William de Scohies was lord at the survey, and Robert de Ebrois
held it under him; it consisted of several tenures; Bern held of King
Edward one carucate with one villain, and 2 borderers, and there
was half a carucate amongst the tenants, or men; this was valued at
10s. and a church then belonged to it, endowed with 4 acres.
Tor, a freeman, in King Edward's time, under Stigand, had 4 carucates of land, 2 in demean, and 2 were amongst the men; there
were 14 villains then, and a borderer, valued at 40s. but at the survey at 4l. per ann. Stigand, had the soc; also 3 freemen held 85 acres
then, and 2 carucates, with 2 borderers, and a freeman, with 30 acres.
Brunard holds 30 acres, or 2 oxgangs. This was valued at 12s.
Rafrid held these freemen, but now they are held of the King,
because there was no one who had a just claim to them.
Rafrid was a Norman, and had quitted it, not having a legal title.
The whole was one leuea long, and one broad, whoever was lord of
it, and paid 27d. to a 20s. gelt. (fn. 1)
William de Schoies or Escoes, sold this lordship, with many others,
in the reign of Henry I. to Walter Giffard Earl of Buckingham: he
had a large share of the Conqueror's favours in this county, and
held as we learn from the Book of Domesday, lordships in Islington,
Clenchwarton, Middleton, Rungton, Geyton, and Massingham, in
Freebridge hundred; Bircham in Doching hundred, and Ringsted in
Smethdon hundred;—Wilby and Buckenham in Shropham hundred;
—Banham, Keninghale, and Herling, in Gilcross hundred;—Letton
in Mitford hundred;—Creak, in Gallow hundred;— Sheringham,
Salthouse, Repps, Beston, and Runton in North Erpingham hundred;
—Reedham, Berningham, Panxford, and Fishley, in Walessam hundred;— Limp'ho, Berningham, Plumstede, and Sowood in Blofield
hundred;—Winterton and Ashby, in West Flegg hundred;— Brant,
in Lothing hundred;— Witchingham, and Weston in Einsforde hundred;—Attleburgh, in Taverham hundred;—Corpusty in South Erpingham hundred;—Paston, in Tunstead hundred;—Stokesby, in East
Flegg hundred;— Colney, in Humbleyard hundred;— Tasburgh, in
Deepwade hundred, and Thurverton, in Clavering hundred.
Walter Giffard was Earl of Buckingham, and succeeded by a son
of his own name, who dying without issue, in the reign of Henry II.
his great inheritance was divided amongst his sisters and coheirs, one
of whom, Rohais, brought this lordship to Richard Fitz-Gilbert, ancestor to the noble family of the Earls of Clare.
The family of De Brecham being enfeoffed herein, took their name
from it, according to the custom of that age; Ralph de Brecham being
lord in the time of Richard I. and in the 3d of King John, Richard
de Brecham was sued by the bailiff of the Earl of Arundel, for suit of
court, due for lands here to his hundred-court of Smethdon, as was
one of the said name, by Catherine de Titchwell, as guardian to the
heir of Gilbert de Titchwell, for certain customs and services due for
lands in this town, and Hunestanton, in the 34th of Henry III.
This Richard was son probably of Richard de Brecham, who was
found to hold it in the 3d of the said King, of the honour of Clare.
In the 41st of the said King, Alan de Meysy impleaded Nicholas
de Brecham for 2 parts, and Maud, relict of Richard de Brecham, for
her 3d part in this church; and in the 52d of that King, it is said that
Alan could not recover seisen against Nicholas de Brecham, till he had
granted to Roger of the Exchequer, the said advowson.
After this, the Wesenhams claimed a right, and in the 14th of Edward I. an assise was brought to enquire if Giles de Wesenham, father
of John, was seized in demean and fee, of lands in Brecham St. Mary,
which John, son of Robert de Brecham, holds.
Gilbert de Clare Earl of Clare, on his marriage with Joan, daughter
of King Edward I. granted it May 27, to the said King, ao. 18, with
Walsingham, Wiveton, Crimplesham, &c. who regranted it to the said
Earl, and his Lady Joane, and their heirs, the said Earl holding it in
Gilbert their son and heir, being slain at the battle of Bannocksburne
in Scotland, ao. 7th of Edward II. and having no issue, it was assigned
to Elizabeth de Burgh, wife of John de Burgh, son and heir of Richard
Earl of Ulster.
About this time, Edmund Tyb held here and in Ringstead, the fourth
part of a fee of the honour of Clare.
In the family of the Burghs it remained, till Lionel Duke of Clarence
by the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William de Burgh
Earl of Ulster, became lord of it; who leaving an only daughter and
heir, Philippa, married to Edmund Mortimer Earl of March, he was
lord of it in her right; and Edmund Mortimer Earl of March, dying
seized of it in the 3d of Henry VI. Richard Plantaginet Duke of York,
son of Anne his sister, was found to be his cousin and next heir, from
whom it descended to his son, King Edward IV.
