This whole town, except four acres, was given by the founder of
St. Bennet's abbey at the Holm in Norfolk, to that house, and at the
Confessor's survey, Algar, a freeman, held it of the convent, (fn. 1) and it
was then worth 20s. per annum and was a mile long and half a mile
broad, and paid 8 pence towards every 20s. raised on the hundred,
when the King taxed it. The Conqueror gave it to Ralf Bainard,
of whom Godfride Bainard held it, at 30s. rent, when that prince
took his survey. It continued in the Bainards with Merton (as in
vol. ii. p. 299,) till Sir Fulk Baynard, the first of that name, who
held it of Sir Robert Fitzwalters barony of Baynard's Castle, infeoffed the whole in Eudo, sirnamed de Skegeton or Skeyton,
who was sole lord and patron; but the soc, (fn. 2) and chief lete, belonged
to the hundred, as to the manor of Aylesham, and there was one tenement, which he held of the abbot of St. Benet, (fn. 3) which Eudo held of
that convent in the Confessor's time, and his successour, Ralf de
Beaufoe, in the Conqueror's, and his steward Radbod held it under him
as of that house, (fn. 4)
Skeyton's Manor, or Skeyton Hall,
Took its name from its lords, as they did from the town.
Eudo De Skeytone had two knights fees, and 5 bovates in
Crostweyt, Boton, Tibenham, (see vol. v. p. 284,) and Skeyton. and left
four sons (1) Sir Ralf, who died without issue, as (2) did Sir Richard
de Skeyton, Knt. and (3) William his brother succeeded, who, in
1187 settled on the four daughters (fn. 5) of his brother (4) Hugh, (fn. 6) with
warranty against Ralf, their only brother, (who was a priest, and rector
here,) the 3d part of Skeyton manor and advowson, all which centred at last in William de Whitwell, who married Clarice de
Skeyton, and this was the original of Whitwell-hall alias
Gambon's manor here.
The other two third parts, or Skeyton-hall manor, this William
died seized of, and left to Robert his son, who in 1236 sued William
son of Isaac, son of Richard de Felmingham, to know by what authority he and his tenants commoned their cattle in Skeyton; who proved
that Richard, his ancestor, was seized of that right, as belonging to
his fee in Felmingham, and so recovered it. (fn. 7) In 1289, this advowson
was settled to be presented to alternately, by Robert de Skeyton,
in right of Skeyton-hall, and by William de Whitwell, in right
of Whitwell-hall. In 1290 (fn. 8) Sir John de Skeyton, Knt. son of Sir
Robert, was lord here and of Tibenham, (see vol. v. p. 284), and died
in 1308; and John Fastolf, Knt. burgess of Yarmouth, sold to Sir
Thomas Bavent, Knt. (who presented here as guardian in 1306), the
wardship and marriage of Ralf, son and heir of Sir John de Skegeton, Knt. being given to Fastolf, by Sir Fulk Baniard, Knt. of
whom Skeyton was held; in the presence of Sir William de Kerdeston, Knt. Sir William Roscelyne, Sir Roger de Gyney, and Sir Thomas Bardolf, Knts. In 1315 Sir Ralf de Skeyton was lord and patron,
who in 1321 released to Alice Bretoun and her heirs, and to Robert
Brian of Felmingham and Hawise his wife, and their heirs, all his
claim in the homages, services, and customs which they formerly held
of Sir Ralf, and Sara his mother, in Felmingham and Skeyton; he
sealed with Vair erm. and sab. a bend. Felicia his widow was alive in
1358, but in 1323 Sir Ralf settled it, with Boton, on himself and
Maud de Nerford, and her sons, as in Boton, and in 1345 Alice,
sister and heiress of Sir Ralf, then widow of Hautein, her second husband, released all right to the said Maud. In 1345, Sir William de
Warren, Knt. held two parts of a fee in Skeyton, Boton, Crostweyt,
and Tibenham, of the heirs of Fulk Baniard, and had issue, Edward,
John, and William, and died in 1382, leaving to his son, Sir John
Warren, Knt. whose wife Margaret carried it to her second husband,
John Mayne-Wareyne, who had it in 1401, and held it in 1403, of
Hadeston manor, and it passed with Booton, till it was purchased by
William Hare of Beeston, Gent. about 1532, who left it to Alice
his wife, who remarried to Robert Rugge, alderman of Norwich,
whose widow she was in 1559; and at her death, Audrey Hare, her
nly daughter and heiress, carried it to her husband, (fn. 9)
Thomas Hobart of Plumsted, Gent.; and in 1612, Sir Thomas
Hobart, Knt. presented, and it continued in that family till purchased
Sir Robert Paston, Bart. who presented in 1666; and Whitewell-hall being joined to this, the whole hath remained in his
family ever since, it being part of the estate of the late Earl of Yarmouth, who was sole lord and patron, though the lete belongs to the
hundred, as a member of Aylesham manor.
Whitwell-Hall, or Gambon's Manor,
Contained a third part of the town, and came with Clarice or Cla
rence de Skeyton to William de Whitwell, her husband;
their son, Richer de Whitwell, succeeded, and then William, his son
and heir, who died in 1293, leaving this and Whitwell's in Runhall,
(as at vol. ii. p. 474,) to John his brother, who died about 1298, and
left this manor, then valued at 5l. 10s. per annum, to Isabel his wife for
life, who held it in 1315; and in 1324 William de Whitwell settled it
on Catherine his wife, who presented in 1335, and owned it in 1345;
Simon de Whitwell, (fn. 10) their son, had it, and died in 1371, and was buried
before St. Maries altar in Skeyton church, by John de Whitwell his
father, whose daughter and coheiress, Cecily, (fn. 11) married
William Gambon, (fn. 12) who presented in 1378, and had half this
manor in 1393, and Richard their son was then 13 years old, and
dying young, left a son, Richard, who inherited about 1429, at his
grandfather's death; and John Gambon, Esq. his cousin, had it after
him, and died without issue, seized of it in 1432, leaving Ellen his
wife in possession during her life, and then it went to
Robert Sterne, son of his sister Joane, by her husband Sterne,
whose son, Thomas, was also lord here, (fn. 13) and died issueless in 1460,
and his brother Henry had it till 1467, whose son Henry was then at
his death only four years old; he was lord here till his death, and then
succeeded by Simon Sterne, who presented in 1548, and had the whole
manor, Whitwell's part being now joined again to this; for in 1553
Simon Sterne of Skeyton, Gent. suffered a recovery of the manors of
Whitwell's alias Gambon's in Skeyton, with the advowson, sc.
