Happing Hundred


Institute of Historical Research



Francis Blomefield

Year published




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'Happing Hundred: Waxham', An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 9 (1808), pp. 352-355. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=78561 Date accessed: 24 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Alan Earl of Richmond had the principal part of this town at the survey: two freemen, one of whom belonged to Edric, the other to St. Bennet's abbey, were deprived of 161 acres, and had 13 borderers, and 2 carucates and an half, and 18 acres of meadow.

The said Earl also possessed 80 acres of land, of which the said Edric, a freeman, was deprived, with 12 borderers, and a carucate in demean, one among the tenants, and 6 acres of meadow, 6 swine, 2 cows, and 100 sheep belonged to it, valued at 10s.

There was also a church endowed with 18 acres, valued at 18d.

Edric added to it 2 socmen of St. Bennet's abbey, in the time of Ralph Earl of Norfolk, with 3 acres and an half, valued at 6d. and 8 freemen, under protection only, had 80 acres of land and 2 carucates of meadow, valued, at 5s.

Edric had the whole at the time when Earl Ralf forfeited; the King and the Earl had the soc. (fn. 1)

There were formerly two towns of this name, one called Waxham Magna or Waxham St. John's, and Waxham Parva, or Waxham St. Margaret; great part of both these made up Earl Alan's manor, of which the ancient and noble family of Inghams were soon after the conquest enfeoffed.

Oliver de Ingham was lord of it in 1183, (when the third part of his great tithe belonging to it was confirmed to the monks of St. Bennet,) as was Sir John de Ingham in the reign of King John.

From this family it came by marriage to Sir Miles Stapleton, and from that family, by marriage, to Sir William Calthorpe, whose grandson, William Calthorpe, Esq. sold it to Sir Thomas Woodhouse, and Sir William his brother succeeded him, and left it Sir Henry Wood house, who was lord in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and of the manor of Ingham, as may be seen there at large.

This family of the Woodhouses is a distinct family from that of Kimberley, and bore, for their arms, quarterly, azure, and ermin, in the first quarter a leopard's head, or; which arms belong to the family of Power, and I find these Woodhouses to be formerly styled Woodhouse, alias Power.

John Woodhouse of Waxham, Esq. married Alice, daughter of William Croft, of Whitton in Norfolk, Esq. and was father of Sir Thomas and Sir William Woodhouse.

Woodhouse's Pedigree.

Sir William, son of Sir William Woodhouse, lived in the reign of King James I. and is said to have been the first person in England that erected and invented decoys for the taking of wild ducks.

In 1733, Thomas Blofield presented, as lord, to the churches of St. John and St. Margaret of Waxham.

The abbot of St. Bennet of Holm, was lord of a manor here at the survey, and in King Edward's reign, consisting of 2 carucates and 8 acres of land, with 3 borderers, one carucate in demean, and half a one among the tenants, 60 acres of meadow, &c. and 25 socmen and the moiety of one, had 160 acres, and 3 carucates and an half of meadow; 2 freemen under protection only, had 20 acres and a carucate; of these two the King and the Earl had the soc, and there was another, the soc of whom was in the abbey of St. Bennet.

The whole was valued at 4l. and what the freemen had at 34d. It was one leuca and an half and one furlong long, and one leuca broad the gelt was 30d. (fn. 2)

This lordship, which appears to have been a very considerable one was no doubt, at the dissolution of religious houses, in the said abbey, and granted with its other lordships, &c. on the exchange of lands between the King and the Bishop of Norwich, to that see. (fn. 3)

The manor of Gelham Hall in Waxham was leased to Thomas Woodhouse, Esq. in 1549, and valued at 7l. 7d. per ann.

It probably took this name from an ancient family, De Gelham, who might have held it of the abbots. Soon after the exchange, which was in 1535, Bishop Rugg seems to have leased it to Thomas Woodhouse, who had several large grants of lands, &c. belonging to the abbey of St. Bennet, &c. from the said King; and rents are mentioned payable out of Waxham, in an extent of the revenues of the see, made after Bishop Rugg's death, so that it is at this time held (by lease of the Bishop,) by Berney Brograve, Esq. who presents to the 2 churches.

