Monday, 29 March 2021 15:14

Smeeton Westerby Manor

SMEETON WESTERBY MANOR

1086 – 1888

Before the Norman Conquest of England there is no record of holders of land in Smeeton Westerby.

1068

          The Domesday Book first draft completed in 1086 contained the following entry for Smeeton Westerby:

Land of King William.

Households 

10 villagers. 73 freemen. 32 smallholders

Land and resources 

Ploughland: 2 lord's plough teams. 26.5 men's plough teams.

Other resources: Meadow 36.5 acres.

Valuation

Annual value to lord: 10 pounds 2 shillings and 5 pence in 1086; 1 shilling when acquired by the 1086 owner.

Owners 

Tenant-in-chief in 1086: King William.

Lords in 1086: Robert of Tosny: King William

Lord in 1066: King Edward.

Lands of Hugh de Grandmesnil

    Households:

   6 villagers. 4 freemen. 3 smallholders. 3 slaves.

   Land and resources 

    Ploughland: 4 ploughlands. 1 lord's plough teams. 3 men's plough teams.

    Other resources: Meadow 8 acres. Woodland 3. 3 furlongs. 1 mill, value 1 pound.

   Valuation

   Annual value to lord: 2 pounds in 1086; 1 pound when acquired by the 1086 owner.

   Owners
   Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Hugh of Grandmesnil
   Lord in 1086: Hugh of Grandmesnil

Land of Hugh of Grandmesnil

   Households 

   1 villager. 2 freemen. 3 smallholders.

   Land and resources 

   Ploughland: 3 ploughlands. 1 lord's plough teams. 1 men's plough teams.

   Valuation 

   Annual value to lord: 1 pound in 1086; 1 pound when acquired by the 1086 owner.

   Owners 

   Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Hugh of Grandmesnil

    Lord in 1086: Robert of Bucy

Land of Robert the bursar

   Households 

2 villagers. 3 freemen. 1 smallholder.

Land and resources 

Ploughland: 1 lord's plough teams. 1 men's plough teams.

Other resources: Meadow 1 acres.

Valuation 

Annual value to lord: 10 shillings in 1086; 10 shillings when acquired by the 1086 owner.

Owners 
Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Robert the bursar
Lord in 1086: Robert the bursa

NB   When the Domesday Book refers to a number of ploughs it is referring to the taxable amount of land that can be ploughed by a team of eight oxen. Thus, land ‘for half a plough’ (or ‘for four oxen) means half a ploughland.

1094

Hugo de Grandmesnil died and was succeeded by his heir Ivo de Grandmesnil. Following a disagreement with the King Ivo was fined and forced to seek help from Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulan, 1st Earl of Leicester.

1102

Ivo de Grandmesnil died and his lands were held by Robert de Beaumont. The lands should have been returned to Ivo’s two sons, Ivo ll and William however Robert de Beaumont deprived them of their inheritance. The land was held by Robert Bassett from Robert de Beaumont. Bassett also held the land of Robert de Buci.

1130

The land, which had been held by Richard Bassett from Robert de Beaumont was by now possessed by Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester. The manor remained with the Earls of Leicester.

1204

Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester died without children. His lands in England were divided between his two sisters. Margaret, the youngest daughter of the late Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester inherited land which included the Smeeton Westerby manor. She had married Simon de Montfort, a French Nobleman who was appointed 5th Earl of Leicester by King John.

1208

It is not known when, but some of these holdings at Smeeton Westerby had been acquired by Ivo de Neufmarche, Lord of Braybrook.

His lands including some passed through Ivo’sheirs, Henry de Senlis and Robert Ledet, Baron of Braybrook. They decided to divide lands between them. Robert Ledet, Baron of Braybrook’s share included land at Smeeton Westerby. In 1208 King John confirmed Robert de Braybrook held land in Smeeton Westerby from Ralph Turville. There is little doubt that this was the land previously held by Richard Bassett from the Earl of Leicester.

1211

Robert Ledet, Baron of Braybrook died and was succeeded by his son Walter Ledet.

1257

Walter died, his co-heirs were his daughters Alice and Christiana. Alice married William Latimer and her sister Christiana, married William Latimer’s brother John. William and John Latimer had possession of land in Smeeton Westerby from their wives

1265

Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester died. Following his death King Henry III granted all de Montfort’s lands to Edmund Crouchback Henry III’s eldest son. Edmund Crouchback was given the title Earl of Leicester and shortly was also appointed Earl of Lancaster. The land at Smeeton Westerby was held by the Duchy of Lancaster.

At some stage the Duchy appears to have retained some of the land at Smeeton in demense. (land attached to a manor by the owner for their own use) The remaining land was subinfeudated. (the granting of a portion of an estate by a feudal tenant to a subtenant, held from the tenant on terms similar to those of the grant to the tenant). The position of the under-tenants of the Smeeton Westerby manor holding is not clear and it is not known what happened to Richard Bassett’s holdings.

However, it does appear that some of these holdings at Smeeton Westerrby which had been acquired by Ivo de Neufmarche, Lord of Braybrook. This land passed through de Neufmarche heirs to Henry de Senlis and Robert Ledet, Baron of Braybrook who decided to divide lands between them. Robert Ledet, Baron of Braybrook’s share included land at Smeeton Westerby. When Senlis and Ledet received the land is not clear.

1282

John Latimer died, his lands were inherited by his heirs, the Latimer family of Braybrook who held the land from the Duchy of Lancaster.

1304

William Latimer died and his lands were inherited by Nicholas Latimer.

1325

Nicholas Latimer died he was succeeded by his son John.

1343

John Latimer died and his lands were inherited by his son, Nicholas who was still a minor. There is no record of what happened to the lands after this.

1441

Edward Latimer of Braybrook died and the lands in Smeeton Westerby were held by John Griffin, grandson of Edward Latimer’s sister Elizabeth who had married Sir Thomas Griffin. The land passed through the Griffin family.

1509

Nicholas Griffin, 10th Baron Latimer of Braybrook died and it was believed that he had held the manor from the King as part of the Duchy of Lancaster. He was succeeded by his son Sir Thomas Griffin. Sir Thomas was in possession of the manor in 1550 however what happened to the manor after this is uncertain.

1628

Charles 1st granted the Smeeton Westerby manor to Charles Harbord, Christopher Favell and Thomas Young.

1631

Harbold, Favell and Young conveyed the manor to William Lewis.1654

William Lewis conveyed the manor to John Lewis. (there is no hard evidence to support these transactions)

1864

H H Hungerford was Lord of the Smeeton Westerby manor.

1887

Sir Henry Halford had acquired the lands from Hungerford. After this date there are no records of any person being Lore of the Smeeton Westerby manor.

1888

It appears that the manorial rights had lapsed.

NB  I have used the spelling of Hugh of GrandmesniI from the Doomsday Book although British History On-line spells it Grentemesnil.

 

Acknowledgements

The Domesday Book 
https://opendomesday.org/place/SP6792/smeeton-westerby 
The National Archives 
Domesday Book Glossary  
British History On-Line
Wikipedia

 

Additional Info

  • Acknowledgement: The Kibworth Improvement Team thank and acknowledge the Warden and Fellows of Merton College, Oxford for permission to use images on this website of the college and archived material.
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