PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


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

Beorhtsige 44 Beorhtsige ‘of Boynton’ (Suff.), fl. 1066

Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

  Discussion of the name  


Beorhtsige 44 was a small landowner on the Suffolk-Essex border whose two manors of nearly 2 carucates were worth 30 shillings. He was declared an outlaw and dispossessed at an unspecified time after William became king.

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 24,65 Foulton Bricsius Beorhtsige 'of Boynton' - Swein of Essex Odard 'of Foulton' 0.92 0.50 1.00 B Map
Suffolk 71,1 Boynton Brixius Beorhtsige 'of Boynton' - Robert of Stratford - 1.00 1.00 1.00 B Map
Total               1.92 1.50 2.00  



Two small manors on the borders of Suffolk and Essex were close enough to one another and far enough from other estates assigned to Beorhtsige for the identity of their holder to be probable, though the possibility that two men were involved cannot be dismissed altogether. Marginally the larger of the two was 1 carucate at Boynton, 3 miles inland on the Suffolk side of the lower Stour valley. Beorhtsige was here called a free man; his commendation was not stated but the soke of his holding, as of others at Boynton, belonged to Earl Harold’s nearby manor of East Bergholt. The Essex manor of Foulton was 12 or 13 miles down the estuary, hemmed in by marshes towards the end of the Harwich peninsula. Beorhtsige held 1 hide less 10 acres freely there. He farmed with a single plough at each manor, and the marshes of Foulton provided pasture for 100 sheep.

The entry for Foulton reports Beorhtsige’s fate: ‘when the king [William] came into this land he was outlawed, and R[obert fitzWimarc] received his land, and afterwards S[wein of Essex, Robert’s son] had it’. Outlawry presumably involved exile (as Williams 1995: 19), and the minor landowner Beorhtsige 44 can therefore be placed among the small number of men who are known for certain to have left England after resisting the Normans.


Williams 1995: Ann Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1995)

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