An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.
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In this section
- NORTH CREAK,
Now accounted a part of the hundred of Brothercross, was at the time of the grand survey, a member of the hundred of Gallow, under which we find these particulars of it: Roger Bigot, ancestor to the Earl of Norfolk, of that name, was lord of it, and Turstan, son of Guido, held under him 4 carucates of land, which Kochaga possessed in the reign of the Confessor; 6 villains, 14 bordarers, and 10 servi belonged to it; there were then 4 carucates in demean, and 3 amongst the men, paunage for 20 swine, with 6 acres of meadow, &c. and 25 socmen, with 1 carucate, &c. valued at the survey at 6l. per ann. before that, at 4l.
Bigot also had half a carucate of land held by 4 freemen; Turstan, son of Wido, was enfeoffed of this by Roger; there was one carucate and an half, in King Edward's days, at the survey, two bovates, valued at 3s. per ann. (fn. 1)
Manor of Creak.
The town takes its name from its site, on a small river or creak, and it is probable that Turston abovementioned was ancestor of the family of the de Crekes, who were lords of this town, and took their name from it; Sir Robert de Creke, son of Bartholomew, succeeded his father herein, who held 8 fees of the old feoffment in the reign of Henry II. of Roger Bigot, father of Hugh Bigot Earl of Norfolk. Sir Robert married a daughter and heiress of the Glanviles, by whom he had a son, Bartholomew, who in the reign of Henry III. gave lands to the monastery of St. Osyth in Essex, for the soul of Hervy de Glanvile, his mother's grandfather; and died about the end of that King's reign.
In the 7th of King John, Bartholomew de Glanvile granted to Robert de Crek and Agnes his wife 2 carucates of land in Combs in Suffolk, and to the heirs of Agnes; and in the 10th of that King the Countess Gundreda sued the said Robert for a reasonable dower in a free tenement, &c. late Roger de Glanvile's, her husbands, in Midleton, Yokesford, and Bacton; and in the 13th of King Henry III. Joan, prioress of Campes in Suffolk, released to Bartholomew de Creke and his heirs, the manor of Helmingham in Suffolk.
There was a precept in the 16th of that King to the sheriff of Norfolk, to deliver to Richemania, widow of Robert de Creke, 10l. per ann. in land, for her support, till Bartholomew de Creke, son and heir of Robert, should return out of Ireland, and assign her a dower; this Bartholomew was a knight, and married Margery, daughter and heiress of Geffrey de Anos, of Hillington; and in the 19th of Henry III. Richemania aforesaid brought her action for being disseized unjustly of part of her capital messuage here. Sir Bartholomew died about the 36th of Henry III.; he had by Margery his wife, 3 sons, Robert, who succeeded his father, and was lord of this town, in the 38th of the said reign, but dying without issue, enfeoffed Margery his mother, in this lordship. Jeffrey was the second son, and John, the third son, and Sarah, a daughter, married to Roger Fitz Peter Fitz Osbert.
In the 41st of Henry III. the bailiffs of Margery de Creke received stallage, in the fair at this town; and in the 43d of that King, she gave the advowson of the church of Flixton, in Suffolk, with lands there to Alianora the prioress, by fine, (of which priory she was the foundress; and in the 3d of Edward I. she had free warren here, with the assise of bread and beer.
Margery de Creke, by her deed sans date, granted to John her son, and his heirs, her manor of Creke, with all its appertenances, saving to herself all foreign fees; and to her nuns of Flixton, the advowson of that church which they had of her gift; and if the said John should die before her, then to return to her and her heirs: witnesses, Robert de Valoins, Robert Fitz John, William de Calethorpe, and Roger de Thoftes, Knts. Bartholomew Marsh de Stanhowe, John Adelwald de Suthcreke. The witnesses to her grant of the advowson of Flixton, were Sir Robert Valoins, Sir Roger de Ratlisden, Sir Walter de Redesham, Knts. Sir John de Stowe, rector of Helmingham: her seal, quarterly, in the 1st and 4th a bend over all between 2 roundles, (or bezants, quære,) and in the 2d and 3d, three of the same, and this legend, Sigillum Margerie de Crec.
She was daughter and heir of Jeffrey de Anos, lord of Hillington, and these were probably his arms.
