An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Godric, the Conqueror's steward, had the grant of the principal lordship in this town, held by Hagan, under Stigand, the Archbishop, in the reign of the Confessor, with 4 carucates of land, 6 villains, 6 borderers, and one servus; there was also one carucate in demean, &c. and 2 carucates of the tenants, &c. 10 acres of meadow, &c. a mill, a marsh, 60 sheep, &c. 4 cows, &c. with a church, endowed with 8 acres. Roger Bigot claimed 30 acres of land out of this lordship, belonging to Alestan's manor in Hales, (which Roger had the grant of.) Seventeen freemen had also a carucate, with another that was held by commendation only, and 4 carucates of meadow. Ralph Earl of Norfolk added to this lordship, in the time of King William, (fn. 1) 8 freemen who had a carucate of land, and 2 borderers; and there were 6 freemen under them with 12 acres of land, and 4 carucates of meadow. In King Edward's time, the whole was valued at 20s. at the survey, at 60s. and what the freemen held, at 30s.—The town was one leuca long, and 8 furlongs wide, and paid 12d. gelt. (fn. 2)
On the death of Godric, it seems to have come again into the Crown, and was granted to the Earl Warren, and a family that took their name from the town was infeoffed of it, and held it of the Earl Warren.
In the 10th of Richard I William de Rochawe, who took his name from an hamlet in this town, surrendered by fine, to Baldwin, son of William, son of Adestan de Hekingham, 15 acres of land; and in the 5 of King John, Alan de Hekingham was lord, and Herbert de Rochage conveyed lands to him by fine. (fn. 3) It appears from the Register of Langley abbey that Alan gave to Simon de Blaveney, with Muriel his daughter, in marriage, this lordship, and they sold to Sir Roger de Thurkelby, (an itinerant judge,) 50 acres, part of it, with the services of several tenants in this town, Hales, Norton, &c. and Sir Roger had a grant of free warrant in the 29th of Henry III. Alan, also, sold to Sir William Roscelyn, and Lætitia his wife, the advowson of this church; this Lælitia, in her widowhood, gave it to Langley abbey; she after married Sir Roger de Thurkelby; and in 1289, from an extent then made of the manor of Hekingham, which the abbot held of the gift of Sir Roger, with the appropriate rectory and advowson; and the tithe of wheat was then esteemed, one year with another, at ten combs, each comb valued at 2s.; Mesling, 20 comb, at 18d. per comb; Pease, 10 comb, at 18d. per comb; Oats, 2 comb, at 12d. per comb; Sixscore comb of barley, at 18d. per comb; the manor-house contained 11 acres, with the out ditches, mote, &c. Apples in the orchard, valued at 6s. 8d. per ann. the mill, 9s.; there was a great pond of 3 acres, coney-garth and bromeyard, liberty of a free bull and boar in summer, with pleas and perquisites of court, reliefs, wards, &c. Lands in several fields, 9 score and 2 acres, 17 perches, by the perch of 18 feet and half, with pastures, meadow, marsh ground, &c.
In the 9th of Edward II. the abbot held one fee of the Earl Warren, which William de Agia, and Olive de Rokehagh, Simon de Blaveny, &c. held formerly.
The abbot's temporals in 1428, were valued at 7l. 18s. 4d. ob.
At the Dissolution it was granted, August 16, ao. 32 Henry VIII. to Thomas Godsalve, Esq.
Here was a controversia, but sans date, between the abbot, &c. of Langley, rectors of this church, and Ralph le Butiler, rector of Raveningham, about tithes; and it was agreed, that Ralph and his successours should have the tithe of 12 acres and a half in Raveningham, and the abbot of 12 acres here, butted, &c. (Langley Regr. fol. 68.) Ralph was living in 1290.
Simon de Blaveny, and Muriel his wife, daughter of Alan de Heckingham, granted other lands with a marsh, parcel of the manor of Alan, to William de Vernan, and Robert de Vernun of Hales and Lodne; (fn. 4) which Robert granted to the abbot aforesaid, the homage of Sir Roger, son of Sir Walter de Hales, and assigned the said Sir Roger to pay to the convent 15d. per ann. rent, for the whole messuage of the chapel of St. Andrew, of Hales, and lands which he and Alice his wife held of him, with other lands, in the 16th of Edward I. Witnesses, William de Agia, Roger de Raveningham, &c.
Sir William de Roscelyn, Sir Thomas, and Sir Peter his son, had an interest herein, as had John, son of Ralph de Erlham, and Nicholaa his wife, who gave lands to the abbey of Langley, in the reign of Henry III. She was daughter of Elias Druri of Heckingham.
In the 42d of Edward III. William Bergh died, and had a part of a fee.
