Alestanus The Domesday


Taken from Nicholas Enticknap’s “Stambourne Parish History”

The name appears in three old texts as well as the LDB: I have not clearly differentiated these in my notes.
Athenaeum has an Anglo-Saxon dictionary ,just inside the door high up.
Onomasticon. is among names. Pt I is English Historical works; Pt II is Domesday
The Saxons in England, 1876; Birch reprints Kemble Codex Diplomaticus Acir Saxoni 183948; it says Aelfstan is a new name in Essex in 935 AD.

Ministri are equivalent to Thegns pvii. For 100 y before the Conquest Ministri were very numerous and disregarded unless ‘ not of the ordinary character ‘

Alstan is listed as synonymous with Aelfstan of whom there was one in Essex in 935 & many others elsewhere. There were three Bishops called Aelfstan in c. 975 holding sees in Rochester, London & Ramsbury. These are much more likely to be the big landowner of the LDB than our man.

Though usually spelt Alstan, in the Colchester entry he is Alfstan both times.
Al or ael is an awl or a fire but as a prefix it may just mean an anglo saxon person it does not seem to be a rank
Ael & Aelfappears but there is no Al, Stanor stan.
Aeigl, see Al and Ael but this is not said of Aethel
Stan is a stone and occurs in many compound words

So our man is probably the Anglo Saxon of Stan…

The three kings, Elder, Martyr & Confessor all spelt Eadward in the old texts.

There is in fact a householder in the King’s list for Colchester just called Stan
An Alstanric is also listed

The 9 symbol usually does seem to be an abbreviation for us but it can represent more, even up to several words so it may well represent ‘burn’ when it occurs on the end of Alstan9. Interpretation of the extent of property of our Alstan crucially depends upon how many freemen of this name there were in 1088

Tempore regis Edwardi the name appears as a big landholder. He (or they)held in Colchester, of the king, 1 house when spelt Alfstan9, 5 acres and then 2 houses spelt without the superscript (B3a). The Editor says it may be more than one man. A table of all the Alstan holdings t.r.e. follows.

Lands of: Ref Hundred Village hides ac. men value Did Alstan hold it t.r.e.
Hamo 28.3 Witham Notley 105 2 30s yes
Geoff de M 30.12 Chelmsford Chignall 13 0 2s Alestan 9 always
Robert Gernon 32.5 Witham Rivenhall half 8 8 8 yes
32.8 Becontree West Ham 8 30 131 £24 yes, as a manor
32.9 Tendring Dickley 1 39.5 9 20s yes, now Nigel
Ranulf Peverel 34.1 Barstable Borens 1 1 40s
34.8 Becontree West Ham 8 30 121 £24 see 32.8
34.29 Chelmsford Springfield 5 45 22 £6 yes, now Robert
John so Waleran 40.7 Ongar Fyfield 30 3 20s yes, now Roger

Robert so Corbucion 41.6 Chelmsford Hanningfield 1.5 2 2 30s yes, as a manor; now Robert
Hamo’s annxn 90.33 Hinckford Stambourne 40 13 40s yes, with xii freemen, and still have
90.56 ditto Toppesfield 15 8 30s yes, now Ralph
Of the King B3a Colchester 3 houses 5 now, as a burgess
Totals 12 sites 17 358 203 £65

32.8 & 34.8 are duplicates of figures & places with same phrasing i.e.
King William gave this manor to Ranulf Peverel & Robert Gernon
on their disposition too; they also both contain the same note and still have. Presumably the scribe was told to give each minor lord a chapter of his own where there was a joint ownership as here: the numbers 32 & 34 correspond to their listing in the prefatory page to the Exsessa LDB
One set of these values only is included in the totals but they do include all of 90.33, not just
one thirteenth of it: in 90.33 adhuc.hnt does seem to be a plural verb

If all this land did belong to the one Alstan of Stanburna & Toppesfelda it was indeed a very large amount of country property, some 2345 modern acres, with 3 manors, in all worth £ 65. Much of it was in the enormous manor of West Ham on the Thames adjacent to Barking Abbey of which the Conqueror’s Sister was Abbess. It is reasonable to consider whether this was a different Alstan from our Thegn in N W Essex but this gift to the Peverels in 1088 and that they were later given our Lordship by Henry II in 1242 does seem to imply an historical connection throughout. They, or him were, then, stripped of everything except 2s in value in Chignall & 40 s in Stambourne. It must also be significant that both these properties belonged to Lords (Hamo & de Mandeville) with Stambourne lands. He seems to have kept the houses and status of Burgess in Colchester if indeed these do belong to the same man perhaps because they carried the obligation of ” paying the customary due: ” to the King himself. The names of all these burgesses appear to be Saxon

It is interesting that “our” man was effectively left only with his Stambourne land, under Hamo. This strengthens the supposition that he was, in some sort, a kind of steward to the Steward. He may even have done some supervision for de Mandeville too in return for keeping Chignall

Thus our Alstan seems to have been a sufficiently important chap to have been bribed not to make trouble, for he was left with some of the rights to his property of t.r.e. by both Stambourne Normans and by the King himself. Whether he also owned West Ham is not relevant to our story but it does seem probable.
On this page I’ve tried to put the info into tables consistent with Alstan. I’ve left the original format too, so’s you can express preference.

