The parish of Blyth contains the following entire townships, namely, Blyth, Barnby Moor with Bilby, Torworth, Ranskill, Hodsock, all situated in the Hatfield division of the wapentake of Bassetlaw, in the county of Nottingham; and portions of the townships of Olcotes and Styrrup, in the same division, hundred, and county. It further comprised the townships and chapelries of Bawtry and Austerfield in the south and north divisions of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, in the west riding of the county of York, until these were by order of Council bearing date July 31st, 1858, separated at once with my consent from the mother church, and constituted a distinct benefice. Still, considering the long ecclesiastical connection which has existed between these places and Blyth, I have deemed it right to include them in my History.

The whole nearly of the Nottinghamshire portion of the parish was originally included in the great fief of Roger de Builli, with the exception of Ranskill, which was given to Thomas Archbishop of York at the Conquest.

De Builli's interest in Barnby Moor was by his foundation charter given to the Convent of Blyth in 1088; and they continued chief lords of the place till their dissolution. I say chief lords, because it would appear that the king at the time of Domesday survey had an interest there.

I propose, therefore, to treat of Barnby Moor immediately after Blyth; and shall then take the remaining townships in the order in which I have just placed them.

I proceed at once to


Soca hujus Manerii (Odesach):

In Blidâ i. bov. terræ et iiii. pars i. bov. ad geld. Terra i. car. Ibi iiii. vill. et iiii bord. habent i. car. et i. ac. prati. Ibid. i. car. terras soca de Maunesfeld Regis M. Ibid. i. car. terræ soca ad Bodmescel M. Regis.

Ancient Condition of the Place before the Norman Conquest.

I have seen a stern unyielding rock in the sea, which has for countless ages successfully resisted the waves which have raged around it. Even so is it with regard to some of our local names. Probably in no kingdom of the ancient Heptarchy was the power of the Danes more predominant than in Mercia. And yet the names of some of our towns and villages stubbornly resisted the invasion of the stranger, and remained true to their ancient birth and lineage. Nay, it may be that they were in existence even before the prior invasion of the Saxon—that they were autocthonous, or of pure Celtic coinage, and have come down to us through the lapse of time and the revolutions of ages, with their superscriptions faded indeed, and impaired and obscured, but, as far as they are legible, pure and genuine.

I believe the name of Blyth to be of extreme antiquity. From the very sera of the Conquest it presents itself to us under the curt forms of Blia, Blya, Blida, Blye, wrapping itself up under an impenetrable coat of mystery, and refusing to tell its origin. We have a place named Blidworth in the county of Nottingham; and by analogy we may be led to conjecture that Blyth is Blidhithe, the river station or port of Blid, just as we have Queen-hithe, Rother-hithe, Clay-hithe, Lamb-hithe (Lambeth); but what Blid indicates, whether a personal name or some natural quality or characteristic of the spot, I am not prepared to say; and I submit this etymology to the learned reader with great diffidence.

From the Domesday extract, given at the beginning of this chapter, it is clear that in Saxon times the population of Blyth was small, and the state of cultivation of the adjoining lands low. The commissioners do not even tell us either the previous or present yearly value of the place.

It is a subject which admits of doubt whether a castle existed here in Saxon and early Norman times. True, indeed, it is that we have (1) a charter of Henry I. before the year 1108, in which he confirms to the monks of Blyth the tithes of Laughton, as they enjoyed them when he took "ad meum opus Castellum de Blydâ;" (2) a compotus of 29 Henry I. a.d. 1129, inserted by mistake in the Northumberland Pipe Roll, in which Eustace FitzJohn, Lord of Alnwick and Malton, renders an account of ixl. 1s. 10d. "in operibus Castelli de Blidâ per breve Regis;" but then we know from history that, in 1102, Henry I. wrested Tickhill Castle from the hands of his enemy, Robert de Belesme, Earl of Shrewsbury and Arundel, and kept it in his own possession throughout his reign. So that it is highly probable, if not quite certain, that by Castellum de Blida in the above instruments, Tickhill Castle is really meant.

On the other hand, we have a charter of Henry II. attested by Thomas the Chancellor, Ralph de Broc, and others, at Blyth, and exempting the tenants and other dependants of the monks from appearing at the shire and hundred courts, and from pleading any where, "nisi ad Castellum de Blida." We have an extent, as it is termed, or statement of receipts and expenses of the convent in 1379, in which express mention is made of an ordinary court held by them once in every three weeks, of two great annual courts, and of a seneschal or steward and clerk of the said courts. We have also the testimony of Leland that a tradition of such a fortress existed in his time:* and finally, to this day such tradition exists, strengthened it would seem by some local names.

