Freebridge Hundred: East-Walton

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.

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'Freebridge Hundred: East-Walton', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9, (London, 1808) pp. 142-148. British History Online [accessed 4 March 2024]

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The principal part of this town was in the hands of Roger Bigot, a Norman chief, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, and was a berewite depending on his lordship of Pentney, of which Hagane (fn. 1) was lord in the Confessor's time: it consisted of one carucate of land, 6 borderers, 3 servi, one carucate in demean, 16 acres of meadow, 3 beasts for burden, formerly of 20 mares, at the survey of 7,20 animalia, probably cows, 30 swine, and formerly 40 sheep, now of 92, and 7 skeps of bees; 10 socmen here held 72 acres, and one carucate; the whole, that is in Pentney, in King Edward's time, was valued at 5l. per ann. and when Bigot received, at the same, but at the survey was improved to 7l. per ann. and Robert de Vaux held it of Bigot; it was with Pentney 5 furlongs long, and 4 broad, paid 8d. gelt; there were 2 churches endowed with 30 acres, valued at 2s. 8d. that is one here, the other at Pentney. (fn. 2)

West Derham Abbey Manor

In the 8th year of Richard I. there was a controversy between Margaret, sister of John Le Moyne, and Roger Buche, about a knight's fee held by them, and which neither of them would allow the other to have, so that they both joined afterwards in giving it to the abbot and canons of West Derham, the abbot giving to each of them 150 marks; and in the reign of King Henry III. the abbot was found to hold it by one fee of John de Vaux. On the death of this Sir John de Vaux, Maud his wife, lady of Surlingham, was found to hold it in the 16th of Edward I. and on a partition of the estate, between the two daughters and coheirs, Maud, who married William Lord Ross, had it assigned to her share; the abbot claimed the privilege of a gallows, assise of bread, free warren, &c. in common with the prior of Westacre, and William de Reymerston, as appears from the rolls of the hundred in the 3d of Edward I.

In the 15th of Richard II. John Charte aliened lands here, and 26 acres at Holkham, to the abbot.

In the 3d of Henry IV. the abbot was found to hold it of the heirs of Vaux, and they of Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, and he of the King in capite; and in the year 1428, the temporalities of the abbot in this town were valued at 12l. 16s. 3d. per ann.

On the 5th of July in the 29th of Henry VIII. Robert Forman, abbot of West Derham, leased to William Baker, yeoman, of East Walton, for 60 years from Michaelmas before the date, the site of the said manor, with all the houses, closes, meadows, demean lands, liberty of foldage, profits, of courts, fines, amercements, wards, marriages, reliefs, eschaets, &c.; and on the 11th of April, King Edward VI. in his 4th year granted it to Thomas Bishop of Norwich, and his successours, and it is held of the Bishop, by lease, at this day. Bishop Scambler leased it for 80 years in 1588, to Queen Elizabeth, at 8l. per ann.

Langley Abbey Manor.

The abbot of Langley had the 3d part of a fee, which was held in the reign of Henry III. by Alexander de Butterwick, of Sir John de Vaux, belonging to Bigot's fee, and on the division of Vaux's estate came, as above shown, to William Lord Ross. In the 21st of Edward I. William Howard, (the founder of the Norfolk family, or a son of him,) purchased of the said Alexander, by fine, (fn. 3) 20 messuages, 1 mill, 500 acres of pasture, and 40s. rent per ann. in this town, Billeney, Ayleswesthorp and Narford; and in the 20th of Edward III. Sir John Howard was found to hold this 3d part of a fee, (late Butterwick's,) of the heirs of Huntingfeld; but in the 5th of the said King, Sir John Howard was found by the escheat-roll, to hold this manor of the abbot, paying 35s. 5d. per ann. and the abbot of John de Ross of his manor of Watton, by the fourth part of a fee; and in 1428, the temporalities of the aforesaid abbot were valued at the said 35s. 5d. q. per ann.

Prior of Pentney's Manor.

Part of that lordship, which Robert de Vaux held of Bigot, at the survey, was also given by him, or some of his posterity, to the priory of Pentney; and in the reign of Edward III. Sir John Howard held of the prior, lands by the service of 7s. per ann.; in 1428, the temporalities of the prior, were valued at 23s. 3d. per ann.

Concealed lands in this town, belonging to this priory, were granted to John Dyer and Henry Cressener, by Queen Elizabeth, April 10, in her 16th year.

The prior also held lands of the Lord Bardolf, in this town, as I shall show under that fee.

