Holt hundred: Wayborn

Pages 446-452

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

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Hugh de Abrincis, a Norman lord, the Conqueror's sister's son, created Earl of Chester by him, had a grant of this lordship, which was held by Hacon, son of Swan eldest son of Earl Godwin, and elder brother of King Harold, and Ralph was enfeoft of it under Earl Hugh, consisting of 2 carucates of land, 9 villains, 30 borderers, 5 servi, and 2 carucates in demean, and 4 among the tenants, paunage for 10 swine, three acres of meadow, 2 mills, and 8 cows in King Edward's reign, with 60 sheep, 47 goats, and valued at 4l. but at the survey at 7l. was one leuca long and 3 furlongs, and one leuca broad, and paid 18d. gelt. (fn. 1)

It seems to take its name from Wa, and Bruna; Wy or Wa, is an old British name, often used for a river or brook.

Ralph, who was enfeoffed of this lordship by Earl Hugh, held also several lordships under him in Cheshire, viz. Tadetune, Warmincham, Blachehall, Pevre, Warford, Tatun, Cocheshale, Rode, Northerden, Ashton, &c. and was father of Roger, who bore the name of Meyngaryn, Meinil-Waring, or Manwaring, (as his father Sir Ralph did,) and was father of Ralph, who lived in the reign of King Henry II. whose son Roger had Ralph his son, who was chief justice of Cheshire in the reign of King John, lord of this town, and founder (as I take it) of the priory of Waborn, and by Amicia his wife, a natural daughter of Hugh Kivileoc Earl of Chester; this Sir Ralph had a son, William, as appears from the register of Bynham priory, and was living in the 21st of Henry III.

In the first of Richard I. the sheriff of Norfolk accounted for 50s. scutage of Ralph Meynelwaryn.

In the 28th of Henry III. the King sent his writ to the sheriff of Norfolk; to enquire what fees were held in this county of the honour of Chester, by Thomas de Meyngaryn, were assigned to William de Fortibus Earl of Albemarle, and Christiana his wife, for part of her inheritance; (fn. 2) and, in the 32d of the said King, Emma, late wife of Will. de Maynewaryn, who died in the said year, recovered her dower in lands at East Herling, against Roger her son, who held jointly with William his brother.

This Emma, was daughter of Gilbert de Norfolk; and in the 41st of the said King, Thomas de Meyngaryn was found to hold 3 fees of the honour of Chester, in Waborne, &c.

Ralph de Meyngaryn had 2 parts of a fee, and Thomas de Waborne a 3d part in this town.

In the 46th of Henry III. Waryn de Menwaryn held the manor of Waborne by the service of one fee, had view of frank pledge, wreck at sea, free warren, the trial and judgment of thieves taken, and their goods, in his fee, and all privileges as a member of the honour of Chester, and died seised of it in the 18th of Edward I. leaving by Agnes his wife, three daughters and coheirs; Joan, Margaret, and Maud, the lordship then valued with three water mills, &c. at 19l. per ann.

The Meynwaryns bore sometimes argent, six barrulets, gules, also two bars.

After this, the family of the Trussels of Coblesden in Staffordshire held it by the marriage of Maud, a daughter and coheir of Sir Warine de Meynwaryn, with William Trussell, son of Sir William, about the 30th of Edward I. by whom he had three sons; Sir John Trussell, the eldest, who died s. p., William, and Warine.

Maud was his widow in the 9th of Edward II. and then lady of this manor; and in the 12th of that King, was the wife of Oliver de Burdeaux, who with Maud his wife, in the 14th of the said reign, had a grant of a mercate and a fair in this town; in the 19th of King Edward II. she settled lands and tenements in Eton in Bucks, and New-Windsor in Berkshire, on Oliver and herself in fee tail; remainder to William her son, and the heirs of his body; remainder to Warine her son in like manner.

William Trussell, 2d son of Sir William and Maud his wife, wrote himself of Mershton in Northamptonshire; and in the 18th of Edward II. settled that manor, and that of Hales, under Longsyerd in Shropshire and Staffordshire, on himself and Isabel his wife, and his heirs, by fine, Laurence Trussell being his trustee.

