DEREHAM (WEST,) 4 miles S.E. by E. of Downham, a parish and scattered village, has 142 houses, 643 inhabitants, and 3,500 acres of land, chiefly the property of G. S. Kett, Wm. Bagge, and H. B. Mason, Esqrs. The former is lord of the manor, which was celebrated for its splendid ABBEY, founded in 1188 by Hubert Walter, a native of this parish, and successively Bishop of Salisbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor in the reign of Richard I. The Abbey was for monks of the Premonstratensian order, and its annual revenues, at the dissolution, were valued at £252 12s. 11½d. On each side of the gateway of the Abbey, Sir Thos. Dereham, in 1697, erected a wing, with a cloister, on the south, which contained many stately apartments fitted up in the Italian style. It was afterwards the seat of the Earls of Montraith, but has long been unoccupied. The CHURCH, dedicated to St. Andrew, an ancient edifice, was re-pewed in 1843, and has several handsome monuments to the Dereham family, and one beautifully designed in marble and alabaster, has a fine statue of Col. Edm. Soames, who died in 1706. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in 1831 at £74, augmented with £700 Royal Bounty, besides a yearly rent-charge of £18 given by the Bishop of Ely and S. Jenyns, in 1756, and another annuity of £15 given by the former, in 1817. The Rev. L. Jenyns, M.A., is patron, and the Rev. E. J. Howman, M.A., incumbent. The tithes are commuted for £220. The Rev. Thos. Catton, B.D., F.R.S., late senior fellow, and one of the head tutors of St. John's College, Cambridge, was a native of this place, and died in 1838. He was a distinguished astronomer, and had the arrangement of the observatory of St. John's College. In 1701, Gregory Lovell left £500 for the benefit of the poor, except 40s. each for three sermons on St. Thomas's, Lady, and Midsummer days. The estate purchased with this legacy consists of 43a. in Upwell, let for £80 a year. The poor have also £4 a year as the rent of the Town Close. Here is a National school.
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