KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 14 -1882  pages 42
                                                     
THE EARLY HISTORY OF TENTERDEN. By Robert Furley, F.S.A.   Continued

ones for municipal purposes, viz.:Cranbrook, Barkley, Barnfield, Blackbourne, Rolvenden, and Selbrittenden. All our historians are silent respecting the origin of this union of "The Seven Hundreds," which I consider the most ancient civil institution in the Weald. The sovereign had the power not only to create hundreds, but also to change and consolidate them. I believe, from various authorities which I must pass over, that this consolidation was effected towards the close of the reign of the Conqueror. It was of the first importance that the laws which he had introduced for the government of other parts of the shire, should be extended to this district. His followers, especially Odo, Bishop of Baieux, and Hugh de Montfort (who had dispossessed many a Saxon of his inheritance in and about the Weald), were now interested in its tranquility. The area, though large in extent, was but sparsely inhabited, and justice was here administered by an assembly of "The Seven Hundreds" held by the sovereign, forming one court for judicial purposes, and presided over by a Norman bailiff, who had now become the substitute for the Saxon reeve. This court was originally held every three weeks, in 

the open air. A levy was made for the support of the office, which was called the Hundred Penny. The sovereign was entitled to the profits of the courts, derived from fines and amerciaments; and he exercised a military jurisdiction, through the high-constables of each hundred, and the subordinate borsholders. The seven hundreds, thus formed into a bailiwick, were charged with an annual payment of 10 towards the garniture of Dover Castle. Each of these hundreds elected its own constables and borsholders; and as they were formed and grouped long after the laths of Kent, I have always been of opinion that for centuries they were not subject to lath law, including lath silver. The hundred of Tenterden was divided into six boroughs; five being within what has since constituted the parish of Tenterden, at present known as Town, Castweasle, Boresisle, Dumbourne, and Shrubcote; the sixth was Reading in Ebony. The jurisdiction extended over murders, manslaughters, and robberies, with a power of repeal to Penenden, and thence to the sovereign. Henry II introduced the practice of hanging

Page  42   (This page was prepared for the website by Aaron Meyer)      

Previous page       Back to Page Listings       Next page   

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Contents Page    Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line    Back to Research Page   Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
Kent Archaeological Society March 2005

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs.  Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too research@kentarchaeology.org.uk