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question, Where can this have been situated? Now on an upland slope on the south side of the Deanway, some 120 yards beyond the railway-station, lies an old enclosure-an enclosure, that is, when all around it were common fields" unenclosed, and remaining so until their readjustment and enclosure took place in 1846. This enclosure is known as Coxborough (Coks Burgh), a name which seems to bear an important signification—“ Burgh,” "Borough," "Bury," "Burg"-from the Anglo-Saxon "Burh," "Buruh," and "Byrig," which suffix indicates an earthwork or fortified encampment or settlement. In touch with Coxborough, and stretching away towards the south and south-west, is ground known as the "Ham field," which in this case would have been a veritable "home field." Coxborough, unfortunately for our enquiry, does not contain any remains appertaining to a settlement; but at a short distance from Coxborough, on the north-east, is Rowborough, where many such remains were found.* At Cockmarsh there are ancient tumuli. In the Times of October, 1874, is an account of the opening up of some of these tumuli, conducted by Mr. W. D. Napier and Mr. A. Heneage Cocks. The large tumulus contained a British burial of a female by cremation, also portions of the skull of a so-called Bos-longifrons, which had probably served for the funeral feast, together with flint scrapers and flakes. So that we have here proofs of British occupation, as well as the many evidences of the Saxon subsequently. It is a matter of history, or at least of tradition, that the old road, which the present high road from London to Bath superseded, went along the higher ground above, and passed into Berkshire, near Cookham. Cookham was certainly a place of importance in ancient times. Here, in the closing years of the tenth century, a Saxon Gemot was held, at which a large number of Thanes of Wessex and Mercia were assembled. The roadway which descended through Clieveden is still visible, and reached the river at a spot some three hundred yards lower down than the present Babham Ferry, near Whiteplace house. Continuing thence, by a raised causeway, it skirted the old archery ground at the back of the present village, passed over Cookham Moor by another raised roadway, or causeway, and thence by what is now the Station-road, passed close to Coxborough ; then through the Deanway and Bisham Wood to Bisham Ferry, where, crossing the Thames, it again entered Buckinghamshire.
*Archæological Journal, vol. 15.
It may be objected that the site of the church indicates, if it does nothing more, that the present village was always the most important, and, therefore, from its name this must be the Ham settlement. But was this the first church erected in the neighbourhood? Now, Domesday book tells us that Reinbald, the priest, and the two clerks had between them two-and-a-half hides of land. Domesday does not specify its situation, but we have no indication that any priest's land lay near the present village. The living of Cookham formerly belonged to the Abbey of Cirencester. At the dissolution of this Abbey the living fell into the hands of the king. By letters patent of the 16th of January, in the 32nd year of his reign, Henry VIII. granted to Thomas Weldon-who was Chief Master of the household-the Manor of Canon Court, with the appurtenances in Cookham, and the Rectory and Church at Cookham. Now, the land at Canon Court abuts on the Ham Field, whilst a portion of it immediately adjoining Ham Field is known still as Church Field. This, doubtless, is where Reinbald's land lay. But the same objection-viz., the distance of the village from the Ham Field-applies also to the distance between the church and the priest's land. From the position of the priest's land, its contiguity with, and probably forming a portion of, the Ham Field, we may reasonably infer that the old Ham settlement had a priest assigned to it, and also that it possessed a church-though this was probably only an insignificant structure—and thus the position of the priest's land would become explicable. In the 9th century, about the year 871, we read, "the Danes swept up the valley of the Thames, ravaging and destroying with fire and sword as far as Reading." A village so near the river as that of the Ham would scarcely have escaped notice and consequent destruction. We know, also, that after this last great Scandinavian invasion many settlements were formed by the raiders. A tract of ground to the east of, and contiguous with, the present village is known as Odney-Odin's eye or island. It is an island enclosed by the back-waters of the Thames, and its name would indicate its connection with the heathen Danes. It seems but reasonable to suppose that this settlement, combined, no doubt, with the ton or town which probably existed between Sutton and the river, would outstrip and soon become of greater importance than the harried inland settlement of the Ham, and on the conversion of the Danes, when a Christian church became a necessity, the riverside ton would be chosen for its site, in preference to that of the Ham, whilst the glebe lands of
the latter would be appropriated for the benefit of its priest. As to the prefix in Coxborough, we have the Anglo-Saxon-English word Cock, signifying little, and Burgh, from Burg or Burh, a fortification on a hill; or we have the British word Coch, meaning red, from the colour of the rock or soil. So that the first Cock Burgh would indicate the "Little Fort," whilst the second Coch Bury would give us the "Red Fortification." For Coxborough, as the ancient site, we may plead :-Its name and touch with Ham Field, its contiguity to Rowborough, and its position in respect to Cockmarsh and the Cogwell fishery, its position at a junction of the Roman way running north and south with the probably Celtic roadway running east and west-a position of sufficient importance to induce the erection of a military earthwork. On the Saxon conquest the red earth fort would give a name to the Ham settlement, becoming Cokham, of sufficient importance on the conversion of its inhabitants to Christianity to induce the erection of a Church, the priest being provided with land in or adjoining the Ham field. After the destruction of the Ham settlement, with its church, in an incursion of the Danes, the village was subsequently re-erected, in a more suitable locality, but still retained its former name.
