Translating the name Huthwaite shows a descriptive combination of Anglo-Saxon and Viking origins. This strongly suggests a dwelling was potentially sited here centuries before the Domesday Book first mapped most surrounding localities. Some simpler types of settlement however, would not necessarily demand individual valuation or separate mention, if like Huthwaite emerging inside an existing parish.
First spelling found
Hothweit in 1208. Further variations including
Howthwaite recognise an established 13th century settlement. Gradual growth keeps close ties inside Sutton-in-Ashfield parish borders. Overruled from Mansfield Manor, those local courts documented legal concerns which revealed these quoted entries. Dated at 1296,
John of Hustwayt appears before Walter de Langton as executor of the will of Roger de Insula.. A 1316 incident noted
William de Hothweyt drew blood from Roger, son of William Leuwys of Normanton and had to be distrained.
Those instances reveal times before common use of surnames, when a home address gave some greater personal identity. Provoking new family interests by potentially offering some origins for a Huthwaite surname, thoughts are challenged after finding a Thomas Huthwaite was titled Sheriff of Nottingham in 1584. For now this simply introduces another important source for our documented history. Through that highest County Court at Nottingham there now appears an alternative way of looking upon this small relatively insignificant secondary hamlet.
Use of family names was most frequently passed through wealthier landowners, shown in Patent Rolls of 1341 when
Alice Freeman held a house and 15 acres of land in Hokenhale. Assizes at Nottingham in 1355 report
John, son of Hugh Cole recovered possession of a house with 120 acres of land and 20/ in Hothewayte Hokenhale. Interest from those quotes turns on finding references given to Hucknall and more precisely Huthwaite Hucknall. Tracing earliest mention is found trusting this quoted translation.
In a document known as the Testa de Neville in the reign of Edward II (1284-1327) it is stated that Sutton-in-Ashfield and Hucknall were a whole villa (town) being of the ancient desmesne of the crown, except the fourth part which Jorden de Sutton of the same held of the king.
Fragmented documents show a Hucknall addressing was soon being applied to Huthwaite. A merging of those two names was first unveiled with reference given to
Hokehale Houthwayt in 1330. This knowledge may well have enforced primary beliefs that combination originated from naming one settlement. Arguments against this grew stronger through time, while a more plausible alternative remained denied without finding other supporting evidence.
Through the 14th century, the dual title Hucknall Huthwaite generally appears becoming an officially recognised form of addressing any higher legal concerns. Numbers of surviving records slowly increase by covering wider range of local issues. If simply listing all quoted references in known dated order, it would show Huthwaite becoming frequently called Hucknall Huthwaite or just Hucknall apparently at wild random. The only way to fully understand this change over is by realising all levels of interest, plus historic relations that must have existed between nearby localities also sharing Hucknall identity.
Qualifying proof for mapping a potential Hucknall Hundred can no longer deny some larger district did once exist. Identifying
a nook of land claimed by Hucca it may be fairly presumed his Saxon settlement established the older Hucknall Torkard closest Nottingham, originally called Hucknall and renamed so todate. Perhaps tribal powers extended Huccas claim northward over sparsely populated dense forests. Encompassing a few remoter settlements into defensively grouping a recognisable form of administratively controlled district, remembered among highest Nottinghamshire county divisions.
When the Domesday Book twice identified Hucknall, no mention given a Hucknall Huthwaite sited between could imply this settlement did not yet stand. None the less, name does indicate earlier origins and the simplest homestead would not necessarily be separately identified as a taxable area, like Sutton itself. In those parish borders, under a Mansfield Manor, this secondary hamlet finally emerged with locally recognised name.
After remotely siting small farmsteads bound up by Sutton-in-Ashfield, the addressing first given a developing Huthwaite appears recorded in the union of Mansfield. This name clearly satisfies local manorial matters, where it persistently keeps reappearing after first finding Hucknall alternatives around a century later. So who would later show interest in this poor rural area, and also recall Hucknall lands with such authority to influence renaming? Maybe the kings advisors or ruling elite, entrusted with county interests from Nottingham courts.
Admittedly when simply quoting others, the lack of initial evidence left unclear all widening sources from which intermittent records uncovered our history. Analysing listings indicates local parish or manor courts favoured their own Huthwaite name, while higher crown courts at Nottingham began documenting the official Hucknall Huthwaite address before their legal officers passed down this alternative identity. Gradually it became adopted for local records where the name Huthwaite is eventually transformed into a simply recognised Hucknall.
The key clue which fully opened this idea actually came to light after transferring attention towards sourcing yet another reference. When Huthwaites 16th century Hucknall meadows next turned into Dirty Hucknall, the crowns interests shared through a Sheriff of Nottingham became more frequently documented. Better exposing this later renaming shows the similar circumstances behind how they originally viewed our forested area first mapping Hucknall.
Recalling derogatory use aimed at modern Hucknall-under-Huthwaites mining community, local historians recognised the name Dirty Hucknall had emerged way before in 1539. They tied descriptive interpretations to exposing coal mines stretching across Derbyshire borders entering Hucknall Huthwaite. Coal deposits may well have discoloured some darker stream naming Blackwell. Five hundred years later, could it also rename our forested lands? Maybe I can now prove otherwise, after first determining who introduced the Dirty Hucknall label.
Referring to the enhanced listing from Paul Bradshaw on Dirty Hucknall, perambulations around Sherwood Forest are clearly consistent in maintaining that newly descriptive form of address. These surveys along Nottinghamshires huge forest borders are found dating from year 1232, but asserting this fuller far west boundary has never been claimed mentioning our covered locality before 1539 referenced Dirty Hucknall. Now uncovering references back to 1505, it still appears that name also first arose through those forest perambulations.
From a 1519 deed that offered
Hukenall under Hucthwet alias Dirti Hukenall, and then the 1546 Nottingham inquisition identifying Nicholas Purefy held lands in
Hucknall alias Durty Hucnall and Owthwayte, these show how confusion increased as this additional form of address then kept reappearing in all forest surveys. A 1589 perambulation naming
Dirty Hucknall fields and Howthwaite, both lay aside Whiteborow grounds would indicate the surveyors themselves even became unsure what these names truly represented. Was Huthwaite now just a landmark, under which Hucknall Huthwaite residentially grew inside protected Dirty Hucknall forests?
Generally the term Dirty Hucknall covered the area also legally defined as either Hucknall-under-Huthwaite or Hucknall Huthwaite. The recurring use in all forest surveys leads belief that influential officers under the Sheriff of Nottingham also introduced this alternative form of addressing, eventually bringing broader recognition. So. What did description imply.
Written 30 Oct 04 Revised 24 Mar 07 © by Gary Elliott