Hemming’s Cartulary is a collection of charters and other land records, collected by a monk named Hemming around the time of the Norman Conquest of England. The manuscript comprises two separate cartularies that were made at different times and later bound together. The first was composed at the end of the 10th or beginning of the 11th century. The second section was compiled by Hemming and was written around the start of the 12th Century. The two works form the first surviving cartulary from medieval England.
About Hemming’s Cartulary in brief
Hemming’s Cartulary is a manuscript cartulary, or collection of charters and other land records, collected by a monk named Hemming around the time of the Norman Conquest of England. The manuscript comprises two separate cartularies that were made at different times and later bound together. The first was composed at the end of the 10th or beginning of the 11th century. The second section was compiled by Hemming and was written around the start of the 12th Century. The two works were bound together to form the manuscript Cotton Tiberius A xiii, now held in the Cotton Library, a collection in the British Library. Together, the two works form the first surviving cartularies from medieval England. A new printed edition is in production as of 2010. The original manuscript was damaged in a fire in 1733, but the damage was not serious. The edges of the manuscript were burned, which resulted in a few words being lost on the margins. Because of the fire damage, the manuscript was rebound in the 19th century, and each leaf was mounted separately. In addition to the two main sections, there are three smaller parchment pages bound in with the manuscript: folios 110, 143, and 153. The last inserted folio, 153, measures 58 millimetres high by 180 millimetre wide and gives the boundaries of a manor in Old English, rather than Latin; it is written in a 12th-century hand. There are 155 insertions in the Liber Wigorniensis, which are later insertions of the late 10th-charters, which were compiled in the episcopate of Ealdwulfstan’s predecessor, Wulfstan.
Some scholars believe the work was compiled between 1012 and 1016, when the archbishop of York and bishop of Worcester held both archbishopric. Another historian suggests that it was created in the late 996 or early 1002, and that no leases are later than 996, because no sees are mentioned in the early parts of the work. The work was first printed in 1723, and required rebinding in the 20th century because of the damage caused by the fire. It is currently held by the British Museum. It includes a collection of older charters, arranged geographically, with a section on late 10-century land leases tacked on the end. Included amongst the despoilers are kings such as Cnut and William the Conqueror, and nobles such as Eadric Streona and Urse d’Abetot. Also included are accounts of lawsuits waged by the Worcester monks in an effort to regain their lost lands. A major theme is the losses suffered by Worcester at the hands of royal officials and local landowners. It takes up folios 1–118, and folios 119–142, 144–152 and 154–200. It may also contain charters collected as part of Hemming’s work, as they have been identified by some scholars as having been produced during Hemming’s lifetime, although others identify them as a copy.