Freebridge Hundred and Half: Dersingham

Pages 391-403

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

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Part of this township was held in the reign of the Confessor, by an anonymous freeman, but at the survey, was in the tenure of Peter de Valoins, containing 2 carucates in demean held by 7 viliains and 4 borderers formerly, but then by two, with 7 acres and an half of meadow, and one carucate held by the tenants, with a salt work, &c. (fn. 1)

Another part or manor was held by Anant, a freeman, in King Edward's time, but by Peter aforesaid, at the survey, to this belonged 2 carucates in demean, 30 villains, 6 borderers, with 7 servi, a carucate and an half, and 18 acres of meadow, a mill, fishery, and a saltwork, &c. with 146 sheep. (fn. 2)

The said Peter had also seized on 12 acres belonging to a freeman, valued at 12d. but his predecessor had the protection only of this man, and Stigand had the soc. (fn. 3)

In the same town also he had seized on the lands which 21 freemen held in King Edward's time, viz. 2 carucates of land, and 35 acres, and 5 borderers with 3 carucates, and 7 acres of meadow belonging to it; the whole valued at 40s.; of all these his predecessor had only the protection, and 18 of these freemen might leave it, if they thought proper, each giving 2s. and Stigand had the soc of all these. (fn. 4)

Also two freemen had here two carucates, and there had been two in demean, then but one; one of these freemen had under him six freemen and five borderers, and the other 4 borderers, and there was amongst the tenants one carucate, eleven acres and an half of meadow, valued formerly at 40s, then at 25s. per ann.

All Dersingham, with Appleton, its beruite, was valued at 15l. but paid 17l. 13s. per ann. and was one leuca long, half a leuca broad, and paid 16d. of a 20s. gelt.

The town takes its name from Der, or Dur, a British word, signifying water, as Derby, Derham, Durham, &c. and the Saxon words Ing, a meadow, and Ham, a dwelling, all which answer to its site.

Pakenham Manor.

Peter de Valoins (to whom the Conqueror granted these lordships) was a great baron of the realm; besides the lordships that he held in this county, at the survey, he held also 12 lordships in Essex, one in Cambridgeshire, and one in Lincolnshire, 17 in Hertfordshire, and six in Suffolk, the head of his honour, or barony, being at Orford: (fn. 5) he married Albreda, sister to Eudo de Bric, dapifer to King Henry I. and founded at his manor of Binham in Norfolk a priory, as a cell to St. Alban's in Hertfordshire, and gave two parts of his tithes here, with lands thereto. Roger de Valoines was his son and heir, and about this time, William de Rudham appears to have held it of this family. Roger had by Agnes his wife, Peter, Robert, Geffrey, John, &c. Peter the eldest, married Gundreda de Warren, (probably of the family of the Earls Warren and Surrey) but dying without issue was succeeded by Robert his brother, who in the 12th of Henry II. certified his knights fees to be thirty, and a third part of one de veteri feoffamento, and four de novo; and by deed sans date, gave to the priory of Binham, the rectory of Dersingham, with 80 acres of land, for the soul of Agnes his mother, with the tithe of all his manor here, the moiety of St. Peter's church in Walsingham Magna, the chantry and land which Humphrey held of him there, the fee of Gunthorp, his land in Well, which Robert Godchild held. (fn. 6) By Helewisia his wife he left a daughand heir, Gunnora, and died in the 30th of Henry II.

Gundreda de Warren, for the soul of her lord, Peter de Valoins aforesaid, released all her right in this church, by deed sans date; witnesses, Giles Hosatto, Roseline Hossatto, William de Toftes, William de Langham, Alexander de Walpole, &c.

Dugdale says (fn. 7) that Gunnora, daughter and heir of Robert de Valoins, married Robert Fitz Walter, a great baron, (in King John's time,) and that in the 9th of King John, she had livery of lands that descended to her, as heir to her uncle, Geffrey; it is probable her first husband was Durandus de Stiel, or Sustely, the King's chamberlain; he and Gunnora his wife, by deed sans date, confirming the abovementioned grant of Robert, of this church, &c. to the priory of Binham;—witnesses, Richard Aguillon, Roger Furneaux, &c.

