PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]

Brun 16 Brun ‘of Lawling’ (Essex), fl. 1066

Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

  Discussion of the name  


Brun 16 was a small free landowner in coastal Essex, with two manors of a little under 5 hides worth £5.

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

Holder 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Holder 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Holder 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Essex 24,66 Tolleshunt Brunus Brun 'of Lawling' - Swein of Essex Odo 'the man of Swein of Essex' 1.83 1.00 1.25 A Map
Essex 34,24 Lawling Brun Brun 'of Lawling' - Ranulph Peverel - 2.79 4.00 3.75 A Map
Total               4.62 5.00 5.00  


The two Essex manors attributed to Brun lie a few miles apart, either side of the Blackwater estuary, a proximity which serves to identify a single landowner and to distinguish him from the namesakes who owned land in Suffolk, even though the latter were only some 25‑35 miles away. The Essex manors were about the same size as one another and were held in the same way, ‘as a manor’. Domesday even seems to offer an explanation why they did not pass to the same Norman, since of Tolleshunt it adds after ‘which Brun held as a manor and for 1 hide and a half and 40 acres’ the comment ‘but Robert had it after the king came to this land, and now Swein has it’, meaning Robert fitzWimarc’s son Swein of Essex (Robert; Swein). The implication may be that Robert fitzWimarc, a landowner in Essex from before 1066, had taken the estate from Brun.

The larger of Brun 16’s manors, Lawling (specifically the manor later called Peverels) (Powell 1990: 28) was on the south shore of the estuary at the head of a creek. The other, tentatively identified as part of Tolleshunt Major (Powell 1990: 29), was on the north bank; its possession of a small amount of pasture for sheep suggests that it may have included an area of salt-marsh on the shore, but it also had woodland, which must have lain further inland. The two manors were only 5 miles apart shore to shore, perhaps 8 miles by road through the small town of Maldon at the head of the estuary. In 1066 Brun owned two slaves on each of his manors and undertook the mixed farming usual in coastal Essex, with at least two ploughteams, some woodland, and flocks numbering 70 sheep.


W. Raymond Powell, Essex in Domesday Book: Introduction and Gazetteer, Essex Record Office Publication 103 (Chelmsford: Essex Record Office, 1990)

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