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12th and 13th Century Manors

During the period 1162 to 1287 the Verly family are found owning manors in Woughton on the Green, Buckinghamshire and three parishes in Norfolk: Snettisham, Burnham Thorpe and North Pickenham. There is documentary evidence that these holdings were in the posession of the same family, Roger de Verly and his son Hugh. (Cal. Close, 1231-4, p. 502). After the end of the 13th century there is no record of these families in connection with these manors. This map shows their location.

Vorley Manors

The following are extracts from published histories of the relevant manors.

NORFOLK Snettesham


In the 8th of Richard I. a fine was levied between Alice, daughter of Maxirnus, and Ralph de Verli, of lands, late Cecilia de Holrn’s, mother of Ralph, in this town and Holm, being half a knight’s fee, granted to Ralph. This Ralph gave lands here to Wimondam priory, as did Roger de Verli, lands in Pickenham, by deed, sans date. Richard de Gerneston, held in the reign of Henry.III the 6th part of a fee, here, of Cecilia de Verli, which in the 20th of Edward III was found to be held by the heirs of Richard de Gerneston, and Alice his wife. Hugh de Verli held in 1243, 2 knights fees, part of the dower of the Lady Isabel, relict of Hugh Earl of Sussex, &c. Robert Pekenham of Shropharn, Esq. died possessed of it in the 4th of Edward IV. held of the duchy of Lancaster, by the fourth part of a fee, and Henry was his son-and heir. In the 38th of Henry VIII Mary Glemham, late wife of Edward Glemham, held it in capite; lately held by the Lady Anne de Cleve, the divorced wife of Henry VIII. This is also united to the capital manor.

History of Norfolk, Blomefield 1807 Vol. X p 375

Burnham Thorp


Another lordship in this town was, at the survey, in the possession of Robert de Verley, held by Godwin in King Edward’s time, and after, by Ralph Earl of’ Norfolk, who on his rebellion in the reign of the Conqueror, had forfeited it: one carucate of land belonged to it, eight bordarers, and one servus; there was then one carucate in demean, and one among the men, &c, two freemen resided on this carucate, valued then at 40s. at the survey at 30s. per annum8 Robert de Verley held also at the survey a manor at West Herling, in the hundred of Gilcross, Dulling manor in North Greenhow hundred, and Tunstal in the hundred of WaIesham. From Robert de Verley this lordship came to the Earl Warren, and by a branch of that family to the Bardolfs; Robert gave by deed, sans dated, to the monks of Castleacre, the whole fee and service, which spring in hold of him, in Burnham. William de Riseby held half a fee here, when an aid was granted in the reign of King Henry Ill. on the marriage of his sister to the Emperor of Germany, of the honour of Wirmegey; and Robert Crow was possessed then of half a fee of the heirs of Virley, held of the Earl Warren, as it is said. By the eschaet rolls in the 3rd of Edward III Philip Virley appears to have died seized of two fees in this town, Euston, Herling, &c. belonging to the Lord Bardolf; James de Pinkeney had the moiety of’ a fee in the 20th of Edward III and at the same time William, de Calthorp held half a fee. Lately held by Robert Crowe, of the heirs of Virley, and they of the honour of Wirmegey; and that of the Earl Warren; and Sir William Calthorpe was lord of a whole fee in the 1st of Henry IV, held as before-mentioned; so that this lordship became united to that of Burnham Thorp, and passed with that, as is there mentioned.

History of Norfolk, Blomefield 1807 Vol. VII p 13

North Pickenham


Takes its name from its lord; Roger de Virley was lord in the 1st of King John, and exchanged lands at Waketon in Berkshire, with Robert de Cley and Avice his wife, for lands here; and in the 8th of Edward I, Hugh Virley died seized of it.’ Simon Blake of Swaffham, Gent, left by his will, in 1489, to Thomas Blake, his nephew, the manor of VIRLEY’S, in North and South Pickenham in the 11th of Henry VI, a fine was levied between John Smith, &c. querents, John Wheeler and Anne his wife, defendants, of a moiety of this manor, and several messuages, &c. conveyed to Smith; and in the said year there was another fine, between John Parker, &c. querents, and John Wheeler, and Anne his wife, defendants, of the other moiety; and in the 6th of Edward VI. a fine was levied between Anthony Bedingfield, querent, William More, and Margaret his wife, defendants, of the 4th part of the manor of Francham, alias Bares Virleys, &c. It was sold by the Bedingfields, lords of Hale, to Naylour, and Francis Naylour, Esq. was lord in 1687, and from the Naylours it was conveyed to Dr. Cannon, late Dean of Lincoln, in whose family it still remains.