Primary Sources
Little Domesday Book (hereafter LDB): This does not mention that its use of the word Stanburna may be as a surname as well as a place name. One of the t.r.e.
owners was Alestan, translated as Alstan.
Charter of Thomas Becket (hereafter CTB): Quoted by Newcourt, 1160-72; but the event described may well be earlier.
The Stoke Charters for the period 1218 – 1252 (hereafter SC).
The deeds of Queens College justifying their title to a purchase of 1482 (hereafter Q) They are described in Chapter 9, p9 (??).
The Lay Subsidy of 1327, Stambourn & Redeswell. Dr Jennifer Ward’s typescript.

Secondary Sources
Morant, who is slavishly copied by Wright. His paragraph is:

A family of note lived in, & took their furnames from, this place. John, Edmund & Thomas de Stamborne were witneffes (& signatories) to deeds of the Peyveres, (of grants to themselves & others in the Queens deeds – JBE) in the reign of King Edward III, and had these arms on their seals, ermines, a chevron engrailed.

Muilman (aka Chiswell) does not mention the word as a surname.

t.r.e. LDB has a landowner, Alstan (Alestan9) a freeman, owning land in both Stambourn, (where it probably corresponded to the Manor of the hall) and in Toppesfield (where it is thought to be Scoteneys, on the Yeldham border). The superscript abbreviation 9 usually means -us, but in some places is used for whole words. It is not impossible that it was in full spelt Alestanburna. JBE proposes the hypothesis that in this place this abbreviation stands for ‘burna’ and that the name, if not so abbreviated would imply the same and that this “Elder of Stan[burna]” was the de Stanburn’s progenitor.

1160c Tebald de Stanburn gives some property to the church [CTB]. He lives perhaps 1130-90. I call him #1, pace Alstan.

1218 Roberto de Stanburn is Capellano, #2. [SC581]

1212-35 Hugh de Stanburne, s.o. Pain or Pagani has to pay 16/2d to Peter, Clerk of Toppesfield [SC615] #3

1242 Paulinus de Peyvere was granted the manor of Stambourne by King Henry III as a reward for war service in Poitou, Acquitaine. The King will have taken it from the successors of Hamo, if any, or perhaps the de Stanburns, to make the grant, though it may have reverted to the crown by then.

1251-2 Roberto de Stanburn appears in SC 623 and 624, first as owner of land at Suggebrigge (near Great Yeldham) and in the next charter as Roberto Capellano de Stanburn. This could well be the son of the same Roberto as in 1218 AD, above, or perhaps the son of that holy cleric. #4.

