North Erpingham Hundred: Shipden and Cromer

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.

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Francis Blomefield, 'North Erpingham Hundred: Shipden and Cromer', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808) pp. 102-107. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "North Erpingham Hundred: Shipden and Cromer", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808) 102-107. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "North Erpingham Hundred: Shipden and Cromer", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808). 102-107. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

In this section


The town of Cromer, is not mentioned in Domesday Book, being included, and accounted for under the town of Shipden, the lordships of which extended into Cromer.

At the survey, Godric was steward of a manor here belonging to the Conqueror, it being a beruite to the Conqueror's lordship of Aylesham in South Erpingham hundred; it consisted of one carucate of land, 4 villains and 4 borderers, 1 carucate in demean, and 1 among the tenants, with half an acre of meadow, and paunage for 8 swine. (fn. 1)

Halmod de Bidon was found to have held one knight's fee here, of the gift of King Henry I. it being a member of the manor of Aylesham, (fn. 2) which was royal demeans, and in the beginning of King Henry the Third's reign, William de Worcester held it by the fourth part of a fee.

In the 24th of Henry III. William de Weyland held the 3d part of a fee, in Shipden, of Sir Hugh de Odingsels; this Hugh married Basilia de Limesi, one of the daughters and coheirs of Gerard de Limesi, (great grandson of Ralph de Limesio, a Norman baron, the Conqueror's nephew, to whom he gave 41 manors in England,) by Amy, his wife, daughter of Trian de Hornelode of Bidun Limesi, and in right of Basilia, was lord of Oxburgh in Norfolk, and of this manor. Of these families see in Oxburgh.

In the 3d of Edward I. Sir Nicholas de Weyland was lord; he married Julian, daughter and heir of Robert Burnel, and held it by the service of one pair of white gloves, and performing services to the capital lord: in the 12th of that King, he had a grant of a mercate, a fair and a free warren; in the 12th of Edward II. Sir William de Weyland was lord, and it was valued at 15l. 6s. 8d. per ann.

Sir Robert de Weyland, held it in the 20th of Edward III. by the third part of a fee, and Sir John de Weyland, in the reign of Richard II. whose daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married John Harewell, Esq. of Warwickshire, and left a daughter and heir Joan, married to John Stretche, Esq. In the 3d of Henry IV. it was settled with Oxburgh and Ryston, on John Stretche and Joan his wife.

After this it came to the Pastons: Sir William Paston, the judge, by his will dated in the 22d of Henry VI. gives it to Agnes his wife for life, and recites that it belonged to his father Clement Pastons. (fn. 3) In 1611, Sir William Paston was lord of this manor, called Weyland's in Cromer, and was held of the dutchy of Lancaster; and it it said that great part of the lands belonging to it were swallowed up by the sea. In Sir William's time the rent of assise was 64s. 11d. per ann.

Robert Giggs, of Sparham, Gent. died seized of a manor in Cromer, as appears from his will, proved May 11, 1535.—Regist. Haydon, Norw.—Sir Thomas Rant had a manor in Cromer.

Roger Bigot, ancestor to the Earls of Norfolk, had a manor, of which Osborn, a freeman, was deprived at the conquest: 40 acres of land belonged to it, with 3 borderers, one carucate in demean, half a one amongst the tenants, and one of meadow; and a socman held 3 acres, valued then at 8s. at the survey at 10s. (fn. 4) Torstin held it of Roger Bigot.

Ufford's Manor.

In the 24th of Henry III. William de Bradenham, and Roger de Reymes, held in Shypden, the 3d part of a fee of Richard de Berningham, and he of Roger Fitz Osbert; in the 36th of that King, Margery de Creyk, then a widow, and Robert de Creyk, her son, had an interest herein.

Edmund de Eggemere, by deed sans date, confirmed to Adam de Oldland, lands with a messuage and villain,—witness, Roger Bigot of Felbrig: in the 3d of Edward I. he had view of frank pledge, &c. and John de Eggemere, in the 14th of that King, had an interest herein.

In the 34th of Edward I. Edward de Pakenham and Rosia, his wife Robert de Ufford and Cecilia, his wife, cousins and heirs of Sarah, daughter of Bartholomew de Creyk, and wife of Roger Fitz Peter Filz Osbert, had livery of the fourth part of a fee (which William de Bradenham held) and a right in the advowson; and John de Thorp, and his parceners, in the following year, had an interest herein, and held under Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk.