It is, therefore, not improbable but that a castle did stand at Blyth in early times, and that it may have helped to cause the confusion which ancient charters display between Blyth and Tickhill. It is clear, however, that it gradually sank into insignificance by the side of its more distinguished neighbour, the Castle of Tickhill, which De Builli made his capital residence.

No mention is made in Domesday of a church at Blyth; and yet it is difficult to conceive that so extensive a district as that which is now comprised in the Nottinghamshire portion of the parish should have been without one. The fact is, that the silence of the Survey as to the existence of a church in any given place is not conclusive evidence that none existed. Thus one church only is found in the return for Cambridgeshire, none in Lancashire (between the Ribble and the Mersey), Cornwall, or even in Middlesex. And in our own immediate neighbourhood the Survey makes no mention of a church at Laughton, although the parish then comprised not merely Laughton itself, but also Wales, Anstan, Thorpe Salvin, Letwell, and Firbeck; at all which places, churches or chapels were of subsequent foundation. In addition to all this, it must be borne in mind that Roger de Builli, in his foundation charter of the monastery, only two years after the completion of Domesday, expressly includes among his donations the church of Blyth. Of this old Saxon church, however, no visible vestige remains. It was replaced by the Norman church of the convent.

We may further remark that, previously to the establishment of the monastery, the inhabitants of Blyth were under the manorial jurisdiction of Hodsock, Mansfield, and Bothamsall; but when Roger settled his monks here in 1088, he made the prior lord of the manor of Blyth, with perfectly independent powers, and the enjoyment of such rights and privileges as from time immemorial had appertained to a manor.

Foundation of the Alien Benedictine Monastery of Blyth.

We come now to the era immediately succeeding the Conquest. One might have thought that the site afterwards occupied by the Austin Friars, near Tickhill—a warm and sheltered vale, within a mile of his own castle—would have presented itself to the mind and taste of the great Norman lord of the honour of Tickhill, as a peculiarly eligible spot in which to plant his convent. But Blyth possessed that which Tickhill did not possess, a river; and this, probably, was one great reason why De Builli established his Benedictines at the former, and not at the latter place.

I give his foundation charter of the convent at full length.

NOTUM sit omnibus fidelibus Christianis quod ego Rogerus de Builly et uxor mea Muriel, pro stabilitate Regis Anglorum Willielmi, successorum ejus, necnon et pro animâ, reginæ Matildis et pro salute animarum nostrarum, consilio amicorum nostrorum dedi et concessi, et hac præsenti cartâ meâ confirmavi Deo et Sanctæ Mariæ de Blidâ et monachis ibidem Deo servientibus, ecclesiam de Blidâ et totam villam integre, cum omnibus appenditiis suis et consuetudinibus, sicuti homines ejusdem villæ michi faciebant, scilicet, arare, kariare, falcare, bladum meum secare, fœnum meum facere, marchetum dare, stangnum molendini facere. Præterea dedi et concessi prædictis monachis theloneum et passagium de Radeford usque in Theornewad et de Frodestan usque in Hidil. Dedi et eis feriam et merchatum in eadem villa, absolute et libere, absque ullo retenemento: præterea dedi prædictis monachis omnes dignitates quas habebam in eâdem villâ, scilicet soc et sac, tol et them, et infangethefe, ferrum et fossum, et furcas, cum aliis libertatibus, ut tunc temporis tenebam de Rege.

Insuper dedi eis Elletonam et quicquid ei pertinet, Bectonam et quicquid ei pertinet et quicquid habebam in Barnebeyâ: dedi etiam eis decimas viginti trium carucarum mei proprii laboris, quarum duæ sunt in Wateleyâ et in Marneham duas et dimidia; in Applebeiâ duæ partes decimæ aulæ, in terris et in essartis et in omnibus minutis decimis; in Lactonâ duæ partes decimæ aulæs, in terris et in essartis et in omnibus minutis decimis; in Clifford duæ partes decimæ aulæ, et in terris et in essartis et in omnibus minutis decimis; in Bingeham duæ partes decimæ aulæ, in terris et in essartis et in decimis minutis; in Saltebeiâ, et in Gerthorp et in Bersaldebeâ duas partes decimæ aulæ, in terris et in essartis et in omnibus minutis decimis; in Brugeford duæ partes decimæs aulæ, in terris et in essartis et in omnibus minutis decimis; in Ludeham et in Gunnethorp duæ partes decimæ aulæ, in terris et in essartis et in omnibus minutis decimis; et in Clipestonâ decima unius carucæ et duæ partes de decimâ de Crokestonâ.

