Freebridge Hundred and Half: Clenchwarton

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: Clenchwarton', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808) pp. 377-382. British History Online [accessed 23 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Freebridge Hundred and Half: Clenchwarton", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808) 377-382. British History Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Freebridge Hundred and Half: Clenchwarton", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8, (London, 1808). 377-382. British History Online. Web. 23 May 2024,

In this section


At the survey it is wrote Ecleuuartuna, a word compounded, and bespeaks a town, seated on a moist watery soil, by a river: (fn. 1) Hugh de Montfort's manor, of which we have treated in Islington, extended into this village, and of this manor the family of Scales, and that of Ingaldesthorp, held each a moiety. The town was divided (as appears from ancient records) into North and South Clenchwarton. Robert de Scales, in the first of Edward I. held one fee and a quarter in capite here, in Islington, Tylney, &c. and had the assise of bread, &c.

In the 18th of Edward II. Robert and Egelina his wife were found to hold of the King in capite, a moiety of the advowson of this church, which always went along with the lordship; from the Scales's it came to Woodvile Earl Rivers, afterwards to Tyndale, as may be seen at large in Middleton; John Tyndal, who was lord in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, alienated it to William Tyndal, together with the advowson of the church.

About the 20th of Elizabeth, Francis Southwell was possessed of it, and on his death, in the 24th of that Queen, it descended to his son Miles Southwell, Esq. who conveyed it in the 30th of that reign, to Sir John Willoughby; and his son, Sir Henry Willoughby, on November 19, in the 9th of King James I. had license to alienate it to William Gybon, Esq. and his heirs, (as may be seen in Islington) together with the patronage of the church.

The Ingaldesthorps held the other moiety of Montfort's manor, and a moiety of the advowson; in the 12th of Henry III. a fine was levied between Thomas son of Thomas de Ingaldesthorp, and Robert de Scales, petents, and William son of Alan of Clenchwarton, whom the abbot of Derham called to warrant, of the advowson of this church, granted to Thomas and Robert; in this family it continued, and on the death of Sir Edmund de Ingaldesthorp, in the 35th of Henry VI. it descended to Isabell his daughter, and sole heir, married to John Nevill, Marquis Montacute.

John, rector of the church of St. Edmund of Castre, gave to the nunnery of Crabhouse, a messuage, and 38 acres of land, here and in Wigenhale, held of the Ingaldesthorps by the service of 2s. per ann. in the 38th of Edward III.

The Earl Of Clare's Manor.

William de Scohies, lord of Islington, had 40 acres of land, held of him by Richard, valued at 6s. Rosrid had possessed it, but Ralph Earl of Norfolk desseized him of half of it, and held it on his being attainted; and Urvoi, a man of Rosrid, held it at the survey of Scohie's fee, and claims it by the King's patronage; (fn. 2) from Scohies it came to the Giffards Earls of Bucks, and from them to the Earls of Clare.

John, son of Thomas de Reynham, Sir Philip de Fenn, Sir John de Wigenhale, and their tenants, held 3 parts of a fee in Clenchwarton, Tilney and Wigenhale, of Richard Fitz-Simon, in the reign of Henry III. of the honour of Clare; and John, son of John de Wodenorton, impleaded John, son of Thomas de Reynham, for 60 acres of land, 30s. rent, and the moiety of a messuage in South Clenchwarton, Tilney, and Wigenhale, as his right, in the octaves of St. Hillary, 14 Edward I. and in the said year, Alice, widow of Walter Fenne, impleaded William de Lindesley, for the moiety of mill in this town.