In the 9th of Edward I. John de Creke was lord, and had then by letters patent, dated at Shuldham, (Norfolk,) January 18, to him and his heirs, the grant of a weekly mercate here, on Tuesday, and a yearly fair on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Michael; witnesses, R. Bishop of Bath and Wells, William Bishop of Norwich, Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, Roger de Clifford, Anthony Bek, Archdeacon of Durham, Hugh Fitz Otto, Robert Fitz John, Peter de Chaunprent, Richard de Bosco, &c.
Sir John de Creke died in or about the 11th of the aforesaid King; the eschaetor gave an account of 26l. &c. of the issues of the lands of the said John, at Aketon in Suffolk, from November 25, to June 16, following, in the said year; and Sarah his sister, wife of Roger Fitz Peter Fitz Osbert, was his heir, and she dying sans issue, about the 20th of the said reign, Roger her husband held it by the courtesy of England, on whose death in the 34th of the said reign, this lordship was found to be held by one fee of the Earl of Norfolk, valued at 40l On his death, the descendants and heirs of Margaret, one of the sisters of Sir Bartholomew de Creke, and aunt of Sarah, and the de scendants of Isabel, another of the sisters of Sir Bartholomew, and aunt to Sarah, were coheirs to this lordship.—Margaret, married Sir John de Thorp; and in the 18th of Edward II. Alice, widow of John de Thorp, (grandson of Sir John,) had the King's writ directed to John de Blomvill, eschaetor of Norfolk and Suffolk, Cambridge, &c. dated April 18, at Beauliau, for dower to be assigned her, out of certain knight's fees, viz. one in West Thorp, in Suffolk, held by Adam Coniers, valued at 8l. one in Wynston and Croffield, held by Ralph de Bocking, of 6l. 13s. 4d. the moiety of one in Stanhow, Norfolk, held by Roger de Calthorp, of 60s. and the fourth part of a fee in Ryburgh Parva, and Stybberd, held by Thomas de Snetterton, the prior of Fakenham-Dam, the abbot of Creyk, and the prior of Binham, of 40s. per ann.; and by virtue of a mandate from the King, Richard de Hacford, the eschaetor's deputy, took an oath of Alice, that she would not marry without the King's license, and assigned to her dower, in full of her claim, in the manors of North Creak and Hillington, in Norfolk, and Combs in Suffolk, and two parts of the capital messuage of this manor, towards the north, containing one acre, 2 roods, 26 perches, with one grange, one granary, with a chamber next it, a stable with a chamber, a cart-house, bake-house, with a chamber, all valued at 6s. 8d.—Arable land demeans, six score and eleven acres, 2 roods, and 3 perches, valued at 6l. 6s. 4d. ob. q. per ann. meadow land, 7 acres, valued at 12d. per ann. per acre, and pasture, 1 acre, and 1 rood, valued at 2s. 11d. the moiety of the windmill, valued at 14s.; 16 acres and a rood of heath, with the barlings valued at 19s. 1d.; the coney warren at 12d.; 7 acres and 3 roods, in East Lyng, at 6s. 2d.; two parts of a barn, at 16d.; one faldstone, at 4s. 6d.; the moiety of the mercate 16d.; two parts of the fair, at 5s. 4d. per ann.; two parts of the free bull, and free boar, at 12d. per ann.; two parts of the pleas, and perquisites of courts, at 20s.; the service of Roger de Calthorp, for the manor of Stanhow, paying 4s. per ann. with the services of several free tenants, amounting to 28s. 6d. per ann.; also the rents, services and customs, of many tenants, called molmen, and of tenants called barlimen and havermen, amounting to 4l. 4s. per ann. the whole being about 17l. 10s. per ann.
Another of the sisters of Sir Bartholomew de Creke, and aunt to Sarah above-mentioned, sister and heir of Sir John de Creke, was Isabel, who married the Lord John de Valoines, from whom descended Robert Lord Valoins, who left 2 daughters and coheirs, Rohesia, who married Sir Edmund de Pakenham, and Cicely, the wife of Robert de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, and between the heirs of the two sisters of Sir Bartholomew, and aunts of Sarah de Creke, was this lordship divided. The Thorps of Ashwellthorp, as heirs of Margaret, holding one moiety, and the Pakenhams and the Uffords, as heirs to the other sister, Isabel, having the other moiety.
Sir Robert de Thorp was lord of a moiety, and Sir Edmund de Pakenham, and Rohesia his wife, of the other, in the reign of Edward II. Ufford, and his wife, Cecilia, having resigned to them their right in it; and in the 16th of Edward III. Hervey de Pakenham, rector of Hopton, conveyed by fine to Hugh de Saxham, and Roesia his wife, a moiety of this manor and advowson, settled on Hugh and Roesia, for her life, remainder to Thomas de Pakenham, son of Roesia, daughter and heir of Robert Lord Valoines; and in the 20th of the said King, Beatrix de Thorp, relict of Sir Robert de Thorp, Hugh de Saxham, and Roesia, were lords.
