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Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Manor of Theydon Mount: Transactions n.s. Volume 12 Part 3

The Manor of Theydon Mount.
BY J. H. Round, M.A., LL.D.

An extract from the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society.
‘New Series’ Volume 12 Part 3 (1911) p198-202.

THE rapid publication of rolls and other medieval records by the Public Record Office and that of the early Essex fines by our own Society have, between them, thrown light on points of manorial history which have hitherto remained obscure. We must always remember that Morant wrote at an early date for a county historian, and the wonder is that he knew so much of our public records when they were still in MS. and comparatively inaccessible.

His account of the early history of the manor of Theydon Mount, which was one of some importance, is not satisfactory. There is no question that it gave name to a certain Paulin de ‘Teydene’ who held three knight's fees in Teydene and Little Wakering of ‘the Honour of Rayleigh' - that is to say the fief which had been forfeited by Henry of Essex.[1]  This Paulin de Tayden appears in our Feet of Fines for Essex (p. 74.) as tenant in 1228 of a quarter of the manor of Thorp, that is Southorp in Southchurch.[2]  Paulin had a predecessor, Henry de Thaydene’, who held these three fees of the Honour of Rayleigh.[3]  This was probably in the reign of John, for Henry occurs in our Feet of Fines for Essex (pp. 32, 50, 55) in 1203-1218).

We also meet with Henry de Teyden on the Close Rolls of John in 1213 and 1214.[4]  In 1215 he came seriously to grief in the great struggle between John and the barons, being one of the garrison of Rochester castle who narrowly escaped hanging when it surrendered to the king's forces, after a desperate defence, on November 30. This we learn from the Patent Roll of 1216, which shows us John, on June 18, ordering Henry to be brought to him in custody from prison.[5] A record of the following year proves that Paulin was his son and was in favour with the Crown; for the Crown committed him his father's land (in Gloucestershire).[6]  He was also favoured, 23 September, 1225, by the grant of a weekly market and a Michaelmas fair at Theydon (Mount),[7] and by an order (5 April, 1227) to Richard de Montfichet (as keeper of the forest of Essex) to deliver to him two bucks and  eight does for his park at Theydon.[8]  He also received remission, three months earlier, of the ‘relief’ due from him for three and a half fees held of the Honour of 'Wallingford.[9]  These had been held, as three fees, by his father, Henry de Taydene,' in 1212,[10] and re-appear as three fees in Little Rissington, co. Glouc., under Edward I.[11]  It is remarkable how far apart the holdings of comparatively small landowners sometimes lay. In 1230 Walter de Evermue secured, 50 marcs, the wardship and marriage of Paulin’s daughter in case of his death (si humaniter contingat).[12]

Morant knew nothing of Paulin de Theydon or of his daughter, who brought the manor in marriage to Robert de Briwes. This we learn from the Close Roll of 1236 where we read:-
Rex cepit homagium Roberti de Briwes de terris et tenementis que tenet de hereditate Berte filie et heredis Pauline (sic) de Teydene, uxoris predicti Roberti, de honore de Raelegh, cujus custodiam Rex dederat Waltero de Evermuth.[13]

The entry is not quite correct for Paulin is here transformed into a woman[14] and the scribe's ‘Berte' must be an error for ‘Beatrice’.  There is, we shall find, abundant proof that the heiress' name was Beatrice.

Robert de Briwes, who thus acquired Theydon Mount (and Little Wakering), bore a name which is usually confused with Brus (or Bruce) on one hand and with ‘Braose' on the other. He is wrongly styled by Morant Robert de 'Brus,' and must be carefully distinguished from his more important contemporary, Sir Robert de Brus, of the famous family, who was lord, in Essex, of Writtle. Robert de Briwes was son of John de Briwes, who held some exchequer office in 1207,[15] and for whose land he did homage in 1229.[16]  This land was at Stapley FitzPaine in Somerset,[17] which the family held of the Honour of Mortain, and where they had been established at least as early as 1172.[18]

In the spring of 1238 our Feet of Fines for Essex (p. 119) shew us Robert de ‘Brywes' and Beatrice his wife parties to a fine with Robert, parson of Theydon, concerning land in Theydon.[19]  On June 23, 1239, they received a grant of a weekly market, on Thursdays at 'Tayden' and of a yearly fair there for three days at Michaelmas.[20]  In our Feet of Fines for Essex (p. 165) we have Robert de ‘Bruys' and Beatrice dealing with land in 'Thorp' in 1248, and at Midsummer of the same year we have (p. 179) the important fine at Clarendon, before the king himself and his justices, by which Robert de ‘Briwes' and Beatrice transferred for 100 marcs (66l. 13s. 4d.) the manor of ‘Tayden’[21], with the advowson, to John de Lessinton, to be held of the heirs of Beatrice, doing service for two knights fees and rendering suit at the court of Honour of Rayleigh for Theydon ‘and for impedient's manor of Wakering’.[22]  We have further a royal confirmation and inspeximus of the charter by which Robert and Beatrice gave the manor to John; but the consideration is given as a thousand marcs, and the object is ‘to acquit their debts’.[23]

About the same time we find Robert de ‘Bruys' dealing with rents ‘in Longetotteslond in Little Wakering' and ‘in the marsh of Barneflet’.[24]  These names are important. The first takes us back to a fine of December 1218,[25] which mentions ‘one marsh called Barnflete, which is of the fee of Henry de Teydene, in the marsh called Fuelnesse' (Foulness), which proves that Henry was then holding Little Wakering with Theydon Mount. The other name takes us back further still ; for on the Pipe Roll of 1181 we read under ‘Terra Henrici de Essex' (i.e. the Honour of Rayleigh) ‘xxxs. de Willelmo de Taidene de terra de Langetot’.[26]  This name seemed to defy identification, but we now see that the ‘terra de Langetot’ was ‘Longetotteslond' in Little Wakering. Consequently we have proof here that William de ‘Taidene' was holding (Theydon Mount and) Little Wakering in 1181.

