Bosbury in the
13th Century Bishop’s Rental

edited by A.T.Bannister
published by the Camden Society, 1929

“A transcript of a manuscript containing a survey of the Hereford Bishopric Estates, made in the second half of the thirteenth century. It is called by Swithun Butterfield (who in 1577-8 made a more detailed survey), “The Redd Book” and (perhaps on that account) was rebound in red leather in 1906. ...... The manors held by the Bishop of Hereford in the thirteenth century, of which details are given in this manuscript, are the following:- Barton (juxta Herefordiam): Tupsley: Shelwick: Hampton: Eton (juxta Sugwas). Ross (burgus et forinsecus): Upton: Bromyard (burgus et forinsecus): Whitbourne: Frome (episcopi): Grendon: Ledbury (burgus et forinsecus): Eastnor: Cradley: Bosbury: Colwall: Prestbury Sevenhampton: Bishop’s Castle: Lydbury North. Very little is known as to the time or the circumstances under which the Bishop became possessed of these manors, since no early records remain.”.

The original ‘Red Book’ is held in the Herefordshire Archives and Records Centre, ref. AA59/A/1. The Bosbury section is transcribed on page 22 and 23 of the Camden Miscellany essay by Bannister, and this volume is held by Bosbury Chroniclers.
title page

Section page from Campden Miscellany Vol. XV.

BOSEBURY. Hii sunt qui tenent per miliciam. Rogerus Lacy tenet unam virgatam terre per miliciam, pro qua debet herietum, relevium, et wardam; et debet sectam curie de Herefordia, et ad curiam de Bosebury, ubi assignata fuerit, et pro scutagio xxd. quando accident. [So Ricardus filius Mariote, and Heredes Henrici de Stanford.]

Liberi tenentes. Wilelmus de Storugge tenet dimidium virgate tare et xii acras, et debet ad festum Andree iiis. iiiid., ad Annunciacionem Marie iiis. iiiid., ad festum Johannis iiis. iiiid., et ad festum Michaelis iiis. [Then 35 others, with small holdings of forletland, or curtilages.]

Et sciendum est quod omnes supranominati debent sectam curie, sicut fuerit ordinatum ad voluntatem domini, et herietum, et fidelitatem domino Episcopo.

Wilelmus de la Toune debet ad festum beati Andree de dono et pro melle iis. id., et ad Annunciacionem beate Marie pro pisce iiid. [So 27 others, with varying amounts.]

In dominico sunt ccccxxiii acre terre arabilis, que valent ad firmam viili. iiiis. iiid., precium acre iiiid. De prato xxiii acre, que valent xlvis., precium acre iis. De pastura xii acre, que valent xis. vid., precium acre xiid.

Tenentes de personatu de Bosebury. Johannes de Mathefelde tenet dimidium virgate terre, et reddet ad festum Andree xiid., ad festum Annunciacionis xiid., ad festum Johannis xiid. et ad festum Michaelis xiid. [So ten others holding land or houses.]

Redditus custumariorum. Wilelmus de la Toune tenet unam virgatam terre custumarie, pro qua debet ad festum Andree vs., ad Annunciacionem vs., ad festum Johannis vs., et ad festum Michaelis ixs. xd. [So 25 others holding each half a virgate, or xii acres.]

Wilelmus de Molendino tenet ix acras terre custumarie et quoddam molendinum aquaticum ad voluntatem domini, et debet quasdam consuetudines, videlicet Tak et Tol et ffaldfey et sanguinem suum emere, et debet pro predicta terra et molendino ad festum Andree vis. iiid., ad Annunciacionem Marie vis. iiid., ad festum Johannis vis. iiid., et ad festum Michaelis vis. iiid. Item debent custumarii seminare de frumento suo proprio xvii acras, et dominus debet allocare eis araturam. Item sex virgate terre et dimidium debent seminare sex acras et dimidium avene de suo proprio, et debent habere de bosco domini Episcopi iiii summas de busca pro qualibet acra, ubi ballivus voluerit.

