NORFOLK, commonly North-folk, that is, if you express it in Latin, Borealis populus, or the Northern People, ⌈(from its northern situation, with regard to the rest of the East Angles;)⌉ is the entire North-bound of Suffolk, from which it is divided by the two little rivers I mention’d, Ouse the less, and Waveney, running contrary ways. On the east and north sides, the German Ocean, abounding with Fish, beats violently upon the shore; on the west, Ouse the Greater, sporting it self with many turnings and windings, parts it from Cambridgeshire. The County is large, and almost all Champian, except in some places, where there rise gentle hills. It is very rich, and well stor’d with flocks of sheep; and abounds with Conies. It has great numbers of populous villages (for besides twenty-seven Market-towns, it has six hundred twenty-five Country-towns and villages, ⌈or, according to the Book of Rates, thirty-two markets, and seven hundred and eleven villages; )⌉ and is also well water’d, and does not want wood. The soil is different, according to the several quarters; in some places, it is fat, luscious, and moist, as in Mershland and Flegg; in others, especially to the west, it is poor, lean, and sandy; and in others, clayey and chalky. But (to follow the directions of Varro) the goodness of the soil may be gather’d from hence, that the inhabitants are of a bright clear complexion; not to mention their sharpness of wit, and singular sagacity in the study of our Common-Law. So that it is at present, and always has been reputed, the most fruitful Nursery of Lawyers. ⌈(Particularly, it produced in the last age the great Sir Henry Spelman, a most zealous and successful Advocate of the Rights of Church and Clergy; from whom Mr. Speed acknowledges he receiv’d his description of Norfolk, and who, besides, drew up a complete Survey of this his Native Country; out of which many things, very curious and remarkable, are inserted in this present Work.⌉ But, even among the common people you shall meet with many, who (as one expresses it) if no quarrel offers, are able to pick one out of the quirks and niceties of the Law. ⌈And, for the preventing of the great and frequent Contentions that might ensue thereupon, and the inconveniencies of too many Attorneys, a special † † Stat.33 H.6. c.7.Statute was made as long since as the time of King Henry the sixth, to restrain the number of Attorneys in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich.⌉
But lest, while I consult brevity, I suffer my self to be drawn into digressions; I will pass from these, to the places themselves: and, beginning at the south-side, will take a short view of such as are of greatest note and antiquity.
Upon Ouse the less, where the little river Thet joyns it out of Suffolk, is seated, in a low ground, the ancient City * * See Wulpet in Suffolk. Sitomagus,Sitomagus.
Thetford. mention’d by Antoninus, and corruptly nam’d in the fragments of an old Table, Simomagus, and Sinomagus.Caesar ⌈And yet it may be worth while to consider, whether there is not something in these names, which implies its being the Capital city of the Iceni. If we take Simomagus to be the right Reading, Ptolemy’s Simeni (for so he names the people of those parts) will favour it: and Sinomagus comes nearer the name Iceni, especially if we may suppose the I cast away, as in Hispani, Spani. Besides, Cæsar’s calling this people Cenimagni (which † † See the Iceni, before Suffolk.one, finding them distinctly read Ceni, Agni is of opinion should be read Iceni, Regni,) farther confirms this conjecture.⌉ It is now call’d Thetford, and in Saxon , by keeping the first syllable of the old name, and adding the German ford. For as Sitomagus signifies in British a city upon the river Sit, now Thet (and, that MagusMagus. formerly signified a City, we have the authority of Pliny;) so does Thetford signify in English a ford of the Thet, and these two names Sit and Thet are not very unlike. ⌈But if we suppose (what is affirm’d by others upon the authority of the best Copies) that the true name is , then the interpretation must be, a ford of the people. It was formerly famous for being a seat of the Kings of the East-Angles; but⌉ it is now thin-peopled, tho’ pretty large, and once a populous and noted place. Besides other marks of its antiquity, it shews a huge Mount cast-up to a great height, and fortify’d with a double rampire, and formerly too (as they say) with walls. Some will have it to have been a work of the Romans; but others are rather inclin’d to think it done by the Saxon Kings, under whom it was in a flourishing condition for a long while; ⌈and others again think it the work of the Danes, who made so considerable a figure in those parts; because the camps, both of Romans and Saxons, are generally observ’d to be much larger.⌉
By the cruelty of Sueno the Dane, who set it on fire in the year 1004, and that of the Danes, who spoil’d it six years after, it lost all its dignity and grandeur. For the restoring of which, Arfastus the Bishop remov’d his Episcopal See from Elmham to this place; and his successor William spar’d neither cost nor pains in adorning and beautifying it; so that, under Edward the Confessor there were reckon’d in it nine hundred and forty-seven Burgesses. And in the time of William the Conqueror it had seven hundred and twenty mansions, whereof two hundred and twenty-four stood empty; and their chief Magistrate was stil’d Consul. But when the third Bishop, Herbert, sirnam’d Losenga (as being made up of lying and flattery, ⌈for in Saxon signifies a lie or trick)⌉ and one who rais’d himself to this honour by ill arts and bribery; when he (I say) had translated this See to Norwich; this City relaps’d, as if come to its last period. Nor did the Monastery of Cluniacks, built there by his means, make amends for the removal of the Bishop. That Religious house was built by Hugh Bigod, as appears from what is said in his original Foundation-Charter. I Hugh Bigod, Steward to King Henry, with his consent, and by the advice of Herbert Bishop of Norwich, placed Cluniac-Monks in the Church of St. Mary, lately the Episcopal See of Thetford; which I gave them, and afterwards founded them another more convenient, without the village. Then the greatest part of the City, which had stood on the hither-bank, fell to decay by little and little; but in the other part (tho’ that too decay’d very much,) about † † Two, C.three ages since were seven Churches; besides three small Monasteries, one whereof, they say, was built in memory of the English and Danes slain here. For our Historians tell us, that the most holy King Edmund, a little before his death, engag’d the Danes hard by, for seven hours together, not without vast loss on both sides; and that at last they parted with equal success: such effect had those frequent turns of fortune on both sides, that it * * Omnem sensum excusserat.had made them altogether desperate.
⌈An anonymous Author quoted by † † Antiq. Cant. p.148.Caius, tells us, there was formerly a Great School, or Nursery of Learning, in this place. It may possibly be the same that * * Hist. Eccl. l.3. c.18.Bede hints, when he informs us, how Sigebert (after he was return’d home, and settled in his kingdom) built a School for the education of youth, in imitation of what he had observ’d of that nature in France. Whether this passage belongs to Thetford or Cambridge (for the latter lays claim to it, to advance its own antiquity,) is a point too large to be discuss’d here.
Notwithstanding the Eminence, which the seat of the East-Saxon Kings, the Bishops-See, and several Monasteries have entail’d upon this place (such Honours as perhaps few Cities can boast of;) yet in the 9th of Edward the first it was neither city nor burrough; for, that King requiring an account of the cities, burroughs, and villages of this Shire, Norwich was the only City return’d, and Yarmouth and Lynne, the only burroughs; possibly, because such had only that name, as sent Representatives to Parliament, whereas that Privilege was not then granted to this place. In the seventh year of King James the first, a Statute pass’d in Parliament, for the foundation of an Hospital, a Grammar-School, and maintenance of a Preacher in this town, for ever, according to the last Will and Testament of Richard Fulmarston Knight. And of later days, Sir Joseph Williamson, Principal Secretary of State to King Charles the second, built here a new Council-house, and was otherwise, both in his life-time and by will, a considerable Benefactor to this place.⌉
Upon Waveney (which is the other boundary-river, running eastward) not far from its head, are BuckenhamBuckenham. and KenninghallKenninghall.. This latter (which seems to have had the name left it by the Iceni) † † Is, C.was the seat of the honourable family of the Howards, whose glory is greater than to be obscur’d by the envy of Buchanan; ⌈but it was long since demolish’d.⌉ The former, I should think, took its name from beech-trees, call’d by the Saxons Bucken; ⌈if they, who know the condition of the place, did not affirm that they have few or no trees of that sort; and therefore the more probable original may be, from the great number of Bucks, with which we may easily suppose the neighbouring woods to have been stock’d, and which at this day they do not altogether want.⌉ It is a very beautiful and strong Castle, built by William d’Aubigny or de Albeneio the Norman, to whom the Conqueror had granted the place. By his posterity (who were Earls of Arundel) it descended to the Totfalls ⌈in the time of Henry 3. by marriage,⌉ and from them by Caly and the Cliftons, it came at length to the family of the Knevetts. This last is very ancient:Family of the Knevets. having been famous ever since the time of John Knevet, Lord Chancellor of England under Edward the third, and very much enlarged and branched it self by honourable marriages. For besides those of Buckenham; the famous Knights, Sir Henry Knevet of Wiltshire, and Sir Thomas Knevet of Ashellwell-thorp were descended thence. This Ashellwell-thorpAshellwell-thorp. is a neighbouring little town, which, from the Thorps, ancient Knights, did, by the Tilneys and LordsLord Bourchier of Bernes. Bourchiers of Bernes, at last descend by inheritance to the above-mention’d Thomas Knevet. The foresaid Buckenham is held upon this condition, that the Lords of it be Butlers at the Coronation of the Kings of England. So, in Carleton a neighbouring village (a thing perhaps not unworthy our notice) Ralph de Carleton, and another person, held Lands by the Service of carrying our Lord the King an hundred ¦ ¦ Pastillos halecum.herrings in pies, when they first came in season, to what part of England soever he should then be in. ⌈The town of Yarmouth by Charter is bound to send to the Sheriffs of Norwich these hundred herrings, which are to be bak’d in twenty-four pies or pasties, and thence deliver’d to the Lord of the manour of East-Carleton, who is to convey them to the King. Which is every year duly observ’d to this day, and an Indenture drawn up, the substance whereof is, That upon delivery of these pies to the Lord of the manour, he shall acknowledge the receipt, and be oblig’d to convey them to the King.
