The Rectors appointed by Thomas Buttes to St Andrew's




William Stertweight

buried at St Andrew's February 8th 1558/9



William Stertweight,was the first appointment to the Great Ryburgh Rectory made by Thomas Buttes in 1554. He succeed Roger Overy, Great Ryburgh's  first "Church of England Rector" who had been appointed by Thomas's father, Dr. Sir  William Buttes, on his purchase of the Ryburgh Manor and advowson in 1543. Five years later, Overy's marriage to Margaret Wale on 15th October 1548 was one of the first entries in the new registers of 1547. The absence of Overy in the recording of Ryburgh burials can mean that he either died and was buried elswhere or he was unable to continue in post for unknown reasons on the accession of Mary Tudor to the throne and had to move on....... perhaps simply because he was now married?

There is precious little information about any of the Rectors or more strictly "Clerk Parsons" prior to Thomas Waterman's arrival in 1576, but it is at least fortunate that some of their wills have been preserved in the Probate records of the Norwich Diocese.

The will of William Stertweight, Incumbent from 1554-1559 is catalogued as NCC will register Veysye 122 in the Norfolk Record Office from whose microfilm this has been transcribed. With the exception of the small abreviation after his name at the head of the will and at the end, the contents give no clue whatsoever to the beliefs he held with regard to serving the Church through the reign of Catholic Queen Mary l. The will, which could otherwise have been made by any gentleman of the age, leads one to infer that he was unmarried and not particularly old when he died. He would seem to have held a great respect for Thomas Buttes who was possibly, as is said in modern parlance, "watching his back"? The other persons mentioned, possibly all family names, do not appear in the Church registers and his mother Agnes Bonnuey (a name I keep revisiting to check my transcription) possibly was of French or Low Counties origin. His brothers, William and Henry's surname was Halle or Halles and his sister is named only as Johan /Joan. A magazine article reproduced on the Mattishall village website concerning Wool Broggers shows a trading link with Ryburgh in 1558 as a wool producer to the worsted-weaving trade at this time and amongst the Mattishall "Brogger" families named are the Halls, so there may be a further connection there.

The other surnames are both Rightup,  Katherine and Thomas of Mattishall whether siblings or married is yet to be dicovered but there is an existing will of Thomas Rightup of Matteshall from 1566 that might shed more light?

William Stertweight willed that he be buried in the Chancel of St Andrew's. There is now no evidence that it took place or where it might have been since all floors have been excavated at times since and nothing, if ever recorded as to his placement, survives.

As any further information comes to light, it will be added to this page.


I William Stertweight


In the name of god so be yt  The xxixth
daye of December in the yere of our Lorde
god A thousande five hundreth fiftie and
                           29th December 1558
eight And in the firste yere of the Reign
of our Sovrign lady Elizabeth by the grace
of god Quene of Englande France and
Irelande defender of the fayeth &c I
Will[ia]m Stertweight Clerke parson of
greate Riburgh being holle in mynde and
of p[er]fyct Remembrannce praysed be
god considering the state of the worlde
to be a pilgrymage and uncerteyn jerny
and th’ende though unknowne I therefore
make this my last will and testament
in Maner and f[o]rme Followinge First
I bequeathe my Soule to god by the
merightes of whose passyon and fayeth   
therin I trust to be saved and my bodie to
be buryed within the Channcell of great
Riburgh also I give and bequeathe unto
The poore Inhabytanntes dwellinge
within great Riburgh but only poore

howseholdes there xijd Item I will to be given
unto the poore people at the day of my
buryall xxs to refreshe them withall Item
I give unto my mother Agnes Bonnuey of
Magdalen briyges xxs Item I give unto my 
                        Nr Acle?
brothers Willm and Henry Halles  children
xxs Item I give unto my Sister Johan hir
children xxs Item I give unto Katherinye
Rightup xls Item I freelye give and
bequeathe unto my mother Agnes Bonnuey
of Magdalen Bryges aforesayed all suche
                         Nr Acle?
my freeholde londes as I am entyteled unto
lyinge and beinge in Runton Holme Item I
give and bequeathe unto Katherinye Rightup
of Matteshalle aforesayed all my beddinge
my greate coffer and my best gowne Item
I give unto my brother Willm Halle my
short gowne Item I give unto Johan my Sister
my mantell furred gowne Item I give
unto my mother my frese furred gowne
Item I give unto Thomas Ryghtup of
Matteshalle my Mantell frese gowne &                              "frese"
is a woolen cloth with frizzy nap
my frese Jackett The Resydewe of all 
my goodes not afore givnn or bequeathed I
frely give and bequeathe unto myn Execu-
ter whome I d’ordeyn and make myn espe-
cyall good Mr Thomas Buttes of great
Riburgh aforesayed Esquier unto whenne
be his paynes takinge therin I do give xxs
Item I give unto Elizabeth Lease iijs iiijd
and also I give unto Anne Sheringham
iijs iiijd Per me William Stertweight
Clericum Wytnessed herof Willm
Browne Stephen Cooper Magnus Heyward
Thomas Whitred Richarde Gardyner
Christofer Meers Robert Peers and

Other Persons

(chiefly local witnesses to the will)

identified from the St Andrew’s Registers:


William Stertweight:

buried 8 February  1588/9

Elizabeth Lease: 

23 May 1563 Elizabeth Leedes married Magnus Heyward


Willm Browne : 

buried  12 June 1560

Magnus Heyward: 

buried  5 July1567


Richarde Gardyner:

Johan Gardiner wife of Richard Gardiner  buried 26 May 1571: John Gardiner son of Richard Gardiner  buried  26 May 1571:
Baptised on 8 August 1574 Richard Egmer: Richard Gardiner his father and Alice [Egmer?]servant of Richard Gardiner his mother. Thereafter we have Grizell Gardiner daughter of Richard baptised 23 March 1577/8 :Robart son of Richard baptised 21 January1579/80: John  son of Richard and Alice baptised 23 September 1582: Augustine son of Richard and Alice baptised 19 March 1585/6


Christofer Meers: 

Elizabeth Tompson married Christofer Meers 21 July 1559: Winefrade Meeres daughter of Christofer Meers buried 19th Oct  1565 :Elizabeth Meeres wife of Christofer Meers buried  3 May 1567


Robert Peers:

Maut Manfeeld alias Peers wife of Robart buried 16 Jan 1577/8: Robart Manfeeld alias Peers buried 22 Dec 1579


Anne Sheringham: Not present

Stephen Cooper: Not present

Thomas Whitred: Not present




more to follow


William Seyton



Richard Harris



Christoper Wilson



Thomas Waterman





Page last updated: Wednesday 6th April 2022 11:06 AM
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