7 – Bullingdon Hundred

BullingdonHundred

Of the 14 Hundreds, which until the 19thC were the Main Administrative Divisions of the County, Bullingdon was one of the Larger and was the most Central.  The names of the Villages composing it, owing to the general absence of Hundredal rubrications in the Oxfordshire Domesday, are not known until the end of the 13thC.  From that date, until the Boundary of the Hundred was Mapped by the 18thC Cartographers there has been little if any, alteration in its outline. It is clear that the Boundaries shown on Richard Davis’s Map of 1794 were originally dictated in part by the County Boundary and by natural features.  The Hundred reached on the East to the Bucks Border; on the West, the Rivers Thames & Cherwell formed the Boundary for part of the way, but instead of turning East along the Course of the River Ray the Line followed an Artificial Course South of the River so as to exclude the Township of Noke, only joining the Ray again South of Oddington. It then proceeded North & East towards the Bucks Border along the Ray and one of its Arms.  On the South, the Boundary followed an artificial & irregular line, cutting the Parish of Nuneham in 2, until it reached the River Thame, which it followed for a short distance.  On the extreme South-East, it made an elongated loop so as to include Tiddington, and by so doing cut the Hundred of Thame into 3 parts. The eccentric Line in the North & South suggests that there had been a considerable re-organisation of the Hundred since its 1st Creation.  The Baldons, for instance, may have been transferred from the Hundred of Dorchester, which comprised all the other Townships whose Churches had been founded from Dorchester.  Noke may have been excluded from Bullingdon for Tenurial reasons since in 1204 the Abbot of Westminster established his claim to the Liberty of Islip to which part of Noke belonged and which itself lay in Ploughley Hundred. Another alteration in the Boundary may have taken place in comparatively late times.  The Western Boundary on Davis’s Map follows the Cherwell from its confluence with the Thames, leaving Oxford to the West, but until the end of the 12thC or even later, when the North Gate Hundred seems to have been formed, the environs of Oxford must have been in Bullingdon. The Boundary would then have followed the Western arm of the Thames and have included Binsey, Medley, & Oseney.

Reproduced from VCH Oxfordshire XVIII (2016), available online at www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol18