The name is first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Beuentreu, meaning tree of a man called Beohha. The original tree, at Becontree Heath, was the location that early hundred meetings took place. Before 1465 it included the area of Havering liberty, which comprised the parishes of Hornchurch, Romford and Havering-atte-Bower, and thus the hundred meeting place was not originally located on the fringe of the area. After the area of the liberty was removed, the hundred contained the parishes of Barking, Dagenham, East Ham, Ilford (also known as Great Ilford), Leyton, Little Ilford, Walthamstow, Wanstead and West Ham.
The southern boundary with the Blackheath hundred of Kent was the River Thames, however there was also a land boundary; the Woolwich parish included two small detached parts north of the river, totalling . In the east it borded the Havering liberty and to the north Waltham and Ongar hundreds. The River Lee formed the western boundary with the Tower division of the Ossulstone hundred of Middlesex. The River Roding runs roughly north to south through the area.
In 1831, the hundred occupied . In 1840 the hundred was included in the Metropolitan Police District by the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. The population of the hundred in 1851 was 46,777 and in 1861, 73,023. In 1887 the area is recorded as and the population as 221,217.
The hundreds of England declined in administrative use because of the rise of various ad-hoc boards. By 1894 they were effectively replaced by a system of uniform local government districts, which were consolidated over time and finally replaced in 1965 by the London boroughs which are still in use today.
|Barking||Barking Town Urban District||Barking and Dagenham|
|Dagenham||Romford Rural District||Barking and Dagenham|
|East Ham||East Ham Urban District||Newham|
|Ilford||Ilford Urban District||Redbridge|
|Leyton||Leyton Urban District||Waltham Forest|
|Little Ilford||East Ham Urban District||Newham|
|Walthamstow||Walthamstow Urban District||Waltham Forest|
|Wanstead||Wanstead Urban District||Redbridge|
|West Ham||County Borough of West Ham||Newham|