North from Carleton, and not far from Ashwel-thorp, is Depeham,Depeham. where grows the Linden-tree mention’d and describ’d by Mr. Evelyn in his Sylva; a tree of vast bigness, which he calls Tillia Colossia Depemensis. To the eye, it stands over the other trees, when viewed at a distance, as a Giant looks among so many Pigmies. At the foot of it, is a Spring, which petrifies sticks, leaves, and whatever falls into it. But to return.⌉ The river Waveney presently waters Disce, now Dis,Dis. a little town of pretty good note, which King Henry the first bestow’d upon Richard de Lucy, and he, shortly after, made over to Walter Fitz-Robert with his daughter. Robert Fitz-Walter, one of his posterity, procur’d of Edward the first the privilege of a Market for this place. From hence, tho’ Waveney is † † Redimitus.thick-set with towns, yet has it not one that can boast of antiquity; except it be Shelton,Shelton. which is at some distance from it, and gave name to the very ancient family of the Sheltons. Bur before it gets to the sea, it joyns the river Garienis,Garienis riv. call’d by the Britains Guerne, and by the English, Gerne and Jere; without doubt, from the Alder-trees (so nam’d in British,) with which it is shaded. It rises in the middle of this County, not far from a small village call’d Garveston, to which it gave name; and has near it Hengham, which had its Barons,Barons of Rhie or Hengham. call’d also de Rhia, descended from John Mareschal (brother’s son to William Mareschal Earl of Pembroke) to whom King John gave the lands of Hugh de Gornay, the Traitor, with the daughter and coheir of Hubert Lord of Rhia. But in process of time, it pass’d from the Mareschals to the Morleys, and from them, by Lovel, to the Parkers Lords Morley. ⌈Afterwards, it was purchased by Sir Philip Woodhouse, and then came into the possession of the Lord Crew, by marriage with the Widow of Sir Thomas Woodhouse.⌉ At a little distance is Skulton, otherwise call’d Burdos, which was held on this condition, that the Lord of it, at the Coronation of the Kings of England, should be chief Lardiner, as they term him.
⌈Near Skulton, is Woodrising,Woodrising. the seat formerly of the Family of Southwell; but since sold, first to Sir Francis Crane, and then to Robert Bedle. The Southwells (of which family was the late Sir Robert Southwell, Principal Secretary of State for the kingdom of Ireland, and employ’d in several Negotiations abroad) are now seated at Kings-weston in Glocestershire.⌉ More to the east, we see Wimundham, now contracted into WindhamWindham. ⌈(in the Hundred of Forehowe, so call’d from the four hills or high places, in Saxon , upon which they held their meetings;)⌉ and famous for being the burying-place of the Albinies, Earls of Arundel, whose Ancestor William de Albiney, Butler to King Henry the first, built a Church here, and made it a Cell to the Monastery of St. Albans. Upon the steeple, which is very high, William Kett, one of the two Norfolk-incendiaries, was hang’d, in the year 1549. ⌈It was sold by the last of the Knevets of that place to Henry Hobart Chief Justice of the Common-Pleas.⌉seme Nor must we pass by AttilboroughAttilborough. at five miles distance, the seat of the ancient family of the Mortimers,Mortimers. whose bearing is different from those of Wigmore (namely, a Shield Or, Semé de fleures de Lyz sables,) and who founded here a Collegiate Church, whereof, at present, there are no remains. Their estate passed formerly by marriage, to the Ratcliffs Earls of Sussex, to the family of Fitz-Ranulph, and to Ralph Bigod, ⌈or else came from the Bigods to Fitz-Ranulph, and so to the Ratcliffs, as some affirm. This place (if John Bramis, a Monk of Thetford, may be credited) is of great note and antiquity. He will have it to have been built and fortify’d by Atlynge a King of those parts; and his evidence for it, are two Copies of that History which he translated, one in French and the other in old English. Whatever credit these may deserve, it is certain that the termination burrough, wherever it occurs, denotes something of antiquity, as a castle, a fort, or the like.⌉ But to return to the river.
The Yare has not run far, towards the east, till a little river Wentsum (by others call’d Wentfar) empties it self into it from the south. Upon this, near it’s rise, is a square entrenchment at Taiesborough, containing twenty-four Acres. It seems to be an Encampment of the Romans; possibly, that which in the Chorographical Table publish’d by Marcus Velserus, is call’d Ad Taum. ⌈Hard by, is Thurton,Thurton. where, about twenty years since, were dug-up several Roman Coins of Quintillus, Tetricus, Gallienus, Victorinus, and others.⌉ Higher up, on the same river, formerly stood Venta Icenorum,Venta Icenorum. the most flourishing City of this People; but now it has lost the ancient name, and is call’d Caster.Caster.ventae Praetoria attlebridge wensum Nor need we wonder, that of the three Ventæ in Britain, this alone should have lost it’s name, when it has lost it’s very being. For now, setting aside the broken walls (which, in a square, contain about thirty acres,) with the marks where the buildings have stood, and some few Roman Coins which they now and then dig up; there is nothing of it left. ⌈The description of this place agrees exactly with those given by Polybius, Vegetius, and others, concerning the ancient way of encampment among the Romans; the Places also for the four gates are still manifestly to be seen. The Porta Prætoria look’d toward the east; opposite to which (without the Porta Decumana, and close by the river-side) there still remain some ruins of a tower. The walls, enclosing the camp, were of flint and very large bricks.⌉ But, in after-ages, Norwich, at three miles distance, had it’s rise out of this; standing near the confluence of Yare, and another anonymous river call’d by some Bariden; ⌈not far from the head of which, is Raynham,Raynham. the seat of Charles Lord Viscount Townsend, a person of great Virtue, Honour and Abilities; whose father Horatio Lord Townsend Baron of Kings-lynn, was, in the year 1682, advanced to the more honourable Title of Viscount Townsend of Raynham.⌉ The said anonymous river, in a long course, with it’s dinted and winding banks, comes to the Yare, by Attilbridge: leaving HorsfordHorsford. to the north, where the Castle of William de Casinet or Cheney (who in the reign of Henry the second was one of the chief among the Nobility) lies overgrown with bushes and brambles.
