Introduction

The documents edited in this volume principally relate to the estate of Southwick Priory at Stubbington in the late middle ages.  The first section, consequently, consists of manorial accounts for Stubbington for the Priory from c.1247 to 1467, but including also some accounts for the property after the Dissolution, from 1542 to 1551.  The documents in the second section are miscellaneous, comprising mainly rentals and surveys and a few court rolls, and although the earlier ones concern the Priory’s estate, documents are also included which relate to Portsea Island more generally.  Moreover, some documents in the second section are also post-Dissolution.  The material in the second section thus consists of: a rental of the Priory’s lands in Portsea, 1333; a memorandum of harvest costs in the fourteenth century; a rental of the lordship of Portsea, 1379-80; rentals of the Priory’s demesne land, 1391 and n.d. [but 1374x1380]; court rolls of Stubbington, 1525-45; a survey of the commonfields of Portsmouth, n.d. [but 1509x1539]; a terrier of the lands of Thomas Carpenter in Beeston and Stubbington, n.d. [but 1536x1539, relating to the former lands of the Priory]; and an assignment of a lease of the rectory, formerly held by the Priory, in 1548.

 

1 THE PROPERTY

 

Principally acquired by the benefaction of Baldwin de Portes(e)ia, possibly in 1164x1166, the Priory’s property at Stubbington was managed as a grange.  Baldwin conferred the advowson of the church of (St Mary) Portsea, ½ hide in Stubbington and ½ virgate in Buckland.[1]  In a further charter which provided for his burial at the Priory, Baldwin attorned the land and service of John de Broceherst (1164x1177).[2]  In the nature of the endowment, the property could draw on minimal services from its tenantry, which numbered only 7 in c.1248, none of whom held more than 3½a.[3]  Although the property was valuable, both because of its proximity to the house and important places and its own productivity, income from tithes within Portsea Island and particularly Eastney, enhanced its importance to the canons.  Tithe income featured largely in the accounts for the manor.  Conversely, the expense contain dispersed references to work on the parish church, mainly the chancel and the roof.  Because of its location in Portsea, the manor was visited by the Prior and canons en route to other places, not least to Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, and, in the Prior’s case, frequently to Winchester Fair.[4]

            The later accounts allow some view of the disposition of the demesne, from the expense in the grange account, for sowing.  Grain was sown in furlongs called La Brodecrofte or Bradecrofte, La Methe, Brochurst (see above), Westwode, la NorÞere Hamme, la marlcrofte, margeriecrofte, la groscrofte, la puricrofte, putcrofte, la lange crofte, raggiescrofte, the field before the gate of Gilbert Odo, Jordanescrofte, Cristinecrofte, olawei helve, Byesteton’, la yldecourt or la Oldecourt or Eldecourt (on the former site of the manorial curia or courtyard), Hulle, Estfeld, Selyrcroft, Solorcroft, latterly after c.1400, Bencrofte (in which, indeed, only beans seem to have been sown) and la laddercroft, some of which were discrete units of cropping although not of considerable size.

            A more precise indication of the size of the property derives from inquisitions at vacancies in the later fourteenth century.  In 1381, the property was described as comprising £4 in annual rents, 60a. of arable, valued at 3d. per acre, and 56a. of pasture, at 2d. per acre.  Later, in 1398, the property was attributed 105a. arable, but now including Fifhide, valued at 2½d. per acre, of which two-thirds were sown and one third fallow, as well as 60a. of pasture and £4 in annual rents.  By this time, the dovecote, although valued at 6d., was delapidated.[5]

            By the late fourteenth century, at least some of the demesne was being leased (farmed) out, as is indicated by two rentals of demesne land.  That of 1391 records rent income of £9 5s. 10d. from demesne lands at lease.[6]  The most comprehensive representation of the lands of the Priory in Stubbington is contained in the survey of the commonfields of Portsmouth which can be assigned to 1509x1539.  In this survey, the Priory’s lands are dispersed throughout the commonfields of Portsea Island, in small amounts of a few stitches up to a few acres, without any consolidation.[7]

Table 1 Distribution of Southwick Priory’s lands in 1509x1539 (a = acre)[8]

Beeston field:

            Stubbington furlong              8½ a

            High furlong              3a

            Pease furlong              1a

            Copner furlong  3½a

            Old Meade furlong            2a       

            Bramble furlong            3½a

            Grove furlong              1½a

            Water furlong              3½a

            North streat furlong            2½a

            South streat furlong            2½a

            Abrahame furlong            3a

            Wythebed furlong            ½a

            Burton gate furlong            ½a

Dedman lane furlong            3 stitches

Total in Beeston field: 39a 1 stitch

Meatelands:

            Meateland stile            1a

            Close furlong              1a 1 stitch

            Red diche furlong            3a

            Blackland furlong            2a

            Guslerswere furlong            3 stitches

            West side of same            2½a

            Lake furlong              4a 3 stitches

            Burdes close                2½a

Total in Meatelands: 16a 1 stitch

Myrfield

            St Andrewes furlong  3a 1 stitch

            Shovill furlong  1½a

            Bearecrofte furlong            1a 3 stitches

            Lake furlong              1a 1 stitch

            Kingwell furlong            1a

            Total in Myrfield: 8a 3 stitches

 

East Dockfield

            God’s House furlong            1a 3 stitches

            Fullsea furlong  3½a

            The four acre close            ½a

            West furlong              3a

            Water furlong              ½a 1 stitch

            Unnamed close            ½a

            Kingwell Cross furlong 1a

            Newgate furlong            1a

            Total in East Dockfield: 12a

West Dockfield

            Catclyf furlong  1a

            Chilmer furlong  2a 1 stitch

            Sea myll furlong            1½a

            Next sea myll furlong            1a

            Blackthornebushe furlong 2 stitches

            Furlong between Upham and Banisters furlong 1 stitch

            Total in West Dockfield: 5½a

[check again West Dockfield]

Kingston

            Pitcrofte                      3½a 3 stitches

            Kingston close              1a

            Curries close                1a

            Total in Kingston: 6a 1 stitch

 

 

The survey calculated the whole of the Priory’s lands as 90½ acres.

