The hundred of Moreton: Introduction and map

Pages 447-448

A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.

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The present hundred of Moreton includes the two Domesday hundreds of Sloteford (Eletesford, Heslitesford, xi cent.; Sloteford, xiii cent.; Slotesford, xiv cent.) and Blewbury (Blitberie, xi cent.; Blebir, Blekebyr, xiii cent.). The two hundreds became united early in the 13th century, (fn. 2) and later in that century the name of Blewbury Hundred was changed to Moreton or South Moreton. (fn. 3) In 1327, however, Moreton and Sloteford Hundreds were again returned separately, (fn. 4) but Sloteford had disappeared before 1428 and the hundred was known as Moreton from that time. (fn. 5)

Index Map to Moreton Hundred

Between 1086 and the present day few changes have been made in the hundred. Blewbury, from which part of the hundred took its name, was transferred before 1327 to Reading Hundred, (fn. 6) but its hamlets of Aston Upthorpe, Upton and Nottingham Fee have always been in Moreton Hundred. (fn. 7) Cholsey was in Sloteford Hundred in 1086, but became part of Reading before 1327. (fn. 8) It seems probable that Moulsford was part of Cholsey in 1086, but it remained in Moreton Hundred, where it was returned early in the 13th century. (fn. 9) Hartridge in Ashampstead was returned in Reading Hundred in 1086, and in Theale Hundred in 1327 (fn. 10) and in 1549. (fn. 11)

The hundred has always belonged to the Crown. (fn. 12) In 1651 it was held, evidently under a lease, by William Lenthall, Speaker of the House of Commons. (fn. 13) At that time the court leet for the hundred was held once a year at Michaelmas, while the three-weekly court was held fairly regularly. (fn. 14) The place at which the leets were held is not known. Sloteford, where the leet for Sloteford Hundred was probably once held, was evidently in Moulsford, Simon and Nicholas de Sloteford occurring in the Subsidy Roll of 1327 for that parish, (fn. 15) but it is not now identifiable.


  • 1. This list, with the addition of Blewbury and East Garston, represents the extent of the hundred in 1831. Part of the former parish has always been in this hundred; East Garston is dealt with under Lambourn Hundred, but part of it was included in Moreton Hundred in 1831.
  • 2. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 132–3; Assize R. 43, m. 19.
  • 3. Blebir is used in 1241 (Assize R. 37, m. 27), and in 1275 both names, Blekebyr and Moreton, occur (Hund. R. [Rec. Com.], i, 12), though Moreton seems then to have been the official name. Suthmorton is used in 1283 (Assize R. 43, m. 19).
  • 4. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 6.
  • 5. Feud. Aids, i, 65.
  • 6. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 6.
  • 7. Ibid.; Parl. Surv. Berks. no. 7.
  • 8. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 6. Lollingdon in Cholsey is returned under Sloteford and Blebir Hundred early in the 13th century (Testa de Nevill [Rec. Com.], 132).
  • 9. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 133.
  • 10. V.C.H. Berks. i, 350; Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 6.
  • 11. Ct. R. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 154, no. 51.
  • 12. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 12, 16; Assize R. 43, m. 18 d., 19; Feud. Aids, i, 52; Cal. Inq. p.m. 10–20 Edw. II, 280; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccxxxiii, 42. The custody was granted by Catherine of Bragança to Sir John Stonehouse, bart., for thirty-one years in 1681, and Queen Anne leased it in 1706 to his son Sir John (Harl. MS. 2262, fol. 229).
  • 13. Parl. Surv. Berks. no. 7.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 6. The theory that 'Heslitesford' was identical with Moulsford was put forward by Dr. Beke in 1804 (Arch. xv, 183). The Rev. J. E. Field has identified Heslitesford with Littlestoke Ferry (co. Oxon.) near the Moulsford Asylum in Cholsey where the line of the Portway crossed the Thames.