In the Conqueror's time, this township, then wrote Dudelingtuna,
had two lordships: one held by the Earl Warren, the other by
Ralph Lord Limesey, of whom see in Oxburgh.
The Earl Warren's Manor.
Thirty two freemen, held of this Earl, four carucates of land, which
was held in the Confessor's time, by the same number of freemen;
there were always amongst them five carucates, and Ogerus, one of
them, had one carucate valued at 20s. It was then 8 furlongs in
length, and 4 in breadth, paid 13d. to the gelt, and was valued at
4l. 5s. per annum, and in the Confessor's time at cs. (fn. 1)
On an inquisition taken the 24th of Henry III. Thomas Coke of
this town was found to hold one fee and an half of this Earl, and
the Earl of the King in capite; and in the 34th of the said reign
Roger Coke held the same, and had view of frankpledge here without
the King's bailiff, by which it appears to be the capital manor; (fn. 2) also
in the 9th of Edward I. Robert Coke had the assize of bread and
beer, and in the 9th of Edw. II. John de Hockham was lord.
Richard de Holditch, and William de Hockham, held in
the 20th of Edw. III. three parts of a fee of John de Norwich, and he
of the Earl, formerly held by Thomas Coke: (fn. 3) the family of Holditch
appears to have possessions here before this; in the 7th of the said
King, a fine was levied between Richard de Holdich, and Richard
his son, querents, and William de Brome and Joan his wife, defendants, of 80 acres of land, 2 of meadow, 5 of pasture, and 30s.
rent here and in Foulden, conveyed to Richard the father. In the
39th of the said Edward III. Richard Holdich had free warren
granted him in all his lands here: in the 6th of King Richard II.
Richard Holdych was lord, and lived here. And in the 9th of the said
King, Richard Holdich and others alienated to the nuns of Marham, (fn. 4) Belets in Marham, 160 acres of land, 40 of meadow, and
the rent of 10s. per annum in Marham, with lands and tenements in
this town, to the value of 40l.
By an inquisition taken in the 3d of Henry IV. Thomas Holdych
was found to hold this manor of Sir Robert Knolls, and he of the Earl
of Arundel, the tenure unknown; and in the 7th of Henry V. Richard
Holdych of this town was one of those gentlemen of ancient coat
armour, who were returned by the justices of peace for the county, as
one of the 20 lances to serve the King in the French wars. (fn. 5)
In the 4th and 5th of Queen Elizabeth, (fn. 6) Miles Holdych, son
and heir of Richard, had livery of this manor, with those of Foulden,
Colveston, (fn. 7) and Ranworth; and in the 13th of that reign, John Holdich,
Esq. was lord, and Henry Holdich, Esq. occurs in 1592, 1603, who
had by Susanna his wife, Elizabeth his daughter and heiress, married
to Sir John Sidley of St. Clees in Chart Magna in Kent, whose son,
Sir John Sidley, Bart. sold it in 1650, to
Robert Wilson, Esq. of Merton in Surry, who died 11th November, 1660, and was son of Rowland Wilson, merchant of London,
who fined for alderman; by Catharine his wife, daughter of Richard
Rudd, citizen of London, afterwards wife of John Highlord, alderman
The said Rowland is said to have founded an alms-house at Merton. (fn. 8) Robert married Catharine, daughter of Edward Ashe, of
London, merchant, father of Sir Joseph Ashe, Knt. and Bart.; his
second wife was Joan, daughter of Mr. Parker of London, (fn. 9) merchant;
by his first wife he had two sons, Robert Wilson, Esq. who died a
bachelor in 1701, and Edward Wilson of Colveston, Esq. who married
a daughter of Mr. Webster of Bungey in Suffolk, by whom he had
Robert Wilson, Esq. the present lord.