Roger de Reymes, &c. held of John de Thorp, the fourth part of a fee, in the 17th of Edward II. and Robert de Eggemere, Robert Tebald, and John, de Reymes, held in Shipeden, of Robert de Benhale, the 8th part of a fee, and he of the Earl of Norfolk, (which William de Bradenham, &c. formerly held) in the 20th of Edward III. and Robert Tebald was also then found to hold the 8th part of a fee of John de Hederset, he of the heirs of Roger Fitz Osbert, of the Earl of Norfolk's fee. In the 23d of that King, Roger de Hederset, parson of Billingford, and Robert Brown, parson of Shipdene, conveyed by fine to Clement Hervey of Shipdene, 14 messuages, a mill, 2 tofts, 150 acres of land, 4 of meadow, 2 of pasture, 2 of wood, 46 of heath, and 36s. rent, in this town, Overstrand, Roughton, &c. to Clement for life, remainder to Thomas de Standon, and Constantia his wife, in tail.

In the 3d of Henry IV. William James held the 8th part of a fee, (which was Roger Fitz Osbert's) of the Earl of Norfolk; and the said William, and the heirs of Roger Reymes, and of Robert Tebald, held an 8th part, (late the said Roger Fitz Osbert's) of the Earl of Norfolk.

Richard Arnold, Esq. son of William Arnold and Joan his wife, died lord of the manor of Ufford's in Shepedene, as by his will dated December 30, 1472, and proved January 28, following; mentions Margery his wife, William Edmund, &c. his sons. (fn. 5)Rich. Arnold held it in the 21st of Elizabeth.—After this it was purchased of Arnold by Robert Underwood; Samuel Underwood his son, dying sans issue, Catherine his sister inherited it, and brought it by marriage to Will. Hobart, Gent. of Metton, who was lord in 1615; he left two daughters and coheirs; Frances, the 2d daughter, married James, son of Sir Henry Davy, by whom he had 3 daughters, on a partition of whose estate this came to Sir George Windham by the marriage of Frances, one of the daughters; and Francis his son was lord in 1691, and married Francis, daughter of Sir Thomas Dayrell, of Lillington Dayrell, in Bucks, by whom he had Francis, a son, &c. lord in 1752.

Robert de Vere Earl of Oxford had a lordship in the 3d of Edward I. which, on the marriage of his daughter Joan, he gave to William, eldest son of John Earl Warren, who died before his father, in the 14th of that King, leaving John his son and heir, aged one year, afterwards Earl Warren and Surrey, in which family it continued, till settled by the last Earl Warren and Surrey, on the Earl of Lancaster, and by the marriage of the Lady Blanch, the heiress of that family, came to John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, and by his son, Henry IV. King of England, was united to the Crown, as at this time, being part of the dutchy of Lancaster.

In the 4th of Henry VI. a patent was granted for a mercate, now held on Saturday, and a fair. It is chiefly inhabited by fishermen.

Robert Bacon, a mariner of this town of Cromer found out Iceland, and is said to have taken the prince of Scotland, James Stuart, sailing to France for education, in King Henry the Fourth's time.

William de Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford had a lordship in his own right, as a lay fee, in this town, which lordship was a beruite to his manor of Gunton, containing one carucate of land, 3 villains, 3 borderers, and a carucate in demean, with one amongst the tenants, and an acre of meadow, then valued at 10s. at the survey at 5s. 4d. was half a leuca long, and 4 furlongs broad, paid 6d. gelt. (fn. 6)

Bishop Beaufoe gave this amongst his other great benefactions, to his see, and in the 24th of Henry III. Robert de Egmere held here the fourth part of a fee of the Bishop of Norwich, and in the 20th of Edward III. Robert de Egmere, held the same of John Leche, and he of the Bishop.

Sir George Windham was the 6th son of Sir John Windham of Orchard Windham, in Somersetshire, and the lady Joan his wife, he was knighted at Anderwick, in Scotland, July 16, 1632, and was gentleman pensioner to the King: his first wife was Ann, daughter of - - - - - Godfrey, - - - - - -, and relict of James Underwood of Cromer; she died sans issue, and the manor of Arnolds was in the family of Windham, in 1752.

