Non omnia grandior setas
Quae fugiannis habet.




County of Salop,
Shropshire and its History,




2. To face page 42. CHANCEL DOOR, South Side, Morville. Rev. J. L. Petit, del.
3. To face page 42. PILLAR and CAPITAL, Morville. Rev. J. L. Petit, del.
4. To face page 42. CHANCEL ARCH, Morville. Rev. J. L. Petit, del.
6. To face page 42. FONT, Morville. Rev. J. L. Petit, del.
6. To face page 66. BILLINGSLEY CHURCH. F. S. A. del.
7. To face page 116. CHANCEL, Quatford. Rev. J. L. Petit, del.
8. To face page 116 FONT, Quatford. Rev. J. Brooks, del.
9. To face page 116 INCISED SLABS, Quatford. Rev. J. L. Petit, del.
10. To face page 146. UPTON CRESSETT CHURCH. Rev. J. L. Petit, del.
11. To face page 146. FONT, Upton Cressett. Rev. J. L. Petit, del.
12. To face page 146. DOOR-WAY, Upton Cressett. F. S. A. del.
13. To face page 208. HEAD OF DOOR-WAY, Aston Eyre. F. S. A. del. Antiquities of Shropshire,
Rector of Ryton, Salop.


Non omnia grandior setas
Quae fugiamus habet.



IN deciding on a plan for the present work, the author has felt his greatest difficulty to exist in producing that combination [1] which, while it need not offend the mere antiquary, may also be attractive and useful to those local readers, who feel a pride or an interest in the County to which they belong.

Large in extent, [2] important in position, rich in fertility and productions, beautiful and varied in scenery, Shropshire has ever been inhabited by a race of men characteristic for uniformity of principle and energy of action.

Great in its antecedents, and not unfortunate in its present, it may be no bad omen of its future, that those who have chief concern in its welfare be the slowest of all men to adopt any theory which identifies patriotism with a contempt of the past. Much does the antiquary congratulate himself in having chosen a field of research which promises such unusual advantages of encouragement and sympathy.

The present series of volumes on Shropshire Antiquities will relate mainly to the interval which elapsed between the Norman Conquest and the death of Henry III.

[1] The documents which furnish nearly all the knowledge we possess of the earlier Anglo-Norman period are written in base Latin; the use of contracted forms is also general, though the forms themselves are various, no two scribes employing exactly the same. Translations more or less literal have therefore been given in the text, whilst the original has been added in a note, wherever its meaning was doubtful or unexpressible in another language. In the latter case all contractions have been resolved.
[2] Shropshire, with the exception of Wiltshire, is the largest of the inland counties of Great Britain. Its limits will have sometime been greatly in excess of that county. Its ancient position, on a hostile frontier, is that more particularly alluded to in the text.


That period involved two centuries of years, a succession of eight Kings, and the lives of six generations of Princes of the Norman dynasty.

The contemporary Chronicles are not numerous, but whereever their aid has been available for the present work, they have been consulted. Their testimony is however seldom of local interest, as none of them, except Ordericus, had any connexion with Shropshire, and his was chiefly that of birth.

As regards national records, a short account of those which have reference to the period must be given, if only in explanation of the more summary mode of citing them which will be adopted in the sequel.

Domesday Book, or at least its general character, is known to all. This great territorial record was compiled by itinerant commissioners, in the years 1085-6, and the result of their labours returned into the King's Court at Winchester, in the Easter of the latter year. Its evidence in regard to Shropshire is most satisfactory, whether we apply such external tests as remain to us, or look to the better guarantee of internal consistency. The printed edition is a very creditable facsimile of the original, at least as far as this county is concerned.

The national record, which comes next, both in point of date and importance, is the series of Pipe Rolls. The earliest of these Rolls is of the 31st year of Henry I (A.D. 1130), but unfortunately any portion thereof relating to Shropshire is either lost or never existed. The next Roll belonged to the 1st year of Henry II, but it is lost, and its former existence is only known by its having been epitomized by a later officer [3] of the Exchequer. The Pipe Rolls, from the 2d year of Henry II, to the end of the period with which we are concerned, still contain all that was ever entered [4] on them relative to Shropshire.

[3] Alexander de Swereford - who, at the time he made this abstract, viz. A.D. 1230, was Archdeacon of Salop (Lichfield diocese).
[4] It is a very usual subject of regret amongst antiquaries, that the Pipe Roll of 1 Henry III is lost from the series; such regret might be extended to the Roll of 18 John as well as to the Roll of the latter half of King John's 17th regnal year; though the absence of these seems not to have been observed. It is probable however that, owing to the disturbed state of the kingdom at the time, the business of the Exchequer was totally suspended, and consequently that these Rolls never existed. The Shropshire Pipe Rolls of the preceding and subsequent years supply some evidence of this fact which will be stated hereafter. Here it is sufficient to point out the general value of these records as tests of historical accuracy, for the national vanity of our Chroniclers has led them to understate the disorganization which prevailed at the period.


They are the accounts of the sheriffs of counties, of that revenue for which each was annually responsible at the King's Exchequer, and they include statements of the expenses of those officers in the Royal service.

The Record, commonly called the Liber Niger, or Black Book of the Exchequer, is mainly the result of an order made in the year 1165, or beginning of 1166, on every tenant in capite of the Crown, to return a list before the first Sunday of Lent (March 17th, 1166), of all who held under him by knight's service, stating whether such tenure was of old or of new feoffment, that is, whether it had existed from the days of Henry I, or had arisen since. Subject to this order, there was a return made and enrolled of the following Shropshire baronies, viz.: that of Fitz- Alan, Castle Holgate, Clun, and Lacy, and of some tenures of less extent; but we miss from the record any statement of the Domesday Baronies of Corbet, Mortimer, Say of Richard's Castle, [5] and several other lesser, but then existent fiefs. Hearne's printed transcript of this document is unusually faithful as regards Shropshire, but several entries are distinguished in the original, by being written in a different hand and paler ink than the general matter. They were in fact supplementary, but Hearne's transcript takes no notice of this important distinction.

The Rotuli Literarum Patentium, or Patent Rolls, are copies

[5] Osborn Fitz-Hugh, the then Baron of Richard's Castle, made a return; but it was informal, and so was sent back to be amended. William de Beauchamp, who had charge to see to its correction, was Sheriff of Herefordshire and Worcestershire; yet the note of this transaction is erroneously given in the 'Libor Niger,' under Northamptonshire. Osborn Fitz-Hugh's amended return nowhere appears. The statement as to this barony, which is inserted under Herefordshire, is of the supplementary character noticed in the text. Hearne's reading thereof is, however, so incorrect as to leave it unintelligible. (See Hearne's Liber Niger, vol. i. pp. 159, 217.) The true reading is reserved for its proper place.


of such writs of the Crown as were engrossed on open sheets of parchment, and had the seal of the Sovereign pendent at the bottom. These writs have usually a public address or direction as to their execution, though they may treat of the concerns of an individual. They comprise documents on every variety of subject:- prerogative, revenue, judicature, treaties, safe-conduct, liberties, offices, wardships, ecclesiastical dignities, pardons, liveries, licences, creations of nobility, &c. They exist no earlier than for the third regnal year of King John (commencing May 3d, 1201), and from that time downwards, but not in quite an uninterrupted succession.

The Rotuli Literarum Clausarum, or Close Rolls, were writs of the Crown, which were folded up, sealed on the outside, and usually addressed to individuals. Their subject was as diversified as that of the Patent Rolls. They exist from the sixth year of John (June 1204), but not continuously.

The Rotuli Chartarum are the contemporaneous registers of Royal Grants of lands, dignities, liberties, and privileges. They commence with the first year of King John (A.D. 1199), and, with the exception of a few years, are preserved for the whole period with which we are concerned.

The Oblata and Fine Rolle constitute one series, commencing at the same period as the last. They are records of sums of money offered to and accepted by the Crown, when a subject had to negotiate any favour or feudal right.

The Placita and Assize Rolls are records of proceedings in the Courts of Law. No arrangement of these Rolls, founded on a distinct principle, has yet been made, and it is not easy to devise a plan for such arrangement. In general they are badly and inaccurately written, and ill preserved. More than half also are lost. Those which remain are, nevertheless, of the greatest importance, as containing information which no other source can supply. They contain minutes of trials both civil and criminal; at Westminster, and in the provinces; before the King himself, his council, and his justiciars. The present Deputy Keeper of the Rolls, edited for the Record


Commission all that was supposed to remain of them, for the reign of Richard I, and the first year of King John, but a few undated Rolls escaped observation, owing probably to the faulty arrangement which is not yet rectified. Two of these undated, and therefore unprinted, Rolls contain however internal proof of date, and of being earlier than any others. Nothing whatever remains of this kind which can be attributed to an older date than the reign of Richard I.

The Pedes Finium, or Final Concords, are records of the terms on which any real or fictitious suit at law was compounded between the litigants. These documents are supposed to have been originally in triplicate. A copy was allotted to each of the according parties, whilst the third was retained as a record by the Crown. Their preservation is extremely accidental, but a few remain of the time of Henry II. Copies of many are preserved in Monastic chartularies, and other depositories, the originals of which are no longer existent in the proper custody.

The Escheat Rolls, otherwise called Inquisitiones post mortem, are chiefly records of the writs addressed by the Crown to the proper officer, to summon a jury when the death of any tenant in capite involved a right of wardship, or marriage, or a fine by such tenant's successor for livery. The returns of these juries also form part of the Record, and usually contain statements as to the extent and value of the deceased's property, its tenure, and the name and age of his heir. In some cases the writ is lost, [6] whilst the return is extant, and vice versa. But these Rolls only commence in the reign of Henry III, and even then are not well preserved. The Inquisitions of this and the succeeding reign frequently involve matters which are not comprehended in the above description, such as perambulations of forests and inquests of the class afterwards entitled ad quod damnum.

[6] The printed Calendar of these documents notices the absence of some which an earlier index had registered as in the proper custody. One such I have myself found in the British Museum. It is the Inquisition of 81 H.3, No. 42, and is to be found in Harl. Chart. 46. a. 33.


By Chartae Antique are generally understood, those copies of certain ancient charters which are enrolled at the Tower. These are not all royal charters. Similar documents existent at the British Museum and elsewhere, and to which the same title would be equally applicable, shall be described when quoted hereafter, by the place of their custody.

The Red Book of the Exchequer (Liber Ruber Scaccarii), a volume of great interest and most varied contents, was compiled previous to the year 1246. When quoted in this work, it will be so as a collection of scutage- rolls, of lists of knights' fees and serjeantries, and of abstracts of Pipe Rolls.

The Testa de Nevill is also a compilation of similar matters. As regards Shropshire it contains lists of tenures by serjeantry, of other tenures in capite, of the knights' fees constituting particular baronies, also notices [7] of churches, wardships or marriages of the King's gift, and scutages. These documents are of the reigns of John and Henry III.

The Hundred Rolls for Shropshire are of two kinds, and relate to two periods, viz., the years 1255 and 1274. The former is chiefly a territorial record, specifying the tenure and extent of each manor in a given Hundred, [8] its privileges and liabilities as ascertained by Jury. The latter is an inquisition by similar Juries of Hundreds as to frauds on the Crown Revenue, or oppressions of the people by public officers.

The Placita de quo warranto were legal proceedings instituted by the Crown with reference to frauds thus or otherwise ascertained or suspected. A series of such trials was held in Shropshire in time of Edward I.

The Forest Rolls, preserved at the Chapter-House, Westminster, contain pleas and proceedings before the Justices of the King's Forests in their respective circuits. Mixed with

[7] A part of these transcripts is clearly taken from Assize Rolls. Thus we have a fragment of a Shropshire Assize Roll of date A.D.1227, and the original of which is lost.
[8] Boroughs and liberties, where extra-hundredal, are also reported of. The Shropshire hundred of Brimstree is unnoticed in each of these Surveys, but the rolls of many other counties are far more incomplete than that of Shropshire.


them are perambulations of forests, where a boundary was in question, and documents relating to other questions of Royal demesne. A very early forest roll for Shropshire is preserved. It is undated, but belongs to the year 1180 [9] or 26 Hen. II, and is in perfect condition.

The originalia Rolls seem to be a series of memoranda of matters connected with the constant or casual revenue of the Crown. They were preserved in the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office, as belonging to that department of the Exchequer called the Exchequer of Account. They commence with the 11th year of Henry III (A.D. 1226).

A book commonly called Kirby's Quest, [1]0 and of which the original and constituent documents are supposed to be lost, seems to contain a series of extracts from the Escheat Rolls; but its more valuable and distinctive feature is a statement of tenures in different Counties and Hundreds, as they existed in time of Edward I. The survey of Shropshire is very full, and stands a most valuable continuation of the series formed by Domesday, the Liber Niger, the Testa de Nevill, and the Hundred Rolls.

In further continuation of this series there was a record of the time of Edward II, commonly called the Nomina villarum. The contents of this are similarly to be gathered only from transcripts, and those very inaccurate.

A few minor records remain to be noticed. The Rotuli de

[9] This date is proved in a curious but most satisfactory way. At the foot of the Roll, the sum of amercements levied on this occasion is stated as 68 4s. 6d., and an additional sum of 56 is entered as accruing from the sale of lead, the produce of the King's mines at Shelve. In his account for the fiscal year ending Michaelmas, 1180, Hugh Pantulf, then Sheriff of Shropshire, acknowledges each of these sums as due to the Crown, and he discharges the debt in subsequent years. The Sheriff's acccunt further supplies the name of the justice of the forest who held these pleas, and which is not given on the Roll itself. It was Thomas Fitz-Bernard. (Mag. Rot. Pip. 26 Hen. II, Salopescr.)
[10] John de Kirkby, whose name is associated with these inquests, was treasurer to King Edward I at the time they were taken. He presided himself over the inquests in Devonshire, but the justiciars who visited Shropshire and Staffordshire were Richard de Stanford, Clerk, and his fellows. I have two original parchment rolls of tenures nearly contemporary but not identical with Kirby's Quest. They extend only to the Hundreds of Bradford and Pimhill.


dominabus et pueris et puellis are a record of marriages and wardships of the King's gift as ascertained in certain counties by Itinerant Justices in the year 1185 (31 Hen. II). Shropshire was not thus visited, but we obtain information as to certain persons connected with the County, and which, as relating to so remote a period, it would be vain to expect elsewhere.

The Liberate Rolls are entries of the different precepts which were in fact the warrants of the fiscal Officers of the Crown in their payment of pensions, stipends, and other state expenses, constant or occasional. They remain of the 2d, 3d, and 5th years of John, when their matter becomes involved in the Close Rolls, and they are discontinued. They recommence in the tenth year of Henry III, and continue till the reign of Henry VI.

The Misae Rolls are accounts of the daily expenses of the King's Court. Only two exist, those of the 11th and 14th years of John.

The Praestita Rolls were records of advances out of the Royal Treasury for a specific purpose, or on loan. They exist only for five years of John, viz.: the 7th, 12th, 14th, 15th, and 16th years of his reign.

With regard to ecclesiastical matters and possessions, there are no national records of the early date contemplated in this work, at least none of an exclusively ecclesiastical character. But whereas documents of a later period have, where places rather than persons are concerned, a wide retrospective significance, I shall frequently quote certain national records, which treat of the temporal and spiritual possessions of the Church. The principal of these will be three:-

1st, Pope Nicholas' Taxation, a survey and valuation taken between A.D. 1288 and 1292, on occasion of Pope Nicholas IV having granted in the former year, to King Edward I, the tenths of all ecclesiastical income in England for six years to come. These annual tenths were usually payable to the See of Rome, though in a previous instance they had been granted,


for three years, to King Henry III. The object for which Edward I was to employ them was a Crusade. His temporary interest in the matter occasioned a Royal Commission, which surveyed the Church's possessions throughout the realm; and this valuation governed all ecclesiastical taxes, whether payable to King or Pope, till the reign of Henry VIII. It was in fact the Domesday of the Church, and from it we not unfrequently get the earliest notice of our parochial existence and relations.

2dly. The Record printed under the title Inquisitiones Nonarum, or Inquests of the Ninths, purporting to be a valuation taken A.D. 1341, through every parish in the kingdom, of the ninth of certain stock in such parish. This tax was the country contingent of a general subsidy granted by parliament in support of the wars of King Edward III. The ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, in a parish, was expected to equal the ecclesiastical valuation of glebe, and tithes in general; so that Pope Nicholas' taxation was in effect the basis of the calculation; but this assessment was made in each case by a jury of parishioners, and where their return differed from the taxation, they stated the local or temporary causes which produced the discrepancy. Hence the Record embodies a variety of local and statistical information, quite accidental to a fiscal document.

3dly. The Valor Ecclesiasticus, or great Ecclesiastical Valuation of Henry VIII, which had its origin in this way. When the King had succeeded in depriving the Papal See of all revenue derivable from his realm of England, his next care was to secure to himself, in some form or other, the income thus disengaged.

The Parliament which met on 3d Nov., 26 Henry VIII (A.D. 1534), granted to the Crown the annual tenth of all ecclesiastical income whatsoever. The institution thereupon of a Royal Commission, or Commissions, resulted in the general valuation before us. This Record is printed in six folio volumes, and Mr. Hunter's Introduction, embodied in the sixth volume, is an able account of many further particulars.


The whole or parts of other Records, above described, have been printed, chiefly by order of the late Record Commission, whose powers seem to have been withdrawn precisely at the time when they were in most efficient exercise. When a document is quoted in the following pages, which has been thus well edited, reference will often be made to the page of the printed book, rather than to the original folio or membrane.

I cannot dismiss this notice of the public Records of the kingdom, which, according to the liberal system adopted by the present Master of the Rolls, I have had the privilege of consulting or transcribing free of expense, without expressing my sense of the ready and accommodating spirit with which the Officers of each department have facilitated my researches. Something of this is, I understand, the result of general directions; but I speak of a uniform civility and readiness to assist, which is not required, and could not be enforced by any system of rules.

Passing now from national Records to those of a more local character, the first which have to be mentioned are the Diocesan Registers. These, unfortunately, do not much affect the period with which we are chiefly concerned. The Lichfield Registers commence with that of Bishop Walter de Langton, who was consecrated 22d Dec., 1296: the Hereford Registers, with that of Bishop Thomas de Cantilupe, consecrated 8th Sept., 1275.

The former I have had every facility for consulting, through the united kindness of the Bishop, the Registrar, and Deputy-Registrar of the Diocese. I had already extracted the Shropshire entries of the three earlier [11] Registers when my progress

[11] The Harleian MSS. 8868 and 4799, now in the British Museum, and some time in possession of Peter le Neve, were undoubtedly, at a still earlier period, part of the Diocesan Registers of Lichfield. They contain documents of extreme antiquity and interest. They are not, like the later Registers, continuous records of the Diocesan transactions, but appear rather to be enrolments of certain documents exhibited at Episcopal visitations, in proof of various rights and titles to Church property. Duplicates of many entries are to be found in Monastic Chartularies, but where the latter are lost or inaccessible, the information supplied bythese Registers is invaluable.

Further, on fly-leaves or other (originally) vacant spaces of the first Lichfield Registers have been transcribed a few charters of much earlier date than the general contents of the series. This probably was by procurement of parties interested in the preservation of these older documents, or pcssibly by the spontaneous diligence of some clerk anxious to rescue the remains of an earlier and perishing Record.


was stopped, not immediately, because the Registers refer to a period later than that in hand, but from finding that the work had been already done by another. All extracts necessary to a County History, and which the Registers either of Lichfield or Hereford could supply, were taken by the late Rev. J. B. Blakeway, and may be found among his MSS. in the Bodleian Library.

Of Monastic Chartularies, there are four only known to be in existence, which relate to the greater religious houses of Shropshire. They are of Shrewsbury, Haughmond, and Lilleshall Abbeys, and of Wombridge Priory. The Shrewsbury and Wombridge Chartularies are in the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., of Middle Hill, Worcestershire, whose liberality in allowing access to his valuable collections is too well known to need mention here. For my knowledge of the contents of these two Chartularies I am however indebted to Mr. George Morris, of Shrewsbury, whose extracts from them, while in the hands of a former owner, have been obligingly lent me, and are amply sufficient for my present purpose.

The Haughmond Chartulary, in possession of Andrew William Corbet, of Sundorn, Esq., is open to my inspection, through permission of its owner; but Mr. Morris's extracts have similarly been available to me, and contain all that I can at present wish to derive from this source. There is a fragment of a different Chartulary of Haughmond in the British Museum, which, with many other documents there, I have either copied or carefully consulted.

To the Lilieshall Chartulary and other documents in possession of his Grace the Duke of Sutherland, I have also leave of access; but the references, which I am at present enabled to make to the former, are by means of extracts taken long since, and to be found in the British Museum, the Bodleian Library, and the Diocesan Registers.


The Chartularies of Wenlock Priory, and of Buildwas Abbey, are lost, or, at least, have not been heard of in this country since the dissolution. Of the former, a few items may be gathered from the Monasticon and other quarters. The loss of the latter may be much more satisfactorily supplied from various sources. It is not impossible that a connected Chartulary of either house may yet be found in some foreign depository. Some inquiries in that direction have however been hitherto unsuccessful.

For assistance in the loan of private deeds and documents, I must leave all detailed acknowledgment to the sequel, and I have reason to anticipate considerable aid of this kind from several sources. Already I have received valuable contributions from the Rev. J. Brooke, of Haughton; R. H. Cheney, Esq., of Badger; R. Gardner, Esq., of Leighton; and W. W. How, Esq., of Shrewsbury. [12]

I omit to particularize several promises of most efficient aid in the illustrative department of this work, simply lest some unforeseen hindrance may occur to one or other of my expectations. I must be similarly guarded as to some architectural notices which I have hope of obtaining from a well-known authority [13] in such matters. My business here is merely to disclaim all personal credit for either kind of contribution.

Maps will be given which will follow the territorial arrangement of Domesday, as far as that can now be ascertained,

[12] I have further to add to this list of benefactors, the names of the Rt. Hon. Lord Forester, Sir Baldwin Leighton, Bart., T. C. Whitmore, Esq., W. Wolryche Whitmore, Esq., and George Pritchard, Esq., who have given me every facility for consulting and transcribing documents in their possession. At Willey is a register of Wenlock Priory, chiefly in the handwriting of the two Priors, who preceded John Baylis, the last who enjoyed that dignity. The volume is extremely valuable, not only as furnishing in its various rent-rolls much of topographical information, but as containing several earlier documents transcribed, I presume, with reference to some current question of title or prescriptive right.
[13] The Rev. J. L. Petit, who already favours me in a way which I must acknowledge both gratefully and openly, notices of the earlier ecclesiastical remains at Morrville, Quatford, and Upton Cresset, which will appear forthwith, are the result of a recent visit to those places, undertaken expressly for my assistance. The illustrations also, which bear his name, are presented by him to the work in their finished state.


and, where doubt exists, the whole question will be stated in the text. The tables of Domesday Hundreds which will accompany these maps, are intended further to illustrate the state of things at the time. of that survey.

With regard to former works on the same or cognate subjects, I shall have most frequent occasion to refer to:-

The History of Shrewsbury, in 2 vols. (1825), by the late Ven. Archdeacon Owen, and the late Rev. J. B. Blakeway.

The Sheriffs of Shropshire (1831), a posthumous work of the Rev. J. B. Blakeway. And to the

Antiquities of Shropshire (1844), by T. F. Dukes, Esq.

I shall not hesitate to borrow from these works whatever I may find in them necessary to the completeness or illustration of the subject in hand; but it is more with reference to objections which I shall have to make to some of their contents that I wish here to speak and to apologize. The self-reliance which such objections may be construed to imply will only be apparent, for of all names associated with our local history and antiquities that of Mr. Blakeway has ever seemed to me entitled to an increasing reverence.

The History of Shrewsbury, the joint work of himself and Archdeacon Owen, is, I imagine, of the very highest order of excellence; and that not merely topographically, but as furnishing those very elements towards a general History of England which ought to be ready and available to the national historian, whenever one competent to the greater undertaking shall arise.

The objections which I speak of are then only to matters of detail, on which it is impossible for one person at any one time to attain perfect accuracy. Herein Dugdale himself, though ignorantly criticised in his day, was no exception to the general rule, that antiquarian truth must be progressive, and so never complete. The smallest change of premises will often largely affect a conclusion, and a dozen established facts assume a totally new complexion, by the addition of one hitherto uncertified. I close this digression with a simple


acknowledgment which I trust will excuse reiterated apologies in the sequel. It is only where some further fact, apparently unknown to Mr. Blakeway, may happen to occur to me, or where my greater leisure, and more limited sphere of inquiry may enable me to devote much attention to points, which in his varied researches he was obliged to treat summarily, that I would venture to express a difference of opinion.

I have one more profession to make. It is as to the limits which I propose between an indulgence in conjecture, and an avoidance of difficulties. The former is the stigma of the old school of heralds and antiquaries; the latter is more likely to be the error of modern inquirers. And the reason of both is apparent. The former expected and gained everything by flattery and invention; the latter write under surveillance of a searching, if not over-active, spirit of criticism. Conjecture is to be avoided till all available resources of knowledge have been exhausted, but any attempt to solve a still remaining diffrculty is excusable; and an acknowledgment of a difficulty, wherever one occurs, is a duty, even though it may provoke a suspicion of ignorance unfavourable to the author. A difficulty evaded is only a difficulty postponed; but a difficulty confessed is a mark for future inquiry, more skilful, more active, or more fortunate, than the one in hand.

I cannot conclude without some acknowledgment of what I owe to a Society of living Antiquaries, whose writings I shall frequently have recourse to, and the very mention of whose names is a condemnation of that wretched economy which suspended the operations of the Record Commission, and so deprived the public of services which may never again be at command. Some personal obligations, and a wish to avoid all appearance of flattery, prevent my saying more in connexion with the names of Sir Francis Palgrave, Thomas Duffus Hardy, Esq., and the Rev. Joseph Hunter. I am not so withheld in speaking of the works of the late Thomas Stapleton, Esq., my extreme admiration of which, as it is associated with no personal feeling, so can it no longer wear


even an appearance of flattery. His commentary on the Rotuli Normanniae is a model of antiquarian criticism; and mention of that particular work is less out of place here, because it contains the only correct accounts of two great families early connected with Shropshire, those of its Norman Earls and of the Mortimers.

And now, having taken full advantage of that license to speak in the first person which is usually allowed to a Preface, I commit my work to the indulgence of its readers, little doubting that a liberality, kindred to that which has already welcomed an unknown author with a subscription list of more than a hundred names, will double that number, and be yet further extended to a judgment of his labours when published.

Sept. 26th, 1853.



[For engraving of map, see pdf.]

THE foregoing Map is chiefly intended to show the Domesday divisions of that part of the County with which our survey begins. It contains two entire Shropshire Hundreds, viz., Alnodestreu and Patinton; and the Domesday Manors, forming, or probably forming, each of these Hundreds, are printed in two different colours (red and green).

There was also a Shropshire Hundred of Bascherch at the time of Domesday, the bulk of which lay north and north-west of Shrewsbury, and so, very distant from the quarter of our present inquiries. But this Hundred had two detachments, curiously involved in different parts of Alnodestreu Hundred. The Manors forming each of these detachments are printed in a third colour (blue).

The County of Salop now contains several Manors which at the time of the Norman Survey were members of other Counties. Some of these must come under early consideration. Such of them as contributed, in 1086, to form the Staffordshire Hundred of Seisdone, are printed in a fourth colour (yellow); such as were members of the more distant Warwickshire Hundred of Stanlei, in a fifth colour (brown). Lest, at this early stage, the allegation of such eccentric divisions should provoke a suspicion of inaccuracy, it is better to state that they can all be accounted for, and exactly on the same principle as that which Dugdale laid down long ago, when he met with similar phenomena in his Survey of Warwickshire. An explanation in each instance will be offered in its proper place.

Lastly, names marked on the Map in black ink are of five different classes, viz.:-

1st. Adjunctive terms employed at a later period than Domesday to distinguish Manors of the same name. Such are the terms Much and Little prefixed to the two Wenlocks - George and Burnell affixed to the two Eudons; and so forth.

2dly. Names of Manors existent at the time of Domesday, but belonging to other Hundreds than those above-named, and which will be properly distinguished in future Maps. Such are Stottesden, Buildwas, &c.

3dly. Townships or Hamlets involved in various Domesday Manors, but which have no specific notice so early, e.g., Astley Abbots, Tasley, &c.

4thly. Places of later origin than Domesday, as Bridgnorth.

5thly. Names of rivers, streams hills, forests, or woods, few of which are mentioned in Domesday, though of course all existed under some name or other. These landmarks, more or less enduring, are necessary to any Map, and their names, wherever printed, are only meant to render the whole intelligible. In these cases, and for the same purpose, the modern name is employed. For instance the Brown Clee Hill is so printed, though I suppose one part of that name to be extremely recent. Not so the Wrekin, whose modern name is but a revival, after some disuse, of its oldest appellation. Yet, if our Map had described the Wrekin as Mount Gilbert, that term, though perhaps the most proper when speaking with reference to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, did not, that we know of, exist in the eleventh; and its use, even if chronologically accurate, would have interfered with that perspicuity which is so essential to this kind of illustration.


[For map, see pdf]



[For table, see Alnodestreu]

Whereas, in the foregoing Map, the modern orthography has been substituted for that of Domesday, the 1st column of the annexed Table supplies the latter, as far as this Hundred is concerned.

The 2d column gives the Saxon owner of each Manor in time of King Edward the Confessor - T.R.E. (as Domesday abbreviates "Tempore Regis Edwardi".)

The 3d column gives the tenant in capite of 1086, who, in Alnodestreu Hundred, was uniformly the Norman Earl (Roger de Montgomery).

The 4th column gives the tenant or tenants holding, in 1086, immediately under the Earl, and whether individual or corporate. If the Earl held the whole or part of the Manor in demesne, and had therefore no tenant, such fact is marked in this column by a horizontal line.

The 5th column gives the under-tenant (holding under the Earl's tenant), where any such is named in Domesday.

The 6th column enumerates certain features or adjuncts of some Domesday Manors, often useful as evidence of identity, such as Churches, Priests, Provosts, Berewicks, [1] Mills, and Woods.

The 7th column gives the Domesday hidage of each Manor, that is, such capacity as each Manor was rated at for the assessment called Danegeld. Sometimes a portion of this hidage is stated in Domesday to be free from that impost (non gildabilis), but this exemption does not occur in Alnodestreu Hundred. The Domesday hidage of Manors is very important, as it formed the basis of later taxes than the Danegeld, and so is often a guide in questions of identity. The Domesday hide of this Hundred is computed [2] at 240 acres of the period; the virgate (or yard-land) of the same Record at 60 acres. These acres however will have been somewhat larger

[1] Corn-farms.
[2] This is advanced as an average rather than an invariable estimate, and subject to a special question whether the hide, even if originally an actual measure, was so practically. For instance, - suppose two Manors of equal areal extent, but extremely different agricultural value - I cannot think that the Domesday hidage (a basis of taxation then and afterwards) would in such cases be equal.


than our modern statute acres, though not so much larger than an older and ruder mode of mensuration might reconcile and account for.

The 8th column gives reference to the folio, page, and column of the printed Domesday, which faithfully represents the original in this particular.

The 9th column gives the modern Hundred of each Manor, except where such Manor's identity is uncertain, in which case the space is filled up with a note of interrogation.

The 10th and last column gives the modern name of each Manor, as in the Map; but where doubt exists as to identity, such doubt is marked by a note of interrogation after the surmised name. If the identity cannot even be surmised, the same note occupies the space alone.

The whole contents of the Domesday Hundred are added together at the foot of the table; but this is in prospect of a future question, to the solution of which such calculations will contribute their share.

( 22 )

Alnodestreu Hundred.

THIS Hundred, variously written by the Norman [1] Scribes of Domesday as that of Elnoestrul, Elnoelstruil, Elnoelstrui, Elnoelstui, or Alnodestreu, owed the latter part of its name, perhaps, to a vill or tre of British origin, whereat in succeeding times some Saxon AElnoth may have presided as Ealdorman, over the folkmote or hundred-court of the district. The locality of such a British vill cannot now be surmised, as probably its existence, and certainly its conjectured importance, had ceased before the days of King Edward the Confessor.

In his reign (A.D. 1042-1065), the Hundred of Alnodestreu had its centre or caput at Membrefeld (Morville), where consequently that local jurisdiction will have been exercised which, together with the Manor, realized an annual revenue of 10. The proportion between the Curial and Manorial income is not stated in Domesday; but two-thirds of the former, whatever it was, belonged to the Crown, and the other third to the Earl of Mercia.

When in the year 1086, the Domesday Survey was taken, the collective value of Morville Manor and its attached Hundred of Alnodestreu was a little in excess of the Saxon valuation, viz. 10. 8s. 6d. The Norman Earl (Roger de Montgomery) was now entitled to the whole profits [2] of the hundred-court, which are

[1] The Domesday Commissioners for Worcestershire and other, probably adjoining, Counties, were Remigius, Bishop of Lincoln, Earl Walter Giffard, Henry de Ferrero, and Adam, brother of Eudo the King's Sewer. - (Cotton MSS., Tib. A. xiij.) They were all Normans.
[2] In the age immediately succeeding that of which we are treating, the distinctive badge of Earldom was a right to a third part of the revenue arising from such pleas of the Crown as were held in the County or City whereof the Earl took title. But I suppose that Earl Roger's tenure in Shropshire was like that of the Earl of Chester in his County, and will best be described by the term palatine. The chief features of such tenure were, that the judicial revenue of County, Hundred, and Borough Courts was not, as in Saxon, or as in subsequent times, divided between the Crown and the Earl in proportion of two to one, but belonged wholly to the Earl. Pleas of the Crown, therefore, did


estimated at 3, but that sum probably included the income of such portion of the Manor as was retained by the Earl in demesne.

As regards the boundaries of the Domesday Hundred of Alnodestreu, they will best be understood by a perusal of the accompanying Map. It lay in a scattered form, being broken up by isolated portions of the Hundreds of Bascherch and Patinton; nor was this a solitary instance of those eccentric territorial divisions which at the period in question must have been productive of great inconvenience. A thorough change in this respect was effected in Shropshire before the accession of Henry II (1154), but by which of his four predecessors cannot be determined on positive evidence. There are however some negative considerations, which it may be worth while to offer on the matter. The reigns of William Rufus and Stephen were not likely to have been productive of any great internal reforms of this kind. The last two years of William the Conqueror (or such part of two years as elapsed between the completion of the Domesday record and his death), left him little leisure for English affairs, to say nothing of the County of Salop being at that time exempt from all subsidiary exercise of royal prerogative. On other grounds such a reform might have been expected, almost as a corollary of the Domesday Survey; but then it would hardly have escaped the notice of those contemporary Chroniclers, who have dwelt so much on the adjuncts of that great territorial record.

King Henry I inherited much of the administrative ability of his Father. Thirty years of his reign were years of uninterrupted tranquillity as regarded this County. His powers of interference in all its internal affairs were unlimited, and his ministers were men of great capacity and energy. To his reign then may be ascribed the change, which rearranged the divisional system of the County, as well as its external boundaries.

The feature of this change, which we have at present to do with, is, that the Hundred of Alnodestreu was swept away, and came to

not exist in Earl Roger's principality. Similarly, no writ of the King would be cognizable, or, as the term went, "current" in any lands of Earl Roger's tenure, except the "writ close", i.e., addressed to the Earl himself. Against a subject thus powerful, in case he were refractory or rebellious, the King had no legal and summary remedy, till he had been tried by his peers, or refused to undergo such trial after due summons.

Thus the fealty which the Earl of Shrewsbury owed to the King of England was much what was claimed from the latter, as Duke of Normandy, by the King of France.


be represented by portions of the Hundred of Stottesden, Brimstree, and Munslow, none of which had any existence at Domesday.

A second but more partial change in the reign of Richard I assigned that part of Alnodestreu Hundred, which meanwhile had been in Munslow Hundred, and one Manor (Badger), which had similarly been in Brimstree Hundred, to the then newly-created liberty of Wenlock. In the latter case (the assignment of Badger to Wenlock liberty), the anomaly produced was exactly of the kind which the first reform was clearly intended to remove.

With regard to the Manors which appear on the face of the Domesday Record, as members of Alnodestreu Hundred, they are enumerated in the Table already given.

Only one of them is of doubtful identity, viz. Etone.

The Domesday Survey does not specify the Hundreds of many Manors, which were of the Norman Earl's demesne. A probability that four of these unclassified Manors were in the Hundred of Alnodestreu will be stated under their respective notices. A fifth Manor, similarly of the Earl's demesne, and written "Bolebec" in Domesday, is not identified, and therefore its position in this hundred is matter of the merest conjecture.

A seventh Manor, "Cerlecote", is assigned in the printed Domesday to the Hundred of "Recordin"; nor is the original record in this instance misrepresented. It is nevertheless quite clear that such assignment was in the first case, a mere scribal inaccuracy, which will be noticed in its proper place, and would not have been mentioned here, but to explain the appearance of the Manor of Charlcott in the annexed Map and Table of the Hundred of Alnodestreu.

( 25 )


WHEN the Domesday Survey was taken, the Manor of Membrefelde remained, as in Saxon times, the caput or centre of the Hundred of Alnodestreu. Its relations in that respect have been already spoken of, and it remains further to describe its state as a Manor.

Manorially then, at the time of Domesday, Morville was in a condition of uncompleted, but then meditated change. Beyond the transfers then contemplated, a lapse of twenty years brought about other changes of tenure and condition not then to be expected.

No wonder then that a comparison of its Domesday state and limits with those of a subsequent date should involve much research in the first instance, some conjecture in the next, and perhaps little of positive conclusion in the last. Even the starting point - the evidence of Domesday as to this Manor, is in one respect obscure, in another false, and in a third silent. Much of this was doubtless a result of the condition of the Manor at the time; but after thus deciding on the inadequacy of this paramount authority in the case in question, we have little other evidence to guide us except that which proves, though it does not correct, the errors of the greater record.

That which Domesday [1] tells us consistently is as follows:- The whole Manor of Membrefelde contained twelve hides of land

[1] The Domesday notice of Morville, with the contractions resolved, is as follows:-

Ipse Comes tenet Membrefelde cum xviii berewichis. Rex Edwardus tenuit. Ibi xii hide. Dna ex his berewichis, Calvestone, de i hida, est in Wirecestrescire. De hide terra iiii hidae sunt in dominio, et ibi ii carrucae, et vi aliae carrucae possent esse. Ibi ix villani et vi bordarii cum iii carrucis, at adhuc dues aliae possent cue. Ibi iiii bovarii.

Huic Manerio pertinet totum Alnodestreu Hundredum. Duo denarii erant Regis Edwardi, et tercius Comitis. Inter totum reddebat x libros. Modo, quod Comes habet valet iii libros. Ecclesia hujus Manerii est in honore Sancti Gregorii, quae tempore Regis Edwardi habebat de hac terra viii hidas, et ibi serviebant viii canonici. Hane ecclesiam cum v hidis terrae tenet ecclesia Sancti Petri de Comite. In dominio sunt ibi ii carrucae et iiii aliae possunt esse. Ibi ix villani et unus bordarius et iii presbyteri vim ix carrucis, et iiii bovarii; et onus miles tenet i hidam, reddens iiii solidos monachis. Totum hoc valet lxvii solidos.

Reliquas lii hides tenent capellani Comitis et v homilies de ebi. Terra est vi carrucis. Ibi sunt ii carrucae. Totum valet lx solidos et xviii denarios.

De ipsi terra hujus Manerii tenet Ricardus Pincerna ii hidas et ibi habet i carrucam et ii servos et vii villanos cum i carrucae et molendinum reddens x summas annonae. Ibi ix carrucae plus possent esse. Valet xx solidos.- Domesd. to. 253, a. 2.


and involved eighteen "berewicks" or members, in the shape probably of villages or hamlets.

Of these twelve hides, we are told first, that the Norman Earl held four in demesne; but what appears to be a supplementary note, indicates that two out of the said four hides were held under the Earl by Richard Pincerna. The whole four had been, in the Confessor's time, of the King's demesne.

The remaining eight hides had under the same Monarch formed the endowment of the Collegiate Church of St. Gregory of Membrefelde, in which "were ministering eight Canons".

The Norman Earl had however undertaken the duty, or business, of remodelling this ecclesiastical foundation. He had granted the Church and five of the eight hides of land to his recent monastic establishment at Shrewsbury; with the other three hides he had beneficed his own private Chaplains.

Summarily then, in 1086, the Earl held this Manor and hundred in capite of the Crown. Of the Manor he retained two hides in demesne; two hides were held under him by Richard Pincerna, five by the Monks of Shrewsbury, and three by his own Chaplains.

The relative value, cultivation, and occupation of these respective portions, may also be gathered from Domesday. In demesne (two hides) there were two ox-teams and work for six more. There were nine villains and six boors with three ox-teams, and there was a capability of maintaining two more ox-teams. There were also four neat-herds. The annual value of this, including however the revenue of the Hundred-Court, was 3.

The five hides, held by the Monks of Salop, employed in demesne two ox- teams, and might employ four more. But nine villains, one boor, and three priests, had nine teams thereon. There were also four neat-herds, and a Knight who held a whole hide under the Monks at a rent of four shillings per annum. The gross annual value of these five hides was 3. 17s.

As to the three hides which the Earl's Chaplains held, they were underlet to five freemen (homines). There was arable land sufficient for six ox- teams, but only two were in employ. The annual value of these three hides was 3 1s. 6d.


The two hides held by Richard Pincerna had in stock one ox-team, but two serfs and seven villains had another team. There was work for nine more such teams. Hereon also was a mill rendering ten horse-loads of grain. The whole tenure was worth 20s. annually.

Here we may notice that the land requiring most team-labour was that assessed as least valuable; also that the Monks applied more such labour to their tenement, in proportion to its requirements, than did the Chaplains, and the Chaplains more than the lay-tenant.

The Earl's demesne cannot be brought into this calculation, owing to its precise value not being specified. It however required more team-labour than any of the other tenements, and received less in proportion to its requirements than the land of the Monks, but more than that of the others.

Something must now be said of the locality of these respective tenures, a subject which will involve statements or surmises as to those eighteen berewicks, which were members of this Manor in 1086. Domesday itself supplies the name of one of these berewicks. It was "Calveston, in Worcestershire". This item of Domesday geography, though suspected to be far from accurate, is useful in its way, as confirming our accounts [2] as to the mode in which that survey was taken. There can be little doubt that the locality indicated was Cold Weston, a township very far to the south-west of Morville, yet at least eight miles removed from the nearest point of Worcestershire.

The names of eight more of these berewicks may be gathered from an early and important charter of Salop Abbey, described in the monastic index as the charter [3] of King William I, and indeed confirmed as such by King Edward III.

[2] The Commissioners who travelled through the country to take the survey examined whom they chose; such as Sheriffs, Barons, Reeves of Hundreds, Priests, Bailiffs, and even Villains, but the detailed information seems generally to have been derived from the answers of Jurors empanelled from each Hundred. Thus an inaccurate reply might very probably be given as to any locality which lay beyond the limits of the particular Hundred then under notice of the Commission. - (Vide MSS. Cotton., Tib. A. vi, fol. 38.)
[3] This charter stands No. 84 in the Abbey Chartulary, and as recited and confirmed by succeeding Kings, is given in the Patent Roll of 1 Hen. VI, part 5, memb. 19. The original Latin is printed in the New Monasticon, vol. iii, p. 521, numb. x; and a comment on its nature and contents may be seen in the History of Shrewsbury, vol. pp. 16-18.

It is very common to hear the term "forgery" applied to these early charters, and the historians of Shrewsbury, usually most impartial, speak of "the fabrication of charters" and "pretended charters" as common things, and as applicable to the document before us. It is because the evidence afforded by these early charters is either exceedingly valuable or extremely delusive that I have given, at different times, great attention to the subject, and venture now to express an opinion in favour of their general honesty and truth, and condemnatory of all harsh terms whatsoever as applied to them. The truth is, that a later age has misunderstood the very nature of these early charters, and has consequently judged of them by a false standard. The charter before us belongs to a class very common at the time, and which may be called "recitatory", and, if it may be allowed to speak for itself, will suggest the following idea of its formation. Certain persons interested in the welfare of Shrewsbury Abbey (the Abbot, perhaps, and one or two literate monks), think it expedient, both for the security of their titles, and as an incentive to future benefactora, to draw up a written statement of grants which, within their knowledge, have been made to their house. In this work they partly rely on their own recollections, but chiefly on written documents which they have before them, and which relate to those benefactions in detail. The extracts from these vouchers are easily distinguishable, in such documents, from the explanatory or connective words employed by the compilers. When the whole is finished, an opportunity is sought for sending the digest to the King's Court, in order to secure the royal confirmation. Perhaps the Abbot himself is going thither, as did Fulchered, first Abbot of Shrewsbury, to the Court of William Rufus, at Gloucester, in July 1100. The document is offered to the royal consideration, perhaps accompanied by vouchers, but more certainly with a pecuniary recommendation. The routine was, that the King laid it before his Council, or referred it to his Chancellor. On a favourable report thereof, the King directs the latter to affix the great seal, and perhaps a sentence expressive of the royal concurrence. The distinguishing feature of this mode of proceeding was, that the charter confirmed was drawn up by the grantees, not by the grantors, nor yet by an officer of the Court. The probability is, however, that some test of good faith was supplied, such as the production of vouchers. At all events, these charters were very common, and their efficacy admitted in the law courts of succeeding reigns, as well as in the great conveyancing department of Chancery. Such a document is No. 84 of the Salop Chartulary, and the critical mistake of the Shrewsbury historians is that they have treated it as a document in which they have assumed the King himself to be the narrator throughout.

Looking alone to the internal evidence of this document, I cannot omit to state a doubt whether the confirming sentence was by the Conqueror or his son Rufus. The monk who wrote the Index of the Salop Chartulary, more than 200 years after, attributed the deed to the former, and Edward III's inspeximus calls the King who confirmed, his "progenitor", a term which literally could not apply to Rufus. Neither of these considerations would weigh with me against evidence of another kind, and that, which I think further affects the question, shall be offered in a place where it is more relevant to the text.


These berewicks were as follows:- Astley, Little Astley (alia Estleia), Norley, Crofte, Haughton, Kingslow, Harpsford, and Billingsley. The charter quoted also mentions the vill of Weston, which probably was only the Cold Weston mentioned above. It further describes some other "possessions" of the Church of Morville, viz, Newton, Tugford, and Fertecote; but, in so far as it


describes them as possessions involved in Earl Roger's grant to Salop Abbey, it is probably in error as to circumstance. That at the time this charter was written, the Church of Morville had acquired an interest in each of those three vills is very likely, but that such interest was derived in two cases from other sources than Earl Roger's grant, and did not amount to possessions in the third, and that in none of the three was any interest of St. Gregory of Morville, so existent as to warrant our inclusion of them among the Domesday berewicks of that Manor, are matters which will have to be treated of under the respective titles of those townships. As yet, therefore, only eight of Morville's seventeen unnamed berewicks have been realized, with any show of certainty. Perhaps such places as Rode, Stanley, Dunvall, Colemore, may have been esteemed berewicks, and may be left under this conjectural head till in the following pages, they shall each receive a notice and the reader judge whether they or some others, such as Severn (now Severn Hall), Rucroft, Cantreyn, &c., best deserve a place among the uncertain berewicks of the Domesday summary.

Five berewicks yet remain, and with something of a better title to be placed on this conjectural list. They are Underdon, Bridgewalton, Lye, Tasley, and Henley.

And now, to apportion a series of half-conjectured berewicks so as to tally with the inaccurate, or deficient, or superfluous statement of Domesday, is a matter of extreme difficulty, but yet a necessary part of our professed plan. [4]

It must first be mentioned, that the three hides, which at the time of Domesday were tenanted by Earl Roger's chaplains, had been by him granted in remainder to Shrewsbury Abbey, as part and parcel of the original Church of St. Gregory. This remainder was to, and did, [5] take effect after the deaths of the then incumbents. Of course it is impossible [6] to distinguish now between the five hides, which in 1086 had already gone to the Monks of Shrewsbury, and the three hides, which under the same grant were shortly to revert

[4] See Preface, page 14.
[5] See page 32.
[6] In the History of Shrewsbury (vol. ii, p. 22) one of these reversionary prebends is conjectured to have been "Morville Home", and that Ricardus Capellanus de Meilnil Hermer, its supposed incumbent, was so entitled by some scribe ignorant of the meaning of "Morville Home". This is quite a mistake. Meilnil Hermer is not the name of the Chaplain's prebend, but of himself, and it was very usual thus to insert a man's calling between the two parts of his name. So Ricardus Capellanus de Meilnil Hermer means nothing more than Richard de Meilnil Hermer, Chaplain. Mesnil Hermer was a Norman name.


to that Abbey. The collective eight hides may however be estimated as thus involved:-

One hide at Calveston (Coldweston).

Five hides in Astley, that is, in Astley Abbots and its adjuncts, viz. Little Astley, Nordley, Crofte, Haughton, Kingslow, Rode, Stanley, Dunvall, Colemore, Severn, Rucroft, Cantern, &c.

One and a-half hides at Billingsley.

Half a hide in Morville itself (including, perhaps, Harpswood).

Such then were the eight ecclesiastical hides, supposed to be implied by the five and three hides of the Domesday Survey.

There are yet four hides to be allocated. These are stated in the first instance to be held by the Earl in demesne; but two of them, in a notice which appears to be supplementary, are said to be the tenure of Richard Pincerna.

To deal with the latter first, it must be submitted, that no two hides within any supposable area of Morville Manor ever descended as a tenure, immediately under the Earl (or his ultimate representative, the Crown) to any imaginable heir of Richard Pincerna. But we know that Tasley was in the area of the Domesday Manor of Morville, that it has no distinctive notice in that record, and that it constituted a Manor of two hides at a later period. We also know that in its adjunct, Henley, Warin the Sheriff had a seignoral interest before Domesday, and that in the usual course of Warin's succession a correspondent interest to that which he had exercised appears, after Domesday, vested in Fitz-Alan, and this both in Henley and Tasley. At the intermediate period, viz. 1086, this interest was almost uniformly represented by Rainald, the Sheriff, Warin's successor and Fitz-Alan's antecessor: [7] yet Domesday says nothing of Rainald being a tenant under the Earl anywhere in Morville Manor. It may therefore be presumed, that the two hides, said to be held by Richard Pincerna immediately under the Earl, were in Tasley and Henley, but that they were held by the said Richard, of Rainald the Sheriff, and by Rainald of the Earl. [8]

[7] I use the word "antecessor" rather than "ancestor" advisedly, because we usually associate a descent by blood with the latter term, an idea which, in the present instance, would be erroneous.
[8] Similar as to Cold ,Weston.- The Knight who held one hide of the Monks might have been under-tenant there. The same Jury however which said that Cold Weston was in Worcestershire was probably not in a condition to give very accurate information to the Domesday Commissioners MS to how it was held.


To conclude with the two hides which, in 1086, were still of Earl Roger's demesne, they must be allocated as follows, that is to say, partly in Astley (if Hugh, son and successor to Earl Roger, be truly stated to have granted tithes of his demesne of Astley, to Salop Abbey); partly in Aldenham, Underdon, Bridgewalton, and Lye, and even in Morville itself, as will appear hereafter.

Earl Roger's demesne in this Manor will also have extended in a direction which then had no specific name or occupancy. Northward of Morville, and surrounded by localities which either were members of Morville, or else had a distinctive notice in Domesday, there was a wide, barren rock, somewhat elevated above the surrounding country in general, and naturally fortified on three sides by ravines and valleys of greater or less depth. On the fourth or eastern side, it overhung the channel of the river Severn, at a still more commanding height. This rock or platform, then so insignificant, had once perhaps been the site of a Saxon fortress, but if so, its importance was only traditionary, and the fortress itself a ruin. Yet was this unnamed locality destined, within twenty years after Domesday, to become the scene of great local and national events. First, it was to be the site of a Castle of uncommon strength, the work of the last Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, whose engineering skill was as famous as his cruelty and ambition. Such a combination it was, which served to fortify Bridgnorth in a space of time otherwise incredibly short. The result proves how judiciously the site was selected, and how efficiently occupied, for there, within the same period of twenty years, the chief power [9] of the kingdom, though marshalled under the eye of an able and warlike Monarch, was to receive a sturdy though temporary [10] check, from the foresight of the rebel Earl, and the valour of his dependants. This spot, naturally unnoticed in Domesday, as part of the Earl's demesne in Morville Manor, will, in regard of its subsequent importance, demand a separate and more prominent notice in the sequel.

Having now sketched the presumed area of the Domesday Manor of Morville, it is necessary to speak further of its details.- The chief feature here was THE CHURCH.

[9] "Totius Angliae legions" are the words used by Ordericus.- (Vide Normannorum Scriptores page 807 A.)
[10] The siege of Bridgnorth lasted three weeks.- (Ordericus ibm.)



A Collegiate Church of the usual Saxon character, [11] had existed at Morville in the days of King Edward the Confessor. It was in honour of St. Gregory. Its endowment was eight hides of land, and it was served by eight Canons. The forfeiture of the Saxon Earls, Morcar and Edwin, A.D. 1071, was probably in the first instance subversive of this foundation, but before A.D. 1046, the Norman Earl had devoted the whole of these possessions to an ecclesiastical impose. He had bestowed the Church and five hides on Shrewsbury Abbey, and three hides on his domestic Chaplains; but with a proviso as regarded the latter, "that as fast as the Clerks (or life-tenants) died off, the Abbey should appropriate their Prebends". Thus undoubtedly did Shrewsbury Abbey become at some time possessed of the Church and eight hides which had formed the Saxon establishment. We are fortunate in having a record of the lapse of one of these Prebends, and of some difficulty which the Abbey experienced in establishing its reversionary claim. Between the years 1108 and 1113, Richard de Meilnil Hermer, a Chaplain, died, having been first shorn a Monk of Salop. His son, Hubert, claimed his father's Prebend as his inheritance, but King Henry I enjoined Richard, Bishop of London, then Viceroy or Steward of this County, to hold trial thereupon. The consequence was the defeat of the claimant, the King himself apparently sitting in Court, and attended by the chief Barons of the County. We learn from this, that Earl Roger's Chaplain was, as might be expected, a Norman, Mesnil Hermer being a Norman town and giving name to a Norman family. It also would appear that celibacy was at this period either not incumbent on the Norman Canons, or that these Morville Chaplains of Earl Roger were not esteemed regular Canons or amenable to the rules which governed such collegiate bodies.

Besides the lapse of these Prebends, the Church of Morville had at this period been otherwise endowed; or, at least, grants which had been made to Salop Abbey, were considered appanages of its subject Church of Morville. Such were the grants of a great part

[11] Vide Hist. Shrewsbury, vol. ii, page 2; and Archaeologia Cambrensis, New Series, No. xiv, page 100.


of Tugford (perhaps including Fertecote, a vill not at present traced) by Warin the Sheriff, and his successor Rainald, previous to 1086. Such also was the grant [12] of tithes of his demesne in Astley, by Earl Hugh de Montgomery, if indeed this were the origin of that undoubted right of the Abbey. Moreover, Warin's grant of the tithes of the whole vill of Weston, and of two-thirds of the tithes of his demesne of Henley, and Earl Hugh's grant of two-thirds of the tithes of his demesne of Neuton, and perhaps of Lye, will belong to the same category.

Consistently with the above, a suit which, between 1108 and 1113, arose between William, son of Rainer de Tangelanda (Thong-lands), and the Abbey, about the continuance of a lease of Fertecote, will have primarily been a question as to the Abbot's rights in a part of his Morville fief. So also the suit which, between 1113 and 1121, arose between the Abbey and Rainald, son of Turstin Buich, as to the right of the latter to hold, in fee and inheritance, land near Bridgnorth and the Severn, of which his father had had a life-lease. The latter suit ended in the sickness and retractation of Rainald, his being shorn a Monk of Salop Abbey, and dying not long after his father.

[11] The Charter here quoted stands No. 5 in the Salop Chartulary, and is printed in the New Monasticon, vol. iii, p. 520. I have quoted it, though believing it to be one of the most unfortunate pieces of evidence which remains on the folios of a most valuable record. That it was framed to establish an unfounded right to any one of the various gifts which it recites is not, I believe, the case, and so far the term "forgery", though applicable to it on some grounds, should be explained. There can be little question, from other evidence, that Earl Hugh granted or confirmed, or sanctioned, all that the Charter conveys. Nor is the alleged attestation of Warin the Sheriff who was dead long before Earl Hugh's succession, a material objection, seeing that attestation of these early Charters does not imply the then presence of the witness, so much as an assertion on the part of the writer of the Charter that that witness had been a witness, or a party to the transfer, all of it or part of it, at one time or other. But the main objection to this Charter is that Earl Hugh is made to speak in the first person throughout, and ends by professing to seal it with his own seal, while it is quite certain that no such Charter was written in his day, or sealed with his seal, while living. This point is settled by internal evidence. The Earl talks of his demesne of "Astley, near Bruge", whereas Bruge was a nameless and barren rock in his day, and probably involved in the very demesne of Astley, which he is speaking of. He also grants other tithes as of his own demesne, where demesne he never had, though the Abbey certainly had other title to these very tithes, and Earl Hugh may have confirmed such title, and I believe did. The formula too of "Hiis testibus", which introduces the witnesses' names, is of a later age than Earl Hugh's. The best and the worst to be concluded of this Charter is that it is a clumsy attempt of some Monk to improve a title which needed no such fortifying; and if any seal of Earl Hugh was ever attached to the document (which I doubt), such affix was only not a great fraud because it was a greater folly.


At this period, or more precisely A. D. 1118, the Monks of Salop had built a new [13] Church at Morville; and Geoffry (de Clive), Bishop of Hereford, attended to its consecration. We should neither have known this fact nor its date, but for an awful accident which followed, and which drew the attention of contemporary Chroniclers [14] to the circumstances. The day had been unusually fine, and those who had flocked to the ceremony of consecration were on their way home. A tremendous thunder- storm came on. Seven of the travellers, two of them females, were sheltering in one spot. The women were struck by the lightning and killed; the men had a narrow escape with life, and five horses belonging to the party perished.

After the rebuilding of the Church for a period of twenty years, we can trace nothing directly of the Church of St. Gregory, its possessions, or its interests; indeed the whole history of the County is involved in a similar obscurity. In the year 1121-2, or else in 1126-7, King Henry I, being then at Norton (near Cundover), issued a general precept [15] to Richard (de Capella), Bishop of Hereford, commanding him that he cause the Abbot of Salop to enjoy all such Churches, lands, &c., in his Diocese, as the Abbot's predecessors had enjoyed. This precept may have been connected with the following circumstances.

It would seem that ever since the foundation of Salop Abbey, the Norman Abbey of Seez had laid claim, if not to the house itself as an affiliation, yet to certain of those possessions, whereto the latter exhibited an independent title. This probably arose from Shrewsbury Abbey, having been built and first occupied by Sagian Monks, imported from Earl Roger's Norman fief. The two first Abbots of Shrewsbury came also from Seez, and no one can read Earl Roger's foundation Charter, a document of indubitable authority, [16] without seeing that it was framed in antagonism to some such claim

[13] The architectural notice of the present Church of Morville, with which I am favoured by the Rev. J.L. Petit, and which is given below, renders it probable that nothing whatever of this structure of 1118, beyond the materials is now existent.
[14] Vide Flor. Contin. ii, 72.
[15] Salop Chartulary, No. 47.
[16] This Charter stands No. 2 in the Chartulary, and is printed in the New Monasticon, vol. iii, page 519. In the History of Shrewsbury, vol. ii, pp. 11-15, an opinion generally favourable as to its genuineness is expressed, but some objections are also stated. I can only say, with regard to the latter, that, after a careful comparison of thc document with Domesday, and other evidence in the Chartulary, I cannot find grounds for one of them. It will be time to answer these objections when the specific subjects on which they are raised come under review. The objection which is made as regards Norville is, that the Earl grants the Church of Momerfeld, with all the land which the Clarks held. He means by the Clerks his own Chaplains, not the Saxon Canons, as the historians of Shrewsbury have presumed. On this ground they attack the Charter as contradictory to Domesday, which speaks only of five-eighths of such land having been granted to the Abbey. This is however merely saying that Domesday is silent as to the directions of the Earl with respect to the other three reversionary eighths, to which I reply that Domesday had nothing to do with such matters. It treats of possessions, not remainders.


as that of Seez, actual or prospective. As regards the possessions of Morville Church a claim had thus been made on its Manor of Billingsley; and successfully too, for the foreign Abbey appears to have been seized thereof, when about A.D. 1147 the claims of both houses were adjudicated upon by Robert de Betun, Bishop of Hereford. The composition [17] which ensued left Billingsley in possession of the Abbey of Seez. Thus Salop Abbey will have lost a Manor of about one and a half hides in extent, and so, nearly a fifth of the eight hides to which it had been entitled by force of Earl Roger's original grant of Morville Church, and its appurtenances.

The manorial possessions of the latter, or at least what remained uncontested of them, will about this time, or rather sooner, have become more immediately subject to Salop Abbey, in consequence of arrangements which must now be mentioned; and we may here dismiss any detailed account of separate Manors or townships, leaving to such as demand it a future and distinct notice.

The more comprehensive subject which now arises is a jurisdiction, rather parochial than manorial, and which Morville Church had doubtless exercised in Saxon times, and contrived to retain or regain after the Conquest. In all Alnodestreu Hundred, Domesday tell us but of one Church then existent, viz. that of St. Gregory. Whatever qualification [18] we may put upon this feature of the record, it is certain that the parish of St. Gregory extended far beyond its manorial interests, and involved a very important spiritual jurisdiction. It was about the year 1138, that Robert de Betun, the Diocesan, sympathizing, as he said, with the necessities of Salop Abbey, granted [19] to that house an appropriation of its Church of Momerfeuld, enjoining however that it should be colonized with Monks from Shreysbury, changeable at the Abbot's discretion.

[17] Salop Chartulary, No. 337.
[18] The mention of a priest at Glaseley and Chetton may perhaps be taken to imply the existence of Churches, and if there were not Churches at Tong and Donington in 1088 (as Domesday implies), there were within ten years of that date.
[19] Salop Chartulary, No. 334.


The object of the latter proviso was ostensibly, "a full discharge of the duties of hospitality there, in proportion to the local means".

Morville thus became a Priory, and subject most directly to Salop Abbey. Its ecclesiastical rights, with which alone the Bishop had to do, were no longer matters of local concern or exercise. They were transferred to the Chapter-House at Shrewsbury. The Bishop's Charter proceeds to specify what they were, and they must be enumerated here.

1. A pension of 6s. 8d. from the Chapel of Billingsley, and half the corn-tithes of the same vill. Thus, though the Manor belonged to Seez, the parochial jurisdiction remained with Morville Church, and was now to be transferred to Salop Abbey.. In other words, a Chapel had been some time built and endowed at Billingsley, in the parish of St. Gregory. St. Gregory had probably given up half the corn-tithe as an endowment, retaining however the other half and exacting a pension of half a merk as a token of subjection to the Mother Church.

2. A pension of 5s. from the Chapel of Oldbury; an acknowledgment of parochial subjection quite independent of any territorial right.

3. A pension of 6s. 8d. from Tasley Chapel, a case like the last.

The Charter then mentions certain pensions accruing to Salop Abbey, from other sources (alias debitas), i.e., such as did not arise from the appropriation of the rights of St. Gregory. But it further confirms the tithes of Astley, both of the Abbot's own demesne there, as well as those granted by others (seemingly an allusion to Earl Hugh's grant), also two- thirds of the tithes of the Lords of Henley, Neuton, [20] and Upton, [20] all which were probably appurtenant primarily to the Church of Morville, though the Charter does not say so.

So then, at this date (1138), in the parish of St. Gregory, three subject Chapels had been founded since Domesday, viz. at Billingsley, Oldbury, and Tasley. Within a year or two Robert Fitz-Aer founded [21] another at Aston Aer, endowing it himself with sixty acres of land, a house, and all tithes of his demesne. Within ten years two other such Chapels had been built, viz. at Aldenharn and

[20] These places I take to be Neenton and Upton-super-Edge (afterwards Upton Cresset), but I cannot trace the original grant of tithes in either. At Neenton however Salop Abbey possessed a subsequent ecclesiastical interest of a kind which was not unusually a result of a primary possession of tithes.
[21] Salop Chartulary, No. 846.


Underdon, with different endowments; and the same Bishop again confirming [22] to Salop Abbey, and addressing his Dean and Chapter of Hereford, tells them that he has consecrated so many Chapels as a "protection for the poor, and having respect to the warlike troubles of the time", and he enjoins that all these Chapels "be still subject to the Mother Church of Morville, so that, on great festivals, the people shall attend the latter, and the Priest of the latter shall, if he so wills, have the bodies of the dead carried thither for burial". The Bishop further stipulates that the endowments of these Chapels (the lands and tithes given to them) shall alway be at the disposal of the Mother Church. He also charges his own successors not to require more than he had appointed in the way of Episcopal dues, "lest", says he, and the expression is significant, "what I have done in defence of the poor prove an injury to the Monks".

Again, the same Bishop consecrated on October 14th [23] (the year unmentioned), a new Chapel at Astley Abbots, for there seems to have been one before, but probably disused; and this Chapel was endowed, by the Abbot of Salop himself, with half a virgate of land (30 acres), a house and assart-land, worth 4s. per annum. No tithes were given up for this endowment.

Here then were seven Chapels in one great parish, nearly all of them consecrated by a single Bishop, and their endowments and relations to the Mother-Church definitely settled. And this was in the stormy reign of Stephen, a time little likely, one would imagine, to have excelled in works of peace and charity. Without forgetting the great influence which is ever assuaging human evil with some correlative of good, we may classify the subordinate agents in this local change, and judge of each by his conduct. The Bishop was the prime mover of the work, and he was one who has been chronicled in other and independent records [24] as a friend of the poor and oppressed, the opponent of power whenever associated with wrong, and a great personal sufferer for such his integrity. Then there are the Abbot and Monks of the great Benedictine House, at Shrewsbury, yielding a not very ready sympathy to the movement, and carefully protecting their own interests throughout. Lastly there are the Barons and Knights of the County, endowing

[22] Salop Chartulary, No. 338.
[23] "The day of St. Calixtus".
[24] See his life printed in the Anglia Sacra; also the History of Lanthony Abbey (in the Monasticon) and the Gesta Regie Stephani.


Chapels out of their own means, [25] when the spiritual superintendence of the district was directly acknowledged to be the charge of an establishment already endowed.

Morville, simply as a Cell or Priory, and shorn of all its original influence, remained subject to Shrewsbury Abbey till the Reformation. Its ancient dependencies, as the Church of St. Gregory, rendered whatever allegiance was due, substantially and probably immediately to the Abbot, who held his privileged Court at Astley, without interference of the Prior of Morville, other than as a subordinate.

The names of no Priors [26] of Morville occur, where they might be most expected, in the Salop Chartulary. In Michaelmas Term, 1220, John Prior of Momerfeld appeared in the Courts at Westminster as the Abbot's Attorney in a law-suit.

In 1255 the jurors, empanelled to answer certain questions as to tenures and privileges in the Hundred of Stottesden, reported as follows:- that the Abbot of Salop was Lord of part of Momerefeld; that his share was one carrucate, which he held in demesne; that he owed no suit for the same (to County or Hundred Court); that he had thereof the King's charter, and that his feoffor was Earl Roger. "And", say the jurors, "the said vill was never hidaged", by which they must have meant, never assessed according to any separate hidage, which was likely enough, as it was subject to no assessment of those which were chargeable on the hidage of manors. We may however estimate the carrucate which Salop Abbey had in Morville itself, as something like half a hide, and this both with reference to the previous survey of Domesday and a subsequent statement [27] as to acreage.

[25] The Chapels of Billingaley, Oldbury, Aston Aer, and Aldenham, were founded or endowed by laics, and probably Talley. The great injustice which resulted in such cases was that in process of time the Abbey engrossed the greater share of these endowments, leaving but a slender pittance to the Incumbents, whereas of course a local benefit was the primary object of the Founders.
[26] May 28th,1258, John Wallensis, Prior of Momerefeud, connived at the introduction into his Priory of part of a hind which Walter Baldwin, of Norley, and Roger Dunfowe had unlawfully taken. Before the case came before the Justices of the Forest, viz., Feb. 3d, 1262, this Prior was dead. Placita foreste apud Salop, 46 Hen. III, memb. 4. John Perle occurs as Prior, June 16th, 1853 (Vide infra).
[27] The carrucate itself is never once mentioned in the Shropshire Domesday. The word abbreviated thus, car, car, is always corruca, an oz- team. Elsewhere in Domesday (as fol. 269 b.) the word, similarly abbreviated, stands oftenest for carracata, and in one entry is so written in full. But car, as an abbreviation of carruca, is used on the very same page. As regards Shropshire, I do not suppose that any invariable or ascertained ratio can be established between the Domesday measurement by the hide, and the later computation by the carrucate. The computation, given History of Shrewsbury, vol. ii. pp. 8-9, proceeds on the erroneous supposition that the carrucate occurs as a land-measure in the Shropshire Domesday.


In 1280, the Abbot of Salop was receiving a pension from the Church of Morville, as distinct from the Priory, under the usual system of exaction. It was two merks (1. 6s. 8d.) per annum, and John Archbishop of Canterbury sanctioned it, by deed [28] of August 23d in that year.

In 1291, the Church of Morville, with three of its Chapels, Astley, Aston Aer, and Billingsley, was valued as realising to the Incumbent 17. 6s. 8d. per annum; but how this valuation was made up, and what were the services thus remunerated, does not appear.

The pensions deriveable, at the same date, from the Chapels of Oldbury and Tasley, were estimated as part of the income of the Prior.

In 1341, the parish of Morville was assessed as follows: its taxation or ecclesiastical value, including Chapels, was 26 merks (17. 6s. 8d.); but the assessors of the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, in the same parish, rendered account only of 10. 3s. 4d.; "so much less than the Church valuation, because there had been a common murrain in this year; and because small tithes, offerings, and other profits go to make up the higher taxation and are not comprised in this; and because many tenants have thrown up their holdings through poverty; and because there are two carrucates, and one noke of land (within the parish), which belong to the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, of Brugg, and pay nothing towards said ninth. But in the said ninth are included the temporalities of Salop Abbey, which are taxed like other (tenures) within the parish".


Of the early incumbents of this Church I can say but little. I have only found two of the 13th century, and both of them have merely the title of Chaplain. Roger, the earliest of these Chaplains, was Father of that Richard, whom I shall mention hereafter as

[28] Salop Chartulary, No. 62, - but the sum was probably made up by the pensions from subject Chapels.


marrying Sibil the widow of Robert de Teneray, and confirming her grants to this Church.

Later in the century, Richard, Chaplain of Morville, attests a grant by Hugh, Lord of Upton (Cresset), to Morville Church, which I shall have occasion to notice hereafter.

The earlier Registers of Hereford exhibit no instance of a presentation to this office, neither is it mentioned in the Valor of 1535.

In 1545, as will presently appear, the officiating Minister here is styled merely Curate, and his stipend, chargeable on the Priory, was 5. 16s. 0d. per annum.

FINALLY, to show the ever varying combination which, under the monastic rule, confused both territory, tithes, Church, Chapels, and Priory, we may add an account of the state of things, such as the Reformation found and left them, here.

Previous to July 30th, 1529, Richard Marshall, alias Baker, twenty-eighth Abbot of Shrewsbury (if the list [29] be correct) had resigned, for on that day the election of his successor Thomas Boteler, twenty-ninth and last Abbot, received the Royal assent.

The resigning Abbot had a pension of 40 per annum assigned him by his Convent. To make up that sum a deed [30] under the Convent seal, passed 22d October, 1529, granting to him, inter alia, for term of life, the Cell or Grange [31] of Morfield, with all its lands, meadows, pastures, and other hereditaments, both temporal and spiritual. We learn from a valuation of subsequent date (June 16th, 1545), and made by Royal Commission, both the gross and net value of the premises thus conveyed, and further, in what they consisted. This last record or "extent" of Morville Priory must be briefly given. It was on this wise:-

[29] Hist. Shrewsbury, ii. 130.
[30] Vide Collectanea Topographica Genealogica, vol. ii, pp. 289-291, where these particulars are printcd from records in the Augmentation Office.
[31] Morville was atill sometimes called a Priory, and the retired Abbot, its Prior, Leland, who travelled this way from Wenlock at the time, says, "I saw a litle Priory or Cell called Morfeilde on the right hand as I entred this village". (Hearne's Itinerary, vol. ii. p. 102.) For the title of Prior, as applied to Marshall, and other particulars about him - (See Hist. Shrewsbury, vol. ii. p. 134, note 3.)


s. d.

Rent of the site of the Cell or Grange with all its houses, kitchen, pasture, barns, stables, buildings, &c., in a state of utter ruin, with one small garden, one orchard, four stews, and the land and soil within the site and precinct of said Grange, per annum: 0 10 0

Rent of 92 acres of arable, meadow, grass and pasture land, in diverse fields and enclosures: 7 17 5

Rent of two tenements (in one of which Richard Marshall seems to have resided): 0 13 4

Rent, or farm, of the tithes of grain and hay in Moreffeld, Walton, Lye, Kyndesley, Aldenhaambiguousord, Houghton, Crofte, and Underdon: 21 0 0

and Rent of the tithe of wool produce of the whole parish of Morfeld: 30 0 9

The outgoings were: . s. d.
Salary of the Curate of Morefelde: 5 16 04
Salary of the Curate of Wheaton Aston: 5 16 04
Bishop of Hereford's visitation fees: 0 17 9
Sinop and proses (synodals and procurations: 0 13 4
Comissary of the Diocese: 0 6 8
13 9 10

So that the net annual value, as stated in the document referred to, was: 16 10 10.

On December 4th, 1545, the reversion of these premises was granted by the Crown to John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, and Lord Admiral of England, but such reversion would not, in the ordinary course, have taken effect till May 1558, on the 7th day of which month Richard Marshall was buried at St. Leonard's, Bridgnorth. The Lord Lisle had however sold the reversion long before, and

[32] Richard Marshall however lived at Bridgnorth for a time before his death, if I rightly interpret the somewhat ambiguous notice of him last referred to, but which is explained differently by the historians of Shrewsbury.
[33] Yet in a return of the income of his Abbey, for the year ending Michaelmas 1534, the Abbot of Salop includes an annual pension of 8 received from the Prior of Morville (Valor Eccles. iii, 190), which, if correct, will have been a further charge on Marshall's income. And indeed, when Salop Abbey was surrendered (Jan. 1540), a pension of 10 was allotted to him by the Crown, as if his pension of 40 were not yet made up elsewhere.- (Vide Hist. Shrewsb. ibm.)


perhaps Marshall, his life interest, for there is an entry on the originalia [34] returns of 37 Hen. VIII (1545-6), as to "Roger Smyth, of Brydgnorth, doing homage for the premises".


The earliest architectural features appear to belong to the latter part of the 12th century. The tower has very thick walls, and the Norman flat buttress or pilaster at the angles. Its upper part is of a much later date. The arches which separate the nave from the aisles are semicircular: their mouldings indicate a transitional period, when the pure Norman style was beginning to make way for the Gothic which succeeded it. We have many buildings which may be referred to this interesting epoch in architecture; they sometimes exhibit the tendency to change in the form of the arch, as at Buildwas; and sometimes in the mouldings, while the arch continues to be semicircular. Sometimes it is shown both by the arch and its mouldings, but then some mark or other rarely fails to occur by which the date may be detected.

Here we find a convex moulding, the section of which represents the form of a pointed arch; this I think does not occur in earlier work.

The piers are of a somewhat uncommon plan, namely, a square, in the sides of which are engaged shafts, or semi-shafts whose section is an ogee- pointed arch; the form of the abacus is octagonal. The Chancel-arch is semicircular; its western face exhibits a shaft with an enriched capital, and two double rows of billets, those of the inner row being smaller than we usually find in Norman work. On the north side of the chancel is a door or porch, with a semi-circular arch under a plain gabled canopy. Above the arch is a stone, bearing the date 1683; but as there can be no doubt that the string-courses, from which the arch springs, and the sculpture in its head, are as early as the 12th century, this date probably refers

[34] Originalia, 37 Hen. VIII, rot 23, quoted Monest. iii. 517, note (e).- The Record itself has since been examined. It is Orig. 37 H. VIII, p. 3, Rot. 23. The King, for a fine of 4. 17s., grants to John Viscount Lisle, that he may, by fine to be levied at Westminster, grant the premises before recited, and the reversion of Marshall's life interest therein, to Roger Smyth, of Bridgnorth, to hold to said Roger and his heirs, of the King and his heirs, by accustomed services. Given at Westminster, 18th February, anno 37 (1546).


to some general repair of the Church, or to the re-arrangement of the door itself, the opening of which, beneath the old arch, is evidently modern.

The Font, which is circular and without any shaft, is covered with rude sculpture, to which I do not see any reason to assign an earlier date than to the oldest parts of the Church, though it is just of that character that might induce an antiquary to class it among very old specimens, without any fear of being met by a decided proof to the contrary. It is a curious and interesting relic, worthy of careful preservation.


We have now treated of Morville as the caput of a Saxon and Domesday Hundred, as centre of a great Manor, and Mother-Church of a still greater Parish. We have seen it lose all these dignities and become ecclesiastically a very mean Priory or Cell of Shrewsbury Abbey, manorially a small tenement of less than a hundred acres, and as a seat of provincial government, nothing.

We may now dismiss the subject and revert to its manorial adjuncts, if our identification of them at the time of Domesday may, for the present, be accepted as probable.

First on the list will stand Astley, sometimes called Astley Brug, but with a better note of distinction.-


This township engrossed to itself at a very early period the manorial dignity of Morville, as far as the interests of Salop Abbey were concerned.

When spoken of as a Manor of five hides, as in 1255, it must be taken to involve a great proportion of the seventeen unnamed berewicks of Domesday. Little Astley, Norley, Croft, Haughton, Kingslow, Road, Stanley, Dunvall, Colemore, Severn Hall, Cantreyn, Rucroft, and Bunewall, [35] are hamlets, messuages, or tenements found at diverse period as members of this Manor, and some nine or ten of them will have been of the Domesday berewicks. Of them more in detail hereafter.

If Earl Hugh granted to Salop Abbey tithes of his demesne of

[35] The Hoye, Dcepdale, Haseldene, also occur, and others of still less note.


Astley, as alledged, that demesne will probably have lain in the direction which was afterwards occupied by the town of Bridgnorth.

At the northern extremity of its Manor of Astley, the Abbey seems to have early made an acquisition of some importance in those days.

Between the years 1185 and 1141 (because subsequently to the death of Henry I, and previously to the Empress' comfirmation [36] thereof), Hamon Peverel granted the "fishery and passage" of Sutton. This will have been a right of weir and ferry in the river Severn, probably at the point where the Manors of Apley and Sutton Maddock now converge on the eastern bank of that river. About the same time [37] Robert, Bishop of Hereford, appropriating Morville Church to Salop Abbey, includes a pension of eight shillings arising from its subject Chapel of Estley. He also confirms all the tithes as well of the Abbot's demesne of Estley, as those "anciently given by others in the same parish".

About the year 1160, [38] Robert, Abbot of Salop, with consent of his Chapter, granted to Philip Fitz-Stephen and his heirs, the fishery of Sutton (piscariam de Sutuna) and the land, of which Richard and Hugh were tenants, near the fishery. The annual rent reserved was 1s. 4d., payable at Michaelmas. The witnesses of this feoffment have reference to the locality. They were Richard the Priest of Hestlee (Astley), Hugh Piscator (Fisher) of Brugg, Alexander the Forester, Ralph son of Ordric, Alduin de Harpesfort (Harps-wood), and Bermer de Norlee (Nordley).

In 1180, among those amerced [39] by the Justices of the Forest, then visiting this County, were several of the Abbot of Salop's tenants at Astley and Norley. The subject of these amercementa was certain purprestures and tillages within the limits of the King's forest of Shirlet. Among the names are Albinus, Robert de Bonewell, Reginald de Halcton, William de la Rode, Andrew, Richard the Provost, and Robert Weudac, each of whom was more or less connected with the local history of the Manor. The Provost named was probably the Bailiff of the Abbot of Salop.

About the year 1225 a grant [40] to Morville Church is fortified by oath of the grantors, taken "before Brother John de Egeton, then

[36] Salop Chartulary, No. 40. There was at this period no bridge over the Severn between Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth. One at Atcham was made early in the next century.
[37] Salop Chartulary, No. 334.
[38] New Monasticon vol. iii, p. 522, No. xiv.
[39] Placita Forestae (Chapter-House, Westminster, No. i.)
[40] Salop Chartulary, No. 104.


Seneschall, and Brother William de Penkridge, Monks, and before the full Court of the Lord Abbot of Salop, at Astley".

In 1255 the Jurors who took inquisition [41] of the tenures in Stottesden Hundred, before the King's Commissioners, say that the "Abbot of Salop is Lord of Astlegh by gift of Earl Roger. Therein are five hides of land which the said Abbot holds, nor does he any suit; and he has the King's warrant". Hugo de Kynsedel (Kinslow), one of the Abbots feoffees, was himself of the Jury on this occasion.

21st May, 1256. The Abbot had the King's charter [42] of free-warren in all his demesne lands. "Astley" is mentioned among them.

November 80th, 1274. Another tenant of the Abbot here, viz. Simon de Sabrina, was of the jury [43] which attended at Salop to make report to a Royal Commission on several matters relating to Stottesden Hundred.

There is a record [44] written apparently about the end of the thirteenth century, and which takes note of certain villages, woods, &c., pertaining to the custody of the King's forest (hayae), of Schirlet, and which had been disafforested by perambulation made thereof". Among them are Colemore, Stanleye, Rucroft, Medewegrene, Contreyne, the messuage of Simon de Sabrina (now Severn Hall), Northleye, Astley Abbots, La Dunfowe (now Dunvall), La Rode (now Road or Rhodes), Kinsedeleye (now Kingalow), Tasley, Crofte, Haleygton (now Haughton), Momerfeld, Lee (Lye), Underdone, Walton (now Bridgewarton), and Harpesford.

About the year 1267, [45] Philip, Lord of Baggesovere (Badger), for the sum of four merles, sold to William Abbot, and the Convent, of Salop, all the land which he had in their Manor of Astlee, with all his rights in rents, homages, reliefs, escheals, &c., which land he held (of them) at 5s. rent. The object of this sale or surrender, though itself of some interest, is not to our present purpose. Suffice it here to say that this Philip, Lord of Badger, was also Forester of the fee in the King's forest of Shirlet, and lineal descendant of that Philip Fitz-Stephen, whom we have seen becoming the Abbot's tenant here a century before. Whether the premises

[41] Hundred Rolls, vol. ii, p. 81.
[42] Salop Chartulary, No. 53. This document, which ought to appear on Rot. Cartorum, 40 Hen. III, is thus preserved, the Charter Rolls of that year being lost.
[43] Hundred Rolls, vol. ii, p. 107.
[44] Forest Rolls, Westminster, Salop, No. iii.
[45] Salop Chartulary, No. 145.


granted to Philip Fitz-Stephen were identical with those surrendered, or, what is more probable, part of them, we cannot decide; but a glance at the Map will show how relevant to his official duties must have been the ferry of Sutton to that Forester of Shirlet, whose residence and lands were at Badger and Ackleton.

In 1284 there was an inquisition [46] of the kind afterwards classified as "ad quad dammum", relating to the Abbot of Salop, as Lord of Astley juxta Brug, making asserts in Shirlet forest.

In 1291 we have a valuation of the Abbot's temporal interests here:-

s. d.
He had four carrucates of land (in demesne), estimated as annually worth (at 18s. 4d. per carrucate): 2 18 4
He had a parcel of meadow-land worth: 0 8 4
A mill: 0 18 4
In rents: 11 2 0
In pleas and perquisites (of the Manor Court): 0 8 6
His revenue here will therefore have been: 15 0 6

We have other valuations of this Manor, which, though made more than two centuries afterwards, may be given here if only for comparison. In the year [47] ending Michaelmas 1585, this Manor appears to have realized to the then Abbot a net revenue of about 27. 11s., but 14s. of tithes are among the receipts, whilst a chief-rent to the Crown of 2s. 4d., and a bailiff's salary of 1 constitute the abatements. The profits of Court are not estimated. [48]

Six years later the Ministers' accounts give the annual value of this possession of the dissolved Abbey of Salop as 32. 9s. 4d., but that sum includes both the profits of Court (2. 10s. 4d.) and tithes (2. 14s.).

Before we leave this Manor a statement must be added which, while it concerns a considerable tenure therein, also embodies some

[46] Escheats sive Inquisitionae post mortem, 12 Ed. I, No. 60.
[47] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, pp. 189, 190.
[48] A rental of the possessions of Salop Abbey between the yeara 1487 and 1491, is quoted Hist. Shrewsbury, vol. ii, pp. 508, 509. The income derivable from Astley is stated at 25. 2s. 8d., "but", say the Editors, "under this head are included items quite unconnected with Astley, as Albyns, Kakeweche, Nordley, Depedale, Tasseley, &c". I presume that the statements in the text exhibit a very close connexion between Astley and most of these places. The same Roll estimates the tithe of Astley at 45 shillings per annum.


particulars of law proceedings extracted from the very earliest of our Judicial Records.

A person, whose name is written Robert Wendac, has been already mentioned as concerned here in 1180. In June, 1194, Cecilia and Sibilla, apparently daughters and co-heirs of this Robert, who seems also to have been son of another Robert (whose name is written "Wandard"), were sued [49] for the inheritance of the latter by William Savage, alleging himself to be son of another William Savage, eldest son of said Robert Wandard. The Record is not very clear on all points, but the progress of the cause was nearly as follows:-

On June 6th, 1194, the defendants Cecily and Sibil, with their husbands William Turald and Geoffry de Molendino, had essoign in the Court at Westminster till July 1st following. The ground of essoign appears to have been the sickness of Cecily, for on the day appointed (July 1st)
[50] four visors who ought to have been in Court to testify their view of the infirmity of Cecilia de Cantinunt (a corruption of Cantreyn or Cantern) came not. They were summoned again for one month of Michaelmas, and at the same time [51] Geoffry and Sibil appointed William fitz Turald (Cecilia's husband) their attorney, to win or lose (ad lucrandum vel perdendum).

On October 27th, the cause [52] came on for hearing. The lands in dispute were two carrucates in Estlee, with three messuages and ten acres in Bruge (Bridgnorth). Each party seems to have pleaded a right founded on the primogeniture of either of the two sons of Robert Wandard, the defendants adding, in confirmation, their possession of other lands in Bruge, similarly derived. The defendants required "view" thereof, which the Cotut granted, and adjourned the case till the quinzaine of St. Martin, and such view was to be taken in the interim. On November 24th, 1194, three of the four knights appointed to take this view certified [53] to the Court their discharge of such duty; but the case did not end here,

[49] Placita apud Westm. Trin. Term, 5 R.. memb. 8 recto. The date of the Roll is assigned from its internal evidence. It is that described in the Abbreviatio Placitorum, pp. 96, 97, as "incerti temporis Regis Ricardi". In consequcnee of its date not being inscribed, this Roll has escaped the notice of th Editor of the Rotuli Curia Regis, the first volume of which purports to be a transcript of all existent judicial records of that reign. See Preface, p. 5.
[50] Ibidem, memb. 5 dorso.
[51] Ibidem, memb. 3 recto.
[52] Rotuli Curiae Regis, vol. i, p. 14.
[53] Ibidem, p. 73.


for on the following [54], day William fitz Tumid again had essoign, and the cause was adjourned till the octaves of Hilary (January 20th, 1195). The minutes of that term and many subsequent terms are lost, and we can only conclude from the record of a suit many years afterwards, that the defendants did not lose all if any of the premises.

In Michaelmas Term, 1221, [55] Geoffry (de Molendino) and Sibil fitz Robert (so written in this case) being dead, and Richard de Kinsedel (Kinslow), second husband of Sibil, surviving, William, the son of Geoffry and Sibil, being then a minor, sued said Richard for a mill and eighteen acres here, the right of his mother. Richard pleaded his marriage of Sibil, and that, having had children by her, he was entitled by custom of England to her inheritance for his life. The plaintiff William rejoined with two pleas: one that Richard's children were not by his mother Sibil, but by a later wife; the other that Richard was a villain. [56] The truth of one or both of these last assertions is apparent from the sequel, for Richard, though in possession, resigned his claim for half a merk (6s. 8d.)


There will have been a Church or Chapel here within half a century after Domesday, for Robert de Betun [57] appropriating Morville Church to Salop Abbey about A.D. 1138, included a pension of 8s. arising from its subject "Chapel of Estleya".

The same [58] Bishop, when he consecrated a new Chapel and Cemetery here shortly after, speaks of the previous dependence of the Chapel on Morville Church, and directs that it continue. The Abbot of Salop's endowment of the new foundation has already been stated, and it would seem that for a time such endowment will have been unrevoked. However about 1217, [59] Hugh (de Mapenore), Bishop of Hereford, granted to Morville Priory an appropriation hereof, saving the life interest of Gerard de Egymendune (Edgmond), the then Incumbent. This grant, though preserving the name of an early Rector, probably placed again at the discretion of the Abbot his predecessor's endowment; and indeed there is no

[54] Rotuli Curiae Regis, vol. i, p. 126.
[55] Placita apud Salop, 6 Hen. III, memb. 4, dorso.
[56] One whose tenure was in villanage, and who, so far from being able to possess land, was transferable himself as part and parcel of the appurtenances.
[57] Salop Chartulary, No. 334.
[58] Ibidem, No. 348.
[59] Ibidem, No. 347.


subsequent mention of this Chapel from this time till the dissolution, except as in most dependent connection with Morville Church. The valuation of 1535 does not even mention it.


After Gerard de Egymendune's Incumbency, the officiating minister here like him at Morville seems to have been entitled "Chaplain".

Henry Chaplain of "Esteleg" was father of that Joseph who will appear elsewhere as grantee of Henry de Bunewall and Robert de Teneray in the Manor. About September, 1258, Richard Chaplain of "Estleg" attests a Salop charter, relating to land in Astley.

The earliest notice on the Diocesan Register is of date June 16th, 1353, when John Perle, Prior of Morville and Proctor of Salop Abbey, admitted before the Bishop, at his Visitation of Morville, that the Abbot was bound to find and maintain a Chaplain in the Chapel of Astley, dependent on Morville Church. The admission argues the previous neglect of such duty, or at least an attempt to evade it;- another hint as to the way in which the Monastic Houses of that period attended to the spiritual interests of their dependents.


Called also "alia Estleia" and "paria Estleham", was one of those adjuncts of Morville which Earl Roger's grant, as interpreted by the confirmation of King William, conveyed to Salop Abbey.

About A.D. 1220, the Abbot seems to have added to his demesne by purchase from and exchange with two of his tenants here. He paid [60] Geoffry, the Irishman (le Hyreis), of Brug three and a half merks for a culture under Little Estleham (Astley Home), and gave [61], Henry le Map half a virgate in Nordley, and a meadow between Henley and Kingslow-bridge, to hold for a rent of 2s. 8d. in exchange for his tenancy in Little Estleg.


This vill was similarly involved in Earl Roger's grant. A family, taking its name from the place, seems to have held the principal

[60] Salop Chartulary, No. 147.
[61] Ibidem, No. 153.


tenancy here under Salop Abbey. Bermer de Norlec has already [62] occurred about 1160, and Andrew de Norley, or a succession [63] of Andrews, occurs from 1180 for more than seventy years.

In November, 1221, [64] the Abbot of Salop was sued by William Fitz- Walter for disseising him of his free tenement here; but in vain, for the cousins of William proved him to be a villain. [65]

By inquest [66] held at Astley, on "quasi modo geniti" Sunday, 1 Edw. I (April 16th, 1273), after death of Henry le Forcer, Lord of Linley, and a tenant in capite at Brockton, it was found that he held in socage here of Salop Abbey, paying an annual rent of 8s., and doing suit thrice a year at the Abbot's Court of Astley. Consistently with this there are deeds [67] in the Salop Chartulary, which evidently passed in Astley Abbots Manor-Court, and which are attested by members of this family.


This place, also involved in Earl Roger's grant, gave name to certain tenants thereof under Salop Abbey.

September 26th, [68] 1199, Nicholas de la Rode having impleaded William de Crofte, the tenant, for a virgate of land here, relinquished his claim by final concord at Salop Assizes, receiving 10s. In October, 1203, [69] this virgate became again a subject of litigation. William de Crofte having enfeoffed Richard de Crofte therein, the latter, as tenant, was sued at Salop Assizes by writ of mort d'ancestre for the same. The plaintiff, Reginald de Crofte, alleged that his father (another Reginald) had died seized thereof, and that he was his heir. Richard de Crofte, the defendant, called to warrantry William de Crofte, who duly appeared and established his title by producing in Court the fine, or " chirograph", of 1199. Reginald was then asked by the Court why, on the occasion of that fine being levied, he did not put in his claim. His answer was, that he was then in Cheshire; and so he was nonsuited.

[62] Vide page 44.
[63] Forest Roll at Westminster. Salop, No. 1. Salop Chartnlary, passim, and Charters at Apley Park.
[64] Salop Assize Roll, 8 Hen. III, memb. 3 recto.
[65] Vide page 48, note 56.
[66] Inquisitiones post mortem, 1 Ed. I. No. 47.
[67] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 145-151-374b.
[68] Pedes finium, 1 John.
[69] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 4 dorso.


This William de Crofte appears a few years later [70] in attendance on the Abbot's Court at Astley, and one of both his names attests a deed [71] there at the end of the century, viz. 25th May, 1298.

But about the middle of the 13th century the Abbot had a clerical tenant here, of great wealth and still greater notoriety.

The earliest occurrence of Master Walter le Palmer, of Brug, is his being enfeoffed [72] by Sibil de Halchtun (Haughton), widow, in an acre of land in Haughton, which was already bounded on two sides by lands of his tenure, and on a third by a meadow which separated Kinslow and Croft.

In the year 1255 [73] the possessions of this Master Walter le Palmer, at Church Stretton and Bridgnorth, had been seized into the King's hands under the following circumstances. He stood indicted for entertaining one Roger de Kinver, an outlaw, and also for the murders of Matilda, aunt of John de Gatacre, and of William Kilmayn. His Father Hamon le Palmer, seems to have been implicated. Walter however contrived to free both himself and his Father from all liability to the civil power, by large pecuniary offerings (oblata), in which the Abbot of Buildwas was his surety. His guilt however is more clearly proved, than by the suspicion which his large fine alone would warrant. He was put upon his trial [74] in the Crown Court, at Salop Assizes, in January, 1256. The Official of the Bishop of Coventry demanded that he be surrendered to the spiritual power, being a Clerk. The King's Justices acquiesced, but directed the Jury first to give their verdict, on the Crown prosecution, "to the end", says the record, "that it may be known what kind of character is thus surrendered". The jury pronounced him guilty of the murder of Matilda, but not guilty of the other offences. It being also found that he had lay possessions, all that the Justiciary could do was to order the Sheriff to seize the same on behalf of the Crown. His fate in the Ecclesiastical Court does not appear, but there is a full record of his ultimate composition with the civil power. What with replevying his lands and chattels, compounding for the non-appearance of Hamon, his Father, at the Assizes, and his fine for his said Father's lands and chattels; he appears on the Pipe Roll, [75] of Michaelmas, 1256, as having been

[70] Salop Chartulary, No. 187 - if I rightly date the deed, c. 1215.
[71] Ibidem, No. 274b.
[72] Charter in the possession of the Rev J. Brooke, of Haughton.
[73] Salop Assize Roll, 40 Henry III, (Placita Coronae Rot. 4 dorso, & 10 recto.)
[74] Salop Assize Roll, 40 Henry III, memb. 10 recto.
[75] Mag. Rot. Pip. 40 Hen. III, Salop.


amenable to the Crown in various sums, amounting in the whole to 51. 18s. 4d. Of this debt he had already paid 43. 6s. 8d. into the King's Treasury, 5. to Remigius de Arundel, the Sheriff's Clerk, and owed only 8. 6s. 8d. His payment of this balance is the last item on the Sheriff's accounts of the year.

We have one more local reminiscence of this individual. In November, 1260, as tenant of a messuage and one carrucate of land in Crofte, he compounded by payment of 26 merks (17. 6s. 8d.), a claim which one Alan Strannelone had made on the same. This fine [76] was levied at Westminster, and appears to be the termination of a real suit.


Another member of Astley, gave name to the family of that Reginald de Halctun, who has already been mentioned as subject in 1180 to the amercement of the Justices of the Forest. But the principal tenant here, in the beginning of the next century, was Robert de Teneray, in right of his wife Sibil, daughter and heir of "Floria, de Halectun". This Robert de Teneray having a temporary lease of some tenement in Kinslow, and exercising a presumed right of pasture in that vill was disseized of the latter by Geoffry de "Kynesle", the principal owner there. His action [77] of novel disseisin against said Geoffry was tried at Salop Assizes, in November, 1221, and failed, inasmuch as his interest in Kinslow was a terminal one, and did not amount to a free tenure. This Robert de Teneray and Sibil his wife occur about the same time, as granting a lifelease [78] to one Joseph fitz Henry, of a house and land in "Halechtone". Sibil also, now a widow, enfeoffed [79] the Priory of Morville in the same and other lands here, by two separate deeds, the last of which reserves a rent of 15 pence to herself. This reserved rent she, by a further deed [80] quitted to the Priory, whose obligation in lien thereof was to pay 2 pence annually towards lighting the Church.

Again, the same Sibil, now remarried to Richard, son of Roger

[76] Pedes finium, 45 Hen. III. I shall have again to speak of this Master Walter le Palmer in another connexion. He was member of a family, which, at this period, was by far the wealthiest and most important within the Borough of Bridgnorth, and whose purchases and interests are the prominent feature of a large collection of documents at Apley Park.
[77] Salop Assize Roll, 6 Hen. III, memb. 4 recto.
[78] Salop Chartulary, No. 99, b.
[79] Ibidem, Nos. 100, 102.
[80] Ibidem, No. 99.


formerly Chaplain of Morville, joins her said husband in confirming [81] and increasing former grants, and the Monks are to pay 2 pence annually towards specified lights in the Church, and 2 pence more to Richard and Sibil, or their heirs. This was the grant before alluded to, as confirmed by oath of the grantors in the Abbot's Court at Astley, and in presence of his Seneschal.

It is further possible, that this Sibil may be she who enfeoffed [82] Master Walter le Palmer here, as mentioned under Croft; but, if so, that grant will have been in her second widowhood.


A family of some wealth and importance, in the 13th century, held here under the Abbey.

Geoffry de Kynsedel stands high in a list [83] of the Abbot's Court at Astley, which dates about 1215.

November, 1221.- He was gainer of the suit [84] of novel disseisin, by which Robert de Teneray (before mentioned), and Albinus de la Rode, sought to establish a right of pasturage here.

About the same period, either singly, or with Hugh his son, he is witness to a number of charters affecting the Manor of Astley.

About the year 1226, [85] Hugh de Kynsedeleg attests a charter to Salop Abbey singly. In Michaelmas Term, 1230, he was under prosecution, [86] as a partizan of Walter de Clifford, in an assault on the men of the Priory of Wenlock. He is a very frequent witness of deeds in the Salop Chartulary at this period, and one [87] of which is dated 1252. In 1255, he was one of the jury who made inquest [88] as to the state of the Hundred of Stottesden, before the King's Commissioners. In January, 1256, at Salop Assizes, he fined [89] half a merk for some replevin, Bertram de Burgo being his surety.

On January 20, 1257, a writ [90] of the Crown directed inquest to

[81] Ibidem, Nos. 102, 104. One of the lights mentioned is the "rota", or great chandelier, and hence Mr. Blakeway argues the existence of some ecclesiastical splendour in the Priory Church of the perlod. (Parochial Notices, vol. ii, p. 48, in Bibd. Bodl. Oxon.)
[82] Charter in the possession of the Rev. J. Brooke, of Haughton.
[83] Salop Chartulary, No. 137, quoted above, page 51, note 70.
[84] Salop Assize Roll, 6 Hen. III, memb. 4 recto.
[85] Salop Chartulary, No. 280.
[86] Placita apud Westm. Mich. Term, 14 & 15 Hen. III, memb. 10 recto.
[87] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 141, 149, &c.
[88] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 81.
[89] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto.
[90] Inquisitiones post mortem, 41 Hen. III, No. 37.


be made as to his property, whether it was sufficient to oblige him to take Knighthood. The Jurors reported his land as worth 100 shillings yearly, less 14s. ld., his quit-rent to Salop Abbey, but they understood that he had lands in Norfolk, worth 10. per annum, but they knew not for certain.

In February, 1262, having been amerced [91] by the Justices Itinerant, for having hounds within precincts of the Royal forest without warrant, he is pardoned.

September, 1272.- He is reported by the Stotteaden Jurors, as not duly attending [92] the Assize-summons.

On June 6th, 1300, a second Geoffry de Kynsedeleye occurs, [93] as a Verderer of the King's forests, and on March 29th, 1303, the same Geoffry attests a Charter [94] of Salop Abbey, which concerned Astley Manor.


