Staffordshire Hundred Rolls


Institute of Historical Research



Major-General Hon. G. Wrottesley (editor)

Year published




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'Staffordshire Hundred Rolls: Introduction', Staffordshire Historical Collections, vol. 5 part 1 (1884), pp. 105-109. URL: Date accessed: 25 November 2014.


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The Staffordshire Hundred Rolls.

The Hundred Rolls are inquisitions taken by a jury of knights and freeholders of each Hundred, in pursuance of special commissions issued by the King.

The earliest Hundred Rolls extant are those of 39 H. III., i.e., A.D. 1255. Of these, the Annals of Burton (printed) contain an account, including the articles of enquiry, taken evidently from the original writ, and which are not to be found elsewhere. The Chronicle says:—

"Eodem tempore, missi sunt per regnum Justiciarii ad inquisitionem faciendum, super articulis subsequentibus. Dominus Henricus de Bathonia cum sociis suis sedit apud Notingham, qui ibidem se bono modo et curialiter habuerunt; similiter et alii per totum regnum, Dominus Phillipo Lovel apud Staffordiam durius et asperius se habente, etc."

It then proceeds to detail the articles of enquiry as follows:—

The rights or liberties of the Crown, abstracted or diminished.

Of suits, i.e., service due to the County and Hundred Courts by the respective manors, and which had been withdrawn.

The demesne manors of the King, and suit of mills within them, and any purprestures (encroachments) upon them.

On the state of the King's forests and Hayes, and waste and destruction, or encroachment within them.

Of those who held pleas of forbidden distress, or view of frankpledge without the Sheriff, and without warrant to that effect.

Of churches in the King's gift, and of widows and infants at the disposal of the King, etc.

Another special commission, calling for similar information, was issued by Edward I. in the second year of his reign. Under this commission the articles of enquiry were further extended, including, in addition to usurpations on the rights of the Crown, a return of knights' fees and Sergeanties, and an account of any source of revenue diminished by alienations made without license to religious bodies or other persons. Also, all excesses of Sheriffs, Coroners, Escheators, or other Bailiffs of the King.

The Record Commissioners printed all the Hundred Rolls which were known to exist at the date of their publications; but a further search of the Old Chapter House Records has brought to light additional rolls of this description, including amongst them a complete Roll of the Seisdon Hundred of Staffordshire of 39 H. III., and a fragment of a Roll of Totmonslowe, of 3 E. I. These two latter documents (translated into English) are now printed for the first time.

The Hundred Rolls of Staffordshire therefore now available for historical purposes are:—

1. The Cuttlestone Hundred Roll, of 39 H. III., printed by the Record Commissioners: "Rotuli Hundredorum," Vol. II.

2. The Seisdon Hundred Roll, of 39 H. III.; printed in the present volume.

3. The Offlow Hundred Roll, of 39 H. III.; printed by Shaw in the appendix to his "History of Staffordshire," and taken from one of the Harleian MSS. [K. 10] in the British Museum.

4. A fragment of the Roll of 3 E. I. for Totmonslowe; printed in the present volume.

5. A fragment of the Roll of 4 E. I. for Offlow; printed by the Record Commissioners: "Rotuli Hundredorum," Vol. II.

It is impossible to overestimate the value of the Hundred Rolls for local history; they show at a glance the owner of every manor, or part of a manor, if it should be divided; the chief lord of whom it is held; the service by which it is held; its hidage, i.e., the value at which it is assessed for taxation, (fn. 1) and many other particulars of use to the historian.

Nor is their value confined to historical purposes only: the manor, township, or villa of former days was the fiscal unit, the Sheriff and his bailiffs collecting the taxation by means of the Reeves or Provosts of the manor. The townships thus separately assessed corresponded to the ancient manors, and the Hundred Rolls in this way afford important legal evidence when manorial rights are in question.

