Continuing an occasional series which answers the question 'How did people know their date of birth more than five hundred years before the invention of birth certificates and more than two hundred before parish records of baptisms began to be kept?' How did people remember dates? See also here
1) Proof of age of Bartholomew son and heir of John Davelers, Suffolk, 'Friday before St Mark, 2 Edw. II' (i.e. 18 April 1309)
Sir William Visdelou, knight, age 40 and more, says that the said Bartholomew is 21 and more, and was born at Everwartone on Thursday after St Matthew, 15 Edward I [25 September 1287], which he knows because on that Thursday he made a feast at Schottele, and on the same day caused a tombstone to be placed over the body of Guy his father in the church of the same town.
Robert le Vyte, age 66, says as above, and knows it because on that Friday he came to the hall of Everwarton for 14 shillings due to him for a cloth of russet, and found the lady lying in childbed.
William de Bromptone, age 40 and more, says the same, and knows it because he was then butler there, and on that Friday he announced to Sir Robert Schelt that the lady had borne a child, who gave him two shillings and a gold ring.
Richard le Warde, age 55, says as above, and knows it because on that Friday he was repairing the house of Roger le Priur at Everwarton, and fell and broke his right leg.
John Hervi, age 68, says as above, and knows it because he came to the church of Everwarton and caused a celebration to be made for the soul of his father, and he saw the said Bartholomew lying there wrapped in a silken cloth.
John le Juvene, 72, says as above, and knows it because Sir Bartholomew Davelers, grandfather of the said Bartholomew, died in the same town on the Sunday after the said Bartholomew was baptised, and on the same day he himself had a son born called William, who is now 21 and more.
2) John son and heir of Walter de Sourdeval, Yorkshire, 4 June 1309
William de Appelton, aged 50, says that the said John was 21 on the feast of the Purification last [2 February], for he was born at Bothlum on that day and baptised in the church there on the morrow, 21 years ago, and this he knows because he has a son Richard, born on the octave of the Purification 21 years ago.
John de Appelton, aged 60, says the same, and knows it because Alice late his wife was churched of a daughter on the morrow of the said John's birth, who died at the feast of the Annunciation last and was then 21 years and 10 weeks old.
John de Middelton, aged 54, says the same, and knows it because on Christmas Day last 21 years ago, going home from the church, he fell and broke his arm, and the said John was born on the feast of the Purification next following.
William de Wath, aged 48, says the same, and knows it because Richard his brother abjured the realm on account of the death of Robert de [...]ath, whom he slew on Monday [missing
] 21 years ago, and the said John was born on the feast of the Purification next before.
3) Elizabeth, younger daughter and co-heir of Brian Brampton, Herefordshire, Wednesday the morrow of St Martin, 3 Edw. II [12 November 1309]
John de Midelton. aged 45, says that the said Elizabeth was born at Ayston and baptised in the church there, and was 14 on Wednesday after St Nicholas last, and this he knows because he is her godfather and lifted her from the font.
Hugh de Careswell, aged 50, says the same, and knows it because on the same day he married his wife, and saw the said Elizabeth being baptised at the door of the church.
Adam Osberne, aged 60, agrees, and knows it because when building a chamber in his place near the manor of the said Brian [Brampton], he heard the said Elizabeth wailing.
William de Fraxino, aged 50, says the same, and knows it because he then was of the household of the said Brian, and on the said Wednesday saw the said Elizabeth lying in her cradle in her nurse's chamber.
4) John son and heir of Sir Hubert de Multon, Cumberland, Monday the morrow of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8 Edw. II [9 September 1314]
Sir John de Lamplow, age 40 and more, says that the said John was born in the manor of Ishal, and baptised in the church of St Michael there, and was 21 on the feast of St Bartholomew last [24 August 1314]; which he well recollects as Robert his elder brother, whose heir he is, died on the morrow of the Assumption, 21 Edw. I [16 August 1293], and the said John was born on the feast of St Bartholomew next following.
Robert de Mulcastre says the like, and knows it because on the morrow of St Laurence in that year [11 August 1293] he married Petronilla, daughter of Sir Robert de Pavelly, and the said John was born on the feast of St Bartholomew following.
Henry de Brumfeld says the like, and recollects it because in the same year on Sunday before the Ascension, the city of Carlisle with the great church was burned.
Alan de Arkelby says the like, and knows it because he returned from his pilgrimage to Santiago on the same day of St Bartholomew, 21 Edw. I, when the said John's birth was announced.
5) Edmund son and heir of Roger Coleville, Lincolnshire, 14 February 1309
Thomas de Sancto Laudo, knight, says that the said Edmund is son and next heir of the said Roger, and was born at Castelbitham at the feast of the Conversion of St Paul, 16 Edw. I [25 January 1288], and baptised in the church of St James there. Robert Coleville and William de Bergh lifted him from the sacred font and named him Edmund in dedication to St Edmund of Pontigny, because his father travelling there vowed to name his son Edmund.
William de Hellewelle, age 50, says the same, and knows it because Robert his son was age 3 on the day that the said Edmund was born.
John Broun of Castelbitham, age 50, says the same, and knows it because he announced the birth to Sir Richard de Brewosa and Lady Alice his wife, grandparents of the said Edmund, for which they gave him jewels to the value of 100 shillings.
6) Alice Coterel, daughter and heir of William Kendale, Derbyshire, 26 November 1309
Richard Danyel, knight, age 60, says that the said Alice was 15 on the feast of the Translation of St Thomas the Martyr last [7 July], and was born at Derleye on that day 15 years ago and baptised in the church there on the morrow, which he knows because he had a son Robert who was born at the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary next after the birth of the said Alice, and died at the feast of St Michael last [29 September], aged 15 and more.
Nicholas Kyng, age 40, says the same, and knows it because William Kendale held seisin at Haddon of lands which were of Robert de Derleye on the same day that the said Alice was born, and had magnates feasting with him.
John Birchelis, age 54, says the same, and knows it because he had a sister Agnes married on the same day.