Happing Hundred: Higham-Potter

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

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'Happing Hundred: Higham-Potter', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9, (London, 1808) pp. 312-314. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol9/pp312-314 [accessed 11 April 2024]

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This village is not mentioned in the book of Domesday being included and accounted for under the abbot of Holm's lordship of Waxham, or Ludham, and was given by King Canute to that abbey, on his foundation thereof, and was part of the abbot's barony of Tunsted.

In the time of Walter de Suffield Bishop of Norwich, the rent of assise was - -, and there were 75 acres of arable land at 8d. per acre, 57s. 6d. 10 acres of meadow at 6d. per acre, 5s. in demean; and in the 14th of Edward I. the abbot had wreck at sea, and other great privileges granted by Edward the Confessor.

In the 34th of Edward I. there was an agreement between Sir Hugh de Vere and his Lady, Dionysia, whose lordship of Sutton extended into this town, that there should be a pound made, 2 parts of it at the charge of the abbot, and one part of it at the charge of Sir Hugh, the drift of the commons to be by their 2 bailiffs, 2 parts of the profits to be to the abbot, and one to Sir Hugh; (fn. 1) that the men of both these lords should intercommon, except in Sleight common, which should be wholly to Sir Hugh's men, and that of West Fen, to the abbot's men; the fishery of Kindlos to remain to the abbot, paying 12s. per ann. with liberty to Sir Hugh to distrain for the rent in the abbot's manor of Ludham.

John Thorp, &c. in the 19th of Richard II. aliened to the abbey 10 acres of land here; and the temporalities of the abbot, in 1428, were valued at 7l. 1d.

On the Dissolution it came to the Crown, and on the exchange of lands between King Henry III. and the Bishop of Norwich, was granted to that see.

In Bishop Hopton's time the rent of assise was 7l. 15s. and the manor is in the see of Norwich at this time.

The tenths 5l. 15s. Deducted 1l. 15s.

In the 3d of Henry IV. the prior of Ingham had lands here, held of the manor of Sutton.

The Church is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and was a rectory. In the reign of King John the abbot presented Peter Bardolf to be vicar, who was to have all the altarage, tithe of hemp and flax, wool, cheese and hay, all the free land of the church, and a sheaf of the tenths of the demean of the abbot. (fn. 2)

In the reign of Edward I. it was a rectory, and the rector had a manse with the vicarage, valued at 30 marks; and the vicar had then all the land belonging to the church. The abbot was patron, had a portion of tithe valued at 4s.


Jeffrey de Hecham, rector.

Richard Redmild occurs rector about 1260, and Hugh, rector, about 1270.

1313, John de Hoveton, instituted rector, presented by the abbot. Alexander de Remes, rector.

1345, Mr. Thomas de Honyng.

In 1351, the rectory, which had been formerly appropriated to the abbey, by Pope Lucius, and many secular clergy had after possessed it as rectors, was this year appropriated, by William Bishop of Norwich, to that abbey, for the support of two students (monks of this abbey) in divinity, or canon law, at Cambridge, saving to the Bishop the nomination of a vicar, with an annual pension of 30s. (fn. 3)

1351, John Colyn, collated vicar, by the Bishop, the abbot refusing to present on the Bishop's nomination; and in 1354, it was ordained, November 29, that the abbot, &c. should pay yearly to the vicar 100s. and he was to have all the altarage: the rectory was taxed at 20 marks, and the vicarage at 10 marks.

1359, Simon Bere, nominated by the Bishop, presented by the abbot, &c.

1359, William de Leverton.

1361, William de Swanlond.

1396, Roger Segrave.

1398, John Tome.

1446, John Bertram.

1474, John Smith.

1479, John Brother.

1503, Mr. John Swanton, M. A.

1506, William Childerhouse.

1527, Thomas Franceys.

John Saunders, vicar.

1562, John Cook, by the Bishop.

1572, George Magnus.

Francis Powsey occurs vicar in 1603

1626, Robert Mihil.

1664, George Thompson.

1681, Clement Alwood.

1699, Nathaniel Hindale.

Charles Trimnell, resigned in 1718, and Edmund Cale, collated by the Bishop.

1736. Richard Tapps. Ditto.

1737, Dudley Butts. Ditto.

The present valor of the vicarage is 6l. 13s. 4d.; the Bishop of Norwich is patron, and has the impropriated rectory; the vicarage is discharged from tenths, &c.

On the south side of the chancel is a mural monument of white marble,

In memory of Robert Mihil, clerk, vicar, who built the vicarage house, and suffered much in the Oliverian times, for his loyalty, for his piety, charity, and sufferings, was beloved in his countrey, and died 22d of February, 1663.

On a gravestone, in the chancel,

Hic jacet Will. Childerhouse, clericus, hujus eoclesiœ vicarius, ob. 4, Feb. 1524.—Richard Baspole, gent. June 19, 1613.

Here were the guilds of St. Nicholas and St. John.

The lights of St. Nicholas, of the high rood, St. Thomas, Lady of Pity, Lady of Grace, St. Catherine, and St. Anthony.


  • 1. Reg. Holm. fol. 175.
  • 2. Reg. Holm. 59. 1.
  • 3. Lib. Instit. Norw. 4.