The hundred of Isleworth

Pages 83-84

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.

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The manor of Isleworth is rubricated in Domesday Book as lying in the hundred of Hounslow. (fn. 1) The entry for Hampton follows Isleworth, and, though it is without a separate rubric, Hampton may be assumed to be in the same hundred. There were no other manors in Hounslow hundred, but Isleworth manor then as later probably included the whole area of the three parishes of Heston, Isleworth, and Twickenham. (fn. 2) No references to Hounslow hundred after 1086 have been found, and a 12th-century charter refers to Isleworth, Twickenham, and Hampton as being in the hundred of Isleworth. (fn. 3) Isleworth hundred is referred to in 1183, (fn. 4) and in 1235 it included the vills of Hounslow, Isleworth, and Twickenham. (fn. 5) Hampton by this date had been transferred to Spelthorne hundred, where it afterwards continued to lie. (fn. 6) The three parishes of Heston, Isleworth, and Twickenham thereafter constituted the whole hundred of Isleworth.

The geographical identity of the hundred and manor of Isleworth seems to have been responsible for a good deal of confusion about the ownership of the hundred. In 1274 the jurors at the eyre said that the hundred belonged to Edmund, Earl of Cornwall. It had escheated to Henry III as lands of a Norman, Robert de Dreux, and subsequently Henry had granted the manor to his own brother, Richard of Cornwall: the implication is that the manor and hundred were synonymous. (fn. 7) The jury also said that Richard and his successor held view of frankpledge and so, by 1293, did the owners of two submanors, the Prior of St. Valéry and the Master of St. Giles's Hospital without London. (fn. 8) Between them these franchises would in any case have considerably diminished the work of the hundred court. In 1293 the eyre jurors said that in the time of Robert de Dreux the men of the hundred came to the two county courts each year, but that Edmund of Cornwall, who now held Isleworth manor, had withdrawn their suits. (fn. 9) They did not, however, specifically say that the hundred belonged to Edmund. No reference to the value of the hundred courts as such is made in the survey of Edmund's property at his death in 1301, (fn. 10) but shortly before, in a charter of 1299, he referred to the hundred of Isleworth as his property. (fn. 11) In 1312 the manor-and presumably the hundred-escheated to the Crown. In 1374 the hundred was specifically included in a lease of the manor, and continued to be held with it until 1387. (fn. 12) In 1389 the servants of Queen Anne, who then held Isleworth, were being made to account for the hundred at the Exchequer, because it had not been expressly included in Richard II's grant to her. This practice was no doubt stopped after a jury had affirmed that the manor and hundred had always been one and the same within the memory of man. (fn. 13) A lessee held the manor and hundred together from 1400 to 1421. (fn. 14)

Henry V's grant of Isleworth to Syon Abbey in 1421 included hundreds and wapentakes among a list of many appurtenances, (fn. 15) but there is no evidence that Syon ever held the hundred, which may indeed have already been worth very little. No references have been found to its court or its value after the 14th century. The abbey was, however, granted the right in 1492 to appoint a coroner for the 'manor, lordship and hundred' of Isleworth. (fn. 16) No grants of the manor after the Dissolution included the hundred, and in the early 17th century it shared a bailiff with Spelthorne. (fn. 17) Though, like the other hundreds, it survived as an administrative unit under its own constable until the 19th century, it was for some, mainly fiscal, purposes, grouped with Spelthorne and Elthorne. (fn. 18) A final example, however, of the old confusion between the manor and hundred occurs in the very fine map of the hundred made by Moses Glover for the Earl of Northumberland in 1635. (fn. 19) This depicts 'the manor of Syon and one of the seven hundreds' of the county, 'being one of the lordships' of the earl. Glover described Syon House as being 'honoured as the mansion of the hundred and the residence of the Earl of Northumberland' and referred to the bailiff of the manor as bailiff of the hundred. (fn. 20)


  • 1. Dom. Bk. (Rec. Com.), i. 130. The suggestion that Teddington was part of Hounslow hundred in 1086 (Robbins, Mdx. 19, 28) is unfounded: Teddington was not mentioned in Dom. Bk. but was probably among the berewicks of Staines, in Spelthorne.
  • 2. For the extent and descent of the manor, see pp. 103-5.
  • 3. Early Oxford Charters, ed. H. E. Salter, 28 n: for the date of this charter, see p. 103.
  • 4. Pipe R. 1182-3 (P.R.S. xxxii), 164; cf. Round, Commune of Lond. 259.
  • 5. J.I. 1/536, m. 6d; cf. J.I. 1/540, mm. 16d-17;/544, mm. 54d-55; cf. Cal. Pat. 1292-1301, 608; Feud. Aids, iii. 382.
  • 6. J.I. 1/536, m. 6.
  • 7. J.I. 1/540, m. 17.
  • 8. See p. 120.
  • 9. J.I. 1/544, m. 55.
  • 10. C 133/95/16.
  • 11. Cal. Pat. 1292-1301, 608.
  • 12. Cal. Fine R. 1369-77, 248; 1377-83, 15; 1383-91, 10; Cal. Pat. 1385-9, 306.
  • 13. C 145/245, no. 3.
  • 14. Cal. Pat. 1399-1401, 195; Feud. Aids, vi. 486.
  • 15. Rot. Parl. iv. 140-1.
  • 16. Cal. Pat. 1485-94, 382.
  • 17. Mdx. Cty. Recs. N.S. i. 248, 442; ii. 94, 207; iii. 57, 228, 334; iv. 149, 200, 277; M.R.O., Cal. Mdx. Recs. 1607-12, passim; ibid. S.R. 585/160; S.R. 1046/337.
  • 18. M.R.O., Cal. Mdx. Recs. and Cal. Sess. Bks. &c., passim; cf. Dowdell, Hundred Years of Quarter Sessions, 12.
  • 19. Original at Syon Ho., copies at B.M. and M.R.O.
  • 20. See his ho. at Whitton in the map and cf. Syon Ho., MS. K. II. 3, court of 1 Apr. 1630.