William de Noiers, at the grand survey, was steward of this
lordship, for the Conqueror, on the deprivation of Stigand Archbishop
of Canterbury, who was lord before the conquest, and held it as a lay
fee, and as a beruite to his manor of Earsham: consisting of 2 carucates of land, 3 borderers, 2 carucates in demean, &c. half a carucate
among the tenants, and 12 acres of meadow, &c. a mill, 2 runci, 4
cows, &c. and 30 socmen had 3 carucates of land, 8 carucates and 16
acres of meadow; there was a church endowed with 65 acres, 3 borderers, the moiety of a mill, and 12 socmen, with 25 acres, 3 carucates
and 6 acres of meadow. There were also in the said town 10 socmen,
with 2 carucates and a half of land, and 6 borderers, with 7 carucates
and a half, and 8 acres of meadow, &c. and 21 socmen in Jerpestuna,
who had 120 acres with 8 carucates of meadow; and 8 freemen were
added to this lordship who held 12 acres, and half a carucate. It
was 2 leucas long, one broad, paid 5s. 4d. gelt, and was valued in
Earsham. (fn. 1)
It remained in the Crown till King Stephen granted it to Hugh
Bigot, on his being created Earl of Norfolk; Hugh, his grandson,
Earl of Norfolk, married Maud, daughter and coheir to the Marshals
Earls of Pembroke, by whom she had Roger Bigod Earl of Norfolk,
and Sir Ralph, a younger son, who was enfeoffed of this lordship, and
held it under the Earl; to this Ralph, Walter de Shipmeadow, of Suffolk, conveyed by fine, in the 24th of Henry III. his right of fishing in
the river Waveny, between the towns of Stocton and Shipmeadow, and
in the cutting of reed, rush, flag, &c.; he married Berta, daughter of
the Lord Furnival, and died without issue, as did Roger, his brother,
Earl of Norfolk; so that the inheritance came to Roger Bigod, eldest
son of Hugh Bigot, who is said to be chief justice of England, and 2d
son of Earl Hugh.
Roger being thus heir, and Earl of Norfolk, confirmed to his brother, Sir John Bigod, this lordship, and in the 15th of Edward I. was
found to have free warren, the assise, a gallows, &c.; he died in the
33d of Edward I. when it was found to be held by him in capite, of
the King. Roger, his brother, the Earl, having no children made
the King his heir, and disinherited Sir John and his children in some
disgust: Sir Henry Spilman says, that the Earl being indebted to him,
he was too pressing on that account. He left by Isabel his wife a son,
Sir Ralph. Sir John is said to have borne these arms, or, on a cross,
gules, five escallops, argent.
Sir Ralph Bigod proved his age in the 34 of Edward I. had livery,
and was living in the 3d year of King Edward III.
Sir Ralph Bigot, son of Sir Ralph, sold in the 16th of Edward III.
to Roger, son of Sir Edmund de Soterley, 11s. 0d. rent per ann. with
the rent of 1500 herrings in Giselham, Soterley, &c.; he is said to have
married Idonea, daughter and coheir of Robert Hertford of London,
and was living in 21st of Edward III.
Sir John Bigod was his son and heir, and died lord about the year
1390, father of Sir Ralph, who married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir
of Sir Thomas Mortimer, of Attleburgh, by whom he had a daughter
and heir, Elizabeth. Sir Ralph's will is dated at Geldeston, February
20, 1415, and proved in 1416, September 10; she survived him, and
married to her 2d husband, Henry I m, Esq. and to her 3d,
Tho. Manning, Esq.; by her will, proved in 1463, she was buried in the
Augustine-friars church of Norwich, and gave to her husband Manning, her manors in Elingham Magna, &c.
Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Ralph Bigot, brought it by
marriage to William Garneys, Esq. son of Robert Garneys, Esq. and
Aveline his wife: his will is dated February 13, ao. 8 Henry V. whereby he gives to Elizabeth, his wife, this lordship, and the soke of
Stockton, with the manor of Berys in Geldeston, &c. for life, and at
her death to Ralph, his son and heir; names Robert his son, and,
Margaret his daughter, to whom he gives legacies, and to Peter Garneys, Esq. his brother; also, to Ralph his son, after his wife's death,
the manors of Redesham and Barsham, &c. in Suffolk, and that of
Weston, to Robert his son, late Edmund de Redesham, and William
Barsham's, which his father bought: his will was proved April 6,
1425. (fn. 2)
Ralph Garneys, Esq. of Kenton in Suffolk, inherited it, but died s.p.
in 1446; and in the said year, Edmund Swathing, Esq. conveyed by
fine, his right in this lordship to William de la Pole Marquis and Earl
of Suffolk; and in the following year, Simon Brayles, clerk, &c. conveyed it with the soke of Stockton, and the manor of Geldeston, as
trustee, when it was settled on the said Marquis, and Alice, his wife.
After this, in the first year of Edward IV. the aforesaid Alice, then
Dutchess, and John, her son, Duke of Suffolk, was querents in a fine,
and Margaret Swathing, Thomas Sharington, Amabil Morpeth, and
William Garneys and Maud his wife, deforcients, (as heirs to Ralph
Garneys) surrender their interest herein.
