Kessingland or Kessingelanda
In the 12th of King Henry III., a fine was levied between Rodland, Prior of
Weybourne, in Norfolk, petent, and William de Manywaryn, tenent, of 30s.
rent in this parish; which the Prior claimed to be given him by the said
William, and which he then granted to the Prior, to be held of Roger de
Manywaryn, William and Alice being to hold it for their lives; which agreement
is said to be made before Herbert de Alencon, then Sheriff of this county.
The family of De Tye (or Atte Eye, viz. at the water, or island), had some
interest here. In 1375, Dionysia, relict of Sir Peter de Tye, bequeathed to
Edward Charles, her son, 100s. per annum, out of her manor in this parish; and
to Sir Robert Tye, her son, the manor of Hoo, in Monewden, in this county, in
order to purchase the patronage of some church, of the value of 2Q per annum, to
appropriate it to the cathedral church of Norwich, to find two secular priests
to celebrate for the souls of John de Hoo, and Dionysia his wife, William their
son, and all the faithful.
Sir Robert, son of Sir Peter de Tye, on his passage beyond the sea, made his
will, in the 6th of Richard II., and desires his feoffees to enfeoff Elizabeth
his wife, with the advowson of this parish church, the lordship of Barsham, in
Suffolk, with his lands in Mutford and Wangford hundreds, for life.
Sir John de Hoo is mentioned as his brother; by which it appears that Dionysia,
his mother, was the relict of the John de Hoo above-named.
William, Lord Montchensey, gave all his lands here, with four acres of pasture,
to the Priory at Hickling, in Norfolk; and in the 1st of King Edward IV., Sir
Miles, son and heir of Sir Brian Stapleton, settled a lordship in this parish
upon Brian Stapleton, Esq., his brother.
In the 36th of Henry VIII., that King granted a manor here to Sir William
Woodhouse, as part of the possession of Heringby College, in Norfolk, founded by
Hugh Atte Fenne, in 1475; Sir William paying a fee farm rent of 16s. 3d. for the
The advowson passed, as did that of Framsden, from Sir Robert de Mohaut, Knt.,
to Queen Isabella; who gave it, in 1346, to the Abbey of Nuns in the Minories,
London; and in 1359, William de Montague, Earl of Salisbury, by deed, renounces
all right to the said advowson, in favor of the said Abbess and Convent. The
Bishop of Norwich is now patron of this hiving.
The ruins of the old church shew that it was considerably larger than the
present structure. The former, after its suppression, being suffered to go to
decay, the roof became so ruinous in 168G, that the whole fell in, and the
timber and seats were carried away, and burnt. After the performance of Divine
service had been discontinued till 1694, the present church was begun, by
contributions collected by Thomas Godfrey, and John Campe, as appears from an
inscription in the church.
The celebrated William Whiston was vicar of this parish; and, in 1700, procured
an augmentation to the living. The Rev. John Baron, of Ditchingham, in Norfolk,
afterwards Dean of Norwich, held the impropriation, and tithes of about 20 per
annum; which he offered at eight years' purchase, in order that they might be
settled on the church. Mr. Whiston exerted himself in the affair, and procured
the purchase money, and Mr. Baron assigned it to him in the above year; when the
title became vested solely in him, and he assigned it, in 1709, to John Tanner,
and others, for the vicars of Kessingland.
He was the son of Josiah Whiston, rector of Norton, near Twycrosse, in
Leicestershire, where he was born, in 1667; he was educated at Clare Hall,
Cambridge. In 1694, he was appointed Chaplain to Dr. Moor, Bishop of Norwich,
which office he held till 1698, when the Bishop presented him to this living,
In 1702, he resigned these livings; being, by the interest of his friend Sir
Isaac Newton, appointed to succeed him in the mathematical chair, at Cambridge.
He went and resided at that University, but continuing to propagate his
heterodox opinions, was expelled in 1710.
In 1747, he joined the Baptists; and, after being engaged in various schemes,
and experiencing many vicissitudes of fortune, he died in 1752, in London. He
has the repute of a Divine of great abilities and uncommon learning.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page