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This booklet is 20 pages in length and was published locally by Dennis Jeeps. It contains a translation of a 13th century document currently held in the Cambridge University Library.

The document lists the different types of resident in the village and outlines their work and responsibilities.

The contents are reproduced with permission of the Cambridgeshire Collection.

 
The inquest was carried out by Ralph le King; Robert Raysun; Robert son of Eustace; Nicholas Bishop; John le Bere; Roger le King; William le Newman; Ranulf Hog; Gilbert Hoker; Henry Maple; Henry Hoker and Richard Syward.

This manor is in the county of Cambridge and in the Hundred of Papworth. the advowson and gift of the church belong to the bishop of Ely, and it is in the diocese of Ely.

The Demesne
The manor is divided in this way namely:­-
· In the field called Westfield 82 acres.
· In the field called Middlefield 91 acres.
· In the field called Belassis 106 acres.

By acquisitions recently made by the present bishop in the three fields aforesaid: 30 acres.
Total of all arable land, 309 acres, reckoned by the short hundred and by the perch of seventeen and a half feet. These can be cultivated by two ploughs each of two stots and six oxen with the customary tenants of the vill.

Meadow for Mowing
In Belasis and elsewhere in parcels 30½ acres. In Westmede on Overfurlong 4 acres which can sometimes be cultivated, namely at a time when it is very dry, 3 acres can be added there.
By acquisition of this present bishop in the aforesaid meadows 6 acres and one rod.
Total meadow for mowing: 43 acres and 3 rods.

Coarse Pasture.
In Henholm and Snotefen: 20 acres.
In Quenholm: 40 acres.
Total 6o acres

In Shelekholes there are 40 acres of coarse pasture fit for mowing. These are now put to farm for 6o shillings per annum, payable at St. Laurence’s Day.
Note that no one should common in Middle Fen except only the Lord Bishop and the vill with their own beasts. In Heveneshal the vill should likewise common their own beasts with the Lord Bishop.

In that same place at the lord’s will, strangers can have their beasts for payment, but from the proceeds the free men of Willingham shall have the seventh penny, tithe excepted.
If strangers mow there they shall give two pence for every cart-load, from which the free men of Willingham shall likewise have the seventh penny, tithe excepted as above.

At the present time the Lord Robert de L’Isle and the whole vill of Rampton common and make hay there without payment, by permission of the Lord Bishop, so the jurors say.

In West Fen as far as Dernlode and so beyond Sualewenhethe to the end of the Lord Bishop’s meadow called Sheleksholes, the whole vill of Willingham and the whole vill of Over should common with the Lord Bishop, that is from Over Lode to Willingham Lode horn under horn.
If strangers pay to put their beasts there with the consent of the Bishop’s bailiff, then the Bishop shall have the money paid on account of the beasts put there from the Willingham side so long however as the free men shall have the seventh penny, tithe excepted as above, but the Lord of Over shall have the money paid for the stranger’s beasts put there from the Over side.

From Aldreth Causeway to Stockslode and from Suthermere to Stackes there is a marsh called Blackhassocks where oxen and other beasts of the Lord Bishop are pastured, and in that place he commons with the vill of Willingham and no one else commons there.

The Stock.
The following stock can be kept there:
16 cows and two free bulls, or 20 cows when it is dry. 20 pigs and one free boar.

Two hundred sheep by the long hundred, (240) together with the sheep of his customary tenants which must lie in the lord’s fold from Hokeday until Christmas Eve.

The Mill.
There is one windmill to which all rent-paying tenants, and all customary tenants owe suit.

The Fisheries.
A fishery of three boats on Willingham Mere belongs to this manor, each boat is now put to farm for 30 shillings, payable in equal parts at the will of the lord.
A certain fishery belongs to it called Wilford, and is now at farm at the lord’s will for ? shillings, payable in equal parts.
Sometimes through flooding there is a fishery in the ditches of Belassise, which is the perquisite of the bailiff so the jurors say.