            At an earlier time, the size of the demesne can be assessed from sowing in the grange accounts in some of the manorial accounts.  Figures are to the nearest acre (halves are rounded up to the next whole)..

Table 2  Acreages sown

Date                wheat            barley     oats     beans            peas                vetches

1268-1269            59            15           29            11                1                      27

 

1269-1270            46            15          36            13                3                      32

 

1281?              51        32          25          10              10                      19

 

1319-1320      53        42          25            9                6                      18

 

1330-1331      48        41          23           5               12                      24

 

1344-1345      51        35         11            5                 9                      14

 

1351-1352      46        27         18            6                 9                      16

 

Note: in 1351-1352, seven acres of dredge (a mixture of barley and oats) were sown.

 

 

The apparent variability of the acreage over time almost certainly results from the imprecise measurement of the acre.  A stitch was probably the equivalent of a rood, that is, a quarter of an acre.

 

2 MANAGEMENT

 

            The property was managed by a serjeant, of free status, who was not one of the small group of tenants of Stubbington.  The serjeant appears not to have been resident, but to have visited the manor at critical junctures, especially at the beginning of harvest, which may be one reason for the tendency of the accounts to run from July and August (see below).  The first known serjeant to account, Simon, managed the property at least intermittently over twenty years, for he rendered all the extant accounts between at least 1249 and 1268-9.  He was followed by Adam Dun during that last year, who accounted again in the following year and was possibly the lay brother, Adam conuersus, who accounted in 1280-1.  The longevity in administration is further reflected, perhaps, in Thomas le Gray, the serjeant who accounted in 1319-20 and 1330-1.  It is, however, possible that the serjeants were rotated around the Priory’s manors and that the accounts which survive only intermittently reflect on their careers.  The serjeant received considerable payments in kind on his visits as well as a cash wage.  It was the serjeant who rendered account, was the sole accounting official, and who was responsible for the accounting obligations with the lord.  There is no suggestion of any permanent local official of reeval status, probably because the property had only a small tenantry none of which was servile.  Perhaps the reapreeve (messor) and hayward (claviger) acted in resident capacity.

            The serjeant was supervised by the bailiff, who visited the manor frequently, principally to collect surplus cash, especially from sales of grain, but also to authorise sales of grain and stock and gifts.  The bailiffs were exclusively drawn from amongst the canons or conversi and, unlike the serjeants, were not continuously attached to any property.  In some years, different canons acted as the bailiff for the property, as in 1268-9 and 1269-70 when the accounts refer to at least two different brethren as bailiffs who visited the property during the course of the year.

            About two serjeants considerably more is known from charters as well as their accounts.  The status of Simon is reflected in his attestation of a charter of Hugh Raggi, burgess of Portsmouth, in 1260x1280.[9]  Furthermore, he acquired rents from Raggy c.1270 for a consideration of four marks.[10]  When the priory purchased lands, Simon, as serjeant of Stubbington, paid the considerations of 50s., two marks, two marks and four marks.[11]  Yet more is known of Adam Wysman alias de Exton’ alias de Stobinton’, serjeant of the priory at Stubbington.  Between 1276 and 1281, he made nine purchases of lands, for which he cumulatively paid a consideration of £22 10s. 0d.; he subsequently conferred most, but not all, of these acquisitions on the priory, but not before he had leased some of them.[12]  These purchases appear to have been genuine acquisitions on his own behalf rather than the priory’s, although it is possible that he availed himself of the priory’s cash.  At the very least, he is revealed as of free status and extremely enterprising.

            By 1380, however, the priory had renounced serjeants as managers of its properties, to be replaced by bailiffs who managed and accounted.  The account of 1380-1 was rendered by John Taborer, bailiff.  Since the previous extant account, rendered by a serjeant, antedated this account by thirty years, the precise time and reason for the change cannot be detected.[13]  It might have been associated with the working through of changes resulting from the Black Death but equally the change from serjeant to bailiff might have been no more than a change of title of the office rather than any fundamental alteration of management and personnel.  Although in 1351-2 husbandry was maintained, by 1380-1 signs were evident of an experimentation in withdrawing from direct management.  No grain was sown in that year except for 4 bs. of beans in le Suthfeld and 1 qtr of beans and hares.  Leases (firme) infiltrated.  In the account of c.1400, the cows and heiffers had been leased out, the first at 2s.8d. each, the last at 16d. each.  The harvest costs of this account related only to tithe grain and no ploughmen were retained.  No grain was sown apart from beans.[14]  The ploughmen were again absent from the famuli in 1408-9.[15]

