Books on Hertfordshire

Wheathampstead Manor


Account Roll 1405-1406

Victor S. White

The Author, 2005, ISBN  0-9540129-5-X

A4 Paperback, 184 pages


Henry Bolingbroke, son of John O'Gaunt, grandson of Edward III and father to Henry V, seized the throne in September 1399.. His robust life and times were brought alive by William Shakespeare. 

At a mundane level the rhythm of an agricultural life continued. The names of men and women living in Wheathampstead in the County of Hertford during the 7th year of Henry's reign are recorded in this account roll. The acres they rented and farmed, the names of fields from which they took their harvest and the price they paid to their landlord Westminster Abbey for the privilege are set down. 

For ease of use, the data abstracted from the account rolls is marshalled in tabular format. The 1405/06 roll and the 1408/09 lower section are reproduced at a reduced size to facilitate independent scrutiny as required. A translation of the medieval condensed Latin text is given.

The spire apart, the fabric of] the Parish Church of St Helen's is much the same today as it  was in 1406. The children of the Parish 1 continue to be baptised at the same font. 

The Manor of Wheathampstead in the ownership of Westminster Abbey was a separate entity from the Rectory Manor. 

[From the back cover]


The document includes a wealth of information about the business of the manor. Crops covered are wheat, peas, barley, dredge (mixture of barley and oats), oats, drogman (mixed grain and peas), malt corn and malt. Livestock detailed are horses, wethers, ewes & rams (sheep). pigs and piglets, capons, and cocks and hens. Property and the payment for labour is also listed.

While you may not be able to trace your family tree this far back, if your ancestors come from Wheathampsted this could provide the identities of some possible ancestors, together with what they were doing 600 years ago.

There is a web page for Wheathampstead

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Page created August 2006