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Sir Nicholas Le Strange, Knt., aged thirty, the eleventh lord of
Hunstanton, was knighted in Ireland, was High Sheriff of Norfolk in
1548, Knight of the Shire, and died February 20th, 1579. By his first
wife Eleanor, daughter of Sir William Fitz Williams, he had three sons
and a daughter.

Sir Hamon Le Strange, Knt., the twelfth lord of Hunstar^ton, was
High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1573, and married Elizabeth, daughter and
co-heir of Sir Hugh Hastings, of Elsing, by whom he had five sons and
four daughters. He enjoyed his inheritance but one year, and died
October 7th, 1580, leaving his eldest son,

Thomas Le Strange, who died in 1590, aged eighteen years, leaving no

Sir Nicholas Le Strange, Knt., the fourteenth lord of Hunstanton, was
knighted in Ireland in 1586, and was married to Mary, daughter of Sir
Eobert Bell, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. He died December
22nd, 1592, and was buried in Nottinghamshire. He was succeeded by

Sir Hamon Le Strange, Knt., the fifteenth lord of Hunstanton, who
married Alice, daughter and co-heir of Eichard Stubb, of Sedgeford, and
had three sons. He was High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1609, and died,
aged seventy-one, in June, 1654. He was a learned man, and a vory
active magistrate, esteemed for his benevolent disposition.

Sir Hamon Le Strange was succeeded by his eldest son.

Sir Nicholas Le Strange, Bart. He was created baronet on June 1 st,
1629, in the fifth year of Charles I., and married Ann, daughter of Sir
Edward Lewkner, of Denham, in Suffolk, by whom he had several
children, who married into honourable families. His eldest son dying
February 15th, 1655, before his father, who died July 24th, 1656, was
succeeded by

Sir Nicholas Le Strange, Bart,, the sixteenth lord of Hunstanton. His
first wife was Mary, daughter of John Coke, of Holkham, by whom he
had a son and daughter, who died yoimg. His second wife was Elizabeth,
daughter of Sir Justinian Isham, Bart., of Lamport, in Northamptonshire,
by whom he had a son and two daughters. He died in 1669, and was
succeeded by his only son and heir.


Sir Nicholas Le Strange, Bart., who married Aim, daughter of Sir
Thomas Wodehouse, Bart., of Kimberley. He died December 18th, 1724',
leaving three sons and two daughters.

1. Hamon Le Strange, who died unmarried in Italy.

2. Sir Thomas Le Strange, Bart., who married Ann, daughter of Sir
Christopher Culthorpe, but died without issue.

3. Sir Henry Le Strange, Bart., the eighteenth and last lord of Hun-
stanton of that name. He married Mary, daughter of Roger North,
Esq., of Rougham, and died September 9th, 1760, also without issue.

4. Armine Le Strange, sister to Sir Henry, married Nicholas Styleman,
Esq., of Snettisham, and had two sons.

1. Nicholas Styleman, Esq., of Snettisham. He married Catherine,
daughter of Henry Holt Henley, Esq., of Leigh, in Somersetshire, by
whom he had no issue.

2. The Rev. Armine Styleman, of Ringstead, in Norfolk, who married
Ann, daughter of James Blakeway, Esq., of the Royal Navy, and had sons
and daughters.

5. Lucy Le Strange, sister to Sir Henry, mamed Sir Jacob Astley,
Bart., of Melton Constable, and had

1. Isabella, who died young.

2. Blanche, married to Edward Pratt, Esq., of Riston, in Norfolk, who
had a son and two daughters.

8. Sir Edward Astley, Bart., of Melton Constable, knight of the shire in
1 780 for Norfolk. He married first Rhoda, daughter of Francis Blake
Delaval, Esq., of Seaton Delaval, in Northumberland. By her he had two
sons, Jacob and Francis. He married second Ann, daughter of — !Millcs,
Esq., of Kent, and by her had several sons.

•I. The Rev. John Astley, of Thonaage, in the Hundred of Holt,
who married Catherine, daughter of — Bell, Esq., of Watlington, in the
Hundred of Clackclose, and sister to Henry Bell, Esq., of the same place.


The ancestor of this ancient family is said to have come over the sea
from Denmark to England in the reign of Canute, but there is no
authentic record till after the conquest. The first that we meet with
on record of this family was named Hugh, \vithout any addition, whose
son was named Jernegan, and was always called Jerncgan Fitz Hugh, or
the son of Hugh. He died in 1182, and his son was called Hugh, or
Hubert, son of Jernegan, who gave a large sum of money to Henry II.,
and paid it into the treasury in 1182. He first took the surname of
Jernegan, and marned Mt.ud, daughter and co-heiress of Thorpine do
Watheby, of Westmoreland. He died in 1203, and the King granted the


wardship of all his large possessions and tlie marriages of his wife and
children to Robert de Vetre Ponte, or Yepount^ so that he caused them to
be married withont any disparagement to their fortunes.

