Norfolk Hundreds


White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845


EAST AND WEST FLEGG, two of the smallest Hundreds of Norfolk, are on the sea coast, at the east end of the county, and are nearly of equal extent, containing together about 30,000 acres of land, stretching nearly eleven miles northward from the Borough of Yarmouth, and forming, in ecclesiastical affairs, the DEANERY OF FLEGG, to which the DEANERY OF YARMOUTH was perpetually united in the year 1345; so that the Archdeacon's visitations for the whole district, have since been held in Yarmouth.

Petty Sessions, for the two Hundreds, are held on the first and third Tuesday of every month, at Rollesby and Yarmouth. Mr. S. B. Cory is clerk to the magistrates. Both Hundreds are in Ludham Police Division.

Of the twenty-five villages and parishes in East and West Flegg, no fewer than fourteen of them have the Saxon termination, by, signifying a dwelling.

They were all incorporated for parochial purposes by an act of the 15th of George the Third; and a HOUSE OF INDUSTRY, for the reception of the poor of both Hundreds, was erected at Rollesby, in 1776 and enlarged in 1818 and 1834, so that it will now accommodate 400 paupers, though the number of inmates seldom amounts to 200, and in summer is generally less than 100. They are employed in spade husbandry, and the manufacture of rope, twine, fishing-nets, sacking, &c. This large workhouse, for a thinly populated district, is built in the form of the letter H, so as to admit of a complete separation of the two sexes.

It is under the control of 48 guardians, chosen yearly, and a number of directors, consisting of all the magistrates and freeholders of £200 per annum, resident in the 20 incorporated parishes, which, in the quarter ending April, 1844, expended £894, of which £218 was for the maintenance of in-door paupers, and £465 for out-door relief. The number in the house during the same quarter was 156, and the number of out-door paupers 796. The dietary system now in use has been introduced by the Poor Law Commissioners, who have here no further authority than the New Poor Law gives them in similar incorporations.

The Rev. Wm. Lucas is chairman, and William Rising, Esq., vice-chairman of the Board of Directors and Guardians, to whom Mr. Samuel B. Cory, of Yarmouth, is clerk. Mr John Mountseer is superintendent registrar and master of the Workhouse; the Rev. J. Morton is chaplain, and Messrs. W. and J. Cooper are the surgeons. Mr. W. Cooper is also registrar of marriages for both hundreds. The registrars of births and deaths are the said Mr. W. Cooper, for West Flegg; and Mr. Robert S. Beare, for East Flegg.

EAST FLEGG Hundred, the most eastern division of Norfolk, is of an irregular triangular figure, extending west and north from Yarmouth, and bounded on the east by the German Ocean, and on its other sides by the rivers Yare and Bure, and the Hundred of West Flegg; from which latter, it is separated for a considerable extent by a chain of marshland lakes or pools, called the "Broads," and forming a small river called the "Muck Fleet," which flows westward to the Bure; indeed both the Flegg Hundreds are nearly insulated with salt and fresh water. East Flegg extends about five miles along the coast northward, from Yarmouth, and about seven miles westward, on the north side of the river Bure, which divides it from Walsham Hundred.

WEST FLEGG is bounded by East Flegg on the south, Walsham Hundred on the west, Happing Hundred on the north, and the Ocean on the east. It extends about 3½ miles along the coast, and 7½ miles inland; and is nearly surrounded by marshes; but its interior rises in bold and well cultivated swells. Mr. Young, in his "Farmer's Tour," recommends the method of farming practised here; and even Camden extols the soil as being fruitful in corn, and says that here "the Danes seem to have made their first settlement, both because it was nearest their landing, and pretty well fortified by nature; being almost surrounded by water."

An Act of Parliament is about to be obtained for improving the drainage of the low marshes in this and the adjoining Hundreds.

There were formerly 26 Parish Churches in these Hundreds, but seven of them were dilapidated many years ago, and their cures annexed to the present nineteen parishes, of which the following is an enumeration, showing the population of each in 1841, the annual value of their land and buildings, as assessed to the County Rate, in 1843, and their territorial extent.

Pop. Annl.
Caistor-next- }
Yarmouth }
909 5876 2689
Filby 553 3026 1191
Mautby 66 2854 1626
Ormsby St. Mar- }
garet with }
Scratby }

645 }
131 }
4500 1559

Ormsby St. Michl.
278 1648 590
Runham * 290 3306 1522
Stokesby-with- }
Herringby }
366 3438 1804
Thrigby 53 1174 575

Total 3291 25,822 11,556

Pop. Annl.
Ashby-with-Oby 85 2412 1343
Thurne @ 177 1252 582
Billockby 71 900 376
Burgh St. Mgt & My 506 3406 1451
Clippesby 123 1682 802
Hemsby 591 3922 1627
Martham 1032 5490 2281
Repps-cum Bastk 314 2092 1179
Rollesby + 589 3330 1407
Somerton East @ 61 1290 768
Somerton West 248 1786 1101
Winterton 588 1566 1562

Total 4385 29,128 14,479

[There is more information about individual parishes]

* Runham includes an extra-parochial house.

+ Rollesby included 73 persons in the Workhouse, in July 1843.

@ East Somerton church is in ruins, and the parish annexed to Winterton; and Thurne is a township annexed to Ashby parish.

When the census was taken, in 1841, about 200 fishermen were absent, viz., 131 belonging to Winterton, 20 to Caistor, 17 to Hemsby, 16 to Ormsby St. Margaret, and 8 to Ormsby St. Michael.

The annual value of East Flegg, as assessed to the PROPERTY TAX, was £18,617, in 1815, and £28,691, in 1842. That of West Flegg was £18,322, in 1815, and £32,875 in 1842.


Some placenames in the transcription (of pages 292 to 294) above are given below together with their standard spelling :-
Burgh St. Mgt & My/Burgh St. Margaret, Caistor-next-Yarmouth/Caistor on Sea, Ormsby St. Mar-garet/Ormesby St. Margaret, Scratby/Ormesby St Margaret, Ormsby St. Michl./Ormesby St Michael, Repps-cum Bastk/Repps with Bastwick, Somerton East/East Somerton, Somerton West/West Somerton

For more information see :-

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Copyright © Mike Bristow.
April 2006