THE HUNDRED OF COOKHAM
CONTAINING THE PARISHES OF
At the date of the Great Survey the royal manor of Cookham formed
part of the hundred of Beynhurst. (fn. 1) Binfield and Sunninghill were
apparently not separate vills at this date. Cookham remained in the king's
hands and before the middle of the 13th century had been formed into a
separate hundred, (fn. 2) the neighbouring royal lands, except Bray, which was
already a hundred in 1086, having by this time been granted out of the
Crown. (fn. 3) Besides forming a hundred of itself Cookham was associated with
Bray as the head of the Seven Hundreds of Cookham and Bray which
formed the Seven Hundreds of Windsor Forest. The custody of 'the Seven
Hundreds' is found in the 13th century in the same hands as the manors of
Cookham and Bray, (fn. 4) but later, in the 14th century, it was granted
separately. (fn. 5) In 1268 Roger de Fryht is returned as 'bailiff of the Seven
Hundreds of Beynhurst, Ripplesmere, Charlton, Bray, Cookham, Sonning
and Wargrave.' (fn. 6) Eight years earlier the same Seven Hundreds are entered
under the heading 'the Liberty of the Seven Hundreds' for which a special
coroner was appointed. (fn. 7) Probably the court of the Seven Hundreds of
Cookham and Bray eventually took the place of the separate hundred courts. (fn. 8)
Court Rolls of the Seven Hundreds of the reign of Henry V show one court
held for places in Ripplesmere, Beynhurst and Charlton Hundreds, (fn. 9) and
payments and suit of court for manors held of the king in Beynhurst and
Charlton Hundreds are found owing to the Seven Hundreds of Cookham and
Bray. (fn. 10) The Court Rolls above mentioned show that the courts were then
held at Beyndon Hill and Bare Oaks.
The hundred of Cookham appears to have been generally treated
separately for purposes of assessment (fn. 11) and was a separate administrative
area. (fn. 12) From the 14th century onward the parishes of Cookham, Binfield
and Sunninghill are regularly returned under it.
During the 17th century there were constant disputes between the
parishes as to the proportion of taxation within the hundred, the inhabitants
of Sunninghill complaining that they were assessed as a sixth instead of a
twelfth part of the hundred and that they were 'mean men, their grounds
barren and the deer seldom out of them,' whereas Cookham and Binfield
were occupied by men of great estate. (fn. 13)
V.C.H. Berks. i, 327.
||Assize R. 36, m. 1 d.; 37 (25 & 26 Hen. III), m. 27; 38 (32 Hen. III), m. P 21 d.
||Binfield and Sunninghill presumably remained in the king's hands after neighbouring places in which
they had been included had been granted out of the Crown, and were therefore attached to Cookham, to
which neither of them is adjacent.
Cal. Pat. 1247–58, p. 109; 1258–66, pp. 45, 168, 543; Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), i, 17.
Cal. Pat. 1307–13, p. 336; 1330–4, p. 23; Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), ii, 48, 159.
||Assize R. 42, m. 19.
||Ibid. 40, m. 25 d. The names of coroners of the liberty of the Seven Hundreds are again entered
on the Assize Rolls of 12 Edward I.
||In the Parliamentary Survey of the manor of Cookham made in 1650 the commissioners returned that
Sunninghill and Binfiled belonged to the manor, but that as they lay within the forest they had not been
surveyed. There is no mention of a hundred court of Cookham in the survey, only of a court leet appurtenant to the manor (Parl. Surv. Berks. no. 14).
||Ct. R. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 154, no. 13. In 1417 there was an ordinary court held every three weeks
and a view of frankpladge held on 1 October.
Cal. Inq. p.m. 20–8 Edw. I, 203; Chan. Inq. p.m. 14 Edw III (2nd nos.), no. 50; 10 Ric. II,
no. 110. In 1250 an inquisition as to the tenure of lands in Barkham in Charlton Hundred was made by
the bailiff of the Seven Hundreds (Excerpta e Rot. Fin. [Rec. Com.], ii, 82). But see p. 127 and note 14,
on p. 137.
||Lay Subs. R. bdles. 73, no. 5, 6, 14; 75, no. 335; 76, no. 463; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1631–3, p. 239.
But cf. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 141.
Cal. S. P. Dom. 1633–4, p. 9; 1629–31, p. 230.
||Ibid. 1623–5, p. 525; 1631–3, p. 239; 1636–7, p. 346; 1637, pp. 113, 304, 472; 1637–8,