The following is an extract from Blomefield's History of Norfolk. (Volume 8, starting at page 441)



THE capital manor in this town was held by Stigand Archbishop of Canterbury, (as a temporal fee,) in the reign of the Confessor; but the Conqueror deprived him of it, and gave it to his half brother, Odo Bishop of Baieux, in Normandy, and created by him Earl of Kent, (1) this Odo held it at the survey, but being in arms against King William II. and taking part with Robert Duke of Normandy, the Conqueror's eldest son, in his claim to the crown of England, against his brother, King William II. he was deprived of this, and all his other estates in England; and this lordship was granted by that king, to William de Albini, ancestor to the Earls of Sussex and Arundel, as I have observed at large in Rysing. — in Stigand's time there were 3 carucates of land, held by 16 villains, afterwards 8 villains, always 13 borderers, one servus, and 28 acres of meadow, in Stigand's time, 2 carucates in demean, afterwards one, then one carucate among the tenants, afterwards half a one, and 3 mills, &c. always 60 sheep ; there belonged to it 14 socmen, who had one carucate; it was valued at 5l. per ann. and at the survey at 7l.; the whole was one leuca and an half long, and broad, and paid 2 shillings, in a 20s. gelt.(2)

This Lordship was held soon after the Conquest, by a family who took their name on their Being enfeoft herein; Godfrey de Gimston (probably lord) was a witness to a deed, sans date, of Richard Aguillon and Ela his wife, to the monks of Castleacre.

In the 34th of Henry III. a fine was levied between Peter de Kailli, and Mary his wife; Ralph, son of Simon le Counte, and Joan his wife, of the moiety of 232 acres of land in this town, Rudham, Titleshall, &c. claimed by Peter and Mary, of the inheritance of Roger de Grimston, father of-the said Mary and Joan, by Alice his wife, deceased, whose heirs they were; (3) which was then divided between them.

In the 27th of Henry III. Thomas de Grimston held 2 fees of the honour of Rysing, which were assigned to Isabel, widow of Hugh Earl Arundel, for her life; this Thomas was married, but died without issue(4) and on the death of Agnes his widow, Alice or Elizabeth, daughter of Godfrey de Grimston, his brother, was his heir; she married John de Breccles, who in her right was lord, in the 16th of Edward I. and from him the manor took its name.

In the 17th of Edward I. it was adjudged that Robert de Tateshal, (who married one of the sisters and heirs to Hugh Earl of Albiney,) should have the men and residents of this town come to his hundred court of Freebridge; but John de Breccles, and Alice his wife, pleaded that they ought to come to his court lete. He was succeeded by Benedict de Breccles, his son and heir.

Though this title (abovementioned) to this lordship is warranted by authentick records, yet Benedict de Breccles derived his right and pedigree very different from this, as appears from an old parchment, wrote in his own time, in Latin, and sans date, called a Memorandum of the names of the ancestors of John Benedict de Brecclis; viz.

Thomas son of Godfrey, son of Aldric a Frenchman, to whom William Earl of Sussex gave Grymeston; Brunham, (Burnham,) Breccles, &c. after whoe death (Thomas's) Peter succeeded, his son and heir, and a knight; —after Sir Peter; Thomas his son and heir, a knight; —then Sir Peter his son and heir, after him;—Sir Thomas, his son and heir; —Thomas his son and heir succeeded, who died without issue; —and Christian was his sister and heir, who dying without issue, Peter her uncle was her heir,—which Peter was brother to Sir Thomas, father of Thomas and Christian; —which Peter dying without issue, Bartholomew his brother was his heir;— he had Alice his daughter and heir; and from the said Alice, the right descends to Benedict, her son and heir; now living.

It is to be observed, that great confusion often arises in pedigrees, &c from one and the same family's, and, often one and the same person's, taking different names from the different towns, that they (or he) were lords of. An instance of this we have in this family, who were called sometimes de Grimston, and sometimes de Breccles, of both which towns they were lords; and this Sir Benedict dying lord of both these towns, in the reign of King Edward II. was succeeded therein by John de Breccles, his son and heir, who in the 9th of that King appears to be lord; and in the 14th of Edward III. John de Breccles was a witness to a deed.

