Freebridge Hundred and Half: Castleacre

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

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Citation:

Francis Blomefield, 'Freebridge Hundred and Half: Castleacre', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808), pp. 356-377. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol8/pp356-377 [accessed 18 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Freebridge Hundred and Half: Castleacre", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808) 356-377. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol8/pp356-377.

Blomefield, Francis. "Freebridge Hundred and Half: Castleacre", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808). 356-377. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol8/pp356-377.

In this section

CASTLEACRE.

Called in Domesday book, Acre, from its site by a river or running water, was the lordship of Toche, a Saxon thane, in King Edward's time, and granted at the conquest by King William I. to William Earl of Warren, in Normandy, and after of Surry in England, who attended him in his expedition into England, and was rewarded also with these following lordships in Norfolk: Walton, Geyton, Grimston, Congham, Hillington, Massingham, Harpley, Anmer, in Freebridge hd.—Stanhoe, Sharnborn, Berwick, and Frenge in Docking hd.— Hitcham, and Snetesham in Smethden hundred; Wilton, Feltwell, Methwold, Northwold, Mundford, Colveston, Keburn, Santon, Oteringey, Weting, and Cranwise in Grimshoe hundred;—Thexton, Caston, Tofts, Elingham, Scoulton, and Griston in Wayland hundred;—Marham, Fincham, Helgey, Wimbotesham, Denver, Derham, and Outwell in Clacklose hundred;—Stinton, Kerdeston, Hackford, Dalling, Thurning, and Elsing in Eynsford hundred;—Taverham, in Taver sham hundred;—Colteshale, Mortoft, Wickmer, Wolterton, Berningham, Manington, Irmingland, Corpusty, Tuttington, Brampton, Causton, Hobies, and Crakeford in South Erpingham hundred;—Paston, Witton, Burton, Walsham, and Riston in Tunsted hundred;—Filby, in East Fleg hundred;—Carleton, in Depwade hundred;—Lerling, Rockland, Roudham, and Illington in Shropham hundred;—Norton, Wike, and Banham in Gilcross hundred;—Gressenhale, Scarning, Lexham, Wesenham, Kempston, Fransham, Rougham, Titleshale, and Stanfield in Launditch hundred;—Wimundeham, Morley, Wicklewood, Deepham, Welburn, Colton, Bernham, and Tochethorp in Fourhoe hundred;—Matshall, Burgh, Letton, Shipdom, Thuxton, and Rising in Mitford hundred;—Dudlington, Cley, Hilburgh, Bradenham, Pagrave, South Acre, Bodney, Pickenham, in South Greenhoe hundred;—Sculthorp, Basham, Kettleston, Waterden, Fulmerston, Croxton, Creke, Snoring, Riburgh, Stiberd, and Burnham in Gallow hundred;—Rudham, Bagthorp, Sidistern, Houghton, Taterset, Helloughton, Scirford, Hempton, and Barmere in Brothercross hundred; —Wyverton, and Briston in Holt hundred;—Holcham, and Egmer in North Greenhoe hundred;—Gimmingham, Knapton, Thorp, Munsley, Repps, North and South Gresham, Alborough, Almerton, Barningham, Plumstede, Sustede, Wolterton, and Trunch in North Erpingham hundred.

Earl's Manor.

This manor of Acre consisted at the survey, of 3 carucates of land in demean, and of 8 amongst the tenants, two villains, 48 borderers, and 3 servi; there were also 8 acres of meadow, 2 mills, the moiety of a salt-work, and a fishery, &c.; there were two freemen who held one carucate, and 4 borderers, who held one carucate, with 3 acres of meadow, valued at the survey at 9l. but before, in King Edward's time, at 5l. per ann. and what those two freemen held was valued at 20s. per ann. The whole was one leuca and 20 perches long, one leuca broad, and 4 feet and an half, and paid 8d. to a 20s. gelt; and here was a church then endowed with 30 acres. (fn. 1)

Dugdale says this Earl Warren was nearly related to the Conqueror, being nephew to the Countess Gunnora, his great grandmother; (fn. 2) but this, I think, is scarce probable: Emma, the wife of King Etheldred, and mother of King Edward the Confessor, was daughter of this Gunnora, by Richard Duke of Normandy, so that he must then be first cousin to the said Emma, whose father, Richard, died in 996. (fn. 3) The aforesaid author relates that he married Gundrede, sister of Ghenbode, a Fleming, to whom the Conqueror had given the city of Chester.

Sandford and Brooks say that his wife was the 5th daughter of the Conqueror, and that she died at Castleacre, in childbed, May 27, 1085, and the Earl, her husband, died in June 1089; (fn. 4) he had frequently his residence in this town, where he built a castle, and begun the foundation of the priory, (of which we shall afterwards treat,) a short time before his death.

He was succeeded by William his son, the second Earl Warren, who married Isabel, daughter of Hugh Earl of Vermandois, and dying in 1135, left William his son and heir, the 3d Earl Warren, &c. who being slain in the Holy Land, in 1148, left by the Lady Ela his wife, daughter of William Talvace Earl of Poitou and Bellesmy, Isabel, his sole daughter and heir, who married to her first husband, Will. de Blois Earl of Morton in Normandy, (natural son of King Stephen,) who was created Earl Warren and Surry, for life, and dying without issue in 1160, the Lady Isabel married Hameline Plantaginet, natural son of Jeffrey Earl of Anjou; he was lord of Columbers and Berries, in Normandy, created Earl Warren and Surry, by King Henry II. and died in 1201; his anniversary was kept in the abbey of Beauchief in Derbyshire, on the nones of May. This town was about this time called East-Acre and Castleacre, as appears from ancient deeds, &c.

William, son of Hameline, and the Lady Isabel, was the fifth Earl Warren and Surry, on his father's death. The reader is to observe, that I omit those remarkable actions, &c. of these Earls, as mentioned by Dugdale, to whom I refer those who are desirous of consulting them, and confine myself chiefly to those that are not to be found in that author, and occur only in authentic records and deeds.

In the year 1206, this Earl William owed King John a palfrey, as a fine for not being a justiciary of the cinque-ports; and in the 9th of that King, he and the Archbishop of Canterbury paid a fine that their knights should not go over into Poictou. In the 1st of Henry III. there being some differences between the King and him, a truce was made between them for 8 days, from the feast of St. Tiberius and Valerius, before the Pope's legate, and several noblemen of the King's council, at Chichester; and he was appointed in the 4th of that King, to meet the King of Scots at Berwick, and to conduct him to York, where the King of England would meet him; and in his 9th year he accounted for the profits of the county of Surrey, as sheriff. He married 2 wives; first, Maud, daughter of the Earl of Arundel, who died without issue; secondly, Maud, sister of Anselme Mareschal Earl of Pembroke, widow of Hugh Bigod Earl of Norfolk, and left by her, John Plantaginet, his son and successour, in 1240, in which year, Maud his mother had 5 knights fees and an half, in Burnham, of the fee of this Earl, assigned to her; 8 held by Ralph de Menney, one by Jeffrey Glanvile, and 4 by Peter de Kenet, as part of her dower; and in the said year, the King ordered the Barons of the Exchequer, that this Earl should have the 3d penny of the profits of the county of Surry, which his ancestors held.

He claimed the privilege of return of writs, in this his manor of Castleacre, and would not permit the King's bailiff to enter; but in the 49th of Henry III. a non omittas was awarded to distrain several persons; and in the following year, the King sent this precept to his beloved and faithful barons, sheriffs, and all the commonality of London—"Since We have enjoin'd our belov'd Jn. de Warrenna, Earl of Surrey, certain special and urging affairs, We command you to pay him out of our good will, 200 marks, out of the fine of the 2000 marks, which you have made for Us, and to see the said 200 marks deliver'd to him, to perform the same."