In the 5th of Edward III. John Trussell, the eldest son, was lord of Coblesden, and with Alianore his wife, levied a fine of it, and settled on William his son, in tail, the lordships of Mershton and Langport in Northamptonshire, with their advowsons; and in the 16th of that King, being then a knight, he settled the mannor of Thorp Malesore in Northamptonshire, on himself for life, and in the 20th of that King on Robert Trussell his son, by Petronilla his 2d wife.

In the 20th of Edward III. Oliver de Burdeaux was found to hold the lordship of Waborne.

In the 22d of the aforesaid King, Sir William Trussell of Coblesden, son of Sir John, was lord of Coblesden, and Ida was his wife; he was lord also of Baddeshasel in Northamptonshire.

This Sir William founded the college and chantry of Shottesbrook in Berkshire, in 1337, and dying in or about the year 1363, was buried in the church of Shotesbrook with his lady, (fn. 3) who was daughter of Sir William Butler lord of Wmeme, leaving a son, John, who died sine prole, and Margaret, a daughter and heir, wife of Sir Fulk Pembrug, Knt. buried also in the said church in 1401.

The said Sir Fulk being lord of Shotesbrook, held by the service of a pair of gilt spurs to the castle Windsor, yearly, also to the manor of Eton-Hastings, with the third part of the manor of Kempston, called Brussbury, in her right: she seems to have married a 2d husband. In the 10th of Richard II. Margaret Trussell was found to hold, for life the manor of Canfield Parva in Essex, after the death of Gilbert Barentyn, her late husband.

On the death of Margaret aforesaid, the manor of Shotesbrook, and that of Waborne, (as I take it,) came to William Trussell, son of Sir Laurence Trussell, son of Warine, brother of Sir William, father of Margaret. This Sir Laurence married Maud, daughter and heir of Sir William Charnell of Elmesthorp in Leicestershire, and lord of that town in right of his lady, and bore, as Burton observes, (fn. 4) argent, fretty gules, on each joint a bezant or, and not a cross, as Mr. Hearne has mentioned.

This Laurence was lord also of Cobleston, and living in the 6th of Richard II.; by this lady he had William Trussell, his son and heir, lord of this town, Shotesbrook, Elmesthorp, &c. living in the 32d of Henry VI. and father of Sir Thomas Trussell by Margery, daughter of Sir John Ludlow, who was lord of Waborne in the 5th of King Edward IV.

Sir Thomas left by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of John de Burley, Sir William Trussell who died lord in the 20th of Edward IV. father, by Margaret his wife, daughter of — Kene, of Sir Edward Trussell the last heir male of this family who married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Dun, Knt. and had by her Elizabeth, his sole daughter and heir, dying, as appears by the eschaet rolls, in the 15th of Henry VII.

George Grey Earl of Kent gave 400 marks for the wardship and lands of this Elizabeth, a minor; and by his will appointed that she should be married to his son, Sir Henry Grey of Wrest in Bedfordshire, a younger son, by his second wife, the lady Catherine, daughter of the Earl of Pembroke, at their lawful years of marriage; leaving her with the said lady, before his death, for that purpose; but after his death, Richard Earl of Kent, his eldest son, by the Lady Anne, his first wife, took away the said Elizabeth by force from the Countess Catherine, his mother-in-law, at Harold in Bedfordshire, which she held in jointure, and gave her again freely to King Henry VII. her lands being worth 1000 marks per ann. and the King sold her wardship again for 2000 marks to John de Vere Earl of Oxford, who married her, and was lord of Waborne, &c. in her right.

In the 22d of Henry VII. inquisitions were awarded into Norfolk, Suffolk, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Essex, and Cheshire, to enquire what lands came to the King's hands on the deaths of Sir William Trussell, Sir Edward Trussell, his son and heir, and John Trussell, Esq. his son and heir, and remained in his hands on account of the minority of the said John Trussell, Esq. (who died in the said year) and some accounts say that on April 29, in that year, the King granted the custody and marriage of Elizabeth Trussell, to John Earl of Oxford, on the condition of paying 387l. per ann. to the Crown during her minority: on the death of this Earl, in the 31st of Henry VIII. this lordship was valued at 27l. 18s. per ann.

In this family it continued till the 16th of Elizabeth, when a recovery of it was suffered by Edward Earl of Oxford, to John Lord Darcy, &c.