Richmond Fee. Or Manor.

Alan, Earl of Richmond, in Yorkshire, had a part of this township conferred on him by the Conqueror, for his eminent services, which Turchill held in the Confessor's time; to this belonged one carucate, 6 villains, and one borderer; there was also one carucate in demean, half a one amongst the tenants, with a mill, valued at 20s. per ann. all Walton is one leuca long, and half a leuca broad, and pays 18d. of a 20s. gelt; Bawsey, and Wike, are included in this measure and payment. (fn. 4) (fn. 5)

In the reign of Henry III. the prior of Westacre held lands of this honour of Richmond, and in his 23d year, John le Chaplein, and others, were sued by Robert de Tateshale, for not doing suit and service to his hundred court of Frethbrigg for these lands: John's plea was that they belonged to the honour of Richmond, and that service was performed for the said lands, in the court of Peter de Savoy Earl of Richmond, at his court in Swaffham.

In the said reign of Henry III. John de Longvile, and his tenants held here, in Middleton, and Hardwick, half a fee of this honour, and Hugh de Verly died possessed of lands held of it, in the 8th of Edward I.; in the 30th of that King, John de Longvile, and Margaret his wife, had a lordship here, with that of Overton Longvile, in Huntingdonshire, and the moiety of Coln, in Bedfordshire. In the 30th of Edward III. Margery de Saltmarsh, was found to hold half a fee here, and in Hardwick, formerly Longviles.

In the 14th of Henry VI. John Duke of Bedford died seized of this fee, as part of his honour of Richmond, and in the 35th of that King, Edmund Earl of Richmond was found to have it, and George Lord Latimer held it under him; and Richard Lord Latimer held it of the said honour, in the 9th of Henry VII.

Westacre Priory Manor.

Ralph de Tony had also two socmen belonging to his capital manor of Necton, who held lands here, which he gave to the priory of Westacre, founded by him; this was valued under the lordship of Necton; the prior also, in the reign of Henry III. was found to hold the fourth part of a fee, of the honour of Richmond, and to have royal liberties in the 3d of Edward I. a gallows, free-warren, assise of bread and beer.

Jeffrey Sutton, aliened in the 6th of Edward II. a messuage, 60 acres here and in Westacre, Wygenhale, Tyrington, Tylney, &c. to the said prior, and in the 5th of Edward III. Sir John Howard was found to hold of the prior lands, by the service of 4s. per ann. the tempo ralities of the priory in 1428, were valued at 10l. 17s. 9d. ob. in lands, a mill, &c.

In the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary, this manor, by the name of Emehouse, or Westacre manor, in East Walton, was granted on the 8th of July to John Eliot, and Alexander Chesnall, to be held in capite; and Eliot, had license to alienate it, in the 5th and 6th of the said reign, to Thomas Gresham and his heirs; and the Lady Ann Gresham, his widow, died possessed of it November 23, in the 39th of Elizabeth, and William Read, Esq. her son, by her first husband, inherited it, being then aged 50.

In 1580, it was valued at 13l. 8s. 8d. per ann. besides the sheep pasture, and the patronage of the vicarage belonged to it.

Sir William Withipole held it in the reign of King James I.

It afterwards was conveyed to Sir Edward Barkham, alderman of London, and lord mayor, in 1621, and so came to Edward Spilman, Esq. as in Westacre, (fn. 6) who was lord and patron, and sold it in 1760, to Philip Case, Esq. of Lynn, who is lord of the whole town.

Hermerus de Ferrarijs had also a part of this township: under the title of invasions, in Domesday, we find that he had seized on 91 acres which 3 freemen formerly held; and Bordin held it under him; to this belonged 9 borderers, with 12 acres of meadow; there was formerly one carucate and an half, but at the survey only one, valued at 9s. 4d. and over these he had not the protection; there was also a moiety of a church, with 15 acres, valued at 2s. (fn. 7)

After Hermerus, it was possessed by the Lords Bardolf, as part of the honour of Wrongey.

In the 2d of Edward II. John Howard and Joan his wife, had 2 carucates of land in this town, Pentney, and Ayles-Thorp, conveyed to them by Richard de Cornwall; this was Sir John Howard, son and heir of Sir William Howard, the judge; which Sir John married Joan de Cornwall, daughter of Richard, and sister of Richard de Cornwall.

In the 37th of Edward III. Sir Robert de Causton was found to hold lands here of the said honour, and William Lord Bardolf had one fee here in Geyton Thorp, Wykes, &c. in the 13th of Richard II. as appears from the eschaet rolls; and the prior of Pentney held lands of Thomas Beaufort Duke of Exeter, lord of that honour in the 5th of Henry VI. Sir Robert conveyed his right to the Howards.