Hæc omnia supradictæ ecclesiæ Blidæ, ad edificationem loci et victum et vestitum monachorum ibidem Deo ejusque Genitrici servientium concedo, in perpetuum. Excepto quod unoquoque anno de omnibus hiis ccclesiæ Sanctæ Trinitatis de Monte Rothomagi dabuntur quadraginta solidi Anglicæ monetæ. Testimonio virorum quorum nomina hic sunt: Gilbertus Presbiter, Ricardus Presbiter, Willielmus Presbiter, Fulco de Lisoriis, Thoraldus frater ejus, Ernoldus de Buulli, Godefridus dapifer, Turoldus de Cheverchort, Claron, Radulphus Novi Fori, Paganus gladicus, Radulphus Dispensator, W. de Drincort. Hæc donatio facta est anno dominicæ incarnationis millesimo octogessimo octavo.

By this deed the convent of Benedictines of St. Mary of Blyth was founded, which has given a colour and a character to the subsequent history of the parish, both civil and ecclesiastical, to this very day. Henceforth the House becomes the central focus to which converge the benefactions of the chief proprietors of the parish, Builli, and Vipont, and Moles, and Lizours, and Cossard, and Cressy, and John the Constable, and Philip of Olcotes.

The deed was attested by the founder's brother, Arnaldus, of whom mention has already been made; Walter Deincourt, one of the original grantees of lands in Nottinghamshire; Thorald de Chevercourt, whose relative, Ralph de Chevercourt, was the founder of the Nunnery of Wallingwells; Thorald de Lizours, the subinfeudatory of Hodsock, and other estates; Fulc, his brother, the ancestor of the Fitzwilliams of Sprotborough; Ralph de Novomercato (Newmarch), who held property at Bentley, and whose family were lords of Whatton, in Nottinghamshire, and benefactors to the convent; Radulphus Dispensator; Godefridus Dapifer: Gilbert, William, and Richard, priests; Claron and Pagan.

With this original endowment then of their pious founder in their hands, the religious of Blyth laid, in faith and hope, the first stone of that church which was to stand for ages, and which still, after the revolutions of time, the unceasing vicissitudes of all human things, and the changes and mutilations which itself has undergone, remains a monument of that deeply scientific skill, and of that noble-hearted generosity, with which our ancestors built not only for themselves, but for all time.

A man like Builli, connected with kings and queens, and the highest nobles of the land, possessing too through the gift of his late sovereign enormous wealth and influence, was not likely to permit this inaugural ceremony to pass without lively and even splendid demonstrations of joy and festivity. It is quite within the legitimate scope not only of imagination but of probability to suppose that the great Norman himself with his own hands laid the first stone of the church of his own convent, surrounded on one side by his venerable diocesan, Thomas, Archbishop of York, upon whom the Conqueror had bestowed the lordship of Ranskill in our parish, who was himself a Norman, and had been before his elevation to the archiepiscopal throne canon of Baieux and chaplain to William, whom he assisted in his enterprise with his wealth—the re-builder of his ruinous minster and the re-constructer of his impoverished chapter—a learned, pious, and exemplary man, "juvenis vigore et æqualitate membrorum commodus, senex vividæ faciei et capillis cygneis," as Malmesbury describes him; by Remigius, another Norman, who had been a monk of Fescamp, who also like Thomas had assisted William in his expedition and was rewarded with the see of Dorchester—the builder of the first cathedral of Lincoln, a commissioner for executing the Domesday Survey in the midland counties, and like the Archbishop of York holding by gift of the Conqueror large estates in our county; by Odo Bishop of Baieux, brother of the Earl of Morton and half-brother of the Conqueror, himself too one of the tenants in capite of Nottinghamshire—an ambitious and restless man—who on this festive and auspicious day laid aside the sword for the mitre and crozier; and on another by the Earls of Morton, Warren, and Ferrers, by Pevcrel, Deincourt, and Laci; and by his own great subinfeudatories Arnald, Roger, Torald, and Fulc.

