28 October, 2007

Patent Rolls and Anniversaries

This post was inspired by a PM I received from blog commenter Paul. Cheers, Paul! :) I searched the Patent Rolls for entries that fell on the anniversary of my birth (the Patent Rolls are so full of great historical info, I find them addictive - I can spend hours browsing).

The 700th anniversary of my birthday fell at the end of Henry III's reign. A few days after the actual day, on 18 July 1272, a man with the unfortunate name of Noel le Cuntes, merchant of Amiens, "has licence touching the carrying of wool, until Michaelmas". A few days before, there's this entry, which highlights Henry III's annoyance with the citizens of London, who had sided with his enemy (and brother-in-law) Simon de Montfort in the Barons' Wars:

"Commission to Ellis de Hertford and William de Middelton, setting forth that whereas in the time of the late disturbance in the realm, the king, because those of the city of London were of his enemies, gave all their goods then in Lenn to Edward his son and the said goods have been dispersed by some of that town and others to the loss of the said Edward, he has appointed them to enquire by oath etc. into whose hands these goods have come and who detain them, and to take the goods from the detainer to the use of his son. He has commanded the sheriffs of London to provide jurors."

The 650th anniversary fell in Edward II's reign, 1322. There are several entries on my birthday:

"Mandate to William Bacon to deliver by indenture the castle of Somerton to Thomas de Grey, to whom the king has committed, during pleasure, the custody thereof, so that he be answerable for the issues thereof at the Exchequer."

Somerton Castle in Lincolnshire was given to Edward II in 1309 by Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, who had built it. Edward and Queen Isabella stayed there in January/February 1316, while Edward was attending Parliament in Lincoln. Isabella had recently become pregnant with their son John of Eltham.

"The like [mandate to commissioners of array] to John de Britannia, earl of Richmond, to muster his contingent for Richmondshire on the following Sunday at some certain place." (How sweetly vague!)

"Protection with clause volumnis for one year for Richard de Middelton, ' paneter,' king's yeoman." 'Paneter' presumably means pantler, the household official in charge of the pantry - that is, bread, cheese and napery (table linen).

"Pardon to Arnold Michol, merchant of Besatz, an adherent of Thomas, sometime earl of Lancaster."
Lancaster, Edward II's first cousin, had been executed on 22 March 1322. I have no idea where 'Besatz' is.

The day after my birthday: "Grant to Hugh le Despenser, the younger, Lord of Glamorgan and Morgannou, reducing the levy to be made from his lordships from 1,000 footmen to 600." Despenser, in the spring and summer of 1322, was beginning his career as Greatest Tyrant and Extortionist of the Fourteenth Century.

The same day: "Mandate to Andrew de Hartcla, earl of Carlisle, warden of the Marches of Scotland, as the king does not wish the said levies to muster at Newcastle upon Tyne, to assemble the levies of Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancaster for the repulse of the Scots who are about to invade the Marches; he is to warn all the men of the Marches to drive their cattle for safety to the parts of Richemund, Clyveland or other places in the county of York."

The beginning of yet another of Edward II's fruitless campaigns against the Scots. Poor Andrew Harclay (Harcla or Hartcla) was created earl of Carlisle by Edward II on 25 March 1322, in gratitude for his victory over the earl of Lancaster and his allies at the Battle of Boroughbridge on 16 March. But he met Robert Bruce, without permission, to negotiate peace between England and Scotland, which - although his intentions were almost certainly honourable - Edward II saw as treason. It didn't help that Harclay had made an enemy of the younger Despenser. He suffered the traitor's death on 3 March 1323, less than a year after he had been created earl. His head was sent to Edward II at Knaresborough, for inspection. (Ewww!) Harclay's body parts were left hanging in Carlisle, Newcastle, York, Shrewsbury and London until his sister was finally granted permission to collect and bury them - in 1328.

