Stagg's History of Salthouse

Page 4


back to start of Stagg's Early History

In 1286 Binham Priory claimed ‘view of frankpledge’—the right of inspecting twice a year the frankpledge* men in the small district, presumably the manor in this case—and ‘assize of bread and ale’ (the regulation of the price of bread and ale by the price of grain).

After the Reformation this holding of the religious orders was confirmed to the Heydon family, on 20 June 1546. As this family controlled the destiny of our parish for so long, and in such exciting times, their family history is told in the next chapter.
When John Heydon died in 1479, he had amassed several manors into his estate including Brache’s in Salthouse. He had purchased half of the Kelling manors in 1466, and acquired the Salthouse advowson about 1473—at all events he presented in 1476.
With the advent of the year 1500, great changes came over the face of England. The Wars of the Roses had given the nobility such hard blows that they never recovered their pre-eminent position in the life of the country. Shortly after the birth of the sixteenth century Henry VIII clipped the wings of the clergy in the Reformation. The feudal age became a thing of the past, and the King and his people entered their own. The embryonic chicks of our modern democracy began to wriggle in their shells.
The history of Salthouse also took a complete change at this date, for the by no means insignificant remains of the feudal age were gathered into the hands of the Heydon family. The actions of the Heydons during the sixteenth century are preserved in numberless documents, showing them to have taken a leading part in the life of North Norfolk during those stirring times. They lived hard by at Baconsthorpe Hall and must have influenced the lives of their people at Salthouse advantageously, for they were a most enlightened series of masters.
Before shutting up the pages of Salthouse in the feudal age we must list the rectors who cured the souls of the nameless parishioners.


The architectural remains of the feudal age in Salthouse are limited to the ruins of a chapel in the north-west corner of the churchyard (perhaps built as a chantry chapel where masses might be sung in perpetuity for the soul of some devout donor to the Church or Priory). Above all, stands that fine old weather-beaten church tower which must surely be an object of veneration to all present and future parishioners, for it has looked down on the lives and deaths of more than thirty generations of their grandfathers and grandmothers.
The life of Salthouse through this century centred round the fortunes of the Heydons, an old Norfolk family which originated in the village of Heydon with one Thomas de Heydon, who was a ‘Justice Itinerant’ in 1221. William Heydon settled at Baconsthorpe about
1418, and John Heydon (his son) was appointed to arbitrate as to the right of ownership of Kelling Manor in 1460.
This John Heydon of Baconsthorpe was an eminent lawyer during the reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV. He was Recorder of Norwich in 1431 and was greatly attached to the house of Lancaster. He it was who built the massive tower of Baconsthorpe Hall which is still such a thing of beauty. By his wife Jane, daughter of his neighbour Edward Winter of Barningham Winter, he had a son Henry who succeeded to his Salthouse properties



Only the names of these old priests and their patrons are known; anecdotes and details concerning them are completely absent.

1266 Robert de Salthouse (son of Robert de Kelling compounded first-fruits)
12–– Simon de Bodham
1322 John de Oxenden, presented by Sir Walter de Holewell
1327 Robert Inge, presented by Sir Walter de Holewell
1337 William de Rythere, presented by Sir Walter de Holewell
13–– John de Rose, presented by unknown
1360 John Blaunchard, presented by Sir Warine de Bassingborn and Mary his wife
1361 Henry Attewell, presented by John, son of Sir John de Avenel (deceased)
13–– Henry Knoff, presented by John, son of Sir John de Avenel (deceased)
1370 Robert Archer, presented by Nicholas de Stivekele
1397 John Clerk, presented by the King
1398 John Playford, presented by the King
1409 John Wychingham, presented by Nicholas Kymbell
1416 Nicholas Kent, presented by John Cornwalleys Esq & John Torell Esq

1417 Henry Bamme, presented by Thomas Walsingham
1420 William Kyrre, presented by Thomas Walsingham
1421 Edmund le Ker, presented by Thomas Walsingham
1443 Robert Colyn, presented by Thomas Walsingham
1458 William Brewster, presented by Thomas Walsingham
1476 William Rougham, presented by John Heydon
1495 William Herwer, presented by Sir Henry Heydon

[William Herwer was the last priest of the old Church]

For more information on the Heydons see Frank Stagg's further pages










Val Fiddian 2005