Search billions of records on
The Manor of Manydown, Hampshire
Summary of a book by Rev G W Kitchen
, published 1895, for the Hampshire Records Society

Manydown was a manor (or grouping of manors) south east of Kingsclere, Hampshire, England. The main village was at Wootton St Lawrence, but by 1430, the manor's administration had moved about a mile to the Manydown manor house. By 1440 the manor included Baghurst & Hannington, later including East Oakley & Ebsworth. It was owned by the Monks of Sherbourne in Doomsday Book but transferred to St Swithun's Monastery at Winchester cathedral, in the late 1200's. Manydown's compotus & court rolls (accounts) between 1300 & 1624 were transcribed into this book in 1895, by G.W.Kitchin. The book starts with 120 pages of introduction where the early history of the manor is discussed.

The brief summary below is not by the author, but added in 2005 when the book was transcribed, it you spot any mistakes please pass them on.

This transcript of the book positively encourages readers to doodle on the 'page margins'. Any query or additional information on a page would be welcomed. Drop a line with the page number & it will be added as a footnote to the page

Link to a dictionary of some definitions from the book.

Scanned pictures of the book's pages are linked below : Here is a text transcript of the full text of the book.

Some early web pages about Manydown.

Chapter Headings and A-Z Page Index of the book

Page a
Front Page
Page b (v)
Contents List
Page c (vi)
Contents List, Page 2
Page d (vii)
Preface; apology from the author that at the time of printing (he had moved to Durham)
He thanks the Manydown area priests of Worting, Monks Sherborne, Wootton & Baughurst, for their help
Page e (viii)
Preface, Page 2
Page f
A chart showing the Manydown villages' distances from Basingstoke
Page 1
Before 1895, Rev R F Big-Withers had a box of ancient documents from his family
He asked the author, GW Kitchin, to look at it. Kitchin wrote this book about them
They were documents from Manydown Manor, lost from Winchester Cathedral's records
Big-Withers offered to return records to the Winchester archives
Page 2
A catalogue of these files is in this book
Including 18 Compotus Rolls : 112 Court Rolls & a list of customary payments
These records may have been obtained by the Withers family in mid 1600's
Page 3
Manydown Manor was called Wottone before 1423
The Manor belonged to the prior & monks of St. Swithan's, Winchester
Page 4
The Wootton Manor House had by this time fallen into decay
Manydown Manor, a mile away had improvements made to it from mid 1300's
Page 5
The present house at Manydown retains at least the ancient floor plan
Page 6
The house was built around a square courtyard
The original Wootton manor house was by the church. It is assumed that it was given to the vicar
The Prior then transferred to the more commodious accommodation of Manydown
There is no trace of Wootton manor house in a 1616 map
Wootton Manor first mention as composed of Tithing of Wootton, Hoddington & Hannington
Hoddington fell out of the Manor, before the 1327 Roll.