NorwichNorwich. above-mention’d, is a famous City, call’d in Saxon , i.e. the northern bay or bosom (if Wic, what it signifies among the Saxons. in Saxon signify a bay or winding, as Rhenanus has told us;) for here the river runs along with many windings: or, the northern Station (if , as Hadrianus Junius will have it, signifie a secure station, where the houses are built close one to another;) or else, the northern Castle, if (as Alfrick the Saxon has affirm’d) denote a Castle. ⌈And the original of the name seems plainly to be from the castle there. For though it cannot be deny’d but signifies a bosom of the Sea, and a station for Ships, and a Village, as well as a Castle; yet the circumstances seem here to determin it to the last sense. For the initial North being a relative term, must have something opposite to answer it: whereas we meet with no bays or bosoms on the south-side: but, not above three miles south, we find the foresaid Remain of an ancient Royal castle, which still keeps some footsteps of antiquity in it’s name of Castor. Now, from hence the age of the Town does in some measure appear. For if it took the name from the Castle, it is evident it must be of less antiquity. The Castle indeed, one would imagin, from the circular form of the ditch and vast compass of it, to have been either Danish or Norman; but that there must have been one earlier, is clear both from the Saxon original, and a Charter of Henry the first, directed to Harvey first Bishop of Ely, whereby that Church is absolv’d from all services due to the Castle of Norwich. Now (as Sir Henry Spelman well observes) such services could not be impos’d, whilst the lands were in the hands of the Bishops, Monks, &c. and by consequence must needs become due whilst in the hands of some secular owner (and the last of these was Tombertus, Governour of the Southern Girvii, who bestow’d them on his wife, Ætheldreda, foundress of the Monastery of Ely, about the year 677.) AEtheldreda wensum caesar cloisters So that from hence it appears, that the date of this castle is at least so far back; and perhaps much further. The reason why Church-lands were exempt from Services, seems to be express’d in the Laws of Edward the second, Because the prayers of the Church ought to be look’d on as more effectual, than the assistance of the secular arm.⌉
But if I should imagin with some, that Norwich was the same with Venta; this would be wittingly to believe a lie. For it has no better title to the name of Venta, than Basil has to that of Augusta, or Baldach to Babilonia: Namely,Augusta Rauracorum. as this last arose, upon the fall of Babilonia, and the first upon that of Augusta, just so our Norwich rose, tho’ late, out of the ancient Venta. Which appears from its name in British Authors, Caer Guntum; wherein (as also in the river Wentsum or Wentfar, we find the plain remains of the name Venta. For the name of Norwich does not appear in any of our Writers, before the time of the Danish wars. So far is it from having been built either by Cæsar or Guiteline the Britain, as some fabulous Authors tell you, who swallow every thing that is offer’d, without consideration or judgment. However, at present, on account of its wealth, and populousness, neatness of buildings, and beautiful Churches, with the number of them (for it hath had fifty Parochial Churches, and † † It has some 30 Parishes, C.thirty-six are now in use;) as also for the industry of its Citizens, their Loyalty to their Prince, and Civility to Foreigners; it is deservedly reckon’d among the most considerable Cities in Britain. It’s Latitude is fifty two degrees, forty minutes: the Longitude twenty four degrees, fifty five minutes. It is pleasantly seated, long-ways, on the side of an hill, reaching from south to north a mile and half: the breadth of it is scarce half so much, and towards the south, it contracts it self by little and little, like a Cone. It is fortify’d with strong walls (with a great many turrets and eleven gates) on all sides except the east, which the river defends with its deep chanel and steep banks; after it has with it’s winding reaches, over which are four Bridges, wash’d the north-part of the City. In the infancy whereof, and in the reign of King Etheldred (a Prince of no policy nor conduct) Sueno the Dane, who invaded England with a great army, first spoil’d, and then burnt it. Notwithstanding which, it recover’d, and (as appears by the Conqueror’s Survey) in the reign of Edward the Confessor, had one thousand three hundred and twenty Burgers. At which time (to describe it from the same Book) it paid twenty pounds to the King and ten to the Earl; and besides that, twenty shillings, four Prebendaries, six Sextaries of honey, and ¦ ¦ Ursum, & sex canes ad ursum.a bear with six dogs to bait him. Now, it pays seventy pounds by weight to the King, a hundred shillings * * De Gersuma.as a fine to the Queen, with an ambling Palfrey: twenty pounds † † Blancas.blank also to the Earl, and twenty shillings fine by tale. In the reign of William the first, this was the seat of a Civil war, which Ralph Earl of the East-Angles rais’d against that King. For after he had escap’d by flight, his wife, with the Armorican Britains, endured a close siege in this place; till, for want of provisions, she was forced to make her escape and quit her Country. And at that time the City was so impair’d, that (as appears by the same Domesday) there were scarce five hundred and sixty Burgers left in it. Lanfrank, Archbishop of Canterbury, mentions this surrender in a Letter to King William, in these words: Your kingdom is purg’d from the infection of the Britains (or Armoricans:) the Castle of Norwich is surrender’d; and the Britains, who were in it and had lands here in England, upon granting them life and limb, have taken an oath to depart your Dominions within forty days, and never to return without your special licence. From that time forward, it began by little and little to recover out of this deluge of miseries; and Bishop Herbert, whose reputation had suffer’d much by Simoniacal practices, translated the Episcopal See from Thetford hither. He built a very beautiful Cathedral in the east and lower part of the City, in a place till then call’d Cow-holme, near the Castle; the first Stone whereof, in the reign of William Rufus, and in the year of our Lord 1096. he himself laid, with this Inscription:
Dominus herbertus posuit primum lapidem in nomine patris, filii, et spiritus sancti. Amen.
Lord [Bishop] Herbertus laid the first stone, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Afterwards, he procured a Licence from Pope Paschal, to confirm and establish it to be the mother Church of Norfolk and Suffolk; and endow’d it liberally with lands, sufficient for the maintenance of sixty Monks, who had neat and curious Cloysters. But these were removed; and a Dean, with six Prebendaries, and others, settled in their places. After the Church thus built, and an Episcopal See placed here, it became (as Malmesbury has it) a Town famous for merchandise, and number of Inhabitants. And in the 17th of King Stephen (as we read in some ancient Records) Norwich was built anew, was populous for a Village, and was made a Corporation. That King Stephen also granted it to his Son William for an Appennage (as they call it) or inheritance, is evident from the publick Records. But Henry the second took it from him, and held it himself; notwithstanding that Henry his Son, the Junior-King, as they call’d him, when he was aspiring to the Crown, had promis’d it in ample terms to Hugh Bigod Earl of Norfolk, whom he had drawn over to his party. Bigod however, adhering to the young King (who could not confine his eager hopes of the Crown, within the bounds of Justice and Equity) miserably harrass’d this City; and is thought to have rebuilt that Castle on the high hill near the Cathedral, within the City, which is encompass’d with a trench of such vast depth, that in those days it was look’d on as impregnable. But Lewis of France, under whom the rebellious Barons had confederated against King John, easily took it by siege. The reason why I fansy that it was Bigod who repair’d the Castle, is because I observ’d Lions saliant cut in a stone, in the same manner, as the Bigods formerly us’d them in their seals; of whom there was one that seal’d with a Cross. And this was the condition of Norwich in its infancy.
But in the next age it increas’d mightily, and abounded with wealthy Citizens; who, by an humble petition in Parliament, desir’d liberty of Edward the first to wall their City round: and afterwards accordingly did it, to the great strength and ornament thereof. In the year 1403. they obtain’d leave of Henry the fourth, that instead of Bailiffs (which they had before) they might elect a Mayor yearly; and in the very heart of the City, they built a very beautiful Town-house, near the market-place, which, on the set-days, is plentifully furnish’d with all manner of provisions. It is partly indebted for its prosperity to the people of the Netherlands; who, when they could no longer endure the tyranny of the Duke of ¦ ¦ Albani.Alva, nor the bloody Inquisition then setting up, flock’d hither in great numbers, and first brought in the manufacture of slight stuffs †† Levidensium quorundam pannorum., ⌈that is (according to tradition here) the Ornaments of Striping and Flowering the Stuff, which have been wonderfully improv’d by the Ingenuity of the Weavers of late years, in the making of Damasks, Camlets, Druggets, black and white Crape, and other things; insomuch that it is computed, that Stuffs to the value of 700000l. have sometimes been manufactured here, in one year.⌉ But why stay I so long upon these matters? since * * All, C.most of them, together with the History of the Bishops, the succession of their Magistrates, and the Fury of that villanous rebel Kett against this City, are very elegantly describ’d by Alexander Nevil, a person eminent for birth and learning. I will only add, that in the year 1583. the Citizens, by the help of ¦ ¦ Instrumento Hydragogico.an Engine for that purpose, convey’d water through pipes into the highest parts of the City. And here I could summon both Polydore Virgil the Italian, and Angelus Capellus the Frenchman, before the Tribunal of venerable Antiquity; to give an account, how they came to affirm that our old Ordovices (who liv’d almost under another Hemisphere) inhabited this Norwich. I could bring the same Action against our Countryman Caius; but that I am satisfy’d, it was nothing but a natural love of his native Country, that blinded the good learned old man.
⌈This City is honour’d, by making one of the many titles of his Grace the Duke of Norfolk; the father of the last Duke being created by King Charles the second, in the twenty-fourth year of his reign, Earl of Norwich.⌉ And I have nothing more to add about Norwich; unless you have a mind to run over these verses made upon it by John Johnston a Scotch-man.
Urbs speciosa situ, nitidis pulcherrima tectis,
Grata peregrinis, deliciosa suis.
Bellorum sedes, trepido turbante tumultu,
Tristia Neustriaco sub duce damna tulit.
Victis dissidiis, postquam caput ardua cœlo
Extulit, immensis crevit opima opibus.
Cultus vincit opes, & cultum gratia rerum,
Quam benè! si luxus non comitetur opes.
Omnia sic adeo sola hæc sibi sufficit, ut si
Fors regno desit, hæc caput esse queat.
A town, whose stately piles and happy seat
Her Citizens and Strangers both delight.
Whose tedious siege and plunder made her bear
In Norman troubles an unhappy share,
And feel the sad effects of dreadful war.
These storms o’erblown, now blest with constant peace,
She saw her riches and her trade increase.
State here by wealth, by beauty wealth’s out-done;
How blest, if vain excess be yet unknown!
So fully is she from her self supply’d,
That England, while she stands, can never want an head.
