North Greehow Hundred: Great Snoring

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, 'North Greehow Hundred: Great Snoring', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9( London, 1808), British History Online [accessed 20 July 2024].

Francis Blomefield, 'North Greehow Hundred: Great Snoring', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9( London, 1808), British History Online, accessed July 20, 2024,

Francis Blomefield. "North Greehow Hundred: Great Snoring". An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. (London, 1808), , British History Online. Web. 20 July 2024.

In this section


The Conqueror, on the ejection of Ketel, took possession of this lordship, consisting of 3 carucates of land, one villain, and 22 borderers, 9 servi, 3 carucates in demean, with 3 carucates of the tenants, paunage for 8 swine, 8 acres of meadow, a mill, and 180 sheep: (fn. 1) Godric took care of it for the King, and was steward of it. Thurseford was a beruite to it, and was measured together with it, as I shall shew there. It stands by a little stream or rivulet, called probably in the Saxon age, the Nar or Snar, as Little Snoring does on another, both which streams are soon after united.

How long this lordship continued in the Crown does not appear; that it was in the family of De Burgiloun, in the 41st of Henry III. we find by a pleading, when William de Burgiloun, was plaintiff against Alexander le Sergeant, &c. for disseising him of his common posture in Snoring; and before this, in the 16th of Henry III. Richard, son of Geffrey de Esnaringes owed 40 marks for 2 knights fees, which Robert de Burguillon disseized him of, Robert granting to Geffrey 18 of them.

In the 3d of Edward I. William de Berguillon was found to hold this town and Thursford, of the Lord Bardolf, valued at 30l. per ann. by the service of 20s. with half a fee in Hindringham, the fourth part of one in Felbrig, and the third part of one in Kerdeston; and Walter was his son and heir, under age. And in the 14th of that King, Robert de Burgolyon claimed the assise of bread and beer, and died about the 20th of that King, then a knight.

This Sir Robert had by Sarah his wife, a son Robert, against whom, Walter, prior of Binham, brought his action about right of common, in the 24th of Edward I. Sir Robert Burgolyon was lord in the 15th of Edward II. and dying then possessed of a moiety of this lordship, Sarah his mother held the other moiety as part of her dower; and Hugh was his son and heir, aged 12 years. And in the following year on the death of Sarah his grandmother, he had the whole manor.

In 1322, the Lady Joan de Burgolyon presented to the rectory of this church. Sir Ralph Shelton of Shelton in Norfolk, was his cousin and heir, and presented to this church, as lord, in 1353, was at the battle of Cressy, &c. and buried in the church of Shelton, in 1375. Sir Ralph, his son, was lord in the reign of Richard II. and William Shelton and Catharine his wife, (fn. 2) daughter of Simon Barret, presented in 1420. This William was brother to Sir Ralph. In 1432, the King presented, on the minority of Ralph, son and heir, of John Shelton, Esq. and the said Ralph presented in 1459; he married Margaret, daughter of Robert Clere of Ormesby, by whom he had Sir John Shelton, his son and heir, who died lord of this town and of Thursford, in 1539; by Anne his wife, daughter of Sir William Boleyn of Blickling; he had Sir John his successour, who by Margaret his wife, daughter of Henry Parker Lord Morley, left Sir Ralph Shelton, who had livery of this lordship, with those of Thurston, Shelton, &c.

Thomas Shelton, Esq. was son and heir of Sir Ralph, by Mary his wife, daughter of Sir William Woodhouse of Waxham; he was gentleman porter of the Tower of London, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Flowerdew, a baron of the Exchequer, and was succeeded in the inheritance by his brother, Sir Ralph Shelton, who married Dorothy, daughter of Sir Robert Jermyn, of Rushbrook in Suffolk: he was killed at the isle of Rhé in France, in 1628, and died s. p.

This Sir Ralph sold this lordship, with that of Thursford, about the year 1611, to Thomas Richardson, Esq. serjeant at law, afterwards lord chief justice of the King's Bench.