A little later Wootton & Hannington are recorded in the Rolls as separate Manors
Page 7
Even Freemantle referred as a Manor in 1328, but at other times as a farm in Wootton Manor
Baghurst (Baughurst) first appears as part of Manydown in these Rolls in 1440
Baughurst, Wootton & Hannington were actually manors, while 'Manydown Manor' was just an administration grouping
There is no trace of a village at Manydown, the village was at Wootton
It was easier to administer courts & manor business by visiting one place rather than several
Page 8
Around 1462 Baughurst was transferred to the Lordship of Manydown, from Hurstborne
. These estates had chalk downland on higher ground with extensive woodland on lower
Much construction wood was sent to St Swithan's, Winchester (91 cartloads in 1392)
Page 9
The lower parts were arable fields, meadows and a (flooding) stream at Baughurst
The Manor's 'feudal burden' was the duty to sustain the prior & his guests whenever he visited
The prior & brothers often visited, for instance a Brother's hunting costs in 1364 was 7 shillings
In 1360's Edward III's huntsmen were often there in force. Deer & rabbits were hunted
Page 10
Manydown Manor, in 1686, was Upper & Lower Wootton, Ramsdale, Hannington, Ebsworth Baughurst & E.Oakley (but not Church Oakley)
Ramsdale was cut from Wootton in 1867, taking 922 people (a 1/3rd of the population) E.Oakley & Ebsworth were only hamlets
Wootton St Lawrence, rather than Wootton, first mentioned in 1451
King Eadmund gave 'Wudetune' to his thane Eadric in year 940
Page 11
In 940 a Roman road 'street' ran through Wootton & it had a church
Page 12
In Doomsday the Manor was called Odetone (Wootton), with no church mentioned
Doomsday mentions 20 hides (land for 20 families) belonging to the monks of St Swithan's
The Bishop of Winchester gave it to them in Edward the Confessor's days
A smaller part of the manor was held by Hugo de Port, Bishop of Bayeux
In 1864 Wootton's Norman church was rebuilt & an earlier building found below it
Page 13
Some land definitions are given
An acre = 4 furrows ('roods') one rod wide x 40 rods (660ft) long. (It was 1 day's ploughing) :
A villein or 'gebur' farmed his own acres (often 30), paid taxes to, & laboured on, his Lord's land
Page 14
Manydown Manor was split between the Lord's land & land he leased to his villeins
A hide of land normally is put at 120 acres
Page 15
One hide equals four 'virgates' of about 30 acres. Tax was about 1 penny an acre
Page 16
A lord of a manor was helped by his sergeant (servien), beneath was a Provost (praepositus)
A Provost (normally the estate's most capable husbandman) was elected by all the tenants
Page 17
The Provost organized the tenant's cultivation of the land, overlooked by the Lord's bailiff
The Rolls show close supervision of the tenants. Their fines amounted to hidden taxation
Page 18
For instance, in 6 months of 1365 in Wootton, of the Manor's adults were fined in 34 cases
The manor had 27 villani, 14 cottagers (so 51 heads of families), 10 slaves & a vicar
Vicar Langeton apparently 'resigned' in 1415, by taking a horse, saddle & 30s of property
Page 19
Deep wells were needed to be sunk in the area
Relations were often bad between Wootton vicars & the Rector, their feudal lord (the Prior of St Swithans)
Page 20
Pope Innocent IV confirmed the liberties of the Cathedral Monastery in 1243
In it, the churches of Wootton & Hannington were mentioned as coupled into one estate
The separateness of Manor & Parish emphasized, though often they had identical boundaries
Thought not infrequently, the Rector & Lord of the Manor were the same person
Page 21
Often the Rector became head man of villages & took the place of the lay government
Bye-law was the law of the bye or town (Scandinavian 'Bye' equivalent to Anglo-Saxon 'Tun')
Self government of villages was lost to Church & feudal nobles
Author said, 'now' [in 1894] the people might regain their original rights as village freeman
Villages elected a 'gerefa' or chairman & a bydel, the parish beadle (as in 1485 rolls)
Page 22
Wootton, shows a Monastery extracting the income of a valuable Rectory while off-loading the Parish's spiritual duties to an ill-paid Vicar.
Until 1299, Wootton was a Rectory in the Bishop of Winchester's hands.
He presented it to the Prior & Convent of St Swithans (to help fund the Cathedral restoration).
From then on the parish was served only by vicars.
The Benedictine Monastery of Sherbourne St Mary was the parish Rector some time before 1299.
Page 23
The Sherbourne monks claimed in court that they should receive tithes from the parish, and a 1282/3 judgement split the tithes.
