Non omnia grandior setas
Quae fugiannis habet.





[See the pdf for the engravings.]

1. To face page 30. FONT, Cleobury North. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
2. To face page 35. CHANCEL, Burwarton. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
3. To face page 46. PISCINA, Chelmarsh. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
4. To face page 61. FONT, Sidbury. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
5. To face page 103. FONT, Claverley. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
6. To face page 116. WORFIELD CHURCH. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
7. To face page 145. PILLAR and CAPITAL, Alveley. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
8. To face page 145. CAPITAL, Alveley. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
9. To face page 185. FACSIMILE of Charter (Vide p. 185, n. 44).
10. To face page 248. WENLOCK PRIORY and PARISH CHURCH. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
11. To face page 248. WENLOCK PRIORY.- The Chapter House (as it stood A. D. 1793). Mrs. Stackhouse, Acton, del.
12. To face page 248. WENLOCK PRIORY.- South Side of Chapter House. Mrs. Stackhouse, Acton, del.
13. To face page 279. BARROW CHURCH. Rev. J. Brooke, del.


THIS place must be taken to have been originally the Town (tun) of some Saxon Kenbert (Cenbyrhc) of whom we have no other reminiscence.

Its Domesday state is described as follows:-

"The same Robert (Fitz Tetbald) holds Chenbritone (of the Earl): Aluric, Elmer, Uluuin, and Edmer held it (in Saxon times) for four Manors and were Free. Here are III hides geldable. In demesne are II ox-teams and (there are) IV Serfs and III Villains and III Boors and I Radman with one team-and-a-half amongst them all; and still there might be VIII more such teams here. There is a wood which will fatten 30 swine. In time of King Edward the Manor was worth 28s.; now it is worth 15s". (per annum). [1]

Of Robert Fitz Tetbald's further connection with Kemberton we know nothing more than that he granted the Tithes thereof to Shrewsbury Abbey. This has been already stated under Idsall, where I have also shown that Robert Fitz Tetbald was a much greater man in Sussex than in Shropshire, and that his Fief in the former County consisted of the Honour of Petworth,-an integral portion of the greater Honour of Arundel.

When and why Robert Fitz Tetbald's possessions reverted to the Crown is not precisely known. Their redistribution to subjects began in time of Henry I, and was continued in Stephen's reign; but it is very remarkable with regard to his three Shropshire Manors that each of them was regranted in a way which associates them much more with the Earldom of Arundel and County of Sussex, than with the Earldom of Shrewsbury and County of Shropshire.

This fact has been rather suggested than established by our account of Idsall. Its fullest illustration will be furnished by our future notice of Woodcote, which, having been Robert Fitz

[1] Domesday, fo. 256, b. 2.


Tetbald's at Domesday, continued for ages a Member of the Honour of Petworth. What we know of Kemberton points also to the same conclusion, but with evidence hardly so complete.

I cannot hope to deal satisfactorily with this subject unless I state some principal facts connected with the descent of the Earldom of Arundel.

King Henry I held it, like the Earldom of Shrewsbury, till the day of his death. He held it, chiefly but not wholly, in demesne. Under him some unattainted Feoffees of the Norman Earls retained their Tenures. Others of the forfeited or lapsed estates the King bestowed on his own Favourites.

The Honour of Petworth had not yet been regranted to any subject, when the Earldom, of which it was a principal member, passed by the King's death to Adeliza de Lovain, his young and childless Widow, to whom the King had appointed it for dower.

She presently became the wife of William de Albini Pincerna, and he in her right became Earl of Arundel, Chichester, or Sussex, - for by each of those Titles is he described. [2]

William de Albini and his wife, between the years 1137 and 1154, concurred in granting the Honour of Petworth to Josceline de Lovain, Brother of the Queen Countess, an act which was confirmed by special Charter of Henry Duke of Normandy, and therefore confirmed between 1151 and 1154.

Josceline de Lovain, otherwise called "Josceline Frater Regime", or "Josceline the Castellan", further increased his fortunes by marrying Agnes, daughter and eventual Coheir of William de Perci. Their joint descendants, under the name of Perci, were heirs not only of the Barony of Perci, but continued to hold the Honour of Petworth under the successive Lords of Arundel.

Josceline de Louvain appears to have deceased during some part of the fiscal year which ended Michaelmas 1180. His heirs would seem to have been under age at the time, and for nine years afterwards, for the Honour of Petworth was in manu Regis for the whole ten years thus indicated. And this seizure to the Crown, be

[2] There is no presumption that either Stephen or the Empress gave to Earl William de Albini any formal grant of nobility, or investiture of this Earldom, though there is much probability that both acquiesced in his assumption of the Title. The decision which at a later period has declared this Earldom to be absolutely an Earldom by Tenure has been much questioned. The very fact of Albini's assuming the Title without creation is however a strong support of that decision. He became Earl by marrying Adeliza, and Adeliza was no otherwise Countess than by tenure of the Honour and Castle of Arundel.


it observed, was not because Petworth was a Tenure in capite, but because the Earldom and greater Honour, of which Petworth was a member, was, during the whole of the said period of ten years, and somewhat more, itself in the King's Custody. [3]

I must now return to the period of Domesday where I find Heriedeham to have been a member of the Sussex Fief of that Robert whom I have identified as Robert Fitz Tetbald Lord of the Honour of Petworth. [4]

This place, afterwards called Heringham, Helingham, or Hardham, is supposed to have been given by Josceline de Lovain to John de Alta Ripa. [5] That assumption is probably founded upon truth, but I cannot think it true in all particulars. I neither suppose that John was the name of Josceline de Lovain's Feoffee at Hardham, nor that Josceline granted to him or any other Hauterive the whole of that Manor.

Josceline, "Brother of Queen Adeliza de Arundell" (as he is styled in this instance), granted to Lewes Priory the Church of Budichton; and his grant was attested by Robert de Alta Ripa, and by Josceline the Grantor's Nephew. [6]

A charter, which seems to be nearly coeval vrith this, is attested by Robert de Alta Rips, and William his Son. [7]

One of these, Robert or William, was certainly a Grantee of Josceline the Castellan, not however in a whole Manor like Hardham, but in 15 denariates of land (i.e. land for which the Feoffee paid 15d. quit-rent) in Hardham or elsewhere. This land William de Alta Ripa was holding at Michaelmas 1189, and nine years' arrears of the said quit-rent were then due, the King not having decided on the collection of several such arrears due from Tenants of the Honour of Petworth.

Two other Tenants of that Honour were William Fitz Alan, who held 3 solidates thereof, and Josceline, nephew of Josceline de Lovain, who held 10 librates and 14 solidates. [8]

Of William de Alta Ripa it is further related, that in Henry II's time he founded the Augustine Priory of St. George of Heringham; to which also Josceline, nephew of the Castellan, granted

[3] Rot. Pip. 26 Hen. II, Honor de Arundel. Rot. Pip. 1 Richard I, Honor de Arundel et Pedewurda (pp. 12 and 212 in the printed edition).
[4] Domesday, fo. 25, a. 1. Berie Hundred.
[5] Monasticon, VI, 307.
[6] Dugdale's MSS. (Ashmol. Lib.), Vol. 39, fol. 62. Botechitone was a member of the Sussex Fief of Robert (Fitz Tetbald).
[7] Dugdale's MSS. ibidem.
[8] Rot. Pip. 1 Rich. I, p. 14.


for the soul of his Uncle, a meadow which had been William Fitz Alan's, and an enclosure called Chelworth. [9]

Further, it would appear that about Easter Term 1188, William de Alta Ripa, by fine levied in the King's Court, acquired 9 librates and 12 solidates of the lands in Eringeham previously held by Josceline, Nephew of the Castellan. For conceding this Fine, William de Alta Ripa (besides whatever he may have paid the Recognizor) paid the King 10 merks, [10] but his quit-rent, amounting to 14. 8s. in the next year and half, seems to have been excused. [11]

Thus did William de Hauterive, by right or by purchase, become Lord of Hardham, and so one of the principal Tenants of the Honour of Petworth.

Between the years 1189 and 1196, I find Henry de Perci followed by William de Alta Ripa, attesting a Charter which Henry Husey, a great Feoffee of the Earl of Arundel, then expedited to Dureford Abbey (Sussex). [12]

Also a Charter which William de Albini, third Earl of Sussex, of his line, expedited to Boxgrave Priory in the time of King Richard I, has the attestations of Richard de Perce, William de Alta Ripa, and Robert his Son. [13]

Whether this Robert de Alta Ripa, son of William, were the same person with Robert de Alta Ripa, Clerk, who on 23d Oct. 1204, was appointed as Colleague of Thomas de Erdinton, in the Bailiwick of the Counties of Salop and Stafford, [14] I cannot determine. At Michaelmas, 1205, these Sheriffs, or rather Keepers, rendered account of their joint custody of those Counties; [15] and in 1212 and 1213, I find Robert de Alta Ripa active in the service of King John elsewhere. [16]

Whether this Robert de Hauterive were head of his family I cannot say, but am inclined to think not.

At the Forest Pleas held in Shropshire, March 1209, two assessments

[9] Monasticon, VI, p. 307, note c.
[10] Rot. Pip. 34 Hen. II. Honor de Pedewurde.
[11] Rot. Pip. 1 Rich. I.
[12] Monasticon, VII, 937, No. i.
[13] Monasticon, IV, 646, Richard and Henry de Perci were, according to Dugdale, eldest and youngest Sons of Josceline de Lovain.
[14] Rot. Patent, p. 47 (Hardy).
[15] Rot. Pip.7 John. Salop and Stafford.
[16] In the year 1205, an entry on the Wiltshire Pipe Roll, and which the Fine Roll also classes under that County, exhibits one William de Alta Ripa as at issue with William Fitz Alan about the Church of Hewett. I can connect this in no way with our present subject; indeed the premises and parties concerned all seem to belong to Lincolnshire.


had been made on freeholders living within Regard of the Forest of the Wrekin.

In the earliest of these the Lord of "Kebrinton" is put in charge for some due; on the second William de Alta Ripa stands in the same predicament. [17]

In 1216, and probably from his connexion with the Earl of Arundel, William de Alta Ripa was in rebellion against King John.

On August 16, of that year, the Sheriff of Salop is ordered to give the land which was William de Alta Ripa's in Kenbricton to Thomas de Erdinton, during the King's pleasure. [18]

On July 24, 1217, a precept of Henry III informs the Sheriff of Salop that Willam de Alta Ripa had returned to his allegiance, and the said Sheriff is to restore his estates. [19]

On November 8, 1233, Hugh de Albini, last Earl of Arundel of his line, fined 2500 merks to have seizin of his estates and Castles, notwithstanding his minority. The three Castles he was forthwith to give up to three Knights, Tenants of his own, who should have custody thereof till he came of age, they (the Knights) giving security to the King that they would discharge such trust without injury to the King's interests.

William de Alta Ripa was the Knight who was named, in the first instance, thus to have charge of Arundel Castle, but another was afterwards substituted. [20]

In or about the year 1240, William de Alta Ripa, Auterive, or Hauterive is written on three nearly contemporary Rolls as holding Kembricton, by service of half a Knight's Fee, and of the Barony of Fitz Alan. [21]-

It is difficult to account for this alleged Tenure. There is no appearance of scribal error in the Record, such as would invalidate the thrice-repeated statement; and its authority is further substantiated by later documents. That Fitz Alan was at this period (1240) reputed to be seigneural Lord of Kemberton is then a fact, but how to account for it is another matter.-

The first John Fitz Alan who died about this time had had to wife Isabel sister of Hugh de Albini the then (1240) Earl of Arundel.

Possibly some seigneury over Kemberton had been given with the Lady in frank-marriage.

[17] Forest Roll, Salop, No. ii, memb. 4 recto.
[18] Claus. I, 281.
[19] Ibidem, p. 315.
[20] Rot. Fin. 18 Hen. III, m. 11.
[21] Testa de Nevill, fos. 202, 218, 226.


The second John Fitz Alan, son of John and Isabel, and a Minor at this time, afterwards acquired the Honour of Arundel as Coheir of Albini, but such Coheirship had not yet arisen.

I cannot but think that Kemberton was at this time held of the Honour of Petworth. If so, all we can say is, that the Record fails to make mention of Percy's interest in the Manor, an interest which will have stood mediate between Albini or Fitz Alan on the one hand and Hauterive on the other.

William de Percy, Lord of the Honour of Petworth, [22] died in 29 Henry III (1244-5), leaving his son Henry in minority, and therefore in ward to the King. As Guardian of the said heir, the King on January 5, 1247, received the fealty of Andrew, son and heir of William de Alta Ripa, in respect of 2 Knights' Fees and a fifth part of a Knight's-Fee which the aforesaid William de Alta Ripa had held of William de Percy. The King's Escheator, Henry de Wingeham, was to take Andrew's security for his Relief, viz. 13. 10s., and give him seizin of the said Fees. [23]

The Salop Pipe-Roll of 1259 gives John de Alta Ripa as owing 5 merks, his obligation to take knighthood being respited for that Fine.

On May 6, 1269, John Fitz Alan (III), being then at Arundel Castle, acknowledges himself to have received the homage and fealty of Henry de Perci, and binds himself to defend, warrant, and save harmless the said Henry, as against the King, and in respect of the said homage done to himself. [24]

John Fitz Alan (III) died on Friday, March 18, 1272. [25]

An extent of his lands taken at Oswestry on June 25 following is so completely defaced that we are unable to ascertain whether there was any mention made of his interest in the Fee of Kemberton. [26]

[22] In 1241-2, a feodary of the Honour of Arundel show William de Percy holding 21 fees in Petworth, thereof. (Testa de Nevill, II, fos. 61 and 66 compared).
[23] Rot. Fin. 31 Hen. III, m. 11. There was a William de Alta Ripa who suffered forfeiture 1265. William la Zouch had the Redemption of his lands under the Dictum de Kenilworth. They were redeemed previous to Oct. 13, 1267, when the King ratifies the transaction (Rot. Pat. 51 Hen. III).
[24] Dodsworth, 74, fo. 68 b (from Percy Muniments). This fealty was taken in consequence of the recent succession of the Suzerain rather than of the Vassal. Both died not long after.
[25] There are a variety of statements as to this date, but the one here given is undoubtedly the true one. Dugdale (Baronage 315) mis-states the matter by two years. An apparently different date given in the Salop Chartulary (No. 360) is constructively accurate, and confirms the Inquest, from which I take the date given in the text.
[26] Inquisitions, 56 Hen. III, No. 36. The Index, taken apparently when the Record was legible, makes (page 40) no mention of Kemberton.


In 1284, it is stated that William de Alta Ripa holds the vill of Kemberton of Henry de Percy for half a Knight's Fee, but no mention is made as to the person under whom Percy held it. [27]

At the Assizes of October 1292, William de Alta Ripa was reported by the Jurors of Brimatree Hundred as a Defaulter in due attendance. [28]

In 1316, William Paynel was returned as Lord of Kemberton, apparently in succession to Hauterive, but how such succession came about I cannot declare. I think however that William Painel had the Manor in right of his wife Eva, and that she was the heir of Hauterive. [29]

William Paynel was a Grantor to Heringham Priory (Sussex), and died April 1, 1317.

His widow Eva is mentioned in the same year as Eva de St. John, she having as I think remarried to Edward de St. John. [30]

When we come to speak of Kemberton Church we shall have further mention of this Edward de St. John and Eva his Wife, in 1339.

I here quit the subject as far as the feudal tenure of this Manor is concerned. It is a question still intricate at a later aera than that of which we have treated. I would briefly remark that the seigneury of Fitz Alan Earl of Arundel appears to have extended to Kemberton at subsequent periods; but that at the same time documents have been referred to Kemberton which really relate to another place. [31]

The only Under-Tenant in this Manor of whom I find material notice was Alan de Kemberton, who sat as a Juror of Brimstree Hundred at the County Assizes of September 1272, and who within ten years of that date attests several local Deeds.


There was no Church here at Domesday, and though, very soon after Domesday, Robert Fitz Tetbald granted the Tithes of Kemberton to Shrewsbury Abbey, we have no subsequent notice of the endurance of such a gift.

[27] Kirby's Quest.
[28] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, memb. 23.
[29] Parliamentary Writs, Vol. IV, 399.
[30] Dugdale's Baronage, I, 433.
[31] See Dukes's Antiquities, p.164, where the Fine of 21 Hen. III, alluded to, belongs to Kinnerton (near Wentnor). The Fine of 20 Edw. I, No. 57, quoted on the same page, I cannot discover. The document, so dated and numbered, relates to Asterley, near Caus. An exchange between Buildwas Abbey and the Earl of Arundel, in 28 Edw. III, I have somewhere seen referred to Kemberton, but not, as I think, correctly.


The Manor was doubtless within the Saxon Parish of Iteshale, and the Church founded here is probably included among those subject Chapels of Idsall which are alluded to as early as the reign of Stephen.

A pension of 5 shillings, still paid by the Rector of Kemberton to the Vicar of Shiffnal, may, I think, be taken to indicate a composition which the Founder of Kemberton Church must necessarily have concluded with Shrewsbury Abbey, or with the Patrons of Idsall Church, before the minor foundation could exist. Possibly, however, this charge arose upon some early transfer of the local tithes to the district Church.

The Advowson of Kemberton Church, whenever founded, belonged to the family of Hauterive.

William de Alta Ripa, probably he who lived in time of Henry II, granted the same to the Sussex Priory of Heringham or Hardham.

In 1291, the Church of Kemberton, in the Deanery of Newport, was valued at 2. 13s. 4d. per annum, besides a pension of 1. 10s. which the Prior of Heveringham received therefrom. [32]

In 1341, the Parish was assessed to the Ninth of wheat, wool, and lamb at 2. 4s. The reasons of the difference were because the greater sum or taxation included small tithes, offerings, and other spiritualities which were not contemplated in the assessment of the Ninth, and because the Parish contained only one township, in which there were no sheep. [33]

In 1534, the Rectory of Kemberton, of which John Yate was Incumbent, was valued at 6. per annum; which sum was chargeable with 6s. 8d. for Procurations, 1s. 11d. for Synodals, and a pension of 5s. due to the Vicar of Idsall. [34]


GILBERT, Chaplain of Kemberton, who has occurred about 1230, [35] was perhaps only a Deputy. His name however, even at that rate, indicates the previous existence of a Church.

On January 16, 1304, this Church had been long vacant, and the right of presentation lapsed to the Bishop of the Diocese, who thereupon appointed-

ROGER DE BISSHOPESTON, Clerk, to the same.-

On March 23, 1339, Sir Roger, Rector of Kemberton, died, and a doubt seems to have arisen as to the right of nominating his Successor.

[32] Pope Nicholas' Taxation, p. 244.
[33] Nonarum Inquisitiones, p. 193.
[34] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 186.
[35] Supra, Vol. II, p. 126 n.


A deed is however preserved in the Diocesan Register which solved this doubt. By their Charter, dated at Beamenet, 11 Feb. 1339, Edward de St. John, Knight, and Eva his Wife, inform all Sons of Holy Mother Church that the right of Patronage of the Church of Kembrighton was given by William de Alta Ripa of good memory, progenitor of said Eva, to the Prior and Canons of the Holy Cross of Heringeham, in Chichester Diocese, in perpetual almoign, and that they, Edward and Eva, confirm the said gift as expressed in the original Charter. They further quit all future claim to the said Advowson, both for themselves and the heirs of Eva.

On Feb. 27, 1339, the Bishop admits-

WILLIAM TRILLE, Priest, to the Church, on presentation of Edmund de Longedon, Proctor of the Prior and Convent of the Holy Cross of Heryngham.-

On March 15, 1344, this Rector has the Bishop's license of nonresidence for two years, to enable him to remain in the suit (stare in obsequiis) of Sir Henry de Percy.

On Nov. 5, 1348, a similar dispensation, and for the same purpose, is granted to William, Rector of Kembython. [36]

The following Coats of Arms adorned the Windows of the old Church: [37]-

I. Quarterly; first and fourth-Gu, a Lion rampant Or (Fitz Alan). second and third - Chequy Or and Az (Warren).
II. Or, a Lion rampant Az (Lovain).
III. Quarterly; first and fourth - Arg, three Pheons Sa.
second and third - Arg, three Mascles Sa.
IV. Quarterly; first and fourth - Arg, three Fusils conjoined in fesse, Sa.
second and third - Arg, three Pheons Sa.
V. Quarterly, four grand quarters;-
FIRST, AND FOURTH; quarterly per fesse indented:-
first and fourth,- Sa, three Pheons Arg.
second and third,- Arg, a Bugle-horn strung Sa.
SECOND AND THIRD; quarterly.-
first and fourth,- Vaire, Arg, and Gu.
second and third,- Sa, a Lion rampant Arg.

[36] Lichfield Registers, A, fo. 18 b; B. fos. 11, 11 b, 216.
[37] From Dugdale'a Visitation at the Heralds' College, p. 23. These Church Notes on Kemberton were by Francis Sandford, Rouge Dragon, but inserted by Dugdale in his Visitation of 1663-4.



THE Saxon Language must have had some adjective equivalent in meaning to Heah (high), but different in pronunciation. This word (unnoticed by our Saxon Lexicographers) has its reflex in the German hoch, and we find it entering into the composition of numberless English names. We have it in Hook-norton, Hock-ley, Hug-ley, Hough-ton, Iving-hoe, Hock-day (i.e. High Day), and also in Huche-ford or Hug-ford. And as Hook-norton has been sometimes spelt Hog-norton, and as Hugley is now Higley or Highley, so Hucheford, or Hugford, has become Higford.

But it is singular that, in the latter instance, the circumstances which originally gave name to the place should come to be so nearly represented in modem etymology: for if we spell the name "Highford" instead of "Higford", we have at once its distinctive features - an eminence overhanging a passable part of the adjacent river Worf.

Domesday writes the place as Huchefor, and describes it as held by Roger de Laci under Earl Roger. "Goduin held it in time of King Edward, and was a free man. Here are III hides geldable. Berner holds (the Manor) of Roger (de Laci). In demesne he has III ox-teams, and IX serfs, VII villains, VII boors, and IX radmans with V teams. Here is a Mill of 8s. (annual value); and a wood which will fatten 100 swine. Its old value was 40s.; its present is 60s. (per annum)". [1]

Whatever Lacy retained of his Domesday Tenure under the Norman Earl, became, on forfeiture of the latter, part and parcel of the greater Barony which he held in capite of the Crown.

Lacy's Seigneury over Higford and some other Shropshire Manors seems however to have passed about the year 1175 to Fitz Alan. It was then that the second William Fitz Alan espoused the daughter of Hugh de Lacy, and I doubt not that the transfer of these seignoral rights constituted the marriage portion of the Lady.

Berner, the Domesday Tenant of Higford, was ancestor, I believe, of a knightly race which took name from this Manor as their

[1] Domesday, fo. 256, b. 1.


principal seat; for both Berner and the Hugfords had other possessions in Shropshire. It is, in fact, Berner's Domesday Tenure of Middleton by Bitterley, under William Pantulf, and the subsequent Tenure of that same Middleton by the Hugfords, which suggests the genealogical fact which I venture to assume. If Berner were Domesday Lord of two distant Manors (Middleton and Higford), held under different Suzerains, and if those two Manors were afterwards possessed by the Hugfords, it follows that the Hugfords were in all probability Berner's descendants and heirs. [2]

The eighty years which followed Domesday supply however no circumstance in connection with this family which can be cited to show the mode of such descent.

In 1165, Nicolaus de Hungerford is entered as holding 4 Knights' Fees of the Barony of Hugh de Lacy; and these fees were of old feoffment, that is, had been granted to Nicholas or his ancestors before the death of Henry I (1135). [3]

The Haughmond Chartulary supplies a piece of evidence illustrative of the connection which, about the year 1175, existed between Lacy, Fitz Alan, and Hugford. Roger de Scotot, or Esketot (Lacy's tenant at Bitterley) granted a rent of 4s. to Haughmond. His grant is tested by Nicholas de Huggeford (Lacy's tenant at Middleton juxta Bitterley):- and Hugh de Lacy's contemporary confirmation of this grant is tested by William, son of William Fitz Alan, who, as I have suggested above, married Lacy's daughter about this time, and became Hugford's Suzerain, both at Middleton and Higford. [4]

Nicholas de Hugford was probably succeeded very soon after this transaction by his son Walter. Of the latter, the earliest notice which I find is where, with Guy le Strange, Marscot, Peter de Morton, Philip his Son, and Wydo de Shawbury, he attests a Charter to Haughmond Abbey, which must have passed in or shortly before the year 1179. [5]

In 1195-6, when William Fitz Alan (II) confirmed the sale of certain lands which Fulk Fitz Warin (II) had held under him, his Deed was attested "inter alios" by Walter de Huggeford and Henry his Brother. [6] The reason of such attestation will be apparent, if, as I suppose, Walter de Huggeford was Brother-in- Law of Fitz

[2] Ledewic (Upper Ledwich) was also held by Berner, at Domesday, under William Pantulf. The Hugfords held it in the 12th and 13th centuries.
[2] Liber Niger, I, 154.
[4] Chartulary at Sundorn, fos. 41, 42.
[5] Harl. MSS. 446, fo. xi.
[6] Ibidem, 1396, fo. 253.


Warin, but my evidences of this matter are so slight and inconclusive, that I venture to connect them with diffidence.

I suppose then that Emmeline de Hugford, who occurs in the very beginning of the reign of John, and who was Aunt of the third Fulk Fitz Warin, was also Widow of the last-named Walter de Hugford.

The Fitz-Warin Chronicle represents the said Walter as surviving the accession of John. My reason for thinking otherwise is as follows:-

King John was crowned May 27, 1199, and, on June 14 following, Emeline de Ugeford (or Hugeford), of Shropshire, is named as sole Defendant in a suit wherein she was impleaded by Robert de Marisco for land in Gloucestershire. There were further moves in this suit on June 17, 1199, and May 14, 1200, [7] but in each instance Emeline appears as a Feme-Sole, and not a Feme-Covert. Walter de Huggeford therefore, sometime her husband, will surely have deceased before the commencement of this Suit.-

We have better information as to the manner than the time of his death. After the accession of Richard I, the first regular [8] Assizes held in Shropshire were in the fifth year of John (October 1203). At these Assizes, cognizance was taken of local matters which might have transpired any time within the previous fourteen years.-

Among other things the Brimstree Jurors reported of one Robert White (Albus), that, "having slain Walter de Huggeford, he fled, and was outlawed for the murder". That the offence had been committed some time before is probable, for the recollection of the Jurors was not accurate. The Court of the County and the Coroner averred that Robert White had not been outlawed, because no one prosecuted the accusation against him. For their contradiction of a superior body the Brimstree Jurors were pronounced in misericordia; Robert White was to be summoned in the usual form. [9] His chattels, worth 15s., were to be accounted of by Richard de Ambersleg, Sheriff. [10]

[7] Rot. Curia Regis, I, 232, 235; and II, 277.
[8] There was a visit of Justices Itinerant to Shropshire in Sept. 1199, and perhaps other such visits, between 1189 and 1203, but none of them seems to have constituted a regular Assize, or to have embraced those particular matters which were termed Placita Coronae.
[9] "Et predictus Robertus interrogetur". This decree of the Court I take to be equivalent to that of " ezigatur", which was an order to the Sheriff to summon a fugi tive five times in the County Court. If he failed to appear, he could then be out lawed.
[10] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 2 dorso. Richard de Ambersleg was Under-Sheriff in 5 and 6 John, i.e. from Sept. 1202 to Sept. 1204. One who fled on a charge of felony or murder was presumptively guilty, and though not yet outlawed, his chattels were forfeited at once.


The outlawry of Fulk Fitz Warin (III) took place in 1200-1, and continued till November 1203. The Fitz-Warin Chronicle speaks of his having been at Higford more than once in the interval. Though we cannot accept every fact of a story which presents Fulk (III) and Fulk (II) as one individual, it is curious to observe the glimpses of truth which pervade this Legend. Fulk and his outlawed companions retired from the anger of King John, in the first instance, to Little Brittany. Returning thence into England, "they came at last to Huggeford, to Sir Walter de Huggeford, who had married" (says the Chronicle) "Dame Vileine, daughter of Guarin de Metz; but her right name was Emeline, and she was the Aunt of Sir Fulk".

This extract requires two material corrections.- Emmeline de Huggeford, Aunt of Fulk Fitz Warin III, must have been Grand- daughter, not Daughter of Warin de Metz; also she must have been Mother, rather than Wife, of the Sir Walter de Huggeford of 1200-1.

The Fitz-Warin Chronicle further informs us how John Fitz Warin was cured at Hugford of a wound which he had received in a skirmish with some of the King's party; how also Hugford afforded a temporary refuge to Maude Vavasour (or as the writer calls her, Maud de Caus), the wife of the outlawed Fulk. [11] Here again we find a ground for doubting the circumstantial accuracy of the Chronicle, for there is good evidence that Maude Vavasour did not become the wife of Fulk Fitz Warin till after the latter was reconciled to King John.

Leaving these accessory matters, I should speak of Walter de Hugford, the second of that name, who held Higford, Middleton Higford, Upper Ledwich, and Bitterley, under Fitz Alan, and who was thus by far the most important of that class of Shropshire Feudatories whose tenure was not immediately under the Crown. At the Assizes of October 1203, this Walter appears as a Knight, a Juror in causes of Grand Assize, as a Litigant in regard to his lands at Ledwich, and as convicted of some transgression for which he was fined 1 merk.

In 1207, Walter de Hugford was a prisoner in the hands of Robert de Ropesley,- and probably at Kenilworth Castle. [12] The

[11] Fitz-Warine Chronicle (edited for the Warton Club, by T. Wright, Esq., 1855), pp. 71, 72, 85, 113.
[12] Robert de Ropesley was at the time Custos of the Counties of Warwickshire and Leicestershire, and also of Kenilworth Castle.


nature and extent of his offence will appear from the following somewhat redundant entry on the Shropshire Pipe Roll. In the beginning of September apparently, he offers to the King the sum of 80 merks, "that he may be given up to Hugh de Nevill to deliver him from the King's Prison, as said Hugh had been enjoined, and Hugh de Nevill himself will be answerable herein". [13] This enormous fine procured the King's Mandate, dated Sept. 6, and addressed to Robert de Ropesley, ordering him to cause Walter de Hugeford "Prisoner for the forest", to be given up to Hugh de Nevill, or "to his undoubted messenger charged with his letters". [14]

Before Michaelmas 1209, Walter de Hugford had paid his fine "and was quit"; but Philip de Huggeford, and Nicholas his Brother, appear as joint accountants for another fine, viz. "of 50 merks and a palfrey that they may be released from the King's prison" They had already paid 45 merks; and afterwards accounted for the balance to the Sheriff of Herefordshire, as was alleged. [15]

At the close of John's reign, Walter de Hugford will have shared in the disaffection of his Suzerain,- John Fitz Alan. Letters of King Henry III, certifying the Sheriff of Shropshire, that Hugford had returned to his allegiance, bear date Nov. 4, 1217. [16]

At the County Assizes of November 1221, Walter de Hugford appears as a Juror of Grand Assize. His litigation in 1224-6 with his neighbour Hugh de Beckbury has been already noticed. [17]

In 1231, he had been fined by Justices of the Forest 20s, "because his dogs coursed without license"; and William Pantulf was surety for the Fine.

It would be tedious to give even a summary of the numerous Charters in which this Walter de Hugford appears as a prominent or a principal witness. I should be inclined to name the year 1235 as perhaps the latest limit of any such undated occurrences of his name. He was succeeded by his son, a third Walter de Hugford, whose almost continuous occupation of his Father's position leaves the exact period of succession a matter only of surmise.- Such will ordinarily be our uncertainty in cases where the same Christian name belonged to successive generations of any family not holding in capite of the Crown.

I take it that Dame Matilda de Huggeford, to whom, sometime

[13] Rot. Pip. 9 John, Salop. Rot. Fin. p. 401.
[14] Patent (Hardy), p. 75, b.
[15] Rot. Pip. 11 and 16 John, Salop.
[16] Claus, I, p. 373 (Hardy).
[17] Supra, Vol. II, p.134.


between the years 1241 and 1254, Baldwin Prior of Wombridge acknowledges a debt of 30 merks, [18] was widow of Sir Walter the second. Having nothing further to say of her, I pass to Walter de Hugford (III), who about the year 1240 is registered as holding lands in Huggeford and its appurtenances, of the Barony of Fitz Alan, and by service of four Knights' Fees. [19]

At Michaelmas 1250, Walter de Hugford had been amerced 20 for a "false presentment, and other transgressions". Some Jury of which he was Principal had, I suppose, given a dishonest verdict.

In 1252, he had proffered 10 merks to the Crown to have an exemption from all liability to serve on Juries (Assizes they are called). [20] Old age or infirmity was probably the ground of this. His non-appearance in due course at the County Assizes in January 1256 was reported by the Jurors of Brimstree Hundred, whereupon he was declared to be in misericordia.

Later at these Assizes he was in Court, viz. as Guardian or rather Father-in-Law of Andrew de Wililey, whose wardship, as I have already shown, was then matter of litigation. [21]

I cannot suppose that Walter de Hugford survived much longer, for Sir William, his son and heir, stands first witness of a Deed, already quoted under Tong, and which must have passed between 1255 and 1263. [22]

Sir William de Hugford was distinguished as a Royalist in the political movements of his time. On May 20, 1265, King Henry III, then a Captive at Hereford, is constrained to mention him as one of those Lords Marchers who had been enjoined by a writ previously expedited at Worcester to leave the Kingdom for the peace thereof. [23]

It is well known in what this peace, thus contemplated by the King's Gaolers consisted,- viz. their own undisturbed ascendency. Suffice it to say, that the Lords Marchers of Shropshire continued blind to the advantages of such tranquillity till the Victory of

[18] "Universis presentes litteras inspecturis vel audituris Baldwinus miseratione divina Prior de Wombruget ejusdem loci Conventus salutem in domino sempiter nam. ... teneri Domino Matilde de Huggeford in triginta marcis bone monete". These words (part of an older document) appear on the label of a deed which passed before 1264 (Vol. II, p. 328n, 247). Baldwin became Prior of Wombridge after 1240; so that we thus approximate to the date of Dame Matilda de Hugford.
[19] Testa de Nevill, p. 44.
[20] Rot. Pip. 34, 36 Hen. III, Salop.
[21] Supra, Vol. II, p. 57.
[22] Supra, Vol. II, p. 223.
[23] Foedera, Vol. I, p. 455.


Evesham, a few months later, paved the way to another and more enduring settlement of the national distresses.

In August 1267, William de Hugford prosecuted the Abbot of Buildwas and another unsuccessfully, for some disseizin. [24] This cause was heard by the King himself at Shrewsbury, as was also another, wherein William de Hugford was sued by Robert de Lacy for having disseized the said Robert of 11 virgates in Dunton. [25] Hugford pleaded that his seizin was by gift of the King because that Lacy had in the late disturbances taken part against the Crown. A Writ of the King was read in Court, which informed the Sheriff of Salop and Stafford that "We have given to our faithful and beloved William de Hugford, all Robert de Lacy's lands in Dunton". Lacy rejoined that the King did not contemplate his forfeiture (non intellexit de ipso), but probably that of another Robert de Lacy in Staffordshire, and, to determine this, he appealed to the King's Rolls of Chancery.-

Hugford answered, that after the battle of Evesham, the King gave away the lands of his enemies, and that Hamo le Strange, seeing that Lacy "had always been with Symon de Montfort" in the late disturbances, seized his land till the Parliament of Winchester (September 1265), and that in that Parliament, the King bestowed the said land on himself (Hugford).-

At this point Lacy was found to have left the Court, I suppose, for it is said that, "being thrice summoned, he had departed in contempt".- "Therefore he takes nothing.- His amercement is excused".

In November 1271, William de Hugford was fined by Justices of the Forest for some offence within their cognizance, and said to have been committed in Northwode. [26]

In 1275, he appears as owing an arrear of the tax of the Fifteenth then recently levied, viz. 10s. chargeable on his property in Hugford. [27]

In 1284, his Manor of Hugford is described as including the vills of Norton, Apley, and Astall, whereon he owed to his Suzerain, Richard Fitz Alan, the service of two Knights for forty days in war-time at his own charges. Boningale, formerly another member of Hugford, had previously been detached, as will appear

[24] Placita coram Rege apud Salop, memb. 4.
[25] Ibidem, memb. 7 recto.
[26] Forest Rolls. Salop, No. V.
[27] Rot. Forinsec. De Quintadecima, 3 Edw. I.


when I speak of that Township. At the same time William de Hugford was holding the Manors of Middleton and Ledwich under the same Fitz Alan, and the Staffordshire Manor of Hilderston under John, son of Adam de Chetwynd. In the latter, Robert de Hugford was Feoffee of his Brother. [28]

In 1291, Sir William procured the King's Charter of Free Warren in Huggeford, Appele Middleton, and Ledewich. [29]

At the Assizes of 1292, his non-attendance was reported by the Brimstree Jurors; but the words Habet breve, added to the entry, indicate his exemption under writ of the King. His claim of Free Warren was presented and allowed.

His appearances on important Inquisitions and Perambulations, his attestations of Charters with others of his rank, are too numerous to mention. The latest notice which I have of him is, that on July 7, 1297, he was summoned as holding lands of 20. annual value to prepare himself with horses and arms for foreign service. [30]

Sir William was soon afterwards succeeded by his Son, a fourth Sir Walter. The latter first appears at the County Assizes, July, 1301, as being sued by Oliver de Lee for a right of common-pasture over 200 acres in Hugford, whereof he had disseized the said Oliver. This cause was twice adjourned:- in the first instance because all the Recognizors were challenged (calumpniati sunt) on the ground that Richard de Harley, then Sheriff of the County, had married a Relation of the Defendant. [31]

On May 3, 1313, Walter de Hugford has the King's Letters of protection till August 1 following, he being one of those who, in the suit of the Earl of Pembroke, were about to accompany the King to France. [32]

He sat in two Parliaments as a Knight of the Shire, viz. in the Parliament summoned to meet at Westminster on January 20, 1315, and in that summoned to meet at York, May 2, 1322. [33]

In March 1316, he was returned as Lord of the Manors or

[28] Kirby's Quest.
[29] Charter at Apley Park; enrolled in Rot. Cart. 19 Edw. I, No. 66.
[30] Parliamentary Writs, Vol. I, 291.
[31] Salop Assizes, 29 Edw. I, memb. 19. The Sheriff named the Recognizors in such cases. It is clear that the Challenger in this instance did not know the precise affinity which existed between Harley's wife and Walter de Hugford. The ground of the challenge is stated in these words:- "Quia Ricardus de Harle Vicecomes istius Comitatus desponsavit filiam sororem predicti Walteri".- The Lady was however nothing nearer than Hugford's first Cousin.
[32] Foedera, II, 212.
[33] Parliamentary Writs, Vol. IV, 1028.


Townships of Hugford and Middleton, in Brimstree and Munslow Hundreds. His employments between the years 1308 and 1325, as a Collector of Taxes, a Supervisor of Array, a Leader of Levies, or a Justice of Assize, are the subject of nearly a score of entries on Rolls of Edward II's reign.

The last Commission in which I find him employed bears date March 25, 1329. With Roger Corbet of Caus and Roger Carles he was then appointed Keeper of the Peace in this County, which was much disturbed by the depredations and crimes of sundry unlawful associations. [34]

Sir Walter de Hugford was succeeded by several generations in the male line, till at length Alice, Sister and eventual heir of the last Sir William de Hugford, carried his estates into the family of Lucy of Charlcote. Further particulars of this succession I reserve to a future occasion.

The principal Members of the very extensive Manor of Higford were Apley, Astall, Norton, and Boningale. I should say something of each of these.

APLEY, though it has long since changed places with Higford and become the Caput of the collective Manor, had at the time of which I write no such prominence. Two centuries after Domesday it is first mentioned as an appurtenance of Higford.

NORTON, so called I presume with reference to its position northwards of Stockton, seems, in part at least, to have belonged to the latter Manor. However it has been mentioned in one instance as a member of Higford, and so was perhaps divided.

ASTALL, formerly Estwall, was held under the Hugfords by a family which took name from the place. Thus we have Richard and Philip de Estwelle occurring in a deed of Walter de Hugford at the beginning of the thirteenth Century. [35] In 1221 we hear of Geoffrey de Eswell. Adam de Estwelle occurs in 1244, Robert in 1256, Richard and Walter in 1276, and Robert in 1292.

I now pass to-


which, being quite isolated from the capital Manor of Hugford, was yet an important member thereof.

The Tenants here had name from the place, and, though of less than knightly degree, were in a position little inferior.

[34] Foedera, II, 755.
[35] Supra, Vol. II, p. 70n.


The first who occurs is Henry de Bolynghale in the 12th Century. Hugh de Bolinghale occurs from 1203 to 1228, but in no other capacity than a Witness, a Juror, or a Surety. He had a Brother Nicholas of whom I find mention in 1200 and 1203, and both before the former and after the latter year. In 1221, Walter de Bolinghale, a Monk of Buildwas, is mentioned.

From 1250 to 1275, Hugh de Bolinghale, apparently the second of his name, is constantly occurring. He was accused of homicide at the Assizes of January 1256, but an Inquisition for which he and Hugh de Beckbury respectively paid 20 merks and 5 merks seems to have acquitted them both. The case was among the presentments of the Jurors of Cundover Hundred, and the Sureties for payment of the two Fines were Robert, brother of Thomas Corbet of Caus, Ralph de Butill, and Robert Blundel.

At the Assizes of 1272, Hugh de Bolinghale has already appeared as a Litigant. [36] He is also named as second Juror of the Hundred of Brimstree on that occasion. Within five years next following he made over the whole of his property, both that which he held under the Lords of Albrighton at Bishton, and that which he held under Sir William de Hugford at Boningale, to Lilleshall Abbey.

His grant in Bishton has already been set forth. [37] It was confirmed by Sir John de Pichford, Knight, with the addition of an "assart near Holobroc, which Walter Clerk sometime held" [38]

The grant of Boningale seems to have been much more important. The Grantor conveys it to the Abbey "in pure and perpetual almoign, for the health of the souls of himself and Felicia his wife, together with all homages, reliefs, escheats, and wardships", or, in short, all that he could bestow. [39]

Sir William de Hugford, Knight, gave what seems to be a contemporary Confirmation of Hugh de Bolinghale's Grant, relinquishing every right pertaining to himself as Seignoral Lord.

This Confirmation was speedily followed by a Convention between Sir William de Hugford and William Abbot of Lilleshull, which, as illustrating the subject of Feudal Tenures, I give more in detail.-

[36] Supra, Vol. II, p. 38 n.
[37] Supra, Vol. II, p. 167.
[38] Lilleshall Chartulary (in possession of the Duke of Sutherland, at Trentham), page 79. Sir John de Pichford's Confirmation is attested by Philip de Prees, Philip de Beckebur, Thomas de Beckebur, John de Prees, William de Ruton, Robert de Albrichten, and Robert de Bispeston.
[39] Lilleshall Chartulary, p. 79. Tested by Sir John de Chetewynd, Sir John de Pycheford, Sir John Fitz Hugh, Knights; Hugh de Beaumeys, John de Prees, Adam de Preston, Roger Waldyn, and Thomas de Ethelarton.


Sir William and his Heirs bind themselves and their Manor of Hugford, and their Men within the said Manor, to acquit the Abbot's land of Bolinghale of all foreign services which the land of Bolinghale was used to discharge in conjunction with the Manor of Hugford; to wit, the obligation of finding one man in five to appear at the Great Turn of the Hundred and before the King's Justices;- also of Scutage, Hidage, Stretward, Motfethe, and of the service which the land of Bolingale used to perform at Oswestry;- and of all other services. And as often as anything of the premises should happen to be required from Bolingale, the Sheriff of Salop should levy his distress on the Manor of Hugford till Bolingale should be set free. [40]

This may be estimated as the last acquisition, of any territorial importance, which was made by Lilleshall Abbey. The first Statute of Mortmain, following in 1279, checked all such transfers.

The account of the arrears of the Fifteenth, which I have already quoted as charging 10s. on Sir William de Hugford in 1275, charges 2s. 11d. on Adam le Bercher in Bonigale. He (Adam) was, I imagine, Tenant there at the time of the charges above indicated.

The Inquest of 1284 gives us a statement about "Bolinghall" which shows how little we should depend on these Records for accuracy of detail. It says that the "Abbot of Lylushall holds the Manor of Bolinghall of William de Hugford in capite (by service) of going with him in war-time for 40 days into Wales at his (the Abbot's) own charges". [41] The fact was that the Abbot did not at the period hold the Manor (if such it was) under Hugford at all, nor was any such service due thereon.

The Taxation of 1291 values the Abbot of Lilleshall's interests in Bolinghale, in the Deanery of Newport, as follows: [42]-

A Carucate of land annually worth 1 0 0
A Mill, annually worth 0 6 0
Assized Rents 1 10 0
Woods, yielding annually 0 6 8
Pleas and Perquisites (of the Manor Court) 0 2 0

The Total of 3. 4s. 8d. indicates a valuable property.
[40] This Charter was written and sealed in duplicate, each Copy being sealed by both the Contracting parties. The Copy left with Hugford is now at Apley. It is tested by Sir Roger Esprenchose (Sprenchose), Sir Hugh Burnet, Sir Roger Tyrel, Knights; Philip de Beckebyr, John de Stivinton, Herbert de Wico (Wyke), Adam de Preston, &c. Of the two Seals a fragment only of the Abbot's remains. The Counterpart, or Abbot's Copy, is enrolled in the Lilleshall Chartulary (page 79). It omits the first witness.

[41] Kirby's Quest.
[42] Pope Nich. Tax. p. 261.


At the Assizes of October 1292, the Brimstree Jurors presented the Abbot as claiming a right "to assize bread and beer" in Boningale. [43] "Hugh de Louther sues by writ", adds the Record: that is, the Crown Prosecutor took up the matter under Writ of Quo Waranto.

Turning to the Quo Waranto Rolls, I find a Case where the Abbot's rights in several Manors, Bolynghull included, were questioned by Hugh de Louther. [44] The whole matter was adjourned, and I cannot learn the result. The Abbot seems to have met the charge in regard to Boningale by taking advantage of an error of description on the part of the Prosecution.

Lilleshall Abbey seems to have retained some interest in Boningale till the Dissolution. The Ministers' Accounts of 32 Henry VIII (1540-1) name however nothing more than 1d. rent as accruing to the House from this Manor. [45]

THE CHAPEL, originally founded here as an affiliation of the Church of Stockton, has already been mentioned. [46] All Presentations to the Parent Church included or implied the Incumbency of the Chapel. We consequently find no distinct notices of the subject Church. Its status remains to this day as that which its first Founders contemplated.

Cleobury North.

I PROPOSE now to treat of those six Manors which, having formed a second detachment of the Domesday Hundred of Bascherch, are at all subsequent periods found to be included in the Hundred of Stottesden.

The Saxon Adjective Claera signifies "Clayey", a quality of soil which seems to have given name both to the Clee Hill and to the Burh or town beneath it. The latter we now call Cleobury North, to distinguish it from another town which, having been of the Fee of Mortimer, is still known as Cleobury Mortimer.

[43] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, Salop, memb. 23.
[44] Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 679.
[45] Monasticon, Vol. VI, 265, Num xvi.
[46] Supra, Vol. II, pp. 147-8.


Between the histories of Cleobury North and Hopton Wafre there has been a marked analogy from a very early period. About the time when Edward the Confessor came to the throne, both these vills belonged to the Church of Worcester: Cleobury North was then called Ufere-Cleobyrig, i.e. Over or Upper Cleobury. [1] We have a Record as to the mode in which the Church of Worcester lost its Shropshire possessions.-

Earl Sweyn, the eldest son of Earl Godwin, was a monster of licentiousness and cruelty. Whatever has been effected by literary research or political sympathy to establish a reputation for Godwin and his other sons, the character of Sweyn is still dark as ever. Among his crimes was the violation of Algiva, Abbess of Leominster, whose abduction is assigned by the Saxon Chronicle to the year 1046, when Sweyn was returning from a successful expedition into Wales.

The same Chronicle represents the ultimate release of the Abbess as a voluntary act on the part of Sweyn. [2] A more circumstantial accounts tells us that he was obliged to put her away by the threats of Edsius (Eadsige), Archbishop of Canterbury (1038-1050), and Lyfing, Bishop of Worcester, [4] and that, in revenge of this interference, Sweyn, assisted by the influence of powerful friends, procured that the Church of Worcester should be deprived of Maerebroc, [5] Hopton, and Uferecleobyrig, with many other lands in Shropshire.-

It seems that both Hopton and Cleobury North were later in the Confessor's reign, held by one Seuuard, "a free man". Seuuard's tenure had ceased before Domesday, under what circumstances I cannot say: but it is worth noting that Siward, described as "a rich man of Shropshire", was once called upon to give evidence in a matter which affected the rights of the Church of Worcester elsewhere, that he was thus called upon at a period shortly antecedent to Domesday, and that the evidence wanted was

[1] So "Uferebyrig" of Heming'e Chartulary is now "Overbury".
[2] "He had her as long as he list, after which he let her go home". (Ingram's Saxon Chronicle, p. 217).
[3] Heming's Chartulary, p. 275. Moxasticon, I, p. 597.
[4] This Prelate's death is placed by Florence of Worcester on March 23, 1046. If so, Sweyn's expedition into Wales is probably misdated in the Saxon Chronicle. At all events the confused chronology of the period requires some rectification, to which the text may contribute.
[5] Mr. Blakeway identifies Maerebroc with Morbrook, a farm in the parish of Aston Botterel, which took, he says, its name from a rivulet which flows out of the Moore on the Brown Clee Hill.


that of persons who remembered the state of things in the reign of the Confessor. [6] I think Seuuard and Siward must have been identical. If so, Siward was probably Tenant to the Church of Worcester at Cleobury North and Hopton when the said Church was deprived of those Manors.- The Church lost the Seigneury by Earl Sweyn's contrivance, but Siward retained the tenancy throughout the Confessor's reign, if not later.

Cleobury North is noticed in Domesday thus:- Roger de Laci holds Cleberie of the King; and Uluuard (holds it) of him. Seuuard held it (in time of King Edward) and was a free man. Here are two-and-a-half hides geldable. There is (arable) land (sufficient) for 4 ox-teams. In demesne is one (team), and there are I Serf and IIII Villains and IIII Boors with three teams. Here is a Mill of 4 shillings (annual value). In time of King Edward the Manor was worth 12 shillings, and afterwards 7 shillings. Now it is worth 20 shillings. [7]

According to one construction which may be put upon this part of Domesday, the two-and-a-half hides of Cleobury North were inclusive of a hide which the Record makes supplementary mention of under the name of Dodentone, for it says at the foot of the same page,-

"The same Roger holds Dodentone, and it pertains to Claiberie. Herein is one hide and it is valued there",-i.e. under the estimate of Cleobury North.

This last entry is in paler ink and in a different handwriting to the body of the Record. It is moreover carelessly inserted between two portions of the Domesday notice of Stantone (Stanton Lacy), another of Laci's Manors, but in Colmestane Hundred. I think however that we ought not to conclude that the Dodentone thus spoken of was in Colmestane Hundred. Associating it, if I must do so, with Cleobury North, I suppose it to have been an adjacent part of the territory of Ditton (now Ditton Priors); which part, though called Ditton or Dodentone, was joined manorially to Cleobury. [8]

[6] Monasticon, I, 602, Num. xxxviii.
[7] Domesday, fo. 260, b. 1.
[8] It is a singular coincidence that a hide called Dodentone is also said in Domesday to belong to Ralph de Mortimer's Manor of Claiberie (fo. 260, a. 1). The circumstance in that case is perfectly intelligible, as I shall show under Cleobury Mortimer. It becomes however a question whether the similar, and not so easily accounted for, addition to Cleobury North was not altogether a mistake of some early Revisor of the Record.


Ditton itself, called Dodintone in Domesday, was held by the Norman Earl, who had no concern in Cleobury North.

Escaping now from the topographical difficulty with which the Domesday account of Cleobury North is encumbered, we pass to a problem of another kind:-

In 1085, Roger de Laci held this Manor in capite of the King, but his interest here can be traced no further. In no other document but Domesday does the name of Laci occur in connection with the Manor.

That Laci's original Fief suffered from successive dismemberments in the reigns of William Rufus, Henry I, Stephen, and Henry II, is certain. The cause, manner, and extent of each such diminution cannot be clearly traced, but it is evident that very shortly after Domesday Cleobury North passed from the Fief of Lacy to that of Bernard de Newmarch, the Conqueror of Brecknockshire.

Now, Roger de Laci joined the Worcestershire rebellion of 1088, but we do not know that he suffered any low thereby. That he did not thus forfeit Cleobury is apparent from the fact that Bernard de Newmarch, who gained the Manor, was on the same side with Laci in that rebellion. [9]

Again in 1095, Roger de Laci joined in the treason of Robert de Mowbray Earl of Northumberland. This we know caused the utter forfeiture and exile of Roger de Laci, but it is stated in general terms that the King conferred his inheritance on Hugh de Laci, his Brother. I am inclined however to think that the whole of the forfeited lands were not thus bestowed. Bernard de Newmarch was clearly seignoral Lord of Cleobury in the time of Henry I. This fact is thus determined:-

Bernard de Newmarch was Founder of Brecknock Priory. His Charter, reciting his own and other grants thereto, expresses the consent of King Henry I to the foundation. Among the grants which his Vassals (homines) had made to the Priory, and which he confirms, he specifies how Walter de Cropus had given "his tithe of Lansefred, and, in England, the Church of Cliberia and whatever belongeth thereto". [10]

Having now established Cleobury as a Member of the Honour of

[9] Ordericus, 704, C.
[10] Monasticon, III, 264, Num. II. Another Charter of Bernard de Newmarch to Brecknock Priory, speaks of Walter de Crozpuz having granted thereto all his tithes in Wales. This Charter, from its testing clause, must have passed between 1102 and 1107.


Brecknock in the time of Henry I, I must leave to a tabular statement (hereafter to be given under Hopton Wafre), the mode in which that Fief passed from Bernard de Newmarch to De Bohun Earl of Hereford. The same Table will show the succession of the seignoral Lords of Cleobury-North and Hopton Wafre.

I will now speak of those who held this Manor immediately under De Laci in the first instance, and under the Lords of Brecknock in the next.

Uluuard, the Tenant of 1086, was probably a Saxon, and, like Saxon Tenants in general, speedily removed.

Walter de Cropus, holding the Manor between 1100 and 1130, I take to have been Ancestor of that family of Le Wafre who continued to hold Cleobury North, Hopton Wafre, and other lands of the Honour of Brecknock, [11] till an heir female, Lucia le Wafre, carried the same to her husband, Roger de Mortimer of Chirk.

I will say more of this family of Le Wafre when I come to Hopton Wafre. Cleobury was early granted by one or other of that race to a Feoffee whose importance elsewhere was quite equal to that of his Feoffor.

Some verbal coincidences which here present themselves, though I think them merely accidental, are worth remark if it be only to show how apparent coincidences may happen without having any real connection. The old name of Cleobury North was, as we have seen, Ufere Cleobury. We have also seen that the family of Wafre sometime held the Manor. There is however no probability that the Saxon adjective Ufere had anything to do with the Norman name Wafre, though the similarity of sound is suggestive of such an idea. Nor can I suppose that either word is associated with the Saxon proper-name Urfer, which I have now to bring forward in more remote connection with the subject.-

Domesday informs us of three Staffordshire Manors (viz. Offelie, Haltone, and a third unnamed, but which I take to be Weston Jones), which were held under Robert de Stafford by Urfer, at the time of the Survey. [12] Now, two of these Manors, and the third, if rightly identified, were held afterwards under the Barons Stafford by the very same Tenants who held Cleobury North under Le Wafre. These Tenants were usually called De Haughton, from their principal Staffordshire Manor, written above as "Haltone".-

They were also Tenants partly of the Crown and partly of Fitz

[11] See Testa de Nevill, p.65, Thoddesthorne.
[12] Domesday, fos. 248, b. 2; 249, b. 1.


Alan at Withington in Shropshire, and of Fitz Alan at Knightley in Staffordshire. They were I doubt not lineal descendants of Urfer, though I cannot supply the hiatus between him and Roger Fitz Henry, who occurs eighty years later.

The latter is returned in 1165 as holding I knight's fee of the Barony of Fitz Alan, and in fees of the Barony of Robert de Stafford. [13] In one of the Stafford Fees his Under-tenants were William de Mere and Richard Fitz Noel.

Neither of these entries relate to Roger Fitz Henry's tenure of Cleobury North, nor indeed can I find that the Tenants of the Honour of Brecknock are anywhere enumerated in the Liber Niger.

A quarrel which Roger Fitz Henry had with Ralph de Baskerville of Pickthorn in 1177 has been already spoken of. [14] This however is the only circumstance which I find to associate the said Roger with the neighbourhood of Cleobury North. I have more to say of him under other localities, and will only state here that he seems to have died about March 1190, and that, having been a Tenant in Capite and his Heir being under age, his lands were for a time in the King's keeping.

The said heir, called indifferently Thomas Fitz Roger or Thomas de Halghton, had livery in 1194.

At the County Assizes, November 1221, Thomas Fitz Roger was suing the Prior of Brecknock under writ of Darrein Presentment for the Advowson of North-Claiburi. The Prior insisted that the Church was not vacant, whereupon the Plaintiff said, that if the Bishop had admitted any Incumbent, such act was in defiance of his, the Plaintiff's, appeal, and since the Plaintiff had sued out his Writ. The parties, at this juncture, came to an agreement and were ordered by the Court to have their Cyrographs. [15]

The Fine thus indicated is preserved. It purports to be levied at Salop on Nov. 8, 1221, between Thomas Fitz Roger, Plaintiff, and John Prior of Brecknock, Deforciant. The Prior had called to warranty Richard Abbot of Battle; [16] but now he acknowledged the right of the Plaintiff, who was to nominate the future Incumbent to the Prior, the latter in turn presenting him to the Diocesan Bishop. The said Incumbent was, after admission, to

[13] Liber Niger, Vol. I, pp. 143, 136.
[14] Supra, Vol. I, p. 232.
[15] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 4 recto.
[16] Brecknock Priory was a Cell of Battle Abbey, in fact Bernard de Newmarch'a foundation-charter of the former is little more than a grant to the latter of a Church which he had built and endowed at Brecon.


render to the Prior and his Successors the ancient pension due to the Church of Brecon from the Church of North Claiburi. For this acknowledgment the Plaintiff paid the Prior 2 merks. [17]

All that I have further to say of Thomas de Halecton in this place is, that he appears to have been deceased before the year 1240.

At the latter period Robert de Halecton is entered on various Tenure Rolls as holding the several Manors of his inheritance which belonged to the Baronies of Stafford and Fitz-Alan. [18]

On Jan. 20, 1254, we have a proof of his continued connection with Cleobury North, for then, in consequence of another suit of Darrein Presentment to the Church of North Clebyry, Roger Prior of Brecon acknowledged the better right of Robert de Hilenton, who, for his part and that of his heirs, undertook to pay the Prior annually half a merk at Hopton le Wafre;- and if he should allow such payment to fall into arrear, then the Prior might levy distress upon his lands &c. at Cleobury. [19]

The Inquest of 1255, which reports the Tenures of Stottesden Hundred, gives a full but somewhat confused account of the status of this Manor. [20] I infer the matter to have stood thus:- The whole Lordship Was estimated at 2 hides (less by half a hide than the Domesday measurement). It paid accordingly 4d. per hide for Stretward and 8d. per hide for Motfee. Robert de Haluchton held the whole under Robert Wafre, paying him 40s. annually for the same. Under Robert de Haluchton were two Tenants, viz. Philip de Beggesoure, who held a hide; and Brice de Cleobury, who had been enfeoffed in a virgate on condition of his discharging the suit which Robert de Haluchton owed to County and Hundred for the collective Manor.

The last that I hear of Robert de Haluchton is his appointment in Nov. 1259 as Justice for gaol-delivery at Salop. [21]

His Successor between the years 1260 and 1263 seems to have been Sir John de Haleton, knight, to whom and his heirs "Walter de Clifford Lord of Corfham grants 6 acres of his bosc of Cleybury, to be measured by the royal perch". The said land is to be assarted by the Grantee, and is described as abutting on the corner

[17] Pedes Finium, 6 Hen. III, Salop.
[18] Testa de Nevill, pp. 46, 47, 49, 50.
[19] Pedes Finium, 38 Hen. III. Hopton Wafre was at this time held of the Honour of Brecknock by Sir Robert le Wafre, under whom Robert de Haughton held Cleobury. The Prior of Brecknock had an interest in both Manors.
[20] Rot. Hundred, II, 81.
[21] Patent, 43, 44 Hen. III, dorso.


of the assart of Philip de Beggesoure. The Grantee has also license to dig coals within the Forest of La Clie, to sell or give away. [22]

Sir John de Haluchton seems to have been deceased in 1270, leaving a Widow, Agnes, and a Son and heir, Thomas. Thomas de Halghton was in turn deceased before November 25, 1282, when however his Mother Agnes was still surviving. The Inquests on his death report little which will illustrate our account of Cleobury North, except that it was not a Tenure in capite, and realized an income of 7. 5s. 8d. per annum. His son Robert was his heir, and was not yet eighteen years of age, having been born on July 25, 1265. The said Heir's marriage belonged to Nicholas Baron Stafford. [23]

The Inquisitions of 1284 give us a full account of the Tenures of Robert de Haughton.-

He held Hofyleye (High Offley) More juxta Weston, Haughton, Knightley, and Weston Jones under the Barons Stafford. He held Withington under Fitz Alan. Lastly, he held "Cleybury North under Roger de Mortimer, of the Honour of Brekenok", whilst the said Roger held the same under the Earl of Hereford, and the Earl under the King. [24] The same statement is repeated in a Tenure Roll of 23 Edw. I (1295). [25]

On Jan. 30, 1304, the King's writ of Diem clausit extremum issued on the death of Robert de Halghton as of a Tenant of the Barony of Fitz Alan, then in manu Regis.-

The Jurors, sitting at Withington on April 15 following, reported his income from Cleobury North to have been 6. 16s. 8d. arising from 2 carucates of land, rents, and other sources. His son and heir Thomas, they said, was aged fifteen years on August 29, 1303.

[22] From W. Mytton's transcript of a Charter which in 1782 was in possession of Sir Humphrey Briggs, Bart.- The witnesses are Sir John de Lingeyne, Sir John Corbet, Sir Ralph de Arraz, Sir Stephen de Buterley, Sir Walter de Hopton, Knights; Bertram de Burgo, William de Hugeford, Geoffrey de Ledewiz, William de Grosimund. Mr. Blakeway remarks on this deed as showing the low value of coal at that period (1260-3). It is the earliest mention which I have met with of coal-digging in Shropshire.
[23] Inquisitions, 11 Edw. I, No. 30.- The Jurors were altogether mistaken as to the tenure of Cleobury North. They said that Thomas de Halghton had held half the Manor and the Advowson of the Church of the Master of the Templars, and the Honour of Castle Holgate by service of a fourth part of a Knight's fee. There was no Juror from the neighbourhood of Cleobury on the panel. Hence probably the error.
[24] Kirby's Quest. Le Wafre's interest at Cleobury had at this period lapsed to Mortimer of Chirk.
[25] Blakeway's MSS.


He was born therefore in 1288. The tenure of Cleobury North is accurately distinguished from his other estates, as being under Roger de Mortimer (of Chirk). [26]

All I have here to say further of this descent is, that the heir, Thomas de Halghton, is entered as Lord of Cleobury North in the Feodary of 1316. [27]

THE PRINCIPAL TENANTS under De Haughton at Cleobury were the Lords of Badger, of whom I have given account in a former Volume.

I have said that in 1221 Thomas Fitz Roger obtained a full title to the Advowson of Cleobury North from the Prior of Brecknock. Apparently at the same time Roger, son of Philip de Baggesore, quit-claims all right in the same Advowson to Sir Thomas Fitz Roger. Witnesses- Sir Hugh, Bishop of Hereford; Master Thomas, Dean of Hereford; Master Nicholas de Wlurunhampton, Alexander de Cleibury. [28]

Philip de Baggesoure's estate here in 1255 consisted of 1 hide of land. At his death, previous to December 1258, the Inquest says consistently that he had held the Manor under Robert de Halgweton at an annual rent of 1. 3s. 4d., but that the full value of the tenure was 3. 17s. 5d. [29]

Philip, son of this Philip, dying in 1291, was similarly found to have held lands at Nort-Clebury under Robert de Halchton, at a rent of 1. 3s. 4d.-

Two Carucates of this land which he held in demesne were valued at 4 per annum; 5 virgates and 1 noke, which he under-let, returned 5. 15s. 8d.; and a Moiety of the Mill produced 1. 2s. 6d. [30]

Again in 1301, Thomas de Baggesovre, son of the last-named Philip, was found to have received a rent of 2s. in Northcleburi for a messuage and 6 acres of land which Roger de Baggesovre, then deceased, had held under him. [31]

Other Undertenants of this Manor occur, as Brice de Cleobury in 1255, and John le Yunge of Cleobury in 1301; but, with the exception of these two, I know of none whom it is worth while to mention even thus summarily.

[26] Inquisitions, 32 Edw. I, No. 19.
[27] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 398.
[28] Transcript by W. Mytton, from a Deed of Henry Powys, Esq. (1742). The names mentioned in this Deed fix its date as between 1219 and 1226.
[29] Inquisitions, 48 Hen. III, No. 32.
[30] Inquisitions, 19 Edw. I, No. 10.
[31] Inquisitions, 29 Edw. I, No.7.



WE have seen that a Church existed here in the reign of Henry I; how it was then given to Brecknock Priory; how this right of Advowson was in 1221 disputed by the Lord of the Fee; how the Prior's right was commuted for a payment of two merks down and a mediate right of Presentation, which enabled him to exact the fealty of every successive Incumbent before he could be presented to the Bishop, such fealty being moreover a security for the payment of an annual pension by the said Incumbent to the Prior.

We have further seen this Pension commuted in 1254 for an annual rent-charge on the estate of the Lord of Cleobury.-

This freed the Church from all liability. So the Taxation of 1291 values the Church of Cleobury North, in Stottesden Deanery, at 8. 13s. 4d. per annum, and makes no allusion to any pension due thereon. [32]

The Parochial Inquest of 1341 recites the above Taxation, but assesses the Parish only at 2. 6s. 8d. The reasons given for the diminution were, that 2 virgates of land lay unfilled, the tenants having quitted under stress of poverty, that there were no sheep in the parish, and because the small-tithes, offerings, and glebe-land were computed in the Church Taxation, but were unavailable in estimating the Ninth. [33]

In 1534, the Church of Clybery North, of which Owyn Holcrofte was then Rector, is estimated to be worth 5. 19s. 4d. per annum in glebe land, corn and other tithes and oblations. The Procurations chargeable on this income were 6s. 8d. and the Synodals 6d. [34]


ROBERT DE HALUTON, Incumbent of this Church, has a two years' license to study, dated May 27, 1278. He was probably brother of Sir Thomas, then Lord of the Manor. He occurs again as Incumbent in 1294.

THOMAS DOBYN, Subdeacon, Incumbent of this Church, has a five years' license to study, dated July 30, 1313; which license is renewed in 1315 for a similar period of five years.

WALTER DOBYN, who in 1321, as Incumbent of this Church, has a dispensation to study, is presumed to be identical with-

[32] Pope Nich. Tax. p. 166, Stottesden Deanery.
[33] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 190.
[34] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 211.
[35] Blakeway'e MSS.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


SIR WALTER, the Incumbent of 40 Edw. III (1366-7).

SIR JOHN DUNE, Chaplain, occurs as Incumbent Jan. 16, 1379.

ROBERT HALTON resigned this preferment on May 27, 1383, having exchanged with-

THOMAS DE PLAIDWYK, late Vicar of Lilleshall, who was admitted here on presentation of Thomas de Peshale, son and heir of Sir Richard de Peshale, Knight.


THIS place, like Burwardsley, owes the first part of its name to an early Saxon Settler; but whether the Burhred thus remembered were one or two persons I cannot determine,- nor do I think Helgot's subsequent interest in both Manors to be relevant to the question. Domesday tells us that-

"The same Radulfus (de Mortimer) holds Burertone (of the Earl), and Helgot (holds it) of him. Azor held it (in time of King Edward). Here is half a hide geldable. The (arable) land is (enough) for III ox-teams. Here two Villains have one team. It was waste (i.e. when it came to Mortimer). Now it is worth 2 shillings" (per annum). [1]

The Seigneury of Mortimer of Wigmore continued here for at least three Centuries, but the ordinary Successors of Helgot do not appear to have retained the Tenancy; I say ordinary Successors, for it is clear to me that Robert de Girros, of whom I am next to speak in connection with Burwarton, was an early Feoffee of the Barons of Castle Holgate, even if a share of Helgot's Domesday Fief did not come to him by inheritance.

The first occurrence of Robert de Girros is his attestation, about 1138-9, of Philip de Belmeis' grant to Buildwas Abbey; and in this instance his name is preceded by those of Herbert de Castello (then Lord of Holgate) and Nicholas his Brother. [2]

From Michaelmas 1155 till Michaelmas 1190, this Robert de Girros, or his Son of the same name, occurs as a Tenant of the Crown in the Royal Manor of Claverley. Then however his estates

[1] Domesday, fo. 257, a. 1.
[2] Supra, Vol. II, p. 203.


fell into the King's hands, probably by death and the minority of his heir, but of that we are not informed. This Escheat extended to various lands which he must have derived from the Barons of Holgate; but whereas the succession to that Barony was about this time matter of dispute, we cannot conclude from hence that the Escheator's interference arose under any forfeiture.

The Escheators' Rolls for the half years ending Michaelmas 1194 and March 1195 account for two sums of 13s. 7d. e,ach, being the "ferm of Robert de Girros' land of Burwardton". [3]-

All that we may infer from this is, that Robert de Girros had been used to receive an annual income of 1. 7s. 2d. in respect of his tenure at Burwarton;- that such receipt would ordinarily, in case of the minority of an heir, go to the immediate Seigneur, that is, to the Lord of Holgate;- but that now it went to the Crown, because the succession to the Barony of Holgate was at this period undetermined.

Previous to Michaelmas 1195, another Robert de Girros, heir I presume of the last, had made some Fine with the Crown. Though this Fine is alluded to in four successive Pipe-Rolls, its amount and object are nowhere specified. [4]-

All this points to the same inference, viz. that the Crown was not immediately concerned in the succession of Girros, but only as Trustee of the abeyant Barony of Holgate.

About this time I find Robert and Jordan de Girros attesting a Charter of William Fitz Alan (II) which appears to have passed in a full Court of the County.

From this period till his death in 1251, Robert de Girros is constantly appearing in connection with one or other of his Shropshire estates. I shall often have to recur to his name. His concern at Burwarton seems to have been made over to his Sister Isabella, who, before 1207, had become the wife of Thomas de Constantyne, and whose son, another Thomas de Constantyne, was eventually found to be the Coheir of Robert de Girros.

As regards the mesne interest possessed by the Lords of Holgate in Burwarton, it vanishes after the succession of Thomas Mauduit to that Barony. Thenceforth Burwarton was held immediately of Mortimer of Wigmore, by the heirs or assignees of Robert de Girros; but this tenancy was not altogether undisturbed.-

It would appear that both Robert de Girros and Thomas de

[3] Rot. Pip. 6 and 7 Ric. I, Schedules of Escheats.
[4] Rot. Pip. 7 Ric. I, et seq.


Constantyne joined the Rebellious Barons in 1216 and 1217, and that Hugh de Mortimer took that opportunity of confiscating to himself whatever was held of his Barony by either or both those persons. On their return to the King's allegiance in 1217, each of them obtained general Letters of Reseizin. Mortimer does not seem to have recognized the exigency of these Letters. Hence he was sued by both Robert de Girros and Thomas de Constantyne, under different writs of novel disseizen, for their respective rights in Shineton and Burwarton. Both Plaintiffs were successful. The causes were tried at Shrewsbury in November 1221, when Hugh de Mortimer was found to have "unjustly disseized Thomas de Costentin of his free tenement in Burewarton", and damages to the extent of 80 merks were awarded to the said Thomas. [5]

In 1240, Thomas de Costentin is entered as holding one third of a Knight's Fee in Borwarton under Ralph de Mortimer. [6] Whether this Thomas were husband or Son of Isabella de Girros I cannot say. It was doubtless the second "Thomas de Costentyn" who, in 1255, is said to be Lord of Burewarton, in Stottesdon Hundred, and to hold the same immediately of Roger de Mortimer, for a third part of a Knight's-Fee. The Manor contained half a hide of land (its Domesday measurement), did suit to the Hundred, and paid the Sheriff 2d. annually for Stretward, and 4d. for Motfee. [7]

Adam de Montgomery had for his second wife Isabella, daughter and sole heir of Thomas de Constantine. The Lady died first; and Adam being also deceased on July 28, 1290, an Inquest, taken at Chetton, found him to have held the Manor of Borewarton by a third part of a Knight's-fee under Dame Matilda de Mortimer. His son by Isabella de Constantine was named Robert, and was found to be heir of Borewarton, being eighteen years of age on March 2, 1290. [8]

The issue of Isabella de Constantine appears to me to have become extinct, and the Manor of Burwarton to have passed to Walter de Hopton as her nearest of kin. Thus, on the death of Edmund de Mortimer of Wigmore in 1304, Walter de Hopton was found to be holding half a fee in Borewarton of that Barony. [9] Also, when on March 10, 1305, Walter de Hopton was himself

[5] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 6.
[6] Testa de Nevill, p. 45.
[7] Rot. Hundred, II, p. 82.
[8] Inquisitions,18 Edw. I, No. 5. Dame Matilda de Mortimer was widow of Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore, who died in 1282. The Seigneury of Burwarton was clearly part of her dower.
[9] Inquisitions, 32 Edw. I, No. 63. b.


deceased, the Inquest which sat on his death found him to have held a third part of a Knight's-fee in Burwarton of the heir of Edmund de Mortimer, [10] which heir was then in minority.

The heir of Walter de Hopton was also a Minor at his Father's death, and so continued; for the Feodary of March 1316 gives Burwarton as in the King's hand, by reason of the nonage of Walter de Hopton. [11]

Observing that these Hoptons held the vill of Stanton, near Pembridge in Herefordshire, under the same House of Mortimer, I here quit a subject which must recur to our notice on many future occasions.

OF THE UNDER-TENANTS in this Manor we have several notices. First, I find William Ward or Wiard suing Roger de Burwarton and Alice his wife under writ of Mort d'Ancestre for half a virgate here. The matter resulted in a Fine, levied at Shrewsbury, Sept. 26, 1199, whereby William withdrew his claim. Roger and Alice, on their part, renounced all claim which they had in respect of Alice's right to dower in Lug*ton, by gift of Wiard the Forester, her former husband. They moreover gave to William 24s. [12] It was doubtless in respect of his conduct in this Suit that Roger de Boreworton appears on the Pipe Roll as amerced one merk by the Justices in Eyre "for unjust detention". [13]

Before the transfer of Burwarton from Robert de Girros to his Brother-in-Law, one Philip de Girros seems to have held a small parcel of land here under his wealthy but probably distant relation.-

In 1225, this Philip being dead, Emma his Widow was suing Thomas de Costantin for her thirds of half a virgate in Burwarton, which she claimed as dower. [14] The Defendant did not appear, and no result is stated; but among Pleas heard by the King himself at Salop in August 1226, Philip, son and heir of Philip, recovers seizin of half a virgate in Burwarton from Thomas de Costantyn. [15] I have shown under Faintree how this same Philip recovered other land in that Manor on this occasion, [16] but I did not there state, what here appears obvious, that his real name was Philip de Girros. Under the latter designation we probably recognize him as a Juror

[10] Inquisitions, 33 Edw. I, No. 77.
[11] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 398.
[12] Pedes Finium, 1 John, Salop.
[13] Rot. Pip. 1 John, Salop, Amerciamenta.
[14] Placita apud Westm. 9-10 Hen. III, m. 14 dorso.
[15] Abbreviatio Placitorum, p. 103.
[16] Supra, Vol. I, p. 164.


[See the pdf for this engraving.]


for Stottesden Hundred in 1255, and as then interested in Baskervill's estate at Northwood.

The following Deed shows another sub-tenancy here.-

William de Leghton and Isabella his wife convey (tradunt) to Sibil, wife of William de Herfordaire, and Henry her son, that house and half a garden in Borewarton which Thomas de Herfordsire once held:- to hold for lives of the Lessees at 12d. rent. The Lessees give for this 3s. Witnesses- Philip de Cherlecote, Edmund de Cherlecote, Thomas le Costentin, and Richard Clerk of Midelton. [17]

It further appears that Roger de Bagsore of Cleobury North, who died in 1300, as before stated, had held 18 acres of land in Borewarton, under one Thomas Bonastre, to whom he paid a rent of one rose. [18] Bonastre himself was of course an Under-tenant, and was perhaps son of that Roger Bonost of Burwarton whom we shall find attesting deeds under Middleton Priors, which passed earlier in the thirteenth Century.


THE first positive notice which I have of this Church is implied by mention of its Incumbents, but it was probably older than any such evidence would suggest. In 1291, the Church of Borewarton, in the Deanery of Stottesden, was valued at 3. 6s. 8d. per annum, nor was its Rector elsewhere beneficed. [19]

In 1341, the Assessors of the Ninth only taxed the Parish at 12s., but the reasons for so low an assessment are not given. [20]

In 1534-5, Thomas Persones being Rector of Burwarton, his preferment in glebe-land, tithe of corn and other produce, and in offerings, was valued at 4. 15s. 8d., on which sum 6d. per annum was chargeable for Archdeacon's Synodals. [21]


ALAN, Rector of Burwarton, occurs about the middle of the thirteenth Century. It will be seen under, Middleton Priors that he was Father of a son Richard, commonly called "Richard Clerk of Middleton", in allusion, I suppose, to his clerical origin.

[17] Charter in possession of Mr. George Morris. The witness, Thomas le Costentin, was probably a Cadet of the former Lords of Burwarton, as the deed would seem to belong to a period later than the failure of the elder male line.
[18] Inquisitions, 29 Edw. I, No. 7.
[19] Pope Nich. Tax. 166.
[20] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 194.
[21] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 211.
[22] From Blakeway's MSS., except where other reference is given.


AUDOEN DE MONTGOMERY was instituted to this Church, May 27, 1290, on presentation of Sir Adam de Montgomery, Knight. In 1297, being yet in Subdeacon's orders, he has letters of Protection. [23]

MASTER ROBERT PEET, Priest, was instituted Aug. 13, 1310, having been presented by the King, as Custos of the heirs of Walter de Hopton deceased. [24]

SIR THOMAS DE BOULWAS, instituted June 5, 1341.

THOMAS DR ERCALWE, instituted Aug. 27, 1349, on presentation of Sir Walter de Hopton, Knight. This Rector occurs again in 1364.

SIR WILLIAM STRICHESLEY was instituted Aug. 4, 1373, the Bishop of Hereford presenting under right of lapse. On April 21, 1384, having exchanged with-

SIR HUGH DAVYS, late Vicar of Maumle, the latter is instituted to Burwarton.


THE Saxon language must have had an adjective to correspond with the noun-substantive Cele, which signified chillness. Such an adjective, different from Cealb, or cold, and corresponding to the modern term chill, will, in conjunction with meprc, a marsh, give us the etymology of the name before us.

