Stowe Survey (1292) – Survey of Martham Manor

Martham is fortunate to have several preserved documents illustrating its development from the earliest of times. These include records in the Domesday Book (1086), Manorial Rolls from 1272 to the middle of the 14th century and a series of Court and Bailiffs’ Rolls covering the period to the Reformation (1534-1549). In addition to these there is another exceptionally important survey of Martham Manor that was carried out in 1292 which is held by the British Museum and is called the Stowe Survey ref:MS 936.

The first page of the 1292 Survey of Martham Manor, the demesne lands. Photo courtesy of the British Library.

The whole compilation, unfortunately, is in a defective condition. The series was  started soon after the appointment of William de Kyrkeby to the Norwich Priory in 1272 and was continued at various dates thereafter. The survey of Martham was made by the Prior of Norwich, Henry de Lakenham in 1292.

The survey required that those compiling it should start by looking back and assessing what the Manor looked like 100 years earlier. So, the first part looks at what it calls the “former” position and looks back to 1192.  Usefully it provides the names of 107 “former” holders of land no matter what their size. These holdings were (as was usual in those days) made up of strips of land, often widely separated from each other. A list of these 107 tenants is shown in the table at the foot of this page.

At Domesday (1086) Martham had a considerable number of landowners who were ‘freemen’. However, they were not altogether free and were subject to some commitment to the Lord of the Manor, which in this case was the Prior, but they did not work on his land. There was a group of 36 of this type of freemen in Martham who owned 610 acres of land plus pasture between them. In addition, there were a number of other “socmen” working with them that were only discovered through the Stowe survey. 

The Stowe Survey makes it clear that Bishop Herbert de Losinga gave his Manors of Hemsby and Martham to his new Priory of Norwich. The greater part of Martham had not previously been subject to manorial conditions but the Bishop made the 36 freemen into “villenage” tenants and in addition the 27 socmen from Hemsby into customary tenants, all with specified obligations to provide for his monks at his newly founded Monastery at Norwich.

A close comparison of Domesday and Stowe has identified the same base holding by 36 freemen over the period from 1086 right through to 1292 although subsequently sub-divided by inheritance and sales etc, holdings had been divided by eight to twelve times the original number. Similarly, the holdings of the 27 socmen can be traced and they also held 30 acres of land in Martham. There seems little reason to list them separately other than they came from Hemsby and held Martham land without living in the parish but were subject to some services to the Martham Lord particularly at harvest time.

In 1292, by inheritance, sale, marriage dowry or gift etc these 107 units were owned by more than 900 people and the number of furlong strips held had become more than 2,000. Every strip is given the name of the “field” it is in; the name of the tenant whose lands it adjoins on its long side and the land or road it abuts on its short side. The tenants are described as holding the land in “villenage”(1) or in “socage” (2). There were 221/4 villenage tenements consisting of 12 acres (or fractions) each. They were called “eruings” which was derived from the old Saxon word “eruing” meaning ploughing.

To sum up the Domesday account for Martham identified (a) 36 freemen holding 610 acres of arable land, (b) 240 acres of land in Martham owned by the Prior’s Hemsby Manor, (c) 30 acres in Martham owned by 27 socmen from Hemsby, (d) 21 acres in Sco (a part of Martham at what is now The Grange) held by two tenants, (d) 10 acres at Winterton belonging to the Bishop but included in his Martham Manor.  This makes a total of 911 acres, which were identified in the Stowe Survey.   

  1. Villenage = Tenure at the will of a feudal lord by villein services.
  2. Socage = a feudal tenure of land involving payment of rent or other non-military service to a Lord.

