Document of the Month, October 2016: ‘Barking Domesday’, c.1275

Katharine Schofield, Archivist

(D/DP M150)

We are publishing October’s Document of the Month a little early since we are excited about our conference Norman Essex: what did the Normans do for us? taking place this Saturday (1 October 2016). Despite the fact that it dates from about 200 years later, this document is named after that most famous of Norman documents – Domesday Book.

Compiled in 1086, Domesday Book records the lands in the possession of the king’s tenants-in-chief; Norman followers who were rewarded with land in return for military support.  By the end of the 12th century Domesday Book was held in sufficient respect to be kept with other important Exchequer documents and the Great Seal.  In c.1179 Henry II’s treasure Richard fitzNeal or fitzNigel described in his Dialogue of the Exchequer how it was known to the ‘native English’ as Domesday Book ‘not because it contains decisions on various difficult points, but because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgement, are unalterable.’img_1826-1080-watermarked

img_1831-1080-watermarkedOur Document of the Month follows in the footsteps of Domesday Book, and it is clearly headed with the words ‘domes daye’. It is the Ingatestone portion of the ‘Barking Domesday’, dating from  about 1275. Only two parts of the survey survive, a 15th century copy of the manor of Bulphan and this from the manor of Ingatestone which is stitched into a rental.  The survey names the tenants, gives a brief note of their landholdings and rent and then a much more detailed account of the labour services such as ploughing, hoeing, making hay, reaping and even gathering nuts that they owed to the lord of the manor and the times of year when they were due.

Although the words Domesday look as though they have been written in a different hand we do know that on 28 October 1322 the manorial court required the that the ‘Domesdaye de Berkyng’ be produced to answer a question about succession dues owed to the manor.

To find out more about what the original Domesdaye survey tells us about Essex, join us for Norman Essex this Saturday (1 October), and do have a look at the Barking Domesday if you visit the Searchroom during the coming month.

Document of the Month, May 2015: 50th anniversary of the five Essex London Boroughs

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the 5 London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, Newham and Waltham Forest in the metropolitan area of the ancient county of Essex.

To mark this anniversary, we have cheated slightly with Document of the Month and chosen images of those places when they were still part of Essex.

The old Court House or Market Hall or Old Town Hall at Barking was built and paid for by Elizabeth I.  By 1920 it had fallen into disrepair and was demolished in 1923.

IBa 5-41

Dagenham will always be associated with Fords.  This photograph shows Edsel Ford cutting the first sod for the factory c. 1929.

I-Mp 113-1-5

Havering was named for the ancient Royal Liberty of Havering-atte-Bower.  The Round House, Havering was built in 1792 for William Sheldon, a wealthy tea merchant, and was later home to Rev Joseph Pemberton who developed the hybrid musk rose in the 1900s.

I-Mb 173-1-10 watermarked

Newham was formed from the County Boroughs of West Ham and East Ham.  This illustration shows the Old Town Hall at Stratford, built in 1869.

I-Mb 164-1-51

Redbridge was named for a bridge over the River Roding.  Situated in the Borough was the Fairlop Oak, an ancient place for fairs.  Its name continues in the Fairlop Waters Country Park.

I-Mb 194-1-13

Vestry House, Walthamstow is where the Waltham Forest archives are held.  This watercolour is by A. B. Bamford and dates from 1926.

I-Ba 79-5