From Norwich, the river Yare, with an increase of other waters which take the same name, rowls-on in a winding chanel, and abounds with the fish call’d Ruffe;A Ruffe. and because the English in that word express the Latin Asperum, John Caius term’d the fish Aspredo.De Rariorum Animalium Historiâ.historia For the body of it is all over rough; it is full of sharp finns, loves sandy places, and in shape and bigness is much like a Perch. The colour of † † Per summa.the back is a dark brown, the * * Per ima.belly, a palish yellow. Along the jaws, it is mark’d with a double semicircular line: the upper half of the eye is a dark brown; the under, yellowish like gold; and the ball, black. It is particularly remarkable for a line drawn along the back, like a cross thread ty’d to the body. The tail and finns are all-over spotted with black. When it is provok’d, the finns bristle up; when quiet, they lie flat and close. It eats like a Perch, and is particularly valu’d for it’s ¦ ¦ Friabilitate.shortness and wholesomeness.⌉
The Yare having pass’d ClaxtonClaxton. (where is a round Castle, built by Sir Thomas Gawdy Kt. Chief Justice of the Common-Pleas) ⌈runs to Redeham,Redeham. a small village upon the same river, so call’d from the reeds growing in the marshy grounds thereabouts. Here it was, that Lothbroc the Danish Noble-man landed, being by a sudden storm driven from his own coast, while he was a hawking; and finding entertainment at King Edmund’s Court, then at Castor, he liv’d there, till he was murther’d by the King’s huntsman. Upon the news, his sons (though the murtherer had been sufficiently punish’d) landed with twenty thousand men, to revenge the death of their father, and wasted the whole kingdom of the East-Angles; and on the 20th of November, Anno 870. barbarously murther’d the King thereof. By this Account, Redeham must be of elder date than Yarmouth; because if this had been then built, Lothbroc had no doubt stop’d there, for assistance and direction.⌉
The Yare, now just at the Sea, takes a turn to the South, that it may descend more gently into the Ocean: by which means it makes a sort of little tongue or slip of Land; wash’d, on one side, by it self, on the other, by the Sea. In this slip, upon an open shore, I saw Yarmouth,Yarmouth. in Saxon , and , i.e.Gariensis ostium. the mouth of the Garienis, a very neat harbour and town, fortify’d both by Art and Nature. For though it is almost surrounded with water (on the west, with the river, over which is a Draw-bridge, and on other sides with the Sea;) except to the North, where it is joyn’d to the Continent: yet is it fenc’d with strong stately walls, which, with the river, give it the figure of an oblong square. Besides the towers upon these, there is a mole or mount to the East, from whence the great Guns command the Sea, which is scarce fifty paces distant from it. It † † Now, two.has but one Church: but that is very large, and has a stately high spire; built near the North-gate by Herbert Bishop of Norwich. Below which, the foundations of a noble Work, design’d for an enlargement to this, are rais’d above-ground. I dare not affirm, that this was the old Garianonum, where formerly the Stablesian Horse lay in garrison against the Barbarians; nor yet the neighbouring little village Castor (formerly the seat of Sir John Falstoff an eminent Knight) famous among the Inhabitants on account of its antiquity; though there is a report that the river Yare had another mouth, just under it. But as I am throughly convinc’d that the GarianonumGarianonum. was at Burgh-castle in Suffolk, which is scarce two miles distant from the opposite bank of the river; so am I apt to think, that Yarmouth rose out of its ruins, and that that Castor was one of the Roman Castles, placed also at a mouth of the river Yare now shut up. For as the * * Caurus; of which, see Somner’s Portus Iccius, p.53.North-west-wind plays the tyrant upon the coast of Holland, over-against this place, and has stop’d up the middle-mouth of the Rhine with Sands; just so has the † † Aquilo.North-east damag’d this coast, and seems, by sweeping-up heaps of Sand, to have obstructed this harbour; ⌈for the 1 Jac 2.cleansing and 1 Will. & Mar. 11 W.3, &c.keeping-open of which, many Statutes have pass’d in Parliament, in regard of the great importance thereof, for carrying-on the trade and navigation of this kingdom.⌉ Nor will it be any injury, if I call this our Yarmouth (so nearly joyn’d to the old Garianonum) GarianonumGarianonum. it self; since the Garienis, from whence it had the name, has now changed its chanel, and enters the Sea below this town; to which it also gave the name. For I cannot but own, that this our Yarmouth is of later date. For when that old Garianonum was gone to decay, and there were none left to defend this shore, CerdickCerdick the Saxon. the warlike Saxon landed here (from whence the place is call’d by the Inhabitants at this day Cerdick-sand,Cerdick-sand. and by other Historians † † See Hamshire.Cerdick-shore;) and when he had harrass’d the Iceni with a grievous war, he set sail from hence for the west, where he settled the kingdom of the West-Saxons. And not long after, the Saxons, instead of Garianonum, built a new town in that moist watery field upon the west-side of the river, which they call’d Yarmouth. But the situation thereof proving unwholesom, they remov’d to the other side of the river, call’d then (from the same Cerdick) Cerdick-sand: and there they built this new town, wherein (as Domesday-book has it) there flourish’d in the time of Edward the Confessor seventy Burgers. Afterwards,Guil. Worcester. about the year of our Lord 1340, the Citizens wall’d it round; and, in a short time, became so rich and powerful, that they often engag’d their neighbours of Lestoff, and the Portuenses (so they call’d the inhabitants of the Cinque-Ports) in Sea-fights; with great slaughter on both sides. For they had a particular spite against them; possibly upon this account, because they were excluded out of the number and Privileges of the Cinque-Ports, which the old Garianonum, and their Ancestors under the Count of the Saxon shore, formerly enjoy’d. But a stop was put to these Encounters, by Royal Authority; or (as others think) by the damp cast upon them by that grievous plague, which in one year took seven thousand Souls out of this little town, as appears by an old Chronographical Table hung up in the Church; which also gives an account of their wars with the inhabitants of the Cinque-Ports and Lestoff. Leucomaenides From that time they decay’d, and had not wealth sufficient to carry on their Trade; upon which they have betaken themselves mostly to the herring-fishing (for so they generally * * Haleces.
Stat. 31 E.3. c.1. & 35
E.3. c.1.call them, though the learned think them to be the Chalcides and the Leucomænides;) a sort of fish that is more plentiful upon this coast, than upon any other in the world. For it is almost incredible, what a great and throng Fair here is at Michaelmas; and what quantities of herring and other fish are vended. At which time the Cinque-Ports, by an old custom, appoint a number of Bailiffs, as Commissioners, to send hither; who (to speak out of their Diploma or Commission) do, along with the Magistrates of the Town, during the free Fair, hold a Court for matters belonging to the Fair, govern it, execute the King’s justice, and keep the King’s peace. The harbour underneath is of great advantage, not only to the inhabitants, but to those of Norwich also; and it is an † † Stat. 1 Will. & Mar. c.11. 10 Will. 3. c.5.
1 Ann. c.7.infinite charge they are at, to keep it open against the violence of the Sea. Which, to do justice and make amends for what it has swallow’d up on this coast, has here heaped up Sands, and made them a little Island. ⌈In the reign of King Charles the second, Sir Robert Paston of Paston in this County, was, from this place created Viscount, and after that Earl of Yarmouth; in which Honour he was succeeded by William his eldest son, the present Earl.⌉
At this Mouth also, another river, call’d by some Thyrn,Thyrn river. empties it self with the Yare. It rises near Holt, so call’d from the wood, and noted for it’s market: and, running all along as it were in a parallel line with the Yare, at about five miles distance it goes by Blickling,Blickling. the seat of the ancient and famous family of Clere, who liv’d formerly at Ormesby; ⌈but heretofore the seat of the Bolens, of which family was Thomas Bolen, Earl of Wiltshire: and Anne Bolen, wife to Henry the eighth, and mother to Queen Elizabeth, was born here. It came to the Cleres by marriage with the daughter of James Bolen, uncle to Queen Elizabeth, and by Edward Clere, Knight of the Order of St. Michael, was sold to Sir Henry Hobart, Chief Justice of the Common-Pleas, who built there a stately House, that is still enjoy’d by his Posterity.⌉ Then, it runs by Ailesham,Ailesham. a pretty populous market-town, where formerly the Earl of Athol in Scotland had Possessions: Then, by the ruinous Monastery of St. Benedict de Hulmo, (commonly St. Benet in the Holme,St. Benet’s. i.e. in a river-Island,) which was built by Canutus the Dane, and afterwards so fortify’d by the Monks with strong walls and bulwarks, that it look’d more like a Castle than a Cloyster. So that, William the Conqueror could not possibly take it, till a Monk betray’d it, on condition that he should be made Abbot; which he accordingly was. But presently, the new Abbot (as the story goes among the inhabitants) was by the King’s special order, hang’d for a Traitor, and so receiv’d the just reward of his treachery. The ground in this Island is so fenny, that if you only cut the * * Fibræ.little strings and roots of the trees and shrubs that grow in it, it will swim upon the water, and you may draw it after you whither you please. And some conclude, from the Cockles now and then dug-up there, that the Sea has formerly broken in so far.Fibrae From hence the river glides on by Ludham,Ludham. ⌈formerly⌉ a Seat of the Bishops of Norwich; then by Clipsby,Clipsby. which gave name to an ancient and eminent family in these parts: and so, presently joyns the Yare.