Was another member of Astley, and gave name to a family who held therein under Salop Abbey. Of this family, Albinus [95] and William [95] occur in 1180, Nicholas [96] 1199, and again [97] in 1202, when he had been amerced for disseisin by Geoffry fitz Piers, Chief Justice of England. Albinus occurs [98] in 1221, and towards the middle [99] of the century. He attests one [100] deed as Dominus Albinus, which probably shows him to have been a Knight. Richard, William, and Simon, also attest deeds [101] relating to Astley, or are mentioned therein. Some Albinus of this family will have given name to the tenement called The Albynes, which in the thirteenth century had in turn given a surname "de Albynes" to a resident there. [102]

[91] Forest Pleae at Salop, No. iv, memb. 5 recto.
[92] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dorso. "Non venit primo die". [93] Salop Chartulary, No. 379.
[94] Ibidem, No. 274.
[95] Placita Forestae, No. i, memb. 1.
[96] Final Concord, 1 John.
[97] Mag. Rot. Pip. 4 John, Salop.
[98] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 4.
[99] Charter in the possession of the Rev. J. Brooke, of Haughton.
[100] Salop Chartulary, No. 143.
[101] Ibidem, Nos. 140, 141d, 103, 374.- And Charters at Apley Park.
[102] 11. Apl. 1258. There was a suit of mort d'ancestre in progress between Adam de Albyns and Walter de Bruges about land in Astley (Rot. Pat. 42 H. 3. dorso). It was to be tried by Giles de Erdinton, &c., specially appointed for the cause. See also Salop Chartulary, No. 274, dated Mch. 29, 1308, the grantor being John de Albyns.



Now Stanley Hall, was once a hamlet appurtenant to the Abbot's Manor of Astley. The holder hereof, Stephen de Stanley, surrendered [103] his tenancy to Salop Abbey in the end of 1252, he and his wife Juliana becoming, in consideration thereof, "guests [104] of that house". Stephen's surrender is in terms importing a considerable transfer. He conveys "lands held by him at that present as well as those which he had set to ferm to others, also his men and rents, and his wood, in the hamlet of Stanley, within Astley Manor". On his death some time after, his widow Juliana quitted all claim [105] of dower in the premises, as she was indeed bound to do by the terms of the former covenant. Thus then Stanley will have become demesne of the Abbey.


This member of Astley must be treated of under its ancient appellation, as its identity with Dunvall is not quite a matter of certainty. A few members of a family taking name from hence shall be mentioned in the way that they are variously written.

October 1st, 1203, the King's Justices being in Eyre [106] at Salop, Richard Dunfow essoigned himself by Alexander Dunfow, for non-attendance at the common summons (to serve on juries, &c.)

About 1215, Henry, son of Edric de Rewin, with his wife Sibil, daughter of Richard le Dunfou, became life-tenants of a part of the Abbot's demesne at Astley. [107]

Simon Dunfothe attests an Astley deed, [108] which passed soon after; and in September, 1231, Simon de Dunfawe had been amerced half a merk for vert. [109]

[103] Salop Chartulary, No. 149 b.
[104] For an explanation of this term I refer to Hist. Shrews. ii, 100, 101, 102, where also will be found a transcript of the deed (No. 141 a, of the Salop Chartulary) whlch fixes the terms of the Abbot's grant for maintenance of Stephen and Juliana, and a very sufficient commentary on the whole transaction. Stephen's surrender stands No. 149 b of the Chartulary, and his widow's quit-claim, No. 141c, though I incline to date the latter somewhat later than the Historians of Shrewsbury, and think that Stephen and Juliana enjoyed the hospitality of the Abbey jointly for near twenty years.
[105] Salop Chartulary, No. 141 c.
[106] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 1, dorso.
[107] Salop Chartulary, No. 137.
[108] Ibidem, No. 146.
[109] Pipe Roll, 15 Hen. III, Salop. Viride or vert was any trespass on the material of a forest, such as cutting trees, boughs, or turf. So venacio (venison) was a trespass on the game.


November 12th, 1240. Simon le Dunnowe, as tenant of a messuage and five acres in Astley, had been impleaded [110] under writ of mort d'ancestre by Milisent, daughter of Alexander de Dunnowe, who now remits her claim for two merks.

May 25th, 1298. Richard de Donfowe attests a deed [111] at Astley which speaks of Richard de Deonewall (Dunvall) being a tenant there, and it is by no means impossible that the same person should have been thus variously written in one deed. In a final concord [112] of November, 1258, the place is written Dunfowe, and, in the deafforestation [113] described under Astley, La Dunfowe is named between Astley and Rode. If Dunvall were a different place the only indication thereof has been already submitted.

There were in the thirteenth century several tenants of the Abbey at Shrewsbury, who were of this family and whose name is written with similar variations.


Of this adjunct of Astley Abbots, little more can be said than that at one time it was held by a family of some importance, and which will have to be noticed elsewhere.

About A.D. 1215, [114] Thomas de Bardeley appears as attendant on the Abbot's Manorial Court at Astley, and some years later Thomas de Berdelei sold [115] to the Abbey for eight merks, "all the fee which he had in the Manor of Estleg, viz. in Colemer".

May 25th, 1298. John, son of Simon de Colesmere, appears [116] as a purchaser in Astley from Simon del Hay.


Now Severn Hal1. [117] The earliest tenant of this member of Astley, who has occurred, was Stephen.- Stephen de Sabrina was in attendance at the Manorial Court of the Abbot above mentioned. [118] After this the tenancy seems to have descended through three or four generatiens, [119] all bearing the Christian name of Simon. At Salop Assizes, [120]

[110] Pedes finium, 25 Hen. III, Salop.
[111] Salop Chartulary, No. 274 b.
[112] Pedes finium, 43 Hen. III, Salop.
[113] Forest Rolls at Westminater, Salop, No. 3.
[114] Salop Chartulary, No. 137.
[115] Ibidem, No. 144.
[116] Ibidem, No. 274.
[117] Called in the Forest Perambulation before quoted, "the messuage of Simon de Sabrina". Forest Rolls at Westminster, Salop, No. 3.
[118] Salop Chartulary, No. 137.
[119] Ibidem, No. 163, 141 b & d, 148, 149, 188, 140, 143, 1526.
[120] Salop Assize-Roll, 56 Henry III, memb. 13 recto.


in September, 1272, the Abbot of Salop sued Nicholas, son of one of these Simons, for a messuage and four acres of land in Astley. The question was, whether Simon de Severne the father had been enfeoffed twenty years before by Adam, Abbot of Salop, without consent of his Convent, or, as the defendant pleaded, by Nicholas, son of Richard de Astley ? The result, which was to be settled by jury, does not appear. On November 29th, 1274, Simon de Sabrina [121] was one of the jurors who had to report on the state of the Hundred of Stottesden. Among their presentments was one alleging the venality of William Le Enfant, the King's bailiff of the Hundred, who had accepted from Simon himself [122] a bribe of 4s. Simon, it seems, had been put on the list of those liable to serve as regarders of the King's forest, but was released for the bribe in question.

Simon de Sabrina occurs a frequent witness in manorial deeds of this period and that immediately following, when such documents began to be dated. I find him thus attesting in the years [123] 1288, 1293, 1297, 1298, and 1342.

On February 15th, 1303, he would appear [124] to have deceased, for on that day Symon, son of Symon de Sevarne, sells to Nicholas Rondulf of Brug, and Alice his wife, and their heirs, all his lands and tenements of Sevarne in the Manor of Astley Abbots, with all his woods, &c., and the land which Richard de Donfowe and Agnes, his wife (probably widow of the last Simon), hold, of the dower of Agnes,- to have and to hold of the chief Lords of the fee (the Abbot and Convent of Salop) to Nicholas and Alice, and the heirs of Nicholas. This deed is dated at "Sevarne". The purchaser was a man of some wealth and influence in the Borough of Bridgnorth. He served as bailiff of the same in the years [125] 1309, 1310, and 1311, and again in 1317 and 1322.

In October, 1305, I find the Vendor of the last deed repurchasing [126] a small tenancy of an acre of land in the "fields of Sevarne"; otherwise the interest of the family here would appear to have vanished.

[121] Hundred Rolls, vol. ii, pp. 107, 109.
[122] The Jurors employed on these occasions were not, as now, selected with reference to any presumed impartiality, but rather the contrary. Their previous knowledge of facts made them the more eligible. The Sheriff or other Officer who had to summon them was generally ordered to select those "qui melius sciant rei veritatem". They were in fact Witnesses rather than Jurors.
[123] Salop Chartulary, No. 274, and Charters at Apley Park.
[124] Charter at Apley Park.
[125] Charters, Ibidem.
[126] Charter, Ibidcm.



The judicial proceedings detailed under Astley Abbots probably relate to the family which, as tenants of Salop Abbey, had the chief interest in this locality. Consistently with that account persons bearing the name of Cantreyn, and who are frequently recurring in the manorial charters of Astley, appear also in contemporary deeds which concern property within the walls of Bridgnorth. The name of Wendac also will have passed through some generations within the Borough. In default of evidence sufficient to establish a connected pedigree, a few notices of persons bearing either name, and doubtless deriving from a common ancestor, shall be given.

William de Cantereya appears in the Abbot's Court [127] at Astley, about A.D. 1215. William and John occur in a deed [128] a little later; and then Richard and William, either singly or in conjunction, in a number of deeds, which appear to belong to the earlier half of the thirteenth century. William de Cantreyn further occurs in 1258 and 1265, as a witness in the Manor and in many undated deeds of the Borough which belong to that period. At Salop Assizes, 1272, he was defendant in a suit [129] about some annual rent, wherein the prosecutor, Henry le Carpenter, failed to appear.

November, 1274, he was a Juror on the Borough inquest, which reported on the conduct of the local Officers of the Crown, and he, or one of his name, occurs in deeds of the ye,ars 1288, 1293, 1302, 1805, 1311, and 1326, and which variously relate to the Manor of Astley or the Borough of Bridgnorth.

Again William Fitz-Geoffry, who has already occurred as a minor in 1221, occurs later in the century as William Fitz-Geoffrey de Cantreyne, and as a different person from William de Cantreyne who attests the same deed.
[130] The two I take to be the representatives of the two co-heiresses before mentioned, daughters of Robert Wendac. About the same time John, son of William de

[127] Salop Chartulary, No. 137.
[128] Ibidem, No. 99, b.
[129] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 12, recto.
[130] The deed is as follows:- Stephen, son of Godith de Nortleg (Norley), sells to Rog. Fitz-Simon, of Brug, for 43s. five acres in Norley Fields, bounded by lands of the Lord Abbot of Salop, Master Walter Palmer, Henry de Haverbache, &c. Rentd. Witnesses, Sym de Sabrina, Wm. de Cantrene, Hen. de Colemor, Wm. L Galf de Cantrene, Rich. de Nortle, Regd. de la Rode, &c. The seal, of green wax, re-preeents a hind. The legend gives the name of the grantor's Father. It is "Sigill' Stephani fil Henrici". (Charter at Aspley Park.)


Cantreyn, [131] is mentioned, and in 1273 Philip, son of Alexander de Cantreyn, [132] was a proprietor within the Borough, and in 1297 Robert, son of John de Cantreyn, [132] within the Manor.

With regard to the perpetuation of the name of Wendac,- William, Roger, and Nicholas [132] occur successively within and without the Borough, and the last before A.D. 1251, when Reginald le Gangy, his fellow-witness, had been murdered; of which more elsewhere. Also William, son of William Wendac, occurs [132] about the middle of the century. These, or some of them, I suppose to have represented William Savage, the litigant of 1194.


The land called Rewin, or Runin, was the subject of a decision, [133] about A.D. 1215, by the oft-mentioned Abbot's Court at Astley. The land was thereby assigned to the Abbot, as of his demesne, whilst Henry Fitz Edric, [134] the claimant, was to enjoy it for life, with remainder to his wife, for her life. For this he paid a fine of 16s. 4d. for entry, and was to pay a rent of 4s. 4d. during the term of tenancy.

Whether this place were identical with that afterwards called Rucroft, or not, little remains to be said of either. William, son of Daniel, [135] of Brug, was chief owner in the latter (spelt Ruiecroft), about 1275. He grants a croft therein, but with a special warrantry, which shows both an insecurity of title, and that he had other land "within the fee of Brug" (the Borough liberties), by which he could amend any defect thereof. The witnesses are persons having interest either in Astley Manor or the Borough, or both, e.g., William de Kantrey, Nicholas Palmer (nephew of Hamon before mentioned), Symon de Sabrina, Nicholas del Hay, Nicholas de Stanley, &c.

All I can say further of this tenement is, that Rucroft and Medowgreen [136] follow Stanley, and precede Cantreyne in the enumeration of vill's, &c., which pertained to the custody of Shirlet forest, and which were exempted by the perambulation before alluded to.

[131] Charter at Apley Park.
[132] Charters at Apley Park.
[133] Salop Chartulary, No. 137.
[134] In 1180, one Edric had fined with the Justices of the forest for an imbladement, apparently in this district. (Forest Rolls at Westminster, Salop, No. 1) He may have been Father of this Henry.
[135] Charter at Apley Park.
[136] Forest Rolls at Westminster. Salop, No. 3.



The early history of this vill involves the quotation of a series of charters, highly illustrative of each other, and throwing some light both on the conveyancing practice of the period, as well as on the system of nomenclature which described the same person by sundry names in different, and even in the same, documents.

Robert de Hastings, alias Hedding or Hedinges, was some time Rector of Oldbury. As Robert de Halecton, Allechtone, or Aluhton (a name probably derived from some Haughton in Shropshire, where he may have resided), he occurs almost as frequently as under his first designation. Like other Ecclesiastics of wealth and position, he seems to have been involved in secular affairs, and like other Priests, bound to celibacy, to have observed his vow at the expense of his morality.

The first local notice which we have of him is in a deed [137] whereby John Smith (Faber) sells to Robert de Eddinges all the land which he held by inheritance in the Manor of Estleg, for 16 shillings. The witnesses of this deed are Hugh de Lacy, Abbot of Salop, and Roger de Begesour (Badger), whose attestations, combined with evidence now to be offered, will mark the document as having passed probably in the last five years of the 12th century.

Becoming thus a tenant of Salop Abbey, this Robert appears interested in the concerns of that house as follows:-

About A.D. 1197, as Robert de Hastinges, he attests a certificate [138] of Bishop William de Vere, as to the admission of a Chaplain, at presentation of the same Abbot Hugh, to the Chapel of Eston (Aston Aer).

At the same time, or, more precisely, between the years 1193 and 1204, as Robert de Hedinges, he attests a composition [139] between the same Abbot and John de Kilpec touching the Advowson of Norbury (Staffordshire).

Again, between the years 1197 and 1213, as Robert de Reding, he attests a grant [140] of Robert, Bishop of Bangor, to Salop Abbey.

Further, when Thomas de Costentin confirmed, about the same period, his ancestors' endowments of Oldbury Chapel, he (Thomas) adds the grant [141] of a croft, whereon Robert de Hedeng, Rector of

[137] Salop Chartulary, No. 150 c.
[138] Salop Chartulary, No. 342; and the original document in the possession of Mr. George Morris, of Shrewsbury.
[139] Salop Chartulary, No. 81.
[140] Ibidem, No. 185.
[141] Ibidem, No. 299 b.


the said Chapel, had built a house; and the first witness of this confirmation is the Rector himself, under the designation of Robert, Clerk of Halecton (i. e. Robert de Halecton, Clerk). [142]

But to return to his local interests in Astley Manor: Having purchased the inheritance of John Faber therein, as above, he enfeoffed [143] one Hugh Knight (Miles) in the same, for an entrance-fine of 8s., and an annual rent of 3s. 6d. The witnesses of this deed of "Robert de Hasting " were Geoffry de Kinsedeleg (Kinslow), Nicholas de la Rode, &c.

Again, as Robert de Allechton, he is described as having conferred, [144] on his son Richard, land which he held in the Manor of Estleg, of John Faber, at a penny rent; the meaning of which is probably, that John Faber's original sale involved a covenant for the payment of a penny rent, and also that Robert's conveyance to his son Richard was not of the fee-simple, but of the rent and other rights accruing from the previous grant to Hugh Knight.

Such rent and seignoral rights, the said Richard, describing himself as son of Robert de Allechton, sold [145] to Salop Abbey, for 24 shillings, reserving the penny rent due to John Faber and his heirs; and this grant, purporting to be simply a transfer of the land, rather than the grantor's claims thereon, was attested by Geoffry de Kinslow, Hugh his son, and Richard and William de Cantreyn.

And Robert de Alechtone, the Father, confirmed [146] this sale by Richard his son, in a further deed, tested by Geoffry de Kinslow, Richard and William de Cantreyn, and Simon Bungi.

The sum of 24 shillings thus expended by Salop Abbey was part of a bequest left by Henry de Norton, a Monk, for the special service of the Altar of St. Mary in the conventual Church of Shrewsbury. We have seen that the annual product will have been a rent of 3s. 6d. payable by Hugh le Knight, the tenant. Whatever the revenue, it became, between the years 1223 and 1228, the subject of a peculiar bargain,vir the parties to which were, ostensibly, Henry, the then Abbot of Salop, and the previously endowed Altar: in other words, the Abbot, by formal deed, assigned a rent of 3 shillings elsewhere, to furnish altar-lights, and took in exchange (and I suppose for more general purposes) "the land purchased from Richard, son of Robert de Aluhton, parson of

[142] For this usual transposition, see p. 29, note 6.
[143] Salop Chartulary, No. 151 b. [144] Ibidem, No. 142. [145] Salop Chartulary, No. 142.
[146] Salop Chartulary, No. 154.
[147] Ibidem, No. 209.


Aldebury, in our manor of Estleg, with the money bequeathed by Henry de Norton to same Altar".

The Abbot's object in this ostensible exchange was evidently to increase his demesne in the Manor of Astley. This appears from a further deed, [148] whereby Hugh le Knight (the tenant) granted to the Abbey all his fee in Bunewell, which he bought from Robert de Hastings, to hold for ever. The witnesses of this deed are as of the last, except that Simon Bungi is exchanged for, or called, Simon Dunfothe.

The whole of these transactions will have passed between the years 1195 and 1228; and we thus obtain the names of several persons contemporarily interested in the Manor of Astley, and further, a well-authenticated instance of the method by which a seignoral Lord might contrive to reassume a tenement, though alienated by a double subinfeudation.

But there was also a family resident here which took name from the plaoe. At the forest-pleas [149] of 1180, Robert de Bonewell was fined 12d. for a purpresture [150] in Norley. In 1209 Richard de Bernewell is named as paying for imbladement, [151] within regard [152] of Shirlet forest. Again, early in the same century, Henry de Bunewell granted [153] to Joseph, son of Henry Chaplain of Astley (already mentioned under Haughton), half a vivary in said Henry de Bunewell's garden, and 2d. rent receiveable from Richard de Wichard and Andrew de Northleg. These premises the grantee transferred [154] to Salop Abbey, calling the former Vendor "Henry Fitz-Richard de Barnewell"; a transfer which was followed by a further grant [155] to the same house by Henry Fitz-Richard himself, viz. of land on each side the said vivary, [156] "with the fountain which was below his house, reserving to himself liberty to drink thereat".

In February, 1262, Simon de Bonewell [157] was convicted of

[148] Salop Chartulary, No. 146.
[149] Placita forestae, Salop. No. 1.
[150] Purpresture was any encroachment on royal demesne, whether forests, waters, or roads. The forest purpresture occurs most frequently.
[151] Imbladement was the sowing, with any kind of grain, lands within bound of a royal forest. It might be with license, and for a stipulated rent per acre.
[152] Regard - was the view or jurisdiction of those officers of the forest who were celled Regarders.
[153] Salop Chartulary, No. 140 a.
[154] Ibidem, No. 138.
[155] Ibidem, No. 148.
[156] "Vivarium", - a place where any animals were kept alive for occasional use. Hence the word may sometimes be translated a paddock, but most frequently it signifies a fishpond or stew. The synonyme, Servarium (a preserve), is used in the case before us.
[157] Forest Pleas, Salop, 48 Hen. III, memb. 4, recto.


forest trespass perpetrated nearly nine years before, viz. in May, 1253.

Later in the century an exchange between William Fitz-Henry de Bunewall and Walter Fitz-Richard de Bunewall mentions the adjoining land of Nicholas Fitz-Richard de Bunewall and is tested (inter alios) by Richard de Bunewall. Also Margery of the Fount of Bunewalle, widow, sells to the same Walter Fitz-Richard a house and croft in the vill of Bunewall, and this deed is likewise tested by Richard de Bunewall.

On October 25th, 1293, the above-named Nicholas Fitz-Richard grants to Walter, his brother, two acres in the fields of Bunewall, towards Harebache, rendering a pepper-corn to the grantor, yearly, at Easter, and d. rent to Richard de Balle de Bunewalle, whom I take to be the person elsewhere called Richard de Bunewalle and holding over the grantor. Attestations by the same Richard dated May 25th, 1298, [158] and May 27th, 1302, [159] and another grant from Nicholas to his brother Walter, dated November 14th, 1311, [159] are all that I have further to mention with reference to this name and locality.


This member of Astley gave name to a resident family, of whom Alan de Haya occurs in 1226; Nicholas de la Hay frequently in the middle of the century; Robert de la Hay, in 1297; and Simon del Hay, in 1298. Nicholas appears to have held under the descendants of one Gilbert Sadoc, a man largely interested in the concerns of Salop Abbey early in the century, and of whom I shall have to speak elsewhere. The interest of his representatives in the Haye seems to have been bought up by the Abbey about A.D. 1270, when Nicholas de Hay will have become the immediate tenant of the chief Lords, the Abbot and Convent of Salop.


A few deeds in the Salop Chartulary show the reassumption by the Abbey of a small tenement thus named, the first tenant of which was one Roger Dod, whose son Richard [160] occurs as exchanging his inheritance in Astley Manor for the inheritance of Thomas Dod. Again Thomas Dod exchanges [161] eighteen and a half acres in Astley

[158] Salop Chartulary, No. 274 b.
[159] Charters at Apley Park.
[160] Salop Chartulary, No. 150 b.
[161] Ibidem, No. 152.


against William de Ebroicis (Devereux) and Matilda his wife, concerning this Manor. Egidius de Erdinton and other Justices were deputed by letters patent, of that date, to try it.

By inquisition ordered May 4th, 1261, the jurors reported the age of Robert de Beysin, the heir, to have been 19 years on February 2d preceding; and a second inquisition, which sat March 3d, 1263, reports him as of full age, gives the date of his Father's death (as above) and the same statement as to wardship, and mentions the tenure of Billingsley under the Abbot of "Sea", by rent of six merks.

In 12 Edw. I (1284), Matilda de Ebroicis [172] (Devereux) had an assize of novel disseisin against Walter de Beysyn which concerned a tenement here.

In 3 Edw. II (1309-10), Walter de Beysin had died [173] seized of an interest here.

In March, 1316, the feodary [174] of 9 Edw. II gives Alice Beisyn as Lady of Billingsley.


Was originally a Chapel, subject to Morville, as being, though at least six miles distant, within the boundaries of that extensive parish. The lay founder of this Chapel was Herbert de Castello, Lord of Castle Holgate, who endowed [175] it in the beginning of Stephen's reign with twelve acres of land and a mansion. What interest the Lords of Castle Holgate could have here, I cannot determine. None descended to their successors either in this or any adjoining Manor. Possibly Herbert might have been tenant here under Salop Abbey before the Manor was lost by that house; possibly being of the dominant political party, as there is other reason to believe he was, he may have had a temporary jurisdiction in a case of disputed territory.

When, about A.D. 1138, Robert, Bishop of Hereford, appropriated Morville Church to Salop Abbey, he mentions [176] a pension of half a merk, and half the corn-tithe of this vill, as due to the mother-Church from this Chapel. In another deed, [177] he mentions

[172] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl.
[173] Inquis. post mortem, 3 Ed. II.
[174] The document usually called Nomina Villarum (vide page 7). Parliamentary Writs, vol. 4, p. 398.
[175] Salop Chartulary, No. 333.
[176] Ibidem, No. 334.
[177] Ibidem, No. 333.


its subjection again, and that it was one of those Chapels which he had consecrated to meet the existing troubles. His arbitration, [178] which subsequently awarded the Manor to Seez, did not affect the Church or its endowments.

But a document, [179] which must date within the earlier half of the 13th century, exhibits this Church or Chapel as portionary.

Within that period, there was a dispute between Adam de Beysin and Salop Abbey, relative to the right of presentation to this Chapel. The result was, that Adam was to present to the portion of Robert de Beysin whenever vacant, saving to the mother-church of Momerfield half a merk annual pension, and half the tithe of wheat and other ecclesiastical dues, and twenty pence of the pence of St. Peter.

Pope Nicholas' Taxation, [180] about A.D. 1291, values Morville and its subject Chapels, in gross, at 17. 6s. 8d. The Vicarage of Billingsley was not assessed, as not being of 4. annual value. No distinctive mention of the Church occurs in the taxation [181] of 1340, it being probably assessed under Morville. The first admission [182] of an Incumbent which occurs on the Hereford Registers, is of date February 27th, 1322, when Ralph Sagon, Priest, bad been presented by the Abbot and Convent of Salop.


This place probably derived its name as lying west of the Great Clee Hill, as did Aston Boterell, formerly Eston, from lying to the east thereof. The omission [183], or use of the first part of the name seems to have been arbitrary. Its meaning and reference to the locality are obvious.

The evidence regarding this Manor and Parish is so extremely inconclusive, that I venture only to give such notices as I am convinced belong to it, without distinguishing them from those which may possibly refer to another locality. The study of a later epoch

[178] Salop Chartulary, No. 337.
[179] Salop Abbey. Leiger Book, fo. 239.
[180] Tax.P.Nich. p. 166, where one entry spells the place Bylyteleye.
[181] Inquisitiones Nonarum.
[182] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl.Oxon.
[183] So the vill described Hatton in 1211 (Testa de Nevill, p. 56) is identical with the vill called Colde Hatton in 1255 (Rot. Hund. ii, 55). Also the vill usually written Norton, in Oxfordshire, is in 1218 written Calde Norton, and is now Cold Norton. So too the vill now called Coalbrook dale was Caldebrok in 1301 (Salop Chartulary, 279).


may resolve all doubt. At present I can only advance a series of quotations, leaving all inferences to those who may choose to draw them without such further evidence. [184]

In 1086, Calvestone, a berewick [185] of one hide, appurtenant to Morville, is said to be in Worcestershire. At the same time a certain Knight held a Morville hide under the Monks of Salop, paying them a rent of 4s.

King William's charter [186] mentions Westona, after Tugford and Fertecote, as one of the possessions of Morville Church involved in Earl Roger's grant to Salop Abbey.

There was some time a charter, [187] by Osbert de Tugford, to Salop Abbey, relative to five nokes of land in Coldeweston.

January, 1256. Richard Tyrel had disseized [188] Richard de Possethorn of a water-mill in Cold-weston, but having improved the said mill, damages are not given.

20th May, 1259. Giles de Erdinton, &c., are Justices assigned to try a cause of novel disseisin, prosecuted by Thomas de Thonglands against Will le Enfant and others. A tenement in Coldweston was the subject of litigation.

August, 1267. Roger Tyrel had disseized [189] William de Forde of two merks annual rent in Coldeweston.

November 12th, 1272. A fine [190] was levied between the Abbot of Salop, plaintiff, and Roger Tyrel, of four years' arrears of one merk annual rent, whereof was suit at law. The Abbot remits the arrears, Roger covenanting to pay for the future.

26th October, 1291. The inquest [191] on the death of Philip de Bagesover (Badger) returns, inter alia, that he held half a carrucate in Coldeweston under Laurence de Ludlow, at a penny rent, and it was worth 10s. per annum: also that he held in the same a place of land of the honour of Castle Holgate at a rent of 1s. 6d., which was its full value.

[184] Warin the Sheriff gave before 1080 tithes of the whole vill of Weston to Salop Abbey (Salop Chartulary, No.3), and these tithes are confirmed by subsequent deeds of two Bishops of Hereford. I cannot think that Cold Weston was the locality of these grants, neither can I suggest an alternative. I merely mention the fact here lest I should lose an opportunity of stating it at all or appear to have overlooked it.
[185] Domesday, fo. 253, a2.
[186] New Monasticon, iii, 521, x.
[187] Salop Chartulary. Index.
[188] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 7, recto.
[189] Placita coronae Regs, apud Salop, 51 Hen. III, memb. 4, recto.
[190] Pedae finium, 57 Hen. III. Salop.
[191] Inq. post mortem, 19 Ed. I.


In 6 Ric. II (1382-3), among the items assigned [192] as dower to Joan, widow of Sir John de Ludlow, a rent of 6s. 8d. in Cold-weston, receiveable from Richard de "Weston", was included.


There was some time a quit-claim [193] by Roger Tyrel to Salop Abbey, relative to the Church of Coldewestone. In 1291, the Church of Coldewestone, [194] in the Deanery of Ludlow, was unassessed, as being of less than 4. annual value; but the Abbot of Salop received therefrom a pension of 3s. per annum, which was decimable (assessable to the tax).

In 1340, the Church of Coldeweston stood taxed at 4. 3s., but the assessors of the ninth [195] (of corn, wool, and lamb) render account of only 4s.; so little in proportion to the taxation, "because the said Chapel is in a waste place. There was once abundance of cattle there, but they had long been decreasing by reason of the murrain which prevailed in the district. Moreover there are only two tenants there, living by great labour and in want, and others have absconded to avoid the tax, as many throughout the country have done; and the said Chapel has been presented, within this very year, to four Parsons, but none of them would stay".

The first Incumbent mentioned in the Hereford Registers [196] is Walter de Ireon, Acolyte, admitted January 24th, 1310, at presentation of the Abbey and Convent of Salop.

MORVILLE (continued).

Having now completed a notice of all that was involved in those eight hides of Morville, in which Salop Abbey is presumed to have been interested, either in possession or remainder, at the time of Domesday, we proceed to the two hides which are concluded to have been, at the same period, of the Norman Earl's demesne.

These are supposed to have been involved in part of Astley, in
[192] Ibidem, 6 Ric. II. Calendar, vol. iii, p. 49. The original is nearly illegible, but Mr. Sharpe, who, at the time I made this abstract, was "locum temens" of Mr. Hardy, at the Tower, took much pains to decypher the passage for me. The point is of course that Cold Weston was written occasionally, "Weston", at a comparatively late period.

[193] Salop Chartulary. Index.
[194] Pope Nic. Taxation, p. 166.
[195] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 188.
[196] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl. Oxon.


the site of Bridgnorth and in Underdon, Walton, Lye, and Morville itself; perhaps also in Harpsford, and in Aldenham.

What was thus held in Astley has been already treated of. What was held in Morville enabled the Earl himself, when A.D. 1086 he founded the Collegiate Church of Quatford, to grant two-thirds of the tithes of Membrefelde to that establishment.

What remained in Lye perhaps enabled Earl Hugh to grant [197] two-thirds of the tithes of his demesne of Lia to Salop Abbey, and it is possible that some such grant conveyed a similar proportion of the tithes of Underdon and Walton, perhaps also of Harpsford.

No farther diminution of their demesne of Morville, than by these grants of tithes, was made by the Norman Earls. On their forfeiture, A.D. 1102, whatever they had held in demesne became thenceforth demesne of the Crown. [198] Such parts of this land as stood in Morville, Underdon, Walton, Lye, and perhaps Harpsford, were at some early and unrecorded period granted, by the Crown, to the Collegiate Church of St. Mary Magdalene, [199] in the Castle of Bridgnorth, and continued to form the three prebends of Morville, Walton, and Underdon in that establishment. Of these we will now speak, first collectively and then separately.

In 1255, the tenure [200] of these Canons of St. Mary Magdalene in Morville Manor was estimated at 3 1/2 virgates, and they were free of all suits of Court.

In 1341, their tenure [201] in Morville parish was stated as 2 carrucates and 1 noke, and it was free from the tax of the ninth then to be levied.

[197] Salop Chartulary, No. 8; but another locality is with equal probability, intended.
[198] Sometimes called "vetus domini cum Coronae", sometimes "Escacta Roberti de Belesme". The presumed palatine power of the Norman Earls will probably make the former expression most accurate as far as affected the practical exercise of the Crown's jurisdiction; nevertheless, it is not verbally correct, for ancient demesne of the Crown was really what in other counties was classified as "Terra Regis" in Domesday, but of which there was none in Shropshire.
[199] To which the Collegiate Church of Quatford was transferred.
[200] Rot. Hund. ii, 82.
[201] Vide supra, p. 89.



23d January, 1204. King John, at Westminster, [203] informs the Dean and Chapter of Brug, that he has conferred on his Clerk, Master John de Leicester, that Prebend in the Church of Brug which had belonged to the Prior of Mount-Walter in Champagne, and they are to receive him as their fellow-Canon.

30th November, 1205. King John presents [204] H., Archdeacon of Stafford, to the Prebend which was Master John de Leicester's.

23d March, 1208. H., Archdeacon of Stafford, having resigned, Walter de Castello is presented [205] to his vacant Prebend; and the Dean and Chapter are to assign him a stall in the Choir, and a seat in the Chapter.

11th July, 1233. Bernard de Grimesby is presented [206] to the Prebend in the Church of Brug which Roger de Lacoc had held, and the Constable of Brug is to induct him.

20th April, 1246. Henry de Langele is to have [207] Osbert de Maidenestan's Prebend in the King's Chapel of Brug. The Constable is to induct him.

In 1255, Henry de Langele is Prebendary [208] of Momerfeud, and his preferment valued at 5. per annum (7 1/2 merks); but another

[202] Though the Prebendaries named in this and the subsequent lists were undoubtedly Dignitaries of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary Magdalene, I cannot affirm, in each case, that they have been rightly classed under their respective Prebends. Where precise evidence was unattainable I have been guided by probability, but a confusion of the Prebendaries of Morville with those of Walton may very possibly remain, as well as other errors of this kind.
[203] Rot. Pat. 5 John, memb. 3.
[204] Rot. Pat. 6 John, memb. 6. This was Henry de London, who from his arch-deaconry was promoted in 1218 to the Archiepiscopal See of Dublin. He was presented to Worfield Church by King John on the same day as that on which he was collated to the Prebend of Brug. He had been earlier (13 Aug. 1203) made Dean of St. Mary's, Salop, a dignity which he held with his Archbishoprick till 1226, contrary to the axiom laid down, Hist. Shrewsb. ii, 325. (Vide Rot. Claus. 161.) He occurs repeatedly as a Justiciar, sitting in the Curia Regis, during the first ten years of King John.
[205] Rot. Pat. 9 John, memb. 2, and Rot. Cart. 9 John, memb. 1. This Walter de Castello had been Clerk to Robt. de Vipont, Sheriff of Notts, in the previous year. (Rot. Claus. i, 91.)
[206] Rot. Pat. 17 Hen. III. Master Roger de Lacce was a physician, and occurs as receiving favours from the Crown in 1223 and 1224. (Rot. Claus. sub annis.)
[207] Rot. Pat. 30 Hen. III, sub die. Osbert de M. was probably a relation of Ralph de Maidstone, who, from being Dean of Hereford and Archdeacon of Chester, bccame Bishop of the former in 1234.
[208] Rot. Hund. ii, 59, 83.


valuation at the same time, by different jurors, rates it at 14 merks (9. 6s. 8d.)

22d August, 1263. William de Fiscamp, the King's Physician, is to have that Prebend of Brug which Henry de Langley, deceased, lately held. [209]

In October, 1272, "William de Feckham" is returned [210] as holding the Prebend of Momerfelde, in the King's free Chapel, in the Castle of Brug. The value of the said Prebend is stated to be ten merks (6. 13s. 4d.)

17 Edw. I (1288-9). Nicholas Brun is presented to a Prebend here. [211]

In the valuation [212] of 1291 (when Nicholas Brun was holding this Prebend) its income was ostensibly as follows:-

s. d.
At Momerfelde, thirty acres of land, worth 4d. per acre per annum: 10 0
Meadow-land, averaging in six years the annual value of: 4 5
Rents and "operaciones": 13 10

Total: 1 8 3

But this valuation includes only the temporalities of the Prebend.

At the Salop Assizes, [213] Michaelmas, 1292, "Nicholas le Breyn" was returned again as holding this Prebend, and its value estimated at ten merks (6. 13s. 4d.)

35 Edw. I (1306-7). The Prebend of Morville is given to W. Bedewine.

11 Edw. II (1317-8). The Prebend of Morville was granted [215] by the Crown to H. de Luthgarshal.

In 1535, one named Fisher was possessed of this Prebend. [216] Its value in glebe-lands and other things is put at 6.

[209] Rot. Pat. 47 Hen. III, sub die.
[210] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III memb. 49 dorso.
[211] Rot. Pat. 17 Ed. I, memb. 11.
[212] Pope Nicholas' Taxation, p. 162.
[213] Placita de Juratis et Assisis, 20 Ed. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[214] Rot. Pat. 35 Ed. I, memb. 43.
[215] Rot. Pat. 11 E. II, pt. 1, memb. 8 [216] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, p. 210.



The earliest notice of this Prebend occurs in a very ancient document [217] preserved in the Chartulary of Salop Abbey, wherein G. (probably Geoffry) Dean, and the Chapter of Hereford inform Roger Canon of Brug, that they have received a mandate of the Apostolick See, in form following, &c. The Papal Instrument alluded to and quoted is probably of Pope Alexander III (1159-1181), who has heard that the Abbot of Salop has been despoiled of the tithes of Walton without sentence (judicio) or reasonable cause, and that Roger Canon of Brug unjustly detains the same. The Dean and Chapter are appointed Commissioners to investigate the case, and they order the said Canon to appear in the Chapter-House at Hereford, on -ides Febr. (the year unmentioned).

About A.D. 1173, William de Petraponte [218] (Pierrepoint) was presented by King Henry II to one of the Prebends of the Church of Bruges. His subsequent dispute (circa 1180) with the Lord of Tasley as to a question of boundary, will be detailed hereafter, but must be mentioned here, merely to show that the Prebend of William de Pierrepoint must have been either Bridge-Walton, or Morville, as none other abutted on Tasley Manor.

In October, 1203, William de Pierrepoint still holding [219] this Prebend, the dispute was renewed, when amongst the defendant's

[217] No. 349, which I date between 1159 and 1173. Mr. Blakeway has, hcwever, referred the transaction to the papacy of Alexander IV, who sat from 21 Dec. 1254 to 26 May, 1261, during the whole of which period Anoeline, or Anselm, was Dean of Hereford, and Peter de Aubucun Prebendary of Walton. (Vide Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl.)
[218] This William de Perepunt is last witness (about 1176) to a very curious deed or certificate, in possession of Mr. George Morris, whereby John le Strange (the first) notifies his remembrance of (the first) William Fitz-Alan's grant of Wroxeter Church to Haghmon Abbey, in 1166. This deed is also transcribed in the Haghmon Chartulary, and will have to be noticed hereafter, not only from its interest in other relations, but because the date I assign to it is very different from that hitherto received. (Vide Hist. of Shrewsbury, i, 79.) About 1176 the same Wm. de Petraponte attests a charter of Guy le Strange, then Lord of Badger. This document, in possession of R. H. Cheney, Esq., will also be often alluded to hereafter. Suffice it here to point out that these attestations of the deeds of the Strange; probably arose from a relationship to Simon de Pierrepoint, who was John le Strange's contemporary feoffee at Glazeley. In 1180 this Wm. de Pierrepoint was amerced 10 merks by the justice of the forest. (Plac. Forestae, No. 1, Salop.)
[219] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 4 dorso; but vide infra under Tasley.


statements is one to the effect that he was presented to his Prebend thirty years before, by King Henry II. (Hence the date of his induction given above.)

This cause was adjourned sine die and we hear no more of it, but the Prebendary in question will have survived eleven years longer, for it was not till January 7th, 1215, that King John presented [220] John, son of Peter Saracen, a Roman Citizen, to the vacant stall of William de Perpunt. Letters ordering his admission were, in this instance, addressed to the Chapter and Proctor.

On 15th August, 1238, John de St. Amand was presented [221] by King Henry III to the vacant Prebend of John Sarracen, and the Constable of Bruges is to induct him.

In 1255, the jurors for the Manor (Liberty) of Bridgnorth, and those for the Hundred of Stottesden, made different presentment [222] as to the value of this Prebend, the former returning it at ten merks annual value, the latter at fourteen. The Incumbent at this period was Peter de Albescun (though one return gives his name as Avelun).

Aug. 18th, 1256. Peter de Aubucun, at Mamerfeld, renounces [223] all claim to the great and small tithes of Walton, in the parish of Mamerfeld, which were in dispute between him and Salop Abbey, the latter claiming them in right of Morville Church.

In February, 1262, Peter de Abisun, Canon, was amerced [224] by the Justice of the Forest, then visiting the County, in the sum of 40s., for default.

At the Assizes 226 of October, 1272, the same Peter de Abesun

[220] Rot. Pat. 16 John, memb. 8. Peter Saracen occurs in King John's pay, in 1214 (Rot. Pat. 16 John, memb. 15), and on August 17 in that year the King had ordered Peter, Bp. of Winchester, to assign to John, his son, the first vacancy of 25 merks annual value, which should fall to the King's gift. On the 27th July, 1215, the same John was presented to the Church of Skensfrith, Heref. Dioc. (Rot. Pat. 17 John, memb. 18); and on 16th Aug. 1216, had letters of protection from his Royal Patron, dated at Brug (Ibm. memb. 5). The Father oontinued in the favour and pay of Hen. III, and the son became Dean of Wells, (in 1242, says Le Neve, but) before January, 1238 (Rot. Pat. 22 Hen. III).
[221] Rot. Pat. 22 Hen. III, sub die. John de St. Amend was probably related to Almeric de St. Amand, a person of some note in this reign, and for some years, Sheriff of Herefordshire, (Dug. Bar. Tit. St. Amand).
[222] Rot. Hund. ii, 59, and 83.
[223] Salop Chartulary, No. 98.
[224] Placita forestae, Salop, No.4, memb. 5 dorso.
[225] Salop Assizes, 56 Henry III, memb. 49 dorso. He is reported on the same roll as non-attendant at the Assizes.


is returned as holding this Prebend, which in this instance the jurors valued at fifteen merks per annum.

In 1284, John de Henedon is returned on a Roll [226] of tenures in Stottesden Hundred, as holding Walton of the King in capite. He was, I presume, [227] the Prebendary.

In 1291, Robert de Turbervile had [228] this preferment. The value of its temporalities in land, meadows, rents, &c., is stated at 1. 4s. 7d.

At Salop Asaizes [229] (Michaelmas, 1292), the same Prebendary was returned as in office, but his Prebend valued at eighteen merks (12.)

1 Edw. II. (1307-8). The Prebend of Walton is granted [230] to the Dean of Brug.

In March, 1316, John de Ker occurs [231] as Lord of Walton, in the Hundred of Stottesden. I suppose him to have been the Prebendary thereof.

11 Edw. II (1317-8). This Prebend is granted [232] to William de Sheynton.

1st January, 40 Edw. III (1367). Richard de Beverle was presented [233] by the Crown to this Prebend.

In 1535, one named Mubber [234] was holding it. Its value in glebe-land and other things is stated at 6.


About A.D. 1138, Robert, Bishop of Hereford, had consecrated a Chapel [235] here, which one Gilbert (probably the Prebendary of the time) had endowed with half a virgate of land and a mansion.

About the same time that Roger, Prebendary of Walton, was at issue with Salop Abbey, as to the tithes of that vill (i.e. between 1152 and 1173), one Reginald will have held this Prebend [236] and

[226] Kirby's Quest, sub hundredo de "Stoteresdon". [227] I now find his presentation, dated 3 Sep. 1276, as John de Hoveden, Clerk of the King (Edw. I), who gives him the Prebend late Peter de Abbesoun's. Vide Rot. Pat. 3 Ed. I, memb. 10.
[228] Pope Nicholas' Taxation, p. 162. One Robert de Turbervill was lately dead in 9 Ed. II (1315-6), and the King's Escheator beyond Trent ordered to seize his lands. Vide Originalia, sub anno.
[229] Plac. apud Salop, 20 Ed. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[230] Rot. Pat. 1 Ed. II, memb. 18.
[231] Parliamentary Writs, vol. iv, p. 398.
[232] Rot. Pat. 2 Ed. II, pt. 1, memb. 19.
[233] Rot. Pat. 40 Ed. III, p. 2, memb. 6.
[234] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, p. 210, Heref. Dioc. Stottesden Deanery.
[235] Salop Chartulary, No. 333.
[236] Ibidem, No. 350.


been involved in a similar dispute; for Thomas, [237] Prior of Hereford, certifies that he was present in the Chapter of Hereford when Reginald, Canon of Brug, acknowledged the right of the Monks of Salop to tithes of the demesne of Hundredon, and gave them up to G. the Dean, [238] who, with his Chapter, acting as delegates of the Apostolick See, invested [239] therewith William, Prior of Salop, in name of said Monks.

24th June, 1200. John de Gray, Archdeacon of Gloucester, having resigned his Prebend in the Church of Brug, King John, then at Chinon, to make up an annual rent of fifty merks, assigns [240] it for life to Master Thomas de Argentol, Clerk to the King himself, and to "the King's most illustrious Lord, the King of France".

This Thomas was also presented, by King John, to the Church of Salkeld (Cumberland), but probably lost both preferments on the rupture with Philip Augustus. His successor, at Salkeld, was Master Matthew, the King's physician, presented [241] by King John on 6th March, 1205. The same Matthew will probably have succeeded, with a better title, to this Prebend, for on 13th February, 1209, the King presents [242] William de Sancto Maxentio, his Clerk, to the Prebend held by Master Matthew.

On 12th December, 1222, Henry III presents [243] Robert de Alrecumb to the Prebend of Underdun, in the Chapel of Brug, which Joceas, Chaplain of Ranulf Earl of Chester, had.held. The Constable will induct.

27th February, 1288. The King presents [244] William de Burgo

[237] Thomas Carbonel, Prior of St. Guthlacs - chosen Abbot of Gloucester, Oct. 1179.
[238] Geoffry, Dean of Hereford, I suppose. He occurs 1173.
[239] Perhaps this was during the vacancy caused by the death of Robert Abbot of Salop, in 1167, at which time also the See of Hereford was entering on a seven years' vacancy.
[240] Rot. Cartarum, 2 John, memb. 29. John de Gray was consecrated Bishop of Norwich in September following. He was an eminent Justiciar, and being elected Abp. of Canterbury in 1205, was set aside by the Pope.
[241] Rot. Pat. 6 Joh. memb. 3 & 2. The first instrument says that the Church is vacant, the second only bestows its revenues on Master Matthew; and long after (viz. 12 Sep. 1214) King John restored it to Thos. de Argentol, "whoever be in possession", the King being exonerated of all obligation to account for the receipts ad interim. (Vide Rot. Pat. 16 Joh. memb. 12.)
[242] Rot. Pat. 10 Joh. memb. 2. Wm. de Saint Maixent was probably a Poitevin. He occurs in 1213 as in employ of Peter Bishop of Winchester, Chief Justice of England (Pat. 15 Joh. memb. 9), and frequently on the Close Rolls from 1205 to 1214 (Rot. Claus. vol. i, passim).
[243] Rot. Pat. 7 Hen. III, sub die. Joceas' had probably been presented by the Earl, during his Shrievalty, and in succession to Wm. de St. Maixent.
[244] Rot. Pat. 22 Hen. III, sub die.


to the Prebend which R. de St. Alban had had; and the Constable of Brug is to induct him.

In 1255, Master Guy de Palude is Prebendary [245] here, and its value rated by the two juries, before mentioned, at 12 or 21 merks. Part of the income belonging to this Prebend was tithe of a merk value, arising from Walter de Clifford's demesne of Corfham, [246] which tithe, with 16 pence more, William de Ros, Rector of Diddlebury, had withdrawn for 7 years past.

21st May, 1256. Raymund Massan is presented [247] to the Prebend which Guy de la Palude had held.

In October, 1272, Adam de Fyleby is Prebendary [248] of Underdon, and his preferment valued at 15 merks.

In 1291, John Bruyn has this Prebend, [249] and its temporalities are valued as follows:-

15 Acres of land at Underton, value, at 6d. . s. d. per acre 0 7 6 Meadow-land, worth 2. in 6 years, and so averaging, per annum 0 6 8 Rents assized, and Mill 1 11 2

Total value 2 5 4

At Salop. Assizes [250] (Michaelmas, 1292), "John le Breyn" (the same Prebendary) is returned as in office, but his preferment valued at 18 merks (12.)

In 8 Edw. II (1314-5), Theobald de Tretis, Prebendary [251] of Underdon, in the Chapel of St. Leonard., [252] has a suit of novel disseisin against Thomas Dunstan, about a tenement in Underton.

In March, 1316, William, Parson of "Quatorp", [253] is Lord of the vill of Underdon, in Stottesden Hundred.

[245] Rot. Hund. ii, 59, 83.
[246] Earl Roger's foundation of Quatford Church included some tithes at Corfham and Culmington. (Transcript in possession of the Rev. G. L. Wasey.)
[247] Rot. Pat. 40 Henry III (sub die).
[248] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dors. He is also absent from the said Assizes. He had been presented in 1257 to the Church of Chelemodeston (Norwich Dioc.) by Hen. III (Rot. Pat. 41 Hen. III.)
[249] Pope Nich. Taxation p. 162.
[250] Placita de Juratis et Assisis, 20 Ed. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[251] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl. Oxon.
[252] Sic,- but read St. Mary Magdalene.
[253] Parliamentary Writs, vol. iv, p.396. The word printed "Quatorp" is probably so written in the very inaccurate document which is there edited. It may be doubted whether Quat or Quatford is the place intended. I should have said the latter, had not Quatford Church been generally connected with another Prebend.


1 Edw. III (1827-8). This Prebend is granted [254] by the King to Ralph Blunt.

5 Edw. III (1831-2). It is granted [255] to Walter de London.

6 Edw. III (1332-3). It is granted [256] to Nicholas de London.

9 Edw. III (1335-6). It is granted [257] to G. Chilchehethe.

11 Edw. III (1337-8). It is granted [258] apparently to Walt de London.

17 Edw. III (1343-4). It is granted [259] to John de London.

28 Mw. III (1349-50). It is granted [260] to William Lambhethe. In the year 1535 the name of the Prebendary here was *** Barley. Its value is returned [261] at 6. per annum.


No mention of the Chapel of Underdon, other than that above quoted, has occurred. Its foundation on Prebendal lands, held immediately of the Crown, will probably have been nugatory, unless confirmed by the King. We have no evidence of such confirmation, and even if it were obtained from King Stephen, his act, of this kind, will hardly have bound his successors.


This vill is mentioned in King William's charter [262] to Salop Abbey, as one of the adjuncts involved in Earl Roger's grant of Morville Church to that house. The attestation of Alduin de Harpesfort to a very early deed of Salop Abbey (c. 1160), already quoted, [263] seems to favour this assumption. If thus involved, we miss any subsequent notice of the place, probably as being comprised in that part of Morville itself which remained in connexion with the Church, and was not transferred to Astley Manor. But it must be noticed that the situation of Harpsford associates it much more with that district, which having been demesne of the Norman Earls became the endowment of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. Its tithes appear, [264] in time of Henry VIII, as belonging to Salop Abbey, but are mentioned in such connexion as to leave it uncertain whether they were tithes of the Abbot's own territory or not.

[254] Rot. Pat. 1 Ed. III, pt. 1, memb. 24.
[255] Rot. Pat. 5 Ed. III, pt. 2, memb. 18. and 25.
[256] Rot. Pat. 6 Ed. III, pt. 2, memb. 13.
[257] Rot. Pat. 9 Ed. III, pt. 1, memb. 14.
[258] Index of presentations apud Turrim Lond. - but Quare.
[259] Rot. Pat. 17 Ed. III, pt. 1, memb. 30.
[260] Rot. Pat. 23 Ed. III, pt.1, memb. 32.
[261] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, p. 210. Heref. Dioc. Stottesden Deanery.
[262] New Monasticon, iii, 521, x.
[263] Vide supra, page 44.
[264] Coll. Top. and Gen. vol. ii, 289, 290. Vide supra, page 41.


The tithes of the vill of Moreffeld, of Walton and Leye, of Kyndesley, Aldenam, Harpisford, Haughton and Crofte, Underton, and of Morfeld parish, are enumerated in the order quoted; and Walton, Leye, Aldenam, and Underton, were not of the Abbot's fee, whilst Morville (part), Kinslow, Haughton, and Croft, were. No inference can therefore be drawn from this source as to the ownership of Harpsford.

LYE, alias LEYE, now LYE-FARM.

Though this was doubtless of the Prebendal lands of St. Mary Magdalene of Bridgnorth, it is not quite clear that it belonged wholly to one particular Prebend, or, if it did, which that Prebend was.

The vill is usually mentioned next to Walton, a circumstance which, as well as its situation, would associate it with that Prebend. However, in 1291, part of the temporalities of the Prebend of Underdon consisted of a mill; [265] and this I think must have been Lye Mill. All that has further occurred relative to the place has been mentioned above.


As Aldenham was undoubtedly in the Domesday Parish of Morvine, so also was it in all probability a member of the Domesday Manor, and part of those two hides which the Norman Earl retained in demesne. Its isolation in respect of other lands so retained is remarkable, and may be accounted for by its proximity to Shirlot [266] Forest, which I suppose was as great an object of interest to the Earls in their day, as to the Kings who came after.

The family of Baskerville were, from the earliest times, the immediate tenants of the Crown in this Manor, but as they had other lands [267] in Shropshire with which they were more personally connected, we will here treat of their feoffees at Aldenham, a
[265] Vide supra, p. 77.
[266] Neither this nor any other of the (afterward Royal) forests of Shropshire is mentioned in Domesday; yet I conclude that they all existed and were of the demesne of the Earl. Domesday was chiefly an estimate of the productive capabilities of land, its population, and the live stock which it did or might maintain. Therefore forests, in their very nature, were alien to the chief objects of the Survey. Hence the omission. The woods mentioned in the Shropshire Domesday are appurtenances of particular Manors with which they descended, and whose value they increased.
[267] Vide infra under Pickthorne, Northwood, &c.


family which took its name from the locality. The older name of the place was "Aldreham", from two Saxon words, the first of which signifies an alder-tree, the last a home or sheltered habitation.

About A.D. 1138, Fulcoins, whom I take to have held here under Baskerville, endowed [268] a chapel at Aldreham with sixty acres of land and a mansion. It was in "the parish of the Church of Mamerfeld", and was consecrated by Bishop Robert de Benin, like other Chapels, because of the troubled state of the country.

About the same time and on occasion of a similar foundation by Robert Fitz-Aher in the neighbouring village of Aston, Fulcaius de Aldreham appears among the witnesses of the Charter [269] of endowment. In 1180 amongst those in this quarter who were fined [270] for imbladements by the Justice of the King's Forest the name Folqui appears.

Early in the 13th century William de Aldeham attests one of Sibil de Teneray's Charters [271] to Morville Priory.

September 29th, 1231. William de Aldenham had fined [272] with the Crown in a sum of 100s. It was for purchase of five acres of the wood of Chirlet (Shirlot) which he had assarted by license of the Verderers of the Forest. He will also pay 5 shillings annual rent for the same, and already renders account of two years' arrears of such rent. This annual rent would seem to have varied, for at Michaelmas, 1252, I find the Sheriff [273] accounting (on behalf of William de Aldingham) 7s. 6d. for rent of five acres of the " King's demesne in Aldingham", and, it is added, that the said William is "to be quit of waste and regard".

In 1255, the Jurors of Stottesden Hundred reported [274] of this vill as follows:- William de Aldenham is Lord, and there is here one virgate of land which the same William holds in chief of Walter de Baskerville, rendering one merk yearly to the same Walter, who is in custody of Sibil Giffard by grant of the King. And the said William owes suit [275] of Court to the Hundred twice in a year, viz. at the town of the Sheriff.

[268] Salop Chartulary, No. 333.
[269] Charter in the possession of Mr. G. Morris.
[270] Forest Roll at Westminster, Salop, No. 1, memb. 2.
[271] Salop Chartulary, No. 103. Vide supra, p. 52.
[272] Pipe Roll, 15 Hen. III, Salop.
[273] Pipe Roll, 36 Hen. III, Salop. "Waste" was the fine for destroying underwood.
[274] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 82. Stottesden.
[275] Attendance at the Sheriff's tourn was obligatory on the freeholders of a Hundred in general. Exemption was matter of special grant or prescription. The Tourns were the Court-leet of the County as the County Court was the Court-Baron. The Sheriff presided, and made circuit or turn through the Hundreds, holding this Court in each. The jurisdiction of County and Hundred Courts was the same as to causes and offences, but different as to territory. The Sheriff in early times might hold his Tourns when and where he chose. He was interested in the amount of fines which were levied on non-attendants. Therefore Magna Charta limited the Sheriffs' Tourns to two in a year, one after Easter, the other after Michaelmas.


Further, he holds one assart under the haye [276] of Schyrlet rendering to the Exchequer 7 shillings yearly.

In January, 1256, William de Aldenham was one of the Jurors of the Hundred [277] who sat at Salop Assizes, and again in January, 1257, he was on the inquestes as to the property of Hugh de Kinslow.

At the Forest-pleas of February, 1262, he appears [279] as one of the Regarders of the forests of Morf and Shirlet, and was, like many others, fined half a merk by the Justices for making a bad return. [280] At the same time William le Wauwar of Aldenham, who ought to have been at the Assizes, was essoigned, because dead.

On March 13th, 1262, William de Aldenham sat with the Verderers and Foresters of the County on an Inquisition [282] held at Bridgnorth, and which was to decide some forest question relating to Middleton Priors.

At Salop Assizes, August, 1267, Adam Fitz-David, the tenant, having been impleaded, [283] under writ of mort d'ancestre, for a noke of land in Stevinton, loses the cause; but he having called to warrantry William de Aldenham (his feoffor, I suppose), and said William, being of full age and having come forward with such warrantry, the Court decided that the latter was to make good the loss of the former. This William I take [284] to have been son of the William before named.

[276] Hays (literally an inclosureor hedge) is the term usually applied to some smaller forests, such as Shirlet was.
[277] In Placita Coronae, 40 Hen. III, Salop, memb. 12 recto.
[278] Inquisitions, 41 Hen. III, No. 37. Vide supra, page 53.
[279] Placita Forestae, 46 Hen. III, Salop, memb. 12 recto.
[280] Ibidem, 6 recto. "Pro scripto suc male facto". I suppose the duty of the Regarders was to draw up a report of imbladements, purprestures, &c. in their district, and present it to the Justices of the Forest when the latter visited the County.
[281] Ibidem, 1 recto. The Roll contains a long list under the title "Essonia Mortis". Among the names is Roger Corbet of Hadley, and one or two others whom we know to have died shortly before this circuit, otherwise I should not have guessed the nature of this peculiar list.
[282] Esch. 46 Hen. III, No. 31.
[283] Salop Assizes, 51 Hen. III, memb. 5 recto.
[284] At the same Assizes there was a trial, whether William de Aldenham and William his son had disseised Michael, son of Henry Geune, of a messuage and 9 acres in Aldenham. The verdict was in the affirmative. Salop Assizes, 51 Hen. III, memb. 8 recto .


Borough of Bridgnorth, and which indeed was all that ultimately continued in demesne of the Crown.

As, however, the foundation of Bridgnorth was subsequent to Domesday, it may be consistent to postpone this subject for the present, not by any means that its importance is to be underrated, but rather because it affords matter for most diligent and exclusive consideration.

Something, however, may here be said as to a Saxon foundation of the 10th century, variously described as a borough or a fortress, and assigned by very equally divided opinions to two localities, viz., Bridgnorth and Quatford.

The claim of Bridgnorth has been already alluded to, [299] but only in such a way as to leave the question open. This, however, is the proper place to give some account of the said Saxon foundation, if Bridgnorth were indeed its site; but I must again postpone the subject, thinking, indeed, that Bridgnorth has a better claim than Quatford, but convinced that a third locality, Oldbury, was after all the real one.

TASLEY. [300]

Lost among the Domesday contingents of Norville Manor come the two hides alleged to have been held by Richard Pincerna, immediately of the Norman Earl.

A probability, that, at the time of that Survey, Rainald the Sheriff was mesne tenant between the Earl and Richard Pincerna, has been fully stated before, [301] as also that the said two hides were in Tasley and Henley.

Rainald's presumed interest here, like all his seigneuries, whether in Shropshire, Staffordshire, or elsewhere, descended to Fitz-Alan. In what course this happened is nowhere positively and authentically stated, and any conjecture on the subject must remain till we come to speak at large of a house whose vicissitudes are an integral portion of the History of England, and whose power and influence in

[299] Vide supra, page 31.
[300] The termination of this name has already been explained. The word tas signifies a heap or bundle. It is still used in Kent for a mow of corn. It has its equivalent both in Saxon and French. Chaucer uses the word taas for a heap (of dead bodies). Another word, tasel, I take to be the original of tassel, teazle, and probably thistle. From the old way of spelling "Tassele" I should judge this to be the word thus compounded with le or leg. Some plant of the teazle, or thistle tribe will, in that case, have given name to the locality.
[301] Vide supra, page 30.


Shropshire have never been equalled by any other since the forfeiture of its Norman Earls.

Of Richard Pincerna, assumed to have been Rainsld's under-tenant in 1086, nothing further occurs. The next, in his relative position, and as tenant of Fitz-Alan here, should be one of those who are named in the Liber Niger (1165) as holding by service of one muntator [302] (equal to half a Knight's fee) of the said barony of Fitz-Alan. Which of those, thus holding, was Lord of Tasley, is not apparent [303] either from the list itself or any other forthcoming evidence. We have it however upon record that the tenant, thus holding Tasley, died during the minority of young Fitz-Alan, that is, before A.D. 1175, and that the heir, Roger Corbet, was then under age. The wardship of this heir, and custody

[302] Vide Liber Niger, vol. i, p. 142 - where Hearne has a long note, attempting to define, but more successfully obscuring the peculiar nature of this tenure under the Barony of Fitz-Alan. His affectation of expounding, in classical and idiomatic Latin, a matter difficult in itself and every way unclassical in its associations, is but a pedantic substitute for the explanation which he was unable to supply, and, as transcriber of a record, was not called upon to offer. The question is of course the etymology of the word "muntator", which Hearne will have to be equivalent to "mundator", and to mean primarily, a moundman, miner, or pioneer, and he even suggests a tenure of about 200 acres as the muntator's fief He then talks about the term as referable to naval matters, and finally proposes it as synonymous with "vir montanus" a mountaineer, - "a signification", says he", most aptly squaring with that part of Shropshire which is recovered from the Welsh and abounds in mountains". Passing the question whether any of Fitz- Alan's tenants in the Welsh Marches are registered in the Liber Niger, I shall not, at least after quoting Hearne, seem superlatively absurd if I hazard another etymology. I suppose the word to be equivalent to munitator and coined from munitio - a fortress. If so, its meaning will be - one whose service was to do ward at his Lord's Castle. We shall see how apposite such an interpretation will be in case of many a tenure under Fitz-Alan, the caput of whose barony was Oswestry.
[303] There are three names on the list of Fitz-Alan's tenants, whose lands, held in 1165 by service of 1 muntator each, I have nothing which enables me to identify. They are Roger Walensis, Nicholas Maucovenant, and John de Hanewode. The first of these I should conjecture to have been Lord of Tasley, had not the Historians of Shrewsbury (vol. i, p. 80, note 3) suggested that he (Roger Walensis) was identical with Roger de Powis. The latter was certainly never Lord of Tasley; nor yet can I find that he or his descendants ever held anything under Fitz-Alan. On the other hypothesis (that Roger Walensis was a different person from Roger de Powis, and, if so, possible Lord of Tasley in 1165) it will still remain unsettled whether he were the father of Roger Corbet and himself a Cadet of the Baronial House of Caus, or whether, dying without issue, his estate passed to Roger Corbet as his nearest of kin. Certain it is that Roger Corbet had Tasley by inheritance, but whether through his Father or Mother we cannot say, nor can we point out his degree of connexion with the House of Caus. Contemporary with him was another Roger Corbet, I say another because the latter was a younger brother of Richard Corbet (of Wattlesborough, I suppose), and could not in the ordinary course inherit such a fee as Tasley. Yet these two brothers, Richard and Roger, may have been sons of different mothers, and the mother of Roger, the youngest, may have been heiress of Tasley.


of his lands, fell to the Crown in virtue of its temporary seizure of Fitz-Alan's barony. King Henry II granted it to Thomas Fitz-Odo, otherwise called Thomas de Chabbenour, and, in one [304] instance (as having this wardship), Thomas de Tasley. Of this Thomas much more will be said elsewhere, but here only that which he had to do with Tasley.

During his custody thereof, a suit about thirty acres of land arose between him and one who was officiating as Priest of the Prebend, then held by William de Pierpoint in the Collegiate Church of St. Mary Magdalene, in Bridgnorth Castle. King Henry II issued a precept ordering perambulation to be made between the lands of the Prebend and the lay-fee of Tasley. Thomas Fitz-Bernard, then Chief Justice of the King's Forests, had it in charge to effect this perambulation, which, with other evidence, will decide the date of the transaction as having been in 1180 or 1183. The result was in favour of the Church, as might be expected, seeing that the Crown had a permanent interest in the integrity of its own Prebend, but only a temporary one in Roger Corbet's Manor.

Twenty years afterwards, when Roger Corbet, then of age, attempted by process of law to oust the same William de Pierpoint, the latter, inter alia, alleged this earlier settlement of the question. Corbet's rejoinder was to the effect that Thomas Fitz-Odo (called Thomas de Tasley) had not rightly represented him (or had wronged him) in the former cause. The case was dismissed sine die. This trial took place at the Salop Assizes in October, 1203; but Corbet had attained his majority some time previously, and had increased his importance by marriage with an heiress, who brought the Lordships of Hadley and High Hatton, in Shropshire, of King's Bromley, in Staffordshire, and the patronage of Wombridge Priory, to him and his descendants.

His career was short, but it will not be inconsistent with the importance of his successors if their descent, and a few notices [305] both of him and them, be here inserted.

His marriage with Cecily, daughter and sole heir of Alan de

[304] Vide infra.
[305] Mr. Blakeway's conjectures on the early history of this family (see Sheriffs, p.42) are put forward with confessed doubt and under a deficiency of documents. They are not fortunate. One page of Shaw's History of Staffordshire, on the same subject, contains at least nine controvertible errors. Erdeswick says little, but that little involves its own contradiction.


Hadley, was the advancement above alluded to, and will have taken place about A.D. 1190. This Lady was as notable in her ancestry as in her inheritance. Paternally she was descended [306] from the Peverels, and her mother was a Pantulf.

Her husband, Roger Corbet, occurs first (and probably in his capacity as Patron of Wombridge Priory) in a deed, [307] which must have passed about A.D. 1194, whereby Walter de Dunstanville, Lord of Ideshal, makes a considerable grant to that House.

Again, about A.D. 1195, Roger Corbeth attests an agreement [308] between the Abbot of Shrewsbury and John le Strange, and which evidently passed in the County Court at Salop. Soon after, and in a most prominent position, Roger Corbet attests a grant [309] to Wombridge by John de Cumbrey; and another [310] by Griffin, son of Gervase Goch, Lord of Sutton, to the same house.

At the Salop Assizes of October, 1203, Roger Corbet sat as a Juror [311] with others of his rank, and on several important trials. But his chief concern on this occasion will have been in the cause [312] mentioned above, and which, as far as a translation will allow, shall be given as it is recorded:-

"There is venue of assize to take cognizance (assisa venit recognitionis) whether thirty acres in Tasseleg, which Roger Corbet claimeth against William de Petraponte, be the lay fee of said Roger, or frank almoign appertaining to the aforesaid William's Church of Bruges. And William appeareth and saith - that the said land is appertaining to his Prebend which he has in the Church of Bruges, and which he holds by gift of King Henry, Father of the Lord the King, and has held for thirty years past; and that, before he was presented to said Prebend, the said Prebend was seized of the premises, so that, in his opinion, this assize neither can be nor ought to be taken without the Lord the King (being a

[306] Placita apud Westm. Michaelmas Term, 37 Hen. III, memb. 6 dorso.
[307] This deed stands No. 46, under the title 'Prior's Lee,' of the Wombridge Chartulary. The witness's name is written in the Chartulary, "Robert Corbet de Hedleia" - a mere scribal error, and of a kind in which, unfortunately, the whole of that Record abounds.
[308] Salop Chartulary, No. 16, but this Roger Corbeth may have been the younger brother of Richard Corbet, of Wattlesborough.
[309] Wombridge Chartulary. Tit. Lega Prioris, No. 43. John de Cumbrey was Lord of the neighbouring vill of Lee, which took its distinctive name of Le-Cumbrey (now Lee-gomery) from his family.
[310] Wombridge Chartulary. Tit. Brocton, No. 87. Sutton Maddock was so called afterwards, from Madoc, son of this Griffin.
[311] Placita apud Salop, 5 John, memb. 4 recto, &c.
[312] Ibidem, memb. 4 dorso.


party). Moreover, the same William saith that he has no Church in Bruges, but only a certain Prebend in the Church of Bruges. Further he saith, that, by precept of the Lord King Henry, there was sometime perambulation made, between one Thomas de Tassele and the Priest of the said William, in presence of Thomas Fitz-Bernard, thereunto assigned, and in presence of many others, and that in virtue of such perambulation the aforesaid land remained with his Prebend; and if, after this (statement), the trial ought to proceed, he (William) will not decline it (non refutabit eam)".-

"And Roger (Corbet) saith nothing to contradict the statement of said William, nor saith he anything but that the forementioned Thomas, between whom and William the said perambulation took place, was his wronger [313] (fuit ablator suus)".

The decision of the Court on this cause was "remanet sine die".

We hear no more of the suit, and little more of the plaintiff, who died within a few months, leaving Cecily his widow and an infant son, Thomas, surviving.

Before May 9th, 1204, Cecilia de Hadley had offered [314] to King John sixty merks and a palfrey, by way of fine, for having seizin of the Manor of Bramley (Bromley Regis, Staff.), whereof she had been disseized by Geoffry Fitz-Piers, the Justiciar (Chief Justice of England). And she covenants to render for the same 4 per annum, and the service of a tenth part of a Knight (as the King's Charter, which she has, specifies [315]). Her fine also was, that she might marry at her own pleasure, and "have custody of her son and his marriage, so that he be not disparaged".

The King's charter [316] alluded to bears date at Southwick (Hants) and is as follows:- "John D.G., &c. Know ye that we have restored and conceded, and by this present charter confirmed to Cecily de Hedley, the whole Manor of Bromley, with its appurtenances as her right and inheritance, to hold to her and her heirs, of us and our heirs, for ever, rendering thereof, to us, four pounds yearly and performing thereof, to us, service of the tenth

[313] It does not seem quite clear what this exprcssion implies - whether that Thomas de Tasley was at the time (i.e. circa 1180) unjustly occupying the whole Manor to the exclusion of the heir, or that he sacrificed the rights of his ward in this particular matter.
[314] Pipe Roll, 6 John, Salop. Inter. Nova oblata. This fine is thus only preserved, for the Oblata or Fine Rolls of the 5th year of John, in which the transaction took place, are lost.
[315] These words were no part of the original fine, which, of course, preceded the Charter, but only a part of the subsequent record of debt. Therefore they are put in parentheses.
[316] Rot. Cartarum, 6 John, memb. 4. Page 129 of the printed volume.


part of one knight's fee, for all service, custom, and demand, pertaining to that Manor, Wherefore we will, &c. Dated 9th of May, in the fifth year of our reign". (May 9th, 1204.)

Within four months after the granting of this charter, a fine [317] appears on the Rolls whereby "Baldwin de Hodnet gives (to the King) sixty merks for having to wife Cecily who had been wife of Roger Corbet, with her land. And the Sheriff (of Staff.) has mandate to take security from him (Baldwin) as to the payment of the said sixty merks". Here the record is abruptly broken off, and there is a mark of cancellation added, for which a reason or reasons are subjoined in two contemporary notes. The first of these notes says briefly: "Because above by the Wife herself"; the second more fully: "It is cancelled here because the same fine is elsewhere (entered), viz., in the Roll of Fines of the fifth year". These fines of the fifth year, we have already said, are lost; nor do we in this instance need them. The truth is, that Cecily had married to Baldwin de Hodnet, and the latter had assumed her liabilities to the Crown.

On the 8th of September, 1204, King John granted a further Charter [318] to Cecily de Hedley, owing to some misunderstanding or informality about the first. This second Charter is dated at Oseney, and is generally as the first, but omits all correspondent mention of knight's service, and substitutes the following:- "And let it not be to the injury of William Fitz-Alan, of whom said Cecily holds a knight's fee, that we have given her to Baldwin de Hodnet, and that our former Charter (granted to her about Bromley) hath expressed the aforesaid service (4 rent) and also a service of one tenth of a knight's fee.

On September 29th, 1204, Cecilia de Hadley is entered on the Sheriff's account [319] as owing 4 of the rent of the Manor of Bromley (her first year's rent).

On September 29th, 1205, Baldwin de Hodnet is pardoned [320] ten merks of his wife's debt to the Crown, and she is charged 8 for two

[317] Rot. Fin. 6 John, memb. 14. Printed volume, page 214.
[318] Rot. Cartarum, 6 John, memb. 11. Page 137 of the printed volume. I have done the best I can to give a translation of this Charter, which is not grammatical in its construction. Its meaning is more obvious. The tenure of Bromley under the Crown was by a fee-farm rent, not by knight's service, whereas Cecily's tenure at Hadley, under Fitz-Alan, was of the latter class. Her remarriage therefore and the wardship of her heir belonged to Fitz-Alan, and thc acceptance of her Fine by King John, as well as his consequent Charter, was an injury to her suzerain. Fitz-Alan's remonstrance probably produced the second Charter, which is merely a memorandum lest the first should constitute a precedent.
[319] Pipe Roll, 6 John, Salop.
[320] Pipe Roll, 7 John, Salop.


years' rent of Bromley; but a memorandum is added to the latter entry, stating that she is answerable to the Sheriff, and that he accounts (in his general receipts) "in corpore comitatus".

Bromley Regis thus continued to be held of the Crown by Cecilia and many generations of her heirs;- but we must revert to the more immediate history of Tasley.

At Salop Assizes, November, 1221, Margery de Chabbenour names [321] an attorney in her suit about dower against Baldwin de Hodnet and his wife. At the same time Baldwin de Hodnet and Cecilia his wife name [322] their attorney against Margery de Chabbenour. The cause between them is also stated, as follows: [323] Margery, widow of Thomas Fitz-Odo, sues Thomas Corbet for a third of two parts of the Manor of Tasseleg, and sues Baldwin de Hodnet and Cecily his wife for a third of the third part of the same Manor. Her suit is for dower. It proves that Thomas Corbet was of age, and had succeeded to Tasley, his paternal inheritance; while his mother Cecily was still living and holding her dower therein, as derived from Roger Corbet, her former husband. For a third of their respective interests they are impleaded by Margery de Chabbenour, and the progress of the cause will show on what grounds. Baldwin and Cecilia, on their parts, called Thomas Corbet to warrantry. He appeared, vouched the warrantry, and, on the part of himself and them, further called to warrantry John Fitz-Alan (his suzerain). A day was given to the parties at Warwick, on the morrow of St. Hilary (January 14th, 1222).

On the said day, at Warwick, [324] John Fitz-Alan essoigned himself in the plea of dower against Margery de Chabenour, in which Thomas Corbet called him to warrantry. The cause was adjourned to fifteen days of Easter, then to be heard at Westminster. Some further and unrecorded adjournments will have taken place, but we have fortunately a record of the final hearing as it took place at Westminster in Hilary Term, 1223. The process was as follows: [325] "A Jury comes here to say, if Thomas Fitz-Odo, formerly husband of Margery de Chalbenour, held, on the day he espoused her, the Manor of Taslegh in fee, so that he could dower her in one-third thereof or not; or if the said Thomas held it of the bailiwick of the

[321] Salop Assize Roll, 6 Hen. III, memb. 2 dorso. Something is added to this entry, which, except that it contains the name of Corbet, is unintelligible.
[322] Ibidem, memb. 8 recto.
[323] Ibidem, memb. 7 recto.
[324] Esson apd. Warw. in crast. Sti Hil. 6 Hen. III, memb. 1 recto.
[325] Placita apd. Westm,. de termino Sti Hillarii, 7 Hen. III, memb. 12 dorso.


Lord King Henry, the King's grandfather, whilst William Fitz-Alan, father of John Fitz-Alan, was under age, and in custody of the King, together with that land. Because both John Fitz-Alan, against whom the aforesaid Margery claims the said third in dower, and she herself have put themselves on this Jury".

"The Jurors do not understand that Thomas could dower Margery, because he did not so hold as that he could dower her, for he had no ingress except through the Bailiffs of King Henry when William Fitz-Alan was under age". It was decided (by the Court) that John be herein quiet and Margery in misericordia.

We must again revert to the Salop Assizes of November, 1221, when Thomas Corbet was party to another suit. [326] The Abbot of Shrewsbury sued him for a quarter of a virgate in Kinslow and a similar quantity of land in Midwele (Meadowley) in right of his Church. Thomas pleaded that he ought nor to answer, because, in Kinslow, he neither held nor claimed anything; and this the Abbot could not deny. So Thomas was declared quit.

It is probable that very soon after this time Thomas Corbet's mother died. Her inheritance did not, however, immediately devolve to him, for having been also a mother by Baldwin de Hodnet; her second husband, the latter will have held it for life.

He, however, was dead also before January 21st, 1225. [327] At this juncture the question naturally arose as to who was Cecilia de Hadley's heir. The Sheriff of Staffordshire had the King's precept to hold inquest thereon, which being done and returned to Court, the King issued a mandate [328] to the same Sheriff ordering him to give Thomas Corbet seizin of Bromley, taking security from him for his relief, which was 4. This mandate bears date 19th February, 1225. There is abundant evidence not only of Thomas Corbet having held Bromley, [329] but also of his succession to Hadley, High Hatton, and the patronage of Wombridge Priory.

He stands first witness of a grant [330] to the latter house which bears date about 1228-9.

There are three lists of John Fitz-Alan's Barony in the Testa de Nevill, [331] nearly contemporary with each other and of date about 1240-1. In one of these Thomas Corbet is entered as holding Tasley by service of half a knight; in the other two, Thomas Corbet of

[326] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 7 recto.
[327] Rot. Fin. vol. i, pp. 124, 125.
[328] Ibidem, p. 125.
[329] Testa de Nevill, p. 52.
[330] Wombridge Chartulary. Tit. Upinton, No. 182.
[331] Testa de Nevill, pp. 44, 47, 49.


Tasley is returned as holding Hatton and Hadley by a whole knight's fee.

It would seem to be he who in 1242, having been fermor of Hintlesham (Suffolk), and being put in charge at the Exchequer for 50. on that account, gave the King a palfrey to have judgment thereupon. [332]

He died in 1247, holding the Manor of Bromley, in capite of the Crown, at a fee-farm rent of 4. The said Manor was worth 11. 10s. per annum. His next heir was his son Roger, then twenty-five years of age. [333]

On the 28th of August, 1247, the King, at Windsor, received the homage of the said heir, and it was enjoined to Henry de Wingeham and his co-escheater in Staffordshire to give him seizin of Bromley, taking security for a relief of ten merks (3. 6s. 8d.), to be paid at Easter and Michaelmas, 1248. [334]

Roger Corbet, immediately on his succession, seems to have been involved in a dispute [335] with the Prior of Wombridge as to the right of patronage of that house. The details belong to another locality; but it may be here stated that the right under certain limitations was conceded to Corbet.

In 1255, the status of the Manor of "Tassele" is thus set forth by the Jurors of Stottesden Hundred. [336] "Roger Corbet is Lord, and there are here eight virgates (equal to two hides) of land. They do no suit either to County or Hundred nor pay stretward or motfee the Jurors know not by what warrant. And he holds in chief of John Fitz-Alan for half a knight's fee". These immunities are paralleled in no other of Fitz-Alan's neighbouring Manors. Doubtless they arose from the original tenancy of Richard Pincerna having been in the privileged demesne-lands of Morville Manor.

At the Salop Assizes of January, 1256, the Jurors for Bradford Hundred returned Roger Corbet among those who, being of full, age and holding a whole knight's fee, were not yet knighted. [337]

[332] Originalia, 26 Hen. III, Rot. ii, sub. tit. Salop and Stafford.
[333] Inquisitional post mortem, 31 Hen. III, No. 31.
[334] Rot. Fin. vol. ii, p. 18.
[335] Pedes finium, 33 Henry III, Salop.
[336] Rot. Hundred, ii, 82. Stretward and Motfee were both taxes, due to the Crown, and assessed on the hidage of Manors. The former was probably a rate for maintenance of the King's highways; the latter a contribution to the folk-mote, or Hundred Court. The non- liability of a Manor, as regarded suit, or actual attendance at County or Hundred Court, did not necessarily involve freedom from either impost.
[337] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III. Placita Corona, memb. 7 dorso. His name is omitted in the similar list given in Mr. Dukes' Introduction, page vii; but in Shaw's List (Hist. Staff, vol. i, Appendix to Gen. Hist., page xv) he is returned as holding 60 of lands by Knight's service.


On the 15th of May, 1259, he was deceased, and the inquest [338] which sat on that day reported his tenure in capite at Bromley as well as that his son and next heir, Thomas, would be eleven years of age on the vigil of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 13), next coming.

On October l0th, 1259, the King's Mandate [339] to the Sheriff of Salop affirms, that, because of Roger Corbet's tenure in capite and death, first seizin of all his lands, of whomsoever held, pertains to the Crown: and therefore the Sheriff is to seize them into the King's hand and, commit them to custody of the King's Escheator in the said County till the King command otherwise.

At the Forest Assizes of February, 1262, [340] and therefore during the minority of young Thomas Corbet, there was an Inquisition by the Vederers, Regarders, and Foresters of the County, as to " whether the wood of Tasley, which is called The Hoc, and is within the bounds of the King's Forest, be within regard or not". The decision was that it was out of regard, and always had been, and that the Lord of Tasley sold the vesture [341] of the said wood in portions, whenever he willed, and that the said wood is now being sold (modo revenit). At the same Assizes, and apparently in consequence of this verdict, several persons who stood on the list of amercements [342] for vert, instead of having the usual fine of a shilling placed opposite their names have the words "extra regard" written instead, signifying their acquittal. Of these are William de Fraxino, of Tasley, Henry de Tassewood, William Granger de Tasley, Philip de Tassewood, and three others who seem to have been their pledges.

At the same Assizes, [343] Roger Corbet, of Hadley (having died nearly three years before), appears on the list, entitled "Essonia Mortis", as before alluded to. Also Duce Corbet, of Hadley, and Hugh Corbet, of Tasley, appear on the list of common essoigns. Lastly, [344] Edelina, widow of Roger Corbet, of Hadley, is put in

[338] Inquisitiones post mortem 43 Hen. III, No. 17.
[339] Rot. Fin. vol. ii, page 312.
[340] Placita Forestae, 46 Hen. III, Salop, No. IV, memb. 6 dorso. Tasley is one of the vills disforested in the perambulation of this period (vide supra, p. 45), but is not named in the greater perambulation of 1300 (Salop Chartulary, No. 279).
[341] Vestures were the proceeds of the soil whether cuttings, crops, or fruits. The original idea seems to have considered woods, corn, and grass as the clothing of the earth. The secondary idea is before us. The third coined the term investiture, that is, endowment with proflts.
[342] Placita Forestae, (ut supra), memb. 6 recto.
[343] Ibidem, 1 recto. Vide supra, page 81, note 281.
[344] Ibidem, memb. 6 dorso.


charge for imbladement within regard of the Forest of Mount Gilbert (the Wrekin).

In 52 Hen. III (1267-8), Thomas Corbet, of Tasley, had the King's Charter [345] of free-warren in the Manors of "Hatton" and "Chuhinethe", Salop, if we consult the printed Calendar; but probably the original charter only specifies the single Manor of Hatton super Hineheth (as High Hatton was sometimes called).

At the Forest Assizes [346] of November, 1271, Thomas Corbet, of Hadley, was convicted of taking one stag, near Clotlegh (under the Wrekin).

At the County Assizes [347] of October, 1272, Thomas Corbet, of Tasley, acknowledges a debt of 5 as due to Adam de Chetwynd. At the same time he is returned [348] by the Stottesden jurors as one of those who, being of full age and holding a Knight's fee, was still not knighted; and he was also a defaulter in due attendance at the said Assizes.

About 1284, Thomas Corbet is returned [349] as holding Tasley of Richard Fitz-Alan of the honour of White Minster (Oswestry), by half a knight's fee, and said Richard holds of the King in capite.

Shortly afterwards, Dominus Thomas Corbet is witness to a Wombridge Charter, [350] which prefix to his name is usually taken to be equivalent to a title of Knighthood. At the Salop Assizes of October, 1292, he stood as pledge [351] for John Fitz-Philip, Lord of Bobington, then under prosecution of the Crown in a cause of Quo Warranto, and was himself made the subject of a presentment, which placed him in the same predicament. [352]

The Stottesden Jurors reported him as claiming to hold his free

[345] Calendar Rot. Chart., page 96, memb. 6.
[346] Placita Forestae, 56 Hen. III, Salop, No. 5, memb. 1.
[347] Placita de Juratis et Assizis, 56 Hen. III, memb. 1 dorso.
[348] Ibidem, Placita Coronae, memb. 49 dorso.
[349] Kirby's Quest. Stottesden Hundred.
[350] Wombridge Chartulary, Tit. Brocton, No. 61.
[351] Placita de Juratis et Assizis, 20 Edw. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[352] Ibidem, memb. 20 recto. Roger Corbet's right of holding his Manorial Court twice a year, and judging offences within that Manor, was the correlative of his freedom from suit of the Hundred Court. The privilege of mixing bread and beer (emendae assize panis et cervisiae) was a right of prescribing scale of weights and measures to those who sold such commodities within a Manor; or, perhaps, it was only right of assessing and appropriating the penalties of these who transgressed the general statute of 51 Hen. III on the subject.

The hideous privilege, which follows in the text, requires no explanation, but will hardly have implied much at this period of history.

Wayf was a Lord's right to stolen goods abandoned, or waved, by any felon, within his Manor.


court twice a year, to have privilege of assizing bread and beer, to keep gallows and have wayf in his Manor of Tasley. The trial of this right was postponed; but he had another prosecution [353] against him, which is, perhaps, worth giving at length:-

"Richard de Prestone complaineth of Thomas Corbet, of Tassele, for that on the day of the Invention of the Holy Cross, in the eighteenth year of the King, he seized, or caused to be seized, by Peter de Tassele his servant, in Morfeld, sixteen ewe-sheep of 32s. value, and eleven wethers of 22s. value, and still unjustly detains the same, whereby said Richard says that he is damaged to the extent of 100s., and thereof he produceth witnesses (sectam), &c. The same Richard de Prestone complaineth of William Crasset that on Wednesday, in the feast of the Decollation of St. John Baptist, in the King's nineteenth year, he took two of said Richard's cows, of 20s. value, and one heifer of half a merk value, and caused them to be driven to the Manor of Thomas Corbet de Tasley, at Adlee (Hadley), and there detains them; whereby he (Richard) hath damage of 40s.; and thereof he produceth witnesses".

"And Thomas Corbet and William Crasset appear, and deny the violence and injury, &c. And Thomas Corbet saith that the sheep belonged to Richard Fitz-Thomas, his villain; and that he seized them as his own proper chattels, and in his own demesne, as he was well entitled to do. And hereof he puts himself upon the Country (a Jury); and Richard de Preston likewise (puts himself)".

"And William Crasset saith that Richard de Preston impleaded the aforesaid Thomas Corbet in the County (Court) for unjust seizure of said cows and heifer, and the result was that they were adjudged to Thomas Corbet as chattels of Richard Fitz-Thomas, his villain; and that under that decision he (William), as the King's Bailiff, and by order of the Sheriff, seized them and delivered them to Thomas Corbet".

(The sentence.) "Because William Crasset acknowledges the seizure, and now shows no warrant whereby he could have any authority to seize the said beasts or deliver them to Thomas Corbet, it is decreed that Richard de Preston do recover the cows and heifer, as against William Crasset, and his damages, which are taxed at two merks. And let William Crasset be kept in custody".

"And as to the sheep (the Jurors find that) they were Richard Fitz-Thomas's, and given by him into charge of Richard de Preston, and Thomas Corbet took them, the said Thomas not being seized

[353] Placita de Juratis et Assisis, 20 Edw. I, memb. 52, recto.


of Richard Fitz-Thomas as of a villain by whom he could claim to appropriate sheep as his own proper chattels. And because it is found by the Jury that Thomas Corbet seized them, &c., out of his demesne, &c., although they were Richard Fitz-Thomas's, of whom he was not possessed, as of a villain - it is decreed that Richard recover the sheep and his damages, which are taxed by the Jury at 30s., against said Thomas Corbet. And Thomas Corbet is in misericordia".

At Lichfield, on January ith, 1293, Thomas Corbet was summoned by the Crown to show by what warrant [354] he claimed to hold pleas of the Crown, and have free-warren, wayf, &c., in his Manor of Tasley. "And Thomas appears and says that as regarded pleas of the Crown, he claims two free courts in the year and to hold all pleas therein, which the Sheriff holds in his tourns, and to have wayf in the said Manor, because he says that he and his ancestors from time immemorial have held the said two Courts, and had the said wayf. And by that warrant he claims the said liberties". And Hugh de Louther, who prosecutes for the Crown, says that Thomas cannot claim such liberties from so long a time, because that in time of King Richard, ancestor of the King, that is, the men of the aforesaid Manor used to come to the tourn of the Sheriff, and there be amerced for hue and cry and for bloodshed, and used there to present wayf and brewers in the said Manor, until Thomas's ancestors occupied said liberties over the King's ancestors".

"Thomas rejoins with the assertion that both he and his ancestors, both before and ever since the time of King Richard, have had said liberties. And he asks that this may be inquired of (by Jury)".

"The Jury say upon their oath that Thomas and his ancestors from time immemorial have enjoyed the said liberties".

"Therefore Thomas, sine die, &c. as regards this matter, saving the King's right, &c. And as regards free-warren Thomas claims nothing. So let it remain to the King".
[354] Placito de Quo Warranto, p. 707. The privileges enumerated differ something from those mentioned before. Free-warren was a privilege, arising either by prescription or royal license, and which conveyed a right to certain animals, ferae naturae, within a specified district. It did not extend to deer.

The amercement for "hue and cry" means the fine assessible on a Village or Manor for neglecting, when summoned, to take part in pursuit of felons. Any manorial privilege connected with the subject was not the liberty of neglecting it, but of being amerced at home for such neglect, the Lord receiving the proceeds. Similarly as regards bloodshed, any quarrel or assault which ended in the drawing of blood was punishable by a proportionate fine, which, in this instance, the Lord of the Manor claimed to assess and appropriate.


A similar prosecution [355] of Thomas Corbet was gone into at Lichfield for exercise of certain liberties in his Manor of King's Bromley. Here he pleaded King John's Charter of the Manor to Cecily de Hadley and her heirs, and that such liberties were always annexed to the said Manor both before and since King John's grant. Hugh de Louther denied that such liberties could attach to any Manor, or that any one could claim them without special warrant from the Crown, and whereas Corbet's Charter made no mention of such liberties, he asked judgment for the King. This cause was adjourned, to be heard before the King himself on the morrow of Ascension Day.

About this time Thomas Corbet had a suit [356] against Robert de Turbeville, Canon of St. Mary Magdalene, of Bridgnorth, about lands in Tasley, which said Robert claimed in right of his Prebend.

In 26 Edward I, 1298, a fine [357] was levied between Walter de Langton, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and Thomas Corbet, of Tasley, defendant, of the advowson of the Church and Manor of Tasley. The right remained to the Bishop and his heirs.

This fine implies, I presume, the sale of all Corbet's interest here, though the distinctive name of Corbet of Tasley [358] was retained by his family for some time after. We will follow the last, who properly bore that name, to the close of his career, which was near at hand. He accounts [359] as Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire for half the fiscal year ending Michaelmas, 1298, and again, for the full year ending Michaelmas, 1299; but dying in office, his son and heir Sir Roger accounts for the half year ending Easter, 1300; the King's precept ordering the usual inquisition [360] on the death of a tenant in capite, issued May 10th, 1300. Two such were held, one at Hatton super Hyneheth, on June 13th following; the other

[355] Placita de Quo Warranto, p. 712.
[356] Antiquities of Shropshire by T.F. Dukes, Esq., page 262. Knowing that this Robert de Turbevill had the Prebend of Walton, and that an ancestor of Thomas Corbet's had a suit about land in Tasley with a former Prebendary of Bridgnorth, it becomes probable that the same premises were in dispute in each case, and that the Prebend concerned was in each case that of Walton. I shall therefore have rightly placed Wm. de Pierpoint in that dignity, a matter which, till now, was doubtful. Vide supra, p. 73.
[357] Antiquities of Shropshire. Ibm. Surely there is a mistake in the precept of King Edward I there quoted, whereby in his 29th year he respites "the demand made by summons of the Exchequer on Robert Corbet for the debts of Sir Thos. Corbet, of Tasley, his father, the said Robert" (it ought to be Roger) "having been in the King's service in Scotland". [358] Vide Parliamentary Writs, vol. iv, p. 717.
[359] Sheriffs of Shropshire, p. 9.
[360] Inquis. post mortem, 28 Ed.I, No.17.


at King's Bromley on June 9th. These inquests detail the whole property of the deceased, whether in Shropshire or Staffordshire, but of course Tasley is not on the list. His son and nearest heir was Roger Corbet, aged 27, at Michaelmas preceding (1299).- Both he and his descendants belong to a later epoch and another locality than those at present under notice.


About A.D. 1138, when Robert de Betun, Bishop of Hereford, granted to Salop Abbey an appropriation of the Church of Morville, he included certain pensions due from the Chapels subject to the said Church. Among the said pensions was one of half a merk due from the "Chapel of Tasseley". [361]

There is a certificate [362] in the Salop Chartulary as to an agreement, which must have been arrived at about A.D. 1190, and to which Hugh Abbot of Shrewsbury and the Lord William Fitz-Alan were chief parties. It concerned the land of Hinele (Henley) and the right of presentation to the Chapel of Tasley. It was agreed that William Fitz-Alan and his heirs should hold the land of Hinele with its appurtenances, paying a rent of 2s. per annum to the Abbot. It was also agreed that William Fitz-Alan was to have the right of presentation to Tasley Chapel, but that the Clerk then holding said Chapel, as well as his successors, was to pay an annual pension of half a merk to the Abbot and Convent of Shrewsbury, "that is to their Church of Momerfeld", and to do fealty to said Abbot, as regarded said payment, before institution. The Abbot granted to the said Parson of Tasley the tithes of Henley, the Parson paying 1s. annually for the same to the Abbot, and undertaking for himself and successors to swear fealty (in this matter) to the Church of Salop. The witnesses to this agreement were W. (Wm. de Vere) d.g. Bishop of Hereford, Master Robert of Salop (consecrated Bishop of Bangor in 1196-7), and Warin de Castello.

In 1293, the Church of Tasseleye in Stottesden Deanery was not of 4 value to the Incumbent. [363] The portion (or pension) of the Prior of Momerfeld in the same is stated at 7s. 8d. (a remarkable verification of the document quoted above, which reserved two sums of 6s. 8d. and 1s. to the Abbot).

[361] Salop Chartulary, No. 334.
[362] Ibidem, No. 106.
[363] Tax. Pap. Rich. page 166.


In 1341, the Chapel of Tasseleye [364] is taxed (valued) at 6 merks 7s. 8d. (4. 7s. 8d.) according to the old taxation (of Pope Nicholas), "but the Assessors and Vendors render account of 20s. for the ninth of grain, wool, and lamb in the same parish, so little in proportion to the taxation, because the grain is destroyed by great storms and a very bad season, and because there are no sheep (consequently), no wool or lambs in the said parish, and because the small tithes, the mill, [365] the offerings, the heriots, and the glebe of the said Church. and other spiritualities go to make up the great (taxation or) sum, and which have no relation (to the present ninth) as by inquisition (is determined)".


6 id. Dec. (Dec. 8) 1277. Sir Robert de Stanford, Chaplain, was admitted, on presentation of Sir Thomas Corbet of Tasley.

2 id. Feb. (Feb. 12) 1305. Malcolm de Kynsedelegh (Kinslow), Acolyte, was admitted, on presentation of Nicholas de Ebroicis (Devereux).

3 id. Oct. (Oct. 13), 1310. Geoffry de Kynsedel (Kinslow), Clerk, was admitted, on presentation of the same Patron. [366]

IT IS NOT ALWAYS that the generations of a family, of mere knightly degree, can be traced with certainty up to the beginning of the thirteenth century.

The latter half of the twelfth century is, in similar investigations, a limit not often surpassed with probable truth, whilst its earlier half is only a field for the wildest conjecture.

The following genealogy of the Corbets of Tasley, not trespassing either upon time or truth, will have the usual interest which attaches to the latter, and an important use beside. The alternate occurrence of two Christian names, and an unquestionable accuracy of date, render it peculiarly available for an ulterior purpose.-

Many an undated charter, attested by some representative of this

[364] Inquisitiones Nonaram, page 190.
[365] A mill is mentioned in Domesday as included in the tenure of Richard Pincerna.
[366] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl. Oxon.


house, will be quoted hereafter, and its date proximately ascertained by aid of the adjoined pedigree.-


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


The Arms prominently borne by this branch of the Corbets (either singly or as a first quarter) were charged with two bars, a canton, and sometimes a label. These are understood to have been the arms of Hadley, but, if so, were probably borne only by Cecily, the


last of that house. The two bars (the chief constituent of the shield) were the bearing of Pantulf of Wem, of which family was Cecily's mother. Moreover, in Cecily de Hadley, we reach the earliest probable period at which armorial bearings were adopted by families of only knightly degree.

But the Corbets of Bromley bore occasionally, and as a quartering, what they must have held to be their paternal coat. It was charged with three ravens; a circumstance which should have its weight in any future conjecture as to their cadency from the parent house, or their relations to any other branch thereof. [367]


Of this vill, as has before been hinted, Warin, the Sheriff, was Lord before the time of Domesday. He gave, [368] towards the construction of Shrewsbury Abbey, two-thirds of the tithes of his demesnes of Hennele, &c.; and this grant was recited and confirmed by Earl Hugh, if we may so far trust a less suspicious Charter than that before [369] alluded to.

About 1138, Robert (de Betun), Bishop of Hereford, confirming [370] to Shrewsbury Abbey, classifies under the head of tithes, which had been anciently given by great men in his diocese to the "sustentation" of said Abbey, two parts of the tithes of the Lord [371] (or demesne [372]) of Heneleg.

Between A.D. 1148 and 1164, G. (Gilbert), Bishop of Hereford, confirming so to the same Abbey "tithes granted in his diocese to the construction of the Church by good men", includes tithes of the demesne of Heneleg.

Ralph, the Dean, and the Canons of the Chapter of the Church of Hereford, inspected, recited, and confirmed [373] the last deed.

These tithes of Henley have already been mentioned as having been given up to the Incumbent of Tasley about A.D. 1190. The

[367]. Vide Shaw's Staffordshire,vol. i, pp. 143, 144; and Parliamentary Writs, vol. iv, p. 715.
[368] Salop Chartulary, No. 3.
[369] Vide supra, page 33, note 12.
[370] Salop Chartulary, No. 334.
[371] The contracted form of the original does not apparently make the choice between these two readings quite clear.
[372] Salop Chartulary, No. 331. The Index of the Chartulary Assigns, this deed to Bishop Geoffry (1115-1119), but against strong internal evidence. The inconsistency seems to have been recognized by Mr. Blakeway,- but in attributing the deed to Bishop Giles (de Braose) he seems to have forgotten that, in that case, the initial letter E would have been employed in a Latin deed, Egidius being the Latin of Giles (Vide Hist. Shrews. ii, 92).
[373] Ibidem, No. 332.


Abbey was to receive in lieu thereof 1s. yearly;- and we must not forget that William Fitz-Alan, the then representative of the original grantor (Warin), was a party to this transaction.

There is a further document [374] on the Salop Chartulary, and one which probably alludes to a renewal of the dispute, between the Abbey and William Fitz-Alan, above mentioned. It is a certificate by Egidius (Giles de Braose), Bishop of Hereford, that disputed tithes of Weston and of the demesne of Henel belong to Salop Abbey. It must have passed in the beginning of the 13th century, and, as far as regards Henley, will constitute a further proof of the reality of certain early grants, which have (unfortunately for monastic reputation) been embodied in suspicious charters. [375]

[374] Ibidem, No. 852.
[375] The Charter (No. 8), which is here alluded to, is in many respects an improvement on No. 6, (described page 33), but is by no means clear from suspicion. The Earl professes to seal it with his seal and speaks in the first person; yet it is attested by Warin the Sheriff, who was dead at least eight years before Earl Hugh's succession, and by Richard, Bishop of London, who was not consecrated till ten years after Earl Hugh's death. Mr. Stapleton's remarks (Rot. Norm. I, lxxiv) which excuse certain inconsistencies in the testing clauses of early charters will hardly extend to a case like this.

There is a third charter of Earl Hugh (No. 4 in the Salop Chartulary) which is very different from the two others in many respects, and especially in having a consistent testing clause. It is remarkable that this third charter was confirmed in its own terms, both by Henry I. and Stephen, and was afterwards cited in the Law-Courts; circumstances which I cannot find to have befallen the documents, which, from their internal evidence only, I have treated as suspicious.

( 103 )

Eardington and Quatford.

THE first name used generally to be written Ardinton, a word compounded of the Saxon tun, a town or inclosure, and Harding, its founder or early possessor.

A place in Warwickshire, which has settled into a similar modern form, stands in Domesday, with still greater etymological correctness, as Hardintone. [1]

The period and circumstance of Harding's interest here have no other record than is implied by his Saxon name.

