Shrivenham hundred: Introduction

A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1924.

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'Shrivenham hundred: Introduction', in A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4, ed. William Page, P H Ditchfield( London, 1924), British History Online [accessed 18 July 2024].

'Shrivenham hundred: Introduction', in A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4. Edited by William Page, P H Ditchfield( London, 1924), British History Online, accessed July 18, 2024,

"Shrivenham hundred: Introduction". A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4. Ed. William Page, P H Ditchfield(London, 1924), , British History Online. Web. 18 July 2024.


Containing The Parishes Of Ashbury (fn. 1); Buscot; Coleshill; Compton; Beauchamp; Eaton Hastings; Shrivenham (fn. 2); Uffington (fn. 3);

The area now included in the hundred of Shrivenham was in 1086 divided between the three hundreds of Shrivenham, Wyfold and Hildeslaw. The hundred of Shrivenham then contained the townships of Shrivenham, Watchfield and Becket, (fn. 4) the hundred of Wyfold the townships of Faringdon, Coxwell, Coleshill, Buscot, (fn. 5) and probably Eaton (which is not located in any hundred in the Domesday Survey, (fn. 6) but which from its geographical position must have always lain within this hundred), whilst in Hildeslaw Hundred were included Woolstone, Uffington, Ashbury, Compton, Odstone, Knighton (fn. 7) and part of Sparsholt. (fn. 8) The pre-Conquest assessment of Hildeslaw was for 150 hides, of Wyfold (including Eaton) for 144, and of Shrivenham for 71. In 1086 Hildeslaw was assessed for 71 hides and 1 virgate, Wyfold for 24½ hides (fn. 9) and Shrivenham for 58 hides and 4 acres.

Index Map To The Hundred Of Shrivenham.

Within these three hundreds the king in 1086 held Shrivenham, Faringdon and Sparsholt in demesne. Faringdon early developed into a borough, and was apparently already separate from the hundred of Wyfold when granted by King John to Beaulieu Abbey. The hundred of Faringdon, as held by the abbot, included the parishes of Great and Little Faringdon and Coxwell. (fn. 10) Shrivenham remained royal demesne until 1200, when the manor was granted to Geoffrey Count of Perche, the rights over the hundred evidently being included in the grant of the manor. (fn. 11) Early in the reign of Henry III the manor and hundred were acquired by William Marshal Earl of Pembroke and William Longespée Earl of Salisbury (see Shrivenham). The Earl of Pembroke granted his share to Warin Monchesney, who married his daughter Joan, whilst the Earl of Salisbury alienated the second moiety to Reginald de Whitchurch and Adam de Hawtrey. (fn. 12) The hundreds of Hildeslaw and Wyfold, which by the beginning of the 13th century had been thrown together into the single 'hundred of Hildeslaw and Wyfold,' (fn. 13) may have continued for a time to be farmed by the sheriff, but the position of Shrivenham between the two hundreds and the absence of any royal demesne within them (fn. 14) seem to have contributed to bring about before long their amalgamation with that hundred. (fn. 15) In 1276 it was deposed that the bailiffs of William de Valence (fn. 16) had moved the hundred court of Hildeslaw to a place within the bounds of Shrivenham Hundred. (fn. 17) The hundred had its own jurors as late as 1284, (fn. 18) but by the end of this century or the beginning of the next it formed an 'extrinsec' or 'forinsec' hundred of Shrivenham. (fn. 19) In 1327 the intrinsec hundred included the townships of Shrivenham, Bourton, Cotes (Longcot) and Fernham, the forinsec hundred those of Watchfield, Littleworth, Eton, Coleshill, Buscot, Ashbury, Edwinston (or Idstone in Ashbury), Compton, Odstone, Becket, Woolstone, Balking, Fawler, Kingston and Uffington. (fn. 20) The intrinsec hundred, therefore, comprised only the area of the manor of Shrivenham. (fn. 21) There appears later to have been no practical distinction between the two parts of the hundred. (fn. 22)

