Freebridge Hundred: East-Winch

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

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Francis Blomefield, 'Freebridge Hundred: East-Winch', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9, (London, 1808), pp. 148-154. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Freebridge Hundred: East-Winch", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9, (London, 1808) 148-154. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Freebridge Hundred: East-Winch", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9, (London, 1808). 148-154. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section


In the book of Domesday is called Winic, from Win, which in the British language signifies water, and Ic or Ise, a general name, in these parts for any stream or rivulet, the inhabitants of this part of the Heptarchy, or East Angles, being called by the Romans the Iceni; also Wininc, as seated in a wet meadow.

The principal lordship at the survey was in the Crown. Godric farmed it, or had the care of it for the King. (fn. 1)

In King Edward's time it was a beruite to Sporle, (a considerable lordship belonging to the Crown, in the hundred of South Greenhow,) and contained 2 carucates of land, with 11 villains and 24 acres acres of meadow, 2 carucates in demean, &c. and one amongst the tenants. When Godric entered on it he found 24 sheep, 9 swine, &c. and a fishery; 12 socmen belonged to it with 54 acres of land, and 8 acres of meadow, and there was always one carucate and an half, with 10 acres of meadow; the whole was valued in Sporle, and was half a leuca long, and 4 furlongs broad, and paid 8d. to a 20s. gelt.

Grancourt's Manor.

This manor, with Sporle, which was royal demean, was given (as some say) by King Edward to Ralph Waker or Gauder, Earl of Norfolk, (but Dugdale more truly supposes him to be of Britany in France, and to be made Earl by the Conqueror,) and was taken as a beruite or lordship of Sporle.

On his rebellion, it is certain, if he ever was in possession of it, (which does not clearly appear,) it was forfeited to the Conqueror, and after the making the book of Domesday, was granted by the Conqueror to Alan, son of Flaald.

The first that I meet with upon record to have been lord after this, is Sir Ralph Le Strange, who lived in the reign of Henry II. and gave the rectory of this church to the priory of Carhow by Norwich, which was after appropriated to that house, by Roger Sherwing, Bishop of Norwich.

In the 4th of King John, Philip de Burnham and Emme his wife, (one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir Ralph) impleaded Fulk D'Eiry and Maud his wife, another daughter and coheir of Sir Ralph, for a moiety of this town, and messuages here, in Litcham and Ringsted.

Alan, son of Flaald, was lord of Mileham, and ancestor to the Earls of Arundel, under whom the family of Le Strange held many lordships, and of these Earls: the Howards, afterwards lords of this manor, were found to hold it.

Sir William de Calthorp, who married Cecilia, daughter of Philip de Burnham, sister and coheir of William de Burnham, had a right herein; and in the 45th of Henry III. they granted it by fine to William de Grancourt, and his heirs, to be held of them; and Walter de Grancourt, son of William, was lord in the 14th of Edward I.

William Howard purchased it of Thomas de Grancourt, in the 26th of that King; and in the 28th of the said reign, 2 messuages 4 carucates and 60 acres of land, 50 of meadow, with 6 marks per ann. rent, in this town and Middleton, were settled by fine of Robert de Shuldham, in Easter term, on the aforesaid William, and Alice his wife.

This was Sir William Howard, the famous judge, founder of the noble family of the Howards, ancestor to the Dukes of Norfolk, &c. It appears that he resided here in the 34th of the aforesaid King, from the accounts of the chamberlains of Lynn, in the said year, when several presents were sent to him and his lady, from the corporation, for his good services, viz.

Item in uno carcos. bovis misso D'ne Alice Howard usq; Winch vi sol.—It. in vino p. duas vices miss. D'no Willo. Howard cum duobus carcos. vitul. et uno scuto apri xiii sol. viiid.—It. in duob; salmon. miss. D'no. Willo. Howard vigil. pasche xi sol.

This Sir William was found to hold it by the fourth part of a fee, of Richard Earl of Arundel.

He was an eminent lawyer, and before he was a judge, a counsellor retained by that corporation, with an annual pension.

