A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
HIDAGIUM COMITATUS TOTIUS MIDDLESEXE
(B.M. Add. MS. 14252, ff. 126–7)
This manuscript, a copy of an earlier document, is contained in a collection, temp. John, relating to the administration of London. (fn. 1) Assuming that it is an accurate copy, internal evidence can be adduced to date the original. It was probably completed before the issue, between 1151 and 1153 or 1154, (fn. 2) of the charter in which King Stephen released from geld 6½ hides in eodem manerio Westmonasterii in quo ecclesia predicta sita est. (fn. 3) These 6½ hides were still answerable for geld when the Hidagium was drawn up. Since the Abbot of Colchester is entered as holding a small estate in Ossulstone Hundred, the original Hidagium must have been compiled after the foundation of this house in 1096, and probably after c. 1104, the date of the consecration of Hugh, the first abbot, and of the abbey itself. (fn. 4) There is no charter evidence to identify the small Middlesex estate given to Colchester nor can the date of the grant be determined. Round's view that the original Hidagium is 'not later than the middle of the 12th century' (fn. 5) is supported by the evidence, and in view of the close agreement with Domesday it may have been compiled in the first quarter of the century. (fn. 6)
From the fragmentary information contained in the section relating to the half hundred of Mimms, referred to in Domesday as Edmonton Hundred, it is evident that the manuscript from which the copy was made was imperfect or incomplete. The hides for three out of four manors are missing. Details for Elthorne Hundred are also missing from the document, but the total hides are included in the Summe Hundredorum (total 'C' below). In Gore Hundred the entries Stanmere ix hid' and terra Com' vi hid' may refer to the manor held by the Count of Mortain in Domesday, although smaller than the Domesday manor by half a hide. In respect of Ossulstone Hundred the total of 191½ hides given in the Summa (total 'B' below) is at variance with a figure of 211 hides in the list of hundred totals, the Summe Hundredorum. Of the two the first would seem to be the correct figure. (fn. 7) It agrees fairly closely with Domesday, for although the entries here recorded amount to 219¾ hides there is a writ of William I freeing from geld 24 hides which King Ethelbert is said to have given to St. Paul's iuxta murum Lond'. (fn. 8) Subsequent confirmations refer to this as land held by the canons. (fn. 9) Twenty-six out of 28¼ hides not shown in the Hidagium were held in 1086 by the Canons of St. Paul's and it is obvious that among them must be the 24 hides referred to in the writs. (fn. 10)
The Hidagium gives three separate sets of figures from which the total hidage of the county can be obtained, as well as that which can be arrived at by adding up the details of individual entries. After making adjustments for omissions, there are slight variations in the resultant figures and these, together with the Domesday total, are compared in Table 1 under the following headings:
A The total of individual entries. The details given for the half hundred of Mimms are defective. They are missing for Isleworth (Hounslow) and for Elthorne. In the table they are supplemented by information (shown in brackets) given elsewhere in the document.
B At the foot of each hundred column is given a Summa, no doubt representing the sum of the details for the hundred. There is not one for Elthorne. The detail for Elthorne (shown in brackets) is taken from C. Mimms (Edmonton) has a total at the head (70 hides) and at the foot (69 hides) of the column.
E An amount of £85 0s. 6d. given as the Danegeld for Middlesex and reckoned at the rate of 2s. a hide, presupposes a total of 850¼ hides. (fn. 11) This figure, shown in column E, is very close to the sum of the totals (column B).
The Westminster entries provide an interesting but obscure aspect of the Hidagium. The purpose of the annotation Abb. which accompanies some entries is not clear. Baring suggested that it was a later addition. (fn. 12) Possibly a copy of the document came into the possession of Westminster Abbey and the information relating to it was then added. Between the death of Gilbert Crispin in 1117, however, and the appointment of Herbert, his successor, in 1121 there was a period in which the king retained the abbey in his own hands, and the possibility cannot be ruled out that the notes were inserted by royal officials.
If the notes had been put in by a monk of West minster, it is curious that Haggerston, for example, should be shown as part of the abbey's lands to which it never belonged; and that the abbey is not accredited with any land in Kingsbury, although it is known to have held an estate there in 1086 and 1157. (fn. 13)