Freebridge Hundred and Half: Bawsey and Glosthorp

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, 'Freebridge Hundred and Half: Bawsey and Glosthorp', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8( London, 1808), British History Online [accessed 21 July 2024].

Francis Blomefield, 'Freebridge Hundred and Half: Bawsey and Glosthorp', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8( London, 1808), British History Online, accessed July 21, 2024,

Francis Blomefield. "Freebridge Hundred and Half: Bawsey and Glosthorp". An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. (London, 1808), , British History Online. Web. 21 July 2024.

In this section


Were two distinct villiages at the survey, called Gloresthorp and Bouseda, or Boweseia; the first was the capital manor, and the other Bawsey, a beruite to it, both held by Robert Malet, a Norman baron, lord of Eye in Suffolk.

Gloresthorp may take its name from the Britons, being by a GloyRe, that is a fair water; thus Glouchester or Gloster, from Gloy in Welsh, fair, and Chester. It consisted of two carucates of land, and was held by Godwin, (fn. 1) a freeman, in the time of Edward the Confessor, then there were 8 villains, now 3, then and afterwards 3 borderers, now 5, always 3 servi, and 30 acres of meadow, 2 carucates always in demean, then half a carucate among the tenants, or men, and now, &c. 2 mills; 13 socmen belonged to it, with 40 acres of land, &c. and was valued at 55s. per ann.; there belongs to it one beruite, as a manor, Bouseda; in King Edward's time here was one carucate of land, then 7 villains, now 5, always 12 borderers, 3 servi, and 40 acres of meadow, one carucate in demean, and two bovates or oxgangs, among the men or tenants, with a mill, &c. one salt-pit and the moiety of another, &c. 30 sheep and 50 goats; to this beruite belonged 10 acres of land, in soccage, valued in all at 30s.; these two manors contain two leucas in length, and 4 furlongs in breadth, and paid 12d. to a 20s. gelt. (fn. 2)

Bawsey takes its name from its site, on a winding stream or water.

William Lord Malet was with the Conqueror at the decisive battle of Hastings, and sent with the body of King Harold, there slain, to see it decently interred. In the Conqueror's charter to the dean and canons of St. Martin's Le Grand, London, he signed next to the earls, and had then the title of Princeps; by Hesilia his wife he had Robert, to whom the Conqueror gave the honour of Eye, in Suffolk, and about 220 manors in that county, 32 in Yorkshire, 3 in Essex, one in Hampshire, 2 in Nottinghamshire, 8 in Lincolnshire, and the following in Norfolk, besides Glosthorp and Bawsey: Kilverston in Shropham hundred; Sasilingham and Shotesham, in Hensted hundred; Scoteford in Earsham hundred; Gissing, Burston, and Thorp, in Fringe hundred; Reydon, Shimpling, Thelton, and Semere, in Diss hundred; Wodeton in Lothmingham hundred; Horsford, Horsham, Beofeton, and Sproton in Taverham hundred; Bacton and Dilham, in Tunsted hundred; Fretton and Hardwick, in Depwade hundred.

This Robert was great chamberlain of England, under King Henry I. but in the 2d year of that King was banished, and deprived of his possessions in England, for adhering to Robert Curlois, that King's eldest brother, Duke of Normandy.

As these manors and places had for many centuries the same lords, I shall treat of them together.

The family of Glanville were very early after the Conqueror's time infeoft in these lordships, under the Lord Malet. In the sixth year of Richard I. Thomas de Arden, (fn. 3) and Ralph, son of Robert, impleaded Sir William de Aubervile, and Maud his wife, for their portion of the inheritance of Ralph de Glanvile, in Bawsey and Glosthorp. This Ralph de Glanvile was lord chief justice of England, and founder of the abbey of Butley, in Suffolk; in 1171, he left 3 daughters and coheirs; Maud, the eldest, married to Sir William de Aubervile, and the other two, Amabil and Helewise, to John de Ardern, and Ralph, son of Robert. (fn. 3) Glanville accompanied King Richard I. into the Holy Land, and was at the siege of Acon: and bore argent, a chief indented, azure; and Auberville, p. fess, dauncy, azure and or, three annulets counterchanged.