In King Edward the Confessor's time this Manor belonged to Saint Milburg, that is, to the Monastic House at Wenlock, which was dedicated to her memory. On the forfeiture of the Earls of Mercia in 1071, and the consequent revolution in this County, the rights of St. Milburg at Eardington seem to have been disregarded, and the Manor appropriated by the Norman Earl himself. In 1086, like other Manors of the said Earl's demesne, its Hundred is not recorded, but situation and tenure are alone sufficient to place it in Alnodestreu.

It is noticed in Domesday thus: [2]- "The Earl himself holds Ardintone. Saint Milburg held it in time of King Edward. Here are 5 hides. In demesne there is 1 ox-team; and 4 serfs and 9 villains and 2 boors, with 3 ox-teams; and there may yet be 8 oxteams (more employed). Here is a Mill worth 5s. [3] (annually),

[1] Domesday, fo. 243,a.1. But Hardingestone (Northants), so written in Domesday (fo. 228, b.1) and still so called, preserves the original name completely.
[2] Domesday, fo. 254. a.1. Ipse Comes tenet Ardintone. Sancta Milburga tenuit tempore Regis Edwardi. Ibi v hidae. In dominio est i carruca et iiii servi et ix villani et ii bordarii cum iii carrucis et adhuc viii carracsi possent esse. Ibi molendinum de iii oris et nova domus et burgum Quatford dictum nil reddens. Tempore Regis Edwardi valebat xl solidos. Modo xxx solidos.
[3] Literally "a Mill of 3 ounces", that is, a Mill worth 3 ounces in money per annum. The ora, or nummulary ounce, was the twelfth part of a pound, and so of 20 pence value.


and a Borough called Quatford paying nothing. In time of King Edward the (annual) value (of the Manor) was 40s., now it is 30s".

The Borough or Town of Quatford, and the Earl's Castle there (which, in its early stage, might very possibly be set down as merely a house), were therefore, in 1085, part of the Manor of Eardington, and destined in a short period to much greater importance. There is a legendary tale about Quatford, which is so perfectly consistent with Domesday, that, while adding to that Record an unusual interest, itself becomes stamped with a grand mark of probability. To arrive at this coincidence in due chronological order, we must first speak separately of Quatford, a place whose history will, for the present, take us back to a period much earlier than Domesday.


The name of this place is referable to the vast forest (coed) which thirteen centuries ago covered the whole adjacent district, and which has since been represented by the great, but never equal, Forest of Morf.

The British Coed is remembered in the name of another village, viz., Quat,- where, however, the uncompounded form has been curiously reassumed.

The Saxon era had accurately distinguished these two localities according to then existing circumstances. That part of the forest which was occupied as a village became Cpattun (Cwattun, i.e. Quat- town), and Quatone was accordingly the name of Quat when Domesday was written. Another part, not yet colonized, the Saxons called Cpatiopb (Cwatford), in allusion to an adjacent and passable part of the river Severn.

In the autumn of 896, King Alfred and the men of London blocked up, or stranded, a Danish fleet which had ascended. the Thames and the Lea. The Danes, despairing of their ships, forsook them, sought an asylum for their wives in East Anglia, and marched overland to a place (afterwards [4]) called Quat-bridge, on the Severn.

[4] See the Saxon Chronicle, which says (sub anno 896) that the Danes came aet Cpatbricze be Saepetn (to Cwatbridge by Severn). Sea also Florence of Worcester, who says, "locum qui Quatbrycge dicitur pedestres celeri fuga petunt".

I refer to both these authorities, because it is quite clear to me that though Florence of Worcester derived his information from a Saxon Chronicle, it was from a different MS. to any now extant; and, I almost dare add, a more authentic one. I cannot subscribe to all which the Editors of the Saxon Chronicle have claimed for it. If indeed it was originally the work of successive annalists, each giving the history of his own time, such original texts must in many instances have been interpolated by more modern transcribers. I believe we have a case before us. I cannot suppose for an instant that in the year 896 there was a bridge over the Severn at or near Quatford, nor that, if there were, would a contemporary Saxon have described it as "Cwatbriege by Severn", words which are only referable to a period when there was both a bridge and a village in the locality.

The word "bridge" is therefore an interpolation by some one transcribing the older document at a time whcn there was a bridge at Quatford, and which was probably not till the end of the eleventh century.

Florence of Worcester, on the other hand, using the same original authority and writing, as we know, in the very beginning of the twelfth century, interpolates the same passage much more truly and intelligibly. He describes the Danes as flying to the place (not town) which is called Quat-bridge - that is, called so at the time when he was writing. This is not the only instance which I have met with, where the ipsiesima verba of Florence convey a truth not deducible from any extant copy of the Saxon Chronicle.

Again, if Quatford were only Quatford in 1085, and if the next ford of the Severn still witnesses the circumstance of the Danish visit in its name of Danesford, how is it supposable that such local advantages would have been memorialized, even in a name, at a period when (if we read the Saxon Chronicle literally) there was the adjacent and greater commodity of a bridge ?

All we can safely conclude on this subject is then, that the Danes in 896, having lost their fleet, came and wintered in the forest by the Severn; and Florence of Worcester, two centuries after, understood the place then called Quatbridge, to have been the site of their encampment. Their object in coming to "the forest by the river" when they had lost their ships is obvious.


Here they intrenched themselves and passed the winter. In the following summer (897) they separated; part of them returning into East Anglia, the others going into Northumberland.

No remains of this Danish fortification at Quatford are now traceable, and it may be doubted whether the exact spot occupied by their army was identical with the site of the present village. An adjacent ford of the Severn still retains the name of Danesford, and corroborates the story of their visit to the neighbourhood.

In the year 913, AEgelfleda, Queen of the Mercians, built a fortress in a place which, in Florence of Worcester's time, was called Brycge. [5]

[5] Vide Sax. Chron. sub anno 912, and Flor. Wigorn. sub anno 913. Where again Florence is the most accurate. In rejecting Quatford as the Brug of Ethelfleda, we need not rely only upon a balance of conflicting testimony. Probability is also strongly in our favour; for we have every reason to believe that Quatford, or rather its site, as involved in Eardington, was part of the original endowment of St. Milburg. If so, there is little likelihood that a Saxon Queen should have intruded her Castle upon the domain of a Saxon Saint, though the forest-loving Norman and the heathen Dane had less or no such scruple.


This foundation has often been identified with Quatford, so often, that, however erroneous the tradition be, it requires this passing mention. The best authority places AEgelfleda's foundation on the Western Bank of the Severn, and we must seek it there.

The next notice which we have of Quatford introduces the Legend already alluded to, and which, while it professes to tell how this spot was selected for the foundation of a great Collegiate Church, may inferentially be taken to account for the origin of both a Castle and a Borough.

This story is contained in a Chronicle, either written or procured to be written by John Bromton, Abbot of Jorval, in the reign of King John. As the whole passage is to our purpose it shall be given at length, and, as nearly as a translation will permit, in the writer's words. The death of Earl Roger de Montgomery having been described, the narrative proceeds as follows

"This Roger in his lifetime and the said Adelissa his wife did build a church in honour of the blessed Mary Magdalene, in Quadford, in the county of Salop, one mile from Bruggenorth. Of which building the cause, as is said, was this:- When forsooth the said Lady Adelissa, at mandate of the said Earl her husband, was first coming to him from beyond sea into England, and was on her voyage, to such a storm of wave and wind shook the vessel that she and her suite, when now the mariners were in despair, looked for nothing but shipwreck. And when a certain priest of the said Countess, wearied by over-watching, had fallen, as God willed, into shunber, he saw in his sleep a certain matron standing nigh to him and speaking thus - ' If thy lady would wish to save herself and her attendants from the present dreadful danger of sea, let her make a vow to God and faithfully promise to build a church in honour of the blessed Mary Magdalene on the spot where she may first happen to meet her husband, the Earl, in England; and specially where there groweth a hollow oak and the wild swine have shelter.' ?

"And when the priest awoke he told each particular of the vision

[6] Chron. Joh. Bromton inter x Scriptores, page 988.
[7] I take a liberty in the translation of this passage. The original is "Et precipue ubi concava quercus cum tigurio poreorum erescit". The visionary shed may have been an artificial one. Some occasional receptacle will have been necessary for the vast herds of swine which were driven into the greater forests during the season of pannage. I do not remember that Gurth had such accommodation, but the house of Cedric was near enough to afford nightly shelter to him and his charge.


to his lady. Who, when she had heard and vowed to fulfil all things, the tempest being presently calmed, soon arrived with her attendants at the desired shore. And she, toiling through many days travel from the sea towards her lord, met him first at Quatford, which was then desert, in the spot where the very oak was growing and he hunting. And him she forthwith besought that he would aid her to fulfil the vow which she vowed in her danger as to building a Church in honour of the blessed Mary Magdalene. And he acquiescing in the vows of his wife built, with her, the aforesaid Church, which, though then he endowed it with great possessions, yet now with all its rights and appurtenances seemeth to be subject to the free Royal Collegiate Chapel situate in the Castle of Bruggenorth and endowed with one Deanery and five Prebends out of the aforesaid possessions. The which Deanery and Prebends the King indeed conferreth of his own right and custom; although, in nearly all other Collegiate Chapels, the Deans, being installed by the Sheriff at the King's collation, and inducted into corporal possession of the Deaneries, confer all Prebends in the same Chapels and install, induct, and visit the Prebendaries. But, in the aforesaid Chapel of Saint Mary Magdalene, the Dean confers no Prebend, nor visits Prebend or Prebendary; but each, in the corps of his own Prebend, hath and exerciseth plenary jurisdiction as well in things spiritual as in things temporal".

The whole of this narrative is credible in itself and minutely consistent with other ascertained facts; nor need we take exception even to the Priest's dream, for who knows not that the feverish sleep of over-fatigue will invest our previous hopes and anxieties with some garb of life-like reality. Moreover this Priest lived at a time when Priests were taught to believe in and to expect such special revelations of the divine will.

Parts of this story, nevertheless, require explanation; and the whole of it must be tested by other facts and dates before we admit it to that credence which the details of a legend most seldom deserve.

Mabil, first Countess of Earl Roger de Montgomery, was murdered at Buris, a town on the river Dive in Normandy, and buried on Dec. 5, 1082, at Troarn. [8] The Earl's second marriage to Adelais daughter of Ebrard de Pusey, one of the chief nobles of France, must have followed immediately; for their only son, Ebrard de Montgomery, was old enough to frequent the Court of William
[8] Ordericus Vitalis, page 578.


Rufus (who died in 1100) and to attest (as Ebrard Fitz Count) a charter [9] of Henry I, which must have passed in June 1107. Moreover Earl Roger mentions his Countess Adelais in a charter [10] which dates in or before 1085. The arrival of this lady in England will therefore have been in 1083-4. At that time Quatford was desert, and the Earl was hunting on the spot where afterwards stood the Church. This is in every way consistent with other facts, for we know that Quatford in after times, constituted a limit of the great Forest of Morf. That the Earl should found a Church at solicitation of his second wife is only an instance of what Ordericus says generally of this lady in contrast to the Countess Mabil,- "for she excelled in understanding and in piety, and oft persuaded her Lord to befriend Monks and to relieve the poor". That the Earl, having resolved on such foundation, and in such a spot, should combine with it other plans, is most reasonable, for an isolated place of Worship in Morf Forest would have been an idea little in keeping with a Collegiate Church, though well suited for a Hermitage or even a Monastery.

Hence we have the Borough and incipient Castle of 1085, recorded in Domesday; hence also the bridge which, in Florence of Worcester's time, had caused the locality to be called Quat-bridge rather than Quat-ford. Domesday says nothing of the Church, but such an omission is perfectly reconcileable with the progress of a building not yet consecrated or endowed.

We next come to the ceremony of consecration and the contemporary charter of foundation. The very day of the former is fixed by an unvouched authority, [11] which is in itself of weight, and is supported by other evidence. The day thus given is July 22, 1086, and two independent facts corroborate it. Robert, Bishop of Chester, who (as we shall see) was present, was not nominated to his See till Dec. 25, 1085. It was also "in time of King William" (as the contemporary Charter declares), and this undistinctive appellation should mean the Conqueror rather than his son Rufus. These two considerations would reduce the date to 1086 or 1087. Moreover, July 22 (the day alleged) was St. Mary Magdelene's Day. When an unvouched date will thus bear testing, it would be absurd not to adopt it.

[9] New Monasticon, vol. vi, p.144, II.
[10] Ord. Vit., page 579.
[11] A MS. notice of Albrighton, lent to me by the Rev. G.W. Woodhouse, and understood to have been drawn up by the late Mr. Hardwicke of Bridgnorth - too good an antiquary to assign a date thus positively without sufficient grounds.


The foundation-charter, which is of the recitatory kind [12] in use at the time, must now be given as far as I can collect it from the only copy [13] which has reached me, and in absence of the invaluable original.

"In time of King William, Roger the Earl and Adelaysa the Countess, built a Church in Quatford in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ and Saint Mary Magdalene, and all the Saints of God. They gave Ardintone, [14] except the land of Walter the smith and that land which lies between the water and the Mount nigh to the bridge, and except that land where the borough is built, and all its hays and proper chaces quit of all service and thing".

("Be it [15] known to all, that Roger the Earl gave Milinchope in exchange to St. Milburg for the claim which she had in Ardinton. There are witnesses- Godebald the priest, Richard de Belmcis, Herbert Grammaticus, Raynald Bailial, Roger son of Corbet".)

"And further, they gave the Church of Claverley and the land which pertains to it, with all the tithes, and the Church of Alvethleia (Alveley), ... Strata via, ... Norley (Nordley), and Bobinton, and of Laitonia the whole tithes, and the third part of the tithes of Membrefelde (Morville), Ceatintonia (Chetton), and Stotesden and Corfham and Culminton and Ciratonia (Siefton): And tithes of the toll of this vill and the holding of market quit (of charge): And to serve the Church they established there six [16] canons. And all these things did the Earl by concession of his sons, viz. Hugh and Philip, who were there present on the day of dedication, and on that day did give Burechote,[17] as a foundation-gift, [18] quit of everything (charge). There are witnesses", &c.-

[12] Vide supra, page 28, note 3.
[13] Lent by the Rev. G.L. Wasey, and understood to have been taken from a MS. of the late Mr. Hardwicke of Bridgnorth. I have altered a few letters in the Latin copy, of no importance to the general sense, but only where the original had been manifestly mistaken.
[14] One great fact in favour of this Charter is its extraordinary agreement with Domesday and with probability. It speaks of Quatford only as a part of Eardington. The spot between the water (tha Severn) and the Mount, which secured to the Castle the command of the bridge, and is still to be identified, the site of the borough and probably the hays and chaces were all on the Quatford side of the river.
[15] This is evidently parenthetical, but yet in the nature of a title- deed to Eardington, and so very reasonably inserted.
[16] This again is perfectly consistent with Bromton's account, which has shown us that the Deanery (or sixth Canonry) involved nothing more than a titular superiority over the others.
[17] It is Burcot in Worfield Manor, and the latter was the only possession of Hugh de Montgomery in Domesday. Domesd. 348, b. 1.
[18] "In doario". Doarium is explained by Du Conga, "Donatio a fundatore facta ecclesiae edificate".


The list of these witnesses shall be given in full, together with those dates and facts which must stamp the whole account with a final seal of unquestionable consistency and truth. They were,-

WULSTAN, BISHOP OF WORCESTER.- The only English prelate who, having sat before the Conquest, survived the Conqueror. Hence his precedency on the list. He was now (1086) eighty years of age, but lived till 1095.

ROBERT, BISHOP OF Hereford.- Consecrated Dec. 29th, 1079; died June 26th, 1095. Much of the above-recited endowment lay in his diocese.

ROBERT, BISHOP OF CHESTER.- Robert de Limesey, nomimated to his see on Dec. 25th, 1085; died Aug. 30th, 1117. Quatford was then in his diocese.

(The above "were there present to dedicate the Church".)

HAMEFRID, ARCHDEACON.- Probably Heinfrid, who occurs [19] as Archdeacon of Hereford in 1109.

WILLIAM, ARCHDEACON.- Probably of Salop (Hereford diocese). Such an one was in office between 1108 and 1115. [20]

HERBERT GRAMMATICUS.- Archdeacon of Salop (Chester diocese). As Herbert Archdeacon he attested a charter [21] of Earl Roger to Salop Abbey, which must have passed between 1083 and 1086. He is also mentioned by Ordericus [22] as one of the wise and moderate men, or rather as one ot three learned clerks whose society Earl Roger much affected, and by whose counsels he was advantageously guided.

OSBERT, ARCHDEACON.- Whose Archdeaconry I am unable to assign, except that either he or the next witness was most probably Archdeacon of Stafford, seeing that Quatford was in that jurisdiction. No list of these dignitaries ascends early enough to solve this conjecture.

FREDERIC.- Evidently an Archdeacon, from his position on the list, but I cannot assign his province.

[19] Additions to Le Neve's Fasti, by T. Duffus Hardy, Esq.
[20] Rot. Pat. 22 Ed. III, part 3, memb. 34. I think Le Neve has made a mistake in putting him on the list of Archdeacons of Hereford in A.D. 1111.
[21] Mon. III, page 518, No. II, and page 523, No. X, where his fellow- witnesse, are Warin the Sheriff, Godebald the Priest, Roger Corbet, and others.
[22] Ord., page 523, B. Mr. Blakeway, quoting this passage (Hist. Shrews. I, 37) has added a note (No. 4) wherein he has identified Herbert "the wise Clerk" with Herbert son of Helgot,- a mistake which it does not need the aid of the above Charter to correct.


ELIRICH, ARCHDEACON.- Perhaps Agelric, Archdeacon of Worcester, [23] in office 1089 and 1092.

GODEBALD, PRIEST.- Another of the "three wise clerks", named by Ordericus [24] as Earl Roger's companions and advisers. In 1085 he held Lilleshull, Uckington, Atcham, and Preston, of the Church of St. Alkmond, Shrewsbury. [25] To Preston he bequeathed its distinctive name of Preston Gubbalds. His possessions descended to "de Belmeis".

RICHARD, MONK OF WENLOCK.- A house which Earl Roger had refounded in 1080.

RAYNOLD, OF ST. PETER'S, SALOP.- Originally a Monk of Seez, but whom Ordericus [26] mentions as having been sent, in 1083, to superintend the building of Salop Abbey.

RESTOLD, OF ST. PETER'S, GLOUCESTER.- Probably a Monk of that great Monastic House, then in Worcester Diocese.

OSBERT FITZ RICHARD.- Baron of Burford and Richard's Castle; a tenant in capite in many counties, and holding, in 1085, Badger, Ryton, and Brocton under Earl Roger. [27]

ROGER DE LACI.- Baron of Ewyas. A tenant both in capite and under Earl Roger,in Shropshire. His nearest Manor to Quatford held, in 1085, of the Earl, was Higford.

ROGER CORBET.- Roger, son of Corbet, Baron of Cans; a frequent witness of Earl Roger's charters. He is mentioned by Ordericus [28] as one of the men, faithful and very valiant, whom the Earl employed in government of his Province.

URSUS, SHERIFF - URSO D'ABITOT.- Sheriff of Worcestershire and ancestor of Beauchamp. Besides a tenure in capite in several counties, he held Salwarp [29] in 1085 under Earl Roger.

HELGOT DE STANTON.- One of the Earl Roger's Barons, and holding Stanton, Broseley, Meadowley, and many other Manors of the Earl in 1085. He was founder of Castle Holgate, and a great benefactor to Shrewsbury Abbey.

HERBERT HIS SON.- who succeeded him not only in estate but in liberal grants to Shrewsbury Abbey. [30] He appears as an under-tenant in several Domesday Manors.

[23] Le Neve's Fasti, page 302.
[24] Ord. page 522, B.
[25] Domsd. 253 a, 1.
[26] Ord. page 581.
[27] See Table, page 18.
[28] Ord. page 522, B.
[29] Domesday, 176 a, 1.
[30] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 1, 35, &c.


NORMAN VENATOR.- Held, amongst other Manors, Albrighton [31] of the Earl. He was a benefactor to Salop Abbey.

ROGER HIS BROTHER.- Called in Domesday Roger Venator. His fief under the Earl in 1085 included Beckbury. [32]


ADRIC DE WENLOCK.- Edric, son of Aluric, held Burton under Wenlock Priory in 1085. [33]

SIWARD.- Probably Siward surnamed Grossus, a great assistant of Earl Roger in the foundation of Salop Abbey. He is mentioned more than once in Domesday.

ALDRED HIS BROTHER.- Siward had a son named Aldred, [34] whose disposition was other than friendly to religious endowments. I mention him merely to show the name in the family, not from any idea that Siward's son and brother have been confounded.

AUGUSTINE.- Earl Roger had a tenant in Sussex of this name. [35] Several Saxons, called Austin in Domesday, had held lands in Shropshire before the Conquest.

TOCHI.- Held, in 1085, Aston (Botterell) under Rainald the sheriff [36] and Woodoote under Robert Fitz Tetbald, [37] who both held under the Earl.



The Charter, after invoking a blessing on all promoters of this pious undertaking, concludes with an appalling malediction on any who should interfere with its endowments. At that period it was not deemed inconsistent thus to guard a foundation which had for its object the teaching of Christianity. Neither Papal Bull nor Norman Charter is to be accounted one whit less genuine for embodying such a supplement.

To Earl Roger, on his death in July 1094, succeeded his second son Hugh. The latter was slain in Anglesey in July 1098, when Earl Robert, his elder brother, who already hid the Norman possessions of their father, purchased, from William Rufus, a succession to those in England. He it was who selected the spot afterwards called Bridgnorth as better fitted than Quatford for certain ulterior designs, which, though not of an ecclesiastical character, must have largely affected his father's foundation. To Bridgnorth he

[31] See Table, page 18.
[32] Domesd. fo. 259 a.
[33] Domesd. fo. 252 b.
[34] Salop Chartulary, No. 1.
[35] Domesd. fo. 25 b, 2.
[36] See Table, page 18.
[37] Domesd. fo. 256 b, 2.


transferred both Castle and Borough. The richly endowed Church naturally followed; but whether in his time, or by subsequent direction of King Henry I, we are not informed. It was already at Bridgnorth on the accession of Henry II. What we have further to say of Quatford will be chiefly as an appanage rather than the site of this great Collegiate establishment.

In the thirteenth century we have several notices of small occupations, both in Quatford and Eardington, and so on either or both sides of the river Severn. The persons thus interested were probably tenants of the Church. A few shall be mentioned here, and others reserved for Eardington, to which we shall shortly recur.

At Salop Assizes, Nov. 1221, Simon de Quatford sued Andrew de More for twenty acres here, alleging that Andrew obtained entry through William de More his father, which William was only tenant for a term by demise of Reginald de Quatford, Simon's father. Andrew pleaded that he was only tenant of half the premises, for that Alan de Pierpoint held ten acres thereof by gift of the same Reginald. Alan, being in Court, proved the truth of this by production of the deed of feoffment, whereupon Simon was non-suited. [38]

About the same time William Fitz Henry, of Brug (Bridgnorth), granted to William his son twenty-four acres in Quatford. There were witnesses to this grant, William Goldsmith (Aurifaber) and Adam Logain, Provosts of Brug, and Hamo le Palmer. [39]

About 1260, John Fitz William Fitz Henry, of the Castle of Brug, warranted to John de Exton, Clerk, twenty-four acres in Quatford, which said John de Exton had purchased of William brother of the warrantor. There were witnesses of this, William Bonami and Richard Ardnichun, Provosts of Brug. Walter Palmer and William Palmer. [40]

About 1280. [41] John de Exton, Clerk, surnamed Citator (the Summoner), sold to Richard Dammas, of Brug, Chaplain, land in the field opposite Quatford. There were witnesses of this, Symon, then Prior of the Holy Trinity of Brug, William Bonami and Roger Feyrchild, Provosts.

[38] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 4 recto.
[39] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl. This William Fitz Henry, otherwise called William of the Castle, was father also of John of the Castle, of Alan Fitz William (a murderer) and of Alice, wife of that Reginald le Gaugy who was murdered at Worfield circa 1250. I shall have to speak of them all again when I come to Bridgnorth.
[40] Blakeway MSS. ibidem.
[41] Blakeway MSS. ibidem.


Oct. 6, 1271. A fine [42] was levied at Westminster between Richard Dammas, of Bruges, Complainant, and Robert de Welbe and Agnes his wife, of twenty-four acres in Bruges, whereof was a plea of warranty. Robert and Agnes acknowledged the premises to be Richard's as of their own gift;- to have and to hold of Robert and Agnes and the heirs of Agnes; rendering to them one rose yearly, and to the chief lords of the fee accustomed services, for Robert and Agnes. For this Richard gave ten merks.

Later in the century, Sir Richard Dammas, Chaplain, attests [43] a Bridgnorth deed with Ralph Bolding and Robert Dyer (Tinctor), Provosts of Brug, and others.

Oct. 1292. At Salop Assizes [44] "Richard Dammas was bound down to answer to the Lord the King, for that when Nicholas Bran and Alice his wife, on Oct. 4, 1291, in the town of Brugges, in the Church of St. Leonard, in presence of Master Andrew de Tottenhale, Hugh de Wrottesley, and William Godewyn, had served the said Richard with a writ of the King forbidding him to prosecute further in Court Christian a suit concerning chattels and debts, which were neither of testament nor marriage, the aforesaid Richard, in contempt of the said precept, spat upon the writ and cast it under him and trampled it with his feet in contempt of the Lord King, of 1000, &c.

"Richard denies the whole charge, and puts himself on the country, &c. And Hugh (Hugh de Louther, the King's Attorney) does likewise. The Jurors say upon their oath that said Richard never spat upon the writ, nor trampled it, nor in any way treated it with contempt". So Richard was acquitted.

22 Ed. I (1293-4), Richard Dammas founded [45] a Chantry in the King's Free Chapel of Brugge, and endowed it with two messuages: one in the town of Bruges, the other in Netherton [46] by Quatford; also with sixty- five acres of land and half an acre of meadow.

Towards the end of the thirteenth century, Katherine, [47] relict of

[42] Final Concords. Salop, 55 Hen. III. I have quoted the fine at some length, as it is an undoubted specimen of that kind of fine which terminated a flotitious suit, and which was, in fact, nothing more than a safe and legal conveyance of premises sold. It is a common idea that all fines were of this nature, but up to this period it may safely be said that nine out of ten were terminations of real suits.
[43] Charter at Apley Park.
[44] Placita de quo warranto, page 679.
[45] Pat. 22 Edw. I, memb. 1.
[46] Netherton Lane (now disused) was part of the road which crossed the river Severn at Quatford.- Rev. G.L. Wasey.
[47] Charter in possession of W.W. Whitmore, of Dudmaston, Esq. This deed has an oval seal of green wax in good preservation. A female figure stands full-faced with a sentchson of arms on each side of the head. The dexter shield seems to have been charged with a lion rampant, the sinister with two lions passant (the bearing of Le Strange, who was mesne Lord of Glazeley).


Sir Alan de Glaseley, quit-claims for herself and heirs to Guy Lord of Glaseley and his heirs, all right in her land at the Nethereton Quatford., which Alan her husband and herself had conjointly, by purchase from Henry de Glaseley, brother of said Alan. There were witnesses of this, Sir Henry de Mortimer, Sir Ralph d'Arras, Robert de Dodemaston, Fremonde de Erditon, John de Aldenham, Richstd de la More, Roger Bonamy of Brug, and many others.

In 80 Ed. I (1801-2), Katherine [48] widow of Alan and mother of Guy de Glaseley, held dower in the field of Brig, opposite Quatford.

Early, as I think, in the thirteenth century, Richard Botar of Quatford granted [49] to Maud his daughter, by Susanna his wife, two acres in the fields towards Quatford, of the fee of Linley, which he bought of William Fitz Tedbald. The rent was to be eightpence, payable to the grantor for life, and then to the lights of the blessed Virgin Mary of Quatford. Witness, Sir William de Chetinton, then Chaplain of Quatford.


Though Quatford Church ceased to be Collegiate within a few years of its foundation, it nevertheless remained, having for its parish a district identical with the Domesday Manor of Eardington. The contrast which it thus presented to its former self is most remarkable. As a Collegiate Church its foundation rests on the clearest evidence: the earliest feature of its parochial state is two centuries of all but oblivion.

Sir William de Chetinton, its Chaplain, just mentioned, was probably the earliest Incumbent of whom we are likely to hear, and his Incumbency, if such it can be called, very much like that of the Chaplains of Morville and Astley Abbots, of whom we have heard already.

In 1255, Quatford is said [50] to be "a member of the Church of

[48] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl.
[49] Ibidem. Parochial Notices II, 340. The family of Linley had an interest in the Borough of Bridgnorth by special grant of King Henry II; and Sir William le Forcer, a coheir of Linley, was concerned at Dudmaston in time of Edw. II. (Charter at Dudmaston). The grantor above (or his memorialist) has mistaken the Patron Saint of Quatford Church, unless indeed there were an Altar of the Virgin therein, to which dedicated his endowment.
[50] Rot. Hund. II, 59.- A document of 1412-3, speaks of Quatford Chapel as annexed to the Deanery. (Pat. 14 Hen. IV. memb. 29).


Claverley", and the Church of Claverley was always attached to the Deanery or chief Prebend of St. Mary Magdalene, of Brug. Whether this summary notice of Quatford alludes to the Church, or to some lands in the parish, does not appear from the context of the passage quoted.

In 1291 [51] we just know that there was a Church here, from being told that it was not worth 4 per annum, and so not taxable

Possible mention of another Incumbent here, in 1316, may have been already made. [52] If so, he was called Parson,- but that may have been the result of his more valuable preferment elsewhere.

In 1341, the village of Quatford [53] is mentioned as having been taxed to the ninth, according to the value of the Parish Church, and so excepted from the general taxation of Bridgnorth, though within the liberties of that Borough.

This separate taxation of Quatford does not however occur anywhere on the Roll. It was probably never levied, as we know from other authority [54] that the lands of St. Mary Magdalene paid nothing to this tax.

The ' Valor Ecclesiasticus ' of 1585 makes no mention of Quatford Church in any relation whatever.


The outside of this Church exhibits no architectural details earlier than about the fourteenth century, with the exception of a small window on the north side of the Chancel. The Chancel-arch is also of late Norman or transitional character; but there seems reason to believe that the present Church preserves the ground-plan of the original structure, I mean that which existed in the twelfth century, the western tower having been added at a later period; for the Chancel-arch is built of a sort of tufa, [55] and the same is found in the walls of both the Nave and Chancel, the masonry of which, near the ground, is such as we might look for in that period.

The tower, and some of the upper parts of the walls, including the windows, are of sandstone.

[51] Pope Nicholas' Taxation, page 166.
[52] Vide supra, page 77, note 258.
[53] Inq. Nonarum, page 191.
[54] Ibidem, pp. 190 and 194, sub Momerfeld and Claverley.
[55] Mr. Hartshorne says that this tufa "must have been brought hither up the Severn out of Gloucestershire, as the nearest deposit of that formation lie at Stroud". (Salopia Antiqua, p. 233).


The Font is a circular basin, on a cluster of four short massive shafts. The ornament with which it is enriched gives so completely the tracery and panelling of the fourteenth century, that I cannot refer it to any other period, and the material is sandstone, not the tufa of the Chancel-arch and walls. It is, however, not impossible that the ornament may have been sculptured upon an old and plain basin.

Near the door are some incised and sculptured slabs of stone, representing a sort of cross: they seem to have belonged to altar-tombs.



We now recross to the western bank of the Severn, where lay the bulk of the Domesday Manor of Eardington. This we have already seen appropriated by the Norman Earl, and granted to his Church of Quatford, but not without a compensation to the Saxon house of St. Milburg, then represented by Wenlock Priory.

Eardington hereupon became divided into two portions, allotted to two stalls of the Earl's Prebendal Church. With one of these was associated the Church of Alveley,- and, consequently, that Prebend was usually called the Prebend of Alveley, while the other was always known as the -


Ulger, the first whom I find with this preferment, lived in the time of King Henry II. As early as 1169, Hulger, the Clerk, was one of the Visors appointed [56] by writ of Richard de Luci to superintend works at the Tower of Brug. Ulger, variously called Clerk and Canon, discharged a similar trust in 1170 and four following years, under writs [57] both of Richard de Luci and the King.

[56] Pipe Roll, 15 Hen. II, Salop.
[57] Pipe Rolls, 16 to 20 Hen. II, Salop. Visors or viewers were appointed by the Crown for various purposes. In the present and similar instances their duty was not only to see that the works were properly performed, but to check the Sheriff's expenditure thereon.


Ulger's successor was R., son of Hugh Pantulf. As Hugh Pantulf was not married before 1170, the succession of his younger son (and he had several) to a Church dignity will probably have been at least thirty years later. R. Pantulf's tenure of this Prebend will also have been very brief; for, as we shall see presently, his predecessor's [58] name was used to describe the Prebend when his successor was appointed.

On Nov. 1, 1208, King John, then at Verneuil,[59] certifies Geoffrey, Bishop of Coventry, that "we have conceded, and, so far as the patron is concerned, given to Alexander, Chaplain of our beloved William de Breose, that Prebend in our Chapel of Bruges which is vacant and is of our donation, which Inger, and after him R., son of Hugh Pantulf, held. So that", says the King, "Ralph de Cirencester, our Clerk, may hold that Prebend, paying thereof annually to said Alexander, as to the Parson, 100s. in name of pension. Wherefore we command you that you admit the said Alexander to the Parsonage, and the said R. to the perpetual Vicarage of that Prebend, and institute them on our presentation aforesaid".

2 Feb. 1206, King John, at Nottingham, [60] addreasing the Dean of Brug, informs him that he has granted to Master John Wtheng that Prebend in his (the King's) Church of Brug, which is vacant and was Wlger the Canon's. The Dean is to admit him and do therein whatever pertains to him to do.

6 June, 1226. Henry de Cornhull, Chancellor of London, is presented [61] to that Prebend in the King's Chapel of Brug, which had been Master Wyteng's. The Constable of Brug is to induct him.

[58] Ulger, a Canon, was living in Oct. 1209, and possessed of a free tenement in Brokton, whereof William de Brokton had disseized hiin. (Trsd. Salop Anis. 6 John, memb. 4 recto).
[59] Rot. Pat. 5 John, memb. 6 recto. There are two points noticeable in this presentation:- 1st, that the Peculiar Jurisdiction, afterwards so jealously guarded by the Crown, seems either forgotten or not fully established, otherwise a Bishop would not have been addressed: 2dly, that the Bishop addressed is of Coventry, showing that the ancient diocese of Chester crossed the Severn at this one point to include Eardington, a boundary which, though sometimes ignored, was again recognised in the Valor of Henry VIII. The rights of the Peculiar Jurisdiction will have made the question practically unimportant; and hence perhaps the confusion.
[60] Rot. Pat. 7 John, memb. 3. On the 26th of May following, Master John Witeing was appointed Justicfiar to assess an aid in Warwickshire (Rot. Pat. 8 John, memb. 1). He was a Prebendary also of St. Paul's.
[61] Rot. Pat. 10 Hen. III. Henry de Cornhull, Chancellor of St. Paul's, held that office from 1217 for some years. He became Dean of that Church in 1244, and died April 9, 1254. (Dugd. St. Paul's, pp. 224, 232).


In 1255, Peter de Durham held this Prebend, [62] which the Jurors of Brug valued at ten merks (6. 13s. 4d.) and the Jurors of Stottesden at seventeen merks (11. 6s. 8d.) per annum.

In Oct. 1272, the same Peter was in possession, and the Prebend valued at 15 merks (10). He is reported as a defaulter in attendance at the Assizes. [63]

In 1284, John de Lukes is returned [64] as holding half the vill of Herdington of the King in capite.

In 1291, "the portion of the Prebend [65] of Sir John de Luk in the parish of Quatford, the Deanery of Stottesden, and the Diocese of Hereford, is taxed (valued) at 1", but another part of the same record says that "John de Luke's Prebendary of Bruges has at Erdinton half a carrucate of land which, with its meadows, pastures, mill, perquisites, and all other profits, is worth 5. 6s. 8d. per annum". The former was the income of the Spiritualities, the latter of the Temporalities of his Prebend.

In Oct. 1292, the Jurors for Brug valued [66] John de Luke's Prebend of Erdyton at 14 merks (9. 6s. 8d.).

In March, 1316, John de Luk is again returned [67] as Lord of Erdyngton.

In 10 Ed. III (1336), Nicholas de Roton was presented [68] by the King to this Prebend, and -

In 13 Ed. III (1339), Philip Wascon. [68]

2 Nov. 1395, Nicholas Rape having resigned, Guy More was presented [70] by King Richard II.

In 1585, William Hoorde is returned [71] as holding the prebend of Erdinton in the Archdeaconry of Stafford and Diocese of Coventry

[62] Rot. Surd. II, 59 and 83. This Peter de Durham had been in the employ of Henry de Cornhull as early as 1225 (Rot. Claus. II, 146). In August 1226, one Peter, a Chaplain, was Custos of Morville Bridge, and had the King's precept to the Forester of Shropshire to allow him timber for its repair out of Shirlet Forest (Claus. II, 185).
[63] Salop Assis. 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dorso. He had previously, viz., at the Forest Assizes, 1262, been amerced 20 shillings for default (Placita Forestae. Salop. 46 Hen. III, memb. 5 dorso).
[64] Kirby's Quest. Stottesden Hund.
[65] Pope Nic. Tax. 166, b., and 162, b., note k.
[66] Plac. Coronae. Salop. 20 Ed. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[67] Nomina Villarum, 9 Ed. II. (Parliamentary Writs, IV, 398).
[68] Rot. Pat. 10 Ed. III, pars 2, memb. 22.
[69] Rot. Pat. 13 Ed. III, pars 1, memb. 31.
[70] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl.
[71] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 199, where the recognition of the original Diocese is to be observed.


and Lichfield. Its value in glebe lands is stated at 6. 13s. 4d., in other tithes and oblations at 3. 6s. 8d.,- giving a total of 10 per annum.


In giving a list of the early Prebendaries of this other portion of Eardington we necessarily include some account of the Church of Alveley, whose Incumbents held this dignity.

The first whom I find thus beneficed was William le Strange, probably a near relation of Guy le Strange, who became Lord of Alveley by grant [72] of Henry II in 1155.

In Oct. 1203, Christiana, widow of Richard de Constantin, had disseized William le Strange of his free tenement in Erdinton since Michaelmas 1199. William recovered seizin and 3 shillings damages. [73]

In Nov. 1221, William le Strange was returned [74] as holding the Church of Alveley, having been presented thereto by King Henry II. It was worth 30 merks (20). He will therefore have held this Prebend thirty-three years at least, but on Jan. 7, 1223, he had resigned, for on that day King Henry III conferred the Church on William de Harcourt, who will also have been related to one of the then co-heirs of Alveley Manor. On this occasion the Bishop of Coventry was ordered to institute.

Notwithstanding this resignation of William le Strange he was presented [75] at Salop Assizes in Oct. 1227 ss holding the Church of Alveley. The mistake arose probably from the identity of Christian

[72] Cart. Cotton. xi. 14, in Brit. Mus.
[73] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 4 recto. Christiana was probably at this period holding dower in the adjacent Manor of Oldbury.
[74] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 9 dorso. This Prebendary was prcbably the same person with William le Strange, Dean of St. Mary's, Salop (Hist. Shr. vol. ii. p. 325); but I cannot think, as there surmised, that he was brother of Guy Hamo and John le Strange, nor that they had any brother William. The Charter to which Mr. Blakeway apparently refers for this relationship is an abbreviated one in Harl. MS. 2188, fo. 123, and gives John le Strange and William his brother as witnesses; but the Chartulary at Sundors, quoting, I think, the same original deed, has John le Strange and Wido (Guy) his brother as witnesses. A William le Strange is indeed a witness of two other deeds in the Haghmon Chartulary, and him I take to have been our Prebendary, and perhaps afterwards Dean of St. Mary's; but both these deeds passed after the deaths of Guy and John le Strange the elder. I think that there is a further mistake, in the Hist. of Shrewsbury, in giving this William a daughter; and that it was his sister who married Alan le Poer. (Vide Haghmon Chartulary, fo. 181).
[75] Assize Roll, incorporated in Testa de Nevill, p. 54.


name and the consanguinity of himself and his successor. Moreover these Prebendaries of Bridgnorth will not usually have been resident, but rather represented by their several Vicars. If so, the Jurors, who made these presentments at County Assizes, may very possibly have remained ignorant of the resignation of any Prebendary for some time after such event. We have already seen that their knowledge of the value of each Prebend was extremely inaccurate.

On 8 April, 1241, William de Haverhull was presented by King Henry III to the Prebend of Alvithel. The Constable of Brug had the King's precept to induct him. [76]

8 June, 1250. A precept issued to Robert de Bras, empowering him to try a cause of novel disseisin between this Prebendary and Madoc de Sutton about a tenement in Alvithleg. [77]

26 Aug. 1252. Alexander Fisicus (Physician) is presented to William de Haverhull's vacant Prebend in the Chapel of Bruges. The Constable is to induct. [78]

9 Sept. 1253. Henry de Wengham was presented to the Prebend which Alexander Fisicus had held. Precept accordingly issued to the Constable. [79]

In the Inquisitions of 1255, there were several presentments as to this Church and Prebend. The Alveley jurors said [80] that Henry de Wingham held the Church by the King's gift; that it belonged to a Prebend of the King's free Chapel, and was worth forty merks (26. 13s. 4d. per annum). The Stottesden jurors said [81] the same in substance, but separately reported Sir Henry de Wyngeham's share of Erdinton as worth sixteen merks (10. 13s. 4d.) They also said that "Sir Henry de Wengham and Peter de Durelm (Durham), Canons of Magdalene, are Lords of Erdinton, of the King's gift; wherein are six virgates of land; and they do no suit, nor pay stretward nor motfe, the jurors know not by what warrant". The jurors of Bruges said, [82] on the same occasion, that "Henry de Wingham holds one Prebend, viz. the Church of Alvitheley, with its member Remesleg (Romesley), and it is worth forty merks per annum".

[76] Rot. Pat., 25 Hen. III.
[77] Ibidem, 34 Hen. III.
[78] Ibidem, 36 Hen. III.
[79] Ibidem, 37 Hen. III. Exactly ten years before (viz. Sept. 1243), this Henry de Wengeham was serving the King in Gascony, and received a written promise, dated at Bourdeaux, as to his future advancement. (Rot. Pat. 27 Hen. III).
[80] Rot. Hund. vol. ii. p. 73.
[81] Ibidem, pp. 82, 83.
[82] Ibidem, p. 59.


Henry de Wengham had also been presented in this year to the Church of Worfield, and, when these inquisitions were taken, was nothing less than Lord Chancellor of England. After serving the Crown for some years in several minor capacities, and receiving a correspondent share of patronage, he was appointed [83] to the Chancellorship by patent of January 5th, 1255. He held this office till October 18th, 1260, a Custos being nominated during his occasional absence from Court, and once during his illness. On February 15th, 1260, he was consecrated Bishop of London, and died in October, 1262.

His successor in the Prebend of Alveley was Hugh de la Penne, appointed, [84] by letters patent to the constable of Bruges, on 28th December, 1260.

At Salop Assizes, October, 1272, Hugo de la Penne's Prebend of Alvitheleg was returned as worth sixty merks (40 per annum). The Prebendary was also reported as a defaulter in due attendance [85] at the assizes. In 1284, Hugo de is Penne is returned as Lord of half the vill of Erdington. [86]

In 1291, amongst the spiritualities of the Deanery of Stottesden and diocese of Hereford, "the portion of the Prebend of Hugh de Penne in the Parish of Quatford" is valued [87] at 1, and his temporalities at Erdintone, consisting of land, meadows, rents, with "operacionibus" and perquisites, at 1. 18s. 6d.

At Salop Assizes, October, 1292, Hugo de la Penne's Prebend of Alvitheleye was returned [88] as worth eighty merks (53. 6s. 8d. per annum).

23d February, 1328, Thomas Talbot, clerk, was presented [89] to this Prebend, and 19th September, 1334, he was promoted to the chief Prebend or Deanery.

In 5 Edw. III (1331), Richard Oweine's presentation [90] to this Prebend seems to have been revoked.

In 11 Edw. III (1337), G. Chilchethe, previously Prebendary of Underdon, was presented to this. [91]

[83] Hardy's Chancellors, p. 9.
[84] Rot. Pat. 45 Hen. III. This Hugh de la Penne was also Rector of Worfield, by the King's gift. (Assis. ap. Salop. 56 Hen. III. memb. 22 dorso).
[85] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dorso.
[86] Kirby's Quest.
[87] Pope Nich. Taxation, 166, b. and 162, b. Operaciones were the works performed by inferior tenants in lieu of rent.
[88] Placita Corona, 20 Edw. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[89] Rot. Pat. 2 Ed. III, part i, memb. 29; and 8 Ed. III, part ii, memb. 25.
[90] Ibidem, 5 Ed. III, part i, memb.33.
[91] Rot. Pat. 11, Ed. III, part 8, memb. 23, 30.


In the Inquisition of the Ninth, A.D. 1341, the assessors rated [92] " the two portions of the Church which were in Erdynton at 31 shillings for the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb in the same Parish". This assessment is informal, as Eardington was not a parish, neither were the portionists or their tenants amenable [93] to the tax. If it means anything it relates to some tenure in Eardington Manor not held of the Church.

In 23 Edw. III (1349), Thomas Brember was presented to this Prebend.

28 Oct. 1361, John de Buckingham was presented. [95]

40 Edw. III (1366), it was granted [96] to William of Wickham, who, in the following year, was consecrated Bishop of Winchester, and appointed Chancellor of England. He survived the period of his greatest advancement thirty-seven years. Who would know further of his genius, his honours, and his great munificence, may learn much at Windsor, Winchester, or Oxford, more still in the archives of a Nation, but most of all in the imperishable record of a venerated name.

Passing from the mention of princely sacrifice to a memorial [97] of another kind, we see (in 1535) the Prebend of Alveley, now ripe for confiscation, valued for King Henry VIII as follows:-

"John Belletour, Prebendary of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary Magdalene, has the Prebend of Alveley in the County of Salop, Archdeaconry of Stafford, and Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield; and it is worth annually, in the value of glebe land thereunto pertaining, 5. 6s. 8d.; and in other tithes, oblations, and emoluments, beyond expenses, 8". Total value, 13. 6s. 8d.

Of tenants and their lands, in Eardington, held probably under one or other of the last-named Prebends, we have a few notices. The principal tenement concerned will be -


Aug. 1226. Alan de Hays, was pledge of Henry Fitz Thomas in a suit which the latter had against the Abbot of Salop, about land in Morville. [98]

[92] Inq. Nonarum, page 194.
[93] Vide supra, pp. 39 & 70.
[94] Rot. Pat. 23 Edw. III, part 8, memb. 1.
[95] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl.
[96] Rot. Pat. 40 Edw. III, part 2, memb. 25. apud Tanner, Notit. Monast.
[97] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 199.
[98] Placita coronae Rege, 10 Hen. III, memb. 4 dorso.


This Alan de Haya was probably the same with Alan de Erdinton, whose son Richard de la Rode has already [99] occurred as purchasing and selling land in Deepdale (Astley Abbots).

About the same time, [100] Thomas, son of Alan de la Hay, sold to Master Fremund de Erdinton all his land of the Hay,- the purchaser to pay 10s. rent to Thomas de Chabbenour, the Chief Lord. [101] Witness, Sir Thomas de Constantine.

The Stottesden Jurors of 1255, in answer to the inquiry as to "What spiritual persons (viri religiosi) or others prosecute laymen before the Judges Delegate or the Ordinaries", stated as follows; that, "Fremund de Erdinton summoned Richard de Waskebache, and Walter, his brother, because Richard's dog barked at him, and that for this cause he got 4s. from Richard and 2s. from Walter"; also, that the same "Fremund summoned Juliana de Glaseley before the Judges Delegate in a plea of Covenant which was between them about half a merk, and got from her a whole merk". [102]

After this some notices occur of a family taken to be collaterally related to Fremund de Erdinton, if not his heirs.

In August, 1267, Stephen Spereman, and Emma his wife, had sued out a writ of mort d'ancestre against Reginald Reed, about a messuage in Brug, and had license to sue out a better writ. [103]

By deed, sans date, John del Hay demises to Fromund, son of Reginald de Erditon, all his land in the Hay. [104]

About 1283, Thomas, son of Herbert de la Hay, grants [105] to Fromund, son of Reginald Red, of Erdinton, land at the Hay, with capital messuage. Witnesses, Ralph de Arras, Hugo de Dodemoneston, Nicholas le Palmer, of Brug.

[99] Vide supra, page 64, and also page 63, where, if the above be correct, I shall have named Alan de Haya under a wrong locality.
[100] Otley Deeds, quoted in Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl.
[101] This Thomas de Chabbenour was, I suppose, son of that Thomas Fitz Odo whom we have already had as Custos of the neighbouring Manor of Tasley in Henry II's time (Vide supra, page 86). His being called Chief Lord only implies that he held over the Vendor, and is quite consistent with his being himself a tenant of the Church.
[102] Rot. Hund. II, 83. The Judges of Ecclesiastical Causes are here distinguished into Ordinaries and Delegates. Ths former were Judges ex officio, as a Bishop in his diocese, or an Archdeacon in his Archdeaconry. The latter were appointed on special occasions. An appeal to the See of Rome generally resulted in the appointment of Judges Delegate to determine it.
[103] Placita coronae Rege, apud Salop, 51 Hen. III, memb. 5 dorso.
[104] Otley Deeds, ut supra.
[105] Otley Deeds, ut supra.


11 Edw. I (1283), Fremund de Erdinton binds himself by deed to supply Thomas, son of Herbert, with all the necessaries of life.

About the same time Fremund de Erdinton attests an agreement [106] between the Abbots of Dieulacres and Salop about lands in Lancashire.

Oct. 18, 1288. He attests, at Brug, a deed relating to land at Astley Abbots. [107]

17 Edw. I (1289), Richard, son of Reginald Rud, having recovered in the King's Court at Westminster, seizin of a messuage and carrucate in the More, near Erdington, against Fromund Rud, and the latter having, as alleged, redisseized him, mandate issues to the Sheriff to inquire if this be so, and to arrest the offender. [108]

Oct. 1292, Fremund de Erdinton was on the Jury for the Borough of Brug, which attended the Assizes. [109]

I have been thus particular to state all I could meet with relative to this Fremund, because he was one of the first recorded [110] Burgesses. who was summoned to Parliament for Bridgnorth. With Andrew Bolding he was returned to the Parliament, which was to meet at Westminster on 13th November, 1295, but which was prorogued to November 27.

24 Edw. I (1296), Alice, daughter of Nicholas Cinevet, of Quatford, grants to Fromund, son of Reginald Rud, of Erdinton, eight ridges (seyliones) of land in the field towards the Hay, between the land of said Fromund and the road which leads to the ford of Severn, near the weir (gurgitem) of Quatford, and extending from Fromund's land to Hamstodeshal. [111]

Fromund is witness to a number of deeds [112] of this period which relate variously to lands in Bridgnorth and Astley Abbots, and passed at those places or at "Sevarne". Those dated are of Jan. 3, 1296; Sept. 26 and Oct. 4, 1297; Nov. 25, 1298; Dec. 24, 1302; Feb.15, 1303; and Oct. 19, 1305.

In 28 Ed. I (1300), he was grantee [113] of Roger, son of Roger Chete, senior, of Brug, a culture in the fields of Brug, bounded by Morf Forest and the land of the Hospital of Saint John Baptist. This will have lain east of the Severn.

[106] Salop Chartulary, No. 270.
[107] Charter at Apley Park.
[108] Originalia, 17 Edward I. Rot. 25.
[109] Placita Caronae, Salop, 20 Ed. I, memb. 51 recto.
[110] Parliamentary Writs, I, 41.
[111] Otley MSS. ut supra.
[112] Charters at Apley Park.
[113] Otley MSS. ut supra.


Sept. 19, 1804. He was foreman of the Jurors, [114] who sat at Bridgnorth, on an inquest of ad quod damnnum, which concerned a purchase made by the Prior of Malvern in Quat.

In 2 Edw. II (1308), he was dead, having been seized of diverse lands and tenements in "Brugges juxta le Hay", and of 20 acres of land and 1 acre of meadow in Oldbury. [115] A part of this, viz., 4 acres in "Bruges juxta le Hay", was held in capite, and in Michaelmas Term of the same year, Reginald, his son and heir, paid 2s. relief thereof. [116]

In 1 Edw. III (1327), Hugh Mortimer, of Chelmarsh, granted to Reginald de la Hay, son of Fromund de Erdinton, all right in 15s. 6d. of that rent of 16s. 6d. which was due from said Reginald annually for land which he held of said Hugh in the Hay. [117]

In 3 Edw. III (1329), the same Reginald had a grant from Alan de Glazeley of a meadow, called the Ree, in the field of Brug. [118]

The Moor.


This was a small tenement, which, though now combined parochially and manorially with Eardington, seems never to have passed, under any grant, to the Canons of St. Mary Magdalene, but to have constituted a separate tenure in capite of the Crown from the earliest recorded period.

The King's tenant here was a layman, who held by petit serjeantry.

Curious as some of these tenures were, the one under notice was distinguished by that extreme eccentricity which marks the very oldest. Its origin and meaning are alike lost in remote antiquity.

[114] Inquisitions, 32 Ed. I, No.112.
[115] Ibidem, 2 Ed. II, No.32.
[116] Dukes' Antiquities, page 51.
[117] Otley MSS. ut supra.
[118] Ibide. I refer the reader to some later and interesting particulars relative to the Hay Estate, in Mr. Dukes' Antiquities of Shropshire, Appendix, page xlii. Camden's identification of the estate with "Little Brugge" (there quoted) is, however, quite a mistake.


The most reasonable account of its nature seems to be this:-

The King's tenant at the More held his land (a virgate) by service of appearing yearly in the Exchequer, on the morrow of Michaelmas Day, with a hazel rod, of a year's growth and a cubit's length, and two knives. The Treasurer and Barons being present, the tenant was to attempt to sever the rod with one of the knives, which (apparently to prove the soundness of the rod) was to bend or break. The other knife was to do the same work at one stroke, and then be given up to the King's Chamberlain for royal use.

The only intelligible object of this service was, of course, that the King should be annually supplied with a knife of uncommon temper. We may conjecture endlessly and vainly as to how he came to look to his tenant of the secluded More for such an implement. Imagination presents some incident of a Royal Chase in the Forest of Morf or of Shirlet - some moment of kingly peril and opportune aid - a lost or broken couteaux de chasse replaced by the trusty blade of some watchful and well-rewarded follower.

The earliest recorded notice [1] of this tenure occurs on a Roll of Shropshire serjeantries, which is of date 13 John (1211). It merely says, that-

"Richard de (read le) Medler holds one virgate of land, and renders for the same annually, at the feast of Saint Nicholas (read Michael), two knives (knipulos)".

A second contemporary Roll [2] supplies the place of payment, viz., the Exchequer; a third [3] writes the name Richard le Mener.

In 1245 Nicholas de More is said [4] to pay at the Exchequer two knives (cultellos), one good, the other very bad, for certain land which be holds of the King in capite in More.

In 1255, the Stottesden Jurors report, [5] that "Nicholas le Medler holds one virgate in More in capite of the Lord King, rendering at the Exchequer two knives, one of which ought to cut a hazel rod (et alium splicantem in caseo frisco [6]), and he does no other service for the said land".

In Nov. 1274, Jurors of the same Hundred say [7] at length, that "Nicholas de la More holds one virgate in that vill of the Lord

[1] Testa de Nevill, p. 56.
[2] Ibidem, p. 417.
[3] Red Book of Exchequer, fo. cxxxvii.
[4] Mich. Commun. 29 Hen. III, apud Madox Excheq. 611, r. I need hardly point out that the names le Medler and de More describe the same persons.
[5] Rot. Hund. II, 108.
[6] Probably "plicantem" is the proper word, and refers to the other knife which ought to bend. The words "in caseo frisco", if they mean in a new case, must belong to the first knife.
[7] Rot. Hund. II, 108.


King in capite by serjeantry, of taking two knives to the King's Exchequer at the feast of St. Michael in each year; so that he ought to cut a hazel rod with one knife, as that the knife should bend (plicare) with the stroke; and again, he ought to cut a rod with the other knife".

The record of 1284 describes [8] Nicholas de la More as holding three parts of a virgate and two moors [9] by serjeantry, &c. The Jurors of October, 1292, say, that William de la More of Erdynton holds one virgate in the More by serjeantry of taking two knives to the King's Exchequer on the morrow of St. Michael, and to cut with the same knives two rods of hazel. [10]

The best account of all [11] seems to be given under 3 Rich. II (1379), when Walter de Aldenham was holding the serjeantry. It is mainly the authority for what was stated at first about the tenure, except that it says that both knives were to be given up to the Chamberlain.


"The Earl himself holds Bolebec. Stenulf held it in time of King Edward. Here is half a hide, geldable. There is arable land sufficient for 1 ox-team. It was and is waste. [1]

Such is the Domesday notice of a Manor which follows Eardington and precedes Ovre in that survey. Several localities have at various times suggested themselves or been proposed as identicle with Bolebec. These, as I remember, were Boscobel, Boningale, Bold, Colebatch, and Bolas, none of which have any more apparent

[8] Kirby's Quest.
[9] The word is written moreis - for moras, I presume.
[10] Placita Coronae, Salop, 20 Ed. I, memb. 20.
[11] Vide Dukes' Appendix to Antiquities of Shropshire, page xxiv, where, I presume, the note referring to "Mich. Com. 3 Ed. I, Rot. 1, Salop", is a mistake for the same Record of 3 Rich. II. The latter is the year given by Mr. Dukes on page xxvi of the same Appendix, to which I refer for a very able and interesting notice of this Serjeantry. The customs connected with it are traced down to a very recent period. A few dates and names, and the locality, are all that I have added to the previous account.

[1] Ipse come stenet Bolebec. Stenulf tenuit tempore Regis Edwardi. Ibi dimidia hida geldabilis. Terra cet 1 carruce. Wasta fuit et est. (Domesday, fo. 254, a, 1.)


Domesday notice. However, the name of Boscobel belongs, I imagine, to a much more recent nomenclature, and the subsequent status of both Boscobel, Boningale, Bold, and Colebatch, excepts each of them from all probability of having been, like Bolebec, a demesne Manor of Earl Roger. This is not the case with Bolas; whose condition in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was exactly that which we should have expected to result from such a Domesday status as that of Bolebec. But the last syllables of the two names have no etymological affinity, and Bolas is in the area of the Domesday Hundred of Recordine, through which the survey [2] of Earl Roger's demesnes had already passed before it arrived at Eardington. Lastly, Bolas was a much larger Manor than would consist with the type of Bolebec.

We have therefore to look elsewhere than to mere surmises for a probable solution of this difficulty.

As regards position in Domesday Book, Bolebec follows Eardington (a manor of Alnodestreu Hundred), and precedes Ovre (a manor of Conedovre Hundred); but the mention of Ovre in this place is both redundant and imperfect, for it is noticed more fully elsewhere, [3] and shown not to have been of the Earl's demesne. Its insertion here is therefore a mistake, and Bolebec becomes the last Manor of demesne; also, Eardington (which precedes it) remains the only guide to its proximate situation.

As regards etymology,- a Domesday manor, written Bolebec, would ordinarily become Bolebatch,- as the Domesday Huelbec and Polrebec have become Pulverbatch and Welbatch; but though many places in Shropshire have the final syllable required, [4] we look in vain for any Bolebatch.

It is now time to state that Bolebec is in every letter a purely Norman name. The pays de Caux had a town, a river, and a family so called. It is reasonable therefore to suppose that the name was affixed to some Shropshire locality by the Normans, which locality afterwards recovered its previous appellation. [5]

[2] The Domesday demesnes of the Earl were of two classes; first, those which King Edward had held, which are enumerated consecutively; secondly, those which the Mercian Earls or others had held, and which seem to be enumerated with some reference to position: at all events, no two consecutive Manors were so distant from each other as Bolas and Eardington. It is further believed that the silence of Domesday as to Bolas is to be accounted for rather than questioned; but of that hereafter.
[3] Domesday, fo. 259 b.
[4] There was a Wallsbatch near Eardington, but it never was a separate Manor; also a Picklebatch, similarly insignificant.
[5] Though Celt, Roman, Dane and Saxon have left reminiscences of themselves in the local nomenclature of most districts of England, so much can hardly be said of the Normans. In old Shropshire they gave a name to Montgomery before Domesday, and to Caus after Domesday; both which names remain. Similarly (as I suppose) they gave a name (Bolebec) to the Moor, and a name (Dinan) to Ludlow. One of these also was earlier, the other later than Domesday; and both have vanished. I do not at present remember any other instance of a Norman name having attached to a Shropshire locality. Dinan, I ought to add, belongs rather to Britanny than Normandy; but the difficulty of permanently tying a foreign name on an Anglo-Saxon locality is established nevertheless.


Further, we must look for the representative of Bolebec in some Manor afterwards retained in demesne by, or held in capite of the Crown. Such is the analogy observable in the Norman Earl's demesnes.

The name of the Saxon holder, Stenulf, will not give any additional clue, for it occurs nowhere else in the Shropshire Domesday.

Finally, the extent and condition of the Manor in 1086 was - half a hide of unvalued waste land.

Summarily, then, we must look for Bolebec in some half-hide of waste land, not far from Eardington, not retaining the name of Bolebec, yet not mentioned under any other name in Domesday - and after the Norman Earl's forfeiture held by, or immediately of, the Crown.

All these conditions, except that of extent, will be fulfilled in the Moor, as above described.

It is however always estimated at 1 virgate (i.e. 1/4 hide), an objection certainly to its comparison with Bolebec, but one which has a parallel in many undoubted cases of identity.

Again, the Moor was never involved in Eardington; for, if it had been, it would have passed under Earl Roger's grant to Quatford Church. Not being involved, it must be presumed to have had some distinct Domesday type ? If Bolebec were not that type, what was ?

Finally, when we see the waste state of the Domesday Manor perpetuated in the very name of Moor, and when we hear that the latest performers of that serjeantry (by which Moor was once held) were summoned by the Exchequer Crier, as "Tenants of a piece of waste ground called the Moors", to come forward to do their annual service in Court; [6] - if, after all this, we cannot acoept the identity as proved, we need not at all events reject it till some more probable theory be advanced.

[6] See Dukes' Antiquities, Appendix, p. xxvi.. I must add an excuse for dwelling at such length on a trivial though perhaps curious question. Domesday is the text-book with which I set out, and the principles of investigation advanced under Bolebec must often recur in the sequel.

( 131 )


WE have already ascertained that Ethelfleda, Queen of the Mercians built in the year 913 a fortress on the western side of the Severn, in a place which Florence of Worcester marks as being in his time called Brycge. The passage of the Saxon Chronicle which relates to the same event will, so far as the use of the word Bpicze goes, have been interpolated two centuries later than the event described. Its authority must therefore, as in a former instance, give way to that of Florence, who lived when the name of Bridge, or Brug, was first applicable to the locality of which he spoke, lived too on the same river, and within a distance of thirty miles from the spot.

Was then the site of Ethelfleda's fortress precisely that which was afterwards occupied by Earl Robert de Belesme ? Florence, whom we have thus far upheld as the best authority, says so in the most distinct terms. [1] Perhaps, however, it will be no great inconsistency if we venture to vary from Florence's statement to the extent of about 200 yards in the direction of Oldbury:

It is to be observed, that the name Oldbury is nothing else than old borough, and that, in Ethelfleda's other foundations, a Borough was usually associated with a castle. Such were Bramsbury, Tamworth, Stafford, Eddesbury, Warwick, Chirbury, and Weardbury, whose names alone, where their locality is doubtful, are sufficient to prove the theory.

The bank which fronts the Castle Hill of Bridgnorth to the south, is in Oldbury Manor, and is distinguished by a large mound of earth, whose regular shape proves it to be artificial. The soil in

[1] Flor. Wigorn. vol. ii. page 49. Arcem quam in occidentali Sabrinae fluminis plaga, in loco qui Brycge dicitur lingua Saxonici, AEgelfleda Merciorum domina construxerat, Rotbertus de Beleasmo Rogeri Comitis filius, contra Regem Henricum ut exitus rei probavit muro lato et alto, summoque restaurare coepit. See also Simeon Dunelm. (Florence's Copyist), page 217.


several directions about this mound also bears traces of disturbance. Tradition has ascribed the whole creation to the parliamentary forces, who, after burning the town in Easter week, A.D. 1646, were occupied about another month in reducing the Castle. But the creation and use of this earthwork are two things which, however distinct in themselves, may easily have been confused by tradition. The spot still retains the name of ' the Old Castle, ' and doubtless assumed its conical form ages before cannon were invented or Parliaments heard of. [2]

A deeds dated at Brug, in the year 1299, describes an acre of land in the fields of Oldbury, as bounded on one side by the lands of John de Oldbury; on another by the road which leads to Oldbury " under the Old Castle", and on a third by "the King's highway, [4] opposite the meadow of William Selymon, of Brug". The locality is unmistakeable, as well as the fact, that in time of Edward I, the road from Bridgnorth to Oldbury went under what was then called the Old Castle. Now Bridgnorth Castle was the existent and garrisoned castle of that period; therefore, "the Old Castle" must have been a term describing something more ancient than Bridgnorth Castle.

Having now established in direction of Oldbury a Castle and a Borough, each respectively older than the Castle and Borough of Bridgnorth, we need not ask who founded them, or discuss the matter further.

Oldbury and its conical hill are reminiscences, verbal and material, of the Borough and Castle projected by Ethelfleda, Queen of Mercia, in A.D. 913.

This foundation will, however, have proved abortive, for in time of King Edward the Confessor (1043-1066), AElward, a Saxon, to whom perhaps it had been granted in the intervening century, was seized of Oldbury, as well as of the neighbouring manors of Eudon (now Eudon Burnell) and Glazeley.

It was probably the failure of Ethelfleda's design, rather than

[2] There is little doubt that the Castle was cannonaded, and from this spot, than which none could be more eligible for such a purpose, even if the artificial elevation had been absent. The great engineering work of the Puritans, and which is recorded otherwise than by tradition, was not the raising of this mound, but sapping the Castle Hill on its northern side. The latter, in fact, it was which compelled the ultimate surrender of the fortress.
[3] In poasession of H.C. Taylor, Esq., of Chicknell.
[4] Not the present highway, which is quite modern, but the road called Oldbury Lane.


a comparison with any more recent foundation, such as Quatford, which gave to this locality the distinctive name of " Old".

The manor is noticed in Domesday as follows:- [5]

The same Rainald (the Sheriff) holds (of the Earl) Aldeberie and Radulf of him. Eluuard held it and was free. Here are 1 hide and 3 virgates, geldable. In demesne there is 1 ox-team; and 7 serfs, 3 Frenchmen, 2 cottars, and 1 boor, with 2 ox-teams; and yet there may be two more such (teams). There is a mill of 2s. (annual value), and a wood which will fatten 100 swine. In time of King Edward it was worth 30s.; now it is worth 13s. He (Rainald) found it waste.

Of Radulf, the under-tenant, little more can be said, than that he also held Fulwardine, in this Hundred, of the same Rainald Vicecomes and Petton, in Baschurch Hundred, of Robert Pincerna. Finding each of these manors afterwards possessed by a family which took its name and origin from the Norman Cotentin, [6] we may conclude that Radulf was their ancestor. They subsequently acquired the Manor of Eaton, in Recordine Hundred, and left with it a memorial of their tenure, in the yet existing name of Eaton Constantine.

Nor was the change of Radulf's Domesday fief solely in the way of acquisition. His successor, perhaps his son, Hugh de Constantine, made a grant in Petton to Shrewsbury Abbey before 1121, but no further trace remains of their ancient interest in that manor. Reserving all general account of this family till we reach Eaton Constantine, we will here notice only their connexion with Oldbury.

In 1165, Helyas de Costetin held of Fitz Alan's Barony, by service of one knight's fee, and two muntatores. [7] Half a fee, equal to one muntator, will have been the contingent of Oldbury and Fulwardine towards their service.

[5] Isdem Rainaldus tenet Aldeberie et Radulfus de eo. Elunard tennit et liber fuit. Ibi i hide at iii virgatae geldabiles. In dominio est una carruca et vii servi et iii francigeni et ii cotarii et unus bordarius cum ii carrucis, et aliae ii possent esse. Ibi Molendinum de ii solidis et Silva c porcis incrassandis. Tempore Regis Edwardi valebat xxx solidus. Modo xiii solidos. Wastum invenit. (Domesd. fo. 255 a, 2.) Domesday seems to speak of the waste state of a Manor, with reference to three periods; viz. the time of King Edward, the time of transfer from Saxon to Norman Lord, and the time when the Survey was taken. Oldbury seems to have been waste (utterly valueless) at the period of transfer; Bolebec, both then and when the Survey was taken.
[6] Vide Hist. Shrewsb., vol. i. p. 26.
[7] Liber Niger, vol. i. p. 143.


At the Assizes of October, 1203, Christiana, widow of Richard de Constantine (probably having dower here), had disseized William le Strange of a tenement in Eardington. Her pledge for 3s. damages, and an amercement of one merk was Thomas de Constantine (her son probably). [8]

About 1240, Thomas de Costentin is returned as holding one Knight's fee in Eton and Aldebur under Fitz Alan. [9]

In 1255, the return of the Stottesden Jurors relative to this Manor was as follows:- " Thomas de Costentyn is Lord of Aldebyr', and holds immediately of John Fitz Alan; in which is one hide and half of land, and he does suit to the Hundred Courts, and pays the Sheriff 6d. for stretward and 1s. for motfee". [10]

At Salop Assizes, September, 1272. Thomas de Constentin was reported by the Stottesden Jurors as making default in due attendance. [11]

In 1284, Adam de Montgomery (who had married the daughter and sole heir of the last-named Thomas) is said to hold Hadebur, under Richard Fitz Alan, of the honor of White Minster (Oswestry), by one-third of a knight's fee. [12]

The Inquisition of 18 Edw. I (1290), on death of Adam de Montgomery, gives Oldebury as part of his tenure. [13]

In 32 Edw. I (1304), Owen (Andoenus) de Montgomery had the King's Charter of free-warren in Oldbury juxta Bruges. [14]

In March, 1816, the Bishop of Chester is returned as Lord of Oldbury; [15] but of this change elsewhere.

Some notices of inferior tenancies here are as follows:-

April 15, 1263. A fine was levied at Westminster between Johanna, widow of Hugh de Beckbury, complainant, and Master Walter le Palmer, tenant, of 1 1/2 virgates in Oldebur, with which Hugh, Johanna's husband, had dowered her at the Church-porch when he espoused her, and whereof was suit-at-law between Johanna

[8] Salop Assizes, 6 John, 4 recto.
[9] Testa de Nevill, pp. 44, 48, 49.
[10] Rot. Hund. vol. ii. p. 82. The change from the Domesday hidage is noticeable. The decrease of i virgate may partly be accounted for by the endowment of the Church, presently to be noticed.
[11] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dorso.
[12] Kirby's Quest. The service due on Oldbury and Fulwardine, according to this return, was more than half a Knight's fee, i.e. 7/12 ths of a fee. An Inquest of 21 Rich. II rates the two however at half a fee. (Escheats, vol. iii. p. 223).
[13] Escheats, vol. i. p. 101.
[14] Calendar Rot. Chart., p.134.
[15] Parl. Writs, vol. iv . p. 398.


and Walter. Johanna remits her right to Walter and his heirs for 8 merks. [16]

June 23, 1297. John de Aldebur attests a deed at Holycote, [17] and is the person already mentioned as holding land here in 1299. The deed [18] thus quoted should be given more at length, especially as the descendants of this John de Oldbury came afterwards to hold the Manor immediately under Fitz Alan. " Know all men, &c., that I, Alan de Eudone, have granted to Richard de Stafford and Milisand my daughter, and their heirs, one acre of the lower part of a certain culture in the fields of Oldebur, between the land of John de Oldebur, on one side, and the road leading under the Old Castle, towards Oldebur, on the other. And it extends itself from certain parcels, which lie between it and my land, to the King's highway, opposite the meadow of William Selymon of Brug;- To hold of the Chief Lord of that fee, rendering to the said Chief Lord 10d. at Michaelmas and St. Mary in March, for all services, suits of Court, &c.- Witnesses: William de Mora, John Glydde, William Hobaud (of Harpesford), John de Oldebur, Richard Petyfit. Given at Brug, on Sunday, in the close of Easter, in the year of King Edward the twenty-seventh".

The tenure of Fromund de Erdinton here has already been noticed.


Oldbury was originally in the Parish of the Church of Morville, and will have continued without any separate place of worship till, in the beginning of Stephen's reign (c. 1138), Helyas de Constantine founded a Chapel, with a Cemetery, here, endowing it with half a virgate (about 30 acres) of land and a mansion. [20] This Chapel seems to have been consecrated by Bishop Robert de Betun with reference to the troubled state of the country. A pension, in token of subjection to the Mother Church, was secured by a further deed [21] of that Prelate, and remained for at least two centuries a receipt of Shrewsbury Abbey. Its amount was 5s. annually.

About A.D. 1200-1210, Thomas de Costentin grants to God and to St. Nicholas, and to the Chapel of Aldebury, half a virgate in

[16] Pedes finium, 47 Hen. III, Salop. This fine I take to be the end of a fictitious suit. The purchaser has occurred before. (Vide supra, page 51).
[17] Charter at Apley Park.
[18] Charter at Chicknell.
[19] Vide supra, page 126.
[20] Salop Chartulary, No. 333.
[21] Ibidem, No. 334.


the same vill, which his father and his ancestors had given. He also concedes the croft on which Robert de Heding, Rector of the said Chapel, had built a house.- Witnesses: Robert, Clerk of Halecton (the Rector himself under another name); Master Y, Dean of Stottesden; Walter, Chaplain of Eton (probably Eaton Constantine); Ansketill, Clerk of Brug (who will occur again), and others. [22]

In 1291, the Church of Holdebury, in the Deanery of Stottesden, is valued at 4. 13s. 4d., and the portion of the Prior of Momerfeld therein at 5s. [23]

In 1341, [24] the Church of Oldebur is taxed (valued) at 7 merks and 5s. (exactly the previous valuation of 4. 18s. 4d.).-

But those who assessed and sold the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, in Oldbury Parish, rendered account only of 1. 5s.; and the difference between the presumed tenth (or Church taxation) and the then assessable ninth arose in this way:- The estate (fundus) of the said Church, with the rents and lands annexed, was worth 40s.; the hay-tithe was worth 14s. 4d.; the small tithes and offerings were worth, with all other profits, 14s. [25]

In 1534, [26] William Brody, alias Weston, was Rector of this Church. Its value in glebe and all kinds of tithe is put at 5, from which no deduction, except 6d. for Archdeacon's Synodals, is claimed. The pension of 5s. appears no longer among the assets of Shrewsbury Abbey.


Robert de Hastings, alias Haughton, seems to have been Rector here in the end of the twelfth and beginning of the thirteenth centuries. All that is known of him has been already mentioned. [27]

In 1277, John, Rector of Oldbury, occurs. [28]

June 4, 1300. Master Luke de St. Leonard, Clerk, was ordained, and instituted to this Rectory, on presentation of the Abbot and Convent of Shrewsbury. [29]

[22] Ibidem, No. 299 b.
[23] Pope Nich. Tax., page 166.
[24] Inquis' Nonarum, page 190.
[25] The sum of these three items is 3. 8s. 4d., which, being deducted from the gross valuation, leaves a balance of 1. 10s. whereof 6s. was payable to the Mother Church. The ultimate balance of 1. 5s. was therefore taken to represent the value of the great tithes in Pope Nicholas' Taxation; and of the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, in the present.
[26] Valor. Eccles., vol. iii. p. 210.
[27] Vide supra, pp. 60, 61.
[28] Blakeway MSS., but with a doubt expressed whether Onibury be not the Church intended.
[29] Blakeway MSS.

( 137 )


Fulwardine, otherwise Fouswardine, is thus noticed in Domesday. [1] " The same Rainald (Vicecomes) holds (of the Earl) Fuloordie, and Radulf of him. Edmund held it and was a free-man. Here is half a hide geldable. In demesne is 1 ox-team; and 4 serfs, 1 villain, and 1 boor, with 1 ox-team; and there might be 1 ox-team more here. In time of King Edward it was worth 16s., and afterwards 6s.; now (it is worth) 10s".

We are told to accept the Saxon peopli, a field or farm, as the constituent of all such names as are compounded of werth, worth, worthy, worthing, or wardine. [2] What the prefix pulle may mean, in connexion with a field or a homestead, is matter for any latitude of conjecture. If taken to indicate size or importance, these are attributes which no memory or record [3] can connect with Fulwardine. The Saxon pul (i.e. foul) is, however, a term which may have been applied to any locality where the soil was of a tenacious quality, and is probably the other constituent of this name.

Edmund, the Saxon Lord of Fulwardine, also held Ulton (now Upton Cressett) in this Hundred. In 1086, Fulwardine was, like Oldbury, held by Radulf, under Rainald the sheriff; and, like Oldbury, it descended as a tenure of de Constantine, under Fitz Alan.

In 1165, it will have combined with Oldbury, to constitute half a fee of the service due from Helyas de Constantine to the latter barony.

[1] Domesday, fo. 245 a, 2.
[2] peopli is also translated " home-stead", "village"; and, by one authority, it means " a village at the head of a stream". No such peculiarity is observable in places the names of which are thus compounded. The sea-coast town of Worthing is perhaps the best instance of the contrary.
[3] Fulwardine, or, as the inhabitants call it, Fowswardine, is now a small tenement, indistinguishably involved, both parochially and manorially, in Sidbury. The land attached to " Fowswardine farm" is about 80 acrss; but the Rev. R.P. Thursfield, who favours me with this in formation, thinks that more land was formerly attached to the farm, and that he can trace in the farm-house remains which indicate the sometime existence of a mansion here.


In 1255, a Cadet of the Constantines appears to have bees enfeoffed here; for the Jurors of Stottesden Hundred returned " Roger de Costentin as Lord of Fulesworth, in the which is half a hide of land, which the said Roger holds of Thomas de Costentin; and he does suit twice a year at the town of the Sheriff, and not to other Hundred Courts, nor to the County Court, the jurors know not by what warrant: and he pays towards stretward 2d. and towards motfe 4d". [4]

In 1284, " Ralph de Araz and Matilda de Fulesworedin hold this manor of Adam de Mongomery, of the fee of Holdebur', by one-fourth of a knight's fee, and said Adam holds it of Richard Fitz Alan, and he of the King. [5]

Ralph de Arras, thus mentioned, was contemporary Lord of Sidbury, and the latter manor is not mentioned on this record. Its tenure was also now, and long afterwards, quite distinct from Fulwardine. The Record quoted has therefore confused [6] the two manors, and it is probable that Fulwardine was held by Matilda de Fulwardine alone, under Adam de Montgomery, and by less than one-fourth of a knight's fee. It is, however, singular that a mere error should in some sort anticipate the modern combination.

Upton Cressett.


THE identity of Upton Cressett with the Domesday Ultone is not so obvious as to be assumed without explanation. The first question is, whether the printed Domesday is, in every letter, a faithful copy of the original ? This being answered affirmatively,

[4] Rot. Unnd., vcl. p. 82. This Roger de Constantine was reported as a defaulter at the Assizes of January, 1256. (Salop Assise Roll, Placita Coronae, memb. 2 dorso).
[5] Kirby's Quest. Stottesden Hundred.
[6] In the time of Richard II (1397), Oldbury and Fulwardyn remained one tenure. John de Oldbury held both by half a fee, under the Earl of Arundel (Calend. Eschet., vol. iii. p. 223.)


the next question is, whether Upton be a corruption of the original name Ultone, or whether the Domesday scribe mistook the orthography in the first instance, and wrote Ultone when Uptone was pronounced? The first of these is most probable, if it be quite clear that the situation of Upton Cressett, when compared with other Uptons and with the surrounding district, is not sufficiently elevated to account for the name. [1]

In Domesday, Ultone is put down as containing 3 hides; but in 1255 Upton is rated at 3 1/2 hides. Now this variation is in general an argument against any assumed identity; but, in the present instance, it will rather tell the other way; for most of the neighbouring manors changed their Domesday hidage (e. g. Meadowley, Chetton, Faintree, Glazeley, Oldbury, and Eudon Burnell), and Criddon (the next manor to Upton) had no Domesday type at all. Nor can we altogether balance these discrepancies, by supposing that what was lost to one manor was gained by another, for the figures will bear out no such assumption. It is clear then that the boundaries and contents of the manors in this quarter were not finally established at Domesday; or, if they were, that the Jurors or the Commissioners made or recorded statements with the same inaccuracy as that which has been noticed under Morville.

As regards the identity of Ultone and Upton, the negative proof must, therefore, suffice after all. If Rainald's Domesday Manor of Ultone, in Alnodestreu Hundred, does not correspond with Fitz Alan's Manor of Upton, in Stottesden Hundred, what nearer counterpart can be found for either ?

In 1086, the status of the Manor is thus described. [2] "The same Rainald (the Sheriff) holds Ultone. Edmund held it, and was a free- man. Here are 3 hides geldable. In demesne are 2 oz-teams; and (there are) 3 serfs, 1 free neat-herd, 6 villains, 4 boors, and 1 radman, with 4 ox-teams, and yet there might be 4 other (such teams).

Here is a wood which will fatten 30 swine.

In time of King Edward it was worth 40s., and afterwards worth 10s. Now it is worth 25s. "

Bishop Robert de Betun, amongst tithes in his diocese which had been granted to Salop Abbey (apparently before 1138),

[1] I have no recollection of Mr. Blakeway's notice of Upton (Crossett) as regards its Domesday state; but he certainly remarks on the incongruity between the name and situation.
[2] Domesday, fo. 255 a. 2.


confirms two-thirds of the tithes of the Lord (or Lordship) of Upton. [3] I know of no other Upton in Hereford Diocese in which such a grant can have been made, neither can I trace any subsequent evidence of it here.

Yet Alan de Opton, the contemporary Lord of this place, appears to have been interested in religious grants which concerned Salop Abbey, and he attests Robert Fitz-Aer's endowment of the Chapel of Aston Aer at this very period. [4]

In 1165, the same or another Alan de Upton is recorded as holding under the Barony of Fitz Alan, by service of one muntator. [5] Undoubtedly the tenure was here.

In 1180, William Goiun (whom I take to be a succeeding Lord of Upton, called by his family name) was fined 8 merks by the Justices of the Forest for waste in Upeton; [6] and the same William Goon stands second witness to a very ancient and nearly coeval charter which relates to land in Corve (near Monk Hopton), and of which Robert Fitz Aer is first witness. [7]

His successor seems to have been that Hugh de Hupton who first appears in November, 1194, as Recognizor in an assize which concerned land in this quarter. [8]

At Salop Assizes, October 1208, he sat as a Juror in several causes, and was himself subject to an amercement of half a merk. [9]

10th May, 1220, he is named visor of timber, to be taken from the King's forests, for repairs of Bridgnorth Castle. [10]

In 1225, he occurs as having been Agistator of the King's forests.
[11] In August, 1226, he sat on a great Inquest about Stiperstones Forest; [12] again, in 1229, he appears as Agistator of the Royal Forests, [13] and in October, 1287, as a Juror in a great trial about Shawbury, taken before the King at Worcester. [14]

In or about 1240, he is returned as holding half a fee in Opton, or Hupton, of Fitz Alan's Barony. [15]

[3] Salop Chartulary, No. 334.
[4] Ibidem, No. 346. The original deed in possession of Mr. George Morris.
[5] Lib. Nig. vol. i, p. 144.
[6] Plac. Forestae, No. I, Salop.
[7] Charter in possession of Mr. George Morris.
[8] Rot. Curiae Regis, vol. i, p. 123.
[9] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 4 recto, and 6 dorso.
[10] Claus. vol. i, p. 418.
[11] Rot. Pip. 9 Hen. III, Salop.
[12] Plac. coronae Rege, 10 Hen. III, memb. 4 dorso.
[13] Rot. Pip. 13 Hen. III, Salop.
[14] Plac. coronae Rege, 21 Hen. III, memb. 1 dorso. .
[15] Testa de Nevill. pp. 44, 49. A third and nearly contemporary list (p. 48) gives William de Upton as holding this half fee. This is a mere mistake; for in the same third list, Hugh de Upton is properly entered as Lord of Meadowley.


The next whom I find in this succession was Thomas de Upton, who, on 2d January, 1246, was a Juror in a great Inquest as to the Forest- rights of Thomas Corbet, of Cans. [16]

In 1255, the Stottesden Jurors returned Thomas de Upton (who was himself one of them) as Lord of Upton, in which were 3 1/2 hides of land, which said Thomas held in capite of John Fitz Alan, for half a knight's fee; and he did suit to the Hundred Courts, and paid the Sheriff 14d. for stretward, and 28d. for motfee, but he did no suit to County Court. [17] And shortly after this he will have died, not only as being on the list of February 3, 1262 (wherein persons then dead are entered on an essoign-roll, before described [18]), but because, in July, 1256, Hugh de Upton, and William de Upton, successor of Thomas, appear as concerned in an assize of novel disseisin in Upton. [19] This William de Upton was a Verderer of the Royal Forests. He occurs in that office 22 October, 1259, [20] and March, 1262, [21] and as a Juror in several [22] Inquisitions of January, 1259; September, 1263; and February 1, 1283; soon after which he must have died. This William, Lord of Upton, granted to Robert Niger, of Criddon, half a virgate in Stepleye.- Witnesses, Geoffry de Criddon, Hugh de Holicote (his son), Alan le Harpur. [23] His successor was John de Upton, who is returned about 1284 as holding Hopton of Richard Fitz Alan, by service of half a knight's fee. [24]

In Oct. 1292, this John served as a Stottesden Juror, and also on the Jury which tried pleas of warranty at Salop. [25] At the Assizes he was reported as of full age, and not yet knighted. [26] He occurs twice as a Coroner in 1297. [27] He was a Juror on the great Forest perambulation of June, 1300, [28] and in the following year was deceased (as will appear under Meadowley), leaving John, his son and heir, under age; but who had livery of Meadowley, Oct. 3, 1306. [29]

In March, 1316, this John is duly returned as Lord of Upton,

[16] Inquisitions, 30 Hen. III, No.24.
[17] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 82.
[18] Vide supra, p. 81, note 281.
[19] Rot. Pat. 40 Hen. III, dorso.
[20] Esch. 43 Hen. III, No. 43.
[21] Plac. Forestae, 46 Hen. III.
[22] Escheats, passim [23] Cressett Evidences, quoted in Blakeway MSS.
[24] Kirby's Quest.
[25] Plac. de quo warr. page 674.
[26] Placita Coronae memb. 20 recto, 51 recto.
[27] Blakeway MSS., as above, and Charter at Apley Park.
[28] Salop Chartulary, No. 279.
[29] Rot. Forinsec. penes Rememeratorem Reginae.


in Stottesden Hundred. [30] He was living in 1244, and had by Jane, his wife, three sons, John, Guy, and Nicholas, and a daughter, Constance, who, marrying Thomas Cressett, left descendants; which descendants, after failure of the male line of "Upton", succeeded to this inheritance, and conferred on the Manor that distinctive name by which it is still known. The evidence regarding this family is sufficiently clear to warrant the insertion of a genealogical table of their descent; but previous to doing so it may be proper to give abstaracts of certain charters quoted from the Cressett evidences, by Mr. Blakeway, in his MSS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. [31]

A deed of John, Lord of Upton (1283-1300), mentions Isabella, his wife, and John, his son, and is attested by Ralph de Arras, Walter de Beysin, Richard Rector of Nenton, and Wydo de Glasele.

A deed, dated 18 Edw. III (1344-5), shows John, Lord of Upton, enfeoffing Guy, his son, and Margaret, wife of Guy, in lands lately held by John, son of the grantor.

In 36 Edw. III (1362-3), Guy, Lord of Upton and Stapeley, grants to Nicholas, his brother, Stapeley; which he, Guy, had by gift of John, their father.

In 40 Edw. III (1366-7), the same Guy grants to Sir John, Rector of Upton (in trust, I presume), the Manor and Advowson of Upton, and lands which Johanna, his mother, and Nicholas, his brother, held for their lives in Upton and Stapeleye.

In 46 Edw. III (1372-3), John atte Broke, Parson of Upton, releases the same to Hugh de Upton.

In 6 Ric. II (1382-3) Hugh de Upton enfeoffed [32] John de Westwode, Chaplain, in Upton, Stapley, Medeuleye, Lye, Criddon, and the Advowson of Upton. This was in trust; for the same year the said Feoffee granted the premises to Hugh de Upton, and Margaret, his wife, for their lives, with remainders over, viz. 1st, to Peter de Salford; 2dly, to Thomas Cresset, of Garmeston, and the heirs of his body; with remainder to Hugh de Dudmaston,

[30] Parl. Writs, vol. iv, p. 398.
[31] Parochial History, vol. iii. " Upton Cresset". [32] This feoffment of 6 Rich. II was, in the following year (7 Rich. II), secured by fine between John de Westwode, Chaplain, and Hugh de Upton and Margaret his wife, defendants, of the Manor of Upton juxta la Clee, to the use of Hugh and Margaret for lives, with remainder to Thomas Cresset, of Garmeston, and his heirs. (Vide Dukes' Antiquities, p. 269.) I should add, that Margaret was surviving in 21 Rich. II (1397-8), and holding Upton of Fitz Alan, by half a knight's fee. (Cal. Esch. vol. iii. p. 223.)


junior, and John de Sydenhale, and the heirs of Hugh; with remainder to the heirs of John de Sydenhale. The last remainder was to the right heirs of Hugh de Upton.

Another series of extracts [33] from Cressett evidences commences rather earlier, and is as follows:-

William Cytharista (Harper), of Upton, with consent of Matilda his wife, and Alan his son, grants to Ralph Pistor (Baker), of Upton, 1 virgate in Upton, which Albrea, his (the grantor's) grandmother, held.- Witnesses: William Fitz Aer, Anketill Clerk of Bruge.

Richard and Hugh, sons of Alan de Stapeleye, grant to John, Lord of Upton, a tenement, in Criddon, by concession of Henry the Chaplain, their uncle, to hold to John, and Joanna his wife, and Guy their son, rendering two pounds of wax yearly to the lighting of the Chapel of the Holy Virgin at Chetton.- Witnesses: Gwydo de Glaseley, Robert de Roshale, and John de Ludlow. This deed was probably of date between 1300 and 1310.

In 5 Edw. II (1311-12), Adam, son of William, Lord of Upton, grants to John, Lord of Upton, his nephew, a tenement in Criddon, which he (Adam) bought of Richard, son of Reginald Elyes, of Criddon. The grant is for the lives of Johanna the wife, and Guy the son, of the grantee.

The following GENEALOGY of the first LORDS or UPTON, till the extinction of their male line, is inserted not with any idea of its completeness, but as containing only such particulars as have been collected from first-rate authorities. The Pedigrees given in Heralds' Visitations are usually much more diffuse. My object, in these cases, is to supply a statement independent of the Visitations, and in agreement with them or not, as the case may be. If found at variance with them, I leave such points to antiquaries who make genealogy a more exclusive study than would suit either the limits or the nature of a work like the present.

I must further confess that, supposing our subject were exclusively genealogical, few of the Heraldic Pedigrees, which refer to this early period, could be cited even as respectable traditions.
[33] Blakeway MSS., Parochial Notices, vol. i, p. 146.


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


The notices of minor tenancies in this Manor relate principally to one family, holding apparently under the Lords of Upton, but itself of some consideration.

In November, 1221, Edith, widow of Herbert Pistor, sued William le Harpur (her step-son) for one-third of a hide in Upton, as her dower. William proved that Herbert, his father, obtained the land with a former wife, Dionisia, William's mother, so that a second wife could have no claim of dower therein. [34]

At the same time, Adam le Breton had a suit against William le Harpur, which he failed to prosecute. So he and his pledges (Hugh de Upton and Robert de Faintre) were amerced. [35]

The deed by which William Citharista (i.e. le Harper) enfeoffed Ralph Pistor here has been already set forth. [36] It must have passed about this time, for William Fitz Aer, the first witness, succeeded after 1221, and Anketill, Clerk of Brug, the second witness, has been already mentioned as attesting earlier in the century. [37]

Moreover, in August, 1226, William le Harpur was found to have disseized Ralph Pistor of 1 1/2 acres in Upton (doubtless part of his previous grant), and had to pay 2s. damages. [38]

In December, 1250, Herbert Fitz Robert (le Bretun) had sued Alan le Harpur for novel dieseisin in Upton, [39] and the cause being decided, a new writ was granted in 1252, whereby 24 knights were to retry it, [40] and convict the former Jurors (if their verdict proved false). Master Simon de Wanton was Justiciar in each case.

At Salop Assizes, January, 1256, it was decided, that Alan le Harpur had not disseized said Herbert of half a virgate in Upton, for that Herbert was a villain, as had previously been proved before Master Simon de Wanton. Alan was quit, and Herbert not amerced because of poverty. [41]

8 Nov. 1356, Giles de Erdinton was ordered to try this cause,- but the order is cancelled on the Roll, [42] obviously because the officials in London had entered it without adverting to its previous settlement in the country.

May, 1269, Alan le Harpur had a suit against William de Hupton

[34] Salop Assize, 6 Hen. III, memb. 4 recto.
[35] Ibidem, memb. 7 recto.
[36] Vide supm, page 143.
[37] Vide supra, page 136.
[38] Abbreviatio Placitorum p.104.
[39] Rot. Pat. 34 Hen. III.
[40] Ibidem, 36 Hen. III.
[41] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 2 recto.
[42] Rot. Pat. 41 Hen. III, dorso.


(his Lord) for recovery of some right which be had been used to have in William's woods. [43]

In October, 1272, this Alan was one of the Jurors for Stottesden Hundred who served at Salop Assizes. [44] His attestation of a deed of William, Lord of Upton, about this time has already been noticed. [45]


It is most probable that Upton was part of the great Saxon Parish of Morville. No Church was built here at Domesday, and the founder of one at any subsequent period must have entered into some composition with Shrewsbury Abbey on the subject.

We have pointed out [46] a right of tithes, in some Upton, of Hereford Diocese, as belonging to Salop Abbey early in Stephen's reign; and, though the right does not subsequently appear, nothing is more possible than that it was in this Upton, and that it was surrendered on the foundation of the Parish Church, of course for some ample consideration.

Passing the period when we have analogy only for a guide, we know that in January, 1259, an Assize of darrein presentment to Upton Church had then to be tried between William de Upton (then Lord of this Upton) and Richard Foliot, [47] whom I identify with a contemporary Rector of Chetton.

In 1291, the Church of Upton, in the Deanery of Stottesden, was taxed (valued) at 3. 6s. 8d. It was in the first instance assessed to the tenth (6s. 8d.), though under 4. annual value. [48] A note however states, that it was not elsewhere endowed, and in the end it appears to have been exempted. [49]

In 1341, the Church of Upton-super-Egge (Edge), in Stottesden Deanery, is entered as one whose taxation was 5 merks (3. 6s. 8d.). The assessors of the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, in the Parish, accounted only for 17s. The difference arose because there were only two fleeces of wool in the Parish, and no lambs; and "because the vill of Meduleye used to be taxed with Upton, and is

[43] Plac. apud Gloucest. 53 Hen. III, memb. 12 dorso.
[44] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 21 recto.
[45] Vide supra, p. 141.
[46] Vide supra, page 36, Note 20.
[47] Rot. Pat. 43 Henry III.
[48] Pope Nich. Tax., p. 166.
[49] Ibidem, p.176, where two Churches, collectively assessed at 6. 13s., are excused in addition to the ten Churches previously excused. The two were Burwarton and Upton.


now taxed with the Church of Morville; and because 4 virgates lie unfilled, and the tenants of the same have withdrawn, by reason of penury. Also the glebe, offerings, and other small tithes, go to make up the great sum (3. 6s. 8d.), and are not calculated in the said ninth". [50]

In 1534, John ap Howel being Rector of Hopton Cresset, his preferment was valued, in glebe, corn, and other tithes and offerings, at 4. 15s. 8d.; which sum was liable to a charge of 6d. for Archdeacon's annual synodals. [51]


Richard Nowe occurs as Parson of Upton Waryn in 28 Edw. III (1354-5). [52]

John, Rector of Upton, occurs in 29 Edw. III, and may have been the same as -

John atte Broke, the Rector of 46 Edw. III (1372-3).


The Church of Upton Cresset, as originally built, might belong to any part of the twelfth century. It consists of a nave and chancel, separated by a rich round-headed arch of four orders, ornamented on the western face, principally with the Chevron.

The font is shaped like a jar, and ornamented with round-headed arches.

The east-window of the chancel is pointed. If this was its original shape, the date of the building will be thrown into a late part of the twelfth century.

The side-windows are round-headed.

A south aisle, of a late period, has been attached to the chancel.


[50] Inquis. Nonarum, 191. Though the tithes of Meadowley belonged in 1291 to Upton Church, and so contributed to its taxation or value, Meadowley itself was not detached from the Parish of Morville. So I interpret this passage. There must have been more than one transaction between the lay Lord of Upton and Meadowley and Salop Abbey, but I have met with no record of any, except one which will be given under Meadowley, and which is not pertinent to the present question.
[51] Valor. Eccles., iii, 211.
[52] Blakeway MSS., in Bibl. Bodl. This is the only instance in which the place has occurred to me as Upton Warin. If Mr. Blakeway be right in assigning the first entry above to this Upton, it can only have acquired the name of Warin from Warin the sheriff; its possessor before Domesday, or else from some feoffee, probably as early as Henry the First's time.

( 148 )


DUGDALE'S and the usual dictum, as to the termination ley, viz. that it must either be referred to the British lle (locus, a place), or to the Saxon ley (unfilled ground), has been already recognised in two instances. [1] This theory is however found to be much too indefinite to remain content with.

The prevalence of the termination, its greater frequency in East Shropshire than in the West of the County, or even in Wales and Cornwall, and its being oftener associated with Saxon than British words, are reasons which make the Saxon termination most probable in cases which will at present occur to us. The only exception must be where the syllable is combined with another word obviously British.

But there is a great doubt whether the Saxon compound itself be always one and the same. If ley means "unfilled ground", its entry into such names as Meadowley, Cornley, Oatley, Cloverley, and Ploughley, involves a simple contradiction. If it means "a plain", we yet find it in various names where it is anything but apposite. The truth seems to be, that there are two Saxon words which both enter into composition, and, being derived from a common root, have been confused.

The first, leg, is far the most common. It is Latinized lega, enters into Leighton, and is the termination of a host of names which our ancestors wrote with the final leg, rather than ley, Meadowley being one of the number. It is a doubt whether this Saxon word involved any idea as to tillage, or the nature of the surface in localities to which it attached. The word in its primary sense signified law, its secondary meaning was a district marked out by law or custom. Thus in Saxon usage it was nearly equivalent to our word " Manor".

Another Saxon word laere, laeru or laerpe (a pasture or common), originated such a local name as Lepton, in contrast to Leighton, and probably had the same root as our terms lea, ley, leys, and

[1] Vide supra, under Billingsley and Tasley.


leazow; and this root (the germ both of leag, law, and laere, pasture) conveyed a common idea (viz. something fixed or laid down) to each derivative.

The meaning then of Maebepe-leag is " the district of meadows", a much more intelligible idea than that of " unfilled meadow ground", with which the old rules of investigation would have supplied us.

In Domesday the place is thus noticed. [2] -

Helgot holds (of Earl Roger) Madolea. Austin held it. Here is half a hide geldable. He (Austin) was a free man. Richard holds it of Helgot. There is (arable) land (enough) for vi ox-teams. In demesne is i team, and (there are) iii serfs and i radman, with half a team, and (there are) ii boors. In time of King Edward it was worth 30s. Now it is worth 11s. When (Helgot) received it it was worth 2s.

The name of Augustine or Austin naturally became common among the Christianized Anglo-Saxons. It was borne by more than one Shropshire landowner in the Confessor's time.

Of Helgot, the Norman Lord of Meadowley as of other Manors, we shall have often to speak. He was one of Earl Roger's Barons, and founder of the Castle which still bears his name.

Of Richard, his Domesday tenant at Meadowley, mothing positive can be stated, but there are circumstances in the subsequent history of the place which make it not improbable that he was no other than Richard de Belmeis. This person was certainly in Shropshire about the time of Domesday, and attested the Earl Roger's charter to Shrewsbury Abbey, which must have followed that Record very shortly, and which bespeaks some importance of position for each witness. [3]

He afterwards became Viceroy of the County, and Bishop of London. His temporal and ecclesiastical possessions in Shropshire were at his death considerable.

Meadowley may have been the germ of the former, and it certainly went in a succession analogous to the lay fiefs of Richard de Belmeis. Of him and his representatives we shall have much to say elsewhere.

The next notice after Domesday which we can associate with Meadowley belongs to the year 1165, whem Ranulf de Belmeis

[2] Domesday, fo. 258, b, 1.
[3] He also attests a deed of the Earl's already recited (Vide supra, p. 111) and proved to have passed in or about 1086.


appears as holding one fee of old feoffstent under Herbert de Castello. [4] These two we know to have been the then representatives of Richard de Belmeis and Helgot, before mentioned.

In 1180, among fines imposed, by Justices of the Forest, on residents in this neighbourhood, Richard de Beaumes, a cadet of the family, and probably interested in Meadowley, was amerced 2s. for waste. [5]

But a subinfeudation of this Manor must have taken place at an early period, whereby the Lords of the neighbouring Upton will have acquired the substantive interest here. The mesne tenure of de Belmeis consequently receives little notice.

Hence we find that Hugh, Lord of Upton, early in the thirteenth century, granted to Morville Church a parcel of land in his vill of Medeweleg, to hold for ever, at a rent of 12d.- Witnesses: Hugh de Kinsedeleg, Richard then Chaplain of Mamerfeld, Andrew de Northleg.

