Hainault Forest Website

 Barking (Maypole) Parish Mark 

 Written and Designed by Brian Ecott


It happened in Hainault, 29th December 1239

Inquisition concerning the venison in the Forest of Essex

On the day of St. Thomas the Martyr in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of king Henry,  Gilbert Dun the forester and Robert his servant were riding through the forest of Hainhault; and they saw eight men with bows and arrows and greyhounds in the same forest. And the same Gilbert sent word (for others to come); and they went on the morrow into the aforesaid forest and saw the aforesaid men; and they raised the cry upon them, and follow them and put them to flight; and they did not know what became of them. But the men were harboured at the house of Richard the son of Peter of London at Woodford. And for the purpose of better certifying the justices of the forest on their coming, the foresters and verderers assembled and made an inquisition by four neighbouring townships, to wit, Barking, Stapleford Abbots, Lambourne and Wanstead,.....which say they know nothing.

▲Part of the text in Latin

The chattels found at the house aforesaid were forty sheep and eight quarters of oats, the price of the sheep being one mark, and the price of the oats half a mark. And the price is entrusted to Alexander atte Bridge, Thomas atte Bridge of Woodford, Solomon the son of Ralph of Barking, Ernulph of Tyheye of the same town, Brian the son of Osbert of Chigwell and Roger of Hach of the same town. Pledges of Simon the son of Conis, who in the early morning found the aforesaid men, Nicholas the son of Osbert and Eudes the fisher of the same town. Let Goscelin atte Bridge be put by gage and safe pledges to be at the next forest hundred because he was not at La Cleye at the inquisition; wherefore he is suspected. He is pardoned at the request of Brother Nicholas of Woodford.

▲13th century Bowmen.  Young people were required to practise archery and become proficient in their spare time and on Sundays and Holidays.

John the son of Roger the woodward of Chigwell says that when he was on his way in the wood of Hainhault on the day of St. Thomas the Martyr in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of king Henry, he saw seven men, five with bows and arrows and two with with four greyhounds, of whom three had masks, and he showed this to Roger, his father; and  the same Roger asked him if he recognised the men. He replied that John le Blund of Edmonton was one of them. And he said he recognised him because in the past year he often saw coming to see his pigs which he had in the wood aforesaid for pannage. The aforesaid Roger says that, so help him God, he suspects the aforesaid John with regard to the forest of the lord King.



Sketches in Hainault Forest

A hut in the middle of Hainault Forest (1851)  Pigs are feeding on acorns in the autumn months. A forest right known as pannage. See paragraph above ▲.


1 bushel of oats = 39 pounds. (17.7kgs)

1 quarter of oats = 8 bushels (141.5kgs)  


Price of one sheep = 1 mark (13 shillings and sixpence)

Price of oats mark  or 1 noble (6 shillings and eight pence)

A Noble coin was minted. A Mark coin was never minted.


Henry III Short cross penny ►

John, the woodward of Lambourne, says that he suspects the parson of Stapleford because he often saw him going with greyhounds in the forest of the lord King

Simon the son of Conis of Chigwell says that when he came at the dawn of St. Thomas the Martyr to the house of his lord Richard the son of Peter in Woodford for a quarter of oats and three sheep skins to take away to London, and had reached the door of the aforesaid house, two men came out with bows and arrows and seized him and made him pledge faith that he would show nothing of them to anybody, and that he would forthwith go the way that he first proposed to go; and they followed him a full furlong saying to him that if he returned they would punish him severely.

▲ Medieval Hunting Dogs

1. Alant or Mastiff (Swift and follows scent) Ferocious, always muzzled. 2. Gazehound or Greyhound (good sight and speed).  3. Lymer or Lymehound (like a bloodhound).4 & 5. Brache or Rache (like a beagle).

▲ Fourteenth Century Berners and Harbourers.

3. This is a Harbourer carrying a horn, walking his Lymehound in the woods checking for scent of a deer. The dog is kept on a cord.

1. This is a Berner. He has set his dog free as it has unharboured a deer. (picked up the scent). He has coiled the cord on his arm

2. This is also a Berner. He has wide sleeves on his coat.


Turner G.J.  (1901) Select Pleas of the Forest  The Selden Society Publication XIII

Cox J.C. (1905) The Royal Forests of England Methuen & Co.

Chapman. Colin (1995) How heavy, How much and How long?  Lochin publishing.