The family of Bovile held these townships in Henry the Second's reign, under the Glanviles; and in the year 1195, William de Glanvile gave 100 marks to have the custody of the heir of William de Boyvill, till of age, with his lands, &c. in Glosthorp and Bawenne. (fn. 4) The Bovills descended from Sir Philip de Bovil, who gave lands to the priory of Wykes in Essex, in the reign of Henry I. which was confirmed by Geffrey de Mandevile Earl of Essex; Pauline de Bovill lived in the reign of King Stephen. This William de Bovile, or Boyvill, the heir abovementioned, was that William (as I take it) who married Isabel, daughter and heir of —, by Basilia his wife, 3d daughter of — Glanvile, and sister and coheir of Jeffrey de Glanvile, of Baketon in Norfolk; for in the 3d of Edward II. William de Bovill, son and heir of William de Bovill, and Isabella his wife, was impleaded for the manor of Alderton, and the church of Dallingho, in Suffolk, by William de Huntingfeld, who was descended from Emma, the other sister and coheir, wife to John de Grey, being pait of the possessions of Geffrey de Glanvile.

In the 7th year of Richard I. a fine was levied between Roger Golafre, and Beatrix his wife, and Robert, son of Simon of Saham, who was to hold of Roger and Beatrix, and their heirs, the mill of Glosebrig, by the rent of 10s. per ann. and in 24th of Henry III. William de Bovile was found to hold two knights fees in these townships, and was impleaded in the 34th of that King, for making a new warren in Bawsey, Glosethorp and Leziate, and was constituted keeper of the peace in Suffolk, by the aforesaid King, in his 48th year by letters patent, during his captivity after the battle of Lewes in Sussex, and in the following year, was the King's justice itinerant, to enquire of misdemeanours in the county of Suffolk. (fn. 5) In the 56th of the said King, a fine was levied between John de Bovile, querent, and William de Bovile deforcient, of the manors of Creting, Thorp, Dallingho, Letheringham, and Alderton in Suffolk, with those of Bawsey and Glosthorp, whereby they were conveyed to William, for life; remainder to John, and the heirs of his body; remainder to the right heirs of William; which John was probably brother of William, for in the 5th of Edward I. John de Bovil was found to hold these towns last mentioned, of the honour of Eye, and to have a gallows, assise of bread and beer, &c. This was that John (as I take it) who married Petronilla, daughter and heir of Robert de Eccles; Bovil bore quarterly, or, and sable; and Eccles argent, on a saltire, gules, two crosier staves, saltirewise, or, surmounted with a lion's head, of the first; and it appears by the escheat rolls, in the 30th of Edward I. that William de Bovill held 7 fees and an half here, in Letheringham, Creting and Thorp, in Suffolk, and in Leys in Essex. In the 7th of Edward II. William de Bovil was lord, and purchased of William de Rungeton, and Mary his wife, for 40l. land, &c. in Bawsey and Glosthorp.

This William de Bovil was son of John de Bovile, as I take it, also lord of Donington, Wyleby, Letheringham, and Thorp, in Suffolk, and in the said year, settled the manor of Donington, on Richard de Wingfeld for life, and the advowson on Roger de Wingfeld, for life, remainder to William de Bovile, son of the said William, in tail male; remainder to Thomas, son of Thomas le Latimer, in tail male; remainder to Simon Fitz-Richard, and Nicholaa his wife; remainder to his right heirs; and the manor of Badingham in Suffolk, with Bawsey and Glosthorp, were settled then in the same manner. By a French deed dated on Wednesday after the feast of St. Leonard, in the 11th year of the said reign, it was covenanted between Sir William Bovill of the one part, John de Catfield, William de Halsworth, clerks, Sir Thomas de Latimer, Thomas his son, Simon le Fitz-Richard, and Nicholaa his wife, and Sir Oliver de Ingham of the other part, that Sir William de Bovill, and Joan his wife, should hold one moiety of the manors of Bawsey and Glosthorp, for their lives, remainder to Sir Thomas de Latimer, and Mary his wife, and to Thomas their son, and the heirs male, of the son's body, remainder to Sir Oliver de Ingham and his heirs; and of the other moiety, the said Sir William and Joan to be seized for life; remaider to Simon Fitz-Richard and Nicholaa his wife; remainder to Sir Oliver de Ingham and his heirs; the aforesaid Mary and Nicholaa were no doubt, daughters of the said Sir William, and Joan his wife.

