An interesting little question

So, in 1066 the Normans came and stole the whole country.

We’ve not got a complete land registry for the place today as only those places that have changed hands on the open market in recent centuries are so listed.

But do we know of any one piece of land, an estate, which has been passed on through inheritance only since the 11 th century? Still got some few thousand acres estate – absent Royal Family or Crown Estate holdings – that is identifiably just because ggggg gpa was handy with a broadsword, lance and horse?

Of course, the general pattern of rural landholding is still hugely influenced by the event. But can we point to one particular piece of land and say that’s his directly because that?

34 comments on “An interesting little question

  1. The Norfolk estates go back to the conquest, though the family holding them has changed through the years.
    “Before the Dukes of Norfolk, there were the Bigod Earls of Norfolk, starting with Roger Bigod from Normandy (died 1107). Their male line ended with Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk, who died without an heir in 1307, so their titles and estates reverted to the crown. Edward II then granted his brother, Thomas of Brotherton, the title of Earl of Norfolk in 1312. It passed to Thomas’s daughter (and granddaughter of Edward I), Margaret, and then to her grandson, Thomas Mowbray.
    When Richard II made Thomas Mowbray the Duke of Norfolk in 1397, he conferred upon him the estates and titles (including Earl Marshal) that had belonged to the Earls of Norfolk. His elderly grandmother Margaret was still alive, and so at the same time she was created Duchess of Norfolk for life. Mowbray died in exile in 1399, some months after his grandmother, and his dukedom was repealed. His widow took the title of Countess of Norfolk.” Wiki.

  2. This is now an obsolete question Tim. Jezza has declared that social mobility – and its evil corollary, private property – are no longer acceptable.

    I’m getting measured up for my boiler suit, although clothes that fit are so bourgeois.

  3. Berkeley Castle Gloucs, Wikipedia: The castle has remained within the Berkeley family since they reconstructed it in the 12th century, except for a period of royal ownership by the Tudors. …The first castle at Berkeley was a motte-and-bailey, built around 1067 by William FitzOsbern shortly after the Conquest.[4] This was subsequently held by three generations of the first Berkeley family, all called Roger de Berkeley, and rebuilt by them in the first half of the 12th century.[5] The last Roger de Berkeley was dispossessed in 1152 for withholding his allegiance from the House of Plantagenet during the conflict of The Anarchy, and the feudal barony of Berkeley was then granted to Robert Fitzharding, a wealthy burgess of Bristol and supporter of the Plantagenets. He was the founder of the Berkeley family which still holds the castle.

  4. Alnwick.

    De Percy came over with Willie the Conk, and they are still there.

    Also, perhaps Chillingham Park, Northumberland (herd of Wild Cattle), amd

  5. Ooops. Typo, typis, typit, typimus etc..

    Alnwick.

    De Percy came over with Willie the Conk, and they are still there.

    Also, perhaps Chillingham Park, Northumberland (herd of Wild Cattle).

  6. “in 1066 the Normans came and stole the whole country”

    It’s one of the oft-repeated mantras from the left that immigration is good because ‘we are an island of immigrants, look at the Romans, Normans and Vikings”

    Which seems to miss the point that each of these were invaders who killed lots of the locals. So not really a good case for immigration.

  7. An indication of where Jezza would like the UK to be heading can be found by watching the TV series Chernobyl.

  8. @Andrew C:

    “Which seems to miss the point that each of these were invaders who killed lots of the locals. So not really a good case for immigration.”

    That seems to be a feature, not a bug, for the left.

  9. The Percys have been ‘re-created’ a couple of times through incoming males taking the Percy name and titles.

    I have no idea if they hold any land all the way from the Norman conquest, but given the slightly sketchy continuity (if you subscribe to strict male primogeniture) would they count for Tim’s purposes?

    I.e. the same piece of land bit I get, but how strict are you on the nobility of that inheritance?

  10. @ Andrew C
    We’ve also had a few waves of refugees who have been beneficial – Huguenouts, Flemish weavers, Jews in the 1930s, Poles in 1940, Ugandan Asians … all contributed significant net benefits.
    That makes a rather debatable case for a highly selective immigration policy: only accept the people that others reject.

  11. “That makes a rather debatable case for a highly selective immigration policy: only accept the people that others reject.”
    Ah – ‘Proper’ refugees.

  12. John

    My preferred immigration policy would be selective in one overriding aspect:

    No Muslims

    On the Normans, why is the UK not demanding punitive reparations from the Frogs for the Conquest, along the lines of the many demands for cash from us relative to Empire, the slave trade etc?

    Or is the fact the English and the French at that time would have been mainly white (the Frogs admittedly with a lot of spic and dago elements), so as white on white it’s not racist etc?

  13. @John

    It’s true about other later immigrants, although in terms of numbers they were relatively small.

    There was an awful lot of antipathy to allowing Jews in from Europe in the 1930s.

    I suspect that we have never as a nation been open armed towards immigrants. The idea that we should be and that we always have been and that it is inherently a ‘good thing’ is a fabrication by the left.