On an inquisition taken in the 35th of King Edward III. Mary de Pakenham, widow of Edmund de Pakenham, son of Sir Edmund and Roesia, was found to die seized of a moiety; she was daughter and coheir of Edmund Comyn, of Fakenham Aspes, in Suffolk; and Eufemia was found to be her sister and heir, aged 50, married to William de la Beche, by whom she had Elizabeth, married to Sir Roger Elmrugg; after this it came to the priory of Walsingham, as I shall show.
In the 36th of Edward III. Sir Edmund de Thorp, of Ashwell Thorp, was lord of a moiety, and Sir Edmund, son of Sir Edmund de Thorp, settled it in trust, August 13, in the 17th of Richard II. on Roger Davy of Middleton, William de Bumpsted, parson of Massingham Parva, and John Aslack of Crostweyt; and on the death of Sir Edmund de Thorp, killed in the wars of France, in the reign of Henry V. it came to his 2 daughters and coheirs, Isabel and Joan, and on default of issue of the said Joan, Isabel, the wife of Philip Tilney, inherited it, and died possessed of it in 1436, whose son, Frederick Tilney, Esq. left it to his only daughter Elizabeth, wife of Sir Humphrey Bourchier, eldest son of John Lord Berners.
John Duke of Norfolk, by his deed dated Dec. 4, in the 35th of Henry VI. reciting that this lordship was held of him by knight's service, and that the wardship of Elizabeth, wife of Humphrey Bourchier, son and heir of John Lord Berners, with the custody of this manor, belonged to him; during the minority of the said Elizabeth, for 20 marks, paid him by the Lord Berners, he grants the custody of it to him. Sir Humphrey being slain at Barnet-Field, on the part of King Edward IV. in 1471, the Lady Elizabeth remarried to Thomas, son and heir of John Lord Howard, afterwards Earl of Surry, and Duke of Norfolk, who was lord in her right; and after their decease, it descended to Sir John Bourchier Lord Berners, son and heir of Sir Humphrey aforesaid and the Lady Elizabeth, on whose death it came to his two daughters, Mary and Jane; Mary was the wife of Alexander Unton, Esq. and dying without issue, Jane her sister became sole heir to her father; she married Edmund Knevet, Esq. second son of Edmund Knevet of Buckenham Castle, Esq. who with his wife, had livery of this lordship, July 5th in the 25th of Henry VIII. and was seized of all the estates of the Thorps. In this family it remained till Sir Thomas Knevet sold it, June 19th in the 33d of Elizabeth, to Richard Mansure of North Creke, for 1300l. The Mansures are said to descend from John Mansure, who farmed this lordship at 10l. 13s. 4d. per ann. (fn. 2) in the 14th of Edward IV. whose son, Richard of North Creak, married Catherine, daughter of John Beckham of Norfolk, Gent. by whom he had Henry, who died without issue; and John Mansure, who married first, Margaret, daughter and heir of Edward Archer of Wisbeach, in the isle of Ely, and had a son Henry, who died s. prole; his second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Newton of South Creak, by whom he had Richard Mansure (fn. 3) (who took to wife Alice, daughter of Giles Seafoul of Waterden, Esq.) and Anne, married to William Armiger; and on the death of Richard, in 1592, it came to Anne aforesaid.
In the 39th of Elizabeth, William Armiger and Anne his wife, sister and heir of Richard Mansure, levied a fine, September 3d, and settled their manor of Thorp-Hall, in North Creak, on William, Miles, and Mansure Armiger, their sons; William the father died March 17, 1607, and Anne his wife, in 1610: William Armiger, the eldest son, by Catherine, sole daughter and heir of John Hare, Esq. had William and Clement; William married Mary, daughter of — Vernatti, and sister of Sir Philibert Vernatti, by whom he had William, his son and heir, who, having no children by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of—Lucy, was succeeded by Gabriel his brother, lord of this manor in 1698, and one of the attornies in the King's Remembrancer-office in the Exchequer. From the Armigers, it came to Sarah, relict of John Duke of Marlborough, who left it to the honourable John Spencer, Esq. &c.