Domesday notices the place as follows:-

The same Radulf (de Mortimer) holds Celmeres (of the Earl). Earl Eduin held it (in time of King Edward). Here are V hides geldable. In demesne are III ox-teams and (there are) VI serfs and XIII villains and VIII boors with VI ox-teams. In time of King Edward it was worth 6. (per annum), and afterwards was waste. Now (it is worth) 40s. [1]

A Monastic History of the great House of Mortimer assures us that Ralph de Mortimer, the Domesday Baron, died August 4, 1100, but that before his death, he, being then in Normandy, sent over to England a Wife whom he had selected for his son Hugh, viz. a daughter of William Longespey Duke of Normandy. [2]

[23] Prynne, III, 595.
[24] Patent, 4 Edw. II, m. 23.
[1] Domesday, fo. 257, a. 1.
[2] Monasticon, VI, 349, Num. III.


Now, whereas we know from better authority, and indeed from another part of this very Chronicle, that Ralph de Mortimer was living some years after the succession of Henry I, and whereas William Longespee Duke of Normandy died in December, 942, that is a century-and-half before his alleged daughter's marriage; and whereas Hugh de Mortimer survived this ostended date of his own nuptials eighty-five years, we may not place implicit reliance on the details of this "Genealogical History".-

The document however, such as it is, supplies us with all that we are likely to learn, or rather to hear, of the first Feoffees of Chelmarsh.

William de Mortimer, we are told, a younger son of the Domesday Baron, was for a short time Lord of Chelmarsh, by bounty of Hugh his elder Brother, and afterwards he was Lord of Netherleye "by singular and special gift of the same Lord Hugh".

Hugh de Mortimer's reassumption of the Manor of Chelmarsh is shown by another document. [3] About the middle of Stephen's reign, a Society of Augustine Canons, afterwards settled at Wigmore, had obtained a footing at Shobdon in Herefordshire. This was by procurement of Oliver de Merlimond, Chief Steward to Hugh de Mortimer. Their Patron falling into disgrace with his Suzerain, and forfeiting all his estates, the Canons experienced a like vicissitude of fortune. On one occasion indeed, and softened by the intercession of Robert de Betun, Bishop of Hereford, Mortimer seems to have been more leniently inclined to these Shobdon Canons.-

He assumed the air of a Patron, promised them the vill of "Cheilmers", and actually contemplated their removal thither. The situation of Chelmarsh, more distant from the Welsh Border, was judged to be better suited for a House of Religion than Shobdon. Neither the promised grant nor the proposed removal was ever carried into effect; nay, the Canons were deprived of the vill of Shobdon without receiving any equivalent. Many years did these Churchmen experience the alternate tyranny and patronage of the powerful Baron on whose estates they had been thrown.

But in the year 1179, Hugh de Mortimer, at length earnest about the foundation of Wigmore Abbey, endowed it with (inter alia) the Advowson of Cheilmarsh.

This Hugh, second Baron of Wigmore, died Feb. 26, 1185, leaving Roger, his eldest son, his heir, and three other sons.

[3] Monasticon, VI, 345, Num. ii.


Among the latter was Hugh de Mortimer, the second recorded Lord of Chelmarsh, viz. to whom, with his wife Felicia de Sancto Sydonio, Hugh his Father had granted that Manor, together with Suddebury (Sidbury).

Hugh Lord of Chelmarsh and Sidbury was slain in a Tournament at Worcester. Apparently he left no issue; and Felicia his Widow, surviving him, surrendered Chelmarsh to the Lord of the Fee, viz. to Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore, elder Brother of her deceased husband.

For this the Baron paid 24 merks, as the circumstantial if not accurate Writer, whom I quote, informs us.

Roger, third Baron Mortimer of Wigmore, died, says the same authority, "June 24, 1215".

Altering this date by a year, into June 24, 1214, [4] I proceed to state that in his lifetime this Roger had enfeoffed his eldest Son, Hugh, in Chelmarsh. Hugh, on succeeding to his Father, transferred the Manor to Ralph, called his half- brother, but dying without issue [5] on November 10, 1227, the said Feoffee became his heir and fifth Baron of Wigmore.

Ralph de Mortimer had by his wife, Gladuse, daughter of Llewellyn Prince of Wales, several sons, of whom I only mention here Roger, the eldest, and Hugh. Chelmarsh, as usual, became the Appanage of the younger son, Hugh, [6] but did not, as in former instances, revert again to the Suzerain, for Hugh transmitted it to his descendants. Of him and them I am now to speak, as constituting that line of "Mortimer of Chelmarsh" which, though hardly of Baronial Rank, was of an importance very proximate.

The Manor of Chelmarsh was not the only benefit said to have been conferred by Ralph de Mortimer on his son Hugh. He is also alleged to have procured from Eudo la Zouche, unto whom the King had granted it, the marriage of Agatha de Ferrers, and thereupon to have wedded her to his said Son. [7]

This statement requires some qualification, with which a little attention to chronology will supply us.-

[4] Stapleton's Rot. Normanniae, II, cxxi, points out this correction.
[5] "Unmarried", says the Chronicle, but not truly.
[6] Mr. Dukes (Antiquities, p. 246) quotes Cart. 80 Hen. III, m. 5, to show that Chamers was assigned in temporary dower to Gladys, widow of Ralph de Mortimer. My reference to the Charter- Roll does not enable me to verify this quotation, but the alleged fact probably rests on some other sufficient authority. The year indicated (1246) was that of Ralph de Mortimer's death.
[7] Dugdale'a Baronage, I, 168.


Agatha de Ferrers was the youngest of seven daughters born to that William Earl Ferrers who died in 1254, by his first wife Sibil, sister and, in her issue, Coheir of Anselm, last Earl Marshal of his line.

Agatha, being Coheiress of her Mother, was entitled to a proportion of her said Mother's estate, that is, to a seventh part of a fifth share of the Honour of Marshal Earl of Pembroke. Being a Coheiress to this extent, her marriage was at the disposal of the King; but in 36 Hen. III (1251-2) her Father, William Earl Ferrers, obtained from the Crown the Custody of his daughter Agatha, on condition that she should not marry without the King's license. [8]

Now, whereas Ralph Lord Mortimer died in 1246, it is obvious that his son Hugh's marriage with Agatha de Ferrers was not by the Father's procurement.

In July 1253, Eudo la Zouche proffered to the King a fine of 150 merks to have the marriage of Agatha de Ferrers, if the Earl her Father would consent to such marriage. His Fine was accepted, "but if Eudo should not eventually have the said marriage nor the value thereof", the whole debt of 100 was to be remitted. [9]

It would appear from the Patent Rolls of a following year (1255) that she then married Hugh de Mortimer of Chelmarsh. [10]

Hugh, like his elder Brother Roger, was steady in the Royal cause in 1265. In 1266, attending the King at the famous siege of Kenilworth, and losing his horse in that service, the King, in compensation, excuses a debt of 40 merks which his faithful and beloved Hugh de Mortimer and Agatha, Coheir of the Earls Marshal, wife of the said Hugh, owed to the Crown in respect of the debts of the said Earls. [11]

But I must return to say something of this Hugh's possession of Chelmarsh, which seems, after all, to have been neither undisputed nor complete.

[8] Claus. 36 Hen. III, m. 10.
[9] Fines, Vol. II, p. 166.
[10] On July 24, the King orders Agnes de Vesci to give up her Sister Agatha to Hugh, son of Ralph de Mortimer, to whom Eudo la Zouche, the King's original Grantee, had conceded and transferred his right to the said Heiress. Agnes de Vesci had obtained custody of her Sister, under an order of the Queen and the Earl of Cornwall, while the King was in Gascony, and they (the Queen and Earl) probably being ignorant of the King's previous grant. (Pat. 39 Hen. III).
[11] Fines, Vol. II, p. 447. Dated at Kenilworth, 26 Oct. 1266. The Shropshire Pipe Roll of 1269 represents Hugh de Mortimer and his wife Agatha as then owing the King 143. 9s. 2d., balance of a Fine, originally charged in Essex, for Agatha's share of the Earl Marshal's inheritance.


On April 29, 1255, the King appoints William Trussell, as "Justiciar to take an assize of novel disseizin which Hugh de Mortimer had arraigned against Roger de Mortimer concerning his tenement in Cheylmers". [12]

In the summer of the same year, the Stottesden Jurors gave the following account of this Manor:-

"Hugh de Mortimer is Lord of Cheylmerse, in which are five hides of land geldabre, and he does (suit) to the County and Hundred;- whereof the aforesaid Hugh holds the whole except 44 virgates which Roger de Mortimer holds with the capital messuage, three Mills, and one gorth, [13] and he does (suit) to the Hundred by Hugh de Sutton his Attorney, and pays the Sheriff 10d. for Stretward and 20d. for Motfee". The latter liability, I should observe, is at half the usual rate;- other Manors in Stottesden Hundred were assessed at 4d. and 8d. per hide to the charges of Stretward and Motfee. [14]

The next document which I have to quote in relation to Chelmarsh, shows that Roger de Mortimer continued to hold not only the seigneury of, but a very considerable demesne interest in the Manor. On the 9th of November 1266, King Henry III, then at Kenilworth, granted to Roger de Mortimer and his heirs, that they should hold their Manor of Cleybury and Chelmarsh, with its members, quit of all tallages, suits of County or Hundred, and all other customs accruing to the King from the said Manor and its members;- so that no Sheriff, Bailiff, or Minister of the King should enter the said Manor or its members to levy any distress in respect of such dues aforesaid; but that the said Roger should hold the same with sak and sok, &c. and free from all pleas, and from (amercements for) larceny, murders, blodwyte, forstall, hamsok, &c. [15]

These privileges, which the King granted at instance of Prince Edward, were extended by Mortimer to Sidbury, Nene Savage, and other Manors which he chose to consider members of Cleobury and Chelmarsh. Hence in 1292, Edmund de Mortimer, son and heir of Roger, was sued by the Crown under writ of Quo Waranto. He pleaded King Henry's Charter as authorizing his exercise of the said franchises; but the Crown Prosecutor took exception as

[12] Patent, 39 Hen. III, dorso.
[13] Gorth, from the French, Gort; which Spellmann interprets to be "a part of a river, narrowed in for the purpose of taking fish". The Weir attached to Chelmarsh was probably in the Severn.
[14] Rot. Hund. II, 81.
[15] Rot. Cart. 51 Hen. III, m. 11.


regarded Sidbury, Nene Savage, and other alleged members, saying that King Henry's Charter only contemplated such Manors as Roger de Mortimer held in demesne. [16]

It follows that Chelmarsh was admitted to be of the latter class. Let us now return to the principal Feoffee in the Manor.

Hugh de Mortimer of Chelmarsh served as Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire from March 10, 1271, till his death, [17] whereupon Letters Patent, of date January 23, 1278, appoint Ralph de Mortimer to the custody of those Counties, and of the Castles of Shrewsbury and Bruges, for which trust he is to be answerable at the Exchequer "as Hugh de Mortimer deceased, late Constable and Sheriff, used to be". Hugh appears to have been buried at Wigmore. [18] Ralph de Mortimer, Successor of Hugh in the Shrievalty, was his nephew;- son and heir apparent of Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore, but who never succeeded to that Barony, owing to his early death.

Hugh's Successor in estate was his own second Son, Henry, for his elder Son, John, appears to have died before his Father and without issue. But Agatha de Ferrers, Hugh's Widow, long survived him. Under name of Agatha de Mortimer, she had summons to send her service for the Muster against Lewelin, which was to take place at Worcester on July 1, 1277. [19]

In 1284, the Sheriff of Shropshire returned Agatha de Mortimer as still owing to the Crown a sum of 31. 6s. 8d., being on account of her share of the inheritance of the Earl Marshal, which had previously been assessed upon her in the accounts of the Sheriff of Herefordshire. [20]

As holding lands in Dorsetshire and Somersetshire to the annual value of 40. and upwards, she was included in the military summons of 1300, when Muster was to be at Carlisle, on June 24, against the Scots. [21]

On July 12, 1306, the King's Writ of Diem clausit extremum

[16] Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 677.
[17] Mr. Blakeway (Sheriff's, i, p. 46) has represented the Sheriff of 1271-2 to have been Hugh de Mortimer, of Richards- Castle. Dugdale (Baronage, I, 163,) has made the same mistake. Hugh, the Sheriff, however died more than two years before his Contemporary of Richards- Castle. The error is emphatically corrected by entries on tho Hundred Rolls of 1274 (Vol. II, pp. 99, 104), where the extortions of John Baril, sometime "Under Sheriff to Hugh de Mortimer, of Chelmarsh", are made matter of complaint.
[18] "Jacet in medio Capelae Beatae Meriae Virginis", says the Wigmore Annalist. (Monasticon, VI, 360).
[19] Parliamentary Writs, I, 196.
[20] Rot. Pip. 12 Edw. I, Salop.
[21] Parliamentary Writs, I, 337.


issued on the decease of Agatha de Mortimer. Her estates lay in Bedfordshire, Dorsetshire, and in Ireland. Henry de Mortimer, her son and heir, was on one Inquest stated to be upwards of 30, on two other Inquests to be 40 years of age. [22]

Henry de Mortimer of Chelmarsh, of whom I proceed to speak, was probably at his Mother's death as old or older than any of these Inquests would lead us to think; for, as early as the year 1286, he was entered on the Shropshire Pipe Roll as son and heir of Hugh de Mortimer, formerly Sheriff, and as liable for certain undischarged debts of his said Father entered on the Roll of 1278. [23]

In 1297, Henry de Mortimer was returned from the County of Salop as holding lands and rents of the annual value of 20., and so summoned to perform Military service in parts beyond the Seas; the Muster being fixed for July 7, at London. [24]

In 1306, the King accepted his homage as heir of Agatha his Mother. [25]

He had military summons for Sept. 29, 1309, to serve against the Scots. He attended the Parliament of Westminster in August 1312 as a Knight of the Shire of Salop. In 1316, he is returned as Lord of the Townships of Halmonds Froome, in Herefordshire, and of Chelmarsh and Aston juxta Caus, in Shropshire. [26]

Various Inquisitions, in pursuance of the King's Writ of Diem clausit extremum, dated October 25, 1317, were held after the death of Sir Henry de Mortimer. He had held in capite a sixth of the Manor of Luton, Bedfordshire, by service of a sixth part of half a knight's-fee. He had held the Manor of Cheylmersh of Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore, by service of half a fee: also the hamlet of Aston (juxta Caus) of Peter Corbet by one sixth of a fee. Conjointly with his wife Custancia he had held certain tenements at the Lyehalle, which had been settled by fine on him and his said wife conjointly, with remainder to their heirs, of their bodies, and with further remainder to the right heirs of Henry. This tenure was under Hugh de Dudemaston, in free socage and by a penny rent. His Son and Heir, Hugh de Mortimer, was on all hands stated to have attained his full age of 21 years on August 1 previous. [27]

All that I shall further say of this Sir Hugh de Mortimer is,

[22] Inquisitions, 34 Edw. I, No. 38.
[23] Rot. Pip. 14 Edw. I, Salop, quoting Rot. 6 Edw. I.
[24] Parliamentary Writs, I, 291.
[25] Originalia, 34 Edw. I, Rot. 18.
[26] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 1200.
[27] Inquisitions, 11 Edw. II, No. 48.


that having adhered to the Earl of Lancaster and the rebellious Barons, he submitted in 1322 to a fine of 200. in ransom of his life and lands, the latter being situate in the Counties of Bedford, Berks, Salop, and Worcester, and in Ireland. [28]

The male line of Mortimer of Chelmarsh expired with William and Hugh, Grandsons of this Sir Hugh, one of whom was imbecile, while the other (Hugh) fell at the Battle of Shrewsbury on July 21, 1403.

On this event the male issue of Sir Hugh above mentioned was found to be extinct, whilst his heir general was John de Cressi Junior, Great Grandson of his daughter Joan. On failure of this line also, the title to Chelmarsh is assigned by a Monastic Chronicle to Richard Plantagenet Duke of York, as representing the Earls of March, whose ancestor, Ralph de Mortimer of Wigmore, had granted Feoffment in the Manor to his second Son. [29]

I have attempted to express these facts in a tabular form, together with others which are derived from more authoritative documents than a Monastic Chronicle.-

One account implies that Hugh de Mortimer, who died in 1372, having long before (viz. in 1344) settled his estates by fine, had a third daughter, Matilda, not mentioned in that fine. At all events a claim was set up on behalf of one apparently alleged to be descended from this third daughter. If justly, then the right heirs of Hugh de Mortimer, after the line of Cressi became extinct, were of a family named Redebergh, and not the Earl of March, then Duke of York, unless indeed the Redeberghs became extinct also. However, the Inquisitions which go to prove this heirship of the Redeberghs are incompatible with other established facts. [30]

[28] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 1200;- where some further particulars are given of this Sir Hugh, whom Mr. Blakeway however thought to have been of Richards-Castle: the last Mortimer of that house died in 1304.
[29] Monasticon, V, 271. Where the whole descent of Mortimer of Chelmarsh is given, but not with perfect accuracy.
[30] Inquisitions, 4 Hen. IV, No. 28, and 12 Hen. VI, No. 49. Edmund de Redebergh of 1403 and 1433 is stated to have been born in or before 1366, and to have been Great Grandson of Matilda de Mortimer, viz. son of Hugh, son of Thomas, son of the said Matilda. At this rate Matilda must have been born at least as early as 1306; but we know that at that period her ostended Father (Hugh) was under 10 years of age. The probability is that Matilda was in truth a Mortimer, but not Daughter of that Hugh who died in 1372, as the Inquests imply. Supposing her to have been daughter of the Hugh de Mortimer who died in 1273, or in any way descended from him, her issue will still have been nearer representatives of Mortimer of Chelmarsh than was the Duke of York. However, I am unable to assign to Matilda her proper place in the annexed Pedigree.


Edmund Earl of March, Grandson of the last-named Edmund, was seized of a Knight's Fee in Chelmarsh, of 100s. annual value. [36]


THE earliest notice which we have of a Church here consists in the grant of the Advowson thereof to Wigmore Abbey in 1179.

In 1291, the Church of Cheylmarsh is valued at 10., being appropriated to the Abbey of Wigmore.-

The Vicar's portion therein was less than 4. [37]

However, in 1341, the aggregate Taxation of Cheylemersche Church is stated to be 14. The Parish was rated to the Ninth at 5. 10s. only, for several reasons:- there were neither sheep nor lambs therein; 14 virgates of land lay unfilled, the Tenants having quitted; also the Glebe, hay tithe, offerings and other small tithes, which went to swell the ecclesiastical value, realized 5. 6s. 8d. per annum, and were not to be estimated in the present assessment. [38]

In 1345, Hugh de Mortimer of Chelmarsh erected and endowed a Chantry or Chapel, dedicated to St. James, in this Church. He granted a messuage and 3. 2s. 4d. annual rent to a Chaplain, to perform daily service in the said Chapel for the soul of the said Hugh.

The Inquest, which found that the proposed grant would be uninjurious to the Crown, stated the premises to be held of Henry de Mortimer and of Roger de Mortimer, and that the Grantor would be receiving 40. per annum in Chelmarsh after the proposed grant had been carried into effect. [39]

[36] Ibidem. The Calendar of Escheat, (voL iv, p. 93,) would lead to the inference that on the death of this Edmund in 1424, he was seized of 2 Knights' Fees in Chelmarsh, held under him by Hugh and Henry de Mortimer. The male line of Mortimer of Chelmarsh had however expired long before. The list of Fees here alluded to seems to me to be a compilation from one or more older Feodaries of the Honour of Mortimer. Certainly many of the entries describe a state of things no longer existing in 1424, nor, as I think, at any one previous period.
[37] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 166. Decanatus de Stottesdone.
[38] Inquisitones Nonarum, p. 190.
[39] Inquisitions, 19 Edw. III (2nd Numbers) No. 38.- Mr. Blakeway, knowing that at this period there were two Members of the family of Mortimer holding in Chelmarsh under Mortimer of Wigmore, supposes that Hugh, the Founder of St. James' Chantry, was a brother of Sir Henry de Mortimer who died in 1317. He was however his Son, and at this period, 1346, the only real Feoffee in the Manor (his Brother Henry's tenure being merely for life). His being said in the Inquest, to hold under Henry de Mortimer, as well as under Roger (of Wigmore), his chief Suzerain, is easily explained. A Fine had been levied in 1344, between Hugh de Mortimer, of Chelmarsh, Senior, and Henry de Mortimer (obviously his eldest Son), whereby Hugh surrendered Chelmarsh to said Henry and the heirs of his body, with divers reversions to the Brethren and Sisters of said Henry, as enumerated in the annexed Pedigree. Hugh however was to hold the Manor for life. Thus, I imagine, did he come to be described in 1345 as Tenant of Henry (Fine quoted in Inquisition, 6 Henry VI, No. 51), that is, of his own Son. Sir Hugh died in 1372, surviving his eldest Son Henry, who had left two Sons, William and Hugh. William, the heir, was imbecile all his life. The successive managers of his Estate were appointed by the Crown. They were, Adam Peshale, nominated in 1372; Hugh de Mortimer, nominated in 1384, and whom I take to have been second Son of Hugh Senior; and a third, Hugh de Mortimer, nominated in 1386-7, who was undoubtedly brother of William, and became heir both of William and of Hugh, the previous Guardian. The last-named Hugh would thus be Uncle of Hugh the third. The document from which I quote calls them cousins (consanguineos), a term sometimes used rather loosely, and which I have hesitated to embody in my Table of this Genealogy. (Vide Dodsworth, vols. 52 and 80).


In 1584, Thomas Westwood being Rector of Chelmershe, his preferment is valued at 6. 13s. 4d. per annum, chargeable with 6s. 8d. for procurations and 1s., for synodals. The Abbot of Wigmore's account in the same Record, without specifying any receipts from this Church, charges among his outgoings an annual Pension of 1. 6s. 8d. payable to the Vicar of Chelmershe. [40]


NICHOLAS, Vicar of Chaumers, occurs in a Deed without date.

SIR WILLIAM, Perpetual Vicar of Chelmarsh, occurs in 1320.

JOHN DE NORTHFELD, Priest, Was instituted to this Vicarage Sept. 3, 1349, on presentation of the Abbey and Convent of Wigmore. On Dec. 1 of the same year, Sir Roger de la Hulle de Dylne, Priest, was similarly presented, but not instituted;- and Sir Richard de *ongeb' is said to have been instituted on resignation of Sir John de Northfeld, Oct 26, 1350, by presentation of Wigmore Abbey.


About the year 1699, the following Arms were noted in Chelmarsh Church. [42]

I. Barry of six Or and Az: on a chief of the first two pallets between as many gyronies of the second: over all an inescutcheon Arg.

This is the well-known coat of Mortimer of Wigmore, and empaled therewith was-

II. Gu a fesse arg; in chief two plates.

III. Mortimer of Wigmore, empaling Botetourt.

IV. Same as No. I, but the metal and colour transposed, i.e. Az and Or instead of Or and Az.

V. Same as No. IV, but Gu and Or instead of Az and Or. [43]

VI. Or, a Saltire engrailed Sa (Botetourt).

[40] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 210, 204.
[41] Blakeway.
[42] Harl. MS. 5848, fo. 43.
[43] The Coats IV and V doubtless belonged to some Cadets of the elder House of Mortimer, but I cannot assign their specific bearers.




"THE same Radulf (de Mortemer) holds (under Earl Roger) Eldone. Edric held it (in time of King Edward) and was a free man. Here are two hides geldable. In demesne are II ox-teams and (there are) VI Serfs and I Villain and II Boors with I ox-team, and there might be (there is capability for) II ox-teams in addition. In time of King Edward, the Manor was worth 25s. (annually); and afterwards it was waste. Now it is worth 15s". [1]

Such is the Domesday account of one out of six Shropshire Manors, wherein Ralph de Mortimer had been preceded by a Saxon named Edric.

That the famous Edric Forester should, as in the present instance, be described with such little distinction as is implied in the term "a free-man" seems at first improbable. Nevertheless the identity is unquestionable, for Mortimer's succession to Edric was not confined to these Shropshire Manors, and one instance which I will quote supplies us with a key to all.

Mortimer held the Herefordshire Manor of Boritune in 1086. [2] The Saxon Lord had been Edric, over whose name is written, in Domesday, the word "Salvage",- the Norman appellation for him who was called by the Chroniclers Sylvaticus.

The fact being ascertained, that certain estates of Edric Forester were bestowed on Mortimer, we find also the reason thereof.-

This illustrious Saxon was the Son of Alfric, one of the six brethren of that Edric Streon who, though born of lowly parentage, had obtained the Earldom of Mercia in the time of Ethelred the Unready.

The talents and eloquence of Edric Streon were associated with other qualities in which he is said to have surpassed all his Contemporaries. Pride, Cruelty, and Perfidy are lenient terms as

[1] Domesday, fo. 257, a. 1.
[2] Ibidem, fo. 188, b. 1.


applied to the character of this Monster. He commenced his career of crime in the year 1006 with the assassination of the Ealdorman AElfhelm, his guest and supposed friend, at Shrewsbury. There is much reason to think that this was with the approbation of King Ethelred, who in the following year gave him the Earldom of the Province in which Shropshire lay. Repeatedly a Traitor to Ethelred as well as to his heroic Son Edmund, Edric Streon was at first no loser by the accession of Canute, who had profited often by his perfidy, and who reinvested him with the Earldom of Mercia as soon as he himself had secured the throne. The prudence of the Dane was however stronger than his gratitude, and ere he had reigned a year, he put Edric to death, on the bare supposition that a miscreant who had betrayed all his former benefactors might once again pursue the same course.

This was in the year 1017; and it was perhaps in consequence of Edric Streon's tenure of the Earldom of Mercia, that his Nephew, Edric Savage, is found in the time of King Edward (1041-1066) to have enjoyed considerable possessions in that Province.

In the year after the Norman Conquest, the "Child Edric" was manfully resisting the progress of events in the West. Though Richard Fitz Scrobi and other Norman Settlers in Herefordshire frequently laid waste the lands of Edric, they never encountered Edric himself without considerable loss.

In the Autumn too the Saxon assumed the offensive, and, associating himself with two Welsh Princes, he devastated Herefordshire to the banks of the Lug, and retired with a booty corresponding to so bold an enterprize.

The next intelligence which we have of Edric Sylvaticus is of his adhesion to King William. This was in 1070. In the following year he shared neither the rebellion nor the forfeiture of Earls Edwin and Morkar; and in 1072, accompanied William on that famous expedition into Scotland when King Malcolm is said to have acknowledged the right as well as the power of the Conqueror by a formal act of homage.

For further accounts of Edric, I must now turn to a less trustworthy authority than the accurate Historian on whom I have thus far depended. [3] The Annalist of the Mortimers (whom I have already quoted, under Chelmarsh) tells us how Ralph de Mortimer was sent by King William against Edric "Earl of Salop" and Lord of Wygemore and Melenyth;- how, after long siege of

[3] Florence of Worcester.


Wygemore Castle, Mortimer gained possession of both the person and estates of his opponent;- how he led him in bonds to the King, to be consigned to perpetual imprisonment;- how, lastly, Mortimer proceeded to fortify the Castle of Dynethe, in Melenyth, which Edric had built. [4]

Such is perhaps the joint meaning of two not quite consistent passages in which the Chronicler alludes to the same events. It is, however, immaterial to ascertain the exact meaning of a Writer who had no knowledge of the details of his subject. His entitling Edric Silvaticus "Earl of Salop" is of course an error. [5]-

Moreover, it is all but certain, from Domesday, that Wigmore, as an estate, had never belonged to Edric Sylvaticus; that, as a Castle, it was neither built or ever held, even for a day, by Edric or any other Saxon. It was, in fact, the work of Earl William Fitz Osbern, who built it "on waste land, called Merestun, which belonged to Gunnert in King Edward's time". [6]

All then that I venture to conclude on this subject is, that sometime between 1072 and 1085, Edric Sylvaticus forsook his allegiance to King William; that William Fitz Osbern Earl of Hereford, being dead, Mortimer was deputed by the King to reduce Edric; that Mortimer succeeded in so doing, and obtained many of the forfeited estates of Edric as a reward for this service; but that he became Lord of Wigmore as the King's principal Lieutenant in Herefordshire, after the forfeiture of Earl Roger de Britolio in 1074.

The fate of Edric Sylvaticus is unchronicled, for the loose words of the Mortimer Annalist, which point to death in prison, can only be taken as indicating the Writer's ignorance of any specific fact. A genealogical enthusiast would have little hesitation in assuming as a conclusion, the possibility that several estates, which, having been Edric's, were afterwards held under Mortimer by a family surnamed Savage, were so held in virtue of a lineal descent from the said Edric Salvage. Such an assumption can only be rendered plausible by recurrent hints, for positive evidence on matters of this nature is out of the question. At present therefore, neither assenting to, nor rejecting this hypothesis, I proceed to say that Eudon was, in time of King Stephen or Henry II, held under

[4] Monasticon, VI, p. 349, No. iii.
[5] An error paralleled however by that of another Chronicler, who, speaking of Edric's Father AElfric, calls him Earl of Mercia, a title to which he never could have had any pretence. (Powel, sub. anno 1067).
[6] Domesday, fo. 183, b. 1.


Mortimer of Wigmore by William le Salvage, who, holding also Neen and Walton under the same Baron, left with all three Manors their distinctive names of Eudon Savage, Neen Savage, and Walton Savage. [7]

This William le Salvage left a son and heir, Adam, and a daughter, Geva, who, having been wife of Herbert de Tenbury, and mother by him of two daughters, Alice and Felicia, granted, apparently in her widowhood, but before the year 1185, certain land in Cornewode to Haughmond Abbey. [8]

Contemporary with Geva de Tenbury was her Brother Adam le Salvage, a principal Feoffee under Mortimer of Wigmore, and a person of much consideration in the County, as will appear by frequent mention which I shall, under other localities, have to make of him. [9]

Not attempting to decide the exact period when this Adam was succeeded by a Son of the same name and of equal consequence, I proceed to state that the latter was deceased in 1221, without issue, and that his representatives were the Survivors of his six Sisters, in common with the heirs of such of those Sisters as were then already dead. The three surviving Sisters were, Christiana le Sauvage (apparently unmarried), Margery, wife of Walter de Verdun, and Rohese de Pedewurdin (apparently a widow).

I can only indicate the families into which the three deceased Sisters had probably married by reference to the names of those who afterwards appear concerned in the representation of Adam le Savage. Amongst these, De Eudon, De Overton, De St. George, and De Boys, are the most prominent. [10]

Adam de Eudon was clearly son and heir of one of Adam le Savage's Sisters. This is proved by a deed whereby, about the year 1240,-

"Adam de Eudon gave to Sir Ralph de Mortimer all the land which he had in the Manor of Neine (Neen-Savage). He further gave and quit-claimed to the same Sir Ralph his right in the whole inheritance of Adam le Sauvage, his Uncle (avunculi), with all his right in the land of Warthreynon;- to hold to said Ralph without

[7] Thus distinguished from Eudon Malesoures, Neen Sollars, and Wenlock Walton.
[8] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 51.
[9] There was also, about the year 1200, one Richard Salvage, of whom I shall say more under Shipley.
[10] At the Assizes of November 1221, Hugh de Overton and William de Bosco were jointly amerced half a mark, but the cause is not stated. (Rot. Pip. 5 Hen. III, Salop).


any renewal of claim by the Grantor, to whom Sir Ralph gave in exchange one and-a-half virgates in Elleton", &c. [11]

Another person appearing in 1221 as having a claim to certain feoffments under Mortimer of Wigmore, was William, son of William de Saint George. At a later period, he too is found to be more directly interested in those particular estates which had constituted the tenure of Adam le Savage.-

A deed remains among the Wigmore Evidences, which, from its attesting witnesses, I judge to be nearly contemporary with the deed last quoted, and which indicates, as I believe, the various Manors in which Adam le Savage had had an interest.

By this deed "William de St. George quit-claims to Sir Ralph de Mortimer all his right in the services of those Knights'-Fees which he had claimed in the Curia Regis for land which Adam de Eudon held of him (Ralph) in Neen, and all his right in all things which could accrue to said Adam in Neen by right hereditary, viz., in the homages and services of one knight's- fee in Walleford and Letton, of one knight's-fee in Sete (Sheet) and Letton, of half a knight's-fee in Eudon, of half a knight's- fee in Neen, of one knight's-fee in Stepley (Stepple) and Auna, of one knight's-fee in Rugge (Rudge), and of one knight's-fee in Overton and Cornley. To hold to Ralph and his heirs for ever, as far as the Grantor and his heirs were concerned". [12]

These Deeds, taken conjunctively, evidently point to William de St. George and Adam de Eudon as sharers in Savage's fief. It appears however, from subsequent evidences, that William de St. George's Quit-claim to Ralph de Mortimer did not eventually exclude him from Savage's other estates nor from Eudon.

About the year 1240, William de St. George held a knight's-fee in Neen and Eudon, and Geoffrey de Overton held a knight's-fee in Overton, Eudon, and Cornley, under Ralph de Mortimer is Another share of Eudon, held neither by Overton nor by St. George, is unnoticed in the Record which I now cite. Its tenure will appear presently.

[11] Liber Niger de Wigmore, fo. 62 dorso. Tested by Sir John le Strange, Brian de Bramton, John de Lingeine, Hugh de Croft, Robert de Girros, William de St. George, Geoffrey de Overton, Thomas de Costentin, Hugh do Seinton (Shineton).
[12] Liber Niger de Wigmore, fo. 61. Witnesses: Sir John le Strange, Thomas Corbet, Brian de Brompton, Robert le Wafre, John de Lyngeyne, Henry de Mortimer, Philip de Mortimer, Adam de Besy (probably Besyn or Beysin), John Fitz Philip.
[13] Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48, 50.


In 1248, I find William de St. George amerced half a merk for false claim; and in 1245, a similar charge is made upon him for non-prosecution of some suit. [14]

In 1251, William de St. George was involved in litigation.- Justices are appointed to adjudicate in a cause where 24 Knights were to convict 12 men, who, having been Jurors in an assize of novel disseizin which he had against Ralph de la Lawe concerning some boundaries in Neen, had, I suppose, given an unfair verdict. Also, William de St. George was himself impleaded under writ of novel disseizen by Geoffrey de Overton, whom he had deprived of some tenement in Eudon. [15]

In 1255, we have a full account of the status of Eudone. William de Saint George, Robert Corbet, and Geoffrey de Overton were its Lords. Of the eight virgates which the Manor contained three were held by William de St. George, together with his share of Neen (if that be the meaning of an obscure expression in the Record). He did suit to the Hundred, but not to the County, and he owed seven and-a-half days' ward at his Suzerain's Castle of Wigmore. Robert Corbet held two virgates, for which he owed similar suit to the Hundred-Court, and five days' ward at Wigmore in time of war. Geoffrey de Overton's share was three virgates, two whereof are expressed to pertain to (his neighbouring Manor of) Overton. Suit of Hundred and seven days' ward at Wigmore were liabilities attached to his share of the Manor. Eudon, collectively, paid 8d. to the Sheriff for Stretward, and 16d. for Motfee. [16]

The Assizes of January 1256, again exhibit William de St. George as involved in litigation. He sued Ralph d'Arraz, Henry de Sutbir' (Sidbury), Walter le Berner, and Nicholas le Provost, for disseizing him of 5 acres in Neen. Ralph d'Arraz answered for all the Defendants, showing that the Plaintiff had formerly demised the premises to one William Fitz Robert, and that, through the latter, he, Ralph, had obtained ingress therein; moreover, that the cause had already been decided before Simon de Wauton, to the Record of whose judicial acts the said Ralph now appealed. The Plaintiff, not denying this statement, was adjudged to be in misericordia for a false claim. [17]

[14] Rot. Pip. 27, 29 Hen. III, Salop.
[15] Patent, 35 Hen. III, dorso. The Record is not very clear as to the nature of this Assize. I infer it from another document, viz. the Assize Roll of January 1256, when the cause still pending was called on, but the Plaintiff failed to prosecute. (Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 5 dorso).
[16] Rot. Hundred, Vol. II, p. 81.
[17] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 1 recto.


Another suit by the same Plaintiff referred more immediately to the Manor before us. He prosecuted Geoffrey de Overton, William and Nicholas, sons of said Geoffrey, Thomas le Thorpe and Thomas Fitz Roger, alleging them to have disseized him of a parcel of Wood in Heudon Sawage. Of the Defendants, Thomas Fitz Roger was already deceased, and William, son of Geoffrey de Overton, alone appeared, being seized of the said parcel of Wood under gift of Geoffrey his Father. The defence was that there was no disseizin, for the Plaintiff had never been seized, and the Wood was Geoffrey de Overton's own. William de Saint George was again found to be in misericordia. [18]

Another trial at these Assizes related to an estate at Walford (near Brompton Brian, Herefordshire). It was a member of the Fief once held by Adam le Savage. I mention the matter here, because I think it furnishes us with a list of persons who all, or mostly, were contemporary representatives of the said Adam. They were, William de St. George, Geoffrey de Overton, Adam de Heudon (Eudon), Roger de Foxcote, Nicholas de Hyntes, William son of William de Hyntes (a Minor), Nicholas de Pedwardine, and Richard de Bosco (Boys). [19]

Lastly, at these same Assizes, Richard de Boys appears as suing Robert Corbet for his interest here, viz., for "one-sixth of 2 carucates in Newedon", as the Record has it, but which, I doubt not, represents Robert Corbet's estate in Eudon George. Robert Corbet not appearing, the land was ordered to be seized into the King's hand, and the cause was adjourned to Easter Term. It was afterwards shown that Corbet was beyond sea. [20]

Very apposite to this law-suit, but leaving something still to be explained regarding the precise relation of the Litigants, is a Deed among the Wigmore Evidences, whereby, later, as I think, in the Century- "Richard de Boys grants to Sir Robert Corbet all that share of land which by hereditary right devolved on said Richard in the Manor of Eudon Savvages:- rendering therefore 1d. annually to the Grantor, and all services due to the Crown and to the Lords of the Fee". [21]

Of Robert Corbet and his Successors at Chetton I have given

[18] Ibidem. Among the Sureties for the Defendants' appearance were Thomas Provost of Neen, and Alan de Eldeton.
[19] Ibidem, memb. 4 dorso.
[20] Ibidem, memb. 12 recto.
[21] Liber Niger de Wigmore, fo. 62 dorso. Witnesses: Sir John de Lingaine, Sir Brian de Brompton Junior, Sir William de Mortimer, Sir Matthew de Gamages, Master John de Croft, John de Aisford (Ashford), Walter de Turpynton (Trippleton), Thomas le Vicaire.


further particulars under that Manor. [22] I do not understand that any share of Eudon Savage remained in his family.

Before 1269, William de St. George seems to have been succeeded at Eudon by Adam de St. George. who attests a Charter of the said Robert Corbet, as already stated. [23] Adam de St. George was not at this time a Knight, but appears as such, attesting a grant to his Suzerain, Roger de Mortimer, who died in 1282. Again, in 1296, Sir Adam de St. George attests a Charter at Cleobury Mortimer, wherein Edmund Lord Mortimer was Grantee. [24]

To Adam succeeded John de St. George, who, in February 1305, was found by Inquest to be holding a knight's fee in Eudon of the Barony of Edmund de Mortimer, then lately deceased; nor is any other Tenant in the Manor mentioned. [25]

Another change seems soon to have followed, for the Feodary of 1316, called the Nomina Villarum, gives Henry de Eudon as sole Lord of Eudon Jory. [26]

I imagine that the real name of this Henry was St. George, for that family certainly held the Manor at a later period; and left with it its distinctive name of Eudon George, as a substitute for the older name of Eudon Savage.


"THE same Ralph (de Mortemer) holds (under Earl Roger) Newentone, and Roger (holds it) of him. Azor held it (in time of King Edward) and was a free man. Here is half a hide. In demesne are two ox-teams, and there are II Serfs, II Villains, and II Boors, with I team, and still there might be II more teams (employed) here. In time of King Edward the value (of the Manor) was 17s. (per annum), and is so still". [1]

Such is the Domesday notice of a place whose real Saxon name

[22] Supra, Vol. I, pp. 178-182.
[23] Ibidem, p. 178.
[24] Liber Niger de Wigmore, fos. 63 dorso, 61 dorso.
[25] Inquisitions, 32 Edw. I, No. 63 b.
[26] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 598.
[1] Domesday, fo. 267, a. 1.


was probably Neopene-tun (Neowene-tun) or New-town. Azor, the Saxon owner, was, I suppose, the same whom we have noticed as Lord of Burwarton, and of whom we shall again hear in places more remote.

Of Roger, the Domesday Tenant of Neenton, I can say nothing positively. Probably it was he or his immediate Successor who, being entitled Lord of Neuton, is mentioned about 1138 as having granted two-thirds of his Tithes to Shrewsbury Abbey, or to the Church of St. Gregory at Morville. [2]

In 1180, we hear of one William who is put in charge for an imbladement in Neenton, viz., 6d. for one acre of oats. He, I doubt not, was Father of that Roger Fitz William of Newenton of whom we hear as deceased in 1221; [3] and apparently without issue, for Stephen de Lodhal then sued Henry de Fernlawe, the Tenant, for three virgates in Newenton, which Stephen claimed in right of his wife Margery, sister of the said Roger Fitz William. The Tenant not appearing at Shrewsbury Assizes (Nov. 1221), the case was adjourned to Warwick, [4] where, on January 14, 1222, the Tenant appeared, and called Geoffrey de Ledwich to warranty. [5] A further adjournment to Westminster, and the loss of a Record, prevent our tracing the result.

My impression is that, within twenty years of this time, both Neenton and Sidbury devolved to an heir female, viz., Joan or Jane, wife of Ralph d'Arraz.

Hence, or from some other cause, we find that about 1240, Ralph d'Arraz is entered as holding two knights' fees in Sodburi and Nenton under Mortimer of Wigmore. [6]

This Ralph d'Arraz, as I learn from a deed a little later, was a Knight. He transmitted both Neenton and Sidbury to his descendants; but I cannot distinctly mark the early stages of this succession, inasmuch as the same Christian name, Ralph, was common to several generations. To prove that Neenton came to the first Ralph with his wife Joan, the following fine, levied 25th Nov. 1248, must suffice:-

Thereby John de Bollinton, Tenant, surrendered to said Ralph

[2] Salop Chartula y, No. 884. Vide Vol. I, p. 36.
[3] Forest Rolls, Salop, No. 1.
[4] Salop. Assizes, 6 Hen. III, m. 5 recto and 8 dorso. Robert Waleneis was the Plaintive Attorney in this Suit. We have heard of his name before, under Chetton, in 1194 (Vol. I, p. 181). I think he was of Long-Stanton.
[5] Placita apud Warwic, 6 Hen. III, m. 1 dorso.
[6] Testa de Nevill, p. 45.


and Joan, Plaintiffs, half a virgate in Newton, whereof there had been suit of mort d'ancestre. John surrendered it as the right of Joan, and moreover he gave up a virgate-and-half, being all the land which he held under the Plaintiffs, to hold to Ralph and Joan and the heirs of Joan. For this he received 30 merks. [7]

On December 26, 1250, I find Ralph d'Araz and Joan his wife giving the King one merk for a writ of "Pone usque Westminster". [8] This doubtless was a preliminary removal of the suit, which was on trial soon after, wherein Joan claimed against the Lord of Glazeley a considerable estate at Wadley. The particulars of the case, as of another suit wherein Ralph d'Arraz was Defendant, have been already given. [9] In 1254, Ralph d'Arraz was specially exempted from a fine of 100 merks, which was assessable on the County in general. [10]

In 1255, Neynton is entered as a Manor of half a hide (its Domesday measurement), which Ralph d'Arraz held of Roger de Mortimer "for service of one knight, pertaining to Wygmore". It owed suit to the Hundred of Stottesdon, but not to the County. It paid the Sheriff 2d. for Stretward, and 4d. for Motfee. [11]

At the Salop Assizes, January 1256, Sir Ralph d'Arraz appears as a Knight and Juror, also as Defendant in a cause already recited, which concerned a purchase he had made in Neen Savage. [12]

On June 16, 1259, he was one of the Knights who adjudicated on an important Inquest as to the immunities of Wenlock Priory. In the same year he was, as a Coroner of the County, amerced 20s. "for many transgressions". [13]

From this period till Sept. 1272, Ralph d'Arraz, Knight, often occurs as a witness; and at the Assizes then held, the same person, or a second of the same name, appears as a Knight and Juror, and as being, or having been, one of the King's Coroners in Shropshire.

Again in 1274, Ralph d'Arraz was a Justice for gaol-delivery at Shrewsbury. From this time for twenty years, the name is constantly occurring in matters of general rather than local import. But in Nov. 1279, Joan de Neuton, Lady of Neuton, presented to the Church of Neuton; [14] a circumstance which seems to indicate

[7] Pedes Finium, 33 Hen. III, Salop.
[8] Fines, 35 Hen. III, memb. 3, Salop.
[9] Supra, Vol. I, pp. 213, 214, 240.
[10] Rot. Pip. 38 Hen. III, "Communitas Comitatus Salop' exceptis Odone de Hodnet, Thoma de Boshal, Radulpho de Arras et Abbate Salop' (debent) 100 marcas pro transgressione".
[11] Rot. Hund. II, 81.
[12] Supra, p. 53.
[13] Rot. Pip. 43 Hen. III, Salop.
[14] Vide infra. 59.


the previous death of the first Ralph d'Arras, and the survival of his Widow, the heiress of Neenton, whose age at this period will have been very great. In 1292, Ralph d'Arraz sat on the Jury which was empanelled to try many causes of Quo Waranto in this County. [15] As holding 20. of lands and upwards in Shropshire, he was included in a general summons to attend at London on July 7, 1297, prepared with horse and arms for foreign service. [16]

An account of the Fees of Edmund de Mortimer deceased, which was taken at Shrewsbury Feb. 10, 1305, records Ralph d'Arraz as holding "Sondbury and Neuton" by service of two knights. [17] The Feodary of March 1316 omits all mention of Neenton, but, as printed, gives Ralph Barraz as Lord of Sutbury. [18]

In 1320-1, Adam d'Araz presented to the Church of Neenton; and in 1321, I have notice of Adam d'Arraz among the followers of Roger Lord Mortimer of Wigmore. [19] He, I presume, was the same person who with Andrea his wife, in 1348, appears to have made a settlement of the Manor of Sidbury. [20]

OF UNDER-TENANTS in this Manor I have no particulars, further than is implied above, or may be gathered from a Fine levied in 1328, whereto Hugh, son of Warine de Neinton, Johanna his wife, and Thomas, Parson of the Church of Neinton, are parties. [21]


When, before the year 1138, the Lord of Neenton gave two parts of his tithes to Shrewsbury Abbey, the third part was probably reserved in anticipation of a future, rather than in consideration for an existing parochial Church.

In 1291, the Church of Neuton, in Stottesden Deanery, was valued at 5. 6s. 8d., but this was exclusive of a portion of 16s. which the Abbot of Shrewsbury retained therein, [22] which portion, I doubt not, was in commutation of tithes surrendered at the time of the Church's foundation.

In 1341, the gross value of Neinthton Church is consistently laid at 6. 2s. 8d. The Parish was however taxed only 31s. to the Ninth for these reasons.-

It possessed no sheep or lambs; a carucate of land lay unfilled; Tenants had quitted under pressure of poverty , and small tithes,

[15] Placita de quo Waranto, p. 674.
[16] Parliamentary Writs, I, 291.
[17] Inquisitions, 32 Edw. I, No. 63, b.
[18] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 398.
[19] Ibidem, IV, 756.
[20] Dukes' Antiquities, p. 257.
[21] Ibidem, p. 258.
[22] Taxation of Pope Nicholas, p. 166.


offerings, glebe land, and other profits, exclusively ecclesiastical, which made up the Church Taxation, could not be reckoned in estimating the Ninth. [23]

In 1534, the Rectory of Nyenton (then held by Thomas Stevyns) was valued at 5. 10s. 8d., less 6s. 8d. for procurations and 6d. for Synodals. The Abbot of Shrewsbury's Pension would seem to have been discontinued. [24]


WILLIAM, Parson of this Church, occurs in a deed sans date, but which passed before 1246. [25]

NICHOLAS, "Parson of the Church of Nekyncton", occurs in November 1253, when he was prosecuting a suit before the Queen and Council against Roger de Sulbiry (probably Sidbury), Clerk, William Atterlegh, and Reginald Yywyneton, who had entered his house vi et armis, insulted him, and wounded his folks. [26]

JOHN D'ARAZ, Rector, has license to be absent one year for sake of study; the license dated Sept. 27, 1278.

SIR RICHARD DE TEDESTILE, Priest, was admitted Nov. 12, 1279, on presentation of Dame Joan de Neuton, Lady of Neuton. He doubtless was that "Richard, Rector of Nenton", who attests a deed between 1288 and 1300, already quoted. [27]

RALPH D'ARRAZ, Clerk, son of Sir Ralph d'Arraz, Knight, was admitted Oct. 29, 1294, and the Benefice commended to Master William de Stokky, Priest, "according to the form of the Council of Lyons".

THOMAS DE GLESLEYE, Subdeacon, was admitted January 19, 1320-1, at presentation of Adam d'Arraz. He was already Incumbent of Sidbury, and is that Thomas, Parson of Neinton, who has occurred above in 1328.

SIR WILLIAM LE FORCER, Priest, was admitted August 1, 1349, at presentation of Ralph d'Arraz.

THOMAS DE FARNECOT, Priest, was admitted December 9, 1361, at presentation of "Ralph d'Araz, Lord of Neenton". [28]

[23] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 190.
[24] Valor Ecclesiasticus, iii, 210.
[25] Charter at Pitchford.
[26] Placita coram Reginae, &c. 37, 38 Hen. III, m. 15. The case was adjourned; and an Essoign Roll of Trinity Term, 1254, shows it still unsettled, but gives the parties intelligibly, but differently, as Nicholas de Nenton, Reginald de Nenton, and William de Sudbury.
[27] Supra, Vol. I, p. 142.
[28] Blakeway's MSS.



ANCIENTLY written Sudbury, i.e. South-borough, was perhaps so named with relation to Middleton, or to the somewhat distant, but more important, Manor of Chetton. It is described in Domesday thus:-

The same Ralph (de Mortimer) holds (of the Earl) Sudburie. Wiga held it (in time of King Edward) and was a free man. Here is I hide geldable. In demesne are II ox-teams, and (there are) VI Serfs, VI Villains, and III Boors, with II teams; and II other teams more might be here. In time of King Edward, the Manor was worth 20s. (annually), and afterwards was waste. Now it is worth 18s. [1]

The first whom I can name as likely to have been Mortimer's Feoffee here, was Hugh de Sudberi, who appears in Easter Term, 1200, as one of four Knights selected to choose a Jury, which was to try a cause of Grand Assize touching lands in Nordley Regis. [2]

This Sir Hugh de Sudburi appears as a Knight and Juror at the County Assizes of October 1203: when also he accused Robert de Girros of unjustly seizing his hounds, but withdrew the cause, for which he seems to have been amerced half a merk, viz., pro falso clamore, as the Record has it. [3]

At the Forest Assizes, March, 1209, Hugh de Suthbery, apparently a Regarder of Morf and Shirlot Forests, was amerced two merks.

One Roger de Subiri, who, from his position in a testing clause already given, [4] was a person of importance, may have been Hugh's successor. I find no other mention of him than this, which was of date about 1227.

How Sidbury became before 1240 the properly of Ralph d'Arraz, and thenceforth associated with Neenton, I cannot conjecture. The previous Lords of each Manor seem to have been distinct, otherwise I should have concluded both to have been the inheritance of Joan Lady of Neenton. Neither can I account for Sidbury being, by half a hide, a larger Manor in the thirteenth Century than

[1] Domesday, fo. 257, a. 1.
[2] Rot. Curiae Regis, vol. II, p. 169.
[3] Salop Assizes, 5 John, m. 4 recto, 2 dorso, and 6 dorso.
[4] Supra, Vol. II, p. 71.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


at Domesday; but I notice a correspondent diminution of the neighbouring Manor of Overton.

In 1255, Sidbury (printed Pulbyr') is said to contain a hide and a half of land. Ralph d'Arraz was Lord thereof, and held it immediately of Roger de Mortimer for service of one knight, pertaining to Wygemore. The Manor did suit to the Hundred, but not to the County, and paid the Sheriff 2d. for Stretward, and 4d. for Motfee. [5]

I have already made mention twice of a Henry de Sutbury, living in 1256. [6] Him I take to have been an Under-tenant here of Ralph d'Arraz.

On August 27, 1259, William, son of Alan de Wullaneston, is suing Ralph d'Arraz for disseizing him of his tenement in Middleton. [7] Ralph had apparently extended his property into the adjoining Manor, now Middleton Scriven.

This also he did in other directions, for in 1270, Hugh de Plessetis was prosecuting him for novel disseizin in Northwood, and Thomas Botterel for novel disseizin in Fowlewordin (Fulwardine), where indeed a subsequent interest of D'Arraz has been already pointed out. [8]

Again, in the same year (1270), Ralph d'Arraz and William de Lastres were defendants in another suit of novel disseizin in Northwood, where Nicholas de Chorleye was Plaintiff. [9]

I have said under Neenton whatever else was to be said of this Manor or its Lords.

It remains here to speak of-


The earliest written notice of this Church belongs to the year 1291, when Pope Nicholas' Taxation values the Church of "Sudbury" in Stottesden Deanery, at 5. 6s. 8d. [10]

The Parochial Taxation of 1341 quotes this assessment of the Church, but rates the Parish only at 21s. to the Ninth, because there were neither sheep nor lambs therein, because four carucates of land lay unfilled, and 13 Tenants had quitted under stress of poverty. Moreover, the Church Taxation involved the value of

[5] Rot. Hund. II, 81. Stottesden Hundred. These payments for stretward and motfee are proportionate to a Manor of only half a hide. Probably the whole clause is inaccurate.
[6] Supra, Vol. I, p. 157; Vol. III, p. 53.
[7] Patent, 43 Hen. III, dorso.
[8] Supra, Vol I, p. 138.
[9] Pat. 54 Hen. III, dorso.
[10] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 166.


glebe-land, offerings, and small tithes, which had no reference to the Ninth then levied. [11]

In 1534, the Valor of this Rectory (of which Richard Charnocke was then Incumbent) is put at 4. 17s. 0d., less 6s. 8d. for Procurations, and 1s. for Synodals. [12]


RALPH DE ELMEBRUG, Deacon, admitted April 7, 1291; Patron, Ralph d'Arraz, Lord of Sidbury.

JOHN, son of Sir Adam de ALMERUGG, Knt., admitted Oct. 29, 1294, but commendam given to Sir William de Grene, Vicar of Stottesden, "according to the form enjoined by the Constitution of Lyons".

THOMAS DE GLESELEYE, Acolyte, admitted February 15, 1316. Patron, Ralph d'Arraz. In 1321, he was presented to Neenton.

SIR RICHARD JUDAS, admitted Feb. 23, 1342.

RICHARD DE BRADEFORD, admitted June 13, 1342.

SIR JOHN MARTYN, Priest, admitted April 10, 1354. Patron, Andrew d'Arraz.

HUGH ARE, Chaplain, admitted Oct. 29, 1369. Patron, Philip de Wychton. "Sir Hugh, Rector of Sidbury", resigned in 1385, exchanging preferments with-

PHILIP DE KENLES, perpetual Chaplain of the Chantry of St. Catherine in Hereford Cathedral, who was admitted here on May 3, his Patron being John D'Aras, Lord of Sidbury. "Sir Philip de Kenentles" died in 1392, when, on April 7,

SIR JOHN DE ADDEMOR was admitted, the "Noble Man, John Darras", being Patron. Sir John was still Rector in 1398. [13]



PASSING now to the East of the Severn, we have a district bounded by that River on one side, and by the western border of modern Staffordshire on the other.

[11] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 190.
[12] Valor Ecclesiasticus, iii, 211.
[13] Blakeway MSS.


This district at the time of Domesday was reputed to be in the latter County, or else in Warwickshire, a matter which has been already discussed. [1] At the accession of Henry II, as now, it was in Shropshire, and so comes properly under our notice.

Four Manors of this district, viz. Claverley, Worfield, Nordley, and Alveley, had that in common which obliges me to say something of them collectively. They were all reputed to be in Staffordshire, though their Hundred is not assigned in Domesday. They had in Saxon times formed one continuous estate of Algar Earl of Mercia. After the Conquest, they were granted in their integrity to the first Norman Earl of Shrewsbury; and in 1086, were held wholly in Demesne by him and his Son Hugh. Such was the magnificent estate, whose area, of more than 23,000 modern acres, included the great Forest of Morf, whose boundary was a broad and navigable River, whose advantages, in short, were such as to induce its Norman Lord to found on its border his Castle and Church of Quatford.

To speak more particularly of Claverley, we have, even in the name, some indication of a fertile soil, for Clover (Claecep) is a plant whose spontaneous growth is associated with almost every other agricultural capability.

Domesday thus notices the Manor, at the head of the Staffordshire lands of Earl Roger. [2]- "Earl Roger holds Claverlege. Here are XX hides. Earl Algar held it. [3] The (arable) land is (sufficient) for XXXII ox-teams. In demesne are V teams, and (there are) XXXII Villains and XIII Boors having XXIII teams. Here is a mill of 5s. (annual value) and 12 acres of meadow; a wood two leagues

[1] Supra, Vol. II. pp. 260, 262.
[2] Domesday, fo. 248, a. 1. Statfordscire. Terra Comitis Rogerii.
[3] The phaenomena of such a Record as Domesday are always worth observation. It is clear, from the Shropshire portion of the Survey, that the accounts given of a previous state of things (in time of King Edward) generally refer to a particular part of his reign. I conclude therefore that the Domesday Commissioners for Shropshire gathered these particulars from some written Record, not from the oral testimony of persons whose recollections would necessarily refer to various periods of a bygone era. This supposed pre-existing Record I further observe to contemplate that period of the Confessor's reign when the Countess Godeva was a Widow, and Edwin and Morcar were Earls, in other words, it was taken in the short interval which elapsed between the deaths of Earl Algar (1059) and King Edward (Jan. 5, 1066).

In this respect an anterior Record, to which the Domesday Commissioners for Staffordshire seem to have referred, was different; for their notes mainly allude to a period when Algar was Earl of Mercia, i.e. between Aug. 31, 1057 (when Earl Leofric died) and 1069. However, the names of both Earl Morcar and Earl Edwin occur in the Staffordshire Survey, so that it would seem that the Commissioners consulted more than one pre- existing Record, or else admitted oral testimony.


long and half a league wide. In time of King Edward the Manor was worth 7. 10s. (annually). Now it is worth 10".

Of Claverley, as held by the Norman Earls, I can say no more than is implied by Earl Roger giving the whole tithes thereof, together with the Church, probably of his own building, to Quatford Collegiate Church.

But Claverley was, in its subsequent history, so circumstanced, that I must needs treat of it as the type of a particular class of Manors, none of which have yet come under notice;- I say none, because Bridgnorth, in some respects similar, was a Manor unknown at Domesday in the first instance, and became a Borough in the next.

Those Manors, then of Shropshire which constituted, or rather were described, as "ancient demesne of the Crown", were such as having been held in demesne by the Norman Earls of Shrewsbury till the expulsion of Belesme, and which, not being granted to any subject by Henry I, nor yet granted with any title of right by Stephen, came to the hands of Henry II, at or soon after his accession, as part of his personal estate. Among the first acts of that King's government, the resumption of his demesnes, and the restoration of his Exchequer, are recorded. The fiscal or reputed Ferm of the County of Salop, stood in his ninth year (1163), if not before, at the sum of 265. 15s. reckoned by tail (numero), being only 1. 1s. more than it had stood at in his second year (1156). And this Ferm of 265. 15s. remained technically unaltered at the accession of Edward I, in 1272. [4] The Sheriff, as Fermor of the County, had it in hand, at his Michaelmas audit with the Exchequer, first to charge himself with this sum, and then to set forth his expenditure thereof, paying or receiving, taking or giving credit for, any balance, as the case might be.

Having partly explained this before, it remains here to show how the Sheriff became accountable for the Gross Sum, that is, how he received it and whence it came.

It was summarily the rent or income of the King's demesnes or other prerogatives in the County;- not what the Sheriff actually received (he got much more), but what he was supposed to receive and was obliged to account for. To this Fund every Manor of Royal Demesne was presumed to furnish a specific quota. Of

[4] It was however really increased by a fund termed the Proficuum Comitatus, the amount of which was matter of special arrangement with the successive Sheriffs, and was accounted for distinctly from the fund called the Corpus Comitatus.


the 265. 15s. assessed on the County, 15. was probably the Ferm of the King's Manor of Claverley.

Of Claverley, as a whole, no grant in fee was made to any subject within the period of which I am speaking (1155-1272); but in the former year Henry II enfeoffed Robert de Girros in a portion thereof, viz, in Broughton. This part, fiscally reputed to be of 35s. annual value, was consequently excepted by the Sheriff from his own yearly responsibilities at the Exchequer. He claimed his exemption on the Pipe Roll in form following, under the head "of lands given"- In terris datis. Et Roberto de Girros xxxv s. in Claverlai.

Like Bridgnorth and other Demesnes of the Crown, Claverley and Worfield were assessable to Tallages, but they had also considerable privileges. The Tenants thereof were, in all mercantile transactions throughout the realm, free from toll and other duties. At home they constituted a Manorial Court adequate both in matters civil and criminal, for almost all purposes of self-government. No trial about land of ancient demesne could ordinarily be had under the forms of Grand Assize or Novel Disseizin; the only Writ current in these Manors was the King's Breve clausum de recto, which enjoined any dispute to be settled in the local Court, and according to local customs.

The exclusive privileges which thus enabled a Manorial Court to perform most of the functions ordinarily devolving on a Bailiff of the Hundred, a Sheriff of the County, or on the King's Justices, have their effect on antiquarian researches. Our information about Manors of ancient demesne is generally scanty unless the local Court-Rolls happen to be preserved, a circumstance which, as regards the period we treat of, cannot be expected. What we do know of these Manors is usually of a different character from that which we know of ordinary estates;- which observation I leave to be illustrated by the following details:-

And first, as regards TALLAGES,- I will class those of Claverley, Worfield, and Nordley together, so long as any two of the three Manors were assessed to that tax.

In 1169, Worfield was taxed 2 merks to the auxilium for marrying the King's daughter. The men of Claverley paid 1 merk to the same. So also did the men of Norley.

In 1174, the Assize, as it is called, of Worfield was 8. 13s. 4d., that of Claverley 3. 6s. 8d., that of Nordley 2. 13s. 4d.

In 1177, the "Aid" levied on each Manor was at the rate of 10., 2. 6s. 8d., and 2. 13s. 4d. respectively.


In 1187, the Tallage of each was 3. 2s. 6d., 1. 14s. 0d., and 1. 0s. 6d.

In 1194-5, it was 5. 0s. 0d., 2. 0s. 0d., and 1. 6s. 8d.

In 1199, two Tallages are recorded, the earliest in the proportion of 10. 0s. 0d., 2. 13s. 4d., and 2. 0s. 0d.; the last in the proportion of 10., 4., and 3. 6s. 8d. on each Manor.

In 1203, the sums levied were 6. 13s. 4d., 1. 13s. 4d., and

1. 13s. 4d. In 1205, they were 3. 0s. 0d., 1. 10s. 0d., and 2. 13s. 4d.

In 1206, they were 10. for Worfield, 3. 6s. 8d. for Claverley, and 3. 6s. 8d. for Nordley.

In 1207, they were 5. for Worfield, 13s. 4d. for Claverley, and 2. for Nordley.

In 1214, Worfield was assessed at 10. 0s. 0d., Claverley at 6. 13s. 4d., and Nordley not at all, unless the vill of "Morton", assessed at 2., was so written by mistake for Nordley. At all events, no later assessment of Nordley to a Tallage is on the Pipe Rolls.

In 1223, Worfield was assessed 5. and Claverley 2. 13s. 4d.

In 1227, 10. 13s. 4d. and 5. were the sums originally assessed, but they were reduced to 8. and 3. 6s. 8d.

In 1230, the relative assessments on Worfield and Claverley were 6. and 3. 13s. 4d.; and in 1235, they were 6. 13s. 4d. and 3. 6s. 8d.

Worfield was now, for obvious reasons, exempted from King's Tallages for a season. [5]

In 1242, Claverley was assessed at 2.; in 1246, at 8.; in 1249, at 8.; in 1255, at 12. 13s. 4d.; and in 1261, at 13. 4s. 8d.

In 1269, the last Tallage which I shall notice was assessed at 12. on Worfield, and 8. 14s. 4d. on Claverley. [6]

Pursuing my design of treating Claverley as a type of the King's Demesnes in Shropshire, I pass to another matter connected with

[5] It passed in 1238 to Henry de Hastings. Though not liable during Hastings' seizin to King's Tallages, it would appear that whenever the King levied a Tallage on his other demesnes, he permitted his Tenant at Worfield to assess that Manor or his own behoof. Hence the following writ from the Close-Rolla of 33 Hen. III, relative to the Tallage of 1249:- Quia Rex talliari fecit dominica sua, mandatum est Vicecomiti quod habere faciat Henrico de Hastings, rationabile tallagium de hominibus tenentibus in Manoriis de Cunedover et Worfeld, qua aliquando fuerunt dominica Regis. (Dodsworth, Vol. 108, fo. 68).
[6] The above account of Tallages is taken from the Pipe Rolls of the years specified.


the mode of managing these Estates. It would seem that each Manor, or such part thereof as was held in hand, was stocked at the King's expense up to a definite standard, and that every Sheriff or other Fermor, on quitting office, was expected to leave as much Stock as he had found on entry. That an account of Stock was taken on the succession of each Fermor is, I think, probable, but I can quote no instance of such precaution. I only know of cases where, the amount of Stock left on a Manor being suspected to be deficient, Inquisitions were ordered to ascertain the original amount found there, and according to the Verdict of such Inquisitions the retiring Fermors were dealt with.

But these deficiencies did not always arise from the carelessness or dishonesty of individual Officers. Great national disturbances left similar results behind them.-

William Fitz Alan (first Sheriff of Shropshire after Henry II's restoration) had held office only three months when, at Michaelmas 1155, the first fiscal year of that King's reign ended. Fitz Alan's account, occupying perhaps only a small part of the lost Pipe Roll of that year, is epitomized in a few lines of the Red Book of Exchequer. [7] It contains however a charge against the Crown of 8. 5s. 5d. in "waste of Manors" during the said quarter; that is, the Sheriff claimed exemption from certain liabilities which the wasted state of some Manors disabled him from meeting.

In 1156, the same Sheriff had expended no less than 145. 8s. 8d. in re-stocking the King's Manors throughout the County. He also charges 17. 6s. 4d. for "waste of the County " (in Wasto Comitatus), that is, I suppose, on account of certain Manors which were not yet re-stocked, or were otherwise unproductive. [8]

The next occasion on which the Revenue arising from the King's Demesnes in Shropshire is found to have been generally deficient, was in the reign of John, and arose from different causes. Geoffrey Fitz Piers, succeeding to the Shrievalty in 1201, seems to have found several Manors in an unproductive state. In his first half-year of office he claims a deduction of 22. 18s. 6d. out of the sum of 132. 17s. 6d. which constituted the Ferm of the County for that period. [9] And this arose from the "default of Manors", i.e., their inadequacy to produce the usual ferm because they were un-stocked. He considered that the deficiency should be made good by William Fitz Alan, the second of that name, and his predecessor in office.

[7] Libor Ruber Scaccarii, fo. clxxxv.
[8] Rot. Pip. 2 Hen. II, p. 43.
[9] Rot. Canc. 3 John, p. 122.


Fitz Alan, it would seem, charged the blame still further back, viz., on Hugh Pantulf, who, though living, had ceased to be Sheriff twelve years.

In 1202, 1203, 1204, 1205, and 1206, Geoffrey Fitz Piers and his Successor, Thomas de Erdinton, claimed an annual deduction of 45. 15s. 8d., on account of "default or deduction" of the Manors of Worfield, Claverley, Ford, Edgmond, and Condover. The actual deficiency of stock in each Manor is stated on the Pipe Roll of 1202. An example will suffice:- Worfield was deficient in 6 ox-teams, 600 sheep, 32 bee-stalls, 30 sows, and 24 cows, involving an annual loss of 6., 6., 32s., 30s., and 24s. on each respective item, and so 16. 6s. in the aggregate.

A note on the deduction of 1205 states Hugh Pantulf to be responsible for the deficiency; but the matter as between him and Fitz Alan seems to have been mixed up with another question, viz., a similar waste or negligence in their custody of the stores of the Royal Castles.

In 1207, the previous deficiency of 45. 15s. 8d. is reduced to 44. 9s. The Sheriff gives the reason.- He had 140 sheep in stock that year, which he had not in previous years.

In the years 1208 and 1209, the re-stocking of the Royal Manors seems to have been continued and completed. One Pipe Roll embraces the account of both years. It contains a detailed statement of the quantity and cost of stock which had been purchased to make good the final deficiency; for instance, 8 oxen, necessary to make up 6 teams at Worfield, had cost 4 merks, or 6s. 8d. a head; 180 sheep, necessary to make up 600 in the same Manor, had cost 9, or 1s. each;- and so forth through each of the Manors before mentioned. [10]

At the foot of the Staffordshire Section of this Roll is an entry which exhibits Hugh Pantulf and William Fitz Alan as charged in large sums to make good the loss which the Royal Revenue had been suffering. Pantulf accounts for 247. 8s. 10d. for "default of stock in 8 years of his time as Sheriff, which Stock he had, in part, kept back, whilst he should have surrendered it to the Sheriff, his Successor". He is also charged 112. 3s. for "the price of that stock".- The first charge would seem to be in replacement of the loss of annual revenue already incurred, the last a part of the

[10] The whole of these details are scored across in the Pipe Roll (10 John), as if intended to be obliterated. This, I presume, was done coevally, not on account of their inaccuracy, but because they were not proper to the Pipe Roll.


cost of the new stock; but, as I have before hinted, the stores of the King's Castles had been found similarly deficient, and the accounts of both Castles and Manors are probably involved in the above account. Of his debt of 360. 1s. 10d., Pantulf had paid 100, had been excused 240, and still owed 20. 1s. 10d.

William Fitz Alan is similarly charged 119. 9s. 6d. "for default of stock which he had in like manner retained", and 55. 3s. 4d. for "cost of said stock". His aggregate debt of 174. 12s. 10d. remained at present undiminished. [11]

I will notice one more instance of extensive "waste" having befallen the Royal Demesnes of Shropshire. It belongs to that dismal period which closed the reign of King John, and transferred the Crown to his infant heir.

Whether this waste arose from the excesses of the Barons' party, or whether the King, now that his Exchequer had no existence, was forced to raise money from his smallest personal resources, I cannot say. The return of peace exhibited the following results of civil discord:-

In 1220 (4 Hen. III), Ranulph Earl of Chester, then Sheriff of Shropshire, claimed an allowance of 135. 17s. from the Crown, in respect of a loss of 45. 5s. 8d. per annum, which, in the three expired years of his Shrievalty, he had incurred by deficiency of stock throughout the Manors of the County. In 1221, he was allowed 45. 5s. 8d. on a similar account, and at the rate of 45. 5s. 8d. per annum for the years 1222 and 1223, the deficiency being specially stated to exist in the Manors of Worfield, Claverley, Ford, and Cundover. In 1224, the Earl of Salisbury, as Sheriff, claimed 21. 5s. 3d. for the deficiency proportioned to three quarters of the current year. In 1225, John Bonet, then Custos of the County, was allowed 28. 6s. 8d. on the Ferm of the year, "by reason of the deficiency of stock in the Manors of Shropshire"; and a similar allowance was made in 1226 and 1227. The Pipe Rolls tell us no more of this deficiency, already creating a loss of more than 300., nor how it was ultimately made good. A change in the system of accounts seems to have taken place on John Bonet's quitting office as Custos, or perhaps the succeeding Sheriff, Henry d'Audley, undertook the ferm of the Counties on a

[11] In 11 Hen. III (1227) I find John Fitz Alan (heir of this William) paying one out of several instalments of the debt recorded against his Father in 11 John. He paid 20, and was to discharge the balance of 54. 12s. 9d., still against him, by similar annual instalments.


as with whatever he constructively paid in the Corpus Contitatus. The change of Fermors, which must have taken place in 1238-9, is not marked on the Pipe Roll till 1241, when the Sheriff is said to account for "15. of the issues of Claverley, which is in the King's hand". Nor do the Pipe Rolls down to 1272, however much I may suspect their accuracy, enable me to mark any change in this arrangement. The Roll of 1269 charges seven years' ferm on several Sheriffs, and the whole seems to be still due in 1272; but there is a confusion on the subject, either arising from a lax method of keeping these accounts, or from the nature of the case, which inclines me to listen to other evidence.-

John, son of John Fitz Philip, often called John Fitz Philip, Junior, was a Minor at his Father's decease in 1238, but came of age in or about 1250. Though the Father's fee farm grant of Claverley was only for life, and though I find no renewal thereof to the Son, it seems clear that the latter for a time held the Manor. The resident Jurors, who in 1255 reported on the state of Claverley, say as follows:-

"John Fitz Philip holds the Manor of Claverleg', by what warrant the Jurors know not, and the Manor yields in rents 13. 5s. per annum; and the said John pays for the same yearly, in gross for the Manor and its issues, 15. to the Lord the King, saving to the Lord the King his right of Tallage".

And the Jurors of Brug distinctly confirm this statement, saying that the Manor of Claverleg is of 15. annual value; that John Fitz Philip holds it by unknown warrant; and that the King has the Tallage. [16]

How or when John Fitz Philip, Junior, lost the ferm of Claverley I can only conjecture. In 1267, he was under forfeiture, and his lands had been intrusted to Prince Edward; but he was pardoned at instigation of the Queen, and his land restored by consent of the Prince. [17] I suppose him to have been implicated in the Treason of Montfort.

In 1274, the Jurors for Claverley declared the Manor to be "antient demesne of the Crown", and that it was then in the King's hand. The latter fact was repeated by the Jurors of Brug. [18]

Sometime between this period (1274) and 1292, the King, by Letters Patent, committed the Manor of Claverley, during pleasure, to Roger Careles and Nicholas de Warrewyk, at a rent of 16. per

[16] Rot. Hund. II, 61, 59.
[17] Patent, 51 Hen. III.
[18] Rot. Hundred, II, 90, 88.


annum. The Claverley Jurors of 1292 reported these joint Fermors as then holding the Manor. [19]

A year later and Roger Careles would seem to be sole Fermor; for on Nov. 26, 1293, the King orders his Justice of the Forest to inquire, by oath, of the Foresters and Verderers of Morfe and Kynefare, if it would injure the Crown to grant to "Roger de Carle, who holds the Manor of Claverle at ferm", license to assart and enclose (so as not to prevent ingress of the King's wild animals) 30 acres of waste,- to hold to him and his heirs? [20]

The Jury, which replied to this inquiry, found that the grant might be made without hurt in the direction of Shipley, Wytymere, Draycot Hetthon (Heathton), and Bobington, and in other specified localities. They estimated the land as worth 5s. annually to the King, viz., 2d. per acre.

I do not find any grant of this Manor in fee farm till 5 Edw. II (1311-12), when Ingelard de Warle was to hold it in that mode for ten years, at the usual rent.

This term had long to run, when in 7 Edw. II (1313-14) I find the Manor granted, with several others, to Richard de Arundell, who was to hold the same for life, for his maintenance in the King's service. His intended salary from this and other sources was to be as much as 80. per annum.

In the following year (8 Edw. II) the Manor was reseized by the King in consequence of the death of the last Grantee. [21]

In 1316, the Feodary of Brimstree Hundred enters the King as Lord of Claverley, it being, I suppose, still in hand. [22]

In 13 Edw. II (1319-20) Custody of Claverley was granted to John Knokyn, during the King's pleasure, at a fee farm rent of 16. per annum.

In 18 Edw. II (1324-5) a similar grant, in reward of good services, was made to Margery de Polford, with whom I close this account of the early Fermors of Claverley. [23]

A word now on the constitution and powers of those MANORIAL COURTS which, as in the case of Claverley, may be said to have governed the demesne estates of the Crown. Most of these Courts had peculiar customs regulated by prescription; they had other features in common. A Manor of ancient demesne was extrahundredal; it was as it were a Hundred in itself, owing no suit to

[19] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, m. 39.
[20] Inquisitions, 22 Edw. I, No. 54.
[21] Originalia, I, 184, 208, 214.
[22] Parliamentary Writs, IV., 899.
[23] Originalia, I, 250, 287.


nor having any concern in other Hundred-Courts, but, like the latter, controlled by the County Court, and responsible to the King's Justiciars in many matters, but chiefly in those which were connected with criminal law, and came under the class called "Pleas of the Crown". A Manor of Ancient demesne sometimes had the Suit of neighbouring Manors not of demesne, and which in that case owed no Suit to any Hundred Court. Thus it was with Claverley.

The Bailiff and Tenants of a Crown Manor were analogous, in their corporate functions, to the Bailiff and Freeholders of a Hundred, or to the Provosts and Burgesses of a Borough.

Where Court-Rolls of a Manor are lost, the Record of nearly all civil proceedings relating to that Manor is lost also. So also are lost all memoranda of those minor offences which the special privileges of a Manor might enable it to judge of and to punish. But in graver matters of criminal law it was otherwise. Whenever the King's Justices visited Shropshire, the Manors of ancient demesne were obliged to appear before them by their representatives. The Juries, thus formed, gave account,- each Jury of the transactions within its own Manor, since the last Iter of the Justices. They reported all such graver offences, as being beyond their own cognizance, had yet been committed within their Liberties, and how the same had been dealt with by the County Court. They also answered various questions which the Justiciars were generally accustomed, or had particular directions, to ask.

We will now follow, through the Assize-Rolls, these early reports of the Community of Claverley.

The first regular Iter in Shropshire, of which we have detailed Record, was held in the Autumn of 1203.

Claverley seems to have been adequately represented, but either its Jurors had nothing to report, or nothing was judged necessary to be recorded on the Roll.

At the Assizes of November 1221, the Town (Villata) of Claverleg appeared in the persons of a Provost and six Jurors. They reported three murders which had taken place in their Manor, naming the Murderers, the victims, and the parties by whose suit or prosecution, sentence of outlawry had passed against the accused; [24] also that the latter had no chattels, a matter always inquired of, as involving the rights of the Crown.

[24] Outlawry could only be pronounced by the County Court. The accused must be summoned five times, and fail to appear, before sentence could issue.


They represented a complaint made by the "King's men of Claverleg", viz. that John Fitz Philip and Simon de Tresel engrossed to themselves pasture and woodland of the King, which belonged to the King's Manor of Claverleg, and that they wished to attach the premises to other fees. The Justiciars hereupon ordered the Sheriff to make inquisition on the matter by twelve lawful Knights.