The religious ceremony of laying the first stone of the church concluded, the castle of Tickhill would receive its lord and his great and noble guests who had taken part in it, whilst the monks of Blyth would be left to regale the poor.

Possessions and Privileges or the Convent.

We must now return to an analysis of the original deed of endowment. Roger gives his convent:

I.  The Church of Blyth.—If then before this charter was executed there was a rector of Blyth (a vicar there could not be, inasmuch as the institution of the vicarage was of subsequent date, and necessarily implied the existence of the convent,) he was superseded by the convent, who themselves became rectors, received the rectorial tithes of the parish, and performed all spiritual offices for the parishioners, until a vicar was in course of time appointed.

These arbitrary consecrations of tithes to religious houses at the discretion of the lay patrons were, as the learned Selden shews in the sixth and eleventh chapters of his History of Tithes, not uncommon either abroad or at home even before the Conquest, whilst in England especially, subsequently to that event, they became prevalent in proportion to the rapidity with which convents arose.

II.  The whole village or Blyth with all services appertaining to and due from the occupants and dependants to the prior as lord of the manor and proprietor of the place, such as ploughing his lands, making his hay, cutting and leading his crops, holding market, and making mill-race.

III.   Toll of Goods from the water of Radeford, the river at Worksop, to that of Theornewad (the Torne), and from that of Frodestan to that of Hidil (the Idle).

In the hundred rolls of Notts 4 Edward I. the jury made return that the prior and his bailiffs took 4d. toll for every sack of wool, whereas they used only to demand 2d. for every cart load, and so with regard to all other merchandise, to the great injury of merchants.

However, in the pleas of Quo Warranto for Notts in the reign of Edward III. the prior, through his attorney Robert de Bekyngham, described very minutely the amount of toll claimed upon various articles and the boundaries within which he and his predecessors from time immemorial had exercised the right. The western boundary ran from Radeford to Shireoaks, thence to Anstan, and thence to Frodestan; the northern from Frodestan to Laughton, thence to Field, thence to Malpas, thence to Rossington, and thence to the Torne; the eastern from the Torne to Bawtry, thence to Scrooby, thence to Mattersay, thence to Sutton, thence to West Retford, and thence to the Idle; the southern from the Idle to Ordsall, thence to Twyford Bridge, thence to Normanton near Bothamsall, and thence to Radeford. Within these boundaries the convent received toll at the following rates—for every cartload of timber (carecta de mæremio) or bread for sale, one halfpenny; for every cartload of any other article for sale, two pence; for every horseload of salmon (de quolibet sumagio cqui portantis salmonem) for sale, one penny; for every horseload of any other article, one halfpenny; for every man carrying on his back a load of merchandise, one farthing; for every horse, ox, or cow, of the nature of merchandise, one halfpenny; for every sheep and pig, one farthing; and for every sack of wool packed and sold at Blyth, four pence. The jury allowed that the prior was entitled to these and other ancient privileges.

The Blyth Register, f. 132, contains a notice of a compromise between William the prior of Blyth and the citizens of Lincoln on the subject of these tolls. The latter had taken proceedings in the Exchequer against the convent for exacting tolls and customs from them in Blyth and elsewhere. The proceedings were terminated through the mediation of common friends—the convent ceding all future claims either within the liberty of Blyth or elsewhere, and the citizens waiving all claims for recompense on the score of past demands.

A remnant of these tolls, in the shape of charges made on behalf of the lord of the manor upon cattle passing through Blyth from Scotland to the southern markets, existed till within the last twenty years, when they, as well as the tolls taken at the two annual fairs, were discontinued.

IV. Fair and Market, soc, sac, tol, theam, infangthief, minerals, and gallows. The fairs, as the prior pleaded in the time of Edward III. were held from time immemorial tin the vigil, day, and morrow of St. Dionysius (October 9): and on the vigil, day, and morrow of the Ascension. The two annual fairs of Blyth are to this day held at precisely the same times—one on Ascension Day, the other on October 20—the change of eleven days in the case of the latter being due to the alteration of the style and calendar in the middle of last century. Till within the last few years a certain number of men were appointed, under the name of watch and ward, to assist in the proclamation of these fairs, in the collection of tolls, and in the preservation of the peace.

The market was held on Thursday from the earliest times. It has for a century fallen into disuse.