In the time of Sir Benedict abovementioned, we have this account of his lordship, from an old parchment roll: Benedict de Breccles holds in capite of the Earl of Arundel, the manor of Grimeston, with the advowson of the church, and the manor of Brunham, with the advowson of a moiety of the church of St. Mary, of Brunham Westgate, and the manor of Little Breccles by the service of 2 knights fees, by the deed of William Earl of Arundel; and he hath the manor of Grimston, by the church, with several pieces of land thereto belonging, together with a moor, called Derby moor, a heath and 2 watermills; and there belongs to the said manor weif and strays, found within the the precincts of Grimeston; a bull, and a lete of all his tenants, to be held in the said manor, by the King's bailiff, without any profit to be carried off; and the bailiff of the said Benedict shall bring all amerciaments of the said lete, by the oath of lawful men, &c. and if the bailiff shall be unwilling to keep the said lete, as it happened in the time of John Breccles, the said lord of the manor to have a brief of the chancellor, to the said bailiffs, to hold the said lete, as they ought; and there belongs to the said manor a profit called lovebene; to wit, that all residents in Grimeston; having horses with a cart; shall work for the lord, for the redeeming of the common of Grimeston, one day's journey of barley-seed time, and he shall have for his breakfast one penny halfpenny; and all keeping cows on the common shall do a day's work in harvest, and at 3 O'clock they shall have flesh to eat, and ale to drink, and 3 loaves every evening; and if they refuse, then it shall be lawful to distrain on the said common, &c.; but Sir Robert de Montealto, the prior of Westacre, the Lady de Thony, the prioress of Blackburgh, the rector of Grimeston, Nicholas Costyn, Nicholas Norman, Agnes Waceneys, Richard Beneyt, the tenants of the messuage of John Spylm - -, Hubert de Bumstead, Robert de Berton, Walter Oldman, John Skot, Sir Ralph le Botiler, Roger Skot, shall not do the day's work in barley-seed time, nor the day's in harvest, because their tenants work for them; and likewise that no man sell the common of Grimeston to strangers without leave of the said Benedict, and his heirs; and if any stranger in Congham, or in any village, is willing to have common in Grimston, he shall do the work as the others do.

And there is also a profit belonging to the said manor of Grimeston, called heywardship; to wit, that the lord is able to let to farm the heywardship to whom he pleases, &c. and to the manor there belongs 6 roods of wood at Bausey in Westwood.

In 1402, Benedict de Breccles, son of John de Breccles, was lord; soon after it seems to have been out of this family, in the 25th of Henry VI.

John Paston, son and heir of William Paston, released to Thomas Daniel, Esq. all his right in the manor of Grimston, (which I take to be this of Breccles,) with lands, &c. in Rydon, Well-hall, and in the 28th of the said King a fine was levied between Thomas Daniel, esq. and Henry Wodehouse, Esq. of the manor of Grimston, with that of Well-hall, in Geyton, &c. 20 messuages, 500 acres of land, 100 of meadow, 500 of pasture, 20 of wood, 200 of moor, and 10l. per ann. rent conveyed to Daniel. (5)

In the 10th of Edward IV. August 4, John Wodehouse, Esq. senior, and Arnold Snoring confirmed to Edward Wodehouse and James Tyrell, Knts. William Tindale and Richard Southwell, Esq. all their manors of Grimston and Rydon, with a fulling-mill in Rysing, and all other their lands, tenements, rents, and services in the said towns, with all other profits which they had of the grant of the aforesaid Edward Wodehouse; and Sir Thomas Brews, Knt. William Tyndale, and Richard Holeditch, Esq. release to John de la Pole Duke of Suffolk, and Edward Wodehouse, Knt. in the 15th of the said reign, the manor of Grimston, called Breccles, with the advowson of the church of Grimston, by deed dated April 10.

After this it was possessed by the Lord Rochford, brother to Anna Bolein, Queen of England, who being attainted in the year 1536, it came to the Crown, and King Edward the Sixth granted it to Sir William Brook, Knt. son and heir to the Lord Cobham, on the 26th of June, in his 7th year. Sir William conveyed it for 250l. in the first of Queen Mary, to William Yelverton, Esq. In the 3d of Elizabeth, he was lord, and it appears to be part of the jointure of Jane, his wife,(6) which William died seized of it August 28; in the 28th of Elizabeth.