They further presented the value and incumbency of Claverley Church, of which I have already spoken. [25]

The Inquisitions of 1255, though not taken at any Assizes, were taken by Justiciars. Claverley was, on this occasion, represented by a Jury of twelve. Several items of their report belong to particular members of the Manor, and shall be given below. They stated, in answer to a question as to any rights of the King having been interfered with, that Thomas, Lord of Tresel, had taken from the King forty acres of heath which used to belong to the Manor of Claverley. They admitted, or rather mentioned, the obligation which the men of Claverley were under to do Suit to the County Court. They showed that Shipley (originally an independent Manor) owed Suit to Claverley. They reported various purprestures on the King's land, and the rents or fines chargeable for the same. [26]

At the Assizes of January 1256, Claverley was represented by its Bailiff, John de Dayncote, and a Jury of twelve, not one of whom, I observe, had sat on the Inquest of 1255. Their report was in the usual routine as to graver crimes committed in the Manor. It was also found that of their community John Fitz Philip, William de Mortimer (of Shipley), and Peter de Rivallis (Dean of Brug, and so Rector of Claverley), were not duly attending the Assizes. Mention is further made on the Record of an amercement "for many transgressions", which had been imposed on a Claverley Jury, of which William de Hethton was Foreman. [27]

The next County Assizes were in September 1272, when William de Clottenhale, Bailiff, and twelve Jurors of Claverley, attended.-

They reported how the suit of Rudge and Shipley, which was

[25] Vol. I, p. 329.
[26] Rot. Hundred, II, 61, 62.
[27] Placita Coronae, 40 Hen. III, m. 4 dorso, 12 dorso. The Jury, on this occasion, evidently consisted of strangers, not holding in Claverley. The fact is singular, but not directly alluded to in the Record. I imagine however that the amerced Jury was the one which should ordinarily have appeared, but that, owing to its delinquencies, it was disqualified from acting.


due to Claverley Manor, had been withdrawn seven years since, by Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore, whereby the King was damaged 2s. per annum; how Hugh de Haleston, a Bailiff of Brimstree Hundred, had arrested, by night, Henry de la Pole (a freeholder of Claverley), and extorted from him a fine of 5s.

They further brought forward Reginald de la Pette and Walter Geri, as under arrest for murder of John de Gatacre.

The King's Justices had now to deal with the last matter, which they did by reference to a Jury of twenty-four, half of whom were of the Hundred (Brimstree, I suppose), and half of the Manor. The accused were acquitted. [28]

At the Inquisitions of 1274, three at least of the twelve Claverley Jurors were identical with Jurors of 1272. They repeated the presentment as to the withdrawal of Shipley and Rudge from suit of the King's greater Courts, held twice a year at Claverley; whence, it appears, the King lost certain penalties for blodwite, assize of beer, and other transgressions. They also alleged instances of extortionate conduct on the part of the Sheriffs of the County or their Officers; for instance, John Baril, when Under-Sheriff, had amerced the vills of Aston and Hetton (Heathton) in the sum of 40s., charging them with some liability in connection with the case of Roger de Braycote (Draycote probably) and Stephen Balle, who had been accused of a murder; whereas the aforesaid vills had been exonerated before the Justiciars last in eyre, at Salop. Also Thomas Saule and Roger Clerk of Plesse (Plash), Receiver of Sir Hugh de Mortimer (Sheriff), took 22s. from Claverley Manor, as the value of the chattels of Hereward de Hetton (a Felon, I suppose, for whose chattels the Manor was accountable), and had given them (the men of Claverley) no acquittance, for that the Sheriff was still making distraint (for the debt). [29]

At the Assizes of October 1292, Claverley appeared by its Bailiff and twelve Jurors. The former officer, Richard de Claverlegh, was found to be in misericordia by the Justiciars, for contempt of Court, and other offences.

The Jury reported a case of rape wherein the Prosecutrix, having lodged her appeal in the County Court, now failed to appear against William de Rudge, the Defendant. The Justiciars hereupon declared the Prosecutrix and her Sureties to be in misericordia. The Defendant appeared, but because the matter touched the "King's

[28] Placita Coronae, 56 Hen. III, membranes 21, 23.
[29] Rot Hundred, II, 91.


Peace", he must take his trial by Jury. He was tried and acquitted. The Jurors farther presented the state of Claverley Church, which they valued at 60 merks per annum. [30] They also showed how Roger de Mortimer had some time back appropriated lands of the King, and how William Lord of Rudge still held the same, and felled timber thereon. Hereupon Hugh de Louther, the Crown prosecutor, intimated to the Court that the King's Writ had issued in this matter, against the Lord of Rudge; and so no further step was now taken therein.

Lastly, the Jurors presented the old grievances of purpresture committed by the Lord of Tresel, and the withdrawal of the Suits of Shipley and Rudge from the King's Court at Claverley to Edmund de Mortimer's Court of Cleobury. [31]

I shall have more to say of these matters under the particular places which were concerned. John de Tresel's affair, after an adjournment to Lichfield on the 27th of January 1293, was ordered; in deference to a petition of the said John, to be settled by Perambulation. The King's Writ, dated Dec. 24, 1293, enjoins Master Adam de Crokedayk and Malcolumb de Harley to go with forty-eight Knights of the Counties of Worcester, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, and Salop, and ascertain the boundaries between Tresel and Claverley. This was done on Sunday, Oct. 8, 1294. The limits indicated "are the top of Rudge (summitas de Rugge),- Wytemores-wey,- Aston,- Seysdon-wey,- continuously over the Rugge,- Shipley-fields,- and the high-road towards Wolverhampton". [32]

I must now notice in detail those numerous Townships and estates which constituted the great Manor of which I have thus far spoken collectively.

Of the Townships of Claverley, three require primary notice, in regard that the King's Tenants thereof were of a rank superior to that of the average class of Freeholders in Royal Manors. These Townships were Broughton, Beobridge, and Gatacre. And first of-


which I have already shown to have been the only part of his Manor of Claverley which Henry II granted in fee to a subject. This was in the year 1155, and the Feoffee was Robert de Giros, of whom I have already spoken more than once. The Sheriffs of Shropshire, from 1156 to 1190 inclusive, discharged themselves of 35s.
[30] Compare Vol. I, p. 337.
[31] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, Salop.
[32] Inquisitions, 22 Edw. I, No. 58.


annually, in respect of 85 solidates of Royal Demesne, granted in Claverley to Robert de Giros. All that I can say of Robert de Giros' dealings with this estate is, that he appears to have founded and endowed a chapel thereon, charging such endowment (3s. per annum) on the gross receipts.

At Michaelmas 1191, the said Robert de Giros having deceased, his presumed son or grandson, another Robert, seems to have been a Minor and a Ward of the Crown.

His estate at Broughton was thus dealt with.- The Sheriff deducts 35s. as usual from the ferm of the County in respect of land in Claverley which had been Robert de Giros'; but whereas he, the Sheriff, now received the income as an escheat, he acknowledges his obligation to give a distinct account thereof. Accordingly, lower down on the Roll, he gives the same thus- "The Sheriff renders account of 35s. of the land of Claverlay which was Robert de Giros'. Into the Treasury he has paid 32s.: And for the Chapel of Burton 3s. of the gift of the same Robert. And he (the Sheriff) is quit".

In similar or equivalent terms, the Sheriff or the Escheator, continues to account for the proceeds of "Burgton" till the half year ending March 1195, about which time as I have already suggested the heir had livery.

And from 1195 to 1273 (the whole time for which I profess to give continuous extracts from the Pipe Rolls) the Sheriff discharges his Ferm of a sum of 35s. annually for "land given in Claverley to Robert de Giros". This however was a technical mode of stating the matter, and only meant that the said land, being, to the extent of 35s. a constituent of the County Ferm, brought nothing to the Sheriff, but was lawfully bestowed elsewhere. As to Robert de Giros' continuous interest therein, that was no concern of the Barons of the Exchequer, who only cared that the Sheriff's charges should be duly authorized, not who profited thereby. When I state or rather repeat that Robert de Giros, the last male heir of his line, was deceased in 1251, leaving the issue of his Sisters his heirs, I am merely prefacing a further fact, viz. that however continuously Robert de Giros' name may appear on the Pipe Rolls as Lord of Broughton, Broughton was perhaps that one of his estates which he first alienated. Proof of this will involve the further history of this Township.-

Isabel, one of the before-named Sisters of Robert de Giros, was married early in the thirteenth Century to Thomas de Constantine.


Robert de Girros gave them Broughton in frank-marriage; but at the time of the gift there was some doubt as to its efficacy, for Broughton was held by certain services, which services not having been duly performed, Robert de Giros' own title was in jeopardy. At all events the Grantees did not obtain immediate or unbought possession. Hence the following Fine proffered to the Crown about September 1207.-

"Thomas de Costetin and Ysabel his wife give five merks for having their land in Burton, which Robert de Girros, Brother of the said Ysabel, gave in marriage with the said Ysabel to the same Thomas, and which had been seized into the King's hand by the Sheriff in respect of default in the service which the same Robert owed the King for the aforesaid tenement, and whereof the same Robert, as he declares, hath since had seizin by the Justiciar" (that is, by writ of Geoffrey Fitz Piers, Chief- Justice of England). Hereupon mandate issued to Thomas de Erdington, "Sheriff of Staffordshire" (and Shropshire) to take security for payment of the said five merks, and then to give full and immediate seizin to the parties. [33]

The service by which Robert de Giros held Broughton next appears, as also that he remained chargeable therewith after his alienation of the land. Two Tenure Rolls of about the year 1211 thus speak of the matter. One says that "Robert de Giras holds Bureton, a member of Claverleg, of the gift of King Henry, father of King John, by service of finding one serving foot- soldier in the army of Wales, which (land) is wont to pay 32s. [34]

The other Roll says that "Robert de Giros holds 35 solidates of land in Burgton, a member of Claverle, by serjeantry of a foot- soldier in Wales". [35]

I have never seen further evidence of Thomas de Constantine's Tenure of Broughton, either under his Brother-in-law or more independently. I cannot think that it endured, and in fact the alienation of a Serjeantry was a matter of doubtful legality, and, unless done by special license, was always liable to be questioned. Certain it is that before the year 1235, Robert de Giros again dealt with Broughton as if the fee-simple were still his own. This second alienation was a gift of the estate to Haughmond Abbey,

[33] Fines, 9 John, p. 397. Rot. Pip. 9 John, Salop.
[34] Testa de Nevill, p. 56. The fiscal value of Broughton was 35s. The above 32s. was probably estimated according to the balance actually accounted of the Sheriff when the land was last in the King's hand.
[35] Liber Ruber, fo. cxxxvii.


in frank-almoigne, a step which the Crown could not gainsay, although it thereby lost the service due on this, as on any other land so transferred. Robert de Giros' grant of "his whole land of Borchtune" includes "the men holding the same and all their suit and service", from which I conclude that he had at the time no Tenants there except in villanage. It was tested by John Le Strange (the second, I suppose), John and Hamo, his sons, and Vivian de Rosehalle. [36]

In 1255, the Jurors of Claverley, enumerating the religious bodies and others who had lands within that Royal Manor, mentioned the Abbot of Hawemon as holding one and a half virgates in Burchton by service of doing suit to the Manor Court of Claverley thrice in a year. At the same time the Dean of Brug's estate at Wittimere is mentioned in conjunction with something he had in Broughton.- Robert de Burton, who was one of the Jury, was, I suppose, the Abbot of Haughmond's Tenant here. [37]

William and Robert de Burton in 1272, Richard de Borouton in 1274, and Robert son of Thomas de Burghton in 1292, appear upon different Claverley Juries, and were similarly, as I suppose, Tenants of the Abbey.

It is, I think, probable that John Fitz Philip, of Bobbington, acquired some rights in Broughton under the Abbot of Haughmond. I cannot otherwise account for the fact that in the fourteenth century, Sir Robert Corbet of Hadley had a prominent interest here. His relation to John Fitz Philip I shall speak of under Quat. Now I will cite the Deed, which shows him not only leasing land in Broughton, but holding a Manorial Court there.

As Robert Corbet of Haddeleye, Chivaler, he grants to Sir Richard, son of Thomas atte Grene de Aston, a Clerk, all his lands and tenements, those, namely, which Roger Uppyntoun of Burghton, his native, held of him in villanage in the vill of Burghton:- rendering a rent of 4s. 2d., a heriot when due, and two appearances at the Grantor's Court of Burghton. He also grants the said native, his goods, chattels, and suit (family). Witnesses:- Thomas atte Grene de Aston, Richard atte Grene de Claverleye, Osbert de Burghton, &c. Given at Burghton, May 12, 19 Edw. III (1345). [38]

[36] Chartulary at Sundorne, fo. 38; Monasticon, VI, 110.
[37] Rot. Hund. II, 61.
[38] Charter in possession of the Rev. John Brooke, of Haughton.- The Seal of this Deed deserves notice, as illustrating some remarks already offered on the armorial bearings of Corbet of Hadley (Vol. I, page 100). It contains a Coat of Arms - Two Bars and a Canton. The Crest is a Raven: the Legend is obliterated.


Notwithstandimg this incident, the Abbot, of Haughmond is found in the fifteenth Century, as apparent possessor of the entire estate of Broughton, that is of a virgate and half of land there, whereof he grants two distinct leases. [39]

His continued interest till the Dissolution is indicated by an entry on the Ministers' Accounts of 1541-2, where a Messuage and land at Brughton, valued at 1. 1s. 4d. per annum, appear among the former possessions of his House. [40]

BROUGHTON CHAPEL.- Tradition is quoted by more than one authority [41] as pointing to the sometime existence of a Chapel here. The Legend has been confirmed above, by evidence showing that Robert de Giros founded and endowed the same in the twelfth Century. Of course, Broughton Chapel was from the first only an affiliation of Claverley Church. Thus probably the interest which the Dean of Brug is said in 1255 to have had in Broughton, consisted in the Chapel and some lands attached thereto, which were his as Rector of Claverley. The same Record, describing the status of the Church of Claverle, names Burhton and Bobiton as its members, i.e., subject Chapels. [42]


This member of Claverley adjoins Broughton, but was granted to a subject much earlier;- in fact either by one of the Norman Earls or by Henry I. The Grantee will have been one of the successors of Roger Venator, the Domesday Tenant of a Fief or Barony known afterwards as the Honour of Pulverbatch, that Manor being its caput. It is possible that Roger Venator was himself the original Grantee, and held this member of Claverley as early as Domesday. The silence of that Record on the point does not amount to a conclusive negative, while Roger Venator's attestation of Earl Roger's charter to Quatford College would be consistent with a supposed personal and local interest in the matter.

In the time of Henry II the Barony of Roger Venator was in an heir female, viz., Emma, daughter of Reginald de Pulverbatch. She was wife of Herbert de Castello, Lord of Holgate, but, both dying childless, these united Baronies were dissevered, and went to the collateral heirs of each party. Emma de Pulverbatch, having granted a virgate in Beobridge to the White Nuns of Brewood

[39] Chartulary, fo. 38.
[40] Monasticon, VI, 113, No. xiv.
[41] Both Mr. Blakeway and Mr. Dukes.
[42] Rot. Hundred, II, 62.


earlier in Henry II's reign, [43] granted the remainder in or before 1186 to Haughmond Abbey. Her grant mentions that the premises are of her own "fee or inheritance", though given with her husband's consent. Its date is determined as having been confirmed by King Henry II, not later than 1086. Herbert de Castello also confirmed the gift subject to his own life, which, by the way, ended in 1190, his wife surviving him. [44]

Before Michaelmas 1193, Emma de Pulverbatch was also deceased, and John de Kilpec, claiming to be her heir, had fined 100. for his relief for the "Barony of Purbech". [45]

In course of time, John de Kilpec began to question the Abbot of Haughmond's rights at Beobridge, not that he disputed his possession of the land, but that he denied the grant to have been in frank-almoign, and therefore sued him for the knight's service proportioned thereto, viz., one-fifth of a Knight's fee.

This suit, being a specimen of the class termed Placita Servitii, I will follow through its successive stages.-

"At Westminster, on the Quinzaine of the Holy Trinity, 1200, a day was given to the Abbot of Haghmon, and to John de Kilpec, plaintiff in a plea of service, viz., in three weeks of Michaelmas. The Abbot appointed Wido Fitz Robert his Attorney, or else his own Brother-Canon, Ralph; Kilpec similarly appointed Reginald Walsh (Wallensem). Meanwhile the parties had license to accord". [46]-

This they did not avail themselves of, and in Michaelmas Term the cause came again before the Justices at Westminster, as follows:- "John de Kilpec seeks against the Abbot of Hagemon customs and service of one-fifth of a Knight's fee, which the Abbot

[43] The fact here involved will fix the foundation of White- Ladies at least ten years earlier than the more direct evidence before given (Vol. II, p. 188). It will also diminish the probability of Hubert Walter having been Founder. (See note 12, ibidem).

I have no intermediate notice of any interest retained by the Nuns in Beobridge till the Ministers' Account, of 28 Henry VIII, which represent them as having received 10s. per annum from land in Bexbruke (Monasticon, V, 731, No. ii),an entry which I doubt not to be pertinent to the subject.
[44] Chartulary at Sundorne, fo. 31. Emma de Pulverbatch's deed is attested by William de Boteraus and Robert de la Mare. The King's confirmation passed at Feckenham (Worcestershire), and was attested by Ranulph de Glanvill, Brother Roger the Almoner, and Hugh Pantulf (Sheriff from 1180 to 1189). Herbert de Castello's deed is tested by Robert de la Mare and Robert de Girros, both, I doubt not, his relations. All three deeds probably passed between 1180 and 1186.
[45] Rot. Pip. 6 Ric. I, Heref. The Fine (100.) alone determines the Tenure to have been per baroniam. The dignity is in abeyance, together with the Baronies of Kilpec and Marmion.
[46] Placita, Trin. Term, 2 John, m. 20 dorso.


should perform to the Plaintiff in respect of a free tenement which he holds of said Plaintiff in Bebrig. The Abbot appears, and pleads that he does not owe that service on the said tenement, and thereupon he puts himself on the King's Great Assize". [47]

An entry lower down on the Roll exhibits John de Kilpec demanding that Recognition be had in the matter, and the Justices ordering accordingly, viz.- "that said John have a Writ to summon four Knights, who should choose twelve Knights who should cause said Recognition to be made on the arrival of the Justices" (the Justices next in eyre are meant).

In October 1203 the County was visited by William de Cantilupe and his Associate Justices. Their proceedings are extant, and give a full account of this Suit. The four Knights "summoned to choose twelve, to make recognition between the Abbot of Hagemon and John de Kilpec concerning the service which the Abbot owed in Bebrig, and to say whether the Abbot held by service of one- fifth of a Knight's fee, as John de Kilpec required, or whether he should hold the tenement under said John in frank-almoign, as he, the Abbot, acknowledged himself to hold";- these four Knights, it appears, had attended to their duty. They were Roger de Begesour, Walter de Hugford, Warner de Wililey, and Robert de Gatacre. They had added to themselves Philip Fitz Holegot, Robert de Girros, Hugh de Sudburi, Roger Corbet, Richard de Ruiton, Simon de Perepunt, Hugh de Upton, William Boterell, Philip de Fernlawe (Farlow), Reiner de Lega (Lee), Warin de Burwardel, and Richard de Lecton (Leighton). The whole sixteen Knights were ready to make recognition; when it appeared that the parties had accorded, the Abbot being represented by Henry, a Canon of his house. [48]

All the Fines levied at this Iter are lost from the proper custody. The Haughmond Chartulary preserves however the one of which we are here in need. It purports to have been levied in the Cura Regis at Salop, on the octaves of Michaelmas, 5 John (1203), before William de Cantilupe &c. The question at issue is recited as in the previous pleadings. The Fine is that John de Kilpec

[47] Placita, Mich. Term, 2 John, memb. 5 dorso. (This Roll is in triplicate).
[48] Salop Assizes, 5 John, m. 4 recto.

It was probably with reference to this suit that, earlier in 1203, John de Kilpec had fined one mark with the King, "that he might see the Charter of Herbert de Castello". (Rot. Pip. 5 John, Salop.)-

The Abbot of Haughmond having custody, I suppose, of the Charter, Kilpec could not accurately judge of the strength of his own case. He therefore pursued a process analogous to that of filing a bill of discovery.


allowed the tenure of the Abbot (whose name was Richard) to be such as the Abbot maintained, viz., a tenure in frank-almoign; for which concession the Abbot paid him two merks. [49]

I have omitted to notice that Thomas de la Mare, "willing that his body, when dead, should have burial at Haughmond", confirmed Herbert de Castello's grant of Beobridge. [50] This, I take it, was merely as Tenant of the land, for neither was it of Herbert de Castello's inheritance, nor was Thomas de la Mare among the heirs of the said Herbert.

In 1255, the Abbot of Hawemon's land in Bebrug is estimated at one hide, for which he did suit thrice a year to the Manorial Court of Claverley. He also held an acre and half of purpresture in the Manor, for which he paid 4d. yearly to the Kings. [51]

The Haughmond Chartulary supplies many instances of the Abbot's later dealings with his Grange and Estate at Beobridge. Besides leases and surrenders, we have a detailed account of the manner in which several acres of waste in Morf Forest were allotted to the Abbot in 1304, for which he paid the King 6s. 8d. per acre on entry, and was to pay a further annual rent of 6d. per acre. The matter was settled at a Morf-Forest-Court, held at Bridgnorth, at which were present and assisting, a Deputy of the Custos of the said Forest, two Regarders, several Jurors, and two persons whose office was to rent out (arentare) the King's Wastes in the Forests citra Trent. The tract of land thus allotted to the Abbot was called Skyneresmore, and a marl-pit therein was specially reserved for the general use of the King's Tenants of Claverley.

In 27 Henry VIII (1535-6) the Abbot of Haughmond returned his Manor of Bewbridge as realizing 14. 7s. 1d. annually, but this estimate probably included Broughton and other lands. He paid his Bailiff here 10s. per annum. [52]-

The Ministers' Accounts, six years later, give rents amounting to 7. 17s. 5d., as derived from Bewbridge (Upper and Lower) alone. [53]

Of UNDER-TENANTS here I select the following names from local Juries, Testing-clauses, or lists of those who, at various times, are

[49] Chartulary at Sundorn, fo. 32.
[50] Ibidem. Witnesses: John Chaplain, and Bartholomew de Girros,- a person frequently occurring at the close of the twelfth century, and, as I suppose, a near relation of Robert de Girros.
[51] Rot. Hund. II, 60, 61.
[52] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 192, 193.
[53] Monasticon, VI, 118, No. xiv.


found charged for imbladements, purprestures, and assarts in the adjacent Forest of Morf. Of the family of BUNGI there occur, Reginald in 1209; William in 1254, 1255, and 1262; also Robert Bungy de Claverleg in the last year.-

We have Benedict de Bebruge and Randulph de Bebrugg, Jurors, respectively in 1274 and 1292.-

There was a Richard PETIT of Beobridge, a very frequent witness of undated deeds in the last half of the thirteenth century. On Oct. 17, 1316, Richard, son of the said Richard Petit, sells to Richard de la Broke of Claverley some small parcels of arable and pasture land in Bebrugg; and on Oct. 10, 1318, the same person sells a seylion of land there to Richard de la Broke, Clerk, son of Richard de la Broke of Claverley. [54]

NASH.- A tenement or land thus named was appurtenant to Beobridge. Thus we have Henry ate Nesse, a Juror in 1274, and a William de Nayse, attesting local deeds in 1316 and 1318. Also Stephen atte Nassh appears Nov. 23, 1333, on a Jury appointed by the Manorial Court to decide a question of succession, which was in agitation at the time when the earliest existent Court-Rolls commence. Also in 1274, Richard Petit of Beobridge (above named), with John his son, become Lessees under the Abbey of four acres in the field of Nasse. [55]

POLE, or POLEHOUSE, was another member of Beobridge, and I find Henry de la Pole and Richard at Pole (otherwise called Richard Carpenter de la Pole) attesting many deeds of the middle of the thirteenth century. The latter is, I, doubt not, the person who, under the third designation of Richard de Burhton Carpenter, appears to have married Matilda, daughter of William de la Pole, and who, after his said wife's decease, has a grant from Alan Abbot of Haughmond (1272-1281) of land in Polehous juxta Bewbrugge, in tail to the heirs of the Grantee by his second wife, with remainder to heirs by his deceased wife. [56]

We have also a subsequent quit-claim to the Abbey by Richard de Borghton Carpenter of all lands held by him in Polehous. [57]

BEOBRIDGE CHAPEL.- Mr. Blakeway refers to the Haughmond Chartulary as establishing the existence of a Chapel here. The authority is specifically this.-

The Abbot, in the year 1341, granting a lease of his Grange of

[54] Deeds in possession of the Rev. John Brooke of Haughton.
[55] Haughmond Ohartulary, fo. 88.
[56] Ibidem, fo. 167.
[57] Ibidem, fo. 84. Tested by John de Gathaker.


Beebrugge, stipulates, among other things, that the Lessee shall keep in good repair a hall for the Abbot's attendants, a chamber adjoining, for the Abbot himself, a small Chapel, two barns, a bakehouse &c. [58]

A private Chapel for the use of the Abbot of Haughmond, when occasionally visiting his Claverley Estate, is therefore, I presume, the only Chapel that ever existed at Beobridge.


King Henry I is known to have constituted the Barony or Honour of Montgomery;- more probably with reference to his designs on Wales than to make provision for Baldwin de Bollers, first Lord of the said Honour, who had married Sibil de Faleise, a Lady reputed to be nearly related to the King.

The lands and fees annexed to this Barony were chiefly, but not entirely, selected from the Escheats of Earl Robert de Belesme. Among those Escheats was Claverley;- and Gatacre, a member of Claverley, was made one of the appurtenances of the new Honour.

The contemporary Lord of Montgomery was therefore, at all periods of which I propose to speak, seignoral Lord of Gatacre, holding mediately between the Crown and a family of knightly rank, which, having early feoffment in Gatacre, took its name from the place. The period of such feoffment it is vain to conjecture, as being beyond all Record of such matters. The Feoffor may have been one of the Norman Earls, or King Henry I, or an early Lord of Montgomery. The Feoffees held elsewhere in Shropshire under the Barony of Pulverbatch, a circumstance which points to no further conclusion as to their origin, though it happens to furnish us with an early event in their history. Of that however, presently.

The first direct mention which I find of Gatacre is associated with the names of its Under-tenants rather than its owners. Thus, at Michaelmas 1160, the Sheriff of Shropshire is said to owe 21s. of the money (de pecunia) of William de Gatacre, an expression usually associated with some penalty or forfeiture levied on the goods of a person of poor estate, and far less than knightly degree. The Sheriff paid the debt in the following year. [59]

[58] Ibidem, fo. 82. The Lessee was also to be the Abbot's Bailiff, and collect his rents in Beobridge, Broughton, Alveley, Wichbold, and Brugge, and the fines and perquisites of his Court; and the Abbot was to present him annually with a Robe, in return for such service.
[59] Rot. Pip. 6, 7 Hen. II, Salop.


Some years afterwards the vill of Gathacra occupies a prominent position in the criminal annals of the period.- The famous Statutes of Northampton, the result of a Council held there in January 1176, by Henry II, appointed that all graver crimes, such as murder, larceny, robbery, arson, and money-forgery, should first be submitted to the Verdict of a competent Jury, and that then those whom the Jury declared guilty should be further subjected to the Ordeal of Water. If the accused failed to go through the latter, that is, if he did not sink when plunged into deep water, he was judged definitely guilty, lost his right hand and one foot, and was compelled to abjure the realm, and to leave it vrithin forty days. [60]

The Justices appointed to the Shropshire Circuit under the Statutes in question were at Salop before Michaelmas of the same year (1176). Of thirty persons who failed to undergo the Ordeal at these Assizes, five were of the vill of Gathacra. Their Chattels, which, being forfeit to the Crown, the Sheriff afterwards accounted for at the Exchequer, varied in value from half a merk to 3s., which shows their estate to have been just above that of villanage. [61]

The first notice which I find of any apparent Lord of Gatacre is of Sir William de Gatacre, for such doubtless was the name and rank of him who, described only as Father of Robert de Gatacre, is said in a later Record to have had a suit with one Walter about half a hide of land in Great Lye, which each claimed to hold of the Barony of Pulverbatch. This affair, which seems to belong to the time of Henry II or Richard I, was subject of a Wager of Battle in the Curia Comitatus, but was not thus settled.

William de Gatacre was one of those four Visors who, in July 1194, had to report to the Courts of Westminster on the validity of the essoign of Cecilla de Cantreyn, a Litigant, whose cause I have already set forth. [62]

Gatacre's associates in this duty, to which Knights only were usually appointed, were Henry Christian, Philip Fitz Holegod, and William de Ruge (Rudge), all his neighbours, and of equal rank with himself.

He was succeeded by Sir Robert de Gatacre, who occurs as a Knight, because on a Jury of Grand Assize which was appointed in April 1200 to try a question of right in relation to lands at Nordley Regis at the next Iter of the King's Justices. [63]

[60] Hoveden, 313, b. There is some confusion of this Chronicler, between Nottingham and Northampton. Benedictus Abbas supplies the correction.
[61] Rot. Pip. 22 Hen. II, Salop.
[62] Supra, Vol. I, p. 47.
[63] Rot. Curiae Regis, II, 169.


About this time, Robert de Gatacre attests a grant which the Abbey of Haughmond had in Rudge.

At the County Assizes (October 1203) he appears in more than one capacity, viz., as a Knight and Juror of Grand Assize; as Surety for some one, whose non-appearance occasioned him an amercement of half a merk; lastly, as himself a Litigant. His suit, which appears to have been with William, son of that Walter who had been his Father's antagonist, was compounded, Gatacre giving the King half a merk for license to accord. His pledge for the said fine was William Fitz Walter, his opponent,- a very usual circumstance in Suits thus terminated. [64] The Concord resulting from this affair is found to exist, though in a strange depository,- the Wombridge Chartulary. Thereby William Fitz Walter concedes for himself and heirs to Robert de Gatacre and his heirs, all right in a moiety of Magna Lya (Great Lyth, near Shrewsbury) which his (Robert's) Father sought to obtain from the Grantor's Father by wager of battle (per finem duelli) in the County Court of Salopesburi, to wit, in half a hide of land, which the said Robert and his heirs should hold of the Barony of Pulrebech in chef: also, said William concedes certain nokes of land which are of the Fee of Alberbury, which said Robert and heirs should hold of the Grantor and his heirs at an annual rent of 2s. 5d. For this the said Robert paid the Grantor two merks.- Witnesses: Baldwin de Hodenet, Roger de Hedlege (probably Roger Corbet of Hadley, who only survived these Assizes a few months), and Stephen de Staunton. [65]

I have one more, and a somewhat later, notice of Robert de Gatacre. On Nov. 5, 1208, he appears as Defendant in a suit of mort d'ancestre, wherein Robert Fitz Terric and Matilda his wife sued him for half a virgate in Gatacre. Gatacre conceded the premises,- to hold to Robert and Matilda and the heirs of Matilda under Gatacre and his heirs by free service of 4s. per annum, as well as forinsec services. For this recognition he had 20s. [66]

The next head of this house of whom I have certain notice was Stephen de Gatacre, who, about the middle of the thirteenth

[64] Salop Assizes, 5 John, passim.
[65] Wombridge Chartulary, Tit. Lega Prioris, No. xxiii.

What brought this document into the Wombridge Chartulary I have no conception. Its date is almost certain, as between November 1203 and May 1204. The names of two witnesses are singularly apposite to a deed in which a Tenant of the Barony of Montgomery was concerned; for Baldwin de Hodnet was, by hereditary right, Seneschal of that Honour, and Stephen de Staunton was descended from Baldwin de Bollers, its first Lord under King Henry I.
[66] Pedes. Finium, 10 John, Salop.


stands first witness to two undated deeds, which I shall quote under Aston and Hopetone. In one instance he is followed by John, his Brother.

In 1255, the Jurors of Claverley, under the head of "Knights, Free Tenants, and Religious bodies, who held lands within the King's Manors", stated that Stephen de Gatacre held in Claverley Manor one hide, viz., in Gatacre and Sutton (printed Lucton), by service of doing suit at the three Courts of Claverley. To the question whether the Free-Tenants, Provost, and others, duly attended (the Inquest in hand, I suppose), they returned that Stephen de Gatacre did not so attend, because he was withheld by infirmity. [67]

At this period, John de Gatacre, whom I take to be the above- mentioned brother of Stephen, had, as Guardian of an Heir, seizin of the small Manor of Coats, near Rushbury. [68] Mention of his name in the matter of his Aunt's murder by Master Walter le Palmer has already been made. [69] He was probably Appellant in the case; but we may be attributing this office to a wrong person; for-

The successor to Stephen de Gatacre was another John de Gatacre, probably Son of Stephen. The Heraldic Pedigrees omit him altogether.

He, John, is a principal witness of some undated deeds which passed between 1255 and 1272. In one instance he is expressly styled "Lord of Gatacre". [70] He too, I take it, was that John de Gatacre whose death was subject of inquiry in 1272, as before stated.

George de Cantilupe, who died in 1278, was Lord of the Honour of Montgomery, and so had the Seigneury of all the Knights' fees which then pertained to that Barony. One of the Inquests taken after his death seems to have made mention of the Manor of Gatacre as held of the said Barony, but the Tenant's name does not appear. [71]

The inheritance of George de Cantilupe was matter of much litigation. Milisent, Widow of Endo la Zouche, and sister and

[67] Rot. Hund. II, 61, 62. Gatacre's tenure, under the Honour of Montgomery, does not appear on this occasion. The truth is, that none of the questions propounded to the Jury were calculated to elicit such a statement.
[68] Ibidem, II, 70.
[69] Supra, Vol. I, p. 51.
[70] Infra, p. 94, note 54. Supra, p. 76.
[71] Calendar of Inquisitions,Vol. I, p.49. The original Inquest, which conveyed this information to the Compiler of the Calendar, seems to be lost. A Pedigree, by Mr. George Morris, indicates that the Lord of Gatacre, at the time of George de Cantilupe's death, was in minority. His name was Robert de Gatacre, and he was in ward to Cantilupe. He is supposed to have died soon after he came of age. His successor, John, was probably his Brother.


coheir of George de Cantilupe, is found to have sued several Tenants of the Honour of Montgomery for her purparty in that Barony. In Easter Term 1280, she is impleading John de Gatacre, for a Knight's Fee in Gatacre, that is, not for the estate, but for the service due thereon. [72] Here then is a second John, Lord of Gatacre.

The next Lord of Gatacre, of whom I have certain note, was Geoffrey de Gatacre, who stands first witness of a Deed dated August 12, 1324, which shall be given presently.

Geoffrey de Gatacre died on Sept. 5, [74] 1345. The events which followed are so authoritatively stated, and are so clear as to the tenures and estates of this family, that I must needs pursue the subject to a period later than my usual limits.

Geoffrey was succeeded by his son and heir, Thomas, who entered upon the several estates of Gatacre, Sutton, and Great Lyth immediately on his Father's death, and held them till Nov. 10, 1367. On that day the King's Escheator, Philip de Lutley, held an Inquest at Bridgnorth as to these estates, and, in consequence of the finding of the Jury, seized them all into the King's hand.

The reason was as follows:-

The said Jury found that the hamlet of Sutton was a tenure in capite by Knight's service, and that on his late father's death, Thomas de Gatacre had entered upon Sutton, Gatacre, and Great Lyth, without doing homage and fealty to the Crown, and without paying his relief, so that he had occupied the same unjustly for twenty-two years and more.

Very shortly after this Inquest and Disseizin, Thomas de Gatacre died; but Alice, his Widow, claiming to have held Gatacre and Sutton conjointly with her late husband, moved at once a suit at law for their recovery. On June 5, 1368, she appeared personally in Chancery, and pleaded that Sutton was not held of the King in capite, but of William la Zouche of Haryngworth, and that Geoffrey de Gatacre and all Thomas de Gatacre's Ancestors had so held it under La Zouche and his Ancestors; and that, as she was prepared to prove all this, she preyed that the King would "remove his hand".

Here I should observe, that the tenure of Gatacre and Great Lyth did not come into question, the former being confessedly

[72] Abbreviatio Placitorum, p. 198.
[73] A printed Pedigree calls Geoffrey son and heir of William de Gatacre, and William (said to occur in 1298 and 1313) brother and heir of Robert. The first assertion wants confirmation. The last is clearly an error.
[74] One Inquest says October 5.


held under La Zouche, as heir of Cantilupe, while the latter is particularly mentioned in these proceedings as being held at the time under Edward le Botyler, by service of 2s. rent.

Alice's Plea in Chancery was resisted by the Crown Prosecutor, with the simple reassertion, that Sutton was held in capite; and both parties appealed to trial by Jury. Accordingly, the Sheriff of Shropshire was ordered to empanel twenty-four Knights and others, of the visnage of Sutton, not being of kin to Alice, to try the issue. Return was to be made before the King in Chancery in Michaelmas Term, 1368.

Meanwhile, the King issued a Writ to Philip de Lutley, ordering him to certify why he had seized the Manor of Gatacre. Lutley's answer quotes the Bridgnorth Inquisition, and justifies the seizure on the well-known ground, that all estates of a Tenant in capite were involved in the liabilities accruing on the particular estate so held, which in this instance was Sutton.

Again on August 25, 1368, a Writ of King Edward III rebukes Lutley for not having given account of his seizure of Great Lyth, "as he had been repeatedly ordered to do". He is enjoined either to do so at once by letter, or appear in Chancery on September 15 following.

Lutley's reply excuses his previous omission on the ground that the King's former Writ only ordered him to account for the seizure of Gatacre and Sutton, and to that he had already made return in Chancery. He now states that the lands, tenements, and rents which he had seized in Great Lyth were worth 40s. per annum, and that his grounds for this seizure were identical with the grounds of his seizure of Gatacre, viz., that Sutton was a Tenure in capite, as found by the Bridgnorth Inquest. [75]

I cannot discover the further process of these inquiries, nor any Record of the proposed trial by twenty-tour Jurors; but it is evident that the result was in favour of Alice de Gatacre, for a King's Writ of the same year (1368) commits to the said Alice, widow of Thomas de Gatacre, custody of the Manor of Gatacre and the hamlet of Sutton, with their appurtenances. [76]-

We therefore conclude that Sutton was found to be held, like Gatacre, of La Zouche, and that the Gatacres were in no way liable as Tenants in capite.

[75] The whole of these particulars are taken from two Records, numbered in the Calendar of Inquisitions as 19 Edw. III. (Second Numbers) No. 1, and 42 Edw. III. (Second Numbers) No. 5.
[76] Originalia, 42 Edw. III, Rot. 5.


Thomas de Gatacre seems to have been eventually succeeded by his son, another Thomas, who occurs as a Knight in 1392. [77]

BESIDES THE LORDS of Gatacre there were several families bearing the name, either as Cadets of the principal branch, or from some other connection with the place. Thus I find a Reginald de Gatacre in 1224, Bertram de Gatacre a Juror in 1272, Walter de Gatacre occurring in Claverley affairs in 1304-5-6, and attesting Dudmaston Deeds in 1322 and 1326.

A Thomas de Gatacre occurs on the earliest Court-Rolls of 1333 and 1334; and in the latter year, "Bertram, son of Reginald de Gatacre, came into Court and surrendered into the hands of the Lord (of Claverley) a parcel of meadow for the use and behoof of Osbert, son of Osbert de Boroughton, Edith his wife, and their heirs. Osbert and Edith had ingress, paying a fine of 8d. to the Lord, and doing fealty". This I give as an instance of the proceedings of these Manorial Courts, but now return to Gatacre and its Under-tenants.-

There was a John Wygod of Gatacre, a Juror of Claverley in 1255, and a witness of local deeds before and after. There was also a William de Gatacre, styled sometimes "William the Serjeant of Gatacre", of whom I should say a little. Besides being a witness of local deeds,he had apparently, about the year 1260, from Adam, son of Alan de Eaton (Aston), a grant of three acres of land in Aston, to hold to him and his heirs at a penny rent, and for 9s. paid on ingress. [78]

This William, or his son of the same name, sat on the Manorial Inquest of 1274; and the son had, somewhat later, a grant in Aston from Richard son of Adam le Fremon of Aston (that is, son of his Father's Feoffor), wherein he is styled "William son of William le Serjaunt de Gatacre". The service on this last grant was to be included in the penny rent already stipulated, but the Grantee paid a further fine of 6s. 8d. on entry. [79]

This second William de Gatacre occurs on various Juries &c. in 1300, 1304, 1306, 1316, and 1318. In 1324 he had another grant from Richard le Fremon of Aston, of an acre of land in Aston, to be held of the Lords of the Fee; [80] and on March 2, 1326, his son,

[77] Charter at Haughton.
[78] Charter at Haughton. Witnessed by Sir John Fitz Philip (of Bobbington), John de Gatacre, John Wygod, Elyse de Bulwarthin, Adam de Cymiterio.
[79] Charter ibidem. Witnesses: William de Wodecote, Hugh de Bolewardin, Stephen de Wistoneemere, Richard Petyt of Bebrugg.
[80] Charter ibidem. Witnesses Geoffrey de Gauze (Lord of Gataere, I think), Richard de la Broke, Richard his son, Richard de Chykenhulle, William de Bolewerdyn, William de Gravenor.


a third William, had a share in a marl-pit given him by the same Grantor, which he was to hold of the King in capite. [81]

GATACRE CHAPEL.- The former existence of such a structure is well established. Mr. Blakeway speaks of its remains as standing within memory.


Of this Township of Claverley I can say little more than that it seems to have been appurtenant to Gatacre, and held under the same Lords. Richard de Sutton, perhaps Tenant thereof, was on the Claverley Jury in 1255.


On Nov. 18, 1221, Alan de Eaton essoigns himself, through Reginald de Lega (Lee), in a suit of land which he had at Westminster against Nicholas de Wundewell (Woundall). [82]

The son of this Alan was Adam, alias Adam le Fremon de Aston, second Juror on the Inquisition of 1255, first Juror at the Assizes of 1272, and sixth Juror on the Inquisition of 1274. His grant to William le Serjeant of Gatacre has been already cited, as also those of his son Richard to the son and grandson of the said William. This Richard le Fremon was second Juror at the Assizes of 1292, and was living in 1328. A second Adam le Fremon occurs in 1343.

At this time there was a William de Aston (called in one instance Dominus) making extensive purchases in Claverley, particularly from Sir William de Shareshull, Knight, who had for life a fee-farm grant of the Manor, and whose deeds of feoffment reserve rents, first payable to himself, and afterwards to the King. [83] I have no space to enter into further details than to say that this William de Aston left issue, William and Richard, the former of whom, in 1349, enfeoffed the latter by fine levied at Westminster, in a large estate (one carucate &c.) at Claverley and Gatacre, for which the Feoffee is said to pay 100 merks.

[81] Charter ibidem. Witnesses: William de Bolewardyn, William atte Ayse, William de Gravenor, Robert de Chickenhulle, William de Farnecot, Clerk, &c.

The Grantor in this deed was Richard le Fremon of Aston, who had acquired the marl-pit, by contract with Commissioners lately appointed, to make arrentation of the King's wastes in Shropshire.

The Seal of this Deed is curious: the device very similar to that on the Seal of Griffin, son of Gervase Goch of Sutton. (See Vol. II, p. 124).
[82] Essoign Roll, 5 Hen. III, No. 12, m. 3 dorso.
[83] Charters at Haughton.


THE CEMETERY.- An estate thus named was part of Aston.-

About 1250, as I guess, William de Cymiterio of Eston, in the Manor of Claverleg, grants to Alexander, son of Richard de Porta of Luddeston, a messuage, croft, and 15 acres in Eston, at a rent of 2s. to himself, and reserving 2d. towards the King's Tallages, whenever levied in Cleverleg. For this 29s. was paid on Ingress. [84]

This William de Cymiterio was doubtless he who, as William de Aston, sat third Juror at the Claverley Inquisition of 1255, which I think he survived not long. He left two sons, Adam and Stephen, the first of whom was in possession within the next ten years; for when, by a deed apparently of that date (1255-65), Alexander fitz Richard de Porta, the former Grantee, transfers his feoffment to Walter de Borchtun, he mentions Adam fitz William de Cymiterio as the adjoining landholder, and as now entitled to the reserved rent of 2s. [85] Alexander received 30s. for the transfer, which Adam fitz William de Cimiterio, by a third deed, confirmed. [86]

I think that this Adam fitz William died shortly afterwards, leaving a widow, Alice, but no issue, so that his Brother Stephen became his heir.

The latter, styling himself "Stephen son of William de Cymyterio de Aston", grants "to Richard de Claverley, Chaplain, all his land within and without the vill of Aston, with all right and claim which he had there by reason of said land, which land is called the land of the Cymetery";- to hold in fee, as the Grantor and his Father William had held it, together with the dower, whenever accruing, which Alice, daughter of William de Burchton, had therein, and all rents, heriots &c. thereto belonging;- rendering therefore yearly to the King of England, or his Attorney in the Manor of Claverleg, 5s. at four stated periods, and to the Grantor and his heirs one penny at Christmas. For this the Grantee paid 100s. on Ingress. [87]

[84] Charter at Haughton. Witnesses: Stephen de Gatacre; John Wigot of Gatacre; Elias de Bolewardin; Adam de Farncote, son-in- law of Mabel; Peter de Draicote; Henry de Pole; Richard Carpenter of Pole; Adam le Fremon of Eston; John le Franchoume of Luddesdon.
[85] Charter ibidem. Witnesses: John de Gatacre, William de Gatacre, Elias de Bolewardin, Henry de la Pole, Richard de la Pole, Adam (le Fremon) de Estun, Richard de Wytsanmere, Thomas de la Bruche.
[86] Charter ibidem. Witnesses: John Lord of Gatacre, John Wigot, and five others, as in the last. The Legend round the Seal is "S' WILLI FIL JOHANNIS".

I suppose it was the Seal of the Grantor's Father.
[87] Charter ibidem. Witnesses: Adam le Fremon de Aston, William de Bolewordin, Elias le Franchoume, Roger de Draycot, Richard Carpenter, Roger de Gravenor, Stephen de Wistanesmere, Richard Petit of Bebrug, Bertram de Draycot.


The Grantee in this deed soon became Grantor in another; for, though an Ecclesiastic, the purchase had evidently been made as a provision for his son and that son's Mother. Calling himself Richard, son of Robert de Claverleg, and a Chaplain, he grants to Richard Clerk his son, and Matilda, mother of said Richard, all the tenement which he had purchased from Stephen Fitz William;- to hold in fee, of the King, to said Richard and Matilda, together with the dower of Alice &c. as before;- rendering 5s. to the King as before, and 1s. at Christmas to the Grantor. If Richard Clerk die without issue or assigns, then the premises, after death of Matilda, shall revert to Alice, Richard Clerk's Sister, and her heirs; but in default of such heirs, afterwards to the Grantor, if living, and his heirs or assigns. [88]

This Richard Clerk, afterwards styling himself "Richard in Cymeterio de Aston, Clerk", made a small grant to Alice his sister in Draycote and Hetton (Heathton), of land which one John de Albrihton had held, and forfeited for felony. Alice was to hold it "free of the Grantor, to herself, her heirs or assigns, paying 6d. rent to the King, and doing suit to Claverley Court as free tenants always did". [89]

Richard Clerk, sometimes called of Aston, sometimes of Claverley, is constantly occurring in local affairs till the year 1326. On Feb. 19, 1331, his son, called "Richard Clerk son of Richard de Claverley", had an exchange in Aston with Richard, son of Adam le Granger; and in 1347, the same person, called Richard Clerk of Claverley, with Joan his wife, grants to Joan his daughter, and Thomas, son of Richard Nicholes of Hethton, her husband, a parcel of land in Draycote, which the Grantors had inherited since the death of Thomas Fitz Gilbert de Aston. [90]

[88] Charter ibidem. Witnesses: William de Gundeville, then Serjeant (Serviens) at Luddesdone; and six others, as in the last, except that Elias le Franchoume is here called Elyas de Luddesdon, and Richard Carpenter called Richard at Pole (ad Polam).-

The first witness bas already occurred to us (Vol. I, pp. 335-6) as Attorney for the Crown in a lawsuit, and in the years 1267-8. We thus perhaps approximate to the date of the two last deeds.
[89] Charter ibidem. Witnesses: Richard le Fremon of Aston, Elias le Fremon of Luddesdon, Richard de Chikenhul, John de Chikenhul (Chicknell), Hugh de Bolewardin, Richard Petyt of Bebrug &c.
[90] Charters ibidem. This series of Charters is curious, as showing one instance how the professional word "Clerk" became a surname. In this ease it was the name adopted and transmitted to his descendants by the illegitimate son of a Clerk or Chaplain of Claverley. We have had s similar instance before (supra, p. 35).


Gilbert de Aston, to whom I will recur for a moment, had sat on local Juries in 1292, 1303, 1304, and 1306. In 1331 he is mentioned as Gilbert de Aston, Clerk, and as then deceased. His son Thomas occurs in 1342 and 1343, and in 1347 was deceased, as above indicated.

Richard, son of Adam le Granger of Aston, above mentioned as exchanging in 1331, was deceased in November 1333. His son Roger's claim to be his heir is the subject of several entries on the earliest of the Manorial Court-Rolls.-

At the Court of November 2, 1333, he fines 18d. with the Lord (of the Manor) to have judgment of the whole Court on an issue as to his Father's seizin when he died, and his own heirship; in fact, the issue is embodied in a form very similar to that in which a suit of mort d'ancestre would have been propounded in the Curia Regis. The Inquisition made thereupon by the whole Court did not agree, except as to a part of the lands claimed, which part was adjudged to the Claimant, who named an Attorney to prosecute his suit at the next Court, as regarded the remainder.

At the Court of November 23, 1333, there was ordered to be an Inquest as to the Heriot due to the Lord on Richard le Granger's death: also, Roger le Granger's Attorney had seizin of the land already adjudged to him, paying 1d. relief. As regards the main matter (his suit of mort d'ancestre), Roger le Granger fined 2s. more to have Inquisition by twelve Jurors thereon, and the same was ordered for the next Court.

At a Court holden Jan. 4, 1334, Roger le Granger's Attorney came to agreement with Alice, his Father's Widow, whose claim appears to have hitherto retarded his seizin. A further relief of 9d. was paid. The Beadle of the Manor was ordered, under penalty of 6s. 8d., to have the proper heriot before the next Court, when also Roger le Granger was to appear in person, and do fealty to the Lord of Claverley. [91]


In 1209, the following persons are rated under the township (Villata) of Farnecote for imbladements within regard of Morf

[91] Claverley Court-Rolls. The succeeding Rolls are so damaged that I am unable to extract from them anything more on this subject. Enough has been perhaps said to show the form of prooeeding in a question of succession, which, however small were the interests involved, must have taken the litigants to the Kings Court, at Westminster or elsewhere, had the writ of Mort d'Ancertre been current in Claverley.


Forest, viz., Thomas de Suerton, Roger Fitz Christiana, Roger Seneschall, and Roger Bungi. [92]

Reginald and William de Farnecote were Jurors on the Claverley Inquest of 1255, and William and Roger on that of 1274.

At the Assizes of 1292, Richard ad Boscum (Attwood) and Robert atte Ashe, both of Farmcote, were Jurors. A William de Farncote, Clerk, attests in 1326 and 1328, accompanied in the former year by William atte Ayse.


At the Inquisition of 1255, it was presented that William de la Hethe held one acre of purpresture in Claverley, for which he paid the King an annual rent of 6d.; also the township (villata) of Hethon held two acres of purpresture, and paid the King 4d.

At the Assizes of 1256, William de Hethton and twelve Claverley Jurors, his fellows, seem to have been fined by the Justiciary for several offences. In 1262, Edith of Etthon, Widow, and William de la Braere (i.e. Heath) of Hethton, were charged for imbladements in Morf Forest. Nicholas de Hetton was a Juror of Claverley in 1274, and Robert atte Ok de Hetton in 1292.


I find mention of a John Hopestan in 1209. Before or about the middle of the century, Petronilla, daughter of Walter de Hopstan, in pure and liege power gave to Roger, son of Robert French (Francisci) of Hopstan for his service, and for 11s. paid on ingress, a parcel of land which had descended to the Grantress in Cleverleg Manor, which Walter de Hopstan Junior sometime held, and bounded by Farnhamsti, Claverlete-Bruche, Osbert de Hopstan's land, and Spechleg,- to hold in Fee, paying d. rent to the Grantress and her heirs, and 2d. to the King. [93]

Stephen Hopston occurs as a Juror in 1274, and Richard, son of Walter de Hopston, in 1292.


At Shrewsbury Assizes, November 1221, Cecilia, wife of Richard de Wudenwall, appoints her husband her Attorney in a plea of land which she was prosecuting at Westminster against Nicholas

[92] Forest Roll, No. 2, Salop.
[93] Charter at Houghton. Witnesses: Stephen de Gatacre, John his Brother, Nicholas de Rugge, Adam de Aston, Elias de Bolewordin, Bohn le Fremon de Luddesdon, Richard Clerk &c.


de Wudenwall. Later in the same Term, and at Westminster, Richard de Wundwell and Cecilia his wife had essoign in this suit till Hilary Term following. The Defendant, Nicholas de Wundewell, has already occurred as involved in a contemporary suit with Alan de Eston. [94]

We also have a later and different notice of him.-

On August 5, 1235, the King commands the Sheriff of Salop, that he cause John Fitz Philip to have the corn and other chattels of Nicholas de Wundenewell, whom Margery, widow of Roger le Budel, is challenging for murder of her late husband, and who is a fugitive on account of such challenge. John Fitz Philip is to have the goods at the same price as they had been valued at for the King; he is also to have the land of said Nicholas, which land and chattels the King hath conceded to said John in custody, till other orders be given. [95]

CHYKNELL.- Robert de Chekenhull was assessed in 1209 for imbladement within regard of Morf Forest.

In September 1224, the King's Justices, being at Shrewsbury, amerced Robert de Chikenehull and Cecilia his Mother half a merk for not prosecuting some suit, the Sureties for their so doing being William de Eston and Reginald de Gatacre.

We have Richard and John de Chykenhul occurring at the close of the century, the former being a Juror at the Assizes of 1292, and on a local Inquest in April 1300. Richard and Thomas de Chikenhulle occur in 1316 and 1318, Richard in 1324, Robert in 1326, and Robert and Richard in 1331.

Almost the first entry on the extant Court-Rolls of Claverley mentions William, son of Thomas de Chikenhull, as appearing in a Court held November 2, 1333, and surrendering to the Lord all that land which he had within the Manor of Claverleye by gift of his Father, with all buildings, gardens, meadows, pastures &c., pertaining thereto, for the use and behoof of Henry de Wystansmer, who has seizin thereof, to himself and heirs, paying to the Lord a fine of 1s.


Mention of the Tenants of this Township seldom occurs. I can only instance William de Dalicote, who sat as Foreman of the Jury at the Manorial Inquest of 1274, and Edmund de Dalicote, who essoigns his attendance at the Manorial Court held Nov. 23, 1333.

[94] Supra, p. 93.
[95] Fines, Vol. I. 286.



This Township, or most of it, formed part of the endowment of the Deanery of Brug.

At the Assizes of November 1221, Robert de Pictavia, a Clerk, was found to have disseized Katherine Fitz Henry of her free tenement in Luddesdun. Richard de la Pole was his Surety. The contemporary Dean of Brug I have already shown to have been a Poitevin. [96] The Litigant in this case was doubtless his relation.

The Inquest of 1255 reported that Peter de Rivellis (he was then Dean) held in Claverley Manor half a hide in Luddesdon, wherein the King was used to have all amercements arising under the assize of beer, and this right had been withdrawn (from the Manor Court) five years since. "The Township pertained to the Church of Claverleg", i.e., to the Deanery. The same Dean's Tenants at Luddesdone had, also five years since, withdrawn the suit, which, in common with other Tenants in Claverley, they owed to the County Court. [97]

John in Fremon, or le Franchoume, of Luddesdon, and his apparent successor, Elias, occurring so often in undated deeds of the thirteenth century, were, I suppose, Tenants of the Dean. Roger Archer of Luddesdon was assessed in 1262, under regard of Morf Forest.

BESIDES THE ABOVE VILLS, now recognized as townships of Claverley, I should take brief notice of a few hamlets and families otherwise associated with the Manor.

DRAYCOTT.- Of this place we have Peter de Draicote, about 1250. John de Dayncote appeared as Chief Bailiff of Claverley at the Assizes of 1256. Roger and Bertram de Draycot occur later in the Century. The earliest Court-Roll (1333-4) mentions Richard de Draycote Senior, apparently deceased, and his son of the same name.

GRAVENOR.- The first mention of this place and the family named therefrom is implied by the attestations of Roger de Gravenor, in the thirteenth Century. William de Gravenor occurs in 1324 and 1331. In 1333, this William essoigns his attendance at the Manor-Court, and is mentioned in other relations. Thomas, son of Richard Gravenore, and Richard, heir of Agnes de Gravenor, occur contemporarily, the latter taking from the Lord of the Manor a tenement &c. at the Lee (now Lea Farm) till such time as the right heir of said tenement should be forthcoming. [98]

[96] Supra, Vol. I, p. 329.
[97] Rot. Hund. II, 61.
[98] Court Rolls of Claverley.


BULWARDINE.- Here probably was a Lodge of one of the Under- foresters of Morf; for a family which took name from this place seems to have had custody of that part of the Forest which was adjacent to Claverley.

Elyas de Claverley, who in the year 1200 fined two merks with the Crown that he might have his Bailiwick, was, I think, Father of Elyas de Bulewardin who in 1228 fines one merk for having the Bailiwick of the Bosc of Claverley, viz., a moiety of the said Bailiwick, as his Father had it. [99]

Frequently, about the middle of the same Century, we have Elyas de Bulwardine as a witness of local deeds. In 1262 the list entitled Essonia Mortis (which I have supposed to be a list of persons deceased) includes the name of Henry Forester of Morf as non-attendant at the Forest Assizes; but the same list presents the name of Henry Fitz Elyas as Essoignor of Roger Gerbod, [100] whom we know to have been Forester of that moiety of Morf which lay about Worfield. My impression is, that both these Foresters, Henry and Roger, were deceased at the time, and that either Henry Fitz Elyas was not identical with Henry the Forester, or else that there is some confusion in the Record.

During the next forty years we have the names, first of William de Bulwardine, and then of Hugh de Bulwardine, but only as witnesses of local deeds.

From 1300 to 1342, the name of William de Bulwardine is continuously occurring on local Juries, or as a witness of dated deeds, but I find no evidence that the family continued at this time to be Foresters of Morf.

WYSTANESMERE has ceased to exist as a vill or township, but is of frequent mention in early Records. Its former situation is probably to be traced in two fields now called "Whistimore", which are near Farmcott, and in the township of Claverley.

Of the family which took name from this place we have Richard de Wystanesmere, a witness in the middle of the thirteenth century, and Stephen de Wystenstanesmere, a Juror for Claverley Manor at the Assizes of 1272 and 1292. The same person is a witness of cotemporary deeds.

In 1331, Henry de Wistanamer occurs as a witness in an Aston deed.

LEA FARM.- This tenement is adjacent to Hopstone. It is possible

[99] Rot. Pip. 2 John, and 12 Hen. III, Salop.
[100] Forest Roll, No. 4, Salop.


that it gave name to a family which is occasionally mentioned in the early annals of Cleverley. Therefore I set down here a few facts which, if not relevant to the Lea-farm itself, yet concern the Manor of which it was a member.

Reginald de Lega, whom I have named under Aston as an Essoignor in a local Suit of 1221, may have been of this place. Richard de la Lee, first Juror for Claverley at the Manorial Inquest of 1255, was undoubtedly so.

Again, one Richard de la Lee was eighth Juror of Claverley at the Assizes of 1272.

Thomas, styled the Provost of the Lee (a style equivalent to Thomas de la Lee, Provost), was possibly of this place, and perhaps a Bailiff of Claverley. All that I know of him certainly is that he had two sons, Roger, a Clerk, and John. Of Roger I have much to say.-

In the year 1292, King Edward I grants to his beloved Clerk, Roger de Lee, thirty-one acres of the King's Bosc in Claverley, viz., twenty acres in the heath between Whittimere and Broughton; seven acres in the Kingesmere, between Broughton, Bobbington, and Gatacre; three acres in the heath, between Aston, Ludstone, and the boundary of Shropshire and Staffordshire; and one acre between the King's waste, near his Forest of Morf, and the Manor of Bobbington. The whole was to be held for the life of the Grantee at a rent of 5s. 2d. (i.e. 2d. per acre). [101]

At the County Assizes next following (Oct. 1292), Roger de Lee was presented for appropriating and assarting these lands. He pleaded the King's Charter, and the Bailiff of Claverley certified that his rent was not in arrear; so he was dismissed sine die.

In October 1293, at Assizes held at Brug, the Abbot of Haughmond sued "Roger, son of Thomas le Provost de la Lee, Clerk, for desseizing him of common pasture in seven acres of moor &c. which pertained to the Abbot's tenure in Beobridge and Broughton. William de la Lee, as Bailiff of Roger, answered for him, putting in the King's Charter to Roger, and declining to plead further without the King. An adjournment to Easter Term 1294 at Shrewsbury, and again to Michaelmas Term 1294 at Brug, ended in the Abbot's failing to appear, whereupon he and his Sureties were declared to be in misericordia".

At this time Roger de la Lee occurs as a Landholder in Nordley Regis, a matter which will appear in its place.

In 1300, Roger du Lee, Clerk, was again a Grantee of Crown

[101] Charter quoted in Assizes at Brug, 21 Edw. I, m.1; Originalia, I, 71.


lands in Claverley &c. After an Inquest ad quod damnum, held at Brug on June 6, and a Report by recent Arentators of the Royal Forests, the King grants to his beloved Clerk, Roger de Lee, the same thirty-one acres as before, but to be held in fee, and not merely for life, and at the old rent (5s. 2d.). The King adds a new grant of twenty-five acres in the Forests of Morf and Kinver, whereof twenty-two were in Morf and three in Kinver, also to be held in fee at a rent of 4s. 6d. (probably 3s. 6d.). Of the land in Mort sixteen acres were in the Oldfield between the Blakewall and the Coldewall, and six acres were in the heath between Whittimere, Bobbington, and Broughton. [102]

On Jan. 22, 1306, the King's Writ of diem clausit extremum issued on the death of Roger de Lee. An Inquest held at Claverley on Feb. 10, reported his tenure in capite most accurately, and how his collective rents to the King were payable through the King's Bailiff at Claverley. His Brother John was his next Heir, and aged fifty on Dec. 21, 1305. [103]

On May 28, 1306, John de la Leye having done fealty to the King, the Escheator is ordered to take security for his relief, and give him seizin of his inheritance. [104]

In 12 Edw. II (1318-9), William, son of Roger de la Lee, fines half a merk with the King for license to enter a certain tenement in Claverley after the decease of John de la Lee. [105]

I doubt not that this transaction concerned the same family and estate as we have been previously speaking of; but how William de la Lee and Roger his Father were related to John does not appear. A further pursuit of this subject would lead to details which, however interesting, belong to a succeeding aera of Shropshire History. [106]

[102] Inquisition, 28 Edw. I, Nos.74, 76; Originalia, I, 112; and Patent, 28 Edw. I. The second grant of 26 acres was, in great part, only a confirmation of previous arentations by the proper Officers. Thus, on May 81, 1296, Roger le Strange and Simon de Elleswrth, being Justices of the Forests citra Trent, Roger de Lee had taken in fee 16 acres of Morf Forest, the Arentators being Roger Fitz John (of Bowlas), Custos of the Forest; Peter de Eyton, Thomas Corbet, Philip de Peninton, and Robert de Dudmaston, Verderers.

Again, on July 80, 1296, the same Roger de Lee had fined for 21 acres in Kinver Forest, the Arentators' Court being formed by John Fitz Philip, Custos of the Forest; Philip de Lutley, and Warin de Penne, Verderers; Henry de Morf, Agistator; and Robert Buffari, Regarder.
[103] Inquisition, 34 Edw. I, No. 18.
[104] Orig. 34 Edw. I, Rot. 6.
[105] Orig. 12 Edw. II, Rot. 9.
[106] I am indebted for most of these particulars relating to the Lees of Claverley, to William Hardy, Esq., Keeper of the Records of the Duchy of Lancaster, who has taken much pains to trace the history of the various Shropshire Families of Lee.

In the fourteenth Century there was another family of Lee concerned in Claverley, but they appear to me to be identical with the Lees of Swindon (Staffordshire).


[For engraving, see pdf.]


THE FAMILY OF BROOKE had its origin in Claverley, where its elder branch continued to be resident for many Centuries, whilst a younger branch came to be seated at Blacklands, in the neighbouring Parish of Bobbington.

Richard de la Broke, who occurs in 1242, was probably of Claverley: Thomas de la Bruche, who occurs about 1260, was more certainly so.

In 1268, we have Geoffrey de la Broke on a Kinver Inquest.

From 1299 to 1338, I find Richard de Broke of Claverley sometimes called Richard atte Broke, sitting on Juries, or attesting deeds at Claverley, Bridgnorth, and Lutley. In 1316, he was Grantee of land in Beobridge, as was his Son Richard, a Clerk, in 1318. The same son occurs with his Father in 1324.

In 1342 and 1343, this succession seems to be in Thomas atte Broke of Claverley; but Randolf atte Broke, who occurs at Enville in 1347, I take to have been ancestor of Brooke of Blacklands, one of whom (deceased in 1385) seems to have married a coheiress of the Gravenors. [107]


Of this Church and its Incumbents, the Deans of St. Mary Magdalene of Bridgnorth, I have given account when speaking of that Collegiate establishment. [108]

About the end of the seventeenth Century, a number of Coats of Arms adorned the Church, some of them pertinent to our early history of the place, others not so ancient. Inasmuch as all have perished, I will exclude none from the scanty grace of a written memorial.

I. Gu, a Lion rampant within a border engrailed Or. (Talbot).

II. Gu, a fesse between six cross-crosslets Or. (Beauchamp).

III. * * Three Leopards passant * *. (England).

IV. Same as No. I, with a label of three points.

V. Quarterly- first and fourth, Ermine, a Chief indented Gu; second and third, Gu, over all on a Fesse As three Bezants. (Gatacre). [109]

VI. Gu, on a Fesse, between three Bucks' Heads caboshed Or, three Bugle-horns strung Sa.

[107] Charters in possession of the Rev. John Brooke, of Haughton.
[108] Supra, Vol I, pp. 328-338, et passim.
[109] The Arms now borne by Gatacre have these quarters reversed, besides other variations.


VII. Quarterly- first and fourth, Chequy * * and * *, a crescent for difference; second a,nd third, * * a Cross Flory * *. (Brooke). [110]

VIII. Gatacre (as in No. v) empaling Party per fesse Or and * *: in chief a martlet Sa. [111]

IX. Quarterly- first and fourth, Chequy * * and * *, on a Chief * *, a Brock * *; second and third, Arg, a Cross Flory Sa. (Brooke).

X. Az, on a Fesse between six cross-crosslets fitchee Arg, three Escallops Gu.

XI. Az, a Heart Gu between two Wings displayed Or, pierced with a Sword, Arg. [112]

XII. Gu, seven Mascles conjoined, three, three, and one, Or; a label of three points Az (Ferrers) empaling;- Party per pale- first, a Chevron Gu between three Birds Sa; second, Gu, three cross-crosslets fitchee Or.

XIII. Brooke (quarterly) empaling- Paly of six Or and Az, a Canton Erm. (Steirley). [113]

XIV. Quarterly- first and fourth, Chequy Arg and Sa; second and third, Arg a Cross Flory Sa. (Brooke).

XV. Quarterly- first and fourth, Gatacre, empaling Arg on a Chief Or, a Raven proper (Hord); second and third, * * a Lion rampant * * empaling;- Party per pale Gu and Az, an Eagle displayed with two Heads Or. (Mytton). [114]


UNDER a distinct title,- "Terra Hugonis de Montgumerie",- the Staffordshire Domesday gives full particulars of this extensive Manor.-

"Hugh de Montgumeri holds Wrfeld of the King. Earl Algar

[110] "Thomas Broke" written over this Coat.
[111] "Robert Gatacre armiger and Johanna uxor", written over this.
[112] A Coat, somewhat similar, is somewhere given for Wingham.
[113] This is described as the Coat of "John Broke, Esq., and Ann Shirley".
[114] The above are taken from the Harleian MS., 5848, fo. 42. The notes seem to have been carelessly made in the first instance, but I give them so far as I an understand them.


held it (in time of King Edward). Here are XXX hides. There is arable land sufficient for XXX ox-teams. In demesne are IIII (such teams); and V Serfs, and LXVII Villains, with a Priest and X Boors have XXV teams. Here are III Mills of 40s. (annual value), and a Fishery of 15s. (annual value), and XVI acres of Meadow. There is a Wood 3 leagues long and 1 league wide. Here III English have V teams, with XVIII Villains, and V Boors. The former value (of the Manor) was 3. (per annum): now it is worth 18. Of this, land III hides are waste". [1]

In this account one or two coincidences are observable. Statistically we notice how an unusual increase in the gross value of the Manor was accompanied by a superabundance of the kind of stock primarily necessary to cultivation. The Manor, which in Saxon times was only valued at 3., was, notwithstanding the uncultivated state of a tenth thereof, now worth 18. per annum, and was stocked with 34 ox-teams, i.e., four more than it actually required.

Hugh de Montgomery held it of the King, not of his Father the Earl,- a status well illustrated by the almost contemporary Foundation-Charter of Quatford Church, which tells us of Hugh de Montgomery and Philip his brother bestowing Burcot (a member of Worfield) on that establishment, and bestowing it independently of their Father. [2]

When Hugh became Earl of Shrewsbury, his Seigneury over Worfield was of course massed with his other Palatine Honours. Descending in due course to Earl Robert, and then forfeited to Henry I, Worfield came intact to the hands of Henry II, and was thenceforth accounted to be ancient demesne of the Crown. Its fiscal Value, that is, the proportion of the Ferm of Shropshire, which it was supposed to contribute, was 32. 0s. 5d., or nearly an eighth of the whole Firma Comitatus.

It was held strictly in demesne by Henry II and Richard I; but in the reign of John a heavy charge arose upon this portion of the Sheriff's Ferm in manner following:-

Roger de Powis, and Jonas, his brother, had held Whittington (Shropshire) and Overton (Flintshire) by authority and grant of King Henry II; and by the Serjeantry or service of "bearing the King's Mandates throughout Wales". Meurich, son of Roger de Powis, succeeded to that Tenure, and, except so far as he may have been disturbed by the counter-claim of Fitz Warin, held the same throughout the reign of Richard I.

[1] Domesday, fo. 248, b. 1.
[2] Supra, Vol I, p. 109.


On April 11, 1200, he had King John's confirmation thereof; [3] but, dying before August 1 following, the King renewed the said confirmation in favour of Wrenoch and Wenhunwin, sons of Meurich, stipulating that he, the King, would provide an equivalent, in case their title to Whittington &c. should be insufficient to resist the claims of any other party. [4]

This doubtless alluded to the then unsatisfied demands of the third Fulk Fitz Warin, which after a time came to be fully recognized. Wrenoch thus lost Whittington, but was able to fall hack on the stipulated alternative, and so to demand an equivalent from the King.

Hence the following writ of King John, bearing date at Woodstock on March 26, 1205:-

"The King to the Sheriff of Salop &c. We command you that you cause Goronow (i.e., Gronow or Wrenoch) Fitz Meuric to have x librates of land in any of our Manors without Bruges, wherever said lands shall lie most conveniently for our interests. So as that he (Wrenoch) shall give thereof to Wennovare his Stepmother and Wenunwin his Brother whatever, according to the custom of the Land, he ought to give". [5]

The Sheriff, it would seem, instantly assigned the required lands in Worfield, allowing the Grantee a quarter's revenue as if already due, but estimating eight fiscal librates of the Manor as equivalent to the ten librates enjoined by the King's Writ.

Hence, at Michaelmas 1207, he discharges himself of an aggregate liability of 22., e., two years and three-quarters' revenue of eight librates of land given in Werefeld to Wrenoc of Wales (Walensi). [6] And this charge on the King's Revenue was made by every Sheriff who accounted for Shropshire till Michaelmas 1224 inclusive.

During this interval I find two Records very pertinent to Wrenoch's Tenure. A return of the year 1211 says that "Wrenoc Fitz Meuric is holding eight librates of land of the bailiwick of King John, in lieu of ten librates (granted him) in exchange of Witinton, which Fulco Fitz Warin holds. And he (Wrenoc) ought by service to be Latimarius (Interpreter) between England and Wales". [7]

On January 29, 1222, Wrenoc appears to have been temporarily

[3] Rot. Cart. p. 43, b.
[4] Ibidem, p. 74.
[5] Rot. Claus,I, 24.
[6] Rot. Pip. 9 John, Salop.
[7] Testa de Nerill, p. 56.


disseized, for the King orders the Sheriff of Salop to cause him to have such seizin of his land in Wurfeld as he had before the precept which the King had issued to the said Sheriff concerning demesnes and escheats to be seized into the King's hand. If the Sheriff hath taken anything from Wrenoc's said land, he shall cause it at once to be restored. [8]

Not stopping to inquire how Wrenoch de Powis, about the year 1224, lost his interest in Worfield, we pass to the time when the whole Manor was given in Fee to a Subject.

In October 1232, Ranulph, surnamed Blundevil, the last who held the old Earldom of Chester in its integrity, died without issue. King Henry III had now the means of dissipating that extraordinary Power whose possible antagonism had always been matter of apprehension, nay, whose actual disaffection had sometimes led to consequences palpably injurious to the Crown. On the present occasion, Henry only partially adopted such a policy; for the Earldom of Chester was allowed to John Scot Earl of Huntingdon, as son of Maud, the Sister and Coheir of Ranulph Blundevil. However, in less than five years, viz., in June 1237, John Scot was in turn deceased without issue, leaving three surviving Sisters his legal heirs, but to whom the King allowed nothing at all commensurate with the dignity and estate to which they had a claim in common. The Earldom of Chester was thenceforth utterly disintegrated, or whatever remained of its Palatine dignity was annexed to the Crown, whilst King Henry allotted to the three Coheiresses a nominal equivalent of their respective rights.

Of Ada, the youngest of the Ladies, I am now to speak; for to her and her husband, Henry de Hastings, were assigned, among other estates, three Shropshire Manors, in partial satisfaction of their claims on the Honour of Chester. Thus in the year 1238 did Worfield, Condover, and Church-Stretton, all of the King's ancient demesne, pass to a subject.

From March in that year, the revenue heretofore charged on the Sheriff as accruing from Worfield was deducted from the aggregate ferm of the County. Hence, at Michaelmes 1242, John le Strange, then Sheriff, deducts 144. 2s. 0d. from his own liabilities at the Exchequer;- he deducts it in respect of "lands given to Henry de Hastinges and Ada his wife in the Manor of Wurefeud" four years and a half previously, "which Manor", he

[8] Rot. Claus, I, 486.


adds, is rated at 32. 0s. 5d. in the Corpus Comitatus, according to an Inquisition made thereupon by order of the King. This annual deduction of 32. 0s. 5d. continues, without alteration or remark, in the succeeding Pipe Rolls till that of 1247, when, Ada de Hastings being dead, the Sheriff notifies the continued life-interest of her husband in Condover and Worfield, "by reason of the heirs of Ada his wife whom he has by the said Ada": in other words, Henry de Hastings was Tenant by Courtesy of England. So he continued not long;- but, dying in 1250, left his son, Henry, and his two daughters, Margery and Hillaria, under age.

Worfield for a time will have been in custody of the Guardian or Guardians of young Henry de Hastings, who appears to have arrived at full age in 1258: but neither these nor some other changes which actually took place are alluded to on the Pipe Rolls, in all of which, till September 1273, the several Sheriffs' entries in regard to Worfield must be taken merely to indicate that they received nothing therefrom, and so were entitled to abate the annual ferm of the County to the extent of 32. 0s. 5d.

We must therefore look to other Records for precise information about Worfield after the death of Henry de Hastings in 1250.

In 1255, no Inquisition was held as to the state of this Manor, or rather none is preserved, for the feoffment of a subject therein did not preclude such an inquiry. The Jurors of Brug referred to the former connection of Worfield with their town and Castle in terms already quoted. [9]

At the Assizes of January 1256, the Manor was duly represented by twelve Jurors. I only notice among their concerns the fact that Reginald le Gaugy, whose death I have fully detailed elsewhere, [10] was found murdered within the precincts of the Manor, and that he was slain by Giles de Burford, a Clerk. [11]

The disaffection of Henry de Hastings (II) has been alluded to before. It seems to have begun soon after he came of age. For the principal details I must refer elsewhere. [12] On May 4, 1265, a Patent of the Captive King orders a valuation to be made of the Manors of Condover and Worfield, and of certain Manors in Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire, which the King formerly intrusted to Henry de Hastings (I) and Ada his wife, both

[9] Supra, Vol. I, p. 279.
[10] [11] Vol. I, pp. 378, 379. Giles de Burford was identical with Giles de Norfolk.
[12] Dugdale's Baronage, I, pp. 574-5.


deceased, in lieu of a third part of the County of Chester. The Valuers were also to report whether Henry de Hastings, now seized thereof, held anything more in Shropshire. [13] The object of this was probably rather to secure than to inquire into young Hastings' Title, which however was seriously invalidated three months later by the result of the Battle of Evesham.

A schedule attached to the Pipe Roll of 51 Henry III (1267) shows that Master William de Clifford, as Escheator, had received the issues forth of the lands of Simon de Montfort, late Earl of Leicester, and of Henry de Hastings and other Rebels against the King, viz., on all lands which, having been previously of Royal Demesne, had subsequently been held by the said Rebels. On the list is Worfield, the rents and other issues of which, from Feb. 2, 1266, to Feb. 4, 1268, are acknowledged to have been 84. 19s. At the last date, Clifford had handed these estates over to the Prior of Wymundham, as Escheator citra Trent.

Meanwhile, that is on July 13, 1267, Hastings had made formal submission to the Crown, and, at instance of Prince Edward, been admitted to the benefits of the Dictum de Kenilworth. Worfield and other Manors were not to be restored to him till Roger le Strange, who had a grant of the fine payable for their redemption, should be fully satisfied. [14]

Henry de Hastings is said, and with much probability, to have died in 1268. Joan de Cantelupe, his Widow, is mentioned as such in 1269. Their infant son, John de Hastings, whom Dugdale has represented as of full age in 1 Edw. I (1273), was assuredly still in minority ten years later. The estate which had been his Father's remained either unredeemed or else in the hands of Tenants appointed by the Crown. On Nov. 29, 1274, Worfield was held by the Earl of Cornwall, [15] that is, by Edmund Plantagenet, the King's Cousin; but whether as having entitled himself to the redemption thereof, or as Guardian of the heir, we are not informed. In October 1283, that is, at about the period when I suppose John de Hastings to be passing out of minority, the King ordered a valuation to be made of the Manors of Worfield and Condover. The Jurors who valued Worfield reported the rents thereof to amount to 37. 12s. 6d., the pleas and perquisites

[13] Patent, 49 Hen. III. Master Thomas de Wymundham and Roger de la Leye are among the persons commissioned to take the Valuation. Their Inquisition, if it was taken, seems to be lost.
[14] Pat. 61 Hen. III.
[15] Rot. Hund. II, 88.


of the Manorial Court to be 6., and the gross value of the Manor, made up of these and some smaller items, to be 44. 9s. 10d. per annum. [16]

When John de Hastings obtained Livery thereof I cannot say. It was among the estates which he held at his death in 1313, and which he transmitted to his descendants.

At the Assizes of 1292 he was questioned for certain franchises exercised by him here, viz., the holding of a Court twice in the year, Infangthef, and the assizing of bread and beer; which matter Hugh de Louther was to prosecute under writ of Quo Waranto. So far the Assize-Roll.

Hugh de Louther's writ of Quo Waranto took a wider range than is thus indicated. He questioned John de Hastings' right to hold the Manor at all, and alleged the seizin of King Henry III and the hereditary right of his son Edward I, then reigning.

Hastings acknowledged the seizin of Henry III, but showed how that King had committed the Manor to his (Hastings') father, Henry, until provision should be made elsewhere, to compensate him for his share of the Honour of Chester. [17]

John de Hastings died, as I have said, in 1313. He was succeeded by his Son, another John, who dying in 1324-5, Worfield was assigned as the dower of his Widow, Julian, daughter and Heir of Thomas de Leybourn. She took the Manor to a second husband, Thomas le Blount, in 1325-6; and to a third husband, William de Clinton, afterwards Earl of Huntingdon, in 1329.