The Armigers are an ancient family; William Armiger of Bury had lands in Bury, given him by Hugh, abbot, in the beginning of Henry the Third's reign. Robert Armiger of Otley, in Suffolk, held a messuage and lands there, called Armiger's, and lands in Clapton, in 11th of Richard II. and 14th of Henry IV. William Armiger, his son, was living in the 37th of Henry VI. and by Maud his wife, daughter of Joyce, had a son John, of Oatley, living in the 5th of Henry VII. who married Agnes, daughter of Walter Blake of Huntingfeld, and left Thomas his son and heir, who made his will in 1517, and purchased the manor of Canewden; by Alice his wife, daughter of—Pell, and sister of Dr. Pell, rector of Hitcham, was father of John Armiger of Otley, who died in 1539; and by Isabella his wife, daughter of—Raynburgh, had Thomas his son, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Heyham, of Heyham-Hall, in Gasely, Esq. and was father of Thomas Armiger of Bury, and lord of Monewden, who, by Jane his wife, daughter and coheir of John Eyre, Esq. receiver of the revenues of King Edward VI. in Suffolk, had Thomas, his son and heir, of Thrundeston, in Suffolk, lord of Canewden, in Essex, and William Armiger, his second son, of Cagworth, in Suffolk, and afterwards lord of North-Creak, in right of his wife Anne, sister and heir of Richard Mansure, and died, as is above said, in 1607.
Armiger bore azure, two barrulets argent, between three helmets or, and quartered vairy, argent and sable, a bend over all, gules, Mansure; crest a lion seiant, gules, on a ducal coronet or.
Mary de Pakenham, widow of Edmund de Pakenham, who died possessed of a moiety of the manor of North-Creak (as I have above observed) in the 35th of Edward III. gave it by her will to the priory of Walsingham, (fn. 4) and Eufemia, her sister and heir, entered on it as a trustee, and conveyed it to Sir Ralph de Hemenhale, Sir John de Wingfeld, Sir Gilbert de Debenham, and John de Bletso, &c.; and in the following year, Sir Roger de Elmrugg, Knt. and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of William de Beche and Eufemia aforesaid, conveyed it by fine to Sir Ralph Hemenhale, and John Bletsho, chaplain: and the said Sir Ralph had license in the 40th of Edward III. to alien it to this priory, with the moiety of the advowson; but in the 44th of that King, the prior of Walsingham was sued in the Exchequer, and the Lady Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk, entered into the said manor; her license, as capital lady of the same, not being obtained; but in the 2d of Richard II. it was granted the prior, paying 100s. relief, it being valued at 5l. per ann. and performing homage for the same.
In the 3d of Henry IV. the prior and Sir Edmund de Thorp, held two fees here, and an half, of Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolk.
In the 4th of Edward VI. June 19th, it was granted, with its right of patronage, and a foldage of 600 ewes, in the tenure of William Vowell, to Thomas Bishop of Norwich, and his successours; it was called North-Creak, Houghton's, alias Lexham's, with a foldage of sheep.
In 1600, the Armigers held it of the Bishop of Norwich, (as I take it,) and the quitrents were 3l. 4s. 4d. per ann.
Earl Warren's Manor, or Calthorp's.
Lambert held under the Earl, in Waterden, one carucate of land, which two freemen possessed in the days of King Edward; and one of these freemen had one other freeman in Creak, who had half a carucate; 6 bordarers held of them in Waterden and here, one carucate, &c. The whole was valued at 20s. in King Edward's time, and at the survey at 17s. 4d. and there was in Waterden a church with 5 acres. (fn. 5)
Sir Hervey de Stanhow was lord in the reign of King Henry III. in the 3d of Edward I. had the assise and frankpledge of his tenant, and gave two parts of the corn tithe of his demeans to the church of Norwich, which was confirmed to the monks by the Bishop of Norwich: (fn. 6) This came to Sir Walter Calthorp, by the marriage of Cecilia, daughter and heir of Sir Hervey, who had view of frankpledge, and assise of bread and beer of his tenants; and in the 5th of Edward III. William de Calthorp was lord. Sir Bartholomew de Calthorp held in the said reign here, and in Burnham Thorp, half a fee, which Roger Fitz Peter formerly held of the Earl Warren: from the Calthorps it came to the Harsicks of Southacre, by marriage.
In 1625, Mr. William Vowell was lord of Calthorp's manor in North Creak, and held it as a tenant to Christ college in Cambridge. See in Creak abbey.
