Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/430

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A HISTORY OF SURREY the Bishops of Winchester and Rochester, the Abbot of Battle and the Prior of Lewes. Kingston was a more or less important market town, owing to the river and the bridge. Sheen was a royal palace. Guild- ford was the seat of a cloth manufactory, and perhaps sent heavy agricultural goods and timber to London by the river, even before its canalisation. Four at least of the religious houses were places of im- portance, and the Cistercians of Waverley, the Benedictines of Chertsey, the Austin canons of Merton and the Cluniacs of Bermondsey all formed centres of learning and of industry. The first are named among those who supplied the Florentines with wool in 1315. The feudal institutions of the county, the system in which de Warenne and de Clare had been the great leaders under or in despite of the king, offer a few curious features, the discussion of which will fall more naturally under the description of the places for the tenure of which the services were due. The knights' fees, whence knight service, the servitium debitum^ was due, seem to have been not more than about eighty in the county, or perhaps less, 1 and something near half of this service was owed by the de Clares for their manors in the county, be- longing to the Honours of Gloucester and of Clare. The Earl de Warenne owed the services of perhaps sixty knights from his manors all over England, but he was far inferior in his following in Surrey to the other great baronial house. Centuries later, when the Armada was expected, the county was only expected to furnish ninety-six ' demi-lances,' who may be taken as equivalent to mounted men-at-arms, not much more than the twelfth and thirteenth century muster. But besides the mili- tary tenures there were in Surrey many curious tenures by serjeanty, or service of one kind or another to the king and his household, which owe their origin to the presence or neighbourhood of the court at Guildford and at Windsor, and specially to the royal needs in sport in Windsor Forest and its bailiwick in west Surrey. The military levy of the county distinct from the feudal levy, under the general obligation to bear arms expressed by the statute of Win- chester, amounted in practice to only a few hundreds. In 1322, when the Scots were in Yorkshire and the whole realm of Edward II. seemed to be crumbling away in ruin, the levy of Surrey and Sussex, apart from the city of Chichester, was only 500 men. In 1339, when Edward III. was beginning his French wars, he raised from Surrey 20 men-at-arms, 80 armed foot and 80 archers. But these 180 men were really intended to be professional soldiers for a continued contest. The modern county, raising men in the same proportion, should be able to send 9,000 regular soldiers abroad on foreign service, for the popu- lation was then somewhere about 25,000 to the present 1,500,000. 1 The two lists in Testa de Nevill, 53-60, of the knights' fees in Surrey amount to 631*5- and 6$-% knights' services respectively. No knight service appears for Blechingley and the surrounding manors of de Clare, nor for Dorking and some other manors of de Warenne. Yet some was probably owing, for the Red Book mentions them as quorum servitia ignorantur. Blechingley is also recorded as ' unknown ' in Testa de Net/ill. The Red Book return referred to and that of the Testa de Nevill were probably drawn from one original, as Mr. Round has shown in his Commune of London, etc. 360