This illustrious nobleman, at his death in 1354, left Julian, his wife, still surviving. She died in 1367, when Worfield went to her Grandson, John de Hastings Earl of Pembroke. For these and further particulars of this great family I refer elsewhere. [18]

As regards the UNDER-TENANTS of Worfield, I must premise that, in the absence both of early Court-Rolls and private Deeds of any kind, I should vainly devote my space to any classified account of each Township or Member of the Manor. I must therefore speak both of places and persons in the aggregate, adding such parenthetical or other remarks as will enable any one interested in such a matter to recognise the various tenancies and the names of those who were associated therewith.

At Michaelmas 1162, the Men of Wereffeld are recorded to have paid into the King's Treasury the large fine of twenty merks. It

[16] Inquisitions, 11 Edw. I, No. 57.
[17] Placita de Quo Waranto, pp. 677-8.
[18] Dugdale's Barosage, I, 576, 577, 530, 531.


is expressed to be pro gersuma, that is, either in earnest or in full for some privilege which they sought, or else in satisfaction of some penalty which they had incurred. The mode of entering the matter on the Pipe Roll would seem to make the former more probable.

At the Forest Assizes in 1167, the Manor of Worfield was assessed or fined one merk. At those of 1185, the Town (Villata) of Werefeld was amerced 2. for wasting the King's Woods.

At the Assizes of October 1203, the Manor of Worfel seems to have been duly represented as a distinct Liberty, but no local concerns are entered under the Heading intended for the same.

In 1204, the "Men of Wurfeld gave the King a fine of ten merks that they might be free from toll (throughout the realm)". The King's Writ, memorialising the Officers of the Exchequer as to this Franchise, specified also freedom from pannage; but the profferers of the Fine had paid it into the Treasury as a Fine for Toll only. [19]

At the Forest Assize of March 1209, among those assessed for imbladements within regard of Morf Forest, were-.

Osbert Fitz John, Roger Bungi, and William his Brother, all apparently of Swancote; also Roger Wheeler (Rotarius), William Fitz Christian, Osbert Fitz Leveneth, and Richard his Brother,- all assessed under Bromlegh (Bromley).

At the County Assizes, Nov. 1221, the Manor of Wyrfelt was represented by six Jurors and a Provost, whose names are not given.

Whilst the first Henry de Hastings was Lord of Worfield (i.e. 1238-1250), an Extent or Valuation of the Manor was made by order of the King.

This Extent is not dated, but the names of the twelve Knights who made it are consistent with the period to which I assign it. It contains some curious particulars, local and statistical.-

There were in Worfield three virgates and three-quarters of arable land held in demesne, which (reckoning the virgate at sixty acres, and each acre to be worth 4d. per annum) realised 3. 15s. Of meadow-land, eight acres and three-quarters, at 3s. per acre, realised 1. 6s. 3d. The pasturage of eighteen oxen is valued at 2d. a head yearly, of three boars at the same rate, of twelve cows at 4d. a head, of twelve sows with their litters (exitu) at 4d. each sow, of 500 sheep at d. per head. The Bosc called Sudlegh was worth 40s. per annum. Two Mills were worth 7. 6s. 8d. There were four virgates and three-quarters held in Villainage, whereof

[19] Rot. Pip. 6 John, Salop. Nova Oblata.


some virgates contained sixty-one acres, some sixty-two acres. In Burkott were eight small fisheries called Stakinges; in Bradeney were five such fisheries. The hamlets of Stapelford and Ewyk (Wyken) are separately valued. Of Akelington (Ackleton) it is said that it produces a ferm of 60s. [20] Of Ewdness we hear, that in that hamlet a certain free man holds a hide of land for a ferm of 4s., or else by service of conveying the ferm of the Vill (of Worfield) to London. [21] The hamlet of Holdington (Oldington) was held by service of conveying the writs of the Custos of the Manor any-whither within the County. After Esterhul valued, we have Riwyton (Roughton), held by service of keeping the wood of Morf. In the hamlet of Halene (Hallon) was a Smith (Faber). The Pleas and Perquisites of the Manorial Court were stated at the large sum of 20. per annum. The tallage of free-men was estimated to yield 3. 14s. 1d. per annum.

The Church, which was in the King's gift, was worth 100 merks (66. 13s. 4d.) per annum. The whole Valuation amounted to 140. 0s. 3d. [22]

At the Assizes of January 1256, Reginald de Bromley appeared as Bailiff of Wurefeld, with twelve Jurors, whose names were- Laurence de Oldinton (Oldington), William de Swancote, William de Halvescote (Allscot), William de Hodileg, William le Irreys (Irish), Adam de Alen (Hallon), William de Hulton (Hilton), Thomas Griffin, Roger de Bremplee (perhaps Bentley), William de Oldinton, Thomas de Akinton (Ackleton), and Robert de Atterhall.

At the Assizes of September 1272, the Chief Bailiff or Provost of Worfeld was Robert de Stapelford (Stableford). His eleven associates were- Stephen de Ewyken (Wyken), William de Rowelawe (Rowley), William de Bradeneye (Bradney), Roger de Cheterton (Chesterton), Boneyt and Thomas de Stanlowe (Stanlow), Roger de Akelinton (Ackleton), William Gerbaut (probably of Roughton), William Atte-Forde, Robert de Hoccumb (Hoccom), and Richard de Alvescote (Allscot).

The Jury, which, in October 1283 made valuation of the Manor of Worfield as before alluded to, included Robert de Burhull, Thomas de Oldinton, Nicholas de Eudinas (Ewdness), Stephen de

[20] Compare Vol. II, p. 67.
[21] Compare Vol. II, pp. 146, 147.
[22] Inquisitions Incerti temporis Henrici III, No. 156. The Knights were William Hunaund, Robert de Clifton, Geoffrey de Ledewych, Hugh de Legh, Hugh de Scheinton, Richard le Ireys, Robert de Wodecot, Hugh de Bekebir', Peter de Dudemaneston, Robert de Bolde, Adam de Fayntre, and Hugh de Holicot.


Oldinton, Philip de Swancote, Robert de Hockmull, Roger de Burcote, Hugh de Kyngeslow (Kinslow), and Thomas the Forester.

Richard de Oldeton appears as a Juror in an Inquest at Brug, Nov. 19, 1291.

At the County Assizes, October 1292, Henry Pycot appeared as Chief Bailiff of Worfeld, his associate Jurors being- Robert de Astenhul, Thomas de Oldynton, Philip de Swancote, Roger de Hoccumbe, Stephen de Oldynton, Walter atte Broke, Henry atte Pyrye, Robert de Catestre (Catstree), Stephen Gerard, Robert de Bromleye, Nicholas de Bradeneye, and Thomas de Ewyk (Wyken).

Thomas and Stephen de Oldynton occur on a local Jury, June 15, 1303, and Robert de Catstree on another, in April 1305.


These three members of Worfield require to be noticed somewhat more formally than by the above miscellaneous method. They were each of them at a very early period - perhaps the reign of Henry I - bestowed on Tenants by Serjeantry. All that I have to say of-

ACKLETON has been said under Badger (whose Lords held the vill by service of keeping Shirlot Forest), [23] or else under Worfield, where the Jury Lists contain the names of some Under- Tenants.

EWDNESS I have also spoken of, [24] and most inadvertently; for I have treated it as a member of Stockton. It was always a member both of the Manor and Parish of Worfield. To the specific facts connected with Ewdness I have nothing further to add, but only to retract another error (the sequence of the first), viz., where I have supposed it to have been reunited to Le Strange's tenure in Stockton.

ROUGHTON.- From time immemorial, half a virgate was held in capite at Roughton, by one whose service was to keep that part of Morf Forest which lay adjacent to Worfield.

Henry II had not reigned four years before he confirmed this land to Gerbod Fitz Gerbod, his hereditary Forester, as his right, and in form following:-

"Henricus Rex Angliae, Dux Normanniae et Aquitaniae et Comes Andegaviae Willielmo filio Alani et Willielmo filio Ulgeri, [25] et aliis Baronibus et fidelibus de Salopscire salutem. Sciatis quod concessi

[23] Vol. II, pp. 64, et seq.
[24] Vol. I, pp. 146, 147.
[25] Fitz Alan was, at the date of this Deed (1155-8) Sheriff, and William Fitz Ulger (of Bowles) was Chief Forester of Shropshire.


Gerbodo filio Gerbodi unum dimidium ferndellum terrae in Werefeld quasi jus suum, et dimidiam forestariam de Morf quae ad illam terram pertinet, adeo libere sicut aliquis predecessorum suorum tenuit. Quare volo &c. Teste Thoma Cancellario apud Wygorniam". [26]

I suspect that Gerbod was succeeded by one who, under the more English name of Gilbert the Forester, fined six merks about May 1200, for having his bailiwick in Morf. Of this fine he still owed 2. 8s. in September 1202. Meanwhile, in 1201, I find a separate amercement of 20s. set upon Gilbert Forester and Richard and William Burlin collectively,- because their bailiwick was not well kept: and this debt was in 1202 charged against Gilbert Forester and Richard Fitz Burlin, but without any liquidation then or afterwards. [27]

At the Forest Assize of March 1209, the Justices directed that inquiry should be made as to the issues forth of the lands of the Foresters of Claverlegh and Urfeld since the time when they were removed from their Forestership.

Whatever forfeiture is here indicated, it is clear that their office was not ultimately lost to the race of Gerbod. I cannot supply the direct descent to Roger Gerbod Forester, who appears to have been dead in 1262, when at the Forest Assizes, and under the heading- Essonia Mortis, his Essoignor is said to be Henry fitz Elias.

On the same list I should observe, that the name of one Henry Forester of Morf appears, who would also seem to be deceased.

In 1272, we have had William Gerbaut on a Worfield Jury. This William was, I believe, Father of Alice Gerbod, who, if so, was his sole heir. I have little hesitation in assigning as the husband of Alice that Robert de Bromleye who was on the Worfield Jury of 1292.

More sure am I that William de Rucheton (Roughton), who appears as a King's Forester of the fee on the Great Perambulation of June 6, 1300, [28] was the son and heir of Alice, and was acting on that occasion as her representative, he being then at least forty-four years of age, and she proportionably older. It will presently appear that William de Roughton's real or paternal name was Bromley.

On April 1, 1306, died Alice Gerbot. On April 20, the King's Writ of "Diem clausit extremum" issued as on the death of a Tenant in capite. On Sunday, May 15, the Inquest post mortem met

[26] Forest Rolls, Salop, No. iii.
[27] Rot. Pip. 2, 3, 4 John, Salop.
[28] Salop Chartulary, No. 279.


at Brug, and reported that the deceased had held by Serjeantry in Worfeld, by service of keeping a part of Morf Forest, viz., that part where was the site of the Manor (of Worfield); that her tenure consisted of a capital messuage and thirty acres of land; that William, her son and next heir, was fifty years of age at Christmas 1305. [29] On May 27, 1306, the King's Escheator delivered up to the said heir his land, receiving in the interval no profits from the same.

On December 15, 1316, William de Roughton was deceaaed, and an Inquisition held at Worfield found him to have held in capite by serjeantry of keeping half the Forest of Morf. His tenure was half a virgate (equal to thirty acres) and a rood of meadow- ground. His brother and heir, Roger, was aged fifty at Christmas 1315. [30]

On Sept. 28, 1318, the King's Writ of Diem clausit extremum announces the death of this Brother, as I presume, under the name of Roger de Bromleye. An Inquest, held at Brug on October 14 following, found that he held two-thirds of half a virgate in Rowton within Worfeld Manor by service of keeping the King's Forest of Morf: that on December 21, 1317, his son and heir William had attained the age of twenty-six years. [31]

At Michaelmas 1319, the King's Escheator accounts for the sum of 1s., being the issue of one messuage, twenty acres of land, and one rood of meadow in Routon, which were formerly Roger de Bromley's, but had since been given up by Royal Warrant to William de Bromley, his son and heir. [32]

I conclude this notice of Roughton with a License of 1345, which enables William de Bromley, Forester, to grant to Walter le fitz Reginald of the Hay, and his wife Agnes, daughter of the said William, in tail, a messuage and half-virgate in Roughton, and the bailiwick of half the forestership of Morf towards Worfeld. [33] Thus a second time did this estate lapse to the female line.


The Domesday Priest indicates a Domesday Church at Worfield; indeed it is hardly probable that Leofric Earl of Mercia, who must

[29] Foreign Roll, 33 and 34 Edw. I; Inquisitions, 34 Edw. I, No. 17. Mr. Dukes (Antiquities p. 197) states that William paid a Relief of 5s.
[30] Inquisitions, 10 Edw. II, No. 19.
[31] Inqusitions, 12 Edw. II, No. 8. It is probable that at the death of Roger de Bromley, his elder Brother's widow was surviving, and still holdings third of this tenure in dower.
[32] Rot. Pip. 18 Edw. II, Salop.
[33] Pat. 19 Edw. III, p. 3, m. 10.


have preceded Earl Algar here, should have left one of his principal Manors spiritually unprovided for.

I have no direct notice of this Church till the reign of King John, who twice presented Incumbents thereto.

On May 27, 1226, King Henry III having, by advice of his Prelates, allowed that tithes of hay and mills should be paid through all his demesnes, the Constable of Brug is ordered to see that tithes of Pendeston Mill be paid to the Church in whose parish the said Mill was situated. [34]

We have seen that before the middle of the thirteenth century the Church of Worfield was valued by a Jury of Knights at 100 merks (66. 13s. 4d.).

The Taxation of 1291, placing it in the Deanery of Lapley and Trysull, and Archdeaconry of Stafford, values it at 33. 6s. 8d. (50 merks). [35] The Manorial Jurors of 1292 returned it as worth 60 merks (40.).

Hitherto the Advowson of Worfield had been in the Crown, and had not gone with the Manor to the Lords Hastings. It happened that Walter de Langton Bishop of Lichfield purchased the Manor of Greneford (County Middlesex) with intent to bestow it on his Cathedral Church, for the foundation of certain Chantries therein, and as an eleemosynary offering for the soul of King Edward I. But King Edward II, wishing to have this Manor of Greneford, obtained it from the Bishop; and by Patent dated May 15, 1318, gave the Bishop, by way of recompense, the two Advowsons of Chesterton in Warwickshire, and Worfield in Shropshire. [36]

Bishop Langton obtained a Bull from Pope John XXI, dated at Avignon, Oct. 30, 1321, and confirming him in the possession of these Advowsons. [37]

On May 28, 1318, and on July 7, 1320, Bishop Langton presented to this Church, as I shall presently show in the List of Incumbents.

On June 29, 1321, the Rector of Worfield being dead and the Living vacant, Bishop Langton gave it in commendam for the

[34] Claus, II, 152-3.
[35] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 243.
[36] Patent, 11 Edw. II, p. 2, m. 14.- Whitlocke (Anglia Sacra, I, 447) says, inaccurately, that Greneford was exchanged for these Advowsons by Edw. I.

Again: Mr. Dukes (Antiquities, p.197) quotes a passage from the Annals of Worcester, by which it would seem that on April 19, 1301, King Edward I, being at Worcester, granted the Church of "Wrhfeld", to Worcester Priory. Either some other place than Worfield must have been meant, or the gift became eventually void.
[37] Blakeway.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


lawful space of time to one of whose probity &c. he was assured. The Bishop's reasons for this were- (1) that the Church, on account of the great Cure of Souls annexed thereto, needed no little and discreet management (regimine non modico et discreto); (2) that he himself could not at present make any final arrangement about its management, as he was impeded from doing so by certain legitimate causes; (3) lest, in course of time, the Church itself should suffer loss spiritually and temporally, and its Cure be neglected; (4) that its buildings, Chancel, and embellishments should be repaired in the best manner, and properly maintained.

Bishop Langton's designs at this period were probably less to provide for the proper maintenance of an Incumbent of the Church than to convert the bulk of its rich income to the uses of his Cathedral. His death within five months of the above commendam will have prevented any further or immediate steps in such a direction; but we know from good authority that he lent 200 merks to the Dean and Canons of Lichfield, wherewith to pursue his object of appropriating the Rectories of Worfield and Chesterton to that Collegiate body. With that sum, payments were to be made till such time as a stated income from those Churches should be secured to the Chapter.

Worfield Church became a Vicarage in the time of Bishop Northburgh, Langton's Successor (1322-1358). The Rectorial income was simultaneously appropriated to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield; but the specific purpose to which they applied it does not satisfactorily appear. My authority, however, seems to state that they devoted it to the Cathedral Buildings. [38]

So then the local benefits contemplated by the Saxon Founders of Worfield Church went to the adornment of Lichfield Cathedral; and

[38] "Ex altera ecclesit (scilicet Worfeld) Dominus Decanus et Canonici Residentiarii templum instaurant". (Whitlocke, in Anglia Sacra, p. 477). Whitlocke further states (page 451), that in the time of Bishop Scrope (1394), the Chapter of Lichfield still "owed 200 marks for its expenses in the appropriation of Worfeld Church to the Collegiate body, under authority of the Bishop of Rome". His meaning is obscure in this, and still more so in the next passage, which however I take to indicate the mode of self-taxation by which the Chapter of Lichfield then decided, not indeed to liquidate their debt, but to pay other current and necessary expenses.-

I am particular in offering this interpretation, because a more obvious construction of the passage would lead us to an inverse supposition, viz. that the appropriation of Worfield Church was devoted to the current expenses of the Chapter (specifically the securing their introit fees and rents, and the repairing of their robes), and that the Chapter taxed themselves in 1394, for the sake of liquidating their debt of 200 marks.


Bishop Langton's Charter of commendam, professing the purest and fullest regard for parochial interests, was written at a time when he was meditating a scheme for the abridgment of those interests.

In 1341, the Parish of Worthfield was taxed to the Ninth, without any specific reference to the Church Taxation, and the Assessors erroneously classing it as in the Deanery of Stottesden. They assessed it at 20 merks only, because the growing corn was destroyed by storms and a very bad season; because there were fewer sheep than formerly in the parish; because the small-tithes, tithes of mills, offerings, heriots, glebe, and other profits of the Church were not to be reckoned as increasing the assessment; because, lastly, many Tenants had quitted under stress of poverty, and their land lay untilled. [39]

In 1534-5, the Valor gives a full account of the Rectorial and Vicarial incomes arising from Worfield. The receipts of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, as Parsons of the Church, amounted, on an average, to 51. per annum, viz. from land 2., from corn- tithes 24., from tithes of wool and lamb 20., from hay-tithes 4., from hemp and flax and other small tithes 1. [40]

The benefice of the Vicar (John Walker) was at the same time valued at 16. 16s. 10d. viz. House and Garden, 10s.- In Easter- Book, 6. 13s. 4d.- Tithes of two Mills, 14s.- Oblations of Chesterton Chapel, 18s.- Oblations of Roughton Chapel, 12s.- Corntithes of Chesterton, 5.- Oblations of the "three days", 14s. [41] In Geese, young swine, and other small produce, 1. 13s. 4d.- In Candles, 2s. 2d.

The only charge on this average annual income was one of 2s. per annum in respect of Synodals (6s. I suppose), payable every third year to the Bishop of the Diocese. [42]


HENRY ARCHDEACON or STAFFORD, of whom I have spoken before, [43] was presented to this Church by King John, on Nov. 30, 1205. [44] He became Archbishop of Dublin in 1213, and probably vacated this preferment.
[39] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 194.
[40] Valor Eccl. III, 101. Another account (given page 132 of the same Record) exhibits the same total, but different items, viz, from lands, tenements, and perquisites of the Court of the Rectorial Glebe, 2. 13s. 4d.; from tithes, 48. 6s. 8d.
[41] A Christmas Day, Ascension Day, and Whit Sunday, I presume, when the people made customary offerings.
[42] Valor Ecclesiasticus, p. 101.
[43] Vol. I, p. 71, note 204.
[44] Patent, 6 John, m. 6.


WALTER, SON OF WILLIAM DE CANTILUPE, was presented by King John, on April 9, 1215. [45] William de Cantilupe had been till this time a steady adherent of King John. His son Walter, thus advanced, is mentioned as holding this Rectory in November 1221, when at the County Assizes presentments were made as to the Incumbency of all Churches of the King's gift. Walter de Cantilupe probably continued in this Rectory till 1236, when, on August 30, he was elected Bishop of Worcester. He was not consecrated till May 3, 1237, owing to some necessary preliminaries, among which we find, in strange contrast to modem ideas, that he was ordained Deacon not before April 4, 1237, and Priest only on April 18 following.

WILLIAM DE KILKENNY was presented to Worfield Church on Sept. 28, 1236, by Letters Patent of King Henry III. This illustrious person, better known as Archdeacon of Coventry, and better still as Lord Chancellor of England, was consecrated Bishop of Ely on August 15, 1255. He survived his consecration little more than a year. The Patent appointing Kilkenny's successor at Worfield bears date Dec. 20, 1254. That Successor, no less illustrious than Kilkenny, was-

HENRY DE WENGHAM, another Lord Chancellor, and consecrated Bishop of London on Feb. 15, 1260. I have spoken of Wengham before as Prebendary of Alveley, in the Collegiate Church of Bridgnorth. [46] His preferment was enormous. A Patent of July 19, 1259 (three weeks after the King had assented to his election to the See of London), allows him to retain all his benefices as long as the Pope should not prevent him. The Deanery of St. Martin's, London; the Deanery of Tetenhall (Staffordshire); the Churches of Auvillers (Alveley), Worfield, Kirkham, and Preston -(in Amunderness)- are specified as held by the Bishop elect. [47]

HUGH DE LA PENNE was presented to this Church by Patent of Henry III, dated June 20, 1262. He had previously succeeded Wengham in the Prebend and Church of Alveley, as I have already noticed. [48] Penne was living in Oct. 1292, but, at the same time,-

JOHN DE TEFORD (or Leford) was returned as Incumbent of this Rectory by previous collation of King Edward I. [49]

JOHN BENSTED was presented to this Church by Edward I, in

[45] Rot. Pat. p. 132; Rot. Cart. p. 192.
[46] Vol. I, pp. 121, 122.
[47] Pat. 43 Hen. III.
[48] Vol. I, p. 122.
[49] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, Salop, m. 23 dorso.


1295. [50] On Feb. 8, 1297, he was collated to the Prebend of Sandiacre, in Lichfield Cathedral. On his resignation,-

THOMAS DE BOTERWIK, the next Rector, was presented by Patent of King Edward II, [51] and admitted and instituted by Bishop Langton on March 14, 1310. On July 21 following, he has the same Bishop's License to go abroad till Easter next. On Dec. 22, 1314, he has another license of non-residence for a year's study. [52] He died Oct. 26, 1316. His Successor was-

MASTER HUMBERT DE LONGVILL, presented by Patent of Edward II, and admitted by Bishop Langton on Jan. 24, 1317. [53] On May 15, 1318, as I have before said, this Advowson was granted to Bishop Langton; and Longvill exchanging preferments with-

MASTER GILBERT DE BRUER, late Incumbent of Mapledurham (Winton Diocese), the latter was instituted to Worfield by Bishop Langton on May 28, 1318. [54] He resigned on June 21, 1320, exchanging preferments with-

MASTER WALTER DE THORP, late Incumbent of Astebury (Lichfield Diocese), who was admitted to Worfield on July 7, 1320. [55] On June 29, 1321, Thorp being dead, Bishop Langton gave the Living in commendam, as I have before stated, to-

MASTER RALPH DE SALOP, Rector of Walton (Lichfield Diocese), to hold for the lawful period, saving the right, dignity, and honour of the Patron's Churches of Lichfield and Coventry, in all things. [57] How long this "lawful period" lasted I cannot say, nor when -

SIR WILLIAM DE KYRKEBY, apparently the last Rector of Worfield, was appointed. The latter was however Rector on Sept. 23, 1325, when Bishop Northburgh gave him a three years' license to study, and meanwhile to receive the fruits of his benefice. [57] He wass living Sept. 13, 1345.


THOMAS KIRKEBY, the first Vicar of whom I find mention, was so between 1345 and 1369, [58] the Appropriation of this Church having been obviously effected within the same interval.
[50] Patent, 23 Edw. I, m. 7.
[51] Patent, 8 Edw. II, m. 18; Register, (Langton) fo. 43.
[52] Register (Langton) fos. 43, b.; 47, b.
[53] Patent, 10 Edw. II, p. 1, m. 2; Register (Langton) fo. 48, b.
[54] [55] Register (Langton) fos. 89, 90, b.
[56] Register (Langton) fo. 91.
[57] Register (Northburgh) fo. 140.
[58] Blakeway's MSS. Kirkeby was presented to the Rectory of Stockton in 1379 (Vide supra Vol. II, p. 148). I suspect there is some inaccuracy in Mr. Blakeway's List in this instance.


THOMAS DE SWABY was Vicar of Worfield in 1369. [59]


The first intelligence which I have of this Chantry is on Sept. 13, 1345, when Bishop Northburgh admits - THOMAS DE WORFELD, Chaplain, thereunto, on presentation of Sir William de Kyrkeby, Rector of Worfield. [60] In the Valor of 1534-5, under Worfield Church, we find that John Lee, Chaplain, was in receipt of 2. per annum, paid to him by the Churchwardens, for certain lands placed out on feoffment. Besides this, he seems to have had 2. per annum from the offerings of the Parishioners. [61]

CHESTERTON CHAPEL.- This, as we have seen, was a mere dependency of Worfield Church, but apparently served by the Vicar of Worfield in 1534-5, who received the great tithes of the township. Its founder was probably a Layman. It is now a dwelling-house.

ROUGHTON CHAPEL.- This also seems to have been served in 1534-5 by the Vicar of Worfield. It was dedicated to St. Anne, and stood on "the Green". Not a vestige thereof now remains.


THIS place, anciently written Alvitheleg, owes its name to some AElfythe, its Saxon Foundress or Possessor. [1]

Domesday notices it thus under Staffordshire.-

The same Earl (Roger de Muntgomeri) holds Alvidelege. Earl Algar held it (in time of King Edward). Here is I hide. There is arable land for IX ox-teams. In demesne are two (such teams); and there are VIII Villains with a Priest, and IIII Boors, who have VI teams. Here are VI acres of meadow; a Wood two leagues long and half a league wide. In time of King Edward (the Manor) was worth 6. (annually). Now it is worth 100s. [2]

[59] Blakeway's MSS.
[60] Register, Northburgh, fo. 176, b.
[61] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, p. 101.
[1] Elfrida, wife of King Edgar, is called AElcype in the MS. of the Saxon Chronicle (vide sub anno 965). The place now called Audley in Staffordshire was anciently written Alditheley, evidently from some Saxon AEldythe.
[2] Domesday, fo. 248, a 1.


Again we notice how cultivation rather than hidage decided the Manorial values recorded in Domesday. We are also assured of the fallacy of all calculations which estimate the Domesday hide to have any relation to the Carucate, or to be a measure of areal extent.

Alveley, like Claverley and Worfield, came to the hands of Henry II, undiminished by any previous Feoffment, and reputed to be a Manor of ancient demesne.

Within a year, probably within two months, after his accession, that King granted it in inheritance to Guy le Strange by service of half a Knight's-Fee.

The Ferm of the County was hereby diminished to the extent of 5. 10s. per annum, such being the fiscal value of Alveley. We know from the Pipe Rolls, that from and after Michaelmas 1155, the Sheriff received nothing accruing from Alveley. The loss of the Pipe Roll of 1 Henry II (Sept. 1155) prevents our ascertaining, by that evidence, the precise period, among the first nine months of his reign, in which the King made this grant. The point is an important one, as it would tend to show the particular crisis of events and the probable circumstances, under which Henry II showed a favour to one of those Brethren, three of whom experienced his early patronage, but whose origin and previous history are as uncertain as the nature of their claims on the King's generosity.

Fortunately this doubt as to a precise date may partially be removed by the actual existence of the Royal Charter to Guy le Strange.-

"Henry, King of England and Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Earl of Anjou, to the Bishop of Chester, and the Justices and Barons and Sheriff and Ministers and all his faithful of Salopesbyr, Greeting. Know ye that I have given to Wido Extrane, in fee and inheritance, Alvinelegh, which used to pay me in my ferm 110 shillings. Wherefore I will and strictly enjoin that he and his heirs do hold the same land with all its appurtenances, of me and my heirs, well and in peace, freely and quietly and honourably, by service of half a Knight. Witnesses- Walter Bishop of Chester; Richard de Humet, Constable; Manasser Biset, Dapifer; Richard de Luci; Richard de Campvill; H. de Oilli, Constable. At Notingeham". [3]

[3] Cart. Cotton, XI, 14. The Great Seal of Henry II, in green wax, remains attached to the Deed, which is beautifully written, and in fine preservation.


When I say that in February 1154, Henry II, after bringing the disaffected Earl of Albemarle to terms at York, returned to London by way of Nottinghamshire,- probably to deal with William Peverel, who did not however abide his approach,- I have, as I think, fixed the date of this deed. If rightly, it has, as belonging to that specific period, certain significancies foreign to the immediate matter in hand.- It tells us inferentially something of the state of Shropshire at a very dark period, and of the early reorganization of his Exchequer by Henry II; also it embodies certain expressions, which, used as matter of routine in such documents, are not apparently to be taken quite literally. [4]

But I must now address myself to a matter more proper to this account of Alveley, and endeavour to give some account of the origin of its first Feoffee, Guy le Strange, whose Brothers, John and Hamo, as well as himself, were Grantees of Henry II within three years of his accession.

We have only one account of the origin of this family, and that, though adopted by Glover and Dugdale, is only a tradition, several details of which are demonstrably false. The Fitz-Warine Chronicle tells us that William Peverel (of Nottingham, of course) advertised through many lands a Tournament to be held at his Castle in the Peak, whereat he who acquitted himself best should have to wife Melette, Peverel's youngest niece, and with her the Lordship of Whittington in Shropshire;- that to this Tournament came Guarine de Metz of Lorrain (eventually the Victor), also Owen Prince of Wales, and ten sons of John Duke of Brittany, and some others, whose existence seems more or less fabulous. After the Tournament, says the same authority, Guy, the youngest of the ten Brothers of Brittany, "remained in England and conquered with the sword many fair lands, and he was called Guy le Estraunge, and from him came all the great Lords of England who have the surname of Estraunge". [5]

Now, leaving to a note the many discrepancies which are here embodied, [6] it is evident that, if there is a particle of fact in the

[4] I mean specifically the King's address- ing a Sheriff in the Deed, when, as yet, Shropshire had none of his appointment. Also the expression, "quo solebat mihi reddere in firma mea", would at first sight imply the King's accession, not a few months only, but rather two years at least before.
[5] History of Fulk Fitz Warine (edited for the Warton Club, by Thomas Wright, Esq., 1855), pp. 18-23.
[6] William Peverel of Nottingham, Lord of the Peak, had nothing whatever to do with Whittington. William Peverel of Dover and of Brunne, who was Lord of Whittington, was succeeded by coheirs, but they were his Sisters, not his Nieces, and neither of them was at any time wife of Guerin de Metz. The Sons of the latter are moreover found attesting Deeds at a period when, according to this narrative, their Father was yet unmarried, for it expresely says that he "had neither wife nor child". Lastly, John Duke of Brittany is a person unknown to any other Record.


story, that fact must have taken place between 1187 (when Owen Gwyned succeeded to the sceptre of North Wales) and 1147 (when the last William Peverel, who was Lord of Whittington, died). The advent of Guy le Strange, as yet unmarried, at such a period, is irreconcilable with the fact that the three Brothers, whom this narrative would make his sons, were all enfeoffed by Henry II at a time when, according to the same narrative, the eldest of them could not have been of age. [7]

I look now to other sources for some probable theory as to the origin and rise of the house of-


When, in the year 1165, account was taken of the Knights'-Fees, which, in different Counties, belonged to the Barony of Fitz Alan, five fees were recorded as constituting his Norfolk Fief.

These five fees were apparently of old feoffment, and the first-named of the five was then (1165) held by John le Strange;- in other words, the Ancestor of John le Strange, or John le Strange himself, had been enfeoffed by the Ancestor of William Fitz Alan, before the death of Henry I (1135), in a Knight's-Fee in Norfolk, which Fee was in 1165 held by John le Strange.

Now, two facts with regard to this John le Strange are further deducible from the best authorities, viz., that he must have been born before the year 1132, [8] and that his Mother was a Suffolk Lady, but not an Heiress. So then the inferences are that John le Strange inherited his Norfolk Fee (it was Hunstanton) from his Father, and that his Father, or Grandfather, was the original Feoffee thereof.

What then was the name of, or what other mention have we of, any Le Strange of Norfolk who, living before the year 1135, may fairly be presumed to have been the Father or Grandfather of John le Strange?

A long search which I have made with reference to this question has met with a siiccess seldom attainable in matters of such remote antiquity.-

[7] Liber Niger, I, p. 142.
[8] I merely name this year as a limit, not as conveying my own ides of the errs of John le Strange. My belief is that he was old enough to see and take part in the whole of the great national struggle, which lasted from 1138 to 1158.


Roger Fitz Wimer, whom I find to have been Seneschal to the second William de Warren Earl of Surrey (1089-1135), made, in the time of Henry I, an extensive grant and confirmation to the Norfolk Priory of Castle Acre. His grant included lands &c. in Kemestun, and the first lay witness to his deed was Rodland Extraneus. [9]

But more than this, Alan Fitz Flaald and Adelina his wife, the known Ancestors of Fitz Alan, made, and, as I think, early in the reign of Henry I, a grant to the same Priory. [10] Their grant included land in "Kameston". It was attested, among others, by Ruald Extraneus, Gorhannus, and Henry de Pagrave. Now, John Extraneus, Herbert Fitz Gurant, and William de Pagrave, who held fees under Fitz Alan in 1165, were, I imagine, the Sons or Grandsons of these witnesses.

Substituting therefore Ruald or Roland le Strange for an imaginary John Duke of Brittany, as the Ancestor of the Stranges, we can go no higher nor further than to suggest that this Roland was a Foreigner, perhaps a Breton. With regard to his succession, it is possible that that Guy whom the Legend announces as Ancestor of all the Stranges may have been son of Ruald and Father of John. At least we must, for the present, accept the statement of the Legend, which implies that a common ancestor of the Stranges was named Guy; we must accept it only because we cannot disprove it, and because the Chronicle from which it is taken embodies a great deal of truth, however mixed with falsehood.

We now pass to greater certainties.- The family of Le Strange, at the accession of Henry II, consisted of at least four Brethren. Their names were John, Guy, Hamo, and Ralph; and probably I mention them in the order of their seniority, though there may be some doubt about the position of Hamo. Again, Hamo, Guy, and John were each enfeoffed by Henry II in Shropshire before that King had reigned four years. The respective dates of their feoffments were the reverse of the presumed order of their Seniority, but the respective values of their feoffments were in accordance with the said presumption.

The King's grant to Hamo Le Strange was of Cheswardine, a Manor of 4. annual value; that to Guy le Strange has already been detailed; that to John le Strange was of Ness (now Great Ness), of 7. 10s. annual value. Before Michaelmas 1160, Hamo le Strange was deceased,- and probably without issue, for his Brother John became Tenant in capite of Cheswardine.

[9] [10] Castle Acre Chartulary (Harl. MSS. 2110), fo. 20.


Of these two, and of Ralph the fourth Brother, I shall have other occasions to speak. I now follow the history of-

GUY LE STRANGE, Lord of Alveley Soon after his feoffment by Henry II, he had a grant of lands in Warwickshire from William Fitz Alan; and on the death of the latter Baron, about Easter 1160, Guy le Strange not only was appointed to succeed him as Sheriff of Shropshire, but had custody of his Barony during the long minority of his Son.

At Michaelmas 1160, Le Strange accounts for a year's ferm of the County, and half a year's ferm of the escheated Barony. [11] He continued in both trusts till Christmas 1164, when Geoffrey de Vere, who had married Isabel de Say, widow of the deceased Baron, was, and apparently on that ground, appointed to the Shrievalty. [12] Meantime, that is in 1162, Guy le Strange is excused 39s., being his own proportion of the Danegeld assessed by him in Shropshire, and a charge of 17. 8s. 5d., which he made for repairs at Shrewsbury Castle, on quitting office, was allowed by writ of the King, not as tested by Visors in the usual way, but solely on credit of the Sheriff's word (per fidem ipsius Widonis). [13]

In 1165-6, Guy le Strange's acknowledgment of his tenure in capite is very brief. It merely says that he holds Alvindeleg of the King by service of half a Knight. [14] His probable tenure of Badger at the same time, under Osbern Fitz Hugh, has already been noticed. His tenure under Fitz Alan is entered as half a Knight's Fee of new feoffment. [15] The lands constituting the same are known to have lain at Stratton-upon-Avon (afterwards called Stretton-super-Dunamore) in Warwickshire.

In 1168, Guy le Strange, accounting for the year's ferm of Fitz Alan's Barony, records a gift of 70. which he and his Brother John had been allowed by the King, out of the issues thereof. [16]

At Michaelmas 1170, Geoffrey de Vere having previously deceased, Guy le Strange was reinstated in the Shrievalty of Shropshire. At Michaelmas 1171, he accounts both for a year's ferm of the County and a year's ferm of the Honour of William Fitz Alan. Besides his receipts in these capacities, he and his Brother John had had

[11] [12] [13] Rot. Pip. de eisdem annis.
[14] Liber Niger, I, 147.
[15] Ibidem, p. 144.
[16] Rot. Pip. 14 Hen. II, Honor Willi filii Alani. This account, from its position on the Roll, might erroneously be taken to have been furnished by Gilbert Pipard, Sheriff of Gloucestershire. That Guy is Strange was still the Accountant, is proved from the Rolls of the next preceding and next succeeding years, where the running balances show that one person was continuously responsible.


20. from the Sheriff of Staffordshire, wherewith they paid the liveries of soldiers serving in the Welsh Marches.- It was, as we know from other entries on the Pipe Roll, a time of great disturbance on the Border.

The personal service of Guy le Strange, Sheriff of Shropshire, in the army of Leicester, in the summer of 1173, as well as many other of his official acts, have been before recited. [17] Nor were his services unrequited.- I have already recorded circumstances which show that in the year 1175 or 1176, or both, Henry II visited Shropshire, and that Guy le Strange was in attendance on the King. [18] Some other coincidences, not before noticed, occurred about the same time. At Michaelmas 1175, Guy le Strange, though still Sheriff, rendered his last account of the Ferm of Fitz Alan's Honour. He had received the issues thereof only during three quarters of the preceding fiscal year,- in other words, his trust expired about Midsummer 1175, when it may be presumed the heir, William Fitz Alan (II), came of age.

Again, at Michaelmas 1175, Guy le Strange accounted as Sheriff for a sum of 100s., viz., for the ferm of Weston (Weston under Red-Castle), a Manor which had escheated into the King's hands seven years previously, and had produced a similar revenue in six preceding years. This payment in 1175 was the last made by Guy le Strange on that account, for he himself had at the time a grant of the Manor from the King.

The Royal Charter on this occasion is preserved, not indeed the original, but the enrolment thereof. It reiterates the King's former grant of Alveley, and so shall be given.-

"Henry King of England &c. to his Archbishops &c. Know ye that I have conceded and given, and by this present Charter have confirmed, to Wido Extraneus, Weston, which was wont to pay me annually 100s. and Alvineleg, which was wont to pay me in my ferm 110s., to hold to him and his heirs, of me and my heirs, by service of one Knight. Wherefore I will, &c. Witnesses:- Richard de Luci, Bertram de Verdun, [19] William Fitz Alan." [20]

[17] [18] Vol. I, pp. 262, 263.
[19] Sheriff of Warwickshire at the time.
[20] Carta Antiquae apud Terrim Londin. E. E. 13.

The distinction which the Charter implies between the status of the two Manors is well worth observing. Weston was a Manor of the King's Escheat, not of ancient demesne, so its issues are not said to be the King's ferm, i.e. not of the Firma Comitatus. Weston therefore is never entered on that part of the Sheriff's Roll called the Corpus Comitatus. Weston and Alveley were clearly each to be held by half a Knight's Fee - a matter which we shall have to refer to hereafter.


In January 1177, Guy le Strange attended the great Court and Council which Henry II then held at Northampton. I learn this from his attestation of a general Charter [21] of confirmation which the King expedited at Northampton to Thomas, son of Robert Fitz Noel, and which can be proved to have passed at the time stated. A further probability is associated with this Charter;- I think it marks the time when Thomas Noel had already married Margaret eldest daughter of Guy le Strange.

Before Michaelmas 1178, died John le Strange, elder brother and almost constant associate of Guy. Nor did the latter long survive. At Michaelmas 1179, he rendered his last account as Sheriff of Shropshire; and, though in the succeeding fiscal year he satisfied a balance of 19. 6s. 8d. which stood against him at the Exchequer, he must have died early therein:- for at Michaelmas 1180, the new Sheriff takes credit for no part of the year's ferm of Alveley, as of land given to Wido le Strange.- The entry ceases, i.e. the Manor and its revenue were in manu Regis, till livery should be given to the Heir. Of that however presently.-

Guy le Strange thus dying, as I suppose, at the close of 1179, left a widow, Mary, and a Son, Ralph. Ralph was apparently a little under age, and the survivor of two other sons, Guy and Hamo, [22] who will have predeceased their Father. Guy also left three daughters,- Margaret, Joan, and Matilda,- of whom I shall say more hereafter.

Guy le Strange's attestations of Charters are very numerous, but illustrative of no matters of date or genealogy not already exhibited. His connection with Fitz Alan's interests and estates is much more apparent in these attestations than his own position as Sheriff.

He made two grants to Haughmond Abbey. The first, in which his wife Mary joined, was of his Mill at Stretton-upon-Avon, and also of his Mill at Alveley. It must have passed about 1171, for it is attested by William son of William Fitz Alan, not previously of attesting age, and was confirmed by Pope Alexander III on May 14, 1172. [23]

His second grant was of the Mill of Osbertune (Osbaston, near

[21] Dodsworth, Vol. 130, fo. 119. b.
[22] The testing clauses of two conemporary Charters (Monasticon, V, 359, xviii, and Harl. Cart. 50, A, 2), which the second William Fitz Alan granted to Buildwas Abbey, almost oertainly on his coming of age, embody the following names:- John Extraneus, John his son; Wido Extraneus, Wido and Hamo his sons; Thomas Noel, &c.
[23] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 8, and Harl. MSS. 3868, fo. 11. The latter document, with other evidence, would make it appear that Guy le Strange's Grant extended to the moiety of a second Mill at Alveley.


Knockin), with the site thereof, and seems to have passed shortly before his death. [24] It is the earliest authentic notice of his connection with the neighbourhood of Knockin, the Castle whereof he is said to have founded.

MARY LE STRANGE, widow of Guy, was hardly, I think, Mother of all his children, for Ralph, one of the youngest, cannot have been born later than 1161, whilst Mary herself, being then about sixteen years of age, had two other husbands before she became the wife of Guy le Strange. She was descended from Knights and Barons, was living in 1186, and then aged forty, and still a Widow in the King's gift. She had her dowers in several Counties: amongst others in Norfolk where she held Rungeton of the Fief of Warren of Wirmgay. [25] From which of her husbands she derived that Manor I cannot say, but it was not from Guy le Strange. [26]

RALPH LE STRANGE, son and heir of Guy, though apparently under age at his Father's death, had already appeared in more than one instance as a witness of Charters which concerned his Father or Relations. He does not seem to have had livery till Michaelmas 1182. Then however the Sheriff (Hugh Pantulf), by special order of the King, made over to him two years' revenue of Alveley which he, the Sheriff, had hitherto retained in hand, probably in expectation of such special order. These two years' revenue arose between Michaelmas 1179 and Michaelmas 1181; but the third and current year's revenue is attributed to Ralph le Strange in the usual way, [27] and proves him to be now (Michaelmas 1182) in full possession.

What the Fine was for, which in 1190 Ralph le Strange made with the Crown, I cannot say. He paid fifteen merks through the Sheriff in a summary but unexplained way. [28]

In 1194, Ralph le Strange whs in the King's service at Carrechova, where were some silver mines belonging to the Crown. With John le Strange (his Cousin), and Joseph, a Clerk of the

[24] Ibidem, fo. 145. Attested by Ralph his son, Marescot, Adam son of Hamo le Strange, Simon de Pierpoint, William Clerk.
[25] Rotuli de Dominabus (Grimaldi), p. 28.
[26] Guy le Strange held nothing in the Fee of Wormegai in 1166; but in the list of Knights who did, we have probably the name of one of Mary le Strange's former husbands (Liber Niger, p. 288). We have thus also indirect proof that she married Guy le Strange as late as I have hinted above.
[27] In terris datis. Et Radulfo filio Widonis Extranei 110s. in Alvedelega. (Rot. Pip. 28 Hen. II, Salop).
[28] Rot. Pip. 2 Ric. I. Nova Placita et Novae Convenciones de novis Promissis.-

Vicecomes reddit compotum de xv Marcis de Radulfo filio Widonis Extranei pro fine suo.


Archbishop of Canterbury (then Chief Justice of England), he had certified the Sheriff of Shropshire as to the sums due for livery of certain Knights and serving-men who guarded the said mines. In 1195, Ralph le Strange was still in that service, for the Sheriff had paid him 20. for fortifications at Carrechova, and 11. 10s. for corn and hogs delivered to him as Custos of that Castle.

On May 12, 1195, a suit being called on in the Courts at Westminster to which John le Strange was a party, and he not appearing, excuse was made for him on the strength of a warrant of Archbishop Hubert, which certified him to be in the King's service in place of Ralph le Strange, who was sick. [29]

So then Ralph le Strange, while Castellan of Carrechova, and in the prime of life, was seized with that sickness which we shall now learn to have ended in death about Midsummer 1195; for at Michaelmas in that year the King's Escheator had received three months' issues of the Manors of Alveley and Weston, then in the King's hands. [30]

The next year the same Escheator received half a year's issues of those Manors, viz., up to Easter 1196, [31] about which time, as will presently appear, the heirs of Ralph le Strange obtained livery.

Ralph le Strange's foundation of the Hospital of the Holy Trinity at Bridgnorth, and his endowment thereof with lands at Alveley, are matters which have been already treated of. [32]

He followed his Father's example also in a liberal patronage of Haughmond Abbey, to which he gave the Advowson of Knockin Chapel. He gave to the same house some land in Alveley, with the Tenants thereof (apparently holding in villanage), and a right of common-pasture in the Manor. [33]

[29] The Roll, from which this extract is taken, is entitled in the Official Index,- "No. 60. Plassita incerti temporis Regis Johannis". Its internal evidence proves it to be a Roll of Easter Term, 6 Richard I.
[30] Escheator's Roll, in Rot. Pip. 7 Ric. I. The sum received on Alveley was 2. 7s. 3d., showing that the real value of the Manor was much greater than the fiscal figure at which it stood.
[31] Ibidem, in Rot. Pip. 8 Ric. I. The half-year's Ferm of Alveley was 4. 11s. 11d. The Sheriff in both these years discharged his County-Ferm of 5. 10s. only, as- "In lands given in Ralph son of Wido le Strange's Alveley, for which the Escheater answers in the Roll of Escheats".

In point of fact, in these two years Ralph le Strange had received nine months', his heirs six months', and the Escheater the intervening nine months' revenue. The Sheriff had received nothing. That was all he meant to imply by entries which would seem at first sight to charge the Escheater with all the receipts.
[32] Vol. p. 343, et seq.
[33] Chartulary, fo. 6. The grant is attested by Master Robert of Salopesburi, Chaplain; who became Bishop of Bangor in 1197. A Confirmation to Haughmond (printed Monasticon, VI, 109) calls the grant an exchange, viz., in lieu of 5s. annual rent, which Ralph used to pay the Canons for land in Nordstope.


This Ralph is usually distinguished from a Cotemporary of the same name as "Ralph son of Wido le Strange". His high position in one or two important testing clauses, where he is not thus distinguished, sufficiently marks his identity.

His heirs were his three Sisters- Margaret, wife of Thomas Noel; Joan, wife of Richard de Wapenburi; and Matilda, wife of Griffin de Sutton. The said husbands of these Ladies, in the year 1196, fined 200 merks with the King "for having all the land which was before Ralph le Strange's, together with the fortress (municione) which is called Cnukin". The whole sum was paid before the end of King Richard's reign. [34] At Michaelmas 1197, the Sheriff discharges his account of the County-Ferm of "110s. in Alvedeleg, assigned to Thomas Noel, Richard de Wappenbiri, and Griffin Fitz Yerveth, by Writ-Royal".

I must now say something of each of these Coheirs, premising that within three years of their succession they all concurred in resigning their shares of Knockin to John le Strange of Ness (their first Cousin), receiving however an equivalent elsewhere. It is evident that a Border Fortress and estate was recognised as no fit matter of coparcenary among females.

THOMAS NOEL, whose wife Margaret seems to have been the eldest of Ralph le Strange's sisters, was eldest son and heir of Robert Fitz Noel, a person of great estate in Staffordshire, viz., Lord of Milnmeese, Ellenhall, Seighford Podmore, and other lands, induding Ranton, where he founded an Augustine Priory, in subjection to the Shropshire Abbey of Haughmond.

Robert Fitz Noel, living in 1166, had before 1177 been succeeded by his son Thomas, the subject of our present notice. The public employments of Thomas Noel indicate a man of high influence and trust. From Michaelmas 1182 to Midsummer 1188, he accounted as Fermor for the issues of the escheated See of Lichfield. [35] Again, from Feb. 2, 1184, to April 1, 1184, he fermed

[34] Rot. Pip. 8, 9, 10 Ric. I.
[35] Rot. Pip. 29 Hen. II. Episcopatus Cestrie. There may be a doubt whether I rightly limit the three-quarters of a year, for which Noel accounts. I understand him to have fermed the See from the retirement of Bishop Peche till his death (which certainly took place on Oct. 6, 1182), and from thence till Gerard le Pucelle (elected in January 1183) became entitled to the Temporalities of the See. It is singular that the See should have been at ferm before the death of Bishop Peche; but it was so undoubtedly, for Noel paid the same Bishop, before his death, 40s. out of the revenues of the See, in respect of a daily allowance ordered by writ of the King. This, by the way, confirms the story of Bishop Peche having retired to St. Thomas's Priory, at Stafford, before his end.


the same See, once more in the Kings hands, and, with another associate, continued in this trust till Christmas 1184. [36]

Also in 1185, he appears as one of the Fermors of the vacant Abbey of Chester. [37]

From Michaelmas 1184 to Michaelmas 1189, he was Sheriff of Staffordshire, and accounted for the five years thus indicated. [38]

At Michaelmas 1187, Thomas Noel and his Associates had acted as Justices in Eyre in Staffordshire, and at the following Michaelmas their visit had extended to Shropshire. [39] There are other indications of Noel's concern in Shropshire affairs about this time, and previous to the establishment of his wife's coheirship.

After that event, the first notice of him and his said wife is in January 1197, when by Fine, levied at Westminster, they conveyed their third of Knockin to John le Strange, receiving in return all said John's lands of Myxle and Bradehape (Mixen and Bradenhope, Staffordshire). The further particulars of this Fine shall be given under Knockin.

The partition of Ralph le Strange's estate and effects seems to have been matter of some dispute among the Coheirs themselves.-

On Jan. 20, 1199, a day is given to Thomas Noel, Richard de Wappenburi, and Griffin and Matilda his wife, to receive their chyrograph. [40]

On May 9, 1199, Thomas Noel is found defendant in a plea of Chattels which Griffun Walensis (doubtless Griffin son of Gervase Goch) was prosecuting against him. [41]

In another Essoign Roll of June 17, 1199, I find mention of a suit then pending at Westminster, where Griffun, son of Hereward Cogh, as he is called, stood against Thomas Noel and Richard de Wapenbiri. [49] This suit, being adjourned, appears by an entry on

[36] Rot. Pip. 30, 31 Hen. II. Episcopatus Cestrie. The interval between Feb. 2, 1184, and Christmas 1184, nearly represents the interval between Bishop Gerard la Pucelle's death (13 Jan. 1184) and Bishop Novant's election, which took place probably in January 1185.
[37] Madox's Exchequer, p. 212, x.
[38] Shaw (Appendix to General History, p. xxxiv) makes him Sheriff from 26 Hen. II (1180) to 1 Ric. I (1189);- an average specimen of that Writer's inaccuracy.
[39] These Itinera of 1187 and 1188 were conducted chiefly by cotemporary Sheriffs, e.g. among Noel's associates were Robert Marmion (Sheriff of Worcestershire), Ralph de Ardern (Sheriff of Herefordshire), William Fitz Stephen (Sheriff of Gloucestershire), and Hugh Pantulf (Sheriff of Shropshire), but the latter did not sit in his own County as Noel did. They, or some of them, visited all the Counties named.
[40] Placita apud Westm., No. 45, m. 4 dorso; supposed to be of 10 Ric. I.
[41] [42] Rot. Curiae Regis, I, 276, 234.


the Rolls of Michaelmas Term following, as a Plea of Land wherein Richard de Wapenburi was opposed to Thomas Noel and Griffin. [43]

The Coheirs, both separately and in common, had also suits with, other parties concerning their estates.

At Michaelmas 1199, Thomas Noel had fined five merks not to cross the seas,- a fine which covered his assessment to the first scutage of King John. He had also proffered the large sum of 200 merks, that he might "freely and without hindrance marry his daughters, Johanna and Alice, to whom he would". [44] This proffer, as will presently appear, was not accepted.

Another evidence of his declining years is probably contained in the King's Charter, dated Nov. 19, 1200, which exempts him for life from serving as " a Recognizor on any Recognition". [45]

About March 1201, Thomas Noel fined at the rate of 300 merks and three palfreys with the Crown for license to marry his youngest daughter (Joan) to Thomas Fitz Eustace Fitz Stephen. This fine was accepted; Geoffrey Fitz Piers being ordered to take security for its payment. Noel, in addition, promised to give the King "a better Goshawk (austurcum) than Geoffrey Fitz Piers had".

At the same time, William de Harcourt fined separately in a sum of 100 merks for having to wife the elder daughter of the said Thomas. [46]

The Pipe Rolls of Michaelmas 1201 and following years show a redistribution of the liabilities incurred under these Fines. Thomas Fitz Eustace is charged (under Lincolnshire) with 200 merks and a Goshawk; William de Harcourt is charged (under Warwickshire and Leicestershire) with 100 merks; and Thomas Noel is charged (under Shropshire) with 100 merks and three palfreys,- a debt which he continued to liquidate in this and the following years. At the same time (Michaelmas 1201), his former proffer of 200 merks being recorded against Thomas Noel, Geoffrey Fitz Piers certified the Barons of Exchequer that Noel's first fine was included in his later one of 300 merks, and so intimated that no proceedings should be taken for the recovery thereof.

Thomas Noel seems to have died in 1206; for in the end of that year or beginning of 1207, Thomas de Blancminster gives the King 100 merks and two palfreys, that he may have to wife Margaret le Strange, formerly wife of Thomas Noel, together with her inheritance and marriage portion, and reasonable share (of her former

[43] Ibidem, II, 63.
[44] Rot. Pip. 1 John, Salop.
[45] Rot. Cartarum, p. 80.
[46] Oblata, p. 126.


husband's estate). His Sureties in this matter were Thomas de Muleton, in twenty merks, and Reginald de Blancminster, also in twenty merks. [47]

THOMAS DE BLANCMINSTER, otherwise called Thomas de Albo Monasterio, does not appear to me to have been connected with Shropshire except by his marriage. If Reginald de Blancminster just now mentioned were his relation, I should look to distant Counties for some trace of his origin, viz., to Berkshire, Oxfordshire, or Devonshire. Our immediate concern is to state that in 1211, Thomas de Albo Monasterio and Griffin de Sutton, Knights, are found holding Weston in capite by Knight's service, viz., half a Knight's-Fee, and also holding Alvitheleg, a Manor of Royal Demesne, by service of another half-fee. [48]

Thomas de Blancminster had a grant of escheated lands in Essex and Hertfordshire from King John, dated April 1, 1216. [49]

On April 18, 1217, as Thomas de Albo Monasterio, he has letters of safe conduct from Henry III. [50]

He occurs in Somersetshire, August 11, 1217; [51] and in the following year apparently, by the will and consent of Margery le Strange his wife, enfeoffed Henry de Audley in the Manors of Mixne and Bradenhope, to hold to him and his heirs of the Grantor and his heirs- rendering therefore yearly, on the vigil of Easter, a pair of white gloves to him or his servant at Alveley. Thomas and his heirs would warrant the premises to the Grantee against all men. Also Margaret aforesaid, by her separate but contemporary Deed, granted the same feoffment,- "to hold to the Grantee and his heirs, of her and her heirs, according to the tenor of the first charter". [52]

It is probable that Thomas de Blancminster survived his wife Margaret le Strange;- at least such a person occurs in Essex after her death. That he had no surviving issue by her is evident on two grounds:- first, because her daughters by Thomas Noel were her sole heirs; secondly, because Thomas de Blancminster held nothing of her estate after her decease.

[47] Rot. Pip. 9 John, Salop. Nova Oblata.
[48] Testa de Nevill, pp. 55, 56.
[49] Pat. 1 Hen. III, Salop.
[50] [51] Claus I, 258, 318, b.
[52] Rot. Pip. 8 Hen. III, Salop. Henry de Audley (then Under Sheriff of the Counties) gave the King a mewed sparrow-hawk, that these Charters might be inscribed on the Pipe Roll (in magne Rotulo).-

The entry appears under Shropshire and not under Staffordshire, but the reason is particularly given for such being the case was because, after Staffordshire, there was no room on the Roll (Et serbitur hic quia non erat locus post Comitatum Staff. in hoc Rotulo).


This last event happened shortly before March 8, 1222, when the Sheriff of Shropshire is ordered to seize into the King's hand all the land which Margaret le Strange held in capite in his bailiwick, and keep it securely, with the chattels thereon till further orders. But on the 15th of April next following, the King's writ enjoins the same Sheriff to take security from Alice de Harecurt and Johanna her Sister, daughters and heirs of Margery le Strange, for 100s.,- their relief of half a Knight's fee which said Margery held of the King in capite in Alvithele and Westun, and then to give them instant seizin. [53]

Again on June 26, 1222, the King informs the Sheriff of Warwickshire of the Fine by which these Coheiresses, with their husbands, William de Harcourt and Thomas Fitz Eustace, had obtained their relief, and enjoins him to give them seizin of the land of Granborough, which was of their inheritance, but had been held in dower by their Mother. [54]

In continuation of my account of Ralph le Strange's Coheirs, I shall hardly be expected to revert to the early History of-

WILLIAM DE HARCOURT, whose fortunes and possessions connected him with other Counties rather than Shropshire, and the particulars of whose career may be learnt from other sources. [55] A steady and well-rewarded adherent of King John, he was in office as Seneschal of that King at the close of his reign. He joined the Crusade of 1218, and in October 1220 was still absent from England. In the year following that in which he had livery of his wife's inheritance, viz., on April 6, 1223, he was deceased. By his wife Alice, who survived him, he had two sons, Richard and Henry. The former was his heir, and if not of age at his Father's death, was so within a year after.

ALICE DE HARCOURT was surviving her husband in October 1227, when she, with her Sister (called Johanna Noel) and their Aunt (called Matilda le Estrange), were returned as holding the Manor of Alvitheleg of the King, the value of which was 6. per annum. [56]

But at Michaelmas 1235, Alice de Harcourt was dead, for the Scutage then in course of collection (on the marriage of the King's Sister) was levied on Richard de Harcourt (her eldest son), Matilda le Strange (her Aunt), and Johanna Noel (her Sister), in respect of

[53] Rot. Fin. I, 83, 85.
[54] Claus I, 501.
[55] Collins' Peerage (Edition of 1779), Vol. V, pp. 263-4.
[56] Assize Roll, inter Testa de Nevill, p. 54.


their joint tenure of half a Knight's-fee of old feoffment (as it is called) in Alvitleg. [57]

RICHARD DE HARCOURT, thus represented as a Coparcner in Alveley, was only so in respect of a nominal seigneury. The real Successor to Alice de Harcourt was her second son,-

HENRY DE HARCOURT, to whom in her lifetime she gave her share of the Manor. This share, estimated at a quarter of a hide, was, in 1255, held by the said Henry, but afterwards he set it to farm to Leo de Romesley, whose Tenure, commencing after the siege of Kenilworth (1266), was still unexpired in November 1274. Meanwhile, Henry de Harcourt was deceased, leaving his son and heir, another Henry, under age. [58]

HENRY DE HARCOURT (II) was, in 1284, in possession of his share of Alveley, which is stated to be one-sixth of a Knight's fee, held by him of the heir of William de Harcourt, and by the said heir of the King in capite. [59]

At the Assizes of 1292, no mention is made of Harcourt's share in Alveley, though Henry de Harcourt is said to have been still living. [60] I conclude it to have been the share then held by Simon de Alveley, but under whom Simon held it I cannot say.

I must now give some account of the succession of-

JOAN or JULIANA NOEL, youngest daughter and coheir of Thomas Noel, and wife of Thomas Fitz Eustace Fitz Stephen. [61] Her husband, living, as we have already seen, in June 1222, was deceased Feb. 22, 1223, when the Sheriffs of Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire were apprized that his son and heir Thomas had fined ten merks for his relief; and was to have seizin of such lands as his Father had held in capite. [62] Joan Noel, his Mother,

[57] Testa de Nevill, pp. 6l, 60.
[58] Rot. Hund. II, 79 and 102. Henry de Harcourt (I) has already been mentioned as having succeeded to his Mother's interest in Badger. (Vol.II, p. 74).
[59] Kirby's Quest. The heir of William de Harcourt was Richard, already mentioned (Vol. II, 223, 233, 236), and who was now of age.
[60] Collins (Peerage, Vol. V, edition 1779, p. 264) says he died in 1293, and adds some further particulars of his succession.
[61] Erdeswick (Survey of Staffordshire) mentions William de Duston as the husband of Joan Noel, and as the Progenitor of her heirs. Dugdale (History of Warwickshire) has named Thomas Fitz Eustace only as her husband. Baker (History of Northamptonshire) has endeavoured to combine the two statements, by making Fitz Eustace her first and Duston her second husband,- an unfortunate compromise, for it happens that the first thus alleged husband survived the last.-

The truth is that Duston was never Joan Noel's husband at all, and the reason why he has been put down as such is, that he had a great Charter of Feoffment from Thomas Noel, Joan's Father, not however as a Son-in-Law, but only as a Feoffee.
[62] Rot. Fin. I, 101.


was living, and still so called in 1235; and she gave her share of Alveley to her younger son Ralph, who seems to have adopted his Mother's maiden name of Noel. Hence in 1255, we find Ralph Noel holding a quarter of a hide in Alveley, or a third part of that estate there, which the Record represents as divided among three Coheirs only, and constituting half a Knight's fee. After this, Ralph Noel sold both his share of Alveley and his interest in Badger to William de Hempton, of whom I have already spoken in connection with the latter Manor. [63]

The time of this sale I cannot determine, but previous to January 1256, William de Hempton had a minor interest in Alveley.- At the Assizes then held, he sued William de la Grene, Chaplain, and Nicholas his Brother, for disseizing him of four acres there. The case was a curious one.- William de la Grene pleaded that he had not disseized Hempton unjustly, inasmuch as he, William de la Grene, had been enfeoffed in three acres by one Henry Fitz William of Alveley. To this Hempton replied, acknowledging that Henry Fitz William had given the alleged Charter of feoffrnent, but that he had given it at a time when a term of twenty years, for which he had previously demised the premises to one Henry de Pirie, was still current, so that Grene took no seizin under the said Charter;- that during the said term Henry de Pirie died, bequeathing the residue thereof to his widow, who subsequently married Henry de Morf; that, the term still running, Henry Fitz William granted a second Charter of Feoffment to the present Plaintiff (Hempton) on condition that he should satisfy Henry de Morf for the residue of his term;- that the Plaintiff did so, and thus had entry on the premises. After reference to a Jury the Plaintiff recovered the premises, and Grene was in misericordia. [64]

In November 1274, William de Hempton was holding the share of Alveley which he had purchased from Ralph Noel. He was also second of the Jurors who then reported on the state of Stottesden Hundred. [65] Doubtless it was his son who, written as William de Eynton, was returned in 1284 as holding one-sixth of a Knight's-fee in Alveley of the heir of Ralph Noel, which heir is also said to hold the same of the King in capite. [66]

At the Assizes of October 1292, the Jurors of the Liberty of Nordley made very inaccurate presentments as to the tenure of

[63] Rot. Hund. II, 73, 102.
[64] Assizes, 40 Hen. III, memb. 1.
[65] Rot. Hundred, II, 102, 107.
[66] Kirby's Quest.


Alveley. [67] They said, for instance, that it was a member of Nordley, and included in the fee-farm tenure of that Manor. They also said contradictorily, but still not truly, that Henry de Mort with Isabella his wife, Simon de Alvytheleg, and William de Hempton, held Alveley in capite. As to Hempton's share, it appeared that Johanna, Widow of William de Hempton, had custody of her son William, then a Minor. She not coming forward in Court, the Sheriff was ordered to seize the said share; but afterwards Johanna appeared, and showed tbat her tenure was not in capite, but under Ralph Noel and his heirs; that the Grandfather of her Infant Son, and Father of her late husband, purchased the said share from Ralph Noel, to hold of the said Ralph, not of the King. She appealed to a Jury for verification of this statement, which was doubtless correct, but I do not find the result.

Thus William de Hampton, a Minor in 1292, was the third of his name who had possessed a share of Alveley.

Leaving to a note a curious reminiscence which we still have of the Hamptons' interest in this neighbourhood, [68] I must now recur to the history of the other Sisters and Coheirs of Ralph le Strange.-

JOAN LE STRANGE, apparently the second of these, was, as we have seen, wife of Richard de Wappenbury. This Richard held the Manor, from which he took his name and other great estates in Warwickshire. His Tenure, which he inherited from Thomas his Father, constituted no less than five fees of old feoffment, held under the Barony of Mowbray.

I refer elsewhere for a fuller account of this family, [69] from which I only extract that a Fine was levied in 10 John (1208-9), whereby Richard de Wappenbury was bound to do no injury to the

[67] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, m. 82.
[68] Hampton's Load, alias Hempton's Load, took its name from a person rather than a place; i.e. from one of these Hamptons rather than from the adjacent vill of this Hampton, in Chelmarsh Manor, from which however they doubtless came.

Hampton's Load, I should observe, is not equivalent to Hampton's-Wharf, for, to whatever language it may belong, the word Load or Lode often indicates a Ford.

I have noticed this before, in the case of a small rivulet (Supra, Vol. p. 221, note 76).

Hampton's Load was therefore originally a Ford of the Severn connecting Chelmarsh with Quat and Alveley; and it will in some way have been associated with family of Hamptons, viz. first pointed out, or made passable, or much used by one or other of them.

One William de Hempton-Ford (distinct from any William de Hampton) is mentioned by the same Nordley Jurors whose presentments I have been quoting above. [69] Dugdale's Warwickshire, I, 294 (Thomas).


inheritance of Thomas his son and heir;- also that Richard was living in 1209, but dead before the end of King John's reign (1216), when his said son, Thomas, was in rebellion.

Now, though it is quite dear, that in the first instance, Richard de Wappenbury had a share in each of Le Strange's Manors, it does not appear that anything at Alveley or Weston descended to his Son. Both Manors were, at all periods subsequent to the life of Richard de Wappenbury, held by Margaret and Matilda le Strange, their heirs or Assignees. This may have been the result of a surrender or a sale, or it may have been that Thomas, son of Richard de Wappenbury, was not the son of Joan le Strange, and that the latter died issueless.

I have no evidence on the point further than is supplied by those sections of the Sheriff's annual accounts which treat of the Corpus Comitatus and of Scutages. And this evidence is not to be altogether trusted;- but, as the degree in which it may be trusted becomes very apparent in relation to Alveley, I shall take this opportunity of entering fully into the matter.

And first of the Corpus Comitatus.- From 1196 to 1207 inclusive, the Sheriff attributes Alveley, or 110 solidates of land there, correctly;- to Thomas Noel, Richard de Wapenburi, and Griffin de Sutton. From 1208 to 1212 inclusive, he, no less correctly, substitutes Margaret le Strange's name for that of her deceased husband, Thomas Noel. But from 1213 to 1215, Thomas Noel is made to occupy his old place on the list.

In 1218, the three alleged Coparcners are Thomas de Blancminster, Griffin son of Gervase, and Richard de Wapenburi, the last with manifest incorrectness. And this entry, becoming still more inaccurate on the death of Griffin in Jan. 1221, is nevertheless continued till Christmas 1223. Then Alice de Harcourt and Johanna her Sister are set down as Coparcners in Alveley, excluding all mention of their Aunt Matilda, who was still living. And though Alice was deceased in 1235, and Johanna somewhat later, yet this entry is continued till the first year of Edward I (1273); after which I have not consulted these Rolls on the matter.

Nor do the Records of Scutages satisfy us on many points of genealogy and date, nor yet on the specific liability of Alveley to these assessments. For instance;- Guy le Strange is charged on one-and-a-half fees to each of King Richard's three Scutages, - a rate which must have included both Weston and something else besides Alveley, but that something does not appear. Moreover


[For chart, see pdf.]


In October 1292, Henry de Morf and Isabella his wife, having first been presented by the Nordley Jurors as tenants in capite, [76] were impleaded by the Crown under writ of right for their third of the Manor of Alvitheleye. The King's Prosecutor alleged the former Seizin of Henry II, and deduced the title of Edward I in the usual form. The Defendants appeared and put themselves on a Jury of the Country in lieu of the King's Great Assize, which Jury should say who had the better right to the premises, they or the King. The Jury found for the Defendants, in right of Isabella. [77]

HENRY DE MORF, of whom we have been speaking, was Lord of Morf, a Manor and vill in the adjoining part of Staffordshire, which he held under the Barons of Bermingham, whose tenure again was under the greater Barony of Dudley. Henry de Morf seems to have died soon after 1296. His wife Isabella, who survived him, was also deceased on Jan. 28, 1302, when an Inquest was ordered to be taken as on the death of a Tenant in capite. The Jury found her to have so held by service of a sixth part of a Knight's fee. Her demesne consisted of a messuage and thirty-two acres of arable and meadow land. Her rents were 19s. 1d., and the whole value of her tenure was 1. 12s. 11d. Henry de Morf, her son and heir, was forty-five years of age. [78] The King forthwith accepted his homage. [79]

I find Henry de Morf, thus succeeding, attesting an Enville Deed of 1303, and also a Charter in 1317, whereby Sir William de Bermingham grants to William de Morf (brother of Henry), and to his six children in remainder, a parcel of Morf-bosc. [80]

The Feodary of 1316 gives Henry de Morf as Lord of Mort but puts down Simon de Alvitheley as sole Lord of Alveley. [81]

I shall attempt no more systematic notice of the UNDER-TENANTS of Alveley than to arrange in chronological order the various names which occur in that relation, probable or apparent. (I should mention that a Manorial Court, like that noticed under Claverley, exempted Alveley from other Hundredal Jurisdiction, but whereas this Court was common to the neighbouring Manor of Nordley Regis, I will speak more particularly thereof under the latter).

In 1198, Simon de Alvitheleg was a Visor of repairs of the King's Vivary at Kinfare (Kinver). In 1199 the same Simon had

[76] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. m. 82.
[77] Placita de quo Waranto, p. 674.
[78] Inquisitions, 30 Edw. I, No. 97; Originalia, I, 119.
[79] Originalia, I, 121.
[80] Charters at Haughton.
[81] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 395, 398.


fined half a merk with the Justice of the Forest for leave to cultivate an acre and half of land in Northleg (Nordley). In Hilary and Easter Terms 1199, a plea of land which Richard de Wappenburi had against Simon de Alvitheleg was twice mentioned, and was the subject of still further adjournment. At Lichfield Assizes in the Autumn of the same year, Simon de Alvitheleg was fined half a merk for not producing one for whom he was Surety.

In a suit of 1203, Richard de Alvitheleg was Attorney for Thomas Noel.

In 1249, Justices are appointed to take recognition whether certain land in Alveley belonged to the Church thereof, or was the lay fee of William de Pery and Isabel his wife; also to try an assize of Mort d'Ancestre which Hamo Fitz William had against Laurence de Alveley and William de Perye concerning land in Alveley. [82] The latter Suit, as we learn from another Record, related to a noke of land and 3s. rent, which Hamo Fitz William asserted that his Uncle, John Gernun, had died seized of, and which he claimed as his heir. Laurence de Alveley replied by questioning the legitimacy of Hamo Fitz William, and the usual reference on that point had been made to the Diocesan Court of Hereford, when, in Hilary Term 1250, the King ordered that the Suit in its then state should be transferred to the Courts at Westminster. [83] I can say nothing of its result.

On the Jury, which in 1255 reported the state of this Manor, were William de Cleacre and Thomas de Pira. They both officiated at the Assizes of 1256, the latter under the name of Thomas de Pyrie.

In August 1257, Katherine de Cherlecote (already mentioned under Charlcott and Bold [84]) had a suit of novel disseizin against John Fitz Philip and others concerning a tenement in Alveley. [85]

At the Assizes of 1272, William Howel and John le Clokere were on the Manorial Jury. In 1274, John de Cleacre, Nicholas de Heddeleg, and Richard de Massun were on the Jury. These two latter had personal complaints against the Constable of Brug. So also had William de la Toune, and William Dod, of Alveley.

[82] Rot. Patent, 33 Hen. III, dorso. This Laurence de Alveley was a Clerk.- By a Fine levied at Worcester, on the Quinzaine of Easter 1240, Geoffrey le Connsander and Alice his wife, Claimants, quit to Master Laurence de Alveley, Tenant, a virgate in Claverley, for which they received five marks.
[83] Placita, Hilary Term, 34 Hen. III, m. 7 dorso.
[84] Supra, Vol. I, p. 157.
[85] Patent, 41 Hen. III, dorso.



[For engravings, see pdf.]


Also, one James de Pirie having died in such manner as that he could not be buried without the Coroner's license, the Coroner's Clerk had made an extortionate charge on the Manor. [86]

An Astley Jury of 1275 was attended by Nicholas de Haddeleye.

In 1292, the Nordley Jurors presented Simon de Alvytheleg as Tenant in capite of a third of Alveley. He gave the King half a merk that all inquiry should be adjourned from the Assizes to the next Parliament, so that I cannot tell whether the Jurors were right or not. If they were, then Simon or his Predecessor had bought Harcourt's share of the Manor,- to hold, not of Harcourt, but of the Lord of the Fee. Accordingly from this time forward I find no other mention of Harcourt's mesne interest in Alveley.

At these same Assizes, Simon de Cleacre was on the Manorial Jury. On an Alveley Jury, in 1302, appear Simon de Alvithley and Hugh de Morf: the former being named as a Tenant of Isabella de Morf, deceased, in Cleaker; the latter elsewhere in the Manor. A third tenant named was Isabella Dod. [87]

In March 1316, Simon de Alveley, returned as sole Lord of this Manor, [88] was, I suppose, if Tenant in capite of Harcourt's late share, also a Tenant in fee under the other Coheirs of Le Strange.

HAUGHMOND FEE.- In 1255, the Abbot had 10s. rent in Alveley from the whole of one and half of another Mill, and from land. [89] In 1342 the Abbot grants leases of a Mill, half a Mill, a messuage, and half-virgate in Alveley to some new Lessees, at a collective rent of 16s. The previous Tenants were of the families of Baldwin and Haddeley. [90]

The Abbot's Return in the Valor of 1535-6 gives no receipts from Alveley, unless they are included under Beobridge.

The Ministers' Accounts of 1541-2 value a Mill at Alveley, late belonging to the Abbey, at 12s. per annum. [91]

ALVELEY CHURCH AND PARISH.- This Parish was assessed to the Ninth in 1341 at 7. 13s., being included by the Assessors in the Deanery of Stottesden. [92]

To my former account of the Church [93] I have nothing to add, unless it be the names of one or two Incumbents, which, as they seem to be somewhat problematical, I give in a note. [94]

[86] Rot. Hund. II, 102, 103.
[87] Inquisitions, 30 Edw. I, No. 27.
[88] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 398.
[89] Rot. Hundred, II, 73.
[90] Haughmond Chartulary, Tit. Alveley.
[91] Monasticon, VI, 113, Num. xiv. Next to this entry is that of a Mill at Wythehowe, valued at 18s. per annum. It seems to have been in this neighbourhood, but I cannot identify it.
[92] Inquisitions Nonarum, p. 194.
[93] Supra, Vol I, pp. 109, 120-123.
[94] Mr. Blakeway gives Master John German as a Rector of Alvetheleg, named in an undated Deed; also John de Swynlo, or Sweneleigh, as made Custos of the Free Chapel of St. Anne of Alvidelee, on Aug. 18, 1361 (Vide Newcourt's Repertory, I, 167); also Richard Felde as Parson of Alveley in 1391.-

The Deed justifying the first of these three entries I have found among the muniments at Pitchford. Its date must be about 1233. Richard de la Feld was presented to a portion of Burford in 1385.


Norley, or Nordley Regis.

NORDLEY was perhaps so called with reference to Alveley, of which it lies nearly north, and with which it was associated by circumstances of Tenure from the earliest recorded period. Domesday tells us that-

"The same Earl (Roger de Montgomery) holds Nordlege. Earl Algar held it (in time of King Edward). Here are II hides. There is (arable) land (sufficient) for XII ox-teams. In demesne are III teams; and VII villains, with II boors have V teams. Here is a Mill of two shillings (annual value); a Wood one-and-a-half leagues long, by half a league wide. In time of King Edward the Manor was worth 8. (per annum). Now it is worth 4. [1]

The Norman Earls continued to hold this Manor in Demesne, and, on their forfeiture, it came in that state to the hands of King Henry I.

That King granted a hide here to one whose name is variously written "Fitz Ulky" and "Fulky". The grant was in fee-farm, [2] and the Tenant was to pay 8. 10s. annually for the same at the Exchequer. The descendants of Fitz Ulky afterwards took a name from the vill of Astley, which at Domesday was Manorially a member of

[1] Domesday, fo. 248, a. 1. Statfordscire.
[2] This grant in Fee-farm of a Manor of Royal Demesne, by Henry I, is, as regards Shropshire, unique. Its consequences in respect of fiscal routine are worth observing. The Sheriff never accounts for the fee-farm rent of Nordley, as he does where Manors were granted in fee-farm after the accession of Henry II. Nor was Nordley estimated to constitute a part of the annual Revenue described by the term Firma Comitatus and Corpus Comitatus. The Manors which, on Henry II's revival of the Exchequer, were classed in that account, were evidently those only, which, having been ancient demesne, had so continued till the death of Henry I.


Nordley, but which was subsequently held of the Crown by these Astleys under a distinct tenure from that of a fee-farm rent, viz, by Serjeantry. Of that however hereafter.

The Son and heir of Fitz Ulky was named Robert. He also appears to have lived in the time of Henry I, and according to one Record [3] was the original Feoffee of that King. The authority which I follow is however the more ancient and the more weighty. [4]

Robert was succeeded by his son and heir Osbert, who lived in the time of Henry II, and was called Osbert de Astley. Thus, at Michaelmas 1167, I find that Osbert de Estlega had been fined one merk by the Justice of the Forest, and in 1188, Osbert de Eselega had been Visor of certain repairs done to the King's Chamber at Kinver. [5]

Osbert was succeeded by his son, a second Robert, who seems to have been surnamed "The Knight" (Le Knit), I suppose with reference to his Serjeantry.

