Beorhtstan 16 was one of five sokemen of Ely abbey who between them had 1 hide worth 60s. in south-west Cambridgeshire.
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 DB Spelling
Holder 1066 ID conf.
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Beorhtstan 'of Toft'
Wulfric, abbot of Ely
Erchenger the baker
As recently as the early 1030s Toft, in the heavy clays of the Bourn valley 5 miles west of Cambridge, had been a single estate with its northern neighbour Hardwick which paid the traditional farm in kind to Ely abbey. Between 1035 and 1066 Ely had concentrated its demesne in Hardwick and given away or sold much of Toft (Oosthuizen 2006: 24, 60–4, 130). One of the components was a hide of land divided in 1066 among five of Ely’s sokemen who were not free to sell or give away their land outside the abbey’s lordship: Alric Brunesune, Alwaru 3 (a woman), Hunnoth 1, Hunwine 13, and Beorhtstan 16. In the absence of information about their individual holdings they have been assigned equal share of 24 acres, though it is much more likely that there were four virgates, one of them shared between two of the sokemen. None of the five had any other land.
There is nothing to link Beorhtstan of Toft with either of his namesakes elsewhere in England in 1066.
Oosthuizen 2006: Susan Oosthuizen, Landscapes Decoded: The Origins and Development of Cambridgeshire’s Medieval Fields (Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press, 2006)