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granted him 110 marks per annum, with two robes more than the ordi-
nary fees of the Judges, as a special mark of his favour ; he being a
Judge of the Common Pleas, was of the King's Council for his Duchy of
Lancaster, and a Knight. The priory of Broomholme in 1438 gave him
for his good services in the law sixteen acres of land at Bacton, and the
Abbot of Bury granted him a letter of confraternity, or brotherhood,
whereby he partook of all the prayers of that abbey, both alive and dead.
He was commonly called the " Good Judge," and dying at London,
August 14th, 1444, aged sixty-six, he was buried in our Lady^s Chapel at
the east end of the Cathedral Church in Norwich.

John Paston was son and heir of Sir William, aged 23, at his father^s
death. He married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Sir John de
Menteby, by Margaret his wife, daughter of John Berney, Esq., of
Reedham. Sir John FastolfiF, Knt,, appointed him one of his executors,
gave him all his manors, lands, &c., in trust to found a college of seven
priests at Caistor, near Yarmouth, and to pay 4000 marks for charitable
uses in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, believing that the said John Pas-
tou, his cousin, would faithfully execute his will.

Edward PV. seized on several estates of the said John Paston, and he



was committed prisoner to the Fleet just before his death, which occurred
at London, May 26th, 1466. He assigned over his jewels, chattels, &c.,
to Sir John Paston, sen., his eldest son and heir. His other sons, John
Paston, jun., William, and Clement were lords of manors in the foil owing-
towns : — Sporle, Palgrave, Cressingham, Oxnead, Gresham, Swainsthorpe,
Mautby, Marlingford, Sparham, Matlask, Bassingham, Hellesdon, and
Winterton in Norfolk, being the family estates. Sir John was buried in
Broomholme Abbey in 1466, in a very solemn manner.

,In 1467 Edward IV. granted a pardon and release to William Paston,
Esq., son of William de Paston, late one of the Judges of the King^s
Bench, for all treasons and crimes whatever; the chief crime was adhering
to Henry IV., and it was particular that it should not extend to those
who adhered to him, nor to Henry VI., Margaret, his wife, or Edward
their son. This William Paston was a knight, and married Ann, daughter
and co-heiress of Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, by whom he left
two daughters ; Ann, married to Sir Gilbert Talbot, and Elizabeth to Sir
John Savile, Knt.

Sir John Paston, Knt., succeeded as heir to his father, and Edward
IV., on July 6tli, 1466, granted him a warrant under his hand and privy
seal to take possession of all the lands of inheritance of his late father, or
of Agnes his grandmother, or of Margaret his mother, or of William
Paston and Clement Paston, his uncles. He gained great honour for
several gallant actions in France, and was appointed on King Edward's
side at the great tournament at Eltham in Kent, against the then Lord
Chamberlain and others. After this he was sent to conduct the King's
sister into France on her marriage to Charles Duke of Burgundy. He
died on November 15th, in the nineteenth of Edward VI., without issue
and not marrried, and was succeeded by his brother, John Paston, Esq.,
who in 1475 had a letter of confraternity from William, Prior Provincial
of the Franciscans or Grey Friars, making him partaker of all the prayers
of that Order in life and death. He was made knight banneret by Henry
VII. at the battle of Stoke in Nottinghamshire, and was one of those
appointed to receive the Princess Catherine of Spain, wife of Prince
Arthur, on her landing at Plymouth. He died in 1503, and was buried
in the White Friars' Church at Norwich, and left by Margery his wife,
Sir William Paston, and Phillip Paston, and a daughter Elizabeth, married
first to William Clere, eldest son of Sir Eobert Clere of Ormesby, and
afterwards to Sir John Fineaux, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench.
Sir William, the eldest son and heir, was an eminent counsellor at law. In
1516, the corporation of Yarmouth retained him, and granted him an
annuity of £40 per annum. He lived to a great age, and dying in 1554,
left five sons and seven daughters. Sir Clement Paston was born at


Paston Hall^ Norfolk_, aud was the great-grandson to Judge Pastou. He
was a great sailor, and as such performed some worthy exploits. He was
at the burning of Conquest in France, in the reign of Henry VIII., and
being made captain of a war ship by that King, he took a galley, and
with it the French Admiral Baron Blancard, whom he kept at Caister,
near Yarmouth, till he received 7000 crowns for his ransom, besides the
spoil of the galley, on board which was a cup and two snakes of gold,
with many other things of value. He was called by Henry VIII. his
champion, by the Protector Somerset his soldier, by Queen Mary* her
seaman, and by Queen EKzabeth her father. He lived to be very old, and
died at Oxnead, and in his will he decreed his body to be laid in the earth
in the chancel of the paidsh church of Oxnead ; his funeral not to be
costly nor over sumptuous, but decent and Christian-like, according to
his degree and calling, a tomb to be made over his body, and his wife's
arms to be engraven thereon. In the chancel his tomb presents the
following lines : —

You that behold this stately marble tomb,
And long to know who hero entombed lies,

Here rests the corpse, aud shall till day of doom,
Of Clement Pastou, fortimate and wise,

Foiu-th son to old Sir William Paston, Knight,

Who dwells with God in sphere of christal bright.

