DCD Feodarium p. 21.

Ed. Feodarium pp. 34-35.

Survey of freeholdings, 1430

The monastic archive at Durham is noted for its wealth of documents generated in the course of the management of very large estates, but one type of document is rare and that is the survey, extent or terrier. The one notable exception is the survey known as the Feodarium; as its name implies this is concerned with freeholdings only, and its coverage was restricted to the main estate, but similar documents of this date survive for the offices of the almoner and the infirmarer. Its creation was presumably prompted by an awareness on the part of the estate's managers that some freeholders were not paying their full rents and other dues. So far as is known the only older record that these managers had available was a survey known to them as "Melsonbybook", presumably compiled during the priorate of Thomas of Melsonby 1234 - 1244, and hence long overdue for replacement, and now lost. This task required a considerable amount of research, and notes found in the mid-fourteenth-century rentals formed part of the process of assembling the requisite information. That this was worth doing is evident: 'Idem heredes tenent ibidem libere de Priore Dunelm- vnum messuagium et xv acras terre et vnam acram prati de illis xxij acris terre quas Agnes que fuit vxor Willelmi del Hay quondam inuadiauit Willelmo de Elmeden et que tenentur de domino Priore Dunelm- per homagium et fidelitatem et reddunt inde ad Scacarium Prioris Dunelm- per annum vt patet in tercio turno halmotorum Anno domini Millesimo CCC lxxxj ij s xj d Sed solebant reddere vt patet per omnia Rentalia antiqua per annum iij s iiij d' [view].