⌈Near the place where this river runs into the sea, it makes one side of a Peninsula, call’d at this day Flegg.Flegg. The soil is fruitful, and bears corn very well; and here the Danes seem to have made their first settlement, both because it is nearest their landing, and is pretty well fortify’d by nature, as being almost surrounded with water; and also, because in that little compass of ground, we find thirteen villages ending in by, a Danish word, which signifies a village or dwelling-place. And hence the Bi-lagines of the Danish writers, and our by-laws here in England, come to signify such Laws as are peculiar to each town or village.⌉
From the Yare’s mouth, the shore runs almost directly north to Winterton,Winterton. a little Promontory of note among the Sea-men; which, I fansy, had that name given it from the cold and winterly situation. For it lies open to the Sea (the Parent of winds and cold) which rushes violently against the banks rais’d on purpose to oppose it. And yet the neighbouring fields all round, are look’d upon by several, to be the fattest andA Soil very fat. loosest in all England; as requiring the least labour, and bringing the largest increase. For (as Pliny says of Bizacium in Africa) it may be plow’d with a horse ever so bad, and an old woman drawing against him.
From Winterton, the shore presently turns westward, going back for a long way together, in a level, without any considerable juttings-out into the sea; as far as Eccles, which is almost swallow’d up by the Ocean. Then it runs on, with a higher shore, by Bronholme, formerly a small Monastery, endow’d by the Glanvils, and seated upon a high hill; the Cross whereof was by our Ancestors had in mighty veneration: And not far from Gimmingham,Gimmingham. which, among other manours, J. Earl of Warren and Surrey formerly gave to Thomas Earl of Lancaster. ⌈Here (saith Sir Henry Spelman) the ancient custom of Tenure in Soccage is still kept up; the Tenant not paying his Rent in money, but in so many days work.⌉ Then, along by Cromer (where the inhabitants at great expence endeavour’d to maintain a † † Cothonem.little harbour against the violence of the Sea, but in vain.)fossil
⌈Not far from whence, is Gresham,Gresham. which gave name to a family, render’d particularly eminent by Sir Thomas Gresham, founder of Gresham-College and of the Royal Exchange in London. West of Gresham, at a small distance from the sea, is Mundesley,Mundesley. where some years ago, at a cliff, were taken up large bones (thought to be of a Monster) which were petrify’d.⌉ From Cromer, the shore runs to Wauburnehope, a creek † † So said, ann. 1607.not long since fortify’d; so call’d from the little town of Wauburne,Wauburne. to which King Edward the second granted a Market and Fair at the instance of Oliver de Bourdeaux. Next to this is Clay,Clay. ⌈a port, memorable ¦ ¦ Walsingh.
p.566.for a son and heir to the King of Scotland being there intercepted, anno 1406, in his way to France, by the Seamen of the place; who made a Present of him to King Henry the fourth.⌉ And over-against it on the other bank of the little river, is Blakeney,Blakeney. call’d by our Country-man Bale, Nigeria, a famous College of Carmelite Friars in the last age ⌈save one,⌉ 1321.built by Robert de Roos, Robert Bacon, and J. Brett. It bred John BaconthorpJohn Baconthorp. (so nam’d from the place of his birth, which † † Is now, C.was the seat of the knightly family of the Heydons) a person in that age of so universal and so profound Learning, that he was highly admir’d by the Italians, and went commonly by the name of the Resolute Doctor. Whereupon Paulus Pansa writes thus of him: If your inclinations lead you to search into the nature of Almighty God, no one has writ more accurately upon his Essence. If you have a mind to search into the causes of things, the effects of nature, the various motions of the heavens, and the contrary qualities of the elements; here you are presented with a Magazine. This one Resolute DoctorDoctor Resolutus. has furnish’d the Christian Religion with the strongest armour against the Jews, &c. From Wauburne to the little Promontory of St. Edmund, the coast lies lower, and is cut and parted by many rivulets, and secur’d with great difficulty against the incursion of the sea, by Sand-heaps call’d Meales,Meales, or Mieles. ⌈and so nam’d (saith Spelman) from the Swedish and German Mul, signifying dust.⌉
More inward, and scarce four miles from hence, is Walsingham;Walsingham. which, from the nearness of the sea, Erasmus calls Parathalassa. This little town is noted at present for producing the best Saffron; but was once famous throughout England for Pilgrimages to the Virgin Mary, ⌈in a Monastery built there by Richolde, a noble widow, Lady of that manour, about four hundred years before the Dissolution.⌉ For in the † † So said, ann. 1607.last age, whoever had not made a visit and an offering to the Blessed Virgin of this place, was look’d upon as impious and irreligious. But take the description of it from Erasmus, who was an eye-witness. Not far from the sea, at almost four miles distance, there is a Town in a manner entirely maintain’d by the great resort of Travellers. There is a College of Canons, call’d by the Latins Regular;Regulars. a middle sort between Monks and Secular Canons. This College has scarce any other revenues, besides the Offerings made to the Blessed Virgin. For some of the Gifts only that are more considerable, are preserv’d; but if it be any thing of money, or of small value, it goes to the maintenance of the Convent and their Head, whom they stile Prior. The Church is splendid and beautiful; but the Virgin dwells not in it: that, out of veneration and respect, is granted to her son. She has her Church so contriv’d, as to be on the right hand of her son. But neither in that does she live, the building being not yet finish’d; and the wind runs through it on all sides; for both doors and windows are open, and the Ocean (the Parent of winds) is hard by. In the Church, which I told you is unfinish’d, is a little narrow Chapel of Wood, into which the Pilgrims are admitted on each side at a narrow door. There is but little light; almost none indeed, except that of the wax tapers, which have a very grateful smell. But if you look in, you’ll say it is a seat of the Gods; so bright and shining it is all over, with jewels, gold, and silver. But within the memory of our † †So said, ann. 1607.Fathers, when Henry the eighth had set his eyes and heart upon the treasures and revenues of the Church, all these were seis’d and carry’d off. ⌈And yet Sir Henry Spelman tells us, there was a common tradition when he was a Child, that the same King Henry had gone barefoot thither from Basham (a town lying South-west from hence) and offer’d a neck-laceMonile. of great value to the Virgin Mary. ¦ ¦ Holl. p.971.But in the thirtieth year of his reign, Cromwel carry’d her image from hence to Chelsey; where he took care to have it burnt.⌉ I have nothing else to add about Walsingham, but that the knightly family of the Walsinghams (as the Genealogists will have it) had their name and original from this place. Of which family, was Sir Francis Walsingham * * A Secretis.Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth; a person, as admirably vers’d, so wonderfully assiduous, in the great and weighty affairs of State. In the neighbourhood, at Houghton,Houghton. formerly flourish’d the famous family of the Neirfords;Neirfords. very much enrich’d by matching with † † Petronilla de Vallibus.Parnel de Vaulx, who had a great estate ahout Holt, Clay, and in other parts. But to return to the shore.
⌈Towards the Sea-side, are cast-up all along little Hills, which were doubtless the burying-places of the Danes and Saxons, upon their engagements in those parts. Sepulchrum (says Tacitus concerning the Germans) cespes erigit, i.e. a Turf raises the Sepulcher. Those two People us’d to bury the whole body, and afterwards raise a hill upon it: the Romans (as appears in Virgil by the burial of Mezentius) made their heap of turf, but only bury’d the ashes; so that whether they also might not have some concern in these Hills, (especially, Brannodunum being so near) cannot be discover’d, but by digging. However, our † † Spelman.Learned Knight from those circumstances, has rais’d these three following observations; first, that the persons bury’d hereabouts, must have been Heathens, because the Christians follow’d the Jewish way of burying * * In fossis.in low places. For though our word bury (coming from the Saxon , and that from , a hill) denotes a rising-ground, as well as the Latin tumulare, yet this is to be reckon’d amongst those many words which Christians have borrow’d from the Heathens, and apply’d to their own Rites and Constitutions. Secondly, that those parts which are now very fruitful in corn, were then uncultivated; ¦ ¦ Cic. de Leg. sub fin.because the Superstition of the Heathens would not allow them to bury in Fields. Thirdly, that this must have been a scene of war between the Danes and Saxons: for in the fields near Creake, there is a large Saxon Fortification; and the way that goes from it is to this day call’d blood-gate,Bloodgate. as a mark of the dismal slaughter. Hereabouts, is also great plenty of the herb Ebulum, which the inhabitants call Dane-blood, as if it were the product of their blood spilt here.⌉
Near Walsingham, upon the sea-shore to the west, stood that ancient Brannodunum,Brannodunum. where, when the Saxons began to infest Britain, the Dalmatian Horse kept garrison under the Count of the Saxon shore. Now, it is a Country-village, retaining nothing but the remains of the name, and shewing an entrenchment (the neighbours call it * * Castrum.
Brancaster.Caster) which includes some eight acres, and is nam’d Brancaster.caesar Here, ancient Roman Coins are frequently dug-up, ⌈and we see the plain remains of the said Roman-camp, answering the figure of that which is describ’d by Cæsar,Bell. Gall. lib.2. He commanded a Camp to be made twelve foot high, with a rampire and ditch eighteen foot deep. All the dimensions of it shew, that it was not made in haste, but was regular, and design’d on purpose for a station upon that northern shore, against the incursions of the Saxons. It seems to imply no more, by the name, than a town upon a river, for dunum (as and in Saxon) signifies as well a town, as a hill; and the British bran, as well as burne, signifies a rivulet. These two we find confounded in the sirname of Leofrick the Saxon, who is sometimes call’d Dominus de Brane, and sometimes de Burne. Sir Henry Spelman tells us, there were several coins dug-up there, in his time likewise, of which he had some brought him; as also two little brazen pitchers.⌉ This was a very proper place for a garrison: for at the neighbouring Chapel of St. Edmund, and at HunstantonHunstanton. built by the same St. Edmund, the shore turns-in to the south, and forms a large bay, which is much expos’d to Pirates, and receives several rivers.