In the 4th year of King Edward I. he was found to have a fair, a mercate, and a toll in his manor of Castleacre, and in the following year, was summoned to attend the King in his expedition into Wales; in his 18th year, was one of those barons who signed the letter to Pope Nicholas, against his collating to benefices, and other usurpations in England. On September 3, in the 21st of the said King, he was made custos of Scotland, by letters patent; and on the 31st of January, 1297, King Edward I. was entertained by him, at his castle here, as appears by many writs of Ne exeas regnum, here dated, and sent to the sheriffs of counties, and bailiffs of the sea ports, and died in September, in the 32d of Edward I. Gerard de Orum, William de Outewyche, and Nicholas de Hugford, his executors, had that King's license in the following year, to implead his debtors at the Exchequer.

He married Alice, daughter of Hugh le Brun Earl of March, sister by the mother, to King Henry III. who in his 37th year, ordered Philip Lovell his treasurer, to receive of her (then wife of this Earl) 2 old cooperloria, and to have 2 other made new, with robes, jewels, and silver vessels, for the ornament of the chapel; by his lady he had a son, William, whom he empowered in the 14th of Edward I. to give dower on his marriage with Joan, daughter of Robert Veer Earl of Oxford, in the manor of Sculthorpe, in Norfolk, &c. but William dying in 1286, John, his son, by the lady Joan, became heir to his grandfather.

This John Earl Warren and Surrey, soon after his grandfather's death, married in the 33d of King Edward I. Joan de Barr, daughter of Henry Earl of Barr in France, by Eleanor his wife, daughter of the aforesaid King, and was deputed by the Earl of Hereford, constable of England; in the 9th year of Edw. II. he gave great part of his estate, with his castle and manor here, to the said King, who in the next year regranted it to him, and had in the same year, license to pursue his divorce from the abovementioned lady his wife, before certain ecclesiasticks delegated for that purpose, and sold about the same time, this lordship and castle, with that of Castleacre Wyken, to Adomarus de Valentia Earl of Pembroke, who was found to die seized of it (by the escheator, John de Blomefield) on June 23, in the 17th of Edward II. and David de Strabolgi Earl of Athol, and Joan his wife, (sister and coheir to the Earl of Pembroke,) were found to hold it in the first of Edward III.

Soon after the aforesaid John Earl Warren, &c. was possessed of it, and in the 9th of Edward III. granted it to that King and his heirs, who on the 7th of June, in the said year, regranted it to the Earl for life; remainder to Richard Earl of Arundel; and on an inquisition taken at Castleacre, July 18, in the 21st of that King, by William de Middleton, the King's escheator, it was found that John Warren, late Earl of Surrey, died on the eve of St. Peter and St. Paul, last past, seized of this manor and castle for life, of the King's grant; remainder to Richard Earl of Arundel, and his heirs; that the herbage within the castle, and in the ditch, was worth 5s. per ann. that there were 300 acres of arable land, valued at 75s. at 3d. per acre, 8 acres of meadow at 12d. per acre, 15 of pasture at 4d. per acre, rent of assise, 13l. per ann. a market and fair 13s. 4d. pleas and perquisites of court, with the lete, 60s. per ann.

Dugdale relates, that Joan Countess of Warren, wife to this Earl, being to go beyond sea, in the 19th of this King, on some special employment for the King, had protection for all her lands, &c. and that soon after she died, and the Earl married a 2d wife; (fn. 5) but it appears that the first survived him; he was married indeed to Isabel de Houland, as is proved by an indenture made between him and the King, in his 20th year, June 2, and by his last will, wherein he gives a ring with a ruby, &c. to the said Isabel his wife, and died June 30, 1347, in the 21st of Edward III. Whereas Joan, his divorced wife, had the said King's license, in his 24th year, to travel beyond sea, to visit the shrines of several saints; and Dugdale has expressly said in another page, that she was abroad in the 26th of that King, and did not die till 1361.

The Earl Warren bore, checque, or and azure.

On the death of this Earl John, Richard Fitz-Alan, son of Edmund Fitz-Alan, Earl of Arundel, by Alice, sister and heir to John Earl Warren, &c. succeeded him, was lord of this manor, and Earl of Surry and Arundel, on whose death in 1375, Richard his son and heir, by Alianore, daughter to Henry Earl of Lancaster, relict of Henry Lord Beaumont, inherited the said honours, to whom King Richard II. in his 11th year, and to Henry Earl of Derby, Thomas Earl of Warwick, Thomas Earl-Marshal, and Thomas Duke of Gloucester, granted 20000l. out of the subsidy raised for the King, as charges and expenses they had been at for the honour of the Crown, and the safety of the kingdom, in acting against the Duke of Ireland; but in the 21st of the said King, he was beheaded, and his estate and this manor granted to Thomas Mowbray Earl-Marshal and Earl of Nottingham, and after Duke of Norfolk, who married his daughter, and is said to be so inhuman, as to bind up his eyes and become his executioner.

On King Henry the Fourth's accession to the crown, Thomas, son and heir of this Richard Earl of Surry and Arundel, by Elizabeth, daughter of William Bohun Earl of Northampton, was restored in blood, made Knight of the Bath, on that King's coronation, and Earl of Surrey and Arundel; he married Beatrix, an illegitimate daughter to the King of Portugal, but dying without issue, left 3 sisters and coheirs, in 1416; when this manor and castle came, by virtue of an entail made by Richard Fitz Alan Earl of Arundel, in the 21st of Edward III. to Sir John Fitz-Alan, commonly called Sir John Arundel, cousin and heir male to the last Earl Thomas, and grandson to Earl Richard, who dying in 1421, King Henry V. granted the custody of this manor and castle, then in the King's hands, (as guardian to John, son of John Earl of Arundel and Surrey, by Alianore, daughter of Sir John Berkley,) to Sir John Cornwayl, Knt. with the marriage of the said minor, who was afterwards retained by King Henry V. in the wars of France, where dying in the 13th of Henry VI. was buried in the church of the Friars-Minors at Beauvois, leaving by Maud his wife, daughter of Robert Lovell, Humphrey his son and heir, which Humphrey being a minor, died in the 16th of the said King, seized of this lordship and castle, when William Fitz-Alan, his father's brother, inherited the estate and honour; which William had, by Joan his wife, daughter of Richard Nevill Earl of Salisbury, Thomas, his heir and successour, in the 3d of Henry VII. who had livery of all his father's manors and lands, on May the 21st, was Earl of Arundel, and on his death in the 16th of Henry VIII. left William Lord Matravers, his son and heir, by Margaret, daughter of Richard Widvile Earl Rivers, and sister to King Edward the Fourth's Queen, which marriage was settled in October, 1464, at Reading.

This William Earl of Arundel married —, daughter of Henry Earl of Northumberland, and on his death in 1543, was succeeded by Henry Fitz-Alan, his son and heir, who married Catherine, daughter of Thomas Grey Marquis Dorset, by whom he had 2 daughters and coheirs; Jane, who married John Lord Lumley, and Mary, to Tho. Howard Duke of Norfolk, by whom the earldom of Arundel was brought into that family; but the manor of Castleacre was sold by the aforesaid Henry, in the first year of Queen Elizabeth, to Sir Thomas Gresham, Knt. from whom it was conveyed to Thomas Cecil, who was after Earl of Exeter; and Sir Edward Coke, lord chief justice, bought it of William Cecil Earl of Exeter, whose sister Elizabeth he married, and in this family it remained, the Right Honourable Thomas Coke Earl of Leicester, the late lord, dying possessed of it in 1759.

Fox's Manor.

Sir Fredrick de Chervill was found to hold one fee in this town, in the reign of Henry III. (when an aid was granted to that King, on the marriage of his sister to the Emperor) of the Earl Warren.

In the 4th of Richard II. a fine was levied between William de Tyllington, querent, John Staple and Hawisia his wife, deforciants, of one messuage, 100 acres of land, 4 of meadow, one foldcourse, and 4s. 5d. rent in this town, Westacre, &c. conveyed to William.

