An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Was a village or township in the time of the Conqueror, though now it is a principal lordship and farm in Salle: at the survey we have this account of it; that Ralph held it, Wither, a freeman, being deprived of it, who had it in King Edward's time, with 3 carucates of land 9 villains, 39 borderers and 3 servi, there were 3 carucates in demean, 8 among the tenants, and 4 acres of meadow, paunage for 100 swine, one mill, 2 beasts for carriage and 20 cows, &c. 120 sheep, 27 goats and 3 bee skeps; a church endowed with 14 acres, 14 socmen, with 80 acres and 4 carucates, &c. Ralph had 2 of these socmen when he forfeited, and they held 12 acres valued at 20d. the whole was then valued at 5l. at the survey at 7l. it was one leuca long, and half a one broad, and paid 11d. gelt to the King. (fn. 1) Ralph here mentioned was Earl of Norfolk and lord of this town, which he possessed till he lost it for his rebellion, and was granted then to the Earl Warren, lord, as we find, at the survey.
A moiety of this town constituted what was afterwards called Heydon, (which town is not mentioned in Domesday Book,) and the other moiety, what is called now Stinton-hall.
The ancient family of Le Rus or Rufus, was enfeoft of this soon after the reign of the Conqueror: King Stephen, when Earl of Morton, granted to Ernald Rufus, son of Roger, the whole manor of Stradbroke in Suffolk, part of the honour of Eye, with the soke and advowson of the church, &c. and King John confirmed the said grant to Ernald Rufus (to hold as his grandfather held it) on May 17, in his first year.
King Henry III. (fn. 2) in his 11th year granted to Hugh Rufus, son and heir of Ernald, a weekly mercate here, on Friday, with one at Wodebridge, on Wednesday, and the said Ernald, son of Ernard the second, in the 3d of King John, gave by deed for his soul's health and that of his wife Isabel, and his ancestors, and all the faithful deceased, in pure alms, to God, St. Mary, and the church of Wodebryge, and the canons thereof, all the tithe of Northaghe and Hunteswyk, in the village of Stadbrook, saving a pension of 4s. per ann. to be paid to the prior and convent of Eye; dated at Wytingham, in 1201; and this Ernald is called in the register of the priory of Eye, (fn. 3) patron of Wodebrigge.
Hugh Rufus, his son, in the 10th of Henry III. was one of the collectors of the fifteenth in Norfolk, and in the following year had the grant of a mercate in the manor of Stradbroke and in Wodebridge, as above observed. In the 31st of that King, Maud, widow of Roger de Clere, demanded of John Le Rus, the 3d part of certain lands in Stinton, Salle, and Heydon; and in the 37th of that King, William Le Rus was found to die seized of the advowsons of Sall and Heydon, with the lordships of Stradbroke and Hasketon in Suffolk, and Alice was his daughter and heir, aged 6 years.
This Alice married Richard de Breose or Brews, (second son of Sir William, and Maud his wife,) and was a retainer of the Earl-Marshal, custos of the peace of Norfolk and Suffolk, in the 50th of Henry III. lord of Stinton-hall, and many other manors in right of his wife; and in the 52d year, Richard and Alice grant to the prior of Wodebrigge 10 marks rent per ann. to find a canon to celebrate for ever in the priory church for their souls, and in the 55th they conveyed by fine to the Bishop of Ely and his successours the patronage of the church of Whitinton.
In the 56th of the said King, William de Breous granted by fine to Richard and Alice, the manor of Akenham and advowson, with those of Cleydon and Hemengeston, they granting to William and Mary his wife the manor of Bromley in Surry, &c.
In the 5th of Edward I. Sir Richard de Breuse and Alice his wife gave lands in Thurleston, in Suffolk, to the canons of St. Peter and St. Paul of Ipswich, and in the 15th he claimed view of frankpledge, assise of bread and beer in Salle; and died as appears from the eschaet rolls, in 25th of the said King; Alice his wife survived him, and died in the 29th, and Gyles was her son and heir, aged 28: this manor was then valued at 18l. 10s. per ann. and was held of William de Say, by the service of one fee. This Gyles was lord of Akenham, Whitinton, Clopton, and Hasketon, held of Edmund, the King's brother, of the honour of Lancaster: he married Catherine, daughter of Sir Laurence de Huntingfeld of Suffolk, by whom he had no issue: his 2d wife was Joan, daughter of - - - - - - - - - -, by whom he had 3 sons.
Sir Gyles died in 1310; Joan was then living, and Richard their eldest son was aged 9 years, and it was found that the view of frankpledge was held of William Marshall, lord of the hundred, by the payment of 18d. and that the mercate in Heydon was held of the manor of Causton. Sir Gyles is said to bear these arms, argent, a lion rampant, gules, crowned or, and crusily of crosses pattee, fitchée of the second, but in the roll of knights in King Edward the First's reign, Sir Richard bore ermine, a lion rampant, gules.
Sir Richard Brews, eldest son of Sir Gyles, married Eleanor, daughter of Sir John Shelton, by whom he had 2 daughters; Mary, who married Sir John Weyland, and Catherine, married Sir John Howard: Sir Richard died in 1323, and was buried in the priory of Woodbridge, and succeeded by Robert his second brother, who being under age, his custody was granted by the King to Robert Fitz-Pain; he assigned it to Edmund Bacon, then in the king's service in Gascoin; this Robert dying sans issue, in 1325, John de Brews, his brother and heir, inherited this lordship, &c.
