An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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The Conqueror had a lordship, of which Seiard Bar had a freeman, who was added by Ralph Earl of Norfolk, to the manor of Aylsham, with 30 acres of land; and one villain in Aylsham belonged to it; a bordarer, with one acre, and a socman with one acre; there was also a carucate of land valued in Aylsham; the King had the soc and sac of it, excepting of that part which belonged to Seiard Bar. (fn. 1) Ralph had it of the King, with the manor of Aylsham, but on his rebellion it came again to the Crown, and was in the King's hands at the survey, and Godric was his steward of it.
King Henry II. granted it to Abraham Felmingham; it used to pay half a mark of silver yearly, to Aylesham manor, but after this grant it paid nothing to that, or any other.
In the 34th of Henry III. William, son of Isaac de Felmingham, held it of the King in capite, and died seized of it in the 40th of that King; valued at 40s. per ann.—William de Felmingham was lord in the 14th of Edward I. and claimed view of frank pledge, assise of bread and beer.
Gregory de Felmingham died lord in the 14th of Edward II. it was found that he had a messuage, 46 acres of land, 20 of heath, and 10s. rent belonging to it; in Felmingham, a messuage, 80 acres of land, one of meadow, and 22s. 8d. rent; and having no issue, it came to his sisters and coheirs, &c.
James de Whitwell, who married Alice, one of his sisters, and coheirs, paid to the King, 16s. 8d. relief, for this part, and they paid also, 33s. 4d. for the parts of Christian and Joan, 2 other of the sisters and coheirs which they had. Oliver de la Mow, who married Elizabeth, another of the sisters and coheirs, paid 16s. 8d. for his relief; and James Rightwys, son of Catharine, sister also and coheir; and John, his brother, rector of Felmingham, paid their reliefs.
In the 16th of Edward III. James Rightways was lord.
Cæcilia, widow of William Gunmore, died seized of Isaack's manor, held in capite by the 8th part of a fee; and Simon was her son and heir, aged 50 in the 5th of Edward IV. Simon left it, in the reign of Henry VII. to his son and heir, Richard Gomere.
In the 24th of Henry VIII. Robert Gigges had license to alien it to Edmund Windham, and his heirs; and in the 37th of that King, Sir Edmund Windham conveyed 2 messuages, one curlelage, 30 acres of land, 20 of pasture, and half a rood of wood, to Thomas Pygeon, Gent. and John Pydgeon, had livery of it, in the first of Elizabeth.
By an inquisition taken at Norwich, May 22d, in the first of Elizabeth, Thomas Pigeon, of East-Beckham, Gent. was found to die Octotober, 18, last past, lord of the manor of Isaack's, 10 messuages, 300 acres of land, 16 of meadow, 100 of pasture, 200 of furze and heath, with a free-fold here, &c. and John was his son and heir, aged 30; he was son of Thomas, by Elianor, his wife, daughter of William Berdwell, of West Herling, Esq. John died about the 22d of Elizabeth, and by his wife, Bridget, had Thomas, his son and heir, who aliened it, August 10, in the 14th of James I. to Robert Fielding, clerk, and William Paine, Gent. and on July 4, in the 16th of that King, Thomas Derham, Esq. conveyed it to Sir Samuel Town, Knt.
After this, it came to the Windhams of Felbrigg; and William Windham, Esq. died lord in 1761, leaving his son and heir a minor, lord of East Beckham Isaack's, and East Beckham Marriot's.
William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, at the survey, had a lordship of the grant of the Conqueror, which he held as a lay fee, in his own right, of which a freeman (who held it under the protection or commendation of Almar Bishop of Norwich, in King Edward's reign) was deprived, who had 80 acres of land, with 2 villains, and 5 bordarers, &c. and a socman bad 11 acres and an half of land, with 2 carucates; and there was a church endowed with 2 acres and an half of land. It was made a beruite to the Bishop's manor of Blickling, and was then valued at 7s. at the survey at 12s. was half a leuca long and 4 furlongs broad, and paid 4d. halfpenny gelt. (fn. 2)
Bartholomew de Swafield held lands here, in the reign of Richard I. of the Bishop of Norwich; Richard de Beckham, and the prior of Wayborn, held the 8th part of a fee of Thomas de Felmingham, and he of the Bishop, in the 24th of Henry III. and Peter de Felmingham, in the 3d of Edward I. claimed view of frank pledge, and the assise of bread, &c. the prior of Weyborn in the 20 of Edward III. held it of Thomas de Weston, and he of the Bishop.
Geffrey Aleyn of Cromere, and Christian, his wife, held it of the feofment of Robert Verley, by the fourth part of a fee, and he of the Bishop.
The prior of Waborn was patron of a 3d part, or turn, in the advowson of thise hurch, in 1350, and in the 3d of Henry IV. the prior and the heirs of William Wynter held lands of the Bishop of Norwich.
Roger Bigot held also at the survey 60 acres of land, of which a freeman was possessed in the Confessor's time, with one villain and 3 bordarers, a carucate in demean, and half a one amongst his men or tenants, &c. an acre of meadow; and a socman had 4 acres, valued then at 5s. 4d. at the survey at 10s. (fn. 3)
In the 24th of Henry III. Roger de Beckham had an interest in it, and Peter de Beckham, in the 9th of Edward II. who with Mabel, his wife, settled their lands here in tail, in the 17th of the said King.
Sir Roger de Beckham held it in the 20th and 37th of Edward III. and John Clement of Cromer conveyed to Robert Clere, this lordship, which Clere had also confirmed to him in the said year, by John Gresham, of Holt.
Sir William Paston, the judge, purchased it in 1442, and left it to his son and heir; and Sir William Paston was lord in 1600.
The tenths 2l. deducted 10s.
The church was a rectory, valued at 6 marks, dedicated to —
Two parts of it were appropriated by John de Grey Bishop of Norwich, to Wayborn priory.
In 1316, William Att the Meadow, of Felmingham, was instituted to the third part, presented by Gregory de Felmingham.
1350, William Attemedow, to a third part, presented by the prior of Waborn, On the 19 of June, 1354, William Bishop of Norwich appropriated this third part to the said priory, who before this, had 2 parts appropriated to them, reserving to the Bishop an annual pension of half a mark; no vicarage was settled, so that it was served by a stipendiary curate.
On the 20th of June in the 37th of Henry VIII. this rectory was granted to — Heydon, with lands in this town. William Heydon had livery of it about the 20th of Elizabeth; William Leigh was curate of it in 1603, and certified that there were 30 communicants, and that he served it for 4l. per ann. stipend.
In the 22d of James I. June 1st Sir John Hastings, Knt. conveyed it to Sir Henry Hobart, Ash Wyndham, Esq. patron of the curacy and impropriator, 1742.
In the windows of the church were the arms of Beckham: cheque, or and sable, a fess, ermin; the arms of Astley Fastolf,— and vert, three griffins, segreant, or; gules, a cross, or, bore by Bigod Earl of Norfolk.
Here was the guild of St. Helen, to whom it is likely the church was dedicated.