There were (as I have observed) formerly two towns here, Waxham Magna and Waxham Parva.

The Church of Great Waxham was a rectory, dedicated to St. John; the rector had a competent manse with land, was valued at 9 marks, paid Peter-pence, 2s. 8d. and Oliver de Ingham was patron in the reign of Edward. I.

Rectors of Waxham Magna.

In 1300, Mr. John de Wyclewode was instituted, presented by Elizabeth, relict of Sir Oliver de Ingham.

1316, Walter de Abyam, by the Lady Mercy, relict of Sir John de Ingham.

1328, Drogo de Abyam. Ditto.

1349, John de Tutyngton, by Lady Elizabeth, relict of Sir Oliver Ingham.

1360, John de Baynton, by Sir Miles Stapilton.

1368, John Charman, by Queen Philippa, guardian of the heir of Sir Miles.

1371, Bartholomew Aubrey. Ditto.

1373, John Lincoln. Ditto.

1384, Thomas Russell, by Miles Stapleton.

Rectors of Waxham Parva.

The church of Waxham Parva was dedicated to St. Margaret.

This church is said to be confirmed to the abbot of Hulm, by Pope Lucius, in 1183, in which year Thomas de Skerning was instituted rector, also the 3d part of the great tithe of the demeans of Oliver de Ingham. In the reign of Edward I. there was a rectory, valued at 10s. and a manse with land, but appropriated, as said, to Hickling priory.

In 1326, John Nuun was instituted rector, presented by the Lady Mercy, relict, &c.

1334, Thomas de Barnaby, by Sir Oliver de Ingham.

1335, Robert le Clerk, by the attorney of Sir Oliver.

1349, Ralph Burgeys, by Lady Elizabeth, relict of Sir Oliver.

1349, John Aylmer. Ditto.

1349, Nicholas de Ellerker. Ditto.

1360, Andrew Kynd, by the Bishop, a lapse.

1383, Ad. Schene, by Sir Miles Stapleton.

Waxham rectory paid 2s. rent to the Bishop.

1733, Ralph Searjeant was presented by Thomas Blofield, Esq.


1 Terre Alani Comitis—In Wacstanest ii lib. ho'es. un' fuit ho. Edrici et altr. ho. Ed. S'ci. Bened. clxi ac. semp. xiii bord. et ii car. et dim. et xviii ac. p'ti.—In Wactanesham lxxx ac. terre ten. ide' Edric. lib. ho. semp. xii bord. et i car. in d'nio. tnc. et p. i car. hom. mo. dim. et vi ac. p'ti. et vi por. et ii anim. et c ov. sep. val. x sol. i ecclia xviii ac. et val. xviiiid. huic additi Edric. ii soc. S'ci. Benedicti T. R. Comitis et ht. iii ac. et dim. et val. vid. et viii libi. ho'es. comd. tantu' lxxx ac. t're. tc. et p. ii car. mo. i car. et dim. et iii ac. p'ti. et val. v sol. hoc. totu' tenebat Edric. q'n'o. Rad. foresfecit, Rex et Comes soca.
2 Terra S'ci. Benedicti de Hulmo— Wactanesham ten. sep. S'cs. B. p. ii car. t're. et viii ac. sep. iii bor. et i car. in d'nio. et dim. car. hom. lx ac. p'ti. ii runc. vi porc. viii ov. et xxv soc. et dim. clx ac. tc. iii car. et dim. mo. iii xii ac. p'ti. et ii libi. ho'es com'd. tantu xx ac. et i car. ex his ii h. rex et comes ht. soca' et de alio toto S'cs. Ben. totu semp. val. iiii lib. et libi. ho'es. xxxivd. et ht. i leu. et dim. et qr. in lon. et i leu. in lat. et xxxd. de gelt.
3 Blomf. Hist. of Norf. vol. iii.

Holt hundred