Contents 1 Original meaning 2 Holy Roman usage 3 In Anglo-Saxon England 4 After the Norman conquest 5 Relationship to other terms 6 Notes 7 References 8 Further reading

Original meaning[edit] The Anglo-Saxon word for a hide was hid (or its synonym hiwisc). Both words are believed to be derived from the same root hiwan, which meant "family". Bede in his Ecclesiastical History (c.731) describes the extent of a territory by the number of families which it supported, as (for instance), in Latin, terra x familiarum meaning 'a territory of ten families'. In the Anglo-Saxon version of the same work hid or hiwan is used in place of terra ... familiarum. Other documents of the period show the same equivalence and it is clear that the word hide originally signified land sufficient for the support of a peasant and his household[2] or of a 'family', which may have had an extended meaning. It is uncertain whether it meant the immediate family or a more extensive group.[3] Charles-Edwards suggests that in its early usage it referred to the land of one family, worked by one plough and that ownership of a hide conferred the status of a freeman,[4] to whom Stenton referred as "the independent master of a peasant household".[5]

Holy Roman usage[edit] Hides of land formed the basis for tax levies used to equip free warriors (miles) of the empire. In 807 it was specified that in the region west of the Seine, for example, a vassal who held four or five hides was responsible for showing up to a muster in person, fully equipped for war. Three men who each possessed one hide, though, merely were grouped such that two of them were responsible for equipping the third, who would go to war in their name. Those holding half-hides were responsible for readying one man for every group of six. This came about as a way of ensuring that the liege took to the field with a fully equipped and provisioned force.[6]

In Anglo-Saxon England[edit] In early Anglo-Saxon England, the hide was used as the basis for assessing the amount of food rent (known as feorm) due from a village or estate and it became the unit on which all public obligations were assessed, including in particular the maintenance and repair of bridges and fortifications and the provision of troops for manning the defences of a town or for the defence force known as the 'fyrd'. For instance, at one period, five hides were expected to provide one fully armed soldier in the king's service, and one man from every hide was to be liable to do garrison duty for the burhs and to help in their initial construction and upkeep.[7] A land tax known as geld was first levied in 990 and this became known as the Danegeld, as it was used to buy off the Danes who were then raiding and invading the country. It was raised again for the same purpose on several occasions. The already existing system of assessment of land in hides was utilised to raise the geld, which was levied at a stated rate per hide (e.g. two shillings per hide). Subsequently the same system was used for general taxation and the geld was raised as required.[8] The hide was a measure of value rather than a measurement of area,[9] but the logic of its assessment is not easy to understand, especially as assessments were changed from time to time and not always consistently. By the end of the Anglo-Saxon period it was a measure of 'the taxable worth of an area of land', but it had no fixed relationship to its area, the number of ploughteams working on it, or its population; nor was it limited to the arable land on an estate. According to Bailey, "It is a commonplace that the hide in 1086 had a very variable extent on the ground; the old concept of 120 acres cannot be sustained."[10] Many details of the development of the system during the 350 years which elapsed between the time of Bede and the Domesday Book remain obscure. According to Sir Frank Stenton, "Despite the work of many great scholars the hide of early English texts remains a term of elusive meaning."[11] The fact that assessments consistently tended to be made in units of 5 hides or multiples of 5 hides goes to show that we are not speaking of fixed or even approximate acreages and this applies not only to the 11th century but to charters of the 7th and 8th centuries.[12] Nevertheless, the hide became the basis of an artificial system of assessment of land for purposes of taxation, which lasted for a long period. The most consistent aspect of the hide is described as follows by Dr Harvey (referring particularly to Domesday Book): "Both Maitland and Vinogradoff long ago noticed that there was a general tendency throughout Domesday for a hide of land to be worth £1, or, put another way,for land producing £1 of income to be assessed at one hide."[13] A number of early documents referring to hides have survived, but these can only be seen as steps in the development of the concept of the hide and do not enable us to see the full story. The document known as the Tribal Hidage is a very early list thought to date possibly from the 7th century, but known only from a later and unreliable manuscript. It is a list of tribes and small kingdoms owing tribute to an overlord and of the proportionate liability or quota imposed on each of them. This is expressed in terms of hides, though we have no details as to how these were arrived at nor how they were converted into a cash liability.[14] The Burghal Hidage (early 10th century) is a list of boroughs giving the hide assessments of neighbouring districts which were liable to contribute to the defence of the borough, each contributing to the maintenance and manning of the fortifications in proportion to the number of hides for which they answered.[15] The County Hidage (early 11th century) lists the total number of hides to be assessed on each county and it seems that by this time at least the total number of hides in a given area was imposed from above. Each county was assigned a round number of hides, for which it would be required to answer. For instance, at an early date in the 11th century, Northamptonshire was assigned 3,200 hides, while Staffordshire was assigned only 500.[16] This number was then divided up between the hundreds in the county. Theoretically there were 100 hides in each hundred, but this proportion was often not maintained, for example because of changes in the hundreds or in the estates comprising them or because assessments were altered when the actual cash liability was perceived as being too high or too low or for other reasons now unknown. The hides within each hundred were then divided between villages, estates or manors, usually in blocks or multiples of 5 hides, though this was not always maintained. Differences from the norm could result from estates being moved from one hundred to another, or from adjustments to the size of an estate or alterations in the number of hides for which an estate should answer.[17] As each local community had the task of deciding how its quota of hides should be divided between the lands held by that community, different communities used different criteria, depending on the type of land held and on the way in which an individual's wealth was reckoned within that community, it is self-evident that no single comprehensive definition is possible.

