(Family history research into the SHOPLAND family)                                                                   History
The Shopland Story

by Tony (Edward Anthony) Shopland of Honiton, Devon
The Shopland Name. What does it mean? Where did it come from? An explanation by Tony.

Many persons have sought the answer, and the following details given here are built around hours of research. No guesswork has been applied and where appropriate, the source of information has been given.

SHOPLAND is a place name and a surname. In fact, it is from the place name that the surname was taken.

Place Name
The story begins in the County of Essex. The hamlet of Shopland situated three miles to the north east of Prittlewell, (now incorporated with Southend on Sea) and Great Stambridge. At one time, Shopland was a parish in its own right within the hundred of Rochford but sadly a large part of the parish has been merged with the neighbouring parish of Sutton. The remainder was incorporated with Southend on Sea. The old parish church was demolished in 1957. OS Ref: TQ 8989 8833 is the grid reference to where the church once stood near the end of Shopland Hall Lane, situated on a gravel road leading off the road from Rochford to the Wakerings. Shopland Hall, an Equestrian Centre remains.

By the Southend on Sea Extension Order, 1933, dated the 30th August, 1933, the boundary of the County Borough was extended on the 1st day of October 1933, so as to include the Urban District of Shoeburyness and parts of the parishes of Eastwood, Great Wakering, North Shoebury and Shopland from the rural district of Rochford. In the 1881 census there were 14 dwellings spread over the two farms of Shopland Hall and Botelers, and 86 people were listed.

Reaney's the "Place-Names of Essex" dates the first reference to 'Scopilan' to 946 in a document which is held at the Bodleian library.

"The Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names" gives the following facts: Shopland Essex
Scopingland c1000 CCC
Scopelanda DB
Scopiland 1208 FF
Meaning - 'island with a shed'. First element OE SCEOPPA ME SCHOPPE Shop, shed.
OE SCEOPPA is found once, apparently in the sense of 'Treasury'.

Other references:
Herig's Archive. civ.
DB Domesday Book London 1783-1816. This reference also includes the Exon Domesday - the date of both is 1086.
FF (Feet of Fines for the County of Norfolk 1198-1202. Ed. Barbara Dodwell, London, 1952 (Pipe Roll Soc.)
(Feet of Fines for the County of Lincoln 1199-1216. Ed. Margaret Walker, London, 1954 (Pipe Roll Soc.)
OE Old English
ME Middle English
DOMESDAY Essex Shopland Scopelanda: held by Count Eustace. 3 cobs. Farm; row of cottages.

There was a Statistical Survey of Given Names in Essex 1182-1272 by Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton. 1198 was the year in which the surname is first recorded in England. At that time everyone had to adopt a name which was put on the Roll. In the Essex Feet of Fines alone, nearly 4,000 individual surnames are attested Place Names. These fall into two categories: actual place names and surnames derived from place names. These are often difficult to tell apart. Generally, anyone with a surname with the form (place)-ensis is likely to be a resident of or a recent arrival from the mentioned place.

It is a bit more difficult when dealing with names of the form de +place name. With the Essex data one can tentatively conclude that if someone has a name of the form de +(place in Essex) then that person actually lives in that place and that the surname is more properly a place name, though it may be evolving into a proper surname. In the majority of the cases, however, it seems that names of this form are actually family names by this time. Finally, we have a few names constructed in the form att(e) +geographical feature or name of the +geographical feature. Most of the former category seems to be approaching true surnames, while most of the latter do not seem to be inherited.

An enquiry with the Essex Record Office, revealed Vol.1 of Essex Fines, on p.44: There was a Statistical Survey of Given Names in Essex 1182-1272 by Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton by Arthur Byrne, published by Methuen, 1948.

1199-1200 Sunday after Oct. of Sts. Peter and Paul. John de Storteforde, dem. (demandant) Baldwin de Scopiland, ten (tenant). 60 acres of land with appurts in Scopiland. Recog. of grand assize. Dem. granted to ten., to hold of him by free service of 1lb of cummin yearly for all service. Cons., 100s. sterling. Ten. shall do foreign service therefore.

