Launditch Hundred: East Bilney

Pages 460-462

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

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This town does not occur in the book of Domesday, being accounted for under the Earl Warren's lordship of Gressenhale, and that of the Bishop of Norwich's of Elmham, which took in all this town.

The Earl Warren's Fee

Was possessed by Wimer, his dapicer: from his descendants it came to the Stutevills, &c.

William de Stutevile was lord here and of Gressenhale in the 8th of Henry III. and Richard Foliot, in the 9th of Edward II. and in this fee was the patronage of a moiety of this church till William de Stutevile, by fine, in the 8th of Henry III. granted it to Pandulf Bishop of Norwich, on an exchange for the church of Brisley: from the Foliots it came to the Hastings, and the Le Stranges, as in the manor of Gressenhale, and Sir Nicholas Le Strange was lord in 1587.

Bishop of Norwich's Fee.

Walter Bishop of Norwich had a charter for free warren here, and in Elmham, in the 35th of Henry III. and in the see it remained till granted to Thomas Cromwell by King Henry VIII. after the exchange of the lands belonging thereto in 1535, as may be seen in Elmham; in this family it continued in 1593, when Edward Lord Cromwell presented to this church.

After this it came to the Athows, Christopher Athow, presenting in 1624, and in 1661; but in the year 1681, Christopher Crow, Esq. presented as lord,

This family was descended from Christopher Crowe, who died seized of lands here in the 26th of Henry VIII.

On an inquisition taken at Norwich, July 22, in the 1st of Elizabeth, Thomas Crowe was found to die seized of 39 acres and a rood of land in Mileham, part of the possessions of the priory of Hempton, held by the 60th part of a fee, and 36 acres and a rood held of the manor of Mileham in this town by soccage; and Richard Crowe was his brother and heir, aged 56, son of Christopher Crowe.

Christopher Crowe, jun. son of Christopher of East-Bilney, Gent. in the 37th of Elizabeth, married Elizabeth, daughter of Roger Bozoun of Wissingset, Esq. and Christopher Crowe, Gent. was living in 1659.

Christopher Crow, eldest son of Christopher Crowe, Esq. of East Bilney, died November 4, 1690, and was buried here, and Christopher Crowe, Esq. was lord about the year 1720.

After this Dr. Crowe, M. D. of London, whose sister marrying Mr. Monins of Norwich, a master weaver, had by him Christopher Monins, Esq. the present lord.

The temporalities of Walsingham priory, in 1428 were 15d.

The tenths were 2l. 14s.—Deduct 4s.

In this town was born Thomas Bilney, a learned divine of Cambridge, who was burnt at Norwich in King Henry the Eighth's reign, 1531, for preaching against the doctrines of the Popish church, as may be seen at large in Fox's Book of Martyrs. The register of Butley Priory, in Suffolk, after taking notice of him as an heretick, adds,—

Presertim fuit p' totam Angliam vehemens scisma inter clerum et populum laicalem, viz. contra sacra ecclesiastica, et ritus clericorum - - - - - - - - - - sacerdotum, necnon contra papam, et de indulgentijs, et excommunicationib;

Here also was born Andrew Pern, D. D. master of Peter-house in Cambridge, and dean of Ely in Queen Elizabeth's reign.

The Church is dedicated to St. Mary, and is a rectory, formerly valued at 6 marks, and paid Peter-pence 6d.; the present valor is 5l. 19s. 1d. ob. and is discharged of tenths, &c.


Philip de Reedham occurs rector in the 45th of Henry III.

1308, Simon de Claxeby, collated by the Bishop of Norwich.

1309, John de Giselingham. Ditto.

1315, Robert de Sutton. Ditto.

Robert Markaunt, rector.

1344, John de Yarmouth, alias Swathfield. Ditto.

1358, Thomas Walton. Ditto.

1361, Hugh de Epirston. Ditto.

Richard died rector 1375.

John Atmore, rector.

1391, William Stonhall. Ditto.

1401, John Roche. Ditto.

1409, Robert Dunch. Ditto.

1410, John Fynch. Ditto.

1420, John Payn. Ditto.

1431, Nicholas Heylot. Ditto.

1437, John Atte Hirne. Ditto.

1422, Thomas Robartson. Ditto.

Thomas Walpole, rector.

1445, Walter Martyn. Ditto.

1448, Walter Hammon. Ditto.

1451, John Chirche. Ditto.

1454, Robert Newan. Ditto.

1461, —Toke. Ditto.

1467, James Hest. Ditto.

1469, Rob. Rowning. Ditto.

1475, William Hull. Ditto.

1477, Geff. Reed. Ditto.

1402, Robert Broughton, alias Clerkson. Ditto.

1523, William Davy. Ditto.

1525, Nicholas Marshall. Ditto.

1554, Richard Stapleton, the Bishop, by lapse.

1558, William Fitton, by John Lord Poulet, Lord St. John and Elizabeth his wife.

1560, Henry Holme. Ditto.

1590, Robert Frary, by Henry Cromwell.

1593, Nicholas Bane, by Edward Lord Cromwell.

1624, Simon Atkins, by Christopher Athow, Gent.

Christopher Athow, rector.

1661, John Vincent, by Christopher Athow, Gent.

1681, John Ward, by Christopher Crowe, Esq.

1708, John Jervis, by Spelman Crow, Esq.

1756, Christopher Munnings, by Ann Crow, widow of Dr. Crow.