Viewing posts from December, 2012

The extents: a short introduction (CIPM XXII.799)

The detailed extents found in many IPMs are a key source of information for economic, agrarian, and landscape history. The extent was a kind of survey: that is, a written description of a property. There were several other varieties, including demesne surveys (records of the lands exploited by the lord of the manor), custumals (records of tenants and their rents and services), and  rentals (records of tenants and their rents).[1. P. D. A. Harvey, Manorial Records, rev. ed. (1999), ch. 2.] Extents are especially valuable because they describe both the demesne and the rents and services of tenants, providing valuations for each item. They therefore record and value all the constituent elements of an estate – arable, pasture, meadow, mills, fisheries, buildings and so, as well as tenants – providing important evidence of how land and other seigneurial resources were exploited, and of their relative importance and productivity. The extents made for private landlords are generally reliable and authoritative, but they do not survive in great numbers or for all areas of the country. The extents in IPMs are much more numerous, and cover a much wider social and geographical range, but they are not as reliable as those made for private landlords. This article provides a brief survey of the problems and illustrates them with a detailed comparison between the 1427 IPM extent of Stow Bardolph (Norf.) and contemporary accounts.[2. For fuller accounts, see the essays by Dyer and Holford in Companion.]

Unpublished IPMs: Hugh Waterton d. 1409

The Gloucestershire IPM for Hugh Waterton survives only in the Exchequer archive of IPMs. It was taken ex officio; a writ diem clausit extremum for Gloucestershire was issued, on 12 July 1409 (CFR 1405-13, 124), but does not appear to have been acted on. The apparent reference to a Gloucestershire inquisition in an old inventory of IPMs (Calendarium, iii.332) seems in fact to be a summary of the surviving IPM for Herefordshire (CIPM xix.819)