PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


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

Sigrith 2 Sigfrith ‘of Watlass’ (Yorks. NR), fl. 1066

Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

Discussion of the name  



Sigrith 2 held a manor of 3 carucates worth 16 shillings in the North Riding; she may have been identical with Sigrida 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
Cheshire 9,15 Over Tabley Segrid Sigrith 'of Over Tabley' - Hugh, earl William fitzNigel 0.23 0.18 0.00 - Map
Total               0.23 0.18 0.00  



Watlass in the North Riding of Yorkshire (now part of Thornton Watlass), on the low watershed between Wensleydale to the south-west and Swaledale to the north-east, was a long way from the other two vills where a Sigrith owned land TRE, almost 40 miles to Sutton upon Derwent in the East Riding and over 70 miles to Over Tabley in Cheshire. Nothing about the three Domesday entries commends the idea that there were links between them.

Watlass, however, was only some 25 miles from a group of estates in southern Northumbria associated with a Sigrida, the same name in a different spelling. The short narrative text awkwardly called ‘The siege of Durham, the good faith of Earl Uhtræd, and the earls who succeeded him’ (or just ‘The siege of Durham’) deals with the convoluted history of six of the bishop of Durham’s estates north of the Tees and the various claims to them made by members of different Northumbrian families between 1006 and the 1070s.

In ‘The siege of Durham’, Sigrida was the daughter of a Yorkshire thegn and had a claim to the estates through her maternal grandfather Bishop Aldhun of Durham. She married three times, secondly to Earl Eadulf of Northumbria (d. 1041) and thirdly to Arkil son of Ecgfrith (Arkil 2), who held much land in Yorkshire (especially the North Riding) and was involved in the rebellions against the Normans in 1068–9 before going into exile. Sigrida was alive ‘a long time after’ the death of Earl Siward in 1055 (post multum tempus), and dead probably before Duke William came to England and certainly before Arkil fled in or about 1069 (De obs. Dun.: 217, 220; Morris 1992: 2, 5, 13–14; Fletcher 2002: 76–7, 130–3).

It is conceivable, then, that the Durham Sigrida owned Watlass, either as dowry from her Yorkshire father or as a morning-gift from her Yorkshire husband. It certainly stood in an area thick with her husband’s manors. That being so, it is even possible that Sutton upon Derwent belonged to the same woman (see Sigrith 3).



De obs. Dun.: ‘De obsessione Dunelmi, et de probitate Ucthredi comitis, et de comitibus qui ei successerunt’, in Symeonis monachi opera omnia, ed. Thomas Arnold, Rolls Series 75, 2 vols (London, 1882–5), I, 215–20

Fletcher 2002: Richard Fletcher, Bloodfeud: Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England (London: Allen Lane, 2002)

Morris 1992: Christopher J. Morris, Marriage and Murder in Eleventh-Century Northumbria: A Study of ‘De Obsessione Dunelmi’, Borthwick Paper 82 (York: Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, 1992)

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