The Free Tenants.
Thomas Aliquid holds one hide of land for the service of a quarter of a knight. And one boat on Willingham Mere belongs to that same land, there is a fishery called Lyppinglake and it belongs to the same boat.
To the same land belongs its part of the seventh penny from the payments taken for beasts from outside put on the marshes.
He shall find for the lord’s great ale-boon in autumn all his tenants for one day with lord providing meals. He himself shall ride with them to see that they do a good job. He owes suit of court.

John of Craudene holds one virgate of land for four shillings payable in equal parts. His tenants shall come to the great Autumn-Boon as above. He owes suit of court.

Henry Torel holds a half-virgate of land for eighteen pence payable in equal parts. He shall come in Autumn to the lord’s great boon with all the men who work for him, the lord providing food.
He shall pay tallage at his lord’s will, and a fine for his daughter marrying.
He owes suit of court and suit of mill.
He shall go with the others outside the vill to make distraints.

William Nuncius holds a half-virgate for eighteen pence payable in equal parts, and will do everything else like the aforesaid Henry Torel.

Thomas son of Olive holds one virgate of land for sixpence payable in equal parts (sic) at the feast of St.Andrew.
He shall plough three rods of land a year that is, one in summer, one in winter and one in lent, without allowance of food.
He shall harrow with his horse for a whole day before Christmas without allowance of food, and for a whole day in lent without allowance of food. On the day he harrows in lent he shall have two handfuls of oats, by favor of long standing so the jurors say.
He shall mow with one man for a whole day without allowance of food.
He shall help to lift and carry the hay without allowance of food.
He shall hoe for one whole day without allowance of food.
He shall reap for one whole day without allowance of food, and what he has reaped he shall carry without allowance of food.
He shall carry the writs of the Lord Bishop or his steward as far as Doddington or a similar place.
He shall pay tallage, heriot and the fines for his daughter’s incontinence or marriage.
He owes suit to the shire court, the hundred court, the manor court and the mill.
His sheep shall be in the lord’s fold as above.

Agnes widow of Henry Carpenter and Lecia daughter of Robert Hoter hold one virgate of land for sixpence per annum payable at the Feast of St.Andrew. They will do everything else as the aforesaid Thomas Olive does.

Nicholas Augtrich holds one messuage formerly held by John of Clowere. He gives two shillings per annum in equal parts.

The Tenants Holding byLabour Service.
Thomas Wecheharm holds a half-virgate of land comprising fifteen acres. At Michaelmas he gives 1½d. for Wytepund.
He gives a hen at Christmas and 12 eggs at Easter.
In every week of the year he owes two works.
Every third week he shall plough half an acre of land, and it shall be counted to him as one work. He must as well plough and harrow one rod before Christmas without allowance of food or a work. Likewise he shall harrow for a whole day before Christmas without allowance of food or a work. Likewise he shall harrow for a whole day in Lent without allowance of food or a work, and he shall have two handfuls of oats as above.

He shall hoe for one whole day without allowance of food or a work. If there is need to hoe for more than the whole day, he shall do so and count it as one work.
He shall mow for one whole day without allowance of food or a work. Every thing he mows on that day he shall get ready and carry without allowance of food or a work, and he shall have in common with his fellow workers 12d.for beer. If there is need to mow for more than the whole day he shall do so and shall count it as one work.
If it is necessary to prepare and lift hay for a whole day, he shall lift and get it ready and shall count it as one work. That man and one of his mates shall carry the hay for as many days as are necessary with horses and carts, and every day on which they are carting shall be counted to them as two works.

In autumn he shall find one man to reap for a whole day without allowance of food or a work and whatever he reaps on that day he shall bind and carry one cart-load without allowance of food or a work.
He shall come to the great ale-boon in autumn with as many men as he has working for him, his wife excepted, the lord providing food. Every one of them shall have a loaf at none, and two shall share a dish of meat, and they shall have a reasonable quantity of ale. In the same way in the evening everyone shall have a small loaf and a herring or a measure of cheese and a reasonable quantity of beer.
He shall bind half an acre of what he reaps at that boon, and he shall carry two cart-loads without allowance of food or a work.