John Fox of Castleacre, by his will, dated on the feast of St. Michael, 1434, died seized of it, and left it to his eldest son, Thomas, and was buried in the priory church. (fn. 6)

By an inquisition taken at Walsingham Parva, April 11, in the 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary, John Calybut, Esq. was found to die seized of this manor, and a tenement called Sanders, in this town, with 500 acres of land, several acres of pasture, 2 sheep-folds, held of the Earl of Arundel, which John died February 20, in the 1st and 2d of Philip and Mary, leaving John his son and heir, aged 30 years, who died, as appears by an inquisition taken at Swaffham, January 16, in the 12th of Elizabeth, at Upton in Northamptonshire, October 23d, then last past, possessed of this manor. Alan Calybut lived in this town in the reign of Henry VI. and married a daughter of — Saunders; Francis his son was living in the 17th of Henry VII. Margaret his wife died 1515; John Calybut, his son, married Alice, daughter of Sir John Wingfield of Dunham Magna, and had John Calybut, Esq. his son, who by Bridget, daughter of Robert Huggins, Esq. of East Bradenham, left at his death, (as was found by the inquisition abovementioned, ao. 12th Elizabeth,) 4 daughters and coheirs; Margaret, wife of Philip Audley, Esq. of Palgrave Magna; —, wife of John Wingfield, Esq. Susan, of Anthony Downing, Esq. and Elizabeth, of Sir Bernard Whetston, of Woodford in Essex; the arms of Calybut were azure, a chevron between, three crosses pattée, or.

By an inquisition taken at Norwich October 23, in the 14th of King Charles I. — Becke, Gent. was found to die seized of the manor of Foxes, August 21, 1636, held of Sir Robert Coke, in soccage, of his manor of Castleacre; and Jeremy was his son and heir.

After this, it was possessed by the Doves of Upton, in Northamptonshire, and sold in the reign of King George I. by — Dove, Esq. to Sir Thomas Coke Earl of Leicester. It probably came to the Doves by the marriage of Mrs. Frances Beck, in 1633, (to Thomas Dove, Esq.) daughter of William Becke of Castleacre.

This town was anciently charged for tenths at 12l.

Here is a fair kept yearly on St. James's day.

The town takes its name from the river Aa, and Re. Aa is a river at Munster in Germany, and Aix la Chapelle, or Aken, a river in Germany.

The Church is dedicated to St. James, and was a rectory, valued at 26 marks, and being appropriated to the priory, a vicarage was endowed, valued at 7 marks, and paid Peter-pence, 8d.; the present valor of the vicarage is 5l. 6s. 8d. and is discharged of first fruits and tenths. It is a large regular building, consisting of a nave, a north and south isle, covered with lead, and a chancel thatched; at the west end is a lofty four-square tower, with 5 bells.

At the bottom of the nave lies a gravestone,

Orate p. a'i'a. Wilhelmi Fuller, qui obiit duodecimo die mensis Octob. Ao. D'ni, 1523, cujus, &c.

Here is a font with a remarkable lofty cover, ornamented with antique carved work, and painting.

A gravestone,

In memory of Mary Emes, wife of Edmund Hudson, draper, daughter of Edward Barkham, of Southacre, who died August 18, 1608.

On the pannels of the pulpit are painted the four doctors of the church; St. Austine, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory, and St. Jerome; and on the chancel screens the 12 Apostles: on the windows of this nave were formerly—bendy of eight, gules and argent, Talbot;— checque, or and gules, a bend ermin, Clifton,—argent, a lion rampant, sable, crowned or, Morley,—gules, a lion rampant, argent, Mowbray,—three piles in point, azure; and argent, a fess wavy, between six cross croslets, gules.

The east end of the south isle is taken in by a screen, and in old writings is called Callybut's chapel: on a grave-stone here

Orate p. a'i'a Margerie nuper uxoris Francisci Calybut, jurisperiti, quæ obijt 28 die Nov. Ao. Dni. 1515.

And in a window of this isle, gules, a bend between six cross crosslets fitchy, Howard.

At the east end of the north isle, which extends itself on the back of the chancel, was also a chapel, and in a window, lozengy, argent and gules, Todenham.

Part of the old rood loft is standing: on the floor of the chancel a grave-stone,

In memory of Anth. Hoogan of Castleacre, Gent: 3d son of Robert Hoogan, Esq. who died July 18, 1585,—with Hoogan's arms, argent, a chevron vairy, or and gules, between three hurts, each charged with a lion's gamb of the field; the same arms are on another stone, but the inscription is reaved;—a stone also,

In memory of - - - - - Audley, with his arms; gules, a fret or.

I have seen a note of Gybbon Goddard, Esq.—"that Old Paine of Castleacre, standard-bearer to King Henry VIII. had a daughter married first to Hoogan, next to Audley, and after to Humphrey Guybon, who all lie buried in this chancel." In the east window of it, are the arms of the Earl Warren, checque, or and azure, and about the church also in the windows, were the arms of the Earls of Arundel, gules, a lion rampant, or; Le Gross, quarterly, argent and azure, on a bend, sable, three martlets, or; Mortimer Earl of Marsh; Bohun Earl of Northampton; Hastings and Valentia, quarterly, Earls of Pembroke; Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, &c.

Thomas Candeler of Castleacre, by his will dated in 1514, was buried in the church, and gave two closes, called Costing and Westgate, to Thomas March and his heirs, "on the condition of keeping a light in the bason before our Lady in the chapel, with 5 waxe candels to be light at ev'ry principal feste, in every dobil feste 2, and every single feste 1; on a neglect whereof, then the church reeves to take the closes, and to keep the same." (fn. 7)

Henry Scottyng of Castleacre, by his will in 1525, was buried in the chapel of our Lady in this church, and gives to his executors, 6 acres in Castleacre field, called Candelers, and land in Suthcrofeldes, viz. one acre and half, a close called Faxwell's, 5 roods and an half, and half an acre at the end of the said close; Item, another close called Cherwelles Mylle of 3 roods, and 3 acres in Newton field, called Lankyns, to keep his yereday perpetually in the said church, to the value of 6s. 8d. to the rodeloft light 6d. to our Lady and St. Christopher, called the Bokks, 6d. to our Lady's light 6d. to St. Nicholas perke 6d. to the common light 6d. perpetually, and on refusing so to do, the churchwardens then to have the said lands, to kepe his yereday and the aforesaid lights.

In this church was the guild of St. James, and that of St. Bennet.

Vicars.

Reiner de Burgo was vicar in the reign of Henry II. or Richard I.

1237, John de Walton, admitted by Henry de Holkham, official to the archdeacon of Norwich, on the presentation of the prior and convent: the vicarage then consisted in the whole altarage, confessions in Lent, and legacies, the tithe of lamb and wool, hemp and flax; (that of the mills was then excepted, belonging to the priory, as rectors,) the vicar had also his daily prebend, viz. his provision from the priory, with a pension of 10s. 8d. another of 4s. 10d. per ann. and was to bear all ordinary dues, and to give 10 pounds of wax in the octaves of Easter-week.

1307, John de Wysete, by the prior.

1314, Robert de Folketon.

1320, John de Brecham.

1329, John Waryn.

1349, Bishop of Norwich, collated by lapse.

1374, Ralph Whitlock.

1383, William Norman.

—, William de Horndon.

1386, John de Walpole.

1392, John Stegg, alias Stoch.

1438, Gilbert Bocher.

1448, Richard Brocher.

1449, Richard Salysbury.

1452, John Synnowe.

1463, John Cokkys.

1476, William Kelyng.

1492, John Pykard.

1506, William Stephenson.

1550, Robert Pepper, by the King.

1554, Richard Patrick, by Thomas Duke of Norfolk.

1586, Anthony Wolley, by the assignees of Sir Thomas Gresham.

1604, Samuel Beck, by Thomas Lord Burghley.

1606, William Tomson, by Thomas Earl of Exeter.

John Stearn.

George Dochen.

1643, John Field, by Sir Robert Coke.

1643, Edmund Turner. Ditto.

1669, William Brigg, A. M. by John Coke, Esq.

1709, Ambrose Pimlow, by the guardian of Thomas Coke, Esq.

