this little old priory, founded in the time of the Saxons, (as is said,) of the order of St. Benedict. (fn. 37) In the reign of Henry III. Adam, son and heir of Sir John de Brancastre, granted Robert de Hale, rector of Aylington, the patronage of this priory, of St. Mary of Molicourt, with one acre of land in Brancastre, for 10 marks sterling paid him in his urgent necessity. Witnesses, Martin de Suthmere, Gilbert de Titchwell, Philip de Bintre, John de Walpole, Walter de Denvere, John de Curpel, knights, &c. Sans date. And Henry de Hale, clerk, by his deed, dated at Utwelle, on Thursday after the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula, in the 7th of Edward II. granted it to John, son of Gilbert de Beaupre of Utwelle. After it became so poor, through the great inundations of water, fresh and salt, the sterility of the lands on that account, the great expenses and charges in repairing the lands and houses, that there was not (as was represented) maintenance left, sufficient to support one monk; so that it was by license of King Henry VI. united and appropriated to the priory of Ely. "Henry by the grace of God, King of England, &c. know, &c. that we have granted and given license to our beloved the prior and convent of Mullicourt, that they may give and grant to the prior and convent of Ely, one messuage and 24 acres of land in Wygnal, called Towtes, and 8 messuages in Outwell, Upwell, and Downham, in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, and 7 acres of land in Emneth, and all other lands and tenements, rents and services, which the aforesaid prior and convent of Mullicourt now have in the towns of Outwell, Emnethe, Walsoken, Downham, and Lenne, in Norfolk, and in the towns of Outwell, Upwell, Wysbeach, and Leveryngton in Cambridgeshire, to have and to hold to the aforesaid prior and convent of Ely, and their successours for ever. And likewise we have granted, &c. to the aforesaid prior and convent of Ely, that they with the assent and consent of those that have interest, may unite, annex, incorporate and appropriate the priory of Mullicourt with all its rights, &c. to the said church of the prior and convent of Ely, also license to the prior of Ely to receive or purchase 10 marks per ann. in mortmain, so that the lands given or purchased, be not held in capite of the Crown; dated at Westminster, 7 August, 24, an. regni. Witness, Myself at Westminster, the 7th of August, in the 24 year of our reign." Accordingly it was appropriated by Walter Hart Bishop of Norwich, 4 December, 1449, the church of Ely paying to the see of Norwich an yearly pension of 3s. 4d. Before this, on 23 Feb. 1385, the Bishop of Ely granted 40 days of pardon to all benefactors to this priory, on account of its poverty.

The temporalities of this priory, in 1428, were valued at 100 shillings.

Edward occurs prior in 1276.

Simon occurs prior 32 Henry III.

Robert, prior in the 25th of Edward I. as appears by a fine then levied.

Andrew occurs prior 34 Edward I. (fn. 38)

6 October 1316, William de Merston, collated by the Bishop of Norwich, his election by the convent being set aside. (fn. 39)

About this time, in the 13th of Edward II. the prior paid 18s. 4d. for his tenths in Outwell and Upwell.

1 May, 1320, John de Malteby admitted prior.

2 November, 1333, David de West Derham, elected on the death of Malteby, confirmed and admitted by the Bishop.

10 April, 1369, John de Derham, elected on the death of David, admitted on the presentation of Sir Thomas Beaupre; no election was made for the want of monks.

9 July, 1390, Thomas de Walton, admitted, &c. by the Bishop, on the death of John de Derham, the election of the convent being set aside.

3 June, 1427, Stephen Wyse admitted on the death of Walton. It appears from the Institution Books, that he was the only monk in the convent on the death of Walton; so that the Bishop (gratiosè) out of pure favour admitted him.

The site of the priory and lands here, are in the dean and chapter of Ely, and now held by lease of that body; the last prior seems to be Robert de Temisford.