Page 24
The court judgement
Page 25
Judgement that tithes to be split between Monks of Sherbourne & Ralf, Rector of Wootton
Appeal against the judgement to Rome
Page 26
The Sherbourne Monks were powerful, having the Pope as an ally
Page 27
During this time some locals refused to pay their tithes to either Sherbourne or the Rector
Page 28
Admonition from Bishop John to the Dean of Basingstoke, which said "followers of the devil have disturbed the Rector of Wootton to the peril of their souls". Those not paying their tithes by a specified date would be excommunicated
Possibly because of this squabble, the Rectorship was given to the more powerful monks of St Swithans, Winchester
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Henry of Blois (Bishop 1131-1171 & King Stephen's brother) began work on Winchester Cathedral
Only the South transept treasure house remains of this work, St Swithan's shrine was in the Cathedral
Page 32
There were 13 Priors of Winchester between 1214 & 1295, showing the bad reign of Bishop Henry, some of these priors were uncommonly bad
Page 33
Letter from the Bishop to Prior Henry of St Swithan Monastery, 1299
Due to the constant change of Priors & 'shocks of litigation', the monastery is short of money.
The church started long ago by Bishop Henry cannot be completed without help from the Bishop
The monks are not looking after poor & wayfarers due to lack of money
Page 34
letter continues... After death or resignation of the current Rector of Wootton, St Swithans get Wootton's Church
Out of Wootton revenues St Swithans to for 12 marks to employ a Vicar & maintain Wootton Church
Page 35
Another letter of 1299 binding the Bishop's successors to the above gift of Wootton Church
Page 36
letter continues..... In return for above gift the monks to say 2 masses a day, for ever
Page 37
Letter, in Latin, obliging St Swithans to sing these 2 masses, one each for Bishops Nicholas & John
Page 38
2 monks to sing these masses at the alter where Bishop Nicolas of Ely's heart is buried
The letter above from the current Bishop, John of Pontoise
Page 39
These masses (in return the gift of Wootton Church) to include a trumpet
The monks who sing these masses to share 5 marks each February
20s of bread to be distributed to the poor at the Monastery gate on 12 Feb, for ever
A 2 volume illuminated Bible was given to the Monastery after Bishop Nicholas's death, 1282
Page 40
The two volume bible was rebound into 3 volumes in mid 1800's
Page 41
This bible is probably created abroad & of great value. Bishop John borrowed it to amuse himself & his guests
Page 42
The bible is currently (1894) in the Cathedral's Library, awaiting academics to date it
Page 43
The Rector of Wootton, Ralph of Stanford, resigned the same year as the above letter
so the Monastery was at once instituted as Rectors of Wootton (1299) : (tithes continued until 1861)
Page 44
Henry of Simplingeham, Canon of Wherwell instructed by Bishop John to induct the new owners of Wootton
Brother Rodger of Entingeham was the Monastery's representative (he became Sub-prior in 1311)
Page 45
Monks could not run Wootton as it's vicar. It would have been against their monastic vows
The Monastery was not an evangelistic centre. They did not carry religion to the poor.
Only a small proportion of Wootton's tithes now went towards Wootton's church.
Arrangements like this, was one reason for the 15th & 16thC reform movements.
From now on the Bishop, had to guard the interests of the poor Vicar
Page 46
Latin deed of 1299 to Vicar of Wootton
Page 47
deed continues ...
Page 48
deed translation ... Bishop John says the Vicar of Wootton gets the small tithes
Includes Flax, Hemp, lambs, calves pigs, geese, hens, wool, cheese, apples, beans & hay
vicar also gets mortuaries & 20 acres of arable land
Page 49
deed continues ... Vicar gets common pasture for 10 sheep, 1 bull. 6 oxen, 4 hogs, he also received wheat, barley & oats
Page 50
Page 51
more legal definition discussions
Notes added to deed. when the vicar's 20 acres of land being disputed in 16thC
Page 52
Notes indicate the vicar can't prove which 20 acres he is entitled to in 16C
Page 53
A letter, Bishop Henry to St Swithan's Prior about a complaint of the 1st Vicar of Wootton
Page 54
The 1310 letter, said the monastery was not passing on the tithes that they owed to the vicar
Page 55
Another 1331 letter from Bishop John Stratford to the Monastery about Wootton Church
Page 56
A list of 18 Wootton vicars from 1283 to 1548
Page 57
Wootton Manor was in the hands of St Swithan's monks before they were given its church in 1299
The manor was sold to Prior William of Basing, for 18 marks, in 1295 by widow Johanna la Blake
Page 58
above sale deed of Wootton Manor
Page 59
100 acre of Church Oakley called Fabians, 'Fabyans' was bequeathed to the Monastery
It was mentioned in 1334 Rolls, A rich estate, contributing a sixth of the tithe for the whole of Wootton
Page 60
The Black Death appears in the Rolls. Land is received by the Monastery as tenants die.