Edward Yelverton, Gent. his 2d son, to whom he bequeathed it, kept his court for the manor on Monday, May 22, in the 29th of that Queen, and in the 31st year of the said reign, Robert Hill, bailiff, accounted for 7l. 3s. ob. rent of assise of the free tenants of the manors of Breccles, Blackburgh, and Westacre in this town.

In 1521, Edward Yelverton, and Nazareth his wife, let this manor to farm: he was doctor of physick and a popish recusant, and lived at this time at Rougham, and sometimes at Appleton, &c. and on his obtaining a pardon for his forfeiture on account of his recusancy, granted 20 marks per ann. out of his manor of Breccles for so long a time, as he should not conform to the laws; and on the 12th of April, l615, he sold to William Bladwell, Esq. this manor, with the lete, and those of Morleys, Downham-hall, Costeyns, Westacre, Blackborough, &c. in this town containing 26 messuages, 10 tofts, 26 gardens, 800 acres of land, 100 of meadow, 300 of pasture, 20 of wood, 3000 of heath and furze, with 5l. rent per ann. and liberty of two folds. This Bladwell was of the family of Bladwell, of Thurlow Magna, in Suffolk, and bore per pale argent and gules, a lion rampant, sable.

Bladwell was lord and sold it to - - - - - Brown, whose widow held it in 1693.

After this William Brage, Esq. was lord, and sold it to Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford, and his grandson now possess, it.


In the 19th of Edward II. the prior of Coxford had a patent to hold 3 Messuages,100 acres of land, one of meadow, and 10s. per ann. rent in Grimston, Congham, Rydon, Wyveling, and Appleton, granted by the Lady Maud de Tony, widow of Sir Robert de Tony, son of Sir Ralph de Tony; which lordship, valued at 6 marks per ann. she bought of William Sherman, of Tilney, with its appurtenances, and gave to the prior for the founding of a chauntry in the church of Necton in Norfolk.

On the dissolution of religious houses it was granted March 1, in the 6th of Edward VI late belonging (as it is expressed) to St. Catherine's chantry in Necton, to Sir Thomas Wodehouse of Waxham in Norfolk, who sold if on the 4th of June following, to Humphrey Jordan, Gent. who kept his first court on Tuesday before the feast of St. Luke, in the said year; and in the 20th of Elizabeth, Humphrey and Richard Bastard, Gent. held their first court, on November 4; and in the 26th of that Queen, Humphrey Bastard released to William Bladwell of Thurlow Magna, in Suffolk, all his right in this manor and in the advowson of St. Andrew's church of Congham.

In the 32d of Elizabeth, Richard Bastard, Gent. conveyed it by fine to Gyles Bladwell, Esq. on whose death, William, his son, being a minor, it was held by Susan, his mother; and the said William, on the death of his mother, held his first court on the 12th of April, in the 17th of James I. with the lete.

Roger Bigot also, had a lordship held by two freemen in King Edward's time, with 60 acres of land, which Robert de Vallibus, or Vaux, held of Bigot; there belonged to it 3 borderers with 8 acres of meadow, and half a carucate valued at 5s. and 4 freemen belonged to it; with 40 Acres of land; and 2 acres of meadow; one carucate also in King Edward's time belonged to it, but half a one at the survey, and was valued at 5s.(7)


Thomas, son of Walter Cordel purchased lands by fine in the 5th year of King John, and John Hode, or Ode, of Lynn, and Robert Cordel, or Cordwell, held in this town and Congham, the tenth part of a fee of John de Vaux, in the reign of Henry III. In the 16th of Edward I. this tenth part was assigned to Petronilla, wife to William de Narford, as eldest daughter of John de Vaux, being in the tenure of Jeff. Cordel; and in the said year John Dunham was found to hold part of a fee of William de Roos and Maud his wife, the other daughter of John de Vaux.

In the 7th of Edward II. a fine was levied between Symon, son of Robert Cordel of Grimston, and Robert, the father, of lands settled on Symon; and in the 20th of Edward III. John Ode and the heirs of Robert Cordel, and their tenants, held here and in Congham (as appears by an inquisition) half a fee of the heirs of John de Vaux.

