Hapeton, Habeton, or Harpton advowson, (fn. 1) was given by Sir
Robert de Nerford, founder of Lingerescroft hospital by North-Creke,
afterwards called the monastery of St. Mary de Pratis, or Creke
abbey, to that house, to which it was appropriated, and was to be
served by a chaplain or parish curate, to be nominated by the convent,
and paid a competent annual stipend for the service, out of the profits;
and Alice daughter of John Pounchard, formerly wife of Sir Robert
de Nerford, confirmed it, with the moiety of the church of Wrenningham (as at p. 119,) as did King Edward I. in 1273. (fn. 2)
The church is dedicated to St. Margaret, was first valued at 7,
and after at 8 marks, and had 23 acres of glebe; it paid 5s. procurations, 22d. synodals, 8d. Peter-pence; and 4d. carvage; and the
Abbot paid for his spirituals, 10s. 8d. to each tenth, and for his temporals 25s. 1d. In 1314, John Ashwell, by royal license, aliened to
the Abbot of Creke, three roods of land in Hapton, to enlarge the site
of the rectory-house there. In 1426, Brother Robert Felbrigge, abbot
of Creke, sold to John Flete and his heirs, a messuage called Dalyots
in Hapton, and 4 acres of land, paying 2s. and an hen yearly to that
house. In 1461, John Shelton, Esq. lessee to John, abbot of Creke,
sealed to John Wode, then parish chaplain of Hapton, all the lands,
houses, great and small tithes, for 10 years. About 1506, this monastery was looked upon as dissolved, because the abbot died without a
convent, to elect another; whereupon, all the lands and revenues, by
the procurement of the Lady Margaret Countess of Richmond, mother
to King Henry VII. were settled on her college in Cambridge called
Christ's college; and ever since, the impropriation hath remained
in the master and fellows there, who nominate a perpetual curate to
serve the parish, and pay him out of the profits, it having been esteemed a donative in their gift, ever since the foundation, and as such
it now remains.
In 1603, Mr. Thomas Hutchinson, perpetual curate, returned answer,
that there were 43 communicants, that the whole parish paid 50s. to
each tenth, and that Christ's college had 23 acres of glebe. The
Prior of Thetford was taxed at 22d. ob. for temporals here; the Prior
of Walsingham 6d. the Abbot of Sibeton 10s. and the Prior of Bukenham 2s. 9d. ob.
The church hath no steeple, the nave is leaded, and the chancel
thatched; in the east window are the arms of Thorp, Clifton, and
Caily, and az. three croslets arg. but there are no other memorials.
There is a bell hanging in a wooden frame in the churchyard.
On the stocks:
Those that fear God, and keep an honest Name,
Shall not come here, to undergoe the Shame,
Then you that suffer, don't true Justice blame.
There was an ancient family sirnamed from the town; in a deed
without date, Stephen son of Eustace de Habeton, was an owner
here, and in 1348, Will. de Habetun, and in 1412, John Hapton of
By a deed without date, William Apuliensis gave to God and the
church of St. Michael at Florendona or Flordon 3 acres in Habbetona
or Hapton, between the land of Roger son of William the priest, and
the glebe of St. Margaret's church at Hapeton, for the benefit of his
own soul, and those of his father and mother, of Margaret his wife,
and of Roger Glanvile, and all his ancestors; Safrid, the priest of
Habbeton, and Michael the parish chaplain of Flordon, and many
others, being witnesses.
The manor was joined to that of Fundenhale at the Conquest, by
Walter de Dol; the church had then 15 acres of glebe. The town
was a mile long, and a mile and a quarter broad, and paid 6d. 3q. to
the geld. (fn. 3) It was always held of the Norfolk family, as of Forncet
manor, at one quarter of a fee, and always attended the manor of
Ashwell-thorp, as at p. 142, to p. 162, to which I refer you. The
manor-house is called Hapton-hall, and was always the jointure-house
of the Knevet family. The style of the manors now runs, Ashwellthorp with Wreningham, and Fundenhale with Hapton.
The manor of Forncet extended into this town, and hath done so
ever since the Conquest, for then Herbert, chamberlain to Roger
Bigot, (fn. 4) had a freeman and 15 acres; and another freeman late of
Bishop Stigand, (fn. 5) held 30 acres, &c. and there were 4 freemen (fn. 6) that
always belonged to Forncet, that held 36 acres, &c.
There was another part in this village of about 90 acres, and some
small rents held by knight's service of William de Vallibus, or Vaus, and
in 1221, was settled by William de Langham, on Robert de Nerford,
and was held in 1341, by Robert son of William Dun, of Roger le
Strange, lord of Knokyn, and Dame Joan his wife. In 1421, Sir
Robert Carbonel, Knt. owned them, and after him, Sir John Carbonel
and Margery his wife; which Sir John by his will proved in 1425,
gave 10 marks to each of his executors, out of his manors of Breydeston, Caston, Shipdham, and of his lands and tenements in Brisingham, Hapton, &c.; and in 1426, they were held as parcel of Wormegey
In 1345, Wido de Verdon, held a knight's fee in Brisingham and
Hapton, (fn. 7) of the Abbot of Bury, and the Abbot of the King, in chief,
or in capite.