In turn with his neighbours he shall do carrying service by land and water both short and long.
The short to Cambridge by land, Earith by land and water, Aldreth likewise, Somersham by land and water. To Hardwick and Shelford, and to St. Ives and like places without allowance of food or a work, unless it falls on his work-day [i.e. a day on which he does labour service], that is on Monday or Friday. If on such days he and his fellow are summoned to perform labour services and they are working, and he is taken from his work to do that carrying service, and he returns on the same day while his fellows are working then he shall work with them according to what he may be ordered to finish, for as long as his fellows are working, that is until evening. Then he shall be quit of one work.
Know however that if he does that carrying on the days aforesaid to Earith or Aldreth by Water, it shall not be counted to him as a work.

The long to Doddington, Ditton and Cambridge by water and to Ely likewise by water and like places without allowance of food or a work, unless it be on the aforesaid work-days, because he shall then be quit of that carrying service for one work.

As often as necessary in autumn he must reap half an acre of any kind of corn, and must bind and carry it for one work. In the same way he must mow, gather and carry half an acre of stubble for one work.
If need be he shall carry manure with horse, man and cart. When he carries for a whole day it shall be counted to him for two works. He shall if necessary spread an acre of manure, that is two courses of manure to count as one work.

He must thresh 24 sheaves of corn (wheat?) or rye for one work, and 30 sheaves of barley or oats for one work, and at each work of threshing he ought to have as fodder four sheaves of whatever corn he has threshed.
He must dig out ditches, build walls, tend the vineyard, mow in the fen, dig at the manor and in the fen, clear the ground of hassocks of coarse grass if need be, and do other small services both inside and outside the manor house and its buildings, for a whole day to count as one work.

As often as need be he shall go for foodstuff for his lord to Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon or St. Ives without allowance of a work, but if he goes on one of his work-days then it shall be allowed him as a work as above.
As often as need be he shall carry his lord’s equipment in the same way.
He must thresh 15 sheaves of oats for his lord’s provender at the first arrival of his lord in the term of Michaelmas.

He and all his fellows in common, once a year, for one visit of their lord shall find hay and fodder for their lord’s horses for one night.
He shall thresh and winnow a quarter of barley, from which he shall make malt; and he shall be quit of one work.
His sheep shall be in the lord’s fold from Hokeday until Christmas, but the lord shall provide a shepherd.

He shall pay tallage, and leyrwyte for his daughter’s unchastity and a fine for her marriage. He owes suit of court. He owes a herriot, that is, the best beast of the house, nor may he sell a male foal or ox which he has raised himself without his lord’s leave.

He shall make and maintain half a perch of the causeway at Belassise without allowance of food or a work.

Once a year he must gather twenty sheaves of rushes for one work, any band with which they are tied must be five spans in length, and he shall carry them to the manor house.
On any day on which he mows he shall have as much grass as he can lift on the snaith of his scythe, and if in lifting the grass the snaith breaks, then he shall not have the grass.

He shall weave two fold-hurdles with his own straw and withies before the feast of St. Andrew, without allowance of a work.
If it is necessary to build houses he shall go with a boat or cart to fetch timber from Doddington, Ely, Somersham, Cambridge, Hardwick and like places. It shall not be allowed him as a work unless it be on the work-days already referred to. If it be on those work-days it shall be allowed him as a work above.

If he is ill for fifteen days or longer, he shall be quit of his works and no more, but if he is ill for a shorter time he shall be quit of nothing. Note that no illness will excuse him from his autumn boon work or from his ploughing service.

When he dies his wife shall have the beast which will be given as heriot to maintain her wainage for 30 days, so long as the beast is kept in good condition. After 30 days it shall be handed over as heriot to lord’s bailiff. If she has no beast she shall give 32d. as heriot.

