There are three towns of the name of Barsham, that is a ham by a
bar, that is, on or by the hills. In Domesday book they are not distinguished by the appellation of East, West, and North, but included
under the general name of Barsham. Hugo held then a manor of the
Earl Warren; Toke, who was lord of it in the Confessor's time, being
deprived of it. It then contained four carucates of land, ten villains,
and twenty-six bordarers, with four servi, four carucates in demean,
and five amongst the men, &c. three acres of meadow, 4 mills, &c.
six socmen had half a carucate, and three bordarers, with two carucates, and a church endowed with 100 acres; this part was valued
at 4l. at the survey 6l. and was half a leuca long, and half a one broad,
and paid sixpence gelt. (fn. 1)
This I take to be West Barsham; Hugo, above-mentioned, held this
with the lordship of Threxton, &c. of the Earl Warren; his sirname
was de Waunci, and ancestor of that family: from this Hugh, who
was lord at the survey, descended Sir Ralph de Wauci, lord; and father of Hugh de Wauci, who by deed, sans date, confirmed to the priory
of Castleacre his land of West-Barsham, and all he had therein, with
the church of that village, and all the appertenances in pure alms, as
Osmod, his aunt (sister of his father Ralph) had granted to them. (fn. 2)
This Osmod, or Esmond, married Philip de Vealtre, who had with her
this in marriage, &c. and, on her death, she gave it to the aforesaid
priory; but Hugh had entered on it, and now confirmed, or granted
it for the soul of Ralph his father, and Osmod his aunt; the convent
giving him five marks, and two marks to his wife, on quitting claim
to all the cattle, which he took from the aforesaid land, valued at four
marks, which Osmod, his aunt, had left them for her soul, &c. Witnesses, Hugh de Gurnasi, Roger de Stoteville, Ralph de Roseto, &c.
Walter de Wauci confirmed to them the gifts of his father Hugh, and
gave them four acres, with liberty of a fold course for nine score sheep;
and that they might take of their men (in the town of West Barsham)
customary aid, as they took of their other men, in other places; and,
by another deed, confirmed to them the mill, called Bridge-mill, in
the said town with the customs thereto belonging. William de Wauci,
son and heir of Sir Hugh, lived in the reign of Henry III. and had Sir
William de Wauci, who had assise; and Giles de Wauci granted to
Sir William de Wauci, for life, his manor of West Barsham and Depeden, the remainder to William, son of Sir William, and his heirs,
remainder to Walter, Edward, Thomas, Nicholas, Robert and Hugh,
sons of Sir William, sans date. He bore gules, six dexter hands erect,
In the 14th of Edward I. William de Waucy claimed a fair here,
to be held yearly on the decollation of St. John Baptist (August 29)
and in the 20th of Edward III. Sir William de Wauci held here one
fee of the Earl Warren. Edmund de Wauci was lord in the 30th of
the said King, and had the King's protection, being in his service in
Gascoign in France, and died in the 46th of Edward III. leaving by
Joan his wife, Edmund, his son and heir, aged 7 years; this Edmund
died soon after, (as I take it) on whose death this lordship came to
Edmund Gurney, by the marriage of Catherine daughter of Sir William, and sister and heir of Sir Edmund de Waucy.
In the 41st of Edward III. a fine was levied between Edmund
Gurney, and Katherine his wife, querents, Thomas de Beeston, trustees, &c. deforcients of the moiety of the manor of West-Barsham,
settled on Edmund and Katherine, in tail.
The will of this Edmund is dated at West-Barsham, on Thursday,
the feast of the Ascension of our Lord in 1387. He bequeaths his
body to be buried in the church of the Assumption of the Blessed
Virgin in this town, and 8l. to be distributed to the poor here, on his
burial day; (fn. 3) Katherine his wife to have all her dower, and all his
utensils in his house, and her part of all his other goods; appoints
Osbert de Mundeford, and Thomas Kempe, his executors. Witnesses,
William de Mildenhal, vicar of West-Barsham, Nicholas de Barsham,
&c.; and was proved in the same year. John de Gourney was his son
and heir by Catherine, who, in the 3d of Henry IV. held one fee here
of the Earl Warren. In the 6th and 7th of that King, he sued the
dutchy of Lancaster for the common, called South Lings, to have
free warren there, as his separate soil, and part of his lordship of this
town, and that his father Edmund was possessed of it; this cause was
put off by the King's letters, because this John was one of the knights
of the shire, in the parliament held at Coventry, in the said sixth
year, for the county of Norfolk; but in the seventh year it was adjudged against Gourney, the said common of South Lings being in
the point of South Creke parish, and belonging to the dutchy of Lancaster; and John Gourney, Esq. was bound to the King in 500 marks,
not to claim any right there hereafter, and not being within the lete
of his manor of West-Barsham. He died in the 9th of Henry IV.
seized of the manors of West and North Barsham, Harpley, Denver,
Depeden, &c. He married Alice, widow of Richard Buvent, who
survived him: Thomas Gourney was probably his son and heir.