It appears that Peter de Valoins was dead in the 12th of Henry II. and Gundreda, his widow, was at the King's disposal in marriage, holding lands in capite to the value of 30l. per ann. Robert his brother then inherited the estate, and certified the following persons to be enfeoft in King Henry the First's time of certain fees belonging to the barony of Valoins, viz. Richard de Calne, of six knights' fees and an halt, Agnes de Monte Pincernon of five fees, Ralph de Dalling of two, Philip de Snaring of three parts of a fee, and Geffrey de Snaring of half a fee.

It further appears that Christiana, daughter of the Lord Fitz Walter, and the Lady Gunnora his wife abovementioned, had a considerable interest in this town; she married first William de Magnaville Earl of Essex, and surviving him, married Reymond de Burgo, and answered for 14 fees in the reign of Henry III. and Geffrey de Snaring, was found to hold the fourth part of a fee of her father, Robert Fitz Walter, of the honour of Valoins, which Robert died in the 19th of the aforesaid King Henry III.; and in the 37th of that King, Isabella de Valoins, wife of David Comin, who was one of the coheirs of Christiana aforesaid, died seized of the 8th part of a fee in this town, and William Comyn was found to be her son and heir, then under age, and enjoyed it in the 3d of Edward I. It may be here observed that ladies in their widowhood, often retained the names of their fathers, as Gundreda de Warren, Isabella de Valoins, above.

In the 53d of Henry III. William Comyn granted to John de Pakenham by fine 4l. per ann. rent in this town, Babbingle, and Wulfreton, all that William had in homages, services, &c. of freemen and villains, wards, reliefs, escheats, &c. in those towns, saving only to himself the homages and services of all his tenants living out of the said towns, and that he and his heirs might hold their court for the said foreign tenants in the place where they before did, and saving a pinfold to impound those foreign tenants' cattle in the same place where the old pinfold used to be.

John de Valoins succeeded his brother Robert in this barony, as heir male, and by Isabella his wife, daughter of Sir Robert de Creke, of North Creke, in Norfolk, had Robert his son and heir, who by Roesia, one of the sisters and coheirs of Sir William le Blund, (who was slain in the battle of Lewes in 48th of Henry III.) left Robert de Valoins his son, who took to wife Eve de Criketot, and was lord of Ixworth in Suffolk, as heir to Blund, and had issue two daughters and heirs; Roese, married to Sir Edmund de Pakenham, and Cecily to Robert de Ufford Earl of Suffolk: this lord Valoins died about the 20th of Edward I. and bore argent, three pallets, undee gules, or (as some) - - - paly of six, or and gules.

In the 25th of Edward III. the lady Rohesia, then widow of Sir Edmund Pakenham, settled by fine on Hervey de Pakenham, her son, rector of Berdwell in Suffolk, the moiely of the manor of Ixworth, for life, remainder to the prior of Ixworth, except one penny rent, and the moiety of the advowson of that priory; and Edmund de Pakenham, her eldest son, was found in the said year, to hold at his death, in right, and by the inheritance of Mary his wife, daughter and coheir of Edmund Comyn, (fn. 8) the manor of Fakenham Aspes in Suffolk, and that of this town, Belough, &c. in Norfolk, and Thomas was his son and heir, aged 22; and the said Thomas, on October 10, in the 27th of the said King, paid homage for all the lands belonging to his grandmother Roese, then deceased.

But in the 39th of the aforesaid King, part of this manor of Pakenham's was conveyed by Master William Burcote, Henry de Berney, John Hockham, and William Wilby, trustees of it, to the prior of Bynham; (fn. 9) Sir Adam de Clifton, lord of Frebridge hundred, and of part of this town, consenting thereto, saving to himself and heirs the rent and service of the whole lete belonging to the hundred, and suit of court to his manor, for lands held thereof;—witnesses Sir Richard Walkfare, Sir William de Cayley, William Sharnbourn, Symon Barret, &c. this lordship then including, as I take it, that of Robert Ufford's also.

It appears that the whole of this lordship was not conveyed to the said priory.

In the 4th year of Henry IV. a fine was levied between Thomas Neve, parson of Ereswell, and Sir William Berdewell, Knt. and Margaret his wife (who was daughter and heir of Theobald, or John de valoins and Agnes his wife) of Pakenham-hall, and 60 acres of land in Babingley, called the Ker, conveyed to Neve, from Margaret and her heirs.