Portion of Assize Roll 12 Edward J. relating to the Hundred of Beynhurst, Berks.
By Mr. Nathaniel Hone.
HE following is a translation of one membrane of an Assize Roll for the year A.D. 1283. These Rolls are interesting as presenting us with a picture of social life in the village communities of the period; the system of local government and police, and the organization of the hundred and township are here unfolded before us.
The eliptical style of the language evidently points to the conclusion that these documents were the actual notes of the presentments and evidence taken down in Court, which the clerks would have to rapidly turn into Latin from the local dialect in which they were delivered.
The Assizes in this Michaelmas term were held before the Justices itinerant at Windsor; each Hundred of the County was represented by its jury of twelve, a list of these forms the last membrane of Roll. It was their duty to present the crimes of their several districts.
Every man was supposed to belong to some tithing decenna, who in the case of a crime committed by him was responsible for his arrest and production, otherwise he would be in the mainpart (household) of some great man who would be equally responsible for his appearance, and on the criminal's flight from justice liable to a fine in amerciamenta. By a law of the Conqueror in a case of homicide and escape of the criminal, if the murdered man could be proved by his kinsfolk to be an Englishman, the tithing would be exempt from the fine murdrum: if Englishry, Englescherea, could not be satisfactorily established, the victim was accounted a foreigner and the fine enforced. As an example of the more common presentments, some evildoers, malefactores, have broken into a certain house and slain the inmates, it is not known who they were and no one is
suspected, nullus malecreditur. Here nothing can be done which is noted, Eb ideo nichil, or again a murder has been committed and a certain person is suspected and has fled, he is demanded by the Court and outlawed, his goods if he have any are forfeited and the sheriff has to answer for their value, et vicecomes respndeat.
Besides crimes, the jurors were bound to bring to the cognisance of the Court other matters of a civil nature, such as the case of females or minors holding property within the hundred, or of an eldest son having attained his majority and not having taken up his knighthood, whereby a fine accrued to the Crown.
Those who wish to make a further study of these interesting documents will find great assistance in Mr. F. W. Maitland's Pleas of the County of Gloucester published by the Selden Society, to the able preface of which I am indebted for the substance of the foregoing remarks.
No. 48 12 Ed. I.
Pleas de Juratis et assisis taken before Salomon de Rochester Assize Roll Berks Richard de Boillond Robert Ffulke and Geoffrey de Picheford justices itinerant of the lord King at Windsor in the County of Berks in the Octave of St. Michael in the twelfth year of the reign of King Edward.
township of White Waltham
The Hundred of Benhurst came by xii jurors: Thomas fitzAdam of the Oak and Robert his brother were attached in the vill of White Waltham. So that the aforesaid Robert struck the aforesaid Thomas with a stick on the head from which he died, and forthwith fled and is suspected. Therefore let him be demanded and outlawed. His chattels [were worth] vs. vid. for which the vill of Shotesbrook must account. held land, [referring to the system of cultivation on the three years shifts—every third year the arable land being thrown into fallow] whereof the year and waste [were worth] xi for which the same vill must account and the mesne time of the same land [was worth] xvi for which the same vill must account. [i.e. of the corpse] comes and is not suspected. presented]. It is adjudged murder upon the hundred. And the vills of Waltham and Shotesbrook have not made suit therefore they are amerced.
The first finder No Englishry [is
John de Waleys and Ivor his brother have slain Robert the Reaper of Roesia de Shotesbrook in the same vill and forthwith fled and are suspected. Therefore let them be demanded and outlawed. They had no chattells nor were they in the tything because they were strangers, but they were of the manupast [household] of