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Berkeley Hundred, now the Hundreds of Upper Berkeley and Lower Berkeley, (1) was held by the first Sir Maurice Berkeley, who built in 1153 the Norman fortress now known as Berkeley Castle, where King Edward II was murdered in 1327. (2)

Berkeley Hundred was in the hands of the Crown from 1495 to 1553. A court leet held in 1543 for the Hundred of Berkeley included the locations: Hamme (Ham), Stone, Aulkynton, Hynton (Hinton), Hamfallow ("in Hynton's side"), Kyngescott, Hurst, Slymbrigge (Slimbridge), Nymesfeld, Flyton and Haye and Bradston. A second court lett held at Wotten Forine included Camm (Cam), Owlpen, Huntingford, Uley, Cromehall (Cromhall), Arlingham (Allingham, Erlyngham), Warren's Tenants (Warrens Tennants), Symmonshall and Combe (Symonds Hall and Combe), Wortley, Coweley, Wodmancote and Nibley.

1543 Berkeley Hundred. View of Frankpledge held Monday after the feast of Simon and Jude. 35 Henry VIII. before Anthony KINGSTON, knight, chief steward.


JURORS for the lord the king; Thomas BUTLER, gent., John HERNY, gent., Richard TYNDALL, Walter WODWARD, Thomas BAYLEY, Edward MALLETT, William BERE, Thomas HURNE, Robert TOWCHE, Richard JOBYNS, Richard WALKER, Richard GRIFFITH.
…WOTTON FORINE. View of Frankpledge [same as above]


JURORS for the Lord the King: John FRYER, Thomas DORNEY, Giles CLAYFIELD, James a BARNESDALE, James DUNNYNG, William RYE, John HARDYNG, Anthony MABBOTT, John FORDES, John BROWNINGE, William FORDIS, Walter FRYER.

CROMEHALL. [Presentments]. Officer elected: Philip HYCKES, constable.

SYMMONSHALL AND COMBE. [Presentments]. Officer elected: Roger COME, tithingman.(5)
WORTLEY. [Presentments]. Officer elected: Robert HOPKYNS, tithingman.

Symmonsale (Symonds Hall) and Combe is a Hamlet in Wotton-Under-Edge (PRO Index HO 107/1958)

Berkeley Parish, originally in the Hundred of Berkeley, Gloucester (now the hundred of Upper Berkeley, Gloucester), lies near the juncture of the counties of Somerset and Monmouth, 3.72 miles west of Cam and less than four miles southeast of North Nibley; (3) originally included Stone, "former chapelry in ecclesiastical parish of Berkeley, but regarded as a parish by 1700. In civil parish of Ham & Stone since 1894." (4)

Extracted from 1541-1571 Will Abstracts, parishes of Berkeley, Stone and Hill, Gloucester Probate records, by Leslie Maher, from L.D.S. Film series #0091371 and #0091378, published by Gen-UKI:

1558 Will of Nicholas CAM of Berkeley. Rob, Rich & Margt CAME [sic]; execs wife Joan & son Jn; overs Jn NEWMAN & Nicholas ANDROWES [SW: Robert, Richard, Margaret, John, ANDREWS]

1557 Will of Robert SMYTHE of Berkeley. son Jn & his dtr Eliz; childr Thos, Rich & Alice; 5 childr of Rich ELYATT; Thos CORRYARE; Rob son of Thos SMYTHE; dtr Margt ELLYAT; Jn SMART of Nibley; wife Alice exec; overs: Thos LYNKE & Rich COME [Search Words: SMITH, ELLIOT, LINKE, COURIER]

1558 Will of Alice SMYTH of Pedonton, Berkeley. bro Wlm TYLLADAM; execs childr Thos, Rich & Alice; overs Thos LYNK & Wlm COMBE

1561 Will of John NEWEMAN of Halmar, Berkeley. dtr Margt; dtrs Joan & Maud, & their child; Frances WERE; wife Joan exec; overs Jn MODY, Jn LEWES, Jn CAMES & Rich FRYER

1567 Will of Miles COLYNBELL of Ham, Berkeley. godson Edward son of Jn BROWNE,taylor; Ralph GEFFORD; Joan NELME widow; Davis APRYE; Aderye JOHNSON; Agn ATOWDE; Edward HAMANS of Hinton; Rich COMBE; Jn HEWARD; Kath wife of Henry HOLLYSTER; Thos BALL; Jn MYLES,clerk; Joan DOWLE; Thos ARREN; Rich HERYNG; Anthony WAT of Hinton; Wlm & Rich BAKER; Randolph S.. minster; Margt wife of Jn BROWNE; Joan CARPENTER; Rich BELYE; Thos ERNER; Thos DENYNG; Thos THYMANE; Thos YONG; Thos JAMES, shoemaker; Thos MALPAS of Hinton; execs Jn HURNE & Thos FREARE, shoemaker

1567 Will of Thomas ANDREWS of Ham, Berkeley. sis Margt; sis Alice DENINGE & her 3 childr; Kath MORSE; goddtr Alice CAME; Thos SPYNER; exec bro Wlm A

Berkeley Parish, Gloucester Parish Records (Except where otherwise noted, source is IGI entry, FamilySearch.Org, Film No. 0417121, Bishop's transcripts, 1571-1812 Church of England. Parish Church of Berkeley (Gloucestershire)) [NIGI 1998]

22 Nov 1572 Berkeley, Gloucester, England. Married: Richard COMBE and Mergry HARROULDE [SW: Margery HARROLD, HAROLD]

1 Jan 1575 Christened: George THORPE, son of Nicholas THORPE

23 May 1576 Berkeley, Gloucester, England. Christended: Susana COMBE, d/o Richard

16 Oct 1578 Berkeley, Gloucester, England. Married: John COMBE and Agnis DAVIS [SW: Agnes]

Two founders of the Berkeley Company of Virginia Colony were Richard BERKELEY of Stoke Gifford (3 mi. northeast of the port city of Bristol) and John SMYTH of Nibley. Sir Richard BERKELEY m (1) Elizabeth, daughter of William READ, of Mitton near Tewkesbury, and (2) Eleanor, widow of Robert ROE (no issue). Of the issue of Sir Richard & Elizabeth READ Berkeley: (1) Henry BERKELEY, s/o Sir Richard & Elizabeth READ Berkeley, m Mirriell, daughter of Thomas THROCKMORTON of Warwickshire, and Henry & Murriel THROCKMORTON'S son, Richard, m Mary ROE, daughter of Robert ROE and sister of Sir Tho. ROE; (2) Katherine m Sir Rowland LEE of Longbarrow, Co Gloucester (See Also Early Combs to Virginia in reference to Thomas COMBES, shareholder, and close associate of both SMITH and BERKELEY.).

Note: North Nibley parish is in the upper division of the hundred of Berkeley, county of Gloucester, 2½ mi. northwest of Wotton under Edge.

  1. Berkeley, Gloucester, Gen-UKI
  2. The Murder of King Edward the 2nd, by John E. Trivett, Trivett Family History
  3. parishinfo.mdb by Terry Lawson, Gerry Lawson and Derek Boys
  4. Guide to the Parish Records of the City of Bristol and the County of Gloucester by I. Gray & E. Ralph, 1963
  5. Exchequer. Court of Augmentations: court rolls, portf.2,No. 93. Berkeley Hundred Court Rolls, electronically published by Gloucestershire Genealogy)

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