The constitution of the hundred has changed little since 1327. Becket (in Shrivenham) was not assessed separately for later subsidies, whilst Knighton and Hardwell were generally assessed as well as Compton, and there are other minor changes in the grouping of the townships. (fn. 23) The number of townships in this hundred which had a separate existence for civil purposes, but were not ecclesiastical parishes, is noticeable. Watchfield, Becket, Woolstone, Odstone and Knighton all date back to the 11th century, Balking to the 10th. Cotes and Fernham are found as townships in the 13th century. (fn. 24) Of these Watchfield and Longcot (Cotes) were chapelries to Shrivenham, Woolstone and Balking to Uffington. (fn. 25) The portion of the parish of Sparsholt lying in Shrivenham Hundred became the chapelry of Kingston Lisle, which ecclesiastically remained attached to Sparsholt in Wantage Hundred. (fn. 26)

The private franchises within the hundred were, as usual, numerous, (fn. 27) In 1276 Gerald de Lisle in Kingston, the Prior of Winchester in Woolstone, the Earl of Cornwall in Knighton and the Abbot of Glastonbury in Ashbury had all withdrawn their suit from the hundred. (fn. 28) At Ashbury it was customary for the Bishop of Bath and Wells, whilst overlord of Glastonbury Abbey, to take the return of writs from the sheriff and to return them to the abbot, whilst the abbot held his own hundred courts and pleas de namio vetito and shared the amercements with the bishop. (fn. 29) In 1275 the bishop quitclaimed his rights over the abbey to the king, (fn. 30) and in 1280 the king granted the return of writs to the abbey, (fn. 31) the grant being substantiated as regards Ashbury by a quitclaim of this liberty to the abbot by William de Valence in 1286. (fn. 32) The abbot held a hundred court for his tenants at Ashbury, (fn. 33) at which the tithings of Edwinston and Ashbury did suit. (fn. 34)

Shrivenham Hundred descended in moieties with the manors of Shrivenham Salop and Shrivenham Stalpits. The rights of the third coparcener (over a quarter of it, by the double feoffment made by the Earl of Salisbury) do not appear after the 13th century. (fn. 35) The two moieties of the hundred are sometimes called the hundred of Shrivenham Salop and the hundred of Shrivenham Stalpits respectively. (fn. 36)


