Avisford Hundred


Victoria County History



T P Hudson (Editor), A P Baggs, H M Warne

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'Avisford Hundred: Part', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 5 Part 1: Arundel Rape: south-western part, including Arundel (1997), pp. 102-104. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22938 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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The hundred of Avisford descended with Arundel rape. (fn. 1) It was called Binsted hundred in 1086 but had its later name by 1166. In 1086 it consisted of the tithings of Barnham, Bilsham (in Yapton), Binsted, Eastergate, Felpham, Middleton, Offham (in South Stoke), Slindon, South Stoke, Tortington, and Walberton. (fn. 2) Madehurst was added by 1248, (fn. 3) Atherington and Cudlow (both in Climping) and Ford by 1275, (fn. 4) and Ilsham (in Climping), Ancton and Flansham (in Felpham), Climping, and Yapton by 1279. (fn. 5) Elmer (in Middleton) first appears in 1569. (fn. 6) Slindon was not recorded after 1086, later joining the archbishop of Canterbury's Aldwick hundred. (fn. 7) Some tithings were paired for fiscal purposes from the late 13th century. (fn. 8) In the early 19th century the hundred had upper and lower divisions, also called half-hundreds. (fn. 9) Madehurst parish, as geographically extraneous to the hundred, is reserved for treatment elsewhere.

The original meeting place of the hundred was evidently near the crossing of the Binsted brook on the boundary between Binsted and Walberton, where the place name Hundredhouse copse is recorded c. 1875. (fn. 10) Both the venues later recorded for holding the hundred courts were nearby: Walberton in 1365 (fn. 11) and the Royal Oak inn in the same parish in the early 19th century. (fn. 12)

There are court records for the years 1291-3, 1335-6, 1348-9, 1450-1, 1519, 1536-7, 1548-54, 1569, (fn. 13) 1571-3, (fn. 14) and 1813-51. (fn. 15) Between the late 13th (fn. 16) and early 16th centuries the court was held every three or four weeks and a view of frankpledge apparently three times a year, but in the later 16th century the two seem to have been held together twice a year in spring and autumn. In the early 19th century there was an annual view.

The assize of bread and of ale was held between the 14th century and the late 16th, and the view or court oversaw street nuisances and the maintenance of roads, ditches, streams, and fences. Pleas of debt, trespass, detinue, and assault were heard between the late 13th and 15th centuries, and in the 16th cases or presentments involving theft, (fn. 17) slander, (fn. 18) an affray, (fn. 19) right to wreck, (fn. 20) the use of common pasture, for instance at the Rewell in Arundel, (fn. 21) and coining. (fn. 22) By the early 19th century there was very little business at the view.

Arundel borough was extra-hundredal by 1086. (fn. 23) Ford, Climping, and Ilsham manor had its own leet jurisdiction by 1279, (fn. 24) as did Walberton manor. (fn. 25) Right to wreck was claimed at different dates on Atherington and Cudlow manors in Climping and on Felpham manor, on the former two with success, and on the last apparently so. (fn. 26)

A bailiff was mentioned from 1406. (fn. 27) Two constables were elected from 1569; (fn. 28) in 1648 their appointment went by rotation, but on what principle is not clear. (fn. 29) In the mid 19th century the constable was chosen by the duke of Norfolk's solicitor. (fn. 30) There was a hundred coroner, who was also coroner for Arundel honor, in the early 17th century. (fn. 31)

The pound in Arundel served Avisford hundred as well as the borough in the mid 19th century. (fn. 32)


1 e.g. Feud. Aids, v. 143; S.R.S. xix. 10.
2 V.C.H. Suss. i. 395, 431-2; Pipe R. 1166 (P.R.S. ix), 92.
3 P.R.O., JUST 1/909A, rot. 23d., as Mellers.
4 S.A.C. lxxxiv. 69.
5 P.R.O., JUST 1/917, rot. 21. Climping had been listed in Poling hund. in 1086: V.C.H. Suss. i. 430.
6 A.C.M., M 37, rot. 1d.
7 V.C.H. Suss. iv. 222.
8 S.R.S. x. 79-80, 137, 254-6; lvi. 56-7; S.A.C. 1. 166-7.
9 W.S.R.O., Holmes, Campbell & Co. MSS., ct. bk. 1813-51; E.S.R.O., QCR/2/1/EW 2 (46-7).
10 O.S. Map 6", Suss. LXII (1880 edn.).
11 Cal. Inq. p.m. xii, p. 37.
12 W.S.R.O., Holmes, Campbell & Co. MSS., ct. bk. 1813-51, flyleaf.
13 A.C.M., M 32, rott. 5v.-6; 37, rot. 1d.; 54-7; 268, rot. 5 and d.; 271, ff. [9v., 16v.-18, 19v.]; 835.
14 P.R.O., SC 2/205/55, ff. 2, 11, 23, 42, 46, 55v.
15 W.S.R.O., Holmes, Campbell & Co. MSS., ct. bk. 1813-51.
16 Cf. Cal. Inq. p.m. xii, p. 37; xv, p. 80; A.C.M., A 231, rot. 9.
17 P.R.O., SC 2/205/55, ff. 2, 24.
18 A.C.M., M 57, m. 1d.
19 P.R.O., SC 2/205/55, f. 11v.
20 Ibid. f. 2.
21 Ibid. f. 12.
22 Ibid. f. 55v.
23 V.C.H. Suss. i. 421; cf. e.g. P.R.O., JUST 1/917, rot. 2; Pipe R. 1181 (P.R.S. xxx), 146; Census, 1841.
24 Below, Ford, local govt.
25 Below, Walberton, local govt.
26 Below, Climping, local govt.; Felpham, local govt.
27 S.A.C. lxxxix. 160.
28 A.C.M., M 37, rot. 1d.; S.R.S. liv. 70, 106.
29 S.R.S. liv. 149.
30 Arundel Rds. 38.
31 Suss. Coroners' Inquests, 1558-1603, ed. R. Hunnisett, p. xxv.
32 Arundel Rds. 38; W.S.R.O., Par. 76/8/1, f. 79v.