6oo years before I was born fell late in Edward III's reign. There are no entries on my birthday, but this one was close:

"Charter indented between the king and John, king of Castile and Leon, duke of Lancaster, touching lands &c. granted to the latter in exchange for the earldom of Richmond and the honor, castles, manors and lands pertaining thereto. And be it remembered that one part of this indenture remaining with the king was delivered to Richard de Ravensere, clerk, on 19 July."

The John here was John of Gaunt, Edward III's third son, who claimed the thrones of Castile and Leon through his wife Constanza.

And finally, 550 years before my birth, near the end of Henry V's reign:

"The like [commission of oyer and terminer] to William Cheyne, John Martyn and Thomas Broun, on complaint by Thomas Gyfie of Dodebroke, co. Devon, that Henry Fortescue and John Sayer and other evildoers besieged and broke his houses at Dodebroke, searched for him in them to kill him, pursued him to the full market of the town with drawn swords, assaulted, wounded and ill-treated him there, and lie in ambush to kill him so that he dare not approach his houses."

Unlawful breaking and entering, violence, and the threat of murder: a very typical entry in the Patent Rolls! :)


Anonymous said...

LOL, interesting idea!
I've managed to find some good things on my birthday:
700 yrs ago:
"Pardon, of the instance of William de Columbariis, king's yeoman, to Benedict de Humbergh for the death of Roger Gurnay of Fidinton, of which he is indicted; and of any consequent outlawry.
The like to Robert Byset, of the instance of William Belet".
650 yrs ago:
"Commission to John de Vallibus, William de Denum and Richard de Emeldon to deliver the gaol of Newcastle on Tyne of all prisoners except those detained there for the robbery of the cardinals or sedition".

Susan Higginbotham said...

Things were rather slow with Edward II on my birthday in 1325:

Nov. 7. 1325
Protection with clause nolumus for two years for the abbot of Rievaulx.

Susan Higginbotham said...

(I was hoping at least Hugh the younger would be ripping off a widow on the day in question.)

Anonymous said...

Poor Thoms Gyfie ! Being chased in a market by men with swords sounds like something out of Monty Python! Hysterical....

Kathryn Warner said...

Elflady: good ones! Love the ref to the robbery of the cardinals - that was a big scandal in the late 1310s. Wonder if Roger Gurnay was a relative of Thomas Gurney?

Susan: tsk, how inconsiderate of Hugh not to be doing something scandalous on your birthday! :)

Kate: I couldn't remember exactly when your birthday is, but here's an Ed II Patent Roll entry from November, 650 years before you were born:

Agnes de Haldanby lately before the king and Council in the Parliament at York made complaint that Adam de Waltham, John de Hegham and others assaulted her at Northampton, seized her and took her from thence to Luffewik, where they tore out her eyes and cut her tongue. The king now understands that John de Hegham, striving to prevent the said Agnes from prosecuting, feigned that she and [about 20 names], friends of the said Agnes de Haldenby, who should assist her in her said suit, had committed a trespass against him maliciously and thereupon sued out against them in the Court of King's Bench a certain writ and prosecuted them to such an extent that through such malicious suit they were convicted. The king suspecting malice and willing to do a favour to the said Agnes and her friends pardons them the imprisonment and that which pertains to him for the trespass whereof they were so convicted. They are not to be harassed by any of the king's ministers in any matter pertaining to the king, provided that nothing in the said pardon shall be created to the prejudice of the said John de Hegham.


Anonymous said...

Ewwwww is right!

Sorry didn't poor Agnes get her eyes torn out? Not to mention the tongue?!!!! Eh?

Sorry Adam, John and others...sadly, you can't really claim "woe is me" after you do that to a girl!

Thanks for that, it is mind boggling really.

And thanks Elflady...I shall try to use "outlawry" in a sentence some time this week! It is my new fave word.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the presumably sightless and speechless Agnes made any sort of complaint against the 20 or so attackers?

