PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


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

Beorhtræd 13 Beorhtræd ‘of Willingwick’ (Worcs.), thegn of Earl Edwin, fl. 1066

Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

  Discussion of the name


Beorhtræd 13 was a thegn of Earl Edwin of Mercia who held one of the berewicks of the earl’s great manor of Bromsgrove, assessed at 2¾ hides and worth £1.

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
Worcestershire 1,1c Willingwick Brictredus Beorhtræd 'of Willingwick' Edwin, earl William, king Urse d'Abetot 2.75 1.44 1.05 A Map
Total               2.75 1.44 1.05  


Beorhtræd was one of five thegns of Earl Edwin who held four named berewicks of the earl’s manor of Bromsgrove without power of alienation; the berewicks passed after the Conquest to four knights who held as tenants of the royal manor under Urse the sheriff. DB makes it clear that in 1086 each knight had one of the berewicks, but does not say which thegn had held what TRE and does not give individual values.

Those details are supplied by the late twelfth-century text called Evesham A, an abstract of Domesday information about holdings, hidages, and holders for most of Worcestershire; it derives from a ‘satellite’ of DB dating from 1086. Evesham A was of course subject to copying error and should not be trusted over GDB itself where the details disagree.

The DB entry corresponds to Evesham A 166, which names the thegn Brichthveit as holding Willingwick TRE. Brichthveit is unsatisfactory as a personal name, seeming to mistake the second syllable as the Scandinavian place-name element thveit. It can, however, be reconstructed as a misreading of Brictret, with two perfectly normal twelfth-century spelling substitutions (ch for c, and th for t), r misread as v, and –et rendered as –eit (the last as in the name of another of the Bromsgrove thegns, DB’s Erniet (Earngeat) becoming Evesham A’s Ernheit). Willingwick has disappeared but its location about 3 miles north of Bromsgrove is known (PN Worcs. 345).

Since Beorhtræd did not have power of alienation of his only manor, he was presumably a retained based in Earl Edwin’s household.


PN Worcs:

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