  • 1. Ashbury includes the hamlets of Idstone, Odstone and Kingstone Winslow.
  • 2. In 1831 the parish of Shrivenham included the townships of Bourton, Fernham, Longcot and Watchfield. Of these Longcot and Fernham were formed into an ecclesiastical district in 1846, and Bourton was formed into a separate parish in 1867.
  • 3. In 1831 the parish of Uffington included the townships of Balking and Woolstone. These were formed into ecclesiastical parishes in 1846. The hundred of Shrivenham includes the chapelry of Kingston Lisle with the hamlet of Fawler, which are in the parish of Sparsholt, the greater part of Sparsholt parish lying in the hundred of Wantage (q.v.). It contained also the hamlets of Littleworth, Wadley and Thrupp. These were in the parish of Faringdon, but not within the borough. They were formed into an ecclesiastical district in 1843 (see Faringdon).
  • 4. V.C.H. Berks. i, 332, 340, 345.
  • 5. Ibid. 332, 343, 346, 353, 364.
  • 6. Ibid. 354.
  • 7. Ibid. 335, 341, 342, 351, 353, 367.
  • 8. Ibid. 332, 341. Evidently that part of Sparsholt comprising the townships later known as Kingston Lisle and Fawler. The greater part of Sparsholt was in Wantage Hundred (ibid. 329, 348).
  • 9. Faringdon and Coxwell, held by the king, paid no geld (ibid. 332).
  • 10. But not Littleworth (with Thrupp and Wadley), which were outside the jurisdiction of the abbot and convent.
  • 11. cf. Wantage.
  • 12. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 13.
  • 13. Assize R. 36 (9 Hen. III), m. a/4; 38 (32 Hen. III), m. P 21.
  • 14. Sparsholt (afterwards Kingston Lisle) was granted out of the Crown by Henry II.
  • 15. In 1248 the bailiff of Shrivenham Hundred was bailiff also of the hundred of Hildeslaw and Wyfold (Assize R. 38, m. P 21).
  • 16. At this date lord of Shrivenham Hundred.
  • 17. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 15. 'Hildes Llaew' lay on the north of the Portway, on the boundary between Compton Beauchamp and Knighton (Chron. Mon. de Abingdon [Rolls Ser.], i, 158). The spelling Hildeslope also occurs (ibid. ii, 310).
  • 18. Assize R. 44 (12 Edw. I), m. H 22.
  • 19. cf. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 5 (Edw. I), where the hundred of Hildeslaw appears side by side with the 'Intrinsec hundred of Shrivenham,' and ibid. bdle. 73, no. 6 (1 Edw. III), where the two hundreds are entered as Shrivenham and Shrivenham Forinsec. On the later Subsidy Rolls all the parishes are entered under one heading of 'Shrivenham Hundred.'
  • 20. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 6.
  • 21. Bourton, Fernham and Cotes lay within the manor. Watchfield belonged to the abbey of Abingdon and Becket to the Prior of Noyon. Both these, however, were in the hundred in 1086. It is noticeable that, although Shrivenham had its separate jurors, it is several times in the 13th century entered on the Assize Rolls only as the 'villata' or 'manerium' of Shrivenham (Assize R. 36, m. a/4; 38, m. P 27 d.; 40, m. 20). On the manor the law of ancient demesne prevailed, and several cases occur on the Assize Rolls of tenants claiming that their holdings were 'free fees,' and not 'sokemaneria,' in order that they might be able to plead by other than the little writ of right close (Assize R. 43, m. L 6, 10).
  • 22. See note 19. The names intrinsec and extrinsec, however, survived in the 16th century (Chan. Inq. p.m. [Ser. 2], clxxiii, 3; ccxii, 23).
  • 23. See Lay Subs. R. bdles. 73, no. 150 (32 Hen. VIII); no. 161 (34 Hen. VIII); 74, no. 255 (31 Eliz.); no. 272 (35 Eliz.); 75, no. 360 (16 Chas. I).
  • 24. See Assize R. 40, m. 19, 20. The 'campus de Cotes' mentioned here suggests that it had common fields of its own. 'In campis de Kingston' also occurs here.
  • 25. Balking descended manorially with Kingston Lisle (in Sparsholt parish), but ecclesiastically it belonged to Uffington, the abbey of Abingdon having the tithes.
  • 26. Probably the two parts of Sparsholt were distinct townships in 1086, for they are mentioned separately in the Survey, although both were held by the king.
  • 27. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 9.
  • 28. Ibid. 15. See Cart. of St. Frideswide (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), ii, 311.
  • 29. See MSS. of D. and C. of Wells (Hist. MSS. Com.), i, 312.
  • 30. Cal. Close, 1272–9, p. 245.
  • 31. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 226.
  • 32. Cal. Pat. 1281–92, p. 242; cf. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 15 and p. 505, below.
  • 33. Rentalia et Custumaria Glastoniae (Somerset Rec. Soc.), 56. His tenants attended twice a year 'et non amplius nisi manifestum placitum fuerit super eos et nisi aliquod placitum in predicta curia fuerit terminandum.'
  • 34. Harl. MS. 3961, fol. 116b.
  • 35. In 1286 Robert Hawtrey appears as joint holder of the hundred (Assize R. 44, m. H 3). The later history of this fee is obscure (see Shrivenham). The share of the Wylingtons, the holders of Stalpits Manor, the other quarter of the manor of Shrivenham, is called a quarter in 1348 (Cal. Close, 1346–9, p. 458) and 1350 (Chan. Inq. p.m. 24 Edw. III [1st nos.], no. 43), but afterwards it is called a moiety.
  • 36. cf. Feet of F. Div. Co. Mich. 17 Hen. VII, no. 54; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxxiii, 3; ccxii, 23; Feet of F. Berks. Hil. 18 Jas. I; Mich. 31 Eliz.; Recov. R. Mich. 55 Geo. III, m. 43.