This sale gave rise to a joke or pun, that is said to be made by Sir Ralph, which was, "That he could sleep without Snoring."

Sir Thomas Richardson, son of the lord justice, enjoyed it.

In 1695, James Ward, Gent. of Hindringham, was lord, who gave it with Thursford-Schelton's, to Mr. Nun of Thorpland, who held it in 1715.

The tenths were 5l. Deducted 13s. 4d.

The Church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and is a rectory, anciently valued at 40 marks, and paid Peter-pence, 16d. ob. The present valor is 24l. in the King's books, and pays first fruits and tenths.


William de Calthorp was rector about the reign of Edward I.

Michael le Brett, occurs rector about 1292.

1307, William de Barsham instituted, presented by the Lady Joan de Burgolioun.

1353, John Kentford, by Sir Ralph de Shelton.

1354, Thomas Rous, by the King, who recovered it from Sir Ralph.

1369, John de Freton, (he was archdeacon of Norfolk, &c.) by Sir Ralph Shelton, junior.

1375, John Granew, by Sir Edmund de Thorp, &c.

1413, John Tolle, by Sir Thomas Erpingham, &c.

1420, Mr. Simon Barret, LL. B. by William Schelton, Esq. and Catherine his wife.

1432, Stephen Multon, by Catherine, relict of William Schelton, Esq.

1432, Mr. Thomas Frynge, by the King, on the minority of the heir of John Schelton, Esq. rector also of Winterton.

1444, Mr. Richard Appulby, LL.B. by the King.

1444, Thomas Brigg, by the King.

1459, John Fowler, by Ralph Shelton.

1467, Thomas Smith. Ditto.

1484, Mr. Symon Driver, decretor, doctor, by the feoffees of Ralph Shelton.

1517, Mr. Richard Schelton, by Sir John Shelton.

1539, William Rawling. Ditto.

1546, Mr. John Willoughby, M.D. by Anne, relict of Sir John Shelton, and Sir John Shelton.

1554, Hugh Swyfte. Ditto.

1554, Robert Pyerson. Ditto.

1572, Richard Gawton, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1577, Richard West, by Thomas Dalymond, hac vice.

1610, Robert Pearson S.T.P. (he was archdeacon of Suffolk) by Sir Ralph Shelton.

1639, Edward Debbs; he was sequestered, and was forced to fly to the King's army, and

David Anderson, an usurper, was in possession in 1655.

Thomas Chapman occurs rector in 1662.

Thomas Verdon, S.T.B. by Samuel Verdon, Gent.

About this time Robert Heblethwayte is said to be rector.

1690, Nathaniel Rothwell, by Sir Christopher Hatton, Bart.

1710, Thomas Langford, S.T.B. by the master and fellows of St. John's college, Cambridge.

1734, Robert Leake, presented by St. John's college, Cambridge.

1762, Andrew Alvis. Ditto.

The Lord Richardson sold the advowson to Samuel Verdon, Gent. who gave it to his half brother, the Reverend Thomas Verdon, fellow of St. John's college, and rector of this church, who sold it to the said society, and there is a manor belonging to the rectory.

The church has a nave with a south isle, and chancel covered with lead; at the west end is a square tower, with a spire, covered with lead, and one bell, with a saint's bell.

In the chancel, north of the communion table, lies a gray marble, with the portraitures of a knight and his lady in brass, and in his coat armour; at his feet, a lion couchant, at her's a dog; on the upper part of the stone the arms of Shelton, azure, a cross, or, impaling Burgolyon. quarterly, or and gules, in the 2d and 3d quarter, three annulets, argent; also Shelton impaling argent, a cross moline, gules, Uvedale, over all a bend, sable; at their feet, Burgolyon, impaling per pale, or and gules, a lion passant, Plaiz; argent Burgolyon and Shelton.

