PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


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

Blæc 2 Blæc ‘of Ninfield’ (Suss.), fl. 1066

Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

Discussion of the name  



Blæc 2 was a small landowner in east Sussex, probably of thegnly rank, whose single manor of 3 hides was worth £6.

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

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB




The name Blæc occurs only twice in DB, at widely separated places where there is no other reason to make a connection. One of them was Ninfield, in the heavily wooded eastern Sussex Weald and less than 5 miles from where the battle of Hastings was fought. The assessment of only 3 hides did not reflect the size of Blæc’s estate, which had land for 12 ploughs and was worth £6. Each of the hides here, in Hastings rape, comprised 8 virgates. Blæc had full power of alienation, though the DB scribe blundered the formula, writing cum terra quo uoluit ire uoluit for cum terra quo uoluit ire potuit (‘could go with the land where he wished’).

For whatever reason, Ninfield was broken up among six landholders after the Conquest, the count of Eu’s principal tenant Robert the cook having only the ‘head of the manor’ (caput M’) with 2 virgates. The destruction of Blæc’s estate before 1086 is strikingly confirmed by the fact that there was never again a manor of Ninfield (VCH Suss. IX, 247–8).



VCH Suss. IX: The Victoria History of the Counties of England: The Victoria History of the County of Sussex, IX, ed. L. F. Salzman (London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research, 1937)

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