Domesday Book entry

Waltham: 'Walter holds of Hugh'

Click here to view a close-up of Waltham's entry.

Waltham on the Wolds appears in the Domesday Book. (Click above to view a detail of the village entry.) I’m assuming that the village was owned by a Hugh. And that it was held on his behalf by a Walter (perhaps the origin of the name ‘Waltham’?). The second most important person must have been the local knight who could boast seven bordars (peasants), three male and one female slaves, and one and a half ploughs (though I’m not sure what you could do with half a plough!).

The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties. (Click here for a website explaining terms in the Domesday Book.)

As well as the entry for Waltham, I’ve also included those for nearby villages which appear on the same page.

Walter holds of Hugh 16 1/2 carucates of land in WALTHAM ON THE WOLDS. There is land for 11 ploughs. In demesne are 2 ploughs; and 24 sokemen with 1 villan and 1 bordar have 6 ploughs. There 1 knight with 7 bordars and 3 slaves and 1 female slave has 1 1/2 ploughs. There are 100 acres of meadow. It was worth 31; now 61.

The same man holds of Hugh in THORPE ARNOLD 15 carucates of land. There is land for 10 ploughs. In demesne are 5 ploughs and 2 slaves; and 16 villans with 11 sokemen and 8 bordars have 7 ploughs. There is a mill rendering 5s4d , [and] meadow 4 furlongs long and as much broad. It was worth 20s ; now 71.

The same man holds of Hugh 3 carucates of land in the same vill. There is land for 2 ploughs. 8 villans with 3 bordars have these [ploughs] there. It was worth 3s; now 20s.

THE LAND OF HENRY DE FERRERS

HENRY de Ferrers holds STAPLEFORD of the king. There are 14 carucates of land. TRE 17 ploughs were there. Of this land 4 carucates are in demesne, and there are 5 ploughs and 4 slaves. There 23 villans with 4 bordars and 23 sokemen have 13 ploughs. There are 2 mills rendering 8s, and 130 acres of meadow. It was worth 41; now 101.

The same Henry holds TONGE with all its appendages. There are 21 1/2 carucates of land. TRE 11 ploughs were there, Of this land 3 carucates are in demesne. […] There 27 villans with 2 sokemen and 8 bordars have 13 ploughs. There are 6 acres of meadow, [and] woodland 1 league long and half a league broad.
• It was worth 5s; now 61.

In SAXBY are 5 carucates of land belonging to STAPLEFORD. There 9 villans have 3 ploughs, and a mill rendering 2s , and 60 acres of meadow. The value of it [is included] in [that of] STAPLEFORD.

The same Henry holds 9 carucates of land in COSTON. TRE 10 ploughs were there. In demesne are 1 1/2 ploughs and 2 slaves; and 12 sokemen and 10 villans with 1 bordar have 7 ploughs. There is a mill rendering l Os , and 100 acres of meadow. It was worth 40s; now 71.

The same Henry holds EDMONDTHORPE and WYMONDHAM. There are 27 1/2 carucates of land. TRE 16 ploughs were there. Of this land 2 carucates are in demesne, and there are 7 ploughs and 4 slaves; and 28 villans with a priest and 15 sokemen and 4 bordars have 14 ploughs. There are 300 acres of meadow. It was worth 41; now 131.


Translation of Great Domesday Book Folio 233r © Digital images and translation reproduced by kind permission of Editions Alecto Limited

1 Comment

  1. I just came across some interesting info on the Hugh mentioned in the Domesday entry. Seems he was a commander at the Battle of Hastings. See this page on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_de_Grandmesnil

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