Hundred of Whitley

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Whitley Hundred
Area
49,640 acres (20,090 ha)
History
Status Hundred
Subdivisions
 • Type Parishes
 • Units Ashcott, Blackford, Butleigh, Compton Dundon, Cossington, Greinton, High Ham, Holford, Holton, Middlezoy, West Monkton, Moorlinch, Othery, Milton Podimore, Shapwick, Street, Walton, Westonzoyland, Wheathill, and Woolavington

The Hundred of Whitley is one of the 40 historical Hundreds in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England,[1] dating from before the Norman conquest during the Anglo-Saxon era although exact dates are unknown. Each hundred had a 'fyrd', which acted as the local defence force and a court which was responsible for the maintenance of the frankpledge system.[2] They also formed a unit for the collection of taxes.[3] The role of the hundred court was described in the Dooms (laws) of King Edgar. The name of the hundred was normally that of its meeting-place.[4]

It got its name from Whitley wood in Walton. Two previous units Loxley and Ringoldsway were merged to form Whitley Hundred in the 12th century.[5]

The Hundred of Whitley consisted of the ancient parishes of: Ashcott, Blackford, Butleigh, Compton Dundon, Cossington, Greinton, High Ham, Holford, Holton, Middlezoy, West Monkton, Moorlinch, Othery, Milton Podimore, Shapwick, Street, Walton, Westonzoyland, Wheathill, and Woolavington as well as covering King's Sedgemoor. It covered an area of 49,640 acres (20,090 ha).[6]

The importance of the hundred courts declined from the seventeenth century. By the 19th century several different single-purpose subdivisions of counties, such as poor law unions, sanitary districts, and highway districts sprang up, filling the administrative role previously played by parishes and hundreds. Although the Hundreds have never been formally abolished, their functions ended with the establishment of county courts in 1867[7] and the introduction of districts by the Local Government Act 1894.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Whitley Hundred". A vision of Britain through time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Administrative Units Typology | Status definition: Hundred". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Shire and the Hundred". Somerset County Council. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Summary". Institute of Archaeology. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Robert Dunning (Editor) (2004). "Introduction: Whitley Hundred". A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 8: The Poldens and the Levels. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  7. ^ County Courts Act 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 142) s.28
  8. ^ "Mapping the Hundreds of England and Wales in GIS". University of Cambridge Department of Geography. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011.