An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
BECK, or BECK-HALL,
Was at the survey a village, an hamlet, or beruite, belonging to Alan Earl of Richmond's manor of Below; and was measured and valued as may be seen in Below; there were also 3 villains who resided here and held land in Foxley, under Godric, and he of Earl Alan; and takes its name from a little beck, or stream of water, that runs by it.
Walter de Bek was lord in the 18th of Henry II. and paid to the sixth scutage for the marriage of the King's eldest daughter, and for the army in Ireland, assessed at 20s. for a knight's fee; the said Walter was also living in the 2d and 8th of Richard I. and paid scutage.
In the 24th of Henry III. a fine was levied before Ranulf, abbot of Ramsey, &c. and Simon de Hedersete, petent, and Richard de Bek, tenent of one messuage with the appertenances, and 40 acres of land in Bek, and in Belaugh. Robert Attebek and Maud his wife held lands here in the 33d of Edward III. and Thomas de Beck in the 9th of Edward II.
In the 8th of Richard II. William Curson, escheator of Norfolk, had a lordship in Beck, Belaugh, and Billingford. Sir John Cursoun recovered against Andrew Hokere, master of the hospital at Bek, 2 messuages and 130 acres of land in Belaugh, Billingford, &c. in the 20th of Richard II.; this Sir John died, as I take it, a prisoner in Spain, with the Earl of Pembroke, soon after.
By the escheat rolls in the 11th of Edward IV. Sir John Curson was found to die seized of the manors of Beek-Hall in le Becks in Belaugh, of Belaugh, Bintre, Willey, Dersingham, in Norfolk, Bergh in Saxham, and Fornham, in Suffolk, &c.; his will is dated January 10, 1471, requires to be buried in the church of Bylaw, at the chancel door, under the rood loft, and to have a gravestone of the price of 8 marks; (fn. 1) gives legacies to the poor tenants of several towns, to Anne, his daughter 50 marks for her portion, to Elizabeth, the same, to Catherine 20, Thomas his son and heir, John, William, and Edward his sons; Jane, his wife (surviving him,) Isabel, late wife of William Curson, to have an annuity of 40s. for life, out of the manor of Barrow in Suffolk, and his wife the manor of Ingaldesthorp, and Babingle wood for life.
Thomas Curson, Esq. was his son and heir by Jane, daughter of —Bacon, and lord in the 18th of Henry VII. by his will dated November 20, 1511, he requires to be buried in the church of Billingford, and was proved November 3, 1512: by Dorothy his wife, daughter of John Clopton, Esq. he had John, his son and heir, aged 29 at his death. (fn. 2)
John Curson, Esq. of Beck Hall, in Belagh, died in the first year of King Edward VI. and left William, his son and heir, who had livery of this manor, &c. and died seized in the 14th of Queen Elizabeth, and Thomas was found to be his heir, by Thomasine, daughter of Sir Robert Townsend, chief justice of Chester, who being remarried to William Rugge, Esq. of Felmingham, was lord in her right; she died here, and was buried in the church of Billingford.
Thomas Curson, Esq. had a præcipe in the 52d of Queen Elizabeth, to deliver it to Christopher Crow, Gent. and Robert Tilney, Gent.
After this, it was conveyed to Sir Edward Coke, by the said Thomas; and his immediate heir, the Earl of Leicester, died seized of it in 1759, and his lady now possesses it.
At this old village of Beck was an hospital founded by William de Beck, for poor travellers, who were to be entertained one night; there were 13 beds for that purpose. It was valued at 5l. and the patron of the church of Belaugh paid a pension of 13s. 4d. per ann. to it; it stood on the road from Norwich to Walsingham and Lynn.
