Martyr Worthy

Martyr Worthy, Itchen Valley
Itchen Valley
refce: HANTSLOC.t

Martyr Worthy
Worthy, Martyr
otherwise: worthige; worthige , 825-12; worthigum? , 955-958; Ordie , 1086; Wordy Comitis; Count's Worthy , 1291; Wordy Mortimer; Worthy Mortimer , 1303; Wordi Lamartre , 1243

refce: Coates 1989
WORTHY, three (originally four) parishes
These four adjacent villages Headbourne, King's (including Abbot(t)'s) and Martyr Worthy stand in a block on the right bank of the Itchen. They may have formed a single estate at some early period; they are all undifferentiatedly called 'Ordie' in Domesday Book, though the Anglo Saxon document of 955x958 refers to 'the two Worthys', so there must have been at least two recognisably distinct manors/settlements both called hypothetical 'Worthig' by the mid 10th century. Much of the area was donated by king Eadgar to Brihthelm bishop of Winchester in 961 as if part of an area called 'Eastune' (see EASTON, and below). The identifications in the form-list above are those of Gover, supported, in the cases which both authors mention, by Grundy, whose topographical work is valuable even though his philology should be viewed with caution.
The collective name derives from Old English 'worthig'='curtilage', though it is not clear why a word for a small enclosed unit should form the name for such a large one. Nor is it clear why this name should occur so much further east than all the other instances of the element in major names (except in one 12th century spelling only of BLENDWORTH). It is a characteristically south-western element, the furthest instance east otherwise being in 'Hamworthy' in Dorset. Maybe there is something in Grundy's speculation (1926: 127) that the name is really hypothetical 'Worth-ig'='curtilage island'; there are several sizeable islands in the multiply dividing river Itchen hereabouts. But much more information would be required before one could pursue this idea with confidence. It might be better to treat the SW distribution as a matter of time rather than geography. If the element 'worthig' was current as (especially) Devon was being anglicized, perhaps this was the period at which the Worthys were being established. It would then be an interpolation into a landscape already full of English names. It seems that the area must have been a (largely) royal estate of the highest importance.
Abbot's Worthy (1248 'Abboteswrth') was held by Hyde Abbey from 909 A.D., though prior to that date, and in the grant document, it was called 'Easton Worthy' ('easton worthige') from being across the river Itchen from EASTON. Abbot's Worthy may have been or have included, the 5 hides granted in 1026 (12th century transcript) by Canute to bishop Lufinc of Winchester, which therefore would have been detached from the royal domain of King's Worthy. Because the topographical interpretation of the several Anglo Saxon charters of this area is difficult, and the size of the manors therefore hard to determine, it is not clear whether these last two statements about the holding of the land contradict one another.
The inhabitants of Headbourne Worthy were referred to in the charter of 909 A.D. (?11th or 12th century) in the phrase 'hide burninga (gemaere)'='by the boundary of those of Headbourne', and the stream entering the Itchen here was 854 (12th century transcript) 'hydiburnan' apparently 'stream of the hides'. (The hide was a land area unit of about 100-120 acres, considered capable of supporting one family and household. Cf HYDE ABBEY.) The precise import of this name is unknown. Headbourne Worthy is also known from the 13th century as 'Count's Worthy' (1291 'Wordy Comitis') or 'Worthy Mortimer' (1303 'Wordy Mortimer') from being held (in 1212) by Roger Mortimer, the bearer of a family name probably reflecting activity in the Crusades, 'Dead Sea'.
King's Worthy was held by the king before and at the time of Domesday Book (and see the comment on Abbot's Worthy above).
Martyr Worthy (1243 'Wordi Lamartre') was held in 1201 by Henry la Martre, whose surname is of French origin, 'the marten'.

Martyr's Worthy
The place is described in text Cobbett 1830

refce: Cobbett 1830
Coming from EASTON yesterday, I learned that Sir CHARLES OGLE, the eldest son and successor of Sir CHALONER OGLE, had sold to some General, his mansion and estate at MARTYR'S WORTHY, a village on the North side of the Hichen, just opposite EASTON. The Ogles had been here for a couple of centuries perhaps. They are gone off now, 'for good and all,' as the country people call it. ...
... coming to Easton, I look across to MARTYR'S WORTHY, and there see (as I observed before) the OGLES succeeded by a general or a colonel, somebody; but who, or whence, I cannot learn.
... we crossed the river, along through Martyr's Worthy, so long the seat of the OGLES, and now, as I observed in my last Register, sold to a general, or colonel. These OGLES had been deans, I believe; or prebends, or something of that sort: and the one that used to live here had been, and was when he died, an 'admiral.' However, this last one, 'Sir Charles,' the loyal address mover, is my man for the present. We saw, down by the water-side, opposite to 'Sir Charles's' late family mansion, a beautiful strawberry garden, capable of being watered by a branch of the Itchen which comes close by it, and which is, I suppose, brought here on purpose. Just by, on the greensward, under the shade of very fine trees, is an alcove, wherein to sit to eat the strawberries, coming from the little garden just mentioned, and met by bowls of cream coming from a little milk-house, shaded by another clump a little lower down the stream. What delight! What terrestrial paradise! 'Sir Charles' might be very frequently in this paradise, while that SIDMOUTH, whose Bill he so applauded, had many men shut up in loathsome dungeons! ... it is not likely that 'Sir Charles' will sit again in this paradise, contemplating another loyal address, to carry to a county meeting ready engrossed on parchment, to be presented by Fleming and supported by Lockhart and the 'HAMPSHIRE PARSONS.'

old map
Martyrs Worthy
Shown on an old map by Harrison 1788
- settlement, village - Fawley Hundred - Hampshire
Period - 1780s
refce: Harrison 1788
( HAR1SU43.jpg )

old map
Shown on an old map by Morden 1695
- settlement, village - Bondsborow Hundred - Hampshire
Period - 1690s-1720s
refce: Morden 1695
( MRD2SU43.jpg )

old map
Martyn Worthy
Shown on an old map by Blaeu 1645
- settlement, village - Barton Stacye Hundred - Hantshire
refce: Blaeu 1645
( BLA1SU53.jpg )

old map
Martyn Worthy
Shown on an old map by Speed 1611
- settlement, village - Barton Stacye Hundred - Hantshire
refce: Speed 1611
Speed has a park where Norden's map has dotted line for a hundred boundary; Speed puts the park outside this hundred boundary and has the village in a different hundred
( SPD1SU53.jpg )

old map
Shown on an old map by Norden 1607
- settlement, village - Fawley Hundred - Hamshire
Period - 1590s-1600s
refce: Norden 1607
( NRD1SU53.jpg )

old map
Martor worthy
Shown on an old map by Saxton 1575
- settlement, village - Southamtoniae
refce: Saxton 1575
( SAX1SU43.jpg )

Listed in Domesday Book
- Hantescire
Period - 11th century
refce: Domesday Book 1086 (3.13)
HAE TERRAE ... SVNT DE VICTV MONACHO. Wint. ... Ipse ep~s ten. ORDEI . Se~p fuit in monasterio ...

Listed in Domesday Book
- Falelie Hundred - Hantscire
Period - 11th century
refce: Moody 1862 (Domesday)

Listed in Domesday Book
- Bertun Hundred - Hantscire
Period - 11th century
refce: Moody 1862 (Domesday)

Hampshire Gazetteer - JandMN: 2001