Godwin Earl of Kent, father of King Harold, was lord of this
town, before the conquest, when the Conqueror took possession of it,
and at the survey Godric was steward, or took care of it for him: it
contained 2 carucates and an half of land with 10 borderers, one carucate in demean, one among the tenants, and 15 acres of meadow, 2
cows, 13 swine, and 160 sheep; and 36 socmen held 108 acres, and
there were 6 carucates; 16 freemen also had 2 carucates of land,
with 3 borderers, and 6 carucates and 14 acres of meadow, then valued
at 50s. and which the freemen had at 40s. but at the survey paid 8l.
quitrent, and 20s. as an income in tale; was one leuca long and one
broad, and paid 18d. gelt whoever held it. (fn. 1)
The family of de Colekirk or Colechurch, was, soon after the grand
survey, enfeoffed of this royal manor.
Richard de Colekirk, with William and Richard his sons, were witnesses to a charter of Eborard Bishop of Norwich, in the reign of
In the Red Book of the Exchequer, ao. 12 Henry II. we meet with
this account; " I, William de Colecherch, owe to my lord, Henry the
King, the service of half a knighte's fee in Norfolk, of the ancient
tenure from the conquest, for I will not that my service should be
concealed, but that I would do that which I ought, and I did homage
to thee, my Lord, and to my Lord Henry your son, and did my
service to your sherif."
The tenure was this lordship of Hempstede; and in the 30th of the
said King, Richard his son held the same half fee; Jeffrey Peche
married his widow, her custody, with that of Sara his daughter, or
niece, and his heir, being granted by the King to Hugh de Cressey,
who married her to Roger de S'co Dionisio (St. Dennis), and in her
right was lord, and living in the 4th of Henry III. (fn. 2) Sir Richard de
St. Dennis was their son, and gave 50s. relief in the 22d of that King.
Hugh de St. Dennis had also an interest here, probably brother of
Richard, who granted considerable lands to find a lamp burning
always in the church of St. Andrew of Hempstede, before the image
of St Margaret, for the health of his own soul, and that of his father
Sir Richard de St. Dennis left 2 daughters and coheirs; Isabel,
who married John Mansell, and Joan, who married Roger le Cook, or
Ken, and between these this lordship was divided, and they were living
in the 3d of Edward II.
On the 24th of August, in the 5th of Edward III. Alexander de
Walcote paid 15 marks to the King, on his purchasing of Roger le Ken
and Joan his wife their moiety, and having license for it.
In the said year John Mansell died seized of a moiety, and Henry
was his son and heir in the 5th of Edward II.
By an inquisition, taken in the 14th of Edward I. February 3,
Henry Mansel was found to die seized of a moiety, and John was his
son and heir by Beatrix his wife, (who survived him) daughter of
Thomas de Roudham; and Sir Walter Walcot held a moiety in the
29th of that King, and presented to the church in 1355.
John Mansel died seized of a moiety August 6, in the 35th of the
said King, and Walter his brother inherited it, on whose death, Alice
his sister was found to be his heir, the wife of John Billing, alias de
About this time a messuage was found to belong to it; 30 acres
of it valued at 7s. 6d.; 3 of pasture at 12d.; a windmill, at 3s. 4d.; rent
of assise, 8s.; 18 days work in autumn, at a penny a day; 100 days
in winter, each day a halfpenny; 6 hens at Christmas, each valued
at 1d.; and 120 eggs at Easter, 4d. also 30 acres in demean, held of
Reginald de Eccles and the prior of Okeburn, valued at 5s. per ann.
Alice had, by John de Beckham, 2 daughters and coheirs, Beatrix
and Rose; Rose married Robert Robell of Great Yarmouth, and enjoyed the moiety, late Mansell's, and paid relief for it in the 41st of
Beatrix married Augustine Colevile, and they, in the 43d of the
said King, conveyed lands in this town, by fine, to Robert Robell.
In 1383, John de Eccles of Billockby had a lordship here, and gives
it, by will, to be sold, and appoints Robert Martham his executor. (fn. 3)
In 1398, Margaret, relict of Roger Gyney, by her testament, dated
February 24, 1395, gives to her younger son, James Gyney, the
manor of Hempstede, and lands in Eccles, with all her stock, on her
death; and in the 3d of Henry IV. James Gyney, Esq. and Robert
Robell, lords of Hempstede, were living; and in the following year,
on an inquisition taken on Tuesday before the feast of St. Margaret the
Vigin, at Norwich, John Strange escheater, Robert Robell was found
to hold, at his death, February 24 past, a fourth part of this lordship,
and Thomas was his son and heir
Beatrix, sister of this Rose, sold to this Thomas, her nephew, all
her right in the said lordship, so that he enjoyed all Mansell's part.
John Gurney, Esq. had an interest herein in the 9th of that King;
and in the 6th of Henry V. John Crosier had the 4th part of it.
James Gyney abovementioned, married Ela, probably daughter or
sister of Thomas Robell. In the first year of Henry V. on St. Valentine's day, Robert Wright of Smalburgh, John Elwyn of Eccles, &c.
convey to him a moiety of this manor, and a fourth part of the same,
with the advowson of the church, and the lands and tenements, late
Reginald de Eccles, so that he had 3 parts of the manor.
