THE HUNDRED OF WARGRAVE
CONTAINING THE PARISHES OF
|WALTHAM ST. LAWRENCE
The hundred of Wargrave was formed during the 12th or early 13th
century from the manors of Waltham St. Lawrence, Warfield and
Wargrave, with their dependent manors which had come into the possession
of the Bishops of Winchester. At the time of the Domesday Survey the
three manors were in different hundreds, Waltham St. Lawrence in
Beynhurst, (fn. 1) Warfield in Ripplesmere and Wargrave in Charlton. (fn. 2) Jurors
at the special inquisition of the hundreds made in 1274 (fn. 3) stated that the
hundred of Wargrave was given by King
Stephen with the manor to his brother
Henry, Bishop of Winchester. This grant
of the manor, however, was annulled, since
it was afterwards in the hands of Henry II. (fn. 4)
It is not certain whether the separate
hundred was permanently formed at the
date of Stephen's grant or at the close of
the 12th century, when the manors were
finally confirmed to the see of Winchester. (fn. 5)
Index Map to Wargrave Hundred
In 1284 (fn. 6) Bishop John of Pontoise
(1282–1304) stated that he was seised of
the hundred as appurtenant to the manor
of Wargrave, and that it was coterminous
with the manor. Waltham St. Lawrence
and Warfield were not excluded by this
description, since they were at this period
sometimes called members of Wargrave Manor. Edward I granted very
considerable hunting rights to the bishop in his lands and woods here, (fn. 7) both
within and without the royal forests, and in the next reign the hundred was
said to be held in free forestry. (fn. 8) The bishop held all the pleas of the
Crown, (fn. 9) and had gallows, the assizes of bread and ale, &c., and the view of
frankpledge for the men of his hundred, who, moreover, did not appear
before the king's coroners. (fn. 10) The descent of the hundred is identical with
that of the manor (q.v.), remaining among the possessions of Winchester
until the fall of Wolsey and afterwards passing to Sir Henry Neville and his
descendants. It is mentioned as the property of Lord Braybrooke in 1826, (fn. 11)
but all rights attached to it have presumably disappeared. At the present
day it forms a separate area for certain purposes of local government and
consists of the three parishes of which it was originally formed.
V.C.H. Berks, i, 327.
Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 14.
||See manor of Wargrave.
Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 80.
Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 274.
||Chan. Inq. p.m. 10 Edw. II, no. 103.
Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 17.
||Recov. R. East. 7 Geo. IV, m. 303.