1750, James Thome, on Pimlow's death, by the Earl of Leicester.

1756, Lancaster Framlingham. Ditto.

Castleacre Priory and Manor,

Was founded by William de Warren, to whom the Conqueror gave the lordship of this town, (the first Earl Warren and Surrey,) and dedicated to God, St. Mary, the Apostles, St. Peter, and St Paul, and was a cell to the Cluniac monks of St. Pancrace at Lewes in Sussex, a priory founded by the said Earl. Authors generally agree that it was in the year 1190, but William, the first Earl Warren and Surrey, died before this year, in 1189, as Bishop Tanners in or before 1085.

In a charter granted to this priory, William styles himself Earl of Surrey, and for the salvation of his own soul, and that of his father and his mother, and his heirs, gives to this priory the church of Acre, the church of Methelwold and advowson thereof, the church of Leaden Roding (in Essex) and advowson, with those of Wickmere and Trunch, and two parts of the tithes of his demeans, in Grimston in Norfolk; witnesses William, his son, Wimer, his sewer, William Branche, Walkelin de Roset, Hugh de Wanci, Robert de Mortimer. (fn. 8)

Herbert Bishop of Norwich confirmed the grant of the founder, and certified that the monks of Hacra had entered on that church with his consent, and that the monastery there built was built by his provision.

William, the 2d Earl Warren and Surrey, confirmed the aforesaid grant, and that of 2 carucates of land in Acre, given by his father, and all the heath land belonging to Wick, and gave also to the priory, part of his own heath land by Wick, the land of Ring, 2s. per ann. in the land which Osbern of Gloucestre held of him in Acre, 2 orchards, and all the ploughland from those orchards to his castle, in which they have founded their new church, because that which they lately had was too little and inconvenient; all the moor by the water under the same, a little part also of another moor which Wimer, his sewer, gave, the moiety of a mill by Sudacre, and 3s. rent, in land at Linn; Ulmar, the mason, in Acra, with his garden and 15 acres of land, 2000 eels in Meleold (Methwold) for ever, 5s. per ann. in land, a garden, and 24 acres of land, to build their church, and whatever land his tenants, in his father's and in his time, gave by his consent, or shall give in tithes, or in churches without his consent, whatever his sewer, Geffrey his nephew, and chaplain, held of him at Wesneham (Wesenham) and at Chersingehales (Gressinghale) the tithe of the wood, mills, and land, at Chersingehall, and of the priest of the same, of the said village 20d. of Ortmar, 2s. of Anschetine, 3s. the tithe of Wiresfeld, the tithe of Foeldone (Fouldon) 6s. which Roger gave for the soul of his father at the day of his burial; the tithe of Geff. de Congham, the tithe of Grimston-hall and mill, the tithe of Lechesham-hall and mill, and the church of the said village, with the land belonging to it, the church of Dunham, with the land belonging to it, the tithe of land at Wesneham, the tithe of Herebold, in the said village, and one carucate of land given by Wimer at Cameston, (Kempston) when he took on him the monk's habit; of all these Roger, his son, made a donation and grant of, with Kempston.

Hugh de Wanci gave the church of Depeden (Burnham Deepdale) with the land belonging to the same, and the tithe of the manor, the church of Barseham, (Basham,) with all the land belonging to it, and 3 socmen. All the free-born tenants of the said William de Warren the 2d, gave their tithe; viz. William Talebot, Osbert de Danevela, (Denver) Ralph de Wanci Euremundus, Ralph, Crisp. Goscelin, Waleran, Henry Brungar, Osbert, and Ralph, his sons, and their mother, placed their grants on the altar of St. Mary, in the said priory.

After the death of this Earl, Rainer de Grancourt gave his tithes, and Hugh, who held of him, his church and tithe, and 60 acres of land, William de Kally his tithe, Hugh de Fulmodeston his church and tithe, Hugh de Brunham his tithe and 25 acres, with 40 sheep, 4 oxen and one horse, Walter of Congham his tithe, Nigel of Fincham his. Gilbert de Franesham, Osmund, the steward, Robert de Verlie, Peter de Cranwich, were benefactors in tithes, &c. Gotwin de Bodelai, the tithe of the manor of Rocheam, &c. Witbert de Achra, his mill, and Ralph de Paveli, his tithe of Norwolde. Drogo, son of William Dapifer, gave the churches of East Lexham, Dunham, Wesenham, and Congham.

The said William Earl Warren gave also all the land which William, the priest of Rodeham held of Lambert de Rosei, by one knight's fee, by the grant of Lambert, and remitted the service of the said fee: the said Lambert gave also land at Siestern and the tithe of Warden, (Waterden,) Robert, his land at Gaiton, the land and church which Burstan, the priest of Barsham, held; all which was confirmed by him, with the church of Witton, which Turold de Gimingham gave to this priory, the tithe of Winebotesham, which William, the chamberlain, held of the Earl, the mill of Barsham, with 3 cottagers, 60 acres of heath, and 3 socmen of the said manor, living at Snaring, of the gift of Ralph, son of Hugh de Wanci; the tithe of Enhale given by Baldwin and Lambert de Rosei, the tithe of Waterden and Rodeham, which William, the priest, held of him; and Walcheline, his son, for his soul, moreover gave the tithe of Howeton and Rocheland, and Norwalda, the tithe of Godfrey de Belmunt of Chardeston, and 1000 eels given by Osmund, the steward, with land in Burneham, all which were also confirmed.

By another grant he gives 2 parts of all the tithes of his fee in Gaiton, and Hillington, and Flitcham, for his own soul and of Isabell the Countess, his wife, also Wicham, (Wichingham,) and Causton in pure alms, (which Wido de Miniecourt lately held,) for the soul of his brother Rainald Le Brun, and confirmed the grant of 40s. per ann. in land, which the said Rainald gave in Wichingham, and 2 parts of the tithes of Ralph Baliol in Dockings, 2 parts of the tithes of Jeff. de Quilverdavilla in the said town, and other tithes given by the said Rainald, also the land that Hugh de Pincheni and William, his son, gave them, viz. 60 acres.

The said Earl, with the Countess Isabell his wife, and his sons William and Ralph, granted them 40s. per ann. in land at Barmere, lands at Stanhow, Plomsted, Wickmere, and at Iteringham, and the said Isabell gave the church of Trunche, which her husband had granted to her.

Henry I. confirmed what this Earl had granted:—"Notum sit p'sentib; et futuris qd. Ego Henricus, Dei gratia Rex Anglor. p. salute a'i'a meœ et antecessor. meor. et p. statu, et p. prosperitate regni, concedo Deo et Scœ Mariœ de Achra et S'cis ap'lis Petro et Paulo, et monachis de Sco. Pancratio ibm. Deo servientib; quicquid Will. de Warrenna dedit eis scil. in ip'a Achra duas carucatas terre, et hocq' fregerunt de brueriis ejus, et culturam cum mora ubi ecc' a fundata est —Signum Heni. Regis.—s. Rogeri epi.—s. Robti epi.—s. Willi. Comitis—s. Hen. Comitis—s. Ran. cancell.—s. Gilbi. de Aquila.—s. Herberti Epi.—s. Willi. de Albeni.—s. Willi. de Curcy,—s. Willi. Meschines.—s. Willi. Piperelli,—s. Stowe,—s. Jordani de Saiaco,— s. Rog. fil. Ric."

