Happing Hundred: Stalham

Pages 341-345

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

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The abbot of St. Bennet at Holm had the principal lordship of this town in King Edward's time, and at the survey, when there was one carucate of land held by 2 villains and a borderer, one carucate in demean, and one among the tenants, &c. 4 acres of meadow, one runcus, 6 swine; and one of the abbot's men held 29 acres of land of the abbot in King Edward's reign, and half a carucate and 2 acres of meadow; the King and the Earl had the soc, and 9 freemen held 75 acres and 2 carucates then; the abbot had only the commendation of them; the King and the Earl had the soc. (fn. 1)

The whole manor was valued at 20s. and what the freemen held 2s. It was one leuca and three furlongs in length, and 5 furlongs in breadth, and paid 17d. ob. gelt.

The family of De Stalham were, soon after the Conquest, enfeoffed of this lordship.

William de Stalham was found to hold of the abbot of St. Bennet, the 5th part of a fee of the old feofment here, and in Beston, in the 12th year of King Henry II. (fn. 2)

In the 34th of Henry III. Sir Will. de Stalham, son of William, released to the abbot all his right in the advowson of this church. Nicholas, abbot of St. Bennet, brought a writ of escheat, in the 11th of Edward I. against William de Stalham, for lands in Irstede, &c.

Sir Robert de Curzon, dying s. p. Sir William de Stalham, father of this William, had entered on the lands of Sir Robert, though no relation, but the abbot finding by an old roll, that Will. son of Ralph, some time held the lands in Stalham, Beston and Irstede, by the 5th part of a fee; and, in another roll, that William, son of William de Stalham, and Bartholomew, de Calthorp, held the same, Bartholomew holding them in Beston, by the tenth part of a fee, and the said William, half the lands in Beston, and the lands in Stalham, and Irstede by the 10th part of a fee.

The abbot continued the same to William, who gave to the abbot 60 marks of silver, and 2 villains, and performed suit of court for the same; dated at St. Bennet's.

This William de Stalham married Isabel, daughter and heir of Matthew de Gunton. And in the 22d of that King, the abbot impleaded Jeffrey Wythe and Isabel his wife, daughter and coheir of William de Stalham, for the guardianship of Joan, Alice, and Ellen, her sisters and coheirs.

In the 20th of Edw. III. Oliver de Wythe, and John, son of Robert de Ingham, held this lordship of the abbot, by the 4th part of a fee: Robert probably married also one of the aforesaid daughters and coheirs; and in the 3d of Henry IV. the prior of Ingham, John Colvile, and Richard de Stalham, are said to hold the said fee.

In 1285, it appears that the abbot and convent had a pound of incense yearly, and 2 garbs or 2 parts of the tithes of the ancient demeans of William de Stalham. (fn. 3)

In an extent of the revenues of the see of Norwich, after the death of Bishop Ruggs, among the rents of several towns, mention is made of the rents belonging to the see in Stalham, on the exchange of the lands belonging to the abbey of Holm, made with Bishop Rugg and Henry VIII. No doubt the interest and lands in this town, that belonged to that abbey, were granted to that Bishop, and alienated after by him to Sir William Woodhouse, as is said.

Alan Earl of Richmond had a lordship of which eleven freemen were deprived, who held 100 acres of land and 2 carucates of meadow, and the moiety of the soc, under commendation only, and the King was possessed of the other moiety of it; Alan had also 15 acres of land here, of which 2 freemen were deprived, of whom Edric had the commendation, with the moiety of the soc, and the King and the Earl the other moiety; valued (with the manor of Ingham, &c.) at 100s. and at the survey at 6l. (fn. 4)

Robert Malet laid claim to these 2 manors, which Edric his predecessor had only in King Edward's time, the commendation, and says that his father was seized of them, and Roger Bigot witnesses the same; and they were 2 leucas and an half long and 12 perches, and one leuca and 10 perches broad, and paid 15d. gelt.

The family of de Ingham held this lordship and that of Ingham, in the reign of Richard I. from whom it came to the Stapletons; part of it seems to be given to the priory of Ingham; and in the 3d of Henry IV. the prior of Ingham, was returned to have a lordship here, and part of it came from the Stapletons to the Calthorps, and was sold by them in the 26th of Henry VIII. to Thomas Woodhouse, Esq. of Waxham, was afterwards in Sir William Woodhouse, and Sir Henry his son was lord in 1575.