In the 3d of Henry VII. Sir John Windham granted by fine the manor of Pakenham-hall to John Fox and Catherine his wife, for the use of John Fox his son; and William Rogers had an interest herein, and held it in capite, in the 1st of Queen Mary, and gave it (as is said) by his last will to the poor of Norwich; and before this in 1425, John Church of Bassingbourn, Esq. and Joan his wife, confirmed to Henry Walpole of Houghton, and William Yelverton, Gent. the manor of Pakenham in Dersingham, which came to them by the death of William Adderton, Esq. her father, and Joan his wife. (fn. 10)

Afterwards it came to the Cobbs of Sandringham, who were lords in the 7th of Elizabeth, and to the Hosts, as may be there seen, and Theodore Host, Esq. second son of James Host, Esq. of Sandringham, is the present lord, and also of Snaring-hall herein mentioned, and has the lete of the town.

Binham Priory Manor.

Peter de Valoins, on his foundation of that priory, when he gave lands and two parts of his tithe to it, gave rise to this lordship, to which gift Hugh de Dersingham and Piccotus his brother were witnesses.

Christiana de Mandeville, Countess of Essex, for the souls health of William de Mandeville Earl of Essex, and of Reymund de Burgo, her late husband, gave 40s. rent per ann. in land and heath, with certain homages, &c.; (fn. 11) and she demised to perpetual farm, a capital messuage, with 60 acres of land here, to the priory; the prior agreeing to pay 17 marks per ann. to the chaplains of St. Nicholas, in the court of Sheering (in Essex) where she then lived. Edward I. granted license to alien the lands to that chapel which Alexander de Baliol, son of Henry, had granted to Christiana Vatoins, his aunt, after the death of the Lady Lora, his mother, and Guy his brother, in exchange for lands in Heyham and Walthamstow, in Essex; Alexander's deed is dated at Ware, Ao. 56 of Henry III. and Dugdale observes that this lord was one of the coheirs to Christiana aforesaid, who died about the 22d of Henry III. (fn. 12)

William, son of William de Derham, gave a marsh called Chesholm, and Thomas Lording of Dersingham, lands; Isabella de Derham held the 3d part of a fee of Valoins, in Henry the Third's time.

Richard de Secford, prior of Binham, and the convent, exchanged lands here with Sir Thomas de Gelham, lying near the chapel of St. Andrew in Dersingham; in the deed is an account of 86 acres, &c. of land, 108 of pasture, 8 acres, &c. of meadow, demean lands belonging to the prior, with rents and customs, by deed sans date; and in the 39th of Edward III. a considerable part of the manor of Pakenham, as has been observed, was conveyed to it.

The temporalities of this priory in this town were valued in 1428, at 4l. 13s. 8d.; at the Dissolution, King Henry VIII. granted it in his 33d year, to Sir Thomas Paston, who had license to alienate it in his 36th year to John Rookwood, and his heirs; but in the following year, Sir Thomas Paston, and Agnes his wife, Richard Heydon, Esq. and Nicholas Rokewood, Gent. conveyed by fine, this manor, with 400 acres of land, 60 of meadow, 200 of pasture, 6 of wood, 200 of marsh, with liberty of a fold in Dersingham, and Inglethorp, with 100s. rent per ann. and the advowson of the vicarage, to Robert Read, Gent. who dying February 27, ao. 1 Mary, Thomas Read his son succeeded, who had license, 17th of Elizabeth, to alienate a messuage, 180 acres of land, with a foldage called Eastling Course, to Christopher Walpole, and the manor to Jeffrey Cobb, Esq. and so came to Host, as above.


So called from a family who held lands of the capital lords, the Valoins, and in ancient deeds are found witnesses to several of their donations. Sir Thomas de Gelham of this town had license to build a free chapel in Dersingham churchyard, in May, 1264, and to appoint a master or chaplain, from Adam de Mota, then prior of Binham; witnesses, Sir William Rustein, Sir Hubert Hacon, Sir John de Babingley, Geffrey de Say, Andrew de Sharnburne, &c. John de Gelham had a quietus in the 56th of Henry III. for two years, when he was to take the order of knighthood, and one of the same name was lord in the 9th of Edward II. William de Gelham seems to be the last of that family, and died in the reign of Edward III. when it was divided amongst his daughters and coheirs.

