Freebridge Hundred: Sandringham

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

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'Freebridge Hundred: Sandringham', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9, (London, 1808) pp. 67-72. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]

In this section


Called Sant-Dersingham, in the book of Domesday, from sand and Dersingham, of which see under that town.

A freeman in the Confessor's time enjoyed it under Herold, afterwards King of England, but being ejected at the Conquest, it was bestowed on Robert Fitz Corbon, or Corbution, who held the lordship of Saxlingham, and Stokes, in the hundred of Hensted;—Rushale and Sterston, in that of Earsham;—Lothna, (Loddon) Golosa, (Gelsdon) Mundhum and Brome, in the hundred of Lathpingga, (Clavering hundred)—Berningham, in South Erpingham.—Shelton, Sterston, Stratton and Freton, in Depwade, hundred;—Hadsco and Sarpestuna (Yelverton) in Clavering hundred.

Ralph held it under Robert: it consisted of 5 borderers, who held then a carucate, but at the survey there were neither borderers, nor a carucate; one servus then, and 3 acres and an half of meadow, and one carucate amongst the tenants, with a salt-pit, and was valued at 20s. (fn. 1)


William Fitz Corbun, or Curcon, whose son, Ralph Curzun, was lord of a manor in Stoke Holy Cross in the reign of King Henry II. was descended from Robert aforesaid, and also lords here; and by one of them was conveyed to Simon de Whatefield, from whom it came to Reginald de Wode and Alice his wife, who were lords in 1265, when he impleaded several persons for carrying away his goods from Sandringham, &c. and in the 14th of Edward I. Thomas de Wyklewode and Mary his wife, William, son of Geff. de Rugham, and Alice, his wife, sued Reginald for a messuage and 50 acres of land, with the appertenances in this town; this was purchased of them by Reginald, and conveyed by fine to him in the said year. Soon after this the abbot of St. Bennet, at Holm, had an interest in it; in 1296, Sir Richard de la Rokele had license from King Edward I. to exchange his manor of Greensvill, or Gresville in Stoke Holy Cross, for this of Woodhall.

In the 20th of Edward III. Roger de Sandringham, and Alice, late wife of John Rivet, were found to hold the fourth part of a fee in this town, which Peter, son of Robert, and Jeffrey Clerk formerly held: it came not long after into the family of the Cobbs, by the marriage of the daughter and heiress of Rivet. In the first year of King Richard III. November 4, Jeffrey Cobbe de Sandringham was bound in a bond for money to William Berdwell, Esq. and in the 2d of Henry IV. John Cobbe, son and heir of Jeffrey Cobbe, and of Alianora his wife, released to William Staundon, of Wympole in Cambridgeshire, and his heirs, all his right in the manor of Wympole, called Franceys. William Cobbe, of Sandringham, is mentioned in deeds of land, dated in the 8th and 13th of Edward IV. and is said to have married a daughter of—Briston, of Norfolk. (fn. 2)

On the 1st of July in the 8th of Henry VII. William Cobbe, of Sandringham, by his will then dated, bequeaths his body to be buried in the church of St. Mary Magdalen, of Sandringham, by Elizabeth his wife; (fn. 3) appoints Geffrey his son and heir, Symon Batchcroft, and Thomas Walpole, his executors: mentions William and Thomas, his younger sons, and Agnes his second wife, (who survived him) and Ralph Geyton, his father in law, and gives this manor with those of Babingley and Wolverton, to Jeff. his son. Thomas Walpole, of Lynn Bishop's, Esq. in his will dated 1512, calls this Jeffrey, his brother in law, having married his sister,—Walpole.

William Cobbe, (son of Jeffrey) married Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Spelman of Narburgh, and was father of Jeffrey, who had livery of the lordships of Rivets, Butlers, and Chapps, in this town Babingley and Wolverton, in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary: this Jeffrey married Elizabeth, daughter of Osbert Mundeford, Esq. of Feltwell, by whom he had William Cobbe, Esq. his son and heir, who had livery of this manor, &c. about 1580, on the death of his father. This William married (as is said) Elizabeth, or Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, and died May 16, 1612, as appears from an inquisition taken at Watton, September 18, in the said year, when Mary was found to be his widow, and Jeffrey Cobbe, Esq. his son and heir, by the said Mary, and she presented to the church of Sandringham in 1614.

Jeffrey married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Anthony Twaits of Hardingham, Esq. by whom he had William, his son and heir, aged 10 years on the death of his father Jeffrey, July 14, 1623: this William was a great royalist, and a colonel in the army, or militia, and suffered greatly on that account; he married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, and had by her, 4 sons and several daughters.