After this it was possessed by Sir Edward Clere, Knt. of Blickling, who was lord in the 22d of the said Queen, and sold by him to Sir Henry Hobart, Attorney General, whose son and heir, Sir John Hobart, Bart. settled it, November 1, in the 18th of King Charles I. on Philippa his daughter and coheir, afterwards married to his nephew, Sir Henry Hobart, Bart.

Besides this principal manor, Hugh Earl of Chester had invaded or seized on the properties of 12 freemen who held under King Harold, in this town, Kelling, Salthouse, and Botham, 3 carucates, &c. of land, &c. with 25 borderers holding 7 carucates, &c. as may be seen at large in Kelling, and was held of Hugh, by the aforesaid Ralph, at the survey.

Sir Thomas de Waborne lived in the time of King John, and had a lordship, in this town, in the 21st of Henry III. William de Waborne, son of Sir Thomas, by Albreda his wife, leased to the prior of Bynham all his lands, except what Richard de Grey held of his stepmother, the Lady Agnes, for 30 years, and gave lands to the said priory. (fn. 5) Thomas, son of William de Waborn, held, in the 34th of Henry III. a whole fee (and was not a knight) the third part of this town, and had the same privileges as Ralph de Meynggaryn. In the 52d of that King, he was sued for pourpresture, the building a house on the public way, and the house was awarded to be pulled down.

In the said reign Luke de Bruningham held here and in Kelling, the sixth part of a fee of the heirs of Meyngaryn, and in the 9th of Edward I. John de Bruningham settled on Alice, wife of John de Waburne, lands by fine; and William de Waburne was found to hold a lordship in the 9th of Edward II. and a fine was levied in the 12th of that King between Alice, widow of Thomas de Waborn, and Agnes, widow of George, son of Thomas de Waborn, of lands settled on Agnes for life, remainder to Alice.

In the 3d of Henry IV. Sir William Clopton, Knt. was found to hold half a fee of the honour of Chester in this town: he married Frances, daughter of Sir William Trussell, widow of Sir Robert de Salle.

The Church of Wayborne is dedicated to All-Saints, and was appropriated to the priory of Wayborn, valued at 30 marks; the prior of Westacre had a portion of tithe valued at 8s.

The abbey of St. Severus in Normandy, founded, as is said, by Hugh Earl of Chester, a portion of 2 marks.—Peter-pence 18d.

At the Dissolution this rectory was granted with the priory to John Heydon, Esq. and is an impropriation served by a stipendiary curate.

The priory in this town was for canons of the order of St. Austin, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and All-Saints: Sir Ralph Meynelwaryn of Cheshire is said to have founded it in the reign of Henry II. but it is more probable that Sir Ralph Meynelwaryn, who lived in the reign of King John, was the founder; this Sir Ralph was justice of Chester, and lord of this town, and married Amicia, a natural daughter of Hugh Cyvelioc Earl of Chester, (fn. 6) who gave two knights fees with her in frank marriage; but it is more probable that she was a legitimate daughter.

It was at first subordinate to Westacre priory.

In the 12th year of King Henry III. a fine was levied between Rodland, prior or Weyborne, petent, William de Manywaryn, tenent of 30s. rent at Kessingland in Suffolk, which the prior claimed to be given him by the said William, and which he then granted to the prior to be held of Roger de Meynewaryn, Will. and Alice being to hold it for their lives; which concord is said to be made before Herbert de Alencon, then sheriff of Suffolk.


Roger de Hoxne occurs prior in 1309: on his death a contest arose about the election of a prior, between Henry, the subprior, and canons of this house, and Henry the prior, and convent of Westacre, the subprior, &c. claiming the right of choosing a prior out of their body, or canons, and the prior, &c. of Westacre maintaining that the election should be of one of the canons of that house, after consent and license of election was granted them by the prior of Westacre, as had been time immemorial. (fn. 7)

This being put to arbitration, it was agreed that the right of choosing a prior should be in the priory of Waburne, out of their own canons or otherwise, as they thought proper, for ever; and it is ordered that an annual pension of 7s. 6d. be paid to the prior, &c. of Westacre, for ever: this agreement is dated Jan. 2, 1314, and was confirmed by the Bishop of Norwich, 7 ides of Jan. and after by the prior and convent.

On this agreement John de Frenes was elected prior and confirmed by the Bishop on the 7 of the ides aforesaid, 1314.

