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 appointed Sheriff of Worcestershire

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PostSubject: appointed Sheriff of Worcestershire    Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:54 pm

Surrounding Worcester are the counties of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Hereford, and Shropshire.
Map showing the counties around Worcestershire, all in the western part of England next to Wales. The highlighted counties were on the same Domesday Book circuit with Worcestershire.
[edit] Sheriff of Worcester

Urse arrived in England after Hastings, but it is unknown if his brother Robert arrived with him or separately.[17] Urse was appointed Sheriff of Worcestershire some time after the Norman Conquest of England,[11] probably in about 1069,[13] part of the wholesale replacement of English royal officials with Norman and other immigrants that took place in the early part of William's reign.[23] As sheriff, Urse was responsible for collecting taxes and forwarding them to the treasury, and was empowered to raise armies if rebellion or invasion threatened. The sheriff presided over the shire court, and was accountable for the shire's annual payments to the king.[24] During the reigns of William the Conqueror and his sons, the office of sheriff was a powerful one, as it did not share power with any other official in the shire, unless there was an earl in overall control.[25][26] Because of their control of the courts for the hundreds – which were subdivisions of the shire[27] – sheriffs had opportunities for patronage and also had a large say in who became members of the hundred and shire court juries.[26] The death of Edwin, Earl of Mercia, who held power in Worcestershire until his death in 1071 during a rebellion against William, allowed Urse to accumulate more authority in Worcestershire, as Edwin was the last Earl of Mercia.[1]

Urse also oversaw the construction of a new castle at the town of Worcester,[15] although nothing now remains of the castle.[28] Worcester Castle was in place by 1069, its outer bailey built on land that had previously been the cemetery for the monks of the Worcester cathedral chapter.[1] The motte of the castle overlooked the river, just south of the cathedral.[29] Although Urse had control of the castle after it was built, by 1088 he had lost it to the bishops of Worcester.[1]




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