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Berkshire by Alfred to his Queen, and subsequently the manors of Hidden and Edington were given to the priory of S. Frideswide in Oxford, by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster; and as they thus became the property of a religious community, they remain tithefree to this day. After the Reformation they were granted with New Town and Denford to the family of James, who forfeited them in the reign of Queen Mary for their attachment to the Protestant religion. They were re-granted by Queen Elizabeth, and afterwards came into the possession of Sir Walter James, Bart., from whom they descended to the Gaisfords.

Hungerford was known in the time of the Saxons as Ingleford Charnham Street, supposed to be a corruption from the ford of the Angles on Herman Street, which signifies the road for the army, an appellation of frequent use in ancient times. The name is still preserved in Charnham Street, which lies on the north side of the town, on the main road from London to Bath. From a very early period Hungerford has been divided into four tithings; viz: the Borough, Sandon Fee, Charnham Street, and Edington. Tithings are mentioned in the reign of Canute. "From the first," says Kemble "we find inhabitants classed in tens and hundreds, each probably comprising a corresponding number of members together with the necessary officers; viz: a Tithing-man for each tithing, and a 100-man for each hundred." Tithings subsequently denote local not numerical divisions.

In Domesday Book, which was compiled in 1085, the following brief notice of Hungerford is inserted. "Robert the Son of Girold holds Inglesol (another name for Hungerford), in the Hundred of Kintbury. Two free men held it of King Edward as two manors. Then and now for three hides. The land is...... In the domain there is one caruka; and seven bordars with one team. There is one serf, and four acres of meadow, and a little wood. It used to be worth 30s., now 20s."

This statement, as it stands, is scarcely intelligible to modern ears. Let us consider the meaning of some of these words. "Two free men held it of King Edward as two manors." The manors in ancient times comprised not only landed estates, but lordships

extending over several manors. They were small empires within which the lord was the superior over subjects of different ranks; his power over them not being absolute, but limited by law and custom. The manor was at one time more extensive than the parish; at another, the parish contained more than one manor. Ancient manors often corresponded with tithe-districts. The manor was usually the residence of the owner. "Then and now for three hides." The hide is first mentioned in the 8th century. It stands for family, man and wife, and so comes to mean the estate of one household, an amount of land sufficient for the support of one family. It varied in size from 50 to 150 acres. The next sentence is incomplete. "In the domain there is one caruka.” The caruka consisted of as much land as the plough-share could furrow in the course of the season. "And seven bordars with one team." A bordar received what land he held only as a loan from his lord, who as he had stocked the land and furnished the cottage, and even supplied tools for his poor dependant, took possession of all at the tenant's decease. The bordar paid his rent in kind; in provisions for his lord's table. His usual tenement amounted to five acres. The "team" refers to a team of oxen. "There is one serf, and four acres of meadow and a little wood." The serf was the absolute property of his lord. His interest had to be guarded by others, for he himself had no standing in any public courts. He did no work from sun-set on Sunday-eve till sun-set on Monday-eve. If a tyrannical master compelled him to work during that time, he obtained his freedom, and his lord was to be fined 30s.

In the year 1204, Hungerford is called by the name it now bears, and at an uncertain date formed part of what is now called the Dutchy of Lancaster, but originally the Honor of Lancaster, a title of most remote antiquity. A market has been held here from time immemorial, and it is first mentioned as an established market in a record of the year 1297. Before I proceed further, I may state that there is apparently a separate history attaching to the manors and Borough of Hungerford, that although now blended and held under the same title, they were once subjects of distinct

grants, and are now properly divisible. The manor demands our primary consideration. At a very early period it was the property of Robert Fitz-Parnel, Earl of Leicester, and Sayer de Quincy, Earl of Winchester. In 1297 it was granted by King Edward I. to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, from whom it descended to John O. Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; and his son Henry, before his accession to the throne, being then Duke of Lancaster, granted it to Sir Walter Hungerford, who died possessed of it in 1448.

