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maner speche, southren, northren, and myddell speche in the myddell of the lond, as thei come of the thre maner peple of Germania; notheles by commixtion, and medlyng, first with Danes and afterward with Normans, in many the contray langage is appaired. For some usith strang wlaffynge, chitering, harryng and garryng, grisbyting. This apairynge of the birthe tonge is bicause of twey thinges: oon is, for children in scole agens the usage and maner of alle other natiouns beth compellid for to leve ther owne langage and for to constrewe ther lessons and ther things a Frensche, and haveth sith the that the Normans came first into Engloud. Also gentil men's children beth ytaught for to speke Frensche from the time that thei beth rokked in ther cradel and kunneth speke and play with a childes brooche."
John de Trevisa, one of my father's predecessors at the Vicarage of Berkeley, in Gloucestershire, who translated Higden's work before the year 1387, and who died in 1412, adds to his translation as follows:-"This maner was miche yused tofore the first moreyn, and is siththe somdel ychaungide. For Johan Cornwail, a maister of gramer, chaungide the lore of gramer scole and construction of Frensche into Englische: and Richard Pencriche lerned that maner teching of hym; and othir men of Pencrich; so that now in the yere of our Lord M.CCC.LXXXV. of the secund King Richard after the Conquest nyne, in alle the gramer scoles of Englond, children leveth Frensche, and construeth and lerneth an Englisch, and haveth thereby avantage in oon side, and desavantage in another. Ther avauntage is that thei lerneth ther gramer in lasse time than children were wont to do: desavantage is that now children of gramer scole kunneth no more Frensche, than can ther lifte heele. And it is harm for them, and thei schul passe the see, and travaile in straunge londes and in many other places also. Also gentel men haveth now myche ylefte for to teche ther children Frensche."
The chief Magistrate of Wokingham having been from time immemorial an Alderman,' also favors the idea that the town is Anglo-Saxon, as Ealdormen were officers of Anglo-Saxon origin.
1 See the abstract of Queen Elizabeth's charter, infrá, p. 57.
FROM THE NORMAN CONQUEST, TO THE GRANTING OF QUEEN ELIZABETH'S CHARTER.
Wokingham is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey, but (vol. i., fol. 58 a,) Sonning, of which manor Wokingham was, as it seems, always a member, is so. Sonning at that time was a part of the possessions of Osmund, Bishop of Sarum: and contained (inter alia) two mills and five fisheries.1
The first mention I find made of Wokingham after the Norman Conquest, is in the Testa de Nevill, also called Liber Feodorum, which was compiled at the end of the reign of Edw. II., and contains the Nomina Villarum, Serjeanties and Knights fees taken by Inquisition, temp. Hen. III. and Edw. I. So far as it relates to Wokingham, it is as follows:
"Epus Sar. in d'nico suo, Sunninge et Wokingham." ["The Bishop of Salisbury (has) in his demesne Sunning and Wokingham." T. de N. p. 124.]
The Roll of the 20th.
In 1327, the Parliament granted to King Edward the Third, the twentieth of the value of all the moveable goods of every person except the clergy. The assessments for the Berkshire portion of Wokingham and the Wiltshire portion, assessed separately, still remain in perfect preservation in the General Record Office. That for the Berkshire portion of the place is as follows:
Johne de Ynemdon
Johe de Welder
Willo de Saltt
Stepho atte Twychen
Johe de Okham
Johe atte Bech
1 John Leland in his Itinerary begun about 1538, 30, Hen. VIII., says, (vol. ii., p. 30,)"The Bishop of Saresbyri hath had at Sunning afore the Conquest an auncient Maner Place and be lordes there: And yet remainith a fair olde House there of stone even by the Tamise Ripe, longging to the Bishop of Saresbyri, and therby is a fair Parke.”
Bartho atte Lane
Henr. atte Msshe
Edwardo le Couk
Willo le Hert
Thoma Symod (Symonds)
Johne atte Fforde
Bartho atte Folde
Agn. atte Moure
Johne le Bedel
Johne de Sucheye (Southheye q.)
Johe atte Hurne
Alex. atte Leghe
Willo de Standryche
Johne de Sucheye
- Johne Howelles
Ss. Sma. xxe. istius ville
[Endorsed] 1 Edw. III. "Taxatio xx. Domino Regi a laicis concessa in com. Berk. facta coram Henrico de Pentelawe et Willielmo de Sparsholte Ao. r. r. Edwardi tertii primo."