The Earl of Clare's Manor
King William, on the conquest, gave to William de Scohies the lordship held here by Turchill, before this grant, consisting of one carucate of land; and Turstin held it under Scohies, with one villain, 12 bordarers, one servus, two carucates in demean, and one, of the tenants, 3 acres of meadow, a mill, 60 sheep, &c. and 2 socmen had 2 acres, valued at 40s. after at 30s. (fn. 7) In the reign of Henry I. Scohies conveyed it to Walter Giffard Earl of Buckingham, and Rohaisa daughter and coheir, brought it by marriage, to Richard Fitz-Gilbert, ancestor of the Earls, of Clare. Walter de Calthorp was found in the reign of Henry III. to hold one fee of the Earl of Gloucester
In the 43d of Edward III. John de Rede of Bedford, and Elizabeth his wife, conveyed by fine to John de Wesenham the third part of 10 marks rent; and before this, William Clerveaux of Upwood, in Huntingdonshire, conveyd to Wesenham, 10 marks rent here, with the service of William Calthorp, and Isabel his wife; and Sir William Calthorp, in the 3d of Henry IV. held one knight's fee of the honour of Clare.— The tenths of the town were 9l. 10s.—Deducted 1l. 10s.—Lete fee to the lord of the hundred, for Knevet's manor, Walsingham's manor, and Calthorp's, in Christ college, Cambridge, 3s.
Ralph de Passelewe, by deed sans date, gave for his soul, and that of Emma his wife, to Trinity church at Norwich, all his tithe here, and certain lands at London; (fn. 8) and whoever did not oppose, or pervert this gift, he prays to God to reward, and that they may partake of this gift, and that an anathema, or curse, may light on all that oppose it, and eternal damnation at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Gilbert Passelewe gives to the said church, or confirms, two parts of the tithes of the demeans of his hall in Creak, which William Passelewe his father, gave to that church, for the health of his own soul, and that of Matilda his wife, and of all his ancestors and successours.
In 1417, August 28th, the elemosunary of Norwich, and the rector agreed, that the rector should pay 20s. per annum for the said tithes for ever.
In the 17th of Edward I. Beatrix, prioress of Flixton, St. Catherine, church, conveyed her right, by fine, in the patronage of this church, and that of Combs, in Suffolk, to Roger-Fitz Peter Fitz-Osbert, and Sarah his wife, who granted, in consideration of giving to the said prioress and her successours, the manor of Flixton with the moiety of that church, 4 acres of land in Helmingham, and the advowson of that church; a messuage, and 26 acres of land in Wilby, in Suffolk; a messuage, and 29 acres of land in North Creak; the advowson of the church of Dunstan, in Norfolk, and that of Fundenhale, in pure alms. The prioress had at this time 63 acres of land, with a fold-course; also 110 acres of the grant of Margery de Creke (the foundress) formerly Jordan de Pratis's, and 11 formerly Benedict de Helmingham's, here.
On the dissolution of religious houses this came to the Crown, and was granted September 12th, in the 36th year of Henry VIII. to John Eyre, Esq. and then in the tenure of John Knape.
In 1417, August 28th, an agreement was made between the eleemosyner of the priory of Norwich, and the rector of Creyk, that the rector and his successour should receive the two parts of the tithes of the lands belonging to him, paying 20s. per. ann. this was of Candos's, and Hervey de Stanhow's lands before-mentioned; and in 1428, this portion of tithe was valued at 24s. per annum.
Richard, the prior of Walsingham, with the convent, granted to John Pennye, their apothecary and physican, and Thomas Pennye his son, certain turns of presentation to the church of North Creak, on April 1st, in the 12th of Henry VIII.
The temporalities of Westacre priory, in 1428, were 11s. 3d.
Near the pulpit, a gravestone with a brass plate:
In memory of Henry Mansure, Esq; who died February 15th, 1566.
John Manser of North Creak, by his will dated August 17th, 1517, requests to be buried in the north isle of this church: John his son, and Margaret his wife executrix, Richard Manser, of North Creak, supervisor. (fn. 9)
Richard Manser of this town, buried according to his will, April 18th, 1531, in this church, left Joan his wife, and a son John, Alice his wife, deceased, and a son Henry executor, and Thomas Syney, Gent. supervisor, and buried in the cross isle:
O Jesu, as you art our saviour and redeemer, have mercy, and save the soul of Richard Manser.
At the end of the north isle, on a gravestone, a brass,
In memory of Anne Armiger, widow, late wife of William Armiger, Esq; who died February 16th, 1609. William Armiger, Esq; buried March 17th, 1607.