            In 1411-12, the bailiff was John Couk, who received a wage of 20s., and he was succeeded in the same office by Thomas Reynold, at the same wage.[16]  By the middle of the fifteenth century, however, so much demesne land had been leased that the accounting official was the rent collector, Robert Foghle.[17]  In 1461-7, however, the rent collector and bailiff accounted, over this period in the persons of Richard Bokele alias Byckley (rent collector) and John Bovyer alias Bover (bailiff).[18]

            Like other small properties of Austin Canon houses, Stubbington was administered as a grange.[19]  Since the property had few tenants to perform labour services, it was heavily dependent on wage and contractual labour, although there was a small nucleus of famuli (permanent estate labourers).[20] 

            The numbers of the famuli declined over the late middle ages, reflecting the management of the estate, from direct exploitation to leasing out of the demesne, at first piecemeal and then completely.  In c.1247, the famuli comprised four ploughmen, a carter, dairy assistant, swineherd and cowherd.  By 1267-8, these permanent staff were supplemented by a reapreeve, carter, shepherd, and two grooms harrowing in winter.  In 1344-5, a granger was added, although only at a wage of 2s.[21]  By 1380-1, the number of famuli had declined as some labour was shed, so that only a bailiff, carter, swineherd and part-year cowherd remained, accounting for 36s. in wages.[22]  By c.1400, the swineherd and cowherd were combined within the same office, but a dairy assistant was employed again.[23]  That continued to be the situation until 1414-15.  When the accounts are again extant, from 1453-1463, no famuli were retained.[24]  The numbers of famuli chronicle the fortunes of demesne exploitation.

            Wage labour at Stubbington constituted a very large cost to the house, perhaps best illustrated through the costs of arable husbandry.  At the height of productivity, four to five stackers, several carters and carts, and numerous tithe collectors were hired during harvest, and the vast proportion of reaping and threshing was performed by contractual labour (although the famuli assisted with some of the threshing in some years). 

The accounts for 1281? and 1287-8 provide some detailed description of the labour employed in reaping.[25]  In 1281?, 72 reapers were employed for one day at a cost of  9s., 30 for half a day for 2s. 6d., 57 for one day for 9s. 6d. (although this entry is cancelled), 254 for one day for 49s. 11½d., and nine for half a day for 1s 1½d., some of whom were also fed at the lord’s table.  In 1287-8, 162a. 1r. of grain were reaped at a total cost of £4 10s., at 6½d. and 7d. per acre.

Changes in the accounting procedure for harvest costs make it difficult to tabulate these expenditures.  In many years, wages and other outlays were consolidated under the heading of harvest costs, but in other years a more precise accounting was attempted, no doubt because of the levels of expenditure.  In 1319-20, for example, three different paragraphs were registered in the account: for reaping; for expenses; and for wages.[26]  In 1330-1, wages and expenses were separated into different paragraphs, but in 1344-5, there was a reversion to segregated paragraphs for reaping, expenses and wages. 

Some idea of the progression of global harvest costs can, however, be suggested.  In 1252-3, the total costs approximated to £8, rising to over £9 in 1267-8, and to more than £10 by 1269-70 and exceeding £12 in 1280-1.  In most years of extant accounts down to 1408-9, harvest costs fluctuated between £10 and £12, but were exceptionally high in 1319-20.  In 1411-12, the costs fell below £10 for the first time since 1269-70, whilst in 1414-15 only just over £7 was so expended.  In the late fifteenth century (1453-1467), these costs had diminished to between £2 16s. and £4 11s., much of which was disbursed in the hiring of carts for carting the lord’s grain (probably tithe grain).  Again, changes in the employment of contractual labour reflect the fortunes of demesne exploitation.

Threshing costs repeated that pattern of dependence on wage labour: high expenditure during the period of demesne productivity and later relinquishment.  From 1267-8 to 1344-5, costs of threshing exceeded £4 and often £5, with a couple of exceptional years of low expenditure.  In 1351-2 and 1380-1, the amount required for threshing fell below £3, but increased again in c.1400 to 1415, exceeding £4 in c.1400 and costing over £3 10s. to over £3 18s. in the early years of the fifteenth century.  By 1453-67, no cash payments were made for threshing.

Despite the detail of the extant accounts, it remains difficult to describe capital accumulation on the property.  Not least is this so for the buildings.  The following description derives from the first references in the accounts to particular buildings, but it should not be inferred that these are the earliest dates of these structures.  Indeed, caution is counselled because the very earliest accounts refer only to buildings in general.  What is clear is that a new grange was constructed in 1269-70 at a cost of £6 2s. 4d.[27]  Prior to that, the account of 1267-8 mentioned a granary, grange and bakehouse.[28]  In 1281?, the roof of the tithe grange was repaired, reflecting the prior existence of a separate grange for tithes and the importance of that source of income.  In that year also, a new wooden henhouse was built and there are references to the kitchen, pigsties and, significantly, a separate grange for legumes.[29]  The account for 1287-8 adds knowledge of an oxhouse and a horsepond, the latter walled round and paled.[30]  By 1319-20, a stable had been erected for carthorses and there was a sheepcote.[31]  Although the dovecote was first mentioned (for repair) in c.1247, no reference was made again.[32]  By c.1400, the old and the new (1268-9) grange were differentiated as the east and west granges, but there was also a wheat grange in the same account.  The kitchen contained an oven, kiln, and spit, and had wattle walls.  The dairy as a physical building is also mentioned then.[33]  It therefore seems likely that the curia at Stubbington comprised a quite elaborate set of buildings, perhaps largely directed to arable produce, consisting of several different granges with different purposes.