It is not considered necessary as a rule to reproduce in these Collections matter which has already appeared in print elsewhere; but as many of our subscribers may not have ready access to the volumes above mentioned, I append below a list of the lords of manors 39–40 H. III., as given by the three Hundred Rolls of Cuttleston, Offlow, and Seisdon:—

Names of Place.Lord.Chief Lord.
Essington (fn. 2) Robert de WystonBarony of Stafford.
Robert de Essinton
Little SardonRobert de WystonWenlock Priory.
Great SardonGriffin MadocBarony of Stafford.
CovenRalph de CovenDo.
Stretton (fn. 3) Richard de StrettonDo.
Levedale (fn. 4) Richard de Kilkenni, Henry de VerdunDo.
CoppenhaleWilliam BagotDo.
Haughton (fn. 5) Robert de HarlentonDo.
KnightleyRobert de Ckniteley (held of Robert de Halenton)Do. (fn. 6)
NorburyPhilip MarmiunDo. (fn. 7)
William Waleran
Weston-JonesJohn de Weston (held of Robert de Halenton)Do.
WilbrightonHervy de WilbritonDo.
MortonMichael de MortonBarony of fitz Alan.
James de Morton
Weston, near BrewoodHugh de WestonDo.
BlymhillWilliam de IpstanesBarony of Stafford.
Rhalph de Coven
Geoffrey de Bromley
Richard de Pycheford
High OnnThe Prior of WareBelesme, i.e., Montgomery.
Church EatonAdam de Brunton (Michael de Morton holds a part).Barony of Stafford.
Wiston and Bickford. (fn. 8) Robert de WistonAbbot of Burton.
MarstonPrior of LapleyHeld in capite.
OthertonRobert CocusBarony of Stafford.
Elyas de Otherton
GnosalMagister Nicholas de StanfordBishop of Chester.
Nicholas de Loges
William de Alta Villa (Hauteville)
Walter de Hampton
Hales with its membersAlice Paunton (Pantolf), (held by Roes Trussel).Barony of fitz Alan.
Shuston (fn. 9) or Shushions.Warine de BeisinWenlock Priory.
PillatonhallRobert de BrockAbbot of Burton.
RodbastonHugh de LogesHeld in capite.
ThorpGeoffrey CostentinEarl of Lancaster.
Clifton CampvilleRichard de CanvillEarl of Derby.
Annesley or AnslowPeter de TokAbbot of Burton.
HoarcrossRobert de MelburnEarl of Derby.
Drayton-BassetRalph BassetBaron of Dudley.
ShenstoneRobert de GrendonHeirs of D'Oilli.
WednesburySimon de HeronvillDo.
West BromwichWalter de Everoos (Devereux) and two coparcenersBarony of Dudley.
ElfordWalkeline de ArderneRoger de Monhaut.
Perry and HampsteadHenry de PirieBarony of Dudley.
HarlastonRichard de VernonEarl of Derby.
Burton, Horninglow, Stretton, BranstoneHeld in demesne byAbbot of Burton.
Tuttebury, Rolleston, Marchinton, BartonHeld in demesne byEarl of Derby.
YoxhallMargaret, Countess of Derby (in dower)(Earl of Derby.)
Longdon and its members (fn. 10) Bishop of Chester.
WalshallGeoffrey de Bakepuz and the son of Richard de Alansun. (The latter married to Margaret, daughter and heir of William le Rus)Held in capite.
HandsworthWilliam de ParlesBarony of Dudley.
Little BarrRichard de Bane (holds of William de Birmingham)Do.
OakleyGiles de ErdintonBarony of Stafford.
Whichnor and SirescoteJohn de SomervilleEarl of Derby (as Lord of Chartley).
Ridewave MauveysinHeir of Henry MauveysinBarony of fitz Alan.
Rideware HamstallWilliam de RidewarePrior of Lapley.
Great Barrand AldridgeRichard de GrendonHeirs of D'Oilli.
RushallHugh de Boel (holds of Robert Bussaburi)Barony of Dudley.
AlrewasJohn de SomervilleHeld in capite.
Bromley RegisRoger CorbetDo.
WiggintonRobert Walrand, as custos, during minority of Henry de HastingsDo.
BentleyWilliam de BenetleyHeld in capite.
EnvilleWilliam de Burmingham (as custos)Barony of Dudley.
MorfHenry de Morf (held of William de Burmingham)Do.
LutleyPhilip de Lutteley (held of Henry de Haggeley)Do.
BobbingtonJohn fitz PhilipBarony of Stafford.
HimleyJohn de Plesi, Earl of Warwick; and William de EnglefeldBarony of Dudley.
AmblecoteCecilia, Lady of Amblecote (holds of William de Burmingham)Do.
Wombourne and OrtonWalter de OvertunDo.
TrysullThomas de Tresel (holds of Philip de Frankeley)Do.
PatshullRobert Maunsel (holds of William Bagot)Barony of Stafford.
WrottesleyHugh de WrottesleAbbot of Evesham.
PendefordRobert de Pendeford (holds of Alan de Erdenton)Barony of Dudley.
BushburyRobert de Byssobury (holds of William de Burmingham)Do.
Lower PennRoger BuffareDo.
Upper PennRobert de Bisshoppuri (holds of William de Burmingham)Do.
MollesleyJohn de Grenehul and coparceners (hold of Robert de Esington)Do.
TettenhaleHeld by the King in demesne.
Rowley RegisPhilip de RoweleHeld in capite.
PatinghamRalph BassetBarony of Dudley
PertonJohn de PertonHeld in capite.
ArleyJohn de BurgoDo.
OakenAbbot of Crokesdene (a part held in capite by Nicolas de Oken and Adam, son of Robert Dote)Barony of Chartley.
WolverhamptonGuy de Roches, as custos, during the minority of Henry de HastingsHeld in capite.
KinverJohn fitz PhilipDo.
SedgeleyRoger de Somery (the Baron of Dudley)Do.
Swinford and Clent, and MereRoger de Somery (the Baron of Dudley)Do.