Roger Bigot had also at the survey a lordship with 60 acres of land, and a carucate and a half, and 3 acres of meadow, of which 9 freemen, who were only under commendation of Edric, were deprived, who had half the soc, and the King and the Earl the other half, also 15 acres of which a freeman was deprived; to this belonged many privileges. (fn. 5)

Several persons had an interest herein; Richard le Butler and Nicholas de Stalham, in the 24th of Henry III. divided by fine this inheritance, here and in Wykmere; Nicholas had Stalham, and Richard Wykmere, who dying soon after, s. p. Nicholas enjoyed the whole.

In the 37th of Henry III. Geffrey de Turgijs and Julian his wife, with Simon de Boleyne, released to Jeffrey de Bourdevile, 2 parts of a manor, and 2 knights fees here and in Brunstede, which were to descend to them from Robert Malet, uncle of Julian, and cousin of Simon; the 3d part of the same belonging to Jeffrey de Bordevile, from Robert Malet his uncle; and Petronilla, widow of Robert, held the same in dower.

This afterwards came to Rob. Rose and Petronilla his wife, and Jeffrey Wyndless of Chickering; and Henry Rose was returned as lord in the 9th of Edward II.

Sir William de Stalham had an interest here in the 17th of Edward I. and sealed with an estoil of eight points.

Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, in the 22d of that King, claimed the guardianship of the daughters and coheirs of this William.

In the 14th of Edward III. John, son of Robert de Ingham, had an interest here and in Brunstede; and in the 9th of Edward II. Jeffrey Wythe was returned to be lord, as marrying Isabel, a daughter and coheir of Sir William de Stalham.

Edmund de Clipesby was lord, and John Clipsby, Esq. his son, released all his right to the same, and lands here to John Derby, Esq. in the 2d of Henry V. and John Limford, by his testament, dated August 2, 1456, gives his body to be buried in this church; appoints Sibilla his wife, and John Stokewyke, of Somerton, his executors: gives certain lands and tenements, to Sibill, in this town, Ingham, and Hickling, for life, and mentions Margaret his late wife.

This afterwards was part of the possessions of the college of Heringby in Norfolk; and on April, 13, in 36th of Henry VIII. the manors of Stalham Hall, Linford, and Wild's, were granted by that King to Sir William Woodhouse, being given by Hugh Attefenn's will, in 1475, to that college, the founder of it, with 10l. per ann.

In 1750, Mrs. Delf of Norwich, had the manor of Linford and Wild's for life, remainder to Capt. Delf.

The tenths were 9l. Deducted 15s.

The temporalities of the priory of Campesey in Suffolk were 15s.; of Bromholm, 4s.; of Holm, 7d.


The church is dedicated to St. Mary, and was a rectory, in the patronage of the abbot of Holm.

Mr. Peter de Acres occurs rector in 1247.

Opizo de Castellis, Decret. Dr. rector: he complained, That whereas he had been rector of this church for 20 years; and received the profits, the abbot and convent of Holm feigning him to be dead, had presented to the Bishop, Alan, son of Gilbert de Thornton, and afterwards, in 1290, feigning him dead, presented twice; first, Mr. Bartholomew de Benevile, and secondly Mr. William de Luda, to the great damage of the said Opizo, in 500 marks, Alan receiving the profits of one year, to the value of 60l. sterling.

On this the abbot was summoned to appear personally at Rome, to make answer.

1302, John de Ferentino, presented by the abbot. The rector had then a manse with 20 acres, valued at 35 marks; the abbot had a portion of tithe valued at one mark. Peter-pence were 14d.

1332, Mr. Thomas Falstoff, by the abbot.

1349, Richard de Thoresby, by the King, in the vacancy of the abbot, he was prebendary of Langleyle, in the church of St. David's.

1351, Richard de Mores, by the master, &c. of Trinity Hall in Cambridge.

1352, Roger de Holere. Ditto.

1352, Mr. Robert de Stratton.


1352, Robert Burewode to the vicarage: the rectory was appropriated to Trinity Hall, on November 10, this year, for 10l. per ann. being settled on the vicar, which was taxed at 5l. and to be in the patronage of that hall; and the rectory was valued at 27 marks and an half, and the Bishop was to have a pension of 20s. per ann. the vicar was also to have an agreeable dwelling; the hall was to present two persons to the vicarage, and the Bishop to choose one.

1355, Simon Attebrig, presented to the vicarage, &c. by that Hall.

1366, John Styward.

1388, John Harpele.

1399, William Howlet.

1402, William Coopere.

1440, William West.

William Burton.

1451, John Walters.

1460, John Phelip.

1462, Richard Frankceys.

1482, Thomas Herte.

1497, John Frampton.

1505, Ralph Bockyng.

1531, John Kelsale.

Robert Some.

1592, John Riches, presented by Richard Bayspooll, Gent. in 1603, he certified that there were 180 communicants, and that John Cobbs, Gent. was then patron.

