PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


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

Acwulf 8 Acwulf ‘of Walsham’ (Suff.), fl. 1086

Author: DWP
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

  Discussion of the name



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

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB




Acwulf 8 is named in FBB (141r; p.39) among 15 minor tenants on the estate of Bury St Edmunds Abbey at Walsham Le Willows, 10 miles to the east-north-east of Bury, in 1086.  The corresponding DB entry records 30 free men on the estate in 1086 (of whom 10 were under the abbey’s subtenant Robert Blund) but does not include their names.  The DB entry also notes that the men ‘could give and sell their land’, indicating that they had power of alienation over their tiny holdings, although the sake and soke and their commendation belonged to the abbey.  Acwulf 8 occurs as the ninth name in the list and held 3 acres (rendering 4d).  The implicit continuity of holdings between TRE and 1086 in DB need not imply that Acwulf 8 already held his land before the Conquest, although the possibility cannot be ruled out.  The rarity of Acwulf 8’s name and the very close proximity of Walsham to the estates held by Acwulf 7 TRE make it conceivable that they were the same person; but the difference in the scale of their holdings, as well as the interval of twenty years, renders this interpretation highly unlikely and it is perhaps more likely that Acwulf 8 was named because of the local importance of Acwulf 7 in the previous generation.



FBB: ‘The Feudal Book of Baldwin, abbot of Bury St. Edmunds, 1065–1098, contained in the Black Book of the abbey, MS. Mm. iv. 19, fols. 124–43b. (Cambridge University Library)’, in Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, ed. D. C. Douglas, British Academy Records of the Social and Economic History of England and Wales, 8 (London: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1932), 1–44

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