So called as set or seated in a wet watery meadow, and was granted by
the Conqueror to Roger Bigot, one of his chieftains, ancestor to the
Bigots, Earls of Norfolk, and held of him by Ralph, son of Walter,
with 3 carucates of land for a lordship; which nine freemen were
owners of in King Edward's reign, when 8 villains belonged to it, 6
borderers, 4 servi, with 15 acres of meadow, and 4 carucates; two of
which were demean lands, and 2 were held by the tenants; paunage
for 100 swine, the fourth part of a fishery, 2 beasts for burden, 12
cows, 40 sheep, 36 goats, and 7 bees skeps, valued then at 40s. at the
survey at 60s. three of these freemen belonged to the soc of the King's
manor of Mileham; the whole was half a leuca long, and half a leuca
broad, and paid 10d. gelt, whoever was possessed of it. (fn. 1)
Sir Henry Spelman, in his Icenia, says that Hubert Bozun, a Norman, who came into England with the Conqueror, and was his chief
fletcher, had a grant from him of this lordship, for his services, but
this appears to be a mistake.
The first of the family that we meet with in ancient records, is Herbert or Hubert Buzun, who lived in the reign of King Stephen, &c. and
granted by deed sans date, to the monks of Castleacre, 8 acres of
land, with the assent of his son Roger; (fn. 2) which Hubert probably
descended from Ralph, son of Walter, who was enfeoffed herein by
Boujon in French signifies an arrow, with a great or broad, head,
and for some eminency and excellency in the use of such a weapon,
the ancestor of this ancient family might assume this name, or hold
some lordship or fee by it, and on that account they might bear, as
we find, for their arms, argent, three boujons, gules, feathered, and
knobbed or, headed, or.
In the Red Book of the Exchequer, under the title of Serjeanteria,
in Drakelowe, Derbyshire, William de Gresley held a manor
P. unum arcum sine corda, et pharetro, et duodecim sagittas, et unum
Roger Bozun was living in 1202, son of Hubert, and purchased
lands in Ovington, in Norfolk, by fine.
In 1227, Robert de Saham granted to Peter Buzun, son of Roger,
the advowson of the church of Ovington, which Peter, in or about
1233, was with William Rustain, a collector of the aid, in Norfolk
and Suffolk, granted to King Henry III. for marrying his sister to
In the 41st of Henry III. John Buzun was presented as holding a
knight's fee, and to be of full age, and not a knight: and in the 48th
of that King, had a grant of a free warren in all his demean lands
here and in Ovington.
After this time, or about 1270, an agreement was made between
Peter Buzun, lord of Wyssingset, and Sir Thomas Burt, lord of Horningtoft, about the extent of their commons; the arbitrators on Sir
Thomas's part were John, son of William de Rucham, John Atteford.
de Hoe, and Henry de Brisley, and on Peter's part were James de
Munesle de Langham, Robert de Thornekyn de Mileham, and William
Godfrey of Fransham.
Alexander, son of Adam Buzun of Wyssingset, granted by deed sans
date, to Peter Buzun, son of Sir John Buzun of Wyssingset, and Alice,
and their heirs, for 20 marks, a messuage, and lands here, with
common of pasture, where the freemen of the town had right of
common: witnesses, Sir Robert de Caston, Sir Hervey de Vallibus, (or
Vaux,) Sir Hamon de Pattesle, &c.
This Peter, then a knight, died (as I take it) about the 16th of
Edward I. and was then found to hold three knights fees of Sir John
de Vaux, and he of Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk.
Peter (son of Sir Peter) Buzun was lord in the 19th of Edward I.
and in 1308, he and Sarah his wife held the lordship of Yelverton in
Norfolk; and of this family were the Buzuns of Devonshire, who held
in the reign of Henry III. certain knights fees of the honour of
Totness, and Sir Alexander Buzun, in the time of Edward I. and
Alexander Buzun, who in the 17th of Edward III. conveyed the manor
of Rokesden in Bedfordshire, to Robert de Chelneston in trust, and
sealed with three bird bolts, and after settled the said manor on
John his son, by Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Mordaunt, his wife
Peter Buzun, then a knight, was lord here in the 14th of Edward II. and presented to this church, and died before the 11th of
Edward III. when Sarah is styled his widow, and was succeeded by Jn.
his son, who on the inquisitions taken in the 20th of the said King,
held 2 fees and a half, and one quarter of a fee of the Lord Ross,
(who married one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir John de Vaux,)
and he of the Earl Marshal, and the Earl of the King; and in 1358,
he presented to this rectory: soon after this he seems to have died,
leaving William his son and heir, who in the 45th of Edward III.
granted to John his son, and Joan his wife, daughter of Rich. Spynk, late
citizen of Norwich, this manor, with the advowson of this church to
them and their heirs, saving to the said William 10 marks, by deed
dated on Monday after the feast of St. Bartholomew; witnesses, Sir
Oliver Calthorp, Knt Jeffrey de Fransham, Robert Scoggan, Edmund
de Norton, Edmund de Bintre, Adam de Billingford, &c.