Hence also, in 1240, when Thomas Manduit held the Barony of Castle Holgate, Hugh de Opton or Upton is said to hold one fee thereof in "Medewelee or Medeweleg", [7] the mesne tenure of Belmeis being ignored.

In 1255, however, Thomas de Upton is returned, by the Stottesden jurors, as holding vi. virgates of land under Roger de Beumes in Medwele. " And he did suit twice a year to the Court of William Manduit, at the Castle of Holegod, and he owed ward at that Castle in time of war for forty days, for the fee of one knight". [8]

In 1284, when the Barony of Castle Holgate was in the family of Burnel, John de Hopton (i.e. Upton) is entered as holding Medeueleye of Robert Burnel by one knight's fee. [9] Philip Burnet died in 1294, and amongst his Lordships which then passed to the Crown, during a minority of the heir, was Medewelley. [10] By reason of this temporary seizin of the Crown, and the corresponding death of the sub-tenant in 1301, the Escheator was ordered to take into

[4] Lib. Nig. i, 147.
[5] Plac. Forest., Chapter House, Westm. No. 1, Salop, memb. 2. The places, if I rightly assign them to their owners, follow in this order:- Upton (Cressett), Abdon (Priors), Ditton, Wheathill, Meadowley, Barrow, Willey, &c.
[6] Salop Chartulary, No. 105.
[7] Testa de Nevill, pp. 46, 48, 50.
[8] Rot. Hund., ii, 82. Soon after this period, the suit of Medueleg and Leye (Lye) was withdrawn from the Hundred of Stottesden. The King of Almain and the Templars who successively held the Barony of Castle Holgate thus interfered with the rights of the Crown (Rot. Hund. ii. 108. Vide infra, p. 157, under Bold).
[9] Kirby's Quest.
[10] Calend. Inquis., vol. i, 120.


the King's hand all the lands of which " John de Upton, who held of the heir of Philip Burnell", died seized. [11] In 30 Edw. I (1301-2) an Inquest was held as to the tenures of the late John de Upton. Meduleye and Upton are the two Manors enumerated; and mention is also made of the suit of Court which the deceased had owed to Castle Holgate. [12]

This John de Upton (as has been stated under Upton Cressett) also left a son under age, so that the Manor of Meadowley was in the King's hands for several years, except a third thereof, which the widow of the deceased Tenant had in dower. An escheator's account, which has occurred in a fragmentary Roll in custody of the Queen's Remembrancer, acknowledges 20s. to have been received " from two parts of the land which was John de Upton's in Maddeleye, and which was in manu Regis by reason of the minority of John, son and heir of John, who holds of the heir of Philip Burnel", &c. The receipt is for the period commencing Michaelmas, 1305, and ending October 3, 1306, when the heir had livery. [13]

Charlcott and Bold.

Ceopl and cot, two Saxon words signifying an husbandman and his abode, constitute one of these names. The other, more simple still, is the Saxon Bolb, a house or hall.

The two places formed one Domesday Manor, represented under Cerlecote, which, however, the Record would appear to classify in another Hundred than Alnodestreu. [1]

This must be explained.- The Domesday notice of Meadowley occupies four lines of the MS. Opposite the third of these lines is the marginal affix, "In Recordin Hund". (clearly out of place, and to be removed to a lower position.) By assigning it to the second

[11] Originalia, 29 Edw. I, Rot. 10.
[12] Calend. Inquis., vol. i, 178. Where Meduleye has been printed Seduleye, according to a common mistake before noticed (supra, p. 65, note 170).
[13] Rot. Forinsec., penes Remem. Reg.

[1] Vide supra, page 24.


line below that against which it stands, we have it opposite Cerlecote. It must, however, be still out of place, for no vill corresponding to Cerlecote can be traced in the area of the old Hundred of Recordin. By removing the affix two lines lower still, we have it in connexion with the Manor of Ofitone (Uffington), where its applicability can admit of no doubt.

After thus restoring an erroneous affix to its proper place in the margin, the Doomsday notice of Cerlecote, as following Meadowley, will remain under Alnodestreu Hundred, There we find a place too (Charlcott) exactly reflecting the older name.

Bold is not mentioned singly in Domesday. It was in fact involved in Cerlecote; but, at a later period, Bold became the caput of the combined Manor, and Charlcott the member.

Domesday notices the whole thus:- [2]

The same Helgot holds Cerlecote (of the Earl), Elsi held it (in time of King Edward) and was free. Here is half a hide, geldable. There is (arable) land (sufficient) for 2 ox-teams. It is and was waste. It used to be worth 10s. (in time of King Edward.)

A Saxon Alsi (with the name written Elsi or AElsi) was Lord of Corfton and Middlehope, in the adjoining Domesday Hundred of Culvestan; and whereas no such name appears in the Hundred of Recordin, we have herein a circumstance which increases the probability of our having rightly placed Cerlecote in Alnodestreu Hundred.

We will not yet speak of Helgot or his descendants otherwise than when they may occur as the seignoral Lords of Bold and Charlcott.

They seem to have granted a feoffment of this Manor at least as early as the time of Henry I, and their tenants thenceforth to have taken the local name.

The earliest tenant occurring in this position was probably that Odo de la Boude who stands the third of four witnesses to the deed whereby Herebert, son of Holegod, Lord of the Castle, enfeoffed Herlewyn de Butailles in Dudmaston and Posthorne. [3]

[2] Domesday, fo. 258, b. 1. The three periods of Domesday valuation are very observable in this entry, the time when the Manor was waste, being that at which it came to Helgot's hands.
[3] This charter is in possession of W.W. Whitmore, Esq., of Dudmaston. There are many reasons for assigning it to a date anterior to the death of Henry I (1135). There are also objections to so early a date. Both shall be stated and the charter given in its proper place. It certainly passed in the twelfth century.


The feodary of 1165 gives R. de Holda as holding, by service of one knight, under Herebert de Castello. This fee was of old feoffment, and the name of the feoffee should be written R. de Bolda. [4]

About the year 1190 died one Robert de Girrhos, a person apparently of much consideration in Shropshire during the reigns of Stephen and Henry II. He was not only a tenant in capite of the Crown, but held under the two Baronies of Clun and Castle Holgate. His successor, another Robert de Girrhos, had not livery till some years after his death. In the interval the King's Escheator, or the Sheriff, accounts to the Exchequer for the profits of his lands. Most of them were held under Castle Holgate, which also was at the time in the King's hand. An Escheator's roll for the year 1195 is preserved, and contains that officer's receipt (inter alia) of 8s. of the ferm of Cherlecote, which was Robert de Girros', for a whole year, viz., from March 1194 to March 1195. [5]

In the octaves of St. Michael, 1200, in the King's Court at Westminster, a suit, wherein Herbert de la Bude was plaintiff against Alan de Mara, his brother, and Robert de Giros, was postponed till the octaves of St. Martin (Nov. 18), by writ of Geoffry Fitz-Piers [6] (then Chief Justice of England).

On the day of adjournment (Nov. 18), the Justices of the King's Bench have the King's mandate to adjourn the hearing of this cause, which concerned four carrucates of land in Boude, till the octaves of St. Andrew (Dec. 7); then to come before the King himself wherever he may be in England. And the Justices' are to send this writ and the former writ (that of Geoffry Fitz-Piers) and a record of the plea. [7] On the day given (Dec. 7, 1200) King John was at Clarendon. Then and there, or shortly after, and elsewhere, he doubtless heard the pleadings which follow. " Herbert de Bouda sues for three hides in Bouda against Robert de Girros and Alan de Mara as his seizin and inheritance, which he (Herbert) entrusted to the custody of Alan; and the said Alan, for the sake of staving off and taking away the right of Herbert, committed them to Robert de Girros; and that such is the case, and that he (Herbert) was seized thereof as of fee, by taking esplees thereof, &c., he offers to prove by Adam de Kerleton, or by Henry de Witeleg. And Alan comes into Court and defends his right, and says that he

[4] Lib. Nig. i, 147. aped Hearne. The error is not one of the Editor. It is in the original also.
[5] Rot. Escaetarum, inter Rot. Pip. 7 R.I.
[6] Plac. apud Weston. Mich. Term, 2 John (Office No. 13).
[7] Ibidem (Office No. 14).


has ..., [8] and he calls them to warranty. And afterwards he said that he had a warrantor, but he named no one. And Herbert petitions that it may be reckoned in his favour how the other had entered upon his reply without those charters (cartillis). And Robert de Girros was present and contradicted Herbert in no particular. A day was given to the parties in the octaves of Hillary (Jan. 20, 1201) to hear sentence before the Lord King, wherever he may be in England". [9]

On Jan. 20, 1201, the King was at Louth (Lincolnshire), and it was probably about that time that " Herbert de Bonds offered himself on the fourth day (after the day given) against Alan de la Mara and Robert de Giros, in a plea about three hides in Bouda. [10] The defendants came not nor essoigned themselves, and yet the day was given them in banco. The sentence was, that the land (in dispute) be taken into the King's hand, and the parties summoned to hear judgment at Midlent; and Herbert names as his attorney Henry de Witeleg".

At the time appointed (probably Midlent or March 4, 1201, when the King was at Brotherton, Yorkshire, or soon after), Herbert de Boud again appeared by his attorney coram Rege. The preliminaries were rehearsed, and the defendants not appearing it was ordered by the Court that Herbert should have seizin of the land for default of the defendants. [11]

At Shrewsbury Assizes, Oct. 1203, Herbert le Boude presented himself in due course against Richard Bretone in a suit concerning one virgate in la Boude. The defendant not appearing, the land was seized into the King's hand, and he (the defendant) summoned to appear at Worcester before the same Justices on a future day. [12]

Early apparently in the thirteenth century Robert de Bolda gave and confirmed to Alan de la Mare his father's brother (patruo suo) for his homage and service and for 6d. rent, one virgate in Bold, half of which was held by Haer and half by Geoffry Ribel, with a measuage, croft, &c.- Witnesses: Thomas Mauduit (then Lord of Castle Helgot) and Robert his brother. [13]

[8] A word is defaced here, probably equivalent to " cartillas " below.
[9] Placita coram Rege (Office No. 49), memb. 6 dorso. This Roll is falsely dated of the 10th and 11th years of John. The internal evidence proves the date assigned above, but the Roll also contains Pleas heard by the King in Hilary and Easter Terms 1201, and at varous places.
[10] Ibidem, memb. 8 recto.
[11] Ibidem, memb. 10 dorso.
[12] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 5 dorso.
[13] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 37. Fil. Bolda, which is also the authority for the five following deeds.


Thomas Mauduit confirmed to Alan de la Mare the grant of Robert de Bolda his kinsman (cognati sui).- Witnesses: Robert Mauduit, Robert Gyros.

Alan de la Mare gave, to the sustenance of the sick brethren in the Infirmary of Haghmon Abbey, one virgate of land in Bolda which Haer and Geoffrey Ribel held, together with a messuage and croft which Edric held, a rent of 6d. at Michaelmas lbeing reserved to the Lord of the said vill.- Witnesses: Thomas Mauduit, Robert his brother.

Adam, Lord of Bold, confirms the grant of Alan de la Mare to Haghmon Abbey, of a virgate in support of the Infirmary, and releases and quit-claims to the Abbey a rent of 6d. payable to the Lord of the vill. He also confirms the half virgate which William the miller held, and also four acres.- Witnesses: Sir Thomas de Costentin, John Fitz-Heri.

Robert de Bold releases the said four acres and all his claim in the said vill to Haghmon Abbey whereof there had been pleas before Thomas de Muleton, Maurice de Gant, &c., Justices Itinerant at Salop, in the eleventh year of King Henry son of King John. [14] - Witnesses: Roger the Dean, Hugh the Parson, Pain Carbonel.

The Abbot of Haghmon leases to William, son of Robert the miller of Bold, half a virgate and four acres, which his father Robert held of the Abbey. The lease is for life, at a rent of 3s. 6d.- Witnesses: Thomas Botterell, &c.

In 1240, Robert de la Beude, Boinde, or Baude, is represented as holding one fee of Thomas Mauduit's Barony in this locality. [15]

In 1255, the Stottesden Jurors returned as follows -

Robert de Bolde is Lord of Bolde, and holds in capite of William Mauduyt for one knight's fee: wherein is half a hide of land, and he does suit to the Hundred Courts, and pays the Sheriff 2d. stretward, and for motfe 4d. [16]

Robert de Bolde was himself of the Jury on this occasion. In the following year he was reported as one of those who, holding 15. of lands, was not knighted. [17]

Feb. 1262. This Robert having been a Regarder of the Forests of Morf and Shirlet, was fined for making a bad return. [18]

His successor seems to have been Adam de la Bold, who, on

[14] These justices were in eyre at Salop, in Oct. 1227 (Fine Rolls). The Assize Roll is lost.
[15] Testa de Nevill, 46, 48.
[16] Rot. Hund. ii, 82, 81.
[17] Dukes' Antiq., Intr., p. vii.
[18] Plac. Forestae, 46 Henry III, memb. 6.


Jan. 26, 1270, sat as a Juror on the Inquest after the death of Robert Corbett of Chetton. [19]

Hugh Mortimer, of Chelmarsh, was sheriff of Shropshire from March, 1271, to January, 1278. His Under-Sheriff seems to have been John Baril, amongst whose extortions it is related that he took from Adam de Bold 20s., because Adam refused to present him to the Church of Bold. [20]

At the Assizes of Oct. 1272, this Adam was a defaulter in proper attendance. He was also reported as of full age, the holder of a knight's fee, and yet not a knight. [21]

Nov. 27, 1274, he sat as a Juror on the Inquest for Stottesden Hundred, and made complaint of the conduct of the Constable of Corfham, who took 10s. from him for postponement of a suit which he had against him about the enclosing of a wood, which Adam's ancestors had held enclosed just as it was now. The same Constable had also fined the vill of Bold 40s. because it disregarded a summons of his, which by right and custom it was not bound to regard. [22]

In 1284, Adam de Bolds is returned as holding Bold, by one knight's fee, of Robert Burnell, of the fee of Castle Holegod. [23]

At the Assizes of Sept. 1292, Adam de Bolde is returned as holding a knight's fee, being of age, and yet not a knight. [24] He occurs as a Juror 15 March, 1301; [25] and in 1306 Adam del Bolde was Manucaptor for Richard de Harley, Knight of the Shire; [26] and in March, 1316, Malcolumb, son of the said Richard, is returned as Lord of Bolde. [27]

Some further notices of events and persons connected with this Manor shall be given in order of time.- About 1210, a Charter of Thomas Mauduit to Salop Abbey is attested by Robert Mauduit, Robert de Girros, and Walter de Mara. [28]

In August, 1226, a trial came before the King at Salop, as to whether Warin junior (juvenis) de is Bolde had disseised Eva, widow of Richard de Den, of her free tenement in Den. Warin appears, and Eva then acknowledged that her husband, whilst

[19] Escheats, 54 Hen. III, No. 53.
[20] Rot. Hund, ii, 109. Mr. Blakeway's list of Sheriffs at this period is both incomplete and inaccurate.
[21] Assize Roll, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dorso.
[22] Rot. Hund. ii, 107, 109.
[23] Kirby's Quest.
[24] Assizes, 20 Edw. I, Plac. Coron., memb. 20 recto.
[25] Esch. 29 Ed. I, No. 7.
[26] Parl. Writs, i, 480.
[27] Ibidem, vol. iv, 398.
[28] Salop Chart., No. 18, also No. 295.


living, had delivered the tenement to Warin, adding that it was her marriage portion. She is judged to be in misericordia for false claim. [29]

At Salop Assizes, January, 1256, Katherine, widow of Roger de Cherlescote, sued William de Cherlescote and several others for thirds of small tenements in Cherlescote and Bolde. [30] They however accorded their differences; and a fine passed Feb. 3, 1256, whereby William de Cherlcote, Roger de la Bolde, Henry de Sutbury (Sidbury), William le Chapelayn, John le Petit, Hugh de Hereford, Brice de Cleybury, and John de Dreyton, tenants, conceded thirds to said Katherine, in divers small parcels in Bold and Cherlecote for life. [31]

At the same Assizes, Roger, son of Roger de Weston, appeared against Roger le Mouner, of Clebyri, in a suit to oblige him to keep to his agreement about a moiety of Cherlecot Mill. The defendant appeared not, and having made previous defaults, the Sheriff was ordered to distrain, Etc. till he appear. [32]

It appears that the King of Almain, during his seizin of the Barony of Castle Holgate, withdrew from the Hundred of Stottesden the suit of the vill of Bolde, and the suit of William Fitz Alan de Cherlecote, and of his under-tenants in Cherlecote, and appropriated the said suits to his own liberty of Castle Helgot. [33] The said King of Almain demised, about A.D. 1263, his interest in this Barony to the Templars, who, in November 1274, still withheld the same suits from Stottesden Hundred.

It also appears that Roger de Mortimer, of Wigmore, after the siege of Kenilworth (1266), amongst other encroachments on the rights of the Crown, withdrew from Stottesden Hundred the suit of William de Pilardinton and his under-tenants in the vill of Cherlecote.

William de Cherlecote occurs as a Juror, 2 Dec. 1259, [34] as Regarder of the King's Forests, Feb. 1262, [35] and as Juror [36] on a Forest Inquest, March 13, 1262.

About this time one Henry de Bolda occurs as witness to a Middleton- Priors deed. [37]

[29] Placita coram Rege, 10 Hen. III, memb. 4 dorso.
[30] Assize Roll, 40 Hen. III, memb. 9 dorso. This Katherine de Cherlecote seems also to have had an intereet in Alveley (Rot. Pat. 41 Hen. III, dorso).
[31] Pedes finium, 40 Hen. III, Salop.
[32] Assizes, 40 Hen. III, m.15 dorso.
[33] Rot. Hund. ii, 108.
[34] Inq., 43 Hen. III, No. 32.
[35] Plac. Forestae, 46 Hen. III.
[36] Inq., 46 Hen. III, No. 31.
[37] Charter in possession of Robert Gardner, Esq., of Leighton.


On July 15, 1269, a fine was levied, at Northampton, " between Philip Fitz-William de Cherlecote, plaintiff, and William Fitz-Alan de Cherlecote, deforciant, of 1 messuage, a carrucate, and 12d. rent, in Cherlecote and La Neuton (Newton, near Bold), whereof was a plea of covenant. William acknowledged the right of Philip, who granted a life-lease thereof to William, reserving an annual rent of 6d. and the services due to the Lord of the Fee. After death of William the premises shall revert to Philip and his heirs". [38]

At Salop Assizes, Oct. 1292, Philip de Cherlecote served on the Stottesden Jury, which reported William de Pylardinton and others as defaulters in due attendance. [39]

On 15 March, 1801, the Inquest on the death of Roger de Bagesore reported, that he had held (inter alia) half a virgate of John de Drayton, at Cherlecote, by service of 3s. 0d. per annum. [40]


The earliest notice of a Church or Chapel here belongs to the year 1271-72, when Adam de la Bold refused to present an extortionate Under-Sheriff, John Baril, to the same. [41]

In 1291 the Church of Bolde, in Stottesden Deanery, was valued at 4. 6s. 8d. The Co-rectors of Castle Holgate seem also to have had three portions or pensions in this Church. The names of the then Portionists were Richard de Eyton, Matthew, and Robert, and their pensions, 3s. 6d., 3s. 3d., and 3s. 3d., respectively. [42]

The total valuation, thus made up, is repeated in the Inquisitions of 1341, where the taxation of Bolde Chapel is put at 4. 16s. 8d. But the assessors and vendors of the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, in the Parish, valued such produce only at 2. 6s. 8d.; so much less than the taxation, because 2 virgates lie untilled in the parish, and the tenants have quitted through poverty; and because there are no sheep there; and because the small tithes, offerings, and glebe, and other profits of the Church, go to make up the taxation [43] (and are not to be reckoned in the ninth).

[38] Pedes finium, 53 Hen. III, Salop.
[39] Assize Roll, 20 Ed. I, Plac. Coron. memb. 51 recto.
[40] Escheats, 29 Ed. I, No. 7.
[41] Vide supra, p. 156.
[42] Pope Nich. Tax., p. 166. See also the Taxation of the Church of Castle Holgate, in Wenlock Deanery (page 167 of the same Record).
[43] Inquis. Nonarum p. 190.


Thanes were free. Here are two hides, geldable. The (arable) land is sufficient for five ox-teams. In demesne there is one ox-team and a half; and (there are) one serf, two villains, and five boors, with two ox-teams. In time of King Edward it was worth 27s., now (it is worth) 20s. He (Walcheline) found it waste. [2]

Walcheline's tenure here was either by serjeantry (a matter which Domesday omits), or became so in the time of Henry I, when tenants of the Earl became tenants in capite.

At all events, a Stottesden Jury, [3] two centuries after Domesday, calling a former, and probably this, tenant, " Walcheline de Fayn- tre", recorded his tentm to have been by the serjeantry which will presently be described.

The successor of Walcheline, one century after Domesday, was Robert de Fayntre, who occurs in November, 1194, as recognizor, in a trial which concerned land at Holicott, or in the neighbour-hood. [4]

When, at Michaelmas, 1203, the Sheriff accounted for the fourth scutage of King John's reign, Robert de Fentre paid half a merk for his ierjeantry, the said scutage being assessed at 2 merks on each knight's fee. [5]

At Michaelmas, 1204, and for King John's fifth scutage (which was 2 1/2 merks on each knight's fee) Robert de Fenitree had paid 208. [6]

In 1211, the serjeantry of Robert de Fayent' is returned as consisting in the service of one foot-soldier, with a bow and arrows, in the King's army in Wales. [7]

In November, 1221, Robert de Faintre was pledge of Adam le Breton, in a suit against William le Harper. [8] The latter was of Upton, in this neighbourhood.

In 1255, the tenure of this Manor was returned by the Stottesden Jurors as follows:- " Adam de Faintre is Lord of Faintre, and holds in capite of the Lord the King, for service of one serjeant, with bow and arrows, when the King shall be in North Wales. Wherein is one hide and a half of land: and he (Adam) does suit to the Hundred (of Stottesden), and pays to the Sheriff, for stret-ward, 6d., and for motfee, 12d". [9]

The diminution of half a hide from the Domesday measurement

[2] Domesday, fo. 257, b. 1.
[3] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed. I, Salop. memb. 20 recto.
[4] Rot. Curiae Regis, vol. 1, p. 123 [5] Rot. Pip. 5 John, Salop.
[6] Rot. Pip. 6 John, Salop.
[7] Testa de Nevill, p. 55.
[8] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 7 recto.
[9] Rot. Hund. ii, 82.


is noticeable, but may perhaps be accounted for by a correspondent increase in the hidage of the neighbouring Manor of Chetton.

At the Assizes of January, 1256, Adam de Feyntre sat as a Juror for the Hundred of Stottesden. [10]

In February, 1262, he appears as one of the Regarders of the King's forest in Shropshire. [11]

About 1267 he attests a grant of the Advowson of Chetton, to be hereafter noticed. [12]

On January 26, 1270, he sat as a Juror in the Inquisition as to the estate of Robert Corbet, of Chetton, then deceased. [13]

In 2 Edw. I (1274), Adam de Fayntre was himself dead, having been seized of this Manor. [14] His estate became divided amongst his five daughters and coheirs.

On November 27, 1274, in answer to a question as to the class of persons whose lands had been seized by the Officers of the Crown into the King's hands, the Stottesden Jurors stated, that the lands of Adam de Faintre, when he died, were so seized by Sir John de Erkalewe, then Escheator, [15] and who was still in office. But the Jurors did not know for certain how long the said Escheator held them in the King's hand, but they thought for six weeks.

The same jurors, in reply to a question as to the King's fees and tenants in this Hundred, answered that Richard de Holicote, Hugh le Massun, Peter Chamberlain (Camerarius), Henry le Taylur, and Margery, daughter of Adam de Faintru, hold the Manor of Faintru, of the Lord King in capite by serjeantry of finding one footman, with a bow and arrows, to go with the Lord King into Wales when he will levy war, and to stay there till he (the footman) hath shot away his arrows.

A further account of this Manor must involve some notice of each of the five coheiresses among whom it was divided on the death of their father, Adam de Faintru.

1. The eldest of these, Clemence, had married Richard de Holicote, and he, in 1274, had fined for relief of his share. Of this fine he rendered account in 1275. [16]

April 2, 1278. Richard de Holicote sat as a Juror at Brug in an

[10] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III.
[11] Placita Forestae, 46 Hen. III, Salop.
[12] Vide infra, under Chetton.
[13] Inquis. 54 Hen. III, No. 58.
[14] Calendar of Escheats, i, 51.
[15] Rot. Hund. ii, 110.
[16] Rot. Pip. 8 Ed. I, Salop, quoting Rot. Orig. 2 Ed. I. 162 FAINTREE.

inquest as to the wastes committed in the Forests of young Richard Fitz Alan. [17]

About 1284 Richard de Holicote is returned as a coparener in Faintre, but the equipment of the soldier, who was to attend the King in his Welsh wars, is stated to be a bow, three arrows, and a galtrap (terpolus). [18]

At the Assizes of October, 1292, the Stottesden Jurors gave a confused and inaccurate account of the serjeantries in their Hundred. The serjeantry at Faintre is however valued at 110s., and Richard de Holicote and Clemence his wife still retain their share, though there was some informality, which caused their land to be seized into the King's hand, and them to replevy it, by payment of a merk, till the next Parliament. [19]

In 25 Edw. I (1297), the Originalia Rolls contain a precept to the Escheator to seize into the King's hand the lands and tenements which were Clemence's, late the wife of Richard de Holicote. [20] In that year too there was an Inquest as to the same Clemence and her license to alienate one messuage and half a carrucate of land in Faintre. [21]

In March, 1316, John de Knokyn is returned as sole Lord of Faintre, [22] and an Inquest on his death in 14 Edw. II (1320-1) would seem to imply his possession of most of the Manor; [23] but these particulars belong to a later era.

2. Henry le Taylor (alias Cissor) who married Alice, the second daughter and coheir of Adam de Faintre, fined for his relief in 1274, and appears like Richard de Holicote on the Pipe Roll of 1275. He was living in October, 1292, and holding his share of Faintre,

[17] Inquisitions, 6 Ed. I, No. 90.
[18] Kirby's Quest. The word terpolus or tribulus, which I translate galtrap, or caltrap, seems to have had more than one meaning. Its primary form was probably the Greek rplbokoc, an aquatic plant, which produced a prickly nut of a triangular shape. In its secondary sense it was the name of an implement, used in war, to impede the movements of cavalry, and which consisted of four iron spikes, so attached to a centre as that, any three resting on the ground, the fourth pointed upwards. A missile, of the same shape and name, seems alao to have been ussd in sieges, and was impelled by a machine called tribuchulus. I also think that the terpolus above was a missile, but not of so large a kind.
[19] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed. I, Salop, memb. 20 recto. Richard de Holicote was himself on the jury which made these presentments (Ibm. memb. 51 recto).
[20] Originalia, 25 Ed. L [21] Inquisitions, 25 Ed. I, No. 85.
[22] Nomina Villorum.
[23] Inquisitions, 14 Ed. II, No. 31 (Calendar).


but his wife was dead. He too, on this occasion, had to pay a fine till some question as to his tenure was settled by Parliament. [24]

3. Peter le Chamberlain, who had married Isabel, the third daughter and coheir, appears in 1274 and 1275 as offering and paying a fine for his relief. However, the Records of Trinity Term, 15 Edw. I (1287), are quoted, as showing this same Peter then coming to the Exchequer, and fining half a merk for relief of his share of Faintre, which he holds by serjeantry of Ushery (hostiariae) to the King in his army. [25]

In 1292, Peter le Chamberlyn was dead, but Isabella his wife held 1 carrucate (except 4 a virgate and 3 acres), and the tenure was worth 46s. per annum. She was obliged to join in a fine to prevent the seizure thereof into the King's hand. [26]

4. Margery, the fourth daughter of Adam de Faintre, has been already mentioned, as if unmarried, in November, 1274. In 1275, however, her husband, Henry de la Porte, accounted for her relief.

On March 22, 1278,William de Stapele having represented to the King, that, when he had purchased half a virgate in Fayntre of Margery, fifth daughter of Adam de Feyntre, the Sheriff of Salop (being also Escheator of the County) had ejected him, the King desires a Jury to be summoned to report the particulars. The said Jury sat on April 29th following, and returned the service due on the said land as one-fifth of a soldier in Wales, stated its annual value to be 9s. 9d., and that Margery had enfeoffed said William therein; nor did the Jurors think the said land to be an escheat of the King's, nor that his allowance of said sale would be to the King's injury. [27]

In 1292 two tenures are recorded in Fayntre, but it is doubtful which of them represents the share under notice. Warin de Middleton holds half a virgate of the annual value of 5s.: William de Wrocwardyn and Emma his wife, hold half a virgate and 3 acres, of 6s. annual value. Both tenures had something informal in them, probably as involving a transfer unsanctioned by the Crown. Their temporary seizure was the consequence. [28]

5. The fifth (or fourth) daughter of Adam de Faintly was wife of Hugh de Massun (or le Mazun) in November, 1274.

[24] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed. I, ut supra.
[25] Madox Exchequer, 220, q.; quoting Trin. Comm., 15 Ed. I.
[26] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed I, ut supra.
[27] Inquisitions, 6 Ed. I, No. 75.
[28] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed. I, ut supra.


In 1284, Hugh le Mazun's coparcnery in the serjeantry is returned, though three of the five shares are not set forth. [29]

In October, 1292, Hugo le Mason and Mabil his wife held 1 carrucate (less 1 virgate). It was worth 50s. per annum. They also joined in a fine to escape temporary disseisin. [30]

Of under-tenancies here, one or two notices occur.-

At Salop Assizes, August, 1226, Philip, son and heir of Philip, recovered against Sibil de Broc (the tenant) 1 1/2 virgates, 6 acres, and a messuage here. [31]

In October, 1272, William Fitz John de Fentre being dead, his daughter and next heir, Petronilla, recovers one-third of a messuage and a quarter virgate in Westwal, against the tenants (Richard, son of John le Smyht and Jane his wife), of which William, her father, died seized. [32]


Cete, a hut (plural Ceten) and tun, an enclosure, are the two Saxon words presumed to have contributed to the name variously written Ceatinton, Catinton, or Chetton. [1] An enclosure of huts probably furnishes a very accurate idea of a Saxon village; but Chetton, before the Conquest, had acquired a comparative dignity which its earliest name by no means implies. The Domesday account is as follows:- [2]

" The Earl himself holds Catinton. Godeva, the Countess, held it in time of King Edward.

Here is 1 hide geldable. In demesne are 8 ox-teams; and 6 serfs, 2 female serfs, [3] 4 villains, and 1 boor, with a Priest and

[29] Kirby's Quest.
[31] Abbrev. Plac. p. 103.
[30] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed. I, ut supra.
[31] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, 9 dorso.

[1] The letters Ch are found frequently substituted for the Saxon C,- e.g., Cild (child); Ceopl (churl); Cey (chaff).
[2] Domesday, fo. 254, a. 1.
[3] For the ancillae of Domesday, see Introduction to printed Domesday, vol. ii, p. xxviii.


a Provost, have 3 ox-teams; and yet there is room for 2 ox-teams. Here is a new mill and 1 league [4] of wood. In time of King Edward, the Manor was worth 100s.; now it is worth 45s".

The Priest, mentioned in the Domesday Survey of Chetton, implies the pre-existence of a Church. The latter too is a most probable consequence of the sometime seigneury of the Countess Godiva. Chetton must have been part of her dower, and it was not the only Shropshire Manor where she had a similar interest. She was the widow of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, who died August 31, 1057, and the mother of Earl Algar, who died in 1059. How long she survived her husband, and whether she survived her son we are not informed. [5]

Gratitude for some fiscal benefit has, after the manner of Anglo- Saxon idolatry, preserved the memory of this lady in a civic puppet- show, the particulars of which, not altogether decent, may be sought elsewhere. Her personal beauty is also remembered; but her noble lineage is buried in antiquity and doubt, [6] whilst her intercessory cares in the cause of religion are wholly forgotten. All praise be theirs who, living in a barbarous age, have left a name which commands respect, even when associated with a vulgar and tasteless tradition ! Tenfold honour be to one who, thus distinguished, was only a woman !

The Domesday Hundred of Catinton is not given, but the order

[4] The Annotators give no other explanation of the leuna or leuga of Domesday, except that which implies a measure of length. It is obvious that, in such passages as the above, an areal measure is intended by the word which, in default of any English equivalent, I have translated league. As the question is one which can only be solved by the contextual circumstances under which the word appears in Domesday, I may, for the present, postpone it.
[5] A Godeva is mentioned as holding Madeley, in Staffordshire, after the Conquest (Domesday, fo. 249, a. 2), but her identity with the Countess seems too much to assume at once.
[6] The Countess Godeva is said to have been sister of Thorold, Saxon Sheriff of Lincolnshire. This statement is rather corroborated than contradicted by one or two hints of Domesday, and it is clear that some such consanguinity conveyed to her reputed descendants, the Earls of Chester and Lincoln, a considerable interest in the latter country. A recent publication (The Topographer and Genealogist) commenced with a most able article on the old Earldom of Lincoln. The writer mentions the Countess Godeva without directly questioning the traditions regarding her; but, according to him, any statement derived from Ingulphus and the Croyland Charters, is to be received with suspicion; moreover, he evidently intends to exclude Godeva from the Ancestry of the forementioned Earls. For the particulars which Dugdale adopted concerning her, I must refer to his Baronage (Vol. i, pp. 9, 10) and History of Warwickshire (Vol. i, p. 135 in Thomas' Edition).


of its mention, the circumstances of its tenure, and its geographical position, all combine to fix it in Alnodestreu.

The Earl holding it in demesne, in 1085, was, as we have seen, enabled to grant, about 1086, a third of the tithes of Ceatinton to his Collegiate Church of Quatford. [7] No subsequent mention has, however, occurred of tithe possessed here by the Canons of Bridgnorth; and, this usual correspondence wanted, we may be mistaken as to the locality of the Earl's grant.

It was probably after the forfeiture of the Norman Earls, and by King Henry I, that Chetton was granted to a subject.

Who was the original Feoffee we know not, but it was one who also had a grant of Great Berwick (near Shrewsbury), from the Crown, and of Eudon (afterwards Eudon Burnell), from the antecessors of Fitz Alan. It is likely that the three grants were nearly contemporary, and it is certain that before King Henry II had reigned twelve years the whole fief had lapsed to a sole heiress, whose Christian name was Damietta. She was ere that time (1166) married to Ranulf de Broc, a Royal favourite, whose notoriety, though great, is little associated with Shropshire. His interest in three several Manors demands, however, that some particulars of him should be here given.

He first occurs in Hampshire, where, in the fiscal year, ending Michaelmas, 1156, he had been excused 8s. 3d., his quota of the Danegeld assessable on that County, and also 20s. of the scutage levied on the Knights of the confiscated See of Winchester. [8] In each case this acquittance was directed by writ of the King, as also was 2s. 9d., his share of a donum contributed by the said County, in 1158. In the latter year he accounts to the Crown 20s. for censorship of the Royal Forest of Witingelega, Hampshire.

It was about this time that Henry II, calling this Ranulf de Broc, his Usher and Mareschall (Hostiarium et Marescallum suum) and son of Oyn Porcell, granted him a charter [10] which indicates

[7] The probability arises thus:- If the Norman Earls had granted the Manor, it would hardly have been called ancient demesne of the Crown as it afterwards was. Stephen's grants of Crown demesne were cancelled by Henry II. If the latter had first granted the manor, it would have stood on the annual accounts of the Sheriff, under the title, in terris datis.
[8] Pipe Roll, 2 Hen. II, Hants.
[9] Ibidem, 4 Hen. II.
[10] Rot. Cart. 7 John, memb. 5 recto. It is a singular coincidenoe that Henry II, evidently on his succession, expedited a Charter to one Radulf Purcell, his Usher, of the ministry and land of Robert Burnell, his uncle (avunculi) in England and Normandy, of whomsoever held, as the said Robert Burnell enjoyed the same in time of King Henry I. (Rymer's Foedera, vol. I, p. 42). I should have concluded Ranulf de Broc, son of Oyn Porcell, to have been the same with Radulf Purcell, but that each is stated to have inherited his Court appointment from a different source. But the question, however interesting, does not appear to belong to Shropshire.


both wealth and Royal favour. It confirms to him " the whole land and office of his father, of whomsoever held, all the land of Guldeford which was Reginald de Resting's, his kinsman, and all the land which was Robert Testard's;- also the Magisterial and capital Marshalship of the King's House and Court;- and the whole land of Angemar, as Wido his uncle (avunculus) gave and conceded it to him, by concession of Nigel de Broc [11] and his brethren; and the land of Piperhergh, as he bought it from Osbert de Piperhergh and his heirs, as the Charter of William de Windlesores testifies; and his land of Torncumb, as William and Roger de Pacey rendered it to him, and as the Charter of Ralph de Faye testifies for him; and all other his lands and tenures, be they of what fee soever, which he has reasonably purchased".

The Feodary of 1165 exhibits Ranulf de Broc as holding 1 fee at Piperherge under William de Windsor, [12] a fee of the Earl of Arundel, [13] and 1 muntator of the Barony of Fitz Alan. [14] His tenure in capite at Chetton and Berwick is not entered, and a Knight's fee held under the Bishop of Winchester, which in time of King Henry I. had been William Peverers, was then said to be held by Roland del Broc. [15]

But Ranulf de Broc, acquired his greatest notoriety by the part which he took in his Master's contest with Archbishop Thomas a Becket. When, about January, 1165, King Henry II had confiscated the See of Canterbury, and pronounced sentence of banishment on the Archbishop's kindred, [16] he committed the execution of his orders to this Ranulf de Broc, who having a previous and personal grudge against Becket, took care to discharge the trust with every circumstance of cruelty. Nor did his share in the

[11] This Nigel de Broc occurs under circumstances of royal favour similar to Ranulf's. In 1168 he was assessed and pardoned five shillings, his quota of the donum of Salop (Pipe Roll, 4 Hen. II); but I have no other notice of his interest in the County, nor can I surmise where it lay.
[12] Liber Niger, i, 193, Bucks.
[13] Ibidem, p. 65, Sussex.
[14] Ibidem, p. 143, Salop.
[15] Ibidem, p. 71, Hants.
[16] Chron. Gervas. p. 1396. Imag. Gere. 1314. This expulsion of Becket's kindred was not decided upon from any suspicion of their being in correspondence with him. The object was to crowd his retreat at Pontigny with the woes of four hundred exiles. For its success, see Lingard's Hist. of Engl., vol. ii, p. 229.


great contest between Priest and Despot end here. In June, 1166, when Becket, from the pulpit of Vezelay, launched the thunders of the Church against some of Henry's chief ministers, Ranulf de Broc was not forgotten. [17] In a subsequent letter to his Suffragans, the Archbishop gives the reasons for each sentence of excommunication individually. [18] Ranulf de Broc had seized and detained endowments of the Church of Canterbury, which were of right the provision of the poor; he had arrested, and was still keeping imprisoned, like laymen, the Archbishop's dependants". The struggle, which lasted for more than four years longer, is a subject of too great interest to be epitomized here.- Ranulf de Broc still farmed the vacant See of Canterbury, and Becket remained in exile. [19]

In November 1170 the Archbishop having been apparently reconciled to his Sovereign at Amboise, his return to England was accompanied by a significant hint of Henry's insincerity if not of his own impending fate. He found the shore at Sandwich occupied by the Sheriffs of Kent and Ranulf de Broc, with armed attendants. [20] Whatever their designs, a special conference with John of Oxford, who escorted Becket on the King's behalf, seemed to change or to postpone them. Becket landed on Dec. 1, 1170, without farther interruption. Among other things, he brought with him a letter of the King to Prince Henry, ordering the adjustment of his claims on the honour of Saltwood. Saltwood Castle was then in custody of Ranulf de Broc, and remained so for a month longer at least. On Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) Becket again excommunicated Ranulf de Broc from the pulpit of Canterbury. On the night of December the 28th, Saltwood Castle sheltered within its walls four men of dark design, who had arrived in haste - from beyond sea - from the Court of Henry. [21] On the morrow these men did a deed before the chapel of St. Benedict, in the Cathedral Church of Canterbury, which astonished all Christendom, which annihilated the peace, palsied the energies and shook the throne of him for whom it was undertaken; which divested his name of each early and romantic association, and left his character for magnanimity a monument of the meanest treachery or the weakest passion.

This deed, which affected the relations of Church and State in

[17] Diceto, 541. Chron. Gerv. 1402.
[18] Hoveden, 286, a.
[19] In the fiscal year ending Mich. 1168, Ranulf de Broc accounted to the Exchequer for the revenues of the two previous years (Madox Exchequer, 406, q).
[20] Deceto, 554. Chron. Gerv. 1413.
[21] Gere. 1414.


this country, for centuries, has been called by various names, and among others " The Martyrdom of Saint Thomas " - words which imply something of truth and more of opinion. By it were established those principles to which eight years of the victim's life had been vainly devoted. Becket murdered was to the Church and Priesthood a bulwark of strength, in comparison of which the lordly presence, the blameless reputation, the lofty courage, the austere devotion, the fiery seal, the aspiring genius of Becket yet alive, had been all as nothing.

But the greatness of the subject must no longer lead us away from our concern with the subordinate actors. Of one of the four faithful servants of King Henry we shall have to speak again, and in connexion with our local history. We shall show specifically in his case that extinction of a line which has been alleged in regard both of him and his companions, and which tradition or opinion usually inserts among the consequences of foul and murderous deeas. [22]

Ranulf de Broc, whatever may have been his complicity in the murder of Becket, was not one of the prominent actors. Henry could therefore retain him in a position to which the more open executors of the royal will are said never to have been recalled. At Michaelmas 1171 he had farmed under the crown the escheated honour of Henry de Essex, some time Constable of England. His account of this trust was not, as usual, rendered in detail at the Exchequer, but his veredictum thereon was accepted. [23]

In October, 1178, when the rebel Earl of Leicester landed at Walton, in Suffolk, he first laid siege to Hagenet Castle, which Ranulf de Broc then held for the King. The Castellan's success in this service was not so unequivocal as on former occasions. The preliminaries, which we may presume to have been settled in midnight council at Saltwood, were probably better suited to his capacity

[22] This passage has not been sent to the press without reperusal. An article appeared in the Quarterly Review of September, 1858, on the " Murder of Thomas a Becket", which has, I believe, attracted, and, I am sure, deserves much attention. The main subject will never be more fairly or ably treated. The writer however, probably from want of interest in the details of the matter, has accepted some second-rate authorities as to the subsequent history of Becket's four murderers. His notice of William de Tracy applies, I believe, to two individuals of the same name. The posterity of Reginald Fitz Urse continued in England, and became demonstrably and utterly extinct. His relations with Shropshire and Montgomeryshire will bring him appropriately under notice hereafter.
[23] Rot. Pip. 17 Hen. II.


than matters of open warfare. The Castle of Hagenet was taken, - after however a siege of four days.[24] This mischance does not seem to have compromised him with the King; for, about three years later, when Henry, then at Bridgnorth, expedited a Royal Charter to Wenlock Priory, Randal Broc was, with other courtiers, a witness.
[25] The time of his death is uncertain, - but we have an approximate statement on the subject It has been seen above, that in 1185 he held half a knight's fee under the Earl of Arundel. This tenure appears as one of sixty solidates of land in subsequent accounts, rendered whilst the honour of Arundel was in the Kings hands. Walter, Archbishop of Rouen, who farmed the same from September 1180 to Easter 1187, left his account charged with 6 1/2 years' rent (viz. 19. 10s.) due to the Crown, and which had accrued on the tenement of " Ranulf de Broc". [26] William Rufus accounting, September 1188, for the same ferm, charges 1 1/2 year's rent (4. 10s.) on the land of Brumlega, against " Stephen de Turnham". [27] The latter will presently appear in the succession of Ranulf de Broc, - and we may infer that the lapse was coincident with the change of fermors of the honour of Arundel; in other words, that Ranulf de Broc died about 1187.

His issue was five daughters and coheirs; but, as his wife Damietta survived him, her inheritance in Shropshire will have suffered no partition till her own death in 1204. On August 8 of that year, Stephen de Turnham, who had married Edeline, the eldest daughter and coheir, obtained King John's writ to the Sheriff of Southants, ordering the said Sheriff to give seizin to "our faithful Stephen de Thornham and Odeline his wife, of the Manor of Frellebi, which was Dametta's (mother of the said Odeline), who is dead, whose heir she (Odeline) is". A similar precept to the Sheriff of Salop orders seizin to be given to the same Stephen and Edelina, of the Manors of Chedinton, Euden, and Berewic. [28]

The sole heirship of Edelina implied by these writs of King John was a fiction, as we shall presently see; but the work of appropriation

[24] Bromton, 1089.
[25] Monasticon, vol. v, p. 73, No 3.
[26] Rot. Pip. 33 Hen. II.
[27] Rot. Pip. 34 Hen. II.
[28] Claus. 6 John, 19 recto. The Manor of Frelleberi had not however been strictly Dametta's. It must have been her dower out of the lands of Ranulf de Broc. Its tenure was attachad to the serjeantry of being Usher to the King. This service is entered several times in the Testa de Nevill, in connexion with Frelleberi. In one instance, Stephen de Turnham holds the Manor, in another his widow, under the name of Edalina de Froleberi (Testa de Nevill, 235, 236).


by Stephen de Turnham was not yet complete. About Dec. 1205, he offered [29] to King John three palfreys to have the royal confirmation of 15 librates of land in Ertendun (Surrey), with the Hundred, &c., which he had and held by gift of King Henry II, at a fee-farm rent of 15, and by gift of King Richard, at half a knight's fee: also, to have the King's confirmation, to him and to Edeline his wife, daughter of Ranulf de Broc, of the reasonable concession and confirmation which King Henry II made to the same Ranulf de Broc, his Usher and Marshall, of all the land and ministry of his father, &c. (reciting Henry II's charter above quoted).

This fine of Stephen de Turnham secured King John's two charters dated at Dorchester, Dec. 18, 1205; the first of which confirms Ertendun to Stephen de Turnham, the King's Marshall, and his heirs, while the second recites Henry II's charter to Ranulf de Broc, and confirms it to Stephen de Turnham and Edeline his wife, daughter of said Ranulf, and their heirs.

King John moreover takes into his hand, custody, and protection, both the grantees, their lands, tenures, and effects. [30]

It will be observed that the last charter does not call Edelina the heir of Ranulf de Broc, though it substantially ignores the claims of any coheirs.

At this period then (Dec. 1205) Stephen de Turnham, of whom singly I must speak elsewhere, had engrossed in right of his wife, the whole inheritance both of her father and mother.

This appropriation did not remain long unquestioned, for, within two years, Sibil de Broc was a suitor against Stephen de Turnham and Edeline his wife (Sibil's sister) for her share of the inheritances of Ranulf de Broc and of Dametta, father and mother of Sibil and Edeline. The parties came to a final concord in the King's Court at Winchester, in the ninth year of John (1207-8), and thereby Stephen and Edeline conceded to Sibil the Manor of Chedinton, of the inheritance of Dametta. [31] It must here be stated that no

[29] Rot. Fin. 7 John, memb. 7 recto.
[30] Rot. Cart. 7 John, memb. 5 recto.
[31] See these proceedings recited in the Plea Rolls of Mich. Term, 3 Hen. III, (memb. 14 dorso) and Hilary Term, 7 Hen. III (memb. 12 dorso). The error of calling Ranulf de Broc's wife (in one instance) Dametta de Turnham is too obvious to be inserted in the text. I may further state that in arranging these records so as to furnish an intelligible narrative, many such errors have been corrected. The intricacy of the cases, and the number of names involved, naturally perplexed the Clerk who took the minutes of each trial during its progress. (See Sir F. Palgrave's Introduction to the " Curia Regis" Rolls, page v.)


chirograph of this fine is preserved, and that Sibil de Broc afterwards denied it. Such denial, however, I think, was rather in the way of exception taken to its details than an absolute averment that no fine whatever had been levied. At all events Sibil de Broc became about this time seized of Chetton, unless indeed a circumstance which I have now to notice arose from some continued litigation and uncertainty. The Testa de Nevill and the Red Book of the Exchequer supply us with several documents purporting to contain full particulars of every tenancy in capite in this County. These Rolls vary little from each other, are nearly cotemporary, and may collectively be dated of the year 1211. Not one of them contains any entry which I can associate with Chetton, except that Stephen de Turnham is said to hold lands of 100s. annual value by unknown service. [32] This may or may not have included Chetton, but I incline to refer it to Berwick only, which he held at the time and transmitted to his posterity.

Before March, 1214, Stephen de Turnham was dead, [33] leaving his widow Edeline surviving, and five daughters and co-heirs.

Edelina, after her husband's death, appears still in litigation with her sister Sibil, as also in the exercise of a power which she could only claim in virtue of some asserted interest at Chetton.

The Advowson of Chetton she included in her grant [34] to Lilleshull Abbey, and though the act was nugatory, it well illustrates the hints we have of protracted litigation between the sisters.

In Michaelmas Term, 1219, Edelina de Broc (thus called by her maiden name in her widowhood) sued Sibil de Broc for not keeping the fine above alluded to as having been made in King John's reign. Sibil did not appear, and she, with her sureties (viz., Andrew de Mora and William de Criddon), were summoned for the quinzaine of St. Hilary, 1220. [35]

In that term, the hearing was adjourned to three weeks of Easter, [36] of which term we have no record.

In Trinity Term, however, the cause was still unheard, and owing to Sibil's non-appearance, she and her first sureties were declared in misericordia; and she was attached by better sureties, viz., Thomas de Chetinton and Hugh de Hollicot. [37]

[32] Testa de Nevill, p. 55.
[33] Claus. i, 141.
[34] Harl. MSS. 2060 - corrected by Dodsworth, vol. 110.
[35] Placita apud Westm. 3 Hen. III, 14 dorso.
[36] Placita apud Westm. Hill. Term, 4 Hen. III, memb. 5 dorso.
[37] Placita apud Westm. Trin. Term, 4 Hen. III, memb. 15 dorso.


We hear no more of this suit, and it was in all probability put an end to by the death of Edelina, the Plaintiff, which must have taken place about this period. Of the five daughters and heirs of herself and Stephen de Turnham, the one most necessary to be mentioned here is Eleanor, who, having been wife of Roger de Leybourn, was also dead before November, 1221, leaving the said Roger generally interested in her share of her father and mother's inheritance, and specially in the Manor of Berwick. Now again we shall hear of continued litigation, and of other daughters and co-heirs of Ranulf de Broc, besides Sibil and Edeline.-

At Salop Assizes, Nov.1221, [38] William de Tatelinton and Clemence his wife, with Sibil (de Broc) Clemence's sister, sued Roger de Leyburn for the Manor of Berewic " as their right and inheritance, whereof Damota their mother was seized, as of fee and right, in demesne, in time of King Richard" (1189-1199).

Roger de Leyburn appeared and pleaded that they (Clemence and Sibil) " had another sister Lucy, of whom was no mention made in their writ, and therefore he was not willing to answer them unless the Court decided that he should". The plaintiffs hereupon acknowledged that they had a third sister Lucy, but pleaded that she had no concern in the present matter inasmuch as a final concord had been made in the King's Court between themselves and her.

Upon this the defendant pleaded that they had yet another sister Felicia who was wife of Michael de Wancy, [39] which Felicia had had two daughters, nieces of Clemence and Sibil, and that these two daughters had just as much right in the premises as their aunts, and that, they not being mentioned in the writ, he declines answering except under direction of the Court. Here again the plaintiffs acknowledged that they had had a sister Felicia, and she had had daughters, but stated that she (Felicia) had received her share, and that her daughters considered themselves paid their portion of their mother's inheritance, to wit, of the land which was given in marriage with Felicia; and further they said that this Manor (Berwick) was assigned to themselves (Clemence and Sibil) towards their portion. The Court reserved

[38] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 1 dorso. At these same Assizes the Stottesden Jurora returned Sibilla del Broc as being in the King's gift and her land in that Hundred worth 12 shillings per annum (memb. 9 recto).
[39] This plea of Roger de Leyburn's was incorrect in certain particulars, which did not however affect its spirit. Felicia had not been wife of Michael de Wanch but of William Hareng. One of her daughters it was who married Nicholas (not Michael) de Wancy.


its judgment till the octaves of Hilary (Jan. 20) at Westminster, when and where were to be in attendance Nicholas de Wauncy and Felicia his wife, the niece of the plaintiffs, also William Maubanc and Lucy his wife, sister of the plaintiffs, to show any claim which they might have in the premises sought by the plaintiffs. And William Maubanc and Lucy were to be summoned in the County of Surrey, the others in Sussex. The reason why Emma, Felicia's sister (the other niece) was not summoned appears in a notice stating that she was dead.

The whole concludes with a nomination of their attorneys by the two plaintiffs. Sibil named Gervase de Wauton, Clemence named her husband, William de Tatlington.

The records of Hilary Term 1222 are lost, but the cause was not then settled. In February 1228 it had another hearing, or rather was tried at Westminster with additional plaintiffs. [40]

In this case William de Themton (Tatlington) and Elena (Clemencia) his wife, Sibilla del Hoc (Broc) Peter de Hatot (Hotoft) and Felicia Harang (thus called by her maiden name) seek against Roger de Leburn the Manor of Berwic as the right of Elena (Clemencia) Sibil, Peter and Felicia, whereof Damietta, mother of Sibil and Felicia (Clemencia), and grandmother [41] of Elena (Felicia) and Peter, was seized in demesne, &c.

Roger de Leyburn now appeared and pleaded the fine of the 9th of John as a settlement of the question, so far as Sibil de Broc was concerned, she having by that fine obtained the Manor of Chedinton as her share of Dametta's inheritance. Against the others he said that the heirs of Stephen de Turnham ought to be his warranty and to warranty he called them, viz. Thomas de Bavelingham and Matilda his wife, Adam de Bending and Alice his wife ... de Faye and Katherine (Beatrice) his wife, Ralph Fitz Bernard and Eleanor his wife. The trial was adjourned to the Quinzaine of Michaelmas and " Sibil de Broc renounces (dedicit) the cyrograph" (the fine of 9 John).

In some Michaelmas Term subsequent to this, but probably that of 1223, an essoign-roll gives Felicia Harang essoigning herself versus Roger de Leyburn, in a plea of land, by William Hareng. The cause was adjourned to the morrow of the Purification (probably Feb. 8, 1224). The same day was given to Clemence and

[40] Plac. apud Westm. Hil. Term, 7 Hen. III.
[41] Damietta was great grandmother of Peter.


William ..., and to Thomas de Buckingham (Bavelingham) and Mabil (Matilda) his wife, and to Beatrice de Say (Fay); to Adam de Bending and Alice his wife, and to Richard Fitz B ... (Ralph Fitz Bernard) as custos of his daughter; and lastly to Peter de Hotot (Hotoft). [42]

In Hilary Term, 1225, Beatrice de Fay occurs as naming an attorney in her suit against Roger de Leyburn about a plea of warranty. [43] This would make it appear that the parties called to warranty by Roger de Leyburn were not all ready to vouch such warranty; but the cross suits between the heirs of Broc and the heirs of Turnham, and between the latter, as among themselves, become so indistinguishable at this period, and the records so broken and imperfect, that I must needs continue the subject with much uncertainty.

In Trinity Term, 1233, Roger de Leburn essoigns himself versus Hugh de Hovill, and Beatrice his wife (heretofore Beatrice de Faye) and versus John, son of Ralph Fitz Bernard, and others, in a plea of land. The adjournment is to the morrow of St. Martin (Nov. 12, 1233). [44]

But previous to the latter day, viz., on the quinzaine of St. Michael (Oct. 13), 1233, a further day was given to Hugh de Neovill and Beatrice his wife, to William Branche and Johanna his wife, plaintiffs, and to Roger de Leburn in a plea of land. The day given was in one month of Hilary (1234). [45]

On Feb. 8, 1237, the attorney of Sibil de Brok versus Roger de Leburn has essoign till the quinzaine of the Holy Trinity.46 Here Sibil was probably defendant.

Most of this, though it has to do with the Lady of Chetton, relates to her interests elsewhere. We will now revert to our more immediate subject.

[42] The Roll from which I quote is dated of Trinity Term 5 John, and the first membranes may belong to that term. The above, which is on the dorse of the sixteenth membrane, as well as some other portions of the Roll, have been attached to it without any care or reason. They belong to other Rolls and terms, and must, now that they are misplaced, be dated by their internal evidence.
[43] Plac. apud West., Hil Term, 9 Hen. III, memb. 5 recto.
[44] This roll is dated as of the seventeenth year of John. It is fragmentary, but the earlier membranes belong apparently to the seventeenth of Hen. III, and the later ones to the eighteenth of Henry III. The above is on membrane 1 recto.
[45] Plac. apud Westm., Mich. Term, 17 and 18 Hen. III, memb. 12 dorso.
[46] Esson. apud Westm., Hil. Term, 21 Hen. III, memb. 3 dorso.


On Nov. 8, 1224, a fine was levied at Westminster between Sibil de Broc, complainant (petentem), and Alan, Abbot of Lilleshull, deforciant, of the advowson of Chetton, whereof was assize of darrein presentment. The Abbot acknowledged the right of Sibil, and quit-claimed for ever to her and her heirs. [47] The Abbot's claim of course arose from the grant of Edelina de Turnham, Sibil's sister, which has been mentioned above, and was apparently quite beyond the grantor's powers.

About 1225, Sibil de Broc granted Chetton Mill, worth two merks yearly, to the Nuns of Brewood. [48]

She must have lived to a great age, her father and mother having been married previous to 1166, [49] the former also dying about 1187, and yet Sibil surviving in 1253. She (Sibil), was some time married, viz., to William de Arundel; but she left no issue, neither does her name occur during the period of her coverture. She seems to have died about Nov. 10, 1253, having in that year made certain grants to the Church of Chetton, which shall be noticed presently. On her death the same confusion arose as to her succession as had encumbered her heritage whilst living.

On July 7, 1254, a Jury, empanelled to give account of her possessions and heirs, reported, that she had two sisters older than herself, Edelina the eldest and Clemence the youngest, - that Edelina had three daughters, married in Sussex, - that John de Wauncye was kin to one of these daughters, John de Bending to another, and Peter de Hautot to the third (where the confusion between the issue of one of Edelina's sisters and her daughters is obvious). Of Clemence, they said, that "she had four sons, viz. Auger, of whom she was pregnant when William de Maleseveres, formerly her husband, espoused her, and three others begotten in lawful wedlock, viz. Hamon the eldest, who, before his decease, begat William, Simon, and Alexander". [50]

In 1255, the Stottesden Jurors said of Chetyton that it was in the King's hands, Stephen de Buterleg holding it in the King's name till it be determined who was next heir; and he (Stephen) answered at the Exchequer for the income, viz. 12. 2s. 6d. per

[47] Pedes finium, 9 Hen. III, Salop.
[48] Rot. Hund. ii, 83. The Taxation of 1291, shows that this grant was to the Black Nuns of Brewood, and gives its value as 16s. per annum (Nic. Tax, page 162).
[49] It is probable that this marriage took place during the extreme youth of the mother, a usual circumstance in the case of an heiress.
[50] Inquisitions, 38 Hen. III, No. 45.


annum; and it fell into the King's hand in the feast of St. Martin, in his thirty-eighth year. It contained a hide and half, and should be held of the King in capite. It owed suit to the Sheriff's tourn twice a year, but did no suit to the lesser Hundred or County Courts, nor gave stretward, nor motfee, the Jurors knew not by what warrant. The same Jurors reported the various elemosynary grants which Sibil de Broc had made out of this Manor, and the loss which resulted to the Crown in consequence. [51]

The report of this Jury is an appropriate comment on the inaccuracies of the post mortem inquisition above quoted. Another such Inquisition was ordered by the Crown, and made its report on 7 Feb. 1256. Calling the deceased "Isabella" de Broc, the Jurors said that " the service due to the Crown from Chetton was that of one man in North Wales, - that Sibilla left no heir, but three sisters. Of these the Jury knew not whether Odelina had any heir; Alicia had two daughters, Emma and Felicia; Emma had one son, Peter de Hamtoft; Felicia had one son, Nicholas de Wancy. Clemence (the third sister of Sibil) had one son, viz. Auger de Tatlinton. These three (viz. Peter de Hamtoft, Nicholas de Wancy, and Auger de Tatlinton) were heirs of Sibil, and were of full age". [52]

Neither does this return seem to have been satisfactory, - for, on 16 June following, a third Jury made its report, viz., that Sibil's three sisters were Edelina, formerly wife of Stephen de Turnham; Alice, of William Harang; Clemence, of William Malesoveres. Alice had two daughters: Emma, the eldest, of whom was born Peter de Hotoft; Felicia, the youngest, who was mother of Nicholas de Wancy. Clemence's first-born son was Auger de Tatlinton. The said Peter, Nicholas, and Auger were of full age. Of the age of Edelina the Jurors knew nothing; " nor indeed were they likely, seeing that she had been dead thirty years. Except that the name of Sibil's sister Felicia is written Alicia in these returns, I see no reason to question their correctness. Lucy, Sibil's fourth sister, once wife of William de Maubanc is not mentioned, probably as having deceased without issue.

It appears that the doubts about the heirship of Sibil de Broc were settled very shortly after this. The King allowed livery of

[51] Rot. Hund. ii, 82, 83.
[52] Inquis. post mortem, 40 Hen. III, No. 40.
[53] Inquis. post mortem, 40 Hen. III, No. 40 (memb. 2.)


one-third of Chetton to Auger de Tatlinton, as son and heir of Clemence de Broc: another third went between Nicholas de Wancy and Robert de Hotoft, as heirs of Alice (alias Felicia) de Broc. The heirs of Edelina de Broc not coming forward to claim the other third the King retained it himself, and with it the capital messuage and advowson of the Church. [54]

On the death of the then Incumbent, the King proposing to nominate his successor, was resisted by Auger de Tatlinton. Upon this the latter was sued by the Crown, in a "plea that he should allow the King to present". The cause was heard at Westminster in Easter Term, 1260, and ended in Auger conceding, as far as he was concerned, the right to the King, but only hac vice. The King had thereupon a writ of the Justices to the Bishop of Hereford. [55]

Following the history of the third of Chetton thus retained by the King, we find it six years afterwards granted to Robert Corbet, of Chaddesley, in fee, with a third only of the Advowson. The King's charter is dated at Kenilworth, on 25 August, 1266, and is expressed to be in reward of faithful services. [56] The time and place make the nature of these services sufficiently obvious.

Within four years of this time Robert Corbet was dead, having however obtained possession (according to one account) of the other two-thirds of Chetton, and certainly having disposed of all interest derived under the King's grant in manner following:- As Robert Corbet, Lord of Chetynton, he grants to Sir Robert Burnel 1 acre in his demesne in Chetynton, and the advowson of the Church, as far as it belonged to him, and the homage of Hugh de Holycote. For this Robert Burnel was to pay 1d. yearly in the Church of Chetynton.- The witnesses were: Sirs Hugh de Mortimer, Ralph de Arraz, Thomas Boterel, and Adam de Montgomery, Knights; also Adam de St. George, Alan de Glazeley, Hugh de Chinezeleye (Kinslow), Adam de Fayntre, and Ralph Sprenchose. [57]

[54] Plac. apud Westm., Easter Term, 44 Hen. III, memb. 19 recto. This record is again full of scribal errors, such as calling Chetton " Tatlington", Clementia " Juliana", both which errors it corrects for itself. Whether Alice de Broc and Robert de Hotoft be rightly named is a question.
[55] Ibidem.
[56] Rot. Pat. 50 Hen. III, sub die. But Robert Corbet had had a previous interest here, probably by purchase from one of the other tenants. In February, 1262, he fined 3s. with the Justices of the Forest for one and a half acres taken into the the King's hand, which he had recently asserted in Chetinton without warrant. (Plac. Forest. 46 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto).
[57] Rot. Cart., 54 Hen. III, memb. 6.


As Robert Corbet of Cheddesle, he further granted to William, son of William Corbet, his nephew, his land with the capital messuage in Chetynton (except half an acre and one-third the Advowson of the Church which he had granted to Sir Robert Burnel), to wit, one-third the said Manor which King Henry, son of John, had given him. To have and to hold of the King, &c.- The witnesses were: Sirs Henry and Hugh de Mortimer, Ralph de Arraz, Adam de Elmbrugg, Knights; also Alan de Glazeley, William de Herwinton, and Richard de Muntvyron.

On the death of this Robert Corbet previous to Jan. 7, 1270, William, his said nephew, represented to the King that, whereas his uncle had enfeoffed him, one month before his decease, not only in the third which he had from the King, but also in the other two- thirds, which said Robert possessed, and all which William and his heirs were to hold of the King in capite, and had held for a month before Robert Corbet's death, now the King's sub-escheator for Salop had ejected said William and still retained the premises. [59]

Hereupon the King's writ, of the last date, issued to the escheator citra Trent to inquire the particulars by Jury, and further whether Robert Corbet were illegitimate and died without heir, and whether the Advowson belonged to the King.

The Jury met at Chetton on 26th January next and reported that Robert Corbet enfeoffed his nephew in one-third of the Manor, and did not die seized thereof, that he (Robert) was illegitimate, died without heir, and could well give feoffment; that the Advowson was Robert Burnell's, to whom Robert Corbet had sold it.

Again on the 22d of February 1270, the King's certificate issued to the escheator, to say that, in consequence of this inquest, he had taken the homage of William Corbet for one-third of Chetton, saving the right of any claimant (which indeed was a reservation in the original grant to Robert Corbet), and saving the service due to the Crown. The escheator is to take security for the said service and for his relief if any be due, and then give him seizin of the said third. [60]

On the 12th of May and 28th of June following, the King inspected and confirmed by Royal Charter the two grants which Robert Corbet had made to William Corbet and to Robert Burnel respectively. [61]

[58] Rot. Cart., 54 Hen. III, memb. 9.
[60] Finis, 54 Hen. III, memb. 14 [59] Inq. post mortem, 54 Hen. III, No. 53.
[61] Rot. Cart., 54 Hen. III, memb. 9 and 6.


At Salop Assizes, September, 1272, the Stottesden Jurors reported that one-third of Chetiton had been on escheat of the King, that the King gave it to Robert Corbet and he to William Corbet. [62]

On Nov. 27, 1274, a similar jury said that William Corbet held the Manor of Chetiton of the King in capite, by service of finding one footman with a bow and arrows to go with the King, whenever he shall decree to make war, into Wales; and to stay there till he has shot away his arrows. [63]

Preparatory to the muster at Worcester, against Lewelin, 6 July, 1277, William Corbet acknowledged his service due, viz., to find one man who was to take with him a gammon of bacon and to stay (in Wales) till he had eaten it up. John de Hull was to perform the service. [64]

In 1283, the King's escheator citra Trent is ordered to seize into the King's hand &c., the lands &c., of which William Corbet had died seized. [65]

Aug. 22, 1283, an inquest held at Chettington on the death of William Corbet, reported that "he held in capite of the King a messuage, garden, &c. in Chetington; and also two-thirds of two carrucates of land in demesne; that Sir Roger Corbet was his next heir and of full age: also that the said tenure was by serjeantry of "doing service of one footman in the King's army, when it shall have happened that there be war between the King and the Prince of Wales, at the cost of the said William, till the same footman shall have consumed half a swine (baconem) in the same expedition". [66]

In 1284, Roger Corbet holding the Manor in capite, the outfit of his deputy is more fully described. [67] -

The man was to take 1 bow, 8 arrows, and a caltrop, [68] and also a cured hog, and, when he reached the King's army, he was to deliver to the King's Marshal half thereof and the Marshal was to give him daily of the said half bacon for his dinner, as long as he staid in the army, and he was to stay with the army as long as the hog lasted.

In 1829 or 1290 the escheator is ordered to seize the lands of

[62] Assize Roll, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 recto.
[63] Rot. Hund., ii, 108.
[64] Parliamesdary Writs, vol. i, p. 208.
[65] Originalia, 11 Edw. I, Rot. 15.
[66] Inq. post mortem, 11 Edw. I, No. 103.
[67] Kirby's Quest.
[68] The word here used is terpolus; but tribulus again under the entry of 1293. The mode in which a competent service was exacted from the King's tenant at Chetton, however extraordinary, becomes intelligible by this entry.


Robert Corbet deceased; [69] and in 1290 the inquest on his death reported his interest in Chetidone. [70] He left a son, William, who, in October 1292, was still a minor and in ward to Fulco de Lucy. The service due on Chetton is described nearly as before. [71] At the same time Nesta Lady of Chetton (Roger Corbet's widow) held land there to the value of 48s. 10d., of the inheritance of William Corbet, and she was in the King's gift, but married to Thomas de Roshal, the jury knew not by what warrant. The Sheriff being ordered to summon the said Thomas and Nesta, the former appears and (apparently) states that the King at request of Robert de Val had allowed Nesta (her right of remarriage, I presume). [72]

In March 1316, the said William Corbet appears as Lord of Chetton.


A tenure here, probably under the Lords of Chetton, occurs from an early period.

In November 1194 an assize of mort d'ancestre stood for hearing in the Courts at Westminster, wherein Hugh de Holocote was plaintiff against Adam de Hereford. The latter, being beyond sea, in Ireland, had essoign by Yvo Walensis. The Recognizers of this Assize, who also essoigned themselves, and their Essoigners were as follows:-

Stephen de Middelton by Adam de Middleton.

Warin de Middelton by Roger Fitz Edwin.

Hugo de Hupton by Richard Fitz Roger.

Robert de Fagnotre by William Fitz Richard.

Robert Walensis by Walter Chordiwan.

Philip de Pharlawe (Farlow) by Rog. Fitz Siward, and -

Walter Hachet (of Wheathill) by Richard de Gorewelle. [74]

In 1220, we have already had Hugh de Hollicot as a surety of Sibil de Broc, Lady of Chetton. [75]

In 1255, [76] and again in January 1256, Hugh de Holocote sat as a juror of the Hundred of Stottesden. [77]

[69] Originalia, vol. i, p. 64.
[70] Calendar Eschaetarum, i, 101.
[71] Placita Coronae, Salop, 20 Edw. I, memb. 20 recto.
[72] The record is torn and defaced.
[73] Parl. Writs, iv, 398.
[74] Rot. Curia Regis, i, 123.
[75] Vide supra, page 172.
[76] Rot. Hund. ii, 81.
[77] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III.


About 1268, Robert Corbet's grant in Chetton to Robert Burnell included the homage of Hugh de Holycote.

Jan. 26, 1270, Hugh de Holicott was a Juror in the inquest as to the estate of Robert Corbet of Chetton. [78]

In Sept. 1272, he was reported as making default in due attendance at Salop Assizes. [79]

An extract from a deed of about this period gives as witnesses Geoffry de Criddon and Hugh de Holicote his son. If this be correct, Hugh de Holicote must have been husband of Sibil, daughter and sole heir of Geoffry de Criddon; and further he will have been dead in 1274 when the said Sibil had remarried. [80]

June 28, 1297, William Hobald, of the Mill, grants to William his son and Mabil his (son's) wife, and heirs of their bodies, all the land of Alan at Holycote, with a messuage in the same, of which Sir Roger de Holycote had enfeoffed the grantor. To hold of Hugh de Holycote the chief Lord of the fee. In default of such heirs the premises are to revert to the grantor.- Witnesses: John Lord of Upton, Coroner, Wydo de Glaseleg, William de Mora, William son of Hawys de Westode (Westwood), John de Aldebnr (Oldbury). Dated at Holycote on Sunday in the Vigil of St. John the Baptist, 25 of King Edward. [81] An extract from a deed similarly dated and attested and by the same grantor, gives Matilda as the name of the son's wife, and conveys a mill and messuage in Holycote to be held of Roger Lord of Holycote. [82]

On the whole I conclude that Hugh, Lord of Hollicott in 1270, was succeeded by Roger, and he by another Hugh previous to 1297.

In the same interval one Richard de Holycote appears as husband of Clemence, daughter and coheiress of Adam de Faintree. [83]

The family of Hubold or Hobald had more than one branch and interest in this neighbourhood. The adjunct " de Molendino" used by the above grantor was to distinguish himself from a contemporary William Hobaud, of Harpesford (Harpswood).

[78] Inquisitions, 54 Henry III, No. 53.
[79] Assizes, 56 Hen. III, Stottesden Hund.
[80] Blakeway MSS.
[81] Charter at Apley Park. William Hubaud de Molyno had served on the Stottesden Jury at Salop Assizes, October 1292 (Plac. Coronae. memb. 51 recto).
[82] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl. Parochial Hist. vol. i. Tit. Eudon Burnell. The manifest inaccuracy of this extract may be an excuse for the diffidence with which I have above quoted a similarly authorized deed.
[83] Vide supra, p. 162.



The existence of a Church here in 1086 and some early notices of the Advowson thereof, have already been set forth. About 1253, Sibil de Broc gave a virgate of land, worth 16s. per annum, to the Parson of the Church of Chetyton in pure and perpetual alms, to find a Chaplain to sing the mass of Saint Mary. [84] She also gave about the same time to the same Church an acre of land and a fish-pond (servarium), which were of 6 pence annual value.

In 1291, the Church of Chetynton with the Chapel of Lustone (Loughton) is returned as annually worth 16. The Rector of Conede (Cound) had a portion therein worth 4s. per annum. The Abbot of Wigmore is also said to have had a portion of 10s. therein. [85] However, in 1341, the taxation of the Church is stated at 16. 4s., the Abbot of Wigmore's portion being excluded.

At this time the Assessors rendered account of 7. 4s. 4d. as the value of the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb in the parish. The difference between this sum and the Church taxation arose thus:- Three carrucates and three virgates of land lay unfilled from the poverty of the tenants: the estate (fundus) of the Church with its rents and lands annexed were worth 29s.; the tithe of hay was 13s. 4d.; the small tithes, offerings, and other profits were worth 13s. 4d., as by inquisition had been determined &c. [86]

In 1534, the Rectory of Chetton, then held by Humphrey Burnell, was worth, in glebe and great and small tithes, 13. in gross. The charges on this sum were Procurations 7s. 8d.; Bishop's triennial visitation 17s. 9d.; the Abbot of Wigmore's pension 10s.; and the Rector of Counde's pension (here stated at) 5s. So that the net value was 10. 19s. 7d. [87]

The Rector of Cound had also pensions in the Churches of Easthope and Acton-Round. I can only account for this in one way, viz. that when the Church of Cound was founded, the founder (probably a Fitz Alan or some predecessor of that house) endowed it with tithes in several quarters, viz. in Easthope, Acton Round, Eudon (Burnell), and perhaps Criddon. The tithes of the last two may afterwards have been made over to the Rector of Chetton in

[84] Rot. Hund. ii, 83.
[86] Inq. Nonarum, p. 190.
[87] Valor. Eccles. iii, 211.
[85] Pope Nich. Tax. p. 166, (Deanery of Stotteeden). The Chapelry of Loughton is still subject to Chetton Church.


detailed the perennial litigation which followed this unjust distribution of an estate to which there were five co-heiresses.

How or when Clemence, one of the said coheirs, recovered Eudon as her share, and conveyed it to her husband William de Malesoures, we are not informed.

At Salop Assizes, November, 1221, William Malesoures appears as a juror on a Great Assize, [3] a circumstance which indicates such position in the County as can alone be ascribed to his previous seizin of his wife's inheritance. Also at the same Assizes,[4] though under his other name (William de Tatelinton), he appears with Clemence his wife, and Sibil her sister, in a suit against their nephew, Roger de Leyburn, wherein Berwick was claimed by the plaintiffs. William de Tatlinton appears again in this suit in February, 1223, and perhaps in Michaelmas Term following. [5]

And further of him I can say nothing, except that he left by his wife Clemence four sons, viz. Auger, of whom Clemence was pregnant at her marriage; Hamon; and two others, unnamed. Hamon was again father, before 1254, of William, Simon, and Alexander. [6]

But following a more regular order of events, we find, from the collective evidence of three Rolls of Fitz-Alan's Barony, that about the year 1240 Simon de Frankleg was holding half a fee in Eudon Maleseverez. [7] This I can reconcile with nothing but a conjecture that the said Simon was second husband of Clemence de Broc, and that he thus became possessed of Eudon for her or his life, as the case may have been, but probably for hers only.

I find nothing of the issue of Clemence till the year 1250, when Auger de Tatlinton (her eldest son) had fined 5 merks with the Crown for some writ, [8] the subject of which may have been connected with the following suit.

In Michaelmas Term, 1253, it appeared, before the Queen and Council at Westminster, that William de Tatlynton, who was essoigned in a plea of land against Auger de Tatlynton, had not yet been viewed. " And Master Symon de Wanton (a Justiciar) comes on his behalf and says, that he is well of the infirmity for which he

[3] Assize Roll, 6 Hen. III, memb. 2 recto.
[4] Ibidem, memb. 1 dorso.
[5] Vide supra, p. 174.
[6] Supra, p. 176.
[7] Testa de Nevill, pages 44, 48, 49. It will be seen in the subjoined pedigree how Auger de Tatlinton, son and heir of Clemence, married the grand-daughter and eventual heir of Simon de Frankley. Nash (Hist. Worces., i, 458) is responsible for this statement, but how it is connected with Simon de Frankley's tenure of Eudon circa 1240, I cannot pretend to say.
[8] Rot. Pip. 34 Hen. III, Salop.


had essoign, and that he asks leave to rise because his adversary maliciously keeps him in bed and will not cause him to be viewed, though license had been given him thereof". [9]

The Court decides that he may rise and come without delay. Afterwards he comes, and has a day given him. This suit concerned land in Worcestershire.

In 1255, a Stottesden Jury, of which Auger de Eudon was one, returned him as Lord of Eudon Maleseveres. It contained half a hide, and was held of John Fitz-Alan by service of one Montar, for half a knight's fee. He owed suit to the Sheriff's tourn twice a year, but not to County or lesser Hundred Courts, because his ancestors rendered no such suit, nor did he pay stretward, nor motfee. [10]

In January, 1256, William, son of Thomas de Tatlinton, was suitor against Auger Fitz-Clemence, for two carrucates in Eudon; by writ of entry. William appeared in due course, but Auger came not. The premises were seized into the King's hand, and the parties summoned for Saturday after the octaves of the Purification, i.e. Saturday, Feb. 12th. [11]

In September, 1257, William de Tatlinton had an assize of novel disseizin against Adam de Faintre and his wife. [12]

In 1259, William de Tatlinton accounts half a merk for having an assize [13] (probably the same matter).

At the same time Auger de Tatlinton accounts two merks for license to accord. [14]

In 1260, Auger de Tatlinton accounts half a merk for a writ of appone. [15] This was perhaps in connexion with his suit against the Crown as to Chetton Advowson.

On April 28, 1262, a fine was levied at Westminster between Aunger de Tallington, plaintiff, and Richard de Eslewode, deforciant, as to the customs and services which Auger required from the free tenement which Richard held of him (Auger) in Eudon, viz., one virgate of land, &c., whereof Auger required that Richard should pay 7s. annually, and do suit every three weeks at Auger's Court at Eudon; and that Richard and his heirs should render homages and reliefs to Auger and his heirs. All these services Richard had

[9] Plac. apud Westm., 37 Hen. III, memb. 11 dorso.
[10] Rot. Hund., ii, p. 81.
[11] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III.
[12] Rot. Pat., 41 Hen. III.
[13] Rot. Pip., 43 Hen. III. Salop.
[14] Ibidem.
[15] Rot. Pip., 44 Hen. III, Salop, vide supra, p. 178.


heretofore denied; but now, after a law-suit, acknowledged. For this acknowledgment Auger undertook to warrant the premises to Richard and his heirs. [16]

But the litigations of Auger de Tatlinton were endless.-

In Trinity Term, 1268, he appeared in a suit against John Fitz-Alan, his Suzerain. [17] " Whereas the King had caused it to be enacted, that no one, by reason of his tenement, should be distrained to do suit to the Court of his Lord, except he was bound to do such suit by the terms of his feoffment, or he and his ancestors had done such suit prior to the King's first transfretation (1230), Auger now sued John Fitz-Alan in a cause as to why the said John distrained him (Auger) to do suit to John's Court at Acton" (Acton Round).

John Fitz-Alan appeared not. The Sheriff had not summoned him, but sends word into Court that the said John had the King's letters of protection as long as there was war in Wales. The Sheriff was declared in misericordia, and the cause adjourned to Michaelmas Term. We, however, hear no more of this case, probably owing to the troubled state of the kingdom.

On the Pipe Roll of 51 Hen. III (1267), Auger de Tatlingeton appears as having been amerced 40s. for non-prosecution of some suit; but a note is added to the entry, to the effect that he had accounted for such fine in the Roll of last year, under Worcestershire. [18]

And further of him in connexion with Eudon I can say nothing. His interest here was very likely sold much about the time when he seems to have conveyed his share of Chetton to Robert Corbet, and the next whom I find possessed of Eudon was Hugh Burnell, who had a charter of free-warren here in 9 Edw. I (1281), [19] and whose tenure hereof under Fitz-Alan remained to his descendants, and is still memorialized in the name of the place.

In 1284, Hugh Burnell holds Eudon of Richard Fitz-Alan, of the honour of White Minster, by half a knight's fee. [20] The account of him and his successors is postponed to a future occasion. We may quote, however, from the Pleas of the Crown of October, 1292, the record of an affray which happened here some years previously,

[16] Pedes finium, 46 Hen. III. Eselwode is the same name as Hazelwood.
[17] Plac. apud Westm., Trin. Term, 47 Hen. III, memb. 17 dorso.
[18] Rot. Pip., 51 Hen. III, Salop.
[19] Calend. Rot. Chart., p. 111.
[20] Kirby's Quest. 9) Kirby'. Quoit.


and which shows how soon the place took name from its new possessors:-

" William de Bedleswrthin (Belswardine) and Thomas de Kenleye were together in the kitchen of Hugh Burnell in the village of Eudon Burnell, and a quarrel arising between them, William struck Thomas on the head with a sword, whereof, on the fourth day after, Thomas died. William is a fugitive, and is suspected. He has been summoned (at five County Courts by the Sheriff - the usual process), and is outlawed. He had no chattels. The villa of Eudon Burnell and Chetynton did not make pursuit (of the fugitive) so they are in misericordia. Afterwards it was proved that said William had chattels, viz. (of value), 4s. 6d., for which the Sheriff is answerable". [21]

Eudon Burnell was at this time the dower of Sibil Burnell, who was reported at the same Assizes as a defaulter in due attendance, and as claiming free warren here. [22]

The subjoined scheme of the descent of Ranulf de Broc, some time Lord of Chetton and Eudon, is intended to illustrate the otherwise complex narrative which is now concluded. Its accuracy in each particular is not maintained. It is only a selection of probabilities from a mass of contradictory evidence. If compared with the foregoing narrative, it will, however, serve one purpose better than a more lengthened commentary,- the purpose, namely, of exhibiting those inconsistencies which sometimes occur in the minutes of the Law Courts, as well as in the returns of local juries.-

It will be seen how the want of previous acquaintance or familiarity with the places and persons concerned, affected the verbal accuracy of the Law Scribes, both of those who worked in the central Courts of Westminster, and those who went with the Justices on their various circuits; and yet how these functionaries seldom failed to catch the spirit of a plea or to record it intelligibly.-

It will also be seen how Country Juries, with greater accuracy as to names, local and personal, were often mistaken as to the facts of a remote time or place, and were still more ignorant as to the legal bearings and importance of such facts.

[21] Plac. Coron, Salop, 20 Edw. I, memb. 20 recto.
[22] Ibidem.

( 191 )


HERE, as in Eudon, we have the undoubted Saxon termination buu (a hill or down), and only a question as to the first syllable. Crida (Cjuba) was the founder of the Saxon Kingdom of Mercia, about A.D. 586. Though we need not presume him to have had to do with this humble locality, it is very possible that, after his era, his name became common in Mercia, and that one so called was some time possessor of the place.

It is not mentioned in Domesday, but at all subsequent periods it appears as a sole Manor held under Fitz Alan. Like Eudon, it was and is in the parish of Chetton.

The falling off from the Domesday Hidage, of Eudon and Glazeley (both Fitz Alan's Manors) is observable. It may be accounted for by some early dismemberment of each, and the same cause may have led to the establishment of a third and independent Manor, like Criddon; but, as I have said more than once, the general accuracy of the Domesday survey, as regards this quarter, is suspected. An attempt, therefore, so to combine several consequents as to tally with a doubtful antecedent, need not be ventured.

In 1165, Robert de Critendon is registered as holding, by service of 1 muntator, of Fitz Alan's Barony. [1]

Oct. 1219, William de Criddon was a surety for Sibil de Broc. [2] Among pleas at Salop in August, 1226, was an assize of novel disseizin as to whether Adam de Dodinton, Alexander de Caus, Alan de Thedestiel and Alan his son, had disseized William de Crigdon and Richolda, his wife, of a free tenement in Thedistiel (Tedstill).- Verdict for the defendants. [3]

In 1240, William de Cradelton, Gridelton or Cridelton, is variously entered as holding, by service of half a knight's fee, in the place from which he is named, and under John Fitz Alan. [4]

On November 12, 1240, we have a fine [5] which shows clearly what

[1] Liber Niger, i, 144.
[2] Supra, p. 172.
[3] Plac. coram Rege, 10 Hen. III.
[4] Testa de Nevill, pp. 44, 48, 49.
[5] Pedes finium, apud Salop, 25 Hen. III.


this tenant's name really was, also that his tenure was in Criddon, and that the confusion arose from a similarity between his name and the place of his tenure. The said fine was between Geoffry de Griddon, plaintiff, and William de Middelton, tenant, of half a knight's fee and 1 virgate of land in Griddon (Criddon) and Godestil (Tedstill), whereof was an assize of mort d'ancestre. The former tenant (William de Middleton) renounced his right on receipt of five merks.

The Inquest of 1255 (as printed) again exhibits this place and its owner in a false orthography. "Geoffrey de Breddon is Lord of Breddon, and holds in capite of John Fitz Alan. Therein is one-fourth of a hide (the virgate of the fine). He does suit to the Hundred Courts; pays stretward 1 penny, and motfee 2 pence. He does no suit to the County Court". [6]

The same Geoffrey (again written "de Breddon") also held half Middelton under Fitz Aer, and Fitz Aer under Fitz Alan. [7] Perhaps William de Middelton had been his predecessor in each Manor.

In Feb. 1262, Geoffry de Cridon, as a Regarder of the Forests, was amerced. [8] In March, 1262, and Sept. 1263, he appears on Juries [9] again on Jan. 26, 1270, and with Hugh de Holicote; and on two Juries in April, 1278, which are the latest notices I have seen of him.

Sibil, his daughter and sole heir, succeeded him. This lady was, if I am not mistaken, the wife of four successive husbands; the first of whom, Hugh de Crediton, was dead before January, 1256, when Sibil, his widow, sued William Okeman and Sibil, his wife, for a messuage in Crediton, as her dower, and recovered the same. [10]

At the same Assizes this Sibil (called daughter of Geoffrey de Criddon) was sued under writ of mort d'ancestre for a virgate in Deuxhill. The plaintiff in this case was non-suited, Sibil proving that she was not tenant of the premises. [11] As her father was living it is probable that her interest in Deuxhill, whatever it was, accrued with her first husband, and that he adopted the name of Criddon from his residence here.

Her second husband, Hugh de Holicote, has already been noticed in 1268, 1270, and 1272. [12] Also the deed attested by Geoffrey

[6] Rot. Hund. ii, 82.
[7] Ibidem, p. 81; vide infra, p.196.
[8] Plac. Forest. Salop.
[9] Inquisitions, 46 Hen. III, No. 31, and 47 Hen. III, No. 26.
[10] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 14 recto.
[11] Ibidem, memb. 2 dorso.
[12] Supra, p. 182.


de Criddon and Hugh de Holicote, his son, has been set forth. [13] He appears to have died between 1272 and 1274, for in the latter year-

Ralph, son of Ralph Payn, of Salop, grants all he had in Criddon to Thomas de Marham, mentioning Sibil, daughter of Geoffrey de Criddon, his wife. [14]

In 1284, Sibil appears with her fourth husband and her inheritance, for " John de Volascote (Wollascott) who married Sibil, daughter and heir of Geoffrey de Cridon, holds a Manor, in Stottesden Hundred, of Richard Fitz Alan, of the honour of Oswestry, by service of half a knight's fee, and he is to do guard at the Castle of White Minster". [15]

In 1293, a fine was levied between John de Wolascote with Sibil his wife, and Edmund de Mortimer, defendant, of a rent of 20 quarters of corn in Deuxhill. The right was the defendant's. [16] This calls to mind Sibil's interest in Deuxhill in 1256.

How Henry le Waleys, the next whom I find possessed of Criddon, succeeded thereto I cannot say. He, however, entailed the estate on Fitz Aer, by fine levied in 1306, and which purports to be between Hugh le Fitz Aer, plaintiff, and Henry le Waleys, defendant, of 1 messuage, 1 carrucate of land, and 100 shillings rent, in Criddon (Salop), and of 10 rent, in Franbarew (Warwickshire). The right is acknowledged to be Henry's, who concedes all the premises to Hugh for life, with remainder to William, son of said Hugh Fitz Aer, and Christiana, daughter of John de Redmarleye (wife of William I suppose). [17]

In March, 1316, Alina Fitz Aer is returned as Lady of Criddon; [18] and, in 1397-8, Criddon was held by Margaret Criddon by half a knight's fee, under Fitz Alan. [19]

A few inferior tenancies must have notice:-

In January, 1256, Agnes de Tedstill accused Thomas and Philip Horde and Ralph de Ruton, for breaking open her house at night. They prove that the thing was done not feloniously, but to make a certain seizure [20] (probably as public officers) .

[13] Vide supra, p. 141.
[14] Blakeway MSS.
[15] Kirby's Quest. Here then is one proof of the association between the service of Castle-guard and the fee of the Muntator or Muntor (vide supra, p. 85).
[16] Dukes' Antiquities, p. 255.
[17] Fines diversorum Comitat. 34 Ed. I, (Salop and Warw). Henry le Waleys may have been only a feoffee in trust.
[18] Parl. Writs, vol. iv, 398.
[19] Esch. Calend. iii, 223.
[20] Placita Coronae 40 Hen. III, memb. 1.


In Feb. 1262, Robert, son of Elias de Criditon, was amerced half a merk for imbladement,within the jurisdiction of Shirlet Forest. [21]

In July, 1272, Ralph, son of Robert the Carpenter, of Briddon, fined half a merk to have an assize. [22]

In September, 1272, there was a suit of mort d'ancestre, as to whether Elyas, father of William de Criddedon, had died seized of half a virgate here, and if so, whether said William was his heir. William de Morehall, who was sued as tenant, would not answer without Sibil, his wife. [23]

Richard, son of Reginald Elyes, of Criddon (of the same family as the last plaintiff, I suppose), is mentioned in a deed of 1311-2 as having sold a tenement in Criddon to Adam, son of Witham Lord of Upton, which said Adam then grants to John Lord of Upton, his nephew, &c. [24]


THIS Saxon town (tun), like all other Middletons, will have originally been so called with reference to certain other localities between which it stood.

But it is vain to conjecture such relations, seeing that 450 years may have elapsed between the time when a Mercian town received its Saxon name, and the time when such name first became matter of written record. In other words, we do not know, within 450 years, when any ordinary village of Mercia was established, and still less do we know what at the time of such establishment were the adjacent villages, or what two of them were of sufficient importance to suggest the denomination of a third. The neighbourhood of some great perennial objects, such as mountains or

[21] Plac. Forestae, 46 Hen. III.
[22] Fin., ii, 572.
[23] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 5 dorso.
[24] Vide supra, p. 143.


rivers, will, it is true, often account for allusive names, but in the case before us, these circumstances are wanting.

In 1085, Rainald (the Sheriff) held Middeltone (of the Earl), and Alcher and Albert (held it) of him. Edric a free man held it (in time of King Edward) for two Manors. Here are ii hides geldable. In demesne are ii ox-teams; and (there are) v serfs, vi villains, and v boors, with iii ox-teams; and there might be iii other (ox-teams) more. In time of King Edward (the Manors) were worth 13s. (per annum). Now (they are worth) 28s. They were waste (that is, worth nothing when they came to the present holders). [1]

The two Manors held here by Alcher and Albert, at Domesday, under the Sheriff Rainald, remained two Manors held by the descendants of Alcher and Albert under Fitz Alan.

Thus Middleton will have contributed its share to the service of 1 knight and 1 1/2 muntators due, in 1165, by Robert Fitz Aer to Fitz Alan's Barony; and also to the service of 1 knight and 3 1/2 muntators due, at the same period, by Hugh Fitz Albert, to the same seigneury. [2]

Also in 1240, when William Fitz Aer is said to hold 1 fee, and Thomas de Roshale 1 1/2 fees of the Barony of Fitz-Alan, [3] the fief of each must be taken to have involved whatever service was due from his share of Middleton.

But of Fitz Aer and Fitz-Albert we shall hear more elsewhere. Here we will only mention the undertenants of each at Middleton, distinguishing them or not as best we can.


Warin de Middelton, who, in November, 1194, was a recognizor in the assize mentioned under Hollicott, was, I suppose, Fitz Aer's tenant here. In the cause in question it is observable that his essoigner was Roger Fitz Edwin. [4]

On Sept. 26, 1199, a fine was levied at Salop between Warin de Middelton, plaintiff, and Richard de Overton, tenant, of one virgate in Overton (an adjoining Manor) whereof had been a trial of mort d'ancestre. Warin made over his claim to Richard and his heirs, receiving 15s. [5]

At Salop Assizes (October 1203), the Stottesden Jurors reported

[1] Domesday, fo. 255 a. 2.
[2] Liber Niger, i, 143.
[3] Testa de Nevill, pp. 44, 47, 48, 40. I [4] Supra, p. 181.
[5] Pedes finium, 1 John, Salop.


that " Roger Fitz Edwin, who was with Warin de Middelton, who died in a fit of intoxication, was a fugitive, but that he was not suspected as regarded the death of said Warin". [6]

It is possible that William de Middleton, who has before occurred as conceding his interest in Criddon to Geoffry de Criddon, in 1240, took his name from this Manor, and had an interest here.

Be that as it may, in 1255, the same Geoffrey de Criddon (written " Breddon") was Lord of a part of Middelton, viz. 1 hide, which he held in capite of John Fitz Aeri (written " Cleri "). He did suit to County and Hundred Courts. The whole Manor paid stretward - 8 pence, and motfe - 16 pence (the sums proportionable to 2 hides). [7]

How or when Geoffrey de Criddon or his daughter alienated this tenancy I cannot say. She was still living in 1284, and at a subsequent period has been noticed in a transfer of rents at Deuxhill to Edmund de Mortimer. This may be taken in conjunction with the fact that, in 1284, Thomas de la Hide held half the vill of Middleton of Edmund de Mortimer, Edmund of John Fitz Aer, John of Richard Fitz Alan, by service of one-fourth part of a knight's fee, and of the honor of White-Minster. [8]

In March, 1316, Thomas de la Hyde was returned [9] as one of the Lords of Middleton in Stottesden Hundred.


About 1170-80, Stephen de Midelton is a witness to a charter of Osbern Fitz Hugh, Lord of Richard's Castle which related to Badger. [10]

In Nov. 1194, Stephen de Middelton was a Recognizor in the assize mentioned under Hollicott. His essoigner was Adam de Middleton. [11]

At Salop Assizes, Oct. 1203, Stephen, nephew of one Robert, sued Vivian de Roshall, under writ of mort d'ancestre, for a bovate in Middleton, which he claimed as Robert's heir. Vivian appeared and said that he claimed nothing in the premises except as guardian of a certain infant whom he brought into Court. Stephen would

/ [6] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 2 dorso.
[7] Rot. Hund. ii, 81.
[8] Kirby' s Quest. In 1898, Warin de Middleton, whom I take to be of this place, has been mentioned already as having an interest in Faintree.
[9] Parl. Writs, vol. iv, p. 398.
[10] Charter at Badger.
[11] Supra, p. 181.


not allow a remanet on this ground, because the father of the said infant had never been seized of the land, but held it of his (Stephen's) service (I suppose in villenage). Vivian acknowledges thus far, but says that, in fact, Robert, son of the daughter of the first-named Robert, after the death of said first-named Robert, was seized of said land, and is yet living; and whereas he is living and not in Court, Vivian avers that there should be no assize. Stephen rejoins without contradicting Robert's seizin, but believes him to be dead. However, as Stephen produces no witnesses (sectam) of such death he takes nothing, and the Assize remains sine die. [12]

In 1255, Hamo de Middelton was returned as joint Lord of Middelton, holding i hide there of Thomas de Rossale, and doing suit to the Hundred Courts. [13]

From 1259 to 1262, he was one of the Agistators of several Royal Forests, and rendered account of his receipts in 1267. [14]

In Sept. 1263, Hamo de Middleton and Richard Clericus de Middleton sat as Jurors on an Inquest concerning the age of Robert de Beyssin (of Wrichton &c.). [15]

In Sept. 1272, Hamo was one of the Jurors who sat for Stottesden Hundred at the Assizes. [16]

In 1284, the daughters and heirs of Richard de Middleton apparently hold half the Manor of Thomas de Roshall, and Thomas of Richard Fitz-Alan &c. [17]

At the Assizes of Oct. 1292, Alan, son of Hamon de Middleton, and William Snell, of Middleton, are reported, as making default of attendance, by the Stottesden Jury. [18]

In March, 1316, John de Roshale is returned as one of the Lords of Middleton, the former sub-tenancy having apparently expired. [19] At this period Thomas de Roshale was head of his house, and presumed to have been seigneur over John.


The first notice of a Church here is in 1291, when the same is returned as not being of 4 annual value, and so not taxable. [20]

[12] Salop Assize, 5 John, memb. 6 recto.
[13] Rot. Hund. ii, 81.
[14] Placita forestae, 46 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto. Pipe Roll, 51 Hen. III.
[15] Esch. 47 Hen. III, No. 26.
[16] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III.
[17] Kirby's Quest.
[18] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, memb. 20 recto.
[19] Parl. Writs, iv, 898.
[20] Pope Nich. Tax, p. 166. The printed text gives " Chidleton" as the name of this place, which the note explains as " Cheillers". This is a double confusion, viz, with Chetton and Chelmarsh, both in the same Deanery of Stottesden, and valued distinctly on the same page of the record. Perhaps, however, the name of Middleton became Chidleton in this instance by confusion with Criddon. We have before had the same confusion resulting in such compounds as Cradelton, Gridelton, and Cridelton. (Vide supra, p. 191.)


In 1341, the taxation (valuation) of the Church of Midilton is put at 6 merks (4.) The Assessors and Vendors of the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb in the Parish, rendered account only of 1. 3s. 4d.; so much less than the taxation of the Church, because the wheat had been destroyed by storms, and there had been a common murrain among the sheep in the present year, and because the small tithes, offerings, glebe, and other profits of the same Church, go to make up the higher taxation, and have nothing to do with the ninth; and because 3 carrucates of land in the same Parish lie untilled by reason of the poverty of the tenants, as by Inquisition has been ascertained. [21]

In 1584, Christopher Shorde being Rector of Mydulton, in Stottesden Deanery, the Church is valued (in glebe, corn, and other tithes and offerings) at 4. The only charge was 6d. per annum, for Archdeacon's Synodals. [22]


On May 1, 1303, the Church is committed to Sir William de is Lowe, Priest, saving the right of Walter de Mortimer, the previous Presentee.

On March 21, 1340-1, John Martin was instituted on presentation of the Crown. The Bishop's precept thereon is addressed to the Dean of Stottesden. [24]

On May 16, 1354, Sir Nicholas de Brentemersch, Chaplain, is instituted to this Church on presentation of Sir Roger de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore.

On June 15, 1363, William Spier, Priest, is instituted.

[21] Inquis. Nonarum, 190.
[22] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, p. 211.
[23] Blakeway's Extracts from Hereford Registers, in Bibl. Bodl.
[24] Mr. Blakeway seems to have considered that a precept to the Dean of Stottesden was conclusive evidence that this Middleton was the one intended. But there was a contemporary Chapel at Middleton Priors, also in Stottesden Deanery, and to which, at this period, the Crown will have had the right of presentation. However, the latter chapelry was usually associated with Deuxhill, and that distinction between the two Middletons may have guided Mr. Blakeway. In 1340-1 the minority of Roger de Mortimer, of Wigmore, will have entitled the Crown to present to any vacant Church of his patronage.

( 199 )

Aston Eyre.


ASTON or ESTON, wherever it occurs, implies a town situated to the East of something else.

If this Aston and the hamlet of Weston, about four miles distant, were each so called with reference to some common centre, we can fix such centre nowhere but at Monk Hopton. Howbeit no early mention of the latter will warrant a presumption of such bygone importance as might have reflected a name on its neighbouring localities.

We infer from Domesday how Aston acquired its distinctive addition of Eyre. Aer and Eyre are softened or corrupted forms of Alcher, [1] whose name appears thus in that Survey -

"The same Rainald (Vicecomes) holds (under the Earl) Estone, and Alcher (holds it) of him. Sessi held it in time of King Edward and was a free man. Here are ii hides geldable. In demesne are three ox- teams; and six serfs, one villain, five boors and one Frenchman with two ox-teams. There is wood for 60 swine. Its former value was 30s., its present is 40s". [2]

Alcher either before or in 1086 had an interest in several other Manors, viz., Albrighton (near Shrewsbury), Middleton (now Middleton Scriven), Withiford, and Harcott. In the first three he held, as at Aston, of the fief of the Sheriff; in Harcott his tenure was immediately of the Earl. Thus it was that his descendants became tenants in capite of the Crown, a circumstance which affords many helps in clearing up their succession and history. But the name of Fitz Aer is also associated with those records of faith and devotion, which, while they facilitate all genealogical inquiries, invest them with their chief interest and perhaps their only use. Before Domesday was written, and while Warin the first Sheriff of

[1] Hist. Shrewsbury, vol. ii, p. 14.
[2] Domesday, fo. 255 a. 2.


