The death of hundreds

Middlesex, like the whole of England, was once sub-divided into units called ‘hundreds’, dating from Anglo Saxon times. These once formed the area of the jurisdiction of occasional courts, replaced by the county courts in the mid-19th century, and the unit in which citizens could be called on to make good riot damage. Once of th last functions, which also ended in the 19th century, was in making up parliamentary constituencies, which would be multiples of a number of hundreds. It’s slightly surprising to learn that Londoners live in Ossulstone; this hundred was named after Oswald’s Stone, which may have been a Roman road marker that stood at the junction of Watling Street (the modern Edgware Road) and Oxford Street, which was disturbed by the building of Marble Arch, and was last seen leaning against Marble Arch in 1869 before disappearing. The names Isleworth and Edmonton are still with us, while Spelthorne has become the name of a local authority outside the London Boroughs. Going roughly clockwise, the full list is Spelthorne, Isleworth, Elthorne, Gore, Ossulstone and Edmonton.











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