One striking feature of the earliest accounts is how the property was managed as a ‘home farm’ and also centre for purchases for the provisioning of the prior and the convent because of its location.  In 1249-52, substantial quantities of many varieties of fish were purchased through the property for the prior and the household: conger; herring; mackerel; lampreys; salmon; hake; merling; plaice; porpoise; and goat-fish; as well as wine, saffron, garlic, and blanket cloth.  The property thus served in the early years of the accounts as a place of provisioning.  Apart from 1280-1 when figs, conger, wine and mustard were bought through Stubbington, however, the rôle did not persist.  It is, nevertheless, a very interesting feature of the use of the property in  the mid thirteenth century.[34] 

A similar aspect of those early rolls is the inclusion of details of the movement of the Prior, as well as other dignitaries and canons.  These early rolls record the provisioning of the Prior’s movements in southern Hampshire, but the later rolls merely record the costs of the Prior’s visits to Stubbington, which were usually twice or three times each year.  In 1249-50, consequently, foreign expenses involved provisions for the Prior at Portsmouth, at Winchester before the justices itinerant, and at London at Easter.  In the following year, the Prior again journeyed to London in early January and was later again at Portsmouth.  In the next year, the property supplied provisions for the Prior at Winchester fair and on his three visits to Portsmouth.  The subprior, bailiff and cellarer were also supported at Portsmouth, whilst Br Alan received provisioning on his route to Gosport.  In 1252-3, the Prior was again at Winchester fair, at Salisbury, at Portsmouth in early August and again later, and at Winchester again.  In 1268-9, the Prior journeyed to the Isle and to Chichester, as well as making three visits to Stubbington.  In 1269-70, he dined with the Bishop at Portsmouth, made another visit to that borough, and went to the Isle.  His visits to the Isle and Portsmouth were also sustained by provisions from Stubbington in 1280-1, when the Prior attended before the justices at the borough.  The property was thus used for some time as a centre of provisions for the Prior’s frequent journeys to the borough of Portsmouth and other places in the south of the county, often on legal business.

Maintenance of the parish churches of Portsmouth and Portsea, like the tithe income, was included within the general management of the property.  In  the manorial account for 1268-9, a roofer was hired to roof the church of Portsmouth for wages of 7s. 8d.[35]  In the following year’s account, 2000 stone slates were purchased for roofing the same church at a cost of 1s. 8d. and 2s. 4d. paid in wages of the roofer.[36]  In the cost of the manorial buildings in 1280-1, 3s. 7d. was assigned to repairs to St Thomas, Portsmouth.[37]  Intriguingly, in the account for 1281?, 2s. 2d. was accounted for in the paragraph for repairs of buildings for the binding and repairing of books for Portsea church.[38]  In 1319-20, the roofing of the chancel of Portsea church was included in the repair of manorial buildings, at a cost of 1s. 3d.[39]  The paragraph for ‘necessities’ in 1344-5 including roofing the chancel of Portsmouth church at a cost of 2s. 1d.[40]  The lack of differentiation of these manorial and spiritual expenditures was fully reflected in the account for 1351-2, for in the paragraph for ‘necessaries’ a roofer received 2s. 3d. for 18 days for roofing the grange, the dovecote and the chancel of Portsmouth church.[41]  In c. 1400, the foreign expenses included payment of 6s. 8d. for a man hired to repair the windows of the chancel of Portsmouth church.[42]  The same expenses in 1408-9 included a gift of 2s. to the churchwardens of Portsea towards the church.[43]  The expenditure of the house on its spiritual responsibility for its churches was thus not clearly differentiated from manorial expenditure.

An interesting aspect of the earliest accounts is the endeavour of the Priory, through gift-exchange, to attempt to consolidate social relationships with the burgesses of Portsmouth and other local dignitaries.  The most visible relationship is that with the Raggy family, burgesses of Portsmouth.  In c.1247, 5 qtrs of barley were delivered to Hugh Raggy in liquidation of an old debt owed to him by the Priory.  In c. 1240, Raggy had sold a croft in Kingston to the Priory for 30 marks.  Raggy later became bailiff and reeve of the borough.  In 1249-50, he bought 30 qtrs of beans and 31 qtrs of peas from the Priory at Stubbington.  For many years from 1249-50, the Prior made gifts of wheat to the Raggy family, a full quarter to Hugh, and ½ qtr each to Thomas and Nicholas Raggy.  A year later, 31s. 6d. were acquitted of the old debt owed to Hugh Raggy  In 1252-3, 15s. were also paid to Hugh to redeem the old debt owed to him and 10d. was expended for wine on the visit of Hugh to the Prior about the Feast of St James.  In 1280-1, a quarter of barley was sent to Hugh’s widow for her dower.  Hugh’s brother, Thomas, also a burgess of the Portsmouth, had also made a benefaction to the house, c.1270.[44]         

            In c.1247, 4s. 4d. was spent on fish on the death of Sir Geoffrey de Roches and his widow subsequently alienated 1a. to the Priory.[45]  Two years later, three conger were provided for William tregot, a burgess of Portsmouth, who was a benefactor to the house.[46]  Another interesting example is the relationship with Luke de Tauntone, for it might illustrate the process of benefaction.  In 1267-8, a half a sester of wine was bought for 8d. for Luke on the day when he made his feast.  Now about this time, Luke had assigned some small rents to the house and it is possible that the benefaction was made through commensality.[47]  Finally, some of the benefactions produced enduring social relationships between donor and beneficiary, sometimes in anniversaries which are reflected in the purchase of pittances in the accounts, but sometimes through continuing gifts from the Prior to the donor or successors of the donor.  Ralph I de Lighe, for example, had given land to the Priory in 1265x1268; his son was accorded 1 qtr of barley in 1267-8, perhaps as a countergift for his father’s benefaction.  In the following year, the Prior’s gift of the quarter of wheat was made to Ralph himself.  In 1269-70, a reduced amount – 2 bs. of wheat – was provided for William’s widow.[48]  Relationships around acquisitions were thus forged before the benefaction and continued afterwards.