Shropshire was yet alive, it is probable [3] that Alcher had formed the design of conferring his lordship of Albrighton on the then founded Abbey of Shrewsbury. Certain it is that the grant was completed before the death of Earl Roger.

His descendant, very possibly his son, was that Robert Fitz Aer, whom we have already mentioned and must presently recur to, as founder of the Church of Aston, about A.D. 1138. [4]

In 1165, the whole tenure of Robert Fitz Aer under the Barony of Fitz Alan involves the full service of 1 knight and 1 muntator, and half the latter service in addition. [5] The Knight's service was that which was due on Aston.

Within ten years of this period, Robert Fitz Aer will have died, leaving a son and heir of the same name.

The first notice of the latter is in a deed of the Salop Chartulary, which mentions him under the name of Robert Fitz Robert, as having been at issue with that Abbey about the burial of his men of Eston. This dispute took place whilst Adam was Abbot of Salop, that is, between the years of 1167 and 1175, and was settled by Roger, Bishop of Worcester. This Prelate probably officiated in consequence of a concurrent vacancy of the See of Hereford. He decided in favour of the Abbey, his assessors being apparently Ralph, Prior of Worcester, and Humbald, Prior of Wenlock. [6]

Between January and September, 1176, when the Justices appointed under the famous statutes of Northampton first visited Shropshire, they amerced this Robert Fitz Aer in a sum of 4 merks for some default. [7] Half of this fine was then paid, and the remainder subsequently. In the fiscal year ending Michaelmas 1180, Shropshire had been taken in the circuit of the great Justiciar, Ranulph de Glanvill. A still heavier fine had on this occasion been inflicted on Robert Fitz Aer. He had been convicted of a false presentment, had neglected to do homage (as a tenant in capite), and owed his relief for a certain Serjeantry (Harcott of course). His total liabilities amounted to 5, of which he paid 50s. in 1180, 16s. in 1181, and the balance in 1182. [8]

[3] Domesday, 255 b. Where the notice of Alcher's Manor of Etbritone in Bascherche Hundred is sufficient to indicate the lapse of his interest therein, though the Reversioner is not named.
[4] Supra, p. 140.
[5] Liber Niger, i, 143. This Robert may have been son of the last. His being called Robert Fitz Aer rather than Robert Fitz Robert Fitz Aer is no proof of the contrary.
[6] Salop Chartulary, No. 343.
[7] Pipe Roll, 22 Hen. II. Salop.
[8] Rot. Pip. 26, 27, 28 Hen. II. Salop.


Having come into possession of his estates about the same time as his Suzerain (the second William Fitz Alan), this Robert Fitz Aer appears as a prominent witness in certain charters of that Baron. He attests the two deeds which secured to the Canons of Haughmond the site of their house and the endowments of their founder. [9] He also stands first witness to a charter whereby Wm. Fitz Alan recognizes the right of Shrewsbury Abbey to some land in Oswestry. [10] The year 1190 may be assigned as the proximate date of all these deeds, and also of a further dispute which the same Robert Fitz Aer had with Shrewsbury Abbey as to the right of Advowson of the Chapel of Estun. [11] We have now to speak of him in another relation.-

About the year 1191, as far as we can judge from subsequent records, [12] this Robert Fitz Aer, with several others, was challenged (appellatus) in the Courts at Westminster for the murder of Richard de Brigida, a dependant of Matthew de Gamages of Stottesden. The appellant was Adam de Brigida, brother of the murdered man. The challenge was ultimately withdrawn against all parties, but not till Robert Fitz Aer had suffered a voluntary imprisonment of some duration, and his whole estate been seized into the hands of the King. It was either just before or during this temporary forfeiture that John le Strange obtained possession of Withyford, by writ of the Chancellor (Longchamp, Bishop of Ely), directed to the Sheriff of Shropshire. As another locality was principally concerned in this matter, we shall here give only such particulars as are necessary to a chronological account of the family under notice. Longchamp's writ to the Sheriff was an act of Sovereignty, and must have issued while he was Viceroy of King Richard, that is, between June, 1190, and October, 1191; limits which must also be assigned to his judicial visit to Hereford, at which, as John be Strange afterwards alleged, the Chancellor and his fellow-Justices awarded Withyford to the said John as his right, and not merely for custody. After Longchamp's expulsion, the Viceregal Office was discharged by Walter, Archbishop of Rouen, and his assessors. To them, before Michaelmas 1193, Robert Fitz Aer offered a fine of ten

[9] One of these deeds is printcd (Mon. vi, 108, ii), where this witness's name is given as Robert Fitz Haber. In the other deed (Hari. MSS., 446, quire zii, fo. 4) the name is given correctly. The two charters are contemporary and attested by the same witnesses.
[10] Salop Chartulary, 302 b.
[11] Ibidem, 340, 341.
[12] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 2 dorso.


merks "to have such seizin of his lands as he had when he was put into the King's Gaol". [13] No instalment of this fine was ever paid, probably because he who offered it never obtained the seizin for which he fined. It remained an entry on the Rolls of four following years, and on being renewed in the seventh year (A.D. 1200), the Barons of the Exchequer cancelled it as having been comprehended in a more recent fine, [14] presently to be mentioned. Meanwhile (that is, in the years 1194 and 1195), a suit had been progressing in the Law-Courts between Robert Fitz Aer and John le Strange, about Withyford. The latest mention of Fitz Aer the Plaintiff, is probably of date May 12, 1195, when John le Strange essoigned himself as being in the King's service in Wales. [15] A day of adjournment (probably July 1, 1195) was given, but the records of that and many subsequent terms are lost. However, we know that Robert Fitz Aer lived neither to conclude his suit nor liquidate his fine. During the fiscal year, which ended Michaelmas 1198, the widow of Robert Fitz Aer, viz. Emma de Say, accounted 20 merks into the Treasury, being her fine for having custody of the land and heir of said Robert, " which land he (Robert) held in capite of the King, viz. nine librates of land, and for having marriage of the heir and of herself". [16]

The heir in question was another Robert; but before we enter on his history, we should mention, that his father having an interest in Newton (near Ellesmere), had granted the whole thereof to the Canons of Haughmond, and concurred with Emma, his wife, in bestowal of their bodies, when dead, to receive rites of sepulture in that Abbey. To this deed were witnesses: William Fitz Alan, Alan de Hadley, Reginald de Hesding, and Henry Mauveysin, [17] - a combination which suggests a date at least five years previous to the death of the Grantor.

This is hardly the place to follow the suit about Withyford, which Emma de Say still prosecuted against John le Strange. Suffice it to mention its settlement by final concord at Salop, on Sept. 25, 1199, and that it was agreed that Robert, the infant son of Emma,

[13] Mag. Rot. Pip., 5 R.I. Salop, Nova Oblata.
[14] Rot. Pip., 2 John. Salop.
[15] " Placita incerti temporis Regis. Johannis", (No. 60); but, as I believe, of Easter Term, 6 Ric. I (1195).
[16] Rot. Pip., 9 Ric. I. Salop.
[17] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 152. It is worth noticing that this Robert Fitz Aer and his Suzerain Fitz Alan were both involved in disputes with Salop Abbey; were both benefactors of Haughmond, and were both buried there.


should hold it in future, under John le Strange and his heirs, by service of half a Knight's fee. [18]

In October, 1203, Emma and her son Robert, still under age, appear again in the Law-Courts, as Defendants in a suit about land in Harcott. [19] -

The infant alleged his nonage. The decision was " Habeat etatem suam"; equivalent, I presume, to an adjournment. Soon after this Robert Fitz Aer will have been of full age, for his consent is certified to a grant which Lewellyn Prince of Wales, then Lord of Ellesmere, made to Haughmond Abbey. [20]

He further attests as Robert, son of Robert Fitz Aer, a deed of Ranulf de Rodinton, which must have passed before 1211 [21]; and in the latter year is similarly designated, as holding his serjeantry (of Harcott) in capite of the Crown. [22]

On July 3, 1221, King Henry III, being then at Bridgnorth, issued his precept [23] to the chief Forester of Salop, commanding him " to permit Robert Fitz Alier (Aher) to assart and cultivate his rifflet pertaining to his wood of Estun, where the road goes down towards Salop, between the brook and the boundary (horam) of the aforesaid wood of Estun". The object of this permission was, that " the said road might be safe and secure for passengers in those parts, and that they should neither meet with harm to their goods nor persons, from the malefactors of that neighbourhood, by reason of the said rifflets". [24]

At Salop Assizes (Nov. 1221), Robert Fitz Aer was of the Jury which had to try " a great Assize". [25]

The next who occurs in this succession was William Fitz Aer, who before Michaelmas, 1231, stood pledge for Walter de

[18] Pedes finium, 1 John. Salop. This settlement with John le Strange was only final as regarded him. Another suit remained, wherein the tenants of a part of Withyford were Defendants, but the details must be reserved for their proper place.
[19] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 5 recto.
[20] Haughmond Chartulary apud Sundorn, fo. 152.
[21] Charter in possession of Mr. George Morris.
[22] Testa de Nevill, p. 55.
[23] Rot. Claus., 5 Hen. III, memb. 6. None of the Lexicographers explain the word riffletum. It is used conjunctively with boscus (a wood) and with messuagium (a messuage). The context of the above perhaps throws as much light on the word as any attempt to explain it.
[24] Two " rifflets" had been named in the deed, but the second was in Shirlet Forest, and so is not particularized above.
[25] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 1. Of the trial " by grand Assize", see Lingard, Hist. England vol. ii, p. 293.


Upton, as to an amercement of the latter by the Justices of the Forest. [26]

In 1235, he was one of four Knights who visited all the King's forests in Shropshire, and made return as to their condition, in obedience to a Royal Writ, dated Oct. 19, of that year. [27]

In October, 1237, he is the second Juror named of those who met the King at Worcester, to try a great and protracted suit between Giles de Erdinton and Henry de Audley. [28]

In or about 1240, his tenure of 1 Knight's fee in Eston, is entered on the list of Fitz Alan's Barony. [29]

He resigned all right of patronage in the Chapel of Eston, by formal deed, to Salop Abbey; and this, his act, was certified by H. Bishop of Hereford, calling him "The Knight William Fitz Aer, Lord of Eston". This transaction will have been previous to 1234. [30]

On Aug. 18, 1245, this William Fitz Aer was dead; for then did " Philip le Bret give 20 merks to the King to have custody of two parts of his land in Eston and Hauerkecot (Harcott), till the lawful age of said William's heir. And he (Philip) was to pay yearly for the said two parts, that which they were valued at, viz. 10. 9s. 3 d., whereof 1. was to be paid to the Abbey of Hagheman, as the said William annually paid it in his time, and the balance to the King's Exchequer". [31] This fine for two-thirds of William Fitz Aer's estate, indicates the survivorship of his widow, and her continued tenure of the remaining third in dower.

[26] Rot. Pip. 15 Henry III, Salop. A William Fitz Aer had occurred in the very beginning of the century, and while Robert Fitz Aer was under age, unless I mistake the date of the deed to which I refer, and in which the said William is a prominent witness. (It is a Charter quoted in the Newport Evidences in the Bodleian Library.) I cannot suppose him to have been the same Wm. Fitz Aer noticed above, but still the doubt which remains about the matter induces me to defer a tabular pedigree cf this family to a future occasion, when I hope to give it with little hesitation as to its correctness.
[27] Charters entitled " de forestis antiquis", at the Tower. No. 13.
[28] Placita coram Rege apud Wygorn, 21 Hen. III, memb. 1 dorso.
[29] Testa de Nevill, page 49.
[30] Salop Chartulary, 344, 345. The certificate quoted appears under the name of Henry Bishop of Hereford. As no such prelate sat before the eighteenth century, it is evident that the Chartulary involves an error. A number of cases have occurred to me where a similar incoherence has arisen from some transcriber having taken upon himself to determine a Christian name, which was represented in the original only by an initial letter. Presuming this to have been the case here, we must refer the certificate quoted to Hugh Foliot, Bishop of Hereford, elected in 1219, and who died 26 July 1234.
[31] Rot. Fin. i, 441.


In 1255, though John Fitz Aer, the next in succession, was still in minority, his tenure of this manor is stated without reference to that fact. [32] The Stottesden Jury said, as regarded Whetene Aston, that John Fitz Aer was Lord, and held immediately of John Fitz Alan by one Knight's fee, and that there were therein two hides of land (the Domesday hidage), and that he did suit to the Hundred Court by Richard Mukel (his Attorney to do suit to the lesser Hundred Courts for the said vill), and that he paid the Sheriff 8 pence for stretward, and 16 pence for motfee.

In 1256, John Fitz Aery was returned amongst those who holding fifteen librates of land were not yet knighted. [33]

In 1271, he was both a Knight and Sub-escheator of the King in this County. His conduct in the latter office was variously reported of three years afterwards. The Jurors of the Manor of Ford complained of some extortion of his, after the death of James de Audley, [34] while the Jurors of Wenlock said that " after the death of Prior Aymo, he entered the Priory, and there discharged his duties well and faithfully", [35] an almost singular exception to the statements which were given as to the conduct of the fiscal officers of the Crown at that period.

At the Shrewsbury Assizes, of October, 1272, he appears both as a Knight and Juror of the " King's Grand Assize". [36]

He was also unsuccessful in a suit against a tenant who pleaded that his tenure was not under the said John, but under Margery, John's mother, and so evaded the main question. [37] This Margery will therefore have been the widow of William Fitz Aer, above alluded to, and identical with that Margery de Harcott who, at these same Assizes, was returned as failing in due attendance.

In 2 Edw. I (1273-4), this Sir John Fitz Aer was associated with Sir Ralph d'Arraz, as Justice for delivery of Shrewsbury Gaol. [38]

On Jan. 28, 1281, he was one of four Knights who were appointed, under precept of the Crown, to make report as to the state of Bridgnorth Castle. [39] His attestation of deeds at this period is very frequent.

[32] Rot. Hund. ii, 82, where the printed edition has converted John Fitz Aeri into " Johannes filius Cleri". [33] Dukes' Antiquities, Introduction, page vii.
[34] Rot. Hund. ii, p. 88.
[35] Ibidem, p. 112.
[36] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 1 recto.
[37] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 12 recto. The premises in litigation are described as situated in Schyre.
[38] Rot. Pat., sub anno.
[39] Inquisition, 9 Edw. I, No. 81. This Inquisition is a document of the greatest interest, and will be given at length hereafter. Its description in the printed Calendar (volume i, page 73), must be the result of a mere guess at its nature, and, of course, is very erroneous.


In 1284, his tenure of Aston by 1 Knight's fee of the honour of White-Minster, is again recorded. [40] His death in 21 Edw I (1222-3), is first marked by the usual writ to the Escheator, to seize his lands, and then by the Inquest which makes mention of his Manor of Aston Eyres. [41]

To him succeeded Hugh his son and heir, who, on Feb. 25, 1294, quits all claim in a messuage in High Street, Bridgnorth, to William Fitz Robert de Petra, senior. [42]

This Hugh sat as a juror on the Great Forest Perambulation of 1300, [43] and died in 7 Edw. II (1313-4). [44] In 1816, Hugh, son of Hugh, is returned as Lord of Aston Aer, [45] and with him we may, for the present, dismiss the subject, especially as the further history of the family is rather connected with other localities than Aston Aer.

Of under tenants in this Manor, Richard Mukley has occurred above, in 1255. In Feb. 1262, the same Richard appeared before the Justices of the Forest as essoignor of Simon Carbonel of Wetenaston, who was dead. [46]


Stephen's seizure of the Crown of England was so ably planned and so daringly executed, that nearly two years elapsed before men's minds were awakened to a sense of its iniquity.

Shropshire, ever foremost in a cause of faith and legitimacy, was stirred in the spring of 1138, by two young Barons, who, owing their position to the favour of King Henry I, were bound to the cause of his daughter by gratitude no less than fealty. The greater of these was William Fitz Alan. He sacrificed everything in the ensuing struggle - his honours, his offices, his estates, fifteen of the best years of his life, all but a name for matchless truth and constancy.

We may suppose his conduct to have been generally followed by his feudatory tenants; and one of them was Fitz Aer. But about

[40] Kirby's Quest.
[41] Inquisitions, (Calendar, i, 114). The particulars will be given elsewhere.
[42] Charter at Apley Park.
[43] Salop Chartulary, No. 279.
[44] Inquisitions (Calendar, vol. i, p. 255).
[45] Parl. Writs, vol. iv, p. 398.
[46] Placita Forestae, 46 Hen. III, Salop, memb. 1 recto.


that time when the Chief was vainly fortifying Shrewsbury against Stephen, the vassal was winning for himself a humbler but not less lasting remembrance in this secluded Manor of Aston. So intense and so complicated became the great national struggle that we know little, save of its beginning and its end, and that not from any one contemporary chronicle. But a rudely sculptured stone and a scroll of parchment still exist, ample records of an act of private benevolence and devotion in that age of hatred and ungodliness. A Church was built, endowed and consecrated at Aston Aer, and we may learn both the time, the agents, and the objects of its foundation.

" Know all men", says the record, " both now and hereafter, that on the day of the dedication of the cemetery [47] of Eston, I, Robert, son of Aher, gave to God and to the Chapel of the same vill of Eston one virgate of land containing sixty acres, and all tithe of my demesne of the same vill, and one mansion, for the health of my soul, and of all my predecessors, and successors. And that my gift may be free and quit of all reclaim by me or by my heirs, and may ever remain firm and stable, I have fortified it with this present writing and with the impression of my seal.- These being witnesses: Robert, by divine grace, Bishop of Hereford, Reinald, Prior of Wenlock; Peter, the Archdeacon; Richard and Eluric, Deans; Alan de Opton; Fulcaius de Aldreham, and many others". [48]

At a period very shortly subsequent to this consecration, Robert de Betun, Bishop of Hereford, addressing Ralph the Dean and the whole Convent (Chapter) of the Diocesan Church, deems it necessary, for the security of the Monks of Shrewsbury, to specify the Chapels or Cemeteries which the warlike troubles of the time had induced him to consecrate. In the Parish of the Church of Morville were several, and among them " one at Eston, to which Robert Fitz Aher gave sixty acres, and all tithe of his demesne, and one mansion". This deed also mentions " the defence of the poor" as one of the objects which the Bishop had had in view. It also contains several regulations as to the subjection of these Chapels to their Mother Church, and so to Shrewsbury Abbey. [49]

[47] The meaning of the word Cemetery must not be restricted by modern ideas, but will rather be obtained from the earliest ages of Christianity, when the members of a persecuted faith being driven to worship in vaults and burial places, a Cemetery became only another name for a Church. (See Bingham's Antiquities, ii, 351, and vii, 362).
[48] The original deed in possession of Mr. George Morris of Shrewsbury.
[49] Salop Chartulary, No. 333.


There can be little doubt as to these deeds being nearly contemporary, and that they passed about 1188-9.

With that date for the foundation of the Church some architectural remains of the original structure are in exact accordance. The door- way and tympanum, of which a drawing is herewith given, I understand to be the chief features illustrative of the question of date.

The dispute between Salop Abbey and Robert Fitz Aer, as to the burial of his tenants at Aston has been already noticed. [50] Its settlement by Roger, Bishop of Worcester, about A.D. 1170, seems to have been in accordance with the rules laid down by Robert, Bishop of Hereford, at the time of consecrating the Church.

About 1190, [51] William Chaplain, of Aston, having resigned his Chapel into the hands of William (de Vere), Bishop of Hereford, that Prelate committed cure and custody thereof to Peter Chaplain, of Hopton. At the same time he writes to the Abbot of Shrewsbury, acknowledging the Advowson to belong to that house, and stating that he had granted such custody of his own authority, and not on presentation of Robert Fitz Aer, or any one else, but with full observance of the Abbot's right. His reason for writing, he says, is that no act of his may be construed by the said Robert into an acknowledgment of his (Robert's) claims on the Advowson. He concludes with exhorting the Abbot to listen to his (the Bishop's) request in behalf of the fore-mentioned Peter, whom he entitles a " discreet person".

The nature of this request will appear forthwith. The same William " by divine grace, the humble servant of the Church of Hereford", addresses " all sons of Holy Mother Church to whom these present letters shall come". He signifies to them all, that " Robert Fitz Aer in his presence, and when many both of the Clergy and Laity were present, orally and voluntarily confessed that he had no right of presenting any one to the Chapel of Estuin, but that the Advowson thereof did belong, and still belonged to the Abbot and Convent of Salop". And that no doubt should arise about this matter in future, the said Bishop put to the said letters the testimony of his sea1.

As a sequel to this very intelligible piece of diplomacy, the same

[50] Vide supra, p. 37.
[51] Salop Chartulary, No. 340.
[52] The original deed in possession of Mr. George Morris.- A transcript contributed by him to the Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, vol. v, p. 177.


Bishop issued another letter [53] to the sons of Holy Mother Church, informing them, that, at the presentation of his most beloved brother H. by divine grace, Abbot of Salop, and of the Convent of the same, he has admitted Peter Chaplain of Hoptun, to the said Abbot and Convent's Chapel of Eston, and has canonically instituted him perpetual Vicar in the same Chapel - in such sort however, as that, the same Peter shall hold the said Chapel with its appurtenances as his ancestors (predecessors) held it, to wit, with one virgate of land in the vill of Eston, and a third of the customary corn-tithe of the whole arable land. But the tithes of the whole demesne which belong to the parish Church (Morville), and the bodies of the dead (their funerals), with the principal bequests (legatis), shall remain to the Mother Church, viz. of Mamerfeld, to which the aforesaid Chapel belongs. The said Peter shall also each year pay at Michaelmas 8s., as an annual pension to the Mother Church of Mamerfeld, and shall be answerable to the Bishop and his officials for all customary payments, which belong to that Chapel. And that this Charter may be undisturbed, the Bishop confirms it with his seal.- The witnesses were: Master Robert Folet (Foliot), William Chaplain, Reginald Foliot, Martin de Castello, Robert de Hastinges.

I have been particular to give at some length the contents of these successive charters, lest the injustice which they imply should escape identification. [54] -

A benevolent Layman founds and endows a Church; a pious Bishop consecrates it. It happens to be in a district where a great Abbey claims a prescriptive parochial jurisdiction, but by no means taxes itself with such a cure of souls as would necessitate the foundation of more Churches. In process of time, the said Abbey not only appropriates part of the endowment of the district Church, but claims a right of presentment to the residue. The founder's heir remonstrates or contests the matter. The Diocesan Bishop is the Judge. He awards the right of Advowson to the Abbey, his expectation being that he himself shall nominate to the existing vacancy.

Wicked as was the fiscal element of Henry the Eighth's Reformation, truly it was, in its very wickedness, but a measure of retribution ! The Church which had robbed and cheated was in turn plundered.

[53] The original in Mr. George Morris's possession, and a transcript ibidem.
[54] Vide supra, p. 38, note 25.


Between the years 1222 and 1284, William Fitz Aer, then Lord of Aston, quitted all claim in the Chapel thereof to Salop Abbey.- The witnesses to this deed were: William Fitz Osbert, and William, Brother of Reginald de Tugford, Chaplains. [55]

And this renunciation is certified by a contemporary deed of " Henry", Bishop of Hereford, who calls the person renouncing, " The Knight William Fitz Aer, Lord of Eston". [56]

In 1291, [57] the Chapel of Astone Aer is first mentioned as an adjunct of the Church of Morville, and no separate valuation is given, but the Vicarage thereof is also stated to be under 4. annual value.

In 1341, the Parochial value of Aston Aer must be similarly gathered from the general statement as to Morville and its Chapels, which has already been given. [58]

In the valuation of 1535, the Chapelry is not mentioned; but in 1545 we have seen that the Curate of Wheaton Aston had a salary of 5. 16s. 0d., chargeable on the Cell or Grange of Morville. [59]

Of the early incumbents of Aston Aer, I can say no more than has been implied above. The first Hereford Registers appear to take no notice of such a Chapelry.


GLAS-LLE in British, signifies "green place", an etymology which we can hardly hesitate to accept for Glazeley. If this be right, it is further observable how Anglo-Saxon usage changed the British term lle (a place), into its own term leg (a district); for after Domesday we generally find this vill written Glas-leg, or in some form associated with the Saxon rather than the British termination. Such change was natural between words so nearly allied in sound and sense, but we need not reject an obvious British etymology because it became adapted to a prevalent Saxon usage.

[55] Salop Chartulary, No. 345.
[56] Salop Chartulary, No. 344, vide supra, p. 204, note 30.
[57] Pope Nich. Tax. 166, 175.
[58] Vide supra, p. 39.
[59] Vide supra, p. 41.


Domesday speaks of this place as follows - [1]

The same Rainald (the Sheriff), holds Gleslei (of the Earl) and Azo of him. Elunard held it (in King Edward's time), and was free with his land. Here are ix hides geldable. In demesne is i ox-team; and (there are) vii serfs, iiii villains, v boors, one radman, and a Priest with iii ox-teams, and yet there might be ii ox-teams more. Here is a mill of 5s. (annual value). It (the Manor) was worth (in King Edward's time) 25s. (annually). Now (it is worth) 20s.

Of AElward the Saxon, we merely observe that his three Alnodestreu Manors, Oldbury, Eudon, and Glazeley, all devolved to the fief of the Norman Sheriff.

Of Glazeley, it further appears, that, like other Manors held by Azo under Rainald at Domesday, Azo's interest came to be represented by the elder house of Le Strange, under Fitz Alan. The Manors to which this remark applies are Glazeley, Abdon, Berrington and Lega (now Longnor); but Streford is perhaps an exception.

We know not when Azo's representatives became extinct, or gave way to Le Strange; but there is every probability that Azo's Domesday fief helped to constitute those 2 fees of new feoffment which in 1165 were held by John le Strange, of the Barony of Fitz Alan. Glazeley, undoubtedly, was thus circumstanced.

I shall have that to offer under Abdon and Longnor, which will be much more pertinent to the question of Azo's succession than anything which I have found in connexion with Glazeley. Here we had better speak of those whom I take to have held Glazeley under John le Strange, from the first period of his own feoffment by Fitz Alan. These were a family of Norman extraction, whose original name was Pierre-point (de Petri-ponte); [2] but whose members, seated here, came to be called " de Glazeley", at first, incidentally, but afterwards uniformly.

About 1175, Simon de Perepunt and William de Perepunt, stand sixth and tenth witnesses to the certificate of John le Strange which I have already mentioned in connexion with one of these witnesses. [3]

[1] Domesday, fo. 255 a, 2.
[2] Pont St. Pierre is a vill in the diocese of Rouen, situate at the confluence of the Rivers Andelle and Seine. Robert and Godfrey de Pierpont were among the Suffolk tenants of William de Warren at Domesday, (fo. 399, 399 b), and the descendant of one of them in time of Henry III was a Simon de Pierpoint. The name (spelt Perepound) was on the Roll of Battle Abbey. Its later ennoblement is well known.
[3] Vide supra, p. 73, note 218,- but the deed is not in Mr. G. Morris' possession, as there stated.


A grant by Guy le Strange (brother of John), to Haughmond Abbey, and which probably passed in 1179, and shortly before the grantor's death, is attested in the third and fourth places by Simon de Petri- ponte and William Clericus, whom I take to be the same two witnesses. [4]

In November, 1194, Simon de Perepont was one of the Visors in a law- suit already mentioned under Astley Abbots. His Essoigner was " Alan de Gleseleia". [5]

In Easter Term, 1200, he, Simon, was one of four knights who were to choose a jury to try an assize about land in Northleg (Norley Regis). [6]

At Salop Assizes, 1203, Simon de Pierrepoint appears in various relations: 1st, as a Knight and Juror of great Assize; 2dly, as amerced for some transgression; and 3dly, as defendant in a suit, wherein Roger de Wadeleg accused him of disseising him (Roger) of a tenement in Wadeleg. [7] In this suit, Simon was successful, and retained the premises.

At the same Assizes, [8] the Stottesden Jurors presented that Matthew de Gamages (Lord of Stottesden) had challenged Richard le Veil, and Alan de Petraponte, and others, for the murder of his man. The County Court however testified that the said Matthew appeared some time in said Court, and complained of the murder of Richard, his man, and that some of Matthew's servants also appeared and challenged said Richard le Veil and Alan de Petraponte, and others; but that Matthew did not make the challenge, but attorned Philip his Seneschal to prosecute the matter with the other challengers (appellantibus). The Jurors of Stottesden were hereupon declared to be in misericordia for a false presentment (pro falso dicto).

This murder had been committed ten years before, at least. It was the same, of which Robert Fitz Aer being suspected, had suffered imprisonment. He had been acquitted, and was now dead; but at these Assizes, the charge was renewed against several persons, and failed in each case, on the ground of previous acquittal. Thus Geoffry Dilum challenged Alan de Petraponte for the aforesaid murder. Alan is absent, and the Jury (of Stottesden) being asked

[4] Haughmond Chart., fo. 145.
[5] Vide supra, p. 47. [6] Rot. Cur. Regis., ii, 169. [7] Assize Roll, 5 John. Salop. Memb. 4 recto, 6 dorso, 4 recto. Wadley was near Glaseley and a member of the Manor.
[8] Ibidem, memb. 2 dorso.


to whom the said Alan went, or by whom he had been entertained (receptatus), since such challenge was first made, said, that he had been entertained by William de Petra-ponte his Brother, who acknowledges the fact. Although Alan was declared innocent, and had leave from the Court to return home, and although the challenge was declared null, and the appellant fined half a merk for its falsity, it appears that the reception of Alan, while under challenge, was a misdemeanour on the part of his Brother William. The latter had anticipated the consequences by fining half a merk with Geoffrey Fitz Piers (Chief Justice), in composition of his fault. John le Strange was his Surety for this fine, which however appears to have been increased to 10s. by the Justices in Eyre, for which also John le Strange was pledge.

I cannot help thinking that Alan and William de Pierrepoint were sons of Simon, and that the former succeeded to Glazeley.

In 1214, Alan de Petriponte had been amerced, [9] apparently by Peter, Bishop of Winchester, for some disseizin. He had paid the fine in two instalments.

The same Alan has already appeared under Quatford, in November, 1221. [10]

The next who occurs in this succession was Guy de Pierrepoint, otherwise called Guy de Glazeley. Him I take to have been son of Alan, and father of a second Alan, his heir.

Sir John le Strange and Wido de Gleseg, are witnesses of Peter de Eyton's charter.to Salop Abbey, and which must have passed between 1224 and 1227. [11]

Also, Wydo de Gleseleg is witness of a grant in Walkerslow to the same house, by Adam de Beyssin, and which passed within ten years of the same period. [12]

In September, 1235, the scutage of John le Strange had been paid by hand of Guy de Gleseleg. [13]

Wydo de Perpund is a witness to a feoffment of John le Strange, [14] (probably the third of his name), and which must have passed about 1238, if the grantor be rightly identified.

This Guy had three sons, Alan, Henry, and William, by his wife Juliana, who survived him.

In Michaelmas term 1251, Ralph de Arraz and Jane his wife, sued

[9] Pipe Roll 16 John, Salop.
[10] Vide supra, p. 113.
[11] Salop Chartulary, No. 280.
[12] Ibidem, No. 10.
[13] Testa de Nevill, p. 61.
[14] Wombridge Chartulary, Tit. Lopinton, No. ix.


Alan, son of Wydo, for 6 virgates of land in Wadeleg, and Juliana, mother of said Alan, for 2 virgates there, as the right of Jane. -

Alan and Juliana ask for view thereof, which the Court grants, and adjourns the case to the quinzaine of Hilary (Jan. 27, 1252). Juliana names Adam de Perepunt her Attorney. [15] The Rolls of that term are lost, but we shall hear presently the result of this suit.

In 1255, the Stottesden Jurors reported Alan de Perepunt as Lord of Glasele. Therein was 1 hide of land which the said Alan held of John le Strange for half a Knight's fee. But he did no suit, except twice a year at the Sheriff's tourn, nor did he pay stretward nor motfee: the Jury knew not the ground of either ex-emption. [16]

At the Salop Assizes, of January, 1256, Ralph de Arras and Alan Fitz Wydo, are each found offering a merk for license to accord their suit. They have such license and a cyrograph. [17]

Accordingly a fine remains on the Rolls to this effect. [18] -

"This is the final concord between Ralph de Arraz and Jane his wife, Plaintiffs; and John le Straunge, whom Alan Fitz Wydo calls to warranty, and who comes forward with such warranty, &c., concerning 8 virgates in Wadeleg (except 6s. rent), whereof was suit at law. Ralph and Jane acknowledged the right of the others, quit as regarded themselves and their heirs. For this John le Strange gave the plaintiffs 40 merks".

In Feb. 1262, Alan de Glasleye appears as one of the regarders of the Forests of Morf and Shirlet. [19]

Between the years 1266 and 1269, this Alan de Glaseleye attests both the charters which Robert Corbet of Chetton granted in relation to that manor. [20]

At Salop Assizes, October 1272, John de Glaseleye and Alan de Glasleg were Jurors for Stottesden Hundred. [21]

Nov. 30, 1274, John de Gleseleg was one of the Jurors who reported on the misconduct of public officers &c. in the Hundred of Stottesden. Among their presentments was one that Hugh Donvil

[15] Plac. apud Westm., 35 Hen. III, memb. 3 recto. Juliana de Galzeley has occurred above in 1255 (vide page 124).
[16] Rot. Hund. ii, 81. The mesne tenure of John le Strange under Fitz Alan, is not recognised.
[17] Assize Roll, 40 Hen. III, memb. 6 dorso.
[18] Fines at Salop, 40 Hen. III.
[19] Plac. Forestae, 46 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto.
[20] Vide supra, pp. 178, 179.
[21] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 21 recto.


(fermor of Stottesden Hundred, under the Sheriff) had taken a bribe of 1s. from John de Gleseleg for removing him (John) from some Assize [22] (excusing his service on a Jury).

January 28, 1281, Sir Alan de Glaseleg was one of the four Knights commissioned to make view and report of the state of the King's Castle of Brug. [23]

In 1284, Alan de Glasseleye is registered as holding Glasseleye of John le Strange for half a Knight's fee; and said John held it of Richard Fitz Alan, of the honour of White-Minster, and Richard of the King in capite. [24]

Next to this, in point of time, is perhaps.the deed already quoted, whereby Katherine, relict of Sir Alan de Glaseleye, concedes to Guy, Lord of Glaseleye, land in Quatford, which she and her husband had purchased from Henry, her said husband's brother. [25]

At Salop Assizes, October, 1292, John de Glaseleye and Wytho de Glaseleye were both Jurors of Stottesden Hundred. [26]

June 28, 1297, Wydo de Glaseleg attests a Holycott deed already cited; [27] and in June, 1800, he was one of the Jurors on the great Forest Perambulation of the County. [28]

15 March, 1801, John de Glaseley sat in an Inquest held at Cleobury North. [29]

In 5 Edw. II (1811-12), Wydo, Lord of Glaseley, attests a deed at the Woodhouse near Stottesden, hereafter to be cited, but he is not placed among the witnesses who were Knights. [30]

In March, 1816, he is returned as Lord of Glasseley, [31] and in 10 Edw. II (1816-7); granted land in Bruges to Catherine his daughter.
[32] He must have died soon after. The Escheat Rolls of 11 Edw. II (1817-8), [33] seem to have reported him Lord of the Manors of Glaseleye and Ruytone, of which hereafter.

Sept. 29, 1824, John de Glaseleye is found attesting a deed at Bridgnorth. [34]

In 8 Edw. III, 1829, Alan de Glazeley (son and heir of Guy)

[22] Rot. Hund. ii, 107, 109, where in the flrst instance the name is printed Eleseleg.
[23] Inquis. 9 Edw. I, No. 81.
[24] Kirby's Quest.
[25] Vide supra, p. 114, under Quatford. The seal of the deed is to be especially noticed.
[26] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, memb. 51 recto.
[27] Vide supra, p. 182.
[28] Salop Chartulary, No. 279.
[29] Inquis. 29 Edw. I, No. 7.
[30] Blakewey's MSS., citing an Ottley Deed. Vide infra, under Aston Botterell, as to its date.
[31] Parliamentary Writs, iv, 398.
[32] Blakeway MSS.
[33] Calend. Esch., vol. i, p. 288.
[34] Charter at Apley Park.


granted to Reginald, son of Fremund de Eardinton, a meadow in the field of Brug, called the Ree.

This Alan, and William his son, occur in a deed of 27 Edw. III (1353-4). [35]

With them we will close this portion of our subject.

One or two documents, however, remain, which may be added as an Appendix to this account of Glazeley. -

At the Assizes of 1272, Laurence de Glaseleye and Agnes his wife, sued Philip de Heselwode for one-third of a virgate in Heselwode, and sued John, son of Richard de Holicote, for three acres in the same, as the right of Agnes. [36] (The record is here broken off with the words " Jurata patriae", intended to begin another sentence). Another entry on the same Roll is as follows:-

Philip de Haselwod sues Laurence de Glaseleye and Agnes, daughter of Walter de Haselwod, for two-thirds of a messuage and virgate in Haselwod, in which the defendants had no entry, save by Richard de Haselwod, Philip's brother, who demised the premises to them for a term of 16 years, now expired. Laurence and Agnes plead that Richard enfeoffed them, and they produce his charter thereof. Philip is declared in misericordia. [37]

By deed sans date, but probably of the year 1273, William, son of Wydo de Glaseleye, grants to Cristiana, daughter of William Dagenel, for her service, five seylions in the fee of Tasseley, between the lands of the Lady of Tasseley, of Richard de Petra, &c. To hold to her for life, and to Agnes her daughter and the heirs of said Agnes' body, for 1d. payable at Michaelmas, as long as they shall both live.- Witnesses: William Bolding, Roger de la More junior, Provosts of Brug &c. [38]

Also Christiana, daughter of William Dagonel, of Bruges, delivers to William, called Godwyn, Clerk of Brug, for a sum of money, the same 5 seylions, which William de Glaseley gave her.- To hold for a term of five years, commencing Michaelmas 1273, so that he may have, according to the custom of the country, five crops together with the charter, and its effect (virtute) and feoffment, which said William de Glaseley made and gave of that land to the said Christiana.- Witnesses: the same Provosts and others (six in number), dated A.D. 1273, and 1 Edw. I. [39]

[35] Blakeway MSS.
[36] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 12 dorso.
[37] Ibidem, memb. 14 recto.
[38] Charter at Apley Park.
[39] Charter ibidem. These two deeds are not given thus at length for their load interest or importance, but because of their peculiar instructiveness as to points of conveyancing at that early period, when we seldom meet with a dated charter.



I have before said that mention of a Priest in connexion with any Domesday Manor perhaps indicates the coexistence of a Church. [40] We have, in case of Glazeley, a confirmation of that surmise, more apposite than could ordinarily have been expected.

We learn in fact, that about thirty years after Domesday, the Church of Glazeley was of such standing, as that Ingelbert, the Priest thereof, claimed in an Archidiaconal Chapter, then held at Castle Holgate, a parochial jurisdiction over the neighbouring Manor of Deuxhill. [41] The latter belonged to Wenlock Priory, and the dispute very probably arose in consequence of the Monks having founded a Chapel there. All that need be said of this matter here is, that Richard, Bishop of London, then Viceroy of Shropshire, and presiding judicially in the said Chapter, rejected the claim of the Rector of Glazeley, on the ground that all St. Milburg's lands constituted but one Parish.

In 1291, the Church of Glaaleye was valued at 4; but the Priory of Wenlock had a portion of 6s. 8d. therein, which belonged to the pittance of the Monks. [42]

In 1341, the Church of Glaseley, in Stottesden Deanery, is entered as valued at 4. 6s. 8d. But the Assessors and Vendors of the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb in the Parish, render account only of 19s. -

The reasons of the difference were, a want of sheep and lambs, the non-cultivation of 1 virgate of land through poverty of its tenants, and because the glebe, hay-tithe, offerings, and other small tithes went to make up the greater sum (the taxation), and were not included in the ninth. [43]

In 1535, Deuxhill and Glazeley were united Parishes. Peter Griffith was Rector. Their collective value in glebe and great and small tithes was 4. 13s. 4d.; but a pension of 8s. payable to Wenlock Priory was chargeable on that value. [44] The Prior of Wenlock's return gives this pension as receivable from the Rector of Deuxhill. [45]

[40] Vide supra, p. 35, note 18.
[41] Rot. Pat. 22 Edw. III, p. 3, memb. 34. Inspeximus.
[42] Pope Nic. Tax. 166. For an explanation of the Monastic pittance and an instance of endowment, specially devoted thereto, see Hist. Shrewsbury, ii, 97. In 1391, I find this pension or portion taxed at its twentieth by the Crown, viz. at 4d. (Register at Willey, fo. 36, b).
[43] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 190.
[44] Valor Eccles. iii, 210.
[45] lbidem, p. 216.


Of the EARLY INCUMBENTS Of Glazeley I can say nothing more specific than that which is implied above, viz., that there was an Incumbent of Glazeley, independent of Wenlock Priory, or of any other Church, early in the twelfth century. The first Hereford Registers (according to Mr. Blakeway's transcripts in the Bodleian Library) appear to take no notioe of a distinct Incumbency here. How or when the combination with Deuxhill, which existed in 1584, first commenced is a question,- possibly to be solved by some retrospective document of a later period than that of which we treat, perhaps by some yet undiscovered Chartulary of Wenlock Priory.


[For pedigree, see pdf.]

( 219 )


IT is often doubtful whether places with this termination owe it to the Saxon heall (a hall), or hul (a hill). The Domesday orthography (Dehocsele) would favour the former derivation, while the situation of the place would correspond well with the latter.

As regards the first syllable or syllables, involved in the letters Dehocs or Deuks, I can offer little even in the way of conjecture. The word is perhaps the possessive case of some personal noun, disguised by change, or wholly obsolete. The nearest Saxon name which I have met with is Dudoc or Duduc.

Domesday notices the Manor thus [1] -

The same Church (St. Milburg) held (in time of King Edward) and still holds Dehocsele. Here is half a hide geldable. In demesne is i ox-team: and (there are) ii boors and i cottar with i ox-team; and i serf is here. It (the Manor) was worth 10s. (in time of King Edward). Now it is worth 20s.

Wenlock, a Monastery which, of all in Shropshire, boasted the most exclusive privileges, both spiritual and temporal, retained this Manor from the Conquest to the Reformation. The Chartularies of Wenlock being either hidden, scattered, or destroyed, we can know but little of its dependencies.

On the change of the Hundredal divisions of Shropshire, supposed to have taken place in the time of Henry I, Deuxhill was probably attached to Stottesden Hundred. But when, in time of Richard I, a new Liberty or Hundred was assigned to Wenlock Priory, its distant and isolated Manor of Deuxhill was undoubtedly included. Therefore, from the Inquisition as to the " Liberty of Wanlok", made in 1255, we learn that the Prior of Wenlock is Lord of Dewkeshul, and that it contains half a hide. [2]

An extent of the possessions of Wenlock Priory, taken Sept. 1379, gives the rents of the free tenants in the hamlet of Deukeshull, as 20s. per annum, payable at Lady Day and Michaelmas. [3]

[1] Domesday, 252, b. 2.
[2] Rot. Hund. ii, 85.
[3] New Monasticon, vol. v, page 77, No. viii.


In 1585, their rents, lands, and tenements in Deuxhull were returned by the Priory as realizing 2. 12s. 4d. per annum. [4]

The Minister's Accounts of 1541-2 value the rents of free-tenants at 1. 8s. 4d.; of tenants-at-will, at 4. 18s. 4d.; of Copyhold tenants, at 2. 9s. 0d.; and the ferm of the tithes at 1. 2s. 8d.; making a total of 9. 8s. 4d. [5]

Of the Prior's tenants here hardly a notice occurs. -

In January, 1256, there was an assize of mort d'ancestre, whether Robert de Teukeshull, uncle (avunculus) of Juliana Fitz Warin, had died seized of 1 virgate here, which Sibil, daughter of Geoffry de Creddon, held &c. Sibil's defence was, that William de Deukeshull and Margery his wife held the land, and so said the Jury. Therefore, Juliana was non-suited. [6]

But she renewed her suit against the real tenants, and at the same Assizes. The question now was, whether Robert Fitz Owen (Audoeny), her uncle, died seized of a messuage and virgate in Deukeshul, which William Fitz Pretre (le fiz le Prestre) and Margery his wife held. These tenants proved Juliana not to be heir of Robert, because she was born before her mother was married. So she was again non-suited.

The fine of 1293 which entitled Edmund de Mortimer to a rent of 20 quarters of corn in Deuxhill, has already been given under Criddon.


The foundation of a Church or Chapel here by Wenlock Priory, possibly as early as A.D. 1115, has been noticed under Glazeley.

At the Assizes of October, 1208, Robert Chaplain of Deukeshull, occurs as surety for another Chaplain, Adam de Hereford, who had died. [9]

In 1291, the Church of Deukeshull with the Chapel of Mitletone (Miccletone or Suttleton) is entered as not of 4. annual value.

The Inquisition of 1341, which enumerates the parishes of

[4] Valor Eccles, iii. 215.
[5] Monasticon, vol. v, p. 81, No. xii.
[6] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 2 dorso.
[7] Ibidem. memb. 14 recto. The description of the same persons under different names, is very clear and instructive.
[8] Vide supra, p. 193.
[9] Assizes, 5 John, memb. 1 recto. It must be remembered, however, that the individual mentioned may only have been a Chaplain whose name was Robert de Deuxhill.
[10] Nic. Tax. 166, 175. Stottesden Deanery.


Stottesden Deanery very nearly in the order of Pdpe Nicholas' Taxation, contains no correspondent entry to the last, and indeed omits all notice whatever of Deuxhill. [11]

That which relates to Deuxhill Church in the Valor of 1535 has been given under Glazeley with which it was then combined. [12]


In 1277, the Bishop of Hereford commands the Dean of Stottesden to cite the Rector of the Churches of Myttelton (Priors) and Deuxhill, and the Chaplain of the same, because they do not cause the same to be served as they ought.

Oct. 10, 1278, Sir Robert de Mudle, Chaplain, presented by the Prior and Convent of Wenlock, to the Chapels of Middleton Priors and Deukeshull.

March 24 (1289-90), Sir Gilbert de Reygat instituted on the same presentation.

July 22, 1304, John de la Felde, Acolite, instituted on the same presentation.

Nov. 30, 1316, Adam de Wilyneten, Priest, instituted on the same presentation.

Feb. 18, 1341, Sir Richard de la More, instituted on presentation of the King, exercising this right, " because Wenlock Priory is in his hands by reason of the war" (with France).

June 1, 1344, William de Lodelowe presented by the Crown in the same right, [14] but his institution does not appear on the Diocesan Registers.

Sept. 3, 1349, William de Burstalle, Priest, presented by the Crown in the same right. He resigned in 1858, when,-

On Aug. 11, Alexander de Chelleseye, Clerk, was instituted, the Crown still presenting. He resigned in 1388. [15]

[11] The other omissions (only two) of the Inquisition of 1341 are supplied in a supplementary form. It also gives a Parish of Shevyn, as in Stottesden Deanery (p. 194, in a supplement). Of this parish, the ninth is valued at 13s. 4d., a sum very probably corresponding to a taxation of less than 4. But I neither know what place is meant by Shevyn, nor dare I suggest Deuxhill. All I can say is, that an identification of the two places would bring the two Records into correspondence.
[12] Supra, p. 217.
[13] From Blakeway's transcripts of Hereford Registers, in Bibl. Bodl.
[14] Rot. Pat. 18 Edw. part i, memb. 26, and part ii, memb. 38. The presentation is to the two Chapels of Middelton and Deukeshull.
[15] On Chelleseye's resignation (1388), he is called Custos of these Chapels.


Jan. 19, 1878, Sir Henry Warde, Chaplain, instituted to the Chapel of Mittelton, on the same presentation. Deuxhi11 is not mentioned.

July 19, 1388, Sir John Bedewynde, Chaplain, instituted to the Chapels of Middleton and Deuxhill, on the resignation of Alexander de Chellesley, and on presentation of the Crown. He resigned in 1889, when, -

On Feb. 15, John Godewyn (or Godene), late Vicar of Aston Richant in Dioc. Linc. (which he resigned for these), is instituted.

May 22, 1399, Sir Richard Ardern instituted on presentation of the Prior and Convent of Wenlock. [17]

Aston Botterell.

ASTON, anciently ESTON, took its name probably from lying to the East of the Great Clee Hill It is noticed in Domesday thus: [2] -

The same Rainald (the Sheriff) holds Estone (under the Earl), and Tochil under him. Elric held it (in time of King Edward), and was free together with this land. Here is i hide geldable. In demesne is i ox-team; and (there are) 6 serfs, 2 villains, 3 boors, and 3 radmans [3] with two ox-teams amongst them all; and yet there might be a third ox-team here. The Manor used to be worth 14s., now it is worth 15s.

[16] This presentation seems inconsistent with the terms of the next.
[17] Wenlock Priory had been declared denisen in 18 Ric. II (1395). This severance of itse foreign relations involved the recovery of its escheated Church-patronage in England.

[1] Vide supra, pp. 67, 194.
[2] Domesday, fo. 255, a. 2.
[3] The Radmans and Rachenistres of Domesday seem to have been identical. They were of a higher grade than serfs, villains, or boors, but their degree of freedom was not the same in every case. The tenure of some obliged them to pay a rent in the shape of agricultural labour to their Lords. Others are mentioned as inseparable from the land. Others again are expressly stated to have been free. (See more in Introduction to Domesday, vol. ii, pp. xxii, xxiii.)


The name Elric, otherwise Alric, AElric, or Aluric, appears in nearly every Hundred of Shropshire in the time of the Confessor, and Edric, son of a Saxon Alnric, retained Burton (near Much Wenlock) after the Conquest. Though more than one person must be represented by the name, it seems likely that the Elric, who held Estone in King Edward's time and Aluric, who, at the same period, held Udecote (Woodcote) in Recordin Hundred, were identical. The successor to each Manor, in 1085, was one, whose name Tochi, or, as above, Tochil, was surely Saxon; nor is there any extravagance in the conjecture that this Tochil was one of a favoured few, and was permitted to hold, under Norman Lords, two distant Manors which were his by descent. This early association between Aston and Woodcote becomes still more striking when we find a record of law proceedings, wherein the Lord of Woodcote was, after lapse of more than a century, suing the Lord of Aston for the latter Manor.

Of Tochil, the Domesday owner of Aston, we know nothing further than that early in the twelfth century he granted to Shrewsbury Abbey a hide of land in the vill which was called Cota; and it is observable, how, in the two confirmations of Henry I and Stephen, which record this gift, the donor's name is spelt with exactly the same variety as in Domesday. [4]

The next date at which we may expect to find a successor to any Domesday tenant of Rainald is the year 1165 and amongst the tenants of Fitz Alan. Of these there is one whose fief I cannot assign elsewhere, whose tenure was one Knight's fee, such as afterwards was Aston Botterell, and whose origin was, if I rightly judge by his name, Saxon. This was Robert, son of Lunn, to whose ancestry, whether he were Lord of Aston or not, we may now revert, for at least two generations.

About the year 1115, there was a great Chapter held at Castle Holgate, by William, Archdeacon of Hereford. Richard, Bishop of London, then Viceroy of the County, and other great persons, both Clerks and Laymen, were in attendance.-

Lunun is named amongst those who are most associated with this neighbourhood. [5]

To him succeeded Robert Fitz Luun, who being dead before

[4] Salop Chartulary, No. 35, and Monasticon, iii, 517, 11.
[5] Patent 22 Edw. III, p. 8, memb 34, an invaluable record, and one which must be given at length hereafter. The subject which engaged the Chapter's attention was the parochial jurisdiction of St. Milburg.


Michaelmas, 1160, Robert, son of Robert Fitz Lunn, is then entered on the Sheriff's account, as owing 20. for fine of his land. [6] This I suppose to have been a fine on succession, and to have been payable to the Crown, by reason of Fitz Alan's Barony having, half a year before, come into the King's hand.

In September, 1161, Robert Fitz Louun renders account of his fine of 20. It had gone to pay for works at the Castle of Blancmuster (Oswestry, then in the King's hand as caput of Fitz Alan's Barony), and he was quit. [7]

In 1165, Robert Fitz Luun is registered as holding 1 Knight's fee of Fitz Alan's Barony. [8]

When this family became extinct in the male line, or how the family of Botterell succeeded to Aston, I cannot say. An interval of forty- five years elapsed between the latest notice of Fitz Lunn, and the earliest of Botterell.

In Easter Term, 1200, William Boterell appears as the third of four Knights who were to choose a Jury of the King's Great Assize. The cause concerned lands in Norley Regis, and the other three Knights were of Stottesden Hundred. Hugh de Sidbury precedes William Boterell, otherwise we might have hesitated as to whether the latter was of Aston, or whether the contemporary coheir of Robert Corbet's Barony, whose position in Shropshire was very high, had officiated on this occasion. Whether, or how nearly, they were related is still a question.

Among the fines which had been recently offered to the Crown at Michaelmas, 1202, was one by Robert de Wudecot of 10 merks, that he might have trial (pro habendo recto), concerning one knight's fee in Eston, against William Botterell. [10]

A similar entry prior to Michaelmas, 1203, gives the same Robert, as fining and paying 20s., that the suit which was in the County Court between him and William Boterell, concerning one Knight's fee in Eston, be transferred to the Courts at Westminster. [11]

In Easter Term, 1203, at Westminster, a day was given to Robert de Wodecot, plaintiff, and William Boterell, in a suit about one Knight's fee, viz. in 3 weeks of Easter, [12] (i.e. April 27); but I find no further mention of the suit.

[6] Mag. Rot. Pip. 6 Hen. II., Salop; which also contains the Sheriff's account of half a year's ferm of the lands of William Fitz Alan.
[7] Mag. Rot. Pip. 7 Hen. II.
[8] Hearne's Liber Niger, i, 143.
[9] Plac. apud Westm. Easter Term, 1 John, memb. 8 reoto.
[10] Pipe Roll, 4 John. Nova oblata.
[11] Pipe Roll, 5 John. Nova oblata.
[12] Placita de eodem termino, memb. 11 recto.


At Salop Assizes, October, 1203, William Botterell was amerced half a merk, for some transgression. [13]

At Salop Assizes, November, 1221, William Boterell was a Juror in a cause of " Great Assize". [14]

He had also a suit against Thomas de Baskervill for disseizing him of his tenement in Norwinde (Northwood), which he failed to prosecute, and so he and his sureties were amerced. [15]

About 1240, Philip Boterel is returned as holding 1 fee in Aston, of the Barony of John Fitz Alan. [16]

The same Philip also attests a Pickthorne deed which must have passed in that or the following year. [17]

In Michaelmas Term, 1242, the Essoigners of Robert Wygod and Adam de Dodington, presented themselves in due course against Avelina, widow of Philip Boterel, who had a suit of dower against them. She appeared not, and was in misericordia. [18]

The successor of Philip was probably Thomas, who sat as a Juror in the Stottesden Inquisition of 1255, and was himself returned as Lord of Astone Boterell, which he held in capite of John Fitz Alan, for 1 Knight's fee. Therein were 3 hides of land, in half a virgate whereof Henry de Eston was enfeoffed in consideration of his doing suit to the lesser Hundred-Courts, and to the County-Court, for the vill of Aston. The Manor paid to the Sheriff 12 pence for stretward, and 2s. for motfee. [19]

At the Assizes of January, 1256, Thomas Boterel again sat as a Juror for this Hundred. [20] It was about this time that Hugh de Acour, the Sheriff, accepted 10 merks from him to the end that he might have respite of Knighthood; [21] and in this year he was returned as one of those who held 15. of lands, and yet was not a Knight. [22]

In 1258, he fined again with the Crown for respite of Knighthood. [23]

In 1262, he withdrew the suit of Aston from Stottesden Hun-

[13] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 6 dorso.
[14] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 1 recto.
[15] Ibidem, memb. 2 recto.
[16] Testa de Nevill, p. 44.
[17] Blakeway MSS.
[18] Plac. apud Westm. 26 Hen. III, memb. 32 dorso.
[19] Rot. Hund. 81, 82. The great increase on the Domesday hidage will again come under notice.
[20] Assize Roll, 40 Hen. III.
[21] Rot. Hund. ii, 109.
[22] Dukes' Introduction, p. vii.
[23] Rot. Pip. 43 Hen. III, quoting Originalia of 42 Hen. III.


dred. [24] He was also a Regarder of Morf and Shirlet Forests in this year. [25]

In 48 Hen. III (1263-4), he had the King's Charter to have a Market and Fair at Estone Boterell. [26]

In August, 1267, the King presiding in his Court at Salop, this Thomas appeared in a suit of novel dieseisin against Matilda de Longespee and others, who had deprived him of common pasturage in Cleyes, pertaining to his free tenement in Aston Boterell. Matilda pleaded that she had only resisted the right during hay-harvest (tempore fenacionis), and she had the same liberty at that season as the King had in his Forests, because that Forest (the Clee) was once Royal. Thomas rejoined that his ancestors had purchased from the ancestors of Matilda a right of pasturage throughout the year, for 2s. and 12 hens (rent, I presume). Presently Thomas declines to prosecute. His consequent amercement was excused at instance of Sir R. de Clifford. [27]

As a supplement to this concord with Maud de Longespee (the heiress of the Cliffords and Lady of Corfham), we may instance Thomas Boterel's attestation of her Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey, which must have passed within a year or two of the last date. [28]

Also about this time Thomas Botterel, Knight, stands third witness of Robert Corbett's grant in Chetton. [29]

At the County Assizes, October, 1272, Thomas Botterel appears both as a Knight and Juror. [30]

It would appear that he was sometime Constable of his Suzerain's Castle of Clun, and that for some alleged excess in that office, Geoffrey le Venour, Seneschall of Sir Roger de Mortimer, about October, 1273, maliciously caused the cattle of the said Thomas to be seized on his own land of Eston Boterel, and to be driven to Cleybury, and there detained till said Thomas had paid 18s. [31]

On Nov. 27, 1274, Sir Thomas Boterel sat as foreman of the Jury which then made report as to oppressions and excesses by the King's Officers and others in Stottesden Hundred. [32] To their return we owe the above particulars as to Thomas' own withdrau1 of the suit of his Manor of Aston; also as to his transaction with

[24] Rot. Hund. ii, 108.
[25] Plac. Forestae, 46 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto.
[26] Calend. Rot. Cart. p. 92.
[27] Placita coram Rege, 51 Hen. III, memb. 3 dorso.
[28] Salop Chartulary, No. 6.
[29] Vide supra, p. 178.
[30] Assize Roll, 56 Hen. III.
[31] Rot. Hund. ii, 109.
[32] Ibidem, p. 107.


Hugh de Acour and his persecution by the Seneschal of Cleobury Mortimer.

About this time, [33] or at least between the years 1271 and 1278, Sir Thomas Boterel had a feoffment from Luke Abbot of Shrewsbury, of a messuage in the vill of Lucton (Loughton), and of 9 acres lying in the fields, in Wetemore, between Burwarton and Loughton, to hold for ever at a rent of 3s. 4d.- Witnesses: Sir Ralph de Arras, Sir John de la Lee, Sir John Fitz Aer, and others.

Jan. 28, 1281, Sir Thomas Boterel occurs as one of the four Knights then commissioned to make view and report of the state of Bridgnorth Castle. [34]

About 1284, the Feodary gives Thomas de Boterbel as holding Haston, of Richard Fitz Alan, of the honour of White-Minster, with its members, viz. Necton (Norton), Forde, Heywode (Haywood), and Toteneye, by performing the service of 1 Knight's fee, and doing ward at White-Minster Castle in time of war. [35]

He will have survived this date but for a short time. He seems to have married Petronilla, widow of Wido de Hadnall, and after he became a Knight to have had, with her, a grant of lands in Hadnall, from Sir Thomas de le Lee, [36] which grant was afterwards (1296-7) confirmed by John de le Lee, son of Sir Thomas, to Richard, son of Thomas Boterell.

This Richard had succeeded his father at Aston Botterell before October, 1292, when he was summoned to answer at Salop as to his warrant for claiming a right of fair, market, and free-warren, and the privilege of assizing bread and beer in his Manor of Eston Boterel. In reply was produced the Charter of King Henry III, granting to Thomas Boterel, ancestor of said Richard, and whose heir Richard was, that said Thomas and his heirs should have for ever a weekly market on Tuesdays, in his Manor of Eston, and an annual fair of three days, viz. the vigil, the day, and the morrow of St. Michael. And Richard said that he claimed such market and fair by the aforesaid charter, and the privilege of assizing bread and beer, as appurtenant to the said fair and market. So he was, on this count, dismissed sine die; and as to free warren he does not appear to have claimed any. [37]

[33] Salop Chartulary, No. 407.
[34] Inquisitions, 9 Edw. I, No. 81.
[35] Kirby's Quest.
[36] Sheriffs of Shropshire, p. 204. It would also seem from the Haghmon Chartulary (fo. 69), that John, Lord of the Lee, made a grant, independently of his father's, to Sir Thos. Boterell, Knight, and Petronilla his wife, in Hadnall.
[37] Placita de quo Warranto, p. 675.


In 5 Edw. II (1811-2), I find him attesting as Richard Lord of Aston Botterel, but not as a Knight, a charter which concerned lands at Northwood, and which passed at The Woodhouse, near Stotteaden. [38]

In March, 1816, Richard Boterel is returned as Lord of Asseton Boterel. [39]

But in 10 Edw. II (1816-7), John Botterel, Lord of Aston Botterel, grants to Richard, his father, the tenement held by William Idel.

At Diddlebury on the feast of St. Ethelbert, 11 Edw. II (May 20, 1818), Richard Botterel granted to Hugh, son of Roger de Cheyney, for a sum of money a tenement, &c. in Hadnall, near Astley. [41]

By letters patent tested at Westminster, 24 Sept. 1321, John Boterel and other Shropshire names, appear among the followers of Roger Mortimer of Wigmore, who were included in a general pardon for all offences committed in pursuit of the Despensers. [42]

I have met with very few notices of minor tenancies in this Manor, and I greatly doubt whether its members in the 13th century were belonging to it at Domesday. A future occasion will suffice for what remains to be said on the subject.


The first mention of a Church here which has occurred is in the Taxation of 1291, when the Church of Asheston Botel' in the Deanery of Stottesden, is expressed to be of 10. annual value. [43]

In 1341 the taxation of Astonbotrel Church being quoted at 10, the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, in the Parish, is only rated at

[38] Blakeway MSS. quoting Ottley Deeds. This deed seems to be dated "in the fifth year of King Edward", a form not unusual in deeds of the first years of Edward II's reign, when as yet his distinctive title of Edward, son of King Edward, was not established in the provinces. The circumstance seems to have escaped Mr. Blakeway, whose remarks (p. 204 of the Sheriffs) seem to have been influenced by this charter. I can reconcile them at least with nothing which has occurred to me, and this uncertainty induces me to postpone for the present, any attempt to set forth a genealogy of the Boterells.
[39] Parliamentary Writs, iv, 398.
[40] Blakeway MSS. quoting Lacon Evidences. Mr. Blakeway remarks that the seal of this deed is charged with a swan, while a lion rampant was the usual bearing of the family.
[41] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 70.
[42] Parliamentary Writs, iv, 573.
[43] Pope Nic. Tex. p. 166.


2. 5s. The difference arose from the usual causes: there were no sheep or lambs in the Parish, 2 virgates were unfilled; certain poor tenants had withdrawn; the small tithes, offerings, and glebe, contributed to the taxation, but had nothing to do with the ninth.

In 1534, Walter Myllinchop being Rector of Aston Botrell, his preferment, in glebe and great and small tithes, is valued at 7. 1s. 1d. This income was charged with 7s. 8d. for procuration and synodals, with a pension of 6s. 8d. payable to the Lady of Brewood, and a portion of 4s. payable to the Rector of Castle Holgate. [45] The net value was therefore 6. 2s. 9d.


Sept. 27, 1278, Thomas Boterel has the Episcopal license to study for a year.

5 June, 1284, Thomas Boterel, Priest, instituted on presentation of Sir Thomas Boterel, Knight.

Oct. 18, 1288, the Bishop commends Philip Clerk, to Master John de Cherleton, Priest, " according to the Council of Lyons", and before Philip's institution. Philip is ordained Acolyte at the same time.

July 16, 1313, Roger, son of Sir Roger de Baskervyl, Knight, presented by Richard Boterel.

Sept. 19, 1314, the Bishop, understanding from credible persons that this presentee has a lawful impediment not to take orders within a year from the time when the Regimen wss committed to him, licenses him to study for seven years.

1321, Richard de Forde, Subdeacon, then instituted, has dispensation to study for a year. The same dispensation is renewed in 1322.

Master Richard de Aston Boterel occurs as Rector in 1354.

Dec. 1, 1393, Sir Richard Dobyn, Chaplain, is instituted, on presentation of John Botrell, Lord of Aston Botrell.

[44] Nonarum Inquisitiones, p. 190.
[45] Valor Eccles. iii, 211. The "Lady of Brewood " was Margaret, Prioress of the White Nuns, there domiciled. Her own return (p. 194 of the volume) gives this pension as accruing from Bolld, near Botrell Aston. The Chapel of Bold being suppressed, or merged in Aston Bottrell Church, before the Reformation, the Nuns' pension once chargeable on the former, became a charge on the latter. The same account may be given of the Rector of Holgate's portion; but having been 10s. when charged on Bold Chapel, it was now only 4s.
[46] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl.

( 230 )


THE Mosaic account of the fall of man has informed us of the origin of noxious weeds, and it would seem that the etymological traditions of various nations have associated these products of the earth with the influence of evil spirits.

The shrub ononis, which we call rest-harrow from its arresting the use of that implement, is by the Swedes called Puktorne, i.e., Devil's-thorn. So the pyrakantha is called by the Crimean Tartars Shaitan-teken, words which have precisely the same meaning. [1] The rhamnus catharticus, a plant similarly obstructive to agriculture is well known among ourselves as Buck-thorn, [2] a name which involves the same ideas; for bug (Brit. bwg) is literally a fiend, and Puck, whom we pleasantly remember as the servant of King Oberon, was in his primitive capacity, nothing more or better. Another provincial name of a weed occurs which associates the same ideas still more emphatically, though less presentably. Enough has been said to back a conjecture that the prevalence of some such plant gave name to the locality before us.

Domesday mentions the Manor thus:- [3]

The same Church (St. Milburg) held and still holds Pichetorne. Here is half a hide geldable. In demesne is i ox-team, and (there are) i villain, and ii boors, with ii ox-teams, and (there are) ii serfs. Its former and present value is vii shillings.

At what subsequent period the Norman family which possessed this Manor, became enfeoffed therein by Wenlock Priory, I cannot undertake to say. BASKERVILLE stands on the Roll of Battle Abbey, a circumstance which merely implies that the fabricators of that Register, judged the name to be of Norman origin, and sufficiently important for insertion. Nor were they mistaken in.one respect.-

[1] Blakeway MSS. quoting Pallas' Travels,ii, 145.
[2] Buckthorn is said by Withering to be common in Shropshire (Plymley's Shropshire, p. 191).
[3] Domesday, fo. 252, b. 2.


The Continuator of William de Jumieges, [4] enumerating the nieces of Gunnora, Countess of Richard I, of Normandy, mentions one who married Nicholas de Bascheritvilla (vulgo Bacqueville), and was mother of William Martel and Walter de St. Martin.

The locality whence this Nicholas had name is situate in the Pays de Caux, and is often written Bascevilla and Basqueville, forms more nearly corresponding to the English surname. This place continued as the fief of Martel for at least two centuries.

Also, south-west of Rouen, and in the Forest of Roumare, was a place variously written Balkierville or Boscherville, and which gave name to the great Abbey of St. George there founded.

From one or each of these places there came to England a family whose branches were already in several Counties at the period when we first have authentic record of such matters. At the beginning of the thirteenth century there were Baskervilles in Herefordshire, Northamptonshire, and Shropshire, in Warwickshire, Norfolk, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, and possibly in other Counties. No reasonable ground has yet occurred to my notice for further associating any two of these branches, except that the Shropshire and Northamptonshire branch was identical, and also had lands in Herefordshire. Yet these are not to be confounded with the Baskervilles of Eardisley in Herefordshire, however difficult it may be always to preserve the distinction. I have indeed a printed pedigree before me which professes to derive these houses from a common origin; but the details on each side are so purely imaginative that I cannot regard the result as a truth, at least not on this evidence. Their respective tenures in Herefordshire were at Bradwardine and Eardisley, places not four miles asunder: not only was their surname identical, but the Christian names adopted by either house were generally similar: perhaps also each of them held, somewhere and at some time, under the same feudal superior, Lacy of Ewyas. Their consanguinity is therefore most probable, but any attempt to exhibit such genealogical relation circumstantially, as it must arise in fiction so must it end in incredulity. The two families were in fact distinct, from the earliest period at which we find records bearing on such matters.

In 1165, when Robert de Baskevill (whom I take to have been of Erdisley), was holding 5 Knights' fees of Hugh de Lacy, in Herefordshire; [5] Radulf de Baskerevill is entered as holding 1 fee

[4] Norm. Scriptores, p. 313.
[5] Liber Niger, i, 163.


under Adam de Port in the same County. [6] Each tenure was of old feoffment, that is, each of the parties had held or inherited his lands from a period antecedent to the death of Henry I (1135).

Ralph was, I believe, progenitor of the Shropshire family, and to him and his succession I must here confine myself. His tenure under De Port in Herefordshire was probably at Bradwardine, and was represented by a tenure of his descendants under Braose (who subsequently enjoyed De Port's Barony).

I will first notice Ralph's occurrence in Shropshire, without his Christian name. The Pipe Roll for the year ending Michaelmas, 1177, records that Roger Fitz Henry and Baschervill, had fined with the Crown for according a duel. [7] Their fine was 40s. and a dapple horse. The money had been then paid, but the horse remained a debt till the year 1182, when Ralph de Baskerville appears on the Pipe Roll for Herefordshire, as still owing the said horse, and a further and recent amercement for trespass in the King's Forests. [8] The money was again paid, but the horse remained a charge against his name in 1183. [9]

In explanation of the quarrel between Ralph de Baskerville and Roger Fitz Henry, I can only suggest that they were neighbours in so far as that the former had an interest at Pickthorn and Aldenham, and the latter at Cleobury North, though the greater possessions of each lay elsewhere.

There is a deed in the Chartulary of Shrewsbury Abbey [10] to the following effect: Ralph de Baskervill grants to the said Abbey the Church of Northburia (Norbury, Staffordshire), at request of his mother Juliana.- Witnesses: Roger de Ewias, Eitropius, Herbert and Robert de Hereford, Roger de Baskervill and Ralph his brother, Robert Christian, Henry de Girois, Adam de Baskervill, Richard Sadoch, &c.-

All I can venture to state about this deed is an opinion that it passed between the years 1165 and 1190, and that the grantor was Ralph Baskervill of Pickthorn. If so, the said Ralph will have been also a tenant of Lacy, in whose fief Norbury was contained. The point chiefly to be noticed in this deed is, however, that it combines places or names connected with the three Counties of Salop, Staffordshire, and Herefordshire.

We must now revert to the year 1167, and state that about that

[6] Ibidem, p. 151.
[7] Rot. Pip. 28 Hen. II, Salop.
[8] Rot. Pip. 28 Hen. II, Hereford.
[9] Ibidem, 29 Hen. II.
[10] No. 299, a.


period, Ralph de Baskerville, Lord of Pickthorn, having made some encroachment on the King's demesne (probably of Stottesden), appears to have compounded for the same by covenanting payment of an annual rent of 16d. [11] This rent remained an item of the Sheriff's receipts, and the land for which it was paid being a tenure in eapite of the Crown, we hear much more of the family of Baskerville as connected with these few acres than as tenants of Wenlock Priory.

The entry on the Pipe Roll of 1167 is as follows: " The same Sheriff (Geoffrey de Vere) renders account of 16d. of the land which Ralph de Bascervill held in the same via (Stottesden). It is paid".

The next year 1168, under the title of Proprestures, the Sheriff accounts for 16 denariatea of land which Ralph de Baschervill held (tenuit) in Stottesden, and he is quit. [12]

Similarly under the title " of Proprestures and Escheats", this rent of 16d. (being obviously for a Propresture), is substantively entered on every Roll, [13] till that of the year 1190 (2 Rich. I), when this and some similar rents being collected by an Escheator rather than the Sheriff, the former renders account of 16d. of the land of Ralph de Baschervill, and is quit. [14]

In 1191, 1192, and 1193, and for half the year 1194, the Sheriff answers summarily for the " Escheats of Shropshire" in each year, but the total in each case must have involved the rent of Baskerville's purpresture. [15] In this interval, viz. between September, 1190, and March, 1194, Ralph Baskervill was murdered in Northamptonshire, as will presently appear.

For the half-year ending Michaelmas, 1194, an Escheator, and not the Sheriff, collected the rents of escheats and purprestures. Among his receipts was 8d. for the firm of " Piketorn Tomae", [16] i. e. Thomas de Baskervill's land of Pickthorn; and the name of Ralph's son and heir was, as we shall see, Thomas.

[11] Rot. Pip. 18 Hen. II. Idem Vice-comes r. c. de terra quam Rad. de Bascervill tenuit in eidem villa, &c. The use of the preterite tense " tenuit " did not, I think, imply the death of any Ralph de Baskervill. If it did, another Ralph continued in possession, but in several subsequent instances, the form " tenuit" is repeated. This use of the same word and tense, in deeds, is similarly equivocal, and implies only that so and so was tenant of certain land lately, not that his tenancy had ceased. The imperfect tense would in these cases have been the proper one. The words " terra quae fuit Radulphi " is technically a different expression, and would imply, I think, a previous termination of tenancy, by death, forfeiture, or other cause.
[12] [13] [14] [15] Rot. Pip. de eisdem annis, Salop.
[16] Rot. Pip. 6 Ric. I, Salop.


No material alteration of this annual entry occurred during Thomas de Baskerville's life.

Presuming that Ralph de Baskerville, of Pickthorn, died (as above) between 1190 and 1194, it is difficult to say whether the following refers to him or to a Contemporary of the same name. On the Staffordshire Pipe-Roll for the year ending Michaelmas, 1192, [17] one Ralph de Baskervill is entered as owing half a merk for not producing one for whom he was pledge, but, it is added, that he had summons in Shropshire (sed summonitus est in Salopeser.). We should expect a correspondent entry on the Pipe-ball for Shropshire, but none such occurs.

The following year, however, among the fines inflicted at a recent assize in Shropshire, Ralph de Baskervill appears as amerced half a merk for false clamour, which he still owed. [18]

Nov. 3, 1194, Thomas de Baskervill (son and heir of Ralph Baskervill, of Pickthorn) appears to be of age, which, be it observed, he was not at his father's death.

At that date (1194), he had impleaded Ralph de Baskervill in a suit about land, but Ralph easoigned himself, his essoigner being Ralph de Breworthin (Bradwardine). The case continuedo be continued in eyre.

Dec. 5, 1191, Thomas again appeared at Westminster against Ralph, who neither appeared nor essoigned himself.-

A day was given by the Court, viz. Jan. 20, at Westminster. "And another day was given to Ralph in banco, viz. at Hereford, before the Justices". [20] (The latter clause I understand to be the excuse for Ralph's non-appearance).

No Rolls remain to throw further light on this case, which, I presume, referred to some mortgage which Ralph de Baskervill had on lands of Thomas, in Herefordshire - probably on Bradwardine.

In the year ending Michaelmas, 1196, Thomas de Baschervill had proffered a fine of 1 merk, "to have recognition about a Knight's fee against Miles Pichard". He had then paid half a merk; and he discharged

[17] Rot. Pip. 4 Ric. I, Staff. Shortly before this period there were at least three contemporary Ralph de Baskerville's, viz. the two in the text, and Ralph Baskerville of Erdisley and Cumb. The latter, however, died about June 1186, (Rot. Pip. 34 Hen. II, Heref.). There was also a Ralph de Baskerville holding of the Earl Ferrers, in Warwickshire, in 1166, and a Ralph de Baskerville, whose daughter and sole heir, Agnes, was, in 1202-3, wife of Hugh de Pichford, of Shropshire. The last Ralph may not improbably be the second Ralph mentioned in the text.
[18] Rot. Pip. 6 Ric. I, Salop.
[19] Rot. Cur. Regis, i, 110.
[20] Rot. Cur. Regis, i, 86.


the balance in the following year. [21] Herefordshire is mentioned in connexion with this suit, but with what meaning I cannot say.

Taking events as nearly in the order of time as the various subjects will allow, I find, under date of July 8, 1199, the following memorandum entered on a Roll of the King's Court at Westminster: [22]-

" Hereford. Imparlance (is) to be had (Loquendum) about Nesta de Baskervill, who brings suit for the Castle of Bredewrthin (Bradwardine), and its appurtenances, which Robert de Wastre detains from her, and which the same Nesta avers to be her right and inheritance. And the King had ordered the Sheriff to seize the said Castle into the King's hand. And the Sheriff reports that said Castle is beyond his bailiwick, and that he dared not to set his hand upon that Castle, not being in his jurisdiction. And William de Braose says, that neither King, nor Justiciar, nor Sheriff ought to set to his hand in his (William's) liberty".-

The imparlance remains sine die, till the King's pleasure thereon be ascertained.

All I need say of this Nesta here, is, that she was daughter of Ralph Baskervill of Pickthorn, and that her father, before his death, enfeoffed her in Lawton (Salop); but the nature of her claim on Bradwardine, or how any other than Thomas de Baskervill occupied that fee in 1199, I cannot say.

I now return to this Thomas, and a cause which he had in the King's Courts at Westminster, in Easter Term, 1200. [23] I give the Record as it stands under title of Northamptonshire

" Thomas de Baskervill challenges (appellat) Roger Fitz William, for that, wickedly, and in the King's peace, and in felony, and in murder, he slew Ralph de Baskervill, his (Thomas') father, who was Lord over said Roger, in his house; and this the said Thomas saw, as he says, being a boy under age; and this he offers to prove against Roger by his body. Roger appears, and will defend himself against the charge of felony and murder, as the Court may decide; as, however, against his Lord whose liegeman he is".

Thomas hereupon denies that "he ever received Roger's homage,

[21] Rot. Pip. 8 and 9 Ric. I, Salop. Tomas de Baschvill r. c. de 1 marc. pro habenda recognicione de feodo 1 mil. versus Milonem Pichard qui Rj (requiritur) in Hereford.
[22] Rot. Cur. Regis, i, 426. This is an early and authentic instance of the Palatine powers, claimed by the Lords Marchers in their districts. We shall have similar cases in Shropshire.
[23] Rot. Cur. Regis, ii, 267.


but he well acknowledges him to have been the (liege) man of his father, whom he wickedly murdered".-

Further, Roger says that " it is well enough known where he lay the night of the murder, and that he was not in that vill, and thereupon he puts himself on a Jury of the country, saving, however, his own defence (his right of defending himself by duel if the Jury gave verdict against him). He also begs that this may be reckoned in his favour, viz. that the deed purported to have been done nearly ten years back, [24] that Justices Itinerant had since been its eyre (in Northants) and that before them he (the appellant) had made no mention thereof".-

And the Appellant also desires that this may be reckoned in his favour, viz. that " after the death of his father, the said Roger married his father's widow".

A day was given to both parties to hear sentence, viz. the Octaves of St. John (July 1, 1200). Meanwhile Roger was to be kept in prison.

The matter did not end, however, on the day appointed; for sometime, apparently in March, 1201, [25] " a day was given to Thomas de Baskerville (Appellant) and Roger Fitz William for their plea of challenge, viz. that they should be at Westminster on the Quinzaine of Easter " (April 8, 1201). The adjournment seems to have been at the King's direction, and Geoffry Fitz Piers (then Chief Justice) undertook to acquaint Thomas with the arrangement.

Presumptively on the day appointed, and before the King, the pleadings were rehearsed, generally as above, but with some additions; [26] e.g.-

The Appellant states that the murder was at night, that he (the Appellant) commenced his appeals against Roger as soon as he was of age.- Roger again mentions his having done homage to the Appellant, [27] who denies having received any such homage since he came of age, but says that, whilst under age, he was in custody of his mother, and he knows not what she may have obliged him to do. To this Roger answers nothing.- The Court decided that the

[24] It was now the 7th of May, 1200. From this and other records, I infer the murder to have been committed on May 28th, 1190 or 1191.
[25] Placita coram Rege, No. 49, memb. 11 dorso. This is the Roll mentioned above, as falsely endorsed of the llth of John. (Vide supra, under Charlcott and Bold, p. 164, note 9).
[26] Ibidem, memb. 15 recto. On April 8, 1201, King John was at Marlborough.
[27] A vassal's oath of fealty specially bound him to shield his Lord from personal injury.


parties should fight a duel. They give pledges thereof, Roger de Mortimer being the pledge of Roger Fitz William. The day of combat was to be the morrow of the Octaves of the Holy Trinity (i.e. May 29, 1201), and then they were to come armed.

On that day the King was at Portsmouth. No record remains of the duel. The Appellant, however, survived it.

In 1211, Thomas de Baskerville is returned as holding half a virgate of land in capite, by payment of 16d. annually, through the Sheriff, in equal half-yearly payments. [28] At the same time, Nesta de Baskervill (his sister) held Lawton by serjeantry, and in capite. [29]

The brother and sister had afterwards some litigation about Lawton, which will be detailed when we come to that place. It is sufficient here to say that that serjeantry reverted to Thomas or his heirs.

21 Dec. 1214. The King being at Hereford mentions Thomas de Baskervill as one of the sureties of Robert Weldebof, then to be liberated from imprisonment at Gloucester. [30] This Thomas also appears as witness of two grants by Walter de Clifford to Salop Abbey. [31]

And, before Aug. 10, 1241, he was dead, leaving Roger his son and heir, whose homage the King received on that day, and issued precept to the Sheriff of Salop to take security for 40s., the relief of said Roger, and then to give him seizin of all lands of which his father had died possessed. [32] This was at Shrewsbury, where the King then was.

But Roger's enjoyment of his estates continued not long. On the 18th of July, 1244, the King issued letters patent to the Sheriffs of Salop and Herefordshire, informing them that he had granted to Hugh Gifford custody of the land and heirs of Roger de Baskervill. [33]

And this heir, Walter, had a long minority. Several notices of

[28] Testa de Nevill, p. 66. Lib. Rub. Scaccarii, fo. cxxxvii.
[29] Ibidem, p. 56, and Lib. Rub. ibm.
[30] Rot. Pat. 16 John, memb. 9. The prisoner was one of those whom King John had taken in 1210, at the siege of Carrickfergus.
[31] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 6 and 8.
[32] Rot. Fin. i, 350.
[33] Rot. Pat. 28 Hen. III, sub die. Of this Roger de Baskervill, we also find mention which shows the continued connexion of his family with Northamptonshire. A Roll preserved in the Testa de Nevill, and of date c. 1242, gives Roger de Baskerevil as holding half a knight's fee in Helidon (Northants), of the honour of Clare then in the King's hand. (Testa de Nevill, p. 24. Vide Baker's Northamptonshire, p. 396).


his nonage occur in the Inquisitions of 1255, and must be both cited and explained.

The Jurors of Stottesden say nothing about the vill of Pickthorn, which was in fact not in their Hundred, but in the Liberty of Wenlock; but under the heading " De valettis et puellis " (i.e. of male and female wards), they say [34] that "Walter de Baskerville is in custody of Sibil Giffard (widow of Hugh, before-named) by gift of the King, and that he holds 8 acres in Pykethorn of the King, rendering yearly 16 pence at the Exchequer, and that he holds no (nullam) land of the King in this Hundred". For the word " nullam", it is obvious that " aliam " (other land) should be written in this passage, for this Walter held Aldenham, Northwood, and Newton,- all of the King, and all in Stottesden Hundred.

The contemporary Jurors for Wenlock Liberty said of Pykethorn, [35] that " Roger de Baskerville (formerly) held certain land therein of the Prior of Wenlock. He rendered to the Prior 2 merks yearly, and used to do suit to the Court of the Prior by afforciament. And his ancestors used to do suit to the Hundred of Wybth't, till the period aforesaid (the reign of Richard I): and Walter his son is in custody of Sibil Giffard, and it (the Manor) is half a hide " (the Domesday hidage).

As to the Hundred of Wybth't here mentioned, I can associate the name with nothing in Shropshire. I believe the original statement of the Jurors to have been erroneous, and I can only venture a guess at what they meant. They supposed that Pickthorn had some time been attached to the Hundred of Welbetre (now Webtree) in Herefordshire, in which Hundred was Bradwardine, a fee in which these Baskervilles had an interest as tenants of de Braose, and afterwards of de Bohun.

And soon after this date (1255), Walter will have attained his full age, for his son and heir, Roger, was born Aug. 1, 1261.

Nov. 427, 1274. The Stottesden Jurors returned Walter de Baskerville as holding 1 messuage, 10 acres of arable land, and 10 acres of wood in Pikethorn, of the King in capite, by payment of 16 pence per annum for the same. [36]

[34] Rot. Hund. ii, 83.
[35] Rot. Hund. ii, 85. "Afforciamentum" is the word usually employed to denote that augmentation of Wenlock Liberty, which took place in the reign of Richard I. It means literally " the act of increasing or rendering stronger", and the addition of several Manors to a Hundred often increased its importance. A discordant jury was similarly said to be afforciated when other jurors were added.
[36] Rot. Hund. ii, 108.


In 1284, a similar return was made, viz. that Walter de Baskervill holds his hall (aulam), croft, and wood at Pikethorne, of the King in capite, at the said rent. [37]

On Feb. 21, 1286, the King's writ of diem clausit extremum, on the death of Walter de Baskervill, issued to the Escheator citra Trent.

On March 1, 1286, a Jury sat at Pykethorn, and reported him to have held a messuage and 2 acres of wood at Pikethorn, by service of 16 pence to be paid to the King through the Sheriff of Salop. Its annual value was only 2s. 6d., and he held nothing else in capite. Roger de Baskerville was his son and next heir, and was twenty-four years of age at the Gules of August, in the King's thirteenth year (i.e. Aug. 1, 1285).

A Jury which met at Bradewardin (Herefordshire), on March 8 following, gave the same account of his heir, as to name and age. The deceased, they said, had held under Roger de Radenore at West Bradwardin. His tenure was a messuage, 143 acres of arable land in demesne, 3 acres of meadow, and 1. 14s. 8d. rents. The total value was 4. 10s. 4d. [38]

The returns of March, 1316, give Roger de Baskervill as Lord of Pikethorn in Shropshire, [39] and Roger de Baskervill and John Giffard as joint Lords of Hellidon (Northants). [40]

In 5 Edw. III (1381). Roger de Baskervill had the King's Charter of free-warren in Lauton and Pikethorn. [41]

The Escheat on his death is of the thirteenth year of Edward III (1339), [42] when he must have been seventy-eight years of age; but I will postpone much that I have further to say, both of him and his descendants, till I come to Lawton, where I also propose to set forth their genealogy, till their male line became extinct.

I would here, however, observe that in 1380, John de Baskerville, a descendant of this Roger, being dead, he is stated to have held Pykthorn of the Prior of Wenlock at a rent of 1. 6s. 8d. [43] i.e. exactly the two merks mentioned in 1255.

[37] Kirby's Quest.
[38] Escheats, 14 Edw. I, No. 2.
[39] Parliamentary Writs, iv, 398.
[40] Ibidem, p. 392, and Baker's Northamptonshire, p. 396.
[41] Calend. Rot. Cart. p. 165.
[42] Calend. Escheats, vol. ii, p. 89. I have not examined the original of that and some subsequent Inquisitions which relate to the family. This is my reason for thus breaking off the subject.
[43] Monasticon, v, p. 78, No. viii.


Some under-tenancies in Pikethorn must receive a passing notice, especially such ss relate to Cadets of the family of Baskervill.

We have already seen Richard Sadoch attesting an early grant to Salop Abbey, which is presumed to have been made by a Baskervill of Pickthorn.

About the year 1240, Gilbert Saddoc sold to Salop Abbey, for 40 pence, all the right which he had in 8 acres in Picketorn, between the land of Aveline Fitz Hubert &c.- Witnesses: Nicholas, then Provost of the Foryate, Hugh, his brother &c. [44]

In 26 Hen. III (1241-2), Evarard de Picathorn resigns 3 acres to the Lord of Bascarvile, which he held of Ralph Bossard for a term of seventeen years.- Witnesses: Sir Adam de Beissin, Sir Geoffrey de Huvaratun (Overton). [45]

About the same time, but in a deed sans date, Ralph Bolland (probably Bossard) grants to Roger de Bascrevill all the land be had in Pikethorn and 9s. rent in Newton, for a rent of a pair of gloves, or of 1 penny (in lieu thereof).- Witnesses: Sir ** le Strange, Sir Aldulf de Bracy, Geoffrey de Overton, Hugh de Baskervill, Henry de Stottesden, Ralph de la Lowe, Philip Boterel, Guido de Fernlawe (Farlow), and others. [46]

In 37 Hen. III, (1858), Hugh de Baskerville had a suit against Ralph de Arras about a stank which Ralph had made in Subbiri (Sidbury).

Hugh de Baskervill sat as a Juror for Stottesden Hundred at the Assizes of January, 1256, [48] also as a Juror in January, 1257, as to the property of Hugh de Kinslow. [49]

In February, 1259, he was one of several who were sued for a trespass in Broseley and Willey, [50] hereafter to be particularised.

At the Forest Assizes, February, 1262, John de Baschereil was amerced for vert. [51]

In Easter Term, 1271, John de Baskervile was under prosecution of Lucy, widow of Ralph de Gravenhunger, for a trespass, and the suit was still unsettled in January, 1272. [52]

[44] Salop Chartulary, No. 255.
[45] Blakeway MSS.
[46] Ibidem.
[47] Rot. Pat. 37 Hen. III.
[48] Assizes, 40 Hen. III.
[49] Vide supra, pp. 53, 54.
[50] Plac. apud. Westm. Hilary Term, 43 Hen. III, memb. 25 recto.
[51] Plac. Forest. 46 H. III, memb. 3 recto.
[52] Plac. apud Westm. Easter Term, 55 Hen. III, memb. 41 dorso, and Hilary Term 56 Hen. III, memb. 35 recto.


In July, 1272, Thomas de Baskerville had a suit against Roger Fitz Thomas of Northwood, John, his brother, and Nicholas de Mydelton, for insulting and wounding him in Pickthorne.- Adjourned to Nov. 8. [53]

Nov. 27, 1274, Hugh de Baskerville complains before the Stottesden Jurors that John de la Penne, some-time Seneschal of Roger de Mortimer, had arrested him unjustly at Cleobury Mortimer, till he paid 40s. for his liberty. [54]

In October, 1292, Hugh de Baskerville had not given due attendance at the Assizes; and Richard le Bret of Pikethorn, similarly reported as in default, is said to have no free tenement in the County. [55]

Several similar entries occur which may refer to tenants at Pickthorn, but just as probably to tenancies under Baskerville elsewhere. The various interests of the family in Aldenham, Lawton, Newton, Northwood, and Little Sutton, are not always distinguishable. Of Aldenham we have spoken already, and under the other places named, we shall have future opportunities of resuming the subject.


THE career of Robert de Belesme, third and last Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, was, in that capacity, most transient. His idea of Bridgnorth as a great military position, and his mode of working out that idea, are the chief and almost the sole features of his temporary ascendancy in Shropshire.

This subject has been so ably and amply discussed by others, [1]

[53] Plac. apud. Westm. Trin. Term, 56 Hen. III, memb. 13 recto.
[54] Rot. Hund. ii, 110.
[55] Assizes, 20 Edw. I, memb. 20 recto.

[1] I refer to the History of Shrewsbury, vol. i, pp. 53-57, and to the History of Ludlow, by Thomas Wright, Esq., pp. 40, 43, as to the best accounts of this period of County History. Mr. Wright supplies a correction to Mr Blakeway's note about "Tickhill and Blythe Castles", which was not unneeded. At page 73


that, after alluding to well-known facts, I shall venture merely to add one or two circumstances not hitherto noticed.

On the death of Hugh de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, in July, 1098, his elder brother, Robert de Belesme, obtained that Earldom from William Rufus. This honour he retained till the summer of 1102, building in the interval the two Castles of Bridgnorth and Carrechova.

Bridgnorth was in every respect a mere transfer of his father's foundations at Quatford. The Castle, the Borough, the Collegiate Church, even the Bridge, followed one another from Quatford to the site selected by the ambitious and restless Norman.

The skill and rapidity of Robert de Belesme's proceedings have already been sketched in these pages, and probably rated below their just estimate. At his outlawry, in the summer of 1102, his Castle of Brug stood a royal siege of three weeks duration, and was at last surrendered, rather than taken by storm.

Something however yet remains to be said as to the period of his power in Shropshire, and his exercise thereof,- something which has hitherto been misrepresented, or not represented at all.

The expression of Ordericus is, that " he held the Earldom for four years, and exercised the greatest cruelties upon the Welsh".

of the History of Shrewsbury, Mr. Blakeway gives a passage of Ordericus relative to the confiscations which ensued on the banishment of Earl Robert. His theory, founded on this passage, was that great Shropshire Estates then changed hands, and this theory is more than once advanced in his writings. I never could understand what Mr. Blakeway thus alluded to. Of course Belesme's Earldom escheated to the Crown; but there is no proof of any other forfeiture whatever, as taking place in Shropshire at the period (1102). We may suspect indeed from Ordericus' words, and we know from other evidence, that one, two, or perhaps three Shropshire fiefs changed hands at, or about, this time; but they were Seigneuries only that were thus affected, and so, merely a correspondent number of greater tenants. As to the revolution extending to knightly classes, I never saw a word of evidence in favour of such a conclusion, nor do I adopt it. In fact all we know of the matter leads to an opposite conclusion, viz. that the main supporters of the Crown against the Earl were the Knights of the County.

Again, permanent disinheritance at this period of history was most seldom resorted to. It was most impolitic in all instances, except those where the antagonistic power was (as in the case of Earl Robert) almost on a par with Royalty.

Ordericus indeed says, that "the King took possession of the whole honour of Robert (de Belesme), and of his vassals (hominum ejus), who had persisted with him in rebellion"; but Ordericus does not say whether these vassals were those of Sussex, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, or Shropshire; nay, the only two Shropshire Chiefs who are quoted as having adhered to the Earl to the last, were Roger Fitz Corbet and Ulger Venator, and they happen to be two whom we shall see transmitting Shropshire Estates to their posterity.


One would imagine that he was resident in his Shropshire Earldom for the whole period, and that this period was employed in continuous warfare on his Cambrian neighbours. Indeed, the words of Ordericus have been thus interpreted; but with how little truth remains to be shown.

In July, 1098, when Earl Hugh was slain in Anglesea, Robert de Belesme was besieged in the Castle of Balaon by Fulk, Earl of Anjou, and was relieved by King William Rufus in the third week of the same month. [2]

There is nothing to show the precise period when Belesme obtained the said King's grant of the Earldom of Shrewsbury. Perhaps it was immediately after Earl Hugh's death, but it does not follow that he came over immediately from Normandy to take possession.

It is uncertain whether King William himself returned to England in the autumn of 1098, or at Easter 1099. Whichever the date of his return, it is not probable that Belesme came with him,- or, coming, remained here: for in June, 1099, the messenger who reported to Rufus, when hunting in the New Forest, that an attack had been made upon Maine, was sent from over sea, by Robert de Belesme. [3]

The dashing energy which the King exhibited on that occasion was perhaps the greatest feature of his life and character, but it must not detain us now any further than to say, that his instant visit to Normandy kept him there till September.

As yet, therefore, there is little evidence of Belesme's presence in England or Wales during the first year of his supposed Earldom. It is well known how, within another year, his friend and patron, the King, was again hunting in the New Forest, and there received that second and sudden message which summoned him to a journey more distant than the former and final.

The succession of King Henry I, though it was displeasing to, was not, that we know of, openly opposed by Earl Robert. Consequently, we are ignorant how it affected the English tenure of the latter. However, about August 1, 1101, Robert Duke of Normandy landed at Portsmouth, reckoning on the support, amongst others, of Belesme and his two brothers, Roger and Arnulph. [4] The agreement between the King and Duke which resulted is well known, and how the latter left England about September 29, 1201.

[2] Ordericus, p. 772.
[3] Ibidem, p. 774.
[4] Ordericus, p. 785.


But now for a circumstance which took place in the interval, and which has not hitherto been made matter of history.-

On Sept. 8, 1101, King Henry I was holding his great Court at Windsor. The Duke, his brother, was there, and others professedly or suspectedly of the Duke's party. What diplomatic matters engaged the great assembly we are not likely to learn, but in the ordinary routine of Court business three notable Charters were expedited, one to the Bishop of Bath, the other two to the Bishop of Norwich. [5] It is one of the latter which deserves the special attention of the Shropshire Antiquary. The witnesses attested, each of them making the sign of the cross with his own hand. Among them were Queen Matilda, Robert Duke of Normandy, Robert Bishop of Chester, Robert Earl of Ponthien (Comes de Pontivio), Roger Earl of Poitou (Comes Pictavensis), Alan Fitz Harald (so written for Fitz Flaald), Everard the Chaplain, Herbert the King's Chamberlain, &c.

Here then were two, if not three, of the sons of Earl Roger de Montgomery,- for Everard the Chaplain was most probably his youngest son, before noticed, and who became Bishop of Norwich in 1121.

The point, however, here to be observed, is the attestation of Robert de Belesme as Earl of Ponthieu, a foreign title, and which he acquired in right of his wife. His partizanship with Duke Robert, or his non-recognition by Henry I, must, I think, have had something to do with the suppression of his English titles of Arundel and Shrewsbury, on the above occasion.

The Duke returned to Normandy at Michaelmas, taking his most strenuous supporter, the Earl Warren, with him. And here it becomes for the first time clear that Belesme remained in England, nay, further, that he remained for the express purpose of fostering the Duke's interests and opposing the King's. Indeed, also, the account of Florence of Worcester would induce a belief that it was now that Bridgnorth was first selected by Belesme as the site best suited for future operations. [6] If so the labour of workmen by day and by night, which Florence speaks of, will actually have completed the work in less than a year.

[5] New Monasticon, vol. ii, p.267, No. xi, and vol. iv, pp. 15, 16, Nos. iii. and v.
[6] Flor. Wigorn, sub anno 1101. " Arcem quam in occidentali Sabrinae fluminis plaga, in loco qui Brycge dicitur lingua Saxonica, AEgelfleda Merciorum domina quondam construxerat, fratre suo Eadwarde Seniore regnante, Scrobbesbyriensis Comes Rotbertus de Belessino, Rogeri Comitis filius, contra Regem Heinricum, ut exitus rei probavit, muro lato et alto, summoque restaurare coepit".


We have seen King Henry the centre of a divided Court at Windsor, on September 3, 1102. On September 29, 1102, he presided over an assemblage at Westminster, [7] equal in point of numbers and undivided in allegiance. Robert de Belesme had fallen in the interval, and was now an exile.

The Palatine Earldom of Shropshire thus became an Escheat of the Crown. It is well known that kingly power, as exercised over a Palatine Earl, was essentially different from kingly power in ordinary. Henry I now combined in his own person both the Palatine and Royal dignities; and Shropshire might, if he had so willed, have been annexed to the ordinary and general government of the kingdom. Such a fusion however was not effected in his reign, and his policy was clearly to keep the two distinct. He governed the Province by means of a Viceroy (called Dapifer, Seneschall, and sometimes Sheriff), an office which posterity has, not without some ground, assimilated to, or identified with, the Wardenry of the Western Marches.

A dispute about names is superfluous where the nature of the office is well understood; and there can be little mistake about the functions of Richard de Belmeis, first Viceroy of Shropshire under Henry I. When called Sheriff or Vicecomes, he is so called correctly, because he stood in loco Comitis; but it must be remembered that the ordinary Sheriff or Sheriffs of his Province still remained. When called Viceroy, the expression is warranted, both by the nature of his power and by the fact that his representation of the Earl was incidentally a representation of the King.

His jurisdiction was not confined to Shropshire, or even to the Marches of Wales. It extended at least into Staffordshire, and possibly into Herefordshire. He presided over all causes ecclesiastical and temporal, and his decisions were afterwards recognized by the Crown as quasi-royal and irreversible. He was, in short, to Shropshire what, in the absence of the Sovereign, the Justiciar or Chief Justice of a later period was to England.

As to Bridgnorth during the reign of Henry I, little more is known of it than that it was occasionally visited by the King, that it was a seat of provincial government, and that Belesme's fortress was maintained as a Royal Castle.

King Henry I visited Shropshire between March, 1121, and June, 1123, probably about the time of the Welsh expedition in the

[7] Saxon Chronicle, sub anno,- Sim. Dunelm.- and Eadmer.


former year. A Charter of his to Salop Abbey, which passed at that period, is dated at Brug. It is addressed to Robert, Bishop of Coventry, and Richard, Bishop of London.- The witnesses were: Bernard, Bishop of St. David's, Grimbald the Physician, and Hamo Peverel. [8]

Another Charter of Henry I, and which must have passed about the same time, is dated " apud Brugias". It is a confirmation of a previous grant of lands in Huntingdonshire, by William Peverel of Dover, brother of Hamon above-mentioned, and who had a large interest in Shropshire. [9] -

The King's Charter is addressed to Robert, Bishop of Lincoln (who died Jan. 1128), Robert, Bishop of Coventry (consecrated 18 March, 1121), and Richard, Bishop of London. It is attested by William Fitz Odo, and Geoffry Fitz Pagan, witnesses whose names preclude all idea of an earlier date than that suggested above.

