PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

Domesday

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

Hemming 5 Hemming king’s thegn ‘of Blankney’ (Lincs.), fl. 1066

Male
Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

Discussion of the name  

Summary

          

Hemming 5 was a substantial king’s thegn in the Danelaw, holding three large bookland estates with associated sokes located between Lincoln and Nottingham. The manorial centres were assessed at 37½ carucates and the sokelands at a little over 32 carucates, altogether worth £38.

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

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

           

Holder 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Holder 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Holder 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Lincolnshire T5 Haminc Hemming 'of Blankney', king's thegn - - - 0.00 0.00 0.00 B Map
Lincolnshire 31,11 Branston Haminc Hemming 'of Blankney', king's thegn - Walter d'Ancourt - 12.00 20.00 26.00 B Map
Lincolnshire 31,16 Blankney Haminc Hemming 'of Blankney', king's thegn - Walter d'Ancourt unnamed knights of Walter d'Ancourt 24.00 6.00 7.50 B Map
Nottinghamshire 11,26 Granby Haminc Hemming 'of Blankney', king's thegn - Walter d'Ancourt - 1.50 12.00 20.00 B Map
Total               37.50 38.00 53.50  

Lord 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Lord 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Lord 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Lincolnshire 31,12 Walcot - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 4.00 0.00 0.00 B Map
Lincolnshire 31,13 Timberland - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 5.77 0.00 0.00 B Map
Lincolnshire 31,14 Kirkby Green - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 7.50 0.00 0.00 B Map
Lincolnshire 31,18 Metheringham - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt Winterhard 'of Metheringham' 8.50 3.00 4.00 B Map
Lincolnshire CK14 Branston Alsige the deacon Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 1.13 0.00 0.00 B Map
Nottinghamshire 11,27 Barnstone - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 0.50 0.00 0.00 B Map
Nottinghamshire 11,28 Langar - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 0.56 0.00 0.00 B Map
Nottinghamshire 11,29 Wiverton - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 0.81 0.00 0.00 B Map
Nottinghamshire 11,30 Hickling - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 2.00 0.00 0.00 B Map
Nottinghamshire 11,31 Kinoulton - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 0.88 0.00 0.00 B Map
Nottinghamshire 11,32 Cropwell Butler - Hemming Walter d'Ancourt - 0.50 0.00 0.00 B Map
Total               32.15 3.00 4.00  

Profile

   

Hemming 5 is identified through the succession to his manors of the middling Norman baron Walter d’Aincourt. There were only three of them, two in Lincolnshire and one in Nottinghamshire, but they were the centres of large sokes and made Hemming Walter’s most important predecessor.

The two Lincolnshire manors lay south-east of Lincoln, among the long narrow vills which  ran in sequence from the heaths of the limestone escarpment down into the fens beside the river Witham. Branston, a 12-carucate hundred, was 5 miles SE of Lincoln, Blankney, a 24-carucate double hundred, 5 miles further on. Each holding covered all the land in the vill and included the church. Blankney’s sokemen were all within the vill, but Branston included soke outside its own boundaries in other nearby vills: 4 carucates held by 7 sokemen at Walcot, 5 carucates held by 18 sokemen at Timberland, and 7½ carucates held by 14 sokemen at Kirkby and Scopwick. Those sokelands were registered in DB immediately after Branston. There was also soke of Branston at Metheringham, another of the sequence of long narrow vills, entered separately as the final item of Walter d’Aincourt’s Lincolnshire fief, probably because in 1086 it was subinfeudated. Since the only manorial holding in Branston, indeed the only holding of any kind, was Hemming’s, Metheringham too must have belonged to him as soke lord. Curiously, it was identical in assessment (8½ carucates) and ploughlands (land for 4 ploughs and 2 oxen) with one of the other holdings in Metheringham, a berewick TRE of Earl Harold’s manor of Waddington (Lincs. 13:35), but the resources of the two were otherwise different in every respect, and it would be difficult to argue that they represented a recent division and thus indicated some connection between Hemming and Earl Harold.

A further entry for Branston appears among the claims for Kesteven (Lincs. CK:14):

Nouem bouatas terræ quas clamat Walterius de aincurt . dicit Wapent’ . esse socam in Branztun terram Elsi diaconi . quam Walterius modo habet . 7 ideo iuste calumniatur.

Here we have 9 bovates of land claimed by Walter d’Aincourt and adjudged by the wapentake to be soke in Branston. It must have been those 9 bovates and not the whole of Branston which formed the ‘land of Alsige the deacon which Walter now has’, since terram matches the grammatical case of socam and not that of in Branztun. The holding was very likely not at Branston itself (though it has been mapped there for lack of any other indication). Alsige the deacon is not found elsewhere and cannot be identified with any of the other Lincolnshire Alsiges, and the holding of 9 bovates does not match any of the other 9-bovate holdings in the shire in 1066. Very likely it formed part of one of Branston’s sokelands in other vills. Walter’s claim was presumably made against Alsige the deacon himself who had presumably hoped to establish that his land was not soke of Branston.

Hemming’s Nottinghamshire manor was Granby, at the western end of the Vale of Belvoir, on the border of Lincolnshire about 12 miles east of Nottingham, and some 30 miles from Branston via the Foss Way. It was twice the value of Blankney in 1066 but with a much lower assessment. Besides the head manor it included 39 sokemen with 5¼ carucates spread across half a dozen vills lying up to 6 miles west and south-west of the manorial centre.

Hemming status as a king’s thegn holding bookland is indicated by the fact that he was among those who had sake and soke and toll and team in both of his shires (Roffe 1992: 12–14). In Lincolnshire he was explicitly named in the list of men holding such rights (Lincs. T:5). The corresponding list for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, which mixes TRE and 1086 landowners, notes that Walter d’Aincourt had similar rights ‘over Granby & Morton & Pilsley’ (Notts. S:5), Granby being Hemming’s Nottinghamshire manor and the others lying in Derbyshire (Derb. 8:1, 8:3).

It has to be left open whether Hemming 5, king’s thegn with nearly 70 carucates in the Danelaw, was identical with Hemming 6, king’s thegn with at least 24 hides in southern Mercia. The name was not a common one but it was certainly not unique, and two men of comparable standing are not out of the question. Granby is 90–100 miles as the crow flies from the Cotswolds and the Thames, but such distances are not out of the question for the property of a single wealthy king’s thegn. What most tells against identification is that the two groups of manors went to different Normans. Although even that need not be decisive, on balance two king’s thegns called Hemming should be identified in 1066.

Bibliography

    

Roffe 1992: D. R. Roffe, ‘An introduction to the Lincolnshire Domesday’, The Lincolnshire Domesday, ed. Ann Williams and G. H. Martin (London: Alecto Historical Editions, 1992), 1–31

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