 

 3 THE ACCOUNTS  

 

The accounts printed here comprise all the extant ones during the period when the priory was exploiting its property in its own hands rather than leasing out, the latter process developing in the late fourteenth century.  It was also decided to edit here, however, the accounts of the lessees of the property in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, as explained above.  Amongst the most significant features of the accounts are their relatively early genesis, the inchoateness of the earlier forms, the experimentation with the period of the accounting year, and the relatively early introduction and persistence of the calculation of ‘profit’.  Unfortunately, many of the accounts have damage to one or more membranes, frequently at the head, which compromises certainty about some important aspects of accountancy.

            It is now widely acknowledged, from the research of Professor P.D.A. Harvey, that only some fourteen estates produced written accounts before 1250, of which half proceed after 1240.[49]  It has also been presumed that a nexus of early written estate accountancy developed in the area around Winchester.[50]  The earliest extant account for Stubbington survives for c.1247, with a number of subsequent rolls from 1249 through into the late 1260s, before the proliferation of manorial accounts.  Although these accounts thus chronologically occur during the period of Harvey’s Phase I of accountancy, when centralised accounts predominated, the rolls for Stubbington are locally-produced rolls more characteristic of Phase II.[51] 

            Although further research into the Southwick estates may elucidate the development of its accountancy further, it seems that the roll for c.1247 represents the inception of accountancy for the manor and that, consequently, the introduction of written local manorial accounts may be attributed to Prior Matthew (1235-1266).[52]

For the account for c.1247 is, even by the standards of the Stubbington accounts, quite inchoate.  Like many of the earliest manorial accounts, it has an unusual memorandum instead of a heading, recording that Br Herbert came to collect surplus cash.[53]  Furthermore there are no paragraph headings, the grouped items or paragraphs being distinguished only by spacing.  The costs of harvest are divided into periodic sections and items recounted in great detail.  Finally, there is no stock account unless it consisted of a schedule and has become detached.[54] 

            The following account, for 1249-50, again has a memorandum rather than a standard heading, but does contain paragraph headings in the margin on the cash side of the account, although not on the grange side.  The memorandum at the head of the roll contained both regnal year and year of Prior Matthew’s prelacy, but in addition the year of grace which was cancelled.  The paragraph for expense at Southwick (that is liveries in kind to the convent) is minutely detailed, resembling a ‘diet’ household account.[55]  Again, there is no extant stock account.  That deficiency is rectified in the next account -- 1250-1 -- by a schedule of stock which has no marginal paragraph headings.  In this account something of a cursory heading occurs for the first time, specifying it as the account of Simon (the serjeant) at Stubbington with a regnal year.  Paragraph headings occur throughout the margins of the cash and grange accounts.  The deliveries to Southwick continue in the ‘diet’ form.[56]  In 1251-2, the heading maintains the cursory format as the account of Simon at Stubbington, but with both a regnal year and year of the prelacy of Prior Matthew.  No stock account survives in the current form of the account.[57]  The stock account recurs in the roll for 1252-3, in which account the paragraph headings continue in the margin only on the cash side but not the grange and stock, and the memorandum at the head of the account is construed in terms of the account of Simon at Stubbington with a regnal year and a year of Matthew’s prelacy.[58] 

            By 1267-8, the account had settled into the general pattern of manorial accountancy, although the heading of the Stubbington rolls continued to provide both internal variety and differences from the norm of manorial accounts.  It seems fairly evident then that written manorial accountancy was in its infancy in about 1247, although houses of Austin Canons had been required to maintain household accounting procedures from the early thirteenth century.[59] 

            Variation in the headings of the Stubbington accounts persisted.  In c.1247, a memorandum at the head simply stated that Br Herbert came to collect surplus cash at a specific time.[60]  In 1249-50, the memorandum recorded that Simon (the serjeant) came to Stubbington at a specified date.[61]  In 1251-3, the incipient heading consisted of the form: the account of Simon at Stubbington with an opening regnal year, but not a closing year or description of the full year of account.[62]  In 1268-9, that form still persisted, reflecting only the opening year of the account (expressed as a regnal year).[63]  From 1269, the more standard form of heading was adopted beginning with the word Compotus and the name of the manor, accounting officials, and opening and closing feast days and regnal years.[64]  By 1330, however, there was a reversion to a more cursory heading in the form: Stubbington, account there, year of grace at the opening of the account, and the feast at which the account began (the Gule of August).[65]  This format was retained in 1344-5 and 1351-2, but in 1380-1 the standard form of heading was reintroduced.[66]

