Bitterley's Hide

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Bitterley's Hide[1], variously called Bytterlyssyde, Bitterleyside, Bytterleys hyde, etc., was located in the lordship of Pencomb, Hereford. It consisted of about 200 acres of pasture with appurtenances, including diverse lands, meadows, pastures and "feadinges".

  • 16 April 25 Henry VI (1447), "Richard Bytterley who holds various lands and tenements called Bitterleyhide has demised them to Roger Whitton"[2]
  • Sometime between 1518-1529, William Wykes, son of William Wykes who supposedly had been seised of this land, sued Robert Whitney of Castleton.[3]
  • About 1554, the descendants of Richard Byterley sued Sir Robert Whitney over the land.[4] They stated that Richard Byterley had been seased of the land, and when he died, it descended to his son Philippe Byterley. When Philippe died, it descended to his daughters Margaret, wife of Wyllim Rede, and Jane Kettell. Jane had died and her portion descended to her son John Kettell. They were suing Sir Robert Whitney, stating that various documents concerning the land had come to his hands. Sir Robert Whitney stated that his grandfather James Whitney had been seased of the land, and when he died, it had descended to his father, Robert Whitney, esquire, and then to himself. Sir Robert Whitney also stated that his father, Robert Whitney, had rented the land to Thomas Wykes and his heires.
  • In 1566, Nicholas Whitney, son of Robert Whitney of Castleton, sued Sir Robert Whitney.[5] Nicholas stated that his grandfather Robert Whitney had been seased of the land, and had left it to Thomas Whitney and his heires, but that Thomas Whitney had died without heires, so the land then went to Robert Whitney, his father, about 60 years earlier. Robert Whitney was seased of the land, and at some point there was a contention between he and Thomas Wyke, who served him with a subpeona. Robert was then a "verry aged and olde man" and so he asked Robert Whitney to assist him, and turned over the legal documents for the land for that purpose. Then both his father Robert (of Castleton) as well as Robert Whitney of Whitney died. Nicholas had asked for the deeds on many occasions, but Sir Robert Whitney ignored his requests.


1. ^  A "hide" originally referred to the land-holding that supported a family in the early medieval period. The term was later used to define areas of land varying from 60 to 120 old acres. List of medieval land terms on Wikipedia.

2. ^  Records of Pencombe Court, ref. A63/I/1/1, 1447-1452, Hampton Court Estate Collection, Herefordshire Record Office, Hereford, England.

3. ^  "William, son and heir of William Wykes. v. Robert Whitney: Detention of deeds relating to `Bytterleys Hyde' in Pencombe," 1518-1529, Hereford, C 1/593/18, Chancery pleadings addressed to Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, Cardinal and Papal Legate as Lord Chancellor, Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Early Proceedings, Richard II to Philip and Mary, The National Archives, London.

4. ^  "John Kettell, William Rede and Margaret his wife v. Robert Whitney, knight, grandson and heir of James Whitney, and Henry Tayllour his tenant," 1553-1555, Hereford, C 1/1364/29&30, Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Early Proceedings, Richard II to Philip and Mary, The National Archives, London.

5. ^  "Whitney v. Whitney," 1566, Hereford, C 3/186/32, Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Pleadings, Series II, Elizabeth I to Interregnum, The National Archives, London.

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