PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


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

Beorhtgifu 6 Beorhtgifu ‘of Stanway’ (Essex), fl. 1066

Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

  Discussion of the name  



Beorhtgifu 6 was a peasant landowner who paid 32 pence rent for her 18 acres on Earl Harold’s manor of Stanway, near Colchester in Essex. Her rent was diverted to another manor after the Conquest by Engelric the priest.

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 1,19 Stanway Bricteua Beorhtgifu 'of Stanway' Harold, earl William, king Eustace, count 0.15 0.13 0.13 B Map
Total               0.15 0.13 0.13  



The name Beorhtgifu appears twice in Essex, at places 23 miles apart, but there is no reason to think that the same woman was involved at both (contra Freeman: IV, 723, 736). The smaller of the two holdings was at Stanway, a large and valuable manor of Earl Harold (Harold 3) immediately west of the borough of Colchester. Stanway was retained by King William in 1086, when DB noted that one of three depredations against the manor since the Conquest had been Engelric’s removal of Beorhtgifu’s 18 acres, which used to pay 32 pence to the manor each year. Engelric was a wealthy priest of the king’s chapel who passed into William’s service and has been characterized as ‘an active member of the new kleptocracy, not least through the annexation of estates of small freemen and sokemen to his own manors’ (Taylor 2001: esp. 230). Beorhtgifu’s rent was probably diverted to Engelric’s nearby manor of Langenhoe, to which he certainly made other additions (Essex 20:19).



Freeman: Edward A. Freeman, The History of the Norman Conquest of England, its Causes and its Results, 6 vols, revised edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1875–9 [I and II in 3rd edn, 1877; III and IV in 2nd edn, 1875–6; V and VI, 1876–9]

Taylor 2001: Pamela Taylor, ‘Ingelric, Count Eustace and the Foundation of St Martin-le-Grand’, Anglo-Norman Studies 24 (2001), 215–37

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