The Monastery excuses some rent in 1354, due to the 'lack of tenants by reason of the pestilence'
Six years later land was still untenanted, & other land was returned as tenants could not pay their rent
Page 61
A 1360 list of 12 tenants in arrears. Only half the rents due were being received
Page 62
In 1364 Rolls, some are still paying half rents
Page 63
Things soon take a turn for the better, with new building work
Around 1381 the Monastery's receiver liked Wootton and the Manor had to bear the costs of his visits
The cost of providing for 24 Falconers of the Duke of Lancaster, for a day & night was 3s 6d
The cost of various visits, including a huntsman of The King was 2s 6d in one year
Page 64
A 20d fine on the Prior for blocking a Manydown road, which showed that local law could govern even the Lord of the Manor
Page 65
These courts were strict in enforcement of assizes of bread & wine
Page 65
The ale-conner & bread-taster checked the seller's duty to provide correct quantity & quality.
In a 1466 court, for instance, two bakers were weighing bread short
Mention of a Heriot not being given to the Lord, when a tenant died, as he had no living animal.
Page 66
This 1466 court, ordered Widow Peverel apprehended, over theft from 3 people, of an apron, towel, salt fish & hen
A 1471 court, mentions a assault when two wives ('common scolds') quarrelled, to the detriment of the tithing.
Page 67
The tithe dispute between St Swithan's & Sherborne, apparently settled in 14thC, broke out again in 1497
Page 68
The Prior of Sherborne apparently claiming ancient tithes rights that were being paid to the Prior of St Swithans.
Page 69
1509 Rolls: 2 tenants died, a pig & goose paid as Heriot. A rent was set & a tenant fined for back rent owed.
Page 70
4 rolls between 1489 & 1516 show a long standing disagreement over paying tithes to St,Swithans
A property 'Fynys lands' was given to an Oxford college by the Bishop of Winchester. They argued it was a gift, so was excused tithes.
Page 71
Woodlands was important to Wootton Manor, In 1624, the Court ordered a wood survey before the next meeting
After the Restoration of the Monarchy, William Withers, the new owner of the Manor, was ejected without compensation.
Having just recovered the manor, the Dean & Chapter gave away great oaks, allowing their tenants to repair needful houses
The Wood Book of the Chapter gives acreage still in woodland : 6 coppices of 113 acres
Page 72
Woodland apparently grew by 1730 when Manydown Coppice recorded as 125 acres (915a Arable and 38a pasture)
William Wither (from a local family) bought the Manor & Manor House, for 6,550, in 1649, after the Civil War
After the restoration, all transactions in the Republican period were treated as null and void.
Page 73
William Withers was allowed to retain the Manor House & take a 21 year lease of the Manor, renewable every 7 years, with a small rent & fine
The Chapter received 43,500 of fines, lease renewals, 1660-70. Repairing Cathedral & associated buildings cost 22,500. The 21,000 remainder was divided amongst the monks, as a dividend!
Page 74
The Manor of Hoddington, mentioned in Domesday as held by the Bishop, for the sustenance of his monks.
It was one of the manors, transferred before 1300, to St Swithan's Monastery by Bishop John.
Page 75
Hoddington paid to St Swithans; 12 in 1327, 33 in 1330 and 25 in 1335
It was 1 of 5 manors granted to the new Chapter by Henry 8, 1541, to pay for 8 divinity students at Oxbridge Universities.
It was surrendered to the King, 1545, It's value 14. Proving it remained St Swithan's since 1300.
