Origins of the Village
From the Chronicles Anglo-Normandy I 73 Freeman iii 86 1070
“William the King 'forgetting it would seem that such hatred might be deemed to savour of love, granted his wife's prayer and imprisoned Britric - transferring all Brictric's land to The Queen Matilda
The Lordship of Tewkesbury, including the Manor of Clifford, thus became the property of Queen Matilda.
Before her death, the Queen conferred the Manor of Clifford to Roger de Busli (or Bushley). (It is held by one authority that Roger's wife Muriel was in some way connected with Matilda)
The Domesday Book
Roger de Busli is registered as the Lord of the Manor of Clifford
“In Clifford are:- - 7 hides pertaining to the Manor of Tewkesbury - 3 carucates in demesne - and 14 villans with 5 ploughs - and a mill worth 12s - two acres of meadow
Between the male and female serfs there are:- - 13 ploughs and a Church - and a priest with one carucature. The value 8l. now 6l.
This land the Queen gave to Roger de Busli· It is geldible for 4 hides in Tewkesbury Immediately after the compilation of Domesday - , Roger de Busli and Muriel his wife granted Clifford formally to the Benedictine Abbey and Convent of St. Peter at Gloucester
And the Parish deemed it none for Clifford to become:- CLIFFORD CHAMBERS - for the revenue from this land went to a specific office – that was - the Chamberlain.
The Chamberlains duties were the clothing of the monks and the proper furnishing and upkeep of the Abbot's Chamber - and the Guest Chamber – for hospitality was one of the first duties of a monastery
In 1266, four manors were contributing to the Abbot's Chamberlain - Clifford – Buckland in Devon – Guiting – and Hinton
(see History of the Manor and Advowson of Clifford Chambers reprinted from the Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucester Archives)
(This custom of bequeathing lands to monasteries became one of the recognised ways of avoiding death duties. A Monastery was as reliable a manor-lord. The monks were enlightened farmers and led the way in mediaeval agriculture.)
Extent of the Manor of Clifford in 1226
There were five free tenants:- Robertus le Freman held by charter as an inheritance:-four virgates of land and two acres of meadow each of which virgates consists of 30 acres - paying 25 shillings and sixpence a year twice yearly.
IF he dies the lord of the manor has his house, his armour and accoutrements if he has any - and IF on his death he leaves children under age, the Lord of the Manor has custody of his children and their lands, and controls their marrying. And IF when he dies his heir is legally of age, he, the son, is to pay homage to his Lord and perform whatever service is due with his land
Radulphus de Eylestone lives on his land free - being one virgate of land containing 48 acres - BUT must follow the Earl of Warwick and do service for his lord at the Hundred of Kington and is liable for all services at the Court of Clifford. AND IF he dies, his heirs, land and hereditaments are subject to the same conditions as those of his senior in service Robert le Freman.
Henricus son of the Smith holds:- one virgate of land containing 48 acres for the same service in all things as has been said for Randulphus AND IF through default of the said Randulphus and Henricus, the lord of the manor shall suffer loss, the same shall owe him full indemnity.
Willelmus son of Symon holds one virgate of land containing 48 acres by charter and owes seven shillings a year for the same, paid twice yearly And he shall follow the court of Clifford. And if he dies all things shall be performed as for the said Randulphus. And he shall render whatever service is due with his land.
William son of Robert
Two mills which were wont to return sixty shillings and sixpence quarterly will be in the hands of the lord of the manor on the feast of the Annunciation next, because then the leases of the said mills will terminate.
William the Miller holds 12 acres of land for the term of his life and that of his wife, and returns thence ten shillings a year quarterly. He performs small customary duties which pertain to the land, instead of paying taxes.
The whole ville of Clifford pays yearly sixpence in common for certain small pastures.
Nicholaus Hentelove hold one messuage with courtyard and two acres of land and pays three shillings twice yearly. And he supplies labour according to the number of his animals. And he shall pay pannage (i.e. pay for the privilege of feeding his swine in the woods) namely for a full-grown pig one penny and for a young pig a halfpenny, until it is weaned or able to be weaned.
And if he brews in order to sell, he shall give 12 gallons of ale per ton (ad tonnutum) or as toll or its equivalent
And he shall redeem his son and daughter (i.e.pay merchet or a sum of money for freedom of marrying). He shall not sell ox or horse without leave. And when he dies his lord shall have his best beast by way of heriot (melius averium suam nomine haerieti)
Adam Textor holds one messuage with courtyard and pays twelve pence twice yearly,. And he shall lift hay for his lord for four days, and it shall be worth two pence. And he shall do three bederipas (bedrip – a special duty at harvest time) and they shall be worth four pence halfpenny. And he shall perform other duties even as Nicholaus.
William Marescallus holds - with one acre of land and pays -
Alexander Sinne holds - and pays two shillings and sixpence twice yearly. And he does three bedrips of value fourpence halfpenny. And he shall help in lifting hay for his lord for four days to the value of two pence a day. All his other duties are similar to those of Nicholaus.
Hugo son of Laurentii
Thomas le Careter
Christina Widye holds a like tenement and she helps with the hay for four days to the value of two pence per day. And she does three bedrips to the value of fourpence halfpenny. And pays two shillings and sixpence twice a year. And all her other duties are similar to those of Nicholaus.
