A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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THE HUNDRED OF BISHOP'S SUTTON
|BISHOP'S SUTTON||HEADLEY||WEST TISTED (fn. 1)|
At the time of the Domesday Survey the hundred of Bishop's Sutton was known as the hundred of Esselei, and comprised the following places:—West Tisted, Bishop's Sutton (which included Ropley), and Bramdean. The amount of the land assessed was 18 hides 1 virgate. (fn. 2) Headley, which was included in Bishop's Sutton hundred in 1831, and is now in Alton hundred, was entered under Neatham hundred, but was said to be reckoned as part of Esselei. (fn. 3) Bighton at the time of the survey was included in Chuteley hundred. (fn. 4) Ropley is not mentioned, but was most probably included in Bishop's Sutton. The land in Headley and Bighton was assessed at 12 hides, so that the total hidage of the land afterwards comprising Bishop's Sutton was about 30 hides. It is not possible to find out when the name of 'Esselei' disappeared and that of Bishop's Sutton was substituted. From 1207, the date of the earliest court-roll, the hundred was known as Sutton, and in 1316 included the vills of Ropley, Headley, West Tisted, Bramdean, and Bighton, and the borough of Alresford. (fn. 5) The last-named was a liberty in 1831, but at what date it became so is uncertain. (fn. 6) The court-rolls show that the bishops of Winchester were lords of the hundred from 1207 onwards, and held a tourn at Bishop's Sutton at Hock-tide and Martinmas. In a book of the customs of Sutton of the time of Henry III, there is a reference to a rather unusual service, apparently relating to the Alresford ponds. The text runs as follows:—'Item homines dicunt quod nihil debent cariare de instrumentis piscatoris quia vivarium non pertinet hundredo de Sutton immo hundredo de Alresford.' (fn. 7) At the time of John Poynet's accession to the see in 1551, when the episcopal manors were exchanged for a fixed rent, (fn. 8) the hundred of Bishop's Sutton, being in the king's hands, was granted to Sir John Gate. (fn. 9) It was, however, restored with the other episcopal property in 1558, (fn. 10) and continued to be held by the bishops of Winchester until 1869, when the lands of the bishop of Winchester were taken over by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The parish of Headley was removed from the hundred of Bishop's Sutton to that of Alton between 1831 and 1841. (fn. 11)