In the 27th of the said King, a fine was levied between Sir Richard Walkfar, Knt. and John de Reps and Elizabeth, who conveyed to Richard a third part of this manor, and Richard de Brews and Katherine his wife, a moiety of a moiety of the third part, and Ralph de Poley and Margaret his wife, another moiety; and in the 31st of that King, Arnold, son of Arnold de Mounteney, had conveyed to him by fine, from William de Newton, and Elizabeth his wife, the 6th part of the manor of Gelham, which Katherine, widow of William de Gelham, held in dower; and Robert Fromond, and Margaret his wife, conveyed in the 46th year of Edward III. to William de Rudham, parson of Ingaldesthorp, the sixth part, being her inheritance; he was trustee and executor afterwards to Sir Thomas Felton, and bought it for his use.

Sir Richard Walkfare, sometime before his death, gave his right herein to certain feoffees, and on his death it came to Sir Thomas Felton, and the Lady Joan his wife; Sir Thomas died possessed of it, about the 5th of Richard II. then Knight of the garter, and left 3 daughters and coheirs; Mary, first wife of Sir Edmund Hengrave; Sibilla, wife of—de Morlay; and Alianore, (fn. 13) wife of Sir John L'Estrange, of Hunstanton, which Sir John L'Estrange, and his lady, conveyed to Joan her mother, this manor with those of Riborough Magna and Parva, in the 8th of that King by fine. Soon after this, the lady Catherine Brews, a nun, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas de Norwich, had an interest in it.

In 1414, John, son Sir John Curzon of Belagh, released all his right in it to John Clifton, Thomas Lopham, with the manors of Wilby, &c. and Barrow in Suffolk; but Sir John Curson, by his will, dated January 10th, 1471, (fn. 14) gives it to Thomas his son and heir, and Thomas Curson, Esq. by his will, dated November 20, 1511, gives it to John his son, with the advowson of the chapel of St. Mary; and William his son and heir had livery of it on his father's death, in the 38th of Henry VIII.

After this, it came to the Cobbs of Sandringham, and William, son and heir of Jeffrey Cobb, held it in the 21st of Charles I. and so to the Hosts as in Sandringham; and Theodore Host, Esq. is lord, brother to the late James Host, Esq. as his heir male.

Shouldham Priory Manor.

Christiana Countess of Mandeville gave also considerable lands and possessions in this town, to this priory, which was taxed at 3l. 11s. 8d. per ann. in 1428, for their temporalities herein.

At the Dissolution it was granted, May 5, in the 36th of Henry VIII. to John Dethick, Esq. who in the 38th had license to alien it to John Pell and his heirs; and by an inquisition taken at Lynne, October 8, in the 2d and 3d of Phillip and Mary, on the death of John Pell, Gent. of Dersingham, who died April 4, in the said year, he was found to die seized of it, held by the 20th part of a fee, and that of Brookhall held of the hundred of Freebridge, by fealty, and 12d. rent per ann. with 6 messuages, 320 acres of land, 120 of meadow, 40 of pasture, 50 of furze and heath, in Dersingham, Shernburne, and Inglethorp, held of the manor of Pakenham-Hall, by 3d. rent and fealty; and John was his son and heir by Margaret his wife. The aforesaid John Pell, Gent. by his will, dated September 16, 1554, requires to be buried in the church of Dersingham. John, his son and heir, married Margaret, daughter and heir of William Overend, Esq. and dying in 1607, left William Pell, Esq. (fn. 15) his eldest son, who married Elizabeth, daughter of William Drury of Fincham, Esq.; his first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of—Richers of Swanington. Geffrey Pell, his brother, married Cath. daughter of Ed. Read of East Rudham; there was also, as I take it, another brother, Valentine, an attorney at Lynn, who died in 1623.—Jeffrey Pell died in 1615, and left issue John Pell, Esq. who married Ursula, daughter of — Gawsell of Watlington, Esq. by whom (as some say) he had Sir Valentine Pell, &c.; others make Valentine to be son of Jeffrey, who dying in 1658, left by Barbara his wife, daughter of Sir James Calthorp, John Pell, his son and heir, who married Elizabeth, daughter of William Pert of Mountneys, in Essex, who died without issue; and Captain William Pell, who married Anne, daughter of John Drury of Holt House in Leziate, by Lynn, by whom he had John Pell, Esq. who married Anne, daughter of Tho. Wood of Braconashe, in Norfolk, who died 1686, without issue, and Valentine Pell, Esq. who married Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Lane of Walsingham, and on his death, sans issue, gave this lordship by will, to Robert Walpole, Esq. father of Sir Robert Walpole, Knight of the Garter, and Earl of Orford, whose grandson, the present Earl of Orford, is lord of it.