Sir Hubert Jernegan^ of Horham^ in Suffolk, Kut., his son, succeeded,
who had been a rebel against King John, bnt on the accession of Henry
III. to the croWn, submitted himself and obtained his pardon, but he had
not recovered all his estates in 1239. He died in 1239, and was succeeded
by Sir William Jernegan, his son and heir, who married Jnlian, daughter
and co-heiress of Gimmingham, of Burnham; and Hugh de Polstead
married Hawise, the other co-heiress, and levied a fine of all the Gim-
mingham estate in Barnham in 1209. He died young and without issue,
and was succeeded by Sir Hugh Jemegan, of Stonham, — Jernegan,
Knt.j his youngest brother Godfrey, and brother being dead, who, in 1243,
came to an agreement with his mother Margery, and settled on her in lieu
of the dower of Sir Hubert, her late husband, during her life, the capital
messuage of the manor of Holkham, with the park, &c., and in considera-
tion of this settlement Margery released all her right in dower in all his
other estates in Norfolk and Suffolk. In 1249 he had lands in Hillington
and Congham, in Freebridge Hundred, and lived to be very old, for in
1269 he held of Roger Fitz Osborn divers lands in Stovene and Bugges,
for which he did homage. He married a second wife, Ellen, daughter and
co-heiress of Sir Thomas de Ingoldisthorpe, Knt., who survived him.
After the death of his mother he settled Sir Walter Jernegan, his son,
in the manor of Horham, upon his marriage with Isabel, daughter and
at length co-heiress of Sir Peter Fitz Osbert, or Osborn, of Somerleyton,
in Suffolk, who it seems died before him, leaving Sir Peter Jernegan
his son, who became heir to his father and grandfather, and also co-heiress
to the Fitz Osbert' s estate in right of his mother, and on a division made
with John Norn, Somerleyton was settled on Sir Peter Jernegan, who
came there, making it the seat of the family, and it continued so for many

Sir John Jernegan built the old hall at Somerleyton, in Suffolk, and it
was the residence of this ancient family for a long series of years. It was
surrounded by a park very tastefully planted. At one end it was adorned
by a fine grove of lime trees, with avenues like a grand cathedral, and
decorated with other trees in great variety. The situation of the hall
fully justified the enthusiastic expression of Fuller, who visiting it,
exclaimed, '' That it well deserves the name of Somerley, because it was
always summer there, the walks and gardens being planted with perpetual

The old hall Avas a brick building, having a high roof, with dormerSj
stone pilasters, and a cornice. The coigns and dresshigs of the windows


■were of stone, the centre was very bold and imposing, and the extremities
had carved pediments, terminating in scrolls of considerable magnitude.
The windows in the great room were gorgeously decorated with heraldic
figures and arms, the tinted and glowing blazonry of which carried the
thoughts of the spectator back to the age of chivalry. The old hall is
now quite covered by the new structure.


The family of the Mortimers came into England in the reign of
William I., if not before, and settled in the ancient town of Attleborough^
in Norfolk, where they had a good estate. The first of the family was
Sir William de Mortimer, of Attleborough, Knt., whose efiigy, riding full
speed on horseback, with his drawn sword in one hand and his shield
in the other, was appendant to an original deed of his in Cotton hbrary.
The next of the family that we find was Sir Robert Mortimer, Knight,
who lived in the reign of Henry II. He was succeeded by William, his
son and heir, who in the year 1194 was forced to give sureties to
Richard I. because he presumed to hold a tournament without royal
license. A tournament was an exercise of armed knights encountering
each other with spears or lances, a favourite diversion in those days.

In 1218 Sir William de Mortimer held one knight's fee at Bamham
Broom, Little Ellingham, Tofts, and Attleborough ; half a fee at Sanford
and Buckenham Parva, and another half in Scoulton, of the Earl
of Warren, In 1250 he had a charter for free warren in his manors of
Attleborough. He was succeeded by his son and heir. Sir Robert de
Mortimer, who liv^d in the year 1263, whom we shall notice under that
date, and his successors also who lived at subsequent periods.