In the 13th of the said reign, Master Richard Clare, escheator on this side of Trent, accounted for the issues of these lordships, and that of Badingham, held of the honour of Eye, late Sir William de Bovill's; and it was found that William de Bovill, son of Sir William deceased, and Joan his wife, lately deceased, held them at his death, jointly, being enfeoft by John de Catfield; this William, the son, also a knight, married Mariotta, daughter of Sir Thomas Mosel, by Christiana his wife, daughter of Sir William Latimer, who was first married to Sir John Carbonel, of Waldingfeld in Suffolk; her 2d husband was Sir Robert de Bosco, or Bois, of Fersfield, and in 1311, she married Sir Thomas Mosel, who bore argent, a chevron between three boars heads, couped, sable.

This Sir William had by Mariotta, a daughter and heiress, Margery, who was married first to Sir William Carbonel, Knt. and 2dly to Sir Thomas Wingfield, 2d son of Sir John Wingfield.

After this, disputes arose on account of the settlement of these manors, made in the 7th year, &c. of Edward II. abovementioned; and in Michaelmas term, in the 5th year of King Edward III. is an entry of certiorari upon the fine levied in Trinity term, in the 7th of Edward II. of the manors of Bawsey, Glosthorp, and Badingham, late William de Bovill's, and William Carbonel, and Margery his wife, desired a writ to summon Nicholaa, then widow of Thomas de Hindringham, and Richard, son of Simon Fitz-Richard, (her son,) who held the said manors. In the 14th of the said King, Richard FitzSimon Fitz-Richard brought the King's protection, he being then to sail with the King into foreign parts, so that there was a supersedeas; but in the following year they were conveyed by fine from Sir William Carbonel, and Margery his wife, to Richard and his heirs, from the heirs of Margery; and the said Richard occurs lord in the 20th of the said King, and in the next year, he granted to Sir John de Ufford, Knt. &c. these lordships; that of Pensthorp and Letheringham, and the advowson of the priory there, in trust, as I take it.

Sir Hamo de Felton was lord of Bawsey in the 41st of the said reign, and was sued for not cleansing the several-water called Bawsee Hee, and for not repairing the bridge there, which was broken down, so that a precept was issued out to distrain, in St. Michaelmas term. About the second of Richard II. he sued one John Ignor, for hunting on his free warren at Glosthorp, and recovered damages. In the 2d of Richard II. Sir Robert de Morley impleaded Sir Robert Knolls, Knt. and Constantia his wife, Sir Thomas de Felton, Sir John Strange, 5 parsons or rectors of churches, one chaplain, one vicar, and 12 others, in being disseized of the manors of Glosthorp and Bawsey, with lands in Geyton, Grimston, North and South Wotton and Rydon, and by the verdict it was found that he was disseized by Walter, vicar of Leziate, William, parson of the church of Lucham, and Thomas Clogg, chaplain, to the loss of 200l. and in the 13th of that King, a fine was levied between Sir Robert Carbonel, Knt. John, parson of Wratting, &c. querents, John Spoo, and Nicholaa his wife, deforcients, of the manor of Bawsey, and Pencethorp, conveyed to John, parson of Wratting, &c. quit of the heirs of Nicholaa. In the 21st of the said reign, Sir Robert Carbonel was found to hold at his death, with Margaret his wife, the manor of Bawsey; and John was his son and heir, 14 years old; and the heirs of Sir Robert Carbonel, and Sir Thomas Morley, held 2 fees in Glosthorp and Bawsey, of the Earl of Suffolk, of the honour of Eye, as appears by the inquisition taken in the 3d of Henry IV. In the 3d year of Henry V. Sir Robert Morley, and Petronilla his wife, appear from the escheat rolls, to have held the manor of Glosthorp, and that of Framesden in Suffolk, and Thomas was his son and heir, aged 24. This Thomas Lord Morley had a daughter and heir, Margaret, (by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Michael de la Pole Earl of Suffolk,) who was married to Thomas Ratcliff, Esq. by whom he had Jeffrey Ratcliff, Esq. of Framesden in Suffolk, who on the death of his father, Thomas, on December 20, 1487, was aged 9 years; Jeffrey dying in 1504, left 3 daughters and coheirs, and was then found to hold the manor of Glosthorp, of the honour of Eye.