William Windham, Esq. died in 1765, lord.

The abbot of St. Bennet, at Holm, had a lordship, also, which they enjoyed long before; and at the conquest, half a carucate to find provision for the monks, with one villain, 3 bordarers, and one carucate in demean, half a carucate of the tenants, and one acre of meadow valued at 10s. 8d. (fn. 7)

In the 19th of Henry III. Sir Peter de Alto Bosco (or Hobois) released to the abbot all his right herein, and in the 3d of Edward I. the abbot held it of the King, in capite.

On the dissolution of this house, it came to the Crown, and on the exchange of lands between the Bishop of Norwich and King Henry VIII. it was granted to the Bishop. Robert Allen, who was bailiff of it, in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, accounted for 11s. 9d. ob. rent of assise, 7s. 9d. for the demean lands, and 12s. 3d per ann. perquisites of court:—the Bishop is the present lord.

There was formerly a church at Shipden, dedicated to St. Peter. In the reign of Edward I. Hugh de Odyngsels, lord of Shipden, was patron of it; it was a rectory, then valued at 12 marks, and the rector had a manse with 12 acres of land, and paid Peter-pence 6d.

Sir Henry Pinkenney, Knt. by deed sans date, granted the moiety of this church, to his kinsman, Sir William de Odyngels. Sir Henry married Alice, heiress of the family of de Lindsey, who held also a moiety of this manor, by David de Lindsey's (a Scotchman) marriage with Alianore, daughter and coheir of Gerard de Limesi, and sister of Basilia, who married Sir Hugh de Odyngsels.

In the 11th of Edward II. on a writ, the jury present that it would not be to the King's damage, if John de Odingsels granted to John Brown of Tutington, &c. the advowson of St. Peter's church of Shipdene.—John de Odingsels was lord of Bradwell, Pyrington, and Cavendish, in Suffolk.


In the 10th of Edward III. John de Lodbrok, rector of this church, John Broun, patron, and the parishioners having supplicated the King, that, whereas part of the churchyard was by the flux and reflux of the sea, so wasted, that it threatened ruin to the church, and could not be defended, the King grants license that an acre of land in the said village be granted to the said John, rector, to build thereon a new church, and for a churchyard; dated April 15.

In 1349, Robert de Wyngreworth instituted rector, presented by the King, on the minority of John, son and heir of Hugh Broun.

In the 29th of Edward III. license was granted to appropriate this church to the priory of Hickling, and about this time, John Winter was presented to it, by the prior,

In 1364, Richard Gosseline, presented by the prior.

1375, John de Stalham, a canon of Hicking, was presented by the prior.—But in 1381, the patronage was in the priory of the Carthusians (or Charter-house) by London, and Robert Ellatte was instituted on the presentation of the assignees of that priory.


On August 18, in the 5th of Richard II. that priory had a patent to appropriate it.

1384, John Gosselyn was instituted vicar, presented by the prior of the Carthusians; a vicarage being settled on this appropriation.

John Barnet, official of the court of Canterbury, and sub-delegate of Pope Urban, appropriated this church of Shypden by the Sea, in 1383, reserving to the Bishop of Norwich an annual pension of 13s. 4d. and to the cathedral, or priory of Norwich 3s. 4d.

In the said year, December 14, the vicar's portion was assigned, in the third part of the glebe, tithe, and obventions.

1389, John Hermere, vicar, presented by the prior, &c,

1403, Richard Bishop. Ditto.

1429, Mr. Richard Milkam, A. M. Ditto.

1437, Sim. Norman. Ditto.

1450. Mr. Jeff. Champneys, S. T. P. Ditto.

1462, Mr. Robert Heyllys, A. M. Ditto.

1497, Mr. William Tukke, L. L. B. Ditto.

1521, Mr. William Smith, S. T. B. Ditto.

Robert Reston, vicar.

1554, John Harlow, by the King and Queen.

1587, Sim. Harwood, by the Queen.

1591, Thomas Mundey, by the Queen.

John Money occurs vicar in 1603. (fn. 8)

Richard Watson, occurs vicar 1615. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was granted to the see of Ely, on the Queen's taking away several manors, belonging to it.

1626, Richard Talbot, by the King, the see of Ely being void.

1662, Robert Fawet, by the Bishop of Ely.