Pell of Dimbleby in Lincolnshire, had a grant in 1594, from Richard Lee, Clarencieux, of these arms; ermin, on a canton azure, a pellican, or;—crest, a pellican standing on a garland, vert, full of roses, or.

There also appears to have been a little lordship called Snaringhall, held of Valoins, in the reign of Henry II. by Jeffrey de Snaring; and Philip, one of the family, in the reign of Henry III. held lands here by the fourth part of a fee, and Jeffrey de Snaring held it in the 33d of Edward I. now in Theodore Host, Esq.

West Hall Manor.

It appears from the Domesday book of the Conqueror, that Eudo, son of Spiruwin, ancestor of the Lords Tateshall, lords of this manor, held by Schett, a freeman, before the conquest, and Rinold held it under Eudo: it consisted of one carucate in demean, and one amongst the freemen, one villain, 4 borderers, one servus, 7 acres and an half of meadow, and a saltwork; four freemen held also 44 acres, whom he took in to make up his manor, and there was also a freeman with 20 acres and half a carucate, and 4 borderers, the whole valued at 20s. per ann. (fn. 16)

The ancient family of the Dersinghams, who lived here, probably held lands of this lordship; Godwine de Dersingham lived in King Henry the Second's reign, and owed that King a mark for the freight of certain ships; Roger and Maurice de Dersingham, had lands here in Edward the First's time; and Richard de Dersingham in the 6th of Edward II. as appears by a fine.

Sir Robert de Tateshale was found in the 31st of Edward I. to have held in capite, one fee, which the prior of Binham held of him; and in the 33d of the said King,— Pakenham held the 3d part of a fee of the heirs of Sir Robert.

Of Sir John de Pakenham, who was steward to the Bishop of Ely, there is a remarkable account, That coming in the Exchequer court where the King (Henry III.) himself was setting, in the 39th of that King, he claimed a monstrous fish taken on the land of one of the Bishop's wards, whose ancestors claimed wreck at sea; the King himself made answer, and ordered him to produce the charter by which he claimed, which being done, it was then asked if the fish was taken on the land or in the sea, and it was answered in the sea, not far from the land, and taken alive, six boats being overturned in the sea before he could be caught; then the King replied, that since it was acknowledged that the fish was taken alive in the sea, it could not be wreck, and he would further consider of it; (fn. 17) and the cause was adjourned to the parliament.

I mention this, as it contains some things worthy of our observation. First, that the King himself sate in the Exchequer at this time, asked questions, gave answers and judgment; secondly, that no person could claim wreck but by charter; and thirdly, that the cause was adjourned to the parliament: quere may be made, if this word parliament occurs in any record before this time.

In records before this, and till the reign of Edward I. the word was Concilium, et Magnum Concilium; but Matt. Paris says this King called Parliamentum generalissimum, ao. 30. p. 696.

In the reign of Edward I. Sir Edmund Pakenham, and the prior of Binham, held the fourth part of a fee of the Tateshales; Robert Lord Tateshale dying a minor in 1303, his inheritance was divided amongst his father's sisters, Emma, married to Sir Osbert de Caley, Joan to John de Driby, and Isabel to Sir John de Orreby; and in the reign of Edward III. the Pakenhams, and the prior of Binham, held the same; and William de Gelham held also a part of this lordship, as his ancestors.

In the 37th of Henry VIII. it was held by Sir Thomas Paston, after by the Cobbs, and Host.—Theodore Host is lord as above

Hugh de Dersingham is said to have 2 sons, Sir Roger de Dersingham, and Picot; Sir Roger had a son, Sir Robert de Dersingham, and a daughter Etheldreda, married to Sir Fulk de Sharnborn.

Brook-Hall, or Old-Hall.

The family of Brokedish were anciently lords of this, under the Tateshalls; Thomas de Brokedish possessed it in the beginning of King Henry the Third's reign; and in the 31st of that King, Rich. le Butler had the custody of lands here, belonging to Stephen de Brokedish.

Isabella de Oldhall held, in the 31st of Edward I. half a fee of the Tateshalls, and Richard de Oldhall of the Cliftons, in Henry the Fourth's time.

Walter Gorges, who died in the 6th of Edward IV. had a part of it; (fn. 18) Sir William Oldhall forfeited his right, being attainted of high treason, and it was granted afterwards to Sir William Capel, lord mayor of London, and ancestor to the Earl of Essex, who died seized of it November 8, ao. 7 Henry VIII. and Sir Giles Capel was his son and heir; he conveyed it, in the 32d of the said King, to John Pell, Gent. by fine, in which family it continued as in Shouldham priory manor, till left to the Walpoles, the Earl of Orford being the present lord.