By an inquisition taken at Bungey, January 24, in the 21st of King Henry VIII. by a writ of mandamus, after the death of the said Jeffrey, the jury find that Thomas Ratclyff, Esq. settled, December 3, in the 18th of Edward IV. the manor of Framsden on Jeffrey his son by his first wife, and that Joan Arundel, widow of Sir — Arundel, who was his 2d wife, died September 30, in the 15th of Henry VIII. — Eliz. the eldest daughter of Jeffrey, married Christopher Spilman, Esq. she had a third part of the manor of Glosthorp, as was found by an inquisition post mortem, taken at Norwich, January 13, in the 21st of Henry VIII. and had Elizabeth her daughter and heir, aged 13 years, on the death of her mother, November 8, in the 11th of Henry VIII. Alianora, the second daughter and coheir, married to — Lovell; she died July 27, in the 10th of Henry VIII. before livery was granted of her 3d part of the manor of Glosthorp, and left Elizabeth her daughter and heir, 3 years old; Joan, the 3d daughter and coheir, married John Sturgeons of Cranwich, who had livery of the 3d part of the aforesaid manor in 13th of Henry VIII.

The lordship of Bawsey was held by John Conyers, Esq. (son of Sir Robert Conyers, and Maud his wife, daughter of Sir John FitzRalph,) who married Elianor, sister and coheir of William, son of Sir William Yelverton, (Knight of the Bath, at King Edward the Fourth's coronation, and one of the justices of the King's Bench,) but having no issue, it descended to Thomas Conyers, brother of John, who left two daughters and coheirs; Ann, married to Thomas Spelman, Esq. of Elingham-Magna; and Ela, married to Sir Robert Lovell, 2d son of Sir Ralph Lovell of Barton Bendish in Norfolk, and brother to Sir Thomas Lovell, Knight of the Garter, which Robert was knighted at Blackheath-field in 1497.

Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Christopher Spelman, Esq. of Stow by Breccles, and Elizabeth his wife, one of the coheirs of Jeffrey Ratcliff, Esq. married first, Edmund Dethick, Gent. and afterwards John Jenkyn, Gent. who held a 3d part of the manor of Glosthorp, in the 22d year of Henry VIII. being then the wife of Jenkyn; and they, by fine, in the 33d year of the said King, conveyed their part to Thomas Thorisby, Esq.; and in the said year, Osbert Munford, Esq. was found to hold another third part of the said manor.

In the 30th year of the said King, Sir William Hussey, Knt. and Ursula his wife, conveyed by fine, their part and right in the manor of Bawsey, to Thomas Thoresby, Esq. This Ursula was one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir Robert Lovell, by Ela his wife, daughter and coheir of Thomas Conyers, Esq.

About the 6th year of Queen Elizabeth, Thomas Thoresby, son and heir of Edmund Thoresby, had livery of a moiety of the manor of Bawsey, and two third parts of the manor of Glosthorp; and Francis Mountfort, Esq. had livery of a 3d part of that manor, about the 22d of the said Queen, held of the honour of Eye; and Jane Thoresby presented, as lady of Bawsey, in 1681, and William Thoresby, Gent. in 1719.

After this, Mr. Bodham possessed it; his daughter and heiress brought it to Mr. Roberts, an upholdsterer in London, and his son, a surgeon at London, is the present lord.

The tenths of this town were 1l. 15s. 0d. Temporalities of Westacre priory, 10d. per ann. The temporalities of the prior and convent of Norwich, in 1428, were charged at 4s. 8d. per ann.

The temporalities of Coxford priory at 6s. 8d. per ann. out of a mill. Albert Bond gave to God, to the church of St. Mary, and the canons of Cokesford, half a mark per ann. to be received out of Tricket Mill, in Bawsey; and it appears from a pleading, in 14 of Edward I. that Peter, son of William de Thelvetham, with Ascelina his wife, Alice and Margery her sisters, were then summoned to answer to the prior of Cokesford's claim, when it was found to be just, and that Henry de Stanhow bought the mill of Albert; from Henry it came to Hugh de Elmham, then to John de Geyton, father of the aforesaid Ascelina, Alice, and Margery. William de Wermegay gave the rent of 5s. per ann. out of Bawsey mill, to Castleacre priory. Concealed lands here were granted to Edward Dyer, and H. Cressener, in the 16th of Elizabeth, April 10.


Oliver de Bradley.

1330, John de Walpole, presented by the prior and convent of Eye.

1334, William de Harpham. Ditto.

1349, John de Waterden, by the King; the temporalities of the priory then in the King's hands.

John Larke.

1354, John de Harpele, by the King, ut supra.

1356, William de Hope, by the prior.

1358, Roger Stephene. Ditto.

1370, Bartholomew French. Ditto.

1371, Hugh de Derham. Ditto.

1372, Robert Gardant. Ditto.

1373, Regind. de Appilton. Ditto.

137-, Edmund de Heyford. Ditto.