At the County Assizes of October 1203, I find this Robert de Estleia, as he is here written, essoigning his attendance under the common summons. His Essoignor was Roger de Fililod, a near neighbour.

Robert de Astley died before the year 1211, leaving John, his son, under age;- whose wardship appears to have been granted by King John to Thomas de Erdinton.

In November 1228, John de Estleg appeared in the Courts at Westminster to give answer to the King as to the Warrant he had for holding one hide in Nordley. The Defendant recited the facts above stated, and how his four ancestors had regularly paid the fee-farm rent, under which they held the land, to the King's Ancestors.

A search being thereupon made at the Exchequer, an Inquisition was found, stating this ancient tenure, but giving no account as to how John de Astley's ancestors had ingress at Nordley, nor under what warranty they held.

The King soon afterwards, sitting himself in Court or in Council, ordered the Defendant to be dismissed sine die, as the King had no present intention of pursuing the cause; but, at the same time, the King's right to renew the same in future, if he chose, was reserved. [6]

[3] Rot. Hund. II, 78.
[4] Placita apud Westminster Mich. Term, 12 and 13 Hen. III, m. 8, dorso, and duplicate Roll, 7 dorso.
[5] Rot. Pip. 13 Hen. II, Salop; and 34 Hen. II, Stafford.
[6] Placita, Mich. Term, 12 Hen. III (Duplicate Roll), m. 8 dorso, or 7 dorso.


At Michaelmas 1231, the Justices of the Forest had visited Shropshire. They had left John de Estleg and others responsible for a debt of 3. 18s. 4d., charged on certain parcels of corn- land which had been assarted in the Manor of Northleg, and which apparently were encroachments on the Forest of Morf. Of this debt, 2. had been since paid by John de Nortleg, as he is called. [7]

Before April 3, 1235, John de Estleg was deceased, and John Fitz Philip (of Quat and Bobbington) had fined ten merks to have custody of his lands and heirs, with the marriage of the latter. The Sheriff of Shropshire was ordered to give John Fitz Philip seizin accordingly. [8]

In 1255, the Jurors who returned the state of the united Manors of Nordley and Alveley said, in reply to a question as to "who held lands within Manors of Crown Demesne", that, "Nordleg and Alveley were once of the King's Demesne; that John, son of John de Estleg, then held Nordleg at fee-farm, by Charter, of the King; that this had been so for a long time; that he paid 8. 10s. yearly; that Nordleg contained one hide; and that Robert, father of Osbert, was the original Feoffee, by grant of Henry I, and that John, now seized, was his hereditary successor". [[9]

In February 1262, John, son of John de Estleg, is charged under the Regard of Morf and Shirlet Forests for imbladements. [10]

In 1268, John de Astley (II) was involved in a curious litigation with one of his Tenants here. Reginald de Molendino (otherwise called Reginald Syer) sued him in his own Manorial Court for two Mills, under a Writ Close de Recto. [11] Reginald had stated his complaint to the said Court, and John had made answer questioning the petitioner's story. And because the Court had thus allowed John to make answer, Reginald, conceiving himself aggrieved, had gone to the King's Court, and sued out a Writ directed to the Sheriff of Shropshire, enjoining the said Sheriff to take with him four Knights, and go to the said Manor Court and see that justice be done between the parties. The Sheriff had hereupon ordered John de Astley to summon his Court for Wednesday, July 22, 1268, when the Sheriff proposed to be there. It does not appear

[7] Rot. Pip. 15 Hen. III.
[8] Fines, Vol. I, p.278.
[9] Rot. Hundred, II, 73.
[10] Placita Forestae, 46 Hen. III, m. 6.
[11] The only Writ current in a Manor of ancient demesne. It probably, in the present instance, would ran somewhat in this form:- Henricus, D.G., &c., Johann de Estleg salutem. Precipio et plenum rectum tenens Reginaldo de Molendino in Curia tua de Nordleg de duobus Molendinis quae clamat versus te &c., ne amplius inde clamorem audiam pro defactu recti.


what took place on this occasion, but I presume John de Astley had the worst of it, for about the month of October following, I find Ralph de Hengham appointed to try a cause which the said John had arraigned against Reginald Syer, touching a tenement in Northleg. [12]

Again the result of this is non-apparent; but, amongst Pleas of Diverse Counties tried at Gloucester and Bristol in the end of November, the matter was revived. The Sheriff had now orders to go with four Knights to the Court of Astleg and Norleg, and make record of the proceedings which had taken place in that Court under the King's original Writ, "because John de Astley now complains that a false judgment has been given against him in the said Court". The Sheriff is to produce in the King's Court the said Record under his Seal, and also is to have in the King's Court, four members of the Manor Court who were present on the occasion when such judgment was given. A Jury was also to be summoned to the King's Court to hear this Record read, and, as I suppose, to decide the appeal. [13]

I find nothing more of this matter except that, lower down on the Plea Roll, John de Astleg is stated to acknowledge himself as a debtor to Ralph de Hengham, Clerk, in the sum of 5. How this could arise from the Suit I cannot determine.

At the Inquisitions of November 1274, the tenure of Northley was not only alluded to by the Jurors of Brug, but made a subject of detailed statement by the Jurors of the Manor itself. They gave no addition to facts already stated, except that we conclude from their account that the John de Astley then seized was the same as he who was a Minor in 1235. [14]

Before the 11th of February 1275, he was deceased, for such is the date of the King's writ of diem clausit extremum which issued on that occasion. The Jury, which sat at Estleg on February 21, found that he had held one carrucate in Northleye and one carrucate in Estleg; that his capital messuage stood half in Northleye and half in Estleg; that the King received 13. 10s. per annum for the two tenures; that John, eldest son and heir of the deceased, would be seventeen years of age on June 24 following. The Manors, said these Jurors, ought to be subject to the Tallages of the King. [15] This right of the Crown we have however seen to have been disused for sixty years previously. [16]

[12] Pat. 64 Hen. III, dorso.
[13] Placita apud Glocest. et Bristol, 53 Hen. III, m. 4.
[14] Rot. Hund. II, 88, 102.
[15] Inquisitions, 3 Edw. I, No. 4.
[16] Supra, p. 66.


John de Astley, thus succeeding, is entered on the Feodary of 1284, as Tenant in capite of Northleye, in Stottesden Hundsed. [17] In 1292, he was sued by the Crown for this Manor under writ of right. Hugh de Louther stated the former seizin of Henry II (not Henry I) in this Manor, and so deduced the reigning King's Title. The Defendant does not seem to have availed himself of this palpable error, but appealed to a Jury on the general issue as to whose right was the better, his or the King's. The said Jury found John de Estlegh's existing Tenure to be valid, and the King's claim unfounded. [18]

Some minor points, mooted by the Stottesden Jurors at the cotemporary Assizes, seem not to have been pressed. They had reported John de Astle as claiming free-warren in his demesne- lands of Northle, also a free Court, assize of bread and beer, and wayf. The first he denied; the last he justified by immemorial usage.

I find John de Astleye foreman of a Jury at Alveley in 1302, and on a Jury at Bruges, May 15, 1306.

A King's writ of February 24, 1310, orders a Jury to report what injury it would be to the Crown if the King allowed John de Astleye Senior to enfeoff John, son of John de Astleye, in the Manors of Astleye and Nordley, so that, seizin being had by the Feoffee, the latter should concede the premises to John de Astleye Senior for life. The Jury, which sat at Bruges on March 23 following, reported in favour of the license being granted.- "John de Astleye Senior, after such feoffment had been given, would still have 40s. rent in Astleye". [19]

In 4 Edw. II (1310-1) it appears that John de Astlei Senior fined 10. with the King for the aforesaid license. [20]

The result is embodied in a Fine levied at Westminster on the Quinzaine of Easter 1312. Here John, son of John de Asteleye, is plaintiff, and John de Astleye Senior Deforciant of the Manors in question. John Senior acknowledges to have given them to John Junior, who concedes them to John Senior, to hold for life, of the King, with remainder to John Junior, to hold of the King; and (it is added) "this Concord was made by precept of the King". [21]

By a deed of 9 Edward II (1315-6) John, son of John Lord (domini) of Astley, grants to Nicholas, son of Nicholas de la Grene

[17] Kirby's Quest. His rent to the King is put (evidently by mistake) at 8. 6s. 8d.
[18] Placita de quo Waranto, p. 674. The Jurors of the Liberty, at the cotem- porary Assizes, reported John de Astley's Tenure of Nordley to be by a fee farm rent of 8. 10s. Its full value they said was 10.
[19] Ad quod damnam, 3 Edw. II, No. 60.
[20] Originalia, I, 178.
[21] Pedes Finium, 6 Edw. II, No. 53.


of Northley, Isabella his Sister, and the heirs of Nicholas, two cursones in the Redhulfeld, for a rent of one rose. Witnesses:- Roger Syer &c. Dated at Alveley. [22]

It is clear to me that John de Astley Senior was living at the date of this grant, and that it is he whom the Feodary of March 1316 enters as "John de Astlegh Lord of Nordley"; for a Deed, dated still later, viz., on June 13, 1316, and which will be given hereafter, has for its two first witnesses, "John Lord of Astley and John, his Son".

A King's Writ, of March 12, 1319, orders an Inquisition ad quod damnum to report as to a proposal by John de Astleye to give feoffment of the Manor of Northleye to Roger de Astleye, to be held by the said Roger in capite.

The Inquest taken at Claverley on April 25 reports favourably of the proposal, adding that Northleye Manor was worth 20s. per annum more than the rent reserved to the Crown: also that John de Astleye would still have the Manor of Astleye of 3. 6s. 8d. annual value. [23]

I think this John de Astley must have been identical with John de Astleye Junior, the Feoffee of John Senior in 1312. Roger may have been son and heir of John Junior, but if so, was very young.

A Royal License followed the last Inquisition, enabling Roger de Astleye, for a fine of 40s., to acquire the Manor of Northleye from John de Astleye. [24]

Roger de Astley thus became Tenant in capite of Nordley. He died Sept. 30, 1362. His fee-farm rent of 9. had been granted to him for life by the King. His tenure consisted of a messuage and carrucate in Nordley.

When, on Feb. 26, 1363, the Inquest was taken on his death, his heir was his grandson Thomas, son of his deceased son Thomas, which grandson was then only time weeks old. [25]

Thomas de Astley died in infancy, viz., on June 11, 1376. A writ of King Edward III commands the Escheator to seize his lands. [26] His heir was his Sister Margaret, then aged twenty-two, and married to Roger atte Lee. From them descended the Lees of Coton.

[22] Blakeway's MSS. Cursones are of course subdivisions of a field;- "ridges", says one authority. The word seems to be of doubtful origin.
[23] Ad quod damnum, 12 Edw. II, No. 96. On the Jury were Henry de Mort; Simon de Alveley, and Roger de Eudinas.
[24] Originalia, I, 245.
[25] Inquisitions, 36 Edw. III, No. 9.
[26] Inquisitions, 50 Edw. III, No. 72. The Inquest is not attached to the Writ, but has been found elsewhere, by Mr. William Hardy, to whoce Collections I have before referred (p. 102, note 74).



I have now to speak distinctively of Astley, which, though originally a member of Nordley, and held by the same Tenants in capite, was a tenure, not in fee-farm, but by Serjeantry. Thus, in 1211, we hear that, "John, son of Robert de Estleg, holds Estleg from ancient time, from the Conquest; and he owes, of his service, one serving horseman with a hauberk, to accompany the Lord the King when he goes on any military expedition into Wales. The costs of the said horseman were to be paid by the King". [27]

At the Assizes of November 1221, the only Serjeantry reported of by the Stottesden Jurors as in their Hundred was thus mentioned:- "Hugh Fitz Robert holds by Serjeantry of the Lord King, and by service that he shall be Custos of the King's Pavilion when the King goes into Wales; and the Serjeantry is worth two merks; and the said Hugh is under age, and in custody of his Mother, the Jurors know not by whose authority; and she, Alice, is in the King's gift". [28]

Here I should observe, that the service of this Serjeantry, being different from that before stated, does not necessarily imply that Astley was not the place concerned. Serjeantries were often essentially changed; often too they were misrepresented by local Jurors. If then the Astley Serjeantry was intended to be here described, and I know of no other Serjeantry in Stottesden Hundred that could be thus alluded to, it is evident that the name, of the Infant Tenant was John Fitz Robert, and not Hugh Fitz Robert.

In 1255, the Jurors of Nordley and Alveley found that John, son of John de Estleg, was holding in the collective Manor half a hide in Estleg by Serjeantry of finding for the King one horseman for Wales in time of war, for forty days (the said horseman to be supplied) with victuals. [29]

At the Assizes of Oct. 1272, the Jurors of the same Liberty said that "John de Astle held half a hide in Astle by Serjeantry of finding one man-at-arms (armigerum), who, together with himself; should have guard over the *** [30] of the Lord the King towards

[27] Testa de Nevill, pp. 55, 417; Liber Ruber, fo. cxxxvii.
[28] Assizes, 6 Hen. HI, m. 9.- There was a Hugh Fitz Robert, Tenant by Serjeantry of keeping the King's Forests in Shropshire. He had nothing in Stottesden Hundred, nor was he under age in 1221.- His name, I think, suggested the assumed mistake.
[29] Rot. Hendred, II, 73.
[30] "Ad custodiendum vina domini Regis versus Walliam", where I do not understand the contracted word vina, unless it be put for vineam, and that word used as synonymous with pavillonem, of a previous inquest. However, in Kirby's Quest the same thing is represented by the uncontracted form vina.


Wales for 40 days. The said John de Astleg is further reported as a Defaulter in due attendance at these Assizes; and the word obiit written over his name does not indicate, I think, that he was dead at the time of holding the Assize, but was added at least two years after, when perhaps his death interfered with some further reckoning, consequent upon his default. [31]

In fact, as I have said before, he appears to have been living when, on Nov. 27, 1274, the Jurors of this Liberty reported his tenure of Nordley in fee farm. Of Astley they added specifically, that "the same John holds Estleg, within the said Liberty, of the King, in capite, by Serjeantry of going with the King into Wales, with his horse and arms, and with another horseman in his company, for forty days, at his own cost, and if he follow (the King) longer, then it shall be at the King's cost". [32]

Again, as if we were never to understand the full nature of this tenure, the Inquest of 1284, describing the Serjeantry of John de Astley (III) says that it was "by service of following vina Regi in time of war, towards Wales, for forty days at his own cost". [33]

At the Assizes of 1292, the Jurors of the Liberty valued John de Estleg's Serjeantry in Estleg at 40s. They only specified the service to be that of one horseman &c., not the particular office of the said Guard. John de Astley was called upon to account for his due discharge of this service. He showed, that in the war of the King's fifth year (1277) he was under age, but in that of the tenth year (1282) he performed his service, and to prove this he called the Rolls of the King's Marshal to warranty. The matter was adjourned to the Quinzaine of Hilary, at Lichfield, but I can trace it no further. [34]

By Deed dated at Estleye, August 1,1305, John Lord of Estleye gives to John Junior, son of Thomas Coc and Margery his wife, the land which John Senior, son of Thomas Coc, held of the Grantor in the field called Colverehusesfeld, bounded by the water-course of Fililodes-welle, and by the road which leads from Fililodes-welle to the Hall of Estleye:- to hold to John and Margery, and their heirs, at a penny rent, saving two Suits per annum at the Great Court of Northleye, held at Coten, upon reasonable summons beforehand. Witnesses:- Henry de Morf,

[31] Assizes, 56 Henry III, m. 50 dorso.
[32] Rot. Hundred, II, 102.
[33] Kirby's Quest.
[34] Placita Coronae, 30 Edw. I, m. 82.


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


Symon de Alvitheleye, Roger de Fililode, Adam Baret, Davit de Northleye, Nicholas On-the-Grene, Hugh de Morf Clerk, &c. [35]

I have pointed out how John de Astley (IV) enfeoffed Roger de Astley in Nordley Manor in 1319, retaining Astley to himself. On June 10, 1341, the King orders his Escheator to inquire by Inquest whether it would injure the King if he gave license to John de Astleye to enfeoff William de Fyllilod Junior and his heirs in one messuage, one carrucate of land, two acres of meadow, one acre of pasture, three acres of wood, and 40s. annual rent in Astleye and Northleye; also to grant to the same William and his heirs the reversion of a Mill in Astleye, now held by Hugh de Solrugge and his wife Aveline for their lives, the reversion whereof at present pertained to John de Astleye; so that said William, having seizin of the messuage &c., and having had attornment of the Mill from the tenants thereof, should be able to concede all to John de Astley for life, with remainder to himself (William) and to Dionisia his wife, and the heirs of their bodies, and in default of such heirs, to the right heirs of John de Astleye?

The Inquest held at Nordleye, on June 26 following, reported favourably of the proposed grant, and said that the premises were held by "Great Serjeantry", viz., by providing one horseman for forty days in the army of Wales, at the Cost of the said John de Astleye, who, said the Jurors, had no other lands besides those which he now proposed to settle. [36]

I find from another Record, that William de Fililod Junior gave the King 100s. for allowing him to be thus enfeoffed in a tenure in capite. [37]

His descendants continued Lords of Astley for some generations.


I have shown, under Claverley, that the Manor of Nordley remained assessable to the King's Tallages till the reign of John. How that reservation of Royal right came to be removed, I cannot declare.

I should now say something of the Manorial Court which was common to Alveley, Nordley, and Astley, and had the jurisdiction usual to Manors of ancient demesne.

A portion of the Assize Roll of 1203, which seems to have been intended for the presentments of this Manor, contains nothing more

[35] Charter in possession of Sidney Steadman Smith, Esq. of Bridgnorth, endorsed Carta de Colverhousfeld is Asteley.
[36] Inquisitions, 15 Edw. III, Second Numbers, No. 8.
[37] Originalia, II, 150.


than the usual heading, and an intimation that no report had to be entered. [38]

At the Assizes of November 1221, the Town of "Nortle" appeared "by six men and a Provost". They reported of the Incumbency of Alveley Church, as before recited, and also of the estate and widowhood of Matilda le Strange. It is observable that they describe their own Franchise by the word "Hundred".

In 1255, the state of this Franchise was duly reported by six local Jurors and a Provost. Besides matters elsewhere treated of, they found the annual value of Nordley to be 80s. more than the Fee farm rent reserved thereon. They stated that their Manor (Franchise) owed suit to neither County, Hundred, or other Court, except "for death of man and for the common summons". [39]

At the Assizes of 1256, this Franchise, called in one instance the Manor of Alwythel, in another the Manor of Northleg and Estleg, was represented in the usual way. So also at the Assizes of September 1272, and the Inquisitions of Hundreds in 1274. In the latter case, the Franchise is entitled the "Liberty of Nortleg and Alvitleg". The said Liberty had these rights, viz., Gallows, Assize of Bread and Beer, and all other liberties which ordinarily belonged to the great tourn, i.e., to the greater Hundred-Courts held by the Sheriff. The Jurors complained of various infringements on the rights of members of their community, which had been perpetrated by the Sheriffs, by the Bailiffs of Hundreds, or by the Constable of Brug. Among others, Hugh de Donvil (he was Bailiff of Stottesden Hundred) had taken some land to farm in this Liberty, to the great annoyance and injury of the Freeholders, from whom he extorted certain dues which were not his right, [40] but which I cannot explain, as they stand in the Record. The Bailiffs of Stottesden were also in the habit of entering unwarrantably upon the Liberty of Nordley, distraining the live stock of the Tenants, as well for ordinary debts as for debts due to the Crown, and causing the said stock to be driven to Brug Castle, whereas they had no right to drive it elsewhere than to Kingesbury, a place within the Franchise of Nordley. [41]

[38] "Northleg nil; Manerium de Hales nil; Claverleie nil; Worfel nil, quia alibi inde sit dictum",- are the successive entries on membrane 2, dorso, of the Roll.
[39] Rot. Hund. II, 73. They could not proceed in their own Court to any decision in a case of murder, and they were amenable to the common summons,- such as issued previous to the general Assizes.
[40] "Quia exigit ab eis ansilia sibi non pertinencia, videlicet arrur' et sem' et hujusmodi per extorsionem".
[41] Rot. Hundred, II, 102, 103.


At the Assizes of 1292, the Manor of Northlegh was represented, as usual, by a Provost and six Jurors.

THE UNDER-TENANTS of Nordley and Astley shall be noticed promiscuously, and without attempting a separate account of each family.

In 1180, Ordwi Tugge, Robert Fitz Holm, William, Gilbert, and Alti were charged 1s. each for purpresture in Norley; also, Ormus Faber and Walter were jointly charged 1s. for imbladement there.

Some of these names are curiously revived in subsequent affairs.- On Sept. 25, 1199, a Fine was levied at Salop between Edwin Fitz Horm, Plaintiff, and Reginald Faber, Tenant, of three crofts of assart in Nortlee, whereof was suit of mort d'ancestre. Edwin relinquished all his claim, receiving half a merk. [42]

In Easter Term, 1200, four Knights, appointed to choose twelve other Knights to try a cause of Grand Assize, had made their selection. The cause in question was about a virgate of land in Northleg, which Cristiana, daughter of Ralph Poer, claimed against Adam Tigg, the Tenant, who thus put himself on Grand Assize to try which party had the better right. A day was given to both Suitors and Recognizors, whenever the Justices should visit the County. [43]

In October 1203, this cause came on at Salop Assizes. Of nineteen Knights who appeared as Recognizors, or as deputing others to appear, not above six were identical with those named at the previous stage. Now the parties accorded, Christiana giving the King half a merk for license so to do, for which Thomas de Northleg and Adam Tugel (evidently the other Suitor) were her Sureties. [44]

At the Forest Assizes (March 1209) the following were assessed for imbladements, under the Account of Morf and Shirlet Forests, viz., Robert, Elias, and Roger de Northlegh, Edwin Fitz Orm, Adam Fitz Walter, and Christiana, Widow.

At Shrewsbury Assizes (Nov. 1221) Alice, widow of Adam Tug, sued Arnulf Corvesar and his wife Christiana, for a third of thirty acres in Northleg, as her dower. The Defendants alleged that she had no right of dower in the premises, which belonged to Amelina, the former wife of Adam Tug, and Mother of the Defendant

[42] Pedes Finium, 1 John, Salop.
[43] Rot. Curiae Regis, II, 169.
[44] Salop Assizes, 5 John, memb. 6, recto. The Suitors' names here given are Christiana de Northleg and Adam Tinneg or Tugel. Christiana appears on the Pipe Roll of 6 John, as owing half a merk, "pro licentia concordandi".


Christiana, and which had only been in custody of said Adam. The Plaintiff (here called Matilda) rejoined that the premises were Adam's, not Amelina's, inheritance. The Sheriff was ordered to ascertain the truth by Inquisition of twelve Jurors. The result was reported in January, when the Justices were in eyre at Warwick. The land was found to have been the right of Amelina, and not of Adam, so Arnulf gained the suit. [45]

In Michaelmas Term 1251, Emma, Widow of William Ernald, was suing William de Alvitheleg, Elyse le Mercer, and Roger Allemebie, for her dower in several small parcels of land in Northleg. The Defendants pleaded that Ernald, having been convicted of larceny, had been hanged at Bromsgrove. This Emma denied, and appealed to a Jury. The Sheriff of Worcestershire, being ordered to summon such a Jury, made his report in Hilary Term following, viz., that the deceased had been hanged. [46]

Of the Jury of 1255, Robert the Provost, Robert de Bacworthin, Elyas de Herdewike, Stephen de la Grene, and Ralph de Screworthin, perhaps belonged to Nordley and Astley, rather than to Alveley. Elias le Scot, William de Wolaston, Thomas de Fililode, Alditha a Widow, and Robert de Bacworthin, were then Tenants of small parcels of purpresture at Nordley, viz., in Morf Forest.

In 1256, all the above Jurors officiated at the Assizes, except the second, instead of whom we have Roger Wodie.

At these Assizes William son of William Wylinde with Sibil his wife, sued Richard son of Richard Onyet, for disseizing them of a tenement in Estleye. The cause does not seem to have been gone into. [47]

At the Forest Assizes of 1262, Roger de Perer and Elias le Scot are charged with imbladements at Northleg.

At Salop, in August 1267, William le Schymusser, being charged with having disseized William Chicpnol and Sibil his wife of a messuage and twelve acres in Astley, pleaded that he purchased the premises, and had a verdict in his favour. [48]

At the Assizes of 1272, William le Franceys, William de Hordwych, Richard Carpenter, and Roger Saer, attended with Robert, their Provost, for this Manor.

At these Assizes Sibil, widow of Richard son of Richard Onyet, sued William le Skirmesur for her dower, viz., one-third of a

[45] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, m. 7 dorso.
[46] Placita apud Westm. Mich. Term, 35 and 36 Hen. III, m. 23.
[47] Assizes, 40 Hen. III, m. 13.
[48] Placita, 51 Hen. III, m. 6.


messuage and virgate in Astlegh; but she asked license from the Court to recede from her suit, the Defendant pleading that Astlegh was ancient demesne of the Crown. [49]

At the Inquisition of 1274, Roger de Fililod, Roger Baldwin, William Wynemon, John de Bacworthin, and John Atwood (Ad Boscum) were of the eight Jurors who reported as to the state of this Liberty. The following had various complaints against the King's Officers and Bailiffs elsewhere, viz., Roger Byer, John Atwood of Estleg, Roger ad Molendinum, Richard atte Tuene of Estleg, William Chaplain of Coton, Osbert Eluret, and Roger Baldwin. [50]

An Astley Jury, in February 1275, was attended by William de la Tune, John de Bosco, Roger Cier, and Elias Barat.

The Jury at the Assizes of 1292 was headed by Giles de Astlegh, Chief Bailiff, and included Roger de Fylilod, Nicholas de la Grene, Walter de Kemeseye, Roger Baldewyne, and Adam Barat.

Among their presentments was one as to the manslaughter of Robert Hobald, Uncle of Benedict de Burwarton. The latter was appellant in the matter. [51]

About this time I should place the Deed whereby Godith, daughter of Robert Wodere of Nordley, grants to Aldith, daughter of Stephen de la Grene, part of her land of assart for 4s. Witnesses- John Lord of Estleg, Henry de Morf, Adam Baret. [52]

On May 17, 1294, Roger de Lee, Clerk (of whom we have heard under Claverley) [53] sued Roger, son of Nicholas Fayrchild, and Henry le Sumeneur, for disseizing him of a messuage and half-virgate in Northlegh juxta Alvethelegh. The Defendants appeared not. The Jurors found that the land had belonged to Robert del Mulne, who enfeoffed Lee therein on July 30, 1292, and that Roger, son of Nicholas Fayrchild, had sued Robert del Mulne for the premises before the Justices who were in eyre at Shrewsbury in October 1292, and had recovered through default of said Robert, which of course was informal, as Lee was Tenant at the time; and the Jurors believed that Roger, son of Nicholas, sued out his writ after the feoffment of Lee. To make sure as to this point, the Court ordered Lee to certify at Brug, on Saturday after Michaelmas (1294), the date of the writ. He did so, proving the writ to be of date Sept. 5, 1292. Thus, the Writ being more than a month

[49] Assizes, 66 Hen. III, m. 5 dorso.
[50] Rot. Hundred, II, 102.
[51] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, fo. 82.
[52] Blakeway, from W. Mytton's Collections.
[53] Supra, pp. 101, 102.


after the feoffment, it appeared that Roger Fitz Nicholas had sued the wrong person in 1292. Lee thereupon recovered the premises, and 46s. 8d. damages. [54]

On June 18, 1316, William, son of Simon de la Putte, grants to William de Fililode and Juliana his wife a parcel of land in Nordleye for four merks. The land was bounded in one direction by the "King's high road which went from Brug to Kydeminstre". Witnesses- John Lord of Astleye, John his Son, John de Fililode, Richard son of Roger de Fililode. Dated at Nordley. [55]

I infer from a fine of 1331, that Henry de Mortimer then purchased from John, son of John de Peyto and Alice his wife, a messuage and two carrucates in Northleye, Astleye, and Claverleye. He is to hold the premises under the Chief Lords of the Fees. He paid 100 merks to the Recognisors. [56]


THIS Manor was, at Domesday, in the Staffordshire Hundred of Saisdone, where, in great part, it still remains. I am induced to treat of it however for several reasons- first, because a part of it is now in Shropshire, and because, parochially, it is a Member of Claverley; secondly, because its ancient Lords were of a Shropshire family, and what I say of them here will save space elsewhere; lastly, because I have something to add to that which this Staffordshire Historians have already told us about Bobbington.

"The same Robert (de Stafford) holds in Bubintone V hides, and Helgot of him. Wifare held (them) with sac and soc, and was a free man. There is (arable) land for VI ox-teams. In demesne are II teams, and there are IV Serfs, V Villains, and III Boors, with I team; there is a wood which can be depastured (silva pastilis) one league long and half a league wide. Its (annual) value is 40s". [1]

Such is the Domesday account of Bobbington. The Lord of

[54] Salop Assizes, 22 Edw. I.
[55] Charter in possession of William Wolrych Whitmore, Esq. of Dudmaston.
[56] Pedes Finium, 5 Edw. III, Salop, No. 42. The Purchaser was evidently Henry de Mortimer, Custos of Kinver, &c., who had also an interest at Alveley;- for his Nephew, Henry, son of Hugh de Mortimer of Chelmarsh, must have been under age at this time.
[1] Domesday, fol. 249, a. 2.


Castle Holgate it was who held it under the Barons of Stafford; and the same person, written either as AElgot or Helgot, also held Estone (Aston) and Bernulvestone (Barlaston), both in Pireholle Hundred, under the said Barons; and Metford (now Meaford) under Earl Roger de Montgomery.

Nothing of this Staffordshire Tenure of Helgot remained with his principal heirs, the Barons of Holgate; but whatever thereof continued in his family was the portion of a younger branch.

Philip Fitz Helgot, as he was called, occurs as early as 1165, and lived till 1213. He was therefore nothing nearer than a Grandson or Great-Grandson of Helgot's, and the intermediate link or links in the succession are perhaps lost.

The Tenure of Philip Fitz Elgod under Robert de Stafford is marked in 1165, as consisting of one fee and a third part of a fee, both of which he held in Demesne. [2]

In 1167, his Manor of Barlaston, entered on the Pipe Roll as "Berleston Philippi", had been amerced half-a-merk by Alan de Nevill. I am unable to state the precise period when, by favour of Henry II, Philip Fitz Helgot became connected with the Royal Manor and Forest of Kinver, which adjoined his estate at Bobbington. Certainly it was before 1176, when, under the name of Philip de Kenefare, he is found in great disgrace; for he accounts for a fine of 100 merks that he may have the King's good-will, and for his forfeiture in regard to the Forest, and for redemption of his land. [3] In 1182 he was still owing a small arrear of this fine, and there is a note on the Staffordshire Pipe Roll intimating that he should be charged for the balance in Worcestershire. There are other reasons for thinking that he had estates in the latter County. [4]

Meantime, Thomas Fitz Bernard and Geoffrey Fitz Piers are accountants for the ferm of Kinver; but about Midsummer 1184, Philip Fitz Helgot was restored, and at Michaelmas following accounted 45s. for a quarter of the year's ferm of 9. then due. And he continues paying this annual rent of 9. for the rest of Henry II's reign, charging however thereon his expenses "in repairing the fence around the Curia and House of the King at Kinver", and " in the work of the King's chamber" there. [5]

This Ferm seems to have required renewal on the accession of King Richard. That King's Charter concedes to Philip Fitz Helgot

[2] Liber Niger, I, 137.
[3] Rot. Pip. 22 Hen. II, Staffordshire. "Pro benevolentia Bogie et pro forisfacto de foresta et pro terra sua".
[4] Shaw's Staffordshire, II, 277, note 2.
[5] Rot. Pip. Staffordshire sub annis.


and his heirs the vill of Kenefare and custody of the Forest of Kenefare for 9., to be paid annually at the Exchequer at Michaelmas. Wherefore said Philip and his heirs are to hold the same in fee-farm of the King and his heirs &c. This Charter passed at Dover on the 5th or 6th of December, 1189. [6]

During the reign of Richard, Philip Fitz Helgot's Tenure of Kinver seems to have been not undisturbed. In one instance I find the King's Escheator paying a part (42s.) of the annual ferm; but, as this was paid to the King at Rouen, it probably represents the period when the Charter of renewal had not as yet issued. In 1192, Philip de Kenefare accounts himself for a year's ferm and arrears, but in 1197 Geoffrey Fitz Piers is the accountant for a whole year's ferm. I have not looked minutely into this irregularity of reckoning; but I cannot help associating it with an entry on a very ancient Plea Roll, which I believe to belong to Trinity Term, 1194. This entry purports that a Suit then depending between Philip Fitz Holegod and the Men of Kenfare, about a complaint (probably of the latter), should await the arrival of the King (the King crossed to Normandy, May 12, 1194), and in the meantime he (Philip I suppose) commends his office to his Son, under advice of John le Strange. [7] Some dispute, it would seem, had arisen between the Fermor and the Burgesses of Kinver, which could only be settled by the King; so the Forestership was, pendente lite, to be cared for by a third person, under direction of John le Strange.

On this same Roll, Philip Fitz Holegod occurs as a Knight commissioned to ascertain the validity of a certain essoign.

The matter has been alluded to before. [8]

One of the earliest Fines offered to King John after his accession (May 27, 1199) was that of "Philip de Canefare". It was one of 100. "for having the Manor and Forest of Canefare at fee-farm, as he, Philip, had it from King Richard. Geoffrey Fitz Piers was ordered to take safe security for the Fine before Philip had seizin of the land". [9]

Philip Fitz Helgot occurs as a Knight and Juror at the Salop Assizes of 1203, and either under that name, or as Philip de Kinfare,

[6] Cartae Antiquae, R. S, and N. N. 87.
[7] Placita apud Westm. No. 62, m. 8, recto. The concluding words are:- "Et interim commendat officium suam filio suo (et ejus officium) per consilium Johannis Extranei";- where the words which I have bracketed are, I conclude, redundant, or else some word equivalent to perficiater has been omitted after officium.
[8] Vol. I, p. 47.
[9] Oblata, p. 7.- Fitz Piers was then Chief-Justice of England.


or as Philip de Bobington, on several occasions during the first twelve years of King John.

In 1211, on a list of Staffordshire Tenures it is said that Philip Fitz Holegot holds the Forest of Kenefar, with the Manor, by Charter of King Henry (Henry II), and pays 9. per annum, the sum which the Manor had been wont to pay. [10]

In November 1213, Philip Fitz Helgot was deceased, for then did John Fitz Philip fine fifty merks and a palfrey, that he might have the lands in Salop and Staffordshire which had belonged to the aforesaid Philip his Father. [11]

The King's Charter, dated at Hereford on Nov. 27, grants to John, son of Philip Fitz Helgot, and his heirs, the vill of Kenefare and custody of the Forest thereof, in fee farm at the old rent of 9. per annum. [12]

I must content myself with giving references to various Writs of King John and King Henry III, which imply the continuance of this trust, and the charge which John Fitz Philip had from the latter King to fortify his own Castle, and rebuild the Royal residence at Kinver. [13] In the earliest of these he is called King John's Valet. In 1214, he seems to have accompanied that Monarch into Poiton, and had some indulgence as to his debts to the Crown. [14]

On April 10, 1216, being faithful to King John, he had a grant of the lands of Thomas de Constantine in Eton (Constantine) and Eldebury (Oldbury), and of Richard de Leighton, in Leighton and Garmston, both of whom were then in rebellion. [15] On July 2, 1221, he had a grant of Market at Kinver provisionally, till Henry III should come of age. [16] On July 6, 1223, he had a grant of the forfeited Chattels of a fugitive murderer at Barlaston. [17]

On the 25th of April, 1227, the King renews his grant of Kinver Town and Forest in the terms of King John's Charter, and at the same rent (9.). [18] Hence I presume that a Staffordshire Roll, of apparently a few years' later date, which states the said rent to be

[10] Testa de Nevill, p. 64.
[11] Rot. Finium, p. 510.
[12] Rot. Chartorum, p. 195.
[13] Rot. Claus, Vol. I, pp. 155, b.; 463; 520; 520, b.; 523; 530, b.; 531, b.; 533, b.; 534; 548; 554, b.; 556, b.; 596. Vol. II, pp. 80, 196. Rot. Finium, p. 566. Pat. 17 John, m. 15. He seems to have been attendant on King John, in 1210, 1211, and 1212. (Rot. Misae, 11 John, m. 4; Rot. de Prestito, 213, 228, 237; Rot. Misae, 14 John, m. 3 and 12). Again, in one of these instances, he is called the King's Valet.
[14] Claus, I, 166, 174.
[15] Ibidem, p. 260.
[16] Ibidem, p. 464.
[17] Ibidem, p. 554.
[18] Rot. Chartarum, 11 Hen. III.


15., is so far erroneous. [19] On April 20, 1230, he was among those who had "letters of protection" for their property so long as they should be in foreign parts with the King. [20]

On Sept. 24, 1232, he purchased from the King for 100. custody of the lands and heirs of John de Wauton deceased, a tenant of the Earldom of Gloucester, which was then in the King's hand.

Soon afterwards he appears paying the King an annual rent of 40. for the Yorkshire Manor of Masham, which was the inheritance of John, son of John de Wauton, then a Minor; but on April 25, 1234, he gives the King 200 merks that he may have the said Manor (rent-free, I suppose) for himself or his assigns during the remainder of such minority. [21]

His fine of April 1235, for the wardship of John de Astley's heirs, has already been recited. At Michaelmas 1235, he had, by the King's directions, paid John le Strange, Constable of Montgomery, thirty merks on account of these fines. [22]

A Patent of October 18, 1235, would make it appear that John Fitz Philip had appointed one William de Bernolesby his Bailiff, and contingently his Executor, in respect of the Wardships which he had purchased; for the King grants, that while said William shall so be Bailiff, he shall not be put on any Assize (Jury), and if he should die, his Brother should have custody of the lands and heirs of John de Wauton and John de Estleg. [23] These precautions were probably taken in consequence of John Fitz Philip's advanced age, and the minority of his own son and heir.

In 1236, I notice that Thomas Corbet compounds for five merks "his false clamour against John Fitz Philip".

Before I close my account of John Fitz Philip of Bobbinton, I should notice the grant which, under that title, he made to Trentham Priory of the Advowson of Barliston Chapel. It was attested by Ranulph Earl of Chester, then present, Sir John le Strange, Sir Henry de Audley, Sir Philip d'Orreby, William Parson of Stokes, and Geoffrey Griffin. It probably passed between 1220 and 1230. [24]

Before Dec. 29, 1238, John Fitz Philip was dead, having, as it seems, added to his latest speculations the ferm or custody of the vacant See of Durham. [25]

[19] Testa de Nevill, p. 62, b.
[20] Pat. 14 Hen. III, p. 2, dorso.
[21] Fines, Vol. I, pp. 227, 256.
[22] Rot. Pip. 19 Hen. III, Salop.
[23] Patent, 19 Hen. III.
[24] Harl MS. 3868, fo. 36.
[25] His debts to the Crown on this account are entered on the Pipe Roll of 1240, under the title, "Episcopatus Dunolm". In 1241, they appear on the Shropshire Pipe Roll, and so on till 1246, without any notice of the Debtor's decease. In that year some deductions on the charge are stated, but the balance was not paid till 1253, when John Fitz Philip (the Son I suppose) is entered as paying the said balance.


On that day the King commits the Custody of the Manor of Bernoreby (Lincolnshire), which John Fitz Philip formerly had of the King's gift, to John le Strange;- to hold the same till the heir of John Fitz Philip be of age, and to answer to the King for the issues thereof. [29]- At Michaelmas 1240, John le Strange's name is entered on the Shropshire Pipe Roll for two years' liability in this matter.

Two Lists of Fees in the Testa de Nevill, which date about this time, give us the Heir of John Fitz Philip as holding in Berleston (Barlaston) and Bolnton (Bobbington) of the Barony of Stafford. [27] The tenure would seem to be by service of one Knight's fee; but a third, and probably more accurate list, gives the service due on Dubington (so written) as one fee, and on Berleston half-a-fee. [28]

On Nov. 25, 1243, the Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire had orders to distrain the Widow of John Fitz Philip, so as that she should give up to the King the Son and Heir of said John, whom William de Ferrers Earl of Derby had entrusted to her. Also the Sheriff was similarly to cause John le Strange to appear before the Barons of the Exchequer on January 14 following, and to give account of all issues of the lands of said John Fitz Philip since Le Strange had had them in custody. [29]

In the following year (1243-4), the King again committed to the custody of the same John le Strange, Justice of Chester, all the lands of John Fitz Philip, as well as Kinver Forest. [30]

On December 27, 1248, John Fitz Philip (the younger) occurs

[26] Rot. Fin. I, 317. It does not appear how long John le Strange's Custody lasted. As late as Michaelmas 1261, his debts to the Crown, long in arrear, included one item of 153. 4s. 4d., a balance of an account of the issues of John Fitz Philip's lands as rendered in 1247 by the same John le Strange. (Rot. Pip. 45 Hen. III, Salop).

The estates of John Fitz Philip Senior at Bernoleby, Waltham, and Wathe (Lincolnshire) were acquired by grant of King Henry III, the said grant being specifically 30 librates of rent in the Soke of Waltham. (Vide Rot. Hundred, 294-5).
[27] Testa de Nevill, pp. 46, b. 50, b.
[28] Ibidem, 51, b. 52, a.
[29] Fines I, 409. The Earl Ferrers was Uncle of the then Baron Stafford, who was only recently of age. Hence perhaps his concern with the heir of Bobbington and Barlaston.
[30] Originalia, Vol. I, p. 6. On Feb.12, 1244, however, Custody of Kinver Forest was given to Stephen de Savoy (Pat. 28 Hen. III), to whom also John le Strange was to surrender the custody of John de Wauton's lands.


In 1297, John Fitz Philip had been returned by the Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire among those who held 20. of lands and upwards in those Counties. He was therefore summoned to attend at London on July 7, to perform military service in person, with horse and arms, in parts beyond the seas. [44]

John Fitz Philip had still the Forestership of Kinver in 1300. [45] He was summoned for personal service against the Scots, and to attend the Muster at Berwick-upon-Tweed on June 24., 1301. [46]

He must at this time have been upwards of seventy years of age. Some later notices which I have of him shall be given under Quat. I should here say that he was living in 1305, but deceased before March 1316, when John de Vain was Lord of Kinver, Hugh de Hulpham of Bobbington, and Roger Corbet of Barlaston. [47]

De Vaux' succession to John Fitz Philip was not by inheritance, but under grant of the Crown. The coheirs of the deceased were Joan, daughter of John de Wauton, and Roger Corbet of Hadley. A tabular pedigree which I propose to insert under Quat will show the mode in which I conceive this Coheirship to have arisen; but full proof of all the particulars is wanting.

Certain however it is that the above-named Joan had Bobbington, and conveyed it to her husband, Hugh de Hulpham. The latter, called in this instance, Hugh de Hepham, appears to have died in 13 Edw. II (1319-20), when the Escheator ultra Trent was ordered to seize his land. [48] There is no Inquisition post mortes to tally with that order, and indeed it is probable that all the estates enjoyed by Hepham came with his wife Joan, who survived him.

Consistently with this we find that Masham and its adjuncts, which were of the inheritance of John de Wauton, a Minor in 1234, were in 1316 held by Hugh de Hepham. [49]

Joan de Wauton, during her widowhood, is known to have alienated Bernolby, Waltham, Wathe, and Quat,- all which came to her from John Fitz Philip. Almost certainly she sold Masham also to Geoffrey de Scrope, the purchaser of Bernolby, Waltham,

[44] Parliamentary Writs, I, 291.
[45] Shaw, II, 277:- where however the statement about a third John de Bobbington of this line is erroneous.
[46] Parliamentary Writs, I, 352.
[47] Thomas Corbet, father of Roger, died before John Fitz Philip (viz., in 1900), and was seized of a manage and 80 acres in Barlaston. (Inq. 28 Edw. I, No. 17).
[48] Originalia, I. 260.
[49] Parliamentary Writs, Vol. IV, p. 996, where the learned Editor has rightly identified the Lord of Masham with the Lord of Bobbington, and also given a Writ of Military Summons, addressed to the said Hugh in 1314, against the Scots.


and Wathe, but of this I will speak under Quat. The probability is that she sold Bobbington also, but to another person.

On August 15, 1323, "Joan de Butetourte Lady of Weleye", as she styles herself, was evidently seized of what had been John Fitz Philip's Tenure in Bobbington. [50] She was youngest Sister and Coheir of John, last Baron Somery of Dudley, who died Dec. 29, 1322, and, at the time I speak of, she was Widow of Thomas, eldest son of John Baron Botetourte, who died before his Father. Her son, another John, had livery in 1338, though not then of age. There is abundant evidence of his succeeding to Bobbington.

I now proceed to classify and comment upon those Charters of John Fitz Philip (II) which I have before alluded to.- In the earliest of these, as indeed in all his Charters, he styles himself John, son of John Fitz Philip. It is a grant to his Burgesses of Kinfare. It has been printed elsewhere, but with much inaccuracy. [51] I give the witnesses' names in a note, for the sake of comparison with his later Deeds.

These are eight in number, and all existent in the originals-

1. John, son of John Fitz Philip Lord of Bobynton, grants to Ema, daughter of William de la Leton, and to Gilbert his (the Grantor's) Son, a noke of land in his Manor of Bobynton, viz., that which the said William formerly held, also two crofts and a garden;- to hold of the Grantor and his heirs, to Ema and Gilbert and their heirs;- paying for rent, a Red Rose. [52]

This, I presume is part of the provision made by the Grantor for Emma de la Leton (Leaton was a member of Bobbington) on her marriage with his Son.

2. The same grants to Ema de la Leton a parcel of land in the Lee, bounded by lands of Robert Cools and Richard Clerk.

[50] She grants a feoffment in Bobbington, under that date. (Charter in possession of the Rev. J. Brooke, of Houghton). The first witness is Richard de Monte de Wythimere. The Seal exhibits two shields,- the Dexter charged with the Limit passent of Someri, the Sinister with what I take to be a remnant of the Saltire Losengy of Botetourte.
[51] Shaw, II, 262. Sir Alan de Englifiled (Englefield), the first witness, was Tenant of the Barons of Dudley at Himley; the second witness, printed as "Hieronimi de Deanslegg", should probably be Leonius de Remesleg! Henry de Prestwood, Richard de Evenfeld (Enfield), Henry de Morfe, and William de Whittington, are the other witnesses.

It perhaps passed between 1260 and 1270; but Shaw held chronological accuracy so very cheap, that the criteria which he supplies for dating such deeds are extremely delusive.
[52] In possession of the Rev. John Brooke of Haughton.-

The witnesses are- Lionius son of Lionius de Remesle, John le Pouwer of the same (Romesley), Henry de Morf, Richard de Evenefeud (Enfield), Alan de Glaseleye, Philip de Luttele (Lutley), Richard Clerk.


The Grant is to Ema, for life, with remainder to Gilbert, the Grantor's Son, and his heirs;- in default of such heirs, to Johanna the Grantor's daughter and her issue;- in default, to Alice the Grantor's daughter and her issue.- Rent one halfpenny. [53]

3. The same to Ema de la Leton,- a curtilage and a parcel of land, with the Grange thereon standing, bounded on one side by the Curtilage of the "Pastor" of Bobinton Church; also a croft called "Pitcroft". The uses and remainders are as in the last, except that Johanna and Alice are called Sisters of Gilbert. Rent, one halfpenny. [54]

4. The same to the same,- a piece of land in the Lee, for like uses and remainders. Rent, one halfpenny, payable at Bobinton. [55]

5. The same to Richard Clerk,- the land with its buildings, gardens, curtilages, and all appurtenances, which Geoffrey de la Lee formerly held in Bobinton Manor. To hold to Richard for life, then to Alice his daughter for life, and then to John, son of Alice and his heirs, of his body, in fee. In default of such heirs, to Ema, daughter of Alice, and her heirs of her body, in fee. In default, to Margery, Ema's sister, and her heirs of her body. Rent to be 18d.- No common right in the Grantor's woods or demesnes to accompany the grant.- Saving of foreign service, suit of the Grantor's Court of Bobinton, and suit of his Mills there. Ultimate remainder to the Grantor and his heirs or assigns. [56]

6. Same to Richard Cocas of Elenhale,- an acre and a quarter of a rood of land, bounded on one side by the Grantor's wood of the Haie; also a piece of land for building, near the Grantor's wood of The Lee;- in fee. Rent 3d. [57]

7. Same to "Richard on the Mount" (super Montem) of Bobynton,- half a virgate in Bobynton, and ten acres of waste there; the latter bounded by land of Alice de Lee, by the Lee of

[53] Witnesses:- Lionius Fitz Lionius, Henry de Morf, William de Evenefeud, John de Eton (he was of Himley), John de Tresel (Trysull), Peter Fitz Lionius, Thomas de Luttele.-

The Seal is of white wax. It presents a Coat of Arms,- two Bars. The Legend decipherable from this and other impressions of the same Seal is:-

[54] Witnesses:- all of the last, and also Richard Cocus and Geoffrey de Witimere.
[55] Witnesses:- as those of No. 2, adding Adam de Chetewinde in the second, and William de Overton in the eighth place.
[56] Witnesses:- Lionius Fitz Lionius de (Remesle, Henry), de Morf, Will de Evenefeud, Peter Fitz Lionius, John de Tresel, Will de Overton, Thomas de (Lutele). The words in brackets are supplied by guess. The Seal, of green wax, is the same as that of No. 2.
[57] Witnesses:- as the last, substituting John de Eton for William de Overton. Seal, as the last.


Lutley, &c.- Saving the demesne-woods of the Grantor, and suit of his Courts and Mills. Rent 10s. [58]

8. Quit-claim by the same, to Richard, son of the iast Grantee, of 4d. of the rent payable to the Grantor [59] (apparently of that reserved in the last Deed).

Gilbert, only son, as I suppose, of John Fitz Philip, would seem to have married between 1270 and 1280, as far as I can judge from the above Deeds. It is quite clear that either he and his Sisters died before their Father and without issue, or else, as I am rather inclined to believe, that they were all three illegitimate.

It is further observable in these Deeds how many of the witnesses are Tenants of the Barons of Dudley. This may have arisen from local circumstances, or possibly the Lords of Dudley had acquired some interest, immediate or reversionary, in Bobbington before John Fitz Philip's death.

WHITTIMERE, as being that member of Bobbington which lies in Shropshire, requires special notice.

The early Tenants of this Vill were probably Ancestors of a family which has come in later years to occupy much more important positions in Shropshire and elsewhere. [60]

I find an Alan de Wytemere assessed by the Regarders of Morf Forest in 1209, for a purpresture therein.

William de Witimere was a Juror on the Claverley Inquest of 1255, probably representing the Suit which John Fitz Philip owed for Whittimere to that Manor. At the same time, Agnes de Haselwalle held half an acre of purpresture in Witimere, but paid the King nothing thereon.

Later in the Century we have Geoffrey de Witimere attesting

[58] Witnesses:- Henry Lord of Morf, William Lord of Evenefield, John de Tresel, William de Perton, Thomas de Luttele, Geoffrey de Witimere, Richard Clerk.

An indorsement on this deed intimates that part of the premises were held by other Tenants. Hence probably the subsequent Quit- claim.

This Deed passed before 1280.
[59] Witnesses:- Henry de Morf, William de Evenefend, John de Tresel, John de Perton, William de Overton, John de Bradele, Thomas de Lottele.

This Deed has a perfect Seal of the Grantor. It passed after 1280.
[60] A Contributor to the Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica (Vol. III, p. 116), giving the boundaries of Morf Forest as fixed in 1300, adds the following note on Whittimere:- "Hence the families of Whitmore of Apley and of Dudmaston, Co. Salop, and the Whitmores of London".-

I have not investigated this question of derivation with any care myself; but if the Contributor to the Collectanea was, as I believe it was, Mr. George Morris, I quite adopt a conclusion which he would not state without previous examination, nor arrive at without very sufficient grounds.


John Fitz Philip's deeds. Also "Richard of the Field of Witimere" occurs about the same time.

In 1323, Joan Butetourte's Deed, already referred to, is attested by "Richard of the Mount of Wythemere".


Bobbington seems ever to have been parochially a member of Claverley. It is not quite clear what it was in Bobbington and Laiton (Leaton) which Earl Roger de Montgomery granted to Quatford College at its foundation. [61] Neither place was within Earl Roger's Fief: I therefore suppose that his Grant must have been of an ecclesiastical character, viz., glebe or tithes previously belonging to Claverley.

When or by whom a district Church was first founded at Bobbington I cannot declare. Certainly it was previous to the year 1221, when King Henry III (on behalf of the Dean of Brug as Rector of Claverley) sued John Fitz Philip under writ of Darrein presentment for the right of Advowson. Notwithstanding that the King gained the cause upon a hearing by Martin de Patshull, it appears that John Fitz Philip presented Walter de Cokesaye to Bobbington. This must have been before 1288, when John Fitz Philip died.

I have already shown [62] how in the year 1267 a double action had arisen between Walter de Cokesaye and the Dean of Brug: the former being Plaintiff in a suit of ejectment, the latter in a suit of trespass.

The suit of ejectment having come before the King at Shrewsbury in August 1267, each party recited such of the above facts as suited his case, Walter de Cokesaye also calling as a witness John Fitz Philip (Junior), who stated that his Father was always seized of the Advowson. The case was adjourned to September 10th, when it had assumed another and very natural form,- the King being apparently the Plaintiff, and John Fitz Philip Junior as well as Cokesaye the Defendants.

An adjournment to Oct. 13th, as before related, was the result, in consequence of Cokesaye's non-appearance. But on Oct. 13th it was John Fitz Philip who did not appear, and whose Manucaptors were declared to be in misericordia. His ultimate surrender of the right of presentation has before been shown.

[61] Vide Vol. I, p. 109.
[62] Vol. I, pp. 334, 335, 336, where one matter of detail will have to be corrected by the above.

QUAT. 173

Meanwhile, that is in 1255, part of the lands of the Deanery of Brug were stated to lie in Witimere; and Bobington Church was known to the Claverley Jurors as a member of the Church of Claverley, and of the Deanery of Brug. [63]

All that I can further say of this Church is of its remaining subject to Claverley. As it stood within the Peculiar Jurisdiction of Bridgnorth, I can offer no lists of its Incumbents. I doubt however whether the latter title was applicable to those Deputies of the Dean of Brug who may have served the Chapel of Bobbington. The title of "Pastor", applied above to one of these Chaplains, is perhaps significant. [64]


THE etymology of this name has already been indicated. [1] Domesday mentions Quat thus, under the lands of Earl Roger in Stanlei Hundred, Warwickshire.-

Outi holds of the Earl III hides in Quatone. Here is (arable) land (sufficient) for XII ox-teams. In demesne are IIII (such teams); and there are V Serfs, XIX Villains, and XIIII Boors, with X teams. Here is one acre of meadow; a Wood two leagues long and one league wide, and a Mill of 2s. (annual value). The former value (of the Manor) was 6. Its present value is 100s. The same Outi held it freely (in time of King Edward). [2]

Here then we have a Manor in Saxon hands, stocked beyond its requirements, and yet deteriorated in value since it came to be held under a Norman Lord.

Outi the Saxon, like others of his race, will have been dispossessed, not long after Domesday; and I suppose that Quat came to the hands of Henry I as a Manor of demesne, subject to any disposal he might choose to make thereof. His mode of dealing therewith I cannot determine from any documentary evidence; as usual therefore I offer an hypothesis, which must be tested by its own probability and its agreement with subsequent and better known events.

Of the three Domesday hides of Quat I identify half-a-hide with

[63] Rot. Hund. II, 61.
[64] Supra, p. 170.
[1] Vol. I, p. 104.
[2] Domesday, 239, a. 2.


the present Manor of Dudmaston, a hide with the Township of Quat Malvern, and a hide with the collective Townships of Quat Jarvis, Mose, and Wooton. [3] This distinction I believe to correspond with a threefold division which Henry I seems to have made of the Manor. His Grantees I further take to have been three sons of Helgot (the Domesday Lord of Stanton, and the Founder of Castle Holgate).

The three Sons in question were, I think, Herbert (the successor to his Father's Barony), Wydo, and one whose name I cannot even offer in theory, but whom I take to have been Father or Grandfather of that Philip Fitz Helgot whom we have said so much of under Bobbington.

I will first treat of Wydo Fitz Helgot's share, now known as-

QUAT MALVERN.- I can say very little of the Lord thereof, except that he attests a very ancient Charter of "Herbert Fitz Holegod" (his Brother, I suppose), which I shall give at length under Dudmaston. He also seems to have held under Henry I a hide of land in Worcestershire, but where we are not told; and thirdly, a will, written "Achiseie or "Hakiesheia", which was an appurtenance of the Royal Manor of Stottesden, and for which Wydo paid the King a fee-farm rent of 2s. per annum.

These three estates at Quat, Stottesden, and in Worcestershire, Wydo Fitz Helgot granted before the year 1127 to the Priory of Great Malvern.

Henry I, being at Hereford in 1126 or 1127, conceded and gave, inter alia, to Malvern, those two solidates of land, "that is, Acheseia, which pertains to Stottesdun, for which Wido Fitz Helgot need to render 2s. per annum of ferm". [4]-

He also concedes it to them quit of those two shillings, and of all other services, for the health of his soul.

He further concedes to them "two hides of land, altogether quit of all gelds and all other claims and assessments (querelis et scotis), whereof one is in Worcestershire, and another in Staffordshire at Quat". [5]

[3] The remaining half-hide I cannot identify. Perhaps it was annexed to Morf Forest; perhaps Dudmaston, when estimated at half a hide, does not include Lye-hall, and the deficient half- hide was there.
[4] This is not the place to investigate the aituation of this member of Stottesdon; but I ought to say that, in consequence of the King's quittance of his rent, the Sheriffs of Shropshire for ages deducted from their annual ferms a sum of 2s., in alms to the Monks of Malvern; thus- "In elemosynis constitutis Monachis de Malvern 2s".
[5] Monasticon, III, 447, II.


Another Charter of Henry I to Malvern, dated at Winchester in 1127, makes it more clear that Wydo Fitz Helgot was the primary Grantor of these two hides.- "I give them moreover", says the King, "two hides of land which Wydo Fitz Holgod surrendered into my hand, whereof one is in Worcestershire, and the other in Staffordshire by name Quat,- quit (as before), and to hold of me and my successors in capite". [6]

Quat then was, in 1127, estimated to lie in Staffordshire,- a significant hint that the present territorial divisions of Shropshire were not then settled. But it is a very remarkable fact, that three years later we have undoubted evidence that Quat was still, for some purposes, reputed to be in its Domesday County, Warwickshire.- The Sheriff of the latter gives, in the Pipe Roll of 1130, a list of those who, by Writ Royal, had been excused their quota of the Danegeld then assessed on that County. Among them the Monks of Malvern stand excused 2s. [7] That was certainly in respect of their land at Quat, [8] and in accordance with the express terms of the King's Charters above cited.

A Tenure Roll, [9] which seems from its internal evidence to have been drawn up in 1211, says that "the Prior of Malverne holds certain land in Quatte of the gift of King Henry, Grandfather [10] of King John, in perpetual alms, and its value is 1. 17s. 8d." (per annum).

At the Forest Assizes held in Shropshire in 1231, the Prior of Great Malverne was amerced one merk for some default. [11]

In 1255, the Jurors of Brug reported that the Prior of Greater Malvern held within the Liberty of Brug one hide in the vill of Quatte. They knew not of whom or by what Warranty he held it. The said Prior had also the Advowson of the Church. The Church was worth ten merks (per annum). The Prior, it also appears, was one of those who did not attend at this Inquest, as all Free Tenants within the Liberty of Brug were expected to do. [12]

[6] Ibidem, p. 448, III. I need hardly point out that at this period, when a Tenant wished to make any transfer of property, a surrender to his Suzerain was a formal mode of doing so, the Suzerain regranting it according to the said Tenant's wish. I have given an instance of this under Badger (Vol. II, p. 66). The King's share in the above almoign was the release of his own rents and dues.
[7] Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I, p. 108.
[8] Malvern Priory never held any other land in Warwickshire except Aucot, and that was not acquired till 1159 (Monasticon, III, 455, I).
[9] Testa de Nevill, fo. 257.
[10] "Avi", but read "Proavi".
[11] Rot. Pip. 15 Hen. III.
[12] Rot. Hund., II, 59.


In Easter Term 1270, the Prior of Malvern was suing Richard Hendemon (whom I have already identified as Provost of Brng in that year) and others, at Westminster, for some trespass.

In 1291, the Prior of Malvern's rents at Quatte, in the Deanery of Trysull, were returned at 1. 6s. 8d. [13]

At the Shropshire Assizes, October 1292, the Jurors of Stottesden represented how the "Abbot (read Prior) of Malvern, claimed to hold his free Court twice a year, to have assize of bread and beer, and to have wayf, and pleas of bloodshed, and hue-and-cry, in Quatte". The Prior stated in justification that his House was a Cell of Westminster Abbey, to which Henry III had granted view of frankpledge throughout all its possessions.

At the same Assizes, the Jurors of Brug said that John Fitz Philip Senior once held the whole Manor of Quatte, with the Advowson of the Church, by serjeantry (in which they were quite wrong); that at the then present time, John Fitz Philip held one half thereof, and the Prior of Malvern the other half, which, if we exclude Dudmaston, was correct.-

The Prior, they also said, had now the Advowson of the Church.

The Prior appeared by his Attorney to prove his title, which was, that his Predecessors had held half the Manor and the Advowson, in pure and perpetual alms, from time immemorial, and this he was prepared to "verify" as the Court should require. Hugh de Louther hereupon asked judgment for the Crown, "since the Prior could not deny that his share of the Manor was once held by Serjeantry, and since he had no evidence as to the point of perpetual alms", even if he were allowed his request about verification. The Prior here fined one merk to have the case adjourned to the next Parliament;- obviously that he might search his Muniments, [14] which we know must have proved his case, though I cannot refer to the sequel of this vexatious prosecution.

In obedience to the King's Writ, dated at Strivelyn, July 6, 1304, a Jury sat at Brug, on Sept. 19 following, to ascertain whether it would injure the King if he were to allow Hugh Prior of Great Malvern to regain a messuage, a Mill, and one acre of land in Quatte, which had been forfeited to the King, inasmuch as the Prior had acquired the same by gift of Roger Fitz Alan of Quatte, since the publication of the Statute of Mortmain.

The Jury found that Richard, a former Prior, had made the

[13] Pope Nich. Taxation, 257, b.
[14] Placita Coronae, Salop, 20 Edw. I, m. 20 and 37 dorso


unlawful acquisition; that the King would lose nothing more than his present seizin, by allowing the Prior to regain the premises; that Roger Fitz Alan had held the same of the Prior by a rent of 10s. and suit (every three weeks) of the Prior's Court; that the Prior had held the same mediately (i.e., over Roger and under the King) in frank almoigne; that the King's interest in the Escheat was only 2s. per annum, that being the difference between the chief rent of 10s. and the actual value. [15] The Prior in short had bought or obtained a surrender from his own Tenant, and such a purchase, under the recent statute, was illegal.

In the following year (1305), the Prior regained the Mill, and compounded his Predecessor's fault by a fine of one merk paid to the King. [16]

Quatte Malvern remained in possession of the Priory in 1534-5, when the rents and other income receivable therefrom were 3. 0s. 9d. [17]

QUAT JARVIS, WOOTON, AND MOSE.- These I suppose to have constituted that hide in Quat which King Henry I probably gave to another son of Helgot, to be held by Serjeantry. And the first Grantee I imagine to have been Father or Grandfather (most probably the latter) of Philip Fitz Helgot.

In 1165, the return of Philip Fitz Helgot as a Tenant in capite undoubtedly relates to his estate at Quat, and would seem to imply that more than one Ancestor had preceded him therein. It is as follows:-

"I, Philip Fitz Elgod, owe service of one Knight for XL days in the Castle of Sewardin (Shrawardine), as my Antecessors were wont to do". [18]

I have made frequent mention of lands held in capite by service at the once Royal Castle of Shrawardine, and how such service came afterwards in many cases to be returnable at Montgomery instead. In the case before us the Serjeantry substituted for service at Shrawardine was not that of Castle-Guard elsewhere.- In 1211, Philip Fitz Holegot was returned as a Tenant in capite, whose duty it was to find two infantry soldiers in the King's army in Wales. [19]

In 1255, the Jurors of Brug gave a full and specific account of this Serjeantry, as then held by Philip's Grandson. They said that,-

[15] Inquisitions, 32 Edw. I, No. 112.
[16] Originalia, Vol. I, p. 141.
[17] Monasticon, III, 452, and Valor Ecclesiasticus III, 238.
[18] Liber Niger, I, 148; verified from the Original.
[19] Testa de Nevill, fo. 254, also fo. 880.


"John Fitz Philip holds in Quat and Mose one hide of land, by service of providing two men at his own cost (to go) with the Lord King into Wales in time of war for forty days, one with a bow and arrows, the other with a lance; and he (John) does suit to the Hundred of Brug".

The same Jurors also reported that John Fitz Philip Junior had made purpresture of a curtilage in Wodeton (Wooton) in Morf Forest of 2d. annual value. [20]

He owed ward also at Brug Castle in war-time, but the Jurors knew not the extent of this obligation.

In tracing the history of Philip Fitz Helgot's descendants, whether under Claverley, or Bobbington, or Barlaston, we find some, as yet unexplained, association with the family of Corbet of Hadley. [21] This appears still more strongly in Quat, where Edelina, Widow of that Roger Corbet of Hadley who died in 1259, was resident in 1270.

In Easter Term 1270 and Easter Term 1271, she appears as Plaintiff in a suit or suits against Henry de la Porte, Richard Tyrry, William de Baggeshore, Richard de Wrottesleg, Roger son of Roger de la More of Brug, Alan de Eudon, Hugh de Mose, and many others, whom she accused of coming vi et armis to her house at Quat, breaking open the doors, and doing other damage to the extent of 10.-

There is no Record of the Defendants' appearing or pleading to the charge, so I am unable to give further particulars. The Plaintiff was, I believe, Sister and, in her issue, Coheir of John Fitz Philip (II), then Lord of Quat.

At the County Assizes, October 1292, the Jurors of Stottesden presented John Fitz Philip as exercising in his Manor of Quat the same privileges as the Prior of Malvern was questioned for. The result does not appear. But the Jurors of Brug reported, under the title "Serjeantries", that John Fitz Philip Senior ("Senex") once held the Manor of Quat with the Advowson of the Church in capite; that the gross value was 20. (per annum); that he held it by Serjeantry of finding two foot soldiers, one with bow and arrows, and one with a lance, to convoy the provisions (vittualia) of the King from Brug to Shrawardyn as often as the King happened to go into Wales; that now John Fitz Philip held half the said Manor, and the Prior of Malvern the other half. The inaccuracy of this was corrected by John Fitz Philip's statement, who, in reply, said

[20] Rot. Hund. II, 59.
[21] Vide Vol. I, p. 100, for the descent of Corbet of Hadley.


that his Ancestors had held half the said Manor from time immemorial, and by the said Serjeantry, and that he had performed the said service, nor was any part thereof in arrear; and hereof he cited the Record of the Rolls of the King's Marshal, and offered one merk to have respite till next Parliament, Thomas Corbet being his security. [22]

Thomas Corbet was, I think, his Nephew.

In 1305, "John, son of John Fitz Philip", gave the King a Fine of 40s. to have license to enfeoff Roger de Lee, Clerk, in a moiety of the Manor of Quatte. [23]

The object of this was to avoid the future Fine of his intended Successor here, and Roger de Lee was only Feoffee in Trust.- But the whole of the process is worth giving.-

On January 16, 1305, the King had ordered an Inquest to ascertain what injury would result to the Crown if license were given for the proposed transfer, it being understood that Roger de la Lee, as soon as he had seizin of the premises, should transfer them to John Fitz John Fitz Philip and Sara his wife for their lives, with remainder to Johanna, daughter of John de Wauton.

The Inquest, which was held at Quat on Feb. 4, 1305, found that the premises were held by Serjeantry of providing one Archer with a bow, an arrow, and a caltrop (tibulo), to escort the King from Brug to Shrawarthyn &c.;- that the annual value of this moiety of Quat was 12.; and that John Fitz John would, after the proposed alienation, have no other lands in Shropshire. It was further found that the King would suffer loss by the proposed transfer in this way.- If John died seized, the estate would ordinarily descend to two coheirs, viz., to Roger, son and heir of Thomas Corbet, and to Johanna, daughter and heir of John de Wauton, of both of whom the King would have the custody and marriage, [24] by reason of their tenure in Quat, whenever any minority of an heir should happen. So, on the whole, the King would lose one wardship by the proposed settlement, viz., that of Roger, son and heir of Thomas Corbet. [25]

[22] Placita Caronae, 20 Edw. I, m. 20 and 37 dorso.
[23] Originalia, I, 141.
[24] It is not meant that the King would have custody, individually, of Roger and Johanna, the then heirs expectant, for one of them was of full age before 1305. It is meant that all minorities among their descendants would be the King's.
[25] Inquisitions, 33 Edw. I, No. 186. Indorsed on the King's Writ is the following memorandum, showing the rights of the Borough of Brug in respect of making return to such Writs:- "This Writ was returned to the Bailiffs of the Liberty of the Vill of Bruges, who have return of all Writs, and who make reply, as appeareth in the Inquest attached to this Writ". The Jurors are Roger Bonami, Richard de Vascon, Nicholas Rondulf, and other persons connected with the Borough. (Compare Vol. I, pp. 308, 310, 318).


It appears that for the fine of 40s. already quoted, the King gave John Fitz John the desired license.

The conveyance was effected by Final Concord made at Westminster on May 2, 1305, wherein "Roger de la Lee Clerk is complainant, and John Fitz John Fitz Philip of Bubyngton, with Sarra his wife, are Deforciants of a moiety of Quat, whereof was plea: John acknowledges the right of Roger, who concedes the same to John and Sarra,- to hold of the King for their lives, with remainder to Johanna (as proposed),- to be held by her and her heirs, of the King. And", it is added, "this Concord was made by precept of the King". [26]

I conceive that John Fitz Philip (II) survived this settlement but a very short time, and that he died without lawful issue, son or daughter. He was the last male representative of the younger branch of the house of Helgot. The elder branch thereof had failed in the male line more than a century before.

The Coheirs of John Fitz Philip (II) have never, I believe, been pointed out by Genealogists; much less has their degree of consanguinity been ascertained.

It is certain however that the said Coheirs were Joan de Wauton and Roger Corbet of Hadley, and it is almost certain that they were Great Niece and Great Nephew of John Fitz Philip (II);- Grandchildren that is of his Sisters, * * *, and Edelina.

With Roger Corbet we have no concern at present, but this is the place to make clear whatever is known of the descent of Joan de Wauton.-

It will be remembered that on the death of John de Wauton, Lord of Masham (Yorkshire), in 1230, the wardship of his infant heir was granted to John Fitz Philip (1). [27] This heir, a second John de Wauton, had a very long minority; in fact he was still under age in 1244, that is, six years after his Guardian's death. However there can be little doubt that his marriage was secured for one of the said Guardian's daughters, but what was her name I cannot declare. Neither can I say more of her husband, John de Wauton (II), than that he appears to be the person named in five

[26] Pedes Finium, 33 Edw. I, Salop No. 145. Indorsed on the Fine is this.- Et Rogerus filius Thome Corbet apponit clamcum suum;- signifying, I presume, that the other Coheir expectant sunk his claim.
[27] Supra, p. 164.


several writs of Military Summons which issued between the years 1277 and 1283. [28] Between the latter year and 1290 he seems to have died, leaving a third John de Wauton his son and heir.

In 1290 then I find notice that the homage of John de Wauton and Margaret his wife was accepted by the Crown. [29] I also find that in that year an Inquest was ordered to ascertain whether John, son of John de Wauton, or Gilbert de Clare, was owner of the Manor of Waldingham (Surrey), which had been seized into the King's hand. [30]

The result of that inquiry is not pertinent to our present subject. I proceed therefore to state that this John de Wauton (III) being, as I suppose, Nephew and Coheir expectant of John Fitz Philip (II), enjoyed a great part of his said Uncle's estates during that Uncle's life. Such transfers to an heir were not uncommon at the time. The Estates which John de Wauton thus received were those of Bernoleby, Waltham, and Wathe, in Lincolnshire; and it was doubtless in respect of his possession thereof, that under the name of John de Wawton he was in the year 1300 returned as one of those who, holding 40. of rents and lands in the County of Lincoln, were liable to the Military Summons, which enjoined a Muster at Carlisle on June 24 against the Scots. [31]

John Fitz Philip (II) be it remembered, was still living. So was he also living in 1304, when John de Wauton (III), his presumed Nephew, died.

Three Inquests on the death of "John de Walton", as he is called, sat at Houton (Norfolk), Waltham (Lincolnshire), and Masham (Yorkshire), on June 6, July 9, and July 18, 1304. They respectively reported his tenures in Northpikenham, in Waltham, Bernolby, and Wathe, and in Masham and its adjuncts. The lands at Northpikenham, said the Norfolk Jurors, were held conjointly by the deceased and his wife Margaret, under feoffment and gift of Maria de Neville. The name of John de Walton's daughter and heir was Joan, and her age in 1304 was fourteen years. [32]

We now see how it was that in February 1305, Johanna, daughter, of John de Wauton, was secured in the reversion of Quat by John Fitz Philip (II) being already one of his expectant Coheirs.
[28] Parliamentary Writs, I, 891.
[29] Harleian MSS. 1982, fo. 51, b.
[30] inquisitions, 18 Edw. I, No. 109. The Tenure of Wauton of Masham, under De Clare Earl of Gloucester, has already been indicated on a different occasion (Supra, p. 164). It was not Masham which was so held.
[31] Parliamentary Writs, I, 898.
[32] Inquisitions, 32 Edw. I, No. 33.


Her subsequent marriage to Hugh de Hepham, and the death of the latter in 1319-20, have aheady been detailed.

In the year of her husband's death (1319-20), "Johanna, daughter of John de Wauton", sold Waltham, Bernolby, and Wathe, by Royal License, to Geoffrey le Scrope. [33] Almost surely one of her heirs sold Masham to the same Geoffrey, who thus obtained its distinctive title of "Scroope of Masham" for the Baronial House which he founded.

Of her Manor of Quat, Johanna made another disposition, but in the same year (1319-20); for then Robert de Wauton (probably her Relation) paid five merks for the royal license to receive the same from "Johanna, widow of Hugh de Hepham". [34]

I cannot say how Quat passed from Robert de Wauton to a fourth John de Wauton. The latter however was seized thereof in 1328, when, on March 23, the King orders an Inquest to be taken as to a proposition entertained by the said John, of enfeoffmg Richard de Welles in the same;- to hold to the said Richard and his heirs of the King in capite.

The Jurors, assembled at Brug on August 8 following, declared that the proposed transfer would not injure the Crown;- that the Manor was held by serjeantry of providing one footman with a bow, a bolt (petilio), and an arrow, to convoy the King's stores (vitilia) from Bruges to Shrewardyn Castle. The annual value of the Manor they said, was 10. A carucate of sandy land, a water- mill, and eight merks of rents, were its chief constituents. The proposed Feoffor had no other lands in Shropshire. [35]

That Richard de Welles thus became Lord of Quat, and that he was probably of kin to the Wautons, appears by another inquisitio ad quod damnum, ordered by Writ of Dec. 16, 1332, and held at Brugge on Jan. 18, 1333.

The Jurors found that the King would suffer no loss by a proposition of Richard de Welles, viz., that he should give a messuage, six acres of land, and four merks rent in Quatte to a Chaplain and his Successors, who should celebrate divine services in the Church of Quatte for the souls of the said Richard, of Joanna de Wauton, and of their ancestors. The King, added the Jurors, would lose custody of so much land &c. on the decease of any Lord of Quatte. The Manor they stated to be held in capite, by service of rendering

[33] [34] Originalia, 251.
[35] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. III (2nd Nos.), No. 96. This John de Wauton is he who, in 1327, was holding Masham under Moubray (Inquis. 1 Edward III, No. 87).


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


at the Exchequer yearly, by hand of the Sheriff, one Bow without a string. The residue, remaining to Welles, would suffice for the discharge of all customs and services. [36]

Another Writ Royal, dated October 7, 1341, shows Richard de Welles proposing to enfeoff Henry de Mortimer in his Manor of Quatte, to hold to Henry and his heirs of the King in capite, so however as that Henry, as soon as he had seizin, should grant the same to Richard for life, with remainder to Hugh de Mortimer and Margaret his wife for their lives, and with remainder to the right heirs of Hugh de Mortimer. Pursuant to this Writ, an Inquest held at Quat on Oct. 24, 1341, reported the proposed transfer to be uninjurious to the Crown, the Manor to be worth 10. per annum, the Serjeantry to be by providing a foot soldier with one bow and two arrows &c. (according to the older statement), and Richard de Welles to have no other lands in the County. [37]

Doubtless this transfer ultimately took effect, but I should explain that Henry de Mortimer, ostensibly only a Trustee in the above matter, was in fact the eldest son and heir apparent of Hugh de Mortimer of Chelmarsh, the first Reversioner under the proposed sett1ement. [38] Richard de Welles seems to have died seized of Quat in 1357; Henry de Mortimer died before his Father Hugh, and the latter died in 1272, but the Inquest on his death does not set forth his seizin of Quat.

However Quat was one of those estates which, after the death of Hugh de Mortimer, were seized into the King's hands by reason of the idiocy of William de Mortimer, Hugh's Grandson and heir. Consequently, on William's death in 1391, his estates so seized were found to have been Chelmarsh and its member of Sutton (held of the Earl of March), Quatte (held of the King), and a meadow (held of Hugh de Dudmaston). Moreover the Manor of Lye-Hall (held of Hugh de Dudmaston), the Manor of Aston juxta Caus (held of John Mouthe), certain rents in Hempton and Sutton, members of Chelmarsh, were part of William de Mortimer's

[36] Inquisitions, 6 Edw. III (Second Numbers), No. 49.
[37] Inquisitioss, 15 Edw. III (Second Numbers), No. 32; Originalia, II, 150.
[38] This Relationship becomes more apparent in a Fine levied of Chelmarsh, in Easter Term 1344, where Hugh de Mortimer Senior conveys to Henry de Mortimer and Richard de Welles his interest in that Manor, as of his gift to both, but as the right of Henry only. Henry and Richard restore it to Hugh for life, with remainders- first, to Henry son of Hugh, and the heirs of said Henry by Elizabeth his wife; next, to the heirs of Henry himself; next, to Hugh (Junior), Henry's brother, and his male heirs; and so on to James, Edmund, Thomas, Roger, Johanna, and Margaret, Brothers and Sisters of Henry, as marked in the Pedigree (p. 44). Vide Inquisitions, 6 Hen. VI, No. 51, where the said Fine is cited.


inheritance, which had not been seized into the King's hands so early, but only on the death of Elizabeth, widow of Henry, William's Father, which Elizabeth had enjoyed them for life by grant of Hugh, her deceased husband's Father. [39]

These details furnished a part of that Pedigree of Mortimer which I have already given. [40] How the family became possessed of Lye Hall, I cannot say. Certainly it was no portion of the estate of Richard de Welles.

Again, on the death of Sir Hugh de Mortimer, who was killed at the battle of Shrewsbury (July 21, 1403), he was found to have held Quatte in capite at the time of his death, but Chelmarsh, Lyehall, and other estates he had conveyed to Trustees during his life. [41]

Again, John de Cressi Senior, Cousin and heir of Hugh de Mortimer, dying in 1407-8 (as I now find) was possessed of two- thirds of Quat; [42] and Petronilla, widow of Hugh de Mortimer, dying in 1423, was seized of the remaining third. [43] The heir to all three portions was at that period John de Cressy Junior, whose elder brother Thomas had died in infancy.

