American Morris Newsletter  

American Morris Newsletter

Volume 26, Number 3
December, 2006

This Issue | Past Issues | Useful Links | Search This Site | Contact Us
 AMN Article  

Historical Documents of Abbots Bromley

Andrew Bullen

The village of Abbot Bromley is very old. The name itself comes from two Saxon words, brom leagh, meaning broom meadow. The name probably refers to a clearing in Needwood Forest that eventually became the village. The village, a Saxon settlement, was simply known as Bromleagh. It became Bromleagh Abbatis when Wulfric the Black or Wulfric Spot, Earl of Mercia, founded a Benedictine Abbey at Burton-On-Trent in 1004 and endowed it with 72 manors, one of which was Abbots Bromley, to provide for its upkeep. Wulfric was a very powerful man, Chief Councillor to King AEthelred and a rich and powerful Earl holding a strategically important area. Wulfirc was a man of deep religious convictions, like his supposed mother, Wulfrun, who founded the Wolverhampton Monastery in 994. On May 18, 1010, he fought against a Danish invasion force led by Thurkill on a battlefield near Ipswich. At the battle, he was wounded, and eventually succumbed to his wounds on May 18, 1010.

After Wulfric's death, Abbots Bromley grew in size and importance as a central market town, being strategically located between Rugeley, Burton, Lichfield, and Uttoxeter. The local church, St. Nicholas, was large because of the central position of the town. The weekly market centered around the market cross, built around 1339. There was also an annual 3 day long Wakes or fair, with rights to hold the fair given by King Henry III.

King Edmund grants forty hides at Alrewas, Bromley, Barton, Tatenhill, Branston, Stretton, Rolleston, Clifton, and Haunton, Staffs., to Wulfsige the Black ([W]ulfsye prenomine Maur), A.D. 942

Carta Sancti Edmundi regis de Alrepasse et Broml' et Barton facta anno domini dcccc

Perpetua hereditas que in sancte trinitas dei theologia ultra omnia humane mentis machinamenta manet essentialiter ultroneis meritorum . magnopere est mercimoniis comparanda . Quapropter ueraciter paterna priscorum sequens uestigia regum . Eadmund beato dei patrocinio rex er rector Angulsaexna inter innumeras quibus beauit vtriusque certaminis cateruas dapsilitates eternis prouocatur prouerbiis . hilarem datorem et cetera . alacriter [W]ulsye prenomine Maur' mirifice locupletat et honorat concedens ei has terras eiusque heredibus perpetualiter perfruendas . id est ad Alrepasse . et Bromleg' . et Barton et Tatenhyll' . et Brontiston . ant Stretton . et Ro[th]ulfeston . et Clyfton . et Hagnatun . nou is [th]isses landes feourti hye . Has denique tellures Eadmund rex ano dominice incarnationis . dcccc . xlij . et tercio annorum curriculo ex quo regalia eterni regis gratuita benignitate regebat charismata contulit cum testimonio optimatum quorum nomina inferius adnotantur . [W]ulfsye salua manu . non causa philargirie set studio deuotissime fidelitatis habendas .

+ Ego Edmund rex huius donacionis dominium in locis campestribus uel siluaticis . seu piscosis laticibus libenter signaculo sancte . +crusis conscribo fruentibus .
+ [W]ulstan archiepiscopus . +[W]ulfgar episcopus . +Cen[th]ald episcopus .
+[W}ulfhelm episcopus . +Cynsige episcopus . +AE[th]elmund dux . et ceteri duces . vque . in omnes cum ceteris eiusdem milicie sodalibus hec certe territoria triumphali tropheo conscripserunt . Acta est videlicet hoc regale prerogatiuum in loco celeberrimo qui Wincelcumb nuncupatur . Pax et perhennis prosperitas hiis qui fas
  (the rest is missing)

 

King AEthelred grants three hides (cassati) at Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, to Wulfric, minister, A.D. 966

Pollente perpetualiter domini nostri Iesu Christi regno . Huius instabilitas uitae fortuitis atteritur casibus . ac uariis uilescendo meroribus . terminum sue commutabilitatis iamiamque praesignat affuturum . ut ueritatis praesagio predicta eius mulitforma malorum iacula electorum corda non ad desperationem seu tedium diuini amoris peruertant . uerum etiam ad desideria regni celestis . et ad piae deuotionis famulatum magis magisque acuant . iuxta illud dominicum . His autem fieri incipientibus rescipicite et leuate capita uestra . quoniam appropinquat redemptio uestra . Huiusmodi diuni documenti oraculis premonitus ego Ae[th]elred rex Anglorum . cuidam meo fideli ministro a populis [W]ulfric apellato . quandam ruris trium scilicet cassatorum in loco quem accole uicini [ae]t Bromleage cognominant partem impendo . ut ipse dum sospitatem uitae habuerit illam sibi in usum necessarium sicut mater ei largita est uoti compos optineat . et post uitaesuae terminum cuicumque sibi placuerit relinquat superstit . Consistat autem suprascripta tellus ab omni seruitute secura . tribus exceptis . expeditione . arcis . pontisue constructione . Qui uero nostrum hoc donum euertere laborauerit . timeat se in profundo auerni inmersum aeternaliter torqueri: nisi quantotius a sua peruersitate discedat . Attamen si quislibet antiquum siue nouum protraxerit libellum . et hanc nostram titulationem superare nisus fuerit . binis mortis periculis obiurgetur obnoxius .quia aut rapina . aut furto illum subdole adeptus est . Huiusmodi terminis predicta tellus circumducitur . Of [th]am lytlan hlapan to [th]an longan snapan on [th]a straete for[th] aefter strete o[t] cume to [th]an readan [th]an longan snapan in [th]a straete for[th]   (the rest is missing)

 

The Domesday Entry for Abbots Bromley

Name of
Estate

Saxon Possesor

Tenant in capite

Tenants in Fee

Subtenants

Hides

Virgates

Carucates

Terra quot Carucis

Acra Praeti

Silva of Domesday

Acres of Wood

Value in domesday

Features

Parochial Acreage

Brunlege

Abbas de Bertone

Abbatia Stae Mariae de Bertone

None

I Presbyter

0

2

None

1

None

2 leu. x 1 leu

2880

1,0,0

Abbatia tenet Brunlege. Ibi dimidia hida cum appendiciis

5278

 

 AMN, Vol. 26, No. 3, December, 2006  ISSN: 1074-2689