Hocham, [hoc-ham], or, the town in the dirt, as the name signifies,
was a rectory appendant to the manor till the year 1227, and then
Warene de Monte Caniso, or Montchensy, released the advowson to
Richard Prior of the monks at Thetford, to which house it was soon
after appropriated, and a vicarage instituted, to which the priors
presented till the Dissolution.
1349, 3 Nov. John de Reding of Berningham, priest. Mary
Countess of Norfolk, for this turn.
1372, 6 Jan. Thomas de Goldyngton, priest. The King, for this
turn, on account of the priory alien at Thetford, which is now in his
1376, 16 Jan. Rob. Bert of Brandon, priest, on Goldyng's resignation. The Prior of the monks at Thetford.
1377, 13 March, Robert Stugg of Thefford, priest. Ditto.
1408, 2 May, Mr. Robert Waleys of Sudbourne, priest. Ditto.
1411, 30 Octob. Will. Sparescho of Ixworth, priest. Ditto.
1420, 27 Nov. Robert Fenn of Rushworth, priest. Ditto.
1421, 8 Oct. Robert Trapet, priest. Ditto.
1438, 10 July, Rob. Langwade, priest. Will. Elveden. SubPrior of Thetford, the priory being void.
1438, 15 Dec. William Jointure. Ditto.
1483, 4 Dec. Ralph Beele, on Burges's resignation The Prior.
1497, 11 July, Will. Wellys, on Beele's death. Robert Prior of
1527, 18 Nov. Brother John Ixworth, Prior of the monks at Thetford, was instituted into the vicarage at his own and his convent's
presentation, according to the Pope's dispensation, granted to the
priors of the said monastery; at the death of William Wellys, the prior
paid 53s. 4d. for first fruits, to the Bishop, at his institution.
1529, 16 Febr. Robert Hyde was instituted on the prior's resignation, who reserved a pension of 4 marks per annum, for life, before
he presented Hyde to the vicarage, who was the last presented by
1554, 25 Febr. George Halstede, priest. Thomas Duke of Norfolk.
1573, 13 March, John Wolfenden. Henry Coppinger, Gent.
1582, 20 Sept. Will. Carter, A.M. on Wolfenden's resignation. Ditto.
1606, 21 Jan. John Benson. Robert Jermyn, Knt.
1634, 22 Dec. Robert French, A.M. on Benson's death. Bacquevill Bacon, Esq.
1636, French resigned, and John Underwood, A.M. was instituted
at the presentation of Bacq. Bacon, Esq. and held it united to Study,
with a certificate that it was not above 20 miles distant, and this is
one of the first unions that I have met with, that had any certificate
of distance, the Bishops of Norwich having always had power of
uniting any two benefices, so that both were within their own diocese.
1661, Samuel Greene, A.B. was instituted to the vicarage of HochamMagna and Parva annexed, on the death or John Underwood. Rob.
Kerington, Gent. patron.
1667, 9 July, Peter Lock, A.M. on Greene's death, united to Illington. Philippa Kedington, widow.
1673, 23 March, Car. Sippius. A.M. on Lock's death. Ditto.
1679, 20 Oct. John Baldock, A.M. on Sippins's cession. Ditto.
1681, 12 Aug. Daniel Bret, A.M. on Baldock's resignation. Ditto.
1690, 21 July, Henry Goodrick, A.M. on Bret's deprivation.
Henry Kedington, Esq. united to Illington.
1712, 14 Oct. Tho. Sadler, on Goodrick's death. Philip Riley,
1714, 16 Jan. Will. Barcroft, A.B. on Sadler's resignation. Ditto.
1717, 9 April, John Abbot, A.B. on Barcroft's resignation. Ditto.
1724, 1 April, the Rev. Mr. John Verdon. A.B. on Abbot's cession,
who holds it united to Rowdham. Ditto.
The impropriation and advowson of the vicarage, at the Dissolution,
went with the abbey of Thetford, and all its revenues, to Thomas
Duke of Norfolk, who sold it to the Coppingers, and they, about 1600,
to the Jermyns, and so it was joined to the manor.
The vicarage is valued at 8l. 17s. 11d. in the King's Books, and
being sworn of the clear yearly value of 40l. 10s. only, it is discharged
of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation.
The Church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and hath no tower;
the ruins of one that hath been dilapidated many years, lie at the
west end of the church, in which I find these memorials.
On a mural monument against the north chancel wall,
Memoriæ Roberti Baldock, Filij Roberti Baldock,
Equitis Aurati, et Mariæ Uxoris Ejus, natu Minoris, Prælio
Navali contra Belgas, 28° die Maij, Anno Dom. 1673, Ætatis
suæ 18, occisi. posuit Pater.