William, the third Earl Warren and Surrey, on the dedication of the new church of this priory, confirmed all the donations of his ancestors and barons, (that is, lords of towns under him,) in this manner, the mill called Briggimelle, another called Witewelle, the moiety of which Alan, son of Flaheld, gave, and Newmelle; land at Barmere, Stanhow, the church and manor of Wittune, land at Bachetune and Swafeld, and Iteringham, and Wulterton, Snetesham, and Gymingham; lands in Massingham, and in Rucham, with the mill called Edwaldesmill, of the gift of Wimer, the sewer; lands and tithes, with the church of Chemestune, the two churches of Weseham, with tithes in Gersinghale, the tithe of the demean, a wood and mill in Alsingers, the same, in Lecherham the church and tithe of the demean; in Dunham, the church, in Wideresfeld the tithe of the demean, &c. in Fueldone the same; in Winebotesham the tithe of the land which William, the chamberlain, held of the gift of Roger, son of Wimer; tithe in Snetesham; in Congham land and the church, in Grimestun the tithe of the demean, with lands, &c. there and in Gayton, of the gift of William, son of Roger; in Rudeham, Alwin with all his substance, and Godewin, the smith, with his wife, children, &c. in Haringeshage, Ulchetil, with his children &c. of the gift of Hugh de Wanci, the tithe of the demean of Depeden, in West Barsham, the church with lands, &c. the church of Tricheston, (Threxton) and all that Osmed (fn. 9) his aunt had there in free marriage of the gift of Lambert de Rosei; the tithe of Enehale, the tithe of Waterden, and 16 acres of land in Sidesterne; tithe of Howtone and Rocheland and Norwold, of the gift of Walcheline de Rosei.

Witnessess, William Bishop of Norwich, (viz. Turbus,) who dedicated the new priory church, Roger, archdeacon, William, archdeacon, Reginald de Warren, &c.

Eborard Bishop of Norwich confirmed, about the year 1140, the right of presentation, or right of tithes belonging to this priory, in these following churches; Acre, Newton, (by Castleacre,) East and West Lexham, Dunham Magna, with St. Mary's chapel, Kempston, Wissingeset, Wesenham, St. Peter, and St. Paul, Sengham, (Shingham,) Otringhee, and Methwold, Wigenhale, St. Mary Magdalene, Haverhill, Depden, Haspale, Bacheton, Trunche, Wickemere, Itringham, Hailedune, Fulmodeston, East Barsham, West Barsham, Tatersete, St. Andrew, Congham, and the patronage of the monastery of St. Andrew de Bromholm.

The patronage of the church of Dunham Magna, St. Mary, was given by Herveus Canis, with 5 acres, by Rachefnesse, and part of a meadow at Southacre; to this grant John, prior of Sporle, was witness, sans date: he lived in Henry the Second's time.

Robert de Vallibus (Vaux) gave a mill at Pentney, called Middlemiln, with a meadow adjoining, and lands in Gateley and Massingham, in the time of King William 1.

Roger de Toenio (Tony) gave his wood at Haringhae, with lands, &c.

William de Peleville gave three parts of the wood of Dichewode, and Richard de Chambers a part.

Jeff. de Faverches gave land at Massingham, and Turold de Massingham.

Gerard de Maschecival lands at Snetesham.

Ingelerius gave lands at Tofts and Tumestun.

Robert de Frevill and his wife, and others, gave land at Oteringeheth, with eels, &c. Hugh de Grancourt gave the church of Fulmodeston.

Hamlin Plantaginet, Earl Warren, &c. confirmed the land called Suthcroft, given by William Tusard, and the manor of Bakethorp, given by Robert de Frevill and Ralph his son, land in Hillington, given by Roger de Pavely, and the said Earl, by the advice of Isabel, his countess, and William his son, gave 60 acres of turbary in the moor of Marham, &c.

Wimer, sewer to the Earls Warren, gave the church and manor of Kempston; Robert, son of Hernisius, William, son of Herbert, Ralph de Rosei, and Robert Frevil, the manor of Massingham; Martin and Patric de Bermere, the manor of Bermer; Osbert de Baliol, the church of Haverhill in Suffolk; Sir Ralph de Beaufoe, the church and manor of South Creak; Sir Frederic de Carvill, the church and manor of Wigenhale St. Mary Magdalen, and a lordship in Castleacre; Sir Robert de Haya gave the church and manor of Sutton, (Long Sutton in Lincolnshire,) with the chapels of Luton, &c. Jocel. de Flete, the church of Flete; (fn. 10) and the lady Nicholaa de Haya confirmed the church and manor of Flete in Lincolnshire in her widowhood, and all that her grandfather Robert, her father Richard, and uncle Ralph de Haya gave, she confirmed, with that which William her husband, and Gerard de Canville gave. (fn. 11)

Roger, son of Wimer the sewer, gave and confirmed all that his father and mother Gilla gave, the church of Kempston with its appertenances; the churches of Dunham St. Andrew, East Lexham, the two churches of Wesenham, with the tithe of the lordship of the said village, and lands there, and the tithes that his tenants gave; the tithe at Lechesham, and of the mill; the tithe of Withersfield, with that of his manor; the tithe at Winebotesham, and whatever he gave in Snetsham and Congham, with the church of that village of his fee.

Alan, son of Flaald, and Adelina his wife, gave land at Kempston, and 20 acres at Sporle.

King Henry II. confirmed to the priory, the churches of Newton by Acra, Southcreak, and Flete, and granted them to be free from all toll.

Sir Eudo de Arsic, with the consent of Alice his wife, confirmed the grants of Henry Canis, father of Alice his wife, and gave the causeway of mill-pool, of Witewell, and lands; witnesses, William Earl Warren, Nicholas de Kenet, Adam de Kailli, Alexander, his son and heir, Hervey, his son, &c.

The church of Haringby was appointed to them, of the gift of John Hauteyn, lord and patron about 1200, the church of Fincham St. Michael, about the said time, of the gift of William Talebot.

Maurice Knight of Barsham, gave the patronage of the church of Taterset, with all his right, &c. in that village in 1175.

Hamelin Earl Warren, &c. confirmed the grant of Walter Tussard, of all the land called Southcroft, in Acre, which Gerard and Robert Tussard, the predecessors of Walter, gave.

John Plantaginet, Earl Warren, by his deed reciting that, whereas his stewards and others his officers in Norfolk, had demanded of this priory certain pensions of meats and drinks as their right, given at first by the monks, out of their free will and respect to the servants of the Earls of Warren, belonging to their manor of Wike, in Castleacre, he by this deed quits claim to the same, and charges his officers not to demand or receive it for the future; dated May 10, Edward II. 9°.

Symon Bishop of Norwich confirmed to the said priory the churches, tithes, and pensions following; the churches of East Acre, Newton, South Creak, West Barsham, Kemeston, Methwold, St. Mary Magdalen Wigenhale, 5 marks per ann. pension out of the church of Haverhill, 3 marks out of Trunch, 2s. out of Dunham St. Mary, and 2s. out of Duuham St. Andrew, 2s. out of Bagthorp, one mark out of Westbrigg, one mark out of Threkeston, one mark out of Wichingeset, 20s. out of East Barsham, 20s. out of St. Andrew Tatersete, one mark out of Fincham St. Michael, half a mark out of Tatersete All-Saints, 40s. of Fulmodeston, and 10 marks out of the same, for the use of the infirmary of the priory; one mark of the churches of St. Peter, and of St. Paul of Wesenhamtorp, half a mark of East Lexham, 12d. of Otringehithe, 2 marks of Aspehale, and the following tithes:

