North Greehow Hundred: Cockthorp

Pages 215-218

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

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In the grand survey, it is called Thorp, but to distinguish it from other towns in Norfolk of that name, gained the additional name of Coke or Cock, setting forth its site to be near some river or water, as Cockley-Cleve, Cokesford, &c.

Part of this town, on the conquest, was held by William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, in right of that see, and was possessed by Bishop Almar, in the time of King Edward, belonging to his manor of Langham, containing one socman and 2 borderers. Another part, consisting of 100 acres of land, and half an acre of meadow, a carucate and an half, &c. held by two freemen in King Edward's reign, was invaded or seized on by Bishop Beaufoe; and William Denvers held it of him; valued before the conquest at 20s. at the survey at 30s. (fn. 1) and Beaufoe held it in fee, not of the see.

In the reign of Henry III. Thomas Bacon was found to hold a quarter of a fee of Hugh Lord Bardolf, Hugh of the Bishop of Norwich, and the Bishop of the King in capite; and Roger, son of Thomas Bacun, was lord, and presented to the church of Cockthorp in 13 - -; in the said year, he conveyed by fine, before William de Bereford, &c. to Richer, son of Ralph de Refham, and Joan his wife, this lordship for their lives, excepting the advowson of the church, and a messuage, called Le-Parsons, on their paying a yearly rent of a rose.

Afterwards it came to Sir Oliver Calthorp, by the marriage of Isabel, daughter of Sir Robert, and sister and coheir of Bartholomew Bacon of Erwarton in Suffolk. The said Isabel, dying in the 12th year of King Henry IV. gave by will, this lordship, with that of Snitterly or Blakeney, to her 2d son, Richard Calthorp, Esq. he married Margaret, daughter of William, and sister and heir of John Irmingland, rector of Stivekey St. John's, who bore, gules, on a fess, between six billets, argent, three Cornish choughs proper. He was buried according to his testament, dated February 1, 1438, and proved in the said month, before the holy cross in the church of Cockthorp; and his last will is dated the same day and year.

It may be proper to observe here, that at first the testament was distinct from the last will, and related to the goods and chattels of the deceased; and the will was another act or deed by itself, and related to the settlement of the lands; the testament was first made, and the will after, and sometimes in the same deed.

Margaret, his wife, survived him, and remarried Robert Mekylfeld, Esq. of Blyford, whom she also survived. Her will is dated February 20, 1478, and proved December 12, 1480, whereby she orders her body to be buried by that of her husband, Richard Calthorp, and a chaplain to pray for her soul, and her husband's in Cockthorp church; gives several legacies to the poor of this town, Sitvekey, Bynham, Langham and Blakeney, 20 marks.

John Calthorp, Esq. was their son and heir, and married Alice, daughter of John Astley, Esq. of Melton Constable in Norfolk.

His testament and last will is dated June 6, 1503, wherein he requires to be buried in the church of Cockthorp, but he was buried in the middle of the chancel of the monastery church of the Carmes at Blakeney, of which he was the principal founder.

Alice, his wife, survived him, and was buried by him, by whom he had Christopher, his son and heir, who in the 34th of Henry VIII. paid 3s. 4d. for a fine and homage of one quarter of a fee in Cockthorp, due for one year: he was also lord of Sturston, in right of Alianore his wife, one of the daughters and heirs of Robert Bernard, Esq. and Anne his wife, daughter and heir of Thomas Pygott, Gent. He died in 1547, and was buried in the church of Cockthorp.

James Calthorp, Esq. his son, married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Garnish, of Kenton in Suffolk, Esq. he covenants July 10, ao. 2 of Queen Mary, that his son Christopher should marry Joan, daughter and coheir of Roger Rokewood of Easton in Suffolk, Esq. and Oliva his wife; she brought to this family Fishly manor in Norfolk, Ilketeshale, Sherlock's in Suffolk, with the moiety of Badley.

The will of James is dated August 22, 1558, wherein he orders a new roof, and the lead of the south isle of this church to be cast anew; himself to be there buried, and the chancel to be tiled, and a new window made there, with him, his wife and their arms, set in it, and their children, and would have a scripture of Latten made over his mother Alianore, daughter of Richard Bernard, Esq. and widow of William Brewes, Esq. and was buried on the north side of the chancel, and proved at the prerogative office, June 14, 1559.

Christopher was his son and heir above mentioned, and admitted a student in Lincoln's Inn. Jane his wife survived him, and remarried Sir Jerome Bowes of London.

The inquisition after her death, is dated July 8, in the 3d of King James I. and died seized of the manors of Euston, Knatshall, Stanton's, &c. in Suffolk, leaving James Calthorp, Esq. her son and heir, 46 years old, who was afterwards a knight, high sheriff of Norfolk in the 13th of King James; he married Barbara, daughter of Francis Bacon, of Hesset in Suffolk, Esq. and died June 15, in the 12th of King James. Barbara his wife survived him, and they were both buried, and had a monument in the church of Cockthorp.

