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Hooe in the Domesday Book

When I first read the sections in the Domesday Book that referred to Hooe, I felt I wanted to know more about the people and the items mentioned otherwise they were just words and I really didn’t know what they were telling me; what, for instance, was a “virgate” and who was “The Count of Mortain” and what part did he play in the scheme of things?

I had bought a copy of the Domesday Book, read other books on the Battle of Hastings, William and the period in general, and visited many websites in search of the information I wanted but, while some items and facts were easy to find, others I never found mention of at all.

There are many good websites that tell the story of these people far better and in greater depth than I have, but even these don’t always agree on certain details so it's difficult to know what is true and wghat isn't.

It’s amazing how many websites and books it’s necessary to read to get anywhere near the full picture and, in a lot of cases, I never found enough. For instance, who were Reinbert, Ingelrann, Osbem, Gerald, Withbert, and the others? I never found out.

I have given a glossary of terms used, which, I hope, will make the extracts more understandable.

(Hastings Rape)
[In NINFIELD Hundred]

The Count of Eu, holds the manor called HOOE in lordship. Earl Godwin held it before 1066 and now it answered for 12 hides. Land for 44 ploughs. In lordship 2 ploughs.

44 villagers with 12 smallholders have 28 ploughs. A small church; 1 mill at 7s; meadow, 71 acres; 30 salt-houses at 33s; woodland, 10 pigs from pasturage; from grazing, 7 pigs.

Reinbert holds ½ hide of the villagers’ land of this manor;
Robert 2½ virgates; Osbem 2 virgates; Alfred 2 virgates;
Gerald 2 virgates; Ingelrann 2 virgates; Withbert 4½ virgates;
Waring (?) 2 virgates; another Robert 2 virgates.

Between them they have 3½ ploughs in lordship; and 12 villagers and 3 smallholders with 7 ploughs.

Value of the whole manor before 1066 £25; later £6; now the Count’s lordship £14; his men-at-arms’ £7 7s.


The Abbot has:

In the manor of HOOE, which the Count of Eu holds, ½ hide. 2 villagers with 1 plough. Value 5s.

(Pevensey Rape)

In HOOE the Count holds 4 salt-houses in lordship, value 20s.