⌈St. Edmunds-CapeSt. Edmund’s-Cape. is so call’d, from Edmund King and Martyr; who being by Offa adopted to be heir of the kingdom of the East-Angles, landed with a great Retinue from Germany, in some port not far from hence, call’d Maiden-boure. But which it should be, is not so certain: Hecham is too little and obscure; nor does Burnham seem large enough to receive such a navy upon that occasion; tho’ it must be confess’d that their ships in those times were but small. Lenn seems to lay the best claim to it, both as the most eminent port, and because that is really Maiden-boure,Maiden-boure. St. Margaret the Virgin being as it were the tutelary Saint of that place. In honour of her, the Arms of the place are three Dragons heads, each wounded with a Cross (for she is said with a cross to have conquer’d a Dragon.) And their publick Seal has the picture of the Virgin, wounding the Dragon with a cross, and treading him under foot, with this inscription round it: Stat Margareta, draco fugit, in cruce læta.
Hunstanton aforemention’d is the place where King Edmund resided near a whole year, endeavouring to get by heart David’s Psalms in the Saxon language. The very book was religiously preserv’d by the Monks of St. Edmundsbury, till the general dissolution of Monasteries.⌉ But neither is the place to be omitted upon this account, that it has been the seat of the famous family of Le-StrangeLe-Strange. Knights, ever since John Baron Le-Strange of Knockin, bestow’d it upon his younger brother Hamon; which was in the reign of Edward the second.
⌈Farther southward, on the sea-coast, lies Inglesthorp,Inglesthorp. † † Lib. MS. cited by Sir Henry Spelman.so call’d from a village built there by one Ingulph, to whom Thoke the great Lord of these parts gave his only daughter in marriage: tho’, perhaps, it may be as probably fetch’d from Ingol, a little river which runs into the sea there.⌉
The catching of Hawks, and the abundance of Fish, with the Jett and Amber commonly found upon this coast, I purposely pass by; because other places also in those parts afford them in great plenty. Foelix Yet SharnbornSharnborn. upon this coast is well worth our notice, because FœlixFœlix the Bishop. the Burgundian, who converted the East-Angles to Christianity, built here the second Christian Church of that Province (the first, he is said to have built at Babingley, where he landed.) ⌈Of this place Thoke was Lord, when Fœlix came to convert the East-Angles. Upon his conversion to Christianity, he built here a Church dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. It was very little, and (according AEstuarium aestuaries estuaries aestuary estuary ecclesiae Foelix to the custom of that age) made of wood, for which reason it was call’d Stock-Chapel; and was probably the very same, that Fœlix is said to have built. As to Babingley, Fœlix the Apostle of the East-Angles, coming about the year 630, converted the inhabitants to Christianity, and (as hath been said) built there the first Christian Church in those parts; of which succeeding Ages made St. Foelix the Patron. Some remains of this transaction seem to be found in the mountains call’d Christian hills; and in Flitcham, which imports as much as the Village or Dwelling-place of Fœlix. But to return to Sharnborn.⌉ It is also remarkable, what we are inform’d by ancient Records, that the Saxon Lord of this place, before the coming-in of the Normans, had, upon a fair hearing, sentence given in favour of him by the Conqueror himself against Warren, on whom the same Conqueror had bestow’d it. ⌈The name of the Lord of the place was Edwin, a Dane, who came over with Canutus, Anno 1014. and had it by marrying an heiress of Thoke’s family. It appears by a Manuscript quoted by Sir Henry Spelman, that his plea against Warren was, That he had not been aiding or assisting against the King, directly or indirectly, either before, at, or after the Conquest; but all that while kept himself out of arms. And this he was ready to prove whenever the King pleas’d.⌉ Which instance is urg’d by those, who hold that William did not possess himself of England by Conquest, but by Treaty and Covenant.
The foremention’d Bay we call The Washes;The Washes. but Ptolemy calls it Æstuarium Metaris,Metaris æstuarium. possibly instead of Maltraith, a name by which the Britains call’d such æstuaries in other places, and which imports no more than an uncertain æstuary, as this is. Upon it, where the river Ouse enters the Ocean, is seated Linne, perhaps so nam’d from it’s spreading waters; for that is imply’d by Lhyn in British. ⌈But Spelman affirms, that the right name is Len; from Len,Len. in Saxon a farm, or tenure in fee: so Fanelhen, among the Germans, is the tenure or fee of a Baron; and Len Episcopi is the Bishop’s farm. He further observes (tho’ I could never meet with any such word amongst our English-Saxons) that the word Len is us’d also in a more limited sense by the Saxons to signify Church-lands, and appeals to the several names of places, wherein that sense of the word holds; and further, Ter-llen (it seems) in Welsh is Terra Ecclesiæ.⌉ This is a large town, almost surrounded with a deep ditch and walls, and divided by two Rivulets, which have some fifteen bridges over them. It is but of † † So said, ann. 1607.late date, and was call’d not long since Bishop’s Linne, because till Henry the eighth’s time it belong’d to the Bishops of Norwich (for it arose out of the ruins of one more ancient, which lies in Mershland over-against it and is call’d at this day Old Lynne. †† And King’s Lynne, C.) ⌈But that King exchanging the monastery of St. Bennet of Hulme and other lands for the revenues of the Bishoprick; this, among the rest, came into his hands, and so, with the possessor, changed the name into Len Regis.Len Regis. But altho’ it is of late date,⌉ yet for its safe harbour, with an entrance very easy, for the number of merchants, beauty of buildings, and wealth of the Citizens, it † † Is, C.was beyond dispute the best town of the Iceni, Norwich only excepted; ⌈(but, at present, Yarmouth is so much grown in trade, as to have double the number of shipping, merchants, and inhabitants.)⌉ It enjoys also very large Immunities, which they purchas’d of King John with the price of their own blood, spent in the defence of his cause. For he granted them a Mayor, and gave his own sword to be carry’d before him ⌈(as they affirm)⌉ with a silver cup gilt, which they have to this day.
⌈But, as to the Sword, there is some reason to doubt the truth of this tradition: For they tell you, it was given from King John’s side to be carry’d before the Mayor, whereas he did not grant them a Mayor, but only a * * Præpositus.Provost; and the privilege of a Mayor was granted by King Henry the third, as a reward for their good service against the Barons in the Isle of Ely. Besides, King John’s Charter makes no mention of the Sword; so that it is probable it might be given by Henry the eighth, who (after it came into his hands) granted the town several privileges, chang’d their Burgesses into Aldermen, and granted them a Sword (whereof express mention is made in the Charter) to be carry’d before their Mayor (a).⌉
(a) I find a loose Paper of Sir Henry Spelman’s, dated Sept. 15. 1630, to this purpose; That he was then assur’d by the Town-Clerk of Len, that the Sword-bearer about fifty years before, came to the School-master of the place, and desir’d him, because one side of the hilt of the Town-sword was plain and without any Inscription, that he would direct how to engrave upon it, That, King John gave that Sword, to the Town. Whereupon he caused the person who gave this information and was then his Scholar, to write these words, Ensis hic fuit donum Regis Johannis à suo ipsius latere datum; i.e. This Sword was the Gift of King John, given from his own side; after which, the Sword-bearer carry’d the writing to a Goldsmith, and caus’d him to engrave it. So that, by this account, whatever Inscription of that nature may be now upon it, must not of itself be interpreted to amount to a full proof of that Antiquity, which the matter of the Inscription sets forth.
After K. John, they purchas’d their lost Liberties of Henry the third, not without blood; when they sided with him against the out-law’d Barons, and engag’d them unsuccessfully in the Isle of Ely. An account whereof we have in the book of Ely, and in Matthew Paris.
