Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire


by Sir Henry Chauncy Vol I pages 240 to 252 first published in 1700


ALMOST two Miles distant from Wakely towards the East, stands Aspenden, so term'd from the Asps or Adders which frequently breed in the Vale, of which Vill 'twas recorded in the time of the Conqueror, That

In Edwinestreu Hundred. Richardus de Sachanvilla tenet de Eudone Absesdene, pro una hid. et dimid. se defendebat. Terra est iii car. In Dominio sunt ii car. Presbyter cum sex bord. hent. un. car. ibitres servi pratum un. car. silva xx porc. Int. totum valet quatuor lib. Quando recepit xxx sol. tempore Regis Edwardi lx sol. Hoc Manerium tenuit Aldred teignus Regis Edwardi.

Richard de Sachanvill, held of Eudo the Son of Hubert, Absesdene, in the Hundred of Edwinestre; it was rated for one Hide and an half. The arable is three Carucates. In Demeasne are two Carucates, a Presbyter or Priest, with six Bordars, having one Carucate ; there are three Servants, Meadow one Carucate, Wood to feed twenty Hogs; in the whole it is worth four Pounds a Year, when he receiv'd it thirty Shillings a Year; in the time of King Edward (the Confessor) sixty shillings a Year. Aldred a Thane of King Edward (the Confessor) held this Mannor.

This Eudo was the fourth Son of Hubert de Rie, a trusty Servant to William Duke of Normandy, who sent him in a glorious Equipage to Edward the Confessor when he lay on his Death Bed in England; from whom he then obtain'd those Tokens, by which King Edward declar'd the Duke his Heir to the Crown of England; which was a Sword with some Relicks of Saints inclos'd in the Hilt thereof, a Hunter's Horn of Gold, and the Head of a mighty Stag; for which great Service, the Duke promised that he should be Steward of his Household; but when the Duke obtain'd the Crown, he found it necessary to send him back to Normandy, with his three eldest Sons (whom he well rewarded) to keep that Country quiet, for he apprehended some Disturbance there; but he kept this Son in his Service here, to whom he gave 25 Lordships in Essex, seven in this County, one in Berkshire, twelve in Bedfordshire, nine in Norfolk, and ten in Suffolk; and whilst he was in waiting at Court, it happened that William Fitz Osborne, then Steward of the King's Household, had set before the King the Flesh of a Crane scarce half roasted; at which the King was so offended that he had given him a fierce Blow with his Hand, but this Eudo standing by, bore off the same, which so much disturbed Fitz Osborne, that he resigned his Office, desiring Eudo might have it, which the King easily granted for the Merits of Eudo and his Father Hubert.

Eudo thus possest of this great Office, and waiting on the Conqueror at Cane, at the time of his Death, managed Matters with that great Artifice and Cunning, on the Behalf of William Rufus, that he was the chief Instrument which advanced him to the Crown.

He died at the Castle of Preux in Normandy, leaving Issue Margaret his sole Daughter and Heir, who married William de Mandevile; his Body was brought into England and honourably buried at Colchester, by his own Directions, upon the Morrow preceding the Calends Of March, Anno 1120, 20 H. II.

Which Margaret had Issue by William de Mandevile, Jeoffry, and Beatrice.

Jeoffry de Mandevile was Heir to his Father and Mother; and in her Right inherited as well this Mannor, as the Stewardship of Normandy, King Stephen advanced him to the Dignity of Earl of Essex; and he married Rohesia Daughter of Alberic de Vere Earl of Oxford, by whom he had


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