Thomas Gurnay, Esq. was a feoffee for the manor of Wolterton, in
East-Barsham, in the 13th of Henry VI and was living in the 18th
of that King. Thomas Gurnay, senior, Esq by his will, dated March
18th, in the 9th of Edward IV. appoints his body to be buried in the
chancel of St. Laurence the Martyr, of Harple, if he dies there; (fn. 4) and
if at Norwich, in the Friar-minors church to whom he gives 40s. to
the Austin-friars, Friars-preachers, and Carmes there, 20s. each; to
the manors of Walsingham 40s.; to the chapel of the Annunciation
of the Blessed Virgin at Walsingham his gold ring, with a precious
jewel set in it, called a turkeys; to Margaret his wife all his utensils,
and then to William his son, after her death; appoints his wife, John
Jerningham, and Edmund Bokenham, Esq. his executors; and John
Heydon, supervisor; his sons, John and Edmund, to whom he confirms all grants made to them out of his manor of Depeden; to the
prior of Walsingham 10l. towards a new work there, on condition
they remember him and his wife in their beadroll, as brother and
sister of that priory; all his manor, or tenement, called Swathyns, in
Hardingham, which he bought of Catherine Sturmer, and all his
tenements in Norwich to be sold to William his son for 80 marks.
This house was in St. Gregory's parish at Norwich, and John Bernard, a minor of Norwich, was his confessor. This will was proved
July 27, 1471. William Gurnay, Esq. was lord, and succeeded on
his father's death. In the year 1455 he styled himself William Gurnay, Esq. senior; and in the 13th of Henry VII. William Gurnay,
senior, Esq. &c. infeoft William Gurnay, junior, Esq. &c. of lands
in Dunton. He married Ann, daughter of William Calthorpe, Esq.
was a knight eschaetor for Norfolk, in the reign of Edward IV. He
had also a son Walter, living in the 11th of Henry VII. to whom he
then granted lands.
In the 14th of Henry VII. William Gournay, junior, and Thomas
Sefoule, Esq. had a grant of the custody of the manors and lands of
Roger Wood of East-Barsham, son and heir of John Wood, from
John Earl of Oxford, to whom King Henry VII. had granted the
custody of the person and lands of William Viscount Beaumont, by
deed then dated.
Anthony Gournay, Esq. was lord in 1514; he married Margaret,
one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir Robert Lovell, cousin and
coheir of Sir Thomas Lovell, privy counsellor to King Henry VII.
and Henry VIII. and Knight of the Garter; and died January 4,
1555, leaving Henry, his grandson and heir, aged twenty-one years.
Frances Gournay, Esq. was son of Anthony; he died before his
father, and by Helen, daughter of Robert Holdich, of Ranworth, Esq.
left Henry Gurney, Esq. his son and heir, who was lord of this town
in 1572, (held by one fee of the manor of Castleacre, (fn. 5) ) he married,
and had Edmund Gurney, Esq. his son and heir, who (as by an inquisition taken at East-Dereham, October 13th in the 17th of Charles
I.) died August 6th, in 1641, seized of this manor, and that of NorthBarsham, Lingham-Magna, &c. and left by Frances his wife, daughter
of Richard Hovell, Esq. Henry, his son and heir, aged nine years,
&c. (fn. 6) who sold this lordship to the family of Calthorpe, and Sir
L'Estrange Calthorpe was lord in 1675; from them it came to Charles
Morley, M. D. lord in 1720, and his son, Charles Morley, Esq. died
This family of de Gourney was of great antiquity, and lords of
Harpley. (fn. 7) Matthew de Gourney lived in the reign of Henry II. and
married Rose, daughter and heir of Reginald de Burnham. William
de Gourney was his son and heir, and had Sir John de Gourney, who
was in arms against King Henry III.; and one of the same name was
lord in the beginning, and 27th of Edward I. and John de Gourney
was rector, patron, and lord also, of Harpley, in the 31st of the said
King; and in the 9th of Edward II. settled on John de Gourney, his
nephew (son of Catherine) and Jane his wife, the manor of Harpley,
remainder to William and Edmund, brothers of John. This Edmund
was, as I conceive, the said Edmund, who, by the marriage of Catherine, daughter of Sir William, and sister and heir of Sir Edmund de
Waucy, brought (as I have above observed) this lordship of West-Barsham into the Gourney family.
