PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]

Othin 7 Othin the Dane (Essex), fl. 1066

Author: DWP
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

Discussion of the name  



Othin 7 held an estate in Essex assessed at just over 6¾ hides and with a value of £4.

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB


Holder 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Holder 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Holder 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Essex 18,37 Berewic Oinus Othin the Dane - Odo, bishop of Bayeux Turold of Rochester 6.81 4.00 6.00 A Map
Total               6.81 4.00 6.00  



The precise location and even the proper name of Othin 7’s substantial estate in Essex are unknown. It is entered in DB simply as Berewic ‘outlier’, which has been rubricated as if a proper place-name. It occurs between two entries for places in Chelmsford Hundred and follows that for the large manor of Hanningfield, in an area of open country around a tributary of the River Chelmer. Othin’s estate may have been a berewick of this main manor at Hanningfield by 1086 and have been absorbed into it thereafter, because the both estates were held by Turold of Rochester (Turold 6) or his son Ralph as subtenant of Bishop Odo of Bayeux (Odo 3) in 1086. Turold, who died at about the time of the inquest and hence the confusion in some entries as to whether the 1086 subtenant was him or his son (Rumble 1983: DB 18,37 Notes; Keats-Rohan 1999: 431), appropriated to Hanningfield nearly 3 hides held TRE by men commended to Ely Abbey and something similar could have happened with regard to Othin’s land. On the other hand, and even assuming that an association with Hanningfield manor is correct, the DB entries could reflect earlier TRE arrangements from when Fridebert 2 held that manor. The matter must be left open.

Othin’s estate operated a mixed agriculture but with stronger emphasis on arable, with three plough’s on his demesne and a further two on the lands of the peasant population, who comprised four villans and four bordars and, with their households and Othin’s three slaves, provided the workforce for the estate. The estate had some woodland and a small amount of meadow, and the arable was stocked mainly with sheep, although there were a handful of cattle and pigs and the oxen for the plough-teams will also have needed providing for. Also recorded were three horses (runcinus ‘rouncy’) that may have been pack animals.

Othin 7’s byname in DB was dacus ‘the Dane’ and very probably means that he was Danish by birth or, less probably, by parentage. He is therefore likely to have arrived in England during the period of Danish rule between 1016 and 1042 or to have been the son of a man who did. His estate lay far from any other held TRE by someone of the same name and there is no reason to consider him in connection with anyone else.



Keats-Rohan 1999: K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday People: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166. I. Domesday Book (Woodbridge, 1999)

Rumble 1983: Domesday Book 32: Essex, ed. A. Rumble (Chichester, 1983)

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