Sir Robert de Mortimer lived at Attleborough, Norfolk, in 1263, when
the barons rose against Henry HI., among whom Sir Henry Hastings,
who was very active against the King, came and besieged the castle of
Buckenham, because Sir Robert Tatteshale, the second of that name,
who was owner of it, held it, declaring openly for the King, and great
part of the neighbouring gentry sent men and arms to him in order to
enable him to endure the siege. Among others. Sir Robert de Mortimer
sent a servant of his, called Leonine, to the castle during the siege with
some private information to the besieged (as it would seem), for the siege
being raised upon it. Sir Henry went to Sir Robert's manors in Norfolk,
burnt the houses, and wasted the flocks upon them. Whether Sir Robert
himself was killed does not appear, but he died that very year. His son
and heir. Sir WiUiam de Mortimer, was in the custody of the Earl
Warrenne, who now was on the King's side, so that he and his goods were
safe and protected by the castle at Buckenham, Norfolk. Sir William



being always attached,, as well as his father^ to the Kiug^s side, was sum-
moned by the King to attend his service among his judges and council.
In 1285 he had the King^s letters of protection, during his absence
beyond sea about the King's business, and during the same year had
liberty of free warren, assize of bread and ale, view of frankpledge and waif
allowed him, in his manor of Attleborough. In 1293, King Edward going
to Gascoigne, he had command to fit himself with horse and arms (as did
the chief men in England at that time), and to attend the King at
Portsmouth to assist him against the French. He died at Paris, Novem-
ber 12th, 1297. In 1297, Constantino de Mortimer was son and heir of
Sir William de Mortimer, of Attleborough, but he being then only
sixteen years old, the King seized him as liis ward, but in 1298, John Earl
Warrenne sued the King for his wardship, which belonged to him in right
of the Manor of Attleborough, which was held of him. In 1307 he was
one of the great men in the retinue of John de Warrenne, Earl of Surrey,
who was then with the King in France at the interview and marriage with
Isabel, daughter of Phillip^ King of France. He died in November,

In 1329 Sir Constantino Mortimer succeeded his father, and in 1335
was steward of the household to Eleanor, Countess of Gueldres, the
King's sister, and had an allowance of £22 for the charges of his men
and horses in that service. In 1337 he had a charter for free warren on
all his lordships and lands. In 1341 he was summoned to Parliament
among the barons, but never after. In the same year he went with the
King's expedition to France. He died in 1354, leaving no issue.

Sir Robert de Mortimer, his brother, succeeded him, and founded the
College or Chantry of the Holy Cross at Attleborough, where he was
buried in 1387. He had two sons. Sir Thomas Mortimer, his eldest, who
died before him beyond sea, leaving • issue by Mary his wife, who died
May 2nd, 1406.

Constantino Mortimer, his younger son, was possessed of the manors
of Great Ellingham, Bamham, Bekerston, and Carston, in Norfolk, and
had free wan-en allowed him to them all in 1405.


At the Conquest, William I. gave the lordship of Morton to Ralph
Baynard, one of his Norman warriors. William Baynard, who succeeded,
took part with other conspirators against Henry I., and lost his barony of
Baynard's Castle, which was given by the King to Robert, a younger son
of Richard Fitz Gilbert, from which Robert the family of the Fitz Walters
descended, of which family the manors of Morton and Bunwell were held
as of Baynard's Castle, the head of the barony, by a younger branch of


the Baynard family, to which these manors were given, and they continued
in that branch till Isabel, a co-heiress of it, carried them to Sir Thoraa«
Grey, her husband.

The family of the De Greys, of Merton, Norfolk, arc all descended from
Auschitel de Grey, a Norman who came over with the Conqueror, being
surnamod from the place of his residence, and had largo possessions of
that princess gift. His son Richard de Grey was a bencfoctor to Eyncsham
Abbey, and was succeeded by John de Grey, his son and heir, whose
second brother, John de Grey, was Bishop of Norwich, and his third
brother, Henry de Grey, was in great favour with Richard I., as proved by
the grant that prince made him of the manor of Tunse, in Essex, in 1194.
That he was in the good graces of his successor. King John, is evident
not only from the confirmation of his predecessor's grant, but from his
public charter of special privilege to have the hare and fox in any lands
belonging to the Crown, excepting the King's own demesne parks. He
was in favour with Henry III., who gave him Grimston Manor, in Notting-
hamshire, to support him in the King's service, the said manor being part
of the possessions of Robert Bardolph, whose sister Isolda he married,
and in 1224 had the third part of all his estate in his wife's right. Henry
de Grey aforesaid left four sons : first, Richard, whose principal seat was
at Codnovre, in Derbyshire ; the second, John, who was sometime a
justice of Chester; the third, WilHam de Grey, of Sundford, in Notting-
hamshire ; the fourth, Robert de Grey, of Rotherfield, whose descendants
were Pai'liameutary barons.