the moiety thereof, and Whitwell alias Gambon's in Whitwell,
by which they were settled on Robert Coke and Thomas Pain, in trust,
for a jointure for Ellen his wife, as to Skeyton, and to himself in fee,
as to Whitwell.
In 1591, Jonas Goldingham, Gent. and Edward Aldham, Gent.
settled it on Henry Goldingham, Gent. and Leonard Gaston, Esq.
with the third part of the advowson; and in 1601 Jonas and Henry
Goldingham, Gent. settled it on Richard Dawtrey and Thomas Keble,
and being after purchased by the Hobarts, it was joined to, and still
remains with, Skeyton-hall manor aforesaid.
The Church is dedicated to all the Saints, and is leaded, as also
the chancel; the south porch is tiled; there is a square tower and
three bells, the least of which was given in 1506, by Peter Howys of
Yarmouth. In the chancel window,
Orate pro animbus Nicholai Bullec et uxoris eius
On a freestone by the altar,
Alicia spendlobe rrb Aug.
Hugh Spendlobe, rii Feb.
Animas dederunt Deo. Corpora Sepulchro.
The Father and Mother of Prebend Spendlove.
The arms of Warren, lord here, with the canton of Nerford;
and Warren quartering on a chevron three swans, and Paston
Sterne, arg. a chevron between three croslets formy sab. with a
bordure sab. scattered with croslets formy or, for difference. These
arms are now lost.
Robert King, formerly servant to William Earl of Yarmouth,
was buried here in May 1727, in the 103d year of his age. He had
an entire set of new teeth about ten years before his death. (fn. 14)
Valuation to the land-tax, 365l.;—county rate to a 300l. levy, 7s. 9d.;
—old tenths, 3l. 16s.;—old valuation of the rectory, 15 marks;—synodals, 8d.;—Peter-pence, 8d.;—Bishop's procurations, 2s. 4d. ob.;—
archdeacon's procurations, 7s. 7d. ob.
Here is a parsonage-house and about 28 acres of glebe, and in the
New Valor is mentioned an outgoing of 12d. per annum to the steward.
It is capable of augmentation, being discharged of first fruits and
tenths, and stands thus in the King's Books:
9l. 10s. Skeyton rectory, of the clear yearly value of 30l.
In Henry the Third's time, Ralf de Skeyton, rector here, was only
son of William, third son of Eudo, a benefactor to the monks at
Saltrey (See vol. iv. p. 400.) Sir Ralf de Skeyton, Knt. patron.
1260, William de Whitwell. William de Whitwell and Catherine his wife.
1304, Thomas Boterwyck, lapse.
1306, Richard de Drenkeston. Sir Thomas Bavent, Knt. as
guardian to Skeyton's heir.
1323, Ralf, rector.
1335, William, son of William de Whitwell, who was deprived.
William de Whitwell and Catherine his wife.
1354, John son of Hugh de Kimberley. Thomas Buxton, &c.
feoffees. He, in 1367, exchanged this for North Walsham vicarage
John de Massingham, priest, son of Jeffryde Rougham. Simon
de Whitwell, alternate patron.
1375, John Marioun, rector, buried in St. George at Tombland in
Norwich. See vol. iv. p. 362.
1375, Robert Davenport. Roger Warren or Waryn, lord of
Skeyton. He resigned in
1378, to William Hodynton, in exchange for Cristleton rectory, of
which the Abbot of St. Wereburgh in Chester was patron. William
Gambon. He, in 1379, exchanged for Wood-Rising with
Roger de Schevesby. Sir John Waryn, Knt.
1412, John Groundisburgh. John Wawton, Esq.
1473, Master Roger Davenport. John de Warren, lord of
1524, John Sterne. George Banks and Anne his wife. At his
1537, John Beles had it. William Hare of Beeston, Gent.
1545, William Wayte. Robert Rugge, alderman of Norwich,
this second turn, in right of Alice his wife, relict of Will. Hare.
He resigned in
1548, to John Bushe. Simon Sterne of Skeyton, Gent. He was
1554, and Heward Morpeth had it. Robert Rugge, alderman,
and Alice his wife. At his death in
1559, Edmund Themilthorp was presented by Alice Rugge,
1593, John Bush, rector.
1595, Clement Smith, S. T. B. The Crown by lapse:
1612, John Spendlove, prebend of Norwich, for whom see vol. iii.
p. 670; he held it united to Stratton Strawless. Sir Tho. Hobart,
Knt. At his death in
1666, Daniel Burton was presented by Sir Robert Paston, Bart.
and the whole parish sent him a letter of thanks, for presenting a man
so much esteemed and liked by them. At his death in
1704, Rowland Clerk had it, and held it united to Brampton to his
death. Sarah, widow of Daniel Burten, who had purchased the
turn, presented him.
1744, the Rev. Philip Francis, A. B. the present rector, had it by
lapse. He hath judiciously translated Horace into English verse, and
published it in two volumes octavo, London.