            That variability was matched in the flexibility in the accounting year, varying from before harvest to during and after harvest.[67]  From 1249-53, the accounting year was mid or late July to mid or late July -- commencing before the harvest.  By 1268-9 -- perhaps a transitional year with a changeover of accounting officials -- the accounts ran from Michaelmas to Michaelmas, as also in 1269-70.  In the 1280s, and certainly by the account for 1280-1, however, the period of account reverted to before the completion of the harvest, running from the Gule (1st) of August to the same date.  In 1319-20, Michaelmas-Michaelmas was reinstituted, but by 1330-1 1 August to 1 August preferred again, which persisted in 1344-5 and 1351-2.  Whilst the year was pulled back even further to the Nativity of St John the Baptist (24 June) in 1380-1, Michaelmas was substituted again in 1408-9.[68] 

            What may be reflected here is the degree to which some lords were prepared to experiment with accounting procedures, which is represented further in the case of Southwick and the Stubbington accounts by the varied use of calculations of ‘profit’ and targets (responsiones).[69]  The note of the calculation of ‘profit’ appeared first in the extant accounts in 1268-9 and it might indeed have been the first introduction of the memorandum, for it is explained by a more detailed note than later that the calculation was made on the morrow of St Edmund the Archbishop (perhaps 17 November 1268).  Its first occurrence on a locally-produced roll is thus some twenty years after the first extant manorial account with several intervening accounts not containing a note of ‘profit’.  There is, however, no certainty that ‘profit’ was not being calculated at an earlier time.  The memorandum of ‘profit’, a rather terse statement which really doesn’t allow deeper analysis, thereafter occurred consistently on most of the extant accounts up to c.1400 (and certainly after 1398).[70]

Table 3 The calculations of ‘profit’

1268                            £84            7s            1¼d

1268-9                         £100            5s            8½d

1269-70                       £107            2s            3½d

1281?                          £94            0s            9½d

1287-8                         £68            18s            9½d

1319-20                       £79            5s            1d

1330-1                         £119            5s            0d

1344-5                         £72            8s            0d       

1351-2                         20 marks

c.1400                         £79            13s            7d

The precise method of calculating ‘profit’ is not revealed, as the statements were added by the auditors in summary form after the balance, without description of the process.  Some additional memoranda expose something of the basis of the calculation.  The first notation of ‘profit’ explains that it comprised all issues less necessary expenses, with all tithes this side of the bridge [Portsbridge].  This brief explanation was repeated in the second memorandum of ‘profit’: with all tithes within Portsbridge less necessary expenses.  The memorandum of 1344-5 attributed the deficiency of the ‘profit’ to the failure of grain in that year, so liveries of grain were included towards ‘profit’.  In 1351-2, the ‘profit’ decreased drastically ‘by reason of the pestilence’.  Finally, the importance of tithes in the ‘profit’ was emphasised in c.1400 when the memorandum concluded: with tithes of the rectory.  It can thus be inferred that the ‘profit’ was calculated like the ‘profit of the manor’ on some other estates, comprising essentially the value of issues, including grain and stock delivered to the house and the cash liveries, less necessary expenses.  In essence, therefore, the calculation of ‘profit’ was a reworking of selected items within the account to assess how well the property was paying, whilst the purpose of the account (and its balance) was to assess the obligation between accounting official and lord.[71]

            The vital importance of tithes to the income from the property is reflected in its labour requirements: the employment of tithe collectors.  In the earliest account, c.1247, Simon came with six tithe collectors on the Tuesday before St Peter in Chains, but as many as fifteen tithe collectors were hired in the subsequent weeks of harvest, declining to eleven in the later weeks, and finally three in the final week.  In 1249-50, relish was provided at 1d. per tithe collector per week for five in one week, fifteen for three weeks, fifteen in another week, and six in another week.  Wages were incurred in that year for four tithe collectors for a total cost of 5s. 8d., 15s. for another ten, and 3s. 4d. for a further two.  In the following year, relish for fifteen tithe collectors cost 5s. 8d. and the wages of tithe collectors a further 23s. 11d.   In c.1251-2, harvest costs included 6s. 3d. for relish for fifteen tithe collectors and 22s. 10d. for their wages.  In 1252-3, 6s. 8d. was expended on relish for seventeen tithe collectors, whilst the wages included 5s. for three tithe collectors in the fields of Eastney, 18s. for twelve other tithe collectors and 2s. 4d. for another two.    In 1267-8, twenty tithe collectors received relish at 1d. each per week at a total cost of 8s. 4d. for the five weeks of their work in harvest; the wages of three amounted to 5s. and of another seventeen to 25s. 6d.  Carts for carrying tithe grain were hired for 21s. 11d.  Harvest costs in 1268-9 were incurred for twenty tithe collectors for five weeks for relish at 1d. each, a total of 8s. 4d., but sixteen were required in the sixth week at a further cost of 16d. for relish.  Wages for tithe collectors in this year amounted to 5s. for three collectors and 25s. 6d. for seventeen others.  The cost of hiring carts for carrying tithe grain extended to 28s. 6d.   By 1268-9, almost as many tithe collectors were needed, relish being acquired for twenty tithe collectors for four weeks at a cost of 6s. 8d., wages for three amounting to 5s. and for seventeen others to 25s. 6d.  Carts were hired in this year and 1269-70 for transporting tithe grain.  The recruitment of this labour reflects the importance of tithe income from Stubbington for the Priory.   From 1280-1, it appears that the tithe collectors were described as ‘foot workers’ (pedones), twenty being employed requiring relish for 7s. 6d. and wages of 30s. – the standard rates of relish at 1d. per worker per week and 1s. 6d. in wages per week.