Matilda the widow of Galfridus - Christina
Johannes Lasteles -
Adam Bruggemon (Bridgeman) holds one messuage with courtyard and with certain pastures and pays two shillings twice yearly. And instead of all services he shall keep the bridge in repair. And there is there a certain annual toll from the whole ville of Clifford namely fifteen shillings of which ten shillings goes to the hundred of Theuk and five remains for the lord of the manor.
William de Winnecote holds five cottages in fee to his lord and pays nine shillings yearly and no other service to his lord except to the Court of Clifford. And he pays homage to the Abbot of Gloucester and when he dies his lord the abbot has the custody of his rents aforesaid and of his heirs until they are of age.
The sum of the rents of this class of tenant amounts to seventy-six shillings and six pence without the farm of the mills.
Customary tenant: Be it remembered that he has a larger holding. (This sentence is written in red ink)
Ricardus de Porta holds one virgate of land and half an acre of meadow, the virgate consisting of 36 acres. And he shall plough half an acre in the Autumn and half an acre in the Spring and he must harrow that land at seed-time. And it shall be worth fourpence altogether. And from the feast of St Peter in Chains he must in every week do manual labour for four days with one man, and for every day he is owed a halfpenny. And he shall provide transport to Gloucester twice a year to the value of eight pence. And he must also every week on the fifth or sixth day at the will of his lord provide transport to Hinetone and Boclande and he is owed for that day a penny halfpenny
And he shall wash and sheer his lord's sheep for two days and is owed a penny for whatever work is allotted to him on those days. And he must scythe his lord's meadow for four days and for any further day's work he is owed a penny. And he must help in the lifting of the crops of his lord for three days and more if necessary and he is owed a halfpenny for whatever days that are not allotted to this work. And he must carry the crops of his lord for one day and he is owed two pence beyond the manual labour of that day which can be valued at a half-penny. And he must carry firewood wheresoever the lord shall wish and he is allotted one day for that work. And he must do two bedrips before the feast of St Peter in Chains with two men and they are worth three pence.
And the total value before the autumn work is fourteen shillings and sixpence halfpenny
And from the feast of the Blessed Peter in Chains to the feast of the Blessed Michael he must work at his master's board (in messe domini) for five days with one man and it is worth a penny halfpenny each day. And he shall do eight bedrips with two men worth altogether two shillings. And he must carry his master's corn twice a week for four weeks worth a penny halfpenny each day beyond the manual labour. And he must bring his lord's sheaves to the grange for one day worth a halfpenny. And he must furnish help according to the amount of his land and number of animals. And if he brews to sell he must give twelve gallons of ale (ad tonnutum) or its equivalent price. He must pay pannage for his pigs. He may not sell horse or ox without leave. He must redeem his son and daughter. And when he dies his lord shall have his best beast by way of heriot.
The total value of his work in the autumn is eight shillings and a halfpenny.
Walter son of Yvon holds one virgate of land containing thirty six acres, and he does everything even as the said Richard. It is to be noted that he has a larger holding.
Each of the following 'holds one virgate and does everything even as the said Richard:- Henricus de Wilicote - Alicia Williames - Nicholaus de Middletone - Matilda Adam - Relicta Johannis Rondulf - Willelmus le Orl - Ricardus Palmerius - Ricardus de Ovetone - Thomas Rawe - Nicholaus le Orl - Bertram Belami - Robertus filius Willelmi - Sampson Neweman - Johannes filus Willelmi
Item at Sileston: Galfridus de Forde holds one virgate of land containing 28 acres, and from the feast of St. Michael to the feast of St. Peter in Chains he must work with his hands every week for four days with one man, and it is worth a halfpenny each day. And he must supply transport twice a year to Gloucester, worth eightpence. And on the fifth or sixth day of each week he must supply transport to Hyntone or Boclande worth a penny halfpenny a day. And he must plough half an acre and harrow it at seed sowing; and he shall be free (of all other work) during his week of ploughing. And he shall tend and shear his lord's sheep for two days worth a penny. And he shall scythe his lord's meadow for four days worth twopence a day. And he shall help in lifting crops for four days worth a halfpenny a day. And he shall carry crops, and it shall be worth twopence beyond the manual labour of that day which may be taken as a halfpenny. And he must carry brushwood wheresoever his lord wishes. And he must do two bedrips before the first of August (ante Gulaustum) with two men and they shall be worth three pence. The rest he does even as Richard de Porta.
Each of the following 'holds one virgate of land and does everything even as the said Galfridus' - Willelmus de Rye - Thomas le Orl - Rogerus Silvestre - Radulphus Frankeleyn - Alicia Mauger - Ricardus Newcomene - Robertus de Forda.
Chrisina relicta Carectarii holds half a virgate of land and does half service in all things even as Galfridus.
All the aforesaid customary tenants give an annual aid of twenty shillings, and all owed mill-carriage, that is to say mill-stones to the lord's mill or they gave in common thirteen and a farthing.
Item – at Clifford there are four ploughs for the arable land in demesne and there are thirty six oxen for each plough eight oxen and four besides.
It must be remembered that the lord of the manor owes defence and arbitration to his tenants; he must be able to protect their property and persons, and must also provide a court of justice in the hall of the manor-house.
The successful working of the system depended on the personality of the lord of the Manor, whether these ancient dues remained constitutional or developed into tyrannical extortion.