I contacted the Essex Record Office posing the following question: 'what is the significance of "to hold of him by free service of 1lb of cummin yearly for all service"? I received the following answer:

"At this period (1200) the theoretical obligations of military and other free tenures were beginning to be commuted for money payments. It looks like this 'tenant' held his land without having to commit to perform knight service, but merely for 'one pound of cummin' - a style of 'peppercorn rent' i.e. a purely nominal commitment, ald also paid scutage (a fine in place of knight service) of five pounds (100 shillings sterling). It therefore seems unlikely he would actually have been called on to perform any service, either within or without his 'fee' (feudal holding).'

Knight Service': The 1198-Year in which greater part of English land was held by this tenure. A tenant by knight service was bound to apply his overlord with a fixed number of armed and mounted knights to serve at their own cost for 40 days a year... The estate which furnished a single knight was called a knight's fee and was vaguely supposed to consist of land worth 20 a year. But there was no uniformity in the size or value of knight's fee.

I am afraid that no members of staff here have an extensive enough knowledge of medieval land law to comment definitively on what the entry means. There is an entry in Jacob's Law Dictionary (10th ed.,1782) for 'foreign service': "whereby a mesne lord holds of another, without the compass of his own fee: or that the tenant performs either to his own lord, or to the lord paramount out of the fee........And foreign service seems to be knight service or escuage uncertain."

Re: Feet of Fines. We have checked Vol.1 of Essex Fines and found the following entry on p.44:
10 John 1208-1209 'Trinity Term'. Ralph de Trinedeio, Demandant
William de Scopiland, tenant 15 acres of land with appurtenances in Scopiland. Recognition of grand assize. Demandant quitclaimed to tenant. consideration 40s sterling.
Reaney's The Place-Names of Essex dates the first reference to Scopiland to 946 in a document held at the Bodleian Library. The parish later became known as Shopland which as you are aware is in the Rochford Hundred between Prittlewell (now incorporated into Southend) and Great Stambridge."

Crown Pleas of the Devon Eyre of 1238
Edition introduced by Henry Summerson. Printed 1835.
For the Normotone Hundred (North Molton).
An Eyre was a periodic visitation made by Royal Justices for the purpose of hearing civil litigation usually over landed property.

Four justices were appointed on 8th April 1238 for Cornwall and Devon - opened at The Castle, Exeter.
William of York Adam FitzWilliam Robert de Beauchamp Jordan Oliver
Alan la Zoche has the hundred.
Serjeant - Archebald de Crule
Jordan de Poleham Richard de Molland
Martin de Swancote Richard de Roberdescote
Herbert de la Mersa Robert de Shopilande

Summerson noted that seven cases were heard:
For breach of the peace and trespass
A beggar being found dead
Civil Litigation
Civil Litigan
In all cases full names are recorded together with what actually occurred (pages 51-52).

The first record of the name appearing in Devon was in 1238 when Robert de Shopilande was named as a juror on a document name the Devon Eyre, a copy of which is held at the Devon Record Office. An Eyre was a forerunner of an Assize Court now known as Crown Court.

Some 20 years later the name appears as Geoffrey Scoland in Somerset. There are further references to Geoffrey Scoland in 1251, (the name also appearing as de Skolonde and Shoplonde) page 124 in the excellent book "A History of the Forest of Exmoor" by Edward T. McDermott, first published in 1911, being revised in 1973. The age of Geoffrey de Skolonde is given as 24, (born about 1227). As the area referred to is near North Molton across the border with Devon, it appears probable that he was related to Robert de Shopiland mentioned above. There is also mention of Geoffrey's mother, Emma de Skolonde.

The next recorded entry referring to Shopland is to be found on page 109 of the "Devonshire Lay Subsidy 1332", (a tax levied on all movables) for the Hundred of North Molton. There, an entry is recorded for Hammond de Soplonde, in the sum of 8d. Whilst the amount is in the minimum bracket it indicates that there was money in the family because the poor were exempted from paying, so their names did not appear on the Roll.

For approximately 200 years the name does not appear again, until 1538 when it became lawful for records to be kept by the parish church for baptisms, marriages and burials. However, by that time the name had undergone various spelling changes eg: Harry Schaplond born abt. 1522 of Barnstaple, and Richard Shapland, my consanguineous ancestor, born abt. 1500 at North Molton.
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