Of the family of Holditch, it appears by ancient evidences, that
Gilbert Holdych of Foulden lived in the 32d of Edward I.; (fn. 10) and
in the 2d year of Edward II. Richard appears to be his son; also
Ralph, who was then married to Florentia; William Holdich, son of
Ralph, occurs in the 16th of Edward III.
Richard Holditch, son (as I take it) of Richard aforesaid, was
lord of this town 39th Edward III. and married Alice, daughter of
John Berney of Witchingham, and had 2 sons, Richard and Thomas,
and 3 daughters, Joan, Alice, and Margaret married to Nicholas
Beaupre of Outwell in Norfolk.
Margaret, late wife of John de Pakenham, (fn. 11) daughter of Robert
de Northwold, gave by deed, dated in the 16th of Edward II. land in
Wretton, to Ralph de Holdich, and in the 16th of Edward III. Robert
de Holdich of Foulden, John and William de Holdich, occur in
Richard Holdych and Agnes his wife lived in the 1st of Richard
II. and 3d of Henry IV. (fn. 12) and had a daughter Ann, married to Henry
Reepes of Thorp-Market in Norfolk.
Thomas Holdych died about the 7th of Henry VI. and his son
Thomas was then found to be 30 years old, and married Elizabeth,
daughter of Thomas Drew of Wygenhale St. Mary Magdalen, and
had Margaret his daughter, married to Jeffrey Kerville of Islington
Richard Holdich presented to Colveston in 1478, and John
Holdich to South Pickenham in 1475, which John, as I take it, was
the first husband of Elizabeth, afterwards wife of Robert Felmingham,
Gent. who by her will dated 31st Jan. 1522, bequeaths her body to
be buried in the church of the Black Fryars of Norwich, by the
body of her late husband, John Holdich; (fn. 13) "and I wull a Coope
browdrod upon the Back with oon Skochyn of Armes of my said
Husband and myn be bought by mine Executors, to the Value
of 20 Marks and better, and the same to be given to the Parish
Church of Foulden." By her will it appears she had two sons by
the said John, of which Robert was the eldest, and 3 daughters;
Robert presented to Colveston in 1536, and had a daughter Ursula,
married to Henry Hawes, Esq. of Helgey in Norfolk, and Frances,
married to William Rookwood of Weston.
John Holdich lived in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and presented to Didlington in 1570, and married Elizabeth, daughter of
Richers, Esq. of Swannington, and had a daughter married to Thomas
Mayhew of Clipsby, Esq. lord of Colveston, &c.
The Lord Limesis's Manor.
In the time of the Confessor, Hardwin held here one carucate,
a mill, and a fishery, valued at 20s. &c. and was granted by the
Conqueror to Ralph de Limesio, a potent baron. (fn. 14) From the Lord
Limesey, the capital lord, this part of the town descended to the
Odinsels, &c. as may be seen at large in Oxburgh, and was held in
the 24th of Henry III. by John de Burehall, of Hugh de Odinsels; (fn. 15)
and in the 9th of Edw. II. by John de Sharnbourn; after this I meet
with no further account of it, being sold, and united to the other
The church of Dudlington is a regular structure, having a nave
and south and north isles, covered with lead; the length of the nave
is about 49 feet, and the breadth, including the isles, about 40 feet;
the rest of the nave is of oak, and the vault of it is supported by octangular pillars, forming 8 arches, 4 on a side. At the lower end of the
nave, is a very large marble gravestone about 10 feet in length and 5 in
breadth, having curious nichings and engravings on it, now almost
obscured by age, in memory, probably, of some of the family of
Holdich; but the brass plate with the inscription is reaved: at the
west end of this nave stands a four-square tower of flint, (as the church
is,) with quoins and embattlements of free-stone; in this tower were
lately three bells, the second is dedicated to St. Michael, and thus
Dulcis : Sisto : Melis : Campana Vocor : Michaelis.
The windows of the north isle are ornamented with blue glass and
cinquefoils of gold, so that it is likely some one of the Bardolph
family was a benefactor to, or founder of, the said isle. And in the
uppermost window is a shield of the arms of Holdich.
