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virtues. In the short intervals be tween those conflicts, in which they were compelled to bear a part, and in which undistinguished thousands annually perished; idleness rendered them useless and burthensome, or habits of violence and outrage rendered them dangerous to their lords. The latter indeed were 66 a kind of independent potentates," who took upon themselves the redress of wrongs and the maintenance of privileges, by open force and the strong arm of power; by the exercise not of mild and impartial distributive justice, but by the domination of authority, and the terms of superior strength.
Let us rejoice that we live in hap. pier times; when the rights of the great and of the bumble are equally under the protection of the Laws;
and when the sword of Justice is not
wielded by caprice, but upheld by
In troubling you with a few remarks upon this intricate subject, I beg leave to say, that I have no particular claim of originality to make, and that I shall be happy to see the subject discussed in your pages by some abler pen.
One of the first ideas which must occur to any one, on inspecting a County Map, is, that the Hundreds and Tythings could not have been laid out with any respect to the quantity of land they contained; and the great difference of extent, as well as the general neglect of every thing like a right line or a natural boundary, clearly indicates that we ought to look elsewhere for an explanation of the principle upon which these antient divisions were made.
It is well known to those who are conversant in Saxon Antiquities, that the people, and not the land, were chiefly cousidered in this arrangement; but it has not yet been so clearly decided what number or description of persons constituted the original Hundred and Tything. Some bave imagined that the Hundred was
made up of one hundred Thanes whose lands lay adjacent; but this hypothesis swells the number of these knights or petty nobles to an incredible amount: others have supposed that it consisted of an hundred families only, which is equally objectionable, because it diminishes the population far below probability.To take Wiltshire for an example: in the former case we should have in that county at least four thousand Thanes; and in the latter, not more than sixteen thousand people. That conjecture, therefore, seems the only probable one, which makes the Hundred to have consisted of one hundred FREE families of whatever rank; -supposing the slaves or bondmen, which constituted about three-fourths of the whole population, as being the property of their masters, and incapable of holding lands, not to have been taken into the account. This would make the population of Wilts about sixty thousand, or nearly onethird of its present amount, which is perhaps very near the truth.
A division of land, made up in this manner from the union of many smaller properties, must necessarily be very irregular in its boundaries, but there are other anomalies which even thus are not accounted for.-It is not uncommon, for instance, to find part of one hundred in the very middle of another, or several parts of a hundred scattered widely over a whole country, and these in common language are not unaptly termed ragged hundreds. It is evidently impossible, at this distance of time, and in the absence of all record, to state when and why any particular irregularity of this kind was introduced;but it is not so difficult, perhaps, to detect the operation of certain causes which must have ultimately produced this effect.
By whomsoever of our Saxon kings these divisions were first adopted (för there is no proof that we owe them to the wisdom of Alfred) they could not have continued long in their pri mitive state. From the increase of population, the manumission of slaves, and other causes, the hundred must soon have ceased to contain just a hundred, and the tything ten free families.-The intention was to bind the free inhabitants in a kind of perpetual and mutual bail, and to
constitute them guardians of each others conduct: but, to effect this, it was necessary that changes should be made as the population fluctuated. There can be no doubt but that the Hundred was originally subdivided into exactly ten tythings; but, as this has long since ceased to be the case, it is natural to suppose that the first attempts to meet the inconvenience arising from an increased or diminished population, were by increasing or diminishing the number of tythings within the Hundred.-We soon find, however, that severe legislative interference was requisite to maintain this essential feature of Saxon polity. Several laws on this subject still exist, and particularly one of Canute, which requires, under no less penalty than that of outlawry, that every person being twelve years of age should enrol himself in some hundred and tything. It is to be observed that this law, though highly penal as to the general object, clearly gave an option to the person as to the hundred and tything of which he was to become a member; and this, I apprehend, is quite sufficient to account for those irregularities which at first view appear so inexplicable. A manu
very much altered the Hundreds from their original appearance and extent. I mean the union of two or more of these antient divisions into one, of which many instances occur at no very distant periods: the motive may have been merely convenience, and the change most probably took place without any formal act to sanction it or mark the time. Of these united Hundreds we have several in Wilts; Cawden and Cadworth, Elstul and Everly, Pottern and Cannings, Branch and Dole, may be instauced; the union of which last did not take place till after the reign of Elizabeth. Nor does the modern name always so clearly imply the circumstance; for the extensive Hundred of Swanbrough contains within its present boundaries that of Roubergh Regis, which existed separately temp. Edw. II. while that of Roubergh Episcopi has been united to Pottern and Cannings. Instances of this nature might easily be multiplied; but I conceive enough has been said to account for the present irregular division, and more perhaps than you will think interesting to your general readers. J. O.
mitted villein, and there were many AMONGST that vast variety of
of these, from pious and humane motives, on acquiring landed property, though locally situated at a distance, would sometimes prefer placing himself under the protection and civil jurisdiction of his former lord; perhaps courtesy might require it, or the lord might expect it as a just tribute of respect. Similar reasons would draw the younger branches of families to their more powerful relatives, ecclesiastics to religious establishments, and clients to their pa trous: and what thus originated in choice would soon become indefeasible custom.