In the 7th of Edward II. a fine was levied between Robert de Watervile, and Alice his wife, Alan, parson of Washingle church, and William Belet, of 3 mesuages, 2 mills, 100 acres of land, 7 of meadow, in this town, Wigenhale, Seche, and South Lynn, conveyed to Robert, &c; and in his 8th year, Tho. de Warblington was found, as appears from the escheat rolls, to hold here, in Middleton, Tilney, Wigenhale, Sechy, Sadlebowe, South Lynn, West Winch, and Hardwick, half a fee of the honour of Clare; in the following year, John de Fitton was presented to have a lordship in Clenchwarton; and in the record it is said to be an hamlet to South Lynn, together with West Lynne, and North Lynne, of which the Bishop of Ely, and the Lord Scales were also lords; in the 17th of the said King, Gilbert de Say, and his tenants, were found to hold 5 fees in this town, Midleton, Wirham, Stoke, Boketon, Geyton, Cokesford, &c. as belonging to the Earl of Surry, but really belonging to the honour of Clare, after, ao. 3 Henry VI. held by Elizabeth Lady Say.

In the 20th of Edward III. Sir John Howard, John de Wigenhale, &c. feoffees of William de Wigenhale, held 3 parts of a fee in Tilney, Wigenhale, and here, which John, son of Thomas de Reynham, and Phil. de Fenne formerly held; and in the 20th of Richard II. Sir John Howard confirmed to Margaret, late wife of Sir Robert Howard, Sir Simon de Felbrigg, Knt. Robert de Felbrigg, &c. the manor of Reynham in Clenchwarton; witnesses, Laurence Trusbut, Edmund Kervite, Thomas Howard, William Coot, John Drye, &c. dated at East-Winch on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, and Sir John Howard was lord in the 7th of Henry IV.

Afterwards it came to the Veres Earls of Oxford, the Tyndales, so to Southwell, Willoughby, and Guybon.

Here was also a manor belonging to the said fee, held by Sir Edmund de St. Omer, son of — de St. Omer, and —his wife, daughter of — Sefoul, by whom, as I take it, this manor came; the Sefouls held lands in Mershland, and in the church of Tilney were their arms, vert, a cross patoncé, or. Sir Edmund de St. Omer had by her, Sybill, a daughter and heir, married to Sir John Wythe, lord of Smalburgh and Worstede in Norfolk, and of Hepworth in Suffolk, and after to Sir William Calthorp, whose daughter and heir, Ann, married Sir John Calthorp, son of Sir William, of Burnham Thorp in Norfolk, who was lord; and afterwards Sir Philip de Calthorp, whose daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married Sir Henry Parker: his son, Sir Philip Parker, died seized of it, as appears from his will, proved in April 1535, and Sir Henry had livery of the manor of North Clenchwarton, Calthorp, Smaliburgh, &c. in the 3d of Edward VI. (fn. 3)

In the 7th of Elizabeth, Edmund Kervyle had a præcipe to deliver to Jeffrey Cobb, and Thomas Might, the manor of Calthorpe, with messuages and lands here, in North and West Lyn, Terrington, Walpole, Walton, Walsoken, Ilsington and Wigenhall, probably on a marriage settlement, or on some trusts.

The prior of Walsingham had also a manor, or considerable estate here, of the honour of Clare.

In the 20th of Edward IV. he had a patent for certain tenements here, in Walsingham Magna, Hindringham, and a manor in Flytcham, Norfolk, called Snoring; and in 1572, I find it to be let at 6l. 13s. 4d. to John Bowles, Gent. from the Crown, as I take it.

The prior of Shouldham had also a manor held of the said honour of Clare, given chiefly by Jeffry Fitz Piers Earl of Essex, to that priory, on his foundation of it.

In 1428, the temporalities of that house were valued at 8l. 13s. 4d.

The prior of Norwich had also temporalities valued in 1428, at 2s. 3d. per ann.

The prior of Castleacre had possessions. (fn. 4)Jeffrey de Wigenhale confirmed to those monks, the lands called the How, in the fields of Clenchwarton, which his father gave him, and which Thomas, son of Hamon de Wigehale, gave by deed to Jeffrey his father, sans date;— witnesses, Sir Robert de Scales, Sir Richard de Wigehale, Robert de Sculham, Reg. de Geyt, Ad. de Rokeland, William de Salle, &c. and Clement, son of Jeffery de Wigehale confirmed the same, as did Maud, late wife of the said Jeffrey, mentioning the lands to be bought by her husband, of Thomas, son of Ham. de Wigehale, and Maud his wife.

