History of Kelvedon Hatch

History of Kelvedon Hatch >> Domesday Book

Kelveon Hatch in the Domesday Book

The Domesday Book is one of the earliest documents which mentions Kelvedon Hatch. The survey examined two dates: 1066 and 1086. The book identifies three holders of land in what is now the parish. In a rare reference to the events of 1066, it also gives an account of Ailric (also spelt Aethelric), a Saxon, who went off to fight the Norman invasion. Below are the extracts from the Domesday Book with comments.

Hundred of Angra (1)
Kelvenduna (2)

was held by Ailric (Aethelric) in King Edward's time as manor and 2 hides. Now St Peter's (3). Then as now 1 villein. Then 5 bordars, now 10 (4). Then as now 2 serfs (5), and 2 ploughs on the demesne and 1 plough belonging to the men. Wood for 200 swine and 16 acres of meadow. Now 1 mill (6). It was then worth 40 shillings; now 60.(7) This above said Ailric (8) went in a naval battle against King William; and when he returned, fell ill, then gave this manor to St Peter; but none of the men from this county knows this but one; and hitherto St Peter has thus held the manor, and have neither writ nor officer from the King since the King came into this land.

(1) Ongar (4 miles to the north).
(2) Meaning Spotted or Speckled Hill. The later addition of Hatch means a gate or fence.
(3) St Peter's: Westminster Abbey.
(4) The increase in bordars in many Domesday Book entries is used by some historians as evidence of dispossesed Saxon freeholders.
(5) Note that the serfs are listed as an asset.
(6) The mill was situated on the River Roding probably near to what is now known as Littlebury Mill.
(7) This manor became the estate of Kelvedon Hall
(8) This is a very rare entry in the Domesday Book. Only one other entry in Essex refers to the invasion in 1066. It appears Ailric (Aethelric) was subject to Ship Soke and was required to give military service to the King in his navy. During 1066, the fleet was mobilised because of the raids by Tostig, brother of Harold, and the threat of invasion by the Normans. The fleet stood off the Isle of Wight from May until September. Then on 8th September 1066, because of lack of provisions, they were forced to return to port. On their way back several ships were lost in a storm.

Ailric (Aethelric) appears to have then died from causes unknown, bequeathing the estate to St Peter's. It would seem that by 1086 there was only one witness to this event still alive. From later documents it appears the manor was retained by St Peter's. (There is another source which casts some doubt how the land came to pass to Westminster Abbey. Although historians doubt the realiablity of the source. Westminster Abbey Charters - S1118 for the extract and comments).

Hundred of Angra
which was held by Algar, a free man, as half a hide and 20 acres (2), is held of the bishop by (Ivo) the nephew of Herbert (3). Then as now 4 bordars 1 plough Wood for 60 swine and 7½ acres of meadow. 1 beast, 5 swine and 47 sheep. It is worth 20 shillings.

(1) Note the slight variation in spelling.
(2) This appears to part of a manor located elsewhere.
(3) Herbert was an under tenant of the Bishop of Bayeaux, Odo, who was the half brother of William I.

Hundred of Angra
Kalenduna (1)
which was held by Leueva as 1 hide and 45 acres and as a manor, is held of Hamo by Ralf (2). And Hamo says that he has that land as part of his fief. Then 2 villeins, now 1. Then 2 bordars; now 7; then 2 serfs now 1, then 2 ploughs on the demesne, now 1 and 1/2. Then the men had a plough among them; now a half. Wood for 20 swine, 17 acres of meadow. It was then worth 30 shillings, and when he received 20; now 35 shillings (3).

(1) Another variation of the spelling.
(2) Ralf de Marcy.
(3) Part of this estate later became the neighbouring parish of Stondon Massey, the remainder became the manor of Great Myles's

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