ID EAH_014_087 Article from Mersea Museum
|Title||Mersea Island: the 11th-century Boundaries; *** King Edward Charter|
|Abstract||Deramy's Stone stands on the boundary between East and West Mersea. The plaque below the stone (erected in January 1975) says the stone marks the Boundary of the Manor of West Mersea granted by King Edward the Confessor to the Monastery of St. Ouen in 1046. However, there is much doubt about this.
An article titled Mersea Island: the 11th-century Boundaries by Nina Crummy in Essex Archaeology and History 1982 goes into the subject in detail, and is summarised below.
In his History of Essex Philip Morant published a copy of a charter of Edward the Confessor dated 1046, which granted lands at Mersea to the monastery of St. Ouen at Rouen. The second part of this charter was a brief discription of the boundary of the area concerned. It gives five points of reference which are described by the personal name Deramy (Deremy), namely Deramy's Diche, Deramy's Flete, Deramy's Strete, Deremy's Pete and Deramy's Stone.
In 1962 Dr Donald Matthew published a 15th century copy, discovered at Rouen, of the original 11th century charter. In this, the boundary description differs markedly from Morant's. A comparison of the two suggests that the translator of the Morant copy did not fully understand the Old English from which he was working. It is now believed that Deramy was not a personal name, but was the word 'der' in various forms.
When in January 1975 a large glacial erratic stone was found in a ditch between East and West Mersea, it was assumed by some that it was Deramy's stone. It was erected beside the road with a commemorative plaque. However, at the time, Mr John Bennett protested that the stone was just an erratic boulder and that it could not be included within the bounds of the St.Ouen charter as it lay in East Mersea and not West Mersea at that date.
In 1923 Dr Philip Laver, excavator of the Mersea Barrow, had pointed out that the Deramy's Stone mentioned in the charter should, in fact, have lain on the mainland somewhere near Pete-Tye Common. This article then goes over the reasoning that would back-up this view.
The article ends: The history of the land-boundary in the Confessor's charter is an object lesson in the danger of trusting to any but primary sources. As it is, Deramy and his stone will undoubtedly continue to thrive in the folk-history of Mersea Island, despite the fact that one never existed and the other lay some four and a half miles away on the mainland.
|Keywords||Deremy's, Deramy's, Deramy, Deremy|
|Source||Mersea Museum / Essex Archaeology and History
|Title:|| The Deramy Stone on the road between East and West Mersea. A photograph taken soon after the stone was re-erected in 1975.
The inscription reads:
Boundary of the manor of West Merssea granted by King Edward the Confessor to the Monestery [sic] of St. Ouen in AD 1046.
|Source:||Mersea Museum / Pat Brown|
|Title:|| Deramy's Stone on the boundary between East and West Mersea. Its history is not clear. The plaque below the stone (erected in January 1975) says the stone marks the Boundary of the Manor of West Mersea granted by King Edward the Confessor to the Monastery of St. Ouen in 1046.
But, an article by Nina Crummy in Essex Archaeology and History Vol 14. 1982, reasons that the word Deramy is a mis-translation of Old English. It concludes: Deramy never existed and the stone referred to in an old charter should lay not on Mersea Island, but four and a half miles away on the mainland.
|Source:||Mersea Museum / Sue Howlett|
This item is part of the Mersea Island Museum Collection. The contents must not be published without the permission of the Museum. The information is accurate as far as is known, but the Museum does not accept responsibility for errors.