The later years of Richard de Belmeis' life were troubled with a paralytic affection, which at times incapacitated him for public business. There is, however, evidence of his having been, by disposition, tenacious of office and power, [10] and we have independent hints that he retained his jurisdiction in Shropshire till nearly the last. He at length retired to the Priory of St. Osyth in Essex (a house of his own foundation), and died there on Jan. 16, 1127.

On resigning his provincial power to Pagan Fitz John, he attended at Bridgnorth the first Court held by his Successor, and there gave evidence as to the liability of Shrewsbury Abbey to contribute to the military aids assessable on the County. [11] Walter Constable of Gloucester, was also present, and appears to have been officially interested in the question. The Bishop reiterated his testimony, and the particulars of what passed on this occasion, in a letter, written subsequently, and addressed to all the Barons of Shropshire.

In September, 1126, Bridgnorth became the temporary prison of Walleran, Earl of Mellent, whom the King had brought over from Normandy. [12]

[8] Salop Chartulary, No. 42.
[9] Plac. apud Westm. Mich. Term, 9 Hen. III, memb. 12 recto, where the Charter is recited with reference to some suit at law.
[10] Will. Malmsb. 134, b.
[11] Salop Chartulary, No. 353.
[12] Saxon Chronicle, sub anno 1126, Sim. Dunelm. sub anno 1127. Ann. Wigorn p. 149. The chronology of Henry I's reign becomes very confused at this period. I have adhered to those statements, which, after much research, have seemed most consistent; but this is not the place for any general argument on the subject.


After Christmas following, the King, in full Court at London, gave the County of Salop to his Queen Adeliza. [13] This gift rests on good authority in the first instance, but I have never met with anything in illustration of it. The County of Sussex became the dower or indeed the fief of Queen Adeliza, and she conveyed it to her second husband, William de Albini, and to her heirs by him. No such result followed her alleged interest in Shropshire.

In 1128, Bridgnorth Castle being in keeping of the new Viceroy, Pain Fitz John, it became the prison of Meredyth ap Lhywarch, who had been given up by Lhewelyn ap Owen. [14]

In the Pipe Roll for the fiscal year ending Sept. 29, 1130, we have one notice of Bridgnorth. Milo de Gloucester (son of Walter, the Constable above mentioned), being then Sheriff of that County, had sent a quantity of wine, by the King's order, to Worcester and to Brug. [15] This sending of wine was a usual item of Sheriffs' accounts. The wine was for royal use, and anticipatory of a royal visit. In exact accordance with such hints of the King having been in Shropshire about this time are the facts of his having kept Christmas, 1129, at Worcester, [16] and of his having issued a precept from Cundover, which must date within a few months of the same feast. [17]

The reign of Stephen, generally barren of provincial records, does not, I believe, supply a single fact in immediate relation to Bridgnorth. In remote connexion with the subject, we must mention the name of Hugh de Mortimer, of Wigmore, whose power in Herefordshire and the Marches seems to have been un-

[13] William of Malmsbury, p. 99. Mr. Blakeway, quoting this passage (Hist. Shrewsbury, i, 77), says further, that the Queen on receiving the County appointed William Fitz Alan as her Sheriff. Malmsbury mentions no such appointment, nor can I find it in any other Chronicler. I question it on other grounds than can be stated here, but of course Mr. Blakeway had some authority for his opinion. What follows above will at least prove that if William Fitz Alan became Sheriff in January, 1127, he held that office in subjection to Pain Fitz John, rather than to the Queen.
[14] Powell, 137.
[15] Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I, p. 77.
[16] Henry Huntingdon, 220.
[17] Salop Chartulary, No. 47, b. The principal witness is Milo de Gloucester, after whose first appearance at Court, the King was in England only for three periods, viz. from Sept. 1126 to Aug. 1127, from July, 1129, to August, 1130, and from August 1131, to August, 1133. In Sept. 1130, the Fermor of Boseham (Sussex), had sent 476 sicosa (a kind of small fish) for the King's use to Cundover and Woodstock. The King was at Woodstock in March, 1130, and at Worcester in Dec. 1129. The precept quoted is also addressed to the Bishop of Chester, Pain Fitz John, and the Sheriff of Salop.


affected by the great struggles of the time. In one instance we find Stephen expressly stipulating for the independence of Martimer's fief. [18] He was in all probability of the Usurper's party, and the close of Stephen's reign found him not only undisturbed in his proper possessions, but seised of the Castle of Bridgnorth.

The accession of Duke Henry further found him caballing against the new monarch, refusing to do him homage, and fortifying his Castles for resistance. His opposition might have been formidable had the Earl of Hereford, his confederate, remained so. The latter was detached from Mortimer by the persuasions of Gilbert Foliot, his relation, and then Bishop of Hereford. Mortimer's obstinacy resulted in a second siege of Bridgnorth castle, conducted, as before, by the King in person.

King Henry II's campaign against Mortimer is not very fully detailed by the Chroniclers, [19] but their accounts are amplified and illustrated by much that may be gathered from contemporary Charters and by something which remains of the lost Pipe Roll of 1155 (1 Hen. II).

Of the Chroniclers, by far the most accurate as to date and circumstance is the Norman writer edited by Duchesne. [20] He informs us that on Sunday after the Octaves of Easter (viz. Sunday, April 10th, 1155), the King, at Wallingford, caused the English nobles to swear fealty to William, his eldest son, and, in case of the early death of that Prince, to Henry, his second son, then 10 months old. He then amicably settled some differences with Roger, Earl of Hereford, who was in occupation of the "Tower of Gloucester". Forthwith he laid siege to the three Castles of the arrogant and self-confident Hugh de Mortimer, who resisted his supremacy. These Castles were Brug (printed Burgam), Wigemore and Cleobury (printed Deobens). The last, after some little time, the King took, and destroyed. On the nones of July (July 7), 1155, Hugh de Mortimer made peace with the King, surrendering the two Castles of Brug and Wigmore.

[18] Viz. when he granted the Earldom of Hereford to the Earl of Leicester (Duncumb's Herefordshire, vol. i, p. 232).
[19] The most interesting fact noticed in connexion with the siege of Bridgnorth is the devotion of Hugh (or Hubert) de St. Clair, constable of Colchester, who, observing an arrow directed against the King by one of the garrison, saved the Monarch's life by the sacrifice of his own. (Gross's Antiquities vol. v, p. 3). This story rests on insufficient authority, and, like many other legends, must be wrongly localized and dated. If Hugh de St. Clair were the hero's name and he ever behaved in the way recounted, it must have been after the siege of Bridgnorth, which be survived at least a year.
[20] Normannorum Scriptores, p.991.


The account of Gervase of Dover [21] differs somewhat from this. He describes the King as taking all the three Castles above named, and he dates the whole affair as preceding the "Council of Wallingford" (a manifest error); but he supplies us with the names of Cleoberi and Bruges, intelligibly spelt.

Ralph de Diceto, a not to be despised authority, who became Dean of St. Paul's twenty-six years after the event he is describing, seems to intimate that Mortimer fortified Bridgnorth, Wigmore, and Gloucester against King Henry. [22]

This latter statement is, however, hardly worth reciting, except to show how half a centtuy is sufficient to establiah a tradition and misrepresent a fact.

Such altogether is the evidence of those Chroniclers, who are most to be relied upon with regard to this period of English History.-

The Norman writer is in short the best authority of the time, and will so appear if we make reference to other documents.-

There are no means of ascertaining the immediate movements of King Henry after the Council of Wallingford (April 10, 1155). It was however, to all appearance, during his subsequent march against Mortimer that he halted at Alrewas in Staffordshire, and there granted to the Shropshire Abbey of Lilleshall, two distinct Charters. [23] Each of them is dated "apud Alrewas in exercitu", and one of them is attested by persons of whom we shall hear presently during the siege of Bridgnorth, viz. by Thomas, the Chancellor (Thomas a Becket); Manasser Biset, Sewer (dapifero); Warin Fitz Gerold, Chamberlain; Robert de Dunstanville; and Joceline de Baliol.

A grant to Stoneley Abbey (Warwickshire) by King Henry II, is dated more significantly " apud Brugiam in obsidione". [24] It is attested by Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury; Roger, Arch-bishop of York; John, Bishop of Worcester; Walter, Bishop of

[21] Chron. Gervas. p. 1378.
[22] Diceto. Ymag. Hist. p. 581.
[23] Lilleshall Chartulary quoted Harl. MSS. 3868 and 2060, and Dodsworth, vol. 110, fo. 43, b. If King Henry marched directly from Wallingford to South Shropshire, Alrewas would have been considerably out of his line. His halt at the latter place, whenever it occurred, must have been while traversing the old Roman Road (Ikenild Street), between Burton and Lichfield. His expedition, earlier in the year 1155, which took him into Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, to deal with the Earl of Albemarle and William Peverel, may possibly have occasioned his presence at Alrewas; but I find no account of military preparation for that journey, such as to tally with the ominous " in exercitu" of the Lilleshall Charters.
[24] Monasticon, vol. v, p. 447, No. vii.


Chester; Thomas, the Chancellor; Reginald, Earl of Cornwall; Robert, Earl of Leicester; Richard de Humes (Constable of Normandy); Warin Fitz Gerold; William de Beauchamp (Sheriff of Worcestershire); and Maurice de Ambrudega (Ombersley, Worcester).

This Charter was said by the Monks of Stoneley to have been granted by the King at solicitation of his mother, the Empress. [25] If so she also will have been at the siege of Bridgnorth. The removal which the Charter enabled those Monks to make from Radmore to Stoneley was effected on June 19th, which furnishes us with a still more accurate estimate as to the date of the siege.

Another Charter of Henry II, which passed at the same time is dated simply " apud Brugiam". [26] It was to Mereval Abbey (Warwickshire). It was tested by the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth witnesses of the last; also by Roger, Earl of Hereford (thus proving the accuracy of the Norman Chronicle, which dates his adhesion to the King before the siege of Bridgnorth); Josceline de Bailiol; and Manasser Bisset.

On the same occasion, and with a similar date, at Brug, the King expedited a great Charter of confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey. [27] Its witnesses were the Archbishop of Canterbury; Gilbert, Bishop of Hereford (who had effected the adhesion of Earl Roger); Walter, Bishop of Chester; John, Bishop of Worcester; Thomas, the Chancellor; Reinald, Earl of Cornwall (the King's uncle); William, Earl of Bristol (i.e. Gloucester the King's cousin, son of Robert the Consul); Roger, Earl of Hereford; Hugh, Earl of Chester; William Fitz Alan; Robert de Dunstanvill; Walcheline Maminoht (all three staunch supporters of the Empress against Stephen); and Roger Corbet.

Other and less important Charters to Shrewsbury Abbey passed contemporaneously. One, wherein William Fitz Alan is addressed, and Thomas the Chancellor, the witness, is so far worth mention. [28] Still better worth notice is the King's Charter to Robert Pinzun, of

[25] Ibidem. No. vi. The year given in this document is 1154; of course by mistake - as on June 19, 1154, Henry II had not succeeded. The day and month of dates thus stated is always more probably accurate than the year, and for one simple reason,- the system of keeping anniversaries was uniformly recognized and observed in a Monastery, but the estimate of years and epochs was matter for every variety of theory and caprice. In tho same documents we often find a regnol, papal, and dominical year given, which are mutually inconsistent. In such cases the dominical year is, as far as I can learn, the least to be trusted.
[26] Monasticon, v, 483, ii.
[27] Salop Chartulary, No. 36.
[28] Ibidem, No. 45.


land in Eston (Aston near Newport), which is dated at Brug, addressed to William Fitz Alan, and attested by the Earl of Cornwall, Richard de Humez, and the now subdued rebel, Hugh de Mortimer. [29]

And these addresses to William Fitz Alan, then restored to his lands and honours, will cause a further citation of Monastic Charters illustrative of the era. His grant to his own foundation of Haghmon, on the very day of his restoration, is not only a chapter of history but a memorandum of loyal faith and pious gratitude. [30]

" Know all men present and future, that I, William, son of Alan, on the day of St. James the Apostle, at Bruge, for the health of my soul and of (the souls of) all my ancestors and heirs, have given and conceded, and by this, my present Charter, have confirmed to God and to the Church of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist of Haghmon, and to the Canons, who are there serving God, the right of patronage of the Church of Wroxcestre in Salopescire, with all its endowment and with all its appurtenances and liberties, in free, pure, and perpetual almoigne &c.- These being witnesses: Roger de Powys, John le Strange, Hugh de Lacy of Colemere".

And this grant thus made at Bridgnorth, on July 25, 1155, was afterwards remembered and certified, with additional circumstances of interest, by the first two witnesses.-

Roger Powys, about twenty years later than the grant, and about fifteen years after the death of the grantor, certified " all sons of the Church of that which he had seen and heard, viz. that William Fitz Alan, after he had received his lands from the King, and on the day on which he took the homage of his vassals (hominum) at Brige, in presence of an assembled multitude of Barons and Knights, for the health of the Lord King and of his own soul", gave the said Church to Haghmon Abbey, &c. [31]

And John le Strange's contemporary certificate was mainly to the same effect, except that he uses the important word " restored " (reddiderat) as describing the King's investiture of the exiled Sheriff of Shropshire. [32]

[29] Salop Chartulary, No. 162.
[30] Harl. MSS. 446, fo. ix, compared with the Chartulary at Sundorn, fo. 236.
[31] Charter in possession of Mr. George Morris.
[32] Hist. Shrewsbury, i, 79, note 3. I have inadvertently stated this Certificate to be in possession of Mr. George Morris (supra, p. 73, note 218). The Haughmond Chartulary at Sundorn, is the sole authority for it. The Harleian MS. 446, has the first lines only.


For the sake of a more general illustration of our subject we will now recur to the beginning of this month of July, 1155, and to the case of another Monastic House, whose Abbot sought the King at Bridgnorth on the subject of a Charter. This was Walter de Lucy, Abbot of Battle, in Sussex. His attendance at Court was nearly coincident with a great Council, which, after Mortimer's surrender, was summoned to Bridgnorth. Thither on July 7, came Archbishops, Bishops, many Abbots, Earls, and Barons, to settle the terms of the King's peace with his rebellious vassal. [33] The Abbot of Battle reached the Court on the 10th, and on the following day had audience of the King on his own affairs. Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, Richard de Humes, and Richard de Lucy (the great Justiciar, and who was in fact the Abbot's brother), are mentioned as having been present. What transpired is foreign to our local subject, which may well conclude with the fragments of the lost Roll of 1155, so far as they allude to Shropshire. [34]

" William Fitz Alan, the Sheriff, renders account of the ferm of Salopesire for a fourth part of the year, i.e. from Midsummer to Michaelmas, 1155. He had paid 61. into the Treasury; his expenses had been 11. 18s. 4d. The King's Manors had been wasted, and a charge of 3. 5s. 5d. had arisen on that account during the quarter".

At the same fiscal period (Michaelmas, 1155), Robert de Stafford, Sheriff of Staffordshire, charges his account with one merk (13s. 4d.) which in obedience to a writ of the King had been spent on the " works of the Castle of Bruges".

From this year till the end of the period of which we profess to give account, the history of Bridgnorth involves such a variety of details that we can no longer deal with the subject as a whole, but must bestow a distinct notice on each of its parts. We must give

[33] Palgrave's British Commonwealth, Appendix, p. xxxv. The document there printed is a muniment of Battle Abbey. Nothing, however, could be better selected for the guidance of those, who, seeking for hints of English History at a period when Chronicles were scanty, do not despise such hints though found amongst Monastic Charters. The reader may there learn how these Charters were sought and obtained from the Crown; what were the conditions and forms of procedure; what in short, the Court of Chancery really was when Henry Fitz Empress first reigned and Becket first held the seals. Most of the information which I here endeavoured to supply in a previous note on the same subject (supra, p. 27, note 3) was derived from this admirable Appendix.
[34] Bed Book of Exchequer, fo. 136.


some account of the Castle; the Borough and its Liberties, the Collegiate Church within the Castle; the Church of St. Leonard's, and other religious or eleemosynary foundations.- Also of such tenures, within the Town or Liberties, as will not recur to our notice elsewhere - and lastly of the principal men and families, whose names are associated with the early Borough.


Served both as a fortress, a prison, and a royal residence. Of its extent at this early period we have no direct evidence or description. The remaining ruin, part of the older structure, is a fragment, massive indeed, and suggestive of a grand contemporary whole, but still a fragment only. Perhaps the constant outlay of the Crown in repairs and additions is the best illustration which can be offered as to the extent of the fortress in the time of Henry II and his three successors. If we take into consideration the different values of money at that time and the present, we may estimate what Bridgnorth Castle was, by that which it cost. The outlay on repairs and additions during the reign of Henry II was as follows:-

At Michaelmas, 1166, the Sheriff's annual account contains a charge of 6s. 8d. for repair of the " well of Brug", and 11s. 7d. for one stack of timber (pro uno rogo) at Brug. [35]

At Michaelmas, 1167, the Sheriff had expended, in obedience to the King's writ, various sums, amounting in all to 30. 13s. 4d. on the works of this Castle. Of this sum he had received 20. 13s. 4d. from amercements inflicted by Alan de Nevill (Justice of the Forest), and 10. from other amercements.

In 1168, the Sheriff had expended 14. 5s. 6d. on the same works. The funds thus employed arose from amercements, from rents of purprestures payable to the Crown, and from that part of the aid for marriage of the King's daughter which had been assessed on the escheated fief of Gerard de Tornai.

In 1169, the Sheriff, accounting for an arrear of 26. 6s. 4d. due for the ferm of the previous year, alleges the whole to have been expended on the works of the tower of Brug, in obedience to writ of Richard de Luci (the Justiciar), and under view of Philip Fitz Stephen, Richard Ireis, and Hulger the Clerk. He had also spent

[35] Rot. Pip. 12 Hen. II, Salop. The Pipe Rolls of the respective years mentioned are also the authority for the other items of expenditure, which follow in the text, except where reference is made to a different Record.


15. 8s. 6d. of the new ferm of the County on the same object, and under similar direction and view.

At Michaelmas, 1170, William the Clerk accounting on behalf of Geoffrey de Vere, the then deceased Sheriff of Shropshire, charges 2. 5s. 9d. as having been expended on the same Tower, under royal warrant, and by view of the same Philip Fitz Stephen, Richard the Irishman (Ybernici), and Ulger the Canon. Out of the revenues arising from the Honour of the Constable which had also been farmed by Geoffrey de Vere, 18s. had been similarly appropriated, and is charged in another account of the said William Clericus.

At Michaelmas, 1171, William Clericus, rendering account of arrears from the former year, charges 5. 1s. 7d. as having been expended on the Tower of Brug, under the same view, and by royal warrant: and Guy le Strange, the Sheriff of the current year charges yet 15. 14s. 9d. more.

In 1172, Guy le Strange charges 25. 2s. 2d. for the same purpose, and 25. in 1173,- Richard de Luci again authorizing the outlay, and the same Visors inspecting it.

In 1174, Guy le Strange charges 18. 5s. 8d. as expended by royal warrant on the Castle of Brug, Richard the Irishman, and Ulger the Clerk being still Visors.

At Michaelmas, 1182, Hugh Pantulf, then Sheriff, had spent 3. 6s. 8d. in repair of the Tower of Brug, by royal warrant, and under view of William Fitz Simeon, Walter Palmer, and Richard de Porta. He had further spent 3. 12s. in repair of the King's House at Brug.

In 1183, the same Sheriff had expended 10. 7s. 8d. in repairs of the Castle, under view of Robert Bacun and William de Fabrics. In 1184, he had similarly expended 7. 18. 2d. under view of Osbert the Tanner (Pelliparii). In 1185, 3. 11s. 11d. was bestowed on the same work, under view of Ralph Fitz Lambert and Osbert Fredesent.

In 1186, 3. 1s. was spent on the Castle and the King's House, under view of Simon Ordrich and Stephen de Ypra. In 1187, 1. 12s. 8d. on the House alone, under view of Vivian Fitz William and Abraham Fitz Redwi.

In 1188, the repair of the King's houses at Salop and Brug had cost collectively 11s.4d., and at Michaelmas, 1189, the Sheriff had spent 5s. 3d. on the House at Brug, under view of Nicholas the Irishman.

The reign of Henry II was nearly thirty-five years in length, and


for thirty-four years thereof the King was in seizin of Bridgnorth Castle. The expenditure in repairs and additions, recorded for that period, and above detailed, will be found to amount to 213, a sum equal to about 10,500. of modern currency.

At Michaelmas, 1191, the Castles of Bruges and Salop had been repaired at a cost of 12. 9s. 11d., by warrants of the King (now gone on the Crusade) and the Chancellor (Longchamp). The Visors for Bruges had been Robert Bacon, and Andrew, son of the Priest.

At Michaelmas, 1198, the Sheriff charges 32. 8s. 5d. in repairs of the Tower of Brug by writ of the King (now in captivity), and under view of Richard de Overton, Henry Dyer (Tinctoris), and Henry Fitz Turold.

In 1195, 5. is charged for repairs of the well and the King's house, under warrant of the Archbishop (Hubert of Canterbury).

In 1196, 8. 5s. is charged for repair of the basement (pedis) of the Castle, by royal warrant, and under view of Hugh de Norton and Walter Meverel.

In 1197, 7s. are charged for repairs of the house and Castle.

In 1198, a charge of 75s. includes some outlay at Salop.

In 1199, 18s. 6d. had been spent on this Castle alone.

On the whole, the average expenditure on this account during the ten years of Richard's reign was nearly in proportion to that which occurred in the time of his Father.

Repairs or additions to the Castle, or the King's house therein, are charged, in the Sheriff's accounts, for the following years, viz. 1200, 1201, 1202, 1203 (when Geoffry Fitz Piers ordered the outlay, he being both Chief Justice and Sheriff), 1204 (when the Castle well was repaired), 1205 (when Nicholas the Irishman and William Fitz William were Visors), 1206, 1207 (when the Tower of Brug, and four County gaols were repaired), 1209 (when four royal Castles were repaired), 1212 (when the work is specified to have been at "the Barbican and drawbridge"), [36] and 1214 (when the charge is for the two preceding years).

Similar charges also occur on the Pipe Rolls of the years 1218, 1219, 1220 (in each of which the outlay is stated at 5. as if by special arrangement), and 1221.

On July 4 of the latter year, the King's Precept issued to the Earl of Chester (then Sheriff), ordering him to let Alan Fitz Robert have

[36] In operatione Barbekanas et pontis tornalis in Castro de Brug.


an equivalent in the King's demesne for the land which said Alan had lost by reason of the construction of a Barbican before the gate of the Castle of Brug. [37]

26 Jan. 1223, Brian de Lisle has a royal order to let Henry de Audley have, out of the wind-falls in Kinver Forest, timber sufficient to repair the King's house in Brug Castle, and to cause tally to be made of the same. [38]

At Michaelmas, 1228, the Earl of Chester had expended in two years, 20. in repairs of the Castles of Salop and Brug; and in 1224 he charges 10. more on the same account. This expenditure will have been previous to Dec. 30, 1228, when the Earl's custody of the said Castles ceased. Another Record informs us that during his Shrievalty great waste was made in that part of Morf Forest called " the wood of Worefield", one item whereof was the timber taken to Brug Castle. [39]

At Michaelmas, 1225, John Bonet (then Cnstos of the County) had paid 14. 6s. 8d. in the work of the Tower of Brug. It had been roofed with lead &c., under view of Hamo Palmer and William Lorimer. [40]

March 21, 1226, the following writ issued to the Sheriff. "The King to the Sheriff of Salop, greeting. We enjoin you that you cause to be repaired that turet of the outer wall of our Castle of Bruges which lately fell, and likewise the old chimney of our great chamber in the same Castle, which is much damaged. And the cost thereof, under view of legal men, shall be reckoned to your credit &c.- At Westminster". [41]

Sept. 29, 1226, John Bonet, then Custos, charges on his annual account 18. 6s. 9d. for repair of the said Tower, and outer wall (muri forinseci), and old chimney, " by writ of the King, and under view of Henry (Hamo probably) Palmer and Richard A*uard. He further charges 10. for unspecified repairs at the Castles of Bruges and Salop.

Aug. 9, 1227, john Fitz Philip (of Bolbington) is to allow

[37] Rot. Claus. i, p. 464.
[38] Ibidem, p. 530.
[39] De Forestis Antiquis, No. 13 (apud Turrim, London).
[40] " In operatione turris de Brug gestatae et plumbo coopertae " (Rot. Pip. 9 Hen. III), where the meaning of the word " gestate", escapes me. The King's precept to the Barons of the Exchequer, authorising the credit thus taken by the Custos, is of date May 9, 1225. It speaks of the Sheriff's outlay " in turri de Brug gestanda et plumbo cooperienda per preceptum nostrum". (Claus. ii, 37).
[41] Claus. 10 Hen. III, memb. 21.


Henry de Audley 60 oak-trees out of Chacepel Haye for repair of the King's house at Brug. [42]

For the years ending Michaelmas, 1228, 1229, 1230, and 1231, a regular charge of 10. per annum is made by the Sheriff for repairs of the King's houses in the Castles of Brug and Salop.

At Michaelmas, 1232, a similar charge occurs; and in 1233, the Visors of some repairs at Brug had been Hamo le Palmer and Richard Fitz William.

Michaelmas, 1240, the King's houses in Salop and Brug Castles had been repaired at a cost of 55s.

In 1242, there is a charge for repairing the Castle walls; another for the Castles of Brug and Salop in 1246; and in 1250 the Visors of repairs at the former were John de Castro and Nicholas Janitor.

At Michaelmas, 1252, the large sum of 100. had been spent by the Sheriff, Robert de Grendon, in repairing the King's houses in the Castles of Salop and Brug, and in the erection of a new turret in the latter, under view and testimony of Nicholas Fitz Walter, William Bolding, and Richard Bocghan.

At Michaelmas, 1254, Robert de Grendon's account states an outlay of 22. 10s. as having been incurred since March, 1250, in repairs of the King's house in Brug Castle.

In 1257, Hugo de Acour, Sheriff, charges 116. 9s. 4d. for repairs of the three Castles of Salop, Brug, and Ellesmere. The Visors for the first two were John de Castello and Robert Cementarius.

In 1260, 5. is charged for repairs of the King's house in this Castle during the previous year (ending Michaelmas, 1259), and 80. 7s. during the quarter (ending Christmas, 1259). The Visors in the latter case had been Abilene de Brug and William Bonami. For the three quarters following, William Caverswell, Sheriff, charges 6. 15s. 4d. for works in the Castle, begun by William Bagod (the former accountant); and the Visors of this completion were William and Hamo le Palmer.

In 1261, the Sheriff is commanded to have the houses in the Castle roofed and repaired where needful, and again to expend 20 merks on this Castle and that of Salop. [43]

[42] Claus. 11 Hen. III, memb. 5.
[43] Rot. Liberat. 45 Hen. III, memb. 11 and 4.


In 1266, the Sheriff is ordered to cause defects in the same two Castles and in the houses within them to be repaired. [44]

In 1267, the Sheriff is to cause all houses of the King and Queen in the Castle and town of Brug to be repaired, as they are coming to stay there. [45]

In the same year, more specific orders were directed to the Sheriff, [46] viz. that he cause two new glass windows to be made in the north part of the Castle Hall, and also a pantry and buttery of stone, and an oriel at the door of the Queen's chamber. Further, that necessary repairs should be done to the windows of the Chapel in the Castle. These repairs were completed at a cost of 4.18s. under view of Hamo le Palmer and Roger Dyer (le Teyntorer), and during the Shrievalty of Walter de Hopton (i.e. between Michaelmas, 1267, 1268). He charges for them specifically in the Pipe Roll of Michaelmas, 1269, which contains the accounts of two preceding years.

Nov. 29, 1274. The Jurors who at this time made report to the King's Commissioners as to various matters relating to the "Liberty of Brug", stated, inter alia, that there had been "certain works of the King within the Castle, and certain Visors appointed over the same, by the King, in the time of Sir Walter de Opton's Shrievalty; that under view of said Visors, a certain outlay had been made on the said works, but that Robert de Trillek (a succeeding Under-Sheriff) had removed those Visors, and caused the works to be done without Visors all his time". [47]

On January 28, 1281, the Castle of Brug was viewed and its condition reported by four Knights appointed to this duty, viz. Sir Alan de Glazeley, Sir John de Pichford, Sir Thomas Boterel and Sir John Fitz Aer. The dilapidations were as follows:- "in the great Tower all the thick timber is rotted by the rain, which has long time fallen upon it, through defect of the leaden roofing, which has been carried away; so that without great vigilance it will not be possible to keep prisoners in safe custody. The hall and chamber, with the King's kitchen and the Queen's chamber, want roofing and other repairs. The house where the Constable used to live, in the Barbican, below the Castle, and all the chambers in the Barbican, threaten to fall down for want of repair; no one may safely reside in them. The King's stable and

[44] Rot. Liberat. 50 Hen. III, memb. 11.
[45] Ibidem, 51 Hen. III, memb.4.
[46] Ibidem, memb. 4.
[47] Rot. Hund. ii, 89.


the other stables are thrown down, and the timber pillaged, so that the present Sheriff found nothing thereof. In the bridge and in the portals there are many deficiencies: the bridge is broken; a person can scarce pass over it on foot,- on horseback not at all. The chamber beneath the Barbican, which used to be a free prison, between the great Tower and the chamber of the Constable, is completely down, and the timber thereof pillaged and carried off". Of the general repairs, the aforesaid Knights declare that " very many are necessary in the said Castle". [48]

This state of dilapidation had probably existed for many years previous to the Inquest of 1281. Its causes will better appear under another section of the History of Bridgnorth Castle.

More than 250 years after the last-mentioned date, Bridgnorth was visited by John Leland, the Antiquary. Though not in chronological sequence, his account [49] of the Castle should be given here, as containing proximate hints as to the original site, disposition, and extent of this famous fortress. " The Castle", he says, " standeth on the south part of the town, and is fortified by east with the profound Valley (of the Severn) instead of a ditch. The wanes of it be of a great height. There were 2 or 8 stronge wardes in the Castle, that nowe goe totally to ruine. I count the Castle to be more in compasse then the third part of the towne" (which he had before estimated as " scant a mile in compasse").

"There is one mighty gate [50] by north in it (the Castle), now stopped up, and a litle posterne made of force thereby through the wall to enter into the Castle. The Castle ground, and especially the base court, hath now many dwellinge houses of tymbre in it newly erected".

[48] Inquisitions, 9 Edw. I, No. 81. This Inquisition has been before alluded to (p. 205, note 39). It is described in the printed Calendar as "concerning suits of Court to Brugg Castle ! " In Mr. Dukes' Antiquities, 81 Commissioners are stated to have been employed on this occasion, by an error of punctuation, which converts the office number of the Inquisition, into the number of Inquisitors.
[49] Leland's Itinerary, vol. iv, part. ii. fo. 182, a.
[50] The " Mighty North Gate" of Bridgnorth Castle, alluded to by Leland, was, I imagine, the same, which having been previously buried in other buildings was again exposed to view, during some street alterations in 1821. The fine Norman Arch and its unnecessary destruction are memorialized by the Historians of Shrewsbury (vol. i, p. 54, note 3), in terms which both justify a reference to their note and plead against the future perpetration of such improvements, there or elsewhere.


Having now given whatever evidence offered itself as to the fabric and extent of this Castle, during the early period of its existence, something remains to be said of its uses and occupancy as a GARRISON, a PRISON, and a ROYAL RESIDENCE.

The Sheriff of the County was usually an ex-officio keeper of the two Castles of Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury. The Constable, or chief resident officer in each, will ordinarily have been a deputy of the Sheriff. But we shall hear occasionally of the custody of the Castles and the County being intrusted to persons independent of each other; in which case the Constable of Bridgnorth was of course the immediate nominee of the Crown.

The only other permanent officer who is mentioned was the Porter. The castellans, or regular garrison, in time of peace, were probably not more than five or six in number; but in time of war, service of Castle guard was due from some neighbouring tenants of the Crown.

The earliest notice of the King's garrison here relates to the Porter. In and for the fiscal year ending Michaelmas, 1156, [51] an annual charge arose upon the Crown revenue in Shropshire of 80s. 5d. (or 1 penny per day) for Livery of the Porter of Brug. The Sheriff, William Fitz-Alan, charged it that year as a set-off to the ferm of the County, and the charge was continued by him and his successors in office, till the fourth year of King John (1202). In the sequel of John's reign this item of the Sheriffs' expenditure is less regularly entered. The Porter and Warder (vigil) of Shrewsbury Castle each received a similar salary from the Crown, and through the Sheriff. In the fifth year of John (1208), only half of these appointed liveries seems to have been paid, and the payment to the Porter and Warder of Shrewsbury is apparently confused with the payment to the Porter of Brug. From this period till Michaelmas, 1224 (8 Hen. III) inclusive, the latter salary (of 30s. 5d.) whenever charged by the Sheriff, is entered as having been paid to the Porter and Warder of Brug; but I attribute this to a perpetuation of the error observable in the account of 1203, and do not suppose that two officers were employed at Bridgnorth, but only at Salop. If, however, a Porter and Warder were employed at each Castle, the salary of the two at Bridgnorth was only half the salary of the two at Shrewsbury, which was uniformly 3. 0s. 10d.

[51] Rot. Pip. 2 Hen. II, Salop.


In the year ending Michaelmas, 1226, the Sheriff (John Bonet) again charged 30s. 5d. for "livery of the Porter and Warder of the Castle of Brug", but this item of charge was virtually cancelled, because the then Constable of Bridgnorth was independent of the Sheriff and held his office at a fixed salary, out of which he was bound to pay his subalterns. The way in which this cancellation was effected is curious. The improper item is not underlined, as was usual in such cases, but the sum (80s. 5d.) is charged back upon the Sheriff in the sequel of the account, in these terms.- " The same Sheriff owes 80s. 5d. for livery of the Porter and Warder of Bruges Castle, which he has taken credit for above, in the Corpus Comitatus, [52] which credit onght not to have been taken, became the Constable has a fixed stipend". In the following year the same Sheriff again charged 80s. 5d. on this item, in that part of his account technically called the Corpus Comitatus; but in this instance the entry is cancelled at once (i.e. underlined) and a note added to this effect:- " It is cancelled before the Barons (of Exchequer) because the Constables of the Castles have fixed stipends for custody of said Castles".

This charge for the livery of the Porter was never again renewed on the annual Rolls, not even when custody of the Castle was held by.the contemporary Sheriff.

A matter of Exchequer routine has led us to digress from our proposed chronological account of Brug Castle.-

We return to the year ending Michaelmas, 1168, when four hostages had been maintained at Brug, and three at Salop. The Sheriff charges the Crown 61s. for the two items jointly.

[52] That part of the Sheriff 's annual account which went by this name may be described as follows. He first debits himself with the " Firma Comitatus", or that revenue which he was presumed to receive as Fermor of the King's demesne, or other rights within the County. This revenue, in Shropshire, was 265. 16s. per annum.

The Sheriff then charges against this, his debt, whatever items of such ferm the King had bestowed elsewhere, as well as all such occasional outlay as he himself had had warrant to make in the King's service.

The balance, one way or other, is stated at the foot of this section of account. If the Sherirs receipts had been exceeded by his authorized outlay, he credits himself with what he terms his " surplus", and for which he is subsequently reimbursed. If, on the contrary, his receipts have exceeded his outlay and his payments into the Exchequer combined, he acknowledges himself indebted pro tanto, and accounts for such debt, either in another section of the same year's Pipe Roll, or else at the head of the Roll of the year following, and under the title of "the old ferm" of the County for which he is Sheriff.


These hostages cannot but be associated with the events of the summer of 1168. In June, King Henry invaded South Wales, and having ravaged Caermarthenshire, Rees, Prince of South Wales, came to him at " Pencadayr beside Brecknock, and did him homage and gave him pledges". Also on July 1, at Woodstock, the same Rees, with Owen Prince of North Wales, and Malcolm King of Scotland, did homage to the King and his son Henry. [53]

At Michaelmas, 1165, Guy le Strange, accounting, as Sheriff, for the quarter ending Christmas, 1164, charges 4. 1s. 8d. for maintenance of twenty-five hostages at Brug: [54] and Geoffrey de Vere, his successor in office, charges 4. 12s. for maintenance of the same number. These charges were clearly for one set of hostages, but at different periods. Taking the sums charged as our only means of calculation, it would appear that Geoffry de Vere's trust lasted rather more than a quarter of a year, i.e. till about April, 1165. In 1164, the Princes of Wales had forsaken their fealty to King Henry, and in the summer of 1165, the King was again provoked to invade North Wales. A first expedition brought him to Ruthlan; a second, in greater force, to the Berwyn. In both he seas to have been unsuccessful.

The cruel and violent temper of Henry II, his various contemporary mortifications, and certain historical parallels may lead us to attribute the disappearance of these hostages from the Sheriff's accounts to other causes than restoration to their country, a favour which indeed was at this very juncture most improbable. King John's cruelty to Welsh hostages is well and circumstantially established.
[55] No less established is my conviction that King John's cruelty and meanness were part of his paternal inheritance.

The years 1173-4 are well known as those of Prince Henry's rebellion against his Father. The Earls of Ferrers and Leicester taking an active part against the King, the Midland Counties may be presumed to have been much disturbed. Under these circumstances, Guy le Strange, then Sheriff of Shropshire, and Fermor of

[53] Powell, p. 161; Girald Itin. ii, x; Dic. 535. What the Welsh Chronicler may mean by saying that, after the interview with Rese at Pencadayr, the King went " again to Ireland", I cannot guess. Henry II was never more than once in Ireland, viz. from Oct. 1171, till April, 1172.
[54] Guy le Strange's previous account (for the year ending Michaelmas 1160, charges, in gross, a large sum 90.9s.10d. for "works and services of the King in Salopscr', and livery of serving- men". An item for the continuous maintenance of hostages is thus not improbably involved.
[55] Infra. p. 271.


Fitz Alan's Barony, had to victual the Castle of Brug. He charges on this account, at Michaelmas, 1174, for 92 horse-loads of corn, 9. 0s. 6d.; for 120 hogs, 10. 4s.; for 120 cheeses, 2. 6s. 8d.; and for 20 horse-loads of salt 10s. [56] The total outlay (22. 5s. 2d.) the Sheriff charges on an arrear which he had in hand of the previous year's receipts from Fitz Alan's Barony. [57]

The same Sheriff had likewise the King's warrant to the extent of 42. for livery of 10 Knights, who were to be with him in the Castles of Salop and Brugis. At Michaelmas, 1175, he charges 13. 6s. 1d. of this on an arrear due from the previous year's ferm of the County: the balance of 28. 13s. 11d. he charges on his receipts as fermor of the honor of William Fitz Alan for the year ending Sept. 1174.

His account of Michaelmas, 1175, in the latter capacity left him still owing a sum of 26. 13s. 4d. to the Crown. This also he had had the King's warrant for applying to the maintenance of the same 10 Knights, but his acquittance from the debt is not recorded till Michaelmas, 1176.

In one of these years 1175-6, Bridgnorth will have been personally visited by King Henry II. It was at the time when he made a progress throughout the kingdom, the ostensible object of which was the punishment of all those who, during the late troubles, had trespassed on the Royal Forests. Vast sums of money flowed into the Royal Treasury from the amercements which were thus imposed. Henry has been much blamed for this exercise of his restored power, but it should be remembered that in punishing trespassers of the Forest, he probably punished individuals whose general spirit of disloyalty had manifested itself in thus taking advantage of the disorganization of the period.

His visit to Bridgnorth, at the time supposed, is proved by a Charter which was dated there, and by which the Priory of Wenlock came into possession of the Manor of Ditton. This Charter need

[56] A charge of 4s. " pro 11 manumolis " seems also to belong to this list of stores. Manumola is interpreted by cirotheca (a glove) in the glossaries. A charge "pro 11 mangonellis " (catapults) would have been more intelligible.
[57] Guy le Strange had in 1173 raised on behalf of the Crown a considerable contingent for what he describes, on his aooount of that year, as the " army of Leicester". Leicester, the stronghold of its rebellious but then absent Earl, was invested by Reginald Earl of Cornwall and Richard de Luci, in the summer of 1178. It fell before the besiegers on July 22, and the Sheriff of Shropshire served in person on that occasion. He charges for liveries of serving-men throughout the County of Salopscr', while he himself "was in the army of Leicester".


not be here set forth, farther than to say that it took effect from and after Christmas, 1175. [58] It was attested by Richard de Luci, William Fitz Adeline (the Sewer), Reginald de Courtenay, William de Lanval, Robert Marmion, Saher de Quinci, Thomas Basset, Guy le Strange, William Fitz Ralph, and Randal Broc, [59] who all may be presumed to have been of the Royal retinue " at Bruges" on this occasion.

These witnesses' names afford ample corroboration of the date which the Exchequer accounts alone would fix for the grant, e.g. Richard de Luci (the great Justiciar) retired from court early in 1179. In 1176, William Fitz Adeline went as Viceroy to Ireland. William de Lanvall and Thomas Bennet were associated Justiciars who, in 1175, visited Worcestershire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire. Further, on July 1, 1175, King Henry was at Woodstock; on August 1 at Nottingham. In the interval he had visited Lichfield, perhaps Bridgnorth also.

In the months of December, 1197, and January, 1198, Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England, Legate of the Apostolick See, and Chief Justice of the Realm, visited the Western Counties. [60] His presence at Shrewsbury in January will be matter of future mention. It was on Christmas Day, 1197, that being at Hereford, he " took in hand the Castle thereof, as well as the Castles of Briges and Ludelaw, and expelling thence the Constables (Custodes), who had long had custody of them, he delivered them to other Constables, to keep for the advantage of (or in behalf of) the King". [61]

William Fitz Alan was at this time Sheriff of Shropshire. His account for the year ending Michaelmas, 1198, does not exhibit the slightest evidence of this interference of the Viceroy at Bridguorth. He had obeyed writs of the Archbishop as well as of the King. He had repaired the Castle of Brug under the latter authority. He had paid the Porter of Brug his accustomed salary. Moreover he had paid " 6s. 3d. in hire of the barge which carried the wife of Griffin, son of Rese (who was hostage for her husband), from Bruges to Gloucester". [62]

[58] Rot. Pip. 28 Hen. II, Salop. This amount, made up at Michaelmas, 1176, awards, under Royal Warrant, to Wenlock Priory, such revenue of the Manor of Ditton, as represented a tenure thereof during the previous three quarters.
[59] Monasticon, v, p. 73, notes No. 3.
[60] Hoveden, 440, b.
[61] " Custodienda ad opus Regis ".
[62] This entry on the Sheriff's accounts requires some illustration. In the summer of 1198, Gwenwynwyn, Prince of Powis, invested Castle Pain in Elvel, intending, in case of success to carry his operations to the Severn. In July or August, Gwenwynwyn was engaged and defeated with great loss by Geoffrey Fitz Piers, who had succeeded Hubert as Chief Justice of England, in the former month. In aid of the new Viceroy on this occasion, stood Griffith ap Rees, Prince of South Wales, who had, in 1197, been deposed and imprisoned by his brother Maelgon, in concert with Gwenwynwyn. The latter had delivered Griffith to the English during a temporary pacification; but when Gwenwynwyn again troubled the Border, the English enlarged their prisoner and were aided by him as above stated. Griffith's wife was probably surrendered as a pledge of his fidelity, when he himself was released.


In November, 1200 Bridgnorth was visited by King John. He was at Feckenham (Worcestershire) on the 9th; at Brug on the 11th and 13th; and at Haywood (Staffordshire) on the 15th. With him were the Bishops of Coventry and Bangor, Geoffry Fitz Piers (Chief Justice of all England), and Simon Archdeacon of Wells (then one of the joint Keepers of the Great Seal). [63]

In March, 1204, King John was again at Bridgnorth. Having been at Lichfield on the 11th, he was here on the 13th, 14th, and 15th, and at Worcester on the 16th. With him was a noble retinue, such as none but a great fortress could have sufficed to accommodate. These were the Bishops of Lincoln and Hereford, the Earls of Essex (Geoffrey Fitz Piers, then Sheriff of the County), of Pembroke, Chester, Salisbury, Warren, Leicester, Warwick, and Hereford; also William de Braose, the Provost of Beverley, Hugh de Nevin, and William Briwere.

On this occasion Geoffrey Fitz Piers " had paid 40. to John de Torrue, the King's Clerk, who was to discharge therewith the King's expenses at Bruges". This item stands on Fitz Piers' Shropshire account, at the following Michaelmas, as a set-off against what was due from him on the ferm of the County. [65] However the King's writ is extant, dated at Winchester, 7 May, 1204, whereby he orders his " Treasurer and Chamberlains to deliver (liberate) to Geoffrey Fitz Piers 40. which said Geoffrey had paid in the King's chamber, to discharge the King's expenses at Brug". [66] We must presume that, instead of receiving the money ordered by the latter writ, Fitz Piers took a correspondent credit at the Exchequer, otherwise the Lord Chief Justice will have been repaid for his advance twice over.

22d March, 1205. King John's precept issues to the Sheriff of Staffordshire (which with Shropshire was then in the joint custody

[63] Rot. Cartarum, p. 80.
[64] Rot. Pat. p. 39. Rot. Cart. p.122. Liberat. p. 83.
[65] Rot. Pip. 6 John, Salop.
[66] Rot. Claus. 6 John, memb. 21.


of Thomas de Erdinton and William de Hauterive), commanding him that he lodge Bernard de Urri, the King's Balister, whom the King sends, with the nine other Balisters who are at Brug; and the Sheriff is to give said Bernard his livery from the 22d of March, as long as he remains at Brug in the King's service and by the King's order; and the amount shall be placed to the Sheriffs credit at the Exchequer. The said livery is to be that which other two-horse Balisters have.

On May 11, 1205, the Sheriff of Salop is ordered by the King to send without delay, to Northampton all the King's Balisters, who are at Salop and Brug. They are to be at Northampton on Sunday before Pentecost, " with their horses and accoutrements". [68] This order was probably in anticipation of John's then contemplated expedition into Poitou, which, however, was afterwards (June 13) abandoned, though an embarkation at Portsmouth actually took place.

On Aug. 5, 1205, the King, being at Lambeth, sends to the Sheriff of Salop, Peter, a three-horse Balister, and nine two-horse Balisters, who are to receive 10s. 4d. per day (less than 14d. each). They are to stay at Brug with their accoutrements till the King give further orders. Their prescribed pay is to commence on the 11th of August.

6 Aug. 1205. King John, being at Havering (Essex) orders the Keepers of his wines at Bristol to send 6 tuns of wine, by water, to Brug. Three are for the King's use, and three for distribution (to his household). The wine is to travel night and day. [70] This writ has a mark of cancellation affixed, and-

On 20 Aug. following, the King gives an order to the same officers to send wine to Feckenham, Kinver, Worcester, and Brug, there to wait the King's convenience. [71]

At Michaelmas, 1206, the Sheriff had sent wine of the King's from Brug to Nottingham. [72]

[67] Claus. 6 John, memb. 66. " Et faciae ei habere liberaciones suas sicut aliis qui sunt ad duos equos". The Balistarii who were in King John's pay, were chiefly of three classes, those who used two horses, those who used one horse, and those who are called foot-balisters. Their usual pay was respectively 15d., 7d., and 3d. per day. Their employment was the management of different kinds of engines for propelling missiles, from the bulky machine which battered a fortress with huge stones, down to the cross-bow, which carried bolts or quarrels. Their names indicate many of them to have been foreigners.
[68] Rot. Claus. 6 John, memb. 1.
[69] Claus. 7 John, memb. 18.
[70] Ibidem, memb. 15.
[71] Ibidem, memb. 17.
[72] Rot. Pip. 8 John, Salop.


At Michaelmas, 1207, the Sheriff, Thomas de Erdinton, charges the Crown 4. for " repair of four gaols in several places, together with the free prisons". [73] One of the four places will have been Bridgnorth Castle.

At the Forest Assizes, held at Salop, on Saturday after Mid-Lent, in the 10th year of King John (Sat. Mch. 14, 1209), the following curious case came before H. de Nevin and Peter de Leonibus, the presiding Justices. [74]

"A certain stag entered into the bailey [75] of the Castle of Bruges, through a postern, and the Castellans captured him and carried him to the Castle. And (the King's) Verderers, hearing thereof, came thither, and questioned Thomas de Erdinton, the then Sheriff, as to what he had done with the said stag: and he acknowledged that the matter was as alleged, and became bound that his men should appear before the Justices". He did not, however, keep his word, and some unexplained adjournment was the consequence. These Castellans are enumerated. They were " Matthew the Constable, Roger de Fougeres, Richard de Bromwic, Robert the Porter, and Walleran, brother of Matthew".

We thus learn the official connexion of the Sheriff with this Castle, his employment of a Deputy called Constable, and the insignificant force of the permanent garrison. We also may estimate the stringency of those Forest Laws, whose inferior ministers could thus interrogate the Sheriff of two Counties, and a Royal favourite, about a stray stag. [76]

King John's third visit to Bridgnorth was in August, 1212. It was an eventful period of his reign, and one which has hitherto escaped any accurate historical notice. The rapidity of the King's movements would indeed be almost incredible were not the circumstances, which are now to be detailed, supported by the most unquestionable testimony.

Earlier in the year Lewellyn had succeeded in reconciling that

[73] Ibidem, 9 John.
[74] Placita Forestae, Salop, No. 2, memb. 1.
[75] The balliva or ballium of a Castle, was primarily the whole area over which the Constable had jurisdiction. The word was secondarily used to describe particular spaces, as the " inner " and "outer bailey". The Seneschal of Montgomery was to have a dwelling-house within the ballium of the Castle. (Hist. of Shrewsbury, i, 41, note 2).
[76] Erdinton was Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire both in 1209, and for the greater part of King John's reign. For his active services and the confidence which the King reposed in him, it will, at present, be sufficient to refer to Dugdale's Baronage (vol. ii, p. 111), and Blakeway's Sheriffs (p. 35).


disunion of the Welsh Princes which placed their country so much under the influence of the English King. The Spring saw Lewellyn associated with Gwenwynwyn Prince of Powis, Maelgon ap Rees of South Wales, and Meredith ap Robert of Cydewen. [77] The Castles built or garrisoned by the English fell one by one before their arms.

The first notice which King John seems to have taken of this alliance, bears date, May 26th, at Wolmere (Hants), when he issued letters patent, confiscating all the lands of Mealgon ap Rese in the honor of Cardigan, and conferring them, with all services of the tenants, on Rese ap Griffin. [78]

Two months later, viz. on July 26th, the King was at Bristol. The only Castles of North Wales which now remained in his power were Ruthlan, Dyganwy, and Mathraval. The latter had been built by Robert de Vipont, one of John's most active Lieutenants, on the banks of the Vyrnwy, about two miles above Meifod, and probably on the site of an older but long-forsaken Castle of the Princes of Powys. De Vipont was now besieged in this Castle by the Welsh confederates.

Notwithstanding the digression, we will watch the daily movements of King John at this crisis of his career. We shall observe him in his household, note him at the council-board, trace him through the toilsome march of the summer day, admire his momentary energy though contrasted with irresolution and fear, wonder at the weak superstition which alternated with the most revolting crime.

On Thursday, July 26th, the King passed from Bristol to Melkesham (Wilts), and sent thence 300. to the Sheriff of Herefordshire, wherewith " to succour Robert de Vipont who was besieged in Wales". [79] On Friday, July 27th, he was at Devizes and Ludgarshall (both in Wiltshire), and on the 29th at Winchester. That day (it was Sunday) he passed back to Marlborough (Wilts); reached Tewkesbury on the 30th and was at Worcester on the 31st. Hence he despatched a messenger with money to pay the mercenaries who were serving in South Wales under the notorious Fulk de Breant. [80] He occurs, as still at Worcester on the 1st of August, but must have travelled to Bridgnorth the same day. On this journey the

[77] To these Dr. Powell (p. 192) adds Madoc ap Gruffyth Maylor, Lord of Bromfield, who, if he ever joined the alliance, did not adhere to it.
[78] Rot. Pat. 14 John, memb. 5.
[79] Misae Rolls, 14 John, memb. 2.
[80] Claus. 14 John, memb. 6. Dr. Powell's account would imply that de Breant, quitted his lieutenancy in South Wales the year before.


sumpter-horse, which carried the King's bed, failed and was left at Bridgnorth. Also two of the King's valets with their horses and attendants, the King's Falconer, with his Hawks, the two Carters and four Sumpterers who carried the King's wardrobe, with their nine horses, accompanied the King's march no further. At Bridgnorth also remained certain coffers, which contained relics, and which seem to have travelled with the Court on all ordinary journeys. Over these during the " three nights which they remained at Brug " were burnt wax candles at the King's expense. [81]

On the morning of Thursday, the 2d of August, the King ordered 60s. to be given to Buchard de Gratelou, a Knight, whose horse was in pawn at Brug and was thus redeemed.

Urgent was the need of both horse and Knight, for on that same day King John raised the siege of Mathraval, in the heart of Powisland, and levelled its Castle with the ground.

If we estimate this exploit according to the distance of the journey, the nature of the road, the season of the year, and the hazard of the work (for it is certain that the expedition was but slenderly attended), [82] we shall recognise, even in King John, some of those capabilities which marked the Plantagenet, and which in him were kept in abeyance, probably by an almost unceasing consciousness of crime.

The next day the King returned to Bridgnorth, transacting some matters of business as he passed through Shrewsbury, and, inter alia, writing to the Earl of Chester to support and protect Madoc ap Griffin and his men, to whom the King, now that Lewellyn had seceded from him, wished "to recur as to his own son". [83]

On reaching Bridgnorth the King ate twice, though it was Friday, an offence which he atoned for the following day, by feeding a hundred paupers with bread, fish, and beer. [84]

He proceeded (on the 4th) to Russock (Worcestershire). He was at Woolward in the same County on the 5th, and reached

[81] Rot. Misae, 14 John, memb. 2. For an account of the office of a King's Valet, see Hist. Shrewsbury i, 266.
[82] The distance from Bridgnorth to Mathraval cannot be much less than fifty miles by the nearest modern road. Dr. Powell's expression that the King " levied an army" for this exploit, is simply an exaggeration. The Rolls exhibit no symptom of such preparation, and the King, a week before, had evidently no intention of rendering personal aid to his lieutenant. Moreover the " King's Army" was at this moment under summons to Chester.
[83] Rot. Pat. and Rot. Claus.
[84] Rot. Misae, ut supra.


Woodstock the same day. [85] There he rested till the 9th, when he proceeded to Silverstone (Northants).

Here he wrote to his late rescued officer, De Vipont, apparently as having custody of Oswestry Castle. [86]

On the 10th he passed through Northampton to Lamport, and from the latter place, on the 11th, issued letters patent of safe conduct, for Lewellyn, and all his abettors and kindred, to meet him at Chester on the Sunday after the Assumption of St. Mary (Sunday the 19th), and give full security for thier future fealty. He also wrote to certain Lords and Knights of Flanders and Hainault, who had come to England at his mandate, beseeching them in the most affectionate terms to follow him, " for that he could not come back to them, by reason of his army, which he had caused to be summoned". [87]

This summons had been issued from Woodstock on the 20th and 21st of July. It was to various English Barons and Sheriffs, to meet him at Chester, coincidently with the time appointed to Lewellyn.

At Salvata on the 12th, and Gunthorpe (Notts) on the 13th, the King reached Nottingham on the 14th, and remained there till the 22nd. Here a sudden change took place in his plans. On the 16th, he writes to all Sheriffs who had obeyed his summons to Chester, commanding them to return to their provinces, and "attend to their (provincial) business, for that at present he cannot come to Chester as he had proposed".-

To his Earls and Barons there assembled he returns thanks for their attendance in such strength, and similarly dismisses them with their knights and retainers. Other matters, he says, have called him elsewhere. [88] Certain military stores, heretofore ordered to Chester, are also countermanded to Nottingham or to Bristol. [89]

Nothing occurs on the Rolls to explain this abandonment of the King's intended invasion of Wales (for such evidently was the object of the muster at Chester); but the Chroniclers partly clear up the mystery.
[90] At Nottingham, the King received two letters,

[85] " Itinerary of King John", embodied by T. Dulfas Hardy, Esq., in his Preface to the Patent Rolls of that King's reign. This invaluable digest is my chief authority for the movements of the King, as stated in the above narrative.
[86] Claus. 14 John, memb. 6. The document with some others is dated on the 6th of Augast, but the Misae Roll already quoted proves the inaccuracy of such date.
[87] Rot. Pat. 14 John, memb. 5.
[88] Ibidem.
[89] Claus. 14 John, memb. 6.
[90] M. Paris, pp. 231, 232, whose statement, however, is far from accurate in its details e.g., he represents the King as going to Chester, dismissing his army in person, and then going to London, whereas, on leaving Nottingham, he went northwards to York and Durham.


one from the King of Scots, the other from his own natural daughter, the wife of Lewellyn. Each conveyed the same unconcerted intelligence, viz., that the King was threatened by the treason of his own nobles in the approaching expedition. About the same time, and to confirm John's wakeful suspicions, three Barons fled the kingdom.

Disappointed in all plans of summary vengeance on his son-in-law, the King resorted to such petty retribution as remained within his reach. On the 17th, he commissions certain galleys to infest the Welsh coasts, and do " all possible injury" to his enemies. He also orders Fulk de Breant to destroy the Abbey of Stratfleur (which had been reported as maintaining the King's opponents), and all the weaker Castles within his Bailiwick. [91] Now, too, the King enacted that merciless tragedy, which has been before alluded to,- the murder of all the Welsh hostages (about thirty) who were in his power, as well as of Rees ap Maelgwn, the young Prince of South Wales.

But the length to which this digression has already extended obliges me to refer elsewhere for the particulars of this transaction. [92] We return to Bridgnorth Castle, wherein on 15 May, 1215, the Sheriff of Salop is ordered to receive the King's " faithful and beloved" Engeram de Preux and the suit he may bring with him, they having the King's orders to remain there. [93]

At this period Thomas de Erdinton, Sheriff of Shropshire, was probably in King John's service elsewhere. The person addressed in the above writ as Sheriff, must be taken therefore to have been his deputy. Furthermore Henry de Erdinton, a Clerk, and son of the Sheriff, being in the employment and patronage of the King, had written to request his Royal Master to send one of his Magnates to take custody of the Castle of Bruges. On the same 15th of May, the King writes to Henry de Erdinton, informing him that he has sent Philip de Albini, who will give his orders to Henry as

[91] Rot. Claus. sub die.
[92] Hist. Shrewsbury, i, 91, where, however, one or two trifling inaccuracies may be noticed, e.g.- the summons of the King's army was not to Nottingham, where he was, but to Chester, whither he was going; Robert de Vipont, was not Castellon of Salop, though Dr. Powell (p. 193) says that he hung Rees ap Maelgwn there. After the relief of Mathraval, De Vipont undertook custody of the four Castles of Oswestry, Chirk, Carrechova, and Eggelawe (Claus. 14 John, memb. 6 dorso), and we have already seen him employed at the first. John de Vipont, mentioned by the Historians of Shrewsbury (page 91, note 4), is introduced into these transactions altogether by mistake.
[93] Rot. Claus. i, 116, 200.


to what is to be done about that Castle. A similar letter from the King to the Constable of Bruges, enjoins his obedience to the orders of the same Philip. [94]

On the next day, the 16th, this plan was changed. The King addressing the Sheriff of Salop informs him that he sends into those quarters his faithful and beloved Robert de Courtenay and Walter de Verdun for the security and defence of those parts, and to take custody of Bruges Castle. The Sheriff (i.e. the deputy) is without delay to cause the said Castle with all its victuals and stores to be delivered to the same Robert and Walter, and he is to wait upon and aid their counsels, for the King's advantage and honour. [95]

A similar precept to the good men of Shrewsbury informs them of the new commission, and commands them so to join the Commissioners in manful defence of their town and neighbourhood, as that the King may thank them. The same appointment is farther certified to all Knights and free tenants in the Counties of Salop and Stafford. [96]

On the 23d of May, King John, addressing the Constable of Bruges, names Robert de Curtenay only, as his appointed Custos of the Castle, and orders delivery thereof to the said Robert; [96] but on July 5th following, Robert de Curtenay and Walter de Verdun are enjoined to give up to the King's " faithful and beloved " Thomas de Erdinton the Castle of Bruges with its appurtenances and victuals, which they had received from the men of the said Thomas. [97]

On July 28, 1215, three hundred pounds of wax were to be sent from Northampton to " Bruges in Wales", for the King's use. [98]

At the close of this month, King John. made his fourth visit to

[94] Rot. Pat. 18 John, memb. 2. These documenta have served to place Philip de Albini on all lists of the Constables of Bridgnorth Castle, which I have met with; and quite unwarrantably. Philip was actively employed elsewhere at the time, and his commission to Bridgnorth virtually cancelled the next day. Even had he discharged it, it was by no means equivalent to an appointment as Constable.
[95] Rot. Pat. ibidem. These Patents have also been construed into an appointment of Robert de Courtenay, as Constable of Bridgnorth Castle. They rather were tantamount to placing the Shrievalty of the two Counties in Commission, during Eardinton's absence, and at a critical period. It was, in fact, in this very year, and while King John had his hands full elsewhere, that Lewellyn marched upon Shrewsbury and actually took the town. This circumstance, carefully concealed by the English Chroniclers, is given by Dr. Powell, and accepted by Mr. Blakeway (Hist. Shrewsbury, i, 92). The King's unusual address to " the good men of Shrewsbury", above quoted, acquires some significance when placed by the side of tbe historical fact.
[96] Rot. Pat. 16 John, memb. 1.
[97] Rot. Pat. 17 John, memb. 20.
[98] Claus. i, 222.


Bridgnorth. Having gone from Feckenham to Stourton on the 28th, he was here on the 30th and 31st, and also on the 1st of August. On the 2d he had passed to Worcester. With the King on this occasion were the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishop of Coventry, the Earl Ferrars, Gilbert Fitz Reinfrid, William de Cantilupe, Brian de L'Isle, Hugh de Bernevall, and Richard de Mariscis, the Chancellor.

An order about transfer of a Welsh hostage, and Charters to the Earl of Chester and the Borough of Droitwich, passed during the King's stay at Bridgnorth. [99]

On Nov. 21, 1215. The Sheriff (Thomas de Erdinton) is ordered to pay their liveries to the King's servants at Brug, and the King will cause the Sheriff to be reimbursed according to view of the same servants. [100] -

King John was at this time besieging Rochester, which was held by William D'Albini on the part of the Barons; the whole kingdom was in a ferment, and the business of the Exchequer totally suspended.- Hence this irregular order on the Sheriff of Shropshire, and the absence of the usual form for entitling him to reimbursement. [101]

On the 2d of December, 1215, the King, still before Rochester, orders Thomas de Erdinton to give possession of certain lands (late held by Wrenie (Wrenoc) Wallensis, and seized into the King's hands), to " Robert Teneray, our Constable of Bruges", to be held by him during pleasure. [102] We have heard of Robert de Teneray before. [103] We now see who he was, and that his office was distinct from that of the Sheriff, though perhaps subjective to it. Erdinton still had custody in chief, both of the Counties of Salop and Stafford and of the Castle of Brug.

On April 13, 1216, he is ordered to give up the two Counties and this Castle to the Earl of Chester, who is to be obeyed in the said Counties " as an Earl, as a Sheriff, and as the King's Bailiff. [104]

[99] Rot. Pat. and Rot. Cart.
[100] Claus. 15 John, memb. 16.
[101] The usual form, when the King thus drew on his revenue, was a promise of repayment at the Exchequer, addressed to the officer who was commissioned to make the outlay. The officer kept the King's writ till the period of his account, when it operated at the Treasury just as a cheque. The words used in the King's writ were generally "Et computabitur tibi ad Scaccarium". The suspension of the business of the Exchequer for two and a half years at this period has already been alluded to (supra, p. 2, note 4).
[102] Claus. 17 John, memb. 15.
[103] Supra, p. 52.
[104] Pat. 17 John, memb. 4.


In August, 1216, King John made his fifth and final visit to Bridgnorth. Leaving Shrewsbury on the 14th, he occurs here the same day and the next. On the 16th he proceeded to Worcester, where he renewed his commission to the Earl of Chester, promising however to release the Earl, on the 8th of September following, from his shrievalty and its adjuncts. [105] The writs, both Close and Patent, which issued during this visit to Bridgnorth, were numerous, but none of them were of immediate local interest, except his letters of protection to John, son of Peter Sarracen, whom we have mentioned before as then holding the Prebend of Walton, in the Collegiate Church of St. Mary Magdalene. [106]

John was at this moment hardly to be called King of England. London and the South-Eastern Counties had declared Prince Louis to be King. So had Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The King of Scots, John's vassal, had a week before marched through the kingdom of his Suzerain, done homage to Louis in London, and returned northwards without molestation. [107] The Barons, including the Earl of Salisbury, John's half-brother, were with the French Prince, who, in a contemporary document, sets forth his title to the Crown of England, which he claims to be his, both by inheritance and election. [108]

The sequel of John's career is well known.- He survived his last visit to Shropshire little more than two months, when, exhausted by fatigue and anxiety, perhaps poisoned, he died at Newark.

Those ties of loyalty which bound the Western Counties even to such a King as John Plantagenet were remembered by him to the last. By his own desire his remains were carried to Worcester, which he had quitted but two months before. There they still lie buried, and there the moralist may contrast the cold repose of a marble effigy with all other memories of him, whose life, whether from circumstance or disposition, was one continuous state of fever and unrest.

In the fifth year of his reign, viz. in July, 1221, Bridgnorth was visited by young King Henry. On the 2d he passed hither from Shrewsbury, and on the 4th had proceeded to Kidderminster. [109] Several writs of local interest issued during this visit, but which will be more properly cited elsewhere.

[105] Pat. 18 John, memb. 4.
[106] Supra, p. 74.
[107] Lingard, iii, 68.
[108] Rymer's Faedera, i, 140.
[109] Rot. Pat. 5 Hen. III, sub die, Claus. i, 463.


On July 15, 1228, Ranulf, Earl of Chester (still Sheriff), is ordered to see that the Constable of Brug do send the sons of Gwenwynwyn to Gloucester. On the 19th, the King being at Gloucester, certifies their arrival. [110]

In the same year, in October, the King was at Shrewsbury on the 12th, at Bridgnorth on the 13th, and at Kidderminster on the 14th.

Dec. 30, 1223, the Earl of Chester is commanded to deliver the Castles of Salop and Bruges to Hugh Despencer, [111] who apparently was appointed Sheriff of the Counties of Salop and Stafford at the same time. [112] His tenure of either trust was very brief; for-

On Feb. 2, 1224, he is ordered to deliver custody of the Castles to the Bishop of Worcester; and the Earl of Salisbury accounted as Sheriff, for the nine months ending Michaelmas, 1224. [113] When the Bishop of Worcester resigned the Castles to the Earl does not appear; but on Nov. 8, 1224, the King issues an order on the Treasury to pay the latter 106. 13s. 4d. in part of the annual salary of 200. which the King had assigned him for custody of the said Castles. [114] The Earl, therefore, will have then held them at least half a year.

About Mid-Lent (March 9), 1225, Thomas Mauduit was appointed Constable of Bridgnorth Castle. He held this office as nominee of the Crown, independently of the Sheriff, and at a fixed annual salary of 40 marks (26. 13s. 4d.), payable half-yearly, by Royal order on the Sheriff, or on the Exchequer. [115] The usual allowance by the Crown of 1d. per day to the Porter of Brug was now discontinued, as being part of the Constable's liabilities.

In 1225, the tax of " the fifteenth" then levied was dispatched by

[110] Rot. Pat. and Claus. sub diebus.
[111] Rot. Pat. 8 Hen. III, sub die.
[112] Dugdale's Baronage, i, 389.
[113] Rot. Pip. 8 Hen. III. Mr. Blakeway (Sheriffs, page 5) has rejected the Earl of Salisbury from the list of Sheriffs of Shropshire, against the authority of Mr. Wm. Mytton, who had evidently consulted the Pipe Roll on the point. Though Hugh le Despencer was Sheriff for a month, it is not correct to put him down for three-fourths of the year, or to exclude the Earl of Salisbury. Despencer rendered no account whatever at the Exchequer.
[114] Claus. 9 Hen. III, memb. 19.
[115] Thomas Mauduit received half a year's salary (18. 6s. 8d.) in advance, on entering office. On Jan. 21, 1226, Worfield mill (of 8 merks annual value), having been awarded to him in part of his salary, the Sheriff is ordered to pay him so much of the previous salary of 40 merks, as remained due on Jan. 13, 1226 (Claus. ii, 94). Hereupon the Sheriff seems to have paid him 11. 4s. 8d. (Rot. Pip. 10 Hen. III), which was rather more than five months' salary, and apparently in excess of the Royal warrant. The payment was however allowed.


John Bonet, the Sheriff, from Brug to Winchester. The Barons of Exchequer are ordered on Dec. 12 to allow 2. 8s. 8d. in his account, for the " sacks and barrels" which he had provided on the occasion, [116] and he accordingly takes credit for that sum in his next annual account. [117]

Dec. 30, 1225, the Sheriff is ordered to have the King's mills of Brug valued, and to deliver them, so valued, to Thomas Mauduit, Constable of Bruges, in part payment of his annual salary of 40 merks for custody of Bridgnorth Castle. [118]

Jan. 18, 1226, Seizin. of the said Mills is ordered for Thomas Mauduit. [119]

May 12, 1226, The Treasurer of the Exchequer is ordered to pay Thomas Mauduit 16 merks, his half-year's salary for Easter Term, 1226; but a counter-writ, dated the same day, orders the Sheriff to pay the same. [120]

July 30, 1226, Exemption from all suits in the County of Wiltshire is granted to Thomas Mauduit and Robert his brother, because they are in the King's service in the Castle of Brng. [121]

On August 29, 1226, King Henry was at Shrewsbury, on the 30th and 31st at Bridgnorth, and on Sept. 2 at Worcester. [122]

Sept. 8, 1226, the Sheriff is ordered to pay Thomas Mauduit his half- yearly salary for the (second) half of the King's 10th year, viz. 16 merks; [123] and at Michaelmas, the said Sheriff charges 33. 11s. 4d. as having been paid by him, under three several writs of the King, to the same Thomas. Also Thomas Mauduit had received 8 merks from the Mill of Wereffeld in part payment of his annual salary of 40 merks, and this 8 merks the Sheriff takes credit for, it having heretofore been a part of his own receipts in the ferm of the County, which was pro tanto diminished. [124]

Dec. 6, 1226, The Sheriff is ordered to pay Thomas Mauduit 10 merks, his quarter's, salary from Michaelmas to Christmas, 1226. [125]

Thomas Mauduit continued in this office six months longer,

[116] Claus. ii, 89.
[117] Rot. Pip. 10 Hen. III, Salop.
[118] Claus. ii, 91.
[119] Ibidem, 94.
[120] Ibidem, 110.
[121] Ibidem, 181. Walter Fitz Bernard is similarly excempted.
[122] Rot. Pat. 10 Hen. III.
[123] Claus. ii, 136.
[124] Rot Pip. 10 Hen. III, Salop. Worfield Mill, alluded to here and above, vas in reality Pendeston Mill, which we shall soon see disposed of in another way.
[125] Claus. 160, but the order is there cancelled, not as having been revoked but as properly belonging to the Liberate Rolls, which had now been resumed (vide supra, preface, page 8).


receiving a full year's value of Worfleld Mill, besides the last mentioned instalment of his salary. [126]

On 8 June, 1227, Henry de Audley was appointed Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire. John Bonet (the previous Sheriff) and Thomas Mauduit are respectively enjoined to deliver up to him the Castles of Salop and Brug. [127]

1 Aug. 1227, Henry Fitz Auchor, in charge of the King's balistae, is ordered to give up six wooden balistae to Henry de Audley, to be placed in the Castles of Bruges and Salop. [128]

On Aug. 15, the Sheriff of Herefordshire is ordered to deliver to the same, 1000 quarrels for war-stores of the said Castles. [129]

On Aug. 28, 1228, the King was at Bridgnorth, and went on to Shrewsbury and into Wales. [130]

Sept. 29, 1228. The Sheriff charges 55 shillings for carriage of wine which had gone from Bruges to Montgomery. [131]

At Michaelmas, 1229, it appears that the King had granted the profits of the two Counties, for the year then ending, to the Sheriff, in remuneration of his custody of the said Counties, and of the Castles of Salop and Bruges. [132]

Nov. 7, 1229. Custody of the Counties and Castles is renewed by letters patent to Henry de Audley. [133]

Michaelmas, 1281. Twenty-eight casks of the King's wine had been sent from Brug to Castle Matilda (in Elvein), for carriage of which the Sheriff had paid 6. [134]

Henry de Audley accounted as Sheriff till June, 1232. [135] Who succeeded him in custody of Bridgnorth Castle, does not appear; but the precept (dated March 4, 1288) which gives the said custody to Peter de Rivallis (then Sheriff) is addressed to Joan, widow of William Briwere. [136]

[126] Rot. Pip. 11 Hen. III, where also the 10 merks paid him in December, are charged by the Sheriff. Hence it would appear that he received only 18 merks for eight months' service, an irregularity which might have been intended to balance the over payment which we noticed on his entering office.
[127] Rot. Pat. 11 Hen. III.
[128] Claus. ii, 195.
[129] Ibidem, 197.
[130] Rot. Pat. 12 Hen. III.
[131] Rot. Pip. 12 Hen. III, Salop.
[132] Rot. Pip. 13 Hen. III, Salop.
[133] Rot. Pat. 14 Hen. III. On the 4th of October previous, custody of the two Counties had been granted to John de Munemue (Rot. Pat. Hen. III), but D'Audley accounted continuously at the Exchequer, and the Sheriff of a month appears nowhere on the Pipe Rolls.
[134] Rot. Pip. 15 Hen. III, Salop.
[135] Rot. Pip. 16 Hen. III, Salop.
[136] Pat. 17 Hen. III. William Briwere died in Feb. 1238, on the 22d of which month custody of his lands in Notts, was ordered to be given to the same Peter de Rivallis, who seems to have succeeded him as Custos of Brug Castle.


30 May, 1284. Custody of the Counties having on the 15th instant been committed to Robert de Haya, [137] the Manor of Brug, with the Castle, is now independently entrusted to Richard de Wrotham, and " the men of the Town of Brug" are certified thereof by letters patent. [138]

10 July, 1285. An order issued to the Sheriff, that the Justices for gaol delivery should meet at Brug as soon as the King's Justices Itinerant had left Worcester. The former are named; they were William de l'Isle, Robert de Stepleton, Richard de Middlehope, and Roger Sprengehose. [139]

Michaelmas, 1286. The Sheriff had sent wine of the King's from Brug, to Salop and to Wenlock. [140]

14 Nov. 1286. Robert de la Haye is ordered to give custody of the Castles of Salop and Bruges to John le Strange. This was a transfer from a retiring to a succeeding Sheriff. [141]

Michaelmas, 1287. John le Strange had dispatched wine of the King's from Brug' to Salop and Wenlock. [142]

18 Oct. 1287. Hugh Fitz-Robert and others are appointed to deliver the gaols of Salop and Brug. [143]

Michaelmas, 1240. Some wine of the King's had been delivered to the Bailiffs of the town for sale. [144]

Feb. 12, 1241. John le Strange undertook that, if the King should die, while said John was in possession of the Castles of Brug, Salop, and Montgomery, and of the County of Chester, then he would surrender them to the Queen, for behoof of Prince Edward. [145]

27 Jan. 1242. Gaol delivery, by Robert de Wodeton appointed at Brug and Salop. [146]

24 June, 1243. The same, by Ralph Basset of Drayton &c. [147]

22 June, 1248, Thomas Corbet is to receive custody of the Castles of Salop, Bruges, and Ellesmere, from John le Strange. [148]

In 1249, the gaol of Brug ordered to be delivered, by Ralph de Covene &c. [149]

In 1250, Robert de Grendon was appointed Sheriff of the

[137] Rot. Pat. 18 Hen. III.
[138] Ibidem.
[139] Ibidem, 19 Hen. III, dorso.
[140] Rot. Pip. 20 Hen. III, Salop.
[141] Pat. 21 Hen. III.
[142] Rot. Pip. 21 Hen. III, Salop.
[143] Pat. 21 Hen. III, dorso.
[144] Rot. Pip. 24 Hen. III, dorso.
[145] Pat. 25 Hen. III, sub die.
[146] Pat. 26 Hen. III, dorso.
[147] Ibidem, 27 Hen. III, dorso.
[148] Ibidem, 32 Hen. III.
[149] Ibidem, 33 Hen. III, dorso.


Counties, and to have custody of the Castles of Salop, Bruges, and Ellesmere. [150] He accounts from and after Easter, 1250, for these trusts. [151]

In 1251, Thomas de Roshal and others are appointed to deliver the gaols of Salop and Brug. [152]

In 1252, Hamo le Palmer and his fellow-bailiffs of Brug had purchased wine of the King's to the value of 13. 13s. 4d., which the Sheriff accounts for. [153]

In 1254, William Trussel and others are appointed Justices to deliver the gaol of Brug. [154]

The inquiries of the King's Commissioners, in autumn, 1255, led to several statements relating to the Castle of Bridgnorth. [155] The Borough Jury reported- That, when the King was at Brug, the Lord of Albrighton (then John de Pychford, a minor) was bound to find fuel (carbones) for the Castle, that being the service due on his fee of Little Brug.

That John Fitz Philip (Lord of Bobbington and Quat) owed ward to the Castle in time of war, but to what extent the Jurors knew not.

That, as long as the King had held in hand the Manor of Worfield, the produce of hay, and of the mills there, used to come to the Castle,- also that the tenants of that Manor used to do Hirson in time of war, and take up their quarters in the Castle, for ward thereof, if it were necessary. " Now", say the Jurors, " Henry de Hastings holds that Manor, and the King gave it to him in exchange of his lands in Cheshire, whereby the King hath now no service from that Manor to the said Castle".

In answer to a question as to the cost of keeping the Castle, as well in time of peace as in time of war, these Jurors replied that they had had no means of judging since the period when Thomas Mauduit kept it for 40 merks per annum, in time of peace. Since then the Sheriff, they said, had always had custody thereof, together with the County. In time of peace they thought the Castle might be kept at a cost of 30 merks per annum. As to the proper cost, in time of war, they could form no estimate.

30 October, 1255. Robert de Grendon is ordered to give up custody of the Counties and Castles to Hugh de Acour. The latter

[150] Pat. 34 Hen. III, memb. 11.
[151] Rot. Pip. 34 Hen. III, Salop.
[152] Pat. 35 Hen. III, dorso.
[153] Rot. Pip. 36 Hen. III, Salop.
[154] Pat. 38 Hen. III, dorso.
[155] Rot. Hund. ii, 59.


is to pay 126. 13s. 4d. per annum for the profits of the Counties, and to keep the Castles at his own charges. [156]

On 22 Sept. 1257, the King was at Brug, and on the 26th, being then at Worcester, he issued letters patent to Hugh de Amor, appointing Peter de Montfort to the custody of the Marches towards Montgomery, and for the better performance of that service giving him, at instance of Prince Edward, custody of the Counties of Salop and Stafford, as also of the Castles of Salop and Bruges, to dispose of the profits therein arising as he should think best, during the continuance of the wars with Wales; so that, for the first year of his holding the said Counties, he should not answer at the Exchequer, but in the King's Wardrobe. [157]

12 June, 1258. Hugh de Weston &c. appointed Justices to deliver the gaol of Brug. [158]

28 June, 1258. The King, at Oxford, granted custody of the Castle of Brug to Peter de Montfort, " by council of the Magnates". [159]

On Sept. 16 and 17, 1258, the King was at Brug.

28 Dec. 1258. Robert de Grendon is appointed to deliver the gaol of Brug. [160] On Feb. 14, 1259, Odo de Hodnet and others have a like commission, but extending also to the gaol of Salop; [160] and, about a month later, a third commission, naming both gaols, addressed to the Sheriff of Salop and Constable of Brug, and appoints Simon de Ribeford Justiciar for the same purpose. [160]

On May 18, 1260, Peter de Montfort is ordered to give custody of the Castles of Brug and Salop to James de Audley, whom the tenants of the Crown are enjoined to aid " in resisting rebels and disturbers of the peace in those parts". [161]

9 July, 1261, the same James is appointed Sheriff of the Counties,

[156] Pat. 40 Hen. III.
[157] Ibidem, 41 Hen. III.
[158] Ibidem, 42 Hen. III, dorso.
[159] Ibidem, memb. 6. The Council of " Magnates " was the Committee of Reform appointed by the "mad Parliament", which assembled at Oxford in this very month. Peter de Montfort was on this Committee himself, and one of its five most zealous members. One of their first acts was to change the keepers of the Royal Castles, but Montfort's previous occupancy of Bridgnorth was of course undisturbed, though a new patent thereof became necessary. In the list of new Castellans given in the Annals of Burton (page 416), Brugewalter (Bridgwater) assigned to Montfort, by mistake for Bruge.
[160] Pat. 43 Hen. III, dorso.
[161] Ibidem, 44 Hen. III, memb. 10. There is no appearance of James de Audley being also Sheriff at this time. He was brother-in-law to Peter de Montfort, but a staunch Royalist.


as well as Custos of the Castles, in a Patent addressed to William de Caverswell [162] (late Sheriff), who continued to act as his deputy.
[163] D'Audley forthwith laid out 100 merks in corn, wherewith he victualled the Castle of Brug, and the cost was repaid him in the year following. [164]

20 Oct. 1261. Custody of the Castles of Salop and Brug is renewed by Patent to James de Audley, [165] and,-

On Feb. 5, 1262, a Patent for custody, both of the Castles and the Counties, is again made out to the same Sheriff. [166]

28 Oct. 1262. Robert de Lacy and others are appointed Justices for delivery of the gaol of Brug. [167]

It is very doubtful, who at this moment had custody of Bridgnorth Castle, or indeed of the Counties of Salop and Stafford. No Sheriff had accounted at Michaelmas, nor do the series of Shropshire Pipe Rolls recommence till the year 1267.

D'Audley's reappointment of Feb. 5, 1262, though it named both Counties and Castles, was operative only in part or but for a short time. On May 6, 1262, Ralph Basset was Constable of Shrewsbury Castle, and a writ issued from Gloucester, purporting to be " in behalf of the King", and ordering him to put it in a state of defence, and to use all diligence in re-establishing harmony in that district. [168] Basset was a known Anti-Royallst, and, whereas the King was not at Gloucester when this writ issued, we may presume the source from which it came and the authority by which Basset held Salop Castle.

[162] Pat. 45 Hen. III.
[163] Rot. Pip. 46 Hen. III, Salop. This appointment of d'Audley was one of the King's first acts on resuming the royal authority, of which he had now been deprived three years. The writ is dated at the Tower.
[164] Rot.Liberate,46 Hen. memb.6.
[165] Rot. Pat. 46 Hen. III.
[166] Pat. 46 Hen. III, memb. 16. These repeated appointments seem to be little more than so many re-assertions of the Kingly prerogative, every exercise of which was contested by the factious Barons. The subject of the nomination of Sheriffs, in certain Counties, from and after Michaelmas, 1261, had been referred by the King and the Barons to six Commissioners, of whom each party chose three. In case of the non-agreement of these Commissioners, the King of the Romans was to arbitrate. It was not till January 29, 1262, that the six, finding it impossible to decide on a proper principle of appointment, made reference to the said arbitrator. He gave his award in favour of the Crown, and that the King's prerogative of appointing Sheriffs should remain intact; but Michaelmas, 1262, was the period fixed by him for this award to take effect. (Rymer's Foedera, i, 415.) We have, however, seen that the King instantly (Feb. 5) re-appointed d'Audley for Shropshire and Staffordshire.
[167] Pat. 46 Hen. III, dorso ( " Justic. de anno 47o".).
[168] Ibidem, 46 Hen. III, dorso.


On July 14, 1262, King Henry went to France, and did not return till Dec. 20. The Earl of Leicester had, on the other hand, quitted France and was again busy in reorganizing the Barons' party in England.

On April 15, 1268, Prince Edward was at Shrewsbury for the purpose of repelling the aggressions of the Welsh and restoring order in the Marches. He writes thence to his Father. I cannot suppose that Shrewsbury Castle was at this time in the hands of any but a bona fide nominee of the Crown. [169]

On June 16, 1268, the King being then in London, undertakes to repay James d'Audley his outlay for victualling the Castles of Salop and Brug, [170] from which it would appear that that Baron had sometime recovered the former from Ralph Basset.

Immediately after this, the King was again obliged to submit to the Barons. A Patent dated at Westminster, 10 August, 1268, enjoins Roger de Somery to give up the custody of the Counties of Salop and Stafford to Hamo le Strange. [171] It is probable that this appointment was in the nature of a compromise. De Somery was father- in-law of Ralph Basset, and though he and Hamo le Strange subsequently adhered to the Crown, they may both, at this period, be reckoned as favouring the Barons' party.

A contemporary Chronicler dates Hamo le Strange's desertion of the Barons in 1268, and attributes it to corrupt motives. [172] His adhesion to Prince Edward, in which he was joined by Ralph Basset and other Barons, was reduced to writing and confirmed by oath of the Declarants. The document bears date at Lambeth, August 18, 1268, and implies no corrupt sacrifice of principle whatever. [173]

On Oct. 8, 1263, the King, then at Dover, grants to Hamo le Strange and others pardon for all transgressions which they had committed in relation to the " statutes of Oxford" [174] (the enactments of 1258), and-

On Nov. 22, 1263, the King, at Windsor, appoints the same Hamo to the custody of the Castles of Salop, Brug, and Montgomery. [175]

In December, 1263, reference of the disputes which had so long

[169] Rymer's Foedera, i, 425.
[170] Pat. 47 Hen. III, sub die.
[171] Ibidem, memb. 5. This is the only notice which has occurred to me of De Somery having been Sheriff.
[172] Contin. M. Paris, sub anno.
[173] Rymer's Foedera, i, 430. See also Matthew of Westminster, fo. 153.
[174] Pat. 47 Hen. III.
[175] Ibidem, 48 Hen. III, memb. 20.


disturbed the realm was agreed, by both King and Barons, to be made to the arbitration of King Louis of France. Among the friends of Henry, and who undertook that he should abide by Louis' decision, were John Fitz-Alan, Roger de Mortimer, James d'Audley, Alan la Zuche, Roger de Clifford, Hamo le Strange, Roger de Somery, and Roger de Leyburne.

Peter de Montfort's name appears among those who similarly obliged themselves on the part of the Barons. Louis' award, wholly in favour of King Henry, bears date January 23, 1264. [176] On hearing this intelligence, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and his party, flew into open rebellion. Two of the Chroniclers give us a somewhat inconsistent account of their proceedings.-

One of these (probably a Monk of Worcester) records, under the year 1263, that several Barons, among whom were Peter de Montfort (our former Sheriff) and Robert de Montfort, son of Earl Simon, attacked and stormed Worcester. [177] The day given for this capture of the "Loyal City" is the 2nd of the kalends of March, which (after looking to the context of the passage quoted, and the writer's mode of dating) will be equivalent to Feb. 29, 1264.

The Continuator of Matthew Paris states, under the year 1264, that Earl Simon himself and the army of the Barons, after taking Gloucester Castle, marched to Worcester, Brug (Burgiam), or else Salop (sive Salopiam), and, easily taking and occupying them all, went southwards and subdued the Isle of Ely. [178]

The result of the battle of Lewes (May 14, 1264) is well known, and how the King became Montfort's prisoner for more than a year, and yet the ostensible authority for all the Usurper's acts of government. The trickery of issuing writs and patents in the King's name was too apparent to impose upon any genuine royalist, and

[176] Rymer's Foedera, i, 484. The written date of Louis' award is 1268, but this merely arises from the Dominical year being computed to end at Lady Day, instead of Christmas or on Dec. 31.
[177] Annals of Worcester (Anglia Sacra, i, 496).
[178] Contin. M. Paris (ed. Watts, i, 992). The Historians of Shrewsbury (vol. i, p. 126, note 1) suppose it probable that Montfort made himself master both of Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth on this occasion. They refer only to the words of the Continuator of M. Paria, viz. "Deinde processit exercitus ad Wigorniam et Burgiam sive Salopiam, at eas levi negotio redditas intraverunt". Looking to subsequent evidence of a better kind than that of this non-positive Chronicler, I venture to question whether Montfort obtained possession of the Castles either of Brug or Shrewsbury, and, if of one of the Boroughs, that one was not Bridgnorth. Dr. Lingard (vol. iii, p. 131) has dated the affair in April, 1263.


our subject will give us some opportunity of observing how such documents were regarded in Shropshire.

First comes a Patent bearing date June 4, 1264, which appoints, in 29 Counties, certain officers entitled "Keepers of the Peace". [179] The one appointed for Salop and Stafford was Ralph Basset of Drayton. In no case is the Sheriff of the County addressed as to any of these appointments, but the Nominee himself, who was probably expected to supply the place and usurp the functions of the lawful Sheriff. The Custos of each County was to return four Members (knights) to the Parliament which was to meet at London on June 22 following. These Knights were to be elected " by assent of each County". Shropshire made known its sentiments on this occasion by returning four members, who were pronounced " to be unfit, by Peter de Montfort". The Parliament, in fact, never met, probably because a majority of its members were similarly disqualified.

A Patent dated at Canterbury, 24 August, enjoins Hamo le Strange to give up the Castles of Salop and Bruges, and the town of Bruges, to whomsoever the King shall appoint by his Letters Patent. The same Hamo, with James de Audley, Roger de Mortimer, Roger de Clifford, and Roger de Leyburne, are also required to deliver up their prisoners, taken at Northampton (those rebels whom the King before his captivity had surprised in Northampton Castle). [180]

On Dec. 20, Hamo le Strange is again required to give custody of the Castles of Salop and Bruges to Ralph Basset of Drayton. [181]

On Jan. 2, 1265, Hamo le Stmnge and his fellow royalists are invited to retire to Ireland, and stay there for a season. Safe conduct for themselves and families is graciously vouchsafed, as also protection for their lands, men, and goods. [182]- Whether any of them actually went, is a question. Roger de Mortimer's term for setting out was extended by Patents dated February 5, March 2, and April 8, following. [183]

Meanwhile, on February 3, custody of the Counties of Salop and Stafford had been committed to Robert de Grendon, who on

[179] Rot. Pat. 48 Hen. III, memb. 12 dorso.
[180] Pat. 48 Hen. III, dorso.
[181] Pat. 49 Hen. III. The King was at Worcester, where certain measures were decided upon by Montfort for securing his own power and the continued subjection of the King. These measures were paraded in the King's name and called " Provisions of Worcester". [182] Pat. de eodem anno.
[183] Pat. de eodem anno.


March 7 is ordered to deliver that trust to Ralph Basset of Drayton.

On March 17, Hamo le Strange and other Barons are again assured of safe conduct to Ireland, " though they did not cross the seas at the time before fixed". [185]

On the 20th of May, a Patent is addressed from Hereford to Ralph Basset, Keeper of the Peace, and to the Sheriffs of Salop and Stafford. They are to publish the accord which had been concluded between the Earls of Leicester and Gloucester; " and whereas Roger de Clifford, Roger de Leyburn, Hamo le Strange, and others, their fellow marchers, who ought, according to the Provisions of Worcester, to have left the kingdom, have delayed to do so, in contempt of the King, it is ordered that the said Custos and Sheriffs do arrest them and their abettors, if they busy themselves in averting the minds of faithful subjects from the King, so as to disturb the peace". Letters on the same matters were directed to the Bailiffs and to the " good men " of the King, and to the community, both of Shrewsbury and Brug. [186]

I have not the least doubt that Hamo le Strange had kept possession of Bridgnorth Castle through the whole period,- from his first appointment to that custody in November, 1268, until now; and this Patent is not the only evidence that the men of the Borough shared in the same sagacious loyalty.

The Burgesses of Shrewsbury too were hearty Royalists, and early assumed the offensive against Montfort's nominee. A Patent dated at Monmouth, June 25, 1265, commands the Abbot of Shrewsbury to enjoin the Bailiffs of that town, on the King's behalf, that they give up to Ralph Basset, " Keeper of the Peace", certain men of the said Ralph's, whom the said Bailiffs detain. [187]

[184] Pat. ibidem. Grendon's adherence to the Barons was of very short duration (Vide Dugd. Warw. tit. Grendon). His tenure of office was probably coincident with his disaffecticn to the Crown. In the Sheriff's accounts of 1267, his shrievalty seems to have been recognized as legal,- a result rather of his subsequent conduct than of his original appointment.
[185] Pat. 49 Hen. III.
[186] Pat. 49 Hen. III. memb. 15. The whole document is printed in the Foedera (vol. i, 455). It alludes to the recent landing of the Earls of Warren and Pembroke, in Wales. Montfort's fears and the hopes of the Royalists were both excited. The former had patched up a reconciliation with the powerful Earl of Gloucester, which he hastened to publish. It was pretended on both sides. Gloucester was at this moment arranging the escape of Prince Edward, and it was accomplished on Thursday the 28th of this same month.
[187] Pat. ibidem.


Montfort's position was now getting critical. A further Patent, dated at Monmouth, three days later, distinguishing Prince Edward, the Earl of Gloucester, John de Warren, William de Valence, Roger de Mortimer, and James d'Audley, as rebels, says, that they are making hostile occupation of Castles and Towns throughout the kingdom, and desires Simon de Montfort, junior, and other Keepers of the Peace to oppose and injure them in every possible way. [188]

The prospects and position of these " rebels " continued nevertheless to improve during the whole succeeding month of July. On the 1st of August, young Simon de Montfort suffered a surprise and some loss at their hands, and remained shut up in his Father's Castle of Kenilworth. The sequel of the 4th is well known; how the morning twilight greeted the waiting crest of Prince Edward on the upland field of Evesham, whilst the adjacent roads were occupied by the contingents of Mortimer and De Clare; how the evening of that day saw the corpse of Montfort slain and dishonoured.- A life of consummate selfishness and hypocrisy was not to be atoned for, even by the noble heroism displayed at its close. [189]

On the restoration, and till Michaelmas, 1267, when the Pipe Rolls recommence, Hamo le Strange appears to have been the recognized Sheriff of the Counties and Keeper of the Castles. He also received other and more substantial marks of Royal favour. [190]

In September, 1267, the County was favoured by a Royal visit. The preparations at Bridgnorth Castle for the reception of both King and Queen have already been noticed. About this time also Walter de Hopton succeeded to the shrievalty, and was allowed in the following year (53 Hen. III) a sum of 30. 8s. 4d., which he had paid for corn, oats, oxen, and sheep, supplied on the occasion of the King's late visit. [191] His custody of the Castle of Brug at the same time has already been shown. The office of Keeper of this

[188] Rot. Pat. 49 Hen. III, memb. 45.
[189] It is well to state that the Annalists of the period are very equally divided in their estimates of Montfort. On the one hand, he appears as a traitor and insatiably greedy; on the other, as a saint and martyr. The more authentic national records, from which I have quoted, confirm the former theory, but of course leave the latter untouched. Montfort's greatest panegyrist among the Chroniclers is the Monk of Melrose, who proves his sanctity by several parallels between Simon the Earl and Simon Peter the Apostle, and by a number of miracles which resulted upon the death of the former. (See Lingard, vol. iii, pp. 144, 149).
[190] Rot. Pip. 51 Hen. III, and Rot. Pat. sub annis 50 et 51.
[191] Liberat. 53 Hen. III, memb. 8.


Castle seems indeed to have been involved in the Shrievalty for the rest of the period which concerns us. On the death of Hugh de Mortimer, in January, 1278, his successor, Ralph de Mortimer, was appointed to his offices, both as Constable and Sheriff. [192]

We may conclude this account of Bridgnorth Castle with a few statements, which were made on Nov. 29, 1274, before the King's Commission of inquiry and by the Jurors of the Borough. [193]

In answer to a question, as to " how many and what demesne Manors the King held in hand", they said that he so held, in hand, and in demesne, the Castle of Brug.-

In reply to an inquiry as to the excesses of public Officers, they stated that "Robert Trillec, [194] Receiver (for the Sheriff) caused the Burgesses and Bailiffs of Brug to come before him in the Castle; the Bailiffs he detained, and, without the King's mandate, imprisoned (against justice and the King's peace, and the liberties of Brug), till a certain woman who was then confined in the gaol of the Borough Liberty was transferred to his custody in the gaol of the Castle,- and all this against the franchise granted to the said town by Kings of England".

They also stated, that "the same Robert had maintained and was still maintaining certain guards (Satellites), who wrongfully extorted money from messengers and other travellers on the King's highway: but the amount of their demands the Jurors knew not". " The same Robert had caused these guards to seize Richard de Dodemonston at midnight, and carry him about from one wood to another, threatening his life; which Richard offered a fine of 3 merks payable to Trillec, if he might be taken to the Castle Prison of Brug with his head on his shoulders (sine decolacone, [196] i.e. decollatione), which fine he also paid".

[192] Blakeway MSS. in Bibl. Bodl., apparently quoting a Patent. The succession of the Sheriffs themselves at this period is very uncertain. As the matter receives no light in connexion with Bridgnorth Castle, I willingly postpone its consideration. I may, however, state that all existing lists of our Sheriffs in the thirteenth century are so inaccurate, that the subject must necessarily recur to our notice.
[193] Rot. Hund. ii, 88.
[194] There is complex confusion about this Robert Trillec and his Office. In this passage he is printed as " Robertus Trillec, deceptor", instead of " Receptor " (Receiver of the County), and Mr. Blakeway makes him Sheriff " in the latter end of Henry III or beginning of Edward I" (Sheriffs, p. 7). His office is, however, very ascertainable, and its period. He was Under-Sheriff to, Clerk or Attorney of, or Receiver for, Ralph de Mortimer, who entered upon office as Sheriff Jan. 23, 1273. In that capacity Trillec will have had authority over the Constables and Castles of Salop and Bridgnorth.
[195] This word is read " desolatione " (Sheriffs, p. 8, note 1), and of course untranslated.


" The same Robert Trillee, Under-Sheriff of Salop, concealed the felony of Robert Coly (or Soly), a felon, attached for theft, and imprisoned in the Castle gaol, and released him without the King's mandate and without trial, and has him yet with him".

" Also, when said Trillec caused Richard de Dodemonston and Philip his brother to be arrested and imprisoned in Brug Castle, their friends obtained a mandate of the King for delivery of the gaol of Brug, [196] which mandate Trillec would not obey, till the prisoners made fine of 20 merks, receivable by him, for enlarging them under bail".

Also the Jurors said that " when Reginald de Cnolle had arrested a woman for theft, and taken her to be imprisoned in the Castle, and presented her to Hugh de Donvile, the Constable, for that purpose, the said Hugh would not receive her for imprisonment, till Reginald had fined 2 merks, receivable by Hugh, and which he paid him".

The last extract gives us the name of a Countable of Brug, distinct from any Sheriff or Under-Sheriff of the County, though probably subject to both. A few other such Constables have occurred above, such as Matthew in 1209, and Robert de Teneray in 1215. Before we dismiss the subject we will refer back a little for the names of one or two more such Officers, mention of whom in chronological sequence would have interrupted the connexion of more important matters.

In 1259 and 1262, Walter de Winterton was Constable of Brug. On Nov. 29, 1259, he joined with others in taking one of the King's deer. Not appearing to answer for this offence at the Forest Assizes of February, 1262, the Sheriff had orders accordingly. [197]

The next Constable who occurs was William de Wystaneston, who joined William le Enfant, then Bailiff of Stottesden Hundred, in imprisoning and extorting money from William de Hempton. [198]

William le Enfant himself, having been Bailiff both of the Hundreds of Munslow and Stottesden, was also sometime Constable of Brug. He held the latter office during the shrievalty of Walter de Hopton (1267-8). His injurious and extortionate conduct was reported, six years afterwards, both by the Jurors of Norley Regis and Stottesden. [199] The latter also accused him of keeping a certain

[196] Not for the "release of the prisoners" (as Sheriffs, p. 8).
[197] Plac. Forest. Salop, No. iv, memb. 5.
[198] Rot. Hund. ii, 109, a.
[199] Ibidem, 102, b, and 109, b.


Approver [200] in the prison of Brug, who challenged Roger de Erdiwik, an honest and innocent man. This was at instigation of John de Bersempton, then Bailiff of Stottesden, who coveted some land of Roger's, which the latter was thus forced to sell.

The succeeding Constable, Hugh de Donvile, was also Bailiff of Stottesden. He held one or both offices in 1272 and 1273, and the two in conjunction in 1274. The power which he thus obtained made him the subject of numerous complaints at the Inquests of November, 1274. His excesses were not only reported by the Jurors of Bridgnorth, as before particularized, but by those of Ludlow, Munslow, Nordley Regis, Overs, and Stottesden. [201] His assistants or servants are also named, viz. Hugh Bron, Thos. de Midlehope, and Geoffrey his brother. Donvile also kept an Approver in the Castle Prison, " who impeached many faithful subjects and harmless men for the sake of lucre". Nor did he only oppress the innocent; for he allowed the guilty to escape. By his connivance an outlaw named Henry le Pleidour, whom Donvile had arrested in Shropshire, got off by giving a false name when arraigned before the Justices for delivery of the gaol of Brug. Calling himself John de Womburne, the criminal appealed to a Staffordshire Jury, which, knowing nothing of him, acquitted him. The Stottesden Jurors, who reported this, could not say what money Donvile got for his connivance in the job.