In the 5th of Edward III. Sir John Howard, senior, was found to hold of Hamon L'Estrange the manor of East Winch, by the fourth part of a fee, valued at 30l. per ann. In the 20th of Richard II. Sir John Howard resided here, and by Elizabeth daughter and sole heir of John Howard, son and heir of Sir John Howard, it came by marriage to John Vere, Earl of Oxford, who had livery of it in 1437. This Earl was beheaded in 1460, and Elizabeth his widow settled it (being her own inheritance) in trust, on Richard Duke of Gloucester, for her and her heirs; and on the death of her grandson, John Vere, the 14th Earl of Oxford, without issue, it was assigned to John Nevil Lord Latimer, and to Sir Anthony Wingfeld, by the marriage of Dorothy and Elizabeth, two of the sisters and coheirs of the said Earl; the Wingfelds parting with their moiety to the Nevils, Dorothy, a daughter and coheir of John, Lord Latimer, who died in the year 1577, brought it by marriage, to Thomas Cecil Earl of Exeter, eldest son to William Cecil, Lord Burleigh; and the said Thomas, and Sir Richard Cecil, aliened it to William Barnes, Esq. in the 17th of King James I. April 20, (son of Edward Barnes, Esq. of Soham in Cambridgeshire;) he married first Thomasine, one of the daughters of Richard Hovell, Esq. of Hillington in Norfolk, and his 2d wife was Thomasine, daughter of Owen Shepherd, Esq. of Kirby Bedon in Norfolk, by whom he had 2 sons, William Barnes, Esq. and Owen Barnes, town clerk of Lynn, who died single, and was buried at East Winch, in 1670, &c.

William, the eldest, died at East Winch, March, 16, 1661, and left by Anne his wife, daughter of Thomas Coppin of Marketcell, in the parish of Caddington in Bedfordshire, Tho. Barnes, Esq. who married Mary, alias Isabella, daughter of Sir John Griffith of Tilbury Fort in Essex, widow of Will. Langley, Esq. by whom she had children, who dying in their infancy, the said Thomas Barnes gave it at his death to his wife and to her son William Langley, Esq. 2d son of William Langley, Esq. her first husband.

The said Thomas Barnes had a brother, Edward Barnes of East Carleton in Norfolk, Gent. who married Lucy, daughter of Nicholas Barber of Fressingfield in Suffolk.

William Langley, Esq. (father of William, who was lord of this town by the grant of Thomas Barnes, Esq. (was eldest son of Sir Roger Langley, Bart. of Sheriff - Hutton in Yorkshire, and died before his father in 1689, leaving by his wife aforesaid, daughter of Sir John Griffith, several sons.

Roger, the eldest, succeeded his grandfather in 1698; William, the 2d son, was lord of this manor, and left by Margaret his wife, daughter of— Sutton of Barbadoes, Esq. an only daughter, and was succeeded in this lordship by Thomas Langley, Esq. his younger brother; and in 1716, on the death of his eldest brother, Sir Roger was heir to the honour, and a baronet. He married —, daughter of Captain Robert Edgeworth, of Langwood in the county of Meath in Ireland, and had issue 2 sons and 2 daughters, and was living in this town in the year 1720, much reduced, and in a state of poverty.

After this, it was possessed by Mr. Cotton, of Cutler's Hall in London, attorney, and was mortgaged to Archibald Hutchingson, Esq. whose widow possessing it in 1762, Sir John Tyrrell. Bart. of Essex, (heir to the Cottons,) has obtained a decree in chancery for a redemption.

Another part or moiety of this manor of the King's, held by Godric, came to Fulk d' Eiry, by Maud his wife, daughter and coheir (as I have observed, of Sir Ralph L' Estrange, and was held by him in the fourth of King John.

It was possessed by Jeffrey de Yry or D'Eiry, in the 6th of Henry III. when a fine was levied before Hubert de Burgh, chief justice, Martin de Pateshul, Stephen de Segrave, Thomas de Heydon, Hugh Ruffus, and Fulk Baynard, the King's justices, between the said Jeffrey and Margaret, prioress of Blackburgh, about the course of a certain water here, which the prioress had diverted to the damage of Jeffrey's mill, being compromised on an agreement about opening the sluices of the said mill.

About this time William de Bellomonte is said to hold a quarter of a fee, and William Constable had also some interest in this town, as appears from a pleading in the 34th of Henry III. His estate was seized in the 49th of the said King, he having been in the battles of Lewes and Evesham on the part of the barons, which was after restored to him.

In the 13th of Edward I. June 2, a grant of free warren in this lordship, in Gedney and Wynesley in Lincolnshire, in Burton Constable, Pagle, and Holm in Yorkshire, was passed to Simon Constable.

Pentney Priory Manor.

Roger Bigot had the grant of a lordship, in this village, from the Conqueror which Guerd, a freeman, King Harold's brother, possessed in the days of the Confessor containing 60 acres of land, and 11 of meadow, with 6 villains, 3 borderers, and 2 carucates valued formerly at 40s. at the survey at 60s. and Robert de Vaux held it of Bigot. (fn. 2)

Roger Bigot was ancestor of the Bigots Earls of Norfolk; and Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk gave it to William de Hastings, steward to King Henry II. (fn. 3) on his marriage with Margery his daughter, who then became the capital lord; and was granted about the year 1250, with the consent of Sir Nicholas de Hastings, to the priory of Pentney, by William, or John de Vaux; and in the 16th of Edward I. John de Vaux was found to die seized of one fee here and in Geyton Thorp, held of him by the prior of Pentney. See in Geyton Thorp.