The following hold a half-virgate of land in the same way:-

Philip, son of Alexander.
Walter Cusin.
Roger King.
William le Neuman and Margaret his wife.
Henry le Bere.
John le Bere.
Robert, son of Eustace.
Denis Mapel.
Alice Seaman.
Richard Hoker and Margaret his wjfe.
Gilbert Hoker.
Dawe le Paumer and Constance his wife.
Matilda, Geoffrey’s widow.
Ranulf Hog.
Alice Vylein.
Thomas Mariot.
Nicholas Biscop.
Richard Maistermain.
John le Hayward and Mabel his wfe.
Warm Runcin.
Henry Mapel.
Augustine Ralph’s son.
Richard Pain and Richard Heven.
Augustus Bric and Margaret his wife.
Richard Syward.
Ralph King.
Robert Reysun and Alice his wife.

The Cottars.
Adam Unwyne holds one cotland which comprises two acres.
He gives a hen at Christmas, and six eggs at Easter. He owes two works each week throughout the year.
He shall provide a man to hoe for one day without allowance of food or a work.

He shall provide a man to mow in the meadow for one day without allowance of food or a work. If there is need for more hoeing or mowing, then he shall mow and hoe for a whole day for one work.
He shall find one man to reap in autumn for one day without allowance of food or a work.

At the lord’s great autumn boon he shall come with all the men he has working for him, with the lord providing food.
If there is need for further reaping to be done, he shall reap half an acre of any kind of corn, and shall bind and shock it for one work; but he shall not carry it.
If there is need he shall mow half an acre of stubble. He shall gather it and help in common for one work.

He shall thresh and winnow a quarter of barley, and shall make malt from it to count as one work against Christmas.
On the day on which he mows he shall have grass as above.
If he threshes for a work he shall thresh as above, likewise if he works on walls or ditches, gathers rushes, hoes or mows, or performs other small tasks as works, then he shall do them as above in all respects, but he shall not plough nor harrow nor perform carting service.

He shall do carrying service on foot in rotation with his neighbours without allowance of food or a work, unless it is on one of his work-days, that is on Monday or Friday. If he does carrying service on those days, then it shall be counted to him as above.

He shall thresh fifteen sheaves of oats for forage for one visit of the lord per year in the term of Michaelmas.
His sheep shall lie in the lord’s fold.
If there is need he shall wash and sheer the lord’s sheep for a whole day for the allowance of one work.

He shall pay tallage, leyrwyte and gersuma for his daughter. He owes suit of mill.
If the lord requires it he shall watch over the fold, and while he does so he shall be quit of all works.
Nevertheless he shall give a hen and eggs, but for this he shall have (…)
He shall weave one fold-hurdle with his own straw and withies without allowance of food or a work.

The following are tenants of cottage holdings on the same terms:-

Alice Purry; John Brich; Agnes Pund; Alice Pund; Ralph Shepherd and Margaret his wife and Richard Blast.

The Tofts in Willingham.
Warin son of Laurence holds a toft which comprises one acre.

He gives a hen at Christmas and six eggs at Easter.
Every week throughout the year he owes one work, that is on Monday.
He shall hoe for one day without allowance of food or a work.
He shall mow for one day without allowance of food or a work, on the day on which he mows he shall have grass as above.

He shall reap for one day in autumn without allowance of food or a work.
If there is need he shall reap half an acre of any kind of corn, and shall bind and shock it, but he shall not carry it.
If there is need he shall mow half an acre of stubble, and shall gather it and help the others for allowance of one work, but he shall not carry it.

If he builds walls or digs out ditches, threshes or gathers reeds, hoes or mows, or does other small tasks as works, then in all things he shall do them as above, but he shall not plough.
He shall do carrying service on foot in turn with his neighbours without allowance of food or a work, unless it be on a work-day, that is, on Monday. If he does carrying service on that day, it shall be counted to him as above.

For one visit of the lord per year, at the term of Michaelmas, he shall thresh seven sheaves and a half sheaves for provender.
His sheep shall lie in the lord’s fold.
If necessary he shall wash and sheer the lord’s sheep for a whole day to count as one work.
He shall pay tallage. leyrwyte and gersuma.
He owes suit of mill.