After the Norman conquest[edit] The Norman kings, after the Conquest, continued to use the system which they found in place. Geld was levied at intervals on the existing hidage assessments. In 1084, William I laid an exceptionally heavy geld of six shillings upon every hide. At the time the value of the hide was approximating twenty shillings a year, and the price of an ox was two shillings. Thus the holder of a hide had a tax burden equivalent to three of his oxen and close upon one-third of the annual value of his land.[8] A more normal rate was 2 shillings on each hide. Domesday Book, recording the results of the survey made on the orders of William I in 1086, states in hides (or carucates or sulungs as the case might be) the assessed values of estates throughout the area covered by the survey.[18] Usually it gives this information for 1086 and 1066, but some counties were different and only showed this information for one of those dates. By that time the assessments showed many anomalies.[18] Many of the hide assessments on lands held by tenants-in-chief were reduced between 1066 and 1086 in order to effect an exemption from or reduction in tax; this again shows that the hide is a tax assessment, not an area of land.[19] Sometimes, the assessment in hides is given both for the whole manor and for the demesne land (i.e. the lord's own demesne) included in it. Dr Sally Harvey has suggested that the ploughland data in Domesday Book was intended to be used for a complete re-assessment but, if so, it was never actually made.[20] The Pipe Rolls, where they are available, show that levies were based largely on the old assessments, though with some amendments and exemptions. The last recorded levy was for 1162-3 during the reign of Henry II, but the tax was not formally abolished and Henry II thought of using it again between 1173 and 1175. The old assessments were used for a tax on land in 1193-4 to raise money for King Richard's ransom.[21]

Relationship to other terms[edit] A hide was usually made up of four virgates although exceptionally Sussex had eight virgates to the hide.[22] A similar measure was used in the northern Danelaw, known as a carucate, consisting of eight bovates, and Kent used a system based on a "sulung", consisting of four yokes, which was larger than the hide and on occasion treated as equivalent to two hides.[23] These measures had a different origin, signifying the amount of land which could be cultivated by one plough team as opposed to a family holding, but all later became artificial fiscal assessments. In some counties in Domesday Book (e.g. Cambridgeshire), the hide is sometimes shown as consisting of 120 acres (30 acres to the virgate), but as Darby explains: "The acres are, of course, not units of area, but geld acres, i.e. units of assessment". In other words, this was a way of dividing the tax assessment on the hide between several owners of parts of the land assessed. The owner of land assessed at 40 notional (or 'fiscal') acres in a village assessed at 10 hides and paying geld of 2 shillings per hide would be responsible for one-third (​40⁄120) of 2 shillings—that is, 8 pence—though his land might be considerably more or less than 40 modern statute acres in extent.[24]