Of Brutus' race, princes he served fom,

In peace or war as fortune did command ;
Sometimes by sea and sometimes on the shore

The French and Scot he often did Avithstand.
A peer of France in spite of all his betters
He took in fight, and brought him home in fetter*.

Oxnead he biult, in wliich he lived long, /

With great renoAvn for feeding of the poor ;
To friends a friend, of foes he took no wrong,

Twice forty years he lived, and somewhat more,
^Vnd at the last, by doom of high behest.
His sold in heaven, his body here doth rest.

Obt., 18 Febr., 1597.

The fifth son of Sir Wilham Paston was Sir Thomas Paston. In the
thirty-fifth of Henry VHI. he was a gentleman of the King's pri^-y
chamber, and in the year following was knighted at Boulogne in France.
He married Ann, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Leigh, of Addington
in Surrey, and from him descended the family of the Fastens of Earning-
ham, in Norfolk.


The daughters of the said William were — Ist^ Eleanor^ married to
Thomas Manners, Earl of Eutland ; 2nd, Anne, married to Sir Thomas
Tindale, of Hockwold ; 3rd, Elizabeth, to Sir Francis Leak, of Derby-
shire ; 4th, Margery", a nun at Berking ; 5th, Mary, to Sir John
Chaworth, of Nottinghamshire ; 6th, Margaret ; 7th, Bridget, to — Carre,
Esq. Erasmus, the eldest son and heir of the aforesaid Sir William
Fasten, married Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Windham, of Felbrigg,
and died before his father, November 15th, 1538. He was buried at
Fasten, leaving Mary his wife, by whom he had William Fasten, his son
and heir, who succeeded his grandfather in his inheritance, and had
livery of it, in the first and second of Philip and Mary. ^He married
Frances, daughter of Sir Eobert Clere, of Stokesby, received the honour
of knighthood, and was famous for his great hospitality. On the school
of North Walsham he settled £40 per annum, and £10 per annum for a
weekly lecture there ; to the Cathedrals of Bath and Norwich he gave
£200 ; to Caius College, £100; to the poor of Yarmouth, £18 per annum ;
to the poor of Caistor, £2 per annum ; and died October 20th, 1610.

Christopher Fasten was son and heir to Sir William, and married Anne,
daughter of Fhilip Audley, Esq., of Falgrave, in Norfolk.

Sir Edmund Fasten, Knight, was his son and heir apparent, and
married Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Knevet, of Ashwellthorpe ;
she died March 10th, 1628, and was buried in the Church of Fasten. Sir
Edmund died in 1632, aged forty-eight, and was buried there.

Sir William Fasten, his eldest son, succeeded him, and was admitted in
Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, taking the degree of B.A. in 1626.
In 1636 he was High Sheriff of Norfolk, and on June 8th, 1642, he was
created a baronet. He died February 22nd, 1662, and was buried at Fasten.

His first wife was the Lady Catherine, daughter of Eobert Bertie, Earl
of Lindley, which lady dying in childbed in 1636, was buried in the
chancel of Oxnead. His second wife was a daughter of Mr. Hewet, of
London, and sister to Sir William Hewet, who died without issue.

Sir Eobert Fasten, Knt. and Bart., the eldest son of Sir William, was
born at Oxnead May 29th, 1631, educated at Westminster School and at
Trinity College, Cambridge, He was a man of learning, and travelled in
foreign parts, where he collected many curiosities. He was created Baron
Fasten of Fasten and Viscount Yarmouth in 1673, and Earl of Yarmouth
in 1679. He was a member of Parliament for Castle Eising. On August
9th, 1676, he was beset in the night by some villains, who fired five bullets
through his coach, one of which passed through his body without killing
him. He built the Free School of North Walsham, founded by his
ancestors, and gave a rich service of plate to the Church of Oxnead, and
died March 8th, 1683.