Jeffrey, his eldest son, was aged 25, in 1664, in which year his father presented to this rectory; this Jeffrey, married Frances, daughter of Isaac Astley, of Melton Constable, Esq. and sold this lordship about the year 1686, to Sir Edward Atkins, lord chief baron of the Exchequer, who shortly after conveyed it to James Host, Esq. (son of Theodore Hoost and Jane, (fn. 4) daughter of James Desmarstres) a rich merchant of London, who by Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Sley, alderman of London, had James Host, Esq. who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Walpole, Knight of the Bath, of Houghton, in Norfolk, by whom he had James Host, Esq. whose son and heir, James, married Susan, daughter of Anthony Hammond, Esq. of South Wotton, by Lynn, leaving a daughter and heiress, Susan, who married Henry Cornish Henley, Esq. lord in her right, and resides in the hall, or manor-house.

The arms of Host—azure, a bull's head, cabosed, argent, winged and horned, or.

The manors also of West hall and Butlers, in Babingley, extended into this town. John de Tateshale and Catharine his wife and John Le Boteler, and their tenants, in the 21st of Edward I. were found to hold one fee here, in Babingley, and Wolfreton, and in the said reign, Peter de Snetsham was found to hold a quarter of a fee in this town, of Robert de Tateshale, who held it in capite.

The Botelers, lords here and in Babingley, were descended from Nicholas Pincerna, or Boteler, who was enfeoft in the reign of King John, in the lordship of Wickmere, in Norfolk, by Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, and appears to be lord there, and of Sandringham, Babingley, and Wolverton. Emma Le Butiler, widow, and Thomas Le Butiler were living in 1232.

Nicholas Le Butiler was lord here, &c. in 1249, and married Beatrice, who afterwards remarried William Fitz Reyner, and was his wife in 1272; this Nicholas had a daughter and coheir, married to William de Sancto Claro, who sold his right or moiety here, to William de Heveningham: and Felice occurs the widow of St. Cleer, in 1285; but after this it appears that John de Botiler, who married Ida, daughter and coheir of John de Babingley, had a lordship here, in the 26th of Edward I. son (as I take it) of Sir Ralph le Botiler, probably brother of the aforesaid Nicholas; and in this family it continued till Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir John le Boteler brought it, about the end of Edward the Third's reign, to Jeffrey Cobbe, and so remained (as I have before observed) till conveyed to Sir Edward Atkins, &c.

West-hall, or Tateshale manor, passed, as is mentioned in Babingley, from the heirs of Tateshale, to the Lord Scales, &c. and so to his heirs, till conveyed to the Cobbs, and sold also with Wood-hall manor to Sir Edward Atkins, &c. and the patronage of this church was in the Tateshales and Cliftons, &c. who had a moiety of it as lords of this manor, and that of Babingley, as heirs to Eudo, son of Spiruwin. (fn. 5)

On Sandringham heath is dug up great plenty of stone, called carr, or iron stone.

The master of the preceptory of Carbrook, in Norfolk, held lands here at the will of the prior of St. John, of Jerusalem, in the 41st of Henry III.

The temporalities of Flitcham priory were 2s. in 1428, and of Westacre 2s.

Nine acres of land here, lately belonging to Westacre priory, in the tenure of Jeffrey Cobbe, were granted September 15, in the 3d of Elizabeth, to Ed. Warner and Robert Shelton.

The Church of Sandringham is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, and is a rectory; the old valor was 4 marks and an half, and paid 8d. Peter-pence, was in the patronage of the prior of Westacre, and the lord of West-hall, in Babingley, (the lord Tatishale,) and his heirs, &c.

The present valor is 5l. 6s. 8d. and is discharged of tenths, &c.

It is a single pile, with a tower at the west end.

In the chancel, on a grave-stone

In memory of Franc. Seward, A. M. rector of this Parish and of Newton, who died in 1732.

One for

Thomas Stringer, rector, who died in 1696.

In the summit of the south window—sable, a cross ingrailed, or.

In this church (as Weever says) was buried Richard Fitz John, patron of the church, as his epitaph declares, (fn. 6)Priez pur le Alme du Richard Fitz-Jean, patron de ceste Maison, as still appears by the incision on the stone, wherein the letters of brass were fixed, and stolen off.

On a grave stone near the font, with a brass plate, Here under lyeth William Cobbes of Sandringham, in the county of Norfolk, who marryed Dorothy, one of the dowghters of Syr John Spelman, Knyght, and had yssue betweyxt them iiii sons and viii dowghters, and the sayd William decessed the xviii day of January in the xxxviii yere of Kyng Henry the viii, Ao. Dni. m. cccccxli. Also on brass plates the arms of Cobbe, per chevron, sable and gules, in chief, two swans, proper, respectant, and in base, a herring cobb, naiant, or; and Boteler quarterly, impaling Spelman and Narburgh, quarterly.

