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Rental of c.1288

This volume, known as the 'Red Book',  contains rentals for the bishop of Hereford's manors. Each entry is in a different hand and they seem to have been written at different times, but internal evidence suggests that the rental was made shortly after 1288, during the episcopate of Bishop Swinefield, although probably incorporating older lists.  Rentals are valuable sources of information about people and property. They include personal names and sometimes give titles or occupations, which shed light on the social structure of a place. The wealth of individuals and of the whole community can be gleaned from the size of properties held and the amounts of rent paid.

The Ledbury rental in the Red Book begins with Borough, the town, the entries laid out street by street, beginning with Southend, shown above. Each tenant is named, with a  brief description of what property they held - everything from 1/4 of a burgage to 3 burgages together - and how much rent they owed at each of the four quarter days. Following the total for the Borough (£27 10s. 7 1/2 d.) there is a list of all the tenants of the Foreign, or rural part, of the parish. This lists those holding land by knight service and the free and copyhold tenants, with the rents and services owed by them.



Content generated during research for two paperback books 'Ledbury: A Market Town and its Tudor Heritage' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-598-7) and 'Ledbury: People and Parish before the Reformation' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-614-4) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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