(fn. 12) In Weseham, 2 parts of the tithes of the demean of Robert de Stuteville, Alan Fitz Ralph, and Jeff. Fitz John;—in Gressinghale, 2 parts of the tithes of the demeans of the aforesaid Robert, and other tithes there;—and in Scarning 2 parts of the demeans of William de Kirtling, Ralph Crowai, Henry son of Isabella, and of Ralph de Hyngringeshoe, &c.:—in Witheresfield and East Lechesham, all the tithes of the demean of Robert de Stuteville;—in Grimston, 2 parts of the tithes of the demean of the Earl Warren;—in Depedene, 2 parts of the demean of Ralph de Wanci and his freemen;—in Waterdene, 2 parts of the demean of Robert Barsham, Reginald de St. Martin, with a moiety of 30 acres of the demean of William de Burnham;— in Houton, Rokeland, and Northwold, 2 parts of the demeans of Baldwin de Rosay, Hugh, son of Richard, William de Houton, Robert de Katestun, Roger de Paveli, Ralph de Dunton, and Gilbert de Waleham;—in Winebotesham, the tithe of the land which William the chamberlain, held;—in Congham, 2 parts of the demean of Augustin, Jeff. Fitz Ralph, and all the tithe of the demeans of Richard de Wighale, and of the nuns of Blakeberge;—in Fincham, 2 parts of the demeans of Nigellus, and William de Spinevill, Sampson Talebot, Richard de Meyners, Richard de la Comb, and John de Littlewell;— in Blownorton, 2 parts of the demean late of Ralph Fitz Gilbert, lord of Thelvetesham;—in Guiton, Hillington and Flitcham, 2 parts of the fee of the Earl Warren, and Richard de Merley;—in Gately, all the tithe of the woods of William de Lisewis, and of the land called Telisnap;—in Rucham, 2 parts of the demeans, late of Hugh de Fokinton, and a moiety of the tithe of the demean of Julian, daughter of William, son of Richard de Wyrmelle, now of William Butlers, and his men;—in Holkham and Claia, 2 parts of the demean, late of Hubert de Mount Chensy, and Gilbert, son of Richard;—in North Barsham, 2 parts of the demean, late of William Branche, William Estre, and Reginald, and of the land late Hoel de Waterdene;—in West Winz two parts of the demean of Richard, son of Simon;—in Eresham, the tithe of all the demean of Will. de Freney;—in West Lexham, tithe of the land called Ralveswde of the demean of William Fitz Richard of Lechesham, and in the same 2 parts of the demean late Roger de Cressy's;—in Lirlinge, 2 parts of the demean late Osbert de Lirling;—in Stanham, Crokefeld, and Hesse, 2 parts of the demean of Geff. son of Herlewine, Peter de Nerford, Hugh de Rickinghale, and Walter de Hethfeld;—in Titleshale, 2 parts of the demean of Robert de Verli, and William Capri;—in Grimeston, 2 parts of the demean of Ralph de Gremeston;—in Wichingesete, 2 parts of the demean, late of Peter Buzun;—in Wechesham, 2 parts of the demeans, late Gyrald's;—in Fueldun, 2 parts of the demean, late Robert de Frevill's—in Field-Dalling, 2 parts of the demean, late of Roger Bachun, and Richard Bachun;—in Skerninge, 2 parts of the demean of Saer de Frevill, and tithes of the assart of Heringshae;— in Taverham and Draiton, 2 parts of the demean of William, son of Baldwin;—in Wyreham and Buketon, (Werham and Boughton,) the 3d part of the tithe of the fee of Arnold de Moesy, and Philp Engleis; —in Thomestun and Toftes, 2 parts of the demeans of the said monks;—in Sypedeham and Rokeland, 2 parts of the demean of John de Kateston;—in Narford, two parts of the demean of Godwin, Jeff. and Bundo, sons of Saul;—in Massingham Magna, 2 parts of the fee of the late Robert de Frevill, and the whole fee of Caylli; —in Wendling all the tithes of Great and Little Ditchwode, of the demean late Roger, son of Elwood, of the fee of Giffard and William de Franchevill;—in Fransham and Skerninge, 2 parts of the demean of Gilbert de Fransham;—in Kerdeston and Thymelthorpe, 2 parts of the demean of Geff. de Bellomonte;—in Tatersete, 2 parts of the demean of the late William de Bellomonle:—in Clyptun, 2 parts of the demean of William Grancurt;—in Snetesham, 2s. of the demeans of the Earl Warren, to be paid by the prior of Windham;—in Stanford, 2 parts of the demeans of Robert de Mortimer;—in Cloptun, 2 parts of the demeans of Peter Giffard of the Earl Warren's fee;—in Stiberd, 2 parts of the demean of Humphrey de Esthawe, &c.—in Estbarsham, all the tithe of the demean late William de Beaumont, Philip de Snaringe, Reginald de St. Martin;—in Burnham, 2 parts of the demean, late Philip de Burnham, William de Grancourt, John, son of Ralph, Hugh de Polstede, William de Gymingham, and Robert Angree; and in Depedale, 2 parts of the demean of William Fitz Henry; in Sidesterne, 3 parts of the demean of Alan Fitz Brian;—in Dunham, the tithe of 30 acres of Atelund land;—in Aldeford and Westhorp, 2 parts of the demeans of the late William de Bottun, and Richard Fitz Robert de Westhorp;— in Santon, 2 parts of the demean of Adam de Hachebeche; -- in Feltwell, 2 parts of the demean of the late William de Spinewell;--in Suthacre, all the tithe of the land of - - - - - - - -;—in Hoe, 2 parts of the tithe of the demean of John de Hoe; in Shuldham, 2 parts of the tithe of the demean of Simon, son of Hugh, Roger son of Jeffrey, Roger Trussebut, Thomas de Graville, William, son of Lambert, of the land of Theobald; in Marham, 2 parts of the demean formerly Herbert de Bexwell's, and a moiety of the tithe of the whole fee late Walter de Marham's;— in Tyringeton, 2 parts of the tithe of the demean of William Herlewin of the fee of Bardolf;—in Clenchwarton, 2 parts of the tithe of the land of De la Hoe;—dated at Geywood, the 31st July, 1265, in the 8th year of his pontificate.

And before this he confirmed to this priory 5s. per ann. rent, to be received from the rector of Bunwell for 2 parts of the tithes of demean of the lady Agatha, and her tenants, and 20s. per ann. from the rector of Wiveton, for two parts of the tithes of the demean of Bernard at Wiveton and Sneterley, (that is Blakeney,) and for 2 parts of the tithes of Robert Aguillon at Wiveton, of the fee of Branche.

Sir Alexander Harsyke confirmed the sand-pits lying by the King's highway, leading from Whitewell to Southacre, and part of the meadow—witness Sir Reginald de Dunham, Sir Gilbert de Fransham, Knts. Eudo de Arsic, his brother, rector of Southacre, and the subprior, Rodeland his brother.

Martin de Sidesterne and Imania his wife, granted lands at Castleacre, by fine in the 43d of Henry III. and lands at Sidesterne, in the 52d of that King to Walter, prior of Castleacre.

William de Lisewis granted with the consent of Godfrey, his son and heir, to this priory, all the tithes of his woods and assarts at Gateley, and lands of his demean there, and the tithe of land there called Tolisnap, for which they agreed to keep his anniversary, that of his father and mother for ever, sans date.

Robert, son of Ernisius, Robert, son of Ralph de Massingham, and Claricia his wife, Hubert, son of Richard de Massingham, were benefactors of lands in Massingham; also Jeffrey de Massingham and his brethren, who all swore on the holy Evangelists, in the chapter-house of Acra, to maintain their grants, which having wax put to them they bit the same, instead of a seal.

Herbert de Suthacre and Alan de Pagrave his brother, gave lands of their fee in the said villages, Herbert also gave lands at Rechesness, where the church of St. Bartholomew was founded, and at Burstall, which he gave for the soul of Hugoline his wife, for the use of the lepers there dwelling, and half a fold-course belonging to his demean, &c.

Alan de Lechesham gave 4 acres in the fields of Dunham.

Brion, son of - - - - - -, confirmed to this priory the gift of his father, the church of Mal - - - -, (fn. 13) the third part of the tithe of the demeans of Bedale and of Frieby and of Colvertebi, and 2 parts of the demean of Escheto; and Constance wife of Ralph, son of Robert de Gosberton, daughter of Brian, gave lands in Lincolnshire.

Alexander, son of Reginald de Dunham, gave as much hay as could be carried by a waggon and 3 horses yearly, at autumn, out of his meadow to the use of the sacrist—witnesses, Eudo de Arsic, Thomas de Suthacre, Robert de Pagrave, John de Fincham, &c.

Maurice de Barsham confirmed all the grants of his ancestors, with the church of East Barsham, and the church of Taterset, of his own grant, and gave 2 men, Brunketel of Tatersete, and Ralph de West Barsham, with all their catell, &c.; the said Maurice, when he went a pilgrimage to St. Gyles, gave all the corn in his barns at East Barsham, and West Barsham. and 80 sheep.

