MILEHAM is a large village of dispersed houses, 2½ miles E.N.E. of Litcham, 7 miles N.W. of Dereham, which contains in its parish 122 houses, 531 inhabitants, and 2,825a. 3r. 14p. of land, chiefly the property of the Earl of Leicester, Capt. Davy, and the Rev. C. B. Barnewell. The latter is patron and incumbent of the rectory, and lord of the manors of Mileham and Beeston ; but the Earl of Leicester is lord of Burghwood manor. The Church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is a neat structure, with a square tower and four bells. It was repewed about two years ago, and contains several monuments to the Barnewell, Pepys, Le Strange, and other families : and in the windows are several figures in stained glass. The rectory, valued in the King's book at £11 1s. 10½d., has 16½a. of glebe, and a yearly rent of £650 awarded in 1842, in lieu of tithes. The Church Land, 11a. 2r. 22p., is let for £14. Here was anciently a strong castle, said to have been built by Alan, son of Flaad, to whom the Conqueror gave the manor. Some traces of the entrenchments, which occupied an oval of 12a., may still be seen. Mileham was the birth place of that eminent lawyer, Sir Edward Coke. He was born at the old Hall, which has been pulled down, and a farm house built on the site. In the early part of his career he was made Recorder of Norwich, and then of London ; he was subsequently appointed Solictor-General to Queen Elizabeth, and Speaker of the House of Commons. He was afterwards chosen Attorney-General, which office he continued under King James, who successively appointed him Chief Justice of both benches. He died Sept. 3rd, 1634, in the 83rd year of his age ; and a sumptuous altar tomb was erected to his memory in Tittleshall church. The Fuel allotment, 26a. 3r. 6p., awarded in 1812, is let for about £15 a year, which is expended in coals. The Free School, now conducted on the National system, and attended by about 40 children, was founded at an early period, by Allen Elwyn, who gave the school premises and 3a. 2r. of land, now let for about £10 a year. The present school was built in 1834. The Rev. Chas. Ward, in 1743, left £200 in trust, to pay the interest of £50 to the schoolmaster, and to distribute the rest of the income in three coats and three gowns to poor parishioners. In 1773 the Rev. Chas. Barnwell left a rent-charge of £5 per annum for schooling poor children. Wm. Glover, in the reign of Edward IV. gave 4a. of land, now let for £8, for the use of the church and poor. The latter have also 3s. 4d. yearly, left by Rd. Thurrold in 1628, out of land belonging to Capt. Davy, (who distributes £5 yearly) ; £4 as the interest of £100 left by My. Barnwell in 1780 ; and £5 a year left by Sarah Fowell. The Wesleyans have a chapel here.
Transcription Copyright © the late A.J. Carter, April, 2001; links updated June 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
Mitford & Launditch union
Mileham postmill and towermill [Jonathan Neville]
Mileham Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More on Mileham [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
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