The following hold a toft on the same terms:-

Robert Bond; Reginald Paris and Cassa his wife; William Bigga; Sibilla Toni; Alice and Sara daughters of Schyre.

Now at the lord’s will they give twelve pence for remittance of their works, but nevertheless give a hen and six eggs and will do their boons like the others

Della daughter of Roger le Paum holds on toft in the same way, but now at the lord’s will gives twelve pence payable in equal parts. Nevertheless she gives a hen and eggs.
She will help with the mowing, hoeing and reaping as above.

Walter Flint holds a croft for which he hoes for a whole day without allowance of food, and on that day he shall have grass, and ale with the others as above.

John le Hayward holds a toft and pays 12d per annum in equal parts, at Christmas he gives a hen, and at Easter six eggs.
He shall find a man to hoe for one day without allowance of food.
He shall find a man to mow for one day without allowance of food, and he shall have grass as above, likewise he shall find a man to reap for a whole day in autumn without allowance of food.

William Teytulff and Amicia his wife hold a toft for two shillings payable in equal parts. He shall come to the great autumn boon with as many men as he has working for him, his wife excepted, the lord providing food.

Cecilia Clobbers holds a toft for 12d. payable in equal parts. At the great autumn boon she shall find as many men as she has working for her, the lord providing food.
She holds a roadway for two pence payable in equal parts.

Walter Belhund and Cecilia his wife hold a toft and pay 12d. in equal parts. They shall come to the great autumn boon as above.

Reginald Pye holds a messuage for 12d. payable in equal parts, and shall come to the great autumn boon as above.

Wlliam Pettard holds an acre of land for 12d. payable in equal parts, and he shall come to the great autumn boon as above.

Walter Clubbers holds an acre for 12d. payable in equal parts, and he shall come to the great autumn boon as above.

Walter Pistor holds half an acre for 4d. payable in equal parts, and he shall come to the great autumn boon as above.

Henry Hoker holds an acre for 12d. payable in equal parts. He gives a hen at Christmas and six eggs at Easter. He shall find a man to hoe for one day without allowance of food, and a man to mow for one day without allowance of food. He shall have grass and ale like the others, as above.
He shall find a man to reap for a day in autumn without allowance of food, he shall come to the lord’s great boon as above.
Further he shall acquit the Lord Bishop in respect of Sir Alan de la Scutch and his heirs concerning an annual rent of two shillings for removing the obstruction of a certain fishery in the parishes of Wisbech and Elm.

Thomas Fayrem gives 6d. a year in equal parts for having right of common in the fen during his life time.

Symeon Page gives 4d. a year payable in equal parts for the same right.

Robert Froyt gives 12d. a year at Easter for having right of common in the fen during his life time.

Henry Basse; Robert Palmer and William Unwyn each give 12d. a year for the same right.

Capons at the term of Easter for having right of common.
Two capons each from John Prest; Walter le Batur; Colin de Haysho; John Hudein; Prudforth?; Wlliam Carpenter; Hugh de Sanford; P... tup and Hugh Dolle.

One capon each from John de Soham and Durestrang.

Total yearly rent of capons 20 at the term of Easter.

Total of all rents per annum: 25s. 10d. that is at Michaelmas 6s. 2½d. at St. Andrew’s Day 7s. 2½d. at Lady Day 6s. 2½d. and at St. John’s Day 6s. 2½d.

Total payments from the fisheries with the tithe equals £6 per annum, payable in equal parts at the terms aforesaid. Total yearly rent in hens with the reeve 44 at Christmas. Total of eggs payable at Easter with the reeve equals three hundred and seventy two, reckoned by the long hundred. (432)

Total number of works (labour services) per annum with the reeve, three thousand nine hundred, reckoned by the short hundred.

Note that if it is the will of the lord to compound the labour services for money payment, then in lieu of any work outside autumn he shall have ½d.

In lieu of any work in autumn he shall have 1d.

