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Gotts Surname Family History


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History of the name

Earliest known occurrences of the name - part 2

The second in 1356 involves John Hangard of Sudbury with John Gotte’s name second line from bottom at the left:

The Liber Niger Scaccarii is the Black Book of the Exchequer. It's basically reference material for the Exchequer - lists of barons, a pithy instruction manual to procedure, etc. This text, though, is from the records of the Feudal Aid taken in c.1347 by Edward III, which is housed elsewhere in the Exchequer.

By this time period a knight's fee had become decoupled both from actual size of landholding and from the cost of maintaining a knight. Fees were customary taxes attached to landholdings, demanded only on occasion, as part of feudal aids requested by the king. They travelled with the land, not with the individual, and so passed through different hands as the land passed through different hands. By the fourteenth century, they no longer entailed military service -  they were just a tax, usually paid in cash (so Geoffrey wouldn't be expected to show up for battle -  just to give Hugh de Hastings some cash, when the king asked for it). Fees were also often carved up and split over several landholders - in this case, neither Hugh de Hastings nor the Earl Warenne might actually hold the whole of this particular fee.

It seems that the way that entries in the Feudal aid work is that first you have the actual tenant occupying the land (Geoffrey Gottes), then the tenent in capite, then the king. My suspicion is that Gottes is the tenant, Hastings is the esquire/knight (tenant-in-chief), and Warenn is the baron (holding it per baroniam).

Thanks to Louisa for this translation and explanation.

Swannington is 20 miles away from Walsingham, and about 10 miles North West of Norwich. We don't have any further knowledge of Geoffrey yet, though we do have reports of a Gotts family in Swannington that we haven't been able to connect anyone to in the 1700s. It is more likely that they next link to Walsingham Gottses, if at all.

"Extracts of Liber Niger Scaccarii and the Account of the Aid taken in 20th Edward III (ie 20th year of Edward III which is 1346/7)

In the Hundred of Eynesford: "Heres Galfridi Gottes et alii tenentes sui terrarum quondam Roberti Battallie tenent in Sweington unum quarterium feodi militis de Hugone de Hastynges et idem de Comite Warenn et idem de Rege."

With the help of Louisa Foroughi we have a translation and an explanation:

"The heir of Geoffrey Gottes and the other tenants of his lands, formerly of Robert Battallie, hold in Sweington [Swannington] one fourth of a knight's fee of Hugh of Hastings and he [holds it] of Earl Warenn [William de Warenne, probably] and he of the king."

History of the Gotts name - 7

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