Richard de St. Martyn gave, with the consent of Julian his wife, and Reginald his son, rent out of a mill at East Barsham, the pool belonging to it, and the grist of his men, and land there, and Richard de Snaring gave land there.

John L'Strange, land at Lucheam for the soul of his father Robert, his mother Maud, and Hamon his brother.

Walter de Wancy, lands at West Barsham, and a fold-course for nine score sheep.

William de Vealtre gave the church of Cricheston, (Croxton,) and all the land there which his grandmother Osmed had in dower, and Sir Walter de Grancourt quitted his claim therein, and granted the prior to present to this church, as a chapel belonging to Fulmodeston.

Ralph de Warren gave 2 fishing boats on the mere of Saham in King John's time.

Giles de Wachesham, son and heir of Osbert, 2 parts of the tithes of Wachesham.

John de Nerburgh, by the consent of Alice his wife, gave a turbary belonging to his demean in Nerburgh, and confirmed the grant of the land given by his father Reginald.

Hugh de Fothighetune gave 2 parts of the tithe of his demean in Rucham.

Julian, daughter of William Fitz Richard de Wirmele, patroness of the church of St. Mary de Rucham, with the consent of William, her son and heir, granted a moiety of all the tithes of her demean there.

Walter de Grancourt gave by fine, in the 4th of Henry III. the church of Fulmodeston, which they had of the grant of Hugh his ancestor.

Adam Talbot gave by fine, 37th of Henry III. the church of St. Michael of Fincham.

William Bardolf gave the church of St. Peter of North Birlingham.

John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury, granted an indulgence of 30 days to all who would pray for the soul of William, the 3d Earl Warren, and 15 days for that of Ela his Countess, and 20 days for the souls of William the 1st Earl Warren and Surrey, and Gundrede his wife, dated at South Malling, 3d of the Ides of July, 1283.

About this time the prior was found to hold 460 acres of arable land, 20 of pasture, 10 of meadow, 5 water mills, with the liberty of fishing therein, in pure alms, and divers other lands in this town, held by 36 tenants, a court baron, 2 folds, 2 free boars, and two bulls, of the Earl Warren.

In the 47th of Edward III. this priory was made indigena, and not subject as a cell to the prior of Lewes.

In the 15th of Richard II. the church of Haverhill, with its chapel, was appropriated of the gift of Osbert de Baliol, and in the 2d of Henry IV. the church of South Creak in Norfolk.

Several small priories or cells belonged to this. Bartholomew de Glanvile confirmed to it the priory of Bromholm in Norfolk, founded by his father William.

William de Huntingfeld gave the priory of Mendham in Suffolk;— William, the third Earl Warren, the priory of Slevesholm in Methwold; —William de Lisewis, and Godfrey his son, that of Normansburgh in South Reynham;—the prior of Coln in Essex paid an annual pension of 26s. per ann.—a pension of 26s. 8d. per ann. out of the church of Asphal in Suffolk, and 5 marks out of that of Geyton in Norfolk, and a pension out of Barefield Parva in Essex.

On the 22d of November, 1533, Thomas Malling, prior, and his convent, surrendered this priory, with the manor of Castleacre Prior's, and all its appertenances, to King Henry VIII.; in the surrender deed, it is expressed, "for certain causes, just and reasonable, them, their souls and consciences, especially moving, together with the site of all the manors, messuages, lands and tenements, rents and services, &c. advowsons, and all manner of things thereunto belonging, in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, Cambridgeshire, &c. in England, and Wales;" and signed by Thomas Malling, prior, and 10 monks; viz. John Hounsword, William Burgullion, Robert Daniel, Robert Fisk, William Elis, John Betts, Edmund Wadenowe, John Lowe, Robert Saary, and Robert Halman. And these following were found guilty of the most notorious incontinency and uncleanness; John Bets, William Elis, Robert Hocton, Robert Snape, James Helvington, Edward Acres, and Edward Kirkeby.

The King, on December 22d, in his 39th year, granted the site of this priory, the prior's manor, the impropriated rectory, and advowson of the vicarage to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk; and in the 2d of Elizabeth, the Duke of Norfolk alienated it to Thomas Gresham, who in the preceeding year had purchased also of Henry Earl of Arundel, the lordship, or the Earl's manor of Castleacre. The Duke is said to convey his part for 2000l. Gresham conveyed his right in both these lordships to Thomas Cecil afterwards Earl of Exeter; and his son, William Earl of Exeter, sold them to Sir Edward Coke, whose descendent, the Right Honourable Thomas Coke, Earl of Leicester, was lord of the manor of Arundel, or Earl's, Prior's, and Fox's, impropriator, and patron of the vicarage.

The site of the priory-church lies west of the castle, was a venerable large Gothic pile, of free stone flint, &c. and built in a cathederal or conventual manner; great part of the front or west end of it is still remaining, where the principal entrance was through a great arch, over which was a stately window; on each side of the great door were doors to enter into the north and south aisles, under the tower, as the grand door served for an entrance into the nave or body; at the north and south ends of this front or west end, stood 2 towers supported by strong arches and pillars; the nave or body had 12 great pillars, making 7 arches on each side, the lowest joining to the towers; on the east end of the nave stood the grand tower, supported by four great pillars, through which was the entrance into the choir; on the south and north side of this tower were 2 cross isles or transepts; and at the end of the north transept there seems to have been a chapel or vestiary; the choir was of equal breadth with the nave and isles, but much shorter, and, at the east end of it, was in form of a chapel, and here stood the high altar, as I take it.

The cloister was on the south side of the church, and had an entrance into it, at the west end of the south isle near to the tower, and another at the east end of the said isle near the grand tower; the chapter-house seems to have joined to the east side of the cloister, and the dormitory to have been over the west part of the cloister. West of the cloister, and adjoining was the prior's apartment, now converted into a farm-house: in a large room above stairs, called now the prior's dining-room, is a curious bow window of stone, consisting of 9 pannels; in the first were the arms of the priory, painted on the glass; in the 2d, the arms of the Earl of Arundel, and Earl Warren, quarterly, but now broke and gone; in the 3d, Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, gules, a lion rampant, argent;—4th, the red and white rose united, and a crown over it;—5th, France and England quarterly;— 6th, the rose, &c. as above;—7th, Earl Warren's arms;—3th, quarterly, the Earl of Arundel in the first and 4th quarter, and in the 2d and 3d, Matrevers, sable, fretty, or, and Fitz-Alan, Baron of Clun, p. fess, azure and argent, quarterly;—9th, argent, a cross compony, or and azure, between 12 cross crosslets, fitche, sable; the priory arms, as I take it, and these letters I. W. joined together by a knot, and under it SPIRITV. PRINCIPALI. CONFIRMA. ME. By this it appears that this window was built by John Winchelsey, prior in the reign of Henry VII. or VIII. afterwards it might be converted into a dining room, but that it was originally a large chapel, and this room was only the west end of it, is apparent: it extendedto the south tower of the church, where, at the east end of it, is a large window, as in a chapel, and a step or ascent here, as to an altar; and on the south wall, near to this ascent, is an arched carved seat of stone, rising in form of a pyramid, with the shield of the Earl Warren alone, which testifies it to be an antique pile, built in their time before the patronage of the priory came to the Earls of Arundel; and at the north-east corner, near to the altar-place, is a door-place with a stone arch; and here was a stone stair-case which led down into the cloister.

In another room was, a few years past, in a window, the broken portraiture of one of the Earls of Arundel, in armour, with a broad sword in his hand, and on his surcoat the arms of Arundel, Matrevers, and Clun, as above and part of a legend, My trust ys—; also on a chapeau, gules, an oaken slip, vert, acorned or.—There are two prints of the ruins of this priory, one by Mr. Buck, who dedicated it to the Lady Margaret, Lady Baroness of Clifford, and the other by Mr. Millicent. The site of it took in several acres; the grand entrance was north of the priory church, where is now standing a large and stately gate-house of free-stone; over the arch as you enter, are the arms of the Earl Warren, of Arundel and Earl Warren quarterly,

France and England, and those of the priory.