Notes[edit] ^ Russ Rowlett. "Hide". How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement. Retrieved 3 November 2017.  ^ Lennard pp.58-60 ^ Faith (1997) pp.132-7 ^ Charles-Edwards p.5 ^ Stenton p.278 ^ Delbrück, 18 ^ Powicke. Military Obligation in Medieval England. pp.18-21 ^ a b E. Lipson, The Economic History of England, 12th ed., vol. 1 p. 16 ^ Faith (1997) p.91 ^ Bailey, p. 5 ^ Stenton, p. 279 ^ Stenton p.287 ^ Harvey (1987) pp.252-2 ^ Stenton p.295. See also Cyril Hart: The Tribal Hidage in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 5th series Vol.21 (1971) ^ Stenton p.265. See also David Hill & A.R.Rumble (edd): The Defence of Wessex - The Burghal Hidage (1996) ^ Stenton, p. 646. ^ Stenton, pp.644-6; Darby, pp.1-12. ^ a b See for example Darby, pp. 106-8, and Bailey. ^ Harvey (1987) pp.257ff ^ Harvey pp.186-189 ^ See J.A.Green ^ Dennis Haselgrove. The domesday record of Sussex in Brandon's. South Saxons. pp. 198-199 ^ Stenton, pp. 281-2, 647 ^ Darby (1971) p.274 and see Maitland (1987 edition) p.475

References[edit] Bailey, Keith, The Hidation of Buckinghamshire, in Records of Buckinghamshire, Vol.32, 1990 (pp. 1–22) Brandon, Peter, ed. (1978). The South Saxons. Chichester: Phillimore. ISBN 0-85033-240-0.  Charles-Edwards, T.M., Kinship, Status and the Origins of the Hide in Past & Present, Vol. 36 1972 (pp. 3–33) Darby, Henry C., Domesday England, Cambridge University Press, 1977 Darby, Henry C.; The Domesday Geography of Eastern England, Cambridge university Pree, 1971 Delbrück, Hans, trans. Walter Renfroe Jr. History of the Art of War, Volume III: Medieval Warfare (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1982) Faith, Rosamund J., The English Peasantry and the Growth of Lordship, London. 1997 Faith, Rosamund J., Hide, article in The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, ed: Michael Lapidge et al., London. 2001 Green, J.A.: The Last Century of Danegeld in The English Historical Review Vol.96, no.379 (April 1981) pp. 241–258 Harvey, Dr Sally P.J: Domesday Book and Anglo-Norman Governance in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 5th series, Vol.25 (1975) pp. 175–193 Harvey, Dr Sally P.J: Taxation and the Economy in Domesday Studies edited by J.C.Holt. Woodbridge. 1987 Hollister, C. Warren (1962). Anglo-Saxon Military Institutions on the Eve of the Norman Conquest. Oxford: Clarendon Press.  Lennard, Reginald: The origin of the Fiscal Carucate in The Economic History Review Vol.14, No.1 (1944) pp. 51–63 Lipson, E.,The Economic History of England, Volume 1, (12th edition), (London. 1959) Maitland, Frederic William (1897). Domesday Book and Beyond. Three essays in the early history of England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 4 March 2014.  Powicke, Michael (1962). Military Obligation in Medieval England. Oxford: Oxford University Press. . E. Lipson, The Economic History of England, 12th ed., vol. 1 (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1959), 16, Stenton, Frank M., Anglo-Saxon England (3rd edn.), Oxford University Press, 1971 Welldon Finn, R (1963). An Introduction to Domesday Book. Longman. 

