An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Ralph Lord Baynard held the manor of Refham at the survey' with that of Kerdeston, and was valued and accounted for together with his manor of Kerdeston, being together half a leuca long, 4 furlongs broad, and paid 3d. gelt. (fn. 1)
Sir John de Vaux's lordship of Hackford extended into this town; he obtained, in the 5th of Edward I. a charter for a weekly mercate on Saturday, and a fair on the eve, day, and morrow after the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. It is a little town, and was remarkable for 3 churches being erected in one cemetery, viz. of Refham, Whitwell, and Hackford, adjoining little villages, two of these are still standing, but that of Hackford has been long since burnt.
The church of Refham serves also for the village of Kerdeston, as belonging to the same lords. There was formerly a chapel in Kerdeston, standing in a close on a hill, called the chapel close, no part of it is now standing, being carried away at times to build and repair neighbouring houses; some low, hollow ground may be observed, where it is said was a moat, &c. but it is more probable that this was the manorhouse and chapel of the Kerdestons.
The church of Refham is dedicated to St. Mary's nativity, and had 2 medieties, each valued at 17 marks and a half.—One mediety was called Thomas's, and paid Peter-pence, 15d. the other Hugh's, of the same value. In the 34th of Henry III. Warine, son of Hugh, and Alice his wife, Hervy de Stanhow, and Ela his wife, conveyed two parts of the advowson of a moiety of this church, to Reymor; one belonging to the Earl Warren's lordship, and the other to that of the Lord Baynard; and the prior of Lewes had a portion of tithe valued at 26s. 8d. being the tithes of the demean that William de Kerdeston gave; (fn. 2) and Fulco Bainard confirmed to them the gift of his grandfather, Jeffrey, and his father Roger; Roger de Kerdeston, and William his son, granted them 2 parts of the tithes of their demeans; witnesses, Ardewyn, the priest of Kerdeston, Roger Baynard, &c.— Kerdeston mediety held by John Elliot, valued at 10l. and that of Refham, by R. Porter, in 1507, at 8l. 0s. 12d. ob.
William Baynard occurs rector of a mediety in 1261.
1303, Henry de Clavering instituted, presented by Sir Alex. de Clavering; he and Joan his wife conveyed a moiety of the church, to Rob. de Burgulion, and agreed to present by turns: and Alexander sold, in the 4th of Edward II. to William de Kerdeston, a moiety.
1318, William de Kerdeston, by Sir William de Kerdeston.
1319, Robert Quytfot or Whitfot, ditto, living in 1342.
1327, John de Bracham, by Sir Roger de Kerdeston.
1347, Peter de Calthorp, by Sir William de Kerdeston,
1356, Robert Attefaldgate. Ditto.
1361, Andrew de Lesset, by William de Bergh, rector of Cantele, &c.
1390, John Athelwald, by William de Claxton.
1391, Thomas Dykeon, by Sir Leond. de Kerdeston.
1395, Richard de Fawkener. Ditto.
1402, Robert Newent, by Sir Miles Stapleton, and Sir William Argenton,
1422, Thomas Boyleyn, by Sir Thomas Kerdeston.
1429, Robert Leycestre. Ditto.
1427, Richard Parker, by Sir Thomas Kerdeston, and Elizabeth his wife.
1452, Richard Overes, by Philippa Lady de Kerdeston.
William Stommys, rector.
1481, Thomas Green, by John de la Pole Duke of Suffolk.
1490, John Hughson, LL. B. Ditto.
1490, Nicholas Cocket. Ditto.
1493, Thomas Croft, by Edmund Earl of Suffolk.
John Brakeden, rector.
1507, Ralph Porter.
1508, Thomas Bishop, by Sir John Pechy.
1511, James Rightwise.
1521, John Strutte, to Hugh's portion, by Sir John Pechy
1540, John Strutte to Thomas's mediety.
1558, William Grimsby, by the King and Queen, to Hugh's mediety.
1558, William Grimsby, to Thomas's mediety, by the King and Queen.
1563, William Dawson, by the King and Queen.
1574, Richard Dawson Ditto.
1594, Anthony Maxy to both medieties.
1612, Nicholas Howlet to both, by the King.
Samuel Gardiner occurs rector 1662.
1672, David Phillips, by the King, and in the said year to the other mediety.
1674, Charles Robotham to a mediety, by Francis Anyson, Gent.
1674, Henry Pitte to a mediety, by ditto.
1681, Nathaniel Osborn to a mediety. Ditto.
1700, John Robinson to both medieties, by Rebecca Annyson, widow.
1723, Francis St. John, by Sarah Annyson, widow.
1756, James Baldwin, by Mrs. Rebecca Ward, widow.
1757, Richard Priest, instituted to Reefham and Kerdeston, presented to Mrs. Ward of Norwich.
St. Mary and St. Margaret's guild here.
The temporalities of Walsingham priory 8d.
The Church has a square tower, a nave, chancel, and south isle covered with lead, and stands east of Whitwell church, in the same cemetery.