In 1428, the temporalities of this convent were valued at 8l. 18s. 2½d. q. per ann. King Henry VIII. at the Dissolution, granted it February 14, in his 29th year, for a certain term of years, to Thomas Earl of Rutland, and John Dethick, Gent. farmed it of the said Earl, at 10l. 2s. 5d. per ann. King Edward VI. in his fourth year, April 11, gave it to the see of Norwich, and it is held at this time by lease, of that Bishop.

It is said to be called in the grant of King Edward VI. Grancourt's manor, lately belonging to the priory of Pentney, but without any reason, as far as I have seen, and was leased to Queen Elizabeth, in 1588 for 80 years, by Dr. Scambler, Bishop of Norwich, at 10l. 7s. 6d. per ann.

Ralph de Tony had also two socmen, who held 8 acres. (fn. 4)

In the 12th of Edward II. Alicia, widow of Henry, son of Hugh de Narburgh, conveyed messuages and lands here to John de Acre and Ellen, his wife, by fine.

Hermerus de Ferrarijs had seized on two freemen, who had 30 acres, and Bordin held it of Hermerus, with half a carucate, and 2 acres of meadow, valued at 15d. and of these he had not the protection, or commendation: Stigand the Archbishop had the soc. (fn. 5)

Hermerus was lord of Wirmegay, and ancestor of the Lords Bardolf: Margaret Atte-Drove, and her parceners, held lands here, in the reign of Edward III. as appears from a roll of the honour of Wirmegay.

The temporalities of Flitcham priory were valued in 1428, at 11s. per ann. and of Sporle at 16s.

The tenths were 3l. 13s. 4d. and the town in old writings is sometimes called Pedders Winch.

The Church is dedicated to All-Saints.

In the chancel east window are the arms of Vere Earl of Oxford, of Howard, Vere and Howard impaled, also p. pale, or, and gules, a lion passant, argent, Plaiz.

A gravestone,

In memory of Mr. Edward Smith, vicar 24 years, who died June 16. 1715, Ao. œtat. 66.


In memory of Catherine and Mary, daughters of Edward Smith, vicar, and Catherine his wife: Mary died July 27, 1709, œt. 9: Catherine, July 31, 1709, œt. 13.

O mihi post nullos Julj memorande sodales.

Also another

In memory of Edmund Dey, sometime patron of the vicarage of this place, here interred, 1667,

Against the north wall is a mural monument of marble, with the arms of Barns, argent, two bars, counterembattled sable, in chief, three pellets.

Here lyeth under the foot of this wall, the body of Owen Barns, Gent. third son of William Barns, the elder, of this place, Esq; after he had lived the space of 52 years; changed this life for a better, 1670.

Quis sim, nosce cujus caro putrida, nil nisi vermis, Quisquis, es, hoc de me sit tibi scire satis.

On the north side of this chancel, is the old chapel and burialplace of the Howards, dedicated to St. Mary, as appears from the will of Sir Robert Howard who died in 1388, and was here buried according to his desire; in Weaver's time his enarched monument against the south wall of the said chapel, with some of the escutcheons wherewith it was ornamented, were to be distinguished, and this part of the epitaph remained:

=== a'iab; Dni. Robti. Howard, et Margarete, uxoris sue, (fn. 6)

But this part of the epitaph, with the shields and arms, is defaced, and great part of the monument itself destroyed many years past; also the two grave-stones mentioned by him, and the effigies of one of the Howard family, in the east window, (the founder of the chapel) have met with the same fate.

This chapel, in Weaver's time, was much defaced, the lead that covered it being taken off and sold, but was then repairing by Thomas Howard Earl of Arundel and Surry, and at this time is in a worse state than in Weaver's.

Sir Robert Howard, abovementioned, married Margaret, daughter and coheir of Robert Lord Scales, who was buried by her husband: they resided, and died in this town, and it is probable that this chapel was erected by Sir William Howard, the judge, who (as I have observed) was lord, and resided here with his family, where it is likely, he and others of the family were interred.

On the west wall of this chapel is a neat monument of marble, with the arms of Barns, impaling Shepherd, argent, on a chief, gules, three Danish hatchets, or; and Barns impaling Hovell, sable, a crescent, or.

