This town belonged principally to Alan Earl of Richmond, at the
grand survey; Alpha, who was lord of it in King Edward's reign,
being deprived of it. It contained 3 carucates of land, 14 bordarers,
with 3 carucates in demean and 2 carucates of the tenants, with 4
acres of meadow, &c. then valued at 60s. per ann. It was 10 furlongs
long, and 8 broad, and paid 13d. gelt, and Facicon or Phanceon held
it under Alan. (fn. 1)
This Alan was also Earl of Britany in France, a principal commander in the decisive battle near Hastings, and married Constance,
one of the daughters of William the Conqueror: Dugdale says he
had a younger son, Brian; Dugd. Baron. V. i. p. 53, but p. 46, says
that the said Alan died without issue. Brian had issue Alan called
Alan Fitz Brian, father of Brian Fitz-Alan. By this family, the Kerdestons were enfeoffed of this lordship, (of whom see in Bircham Newton,) Fulco de Kerdeston was lord in the reign of Henry III. Agnes,
his widow, held it by one fee, and paid 10s. per ann. to Richmond
castle-guard, in the 10th of Edward I. and in the 16th Brian FitzAlan granted it to her in fee tail, by fine, excepting the advowson.
On Brian's death, 31st of Edward I. he was found to leave 2 daughters and coheirs; Maud, who became the wife of Sir Gilbert de Stapleton, and Catherine, of Sir John de Grey, of Rotherfield, who, (as
appears from the Institution Books,) with their descendants, continued patrons of this church, as the capital lords. On the death of
Roger de Kerdeston, in the the 11th of Edward III. Maud, his widow,
had it assigned to her in dower, and William de Kerdeston held it in
the 3d of Henry IV. (fn. 2) In the 3d of Henry VI. this manor was settled
on Sir Thomas Kerdeston, and Elizabeth his wife, in tail, by Thomas
Chaucer, Esq. and Maud his wife. In the 14th of that King, Sir Thomas held it of the honour of Richmond; and William de la Pole Earl
of Suffolk, and Alice his wife, daughter and heir of Thomas Chaucer,
Esq. late relict of Sir John Phelip, released to Sir Thomas all their
right which formerly belonged to Sir William, son and heir of Sir
Roger Kerdeston, in the 20th of the said reign; after this it was
settled on Sir Thomas Kerdeston. and Philippa his wife, in tail, and
remainder to William de la Pool, and Alice his wife, in the 24th of
In the 12th of Henry VII. May 25th, Edmund de la Pole Earl of
Suffolk, granted to Elizabeth Robsert, widow of Sir Terry Robsert, for
life, and to William Robsart, her son and heir, and the heirs of the
body of Sir Terry, lawfully begotten, all his right and title in this
lordship, and that of Bircham Newton, on the condition, that, on her
death, and on the death of the lawful heirs of Sir Terry Robsart, they
should return to him and his heirs; this Elizabeth being daughter of
Sir Thomas Kerdeston, whose arms, impaled by Sir Terry, were to be
seen in this church. He was descended from Sir Canon Robsart, a
knight of Heynault, (fn. 3) a great commander under King Edward III. and
attended John Duke of Lancaster into Spain, and sent by King
Richard II. in his 3d year, with John Cotesford, L. L. D. to treat with
the Duke of Juliers and Geldres about his doing homage, service, and
giving aid to that King. He left 3 sons, Sir John Robsart, Sir
Lewes, and Sir Terry Robsart. See Collins on the Peerage, vol. iii.
p. 476, &c.
Sir Lewes Robsart, his 2d son, was standard-bearer to King Hen. V.
with a pension of 100l. per annum, governour of Cruley and Caudeler, and all the forests, woods, &c. in Normandy, installed Knight
of the Garter Ao. 7°. and Ao. 8°. sent ambassador with the Earls of
Warwick and Kyme, and the Lord Ross, to Philip Duke of Burgundy;
was a great favourite of that King, attended him at his death, and at
his funeral. He married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Barth.
Bouchier, and was summoned to parliament as Lord Bouchier, in the
3d, 4th, &c. of Henry VI. and dying in November, Ao. 9°. of Hen. VI.
was buried in Westminster abbey.
Sir John Robsart, his eldest brother, attended King Henry V. Ao.
1°. on his first landing in France, had a patent for 100l. per annum
for his great services, and a grant of the castle and lordships of St.
Saviour's in Normandy, Knight of the Garter, Ao. 6th of Henry V.
and keeper of the great seal of that order, and dying in the 29th of
Henry VI. was buried in the Gray-friars church of London.
Sir Terry Robsart married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir
Thomas Kerdeston, and dying lord of this town, December 19, Ao.