Further reading[edit] Much work has been done investigating the hidation of various counties and also in attempts to discover more about the origin and development of the hide and the purposes for which it was used, but without producing many clear conclusions which would help the general reader. Those requiring more information may wish to consult the following works in addition to those quoted in the Notes: Darby, Henry C. & Campbell, Eila M. J. (1961) The Domesday Geography of South Eastern England Darby, Henry C. & Maxwell, I. S. (1962) The Domesday Geography of Northern England Darby, Henry C. & Finn, R. Welldon (1967) The Domesday Geography of South West England Darby, Henry C. (1971) The Domesday Geography of Eastern England, 3rd ed. Darby, Henry C. & Terrett, I. B. (1971) The Domesday Geography of Midland England, 2nd ed. McDonald, John & Snooks, Graeme D. (1985) "Were the Tax Assessments of Domesday England Artificial?: the Case of Essex", in: The Economic History Review, New series, Vol. 38, No. 3, [Aug. 1985], pp. 352–72 Snooks, Graeme D. and McDonald, John. Domesday Economy: a New Approach to Anglo-Norman History. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986 ISBN 0-19-828524-8 Hamshere, J. D. (1987) "Regressing Domesday Book: Tax Assessments of Domesday England, in: The Economic History Review, New series, Vol. 40, No. 2. [May 1987], pp. 247-51 Leaver, R. A. (1988) "Five Hides in Ten Counties: a Contribution to the Domesday Regression Debate", in: The Economic History Review, New series, Vol. 41, No. 4, [Nov. 1988], pp. 525–42 Bridbury, A. R. (1990) "Domesday Book: a Re-interpretation", in: English Historical Review, Vol. 105, No. 415. [Apr. 1990], pp. 284–309 v t e Designations for types of administrative territorial entities English terms Common English terms1 Area Insular area Local government area Protected area Special area Statistical area Combined statistical area Metropolitan statistical area Micropolitan statistical area Urban area Canton Half-canton Borough County borough Metropolitan borough Capital Federal capital Imperial capital City City state Autonomous city Charter city Independent city Incorporated city Imperial city Free imperial city Royal free city Community Autonomous community Residential community County Administrative county Autonomous county Consolidated city-county Metropolitan county Non-metropolitan Viscountcy Country Overseas country Department Overseas department District Capital district City district Congressional district Electoral district Federal district Indian government district Land district Metropolitan district Non-metropolitan district Military district Municipal district Police district Regional district Rural district Sanitary district Subdistrict Urban district Special district Division Census division Police division Subdivision Municipality County municipality Norway Nova Scotia Regional county municipality Direct-controlled municipality District municipality Mountain resort municipality Neutral municipality Regional municipality Resort municipality Rural municipality Specialized municipality Prefecture Autonomous prefecture Subprefecture Super-prefecture Praetorian prefecture Province Autonomous province Overseas province Roman province Region Administrative region Autonomous region Capital region Development region Economic region Mesoregion Microregion Overseas region Planning region Special administrative region Statistical region Subregion Reserve Biosphere reserve Ecological reserve Game reserve Indian reserve Nature reserve State Federal state Free state Sovereign state Territory Capital territory Federal capital territory Dependent territory Federal territory Military territory Organized incorporated territory Overseas territory Union territory Unorganized territory Town Census town Market town Township Charter township Civil township Paper township Survey township Urban township Unit Autonomous territorial unit Local administrative unit Municipal unit Regional unit Zone Economic zone Exclusive economic zone Free economic zone Special economic zone Free-trade zone Neutral zone Self-administered zone Other English terms Current Alpine resort Bailiwick Banner Autonomous Block Cadastre Circle Circuit Colony Commune Condominium Constituency Duchy