Essex Hundred Publications was formed in 2006. The name was taken from the ancient system of land measurement. Our first book was the Essex Hundred, the history of the county in 100 poems. Today we are pleased to say the Essex Hundred is still in print and available from book shops or online. Over the years several new titles have been added. We also distribute a range of local history have a large photographic image bank and give talks and presentations on a range of subjects.
The ‘Hundred’ was the ancient system of land measurement dating from Saxon times. It was a subdivision of a county or shire and had its own court. Originally it consisted of 100 hides or parcels of land, each capable of supporting a family, which could be an extended family of up to fifty people.
In 1085 William the Conqueror sent Royal Commissioners across the country to assess land and property holdings in order to settle continuous disputes over the collection of taxes. The result was the ‘Domesday Book’, a definitive account, which gave the county of Essex seventeen ‘Hundreds’ plus for good measure some ‘Half Hundreds’ too! The hundreds survived as local administrative areas until the 19th century when they were replaced by county and local councils we know today.
One of the oldest English counties, Essex derived its name from the sixth century Kingdom of the East Saxons. Its natural borders are the rivers Lea in the west, Stour in the north, Thames in the south and to the east the North Sea (formerly known as the German Sea or Ocean). The boundaries remained virtually unchanged for nearly 1500 years until local government reorganisation in 1965.