When Robert parted with his wife's inheritance of Theydon Mount, he retained the other portion of her holding, the knight's fee which lay in Little Wakering and Southorpe (in Southchurch) and in 1252 (May 24) both these holdings are named among the demesne lands on which he was granted free warren.[27]  At his death in 1276 the Inquisition taken is rather puzzling. It deals with lands in counties Norfolk and Lincoln, which he held, ‘by the courtesy', as having married Beatrice, daughter and heiress (or co-heiress') of Walter de Evermue, though their only child (or daughter had died childless), and it also deals with Little Rissington, to which Lettice, daughter of Henry de ‘Teyden' is given as heiress.[28]  But it does not mention the Essex lands,[29] which seem to have passed to his son John. This implies that John's mother was another wife, Beatrice de Teyden.

(Sou)thorpe was sub-enfeoffed, being held of John in 1281 by John de Nevill as one knight's fee. Little Wakering also was held of John de Brews by John de Nevill, at a nominal rent.[30]  It is at this point that Morant begins his history of that manor, on which he was, therefore in error. He cites the fine of 1281 (9 Edward I.) relating to 19l. of rent in Little Wakering and South Bemfleet belonging to John de Brews, but, owing to his one singular failing – the confusion of mesne tenancies - he thought the Nevills were the early owners and had no idea that the Theydons held the manor.

Meanwhile, Theydon Mount being acquired as above by John do Lessinton (alias Lexington), he was duly returned, at his death, in 1257, as holding two knight's fees in ‘Theydon ad montem' of Sir Robert de Brywes.[31]  His brother and heir, the bishop of Lincoln, died a year or two later and was succeeded by two nephews, William de Sutton and Richard de Markham, who divided the inheritance between them. A very lengthy fine[32] records this division, and in it we find "Tayden' falling to Sutton's share.[33] From this point the descent of the manor presents no difficulty. To recapitulate, the two manors of Theydon Mount and Little Wakering (with part, at least, of Southorp) were held of the Honour of Rayleigh, in the twelfth century, by the Theydon family, with whose heiress they passed to that of Briwes, under whom, in strictness, Theydon Mount was held by the Lexintons and their heirs the Suttons, while Little Wakering (with Southorpe) was similarly held of them by the Nevills ‘of Essex’. It is a striking illustration of the laxity of the feudal system in practice that Hugh de Nevill, who was holding thus low down in the scale, was returned in 1303 as holding Little Wakering ‘by barony' (per baroniam).[34]





[1] Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 739. This return is vaguely dated by its editor 'Temp. Henry III.’
[2] This should be added to our identifications in the Index (p. 355) Morant knew nothing of this tenure.
[3] Red Book, p. 595.
[4] Rot. Litt. Claus., I., 165, 201.
[5] Rot. Litt. Pal., I., 189.
[6] Sciatis quod commisimus dilecto et fideli nostro Paulin' de Teyden terrain Henrici patris sui.’  Litt. Claus., I., 320 (to sheriff of Glouc.).
[7]  Ibid, II., 62.
[8] Ibid, p. 180.
[9] Ibid, p. 164.
[10] Testa de Nevill, p. 116.
[11] Cal, of Inq. II., p. 102 (No 160}
[12] Fine Roll, 14 Henry III, m. 6. dors.
[13] Close Rolls, 1234-7, p.279
[14] On p.333 of the same volume is an allusion to his widow Nichola’s claim to dower in Little Rissington (co. Glouc.)
[15] Rot. de Fin., p.417
[16] Excerpt, c. rot fin., I., 184
[17] Testa. de Nevill, pp. 163, 169.
[18] Pipe Roll, 18 Henry II, p.77
[19] This should be identified in the Index as Theydon Mount
[20] Cal of Chartered Rolls, I., p.244
[21] This should be identified as Theydon Mount in our Index.
[22] This should be, similarly, identified as Little Wakering.
[23] Cal. of Charter Rolls, I., p. 346. To this charter there are Essex witnesses, Peter and Richard de Tany, Richard son of Aucher, and Richard de Witsand. As the name of the place has vanished from the roll, it does not appear in the Index.
[24] Feet of Fines for Essex, p. 176. He was to receive a pair of white gloves or 6d. at Easter.
[25] Ibid., p.51
[26] Pipe Roll 27 Henry II, p.108
[27] Cal of Charter Rolls, I., 391. Both places need identifying in the Index.
[28] Lettiee de' Teyden ' was concerned in a line of 1281 (9 Edward I.) with John de Briwes concerning lands in Little Wakering and South Bemfleet.
[29] See Cal of Inq., II., No 160
[30] Inq. p.m. 10 Edward I
[31] Cal of Inq., I., 103.
[32] Of Easter term 1259 (Feet of Fines for Essex., p.233)
[33] It requires identifying in our Index as Theydon Mount.
[34] Feudal Aids, II,, 137.

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