Seventeenth Century continued

(from F.N.Stagg's
History of Salthouse)
            researched in the 1930s



The historian R. W. Ketton-Cremer has written on the back of this page of Stagg’s typescript, a note about four Salthouse men impressed to serve in the Navy in 1602, and their descriptions. It is headed:

‘Stiffkey Papers (Camden Soc., 1915)’

'The four men from Salthouse impressed to serve in the Navy in 1602 included Thomas Parre of the age of xl years of a middle stature with a black heade and bearde. John Stanforth of the age of xxiij years of a middle stature with a small thinne bearde – discharged at Norwich imposte repaid for W. Kinge.
The other two were James Howsegoe and George Clarke.'

      The Tucks, Parrs and Stanforths appear very frequently in the registers throughout the seventeenth century. The Parrs, I think we can safely say, lived in the Manor House—in which case Sir Christopher Myngs was born there. When the latter acquired some small degree of wealth, he bought a property in Salthouse and everything points to its having been what is now called the Hall [here there is a large asterisk in the margin and a ‘no’, and Stagg’s words ‘what is now called the Hall’ are crossed out. Handwriting that is not Ketton-Cremer’s and may be that of Stagg himself supplants it with: ‘The building in Long Chats Lane opposite the Hall’. (Long Chats Lane, according to Richard Cooke, is probably a misheard representation of ‘Long Church Lane’ heard pronounced by a Norfolk speaker!)].
If so, it must have been in that house that his daughter Mary died in 1697-8, but Myngs’ second wife Rebecca must have disposed of it probably soon afterwards to one of her husband’s maternal relations, the Parrs.
The century opened with Robert Hetherington as rector, he being succeeded in 1613 by Thomas Dawney (presented by Dame Jane Sidney) who ‘compounded for first fruits’ ( the profits of a benefice during the first year after the death or resignation of an incumbent, originally made to the see of Rome) as did his son Edward who succeeded him in the living in 1643, though I cannot find who presented him to it.
The fact of their being in a position to compound for first fruits indicated that they were men of some substance, and it seems that one of them found the Rectory either too small or too dilapidated to occupy (though it was undoubtedly in existence at that time on the piece of glebe just north of the Manor House). They evidently built a house of their own: a house which was still being referred to as ‘Dawneys’ in the churchwardens’ accounts for 1742 and must have been erected by them before 1663, for Edward Dawney was made rector of Kelling as well as Salthouse in that year, and must surely have chosen to live in that pleasing rectory in Kelling, if he had not already been dwelling in a house of his own. There are definite indications that this was the Manor farmhouse [‘Manor farmhouse’ is crossed out and ‘what is now called Salthouse Hall’ substituted] and that its erection was prior to 1663.


In 1662 the Act of Uniformity ordered exclusive use of the new Book of Common Prayer and required that all ministers should assent publicly to its use. Because of this hundreds of priests abandoned their livings, and parsons must have been hard to come by. Michael Foster had been presented to the Kelling living in 1608 and, after his death in 1658, there was only a curate in Kelling for the next three or four years—one August Underwood

One might guess that the patron of Kelling who was then Thomas Fermor Esq, unable to find a rector because of the exacting demands of the Act of Uniformity, decided to join the two parishes into one living for the first time. As a result Edward Dawney was called upon to cure the souls in the two parishes till his death in 1677, when the livings were once again in separate hands. Kelling was given almost directly to Thomas Wilson the parson of Thornage, but Salthouse seems to have been without a rector until 1680 when Charles Worsley was presented (by whom we do not know, but it is likely that it could have been by Zurishaddai Lang of Baconsthorpe Hall).

This Zurishaddai Lang, whose name in Hebrew means ‘God is my rock’, had bought the Heydon estates from the Commissioners in Bankruptcy when Mr Bridges, the woollen-draper of St Paul’s Churchyard London, went bankrupt.



It is impossible to say whether the Salthouse manors ever came back to the Heydons, but it seems highly improbable, for Charles II was anxious not to penalise any section of the community by dispossessing those who had acquired Royalist property during the Commonwealth regime.

However vague we may be as to the ownership of the manors and advowsons of Salthouse between the death of Dame Jane Sidney in 1638 and the year 1680, we do know for certain that they were acquired then by Dr Lang. Charles Worsley only held the living for two years, from 1680 to 1682; his burial in the chancel of Letheringsett church is recorded in the Salthouse register.

Blomefield states that there was a mural tablet in Letheringsett Chancel with this inscription:

Charles Worsley late rector of Salthouse, descended from an antient family of the Worsleys of Plat in Lancashire, and son of Edw. late rector of this Church, and Mary Playford, of North Repps, his mother, which said Charles, with Mary Claxton of Booton, his wife, lye interred under these marbles, in hope of a blessed resurrection.

A visit to Letheringsett church shows that this marble slab has been removed, probably during the comparatively recent restoration, and its whereabouts are unknown. I think there is every possibility that Worsley lived at Letheringsett and did not occupy the Salthouse rectory, which by this time was probably in a dilapidated condition.

Worsley was suceeded at Salthouse by Thomas Bainbrigg, who was also headmaster of Gresham’s School at Holt, and his handwriting in Latin begins to cover the church registers, and also those of Kelling, from about 1695 which must have been the date that Lang had presented him to that living also. He held the two livings till his death in 1713 and lived at Kelling during the last years after he left Holt School. It seems certain that he never lived at Salthouse, so we can assume that Edward Dawney was the only rector to run both parishes from Salthouse; that Worsley was the last independent rector of Salthouse; and that Thomas Bainbrigg around 1695 began his reign over both parishes from Kelling—a situation which has continued until the present day.

Reading between the lines of the registers, we can see a little tragedy connected remotely with Mary Myngs. Her father’s great friend Sir John Narborough had many relations in the neighbouring villages and perhaps Philip Narborough of Wiveton was one of these. He married Elizabeth Roose (or was it Loose?) at Salthouse in 1687 and they had three children—Elizabeth, Mary and John in 1688, 1690 and 1692 respectively—and then Philip died (was he perhaps killed, or drowned at sea?). In 1695 the registers record a baptism, ‘Rose, the Base daughter of Elizabeth Narbr’o widow, baptised 20 October’. Was this poor widow being befriended by Mary Myngs and possibly even living in her house? One wonders what happened to the widow Elizabeth and ‘Base’ Rose. Let us hope that the tolerance of Charles II’s court towards such offences against social custom reached as far as Salthouse and that their lives were not too unhappy.

The registers of Kelling, throughout the seventeenth century, contain many entries of the name of Heydon but what relation these Heydons bore to the great family of the previous century has not been traced. Their fortunes cannot have been flourishing though, since there is no trace of an ‘Esquire’ affixed to any of their names.

A study of the Kelling registers presents a curiosity concerning the status of the Salthouse Parr family; in the title page of these registers, among many other names of parsons and esquires, written apparently haphazardly, there is finally a carefully scrawled: ‘Henry Parre de Salthouse’. Also, the birth of Frauncisca Parre at Kelling in 1599 seems to have been an event of great importance judging by the detail given in the entry, but Parr was essentially a Salthouse family, and the name appears in the Kelling register but two or three times.

Dix, on the other hand, was a purely Kelling family and provided churchwardens for Kelling Parish through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Dixes did not enter Salthouse till 1777.


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