Sir John Howard dying in 1437, left this to Henry Howard, his 2d son, by the Lady Alice, his 2d wife, daughter of Sir William Tendring, with the manor of Stranges, in this town; and by Elizabeth, his daughter and heir, it came by marriage to Henry Wentworth, 2d son of Roger Wentworth, Esq. of Nettlested, in Suffolk, &c. (See in Tyrington.)

Ann, Lady Matrevers, as heiress to the Wentworths, enjoyed it, and in the 11th of Elizabeth, conveyed it to Sir William Dean, her 3d husband, as in Tyrington.

Howard and Strange's Manor.

Ralph de Beaufoe, a Norman baron, had also a lordship in this town, which Bund, a freeman, held in the reign of King Edward, consisting of a carucate of land, and Odarus held it of Beaufoe; 4 villains and 8 borderers, 4 acres of meadow belonged to it, with one carucate in demean, one carucate amongst the tenants; and one freeman held 8 acres of land. It was valued at 20s. per ann. in King Edward's time. (fn. 8)

This lordship assumed the name of Strange's (as I take it) from William le Strange, who held it in the reign of Henry III. by the fourth part of a fee, of the heirs of Beaufoe; but in the 20th of Edward III. Robert le Strange held it of Hubert de Rye: the prior of Castleacre had part of it; and in the 5th of the said King, Sir John Howard was found to hold it on his death, of the aforesaid Roger, by the service of 2s. per ann. and it was valued at 15l. per ann.

William Walton of East Walton had it conveyed to him by fine, in the 21st of Richard II. from William Curson and Maud his wife.

This I take to have been a moiety of it; for in the 26th of Edward III. William Carbonel released to Dame Alice Howard, all his right in this manor, settled on him before, and that his should remain to Sir Robert Howard her son, which seems to have been the other moiety.

In the 13th of Henry IV. a fine was levied between William Walton, querent, and Walter Glemsford and Margaret his wife, of the manor of Stranges, 11 messuages, 480 acres of land, 40 of meadow, 40 of pasture, and 4l. 2s. rent per ann. in this town, &c. conveyed to Walton, on paying 5l. per ann. to Margaret for life.

In the 22d of Edward IV. Henry Wentworth, of Nettlested in Suffolk, died seized of the manor of Strange's, late Howard's, and Howard's manor in Terington, the manor of Cavendish in Suffolk, &c.

But in the 2d of Henry VI. Peter Prior, rector of Heylsdon in Norfolk (being a trustee for it, as I take it) demised it to Alice, widow of Sir John Howard, in fee; and in the 16th of that King, Sir John Howard, senior, died seized of it, leaving it to his grand-daughter Elizabeth, wife to John de Vere Earl of Oxford, and it was in the Oxford family in the reign of King Henry VIII.

The other moiety was in Sir Robert Southwell, who was found to hold it of the Lord Morley, in the 6th of Henry VIII. and Richard Southwell, Esq. was his cousin and heir.

In an account of the estate of that family, it appears that Sir Richard granted it to Sir Thomas Gresham, Knt.

Here was also a lordship granted by King Henry VIII. to Sir Richard Southwell, in the 38th of that King, and after regranted to that King on an exchange for other lands in the said year, December 11, given by the King to Christ's college, Oxford, and held of that college by Sir Edward Barkham, Bart, and after by the Spilmans, his heirs, and now by Philip Case, Esq.

The temporalities of Norwich priory were 10s.

The tenths were 8l. Deducted 33s. 4d.

The Church of East Walton is dedicated to St. Mary, and, together with the chapel of St. Andrew, was a rectory formerly valued at 17 marks. Peter-pence 8d. ob. Afterwards it was appropriated to Westacre priory, and a vicarage was settled; the present valor of which is 6l. 3s. 4d.

The Queen's receiver-general paid, in the 13th of Elizabeth, to the vicar, a perpetual pension of 26s. and 8d. per ann. paid yearly at the King's audit.

In the chapel at the east end, lie several marble gravestones.— On one the arms of the Lord Richardson, or, on a chief, sable, three lions heads erased, of the first, impaling Barkham, argent, three pallets, gules, a chevron over all, or.

In memory of Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Barkham of Southacre, Gent. wife of the honourable Lord William Richardson, baron of Cramond, who died September 28, 1712, in the 54th year of her age.