Cœlum, Animam (Spero) annumerat Fælicibus Umbris,
Nescius an Corpus Terra, vel Unda Capit.
On flat marbles in the chancel,
Henricus Bacon Armiger, Bacquevilli Bacon Ar. (Dni. Nicholai
Bacon de Redgrave, Militis & Baronetti Filij Natu Tertij) Filius
Natu Tertius, Bacquevilli Bacon Ar. Frater et Hæres, obijt 13°
die Martij Ano Salutis 1647.
Depositum Mariæ Filiæ Bacquevilli Bacon Ar. Natu maximæ,
Henrici Bacon Ar. Sororis & Cohæredis, Uxoris Roberti Baldock Ar: Dote, Fide, Forma, Moribus, Castitate, Pietate, Desideratissimæ, ex hac Vita migravit 11° die Augusti An° Salutis 1662.
Here lyeth the body of Robert Kedington of Great Hockham,
in the County of Norff. Esq; who took to Wife Philipa, the second Daughter of Bacquevill Bacon, Esq; Sister and Coheir of
Henry Bacon, Esq; he departed this Life the 28 Day of March
Anno Dni: 1667.
Phillipa Kedington, Uxor ejus obijt 9 Augti 1690.
Henry Kedington, obijt 21 April 1690. Katharina Kedington
7 Febr: 1690.
Rob. Kedington 1 Nov: 1698. Liberi Henr: et Margaretæ
Sir Robert Baldock, one of the Judges of the Common Pleas
during the reign of King James II. was buried here; he died Oct. 4,
1691, and had two wives, the first of which was Mary, sister and
coheir of Henry Bacon, and daughter of Bacqueville Bacon of Hocham, Esq.
In 1532, Robert Poley of Hocham, was buried in the church, as I
find by his will, in which is this clause: "Item I wyll that my tenement sumtyme called Jankyns lately John Taylour, alias Nebys,
now Robert Poley's, shall fynde and kepe a light before our Lady of
Petye, wyth five prekett candells of waxe, to burn in the church of
Hocham in tyme of divyne service in the said church, for ever." (fn. 1)
Was always one manor, which belonged to Edric in the Confessor's
days, and to Roger Bigot at the survey, when it was worth 4l. and
was three miles long and one broad, and paid 15d. geld; (fn. 2) it then extended into Wayland hundred, and a freeman that held 8 acres of
land in that hundred, (fn. 3) but the superiour lordship of it belonged to
Bukenham castle as the rest of the town did, the leet belonging to
the hundred of Shropham, to which the town always paid a common
fine or leet fee of 7s. a year, till the hundred was mortgaged and after
sold to the Kedingtons, (fn. 4) and then the leet and leet fee, with all the
liberties belonging to the leet and the whole liberties which belonged
to the hundred were joined to the manor, before they sold the hundred, and excepted upon the sale of it, so that the lord of the hundred
hath no paramountship in this town. From the Bigots it went to
the Albanys, who infeoffed the Montchensies; and in 1235, Warine de
Munchensy held it at one fee, of Bukenham castle, it being one of the
fees formerly Earl Bygot's. King Henry III. granted Dionise Montchensy a charter for a fair, and market, to be kept here every Friday; (fn. 5)
and in 1285, she had liberty of free-warren in all her demeans here;
but all the superiour jurisdictions were at the same time allowed to
Robert de Tateshale, lord of Bukenham castle, as superiour lord of
the leet, namely, view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, and a
pillory, as well for his own tenants as others. And in this year it
was presented by the jury, sworn before the justices itinerant at Norwich, that an unknown man was taken at Hocham, in the manor of
Dionise de Montchensy of Hocham, with a line of 13d. value, and was
carried into the open court there, and without any one's prosecuting
him, was taken and hanged; upon which the sheriff was ordered to
summon the said Dionise, and the suiters of her court there, to give an
account of it. At her death it went to the Earl of Pembrook, and so
descended to the Hastyngs Earls of Pembrook; (as you may see
under Winfurthing, p. 186;) and in 1487, John de Hastyngs Earl of
Pembrook settled it on Anne his wife, daughter of Margaret, daughter
and heir of Thomas de Brotherton Earl of Norfolk. In 1391, Reginald Grey, Knt. was lord; in the year 1400, Philippa, widow of John
de Hastyngs, the last Earl of Pembrook of that name, was dead, and
held it to her death, in dower of the Lord Mowbray, as of his manor
of Forncet, by the service of 9d. per annum castle-guard, and it was
found, that Sir Edward Hastyngs, (of Elsyng,) Knt. was her husband's
next heir, but for all that it descended to the Greys of Ruthyn, heirs
