An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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At the survey was a beruite to the manor of Tofts, in this hundred, and William de Noiers was steward of it for the Conqueror, who had deprived Stigand, the Archbishop, who held it as a lay fee in the reign of the Confessor, containing, then, 220 acres of land, with 7 villains and 4 bordarers, 2 carucates in demean: there was also a carucate, &c. 100 sheep, with 4 soc men, and 80 acres, 3 carucates of meadow. It was valued together with Tofts, in Stigand's time, at 10l. per ann. at the survey paid 24l. quitrent, in length they were 1 leuca, 2 furlongs and 10 perches, in breadth 1 leuca, and the gelt was 10d. 3q. (fn. 1)
This lordship was afterwards granted from the Crown to Robert de Bellomont Earl of Mellent in Normandy, and Earl of Leicester in England, and given by him in the reign of Henry First, to the Benedictine abbey De Pratellis, (De Preaux,) in Normandy, founded by his ancestors.
In the 14 of Edward I. the said abbey claimed the assise, a gallows, and many other liberties, as a member of the manor of Tofts, as enjoyed by the Earl Robert, and granted to the abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, de Preaux; and the abbot was found to hold two knights fees here, and in Tofts. In the parliament at Leicester, ao. 2, Henry V. this lordship with that of Tofts, (belonging to Preaux,) came to the Crown, on the dissolution of the alien priories. Their temporalities in this town, were valued at 74s. 1d.
King Henry VI. on February 14, ao. 19, granted it to the college of St. Mary and St. Nicholas in Cambridge, (now King's-college,) founded by him; and the said society possesses it, at this time, with the patronage of the church.
Robert, son of Corbun, had by the grant of King William, 30 acres of land, with 3 bordarers, and a carucate and 4 acres of meadow, of which Gifard, a socman of Stigand, was deprived, who had under him 2 socmen with 4 acres and half a carucate, then valued at 5s. at the survey at eleven. (fn. 2)
On the death of Robert, son of Corbun, this came to the Crown as an eschaet, and was granted by King William II. to William de Albini, his butler, ancestor of the Earls of Arundel; and on the death of Hugh, the last Earl of this family, this part of his inheritance came by a sister and coheir, in the reign of Henry III. to Sir Robert de Tateshale; and Robert Lord Tateshale held the 6th part of a fee, here, in the 31 of Edward I. from them it came to the Caleys and the Cliftons; Sir Adam de Clifton was lord in the time of Edward III. and in the 19 of Richard II. the prior of St. Olaves held it of Sir Constantine de Clifton, also in the 3d of Henry IV.
Roger Bigot, ancestor to the Earls of Norfolk, had a grant of 120 acres of land, one borderer, and 2 carucates, pasture for 80 sheep, and 9 acres of meadow, of which 9 freemen of Stigand were deprived; valued at 15s. it was one leuca long, and 8 furlongs broad; paid 9d. farthing gelt; and Robert held it under Roger. A socman of Edric de Laxfield had 30 acres, 3 borderers, a carucate and a half, and 6 acres of meadow; there were also under him 4 freemen with 19 acres, valued at 10s. at the survey, at 13s. 4d.; here was pasture for 50 sheep. This socman put himself under the protection of Alwin de Tedford, in the time of the Conqueror, and was in possession of it when that King gave it to Roger Bigot.
A freeman had in this town, one acre and an half, with one borderer, valued at 3d. Roger had a grant of this, and Robert held it at the survey under him, that is Robert de Vaux
Here also a freeman of King Edward had 40 acres, 6 bordarers, pasture for 40 sheep, with half a carucate of meadow; Alwi held it in commendation of the King, and was in possession of it (before Roger) when King William came; this was granted to Bigot, and Turold held it under him at the survey; valued at 10s. and Stigand had formerly the soc. (fn. 3)
All these tenures were inherited by the descendants of this Roger, and by the grant of Roger Earl of Norfolk, who died s. p. came to King Edward I. and so to Thomas de Brotherton, his son, Earl of Norfolk; then to the Lord Segrave, and the Mowbrays; and from them to the Howards Dukes of Norfolk.
