A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1940.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
THE HUNDRED OF HOLMESTROW
THE Hundred of Holmestrow [Homestreu (xi cent.), Holmestre (xiixiii cent.), Holmestrouhe (xiii cent.)] in 1086 consisted of Rodmell, Herbertinges (in Piddinghoe), and Orleswick. (fn. 1) In 1296 it was divided for purposes of taxation into two groups, the first unnamed, the second Meeching and Piddinghoe. (fn. 2) The divisions in 1327 and 1332 were Rodmell, Southease, and Meeching, (fn. 3) and in 1621 Rodmell, Southease with Telscombe, and Meeching and Piddinghoe. (fn. 4) At about this same period, however, the steward of Lord Bergavenny named as the four boroughs of the hundred, Rodmell, Middleborough, (fn. 5) Southease with Telscombe, and Meeching with Piddinghoe. (fn. 6)
The courts leet of the hundred met twice yearly at Rodmell, at least until the middle of the 17th century. (fn. 7) The constable of the hundred 'for his better incouragement in the kinges seruice' was allowed, during his year of office, to graze freely one bullock among the common herd of each of the four 'boroughs' from May-day until 'Hollantide'. The farmers of Northease always undertook this charge for Rodmell. (fn. 8) The constable was elected in turn from Rodmell, Southease, Middleborough, Meeching, Rodmell, Telscombe, Middleborough, Piddinghoe, and so to Rodmell again. (fn. 9) The annual common fine was 12s. from Rodmell, 26s. 8d. from Southease and Telscombe, 3s. from Middleborough, and 20s. from Meeching and Piddinghoe. (fn. 10) Towards this each yardland in Rodmell paid 3d. a year, in Southease and Telscombe 5d. a year, and in Meeching and Piddinghoe 4d. a year, while 2d. a year was due from each householder in Rodmell and Southease and the same amount from each cottager in Telscombe, Meeching, and Piddinghoe. Servants paid 1d. a year in Rodmell, Southease, and Telscombe. The headboroughs, in payment of their services, were to pasture cattle freely among those of their parishes, two bullocks for Rodmell, one bullock for Southease and Telscombe, in whichever parish the headborough dwelt, and a cow for Meeching and Piddinghoe.
Middleborough was probably in the neighbourhood of Deans, in Piddinghoe. The inhabitants were said in the 17th century to be few so that the burden of official duty fell heavily upon them. One man was known to have acted in the same year as constable and alderman of the hundred as well as headborough. (fn. 11)