1674, William Ashmore. Ditto.

Mr. Oram died vicar in 1762.

The old church of Shipden seems to have been destroyed by the sea, in, or about the reign of Henry IV.; in the 14th of Richard II. patent was granted for 5 years, for certain duties to be paid for the erection of a certain pier for a defence against the sea; and in the 16th of that King Sir William Beauchamp, &c. aliened to the prior of the Carthusians, a piece of land in Shipden, adjoining to the rectory, with lands and tenements to the value of 10 marks per ann. so that about this time the present church, called Cromer church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, was probably erected, and is a vicarage valued at 9l. 4s. 9d.

It stands near the sea, and is an handsome regular pile, consisting of a large body and 2 isles, covered with lead, and a beautiful lofty square tower imbattled at the west end of the nave, built of flints and free-stone; to this body was joined a large chapel, now in ruins. In 1608, license was granted to Mr. Gill, lessee of the Bishop of Ely, to take down the chancel and vestry.

In the middle isle were many gravestones with their brasses:

Orate p. a'i'b; Willi. Arnold, et Johe. uxor. ej.


In memory of Catherine Arnold.—Oratep. a'i'a. Johs, Momse.—


In memory of Sir George Windham, who died November 27, 1663. Agnes Moulton, widow, was buried in the church by her husband, in 1528.

In 1484, Richard Brandon of Cromer was buried in the chapel of St. Nicholas, of this church; and in 1486, Catherine Rede of Shipden, widow of Roger Rede; John Rede was her son; Richard Rede was father of Roger, and she appoints Bartholomew Rede, her son, citizen and goldsmith, of London, and John, her son, executors. (fn. 9) The chapel of our Lady was also in the church.

Here were the guilds of St. Peter, of the Trinity, our Lady of Pite, St. George, St. James, (fn. 10) St. Anne, and St. John Baptist.

In the windows were the arms of Erpingham, and of Sir Robert Knowls, with his crest, a ram's head, azure, armed, or.

And Ufford Earl of Suffolk;—and argent, three Catherine-wheels, sable.

Argent, two dolphins, hauriant, combatant, sable, on a chief, gules, three escallops of the first—per chevron, sable and argent, three seamews heads erased, and counterchanged.

Argent, six annulets, sable, and a bordure, gules, Beckswell. Bacon, and Stanhors, quarterly. Also Clere, Heydon and Berney.

Sir Bartholomew Rede, lord mayor of London in 1502, was born here, son of Roger Rede, and Catherine his wife, abovementioned; he by his will, founded a freeschool, here, with a stipend of 10l. per ann. for the master, paid by the Goldsmiths Company.

Shipden, tenths, 2l. 10s.


  • 1. Terre Regis qua. Godric. servat— Huic man. (viz. Elesham) jacet i. beruita, Shipedana, i. car. tre. sep. iiii. vill. tnc. iiii. bord. p. et mo. ii. semp. i. car. in dnio. et i. car. hom. et dim. ac. pti. silva. viii. porc.
  • 2. Testa de Nevill.
  • 3. Reg. Luffenham, Norw.
  • 4. Terra, Rogeri Bigoti.—In Scepedane, i. lib. ho. ten. Osb'nus, T. R. E. xl. ac. tre. mo. tenet Torstinus, tc. iii. bor. mo. v. sep. i. car. in dnio. et dim. car. houm i. car. silva. ad xxx. porc. et i. soc. de iii. ac. tre. tc. et p'. val. viii. sol. mo. x.
  • 5. Reg. Belins. Norw.
  • 6. Terra Willi. Episc. Tedford. de feudo.—In Scepedene b'wita Gunetunc, i car. tre. semp. iii. vill. iii bor. tc. i car. in dnio. mo. dim. sep. i car. hom. silva. vi por. i ac. pti. tc. val. x sol. mo. v sol. et iiiid. et ht. in longo dim. lg. et iiii qr. in lato. et de gelto vid.
  • 7. Terra Sci. Benedicto de Hulmo— In Scipedana dim. car. tre. devicta monachar. i vill. iii bor. sep. i car. in dnio. et dim. car. hom. et i ac. pti val. x sol. et viiid.
  • 8. Here were then 520 communicants.
  • 9. Reg. Norman, fol. 15.
  • 10. Reg. Rix. Norw. fol. 115.