Christopher Calthorp, Esq. was his son and heir, who married about the 44th of Elizabeth, Maud, daughter and coheir of John Thurston, of Brome, in Norfolk, Esq. and died March 14, in the 23d of James I.

On the 16th of February, in the 15th of Charles I. Sir Robert Naunton, master of the wards and liveries, and Sir Benjamin Rudyerd. Knt. surveyor thereof, granted to James Calthorp, son and heir of Christopher Calthorp deceased, livery of Blakeney manor, called Holywell's Hall, and the advowson of the church, with the chapel of Glanford annexed; the manor of Wiveton-Stafford's, the moiety of Netherhall, and Stowe in Stivekey; the manor of Cockthorp and Langham Parva. (fn. 2)

This James sold to Henry Calthorp of Ampton in Suffolk, Esq. this lordship. Sir Henry was his uncle, 2d son of Sir James Calthorp, and an eminent lawyer, solicitor-general to Queen Henrietta Maria, and of her council, recorder of London, &c.

By an inquisition taken at Norwich, September 14, 1637, Sir Henry was found to die seized of this manor, those of Aldby, Blakeney, Wyveton, Acle, &c. in Norfolk, and that of Ampton in Suffolk, on the first of August, in the said year, leaving by Dorothy, daughter and coheir of Edward Humfrey, Gent. James, his son and heir, aged 11 years, who married —, daughter of — Reynolds, sister of Sir John Reynolds of Hampshire.

This James Calthorp is said to have been knighted by Oliver Cromwell: he had 3 sons; James, Christopher, and Reynolds.

James Calthorp, Esq. was lord in 1698, and one of same name, presented to this church in 1743.

In Cockthorp-Hall were these arms, Calthorp impaling Bacon of Hesset,—argent on a fess ingrailed, between 3 esutcheons, gules, as many mullets, or.—Calthorp, quartering Bacon, and Bernard,— argent, two greyhounds indorsed, sable, collared, or.—Pigot, argent, 3 mullets, in bend, between 2 bendlets, gules, and Rookwood, argent, three chess rooks, sable, and ermine, on a fess sable, three crosses pattee, argent; crest a boar's head, azure.

In the reign of Henry III. Peter de Ringstede was also found to hold the fourth part of a fee of the Lord Bardolf, who held of the Bishop of Norwich, and the Bishop of the King, in capite; Adam de Ringsted held the same in the 20th of Edward III. and Thomas de Ringstede, in the 3d of Henry IV.

Thomas de Ringstede, by his will dated April 20th, 1480, orders his body to be buried at the door of the church-porch: and Edmund his son, by his will dated in 1483, was buried in the churchyard: he left William, Thomas, and John, his sons: but this fee was before this possessed by the Calthorpes. Margaret Mekylfeld, by a deed dated in 1468, granted it for a certain term of years, and conditions, to her son, Oliver Calthorp, after which it was to come to her eldest son, John Calthorp, Esq. and his heirs, and so is united with the other part.

The Church is dedicated to All-Saints, and is valued at 5l. paid formerly Peter-pence 9d. ob.; the cellarer of Norwich had a portion of tithe valued at 4s. being two parts of the demeans of Waryn AtteHeyth, containing 71 acres and a half.

In the chancel were the arms of Calthorp, impaling Astley; also impaling Bernard, quartering Pigot. Weaver says, that under a fair tomb lay Christoper Calthorp, without any inscription.


In 1321, Ralph Bacon was instituted rector presented by Roger Bacon of Baconsthorp.

1338, Robert de Thurston, by Sir Roger Bacon, Knt.

1349, John Bacoun, by Thomas Bacon, of Baconsthorp.

1352, William de Crossdale.

1388, John Crispe, by Richard Crispe.

1450, William Nicholas, by Sir Richard Veutre.

1450, Gilbert Skinner. Ditto.

William Kewbee, rector in 1503.

Sir William Brownsmith occurs rector about 1550.

Ralph Same about 1600, succeeded by William Simpson, and held it united with Langham Parva.

Robert Person, rector in 1623.

1743, Henry Calthorp, presented to this and Langham, by James Calthorp, Esq. on the death of Henry Rice.


  • 1. Terra Epi. Tedfordensis ad Episcopatu' p'tinens T. R. E — In Torp. tenuit et i soc. et ii hor. et p'tinetad Langham — De invasionibus ejusdem, de feudo. In Torp ii libi. ho'es. mo. tenet Willm. Denvers eos do Wo. epo. c. ac. t're. dim. ac. p'ti. sep. i car. et dim. T. R. E. val. xx. sol. mo. xxx.
  • 2. See in East Barsham and in Calthorp.