Eldership Emirate Federal dependency Governorate Hamlet Ilkhanate Indian reservation Manor Royal Muftiate Neighbourhood Parish Periphery Precinct Principality Protectorate Quarter Regency Autonomous republic Riding Sector Autonomous Shire Sultanate Suzerainty Townland Village Administrative Summer Ward Historical Agency Barony Burgh Exarchate Hide Hundred Imperial Circle March Monthon Presidency Residency Roman diocese Seat Tenth Tithing Non-English or loanwords Current Amt Bakhsh Barangay Bezirk Regierungsbezirk Comune Frazione Fu Gemeinde Județ Kunta / kommun Finland Sweden Län Località Megye Muban Oblast Autonomous Okrug Ostān Poblacion Purok Shahrestān Sum Sýsla Tehsil Vingtaine Historical Commote Gau Heerlijkheid Köping Maalaiskunta Nome Egypt Greece Pagus Pargana Plasă Satrapy Socken Subah Syssel Zhou v t e Arabic terms for country subdivisions First-level Muhafazah (محافظة governorate) Wilayah (ولاية province) Mintaqah (منطقة region) Mudiriyah (مديرية directorate) Imarah (إمارة emirate) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Shabiyah (شعبية "popularate") Second / third-level Mintaqah (منطقة region) Qadaa (قضاء district) Nahiyah (ناحية subdistrict) Markaz (مركز district) Mutamadiyah (معتمدية "delegation") Daerah/Daïra (دائرة circle) Liwa (لواء banner / sanjak) City / township-level Amanah (أمانة municipality) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Ḥai (حي neighborhood / quarter) Mahallah (محلة) Qarya (قرية) Sheyakhah (شياخة "neighborhood subdivision") English translations given are those most commonly used. v t e French terms for country subdivisions arrondissement département préfecture subprefectures v t e Greek terms for country subdivisions Modern apokentromenes dioikiseis / geniki dioikisis§ / diamerisma§ / periphereia nomos§ / periphereiaki enotita demos / eparchia§ / koinotita§ Historical archontia/archontaton bandon demos despotaton dioikesis doukaton droungos eparchia exarchaton katepanikion kephalatikion kleisoura meris naukrareia satrapeia strategis thema toparchia tourma § signifies a defunct institution v t e Portuguese terms for country subdivisions Regional subdivisions Estado Distrito federal Província Região Distrito Comarca Capitania Local subdivisions Município Concelho Freguesia Comuna Circunscrição Settlements Cidade Vila Aldeia Bairro Lugar Historical subdivisions in italics. v t e Slavic terms for country subdivisions Current dzielnica gmina krai kraj krajina / pokrajina městys obec oblast / oblast' / oblasti / oblys / obwód / voblast' okręg okres okrug opština / općina / občina / obshtina osiedle powiat / povit raion selsoviet / silrada sołectwo voivodeship / vojvodina županija Historical darugha gromada guberniya / gubernia jurydyka khutor obshchina okolia opole pogost prowincja sorok srez starostwo / starostva uyezd volost ziemia župa v t e Spanish terms for country subdivisions National, Federal Comunidad autónoma Departamento Distrito federal Estado Provincia Región Regional, Metropolitan Cantón Comarca Comuna Corregimiento Delegación Distrito Mancomunidad Merindad Municipalidad Municipio Parroquia Ecuador Spain Urban, Rural Aldea Alquería Anteiglesia Asentamiento Asentamiento informal Pueblos jóvenes Barrio Campamento Caserío Ciudad Ciudad autónoma Colonia Lugar Masía Pedanía Población Ranchería Sitio Vereda Villa Village (Pueblito/Pueblo) Historical subdivisions in italics. v t e Turkish terms for country subdivisions Modern il (province) ilçe (district) şehir (city) kasaba (town) belediye (municipality) belde (community) köy (village) mahalle (neighbourhood/quarter) Historical ağalık (feudal district) bucak (subdistrict) beylerbeylik (province) kadılık (subprovince) kaza (sub-province) hidivlik (viceroyalty) mutasarrıflık (subprovince) nahiye (nahiyah) paşalık (province) reya (Romanian principalities) sancak (prefecture) vilayet (province) voyvodalık (Romanian provinces) 1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics. See also: Census division, Electoral district, Political division, and List of administrative divisions by country Retrieved from "" Categories: Types of country subdivisionsObsolete units of measurementUnits of areaHidden categories: Articles containing Old English-language text

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