On a south window:
Will. Dynne et Cecilia, uxor ejus, istam fenestram fieri fecerunt, Ao. Dni. 1484.
Edmund Banyard, Gent. buried 1542.—Elizabeth Manser, Gent, May 2, 1578.
William Armiger, Gent. and Ann Manser, married February 22, 1568.—Richard Manser, and Ursula Brampton, married September 22, 1584.
Catherine Armiger, widow of William Armiger, Esq; buried January 5, 1635,
The church his dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and a rectory anciently valued at 45 marks; the present valor is 33l. 6s. 8d. and pays first fruits.
In the reign of King Edward I. Sir John de Creyk was lord and patron, when there was also another church, called St. Michael in the Mount, in which there was service only once a week: it was parochial, had a right of baptism, and said to be the most ancient church. The rector had a manse, and 5 acres of land, valued, with its vicarage, at 45 marks, and the vicar paid synodals and procurations. Peter-pence 4s. The prior of Norwich had a portion of 24s. per annum for the tithe of the lands, granted by Ralph Passelew.
Robert, archdeacon of Coventry, was rector about 1220.
In 1311, sequestration of this church granted to John de Norwich, clerk.
Eudo de Tilny occurs vicar, Ao. 14th Edward I.
1311, John de Sendale instituted rector, presented by Sir John de Thorp, afterwards Bishop of Winchester.
1316, Hervey de Stanton, by Sir Edmund Pakenham.
1327, Roger de Swathyng, by Sir Robert de Thorp.
1365, Mr. Thomas de Schirford.
1387, George, son of Sir Edmond Thorp, by Sir Edmund.
1388, Richard de Docking, by ditto.
Richard Tilney occurs rector in or about 1470.
Charles Allen occurs in 1494.
1505, John Underwood, titular Bishop of Calcedon, collated by the Bishop.
1325, Roger Townsend. Ditto.
Richard Vowel, rector, buried in 1550.
John Fuller, L. L. D. rector about 1550, chancellor of Norwich, &c.
John Cowell, rector, buried in 1562.
John Mey occurs rector, and held it with his fee of Carlisle in 1577.
John Holland occurs rector in 1605, and certified that there were 190 communicants in this parish, and that the Bishop of Norwich, and William Armiger, Esq. were then patrons.
Robert Pearson occurs rector in 1607, buried in 1639.
John Hassel, D. D. in 1639, dean of Norwich, died, in the time of the Usurpation, in great want and poverty, deprived of his rectory, &c.
1727, Thomas Bullock, collated by the Bishop, dean of Norwich.
1760, Charles Poyntz, by Hugh Earl of Marchmont, Beverston Filmer, and John Spencer, Esqrs.
In a bill in chancery preferred by Richard Corbet Bishop of Norwich against Dereham, &c. farmers of Creak abbey, it is set forth, that of the church of St. Michael in the Mount here Richard Vowel was parson, when his brother, William Vowel, lived in the abbey by Creke, and farmer of it, who by the allowance, &c. of his brother Richard the parson, did pull off, and carry away the lead of the said church, and deface the same church, whereby the next farmer of the same, viz. Francis Brampton, Gent. did intitle himself to the said ruins, and as lord of the same abbey, did grant to Francis White the said chapel, by the name of St. Michael, to hold to him and his heirs, by the rod, paying 1d. per annum, and is since come to one Titchwell, to the disinherison of the Bishop, patron of the same, at least alternis vicibus.
