Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/348

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A HISTORY OF SURREY of enfeoffment had begun. Two of Walter Fitz Other's manors, Peper- harow and Hurtmore (in Godalming), were already 'held of him by tenants in 1086. Eighty years later we find his heir, in his carta, return- ing Ranulf de Broc as holding of him at Peperharow a knight's fee of ' the old feoffment,' and Philip ' de Hertmere ' as holding another. 1 On the Chertsey Abbey fief William de Wateville and Hamo the sheriff (of Kent) were already holding lands of the Abbey in 1086. Eighty years later Roger de Wateville held of it a knight's fee. 2 For it must not be forgotten that, under the Normans, even a religious house would hold by knight- service .; three knights was the quota due from Chertsey Abbey. The system of tenure by knight-service introduced at the Norman Conquest was quite distinct from that ill-defined and somewhat obscure ' commendation,' in which have been detected the germs of feudalism even before the Conquest. 3 The Surrey Survey is somewhat rich in ex- amples of this practice. The jurors of Wallington Hundred testify that ' a certain free man,' holding two hides and able to betake himself (i.e. to choose a lord) where he would, * placed (summisit) himself in the hand(s) of Walter' de Douai for his protection (fo. 36). A woman who held land at Combe is entered as having, in king William's time, placed herself and it in the Queen's hand(s) obviously for the same purpose (fo. 36^). The land was thenceforth treated as 'of the Queen's fee' (feuo). There were those who betook themselves to the church, instead of to strangers, for protection ; at Esher there are two cases of ' submission ' to Chertsey Abbey ; in the one a man and two women ' submitted them- selves with their land to the abbey for protection,' in the other a woman who held a hide ' placed herself under the Abbey (sub abbatia se misif) for protection' (fo. 32). This is probably the explanation of an English- man, Seman, having ' rendered service ' in the form of twenty pence a year to his more powerful neighbour, Oswold, since the coming of king William, for a little land which, under Edward, he had held direct of the Crown (fo. 36^). It is also, I suspect the explanation of estates at Byfleet, Effingham, and Weybridge, which had been held respectively by Wulfwine, by Oswold, and by another Englishman, under Edward, in their own right, being held by each of them ' of the Abbey in 1086 * (fo. 32^). It is doubtful whether this device was in all cases successful in averting the confiscation of lands held by an Englishman ; for cases are found on the Chertsey fief of Normans holding of the Abbey lands which Englishmen had held in their own right under Edward the Con- fessor. To ' commendation ' we may also, it seems probable, assign the strange tenure of Ditton under Edward the Confessor. We read that ' Leofgar held (it) of Harold and used to do service to him for it, but could have betaken himself (that is, have chosen a lord) where he 1 Liber Rubeus, p. 315. 8 Hid. p. 198. 8 For this ' commendation ' see Maitland's Domesday Book and Beyond, pp. 69-75. 4 Compare p. 279 above. 288