<=1323 Philip de Stanburn is the first bearer of the surname recorded in the deeds of Queens’ College [Q1]. He lived, perhaps, from 1270-1330. [Q1] itself is undated; my guess is 1322. #5. 1323 John de Stanburn appears in [Q2]; he lived (?) 1290-1350. #6. 1327 Johanne de Stamborne pays vj duty in Redeswell (doubtless R Norton). This assessment of one tanner in the lay Subsidy compares with Johanna de Greneville in Stambourne itself, in which none of the Stanburns is taxed; she pays the highest amount of 10s 10 1/2d. Dr Ward’s rather poorly typed transcript has clearly been altered, perhaps to emphasise that Johanna ends in ‘a’. Johanne & John de Stanburn are, however, probably the same male person. #6. 1327-77 = “in the time of Edward III” in which Morant places John, Edmund, Thomas. 1340 Edmund appears in [Q5]. He lived perhaps 1310 – 1370. #7. 1390 Thomas, who specifies he is son of Edmund, appears in [Q8] and [Q9]; hereafter Thos I. #8. 1395 Thomas again in [Q10]. Presumably the same Thos I (#8). He lives perhaps 1340-1400. In these two years deeds are witnessed by, inter alia, Thomas MackWilliam. This is the first local record of this name I have found. 1436 Thomas appears in [Q12] & [Q13]. 1438 Thomas again in [Q14] & [Q15]; in the latter he has a head lease. These 4 entries will all relate to the same man who lived perhaps 1370-1430 – hereafter Thos II. #9. 1438 In the same [Q15] William receives a grant of land formerly held of Thomas senior; I take this to refer to his grandfather, Thos I (#8), who lived 1340-1400c. William lived perhaps 1400-60 – hereafter #10. 1438/9 Thomas writes a quitclaim in [Q19]; presumably this is Thos II (#9) but it matters not which of them it is. This sequence seems to have been preserved to establish the right of the last Thomas (IV) de Stamborne to sell off the land, though Dr Williams, who abstracted & published the deeds in 1933, says he is not sure whether it is all one lot. I am convinced that it is. Ref: Trans Essex Arch Soc XXn.s. 78. 1481/2 The actual transfer to the officers of Queens takes place 43 years later from another Thomas (III, as I think) who is now dignified as “Gent.” [Q 23, 24, 25] #11. 1482 He refers to “William, his father & Thomas, his Grandfather” in [Q25]. I take this sequence to be: Thomas (Thos III), the grandfather who lived perhaps 1400-1460. #11 William (Wm II), the father, whose span was perhaps 1420-1480. #12 Thomas (Thos IV), the Gentleman, who lived perhaps 1440-1500. #13 The grammar of the translation strictly attaches these last two old men to one, John Pelham, but I am sure they are the forbears of Thomas de Stanburn. 1482 Thomas, (not otherwise specified) again, appears in [Q26]; I suspect this to be insurance against action by Thos III. 1483/4 A series of receipts, quitclaims, powers of attorney & seisins confusingly indicate that everyone is satisfied. The are executed to Thomas de Stanburn of Blake Notley, and for the first time refer to “Margaret, his wife”. He reiterates his relationship to Thos III & Wm II. It seems to me that Thos IV had moved up in the world and gone to live on his rich wife’s estate 30 miles away. These sales of all his property here was his finally shaking the dust of Stambourne off the feet of the de Stanburn family after some four or more centuries. 1911 Queens’ College is still shown on an auctioneer’s map as owning land in Chapel End Notes Deed [Q30] of this date ?1483/4? refers to “praying for the soule of Thomas Stanborn, Squyer”; I guess this to be another sideways glance at Thos III but it also suggests that the whole family had recovered its earlier status. There follows a series of deeds up to [Q52] which cover some 40 years and include, inter alia, two consecutive 21 year leases. The name of de Stanburn does not appear in them or again in this series – or indeed anywhere else that I have seen. The property that is the subject of these deeds (and which I now think of as the four division of our village) is repeatedly described in much the same terms as in the “Final Accord”, [Q36] of April 1485. It is “a messuage, 100 acres of arable land, 2 acres of meadow, 50 acres of pasture and 20 acres of wood in Brodbroke, Stanborne & Rodeswell.” In support of this quadripartite concept the other three manors all have remains of moats – though that of Grenvilles was filled in when the cottages were restored, around 1985. That of Moone Hall is represented in the garden of nearby Church Farm, with another vestige some 800 yards along Grange Lane from the present building. There is a fourth moat in the middle of this area and it may well have been the site of a mediaeval hall house. Assuming we talk of the area that became Ridgewell Norton after about 1560 and was, from time immemorial, part of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Laurence, the place where these three parishes came together is along the road now called Chapel End Way which leads southwards to Cornish Hall End. It must be that which is called In Nortuna in [LDB] and which is translated as Cornish Hall in the Phillimore edition [ref: English Place Names Society (hereafter EPNS), which I believe to have been written by Reaney]. In EPNS XII however, Reaney says it derives its name from one Henry Norton [ref: 1529-32 ECP. What is now Revels was Stambourne Green in 1787 [Chapman & Andre] so the Green originally extended further to the south-west than it now appears to do – the present Green Farm is a twentieth-century building; the name was earlier used for the site on which the Victorian Revels building and cottages now stand. This property of 172 acres would have been about 1 mile long & up to ¼ mile wide. It would stretch from “Wast”, on which the Chapel was built in 1715 (and was thus uncleared in 1480 and also uncultivated) as far as the two Farms, Great & Little Nortons, identifying this separated section of Ridgewell with the name it held from Domesday until very recent times. It would include all of Stambourne Green