Soc, a certain territory within which the power of sac was exercised, that is, the power inherent in a proprietor or lord of a manor of hearing and determining civil disputes and taking cognisance of crimes in his own hallmote.

Tol, certain allowances paid to the prior as lord of the manor out of articles sold in market or fair.

Theam, a power granted to him to hold, restrain, and judge bondmen, neifs, and villeins, with their children, goods, and chattels (cum totâ sequelâ).

Infangthief, a thief or robber found within the limits of the manor with the stolen goods upon him, and the power of trying such an offender in the manor court and punishing him. Some writers state that the power implied in infangthief extended only to the lord's own dependants; outfangthief to foreigners caught within the liberty.

Gallows (furcæ). The reader will find under my account of the township of Hodsock that permission was given by the Cressys to the priors of Blyth to hang criminals on their gallows, which stood on Blyth Law Hill. In the Hundred Rolls 3 Edw. I. there is an account of a cut-purse being caught by the bailiffs of Blyth in the market. Peter de Parkes the seneschal of Tickhill sent Hugh Patz, William Cock, and Roger Clenegris, who took the unhappy thief out of their hands and carried him to Tickhill; and, when the prior claimed that he should be tried in his court, the Tickhill bailiffs demanded five shillings for his surrender, and, on the prior's refusal to pay the money, hanged the culprit at Tickhill.

These were perilous powers to vest in the hands of irresponsible persons ; but the feebleness of the executive rendered them necessary, and every great baron and many ecclesiastics possessed them. Our local names to this day attest their prevalence. Near Cockermouth is a mound termed Garrow-barrow, that is, the gallows barrow: near Bowes Castle, in the north riding of Yorkshire, again is a hill known by the name of Gally-hill, the gallows hill; and at Barnard Castle is a street, Gallgate, the gallows gate, on and near which the lords of Cockermouth, Bowes, and Barnard Castle executed criminals.

Ferrum et fossum: minerals and treasures dug out of the ground.

Roger proceeds to give the convent of Blyth—

V. Elton, and whatever appertains to it. This place is near Nottingham. The manor had belonged to the great Earl Morcar, and at the time of Domesday was owned by Roger's sub-infeudatory Ralph, who in 1088, when the manor was given to the convent, was probably dead. This gift opens up an interesting history.

In the first place there was a church, which fell to the possession of the convent. Whether the monasteries and other ecclesiastical corporations were not satisfied with their position of rectors aggregate, by virtue of which they received the emoluments of benefices and were charged with the performance of all spiritual offices, or whether the ordinary considered such a state of things prejudicial to the church, it is certain that in course of time appropriations were made, that is, the great tithes were severed for the use of these corporate bodies, and the small tithes reserved for the endowment of a fixed and permanent minister, under the name of vicar. Agreeably to this, Roger Archbishop of York, the contemporary and enemy of Thomas Becket, granted the monks of Blyth an appropriation of the church of Elton. It would seem, however, that it was not carried into effect, for Walter Grey, one of Roger's successors, in the reign of Henry III., gave them an annual pension of two marcs out of the rectory and the great tithes of their own demesne lands there. The rectory is now in the patronage of W. F. N. Norton, esq., and the pension of two marcs is to this day paid by the incumbent to the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, the rectors and patrons of Blyth. In the second place their temporal possessions and services present us with a singularly striking picture of the social condition of the country at lar^e in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

The Blyth Register contains, ff. 33, 34, an inquisition touching the rents and the diets or days' works of the bondmen of Elton for the year 1283, from which we collect the following curious information. The convent kept certain arable and meadow lands in demesne, that is, in their own hands; other portions they let to free tenants at fixed rents, and others in small parcels to bondmen, persons in servile condition, at small rents, for render of certain articles of consumption in kind, and for performance of menial services. The rents were paid at various feasts and seasons, such as those of St. Michael, St. Martin, Ember in Advent, Purification, Ember after Ash-Wednesday, Annunciation, Easter, Pentecost, Trinity, St. Botolph, and Nativity of Virgin Mary.

Their payments in kind were two hens and a cock at Michaelmas, forty hens at Christmas, two capons at Whitsunday, fourteen score and three eggs at Easter, besides a certain amount of feeding for pigs (pannagium), and a summage or corn-rent, amounting to forty quarters and two bushels, paid by eighteen servile tenants of the monastery in the following proportions:—Eight, three quarters each; eight, a quarter and two bushels each; and two, two quarters and one bushel each: the quarter then consisting of four bushels.

