Notes on the Domesday Records

The Domesday census ordered by William the Conqueror in 1086 AD was taken to determine what he had gained in his victory and to determine what taxes could be levied. The information that follows was taken from "Domesday Book # 15, Gloucestershire" edited by John Morris and published by Phillimore Publishing, Chichester England in 1982. The original text was reorganized and printed in 1783 by Abraham Farley. Translations are from his Latin work.

In the census there were 78 main land holders, including the king, in Gloucestershire. Of this group 24 were churches, abbeys, and bishops. The accounts which follow are intended to give some idea of what the Churn valley was like at the time of the Norman invasion.

A hide was an area of land about 120 acres. A plough was a team of oxen and a plough. The hide was a unit of land for taxation purposes and the carucate a unit for measurement and cultivation. "Value then" meant at the time of the conquest twenty years before. A free man did not owe allegiance to any lord. A reference to a person would mean adult male.

The Kings Lands (1)
In Cirencester, five hides - 31 villagers with 10 ploughs, 13 slaves, 10 small holders, 2 free men,.
Also in Cirencester was Hullasey 3 hides, 4 villagers, four small holders.

In Brightwells Barrow Hundred Brictric held Fairford. 21 hides, 56 villagers, 9 small holders.

In Rapsgate Hundred, Wulfward held Chedworth. 15 hides, 16 villagers, 3 small holders. The sheriff added 8 villagers and 3 small holders.

Lands of Thomas, Archbishop of York (2)
In Rapsgate Hundred, St. Oswalds held a manor of 4 hides in (North) Cerney before 1066. St. Oswalds still holds it and has two ploughs in lordship; 6 villagers and 2 small holders with 5 ploughs.1 slave; a mill at 7s; meadow, 2 acres.Value then 100s; now 4 pounds.

Lands of the Church of Worcester (3)
The church held (Great) Colesbourne itself, and Swein from it.
He could not withdraw. (change lordships) 8 hides which pay tax.
Walter son of Roger (Roger of Pitres, sheriff of Gloucester)

The church held Eycot itself, and Alric from it. It lies in Bibury.
(lands) 1 hide. In lordship 2 ploughs;
2 villagers and four small holders with 2 ploughs.
2 slaves: meadow, 8 acres; a mill at 64d.
The value was 20s; now 30s.
Ordric holds it from the bishop.

-Latin Original-
Ipfa aeccla ten Aicote .7 Ailric de ea. In Begeberie jacet.
Ibi una hida. In dnio funt. II. car. 7 II. uitti 7 IIII. bord
II. car. Ibi.II. ferui 7 VIII. ac pti. 7 molin de. LXIIII.
Valuit. XX. fol. Modo: XXX . folid. Ordric ten de epo.

In Bibury Hundred
The church held Bibury itself 21 hides, 19 villagers, 2 small holders, 3 ridingmen who have 4 hides; a priest who has 3 hides.
11 slaves male and female.

Land of St. Mary's of Pershore
In Rapsgate hundred the church holds Cowley

Land of St. Mary's of Lyre
In Rapsgate hundred the church holds Duntisbourne (Leer).
Roger of Lacy gave the land to the church. Edmer held it before 1066.

Land of Roger of Lacy
In Rapsgate Hundred
Duntisbourne (Abbots) Gilbert holds from him (Gilbert de Eskecot)
Kenward, a Thane of King Edwards held it and could go where he would. (could choose any lord)
2 villagers, 2 smallholders, 2 slaves, value 40s.

In Cirencester Hundred
Stratton - 5 hides, 15 villagers, 7 smallholders with a priest, 5 slaves.

Land of Roger of Berkeley
In Rapsgate Hundred
He holds Coberley, 10 hides, 19 villagers, 4 smallholders, 4 slaves.

Land of Osbern Gifford
In Rapsgate Hundred
Osbern holds Brimpsfield 9 hides. 16 villagers, 6 smallholders, a priest, 8 male 4 female slaves.

Land of Gilbert, son of Thorold (52)
In Rapsgate Hundred
North Cerney. 7 hides, 2 thanes - Elaf and his brother,
held it as two manors and could go where they would.
In lordship 4 ploughs, 7 villagers, and 6 smallholders with 5 ploughs,
6 slaves; a mill at 8s; meadow, 6 acres; woodland 2 furlongs long and one wide.
4 of Gilberts men-at-arms with their men have 7 ploughs and a
mill valued at 8s.Value of the whole manor before 1066 was 14 pounds now 12 pounds.

Rendcomb. 5 hides which pay tax. Aelfric held it. I lordship
1 plough; 3 villagers and seven smallholders with 3 ploughs.
7 slaves; a frenchman who holds the land of 2 villagers.
A mill at 8s; meadow, 4 acres.
The value was 7 pounds now 100s.

