The hundred of Dacorum: Introduction

Pages 141-142

A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

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The hundred of Dacorum includes the Domesday hundreds of Danais or Daneys and Tring, which appear to have been united under the name of Dacorum at an early date, as no mention is made of the hundred of Tring in the roll of Robert Mantel of about 1200. (fn. 3)

This hundred may have derived its name from a colony of Danes which probably existed here, for three noble Danes granted lands in the hundred to St. Albans Abbey in the tenth century, and there can be little doubt they had others of their nation with them. (fn. 4)

The hundred of Danais according to the Domesday Survey included Aldenham, Barworth in Studham, Bushey, Caddington, Flamstead, Great Gaddesden, Kensworth, Shenley, Wheathampstead, Abbots Langley, and part of Redbourn and Windridge, the last three of which are now in Cashio Hundred. Tring Hundred contained Aldbury, Great Berkhampstead, Little Gaddesden, Hemel Hempstead, King's Langley, Puttenham, part of Redbourn, Shenley, Wigginton, and one hide in Great Gaddesden. (fn. 5) That part of the parish of Aldenham held by the abbot of St. Albans was in Cashio Hundred, while the remainder of the parish was in Dacorum Hundred. (fn. 6) Abbots Langley and Windridge seem to have been transferred to Cashio Hundred before 1254–5, but Redbourn was apparently at that time still partly in the hundred of Dacorum. (fn. 7) It was probably transferred wholly to Cashio shortly after this time, as in subsequent assize rolls it appears under that hundred. (fn. 8)

Within the hundred of Dacorum were parts of the honour of Berkhampstead and the liberty of Ashridge. In the honour of Berkhampstead were included King's Langley, Berkhampstead, Northchurch, Wigginton, Betlow, and Aldbury. There was no coroner for this liberty except the constable for the time being of the castle of Berkhampstead. (fn. 9) The liberty of Ashridge included Hemel Hempstead, Little Gaddesden, and Flaunden.

Caddington and Kensworth were transferred in 1897 to the hundred of Flitt in Bedfordshire, and at the same date Barworth in Studham was placed in the hundred of Manshead in Bedfordshire. (fn. 10)

The hundred of Dacorum has always been in the hands of the king, and was let to farm for ten marks in the reign of Edward I. (fn. 11)

There is some evidence that the hundred court was held at a place called 'Segham Assh.' The sheriff's turn was held there, and as the hundred belonged to the king, the hundred court was probably held in the same place. (fn. 12)

The abbot and convent of Westminster and the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, London, were quit of suit at the hundred court for their manors in Dacorum, (fn. 13) and the lords of Flamstead, Shenley, North Mimms, and Bushey withdrew their suit, whether lawfully or not does not appear. (fn. 14) The abbot of Faversham owed suit at the hundred court by four men and a reeve twice a year for his manor of Tring, and he seems to have tried unsuccessfully to withdraw this suit in 1316. (fn. 15) View of frankpledge was claimed by the lords of the manors of Tring, Wheathampstead, Great Gaddesden, Flamstead, King's Langley, Caddington, Kensworth, Bushey, North Mimms, and Shenley, and the rector of Ashridge exercised the same right in Hemel Hempstead, Ashridge, and Little Gaddesden. (fn. 16)

In 1640 the hundred of Dacorum was divided into three parts called Tring, Hemel Hempstead, and Wheathampstead divisions. When a sum of £200 was to be raised in Hertfordshire, Dacorum paid £45 7s., Tring division paying 5s. 5½d., Hemel Hempstead 7s. 6½d., and Wheathampstead 7s. in the pound. (fn. 17) Theobald Street is now the only part of Aldenham which lies in this hundred, and this was also the case in 1640. Leavesden in Watford parish was also at that time in the hundred of Dacorum. (fn. 18) This is probably accounted for by the fact that Leavesden was a tithing of the manor of Bushey, and when the parish of Bushey was formed out of the parish of Watford about 1166, the tithes from Leavesden were retained by the church of Watford; (fn. 19) thus Leavesden, although parcel of the manor of Bushey and the hundred of Dacorum, continued in the parish of Watford, the remainder of which was in the hundred of Cashio.


  • 1. This list, with the addition of Amersham and Beaconsfield, now in Bucks, represents the extent of the hundred at the time of the Population Abstract of 1831.
  • 2. Nettleden is locally situated in the hundred of Dacorum and is in the county of Herts. though it is part of the hundred of Cottesloe in Bucks.
  • 3. Red Bk. of the Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 775.
  • 4. Cott. MS. Nero D. vii, fol. 89, 90; Gesta Abbat. (Rolls Ser.), i, 507.
  • 5. V.C.H. Herts. i, 308 et seq.
  • 6. Ibid. 313.
  • 7. Assize R. 320, m. 30d.; 325, m. 34. For a death in Redbourn a judgement of murder was given on the hundred of Dacorum. Ibid. 320, m. 24.
  • 8. Ibid. 323, m. 52.
  • 9. Assize R. 320, m. 32.
  • 10. Census of Engl. and Wales 1901, Beds. 16, 17.
  • 11. Assize R. 323, m. 56; 320, m. 24.
  • 12. Inq. p.m. 4 Ric. II, No. 100. Rev. H. Fowler, M.A., conjectures that it may have been held in the Frith in Great Berkhampstead (St. Albans Arch. and Archit. Soc. Trans. 1890–1, 18), but since Berkhamp stead was out of the jurisdiction of the hundred it is improbable that the court should have been held there.
  • 13. Assize R. 323, m. 56d. 37.
  • 14. Ibid. 323, m. 55; 324, m. 37; 325, m. 28; Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 190.
  • 15. Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 326.
  • 16. Assize R. 325, m. 28d.; 36d.: Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 275; P.R.O. Ct. R. bdle. 177, No. 55.
  • 17. Harl. MS. 2285, fol. 61.
  • 18. Ibid.
  • 19. Cott. MS. Otho, D. iii, fol. 181.