ERPINGHAM is a village 3 miles N. of Aylsham, gives name to this and an adjoining hundred, and its parish is in Aylsham union and county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Aldborough polling district of North Norfolk, South Erpingham hundred and petty sessional division, Ingworth rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It has a rateable value of £2603, and had 362 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1381 acres.
The manor was anciently held by the members of a family which took its name from this parish. Of this family was Sir Thomas Erpingham, who accompanied John, Duke of Lancaster, to Spain in 1399, and fought in the wars of Henry IV. and V. Shakespeare has commemorated his presence at the field of Agincourt (Henry V., Act iv. sc. 1). He was a great benefactor to Norwich, where he built the cathedral gate which bears his name (see Norwich). Some foundation stones of his hall still remain at Erpingham.
The CHURCH (St. Mary) is a large edifice of the 14th and 15th centuries, comprising nave, chancel, south aisle, south porch, and lofty tower. The latter contains four bells, three of which are of the date of 1616, while on the larger is inscribed the ungrammatical, as well as un-Protestant line: 'Per Thomæ meretis meramur gaudia lucis.' The base and summit of the tower are adorned with shields and other ornaments. Formerly the pinnacles were formed by four statues: but one of these fell down more than a century ago, killing one of the parishioners, and the others have since disappeared.
The building was begun by Sir Thomas Erpingham, and finished by Lord Bardolph. About forty years ago it was re-roofed and re-seated, the centre being occupied by free seats and the sides by appropriated sittings. In 1862 a stained glass window, representing our Saviour and Mary in the Garden, was placed in the church by the Aylsham Board of Guardians, in memory of Mr. John Shepheard, late guardian and churchwarden. Sir John Erpingham, father of Sir Thomas, was buried here, and his effigy in brass, dated 1370, still remains on the stone.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £9 18s. 9d., is consolidated with that of Blickling, and held by the Rev. F. Meyrick. (See page 156 [which is the entry for Blickling]. The tithes of Erpingham were commuted in 1832 for £478 per annum. The rectory house, which was thoroughly repaired in 1881, is occupied by the curate.
The School, a neat brick building, erected in 1862 by the Marquis of Lothian, was enlarged by the addition of a class-room in 1874, and is supported by subscription, being in connection with the National Society and the Church of England.
ERPINGHAM UNION will be noticed with Walsham (North), for reasons stated on page 144 [This is the text under West Beckham, which says "The account of ERPINGHAM UNION is delayed until North Walsham, as we have not yet been able to get the census figures for 1881 for this union, but hope to do so by the time we reach that place."].
POST from Norwich, viâ Hanworth; but for the rectory and a few other houses, viâ Ingworth and Aylsham. Aylsham is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Abbs Thomas vict. Spread Eagle Brooks James bootmaker Burrell Joseph farmer Carter Thomas vict. King's Head Dunham Frederick dealer & farmer Durrant John grocer and draper Fish Rev. George, B.A. rector of Ingworth, Erpingham lodge Fish Mr John Frostwick George dealer and farmer Hagen Daniel farmer Hutson Miss Rebecca schoolmistress Johnson James miller & parish clerk Johnson John farmer and butcher Johnson Rev. Theodore curate, The Rectory Newstead Stratton farmer, Ash hills Pratt Richd. Robt. farmer; h Colby Shepheard Rev. Samuel Marsh, B.A. vicar of Calthorpe Shepheard Wm. farmer, Manor house Springfield Capt. George Osborne Warne George bootmaker Watts James wheelwright Watts Mr James Watts Wm. grocer, draper & farmer Whitham Henry blacksmith & thrashing machine owner Woolsey Mr Cardinal
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