Holt hundred: Wiveton, or Wifton

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

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'Holt hundred: Wiveton, or Wifton', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9, (London, 1808) pp. 452-455. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol9/pp452-455 [accessed 19 April 2024]

In this section


Rainald, son of Ivo, had a grant of this lordship at the Conquest, out of which, Turchetel was expelled, containing 2 carucates of land, and Rainald, or Randal was enfeoft of it by his lord Rainald; 7 villains and 27 borderers belonged to it, 2 carucates in demean, and 5 among the tenants, with 4 acres of meadow, one mill, and the moiety of another, &c. it was valued before the survey at 40s. but then at 6l. per ann. was one leuca long and broad, and paid 17d. ½ gelt. (fn. 1)

Stafford's Manor.

This was the capital manor, and soon after the survey came to the Giffards Earls of Bucks, and from them by marriage to the Earls of Clare and Gloucester.

Richerus de Docking was found to hold one fee and an half when the aid was granted in the 18th of Henry III. on the marriage of the King's sister to the Emperor, and by a fine levied in the 25th of that King, Thomas Fitz Robert, and Joan his wife released to Alvered le Chamberlain and Emme his wife, and the heirs of Emme, their right in the advowson of the church of Wiveton, and Emme granted to Thomas Fitz Robert and Joan 10s. per ann. payable out of their mill called Widhees Milne.

Richard de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, was capital lord in 1260, and Thomas Fitz Robert and Joan his wife in the 53d of the aforesaid reign, granted by fine to Roger de Pridington and Asceline his wife, in tail, 20s. rent, here and in Glanford.

In the 15th of Edward I. the Earl of Gloucester claimed frank pledge, the assise of bread, &c. and free warren; and in 1299, Sir Gregory de Splading presented to this church as lord: and in 1309, the Lady Maud de Brunne presented: William de Brunne held here and in Sniterley, Cley, Glanford, Stiveky, &c. two fees of the Earl of Gloucester, &c. &c.; the said William and Elen his wife, were living in the 17th of Edward II. and in 1328, William de Brunne presented to this rectory.

Joan de Brunne held in the 20th of Edward III. three quarters of a fee of Hugh Audley, Earl of Gloucester, (fn. 2) which Greg. de Spalding, formerly held: after this Ralph Earl of Stafford was capital lord: and John Honyng presented in 1375, and 1390, and Thomas Moryn of Langley in 1391, and 1392; and in 1417, Thomas Caven, and Robert Lyng, though William Brigg was returned to be lord in 1401, and Catharine his widow presented in 1426, and 1427; Joan Briggs, widow, in 1475.

The Staffords were the capital lords till, on the death of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, beheaded for high treason in 1521, it came to the Crown, and on July 12, in the 14th of Henry VIII. that King granted it to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and to his son and heir, Thomas Earl of Surry, and his heirs: the bailiff of the said Duke, in the 24th of that King, accounted for 48s. 4d. rent of assise; rent of moveables, capons, &c. 19d. farm of the demean lands 5l. 14s. 5d. ob. perquisites of court 14s. 11d. The tenants farm in Cley belonging to this manor, and commoning in the lord's marsh, between Wiveton and Cley 16d. at one penny for four sheep; and rent paid to the King 8l.

In the 35th of Henry VIII. Thomas Briggs died possessed of it, and of the manor of Clockwood in Cley, held of the King as of the honour of Clare, and Edward was found his son and heir, who presented in 1554, and 1558, and in 1591, George Briggs, Gent. presented; and in the 2d of James I. Anne Briggs had a prœcipe to deliver it with Clockwood manor, to John Anguish.

In the 5th of King Charles I. James Calthorp, Esq. son of Christopher, had livery of it, who sold it to his uncle, Sir Henry Calthorp, who died seized of it in 1637, late Stafford's Duke of Bucks, who held in soccage of the manor of East Greenwich, and James was his son and heir, aged 11 years.

In 1717, John Jermy, and Francis Windham, Esq. presented, and in 1758, Richard Ellis, Esq.

William Earl Warren had also a lordship of which Turgrim was lord in King Edward's reign, and had 2 carucates of land, 2 villains, 22 borderers, and a socman with 12 acres of land, and 2 servi; there were 2 carucates in demean, and 2 among the tenants, with 2 acres of meadow, the moiety of a mill, &c. and of a socman with 2 acres, valued at 40s. in Turgrim's time, at the survey at 60s (fn. 3)

Sir Robert Aguillon, and the prior of Bynham held in this town and Salthous the fourth part of a fee, when an aid was granted to King Henry III. on the marriage of his sister, to the Emperor of Germany. Alice de Merley impleaded in the 34th of that King Peter de Merley for a carucate of land in right of Sir Robert Aguillon, her late husband Adam de Cockfeld, Ibert Pugeys and Joan his wife, Giles de Argenton and Margaret his wife, Luke de Poynings, his son, and Thomas de Poynings, (who was under age and his body in the ward of his father, and his land in the ward of John Earl Warren, and of Roger de Somery,) the heirs of Sir Robert, were to warrant it.

In the 15th of Edward I. William de Grimesby was lord, and claimed frank pledge, assise, &c. and in the 9th of Edward II. Adam de Grimesby, John, son of Ralph de Glanford, settled on Adam, son of William de Grimesby and Agnes his wife, in 1290, lands, and a mill, with a messuage in this town by fine.

