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Help and advice for Norfolk: Shipdham

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Norfolk: Shipdham

Early History

This has been found by the Norfolk transcribers for FreeREG, in the Shipdham register of baptisms and burials 1805-1812. It is very similiar to the entry for Shipdham in Francis Blomefield's Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, Volume 10: Launditch, Loddon, Mitford, Smithdon and Taverham Hundreds, pages 243 onwards, published in 1809.

[Transcription copyright © Brian Jones]


In the Book of Domesday there is no account of Shipdham being a Lordship, or possess'd by the Church of Ely; but that Thorpe, a considerable Town at that time, tho' now included in Shipdham, was one of the Lordships of that Monastery, in the Saxon Age, given to it with that of East Dereham, by Ethelwold Bishop of Winchester, in the Reign of King Edgar, and extended into Shipdham. King Edward the Confessor in his Charter of Confirmation of the Lordships &c belonging to the Abby of Ely, mentions this Town of Thorpe; and when Leoffin, the 5th Abbot assign'd certain Towns & Lordships in the time of King Canute, for the annual support of it, East Dereham and Thorpe are named together, and were to find provisions for two weeks.

On the foundation of the See of Ely, this Lordship was assign'd to the Bishop, and made part of his Barony; and In 29 of Henry 3d the Bishop had a Mercate and Fair granted to him. In 1277 he enjoy'd the privileges as mention'd in East Dereham. He was Patron of the Church of Shipdham. Soon after the 34 of Henry 6th it came to the Crown, and was granted by Act of Parliament, in the first year of Queen Elizabeth, and confirm'd most probably, by the Chapter 19, in the Acts of the said year, which was before the Deprivation of Bishop Thurleby. On the 9th of August, in her 3d year, Sir William Wodehouse Knight of Hickling in Norfolk, and the Lady Elizabeth his wife, had a Grant of this Manor (late the Bishop's of Ely ) with the Park and the advowson of the Church, paying a Fee-farm Rent of £21..6..5 per annum, with a Close, call'd the Lord's Close; and on May 9, [anno] 26, Sir Thomas Wodehouse had a new Grant of it, with the Deer in the Park, all the woods and underwoods; and about 1585 convey'd it to Sir Thomas Gawdy of Claxton, a Judge of the Common Pleas, who died seised of it, November 1st in the 30th year of that Reign, leaving Henry his Son and Heir, aged 16. Robert Gawdy his Son pass'd it to William Castleton Esq, created a Baronet on August 9, 1641; and Sir John, his son, presented in 1673; and Edmund Castleton sold it to Charles, Lord Viscount Townshend, about 1704.

It was sold by the Townshend family about 1826 by auction, to John Richard Barker Esq in trust for Rev Benjamin Barker, who died as Rector in 1850, & was buried in the Churchyard. It was then presented by his trustees to Rev G.C. Bailey who afterwards purchased the Advowson.

See also the Shipdham parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
September 2008