            Memoranda of targets were introduced into the rolls from about the same time, as a memorandum in the margin of the paragraph for cheeses noted that 30 ewes and 1 cow produced 1 wey of cheese and 4 cows 1 wey.  In 1280-1, the auditors added the seed-yield ratio for wheat and barley[72] and in the roll of ?c.1281 the same ratio for barley and oats -- particularly low-yielding in this year -- was noted and under cheeses the product of a cow was established as 17d and of a ewe as 1d.  In the paragraph for wool, it was noted that the fleeces produced 3d. each less 7d. overall.[73]  In 1287-8, the auditors’ annotations were restricted to the seed-yield of wheat, barley and oats, but not peas, beans and vetches.  In 1319-20, the auditors calculated that fleeces were worth 6¼d. less 2½d. overall, but lambs’ fleeces only 3d. each plus 3d. overall, and that the produce, under cheeses, of a ewe was 3½d. less 3/4d. overall.  In 1330-1, yield output was noted for wheat, barley and oats, wool (fleeces worth 4d. each, but tithe lambs’ fleeces only 1½d. each) and dairy produce (a cow’s product valued at 4s. and a ewe’s at 2d.).  Similar calculations were made in 1344-5 (barley and oats certainly, and possibly also wheat, a cow’s output valued at 3s.6d. and a ewe’s at 2d. and a fleece at 3d.).   So also in 1351-2, the seed-yield ratio of wheat, dredge and oats was noted, whilst the memoranda recorded that each fleece was valued at only 1½d. or five marks per sack of wool, and the accounting official was surcharged 10s. so that the yield of a cow amounted to 3s.6d. and a ewe for 2d. , the first indication that the memoranda were effectively related to sales after the account for holding the accounting official to targets.  It should be remarked, however, that it is exactly the edges of the membranes at the head which are damaged, so that information about ‘targets’ is not complete.[74]

            One final point about the accounts is the predominance of the excessus balance (elsewhere superplusagium).[75]   Eleven of the fifteen rolls on which the balance has not been lost, contained an excessus balance, in which the expense had exceeded the recepta and in which case the lord was obliged to the accounting official.  The amount of obligation from lord to official varied quite widely, but attained over £8 in 1269-70.  Although the balance is usually simply struck with no explanation, in that year the nature of the balance and how the accountant managed to get by was elucidated by a note that £6 13s. 4d. was owed to William Brian.  It is known from the accounts that William was a canon of the house and acted intermittently as Cellarer during 1268-70 and also as bailiff visiting Stubbington during the current year; it is thus possible that he provided cash additional to the manorial recepta for the running of the manor.  Further detail about the nature of the superplusagium or excessus is revealed in one of the earliest accounts, for 1249-50, in which the balance records: and thus the expenses overshoot by 21d. which is owed to Simon and are paid.[76]  Thus Simon received the outstanding amount theoretically owed to him after the account had been balanced.    How the excessus accrued is perhaps illustrated in 1319-20, in which the account lists as a separate paragraph the debts of last year paid in this account, consisting of £11 19s 8½d., mainly comprising deferred wages and costs of purchases.[77]  The excessus thus seems to be associated with a shortage of cash on a small manor with little rental income, high costs in contractual labour, and a shortage of cash in the accounting official’s hands.  One solution was to defer cash costs such as wages and to purchase on credit.

            The production of the accounts is largely an elusive process and the most that can be discovered is the cost of their production in the fourteenth century.  In 1319-20, the clerk was remunerated with 3s. p.a. for writing and ‘ordering’ the account, with 3d. expended on parchment.[78]  That amount – 3s. – remained the normal rate for the clerk’s wages for writing the account through until at least 1351-2, although usually the cost of parchment was lower, at 2d.[79]

            An unusual aspect, but one which might be associated with the early nature of some of the accounts, is some of the language and terminology.  The account for 1249-50 in the paragraph for the wages of the famuli thus refers to the ploughdriver as caciator (a term repeated in some of the other accounts as well).[80]  The men on horseback at harvest are described consistently as equitatores.[81]  On the other hand, those workers described in the earlier accounts as decimatores (hired tithe collectors)  became consistently pedones (workers on foot) in and after the account of 1281?.[82]  The use of such terminology might reflect on the background of the clerici who drafted or composed the accounts.

            Throughout, but particularly in the earlier ones, the accounts refer to brethren, either canons or conversi, who visited the manor and to obedientiaries at the Priory.  It was thought useful to list these.

Br William de Oxonia                        bailiff, subprior                        1268-9

Br R de Bertona                                                                       1268-9

Br R bataille                                                                            1268-9

Br W Wateuille                                                                     1268-9

Br W Brian                              (a) cellarer; (b) bailiff                (a) 1268-9; (b) 1283

Br R de Gainesburgh               [pittancer]                                1268-9

Br R                                         of the bakery                          1268-9

Br R de swanemere                                                                  1268-9

Br J Colewine                          (b) bailiff                            (a) 1280-1; (b) 1283?

Br R de Insula                                                                         1280-1

Br John de Oxonia                        cellarer                         1280-1

Br N le faukenir                       serjeant                                    1281?

Br William de Wynton’                                                           1280-1

Br John de Heyling’                                                                       1280-1

Br Isaac                                   subprior                                   1280-1

Br J de Leuynton’                    (b) bailiff; (c) sacrist               (a) 1280-1; (b) 1319-20; (c) 1319-20

Br Henry de staunton’                                                                     1280-1

Br Henry de Guldeford                                                        1280-1

Br John  de Chalfonte                                                                    1280-1

Br Robert de sancta Cruce            (b) cellarer                         (a) 1280-1; (b) 1283?