The town paid formerly 7l. 7s. Od. the tenths. The temporalities of Lewis priory in 1428, 12d. per ann.

The Church of Dersingham was dedicated to St. Nicholas, at first a rectory, in the gift of the Lord Peter de Valoins, who gave 2 parts of the tithes of his fee here; and Roger de Valoins, son of Roger, gave the tithe of all his fee, to the priory of Bynham, by deed, sans date, together with this rectory, and 80 acres of land, &c. for the soul of his mother Agnes, which was confirmed by Pope Clement III. and Urban III. by their several bulls. (fn. 19) In 1229, there was an agreement made between John de Blundevile, Bishop of Norwich, and the prior, on the settling of the vicarage; that the vicar should have 7 marks per ann. to be presented by the prior and instituted by the Bishop; and the prior cited in 1232, before the official of Norwich, the master and brethren of the order of Sempringham, for the tithe of the pasture of the Countess of Mandevile, which was witheld since the master had obtained it, and it was ordered that the master should pay the prior a sum of money for the purchase thereof. This rectory was formerly valued in the King's Books at 38 marks per ann. and the vicarage at 6 marks, Peter-pence 20d. in it was the guild of the Trinity, and the image of St. John Baptist.

On the dissolution of the priory, it was granted to the see of Norwich, where it remains at this time. It was farmed by Thomas Reve, in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, at 16l. per ann. of Bishop Hopton.

The advowson of the vicarage was granted, November 16, in the 33d of Henry VIII. to Sir Thomas Paston, who in the 37th of the said King, had license to alienate it to Robert Read, Gent. and Thomas Reed conveyed it to Jeffrey Cobb, in the 17th of Elizabeth, after to the Hosts, and Theodore Host, Esq. is the present patron.


1306, Mr. Richard de Eggefeld, presented to the vicarage, by the prior, &c. of Bynham.

1329, Maynard de Abyndon. Ditto.

1344, Richard de Wiclewood, ditto; he was rector of Hanwell in Middlesex.

1349, Hugh Smith.

William de Aldby.

1356, Thomas de Keteringham, an exchange for Gerveston, presented by the prior, &c.

1361, Thomas Smith. Ditto.

1380, William Zwed. Ditto.

1405, William Baxtere, ditto; an exchange for a mediety of Ringsted Parva.

1410, John Buxton, ditto; an exchange for South Wotton.

1419, John Cory, ditto; an exchange for Aylmerton.

1421, Alan Smith, ditto; an exchange for Oxnede.

1422, Thomas Feltham. Ditto.

1434, John Geyton. Ditto.

1444, Thomas Ingman. Ditto.

1476, Nicholas Yakesley. Ditto.

1517, Nicholas Edmunds. Ditto.

1522, Adam Elwood. Ditto.

Thomas Ade. Ditto.

1533, Thomas Senian. Ditto.

Thomas Longbodam.

1554, Thomas Rogerson, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1565, Thomas Harnes, by Thomas Rede, Gent.

1570, Edmund Bircham. Ditto.

1595, Henry Mayster, by William Cobb of Sandringham, Esq.

1608, Nicholas Noke, by Lady Mary Cobb, widow.

1638, James Rowse, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1639, Henry Scrimger. Ditto.

1660, William Houghton, by William Cobb, Esq.

1700, Stepen Beaumont, by Elizabeth Host, widow.

1705, Thomas Gill, by James Hoste, Esq.

1729, Reverend Samuel Kerrish, the present vicar, D. D. 1761. Ditto.

Thomas Zarley, clerk, gave, about 1495, his messuage and lands, for the use of this village, on condition that the community of it shall order his exequiœ to be kept twice or thrice in a year for ever. (fn. 20)

Doctor Reynolds Bishop of Norwich settled 20l. per ann. out of this impropriated rectory for ever, on the vicar.

The church is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and is a very large pile of flint, boulder, &c. as most of the churches in Norfolk are, with a large chancel; the nave and two isles covered with lead, and the chancel with tile. At the west end of the nave is a strong four square tower with 5 bells, on that a lantern, with a bell, and a little shaft covered with lead.