The arms of Gourney were argent, a cross ingrailed gules, and impaled the arms of Waucy, gules, three dexter hands erect, argent;
also Calthorp, Heydon, Lovell, Holdick, Blennerhasset, and Lewknor,
—; also they impaled Jernegan, and sable, a chevron between
three leopards heads, &c. probably Wentworth.
Ralph, or Robert, son of Robert Wilkin, and his tenants, held in the
reign of Henry III. one knight's fee of the Earl Warren, in this
In the 8th of Henry VI. Richard Selling, Esq. and Alice his wife,
late widow of Sir John Wiltshire, conveyed to Peter Neylond, clerk,
John Hamond, and Nicholas Hill, chaplains, this lordship, which
Alice held for life.
Thomas Fermour possessed it, with messuages and lands in West and
East Barsham, with the advowson of the church of this town, in the
12th of Elizabeth; and on the 16th of April, 1603, John Kemp of
Antingham, St. Mary, in Norfolk, Esq. released to Thomas Fermor,
Esq. and William Fermor, Esq. all his right in it; William Fermor,
Esq. son of Thomas, was lord of it in 1627; and a pardon of alienation of it was granted, 17th November, 8th of King Charles I. to
Henry Calthorp, Esq. and Valentine Pell, Esq. for taking it from
William Fermor, by fine, levied in Hillary term, in the 3d of Charles I.
Sir L'Estrange Calthorp, Knt. and serjeant at law, was lord in
1675, son of Philip Calthorp, of Gressenhale, Esq. and Elizabeth his
wife, who by Anne his wife, daughter of Arthur Turner, of Parndon
Magna, in Essex, serjeant at law, had James Calthorp, Esq. drowned
at sea, in 1691; and left by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of James
Cooper, and sister of Sir William Cooper of London, Elizabeth, daughter and heir, married to Charles Morley, M. D. whose son, Charles
Morley, Esq. is the present lord, who married —, daughter of
Richard Dashwood, Esq. of Cockley Cley, and died s. p.
Castleacre Priory Manor.
The foundation of this was owing to Hugh de Waucy, and others of
that family, who, as I have shown, were great benefactors to it. In
the 14th of Edward I. William de Waucy impleaded the prior, on account of 20 marks due to him, on his confirming to the priory the
advowson of this church, &c. when the prior was amerced.
These temporalities, in 1428, were valued at 9l. 19s.
Thomas Molling, prior, held his first court on Wednesday, the annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary, in the 11th of Henry VIII.
and Thomas, the prior, conveyed it by fine to that King, with the
advowson of the church, in his 29th year; the King, on the 22d of
December, granted it to Thomas Duke of Norfolk.
Temporalities of Fakenham (or Hempdon,) priory were 13s. 4d.
The tenths were 5l. 14s.—Deduct 20s. Lete fee to the lord of the
hundred 1s. 6d.
The Church is dedicated to —; the rectory was appropriated
to Castleacre priory, valued at 26 marks, and a vicarage was settled,
valued at 40s. the rectory had a manse, and one carucate of land;
and the vicar a manse with 5 acres: Peter-pence 15d.
In the chancel, a grave-stone with a brass plate,
Caducum hoc œternat Marmor Edwardus Gourney, filius et heres
Tho. Gourney Armig. et Marthœ filiœ Edvi. Lewkenor de Denham, in
Com. Suff. Militis, obiit Aug. 1641.
On a black marble stone,
Here lyeth the body of Sr. L'Estrange Calthorp, Kt. serjeant at law
to King Charles II. Departed this life April 5, 1678.
1220, William Newton, vicar, presented by the prior and convent
1322, Robert Godwine. Ditto.
1328, Richard de Wodeford. Ditto.
1353, Thomas Larke. Ditto.
1357, Richard Brekewastle. Ditto.
1358, William Farmer. Ditto.
1398, Bartholomew Fallyate. Ditto.
1416, Thomas Smith. Ditto.
1417, Richard Abraham, presented by the prior, &c.
1428, Walter Eton. Ditto.
1462, William Ancroft, by the Bishop, a lapse.
1477, John Queyker, by the prior, &c.
1501, Mr. Thomas Kemp, in Decret. Bac. The Bishop, by lapse.
1527, Robert Nightyngale. Ditto,
1531, Simon Herd. Ditto.
1532, William Dawson. The King.
1555, Richard Gogney, by the Duke of Norfolk.
1583, Christopher Breese, by Thomas Fermer, Esq. of East-Barsham.
In 1603, Leonard Metcalf occurs vicar, and certified 420 communicants; patron then, Henry Gurney.
Mr. Rice died vicar in 1743, and was succeeded by Henry Roberts,
by Charles Cooper Morley, Esq.
1756, Morgan Powell, ditto, on Roberts' death.
William de Mildenhale occurs vicar in 1387.
William Hernald, Ao. 1 Henry V.