Maud, daughter of John Supeseude of Enemethe, granted by deed sans date, to Thomas, son of Ham. de Wigehale, lands in Clenchwarton, lying between the land of Thomas de Houghe, the fee of Tychewelle, and released to him her right in 4 acres of land in Titchwell with the homages of several thereto belonging, to be held at the yearly rent of 12s. 10d. &c.—witnesses, Jeffrey, son of William de Wigehalle, Thomas de Reynham, &c.

Simon Bishop of Norwich, in 1265, confirmed to this priory, 2 parts of the tithes of the land De la Hoe.

In 1428 the temporalities of this priory were valued at 1l. 16s. 5d. ob.

The temporalities of the priory of Westacre, in 1428, valued at 3s. 6d.—John Sutton aliened to this house 60 acres of land in this town, Tilney, Tirington, Wigenhale, &c. in the 6th of Edward II.

Temporalities of Pentney priory in 1428, in this town, 18d. per ann.

Temporalities of the abbey of St. Edmund at Bury in 1428, 6s. 10d.

Temporalities of West Derham abbey, in 1428, 1l. 16s.

Temporalities of Wirmegay in 1428, 10s.

The prioress of Blackborough had a patent for tenements in Clenchwarton. Tilney, Wigenhale, Suthlenne, and Middleton, in the 25th of Edward III. and one in the 43d of that King, for tenements in North Clenchwarton and North Lenne, and their lands in this town were afterwards let at 4l. per ann.

The manor of Kenwick in Tilney, held by the Earl Fitz Williams, is said now to extend into this town, West Lyn, North Lyn Islington, Wigenhale, St. Mary Magdalen, St. German's, and St. Peter's.

In the 16th of Richard II. Richard Palmer, &c. aliened to the chantry in St. Peter's of West Lenne, a messuage, 57 acres of land, 106 of moor, in North Clenchwarton and South Lenne.—Nicholas Strange had license to alienate lands, &c. in Clenchwarton, &c. to Richard Nicholls in the 5th of Edward VI. and he held them in the 4th of Elizabeth.

The Church of Clenchwarton is dedicated to St. Margaret; it consists of a single isle, or a nave, a chancel covered with lead, and has a square tower, with 4 bells.

In the chancel is a gravestone,

In memory of Thomas Trise, Alderman of Newark in Nottinghamshire, who died in this town, May 19, 1647.

On another,

Hie jacet (unà cum quinq; ipsius liberis, paire superstite, defunctis) venerabilis vir Marcus Forster A. M. hujus ecclesiœ rector, qui cum annos quadraginta in agro Domini strenue laborasset ad mercedem recipiendam in calestem paradisum evocatus, obijt die Januarij ultimo A. D. 1719, ætatis suæ 70.

Also one,

In memory of Roger Spensley, Gent: bur. 16, March, 1650, aged 39.

On the wood-work of the church are the arms of Scales and Inglethorp.

On a monument in the churchyard,

Maria charissima conjux Rici. Trife Generosi hic sita est Oct. 24, A. D. 1660, ætat. suæ. 28.

Moribus insignis, formâ, pietate, pudore, Exemplum sexus, atq; corona viri.

Nec pudendis fuit natalibus, filia nempe unica Henri. Williamson et Marthæ, uxoris suæ, quorum omnium reliquas, hic tumulus habet. On it ermin, on a chevron sable, a lion rampant or, on a chief gules, three mullets of the first, Trise, impaling argent, on a chevron ingrailed, azure, between three trefoils slipped, sable, as many crescents, or.—Williamson.