On the south side of the chancel is a mural monument, with the arms of Pell, in a lonzenge, ermin, on a canton azure, a pelican vulning itself, or, impaling per pale, azure and gules, three saltires, argent, Lane.

Beneath in a vault rest the remains of Mrs. Elizabeth Pell, lady of Booter's-hall manour, at Cranworth, in this county, widow, and relict of Valentine Pell, Esq; grandson of Sir Valentine Pell, Kt. the only daughter and heiress of Isaac Lane, late of Walsingham, Gent: a lady worthy of imitation, adorned with all the ornaments of vertue, her person and excellent qualifications rendered her greatly esteemed by all that had the happiness of her acquaintance. Her great charity in her life and at her death will cause her name to be had in everlasting remembrance, she departed this life worthily lamented, the 22d of May, in the year of our Lord 1732, to whose pious and lasting memory, Mrs. Margaret Hodgson, her dearly beloved friend and executrix, dedicated this monument. She gave 100l. to this parish, which is laid out for land in the parish, and given to the poor in bread and coals, and the same sum to South Creake, where her father had gave the like sum.

Another mural monument with the arms of Hodgson, in a lozenge —gules, three falchions, in a bordure, - - - - - - - -

This monument is erected to the memory of Mrs. Margaret Hodgson late of Booters-hall, at Cranworth in this county, where she departed this life the 2d of Dec. 1743, aged 67 years, and according to her own desire lies interred in the same vault with Mrs. Eliz. Pell. She gave 5l. per ann. to this parish, to the church-wardens and overseers, to take care of the vault and monuments, and keep them clean, and in repair, and what overplus annually to be distributed to objects of charity living in the said parish, and charged the estate in Cranworth with it.

On an altar tomb, at the east end of the south isle,

Memoriæ Sacrum

Hic jacet Johannes Pell de Darsingham, armiger, quonda' major Linnæ Regis qui uxorem duxit Margaretam, filiam unicam Gulielmi Overend, armigeri, annos 61 fæliciter una vixerunt, sex filios et tresfilias inter se habuerunt, Ille vero cum annos 80 compleverat quinto die Februarij. Ao. Dni. 1607, maturâ senectute mortem obijt, et octavo die ejusdem mensis corpus sepulchro condebatur.

On the sides of it are 6 sons and 3 daughters; the eldest daughter born 1548, the 3d son in 1556, the rest is obliterated; at the east end of it the arms of Pell, impaling Overendargent on a chevron, gules, between three phæons sable, as many frogs, or.

Mors nec metuenda nec optanda est. Epitaphium in eundem.

Mors violenta nolenti est prorsus, nulla volenti; Non queat ille mori, qui velit ergo mori. Vivit non moritur Pellus, mors, hœc sibi vita est, Qui sibi posse dedit, vivere, velle mori. Dicere, qualis erat, vellem, vox faucibus hæret. Dicere fata negant, esse, fuisse dolet. Mortem formidabilem error facit hominum. Huc tendimus omnes.

On a gravestone with brass plates, Pelle impales Richers, argent, three annulets, 2 and 1, azure, quartering in the 1st and 4th quarter, six mullets, 3, 2, and 1; in the 3d a fess between 3 - - - - - -, gules, and this epitaph—

Hac sub terra conditur, quicquid in cælis non est, Gulielmi Pell armigeri, ex duarum Elizabetharum conjugum, Illius et Richersorum de Swannington, hujus ex Drureorum de Fincham, familijs oriund.

Vir fuit egregie cordatus, ex sex fralribus primus natu, ultimus mortuus, 84 annos commoratus in terris, placide transmigravit in cælis 28 die Junij Ao. Dni 1636, flendus suis omnibus, jugiter mihj pientissimo nepoti Johanni Pell.

An achievment,

In memory of—, wife of Dr. Kerrich, and these arms, sable, on a pile argent, a caltrap of the first, Kerrich, and in an escutcheon of pretence, a bugle horn, sable, stringed gules, in base, a chevron of the second, and in chief indented of the 3d, Postlethwait.

At the south-east part of the churchyard there was formerly a chapel now in ruins dedicated to —.

This vicarage is in the presentation of Theodore Hoste, Esq. who has the chiet lordships; the rectory was appropriated to the priory of Binham, and is now in the see of Norwich, and leased out to the Earl of Orford, who also has a lordship here.

The vicarage in the King's Books, is 5l. 6s. 8d. and pays tenths and first fruits.