On a grave-stone, Cobb's shield alone, and Cobb quartering Butler, and impaling quarterly, Spelman and Narburgh.

On the roof of the church at the east end, on the south side—sable, three cups, with their handles argent, Butler, impaling argent, on a cross ingrailed sable, five plates, between four choughs proper; and in a south window—Butler impales, per chevron, sable, and argent, three crosses flory, counterchanged.

In the churchyard, on the north side, are these altar tombs covered with black slabs:


In memory of Theod. Host, Esq. who married Elizabeth, daughter of === Burleigh, Esq. impaling argent, a lion rampant, sable, and a fess wavy, azure, over all, and died in 1725.

Another of

James Host, Esq. who died 1729, impaling Walpole; he married —, a daughter of Sir Edward Walpole, of Houghton.

Also one for

Js. Host, Esq. who died 1744, impaling Hamond; he married Susan daughter of Anthony Hamond, of South Wotton, Esq. azure, three doves between two chevronels, or.


In 1232, a composition was made between the prior and convent of Westacre, patrons of a mediety of this church, and Sir Robert Tateshale, patron of the other mediety, wherein they agreed to present alternately.

1321, Robert Algar, to both medieties, by the presentations of Sir Robert de Ufford, Knt. hac vice, and the prior, &c. of Westacre.

1334, Mr. Alexander de Langley, to both medieties. Ditto.

1372, John Burney, to both medieties, by the King, on account of the minority of the heir of Sir Adam de Clifton, and by the prior, &c.

1387, John Berton, (exchanged for Pyryton) by the prior, and Sir John Clyfton.

1393, Jeff. Chantrell, (exchanged for Stynford in Chichester dioc.) by the King, as guardian of the heir of John Clifton, and by the prior, &c.

1396, Roger Cobbe, (exchanged for Leringset,) by the prior, and by Margaret, late wife of Constant. Clifton.

1405, Richard Brydbrook, alias Goodrams, (exchanged for Henney M. London dioc.) by the prior, and Lady Margaret Clifton.

1408, Steph. Gamon, (exchanged for Ringsted St. Peter) by Ditto.

1410, John Bridale, (exchanged for Saxham Magna) by the prior, and Lady Margaret Clyfton.

1422, Simon Kene, (exchanged for Samford Magna, Essex) by the prior, and Lady Margaret Clyfton.

1327, Jeffrey Smith. Ditto.

1476, Fr. Riverus Iskolt, by the Bishop, a lapse.

John Strongman.

1504, William Company, by the prior, and John Earl of Oxford.

William Scott.

1548, Mr. Florence Semer, S.T. incep. by Thomas Heydon, Esq. and Dorothy his wife, relict of William Cobb, in right of a moiety of the manor of West-hall.

1551, John Patteson, or Packson, by Sir Ant. Wingfield. Knt.

1564, Jeff. Lawse, by Sir Robert Wing field, Knt.

1566, Robert Radcliff, by Jeffrey Cobbes, Esq.

1592, Steph. Clark, by William Cobb, Esq. united to Babingley.

1596, William Wiborow. Ditto.

1614, William Gurdyn, by Mary Cobb, widow, united to Babingley.

Adam Webb.

1660, Steph. Basset, by William Cobb, Esq. cum Babingley.

1664, Thomas Stringer. Ditto.

1697, John Lewis, by James Host, Esq.

1713, Robert Cremer. Ditto.

1728, Andrew Rogers. Ditto.

1731, Fran. Seward. Ditto.

1732, James Sharp. Dtto.


  • 1. Terre Rob. filii Corbutionis— Santdersingham, tenet Ranulfus, quam. ten. i lib. ho. sub Heroldo, T. R. E. tc. et p' i car. mo. n. tc. et p. v bor. mo. null. tc. et p' iii ser. mo. i et iii ac. et dim. pti. tc. et p' i car. ho'um. tc. et p' i sal. sep. val. xx. sol.
  • 2. Claus. Hen. IV. p. 2. m 9.
  • 3. Rer. Vox. Norw. p. 4.
  • 4. Theodoric Hoste, father of James, was son of James Hoost, of Midleburgh in Zealand, by Barbara, daughter of Derick Henricks, who fled into England, in Queen Elizabeth's time on the persecution of the Duke of Alva. There is a curious picture here of a young lady of the family, burned in those times, for her religion as a Protestant.
  • 5. See in Babingley.
  • 6. Weever's Fun. Mon.