An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Alfah, a freeman, the reign of the Confessor, was lord, and had 3 carucates of land, 15 villains, 2 servi, and 2 carucates in demean; 3 among the tenants, 9 acres of meadow, paunage for 300 swine, one mill, and 5 socmen, had 24 acres of land, one carucate and 2 acres of meadow; at the survey it was possessed by Alan, Earl of Richmond, Alfah being deprived at the conquest. (fn. 1)
This Alan was a son of Geffrey Earl of Britain in France, and came into England with William Duke of Normandy, and commanded the rear of his army in the decisive battle and victory of Hastings, and was rewarded with the great earldom and honour of Richmond, which Edwin Earl of Mercia was deprived of: he married Constance, a daughter of King William I. and at the survey we find him possessed of the following lordships in this county:
In South-Greenhow hundred, Suafham, Nerford, Fouldon, Pagrave, Pickenham, North and South Cressingham.—In Launditch hundred, Mileham, Stanfield.—In Fourhow hundred, Cossey, Babergh, Thorp, Barford, Easton, Huningham, Wramplingham, Brandon, Runhale, Carlton, Merlingford, Tokethorp.—In Mitford hundred, Tudenham, Apthorp, Yaxham, Baskeney, Flockthorp, Westfield.—In Brodecross hundred, Sistern, Rudham.—In Holt hundred, Bruningham, Hunworth, Batheley.—In North Greenhow hundred, Dalling, Warham, Holkham.—In North Erpingham hundred, Matingeless, Suffield, Gunton.—In West Flegg hundred, Somerton, Martham, Repps, Bastwick, —In Eynford hundred, Weston, Ling, Tudenham, Baldreswell, Below, Bec, Foxley, Billingford, Swanington.—In Taverham hundred, Taverham, Felthorp, Attlebrigg.—In South Erpingham hundred, Saxthorp, Scothow.—In Tunstede hundred, Worstede, Dilham, Panxeford. —In Happingham hundred, Hickling, Stanham, Ingham, Waxham.— In Clacklose hundred, Bycham.—In Frebridge hundred, Ilsington, Midleton, Wike, Bawsey, Walton.—In Shropham hundred, Baconsthorp.—In Gilcross hundred, Herling, Keninghale—In Earsham hundred, Aldbergh, Shelvanger.—In Happing hundred, Hapesbergh, Ludham, Catfield.—In Humbleyard hundred, Hederset, Dunston, Erleham, Florendon, Cringleford.—In Deepwade hundred, Carleton, Kekelington, Wacton, Tibenham, Aslacton, Moulton, Stratton, Tasbergh, Tanaton, Midleton, Mourningthorp.—In Clavering hundred, Thurverton.
Ralph de Caineto, or Cheyneys, was lord and succeeded by John his son, whose sister and coheir, Sibill, married William Fitz-Robert, alias de Cheney, and had by him 3 daughters and coheirs. Margaret, the wife of Hugh de Cressi; Clementia, of Jordan de Sackvile; and Sarah, of Richard Engayne. In 1217, Jordan de Sackvile, and Vitalis, son of Richard Engayne, released their right to Margaret, who on the death of Sir Hugh de Cressi remarried Robert Fitz-Roger, but Stephen de Cressi, his brother, had an interest herein; and the jury find, in the 8th of Edward I. that he had great parcels of lands and rents here, as descended from the Cheyneyes; Ermentruda, his wife, after married William de Statvile, lord of Gressenhale, and in the 15th of Edward I. it was found that she held of the King, 15l. per ann. in land, at Horsham, and 10l. per ann. here in dower, and had married without the King's license, Roger de Colvil, senior, and that the lands were taken into the King's hands.
Margaret, widow of Hugh de Cressi, married Robert Fitz-Roger, in the 10th of the said King, and was lord in his wife's right of this town Rudham, and Mileham, holding one fee and an half, and a quarter of a fee, of the honour of Richmond, and Roger de Cressi is said to hold two knight's fees in Fincham, Mileham, Nerford, Swaffham, and here, of the said honour; (fn. 2) Robert Fitz-Roger had also a weekly mercate on Thursday, gallows, pillory, tumbrell, assise of bread and beer, frankpledge, and free warren.
Sir Alexander de Clavering was lord in the 23d of Edward I. and had then the grant of a fair.
In the 14th of Edward II. Dame Joan de Clavering, relict of Sir Alexander de Clavering, son and heir of Sir Robert Fitz-Roger, granted, on Friday before the feast of St. Michael, to Sir Walter de Norwich, this lordship for life, paying to her the yearly rent of 60l. per ann. and if Sir Walter dies before her, it was to revert to her, otherwise to remain to him and his heirs. (fn. 3) Sir John de Clavering, younger brother of Sir Alexander, by his deed, dated on the feast of St. Margaret the Virgin, granted to Sir Walter in the said year, the reversion of this manor, which Dame Joan de Clavering held for life, on his paying 200l. sterling, and in the said year, Sir Walter had a charter for 2 fairs in the year.
In the 17th of Edward III. Sir John de Norwich had license to make castles of his manor-houses at Ling, and Meltingham in Suffolk; and in the 47th of that King, Sir John de Norwich, the last of that family, conveyed to Sir John de Plays, Sir Robert Howard, Sir Roger Boys, &c. this manor in trust, to settle it on his college of Mettingham, in Suffolk, and Sir Roger Boys, by patent, granted in the 5th of Richard II. settled it accordingly, and it was held by a quarter of a fee of the honour of Richmond.