An inquisition was taken in the church of Elton, on the Thursday after the feast of All Saints, a.d. 1283, by Robert de Bekyngham, the steward of the convent, respecting the menial services due from the bondmen of that place to the monks in cultivating and reaping the crops of their demesne lands, and in other and similar matters, when William de Pavely and Gilbert the bailiff (propositus) declared upon oath, that every bovate occupied by the bondmen owed two days' works in every week, in one week on Monday and Thursday, and in another on Monday and Saturday: that two bovates owed four days" works on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday: if any of those days between Michaelmas and Lammas was a festival it was excused, but from Lammas to Michaelmas another day was to be given instead. Further, they made return, that every bovate owed the ploughing of half an acre, for which one day's work was remitted; and the harrowing, weeding, reaping, and carrying of the same (trahare, sarculare, metere, cariare), for each of which half a day's work was remitted. Every bovate had to harrow one day in the time of wheat and another in time of peas or barley, and to carry to Blyth three times a year half a quarter of corn each time—the winter carriage standing for three days, the summer for two days. Again, he who held one bovate found half a cart, he who held two bovates a whole cart, to lead wood out of Shirewood Forest in winter—such leading standing for a day's work. Every bovate owed the leading of half a cart of hay from Thorp and as much from the gore of Garnemer: and among the menial services haymaking on the demesnes of the priory at Elton was included. Every free tenant was bound to provide two labourers for three days in harvest and to keep them well to their work.

From a document presently to be introduced, viz., an "extent" or statement of receipts and expenses of the convent, made in 1379, we obtain a further and similar view of the Elton tenants and of the nature of free and servile tenures in the fourteenth century.

VI. Becton, or Boughton, in Nottinghamshire, is given by Builli. This place is near Ollerton. It appears to have comprised before the Conquest two distinct manors, one of which, the estate of Earl Edwin, came to Builli; the other, that of Ulf, fell to Gilbert de Gant.

In the Nomina Villarum it is stated that the Prior of Blyth holds the whole vill of Boughton in pure alms, of the fee of John Burdon of the new enfeoffment; new as distinguished from the original grant to Builli or Gant. The Burdons were sub-infeudatories of the Gant fee at Maplebeck, and appear to have been settled there from early times. They were benefactors to the neighbouring abbey of Rufford; and William Burdon, Prior of Blyth from 1273 to 1303, and a very active and efficient prior too, was a member of this family. Sir John Markham, whose first wife had been Elizabeth Cressy, married for his second wife Melicent, the widow of sir Nicholas Burdon, who fell in the battle of Shrewsbury, 4 Henry IV.; and the manor thus came to the Markham family.

Aeliz, daughter of William de Bucton, or Boughton, widow of John Burdon, lord of Maplebeck, gave to the convent of Blyth the advowson of the church of Boughton and lands there.

Her son and heir, John Burdon, in the year 1224, confirmed his mother's grants in the court of Tickhill.

Basilia, his sister, had, by bequest of her mother Aeliz, a culture of forty acres in the fields of Boughton, between the field of Walesby and the lands of Rufford Abbey, and stretching from the road between Ollerton and Walesby to the road between Ollerton and Boughton, which she gave to the monks of Blyth, and which was confirmed to them by her daughter Amabilia, who had been wife of Ingram Bluet.

The convent of Blyth made no appropriation of this church. By some means, not clearly apparent, the appropriation was made by the chapter of Southwell. The temporal possessions of the monks here are described in the old surveys as consisting of about 106 acres of land, which were let probably on lease for 20 shillings a year.

VII.  The manor and lands of Builli in Barnby Moor. Of these more will be said under that township.

VIII.  The tithe of twenty-three teams on his own demesne lands (mei proprii laboris). The grammatical construction of this part of the charter would warrant us in conceiving that these are enumerated from Wateleia (Wheatley) down to Crokeston, and the aggregate does not differ materially with the amount above given; and yet there is a variation in the language when we come to "partes decimæ aulæ," which seems inconsistent with this supposition. Taking the charter as it stands, this portion of it gives the monks the tithe of twenty-three teams of his own labour, two of which are in Wheatley and two and a half in Marnham, both of which places are in the county of Nottingham.

Then we have in Appleby, in the county of Lincoln, one of Roger's manors, two parts of the hall tithe in old cultivated ground, in newly reclaimed lands, and in all minute tithes (in terris et in essartis et in omnibus minutis decimis), that is, in fact, two parts of the tithe of the crops and fruits stored for the consumption of the manor house.

