Medieval Shipden / Cromer

One of the earliest records mentioning the town was in 1285 when King Edward I granted a Friday market and a yearly feast of eight days. The market was in existance until the beginning of 1800. The name of Cromer first occurs in the reign of Henry III in 1262 in the will of Sir John Reppes who names the two constables there Thomas Payne and William Payne The name Cromer carried on in conjunction with Shipden in the Hundred Rolls of 1274. The name Shipden occurs again in 1285 and in 1426, when its market and fair were renewed, but by the end of the fourteenth the fishing place and port were called Cromer.

By 1337 the Church in Shipden was in a state of decay with the graveyard almost disappearing into the sea, so King Edward III gave permission for a new church on the site of Shipden-Juxta-Felbrigg and was granted an additional acre of land.

At about the end of 1385 the expenses of the church of Schypden annually in all outgoings were:

£ s. d.
Chaplain of Parish 6 14 4
Clerk 2 0 0
Archdeacon for procurations paid to them by priests when they visit a parish - 6 8
Synodals, payment to Bishop at Easter Visitation, One lamp in the chancel - 2 0
Two Processional candles and four wax tapers - 10 0
Repairs of the church Ornaments - 6 8
Wine and bread for the Eucharist - 13 4
Stipend of the Sacrist, with four meals - 1 0
Bulrushes and straw for the church - 6 8
Repairs of the chancel and the windows - 13 4
Process at Norwich - - 4
The annual income of the church was then:
Tithes of Corn, worth annually 15 0 0
Tithes of Lambs and Wool 1 6 8
Tithes of Fowls and Suckling Pigs - 15 8
Tithes of heather and hay - 6 8
Eight Acres of land - 12 0
Offerings at the Great festivals 2 11 0
Offerings on All Saint's Day - 15 0
Offerings in wax 1 10 0
Tithes of wood offerings 13 6 8
Tithes of Herring 13 6 8
Tithes called Somerfare 13 6 8
Tithes called Lente fare, House fare and other small tithes 8 - -
Secret Tithes 6 0 0
Tithes of Mill - 13 4
Tithes of dairies and dovecotes - 6 8
Tithes of Hemp and Brushwood - 2 0
Tithes of Eggs - 1 6
Total £78 10 10

About 1390 a pier was built for the safety boats of the Cromer fishermen. King Richard II granted power to exact certain duties from all merchandise coming into the port for five years, to help pay for the pier. The merchandise was varied -herrings, salt, pitch, turpentine, oil, sea coal,corn and malt. In 1410 the merchants of Cromer and five other towns received fresh patents from King Henry IV. In 1417 several Cromer ships were pressed into the King's use for voyages to France. They were give to:-

  1. Rogus Wrask, master of a forecost called "Trinite de Crowemere"
  2. Johes Clement, master of a navis called "La Trinite de Crowemere"
  3. Simon Tacomer, master of a dogger called "James de Crowemere"
  4. Wills Richeman, master of a lodeship called "Nicholas de Crowemere"
  5. Johes Martyn, master of a dogger called "Mighel de Crommere"
  6. Johes Clement Jnr, master of the forecost called "Blithe de Crowemere"
  7. Robutus Game, master of the loadship called "Petre de Crowemere"
  8. Johes Osteler, master of the dogger called "Garland de Crowemere"
  9. Johes Tule, master of the loadship called "Mighett de Crowemere"
  10. Wills Shinfield master of the loadship called "Marie de Crowemere"
  11. Adam Freman, master of the collet called "Katherine de Crowemere"

In the will of John Sparks in 1483 he calls his cottage "bliberhaise" Savin suggests that this may mean that some of the fishermen went whaling. He like many other Cromer inhabitants over the centuries left money to the upkeep of the pier

Name Date amount left
John Bound 1453 8s
John Couper 1462 3s. 4d
Robert Jakkeyson 1467 3s. 4d
William Rome 1469 6s. 8d
Roger Reed 1470 3s. 4d
Richard Arnold 1472 5 marks
Nicholas Hemyng 1482 12d
John Aldwen 1483 12d
Matilda Coye 1483 6s. 8d
William Brymeguge 1483 12d
John Mason 1487 6s. 8d
Richard Fenn 1487 3s. 4d
Richard Fulstowe 1487 8d
William Atffen 1487 20d
Robert Chestayne 1491 1s
Robert Draper 1491 20d
Robert Strange 1498 3s 4d
John Anderson 1514 6d
Henry Shelle 1574 20d
William Flyght 1535 20d

Other Occupants of Cromer listed at time

In 1333 the riches merchants paid their taxes as follows:-

  1. Alan fil' Galfrida paid 6s
  2. Isabel Tebald paid 3s
  3. Clement Hervey paid 3s
  4. Robert Mosse paid 2s 6d
  5. John Waryn paid 2s 6d
  6. Alan Reymund paid 2d
  7. William Smith paid 2s
  8. William Leman paid 2s

William Crowmere, a member of a family that had lived there for centuries, went to London where he became an MP, an alderman and finally Lord Mayor of London in 1413 and again in 1423


This information was compiled by Penny Ling
Any comments, suggestions or family to add email
April 98.