In the year 1206, there was a church founded in a place called Lingerscroft, containing about 400 acres of ling, or heath, lying between Creak and Burnham, in the meadows, and called from thence St. Mary de Pratis, by Sir Robert de Nereford, who married Alice daugh ter and coheir of John Pouchard, son of Sir William Pouchard; which 400 acres, Philip de Candois, of Burnham, gave in perpetual alms to the monks of Castelacre, in the time of King Stephen; and afterwards Roger, prior of Castleacre, and the convent, enfeoffed the said Sir William of the same. In the reign of Henry II. there was mass said in the said church, but Sir Robert Narford being constable of Dover castle under Hubert de Burgh, chief justice of England, and obtaining a victory at sea over the French, designing to invade England, with the consent of Alice his wife, built a chapel to St. Bartholomew, with an hospital for 13 poor lay brethren, and 4 chaplains, and a master or head. William de Geyst, with the consent of his patroness Alice, being the first chaplain, took upon him a canonical habit, with his brethren, and was called prior of St. Mary de Pratis by Creke, by whom the aforesaid land was manured in their own hands, and proper costs; and the said chapel and hospital were dedicated, 1221, by Jeffrey de Burgh Bishop of Ely, (nephew of the said Alice, and brother of Hubert de Burgh,) suffragan to Pandolf Bishop of Norwich, the Pope's legate.—After this the Lady Alice settled the advowson of this priory on King Henry III. and his heirs for ever; who made it an abbey, and confirmed his liberties, October 26, in his 15th year. She also, in her widowhood, confirmed by deed sans date, all their privileges: Witnesses, John de Burgo, Reymund de Burgo; and gave lands in North Creak; also confirmed to this hospital of St. Mary of Lyngscroft, situate between Burnham and Creak, and to the brethren, the patronage of the moiety of the church of Wreningham AllSaints, of which she was the lawful patroness, which Sir Robert her husband, had by his deed given them, with the church of St. Margaret of Hapton, when it should be vacant. Sir Robert also gave 40 acres to this hospital, which he bought of Robert Gedding, and 40 of the inheritance of his lady, with her consent.
Sir Ralph de Gatle, son of Sir Ralph de Gatle, granted two pieces of land in the fields of Gatle, with the advowson of that church:—Witnesses, Sir Robert de Creke, Geffrey his son, Sir Robert de Burdon, Richard de St. Denys, Gilbert his son, Sir Roger Mortimer, Sir John Narford, &c.
In the beginning of the reign of King Henry III. 1228, there was an agreement between Robert the prior, and convent of Castleacre, and William, master of the hospital of St. Mary de Pratis, and the brethren, about 10s. rent, in North Creak, and Burnham Thorp, which rent the prior used to receive of John Pouchard and his heirs, out of 40 acres of land, in those towns, which the Lady Alice de Nereford, heir of the said John, gave in her widowhood, in pure alms to the said hospital, whereby the prior and convent released the said rent to the hospital for ever, in exchange for 40 acres of land, and 12d. rent, in South Creak, and the rents of 3s. and one capon, in North Creak:—Witnesses, Thomas Bishop of Norwich, Martin de Pattishull, archdeacon of Norwich, justice of the King's Bench, Hugh, abbot of St. Edmund, Thomas de Heydon, justice, William de Insula, Warine de Monte Canisio, Herbert de Lenn, then sheriff, Robert de Creke, Nicholas Butler, John de Fleg, Reyner de Burgo, William de Gimingham.—Robert de Creke gave lands to them; William occurs abbot of Creak in the 31st of Henry III.
In the aforesaid reign, the abbot of Creak held in North Creak and Burnham Thorp, two parts of a fee of Roger Filz Peter.
Sir Eudo de Arsyke of Southacre, and the Lady Alice his wife, were benefactors.
Thomas, son of Gosceline de Gately, John, son of Sir Ralph de Gately, Roger de Molendinis, gave them lands in Gately; and King Henry III. confirmed Pope Alexander's bull, of the appropriation of the church of Gately, to this abbey.
Sir John Marshall gave them lands in Bintre. — Godfrid, abbot, temp. Henry III.
In the 3d of Edward I. the prior was found to hold in capite, of the gift of Sir William de Bodham, a tenement in South Creak, and 10s. rent per ann. payable into the Exchequer, and 20s. per ann. to Dover castle ward, and had a view of frankpledge, assise, &c. of the gift of Henry III.
King Henry III. in his 10th year, May 23d, granted to the Lady Alice de Nereford, that the fair which her husband had procured to be held on the eve and feast of the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, at the hospital of Lingscroft, should be altered, and held on the eve and feast of St. Thomas the Martyr; and in his 15th year, made it an abbey, and confirmed all its possessions.
Sir Stephen de Hales, &c. aliened to them 145 acres and an half of land, and the rent of 10 marks, in North Creak, Burnham Thorp, Quarles and Holkham, in the 15th of Richard II.
In the 14th of Edward I. Bartholomew de Burgate was abbot, as appears from a pleading; and in the following year the jury present, that the abbot claimed to have four fairs in a year, at Creke, viz. on the feast of the annunciation of the Virgin, on the translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, on the feast of St. Bartholemew, and that of St. Nicholas, by the grant of King Henry III. Ao. 11.
1303, Thomas de Sutcreyk, admitted abbot.
1334, John de Hardele.