It afterwards came to the Wodehouses, and Roger Wodehouse, esq. and Elizabeth his wife, kept their first court of Downham-hall, on the feast of St. Prisca, the Virgin, January 18, in the second of Henry VIII. and it came from Woodhouse in the 17th of Elizabeth to John Holditch, Esq. of Randworth.

On December 20, in the 19th of Elizabeth, William Yelverton, Esq. purchased the manor of Downham, of John Holditch, Esq. of Randworth, and Edward Yelverton, his 2d son, executor to his father, kept his court on Monday, May 22, in the 29th of Elizabeth.


Nicholas Costeyn occurs lord in the 9th of Edward II. and William Costeyn, in the first year of Richard II. held it of the honour of Arundel; and in the 19th of Henry VIII. Thomas Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Marquis of Dorset, ----- Fitz Walter, Sir Roger Townsend, John Cressener, and John Whitby, feoffees of this lordship, for the use of Roger Wodehouse, Esq. son and heir of Sir Thomas, held a court on Monday next after the passion of our Lord, in the 19th of Henry VIII. Roger Wodehouse, Esq. conveyed it by fine to John Holditch, Esq, in the 17th of Elizabeth.

After this it came to William Yelverton, Esq. in the 19th of Elizabeth, as in Downham manor, and so to his son Edward, and to William Bladwell, as in Beccles manor. Edward Yelverton of Rougham, Esq. granted to Thomas Wright of Hengrave in Suffolk, on March 2,in the 29th of Elizabeth, the stewardship of his manors of Breccles, Blackborough, Westacre, Morleys, Costings, and Downham-hall, in this town, allowing an annual fee for the same of 26s. 8d.


In the 6th of King John, a fine was levied between Walter, son of Roger de Bilney, petent, and Richard de Seinges, tenant, of one carucate of land in Grimeston,(8) and in the 41st of Henry III. a fine was levied between Richard, son of Peter of Wygenhale, Reginald de Rodes, and Muriel his wife, of a messuage, one carucate of land, and 22s. rent per ann. in Grimston, Congham, Rydon, &c.

In the 10th of Richard II a fine was levied between Roger Raulin, and William Bozoun and Maud his wife, of a manor settled on William and Maud for life, the remainder to Geff. Adekyn of Newton, and Margaret his wife, in tail; the remainder to John, son of William Bozoun; and Thomas Shouldham, Esq; by deed dated on Thursday next after the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle, in the 33d of Henry VI. released to William Bozoun, Esq. all his right in the lands of Sir Richard Belhouse in Grimstone, Congham, and Geyton, with rents, services, &c. Richard Bozun of Wissenset, Esq. by his last will, devised his manor here, and in Congham and Rydon, to Alice his wife for life, and died January 4, 1459.

In the 22d of Henry VIII. Roger Wodehouse and Elizabeth his wife conveyed to Humphrey Jurdan, 10 messuages and lands in Wyvelingham, in the parish of Grimston, and 2 folds; and mention is made of this place in the 4lst of Henry III. in a fine levied between Richard, son of Peter of Wygenhale, and Reginald de Rodes, and Muriel his wife, of one messuage, one carucate, &c. and 22s. rent in Grimston, Kangham, Wyveling, &c, conveyed to Richard.(9)

Robert Bozoun of Thornage in Norfolk, by an indenture made March 24, in the 33d of Elizabeth, for 70l. covenants to levy a fine of the manor of Grimston, alias Congham, alias Geyton, alias Wyvelingham, alias Reed-hall, with 4l. l4s.7d. rent, late Roger Bozoun's son of the said Robert, to Anthony Bedingfeld, Gent. to the use of Anthony, and Roger Bozoun, for their lives, and then to the use of Edward Yelverton and Margaret his wife, and his heirs. The rents of the free tenants of Bozoun's manor, about this time, were 2l. 7s. 4d. and the copy holders 16d. per ann. From Yelverton it was conveyed to William Bladwell, Esq. as in Beccles manor.

At the grand survey, William Earl Warren was possessed of a lordship in this town, which in the Confessor's time was in different hands, one part being held by Alveva, a freewoman; this consisted of one carucate of land, and 11 borderers; and 7 freemen held 4 acres of land, with 12 of meadow; there was one carucate in demean, and 7 freemen held half a carucate; this part was valued at 20s. per ann.

