65. DURHAM HALMOTE ROLLS (1375)
Pittington.... Inquest: it was proved by oath ... that Thomas, son of
John Widowson of West Rainton, is a freeman of free condition and of free
status and not a bondman of the said lord prior.
Ferry. It was ordered that no cotters of the vill should
leave the vill while any of the tenants had work to be done....
Wallsend. From Alan of Durham and John del Rawe 2s. for breach of
the peace in gathering peasecods. And it was ordered that no tenants of the
vill should gather peasecods except for their own use, and not for sale at
Newcastle — and this in the place ordered by the reeve....
Westoe. Increase of rent 6d.: John Gray took a cottage last in
the holding of Thomas Wright, to have and to hold at the will of the lord, at
annual rent of 2s. Catherine of Brenklaw took half a cottage, last in
the holding of William Souter, to have and to hold at the will of the lord, at
annual rent of 18d....
Coupon. It was ordered that no tenants of the vill should enter the park
Aycliffe. It was ordered that all cotters, and all other tenants of the
lord who had no corn of their own to harvest, should reap with the lord at
Ketton, on pain of 40d.... And it was ordered that William Power, the reeve,
and the forester should have all such tenants, servants, and labourers of the
vill stopped from going outside the vill for harvesting, except with the lord
and his tenants, on pain of 20s. William Power, John Taylor, Gilbert
Randolf, and Thomas Watson were made constables of the vill....
Willington. From the tenants of Willington and Wallsend 2s.
amercement because they did not have a common smith as they had been ordered in
many halmotes. It was ordered that [the men] of this vill and township should
have a common smith before the feast of St. Martin and that henceforth none of
them should work on ploughshares, under penalty of 20s....
Hebburn. John of Hedworth rendered homage and fealty in the church of
Jarrow to the lord Robert, prior of the church of Durham ... , for his land
which he holds of the aforesaid [prior] in Hebburn. Item, John Wiley rendered
homage and fealty to the same lord Robert in his court at Harton....
Aycliffe. It was ordered for all tenants of the vill, namely for
brewers, that they should not sell a gallon of beer for more than
West Merrington. It was ordered that no tenants of the vill should
insult one another by word or deed.
Mid Merrington.... It was ordered that no tenants of the vill should cut
down thorns in the fields of Mid Merrington....
Moorsley. Presentment was brought that Alice, daughter of John Hudson,
was married on free land; therefore let inquiry be made whether the same Alice
should give merchet or not. John son of Roger was claimed as the
lord's bondman of the vill of Little Haswell. And he says he is a freeman; so
he shall swear not to remove himself before the next court....
Coupon. Little-Stephen took a cottage once in the holding of Geoffrey
Ladman. Gilbert son of John was elected to the office of reeve, and John de Raw
is his associate. And they were sworn.
Aycliffe. It was ordered by common assent that they should have a common
harvester before the feast of St. Cuthbert in March, on pain of
20s.; also that they should have a common harvester before the feast of
St. Helen, on pain of 20s.; also that no tenant of the said vill should do
wrong to the said harvester or unlawfully take from him animals under pledge or
remove animals from his fold without the licence of the said harvester, on pain
of 20s.; also that every tenant should act toward the shepherds of the
vill as was agreed in common....
Ferry. It was ordered that no tenants of that vill or of the townships
of East Merrington, Mid Merrington, West Merrington, and Chilton should implead
one another in any court except the court of the prior, that is to say, in his
lay and secular [court]....
West Rainton.... From Thomas Rois 18d., because his dog ate a
Hedworth.... It was ordered that no tenant of the vill should permit his
wife to vilify or insult any persons of the neighbourhood....
Hesleden.... It was ordered by common assent that everything gathered in
the field, whether corn or herbs, should be brought openly through the centre
of the vill and not secretly behind the gardens.... It was ordered that all
women of the vill should hold their tongues and should not scold or curse any
Dalton. From Joan, wife of William Smith, 12d. for merchet. From
Margaret, servant of the farmer, 12d. for leyrwite
[incurred] with two men. From Joan Woodcock 6d. for the same. From the
wife of John Dawson 6d. for breach of the assize of beer.... Marjory,
widow of John Dawson, deceased, took a kiln built by the same John in the
lord's waste, to have and to hold for the term of her life, at annual rent of
12d., but the lord prior of his grace remitted to the aforesaid Marjory
all but 8d., to be paid annually during the life of the said Marjory.
And she gave as fine 12d., which was pardoned except 3d. Item,
the aforesaid Marjory took a villein tenement (terram husbandorum):
namely, a messuage and eighteen acres of land with appurtenances, which the
said John Dawson, formerly husband of the said Marjory, once held, to have and
to hold for the term of her life, and paying annually the ancient farm. And
within a year she will build a house at her own expense. And she gives as fine
13s. 4d., which is pardoned except 40d.... John, son of
John Dawson, took two villein tenements, each containing eighteen acres, which
the said John Dawson earlier held, to have and to hold for the term of nine
years, rendering annually the ancient farm. And he gives 40d. as fine
for the said term of nine years....
(Latin) Halmota Prioratus Dunelmensis, pp.
 On the significance of these records see Pollock and
Maitland, I, 624 f.; and cf. no. 54H.
Ordinatmn est — the usual form used to
introduce a local ordinance or bylaw. Before too much communal self-government
is read into these extracts, it should be noted that the village obligations,
though declared "by common assent," often carried a penalty of 20s. for
disobedience. See the entries below.
 A fine for permission to marry, at this time a mark of
Messor — apparently a superintendent of the
harvest who incidentally acted as keeper of the pound.
 See above, p. 188, n. 27.