Page:A History of Horncastle from the Earliest Period to the Present Time.djvu/32

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before the conquest and were part of the jointure of Queen Editha, as stated in Domesday Book, and were therefore part of the manor, not of the vicar's glebe. The result is not recorded, but doubtless the tenant was right.[1] The passage here quoted from Domesday Book is the following: "In Horncastre Queen Editha had 3 carucates of land, free of gelt. This land is now 4 carucates. The King has there 2 carucates in demesne (i.e. as his manor), with 29 villeins and 12 bordars, who have (among them) 3 carucates. There are 2 mills worth 26s. yearly, and 100 acres of meadow. In King Edward's time the annual value was £20, now it is £44."[2] These two mills and the meadow were doubtless those in dispute between the vicar and tenant in the reign of Charles I., the date of Domesday being about 1085, or 540 years earlier. They were plainly part of the royal manor and not at all connected with the glebe.

All this, however, proves that the manor of Horncastle belonged to King Edward the Confessor before the conquest, and 360 acres of it were assigned to his consort, Queen Editha. The expansion of the 3 carucates into 4, mentioned in Domesday Book, was probably (as in many other recorded cases) due to the reclamation of land hitherto waste in flood or forest.

On the death of King Edward in 1066 the royal demesnes naturally passed to his successor and kinsman, William the Conqueror, and in due course to the successive Norman kings of his line.

The connection of Horncastle with the sovereign is shown in various ways. Documents relating to the earlier kings are naturally rare, since for many years law courts were hardly yet established, the royal power being rather that of "might" than of "right."[3] Even the sale, or devising, of property could only be legally effected by the king's licence. Among the Carlisle papers connected with Horncastle is one which shows that a matter which in modern times would be settled by the parish overseers, or more recently by the Urban Council, was to be formerly carried out only by the royal sanction. There is a Patent Roll of the 13th year of King Richard II. (pt. 1, m. 3) entitled "Concerning the paving of Horncastre," and running as follows:—"The King to the Bailiff and proved men of the vill of Horncastre, greeting. Know, that in aid of paving your said vill, of our special grace we have granted to you, that from the day of the making of these presents to the end of 3 years, you may take, for things coming to the said vill for sale, the customs underwritten." Then follows a long list of articles for sale, of which we can only specify a few here, viz.: "For every horse load of corn, ¼d., for every dole of wine, 2d.; for every pipe of ditto, 1s.; for every hide, fresh, salt, or tanned, ¼d.; for 100 skins of roebucks (it seems that there were wild deer in those days), hares, rabbits, foxes, or squirrels, ½d.; for every horse load of cloth, ½d.; for every cloth of worstede, called 'coverlyt,' value 40s., 1d.; for every 100 of linen web of Aylesham, 1d.; for every chief of strong cendal (silk) 1d.; for 100 mullets, salt or dry, 1d.; for every cart of fish, 1d.; for every horse load of sea fish, ¼d.; for every salmon, ¼d.; for every last of herrings (12 barrels), 6d.; for every horse load of honey, 1d.; for every wey of tallow (256 lbs.), 1d.; for every milstone, ½d.; for 1,000 turfs, ¼d. For every other

  1. Exchequer Bills and Answers, 11 Charles V., Lincoln, No. 185.
  2. The carucate varied in different parts of the country, in Lincolnshire it was 120 acres. Gelt was a land tax, first imposed by the Danes in the reign of Ethelred, about A.D. 991, being 2s. on the carucate. Villeins and bordars were under-tenants of two different classes, bordars being superior to villeins. (Introd. Domesday Book, by C. Gowen Smith, 1870).
  3. Barristers are said to have been first appointed by Edward I., A.D. 1291.