In the same town two freemen held in the time of King Edward, one carucate of land; and there was one carucate and 14 borderers, and 12 freemen had 12 acres of land, and one carucate, with 10 acres of meadow, valued at 20s. per ann.

Also one freeman held one carucate of land and 13 borderers, with a mill, and 6 freemen held 19 acres of meadow; there was one carucate in demean, at the survey half a carucate, and those 6 freemen held half a carucate, the whole valued at 30s.(10) See also in Congham.


Wimer, and Drogo, son of William the sewer, held lands or lordships here of the Earl Warren, about 1100.

The family of the St. Cleers, or de Sancto Claro, were also ancient lords of this manor; of this family was Hamo de St. Cleer, mentioned in the Pipe Rolls, in the first year of King Henry II. and likewise in the register of the abbey of St. Baptist of Colchester.

Gerebert de St Cleer, whose chief seat was at Bradfield St Cleer in Suffolk, held the fourth part of a fee here; he lived in the 7th of Richard I. and in fhe 9th of King John, when he sold lands at Marlingford in Norfolk. In the 16th of Henry III he conveyed lands in Bradfield, to John de St. Cleer, probably his son. He died seized of this manor in the 37th of Henry III. which he held by the fourth part of a fee of William de Huntingfield, and William (as I take it) of the Earl Warren.(11) John, his son and heir, succeeded, who kept his first court here in the 41st of Henry III. and he occurs lord in the 52d of that King. In the 41st year he is said to hold a whole fee, and not to be a knight, and John de St. Cleer did homage to the abbot of Bury, for the manor of Bradfield, in the 30th year of King Edward I. (12)

Guy de St. Cleer was escheator of Norfolk and Suffolk, in the 29th of Edward III. and Pain de St. Clere released to Edward de St. John and Joan his wife, and her heirs, all his right in the manor of Grimston, in the 49th of the said King; but before this it will appear that good part of this manor was alienated by some of the family who had a noble seat and park at Bradfield abovementioned. The last account that I have met with of them is in the time of Henry VI. Sir Philip de St. Cleer died in Henry the Fourth's time, lord of Bradfield and Wethersfield in Suffolk, leaving a widow Margaret and 2 sons; John, who died s. p. and Thomas, who died in the 17th of Henry VI. leaving 3 daughters and coheirs, Elizabeth, Alianora, and Editha.(13)

In the 10th of Edward II. Robert de Reppes held 4l. 18s. 6d. farthing rent in Grimston, Congham, and Geyton, of the King in capite, by what services the jury was ignorant, he having it by the grant of license of the Earl Warren: in the l7th of the said King, he is said to hold a quarter of a fee in the aforesaid towns of the Earl of Pembroke of the castle of Acre, and in the 1st of Edward III. of the dutchy of Lancaster.

In the 17th of Edward III. Sir Robert Morley was lord, and Joan his wife joined in settling of it in tail; and he is said, in the 20th of that King, to hold it by the 4th part of a fee of the heirs of Huntingfeld, which John de St. Cleer and his tenants formerly held. In the 34th of the said reign, Sir Robert Morley was found to die beyond sea, seized of this lordship, and Sir William Morley was his son, aged 30, by Hawisia his first wife, daughter and heir of William Mareshall, Knt. and Henry Morley, aged 15, and Robert, were his sons, by his second, wife.(14)

After this, it was in the Woodhouses; Roger Wodehouse of Kimberley, Esq. settled it on the 2d of May, in the 36th of Henry VIII. on his son Thomas, and Margaret his wife, daughter of Sir John Shelton; and Roger Wodehouse, Esq. son of Thomas and Margaret, held his first court on 17th of March, in the 15th of Elizabeth; in the 17th year of that Queen, he conveyed it with the manors of Downham-hall, and Costeyn's, to John Holditch, Esq. of Ranworth, who with Elizabeth his wife, sold the said manors for 540l. on December 20, in the 19th of Elizabeth, to William Yelverton, Esq. and from him they came to his son, Edward Yelverton, and from him to William Bladwell, Esq. as in Beccles manor, &c.


