THE HUNDRED OF WANTAGE
Containing The Parishes Of Ardington; Hanney; East And West Lockinge; Childrey; East Hendred; Sparsholt; Denchworth; West Hendred; Hammey; Wantage
The Domesday hundred of 'Wanetinz' included practically the whole
area of the modern hundred, with the addition of 5 hides in Buckland, now
in the hundred of Ganfield, and half a virgate in 'Sudtone,' which has not
been identified. (fn. 1) The assessment of the whole hundred in the reign of the
Confessor had been 224 hides. Ten
hides in East Hanney are entered
in the Survey under 'Merceham'
Hundred (now part of Ock), (fn. 2) and
parts of Childrey and Sparsholt
under 'Eletesford' (Moreton)
Hundred, possibly by mistake. (fn. 3)
Two East Hendred manors are
placed in 'Sudtone' Hundred (fn. 4) (now
part of Ock). Since 1831 parts of
Denchworth have been placed in
Ock Hundred. Kingston Lisle and
Fawler in Sparsholt have always
been in Shrivenham Hundred.
Index Map to The Hundred Of Wantage
The grant of the manor of
Wantage by Richard I to Baldwin
de Béthune included soc and sac, tol and theam, infangentheof, utfangentheof,
and freedom from suit at shires or hundreds. (fn. 5) There is no record of the
grant of the hundred itself to Baldwin, but apparently his successors
assumed that both this hundred and that of Ganfield were appurtenant to
the manor. Fulk Fitz Warin claimed in 1284 that he held the two by the
enfeoffment of William Marshal Earl of Pembroke, whose charter he
quoted. (fn. 6) The king's attorney objected that the charter dealt only with the
manor of Wantage, and that the hundreds did not belong to any manor. (fn. 7)
Nevertheless Fulk and later owners of the manor held the hundred. (fn. 8)
In 1224 Fulk Fitz Warin made an agreement with the Abbot of
Abingdon by which the abbot's fair at Shellingford came to an end for the
benefit of Fulk's fair at Wantage. Among other concessions he released the
abbot and his men from suit at the hundred courts of Wantage and
Ganfield. It was agreed that the officers of the hundreds should attend the
abbot's court when summoned by his seneschal, and should there hold the
view of frankpledge and pleas of the Crown. They were to receive no
amercements for offences relating to the hundred. The fines for offences
against the Crown were to belong to the abbot. (fn. 9) It is uncertain
whether the abbots continued to enjoy this exemption from the ordinary
jurisdiction of the hundred. The dispute as to the fair of Shellingford was
not finally settled by this agreement. (fn. 10)
A survey of 1651 found that the value of the two hundreds of Wantage
and Ganfield, evidently treated as one for purposes of jurisdiction, was
£9 2s. 8d. Of this, £6 6s. 8d. represented the profits of the court leet,
regularly held at Michaelmas, and the three weeks court, 'usually kept.'
The rest of the revenue was made up of certainty money collected by the
constables of the various tithings. (fn. 11)
V.C.H. Berks, i, 328–9, 335, 342–3, 345–6, 348, 352–3, 355, 357, 360–1, 366, 368.
||Cart. Antiq. EE 27.
Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 81.
||Chan. Inq. p.m. 23 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 39; 8 Hen. IV, no. 47; 9 Hen. VI, no. 54; (Ser. 2),
ccccvii, 69; Close, 6 Anne, pt. x, no. 9; Chan. Enr. Decrees, 1832, no. 2; Parl. Surv. Berks. no. 10;
Lysons, Mag. Brit. i, 167; Char. Com. Rep. (1908), 537.
||Feet of F. Berks. 8 Hen. III, no. 8.
||Parl. Surv. Berks. no. 10.