Earliest reference to Whitle found, so far!
During the Digging Deeper project even earlier references to people, living in the Whitle area, have been found. References in the Okeover Cartulary show there was family from Whitle (de Whithul) who had held land in Sheen. A cartulary is a medieval term for a manuscript or roll of original documents that have joined together to form a collection, rather like an album.
There are two documents referred to in Dr Peter Watson’s Thesis : ‘The Okeovers c.1100 – c.1300: A Gentry Family and their Cartulary. Dr Watson undertook this research for his PhD whilst studying at Kellogg College, University of Oxford and submitted his thesis in 2017. The Oakover Cartulary is held in the Bodleian Library in Oxford and have been dated by him to between 1220- 1235 based, mainly, on the witnesses. All the witnesses were landholders in the Sheen area. The images below are courtesy of Dr Watson and we are most grateful for his help in this.
The Okeover Cartulary
In this first document Peter, son of Robert de Withul resigns and quit claims a bovate of land at Sheen to his Lord Robert I of Okeover for which Robert paid twelve marks. The date is said to be between 1220-1235.
The original text is in Latin:
Donatio ac quiet’ cl’ Petri filii Roberti de Withul facta Roberto de Ocovre de una bovata terre in Schene. Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Petrus filius Roberti de Withul concessi et quietum clamavi et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi et in manu domini mei Roberti de Acovre resignavi unam bovatam terre in villa de Schene cum omnibus pertinenciis suis illam scilicet quam de eo tenui quietam de me et heredibus meis sibi et heredibus suis imperpetuum.
Ita quod ego nec heredes mei aliquod jus vel clamium in predicta bovata cum pertinenciis decetero exigere poterimus. O(m)ni autem pro hac concessione et quiet(a) clamacione et confirmacione et resignatione dedit mihi dictus dominus meus Robertus de Acovre duodecim marcas argenti ad ingressum. Et in huius rei testimonium huic presenti scripto sigillum meum apposui. Hiis testibus Henrico de Deneston Ricardo de Draycot Henrico de Ilum Willelmo de Yppestanes Willelm[o] Meverel Johanne de Beveresford Roberto de Casterne Adam de Russ(e)t Rogero de Wodehous et aliis. Source: DRO D231M/T329. CARTULARY: OC fol. 9v (i). PRINTED: ‘WO’, no.57, p.155.
The second document and image here is the quit claim given by Alice widow of Robert Wythul in favour of Robert I of Okeover in respect of her dower of a bovate of land in Sheen for which Robert paid her four marks and again dates to between 1220-1235.
The text in Latin is:
CARTULARY: OC fol. 10r (i). Quiet’ clam’ Alicie relicte Roberti de Wythul fact’ Roberto de Acovre de dota sua. Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Alicia relicta Roberti de Wythul concessi et quietum clamavi et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi totam dotem meam unius bovate terre in villa de Schene q(ue) fuit dicti Roberti domini mei de Withul domino Roberto de Acovre et heredibus suis quietam de me omnibus diebus vite mee.
Ita quod ego nullam partem dotis terre illius in tota vita mea exigere potero. Omni pro hac concessione et quieta clamacione dedit mihi dictus Robertus de Acovre quatuor marcos argenti. Et in huius rei testimonium presentem cartam sigilli inpressione roboravi. Hiis testibus Henrico de Deneston Ricardo de Draycot Henrico de Ilum Willelmo de Ippestanes Willelmo Meverel Roberto de Casturn Adam de Rustan Rogero de Wodehous et aliis.
CARTULARY: OC fol. 10r (i). Watson, 2017: p 274
These two documents imply that a family, comprising of Robert de Whithul, his wife Alice and his son Peter, held at least two bovates of land in Sheen. The documents show that Robert had died and that his wife and son were selling this land to the Okeovers.
As part of the Peeling Back The Layers project in 2016 we were supported by historian Dr Simon Harris of Keele University and this information is important as it helps to corroborate Dr Harris’s theory that Whitle probably originated in the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, and was likely ‘an area of later colonisation, and expansion of agriculture away from the core settlement of Sheen and other neighbouring settlements such as Longnor, as a growing population sought new lands
from which they could make a living.’
While this is a really exciting development we have not been able to identify where in Whitle they lived.