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 was at the survey the lordship of Ralph de Tony, of whom see in Westacre, and was held under Herold, (afterwards King of England,) by 16 socmen, with 3 carucates of land, and 12 borderers, 6 acres of meadow; and 3 carucates &c. in King Edward's days, and was valued with Necton. Eudo, son of Clema, had one carucate of land of those three here delivered to him, which he held for life, afterwards Ralph de Beaufoe's, but Tony was in possession of it at the survey, belonging to this capital manor of Necton, to which it appertained in the Confessor's time. (fn. 1)
Ralph de Tony claimed free warren in his demean lands in the 3d of Edward I. and in the 33d of that King, John Le Strange held it of Robert de Tony, by the service of 2s. 6 quarters of barley, and 4 quarters of oats, valued at 23s. per ann. and Ralph was found to be his brother and heir.
Henry Le Strange held it in the 9th of Edward II. and James Le Strange had a charter for free warren here and in Dunham in the 20th of Edward III.; the jury find, in the 5th of the said King, that it would not be to the King's detriment if he granted a mercate and a fair in this town to Peter Le Strange, who then held it of the Beauchamps Earls of Warwick, heirs to the Tonys; and in the 1st of Richard II.
Sir Peter had a grant of a weekly mercate on Thursday, and a fair every year on the eve and the day of St. Botulph. Sir Peter was an eminent soldier: his will was made in France, at St. Maloes, (fn. 2) dated in the isle on Wednesday, after the feast of the assumption of our Lady, in 1378, and was proved January 11, in the said year. Emme his lady had a grant thereby of all his lands for life, and after to be sold, and the money to be disposed of for his soul: Sir Robert Knolls, and Sir William de Hoo, Knts. were appointed by him executors;—witnesses, Sir Hugh Hastings, Sir John Lakynghyth, Knts. (fn. 3)
From the family of the Beauchamps, who were the capital lords, it came by marriage to Richard Nevill Earl of Warwick, and on his attainder, to the Crown; and was granted by King Henry VIII. to Sir Thomas Bullen, who presented to the church in 1521, and again in 1535, being then Earl of Wiltshire, and father to Anna Bullen the Queen; but after the death of this Earl, it was possessed by Francis Southwell.
Henry Mynne, his assignee, presented in 1552, and in 1559, George Mynne, Gent. presented in his own right.
In 1592, Richard Beckham was lord and presented, and in 1610.
Thomas Hogan, Esq. was lord in 1710, and his son Thomas is the present lord 1764, and a lunatick, (see in Dunham Magna,) but the patronage is sold from the manor, the Rev. Mr. Barnwell of Mileham being the present patron and rector.
Westacre priory, founded by the Tonys, held this of the gift of that family, their temporalities were valued in 1428, at 2l. 0s. 7d. in this town: on the general dissolution it was granted, in the 34th of Henry VIII. to Richard Andrews, and Leonard Chamberlain, Edward Mynn was found, in the 38th of the said reign, to die possessed of it, and Henry was his son and heir. Edward Mynn held it in the 9th and 15th of Elizabeth, and about the year 1600, Edward Mynne, being the Queen's ward, it was in his minority in the hands of - - - - - - Clarke.
Here was also another lordship in this town called by the name of Kirkham and Wilcox, and was part of the Earl Warren's fee, or manor, in Fransham Magna, which extended here. Robert de St. Thomas, by deed sans date, gave to the monks of Castleacre, the homage and service of Roger de Fransham Parva, with 2s. rent per ann. out of a messuage, with 3 acres of land near the land of the prior of Pentney, with the homage, land, and service of Ralph, son of Gilbert de Fransham. (fn. 4)
A fine was levied in the 10th of Henry VI. between Sir William Oldhall, Knt. and John Alderford and Alice his wife, who conveyed to Sir William the manor of Kirkham and Wilcox in Fransham Parva, with 100 acres of land, 20 of pasture, 12 of wood, and 40s. rent, on his paying an annuity of 12l. per ann. for the life of Alice; and William Rusteng conveyed, in the 8th of Edward I. by fine, to Alice his daughter, wife of Ralph de Kirkton, messuages and lands in this town and Fransham Parva.
Walter Gorges, Esq. held this in right of his wife, daughter and heir of Sir William Oldhall, and his son Edmund, in Edward the Fourth's time; and passed as may be seen in Fransham Magna.
The temporalities of Fakenham priory (Hempton) in 1428 were valued at 13s. 10d. King Henry VIII. granted, June 28, in his 36th year, this to William Barkeley.
Temporalities of Wendling abbey 5s. 7d. ob. and those of Thetford canons here at 6d.
The tenths were 3l. 8s.—Deduct 4s.
The Church is dedicated to St. Mary, and is a rectory anciently valued at 14 marks, and paid Peter-pence 5d. ob. the present valor is 6l. 8s. 3d. ob. and pays no first-fruits and tenths.
1306, William de Schyrewood, rector, presented by Sir Robert de Thony.
1331, William de Patryk, by Maud, relict of Sir Robert de Thony.
1335, Richard de Rougham, by ditto.
1362, John Groupus occurs rector, buried in 1404, and out of his goods orders 2 windows to be made on the north part of the chancel.
1404, Walter Bonde, by Margaret Countess of Warwick.
1441, James Hamelyn, by Richard Duke of York.
1445, Michael Clements, by the feoffees of Richard Earl of Warwick.
1459, William Gurre, by ditto; he died 1482.
Richard Cutler, rector.
1474, Gilbert Cooper, by the King.
John Shenwyn, occurs rector about 1500, abbot of Wendling.
1521, Thomas Chester, by Sir Thomas Bullen.
1535, Ralph Orrell, by Thomas Earl of Wiltshire.
Mr. Thomas Palmer, rector.
1552, Henry King, S.T.P. prebend of Norwich, by Henry Mynne, assignee of Franc. Southwell, Esq. and Alice his wife.
1559, John Brightif, by Geo. Mynn, Gent.
1578, John Spencer, by the Queen.
1583, Robert Lawson, by the Queen.
1592, William Leeds, by Richard Beckham, Gent.
1603, John Britton, by ditto.
1610, Edward Sheen, by the assignees of Richard Beckham, sen. and Richard Beckham, junior.
1652, William Sheen.
1668, William Swift, by Luke Skippon, S.T.P.
1687, John Hunne, by John Wraggs, Gent.
1694, Edward Cawood, by Charles Mawson, Gent.
1700, John Leach, by Mary Mawson.
1743, Charles Barnwell, by Gibson Neal, Esq.
In this church were the guilds of St. Peter, and St. Mary: Trinity, and St. Sepulchre lights.