Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, had, by grant of
the Conqueror, an interest in, or the moiety of, a freeman, who
possessed 8 acres, and ploughed it with 2 oxen, (Bigot's lordship in
Claxton, Ashby and Carleton, extended into this town,) and it was
valued in Carleton. (fn. 1)
It was held by an ancient family, who assumed their name from
the town. John, son of Wymer de Helgeton, gave to the canons of
Walsingham, by deed, sans date, a quarter of barley, yearly; and
Robert, son of Herbert de Helgeton, gave lands in Carlton to the
canons of Langley.
In the 4th of King John, a fine was levied between William, parson
of Helgeton, petent, and Godfrey, son of Alan tenent, of lands here;
and in the 10th of that King, Jeffrey de Noring was petent, and
Alan de Helgeton, tenent, of a carucate of land.
William de Helgeton was lord, and died about the 10th of Henry
III. and was succeeded by John his brother, when Alice, widow of
William, granted to John, the 3d part of this manor, held as her
dower, with lands in Wramplingham, for the rent of 60s. per ann.
This John married Emme, sister of the said Alice.
Thomas de Helgeton claimed, as lord, in the 14th of Edward I. the
assise, view of frank pledge, and a weekly mercate, on Wednesday,
with a fair in this manor. Sir Thomas de Helgeton and Alice his wife,
were living in the 25th of Edward I. when they conveyed by fine,
to William de Kerdeston, this lordship, with the reversion of many
lands in this town, &c. after the decease of several persons, excepting the advowson of this church, and that of Ashby.
We find that the Helgetons had still an interest here; and in the
26th of Edward I. John de Helgeton, and Claricia his wife, granted
lands to Matthew de Kerdeston; as Will. son of Rob. de Helgeton,
and Prudence his wife did, to Hugh de Loverd, in the 11th of Edward II. and John de Helgeton and Roger de Kerdeston, held here
and in Wramplingham, one fee, in the 17th of that King. John de
Snetterton, and Bartholomew de Helgeton, conveyed to John de Helgeton and Agnes his wife, (as trustees,) several messuages, and great
parcels of land in the 6th of Edward III. but the manor and advowson was, at this time, in the Kerdestons, and Roger de Kerdeston presented in 1326.
In this family it remained, as in Claxton; and after that the
Roger Crow, Esq. was lord, and presented in 1723, and in 1731 John
Godric, the King's steward, had a grant of the lands of 3 freemen,
2 of them belonged to Edwin, (who was son of Algar Earl of Mercia,)
and one to Gert, (King Harold's brother,) on whose deprivation, their
lands were granted to Ralph Earl of Norfolk, and on his rebellion,
and forfeiture, to Godric.
These three freemen had 2 carucates of land, and 12 borderers
under them, held 3 carucates and a half; there were 12 freemen, 6 of
them belonged to the lord's fold, who had the soc, and the other six
were freemen; among all these were 2 carucates, and 40 acres of
land. Helgeton was 4 furlongs long, and 3 broad, and paid 4d. gelt. (fn. 2)
On the death of Godric, this seems to have come to the Crown, as
an escheat, and was granted to William de Cheyney, (lord of Horseford,) with Claxton, in the reign of King Stephen, and so to the
Cressys; and the family of De Kerdeston was enfeoffed of it, as may
be seen at large in Claxton.
From the Kerdestons it came to the De la Poles, &c. to the Gaudys,
&c. being united to the manor abovementioned.
The tenths were 2l. 0s. 0d. Deducted 16s.
John de Shardelow and Agnes his wife, purchased lands here of
John, son of Hugh le Falconer of this town, and Catharine, his wife,
in the reign of Edward III. and in the 25th of that King, John, son
of Sir John de Shardelow, and Thomas his brother, gave the church of
Cowling in Suffolk, to Trinity hall, Cambridge.
Alan de Helgeton, by deed sans date, gave to the monks of Castleacre, land in Helgeton; (fn. 3) and Wimer, son of Lambert de Helginton,
gave to them a meadow, called Hoxwelledol; and in the 30th of
Edward I. Thomas, son and heir of Sir Robert de Haleghton, covenants
(with his father) to marry Joan, daughter and heir of Sir Nicholas de
The Church was dedicated to St. John Baptist, and with that of
Ashby (both being rectories) were valued at 10 marks.
Peter-pence, 12d. carvage, 8d. the rector had 30 acres of land,
with a house.
William occurs rector in the 4th of King John, as by a fine.
William de Kerdeston purchased by fine, of Thomas de Heleghton and Alice his wife, 24 messuages, 3 mills, 320 acres of land, &c.
with the advowsons of this town, and Asseby, ao. 26th Edward I.
Jeffrey occurs rector about 1320.
1326, John Bretham, by Sir Roger de Kerdeston.
1327, Thomas de Newton. Ditto.
1329, William Reynold. Ditto.
1349, Richard de Geyst, by Sir William de Kerdeston.
1378, John Anwald. Ditto.
1390, Richard Falknere, by Sir Leonard Kerdeston.
1396, William Cotton. Ditto.
1410, John Hetherington. Ditto.
1411, Hugh Bucknal, by Sir Leonard Kerdeston.
1412, John Eccles. Ditto.
1435, Edmund Hobbs, by Sir Thomas Kerdeston.
1438, John Palmer, by the Bishop, a lapse.
1458, Andrew Bille. Ditto.
1462, Thomas Hanworth. Ditto.
1478, John Fox, by John Duke of Suffolk.
1484, John Shottover. Ditto.
1492, Robert Spoforth, by Eliz. Dutchess of Suffolk.
Sir Edward North had a grant of this town, Ashby and Claxton,
with the advowsons, September 10, ao. 4th and 5th of Philip and
In 1603, William Cockram was rector, and held it united to Ashby,
valued at 6l. per ann.; he returned 90 communicants, and Sir Henry
Gaudy was patron.
1606, William Flowerdew.
1618, Robert Peachie.
1662, John Feveryere
1685, Edward Yovell.
Samuel Kirk, rector, died in 1723.
Thomas Gamble, instituted in 1723, and vicar of Wroxham
cum Sallows chapel, presented by Roger Crow, Esq.
1731, Thomas Manlove, by John Bedingfeld, Esq.
The church is a single pile, covered with lead, (the chancel is tiled,)
and has a round tower, with 2 bells.
In the chancel lies a black marble, with a brass plate thereon,
Sir Anthony Gaudy, Kt. deceased March 30, 1642.
Virtue, justice, goodness, race,
Are all interred within this place.
With this good knight, so good whose fame.
That now in Heaven most glorious his name.
Whether he is gone to Christ his rock,
To sing Hallelujahs with his celestial flock.