Richer or Richard, chaplain to William de Bec, was appointed by him first master or custos of the hospital, which he built here.— Richer occurs master in the 24th of Henry III. and resigned it then. —Simon de Hederset admitted master in the 24th of Henry III.— William occurs master ao. 52 Henry III.—John de Geiste, master.— Thomas, parson of the chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr of Beck, recovered a mill with the appertenances, in Iteringham, belonging to this chapel, against Hervey de Stanhow, in the 14th of Edward I.— 1309, Gilbert de Burewell custos, collated by the Bishop of Norwich. —1314, Nicholas de Ayshefeld, ditto.—Robert de Plechesdone, custos. —1332, Mr. Roger de Hederset collated by the Bishop; he was rector of Billingford.—1352, John de Wineston, ditto; he was rector of Badingham.—1352, Roger Aslak, ditto.—1354, Robert Markhaunt, ditto.—1358, Richard Roche, ditto.—Roger Hedersete.—Mr. Thomas de Hedersete, presented by King Edward III. in his 43d year, the see of Norwich void.—1372, John de Waltham, by the Bishop.—1372, Mr. John de Babingle, ditto.—1375, Mr. John Clervaux, ditto.— 1379, Andrew Hoker, rector of Swanton Morley, by ditto.—1387, Mr. John de Haldenby, ditto.
1416, Henry Kays, rector of Fakenham in Norfolk, by the Bishop's vicar general.—1419, William Sponne, by the Bishop.—1447, John Knolles, ditto.—1453, Mr. William Hopper, decret. doctor.—1454, Mr. John Selot, decret. doctor, ditto. (fn. 3) —1489, Mr. Thomas Schenckwyn, LL. D. ditto.—1497, Mr. Robert Honeywood, LL. D. ditto.— Mr. William Soper.—Roger Rawlyns.
1527, Thomas Gayton, by the Bishop.
William Read, master of the chapel of St. Paul, for the fulfilling of a certain covenant, between John Corbet, senior, and Augustine Stiward, citizen and alderman of Norwich; and the aforesaid William, and John Curson, Esq. released and quit-claimed for himself and successours, to the said John Curson, and his heirs, all his right, title, &c. as well in the chapel of St. Paul of Beck, as in the manor of Bek in Billingford, and How, and the appertenances in Norfolk, and in all messuages, lands, services, &c. belonging to the said manor, lying in the city of Norwich, in the villages and fields of Billingford, Hoo, East Dereham, Swanton Morley, Todenham, Beteley, Bytering, Brisley, North Elmham, Woodnorton, Giestwick, Dallyng, Folsham, Sparham, Iteringham, Mendylesham, Wichingham, St. Faith's and St. Mary's Hackford, Refham, Whitewell, Bawdswell, Ringland, Bintre, Belaugh, &c. dated October 1, ao. 57th Henry VIII. and confirmed by the Bishop, and dean and chapter of Norwich, October 14, in the said year.—It was valued in the King's books at 4l. 15s. 4d.
On the site of this hospital the Cokes built a good seat, as appears from their arms over the porch, &c. and it was esteemed to be in the parish of Billingford.
It appears from the deed of William de Bec, the founder, that Richard, his chaplain was admitted to this mastership, by Alan, the Bishop's official, or vicar-general, presiding in the consistory court of Norwich, and that it was well endowed, for him, and certain chaplains; that the said William granted to Pandulph, then Bishop of Norwich, and his successours, the right of patronage of his hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, and St. Paul of Bec, by deed, dated at London, November 12, 1224.
In the 52d of Henry III. a fine was levied between Friar William, master of the hospital, petent, and Henry of Swanton, tenent, of 23 acres of land in Hoo, St. Werburge, granted to the hospital. The master impleaded John de Beck, in the 16th of Edward I. for taking and impounding his hogs, in Belaw, and Foxley, in a place called Denes, and the jury find that the master had right of common there.
On its dissolution, the hospital, with its lands, and a manor belonging to it, came to the Crown, and was granted by letters patent, dated May 26, ao. 3 and 4 of Philip and Mary, to Sir John Perrot, Knt. with court letes, weifs, strays, &c. who in the said year, May 28, granted them to Thomas Rochester, and John Waldgrave, Gent. to be held of the manor of East Greenwich, by the 20th part of a fee; after this it was purchased by Sir Edward Coke, the judge, and so descended to the late Earl of Leicester.