Ela seems to have brought with her one moiety, late Robelles: she
was in the year 1420, remarried to John Ingram; and in the 22d of
Henry VI. she was the wife of William Pickering, when they, with
Robert Martham, enfeoffed John Titleshale, &c. of three parts of this
manor, late James Gyney's, by deed, dated May 20.
James, dying s. p. made Ela his wife, and John Reyner, his executors, and to sell the same.
Soon after this, on the death of the said Ela, it was conveyed by
her trustees, Robert Martham, &c. to Sir Miles Stapleton of Ingham, (fn. 4)
who settled it on Elizabeth, his eldest daughter and coheir, on her
marriage with Sir William Calthorp, who was lord of 3 parts in the
6th of Henry VII. and Sir Francis Calthorp was his son by the said
Elizabeth, and he died seized of it in the 35th of Henry VIII. and
William, his son, inherited it, who sold it about 1572 to Sir Robert
Woods of Norwich, father of Robert Wood, Esq. by Anne, his wife,
daughter of Augustine Steward, Esq. who married Elizabeth, daughter
and coheir of John Woolmer of Thurston, whose son, Robert, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Richardson, left Thomas Wood, Esq.
father of Thomas Wood, Esq. by Anne his wife, daughter of Thomas
Peyton, Esq. which Thomas, by Ellen, daughter of Thomas Eyre, Esq.
had Thomas his son, lord and patron of this town and church, and of
Braconash, in 1746.
The remaining fourth part was in the hands of Thomas Stodhagh,
in the 10th of Henry VI. in which year, Thomas Stodhagh, and
Catherine, his wife, John Stodhagh and Catharine his wife, convey it to
John Haydon, &c. with 2 messuages, 200 acres of land, 20 of meadow,
60 of heath, trustees, whereby it was settled on Thomas and Catharine
for life; remainder to John and Catharine his wife; and John Stodhagh of Hempstede, Esq. in 1485, wills to be buried in this church by
his father; gives to Roger his brother 10 marks, and the same sum to
Richard his brother, with a legacy to the rector of this church, to
pray for him and Alice his wife, and for John Stodagh and Catharine
his wife, (his father and mother,) for one year every Lord's day, (fn. 5) to
William his son and heir he gives the manor of Badew Parva and
Hatfield in Essex, and to Laurence his son his manor of Hempstede;
proved April 21, 1486.
In the 11th of Henry VIII. John Palmer, Gent. enfeoffed Margaret
Coot, William Paston, Esq. John Brampton, Esq. and Christopher
Coot, Gent. on May 20, with 2 messuages, 100 acres of meadow, 10
of wood, and 20s. rent, &c. and in the 25th of that King, Christopher
Coot and Elizabeth his wife convey it to William Lyster. After this
it was in John Bishop of Worsted, Gent. and William Bishop sold it to
Michael Baker of Bacton; Baker to Repps of Hempstead, and Repps
to Gyles Godrey; and John Corbet, Esq. was lord of Stody's manor,
alias Bishop's, in the 15th of James I.
The tenths were 4l. 4s. Deducted 1l. 3s.
The temporalities of Okeburn priory in this town were valued at
3l. 6s. ob. q. of Bromholm, 11s. in 1428.
The Church is a rectory, dedicated to St. Andrew, and was valued
in the reign of Edward I. at 14 marks, then in the patronage of John
Maunsel, lord of the manor. The rector had no house, but a grange
and 17 acres. Peter-pence, 18d.
John de Snitterton occurs rector about 1290.
John Payne, rector.
1320, John de Banham instituted, presented by Mr. Roger de Thorp.
1347, John de Denby, by the King.
1355, Thomas de Wilby, by Sir Walter de Walcot.
Roger le Kene and Joan his wife, sold their right to Alexander
de Walcot, father (as I take it) of Sir Walter.
1361, Hugh Smith, by John Mauncel of Hemsted.
1383, Roger Kybyte, by Sir Roger Boys, John Eccles, &c.
1401, Robert Smith, by James Gyney, and Henry Leringham.
1433, William Walton, by John Ingram and Ela his wife.
1456, John Moyskal, by Miles Stapleton.
1458, William Hukkell, by Sir Miles Stapleton.
1479, Robert Sylvester, by Sir William Calthorp.
1485, Christopher Gurnay, by Sir William Calthorp.
1519, Robert Wood, by Frances Calthorp.
1541, Gregory Madys, by Thomas Woodhouse, Esq. on a grant of
Sir Francis Calthorp.
1554, Thomas Tysing, by the King and Queen.
1557, Robert Allen, by the King and Queen.
1560, Christopher Green, by Queen Elizabeth, on the minority of
William Calthorp, Esq.
1582, John Skinner, by the Bishop of Norwich, a lapse: he returned
142 communicants in 1605.
1611, Thomas Haslop, by the Bishop of Norwich, when Robert
Wood, Esq. brought a Quare Impedit against the Bishop, the advowson
being annexed to the manor.
Thomas Wood, Esq. was patron in 1740.
The present valor is 9l. 6s. 8d. and is discharged. In the chancel
were the arms of Calthorp, Bacon, Stapleton, and Wythe; in the
church those of Erpingham, Walton, and Stodagh, gules, on a chevron,
argent, three blackbirds, proper, beaked, or, in a bordure indented,
sable; and against the south wall, near the chancel, the effigies of a
man and his wife, kneeling and painted;
Solvit devotus Thomas Stodah bene notus
Qui fuerat digna - - - - - Katina benigna
Quos vestris gratis meritos commendo beatis.