In the east window of the south isle are the broken remains of the
Virgin with the child Jesus in her arms; also the arms of Lord Bardolph; the said window is edged with text [M] and crowns over them.
At the bottom of the uppermost window of this isle, is ermine on a
fess gules three bezants, Dagworth, an ancient Suffolk family;
Thomas de Dagworth was a parliamentary baron, and was sent into
Britain with 100 men of arms, and 200 archers, in 1344.
In the middle window are the remains of two figures painted on
the glass, one on the right hand has an antique gown flowered with
roses, and over his head, which is broke off, the letter [H] for Howard; the other has a gown flowered gutty, the head of it is also gone.
In the windows is a broken shield, seemingly arg. a saltier azure,
and ermine on a fess gul. three bezants.
And these arms:
The chancel is divided from the nave by an ancient screen, and is
in length about forty, and in breadth about 16 feet, and has an ascent
of three steps to the communion table, which is railed in; on the
pavement lies a stone thus inscribed,
Under this Stone lieth the Bodies of John Wesne, Gent: and
Elizabeth his Wife, who departed this Life December 25 and 26,
in the Year of our Lord 1691.
Against the south wall, near the east end is a compartment of freestone, embellished with festoons, &c.; on the summit is, sable, a wolf
saliant or, and in chief a flower-de-lis, arg. between two bezants of
the 2d, Wilson; and in the centre, on a black marble, this inscription in letters of gold:
Here lyeth the Body of Robert Wilson of Didlington in
the county of Norfolk, Esq; Son and Heir of Robert Wilson
of Merton in the County of Surry, Esq; He departed this Life on
the 10th of December 1701, in the 51 Year of his Age.
Under the shield is this motto, Deducet in portum.
On a like compartment against the north wall is this inscription,
Here lyeth the Body of Edward Wilson of Didlington, Esq;
second son of Robert Wilson of Merton in the County of Surry,
Esq; he departed this Life April 3, 1708, in the Year of his Age
55. Here also lyeth the Body of Katharine Wilson daughter to
the said Edward Wilson, who departed this Life 29th September
1699. Here also lyeth the Body of Katharine Wilson, another
Daughter of the said Edward Wilson, who departed this Life
February 11, 1708.
Besides the arms already observed, there were formerly in the said
church those of Harsick, and arg. on a saltier azure, a cinquefoil or,
in the midst, quarterly, or, 2 lions passant azure in the 1st and 4th,
and arg. a cross patonce azure in the 2d and 3d, Dudley and
Malpas; also gul. three sea-fowls arg. Foulere, or Fowler.
The church of Dudlington was formerly a rectory, and in the
patronage of the Earls of Warren and Surry, and John Earl Warren
is said, about the year 1300, to have given the presentation to the
convent of Marham in Norfolk. In the 27th year of King Edward I.
Alexander was rector, and one Thomas de la Ware had a trial
with him, and recovered a mark damage against him for impounding
his free-bull; it was found by the jury that one Jeffrey de Overbeck
formerly held here one messuage, and half a carucate of land of the
Prior of Lewes, paying a fee tarm rent of 1 mark per annum, and had
the liberty of keeping a free-bull here, time immemorial; and that
Jeffrey Overbeck enfeoffed Simon de Caitey in the said messuage,
land, and free-bull; and after that, Thomas de Ware and Beatrix his
wife held the same. The church was appropriated to the convent of
Marham, (fn. 16) on the 20th of December 1302, by John Bishop of Norwich, and a vicar endowed was to take place on the death of the
William de London, rector in the time of Henry III.
Alexander, rector in the 27th of Edward I.
1302, Aug. 1st, Oliver de Wysete, the first vicar, was presented by
the convent of Marham.
1302, William Picks de Thetford presented by the convent of
Marham, and nominated by the Bishop of Norwich, as were the
1316, Roger, son of Henry Baker, of Dudlington.