general of the family; and this year Sir Reginald de Grey of Ruthyn,
Knt. settled it on feoffees, but in 1401, he had released it, for then
William Beauchamp had it; and in 1435, Joan, widow of William
Beauchamp of Bergavenny, died seized of it, as parcel of the inheritance of the Hastyngses Earls of Pembrook; and it descended to
Elizabeth, wife of Edward Nevil Lord Abergavenny, daughter and
heir of Richard Beauchamp Earl of Worcester, son and heir of William
and this Joan in 1475; Edward Nevil, younger son of George Nevile
Lord Bergavenny, was possessed of the manor, by virtue of his father's will in 1491; and in 1535, Sir George Nevile, Knt. and Sir
Edward Nevile, Knt. settled it on William Drury; in 1539, John
Heydon, Knt. and Catherine his wife, and Chris. Heydon, Knt. sold
it to Sir Thomas Jermyn, Knt.; in 1576, Sir Ambrose Jermyn of
Rushbrook was seized, and Sir Robert Jermyn, his son, had it in
1599, and then levied a fine to William Killegrew, Esq. Will. Jermyn,
Esq. and others. About 1600, Bacquevile (fn. 6) Bacon of Hockham, third
son of Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave, Bart. by Anne, daughter and
heir of Edmund Butts, was lord, and at his death left it to Bacquevile
Bacon, his eldest son, who died a minor in 1641, aged 17 years, and
Henry his brother inherited, being then 15 years old. He died the
13th of March, 1641, and was buried here leaving his three sisters his
coheiresses; Mary, the eldest, married Judge Baldock; Philipa, the
second, married Robert Kedington, who lived and died here; Anne,
the third, married Nicholas Rookwood of Euston, Esq. and sold their
third part to Robert Kedington, who afterwards purchased Baldock's
part, and so became sole lord, and at his death left it to Philipa his
wife, who kept her first court Oct. 15, 1667; and at her death, Henry
Kedington of Hockham, Esq. became lord, and kept his first court
9 Oct. 1685; (fn. 7) and in 1702, Philip Ryley, Esq. serjeant at arms to
the lord treasurer, surveyor of the Queen's woods and forests on the
south side of Trent, and one of the commissioners of the excise,
who was afterwards knighted, purchased the manor, impropriation,
and advowson, of Henry Kedington, Gent. and built a neat brick
house here, which is now  the seat of Philip Reginald Ryley,
Esq. his grandson and heir.
The ancient Customs and privileges within the manor of Great
Hocham, as appears by the examined evidences of the said manor.
The lord hath the goods of felons de se, within the manor. (Court
Roll 11 H. 7.) No tenant can waste his copyhold; women are dowable for a moiety of the copyhold, of which their husbands are seized,
during the coverture.
A man, by the custom of this manor, is tenant by the courtesy of
England, of lands and tenements of this manor, of which his wives
are seized, and have issue between them. (Roll 12 E. 3.)
No tenants of the lord's, inhabiting in Great Hocham, ought to be
cited to the consistory or spiritual courts, because it is against the
custom of that village or town, and to the prejudice of the lord, as
appears by the prior of the monks at Thetford, A° 1 H. 4.
Hocham Meare, alias Cranberry Fen, is a separate water of the lords
of this manor; (Rolls 7. 10 H. 7. 13. 22 H. 8. 16 Eliz.) it contains
fourteen score acres, and is in circuit 708 perches, every perch containing 18 feet, and the lord hath a fish-house there.
The lord of the manor is lord of the common of pasture in Great
Hockham, and of all waste in the bounds of the village.
The tenants give for a fine for their copyhold lands and tenements;
upon every alienation, whether by death or surrender, according to the
ancient custom of this manor, 12d. out of every mark of the value
and price of their lands and tenements by them taken up, and such
fine is called mark shilling.
One copyhold tenant can take a surrender, and another witness it.
The lands descend to the eldest son, and the manor extends into
Breccles, Illington, Tottington, and Thomson. (fn. 8)
In 1384, Sir Stephen de Hales, Knt. aliened divers lands here and in
other towns, to the Prior of Walsyngham. In 1654, the township of
Hocham held divers lands of this manor.
This town hath no market at this time, it contains about 200 soals,
and paid 4l. 7s. to the tenths, and is now assessed with Little Hocham
at 628l. 6s. 8d. to the King's tax.