Being a tithing in Upton Grey parish, it lay well away from the grouping first called Wootton, then Manydown.
Hannington's name was suggested as deriving from a ton, enclosed farm or village, of the Han family.
Page 76
From early times Hannington was an independent parish, described in the Domesday Survey
Page 77
List of Rectors of Hannington from 1302-1550
Page 78
Notes on Rectors of Hannington from 1302-1550
Page 79
The Withers & Warehams were prominent landholders at Hannington
Wareham Cottage was were Wareham, Archbishop of Canterbury was said to be born in 1450
He was brought up in Church Oakley Parish
He went to Wykeham's College, Winchester, then to New College, Oxford
Page 80
It was said, he was commended to King Henry VII, as a useful person, 'not too original or clever'.
He was a modest reformer, with a gentle rule over the English Church & pliable in his relations with Cardinal Wolsey.
He was a venerable 51, in 1501, when granted a ten year lease of Skyres, Wootton by Magdalene College, Oxford.
The 66s pa rent showed it was of considerable size, the previous tenant was John Aliffe
Page 81Gave Oak screens to Baghurst Church & possibly Church Oakley (lost in an 1866 Chancel restoration)
Recombinant effigies of his parents at Church Hanger & coat of arms over the West Door
Stained glass of the Archbishop & his coat of arms escaped the restorers & found in a box in a loft
Page 82
Hannington sheep stealing, William Sylvester of Hannington stole 6 from holding of Henry Mayre at Wonston 1531
Hannington had 82 acres of woodland recorded in 6 coppices in 1667, chiefly oak & ash.
Freemantle Farm in the parish, sometimes spoken of as an independent Parish
Ibworth, a small hamlet, (possibly meaning "Ebba's property)
The Roman road from Winchester to Silchester runs through the farm & it has a ancient barrow
The 'u' in Baughurst only appears when used by Rector Johnson in 1848 (the author hopes it will be dropped soon)
Page 83
Baughurst Manor, was owned by St Swithans, but first mentioned included in Manydown accounts in 1462
Its connection with Manydown was severed in 1649
St Swithuns disputed land in Baughurst with William Hachard around 1250's. It bought out his claim for 10 marks & 7 qrts grain
Page 84
above dispute in Latin
Page 85
translation ; William Tadley of Tadley, Knight & wife Isabella, disputed common land
Page 86
Similar deeds in 1260's when Peter de la Forde, give up claims on Baughurst common pasture to St Swithans
Page 87
Above deed (for 20 shillings) in Latin & translated
Page 88
Latin deed
Page 89
translation of above deeds from Robert of Finlyhe & Adam of Pember, to Prior Valentine, giving up right to Baughurst & Ibew[orth] hamlet
Page 90
around 1700 a causeway built to take the road over the Loddon headwater marsh land. It let inhabitants get to church
Hurst in Baughurst means woodland or thickets. Bagge=back (a wood to the rear of a place) or Badger
1451 roll says the bridge called Fordemede on the horse path between Foxcote (now Fossgate Farm) needed repair
In 1456 the Kingsway called Church Land & Andrew's Lane was flooded, repair of the ditches would be matter for the whole tithing
Page 91
In 1530 the whole tithing were ordered to make good the bridge there called Stock-bridge
Unlike the rest of the manor high on the downs, which was devoid of water, Baghurst lay quite low
Page 92
John Ward of Bramley, broke into the Rector Frebuca of Baughurst's house, in 1498 & beat him, so his life was despaired of.
