All Saints, South Elmham
This and the eight following parishes, constitute what is termed the township
(or deanery) of South Elmham. The manor extended over the nine parishes, and
anciently belonged to the Barony of the See of Norwich; from which it was taken
by the Act of the 27th of King Henry VIII., 1535; and vested in the King, his
heirs, and successors.
Amongst the demesnes thus taken from the ancient revenues of the See, are
described, the Palace, Park, and Manor, of South Elmham, and the advowson of St.
Nicholas (a sinecure rectory, consolidated with All Saints); the rectories of
St. Margaret, All Saints, St. James, St. Michael, St. Peter, St. Cross, and
Homersfield; and the appendant vicarage of Flixton; together with two Knights'
fees, late of Charles, Duke of Suffolk, parcel of the manor.
The Bishops of Norwich had a Palace here from a very early period; and so, in
all probability, had the Bishops of Dunwich, before them: Felix, the first East
Anglian Bishop, having given his name to Flixton. It is certain that a Palace
was built in South Elmham by Bishop Herbert (who removed the Sea to Norwich, in
1094); of which the old moated ruin in St. Margaret's parish may be the remains.
The existing mansion, now called St. Margaret's Hall, was erected by some later
Roger de Skerning, Bishop of Norwich, died at his manor of South Elmham, in
Suffolk, on St. Vincent's day, Jan. 22, 1278; and was buried at Norwich. It is
believed that Bishop Bateman resided here much. The descendants of Sir
Bartholomew Bateman, the Prelate's eldest brother and heir, were long resident
at Flixton, and owners of estates in the parishes. William Adair, Esq., is now
sole proprietor of this lordship.
The Throkmerton family appears to have been somewhat interested here. Simon,
second son of John Throkmerton, of this parish, deceased in 1527, and was
interred at Earsham, in Norfolk.
CHARITIES. The estate belonging to, or held in trust, for the parishes in
this township, or district, have during a long period, been vested in trustees;
that the rents and profits should be applied for payment of the leet fee, or
common fine of the leet of the town of South Elmham; and for mending and
repairing the King's highways, and other common ways, within the town and parish
of South Elmham, where it should seem necessary to the trustees; and for other
pious deeds, to be done and charged within the town and parish of South Elmham,
where it should seem best to the trustees, or any three or more of them. The
estate consists of a messuage, with a barn and outbuildings, and 27 acres of
land, in the parishes of Aldburgh and Wortwell, in the county of Norfolk, let at
£40 a year; and three pieces of land,
containing together about 18 acres, in the parishes of St. Margaret and Flixton,
let at the rent of £20 per annum. There are
four reeves chosen by the trustees, who receive the rents; which are applied,
after payment of quit-rent, and land tax, in the payment of the leet fee of
£2 a year, to the lord of the manor of South
Elmham (which comprises the nine parishes); and in repairs of the highways,
bridges, and foot-paths, within the principal parishes (being all the nine,
except Homersfield and Flixton); certain portions of the rent being applied to
each parish, at the discretion of the trustees: and a portion of the rent, which
since the year 1814, has been £11 11s. a
year, is also set apart for the poor of the nine parishes; and is distributed, a
certain portion in each parish, among poor persons. There are, in the parishes
of All Saints and St. Nicholas, two cottages and a piece of land, containing 1A.
2R., which are let by the churchwardens, at rents amounting together to
£9 11s. 6d. a year; which sum is applied
towards the reparation of the church, and the payment of other disbursements of
the churchwardens' office, agreeable to long usage. The church of the latter
parish has been entirely demolished for many ages.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page