History of Norfolk, Blomefield 1807 Vol. VI p66


Woughton on the Green

The manor is described in Domesday Book, in which it was surveyed in the Hundred-of Sigelai, as partly th land of the Earl of Morton, and the remainder belonging to Martine. The land of the Earl of Moreton was holden in Vichetone, by Ralph, as four hides for one Manor There were four carucates of arable. In the demesne one, and another might have been cultivated. There were four villeins with six bordars having one carucate, and another might have been added. There were two servants, and four carucates of pasture; altogether estimated at 3l.; when he first held it, at 4l.; and in King Edward’s time, at 3l. This Manor eight Thanes held; of whom four were men of Aliric; one a man of Alric Fitz-Goding, who had one hide; another a man of Baldwin, half a hide; another a man of Morcar, half a hide; and one, a man of Scuuolt, who had one virgate: who could sell their land. Martinus held in Vichetone, five hides and a half for one Manor. There were five carucates. In the demesne one and a half, and half a carucate might have been added. There were six villeins with three bordars, having three carucates. There were two carucates of pasture, and four servants: altogether valued at one hundred shillings: in the time of King Edward, 6l. This Manor, Azor, son of Tote, a Thane of King Edward, and another Thane belonging to him, held one hide, who could sell it. The first of these two Manors came, on the Rebellion of Earl Robert’s son William against King Henry I., to Stephen de Blois, afterwards King of England, with his Earldom; and which was bestowed by King Henry II on his son John, subsequently also King of England, whom he made Earl of Moreton, or Mortaigne. Both these Manors belonged to the Verleys in Henry III’s reign,1 as appears by the Testa de Nevil, the Patronage of the Church, in 1223, being also vested in the same family, which was commonly an appendage to Manors not given in mortmain. The Verleys held their demesnes here of the Honours of Arundel and Clare. Robert de Woketon, in the ninth year of Richard I. (1197,) passed a fine of lands here: and in 1357 (32 Edw. III) John Bottetourt and Maud, daughter of John de Grey of Rotherfield, and John Bottetourt de Verley, Knt. and Joyce his wife, passed a fine of this Manor and Advowson to John and Maud Bottetourt. By heirs female of the Verleys, this Manor seems to have come to the Muxons, Bottetourts, and Greys; and so to have been at length acquired by the Vavasours, who conveyed their demesnes here to the Mordaunts, to whom this Manor belonged in 1608, when Henry Lord Mordaunt died seised. His successor, John Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough, gave his interest herein to his kinsman, Lewis Mordaunt, who, 30 May 1642 (17 Car I) conveyed to Roger Nicholls, two parts of the Advowson and Manor; and in this family they continued until 1717, when Nicholls sold them to Mr. Edward Troutbeck: though a third-part remained in the Longuevilles, which came to that family from the Greys; and in 1732, a third-part, viz., one turn in three of the Advowson still belonged to them; the other two turns being conveyed by Nicholls’s heir, to Mr. Edward Troutbeck, of Westbury, who held a Court Baron here about 1740, his father having purchased the Nicholls’s interest and title to the Manor, and two turns of the Advowson, in 1714.2 Mr. Nicholls held a Court here in 1670.


Robert de Haia, pr. in 122!, by Roger de Verley
William de Haia, presented in 1232.
John de Brumpton resigned in 1263.
Walter de Arderne, presented 2 Nov. 1263, by the Lady Hawisia de Verley.

1. The Verleys were a family of great antiquity, for William de Verley, circ. 1135 (1 Stephen) was witness to a deed of York Abbey; and Robert de Verley, circ. 1150, founded the Abbey of Swine, Co. York.