During the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, the manor was seized by the Yorkists, and became the property of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who when he ascended the throne gave it to John, Duke of Norfolk, who fell at Bosworth Field. Reverting again to the Crown, it was given by Edward VI. to the Duke of Somerset, after whose attainder it again lapsed to the Crown. Queen Elizabeth owned the manor, and in the 11th year of her reign (1569) instituted a suit in her Duchy Court of Lancaster, for the recovery of part of the corporate rights, viz., of the Free Fishery, as Part of the Manor. The suit was resisted in a most spirited manner; many witnesses were examined on both sides, and the case ultimately ended in favor of the town. It may not be uninteresting to note a few of the chief points proved on the occasion. The witnesses proved that "Hungerford is an ancient Town, and time whereof the memory of man is not to the contrary, there hath been a Corporation of a Constable and Burgesses of the Town." It should here be observed that in legal parlance, the phrase "Time whereof the memory of man is not to the contrary," refers to the reign of Richard I., A.D. 1189. The witnesses also proved that the fishery belonging to the Corporation was a "Royal Fishery" and a "Free Fishery," ie. (an exclusive right of fishing in water running over the soil of other men's land) from a spot called Elder Stump near Littlecote, to a spot called Irish Hill beyond Kintbury; "excepting the seven several mill-pounds' within the distance, which mill-pounds were the right of the owners of the adjoining mills. That the Commoners of Hungerford had a right of free fishing in the river three days a week, viz. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, of custom and by right of a Charter


"which they had seen and heard read." That they had at all times of the year "free ingress, egress, and regress upon the banks of the river," and in the exercise of that right had met with only one interruption which was resisted, and they were never afterwards troubled nor stoned for the same. That there were bye-laws relating to the fishery, and that persons had been punished by amercement, and by having their nets burnt for offending against these laws, and "that the poor Inhabitants would be starved" if the fishery were taken from them.

But an end has at length come to the vicissitudes of the manor of Hungerford. In the year 1613, a covenant was entered into between the Crown and the inhabitants of Hungerford by which the manor "was for ever granted, sold, bargained, and confirmed to the heirs and assigns of the latter." The deed conveying this settlement lies on the table. And here I will mention one circumstance illustrative of the perfect nature of this transfer. In the year 1675, one John Boon, an inhabitant of Hungerford, was convicted of felony, and his lands were in consequence forfeited to the town. Is not this a fact of special significance with respect to the mode in which the Manorial Rights are held? From the perusal of this chequered history of the manor, we learn that although the inhabitants of Hungerford have from early times possessed certain privileges, they have not been allowed uninterruptedly to enjoy them. Their cup of rejoicing has been mingled with occasional drops of bitterness. Their "great heaven of blue" has from time to time been obscured by clouds, which big with the wrath of powerful noblemen, threatened to overwhelm them with a deluge, fatal to all their rights and liberties. Although they uniformly basked in the sunshine of the King's favor, his glory was sometimes suddenly extinguished, and the people of Hungerford who had shared his popularity, shared also his defeat and his shame. The manorial rights include the privileges of the Hocktide, &c., the privileges of the common, and the appointment of manorial officers, such as bailiffs, hayward, &c., and are held by virtue

1 The nominees of the Crown were Eldred and Whitmore. Those of the Town, Lucas, Field, Carpenter, and Mackerell.

of this horn which has long been and is still erroneously supposed to have been the identical horn of John O. Gaunt, by which the Charter was granted and by which the corporate rights are held. That this was the horn of that Duke is exceedingly doubtful. It was probably a Royal Horn, and a symbol of the tenure by which the tenants of the manor originally held their lands of the Crown. It was customary in the days of chivalry to hold land by the bow, the lance, the spear, the spur, the horn, and such warlike emblems, and it was more than probable that this was a relic of that custom, and that when the manor was granted by the Crown, the horn passed with it. On one side of this horn is the mutilated termination of an inscription in black letter a-c-t-e-l; and on the other the word Hungerford. Having reviewed the history of the manor from a remote period to the present time, I shall retrace my steps, and ask you to consider with me the veracity of the tradition which imputes to John O. Gaunt the honor of having given by a Charter to the inhabitants of Hungerford those corporate rights which they now enjoy, and which include the free fishery and the appointment of corporate officers. In so doing I shall follow the line of argument adopted by a gentleman, who some years ago investigated the subject, and communicated the result of his enquiries to a commoner of the town. The fallacy of the beforenamed tradition will, I think, be clearly proved by an enquiry, 1st into the prerogative of John O. Gaunt; and 2ndly into the nature and extent of the grant to him.

As to his prerogative. John O. Gaunt, Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, was the fourth son of Edward III., and the uncle of Richard II., and was born in 1340. He married Blanche, daughter and heiress of Henry II., Duke of Lancaster, by whom he had three children, only one of whom need be noticed, viz: Henry Bolingbroke, afterwards Duke of Lancaster, who succeeded to the throne on the death of his cousin Richard II. Upon the death of his grandfather in 1377, Richard II. ascended the throne, and reigned until the year 1399, when both he and his uncle John O. Gaunt died. It does not satisfactorily appear whether the Duke or his nephew Richard II. was the survivor; but it is certain that

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