In the chancel of Refham church, on a gravestone, near the communion table,
M.S. Sub hoc marmore dilectos prope suæ Saræ cineres (tumuli jam sociæ, quæ et thalami fuit) depositæ sunt ad diem nsq. censoriam asservandæ, mortales exuvrœ Carolis Robotham, S. T. B. per multos rerum annorumq; vices, hujus ecclesiæ rectoris, qui sacro suo munere perfunctus, prout virum doctum, christianum, pium, pastorem fidum decuit, senio tandem, studiisq; fractus, fato cessit et nunc quem diu exercuit animarum curæ, beatum tenet societas.
Obt. Illa prid. cal. Sept. 1688, æt. 46, Ille 4 cal. Apr. 1790, æt. 74 P. posuit defunct. gener Car. Starkey. On the summit the arms of Robotham; on a fess between a lis impaling a lion rampant
On another marble gravestone,
Johannes Robinson A. M. Hujusce ecclesiæ annos 23, rector, quo nemo vigilantior, exuvias hic deposuit mortales. Vis plura lector? omnes qui sermonibus interfuerunt narrare gestiunt, ut in docendo fælicitate, in delectando urbanitate, in suadendo gravitate, in recensendo sublimitate; facilem principatum obtineret, obt. Augi. 26, an. Æræ Christ. m. d. ccxxui. ætat. 67.
Near to this, one,
In memory of Martha his wife, who died in 1736, aged 65.
In memory of Edward, the eldest son of Richard Heyward, in birth not obscure, of parts eminent, in the academy a pretious ornament in the theory of all sciences, dignified in the worshipfull society of the Inner Temple, a patron of justice in his country, laudable in his life, peaceable in his death September 25, 1658, aged 64; and these arms, argent, on a pale, sable, three crescents of the first.
For Richard Heyward, gent. who died Apr. 29, 1608, aged 73.
In the said chancel, before the rails, on a marble stone, adorned with canopy work of brass, are the effigies of a knight in complete armour his hands erect and joined, at his feet a lion, with that of his lady in the dress of those days, both in brass: on a rim of brass which runs round the verge of this stone, was an epitaph in verse, now the gratest part of it is broke off and lost; this was,
In memory of Sir William Kerdeston and his lady, Cecilia, daughter of Brewes of Salle, and the epitaph was,
Faustus militiæ quondam Will'mus honore Nupsit Cecilie Brewes virtutis amore, De Kerdestone qui gaudebant - - - - - - Hic in pace bona latitent precor absq; reatu. His subijt fatum, post fidis festa, peracta, Virgo parens, natum pete, ne metuant malefacta.
Over his effigies was the shield of Kerdeston, and over her's that of Brews, but both are lost.
Orate p. a'i'a. Johs. Adwolde quondam rectoris eccl'ie de Kerdeston qui obt. ao. Dni. m.c.c.c.c. XXVI.
Under an enarched monument, raised against the north wall of the chancel, lies a Knight Templar of the Kerdeston family in armour, with his hands and legs crossed; on the basis of the monument are the effigies of 6 boys, and 4 girls; on the side of the canopy work are the arms of Kerdeston, but no inscription remains; this knight lies on stone work carved as a rock, with a lion at his feet, probably for Sir Fulk de Kerdeston, or (as some say) Sir Thomas, who died in 1270.
Here lyeth the body of Samuel Gardiner, late rector of Refham, who died 19 of March, 1671, aged 65; and of Mary Thurrowgood his sister, who died March 20, 1671, aged 63; with the arms of Gardiner, sable, a chevron, ermin, between three bugle horns, argent, and Thurrowgood, azure, on a chief, argent, three buckles mascle, of the first impaling Gardiner.
In the church,
Orate p. a'i'a. Margarete Camplyn euj. a'i'e. &c. Ao. Dni m. vc.XXVII.
Ric. Heyward, gent. obt. 29. Apr. m.d.c.viii æt. sue 58.
In the north isle of the church a mural monument,
Alice wife of Bartholomew Ripinghale, relict of Henry Breese, died April 24, 1744, aged 77.
Robert Breese died December 27, 1736, aged 77.
Mrs. Sarah Harborough, late of Hackford, died May 16, 1729, aged 79; and these arms - - - - a chevron, between 3 escallops - -.
Ambrose Cutting of Bacton, in Norfolk, gent. died in 1682, aged 59.
Amy, daughter of John Neale relict of Samuel Ryseborow, died November 7, 1729, aged 31.
In several windows of the church were the arms of Kerdeston, gules, a saltire ingrailed, argent, impaling, quarterly in the first and 2d, quarterly, on a bend, azure, three lis, in the 2d and 3d, gules, a caterfoil, argent; also Calthorp, Vaux, and Burgulion.
On a buttress of the north-east corner of the chancel, is a crucifix carved on the stone.
In this church was a famous image of the Virgin Mary; Alice Cook of Horstead, wife of Robert Cook of Crostweyt, in her will, dated 1428, "I will have a man to goo a pilgrimage to our Lady of Refham St. Spyryte, to St. Pernell of Stratton, and to St. Leonard without Norwich." (fn. 3)
The town of Refham stands on a rising ground, a brook running at the lower end of it, that comes from Brandeston, and is called the Eyn, and empties itself into the Wentsum, by Wichingham; it is in the inclosed country, very fertile in barley, and gave name to a family; Richer de Refham was an eminent citizen of London, in the 30th of Edward I. and in the 6th of Edward II. had a grant, or confirmation of the manor of Stamford Ryvere in Essex; and in 1310, lord mayor of London.