1381, Richard Mason. Ditto; an exchange for Thorp-Market.

1383, Walter Bere. Ditto.

1385, John, son of Walter Drew, by the prior &c. of Eye; exchanged for Narford.

1391, Thomas Cowdeth. Ditto; exchanged for Bocton-Malherb in Kent.

1402, John Inglewood. Ditto; exchanged for Bedyngfeld.

1403, John Mecham. Ditto; exchanged for Uffeton, Sar.

1404, John Mason. Ditto; exchanged for Lund, in York diocese. John Besswyck.

1408, Sim. Tychemersh. Ditto; exchanged for Sotteby in Lincoln diocese.

1414, William Cranemere. Ditto; exchanged for Hillington.

1443, Edmund Tilney, by William Topyser, &c.

1444, Richard Broun, by William Wareles, &c.

1449, William Farsewys, by Henry Berningham, William Wareless, &c. burgesses of Lynn.

1456, John Ewnett, by John Nicholasson, burgess of Lynn.

1462, Mr. Roger Gey, by William Nicholasson, burgess of Lynn.

1486, John Dawson, by Henry Smith, LL. B.

1488, Frater Jeffrey, by ditto.

1493, William Everard, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1506, John Legate. Ditto.

1508, Robert Howghton, by Sir Robert Lovell, Knt.

1509, Thomas Totty. Ditto.

1516, William Graunge. Ditto; united to North Rungeton.

1528, Frat. Godfrey Cosyn, a Carmelite, by John Smith.

1532, Robert Newman, by Mr. William Stratwhayt, united to the mastership of St. John Baptist's Hospital of Lynn.

1538, Christopher Lant. Ditto.

1540, William Goshawke, by William Casis of East-Winch.

1551, George Halsted, by Francis Bastard, Gent.

1567, Francis Welles, by the assigns of Francis Bastard.

1569, John Long, by Thomas Thursby, Esq.

1593, John Mapted, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1597, William Fairfax, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1604, Christopher Breese. Ditto.

1612, Richard Carleton, bacc. of music, by Thomas Thursby, Esq. Robert Powis occurs in 1636.

1638, Richard Peypes. Ditto.

1661, Francis Halfheid, by Thomas Thoresby of Mintlyn, Esq.

1679, John Read. Ditto.

1681, Robert Witherell, by Jane Thoresby.

1696, Henry Wastall, the Bishop, by lapse.

1719, John Witherell, by William Thoresby, Gent.

1728, Samuel Beatniff, by Edmund Hill.

This rectory is charged at 4l. in the King's Books, and is discharged of first fruits and tenths.

The ancient valor was 6 marks, Peter-pence 7d. ob.

The prior of Eye had a portion of tithe here, valued at 23s. per ann. and in the 3d of Edward I. sued William de Bovill for the advowson of the church.

The prior of Letheringham's here and in Leseyate at 5l. per ann.


  • 1. This Godwin was (as I take it) Earl Godwin, father of King Harold.
  • 2. Terre Roberti Malet—Gloresthorp tenuit Goduin lib. ho. ii car. t're. T.R. E. tnc. et postea viii vill. mo. iii tnc. et p. iii bord. mo. v semp. iii serv. et xxx acr. p'ti. semp. ii car. in d'nio. tnc. dim. car. hom'um et mo. silva viii porci et ii mol. hic jacent xiii sokeman de xl car. t're. quando recep. ii r. mo. i sep. viii porc. tnc xx ov. et val. lv sol. — Jacet etiam i beruita p. manerio Bouseda T. R. E. i car. t're. tnc. et p. vii vill. mo. v semp. xii bord. et iii ser. et xl acr. p'ti. et i car. in d'nio. et ii bou' ho'um. et i mol. silva xvi porc. et i sal. et dim. tnc. i r. et mo. et xiiii porc. xxx ov. et l cap. huic beruite jacent in soc. x acr. t're. et val. xxx sol. hec duo maneria ht. in long. ii leug. et iiii quar. in lat. q'cunq. ibi teneat, et redd. xiid. de xx sol. de gelto.
  • 3. Dugdale says that Amabil married Ralph de Arden, and Helewise Robert Fitz-Ralph, lord of Midleham in Yorkshire, and had each a moiety of Bawsey. —Bar. vol. i. p. 423, &c.
  • 4. Rot. Pip.—Inter Chart. Priorat. de Wykes in Cur. Recept. Sc'cii.
  • 5. Rymer's Fœd. v. i. R. 793.