I’ve been working with a group of archaeologists and historians on the local manorial rolls, which are remarkably complete. We are all amateurs, and have called in a professional palaeographer to translate the medieval Latin. There is one word which even he has failed to translate, and it is one which is very clearly written and so cannot be being misinterpreted. It occurs in the reign of Hanry VIII and the whole entry reads as follows:

“A day is given for all the inhabitants to adequately repair the stokes by the next Feast of St John the Baptist under pain of forfeiting to the lord 6s 8d. And the same day to make metonille under pain of 6s 8d.”

Is there anybody out there who can suggest what this may mean – or better still who knows what it means? Please?


  1. Could this be more than one word – something ille?

  2. Lipman – I’m not competent to answer your suggestion, but maybe the palaeographer involved will answer you in person!

  3. The root is to do with measuring. It is something community-owned and community-maintained. So could be boundary stones or weights and measures perhaps.

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