After this, Elizabeth, (Henry the Seventh's Queen,) Anne, wife of
Thomas Howard Earl of Surry, and Catherine, wife of William de Courtney Earl of Devonshire, 3 of the surviving daughters and coheirs of the
said King, had an interest herein; and the said Anne and Catherine,
conveying their right to King Henry VIII. son of the eldest sister,
Elizabeth, in his 3d year, the whole was vested in him, who settled it
on his Queen, in part of her jointure.
On December 20, in the 1st and 2d of Philip and Mary, it was
granted to Thomas Woodhouse. and Thomas Ranowe, and their heirs,
with the advowson, excepting the bells and lead, to be held in capite
by the 60th part of a fee, in consideration of 193l. 5s. 5d.
After this, it was in John Darcy and Thomas Audley; and in the
43d of Elizabeth, John Young, and William his son and heir, sold to
Thomas Southwell, Esq. for 260l. the moiety of a foldcourse, called
About the said time, it appears that Southwell held another foldcourse, called Bylaugh's, with a farm, and was patron of the church,
and as such, lord also of the manor.
In Trinity term, ao. 13th of James I. Henry Southwell conveyed it
by fine, to Henry Davy, and Christopher Herne.
After this, it was possessed by several lords, who had the patronage,
and conveyed to Robert Walpole, Esq. who presented in 1705, and
the Earl of Orford is the present lord and patron.
Tenths 3l. 10s. Deducted 1l. 6s. 8d.
Besides the lordship abovementioned, Ralph de Bellofago, lord of
Newton Bircham, had also one in this town, held by Fradre, a Saxon
thane of King Edward I. consisting of 3 carucates of land, 5 villains,
and 4 borderers, 2 carucates in demean, with 2 and a half amongst
the men; and 2 freemen had 2 acres, valued in Fradere's time at 2s.
at the survey at 20s.; it was one leuca long, and one broad, and paid
This had at all times the same lords, and passed as an appendix to
the manor of Newton Bircham, so that what has been observed of that
manor, equally belongs to this, to which I refer the reader.
Concealed lands granted ao. 16th Elizabeth, April 10, to Edward
Dyer, and Hugh Cressener, in the tenure of Thomas Baxtere.
The Church is dedicated to St. Mary. The rector had a manse
with 30 acres, in Edward the First's time, and was valued at 32 marks.
The prior of Norwich had a portion of tithe, valued at 4s. Peter-pence
2d. ob. The present valor is 22l. and pays tenths, &c.
In the nave on a brass plate,
Orate p. a'i'a. Edithe Cook quond. uxor. Magri. Johs. Wollis notarij.
1304, Leon. de Beauchamp, instituted, presented by Ralph de Monthermer, Earl of Gloucester, &c.
1310, Hugh de Lavington, by Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester,
1310, Richard de Estdene. Ditto.
1322, Richard de Wyrecestre, by the King, in possession of the lands
of Roger Damary, a rebel.
1327, Mr. William de Brompton, by Roger de Brecham,
In 1337, King Edward III. granted license to his cousin, Elizabeth
de Burgo, to give the patronage of this church, and appropriate it to
the dean and chapter of St. Paul's in London, but it had no effect.
1344, Mr. William Bures, by the Lady Elizabeth de Burgh, Countess of Clare.
1357, William de Berkway, ditto: buried in the chancel.
1391, William Lane, by the King, in right of the Earldom of March.
1402, Walter Mably, by ditto.
1407, Thomas Libourne, by the King, in the minority of the Earl
1408, Robert Hethe, by ditto.
1434, Thomas Feltham, by Richard Duke of York, Earl of March.
1481, Robert Calton, S.T.P.
1501, John Thompson, by the King.
1506, William Hickman, abbot of Stratford Langthorn, (in Essex,)
by the King.
1516, Mr. James Mallet, S.T.B. by the Queen.
1522, John Wetwode. Ditto.
1543, Thomas Thaxton, by the King.
1551, Lanc. Thexton, prebend of Norwich. Ditto.
1555, William Holden, by Sir Thomas Wodehouse, Knt. and Thomas
1568, John Babkey, by Thomas Southwell, Esq.
1573, Robert Gray. Ditto.
1583, Alexander Rawlyns, (fn. 2) by the Queen.
1608, John Hassell, by John Jay, Esq. afterwards dean of Norwich.
1639, Samuel Booty, by Richard Parmenter, alderman of Norwich.
1670, John Steares, by Thomas Bacon, Esq. and Nicholas Styleman,
1672, Alexander Booty, by Thomas Bacon, Esq.
1705, Henry Bland, by Robert Walpole, Esq.
Henry Bland. D.D. resigned in 1744.
1744, Hor. Hammond, rector, 1765, (prebend of Bristol,) by the
Earl of Orford.
In this church were the lights of St. Mary, the crucifix, St. Saviour,
St. Anthony, St. Mary Magdalen, of the crucifix at the door of the
church, St. Christopher, St. John, and St. James, St. Katherine, and
St. Margaret, St. Thomas and St. Nicholas, St. Ann, St. Mary le Pity,
St. Peter, St. Leodegarius, and St. Giles, St. Erasmus, St. Edith, and
the Holy Trinity.