This John was likely that John Buzun, who in the 33d of the aforesaid King, was in the retinue of John de Montague, and about travelling into foreign parts, had the King's letters of protection, and in 1380
presented to this church.
William Bozun was his son and heir, lord of this town, and of
Greinston's in Titleshale; he was living in the 10th of Richard II.
and Maud his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir Richard de Belhouse,
John, his son, and Margaret his daughter.
In the 3d of Henry IV. John Bozun, Esq. was lord, and in the 11th
of that King, held it of the Lord Ross, and he of the Lord Mowbray.
Richard Bozun, Esq. was lord in the 5th of Henry V. probably
brother of the aforesaid John; he married Margaret, daughter and
heir of Richard Chape or Chapys, Esq. who bore gules, a fess undee,
between six billets, argent: by his will dated January 4, 1450, and
proved March 5, following, he bequeaths his body to be buried in the
chancel of this church; (fn. 3) Margaret his wife survived him, (and married John Pecock of Norwich,) by whom he had William his son and
heir, who married Alice, daughter of Stephen Guybon, of North Lynn,
and in the 36th of Henry VI. Thomas Danyel, Esq. of Walsoken, son
of Laurence Danyel, Gregory Guybon, Robert Fyncham, and Thomas
Curson, Esq. released to James Gresham their right in this lordship
and advowson, which they had of the feoffment of William Bozon,
Esq. now living, dated on Friday before Christmas; his will is dated
Octber 12, 1460, and desires to buried in the churchyard of Wyssyngset;
gives legacies to John his son, Alice his wife, (who afterwards married
William Rokewood, Esq.) to Sir Thomas his brother, a monk, and
Constance his sister, a nun; (fn. 4) also to his wife this manor and advowson
for life, and that of Ovington, after the decease of his mother Margaret, to his son John.
This John married Elianore, daughter of Sir Edward Woodhouse, of
Kymberley, relict of Edmund Hastings, Esq. and was living in 1493,
but in the 22d of Henry VII. was remarried to Tohmas Cressener, John
dying in 1489.
He was succeeded by John Bozoun, Esq. his son and heir, who
married Elizabeth, daughter of—Rouncey, of Britainy in France;
and by an indenture made July 22, in the 20th of Henry VIII. John
Bozoun, Esq. son and heir of John Bozoun, Esq. late of Wissingset
deceased, cousin and heir of Richard Bozoun, sell to Sir William
Paston the manor of Bozouns in Castre, and John Bozoun, Esq. presented in 1555.
He left Robert his son and heir, (fn. 5) who presented in 1567, and in
1577, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Humphrey Kervile, Esq.
of Wygenhale St. Mary's, in Norfolk, by whom he had Roger his son
and heir, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Hamon L'Estrange, of
Hunstanton in Norfolk; and in the 6th year of James I. in consideration of a marriage between Hamon his son and heir, and Frances,
daughter of Sir Thomas Playters, of Soterley in Suffolk, settles this
manor and advowson on his son and heirs, in reversion, after the
decease of himself and Anne his wife.
Hamon Bozoun, Esq. had by Frances his wife, 3 sons, Thomas,
Roger, William, and several daughters, as appears from the will of
Roger his father, dated Jan. 25, 1623; Eliz. married to Christ.
Crowe, Esq. of East Bilney; Anne, to Bartholomew Johnson, of
Bittering; Catherine to William Harman of Stanhow; Susan, to
Thomas Goodrick, Gent. of North-Creake; and Frances to Edmund
Brigs of Bradfield.
Thomas Bozoun, Esq. (fn. 6) son and heir of Hamon, sold, in 1657, to
Catherine Calthorpe, widow, and 2d wife of James Calthorp, Esq.
of East Barsham, this manor: she was daughter and coheir of Sir
Edward Lewkenor, of Denham in Suffolk, and settled it on her 2d son,
James Calthorp, Esq. of the Middle Temple, who was lord in 1708,
and died unmarried, January 19, 1716, and buried at East Barsham.
From the Calthorps it came, by the two daughters and coheirs of
Sir Christopher Calthorp, to Sir Thomas L'Estrange, Bart. and on
his death, to his brother, Sir Henry, the late lord.
The Earl of Richmond's manor of Horningtoft extended into this.
Tho. Burt, son and heir of Sir Hamon Burt, lord of Horningtoft and
of the 4th part of Wyssingset, by deed, sans date granted to James,
son of Henry de Hulmo, of this town, lands, with a free foldage in
the fields, free bull and free boar, paying 2d. per ann.
John Lynge, alias Bradele, granted in the 35th of Henry VI. to
John Radclyf of Attylborow, William Warsop of Framlingham, Esq.
and Joan Lyng, alias Bradele, all his lands, rents, services, with the
liberty of a moiety of a foldcourse in this town, Horningtoft, and
This soon after came to the Bozuns, and was soon after united to
the capital lordship.
The tenths were 3l. 2s. Deducted 6s.
The temporalities of Westacre priory in 1428, 10s. 4d. ob.; of
Castleacre 2s.; Fakenham priory 11s.; Walsingham 12d.
The Church is a single pile, with a chancel covered with lead,
and a square tower with 4 bells.