In the 14th of Edw. II. Sir Luke de Poynings granted to William, son of William de Grimesby and Rose his wife, his manor of Wiveton, in this town, Cley, and Sniterley. to dispose of to whom he would, except to religious uses, to the chief lord of the fee, or to Jews; Sir Nicholas Braunch of Somersetshire, released also to Adam de Grimesby all his right in this manor; and Adam released to John de Hales, parson of Bintre, Robert de Hales, parson of Merston, and Rich. Storme, all his right in the 15th of Edward III. and Robert de Hales aforesaid granted the manor called Braunche's in Wiveton in the 23d of the said King, to Roger his brother, with the messuage of the said name, one windmill, 90 acres of land, 70 of heath, and 20s. rent in this town, Cley, Salthouse, and Sniterle; Roger confirmed it in the 35th of the said reign to William Howell, John Goscelyn, Thomas Saxlingham, with the liberty of a foldcourse, view of frank pledge, &c.; these were trustees in order to settle it on the priory of Walsingham, as it was soon after.

I find it sometime after valued at 4l. 13s. per ann. and the prior was obliged to do homage for it to the Earl of Arundel, and to pay 5s. relief in the 7th of Henry IV. in which year Sir Thomas Erpingham had license to sell it to the aforesaid priory.

On the dissolution of that priory it came to the Crown, and King Edward VI. on the 19th of June, in his 4th year, granted it to the Bishop of Norwich and his successours. The Bishop's bailiff accounted for 5l. 2s. 3d. rent of assise, 14s. 4d. for the demean lands, profits thereof for one year, from St. Michael Ao. 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary to St. Michael Ao. 4, and 5.

The tenths were 13l.—Deducted 6l.

Temporalities of Norwich priory 5s. 1d.

In the 17th of Elizabeth messuages, lands, and tenements, in the tenure of Sir Christopher Haydon, granted to John Herbert and Andrew Palmer in this town, Cley, Blakeney, lately belonging to Edward Duke of Bucks, attainted, dated September 22; and in the 2d of James I. lands, or a manor here late in the possession of Sir Christopher, granted July 17, to Job Billet and William Blake, of London, Gent. formerly Edward Duke of Buckingham.

The Church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary; the ancient valor was 24 marks, and paid Peter-pence 5d.; the prior of Castleacre had a portion valued at 16s. there was an agreement between that prior and Master Bartholomew, rector of this church, confirmed by Walter Bishop of Norwich, that whereas the prior had two parts of the tithe of the corn belonging to the demean lands of Bernard of Wiveton, and Sniterle, and of two parts of the corn of the demeans of Sir Robert Aguillon of the fee of Braunch, the said prior let to farm to the said rector and his successours the said tithes for 20s. per ann. dated at Castleacre 18 kal. September 1248. (fn. 4)

The present valor is 15l.


Bartholomew de Bonevile occurs rector in 1248, and 1258.

1299, William de Spalding instituted, presented by Sir Greg. de Spalding.

1309, Geff. de Brunne, by Lady Maud de Brunne.

1328, Thomas de Brunne, by William de Brunne.

1351, Henry Palmer, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1375, William de Woodnorton, by John Honyng, &c.

1390, John de Norwich, a canon of Langley. Ditto.

1391, Henry Sturdy, by Thomas Moryn, &c.

1392, William Clerk, by Thomas Moryn of Langley, &c.

1417, Thomas Lyng, by Thomas Caven, and Robert Lynge.

1426, Edward Hunt, by Catharine, widow of William Brigg.

1427, William Brigg. Ditto.

1475, William Bishop, by Joan Briggs, widow.

1512, Thomas Gresham, A.M.

1550, Thomas Briggs, student of Cambridge, by Edward Briggs, Gent.

1554, William Flatbury. Ditto.

1555, Mr. Thomas Dunning. Ditto.

1557, Richard Browne. Ditto.

1558, William Maddocks. Ditto.

1591, James Poynton, S.T.B. by George Briggs, Gent.

In 1621, Christopher Reeve, rector, compounded for first fruits October 16.

Robert Lowde, rector, compounded April 10, 1640.

1717, John Springold, on Christopher Seman's death, by John Jermy, and John Springold, on the grant of Francis Windham, Esq.

1758, Samuel Johnson, by Richard Ellis, Esq.

In the chancel were the arms of Bacon, azure, three boars passant, argent, impaling sable, a bend, argent, Antington.

Argent, on a chevron engrailed, vert, between three griffins heads erased, gules, a bezant between two anchors, or.

On a stone,

Orate pro a'i'a William Brigg, quo'da' rectoris istius ecclie.

Here was the chapel of our Lady in the churchyard.

James Steele of Wiveton, by his will dated in 1518, was buried in this church, and gave 5 marks to the repair of the church windows, 2s. to the repair of our Lady's chapel, and legacies to our Lady's and St. John's gild here, and to that of St. Ann's in the friars of Blakeney.


  • 1. Terra Rainaldj filij Ivonis—In Wivetuna, ten. Turchetel, T. R. E. ii car. tre. mo. idem, semp. vii vill. et xxvii bor. sep. in d'nio. ii car. tc. ho'um v car. mo. iii et d'. iiii ac. p'ti. i mol. et d'. mo. iii an. tc. xv por. mo. xxviii tc. cvii ov. mo. lxxx tc. et p'. xl sol. mo. v lib. et ht. in long. i leug. ct in lat. et xvii d'. et obolu'. in gelto.
  • 2. Of this Hugh, the capital lord, and his successours, see in Wells, &c.
  • 3. Tre Will de Warenna—In Wiventona, ten Will. ii car. tre. quas tenuit Turgrim. T.R.E. p'. man. semp. ii vill. et xxii bord. et i soc. de xii ac. tre. et ii ser. et ii car. in dominio, et hom, ii car. ii ac. p'ti dim. mol. tc. vi porc. mo. vi tc. lx ov's. mo. xxx et d. soc. de ii ac. tc. val. xl sol. mo. lx.
  • 4. Reg. Castleac. fol. 126.