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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

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