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Stowe Survey MS. 936
1.  Hil, Roger de 1000C
2.  Knight Thomas1200A
2.  Knight Thomas400B
3. Pyne Richard400C
4. Hisbald Humfrey200D
5. Stiward Yware600C
6. Rede, Joh. Le1200D
7. Brun Will. 300C
8. Sco. Humfrey de 1600C
8. Sco. Humfrey de 300A
9. Blakeman Yware600C
10. Wirle1300C
11. Ses, Yware de1000C
12. Ses, Unbeyn de1220C
13. Syk, Thos de 2220C
14. Vosse Peter300A
14. Vosse Peter100B
15. Goshey Will600A
16. Keneman Agnes120D
17. Geoffrey, Yware son of1200A
17. Geoffrey, Yware son of420B
18. Mome Roger300A
18. Mome Roger300B
19. Elsy Alice100D
20. Anneys Will1800A
20. Anneys Will160B
21. Arnald Richard220D
22. Stannard Matilda600C
23. Godyve John400C
24. Gileberd Peter1200A
24. Gileberd Peter300B
25. Pethun Will. 600A
25. Pethun Will. 100B
26. Fayrman Bernard600A
26. Fayrman Bernard300B
27. Hugo, Walter330A
27. Hugo, Walter330B
28. Leve Will. 330A
28. Leve Will. 330B
29. Lom Thos.330A
29. Lom Thos.330B
30. Bruerio, Joh. De330A
30. Bruerio, Joh. De330B
31. Byl Steph.600A
32. Coleman Matilda 600C
33. Yvo, Will. son of800D
34. Blakyng Rob. & Elfer Rog.900A
34. Blakyng Rob. & Elfer Rog.220B
35. Harald Nicholas620D
36. Sunnof John900C
37. Chaplain Will. 220D
38. Gervase, Nich.300C
39. Prat Rob.600A
39. Prat Rob.100B
40. Hereman Will.600C
4l  Erl Geoffrey 1600C
42. Cope Will. 600A
42. Cope Will. 300B
43. Tusard Richard300D
44. Spac Hugo600A
44. Spac Hugo300B
45. Frone Gunnilda300D
46. Lestan Rob.600A
46. Lestan Rob.120B
47. Lestan 1120C
48. Archer, Will. Le630C
49. Spac Rog. 600A
49. Spac Rog. 400B
50. Gemere Rich. 900A
50. Gemere Rich. 2000B
51. Orger Rich.600A
51. Orger Rich.900B
52. Bernard John3020A
52. Bernard John400C
53. Gode Rog.1200A
53. Gode Rog.020B
54. Starlyng Rob. (Swan)330A
54. Starlyng Rob. (Swan)200B
55. Godrich Nich.1200A
56. Godrich Will.100D
57. Kylderous Margaret 100D
58. Kilderous Rog. 600A
59. Tusard Richard220D
60. Curtman Rob.300A
60. Curtman Rob.300C
61. Orger Richard100D
62. Atte Pit, Alice400D
63. Bo Wluina020D
64. Greyve, Ralph le1200D
65. Robert, Joh.1400D
66. Anant, Rog. son of Yware600A
66. Anant, Rog. son of Yware200B
67. Wymerc Joh. 600A
67. Wymerc Joh. 100B
68. Pecke Emma 120D
69. Longe, Joh. Le1000C
70. Kinc Joh.1100D
71. Bedel Richard700D
72. Clerk, Rob. Le1200A
72. Clerk, Rob. Le1200B
73. Mey Wymarcha300C
74. Carpenter Joh. 300A
74. Carpenter Joh. 220B
75. Godwyne, Will.700D
76. Yware, Rog. son of Steph.600A
76. Yware, Rog. son of Steph.700B
77. Wluan Adam600A
77. Wluan Adam1020B
78. Alexander Will.300A
78. Alexander Will.800B
79. Godknape Joh.500D
80. Blaking Osbert1400C
81. Sort Matilda9020D
82. Harding Humfrey120D
83. Matilda, Barth. 300A
84. Ratte Juliana300C
85. Godwyne and Goda600A
85. Godwyne and Goda300B
86. Bolle Roger120D
87. Heyward, Godwyne le600A
87. Heyward, Godwyne le200B
88. Hendegord, Rog. and Will. De1000C
89. Suthgate, Rog. de  1000C
90. Marue Richard100D
91. Hare Edric100D
92. Smith, Godwyne600D
93. Steward, Rog.1000C
94. Seward Joh. and Osbert500D
95. Herbert Robert700D
96. Hemesby, Amable de030D
97. Hubert Humfrey1200A
97. Hubert Humfrey200B
98. Dekene, Joh. le1600D
99. Haryngby, Will. De800D
100. Prior of Norwich100D
101. Blakeman Roger030D
102. Chaplain, Godfrey the400D
103. Tucke Wymarcha600D
104. Cruchestoft320D
105. Dulle Matilda120 (⅛ e.)A
106. Stocklondgore200D
107. Hil Joh. and Keneman Joh.120D
A = Villenage
B = Socage Lands held by Villeins
C = Land held by the 27 Socmen from Hemsby
D = Land held by other Socmen
Turf cutting holdings (turbaries) held in the south field and annual rent in 1292 according to the Stowe Survey
Heirs of Elsy and Nich. Longe  11d
Hubert Arnald & Adam 1½d
Nicholas Berte & Will. Herbert ½½d
Will. Godrich, Will. Tusard, Roger Produm, John Keymund33d
Roger Bolle & Thos. Lom                                                           11d
Richard Galle                                                                           ½½d
Rob. son of Roger                                                                     ½½d
Nicholas Scorch                                                                       ½½d
Heirs of Roger Gode                                                                11d
Ralph Produm                                                                           1½d
Joh. Gemere with his fellows                                                    11d
Thos. Stug & his fellows                                                           1½d
Rob. Dekene                                                                            11d
Alexander Hervy                                                                      11d
Rob. & Rich. Orger                                                                   11d
Nicholas & Roger Bernard                                         11d
Heirs of Elsy & Nicholas Longe                                                 11d
Heirs of Adam Gele                                             ½½d
Osbert Maybel                                                                        ½½d
Roger Walter & Will. Leuene                                                    ½½d
Joh. & Thos11d
Ric. & Nicholas Galle                                                               ½½d
Joh. de Fleg & his brothers                                           11d
Heirs of Elsy Long & Rog. de Suthgate                        11d
Rog. Anant                                                                               11d
Heirs of Alice Kine                                                  ½½d
Heirs of Elsy Hendegord & of John Tvynlyng                  ½½d
Heirs of Unbeyn                                                                      11d
Heirs of Stephen Byl                                                               11d
Geoffrey Alexander & his brothers                                3 rods1. 1/4d
Heirs of Curtman                                                                     ½½d
Rob. Orger & heirs of Joh. Kint [sic]                                        33d
John Gemere & his fellows                                      44d
Heirs of Elsy Longe & Nich. Longe                           1 m6d
Henry Harald                                                                     1abut1d
John Gemere                                                                           1abut1d
Roger Starlyng                                                                        1abut1d
Roger Aveline                                                                          1abut2d
Heirs of Stug                                                          1abut1d
m = meadow
abut = abuttal

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