The prior of Castleacre held lands here, valued in the year 1428, at 14s. 6d. and was styled a manor, being held of the gift of the Earl Warren, founder of that priory; William, first Earl Warren, gave two parts of the tithes of his lands here, to the priory, on the foundation of it.

In the 33d of Elizabeth, it was settled by Rob. Bozoun of Thornage Esq. together with the manors of Bozoun, Wivelingham, Reed-hall, &c. as in Bozoun's manor, from which family it came to Edward Yelverton, and so to to William Bladwell, Esq.


The prioress of Blackburgh had also a small lordship. Margery Fincham, prioress, held her first court on Saturday after the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, in the 24th of Henry VII After the dissolution of this house, it was granted, September 13, in the 4th and 5th of Philip and Mary, to Thomas Guybon, Esq. and William Mynn, Gent.

Soon after it was sold to William Yelverton, Esq. who held his first court on Friday next after the feast of St. Martyn, in the said year; he bought it of Guybon and Mynn, on November 5, for 50l. and was held of the manor of East Greenwich; Edward Yelverton succeeded his father in it, in whose time the free rents were 7s. 3d. per ann. copyhold rents, 1l. 0s. 11d. William Bladewell purchased it April 12, 1615.


In the sixteenth year of Henry III. a fine was levied between Bartholomew, son of Simon, and Robert, prior of Westacre, when Bartholomew conveyed 2 messuages, and 44 acres of land in Grimston to the prior; and William de Wygenhale aliened to this priory certain tenements in Walpole, South Lenne, and Grimestone, in the 7th of Edward II.

The temporalities of this house were taxed in 1428, at 3l. 19s. 9d.

William Wingfield, prior of the monastery of St. Mary and All Saints, of Westacre, granted lands in Grimston, to Humphrey Jordan of Grimston, by deed, dated March 20, in the 23d of Henry VIII. and before this, in the 3d of Henry IV. Thomas de Warren is said to have a manor here, which the prior held of him, and he of the Lord Bardolf, in soccage. After its dissolution it was granted 27 of June, in the 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary, to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, with lands, &c. in Congham, &c. and Grimston advowson, by way of exchange, for lands and manors in Yorkshire, who sold it to Robert Cook of Mileham, January 20, in the 3d and 4th of Philip and Mary; and Coke conveyed it, April 7, in the 3d of Elizabeth, to William Yelverton of Rougham, Esq. who held his first court here in the said year; Edward Yelverton possessed it on his father's death, and sold it to William Bladewell, April 12, 1615.

Besides the manors abovementioned, John Norman was found, in the reign of Henry III. when an aid was granted to that King, on the marriage of his sister Isabel, to the Emperor Frederick, to hold the 6th part of a fee of the Lord Bardolf, of the honour of Wirmegay, which in the 9th of Edward II. was held by Nicholas Norman; and in the 20th of that King, by Johh Norman, of Grimston, with a watermill.

In the 3d of Henry IV. Edmund Belzeter, and his partners, and Nicholas Norman, and his partners, are said to hold in Grimston, and Congham, half a fee of Edmund Oldhall, and he of the honour of Richmond; and in the 5th of Henry VI. John Norman is said to hold the fourth part of a fee of Thomas Beaufort Duke of Exeter. After this, I meet with nothing more of this.

Also in the 9th of Richard I. a fine was levied between Peter, son of Richard, and Alan, son of Reiner, or Reinham, of the moiety of a capital messuage, and a carucate of land, &c. here, and in the fields of Congham, not of the best nor worst land, conveyed to Peter, to be held by the service of a pair of gilt spurs, of the value of 3d.

In the 16th of Edward I. Thomas de Weyland purchased by fine, of Nicholas, son of William, son of Reyner, messuages and lands in Grimston, Congham, and Geyton. This was the judge, Sir Thomas de Weyland, who was banished and his estate confiscated, (as I have observed in Massingham,) and was found to hold 100s. rent per ann. in this town, Congham, and Geyton, of Nicholas, son of Reyner, by the service of 2s. per ann.

This, with the abovementioned part of a fee, held of the Lord Bardolf, &c. was, as I take it, afterwards united to the other lordships, in this town.

