Hundred of Williton and Freemanners

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Williton and Freemanners Hundred
Area
114,870 acres (46,490 ha)
StatusHundred
Subdivisions
 • TypeParishes
 • UnitsWatchet, Bicknoller, Brompton Ralph, Brompton Regis, Brushford, Chipstable, Clatworthy, Old Cleeve, Crowcombe, St Decuman, Dodington, Dulverton, Elworthy, Exmoor Forest, Exton, Halse, Hawkridge, Huish Champflower, Kilton, Kilve, Lilstock, Monksilver, Nettlecombe, East Quantoxhead, West Quantoxhead, Raddington, Sampford Brett, Skilgate, Stogumber, Nether Stowey, Upton, Winsford, and Withypoole.

The Hundred of Williton and Freemanners (also written as Freemanors) 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]

The Hundred of Williton and Freemanners consisted of Watchet the ancient parishes of: Bicknoller, Brompton Ralph, Brompton Regis, Brushford, Chipstable, Clatworthy, Old Cleeve, Crowcombe, St Decuman, Dodington, Dulverton, Elworthy, Exmoor Forest, Exton, Halse, Hawkridge, Huish Champflower, Kilton, Kilve, Lilstock, Monksilver, Nettlecombe, East Quantoxhead, West Quantoxhead, Raddington, Sampford Brett, Skilgate, Stogumber, Nether Stowey, Upton, Winsford, and Withypoole. It covered an area of 114,870 acres (46,490 ha).[5]

At the time of the Domesday Book Williton and Dulverton were separate Hundreds. These were brought together with Winsford and Old Cleeve.[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. ^ "Williton and Freemanors Hundred". A vision of Britain through time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 23 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. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Somerset". University of Hull. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 23 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.