December 1, 1334, Roger de Geistweyt admitted prior.

October 14, 1391, John de Elingham.

In the 3d year of Henry IV. the prior was found to hold the 9th part of a fee, of the Lady Roos, and she of the Earl of Albemarle, and he of the dutchy of Lancaster.

September 21, 1422, John de Laxfield admitted prior.

Andrew Burgate was his successor.

In 1428, the spiritualities of this priory in Norfolk were valued at 26l. 4s. 8d. and their temporalities at 15l. 10s. 1d. ob. their temporalities in this town being included, which were 3l. 2s. 4d.

Walter Merlow admitted prior, July 5, 1438.

Robert Aubrew admitted February 6, 1444. (fn. 8)

Henry Antingham admitted April 9, 1464.

Henry Clement December 16, 1466.

In the 19th of Edward IV. Henry, the prior of Waborne, and the convent of the same, by deed under their common seal, released to Henry Heydon, Esq. John Wotton, Thomas Cosyn, clerk, and Edward Calwe, all their right in eleven acres of land in Kelling, and in several lands and tenements in Heydon, Oulton, and Corpusty for ever: the seal is oval, of red wax, with the image of a saint, (probably the Virgin Mary) in the left hand a flower de lis, or lily rather.

Clement Styberd admitted prior July 3, 1482, and occurs prior 1494.

John Frost admitted June 15, 1526.

Thomas Bulman, July 16, 1530: he was the last prior, presented 1543, to the rectory of Eggemere in Norfolk, by Geo. Townsend, by a grant of the late suppressed priory of Walsingham, and had a patent for a pension February 18, Ao. 28 of Henry VIII. of 4l. per ann.

In 1553, there remained in charge, a corrody of 4l. per ann. to Elizabeth Bulman; 4l. per ann. to Tho. Bullman, the late prior; and 3l. alias 40s. per ann. to Thomas Froste, a canon, as pensions.

In the 12th of Edward III. a patent was granted them for the church of Colkirk, and in his 20th year for the church of East Beckham.

At its dissolution it was valued, as Dugdale, at 24l. 19s. 6d. per ann. as Speed at 28l. 7s. 2d.

On June 20, Ao. 27 of Henry VIII. Richard Heydon had a grant of the site of this priory, with the rectory, a manor and wood here, with the rectory and advowson of East Beckham, all the messuages and lands belonging to this priory, in Waborn, East Beckham, Kelling, Sherington, Bodham, Salthouse and Glamford, and Sir Christopher Heydon died seized of it in 1579: Sir William, his son and heir, sold it to the Kingsmills, Sir George Kingsmill conveyed it, January 26, in the 2d of King James I. to Sir Henry Montague.

Edward Lord Zouch, and Sarah his wife, aliened it December 1, in the 18th of the said King, to William Goldingham, Esq. and Charles Hutton, Gent.

Sir Setephen Fox is said to have possessed it about 1690, but in 1700 the Lord Cornwallis, in which family it remains.

At a place here called Wayborne Hope was a fortification; the shore is stony, and the sea so deep, that ships may ride here, and lie against it: the Danes are said to have landed here on their invasions.

Fullers earth is said to have been found here. (fn. 9)


  • 1. Terre Hugonis Comitis—In Wabruna ten. Hagan. T. R. E. mo. tenet Ranulf. ii car. t're. semp. ix vill. et xxx bord. et v ser. sep. in d'nio. ii car. et ho'um iiii silva ad x por. iii ac. p'ti. ii mol tnc. viii a n. mo. x tnc. xxvi por. mo. xxviii tnc. lx ov. mo. xlviii tnc. xlvii cap. mo. xxxvi tnc. val. iiii lib. mo vii et ht i leug. et iii quar. in long. et i leug. in lat. et xviiid. in gelt.
  • 2. Rot. Claus.
  • 3. Leland's Itin. vol. v. p. 121.
  • 4. Hist. of Leicestershire, p. 99.
  • 5. Neustria pia, p. 75.
  • 6. See Dugd. Baron. vol. i. p. 412.
  • 7. Inter Archiv. Dec. et Capit. Norw.
  • 8. Robert Awbrey, instituted rector of Killing, in 1464, was this prior; he died rector in or about 1483.
  • 9. Yarington's Improvements of England, p. 110.