Ralph Lord Bainard had by an exchange 15 acres and half a carucate, and an acre of meadow, of which a freeman of Stigand was deprived; valued at 2s, and the soc was in Stigand. (fn. 4) This seems to have been held with Baynard's manor of Whetacre.
Here was a preceptory of Knights Templars, to which King Henry III. was a considerable benefactor: and in the 52 of that King, Thomas Rosceline conveyed by fine, to friar Roger Fitz-John, master of the Templars in England, 15 acres of land. In 14th Edward I. the master of the Templars claimed view of frank pledge, the assise, &c. of his tenants, as King Henry III. had granted to them. In the said year, the preceptor set up crosses on the houses here and in Siveland, belonging to him; and their temporalitis were valued at 16s.
In the 20 of Edward II. Thomas de St. Omer, late sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, gave an account of the late lands of the Templars, till he delivered them to Henry de Segrave, who succeeded him.
The tenths were 3l. 14s. deducted 14s.
The temporalities of the priory of St. Olaves were 3s. ob.—of Norwich, 18d. Hatfield, Hathorp, Hatherly Hatton, so called from some water or river; the Hat or Had, Hadley in Essex, Haddon in Derbyshire, and Haddenham in Cambridgeshire; whence the name of this town.
The Church is a rectory dedicated to St. Mary, and is covered, as the chancel is with lead; has a round tower with 5 bells. In the chancel, on a murial monument
Carolus Ashby ecclesiæ hujus rector, memoriœ Elizabethæ filia Samuelis Harvy de Wange in com. Essex, generosi, conjugis castissimæ monumentum hoc amoris ergo dedicat, obijt Apr. 19, 1671, ætat. suæ 28.
In the middle isle a graveston,
For John Buckenham, gent. who died September 16, 1712, ætat. 77.
For Thomas London, gent. who died in 1666.
In the reign of Edward I. the rector had a manse with 20 acres of glebe, valued at 18 marks. Peter-pence, 18d. carvage, 4d. 0b. and the abbot of Preaux was patron; the present valor is 12l.
Thomas de Fauconer occurs rector in 22 of Edward I.
1318, Ralph Morel instituted, presented by R. Morel, monk and proctor of the abbot, &c.
1318, John de Warmington. Ditto.
1327, William de Warmyngton, by Roger de Grestin, proctor of the abbot, &c.
1329, Peter Mallet. Ditto.
1334, Mr. Hen. de Huningham. Ditto.
1349, John Roger by the King, the temporalities of the abbey being in him.
1383, John Atte-Hall. Ditto.
1385, Broughton. Ditto.
1391, Hugh Clyfford, by Sir Lewis de Clifford, who then farmed the manor of the King.
1401, William Pollard. Ditto.
1402, Thomas Bucke, by Sir Thomas Erpingham, who farmed the manor.
1429, Ralph Kemp, on the resignation of Bucke.
Thomas Saxham, rector.
1463, Mr. Robert Ypperwell, LL. B. by the King.
1485, William Haselbeche.
1405, Mr. Thomas Scalon, A. M. by the provost, &c. of King's College, Cambridge.
William Billesby, rector.
1550, Jeffrey Emerson, A. M. ditto.
1554, Thomas Pannot. Ditto,
1562, Nicholas Davy, rector.
1592, Philip Aunsham, by the Queen, a lapse; in 1603 he returned 80 communicants.
1617, Thomas Langley, S. T. B. by the provost, &c.
1639, Richard Peters. Ditto.
John Collins, rector.
1662, Charles Ashby. Ditto; he died in 1699.
1739, Benjamin Skipman, on James Clark's death, by King college, Cambridge.
1751, John Lodington, rector, by King's college, Cambridge.
In the church was the chapel of St. John.
In this town the family of Bayspool lived; John Bayspool, Gent. in 1634, and captain Thomas Bayspool, in 1682.