The whole site was enclosed with a lofty stone wall, good part of which is still standing.

Priors.

Angevine occurs about 1130.

Jordan about 1160.

Richard occurs prior in Bishop Turbus's time, Bishop of Norwich.

Odo occurs about 1180.

Hugh in 1190 and 1195.

Maimon about 1200.

Lambert de Kempston in 1203.

Philip de Mortimer in 1203 and 1211.

Robert de Alenson about 1220, probably the same with Robert de Bozun, who occurs in 1219 and 1227.

Ralph de Wesenham in 1239.

William de Kent.

Adam in 1250.

John de Granges in 1252, and 1255.

Walter de Stanmere in 1258 and 1267.

Robert de Hakebeach in 1270.

William de Scorham.

Benedict in 1286,

Robert Porter in 1308.

John Hamelyn.

John de Acra.

Walter de Franceys in 1311.

Peter de Jocello in 1317, and 1324.

Guy de Charyns in 1329, and 1337.

William de Warren.

Walter Picot.

Thomas Wigenhale.

John Okinston.

Simon Sutton.

Thomas Bayley.

Thomas Tunbridge.

John Shareshale in 1428.

Thomas Bates.

Richard Bennet in 1452.

Nicholas.

John Plumstead.

John Amflets in 1482.

John Winchelsey occurs in 1510.

Thomas Chambers.

Thomas Malling admitted prior in June, 1519, sometimes called Thomas de Castleacre; he was presented and nominated by the Bishop of Norwich, with John Salisbury, late prior of St. Faith's, at Horsham in Norfolk, to be suffragan Bishop of Thetford, when Archbishop Cranmer chose Salisbury.

Many persons of quality were here buried, especially those who held lordships, (and were benefactors to this priory) under the Earls Warren.—Alice, widow of Sir Eudo de Arsic, daughter of Hervey Canis, lord of Dunham Magna, gave 6s. rent per ann. out of lands in the tenure of Alianore and Alice, her daughters, to be paid to the sacrist for the maintenance of a lamp, before the cross, where the body of her husband rests; witnesses, Sir Alexander de Arsic, her son and heir, Sir Fredrick de Capravill, Reginald de Geyton, then senescal of Acre.

Sir Richard le Rus, lord of East Lexham, gave his body to be buried, with 5 acres of land, and 12d. per ann. rent.

In 1428, the spiritualities of this priory were valued at 189l. 17s. per ann. and temporalities at 130l. 18s. 8d. ob. At the suppression, valued on the whole as Dugdale, at 306l. 11s. 4d. ob. and as Speed, at 324l. 17s. 5½d.

A little towards the east of the priory, stood the castle, in a rising ground, from the south to the north, including, with all its outworks and fortifications, about 13 acres of ground, in a circular form; through this there is a way or street, called now the Bayly-Street, with houses on each side, running directly north and south; at the entrance of this street, on the north, stands a stone gate-house, with two round bastions, and had 2 doors, an inward and outward one, with a portcullis in the middle; and, no doubt, there was another at the entrance of this street, on the south side, as you come from Swaffham, as appears from some marks still remaining. Near the north gate, on the east side of the street, was a chapel for the castle, the walls of which are still standing, and is now a dwelling-house; and on the east-side of the said street, near the middle of it, was a strong stone gate-house, leading into the outward court of the great castle, which was circular, enclosed with a strong and lofty wall of free-stone, flint, &c. and embattled 7 feet thick, a considerable part of which is still remaining, with a deep ditch or entrenchment, and a lofty embattled wall round it; within this was the keep; and cross this deep ditch or entrenchment, are 3 lofty walls at proper distances, which join the castle wall, as buttresses, &c. The whole area of this castle, with its entrenches and ditches, and an outward wall embattled as aforesaid, includes about 18 acres of ground, and reaches near the river; where, under this embattled outward wall, is a terrace walk, which affords a pleasant and agreeable prospect over the country, and water to supply and fill the ditches. The other part of the fortifications, lying on the west side of this Bayly-Street, is called the Barbican, and contains above 10 acres of land, and was enclosed by deep ditches, entrenchments, and high ramparts.

This castle, no doubt, was as agreeable for its appartments as its strength, and it appears that King Edward I. was entertained herein by Earl Warren, in January, 1297: and one thing is further remarkable of it, that the Earl Warren, the founder, though he had 140 lordships in Norfolk, chose this for his chief great honour or lordship, and a residence; and his other lordships were dependant on it; and in this castle was a chapel with monks therein, before the death of the first Earl Warren in 1089.

Jeffrey de Balio before the gate of the castle — was witness to a deed in the reign of King Stephen; and Richard de Acre gave by deed sans date, a messuage in the Baylie, to find a lamp burning day and night, before the altar of St. Nicholas, in the priory church of Acre; and John Maresehall de Balio was witness to a deed sans date. Mr. Buck has a print of the ruins of this castle, dedicated to Lord Lovell, afterwards Earl of Leicester.

The Romans seem to have had a station here, where the castle now stands, which might have induced also the first Earl Warren to make choice of it; and from the north part of the present entrenchments, there runs a way which goes to Castleacre-Wicken and from thence it proceeds over the country leaving Massingham and Houghton on the right, and Anmer on the left hand, and is commonly called the Peddar's-Way, and between the 2 last mentioned towns, on the said way, may be observed many tumuli; bence it tends in a direct course, leaving Frenge a little on the right hand, and so for Ringsted, &c. the sea coast, and Brancaster.

Several Roman coins have been found here, and some lately of Vespasian, Constantine, &c.

And not many years past, a cornelian seal or ring, with the impress of an emperor, his head radiated, was found in a close called Arundel Close.

Footnotes

  • 1. T're. Willi. de Warrenna— Acre tenet Toche lib. ho. T. R. E. iii car. in dominio, et viii car. hom. semp. ii vill tc xlii bord. mo. xlviii tc. viii serv. modo iii et viii ac. p'ti. et ii mol. et dim. salin. et i piscaria tc. vi runc. modo i. tc. viii an. mo. xi tc. xlv porc. mo. lxx tc. clx ovs. mo. cxl. huic terre jacent ii libi. ho'es. i car. terre, et iiii bord. tc. ii car. mo i. et viii ac. p'ti tc. val. c sol. mo. ix lib. et illi duo libi. ho'es. xx sol. tota habet i l'g. et x pertic. in long. et i l'g' in lat. et iiii pedes et dim. et reddit viiid. de xx sol. de gelto.—Ecclie xxx ac.
  • 2. Dudgd. Bar. vol i. p. 73.
  • 3. Ypodigma Neustriæ, p. 15.—Sandford Geneal.—Brooks' Succession, &c. p. 3.
  • 4. It does not appear that this Earl married a daughter of the Conqueror; that Gundrede was his wife, the register of Castleacre priory proves.
  • 5. Vol. i. Baron. p. 81 and 82.
  • 6. Regr. Surflete, Norw.
  • 7. Reg. Spurlinge, Norw. p. 192. Reg. Grundesburgh, fol. 159.
  • 8. Regist. Priorat. Castleacr.—Dugd. Monast.
  • 9. Osmed, wife of Philip de Candos.
  • 10. The rector of Flete was obliged to pay 10l. per ann. at Castleacre, for tithes let to farm to him by the priory.
  • 11. Nicholaa was daughter and heir of Richard de Haiaa, and mother of Thomas de Camville. William, son of Ernisius, with the consent of this Nicholaa his wife, gave 3 acres of land near the common way, to build a new parish church in Sutton, the old church is in this deed said to be of wood, and the bodies buried there were to be brought to the churchyard of this new church, and there buried, the old to be disused. Gerard de Camvill confirmed the gift of this church, &c. to the priory in 1186, and others were benefactors in land, &c. in Sutton.
  • 12. The lords of the demeans here mentioned were all benefactors.
  • 13. Quere, if not some town in Yorkshire?