Eynford Hundred: Swanington

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.

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Francis Blomefield, 'Eynford Hundred: Swanington', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8( London, 1808), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol8/pp262-266 [accessed 16 July 2024].

Francis Blomefield, 'Eynford Hundred: Swanington', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8( London, 1808), British History Online, accessed July 16, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol8/pp262-266.

Francis Blomefield. "Eynford Hundred: Swanington". An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. (London, 1808), , British History Online. Web. 16 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol8/pp262-266.

In this section


Walter Giffard had a grant of a lordship in this town, of which 7 freemen at the conquest were deprived, who held one carucate and an half, with 16 acres of land, 3 acres of meadow, and a borderer, with 5 carucates, 12 socmen with 2 carucates, and 3 acres of meadow, &c. valued at 40s. but the soc belonged to the King's manor of Folsham, in the reign of King Edward; at the survey it was in Walter Giffard; this was half a leuca long, and the same in breadth, and paid 7d. to the King's gelt. (fn. 1)

This Walter was made Earl of Buckingham by King William I.; he was son of Osbern de Bolebeck, and Aveline his wife, and related to the Conqueror; he attended him in his expedition into England, and was rewarded by him with the following lordships in Norfolk in this hundred, with Binnetre, Giggesete, Norton, Dalling, Wichingham, Swanington, Helmingham and Remingaland;—in Taverham hundred, Attlebrig, Felthorp;—in South Erpingham, Straton, Cuineham, Rippetuna, Ermingland;—in South Greenhow hundred, Fuldon;—in Grimshow hundred, Linford, Ickburgh;—in Holt hundred, Laringset, Bayfield, Glamford, Snitterley, Bodenham and Hanworth;—in North Greenhow hundred, Warham;—in North Erpingham hundred, Berningham;—in Heinsted hundred, Seotesham, Saxlingham and Stoke.

He had also a grant of 2 lordships in Berkshire, one in Wiltshire, one in Somersetshire; one in Huntingdonshire, 5 in Cambridgeshire, 3 in Oxfordshire, nine in Bedfordshire, three in Suffolk, forty-eight in Buckinghamshire: at the time of the survey he was sent with Remigius Bishop of Lincoln, &c. into Worcestershire, and some other counties of England, to make that survey.

By Agnes his wife, daughter of Gerard Flatell, sister to William Bishop of Eureux in Normandy, he had Walter his son: on his death, July 15, in 1102, in England, he was carried into France, and buried at the abbey church of Longaville in Normandy, which he had founded in the chapel of the cloister. (fn. 2)

Walter, his son and heir, Earl of Bucks, in the 12th of Henry II. on an aid for the marriage of that King's daughter, certified that he held 94 knights fees and an half, de veteri feoffamento, and one and an half de novo: with Ermetrade his wife, he founded the abbey of Nutley in Bucks, and dying s. p. came to his heirs. In Richard the First's time, Richard de Clere Earl of Hertford, descended from Rohais, (sister of this Walter,) wife of Richard Fitz-Gilbert, ancestor to the Earls of Clare, was lord.

In the 10th of Richard I. a fine was levied between William Battail, petent, William Huntingfeld, and Isabel his wife, and William Briton, tenents, of lands here and in Alderford, released to Battail and his heirs, with the churches of Swanington, &c. to be held of William Huntingfeld and Isabel, and the heirs of Isabel, by the 6th part of a fee, as in Alderford. Ralph de Batayle of Swanington, was living in the 5th of Edward I.

Alan Hovel, or Holywell, had free warren here and in Alderford, in the second of Edward II. and in the 8th of that King, held there half a fee of the honour of Clare.

Sir John de Norwich grants to Robert Mayn of Stoke Holy Cross, and his heirs, full seizin of all his lands, tenements, &c. in this town, Alderford, Attlebrigg, &c. which Sir Walter his father purchased ao. 9th of Edward II. of Roger de Mortimer, of Chirk, dated on Monday after the feast of St. Martin, ao. 22d of Edward III.

Roger Geney of Swanington gives to Walter de Middleton of Wichingham, and William his son, lands and rents in Swanington, by deed, sans date.

Sir Thomas Gyney had an interest here: by his will, dated May 1, ao. 5 Henry V. proved in 1420, bequeaths money to the repair of this church.

John Richers of this town, by his will, dated March 4, 1500, gives to Henry his son, the manor of Hovels in Swanington, and the manor of Dawkyns in Heveringland, proved at Lambeth, February 12, 1501.

Henry Richers married Cecily, daughter and coheir of Robert Tilles of Sallows, Gent. and was living in 1511, and bore argent, three annulets, azure. Henry was living in the 20th of Henry VIII. and sold to Robert Richers of Swanington, his brother, the manor of Turtevile's in Wichingham, ao. 6th of Edward VI.

In the 17th of Queen Elizabeth, Thomas Gawdy, serjeant at law, conveyed the manor of Heverland, to Henry Richers of Swanington, and Edmund his son, who conveyed it, in the 31st of that Queen, to Thomas Herne, Esq. Henry Richers of Swanington, Esq. married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Miles Corbet, and was living in the reign of James I.

Charles Bladwell, Gent. conveyed it to his brother, Mr. John Bladwell, an upholsterer, in Bow-street, Convent-garden, the present lord.