Page 93
List of Rectors of Baghurst 1314-1558, tithes often used as just a stipend of the Assistant Bishops of Winchester
Page 94
The benefice (Rectors of Baghurst) was given in rapid succession to friends & favourites of the Winchester Bishops
Page 95
William, Rector of Avening, Worcester also held Baghurst, in 1324, & was forced to give it back, as pluralities were forbidden
Wootton Netted 44 in 1545 (Assize Rent 23, Wootton Manor tithes 17, Fines 4, less outgoings -15)
Baghurst & Hannington netted 26 (Baghurst 12, Hannington 14, Fines 2, less outgoings -13)
Page 96
So total income from the Manor of Manydown was 70 in 1545
Baghurst Rectory, connected with the Hospital of St Cross at Winchester (mentioned in a 1187 Papal Bull) & continues 'to this day'
Page 97
Manydown stock in 1390
Wootton 6 cart & 6 plough-horses, 24 plough oxen, 26 cows, 559 sheep, 8 rams, 178 sheep, 33 pigs
Hannington 6 plough-horses, 363 sheep, no lambs, rams or pigs
Page 98
Hannington was downland & woodland, so all the manor's cattle was in Wootton
Villagers did half their tillage on thier own 'tributary' land & half on the Lord's land
Increasingly, villagers wanted farm land around his home 'messuage', rather than farm the strip system
Villeins or 'Borderers', had no common field strips & laboured for the Lord but worked for themselves on parish waste land, ie brickmaking, carpentry
Page 99
Common land was shared fairly. For instance, even a Rector (William Smithson)n was punished for greedy misuse of parish land
Inhabitants owed services 'precariae' to their Lord; field tilling, burdensome porterage 'average', nut harvesting & crow keeping
Page 100
They could not fell a tree on thier land or sublet their property without being fined
A Lord were obliged to sell grain to the Crown at 2/3rds of the market price
Page 101
The lowest class of labourer, a 'native', could not leave the manor without his Lords leave
In 1412 John Palmer had to pay 6d to temporarily leave Hannington. The price of an iron fetter with keys
Page 102
This monastic manor was less oppressive than lay owned manors, averaging one such leave 'manumission' a year.
More leaves allowed in late 15thC when labourers became more powerful, when plaque resulted in labour shortages
Page 103
Another tenant liability was death duty 'Heriot', after death, the best animal was given to the lord as tax
The origins of Heriot was the return of the tenant's arms & armour to his Lord after death
This tradition gradualy changed to an oppresive tax, woman therefore continued to be exempt
Page 104
Heriots meant a widow might loose both her husband & the only animal the family could use to till their land.
Open field systems mean stray animals were a problem. Manors had 'pounds', often rin by the vicar
Animals were returned after damages & expences were paid, after a year they were foreited to the Lord
Manorial courts fined inhabitants for transgressions of pastureland, standing corn or woodlands, poaching, theft, infringements of boundries or the assize of bread & beer
Page 105
The author concludes with a small sermon, comparing medieval with 'current', late Victorian, life
This was not 'Merrie England', a tenant's prospects were 'scarce more than a simple animal existence'
Page 106
There was 'no variety, no news, no books or school, no change of scene or dress'
'Food was rudimentary, with almost no vegetables or variety'

Pages 107-110 are blank
You can continue reading the book via the scans of page 111 onwards, these pages are mostly the actual manorial accounts

I. Catalogue of Compotus111-113
II. Catalogue of Court Rolls113-122
III. Court Rolls printed in full122-140
IV. A Court Roll of 1661141-142
V. Compotus Rolls printed in full143-163
VI. Rental of Hanyton, 1351164-167
VII. Stock Book of Haniton and Wootton, 1390168-170
VIII. Churchwarden's Accounts, Wootton, 1559, 1600171-175
IX. Documents connected with the Surrender of 1649176-195
- 1. Assent of Tenants176
- 2. Acceptance by Mr William Wither176
- 3. Value of the Manor of Haniton, 1650177
- 4. Survey of the Manor of Manydowne, 1650178
- - - Arable lying in Common fields184
- - - Fabians and Mervins185
- - - Bond Land called Normans186
- - - Upper Wootton191
- 5. Manydown Manor in 1808195
1. Catalogue of Compotus Rolls of Wootton and
- - - Manydown in Cathedral Archives 201-208
2. Court Rolls of the Manor of Wootton and Manydown200-214
3. Compotus Rolls of Hanyton215-221
4. Compotus Rolls of Baghurst222-225
A-Z 227-240