William Paston, Earl of Yarmouth^ the eldest son, succeeded his father
in honour and inheritance, and married Lady Charlotte Jemima Maria
Boyle (alias Fitzroy), natural daughter to Charles II. by Elizabeth,
Viscountess Shannon, daughter of Sir William Killigrew, and wife of
Francis Boyle, Viscount Shannon in Ireland. By Lady Charlotte ho had
Charles Lord Paston, colonel of a regiment about 1710; William Lord
Fasten, and Robert, who was captain of a man of war, but all died before
their father. After the death of this earl, who left all his estates to pay
his debts, his seat at Oxnead fell into decay. Jjord Anson the Com-
modore bought all the family estates in Norfolk. His lordship,
whilst on his return from a circumnavigation round the globe,
captured a Spanish galleon from Acapulco, worth £313,000, which he
brought home June 14th, 1744, by which he acquired a princely fortune,
and died in 1762 without issue. G. Anson, Esq., of Shugborough,
became the owner of all the estates in Norfolk.

Gentle reader, be not impatient if we indulge in a little genealogy, so
delightful to the soul of an antiquary, for yon may depend upon it few
county families can be traced for any great length of time. The Norman
barons and their descendants soon disappeared from this earthly scene,
and left no trace behind, except, their tomb stones, which are the only
records of many of them. Of every one it may be said —

How great, how noble, once now matters not.

To whom related, or by Avliom begot ;

A little dust is all remains of thee,

'Tis all thou art and all tlie proud shall be.


This ancient family took their name from lands called Wodehouse, in
Silfield, near the town of Wymondham. That they were gentlemen of
good rank before the time of King John, we are informed by Peacham
in his work on blazonry, which appeared to him by the ancient grants and
evidences of the family that he had seen, and from which the pedigree
was collected.

We shall begin with Constantino de AYodchouse, who married Isabel,
daughter and heiress of Botetourt, in the reign of Henry I. From
them all the Wodehouses descended in a long lino fi'om father to son for
thirty generations to the present time. From the lady arises the claim to
the title of Botetourt, one of the oldest baronies in the kingdom.

Constantino was succeeded by Sir George de Wodehouse, who flourished
in the reign of Heniy I., whom he accompanied into Normandy, and was
present at the burning of Bayeux and the capture of Caen Castle. He
married Winifrede, daughter and heiress of Lacy. Sir Henry, his sou and


heir, married Beatrix, daughter of Lord Say. Sir Richard, his son and
heir, married an Aspall, and lived in the time of King John. Sir WilKam,
his son and heir, was the first of the family who bought lands at
Kimberley ; but no manor there, though he was lord of manors in Norfolk.
He married Petronilla, daughter and heiress of Clervaux. Francis, his
son and heir, married the daughter of Sir John Peche.

He was in a short time succeeded by his son and heir. Sir Bertram de
Wodehouse, who attended Edward I. into Scotland when the King in-
vaded that country. He married Muriel, daughter and heiress of Lord
Felton, by whom he acquired several manors in Cambridgeshire. Sir
William de Wodehouse, his son and heir, was sheriff of London in 1329.
He being a man of great valour, was retained by the Black Prince, whom
he attended as a captain into Spain. He maiTied the daughter and heiress
of Humfrey Luttrell, and was succeeded by his son and heir. Sir Eichard,
who married Alice, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Northwood, of
Northwood-Barningham. He was succeeded by his son. Sir Thomas, who
married Alice, sister and co-heiress of John Emond, Esq., of Cranworth,
who married Maud, daughter and heiress of Sir Baldwin Botetourt, of
Cranworth, Knt. Sir Edward de Wodehouse, son of Sir Thomas, married
a daughter and co-heiress of Erpingham, who brought East Litcham,
which stiU remains in this family. He owned lands in Kimberley in 1378.
There is no account of his sons or daughters except Sir John, who was a
younger son knighted by Henry IV. He settled at Kimberley, having
married Margaret, daughter and sole heiress of Sir Thomas Fastolff, of
Kimberley, and removing from the old seat at the west end of the town,
built a new seat or moated hall in the east part, with the tower within the
park belonging thereto. By deed dated Jan. 20, in the second of Henry
IV., upon his son^s marriage with Furneaux, he entailed his new house and
estates on them. He was succeeded by John Wodehouse, Esq., who in
his father^s lifetime was gentleman of the privy chamber to Henry IV.,
and in 1400 married Alice, daughter and heiress of Furneaux. On the
decease of Henry IV., his son, Henry V., chose him esquire of his body.
In 1414 he was admitted to be one of the Chamberlains of the Exchequer
for life. In 1415 he attended the King's person to the battle of Agin-
eourt in France, where he won great renown by his valour, spiriting up
the English troops who were inclined to stand. When the battle inclined
to them, many of the French nobles fled and got into an old fort, where,
on account of the straightness of the passage, they were difficult to over-
come, but this famed Norfolk hero undertook and accomplished the
arduous task. For this gallant action the King granted him an annuity
of ten marks a-year out of his manor of Thetford, and made him steward
of all the dominion of the Duchy of Lancaster in Norfolk, with a salary of


£10 yearly, and as a perpetual augmentation of honour, assigned liim the
crest of a hand stretched from a cloud, holding a club, and the motto,
" Frappe Forte," strike strong, or, rather, beat down the fort. The wild
man holding the club, which was the ancient crest of the family, was now
omitted, and two of them placed as supporters to the arms, which had a
further augmentation of honour in the shield, and two men placed as sup-
porters to the arms, as borne to the present day.

