THE HUNDRED OF HERTFORD
CONTAINING (fn. 1) THE PARISHES OF
|Parts of ALL SAINTS and ST. JOHN'S
|HERTFORD, including the liberties of
|Brickendon and Little Amwell
|| ST. ANDREW RURAL
|| STANSTEAD ST. MARGARET'S
|BROXBOURNE with HODDESDON
|CHESHUNT ST. MARY
|| and HERTFORD BOROUGH
Hertford Hundred lies in the valley of the Lea, for the most part to the
south of the borough of Hertford, which it almost encircles. Little is
known of the spot where the courts
were held, but it was apparently
customary for the sheriff's tourn to
be held at Ware Bridge in the 14th
century. (fn. 2) The hundred adjoins the
counties of Essex and Middlesex on
the east and south respectively.
Index Map to the Hundred of Hertford
The hundred in 1086 was somewhat more extensive than at the
beginning of last century. It originally included Bramfield on the
north-west. (fn. 3) Four men and the
reeve together with the whole township (villata) of Bramfield were wont
to plead and to be geldable with the
rest of the king's 'foreign' (forinsec)
hundred of Hertford; but about
1260 Abbot John of St. Albans
annexed Bramfield to his liberty, (fn. 4)
and thenceforward it was accounted
part of the abbots' hundred of Cashio. (fn. 5)
The Domesday Survey also locates
the unidentified holdings of Stiuicesworde and Bricewold within the hundred
of Hertford. (fn. 6) The royal jurisdiction here as elsewhere was considerably
diminished by the liberties exercised by religious houses over their lands.
The Abbot of Westminster claimed exemption from suit at the hundred
court for his tenants at Amwell, the Knights Templars for theirs in Bengeo.
The tenants of Waltham Holy Cross had a similar exemption in the liberty
of Brickendon and at Wormley. The men of the hospital of St. Bartholomew
at Tewin, and those of Hertford Priory, Merton Priory and the Priory of Holy
Trinity Aldgate, had all withdrawn their suit from the hundred by 1278. (fn. 7)
The hundreds of Hertford and Braughing were usually farmed jointly by
a single bailiff. (fn. 8) The value of Hertford Hundred in 1278 was £10 yearly. (fn. 9)
Early in the year 1319 inquisition was made as to the possibility of severing
these two hundreds from the body of the county; but their value was
uncertain, since the sheriff accounted for the whole county in gross. (fn. 10) In
1335 the petition of Edmund 'de Bolestroda,' a servant (valet) of Henry of
Lancaster, who desired to hold the two hundreds severally at farm, was rejected,
as it was proved to the Council that they were of the body of the county and
could not be separated. (fn. 11) No such consideration weighed with Queen
Elizabeth, who in 1571 granted these and other hundreds to William Cecil
Lord Burghley and his heirs, to hold in fee farm. (fn. 12) Burghley's son, Robert
Earl of Salisbury, bequeathed them to his son and heir William, (fn. 13) and they
have descended with the earldom of Salisbury.
||This list represents the extent of the hundred in 1831 (Pop. Ret. 1831, i, 248). In the arrangement
of the parishes of Hertford Borough the boundaries adopted under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835
have been used.
||Chan. Inq. p.m. 50 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 3; Anct. D. (P.R.O.), D 641.
V.C.H. Herts. i, 341a.
Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 290.
V.C.H. Herts. ii, 320.
||Ibid. i, 331, 341.
Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 276 et seq.; cf. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 190.
||Assize R. 318, m. 18; Hardy, Sess. R. (Herts. Co. Rec.), i, 28, 54, 64, 319; Memo. R. (Exch.
L.T.R.), Hil. 11 Jas. I, 'Recorda,' m. 294. In 1297 John of Bayford farmed these two hundreds and also
Broadwater and Hitchin.
||Assize R. 323.
||Memo. R. (Exch. L.T.R.), Hil. 12 Edw. II, 'Brevia,' m. 78.
Parl. R. ii, 93a
||Pat. 13 Eliz. pt. vii, m. 25 (grant begins m. 21).
||Will P.C.C. 49 Fenner.