The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians. (Andrew Clarke and GH) These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

If you'd like to publish any interesting material about the history of East Anglia on the site, then please send an email to the Resident Historians at and we'll add it.

Family Historians have their own area on the site, so look there if your main interest is in tracing your family history.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Corn Survey of the Hinkford Hundred, commissioned by Henry VIII: December 1527

This survey of the sixteenth century was prepared for the Crown to facilitate decision-making and resource (re)allocation by the the Corn Commissions instituted to cope with the East Anglian Famine of 1527–1528. The survey of the Hinkford Hundred of Essex, made by William Clopton for Hinckford in Essex in 1527, assumed that six persons needed one bushel (or strike) of breadcorn and one and a half bushels of drinkcorn per week. Note that DrinkCorn is barley. Beer was considered a very important source of nourishment. myxtelon is 'maslin', a mixture of different sorts of grain, such as wheat and rye. The servery is valuable for giving some idea of the population of the various parishes.For example, even then, Brundon was  tiny, with only nineteen inhabitants, which would probably be at the mill and hall.

Essex, hundred of Hynkford.

The certificate of all the corn sold and unsold in all the towns underwritten within the hundred of Hynkford, in the county of Essex, searched and viewed by Will. Clopton, Esq., one of the commissioners of our sovereign lord the King, over and above the allowance and sufficient sidd (seed) of barley, pease and oats and harres to sow the lands of every husbandman there this next seed time to be sown, as nigh as all the same corns could or might be by me extemyned and numbered; with the number of people inhabitants that are to be found and sustained within every of the said towns undernamed. The same view and search beginning the 15th day of December, in the 19th year of the reign of our sovereign lord King Henry the 8th, in manner and form as hereafter ensuingly doth appear.
  • Belchamp Otton:—In men, women, and children, 113. In wheat, "myxtelon," and rye, 26 qrs. 3 bush.; barley and malt, 196 qrs. 2 bush.; pease, oats, and "harres," 63 qrs. 5 bush. Accounted to serve and sustain the said number of people in bread corn, after the rate of a bushel for every 6 persons a week during the space of 38 weeks, that is to say, from the 15th day of December to the Nativity of Our Lady next coming, 88 qrs. 3 bush. Accounted likewise to sustain the people in drink corn, after the rate of a bushel and a half to every 6 persons for a week, for the same time, 112 qrs. Thus there is a lack of bread corn for the town of 62 qrs.; of drink corn a surplusage of 84 qrs. 2 bush. Sum of the surplusage in pease, oats, and "harres," 63 qrs. 5 bush.
  • Brondon:—Inhabitants, 19. In wheat, &c., 15 qrs.; in barley, &c., 50 qrs. Bread corn allowed for the inhabitants, 15 qrs. 1 peck; drink corn, 22 qrs. 4½ bush. And so there lacketh, of bread corn, 1 peck. In surplusage, of drink corn, 27 qrs. 3½ bush.
  • Belcham St. Paul:—Inhabitants, 131. Wheat, &c., 16 qrs. 2 bush.; barley, &c., 41 qrs.; pease, 10 qrs. 5 bush. Bread corn for the inhabitants, 103 qrs. 5 bush. 1 peck; drink corn, 134 qrs. 4 bush. Lacketh in bread corn, 77 qrs. 3 bush. 1 peck; and in drink corn, 113 qrs. 4 bush.
  • Borley:—Inhabitants, 104. Wheat, &c., 19 qrs.; barley, &c., 60 qrs. Bread corn allowed, 82 qrs. 4 bush. 1 peck; drink corn, 103 qrs. 2 bush. Lacketh, in bread corn, 63 qrs. 3 bush. 1 peck; and in drink corn, 63 qrs. 2 bush.
  • Belchamp William:—Inhabitants, 106. Wheat, &c., 24 qrs. 4 bush.; barley, &c., 123 qrs.; pease, &c., 13 qrs. 6 bush. Bread corn allowed, 83 qrs. 5 bush. 1 peck; in drink corn, 105 qrs. 4 bush. Lacketh, in bread corn, 59 qrs. 1 bush. 1 peck; and in drink corn, 18 qrs. 2 bush. Surplusage in pease, &c., 13 qrs. 6 bush.
  • Pentlow:—Inhabitants, 84. Wheat, &c., 19 qrs.; barley, &c., 40 qrs.; pease, &c., 7 qrs. Bread corn allowed, 67 qrs. 1 peck; drink corn, 112 qrs. Lacketh, in bread corn, 48 qrs.; and in drink corn, 72 qrs. In surplusage of pease, &c., 7 qrs.
  • Foxherth.:—Inhabitants, 126. Wheat, &c., 20 qrs.; barley, &c., 110 qrs.; pease, 10 qrs. Bread corn allowed, 99 qrs. 3½ bush.; drink corn, 126 qrs. 4 bush. Lacketh, bread corn, 89 qrs. 3 bush. 1 peck; of drink corn, 86 qrs. 4 bush. In surplusage of pease, 10 qrs.
  • Lyston:—Inhabitants, 60. Wheat, &c., 15 qrs.; barley, &c., 40 qrs. Bread corn, allowed, 47½ qrs.; drink corn, 70 qrs. 3 bush. Lacketh, bread corn, 52½ qrs.; and in drink corn, 30 qrs. 3 bush.
  • Balydon:—Inhabitants, 223. Wheat, &c., 15 qrs.; barley, &c., 87 qrs.; pease, 16 qrs. Bread corn allowed, 153 qrs. 4 bush. 3 pecks; drink corn, 220 qrs. 6½ bush. Lacketh, bread corn, 138 qrs. 4 bush. 3 pecks; and in drink corn, 153 qrs. 6½ bush. In surplusage of pease, 16 qrs.
  • Medilton:—Inhabitants, 89. Wheat, &c., 9½ qrs.; barley, &c., 74 qrs.; pease, 3 qrs. Bread corn allowed, 71 qrs. 1 peck; drink corn, 117 qrs. Lacketh, of bread corn, 61½ qrs. 1 peck; and drink corn, 43 qrs. In surplusage of pease, 3 qrs.
  • Sum total:—Inhabitants, 1,055. Bread corn, 119 qrs. 5 bush.; drink corn, 732 qrs. Lack of bread corn, 572 qrs. 1 bush, 2 pecks; and of drink corn, 451 qrs. 7 bush. Total of pease, &c., 112 qrs. 5 bush. 

