Ceolmær 1 held a 1-hide manor in western Worcestershire worth £1; he was probably identical with the thegn Ceolmær who witnessed some of the leases issued by Bishop Ealdræd of Worcester in the 1050s.
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 occurs only once in DB, as the holder of a single hide at Doddenham, in the bend of the Teme where the river turns west to flow towards the Severn below Worcester. Ceolmær was specified as having full power of alienation, indicating that the estate may have been bookland. It had perhaps once been part of the large manor of Martley immediately to the north, which belonged TRE to Queen Eadgyth (Herefs. 1:39). The nineteenth-century boundary between the two parishes was convoluted (Kain and Oliver 2001: nos. 96A, 107) and gives the impression that they had once formed a single territory. The church which served Doddenham was called a chapel when the lord of the manor gave it to Worcester cathedral priory c. 1177 (VCH Worcs. III, 441): that suggests an inferior status which may also have been connected to an earlier dependence on Martley church.
It can hardly be a coincidence that the only other person currently recorded in PASE with the name Ceolmær was a Worcestershire thegn who witnessed three of the five surviving leases issued by Bishop Ealdræd of Worcester (Ealdræd 37), all datable within the period 1046–58 (S 1405–6, 1409). They all dealt with estates in Worcestershire, and Ceolmær did not witness the other two of Ealdræd’s leases, for property in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire (S 1407–8) (Keynes 1998: Table LXXVIII, sheet 2).
Doddenham was nothing like large enough to place Ceolmær among the leading thegns of Worcestershire in Bishop Ealdræd’s time. The most likely explanation for his presence as a witness of the leases is therefore that he was primarily the bishop’s retainer rather than a landed Worcestershire thegn.
Kain and Oliver 2001: Roger J. P. Kain and Richard R. Oliver, Historic Parishes of England & Wales: An Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata (Colchester: History Data Service, 2001)
Keynes 1998: Simon Keynes, An Atlas of Attestations in Anglo-Saxon Charters (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, 1998)
S: S. E. Kelly, The Electronic Sawyer: An Online Version of the Revised Edition of Sawyer’s Anglo-Saxon Charters, Section One (S 1–1602) http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/chartwww/esawyer.99/esawyer2.html
VCH Worcs. III: The Victoria History of the Counties of England: The Victoria History of the County of Worcester, ed. J. W. Willis-Bund, H. Arthur Doubleday, and William Page, 4 vols and index (London, 1901–26)