History & Ant. of County of Buckingham. George Lipscomb, 1847

Woughton on the Green

There were two manors in Woughton at Domesday, of which the more important, assessed at 5 hides, belonged to Martin who had succeeded Azor son of Toti, a thegn of King Edward. The overlordship of this manor is found later attached to the earldom of Arundel, until Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, a Lord Appellant, was executed in 1397 as a political traitor, his honours being forfeited to the Crown. The overlordship of Woughton appears to have been permanently alienated from the earldom, and is found in the possession of John Nowers in 1458, 1459, and 1470, after which date no further reference has been found to its exercise. The descent of the mesne manor of Woughton presents considerable difficulties, which have not hitherto been very successfully handled by Willis and other historians of Buckinghamshire. The lord of this, the principal manor, also owned the advowson of the church, and only by working together two sets of documents, those relating to the manor itself and those relating to the church, has it been found possible to disentangle, as far as may be, the descents. Martin held the land in demesne in 1086, and the next holders of whom mention has been found are members of the Verly family. Roger de Verly was holding in 1162-3, when he paid half a mark for the king’s pardon.15 His name occurs again in 1175-6, when he was fined 10 marks for a breach of forest law,16 and it is probably the same Roger against whom Avice wife of Robert de Cleies brought a plea of dower in 1200.17 In 1221 and again in I232 one of the same name presented Robert de Haia and William de Haia respectively to the parsonage of Woughton.18 In 1234 the lands of Roger de Verly and of Hugh his son in Buckinghamshire and Norfolk were said to be mortgaged to the Jews.19 Roger de Verly died about 1235, in which year Hugh was answerable for his father’s debts,20 and about the same date he was said to hold a fee in Woughton.21 Hugh de Verly, of whom no later mention has been found than 1242,22 left a daughter and heir Clarice.23 His mother, Hawise de Verly,24 however, held Woughton in dower, as appears from a suit which she brought in 1258-9 against trespassers on her free fishery there,25 and also from the fact that she presented to the church in 1263.26 The actual date of Clarice de Verly’s occupation of Woughton has not been established; she was succeeded by her daughter and heir Agnes,27 who died at some time before 1287,28 when Sibyl wife of Robert de Cave and Alice wife of Robert de Brangwyn, sisters of Hugh de Verly,29 claimed equal rights in her inheritance. At this date the Brangwyns sued the Caves for the right of presentation to the church, which fell vacant during the minority of Thomas son of Roger de Nikelfield.30 Thomas de Nikelfield, whose identity has not been established, was still a minor in 1287.31 No further mention of him has been found, and Roger de Tyringham, whose connexion with the lords of Woughton Manor has not been established, presented to the church in 1301.32 About this date there seems to have been a partition of the manor into two unequal divisions.

15. Pipe R. 9 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 17
16. Ibid. 22 Hen. II, 22
17. Rot. Cur. Reg. (Rec. Corn.), ii, 58 Feet of F. Div. Co. 1 John, no. 10
18. R. of Hugh of Wells (Cant. and York Soc.), ii, 55, 86. The vacancy of 1221 was on account of the marriage and consequent resignation of Luke de Kaynes, the recent parson.
19. Cal. Close, 1231-4, p. 502
20. Excsrpta c Rot. Fin. (Rec. Corn.), i, 285.
21. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Corn.), 244, 247, 251a, 252b
22. Cal. Close, 1237-42, p. 478. Rolls of Robert Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.) 356, 361
23. De Banco R. 65, rn. 2
24. Ibid.
25. Assize R. 1188, rn. 12. Luke de Kaynes, the ex-parson of Woughton, was one of the trespassers.
26. Add. MS. 5839, fol. 224
27. De Banco R. bc. cit.
28. In 1284-6 the heirs of Hugh de Verly were said to hold Woughton (Feud. Aids, i, 8o)
29. De Banco R. loc. cit.
30. Ibid.; Cal. Pat. 1281-92, p. 264. The Caves won the case, being able to prove that the Brangwyns had transferred to them their interest during the minority of Thomas.
31. Agnes (de Verly) is expressly stated to have left no heir (De Banco R. loc. cit.).
32. Add. MS. loc. cit. The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire, 1905-28

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