Series NCR 24c/1-30 - Estate and manor court rolls, manor and rectory bailiff's account rolls, rentals, estreats and related records

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NCR 24c/1-30


Estate and manor court rolls, manor and rectory bailiff's account rolls, rentals, estreats and related records


  • nd [c 1287]-1779 (Creation)

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32 boxes

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(c 1249-)

Administrative history

Established in c 1249 by the then Bishop of Norwich, Walter Suffield and originally known as the Hospital of the Blessed Mary and St Giles, and afterwards, simply as St Giles's Hospital, Norwich, in the parish of St Helen in Holmstrete, now Bishopgate in Norwich.
Formerly known as St Giles' Hospital, the Great Hospital in Norwich is still a functioning charitable, residential institution and its archives extend from the thirteenth century to the twentieth century. Prior to the Municipal Reform Act of 1835, the Mayor and Corporation acted as trustees for a large number of City charities. The most ancient was the Great Hospital (founded by Walter Suffield, Bishop of Norwich, in 1249), whose records are the largest and most complete of any of the City charities.
While most English hospitals were dissolved at the Reformation in the sixteenth century, the Great Hospital was one of very few which survived. On Henry VIII's death in 1547, it was surrendered to the new Protestant monarch, Edward VI. The Norwich city fathers, however, were sufficiently astute to recognize the important rôle which the Hospital might play in caring for the city's poor (who then posed a serious social problem). Edward VI succumbed to local pressure and returned the ownership of the Hospital and its possessions, land and property to the corporation, which then used it to prioritise and channel charitable work in the community. Thus, through its acquisition by the corporation, the Hospital continued to function and its records became part of the city archives.
By the terms of Edward VI's charter by letters patent in 1547, forty poor people were to be accommodated in the Hospital (then called 'God's House'), looked after by the keeper of the House and a team of four matrons or women keepers, but by the end of the century, the number had risen to 54. In 1633, owing to increased revenues, the numbers of inhabitants had increased to 86 though there were still only four women keepers. Seven years later, there were 95 inhabitants, looked after by five matrons. Of these inhabitants, the original 40 provided for by charter had been augmented by two paid for by legacies in Francis Rugg's will, two more by the will of Alderman Henry Fawcett and the remainder allowed by the mayor and aldermen because of the increase in revenues. Presumably finances were tight when in 1647, numbers were down to 71 and the team of matrons only four women, but by the early Commonwealth period, there were again 95 poor and five matrons. By 1685, a hundred poor folk were accommodated in the Hospital.
The Charity Commissioners finished their enquiry into the Norwich charities in 1833 and a copy of their printed report is to be found at N/TC 63/2. By a Chancery Order dated 18 March 1837, twenty-six Charity Trustees were appointed, with responsibility to manage the charities formerly in trust with the Corporation. The charities were divided into two lists: the Church List Charities (including the Great Hospital, the Free Grammar School, Archbishop Parker's Scholarships, the Preachers' Fund and various other smaller charities) and the General List Charities (including Doughty's Hospital, the Boys' Hospital, the Girls' Hospital, the Barnham Broom Estate and many other smaller charities).
A considerable number of charity records (many of them pre-1835) were deposited in the Record Office many years after the publication of Hudson and Tingey's Revised Catalogue of the Records of the City of Norwich in 1898. They interrelate with the records in the NCR collection and are listed at N/CCH and N/MC.
The medieval records of the Great Hospital were inscribed in the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register in May 2011. The UK Memory of the World Register (established in 2010) helps to raise awareness of some of the UK’s exceptional, but lesser-known documentary riches by awarding them globally-recognised Memory of the World status.

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While the majority of these records relate to the medieval endowments and acquisitions of St Giles' Hospital, some were acquired by the city authorities after the hospital was granted to the city, and yet others may not directly relate to the Great Hospital's estates at all, though it is likely that by the 19th century, the income from some or perhaps all the city's charitable estates may have been conflated or exchanged. Of this last category, are the records of Bury Hall Manor in Barton Turf (which manor was conveyed to the city in 1645 by Augustine Sotherton for the benefit of the Boys' Hospital), Hawteyns Manor in Barnham Broom, Foulsham Manor, Field Dalling Manor (apparently granted by the city to the Priory of Norwich in exchange for concessions re the city liberties in 1526), Stiffkey Manor and lands in Little Melton (also the Children's Hospitals estates) and in Finges, Weybread, Suffolk.

With related documents and some draft accounts. Many of the court and account rolls were protected with parchment wrappers and/or endorsed with descriptions of their contents at some time in the late 16th or early 17th centuries. It is also possible that the rolls themselves may have been filed together at or just before the same time.

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System of arrangement

The reference for this series has been changed, so that instead of ranging from NCR Case 24c to 24i, they all now bear the NCR 24c reference. In addition, these records have been arranged by place in order of their approximate date of their first acquisition by the Hospital. The first seven rectory and manor estates were all part of the original endowment by Bishop Walter Suffield. Where the date is uncertain or where there is doubt as to their connection with the Great Hospital, the records have been arranged after the Estates in the acquisition-dated series:
Medieval and early -modern acquisitions
NCR 24c/1 Calthorpe Rectory
NCR 24c/2 Costessey Rectory
NCR 24c/3 Cringleford Rectory
NCR 24c/4 Erpingham Manor
NCR 24c/5 Hardley Rectory
NCR 24c/6 Seething Rectory
NCR 24c/7 South Walsham Rectory
NCR 24c/8 Hethel and East Carleton
NCR 24c/9 Repps with Bastwick
NCR 24c/10 The Lathes estate, Norwich
NCR 24c/11 Mundham St Peter and St Ethelbert churches and manor
NCR 24c/12 Thurlton Rectory
NCR 24c/13 Salhouse with Wroxham
NCR 24c/14 Rollesby Manor
NCR 24c/15 Trowse Rockells Manor
NCR 24c/16 Skipwiths estate, Conisford in Norwich
NCR 24c/17 Shropham Pakenham's Manor
NCR 24c/18 Shropham Bradcar and Rectory Manors
NCR 24c/19 Shropham Rectory Manor

Estates of uncertain acquisition-date or relation
NCR 24c/20 Barnham Broom, Hawteyns Manor
NCR 24c/21 Barton Turf, Bury Hall Manor
NCR 24c/22 Field Dalling, Wolterton's Manor
NCR 24c/23 Foulsham Manor
NCR 24c/24 Itteringham and Mannington
NCR 24c/25 Little Melton
NCR 24c/26 Ranworth and Bastwick
NCR 24c/27 Stiffkey
NCR 24c/28 North Walsham Manor
NCR 24c/29 Weybread, Finges Manor
NCR 24c/30 Miscellaneous

Note: Where references have been altered, superseded references may be found in NROCAT using the sole dialogue box in the 'Quick Search' option, or the 'Any Text' box in the 'Advanced Search' option. Also note that for NCR 24c, at sub-series level, superseded (and sometimes inaccurate) descriptions have been retained for continuity's sake in their 'Arrangement' sections.

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Created 25/09/2007 by Droip. Modified 08/01/2018 by Drott.


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