I have not at present an opportu nity of extensive reference; but, so far as my memory serves me, I think it will be found that some of the most ragged Hundreds had Bishops or Religious Houses for their lords in the time of our early Henrys and Edwards; if this be the case, it is a fair presumption that the detached parts were acquisitions after the Hundred itseif came into their possession.
I need mention only one circumstance more, but it is one which has
strange Tenures which our ancestors seem to have industriously exercised their fancy to invent or establish, I have scarcely heard of one more curious than that which is said to belong to the Manor of Thongcastor in Lincolnshire, where, according to various accounts, "the Lord has a right to whip the Parson in his Pulpit." Mr. Arthur Young, in his View of the Agriculture of the abovenamed County, has hastily glanced at this custom, from the traditionary report of the neighbourhood; but unquestionably some of your intelligent Correspondents are able to afford more particular information upon the subject, and it will be esteemed a favour, if, through the medium of your Publication, a credible account of it may be obtained.
At present all that I learn is, that the Manor of Broughton in Lindsay, about two miles from Brigg or Glandford Bridge, is holden under that of Castor, or of Harden, in the parish of Castor, by the following service; viz. that annually upon Palm Sunday the Deputy of the Lord of the Manor of Broughton
Broughton attends at the Church of Castor with a new cart-whip in his HE parish of St. Andrew, in the band, which he cracks thrice in the City of Worcester, according Church Porch, passes with it on his to the parliamentary return in 1801, shoulder up the Nave into the Chan- contained 1750 inhabitants. The mocel, and seats himself in the pew of ney raised by the Parish-rates, at 3s. the Lord of the Manor, where he re-6d. in the pound, was 4911. 8s. mains until the Officiating Minister is about to read the Second Lesson. He then proceeds with his whip, to the lash of which he has in the interim affixed a purse, which ought to contain thirty silver pennies (instead of which a single half-crown is substituted); and, kneeling down on a cushion, or mat, before the readingdesk, bolds the purse suspended over the Minister's head all the time he is reading the Lesson; after which he returns to his seat; and, when the Divine Service is over, leaves the whip and purse at the manor house.
It is said that the silver pieces have some reference to those which Judas received as the wages of his iniquity; and that the three cracks of the whip in the Church Porch allude to the denial of our blessed Saviour by St. Peter: but the true rationale of the custom may perhaps be known, to some of your Readers, of whom I venture to request the favour of such farther particulars as may tend to elucidate so extraordinary a custom. I believe that an ancient Priory once stood in the Parish of Broughton: had these practices any reference to the Monastic Establishment there? In whom was the Manor antiently vested, and by whom is it now holden? By whom was the service imposed originally, and is it still performed in the manner above describ. ed, or how otherwise? are questions which I flatter myself that your indulgence will allow me respectfully to put to the circle of your numerous Correspondents; to whom I have been so often indebted for a solution of my doubts on a variety of subjects connected with Literature and Antiquities, that it would be ungrateful if I did not mention my obligations, with sentiments of great respect, both to Mr. Urban, and those by whom the well-established fame of his Miscellany has been so long and so ably maintained: and towards which, by thus eliciting, or being the means of eliciting knowledge, it affords me great pleasure in the humblest deQUESTOR. gree, to contribute.
GENT. MAG. June, 1820.
The Church (sce Plate II.) is a Vicarage, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. Its value in the King's Books is 10l. 5s. 10d. The Churchyard is very large, and was consecrated by Bp. Thornborough in 1635. The Church is supposed to have been erected in the eleventh century; and was appropriated to the Abbey of Pershore. But the building is chiefly remarkable on account of its lofty and elegant spire, which is a great ornament to this antient City. It was built, by Nathaniel Wilkinson, in 1751; who gave in its dimensions on oath as follows:
HE antient Collegiate Church of St. Katharine by the Tower having undergone a repair, I was greatly disappointed on visiting it, to find that not only no restorations had been attempted; but great part of the few original features of the fabrick, which had escaped destruction in former reparation, have in the present been obscured or entirely destroyed.
The North side of the Nave and its Aile, which till lately was in the ori ginal state, has been modernized. The venerable appearance it once possessed is hid by a covering of the new-fashioned cement, which has likewise been applied to the West front and the main Tower attached to it. The smooth even surface of plaster spread over the walls destroys every idea of the antiquity of the building, and gives this antient Church the