Martock Hundred: Introduction

A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.

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'Martock Hundred: Introduction', in A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 4, (London, 1978) pp. 76-77. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]


The hundred of Martock was conterminous with the manor and ancient parish of Martock and had its origin in the pre-Conquest royal estate which may originally have included Muchelney and part of Tintinhull. (fn. 1) It was first mentioned in 1225 when it included the tithings of Ash, Bower Hinton, Coat, and Stapleton. (fn. 2) Of the other tithings in the hundred Witcombe occurs in 1243, Hurst, Long Load, and Milton in 1284–6, and Newton (grouped with Hurst) and Westcombland (in Buckland St. Mary) in 1327. (fn. 3) In 1652 Martock, Ash, Bower Hinton, Coat, Stapleton, Witcombe, and possibly Milton, paid customary dues to the lord. (fn. 4) The hundred still included Westcombland in 1841, although by that date Bower Hinton and Hurst had been grouped together and Newton was no longer recorded. (fn. 5)

The ownership of the hundred was seldom mentioned but it evidently descended with the capital manor of Martock. (fn. 6) No court rolls have been traced. In 1661 the court house, thereafter the free grammar school, was reserved four times a year for holding the hundred and manor courts. (fn. 7) By 1475 the sheriff's tourn was being held on Ham Hill, where the tourns for adjacent hundreds also met. It had been 'much discontinued' by 1652. (fn. 8)

The office of bedel of the hundred between 1477 and 1537 was leased by the lord of Martock manor with the common bakehouse and the tolls of markets and fairs, and was held from 1505 by the bailiff of Martock manor. (fn. 9) Two constables of the hundred were mentioned in 1553. (fn. 10)


  • 1. V.C.H. Som. iii. 38, 255.
  • 2. S.R.S. xi, p. 57.
  • 3. Ibid. iii. 130–2; xi, p. 291; Feud. Aids, iv. 282–3.
  • 4. E 317/Somerset 11. Coat occurs twice, probably in error for Milton and Coat.
  • 5. S.R.S. iii. 310, 325.
  • 6. C 142/25/31; S.R.O., D/P/mart 18/1/1; DD/WY, map of Martock, 1811.
  • 7. S.R.O., D/P/mart 18/1/1.
  • 8. D.C.O., roll 300; E 317/Somerset 11.
  • 9. S.C. 6/Hen. VII/1236; S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/3044.
  • 10. Sta. Cha. 3/2/11.