Berner, captain of the cross-bow-men, had the grant of a lordship, of which Ulueruna, a free woman, was deprived, who had one carucate of land; 6 borderers, with one servus belonged to it, and 10 acres and a carucate of pasture, with a mill; 2 socmen, also, with 3 acres, and 3 freemen, with 4 acres; the whole was valued at 20s. (15)

This lordship came from Berner, to the Picots, (as I take it,) and on the death of Eustace Picot, was inherited by his daughter Lauretta, who married Hugh de Burdelys, who died about the 30th of Henry II. the family of de Burdelys were also lords of Sculton, Congham, and Hillington, in Norfolk; of Madingley, and Comberton it Cambridgeshire; and bore ermin, on a chief, gules, a lion passant, or, as appears from a roll of King Edward I. knights in Cambridgeshire.

John, the last heir male of this family, died a minor in 1396, leaving 2 sisters and coheirs; Joan married to Gilbert de Camera, or de la Chamber, of Epping in Essex; and Elizabeth, married to Thomas Marshall, but whether it descended to them, I have not seen.

The tenths were 10l. deducted 13s. 4d.


The CHURCH of Grimston is dedicated to St. Botolph, and is a rectory, anciently valued at 30 marks; and paid 2s. Peter-pence; the present valor is 26l. 13s. 4d. and pays first fruits and tenths.

Near 200 acres of glebe are said to belong to this rectory, with a manor, lete, and a sheep-walk. The church is a regular pile, with a nave, 2 isles, and a chancel covered with lead; a large four-square tower, and 5 bells.(16)

William Earl Warren and Surry gave two parts of the tithes of his lands here, to the priory of Castleacre, on his foundation of it. This was confirmed by William, the 3d Earl Warren, in 1148; and their spiritualities in 1428, were valued at 4 marks.(17)

In 1242, there was a composition between the pior of Wymondham, and Walter, rector of this church, for 2 parts of the tithes of the lordship of the Earl of Arundel, granted by that family, whereby the rector was to pay 40s. per ann. for the same; and their spiritualities, in 1428, were taxed at 40s.(18)


          Walter occurs rector in 1242; the same probably with Walter de Thorp, rector in 1253, (ao. 38 Henry III.) when he had a patent for a fair, yearly in this town; dated March 12, at Bordeaux in France.
          William occurs rector in the 14th of Edward I.
1310, Benedict de Breccles was instituted rector, presented by John de Breccles and Alice his wife.
1312, Edmund de Breccles, by John de Breccles.
1335, Edmund de Breccles by Alice, relict of Sir Benedict de Breccles.
1337, Hervey Falstolf, by Alexander Falstolff, on the minority of John, son and heir of Sir Benedict de Breccles.
l361, Adam Pyke, by John de Wesenham.
1397, Mr. Henry Well, alias Walton, by the abbot and convent of West Derham; in the 40th year of Edward III. license was granted to Simon rector of Castre, and Nicholas de Masingham, to appropriate this church to West Derham abbey, which they had from John de Wesenham, and he from John, son of Sir Benedict de Breccles, and the abbot presented to the rectory in 1397;(19) it was not appropriated before the first of Hen. IV. 1399, when that King granted license for it, and a vicarage was settled.
          Henry Well, this rector was master of Chapel Field college, in Norwich, archdeacon of Lincoln, &c.
On January 22, 1399, Roger de Schypdam was presented vicar of this church, by the abbot and convent of West Derham, on Well's resignation; but after this all was made void by the Earl of Arundel, lord of the fee, it being done without his leave, and license; and so became a rectory again, and in the patronage of the lords of Breccles manor.
In 1483, Fuller Newton is said to be rector.
In 1484, Ralph Daniel, rector.
In 1508, Thomas Hare, LL.D. instituted rector; he was chancellor to the Bishop of Norwich, rector also of Massingham Magna, Walsoken, and Haydon in Norfolk.
Thomas Cremer died rector, 1691, buried here.
P. Brocket rector, compounded for first fruits in 1646.
Thomas Thorowgood occurs rector in 1650; he was S. T. B. one of the assembly of divines: of him see Wood's Ath. Ox. vol. i. Fast, p. 224.
Mr. John Cremer, rector in 1720, died rector March 4, 1742, aged 75, buried here.
1743, Morley Unwin, rector, presented by the master, fellows, &c. of Queen's College, Cambridge.
Queen's college in Cambridge has the patronage of this church.

