PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

Domesday

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

Leofcild 6 Leofcild ‘of West Bergholt’ (Essex), fl. 1066

Male
Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

  Discussion of the name  

Summary

          

Leofcild 6 was a small landowner just outside Colchester in north-east Essex whose 31½ acres were worth 10s.

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
Essex 23,36 West Bergholt Lefcildus Leofcild 'of West Bergholt' - Richard fitzGilbert Goding 'of West Bergholt' 0.26 0.50 0.50 D Map
Total               0.26 0.50 0.50  

Profile

   

West Bergholt, on the north bank of the river Colne 3 miles upstream from Colchester, was divided between 11 owners TRE, among whom Leofcild had probably the third largest share, at 31½ acres. Its location can probably be fixed by its evident merger with Richard fitzGilbert’s other lands at West Bergholt as the manor of Cooks Hall, which lay by the river in the western half of the parish (VCH Essex X, 24–5, 28–9); it included meadow and a mill TRE. Leofcild was evidently resident in 1066, farming with half a ploughteam. He had been dispossessed by 1086, when fitzGilbert had installed as his tenant an Englishman called Goding whom he had annexed (Essex 90:73).

Leofcild’s disappearance from West Bergholt makes it unlikely that he was the Leofcild who had a significantly smaller landholding 10 miles to the west at Pebmarsh, and who survived in 1086 (Leofcild 7).

West Bergholt was immediately outside the territory of the Essex shire town of Colchester, and included part of the burghal heaths and woods of Kingswood and Cestrewald, which spilled over the boundary of the liberties. Kingswood and Cestrewald evidently represented the king’s and the burgesses’ shares of the town’s principal woodland and wood-pasture commons. Kingwood, from its name originally royal, was in the burgesses’ hands in 1130 but had probably still been the king’s in 1066 and 1086, when the king’s demesne in the borough included 240 acres of pasture and scrub (inter pasturam 7 fructetam) (Essex B:4; VCH Essex IX, 255, 383, 404; VCH Essex X, 23).

Since the sheriff of Essex may have had some oversight of the king’s interests in Colchester, it is conceivable that the Leofcild holding at West Bergholt on the edge of the borough’s common land was Leofcild the sheriff (Leofcild 3). But West Bergholt, unlike Leofcild the sheriff’s manor in south Essex, did not pass to Swein of Essex, so that if the same man is indeed involved, West Bergholt cannot have been an ‘official’ shrieval estate.

Bibliography

    

VCH Essex IX: The Victoria History of the Counties of England: A History of the County of Essex, IX, ed. Janet Cooper (London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research, 1994)

VCH Essex X: The Victoria History of the Counties of England: A History of the County of Essex, X, ed. Janet Cooper (London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research, 2001)

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