Sir John de Brews was lord in the 20th of Edward III.; he married Agnes, daughter of Sir Robert Ufford, and sister of Robert Ufford Earl of Suffolk, by whom the genealogists say he had Sir John de Breause, his son and heir; but it appears that a fine was levied in 1355, Ao. 29 Edward III. between Sir William de Thorp and Sir John de Breuse and Eva his wife, of the manor of Lutheburgh in Lincolnshire, conveyed to William; and in 1370, mention is made in the will of William de Luthborow, rector of Salle, of Sir John de Brews and Eva his wife, and Sir John de Brews, junior, and Gyles his brother; he was lord of Topcroft, and resided there.
Sir John de Brews, his son, in the 4th of Richard II. was one of the gentlemen seized by the Norfolk rebels and sent by them with Sir William Morley and three of their own party to the King, to obtain a charter of manumission and pardon, with a great sum of money, the better to obtain it, which had been received of the citizens of Norwich, to preserve their city from fire, and plunder; but were released by Henry Spencer Bishop of Norwich, who routed them, and cut off the heads of three of the rebels. He was lord of this manor, and of Heydon, Witlingham, Witnesham, and Hasketon, patron of Woodbridge priory, &c. and married Joan, daughter of Sir John Shardelow, and was father of Sir Robert Brewse, who was lord in 1406, who by Ela his wife, daughter of Sir Miles Stapleton, of Ingham, had Sir Thomas, his son and heir: he died in 1424, and Ela his wife, in 1456, and were buried in Woodbridge priory; some make Elizabeth, daughter of the Lord Willoughby of Eresby, to be his wife.
Ela, relict of Sir Robert, by her will dated at Wodebrig in Suffolk, October 16, 1456, requires to be buried in the chancel of the conventual church there, near to her husband; (fn. 4) bequeaths to Thomas her son, her husband's signet; to Elizabeth his wife a gold ring, to William, son of Thomas, a broche (fn. 5) of gold, and was a benefactor to Ingham priory and the chapel of St. Gyles of Walsingham: to the wife of William, a girdle of gold, to William Yelverton, the King's justice, a silver chalice cup with a cover, and to Ela his wife, an agnus Dei of gold, with relicks, and a fillet of gold. Sir Robert, her husband, is called of Freesing feld, and died there, as I find, intestate, and administration was granted to Ela, September 30, 1424.
Sir Thomas Brews succeeded his father, Sir Robert, and in the 11th of Henry VI. was found heir to Sir John Shardelow, being son of Sir Robert, who was son of Sir John Brews and Joan his wife, sister of Sir John Shardelow, Knt. father of Robert Shardelow, father of Sir John Shardelow, who died without issue, seized of the manors of Barton, by Mildenhale, with the mills of Cavenham, Cowling, Stradsell and Downham, in Suffolk, with the advowsons of Flempton and Santon. By Mary, his first wife, daughter of Sir John Calthorp, he had William Brews, his son and heir, who dying in 1489, October 28, was buried at Fresingfeld, in Suffolk, and left by Isabel his wife, daughter of Sir John Hopton (relict of Sir John Jermy) 2 daughters and coheirs; Thomasyne, who married Sir Thomas Hansard, Knt. and Ann the wife of Sir Roger Townsend of Rainham. Sir Thomas Brews, by his 2d wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Gyles, and sister and heir of Sir Gilbert Debenham, left also a son Robert, and died in 1482, and was buried in the priory aforesaid. (fn. 6) On a division of the inheritance of Sir William Brews, between his two daughters and coheirs, Robert Brewes, Esq. having no interest herein. Stinton-hall came to Ann aforesaid, (fn. 7) who on the 25th of July, in the 5th of Edward VI. then a widow, died possessed of it, and John Townsend, Esq. of Brampton in Suffolk, was her son, and by Eleanor his wife, daughter of John Heydon, had Richard, his son and heir, who by Catherine, daughter and heir of Sir Humphrey Brown, had Roger his son, who being aged 6 years, was found heir to his great grandmother Ann aforesaid. In this family it continued till Sir Horace Townsend conveyed it, in or about 1643, to Erasmus Earl, serjeant at law, of Heydon, and his descendant, Augustine Earl, Esq. (fn. 8) died lord in 1762, leaving a son and heir, Erasmus Earl, Esq. who died unmarried, leaving his sister and heir, who married William Wigget Bulwer, Esq. of Wood-Dalling, who is now lord in her right.
Hunting feld bore, or, on a fess, gules, three plates.
Debenham, sable, a bend between three crescents, or.
Shardelow, argent, a chevron between three cross crosslets fitche, azure.
Hopton, argent, on two bars, sable, six mullets, or.
Hansard, gules, three mullets, 2 and 1, argent.
Stotevile, p. pale, argent and sable, a saltire engrailed, counterchanged, ermine and ermine.
Ilany, gules, a bend between three martlets, or, of Salle.
Fountain, or, a fess, gules, between three elephants heads erased sable, of Salle.