The Bishop appears to have obtained the suppression of all mention of his manors in Cuttleston Hundred, and no details are given of his manors in Offlow Hundred. Bishop Hugh had taken advantage of Henry IIIrd's need of money to purchase from him several franchises, and amongst these was one to the effect that all his manors and all his vassals should be quit of all suit to County or Hundred, and of the Sheriff's aid, etc., see the deed at p. 155. It was owing, I think, to this privilege that so slight a notice of the Bishop's manors occurs on these Rolls.


1 The hidage of the Hundred Rolls corresponds very closely with that given by Domesday; where there is a discrepancy, it can usually be accounted for by the partial afforestation of a manor, or the clemosination of it to a religious house. Thus the hidage of Morf is greatly reduced from the Domesday computation owing, no doubt, to the creation or extension of Kinver Forest. The hidage of Wrottesley is reduced one-half, viz., from two hides to one hide; and this arose probably from the grant of it to Evesham Abbey. Those portions of a manor which were "de victu monachorum" were not geldable, and this part would be represented in the case of Wrottesley by the chief rent of 2 marks paid to the Abbey.
2 Misprinted Elington in the "Rotuli Hundredorum."
3 Misprinted Preston in the "Rotuli Hundredorum."
4 Misprinted Lonedil in the "Rotuli Hundredorum."
5 Misprinted Hasenton in the "Rotuli Hundredorum."
6 A mistake for fitz Alan.
7 A mistake for De Lacy, see p. 235, Vol. I., of Staff. Col'.
8 Misprinted Lukeford in the "Rotuli Hundredorum."
9 Misprinted Stuston in the "Rotuli Hundredorum."
10 Its members are named, but not the lords of them. The members were Fisherwick, Horton, Handsacre, Wittington, Hintes, Tipton, Parkington, Weeford, Haselor, Statfold, Tamhorn, Little Wirley, Freford, Harbourne, Hammerwich, and Pipe.