In a court held by the rector, ao. 17th of James I. October 5, it was ordered that diligent search should be made after those who had been guilty of a most flagrant crime and act, in throwing down the tomb of Sir Benedict Breccles, Knt. here buried in the church.

In the church were the guilds of St. Botolph, and Corpus Christi, St. Mary's light, &c.

In 1703, here was a school, endowed with a house, and 20l. per ann. by the gift of William Brage, Esq. of Hatfield Peverell in Essex, lord of Grimston.

This town is wrote in Domesday book, Grimestuna, Grunestuna, and Ernestuna, and takes its name from a rivulet that arises by the church; thus Erleham by Norwich, the Er, Hier, Gar, or Jer; thus Grimsby in Lincolnshire, Garboldesham in Norfolk, Jersey isle, &c. also Grimsbergh in the New Marck of Brandenburgh in Germany.

The rivulet aforesaid arises on the north of the churchyard, from which it is parted by a little road, in a bottom, where it makes a little pool, and runs hence to Lynn.


1 Justiciary also of England, and viceroy.

2 Terre Epi Baiocensi — Grimestuna ten. Stigand T. R. E. iii car. t're. tnc. xvi villi. p. et mo. viii semp. xiii bord. tnc. i serv. xxviii acr. pti ii car in d'nio. p. et mo. i tnc. i car. ho'um p. et mo. dim et iii mol. semp. i r. tnc. iii an. mo. iiii sep. lx ov. hic jacent xiiii soc. ii car. t're. semp. i car. tnc. et p. val. c sol. mo. vii lib. tota Grimesuna et.ii leug. et dim. in et long. in lat et redd tiii sol. de xx sol. de gelto.

3 Lig. 5. N. 108

4 Esch. 16 Ed.I.

5 L. 2. N. 131.

6 Jane, daughter of Edward Cocket, Esq. of Ampton, in Suffolk, by whom he had this Edward, &c. and by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Fermour, of Barsham, in Norfolk, he had Henry, his eldest son.

7 Terr. Rogeri Bigoti — in Ernestuna, i lib. ho. LX. ac. tre. que. tenet Robt. de Uuuls, iii bor. et viii acr. pti. semp. dim. car. et val. v sol in eade. tenet ide. iiii lib. XL ac. et ii. ac. pti. T. R. E. i car. m° . dim. et val. v sol.

8 Plita. Term. Trin. Rot. 17.

9 L. 7, N. 64.

10 Tre. Willi. de Warrenna —In Grunestuna i car. terre ten. Alveva, liba. femina, T. R. E. xi bord. et vii lib. ho'es de iiii ac. terre xii ac. pti. semp. i car. in d'nio et vii lib.hoes. dim. car. tot. val. xx sol. In ead ii lib. ho'es i car. terre et i car. et xiiii bord. et xii lib. hoes. dim. car. tot. val. xx sol.
In ead ii lib. ho'es i car. terre et i car. et xiiii bord. et xiii lib hoes. xii ac. tre semp i car et x ac. pti. tot val xx sol.
In ead. i lib. ho. i car. tre. semp. xiii bord. et i molin. et vi lib. ho'es ix ac et x acr. pti. tnc. et p' i car. in dnio. modo dim. et illi vi lib. ho'es dim. car. tot. val. xxx sol.

11 Plita. Coron. 41 Hen. III. R. 1. and do. 52. Hen. III. Rot. 31.

12 Regist. Kemp. Abb. Bur. fol. 6o.— Claus. M. 33, 49 Ed. III.

13 Esch. 9 Hen. IV. N. 47.

14 Esch. N. 81.

15 Terre Berneri Arbalistar. — In Grimestuna i car. t're. ten. Ulueru' lib. fem. T. R. E. sep. vi bor. et i ser. et x acr. p'ti. tnc. i car. p. nichil mo. i sep. i mol. Hic jacent ii soc. iii ac. et iii lib. ho'es iiii ac. totu' val. xx sol.

16 In the church lie several gravestones, for the Swantons of this town.

17 Reg. cast. fol. I.

18 Reg. wymond. fol. 66.

19 Reg. Abb. de Wt. Derham.


Maintainer - Duncan Breckels