  14. I know that in the medieval period a lot of land records were disputed in Ecclesiastical courts and for quite lowly subjects there is an extant parchment trail, so to speak. I should imagine that the Church itself would have recorded holdings back as far as the conquest and further .
    There are a few Churches whose origins date back to the dark ages St. Martin’s, of Canterbury dating from 597, is apparently Britain’s oldest church.
    It fascinated me to discover in Italy that as there was never quite the abrupt end to Roman life we had here, there are families whose origins can be traced back into the ancient world

  15. Berkeleys of Berkeley

    Scropes of Danby

    Fulfords of Fulford

    Hoghtons of Hoghton

    I think there are a few others, but can’t recall them off the top of my head.

  16. @ Andrew C
    Points conceded, but I still think it’s a good choice of policy: it would make people think.
    That the numbers were small is an argument in favour – people got treated as individuals if you only ever saw one or two of them.

  17. I suspect that we have never as a nation been open armed towards immigrants.

    Which is how it should be. Immigrants should understand they’re not particularly welcome and will be more so if they learn to adapt and fit in pronto. Only these days people openly brag about moving from one country to another and immediately set about protesting the host government. Serious nations with an interest in long-term survival wouldn’t allow this.

  18. “Buccleugh”: devolution has obviously gone too far if the fuckers are changing the spelling.

    Anything in the far north of England won’t go back to 1066-1070 because that wasn’t conquered till later.

    We once had lunch with a family in Argyll whose estate included, they said, the 7th century grave of an ancestor. Lots of jests about Johnny-come-lately Normans ensued. The estate, however, had been sold and later bought back again when the family fortunes had been restored.

    Does anyone remember the detailed terms of Auberon Waugh’s Prize? It was (I think) that he’d give £1,000 to anyone who could demonstrate male descent from anyone who “came over with the Conqueror”. It went unclaimed.

    My father always said “We are really Vikings you know”. I treated it as a joke. Recently a relative had a genetic test. 10% Scandi.

  19. P.S. I don’t really believe that it’s easy to pick out Scandi from other assorted NW Europeans with great confidence, but I speak from ignorance.

    The same firm claimed to be able to distinguish French/German from British Isles.

  20. Or to the host government.

    Either way there’s an unclaimed preposition on the carousel.

  21. Recusant said:
    “Berkeleys of Berkeley, Scropes of Danby, Fulfords of Fulford, Hoghtons of Hoghton”

    Berkeley almost. The castle was taken from the original Berkeleys (who were Norman, but chose the wrong side in some later Royal dynastic quarrel) and given to another family, who were actually Saxon (descended from one of Edward the Confessor’s Court). However the son of the new owner then married the daughter of the Berkeleys and adopted their name, so they can claim back to a 1066 grant by marriage, but the land didn’t actually descend by inheritance at that point.

    The Scropes are a very old family, but not sure they or their land holdings go quite back to the Conquest.

    The Fulfords again go back a long way, but according to Wikipedia they only moved to Fulford in the 1190s; they seem to have married money and acquired their land that way (someone else was recorded as owner in the Domesday Book), rather than by a Conquest grant.

    Dunno about the Houghtons.

  22. Going the other way, and looking at the known companions of William the Conqueror in 1066, they mostly seem to have been involved in subsequent rebellions and lost their lands. Harder than you might think to hang on to land then.

  23. …that is identifiably just because ggggg gpa was handy with a broadsword, lance and horse?

    Isn’t that a Welsh name?

  24. Of tangential interest, the Rochester Bridge Trust has been going since around 1381 when it was founded by local bigwigs to finance and maintain the new bridge which replaced the Roman bridge which had been destroyed by ice in the River Medway. They still maintain the (later) bridge, and a tunnel under it too, and still have a block of land, 1,000 acres or so, on the Hoo Peninsular, which was part of the original bequest.

  25. A few generations back my family are Marsay who apparently are the de Marcy coming over with Bill from Marcy in Normandy.

  26. “only those places that have changed hands on the open market in recent centuries are so listed.”

    Compulsory Land Registration only started in 1925
    https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2019/05/30/registering-land-for-more-than-150-years/

    “History of compulsory registration
    The principle of ‘compulsory’ registration is that if land is subject to a specific event such as a sale, that land will be brought onto the register. This principle was first aired in 1897 but it took until 1925 before the power was introduced for the government to initiate areas of compulsory registration. The first compulsory area was Eastbourne in 1926 which now stands at 95% registered.
    It took until 1990 for the whole of England and Wales to be subject to compulsory registration. “

  27. BF asks “On the Normans, why is the UK not demanding punitive reparations from the Frogs for the Conquest”

    The answer is the Normans were not French, at least until the 1200s, when the French conquered Normandy, except of course the Channel Islands.

  28. @Tim
    The Guardian Press in question was a small local publisher that inherited the name of a short-lived newspaper, The Preston Guardian. Nothing to do with its bigger brother in Manchester, AFAIK.

  29. ah capitalism. Only the wealthy rich get a name. Not the countless generations of ‘ag labs’.

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