Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/344

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A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE larger portion of his land at Flecknoe of Bishop Wulfstan, ' but the bishop failed him when the plea was held (in placito)^ and he found himself, therefore, at the king's mercy. 1 There are numerous cases in Warwickshire in which purchase is spoken of, and some in which land is entered as held in pledge (in vadi- mom'o), that is, for money advanced. The abbot of Coventry is asserted to have bought his land at Binley which had formerly belonged to Ealdgyth, daughter of ./Elfgar, and wife of Griffith of North Wales of Osbern Fitz Richard ; and it is a singular fact that, although this land is entered in Domesday under his fief, not under Osbern's, Binley is found long afterwards feudally dependent on Richard's Castle, the head of Osbern's fief. 3 In Domesday itself there is nothing to show that Broom (in Bidford) had been the subject of a similar transaction between Osbern and jEthelwig, abbot of Evesham. But Dugdale has a curious story, 'ex Coll. H. Ferrers,' that Bishop Odo, having obtained it, gave it to Osbern Fitz Richard, who mortgaged it to Abbot ./Ethelwig for four marks of gold, parting with it afterwards for good, as he could not repay the money. It is added that, after the death of Odo and of /Ethelwig, Osbern seized it again ' and withheld both the land and the money.' The whole story is probable enough, but one cannot well reconcile it with the evidence in Domesday Book. The Evesham chronicle only tells us that Broom was one of the manors acquired by Abbot ./Ethelwig and seized after his death by Odo. 3 It is possible that what really happened, as to these manors, is that Odo contended they had been acquired by the abbot * for his personal possession only. Of the abbot of Abingdon's acquisition of Hill and Chesterton I have already spoken. 8 An estate at Barston " is recorded to have been sold by ' Ailmar,' its former holder, with the king's permission, to ' Alwin ' the sheriff, father of Turchil ; as the king must here be William, this entry strengthens the evidence that ' Alwin ' was sheriff under him. Of Radford we read that Ermenfrid, its under-tenant in 1086, had bought it of Chetelbert 7 and held it of the king in fee as the king's writ testifies. This seems to imply that he claimed to hold the land in capite, not as an under-tenant, on the ground that he had bought it himself. It is on Turchil's fief also that we meet, at Myton, with a somewhat similar difficulty ; the Count of Meulan is entered as holding the land ' of Turchil's fee,' but it is added that ' R. Halebold bought this land.' Robert d'Oily gave as his title to the only Warwick- shire manor he held in chief that he had bought it ' by leave of King William ' from ./Elfric its former holder. Robert must have had money at his disposal, for we find him holding two manors of Turchil de Warwic See also p. 296 below. > Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 604, and Testa de Nevlll. In the latter the monks of Combe, not of Coventry, are shown as holding at Binley of the Richard's Castle fief, which is wholly at variance with all the history of the place as given by Dugdale. Nor, indeed, is it easy to understand what interest Osbern and his heirs retained there.

  • See p. 274 above. Compare p. 275 above. 6 See p. 276 above.

See p. 296 below. * Brother of Turchil the over-lord (see p. 278). 288