[1 Edw. I. "Taxation of the 20th, granted to our Lord the King from the laity in the County of Berks, made before Henry de Pentelawe and William de Sparsholte, in the first year of the reign of King Edward the Third."]
The taxation for the Wiltshire portion of Wokingham, is as follows:
*As there is no other assessment on the Berks Subsidy Roll of this date, it is probable that this relates to all except the Wiltshire portion of the place which is assessed on the Wiltshire roll. This is the more probable, as the first name is Galfr. atte Beche, the Beeches being miles from the town of Wokingham.
"Hundred de Ambrosbur. Wokyngham, and Mechene lyghe. D. Joha Stevene
iiij. iiij. o. q. viij. vj. ob.
- xxxvj.". iijd. ob.
[Endorsed] 1 Edw. III. "Taxatio xxme, partis Regi concessa in com. Wiltes fact per Walterum Gacelyn et Johem de Bradenstoke."
[1 Edw. III. "Taxation of the 20th part, granted to the King in the County of Wilts, made by Walter Gacelyn and John de Bradenstoke."]
The first observation that arises on these assessments is on the value of money. The assessment professes to be a twentieth of the value of each person's goods. Each assessment must be multiplied by 20 to give the then nominal value of each person's goods. Thus the first person assessed is "Galfr. atte Beche, 7s. 4d." The value of his goods was therefore £7 6s. 8d.1
Another observation arises, on what afterwards became surnames. These appear chiefly to be of three classes. 1st, "de" which means "of," is generally "owner of" the place or Lord of it. 2nd, "atte" which means "at the," as "atte Beche," "atte land," "atte Marshe," "atte Fforde," "atte folde," and the like. 3rd. "le" meaning "the;" from the occupations of the persons, as "John le Clerk," "Edward le Couk," and "John le Bedel."
The Nona Roll.
By an Act of Parliament passed in the 14th Edw. III. (1340), the Parliament granted the King the ninth lamb, the ninth fleece, and the ninth sheaf; and assessors and venditors were appointed
In the original MS. there is a blank for some further remarks. [J. E, J.]
for cach county to assess and sell them, by the oaths of certain of the inhabitants.
Their finding as to Wokingham is as follows:
"Inquisitiones Nonarum, com Berk. WOKYNGH'M de P'och. de Sonnyng. Respons. p'ochianor de Wokyngh'm p. Will. Romny, Will. de M'lake, Hug. atte Mor et Thom. Cryek, dat' p'ori de Waly'gford et sociis suis collector' et venditor' IX. garbar' lanar' et agn' in com. Berk. qui dent. q. vendicio fit p'dictar. reru' in p'och, p'dict. ad verum valorem silic IX. marc. In cuius rei testi' om huic responso predict. p'och. sigilla sua apposuert. Dat. apd Radyng die Lune px. post fm. Sce. Scolastice vi'gis anno regni Reg. E. t'ti. a conquest. quinto d'co."
John Norreys, Esq., and Sir William Norreys, Knight.
It appears from the Inquisitions still remaining in the Public Record Office, that an Inquisition post mortem was taken at Maydenhythe (Maidenhead) in the county of Berks, on Tuesday, the next after the Feast of All Saints, 6 Edw. IV. (1466), before Edward Cheyney, Escheator, and a Jury, that John Norreys died possessed of many messuages, mills, lands, tenements, pastures, woods, meadows, &c., at Wokingham, and the Jury find that William Norreys, Knight, is son and heir of the said John, and is aged twenty and five years and more, and that the said John died on the first of September, 6 Edw. IV. (1466).
John Norreis, Esq., no doubt a member of the Earl of Abingdon's family, was a great benefactor to Wokingham, as in the reign of Henry the Sixth, he with two others, founded the chantry of St. Mary, in the church of Wokingham, and in all probability contributed to the beautiful west window of the church tower, which is of that date.
QUEEN ELIZABETH'S CHARTER.
By this charter, which is in English, and is on the Patent Roll of 25 Eliz. p. 2, and is dated the 9th day of February, it is recited
"That where within our town of Woking alias Wokingham, in the County of Berks, parcel of our manor or lordship of Sonnynge by all the time whereof no memory of men is to the contrary, there have been certain liberties, privileges, &c., enjoyed by the inhabitants, viz., one Leet to be holden yearly about the