1624, Robert Gill, by the Bishop.

1630, Daniel Clayton, by Matthew Matchet, James Calthorp, &c.

1640, Henry Dickenson, by the Bishop.

Edmund Shilling, vicar.

1681, Andrew Threxton, by John Riches, Gent.

The vicarage valued at 5l. and discharged.

1713, Reverend Mr. Rich. Aram, by Catherine Smith, widow.

1730, Timothy Jones, by Edward Browne, Esq.

1736, James Tayler, by Anthony Brown, Esq.

1738, William Lubbock, by Anthony Brown, Esq.

1742, Richard Chase, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1745, William Adams, by the Earl of Orford.

Here were the guilds of St. Mary and St. John Baptist.

In the chancel on gravestones,

P. M. Johs. Riches generosi, qui ob. 1 Apr. 1688, ætat. 69.

Hic jacet Will. Riches, gen. ob. 30 Oct. 1624, ætat. 54.


In memory of Samuel Puckle, Esq. late mayor of Norwich, who died August 22, 1661, ætat. 73.

In memory of Margaret, late wife of Mr. Mart. Puckle of Norwich, merchant, daughter and heir of John Riches, gent. who died August 19, 1678.

On the south side of the chancel a mural monument.

Here lyes the body of Katherine, one of the daughters of Thomas Castell of Raveningham in Norfolk, who first married John Riches of this town, gent. and afterwards the Revd. William Smith D. D. one of the prebendaries of the cathedral church of Norwich, and was his widow, she departed, &c. May 26, 1718, aged 78; and these arms, Castell impaled between Riches and Smith.

Against the north wall on an altar tomb,

Here lyeth John Riches, clerk, vicar of Stalham, and rector of Brunstede, aged 82, and died January 4, 1624.

In the cro ss isle a gravestone for

Elizabeth Burton, relict of William Burton, clerk, who gave to this town 5l. 13s. 4d. per ann. for ever, and died January 6, 1682, aged 59,

In memory of William Burton, gent. late alderman of Yarmouth, who died July 19, 1686, aged 39.

In the middle isle

Hic jacet sepulta Blitha Copeman, uxor amantissima Rici. Copeman, armigi, quœ obt. 15 Junii, 1654.

Redit ad requiem pia anima Rici. Copeman, armigi. 13 Aug. 1656.

The arms, two bars, and a bend over all.

Robert Stotevile, chaplain, buried here in 1481, and gives to Trinity guild of Ingham, 6l.

Sir Reginald le Gross gave, in Henry the Third's time, several lands to this church, about 1247.

There is a monument on a pillar in the middle isle, with these arms, gules, three dexter hands, couped, in a triangle, argent, Puckle.


  • 1. Terra S'ci. Benedicti de Hulmo.— Stalham tenet sep. S'cs. B. i car. t're. sep. ii vill. et i bor. et i car. in d'nio. et i car. hom. silv. iii porc. iiii ac. p'ti. i runc. vi porc. et i ho. xxix ac. tenens t'ra. sua'de S'co. Ben. T.R.E. sep. dim. car. ii ac. p'ti. R. et C. soca. et ix libi. ho'es. lxxv ac. tc. ii car. mo. i et dim. ex his habuit abb. com'd. tantu'et R. et C. soca' totu' man. val. sep. xx sol. et lib. ho'es. ii sol. et ht. i leu. et iii qr. in lon. et v qr. in lat. et xviid. et ob. de g.
  • 2. Lib. Rub. S'cij.
  • 3. Reg. Hulm. fol. 131.
  • 4. Terre Alani Comitis—In Stalham xi libi. ho'es. c. ac. t're. com'datione tantu' et dim. soca et rex alia' medietate' soche. tnc. ii car. mo. i et ii ac. p'ti.— In Stalha' ii libi ho'es. xv ac. t're. de quib; habuit Edric comd. et dimid. soca. et Rex. et Comes alia' medietate' tnc. et p. val. c. sol. mo. vi lib. et tenet ide. hec. duo maneria calupniatr. Robt. Malet qd. Edric suus antecessor habuit cum'datione tantu T. R. E. illor. qui tenebant et dicit qd. pater suus ex eis seisit. fuit et hoc testatr. Rog. Bigot. et ht. hoc. man. ii leu. et dim. in longo, et xii pc. et in lato i leu. et x perc. et xvd. de gelt.
  • 5. Terra Rogeri Bigoti—In Stalham de ix lib. ho'es. com'datione Edrici tantu. et dimidia soca Rex. et Comes alia' medietate' et ht. lx ac. t're. et i car. et dim. et iii ac. p'ti.—In Stalham i lib. ho. xv ac. hoc. tenet ide.