About the year 1280, Hugh de Dodemonston was Constable of Bridgnorth, Roger Sprenghose being also Sheriff of the County, Thomas de Marham, Bailiff of Stottesden Hundred, and Nicholas le Porter, Gatekeeper of the Castle. [202]-

At the Assizes of 1292, it appeared that the three subordinates, viz. the Constable, the Bailiff, and the Porter, had been suspected of letting a prisoner escape from the Castle. The first (Hugh de Dudmaston) was now tried and acquitted; Thomas de Marham, of whom we have heard before, [203] had died in prison; the Porter, Nicholas, had absconded (non est inventus).

[200] The Approver (or Probator) was a most formidable instrument of feudal oppression. He was a self-confessed felon, an informer, and a bravo. The Jurists tell us that a person accused by an Approver might, if he chose, be tried by Jury; but the practical alternative seems to have been that the defendant had either to fight a duel with his accuser or else bribe the said accuser's employers.
[201] Ibidem, 99, b; 101, b; 102, b; 103, b; and 109, b.
[202] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed. I, memb. 18.
[203] Supra, p. 193.



The Borough of Bridgnorth is presumed to have been a foundation immediately consequent on the transfer of the Castle from Quatford, in 1101. Ordericus indeed, describing Earl Robert's proceedings, says expressly that he transferred the Town. [204] We shall presently see that King Henry I recognised the new Borough, and allowed it certain privileges; but whether these were defined by Charter or left to be established by prescription, we have no means of judging. [205]

The confirmation of these privileges by King Henry II is extant, and, as being the earliest written Charter implying Royal recognition of any Shropshire Borough, deserves special attention. [206] Its purport is as follows:-

" Henry, King of England, and Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and Earl of Anjou, to his Justiciars and Sheriffs and Barons and Ministers and all his faithful of England, greeting. Know ye that I have conceded to my Burgesses of Brugia all their franchises and customs and rights, which they or their ancestors had in the time of King Henry my grandfather. Wherefore I will and strictly command that they have them, well, and in peace, and honourably, and fully; within the Borough and without; in wood and in field, in meadows and pastures and in all things, with such comparative fulness and honour as they held them in time of King Henry my grandfather. And I forbid any one to do them injury or insult, in regard to their tenements.- Witnesses: T. Chancellor and Henry de Essex, Constable, and William Fitz Alan: at Raddemore". [207]

[204] Ordericus, lib. x, p.768. " Oppidum Quatford transtulit". [205] Mr. Hallam thinks that there are no examples of civil incorporations in England (except London), till the reign of Henry II (Middle Ages, i, 211), and this say the historians of Shrewsbury is perhaps correct. (History of Shrewsbury, i, 76, note 1).
[206] Shrewsbury was a much older Borough than Bridgnorth, but it has no Charter earlier than that of Richard I.
[207] This document is unquestionably genuine. The original is not known to exist, but its substance is embodied in an ample Inspeximus of Bridgnorth Charter by James I. A duly vouched copy of the Imspeximus is among the Muniments of the Corporation, and is my authority for all the Charters I shall quote, except that of King John.


King Henry II did not date his Charters, but the period of his reign, if not the very year (1157) in which this one passed, can be ascertained by a redundancy of evidence.

E.G. No deed of Henry II, passing in England, can have been attested by " T. Canc". (Thomas the Chancellor) except in the year 1155, or else between April, 1157, and August, 1158.-

Precisely the same limits may be assigned to all English deeds attested for Henry II by the two other witnesses; for the King was absent from England during all other periods at which Henry de Essex was in favour or William Fitz Alan alive. The King, in fact, was in Normandy from Christmas, 1155, till April, 1157, and again from August, 1158, till December, 1162. At the latter period, and on Henry's return to England, Becket was no longer. Chancellor, Fitz Alan was dead, and the disgrace of Henry de Essex imminent.-

Of the three years (1155, 1157, and 1158) which remain at our choice, the second (1157) is the most probable for the date of this Charter. The unsettled state of Bridgnorth during, and consequent upon, Mortimer's rebellion, puts the early part of the year 1155 out of question, and renders the latter part improbable.-

It was in autumn of 1157 that Henry de Essex is said to have disgraced his office of Constable at Counsylth. His actual forfeiture did not take place for several years; but his immediate loss of Court favour is evident from the Pipe Rolls. When we add to these considerations the fact that the Sheriff of Staffordshire charges, in 1158, for fencing the King's house and garden at Radmore, [208] and when we find another Charter of Henry II expedited there, and which, on independent grounds, we should date in 1157-8, [209] enough will have been said to warrant the conclusion that his Confirmation to the Borough of Brug passed about 1157.

When, in the fiscal year ending Michaelmas, 1159, the Barons, Knights, Abbots, and Burgesses of the kingdom had contributed a royal aid in form of a donum, the only Boroughs in Shropshire

[208] Rot. Pip. 4 Hen. III, Staffordshire.
[209] Monasticon, iv, 111, IM.


which were assessed are found to be Shrewsbury and Brug. They had respectively raised the sums of 50 and 10 merks, and paid the same, through the Sheriff, at the Exchequer. [210]

Again, at Michaelmas, 1160, the Boroughs of Shrewsbury, Brug, and Newport had been assessed to a donum, in sums of 40 12, and, 1 1/2 merks respectively. Each had then paid half its quota, and the balances were discharged by each in the year following. [211]

At this period, the ferm of the County, for which the Sheriff was annually responsible at the Exchequer, stood at 265. 15s. Of this sum, the said Sheriff was accounted to receive 20. from the Borough of Shrewsbury, and 5. from the Borough of Bridgnorth. These amounts he paid over to the Crown, and whatever he could get more on each item was his own.

" The yearly Ferme of towns", says Madox, [212] " arose out of certain locata or demised things that yielded issues or profit. Insomuch that when a town was committed to a Sherif, Fermer, or Custos, such Fermer or Custos well knew how to raise the ferme out of the ordinary issues of the town, with an overplus of profit to himself".

(A source of yearly revenue which, in the year 1167, arose to the Crown out of the Borough of Brug, independently of the annual ferm, will be noticed hereafter. At present, we pursue the history of that revenue which is technically called the "firma Burgi".)

We have arrived nearly at the period when this town obtained the great end and aim of all municipal bodies, the privilege of paying its own ferm or chief-rent to the Crown, and so escaping the arbitrary extortions of any Sheriff or other intermediate officer.

At Michaelmas, 1170, the Burgesses of Brug and of Salop had fined with the Crown in sums of 20 and 18 merks respectively, " for having the ferms of their vills. Each had paid the said fine, and was quit. The terms on which the Burgesses of Brug obtained this privilege were, that they should pay 2 1/2 merks per annum, in

[210] Rot. Pip. 5 Hen. II, Salop.
[211] Ibidem, 6 and 7 Hen. II. [212] Firma Burgi, p. 261. Under " the issue of Towns", he mentions "Assised Rents, Pleas, Perquisites, Custome of goods, Fairs, Markets, Stallage, Aldermanries, Tolls, Wharfage", &c. The reader will judge which of these probably contributed to the "ferm of 5. per annum", chargeable on the King's Borough of Brug.


addition to such ferm of their Town (viz. 5.) as was previously its quota in the general ferm of the County. [213]

The increment of 2 1/2 merks, due Michaelmas, 1170, is entered on the Pipe Roll of that year as being owed " through Hugh de Beauchamp"; and as no other notice of its liquidation occurs, we may presume that it was paid through that officer, [214] rather than through the Sheriff of the County.

At Michaelmas, 1171, however, the Burgesses of Brug account themselves for 1. 13s. 4d., the "increment of their vill". They had paid it into the treasury, and were quit. [215]

At the same time it is quite clear that the Sheriff continued to receive the old fern of 5. per annum, and perhaps no more.- At all events he accounted so much to the Exchequer in his general ferm of the County.

This complex mode of accounting for the ferm of the Borough continued for four years longer, viz. 1172, 1173, 1174, and 1175; the Burgesses paying their annual increment, and that part of the Sheriff's account, which was termed the Corpus Comitattis, exhibiting no reference to the new arrangement. [216] But during the last of these fiscal years, the Burgesses had again fined in a sum of 30 merks and two coursers "to have their town at ferm".-

And the full effect of this second fine becomes both apparent and intelligible on the Pipe Roll of the following year (ending Michaelmas, 1176). [217]

Then, the Sheriff, being no longer in receipt of 5. per annum (the quota of this Borough towards the ferm of the County), discharges himself of the responsibility, taking credit for the said 5. (which ceased to pass through his hands) in form following:-

" And in the vill of Brug 100s. whereof account should be rendered separately".

He was, in short, now responsible for 265. 15s. per annum, less such sums as he was no longer authorized to receive, and among those sums was the 5. in question.

Now too, and on the same Roll, the Burgesses render their first annual account of the full ferm of their vill. It was 10 merks,

[213] Rot. Pip. 16 Hen. II, Salop.
[214] For Hugh de Beauchamp's apparent connexion with Exchequer, see Madox's History of the Exchequer, 145, note a.
[215] Rot. Pip. 17 Hen. II.
[216] Rot. Pip. de eisdem annis.
[217] Rot. Pip. 22 Hen. II, Salop.


i.e. 7 1/2 merks (5.) which they used to pay through the Sheriff, and 2 1/2 merks, which they had already paid for five years themselves.

The King also begins, at this juncture, to issue writs to the Burgesses, which are in the nature of drafts on their annual debt.

In this very year he directed them to make a payment "in corrody of his sister, the wife of David ap Owen". [218] And this draft the Burgesses duly respected: they made the said payment, and took credit, to the value, in their own account with the Exchequer.

Another and permanent payment which the King ordered them to make was 10s. per annum, the tithe due from the Crown, to the Canons of St. Mary Magdalene. This, hitherto an item in the Sheriff's disbursements, was henceforth settled by the Burgesses.

At Michaelmas, 1177, the Sheriff again acquits himself of all concern in the 5. above mentioned, [219] and this exemption is either directly entered or substantively reckoned in every Sheriff's account for the next century. [220]

With regard to the " fine of 30 merks and 2 coursers", by which the Burgesses obtained their full privilege, they discharged it as follows:- Before Michaelmas, 1176, they had paid 3. 18s. 4d. in further " corrody of the King's sister:" before Michaelmas, 1177, they had accounted 16. 1s. 8d. into the Treasury; and within another year they had delivered two Coursers to the King himself, and were quit. [221]

Their annual ferm of 10 merks (6. 13s. 4d.), less 10s. paid to the Canons, continues on the Pipe-Rolls of the next century, and with no variation, except when the King or Chief Justice gave a casual order or cheque on this revenue,- of which more in its proper place.

[218] David ap Owen, Prince of North Wales, had married Emma, sister of King Henry II, in 1174. (Diceto, 585.) The Sheriffs of London charge in that year 28. 17s. for her apparel and outfit, as directed by the King. (Rot. Pip. 20 Hen. II, London and Middlesex). She was a natural daughter of Geoffrey Plantagenet. In this year (1176) the Burgesses of Shrewsbury charge the Crown with Corrody (Entertainment) for the Kings sister, and in 1177, Henry gave Ellesmere to his brother-in-law (Hoveden, p.323, b).
[219] Rot. Pip. 23 Hen. II.
[220] Rot. Pip. passim.
[221] Rot. Pip. de eisdem annis, Salop.



Besides this annual contribution to the royal revenue, the Borough of Bridgnorth, like all other demesnes [222] of the Crown, was assessed to occasional contributions of a different kind. We have already seen such impost levied under the name of a donum. At Michaelmas, 1174, it is entered as an "Assize made throughout the King's demesnes in Salopescire by the Sheriff, under writ of Richard de Luci". On this occasion Shrewsbury was assessed at 40, Brug at 10, and Newport, Worfield, Claverley, Ford &c. in less sums. [223]

At Michaelmas, 1177, the tax goes under the name of " the aid (auxilium) of the Boroughs and Villa of Salopescr' (assessed) by Ralph Fitz Stephen" and other justiciars. To this Shrewsbury and Brug contributed 20 merks each. [224]

At Michaelmas, 1187, the impost recurs under the title of "A Tallage of the King's demesnes and of lands which were then in his hand"; but each item is said to be "de dono". [225] Thus the Burgesses of Salop render account of 43. 13s. 4d. " de dono" on this occasion; those of Brug are assessed at 15 merks, the men of Ludlow at 20 merks. Half of their quota had been paid by the Burgesses of Brug; the other half, for some cause or other, remained a debt till the year 1190-1, when it appears that the King (Richard I) had excused it.

In 6 Rich. I (1194-5), the Tallage of Salop was 26. 13s. 4d., of Brug 5. [226]

In 1199, two Tallages are entered as due. The first is expressed to be for "maintenance of 500 serving men". To it Shrewsbury contributed 30 merks, and Brug 10 merks. The second, assessed

[222] The King had, strictly speaking, no demesne in Shropshire. Those Manors and Boroughs which were called " ancient demesne of the Crown" were really "ancient escheat". The distinction is fully set forth by Madox (Firma Burgi, p. 5), but it was of no importance in cases like the above.
[223] Rot. Pip. 20 Hen. II, Salop.
[224] Ibidem, 23 Hen. II.
[225] Ibidem, 33 Hen. II. Tallage was that contribution or donum to the King's revenue which was assessed upon his demesnes or escheats; the aid of those who held lands by military tenure was called " Scutage; " that of those who held lands by other tenure was known as " Hidage " (Madox's Exchequer, p. 480). The word " Tallage", is simply equivalent to " Taxation", but it seems to have been set or assessed on Boroughs and Manors by Justiciars, who were to form their own estimate as to the capability of each contributing body, whilst, in the case of Scutage, one rule obtained throughout the Kingdom.
[226] Rot. Pip. 8 Ric. I, Salop.


by H. Archdeacon of Stafford, rated the same Boroughs at 40, and 10 merks respectively. [227]

In 1203, Brug is assessed to a Tallage, at 10 merks. [228]

It is again assessed to this tax in 7 John (1205), and to two further and distinct Tallages in the following year. [229]

In (16 John) 1214, Shrewsbury was assessed to a Tallage at 200 merks, Brug at 50 merks, and other demesnes at the same high rate. [230]

We hear of no further Tallage till 7 Hen. III (1223), when Shrewsbury had been assessed at 100 merks, Brug only at 10 merks. [231]

In 1227, the King's demesnes in Shropshire were again assessed to a Tallage, in what sums we know not; but on April 5th, the King's writ issued to Henry de Audley and John Bonet, informing them that he had excused the assessment made on the town of Brug, except 50 merks.
[232] Accordingly a memorandum to that effect is entered on the Originalia Rolls of that year, [233] and the Sheriff, John Bonet, accounting for Henry de Audley at Michaelmas following, enters 50 merks as the Tallage of Brug. [234]

Thirty merks of this debt was unpaid in 1229; and in 1230, the Town of Brug was again assessed, by Henry de Audley and William Basset, to a new Tallage of 25 merks, Shrewsbury being rated at 70 merks. [235]

The Tallage of 1235 exhibits Shrewsbury assessed at 100 merks. Brug at 25: that of 1242 shows the same Boroughs paying 40 and 20 merks respectively. Again, in 1246, they pay 60 and 50 merks to a Tallage.

In 1249, they were again talliated; and in 1252 Shrewsbury paid 120 merks to a Tallage assessed by William de Axmouth, while Brug was only rated at 50.

In 1255, these Boroughs were assessed by Gilbert de Preston and Robert de Grendon, in the proportion of 160 merks to 68.

In 1261, a Tallage, assessed by Ralph le Botiller and Robert de Meisy, left Shrewsbury owing 117. 3s. 7d., and Brug 51. 15s.8d., but these do not appear to be the amounts of the original assessment.

In 1269, a Tallage, which had been assessed by the King's

[227] [228] [229] Rot. Pip. de eisdem annis.
[230] Rot. Pip. 16 John, Salop.
[231] Rot. Pip. 7 Hen. III, Salop.
[232] Claus. vol. ii, p. 180.
[233] Originalia, 11 Hen. III.
[234] Rot. Pip. 11 Hen. III, Salop.
[235] Rot. Pip. de eisdem annis.


Escheator (the Prior of Wymundham), left Shrewsbury owing 120, and Brug 40. [236]

Having now followed this subject of Tallages through a whole century, in order that it might be presented to the Reader under a distinct head, we revert to other matters affecting the interests or indicating the social progress of the Borough during the same period.

At Michaelmas, 1180, the great Justiciar, Ranulf de Glanvill, having visited this County, left the Burgesses of Brug subject to the heavy amercement of 20 merks. Their offence was " quia quandam loquelam dixerint concordatam quae non erat" (because they had reported a suit as compounded which was not compounded). [237] Of this fine they had already paid half, and they discharged the balance in 1181 and 1182, when the debt is entered on the Pipe Rolls as being " pro falso dicto" (for a false averment). [237]

These particulars, apparently insignificant in themselves, have yet their further meaning.- The Burgesses are amerced corporately; their Town was therefore already corporate.- They were amerced for a dictum or return which could only have been made in their Borough Court: they therefore had such a Court.- And this Court took primary cognizance of certain legal matters which were above and beyond the usual routine of self-government; they therefore had special privileges.

At Michaelmas, 1183, the Sheriff accounts 5 merks which the Burgesses had fined with the Justices recently in eyre, in exchange. or recompence, of certain assarts of the said Burgesses' making. [238] They had, in fact, put into cultivation, or use, some waste land, which was so far deemed to be of the King's demesne as that it could not be occupied without license.

At Michaelmas, 1190, the Borough account of its ferm is credited with 2 merks. They had paid so much " under order of the Chancellor (Longchamp) to Osbert Luvell, the Huntsman, to buy him a horse". [239]

The earliest County Assizes of which we have detailed record were those of October, 1203. On these occasions every Hundred or Borough having an exclusive jurisdiction was summoned to send its Jury. In this instance the Borough of Brug was so represented. It is entered on the Assize Roll as the Hundred of Brug, which merely implies that, at the time, it was independent of any other Hundred,

[236] Ibidem.
[237] Rot. Pip. 26 Hen. II, Salop.
[238] Ibidem, sub annis.
[239] Rot. Pip. 2 Ric. I, Salop.


and was practically a Hundred in itself. The only matter of local concern, which the Jury of 1203 reported, was that the "Assize of Cloth was not held in the Borough". [240] The Assize of Cloth was an ancient statute regulating the measure and price of such manufactures. Its non-observance in any Borough subjected the community to a fine; and 4 merks were exacted in this instance. From the number of Towns both in Shropshire and Staffordshire which were fined for the same offence on this circuit, we may conclude that the matter was made one of general inquiry by the Justiciars, not that the Juries volunteered these statements to the discredit of their own communities.

The Stottesden Jury at these same Assizes reported that John the Vintner of Brug had sold wine " against the Assize". His offence and that of Roger Rotarius, another vintner of Brug, resulted in fines of 6s. 8d. charged on each individual, not on the community. [241]

15 June, 1212. The Provosts and men of Brug are ordered to provide 10 of their fittest citizens with horses and arms, to be ready to accompany the King in his transfretation on receipt of further orders. [242] These orders never came, for the King gave up his foreign expedition.

In this reign a second Royal Charter was obtained for the Borough.
[243] It bears date at the New Temple, London, January 10, 1215, and is as follows: " John by the Grace of God, &c. Know ye that we have conceded and by this our Charter confirmed to our Burgesses of Bruges, in Salopesire, that they may go and come through our whole land of England and transact all manner of merchandise; buying and selling and negotiating; freely, quietly, well, and in peace; in fairs and markets, in Cities and Boroughs and all places; and that they be free and quit of toll and passage, for all their merchandise, wherever they may pass throughout our land of England, saving to our City of London its franchises. Wherefore we will and strictly enjoin that the said Burgesses and their heirs may have and hold of us and our heirs all the said liberties and free customs, &c. And we forbid any one under pain of our penalties to hinder, or attempt to hinder, the same our Burgesses in the premises.- Witnesses: P. Bishop of Winchester, R. Earl of Chester, W. Earl Warren, W. Earl of Arundel, William

[240] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 3 recto, and 6 dorso.
[241] Ibidem, memb. 2 dorso, and 6 dorso.
[242] Claus. i, p. 130 [243] Rot. Cart. 16 john, memb. 3.


Briwere, William de Cantilupe, Thomas de Erdinton (then Sheriff), and John Mareschall.- Given by hand of Master Richard de Mariscis, our Chancellor, at the New Temple, London, on the 10th day of January in the 16th year of our reign".

It appears that the Burgesses of Shrewsbury contested the benefits which this Charter was intended to confer on the sister community. They were forthwith sued by the latter, and an order [244] of King John dated 26 April, 1215, appoints the men of Salop " to appear before the King in one month of the close of Easter to answer the Burgesses of Bruges" as to the hindrances which had been offered to the latter in opposition of their chartered franchises.

On the day appointed (May 24) King John was at Reading, but I can trace nothing of the issue of the suit on this occasion. About the same time the Burgesses of Brug began to fortify their town with a wooden rampart, a precaution doubtless suggested by the troubles of the period. A report on the state of the Royal Forests drawn up in the year 1235 records that while Ranulf Earl of Chester was Sheriff (that is between the years 1216 and 1223), and before the town was encompassed with a wall, large allowances of timber were made out of Morf Forest towards its enclosure. [245]

Among some old debts due to the Crown, and entered on the Pipe-Roll of the second year of Henry III, one of 30 merka is charged on the men of Brug "for having the King's Charter about their franchises". [246] The Charter alluded to was clearly that of King John above recited, and the debt was now discharged by instalments. At Michaelmas, 1220, one-half, viz. 10, was still due. [247]

On May 10, 1220, King Henry III, being at Worcester, orders the Sheriff of Salop to aid the Burgesses of Bruges in the enclosure of their town, allowing them out of the Royal Forest near Bruges as much of old stumps and dead timber as would suffice to make two stacks (rogos). This was to be done with as little injury as possible to the Forest, and Hugh de Upton and Roger de Bechesor (Badger) were to be Visors on the occasion. [248]

The King at the same time granted a further license to enable the Burgesses to complete their defences. From June 24, 1220, to

[244] Claus. i, p. 203.
[245] De forestis antiquis. No. 13 (Apud Turrim, Lond).
[246] Rot. Pip. 2 Hen. III, Salop. Here is another proof of what I have before asserted, viz. that the Exchequer business from March, 1215, until September,1211, was wholly suspended (Vide supra, p. 2, note 4).
[247] Ibidem, 4 Hen. III.
[248] Rot. Claus. i, p. 418.


the end of four years following, they were empcnrered to charge 1/2d on every cart bringing things into the Town for sale, and, if such cart came from another County, 1d. Other tolls were also specified, on pack-horses, cattle, and barges; and the whole license may be taken as an early instance of those Royal Grants to take " customs" or " murage " which we shall notice more summarily in the sequel.

On June 26, 1220, the King made another grant of timber to the Borough. The quantity allowed was to be the same as before, but old oaks are substituted for dead wood. It was to be taken from Morf Forest and under view of the King's " faithful" Hugh de Beckbury and Richard de Ruton (Ryton) whom he had commanded, by letters, to attend to the matter. They were to make tally of the number of oaks so taken. [250]

At the Shrewsbury Assizes, November, 1221, a Jury attended to represent " the Villate of Bruges together with the Hundred", by which is simply meant the Borough and its Liberties. Among " Pleas of the Crown " with which they had concern, they reported one, wherein Andrew Fitz William, having challenged William de Ingwardine for robbery, was dead. The Jurors moreover said, that by judgment of the County Court, the parties had been bound over to fight a duel in the case. The Justices hereupon caused reference to be made to the County Court, which recorded that such a challenge had been made as the Jurors alleged, and that, whereas the challenge involved mention of the King's Peace, they (the County Court) had attached the parties to come before the Justices in eyre, but that they had bound them over to no wager of battle. On receiving this memorial the Justices found the Brug Jurors to he in misericordia. [251]

The above extract shows the inferiority of the Hundredal or Borough Jurisdictions to that of the Great Court of the County and the reference which each was obliged to make, in certain cases, to the King's Justices.

At these same Assizes, the Jurors of Brug reported a murder in their district, and a case of accidental drowning; also that Henry Bacun and John the Vintner had " sold wine against the Assize". [252]

[249] The Borough of Shrewsbury bad a contemporary and similar grant. The particulars are given. History of Shrewsbury, vol. p. 96, note 1.
[250] Claus. i, 421, 422.
[251] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 9 dorso.
[252] I have not been able to discover what was the "Assize of Wine" (the price at which it might be sold) in 1271 or earlier. A year later (Feb. 1223) it was generally limited by the King in Council to sixpence the Sextary (or Quart), but this rule was relaxed for many towns, and s price of 8d. or l0d. allowed. (Claus. i, 568.)


They further gave information of two cases of purpresture on the King's demense in Brug, for which fines were inflicted. One of these, by Henry Dod, was the erection of a lodge close to the Castle Gate. This, though punishable as a purpresture, the Jury did not consider injurious; nay, they recommended that the lodge be allowed to stand as a defence of the Castle Gate,- which the Court sanctioned. But a fence which Geoffrey Aunketill had made was both punishable by fine and, being injurious to the vill, was ordered to be taken down. The Sheriff had instructions accordingly. Both the fines were excused on account of the poverty of the parties.

Under the head of " New Customs" the Jurors reported that the Sheriff's Bailiffs called upon the Burgesses to make trace (pursuit, hue and cry) through their town, and that this they could not do, and that Robert de Shineford had lately fined them 40 shillings for an omission of this kind. On this matter the Court reserved its judgment.

The Jurors lastly made complaint, on behalf of their Burgesses, against those of Shrewsbury, who would not allow them to purchase raw hides or undressed cloth in the latter town, as they had been used to do. [253]

In November, 1222, the Borough of Brug was among those whose Bailiffs were addressed on the subject of the aid granted, by the King in Council, for the King of Jerusalem. [254] The clause of the enactment which affected Cities and Boroughs was that every person possessed of chattels to the value of half a merk should contribute 1 penny.

This is the first positive recognition which has occurred of the Bailiffs, or Provosts, of the Town; and we learn hence that its

[253] This matter ended in a law-suit between the Boroughs, if indeed such a suit had not been commenced already and in the previous reign. On the Quintaine of St. Martin (Nov. 25), 1223, at Westminster, a Jury having been empanelled to try "whether the Burgesses of Brug, from the 9th year of King John to the 5th of Henry,had enjoyed a liberty of purchasing untanned hides &c. in the town of Salop", found that the said Burgesses had never enjoyed such liberty without paying toll. So the said Burgesses took nothing (Plac. apd. Westm. Mich. Tin. 7 and 8 Hen. III, memb. 24 recto). The local importance of this branch of trade is further shown by the Salopians having a few years later (March, 1227), procured a Royal Charter which empowered them to refuse traffic in these commodities, to any who were not in lott and scott at Shrewsbury (History of Shrewsbury, vol. i, p. 102).
[254] Claus. i, 568.


municipal constitution was fixed at an earlier period than that at which existent Charters would per se give us information as to the personnel of the governing body.

On March 26, 1228, the King's writ to the Bailiffs of Bristol informs them, that he learns from his Father's Charter the immunity from all toll and custom pertaining to the Crown, which the Burgesses of Bruges ought to enjoy, throughout all the land and at the sea-ports. The Bailiffs of Bristol are accordingly to allow this immunity and not again offer the said Burgesses hindrance or annoyance in the premises. [255]

Oct. 13, 1223, the King, being here, grants the Burgesses license to take " customs" for three years for the purpose of walling their town. This license will have commenced on the expiration of the former one, i. e. on June 24, 1224. [256]

On Sept. 1, 1226, the King having just left Bridgnorth, and being at Kidderminster, grants, that, till he come of age, the men of Bruges may have an annual fair, to last for three days, viz., the vigil, the day and the morrow of St. Luke the Evangelist, unless some neighbouring fair be thus interfered with. [257]

On the 5th of April, 1227, the King renewed to the Burgesses his Father's Charter, exempting them in precisely the same terms from all toll throughout the kingdom, and alluding to the document already in their possession. [258]

The following day he granted them power to take customs for two years more, in aid of walling their town. [259]

On June 20, 1227, another and totally new Charter passed the great seal, which, as recognizing or conferring many privileges, will require lengthened recital. [260] It is as follows:-

Henry by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland,

[255] Claus. i, 638.
[256] Pat. 7 Hen. III.
[257] Claus. ii, 136.
[258] Certified Copy of James I's inspeximus of Bridgnorth Charters, in possession the Mayor and Corporation.

King Henry III declared himself of age at the Council of Oxford (February, 1227), and then announced to all priviliged bodies the necessity of having their Charters renewed. A sum of not less than 100,000 thus accrued to the Treasury, and Mr. Hardy (Preface to Rot. Cart. p. vi) considers this the occasion on which the Charters, called technically " Inspeximus Charters", may be properly said to have originated. The document under notice is however not strictly in the form of an Inspeximus though substantively it is nothing else.
[259] Pat. 11 Hen. III.
[260] " Inspeximus" of Charters by James I (ut supra). A Charter granted to Shrewsbury, on the 20th March previous, conveyed nearly the same privileges. Many notes and explanations, applicable to both, may be seen History of Shrewsbury, vol. i, pp. 100-102.


&c. to the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Foresters, Sheriffs, Provosts, Officers, and all his Bailiffs and faithful subjects, greeting; Know ye that we have granted, and by this our Charter confirmed, to our Burgesses of Bruges in Salopesyr, that none of our Sheriffs shall in any manner intermeddle with them, neither concerning any plea, or plaint, or prosecution, or any other thing to the said Borough pertaining, saving to us and to our heirs for ever the Pleas of our Crown, which ought to be attached, by our Coroners and by our Provosts of the same Borough, until the arrival of our Justices.

We have granted also to the same our Burgesses and their heirs, that they may have a mercantile Gild, with a Hanse, and other customs and liberties to such Gild belonging, so that no person, who is not of that Gild, shall transact any merchandise in the said Borough, within or without the walls, unless by consent of the Burgesses.

We have granted also to them and their heirs that if any one, born the Villain of another, shall remain in the aforesaid Borough, and hold land therein, and be of the aforesaid Gild and Hanse, and lott and scott with the same our Burgesses a year and a day, without being claimed, he shall not afterwards be recovered by his Lord, but in the same Borough shall remain free.

Moreover we grant to our aforesaid Burgesses of Bruges that they shall have Soc and Sac, Toll, and Team, and Infangthef, and that they shall be quit, through our whole land, of Toll, Lastage, Passage, Pontage, and Stallage, and of Leve (Levy) and Danegeld and Gowyt and all other customs and exactions throughout our whole land and dominion, as well in England as in all other our territories.

Moreover we have granted to our aforesaid Burgesses that they and their heirs may hold in fee-farm for ever our Mill of Pendaston without the town of Bruges upon the River Wurgh, with suit of the town of Bruges and all other its appurtenances, rendering therefore to us and our heirs yearly, by their own hand, at our Exchequer 10. viz. at the feast of St. Michael 100 shillings, and at Easter 100 shillings.

Wherefore we will and strictly command that our aforesaid Burgesses of Bruges and their heirs shall have the aforesaid Franchises (which are rehearsed in part) and Quietances, for ever, well and in peace, freely and quietly, honourably, fully, and entirely as aforesaid, saving the Liberty of our City of London, and that they may have and hold in fee-farm for ever our aforesaid Mills, &c.-


These being Witnesses: E. London, P. Winton, J. Bathon, R. Sarum, Bishops; H. de Burg, Earl of Kent, our Justiciary; Despenser, John Fitz Philip &c.- Given by hand of the Venerable Father, Ralph, Bishop of Chichester, our Chancellor, at Westminster, the twentieth day of June in the eleventh year of our reign".

The principal feature in this Charter is the fee-farm grant of Pendeston Mill. Many of the other privileges, even if now chartered for the first time, for the benefit of the Royal Exchequer, must have long existed, by prescription, in the Borough. Some of them too were so antiquated then, that it may be doubted if the Burgesses knew what was thus conveyed to them, and one of them (gowyl or gaywile) has not, as yet, found any plausible interpretation.

Denegeld too was a tax never levied at all after the reign of Henry II, and of which there had been no general assessment for 70 years next preceding the date of this Charter. In short Madox's observation on Danegeld and Geld involves the best comment on several other expressions similarly introduced in these documents. " These words " he suggests " were inserted pro forma, amongst several other words referring to Anglo-Saxon Customs which were gone or going into disuse". [261]

On June 28, 1227, the King's Precept issued to the Sheriff of Salop, informing him of the liberties and quietancies which he had granted to the Burgesses of Brug, and commanding him to have the said Charter read in full County Court and to allow the Burgesses to use their said liberties, and further to give them full seixin of the Mill of Pendestan. [262]

Our former account of the Constables of Bridgnorth Castle has shown how in the beginning of this very month of June, 1227, Pendestan Mill, having constituted part of the salary of Thomas Manduit, reverted to the Crown on the expiration of that Officer's trust.

At Michaelmas, 1227, the Borough begins to be chargeable with a fee- farm rent of 10. per annum for this Mill, whilst, at the same time, the Sheriff, having no receipts from the said Mill, continues, as when Thomas Manduit received the profits thereof, to take credit for 8 merks (its reputed fiscal value) in his annual accounts.

At Michaelmas, 1229, the Sheriff so acquits himself of 16 merks, and the Burgesses, in addition to the ferm of their town (10 merks per annum), render account of 20. or two years ferm of their Mill. [264]

[261] Exchequer, p. 479.
[262] Claus. ii, 190.
[263] Supra, p. 277.
[264] Rot. Pip. 13 Hen. III, Salop.


And this rule obtained throughout the reign of Henry III. But to return- Stephen de Segrave and his fellow Justices sitting at Gloucester early in 1227 amerced the vill of Brug in 1 merk " for the flight of Osbert le Puleter" [265] (a felon probably, whose escape they had not prevented). This debt was still unpaid in 1231, [266] nor do I find notice of its subsequent liquidation. A non-liability, to join in pursuit (of felons) through the town, has already been mentioned as claimed by the Borough. Perhaps the amercement now demurred to, was a similar encroachment on their liberties.

At Michaelmas, 1228, the Borough account is charged with an accidental item, viz. 3. 1s. 8d. which the Burgesses had paid into the King's Wardrobe at Keri. [267]

In 1229 the Borough obtained a further grant of "murage". [268]

At Michaelmas, 1231, the men of Brug, in rendering account of the ferm of their town and mill, charge for carriage of 40 casks of wine from hence to Castle Matilda and to Elvein, and for unloading the rest of the King's wine and storing it at Brug. [269]

June 15, 1283.- The Burgesses have license to take " Customs" (towards walling their town) for three years. [270]

At Michaelmas, 1240, the Bailiffs of Brug render account of the proceeds of certain wines of the King which the Sheriff had delivered to them for purpose of sale, under a Royal Order of the King's 19th year (1234-5). [271]

Aug. 8, 1241.- The King, being at Salop, grants this Borough license to take " Customs " or murage for 2 years. [272]

In Jan. 1252.- A similar Patent occurs extending to 8 years. [273]

At Michaelmas, 1253, the Borough appears as owing 20 merks of the Auxilium which had been levied " against the King's transfretation into Gascony. " [274] This tax does not appear to have been in the nature of a Tallage. It was assessed on Religious as well as Municipal Communities, and also on individual Tenants in capite.

[265] Rot. Pip. 11 Hen. III, Salop.
[266] Rot. Pip. 15 Hen. III, Salop.
[267] Rot. Pip. 12 Hen. III, Salop. After raising the siege of Montgomery in September, 1228, the King of England encamped at Kerry, proposing further vengeance on the Welsh. The scutage levied for this expedition was called the "scutage of Keri". [268] Rot. Pat. 13 Hen. III.
[269] Rot. Pip. 15 Hen. III, Salop. King Henry was at Elvein Aug. 2, and at Castle Matilda (which he then rebuilt) on Aug. 3 and till Sept. 11, 1231 (Compare History of Shrewsbury, vol i, p. 108).
[270] Rot. Pat. 17 Hen. III.
[271] Rot. Pip. 24 Hen. III, Salop.
[272] Pat. 25 Hen. III.
[273] Pat. 36 Hen. III.
[274] Rot. Pip. 37 Hen. III. Salop. The King embarked from Portsmouth Aug. 6, 1253 (M. Paris).


In Autumn, 1255, the twelve Jurors who had to make inquest of several matters which affected this Manor, Borough, Liberty, or Hundred (for each of these terms is used to describe the Franchise) were these, viz. William Bonamy, Philip de Petra, Henry Coynterel, John de Castro, Henry Fitz Robert, Nicholas the Porter, William le Palmer, Robert Dyer (Tinctor), Robert le Venour, Nicholas de Sallowe, William Bolding and Hamo le Palmer. [275]

Amongst their presentments were several which require mention here:-

1. "The vills of Quat, Mose, and Romesley were within the Liberty, or did suit to the Hundred, of Brug.

2. The Mill of Pendestan once pertained to the Castle of Brug, but the Burgesses now held it at fee-farm of the King, by Charter, and at an annual rent of 15 merks (10).

3. The following Religious Houses had interests within the Borough:- The Abbeys of Buildwas, Lilleshall, Haghmon, Wigmore, and Crokesden, and the Priory of Wenlock, but the King suffered thereby no loss either in wardships, reliefs, or tallages.

4. The respective tenures of the Knights Hospitallars, Knight Templars and the Nuns of Brewood, within the Borough, were exempt from tallage to the King.

5. The Tenants of the Hospitallers and Templars (three in number) were tenants for life. They did not allow themselves to be tallaged, nor would they scott with the men of Brug for the trade which they, exercised in the houses thus held. Their exemption was grounded on their vassalage to those privileged orders.

6. The Bailiffs of Brug having apparently distrained, for a debt due to the Crown, in Mose, Ralph de Mose and John his son had rescued the distress".

At the same time the Jurors for Stottesden Hundred reported that there was no Royal Demesne in their district but Bruges, that that town did not " answer with them " nor was the Castle thereof reputed to be in their Hundred. [276]

At the Assizes of January, 1256, the Borough of Bruges attended by its xii Jurors. The list, however, only enumerates eleven. They were Philip de Petra and Almaric le Teynturer (then Bailiffs), Walter le Palmer, Henry le Cointerel, William le Palmer, William Bolding, Henry Fitz Avice, William Bonami, Robert Dyer, Robert le Venur, and Robert Smith (Faber). [277]

[275] Rot. Hund. ii, 59, 60.
[276] Ibidem, pp. 82, 83.
[277] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, Placita Coronae, m. 12 dorso.


It is singular that four of these Jurors had been pledges for the appearance, before the Justices, of Alan Fitz William, a man who having been accused of robbery and murder had absconded and died in Ireland. They now however concurred in finding him to have been guilty of the murder, they themselves being declared in misericordia for his non-appearance.

Further, two of the number actually stood indicted for being accessory to the said robbery and for receiving the robbers. A Jury of the Country, however, pronounced them " not guilty". [278]

At these same Assizes a cause was heard wherein the Plaintiff sued for a messuage in Bruges under a writ which was in substance, though not in form, a writ of "mort d'ancestre". The Defendant, taking no notice of the non-identity of form, pleaded at once that the writ of "mort de ancestre" was not current in Bruges, and this plea was allowed, for the Plaintiff " took nothing". [279]

In August, 1256, the Burgesses obtained a license to take " Customs " for 5 years towards walling their town; and in September, 1257, this license was renewed for 8 years after expiration of the five already granted.

But on August 16, 1256, the Borough obtained its fourth and fifth Charters from the Crown, and their contents must be fully stated.

The first [281] grants to the Burgesses and their heirs this Franchise, viz. that neither they nor their goods, in any place of the King's dominion, shall be arrested for any debt, for which the parties (thus threatened with arrest) are not bondsmen or principal debtors. This, however, was not to operate in cases where, the actual debtors

[278] Ibidem, memb. 10 recto (Placita Coronae).
[279] Ibidem, memb. 10 recto (Placita de Jurat. et Assizis). The Burgesses of Shrewsbury were exempted by a special clause in one of their Charters (Hist. Shrewsbury, i, 86) from pleading to a writ of "mort d'ancestre" concerning any tenement within their franchise. The Bridgnorth Charters, hitherto rehearsed, contain no such exemption for that Borough; but I believe it was a privilege which attached to all Manors or Boroughs of " ancient demesne". The alternative seems to have been the "breve clausum de recto", by which I understand a writ addressed to the Bailiffs of the town enjoining them to try any cause, according to simple right and their own customs.
[280] Inspeximus of Charters by James I (ut supra).
[281] For an explanation of this Charter reference is made to Lord Coke. 2d Inst. p. 204. (Notes on Bridgnorth Charters, by Thomas Mytton, Esq. Dated Shipton, 14 March, 1782).

Similar Charters granted to Shrewsbury on August 10, 1266, are commented upon History of Shrewsbury, vol. i, pp.120-122, and the various terms employed therein are explained.


being of the community (of Brug) and having wherewithal to satisfy their debts, in whole or in part, the said Burgesses should refuse justice to the creditors, and reasonable proof of such refusal could be given. The Charter imposes a penalty of 10. on all who should interfere with its provisions. It is dated at Woodstock and tested inter alios, by Thomas Corbet.

The other Charter, similarly dated and attested, provides that the Burgesses and their heirs for ever shall have return of all the King's writs touching the town of Bruges and the liberties thereof; that the Bailiffs of the said town may answer by their own hands at the Exchequer concerning all their debts and summonses of the said Exchequer, respecting the aforesaid town of Bruges; so that no Sheriff or other, the King's Bailiff or officer, shall in future enter the said town, either to summon, or to distrain, or to do any other things, unless by default of the Burgesses themselves; and that no Sheriff, Constable, Castellan, or other officer shall take any Prizes within the Borough-Liberties, besides those due and hitherto accustomed, unless by consent of the owners thereof. It further grants, that the Burgesses shall not be convicted by any strangers (forinsecos) concerning any rights, injuries, trespasses, crimes, claims or demands upon them imposed, but only by their fellow- Burgesses, unless in any matter affecting the (whole) community, and then in that case they were to be sued in conformity with their approved and accustomed liberties.

It also allows that the Burgesses may profit themselves of the land and water within their liberties, without hindrance or claim of the Crown or its Bailiffs, saving the purprestures, if any ought of right to belong to the Crown; also that the Burgesses shall not be distrained to buy the King's wines unless by their own will and consent, provided however that while the King's wines are selling there, all other sales of wine shall entirely cease within the Borough.

Lastly, it provides, that throughout the King's dominions the Burgesses may hold all their liberties and free customs hitherto used and approved, as they used them in the time of the King's predecessors and himself. A forfeiture of 10. is imposed on any infraction of the above privileges.

We have a1ready [282] had several hints of the loyal conduct of the two great Boroughs of Shropshire while the King was at issue with his Barons or in subjection to De Montfort. The interests of

[282] Supra, p. 285.


Bridgnorth suffered considerably, but its adherence to the cause of monarchy remained unshaken. The particular conduct of the Burgesses is unrecorded, so too is the precise extent of their losses, but each received a genuine and comprehensive acknowledgment which implies the broad fact of loyal devotion as surely as the minutest details could do. In the close of the year 1265, their long expired license to take customs or murage was renewed. [283] Now too the King excused them four years' ferm of their vill towards " the repairs thereof, and in recompense of their losses". [284] This acquittance was further increased when, in September, 1267, the King was at Salop: but the extent of the royal gratitude will appear best from the Pipe Rolls. I have already alluded to the fact, that after Michaelmas, 1261, the Sheriffs' accounts for Shropshire came to be suspended for five years. An account was made in 1267, but omitted again in 1268, and, as regards the Borough of Brug, no general balance was struck till Michaelmas, 1269. At that time the Burgesses accounted substantively for 80 merks, being eight years' arrears of the ferm of their vill. Out of this sum (viz. 53. 6s. 8d.) they had paid 80s., or 8 years' tithes, to the Canons of Bruges. Therefore 49. 6s. 8d. remained to be accounted for. They alleged royal acquittances to a greater amount, viz. 10. as excused by the King's writ, for the losses which they had sustained in the time when the kingdom was disturbed, and because they faithfully adhered to the King, and to Edward his son, in the time aforesaid; also 64. of the annual ferm of their town and mill, as excused by a similar writ.

Therefore, under this item of account, the King appeared indebted to the Borough in a sum of 24. 13s. 4d.; but the debt was balanced in a subsequent section as to the eight years' ferm of Pendeston Mill, which had similarly accrued against the Borough. [285]

At the County Assizes of September, 1272, the town appeared by one of its Bailiffs, William Bolding, and by xii Jurors. [286] The names of the latter were, William Palmer, Roger de Mora, Hamo Palmer, Henry de Arley, William Lambert, Roger Dyer, Roger Chete, John Baker (Pystor), William Lantrey, William Bonamy, Richard de Petra, and Henry de Porta.

Among their presentments were two cases of murder, one of justifiable homicide, and some other matters, which will be detailed

[283] Rot. Pat. 50, Hen. III.
[284] Blakeway MSS. [285] Rot. Pip. 53 Hen. III, Salop. [286] Placita Coronae, 56 Hen. III, memb. 21 recto. The name written "Lantrey" is probably Cantreyn.


elsewhere. They reported Walter le Palmer, Henry Cointerel, John de Castro, and Nicholas le Palmer, for " having sold wine against the Asaize". [287]

At Michaelmas, 1273 (1 Edward I), the Burgesses accounted for four years ferm both of their town and mill, viz., 66. 13s. 4d.- They had paid the Canons of Brug 4 years tithe, viz., 2. They had paid for a cask of wine for Hugh de Beaumes, valet of the late King, 5 merks (3. 6s. 8d.) Also, they had paid to Nicholas de Denton, Hermit of Mount Gilbert (The Wrekin), 18s. 4d. for his support, by order of the late King. They had paid into the Treasury and Wardrobe at different times sums of 25. 16. and 19. 10s. And they still owed 3s. 4d.

Nov. 29, 1274, the Jurors of the Liberty, who made inquest before the King's Commissioners, were William de Cantreyz, William le Palmer, William Bonamy, Henry de Arnley, Emetic (Almaric) Dyer, Nicholas le Palmer, John Geffrey, Thomas Tailor (Cissor), Roger Chete, Robert de Bromleye, John Baker (Pistor), and William Madoc. [289]

They returned their fee-farm rents of both town and mill as stated above.-

They laid claim to suit of court from the vill of Dodemonsten as belonging to their vill, as well as all penalties, for blood-shed, or under the Assize of Beer, incurred in that township; but they said that " Richard King of Almain withdrew said suit &c. from the King, and from their Liberty, and that the Templars still withhold them and appropriate them to Castle Holegod".-

Also, Sir Roger de Mortimer and his Seneschals had, ever since the battle of Evesham (1265), withheld toll (thounet') of his men, from the King, in the town of Brug.- The Jurors knew not by what warrant.-

They said that the vill of Brug, according to franchise, granted to it by Kings of England, had return and extracts of writs, and other liberties, to wit, gallows, and assize of bread and beer.-

[287] Ibidem, memb. 50 dorso.
[288] Rot. Pip. 1 Edw. I, Salop.
[289] Rot. Hund. ii, 88, where however the annual payment to the Canons is printed as 30s. instead of 10s.

The privilege of having return and extracts of the King's writs prevented the interference of the Sheriff in the concerns of the Borough. Thus, if a writ directed to the Sheriff affected the Borough only it must be handed over to the Borough authorities to execute, and to make return thereto. If it were a writ of more general character, then the Borough was entitled to an extract of so much as concerned itself, and to which it would respond.


They reported that Robert de Trillec (Under-Sheriff) had hindered execution of a King's mandate directed to him in behalf of a certain woman, concerning a writ of dower, and had scorned to perform said mandate, by which contempt the woman lost her costs and trouble.-

That John Baril, late Under-Sheriff, in virtue of his office, unjustly distrained the men of Brug by their working cattle, for a certain debt to the Crown, which the King's Bailiffs had previously paid into the Exchequer and had had credit for; and before he would give up the cattle he levied 2d. a head on them.-

That the same John also upheld Ake and Myler, Jews of Brug, in their false exactions against Henry Budde and Henry, Clerk of Astley, and distrained the two latter, without precept of the King, day by day, till he extorted from them 9; whereof said John had 7. and the Jews 2.-

That the same John wrongfully sued Richard Hendemon of Brug, and distrained him till he got 4 merks from him; as also did he get by false prosecution 30s. from Thomas Cysinham (Isenham)

That Robert Trillec in distraining for some levy [290] (in a case where by the Borough Liberties, the Bailiffs of the town ought to have extracts, and to pay and account for the levy at the Exchequer) wrongfully took in distress the working cattle of the townsmen, extorting 2d. a head before he would give them up.-

That Robert Trillec's Beadles for Stottesden Hundred extort money from the merchants of Brug in the middle of the King's highway, and detain them from proceeding freely on their road till such money be given; but how much had thus been given, the Jurors knew not.

We will close this account of the Borough of Bridgnorth with a few extracts from the Assize Roll of October 1292, when the Burgesses were represented by their Bailiffs, Andrew Bolding and Robert le Teynturer, and by an Jurors, whose names were - Nicholas Rondulf, William de Cantreyn, Walter Bolding, John de Kenefare, Reginald de Leye, John son of Thomas the Tailor, Roger de Mora, Simon Dod, Stephen le Tornour, John Crouk, Fremund de Erdinton, and Robert Crouk. [291]

They reported certain purprestures, viz.,- That Nicholas Pule had appropriated a part of the King's highway, measuring 40 feet in length and 1 foot in breadth. [292]-

[290] "In districtione viridis cerae " - a matter of which I cannot find any ex-planation.
[291] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, memb. 61 recto.
[292] Ibidem, memb. 37 dorso.


That Nicholas Brun had made purpresture on the King's highway in the Castle, to the extent of 20 feet by 4 feet.

William Pykemalot, Henry Fitz Philip, William Fitz Alice, and John Bran were reported as having sold cloth contrary to the Assize.

So also " Nicolas Rondulf (a Juror) had sold 2 casks and Andrew Bolding (a Bailiff) 6 casks of wine, contrary to the Assize".

The Jurors also presented that Nicholas Brun, Goldsmith of Brug, " bought old money for new", and likewise was a common entertainer of robbers, who broke open Churches and stole the vessels (calices). "Nicholas had also stolen a sheep from Roger Chete". To all this Nicholas replied, that he was a Clerk; and the Dean of Salop, as representing the Bishop, came into Court and demanded him as such. Before he was surrendered to the spiritual power, the Court, as usual, directed that a jury should give verdict on the matters alleged against him. The jurors for Stottesden officiated, and found him " not guilty" on each charge. " So he was given up to the Bishop" as acquitted by the temporal Court. [293]

The Borough Jurors further presented that Nicholas Brun [294] and John de Cantreyn would not allow the King's Bailiffs to make distraint for a debt of the King or of any one else. Nicholas was found guilty and ordered to prison, but afterwards compounded the offence by fine of half a merk, Fremund de Erdinton and Roger de la More (both Jurors) being his Sureties.

A statement of their fee-farm tenure by Charters of Henry III, and a complaint as to Philip de Leinthale, Bailiff of Edmund de Mortimer, having attached certain traders of their town, are the only further presentments of the Borough Jurors which need be here alluded to.

[293] Though Nicholas Brun would appear to have been innocent of the principal charges against him, his occupations seem to have been anything but clerical. Yet this man was the contemporary Incumbent of the Prebend of Morville, in the King's Collegiate Church of St. Mary Magdalene (supra p. 72).
[294] This Nicholas Brun was undoubtedly a different person from the Clerk above mentioned, and a layman. He has already occurred (supra, p. 114) with Alice he wife in October, 1291. The said wife surviving him (but called Avice) granted to Edmund son of Nicholas Palmer certain rights in the High Street of Brug in the years 1296 and 1297, (Childers et Apley Park).


The early history of the Borough of Bridgnorth would be unnecessarily incomplete without some attempt to rescue the names of its chief Corporate Officers from those documents which, in the absence of all contemporary Municipal Records, alone remain for our guidance.

In arranging the succession of these ephemeral Magistrates according to such documents (chiefly undated), we must variously depend upon proof, probability, and conjecture; nor will our limits allow us to particularize the reasons of those presumptive dates which in some cases we shall have to offer. The list thus proposed, whether complete or incomplete, must necessarily indicate the chief contemporary families of the Borough.

Not having met with any Bridgnorth Charters of the twelfth Century, when, as at Shrewsbury, the principal Municipal Office is presumed to have been filled by an individual, nominated by the Crown, and called Provost (prepositus) or Reeve, we descend to the time (certainly not earlier than the reign of John 1199-1216) when the Borough elected its own Provosts or chief Magistrates.

Their number at all such recorded periods seems to have been uniformly two.

These Officers are in the first instance styled Praetors;-then Praetors or Provosts, indifferently;-thirdly, Provosts;-fourthly, Provosts or Bailiffs, indifferently;-and lastly, Bailiffs only. [295]


These Officers attest a very early deed of the thirteenth centtuy, [296] which will be more particularly alluded to when we come to speak of the Leper House of St. James.


The first of these persons has already occurred, under date of July 1, 1221, as being remunerated by the Crown for some injury done to his land near the

[295] In arranging a List of these Officers I have generally followed the order suggested by their gradual change of title. It is, however, quite certain that a result, uniformly correct, has not thus been produced, e.g., some of those who are simply called Provosts, held office earlier than some others who are simply called Praetors.
[296] Charter in possession of T.C. Whitmore, Esq., of Apley.- In the subjoined list, by far the greater number of names are supplied from the Muniments at Apley. I need therefore only to give other references where a different authority has been available.


Castle. [297] Some further account has yet to be given of his family and their tenure in capite arising out of the said compensation.

The second-named Praetor will presently occur under his professional name of Aurifaber (Goldsmith).


The family of Palmer was at this period by far the wealthiest in the Borough. A further and fuller account of them must be given elsewhere. The first notice of Hamon le Palmer is his attestation of the early deed above mentioned, in which he is described as Hamund Fitz Walter.



It is nearly certain that these were in office after Philip Fitz Robert and Terricus Fitz Reginald, mentioned below, but who are in one instance styled Provosts.



As these were probably in office before two who have been mentioned above, so they were certainly later than two who will occur below, viz. Walter le Palmer and Wm. le Berner, who, however, are only called Provosts.


The second was murdered in 1250 or 1251. His family and connexions, with the proceeding consequent on his death, will form the subject of a detailed statement hereafter. The dates obtained therewith are a most useful guide for distinguishing Borough Deeds of the first half of the century from those of the last.


These were in office after 1251, and so, later than many who are only celled Provosts.


Walter le Palmer was Brother of Hamon, above mentioned, and founder of a distinct family.



The names of these two Magistrates occur as first witnesses of a deed (in Mr. Blakeway's MSS.) wherein the former sells for 12s., and the latter purchases from his Colleague, a rent of 12d. issuing out of a messuage in Hungary Street.


[297] Supra, pp. 266, 256.
[298] Elsewhere called " Simon de Cenobio " (infra, p. 357).



Hamo le Palmer was living at the time when the deed attested by these Provosts passed; in fact he and his brother Walter are the third and fourth witnesses, and Reginald le Gaugy the fifth.


The deed attested by these Officers is clearly of date 1250 or 1251. It grants, to Walter le Palmer, a 10 years' lease commencing Dec. 26, 1250, and confirms a 12 years' lease which had taken date from Michaelmas 1250, and one of the parties to which was dead. It also mentions lands of Alice de Gaugy; and she was the widow of Reginald above mentioned.


The presumption that Hamo le Palmer was again in office in 1251 or 1252 arises thus.- He accounts at Michaelmas of the latter year, at the head of the community, for the proceeds of the sale of the King's wines. [299] The contemporary accountants for similar sales at Shrewsbury are known to have been Fellow-Provosts of that town. I have not, however, seen any deed, attested by Hamo le Palmer as Provost, which I can associate with this precise date.


These must have been in office between 1251 and 1256. At the Assizes of January 1266, John Tinotor was certified to be so infirm as not even to be carried.


These are expressly mentioned as in office at the Assizes of January, 1256. I have not found them attesting any deed, but if they so occur it will probably be under the designation of Provosts.


These occur in one deed as Philip super Petram and William Bolding. The latter will be another instance of a son's holding office in the lifetime of his father. Philip de Petra (so often Provost) occurs under various designations besides those just mentioned, viz. Philip Fitz Robert, Philip de la Pere (Pierre), and Philip de Stone.


are probably identical with-



The former is called in some deeds William Fitz Hamon. His father, Hamon, seems to have been still living at this second period of the son's office, which probably is of date 1259. A deed [300] attested by these Provosts covenants payment of a sum of money on Sept. 8, 43 Hen. III, and Nov. 1 following, in even portions, i.e. on Sept. 8 and Nov. 1, 1259. At that period Henry III was entering his 54th year of age, and it is presumed that his regnal years cannot have formed the basis of any very long anticipatory date.

[299] Rot. Pip. 86 Hen. III, Salop.
[300] Vide infra, p. 357.




My only authority for inserting them as Provosts at this period is, that in 1261, they appear on the Pipe Roll as accounting with the rest of their community (cum centeris burgensibus) for sale of the King's wines at Brug.



They were in office March, 1265, and so will have been at the head of their community at the time when it earned the acknowledgments of the Crown for its steady loyalty.



Whom I presume to have been fellow-Provosts at a time previous to August, 1267, when they were fined for some common offence. [301]


They attest a seven years' lease, commencing Feb. 2, 1270, [302] at which time I presume them to have been in office.



William Bolding is mentioned as Chief Bailiff (Capitalis Ballivus) at the Salop Assizes of October, 1272. His Colleague is not named on that occasion. It was probably Roger de la More, Junior, and I take them both to have lately entered upon office; for-


attest a deed, already set forth, which must have passed in September, 1273 [303] Roger de Mora, junior, and Wm. Bolding, Provosts, or Roger Fitz Roger de More and Wm. Bolding, further attest a number of deeds to which I assign the same date.

In November 1274, Roger Juvenis de la More was the subject of a complaint by the Nordley Jurors, alleging his undue exercise of authority as Bailiff of Brug. [304]

It is observable that neither he nor William Bolding officiated at the contemporary Borough Inquest as Jurors. Some of the matters of enquiry proposed on the occasion, touched the conduct of all such Magistrates, and could not have been answered by themselves with propriety.


Apparently these were in office in 1276.

[301] Placita, 51 Hen. III, Salop (Rot. Pip. 53 Hen. III).
[302] Blakeway MSS. The deed is illustrative of local peculiarities still observable.- Richard son of William de Peneris conveys to William Orped, the Fisherman, for 4s., his subterranean house, under the mount, towards Severn; to hold from the Purification of the Virgin 54 Hen. III for seven years; rendering 12d. for the first three years, the rest of the rent being already received (i.e. the four shillings first named).
[303] Supra, p. 216.
[304] Rot. Hund. ii, 103.



These were probably the same persons who had been together in office before, but one of them seems to have changed his designation, most likely by the intervening death of his father. Their present period of office may be dated by their attestation of a deed which must have passed in November 1277.


Their period of office has been already surmised as about 1280, and the authority given for placing them on the list. [305]






The deed which mentions them has been cited. [306]


were in office under that title October 6, 1292, when they served at Salop Assizes, with twelve Jurors of their Borough. [307]

They also attest, as Provosts, several deeds bearing dates of Jan. 19, 1293; Feb. 17, 1293; Feb. 25, 1294; and June 3, 1294. They will, therefore, have held joint office for at least two years, and, as I presume, from Michaelmas 1292 to Michaelmas 1294.

In the following year Andrew Bolding represented his Borough in another way, viz. as one of its first recorded members of Parliament. This Parliament was summoned to meet in November 1295. The Manucaptors of Andrew Bolding and Fremund de Erdinton (the Members) were Robert Tinctor, Robert Crowk, John Glydde, and Roger Bonamy.


They occur, as in office, August 15, 1295, and January 3, 1296; and were so probably for two years, viz. from Michaelmas 1294 to Michaelmas 1296.

In the first instance they are styled Bailiffs, and in the last Provosts.


held office, I think, for at least three years, viz. from Michaelmas 1297 to Michaelmas 1300. They are principal witnesses of a deed dated October 4, 1297, but are not styled Provosts therein. They attest, as Provosts, a deed of Nov. 25, 1298, and another which, being dated in 28 Ed. I, must have passed subsequently to Nov. 20, 1299. [309]

[305] Supra, p. 113.
[306] Supra, p. 114.
[307] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed. I, Salop.
[308] During this prepositure the Borough returned Roger Bonamy and Thomas de Isenham as Burgesses of the Parliament which was summoned, for May, 1298, to York. Their Manucaptors were John Glydde, Simon Dod, Roger de la More, and Andrew Bolding. (Parliamentary Writs, vol. i, p. 74).
[309] Blakeway MSS.



held office for two years, and occur in deeds of Sept. 30, 1300. March 4 and April 15, 1302. Roger Bonamy was with Richard Robert, returned as Burgess for the Parliament which was summoned to meet at Lincoln on Jan. 20, 1301. [310] Probably they had been originally returned to the Parliament which had summons to London for March 5, 1300. In either case we have a Burgess of Parliament identical with an acting Provost of the Borough.

For the Parliament which was summoned to London, for Sept. 29, 1303, and adjourned to October 14, these Provosts were both returned, [311] but at the same time seem to have quitted their municipal office for-


occur in deeds of August 10 and October 2, 1303, and Aug. 10, 1304. Their term of office will therefore have been from Michaelmas 1302 to Michaelmas, 1304.


occur as principal witnesses of a Borough Deed which passed July 2, 1306; and-


attest deeds of Oct. 3, 1306, and Aug. 28, 1307.



occur Dec. 20, 1308, March 16, 1309, Sept. 1, 1310.


occur Sept. 29, 1311.


occur Feb. 26, 1312.


occur June 18, 1313.


occur July 7, 1314.


occur Oct. 18, 1314, and May 21, 1315.


occur Nov. 9, Dec. 23, 1315, and Jan. 25, April 3, June 5, and Sept. 29, 1316.


occur Oct. 8, Nov. 28, 1316, and Apri1 24, May 2, 1317.

[310] Parliamentary Writs I, 98. Their Manucaptors were Alan Wade, of Brug, Robert de Swancote, John Glydde and Robert le Deystere.
[311] Ibidem,p. 126. Their Manocaptors were Nicholas le Rede, Nicholas Selymon, Stephen Pennynge and William Keukyn.



occur Feb. 10, July 11, 1318, and May 27, 1319.


occur July 19 and Aug, 2, 1321.


occur Oct. 16, 1321, and March 31, 1322.


occur April 23 and July 2, 1323.


occur April 14 and Sept. 29, 1324.


occur Nov. 30, 1324, and Jan. 7, May 4, 1325.


seem to have been in office on the accession of Edward III, Jan. 25, 1327.

I will continue a list of these Magistrates for those few years of Edward III's reign, during which they continued to be called Provosts:-


occur March 29, May 9, and June 30, 1327.


occur May 19, Sept. 11, 1328, and July 1, 1329.


occur Sept. 3, 1330.


occur March 26, July 8, and Sept. 22, 1331.


occur Nov. 3, Dec. 4, 1331, April 19, 1332, Oct. 30, 1333, and July 31, Sept. 15, 1334.


were in office Sept. 30, 1334.

These Officers thus begin to be called Bailiffs in private deeds of the 8th year of Edward III (1334), but their old style of " Provosts" is occasionally recurred to in subsequent years, viz. in 1339, 1340, and even in 1360.

The following list of BURGESSES OF PARLIAMENT returned by this Borough, during the reign of Edward II, should perhaps accompany that of the Provosts. It is merely an abstract of a list already printed. [312]

[312] Parliamentary Writs, vol. ii, Division I, p. clxvi, and Division II passim.



[For table, see pdf.]



Earl Robert's removal of the Borough and Castle of Quatford to Bridgnorth naturally led to the further transfer of the Collegiate Church, so richly endowed by his Father. The Parish Church of Quatford indeed remained; nor does the new Collegiate establishment appear to have originally combined any parochial cure: in fact it was built within the precincts of the Castle, a situation little consonant with any such responsibility. [313]

Not a vestige of the history of this Church, or Chapel, remains for the first half century after its removal from Quatford, nor can we expect any further discoveries as regards that period.

We have already seen that Earl Roger, endowing his Church of Quatford, granted to it, inter alia, a third of the tithes of Morville. It is also clear that the site of Bridgnorth must have been in the Domesday Parish of Morville, and so possibly this, the Earl's original grant of tithes, may have been apportioned on the subsequent Borough. Either in that way, or by some further grant of King Henry I, certain it is that, on the accession of Henry II, the Canons of Brug were entitled to a recognized composition or annual payment in lieu of the tithes of the King's demesne, which the Borough then was.

This sum, 10s. per annum, was paid to the Canons by the Sheriff, and, in turn, charged by him on the Crown in his account for the year ending Michaelmas, 1156. [314] It so continued to be paid and charged in each annual account of the Sheriff till the year 1176, when, in consequence of an arrangement before particularized, [315] the Burgesses were authorized to pay it, and to

[313] The Chapel of St. Michael, in Shrewsbury Castle, was in some respects a similar, though less richly endowed foundation than that of St. Mary Magdalene. The Historians of Shrewsbury (vol. ii, pp. 303, 417) seem to have held that a Parish was attached to the former from the earliest period. The evidence given hardly confirms such a view. I am however quite ignorant of the period when a district, with cure of souls, was first assigned to either Chapel. Certainly a petition of the Burgesses of Brug was presented to the Parliament of Winchester in 4 Ed. III (1330) praying that they might have the use of the King's Chapel as a Parish Church. This is a proof that no such use had been previously made of the Chapel, nor do I think that the petition had any effect even then.
[314] Rot. Pip. 2 Hen. II, Salop.
[315] Supra, p. 294. It should be observed that as long as the Sheriff paid this annuity he entered it under the title of " appointed alms", not "tithes".- " Et in elemosynis constitutis - Canonicis de Brug, x.s". This was rather with a view to convenient classification (the Sheriff being charged with payment of other Royal Alms) than to correctness. When the Burgesses begun to pay the annuity, in 1176, they always entered it under the title of "appointed tithes". "In decimis constitutis".


enter it as a set-off in their own current accounts with the Exchequer.

No further change in this respect was made during the period of our present inquiry.

The Church, thus recognised by Henry II, fifty years after its foundation, continued to enjoy all those privileges and immunities which attached to Royal Free Chapels. Some of these privileges have already been noticed under the respective lists of Prebendaries; others will now have to be detailed. The general constitution of the Church, with that one peculiarity which distinguished it from all other Royal Chapels, have been set forth in the words of John Bromton, [316] whose account needs neither addition nor correction on this head.

His statement as to the independent relations which existed between the Dean and Prebendaries is, however, confirmed by a verbal coincidence, too curious to be passed by; viz. that the Collegiate body is frequently described as consisting of six Prebendaries, i.e. The superiority of the Dean, a nominal one only, is as often forgotten as remembered.

About the year 1196 this Church, or rather its Dean, Simon, was involved in a contest with Wenlock Priory, as to the Advowson of Dudinton (Priors Ditton). This Advowson was no part of Earl Roger's original endowment of St. Mary Magdalene, and the grounds of the Dean's claim, which seems to have been the weaker of the two, are not stated. The composition which ensued left Ditton Church with the Priory, but the Dean and his successors were to receive an annual acknowledgment of two pieces of gold, at Michaelmas, from the Priory.
[317] This indefinite sum does not enable us to conjecture the strength of the claim which it represented.

At the Salop Assizes, Nov. 1221, the Jurors of the Borough and Hundred of Bruges returned the Church of Saint Mary of Brug,

[316] Supra, p. 107.
[317] Monasticon, vol. v, p. 74. Note 7. The deed of composition is translated, but not accurately. The Pope who appointed the Arbitrators was Celestine III (elected March 29, 1191, died Jan. 8, 1198). This, with other limits, implied by the name of the Arbitrators and Witnesses, gives within a year the date laid down in the text. If the two pieces of gold were two merks of gold, then the composition for the Dean's claim was considerable, viz. 13. 6.. 8d.


as of the King's gift, and that there were six Prebends therein, which six Clerks held, by gift of the King and his ancestors. [318]

A similar presentment at the Assizes of October, 1227, calls the Church, more correctly, that of St. Mary Magdalene of Bruges, and mentions six Prebends. [319]

17 Feb. 1228. The King's precept issued to the Sheriff of Salop commanding him to allow to this Chapel all tithes of the King's demesnes of Brug, in Fairs and Mills. [320]

13 Nov. 1234. The King, by Charter dated at Westminster, grants to his Canons of Brug, that they and their successors and their men, holding under them in their Prebends, shall be quit of all suits to the Courts of either County or Hundred. [321]

The general non-residence of the Prebendaries of Brug has been already presumed. It has also been suggested that no parochial jurisdiction [322] attached to the Collegiate Church. It may even be doubted whether Divine Service was regularly performed in the Chapel of the Castle, either by the Principals in turn, or by their deputies.

This will be inferred from the fact, that, in the fiscal year ending Michaelmas, 1239, King Henry III founded a New Chapel in his Castle of Bruges, appointing thereto a Chaplain who was to perform divine services and receive a salary of 50s. per annum for his maintenance.
[323] This salary was paid by the Sheriff for the year then ending, and, substantively, remained a charge on the annual accounts throughout the reign of Henry III.

The immunities claimed by the Church of St. Mary Magdalene extended to all the Churches and Chapels which belonged to its Prebendaries. Nay, these Churches were themselves called Free

[318] Assize Roll, 6 Hen. III, memb. 9 dorso.
[319] Testa de Nevill, p.64, being excerpted from an Assize Roll.
[320] Dodsworth, vol. 103. The tithe of fairs at this period will rather have been a tax on the Borough Revenues than on the King's Exchequer. The same may be said of the tithes of Pendeston Mill, which, a few months earlier, had been set to ferm to the Burgesses (supra, p. 303).
[321] Rot. Cart. 19 Hen. III, memb. 19.
[322] That is not in the Borough. Such of the Prebends as had Churches for their endowment had of course spiritual cures in the Parishes of those Churches.
[323] Rot. Pip. 23 Hen. III, Salop. This stipend though it appears as regularly paid upon the Pipe Rolls does not seem to have been of that permanent character which we should term an endowment, nor, as in the case of " constituted alms or tithes", was the Sheriff empowered to discharge it without special warrant, e.g. there is an order on the Liberate Roll of 55 Hen. III (memb. 2), to the Sheriff to pay " Nicholas, the Chaplain, ministering in the Chapel of the Castle his stipend of 50s. per annum".


Chapels of the King when their privileges were in question. This observation is grounded on the following documents, which, though they relate specially to the Church of Claverley, which was part of the endowment of the Deanery of Brug, touched matters which concerned the whole Collegiate body.

In Easter Term, 1241, in the Courts at Westminster, [324] Master Peter de Radenor, Official of the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield and Robert Chaplain of Pattingham were under summons to appear (on April 28th) and show, " wherefore, against prohibition of the Lord the King they had suspended the Church of Claverley, which is a Free Chapel of the Lord King, and had sequestrated the goods of the same Church, and had caused to be threshed the corn of Peter de Rivallis, Rector of the said Church (he was Dean of St. Mary Magdalene) for the purpose of levying a contribution for the Lord the Pope, to the grave prejudice of the Crown and dignity of the Lord the King".

The Defendants appeared not, and the Sheriff sent word that they had no lay fee by which they might be distrained to appear. So mandate issued to the Bishop, that he should have the parties at Westminster in one month of St. John Baptist &c.

Accordingly, on the day appointed (July 22), and in continuance of this cause, William de Norbury, Official of the Archdeacon of Stafford, and Elyas Dean of Brug, are stated to have appeared in Court, [325] to show wherefore they had suspended the Church of Claverley against the King's prohibition &c. William and Elyas made answer that they never had received the said prohibition. They were bound over to take their trial by Jury, Giles de Erdinton and William Wymer being their Sureties.

I cannot learn the issue of this prosecution, but it is quite evident that the King was at length roused by this, and perhaps some similar interferences with the rights of his Free Chapels, and petitioned the Pope (Innocent IV) on the subject.

The Pontiff was not inattentive to the remonstrances of "his beloved and devout Son". A Bull exists, dated at Lyons on July 21, 1245, wherein any " Ordinary, Delegate or Subdelegate is

[324] Placita apud Westm. Easter Term, 25 Hen. III, m. 28 dorso. This entry is printed in the Abbreviatio Placitorum, (p. 113), but under a wrong date.
[325] Ibidem, memb. 32 recto. The Defendant who is called Dean of Brug in this case must not be confused with the contemporary Dean of St. Mary Maglelene, whose name was Peter, and who was, if a party to the cause, Plaintiff. I take Elyas to have been that Rural Dean (probably of Trysul) within whose district Claverley had been assumed to lie.


prohibited from venturing to pronounce sentence of excommunication or interdict against the Royal Chapels, or the Oratories thereof (being in immediate subjection to the Roman Church), or the Canons, or their Servants, contrary to the tenor of privileges and indulgences of the Apostolick See; or to lay any burden on them, which has not usually been laid upon other exempt Churches, without such special mandate of the Apostolick See as shall make express mention of the measure to be taken. [326]

Another Bull, dated at Lyons, on July 27, following, is addressed to the Chancellor of Oxford, whom the Pontiff informs of a complaint which he had received from King Henry, viz, that " the Archdeacon of Stafford, although he has no jurisdiction, ordinary or delegated, over the Chapel of Bruges (which is the King's peculiar), yet attempts to extort Procurations therefrom, and to interdict it, and to suspend and excommunicate its Chaplains, to the prejudice and injury of the said King", who thereupon had " appealed to the hearing of the Pope". The Chancellor is to summon the parties, hear the cause, and decide it canonically and finally, enforcing his decree by ecclesiastical censure. [327]

The neglect which the Collegiate Church suffered at the hands of its Dignitaries, and that independance of their Dean and of each other, which probably was the chief cause of such neglect, are well illustrated by a Patent of 26 December, 1246.- King Henry, addressing the Canons of Bruges, orders them to render obedience to Peter de Rivallis (he was Dean) in the matter of remedying deficiencies in the decorations of their Chapel. [328]

In March, 1254, the Deans of the King's Chapels of Brug and Salop (St. Mary's) were commissioned by Letters Patent to assist Berard de Nimpha to collect certain monies, from those who had vowed the Crusade, for the use of the Earl of Cornwall. [329]

At the Inquisitions of 1255 the Borough Jurors made a detailed statement as to the value and incumbency of the " six Prebends of the King's Free Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene of Brug. [330]

At the Assizes of October, 1272, the Jurors made a statement as

[326] Rymer's Foedera, i, 261.
[327] Ibidem.
[328] Rot. Pat. 31 Hen. III.
[329] Rot. Pat. 38 Hen. III. The Cruce signati, or those who had vowed the Crusade, were permitted to compound the obligation by money payments, which were collected under Papal authority and allotted to those who proposed to fulfil their vows personally.
[330] Rot. Hund. ii, 59. I have classified the particulars under the accounts of the several Prebends, as also what was stated by the Stottesden Jurors on the same occasion.


to the King's Free Chapel in the Castle of Brug. The number of Prebends belonging thereto they said was five, but they went on to enumerate six, the first being " the Prebend of Claverley", which was in fact the Dean's Prebend. [331]

In 1281, the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield (Roger de Molend) having apparently asserted a right of jurisdiction over the Collegiate Churches of Stafford, Wolverhampton, St. Mary's Salop, and Tetenhall, was obliged to relinquish such claim in the case of St. Mary's.

The particulars of the treaty between the Bishop and that Collegiate Church may be seen elsewhere. [332] The independence of the Church was fully recognized, but the Bishop was, if he pleased, to hold ordinations therein. A similar or even more independent position was doubtless secured to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, for I do not find that the Bishops of Lichfield ever held ordinations there.

The taxation of 1291 values the Spiritualities of the Church of Bruges, and its members, at 54. 13s. 4d. This is given under the Deanery of Lappeley and Tresel in Coventry Diocese. [333] It probably contemplated the emoluments of the Dean chiefly.

At the Assizes of 1292, the Prebends were duly returned, as six in number, that of the Dean being called the Prebend of Lnddeston. [334]

At the same Assizes the Dean and Chapter stood summoned, to show by what warrant they claimed a right of holding pleas of the Crown, and having wayf in the Manor of Bruges. Not appearing, the Sheriff had orders to distrain them through all their lands &c., and to have their persons before the Justiciars who were to be is eyre at Lichfield in the Octaves of Hillary (Jan. 20, 1293). [335]

The Record preserves the results of many causes similarly adjourned to Lichfield, but the Crown prosecution of its own Free Chapel seems to have been abandoned. No notice of further proceedings appear on the Roll.

[331] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dorso.
[332] History of Shrewsbury, vol. p. 307.
[333] Pope Nic. Taxation, 243. Under the head of Temporalities in the Archdeaconry of Staffcrd, this Record gives also the Manor of Poshale, of 20. annual value, as appropriated to the Portioners of Bruges. A subsequent note of cancellation affects the importance of this entry which is to me wholly unintelligible (Taxation, p. 253).

Tanner quotes "The College" revenue as 82 merks, equal to 54. 13s. 4d., as in the text. (Notit. Monastica).
[334] Placita Coronae, 20 Ed. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[335] Placita de uo Warranto, pp. 636, 678.


The visit of Master Rigaud de Asserio to England, in 1317, affected the rights of several Royal Free Chapels, viz. St. Martin's le Grand (London), St. Peter's (Wolverhampton), and the Chapels of Stafford, Bruges, and St. Mary's (Salop).

Being Canon of Orleans, Auditor of the Palace, and Clerk of the Papal Chamber, he was deputed by Pope John XXII to enforce the neglected collection of the Peter Pence in England. [336] In so doing, he was to ignore all customs, privileges, and indulgencies whatever, the Pope decreeing the same to be of no avail.

The King (Edward II) interfered in defence of his Free Chapels above mentioned, and by Writ Close addressed to the Nuncio himself, and dated at Shene, 17 Feb. 1318, forbade him to enforce his exactions against those establishments. [337]

The " Inquisitions of the Ninths", taken in 1341, and with which we will conclude this subject, give incidentally one or two hints as to the ecclesiastical divisions which then existed within the Peculiar of Bridgnorth.

The Dean and Canons are specially stated to be exempt from the tax then assessed; and this exemption so far diminished the rateable value of each Parish or District wherein.the Chapter had lands.

The effect of this immunity on the assessments of Morville, Quatford, and Eardington, has been already shown or presumed. [338] Towns, instead of being rated to the value of the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, were more appropriately taxed at the ninth of the goods of their Burgesses. Thus while Shrewsbury was assessed at 56. 2s. 10d., the town of Brugge stood at 16. 10s. ld., a special valuation pro re nata, and not based on the inapplicable taxation of Pope Nicholas. The reasons why it was not rated higher were,- " because the townships of Romaley, Quat, Dudmaston, and Quatford, stood taxed under other valuation" (viz. that of the Parish Churches where they were),- " and because the King had taken out in wool, both in England and abroad, the contributions of several Burgesses". [339]

The King's demesne Manor of Claverley was also taxed on this

[336] He eventually came to be Bishop of Winchester (Consecrated 16 Nov. 1320. Died 12th April, 1323).
[337] Hist. Shrewsbury,vol. p. 309, where the King's writ is also given more at length. A Close Writ of 2 Ed. III (1328), is quoted by Tanner as to the exemption of this Chapel " from jurisdiction of the Ordinary", besides many documents of later date. (Vide Notitia Monastica, Shropshire).
[338] Supra, pp. 39, 116, 123.
[339] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 191.


occasion, and to the ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb, being an agricultural district. [340]

Its Church had not been separately valued to Pope Nicholas' Taxation, but some other previous estimate seems to have been used as a guide by the Commissioners. They assessed it at 12., and gave reasons why they had rated it so low. They said that " sixth part of the Borough of Bruggenorth belonged by ancient extent to the Church of Claverley". (By this they must have meant some income which the Dean derived from Quatford, or other property within the Borough Liberties, and which, though it increased the value of the said Dean's Church of Claverley, could not be taken to represent any means of the now taxed Parishioners.) They also said, that "the greater" (but unmentioned) "Church Taxation included items which had nothing to do with the ninth now levied, viz. Jurisdiction" (the Peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean I suppose), "glebe-land, offerings, tithe of hay, and other small tithes". They also said, that " a third of the present assessment, viz. 6 merks (4.) lay on a part of the parish which was in the County of Stafford". This, if I understand the clause rightly, alluded partly to Bobbington, but surely included lands which must since have been annexed to Shropshire. [341] The circumstance seems to have been of no import as regarded the tax, but the Commissioners, being appointed to the County of Salop only, probably thought it proper to particularize any deviation from the letter of their instructions.


A list of these Dignitaries will necessarily involve the succession of the Rectors of Claverley, which Church was a constant and prominent feature among the various endowments of the Deanery of Bridgnorth.

ALEXANDER, DEAN of BRUG, attests a Charter of Richard (Peche) Bishop of Coventry to Trentham Priory, which must have passed between 1161 and 1171. [342] He is probably the same with "Alexander de Bridgnorth", mentioned under date of 1182. [343]

[340] Inquis. Nonaram, p.194.
[341] A part of Bobbington still remains in Staffordshire, but far less than any presumable third of the Parishes of Claverley and Bobbington united.
[342] Harl. MSS. 3868, fo. 35.
[343] Monasticon, viii, 1463, quoting Hutton's and Willis' Lists. Of course the name " Bridgnorth " is an anticipatory translation of Brug. It can have stood on no original document.


SIMON, DEAN of BRUG, circa 1196, and his composition with Wenlock Priory about the Advowson of Ditton Priors, have already been mentioned. [344]

HUGO DE TANNAC, or TAUNEY, a Poitevin, was appointed to this Deanery 13 April, 1214. [345] King John, being then at La Mole (in Gascony), writes to the Bishop of Winchester, his Chief Justice and Viceroy, to say that he has granted 100 merks, in Church Revenues, to his beloved Clerk Hugh de Tanmac, brother of his faithful and beloved Geoffrey de Tannac. The Deanery of Brug is to be part of the grant, and the balance is to be made up, out of rents heretofore enjoyed by the Dean of York and Archdeacon of Winchester. The King avows his object in this grant. It is that the friends of the Presentee, "who are very necessary to the King in the parts of Poitou may be placed under obligation". A more formal presentation to the Deanery, dated at Partenay (in Poitou) on May 28 following, is addressed to the Viceroy, and calls the new Dean Hugh de Taunay. [346]

At the Salop Assizes, November, 1221, the Jurors of Claverley are represented by the minute-clerk as returning Hugh de " Pettem" for the Incumbent of Claverley Church. It was worth 30 merks per annum, and the said Hugh held it, they said, by gift of King John. [347] The Incumbent in question was doubtless the Dean presented by that monarch as above stated, but the Jurors describing him by his country, either mutilated the proper words, or were misunderstood by their Registrar. " Hugh le Peitevin" was the name they intended to return.

PETER DE RIVALLIS was appointed to the Deanery of the Chapel of Brug, by Letters Patent of Henry III, dated at Westminster, 8 May, 1223. The Chapter is addressed as to the presentation, and the Constable of Brug as to giving possession. [348]

On 18 August, 1223, the King's Letters Close direct Brian de Lisle to allow Peter de Rivallis 18 beams (fusta) out of Kinver Forest, which the King has given him to repair his house at Claverley. [349]

These two entries identify the Rectors of Claverley with the Deans of Brug most satisfactorily. The then holder of this joint preferment came to enjoy an uncommon degree of Court favour.

[344] Supra, p. 322.
[345] Rot. Pat., 15 John, memb. 2.
[346] Ibidem, 16 John, memb. 17.
[347] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 9 dorso.
[348] Rot. Pat. 7 Hen. III.
[349] Claus. i, 561.


On July 11, 1282, he had a grant of the custody (Shrievalty) of the Counties of Salop and Stafford for life, and also of the Counties of York, Berks. Gloces. Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Lancaste, Northumb. Essex, Herts. Lincoln, Norf. Suff. and Kent. [350] This extraordinary Patent did not operate for two years, even as regarded the two Counties granted for life, for on May 15, 1231, Robert de Haia, hitherto the Deputy of Peter de Rivallis, vas appointed Sheriff absolute. [351] This will be explained by what Matthew Paris tells us of this favourite of the Crown, and his fortunes. [352] And here I must not hesitate to give some lengthy extracts from that Chronicler. The career of this Dean of St. Mary Magdalene, is connected with great events and interests. His name is the chief feature of our list, and, not having held any other distinguished Church Preferment, it is not probable that his biography has been attempted elsewhere.-

Peter de Rivallis (or Orivallis) was a Poitevin by descent, ostensibly the Nephew, perhaps really the Son, of Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester, the all-powerful Minister, first of King John, and afterwards of Henry III. It was in 1232 that the Bishop's influence (growing greater by the fall of Hubert de Burgh) secured for his relative the appointment of " Treasurer of the Chamber" in the King's household. This office gave him the custody of all the Crown Escheats and Wardships, [353] and his success in replenishing the Royal Coffers was most unequivocal.

In the year 1233 Matthew Paris relates that the Bishop and Peter de Rivallis, with their Deputies (Stephen de Segrave and Robert Passelewe) possessed the sole confidence of the King, and whilst the Bishop disposed all the affairs of the kingdom to his own liking, the custody of the Royal Castles was bestowed on Peter de Rivallis.- This must be an allusion to the various Shrievalties which had been conferred on him in the previous year.

It was probably the ascendancy of Peter de Rivallis in Shropshire, which, in January,1234, drew upon that County the animosity of Richard Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. That nobleman, disgusted with the favour shown by Henry to " the Poitovins", as his Ministers were called, and by the treatment which he himself had experienced from the King, was then in open rebellion. Leaguing with Llewelin he laid waste the County to the very gates of Shrewsbury,

[350] Pat. 16 Hen. III.
[351] Pat. 18 Hen. III.
[352] Matth. Paris, passim, sub annis.
[353] Vide Rot. Fin. passim, sub annis 1232, 1233.


and, if we may credit Matthew Paris, burnt part of the town itself.

The same Chronicler tells us of a forged letter, by which the Bishop of Winchester and " his son, or relation, Peter de Rivallis", soon afterwards contrived to revenge themselves on the Earl Marshall. This letter, addressed to the Magnates of Ireland, and purporting to be sanctioned by the King, announced the forfeiture and proscription of the Earl in England, ordered his instant arrest, if he appeared in Ireland, and promised partition of his estates there, to those who would assist in his capture. Eleven members of the Poitovin government constituted themselves sureties for the King's fulfilment of this promise.

The Magnates of Ireland, not satisfied with the form of these instructions, sent messengers requiring the King's sealed-Charter on the subject. To meet their demands the Poitovins are actually said to have forged the required document, and to have affixed the the Great Seal without knowledge or consent of the King or his Chancellor. The plot succeeded. The Earl, hearing of the consequent invasion of his Irish possessions, crossed the Channel in February, 1234. Entrapped into a skirmish on the 1st of April, he maintained against fearful odds the dignity of his name and office, but fell, dangerously wounded, into the hands of his enemies. His captivity and sufferings, when at length his recovery seemed possible, were aggravated by every species of malice.-

The forged Charter, ordering his seizure and forfeiture, was paraded before his eyes.- His lands and Castles were peremptorily required of him.- He was threatened with lawful execution as a rebel taken in battle.- A surgical operation, used indeed at the period, but barbarous beyond expression, was applied to his wound without ostensible necessity. The Chirurgeon employed, wantonly and wilfully, increased its severity. The Earl was attacked with acute fever and died on the 16th day of his captivity (April 16, 1234). Thus, by the machination of the Poitovins, fell one who was reputed to be the " Flower of Chivalry in his day". [355]

Meanwhile, that is on Feb. 2, King Henry, in a conference at Westminster, had heard the grave remonstrances of his Bishops. His animosity against the Earl Marshal, the favour shown to

[354] Vide History of Shrewsbury, vol. i, p. 111, where it is probably enough suggested that only part of the suburbs, viz. Frankwell, was thus devastated.
[355] "Militiae flos temporum modernorum". M. Paris.


foreigners, and the increasing powers accorded to Peter de Rivallis (" whose seal was as necessary as that of the King, when any weighty business was in hand") were the chief matters of complaint.

A second conference, on April 9th, again confronted the King and his Prelates. The latter, now headed by Edmund, their recently consecrated Metropolitan, recapitulated the grievances which afflicted the whole kingdom: they even threatened the King with excommunication. In a few days the Bishop of Winchester had orders to quit the Court, and Peter de Rivallis to give up his Castles. The latter was also required to render account of all his treasury business, the King swearing (as the exulting Chronicler tells us), that, had it not been for his clerical office, he would have ordered his eyes to be put out. [356]

When Easter (April 23) was past, the King journeyed towards Gloucester. Resting a night at Woodstock, [357] news reached him of the death of the Earl Marshal in Ireland. The King's grief genuine or not, was unbounded in expression. At Gloucester he became reconciled with Hubert de Burgh and others, who had previously deserved or provoked the Royal displeasure. There, too, his anger against the Poitovins reached its height, on discovery of the forgery and fraud which had ended in the death of the Earl Marsha1. [358] The Poitovins and their accomplices were Murderers, and were immediately served with summonses to appear before the King on June 24 following, and then give account both of their management of the Royal Treasure and their misuse of the Royal Seal. The Bishop and Peter de Rivallis at once took asylum in Winchester Cathedral, Stephen de Seagrave and Robert Pasaeleire elsewhere.

An adjourned day was appointed for their trial, viz. July 14, at Westminster. Then and there they appeared, their safe conduct

[356] M. Paris, sub anno. It is evident that the political feeling of this Chronicler seriously compromises his accuracy. After this Council (of April 9th) he tells us that the King despatched the Archbishop and several Suffragans into Wales to treat with Lewellyn and the Earl Marshall; while he elsewhere shows us that the Earl had left Wales two months earlier, and was now dying in Ireland. The known date also (May 15) when Peter de Rivallis was deprived of the Shrievalty of Shropshire hardly tallies with such an explosion of Royal anger so long before as April 9th.
[357] The King was at Woodstock on May 9th (Rot. Pat.).
[358] This appears to have been on May 29, when also, at Gloucester, the Patent appointing Robert de Haya, Sheriff of Shropshire, was repeated. The first Patent (that of the 15th) bore date at Winchcumbe.


having meanwhile been guaranteed by the Archbishop and his Suffragans.

Peter de Rivallis was first put upon his defence. " He appeared before the King in a Clerical garb with the tonsure and broad crown, but with an anelace [359] hanging from his belt. He reverently saluted the King, who was sitting on the Bench with his Justiciars. The King, regarding him with a fierce glance, exclaimed, ' O Traitor, by thy iniquitous device I unwittingly affixed my seal to letters which betrayed the Earl Marshal; also by thy base counsel did I banish him and other born Englishmen (homines naturales) from the kingdom, and alienated their hearts and affections from my person. It was the false prompting of thee and thy accomplices which induced me to levy war upon those men, to my own irreparable loss and the disgrace of the kingdom; by which war I grievously threw away my own treasure and honour, and the lives of illustrious subjects.' The, King, moreover, required from him account of his treasure and the custodies of noble wards and escheats, with many other sources of revenue which belonged to the Crown".

"The accused denied none of the charges which were made against him, but falling on the earth before the King implored mercy in these words: ' My Lord King,' said he, I have been nurtured by you and made rich in temporal goods: ruin not the man of thy own creating; but at least grant me time to deliberate, so that I may render due account as to the things which you demand.' The King decided that the required deliberation should take place in the Tower. Peter remonstrated, saying that he was a Clerk and might not be imprisoned or given into custody of laymen. The King answered that the accused had ever demeaned himself as a layman, and as a layman he was now required to give account of his " Stewardship"; he should, however, be given into custody of the Archbishop if the latter would be responsible for the alleged exactions of the Minister. The Archbishop kept silence; so Peter was committed to the Tower, the King confiscating all his lay possessions, because, under his clerical habit he wore a breastplate and carried an anelace at his girdle, as became not a Clerk".

Peter remained two days in the Tower, and was then restored by the Archbishop to his asylum in Winchester Cathedral.

The trial of Stephen de Segrave resulted in his release, his main

[359] A large knife used indifferently at table, or as a dagger.


defence being the inculpation of Peter de Rivellis, as his Principal. The disgrace of neither lasted for more than two years, and their full restoration to Royal favour in June, 1236, makes the insincerity of Henry's conduct, at the time of their trial, only too apparent. The King had most probably acted a concerted part to free himself from the stigma of the Earl Marshall's death. The descendant of him, who, having instigated the murder of Becket, affected to abhor the deed, but only for a time repudiated its perpetrators,- the Grandson of Henry II seems to have inherited both the malice and the craft of his ancestor.

In 1249 Peter de Rivallis appears as joint Custos of the Great Seal during the temporary absence of the Chancellor from Court. [360]

At the Inquisition of 1265, the Jurors for the Borough of Brug returned his Prebend as involving the Church of Claverley, with its members of Bobiton, Burchton, and Quatford, and being of the annual value of 40 merks. [361] The more detailed presentments of the Jurors of Claverley, on the same subject, shall be given when we come to that Manor.

From November, 1256, to April, 1268, Peter de Rivallis appears in his old office of Treasurer of the King's Wardrobe; and the last which I have to say of him is in a Charter dated May 20, 1258, whereby the King grants him a piece of land in Winchester at a fee-farm rent of 2d. per annum. [362]

The time of his death I cannot determine, but on 18 Feb. 1265, a Patent is on the Rolls, whereby-

STEPHEN DE LONDON was presented to the Deanery of Brug. A second Patent, dated March 2, 1265, and addressed to the Constable, appoints--

WILLIAM DE MONTFORT to the same preferment. [363] The latter had already (by grant of Feb. 7) a Prebend in the Church. His name, and the period of these grants, sufficiently point out his connexion with Simon de Montfort, the then disposer of the Royal patronage and Keeper of the Royal person. The advantages which accrued to the relatives of that ardent patriot will not have been permanent. I cannot suppose that William de Montfort held the Deanery, thus conferred, after the event of August 4, 1256; but I find not the appointment of his Successor, who was Dean in September, 1266. This was-

MICHAEL DE PYRES. On the 20th of January, 1267, Laurence

[360] Rot. Pat. 33 Hen. III.
[361] Rot. Hund. ii, 59.
[362] Rot. Fin. 42 Hem. III, memb. 6.
[363] Rot. Pat. 49 Hen. III.


de Brok, as Attorney for the Crown, and Michael de Fynes, Dean of the Free Chapel of Brug, were Plaintiffs against Walter de Coggesheye, Philip de Mutton, and Thomas de Lutteleg, whom they accused of coming to Michael's house at Bobinton and seizing corn of 100s. value, which they found at Burton, and which was his property &c. The Defendants appeared not, and had made previous defaults. Walter being a Clerk, the Bishop of Chester was enjoined to cause his appearance on the quinzaine of Easter. The other Defendants had lands in Mutton and Lutley, whereby the Sheriff was to distrain them to appear at the same term. [364]

This cause was associated with another which was in progress at the time, some details of which shall be given here, though they might more properly appear under Bobington. It would seem that Walter de Cokesaye, the above Defendant, having been presented to Bobington Church by John Fitz Philip, was ejected by Michael de Fynes, who claimed the Advowson as a member of his Deanery. The corn, said to have been carried off, was probably the property of the rightful Incumbent, whoever that might be. Thus, while the Dean prosecuted Walter for trespass, Walter sued the Dean for ejectment. The latter suit came before the King himself at Shrewsbury, in August or September, 1267, and was adjourned for further hearing to Saturday, September 10th. [365]

On that day Walter did not appear, and was pronounced to be in contempt. [366] He was further summoned to appear before the King at Westminster on October 13th, to answer for the said contempt, and to hear sentence in the suit. Still he came not, so his manucaptors, Hugh de Bolinghale, William le Eyr, Robert de Mere, William Provost of Bobington, and Henry de Prestwood, were declared to be in misericordia, and the Sheriff was ordered to have their bodies in Court on February 3, 1268. [367]

On the same 13th of October, William de Gundeville, as Attorney for the King, and Michael de Fines, by his Attorney, appeared against Philip de Mutton, Walter de Cokesaye &c., in the plea of

[364] Placita coronae Rege. Westm. Hilary Term, 51 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto.
[365] Placita coronae Rege. Salop 51 Hen. III, memb. 4 recto.
[366] Though Walter made no appearance on the l0th of Sept. it would seem that John Fitz Philip, son of that John Fitz Philip who had presented him to Bobington, did. Thus arose a third suit between the Crown and the Lord of Bobington, the whole pleadings in which shall be given under Bobington.
[367] Placita apud Westm. Michaelmas Term, 51 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto. A summary is given in the Abbreviatio Placitorum, p. 161, but not such as to distinguish the successive moves in the suit.


trespass, [368] which thus appears to have been further adjourned from Easter Term previous. It would now seem that the non-appearance of Walter was attributable to the Bishop, whom thereupon the Sheriff was ordered to attach personally and have in Court on Feb. 3, 1268.

On February 3, however, Walter himself appeared in Court. The trespass with which he was charged was stated to have been committed on Friday, Sept. 3, 1266. He now denies the violence and injury &c. (in the usual form), and appeals to a Jury of the Country. The Sheriff is accordingly instructed to summon such Jury to appear before the King, in five weeks of Easter (circa May 13, 1268). [369]

The same day was given to William de Oundeville (the King's Attorney) and John Fitz Philip, in their cross-suit. [370]

On that day (May 13) a further adjournment took place, viz. to the quinzaine of the Holy Trinity, i. e. June 17, 1268. [371]

I find no record of what took place then; but a memorandum or Postscript added to the Roll of Michaelmas Term, 1267 (above cited) states what I take to have been the ultimate result of both suits.

On July 1, 1268, Michael de Fynes (as Prosecutor for the Crown) and John Fitz Philip came into Court, and John, by license of the said Court, rendered up seizin of the Advowson of Bobington, saving to himself his right, whenever he should again choose to stir in the cause. The Sheriff was hereupon ordered to give the King full seizin of the aforesaid Advowson.

At the Salop Assizes, October 1272, a new Dean of Brug had been appointed and was then in possession.-

MASTER BONETAS DE SAINT QUINTIN was returned by the Jurors of the Borough as holding the Prebend of Claverley, which was of 60 merks annual value [372] Pope Nicholas Taxation (1291) does not give the name of the then Dean of Brug, nor does it mention specifically his Church of Claverley or its value, but, under the Deanery of Lapley and Tresel, it values the Spiritualities of the Church of Brug at 54. 13s. 4d. [373] This, as I have before said, probably referred to the endowment of the chief Prebend or

[368] Ibidem, memb. 8 dorso. The Rolls of Easter Term 1267, which should contain the intermediate step in this cause, are lost.
[369] Placita coram Rege. Hilary Term, 52 Hen. III, memb. 13 recto.
[370] Ibidem, memb. 12 dorso.
[371] Placita coram Rege. Easter Term. 52 Hen. III, memb. 17.
[372] Salop Assizes, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dorso.
[373] Pop. Nic. Tax. p. 243.


Deanery. The same Taxation records a portion in the Church of Stottesden which belonged to the Dean of Brug, and was of 6s. 8d. annual value. [374] This reminds us of that third of the tithes of Stottesden which were granted to the Collegiate Church of Quatford in Earl Roger's foundation-charter. [375]

The non-mention of the Dean's name in Pope Nicholas' Taxation was probably owing to the death of Bonetas de Saint Quintin, at the period of that valuation. [376] Certainly his successor,-

WALTER DE LANGTON had been presented early in 1291, if not in December 1290. [377]

At the Salop Assizes of October, 1292, the Jurors of Brug presented Walter de Langton as holding one of the six Prebends of St. Mary Magdalene, viz. " that called Luddesdon". This was the Deanery, Luddesdon, a member of Claverley, being part of the endowment thereof. These Jurors valued the Prebend at 100 merks (66. 13s. 4d.) per annum. [378]

Walter de Langton being a Canon of Lichfield, was elected Bishop of that See 20 Feb. 1296, and consecrated 22 Dec. in the same year. He obtained a license to hold his Deanery in commendam, provided he could get a five years' dispensation from the Pope. [379] The latter seems to have been denied him, for on 8 April, 26 Edw. I (1298), the Sheriff of Shropshire had the King's mandate to induct-

AMAND DR SABAUDIA (SAVOY) to this Deanery.

WILLIAM DE SABAUDIA was appointed 20 June, 1300 (28 Edw. I), and on his resignation,-

PETER DE SABAUDIA had the appointment, dated 28 May, 1301 (29 Edw. I).

In 1 Edw. II (1307-8), the Prebend of Walton was granted to the then Dean, and in 2 Edw. II (1308-9), [380]-

ENGELARD DE WORLE was appointed to the Deanery.

[374] Ibidem, p.166.
[375] Supra, p. 109.
[376] He is the first Dean of Brug mentioned on Willis' List, (Mitred Abbies, vol ii, p. 190), and is said moreover to have died " about 1293"; but that date is not early enough.
[377] Rot. Pat. 19 Ed. I, memb. 25. Willis dates his presentation 20 Dec. 1293, where probably the error has arisen from a false calculation between the dominical and regnal years of the period.
[378] Placita Coronae 20 Edw. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[379] Willis, ut supra. His list is also my authority for the following appointments, except that the dominical year assigned by Willis is inconsistent in each case with the regnal year, which latter I presume him to quote correctly from the Rolls.
[380] Pat. 2 Ed. II, p. i, m. 20.


THOMAS DE EYTON seems to have been presented to this Deanery 19 Feb., 11 Ed. II (1318). [381] It was upon his presumed death in 1327, and the consequent presentation of-

HENRY DE HARLEY in the same year, that a contest arose about this preferments. [382] The result was the revocation of Harley's appointment and the reinstatement of-

THOMAS DE EYTON. On Sept. 19, 1334 (8 Ed. III)-

THOMAS TALBOT, CLERK, was presented to the Deanery. [383]

The remaining Deans, whose names I take from a collation of second authorities, [384] were,-


WILLIAM DE WENLOK, 35 Ed. III (1361-2).