In Laughton-en-le-Morthing, in Yorkshire, and near Tickhill Castle, the same two parts of the hall tithe are given. It has been already stated that Earl Edwin had an aula and an extensive territory here, which fell to Builli. Henry I. shortly after resuming the honour of Tickhill into his own hands, that is, before 1108, gave the church of Laughton to the canons of York. Archbishop Gerard, who died in 1108, granted them an appropriation. It was therefore a priori probable that the canons of York, and the convent of Blyth, possessing as they did by gift of their founder an interest in the tithes of this parish, would come into collision with each other. And such was the fact, for in the Blyth chartulary, f. 123, we have two charters from Beauclerc, expressed with a brevity and a decision quite in keeping with his character, which I give in the original language in which they were drawn up.

1.  "H. Rex Angliæ Ger. Archiepiscopo, et Osberto Vice comiti, et Helgoto Vice comiti, et omnibus Baronibus Francis et Anglis de Euerwiksira et de Notinghamsira salutem. Præcipio vobis ut juste et cito faciatis habere Sanctæ Mariæ de Blyda et monachis suis decimam suam de Lestona, sicut melius habuerunt, et si aliquis eis injuriam faciat, tu, Osberte, fac eis rectum. Et prohibeo ne Canonici de Euerwik amplius injuste inde se intromittant. T. Nigello de Oili per carbonellum stabulorum apud Cornibiam."

2.  "Rex Angliæ T. Capell. et R. de Lacy, et Ric. fil. Gotse, salutem. Sciatis quod concedo et præcipio ut monachi de Blyda ita bene et pleniter teneant et habeant decimas de Lactona sicut melius et plenius habucrunt tempore et die quo ego recepi ad meum opus castellum de Blyda. Et ita teneant sicut Rogerus de Bully eis concessit et dedit. Et videte ne aliquid inde perdant. T. Rob. fil. Ham. et Wald. cap. apud Westmo."

It would seem from these charters as if the canons had invaded the rights of the monks, over whom the king threw the mantle of his protection. In the reign of Henry III. they were again in controversy with the convent of Blyth, in the time of Stephen of St. Adrian, an Italian cardinal, who then held the living of Laughton; and the following was the compact made between the contending parties:—

"This is the composition finally made between the churches of St. Mary of Blyth and of All Saints of Lactone, in the time of Gilbert the prior of Blyth, and of Stephen of St. Adrian, deacon cardinal, parson of Lacton—John de Alatro, clerk, by special command then following in England the business of the said cardinal—upon a controversy moved between the said churches concerning tithes in the parish of Lacton: to wit, that the church of Blyth shall receive two garbs or sheaves of corn of all the lands whereof the difference has arisen, and moreover from those places whereof she was formerly wont to receive, except of forty acres of land of the demesne of Anstan: to wit, in Airingrange and at the head of it in Kirkeflat twenty acres and a half, and in Hallecroft thirteen acres and a half, and in Wlpittewange and Peselands six acres, of which she was wont to receive two garbs, but henceforth she shall receive nothing, but the church of Lacton the whole. And likewise the whole of all lands of which formerly she was wont to receive the whole, and the third garb where she was wont to receive the third. In witness of which composition the said prior and the said proxy have set their authentic seals to this writing. Done at Lettewell in the year of our Lord 1224."

Eventually the prior of Blyth consented to receive an annual pension of 2l. from the parish, which the convent enjoyed accordingly at its dissolution, and which since that time has been paid to Trinity College, Cambridge.

The rectory of Laughton is appropriated to the chancellorship of York Cathedral, and the vicarage is in the gift of that officer.

It is not surprising that misunderstandings should have arisen as to the rights conferred upon the monks of Blyth by their founder in this parish, when such vague phraseology as "duæ partes decinæ" is considered.†

* "I asked of a castelle that I hard say was symtyme at Blyth: but other aunswer I larnid not, but that a little or I cam ynto the town ther apperith yn a woodes sides token of an auncient building."
† A grant made to the Abbey of Abingdon, cited by Selden, Hist, of Tithes, p. 301, seems to indicate that the tithe in question was divided into three parts, "Turoldus decimam carucae suæ tantummodo ita discrevit, ut duas istius decimationis partes huic loco, tertiam vero partem Presbytero sibi servienti, concederet."