Rendcomb. Walter holds it from him (Gilbert). 3 hides which pay tax.
In lordship 2 ploughs; 4 villagers, 3 small holders with 2 ploughs. 6 slaves; a mill at 5s; meadow 3 Acres.
The value is and was 6 pounds

(Gilbert was also Gilbert of Bouille. North Cerney also included Calmsden and Woodmancote. Rencomb was classed as Upper (later Marsden) and Lower (later Rendcomb))

Land of Ansfrid of Cormeilles
In Rapsgate
Elkstone. 2 Leowins held it as 2 manors 4 hides in Colesbourne 1 hide. Alwin held it as a manor.
These 3 thanes could go where they would. 5 villagers, 2 smallholders, 4 slaves on one manor, 5 villagers 2 smallholders at the other. At Colesbourne 2 villagers and 2 smallholders

Syde. 3 hides, 1 villager, priest, 3 smallholders, 6 slaves.

Land of Hugh Donkey (63)
In Cirencester Hundred
Hugh also holds Bagendon, and Gilbert from him. 3 hides which pay tax.
Wolfward held it. In lordship 3 ploughs; 5 villagers with 3 ploughs; 6 slaves
A mill at 10s; meadow, 8 acres.
The value was and is 4 pounds

(Gilbert de Eskecote sublet from Hugh)
There are several cross references about this time which tell of the manor of Eycot and the curious fact that it was a detached part of Bibury hundred and not part of Rapsgate hundred.

"Eycot occurs in precisely the same position as the normal hundred head, though not in capitals or rubricated, and signifies that this holding was in Bibury hundred, not Rapsgate hundred." Eversham Manuscript K (folios 57r-62r) which is a hideage schedule of all holding in Gloucestershire done as circuit returns.

Later evidence shows that another four hides made up Eycot and were included in the 21 hides of Bibury Manor. Surveys locate the four hides as being held by three riding men at Eycot in Rendcombe ( Red Book of Worcester - pp 412, 414, 417, 439 ; a church record of the Bishop of Worcester)

Again, Worcester B MSS, Hemming's Cartulary ( an 11th century manuscript published in 1723)
" To Begabira (Bibury) elong 21 hides; in Begabira and Abolingatun (Ablington) 15 hides; in Beorudeslea (Barnsley) 5 hides and in Eugkote (Eycot) 1 hide"
Folio 39r Hearne text pp 84-84

Also, Worcester B MSS. Colesbourne folio 140r Hearne text pp 310-11
"In Rapsgate Hundred. The church holds Colsbourne itself, and Swein from it; he could not withdraw 8 hides which pay tax. Walter son of Roger holds it from the church. The church holds Aicote (Eycot) itself, and Alric from it. It lies in Begeberi. 1 hide. Ordric holds it from the bishop" In the margin level with Aicocte is written Aicote in red ink.

The Meaning of the Domesday Record of Eycot

The manor of Eycot, also spelled Eycote, Eyot, Aicote or Eugkote, was located in the middle of Rapsgate hundred and normally would have been the meeting place for the hundred. Oddly, it was a holding of the Bibury hundred which became part of Brightwells Barrow hundred. It was thought the be quite small in area, 1 hide (120 acres or so). However, four more hides existed which were held by riding men (a form of government administrator) who lived at Rendcombe. Eycot was then comprised of 5 hides ( over 600 acres). Even with five hides it was not a large manor.

Before 1066, in Saxon times, it was owned by the bishop of Worcester who leased it out to Alric. Alric leased or owned at least 8 other properties in Gloucestershire. It is not known if this was one or several persons of that name. It was certain that he held 1 hide in Eycot. The other four were listed in the Red Book of the bishop as being in Rendcomb and Alric may also have leased giving a sub lease to 3 riding men or Radmen. These persons had a higher status than a villager. originally they were escorts or messengers for the king. They were found on royal or church lands and were entitled to work their own holding free from the demands of the lord. They did have to give work to the lord but did not have to provide full military service. The villagers held some land, more than a smallholder. The smallholder had little more than a garden and a few animals. At Eycot manor there were three riding men and on their land presumably there were some people living. Any of the Radmen or the villagers could have become ancestors of the Eycotts because they were eligible to be taxed and would acquire an identity for that purpose and hence get a surname.

The record says that Alric had ceased to lease the land and in 1086 Ordric was leasing it from the bishop. On this land there were 2 villagers who might have farmed about 12 acres or more, 4 small holders with a house and garden and two slaves who probably worked for the villagers. There was a meadow of 8 acres probably along the river which was used by everyone. The two villagers appear to have each had a team of oxen and a plough. There was a small mill attached to the manor which had a modest value of 64 pence or just over 5 shillings. This was similar, but less than the value of the mills at Rendcomb and North Cerney.

The land while it had increased a third in value in 20 years was still less than a third the value of Rendcomb and only 15% the value of the other. North Cerney was 10 times more valuable than Eycot and Bagendon was 3 times more valuable. Eycot was a very modest possession of the bishop.

The total inhabitants for Eycot, Rendcomb, North Cerney, and Bagendon added up to 83 or so. This figure represented adult males so a total population for the area was likely 200 to 300. There were perhaps 20 to 25 persons living at Eycot.

The principal landlord in the area was Gilbert, son of Thorold who held part of North Cerney and Upper and Lower Rendcomb.
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