A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1965.
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THE HUNDRED OF WESTMINSTER (Upper Division)
The hundred of Westminster originated as the estates of Westminster Abbey within Deerhurst hundred. Deerhurst hundred in 1086 comprised 119 hides lying partly in a coherent area on either side of the river near Deerhurst and partly as isolated estates in the north-east part of the county, and presumably constituted the possessions of the former monastery at Deerhurst. When Edward the Confessor divided those possessions between the abbeys of St. Denis in Paris and St. Peter in Westminster, (fn. 1) Westminster Abbey got the whole of Bourton-on-the-Hill, Corse, (fn. 2) Elmstone, Hardwicke, (fn. 3) Hasfield, Moreton-in-Marsh, Sutton-under-Brailes, and Todenham, and part of Boddington, Deerhurst, Kemerton, Leigh, and Tirley. (fn. 4) The remainder of Boddington, and a second part of Kemerton, had become attached to Tewkesbury manor; (fn. 5) a third part of Kemerton, and the remaining parts of Deerhurst, Leigh, and Tirley, belonged to St. Denis. (fn. 6)
The 119 hides listed in Domesday as making up Deerhurst hundred together with the 3 hides in Boddington and the 8 hides in Kemerton that had become attached to Tewkesbury manor make a total of 130 hides, while the 4 hides in Ashton under Hill and 2¾ in Stoke Orchard that were similarly attached to Tewkesbury manor make with the 64 hides listed as Tibblestone hundred (in which the rest of Ashton under Hill and Stoke Orchard lay) (fn. 7) a total of 70¾. This suggests that Tibblestone hundred, later to be split into the hundreds of Tibblestone and Cleeve, was what remained of a double hundred of fractionally over 200 hides after the possessions of the monastery at Deerhurst had been subtracted.
Westminster Abbey's part of Deerhurst hundred, which may have been separately administered from the mid-11th century, was not named as a separate hundred in the 12th-century Pipe Rolls, (fn. 8) and in 1276, though distinguished as a liberty, was not explicitly called a hundred. (fn. 9) Westminster hundred occurs by that name in 1303. (fn. 10)
While the hundred was a fragment of a larger one, some of its constituent parts were fragments of townships and may have originated in the division of single estates. Westminster Abbey's parts of the places named in Domesday as divided between the abbey and other tenants in chief can be identified in later sources: Hayden and Withy Bridge in Boddington; (fn. 11) Wightfield and Apperley and part of Deerhurst Walton in Deerhurst; (fn. 12) in Leigh, Evington; and in Tirley, Tirley Rye. (fn. 13) Between 1086 and 1327 Kemerton came wholly within Tewkesbury hundred, (fn. 14) and part of Bourton-on-the-Hill was transferred to Tewkesbury hundred apparently in the late 11th century. (fn. 15) After 1327 there was no change in the make-up of Westminster hundred until 1844, when Sutton-under-Brailes was transferred to Warwickshire. (fn. 16)
The hundred continued to belong to Westminster Abbey, which held a twice-yearly court leet at Plaistow in Deerhurst, of which rolls survive, with large gaps, for the period c. 1386–1786. (fn. 17) The abbey's tenants in Moreton-in-Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Todenham, and Sutton-under-Brailes did not attend this court; view of frankpledge for them was at Moreton-in-Marsh. (fn. 18)
This separation was reflected, by the early 18th century, in the partition of the hundred between upper and lower divisions: in 1716 there was a separate high constable for each, (fn. 19) and the divisions were also separate fiscal (fn. 20) and censal units. (fn. 21) The histories of the parishes in the lower division are not included in the present volume. Of the parishes in the upper division, the history of Sutton-under-Brailes is contained in a volume on Warwickshire, (fn. 22) and that of Bourton-on-the-Hill in the present volume (fn. 23) as part of Tewkesbury hundred.