At the dissolution of this college, April 8, it was granted by King Henry VIII. in his 33d year, to Sir Anthony Denny, on April 14, following, and in this family it continued till sold to the Earl of Yarmouth, and was purchased by the Lord Anson, who presented in 1757, whose brother, Thomas Anson, Esq. is the present lord: this lordship, in Sir Anthony Denny's time, paid a rent of 25s. per ann. (Richmond fee) to the lord of Swafham, in Norfolk, but his heirs were discharged by letters patent.
Sir Robert Hovell claimed part of this manor and patronage, as a gift from Sir Hugh Cressy, and granted, by fine, his right of patronage of the church, to Richard, abbot of St. Mary of Sibeton in Suffolk, with land called Hodesaker, in the 53d of Henry III. but Walter, abbot of Sibeton regranted it to Robert Fitz-Roger, in the 10th of Edward I. and after this, recovered seizen of this 3d part, valued at 10l. per ann. against Walter de Langton Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry, and Hugh Hovel, and had 45l. damages allowed him, and the deed by which the Hovells claimed was proved a forgery.
The tenths were 3l. 6s. Deducted 6s.
Here was in ancient days, a religious house or nunnery, which is said to have been removed to Thetford, about 1176, at the request of John of Oxford Bishop of Norwich, Jeffrey Ridell, archdeacon of Canterbury, and William de Camera, sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, but it was rather after this. In the 34th of Henry III. mention is made in a pleading of the house of the nuns at Ling; (fn. 4) and in the 15th of Edward I. the jury found the claim of the prioress of St. George, in Thetford, for a fair at Lyng, on the feast of St. Edmund yearly. In the 16th of Henry VI. the prioress aliened by the King's license, to the parson of Ling, St. Edmund's chapel, belonging to the late nunnery, with several lands here, paying 4 marks per ann. viz. 6 acres of land, 3 of meadow, 5s. 9d. rent, with a messuage; also 6 acres of land with 32s. 4d. rent, in Feltwell; a moor and a fishery at Hockwold, held of the manor of Southall in Feltwell, with lands and tenements in Foulden.
George Horseman, Esq. of Boton in Norfolk, by his will, dated December 2, 1558, appears to have a manor, tenements, and St. Edmund's chapel in Ling. (fn. 5)
The Church consists of 2 isles covered with thatch, a chancel, and has 6 bells.
It is a rectory dedicated to St. Clement, formerly valued at 20 marks, Peter-pence 4d. The present valor is 11l.
In the church on gravestones,
Orate p. a'i'ab; Rici. Wallys, Christiane et Alicie uxor. suar.—Hen. Gay, gen. obt. 5, die mens. Junij, 1584, œt. 56.
In the chancel a gravestone,
In memory of Ralph Knevet, rector, died in 1671, aged 71.
Solomon Leach gave 10s. for a sermon to be preached yearly, on the Sunday after All-Saints day, and 12d. weekly in bread, &c. to poor widows.
The patronage went along with the lordship.
Reginald occurs rector, ao. 9 Henry III.
1304, John Walram instituted, presented by Sir Alexander de Clavering.
1305, John Bard. Ditto.
1305, John Walram. Ditto.
1317, Mr. John de Bitteryng, by Lady Joan de Clavering.
1338, Mr. Richard de Ling, by Remigius de Hetherset, and Robert Clere.
1339, William de Mortimer. Ditto.
1343, Nicholas de Hederset, by Sir John de Norwich.
1349, Oliver Platun, by Sir John de Norwich.
1381, Richard de Cratefeld, by Sir John Plays, Sir Robert Howard, Sir Roger de Boys, John Wolterton, &c.
1387, Robert Gosselyn. Ditto.
1392, Henry Burwood, by Richard Cratefeld, custos, or master of the college of Norton Soupcors.
1424, Robert Popy, by the master of Mettingham college.
1470, Robert Moor. Ditto.
1480, Richard Langham. Ditto.
1486, Richard Kaa. Ditto.
1495, Mr. Peter Fauston. decret. bac. Ditto.
1518, Thomas Mason. Ditto.
1541, John Denney. Ditto.
1554, Christopher Meltham, by Hugh Brown, and Richard Denny, on a grant of John Denney, of Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, Esq.
1554, William Canvas, by John Denney, Esq.
1555, Richard Dunning, LL.B. by Thomas Graunge, on a grant of Jn. Denney.
1557, Thomas Brewer. by Roger Bulwer, a grant from Jn. Denney.
1561, John Machet, A. M. by John Denney, Esq.
1570, Thomas Brome or Brown, by Richard Partrick, a grant from ditto.
1574, Richard Haywood, by Thomas Seaman, hac vice.
1575, Richard Doughty, by John Denney of How, Esq.
1576, William Fenton, S.T.B. by John Denney, Esq.
1577, Thomas Clarkson, A.M. Ditto.
1584, Richard Graunge, by John Graunge, a grant from John Denney.
1609, Robert Hulliard, A.M. by G. Tounson.
1613, Thomas Howlet, A.M. by John Denney, Esq.
1652, Ralph Knevet.
1673, John Doughty, by John Corance, Esq.
1702, Thomas Roberts, by William Cecil, clerk.
1728, William Harvey, by Robert Harvey, Esq.
1748, Nathaniel Ponder, by John Bennet, Gent. hac vice, on a grant from the Earl of Yarmouth.
1757, James Baldwin, by the Lord Anson.
Here were the sepulchre light, and the common torches; St. Edmund, St. Margaret, and St. John Baptist's gilds.