The Hundred lies west of the river Lea in the north-east corner of Middlesex.
Crossed by the Great North Road and Ermine Street, it is bounded by
Hertfordshire in the north, north-east, and north-west, and by Ossulstone in
the south and south-west. In 1881 it covered 31,805 a. (fn. 1) South Mimms, Monken
Hadley, and part of Enfield project westward into Hertfordshire and from the later 19th
century have been transferred piecemeal to that county.
In 1086 the hundred comprised the manors of Enfield, Tottenham, and Edmonton
with the berewick of South Mimms, which presumably included Monken Hadley.
It was then assessed at only 70 hides, less than any other Middlesex hundred. (fn. 2) From
1130 it was frequently described as a half hundred. (fn. 3) The early-12th-century Middlesex
Hidagium calls it the 'half hundred of Mimms' but some of the details for the area are
missing. (fn. 4)
THE HUNDRED OF EDMONTON
The components of the hundred hardly varied after 1086. By 1316 they consisted of
the vills of Edmonton, Enfield, South Mimms, and Tottenham. (fn. 5) Monken Hadley was
expressly mentioned as a constituent in 1524. (fn. 6) By the late 15th century the number of
manors in the hundred had increased to c. 16, excluding those of East and Chipping
Barnet and Brookmans, part of whose lands lay in South Mimms. (fn. 7)
The hundred apparently was never alienated by the Crown. (fn. 8) In 1273-4 Tottenham
and Edmonton were presented for not attending the hundred court, (fn. 9) to which they
owed suit. Only Roger Lewknor at South Mimms and the abbot of Walden and
Humphrey de Bohun sustained their claims to view of frankpledge in 1294. (fn. 10)
A bailiff was mentioned in 1273-4 and from 1294 there was a chief bailiff. (fn. 11) In the
early 17th century the term of office was apparently indefinite. The chief bailiff, four
electors of jurors, and eight other jurors represented Edmonton at the eyre of 1294. (fn. 12)
In 1305 actions were heard before a constable of the peace for the hundred. (fn. 13) There
was a chief constable in 1486, who was a maltman from Enfield, (fn. 14) and by 1613 there
were three chief constables, all gentlemen, responsible respectively for Edmonton,
Enfield, and Mimms and Hadley. (fn. 15) Later known as high constables, until at least
1747 (fn. 16) they were elected and sworn at quarter sessions, initially for a three-year term, (fn. 17)
although some served for as long as five years. (fn. 18) In the early 17th century about 16
petty constables were responsible to them. (fn. 19) From 1559 (fn. 20) to 1729 (fn. 21) Edmonton was
normally associated with Gore and Ossulstone hundreds for musters to arms and
administering the county funds.
The meeting-place of the hundred may have been near Potters Bar. (fn. 22) In 1658 a track
led from Mutton Lane (the lane near which the moots were held) (fn. 23) to an area of 109 a.
in Enfield Chase marked as 'mote plane'. (fn. 24) After the Middlesex county court had been
reorganized under the Small Debts, Middlesex, Act of 1750, (fn. 25) the court for Edmonton
hundred suitors was held from at least 1808 at the George, Enfield. (fn. 26) The court ceased
to function in that form after the passage of the County Courts Act, 1846. (fn. 27)
The bronze matrix of the hundred seal, round, 2.7 cm., made in 1390-1 to seal the
passes required by the Statute of Cambridge (1388), survives. (fn. 28) Legends, black letter,
EDELME/TONE and SIGILLUM/COMITATUS MIDD' and on the reverse ED.