With him I may quit a subject which has already tempted me far beyond my usual limits.


This Manor, constituting a part of the Domesday Quatone, and still within the Parish of Quat, I suppose to have been granted by Henry I to Herbert Fitz Helgot, of whose Barony it thenceforward became a Member.

Herbert again, during the time of Henry I, enfeoffed one of his Norman Retainers here. The Charter which records this act is still in existence, [44] and is perhaps the earliest original document of its class which I shall ever be able to cite in illustration of the Manorial History of Shropshire. I therefore give it unmutilated by a translation, and only trusting that I resolve its contractions rightly, and read certain letters of very ancient form with accuracy.

"Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Herebertus filius Holegod dominus Castri dedi et concessi et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi Harlewyno de Butailles [45] pro homagio et servicio suo

[39] Inquisitions, 16 Ric. II, No. 46.
[40] Supra, p. 44.
[41] Inquisitions, 4 Hen. IV, No. 28.
[42] Inquisitions, 9 Hen. IV, No. 13.
[43] Inquisitions, 6 Hen. VI, No. 51.
[44] In possession of W. Wolryche Whitmore, Esq. of Dudmaston, who obliges me by allowing the annexed Facsimile of the Charter to be lithographed.
[45] Bouteilles was a Vill in the Vicomte of Arques and the Archdiocese of Rouen.


unam dimidiam hydam terrae quae vocatur Dodemanestum quae se extendit a vado de Quatford usque ad Ludebroc versus Alvithelegam et inde ascendendo usque ad stratam regalem quae dividit terram illam a terra de Nordlega et inde per certas metas et divisas iterum usque ad vadum de Quatford, et preterea tres virgatas terrae in Possethorne, Silicet [46] illas quas Osbertus et Andreas et Swein et Nicholaus et Galfridus et Elyas quondam tenuerunt. Habendu et tenendas de me et de heredibus meis sibi et heredibus suis cum omnibus pertinentiis suis sicut melius et liberius eas tenui. In feudo et hereditate libere et quiete bene et pacifice integre. Inveniendo pro me semel in anno ad sumonicionem domini Regis si guerra fuerit inter dominum regem et Norwalliam servicium unius militis infra Comitatum Salopiae ad custum [47] ad servicium domini regis per xl dies pro omnibus serviciis sectis vel demandis. Ego vero Herebertus et heredes mei predictam dimidiam hydam terrae et predictas tres virgatas terrae cum omnibus pertinentiis suis predicto Harlewyno et heredibus suis contra omnes homines warantizabimus; et quia volo quod haec mea donacio rata et stabilis permaneat in perpetium [48] Sigilli mei inpressione hoc presens scriptum coroboravi. Hiis testibus Race Normanno, Wydone filio Holegod, Odone de la Boude, Richerio de Dun et multis aliis".

This deed passed certainly before the death of Henry I (1135), probably before 1127. [49] The proof and the probability are these.- Dudmaston was accounted a fee of old feoffment in 1165; that is, the then tenant or his Ancestor had been enfeoffed before the death of Henry I. Again we have seen, under Quat Malvern, that Wydo Fitz Helgot had parted with all his interest in this neighbourhood

[46] [48] Sic.
[47] Here the word suum seems to be omitted.
[49] I have before stated (Vol. p. 162) that there were reasons against aasigning so early a date to this Charter. The reasons are, the introduction of the formulas "habendas et tenendas" and "hiis testibus", and of a Clause of Warranty.

At one time I was guided in these matters by certain rules (which I supposed to be generally received among Antiquaries) for estimating the dates of Charters by their phraseology.

My own experience, and Mr. Hardy's able Introduction to the Charter-Rolls of King John, have since taught me that there is very little which can be said dogmatically on the subject; and Mr. Hardy gives two actual cases where the formulas "Habendum et tenendum" and "Testibus hiis" were used in Stephen's reign.

I have before alluded to this question (Vol. II, p. 169), and shall probably have again to do so; for the truth is, that, instead of grounding deductions on former theories, our business in this matter is to collect materiala for forming theories themselves.

We have very few Manorial Deeds of Henry I's time; so few, that when we do happen to meet with such a document, we do not recognise its date at once, having no direct analogy to guide us.


before 1127;- therefore it is unlikely that at any later period he should appear in this way as a witness.

I shall not here undertake any connected account of the Lords of Castle Holgate, but proceed with that of their Tenants at Dudmaston. In 1165, Herbert de Castello, son, I believe, of Herbert above mentioned, returned his Shropshire Barony as consisting of five Knights' fees of old feoffment. Of these fees one was held by Herlewin de Dudemanneston, evidently the original Feoffee, or his Son. Thus were Norman names and the proofs of Norman origin forgotten and buried on acquisition of English estates.

Eighty years now elapse in which I have nothing positive to offer as to the succession of the Lords of Dudmaston. [50]

In October 1287, Peter de Dudmaston was one of thirteen Shropshire Knights who met the King at Worcester to try a particular issue, arising out of a great cause then depending between Henry de Audley and Giles de Erdinton.

In or about 1240, this same Peter was returned as holding one Knight's fee in Dudemaneston, under Thomas Mauduit, the then Baron of Castle Holgate. [51] About the same time he was one of twelve Knights appointed to value the Manor of Worfield. [52]

Within ten years of this time I find mention of a Robert de Dudmaston, [53] who, though probably a son of Peter, was not, I think, his heir. Peter was deceased in or before 1249; for in Michaelmas Term of that year, Sibil, his Widow, was suing many Tenants of the estate for small parcels of land which she claimed as dower. Eleven acres in Dudmaston held by Roger Fitz Hugh, a Mill held by Master Walter le Palmer, six acres held by William Miller, a measuage held by Hugh Master, a messuage and half-virgate held by Warin de Letton, an acre held by William Buth, ten acres held by Henry Cointrel and Peter his Son, an acre of meadow held by the same Henry, and an acre held by the same and Henry de Arle;- these were the premises in which Sibil required her thirds:-

She named Robert de Dudmaneston and Philip de Benethal her

[50] A Robert Fitz Herlewin occurs on the Worcestershire Pipe Roll of 1182, but under circumstances which do not identify hirn. He had fined 40s. "to have recognition about the seizin of his Uncle (avunculi) in certain land and rent in Ambreslega". (Ombersley).

Possibly, too, there was a Walter de Dudmaston at the close of the Century.
[51] Testa de Nevill, pp. 46, 48, 50.
[52] Inquisitiones Incerti temporis Hen. III, No. 166. (Vide supra, pp. 111, 112).
[53] Vide Vol. II, p. 172.


Attorneys for an adjourned hearing of her cause, [54] but I do not find the result.

Under the name Peter, in the above extract, the name Hugo has been coevally written, and then cancelled.- The confusion was probably between Sibil's deceased husband and that husband's heir, whose name was, I think, Hugh.

In Michaelmas Term 1253, I find William Mauduit and Hugh de Dudemoneston arraigned before the Queen in Council for a trespass on the forest-rights of Walter de Clifford. They did not appear, but it was stated, apparently in Hugh's defence, that he was an Esquire (Armiger) of William Mauduit. [55] The latter was Lord of Castle Holgate at the time.

At the Assizes of January 1256, Hugh de Dudmaston appears under circumstances which doubtless mark him as Lord of the Manor, but which, as they chiefly affect a particular part thereof, I will mention under a separate head.

At the same time, Robert de Dudmaston again appears in the lower position which I have already assigned him.

In 1270, Hugh de Dudemaston was Defendant in two suits of novel disseizin for tenements in Dudemaston.

In the first the complainant was Leticia de Dudemaston; and Hugh's associates in the defence were John le Somenur and Henry Chaplain of Worfield: in the second, Henry Coynterel was the Plaintiff. [56]

At the Assizes of October 1272, Hugh de Dudmaston occurs as Chief-Bailiff of Munslow Hundred, and his conduct in that office exposed him to some complaint by the Jurors of Ludlow in the Inquisitions of 1274. [57]

The way in which Dudmaston had been separated from the Liberty of Brug in 1274 has already been noticed. [58]

On Nov. 12, 1279, Hugh de Dudmaston and one whom I take to be his wife concur in a settlement of their estate on themselves for life, and with remainder to three persons, whom I suppose to have been their children;- but I give the substance of the document itself,- viz., a Fine levied at Westminster between Robert de Dodemanston, Complainant, and Hugh de Dodemanston and Mabel de Castle-Holegod, Deforciants,- of one messuage, two carucates

[54] Placita apud Westm. 33 and 34 Hen. III, m. 16.
[55] Placita coram Regina, 37 and 38 Hen. III, m. 9 dorso.
[56] Patent, 54 Hen. III dorso.
[57] Rot. Hund. II, 99.
[58] Supra, Vol. I, p. 310.


of land, and 60s. rent in Dodemanston, whereof was plea of convention. Hugh and Mabel acknowledged the right of Robert as of their gift. Robert conceded the premises,- to hold to Hugh and Mabel, under Robert and his heirs, of his body, for the lives of said Hugh and Mabel; rendering therefore one merk yearly, and doing all capital and other services. The premises, after decease of Hugh and Mabel, to revert to Robert and his heirs, of his body, to hold of the Lords of the Fee. In default of such heirs, remainder to Hugh, Robert's brother, and his heirs, of his body. In default of such heirs, to Royese, Sister of Robert, and her heirs. [59]

About 1280, Hugh de Dudmamentioned, as I have before mentioned, [60] was Constable of Brug Castle, and seems to have been yet living in 1292.

Meanwhile, that is on January 20, 1289, his wife Mabel having apparently deceased, he made a slightly different settlement of his estate. The Fine in this instance purports to be between Robert, son of Hugh de Dudemaneston, Complainant, and Hugh de Dudemaneston, Deforciant, of the same premises as before,- adding a mill, ten acres of meadow, ten acres of pasture, and ten acres of wood, whereof was plea of Convention. Hugh recognizes the right of Robert, to hold to Robert and his heirs of the Lords of the Fee. Robert is to pay Hugh ten merks per annum for life,- Remainders as before, except that the estate of Hugh, Robert's Brother, is for life only, and not to his issue. [61]- Probably he had taken Holy Orders.

Hence, when (in an Inquisition taken at Castle Holgate, May 28, 1295, as to the estate of Philip Burnel, late Lord of that Barony) we find that Robert de Dodemonston was holding certain land thereof by service of one Knight's Fee, the annual value of which was 5. 6s. 8d., [62] we have a lucid statement as to the continued tenure of Dudmaston, but do not know whether Hugh, Robert's Father, was still living or not.

On Sept. 19, 1304, Robert de Dudmaston was second Juror on the Inquest noticed under Quat-Malvern: but before Feb. 1, 1305, he was deceased, and the King's Writ of Diem clausit extremum ordered that account should be taken of his estate, seeing that he held of the Heir of Philip Burnel, then a Ward of the Crown.

[59] Pedes Finium, 7 Edw. I, Salop.
[60] Supra, Vol. I, p. 289.
[61] Pedes Finium, 17 Edw. I, Salop. A comparison of subsequent dates makes it probable that this Fine was levied on the marriage of Robert, Hugh's eldest Son.
[62] Inquisitions, 22 Edw. I, No. 45, d.


The Inquest, taken at Bruges on April 17 following, states that the deceased had held two-thirds of the vill of Dudmaston of the aforesaid heir, by service of a Knight's Fee. His rents receivable from John Fitz Philip, Hugh de Underdon, and the Prior of Brug-Hospital, amounted to 2. 7s. 5d. His Son and next heir was named Hugh, and he was fifteen years of age on August 15 previous. [63]

Hugh de Dudmaston, thus proved to have been born on August 15, 1289, occurs as witness of a local Charter on Nov. 5, 1313. On October 24, 1322, he is himself Grantor in a Deed, whereby "Hugh Lord of Dodemonston grants to John atte Pyrie, Bercar, for a sum of money, a messuage in Dodemonston lying between the road which leads to the Grantor's Mill and the field called Sevarnesfield; also some other small parcels of land"? [64]

Again, on Dec. 9, 1322, "Hugh Fitz Robert Lord of Dodemonston gives to William le Walkare and Johanna his wife, for a sum of money, six seylions in Alton-field, with pasture for three beasts and thirty sheep, where the Grantor's other free Tenants have common". [65]

On June 9, 1326, Hugh Fitz Robert, Lord of Dudmaston, gives to Sir William le Forcer, Knight, for a sum of money, all his lands and tenements in Dodemanston, with woods, pastures, reliefs, escheats, &c., and all his lands in Nordleye and Astleye:- to hold of the Chief Lords of the Fee, to the same William and his heirs for ever, by services due thereon. [66]-

This Deed, whatever its import, does not seem to me to have worked the eventual dispossession of the Grantor or his heirs; for I find Hugh Lord of Dodemastone standing first witness to a Manorial Deed which passed at Dudmaaton on August 6, 1331. [67]

[63] Inquisitions, 33 Edw. I, No. 24.
[64] Charter at Dudmaston. Walter de Gatacre is the first witness. The others shall be named amongst the Under-tenants of this Manor.- A Bercar is a Shepherd (Berbicarius).
[65] Charter. Ibidem. John de Uptone and Walter de Gatacre are among the witnesses. The Seal is charged with the figure of a Stag.
[66] Charter ibidem. Witnesses:- John Crouke and John Rondolph, Provosts of Brugge; William de la Hulk; Walter de Gatacre, Roger le Power; Thomas, son of Simon de Alvetheleye; Roger de Astleys. Dated at Dudmaston.
[67] Charter ibidem. A feoffment in trust is at this period often represented by a pair of Deeds, one of which might very possibly run in the terms given in the test. But it sometimes happens that the Counter-Deed declaring the uses of tbe Trust has been destroyed; and so we not only lose the purport of the whole transaction, but are apt very widely to misunderstand it.



Robert de Shireford was a Clerk or Bailiff for Thomas de Erdinton, Sheriff of Shropshire. As such he was cited in 1218 by the Barons of the Exchequer, to account on behalf of his deceased employer. [68]

I cannot associate Robert de Shireford with Lye Hall by any direct evidence. He was clearly the person of whose injustice the Burgesses of Brug were complaining at the Assizes of 1221, as already stated. [69}

A Fine was levied at Westminster on May 2, 1232, between Mabel, Widow of Richard Kene, Plaintiff, and Thomas de Shereford, Tenant, of a third of a carucate in Legh, which Mabel claimed as dower, and whereof was suit at law. Mabel now relinquishes her claim; for which Thomas gives her three acres in Legh, lying upon Ludebroc, to hold for life by way of dower, with remainder to himself. He also pays her six merks in money. [70]

At the Inquisition of 1255, Thomas de Syreford was one of the Tenants within the Liberty of Brug who was not in due attendance. [71]

The Fine above quoted is curiously supplemented by a cause tried at Salop Assizes in January 1256. [72]-

"Susanna atte Legh, with Alice and Matilda, her Sisters, sue Thomas de Schireford for one-third of a carucate in Legh, which they claim as their right, and wherein Thomas hath no ingress save by intrusion, which he made therein after the death of Matilda atte Legh, [73] who held the same in dower of the gift of Richard Fitz Fulco, [74] her former husband and Grandfather of the three Plaintiffs, who assart themselves to be his heirs". The Defendant's plea was an allegation of the Plaintiffs' illegitimacy, a matter which, as usual in such cases, was left to the investigation of the Diocesan Court, and the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry was to certify the result by Letters Patent.

At the same Assizes, Hugh de Dodemanston sued Thomas de Shyreford for a whole carucate, except three acres in La Legh; but the parties accorded, and "had their Cyrograph". [75]

[68] Memoranda, 2 Hen. III.
[69] Supra, Vol. I, p. 801, where his name is written Shineford.
[70] Pedes Finium, 16 Hen. III, Salop.
[71] Rot. Hund. II, 59.
[72] Assize Roll, 40 Hen. III, m. 15. This suit is entitled "Clamium " in the Record. I suppose that it could not be tried under the more usual and appropriate form of a suit of Mort d'ancestre, because the premises were within the liberty of Brug.
[73] Identical with Mabel, the Recognizor in the previous Fine.
[74] Identical with Richard Kene in the same Fine.
[75] Assizes ut supra, m. 8 dorso.


The Fine thus indicated is preserved.-

It purports to be levied at Salop on January 20, 1256, between Hugh de Dudemaneston, Plaintiff, and Thomas de Shereford, Tenant, of one carucate in La Leghe, whereof was Plea. Hugh acknowledges the right of Thomas, for which the latter pays him thirteen merks. An indorsement on the Fine states that "Robert de Dudemaneston apposes his claim".

This Fine seems to have been preparatory to another, levied, apparently on the same day, between "Hawyse de Shyrinton Complainant, and Master Thomas de Shyreford, Deforciant, of one messuage and one carucate in La Legh, whereof was Plea of Convention. Thomas acknowledged the right of Hawyse, whereupon the latter made the following settlement. She conceded the premises to Thomas for his life,- to hold of herself for her life;- rendering one merk per annum in the Church of Quatte, and performing, for Hawyse, all services to the Lord of the Fee. After death of Thomas, the premises to revert to Hawyse for life,- rendering one halfpenny rent to Thomas's heirs, and performing all capital services.- On Hawyse's death, remainder to Ralph her son, and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten;- to hold under the heirs of Thomas, by the same rent and services.- Similar Remainders to Richard, William, and Robert, brothers of Ralph, in succession,and in default of bodily heirs of each in turn. The heirs of Thomas shall warrant the premises to Hawyse for life, and then to Ralph, Richard, William, and Robert", aforesaid. [76]

Hawyse, here named, was, I think, the Sister of Master Thomas de Shyreford, and by the name of Shireford she was occasionally called. She was with less doubt, the Widow of William de Scherinton, [77] and as such fines in 1258 for a writ of pose in relation to some suit then in progress. [78]-

This suit we probably have further notice of in the Roll of Hilary Term 1259, when Hawyse de Sheryngton appears in the Courts at

[76] Pedes Finium, 40 Hen. III, Salop.
[77] Hawyse, daughter, and Beatrice, Widow, of William de Shirinton, occur June 25, 1257, and appear to have been resident in Buckinghamshire (Fines, Vol. II, p. 259). Probably there is some error in this.
[78] Rot. Pip. 43 Hen. III, Salop. Nova oblate. This Roll is for two years, in the first of which the Fine seems to have been proffered, viz.- Hawis qua fuit uxor William de Scherinton dat 1 marcas pro habendo pone.-

The writ of Pone I take to be a Writ ordering a change of jurisdiction in any pending Suit, e.g. from the County Court to the Justices of the King;- or from the latter to Westminster or to the King's Council. Thy Writs respectively would begin Pone coram Justiciariis &c.,- or Pone apud Westmonasterium &c.,- or Pone coram nobis &c.


Westminster as impleading Susanna Fitz Richard, Matilda her Sister, Ichenard le Mercer, and Alice his wife, for one-third of a carucate in Long Shireford (read Legh Shireford) as her right. View of the premises was ordered by the Court, and the case adjourned to the morrow of Ascension Day. [79]

Later in the same Term I find Matilda Atte-Leg, Ichenard de Brug, and Alice his wife, making Susanna, the Sister of Matilda and Alice, their Attorney in the suit which they had against Hawys de Shyreford concerning dower. [80]

Here, though the suit is incorrectly described as one of dower, we have no difficulty in recognizing the parties thereto under their change of name; and it is obvious that the three Sisters, Susanna, Alice, and Matilda, were the same who, as Grand- children of Richard Fitz Fulco, had three years before sued Thomas de Shireford for the same premises, and who, though then their legitimacy was in question, had since proved it, and were now in possession.

The loss of Records prevents my following this subject as I could have wished. I must therefore be content to say what else I find of its other branches.

In March 1259, special Justices are appointed to try a suit of novel disseizin, wherein Master Thomas de Shireford had impleaded Thomas le Turnur, his wife Susanna, and others, concerning a tenement in Legh Shireford.

Again, in October of the same year, Justices are appointed to try a suit of novel disseizin, which Thomas Forster and Susanna his wife had against Hugh de Dodemanston concerning a tenement in La Leye. [81]

A long period now elapses, in which I find nothing relating to this member of the Dudmaston estate. I cannot discover the Fine whereby Matthew, Rector of the Church of Roshale (probably only a Trustee), is said to have enteoffed Henry de Mortimer of Chelmarsh and Constance his wife conjointly, in certain tenements in the Lye Hall, held under Hugh de Dodmaston. [82]

However, as I have before stated, the said Henry held the same in tail at the period of his death (October 1317). We further know that his son Hugh settled the Manor of Lie-hall on Elizabeth, the wife of his son Henry; that it afterwards constituted part of the estate of William de Mortimer, the Idiot; and, lastly, that a

[79] Placita, Hilary Term, 43 Hen. III, m. 20.
[80] Ibidem, m. 44.
[81] Patent, 43 Hen. III dorso. Thomas le Turnur is identical with Thomas Forster.
[82] Supra, p. 42.


settlement in trust of the Hamlet of Lyehalle was made by Hugh, Brother and Heir of the said William. It does not, like Chelmarah and Quat, appear to have lapsed to De Cressi.

SOME OTHER UNDER-TENANTS, or Connections of the Lords of Quat and Dudmaston, I must notice in order of their occurrence. The names most prominent are Dudmaston, Euledon (or Wheldon), and le Someneur.

Robert de Quatte was assessed under Regard of Morf Forest in 1209.

In 1255, Ralph de Mose and John his son have already occurred. [83]

In 1262, John Burel of Quat, Richard, son of Robert de Mose, and Henry Geri of Mose are on the List entitled "Essonia Mortis" in the Forest Assizes of that year: Adam Sprot and Geoffrey Geri are Essoignors; Geoffrey Geri and William de Quatford of Mose are fined for vert.

The injuries which two Brothers, Richard and Philip de Dudmaston, received at the hands of the Under-Sheriff of Shropshire in 1273-4, have already been detailed. [84]

Was this Richard the same person as Richard de Dodemoneston who was Bailiff of Pimhill Hundred in September 1272? If so, his own extortionate conduct was matter of complaint at the Inquest of 1274. [85]

On Feb. 11, 1275, William de Euledone was on a Jury at Astley.

On Sept. 19, 1304, Hugh le Somenour and William de Euledon were on a Jury at Brug. On April 17, 1305, Hugh le Somyneur of Mose, Henry le Fremon of Mose, and William de Eweldon, sat on another Jury at Brug.

On Nov. 5, 1318, Bertram, son of William de Egweledone, grants to William le Forcer, Knight, two-thirds of a Messuage and virgate in Dodemonston, with reversion of the lands which Christiana Boghan then held in dower, all which he (Bertram) had of the gift and feoffment of Thomas, son of John le Taylour of Brug;- to hold of the chief Lords of the Fee. [86]

On Oct. 24, 1322, William de Egweledon occurs as a landowner in Dudmaston, and attests a Dudmaston deed with Emeric le Taylour and Hugh le Cartere.

[83] Vol. I, p. 306.
[84] Vol. I, pp. 287, 288.
[85] Rot. Hund. II, 105.
[86] Charter at Dudmaston.- Witnesses: Sir Walter de Huggeford, Thomas de Beyseyn, Knights; John de Asteleye, Symon de Alvitheleye, Hugh de Dodemonston. The Seal is charged with Buck's head caboshed, and a cross patonce over. An Indorsement spells the Grantor's name "Wheldon".


December 9, 1322, Henry Queyntrel (Cointrel), and William de Eweldon occur as having been or being Tenants in the Manor. The latter is also a witness with Emeric le Taylour.

Aug. 6, 1331, Henry le Kyng of Dodemastone grants to William Fuller a parcel of his Cartilage. Witnesses: Hugh Lord of Dodemastone and William de Eweldon.

On Feb. 23, 1343, Richard de Welles, Lord of Quatte, grants to Hugh le Carter of Dudmaston, for a sum of money, the messuage which he (Richard) had by demise of William, son of William le Walkare of Dudmaston, in the vill of Dudmaston; also the reversion of three acres which Matilda, Widow of Richard de Eweldon, then held in dower. Witnesses: Roger le Pouwer, William de la Hulle, Walter de Hadleye, Giles le Pouwer, William de Eweldon. [87]


The first notice which I have of a Church here was probably much later than its Foundation. I have already stated how in 1255 it was valued at ten merks per annum, and was in the gift of the Prior of Malvern.

The same Valuation is given in 1291, for this Church, as situated in the Staffordshire Deanery of Lapley and Trysul, and the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. [88]

In the Inquisition of 1341, I find no other allusion to this Parish than that which has already been given. [89]

In 1534, John Savage being Parson of Quatt, his preferment, in glebe, Easter dues, offerings, great and small tithes, was valued at 15. 18s. 6d. per annum. The charges thereon were a Pension of 20s. payable to the Prior of Malvern; 2s., each third year, payable to the Bishop of Chester; and 11s. 8d., for procurations, payable to the Archdeacon of Stafford. [90]

The Prior of Malvern makes a separate acknowledgment of his Pension: which is also noticed in the Ministers' Accounts of 1542-3, [91] as an asset of the dissolved Priory.


HUGH DE DUDDEMANESTON, Parson of Quat, has a Protection, 22 Edw. I (1293-4). [92]

[87] Charters at Dudmaston.
[88] Pope Nicholas Taxation, p.243.
[89] Supra, Vol. I, p. 116. The Inquisition for Staffordshire is a mere fragment.
[90] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 101, 241.
[91] Monasticon, III, 464.
[92] Prynne, III, 599.


RICHARD DE BRISTOL, Clerk, was instituted June 28, 1304, on Presentation of the Prior and Convent of Great Malvern. He paid the Bishop five merks for first-fruits. He has license, Dec. 13, 1307, for two years' non-residence for the sake of study, and respite meanwhile from taking further Orders. The Church became vacant Nov. 28, 1308.

WILLIAM DE WOLVARDELE, Subdeacon,- instituted March 20, 1309, on resignation of the last Rector, and on Presentation of the Prior. He resigned July 7, 1325.

THOMAS DE LYES, Priest,- admitted Aug. 8, 1325, on a similar presentation. He has a year's dispensation on the same day. He resigned Sept. 15, 1326.

ROBERT LE HONT, of Northleche, Clerk;- admitted Oct. 8, 1326, on the same Presentation. He has two years' dispensation (for sake of study, being an Acolyte), dated Feb. 4, 1327; and a further dispensation for three years, dated Oct. 19, 1330. On April 7, 1334, being a Priest, he has license of absence till Michaelmas.

On Nov. 29, 1341, as Sir Robert le Hunte, Rector, he exchanges the Rectory of Quat for that of Etone super Wayam (Hereford Diocese) with-

MASTER JOHN HUBAND. On Aug. 1, 1348, this Rector has a year's license for non-residence. He died April 80, 134,9.

JOHN DE FLOXLEYE, Clerk, was admitted May 12, 1349.

JOHN SLOUTRE, Rector of Quat, has license for a year's study, dated Feb. 7, 1357; [93] and in 15 Ric. II (1391-2)-

SIR SIMON, Rector of Quat, is mentioned. [94]


THERE is hardly a Saxon word associated with agricultural matters which we do not find used in composition to indicate a locality. Two instances of this come now nearly in succession before us- Romsley and Shipley. The former was originally Rammer-leaz, the latter Sceper-leaz,- the district of the Ram and of the Sheep.

Domesday notices both as in Stanlei Hundred, Warwickshire. Of Romsley it says,

[93] Lichfield Registers, passim.
[94] Blakeway's MSS.


"Walter holds of the Earl (Roger de Montgomery) I hide in Rameslege. Here is arable land (sufficient) for VII ox-teams. In demesne there is I (team); and (there are) II Serfs, VII Villains, and VII Boors, with III teams. (There is) a wood, one league long by half a league wide. The old value of the Manor was 30s. (per annum); its present value is 40s. Achi held it freely" (in time of King Edward). [1]

Having nothing pertinent to say of Walter, Earl Roger's Domesday Tenant here, I proceed to observe, that his relative position is found at all subsequent periods to be occupied by the Barons of Richard's Castle. Romsley thus became a member of the Fief which these Barons held in capite of the Crown.

Again, the Tenants of the Barons of Richard's Castle at Romsley were the successive Representatives of a Knightly race called Puer, or Le Poer, but whose name is found written with numberless other variations. [2] This family held largely under the See of Worcester; and an attempt to trace its origin and branches would involve me to an unreasonable extent in the History of another County.

Suffice it then here to say, that Hugh Puher, who in 1165 held two and a half Knights'-fees wider the Bishop of Worcester, [3] was probably Osbern Fitz Hugh's immediate tenant at Romsley.

Hence in 1167, when Alan de Nevill, holding an Assize of the Forest in Staffordshire, inflicted a fine of half a merk on the Vill of Romsley, the place is entered upon the Record as Rameslea Hugonis. [4]

I have seen cotemporary mention of Hugh le Puhier in more certain connection with Shropshire affairs; but of that elsewhere. In 1176, the King, having held Pleas of the Forest in Worcestershire, had amerced Hugh Puher in a sum of twenty merks. [5]

Between the years 1186 and 1190, a Charter by Hugh de Say (then Baron of Richard's Castle), in favour of Matilda, daughter of John Puher, of Bispestune, is attested by Roger le Puher and William his Brother; [6] but I cannot affirm that either of the latter persons was Mesne Lord of Romsley.

Such, more probably, was Sir Walter le Poer, one of the four Knights who, in Easter Term 1200, were concerned as Jurors in a trial which I have mentioned under Nordley. [7]

[1] Domesday, fo. 289, a. 2. Terra Rogerii Comitis, Warwicsire.
[2] Its modern representative is the name "Power".
[3] Liber Niger, I, 174.
[4] Not. Pip. 13 Hen. II, Staffordshire.
[5] Rot. Pip. 22 Hen. II, Worcestershire.
[6] Haughmond Chartulary, Tit. Coderugge.
[7] Supra, p. 157.


About 1211-12, Roger Poher is formally returned as holding one Knight's-fee in Ramesleye and Eseberge, Salop, of the Honour of Richard's Castle. [8]

In 1231, Roger le Pohyer occurs in a matter which associates him with Shropshire, and with other knightly Tenants of the Fief of Richard's Castle. [9] Cotemporarily there occur in Worcestershire a Roger and a John Poher, both evidently of knightly degree.

In 1255, William le Poer was Mesne Lord of Romsley, as will appear presently.

In 1274, Roger le Peuer is returned as holding one fee in Baggeshovere and Rumisley, of the Barony of Richard's Castle, and the value of the Tenure is estimated at 12. [10]

On Aug. 15, 1287, Roger le Pouer is returned as having held the (joint) Manor of Rommesley and Baggeshovere, of 12 annual value, by service of one Knight's-fee, under Robert de Mortimer, late Lord of Richard's Castle. [11]

In 1292 and 1294, John le Power is mentioned as Mesne Lord of Romsley in the Inquisitions on the deaths of Bishop Burnel and his Nephew Philip.

On March 11, 1307, Leo de Rommeslegh is returned as having held Romsley and Badger by one Knight's fee, under Matilda, the lately deceased Widow of Hugh de Mortimer of Richard's Castle. [12]

Again, on the death of Edward Burnell in 1315, Roger le Pouwer is named as Mesne Lord of Romsley.

Thus far of the somewhat obscure succession of those who are presumed to have held Romsley immediately under the Barons of Richard's Castle.

THE UNDER-TENANTS of Le Poer were at one time persons of the same name, and probably a younger branch of the family. As however I can give no genealogical or connected account of this branch, I shall only put down in order of time such notices as I have of all Under-Tenants indifferently.

At Salop Assizes, October 1203, Ralph de Ramesleg essoigns himself by William de Ramesleg in a suit of mort d'ancestre which Richard Fitz Fulco had against him. The cause was adjourned to Worcester, and heard there. It was as to whether Fulco, Richard's

[8] Liber Ruber Scaccarii, fo. cxlv. I cannot say what place is meant by Eseberge. Badger was, as I have said, associated in some unexplained way with Le Poer's tenure of Romsley. Perhaps Eseberge is, in the above, a mistake for Begesore.
[9] Rot. Pip. 16 Hen. III, Salop. De placitis forestae.
[10] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. I, No. 58.
[11] Ibidem, 15 Edw. I, No. 30.
[12] Ibidem, 1 Edw. II, No. 59.


father, died seized of a virgate in Ramesleg which Ralph Fitz William held. The latter questioning the Plaintiff's Legitimacy, the usual reference was ordered to the Bishop of the Diocese. [13]

We have heard of Richard Fitz Falco, under Lye Hall, and how his Grand-daughters' heirship was questioned fifty years afterwards on similar grounds. [14]

The cause above mentioned was still unsettled in Michaelmas Term 1206, when, at Westminster, Ralph de Ramesleg essoigns himself in the Plea of Bastardy which he had against Richard Senell. [15]

It was at length settled by fine, levied at Westminster, Oct. 6, 1207, between Richard Fitz Falco, Plaintiff, and Ralph Fitz William, Tenant, of one virgate in Rammesle, whereof was recognition of mort d'ancestre.- Ralph acknowledged the right of Richard, and the latter conceded a quarter of the premises to Ralph, excepting the capital messuage, saving also small parcels in the fields of Sandstiele and Estfield, and the wood called Castelgrene, and in the field called Coldray, and a messuage, late Robert Clarembald's, without Coldray. Ralph and his heirs are to hold of Richard and his heirs by service of 18d. rent, and by doing all foreign services which attach to the said quarter of a virgate. [16]

Again this Fine was disputed or disregarded; for, in Michaelmas Term 1213, I find Ralph Fitz William essoigned by William Fitz Ralph, in a Plea of Fine levied (de placito finis facti), which the former had against Richard Snel. [17]

At Shrewsbury Assizes, November 1221, Robert le Franceis being dead, a suit of mort d'ancestre, which he had arraigned against Richard de la Vestene and Agnes his Mother, concerning a virgate in Remesleg, was postponed. [18] However, I find elsewhere what I doubt not to be a settlement of the matter:- On Nov. 12, 1221, Agnes Fitz Robert, being Plaintiff against Richard Fitz John and Agnes de Wascon, concerning half a virgate in Ramesleg, remits her right to Richard and Agnes, and the heirs of Richard, for which the latter paid her 10s. [19]

In Michaelmas Term 1240, Edith de Remesle sued Geoffrey le Poer, for disseizing her of a third part of a virgate in Remesle.

[13] Salop Assizes, 6 John, m. 1 and 6.
[14] Supra, p.191. I should obeerve that Richard Fitz Falco, Richard Kene, and Richard Snel, are one person.
[15] Placita, 8 John, Michaelmas Term, m. 21 dorso.
[16] Pedes Finium, 9 John, Salop.
[17] Placita apud Westm. 15 John, m. 8.
[18] Salop Assizes, 6 Hen. III, m. 4 dorso.
[19] Pedes Finium, 6 Hen. III, Salop.


Geoffrey alleged his feoffment by Richard le Archer and Margery his wife, in a whole virgate in Remesle, and explained that Walter Bunibrok, Edith's son, having formerly been Tenant-at- Will under Archer, of all the land, had, since Geoffrey's feoffment, fined with said Geoffrey, that he might hold half thereof of him, at the old rent of 8s. The Jury found as follows:- that Richard le Waleys, who formerly held the land in fee, made it over to William Bunibrok, Walter's father, as Tenant-at-Will, at 8s. rent; that John, son and heir of Richard le Waleys, continued that arrangement; and that, on John's death, his three Sisters and heirs gave the land to Richard le Archer with Margery his wife. Again, on William Bunibrok's death, his son Walter fined with Archer, that he might hold the virgate at the old rent. Walter, finding that his Mother and he could not dwell together, subsequently made over to her a third of the premises. But when Geoffrey, the present Defendant, became enfeoffed in the land, he seized the whole, and had since leased half thereof to Walter Bunibrok, at the old rent of the whole (8s.). Edith hereupon acknowledged the title of Geoffrey, for which Geoffrey conceded to her a third of the land, to hold for life, at the rent of a third part of 8s. [20]

A Fine was levied at Gloucester, July 15, 1241, between Geoffrey le Poer, Plaintiff, and Richard le Archer and Margery his wife, Defendants (impedientes) of two virgates in Ramesleg, whereof was Plea of Warranty of Charter. The Defendants acknowledged the Plaintiff's Right as of their own gift;- to hold of the Lords of the Fee. They and the heirs of Margery were to warrant the premises. The Plaintiff (or, in other words, the Purchaser) paid them twenty merks. [21]

In Trinity Term, 1250, we are again reminded of a former Tenant of Romsley; for Agnes, Widow of Richard Suel, is then a Suitor at Westminster against Laurence de Anneford, for her dower, viz., a third part of a carucate in Remesleg. The Defendant asked View thereof, and so the Cause was adjourned. [22]

In 1255, the Jurors of Brug reported that John le Poer held Remesle, which contained a hide and-half, under William le Poer, by service of providing one-fifth of a Knight's-fee for the said Sir William; and he (John) did suit to the Hundred of Brug. [23]

[20] Placita, 24, 25 Hen. III, Mich. Term. m. 34 dorso.
[21] Pedes Finium, 25 Hen. III, Salop.
[22] Placita 34 Hen. III, Trin. Term, m. 21. Richard Snel, Agnes' husband, was probably second of his name. His Father's Widow is called Mabel or Matilda in 1232.
[23] Rot. Hund. II, 59.


At the County Assizes of January, 1256, Geoffrey le Poer occurs as a Juror of Grand Assize.

October 21,1259, a special Commission issued to certain Justices, to try a prosecution, wherein John de Estleg (Astley) was suing Lyonius, Parson of Kinver, about a stank, injuriously erected by the latter in Romesleg. [24]

Here is the clearest notice which I have met with of the individual usually called Lyonius de Romsley; and who, though a Clerk, was apparently possessed of a good estate, and whose secular habits are still more strongly indicated by his being Father of two Sons, who appear on very many public occasions. It is not quite clear to me how many of this name came in succession; I can only therefore put down names and events in the same order as I find them.

"Leulinus, son of Leulinus", was Under-Sheriff to Hamo le Strange, and under that name and capacity was, in 1276, presented by the Jurors of Offlow Hundred (Staffordshire), for two acts of tyranny. [25]- Now, Hamo le Strange had the Counties of Stafford and Salop committed to him on August 10, 1268, and the Castles of Salop, Brug, and Montgomery, on Nov. 22, 1268. He was supplanted in his Custody of the Counties on June 4, 1264, and ordered to give up the Castles on August 24, and again on December 20th, of the same year.

I have before pointed out the certain illegality and the probable inefficiency of these last orders. I have also shown how Hamo le Strange appeared at the account of Michaelmas 1267 as the recognized Sheriff of that and several preceding years. [26]

Leonius, son of Leonius de Romsley, was therefore Under-Sheriff between the years 1268 and 1267, and at that critical period was perhaps also zealous in the same political cause which was so warmly espoused by his Superior. Hence, I suppose, came those subsequent marks of distinction which seem to have eclipsed the suspected irregularity of his birth.

In 1269, the King allowed Leoneus de Romesleg to impark his wood of Horwood within Kinver Forest. [27]

[24] Pat. 48 Hen. III, dorso.
[25] Rot. Hund. II, 116.
[26] Vol. I, p. 284-286.
[27] Pat. 53 Hen. III. The Grantee may possibly have been the Father of the Sheriff, but it does not follow from the way in which the name is expressed.

An Inquest had been held at Kinver, in July, 1268, to ascertain the injury, if any, which the King's Forest would suffer by the contemplated enclosure (Inquisitions, 52 Hen. III, No. 23). The report was favourable. It may serve to indicate the date of several Deeds quoted above, under Bobbington, if I give the names of some of the Jurors on this occasion. They were Hugh de Wrottesley, Henry de Morf, Richard de Evenefeud, John son of Adam de Lutteley, Geoffrey de la Broke, Thomas de Lutteley, William de Overton, and John de Tresel. (Vide supra, pp. 169-171).


Still following events with reference to time rather than persons, I should here state, that at the County Assizes of Autumn 1272, John de Romeslegh (whose real name was, I think, Le Poer) officiated as a Juror of Stottesden Hundred. Also William, son of Walter de Overton, sued Peter, son of "Leoninus de Remesleg", for two messuages and a virgate in Remesleg, saying that Peter had no ingress therein except by the disseizin which Walter, William's Father, had wrought upon said William. Peter obtained sentence, on the ground that Walter had enfeoffed him. [28]

John le Poer occurs as a Juror of Stottesden Hundred on Nov. 30, 1274, and on an Astley Jury, Feb. 21, 1275. About this time too he is a witness of more than one undated Deed as John le Poer, or John le Pouwer, de Remesle.

In the Shropshire Assessment of the tax of the Fifteenth, levied in 1275, the name of Leonine, son of Leonine, occurs;- I think, as having been intrusted with part of the receipts. [29]

In 1277, "Leonius, son of Leonine", and Richard de Wyco, had received 60. from the Sheriff of Shropshire, by order of the King. They account for the expenditure of that money in the Kings's affairs. [30]

In 1286, there seems to have been an Inquest as to the propriety of allowing Leonine, son of Leonine, to assart twenty acres within the Manor of Kinver. [31]

Leonine, son of Leonine de Ramesle, served as Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire from May 3, 1286, till about June 1288. His office probably determined with his life; for in the latter year I find an order to the Escheator citra Trent to seize into the King's hands, the lands and tenements which had belonged to Leonine Fitz Leonine, deceased. [32]

In 1307, however, another Leo de Romesley has already occurred to us, as Mesne-Lord of this Manor. How he acquired it, or anything

[28] Assizes, 56 Hen. III, m. 10.
[29] Foreign Roll. Sub anno 3 Edw. I.
[30] Rot. Pip. 5 Edw. I, Salop. Mr. Blakeway's list of Sheriffs of Shropshire (page 7) gives Lyamis (perhaps Lyonias) de Romersleg as Sheriff in 2 Edw. I (1274), and John Baril as Under-Sheriff. On what authority this statement rests we are not told. It is not only unauthorized by, but quite incompatible with, the statement on the Pipe Roll of 3 Edw. I (1275), which contains the accounts of two years.
[31] Calendar of Inquisitions, Vol. I, p. 92, No. 65. The original is now lost, but its nature is almost obvious.
[32] Originalia, 16 Edw. I, m. 16.


else concerning him, I cannot say, except that he appears on an Inquisition at Brug on March 23, 1310. Meantime, Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was making acquisitions in Romsley. In January 1290, a Fine was levied between the said Bishop, Complainant, and William de Bueles, Deforciant, of half a messuage, 54 acres of land, and 12d. rent, in Remmeslegh, whereof was plea of convention. William gave up the premises, to be held by the Plaintiff, of the Lords of the Fee. The Bishop is said to pay him for this with a Sore Sparrow-Hawk. [33]

Again, in January 1291, another fine was levied of the same premises, evidently in consequence of the former Deforciant's title being found imperfect. He was, in fact, only Tenant for life. This second fine is between the Bishop and William son of William de Bueles, and of the same premises, which, says the Record, "William de Bueles holds for life, by Law of England and of the inheritance of William, son of William aforesaid". The Deforciant now renounces his claim, after his father's death, the Bishop again being said to give a Sore Sparrow-Hawk. "This Concord was made in presence of William de Bueles (Senior), who allowed it, and surrendered the premises". [34]

Hence the Inquisition, on the death of the Bishop in December 1292, says, that he held "34s. rent in Romesleye of John le Power, by service of 2s. and of one pound of cumin", such being, I suppose, the chief-rent due on his previous purchase.

A similar statement was made on the death of Philip Burnell, the Bishop's heir; and in 1315 the Estate of Edward Burnell, deceased, in Romeslegh, is defined as a messuage and virgate held of Roger le Pouwer. [35]

I condude this subject of the Under-tenants of Romsley with mention of Giles and Hugh le Poer, who occur on local Juries in September 1304 and February 1305; also of Hugh le Pouer, who is similarly employed at Bruges on April 17, 1305; and of Giles le Poer, similarly employed March 23, 1310.


Romsley is in the Parish of Alveley, and the Chapel which once existed here was consequently an affiliation of Alveley Church, and subject to that Prebend of St. Mary Magdalene of Bridgnorth, to which the Mother Church belonged. Hence a notice of the year

[33] [34] Pedes Finium, 18. 19 Edw. I, Salop.
[35] Inquisitions, 21 Edw. I, No. 50; 22 Edw. I, No. 45, c.; 9 Edw. II, No. 67.

204 RUDGE.

1255, already quoted, [36] which calls Romesleg (meaning the Chapel thereof) a Member of Alveley Church.

Of course, under these circumstances, we can expect to find no connected notice of any Incumbents or Chaplains of Romsley. The officiating Priest was probably at no time more than a mere Deputy, employed or removed at will of the Cotemporary Prebendary of Alveley.

The situation of this Chapel can still be identified by the remains of its foundation and of the encaustic tiles which once formed its floor. Two Stones, part of the head of a doorway, are still to be seen, built into the wall of an adjacent stable. They are carved with the zodiacal signs Leo and Sagittarius, and probably belonged to a series of twelve such stones.


THIS name is derived from the Saxon word Hpycz,- a ridge.

Domesday, still enumerating the Earl of Shrewsbury's Manors in the Warwickshire Hundred of Stanlei, says as follows

"Radulphus holds of the Earl V hides in Rigge. There is arable land (sufficient) for VII ox-teams. In demesne there is one team, with I Serf, and (there are) III Villains and IIII Boors with II Teams. Its former value was 60s., now it is worth 40s. per annum. Edric held it freely (in time of King Edward) of Earl Leuric". [1]

Of Leofric, Saxon Earl of Mercia, I have said something already, under Chetton and under Claverley. [2] I have also noticed, under Eudon George, how and why Ralph de Mortimer of Wigmore became ordinarily the Successor of Edric Forester. [3] Here we have another instance of the fact, as well as a hint as to who that Edric and Radulfus were whom Domesday so summarily points out as successive Lords of Rudge.

Mortimer's continued Seigneury here will become further apparent

[36] Vol. I, p. 121.
[1] Domesday, fo. 289, a. 2, Warwicscire.
[2] Supra, Vol. I, p. 166; Vol. III, p. 63, note 3. Here we observe how the Warwickshire Domesday refers to an antecedent state of things, earlier than that contemplated in the Surveys of Shropshire or Staffordshire;- for Earl Leofric died August 31, 1057. (Vide supra p. 63, n. 3).
[3] Supra, pp. 48-50.

RUDGE. 205

by what I shall have to say of his Tenants, for I must still postpone my account of the Barons of Wigmore.

The next notice which I have of Rudge marks its proximity to the Royal Forest of Morf. The Justices of the Forest, visiting Staffordshire in 1188, fined the vill of Rugge half a merk for an oak-tree which had been felled without license. [4]

In June 1194, William de Ruge, apparently a Knight, was one of the four Visors appointed to ascertain the validity of an essoign, in a case often alluded to before. [5]

At Michaelmas 1197, William de Rigge is mentioned as having fined one merk, that the suit which was between him and Geoffrey de Ledewie might be carried into the King's Court. We shall presently see the family of Ledwich concerned in Rudge. William de Rigge's fine was not fully paid till A.D. 1200. [6]

At the Forest Assizes, in March 1209, I find William de la Rugge fining half a merk, that the farm-building (boveria) which he had erected on his own land at Sutton might not be removed. [7]

About this time William de Rugge was a Benefactor to Haughmond Abbey. He gave the Canons 12d. rent, which Richard Ornath of the Heath paid for certain land. This he did for the souls' health of himself and his wife Mabel. [8]

Eudo de Rugge, who has already occurred to us about 1227, [9] was probably of this place.

In or about 1240, Geoffrey de Ledwiz is said to hold a Knight's fee in Ruge under Mortimer of Wigmore. [10] Of him I shall have future occasion to speak, under Ledwich and Abdon. His interest at Rudge seems to have been transitory, perhaps owing to the following difference which occurred between his son, another Geoffrey, and Roger de Mortimer.-

In Michaelmas Term, 1253, that Baron is suing Geoffrey de Ledewyz, "that he should perform customs and services due on the free tenement which he holds of him in Rugge, as in Homages and

[4] Rot. Pip. 34 Hen. II, Staffordshire.
[5] Supra, p. 87.
[6] Rot. Pip. 9 Ric. I, and 2 John, Salop.
[7] Forest Pleas, 10 John, m. 1. If a person had land within jurisdiction or regard of a Royal Forest, he could build nothing thereon without special license: he could not even fence his crops, so as to prevent the entry of Deer.
[8] Chartulary, fo. 176. Tested by Roger de Bechesoure (Badger), Richard de Ruton, Robert de Gatacre, Thomas de Esheleg, and Richard le Sauvage.-

I have no evidence as to the continuation of this right of Haughmond Abbey. Perhaps it is involved in the summary accounts of their estates in Claverley, Alveley &c., elsewhere quoted.
[9] Vol. II, p. 71.
[10] Testa de Nevill, p. 45.

206 RUDGE.

Reliefs". The Defendant not appearing, the Court ordered him to be bound in better Sureties, and to appear in Easter Term following. [11]

At the Assizes of January 1256, I find that Nicholas de Rugge was a Juror for Brimstree Hundred.

September 15, 1257, a cause of novel disseizin had been arraigned by Nicholas de Rage against Ralph Basset of Drayton, concerning a tenement in Ruge. [12]

Nicholas de Rugge appears on the Shropshire Pipe Roll of 1258, as fining half-a-merk "to have an assize". It was obviously for the Plea just set forth.

Though Rudge would, on some grounds, appear to have been accounted in Brimstree Hundred at this period, its state in ordinary will have been extra-hundredal. It was, in short, one of those Manors whose Suit had been attracted to the King's Court at Claverley; and after that arrangement was broken through, it and Shipley were annexed to Stottesden Hundred. Claverley and Whittimere however, which lie South of Rudge and Shipley, and so cut the two latter off from any other Stottesden Manor, have now fallen to Brimstree Hundred. The causes of these anomalies are very ancient, and will appear in our further account of Rudge.-

Before October 1272, Nicholas de Rugg was deceased, and at the Assizes then held, the Claverley Jurors represented how his Son and Heir William was then a Minor, in ward to Roger de Mortimer (of Wigmore); how also Nicholas de Rugg used to do Suit twice a year to the King's Court of Claverle till seven years since, when said Roger withdrew the Suit, whereby the King was damaged to the extent of 1s. per annum.

The seven years thus indicated bring us to a period two months later than the Battle of Evesham.

It was unquestionably the loyalty and power of Mortimer which had decided the fortune of that day; and one mode in which he remunerated himself for his services was by various encroachments on the prerogative of the Crown and the rights of other subjects.

At the Inquisition of 1274 the Claverley Jurors renewed their complaint about Roger de Mortimer's withdrawal of the Suit of Shipley and Rudge from the Court of Claverley, and how the King

[11] Placita, 37 Hen. III, Mich. Term, m. 9 dorso.
[12] Pat. 41 Hen. III, dorso.- The concern of Ralph Basset of Drayton, in these quarters may not be apparent to a Shropshire Reader. He was Lord of Pattingham (Staffordshire), of which, parochially, Rudge is a member.

RUDGE. 207

thereby lost the penalties arising from minor transgressions in those Manors. [13]

In 1288 the Prioress of St. Leonard of Brewood had recovered seizin against William de Rugge of a right of common pasture pertaining to her free tenement in Rugge: but now, William having redisseized her, the usual writ issued to the Sheriff of Shropshire. [14]

On October 26, 1291, Benedict de Rugge sat on a Jury at Bridgnorth, but I do not think that he was Lord of the Manor.

I have mentioned under Claverley several matters which concerned William Lord of Rudge, at the Assizes of 1292. The Claverley Jurors also showed how Suit of their Court had been withdrawn, twenty-seven years before, by Roger de Mortimer to his Manor of Cleybury. The Sheriff was hereupon ordered to summon William Lord of Rudge, and Edmund de Mortimer, son and heir of Roger.

Mortimer's plea appears to have depended on that Charter of Henry III which exempted Cleobury and Chelmarsh, with their members, from all Suits of Courts.

Hugh de Louther, the King's Attorney, here asked that judgment should be given, whether this Charter, made to a different person (personae extranese) from the actual Defendant (William de Rudge), should prevent the King now reigning, from recovering the aforesaid Suit, since William de Rudge could not deny that Henry III had been seized of the said Suit.

The Court decided that the parties should have sentence at Lichfield on the Quinzaine of Hilary (Jan. 1293). [15] I find nothing more of this.

Meantime, that is at Shrewsbury in October, the King prosecuted Edmund de Mortimer under two distinct Writs of Quo Waranto. The first [16] was as to his right of holding Pleas of the Crown, and having weyf in Shepple, Ruge, and thirty other Manors.

To save a future reiteration of this question as regards other Manors, I will here detail what took place concerning Shipley and Rudge.-

Edmund de Mortimer pleaded in his justification, Henry III's Charter to his Father, which exempted Cleobury (Mortimer) and Chelmarsh, with all their members and appurtenances, from tallages, suits of County and Hundred, and other Customs belonging to the King. Being asked whether he himself held the Vills which he called members of Cleobury, he said that they were held of his

[13] Rot. Hund. II, 90.
[14] Originalia, Vol. I, p. 59. For the penalties of Redisseizin, see Vol. II, p. 323, note.
[15] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, m. 39.
[16] Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 675.

208 RUDGE.

Father, Roger, when the said Charter issued, and that said Roger then had the Seigneury (dominium) [17] and service of the said Vills, and so Edmund himself now had the same. Hugh de Louther here objected that the King's Charter extended to nothing, except what Roger de Mortimer held in demesne (in dominico), [18] and that Shipley and Rudge &c. were not so held. Specially, with regard to Shipley and Rudge, he added, that they were not members of Cleobury Mortimer, and as to that issue, he appealed, on behalf of the Crown, to a Jury. The Jury found upon oath, that they were members of Cleobury Mortimer, in which I suppose that the said Jury was altogether wrong, though their Verdict seems, so far, to have settled the matter.

The King's other Writ of Quo Waranto against Edmund de Mortimer was, as regarded Shipley and Rudge, to question his right of withdrawing the Suit thereof from the King's County of Salop and the King's Hundred of Brimstree (Brunestrete). It happened that Sir Peter Corbet of Caus had just been impleaded by the Crown for a host of similar withdrawals, and had questioned the law of the prosecution on technical grounds, and with success. Edmund de Mortimer availed himself of this, and challenged the King's Writ against himself as similarly invalid. The Crown Prosecutor replied as in Corbet's case, and the Judges decided similarly, viz., that, whereas it was competent to the King to have sued Mortimer under a writ more in accordance with the common law than the one now adopted, the Defendant should be dismissed sine die, as regarded the present Writ, and that the King's right should be reserved &c. (that is, if he should choose to prosecute under another form). [19]

At the Assizes of 1292, Sarra, Prioress of St. Leonard's of Brewood, sued William Lord of Rugge for disseizing her of a right of common in an acre of pasture at Rugge. William pleaded- first, that the pasture was in Claverley, not in Rugge; secondly, that the Prioress was his Tenant, and that he had only availed himself of the Statute, which allowed him to improve his estate provided sufficient common were left to his Tenants elsewhere. The Jury found that the pasture was in Rugge; that it was a Royal acre, and contained more than ten acres; that if the Prioress had had access to other pasture every year, such as she had to this every third year, she would have enough; but that owing to William's having

[17] [18] We may here mark the essential difference between the two words dominium and dominicum.
[19] Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 681.


enclosed this acre, and keeping it closed two years out of three, she had no such sufficiency. William was therefore in misericordia.

At the same Assizes, William de Rugge impleaded the same Prioress and others for destroying his boundary-fence in Rugge; but the Defendants had a Verdict. [20]

An Inquisition held at Shrewsbury Feb. 10, 1305, found William de Rugge to have held of Edmund de Mortimer, then deceased, by service of one Knight's-fee. [21]

In March 1316, William de Rugg was returned as Lord of Rugg, in Stottesden Hundred; [22] but when the Manor came to be so annexed I cannot determine. In that Hundred however it still remains.


WULFRIC SPOTT, the munificent Founder of Burton Abbey, is said to have given lands thereto in Remesleage, Sciplea, and Suthtune. [1] Those places, which are mentioned consecutively in his Will, have not, I believe, been otherwise identified than as Romsley, Shipley, and Sutton (near Claverley);- all in Shropshire. This matter belongs to the very beginning of the eleventh Century, and the statement is by no means invalidated by the absence of corroborative testimony. The aera is too ancient to expect such tests; and we must be content to say that, if the grant was originally made, we find no evidence of Burton Abbey maintaining any such interest in Shropshire.

The Warwickshire Domesday notices this Manor next to Rudge, and in the following terms: [2]-

"The same Radulfus holds of the Earl (Roger de Montgomery) I hide in Sciplei. There is (arable) land for III ox-teams. Here are II Villains, and there is one quarentine [3] of oaks, in length and

[20] Salop Assizes, 20 Edw. I, m. 18 and 2.- I do not know how the White Nuns of Brewood first acquired their estate at Rudge. They retained it till the Dissolution, and in 1535-6 it was represented by an annual rent of 16a. 8d. (Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 193).
[21] Inquisitions, 32 Edw. I, No. 63, b.
[22] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 398.
[1] Monasticon, III, 38, 39.
[2] Domesday, 239, a. 2.
[3] That is an oak-wood, a quarentine square. The Quarentine was equivalent to the furlong, or 40 perches. Twelve Quarentines went to the Leuga.


in breadth. The Manor is worth 5s. (per annum). Alsi held it freely in time of King Edward".

In the twelfth century, there is much probability that Shipley was held under Mortimer of Wigmore, by a branch of that family of Savage which I have said so much of under Eudon George.

In April 1200, Richard Salvage, a Knight and Juror in the cause of Grand Assize, mentioned under Nordley Regis, [4] was, I doubt not, Lord of Shipley. The same person attests the Charter of William de Rudge to Haughmond Abbey, which I have set forth and assigned to an early part of the thirteenth Century.

We are told, and perhaps truly, that one Robert le Salvage gave Shipley to Adam Malveisin, a scion of the House seated at Mavesyn Ridware, in Staffordshire. [5] This will have been before the year 1240, when it is certain that Adam Mauveisin was holding a third part of a Knight's Fee in Shiple, under Ralph Mortimer of Wigmore. [6]

Adam Malveisin's Succession at Shipley seems to have been for a time interrupted; but whether in consequence of some minority, or other more substantive cause, I cannot say.-

Though one Adam de Schipleg sat as a Juror on the Claverley Inquest of 1255, that Jury returned William de Mortimer as Lord of the Vill. The said William "held hide in Schipleg, in the Manor of Claverley, by service of doing suit to the Court of Claverley thrice in a year, and (oftener) in the way of afforciament if a King's Writ, ordering any trial, was before the Court". [7]

In what relation this William de Mortimer [8] stood to the then Baron of Wigmore I will not venture here to say. At the Assizes of January 1256, the Claverley Jurors presented him as a Defaulter in due attendance.

Between Adam Malveisin of 1240 and Roger Malveisin, a Minor of 1272, there came one Robert Malveisin, father of Roger; and I

[4] Supra, p. 167.
[5] Shaw, I, 171. Shaw makes Sir Adam Malveisin to have been the eldest son of Sir Henry Malveisin, Lord of Mavesyn Ridware. Shaw thinks that Sir Adam died in his Father's lifetime, without issue, so that Sir Henry waa eventually succeeded by his second son, Sir Robert. This is entirely apocryphal; indeed the whole of Shaw's amount of this descent is not only not borne out by the evidences which he himself quotes, but is in many instances contradictory thereto, and at variance with other testimony.
[6] Testa de Nevill, p. 45.
[7] Rot. Hund. II, 61. The words are:- per servicium sectandi Curiam de Claverleg ter in anno, et per afforciamentum si breve domini Regis est ibi ad placitandem.
[8] He is sometimes said to have been of Chelmarsh, but that I cannot suppose.


am inclined to think that the said Robert's Tenure followed that of William de Mortimer.

At Michaelmas 1259, Robert Mauveysin (probably a young man) was owing the King half a merk of gold, which fine he had proffered in the previous year, that his obligation to take Knighthood might be respited. [9]

At the Assizes of September 1272, the Claverley Jurors reported that Robert Mauvesyn (father of Roger, then under age, and in ward to Roger de Mortimer) used to do suit to the King's Court of Claverley twice per annum, till seven years back; that Roger de Mortimer had now withdrawn the suit of Scipleg, to the loss of the King of 1s. per annum.

The sequel of this question of Suit has been detailed under Rudge, where, mutatis mutandis, may be found the whole of what transpired in regard to the cognate tenure of Shipley.

In October 1292, Henry Mauveysin was that Lord of Shyppeley who stood side by side with William Lord of Rudge in the said matter.

An Inquest, which sat at Shrewsbury on Feb. 10, 1305, after death of Edmund de Mortimer of Wigmore, found this same Henry Mauveysin to be holding a third part of a Knight's-Fee at Schipley, under the late Baron's Fief. [10]

On April 28, 1305, a Jury, which had been summoned by the King'a order, sat at Claverley, and found that the King might, without injury to himself, grant eight acres of waste in Claverley to Henry Mauveisin;- to hold to said Henry and his heirs by a certain rent payable at the Exchequer by the hand of the Bailiff of Claverley. Each acre, said the Jurors, was worth 3d. per annum. [11] In the same year Henry Mauveisin fined 4s. for ingress into the said eight acres, and had Letters-Patent conveying the same to him and his heirs at an annual rent of 2s. 8d. [12]

The Feodary of March 1316 gives John Mauveysin as Lord of Shipley, in Stottesden Hundred. [13]

With him I quit this fragmentary notice of a branch of that great house of Mauveysin whose connection with Shropshire must on a future occasion come under more extended review.

[9] Rot. Pip. 43 Hen. III, Salop.
[10] Inquisitions, 32 Edw. I, No. 63, b.
[11] Inquisitions, 33 Edw. I, No. 85.
[12] Patent, 33 Edw. I, Part 2; Originalia, Vol I, pp. 140, 142.
[13] Parliamentary Writs, Vol. IV. p. 396.


Morf Forest.

NOTWITHSTANDING the many allusions to Morf Forest, which, in giving account of the territory adjacent to, or intermixed therewith, I have incidentally made, I cannot leave the district without saying something more, both generally and specifically, on a subject which to the Topographer and the Antiquary has a peculiar interest.

Where now the Counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire converge, there was once a vast region of Forest, not confined to one bank of a succession of lakes and marshes which we now know as the Valley of the Severn, but stretching away for miles eastward and westward. The Severn itself was in one place a land-locked and sluggish stream; in another a series of rivulets struggling on, with no concentrated force, amid the various impediments which uncontrolled nature had crowded on its course. Its fits of wintry and swollen fury, like human passions, reacted upon themselves; for the giant oak, which today was torn from its bank and plunged in the torrent, lay on the morrow athwart the subsiding stream, an additional element of its future bondage.

The Region, whose chief features I thus imagine, seems to have been known to the Britons as Coed, or forest,- the forest, that is, par excellence of this part of England.

When we read of the Forests of Morf, Kinver, and Wyre, we get notions of extent which must be added one to the other before we can realize any idea of the more ancient Coed; for the Coed was the parent of the other three, and they perhaps not its only constituents.

I am now to speak of Morf Forest more particularly, and, though I cannot indicate the precise time at which it was separated from its associates, we shall not err in ascribing the change to an increasing population, and the Saxon devotion to agriculture.

In the earliest stage of its self-existence, Morf Forest can be ascertained to have been at least eight miles in length, while its greatest width was more problematically about six. Its known, because afterwards maintained, Northern boundary rested upon the Worf for some miles before that stream falls into the Severn. Its South-eastern extremity is determined by its name, taken from the Staffordshire


Village of Morf, where commenced that interval which gradual change had interposed between the Forests of Morf and Kinver.

By still further compression of its southern boundaries, and by large clearances within its area, Morf Forest had, at the Norman Conquest, been altered both in extent and character. But the Forest ground, though alternated with cornfields and villages, was still very great, and very great it remained for more than two Centuries afterwards.

It is remarkable that, in contemplating the district which is generally recognized as Morf Forest, we should meet with some memento of every nation which has figured in English History:- Britain, Roman, Saxon, Dane, and Norman.- For each people there is some monument or association, some word, some fact, or some idea to connect it with the district.

We have the British Coed represented by the Saxon form, Quat, and applied, on the one hand, to a village settlement within the Forest, on another to a ford on its outskirts. [1] On the table- land of Morf there were in the last century several Tumuli, now levelled by the plough, but held by good authority to have been British. [2]

If the Walls at Chesterton were originally a British work, the very name of Chesterton implies a Roman occupation, and Stratford-brook thereby owes its name to a Roman Road (stratum) which crossed it.

Morf Forest was visited too by the Danes, not, I mean, when Mercia was generally their Conquest, but in later times, when, outmanoeuvred by Alfred on the Thames and deprived of their fleet, they sought refuge for their army in this wilderness, looking doubtless to the great river and the primeval forest as probable means of regaining their more natural home, the Sea.-

At Burf Castle, eastward of Quatford, the Danes lay intrenched for one winter. [3] Unfed by the Forest, their frequent raids westward,

[1] Quat (the Quatone of Domesday) and Quatford.
[2] Hartshorne (Salopia Antiqua, pp 99-101).
[3] I will not appropriate Mr. Hartshorne's reasons (Salopia Antique, pp. 211, 212) for determining on Burf Castle as the site of the Danish encampment, further than to express my concurrence therein, and to attempt a removal of the only doubt which he entertained on the subject, viz., the apparently inadequate extent of this earth-work, when compared with the needs of a Danish army. His doubt may, I think, be set at rest, both as a question of the strength and time employed upon this work. The numerical force of the Danish army, which took refuge in Morf-Forest, does not appear; but I do not see why it should be accounted to have been great. It was probably more formidable from its quality and organisation than its numbers. On the other hand, we know that the Danes remained in this quarter only one winter, a period insufficient for the completion of any extensive fortification, even had such structures been congenial with their roving habits. They probably came here with the purpose of building a fleet, but finding that, when built, it could not be got down the Severn, they abandoned their design.


across the Severn, are imaged by simple reason rather than by conjectural fancy. What wonder then if the affrighted Saxon of the district noted well the point of the Northmen'a passage, and spoke of it afterwards to his children as the "Danes-ford".

This was at the close of the ninth century, but before the middle of the eleventh the agricultural Saxon had made great inroads on the Forest. Eight Settlements at least had sprung up within the more ancient limits of Morf, and four of these (Claverley, Worfield, Nordley, and Alveley) were held in demesne, if not originated, by the Earls of Mercia.

Of the first Norman Earl of Shropshire, his predilections for Morf Forest and for Quatford, we have heard enough already. The site of his Castle on the Severn is still apparent; the very stones of his Collegiate Church point not only to its Norman Founder, but tell how vainly in this region had nature been contending against civilization; for the River by which those stones came to Quatford had become a high-road of commerce thence downwards to the Bristol Channel.

So then in Morf Forest the dynasty of nature gave way to the dynasty of man; and when man had the upper hand, still there was change marked even within the Forest by the conflict of races.-

Patriotism, Civilization, Military Science, patient industry, adventurous barbarism, Superstition, Chivalry, and Religion,- all these played their parts in Morf Forest;- and the ultimate ascendency was with the Norman. As it was in the Forest so is it in the World and with individuals:- that nation or man who can sustain, really or affectedly, the greatest number of these parts together, shall ever have a temporal pre-eminence.

I must pass from a great subject to petty details,- from Mort Forest as the theatre of vast changes to Morf Forest as a favourite Chace of English Kings.

Some of these details have already been given. A few further particulars will not be uninteresting to the local Antiquary.

At the Forest Assize of 1180 the Vill of Claverley was amerced 6s. 8d. for waste, Reginald Buncki of Claverley was fined 1s. for purpresture, and two other residents there paid 3s. for an imbladement.

In the year 1208 a regular annual assessment of 4s. 4d. was settled


on certain persons within Regard of Morf Forest. This sum the Sheriff accounts for more or less regularly on the Pipe Rolls till the year 1273, subsequently to which I have taken no note on the subject. This payment is sometimes entered as "ferm of the Forest of Worfield and Claverley", sometimes as "for minute purprestures in Claverley", or "for minute parcels of forest in Claverley". It was in fact a fixed arrentation of certain purprestures in Morf Forest.

At the Forest Assizes of 1209 I see no entry under the Regard of Morf Forest which needs mention here. Alan Forester of Claverley was assessed 6d. for recent purpresture of one acre in Norley.

On Oct. 21, 1235, a Writ of Henry III orders the Sheriff of Shropshire, on such day as John de Nevill, Chief Forester and Justice of all the Forests of England, shall appoint, to take four Knights of the County, and, first going with them before the said Justice, afterwards proceed to view all the Forests of the said County. The Sheriff was further to report in writing to the King the state in which the said Justice, Sheriff, and Knights found each Forest.

The Knights thus commissioned were Odo de Hodnet, Geoffrey de Overton, Robert de Clifton, and William Fitz Aer.

Their report about Morf Forest was literally as follows:-

"In the first place the Bosc of Claverley was viewed,- in keeping of Hugh Fitz Robert, Forester of the Fee of the whole County of Salop:- well kept as regards vert, both in wood and underwood, but yet the underwood is much damaged by many goats frequenting (the cover). Item, the Bosc of Worefeld was viewed,- much wasted by ancient waste, to wit, in the time of the great war, [4] and also in the time of R. late Earl of Chester, [5] who, whilst he was Sheriff, sold 1700 oak-trees there, besides other wastes made in his time for the Castle of Bruges, and besides deliveries (of timber), made for the purpose of enclosing the Vill of Bruges before it was fortified with a Wall. And moreover, the Bosc is much damaged of late through the very many deliveries made to the men of the Manor (Worfield), by order of the King and his Justiciars of the Forest. There are few beasts in the aforesaid Boscs, because the beasts were destroyed in the time of war, and in the time when liberty of the forest was conceded". [6]

[4] The Baron's War, which was raging at the time of Henry III's accession (1216).
[5] Ranulf Earl of Chester, Sheriff of Shropshire, from 1216 to 1223. (See Vol. p. 299).
[6] The last allusion of the two is to Henry III's "Carta de Forestia", whioh passed the Great Seal on Feb. 11, 1225. I do not see how any of its ooncessions could operate to the destruction of game in a Forest of demesne such as Morf, though of course the impunity with which outlying deer might be taken would eventually diminish the central stock.


At the Forest Assizes of 1262, the Agistators accounted for five years' agistment of Morf, viz., for the years 1250-1254. In two of those years the pesson had failed, in another it only produced 7s. 2d. A Regard of Morf Forest (also exhibited at these Assizes) contains a few particulars, which I have given elsewhere.

I have related under Tasley a story about Thomas Corbet, Lord of that Manor in 1292. [7] The same Assize Roll which furnished that instance of his violent and rapacious character, gives us a second sample, and one very pertinent to our present subject. [8]

He had been Seneschal of Morf Forest, and when in that office, had been accused of inflicting diverse injuries on the men of Brug. The men of Brug had memorialized the King (Edward I) on the subject. Their petition alleged that they were forced to desert their town through Corbet's persecutions. He had indicted forty-four Burgesses as "Malefactors of the Forest", because, in a quarrel on St. James's day (July 25) last, a Forester had been wounded in certain festive sports near Brug. Corbet was imprisoning all of the said forty-four Burgesses whom he could lay hands upon. Corbet was on terms of intimacy with all the King's Bailiffs in that part of the Country. (Hence, I presume, the Burgesses' appeal to the King). His real grudge against the Burgesses was alleged to be their refusal to give him a certain cask of wine &c.

On receipt of this petition, King Edward, by writ, dated Nov. 28, 1292, ordered his Justices then sitting at Shrewsbury, to inquire into the matter, "seeing that Roger le Strange, Justice of the Forests beyond Trent, had no leisure to do so".-

The Justices, in pursuance of the King's Writ, empanelled the following Jury:- William de Roughton (Forester), Philip de Penynton and Elias de Sutton (Verderers), John de Egedon and John Purcel (Agistators), Philip de Cherlecote, William Fitz Hawyse of Westwood, Richard de Hollicott, and William Hoband (Regarders), Adam de St. George, Hugh de Beaumes, Robert de Dodinton, John de Umfreyston, Richard de Ingwordine, Roger de Bronton, Walter de Norton, Nicholas Carles, Robert de Asthull, William Paternoster, John de Styvinton, Thomas and Stephen de Oldington, Roger de Ocumbe (Hoccumb), and Henry Atte-purye of Roughton, Jurors of the Vicinage. The Verdict of this Jury was as follows:- "There was a wrestling match at Bernard's Hall,

[7] Vol. I, pp. 95, 96.
[8] Placita de Juratis, 20 Edw. I, m. 27 dorso.


within the bounds of the Forest: a quarrel arose between Simon de Leyre a Forester, and Robert de Turbervill, [9] concerning a certain greyhound. [10] Turbervill and his party beat the Forester. The latter complained to his Seneschal, Thomas Corbet, who held an Inquest thereon. The men of Brug were at the wrestling-match with bows and arrows, but were in no way chargeable with the assault on the Forester. They had been indicted for trespass, not under any Inquest taken on the matter; but, by Corbet's suggestion to the Justice of the Forest, they had been attached and imprisoned under warrant of the said Justice. Corbet's grudge against the men of Brug", continued the Jurors, "was this:- Two men of Brug had once promised him a cask of wine, a present in which the corporate body (communitas) refused to join". "He is a malevolent", concluded the Jurors, "and a procurer of evil". The Court ordered that the original petition, the King's Writ thereon, and the Verdict, be transmitted to the King through the men of Brug.

The liberal policy adopted by Edward I in respect of the Royal Forests must have created a great change in that of Morf. At one time he specially commissioned his Justices of the Forest to lease out portions of Morf and Kinver. Under that commission, or others of less general character, various Arrentations of Forest land were made, both in his reign and that of his Son. I have already noticed such Arrentations made to Roger de Lee in 1292 and 1300, to Roger Careles in 1293, to the Abbot of Haughmond in 1304, and to Henry Mauveisin in 1305, and also one held by Richard le Fremon of Aston in 1326. [11]

Besides all these, I should here mention an arrentation made by Roger le Strange and Simon de Elleswrth on May 31, 1296. It was of forty acres lying between the Cover of Morf and the vill of Wodeton (Wooton), which forty acres (measured by the lesser Perch) were then leased to John de Sumersete and Alice his wife; - to hold to them and their heirs at a rent of 2d. per acre.

It appears, that on another occasion the same John and Alice took forty acres more on similar terms, but that, on the death of John de Sumersete, the Escheator citra Trent seized the whole eighty acres into the King's hand. Alice remarried to Master

[9] Turbervill was a Canon of St. Mary Magdalene of Brug. He and Corbet were at issue at the time about some land at Tasley. (See Vol. I, p. 97).
[10] The greyhound was probably the Canon's, but he had no right to have it within precinct of the Forest, even at a wrestling-match.
[11] Supra, pp. 73, 84, 93 (note 49), 101, 102, and 211.


Nicholas de Karliolo (Carlisle), and the two petitioned the King on the subject of the Escheator's injustice.

The King on Oct. 18, 1299, ordered an inquiry to be made on the subject. The Lease of the first forty acres was duly certified by Roger le Strange, and an inquest, held at Wooton on Nov. 23, 1299, found;- that John de Sumersete and his wife had been enfeoffed conjointly in eighty acres, in so far as the Assessors (i.e. Arrentators) had had power to enfeoff; that the premises were of no higher value than the reserved rent;- but that the terms (at which such rent should be payable) had never been fixed.

In consequence of this, a King's Writ issued in 1300, conceding to Alice, wife of Nicholas de Carliolo, in fee, eighty acres of waste in Morf Forest, for an annual rent of 13s. 4d. [12]

At this period the Jurisdiction of Morf Forest was not so greatly in excess of the actual Forest as in many other cases.

By the First Perambulation of Edward I's time, the following vills and plains, formerly pertaining to custody of Morf, were dis-forested, viz., the Vills of Gatacre, Bebridge, Witimere, Broughton, and Sutton, with their plains and moors; also a portion of the vill of Brug (the Low Town), also a certain plain commencing at an ancient trench near Quatford, and extending along the banks of the Severn to the top of a certain croft near Pendeleston. [13]

At the same time the following Boscs, Vills &c., were declared to remain within the Forest, viz., the Vill of Mose, with a plain and a half; the Vills of Quatford and Bromley, with their plains; Burcote, with its plain and bosc; the Vills of Swancote, Hoocumbe, Brandeleye (Bradney), Broughton, and Wyke (Wyken); three houses in Hilton, and a plain and a half there; the Vills of Dalicote, Gravenor, Hopstan, Chykenhul, Woudenewalle (Woundall), Farncote, Claverleye, Luddesdone, Aston, Wystanesmere, Heytton (Heathton), and Bulwardine; a messuage and one acre and a half at the Scythe in Claverley Manor; a messuage and parcel of land in the Manor of Nordley; a messuage and assart of the fee of John Fitz Philip (i.e. in Quat); two messuages and a plain pertaining to the Vill of Bodytone (Bobbington) of the fee of the same John. [14]

The great and final Perambulation of 1300 declares that the King's Demesne-Bosc, which is called Morf, is a Forest according

[12] Inquisitions, 28 Edw. I, No. 75; Rot. Patent, 28 Edw. I.
[13] This will have been proximately all the land lying to the west of the High Road between Quatford and the Town's Mills.
[14] Forest Roll, at Westminster, No III, Salop.


to these boundaries, viz.:- "From Pendestones Mulne (Pendleston Mill), going up by the Severn to where Worgh (Worf) falls into Severn: [15] and so going up along the bank of Worgh to Worthbrugg (Worf-bridge), and going up thence along the said bank to Rindeleford-brugg (Rindleford-bridge): and so going up along the bank to Chirle, and upwards still to Chirlefordes-brugg; and so along the highway to the vill of Hulton (Hilton), and thence by a certain road to Woghbrokesheth, and so straight along the Stonistrete [16] to Apewardes Castle, [17] and so along the boundary between the Counties of Salop and Stafford to the Chirlesok: and thence direct between the King's demesne in his Manor of Claverley, and the fields of Whitimere, Borhton (Broughton), Bebrugg (Beobridge), and Gatacre, to the Cover of Morf. And so through the said Cover to the Blakewalle at the Oldefield, and thence to the Shirevelydyat: and thence by the Crosweyslone (Crossways-lane) to the hedge of the Brodenewelonde: and thence straight to Fililode, and so between the hedge and the Lythe to Trugge-put. And so going down by a certain water-course to the Stonibrugge of Wodeton (Stone-bridge of Wooton), and so along a water-course to Wynelesford; and thence by the highway to Mose-lydyat, and thence to Halyweyes- lydyat; and so by a certain path to the Hethenedich, going down by the Hethenedich to the weir (gurgitem) of Quatford: and so going up by the Severn to a certain ancient ditch, between the field of Brugge and the vill of Quatford: and along the highway to the House of the Lepers of St. James of Brugge: and thence right to a certain ancient ditch under the Gyhet (Gibbet-Hill); and so straight to Baconescroft, going down to Tissengecros; and so by the highway going up to Pendestanes Mulne, where the first boundary of the said bosc begins. The Perambulators also declare that John de Hastinges holds Rughtone (Roughton), Barndelegh (Bradney), Hocoumbe, Swanecot, Burcote, and Bromlegh; John de Astlegh holds the Manor of Northlegh (Nordley); John Fitz Philip holds the vill of Mose; and the Dean of Brugge holds the vill of Quatford,- all within the bounds of the said Forest". [18]

[15] The original and natural confluence of the Worf with the Severn was much higher than at Pendleston Mill.
[16] The Roman Road before alluded to.
[17] Now Abbot's Castle Hill.
[18] Salop Chartulary, No. 279.