Mirmound Priory

Was in the parish of Upwell, but in the Isle and county of Cambridge, of the order of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, founded in the reign of King Richard I. with the leave of Eustachius Bishop of Ely, by Sir Ralph Hauvyle, or de Altâ Villâ, who gave to this poor house 300 acres of fine pasture, lying in Upwell and Outwell, on both sides of the water, to have the prayers of 3 priests in the said house, the feeding of sixty small beasts in the said pasture, and 5s. annual rent. (fn. 40) Sir Thomas, his son and heir, confirmed the same, and granted liberty of pasture for four mares with their foals; also 4 couple of swans, paying 5s. rent per ann. In the 11th of Edward II. Thomas de Hauvill, lord of Rainham Parva, Norfolk, gave the advowson of that church to this priory, and ao. 10, the manor of Dunton in Norfolk.

In 1428, the temporalities of this house in Upwell and Outwell, were valued at 11l. 8s.—In the 21 of Henry VIII. Peter Church was prior.—I have by me a small parchment roll, by time much obscured, of the state of this house in 1520, which manifests its meanness and poverty.

Status Domus Beat. Marie de M'mond in festo Sti. Ambrosij Ep'i.

Ao. Dni. m.ccccc. vicesimo quarto.

In Catallis cu. alijs p'tin.
Debita Domus It. in Equ. in stabulo ij
It. imp. Will Demmet uj. It. in Vacc. et Vitul. viii
It. Redib. It. in Cymball. (fn. 41) ij
It. Dompu. Joh. Replyngham It. in magnis retibus et recticulis. xv
It. Vicar. de Dunton. It. in Nassis. (fn. 42) xvi
It. in tent. apd. Well. It. in Lupis et Lupill. (fn. 43) xxx
It. in tent. apd. Wallsokyn. It. in Anguillis. iij

Pensions of 2l. 13s. 4d. were paid to some religious of this dissolved house in the 1st year of Queen Mary, as appears from the auditor's account, John Eyre, Esq.

At the Suppression, it was valued, according to Speed, at 13l. 6s. 1½d. and 10l. 7s. 7d. as Dugdale.

Roger Walker in 1555, is called late prior of this cell, and occurs prior 1539: he surrendered it with one canon or monk, and had a pension of 2l. 13s. per ann.

On the 8th of April, in the 9th of King James I. messuages in Upwell and 5 acres in Plowfield, Upwell, of the priory of Mirmound in the county of Cambridge, were granted to John Eldred, and George Whitmore, Esq.

John Eyre, Esq. in the 36th of Henry VIII. had a great close in in Outwell, called Wadingstowe, belonging lately to Walsingham abbey, granted him by the King, Pt. 18.

In the 10th of Elizabeth, this priory was granted to Percival Bowes, and John Mosyer.

In this parish of Outwell, on the King's highway, was the hermitage of St. Christopher, with a chapel thereto belonging, near to the church, as appears by a patent of King Edward III. in his 22d year.