1335, Robert de Ingham.
1349, Nicholas Bolswell of Methelwold.
Peter Man occurs in the 3d of Richard II.
1397, Thomas Annfrey, res.
1407, John Elomy of Shropham, in exchange for the rectory of
Stanefield in Norfolk.
1428, John Ereswell.
1431, Robert Hecocks, res.
1446, John Purle, res.
1450, John Passlylaw, canon of West Derham, res.
1466, Thomas Cley.
1473, John Aleyn.
John Lychefeld, res.
1482, Thomas Myntelyng.
Audrey Ellis, by will dated 4th April 1483, leaves money to St.
John's gild here, St. Margaret's image, and the sepulchre.
1488, Stephen Brownyng, on the resignation of Myntelyng.
1504, Richard Carter, res.
1510, John Harpley, ob.
1517, Thomas Hedge, res.
1524, Thomas Smythe, ob.
1530, Thomas Mawdeson.
Robert Halman; he was also rector of Boughton and Colveston, and was deprived by Queen Mary.
1554, James London, ob. the Bishop by lapse.
1557, Richard Carter, A. M. presented by John Hare, Gent. for
in the 38th year of King Henry VIII. this rectory, part of the possessions of the dissolved convent of Marham, was given to Nicholas
1558, John Echard, on the resignation of Carter. John Hare,
citizen and mercer of London. Archbishop Parker, in his Certificatorium of the Clergy, a MSS. in Bennet college library, (inter Miscel.
Nr. 5,) gives him this character: " Presbyter non conjugatus, indoctus, non residet, non hospitalis, in rectoriâ sua de Skarninge, non
prædicat, nec licentiatus."
1570, Henry Hamond, on the death of the last vicar. John
Holdich, Esq. who purchased the rectory, and the presentation to
the vicarage, from John Hare.
Mr. Chapman, res.
1578, Edmund Turner, lapse, res.
1592, Thomas Hooper, A. M. Hen. Holdich, Esq.
1597, Jeffrey Hooper, A. B. on the promotion of Thomas Hooper,
(to North Rungton) by Ditto. In his time, in his answers to King
James concerning the state of the parishes, there were then 63 communicants. Res.
1615, Anthony Wilkinson, A. M. Benjamin Cooper of Yarmouth, merchant, patron of this turn.
1622, Benjamin Berwick, A.M. Tho. Edgeley and Tho. Carvel
for this turn; he held this and Colveston annexed by union, and the
rectory of West-Toftes with them by dispensation.
Andrew Needham, res.
1676, Wormley Martin, A. M. Borage Martin, Esq. of Thetford, patron of this turn.
At this time this church and that of Colveston were consolidated.
1685, John Ellis, A. M. the King by lapse. In 1617, license was
granted to take down the Vicarage-house.
1720, the Rev. Mr. John Brundish, A. M. on the death of Ellis, was
presented by Rob. Wilson, Esq. and now holds it united to the
vicarage of Foulden.
Before the rectory was appropriated, it was valued at 20 marks;
the rector had a manse, with 20 acres of glebe; and half the rectory
is said to have been appropriated to the monastery of Lewes in
Sassex, and confirmed by Thomas Bishop of Norwich in 1230, and
was de novo appropriated to the nuns of Marham, by John Bishop
of Norwich, 13 Kal. Januarij 1302, and a vicarage was endowed,
taxed at the 3d part of the rectory.
The nuns at Marham were taxed for their spiritualities at 20
This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 8l. 4s. 4d. ob. and
being together with Colveston, valued at 40l. per annum, it is
discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation;
it paid 12d. Peter-pence. The Revision says, the Bishop's procurations
are 2s. ob. synodals 2s. archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.
This village paid 4l. 15s. clear to every tenth, besides 12s. on account of the lands of the religious, and there are not above 3 or 4
farm-houses, besides the hall, which stands south of the church.