This Norfolk hero served no less than four times in Parliament for the
county of Norfolk, namely in 1409, the eleventh of Henry IV,, when John
Winter, Esq., was his colleague, also in the second of Henry V. vni\\
John Inglethorpe ; in 1414 Sir Edmuud Oldhall was his colleague, with
whom he served again in 1416. He continued in favour with the Princes
he served all his life. Peacham says he was one of the executors to
Henry IV., and also to Henry V., of whom he obtained license to found a
chantry priest to sing for the souls of that king and his queen, and of his
beloved esquire, John Wodehouse, and his wife^ their ancestors and
posterity, either in the Cathedral church at Norwich or in the charnel
chapel belonging thereto.

He died at Roydon in 1430. His will is dated there, January 15th, by
which he ordered his body to be buried in the lower chapel of the charnel,
near the Cathedral in Norwich, and also ordered that after mass said over
his body in the Cathedral, they should carry his body into the charnel,
and there perform such services for him as he enjoined, for which he gave
the custos of the upper chapel 6s. 8d., and two silver dishes (gilt) and
two silver candlesticks, to each of the priests of the charnel os. 4d., and
to the chaplain of the lower charnel chapel, in which he Avas buried,
6s. 8d. After this the chaplain became his chantry priest, and sung for
him till the dissolution of religious houses in 1536.

Henry de Wodehouse, Esq., was twenty-four years old at his fatller^s
death, and then lived at Becking Ash in Suffolk. He was fined for not
taking the order of knighthood. He married Constance, eldest daughter
and co-heiress of Thomas Gedding, Esq., of Icklingham in Suffolk. Ho died
at Kimberley in 1465. His son and heir. Sir Edward Wodehouse, was
kighted at Grafton Field May 4th, 1471. The pedigree says that in 1461,
by order of Edward IV., under his privy seal, he levied in Norfolk 200 of
his followers, tenants and gentlemen of quality, and armed them at his
own charge, and attended the King on his journey into Scotland, being
accompanied in his own retinue with two dukes, seven earls, thirty-one
barons, and fifty-nine knights. His son and heir. Sir Thomas Wodehouse,
was created Knight of the Bath at the marriage of Prince Arthur, eldest
son to Henry VII., with the Infanta of Spain, and he was sent ambassador
into France, where he married his first wife, a lady of Picardy, by whom


he had no issue. He married a second wife Tliomasine, daughter of Sir
Eoger Townshendj of Rainham, and he died in 1487. His son and heir.
Sir Roger Wodehouse, was knighted by Edward VI. in 1548, and he
nearly lost his life while trying to suppress Kett\s rebelhon. He had two
wives, EHzabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Robert Ratcliff, and
Elizabeth, daughter of John Drury. He died, and was buried in
Kimberley Church, February 10th, 1560. His son and heir. Sir Roger
Wodehouse, served in Parliament for the borough of Aldborough in
Suffolk in 1570, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Blickling in
August, 1578. The Queen, on her return from Norwich, in her progress
to Cambridge, lodged at his house at Kimberley August 22nd, 1578. He
married Mary, daughter of John Corbert, of Sprowston, and died in
1588, and was buried at Kimberley. His son and heir. Sir Philip Wode-
house, served Queen Elizabeth, both by sea and land, in Spain and
Portugal, was at the Conquest of Cadiz in Spain, and for his valour
shown there was knighted by Robert, Earl of Essex, and Charles, Earl of
Nottingham, the Queen^s generals.