12th of Henry VII. left two sons, William and John, and a daughter,
Lucy, afterwards the wife of Edward Walpole, Esq. of Houghton.—
William being a minor, King Henry VII. December 11, Ao. 19°.
granted to Margaret Carew, widow, and Thomas Blake, the wardship
of all his lands, which, on the death of the said William, soon after
descended to his brother, John Robsart. Sir Terry was retained, with
his brother Sir John, to serve the regent, John Duke of Bedford, in
France, and was captain of Hamby, and St. Saviour de Ive, in
Normandy.—Dugdale observes, (fn. 4) that Sir John de Burghershe as cousin and heir to William Kerdeston, (his grandfather,) had livery in the
40th of Edward III. of the lands of his inheritance in Norfolk and
Suffolk; but this being contested by William his son and heir, he recovered them.
The aforesaid Sir John died Ao. 19th of Richard II. leaving only
two daughters, Margaret and Maud; Maud married Thomas Chaucer, and it is probable that contest abovementioned was renewed by
Alice, (daughter of Maud,) who married to William de la Pole Duke
of Suffolk, as heir to Sir John de Bughershe.
Sir Thomas Kerdeston's will is dated July 1st, 1446, and gives his
body to be buried in the Augustine friars church at Norwich, (fn. 5) appoints
the 3d part of the passage of Bunkenham ferry, which descended to him
in fee simple, and all his lands, common fishing, rents in Claxton, Ashby, Helgheton, Berghapton, Helveston, Yelverton, which he purchased
of William Claxton, to be sold, and the money to be disposed of for his
soul's health, and Elizabeth's his wife, (his second wife Philippa, daughter of Sir John Trussel, surviving him,) and gives to Elizabeth, his
daughter, a missal, and was proved May 4th, 1448.
John Robsert, 2d son of Sir Terry, was lord of this manor, sheriff
of Norfolk and Suffolk, in the 1st of Edward VI. I find that this John
Robsert, called late of Windham in Norfolk, Esq. alias of Stanfeld, in
the parish of Wymundham, to have a pardon from the said King, by
the advice of Edward Duke of Somerset, the protector, and the council, for all treasons, &c. insurrections, rebellions, murders, felonies, before the 20th of January, in the first year of that King:—Witness, the
King, at Westminster, the fifth day of May, in his first year.
Soon after this he died, leaving, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of
John Scott of Camberwell, Esq. in Surrey, a daughter and heir, Anne.
Anne, his daughter, married Sir Robert Dudley, afterwards Earl of
Leicester, who had a grant of this manor, with that of Hemesby, and
advowson of the vicarage, lately belonging to the cathedral church of
Norwich, the manor of Newton, by Bircham, and the advowson, late
John Robsart's; (fn. 6) also the manor of Great Bircham, to hold Hemesby
with Anne his wife, and the heirs of their bodies, in capite; and to
hold Sidestern, Newton, and Great Bircham, to Anne and Robert, during the life of the said Robert, by a grant, dated January 30, in the 3d
and 4th of Philip and Mary.
This lady came to an unhappy death at Mr. Foster's house at Cumnore, near Oxford, by a fall from the stairs, and was buried in St.
Mary's, the University church at Oxford. The Earl is said not to be
over kind to her, and that she was either thrown, or tumbled down a
pair of stairs, and broke her neck; and the Earl held this manor for
his life, dying lord of it in 1588, when it came to John Walpole, Esq.
son and heir of Edward Walpole, Esq. of Houghton, and Lucy his
wife, daughter of Sir Terry Robsart; (fn. 7) and in this family it remains,
the Right Honourable Earl of Orford being lord.
The Earl Warren had a lordship, which Ralph held of him, with 4
socmen, and 43 acres, at the survey; and Lambert also held 30 acres,
half a carucate, with 3 bordarers, valued then at 5s. 4d. after, at 12s.
—This was a beruite to Rudham. (fn. 8)
Ralph de Wivergill gave to this priory his lands here, and Brygg mill,
by deeed sans date, and Simon Bishop of Norwich confirmed to them
part of the tithes of Alan, son of Brian, lord in 1265. The prior, in
the reign of Henry III. had the 3d part of a fee.—In the 3d of Henry
IV. the prior held the manor of Sydestern Wyks, of the Earl of
Baldwin de Rosey, Robert de Ysseis, and Reginald, son of William
Aveline of Taterset, gave them lands here.—In the 29th of Henry
VIII. the prior conveyed it, by fine, to the King, and the King to the
Duke of Norfolk, as Robert, prior of Lewes, did.
The prior of Coxford had an interest here, when an aid was granted
in King Henry the Third's time, on the marriage of his sister to the
This was granted May 9, Ao. 29th of Henry VIII. to Thomas
Duke of Norfolk.
Walsingham priory temporalities were 2s. 6d.