1351, Robert de Dockyng.
1353, Thomas de Redham.
1356, Thomas de Brandon.
In the 3d of Edward III. Thomas, the abbot, sued for 10 marks rent in Rechetsthorp in Northamptonshire, on account of the disseising of it, in the time of his predecessor Godfrid, in Henry the Third's time; and in the 4th of the said King, James le Porter and William Quarles gave a messuage with 40 acres, in North and South Creke. The abbot in a suit for a corrody with the King, in his 9th year, pleads that the abbey was not a royal foundation, but that the Lady Alice de Nerford, the foundress, granted the patronage to King Henry III. In the 32d of the said King, Sir Walter Calthorp gave them a meadow, and in the 39th year, Sir Oliver de Calthorp was a benefactor.
John de Ash, admitted abbot in 1360.
1393, John de Wighton.
1412, Robert de Fellbrigg, and he occurs abbot in 1426.
In the 3d of Henry V. Robert Fellbrigg occurs abbot, and conveyed to Sir Edmund de Thorp, a moiety of the advowson of WreninghamMagna, which was of the gift of Sir Robert de Nerford, to this abbey.
Thomas Crakyshield, succeeded Fellbrigg.
1439, John Stanhow.
In 1465, William Ramme, alias Wissingset, abbot.
John Church, abbot.
1473, John Debenham.
1475, John Ewysh, or Elwysh; he was also rector of Brakenash.
1491, Robert Walsingham.
In 1503, Giles, occurs abbot. (fn. 10)
In 1428 their temporalities in North Creak were valued at 11l. 7s. 1d. per ann. their temporalities in South Creak were valued at 3l. 5s. 5d. ob. per ann. and the whole of their temporalities at 38l. 6s. per ann. and their spiritualities in Norfolk, at 31l. 13s. 4d. per ann.
In the 2d. year of Edward IV. John occurs abbot, as appears from his lease of the appropriated rectory of Hapton, given them by Sir Robert de Nerford.
It appears by the will of Sir William Calthorp of Burnham Thorp, dated May 31, in the 10th of Henry VII. that many of his ancestors were here buried, in a chapel; (fn. 11) and he appoints that all the goods of Dame Sybill Boys should be employed towards making the quire, the presbytery, and repairing this abbey, and gives 74l. for that purpose.
Giles, abbot in 1503, mentioned then in the will of Walter Aslake of Creak abbey, wherein he gives to this convent all those lands that he purchased of Sir Roger Strange, Knt. lying in the fields of Holme and Ringsted, so that they can get the lands in mortmain in three years, else to be sold, and the money to the profits of the said abbey, provided that the abbot and convent, and their successours, shall kepe his obit perpetually; giving to every chanon there 5s. per ann. and on the obit 4d. and provided that they shall seal a general release of 7s. yerely rent, to his attourneys or heirs, that shall have his manor of Bardolf, in Ryngsted, after his decease; Item. To the said abbey, a complete vestment of white damask; Item, I will, that the north, side of the queer in the said abbey be made with tymber, workmanship, and nayles of my goods, and mete, and drink, sand and lime, at the cost of the abbot and convent.
In the 22d of Henry VII. a patent was granted to the Lady Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother to that King, with license for her to give to Christ's college, Cambridge, this abbey, with all its lands; it being looked upon as dissolved, because the abbot died without a convent to elect another, whereupon all the lands and revenues became thus settled on Christ's College, by the Lady Margaret, the foundress, who are still in possession of the same.
In 1391, Sir Philip Denys, Knt. gave his body to be buried here, in the chapel of St. Catherine, the chapel of St. Nicholas, also mentioned, and St. John Baptist's image. (fn. 12)
The abbot and canons were of the order of St. Augustin. On the foundation of the hospital several orders were made for the government of it viz. that the brethren to be admitted, should at their entrance promise chastity, and obedience to the master; that none should have any property to himself; that a light should burn day and night in the church.
In the 14th of Edward I. the fair on St. Nicholas' day was changed, and was to be held on St. Michael's day.
The abbot paid 12d. per ann. lete fee to the lord of the hundred.
Mr. Samuel Buck has given a west view of this priory, among other prints, published by him in 1738.
William de Geyst, 1st prior, ---- 1228, Robert was prior. In 1237, Augerus. 1262, Godfrid. — 1334, Thomas died prior, and was succeeded by John Harple. 1352, Richard Dikkins. 1353, Thomas Retham. 1357, Thomas Brandon, &c. as above.