A HISTORY OF SURREY wrongfully annexed it to his manor, ' and hitherto the King has lost the dues, while the Bishop has them ' ; of another, ' the jurors say ' that the Bishop's reeve has annexed it to Bramley simply because he had been a friend of the man who used to hold it ! Again, at Gomshall, the jurors found that bishop Odo had ' wrongfully ' annexed to his manor of Bramley half a hide which had been part of Gomshall not only under king Edward, but even after it had come into king William's hands. It was also after William's coming that an outlying estate belonging to Merton was seized by bishop Odo and given to the bishop of Lisieux, but this case was so glaring that Odo's reeve did not venture to uphold his lord's right (fo. 30). The King's interests suffered also through the action of the reeves (or, as we would say, the bailiffs) of his manors. ' The men of the Hundred ' deposed that at Ewell these gentry had obliged their friends by making over to them two and a quarter hides of the manor with appurtenances. At Tiling, they said, the land, which had been part of the Crown demesne, had been alienated from it by the reeve even in king Edward's days (fo. 31). One is not surprised that the Church's lands suffered, like those of the king himself, at the hands of bishop Odo. He took from West- minster Abbey two hides of Battersea and gave them to the bishop of Lisieux, while two hides at Clandon, belonging to Chertsey Abbey, were annexed by him wrongfully, the jurors said, to his own manor of Bramley. Of light on Norman administration or finance there is in Surrey little or none. It should, however, be noted that, among the king's manors, Woking and Stoke are both entered as paying the sheriff, apart from the King, twenty-five shillings a year, while Bermondsey paid him twenty. Of Gomshall, on the other hand, we read that its villeins are free ' ab omni re vicecomitis' (fo. 30^), an entry as obscure as is the character of the payments from the three manors above. No less obscure is the entry, also on the King's land, that the sheriff has seven pounds from the three manors in Surrey which queen Edith held, because he gives them help when they need it. The entry is made the more puzzling by the fact that these manors were four, not three, in number. Here also may be mentioned the entry, on the King's manor of Kingston, that Humfrey the chamberlain has charge of a villein ' for the purpose of collecting the Queen's wool, and took from him twenty shillings as "relief" when his father died.' The wording seems to imply that this was an act of oppression, but * relief was not a Norman innovation, for it had been paid by the Berkshire thegns (fo. 56^). The one great industry was that of the plough, but it offers in this county no special features. It should, however, be observed that Clan- don clearly seems to have been ' farmed ' of Chertsey Abbey, which held it, by villeins, in 1086, and that they had there seven ploughs, although the record states (fo. 34) that there was only land for five. Its annual value was given as four pounds only, and yet these villeins paid a rent of six pounds, an excess which may imply that they were ready to pay for 290
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/350
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