Alan Earl of Richmond had a grant of a lordship, of which Turbern, a freeman, was deprived, of half a carucate of land, with 8 socmen, a carucate in demean, 2 among the tenants, with 4 acres of meadow belonging to it, valued at 20s. per ann. and Anchetill held it under Earl Alan. (fn. 3)

Anchetil was probably ancestor of the family De Furneaux: Sir Jeffrey de Furneaux was lord in 1180, and of Middle-Herling, father of Sir Robert, Jeffrey, and Ralph: Sir Robert was living in 1219, and lord of Bergham in Cambridgeshire; Jeffrey his brother was enfeoffed of this lordship by his father; Sir Robert married Alice, (by whom he had Sir Michael de Furneaux,) and was living about 1250, with Alice his wife: Sir Simon was living 1281, and had a grant of free-warren then in this manor, and married Alice, sister and coheir of Miles, son of Philip de Hastings, and left an only daughter, married to John de Lee.

Sir Robert de Furneaux presented to Middle-Herling church in 1308, and Sir John de Furneaux in 1324, and 1358.

Sir John Furneaux and Isabel his first wife, were living in 1320, and in 1348, Elizabeth occurs his 2d wife; his 3d wife was Amy, who survived him and married Robert Denney in 1384; by his first wife he left a son and a daughter.

His son and heir, John, succeeded; his wardship was granted by John Duke of Lancaster, with the marriage of Elizabeth his sister, to Sir Hugh de Cliderow, but Sir Hugh, in 1361, granted them to John de Herling; and John de Furneaux died in that year. Elizabeth, his sister and heir, married Thomas Crabbe, whose widow she was in 1401, John Crabbe, her eldest son, dying, had an only sister, Eleanore, married to William Bardwell, Esq. of West Herling, but whether they had any interest herein does not appear.—The family of De Furneaux bore sable, a pale lozengy, argent.

William de Lions and his tenants held here and in Attlebrigg, half a fee in the reign of Henry III. of the Furneaux's, and they of the honour of Richmond, and in the 20th of Edward III. Nicholas Maloysel held it, late Lion's: Peter Maloysel passed by fine lands here and in Attlebrigg, belonging to his manor, to William le Saucer in the 46th of that King.

In the 13th of Richard II. John de Melton and Alice his wife, of this town, released to John de Brisingham their right in the lands which they bought of Robert Maloysel.

Thomas Lord Scales died seized of it in the 35th of Henry VI.

The Church is a rectory, the ancient valor was 14 marks Peterpence 7d.; the present valor is 6l. 11s. 5d. ob.—Dedicated to St. Margaret, and discharged of tenths, &c.

In the 36th of Edward III. it was appropriated by the King's patent, to Trinity-Hall, Cambridge.


William de Whitwell occurs rector about 1260, and Steph. Bataile, about 1280.

1304, Robert Est, instituted rector, presented by John de Brandeston, and occurs 17th of Edward II.

1338, Symon Reppes, by Robert Quitofs, rector of a mediety of Reifham.

1361, Steph. Morle, by Simon de Babyngle, Ralph Urri, Robert Walton, &c.

Steph. Houghton, rector.

1373, Thomas de Berford, by the master, &c. of Trinity-hall.

1422, Robert Eggefeld. Ditto.

Robert Norwich rector.

1446, John Wellys. Ditto.

1449, Simon Thornham, LL.B.

1453, Thomas Lightfoot.

1470, Henry Falke, decret. dr.

1490, John Halowich.

1512, Thomas Barker.

1519, William Aleyn, decret. bac.

Peter Hobard, A. M.

1560, Lancelet Robinson.

1591, John Turner, LL B.

1609, John Gibson, LL. B.

1616, Miles Knolles, LL. B.

1628, William Hotckis, LL. B.

1630, Edmund Dunton, LL.B.

1662, John Hildegard.

1667, John Gibson, A.M.

1702, Owen Hughes.

1716, William Allen, LL.D. by the master, &c. of Trinity-hall.

1733, Franc. James, LL.D. Ditto.

1739, William Thickness. Ditto.

1751, John Banson. Ditto.

1759, George Carr. Ditto.

Here were the gilds of St. Mary and St. Margaret, and the chapel of St. John Baptist, in the church, mentioned in 1383.

In 1450, the feast of the dedication of this church was translated from March 11, to the feast of St. Catharine.


  • 1. Terre Walti. Giffardi—In Sueningatuna vii libi ho'es. i car. t're. et dim. et xvi ac. t're. et iii. ac. p'ti. et i bor. tc. et p. v car. mo. et xii soc. xlac t're. sep. ii car. et iii ac. p'ti. silva vi por. sep. val. xl sol. soca in Folsa. Regis, T.R.E. mo. tenet W. ht. dim. leug. in longo et in lato. et reddit viid. de gelto. Regis.
  • 2. Neustria Pia, p. 667. Agnes is called the sister of Auselm de Ribothmonte, —Dugd. Baron. v. i. p 559.
  • 3. Terre Alani Comitis—In Sweningatuna, tenet. Anchitel, qua. ten. Turborn. lib. ho. T. R. E. dim. car. tre. tc. viii soc. p'. et mo. v sep. i car. in dnio. tc. ii car. hom. et mo. i et iiii. ac. pti. silva. v porc. et val. xx sol.