Radulphus Bedellus tenet xii acras terre, pro quibus debet operare qualibet septimana a festo sancti Michaelis usque ad festum beati Petri ad vincula per ii dies, que valent in operacionibus iiiixx viii operaciones, et in denariis iiis. viiid.; et a festo beati Petri usque ad festum beati Michaelis debet operare qualibet septimana per ii dies, que valent in operacionibus xvii operaciones, et in denariis xviid. [So six others.]

Item tenentes de personatu ecclesie de Bosebury. Ricardus de Lee tenet vi acras terre, reddendo ad festum Andree vid., ad festum Annunciacionis Marie vid., ad festum beati Johannis vid., et ad festum Michaelis vid. [So two others.]

Summa totalis custumariorum tam de dominico et operacionibus quam de ecclesia xxvili. xviiis. vid. ob.

Summa virgatarum xxii virgate.

A very approximate translation. BSS.

These are people who hold land as knight service. Roger Lacy holds one yardland of land by the nobility, for which there should be a heriot, relief and wardship; and owe suit at the court of Hereford, and at the Court of Bosbury, where they have been assigned to, and for the scutage 20d. when it happens.

Free tenants. William of Storridge holds half a yardland tare and twelve acres, and he owes at the Feast of St. Andrew 3s. 4d., at the Feast of the Annunciation 3s. 4d., at the Feast of St. John 3s. 4d., and at the feast of the St. Michael 3s. 4d.

And be it known that all the named above owe suit of court, as it will have been ordained to the will of the Lord, and a heriot, and fealty to the bishop.

William of the Town must give at the feast of St. Andrew instead of honey, 2s. 1d., and at the Feast of the Annunciation instead of fish 3d.

In demesne, there are 423 acres of arable land, which are worth to farm £7 4s. 3d., the price of an acre 4d. Twenty three acres of meadow which are worth 46s., price of an acre 2s. Twelve acres of pasture, which are worth 11s. 6d., price of an acre 12d.

Parsonage tenants of Bosbury. John of Mathefield holds half an acre of land, and will render at the Feast of St. Andrew 12d., at the Feast of the Annunciation 12d., at the Feast of St. John 12d. and at the Feast of St. Michael 12d.

Customary rents. William of the Town holds one yardland of customary land, for which he owes at the Feast of St. Andrew 5s., at the Feast of the Annunciation 5s., at the Feast of St. John 5s. and at the Feast of St. Michael 9s 10d.

William of the Mill holds 9 acres of customary land and holds a water mill at the lord’s will, and due to some of the customs, viz. ‘Tak and Tol’, and fold fee [for sheep] and his ‘Sanguinem emere’, for the land and the mill pay at the Feast of St. Andrew 6s. 3d., at the Feast of the Annunciation 6s. 3d., at the Feast of St. John 6s. 3d. and at the Feast of St. Michael 6s. 3d.

Also the customary tenants must use their own 17 acres sown with wheat and the lord shall allow them the ploughing. Also, six and a half yardlands must be sown, six and a half acres of oats of their own, and should have from the Lord Bishop’s woods, four of the highest level of looking for every acre where the bailiff wishes.

Ralph, the Beadle, holds 12 acres of land, for which he must work every week from the Feast of St. Michael to the Feast of St. Peter-in-chains for two days, which are worth in labour 88 days and in money 3s. 8d.; and at the Feast of St. Peter, he must work every week until the Feast of St. Michael for two days each week which is worth in labour 17 workdays and in money 17d.

Also the tenants of the Church parsonage of Bosbury. Richard Lee holds six acres of land paying at the Feast of St. Andrew 6d., at the Feast of the Annunciation 6d., at the Feast of St. John 6d. and at the Feast of St. Michael 6d.

The total sum of the customary tenants, both for sunday and workday services £26 18s. 6d.

Total yardlands 22 yardlands.

Note: No-one seems to know what ‘Tak and Tol’ means but ‘Sanguinem emere’ is
a feudal legal term for the right of a villein or serf, born unfree, to purchase his
own blood or tenure, so as to become a freeman.
Transcription: Barry Sharples, Bosbury 2014

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