[For table, see Patinton]


Patinton Hundred.

THE rearrangement of the Domesday Hundreds of Shropshire has been presumed to have taken place in the time of Henry I. Whatever its date, it abolished the Hundred of Patinton, and transferred it chiefly to the newly created Hundred of Munslow, but in part also to the co-extemporized Hundreds of Stottesden and Brimstree.

In the reign of Richard I a number of Manors, originally in Patinton Hundred, were recalled from their transitional status, and again massed under the Liberty or Franchise of Wenlock. So the present Franchise of Wenlock, most nearly of any, represents the Domesday Hundred of Patinton; but this representation is, at the best, very imperfect, for more than half of the Patinton Manors still remain in other Hundreds than Wenlock; and there are one or two in Wenlock which had not been antecedently in Patinton.

The foregoing Table is intended chiefly to give a synoptical view of the Domesday Hundred of Patinton and its modern representatives.

Some liberties have however been taken with the Record, as viewed superficially. One Manor (Ditton) has been classed under Patinton Hundred without any authority, other than presumption: two Manors (Mostune and Ludecote) have been excluded, but against the primae facie evidence of the Record. This exclusion I justify thus.-

Mostune and Ludecote follow Becheberie as Domesday Manors of Roger Venator, and as all three in Patinton Hundred. [1] But it is quite clear that the Scribe, who correctly enough assigned Patinton as the Hundred of Beckbury, omitted to make a proper assignment for Mostune, and so his omission extends further to Ludecote. The question therefore rests with Mostune, to which, if we restore the proper marginal affix, Ludecote must remain for the present involved in that restoration.

Now, there can be no doubt that Roger Venator's Manor of Mostune is represented by Moston, a township near Stanton upon Hine-heath, in North Shropshire, and within the area of the Domesday Hundred of Odenet. Under Odenet Hundred I shall therefore

[1] Domesday, fo. 262, a. 2.


speak of the Manor of Mostune; and as to Ludecote, its identity is in abeyance; but, according to what I have stated, it was more probably in Odenet Hundred than in any other. However, a still further and acknowledged omission in the Record will hereafter be noticed as regards Ludecote. It suffices here to state, negatively and only, that Ludecote was not in Patinton Hundred.

Much Wenlock.

A SECTION of the Shropshire Domesday is devoted to the possessions of the Church of St. Milburg, as they stood at the time of the Survey. This Section- entitled "Quod tenet Ecclesia Sanctae Milburgae" [1]- commences thus.-

"Earl Roger hath made the Church of St. Milburg an Abbey. The said Church holdeth Wenloch, and held it in time of King Edward. Here are XX hides. Of these, IIII hides were free from geld (Danegeld) in time of King Chnut (Canute), and the rest were geldable. In demesne there are nine-and-a-half ox-teams; and IX Villains, III Radmans, and XLVI Boors, have amongst them all XVII ox-teams; and there might be XVII other (such teams) here. Here are XV Serfs and II Mills, providing for the Monks. Here is a fishery, and a wood (sufficient) for fattening 300 swine, and here are II hayes. In time of King Edward (the Manor) was worth 15. (per annum): now (it is worth) 12".

The twenty hides thus mentioned must be taken to have included the following territory, viz., Much Wenlock, West Bradley, [2] Callaughton, Walton, Atterley, Presthope, Barrow, The Marsh, Benthall, Wyke, Farley, Bradley, [3] Posenhall, and Prestenden, a place now lost. Perhaps also some other vills went to form the Domesday Manor, viz., Linley, Caughley, and Arlscot. [4]

In many of these places the Priors of Wenlock granted very early feoffments, so as more or less to separate the members from the Central Manor. Hence at no period after Domesday do we find the Manor of Much Wenlock spoken of in its original integrity. It is therefore difficult to determine what were its Domesday constituents.

[1] Domesday, fo. 252, b. 1.
[2] [3] "West-bradley", is Bradley near Patton; " Bradley" is Bradley, north of Wenlock. A former mistake on this point (see Vol. II, p. 36) will be explained in a more fitting place.
[4] These three have been treated of under Broseley.


There is however one document which may be brought to bear upon this question, viz., the Hundred Roll of 1255. [5] A comparison between that Record and Domesday, stands thus:- Supposing that the 20 hides allotted to Wenlock in Domesday included the above 17 vills; add Broseley (one hide), Willey (half a hide), and Wigwig (one hide), and we have a total of 22. hides for the four Domesday Manors.

In 1255, under another mode of combination, we find that Much Wenlock, Callaughton, Bradley, Wigwig, Wyke, Barrow, Walton, Atterley, Broseley, Arlscot, Bradley (West Bradley), Benthall, Posenhall, Willey, and Linley, were 20 hides, which estimate must be taken to include Marsh, Farley, and Prestenden. Add to this hidage that of Presthope and Caughley (separately given as one hide and one carucate), and we have a total of 21 hides and one carucate for the same four Manors as constituted 22 hides in Domesday.

The difference then between the two estimates is the difference between a hide and a carucate, [6] a difference which at any rate was small, and is often observable in estimates of Manors much less extensive than Wenlock, and in questions far less complex. I shall therefore assume that the members of the Domesday Manor of Wenlock are rightly enumerated as above.

In treating of this vast Manor and its various adjuncts, the first object, both in ancient importance and in present interest, must needs be-


Wenlock was the oldest and most privileged, perhaps the wealthiest and most magnificent, of the religious Houses of Shropshire.

For the germ of this interesting foundation, we must revert to times of extreme antiquity, and accept the testimony of a Writer who, however honest, lived more than four Centuries after the event now to be mentioned, and must therefore have derived his knowledge from legendary sources.

William of Malmesbury, who wrote in the earlier half of the twelfth Century, tells us that St. Milburg, daughter of Merewald (who founded Leominster Priory), niece of Wulphere, and grand- daughter of Penda, Kings of Mercia, lived in a Nunnery at Wenlock, and was buried there; moreover, that the said Nunnery was forsaken before the arrival of the Normans, and the place of the Saint's sepulture forgotten. [7]

Other authorities supply further particulars, viz., that the older names of the place were Llan Meilien and Wimnicas, that the Nunnery was founded by St. Milburg herself, and that she presided therein as Abbess. [8]

[5] Rot. Hundred, II, 84, 85.
[6] It is probable that Caughley oontained more than a carucate (see Vol. II, p. 44); a circumstance which still further lessens the discrepancy.
[7] De Gestis Regum, Lib. II, p. 50, h.; De Gestis Pontificum, p. 164.
[8] Capgrave; De vitis Sanctorum, fo. 232, a. Leland; Collectiones, II, 157.


St. Milburg was Sister of St. Mildred and St. Milgythe, and, if we estimate her aera according to her alleged parentage, she must have lived in the end of the seventh Century, when also whatever is true of the particulars above quoted will have taken place.

Whatever was the nature of this first ecclesiastical foundation at Wenlock, the lapse of two Centuries left little of it remaining beyond the sanctity of St. Milburg's name, the veneration attaching to her place of burial, and, it may be, some traditions as to the identity of such lands as she had devoted to her holy purpose.

The destruction of St. Milburg's Church is attributed to the Danes, and will probably have taken place at the time of their conquest of Mercia,- about A.D. 874.

The selection of the same spot, by Leofric Earl of Mercia and his wife Godiva, [9] though for a religious establishment of very different character, was probably suggested by such popular traditions concerning the life and death of St. Milburg as had survived the disturbances of the Century and half which followed the Danish outrage.

Leofric was made Earl of Mercia by Canute in 1017, and he died August 31, 1057. He therefore lived in the reigns of Canute, Harold, Hardicanute, and Edward the Confessor. With the first and the last of those Princes he was a special favourite. Besides Wenlock, he is said to have founded, endowed, or benefited the following Religious Houses,- viz., Coventry, Leominster, Marie-Stow (Lincolnshire), St. Werburge's (Chester), St. John's (Chester), Evesham, and Worcester. And it is very remarkable, that as at Wenlock, so in each of these seven instances, Earl Leofric's favour was shown to Houses which already existed themselves, or represented some pre-existent foundation. He was, in short, the Benefactor of all, the Refounder of some, but the absolute Originator of none.

The nature of these establishments will have been of the usual Saxon character, viz., Colleges of Secular Clergy, combining more or less of the Monastic element.

We may confidently place Earl Leofric's re-foundation of Wenlock between the years 1017 and 1035;- the dates respectively of his own elevation and King Canute's death. That immunity from Danegeld which Domesday records in favour of certain portions of St. Milburg's lands, is in one instance expressly referred to Canute's reign. It was clearly an immunity associated with those

[9] Flor. Wigorn, I, 216; W. Malmesbury, p. 44, b., line 42.


Religious claims which were originated or revived by Earl Leofric's undertaking, and were perhaps urged by him on the King.

The extent of the possessions of the Church of St. Milburg in the Confessor's reign (1043-1066) can be accurately determined from Domesday. Its Manors were Erdington, Wenlock (i.e., Much Wenlock), Tichelevorde (corresponding to Eaton-under-Heywood), Madeley, Little Wenlock, Shipton, Petelie (whose modern name is uncertain), Burton (near Wenlock), Godstoch (now Stoke St. Milburg), Dehocsele (Deuxhill), Pickthorn, Sutton (near Shrewsbury), a small Manor unnamed, but containing half a hide (probably Hughley), and an estate of one hide within the Liberties of Shrewsbury. These possessions were estimated to contain seventy-four hides and a quarter, which would be equivalent to nearly 18,000 acres of that period and district, and to a far greater number of modern statute acres.

The annual income derivable from the whole, exclusive of the hide at Shrewsbury (which is not valued in Domesday), amounted in the Confessor's time to nearly 50.,- equal to at least 2500. of modern currency.

This second Saxon Foundation at Wenlock will hardly have endured for sixty years. William of Malmesbury speaks, in one place, of Wenlock as forsaken at the arrival of the Normans; but it is evident that he used this language with reference to the foundation of St. Milburg, of which he was speaking at the time, rather than to that of Leofric, which he seems to have forgotten at the moment, though he makes formal mention thereof in another place. Taking his whole evidence however, in conjunction with that of Domesday, we must conclude that, during the gradual subjugation of the Saxon race, the Church of St. Milburg was deserted, if not destroyed, while its possessions awaited the decree of the first Norman Earl of Shrewsbury. This will have been subsequent to A.D. 1071, when. the forfeiture of Earls Morcar and Edwin, the Grandsons of Earl Leofric, first placed Shropshire at the Conqueror's disposal.

The Norman Earl, between this year (1071) and 1086, founded or restored the Church of St. Milburg at Wenlock- founded it, inasmuch as he instituted there a new and strictly monastic order of things, represented in Domesday by the word Abbey; restored it, in so far as he endowed the new establishment with all, or nearly all, the possessions of the old.

And this was generally the Norman policy when dealing with


the Saxon Colleges. Their possessions were not confiscated, but diverted to ecclesiastical purposes, more or less cognate with the original design. The year 1080 has been assigned as the specific year of this re-foundation by the Norman Earl,- and with much probability;- for Wenlock was reputed to be a younger House than Lewes in Sussex, which was originated in 1077-8, and an older than Shrewsbury, which was first designed in February 1083. [10]

We learn from Domesday, that six years after this alleged date of foundation, viz., in 1086, the Monks of Wenlock were possessed of nearly all that had belonged to the Church of St. Milburg in the days of the Confessor. The exceptions were the two Manors of Erdington and Stoke St. Milburg. The latter had been temporarily assigned to the Earl's private Chaplains, but ultimately reverted to the Priory; indeed, the Officers who took the Domesday Survey distinctly notify the claim and better title of St. Milburg. We have already had under Morville another instance of a grant of Church property by Earl Roger to his Chaplains; and as, in that case, he limited his grant to a life interest, and directed a reversion to the Church, so it is most probable that he took the same precaution with respect to Stoke St. Milburg.

As regards Erdington the case was different. Up to the year 1086 the Monks had made no claim on that Manor; but we have seen that they did so shortly afterwards, and that the Earl, though he did not restore it, provided an ostensible equivalent.

Enough has been said to show that, at the time of Domesday, Wenlock Monastery either possessed, or was shortly to possess, a territory equal in extent and nearly identical with that which had been held by the Church of St. Milburg twenty years before. The relative value of this property at the two periods is found to have been as follows.- That which in the Confessor's time was estimated as annually worth little less than 50., would in 1086 barely realise 36. Also in 1086, the territory in question employed but 80 teams of oxen, whereas there was arable land

[10] The Antiquity of Wenlock, as founded by Earl Roger, is proved by Domesday to be greater than that of Shrewsbury. That Record speaks of the Earl as then making (facit) an Abbey at Shrewsbury, and having made one (fecit) at Wenlock. The Domesday application of the word "Abbey" to Wenlock must be taken only as generally indicating a monastic institution, not as in contradistinction to a Priory. The same confusion of terms is prevalent to this day; but what was then a general expression is now an inaccurate distinction. Wenlock was never an Abbey, though it happened to be called so before its state was recognized or perhaps even settled by the Founder.


sufficient for the employment of 141 teams. The difference undoubtedly arose from the many hindrances to the peaceful cultivation of the soil which must have arisen in Shropshire during the interval.

Of the existence of Wenlock Monastery during the life of Earl Roger de Montgomery I have seen only two other indications. The first is where, immediately after Domesday, Richard, a Monk of Wenlock, is found attesting the Earl's Charter to his Collegiate Church at Quatford. The other is ostensibly the Earl's own Charter, fixing the future status of Wenlock itself.

This extraordinary instrument, it would be easy to dismiss with all its difficulties by the usual and summary process of stigmatizing it as a forgery. But this is not the way to deal with a document from which, with a little trouble, we may learn a great deal, and which, in its essence, that is, in what it claims for its Grantees and what it teaches us, is no forgery at all.

Its chief matter is a statement of the reasons which induced Earl Roger de Montgomery to maintain a Religious establishment at Wenlock, and how he chose to affiliate the same on a Foreign House.

But the Charter shall speak for itself: [11]-

"In nomine Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis, trinaeque Unitatis, Ego Rogerius Salopesberiensis Comes - Cum status sacrae religionis quam maxime fulciatur multimodis bonorum studiis, magis tamen creditur augmentari constructione collegiisque sanctorum coenobiorum, ubi semper Deo deserviant pia vota atque executa fidelium, unde condignae remuneracionis premium divinitus sibi non diffidat repositum quisquis sacra loca vel edificaverit, vel opibus terrae ditaverit, aut certe perpetuae immunitatis vigore, ut ibidem libere placideque divinae servitutis munia peragantur, tuta atque secura reddiderit.- Inde igitur piae matris Ecclesiae mos inolevisse creditur priscorum jura Regum sollerti providentia sanxisse, necnon

[11] The only Transcript which I have met with is in Gough's MSS. in the Bodleian Library (Vol. III (quarto), p. 59). The attempt of the Writer (J. Bowen) to give it in facsimile suggests that he had the original before him, and that it was written in a very ancient hand. The Transcript is not accurate in all instances; and I venture to add or alter (in Italics) a few letters where grammatical reasons render such change obvious and necessary. I add also the proper punctuations, and endeavour to mark those incompleted sentences which are so common in the verbose documents of the period, and are in fact a symptom of genuineness. One or two passages I leave in the intricate but not quite inexplicable, state in which I find them.


Successorum devotionem, eorundem molimina imitantium, promulgare, ut quicquid in Sanctorum locis, Omnipotentis Dei famulatui mancipatis, sua regali munificentia confirmando augmentare decenterque stabilire voluerint, hoc ad perpetuam, demumque perpetuo observandam, posteritatis memoriam, ne modernis futurisve temporibus obliterentur, funditiis suis studerent auctorizare, ac corroborare privilegiis, et membranarum eque mandare paginis.

"Quapropter agnoscat ownium fidelium Sancta Dei Ecclesiae nostrorumque devotio, quia Ego Rogerius Comes Salopesberiensis, cum filiis meis, pro anima Regis Willielmi, Mathildisque Reginae, necnon et pro Rege Willielmo, eorundem Sucessore ac filio, concessimus Deo et beatae ejusdem Dei genitrici et perpetua Virgini Mariae, qua cognominatur 'De Caritate', et pro nostrarum animarum redemptione, ecclesiam Sancta Myldburgae Virginis qua vocatur Wininicas, cum omnibus appendiciis suis, jure perpetuo possidendam, eo pacto ut singulis annis ipsi prefatae ecclesiae Sanctae Mariae et Monachis ibidem Deo servientibus, ea propriis loci Sanctae Myldburgae redditibus, centum solidi annis singulis reddantur: Caetera autem superabundantia reserventur in usus Fratrum ibidem Deo et Sancta Myldburgae servientium. Ne autem [12] apud posteros oblivioni traderetur, annuente Willielmo Rege, scripto consignavimus".

So far this Charter is intelligible and consistent enough. Earl Roger having restored the Church of St. Milburge, grants it to the foreign House of La Charite, to which, in token of subjection, the Monks of Wenlock are to pay an annual rent of 100s. And this Earl Roger does with consent of King William II; therefore between Sept. 26, 1087 (the date of that Monarch's accession), and July 27, 1094 (the latest date assigned [13] for Earl Roger's death).

At this period the great Benedictine Abbey of Clugny, in Burgundy, was increasing in wealth and influence. Amongst its five principal and earliest affiliated Priories were the French House of La Charite sur Loire and the English House at Lewes already mentioned. Wenlock, though strictly Clugniac, was, as we see, only mediately subject to Clugny. Its immediate Mistress was the Priory of La Charite.

The Order of Clugny was originally Benedictine, and its members retained the black habit of that profession. Its formation

[12] Subaudi "hoc".
[13] Ordericus assigns it (p. 581). Florence of Worcester however (Vol. II, p. 31) puts the Earl's death in 1098, and there are independent reasons for thinking him to be right.


belonged to the early part of the tenth Century. William de Warren, whose wife was a stepdaughter of the Conqueror, founded the first Clugniac house in England, viz., that at Lewes, in 1077-8. Lanzo, the first Prior of Lewes, with three other Monks, his companions, were sent over by the Parent Abbey. The Monasteries of this Order in England were uniformly governed by Priors of foreign appointment, and many of the said Priors were themselves Foreigners. Their Houses were subject to foreign visitation:- often filled with foreign Monks. Their internal differences were settled by foreign arbitration. Much of their revenues went beyond Sea. The Abbot of Clugny received at one period a fixed annual Pension of 2000. from the English Houses of his Rule. The Prior of Lewes was his High-Chamberlain and Vicar-General in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Such was the allegiance, mediate or immediate, which was owned by Wenlock and at least thirty other English Houses, most of them of greater antiquity than the reign of Henry II.

I must now address my remarks to the Sequel, or rather to the appendages of Earl Roger's Charter:-

These consist of several dating and testing clauses, which run as follows:-

"Actum publice apud Clivam. Anno ab incarnatione Domini millesimo, centesimo tertio decimo. Indictione quarta decima.

Signum Willielmi Anglorum + Regis.
Signum + Willielmi Cancellarii.
Signum + Hugonis Comitis S (Salopiae).
Signum + Ernulfi fratris ejus.

Testibus istis subscriptis,- Eudone Dapifero, Rogerio filio Geroldi, Waltero filio Ricardi, Godefrido fratre ejus. Apud Clivam".

Now the mention of Earl Hugh in this testing clause shows that it can only apply to some period between the deaths of Earl Roger (1093-4) and of William Rufus (2nd August 1100). The Charter itself, as we have already seen, belongs to a previous period. The fourteenth year of Indiction must be either 1091, 1106, or 1121. The dominical year, 1113, speaks for itself.

Thus, out of four dates, given in or deducible from this document as a whole, three at least are mutually inconsistent.

My belief is that these dating and testing clauses were no part of the original Charter, and that the latter was no forgery. The object of forging such a document is not apparent, for it assarts nothing in the way of facts but what is demonstrable on other evidence. I suppose that the Monks of La Charite, being in possession of the


original Charter, added dates and a testing clause thereto at a subsequent period;- such dates and clause indicating perhaps some act of recognition or document of confirmation of which they had distinct certificates or copies.

The next notice of Wenlock which occurs is merely incidental. Earl Hugh de Montgomery, granting to Shrewsbury Abbey the tithe of all his venison in Shropshire, excepts that taken in the Woods of St. Milburg, of which probably the tithe had been granted to the Priory.

The constant designation of Wenlock Priory under the name of "St. Milburg" is worthy of notice. The practical importance of associating the Saxon Saint with the Norman foundation was never lost sight of. The acquisition of the bones of another Saxon Saint (St. Winifred) by the Monks of Shrewsbury, and the monastic value of such possessions, have been well set forth by the Historians of that Town and Abbey, when speaking of a period somewhat later than that now before us.-

The Monks of Shrewsbury encountered the perils of a distant journey and an inhospitable region in pursuit of their object. A similar acquisition was earlier made by the Monks of Wenlock, who had no such obstacles to surmount. There was a tradition that St. Milburg was buried at Wenlock, and a probability that the unknown place of her sepulture would be within the precincts of the ancient Church. If the site of the successive foundations were the same, as probably it was, the accidental discovery of her remains during the progress of the Norman building would be very natural. Of course such an accident happened.- A boy running over the floor of the proposed building trod open the very tomb of the Saint. The balsamic exhalations usually resulting on such occasions were not wanting: the merits of the Saint, the ingenuity of the Monks, or the enthusiasm of the people, were instantly rewarded by miraculous effects. Crowds thronged to the Sepulchre; cures were effected and widely reported; but the chief success of dead St. Milburg was alleged in remedy of such scrofulous disorders as had resisted all other treatment. [14]

The Translation of her Relics, that is, their removal to a spot in front of the High Altar of the new Church, took place on May 26, 1101.

[14] The miraculous cure of King's-evil was not however confined to St. Milburg. Edward the Confessor had been very successful therein, even when alive; and the same healing power was said to be hereditary in the Kings of France. From one or both of these causes the disease acquired its name.


That day became a standing festival in the subsequent history of the Priory. Many of its rents were made payable thereon, and many of its documents dated thereby.

During the reign of Henry I, a question arose which involves some interesting details, but which I speak of here as illustrating the strong and progressive influence of Wenlock Priory. I have alluded to this matter before, and must often refer to it hereafter.- It seems that the Priory asserted "all St. Milburg's land to constitute but one Parish", that is, to be parochially subject to the Mother Church of Wenlock. It will appear in the sequel that the ecclesiastical territory known as "St. Milburg's land" involved many more localities than those which the Church of St. Milburg held by the secular tenure recorded in Domesday; but of this elsewhere.-

The spiritual claim of the Priory was contested in several ways during the reign of Henry I; but it was warmly supported and finally established by Richard de Belmeis, Bishop of London, who was then Viceroy of Shropshire. Two great assemblies, which seem to have combined the functions of an ecclesiastical Synod and of the Curia Comitatus, sat upon this question, under the appropriate presidency of the mitred Proconsul.

One of these was at Wistanstow, apparently about A.D. 1110; the other about A.D. 1115, at Castle Holgate.

Their decisions were registered by Belmeis in a formal Charter, which was in aftertimes held to be conclusive (as to the rights involved) both by King and Prelate. I copy this Charter from an Inspeximaa of Edward III, [15] who speaks of it with the same deference as of any Patent of his own Royal Progenitors.-

"Rex omnibus Salutem.- Inspeximus litteras patentes quas celebris memoriae Ricardus Londinensis Episcopus fecit Wenlocensi Ecclesiae in haec verba.- In nomine Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis &c.- Ego Ricardus dei gratia Londinensis Antistes testor et testimonio plurimorum affirmo terram Sanctae Myleburgae totam unius esse Parrochiae, totam videlicet subjacere uni suae matri Wenlocensi Ecclesiae, quam bene novimus sic antiquitus in Anglorum temporibus fuisse, sic et usque hodiernum tempus nostrum jure mansisse. Quod etiam olim a me et a quampluribus mecum est testificatum et judicio diffinitum pro quadam injuriosa calumnia Grentae, quam faciebat de Sciptune Sanctae Mildburgae, quam juste refellentes pessundedimus coram Rainelmo Herfordensi Episcopo, [16] et ejus Archidiacono Willielmo,

[15] Patent, 22 Edw. III, pars 3, m. 34.
[16] Consecrated Aug. 11, 1107. Died Oct. 28, 1115.


et quodam Episcopo Hiberniae Mauricio, et nonnullis clericis et laicis apud Yistanesstouh.

"Postea vero decursis aliquot annis, pro quibusdam aliis ingruentibus calumniis de parochia Sanctae Virginis convenimus ad capitulum supradicti Archidiaconi die statuto apud Castellum Helgoti: affuerunt quoque qui calumniabantur, Ingelbertus presbiter de Glesleie Dokesallam suae parochia, Stephanus clericus duas Milinsopes ad suam de Mulsleie; [17] ubi non solum istorum duorum sed et omnium hominum calumnias per privilegium Sanctae Virginis annullavimus et judicio testium quos apud Wisteanesstouh et aliorum sapientium quos et hic quamplures in causis Sanctae habuimus. Conceditur tamen Stephano non vi calumniae sed pacis et domini sui amore decima et sepultura rusticorum de Milinsope Subteriore et tercia garba decimae ipsius domini. Ita quoque ut si quis eorum voluerit Weneloc sepeliri, facta recognicione sua ecclesiae de Mulslaye non vetetur Weneloc sepultum iri. Hoc itaque privilegium Sanctae quod et apud Wistanestouh predictumque Castrum Helgoti multorum attestacione probavimus, ne posteris mutacione temporis ignoretur, hujus scripti cautione memoriae damus et cum sigillis nostris, ego Ricardus Lundon' Episcopus et Herefordensis Episcopi Archidiaconus Willielmus, confirmamus, subnesis majorum nominibus quos apud utrumque locum prefatum testes habuimus.

"+ Ramelinus Episcopus Herefordensis. Mauricius Episcopus Hiberniensis. Godefridus Abbas Salopesberiae. [18] Willielmus Archidiaconus Herefordensis. Osbertus Prior de Bromfeld. [19] Frogerius. Johannes Magister de Wigemore. [20] Ciprianus Archidiaconus London'. [21] Tebaldus presbiter. Cutelbernus presbiter. Saxi presbiter. Rogerius presbiter. Waldyof presbiter. Aluricus Clericus de Dudelibi et Osbernus presbiter ejus.

"+ Hamundus Peverel. Ricardus Banastre. Herbertus de Clive.

[17] Deuxhill, Upper & Lower Millichope, and Munslow are the places alluded to.
[18] The name of this Abbot may lead to a total misconception of the date of this Synod.- Mr. Blakeway puts the death of Fulchered and the succession of Godfrey, first and second Abbots of Shrewsbury, in 1120. His only authority for doing so is a very discursive passage of Ordericus (Lib. x, p. 873), given indeed under the year 1120, but which warrants no such specific date for the death of Fulchered. The latter event happened much more probably in March 1118, the date given, though without any Voucher, by Browne Willis.
[19] Hereby we establish an antiquity for Bromfield Priory far higher than has hitherto been received.
[20] Undoubtedly one of the three Secular Canons placed in Wigmore Church by Ralph de Mortimer in A.D. 1100,- long before the Abbey was founded. (Monasticon, VI, 349).
[21] A name hitherto unknown to the Lists of those Dignitaries.


spoken of in a former Volume of this book, [23] and his Charter thereupon supposed to have passed about the year 1180. It is probable that this Charter, [24] though called a "Foundation Charter", was not coeval with the first beginnings of Dudley Priory, but rather was a settlement of an advanced but not quite completed undertaking. The House was by Gervase Paganell's Charter, if not previously, constituted an affiliation of Wenlock Priory. The following expressions imply as much.- The site of the Priory at Dudley is granted jointly to St. James of Dudley, St. Milberg of Wenlock, and the Monks serving God at Dudley. The Prior of Wenlock was to place any of his own Monks at Dudley, and to appoint a Prior out of the same body, but with consent of Paganell and his heirs as regarded the individual appointed. Similarly, any Prior was to be removed, only by joint counsel of the Baron of Dudley and the Prior of Wenlock. And when the House of Dudley should be able to "sustain" its Convent, the Prior of Wenlock, under council of his own Convent and of the Baron, was to institute (constituet) a Convent there. [25] This donation Paganell offered with his own hand, on the Altar of St. Milburg of Wenlock before the Convent of Wenlock, and on the Altar of St. James of Dudley before the Monks of that place. The witnesses on the part of St. Milburg are easily distinguishable from the Baron's Relations and Retainers. They were Warner de Wililey, Roger Dapifer, Hamund Provost, Roger Welcume, Roger Frend, Walter Plesent, Robert de Chaalun, Roger Barat, and Thomas Cocus.

Of most of these we shall hear again, and it only remains, in further connection with Dudley, to say that that Priory continued an affiliation of Wenlock till the Dissolution.

This is perhaps the fittest occasion to say that a Clugniac Priory, founded at St. Helen's, in the Isle of Wight, before the year 1155, was another affiliation of Wenlock Priory, and was still subject thereto in 1253. [26] This relation was probably broken off when, in

[23] Supra, Vol. II, p. 52, and note 16.
[24] Monasticon, V, p. 83, No. II.
[25] It is evident, from these terms, that the few Monks already resident at Dudley did not, strictly speaking, constitute a "Convent". That title would, I presume, become proper whenever the Brethren should be formally organized under rule of their own Prior, as yet not appointed.
[26] The facts are these. In November 1253 and February 1254 we have notices of a Suit between the Prior of Wenlock and Walter de Insula. It was about the Advowson of Berding Church (Winton: Diocese), which the Prior claimed on the ground that it had been granted to Saint Helen's (apparently in the time of Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester; i.e. between 1129 and 1171); and that Saint Helen's was subject to Wenlock. (Vide Placita, Mich. Term, 37, 38 Hen. III, memb. 48 dorso, and Rot. Fin. II, 179). The subjection of the Prior of St. Helen's must have been implicit, if, as would seem to be the case, he could only sue for his rights in the name of his Superior at Wenlock.


consequence of the French wars of Edward III, all alien Priories were seized by the Crown. Nothing of the early history of St. Helen's seems to be known, [27] consequently we cannot even conjecture how it became a dependency of Wenlock. The very fact however of its possessing so distant a Colony bespeaks for the Shropshire Priory a great and ancient reputation.

In the last quarter of the twelfth Century the Church Patronage of Wenlock Priory was largely augmented. Isabel de Say, in her own right Baroness of Clun, granted to the Priory the Church of St. George at Clun, with all its subject Churches or Chapels, seven in number. [28] The particulars of this grant belong properly to the district where these Churches stood. I pass on therefore to matters less external.

The reign of Richard I brought an aggrandizement to this House, which, to form an idea of its importance, must be estimated from its results rather than from the King's Charter, which is in general terms, but shall nevertheless be given in a note. [29]

It was probably in return for some great but unrecorded subsidy supplied by the Monks in aid of Richard's warlike necessities, that this Charter was obtained, and thus a new Franchise created in Shropshire. The Seigneury thereof, involving both influence and revenue, was conferred on the Prior of Wenlock.

This Franchise was composed of Manors taken chiefly from the old Hundred of Munslow, but in part from the Hundreds of

[27] Monasticon, VII, 1049.
[28] Monasticon, V, 76, No. IV.
[29] This Charter is taken from an Inspeximus of Edward III. (Chart. 8 Edw. III. p. 1, m. 9.) King Richard concedes &c. that all the men, tithes, and effects of the Prior, wheresoever being, shall be quit of all oppression, and exactions, viz., from Scots, Gelds, Aids of Foresters, (charges for) enclosing Assarts and Parks, from Sheriffs, and Requisitiona of County or Hundred-Court (sciris et hundredis requirendis); from pleas and plaints, from husteng, and portmamnot, and tunscipesmot, and all other customs pertaining to the Crown. He also concedes Sac, Soc, toll, theam, and infangthef, with other franchises belonging to the Crown; and finally, that in all places of their concern, the Prior and Convent may do their pleasure. Witness: William Fitz Alan, at Roche Andely, 9th Nov. anno 10 (1198).

A second Charter of King Richard, derived from the same Inspeximus, bears date at Roche Andely, two days later. It merely confirms to the Priory all donations of lands, liberties, free customs, quittances, and other effects and possessions, which it had by grant of the King, his Ancestors, or any other person, ecclesiastic or secular.

A third Charter of King Richard (not extant, I believe) perhaps related to the Prior's shares in the Forests of Mount Gilbert and Shirlot.


Condover and Brimstree. Its limits corresponded nearly, if not exactly, with the modern Franchise of Wenlock. At the same time the Prior and his Tenants within the said district were exempted from all obligation to do suit at other Hundred-Courts, or even at the greater Court of the County.

These privileges are shown in full exercise in an Inquest of much later date, [30] but we have also earlier illustrations of the fact; for instance:- In the year ending Michaelmas 1199, the Sheriff, accounting for the Ferm of Shropshire, discharges himself of a liability of 52s., which he seems not to have received in consequence of a Writ Royal, ordering the "acquittance of the lands of the Prior of Wenelac of suits of the County and of Hundreds". [31]

Again we learn from another source, presently to be mentioned, that the Prior of Wenlock had no less than three Charters of King Richard, concerning his Franchises.

In the same reign probably, the Prior obtained a Charter from William de Vere, Bishop of Hereford, confirming that extraordinary Parochial Jurisdiction which was claimed by St. Milburg. I give the Charter in the Bishop's words: [32]-

"Willielmus del Gratia, Herefordensis Episcopus, omnibus &c. salutem. Ex inspectione veteris testamenti dilectorum fratrum Monasterii de Wenelok cognovimus terram Beatae Milburga Virginia totam esse unius parochia et capellas qua in eadem constructae sunt ad matricem ecclesiam jure parochiali pertinere, sicut olim cognitum fuit per judices delegatos, [33] Ricardum videlicet Londonia Episcopum &c., qui apud Wistanestow convenerant. Ne igitur contingat vetus illud instrumentum quod prefati roboraverunt et quod nos contrectavimus casu quolibet intercidere et deperire, veritatis hujus testimonium presenti scripto renovamus. Hiis testibus &c".

In the year 1199 the Prior of Wenlock appears with the Abbots

[30] Rot. Hund. II, 84, 86.
[31] Rot. Pip. 1 John, Salop. On this occasion only was the Sheriff allowed anything in respect of his loss arising from the creation of "Wenlock Liberty". This was not because the Prior's immunities were again suspended, but it was an indirect mode of raising the Firma Comitatus. The Sheriff thenceforth received lees, but accounted for the same. I have given a former instance of this. (Supra, p. 71).
[32] Patent, 22 Edw. III, part 3, m. 84 (Inspeximus).
[33] This is very remarkable. The Bishop speaks of the Viceroy Belmeis and his Assessors at Winstantow, as "Judges Delegate"; a term which in his (De Vere's) time implied Nominees of the Papal Court. This may have arisen from accident, ignorance, or design; but the point to notice is, that Belmeis' Charter, which De Vere had before him, issued under no Papal Commission whatever.


of Shrewsbury, Haughmond, and Lilleshall, as furnishing his quota of the Donum then levied. He paid 15., that is, 5. less than the Abbot of Shrewsbury, but 10. more than the Abbot of Haughmond.

In 1203, the Contributions of Wenlock, Shrewsbury, Haughmond, and Lilleshall, to a similar Aid, were thirty, twenty, five, and five merks respectively.

I shall hereafter have to refer to the Will of Dame Agnes, wife of the second Walter de Clifford. It was made during her husband's lifetime, that is before the year 1221. She bequeaths two merks towards "the fabric of the Church of Wenloc". [34]

On Sept. 25, 1224, the King (Henry III) being at Shrewsbury, orders that the Market, which had used to be held at Wenlock on Sundays, should be held for the future on Mondays. [35]

On the 29th August, 1226, Henry III was at Wenlock, on his road from Shrewsbury to Brug.

In the beginning of the year 1227 the Prior of Wenlock gave the King twenty merks to have confirmed the three Charters of King Richard concerning the franchises (libertatibus) conceded to him, also to have a grant of one Fair and two Markets. [36]

A Confirmation of two only of King Richard's Charters appears to be enrolled on this occasion. The confirmation bears date at Westminster Feb. 19, 1227. It grants to the Prior his portion in the Woods of Sirlet and of Mount Gilbert, as was settled in the Court of King Richard. It further grants that his lands, men, and tithes shall be free from Suits, Gelds, Aids of Foresters, from Sheriffs, Shires (County Courts), Hundreds, Pleas &c., and that they shall have soc, sac &c., "as the Charter of King Richard, which the King had inspected, did testify". [37]

The Fair which Henry III granted was to be held at Wenlock annually on the vigil, the day, and the morrow of St. John the Baptist. The Markets were, one at Wenlock on Mondays as before, and one at Eton (Eaton under Heywood) on Thursdays. This Charter bears date Feb. 18, 1227.

Another Writ of the King, date February 20, bids the Sheriff to allow the Prior of Wenlock to levy a reasonable aid on the free tenants of his bailiwick, to enable him to discharge the debt due to the Crown for the franchises thus allowed to him and his men. [38]

[34] Dodsworth, Vol. 68, fo. 91.
[36] Rot. Pip. 11 Hen. III, Salop; and Originalia, 11 Hen. III.
[35] Claus, I, 622.
[37] Cart. 11 Hen. III, Part I.
[38] Claus, II, pp. 172, 173.


At the County Assizes, October 1227, the King's Justices amerced the Prior of Wenlock ten merks for some trespass. [39]

A few years later, and the Prior of this House (Imbert) is found to be specially employed by the King. In June 1232 he was sent over Sea in the Royal service, and had the usual letters of Protection during his absence.

Later in the same year the King paid two distinct visits to Wenlock. He was there on August 9 and 10;- and on November 30 and December 1. On the last occasion the Prior was again commissioned with some foreign negotiation.

On June 7, 1238, the King was here once more. On that day he received in his Wardrobe at Wenlock a sum of 106., being an instalment of the tax of the fortieth assessed in the previous year on this County.-

The lands of the Prior of Wenlock are specially stated to be exempt from this tax. [40]

These Royal visits to Wenlock are further illustrated by entries on the Shropshire Pipe Rolla of the 16th and 17th of Henry III, where the Sheriff charges his expenses in forwarding the King's wines from Brug and Wenlock to Salop, and from Brug to Wenlock.

On July 19,1286, King Henry, being at Worcester, grants letters of protection for the lands and men of Imbert Prior of Wenlock, whom he has sent over Sea. On October 21 following, the same Prior is commissioned to see that Gilbert Marshall Earl of Pembroke makes compensation for injuries done to Lewellyn Prince of Wales. [41] In 1236, 1237, and 1238, we have charges on the Pipe Roll for sending the King's wine to Wenlock, and in the last two years some remains of the stock seem to have been sold.

In July 1244, the Prior of Wenlock was one of the Commissioners for negotiating a truce with David ap Lewellyn. In the same year this House made a great acquisition in the Manor of Oxenbold, which was forthwith transferred from Munslow Hundred to Wenlock Liberty.

The next year (1245) the Prior obtained the Advowson of Long

[39] Rot. Pip. 12 Hen. III.
[40] Rot. Pat. 17 Hen. III, and Rot. Forinsec:- The other lands exempted in Shropshire were those of the Bishop of Hereford, of the Knights Templars and Hospitallers, and of the Cistercians. Also the Hundred of Chirbury, the lands of Ralph de Mortimer in the Vale of Wigmore, and the lands of John Fitz Alan beyond Colvestan.- This mention of Domesday Hundred as a limit of the immunity, indicates a prescriptive right of great antiquity.
[41] Pat. 28 Hen. III; and Foedera, I, 256.


Staunton. He was also fined 40s. for some trespass, probably conneetcd with his acquisition of Oxenbold.

I have before alluded to the famous Iter of Geoffrey de Langley in Shropshire. It took place early in 1250.-

Heavy was the hand of the Justiciar on Imbert Prior of Wenlock, whom he left liable to extraordinary penalties. Subsequently the Prior's three compositions of trespasses were assessed altogether at the large sum of 126. 13s. 4d. The greater part of this charge arose from the Prior's proceedings at Madeley, under which Manor the particulars, shall be given; but it would also seem that the Prior had been assarting forest-lands in all directions without license, a matter which subjected him not only to immediate fine, but to a future rent-charge of five merks per annum, in respect of such assarts at Wenlock, Willey, Callaughton, Shineton, Burwardsley, Cotes, Longville, Lushcote, Preen, Legh, Caldebrok (Coalbrookdale), and Wulfheresford. Three years' arrears of this rent were charged against the Prior in 1252, [42] and twelve years in 1261; [43] but it appears that before the latter period his successor had redeemed the charge; in what way shall appear in due course.

Among the miscellaneous documents of the Testa de Nevill [44] is a Return, apparently of the year 1251, which says under Munslow Hundred that "the Church of Wenloc and the place of Wenloc are of the Advowson of the Lord King".-

The meaning of such a statement at that period I cannot precisely set forth; but it is clear that an idea was already on foot which eventually led to practical interference with the immunities of this Clugniac House.

In 1252 the Prior of Wenlock owed 6. for two purchases which he had made of the King's Wines.

When the Inquisitions of Hundreds were taken in 1255, the Liberty of Wenlock was the subject of a separate Return. All the Manors therein were stated to be held under the Prior, and to owe Suit to his Court only. [45] Much Wenlock proper, with its members, was held of him exclusively, that is, he was Lord of the Fee, and not merely of the Soke. Till King Richard's time it had been in Munslow Hundred, and had done Suit thereto as well as to the County. From these Suits it was now free.

In the year 1258, Imbert Prior of Wenlock seems to have made

[42] [43] Rot. Pip. 36, 45 Hen. III, Salop.
[44] Fo. 273.
[45] Rot. Hundred, II, pp. 84-86. In many instances this tenure under the Prior must be understood to relate only to his Soke or Hundredal Seigneury.


an effort to get rid of the tax which Geoffrey de Langley's arrentation had fixed upon his House. He represented to the King "that his woods in the land of St. Milburg of Wenlok were always free of Regard till the visit of that Justiciar, who had arrentated certain assarts therein at five merks, contrary to the aforesaid quittance and franchise".

The King's Writ which issued hereupon caused an Inquest to be held at Hales Paunton (Sheriff-Hales) on June 16, 1259, by the Justice of the Forests citra Trent, and upon oath of the Foresters and Verderers of Shropshire, with two Knights and several other freeholders. Their return confirmed the Prior's statement, and they said that "Geoffrey de Langley had arrentated all assarts indiscriminately, both such as were without and such as were within Regard". [46]- Nevertheless this grievance remained without present remedy.

On the 1st of November 1259, and again on the 10th of August 1260, the Prior of Wenlock (it must have been Imbert) was put on different Commissions to treat with Lewellyn. On Sunday August 22nd he was a party to the formal pacification then agreed upon at Montgomery. [47]

Very shortly after this, Imbert Prior of Wenlock was deceased. He had ruled the Monastery as much as forty years, and was perhaps the ablest of all who ever held that office. At his death, Geoffrey de Northampton, as a Royal Escheator, seized the estates of the Priory into the King's hand, a thing which was said to have been against all precedent, for no Escheator had on any previous vacancy entered on the Liberty. Geoffrey de Northampton moreover executed his office with extortionate rigour, and wrought damage and destruction in the Granges, Vineries, Woods, and Parks of the Priory, particularly at Madeley and Oxenbold, to the value of 10 merks and more: he also took 20 merks from the Tenants of St. Milburg, which he carried off with him. [48]

The Sub-prior and Convent at length gave the Escheator a fine of 100 merks to have the custody and profits of their House during the pending vacancy. [49]

This Vacancy did not long endure, for on April 8th, 1261, the

[46] Inquisitions, 43 Hen. III, No. 43.
[47] Pat. 44 Hen. III; and Foedera, I, pp. 400, 404.
[48] Rot. Hund. II, 111, 112.
[49] Originalia, I, p. 17. Half of this debt was paid to the King before Michaelmas following (Rot. Pip. 45 Hen. III) and it was settled at the Exchequer that Geoffrey de Northampton should not be called upon to account for any issues of the Priory during his Custody.


King enjoins Geoffrey de Northampton, Custos of the Priory, to give seizin thereof to Aymo de Montibus, formerly Prior of Bermondsey, whom the King has admitted on the presentation of the Prior of La Charite. [50]

Before the following Michaelmas the new Prior had compounded the twelve years' arrears and all future renewals of the rent-charge of five merks which was assessed on his Assarts. In lieu therof, Ebulo de Montibus, doubtless a relation of the Prior, had, at instance of the latter, assigned to the King and his heirs 100s. annual rent, which Ebulo had been used to receive in the town of Cambridge. [51]

Thus ended Geoffrey de Langley's arrentation on Wenlock Priory. The charge was formally released by Letters-Patent bearing date March 22, 1262.

On June 26, 1262, Prior Aymo had Royal License to make extensive Assarts of lands already the property of his House, but which, notwithstanding King Richard's Charter, were held to be within Regard of the Forest. Twenty acres in Middleton (Priors), fifteen acres in Dolmonesleg (near Wenlock), seven in Atterley, eight in Madeley, four in Weston (near Monk Hopton), two in Walton, two in Barrow, and two acres in Wigwig, were thus brought into cultivation. [52]

On December 5, 1265, Prior Aymo obtained King Henry III's Charter freeing him and his men from murage and other customs throughout the Realm. [53]

On the death of Prior Aymo in 1272, Wenlock was again seized by the Crown; but John Fitz Aer, Sub-Escheator in Shropshire, exercised his office so well and honestly, that the former complaints were not renewed. [54] Again, within the same year, a fine of 100 merks procured for the Convent the custody of its House and lands during the vacancy. This fine, negotiated with Henry III, was charged against the Prior and Convent in the Pipe Roll of 1 Edw. I (1273), from which I infer that the vacancy was already filled.

The Inquest of Nov. 1274 reported little of a general character as regarded the franchises of this Priory. The House, said the Jurors, had Gallows and Assize of Bread and Beer within its Liberty,

[50] Pat. 45 Hen. III.
[51] Rot. Pip. 45 Hen. III. Three Bailiffs of Cambridge appeared at the Exchequer, and certified that this rent of 100s. was annually due, and undertook to pay it to the King, together with the ferm of their Vill.
[52] Patent, 46 Hen. III.
[53] Cart. 8 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 8. Inspeximus.
[54] Rot. Hundred, II, 112.


of which it was enfeoffed by a King of England at a time whereof the Jurors had no memory. [55]

On May 19, 1281, Archbishop Peckham having recently visited this Diocese, and being at Lambeth, confirms to the Priory the Churches of the Holy Trinity at Wenlock, of (Stoke) St. Milberg, Eaton, Ditton, and Clun, with their appurtenant Chapels.

On June 20, 1290, King Edward I inspected and confirmed several Charters of Kings Richard and Henry III to the Priory. [56]

A King's Writ of March 28, 1288, exempts Cistercian Houses from the tax of the thirtieth, then in course of collection, till further orders. Wenlock Priory is one of a very few Houses not Cistercian which had a similar reprieve. [57]

On November 1, 1291, the Prior of Wenlock obtained a Charter of Free Warren for his estates at Wenlock, Stoke St. Milberg, Boccleton, Newton, Kinson, (Clee) Downton, More, Monks Weston (near Monk Hopton), Monks Mughale (Monkhall); Burton, Calloughton, (Monk) Hopton, Oxenbold, and Shipton. [58]

The Ecclesiastical Taxation of the same year informs us of the situation and value of most of the Prior's Estates; and, though it leaves unspecified many minor sources of income, we may gather from it a general idea of the influence and prosperity of the House.

Both indeed were very great, but not so great as the antecedents of Wenlock might seem to have promised. In the way of lands and Churches, two Centuries of Clugniac Rule had added something to the Saxon Monastery, but nothing proportionate to its original endowment. Its chief acquisitions since Domesday had been the Manors of Ditton and Oxenbold, a moiety of Patton, and the Advowson of the Clun Churches.

But, though its possessions had not greatly increased in bulk, their relative value will have been constantly improving. Under the extraordinary Franchises which the Prior of Wenlock exercised, each Tenant of his House was a privileged man, each acre of his domain acquired a twofold value. He was taxed very moderately in respect of his subjection to the foreign House of La Charite, and had rarely contributed at all to the revenues of the King of England. For certain voluntary offerings to the latter he had received more than an equivalent.

Wenlock was in short at this period (1291) a richer foundation than the purely Norman Abbey of Shrewsbury; and its steady and

[55] Rot. Hundred, II, p. 110.
[56] Pat. 22 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 12.
[57] Parliamentary Writs, I, p. 387.
[58] Rot. Cart. 19 Edw. I, No. 3.


quiet aggrandizement was perhaps in some degree attributable to that sobriety and prudence which Giraldus tells us were characteristics of the Clugniac Order.

As far as we can judge from Pope Nicholas' Taxation, the Temporalities of Wenlock in 1291 realized an annual income of more than 144.; but 19. 9s. 4d. of that sum arose from profits on farming-stock.-

The value of its Advowsons was about 130. per annum; and the Priory had an income arising from Church pensions and portins of which particulars are given to the extent of 6. or 7. [59]

At the Assizes of October 1292 the Prior of Wenlock was questioned as to his right of Free Warren in several Manors. He alleged the King's Charter of the previous year granting the said privilege not only in the Manors whereof question was made, but in others, of which Wenlock itself was one. [60]

He was further prosecuted under two Writs of Quo Waranto, one of which related exclusively to his possession of Ditton. The other was more general, and questioned his right of holding Market, Fair; and Pleas of the Crown in Dodynton (Ditton), Wenlock, and Eton. As to the Fair and Market, the Prior disposed of that matter by putting in the Charters of Henry III, as already quoted and as confirmed by Edward I. It does not however appear by the pleadings that he claimed the right in Ditton.-

His jurisdictional claim was to hold two Great Courts yearly in Wenlock or in Eton, as he chose, and to try all pleas therein which a Sheriff ordinarily tried in his Tourn: also he claimed to have infangethef, utfangethef, sok, and sak in Ditton, Wenlock, Eton, and in all lands of his demesne. For this he quoted King Edward I's Charter; so far as it confirmed the Charter of King Richard, who had "conceded and confirmed to St. Milburg of Wenlock and the Monks there, sac, soc, tol, team, and infangethef, with other liberties and free customs pertaining to the King".-

The Prior was dismissed without further question under this writ. [61]

On May 27, 1331, the Bishop of Hereford (Thomas Charlton) being at Morville, confirmed all the Churches, Chapels, and Pensions belonging to the Priory. [62]

In 1333 the Prior of Wenlock contributed 10 merks to the Aid

[59] Taxation, pp. 74 and 164. The income of the subject Cell of Prene (8. 10s. 1d.) is not included in this estimate; and several outlying sources of income are not specified in the Record at all.
[60] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, m. 25.
[61] Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 684.
[62] Patent, 22 Edw. III, p. 3, m. 34. Inspeximus.


on marriage of Edward III's Sister to the Duke of Gueldres. Only nine English Monasteries contributed higher sums. [63]

In January 1337, Edward III forbad all alien Priories, Wenlock amongst the number, to transmit any tribute or revenue to the foreign Houses of which they were affiliations. They were however to have such tribute ready in hand, to meet the King's further orders. [64]-

This was anticipatory of the war with France, which broke out in the same year; and on July 1 the King seized upon all the Monasteries in England which owned a French allegiance. [65]

On June 26, 1342, the King confirms an acquittance, which Guychard Prior of Wenlock had given to his Tenants in general, of a sum of 100s., which the said Prior and his predecessors had by custom levied annually on the said Tenants. [66] This rent had, I doubt not, been annually transmitted to the House of La Charite.

On October 8, 1343, Wenlock was one of twenty-one English Priories which, under pain of utter confiscation, were forbidden to send money on any pretext, or in obedience to any authority whatever, to a foreign Superior. [67]

In 1348 I find Wenlock Priory still in the King's hand, but intrusted to the Prior at an annual rent of 200 merks, payable to the Crown. [68]

On February 16, 1361, Peace having been concluded between the King of France and Edward III, the latter restored to the Prior of Wenlock his lands, Advowsons &c., to hold as freely as he held the same before the seizure thereof, and without any ferm hereafter to be paid to the King of England. The Writ calls Wenlock Priory "a Cell of the Priory of La Charite, in the realm of France". [69]

On the renewal of Edward III's war with France, less rigorous terms were enforced against Wenlock Priory than on its first forfeiture. On June 16, 1370, the Prior of Wenlock appeared by his Attorney, the Prior of Dudley, before the Barons of the Exchequer, and, acknowledging that he was heretofore bound to pay a tribute of 100s. per annum to the Prior of La Charite, in Burgundy, expressed his willingness to pay the same to the King of England as long as the war should last.

On Sept. 30, 1371, Brother Otto de Floriaco, Prior of Wenlock,

[63] Foedera, II, 861.
[64] Claus., 10 Edw. III, m. 2.
[65] Rot. Vascon. 11 Edw. III, m. 19.
[66] Pat. 16 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 33.
[67] Claus, 17 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 19 dorso.
[68] Patent, 22 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 12.
[69] Patent, 35 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 14.


appeared at the Exchequer and requested to have his Priory at ferm, paying 50. per annum to the King. His offer was accepted. [70]

A Valuation, taken 6 September, 3 Richard II (1379), gives the annual amount of the Temporalities and Spiritualities of the alien Priory of Wenlock. The former were 120. 0s. 10d.; the latter, 117. 3s. 4d.: the total, 237. 4s. 2d. This Valuation was taken for the King, in whose hands the Priory still remained by reason of the war. [71]

Another Valuation (in which however the items are not fully entered, and so do not bear out the totals), taken in 1390, gives the Temporalities of Wenlock as 219. 11s. 1d., and the Spiritualities as 108.-

The Total of 327. 11s. 1d. thus received was barely sufficient for the following curious estimate of annual expenses which accompanies the Valuation: [72]-

The King's Ferm in time of war: 50 0 0

Expenses of the Prior, Convent, and household, in cooked food (coquina), wine, and other things: 133 6 8
Pensions and Fees: 35 13 2
Payment for Robes against Christmas: 20 0 0
Repairs of Houses throughout the Manors: 30 0 0
Stipends of farm-servants per annum: 50 0 0
Law expenses in defence of the rights of the House: 10 0 0

328 19 10

On February 20, 1395, Richard II declared the Priory of Wenlock to be Denizen.-

The Prior (Roger Wyvell) and his Convent had paid 600 merks for this privilege, and further undertook to keep the obituaries of Queen Anne, then deceased, and of King Richard, after his death, in their House for ever. The King's Charter frees the Priory from all demands or charges heretofore made against alien Houses in times of war, or on any other pretext. [73]

It appears, from several memoranda in the Register of the later Priors of Wenlock, that the House, though freed from any fee-farm rent to the Crown, continued to pay to the King that tribute

[70] Wenlock Register, in possession of the Rt. Hon. Lord Forester, fo. 18, b.
[71] Monasticon, V. 77, No. viii.
[72] Register (ut supra), fos. 35, 36. These expenses do not include bread and beer for the whole establishment, nor maintenance of live-stock. Those items were met, not with money revenue, but by the produce in kind of the demesne lands.
[73] Ibidem, fo. 18.- The original Charter is in the Museum at Wenlock.


of 100s. which had originally gone to La Charite. It was also charged with one or more Corrodies in the nomination of the Crown.

Nearly a Century elapsed before the separation of Wenlock from its foreign allegiance was recognized by the Parent Monastery, or had Papal Sanction.

A Bull of Pope Alexander VI, dated Oct. 7, 1494, at length pronounced the supreme sentence of separation, for reasons too long to recite, but of which the principal seems to have been the inconvenient distance from the Priory of La Charite or the Abbey of Clugny, from which, says the Bull, Wenlock "immediately and mediately used to depend". [74]

This severance was further sanctioned by Pope Adrian VI, in 1523. His Bull also confers several facilities to meet those inconveniences which a House of Clugniac constitution must necessarily have suffered when separated from its Parent. [75]

Wenlock, thus made independent, was never, like Bermondsey, another Clugniac House, exalted into an Abbey. If it gained anything by exemption from foreign jurisdiction, it lost more by the change of its internal economy and the consequent failure of discipline. Its recognition as English only subjected it to the extortions of a government which had no longer such foreign interests to maintain as had contributed to the rise and prosperity of alien Houses.

In the 26th of Henry VIII (1534-5) the value of the Temporalities of Wenlock was 333. 16s. 10d.; of the Spiritualities, of 100. 4s. 4d.: giving a total of 484. 1s. 2d.- The charges on this income were-

Ecclesiastical dues and Pensions: 4 2 6
Fees to the Seneschal, Sub-Seneschal, and Auditor: 10 6 8
Corrodies, allowed to the King: 10 0 0
Alms to the Poor: 8 5 0
Total: 32 14 2

Thus the net income of the Priory was 401. 7s. 0d. [76]

Its surrender to the Crown bears date January 26, 1540. A Valuation, two years later, states its gross revenues to have been 481. 16s. 3d., or nearly 50. more than the previous return. [77] This is an usual and very intelligible difference.- In one case the Priory, proposed to be taxed, furnished particulars for its own

[74] [75] Ibidem, fo. 47, 48.
[76] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 215, 216.
[77] Monasticon, V, 80, Num. vii.




[For engravings, see pdf.]


assessment. In the other, the King's Officers were valuing the King's property, already in the market. Under either estimate, Wenlock had become a poorer House than Shrewsbury.

On the same day of January 1540, the late Prior and Convent were pensioned off with a gross sum of 100. per annum. [78] Of this the Prior had 30. to himself. The Sub-prior and Eleven Monks shared the rest between them.

IN GIVING ACCOUNT of any Religious Foundation, it has always been customary to add a list of its successive Governors, and with good reason;- for such a list not unfrequently presents the names of men whose genius or worth was known beyond the walls of a Convent. Moreover such a list is often of great use in investigating the chronology of a period when specific dates were little employed. Lastly, some former lists of the Priors of Wenlock are so inaccurate, that a new one, carefully drawn up, will at least establish some truth and bring in question some error.


PETER is the first of whom I find mention. He is Grantor in a Deed dated A.D. 1120.

RAINALD was the friend and companion of Robert de Bethun, Bishop of Hereford. He follows the Bishop in attesting a Charter, about 1138-9. [79] In March 1148, both were at the Council of Rheims, and the Prior was in attendance on the Prelate when he died there, on April 22. [80] William of Wycumb addressed his Life of Bishop Bethun to this Rainald. [81] A Charter of Rainald's, which probably passed about 1150, will be cited hereafter.

HUMBALD, or WYNEBALD, [82] attests two Shrewsbury and one Haughmond Charter, between 1155 and 1160. In 1169, he colonized the Scottish Monastery of Paisley, from Wenlock. [83] He attests a Shrewsbury Charter about 1170.

PETER DE LEIA was promoted from this Priorate to the See of St. David's, and consecrated Nov. 7, 1176.

HENRY was Prior some time during the reign of Henry II. An extant Charter of his leaves little doubt that he came between Peter de Leis and-

ROBERT, [84] who occurs as Prior Nov. 22, 1192, and attests Deeds perhaps two years later.

MASTER JOYBERT, a Norman, being already Prior of Wenlock

[78] Not 80., as printed, Monasticon, V, 80, Num. xi.
[79] Supra, Vol. I, p. 207.
[80] Tanner gives a Prior Imbert "about 1146".- A mistake, I suppose, as to date.
[81] Anglia Sacra, Vol. II, pp. 296, 313.
[82] The Monasticon (Vol. V, p. 72) calls him Humbert, in 1166.
[83] Mailros Chronicle, p. 170.
[84] Mr. Blakeway gives John as Prior in 1190. If so, he came between Henry and Robert.


and Daventry [85] (both Clugniac Houses), was collated to the Benedictine Priory of Coventry in January 1198. He occurs as still holding the Priory of Wenlock in September 1200, but that of Daventry he appears to have resigned. I take him to be that "J. Prior of Wenloc" whom Giraldus mentions about March 1202. [86] In 1208 he was elected by the Monks of Coventry to the See of Lichfield and Coventry, but the Papal Legate annulled the election. He died June 14, 1216, but it does not appear that at that time he held the Priorate of Wenlock as well as of Coventry. [87]

HUMBEBT, or IMBERT, Prior of Wenlock, was already in office Nov. 20, 1221. [88] He occurs continuously from that date till Aug. 22, 1260, soon after which he died. His successor was-

AYMO DE MONTIBUS, who, having been Prior of Bermondsey, was admitted, by Letters-Patent, to Wenlock, on April 8, 1261. [89] In August 1263, this Prior has Letters of Protection. [90] On Feb. 7, 1265, custody of the Priory of Northampton is committed to him, which Priory, says the Record, "is so damaged by the conflict, that regular discipline cannot be observed therein". [91]

St. Andrew's of Northampton, I should observe, was an affiliation of La Charite sur Loire. It was not at this time vacant; but the substitution of Aymo de Montibus for the real Prior, Guy, was not the King's act, but that of Montfort and his Partisans, who now had the King a prisoner. The "conflict" alluded to was that of April 6, 1264, when the King had won a signal success at Northampton against the Rebels. The intervening battle of Lewes had changed the attitude of parties to their present state.

Again, in August following, the Battle of Evesham was fought; and a genuine Patent of December 5 shows Prior Aymo as much in

[85] Dugdale says he was also Prior of Bermondsey. The statement is not borrowed from or consistent with the Annals of Bermondsey; a circumstance which by no means invalidates its truth.
[86] Anglia Sacra, II, 560. At the Assizes, October 1203, the Prior of Wenlock essoigned his attendance, by William de Wenlock.
[87] On July 16, 1216, it appears that the Priors of Wenlock and Coventry were two distinct persons. Each has letters of protection of that date, while attending a General Council at Rome (Pat. 17 John, m. 19). The Lateran Council of Nov. 1215 is probably meant.
[88] Tanner and Blakeway give a Prior Richard of Wenlock, under date of 1221. The authority seems to be the Bermondsey Annals, which say that Richard, quitting the Priorate of Bermondsey in that year, was made Prior of Wenlock. If the fact of such a change be true, the date given must, I think, be too late.
[89] This undoubted date tests the accuracy of the Annalists of Bermondsey, who say that their Prior Haymo died in 1258.
[90] Pat. 47 Hen. III.
[91] Pat. 49 Hen. III.


favour with the King as he had been with Montfort. It acquits him, his Successors, and Vassals, and all their proper goods and chattels, of murage, toll, portage, and passage throughout the realm of England. [92] In October 1267, Richard de Ludlowe, Monk of Wenlock, and Richard le Bastard, are admitted as Attorneys for the Prior in all Suits. [93] Aymo was living January 20, 1272, and appears to have died about August following. His Successor-

JOHN DE TYCFORD, or THIFFORD (whom I find to have resigned the Priory of St. Andrew's, Northampton, [94] in this very year), was admitted by Letters-Patent to Wenlock on November 12, 1272. It will have been he who on June 23, 1273, was commissioned to remonstrate personally with Lewellyn, in regard to certain encroachments of that Prince in the King's honour of Montgomery. [95]

This Prior probably held office for twelve years. [96]

HENRY DE BONVILLE, who would seem to have been made Prior of Bermondsey in May 1285, was, later in the year, appointed to Wenlock. [97] The Temporalities of Wenlock were restored to him as "Henry de Bono Villar, formerly Prior of Bermondsey", by Letters-Patent of September 10, 1285. He is probably the same with-

HENRY, Prior of Wenlock, who occurs in 1292, 1297, 1301, and 1306, and who is mentioned as deceased in 1321. [98]

GWICARD DE CARO LOCO, who had for more than a year been Prior of Northampton, had the Temporalities of Wenlock by Letters-Patent of February 26, 1320. [99] He was still in office October 3, 1344. One of this name occurs as only a Monk of Wenlock in 1360.

[92] The original Patent is in possession of Mr. George Morris, of Shrewsbury. See also Rot. Pat. 50 Hen. III, m. 38. The Annals of Bermondsey give it that Gwicard, Prior of Bermondsey, resigning in 1266, became Prior of Wenlock; a mere invention, for which I cannot imagine the smallest evidence to have ever existed.
[93] Ibidem, 51 Hen. III.
[94] A story, illustrative of this Prior's connection with Northampton, may be seen Rot. Hund. II, 112. The Sub-prior and Convent of Wenlock fined 100 merks for Custody of their house during its vacancy. Milo, Prior of La Charite, then appointed (prefecit) John de Tycford, the King ratifying the appointment by enjoining obedience on the Convent.
[95] Foedera, Vol. I, p. 604.
[96] Willis (Mitred Abbeys, II, 193) gives John Tubbe as Prior about 1277. This appears to me to be a misconstruction of a passage in the Assize Rolls of 1292, where one John Tubbe is said to have been a Grantee of John, late Prior of Wenlock. Vide Infra, under "Ditton Priors".
[97] The Bermondsey Annalist calls him Henry Northam, and gives his obit as in 1288.
[98] Court Roll of Wenlock, in possession of Thomas Mytton, Esq., of Shipton.
[99] Tanner gives a Prior Henry, elected in 1325.- The mistake is probably in the date.


HUMBERT, Prior of Wenlock, is said to occur in 1348. [100]

HENRY DE MYONNS, or DE CHAT, occurs 8th October, 1360, and May 10, 1362. [101]

OTTO DE FLORIACO occurs as Prior September 30, 1371. [102]

WILLIAM DE PONTEFRACT occurs 6th September 1379, on the Valuation then taken. [103]

ROGER WYVILL occurs February 20 and April 4, 1395. [104] After whose death-

JOHN STAFFORD was appointed, January 18, 1397. He occurs in 12 Henry IV (1410-11) and 1422.

WILLIAM BRUGGE had the Temporalities restored 11th July 1435. After his resignation in 1437-

ROGER BARRY had the same, viz., on May 12, 1438. [105] On his death-

ROGER WENLOCK succeeded, viz., July 11, 1462. [106] (There was some time a Prior whom his Epitaph at Wenlock described as "Richard Wenlok", [107] but he was probably later).

JOHN STRATTON succeeded in October 1468. [108]

JOHN SHREWSBURY had the Temporalities restored July 9, 1471. [109] On his resignation-

THOMAS SUTBURY had the same, viz., on April 21, 1482 (22 Edward IV). He had for nine years been Prior of Northampton. He occurs on August 3, 1485;- but in the same year-

RICHARD SYNGAR, alias WENLOKE, is said to have been elected. [110] He occurs as Prior continuously from June 6, 1489, to 1521, when on May 24 the Sub-prior and Convent petitioned the King to have license to elect his Successor. On 6th July the King's assent was given to the election of-

ROLAND GOSSENELL, [111] elsewhere called GACEWELL and BRUGE.

[100] Monasticon, V, 73.
[101] Tanner dates his election wrongly in 1368. He was Vicar (in England) of the Parent Priory of La Charite, and a curious Deed (in possession of W.P. Brookes, Esq., of Wenlock) shows him, in that capacity, receiving the resignation of a superannuated Prior of Bermondsey, on Oct. 8, 1360.
[102] Register at Willey, fo. 18, b.
[103] Supra, p. 247.
[104] Register, ut sapra. He is printed as Richard, by mistake, in the Monasticon (Vol. V, p. 73).
[105] The List of Priors in the Monasticon supplies many of these names from the Patent Rolls, but with much inaccuracy as regards the computation of Regnal and Dominical years.
[106] Tanner says William Walwyn was elected in 1462.
[107] Monasticon, Vol. V, 73, note m.
[108] Tanner, Willis, and Dukes.
[109] Pat. ll Edw. IV, p. 1.- Tanner gives his election as in 1479.
[110] Tanner.- He probably was the Prior whose Epitaph has been mentioned above.
[111] Register at Willey, fo. 12, b.


He had the Temporalities restored October 10, 1521. He commemorates in his own handwriting many improvements which he effected in the fabric of his Convent and the great Hall at Oxenbold, and the Chancel at Barrow; how also he procured the Bull of Pope Adrian [112] already alluded to. However in his second year of office his Monks rebelled against him; whereupon he petitioned Cardinal Wolsey for aid. The Legate despatched a Visitor to Wenlock with full powers of Reform. The Visitor's Orders and Mandates are preserved. They bear date 7th September 1523, and it was not till June 6, 1524, that the said Visitor re-intrusted the Priory to Roland, and prorogued his further Visitation for a year.

For this business Prior Roland informs us that he paid 17. to the Lord Legate, besides maintaining his Officer. The last mention of Prior Roland is a receipt dated July 6, 1526, whereby "Robert Litle, Grom of the King's beddys", acknowledges payment at his hands of one of the King's Corrodies. [113] His Successor was-

JOHN BAYLY, BAYLIS, or CRISSAGE, whose seizin of the Temporalities is referred to a Patent of December, 18 Hen. VIII (i.e., 1526) [114] However the King's precept to the Abbot of Shrewsbury to take Prior Bayly's fealty bears no earlier date than Dec. 19, 19 Hen. VIII (1527). [115] He it was who surrendered the Priory on January 26, 1540, and received a life- pension as before related. He died at Madeley Manor-House on Christmas Day 1558, and was buried in Madeley Church on the day following. [116]


The corporate Towns of the thirteenth Century were of three principal classes, viz., those which were held by Royal Charter, those which had arisen under sufferance of some feudal Chief, and those which were of the patronage of the Church, that is, incorporated by the Lords of a spiritual Fief. Shropshire, affords instances of each class.- Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth were of the first, Oswestry and Ludlow of the second, Wenlock and the Abbey Foregate of Shrewsbury belonged to the third.

The Domesday notice of Wenlock Manor gives us no intimation of a Town therein. The district involved seems to have been purely

[112] Register at Willey, fo. 22, b.
[113] Ibidem, fo. 52.
[114] Monasticon, V, 73.
[115] Register at Willey, fo. 51.
[116] Extracts from a Register at Wynnstay;- communicated by Mrs. Stackhouse, Acton.


agricultural. The Town then gradually sprang up under the auspices of the Priory. The relations of Town and Priory will have been those of any other Borough and its Lord, that is, the privileges of the Burgesses can have arisen only under successive concessions of the Priory. It is nearly ten centuries after Domesday before we find the Town of Wenlock with any indication of a corporate government.

That suburb of Shrewsbury now known as the Abbey Foregate presents a history very analogous. It was part of the original endowment of the Abbey. It gradually became populous, and had a Corporation of its own, subject still to the Abbey and wholly independent of the Municipality of Shrewsbury. Its corporate privileges were however acquired much earlier than those of Wenlock.

I must leave it to a quotation of successive documents to show the names and something as to the tenure of the early Burgesses of Wenlock. I select such documents chiefly as concern tenements and Tenants within the Vill. Where, as often happened, a Manorial Tenant was also holder of a Burgage, the fact will appear under other heads.-

On September 26, 1199, Edusa Fitz Emma, who claimed under writ of mort d'ancestre a messuage and acre of land in Wenlock, remitted her claim for half a merk to Prior Joibert, the Tenant or Defendant. [117]

In 1212 the Vill (villata) of Wenlock was amerced three merks by the Justices of the Forest, then in eyre.

At the Assizes of 1221, Alice daughter of Alice de Wenlok sued Hamo Fitz Gilbert for 24 acres in Wenlock, which she claimed as heir of her Mother. Hamo showed that the Plaintiff had a uterine Brother, which of course put an end to her claim. [118]

At the same Assizes, Benedict Fitz Adam failed in establishing a charge of disseizin which he had against the Prior concerning a tenement in Wenlock. [119]

Another Suit I understand to have been as follows:-

Hamo Fitz Geoffrey had given to Muriel his daughter and her heirs a messuage and some land in Wenlock, adjoining his own house, reserving only a rent of 6d. to himself and heirs. Muriel was now wife of William Mail, Hamo was dead, and, Roger Fitz Hamo his heir neglecting to perform the services due on his whole tenancy to the Prior of Wenlock, the latter distrained William and Muriel for the same. They alleged that Roger Fitz Hamo was bound, for the 6d. rent which they paid him, to save them harmless in the matter.

[117] Pedes Finium, 1 John, Salop.
[118] [119] Assizes, 6 Hen. III, passim.


Roger, being summoned into Court, appeared, and pleaded that the premises were the marriage portion of his Mother, so that his Father had no right to dispose of them. He afterwards withdrew this plea, and the Court ordered the Sheriff to oblige him by distress to exonerate the Plaintiffs, if in future he failed to do so. [120]

At the same Assizes, Ichenard Fitz Fulco withdrew the plea of novel disseizin which he had against the Prior and Walter de Heford, concerning a tenement in Wenlock. [121]

Also Robert son of William de Witton withdrew the Suit of mort d'ancestre which he had against Ichenard le Tannur for three acres in Wenlock. [122]

Lastly, a suit of mort d'ancestre which Robert le Turnur and Emma his wife had against William Brito for a quarter of a virgate in Wenlock was adjourned to Warwick, the Defendant not appearing.

At Warwick, on January 14, 1222, this suit was further adjourned to Westminster, [123] where I lose it.

These suits have more than the mere interest of local details. They show that, notwithstanding his great Franchises, the Court of the Prior of Wenlock was inadequate to deal with some questions which, had they arisen in a Royal Borough, could not be removed into the Curia Regis in their simple form and under ordinary circumstances. I mean that Placita de morte antecessoris, or Placita Servitii, would, in such a Borough, be reducible to the simple form of Placita de Recto, and so terminable in the local Court. As to Pleas of novel disseizin, I shall have more to say hereafter.

In August 1226, Adam Fitz Hamo gives half a merk to the King for license to compound a suit of more d'ancestre which he had against Warin Fitz Alice, concerning 42 acres in Wenlock. [124]

In November 1235, a Fine was levied between John Fitz Nicholas, Plaintiff, and Ingerich de Salop, Tenant, of three messuages in Wenlock, whereof was plea. The Tenant, renouncing his claim, had the same for life, to hold of the Plaintiff at the rent of a pair of iron spurs, or 1d., and by performing all capital services. [125]

A Fine of Trinity Term 1237 gives Walter Freud, Plaintiff, renouncing

[120] [121] Assizes, 6 Hen. III, passim.
[122] Ibidem, memb. 6 dorso. The Plaintiff was amerced half a merk for his withdrawal (Rot. Pip. 6 Hen. III), where he is called Robert de Wauton. Of his two pledges, William de Kilmescot and Gilbert de Presthope, the latter is written Prestcote on the Pipe Roll.
[123] Placita apud Warwick, 6 Hen. III, m. 1.
[124] Placita coram Rege, 10 Hen. III, memb. 4 dorso. This would seem to have been a renewal of a suit, above mentioned, where, in 1221, the Father and Sister of the present litigants were at issue.
[125] Pedes Finium, 20 Hen. III, Salop.


to Walter Godknave, Tenant, all right to a messuage and to sixteen acres and fifty seilions of land in Wenlock, whereof was suit of mort d'ancestre. The Tenant paid four merks. [126]

In Trinity Term, 1248 Walter Bonvalet names Adam Bonvalet as his Attorney in the Suit of customs and service which he had against the Prior of Wenlock. [127]

On April 28, 1247, a King's Writ issued to the Sheriff of Shropshire, commanding him to hold Inquest as to what customs and services the men of the Prior of Wenlock, within the vill of Wenlock, ought rightfully to perform to the said Prior, in respect of their several tenements within the said vill;- also as to what customs and services the said Prior had extorted arbitrarily and against right from the said men.

The answer given by twelve Jurors to this inquiry, I should be particular in recording at length, were it not for the mutilated state of the document.

It affords however the means of estimating very proximately the constitution of the Borough of Wenlock in the middle of the thirteenth Century.

There were eight freemen in the Vill of Wenlock whose feoffments were of ancient date. Richard, son of Richard Fitz Gilbert, held his tenement at a rent of 5s., payable to the Prior, and he owed suit to the Court of Wenlock, on any reasonable summons, in common with other freemen of the Fee of St. Milburg. On the day when the said Tenant paid his rent he was allowed a Monk's Corrody, which he was at liberty to take to his own house.

Six other Tenants of the same class are named, viz., Richard Chamberlain (Camerarius) of Wenlock, Hydbenard Fitz Gilbert, William Fitz Adam of Wenlock, Warin Fitz Warin of Wenlock, Richard Fitz Robert of Wenlock, and John de Beckbury. The last held his Tenement under the Priory Kitchen.

Their rents to the Priory were respectively 2s.;- 6s.;- 8s. 4d.; 2s. 8d.;- 8s. [128];- and 4s. per annum. They owed the same suit as Richard son of Richard Fitz Gilbert aforesaid.

The extortions of the Prior seem to have been as follows:-the

[126] Pedes Finium, 21 Hen. III, Salop. This Fine is curious, as illustrating the capricious nomenclature of the period. On the Shropshire Pipe Roll of the same year, Walter Bonvalet is entered as paying half a merk "for license to accord". "Good-knave" and "Bon-Valet" are synonymous.
[127] Placita, Trin. Term, 27 Hen. III, m. 16.
[128] Besides his rent of 8s., Richard Fitz Robert seems to have performed a certain quantity of agricultural labour yearly for the Prior, i.e., three days' ploughing (if that be the meaning of tres arraticas), and two days' mowing in Autumn.


levy of an an annual tax of 100s.; the exacting suit of Court at summons of a single night; the seizing a third of the goods of any deceased tenant before his debts were paid; seizing also the half or the whole of the goods of all Widows who died within the Vill; seizing a third of the goods of any deceased person, who, holding only under the Prior's Tenants, and not immediately under the Prior, could be bound to the Prior in no way; refusing to allow an heir his inheritance on payment of reasonable relief, and except under an arbitrary fine.

There were furthermore thirty-nine Burgesses who paid the Prior 1s. per annum each for their free Burgages. If any Burgess, being a Baker, Draper, or * * *, broke any assize (as regulated by Statute elsewhere), he was amerced at Wenlock, under some peculiar custom of the Borough. The Prior exacted a toll on Beer, both from his Freemen and from his Burgesses aforesaid, over and above the customs and services already set forth, which exaction the Jury said was arbitrary and unjust. [129]

At the Assizes of January 1256, Alice Fitz Warin, as heir of her mother (Alice Fitz Pagan), sued the Prior for twenty-seven acres in Wenlock, but failed to prove that the Prior was Tenant of the premises, and so was nonsuited. [130]

At the same Assizes, John son of John Tece withdrew the Writ of mort d'ancestre which he had against Roger Pylle concerning a plot of ground, eighty feet long by thirty wide, in Wenlock. [131]

In April 1258, Henry le Gos of Wenlock with Alice his wife, and Matilda and Margery, sisters of Alice, are entered on the Rolls as having fined half a merk for an assize of novel disseizin, to be taken before Giles de Erdinton. The Defendant was the Prior of Wenlock, and a tenement in Wenlock was the subject of dispute. [132]

On September 3, 1258, William Bon Valet had a writ of novel disseizin against Hugh de Seynton (Shineton) and others, concerning a tenement in Magna Wenlok. He paid the Sheriff half a merk for the writ. [133]

[129] Harleian Charter, 45, A. 33; being, in fact, the Inquisition entered upon the Calendar as 31 Hen. III, No. 42; but since removed from the proper Custody.
[130] Assizes, 40 Hen. III, Salop, m. 2 dorso.
[131] Ibidem, m. 4 dorso. John Tece, father and son, have already occurred to us under Broseley (Vol. II, pp. 16, 22, 23). The Sureties of John Tece Junior, in the present instance, were Anian de Burwardsley and Thomas Cleche of Dene.
[132] Fines II, p. 274; Pat. 42 Hen. III dorso; Rot. Pip. 43 Hen. III.
[133] Patent, 42 Hen. III dorso. Rot. Pipe, 43 Hen. III, Salop.