⌈This Town hath a very large Church with a high spire, built by Bishop Herbert, ¦ ¦ Godwin.
de Præsulib.who also built the Cathedral at Norwich, with the Churches of Yarmouth and Elmham: and all this was done by way of penance, after Simony had been charg’d upon him by the See of Rome. It hath no fresh-water springs; but is supply’d partly by a river from Gaywood (the water whereof is rais’d by Engines, and from thence some conduits in the town are supply’d,) and partly by water convey’d in leaden pipes; one from Middleton about three miles, the other from Mintlin, about two miles off. In order to the Restoration of King Charles the second, the Harbour here was fortified, and considerable forces prepar’d, by Sir Horace Townshend of Raynham in this County; who was thereupon, in the thirteenth year of the said King, advanced to the degree of a See Rainham.Baron of this Realm, by the title of Lord Townshend of Kings-Lynne.⌉
Over the river, opposite to Lynne, lies Mershland,Mershland. ⌈a Peninsula, almost surrounded with navigable Rivers and an arm of the sea; being⌉ a low marshy little tract (as the name implies,) every where parcell’d with ditches and drains to draw off the waters ⌈which make it look as if it were cut to pieces; and they have over them no less than one hundred and eleven bridges. The whole, in the widest part, is but ten miles over, consisting of thirty thousand Acres.⌉ The soil is exceeding fat; and (turning to more account by grass than corn) breeds abundance of cattel; so that in the place call’d Tilney-SmethTilney-Smeth. (tho’ not any way above two miles over) there feed to the number of about thirty thousand sheep, ⌈besides the pasture of all the larger cattel belonging to the seven villages there.⌉ But the sea, what by beating, washing away, overflowing, and demolishing, makes such frequent and violent attempts upon them, that they have much ado to keep it out by the help of the strongest banks. ⌈Indeed, the eaven superficies, and other circumstances, seem to argue its being formerly recover’d from the sea by the industry of the ancient inhabitants. And Sir Henry Spelman tells us, that within his memory, there were two general overflowings, one of salt, and the other of fresh, water. By the latter (as appear’d upon oath taken before the Commissioners appointed to inspect that affair, whereof Sir Henry was one) the inhabitants suffer’d forty-two thousand pounds damage. For the water did not then break down the bank (as at other times) but ran over it, at least a whole foot. They are within a few years fallen upon an expedient, which, it is hoped, will prove a good defence to the most dangerous and weakest parts; namely, a substantial brick-wall with earth, which (where it was well contriv’d) hath resisted the tides; whereas the value of the estates was almost yearly laid out in the old way of imbanking.⌉
The most considerable places in this tract, are, WalpoleWalpole. ⌈(i.e. a pool near the wall or rampire, of the same original with its neighbours Walton, and Walsoke;)⌉ which the Lord of the Place formerly gave to the Church of Ely with his son, whom he made a Monk there: Wigenhall, the possession of J. Howard in the reign of Edward the first, whose posterity grew into a most honourable and illustrious family: TilneyTilneys. before-mention’d, which gave name to the ancient family of the Tilneys Knights; and St. Maries,St. Maries.
the seat of the ancient family of the Carvils.
And thus, we have survey’d the whole sea-coast. More inward, on the west-side of the County, there are also several towns; but I will only touch upon them, because many of them are of a late date. ⌈DownhamDownham. is so call’d from its hilly situation (for signifies a hill, and a dwelling.) In some old Records it is call’d Downeham-hithe, i.e. Downeham-port, from the river upon which it stands. The privilege of a Market belonging to this place, is of a very ancient date, for it is confirm’d by Edward the Confessor. A little more north-ward is Stow-Bardolf,Stow-Bardolf. where Nicholas Hare built a stately house; but Hugh Hare, brother to Nicholas, was he who so much improv’d the estate; and, dying without marriage, left vast Inheritance between two nephews. Not far from hence lies West-Dereham,West-Dereham. famous for the birth of Hubert Walter, who being bred up under the famous Lord Chief Justice Glanville, became Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor under King Richard the first, Legate to Pope Celestine the fourth, and Chief Justice of all England. The respect which he had for the place, oblig’d him to build a Religious house there, wherein (as an instance of gratitude for the many favours he had receiv’d) he order’d, that they should constantly pray for the soul of his great patron, Ralph de Glanvilla.⌉ † † Near, C. On the other side of Linne, is Rising Castle,Rising-Castle. seated on a high hill, and vying with that at Norwich. It was formerly the seat of the Albinies; afterwards of Robert de Monthault by marriage with the sister and coheir of Hugh de Albiney Earl of Arundel; and lastly of the Mowbrays, descended (as I have been told) from the same stock with the Albinies. But now it is ruinated, and as it were expiring with age. ⌈To fortify the said castle, there is also a vast circular ditch; the form whereof (according to Procopius’s description) answers the Gothick manner of fortifying: and therefore it is probably a work of the Normans, who were descended from the Goths. The Saxons indeed made their fosse circular, but then it was more narrow, less deep, and generally of greater circumference. But the Romans also seem to have had something of a fortification here; the shore being much expos’d to Piracies (wherein the Saxons shew’d themselves great masters;) and the place, as it were, guarding and overlooking one of the best harbours in those parts. Besides, there was dug-up near this place a Coin of Constantine the Great, which Sir Henry Spelman says was brought to him. Near this is Congham,Congham. honour’d with the birth of Sir Henry Spelman, that great Oracle of the Law, and a true Patron of the Clergy; and indeed the Glory of the English Nation.⌉ Below, is Castle-acre,Castle-acre. where formerly the Earls of Warren dwelt, in a Castle now ruinous, which stood upon a little river. The river is anonymous, rising not far from Godwicke,Godwicke. a lucky name, where is a small seat; but made great by the ornament it receiv’d from the famous Sir Edward Cooke, Kt. a person of admirable parts; than whom as no one ever apply’d himself closer to the study of the Common-Law, so never did any one understand it better. Of which he fully convinc’d England, by his excellent administration for many years together, whilst Attorney-General, † † And still does, C.and by executing the office of Lord Chief Justice of the Common-Pleas ⌈and King’s-Bench,⌉ with the greatest wisdom and prudence. Nor did he give less proof of his abilities, in his Commentaries upon our Laws, whereby he has highly oblig’d both his own Age, and Posterity. ⌈Near Godwicke, is Rougham,Rougham. once the seat of the Yelvertons; of whom, William, under Henry the sixth, Christopher under Queen Elizabeth, and Henry under King Charles the first, were Lords Chief Justices of England.⌉ The foremention’d little river glides gently westward to Linne, by Neirford,Neirford. which gave name to the famous family of the Neirfords; and by Neirborrough, where (near the seat of the knightly family of Spilman) is a strong and ancient military entrenchment upon a high hill, very conveniently situated for the defence of the neighbouring Country. ⌈The termination of the name seems to suggest something of antiquity, and the place it self answers the name. For (besides the fortification,) from hence to Oxburgh, there has been a military fosse, tho’ now levell’d in some places. And Sir Clement Spelman, in contriving an Orchard at the foot of the hill, dug-up the bones of men in great abundance, and likewise old pieces of armour.⌉
Next, PenteneyPenteney. is plac’d upon the same rivulet, ⌈a little Religious house,⌉ which was formerly a common burying-place for the Nobility of those parts.
Neighbour to this, is Wormegay,Wormegay. commonly Wrongey, which Reginald de Warren brother of William de Warren second Earl of Surrey, had with his wife; who (as I have read) was of the donation or Maritage of the said Earl, as they worded it in that age. By his son’s daughter it presently went to the Bardolphs,Barons Bardolph. noble and honourable Barons, who flourish’d praeferunt for a long time, and bore three Cinque-foils Or in a field azure. A great part of their estate, together with the title, came to William Phelips, and by his daughter to the Viscount Beaumont. More to the east, we see Swaffham,Swaffham. a famous market-town, formerly the possession of the Earl of Richmond: Ashele-manour,Ashele. in right whereof the Hastings, and the Greys Lords of Ruthun, ¦ ¦ Olim præfuerunt.
L’Office de Napparyre.had formerly the oversight of the Table-cloaths and Napkins made use of at the Coronation of the Kings of England: North-Elmham, where the Bishops had their seat for some time, when the Diocese was divided into two. ⌈This, till within these two ages, was never under the jurisdiction of any secular Lord. For, under the Heathens, it is said to have been the habitation of a Flamin; and after their conversion to Christianity by Felix, it came into the possession of the Bishops. The See was first at Dunwich, but when it was thought too great for the management of one, it was divided into two Dioceses, the one to reside at Dunwich for Suffolk, and the other at Elmham for Norfolk. Near this North-Elmham,Philosoph. Trans. N.257. have been lately discover’d great quantities of Urns; which had generally nothing in them but Ashes, and pieces of broken bones.⌉
Next, is DerehamDereham. ⌈(called also East-Dereham, and Market-Dereham)⌉ where was bury’d Withburga daughter of King Anna, who divorcing her self entirely from the luxury and levities of the world, and being a Virgin of great sanctity, was by our Ancestors canoniz’d a Saint. ⌈This, having been almost burnt to the ground, is now rebuilt into a fair town; and Hingham, another market-town not far from it, hath had both the same fate, and the same remedy.⌉ Next to Dereham, is Gressenhall,Gressenhall. with its neighbour Elsing; both, formerly, the possessions of the Folliots,Folliot. persons of great honour in their time. By the daughter of Richard Folliot, they came to Hugh de Hastings of the family of Abergeuenny: and at length, by the daughters and heirs of Hugh Hasting the last, Gressenhall came to Hamon le Strange of Hunstanston, and ElsingElsing. to William Brown brother of Anthony Brown first Viscount Montacute. In this quarter also is ⌈Bradenham,Bradenham. from whence Thomas Windsor, in the reign of King Henry the eighth, had the title of Lord Windsor of Bradenham; and⌉ Ic-borough,Ic-borough. which Talbot takes to be the Iciani,Iciani. mention’d by Antoninus. Nor need I say any more about these parts, ⌈but that some four miles from hence, lies Weeting,Weeting. near Brandon-ferry; wherein is an old wasted Castle, moated about; and at a mile’s distance eastward, is a hill with certain small trenches or ancient fortifications, call’d Gimes-graves,Gimes-graves. of which name the Inhabitants can give no account. On the west-side of this place, from the edge of the Fen, arises a bank and ditch, which, running-on for some miles, parts the bound of Weeting from Wilton and Feltwell; and is call’d the Foss. In the fields of Weeting, is a fine green way, call’d Walsingham-way, being the road for the Pilgrims to the Lady of Walsingham. And about a mile from the town, to the north, is another like it from Hockwold and Wilton, upon which are two stump crosses of stone, supposed to be set there for direction to the Pilgrims.⌉
I have now nothing to do, but to reckon-up the Earls and Dukes of Norfolk, and so to go on to Cambridgeshire.