with its eponymous Motts Farm, which is actually mentioned in the Queens’ deeds. There are also mentions of Sanbornes & Sanborne Grove. Slough Farm, on the Birdbrook turning, was probably the eastern limit of this division – though it is an early building it is not mentioned and may be a little later than 1480. Thus it seems probably to me that this large estate, some 10 per cent of the surface area of the village and a much higher proportion of the useful land, was centred upon a medieval farm hall-house at Stambourne Green; this probably formed the site of Barker Myall’s new mansion in the 1850s, though it was probably to the east of the moat. The influential Ruffle family owned 192 acres at Stambourne Green in 1890. It had the Burn along its lower border, though the two flat Stans were a mile away below the church. What is clear is that Stambourne Green was flattened by the Brickworks, and therefore no large building can now be identified. I am repeatedly surprised how small are the holdings of rich, even armigerous, mediaeval persons. I guess this to be as large as any and perhaps the largest of the family properties in our village prior to the fusion of the three manors of the McWilliam family. Hypothesis The de Stanburns did first live in the centre of the village near the church and the ford of two large stones that appear in the East Window. These now lie beneath a bridge built on the footpath from the churchyard to Wesley End in about 1975. The Pevers acquired the manorial title from King Henry III in 1242 as a reward for war service. This suggests some failure of accommodation between them and the de Stanburns. This latter family may well have had its origin in the ‘xii freemen’ associated with Alstan and retained an interest in the southern part of the village. The Queens deeds show later transfers of parcels there from Pevers to Stanburns, consolidating the position of the latter. In the course of all this they decamped down there where they prospered until well after the Pevers were no more than a memory. It is quite conceivable that, as NJE suggested years ago, they did build the first Stambourne Hall. It may well have been by the church, though this belonged to the DeGrenvilles by1270. They certainly did not build the present one, which is perhaps of a date close to 1550. Annex 4: The de Greinvilles & their manor The information on the manor is very sketchy. Morant says it was named after them and they held it from the time of K Ric I [118999] to K Edwd III [132777], a span, say, of 1190 to 1370. Reaney, p 457, says it was variously called Grenevylles 1389 CL; 1530 Ct Taken from STRATFORD ABBEY Stratford Langthorne, or Stratford, was founded in 1135 by William de Montfichet, and was a daughter-house of the abbey of Savigny in Normandy. Like all the other houses of the Savigniac Order, Stratford Langthorne was absorbed into the Cistercian Order in 1147. It is thought that the original site was at Burstead, and that the house moved to its present site c. 1140. The house quickly acquired great wealth and, owing to its proximity to London, became one of the most important Cistercian houses in England. Stratford’s property included almost a score of manors and some 1500 acres of demesne in West Ham alone. Given its location near London, Stratford was burdened by visitors from the Cistercian Order and sought relief from the General Chapter. Accordingly, in 1218 the General Chapter ruled that no Cistercian monks or conversi (lay-brothers) visiting London should stay more than three days at the house; in 1219 the General Chapter stipulated that members of the Order who were in London on litigation or for business should stay for only three days out of every fortnight; those who remained longer were to provide their own ale, wine and hay and oats for their horses. In 1267 Henry III received the pope’s legate at Stratford Abbey and made peace with the barons there. During the Peasants Revolt of 1381 the abbey was amongst the religious houses targeted by the insurgents; its goods were stolen and its charters burned. In the late fourteenth century the abbey was damaged by flood and Richard II took it upon himself to restore the buildings. At the time of Dissolution the net annual income of the abbey was valued at £511 and the house was suppressed with the larger monasteries in 1538. Following the Dissolution the site was granted to Sir Peter Mewtas who let the buildings fall into ruin. By the end of the eighteenth century, all traces of the abbey had disappeared, including the foundations which had been dug out by Thomas Holbrook to be used for building stone. By the early twentieth century the site had disappeared beneath railway sidings, a sewage works and small factory buildings. The site is occupied by industrial lands and there are no visible remains, although a stone carving and a window from the abbey still survive in West Ham Parish Church. At the time of the Conquest, West Ham belonged to Alestan. and Leured, two freemen, and at Domesday to Ralph Gernon and Ralph Peverel. West Ham village was included in the part which descended to the Gernons, who took the name of Montfichet. The manor of West Ham was settled upon Stratford-Langthorne Abbey, founded by William de Montfichet In 1135 for monks of the Cistercian order. The abbey stood in the marshes, on a branch of the Lea known as the Abbey Creek, about 3/4 m. south of Stratford Broadway. West Ham received the grant of a market and annual fair in 1253. The lordship was given to the abbey of Stratford, and, passing to the crown at the dissolution, formed part of the dowry of Catherine of Portugal, and was therefore called the Queens Manor. In 1885 London’s urban sanitary district was erected into a parliamentary borough, returning two members for the northern and southern divisions respectively. It was incorporated in 1886.

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Of Ellis Tun or derived from Alestan ? Links to the House Of Wessex