His wife was Grizell, daughter of William Yelverton, of Rougham,
and, dying at Kimberley, he was buried there October 30th, 1623.
Sir Thomas Wodehouse, knighted by James I., was gentleman to Prince
Henry, was twice member of Parliament for Thetford in the reign of
Charles I., viz., in 1639 and 1640. He married Blanch, daughter of John
Gary, Baron of Houldon and Earl of Dover, and died March 18th, 1658,
and is buried at Kimberley. His son. Sir Philip Wodehouse, Bart., was
one of the members of Parliament for Thetford in 1660. He married
Lucy, daughter of Sir Thomas Coltou, of Corrington, and died June 26th,

Sir Thomas Wodehouse was knighted by Charles H. November 2nd,
1666, died of the small-pox at Kimberley in 1671, and was buried in
the chancel of the church. He married Ann, daughter and co-heiress of
Sir William Armine, of Osgodby, in Lincolnshire. His only son and heir.
Sir John Wodehouse, Bart., was born at Kimberley, March 23rd, 1669.
In 1695 he was elected member for Thetford, and in 1705 he was elected
a knight of the shire for Norfolk. He married first Elizabeth Benson,
sister to John, Lord Bingley ; second, Mary Fermor, daughter of William,
Lord Lempsier, and left issue William Wodehouse, Esq., who died in
London without issue. Armine Wodehouse, Esq., second son and heir of
Sir John, upon his brother^s death, was chosen in his place to serve in
Parhament for Norfolk. He married Letitia, eldest daughter and co-
heiress of Sir Edmund Bacon and elected knight of the shire with him,
after a severe contest against Sir William Harbord, Bart., and the Hon.
Robert Coke, brother to the Earl of Leicester,


Sir Armine Wodehouse represented the county thirty-four years without
any place, pension, or emolument; and died in 1777, greatly lamented,
leaving three sons.

Sir John AVodehouse, Bart., succeeded his father, Sir Armine, in 1777.
He married a niece of Lord Berkley, of Stratton, by whom he had issue.
He followed the example of his father, who marched out of Norfolk at
the head of his battalion of Norfolk Militia to Portsmouth, in the pros-
]iect of a French invasion in 1759. In like manner, Sir John put himself
at the head of the same regiment in the first embodying of the militia on
a like occasion in 1778, and assisted in guarding the coast of Suffolk by
garrisoning Landguard Fort.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century. Sir John Wodehouse built
the present house, which stands on the east side of the park, and it was
afterwards enlarged by Sir Armine Wodehouse, who added four towers at
the angles. It is a large and handsome brick mansion, with many con-
venient rooms and some fine paintings, one of which is a portrait of
Vandyke, painted of himself when young. The park is richly orna-
mented with wood and water, and well stocked with deer.

The late Sir John Wodehouse, the seventh baronet of his family,
represented the county of Norfolk in two parliaments, and in 1797
was created Baron Wodehouse of Kimberley, and died aged ninety-
eight in 1834, when he was succeeded by his son John, who died in
1846, and was succeeded by his grandson John, the present Lord
Wodehouse, who was born in 1826, graduated f^rst class in classics at
Christ Church, Oxford, in 1847, was Under Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs from December 1852, till April, 1856, and from June,
1859, to July, 1861 ; and Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipoten-
tiary to Russia, from May, 1856, to March, 1858. His son and heir was
born in 1848.


Robert de Erpingham was the first of the family who was lord of
Erpingham in 1244, and was succeeded by his son John ; for in 1277,
John de Erpingham had a large estate in Wickmere, Calthorpe, Ittering-
ham, Alburgh, Beckham, Baconsthorjjc, and Barningham, of which last
manor Robert de Erpingham, son of John, held a quarter of a fee there
of Walter de Berning, and he held it of the Earl Marshal, and in 1315,
the said Robert being then a knight, was lord. Sir John de Erpingham,
Knight, his son, succeeded him, but did not long survive him. He lies
buried under a large stone at the east end of the south aisle in South
Erpingham Church ; the arms are lost, but the effigy remains in armour,
standing on a lion. Sir Thomas Erpingham, Knight Banneret, his son


and lieir^ became one of the most famou? warriors in tliat age. In 1385,
he had the King's protection when he went abroad.

Sir Thomas Erpingham accompanied John Duke of Lancaster, into
Spain. In 1399 he was chamberlain of the household, &c., and one of
those lords who voted that Hichard II. should be put into safe custody.
He was constantly in all the wars of Henry IV. and Henry V., particularly
at Agincourt. In the year 1400, Henry IV., in recompense for his ser-
vices, gave him a messuage called the New Inn, near St. PauFs Wharf in
London, for his residence. He appears to have favoured the views of the
Reformers, and to have exerted himself in disseminating the principles of
Wickhffe in Norfolk.

This conduct excited the enmity and opposition of the bishop and the
monks, who being more powerful than the knight, had him arrested and
committed to prison. Afterwards he was enjoined to build the Erpingham
gate-house, opposite the west front of Norwich Cathedral, as an atone-
ment for his heresy. The knight is said to have built that beautiful

Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 65 of 70)