  • 1. Hundr. de Clechescosa—Terr. Sci. Benedicti de Ramesio—Utnuella xvi bord. val. v. sol. Spelman's Icenia. p. 139.—4 Joh. Rot. 10.—Madox Hist. of the Exch. p. 278.—Præclara quæd. de Cænob. Petrob. et Rameis. by Tho. Hearn. p.187. ex Sprot's Chron.—Reg. Eliens. in Bibl. Cotton. p. 340.
  • 2. Hist. Eliens. Regr. El. p. 94. in Bibl. Cotton.
  • 3. Tho. Hearn's Edit. of Sprot's Chron. p. 198. Oxfd.
  • 4. Matt. Parr. p. 126.- - Rymeri Fæd. vol. ii. f. 23. Adam de St. Omer mayor of Lynn in 1275.
  • 5. A daughter and coheiress of this Sir Thomas and Petronilla, his wife, (heiress of Malmain,) Alice, was married to Sir William Hoo; Elizabeth was another daughter and coheir, by a second wife of Sir Thomas. Blomfd. Hist. Norf. vol. iii. p.
  • 6. Evident. pen. Beaup. Bell, Armig.
  • 7. The will of Margaret was proved 29th of Sept. 1404, and she was buried in the chapel of St. Mary in Outwell church.—Regist. Harsyke fol. 313.
  • 8. Elizab. Beaupre, prioress of Blackburgh in Norfolk, resigned in Sept. 1434, probably sister of this Nicholas.
  • 9. Regr. Spirlinge, fol. 93. He also wills 2 candlesticks of Laton, with 2 wax candles of 2 pound to be set upon his grave, to burn every Sunday and holiday, at matins, hey mass and even-song for the space of a yere.
  • 10. Esch. 6 Hen. VIII. N. 117.—Reg. Corant Norw.
  • 11. Spilm. Icen. p. 139.—Regist. Eccl. de Outwell.
  • 12. Cath. Winter presented to the church of Southacre, in 1578, so that I take it she was relict of Edmund Beaupre, Esq. (mother of Dorothy, who married Sir Rt. Bell.) and after remarried— Winter.
  • 13. Sir Robert married a 2d wife,—, the widow of Edward Anderson, Esq. eldest son of Sir Edmund Anderson, lord chief justice; she died s. p. by Sir Robert.
  • 14. 1. Mar. Pt. 7.
  • 15. Terr. Will. de Warrenna — In Utuuella 6 bord. Rot. Hund. Clackl. 3d. Ed. I. in Cur. Recept. Sccij.
  • 16. Terr. Hermeri de Ferraijs.—In Wella, 6 bord.
  • 17. Pla. Sci. Mich. coram. Rege 50, &c. Hen. III. R. 3d.—Fin Norff. Lig. 10. N. 41, Nr. 68.—Esch. 27 Ed. I. Nr. 47.—Claus. 47 Ed. III. M. 18 and 16, —Fin. 1 Rd. II. L. 1. N. 6.
  • 18. Regist. Wallsingh. fol. 126, 128. Pat. 18.
  • 19. Pat. 2.
  • 20. Regist. Sc'i Neoti in Bib. Cotton.
  • 21. Sampson, abbot of Bury, in the reign of Richard I. at the instance of his good friend, Sir Stephen Ridell, granted to Gregory de Mariscis, lands in Welle, held by Reginald Brun, paying 12d. per ann. to the Abbot's manor of Suthrey, Regr. Nig. Bur. p. 206.
  • 22. Reg. Castleac. p. 72, 73, & 51.
  • 23. Gunton's Hist. of Peterb. —P'lita Coron. 3 Ed. III. Rot. 70.—Dugd. Hist. of Imbank. &c. p. 256. 300.
  • 24. Regist. Surflete, p. 26.
  • 25. See in Southacre.
  • 26. Herbert's Poem called the British Church, p. 102.
  • 27. 15th Joh.—Evid. B. Bell, Armig. —Lib. instit. Norw. Quere, if this Robert was not the famous old poet.
  • 28. Reg Surflete, p. 31.
  • 29. Regist. Abb. de Ramsey.
  • 30. Parkeri Certificator.
  • 31. About this time the right of presentation was in dispute, see Dyer's Reports, p. 231.
  • 32. Reg. Doke, p. 33. Regr. Typp's. Regr. Gelour, Regr. Hurning, p. 6.
  • 33. Onuph. de 7 Sanct. Eccles. Urbis Romæ—See Weaver's Fun. Mon. p. 164.
  • 34. Gilbert Haultoft, or Hiltoft, one of the barons of the Exchequer is said to have built this chapel, but John Fincham Esq. who married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas Derham, Esq. by Alice, his wife, 1st daughter and coheir of Gilbert, seems to be the founder by the arms.
  • 35. Lib. Institut. Norwic.
  • 36. 22 Ed. III. p. 2. M. 40.
  • 37. Lib. Institut. Norw. Nr. 8, et lib. 10.—Regr. Fordham.
  • 38. Fin. 25 Ed. I. L. 5. N. 50.
  • 39. Lib. Instit. Norw.—Rot. Pip. 13 Ed. II.
  • 40. Ex. Mss. Regist. olim p'tin. Coll. S. Trin. de Pontefracto, nunc in Coll. Regin. Oxon. Dugd. Mon. vol. iii. fol. 107. Fin. 11 Ed. II. Norf. L. 4. N. 33. —See in Dunton, Gallow hundred.
  • 41. Little fishing boats.
  • 42. Hoop nets, or gluts.
  • 43. Pikes and pickerells.