The church is a rectory anciently valued at 18 marks, Peter-pence 1d. the rector then, on account of this rectory and 24 acres of glebe lands belonging to his church, which lie on the flux and reflux of the sea, was obliged to defend and maintain 24 rods of the sea bank, against the assault of the sea, at 16 feet per rod, and according to the quantity, breaking and irruption of the said banks, the rector is obliged to expend 40l. and greater sums, but he yearly expends, or ought to do, about necessary repairs and preserving the said banks, 6l. 13s. 4d. at least; the present valor is 14l. 6s. 8d. and is not discharged of tenths, &c.


1268, Robert Russell, instituted rector, presented by the King.

1303, Roger de Reydon, by Sir Thomas de Ingaldesthorp. (fn. 5)

1328, Robert de Beremere, (an exchange for Haverill,) by Sir Robert Scales.

1334, Mr. Thomas Durant, by Sir John Ingaldesthorp, cum capella de South Clenchwarton.

1349, William Waryn, by Sir Robert Scales.

1351, William Coupere, by Sir William de Ingaldesthorp.

1377, Robert Lorymer, by Sir Thomas Maundevil, Knt. John Cley, &c.

Robert Dygges, in 1399, occurs rector, as appears by a deed, probably the same person.

1408, John de Wattesson, by Sir John de Ingaldesthorp.

1448, William Wykeham, by Sir Thomas de Scales Lord Scales and Nucellis.

1456, Mr. Thomas Sutton, LL B. by Sir Thomas, &c.

1457, Mr. Thomas Sutton, by Sir Thomas Fynderne.

1503, Clement Rochestre, by Humphrey Conynsby, serjeant-at-law.

1505, Thomas Wotton, by H. Conynsby, guardian of John Tindale, a minor.

1530, William Furlan, by John Tendall, Esq.

1537, Mr. Robert Codde, in decret. baccal. by Sir John Tindall.

1538, John Clenchewarton, alias Watson, by the assignees of Sir Christopher Jenney, serjeant-at-law.

1548, Robert Chalderton, by Thomas Tindale of Hockwold, Esq.

1579, Marmaduke Neave, by the assignees of William Tindale, Esq.

In 1602, Thomas Howes was rector, and compounded, November 12, for first fruits.

John Canham, rector.

In 1642, Ambrose Roberts, rector, compounded May 3d.

1679, Mark Foster, A. M. died rector, 1719.

1720, Henry Whall, by Cha. Green and Thomas Whale. (fn. 6)

1736, Robert Stoner, on Whall's death, by Ann Hutchingson, Tho mas Moore, and John Stoner.

1756, Thomas Stoner, on his petition, as patron.

The Bishop of Ely's manor of Islington extended into this town, and claimed wreck, assize, &c. and other liberties here, as in his other lordships, in the 3d of Edward I.

The Lord Bardolf's manor in Tilney extended here, and Henry Noon held half a fee here, in Tilney, and Wigenhale, in the 5th of Henry VI. of the honour of Wirmegay.

Sir John Perrot, Knt. had lands here in the tenure of Thomas Guybon, granted to him, July 27, in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary.


  • 1. Thus Cley, Eccles, Eccleshall, and Ware, &c. names of towns.
  • 2. Terra Willi de Scohies—In Eccleuuartuna tenet Ricard. de W. xl ac. et val. vi sol. hanc t'ra. tenuit Rosrid et comes Rad. derationavit duuidiam et tenuit ea die q. forisfecit mo. ea'tenet Urvoi ho. Rosridi ad feudu. Willi. de Scohies, et revocat regem ad tutorem.
  • 3. Regr. Platfoot, Norw. p. 39.
  • 4. Regist. Castleac. fol. 83, 84.
  • 5. Institut. Book, in the Bishop's Office at Norw.
  • 6. Mr. Hen. Whale, clerk, patron in 1730, and 1742: he purchased it of Sir Francis Gibbon.—Whale sold it to Stoner, who has conveyed it to Ant. Etheridge of Roydon, Gent.