In 1285 King Eddy Longshanks sent an edict: To gather the geld from every hundred.
The bailiff of Trowse replied to the same: That the bishop of Norwich had refused him and even threatened excommunication.
An inquest was held, the matter laid bare.
In the face of the facts, King Longshanks expleted, called his Grandpère Jean a vulgar name. (Oops! Pardonne moi mon français.) But that accursed coin-clenching King John, to sweeten his toady, de Gray by name, had granted to the church the disputed manor.
Now never more would that manor be a lucrative source of taxes.
The story behind the story:
At the time of the Domesday Book, the manor of Trowse-cum-Newton Hall had been held by Archbishop Stigand. However, on Syigand’s death King William I took the manor into his own hands. It then hosted the Hundred Court where edicts were read and taxes collected. However, in 1205 a certain toady, John de Gray, lent King John some funds (how unusual that King John should need more money!) and as reward was *elected* as Bishop of Norwich. At the same time, he was also elected as archbishop of Canterbury. That one, however, the pope disallowed. As recompense, King John returned to Norwich cathedral land which they’d long petitioned was theirs. The Prior of Norwich caused to be built a country seat there and claimed for the land the usual church privileges. But, it seemed, neither the Church nor King John told anyone.
The matter came to a head in 1285, when the Prior of Norwich obstructed the king’s bailiff in his collection of king’s taxes—on pain of excommunication.
The inquest allowed the manor to continue in the hold of Bishop of Norwich.
After the Dissolution, Newton Hall became a retirement home for deans.
Today, the ruins of Newton Hall can be found at Whitlingham Country Park.