Mutford, Or Mutforda.
This parish gives name to the hundred with which it anciently passed; for upon
an inquisition taken here, it was found that King Henry II., gave to Bandemar
duBoys (de Bosco) in augmentation of his Barony of Bandemund, the manor, and a
moiety of the hundred of Mutford; with the advowson of the church, the hundred
court, wreck of the sea, view of frank-pledge, gallows, tumbrel, and all
franchises; paying six marks and a half, called blanche firm.
After the death of Bandemar, these lands descended to Hildeburgh, his daughter;
whose two daughters and heirs divided the same between them; of whom, Stephen de
Lunchamp, married one, and Henry de Vere, the other. Stephen de Lunchamp was
killed at the battle of Bonyns, in arms against King John; by reason whereof the
King seized the inheritance of the wife of the said Stephen, in the moiety of
the hundred of Mutford.
Henry de Vere, the son of Henry de Vere, and the issue of the other daughter,
died without children; and thereupon, by reason that he had no other heirs than
Normans, King Henry III. seized the manor of Mutford into his own hands, and
gave it to Sir Thomas de Hemegrave; from whom it descended to Thomas de
Hemegrave, his grandson. This grant was made in 1234, and upon his death, in
1254, Thomas, the grandson above named, paid one hundred shillings as his
relief, for the lands in this parish.
He died in 1264, and Sir Edmund de Hemegrave, his eldest son and heir,
succeeded; who in 1321, was Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and Governor of
Norwich Castle. He died in 1334, in the 80th year of his age.
Sir Thomas de Hemegrave, the eldest son and heir, aged 40 at his father's
decease, succeeded. He was twice married: by Isabella, his first wife, he had
Sir Edmund de Hemegrave, and Beatrice, wife of Sir Robert de Thorpe, of Ashwell
Thorp, in Norfolk; whose descendants ultimately became the heirs general of the
Sir Thomas died in 1349, and Sir Edmund de Hemegrave his son, succeeded: he was
one of the Knights returned to Parliament for the counties of Norfolk and
Suffolk, in the 46th of King Ed-ward III. He married first, Joan, cousin and
heir of James de Cockfield; and secondly, Alice, daughter of John de Insula, and
endowed her with the manor of Mutford.
Her testament is dated in 1401, in which she styles herself "Dame de Mutford,"
and gives to the high altar of the church of Mutford 40s.; to the lights of our
lady, in the same church, 6s. 8d.; and to the repairing of the belfry of the
church, 40s. His testament bears date in 1379; wherein he gives certain
furniture and effects belonging to his house in Mutford, to Alice his wife; by
which it would seem she might have made it her place of residence, after his
decease, until her re-marriage to Sir Richard Wychingham, of Wichingham, in
This Sir Richard de Wychingham held the manor of Mutford during the life of the
said Alice; and the reversion of the same, after her decease, being limited to
the right heirs of Sir Edmund de Hemegrave, Sir Thomas, his surviving son and
heir, inherited it.
He, and Elizabeth his wife, held their first court at Hengrave, in this county,
in the 16th of King Richard II.; they repaired the churches of Hengrave and
Mutford, and the font in the latter is a memorial of their piety. By his first
marriage Sir Thomas had issue a son, Edmund; on whom his father entailed the
manor and moiety of the hundred of Mutford, in the 3rd of King Henry V.; and
upon the death of this son, shortly afterwards, without issue, Sir Thomas de
Hemegrave vested his estates in trustees, for sale: the produce to be applied
for pious uses.
He died in 1419, and by his testament, bequeathed for the building or reparation
of the chancel of the church, at Mutford, 100s.; for the benefit of his soul,
and for the soul of Joan, his mother, who lay buried there, and for the souls of
the faithful departed, giving also to the repairs of the said church, 20s., and
to the parson 6s. 8d., and to twenty-four of his poor tenants in that parish
Joanna, the widow of Sir Thomas de Hemegrave, shortly after his decease, married
Richard Vewetre, of Burnham Westgate, in Norfolk, and died in 1421. This lady,
with the consent of her husband, declared her will of the manors of Mutford and
Fastolffes, in Suffolk, and the half hundred of Mutford, with other property in
Norwich; but it appears that this will was executed under the influence of her
husband, Richard Vewetre, and by constraint, and she shortly after-wards
solemnly revoked the same.
