Annex 1

The Saxons


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 1839-48; 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 ofRefHundredVillagehidesac.menvalueDid Alstan hold it t.r.e.
Hamo28.3WithamNotley 105230syes
Geoff de M30.12ChelmsfordChignall 1302sAlestan 9 always
Robert Gernon32.5WithamRivenhallhalf888yes
 32.8BecontreeWest Ham830131£ 24yes, as a manor
 32.9TendringDickley139.5920syes, now Nigel
Ranulf Peverel34.1BarstableBorens1 140s 
 34.8BecontreeWest Ham830121£24see 32.8
 34.29ChelmsfordSpringfield54522£6yes, now Robert
John so Waleran40.7OngarFyfield 30320syes, now Roger
Robert so Corbucion41.6ChelmsfordHanningfield1.52230syes, as a manor; now Robert
Hamo’s annxn90.33HinckfordStambourne 401340syes, with xii freemen, and still have
 90.56dittoToppesfield 15830syes, now Ralph
Of the KingB3aColchester3 houses 5  now, as a burgess
Totals  12 sites17358203£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.

Goti aka Gotius

  • He is the first mentioned Stambourne Saxon t.r.e.
  • He is always spelt Goti9
  • He does not appear in Who’s Who (i.e. Onomasticon)
  • He held:
Lands ofRefHundredVillagehidesac.menvalue
St Martin’s, Battle13.1BarstableHutton3hless 20ac15£5 
Hamo Dapifer28.1BarstableAteleia1h 220sGoti held from Harold t.r.e., now Serlo
 28.9Winstree(Little)Wigborough8h 10£7Now Vitalis, Bernard & Engelric
 28.11HinckfordStambourne & Toppesfield1h 30£6+£715 Freemen always Now Hamo himself This land was in 2 manors t.r.e.

Brictric aka Bric^tic9

He appears in Nortuna & Finchingfield t.r.e. In the Suffolk D.B. name appears in Cookley, 50 mi away; c.f. Anne Of Cleves

Lands ofRefHundredVillagehidesac.menvalue
Annexation of Richard (de Clare) s.o. Count Gilbert (of Boulogne)    
 90.50HinckfordFinchingfield 80 ac440s 
 90.58dittoNortuna 55+10 ac1340s 
As a Burgess of the King    
 90.B3aColchester  1 house & 9.5 ac  1 house

Return to Chapter 3 – The people