By gift of the present bishop, Walter Russell holds a messuage for 4d. per annum payable in equal parts.
He shall find a man for the great autumn boon the lord providing food.

Footnotes

[1] Subsequently known as Cadwin Field

[2] Belassis is Norman French meaning a fine seat, however this would seem to be a somewhat sarcastic name in view of it’s cold exposed position if it was indeed used by William’s army as a base for the attack on the Isle of Ely in Hereward’s time. W. Spencer-Turner our local chemist in his paper to the newly formed Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archaeological Society (Transactions Vol. 1. 1903) cites the Hundred rolls for Rampton (temp Edw. 1) where it is spelt Belassise and he gives it as meaning de bello situ or the place where the army rested. It is almost always referred to as Belsies Field in the late Tudor and early modern period indeed until the Ordnance Survey made one of their many blunders with the Willingham field names when they copied Camden’s mistake in naming it after a Roman general called Belisarius calling it Belsar’s Field. I prefer to call it by the name used for the longest period i.e. Belsies Field. (D.Jeeps)

[3] See appendix with regard to measurements

[4] Stot: A small horse or pony commonly described as a nag in Willingham. These were yoked in front of the oxen as they were easier to lead than the latter. There is a misericord in Lincoln Cathedral showing this type of plough team.

[5] West Meadow

[6] As the manuscript has used the term perch for it’s measure of length, I think it might be fair to assume that by a rod he means a rood or a quarter of an acre. One has to be very careful in this assumption as in The Meadow Books (CR0 R59/14/5/8g) and the other owned by Mr. M. Hopkins) the fen reeves call each individual strip or holding in the meadows a rood whether it contains a quarter acre or not. Similarly they call each group of about 10 such roods a Hide. The most southerly of the commoners’ allotted strips in Hempsall for mowing are also known as “The Roodes”.

[7] Shelfords - almost certainly the part now known as Crane’s Fen (John Crane owned this parcel of fen in the middle of the 17th century.)

[8] 10th of August.

[9] Hempsall.

[10] Darre Lode and Swalney Fen in the survey of Over 1575 (PRO. E134/17-18 Eliz I)

[11] Scotch Lode in the Meadows Books Op. Cit.

[12] Also called Alkesmere, Auxmere and Ox Mere.

[13] The second Tuesday after Easter.

[14] A tax levied by the lord of the manor.

[15] The 30th of November (The problem is how could it be paid in equal parts on one day only?)

[16] 29th September.

[17] Translation lost at this point

[18] In lieu of work services?

[19] Michaelmas 29th of September, St Andrew ‘s Day 30th of Novem­ber, Lady Day 25th of March and the feast of the nativity of St John the Baptist the 24th of June.

Appendix

The measurement of the areas of land has caused some confu­sion in the past because of the longer rod, pole or perch used to measure same. For example if we measure 1 acre with the 17½ft rod we have:

17½ft x 17½ft = 306¼sq ft = 1 sq pole

There are 40 square poles in a rood and 4 roods in an acre, therefore 40 x 306¼ =12,250 and 12,250 x 4=49,000 sq ft. Divide by 9 to convert into square yards and we have 5,444.44 square yards.

The modern acre from at least the Tudor period has been set at 4,840 sq yards, i.e. 604.44sq yds. smaller than in 1251 or in percentage terms we should increase the 1251 acreage by 12.49% to convert into present day areas. This incidentally is where the Copyholds or Half-Yard-Lands in the 17th century get their 17 acres from.

Page 10. A Quarter of Barley: Corn was measured by volume. The old imperial measure was as follows:

4 Gills = 1 Pint
2 Pints = 1 Quart
4 Quarts = 1 Gallon
2 Gallons = 1 Peck
4 Pecks = 1 Bushel
4 Bushels = 1 Comb
2 Comb = 1 Quarter

A comb of oats was reckoned to weigh 14 stone, a comb of barley 16 stone, and a comb of wheat 18 stone. At 14lbs to the stone. The metric equivalent of a comb is 145.47litres.