The legend round the verge

Orate p.a'i'ab; Radulfi Shelton, militis, et Domine Alicie uxoris ejus, filie Thome de Uvedal, militis, qui quidem Radulfus, obt. xxv die Apr. Ao. m. cccc. xxiiii.

Here also was an altar tomb, with a marble stone thereon, and the portraitures of Sir John Heveningham and his lady, Alice, daughter of Sir Ralph Shelton; under him were 3 sons, and under her two daughters, all which are reaved and obliterated.

Against the north wall, a neat marble monument, thereon a man and his wife kneeling at a foldstool, in their ruffs.

Memoriœ sacrum—Hic jacet Robs. West, S.T.P. (et Margareta uxor ejus) qui natus fwt apud Louthe in comitat. Lincolniœ, qui rector fuit hujus ecclesie annos 30, et rector eccles. de Fakenham 33 annos, obt. 24 die Jnnij Ao. D'ni. 1610, annoq; œtatis 74.

Against the south wall, a mural monument ornamented with books, lamps, festoons, arms, &c.

Hicjacet sepullus Edwardus Fenn de Houghton, ecclesiœ Christi presbiter, et aliquot annis hujusce curatus, With. et Mariœ generosi filiusAnnis hunc florentibus abstulit alropos, et alter fit libitinœ triumphus, cujus prada jacet, antea duobus brevi fratribus ademptis eodem pharetrœ telo: variolis nempe undrq; hunc grassantibus; omnium festina funera, hen miraq; strages invidœ mortis huic fatalis domo Hic familiœ perquam crescens gloria, cui fuit spes ingens et decus: fortums fortunatus quas brevi reliquit, hunc imminente fato locum sepullurœ designavit. Ipse perquam diligens, multamq; parochianis dilectus, munere sacro, sive pastoris officio fuerat perfunctus: cœlebs hinc adibat beator. scdes. Obt. 21 Feb. 1710, œtat. 33.

On a monument, and on a stone near it on the pavement, are his arms; argent on a fess, azure, three escallops of the first, within a bordure engrailed of the 2d;—crest, a plume of three ostrich's feathers, argent.

In a south window of the chancel, were Kerdeston's arms, impaling Burgolyon, Shelton impaling Barret, argent, a fess between three mullets, sable; and Loudham, argent, three escotcheons, sable.

In many windows about the church were the arms of Sir Ralph Shelton, impaling Uvedale, who were probably the builders of or benefactors to the present church, in the reign of Henry VI.

In the window was also the effigies of Sir Thomas Erpingham in armour, with his arms, and crest, a plume of ostrich's feathers, argent, issuing out of a coronet, gules, with his motto, Pinche, or Pinke; and in the steeple window, those of Elmham, Calthorp, Uvedale, &c.

Here were the guilds of All-Saints, St. Margaret, St. Jahn Baptist, and the chapel of All-Saints

Sir Stephen de Hales, &c. aliened to the prior of Walsingham, lands and tenements in this town, Warham, Walsingham, &c. in the 8th of Richard II. and their temporalities in 1428, were 6s. 10d.

In this town was also a little lordship called Snoring's, held by a family of that name. In the 13th of Edward IV. a fine was levied between Edmund Beding field, Esq. and Robert Clere, Esq. querents, John Snoring and Juliana his wife, deforciants, of the manor called Jeffrey Snoring's manor, and lands in Snoring Magna and Parva, &c. conveyed to Robert Clere from the heirs of Juliana.


  • 1. Terra Alani Godric. servat.— Snaringa ten. Ketel T. R. E. mo. rex. iii car t're t'nc. et mo. i vill. et xxii bord. tc. viiii ser. mo. viii t'nc. iii car. in d'nio. p. et mo. ii sep. iii car ho'um. tc. et mo. silva viii por. viii ac. p'ti. i mol. sep. xxx por. p. et mo. clxxx ovs.
  • 2. William Shelton died lord in the 9th of Henry V. and John Shelton, Esq. in the 9th of Henry III. as by the Escheat Rolls.