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Re: Dr. Blair's article

This morning I made a copy of the article we've been looking for.  It's "Estate Memoranda of c.1070 from the See of Dorchester-on-Thames," from the English Historical Review, Vol. 116, Issue 465, Feb 2001; pp. 114-123.  Written by Dr. John Blair, Lecturer, The Queen's College, Oxford.

I'm certain I don't have the write to reprint the article here, but if anyone would like a copy, feel free to e-mail me personally at csadler72@computermail.net or csadler72@hotmail.com.  I think it's all right to mail you a copy for your own use.  Or, if you're close to any University, you can call their library and ask if they carry the English Historical Review.  As John pointed out, most Universities probably carry it.

After reading the article, I'd say Dr. Blair makes the idea of a Quatremaine in the Domesday book a plausible theory, but it's still no more than theory.  He's a credible source, and so his article deserves a hearing.

The article involves a brief memoranda scrawled on the leaf of a bishop's library book.  The memoranda he definitively dates to between 1066 and 1072.  That makes it the second oldest estate account to survive.  And it's the earliest post-Conquest document of its kind.  Here's a fragment of the memoranda.  AND--if he's correct, it places a Quatremaine in England by at least 1072--six years after the Conquest!  And perhaps even earlier.

Here's a fragment of the manuscript.

ex dedicatione tres lib[ras]. de u<e>t<e>ris nu(m)mis.
ludovuic(us) .i. lib[ram]. elsis .i. l[ibram] de istis quinq(ue) libris
vna(m) portauit vuillelm(us) ad eilesbere.
[margin] remanent .iiij.

Here's Dr. Blair's translation.

>From the dedication:
(3 pounds) of old coins.
Louis (1 pound).
AElfsige (?) (1 pound).
And of these (5 pounds), William has carried (1 pound) to Aylesbury.
(4 pounds) remain.

Dr. Blair's article is concerned with explaining this document's importance to understanding early dealings between Norman lords and Anglo-Saxons, and it does describe certain rents.  But our concern is with William, who carried that one pound to Aylesbury.  This is apparently the same William who appears in the Domesday book, holding land for the bishop of Lincoln.  William in the Domesday book was a man-at-arms.  I believe a man-at-arms was a soldier who was not a knight.  An imported Norman soldier (the name William indicates a Norman) would be a good candidate to be trusted to carry money and defend himself and the money.  At the time of the manuscript, William carried money for the Bishop at Dorchester.  Later, in 1072/3, the bishopric was moved from Dorchester to Lincoln, so the Domesday Book has him as holding hides for the Bishop of Lincoln.

So his arguments for this William being a Quartremaine are these:

1.  William held the same land (at North Weston) as that of Herbert Quatremains, 1166.  

2.  In the 13th century, tenants at Thame and North Weston owed the service of carrying money, just as did William.  Through all the manors of the Lincoln bishopric, Thame and North Weston owed this service.  Could it have been passed down through generations of Quatremains as a sergeanty tenure (a land-holding tied to a task)?  By the 12th century, the task was delegated to smaller land-holders, but was still associated with the land of Herbert Quatremains.

3.  Dr. Blair suggested the name quatre-mains, "four-hands," might have been a nickname for a man who was required to carry money-bags while simultaneously protecting them from robbers--two jobs need four hands.  

Other items of interest.  He mentions that a Quatremains was co-tenant of a hide at Northamptonshire 1110. Did anyone else know about this?  He references E. Kind, "The Peterborough 'Descriptio Militum' (Henry I", ante, lxxxiv (1969), 84-101, at 98.

For information on our Herbert Quatremains, he references the W.F. Carter book.  He also references J.T. Driver, 'Richard Quatremains,' _Oxoniensia_ (1986), 87-103; and C. Peters, _The Lord Lieutenants and High Sheriffs of Oxfordshire_ (Oxford, 1995), pp. 60-2.

He also references manuscripts which only he or a faculty member at Oxford (or other professional scholar) would have access to.  

The article is otherwise interesting, as it gives a picture of early business relationships in our post-conquest Oxfordshire and beyond.  As I said, if anyone would like a copy, I'd gladly send you one.  Or check with a nearby University.


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