THOMAS DE BRANTYNGHAM, 12 July, 43 Ed. III (1369).

HENRY DE WAKEFIELD, 25 April, 44 Ed. III (1370): but his appointment was revoked, and-

ROGER DE OFFLEY [385] appointed, 30 May, 1370.

THOMAS SPARKFORD, 15 Sept. 16 Ric. II (1392).

JOHN DOOR occurs 10 Sept. 1395.

NICHOLAS SLAKE, 6 Aug. 2 Hen. IV (1401).

COLUMBINUS, Son of GEORGE DE DUNBAR, Earl of MARCH, 26 Feb. 4 Hen. IV (1403).

JOHN MARSHALL, 9 May, 11 Hen. IV (1410).

HENRY LEVER, [386] 1 Edw. IV (1461-2).

RICHARD MARTIN, 16 Oct. 16 Edw. IV (1476).

In 1535, under the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, and the Archdeaconry of Stafford, the following return appears. [387]-

THOMAS MAGNUS, Dean of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary Magdalene, holds the Prebend of Ludston, which is worth in glebe land, clear of deductions, 4. per annum. He also holds the Rectory of Claverley, which is worth in tithes, offerings &c. 36. per annum. His Deanery was therefore valued at 40. per annum.

[381] Monasticon, vol. viii, p. 1463, quoting Dr. Hutton's Collections in Bibl. Harl.
[382] The particulars are given by Mr. Dukes' (Antiquities, page 49). In several lists Thomas de Eyton is written as Thomas Knokyn, by mistake of some transcriber.
[383] Pat. 8 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 25. He had formerly held the Prebend of Alveley (vide supra, p. 122). A previous Patent (7 Ed. III, p. 2, m. 14) relates to Talbot's appointment to the Deanery, if an " Index of Presentations", at the Tower, be correct.
[384] Monasticon, vol. viii, p. 1463. Dukes' Appendix, p. xxxvi; Willis (ut supra); Tanner's Notitia (Introduction, xlv); and Blakeway's MSS.
[385] Written " Otery". (Monast).
[386] " Henry Sever, 1460", (Tanner).
[387] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, p. 199.


I have already noticed a Chantry founded in the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in time of King Edward I. [388]

I must refer elsewhere for particulars of the Revenues of this once great Collegiate establishment, after its dissolution in 1 Ed. VI (1547): [389] so also for a statement as to some life-pensions still payable, to certain survivors of the Chapter, in 1553. [390]

More consistently with the scope of the present work, I subjoin the names of one or two Prebendaries, whose stalls I have been unable to identify with any show of probability. They were,-

JOHN MANSEL, who, at his death in 1264, was seized of a Prebend here (perhaps Morville and Underdon). It is fitting to say who he was. Through a period of twenty-five years he was employed in various offices of honour and trust by King Henry III. He was his Envoy to the Emperor of Germany in 1238 in 1242, he accompanied the King abroad, and was made prisoner by the French at the battle of Xantoigne: he was Chancellor of England from Nov. 1246 to Oct. 1249: and Ambassador to the King of Castile in 1254. In July, 1262, he accompanied the King abroad, as Keeper of the Great Seal, and returned with him to England in December following. When, in 1263, the Queen left England, John Mansel, fearing the animosity and increasing power of the Barons' party,

[388] Supra, p. 114.
[389] Dukes Antiquities (ut supra), where the receipts of the whole Collegiate establishment are stated at 131. 19s. 3d.

A MS. in my possession (professing to be an extract from papers of the "Reverend Mr. Richard Cornes, Minister of the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, Bridgnorth ") gives a certificate of 20th Nov. (2 Edw. VI) 1548, relative to the value of this Church. The original, which seems to have been in the Court cf Augmentations and is possibly still preserved, is not rendered in any coherent or intelligible way. It may, however, suffice for the following facts:-

The gross annual value of the Church was 131 6 2
Thomas Magnus, Dean, had other preferment, and here 51 18 2
John Synger, Prebendary, had other preferment, and here 6 8 4
John Fisher, Prebendary, had other preferment, and here 6 0 0
John Leveson, Prebendary, had other preferment, and here 10 0 0
Hugh Coroner, Prebendary, had other preferment, and here 20 0 0
Hamelet King, Prebendary, had other preferment, and here 6 6 0
Stipends paid to diverse Curates 22 0 0
John Preen, Stipendiary 4 10 1
127. 2. 7.

We have thus a probable statement as to the latest Incumbents of the Deanery and five Prebends of St. Mary Magdalene.

This document (the result of at least a second transcription) is so manifestly incorrect that I will not quote it further.
[390] Willis (ut supra), where "a pension of 10. is stated to be still payable to Hugh Curren, or Curwen, Prebendary; another of 6. to John Leason, Incumbent, and another of 4. 10s. to John Penne, Incumbent". Each of these names is traceable in Mr. Cornes' List of 1548.


followed her, and shared her foreign exertions in behalf of the Royal interests, till his own death in 1264. His chief ecclesiastical preferments were the Chancellorship of St. Paul's, to which he was appointed in 1243, the Deanery of Wimbourn (a Royal Collegiate Church in Dorsetshire), the Prepositure of Beverley (Yorkshire), and the Treasurership of York. He was reputed to be the " richest Clerk in the world". He founded the two Priories of Bilsington and Rumney, in Kent. His death happening during the King's captivity, the Earl of Leicester presented Almaric de Montfort to the Treasurership of York.
[391] A similar use of the Great Seal on 7 Feb. 1265, appointed-

WILLIAM DE MONTFORT to the Prebend which John Mantel had held in the Church of Brug. [392] We have already shown the Deanery to have been conferred on this new Prebendary on the 2d of March following, and that his tenure of either will, under the circumstances of the appointments, have expired in a few months. [393] In 1295,-

WILLIAM, Son of WILLIAM DE BRUGES, was presented to a Prebend in this Church; [394] and in 1834-

ROBERT DE TARPON had a similar appointment. [395]


The Chantry founded in this Church by Richard Dammas, about 1294, has twice been spoken of. [396] It remained till the Dissolution, and in 1553, John Sanger, late the Incumbent thereof, was receiving a pension of 6. from the Crown. [397]


As late as the time of Henry VIII, when John Leland visited Bridgnorth, St. Leonard's remained the only Parish Church in the

[391] This appointment was expressly revoked by the King three days after the battle of Evesham, as one which he had made (among many) under coercion of his gaolers (Rot. Pat. 49 Hen. III, dated 7 Aug).
[392] Rot. Pat. 49 Hen. III.
[393] Supra, p. 334.
[394] Pat. 23 Edw. I, memb. 15.
[395] Pat. 8 Edw. III, p. 2, memb. 26.
[396] Supra, pp. 114, 339.
[397] Willis' Abbies, vol. ii, p. 193.
[398] There may be a doubt as to the Patron Saint of this Church. St. Leonard, Abbot of Noblac, whose anniversary was Nov. 6, is usually understood to be the Patron Saint of English Churches thus named. But a fair of four days, the first of which was to be "the feast of the Translation of St. Leonard", was voted to this town by Edward III, and seems to be but a slight alteration from the fair granted by Henry III, on the vigil, the day, and the morrow of St. Luke.

This fair, or its modern counterpart, is now held on Oct. 29th, but still called "Luke's fair", though St. Luke's day is on Oct. 18th. Now St. Luke's day brings us much nearer to Oct. 16th, the day of St. Leonard of Vandoeuvre, with whom also, alone of the two Saints in question, has any legend of the translation of relics been connected. I hardly need say that the Patron Saint of a Parish Church is often identical with the Saint on whose anniversary the principal fair of the said Parish is, or was, held.


Town. [399] It is hardly supposable that the Borough, even in its infancy, was without such an establishment. Though the site of Brug was comprehended in the great Saxon Parish of Morville, and though the Mother Church of Morville was, in the days of King Henry I, no mean structure, its proximity can hardly have been sufficient for the spiritual wants of a rising Borough. It is, moreover, probable in one case, and certain in the other, that Tasley and Oldbury, subject Chapels of Morville, and nearer to Brug than the Mother Church, were yet unfounded in the beginning of the reign of Henry I.

To that early period, as coeval with the foundation of the Borough, we may therefore reasonably assign the foundation of St. Leonard's; but, as yet, no architectural or documentary evidence occurs to strengthen this assumption.

The earliest written notice to which I can refer on this subject, is an undated deed, which, though it implies the pre-existence of the Church of St. Leonard's, cannot itself be positively ascribed to an older period than the middle of the thirteenth century.-

"Roger, Son of Richard Irish (Hybernensis) sells to Walter Palmer, for 6s., a rent of 6d, issuing from certain field-land without the Cemetery of St. Leonard, which land William Sholton held of the Vendor at said rent.- Witnesses: Elias Fitz William and William Aurifaber, Praetors of Brug, Hamo Palmer, Walter Aurifaber, John, Son of William de Cantreyn, Hugh de Eudon, John his Brother, and many others". [400]

At the Inquisitions of 1255, the Borough Jurors returned the Church of St. Leonard as being in the King's gift. [401]

The Taxation of 1291 does not mention this Church. An incidental notice of the year 1292 has already occurred. [402] This

[399] "There is but one Paroch Church in the Towne, a very fayre one and dedicated to St. Leonard". (Itinerary, vol. iv, part ii, fo. 182, a).
[400] Charter at Apley. Another deed attested by these Praetors is also witnessed by Reginald le Gaugy, who was murdered in 1250-1. We thus obtain the limit, as to date, assigned above.
[401] Rot. Hund. ii, 59.
[402] Supra, page 114.


obscurity of a large Parish Church, during two hundred years, may probably be attributed to the poverty of its endowment, a defect which was remedied in the fourteenth century, by the foundation of one or more Chantries here. The Founders of these Chantries were Burgesses of the Town, and the Revenues granted for their support were derived from Borough property.

I must be contented to give references, in a note, [403] to the principal documents which affected these foundations. It will be sufficient to state here, that, in 1535, the general Valuation of Ecclesiastical Property recognised only two Chantries in St. Leonard's Church, and took no notice whatever of any endowment as attaching to the Church itself.-

These Chantries are described as those of " St. Thomas and of St. Mary the Virgin".-

" William Swanwyke, Chaplain of the former, had lands and tenements granted in mortmain to his Chantry, lying within the Town of Bridgnorth and its Liberties (in the Archdeaconry of Stafford, and the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield), of the annual value of 3. 6s. 8d".

" Richard Preste, Chaplain of the Chantry of St. Mary the Virgin,

[403] Inquis. ad quod Domnum, 18 Edw. II, No. 131.- Reginald de la Legh,- his proposed Chantry.

Pat.18 Edw. II, p. 2, memb. 14.- License to Reginald de la Legh to found a Chantry in St. Leonard's Church and endow it with 1 messuage, 4 acres of land, and 50s. rent in Bruges.

Pat. 5 Edw. III, p. 3, memb. 8.- For the Chantry of St. Leonard of Bridgnorth.

Pat. 11 Edw. III. p. 2. memb. 4.- Lioense to William de la Hulle, confirming a previous license for endowment of three Chaplains here. (The particulars are more fully given in Mr. Dukes' Appendix, p. xxxvii)

Pat. 24 Edw. III, p. 2, memb. 22.- For a Chantry here.

Pat. 26 Edw. III, p. 2. memb. 19.- License to Peter de Bruges to grant lands of 40s. annual value to a Chaplain, to pray for his soul in the Chapel of St. Leonard and the Hospital of St. James in Bruges. (See Dukes' Appendix, p. xl.)

Inquis. and qood Domnum, 43 Edw. III, No. 27.- Jurors say that "in diminution of divine worship two parochial Chaplains are withdrawn, viz. one in the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene and another in the Church of St. Leonard".

Inquis. and quod Domnum, 44 Edw. III, No. 23.- William Selmon and others gave to three Chaplains 6 messuages and 18 acres of land in Bruggenorth to celebrate divine service daily in the Church of St. Leonard, for the souls of the Burgesses of the said Town &c.

Pat. 45 Edw. III. Recites the last and previous grants (Dukes' Appendix, p. xxxvii).

Pat. 12 Ric. p. 1, memb. 16.- Grant of 16 messuages, 6 acres of land, and 40s. rent to a Chantry in St, Leonard's.

Mr. Dukes, in his Antiquities (page 50) and Appendix (pp. xxxvii and xxxviii), quotes other and later decuments affecting these Chantries.


had lands and tenements similarly described, and of the annual value of 2. 14s. [404]

These Chantries were subsequently dissolved, and in 1553, William Swanewick, and Richard Knolles, Incumbents of a Chantry, or Chantries, in St. Leonard's, were in receipt of pensions of 5. each. [405]


This House, dedicated also to the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist, is reputed, on good evidence, to have been founded by Ralph le Strange, Lord of Alveley, in the time of Richard I.

Records, unconnected with this foundation, and which will be cited elsewhere, inform us of the illness and early death of Ralph le Strange, in 1195, while actively engaged in the King's service in Wales. Such circumstances, and the period at which they occurred (soon after the Crusade of Richard I), fitly associate themselves with the origin of this establishment, as declared by tradition.

Referring to other authorities for the constitution and objects of these houses in general, [406] and for many particulars of this, I will merely state those circumstances which further illustrate its history, and have not hitherto been brought together.

The Hospital, usually called St. John's, stood in the Low Town of Bridgnorth, within the angle formed by Mill Street and St. John's Street, east of the former and north of the latter, to which it, of course, communicated its name.

Thus placed, the house commanded every highway by which travellers could approach the Town from places lying Eastward of the Severn. In other words, the various roads, which, traversing or skirting the great Forest of Morf, from Pendleston Mill, from

[404] Valor Ecclesiasticus, iii, 199.
[405] Willis' Abbies, ii, 193.
[406] Tanner describes these Hospitals as "houses for the relief of poor and impotent people, incorporated by Royal Patents, and made capable of gifts and grants in succession".

"Besides the poor and impotent", says he, "there generally were in these Hospitals two or three Religious: one to be Master or Prior, and one or two to be Chaplains and Confessors; and these observed the rule of St. Austin, and probably subjected the poor and impotent to some religious restraints, as well as to the local statutes. Hospitals were originally designed for relief and entertainment of travellers upon the road and particularly of pilgrims, and therefore were generally built upon the road's side; but of later years they have always been founded for fixed inhabitants". (Preface to Notit. Monastica, p. xviii, Nasmith's edition.)


Worfield, from Claverley, or from Quatford, converged towards the Eastern end of the Bridge, will have first passed within sight of St. John's. This situation was doubtless relevant to the primary object of such a foundation, viz. the relief of travellers.

The road by which St. John's was approached from Quatford, on the South, was further called Spital (i.e. Hospital) Street; but it seems doubtful whether that name was derived from the Hospital under notice, or the Hospital of St. James, presently to be mentioned.

The earliest Royal recognition of the former bears date at Salop, 9 March, 1223,- when Henry III grants to the Brethren of the Hospital of St. John, of Brug, twelve cart loads of dry wood in Morf Forest. This precept is addressed to Hugh Fitz Robert (Forester of Shropshire) and tested by Hubert de Burgh. [407]

On Aug. 30, 1226, King Henry III, then at Bruges, commands the same Hugh Fitz Robert to allow the Master and Brethren of the Hospital of the Holy Trinity of Bruges to have three oak trees in Morf Forest for their fire, of the King's gift. [408]

At the Inquisition of 1255, in answer to a question as to the alienation of Serjeantries, or of any part thereof, the Jurors of Bruges said, that the Prior of the Hospital of Brug held half a virgate of Ralph de Eudinas (Ewdness), whose tenure was by Setjeantry. [409]

The Jurors of Nordley Regis and Alveley, on the same occasion, and in answer to an inquiry as to tenants of lands within those demesne Manors, said that the Hospital of the Holy Trinity of Brug held therein three and a half virgates of land, by Testament of Ralph le Strange. The Jurors knew not by what service the Hospital held this land, but they stated that the Priors had withdrawn all suit, from the local Manor-Court, to Brug. [410]

In 1274, the Jurors of the same two Manors reported the ancient alienation of 34 virgates in Alveley, by " Ralph, son of Guy le Strange, who granted the said land in free and perpetual almoigne to the Hospital of St. John, of Brug". [411]

In Oct. 1292, the Master of the Hospital of St. John was fated under writ of right, by the Crown, for this land, described as

[407] Claus. 7 Hen. III, memb. 16.
[408] Claus. 10 Hen. III, memb. 6.
[409] Rot. Hund. ii, 59. The Serjeantry and service of Ralph de Ewdness will belong more properly to the future account of that township, which was not in the Borough Liberties.
[410] Ibidem, p. 73.
[411] Ibidem, p. 102.


"3 virgates in Alvitheleye". [412] The King's Attorney set forth the Royal Title, as by descent from Henry II. The Master appeared in defence of his right " and in place of the King's Great Assize, put himself on a Jury of the Country, which should make recognition as to who had the better claim to the premises, he or the King". The Jurors found upon their oath, that " the Master had greater right to hold the land as he held it than the King to have it as he claimed it". Therefore the Court gave sentence for the Master, " saving to the King his right" &c.

It is thus observable that, during the first century after its foundation, this House was variously described as the Hospital of the Holy Trinity, or of St. John, and its chief officer indifferently called Master or Prior, facts which will correct several misstatements on the subject.

I must refer to a note for further and fuller accounts of this establishment, or rather for such parts of other accounts as are free from error. [413]

[412] Placita de Quo Warranto, p. 674.
[413] See Dukes' Antiquities of Shropshire, pp. 50, 51, where a Seal of one of the Masters of this Hospital is engraved, and some, not irrelevant, documents quoted; but a second Seal and two of the documents, there given, have nothing to do with this house, but relate to the Society of Friars Minors, presently to be noticed, and whose house stood West of the Severn.

See also the Appendix to the same work (p. xxxviii) for many extracts relating to this Hospital as well as a list of its Masters. To the latter I can only add the name of one Prior of the thirteenth Century, viz. Symon, who has already (p. 113) occurred, as witness to a deed, about 1280.

See also New Monasticon, vol. vii, pp. 663, 664, where however the document (Num. ii) refers to the Hospital of St. James, and where all the documents quoted from Tanner (in note q) as concerning St. John's Hospital, belong to the Collegiate Church of Saint Mary Magdalene. It is farther noticeable that the document, Num. i (wherein a Jury of Edward IV's time found John Talbot the then deceased Earl of Shrewsbury to have been lineal descendant and heir of Ralph le Strange, the Founder of this Hospital) however genuine itself, involves a gross error, and that the Pedigree by which those Jurors supported their finding was a false one.

A list of Records which are really given by Tanner, and by other authorities, in reference to this house may be useful. They are-

Inquis. ad quad Domnum, 10 Edw. II, No. 157. "Henr. Can pro Priore de Brugge". "Brugge. De terris et tenementis ibidem". (Calendar, page 253.)

Pat. 10 Edw. II, p. 2, m. 16. Pro terris in Quatford et Worfleld. (Tanner).

Inquis. ad quod Domnum, 17 Edw. II, No. 91. "Joh. Hubaud pro Hosp. Sanctae Trinitatis. Brugges et More. Messuag. et terrae". (Calendar, p. 273.)

Pat. 17 Edw. II, p. 2, m. 24. (Dukes' Antiquities, p. 50.)

Pat. 3 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 11. (Tanner.)

Inquis. ad quod Domnum, 8 Edw. III, (Dukes' Appendix, p. xxxviii.)

Pat. 9 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 25. (Tanner.)

Pat. 18 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 32. (Dukes' Appendix, ibidem.)

Pat. 19 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 19. (Dukes' Antiquities, p. 50.)


The Great Valuation of 1535 mentions this House in no other connexion than as a dependency of the Abbey of Lylleshall, which had long before obtained custody hereof. [414]

That Abbey therefore enumerates amongst its temporal possessions an annual income of 23. arising in Brigenorthe and Alveley. This large item probably included other revenue than that which had accrued with this Hospita1, [415] for the Abbey had a distinct property in Bridgnorth, hereafter to be noticed, and appears to have held several leases of lands at Bridgnorth and Alveley under the Monks of Shrewsbury, the Nuns of Brewood, the Chantry of St. Thomas (in St. Leonard's Church), the Lords of Oldbury and of Netherton (near Quatford), and under several Burgesses of Bridgnorth. Some of these leases held, or rather quit-rents payable, by the Abbey of Lilleshall, in 1535, may however have been originally concerns of the Hospital. It is impossible, in short, to distinguish in this Valuation what lands the Abbey held as its own, what it acquired with the Hospital, or what, after it obtained the Hospital, it may have purchased or leased, in addition.

Besides these quit-rents, the property of Lilleshall Abbey in this quarter was chargeable in other ways.-

An annual fee of 8s. 8d. was due for regard to the King's Forester of Morf:- Richard Horde, Seneschall of Bridgnorth and Alveley, had a salary of 1. per annum.- The Chaplain of the Chantry of Jesus, in Lichfield Cathedral, was in receipt of an annual pension of 6. 13s. 4d. which had originally been payable by the Hospital.- A similar pension the Abbey also paid to the Chaplain, who still performed divine service in the Hospital Church.-

Inquis. ad quad Domnum, 19 Edw. III, No. 11. (Calendar, p. 315.)

Pat. 24 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 22. (Dukes' Antiquities, p. 50.)

Pat. 43 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 9. (Dukes' Appendix, p. xxxviii.)

Pat. 45 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 9 vel 15. (Calendar, and Tanner.)

Pat. 5 Ric. II, p. 2, m. 31. " Pro mortuo bosco, prout in Carta 16 Hen. III". (Calendar, p. 206.)

Pat. 11 Edw. IV, p. 2, m. 16. "Custodia concesses Abbatim de Lilleshull". (Tanner).
[414] Valor Ecclesiasticus, iii, 197.
[415] The only notice by which I can identify the lecality of any original property of the Hospital, within the Town, is a deed whereby " Christiana and Isabella, daughters of William le Keo, sell to Walter Palmer, Burgess of Brug, their house in Kougate, saving a rent of 6d. per annum, payable to the Hospital of the Holy Trinity.- Witnesses William Palmer, William Lambert, Provosts, Hamo Palmer, Henry Coyntrel, William Wonder, Philip de Petra, Robert Tinctor, Richard Clerk". (Charter at Apley.)

" Cowgate" was the upper pert of the present "Cart-way".


Lastly, on the anniversary of Ralph le Strange, as Founder of this Hospital, the Abbot distributed a sum of 16s. 8d. to the poor.

The Grantee of this House, on the dissolution (in 30 Henry VIII), was Rowland Edwards, who had it with othes possessions of Lilieshall Abbey.


This Establishment belonged to a class essentially distinct from that of the Hospital of St. John above noticed, or of Hospitals in general.

The word Hospital, in its commonest modern acceptation, and the Latin word Hospitium convey a contrast of idea very similar.-

Sickness or disease are the prevailing notions involved in the former word, hospitality or shelter in the latter. So it was with these neighbouring and almost adjoining houses at Bridgnorth. While such societies as St. John's contemplated the relief of travellers, pilgrims, the poor, the aged, and the infirm in general, St. James's Leper House was intended only as a refuge for persons afflicted with formidable and perhaps contagious disease. In written documents, it is usually described as the Domus Leprosorum Sancti Jacobi, or as Maladria Sancti Jacobi, the latter term being the Latinized form for the French Maladrarie. [416] It stood East of the road which led from St. John's Hospital towards Quatford, and on the outside of the Town, a situation corresponding aptly with its design. Its Founders were probably the Community of the Borough of Brug, and such an establishment may well have been a part of the internal economy of the Town.

The origin or multiplication of these Lazarettos may perhaps be connected with a decree of the Eleventh General Council, which assembled in the Church of St. John Lateran, in March, 1179, under the auspices of Pope Alexander III.

The eleventh Canon, there promulgated, was entitled " De Leprosis", and ran as, follows: [417]-

[416] There seems to have been a Maledrerie near Bridgnorth of older date than that of St. James, being described in deeds as " Vetus Maladria". It lay on the Oldbury side of the Town, and abutted on two ditches or water-courses called "Reymund's ditch", and the " ditch towards Aldebur " (sichetum Reymundi et globetum versus Aldebur). (Charter at Apley Park).
[417] Chron. Gervas. Inter Decem Scriptores, p. 1450. The terms of this Canon and the language used in certain early Charters of these Leper-Houses would seem to indicate that the term "Leprosy" was applicable only to contagious disease or what was believed to be so. On the other hand it is well known that paralytic affections were classified under the same term " Leprosy" in the middle ages; and (whereas Paralysis can scarcely have been accounted infectious even then) it would appear that the term was used to denote severe disease in a much more general sense than modern notions can at once apprehend.

It is not improbable, I think, that, in a Monastic age, any chronic or incapacitating disorder may have been taken to suggest the necessity or propriety of the sufferer's abstinence from social intercourse; that those who, under compulsion, or voluntarily, adopted this theory, formed societies of themselves, and that they came to be called Lepers, because their separate mode of life associated their condition with that of those, whom the well-known Scriptural plague of Leprosy banished from society and united to one another.


" Whilst the Apostle enjoins that more abundant honour be rendered to the weaker members,' yet some men, on the contrary, seeking their own rather than Christ's, allow not Lepers (who cannot dwell with the healthy, nor attend Churches with other men) to possess Churches or Cemeteries, or to be holpen by ministry of their own Priest. Which thing being evidently quite opposed to Christian piety, we, in Apostolick kindness, ordain that, wherever so many be congregated under a common mode of life as may suffice to build themselves a Church or Cemetery, and enjoy the ministry of their own Priest, they shall be permitted to have such advantages without contradiction. Let them, however, take heed that they injure not the parochial rights of older Churches; for that which is granted to them for piety's sake, we will not to redound to the harm of another. And we further ordain that they be not compelled to give tithes of their gardens, or of the forage of their live-stock".

Many of the large Towns of England had establishments, thus indicated and encouraged, in the thirteenth century. The Leper House of St. James was certainly founded previously to 1224; for on 22 September, in that year, King Henry III, being then at Bruges, issued the following Certificate to Hugh Fitz Robert, Forester of Shropshire:- " Know, that for the reverence of God, and for the health of our soul, and the soul of the Lord King John, our Father, we have granted to the Leprous Brethren of the Hospital of St. James at Bruges, that they may have one horse, daily plying in our Forest of Morf, to collect dry stumps and dead wood for their fire, until we come of age". A similar Certificate was addressed to Hugh de Nevill, Justice of the Forest. [418]

[418] Claus. 8 Hen. III, memb. 4. This Charter was apparently renewed after the King was of age, viz. in 1232 (Calend. Rot. Cart. p. 49). At all events it was in force in Nov. 1271, when, at the Forest Assizes held at Salop, it is entered on the Roll, with similar Charters to other individuals or Communities. (Forest Rolls, Salop, No. vi, memb. 1.)


On 30 Aug. 1226, the Lepers of St. James obtained an order from King Henry III, for three oak-trees out of Morf Forest. The order is in similar terms with that granted on the same day to the Hospital of the Holy Trinity, as quoted above. [419]

The next document, which I shall quote in connexion with this House, is a very early Charter of the thirteenth Century, whereby this Society demises a cartilage of their land at an annual rent of 20d.
[420] The chief points noticeable in this Charter are, that the Society is constituted without any apparent Superior of its own body, that it acts under the guidance and with consent of the " good men of the Town", that its members are of both sexes, and that the entrance- fine paid by the Lessee is unusually small in comparison with the reserved rent,- showing that the object in view

[419] Claus. ii, p. 135, where the Grantees are printed as "Leprosi Sancti Johannia de Bruges". This is a mere mistake, and probably of the original rather than of Mr. Hardy's transcript. There was no such body at Bridgnorth as the Lepers of St. John, and the error possibly arose from the contemporary grant to the Hospital of the Holy Trinity, which was also a Hospital of St. John. It is curious, however, that an authoritative document should embody a confusion often made elsewhere.
[420] In possession of T.C. Whitmore, Esq., of Apley. As the earliest Charter which has occurred to me relating to property within the Borough, and as having a curious Seal of the House attached, I will transcribe it entire:-

" Universis Christi fidelibus ad quos presens Carta pervenerit, Fratres et Sorores Domus Dei et Beati Apostoli Jacobi et Leprosorum de Bruges, salutem in Domino. Noverit Universitas vestra nos cum consilio et assensu proborum hominum de Bruges dedisse at concessisse at hac presenti carta nostra confirmasse Roberto le Woler' quoddam curtilagium in eadem villa, illud videlicet quod jacet inter terram Philippi filii Ricardi et terram Ricardi de Porta. Tenendum de Deo et beato Jacobo et Fratribus et Sororibus in domo nostra commanentibus et succedentibus predicto Roberto et heredibus suis, in feudo et hereditate, libere et quiete, bene et in pace et honorific; pro sex denariis quos dedit nobis de introitu. Reddendo inde annuatim nobis et successoribus nostris viginti denarios, medietatem ad festum beatae Mariae in Martio et medietatem ad festum Sancti Michaelis, pro omni servitio et exactione. Concessimus siquidem predicto Roberto et heredibus suis dare vel vendere et omne velle suum de predicto curtilagio facere, salvo predicto redditu Deo et beate Jacobo et fratribus et sororibus in domo nostra succedentibus et ibidem Deo servientibus. Nos etiam at successores nostri predicto Roberto et heredibus suis predictum curtilagium pro predicto servitio warantizabimus. Hiis testibus. Ricardo filio Stephani et Willielmo filio Godewini tune Pretoribus, Willielmo Tinctore, Waltero Hybernensi, Rogero Wendac, Galfrido filio Stephani, Anketillo Clerico, Andrea fratre suo, Hamundo filio Walteri, Willielmo filio Thomae, et multis aliis".

The Deed is beautifully written. The Seal of green wax, fastened to the deed by a cord of red and white hemp curiously interwoven, shall be given in an Illustration. The Legend (in full) is " Sigillum Leprosorum Sancti Jacobi de Brugis".


was a continuous annual income, rather than a present advantage. On Oct. 14, 1259, King Henry III granted letters patent of protection for the Lepers of St. James of Bruges, for five years. [421]

The endowment of a Chaplain in 26 Edw. III (1352-3), whose duties were partly connected with the Church of this Hospital, has been already noticed. [422]

In 1535, this Hospital is valued as annually in receipt of 4 net income. It was, however, then governed by a Superior, who is called Prior. His name was William Beyste. [423]

I refer elsewhere for further particulars. [424]


This Order, called also the Order of Friars Minors, was introduced into England early in the thirteenth Century. Its members established themselves in many of our principal towns during the reign of Henry III. The English Province of the Order came to be divided into seven districts, called " Custodies", because a Custos or Keeper presided over all Convents within each such district.

The House at Bridgnorth, founded in the time of Henry III, and dedicated to Saint Francis, was one of the nine Monasteries which were subject to the Custody or Wardenship of Worcester. [425]

It lay to the West of the Severn, under the Church of St. Leonard's. Some adjoining vaults are still known as the " Friars'

[421] Pat. 43 Hen. III.
[422] Supra, p. 342, note 403.
[423] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, p. 199.
[424] Dukes' Antiquities, Appendix, p. xl, where some traditionary matter is given which relates to this foundation, as also some documents quoted, which show the fate of its possessions after the Dissolution. No reference is given to the authorities for the former, which seems to be curious. I would, however, point out the discrepancy which in the first instance attributes the foundation to King Henry I, then to William de Kenegate and others, and thirdly to Justice Freere and Henry Bourchier (second Earl of Essex of his name), who lived in the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII.

I am favoured by Hubert Smith, Esq., with an extract of a deed whereby, in June, 16 Edw. II (1323) William, Guardian of the House of Lepers of St. James of Brugge, grants a Tenement in Spittle Street, bounded on one side by the tenement of Alice and Helen, daughters of Richard de Boughton, some time Forester of Morfe. The Feoffee is to pay 12d. rent.
[425] New Monasticon, vol. viii, p. 1503 (quoting Stevens). The same authority states John, Earl of Shropshire (Shrewsbury) kinsman and heir of Ralph le Strange, the first Founder, to have been the reputed Founder (Patron, I suppose) of this House. Speed also (as quoted Monasticon, vol. viii, p. 1581), attributed this House of Grey Friars to John Earl of Shrewsbury, in time of Henry VI. Ralph le Strange however was, as I have already said, no ancestor of John Earl of Shrewsbury. He, Ralph, died when St. Francis (the Founder of this Rule) was not yet fourteen years of age, also fourteen years before St. Francis originated the Order, and twenty- four years before it was introduced into England. Ralph le Strange, therefore, was not the founder; and neither was John Earl of Shrewsbury, who flourished in the reign of Henry VI, or a century and a half after the time when I shall show this House to have been in existence. Similarly false allegations as to their foundership by the Dominican, Austin, and Franciscan Friars of Shrewsbury, are alluded to or exposed by the Historians of that town. (Vol. ii, pp. 445, 452, 460.)


Caves", and their Great Hall or Refectory is, or was lately, in tolerable condition. [426]

We have few accounts, and those both erroneous and contradictory, as to the origin of this House. If we attempt to associate such establishments with the names of specific Founders, we shall usually be in error. The sycophancy or ignorance of a later period has invented or believed the falsest tales about the origin of the various English Houses of Friars. The probability is, that the first members of these fraternities located themselves in our large Towns, under no specific or marked patronage, and worked their way onwards as best they could. In process of time, the name of some influential Founder, or Patron, was seen to be a kind of protection, and so adopted by each Society for itself.

Not knowing their Founders, the Franciscans extemporized them; and their new Patrons, the descendants of such alleged Founders, were perhaps not studious to expose the complimentary fraud. In the case of this House at Bridgnorth; which claimed John Earl of Shrewsbury for its Patron, as the descendant of Ralph de Strange, its alleged Founder, the idea was doubtless borrowed from a similar claim of the Brethren of St. John's Hospital, in the Low Town.

Such pretence of the Franciscans, though it involved a double falsehood, conveyed also a double compliment to their adopted Patron; for not only did it flatter John Talbot with a fictitious ancestry, but gave to such untrue Ancestor the merit of a foundation with which neither he nor his Descendants, real or imaginary, had anything to do.

Passing a statement which I cannot substantiate, [427] and which

[426] Dukes' Antiquities, Appendix, p. xli, where also some further documents connected with this House, and of dates 1333 and 1337, are given. The Seal of one of these is also engraved on page 60 of Mr. Dukes' book, whereby I perceive that these Franciscans called themselves occasionally Preachers (Predicatores). That title, however, has usually been assigned distinctively to the Dominican cr Black Friars.
[427] Dukes' Antiquities, p. 51, quoting the Assize Roll of 40 Hen. III; but I cannot find the entry on the Roll itself. This and another document quoted by Mr. Dukes, under the Hospital cf the Holy Trinity, belong, wherever derived from, to the House of Grey Friars.


alludes to the Friars Minors, as established in Bridgnorth earlier than 40 Henry III (1256), we find them here unquestionably within a year of that date.

At the Assizes of October, 1272, the Jurors of the Borough made the following presentment as to a purpresture on the King's demesne, [428] viz., that the Friars Minors (Fratres Minores) had, eight years back, enclosed the King's highway on the bank of the Severn; whereby the King was damaged yearly to the extent of half a merk.

" They also take", said the Jurors, " stones and rubbish from the bank of the Severn, and throw them into the River, whereby they have realized to themselves a piece of ground, 150 feet long and 50 feet wide, and this they have enclosed. By which process the (artificial) bank causes the water to pound upon (inundare) the King's mills, the damage whereunto is five merks per annum, and this was done 16 years back".

At this time, too (1272), the Friars had built their Church, for the same Jurors reported that a Prisoner, who had been imprisoned by Hugh de Acovere, the Sheriff (1255-6), "escaped to the Church of the Friars Minors, and abjured the realm".

There is no account of the Revenues of this House in the Valor of 1535; but it came into lay hands at the dissolution. I refer elsewhere for a statement as to its subsequent disposal in the reign of James I. [429]


Another, and still more humble, Establishment is associated with the religious history of this Town and its suburbs. The road which led hence towards Worfield, through Morf Forest, before it attains the summit of the hill which faces Bridgnorth on the East, passes under a cave, hewn out of the red sandstone rock of the district.

Here, if names and legends are to have due authority,- " Here sat solitary sanctity", for the spot is still called " The Hermitage"; and tradition says that a Brother of King Athelstan ended his days here in retirement from the world". [430]

[428] Placita Coronae, 56 Hen. III, memb. 49 dorso. Similar devices, for increasing their territory, by the Dominican Friars at Shrewsbury, are related (History of Shrewsbury, vol. ii, p. 446).
[429] It was granted to John Beaumont in 36 Henry VIII (1544). (Dukes' Appendix, p. xli). See also Dukes' Antiquities, p. 51.
[430] This tradition has some semblance of probability. King Edward the Elder had, by his three Wives, a numerous family. Malmsbury (De Gestis Regum, vol. p. 25. b) has been particular to record the names and destinies of fourteen children, of whom five were Sons; but of these five neither appears under circumstances which can identify him with our Hermit. Athelstan, the eldest, succeeded to Edward's throne; Ethelward, the second, known only for his love of literature, died soon after his Father, and was buried at Winchester. Edwin, the third, was banished the realm and drowned at sea under circumstances which affected the reputation of Athelstan, whose interest in getting rid of him was associated with a question as to his own legitimacy. Edmund and Edred, the fourth and fifth Sons of King Edward, successively came to the throne after the death of Athelstan.

Fear of a fate like Edwin's may possibly have influenced some sixth and unnamed Brother of Athelstan to embrace an eremitical life, or possibly his second Brother, Ethelward, may have been an Anchorite. Three of his Sisters were Nuns.


Be that as it may, we have it upon better evidence than tradition, that at a subsequent period an Eremitical cell existed in this place, that it was under the declared patronage of the Crown (probably as being situate in Morf Forest), and that the name by which it was known at this later period affords some corroboration to the story of its origin.

In the reign of Edward III, several successive Hermits occur on the Rolls, for they were ushered to their Cell with the same formalities, of Royal Seal and Patent, as introduced a Dean or Prebendary of St. Mary Magdalene to the Constable of Bridgnorth or to the Sheriff of the County.

On 2 Feb. 2 F,dw. III (1328), John Oxindon was presented by the King to the " Hermitage of Athewildston, near Bridgnorth". [431]

In 7 Edw. III (1333), Andrew Corbrigg was similarly presented to the " Hermitage of Adlaston, near Bridgnorth". [432]

In 9 Edw. III (1335), Edmund de la Mare was presented to the " Hermitage of Athelardeston". [433]

In 20 Edw. III (1346), Roger Burghton was presented to the " Hermitage above the high road, near Brugenorth". [434]

I have made no further extracts in continuation of this list, nor is it important to do so. The Reader must judge whether the Legend above cited, when coupled with these traces of the name Athelward, or Ethelward, [485] are sufficient grounds for identifying the first Hermit with that literate Brother of King Athelstan, who

[431] Pat. 2 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 33.
[432] Pat. 7 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 27.
[433] Pat. 9 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 26.
[434] Pat. 20 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 2.
[435] The etymology I presume to be Apelasber-rtan (the stone or rock of Athelard or Ethelward) rather than Apelasber-tun (the dwelling or enclosure of the same). In either case we have a caution as to accepting the modern termination too, as always significant of a town.


has been mentioned in the note. We may at least conclude that the Hermitage was of Saxon origin.

We have now to speak of some of the principal early tenures which existed within the Borough. We will commence with that which is usually called " the Fee of Little Brug", and was held of the Crown by petit serjeantry.


This suburb, sometimes also called Southbridge, consisted of two short streets, continuations of Hungary or St. Mary's Street, and of Whitburn or Raven Street.

These small streets, which lay outside St. Mary's and Whitburn gates, unite in a road, which, passing first to the North-west afterwards branches off towards Shrewsbury and Ludlow. Thus the angle formed by these streets (one of which is still called Little Bridge Street) and subtended by the town wall, will have been nearly identical with the " fee of Little Brug". [436]

In the early history of this suburb we have again to deal with a Legend, and one which at first seems beyond the reach of any secondary test or investigation.

The story is, that during the siege of Brug (by Henry I, in 1102) " Sir Ralph de Pitchford, one of the King's commanders, behaved himself so gallantly, that Henry granted him an estate in the neighbourhood, called the Little Brugge, to hold by the service of finding dry wood for the King's great chamber in the Castle as often as he should come there".

Of all the subjects with which an Antiquary can have to deal, that of ignoring a Legend is the most thankless and distasteful. At the same time we scarcely ever meet with one which can be accepted as true in all its particulars, and it is no unpleasant task, instead of rejecting the whole, to extract from these shadowy hints of the past that element of reality which must have been the foundation of

[436] I give the Legend in the words of Grose (Antiquities of England and Wales, vol. v, p. 8), which are nearly those of Camden (Gough's Edition, vol. ii, p. 896o). The points whioh require further corroboration are that the first Grantee was Ralph de Pichford, and that he obtained it in the way stated.


every bona fide tradition. Equally gratifying is it to find some external illustration, which, however inadequate to prove the truth of a given Legend, may yet invest it with something of greater credibility than the unwritten memorial could independently command.

Thus it is with the Legend before us.- Ordericus [437] has related, that the three persons entrusted by Earl Robert de Belesme with the defence of Brug Castle were Roger son of Corbet, Robert de Novavilla, and Ulger the Hunter; that William Pantulf, who negotiated with them as to the surrender of the fortress was their kinsman, and that he promised them 100 librates of land, on behalf of the King, as a reward for such surrender.

Now, another, and totally distinct, transaction, of the next Century, shows a probability that there was a relationship between the family of Pichford and the descendants of Ulger the Hunter. [438]

Is it not then possible that the service rendered by Ralph de Pichford at this siege may have been of the same kind as Pantulf's, the exertion of some influence, with his presumed kinsman within the Castle, to procure its surrender?

Reserving a detailed account of the family of Pichford to a future occasion, I will here offer such extracts only as relate to its tenure of Little Brug.

A fragmentary Roll, in the Testa de Nevill, which appears to have been drawn up about 1212, and when Hugh de Pichford had lately been succeeded by a Son Ralph, tells us that the latter then held, in the Hundred of Brug, Little Brug with its appurtenances, by gift of King Henry, grandfather (avi) of King John, by service of finding dry wood, for the Chamber in the Castle of Brug, at the King's coming there. [439] The annual value of the tenure is stated at 39s.

At the Inquest on the death of Ralph de Pichford, held April 20, 1253, his tenure in capite here, by service of finding fuel (carbones), is said to involve a receipt of 33s. 2d. rent. [440]

[437] Libor. xi, p. 107.
[438] The representatives of each contested certain property in Lee Brockhirst under writ of " mort d'ancestre". Moreover it is nearly certain that this same family of Pichford was descended from a great Shropshire Feodary called in Domesday "Norman Venator", who also had a Brother " Roger Venator", and if Ulger Venator were akin to these Brothers, as his name would suggest, his relationship to Pichford becomes still more probable.
[439] Testa de Nevill, p. 56. It must be observed that this record does not rightly compute the relationship which King John bore to Henry I, who was his great-grandfather (proavus). The statement as to service is repeated in a contemporary Roll in the Red Book of the Exchequer (fo. cxxiii).
[440] Escheat, 37 Hen. III, No. 56.


At the Inquisition of 1255, the Jurors of the Borough, in answer to a question as to the various services due to the Castle, stated that " the Lord of Albrighton had to find fuel for the Castle in respect of his fee of Little Brug". [441] The then Lord of Albrighton was John de Pichford, Son of the last Ralph, and in minority.

In November 1274, the Jurors of the Liberty reported John de Pichford as holding a certain fee in capite within the said Liberty of Brug, but they knew not in what way, or by what warrant, or from what time he so held it. [442]

In the Inquisitions on the death of John de Pychford, held at Pychford and Albrighton, on April 13, and May 6, 1285, his tenure in capite at Albrighton is mentioned, [443] but that of Little Brug is either omitted, or another Inquisition, relating thereto, is lost.

At the Salop Assizes, October 1292, the Jurors of Brug exposed themselves to a penalty for not making a due report as to this Serjeantry. [444] It however appeared that " Ralph de Pichford had certain tenants in the vill of Bruges, of whom he received 30s. per annum, rendering one cart-load of fuel (carbonum) for the fire of the Castle, and one cart-load of hay for the wardrobe, as often as the King should happen to come to the Castle". The warranty of this tenure being non-apparent, the Sheriff was ordered to summon the Tenant: and " Ralph de Pichford came, and well acknowledged the aforesaid service, but said that the King had never passed through the parts of Brugge since the said tenements came into his (Ralph's) hands". The Jurors confirmed the statement. [445]

A few Deeds and other Documents relating to some under tenancies in this fee, should be quoted. By deed, sans date, but which passed before 1252:-

1. Henry, son of Adam Doresc, of Little Brug, grants to Agnes, Daughter of Walter le Palmer, 18 acres in Little Brug, in the fields of Brug, paying for him to Sir Ralph de Pichford a chief-rent of 1s. 6d., and to him a pair of gloves ofd. value, annually -

[441] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 59.
[442] Ibidem, vol. ii, p. 88.
[443] Escheat, 13 Edw. I, No. 14.
[444] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, memb. 37 dorso.
[445] A statement given by Mr. Dukes (Antiquities, p. 51), confuses the peculiar service due on Little Brug with other service in Wales. The latter I presume to have been due from the same family of Pichford in virtue of their tenure in capite at Albrighton.


Witnesses: Walter Aurifaber and Adam Lugain, then Provosts of Brug &c. [446]

2. Robert le Cuppare grants to Robert Tinctor, of Brug, for four merks, the lands in Little Brugia, where the Grange of the purchaser is erected, and lying between lands which the same purchaser bought from Roger de Cenobio (elsewhere called " De Abbacia"), and land which was Symon de Cenobio's. Rent to be 2d.- Witnesses: William Bonamy, John Tinctor (Provosts), Hamo Palmer, Walter Palmer, John de Castello, Henry Coyntrel, Philip de Petra, William Fitz Hamon (Palmer), Roger de la More &c. [447]

3. Walter Carpenter grants to Lecya, relict of Alan de Berham, for 20s., a messuage in Little Brug, which he bought from William Bonamy, bounded by land which Robert le Cohan held of Hamo Palmer, and by the King's Street &c.- Witnesses: Philip de Petra, William Bolding (Provosts), Robert le Cuppare, William le Becare, Robert Faber, Geoffrey Faber &c. [448]

4. Robert Fitz William Fitz Adam delivers to Walter Palmer, by way of pledge for 5 merks (less 8d.) which he owed him, a messuage in Whytebourne, lying between land of Henry Fitz Robert and land which Henry Textor held, and extending from the King's highway to the wall of the town. He also delivers the land in Little Brug which he had from John, his Brother, and which lay between his own (Robert's) land and the land of Robert le Coppare. And if he shall not have paid half his debt at the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, in the 43d year of Henry III (Sept. 8, 1259), and the other half at the Feast of All Saints (Nov. 1) next following, the said Walter shall have the lands in inheritance for ever, rendering to Roger Fitz Elote 12d. annually. And the Mortgagor will, in that case, warrant the premises as if sold for the aforesaid sum.- Witnesses: William Palmer and William Lambert, then Provosts, Hamo Palmer, Philip de Petra, William Bonamy, Hugh de Eudon, Roger de la More &c. [449]

5. Robert, son of Geoffrey Faber, of Little Brug, grants to Roger,

[446] Blakeway MSS. (apparently from Otley Charters).
[447] Charters at Apley Park.
[448] Ibidem.
[449] Charter at Apley Park. By a previous deed in the same collection John Fitz-William Fitz-Adam sells for 20s. (and reserving a rent of 1s.) to Walter Palmer, that moiety, which was coming to him by partition, of a house in the street called Wytebourne (described as to boundary like the above messuage, except that Henry Fitz- Robert is in this deed called Henry Fitz-Avice).- Witnesses: William Bonamy and Richard Fitz-Eve, Provosts, Hamund Palmer, William Palmer, Philip de Petra, Hugh de Eudon, Henry Fitz-Avice.


son of Roger de More, of Brug, for 20s., an acre in the fields of Brug, bounded by the Vendor's Curtilage in Little Brug &c. Rent d.- Witnesses: William de Kantreyn, John de Castello, Roger Hamund, Roger Bonamy, Richard de Petra, Andrew Bolding &c. [450]

A trial of " Mort d'ancestre" was to come before the King at Salop in August 1267. Richard Fitz Robert Fitz Philip sued Sibil, Isabel, Margery, and Alice, daughters of Robert de la Pere (Petra), for some small parcels of land in Little Brug. The Plaintiff withdrew the suit, but a subsequent composition of the matter ended in his remitting all claim. [451]

Between the withdrawal of the suit of "mort d'ancestre" and this final composition, another suit would seem to have been instituted under a writ of " novel disseizin". This came on at the same Assizes The question was whether Sibil de la Stone (de la Pere), Philip and William, her Sons, William de Huggel and John de Aldebur (Husbands probably of two of Sibil's Sisters), had disseized Richard Fitz Robert of his tenement in Little Brug. The Defendants proved that Philip de la Stone bequeathed the premises to Emma his wife, for her life, with remainder to Isabel, Alice, Margery, and Sibil, his heirs. The Plaintiff was non-suited. [452]


This was also in Little Brug, but to introduce it circumstantially I must first notice a very ancient Deed, whereby Richard de Picheforte (who was deceased in 1176) gave, before the year 1172, to Haghmon Abbey, for the health of his soul and with consent of Hugh his heir, the Mill of Pichefort, and half a virgate of land there.- Witnesses: Gilbert, Prior of Buildwas; Adam, a Monk, Brother of the Abbot; Nicholas Brother of the Grantor; Engelard; Andrew Priest of Biriton; Richard Chaplain of Salopesburi; Richard Fitz Odo de Ruttune. [453]

[450] Charter at Apley Park.
[451] Placita coram Rege, memb. 4 recto.
[452] Ibidem, memb. 7 dorso. This change in the plaintiff's mode of procedure, though not explained by anything on the face of the record, is illustrative of one of the special privileges claimed for the Borough of Brug, and before alluded to. The writ of "mort d'ancestre" was not current in Brug, and the plaintiff's original proceeding under such writ would have failed on that ground. He, therefore, chose the alternative - a writ of "novel disseizin". [453] Haghmon Chartulary at Sundorn (fo. 164) compared with Pope Alexander III's confirmation to Haghmon, dated May 14, 1172, and preserved in Harl. MSS. 3868, fo. 11.


Hugh de Pichford, Son and heir of Richard, and who, having had livery in 1176, died about 1211 or 1212, wishing I suppose to recover Pichford Mill, came to an agreement about the same with Richard, Abbot of Haghmon, whose term of office commenced after 1172, and ended before 1205. By this agreement Hugh gave to the Abbey, in exchange for Pichford Mill, certain lands at Little Brugia, held by Robert Palmer, William Fitz Oseline, Gilbert and Gerard, shoemakers, and Robert Furnerius.- Witnesses: Henry Malveisin, William Fitz Simon, Manculin, Gerin Burnel, Alan de Buldewas, Uger de Eton, Oliver his Brother, Geoffrey de la Beche, Unfrey de Bois, Nicholas Barbe.

I presume that it was to this tenure in Little Brug that the Jurors of 1255 referred, when they stated the Abbey of Haghmon to be in receipt of 40 pence annual rent within the Borough. [455]

Later, as I think, in the century, the Abbey acquired a rent of 2 shillings in the Low Town, under the will of Roger Fitz Osbert, of Ludlow. The Testator held altogether, property yielding 4s. 2d. annually, and John, son of William de Castello, was his tenant of the whole. [456]


I have already alluded to a source of annual revenue which, in the year 1167, arose to the Crown out of the Borough of Brug, and independently of the annual ferm. [457] It was probably from some purpresture, or occupation of a part of the Royal demesne, which had not been taken into account when the ferm of the Borough, or rent payable by the Sheriff, was settled. At Michaelmas, 1167, the Sheriff accounted 23s. 6d. as " the issues of the land of the Burgage of Brug". [458] In the next year the receipt is similarly described, but it was 26s. 6d., and is entered under the head of Purprestures. [459] In 1169, 24s. 7d. was thus received, and 26s. 8d. in 1170, and the same sum in every successive year till 1176 inclusive. [460]

At Michaelmas, 1177, the Sheriff accounted, under the head of purprestures and escheats, for " 20s. issues of land of the Borough of Brug, before the King gave it to Walter de Linley". [461] After

[454] Haghmon Chartulary at Sundorn, fo. 41, and Blakeway MSS.
[455] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 59.
[456] Haghmom Chartulary (ut supra).
[457] Supra, p. 292.
[458] Rot. Pip. 18 Hen. II, Salop.
[459] [460] [461] Rot. Pip. de eisdem


this the Sheriff ceases to account for any such item of Revenue. We infer that about July 1, 1177, King Henry II granted to Walter de Linley certain Crown-lands in the Borough of Brug which had previously yielded an annual revenue of 2 merks.

Before the end of the century, the whole or a great part [462] of this land had passed to a female, variously described as Sibil de Linley and Sibil de Brocton. What may have been her relationship to Walter de Linley I will not here conjecture, but her interest in Brocton arose under feoffment of Richard de Linley, who therefore may have succeeded Walter in this land at Brug, and transmitted the same to Sibil. She, in whatever way of succession, became doubly a tenant in capite of the Crown, and, as such, her marriage was in the King's gift.

Before Michaelmas, 1190, she fined with the King in a sum of 3 merks, "for license of marrying herself". [463] This license of course involved the privilege of remaining single, and such I imagine to have been Sibil's application thereof, for within nine years following she granted the whole of her lands in Brocton and in Brug to Lilleshall Abbey. She further bestowed her body for burial in that house.

This grant was included in King John's general confirmation to Lilleshall, dated 31 Aug. 1199. [464] It is also mentioned in the confirmation of Pope Honorius III (1216-1227), to that Abbey. [465]

Such were the circumstances under which the Canons of Lilleshall obtained their first interest within the Borough of Brug, an interest which in 1255 was represented by the receipt of 30 shillings annual rent. [466]

Their possessions here were greatly increased by their acquisition of the Hospital of St. John in the reign of Edward IV; [467] but the

[462] I use this qualification with reference to a previous statement (p. 115, note 49), from which it would appear that the Linley interests in or near Bridgnorth did not all centre in Sibil or devolve to Lilleshall.
[463] Rot. Pip. 2 Ric. 1, Salop, where she is called Sibil de Brocton.
[464] It is singular that the Charter of 31 Aug. 1199, as entered on the Rolls of King John's reign (Rot. Cart. p. 17), does not contain this item. But there must have been two Charters of the same date, one rather fuller than the other. The former is rehearsed and confirmed in an inspeximus of Richard II (Rot. Pat. 18 Ric. II, p. 1, memb. 7), and oontains Sibil de Linley's grant. King John's second Charter to Lilleshall, dated May 31, 1213, mentions the grant, but this is not the Charter inspected by Richard II. (Rot. Cart. R. Johannis, p. 192.).
[465] Harl. MSS. 3868, fo. 24. The Bull of Pope Honorius also confirms " a fishery which the Canons had in the River of the Town of Brug called Severn", but the Grantor of this is not mentioned.
[466] Rot. Hund. vol. p. 59.
[467] Supra p. 346.


Valor of 1535, before quoted with reference to the subject, leaves the two properties undistinguiwhed. [468] A quit-rent however of 13s. 4d. then payable by the Abbey to the Lord of Netherton (Quatford) seems to have been in probable connexion with their Linley tenure.


This House was favoured with the patronage, and perhaps occasionally with the presence of King John. [469] Among other things he granted to the Nuns a weir, called " Withlakeswere", in the River Severn, near to Brug.

About the year 1225, Alditha, Prioress of Brewode, and her Convent enfeoffed Henry Fitz Robert of Brug in one half of this weir, reserving an annual rent of 5s. [470] Cecilia, another Prioress, granted the other moiety to the same Feoffee, and at a similar rent. [470]

That the grants were nearly contemporary appears from same witnesses having attested each, viz. Sir Henry d'Aldithley, William Pantulf, and Walter de Hugford.

It would appear that the Abbey of Shrewsbury later in the 13th century acquired some tenant right in this Weir, for two deeds remain on the Chartulary, by one of which William de Brug, son of Richard the Fisherman, quit-claims to the Abbey, all right in the fishery called Withlakeswere.- Witnesses: Sir Albinus de la Rode, Andrew de Northley, Symon de Sabrina. [471]

The other deed is a grant to the same Abbey of all his right in the said Weir by John, Son of John Fisherman, of Brug.- Witnesses: William de Cantrey, Henry de Arnleg, William Bolding. [472]

The Inquisition of 1255 registers the Nuns of Brewood as in receipt of 6s. 8d. rent within this Borough, and their income appears like that of the Knights Templars and Hospitallers to have been unassessable to the King's Tallages. [473] Probably, also, it was

[468] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, p. 197.
[469] King John was at Brewood in April, 1200, January, 1206, and August, 1207. A Charter of his to the White Nuns of St. Leonard, dated Sept. 1, 1212, is extant (Rot. Cart. p. 187), but concerns other localities. The specific grant, quoted above, is not preserved on the Rolls.
[470] Salop Chartulary, No. 376.
[471] Ibidem, No. 143. William, Son of Richard le Pescur of Brug, occurs in 1256.
[472] Ibidem, No. 139. A deed at Apley dated 1265, is attested by the same three witnesses.
[473] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 59.


in this instance understated, for a few years later in the Century the Nuns appear in receipt of other income in the Borough quite unconnected with the Weir above-mentioned.

"Cecilia, formerly Daughter of Henry Fesun, in her maidenhood, grants to Nicolas, son of Walter Palmer, for 20s., a plot of land at the Standelf, [474] which she held of the Nuns of Brewode, of the tenement of Solton. [475]- It is bounded by the lands which Henry de Castro holds of the Lords of Glazeley, and lands of Roger Fitz Henry.- She grants it, together with the Grange, and with 2s. 6d. annual rent which the Purchaser is to receive from Curtilages of the same tenement, and pay over to the Nuns.- To hold of the said Cecilia from the Feast of St. Andrew, 6 Edward (Nov. 30, 1277), for 20 years, at a rent of 6d. If, at the end of that term, the purchase-money (20s.) be not repaid, the Mortgagee shall continue to hold the premises at the aforesaid rent, till it is so repaid.- Witnesses: Roger de Mora, William Bolding (Provosts), William de Cantreyn William Palmer, Roger Fitz Henry, Stephen Bolding, Henry de Castro, William Bonamy, Richard de Petra". [476]

The Valor of 1535, gives a rent of only 5 shillings as receivable by the Nuns of Brewood from lands in " Brigenorthe:" [477] but the Minister's Accounts at the Dissolution tell a different tale. They enumerate the following receipts in " Brignorth:"- Free Rents 3s., Rent of a Croft &c. 2s., Ferm of one tenement 6s., [478] making a total of 11 shillings.


An authentic and very curious account of the Templar's possessions throughout England, drawn up as early as the year 1185,

[474] A Standelf is a stone-quarry, a place in which to delve for stonew (History of Shrewsbury, vol. ii, p. 462); where however the writers are mistaken as to the probability of the word having been peculiar to Shrewsbury.
[475] A family named Sholton, or Sceltone, occurs in other deeds as holding land near St. Leonard's Church-yard (supra, p. 341) and in Astley Abbots.
[476] Charter at Apley Park. The situation of this land may be gathered from another deed in the same collection, whereby Jane, daughter of Walter Russel, grants to John Fernel, Chaplain, a curtilage outside the Postern gate, near the Cemetery of St. Leonard, lying between lands of Thomas Hichemon and the way towards Cantereyn and extending from the ditch under the town wall to the land of the White Nuns of Brewode. Rendering 12d. to the heirs of Henry Fesun and a Rose to the Grantor.- Witnessee: John Geffrey and Robert le Knyt Provosts, Stephen Bolding, &c.
[477] Valor Ecclesiasticous, vol. iii, p. 193.
[478] New Monasticon, vol. v, p. 731.


contains, under the Bailiwick of Warwick (which included Shropshire) the following entry:-" At Brugia half a certain mansion came to the hands of the Brethren, which used to render annually 2s". [479]

In 1255 the Templars possessed two houses here, of 5 shillings annual value, and they were not subject to the King's Tallages. Their Tenants were life-tenants, and would not scott with the Burgesses for the trade carried on in the said houses. [480] This, and, it may be added, the former immunity arose from the chartered privileges of this once powerful Order.


The existent Charters of this House do not, that I can find, give any information as to the way in which it acquired property in Brug.

In 1255, however, the Abbot is returned as receiving 12s. annual rent here. [481] This rent is in 1291 stated at 16s. [482]

About 1296, " Brother William, Abbot of Buldewas, as Executor of the will of Master Alan le Palmer of Brug, sells for 6 merks to William Selimon, son of Robert Tinctor, a house in High Street, which the deceased had left to the Abbot's disposal, to sell it, and employ the money in pious uses for the soul of the Testator.- To hold of the Lord of the fee atd. rent.- Witnesses: Roger de la More, John Glidde (Provosts) of Brug, William de Kantreyn, Nicholas Rondolf, Fremund de Erdinton, Robert Crouke, and others". [483]

The Conventual Seal remains attached to this deed.

In 1535 the rents receivable by the Abbot of Buildwas, in Ruley and Brigenorth, are returned at 13s. 6d.; [484] and the Minister's Accounts of the following year estimate the rents in Rowley at 8s., and in Brygenorthe at 5s. 6d. [484]

[479] MSS. Vol. formerly in custody of the Queen's Remembrancer, now at Carlton Ride. Extracts are given, New Monasticon, vol. vii, p. 821, numb. xxiv.
[480] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, pp. 59, 60.
[481] Rot. Hund. vol. i, p. 59.
[482] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 260.
[483] Charter at Apley Park.
[484] Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. iii, p. 191.
[485] Monasticon, vol. v, p. 361.


Other Religions Communities had property within the Borough in 1255, viz., the Priory of Wenlock, the Abbeys of Wigmore and Crokesden, and the Knights Hospitallers, their respective annual receipts on the same being 10s., 20s., 10s. and 8s. [486] I can give no further particulars of any of these possessions, except that the Abbot of Wigmore's fee (which might have been acquired during the ascendancy of the Mortimers in the Borough) is described as " terra Campell; " that it lay apparently in the direction of Oldbury, and that in the middle of the thirteenth century Walter Aurifaber was a tenant therein.

We will conclude our account of Bridgnorth with notices of one or two families distinguished in the history of the early Borough, and whose names occur under such circumstances as will best illustrate the state of manners and society at the period.


The family of greatest wealth and importance was undoubtedly that of Le Palmer, whose genealogy and branches I give chiefly on the authority of a number of deeds which relate to their interests in and about the Town.

One of the earliest members of this house seems to have been-

(a) ROBERT LE PALMER. I have no other notice of him than that which has been mentioned above, [487] where his tenancy in Little Brug was transferred by Hugh de Pichford to Haghmon Abbey. I cannot say that he was brother of Walter.

(b) AMILIA, his WIDOW, was a tenant in the High Street, when-

(c) AMILIA, their DAUGHTER, granted to John Vintner, a native of Warwick, her share of inheritance in the same street, for an entrance-fee of 2 merks and a rent of 3s.- Witnesses: William Hoel and Geoffrey, Chaplains; Henry Bacon and Roger Fitz William, Provosts; Alan Fitz Robert, Hamo Palmer, Roger Wondac, Philip

[486] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, 59.
[487] Supra, p. 359.


Fitz Richard, William Tinctor, William Fitz Godewin, Hugh Bacun. [488]

(d) WALTER LE PALMER, the undoubted Founder of two great families in the Borough, has occurred only in the year 1182, as before mentioned. [489]

(e) HAMO LE PALMER, alias HAMO FITZ WALTER. He has already occurred under the various dates of 1225, 1233, 1252, and 1256. [490]

On July 8, 1230, he was called upon to warrant half a messuage in Brug to Roger Chete, whom Alice, widow of Roger de Stircheleg, sued for the same as her dower. [491]

His alleged complicity in the crime of his Son Walter, and his non- appearance to answer the charge at the Salop Assizes of January, 1256, were subjects of two distinct fines. In the first instance, he had put in bail for his appearance, Philip de Petra being his surety in the sum of 20s. When however he did not appear, Walter, his Son, compounded the matter, by fine of 15 merks, which covered the bail, and released Hamo from all obligation to appear. The Abbot of Buildwas was surety for the latter fine. It was at the same time stated, that Hamo, who must have now been an old man, had fallen from his horse, and that it was not possible to carry him to the Assizes. [492]

How long he survived these events is a question, but it seems to be he, rather than his son Hamo, who attests a deed already quoted, and which must have passed in or shortly before 1259. [493]

He has already appeared as having served, at least thrice, as Provost of the Borough.

His house, in the High Street, was separated from that of his brother Walter, by an intervening messuage, which was sold by Robert Fitz Walter Frut to Robert Tinctor for 14 merks, a good sum at the time of the transaction, which must have been between the years 1251 and 1256. This deed, which is primarily attested

[488] Charters at Apley Park, which are also my vouchers for all deeds of the Borough, and statements grounded on such deeds, unless a distinct reference be given.
[489] Supra, p. 254.
[490] Supra, pp. 51, 256, 257, and 279.
[491] Placita apud Westminster. Trinity Term, 14 Hen. III, m. 14 dorso.
[492] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, m. 10 recto. The Pipe Roll of 40 Hen. III confuses these fines with others which were on Master Walter le Palmer's private account; e.g., he is said to have owed 16 merks for his own transgression, and 40 marks for replevying his Father's lands, which was the converse of the true account.
[493] Supra, p. 315.


by the Purchaser and Henry Coyntrel (as Provosts), has also for witnesses Hamo Palmer, Walter, brother of the said Hamo, Walter Aurifaber, John de Castello, William Bonami, William Bolding, and John Tinctor.

From this, as well as from his earlier appearance in life and earlier death, we presume Hamo de Palmer to have been the older of the two brothers.

He is a constant attendant in the Borough Court, and his attestations of deeds are numberless. Besides his property in High Street, his interests in Little Brug, and in the " fields towards Cantreyn", are incidentally mentioned.

(f) WALTER LE PALMER, brother of Hamo, is occasionally called " Walter Palmer, Burgess of Brug", and " Walter Fitz Walter"; each name, I presume, distinguishing him from his Nephew, the Clerk.

Of his innumerable attestations of Borough Deeds, and more personal transactions, I find none which I can suppose to be of earlier date than about 1235.

In Michaelmas Term, 1249, he is sued as tenant of a Mill at Dudmaston, by Sibil, widow of Peter de Dudemanston, who claimed a third of this and several other tenements as her dower. [494]

One of his leasehold transactions dates about 1250, and has been already referred to. [495]

At Michaelmas, 1254, he is charged on the Rolls as Walter le Palmer de Bruges, with an amercement of 20 merks, which had been inflicted by Justices of the Forest lately in eyre. It was for trespass with his hounds, and his Nephew, Master Walter le Palmer, was amerced in double the sum for a like offence. [496]

At the County Assizes, January, 1256, he stands first of the Borough Jurors, and seems to have been unimplicated in the disgraceful affairs which affected so many chief persons of the Town, and, amongst others, his own relations.

He occurs again as a Mortgagee, in or shortly before 1259, in a deed already cited. [497] He has also been above noticed under the year 1261. [498]

About March, 1265, he occurs as a Lessee of lands in Astley

[494] Placita apud Westm. 33 and 34 Hen. III, memb. 16 recto.
[495] Supra, p. 815.
[496] Rot. Pip. 38 Hen. III, Salop.
[497] Supra, p. 315.
[498] Supra, 316.


Abbots. The deed (an Indenture of two parts) is curious,-" I, Walter, son of Walter Gilbert, have made over (tradidi) to Walter Palmer of Brug 5 acres in the manor of Estley which Walter my Father acquired in frank marriage with Emma, my Mother;- for one Cloak of coarse cloth (pro uno pallio de Burello) which he gave on entry.- To hold from the feast of the Annunciation 49 Hen. III for 16 years.- Rendering annually 20d. at Brug". A clause of re-entry, in case of non-payment of the rent, is followed by clauses as to warranty and alternate sealing.- Witnesses: William Palmer, Henry de Arnleg, Provosts of Brug, William de Cantreyn, William Bonami, William Bolding, Roger Fitz Henry, Stephen Bolding. [499]

The Assize Roll of Sept. 1267, shows Walter, son of Walter le Palmer impleaded by Nicholas Fitz Richard Brun for disseizing him of two shops in Brug. The action failed. [500]

At the Assizes of October, 1272, both Walter le Palmer and Nicholas le Palmer, whom I suppose his son, were reported by the Borough Jurors as having sold wine "against the Assize". [501]

And this is the latest notice I find of him in any dated documents. As Purchaser, Lessee, or Mortgagee, of tenements in, or near, the Borough, he occurs in no fewer than 33 separate deeds. His property or interests lay in the fields of Brug generally, in the fields near St. Leonard's, the fields towards the "Old Maladrerie" and towards Oldbury and " Cantreyn"; in High Street, " Witeburne" Street, " Hungrey" Street, and " Cougate" Street, in the ground between the Castle and the River, in Little Brug, and in Astley Abbits. [502]

(g) Nicholas le Palmer, apparently son and heir of Walter last mentioned, has already occurred, as Nicholas Fitz Walter, in the year 1252, and therefore long before his Father's death. [503] He occurs also, both as a purchaser of land and a witness, in deeds, which, if I mistake not, past during his Father's lifetime.

[499] This deed is indorsed coevally, " Scriptum Walteri de Stocton". [500] Placita coram Rege, 51 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto. I presume Walter, son of Walter le Palmer, to be so called to distinguish him from his Nephew, and not that the Defendant in this suit was a younger son of the subject of this notice. That class of names which may be called "Patronymics" were especially used in the law courts.
[501] Placita Coronae, 56 Hen. III, memb. 50 dorso.
[502] A former account (pp. 314, 316) shows him twice in office as Provost.
[503] Supra, p. 257.


He has just been mentioned in conjunction with his Father in October, 1272.

In the Inquisitions of November, 1274, he stands sixth on the Borough Jury. [504] He is a frequent witness in 1277, and from thence till about 1283. In August, 1288, he was deceased, and his Son Edmund in possession of his estate.

He added considerably to his inheritance. He occurs as Purchaser or Mortgagee in 21 separate deeds, as Vendor, only in one. His interests are mentioned in various localities, besides those wherein his Father had been concerned, viz. in the fields towards Tasley, the fields towards the Hok, [505] and the fields on Severn-bank; in premises on the Castle Hill, and in others adjacent to the North- gate; in the Standelf (near St. Leonard's), and in Leceline (now Listley) Street.

(h) Of AGNES, daughter of Walter le Palmer, and presumed to have been Sister of Nicholas, I have only the notice already quoted, where she became a grantee in Little Brug,[506] somewhat earlier than the time (1252) when Nicholas (her Brother) first appears.

We now pass to the five sons of Hamo le Palmer, first cousins of Nicholas and Agnes. Of these-

(i) WILLIAM LE PALMER, often called William Fitz Hamon and William Hamund, was the eldest. He has already been mentioned as holding the office of Provost during his Father's lifetime, and indeed prior to the year 1251. [507] In a charter of 1250 or 1251 (also before alluded to) William Fitz Hamund appears as a landholder in the fields of Brug. [508] He has occurred already as 7th Juror on the Borough Inquest of 1255, as 5th Juror at the Assizes

[504] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 88.
[505] This and some other localities, mentioned in ancient deeds, may be curiously identified by an old Map of the Borough, a copy of which is in possession of Sidney Steadman Smith, Esq., of Bridgnorth, and has been my chief topographical guide while engaged with that neighbourhood. This Map (which appears to have been planned soon after the dissolution of Religious Houses) distinguishes a large tract of ground lying to the north of the road, which led from Whytburne-gate to Tasley, as the " Hooke Feilde". A tree standing in the centre of the said fleld is also indicated by the Map. This tree (probably an oak, and a well-known landmark) gave name, I presume, to the field; for Ak, Ake, Ock, and Hoc, are all old forms of the word now spelt oak.
[506] Supra, p. 356.
[507] Supra, p. 315.
[508] Ibidem.


of 1256, as Provost in 1259, as Visor of repairs to the King's house in 1260; [509] and all or most of these were in his Father's life- time. He was again Provost in 1265, 1st Juror for the Borough at the Assizes of 1272, 2d Juror on the Inquest of 1274, [510] and a frequent witness of Borough deeds in 1277. In or about the last-named year he grants to William Lambert a tenement in Mill-Street (in vico versus molendinum) bounded by lands of the Grantee and of William de Baggesovere, and extending from the King's Highway to the Severn.- Witnesses: Roger de la More and William Bolding, Provosts, William de Cantreyne, Emeric Tinctor, Henry de Arnleg, Robert le Knyght, William Kanne, [511] Roger Chete, Stephen Chete.

No certain mention of him has occurred as living at any subsequent date; but Alice, his widow, consents to a grant by William their son, about six years later, and which will be presently noticed.

The property of William Palmer, in and about Bridgnorth, seems to have lain in High Street and Mill Street, in the fields towards the " Old Maladrerie", in the neighbourhood of the Hospitals of St. John and St. James, and in Astley Abbots.

(k) HAMO, another Son of HAMO LE PALMER, also occurs during his Father's lifetime. He is mentioned as Hamo, son of Hamo de Brug, as negotiating some fine in 1251. [512] It must be he, rather than his Father, who officiated as 12th Juror at the Borough Inquest of 1255, [513] also certainly he, whom Roger, son of William le Berner, impleaded for disseizing the latter of a tenement in Brug, at the Assizes of January, 1256. [514] Homo came into Court to answer the charge, but was non-suited. This Homo has already occurred under dates of 1260, 1267-8, and 1272, when he was third of the Borough Jurors. [515] He also occurs, and generally as

[509] Supra, pp. 306 (bis), 315, and 257.
[510] Supra, pp. 316, 309, and 310.
[511] The first member, who has occurred to me, of a family afterwards well known in the Borough, and from which Cann-Hall in the Low Town derived its name. An oval seal, attached to tbis deed, bears the device of a "grey- hound". [512] Rot. Pip. 35 Hen. III, Salop, Nova Oblata.
[513] Supra, p. 306.
[514] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. HI, memb. recto. I mention the Defendant's attendance in Court, as it happens to distinguish him accurately from Hamo, senior, whose appearance, in any cause at the same Assizes, would have been inconsistent if not impossible.
[515] Supra, pp. 257, 258.


following William, his Brother, in deeds of 1276-1277, and as late as about 1283.

I find him possessed of lands in the fields of Brug, and a tenement under the Castle.

His Son, simply called Roger Fitz Hamon, or Roger Hamund, occurs in several deeds later in the Century, and in one, dated Feb. 25, 1294.

(l) MASTER WALTER LE PALMER, CLERK, was another son of Hamo le Palmer, Senior. He, too, appears in life, some time before his Father's decease. On April 30, 1250, a King's writ enjoins the Sheriff of Salop to recover and produce certain chattels of one Robert de Baudak, who had, " for larceny, abjured the realm". A silver drinking-cup, of 12 shillings value, is specified as in possession of Master Walter, Son of Hamo de Brug. [516]

In 1254 he had been amerced 40 merks by Justices of the Forest for trespass of his hounds. [517] In January, 1256, he appears, as before related, guilty of murder. [518] At the same time he was acquitted of disseizing Isabella le Caugi (Gaugi), Jane, Julia, and Florence, her Sisters, of a tenement in Brug, and the latter pronounced in misericordia; but they were pardoned any amercement as being under age. [519] Under the Manor of Church Stretton, at the same Assizes, Master Walter de Bruges is returned as offering 100s. fine, to be under plevin, his surety being the Abbot of Buildwas. [520] This was probably in connexion with his first-named offence. Again, at these Assizes, Edith, widow of William Turner, impleaded Master Walter de Briges, for a third part, of 30 acres, in Diddlebury, as her dower. Walter called Hugh de Beckbury to warranty. The latter came forward with such warranty, and proved that the Plaintiff's husband had been hung for felony at Coventry. This was fatal to her claim. [521]

On the whole, at Michaelmas, 1256, [522] Walter le Palmer is entered on the Pipe Roll as having owed 5. for his fine for plevin, 30 merks (balance of his amercement for trespass with hounds), 15 merks "for his fine for transgression" (really for compounding as to the

[516] Fines, vol. ii, p. 76.
[517] Rot. Pip. 38 Hen. III.
[518] Supra, page 51.
[519] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 1 dorso.
[520] Ibidem, Placita Coronae, memb. 4 dorso.
[521] Ibidem, memb. 8 dorso.
[522] Rot. Pip. 40 Hen. III, Salop.


non-appearance of his Father Hamo at the Assizes), and 40 merks " for having the lands and chattels of his Father" (really, for recovery of his own lands and chattels). The whole of these debts were paid, before the Sheriff closed the year's account at the Exchequer, the Abbots of Buildwas and Shrewsbury having been the Debtor's Sureties. His occurrence in 1260 has been already noticed.

In Easter Term, 1268, he acknowledges, in the law-courts at Westminster, a debt of 8 merks, as due from him to Jane, widow of Hugh de Beckbury. [524] The fine, levied on the same day, between the parties shows the said debt to have been for some land in Oldbury. It has already been set forth. [525]

Later in the century he occurs as purchasing various parcels of land in the Manor of Astley Abbots, from Adam, son of Matilda English (Anglicae).

In the troubled times of which we are speaking (1264-5), Master Walter le Palmer's political sympathies were not those of his family or native town. His previous antagonism with the law was of a kind which is found not unfrequently to generate sentiments of disloyalty.-

In the year 1266 or 1267, and before the famous "dictum de Kenilworth" was issued, Roger de Somery and Walter de St. Omer were commissioned, as Justiciars in the County of Salop, to settle amercements and fines on those whose lands had been granted away, or seized, by the Crown, because of the late disturbances. The business of these Justiciars in Shropshire was very trifling; indeed, the total disloyalty of the County may be measured by an arrear of amercements (viz. 17. 8s. 4d.) which the Sheriff collected, and accounted for at the Exchequer, after the said Justiciars left the district.

Master " Walter le Paumer" forestalled some prospective and undefined liabilities, in regard to his late conduct, by negotiating a composition with these Justiciars. He proffered a fine of 40s. " to have the good-will of the King", [526] and it was a prudent measure.-

The " dictum de Kenilworth", which proposed to classify and punish all the late treasonable practices, according to a fixed ratio, was meanwhile put into operation. Under its provisions, Nicholas

[523] Supra, p. 62.
[525] Supra, p. 134.
[524] Placita apud Westm. 47 Hen. III, 5 recto. [526] Rot. Pip. Hen. III, Salop (containing an account for two previous years).


de St. Martin, another Justiciar employed for the purpose, assessed Master Walter le Panmer of Bruges to a fine of 100s., being " a redemption of five years", for a messuage and half virgate in Oldbury, and for other small parcels of land. This amercement identifies Master Walter le Palmer as a rebel of the second class, [527] that is, as one who had taken open part with the late Earl of Leicester, at some time or other, though he had not, like one or two greater men, persisted in insolent defiance of the King after the battle of Evesham.

But the wily Clerk evaded the operation of the "dictum de Kenilworth" altogether. He pleaded his previous fine of 40s. as settling all his misdemeanours in question, and paid it. This plea was allowed too at the Exchequer, after reference to the " Roll of Amercements before William de St. Omer". [528]

Among Pleas summoned before the King, at Salop, in August, 1267, it appeared that the Prioress of the White Nuns of Brewood did not prosecute a suit of novel disseizin, which she had instituted against Master Walter le Paumer, of Brug. The Defendant had acknowledged that 18 pence annual rent was due from him to the said Prioress, which, I presume, involved the question at issue. [529]

On June 3, 1272, a fine was levied at Warwick, "between Master Walter de Brigge complainant (querentem), and Hugh de Eudon and Alice his wife, defendants (impedientes), of 5 acres in Brigge, whereof was plea of warranty. The Defendants acknowledged the right of the Complainant as of their own gift. To hold &c. at a rent of 2d. payable to themselves, and rendering services due to the Lord of the fee. For this Walter gave 8 merks. [530]

The lands of Master Walter le Palmer, in different localities in Brug, are mentioned in two deeds of the year 1277; and a third deed, which speaks of him as if deceased, will have passed within fifteen years of that date.

His possessions are mentioned as lying in the fields of Brug generally, in the fields towards Taswood , and towards the Hok, in Diddlebury, Oldbury, and Astley Abbots.

(m) His Brother, MASTER ALAN LE PALMER, has only occurred in

[527] Rebels of this class were amerced in a sum equal to a presumed five years' income of their land.
[528] Rot. Pip. ibidem.
[529] Placita coram. Rege, 51 Hen. III, memb. 5 dorso.
[530] Pedes Finium, 56 Hen. III, Salop. The fine is of course a composition of a flctitious suit, in fact nothing more than a legal conveyance of the premises.


two deeds, already alluded to or quoted. [531] In the first (of date about 1288) his Nephew, William, Son of William le Palmer, grants him for his love and service, and with consent of Alice, William's Mother, a messuage in High Street, at ad. rent. The second deed (of date about 1296) shows the Abbot of Buildwas, as Master Alan's Executor, selling the same messuage, as before stated.

(n) RICHARD, the last of the five sons of Hamo LE PALMER, occurs only in the year 1256, and under circumstances which will appear in our account of another family of the Borough.

(o) Of EDMUND LE PALMER, Son and Heir of Nicholas, I have little more to say than is involved in the pedigree already given, and in the respective lists of Provosts and Burgesses of Parliament, who officiated for the Borough. His property seems to have been in the same localities as that of his Father and Grandfather. I find him as a purchaser in eight different deeds, as exchanging in one, and as a Grantor in two. His house in the High Street is dignified by the name of " a Hall" (Aula Edmundi le Palmer).

I will not further transgress my general limits as to date, in relation to this family. A few particulars of other members thereof have already been given in the Pedigree and Lists just referred to.

I proceed to speak of another family with which some matters of local interest were connected,- viz. that of-


which undoubtedly took name from its residence in, or near to, the Castle.

I have cited under Quatford the two deeds which establish the greater part of the annexed pedigree. [532]

(a) Of WILLIAM DE CASTELLO, I can only say farther, that under the name of William Fitz Henry, he attests several deeds which passed in the Borough Court, and, as I think, during the second quarter of the 13th Century.

[531] Supra, pp. 370, 363.
[532] Supra, p. 113, notes 39, 40.


(b) JOHN DE CASTELLO, his eldest Son and Heir, was a person much more prominently concerned in local affairs. His earliest occurrence is perhaps his attestation, as John Fitz William, of a Borough deed, which passed during the Prepositure of Hugh de Eudon and Simon de Abbatia (called Praetors). [533]

He has already occurred as Visor of works in the Castle under the years 1250 and 1257; [534] he also sat as 4th Juror on the Borough Inquest of 1255. [535]

His appearance at the Assizes of January, 1256, will presently be particularized. His tenure in the Low Town, by transfer of the seigneury of which he became a tenant of Haughmond Abbey, has already been mentioned. [536]

On 6 March, 1258, Giles de Erdington is deputed to try a suit of novel disseizen, which Philip de Roulle and his wife had against John del Chastell, about a tenement in Bruges. [537]

This suit seems to have led to a final Concord, at Westminster, whereby, on July 8, 1259, " Philip de Roweley and Isabella, his wife, conceded, as of their own gift, to John de Chastel de Brugg and Alice, his wife, 19 acres in Nortleg (Nordley), Dunfowe, Brugg, and Aldebyre (Oldbury), whereof had been a plea of warranty.- To hold to John and Alice and their heirs, of Philip and Isabella and the heirs of Isabella, atd. rent, and services due to the chief lords. John gave for this a sore sparrow-hawk". [538]

At the Forest Assizes of February, 1262, John de Castello de Brug was pardoned an amercement which was chargeable on him for being with greyhounds, in the King's Forest, without warrant. [539]

At the Assizes of October, 1272, the Borough Jurors returned him as a seller of wine " against the Assize". [530]

He attests Borough deeds in 1278, and apparently in several subsequent years, but he was dead in 1294; for, by deed dated 8 June in that year, a reserved rent, chargeable on land in the " fields of Brug", is so reserved to the " heirs of John de Castro".

[533] He also, as John de Castello, attests a deed which conveyed land within the bailiwick of the Castle, and while Hamo le Palmer and Reginald le Gaugy were Provosts.
[534] Supra, p. 257.
[535] Supra, p. 306.
[536] Supra, p. 359.
[537] Pat. 42 Hen. III.
[538] Pedes finium, 43 Hen. III, Salop.
[539] Placita forestae, 46 Hen. III, memb. 6 recto.
[540] Placita Coronae, memb. 50 dorso.


(c) Of WILLIAM, Brother of John DE CASTELLO, something has been already stated. [541] As Brother of Alice le Gaugy, he will, however, occur presently under date of 1256.

(d) HENRY DE CASTRO, another Brother, attests, as such, with John de Castello a deed which passed before 1273. [542] He also attests deeds of 1277.

(e.f. g.) That which I have to say of a fourth Brother, ALAN DE CASTELLO, and of their Sister ALICE, first the wife, and then the widow, of REGINALD LE GAUGY, shall, as affording the chief points of interest in the story of this family, be told under one head.

Reginald le Gaugy, who had married Alice, sister of John de Castello, was a person of some property in the Borough. He had a house in the High Street, lands in the fields towards Oldbury and Tasley, and in the fields of Brug generally. Having served the office of Provost with Hamo le Palmer, he was murdered at Worfield, in the year 1250 or 1251, leaving a widow, a son, apparently of full age, and four daughters under age.

[541] Supra, p. 118, where the deed supposed to be "about 1221" should perhaps be put later.
[542] This deed is the flrst of three consecutive charters which involve some points of interest connected with former subjects. I therefore give extracts of the three.-

1. Robert Tedbald grants to Henry, Son of Wydo de Glaseley, for 10 marks purchase-money (in gersummam) all the land, tenement, and building in the till of Brug, which lay between the land of Elyas le Hunte and the land which was Richard Togesel's, and which extended from the King's Street to the land which said Richard Togesel held of the Brethren of the Lepers of St. James.- Rent 1d.- Witnesses: William Bonamy, Henry de Arnleg, Provosts; John de Castello, Henry his Brother, Emeric Tinctor, William Madok, Robert le Knyht, William Canne, &c.

2. Avelina widow of Robert Fitz Tedbald, for two merks, quits to the same Henry de Glaseley all right in the same premises, " which were given to her at the door of the Church of Tetenhale in frank marriage when she was espoused to said Robert".- Witnesses: Roger Fitz Roger de More and William Bolding, Provosts (which proves the date as about 1278), Emerio Tinctor, Henry de Arnleg, William Madok, Roger Chete, Elyas le Hunte. A subsequent deed by Henry de Glazeley will have transferred his interest to Nicholas Palmer, for, by indenture-

3. Nicholas Palmer leases (tradidi) to Richard, Son of Nicholas de Mose, his tenement between the house of Elyas le Hunte, and of Richard, Son of Richard Togesel, and extending from the King's Street to the land of said Richard Togesel. Rent 6s.; with a covenant as to waste and arrears of rent.- Witnesses: John Geffrey, Robert le Knit, Provosts; William de Kantreyn, John de Castello, William Bonamy, William Madok, Nicholas le Rus, &c.


In the course of the year 1251, Robert, son of the deceased, challenged (appellavit) Giles de Norfolk, a Clerk, and others with this murder. A precept issued from the courts at Westminster, on Nov. 2, 1251, ordering the Sheriff of the County to send this appeal before the King's Council, for further hearing. [543]

It would appear that this removal was at the instance of Alice le Gaugy, widow of the deceased, whom his Son Robert had included in his challenge as an accessory. From statements made by Alice to the Council, the challenge was declared null, and Robert pronounced in misericordia. [544] His amercement (half a merk) for a "false challenge" appears charged against him on the Pipe Roll of 1254.

But this apparent disposal of the whole question seems to have been by no means final.

On November 2, 1252, " Alice who was wife of Reginald de Gaugy gave the King 1 merk of gold (equal to 6. 13s. 4d. of the then currency) for having pardon as to the death of her husband, of which she was appealed. " She had paid the fine to Peter de Chaceporc and was quit. [546]

This fine elicited the following Royal Patent, dated at Sandeford, 7 November, 1252.-

" Henry d: g: &c. We have pardoned Alice, who was wife of Reginald le Gaugy, the suit of our peace, which pertaineth to us, for the death of the said Reginald, her husband, whereof she was under challenge.- So, however, as that she shall make peace with his friends (cum parentibus) and shall take her trial if any one shall choose to sue her".

When the Justices in Eyre visited Shrewsbury, in January, 1256, Alice le Gaugy was accordingly put again upon her trial, but she produced the King's Charter and was apparently acquitted of this charge, though (as we shall presently see) she was implicated in another. At the same Assizes (1256) the vill of Worfield was amerced 11 shillings for " not making pursuit", after the murder of Reginald le Gaugy. Also-

[543] Placita apud Westm., 36 Hen. III, memb. 32.
[544] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 12 dorso, where the whole of the proceedings in this case are detailed. I, therefore, give further references only where another document confirms or illustrates that recital.
[545] Rot. Pip. 38 Hen. III, Salop.
[546] Rot. Fin. 37 Hen. III, memb. 24.


Alicia de Amelicot, accused as accessory to the same murder, was declared "not guilty".

Also- Egidius (Giles) de Norfolk, parson of Burford, William de Bruges and John de Castello, were put upon their trial for the same crime. The two former, being Clerks, pleaded their privilege as such, and were delivered over to the Spiritual Power; the Jury having first pronounced them to have been Accessories (consentientes morti). John de Castello (Alice le Gaugy's Brother) came and took his trial, and was found " not guilty".

Furthermore, the Jurors of Brug recorded at these Assizes, that Alan Fitz William (another of the Brothers of Alice le Gaugy), having for some second offence been arrested and imprisoned in the Castle of Brug, had obtained a King's writ, whereby he was given in charge to twelve Sureties, who were bound to produce him before the King's Justices, when in eyre. Now (January, 1256) they produced him not. And so those Sureties (viz. Walter Aurifaber, William Bonami, Roger Lamberd, Robert Faber, Robert Tinctor, Nicholas le Porter, Nicholas le Sallowe, Almaric Tinctor, Stephen Knotte, William Fitz Richard le Pescur, Roger Feyrchild, and Richard Bacun) were pronounced in misericordia. Trial was, however, held on the absent Defendant. He (Alan Fitz William) was found to have been guilty of Reginald le Gaugy's murder, but it was also given in evidence that he had crossed the sea to Ireland, and was there dead, according to report.

The second offence for which Alan Fitz William should have taken his trial at these Assizes must now be detailed.

His Sister Alice le Gaugy, being herein also accused as an accomplice, her trial will better give the facts than any statement as to her absent or deceased Brother.

She was charged with having entertained (pro receptacione) Alan de Castello, her Brother, who was a Robber. " Alan", it was said, " left her house with the intention of committing the robbery in question. He murdered the Lady of Shustock (Warwicksh.) and then returned to the house of his Sister; so she was suspected of taking part. [547]

"Alice being hereupon asked in what way she chose to acquit herself of this charge, said that she dared not, and would not, put herself upon any Inquisition or Jury".-

So the Court ordered her back to prison.-

[547] Assizes at Salop, 40 Hen. III, memb. 10 recto.


However, while the Justices were apparently still at Shrewsbury, Alice came forward and offered a fine of 10 merks to have "a good Inquisition whether she were guilty of the entertainment of Alan her Brother, who had been attached for robbery at Schuttestok". [548]

" And 12 Jurors of the Hundred of Munslow with 12 of the Hundred of Overes, said that Alice was 'not guilty,' but that this charge was made against her by instigation (per abbettum) of Richard, Son of Hamo Palmer, of Bruges, and his friends, by reason of certain strifes which had been between said Richard and William the Brother of Alice".

Further, at the same Assizes, " Roger Fitz Henry, of Brug, William de Gardino, Amaric Tinctor, and Henry Fitz Amice, accused of robbery and the entertainment of robbers, appeared to defend themselves and put themselves upon a Jury of the country, which pronounced them 'not guilty.'"

Also John le Teinturer fined 40s. "to be under plevin, because he was infirm and might not be carried".

These statements, together with those which have previously been made as to the family of Palmer, will show that at these Assizes (of January, 1256) every principal name in the Borough of Brug, was implicated in, or suspected of, some enormous crime. It is singular that Almaric le Teynturer (as Bailiff), William le Palmer, Henry Fitz Avice, and William Bonamy (as Jurors) served on the same occasion. [549]

The disorganization produced in a small town by such a general complicity in real or suspected guilt, and by such adversity of interests and natural affinities, cannot well be over-imagined.

But, to return to our immediate subject:- I suppose that at this period Robert, Son of Reginald le Gaugy, the accuser of his Mother (or Step Mother) Alice, was deceased, leaving Alice and her four daughters (now under age) the sole representatives of the family of Reginald.

We have already seen the same four daughters vainly impleading Master Walter le Palmer for " disseizing them of a tenement in Brug", and this at these very Assizes of January, 1256. [550]

[548] This fine is entered on the Sheriffs' Roll for the two years ending Michaelmas, 1259, as one of 10 marks, due, from Alice widow of Reginald le Gaugy, for "having an Inquisition under pledge of William Bonamy and John de Castro". (Rot. Pip. 43 Hen. III).
[549] Supra, p. 306.
[550] Supra, p. 371.


All that I shall further say on. the subject is, that 5 separate Charters still exist, whereby, at or about this period, Isabel, Jane, and Floria (Florence), three of the said daughters, sell several parcels of their lands to Walter Palmer, Burgess, of Brug; that Jane, in a sixth charter, sells a parcel of land to Roger Tinctor; and that Alice, their Mother, in four other charters, releases her claim of dower in the premises conveyed by her daughters' deeds, or else sells independently and on her own account. In one of the latter cases, and in the event of her non- ability to warrant a certain piece of land in the " fields of Brug" she vouches as a contingent security " the house which she had in High Street between the house of Hamo Palmer and Richard Bacun".

Her seal attached to one of these deeds proves her pedigree. The Legend is " S'Alisie fil Willi fil Henrici. [551]


[For pedigree, see pdf.]

The above genealogy, and a few facts connected with the same, seem to be worth insertion.-

[551] In the year ending Michaelmas, 1256, Alice de Gaugi had fined 40s. for some writ (Rot. Pip. 40 Hen. III, Salop); but it does not appear on what specific account.

One Alice de Gaugi, and Walter her Son, occur in Staffordshire, in April, 1269 (Fines, vol. ii, p. 486). If she be the same person as has been mentioned in the text, her Son Walter will probably have been by a second husband. The retention of the name of her first husband by his widow, after her second marriage, was no singularity, though not quite so common as that of her maiden name by a wife.


The Barbican which in the close of King John's reign was added to Bridgnorth Castle, interfered with the private rights of Alan Fitz Robert.

I have already quoted King Henry III's order for compensation of the said Alan, which issued, on July 4, 1221, to the Sheriff of the County. [552]

It would seem that the King's order was not at once attended to; for when, in November of the same year, the Justices ie eyre came to Shrewsbury, they issued a second precept, in similar terms, to the same Sheriff (the Earl of Chester). [553]

These same Assizes also interested Alan Fitz Robert in another way. Henry Harshonail sued him for a messuage in Brug. The Defendant requiring view threof, the cause was adjourned to the morrow of St. Hilary (Jan. 14, 1222), when the same Justices proposed to be at Warwick. On the said day, at Warwick, Alan Fitz Robert essoigned himself; and a further day was given; viz. the quinzaine of Easter, to both parties. [554] However, they seem to have settled the matter sooner; for by fine, at Warwick, dated the same day (Jan. 14) Ralph Horsnad, Plaintiff, remits his claim on a messuage in Bruges whereof was suit-at-law, to Alan Fitz Robert, tenant thereof, the latter paying 2 merks. [555]

This will show Alan Fitz Robert to have been possessed of other property within the Borough, besides that for which he was entitled to compensation. He was, in fact, largely concerned in the affairs of the Town, often in attendance at the Borough Court, and once he occurs in the office of Praetor, as before stated. [556]

In 1231, Alan Fitz Avice de Brug appears as Surety for the fine of William de Aldenham already noticed. [557] He was the same person with Alan Fitz Robert.

It does not appear when Alan obtained his promised compensation; but, at Michaelmas, 1232, the land which had been " Alan Fitz Avice's", before the Castle Gate, had been leased by the Crown to another for three years past. [558] Alan's equivalent was given him

[552] Supra, P. 255.
[553] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 7 recto.
[554] Warwick Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 1 recto.
[555] Pedes finium, 6 Hen. III, Salop.
[556] Supra, p. 313.
[557] Supra, p. 80.
[558] Rot. Pip. 16 Hen. III. The Crown Lessee of this land was Roger Fitz Robert of Hynestock, and his annual rent was, in 1232, 1 shilling. This Lessee was ancestor of another Borough family, that of Fairchild (usually written Veirchulde). Hence the Inquisition of November, 1274, states that Roger Veirchild held a certain messuage in Brug, in fee, of the Lord King in capite, rendering 12 pence annually at the Exchequer but the jurors knew not the time when the tenure originated. (Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 88.) The tenure was curious, the only one in the Borough whereupon a money-rent, payable by an individual, had been reserved by the Crown.


in Morf Forest; but in this same year (1232) he obtained a Royal Charter, which subjected his new acquisition to an annual rent of 1 shilling. Henry III's Charter is as follows:- " Henry, d. g. &c. Know ye that we have granted to Alan Fitz Robert, of Brug, and his heirs, that those eight acres, which we caused to be assigned to him in Warlagh-hay, in our Forest of Morf, in exchange of his houses and land, which he lost by reason of the barbican of our Castle of Brug, be for ever quit of regard, waste, and view of Foresters, Verderers, and of all our Servants. Rendering therefore per annum 12d. at our Exchequer, by hands of our Bailiffs of Brug, for all service &c. Given at Worcester, 5 June, in the 16th year of our reign. [559]

And this rent appears on the Pipe-Roll of Michaelmas, 1233, for the first time, as paid into the Exchequer. [560] So again in 1234 and 1235; [561] but the entry is then discontinued.

Alan Fitz Robert was succeeded by his Brother Henry,- called Fitz Robert or Fitz Avice indifferently.

On Nov. 12, 1240, a fine was levied at Salop between Robert, Clerk, Plaintiff, and Henry Fitz Robert, tenant, of 4 acres of land and 8 acres of wood in Bruges and Wurdefeud (Worfield) whereof was an assize of " mort d'ancestre". Henry acknowledged the right of Robert, whereon Robert, at request of Henry, conceded the premises to Roger, Son of Henry, who was to pay an annuity of 1 merk to Robert for life, and then to hold the same, in fee and inheritance, " of the chief Lords".

In 1249, Henry Fitz Robert is entered on the Pipe Roll as having paid the annual ferm of 12d. on 8 acres of land. [563] Again, in 1251, he discharges the same for the preceding and the current year, and continues the payment annually till the year 1255 inclusive, when the entry again ceases. [564]

As Henry Fitz Robert he appears fifth Juror on the Inquest of 1255, [565] and as Henry Fitz Avice sat as seventh Juror of the Borough

[559] Cartae Antiquae apud Turrim Lond. PP. 29, and Calend. Rot. Cartarum, p. 49.
[560] Rot. Pip. 17 Hen. III, Salop.
[561] Ibidem, 18, 19 Hen. III.
[562] Pedes finium, 25 Hen. III, Salop. This Robert, Clerk, may possibly be the same with Robert Fitz Avice of the pedigree, and so Brother of Henry Fitz Robert. If so, he was dead in 1251, having been possessed of some ground in High Street, of which, in 1273, Henry Fitz Roger was the owner.
[563] Rot. Pip. de eisdem annis, Salop.
[564] Ibidem.
[565] Rot. Hund. vol. ii, p. 59.


at the Assizes of 1256, [566] when also both he and his Son, Roger Fitz Henry, were acquitted of the charges of robbery, and entertainment of robbers, before recited. [567]

In 1259, Henry Fitz Robert is mentioned as a Tenant in Wyteburne Street, and this is the latest notice I have of him while living; for though the Pipe Roll of 1267 charges 12 years arrears of 12d. annual rent against the name of Henry Fitz Robert, [568] and the Roll of 1273 charges 18 years to the same person, [569] it is clear that he was dead, being spoken of, as " sometime tenant", in deeds of the period. The succession of his Son (in the absence of any payment on account of this annual ferm) was not recognised on the Pipe- Rolls. [670]

The latter, Roger Fitz Henry, occurs as a witness of Borough-deeds in 1265, 1273, and 1277, in which last year he was a holder of land near the Standelf, as appears by a deed already recited.wil

With him we dismiss the subject.

[566] Supra, p. 306.
[567] Supra, p. 380.- where he is written Henry Fitz Amice.
[568] Rot. Pip. 51 Hen. III, Salop.
[569] Rot. Pip. 1 Edw. I, Salop.
[570] Even where a recurrent debt, due to the Crown, was regularly paid, the later Pipe Rolls of Henry III's time are not always evidence that the person entered as paying such debt was alive. Many instances of the contrary occur. The only solution of this inconsistency seems to be, that the Clerk of the Pipe being well attentive to matters of revenue, and therefore looking chiefly to the due entry el each proper item, in some form or other, was contented to copy from former Rolls the names of several Accountants. This was particularly the case with Scutages, many of which are entered as having been paid by specific persons, years after their decease.
[571] Supra, p. 362.

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