On another, with the said two impaled coats, an escotcheon of pretence, argent, a pale fusily, sable, Daniel,

In memory of the Honourable William, Lord Richardson, who died March 7, 1719.

The arms of Richardson in a lozenge, with the escutcheon of pretence,

In memory of Elizabeth, second wife of the Honourable William Lord Richardson, who died December 8, 1722, in the 37th year of her age.

On another, Lord Richardson in the first and 4th quarter, and in the 2d and 3d, ermin, on a canton, azure, a saltire, argent, supported by 2 horses, ermin; crest, an unicorn's head, ermin, issuing out of a ducal coronet; the motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.

In memory of the Right Honourable William, Lord Richardson baron of Cramond in North Britain, who died July 28, 1735, in the 21st year of his age.

Also sable, 5 wings in saltire, or; crest, a demy eagle, wings displayed.

Hic jacet Robertus Purland, A. M. coll. Geno. et Caij Cantab. olim alumnos mox vicarius de East Walton, tandem rector de Southacre, vir pietate, pariter ac probitate, et prudentia insignis; pastor vigilantissimus, amicus fidissimus, maritus amantissimus, pater mitissimus qui postquam gregi huic per L. annos, et quod excurrit invigilaverat, tandem obdormivit in Domino Maij 21, 1723.

In the east window the arms of Tony, argent, a maunch, gules.


1322, Robert de Narford instituted to the vicarages of St. Mary and St. Andrew, presented by the prior, &c. of Westacre.

1329, Richard de Crosdale. Ditto.

1347, Clement de Knapeton, (on an exchange for a mediety in Wreningham, All-Saints,) Ditto.

1349, Walter Kemp. Ditto.

1364, William de Banham, (an exchange for St. Matthew's, in Norwich,) Ditto.

1393, Thomas Bulwere. Ditto.

1395, John de Wygenhale, (an exchange for Bodney, St. Mary's,) Ditto.

1414, William, son of Benedict Barber, an exchange for Brunham, St. Clement's. Ditto.

1417, William Smith. Ditto.

1433, Jeffrey Bishop. Ditto.

1458, John Wood. Ditto.

1486, William Hood, or Ode. Ditto.

1505, Jeffrey Baker. Ditto.

1544, Reginald Fawcett, by the King.

1573, James Venables, by Sir Thomas Gresham.

Simon Sillet.

1590, Thomas Hopes, by Lady Ann Gresham, widow.

Andrew Ellis occurs vicar about 1626.

1673, Robert Purland, A. M.

1723, Richard Money, by Samuel Tayler, Esq.

1755, George William Lemon, by Edward Spilman, Esq.


  • 1. Hacone was son of Swain, brother of King Harold.
  • 2. Terra Rogeri Bigoti —Huic terre (viz. Pentney) jacet i bereuuita, Waltuna, i car. tre. semp. vibor. ii ser. et i car. in dnio. xvi ac. pti. iii runc. tc. xx eque. mo. vii semp. xx animalia xxx por. tc. xl ov. mo. Lxxxxii vii vasa. apu. In ead. x soc. lxxii ac. semp. i car. tot val. T.R.E. c. sol. et qu. rec. mo. vii lib. hoc tot. tenet Rob. v qr. in long et iiii in lato. et viiid. de gelto, ecclie xxx ac. val. ii l. et viiid.
  • 3. N. 136.
  • 4. Terr. Alani Comitis — In Waltuna ten. Turchill. T. R. E. i car. semp. vi vill. et i bord. et i car, in dnio. dim. car: hom. et i mol. et val. xx sol. Tota Waltuna, i leu. in long. et dim. in lat. et reddit. xviiip. de xx sol. de gelto.
  • 5. Tra Radulfi de Toenio—In Waltuna ii soc. et e. in p'tio. de Nachetuna.
  • 6. See in Westacre.
  • 7. Invasio Hermeri de Ferraiijs— In Waltuna iii lib. hoes Lxxxxi ac. qd. tenet Bordin. sep. ix bor. xii ac.p'ti. tc. i car. et dim. mo i val. ix sol. et iiiid. et in h. n. comd. dim. ecclesia xv ac. val. ii sol.
  • 8. Terra R. de Bellofago—In Waltuna ten. Bunde lib. ho. T. R. E. i car. t're. mo. ten. Odar. et iiii vill. et viii bor. et iiii ac. p'ti. sep' i car. in d'nio. et i car. ho um. et i lib. ho. viii ac. t're. et val. xx sol.