WANELUNT, as it was anciently called, or Wanelund(1) is bounded on the east with the hundreds of Shropham and Fourhoe, on the west by Grimeshou and South-Greenehou, on the south by Shropham, and on the north by South-Greenehou and Mitford. At the Conquest it belonged to the Crown, and paid 40s. by Godric, who farmed it of the Conqueror. It was given by King John, with the hundred of Grimeshou and manor of Saham, to Sir Roger de Thony, or Tony, and his heirs, from which time it passed with Grimeshou (as you may see at p. 148) till the year 1662, and then it was divided and sold by William Crane, of Wood-Risimg, Esq.
Part of it came to the Wrights, and Mr. Wright, late of Brandon in Suffolk, son of the Rev. Mr.Wright, vicar of Stepney, enjoys it, and hath the leets of Thompson, Griston, Caston, Ashill, Ovington, and Threxton.
And part, viz. the leets of the Carbrooks to Rob. Clayton, Gent, afterwards Sir Rob. Clayton of London, Knt. along with Carbrook manors, with which they have passed ever since.
The hundred is a deanery of itself, denominated from Breccles, the head town at that time; it is subject to the Archdeacon of Norwich, had a bailiff and two coroners in Edward the First's time; it paid to the tenths 75l. 11s. 6d. clear. It was let at five marks in 1267, and at 3l. 5s. in Henry the Eighth's time; the manors of Breccles, Watton, Saham, Stow, and Merton, having their own leets belonging to them, render them independent of the hundred, which at this time  contains 15 towns. of which I shall begin with Breccles, the ancient residence of the Deans of Breccles.
This deanery was taxed at 6s. 8d. and the Archdeacon of Norwich received of the dean for Synodals every Michaelmass, 16s. 4d. for synodals every Easter, 16s. 4d. and for Peter-pence every Easter, 20s.;(2) it was in the Bishop's gift, who collated the following
The church of Breccles-Magna was dedicated to St. Margaret, and was appropriated to the priory of West-acre; the rectory was taxed at 12 marks, the vicarage was valued at 6 marks, but was not taxed; it paid 15d. Peter-pence. There were two gilds, one dedicated to St Margaret, the other to the Holy-Trinity.(4)
The vicarage is 7l. 17s. 11d. in the King's Books, sworn of the clear value of 13l. 9s. 8d.; it paid 3l. l2s 8d. to the tenths; 2s. synodals; the temporals of the Abbot of Bec, with the Prior of Okeburne, were taxed at 4s. and belonged to their Wrotham estate.
The temporals of West-Acre Prior were taxed at 3s.; the spirituals,
viz. the appropriate rectory, at 12 marks.
This town is valued to the tax at 341l.per annum.
The CHURCH hath an ancient steeple joined to its west end, which is round at bottom and octangular at top; it hath only one bell, thus inscribed,
The chancel and church are leaded, the south porch is tiled; on a black marble in the chancel,
Near this lies a small oval black marble; with these words only,
STAT. UT VIXIT, ERECTA.
Arms in the windows were,
Arg. a fess between two chevrons or.
Arg. three bezants, a canton az.
Breccles, at the Conquest was in three parts; the first part, in Harold's time, was held by 8 freemen, who had then five carucates, these were seized, with all their land, by the Conqueror, and laid to his manor of Saham; there were then 5 socmen, and half a carucate ; and 15 acres, which the steward of Saham sold to Eudo, Earl Ralph's man, who was to hold them by the rent of a bridle;(7) this he added to the Earl's manor of Elingham-Parva, upon whose forfeiture, when Robert de Blund had the management of that manor, he received of them 10s. 8d. a year, but now they are laid again to the King's manor of Saham, which is in his own hands, and so they pay no rent to Godric; there was also another freeman, whose rent and services were worth 2s. per annum, besides a quarter of an acre, and right of commonage, which in the Confessor's time, and now, belongs to Saham, but Godric claims it as belonging to Earl Ralph's fee in Stow, and says that he farmed it of the Earl two years before he forfeited, and of the King two years after, and brings one of the King's men of Stow to prove it. Breccles was then a league long, and half a league broad, and paid 11d. gelt, and the King and the Earl had the soc.
