PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

Domesday

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

Aisil 2 Aisil ‘of Brockton’ (Salop.), fl. 1066

Male
Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

Discussion of the name

Summary

Aisil 2 was a small landowner in north Shropshire, with a single estate of ½ hide. Its value in 1066 was not stated, but in 1086 a free man paid a rent of 16d. for it.

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

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

Profile

The name Aisil occurs twice in DB, but the two entries are duplicates, and only one estate is involved. It was originally entered in the section detailing the smaller subtenants of Earl Roger in Shropshire who corresponded to the king’s serjeants and king’s thegns of other shires (Salop. 4.27:30):

RICARDUS tenet de comite BROCHETONE. Aisil tenuit. Ibi dimidia hidam geld’. Terra . est .I. carucae. Ibi unus liber homo reddit .XVI. denarios de firma.

RICHARD holds of the earl BROCKTON. Aisil held. There half a hide pays geld. The land is for 1 plough. There one free man pays 16 pence of farm.

At a late stage in the writing of Great Domesday Book, after the Shropshire folios had been rubricated, a duplicate entry was made for Brockton at the end of the run of Earl Roger’s main (i.e. baronial) subtenants with names in R– (Salop. 4.12:1, last three entries at foot of GDB fol. 257r., column 1):

RICARDUS tenet de comite in BROCHETONE . dimidiam hidam . Terra . est .I. carucae. Aisil tenuit pro uno M. Ibi . est unus liber homo. Reddit .XVI. denarios.

RICHARD holds of the earl in BROCKTON half a hide. The land is for 1 plough. Aisil held for one manor. There is one free man. He pays 16 pence.

Moving the entry to another place in the Shropshire folios had the effect of making Richard a ‘baronial’ tenant of Earl Roger, rather than an ‘earl’s thegn’, but it is not clear that the scribe’s second thoughts were correct, not least because he did not mark up the original entry for deletion.

The 1086 holder of Brockton cannot be identified for certain. The descent of the manor is obscure, but it was probably absorbed into Turold de Verley’s adjoining manor of Longford (Phill. Salop. note 4,12,1), a line of development characteristic of manors held in 1086 by king’s thegns (cf. Thomas 2003: 328–9). No other Richard held land near by in Shropshire in 1086. In Staffordshire, Richard the forester’s lands were some distance away, and Brockton did not descend with them (Slade 1958: 34–5; Phill. Salop. note 4,12,1; contra Bridgeman 1883: 64–8, 97). Much more promising is the Staffordshire king’s thegn Richard, who held ½ hide at Little Onn in 1086, since Little Onn stood only some 7 miles due east of Brockton. Richard’s land there had belonged TRE to Æthelric (Ailric) (Staffs. 17:16) and it is not out of the question that there was some connection between Richard’s two predecessors, Aisil (perhaps really Ailsi) of Brockton (Salop.) and Ailric of Little Onn (Staffs.).

Bibliography

Bridgeman 1883: G. T. O. Bridgeman, Some Account of the Parish of Church Eaton in the County of Stafford, Collections for a History of Staffordshire 4 (2) (1883)

Phill. Salop. = Domesday Book, ed. John Morris, 25: Shropshire, ed. Frank and Caroline Thorn (Chichester: Phillimore, 1986)

Slade 1958: C. F. Slade, ‘[Introduction to the] Domesday Survey [of Staffordshire]’, The Victoria History of the Counties of England: A History of the County of Stafford, IV, ed. L. Margaret Midgley (London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research, 1958), 1–36

Thomas 2003: Hugh M. Thomas, ‘The significance and fate of the native English landholders of 1086’, English Historical Review, 118 (2003), 303–33

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