Copthorne Hundred

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Copthorne was a hundred of Surrey, England, an area above the level of the parishes and manors, where the local wise, wealthy and powerful met periodically in Anglo-Saxon England for strategic purposes.[1] After the Norman Conquest the lords of the manor took to annual hundred meetings and their status became eroded by royal-approved transactions of land, as meanwhile the manorial courts and moreover royal courts seized jurisdiction over the Hundred Courts.[2]


Copthorne comprised the manors of Ashtead, Burgh, Cuddington, Epsom, Ewell, Fetcham, Headley, Leatherhead, Mickleham, Pachevesham (within Leatherhead parish), Tadworth, Thorncroft and Walton-on-the-Hill.[3] It had two enclaves, areas of other parishes dominated by manors and sometimes churches within it: in Weybridge and Newdigate.[2]

In the Domesday Book, the settlements of Ashtead, Fetcham and Mickleham were included in the Wallington (hundred); but the county historians cited by the Victoria County History of 1911 as having examined the Patent Rolls and similar state collections of deeds, royal letters and documents, such as Owen Manning and John Aubrey, agree that this was a mistake.[4]

In present terms Epsom, Leatherhead and Ewell are almost uniformly called towns: for example at the county level of local government when it considers service provision and population analysis[5] — the first two were granted market town status in the Middle Ages.[2]

The Victoria County History, based on ecclesiastical records, states that these were its parishes:

  • Ashtead
  • Epsom
  • Leatherhead
  • Banstead
  • Ewell
  • Mickleham
  • Chessington
  • Fetcham
  • Cuddington
  • Headley
  • Walton on the Hill
  • Newdigate (part of)[2]

Ownership and late transactions[edit]

Copthorne was a royal hundred (to the extent its overarching overlordship affected the manors and common land)[clarification needed], and remained in the hands of the Crown, though James I of England leased it for 21 years to Thomas Jenkins in 1617. In a subsidy roll of the 14th century it was said to be worth £47 15s. 6¼d. and with Effingham Hundred the various land units within it were assessed in total for ship money at £136 16s. 4d. at the third such levy in 1636.[2]

Domesday survey[edit]

Copthorne appears in the Book as Copededorne. Copthorne was a hundred (these are not in the Domesday Book's map of the county, which focuses on the main unit, manors).[2]


  1. ^ Surrey Domesday Book Archived December 23, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d e f H.E. Malden (editor) (1911). "The hundred of Copthorne: Introduction and map". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Domesday book
  4. ^ H.E. Malden (editor) (1912). "The hundred of Wallington: Introduction and map". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Surrey County Council census data" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°18′N 0°15′W / 51.30°N 0.25°W / 51.30; -0.25