700 years before I was born, in 1272:

"Because by testimony of Master Roger de Seyton and his fellows, justices lately in eyre in the county of Sussex, the king is informed for certain that, whereas Richard Blathe of Madehurst, shepherd of William de Bodiketon, while keeping his lord's sheepfold of Weppehurst by night, shouted at Maud de Weppehurst and two other women, thieves, milking his lord's ewes, and pulling out the wool of the said ewes, and the said women attacked him and threw him to the ground, the said Richard, having drawn a knife (knipulo), killed the said Maud in self defence; the king, considering that he did this to keep the peace and to save his life and the goods of his lord, grants him his peace touching the said death.."

Now being set upon by raving milk maids and having to kill them in self defence - now there's a Monty Python sketch.

Kathryn Warner said...

The more I read of the Patent Rolls, the more Monty Python and the Holy Grail starts to look like a documentary. :-)

Gabriele Campbell said...

Lol Alianore. Some of those are pretty funny.

Got anything interesting for October 23, 1961? :)

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Gabriele!

There's something for 22 Oct 1261, about Germany:
"Because some inquisitions which the king lately ordered to be made touching a ship of Salomon de Hamburg and Tideman de Hamburg, merchants of Almain, and touching some goods of theirs in the ship and is taken by violence by the bailiffs and burgesses of Dunwich and detained, and touching the damages of the said merchants are insufficient, the king lias appointed William de Welond to make inquisition more fully." (Nothing on 23 Oct 1261, I'm afraid).

23 Oct 1311:
"Appointment of William de Norwico, one of the barons of the Exchequer, to supply the place of the treasurer in the Exchequer until the king shall ordain otherwise. Writ de intendendo in pursuance directed to the barons of the Exchequer."

And a more interesting one on 22 Oct 1311:
"Peter [Piers] de Gavaston, earl of Cornwall, going beyond seas, has letters nominating Robert de Kendale and William de Vallibus, his attorneys for five years. He also has like letters nominating Roger de Wellesworthe and John de Hothum. Protection also for him for five years."

23 Oct 1361:
"Nomination to the prior and convent of Leghes, by right pertaining to the king by reason of the temporalities of the bishopric of London being in his hand, of Richard Chipet, chaplain, to be presented by them to the vicarage of the church of Great Bryche; with mandate to them to present him by their letters patent to the guardian of the
spirituality of the bishopric accordingly."

Hmmm, a certain lack of scandal and violence on your birthday. :-)

Kathryn Warner said...

In the Germany one, that should be 'the king has...' not 'the king lias...' ;)

Gabriele Campbell said...

But I have Piers. :)

Thank you for looking those up. The one about the merchants is actually pretty interesting in context of the Hansa.

Unknown said...

Interesting stuff! Anything for 25 August, 1989? Incidentally, am I the youngest person who posts on this blog?? lol!

Kathryn Warner said...

Liam: yes, I'd say you're the youngest around here, by a good margin. :)

Nothing on 25 Aug 1289, I'm afraid, but thers's a mention of Ireland on 24 Aug!

"Protection, with clause volumus, for one year, in Ireland, for Master John de Keule, staying in England."

25 Aug 1339:

"On 26 May, 12 Edward III. the king granted to William Dale, yeoman of the chamber, the custody of the lands in the town of Middelton, co. York, of Alexander Tothe, an idiot from his birth, to hold for the life of the said
Alexander without rendering anything to the king, but finding out of the issues of the lands competent sustenance of food and clothing for Alexander. He has now surrendered the custody to the king and he, at his request, has granted the same to John Tothe of Middelton on the like terms."

25 Aug 1389:

"Exemption, for life, in consideration of his long continued labour in divers offices in the service of the late king and the king, and of his great age and debility, of Thomas de Brantyngham, bishop of Exeter,from attendance at the Parliaments or councils of the king, from which he is hereby wholly excused."