It has been already stated that the Thorps ultimately became the heirs general
of the Hemegrave family. The inheritance of the Thorp family subsequently became
vested in that of Knyvit; a junior branch of which family, namely, Thomas
Knyvit, Esq. (upon whose heirs the Barony of Berners descended), resided in this
parish. He was second surviving son of Thomas Knyvit, Esq., by Catherine his
wife, fourth and youngest daughter of Thomas, Lord Burgh, of Gainsborough,
sister and co-heiress of Thomas, Lord Burgh.
This Thomas was baptized at Ashwell-Thorp, in Norfolk, in 1624; and married
Emme, daughter of Thomas Hayward, of Cranwise, in Norfolk, Gent., who survived
him, and died in 1658. He was succeeded by his only son, John Knyvet, Esq., of
Norwich; who married Lucy, daughter and co-heir of Charles Suckling, Esq., of
Bracondale, in Norfolk; and had several children, of whom two daughters only
Elizabeth, the eldest, married in 1720, to Henry Wilson, Esq., of Didlington, in
Norfolk; and Robert Wilson, of the same parish, their grandson, in 1832, was
summoned to Parliament, in the ancient Barony of Berners, which had remained in
abeyance since the death of Katherine, Baroness Berners, wife of Thomas (or
Richard) Bokenham, Esq., of Market Weston, in this county, in 1743.
William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, appropriated the advowson of this parish
church, to Gonville Hall, in Cambridge; where the patronage of this living,
consolidated with that of Barnby, still remains. The benefice of Barnby the
College purchased of Sir Edmund de Hemegrave, Knt. The tithes of these parishes,
with the glebes; money rent, £4 11s.; corn
rent, wheat 6 quarters; malt, hall a quarter; is paid to the college. Bishop
Bateman died in 1354.
The manor now belongs to the Rev. George Anguish, of Somerleyton, Hall.
"This parish church is remarkable for the building which appears at the west end
of it. This is called a Galilee, and is almost a singular instance of such an
erection in this county. Here the penitents used to sit, while they waited their
readmission into the church; and this may account for the name, by which such
porticos were anciently called, the Galilee. As Galilee, bordering on the
Gentiles, was the most remote part of the Holy Land from the holy city
Jerusalem, so was this part of the building, most distant from the sanctuary,
occupied by those unhappy persons, who, during their exclusion from the
mysteries, were reputed scarcely, if at all, better than heathens. "Millers
Descript. of Ely Cathedral, p. 43.
Northwood Place, in this parish, was the seat of the Rev. Thomas William Temple,
D.D., rector of Kirkley, who died there in 1809.
ARMS. Hemegrave: argent; a chief indented, gules. Thorp:
azure; three crescents, argent. Knevet: argent; a bend within a bordure,
Mem. Richard Powle, vicar of this parish, gave to Gonville and Caius
College, Cambridge, about the year 1400, 12 acres of land, in Fouldon, in
Norfolk. In 1540, Thomas Atkin, also vicar, and Margery Hore, of this parish,
each gave to the said College £48, to
purchase land of the value of £4 per annum.
The lands which were bought were in Coolinge, and Cartlage, in this county, and
Cambridgeshire. The said Thomas Atkin gave also Pain's close, in Worlingham, in
this county, of the yearly value of 40s., for stipends for three scholars, of
the diocese of Norwich, 35s. per annum. They are to be chosen by the Master and
two senior Fellows.
CHARITIES. The sum of 10s. a year, being the interest of a benefaction of
£10, given to the poor by John King, is paid
by the occupier of a farm in this parish, and barn, and is distributed among
poor persons at Easter. A dole of 13s. 4d. a year, the donation of which is
unknown, used to be paid by the proprietor of a house and land which belonged to
one William Fiske, and was afterwards sold to a person named Pleasants; but the
payment has been withheld many years, and is probably irrecoverable. A piece of
ground, containing 15 acres, was allotted to the poor, which lets for
£13 10s. a year; and the rent is laid out in
coals, which are distributed among the poor belonging to and residing in the
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page