Br Thomas de Ichen’                                                              1280-1

Br Nicholas de Cheriton’            cellarer                         1280-1

J. de la manewode                   cellarer                         1280-1

Br H de Elsefeld                                                                       1283?

Br John Ymbold                        bailiff                                        1319-20

Br Henry de Dene                                                                1319-20

Br Nicholas de Clare                                                               1319-20

Br Thomas de Rad’                 granarer and cellarer                1319-20

Br John  de Gloucestr’            bailiff                                        1330-1

Sir J stake                                cellarer                         1344-5

W Peuesey                              cellarer                         1351-2

Adam Cannon                         cellarer                         1351-2

William Alfold                          cellarer                         1380-1

Thomas York                           cellarer                         c.1400

Nicholas Rigge             cellarer                         1408-9

William Blakeman                     granarer                                   1453-4

 

4 EXPLOITATION

 

            It is not intended to explain here the productivity of the manor, but some comments should be made.  The size of the demesne acreage sown and its disposition have been described above.  It is rather difficult to make any firm statements about the productivity of the demesne arable because of changes in the accounting techniques.  From c.1247 to 1269-70 inclusive, receipts of both demesne and tithe grain were collected together without differentiation.  From 1280-1 to 1351-2, demesne and tithe issues of grain were separated off, so that it is possible to see the different contributions.  From 1380 to 1467, a single, consolidated receipt of the issues was returned, although it must be suspected that this receipt consisted almost entirely of tithe issue.  The receipts in the thirteenth century were volatile, although only a small number of accounts survives.  For example, between c.1247 and 1269-70, wheat returned minimum and maximum issues of 154 qtrs and 356 qtrs respectively and the issue of other grains reproduced this wide pattern.  At that time, the principal grains consisted of wheat, barley, oats, and, to a lesser extent, beans, peas and vetches.  Although the issues of legumes, and especially vetches were lower, they were a regionally important crop.  The issue of beans ranged from 16 to 72 qtrs, peas 16 to 48, and vetches 25 to 79; it must be remembered that these issues between c.1247 and 1269-70 comprised both demesne and tithe receipts. 

            What is more significant about the legumes – and in particular the vetches – is the acreage over which they were sown, as illustrated by Table 1 above.  Although the issues were not enormous, the acreage sown was significant and it seems quite clear that legumes were sown as a green fallow.  In fact, the sowing rates from the grange accounts confirm that productivity was not the primary purpose of the legumes.

 

Table 4  Sowing rates (to the nearest bushel per acre)

 

Wheat             1268-1270: 3.5             1281?-1351/1352: 3

 

Barley             1268-1269: 8                        1281?-1351/1352: 5

 

Oats                1268-1269: 10                      1269-1270: 8                        1281?-1351/1352: 6

 

Beans              1268-1270: 8                        1281?-1351/1352: 6

 

Peas                1268-1269: 6                        1269-1351/1352: 3  

 

Vetches            1268-1270: 4                        1319-1351/1352: 3

 

 

            From the 1330s, oats were abandoned as a main crop, although small amounts of dredge (a mixture of barley and oats) were received.  In the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the receipt from legumes, presumably mainly tithe income, also declined. 

            The trough of issues of grain occurred in the accounts of 1344-1345 and 1351-1352, but the receipts in 1380, 1408-1409, 1414-1415, 1453-1454 and 1462-1463, presumably again consisting largely of tithe income, were relatively buoyant.  A trough was experienced in grain receipts in 1461-1462.

            From the accounts, it is clear that oats and legumes were ‘working’ crops, that is, they were largely consumed in manorial expenses, although in the earlier accounts a considerable proportion of the legumes was sold.   Although it was also consumed on the manor, barley remained more a multi-purpose crop, and even more so wheat.   Wheat consumption was partly manorial expenses, but there was considerable stability in the amounts and proportions of wheat delivered to the Priory.  Between 1249/50 and 1319/20, ten accounts recorded 59-64 per cent of the wheat issue as delivered to the Priory, whilst one account recorded 42 per cent and another 72 per cent.  The major purpose of wheat production was consequently to deliver grain to the Priory.  Since a few accounts specify that the delivery was to the bakery, then it must be assumed that delivery to the Priory meant household consumption, but it is possible that some grain transferred to the Priory was sold centrally.  Deliveries to the Priory were erratic after 1330-1, fluctuating from 22 per cent to 83 per cent, reflecting how the production of grain had deteriorated at Stubbington.  In terms of amounts of wheat delivered to Southwick, as opposed to the proportion of the produce, between 1249/50 and 1344/5, the annual livery of wheat to the Priory ranged from 89 qtrs to 237 qtrs.  Such fluctuations were obviously determined by changes in productivity from year to year, but the following descriptive statistics perhaps provide an overall summary of the transferral of wheat to the Priory.  Taking the accounts of fourteen years before 1344/5, the mean delivery per annum was 172 qtrs of wheat (standard deviation at 38.4; trimmed mean very close at 173.7 qtrs), the median also at that level of 174 qtrs.  

            In terms of sales, between ten and 31 per cent of the wheat product was sold, with one exceptional year of high sales in 1251/2.  Again, after 1330-1, the sale of wheat fluctuated wildly.  How the sales were managed is not usually described, but something can be inferred for some sales in the early accounts.  It seems that sales of legumes were made through private sales rather than on the open market.  These details are contained in the discharge section