Sir Thomas de Grey, of Cornerth, in Suffolk, son and heir of John de
Grey, of Greys Hall, in Cavendish, was married before 1306 to Alice,
daughter and sole heiress of Sir Richard de Cornerth, after which match,
perceiving the paternal arms of Grey to be borne by so many faraihes, he
totally omitted them and assumed those of Cornerth. His descendants
live at Merton till this day,' and bear the same arms.

Thomas de Grey, Esq., lord of Merton, was elected member for
Thetford in 1705 and again in 1708. After that time he worthily served
in Parliament for the County of Norfolk, and was a justice of the peace.
On June 7th, 1721, an Act was passed for discharging several estates in
Norfolk and Suffolk from the uses contained in the man'iage settlement of
Thomas de Grey, Esq., and for settling other estates to the said uses. Tlie
said Thomas left issue by Elizabeth, daughter of William Windham, Esq.,
of Felbrigg, first, Thomas de Grey, who succeeded him; second. Sir
William de Grey, Knight ; third, Ehzabeth, married to the Rev. Edward
Chamberlain, of Great Cressingham. Thomas de Grey, Esq., the next
lord, was educated at Christ College, Cambridge, and was afterwards in the
office of the Secretaiy of State. In the war when the Norfolk Militia


was embodied,, lie served as captain in the Western battalion, and in the
year 1 759, when the kingdom was threatened with an invasion, he marched
with that corps to Portsmouth, and afterwards became Colonel. On the
decease of Viscount Townshend he was elected a member of Parliament
for Norfolk, being considered of equal abilities to any other gentleman in
the county. Sir William de Grey was born in 1719, and after having been
appointed successively Solicitor- General, Attorney-General, and Lord
Chief-Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, was created Baron Walsing-
ham, of Walsingham, October 17th, 1780. The late Right Hon. Thomas
de Grey, fifth Lord Walsingham, was born in 1804, and succeeded his
father in 1839. He was educated at St. John^s College, Cambridge,
where he graduated M.A. in 1824, and LL.D. in 1842. He died in 1871.


Eichard de Eeedham took the name from the place, as he held the
lordship there in 1086, at the time of the grand survey. He was the
father of Asketel de Eeedham, who lived in 1125, as testified by the
register of Holm Abbey. Osbern de Eeedham seems to have been his
son, and was lord of Eeedham about the year 1150. Wilham de Eeedham
conveyed by fine in the fifty-second of Henry IH. 160 acres of marsh in
Eeedham to Langley Abbey in Norfolk. Sir William de Eeedham granted
in the tenth of Edward I. to the Abbot of Holm all his right of fishery
from Weybridge to the abbey.

Sir William de Eeedham, the grandson of the aforesaid knight, married
Margaret, daughter of Sir Eobert Caston by Joan his wife, daughter and
heiress of Eichard Barry, Esq., lord of Eockland Tofts, by whom he had
a daughter and heir, Margaret, who married Thomas Berney, Esq., of
Witchingham. She carried the estate into the Berney family. They
took their name from the village of Berney, in the Hundred of North
Greenhoe, in Norfolk.

In the reign of Henry I., the family of De Eeedham possessed the
Manor of Stokesby, in Norfolk ; from them it passed to the Berneys, of
whom Thomas Berney, second son of John Berney, of Witchingham,
married Margery, daughter and heiress of William de Eeedham. John,
the son of Thomas, presented to the living in 1356, and in this family
the presentation contmued for many generations, Eichard Berney, of
Worstead being rector in 1748. The manor passed by marriage to the
Cleres, of Ormesby, and the marriage of Susan Clere, daughter of
Thomas Clere, of Stokesby, with a Wyndham, it came to a branch of
that family who had property at Mileham. Le Neve in a MS. says Sir
Henry Wyndham, of Mileham, was knighted on July 23rd, 1003, and was
buried at Great Walsingham. Thomas Wyndham, his son, married the


above Susan Clere^ and was the tivst of tliu family resident at Stokcsby.
Thomas Wyndliam of tliat place succeeded him, and he had a son
Charles who died there, and was buried in the church, February 6th,
1668, and his son, another Charles, seems to have had no male issue, and
the estate on his death passed to his brother, Clere Wyndham, the second
sou. About 1710 ho sold the property to George England, Esq., Mayor
of Yarmouth, and went to Holland, where ho died in 1712.