I have seen a particular grant of this Alice, as follows:—
"Know all myne executors, and all folks, that I Alyse, Dutchess of
Suffolk, have geven and granted to my dere and well-beloved sone
John, Duke of Suffolk, and to my Lady Elizab. his wife, sister to our
Soveryne Lord, King Edward 4, all my stuffe of plate of silver and
gilte, and of gold, and all my beddys of cloth of gold, and of silk, and
of arras, and of tapestre work, &c. with God's blessing and myne
for ever. Dated at Eye, October 3, ao. xi. Edward 4. In witness
of which thinge, to this my dede and graunte, signed of my hande
I have sett my seale, Alyce."
Thomas Sharington, Esq. abovementioned, was lord of Cranworth
in Norfolk, son of Henry Sharington, Esq. who married Elizabeth, a
daughter and heir of Edmund de Swathing.
On the attainder of Edmund de la Pole Earl of Suffolk, it came to
the Crown, and was granted by King Henry VIII. to Charles Brandon
Duke of Suffolk, and on his death, to Lady Ann of Cleves, and she
held it in the second year of King Edward VI. then the divorced wife
of King Henry VIII.
After this, it was again in the Crown, and Queen Elizabeth possessed
it with the soke, valued in 1570, at 49l. 14s 3d. and was farmed of her
by Mr. Smith, of Winston, paying a free farm rent. The soke took in
the manors of Ellingham, Gillingham, Geldeston, Winston, Wyndele,
and Kirkby-Cam: the court baron and lete for the soke, were then
annually kept on St. Margaret's day; and the custom of the manor,
&c. was, that the bailiff, or any tenant of the same, might take distress
in the soken of any man, either dwelling or having goods within the
same, (the debt being under 40s.) and have the action tried on St.
Margaret's day; the sheriff of the county could not arrest within the
soken, but break the writ, and direct the warrant to the bailiff of the
manor, who executed it: by their charter they are not to serve at assise
or sessions, and all the tenants have liberty to common, in the feu
called Micklefen, which lyeth in Geldeston and Ellingham.
On the first of July, in the 3d of James I. this manor and soke were
granted to Charles Duke of York, the King's son; and in the 17th of
King Charles I. was held in fee-farm rent of him, by Simon Smith,
The tenths were 6l. 5s. Deducted 2l. 0s. 0d.—Temporalities of
Langley abbey, 3s. 1d. ob.
The lordship of Kirkeby extended into this town.
The Church is a rectory. In the reign of Edward I. Roger Bigot
Earl of Norfolk, and Earl-Marshal, as capital lord, was patron, and
it was then valued at 12 marks; the rector had a manse with 30 acres
of land; paid Peter-pence, 12d. Carvage, 6d. q. and it is dedicated
to St. Michael.
In 1315, Walter de Beumetel was instituted, presented by the Lady
Alice de Hannonia Countess of Norfolk, late wife of Earl Roger.
1330, Nicholas de la Burgh, by Thomas de Brotherton Earl of
1349, Jeffrey de la Hay, by Mary Countess of Norfolk.
1365, Hervey de Welham, by Walter Lord de Manny.
1375, James Sampson, by Lady Margaret, Countess of Norfolk.
1396, Matthew Aylmer. Ditto.
1402, Nicholas Essex, by the King, on the minority of Thomas
1402, Thomas Young. Ditto.
Laurence Baldware, rector about 1440.
1446, John Hatfield, by John Duke of Norfolk, on the resignation
of Thomas Wright. John Duke of Norfolk, patron in the first of
In 1505, John Pinchebeke died rector, and was buried in the college
church of Mettingham, and gave 11 acres of land in Kirkeby field, to
his successours, with one acre and half in Winston field, to keep every
year a certain and yere-day with messe and dirige; and to the church
of Stockton, 11 acres of land in Winston; from the Mowbrays it came
to the Howards Dukes of Norfolk, who were patrons. (fn. 3) John Sale,
rector, ao. 15.
Amos Stalworthy, rector, presented by the Duke of Norfolk,
returned 41 communicants in 1603, died rector, and was succeeded in
John Fake; and
Ralph Ward was rector in 1616.
Nicholas Page, in 1631, and
William Stanard, in 1634.
Robert Randall died rector in 1731, and
Benjamin Page, then presented by John Anstis, Esq. Garter,
King at Arms
1758, Valentine Lumley, by Valentine Lumley, Gent.
The present valor is 8l. and is discharged; the patronage is in the
Duke of Norfolk, who is lord.
In the chancel, on a gravestone with a brass plate,
Hic jacet Johs. Sale, S.T.B in medicinâ licentiatus, egregiè in utraq;
facultate doctus, legum insuper quas vocant communium non mediocriter
peritus, qui postquam hic Stockton rector animarum curæ diligenter et
fideliter p. quinquennium inservisset, ac tantum non collapsas rectoriæ
ædes suis solis sumptibus instaurasset, isto sub marmore couditus est, 5
In the chancel, on a gravestone,
Orate p. a'ia Willi Wright, qui obt. 25, die Maij, 1513.
In the church, these arms; argent, a lion rampant, gules, bruised
with a ragged staff, or, Steward, impaling azure, on a bend, wavy, or,
three birds, sable, in a bordure of the second, with torteaux, Read, and
Orate pro bono statu Augustini Steward, civis et aldermanni Norwici,
Vert, a cheveron, between three eagles, or, Fineaux, impaling
Paston. Hobart, impaling Fineaux. Godsalve. Bigod of Stockton, also
William Wright, of this town, buried in the church 1513, gives to
the commoners of Stockton, 6l. on condition that they can find means
to get more friends, and purchase as much land as shall purchase the
whole fee. Reg. Johnson, fol. 226.