William the Conqueror placed one RalphEarls and Dukes of Norfolk. over the Country of the East-Angles, that is, the Counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire: but he was quickly depriv’d, as I observ’d before,) for attempting Innovations in the State. Some years after, in the reign of King Stephen, Hugh Bigod was Earl of Norfolk. For when a Peace was concluded betweenAgreement between King Stephen and Henry Duke of Anjou. Stephen and Henry of Anjou (afterwards Henry the second,) it was expresly provided, that William son of Stephen, should have the whole County of Norfolk (except, among other things, the third penny which belonged to Hugh Bigod as Earl:) whom, notwithstanding, King Henry the second,Rob. Montensis. afterwards made Earl of the third penny of Norfolk and Norwic. In the 27th of Henry the second, upon his death, his son Roger succeeded him, who, for I know not what reason, procur’d a new Creation-Charter from Richard the first. Roger was succeeded by his son Hugh, who marry’d Mawd eldest daughter and coheir of William Marshal Earl of Pembroke. By her, he had Roger Earl of Norfolk and Marshal of England, who * * Luxatis corporis articulis.having put his Limbs out of joint at a Tournament, dy’d without issue; and Hugh Bigod, Justiciary of England, and slain in the battle of Lewes, whose son Roger succeeded his Uncle in the dignity of Earl of Norfolk, and Marshal. But when his insolent and stubborn behaviour had brought him under the displeasure of Edward the first, he was forc’d to pass-over his honours, and almost his whole estate, to the King, for the use of Thomas de Brotherton, the King’s son by Margaret sister to Philip the Fair; King of France. For so the account is in a History belonging to the Library of St. Augustin’s in Canterbury. In the year 1301. Roger Bigod Earl of Norfolk made King Edward his heir, and deliver’d up to him the Marshal’s rod, upon this condition, That if his wife bore him any children, all should be return’d, and he should hold it peaceably without any lett on the King’s part. And the King gave him a thousand pounds in money, and a thousand † † Libratas.pounds in lands for life, with the Titles of Marshal and Earl. But he dying without issue, King Edward the second, by virtue of the surrender above-mention’d, honour’d his brother Thomas Brotherton with the titles of Marshal, and Earl of Norfolk. But his daughter Margaret (call’d Lady Marshal and Countess of Norfolk,Parl.21 and marry’d to John Lord Segrave,) was createdRich.2. Dutchess of Norfolk for life by King Richard the second; who at the same time created Thomas Mowbray (Earl of Nottingham and grandchild to Margaret by a daughter) first Duke of NorfolkDukes. to him and his heirs males; having before granted him the dignity and stile of Earl Marshal of England. This is he who accus’d Henry of Lancaster Earl of Hereford, to the King, for uttering reproachful and malicious words against his Majesty. And when they were to try it by duel, a Herald by the King’s authority pronounced sentence at the very Lists, that both should be banish’d, Lancaster for ten years, but Mowbray for life, who dy’d at Venice, leaving two sons behind him in England. Of whom, Thomas, Earl Marshal and Earl of Nottingham (for he had no other title) upon raising a conspiracy, was beheaded by Henry of Lancaster, who had then possess’d himself of the Crown, under the name of Henry the fourth. But his brother and heir, John, by the favour of Henry the fifth, was restor’d; and being, for some years after, stil’d only Marshal, and Earl of Nottingham, upon Henry the sixth’s coming to the Crown, was in virtue of a Patent grantedRot. Parl.3 Hen.6. by Richard the second, as son of Thomas Duke of Norfolk his father, and heir to Thomas his brother, declar’d Duke of Norfolk, by authority of Parliament. He was succeeded by his son John, who dy’d in the first year of Edward the fourth; and he also by his son of that name, who in the life-time of his father was, by Henry the sixth,Parl. 17 Edw. 4. created Earl of Surrey and Warren. Whose only daughter Anne was marry’d to Richard Duke of York, King Edward the fourth’s son, and with her, he received from his father the titles of Norfolk, Earl Marshal, Warren, and Nottingham. But both he and his wife being taken away while very young, Richard the third King of England confer’d the title of Duke of Norfolk, and the authority of Earl Marshal, upon John Howard, who was found Kinsman and one of the heirs of Anne Dutchess of York and Norfolk above-mention’d. For his mother was one of the daughters of the first Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, and King Edward the fourth advanc’d him to the dignity of a Baron. This John was kill’d in the battle of Bosworth, fighting valiantly for Richard against Henry the seventh. His son Thomas (who by creation from Richard the third, was Earl of Surrey) was by King Henry the eighth restor’d to his father’s title of Norfolk, after he had routed the Scotch-army at Floddon, wherein James the first King of Scots was slain. In memory of which Victory, it was granted to the family of the Howards, that in the middle of the White Bend in their Arms, there should be added,An honorary Escocheon in the Arms of the Howards. In an Escocheon Or, a demy Lion shot through the mouth with an arrow, within a double tressure adorn’d with Lilies on both sides Gules: which comes very near to the Arms of the Kings of Scotland. He was succeeded by his son Thomas, whom the * * Our own, C.last Age saw toss’d about with the ebbs and flows of Fortune. His Grandchild Thomas, by his son Henry (which See in the Adages of Hadr. Jun.
Achilleum votum.Henry was the first of our English Nobility, that grac’d his high birth with the ornaments of Learning) being attainted of High Treason for endeavouring a match with Mary Queen of Scots, and in the year 1572. beheaded, was † † The last Duke, C.the last of those more ancient Dukes of Norfolk. From which time his posterity as it were lay dead; till, by the favour and bounty of King James ⌈the 1st⌉ they began to revive and flourish again. ⌈By the Attainder of the last Thomas, the title of Duke of Norfolk being taken away, Philip his eldest son was call’d only Earl of Arundel, by descent from his mother: and he being attainted of High Treason for favouring the Popish party, had the sentence of death pass’d upon him; but his execution being forborn, he dy’d in the Tower An. 1595. His son and only child Thomas was created Earl of Norfolk Jun 6. 20 Car. 1. and dy’d at Padua An. 1646. leaving two sons, Henry and Thomas, of whom Henry succeeded his father; and he likewise was succeeded by Thomas his eldest son in his Titles of Earl of Arundel, Surrey, and Norfolk, who at the humble petition of several of the Nobility, was, May 8. 13 Car. 2. restor’d to the title of Duke of Norfolk. But he dying without issue, the Honour descended to Henry Lord Howard his next Brother, who was succeeded therein by Henry his eldest son; who leaving no issue, was succeeded by Thomas, son of Thomas his younger brother, in whom the Honour at present remains.⌉
There are in this County about 660 Parish-Churches.
More rare Plants growing wild in Norfolk.
Atriplex maritima nostras Ocimi minorus folio. Sea-Orrache with small Basil leaves. Found by Dr. Plukenet near Kings-Lynne.
Acorus verus sive Calamus Officinarum. Park. The sweet-smelling Flag or Calamus. Observed by Sir Thomas Brown in the river Yare near Norwich. See the Synonymes in Surrey.
Lychnis viscosa flore muscoso C. B. Sesamoides Salamanticum magnum Ger. Muscipula Salamantica major Park. Muscipula muscoso flore seu Ocymoides Belliforme J. B. Spanish Catchfly. By the way-sides all along as you travel from Barton-mills to Thetford, plentifully.
Spongia ramosa fluviatilis. Branched river-sponge. In the river Yare near Norwich.
Turritis Ger. vulgatior J. B. Park. Brassica sylvestris foliis integris & hispidis C. B. Tower-mustard. In the hedges about the mid-way between Norwich and Yarmouth.
Verbascum pulverulentum flore luteo parvo J. B. an mas foliis angustioribus, floribus pallidis C. B. Hoary Mullein. About the walls of Norwich.
Vermicularis frutex minor Ger. Shrub Stone-crop. This was shew’d us by Sir Thomas Brown of Norwich, who had it from the sea-coast of Norfolk. See the Synonymes in Glocestershire.
Urtica Romana Ger. Park. Roman Nettle. At Yarmouth by the lanes sides not far from the Key.
N. Travelling from Lynne to Norwich, I observed by the way-side not far from Norwich the Medica sylvestris J. B. which is usually with a yellow flower, and therefore called by Clusius Medica frutescens flavo flore, to vary in the colour of the flower, and to become purplish like the Burgundy Trefoil or Sainct-foin.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52