The next part was held by a freeman in the Confessor's time, and contained a carucate of land, but at the Conquest it belonged to the King, and was farmed by Godric, who made it a berewic to Sporle, with which manor it was valued.(8)
The third part belonged to Ralph de Tony, who joined it to, and valued it with, his manor of Necton.(9)
The first part belonged to William de Warren Earl of Sussex, by gift from the Crown, and he gave it to Thomas,(10) son of Godfrey, son of Albert a Frenchman, who came over at the Conquest, along with the manors of Grimston, Burnham, &c. for which reason he assumed the coat of his lord, varying only the colour, viz. chequy or and sab. which the Breccleses always bore, though sometimes with a fess arg. This Thomas and his descendants assumed the name of Breccles, and oftentimes are called by the name of Grymston, both which manors belonged to them; at his death, Peter, his son, was made a Knight, and inherited, and at his death left it to Sir Thomas, his son and heir, who died without issue, leaving his manors and advowsons of Breccles, Burnham, Grymston, &c. to Christian his only sister and heir, who died without issue, upon which her uncle Peter inherited, who died also issueless, leaving it to Bartholomew, his brother and heir, who left it to Alice, his daughter, who married to John de Breccles; and both were alive in 1276.
This John afterwards married Elizabeth, daughter of Jeffery, brother of Thomas de Grimstone, who died without issue, so that his neice Elizabeth, at the death of Agnes his widow, inherited Little Breccles manor; in 1286, he was attached for holding a whole knight's fee, and being no knight; this John purchased the lands, &c. that belonged to Tony at the Conquest, and so joined them to the manor; he left it to Benedict, his son and heir, who gave the advowson to West-Acre priory, according to the order of his father; he held Grimston manor and advowson, Burnham manor, and the mediety of the advowson of St. Mary's at Burnham West-gate, of the Earl of Arundel, this, and Little-Breccles manor, and had weyf and stray, a free bull and free boar, and a leet held by the King's bailiff, but all the amerciaments belonged to him: he died in Edward the Second's time, and was succeeded by John Breckles, his son and heir, who left it to Benedict, his son and heir, who had it in 1402 ; it seems Constance, his daughter, had it, for in 1441 she levied a fine of it to William Warner and others, in trust, by which it was settled on her brother, John de Breckles, who left it to his two daughters; Alice, married William de Compton, who left John Compton, whose daughter Margery, died without issue, and her part went to the heirs of Margery, the other daughter of John de Breckles, which Margery married Theobold de Thorlee, and left a daughter only, named Margaret, who married Robert de Brome in Henry the Fifth's time, and they left three daughters; Katherine, married to Henry Sturmere, in 1463; Elizabeth to Rob. Harington; and Margaret, to Will. Fenne, who all joined-with Thomas and Hugh, sons of Will. Fenne, and sold the manor to Sir Edw. Woodhouse of Kimberley, Knt. in 1469, he left it to Sir Thomas Woodhouse, his son, who left it to his second son, John Woodhouse of Breccles, who in the time of Henry VIII. married Anne, daughter of William Spelman, Esq.; and left Francis Woodhouse of Breccles their son and heir, who held it of Rob. Southwell, Esq. as of his manor of Saham; in 1551, he settled it on Will. Yelverton, who had it in 1564, and was found to hold Grimston and Congham manors, and to have license to settle this on Sir Thomas Cornwalleis, Knt. and Tho. Shelton, Esq.; but it was in trust, for in 1595, Francis Woodhouse aforesaid was lord of Breccles. Magna, and Bule's manors, which were soon after conveyed to John Dowfyld of Euston, Gent. Will. Webb of the same, and Hen. Branthwait, Esq.; who conveyed them to Sir Rob. Gardiner of Breccles, whose heir married John Webb, who was settled in the manor in 1619, after Sir Robert's death, and Ursula Webb, the heiress of that family carried it to her husband, Sir William Hewit, who died in 1667, and left it to Gardiner Hewet, Esq. who sold it to Wormley Hetherset, who gave it from Edmund, his only son, to his four daughters; Jane, married to Thomas Squires of Elm by Wisbitch; Sarah, married to James Barker of Shropham, son of John Barker of Thorndon; Elizabeth, to Edw. Owen of Coventry; and Mary to Joseph Randol, alias Baylis, of London, who purchased in all the parts and left it to Mary his widow for life, who now enjoys it; remainder to Mr. Rich. Baylis, her only son, who married Philadelphia, grand- daughter to Sir Philip Ryley, by whom he hath one son Robert an infant.
