Staffordshire Hundred Rolls: Introduction

Pages 105-109

Staffordshire Historical Collections, Vol. 5 Part 1. Originally published by Staffordshire Record Society, London, 1884.

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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Of suits, i.e., service due to the County and Hundred Courts by the respective manors, and which had been withdrawn.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 Wyston Barony of Stafford.
Robert de Essinton
Little Sardon Robert de Wyston Wenlock Priory.
Great Sardon Griffin Madoc Barony of Stafford.
Coven Ralph de Coven Do.
Stretton (fn. 3) Richard de Stretton Do.
Levedale (fn. 4) Richard de Kilkenni, Henry de Verdun Do.
Coppenhale William Bagot Do.
Haughton (fn. 5) Robert de Harlenton Do.
Knightley Robert de Ckniteley (held of Robert de Halenton) Do. (fn. 6)
Norbury Philip Marmiun Do. (fn. 7)
William Waleran
Weston-Jones John de Weston (held of Robert de Halenton) Do.
Wilbrighton Hervy de Wilbriton Do.
Morton Michael de Morton Barony of fitz Alan.
James de Morton
Weston, near Brewood Hugh de Weston Do.
Blymhill William de Ipstanes Barony of Stafford.
Rhalph de Coven
Geoffrey de Bromley
Richard de Pycheford
High Onn The Prior of Ware Belesme, i.e., Montgomery.
Church Eaton Adam de Brunton (Michael de Morton holds a part). Barony of Stafford.
Wiston and Bickford. (fn. 8) Robert de Wiston Abbot of Burton.
Marston Prior of Lapley Held in capite.
Otherton Robert Cocus Barony of Stafford.
Elyas de Otherton
Gnosal Magister Nicholas de Stanford Bishop of Chester.
Nicholas de Loges
William de Alta Villa (Hauteville)
Walter de Hampton
Hales with its members Alice Paunton (Pantolf), (held by Roes Trussel). Barony of fitz Alan.
Shuston (fn. 9) or Shushions. Warine de Beisin Wenlock Priory.
Pillatonhall Robert de Brock Abbot of Burton.
Rodbaston Hugh de Loges Held in capite.
Thorp Geoffrey Costentin Earl of Lancaster.
Clifton Campville Richard de Canvill Earl of Derby.
Annesley or Anslow Peter de Tok Abbot of Burton.
Hoarcross Robert de Melburn Earl of Derby.
Drayton-Basset Ralph Basset Baron of Dudley.
Shenstone Robert de Grendon Heirs of D'Oilli.
Wednesbury Simon de Heronvill Do.
West Bromwich Walter de Everoos (Devereux) and two coparceners Barony of Dudley.
Elford Walkeline de Arderne Roger de Monhaut.
Perry and Hampstead Henry de Pirie Barony of Dudley.
Harlaston Richard de Vernon Earl of Derby.
Burton, Horninglow, Stretton, Branstone Held in demesne by Abbot of Burton.
Tuttebury, Rolleston, Marchinton, Barton Held in demesne by Earl of Derby.
Yoxhall Margaret, Countess of Derby (in dower) (Earl of Derby.)
Longdon and its members (fn. 10) Bishop of Chester.
Walshall Geoffrey de Bakepuz and the son of Richard de Alansun. (The latter married to Margaret, daughter and heir of William le Rus) Held in capite.
Handsworth William de Parles Barony of Dudley.
Little Barr Richard de Bane (holds of William de Birmingham) Do.
Oakley Giles de Erdinton Barony of Stafford.
Whichnor and Sirescote John de Somerville Earl of Derby (as Lord of Chartley).
Ridewave Mauveysin Heir of Henry Mauveysin Barony of fitz Alan.
Rideware Hamstall William de Rideware Prior of Lapley.
Great Barrand Aldridge Richard de Grendon Heirs of D'Oilli.
Rushall Hugh de Boel (holds of Robert Bussaburi) Barony of Dudley.
Alrewas John de Somerville Held in capite.
Bromley Regis Roger Corbet Do.
Wigginton Robert Walrand, as custos, during minority of Henry de Hastings Do.
Bentley William de Benetley Held in capite.
Enville William de Burmingham (as custos) Barony of Dudley.
Morf Henry de Morf (held of William de Burmingham) Do.
Lutley Philip de Lutteley (held of Henry de Haggeley) Do.
Bobbington John fitz Philip Barony of Stafford.
Himley John de Plesi, Earl of Warwick; and William de Englefeld Barony of Dudley.
Amblecote Cecilia, Lady of Amblecote (holds of William de Burmingham) Do.
Wombourne and Orton Walter de Overtun Do.
Trysull Thomas de Tresel (holds of Philip de Frankeley) Do.
Patshull Robert Maunsel (holds of William Bagot) Barony of Stafford.
Wrottesley Hugh de Wrottesle Abbot of Evesham.
Pendeford Robert de Pendeford (holds of Alan de Erdenton) Barony of Dudley.
Bushbury Robert de Byssobury (holds of William de Burmingham) Do.
Lower Penn Roger Buffare Do.
Upper Penn Robert de Bisshoppuri (holds of William de Burmingham) Do.
Mollesley John de Grenehul and coparceners (hold of Robert de Esington) Do.
Tettenhale Held by the King in demesne.
Rowley Regis Philip de Rowele Held in capite.
Patingham Ralph Basset Barony of Dudley
Perton John de Perton Held in capite.
Arley John de Burgo Do.
Oaken Abbot of Crokesdene (a part held in capite by Nicolas de Oken and Adam, son of Robert Dote) Barony of Chartley.
Wolverhampton Guy de Roches, as custos, during the minority of Henry de Hastings Held in capite.
Kinver John fitz Philip Do.
Sedgeley Roger de Somery (the Baron of Dudley) Do.
Swinford and Clent, and Mere Roger 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.