An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Called anciently Ossuic, deriving its name from its site on a Wick, or turn of a stream, or rivulet, called Ouse, as most rivers were in Norfolk, &c. from whence the inhabitants were styled the Iceni.
It was a lordship belonging to the abbot of Ely, founded by St. Audrey, who had one carucate of land, 4 borderers, and 3 socmen with 6 acres, and a carucate in demean, formerly 2 carucates amongst the men or tenants, but at the survey only half, and the other half might be recovered; 2 acres of meadow, paunage for 24 swine, valued in the whole at 20s. per ann. Rainald, son of Ivo, held it of the abbot, but before of the King. (fn. 1)
This was in the family of the Erlhams of Erlham, by Norwich. In the 3d of Edward I. Ralph de Earlham claimed, as lord, the assize of bread and beer, &c. of his tenants here, and in the 10th of Edward I. it appears that William Sygar of Oxwyk had an interest herein, they agreeing, by a fine then levied, to present alternately; so that the lordship seems to consist of two parts or moieties.
Agatha Sygar of this town presented in 1318: and in 1315, Nicholas Sygar, and Ralph de Erleham were returned to be lords.
In the year 1389, Thomas Croft of this town granted to John de Burton, William Norbury, &c the manor of Oxwyc, called Syger's, with the advowson of the church formerly Richard Syger's, and in 1390, John, son of Nicholas Payne of Helveton, released to John de Burton, his right in the said manor and advowson, and Henry Maupas presented to the church in 1398.
In or about the 20th of Richard II. William Laverok of Salle and Emme his wife, Bartholemew Pynkeney of Taterset, and Joan his wife, conveyed by fine 2 tofts, 60 acres of land, 4 of meadow, 4s. 8d. rent in this town, Patesley, &c. to Roger Raulin, from the heirs of Emma and Joan; and in the 4th of Henry VI. William Billingford, Esq. was lord, and presented in 1438, son of James, and grandson of Adam Billingford.
In the 13th of Edward IV. Geff. Rigby and Margaret his wife, conveyed it by fine to Henry Heydon, Esq. who presented in 1481; after this it came to the Townsends, Sir Roger Townsend, Knt. presenting in 1542, and was sold by Roger Townesend, Esq. to Thomas Barsham, Esq. in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; Thomas Barsham presenting in 1563, and Robert Barsham in 1623.
In the year 1662, Samuel Smithe of Colkirke was lord and presented. On his death he left 4 daughters and coheirs, and in 1712, Tho. Bendishe, Esq. was lord.
1740, Henry Kelsall, Esq. of the Treasury was lord and patron, who sold it to the Lord Townsend, the present lord.
The tenths were 46s. 10d.—Deduct 4s. 2d.—Remained 42s. 8d.
The temporalities of Normansburgh priory valued in 1428 at 14s. 6d.; of Fakenham-dam 5s. 5d.; of Coxford priory 3s. 9d.
The Church is dedicated to All-Saints, and is a rectory, formerly valued at 10 marks, and paid Peter-pence 6d.; the present valor is 6l. 9s. 2d. and pays no first fruits or tenths.
William de Becco occurs rector in Henry the Third's time.
1318, Nicholas Sygar, presented by Agatha Sygar.
Nicholas de Oxwick, rector.
1337, Richard de Oxwyk, by Nicholas, son of William Sygar of Oxwick.
1352, John de Crosdale, by Richard Sygar.
1398, John de Norton, by Henry Maupas.
1410, John Grys, occurs rector.
1422, Thomas Champeneys, by Henry Keys.
1438, John Hendy, by William Billingford, Esq.
1469, Henry Stanhow, by Robert Selby.
1481, William Preston, by Henry Heydon, Esq.
John Seward, rector.
1496, William Preston, by Henry Heydon, Knt.
1509, John Londesdale, by John Heydon, Esq.
1513, John Aylmer.
1515, Richard Best, by Sir John Heydon.
1517, Richard Selwood. Ditto.
1528, William Miller, by William Bokenham, S.T.P.
1542, John Baymont, by Sir Roger Townsend, Knt.
1554, Henry Watson, by Robert Cooke, Gent.
1557, Robert Kirby. Ditto.
1563, John Beaumond, by Thomas Barsham, Gent.
1580, William Burgeis. Ditto.
1623, John Edwards, by Robert Barsham.
Jonathan Jessop, rector.
1662, John Ward, by Samuel Smith, of Colkirk.
Dan. Thresher, rector.
1671, Sim. Caryan, by ditto.
1712, George Hughs, by Thomas Bendish, Esq.
1741, Charles Barnwell, by John Sparrow of London, merchant.
1744, Michael Marlow. Ditto.
In or about the year 1760, a silver seal was ploughed up near Snoring, curiously engraven, and a fine impress, and well ornamented, about the size of a shilling; in the centre of it is a small shield with three oxes heads, and this legend,
SIGILL. THOME. DE. OXWYC.
This is now in the hands of the Rev. Mr. Barnwell of Mileham.