There is a separate fishery belonging to the manor, called Breccles Mere, and a good old seat, or manor-house, in which the present owner resides; it is called Breccles-Hall, but was not the site of the Manor of that name, but of the capital manor of Great Beccles.
Came from the Crown, and in 1280 belonged to Sir Warine de Muntchensy, which family granted off large parcels of it to divers persons. In 1304, William, son of William de Breccles, and William, son of Thomas de Breccles, held 7 messuages, a mill, 88 acres of land, 10s. rent, part of it in Breckles, Stowbydon, Bekerton, Griston, and Caston. It continued sometimes in the Breccles; but in 1498, Tho. Sayve of Breccles, Gent. was buried in the chancel, and gave his manor of Breccles-Hall, in Breccles, after his wife's death, to Osbert Sayve, Gent. his son; in l545, James Payne and William Atmere had the manor of Lingwise, alias Divers, in Breccles, settled on them, by William Tassell and Margaret his wife, when it contained 3 messuages, 60 acres of land, 10 of meadow, 70 of pasture, 2 of marsh, and 10s. rent. In 1577, Francis Woodhouse, Esq. was lord of Breccles Hall, and Bule's manors(11) which he joined to the manor of Great- Breccles, with which they still continue.
1 That is wet, squeazy land, and such is the whole hundred.
2 Domesd. Norw.
3 See the Deans of Cranwich.
4 Domesday Norw.
5 1533, William Prior of West-Acre leased this impropriate parsonage, with all the glebe in Great and Little-Breccles, at 5l. 6s. 8d. a year, the tenant to pay all charges, and repair the chancel, and to let the vicar have the parsonage. close at 6s. 8d. a year, and St. John's land (which was to find a light before his image) at 4d. a year, Autog. pen. me. He died in 1541, and was buried here.
6 I subscribe to so much of this covenant as I already know or shall hereafter know, to be agreeable to the word of God, laws of the kingdom, and my oaths formerly taken, JOHN WEBB,and then, the whole parish subscribes.
7 Terre Regis in manu Regis. Wanelunt hund. (Domesd. fol. 3.) In Breccles viii. liberi homines Heroldi soca, ii. car. terre, tunc. v. car. post et m° iii. Hij sunt additi tempore Regis Willi. (sc. manerio Regis de Saham) ii. Bor. xx. acr. prati. In Breccles xv. acr. semper dim car. v. soc. in Saham, et prepositus de Saham vendidit tempore Regis Willi. per unum frenum Eudoni Homini Comitis Radulfi, et jacuere in Elinegham, ad firmam Radulfi, et tenebat eos ea die qua forisfecit, et Robertus Blundus quamdiu habuit misterium habebat ex eis x. sol et viii.d. m° iterum in Saham et non reddunt censum ad Godric. Totum Breccles habet i. leug. long, et dim. lat. et xi.d. de Gelto. In eadem i. lib. in Saham xxvi. acr. et ii. acr. prati et dim car. et val, ii. sol. Rex. et Comes socam. In Breccles quarta pars unius acre et quedam consuetudo in pastura, hoc jacuit in Saham in tempore Regis Edwardi et m° similiter, sed Godricus eam revocat ad feudum Comitis Radulfi in Stou, dicens quod ipse eam tenuerit duobus annis antequam forisfaceret, et duobus annis postea. Ex hoc offert quidam famulus Regis de Stou, portare judicium.
8 Terre Regis quam Godricus servat. (Domesd. fol. 32.) Hund. Wenelunt, In Breccles tenet i. lib. homo T.R.E. i. car. terre tunc iii. villi. post et modo ii. semp. i. serv. iii. acr. prati, tunc. ii. car. in dnio. post et modo dim. semp. i. car. hom. et i. car. et dim. posset esse, hoc est berewita de Sparlea, et est in pretio de Sparlea.
9 Terre Radulfi de Toenio H. Wanelund (Domes. fo. 127.) In Breccles i. Heroldi xl. acr. terre et dim car. et i villan. et est in pretio de Neketuna.
10 Spelm. Icenia. fo. 161.
11 Bule's was a small manor or free- tenement in Stow and Breccles, so called from Will. Bule, who owned it in 1285.
Maintainer - Duncan Breckels