Signed: Wyllyam Cloptun.
from the Corn Survey. Henry VIII: December 1527, 11-20 Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 4, 1524-1530 - thanks to a transcription from British History Online

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

On printing out maps from this site

On printing out maps from this site

The maps on this site are done in a variety of detail. The most detailed of the maps are designed to be printed out big. You will notice that your computer printer is probably only going to print in A4 size. You will need something much larger than that  if you want to see the detail. Fortunately, you can do it with your existing printer, but you will need to cut and glue the component parts of the map together to do it. If this sounds scary or unsatisfactory, then there are plenty of firms advertising on the internet that will do it for you.

In general, the first task is to create a PDF file. Nowadays, you will probably have ways of doing this. I've provided a PDF file of the Pentlow and Cavendish field names, ...
... but otherwise, if you are using a Windows computer, you'll need to load the image into an application that will display photographs, and print. In current versions of Windows, there is a PDF driver along with all the others: If not, there are free or very cheap ones on the internet. Select this driver and hit 'print'. You will be asked for a filename and directory to save the result.

Any PDF file can be printed big, using any good PDF viewer. You just need to load up  the PDF file you just created in Adobe Acrobat Reader or any similar application such as Foxit Reader. Then go to the print menu and opt to print 'poster', in the section entitled Page Size and Handling.  This will allow you to specify the size, such as 400%. The size is determined by your requirement, patience, paper, and ink cartridges. Make sure that you are printing in colour and you have specified the right number of copies. Make sure you have a good-quality paper in the printer. Then you hit 'print'.  When you've done, make sure that the print menu that you've changed reverts back to its default settings.

You are no faced with a stack of 'tiles'. These are printed sheets that, when joined together, will constitute the map. Two adjacent edges, such as north & East or South & West, should be cut very accurately along the margin up to the edge of the printing where it needs to be joined to the next, unless it is the edge of the poster.  You need to glue adjacent tiles together with a proper paper glue. If you choose the wrong glue, the print smears or discolours. A good glue will be almost undetectable. In a short while, you should have a large map ready for use. Things can go wrong if you get the jigsaw wrong, or if you cut the wrong margins.
Hopefully you now have a map that is both useful and ornamental. Good luck.