John Pell, Esq; dyed 1607.—William, his eldest son, died 1635.— John Pell, nephew of William, 16—Sir Valentine Pell dyed in 1658. John Pell, Esq; eldest son of Sir Valentine, 1649.

On his gravestone, Pell impaling - - - - - - - -, on a bend, three mascles; died s. p.

John Pell, Esq; his son died 1636.—Valentine Pell, Esq; brother of John, died in 1690, and gave his manor here to Robert Walpole, Esq; of Houghton.—Eliz. Pell died in 1732.

In the year 1229, there was an agreement between Thomas Blundevill Bishop of Norwich, and the prior of Binham, that this vicar should be allowed 7 marks per ann. the prior to present, and the Bishop of Norwich to institute.

The temporalities of the prior of Norwich, here, were charged at 22d. per ann.

The temporalities of the prior of Lewes at 12d.

Pakenhams Pedigree.


  • 1. Terre Petri Valoniensis.—Dersingham, ten. T.R.E. i lib. ho. p' man. sep. ii car. in dnio. vii villi. et iiii bor. tc. et p'. iiii sed mo. ii et vii ac. et dim. pti. et i car. houm. et i sal. tc. v. r. mo. i tc. iii an. et xviii por. et ccc ov. mo. nichil.
  • 2. In ead. ten. Anant lib. ho. ii car. terre in dnio. p' man. sep. i car. et dim. et xxx villi. et vi bor. et vii ser. et xviii ac. pti. et i mol. et i sal. et i pisc. tc. vi r. mo. v tc. iiii an. et mo tc' xl por. mo. xxi tc. lx ov. mo. de cxlvi.
  • 3. Invasio Petri Valoniensis—In Dersingham, i lib. ho. xii ac. val. xiid. de hoc hab. suus antec. comdatione tautu' Stigand, scca.
  • 4. In ead. ten. xxi lib. hoes. ii car. tre. et xxxv ac. v bor. sep. iii car. vii ac. pti. tot. val. xl sol de h. om'ib; hab. suus autec. comd. tant. et hor. xviii si vellent reced. daret qsq; ii sol. Stigand. de om'ib; soca.—In ead. ii lib. hoes ii car. tre. tc. et p. ii. car. in dnio. mo. i un. ex h. hab. vi lib' os ho'es. et v bor. et alius iiii bor. sep. i car. hom. xi ac. et dim. p'ti. tc. et p' val. xl. sol. mo. xxv.—Tot. val. (cum Appletuna beruita) xv lib. sed tm. redd. xvii lib. et xiii sol. tot ht. i leug. in longo. et dim. in lat. et redd. xvid. de xx de gelto.
  • 5. See in Appleton.
  • 6. Regist. Binham, in Bibl. Cotton.
  • 7. Vol. i. p. 441, Baronage of Engl.
  • 8. Euphemia, his other daughter and coheir, married William de la Beche, and left Elizabeth, married to Sir Roger Elmrugg.
  • 9. Regist. Binham, p. 144.
  • 10. Alias. Attenham.
  • 11. Reg. Binh. fol. 80.
  • 12. Bar. vol. i. p. 524.
  • 13. Alianore is here said to be Felton's daughter; but in the pedigree of L'Estrange, she is said to be daughter of Sir Richard Walkfar, and his coheir; and Joan Lady Felton was Alianore's sister.
  • 14. Regist Betyns Norw. p. 107. Reg. Johnson Norw.
  • 15. William Pell, Esq. married first Elizabeth, daughter of Richers; his 2d, Elizabeth, daughter of Drury, and died s. p.
  • 16. Terr. Eudonis de Spiruwin— Dersingham ten. Rinold. quam ten. Schett lib. ho. T. R. E. p. man. sep. i car. in d'nio. et i car. ho'um sep. i vills. et iiii bor. et i ser. et vii ac. et dim. p'ti. tc. i sal. et iiii libi. ho'es. xliiii ac. Hos rec. p. p'ficiend. suo manero et i libm. ho'em de xx sep. dim. car. et iiii bor. totu' val. xx sol.
  • 17. Com. P'lita Hillar. 39. Hen. III. R. 9.
  • 18. Walter Georges, Esq. had it by the marriage of Mary, daughter and heir of Sir William Oldhall.—See in Fransham Magna.
  • 19. Regist. Bynham.
  • 20. Reg. Multon, Norw. fol. 71.