The tenths were 6l. 13s. 4d.—Lete fee to the lord of the hundred 2s.
The Church is dedicated to St. Mary, and has a nave, and a
south isle, covered with lead, (the north isle is down,) with a round
steeple, and one bell.—The ancient valor was 25 marks, the present,
13l. 13s. 4d. and is a rectory.
On a mural monument of stone, in the chancel, with the arms of
Corbet;—Or, a raven proper, impaling Thornton;—argent, a chevron between three holly branches, vert.
In memoriam Mariæ spectatæ probitatis, uxoris nuper Edwi. Corbet,
rectoris hujus ecclesiæ filiæ Rogeri Thornton, equitis aurati de Snailwell, in com. Cantabr. quæ uniquam post se relinquens filiolam Mariam
nomine. sanstissime obiit in fide cultuq; Jesu, Ao. Dni. 1630, Aug. 27.
On another against the north wall:
Geo. Hall, hujus ecclesiæ et medietatis rectoriæ de Scarning, rector,
—Geo. Hall, born in the city of Norwich, Master of Arts, and
Fellow of Corpus Christi college, in Cambridge, was inducted into the rectories of Scarning and Sidesterne in 1605, and deceased December 6,
1628.—The grave is ready for me, Job 17: with the arms of Hall;
sable, three talbots heads erased, argent.
Jane Peyton, daughter of Sir Edward Peyton, of Isleham, in Cambridgeshire, Kt. and Bt. by dame Jane his wife, living virtuously, and
dying comfortably, was buried February 8, A. D. 1632; her picture
is on the wall, kneeling, and an angel standing at each side.
In the east window: azure, three chevronells in base, braced, or
In the church were these arms; barry of eight or, and gules, FitzAlan of Bedale.—Quarterly, gules and argent, a bend or, Loring.—
Gules, a saltire ingrailed, Kerdeston.—Vert, a lion rampant, or vulned
in the shoulder, Robsert.—Also Robsert impaling Kerdeston;—argent,
a lion rampant, sable, Stapleton.
Elizabeth, widow of Sir Terry Robsert, by her will, dated November 10,
1345, desires to be buried by her husband in the chancel of Our Lady
of Sedestern, gives to the high altar 26s. 8d. to the repair of both
isles in the said church, 40s. proved October 30, 1536.
Brian Fitz-Alan was patron in King Edward the First's reign,
when the rector had a manse, with 50 acres, valued at 25 marks.—
Peter-pence 18d. Simon Bishop of Norwich confirmed to the priory of
Castleacre 2 parts of all the tithes of the demeans of Alan aforesaid,
William de Witchington, rector.
1318, William de Wrotham, by the lady Maud, relict of Sir Brian
Fitz-Alan, of Bedale.
1333, Mr. Laurence de Thornhil. Ditto.
1343, Richard de Mousegrave, by John, son of John de Grey of
Rotherfield, attorney of Sir Miles Stapleton.
1349, James de Mortimer, by the Bishop, a lapse.
1350, William de Aberford, by Sir Miles Stapleton, and Sir John
1361, John Chartman, by Sir Miles Stapleton.
1368, John de Baynton, by Sir John Grey, hac vice.
1383, Richard Grey, by Sir Miles Stapleton
1383, William Panewyk, by Sir Robert Grey.
1384, John de Bentele, by Sir Miles Stapleton.
1385, William de Shyringham, by Sir Robert Grey.
John occurs rector.
1427, Robert Hylton, by Sir Bryan Stapleton.
1479, Mr. Ed. Rightwise, S. T. D. by Sir William Calthorp.
1488, Edmund Coleman, A. M. by John Hodylston, Esq. and in
right of Joan, daughter of Sir Miles Stapleton, his wife.
1492, Robert Palmer, by Sir William Calthorp,
1554, Alan Melton, by the Queen.
1581, Nicholas Baldwin, by the assignees of Miles Corbet, Esq.
1599, Nicholas Baldwin, by the Queen, a lapse.
In 1603, he returned 67 communicants.
George Hall, in 1605, by Sir Miles Corbet,
1628, Edward Corbet, by the King, during the minority of Sir
Thomas Corbet, Bart.
1662, Vincent Peirse, D. D. by Robert Houghton, prebend of Norwich.
1673, Tho. Brown, L. L. D. by Catherine Knight.
1695, William Everard, by Henry Everard.
1708, Thomas Brown, L. L. D. by Anne Everard.
1721, Henry Haslop, rector, resigned in 1724, by Robert Walpole,
1724, George Jacomb, died rector in 1759, (rector also of Stanhow,)
presented by Robert Walpole, Esq.
1760, Charles Bagg, A. M. now D. D. collated by the Archbishop
of Canterbury, a lapse, at the request of the Earl of Orford, who is