On the pavement of the chancel lie several gravestones of gray
marble, with the effigies of the Bozouns in armour, on brass plates;
Ricardus Bozoun quonda' fueram vocitatus,
Quod fueram non sum quia pulvere su' subhumatus,
M. C. tetras ac L. in festi vesp'e (fn. 7) stelle.
Spiritus expirat, Deus O mea crimina pelle.
Orate p. a'i'a. Johis Bozon, Armigi. qui obiit viii die Februarij Ao.
Do'i. m. cccc.lxxxix. cuj; a'i'e. &c.
On a third,
Orate p. a'i'a. Willi Bozon, Armigi. qui obijt xiii die Februarii,
Ao. Do'i. m.cccclx cuj; a'i'e, &c.
In the church, near the font, on a gravestone,
Orate p. a'i'a Willi. Hopton, armigeri, filij D'ni. Willi. militis, cuj.
Under the clerk's seat, on a stone, with an effigy in brass, but the
Orate p. a'i'a Thome Gybon, gen'osi, qui obijt v die Junij, Ao. Do'i
m.cccc.lxxxiiii. cuj; &c.
In a window on the north side of the church there was a few years
past, the effigies of a man in a long loose gown of blue, and from a
Sc'e Matthia intercede p. me.
Also the arms of De Castello, or Castell, and sable, two watchbills
in saltire, argent, Billingford, impaling argent, a chevron, sable, in a
In the 4th of Hen. VI. Will. Billingford, son and heir of James
Billing ford, released to Hen. Keys and John Wyssingsete, all his right
in several lands and tenements in this town, Godewyk, Horningtoft,
&c. which were James his father's, and Adam his grandfather's, except the manor of Okeswick, and a wood called Sherndele, in Horningtoft.
In the steeple window, sable, two arrows in saltire, argent, feathered and pointed, or, impaling ermine, on a chief indented, sable,
three covered cups, argent, with some others defaced.
The church is a rectory, dedicated to the Virgin Mary; the ancient
valor was 10 marks, and paid Peter-pence, 10d.
Roger Buzun, who was lord in 1202, gave to the prior and convent
of Castleacre, two parts of the tithe of his demean in this town, and
of his woods that were grubbed up, or should be, (tam de sartis quam
sartatis,) and the prior and convent resigned their right in the presentation on this reserve, that whoever should be presented by the
said Roger or his heirs, should give security for the payment of one
mark per ann. to them. (fn. 8)
Eborard Bishop of Norwich is said to have confirmed this church
to the said priory; and the rector was obliged to pay 40s. per ann.
pension, for the tithes of the aforesaid demeans.
The present valor is 10l. 3s. 4d.
Peter de Hikelyng occurs rector about the first of Edward I.
John Bozun in the 34th of the said King.
1320, James de Wyssingset, by Sir Peter de Bozoun, Knt.
1358, Will. Carpenter, by John Bozoun.
1380, Thomas Frary, by John Bozoun.
1431, John Richeman, by Richard Bozon, Esq.
1461, Robert Newman, by Alice, relict of William Bozoun, and
Gregory Guybon, Esq, and feoffees of William Bozon.
1479, Roger Godynough, by ditto.
1527, John Bozone, Esq. presented.
1555, Mr. Christopher Threder, S.T.B. Ditto.
1567, Marmaduke Wood, by Robert Bozun, Gent.
1569, John Potter. Ditto.
1572, Vincent Goodwin, by Robert and Roger Bozun, Gent.
1577, Nicholas Brown, by Robert Bozon, Esq.
Thomas Brown compounded for his first fruits in 1613.
John Goodricke compounded in 1642.
William Peartree, rector in 1718.
James Bedingfeld, alias de Grey, on Peartree's death, by
Christopher Calthorp, Esq.
1745, Henry Calthorp, by Sir Thomas L'Estrange, Knt.
Alice Rokewode of Whissingset, Gent. (late wife of William Bozun)
by her will, dated January 20, 1495, bequeaths her body to be buried
in the chancel of this church, gives to Agnes Appleyard her daughter,
all the utensils of her manor of Woham; John Appleyard, son of her
daughter Agnes, mentioned therein, and proved in March following. (fn. 9)
An acre of meadow in this town, called Finch's, was given to find
12d. per ann. for a lamp to burn in the church, and 1d. for the year
day, for the souls of Henry Stalworthy, and Alice his wife, John Greve,
and Alice his wife, and 4d. for the ringers, by the last will of John
Greve the father, in the reign of Henry VII.
John Fycher, by his testament, dated November 21, 1523, wills to
be buried in the churchyard; gives to our Lady's gild, 12d. to the
sepulchre light 4d. to the common light of Wyssingset, 4d
Thomas Trumpe, by his will, dated April 8, 1528, to be buried in
the churchyard; to our lay's light, standing on the rood loft, 12d. and
a jewel to be bought for Wyssingset church, of 3l. that his father may
be prayed for, and 40s. for another jewel, and lands, to keep a yearly
dole of one penny-worth of bread, and one pennyworth of herring
every Pulver Wednesday (Ashwednesday) in Lent, to every householder in the town.