Soon after the Conquest the family of Valhbus of Vaux were enfeoffed
of the lordship of Holt, in Norfolk. Robert de Vaux held it in the fifth
of King Stephen, and then gave Loo Gs. 8d. Kvery for lands of his wife's
inheritance. It continued in the Vaux family till the death of Sir John
de Vaux in 1288, who was a parliamentary baron, and held it of the Earl
of Albemarle. Margaret de Riparigs, Countess of Devon, recovered her
dower in seven knights' fees in Holt, Cley, &c., held by Baldwin, the late
earl, her husband, and the freemen's tenures that Gitfard held were united
to the capital manor afterwards.

William de Vaux, son of Robert de Vaux, held a manor at Watton, and
left it to John de Vaux, his third son, who obtained a charter for a weekly
market to be held in this manor every Friday. But in 1204 there was a
writ brought to enquire whether it was not prejudicial to the market of
Saham, and it being found so, the charter was recalled. Before the
expiration of this year, however, Oliver de Vaux, luuang the manor
conveyed to him by his brother, obtained from the King a new charter,
in which the market was granted to be held every Wednesday, as it is to
the present time.

Afterwards finding the liberties of the people infringed, he became one
of those barons who met together at Stamford, and sent the King word
to Oxford that if he did not restore their ancient liberties to the people,
they designed to possess themselves of all his lauds and castles, for which
the King seized his lordships in Norfolk, but afterwards restored them on
his submission. John, his second son, granted a messuage to Richard de
Watton. This was the rise of Watton's free tenement, which was after-
wards joined to the manor of Curson.

This John de Vaux, or Vallibus, was uue of those barons who stood
against Henry HI. in defence of their liberties ; but he soon left them,
and ever after adhered firmly to the King, who, having proved his fidelity,
immediately after his victory at Evesham, made him Sheriff' of Norfolk
and Suffolk, and in 1266 governor of the castle at Nor\vich. In 1282, on
the marriage of his daughter Maud to Wilham de Roos, he settled the
manor of Watton on them and their heirs. On the death of this John


de Vaux (sixteenth of Edward I.) Ms whole estate was divided between his
two co-heiresseSj Petronell and Maud^ who both married; and carried the
estates into their families.


The Boziins were lords o£ Whissonsott, Ovington^ and Yelverton, in
Norfolk, during the Norman period. The first of this family that we
meet with in ancient records is Herbert or Hubert Bozun, who lived in
the reign of King Stephen, and granted eight acres of land to the monks
of Castleacre. His son Roger Bozun was living in 1202, and he purchased
lands in Ovington, Norfolk. In 1227, his son Peter Bozun had the
advowson of the church of Ovington. This Peter, in 1233, was, with
WilKam Rustain, a collector in Norfolk and Suffolk of the aid granted to
Hemy III. for marrying his sister to the Emperor.

About 1270, an agreement was made between Peter Bozun, lord of
Whissonsett, and Sir Thomas Burt, lord of Horningtoft, about the extent
of their commons, which was settled by arbitration. The Bozuns con-
tinued lords of Whissonsett for a long time, and John Bozun, in the
thirty-third of Edward III., was in the retinue of John de Montague,
and had the King's letters of protection while travelling in foreign parts.
Eichard Bozun was lord in the fifth of Henry V., and dying in 1430 was
buried in the chancel of the church at Whissonsett. The descendants
remained in quiet possession of the estate till 1657, when it was sold
to Catherine Calthorpe, widow of James Calthorpe, of East Barsham.


The family of St. Omer at Outwell in Norfolk is on the roll of those
persons of note and eminence who came over from Normandy with
William I. Hugh de St. Omer is mentioned as a baron of the realm by
Matthew Paris, and no doubt was seated at Outwell soon after the Con-
quest. The first lord of the manor that we meet with on record is Sir
Thomas de St. Omer, Knt., in an old deed in the reign of Henry III. In
a bag of deeds of the county of Norfolk, it is mentioned that a difierence
existed between the Prior of Lewis and Sir Thomas, Knight of St. Omer,
and other persons about the right of common and it was urged that the
prior should have a right of common for all his own cattle belonging to
the manor of West Walton, freely.


The family of Talbot gave their name to a manor at Fincham in Clack*
close. Soon after the Conquest they were enfeoffed of the manor by the
Earl Warrenne. William Talbot gave it with the advowson to the priory


of Castleacre, founded by Earl do Warronue, and it was confirmed by John,
Bishop of Norwich, in the reign of Henry 11., ordaining that the
monks should receive a mark of silver yearly. Jeffrey Talbot, by deed,
without date, gave to the said priory a croft and seven acres of land. In
the reign of Henry III., when an aid was granted to that King, Sir
Sampson Talbot and Adam Talbot held two knights' fees at Fincham of
the Earl de Warrenne.


Grunbold was the founder of the family of the Bacons at Baconsthorpc,

Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 61 of 70)