Joan Ward died possessed of a lordship, as by her will in 1464. (fn. 5)
Thomas Denney was lord of a manor in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and had license, December 1, ao. 6th of James I. to alien it to Thomas Fiske, who in the 14th of King Charles I. conveyed it to William Coppin, Gent.
Roger Bigot had the grant of 26 acres, with a borderer and an acre of meadow, which a freeman possessed in the time of the Confessor, when there was half a carucate. Turold held this of Roger, and it was valued at 16d.
Roger had also 30 acres of land given him, which Bondo, a freeman, was deprived of, belonging to Ulchctell's fee, who had by commendation, a moiety of him, in the reign of King Edward, and in right of his wife, the whole commendation; Godric, the Conqueror's steward claimed him, on the forfeiture of Ralph Earl of Norfolk; and the hundred witnesses that he performed services to Godric, but know not by what right; there belonged to it also, a carucate and 2 acres of meadow; valued in the whole at 4s. (fn. 6)
The families of De Loddon, and De Hales, seem to have some interest here. In the 7th of Edward I. John de Gernemuth had free warren here in Norton and Loddon. In the 12th of that King, William, son of Sir John de Loddon, confirmed to Thomas Wyth of Yarmouth, a marsh and a suncary, called Lam-Holm, after the decease of the Lady Alice de Quitwell, widow of Sir John his father.
John de Heckington, in the 29th of the said reign, was querent in a fine, and Warin de Hulmo deforcient of lands here, in Norton and Raveningham.
In the 9th of Edward II. the abbot of Langley and Robert Hales were returned to be lords of this town.
Roger had another small fee held of him at the survey, by Robert de Vaux, out of which a freeman of Stigand, the archbishop, was ejected; there belonged to it 30 acres, with 2 borderers, and two freemen held of him 3 acres and an half, and there was half a carucate valued at 4s. (fn. 7)
The Church was a rectory, and is dedicated to St. Gregory; in the 9th of Henry III. a fine was levied before Martin de Pateshull, &c. the King's justices, between William, son of Roscelyne, and Lecia his wife, petents, and Alan de Heckingham, deforcients, of the advowson of this church, purchased by them, and the heirs of Lecia, who afterwards gave it by deed s. d. to the abbey of Langley. (fn. 8) Sir Thomas, her son, released all his right herein, in the 54th of that King, as did William, son of Adam de Heckingham in the 24th of Henry III. to the said convent, and they covenanted to receive him and his heirs into all prayers and benefactions to be made in that abbey; it was after appropriated to that abbey, and a vicarage settled. In the reign of Edward I. the abbot and convent, as rector, had a manse and two carucates of land, and it was valued at 8 marks, the vicarage at 40s. in the patronage of the abbot, Peter-pence 12d. carvage 4d. ob.
In 1328, Paul de Oxwich, instituted vicar, presented by the abbot, &c.
1348, John Grym. Ditto.
1349, Thomas Bec. Ditto.
1360, Hugh de Contesthorp. Ditto.
John Deneys, vicar.
1370, Richard Hiket. Ditto.
William Tale occurs vicar Ao. 38 Henry VI.
At the dissolution of the abbey, the rectory, and patronage of the vicarage came to the Crown, and in 1603, the church was served by a stipendiary curate,
Bryant Ward, who returned 59 communicants.
On February 19, Ao. 16 Elizabeth, the rectory was granted to Bernard Gylpin and Christopher Fenton, with the rectory of Tweight.
Charles Rigges was instituted vicar in 1627, presented by the King, but in 1748, it was served by a stipendiary curate, nominated by the heirs of Mr. Peter Lawes.
The church has a nave, and a south isle, with a chancel antique, turned round at the east end, and a round tower with 2 bells.
In the nave a grave-stone,
In memory of John Crowe, Gent. who died in 1663.
And in the south isle, one,
In memory of William Mingay, Gent. who died in 1713, with his arms, or, on a bend azure, three leopards faces, argent; and in a window of the said isle, the arms of Erpingham—Clifton, cheque, argent and sable, on a bend, gules, three oaken leaves proper—gules on a chevron argent, three trefoils slipt, of the first, impaling Erpingham —also impaling Clifton.
Heck seems to be the name of a rivulet; Heckford in Hampshire and Norfolk; Heckmondwyke in Yorkshire, Heckington in Lincolnshire, &c.
In Hethingham, i lib. ho. Bondo xxx ac. tre. que' ten. Rog. ad feudu' Ulchetelli. s; ipse Ulchetel habuit dimid. com'dationem de illo t'pore regis E. et de uxore tota. com'dationem, et Godi. dapiter eu' calumpniatr. quod eu' tenuit quand. Radulf Comes forisfecit et hund. testatr. quod serviebat Godrico, sed nesciunt quomodo, et habet sep. i caruca' et ii ac. p'ti. val. iiii sol.