Near unto this place lyeth the body of William Barns, Esq. son of Edward Barns, of Soham in Cambridgeshire, Esq. who first married Thomasine, daughter of Richard Hovell, of Hillington, Esq. by whom he had 5 daughters, after whose death he took to wife Thomasine, the daughter of Owen Shepherd, of Kirby, in this county, Esq. and (removed his seat to this place) had by her 5 sons and 8 daughters, and did for many years, with great prudence and fidelity, serve his king and countrey, in the office of justice of the peace, at length, such was the iniquity of the times, that loyalty was esteemed a crime, when not allurements, or threats, from him who usurped the highest power, could seduce him from his constant adherance to his abandoned prince, and the persecuted church of England; he retired to a private life, devoting himself wholly to the service of God and religion, and peaceably departed hence in the 77th year of his age, 1657, expecting a joyful resurrection. To whose memory Frances Stanton, his second daughter, out of her tender love and dutiful affection, erected this monument. Semper Idem.

The church was anciently a rectory, valued at 10 marks, and 3s. 4d. and paid Peter-pence 11d. but being granted to the priory of Carhow, and appropriated to that house, (as is abovementioned,) by Roger Skerwing Bishop of Norwich, a vicarage was then settled and endowed in the patronage of the said priory, valued at 40s. per ann. the prior of Sporle had also a portion of tithes valued at 16s. per ann.

The present valor of this vicarage is 8l. 3s. 9d. and is discharged of first fruits, &c.


1313, Martin de Sandringham, instituted vicar, presented by the prioress, &c. of Carhow.

1323, Walter de Claver. Ditto.

1323, Martin de Sandringham. Ditto.

1338, William de Oky. Ditto.

1338, Reyner de Eastwynch. Ditto.

1349, Robert Pratta. Ditto.

1349, Henry Fleye. Ditto.

1354, William de Blickling. Ditto.

1360, Thomas Hannok. Ditto.

Robert occurs, Ao. 9 Richard II.

1423, John Bishop. Ditto.

1462, John Cappe. Ditto.

1466, William Bathcome. Ditto.

1467, John Cappe. Ditto.

Thomas Boteler, vicar.

1494, John Furnes. Ditto.

1506, Thomas Quarles.

1520, Thomas Purriance. Ditto.

John Moor, vicar.

1557, Reginald Fawet, by Anthony Guybon, Gent.

At the dissolution the impropriate rectory, with the patronage of the vicarage, was granted in the 30th of Henry VIII. to Sir John Shelton, and by Richard Catlyn and Ursula his wife, was conveyed by fine to Anthony Guybon, Gent. with a foldcourse thereto belonging, in the 6th of Edward VI. and Anthony had license to alienate it, in the 21st of Elizabeth, with 6 messuages, &c. to William Guybon, and John Smith.

In 1561, John Grene, presented by Anthony Guybon.

1566, John Balsham. Ditto.

1566, Martin Harrison. Ditto.

1576, Edward Wells, by the Queen, by lapse.

1586, Edmund Wells, by William Guybon, Esq.

1588, Nicholas Brice. Ditto.

1588, Thomas Hopes. Ditto.

1590, Thomas Hopes. Ditto.

1592, Sampson Hopes, by Robert Astyn, Gent.

169-, Edward Smith, who died, 1715.

1716, James Everard, collated by the Bishop, a lapse.

1722, George Shuckburgh, died vicar 1733.

1733, John Lloyd by John Cotton, Esq.

1733, Henry Burgh. Ditto.

Thomas Robotom.

Charles Phelps.


  • 1. Terr. Regis qua'. Godricus servat. — In East Winic ii car. t're. te'pr. regis E. beru tr in Esparlea semp. xi vill. et xxiiii ac. p'ti. tnc. ii car. in d'nio. p. i. et mo. semp. i car. ho'um. quando Godric recep. hoc man. inven. xxiiii ov. et ix por. et mo. similit. et i pisc. Huic t're jacent semp. xiii soc. liiii ac. t're. et viii ac. p'ti. semp. i car. et dim. et x car. p'ti. hoc totu'. apptiat. e. in Esparlai: tota ht. dim. leu. in long, et iiii quar. in lat. et reddit viiid. de xx sol. de gelto.
  • 2. Terr. Rogerj Bigoti—East Wininc, i lib. ho. Guerd. T. R. E. lx ac. tre. et xi ac pti. sep. vi villi. et iii bor. sep. ii car. tc. val. xl. sol. mo. lx. hoc. tenet Ro. de Val.
  • 3. See in Pentney and Geyton Thorp.
  • 4. Tra. Radulfi de Toenio—In Estuunic ii soc. viii acr. tre.
  • 5. Invasio Hermerj de Ferrarijs— In Estuuinc ii lib. hoes xxx acr. qd. tenet Bordin. sep. dim. car. ii ac. pti. val. xvd. et in his n. comd. Stigandus soca.
  • 6. Funeral Monuments, p. 842.