Hamo Chamberlain, Richard Fitz Richard, Herbert Coly, and Walter le Parmunter.

The presentments of these Borough Jurors are not so prolix or so devoid of interest, but that they will bear to be recited. They reported how-

Richard Chaplain of Harley, with his Sons Roger and Henry and Alice their Mother, were in company with Robert Fitz Madoc and Juliana his wife at a Tavern in Wenlock; how Roger and Robert quarrelled, and the former so struck the latter with a staff upon the head, that death ensued the next day: furthermore, how Roger was imprisoned in Brug Castle while Hamo le Strange was Sheriff.-

Hereupon the Court ordered the present Sheriff (Hugh de Mortimer) to summon his predecessor Hamo to appear before the Justices and give account of his Prisoner.

The second presentment of the Wenlock Jurors regarded Philip de Northampton, a Monk, who had cut his own throat in the Priory. A verdict of Felo de se was hereupon recorded.

The third presentment was as to Robert Fitz Robert of Kilmescote (Skimblescott), who, having been arrested for the death of Richard Fitz Reginald of Long Staunton, had escaped from the Prior's Gaol. Sentence on the Prior for this escape was reserved, but it appeared that Hugh de Mortimer (Sheriff of Shropshire) had already received 5. from the said Prior for this matter. It also appeared that the Culprit, after his escape, took refuge in the Church of the Holy Trinity at Wenlock, and in the presence of the Coroner abjured the realm.

Lastly, these Jurors represented how Richard Chamberlain (Camerarius) of Wenlock, Alan Fitz Alan of Wenlock, and Hamo le Chamberleyn, had been accused of larceny, imprisoned, and fined ten merks by William de Caverswell, late Sheriff. [141]

At the Inquisitions of November 1274, the Vill of Wenlock was represented by eleven Jurors distinct from the twelve who represented the Liberty. The eleven were, Richard Chamberlain, Alan Hocheleth, Richard Fitz Alice, William Fitz Adam, Hamo Chamberlain, Richard Fitz Robert, John Winel, Roger de Wiggewig, William Pres, Hamo Chese, and Roger de Harley.

Among other things, they presented several acts of extortion and wrong recently committed by the Sheriffs or Under-Sheriffs of the County, or by the Bailiff or Beadle of Munslow Hundred. The sufferers were, Richard Fitz Agnes and Richard Fitz Robert of Wenlock, Aymo late Prior of Wenlock, William de Burwardsley a Monk

[141] Placita Coronae, 56 Hen. III, m. 24.


of Wenlock, Anian de Burwardsley with Alice and Matilda his wife and daughter, Enota Coly of Wenlock, Philip de Benthal, and, lastly, the Vicar of Wenlock. [142]

On November 25, 1282, by Fine levied at Westminster, Vivian de Flurry concedes to Malcolumb de Harley a messuage and forty acres of land in Magna Wenlock. Vivian is to hold the premises for life, paying to Malcolumb a rent of one Rose, and doing all capital services.

About this time, Roger le Knith of Wenlock releases by deed to the Priory all his right in a plot of ground situated near the new garden of the Monks. [143]

Under date of 1291, we have a statement of the Prior's income in Wenlock. It is difficult to fix exactly the localities from which this income arose, but it probably included the profits of land held in demesne by the Priory in and near Wenlock, also the rents of the Burgesses, whether arising from lands near to, or tenements within the Vill. [144] In other respects the Valuation explains itself.-

The Prior had in Wenlock five carucates [145] of land which, at 18s. per carucate, yielded a revenue of: 4 10 0
Two acres of meadow at 1s. 8d. per acre, yielded: 0 3 4
The assized-rents were: 8 0 0
The profits of Court, Fair, and Market, were: 2 0 0
Four Mills yielded annually: 3 17 4
Total: 18 10 8. [146]

At the County Assizes of October 1292, the Vill of Wenlock again appeared by its Jury. [147] The names given are Adam Arundel (Chief Bailiff), Richard Fitz Richard and John Wynel (Electors of the Jury), William de Barbur, Adam Wolrich, Hamo Chamberlain, Roger le Knyght, Richard Carewel, Wm. de Wyggeworth, Thos. Wynel, John Coly, William de Pycheford, and Richard Corn, Jurors.

At these Assizes, Jordan le Pestur and Elota his wife acknowledged by fine that they had given to Master John de Sewalle a messuage in Wenlock, whereof was plea of Warranty:- to hold of the Lords of the Fee. John de Sewalle gave them three merks.

[142] Rot. Hund. II, pp. 111, 112.
[143] Blakeway's MSS.- Attested by John de Esthope, John de Presthope, Henry de Prestenden, and John de Plouden.
[144] Burton, Marsh, and Bradeley are expressly excluded from this estimate.
[145] The profits of one of these five Carucates went to the Almoner of the Priory, wherewith he supported the poor and infirm.
[146] Pope Nich. Tax. p. 164.
[147] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, m. 46.


There is extant a very perfect and valuable Court-Roll of Wenlock Priory. [148] It contains all the Fines, affecting the Copyhold Estates of the House, which passed during the period commencing Sept. 29, 1321, and ending July 8, 1322.

It seems to be the third annual fine-roll of Prior Guychard. I here give extracts from the Fines relating exclusively to Much Wenlock (the Town and Manor), and which, though they concern small interests and humble individuals, give us some instances of local names still to be identified, and also some insight into the customs of the Court.

"MAGNA WENLOCK.- Sept. 29, 1321.- Cecilia le Glovere fined 1s. and two geese, for ingress into a messuage near Schutebrok Bridge, and did fealty.

Sunday, Oct. 18, 1321.- William, called le Vicary, fined 2s. for seven butts of the Lord's demesne near Seuewallesych, with the green adjoining, to hold to him his wife and daughter for their lives. They will pay 8d. rent and give tithes yearly.

Wednesday, Oct. 28.- Robert de Bradenhop took a certain place of the Lord's demesne, described with reference to other localities, e.g., Mardenole Street, Wyndmulnehull (Windmill- hill), and the Gardens of the Vill:- to hold for life at 10s. rent.- Tenant to pay tithe and keep the land fenced.- Ingress-fee, 3s. 4d.

Sund. Nov. 15.- Two persons give the Lord 1s. and two Geese for license to hold an acre of a third person's land near Balnhop Mill during two crops, viz., the existing winter and the next spring crop. [149]

On the same day, William le Vicary and another took the Lower Mill near Schittebrok with a croft on the hither side of Bridebach Mill, to hold for twelve years at a rent of 26s.- Tenants to keep the Mill in repair.

Sunday, March 7, 1322.- Walter Forster fined 5s. for ingress into all Tenements late held by Warin his Father, deceased. Walter did fealty.

Friday, April 19.- The Lord conceded to Richard le Messager four-and-a-half acres of demesne near St. Mary's-way, to hold for life at a rent of 18d. per acre, i.e., 6s. 9d., whereof the Lord excused 3d.

Monday, May 3.- A place of demesne near Honemor Sichet, [150] containing seven cursons, [151] and another place whereon to build, leased to a Tenant for life at 1s. 10d. rent.

[148] In possession of Thomas Mytton, Esq., of Shipton.
[149] Written "tramessum" for "trimesium", i.e., the three- months' crop.
[150] [151] Sichet- a water-course. Curse- a ridge.


Wednesday, June 9.- By demise and tradition of the Lord, Adam le Lene and his wife took half that whole place of demesne bounded by the King's highway which leads out of the Vill to Marilone, and by the King's highway called the Renelone, and by the gardens of the Vill up to the Cross, called Jiloti-cros;- to hold for their lives at 4s. 3d. rent, saving to the Prior and Convent a third part of all goods and chattels found on the premises at the decease of either man or wife, and saving yearly tithes.

On the same day, John de Beckebur and Isota his wife took the other moiety of the same premises at a similar rent and on the same conditions. The whole place contained five acres.

Sunday, June 27.- A tenant fined 40d. for the surrendered curtilage of another; to hold for life at 3s. rent, and the Tenant undertaking to build thereon. A third of his goods is reserved to the Lord (obviously the usual heriot being meant) at his death".

I here quit the subject of the Borough of Wenlock as regards its customs, tenures, and burgesses; but, according to my usual plan when treating of Monastic property, will follow the Prior's interests in the Town and Manor till they vanished at the Dissolution.

In 1379 his revenue here stood as follows:-

Site of the Priory yielding no net revenue: 0 0 0
Vivary,- the fishery whereof produced annually: 0 8 0
Tolls collected in a year at the weekly Market: 0 6 8
Fair of three days' duration: 0 10 0
Two great Courts of View of frank pledge yearly: 1 0 0
Assized Rents of Free Tenants: 14 1 8
Pleas and Perquisites of Court: 0 3 4
Six Water-Mills: 8 0 0
Grange annexed to the Vill, yielding no net revenue: 0 0 0
Dove-Cot: 0 3 4
Garden: 0 1 0
Five carucates of arable land, at 13s. 4d. per annum [152]: 3 6 8
Five acres of meadow, at 12d. [153]: 0 5 0
23 0 8. [154]

A valuation of 1390 excludes the demesne lands throughout the

[152] Thirteen shillings and four pence was the estimated profit of two-thirds of a Carucate when under tillage. The remaining third of each Carrucate is not reckoned, as that quantity lay fallow, and was treated as Common.
[153] The aftermath is not valued, because, after the hay was carried, these meadows were treated as Common.
[154] Monasticon, V, p. 77, Num. viii.


territory of St. Milburg, which are estimated at twenty-five carucates, and the corn from which was barely sufficient to maintain the Prior, his Convent, and Household in bread and beer, and to furnish the liveries [155] of his Neat-herds. The two Parks at Madeley and Oxenbold, together with the meadows there and in other Manors, were estimated barely to maintain the live-stock of the Priory. Six Dove-houses in different Manors produced 80s. per annum. In Much Wenlock specifically, the assized rents in the Manor and the ferm of its Mills realised 16. 8s., the Perquisites of Court and Fines 5. per annum. [156]

In 1534, the Rental of the Prior's lands and Tenements in Wenlock Magna was returned as low as 13. 3s. [157]

In 1541-2, the King's Ministers gave a different account, valuing the Site of the Priory and its demesne-lands in Wenlock at 12. 0s. 10d.; [168] the rents of tenants at the Lord's will in Wenlock at 11. 1s. 10d.; the ferms of lands and tenements leased by indenture at 5. 4s. 4d.; the rents of Copyholders at 4. 12s. 6d; and the perquisites of Court at 19s. 10d. Total, 33. 19s. 4d. [158]


There was a Saxon Parish of St. Milburg, there was also an ancient Parish of the Holy Trinity of Wenlock, and there is now a Parish of Much Wenlock. These three terms may sometimes be used indifferently, and will accidentally apply to the same subject matter; for instance, the Chapelry of Burton would, with equal correctness, be described as in either district.

Nevertheless the three terms imply three spiritual jurisdictions of very unequal extent. The Saxon Parish of St. Milburg involved the Parish of the Holy Trinity, but was immeasurably greater, including Badger, Beckbury, Deuxhill, the two Millichopes; and, in short, if the Dictum of the Viceroy Belmeis is to be relied upon, every place which before his time had been identified as the "Land of St. Milburg".

Again, the ancient Parish of the Holy Trinity contained all the modern Parish of Much Wenlock, but much more besides. It included Broseley, Linley, Willey, and eight other places (presently

[155] Maintenance, that is,- not merely clothing.
[156] Register at Willey, fo. 35, b.
[157] Valor Eccles. III, 215.
[158] These demesne-lands included everything which the Prior had in hand, in and around Wenlock,- gardens, pools, buildings, a mill, 144 acres of pasture, and 286 acres of arable land. (Monasticon, V, 81, Num. xiii).
[159] Monasticon, V, 80, 81, Num. xii.


to be mentioned), in all of which there are now distinct Churches or Chapels; and none of which, except Burton, can at the present moment be said to be within the Parish of Much Wenlock.

The Church of the Holy Trinity, being then from time immemorial the Parish Church of its district, had little more to do with the Conventual Church than that it was of the patronage of the Prior. I take it to have been founded soon after Domesday, and to have been almost a corollary of the altered status of the Priory; for, though the Church of Earl Leofric may well have involved a parochial cure, any such charge was not congenial to Clugniac Rule.

Wenlock Parish Church was then, I suppose, for the first century of its existence, a Rectory in the gift of the Prior and Convent.

The first distinct notice which I have of it is in a Charter of William de Vere, [160] Bishop of Hereford (1186-1199), whereby he grants an appropriation thereof, and also of the Church of Eaton-under-Haywood, to the Priory, his reason being the excessive hospitality which he knew to be exercised by the Monks of Wenlock. He allows the said Monks "fully to convert into their own uses the Churches of the Holy Trinity of Wenlok and of Eatun, quit of all charge or custom of Bishops or their Officials; also to receive tithes of all produce (frugum) and other things, taking care to provide the officiating Chaplains of the said Churches with sufficient sustenance and reasonable salaries".

Egidius (Giles de Braose, 1200-1216) inspects the Charter of William de Ver; and, thinking it right to increase the "benefices" of the Monks, allows their appropriation of the aforesaid Churches. [161]

Thus the Church of the Holy Trinity became a Vicarage, but the question of the Vicar's endowment was for a long time unsettled. The matter was referred to Papal Arbitration, and an edict of Pope Innocent IV (1248-1254) affected to determine it in this way.-

If the porfion of the Vicar were found, by estimation of good men, to be equal to twenty merks per annum, it should so remain: if it were less, then the difference should be made up by the Prior and Convent, "who were in receipt of all the remaining income of the Church", according to the direction (ordinacionem) of the Diocesan Bishop.

In 1278-4, R. (Robert Kilwarby), Archbishop of Canterbury,

[160] Pat. 28 Edw. III, p. 3, m. 34. The Charter begins, W. divina permissiona Heref. Ecclesia Minister &c. The testing clause proves the Grantor to be William de Vere. So does Bishop Giles de Braose's confirmation.
[161] Ibidem.


made Visitation of the Diocese of Hereford; and the Vicar of Wenlock complaining that an insufficient portion had been assigned to his Vicarage, the Archbishop desired the Official of the Bishop of Hereford to decide the matter. This was done on the basis of the edict of Pope Innocent. The Prior and Vicar agreed that a valuation made by the Chaplains of Wenlock Parish, and other Chaplains acquainted with the case, together with twelve lawful men of the said Parish, should be binding on themselves. This Committee determined on oath that, to make the Vicarage worth twenty merks, the Vicar should receive the following, viz.:- his money from masses, and one-third of the candles of Churchings (purificationum), and of funerals (defunctorum):- Mortuaries (testaments) of the eleven Vills which he had customarily received:- all small tithes of the Vills of Wenlock, Burton, West Bradele, Calloughton, Atterley, Walton, Presthope, Wike, and Bradele, with the hay-tithes of the same, except Wenlock, saving the usual mode of tithing to each Tenant of the Prior who had been used to pay him (the Prior) Cornmol:- [162] nor was the Vicar to have any tithes from the Prior's demesnes if hereafter any part thereof should be given to a Tenant to cultivate:- all tithes of the Chapel of Benthall, with thirty acres of arable land pertaining to the same, saving tithes of demesne:- all tithes, except demesne tithes, of Linley Chapel, saving two merks due therefrom to the Convent Kitchen:- thirty thraves of wheat and oats in the vill of Burton, with the bread and money of masses:- all the corn and money which was called Scrtfetoy, [163] with the accustomed corn of Hopton, and 18 shillings rent in the vill of Wenlock.

These things was the Vicar to receive as nominally equal to twenty merks and more;- and J. (John Breton), Bishop of Hereford, with his Official (representing the Archbishop) and the Prior and Convent, attached their respective seals to the decision, together with the "sign" of the Vicar. "This was done in full Consistory in the greater Church of Lodelow, on Saturday next after the feast of St. Gregory 1273 (i.e., Saturday, March 17, 1274). [164]

[162] Cornmol would seem, from another Charter, to be a local term; signifying tithe of sheep and other animals:- "Recipiat etiam decimam ovium et aliorum averiorum quod in partibus istis Cornmol appellatur". I doubt however whether the term did not apply to a peculiar mode of assessing tithe, rather than to the particular produce assessed.
[163] This word has evidently been changed by the Transcriber. Another Charter speaks of Schrisicorn as a local term for the corn offered by certain Parishioners of Wenlock at their confessions.
[164] All this is taken from a transcript by Bowen,- among Lord Forester's Muniments.


On Friday, October 2, 1282, John the Dean and the Chapter of Hereford inspected, recited, and confirmed the Charter of Bishop Giles de Braose above mentioned. [165]

On June 29, 1284, Richard de Swinfield, Bishop of Hereford, being at Tugford, granted a Charter to Wenlock Priory, which in its terms seems rather to be in favour of the Vicar of the Holy Trinity than of the Prior, though it does not concern their previous disputes. The Bishop had inspected certain Papal Letters which declared the Chapels of Shipton, Barrow, and Acton-Round to pertain to the Church of the Holy Trinity of Wenlock and the right of the Priory. Also he had learnt, from letters of Bishop William (de Vere), that "all the land constituted one Parish, and that the said Chapels, being constructed on the same land, belonged to the Mother Church of Wenlock". [166] He further found that, when J. (John Peckham), Archbishop of Canterbury, was visiting Hereford Diocese, the Occupants of these three Chapels had appeared before two Commissaries of the said Archbishop, and confessed how the same Chapels pertained to the Church of the Holy Trinity, and how thereupon those Commissaries had given sentence. Now, the Bishop (Swinfield) deprives the Occupants of these Chapels, and recalls the Chapels into their pristine state, and commits the Cure of Souls therein to the Vicar of the Holy Trinity; ordaining not only that the said Vicar's anciently taxed portion should remain to him, but that in augmentation thereof he should receive the corn offered by Parishioners of the vills of Weston, Muchale, and Hopton, in their confessions, which (corn) was in those parts termed Schrysicorn: also he should receive the tithe of sheep and other animals, which (tithe) was in those parts called Cornmol; lastly, that the serving Chaplain of each said Chapel should pay him 2s. per annum. [167]

This is but a repetition of the oft-told tale, how in these matters of appropriation the grossest injustice was practised. The Prior ground down the Vicar, the Vicar in turn impoverished his subordinates, and they (the Chaplains) either starved their flocks or were themselves paupers. The Bishops moreover, doubtless for

[165] [167] Pat. 22 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 34, Inspeximus.
[166] This is very loosely worded, and no wonder; for it is quite clear that neither Bishop Swinefeld nor De Vere rightly comprehended the dogma of the Viceroy Belmeis, as to "all St. Milburg's land constituting one Parish".-

They applied it to the Parish of the Holy Trinity, whereas it comprehended districts which, however subject to the Prior of Wenlock, were never included in the said Parish.


certain considerations them thereunto moving, connived at, nay, prominently aided, the whole system of extortion.

On April 21, 1290, Bishop Swinfield took the Parish Church of Wenlock in his Visitation, and in virtue of such Visitation was entertained at the cost of the Prior. [168]

The Taxation of 1291 gives the Church of Wenlock as belonging to the Prior, and values it at 34. 18s. 4d. (fifty-two merks) per annum. [169] It is obvious that this valuation is of the Rectory only. The Vicarage, in fact, was not taxed at all.

I have spoken, under Broseley, of the Commiasion of January 18, 1332, before which it was proved that that Church had no cure of souls, being, in fact, within the limits of the Parish of the Holy Trinity of Wenlock. The witness who proved this went on to state that he had often beat the boundary of the Parish of the Chinch of Wenlock, and he described the same with great minuteness.-

It will be sufficient here to say that, commencing at the South-East and going round by the South, West, North, and East, Wenlock Parish was stated to be bounded by these Parishes in succession, viz., by Morville (which included Astley Abbots, and Aston (Eyre)), by Upton (Cressett), Doditon (Priors Ditton), Staunton (Long Stanton), Easthope, Cardington, [170] Harley, Shineton, Buildwas, Madeley, Sutton, and Stockton.

In other words, the Parish of the Holy Tiinity comprised the following districts wherein Churches or Chapels were then, or have since been, built, viz., Willey, Linley, Acton Round, Monk Hopton, Shipton, Biuton, Hugh-Ley, Church Preen, Barrow, Benthall, and Broseley.

The Inquisition of the Ninth, taken in 1341, and having for its object a secular tax, estimated several of these Chapelries as distinct Parishes, e.g., Shipton, Acton Round, Barrow, Willey, and Broseley. It is therefore difficult to determine the precise district which was taxed under the Parish of Wenlock. Whatever the district, the Church-Taxation (34. 13s. 4d.) was made the basis of the calculation, and was reduced to 16. by the Assessors, for these reasons:- because the corn-lands had been unfruitful through

[168] Household Roll of Bishop Swinfleld, page 76. The next day (April 22) the Bishop went to Oxenbold, where was a Park of the Prior's. His day's expenses were again nothing; but it is carefully noted on the Roll that the entertainment, which on one day was matter of procuration, was in this case by invitation.
[169] Pope Nich. Tax. p.167. Decanatus de Wenlak.
[170] A space is left in the MS. where the name of this or some other Parish should come. I have supplied that which appears most probable.


tempests, and there had been a general murrain among sheep; because the glebe-land, offerings, and other small tithes, went to swell the Church-Taxation, but were not to be taken into account in calculating the ninth. [171]

In 1369, among the Spiritualities of the Prior of Wenlock we have his Rectorial income from the Church of Wenlock, the Chapels of Shipton, Monk Hopton, Acton Round, and Barrow, and from the Tithes of Burton and Presthope. The whole of these resulted from his appropriation of the Church of the Holy Trinity, and amounted to 43. [172] In 1379, this same appropriation was valued by Inquest at 44. 6s. 8d. [173]

The Return of 1534-5 gives another arrangement.- The Rectorial Tithes of Wenlock Magna, which singly were 4. 6s. 8d., should be added to the Rectorial Tithes of Shipton and Burton, and to Portions (as they are termed) from the Vills of Monk Hopton, Acton Round, Barrow, Presthope, Walton, Atturley, Wyke, Larden (and Brockton), Bradley, Arlscot, Calloughton, Wigwig (and Harley), and Posenhall. The Total of 35. 4s. must be taken as the Prior's Rectorial Income from the Parish of the Holy Trinity. [174]

In 1541-2, the Ministers' Accounts [175] supply a nearly identical result (a Total of 34. 2s. 4d.) from a different classification of items. Here the Rectory of Wenlock, when stated to be worth 10. 6s. 8d., must be taken to include the Tithes of Burton, Walton, and perhaps other places. Besides this, we have the tithes of Weston, Monk Hopton, Monkhall, Shipton, Barrow, Atterley, Wigwig (and Harley), Presthope, Wyke, Benthall, Acton Round, and Calloughton, separately valued, but amounting to 28. 15s. 8d., which, with 10. 6s. 8d., gives the above total of 34. 2s. 4d. This I suppose to be a proximate valuation of the late Prior's appropriate rights in this Parish.

As to the Vicarial income of Wenlock, that, though settled in 1274 at twenty merks (13. 6s. 8d.), and subsequently increased, was estimated in 1379 as only 10. [176]

In 1534-5, we find another arrangement. Thomas Butler, Vicar of Wenlock Magna, had 10s. per annum from his Glebe, 9. 13s. 4d.

[171] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 186. Decanatus de Wenlok.
[172] [173] Register, fo.86; Monasticon, V, 78.
[174] Valor Eccles. III, 216. The two places marked with parentheses were not in Wenlock Parish, but cannot be separated from the estimate.

The whole of this income seems to have been specially devoted to the Convent- i.e., to support the Monks (Register, fo. 36, b).
[175] Monasticon, V, 80, 81.
[176] Ibidem, V, 78, Nam. viii.


from the hay and small tithes of Wenlock, and also 3. of the tithes of Sutton (near Shrewsbury). His total income 13. 3s. 4d.) was chargeable with 13s. 8d. for Procurations and Synodals. [177]


HERVEY, Vicar of Wenlock, occurs before the year 1288; and

WILLIAM, Vicar of Wenlock, before 1270.

ROGER, the first Vicar of whom I find dated mention, was Incumbent when the Vicarial income was settled, i.e., March 18, 1274.

PETER, Vicar of Wenlock, perhaps succeeded Roger. All I can say of him is that he was Father of a Son, Richard, who was a Robber. The Borough Jurors of 1292 reported how this Richard, being pursued by John Russell, killed the latter with an arrow, and how Richard and his associate Maphowel, being "fugitives of the peace", were overtaken and beheaded by the Bailiffs. [179]

JOHN DE LODELAWE, Chaplain, was instituted "Parochial Vicar on March 28, 1291, at presentation of the Prior and Convent of Wenlock".

WALTER DE CLEOBURY, Priest, was instituted January 20, 1321, on a like presentation.

WILLIAM DE LA BROK of Leominster, "Perpetual Vicar of Wenlock", had leave of non-residence in 1333. On November 28, 1336, he exchanged Preferments with-

WILLIAM DE KYNARDESEYE, Priest, heretofore Rector of Eyton. The latter, being styled "Sir William de Eyton", occurs as Vicar of Wenlock in 1344.

JOHN, Vicar of the Church of Wenlock, occurs 28th May, 1362, and 5th April and 22nd June, 1363, when inquiries were ordered and made as to the damage resulting to the Crown if he and another should convey to the Prior of Wenlock a Mill at Madeley, which they already held of the said Prior at a rent of one merk, and if he and three others should convey a messuage in Wenlock to the same, of 10d. annual value. [180]

ROGER DE LEYE, Chaplain, wee instituted to the Vicarage 20th August, 1369, on presentation of the Prior and Convent. He lived till about 1407.

[177] Valor Eccles. III, 209. At one period the Vicar seems to have been charged with a half-yearly payment of 10s. to the Convent Kitchen (Register, fo. 33), but it had ceased in 1495-6.
[178] Blakeway's MSS. from Hereford Registers.
[179] Pl. Coronae, 20 Edw. I, Salep, m. 33.
[180] Inquisitions, 37 Edw. III, Second Numbers, No. 53.



Of this Foundation very little seems to be known or discoverable. [181]

On August 24, 1267, King Henry III, being at Shrewsbury, grants Letters of protection for two years to the "Brethren of the Hospital of St. John of Wenlock". [182]

On May 14, 1275, King Edward I receives under his protection the Master and Brethren of the same Hospital, their men, lands, effects, and rents. He commands all persons to aid them, and entreats that, when they ask alms, his subjects will give munificently. [183]

Both these documents probably refer to the establishment in its infancy. Of its progress or fate I know nothing. The site is still pointed out by the inhabitants of the Borough.


I have now to speak of such adjuncts of Much Wenlock as I suppose to have been included in the twenty hides which constituted the Domesday Manor. I will first take-


My former assumption that the place anciently distinguished as West Bradley was Bradley near Broseley [184] has led me into much error. Finding the place in constant association with Broseley and Arlscot, I falsely concluded that it was contiguous to both.

West Bradley was Bradley near Burton, and, though it is now in Burton Township, the two places were generally spoken of and treated as distinct estates, members of the Prior of Wenlock's comprehensive Fief. West Bradley was originally, I think, parcel of the Domesday Manor of Wenlock, rather than of Burton, and as such I treat of it here. It seems to have been chiefly held by the Lords of Broseley and their descendants under the Priory: and here I must correct some former misstatements.

It was Bradley near Burton which was an escheat of Warin de Burwardsley's in 1194. [185] It was for two carucates in this Bradley that Philip de Burwardsley was sued by Falk Fitz Warin in 1280-4; and Warner, or Warin, de Bradley, who appears as Philip's Attorney on that occasion, and who attests one of his Charters, [186] was probably his Nephew,- identical with Warin de Beysin, younger son of Philip's Sister Mabel. This Warin de Beysin then will have been seated at

[181] Monasticon, VII, 773.
[182] Patent, 51 Hen. III.
[183] Patent, 8 Edw. I, m. 23.
[184] Vol. II, p. 36.
[185] Ibidem, p. 7.
[186] Ibidem, pp. 10, 16.


Bradley, and perhaps provided with lands there, before the death of his Father Adam in 1238. A deed which I shall give under Patton, and which is attested by Warin de Bradelegh, is strongly corroborative of this idea. Nevertheless it was not till 1244-5 that Mabel de Burwardsley, then first an acknowledged Coheiress, gave to her younger son Warin all her land of inheritance in Arlscott and West Bradeleye. Her deed I have already given, [187] under the false assummption that it concerned Bradley near Broseley. Again we have had this Warin, under the name of Warin de Beysin, attesting a Deed of his Aunt Alice between 1244 and 1249. As I have said before, he was living in 1262 and had a daughter Margaret, if not a son Robert, who, being called at one time Robert de Arlscot, at another Robert de Beysin, seems to have inherited an interest in West Bradley which, late in the thirteenth century, he surrendered to the head of his family (probably his Suzerain and Cousin), Sir Walter de Beysin. [188]

Besides Robert and Margaret, I think Warin had other issue; but my evidence is so slight on the subject, that I will only point out suggestively that at the Assizes of 1292, Richard son of Warin de West Bradley was reported by the Jurors of that liberty as a Defaulter in the matter of due attendance.

Besides the Burwardsleys and Beysins, the Prior of Wenlock had other Tenants in West Bradley; Tenants in fee I imagine;- but in what I shall say of them I cannot always be sure that Bradley near Broseley was not the place concerned.

In Michaelmas Term 1224, [189] the Prior of Wenlock was suing, at Westminster, one whose name is written as William de Badele for half a virgate in Baddele, whereof the Prior alleged his predecessor Unbald (Humbald) to have been seized in Henry II's reign. The Defendant pleaded that Prior Unbald had conceded the premises to his Grandfather William, and he produced Humbald's Charter to that effect. Hereupon the Prior asked for a day of adjournment, that he might in the meantime satisfy himself by consultation with his Convent. The Court gave him the Quinzaine of Easter; but I hear no more of the matter.

About the middle of the same Century, one Richard de Westbradele attests a Deed which I will give under Corfield.

At the Assizes of 1272, William Fitz Hugh of Clun was found to have disseized Robert Rugge of Bradelegh of a right of common

[187] Ibidem, p. 18.
[188] Ibidem, p. 37.
[189] Placita, 8 Hen. III, fo. 11.


pasture in Burton, appurtenant to Robert's free tenement in Bradelegh. [190]

At the Inquisition of 1274, Richard de Bradel' was a Juror for Wenlock Liberty; [191] and at the Assizes of 1292, Roger Fitz Richard of West Bradley was a Defaulter in due attendance, as reported by the Jurors of the same Liberty.

In 1296, an Inquest as to Tenures of Wenlock Priory was attended by Henry de Bradeley, who was also a Juror on the Great Perambulation of the Forests of Shropshire, taken June 6, 1300, and who further attests a Larden and Shipton Deed in 1306. Cotemporary with him was one Robert de Westbradleye, who in 1300 joined with Alice his wife in selling some land in Corve, as will hereafter appear.


Among those who attended the Viceroy's Court at Castle Holgate about A.D. 1115, the name of Anfred is observable. [192] Possibly he was the same with Anffred de Benetala, who in 1120 attests a Charter of the Prior of Wenlock, which I shall give under Beckbury.

In 1167, the Vills of Linglea and Benethala are mentioned consecutively as having been amerced half a merk each by the Justice of the Forest. [193] Probably Linley and Benthall were the places concerned.

As far as I can judge from evidence of a not very conclusive character, there lived towards the close of the twelfth century one Robert de Benthall, who held Benthall and several messuages in Wenlock under the Prior of Wenlock, and who also held something in Wichcote, near Great Sutton, under the Lords of Castle Holgate.

This Robert de Benthall seems to have largely enfeoffed Syward le Champiun (otherwise called Syward de Franketon) in Benthall, but specially in four messuages, one virgate, and six acres of land there,- of which transfer more will be said presently.

In October 1204, Robert de Benthall was deceased. He left a Widow Emma. She had much trouble in recovering her dower in Wichcott from Martin de Castello, who appears to have been her late husband's Tenant there, and who was afterwards Tenant of her son Robert.

This second Robert de Benthall was a Minor in 1204, and was in ward to the Prior of Wenlock.

Syward de Franketon, about this time I suppose, gave in frank-almoigne

[190] Assize Roll, m. 12.
[191] Rot. Hundred, II, 110.
[192] Supra, p. 233.
[193] Rot. Pip. 13 Hen. II, Salop.


to Wenlock Priory, "lands and men" in Benthall, clearly a part of those which he had himself received by feoffment of Robert de Benthall Senior: but it much complicates this matter when we find that lands in Benthall were subsequently conveyed or restored by Humbert Prior of Wenlock to Robert de Benthall (II), who gave in exchange all the lands which he had in Much Wenlock.

The Assizes of November 1221 exhibit this Robert de Benthall as beset with all sorts of litigation.- He was found to have disseized Henry Fitz Thomas and Margery his wife of a Tenement in Wenlock. [194] For this he was amerced half-a-merk, his Sureties being Remund and John de Benthal.

Gilbert Fitz Walter and Emeburga de Berwewic also recovered their seizin of some tenement of which Robert de Benthall had disseized them. [195]

Again, Robert de Benethil recovered from Reginald de Legh three vassals (homines), whom Reginald had taken out of said Robert's seizin, and who acknowledged themselves to belong to the latter. [196]

Felicia de Wenlock failed to prosecute a charge of rape which she had made against Robert de Benthall. He was however tried and acquitted. [197]

Lastly, an Assize of Darrein Presentment concerning the Chapel of Benethal was moved by Robert de Benethal against the Prior of Wenlock, but it was compounded. [198]- The Fine thus indicated is preserved.- It purports to be between Robert de Benethal, plaintiff, and Prior Humbert, Deforciant. The Plaintiff remits his claim for 2s. [199]

At Warwick on January 14, 1222, the Prior of Wenlock called Robert de Benethal to warranty of three messuages in Wenlock. The Prior produced the Charter whereby said Robert conveyed to Prior Humbert all his lands in Wenlock, in exchange for lands and men in Benethal, which Siward de Franketon had given to the Priory. Robert acknowledged his obligation to give such warranty, which the Court ordered him to do on February 3; but it does not appear who disputed the Prior's right. [200]

[194] Assizes, 6 Hen. III, m. 2; Rot. Pip. 5 Hen. The parties to this cause were probably free Tenants, as distinct from Burgesses of the Prior. Otherwise they could not have carried a suit of novel disseizin into the Curia Regis; unless, indeed, the Prior omitted to assart his Franchise,- a supposition which we have already seen to be improbable (supra, pp. 258, 259).
[195] Assizes, ibidem.
[196] [197] [198] Ibidem, m. 7 dorso, 9 recto, 4 recto.
[199] Pedes Finium, 6 Hen. III, Salop.
[200] Placita apud Warwick, 6 Hen. memb. 3.


Philip de Benethal, who will presently appear to have been Son of Robert, first occurs in Michaelmas Term 1249, as Attorney of Sibil de Dudmaston. At the Inquisitions of 1255, he sat as a Juror for the Liberty of Wenlock, and is described as Lord of the Vill of Benethal, which he held of the Prior of Wenlock, rendering therefore 4s. 6d. per annum to the said Prior, and doing suit to the Prior's Court by afforciament, whereas till the time of Richard I his Ancestors did suit to the Hundred of Munslow. [201]

At the Assizes of January 1256, Philip de Benethal sued the Prior of Wenlock for four messuages, one virgate, and six acres in Benethal, in which Philip asserted that the Prior had no ingress except through Syward le Champiun, to whom Robert de Benethal, Philip's Grandfather, whose heir Philip was, had granted the premises for a term now expired. The Prior appeared, acknowledged that he had ingress by Syward, and that Syward had ingress by said Robert, but he denied that Syward'a interest was a terminal one, nay, he produced the very Charter by which said Robert had given the premises in fee to Syward and his heirs. Sentence was accordingly given for the Prior. [202]

At the Forest-Assizes of February 1262, Philip de Benthal appears as a Regarder of the Long-Forest, and as subject to a fine for an improper return. [203]

In January 1266, Philip de Westcote (probably Wichcote) is complainant in a cause against Philip de Benethall, but the hearing was adjourned. [204]

At Michaelmas 1267, the Sheriff charges Philip de Benthall with a fine for some non-attendance, [205] and immediately afterwards both Philip and William Hamund of Benthall sat on an Inquest specially taken before one of the King's Justices at Ludlow. [206]

At the County Assizes of 1272, Philip de Benthall was on the Jury for Wenlock Liberty, and is named as having sat on some

[201] Rot. Hundred, II, 84. The second Juror for Wenlock Liberty, at the Assizes of January 1256, is written as Philip de Fraumton,- perhaps identical with Philip de Benthal. If so, Siward de Frankton before mentioned was of the same family as his Feoffor.
[202] Salop Assizes, 40 Hen. III, m. 6.
[203] Placita Forestae, 46 Hen. III; Salop, m. 5 and 6 dorso. It possibly was some interest in Wichcote which associated Philip de Benthall with this Royal Chace; but when I come to speak more fully of the Jurisdiction of that most aptly named Forest, it will be seen that, though its nucleus was near the Long-Mynd, one of its enormous branches extended nearly, if not quite, to Benthall.
[204] Assizes at Northampton, 50 Hen. III, m. 6.
[205] [206] Rot. Pip. 51 Hen. III, Salop; Salop Assizes, 51 Hen. III, m. 8.


previous Inquest where the Jurors were collectively fined 40s. for "concealment".

His share in a more criminal matter of that period has already been noticed; [207] and two years later we find him complaining of the extortion and severity with which he had at different times been visited by the Officers of the Law.- A Crown debt of half-a- merk, which in the first instance he had paid to Sir William Bagot (who was Sheriff in 1259), he had since paid twice over to other Officers, and was yet without any acquittance thereof. In the current year (1274), Robert Trilleck, Sheriff (Under-Sheriff rather), had arrested him and detained him in prison at Shrewsbury without any indictment, till he had found Sureties for a fine of fifteen merks, the price of his release. Trilleck then suffered him to depart, without any royal warrant, but exacted the said fine from him and his Sureties. Nor was this all, for on Sept. 19, 1274, Trilleck and his suite came to Benthall, and plundered both the House and Church of all the goods of the said Philip, to the value of 9. 1s. 9d. [208]

I find no later notice of this Philip de Benthall;- but a Charter which, about 1250, he expedited to Buildwas Abbey deserves mention. It is rather in the nature of a Quit-claim than a Grant, and the land concerned, viz., "Hermiteshelde and Holweruding", seems to have lain between the base of Benthall- Edge and the Abbey. This land Philip "Lord of Benthall" surrenders, together with a right of making a continuous fence wherever his land abutted on that of the Monks. He also gives them a right of road over all his Estate. [209]

Whether this Philip was akin to the Burnels, and, if not, how the Manor of Benthall passed from his line to the Burnels, I cannot discover.

An estate here was one of the numerous purchases of the Bishop

[207] Supra, Vol. II, p. 24.
[208] Rot. Hund. II, 111, 112. A curious inventory of Philip's household goods is given by the Jurors.- A brazen basin and Ewer, three Axes, three Daggers, two iron forks, one hundred horse-shoes, two pounds of wax, three nets, a Scotch dagger, a tripod, a hood of Ypres blue furred with miniver, sixteen linen cloths, four pieces of worked cloth, two swords, four bows, one horn, a towel, two gold rings, a silken girdle, and a tunic of dyed cloth, seem to be part of the stock.
[209] Printed Monasticon, V, 260, Num. xxii. Witnesses- Sir Hugh de Sheyntone, William de Lechtone, Richard de Grenhul, Robert Traynel, Robert de Dudemonestone.-

The objects for which the Monks wanted a right of road over Benthall was the carriage of stone, coals (carbones), and timber. If coal, as distinct from other fuel, is necessarily implied in the word "carbones", we have here a still earlier notice of its use in Shropshire than the one already mentioned (supra, p. 28).


of Bath and Wells, who on October 25, 1292, died seized of three Bovates in Benethale, which he held of the Prior of Wenlock by suit and service to the Court of Burton. Each Bovate was worth 2s. per annum. [210]

Nor did Philip Burnell, the Bishop's Nephew and Heir, neglect to improve his interests here.- A fine levied at Westminster, June 7, 1293, purports to have been between Philip Burnel, Plaintiff, and Nicholas Collyng with Cecily his wife, Impedients, of two messuages, forty-two acres of land, four acres of meadow, and eight-and-a-half acres of wood in Benthale, whereof was Plea of Warranty. Nicholas and Cecily acknowledged the right of Philip, who gave them 20., and was henceforth to hold the premises of the Lords of the Fee. [211]

The Inquisitions on the deaths of Philip Burnell and of his son Edward show them to have continued seized of lands in Benthall.

Philip Burnel, who died in 1294, is said to have held these lands of John Burnell by service of doing suit to John's Court at Benthall. [212] Doubtless John Burnel held under the Prior of Wenlock, but it is strange that he, a Cadet of his house, should hold over its elder representative. On the death of Edward Burnell (son of Philip) in 1315, the said Edward's tenure of Benthal was found to have been immediate, under the Prior of Wenlock. [213]

A Charter of Buildwas Abbey is the next document which I shall quote as giving further account of the line of John Burnell. Thereby it appears that "John Burneld, Lord of Benthale", was deceased before 1317, and left by Margery his wife several children, among whom were Philip, clearly his heir, Henry, who became Abbot of Buildwas, and Hamo. The Abbot, wishing to lighten the cares of his Mother, then a Widow, gave to his brother Hamo some office in Buildwas Abbey, together with a salary and maintenance. On Aug. 6, 1317, Hamo, growing tired of this dependent state, sold his office, which he might have held for life, to John then Abbot of Buildwas, at suggestion of his brother Philip and of Peter de Eyton. [214]

On Feb. 22, 1318, Philip son of John Burnel of Benthale gives to Sir Thomas de Beysin, Knight, the bosc called Astwode, to hold

[210] Inquisitions, 21 Edw. I, No. 50.
[211] Pedes Finium, 21 Edw. I, Salop.
[212] Inquisitions, 22 Edw. I, No. 46, c.
[213] Inquisitions, 9 Edw. II, No. 67.
[214] Monasticon, V, 360, Num. xxi. The document is dated at Buildwas, in the "Hospice of Guests". It is a curious and definite instance of the conduct which the Heads of Religions Houses are often charged with, viz., that they patronized their own relations at the expense of their Convents.


of the Lords of the Fee (of Benthal). Witnesses- Sir Walter de Hugeford, Sir William le Forcer, Knights, &c.

Also on March 25, 1318, Roger de Ethelarton and Margery his wife quit-claim to the said Sir Thomas, for a sum of money, all their right in the said bosc.- Same witnesses. [215]

Of any earlier UNDER TENANTS in Benthall I have little to say beyond what is implied above.-

One William de Benethale has already occurred in the thirteenth Century. [216]

In April 1256, Warin Fitz Warin was moving a suit of mort d'ancestre against the Prior of Wenlock concerning a Tenement in Benthal. [217]

On January 11, 1259, Henry son of Henry de Benthal is found prosecuting a suit of novel disseizin against several persons concerning a Tenement in Benthal. The King's Writ issuant hereupon cost him a merk. [218]

In February 1262, William son of Hamo de Benthall was amerced 1s. for vert.

Of other persons taking name from this place, and probably resident here in 1272, sufficient mention has been made already. [219]

The Foreign Rent-Roll of Wenlock, taken in 1521-2, includes a Chief-rent of 4s. 6d. receivable from Robert Benthall. It was evidently on the old Tenure noticed as held by Philip de Benthall in 1255.

In 1541-2, among the receipts of the late Priory of Wenlock is a rent of 15s. 6d. receivable from a Messuage in Benthall. [220]


Was in existence before the year 1221, when, as we have seen, some indefinite but nearly valueless claim to the Advowson thereof was conceded by Robert de Benthall to the Prior of Wenlock.

The Prior's right of patronage resulted in annexing the endowment of this Chapelry to the Vicarage of the Holy Trinity of Wenlock. Benthall, I suppose, had at all times stood in the Parish of the Holy Trinity, and in 1274 the Great and Small Tithes of the Township, together with thirty acres of glebe there, were given to the Vicar. This distinctive mention of a local endowment, when coupled with Robert de Benthall's claim, points, I think, to the following

[215] Charters at Willey.
[216] Vol. II, p. 15.
[217] Pat. 40 Hen. III, dorso.
[218] Patent, 43 Hen. III, dorso; Rot. Pipe, 43 Hen. III, Salop.
[219] Vol. II, pp. 23, 24.
[220] Monasticon, V, 81.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


conclusion, viz., that Benthall was one of those district Chapels which, like Aston Eyre, were founded and fostered by the Lords of the Fee in troubled times, and under a false presumption that they would remain independent. In course of time the endowment of the Daughter became an object to the Mother Church: the old plea of parochial jurisdiction was set up, and the said endowment confiscated.

In the case before us, the idea of subjection to Wenlock was attended by an extreme result. From the year 1274 to the Dissolution I find but one mention of Benthall as a Chapelry. [221] I doubt whether the Church, if it was left standing, was in any way served.

The Valor of 1534-5 does not mention it, even as an adjunct of the Church of the Holy Trinity.

Its subsequent restoration to the condition of a Perpetual Curacy, in the gift of the Vicar of Wenlock, was probably suggested by some traditionary remembrance of its older status.


Another member of the Domesday Manor of Wenlock, seems to have been held in demesne by the successive Priors.

I cannot positively instance the name of a single Under-Tenant here during the two Centuries of which I treat; nor is it worth while to mention several trivial occurrences of the name "De Barewe", which I meet with in Shropshire Records. The name, of itself, merely indicates that its bearer lived near some barrow or tumulus, not that he was resident in the particular locality now under notice.

In their territorial arrangements the Priors of Wenlock seemed to have classed Barrow as a member of their great Manor or Grange of The Marsh. There it will be again mentioned. Meanwhile something should be said distinctively of-

BARROW CHURCH, a building which proves its own antiquity. The structure belongs to a period to which written testimony seldom extends, [222] and I have no such evidence of its existence till the institution

[221] The Chapel of Benthall is mentioned in Bishop Charlton's Confirmation to Wenlock Priory in 1331, but only as a Dependency of the Church of the Holy Trinity.-

Portions, amounting to 2., are said, in 1534-6, to be receivable by the Priory from the Vills of Wyke, Bradley, and Arlscot. This probably represented the Impropriator's right as Rector of Wenlock. The ferms of Wyke and Benthall, in 1541-2, similarly amount to 2., and are probably the same dues differently and less accurately described.
[222] Lord Forester's Register contains (fo. 22) a curious memorandum of the improvements made by Roland Bruge, Prior of Wenlock, in and after the year 1621. It was written by the Prior himself, and states, inter alia, that he "made the Chancel at Barow". The idea of total reoonstruction, thus conveyed, is quite at variance with existing appearances.


of one Rector in 1277, and the deprivation of another and last Rector in 1284. [223]

In the year 1291, the Church of Barewe, belonging to the Prior of Wenlock, was valued at 4. 6s. 8d. per annum. [224] In 1331, Bishop Charlton names it as one of the Chapels dependent on the Church of the Holy Trinity.

But in 1341, the Parish of "Barewe" was taxed to the ninth as a distinct Chapelry, the Church Taxation of 4. 6s. 8d. being made the basis of the temporal assessment. The latter was however reduced to 1. 14s. for several causes, viz., because the corn was deficient from an unfavourable season, because there were no sheep in the parish, because several tenants were too poor to till their lands, and because the glebe-land and altarages went to increase the Church-taxation, and could not be estimated in the present assessment. [225]

A valuation of 1369 gives, among the Spiritualities of the Prior of Wenlock, 4. receivable annually from the Chapel of Barow. Another statement shows that the tithes of Barrow were devoted to the sustenance of the Monks. [226]

The Valor of 1534-5 makes no other mention of this Church sad Parish than that the Prior had a portion of 40s. derivable from the Vill. [227]

The EARLY INCUMBENTS of Barrow are mentioned with little regularity in the Diocesan Registers. [228]

JOHN DE WICUMBE was instituted Rector January 17, 1277, on presentation of the Prior and Convent of Wenlock. Later in the year the Living was sequestered, by reason of the Incumbent's neglect to take Orders. It was released from Sequestration on Nov. 8.

JAMES DE TYCEFORD was the Rector of Barrow who was deprived in 1284. He was perhaps a relation of the cotemporary Prior.

The next information which I have as to the state of this Incumbency is derived from a Roll of Fines and other Transactions, which took place in the Court of the Prior of Wenlock in the fifteenth year of Edward II (1321-2). [229] I should premise that-

[223] Supra, p. 267.
[224] Pope Nicholas' Taxation, p. 167.
[225] Inquisitiones Nonorum, p. 187.
[226] Register at Willey.
[227] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 216. This smn of 40s. seems to have been included in a sum of 50s. stated to be the Ferm of the tithes of Barrow &c. among other income of the late Priory, of which account was taken in 1541-2.
[228] Blakeway's MSS., from Hereford Registers.
[229] Court-Roll, in possession of Thomas Mytton, Esq., of Shipton Hall, recto and dorso. This Roll, believed to be the earliest in existence of the Series, gives much valuable information as to the mode in which the vast estates of the Prior of Wenlock were managed. The above extract, showing how the Patron of Barrow might and did evade his duty of presenting an Incumbent to the Bishop, tells us also how it comes to pass that the Diocesan Registers seldom furnish a complete list of the Incumbents of such Churches.


RICHARD, Chaplain of Barrow, appears to have officiated in this Church as a Nominee of the Prior of Wenlock, but without any regular institution by the Bishop of the Diocese. This Richard was deceased or had resigned in 1321, and on November 30 of that year-

SIR. HAMO CORN became Chaplain by the following curious and, as I imagine, illegal process in the Prior's Court.- "Brother Guychard, Prior of Wenlock, delivered and demised to the said Sir Hamo all lands and tenements pertaining to his (the Prior's) Chapel of Barewe, both in the Vills of Barewe and of Posenhale, together with the altarages and oblations of the said Chapel;- to hold and receive, for life of said Hamo. The said Hamo should serve the Chapel by one Priest (himself or another) and one Clerk. The Prior and Convent should bear all burdens, ordinary or extraordinary, lying on said Chapel. Hamo was to build a new grange in the Rectory-Close of the Chapel, and to maintain all other buildings, there or at Posenal, in good repair, receiving Housbote and Haybote from the Prior's Wood-warden, and also fire-wood when he was resident. Hamo was to pay the Prior a rent of twelve Capons at Easter. If Hamo appointed a Deputy as Chaplain, such Deputy was to have a specified quantity of fire-wood out of the Prior's woods, and no more".

On June 28, 1322, I find that Hamo Corn, Chaplain, and Alice his Sister, fined 3s. 4d. with the Prior, for three-and-a-half acres of land, which Richard, son of Chaplain Richard of Barewe, had previously held:- to hold to said Hamo and Alice, for the life of the Survivor of them, at a rent of 3d. per acre.

WILLIAM DE SOUTHAM, Clerk, was presented by King Edward III to the Church of "Priors Barewe" on Feb. 4, 1350: the Priory of Wenlock being then in the King's Hand by reason of the war with France. [230]

THE MARSH.- Here the Prior of Wenlock had one of his principal Granges. The surrounding lands were held in his demesne, but a Manorial Court which sat at the Marsh seems to have exercised a wider but not always identical jurisdiction.

[230] Patent, 24 Edw. III.


In 1291, the Marsh Estate was returned as producing an annual Income of 3. 7s. 4d., arising from two carucates of land, rents, tallages, perquisites (of Court), and such manual services (operaciones) as were due from the lower tenants. [231]

The Prior of Wenlock had a Bailiff, or Provost, at the Marsh; and on November 30, 1321, the said Officer, being in arrears of his account, surrendered his Prepositure, covenanting to discharge a fine of 60s., in lieu of such arrears, by terminal payments of 10s. each. [232]

In 1379, the Valuation of different items enumerated under the Marsh Grange seems to amount to 4. 13s. 10d. This arose from two carucates of arable land, and from certain rents in Wenlock-Walton, Atturley, and Barrow.-

The Prior's part of Shirlot Forest was also estimated under the Marsh Grange, but the profit thereof was inappreciable, as there was no Underwood, and the pasturage was common.

In 1390, the Marsh Manor is valued at 22. 11s. 9d. per anmmm, but no particulars of the rents, herein included, are given. The Pleas of the Manor-Court and Fines contributed 1. 14s. of the gross sum. [234]

A Rental of the Marsh Manor taken in the time of Prior Roland Bruge includes rents in Atterley, Walton, Barrow, Wyke, Bradley, Posnall, Benthall, Wigwig, Harley, and Hanstrey (the last expressed to be 5s. for Willey Mill). [235]

In 1534, the rents and ferm included under the Marsh amounted to 47. 19s. 10d., of which 3. 6s. 8d. went to the Salary of the Prior's Bailiff there. [236]

In 1541-2, the rents similarly classified under Marsh were 43. 9s. 6d.; and Barrow, Benthall, Atterley, Posnall, Broseley, and Presthope, each contributed a portion thereof.

In Marsh itself, the Tenant of the Capital Messuage paid 9. 1s. 8d. rent, the Tenants-at-will 1. 1s. 8d., and the Copyholders 27. 10s. 3d. [237]

ATTERLEY and WENLOCK-WALTON.- At the County Assizes in January 1256, Nicholas de Atterle was a Juror of Wenlock Liberty.

[231] Pope Nicholas' Taxation, p. 164.
[232] Mr. Mytton's Court Roll, at supra.
[233] Monasticon, V, 77, Num. viii.
[234] Register at Willey, fo. 86, b. Bradley-Grange, with Wyke and other adjuncts, were, in this instance, included under the Marsh.
[235] Ibidem, fo. 40.
[236] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 215.
[237] Monasticon, V, 81, Num. xii. Bradley Mill (fermed at 18s. 1d.) is not classified under Marsh.


Also Thomas de Atterle was presented as having slain Richard de Harley in a quarrel.

At the Forest Assizes of 1262, the Verderers presented that a kid, wounded by an arrow, had been found dead in the field of Atterleg. The arrow had been given to the keeping of the Vills of Atterleg, Walton, Monkley, and Barrow; and the same Vills were said to be in misericordia, because they appeared not before the Justices, nor produced the arrow in Court.

At the Assizes of August 1267, William de Walton was found to have died seized of a messuage and noke of land in Atterleye, which Christiana his daughter now recovered from Richard Fitz Henry.

At the Inquisitions of Nov. 1274, Roger le Surreys of Atterley sat as a Juror of Wenlock Liberty. [238]

Philip Burnel, who died in 1294, held lands in Atterley of the Prior of Wenlock. [239] How he acquired them I cannot say.

I conclude my notice of Walton and Atterley with one or two extracts from the Manorial Fine-Roll before quoted.-

On Sunday, Feb. 14, 1322, the Lord (i.e., the Prior of Wenlock) conceded to Robert de Walton, for a term of twenty years, all the messuage and lands in Walton, which Roger le Bonde had surrendered by reason of poverty (impotenciam).- Rent to be 16s. yearly. The Lessee to pay all tithes chargeable on the premises, and to repair and maintain all buildings.

On April 27, 1322, Roger Fitz Henry of Barewe surrendered to the Lord a messuage, half-virgate, and assart in Walton;- and John le Bruyn took the same for the lives of himself and wife Isabel, paying a fine of 20s. for the said assart.- Rent to be 21s. 4d. per annum.- The Lessee to pay all tithes.- At the death of the said John, a third part of all his goods found on the premises to go to the Lord. [240] The Lessee to do suit at the Lord's Court of the Mersch at a summons of one night, but not to be amerced for default if he could show that he had not been at home in the interval.

The new Lessee granted to the off-going Tenant a cottage and three acres of the premises;- for life, at a rent of 2s.

On May 31, 1322, Hugh le Taillour fined 6s. 8d. for license to purchase and enter upon six acres of new assart in Atterley, the Vendor being Sibil, relict of William Dobbes.- To hold to the said

[238] Rot. Hundred, II, 110.
[239] Inquisitions, 22 Edw. I, 46, c.
[240] An usual and very ancient reservetion in Leases and Grants of Wenlock Priory.


Hugh for life, and to John his son for life, saving the Lord's rights at the decease of each, and also all services and customs.


The Priors of Wenlock seem to have granted no feoffments in this member of their Manor of Wenlock.

They treated Bradley (near Broseley) as Caput of a demesne estate.

In 1291, the Prior's assized rents in Bradeleye being only 10s., he had four carucates in demesne there, and an acre of meadow, valued at 1. 6s. 8d. and 2s. respectively. Total, 1. 18s. 8d. [241]

In 1379, Bradeley Grange appears as the Caput of the Prior's interests in the Hamlets of Wyke, Bradeley (near Bromley), Benthall, Posenhall, Wigwig, and Harley. The Houses attached to Bradeley Grange netted nothing: a carucate of land there yielded 6s. 8d. per annum; two acres of meadow yielded 1s., besides 8d. for after-math. A water-mill near Wigwig yielded 10s. The assized rents of the hamlets aforesaid, "annexed" to this Grange, were of free tenants, and amounted to 6. 10s. 5d. per annum. The pleas and perquisites of Court were 2s. Total, 7. 11s. 9d.

Some demesne land at Wigwig belongs apparently to a different item. [242]

In 1390, and at all subsequent periods, Bradley Grange, with Wyke and its other dependencies above mentioned, were estimated and valued as adjuncts of the Marsh Manor. Under that head I have given further account of them. [243]

WYKE and FARLEY- A fine was levied at Salop on Nov. 8, 1221, between Richard Buret, Plaintiff, and Humbert Prior of Wenlock, Tenant, of thirty acres in Wenlock and nine acres in Wyke, whereof was assize of mort d'ancestre. The Plaintiff renounced his claim for five merks. [244] At the interval of exactly a Century, viz.-

On Nov. 8, 1321, I find another transaction of the Prior of Wenlock in regard to this place. He leases for life to Juliana, relict of William Fitz William of Presthop, all the messuage and land which her late husband had held in Wyk, for a fine of 55s., and the usual customs and service. The Lord's claim to thirds of the crops growing at her husband's decease is remitted, and the Lessee has license to remarry. [245]

POSENHALL, or POSENAL.- Within fifty years of Domesday this

[241] Pope Nicholas' Taxation, p. 164.
[242] Monasticon, V, 77.
[243] Supra, p. 282.
[244] Pedes Finium, 6 Hen. III, Salop.
[245] Fine Roll, ut supra.


member of the Manor of Wenlock was held under the Prior by one Uchtred at a chief-rent of 10s.-

On Uchtred's death, and about the middle of the twelfth century, Rainald Prior of Wenlock renewed the tenure of Gregory son of Uchtred by special agreement, the rent however being raised for certain considerations to 12s. The great antiquity and singular style of the Deed [246] which embodies this arrangement require that I should give it in full.-

"Notum sit omnibus presentibus et futuris quod ego Reinaldus Prior de Weneloch cum consensu totius Capituli nostri concessi Gregorio filio Uhtredi et heredibus ejusdem Gregorii in perpetuum totam terram de Posonhala cum omnibus quae ad ipsam terram pertinent in memoribus in pratis in aquis in pascuis, liberam et quietam sicut antecessores sui melius et liberius tenuerunt, propter duodecim solidos tantem per annum. Et hoc ideo concessi quia super firmam quam pater ejus dare solebat ipse et heredes ejus duos solidos adjiciunt, et quia etiam aisiamenta per totum nemus suum hominibus nostris de Berwa (i.e., Barrow) concessit, ad clausuram scilicet, ad focum, ad pascua porcorum et aliorum animalium suorum; sed quercum incidere vel essertum facere non eis licebit sine consensu ipsius: et ideo etiam quia, cum de hujus nemoris parte gravis calumpnia esset inter Uhtredum patrem Gregorii et homines nostros de Berwa, iidem Uhtredus et Gregorius filius ejus dimidiam partem nemoris calumpniati, benigne mihi et ipsis hominibus concesserunt et facta divisio, me presente, coram multis vicinis a via quae de Berwa tendit ad Burewardeslegam, et pars ulterior apud Welelegam nobis remansit et illa apud Posonhalam Gregorio, ita ut aisiamenta per totum illud nemus ipsi et nobis sint communia. Hujus convencionis testes sunt hi, Uhtredus et Willelmus de Toenga, presbytri; Ricardus et Radulfus de Linlega; Hugo de Sheinton; Walterius Frende; Gladuinns Poidras et Simon filius Herberti; Hanno filius Gaufridi; Huctredus prefectus et Herbertus filius ejus; Eduinus prefectus et plures alii".

In succession to Gregory Fitz Uchtred as Tenant of Posenal, came one Alan de Buildwas; but what was their relationship I cannot determine. Of Alan, as Lord of Little Buildwas, I shall have more to say hereafter. He was succeeded by his son, another Alan, who, under the name of Alan Fitz Alan, in August 1226, prosecuted Warin de Wyliley and William de Kahel for disseizing him of his

[246] Wenlock Register, at Willey, fo.6.


free tenement in "Pesenhall". The charge was found to be true, and the Plaintiff recovered his estate and 1s. damages. [247]

In October 1227, a Fine was levied at Salop between Isabella, a widow (Plaintiff), and Alan de Bildewas and Agnes his Mother (Tenants), of a virgate-and-half in Pesenhal, whereof was assize of mort d'ancestre. The Plaintiff renounced her claim in favour of the Tenants and their heirs, she receiving one merk for such quit-claim. [248]

In January 1230, as will hereafter appear, Alan de Buildwas was deceased, leaving his son, a third Alan, in a minority, which seems to have lasted less than two years. It is not however till the year 1248 that I can instance any connection between this third Alan de Buildwas and his estate at Posenhall.-

On Nov. 25 in that year a Fine was levied at Salop between William de Bradele and Agnes his wife, Plaintiffs, and Alan de Bildewas, Tenant, of twenty-four acres in Posenal, whereof was plea. The Plaintiffs gave way, receiving two merks. [249]

In 1255, it appears that Andrew, son of Nicholas de Wilileg, and Alan de Buldewas, were joint Lords of Posenhale, both holding of the Prior of Wenlock, and paying rent of 22s. between them. Alan did suit to the Prior's Court by afforciament, as his Ancestors had done to Munslow Hundred till Richard I's reign.-

Andrew de Wilileg's similar obligation is recorded under his more important tenure at Willey. [250]

At the County Assizes of January 1256, Alan de Buildwas sat as a Juror for Wenlock Liberty. [251] Also, together with William Fitz Ranulph of Posenal, he was charged with having disseized Hugh de Posenal of a messuage there, but was acquitted. [252]

At the Assizes of August 1267, Alan de Bildewas, as Tenant, was sued under writ of mort d'ancestre for nine seylions in Possenhale. It was found that William de Asseleye, Father of Adam de Asseleye, the present Plaintiff, had died seized thereof. So Adam, as his heir, recovered. [253]

OF UNDER-TENANTS in Posenhale, there remains little to be said.

At the Assizes of January 1256, Eva, Widow of Warin de Pesenhale,

[247] Salop Assizes, 10 Hen. III, m. 4.
[248] [249] Pedes Finium, 11 & 33 Hen. III, Salop.
[250] Rot. Hundred, II, 85.
[251] Placita Coronae, Salop, 40 Hen. III, memb. 12.
[252] Placita de Juratis &c., ibidem, m. 10.
[253] Placita apud Salop, 51 Hen. III, memb. 6 dorso. Adam, son of William de Ashley, must be the same person who occurs at least thirty years earlier in connection with Bromley. (Vol. 11, pp. 15, 16, 32).


sued the Prior of Wenlock for a third part of a noke of land in Pesenhale, which she claimed as Dower. The Prior pleaded that her late husband had held in Villanage. [254] This seems to have been disputed by the Heir as well as by the Widow of Warin, for on-

June 25, 1257, Warin Fitz Warin has a writ of mort d'ancedre against the Prior for land in Posenhal. [255]

On Dec. 7, 1321, John Faber of Posenhale takes all that messuage and land in Posenhale which William son of William de Presthop held;- to hold of the Prior of Wenlock for the Lessee's life at 8s. rent, of which 2s. 6d. is to be paid to the Almoner of the Priory, and the residue to the Lord (the Prior). The Lessee is to do suit to the Court of Bradley. A third of his goods and chattels, found on the premises at his death, is reserved to the Lord; and he took an oath on the Holy Evangelists not to practise any fraud in that matter. He was to maintain all buildings, but was not to be made Provost (of Bradley Court, I suppose), "nor to be of the twelve in the said Court".

On Feb. 14, 1322, Reginald de Bortone has a lease of these premises on the same terms as those which "John Fitz Faber had held them, except that he is not exempted from the official duties last mentioned". [256]

In 1456, the Sacristan of Wenlock Priory had 14s. 6d. rent in Posenhall: and about 1516 he had three rents here, amounting to 14s. [257]

In 1495-6, the Almoner of Wenlock had 4s. rent here; the Kitchen 9s. [258]

In time of Prior Roland (1521-6), other Posenhall rents of 7s. 6d., belonging to the Priory, were classified under The Marsh Manor.

After the Dissolution, the gross rents receivable by the late Priory from free lands in Posenhall were stated at 18s. 0d., and similarly arranged under Marsh. [259]

POSENHALL CHAPEL.- Tradition is my authority for speaking of the sometime existence of this Chape1. [260]

The Township is at the present moment extra-parochial. So far Tradition has some support. The anomaly of the case lies in the ascertained fact, viz., that a portion of the ancient Parish of the Holy Trinity of Wenlock has become extra-parochial.-

[254] Assizes, 40 Hen. III, m. 7 dorso.
[255] Patent, 41 Hen. III, dorso.
[256] Fine Roll at Shipton.
[257] Register, fos. 37, b, and 30, b.
[258] Ibidem, fos. 33, b, and 40.
[259] Monasticon, V, 81.
[260] Blakeway and Dukes.


In 1534-5, a portion of 6s. received by the Prior of Wenlock from the Villate of Posenhall [261] was a spiritual due, and could only have represented an ecclesiastical jurisdiction. [262]

CALLOUGHTON.- The Prior of Wenlock seems to have had several Tenants in this Township. One family took name from the place. Thus I find mention of Henry de Calewinton early in the thirteenth Century; of Peter son of Peter de Calweton about the middle of the same century, but who in December 1258 occurs simply as Peter de Calweton.

In 1274, the Munslow Jurors complained how John del Ewe, Constable of Corfham, had sent two men to Kalveton in the Prior of Wenlock's Liberty, to the house of Peter de Kalveton, and how those men had seized there seventy sheep of Henry de Stretton the Provost, and had driven them to Corfham, where the said Constable disposed of the sheep as he listed. [263]

The same, or another Peter de Caleweton, occurs on a local Jury in November 1291.

A family named Clerk also had a tenancy here. Of them I have somewhat fuller particulars.-

In Michaelmas Term 1224, Alice, widow of Hamo Clerk, sued the Prior of Wenlock, at Westminster, for her dower, and, inter alia, for half a virgate in Kalweton. The Prior's plea was, that he was not Tenant of the premises, for that the actual Tenants were several persons to whom Hamo had mortgaged the same. The Prior further stated that his own chief-rent (servitium) chargeable on the premises was in arrear, but that he was ready to assist the Prosecutrix in recovering her dower. The Court allowed her to sue out another writ. [264] Such further Writ was, of course, against the actual Tenants.

Accordingly, in Michaelmas Term 1225, the same Alice sues William Fitz Adam for half an acre, and Hamo Fitz Henry for two- thirds of an acre, in Kaleweton. These Defendants called the Prior of Wenlock to warranty, [265]- a curious complication of the matter, but I am unable to trace the result in any later Roll.

In July 1259, another Hamo 1e Clerk sues out a writ of novel

[261] Valor Eccles. III, 216.
[262] I now find that in 1331 Bishop Charlton expressly confirmed Posenhale Chapel to Wenlock Priory as a dependency of the Church of the Holy Trinity.
[263] Rot. Hundred, II, 101.
[264] Placita, Mich. Term, 8 & 9 Hen. III, memb. 9. The Prior acted by his Attorney, Henry de Prene, in this and another suit (memb. 4 dorso). The Rotulus Attornatum calls the Plaintiff "Alice de Calueton".
[265] Placita, Mich. Term, 9 & 10 H. III, memb. 12.


disseisin against William Fitz William, for a tenement in Caleweton: but a second writ, sued out in October following, by Matilda, daughter of Hamo le Clerk, [266] perhaps indicates the intermediate death of Hamo.

In Michaelmas Term 1267, Ernald Fitz Robert of Walton was suing Agatha, Widow of William le Clerk, for disseizing him of a messuage in Kaleweton. Judgment was given for the Defendant. [267]

In 1259, I find mention of another Tenant here, viz., William le Muner, whom the Prior sued for customs and service due on his holding in Kalueton. The cause was adjourned till the Justices should be in Eyre. [268]

By Fine levied at Westminster, July 8, 1285, Adam de Haynho and Isolda his wife conceded, as their gift to John Wilde of Wenlok, a messuage and six acres in Apterlegh (probably Atterley) and Caleweton:- to hold of the Grantors and the Heirs of Isolda, at a rent of one Rose. John paid 20s. [269]

It appears, from the valuation of 1291, that the income derived from two carucates of land in Calloughton (written Coleton) had been specially appropriated by the Founder of Wenlock Priory to the Pittance of the Monks, wherefore it was not reckoned among the general receipts of the House. [270]

In 1379, the Hamlet of Calweton contained a capital messuage yielding nothing beyond expenses. Two carucates of land there were worth 6s. 8d., two acres of meadow, 2s. per annum. The assized rents of free Tenants were 20s. Total, 1. 8s. 8d. [27l]

The Valuation of the Priory estates taken in 1390 does not mention Calloughton at all, probably because of the specific appropriation of its rents to the Convent Kitchen. This we learn more fully from a "Kitchen Rental" of 1495-6, which includes the Rents of fifteen Tenements in Calloughton, one of which is 3. 6s. 8d. for the demesne lands there, fermed by Roger Frances. The whole receipts from Calloughton amount to 10. 18s. 8d. [272]

By an unusual coincidence, this is the exact sum of the Rents and ferm of Caloton, as returned in the Valor of 1534-5. [273] It is clear, in short, that the old Rent-Roll was thus made use of forty years after its date.

[266] Patent, 43 Hen. III, dorso.
[267] Placita, 51 Hen. III, m. 5.
[268] Placita, 53 Hen. III, m. 15 dorso.
[269] Pedes Finium, 13 Edw. I, Salop.
[270] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 164.
[271] Monasticon, V, 78.
[272] Register at Willey, fo.82, b. The tale Coquinarii" amounted to 45. 2s. 3d., from all manner of sources, but there were some charges thereon.
[273] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 215.


In 1541-2 (i.e., after the Dissolution), the Assized Rents of Calowton were 1. 17s., the Copyhold Rents 5., the Rents settled by Indenture 6. 9s. 2d., and the pannage of swine there was 7s. Total, 13. 13s. 2d. [274]


This was, with the exception of West Bradley, the most distant of the many Vills which may be presumed to have been included in the Domesday Manor of Much Wenlock.

The Priors must have granted some very early feoffment here. In the year 1167, when the Prior's demesnes were amerced one merk by Justices of the Forest, Presthope, apparently as a distinct tenure, was amerced half a merk.

Ralph de Presthope, the earliest whom I can suggest as the Prior's Feoffee here, lived in the twelfth century. Roger, son of Ralph de Prestop, appears, by some extraordinary chance, as a Grantee of lands at Bonedle (now Bentley), a place situated on the River Trent, and in the Staffordshire Manor of Mavesyn Ridware. [275] His Feoffor was Sir William Malveisin of Ridware, a great Vassal of the Shropshire house of Fitz Alan. The three first witnesses of the Deed of Feoffment are Warin de Burwardesley, Warner de Wililey, and Hugh de Leia, all neighbours of the Grantee in Shropshire. The end of the twelfth century was probably the period of this grant.

This was that Roger de Presthope who, having murdered his neighbour John de Patinton, gave King John two palfreys that he might have letters-patent of the King revoking the outlawry which had been proclaimed against him for this crime. John Mareschal, who appears as security for this Fine, was at the time Custos of Fitz Alan's Barony in Shropshire. [276] The Letters-Patent sought appear on the Rolls, bearing date at Clarendon, January 2,5, 1214. They convey, as was usual in such cases, only the "King's peace". The accused was to take his trial, if any one else chose to prosecute him (ita quod stet recto si quis versus eum inde loqui voluerit). [277]

Besides these Letters-Patent, a Writ-Close was addressed to the Sheriff of Shropshire, ordering him to restore all such lands and goods of the accused as had been seized for the Crown, "when

[274] Monasticon, V, p. 81.
[275] Shaw's Staffordshire, I, p. 170.
[276] Rot. Fin. p. 520; Rot. Pip. 16 John, and 2 Hen. III, Salop. The fine of two palfreys was commuted for one of eleven merks, which Presthope paid in 1214 and 1218.
[277] Patent, 16 John, m. 5.


Herbert, the Brother, and Juliana, the wife of the deceased, made their challenge against the accused". [278]

At the next County Assizes (November 1221), the Munslow Jurors, according to the usual form, made presentment of this murder. Roger de Presthope produced the late King's Letters-Patent, and was dismissed by the Court sine die. "And", adds the Record, "be it known, that he was not outlawed".

At these same Assizes, an entry, under Overs Hundred, intimates that Roger de Presthope proffers a fine of 100s. pro habendo auxilio, his Security being the Prior of Wenlock. [279] This had no connection with his previous crime, but it is difficult to say what this Fine was for. Roger de Presthope was still paying instalments thereof in 1225.

Again at these Assizes, Roger de Prestehop was found to have unjustly disseized Margery, daughter of Robert Menske, of a Tenement in Prestehop. The damages awarded were 3s., for which William Hubert and John de Bolinton were Securities. [280]

Again, Roger Fitz John succeeded, under suit of mort d'ancestre, in recovering a virgate in Prestehop against Roger de Prestehop, the holder, whose plea was, that the Plaintiff's Father was a Tenant in Villanage. The Jury found him to have been a Tenant in Fee, and to have died seized of the premises. The Surety for Roger de Presthope's amercement in this instance was Richard de Linleg. [281]

Soon after, this Roger de Presthope attests Prior Humbert's Charter to Thomas de Bagsore, the next witness being, singularly enough, Stephen de Patinton, [282] the son probably, certainly the heir, of the man whom Presthop had slain. A later attestation of Roger de Presthope has been before instanced, [283] viz., about 1230.

Roger de Presthope was succeeded by his son Ralph, but seems to have had a Brother Robert, of whom I should say a word. This

[278] Claus, 16 John, m. 2.
[279] Placita Coronae, 6 Hen. III, Salop, memb. 9 and 8. A Suitor was said "to ask aid of the Court" (petere auxilium Curiae) when in a civil action he wished to call a third party to warranty; but I do not find that this was a matter for so large a fine, or indeed for any fine at all, nor yet can I understand how such a fine should appear under Placita Corona and not under Civil Causes- Placita de Juratis.

Again, a feudal Lord was entitled to Aid from his Tenants on three occasions, viz., for ransom of his person, knighting his eldest son, or bestowing his eldest daughter in marriage; and, to authorize a levy of such aids, it was sometimes necessary to fine with the Crown; but I know of no estates of Roger de Presthope of such nature or extent as to warrant this explanation of the case.
[280] Placita, ibidem, m. 1.
[281] Ibidem, m. 5 dorso.
[282] Monasticon, V, 76; VI.
[283] Supra, Vol. II, p. 15.


Robert, described as "son of Ralph de Presthope", had a daughter Alice, married to Nicholas de Harley. The said Nicholas, with consent of the said Alice (whose parentage his Deed describes), grants to Ralph, son of Roger de Presthope, an acre of land in the field of Presthope. [284] This appears to me to have been a surrender of the tenure of a younger branch to the Lord of the fee, and, if I state this genealogy correctly, Alice was first Cousin of the Grantee.

Ralph, son of Roger de Presthop, appears as Ralph de Presthop, attesting a Lutwyche Deed about 1245. In September 1253, he similarly appears on a great Jury of the County which had to ascertain the right of Patronage to Haughmond Abbey.

At the Inquisition of Tenures in Wenlock Liberty, in 1255, Ralph de Prestehop was a Juror. Described as Ralph Fitz Roger, he is said to hold only one part of the Vill of Presthop of the Prior of Wenlock, paying a rent of 16s. 6d. per annum, and doing Suit to the Prior's Court, as his ancestors, till the reign of Richard I, had done Suit to Munslow Hundred. The Prior himself was Lord of the other part of the Vill, i.e., held it in demesne. The whole was estimated to contain one hide. [285]

At the Assizes of January 1256, Ralph de Presthop was again a Juror for Wenlock Liberty. In February 1262, he appears as a Regarder of the Long Forest in particular, but a Verderer of the Shropshire Forests in general.

Before the year 1272, we have John de Presthope attesting a Broseley Deed; [286] and this was the name of the head of the home of Presthope for fifty years following.

Besides his many attestations of undated Charters, John de Presthope appears on a Shrewsbury Jury in December 1285; on a Wenlock Jury, October 1289; and at the Assizes of 1292 he sat as a Juror for the Liberty of Wenlock. Again he was on a Wenlock Jury in May 1296, on an Easthope Jury in February 1306, and attested a Larden deed in July of the same year.

In March 1316, he was returned as Lord of the Vill of Presthope. [287] In September 1321 (as I suppose the date to be) he attests, with Thomas his son, a Wilderhope Deed; and again in 1322-3,

[284] Dugdale's MSS. Vol. 39 (from Lacon Evidences). Collins, quoting this Deed, I presume (Peerage, Vol. IV, p. 226), incorrectly calls Alice daughter of Ralph Prestrop. His genealogy of the early Harleys is altogether false.
[285] Rot. Hundred, II, 84, 85.
[286] Vol. II, p. 33.
[287] Parliamentary Writs, IV, 397.


stood first witness of another Wilderhope Deed, and by the style of John Lord of Presthope.

Of UNDER-TENANTS in this Manor I can say little more than has been implied already. At the Assizes of 1272, Richard, son of Peter de Prestehop, vainly sued Warin Fitz Warin of Wenlock for a messuage and virgate in Prestehop, but had leave to pursue his cause in another form.

On 25th June 1278, the King directs the Sheriff of Shropshire to ascertain whether certain lands held by William Fitz Arnald of Prestehop and Thomas Fitz Adam of Bromcroft, within the limits of the Long Forest, were measured by proper perches according to the assize of the Forest, and fairly arrentated. An Inquest held at Gipholes by the Sheriff and others, found that five acres and two roods thus held in Gipholes were properly measured, and were worth a rent of 18d. per acre; also that William and Thomas held two acres of the Lord of Kenley by service of 10s. rent. [288]

Following my ordinary plan of tracing all Monastic Seigneuries, till the Dissolution effaced them, I find, from the "Foreign Rent Roll" of Wenlock Priory, that in 1521-2 the Prior's principal Tenant at Presthope (Humphrey Wolriche) paid a chief-rent of 18s. 6d., while three other rents there amounted to 17s. 1d. After the Dissolution, viz., in 1541-2, a "Free Rent" of 1. from "Heth Presthorpe" is entered among the Assets of the late Priory. [290]

Besides this, the Prior received 2s. from Presthope for tithes; and this Sum does not vary in either of the three instances [291] where I find the item set forth.

In one case (the Valor of 1584-5), it is described as a Portion receivable from the Vill of Presthop. In 1541-2, it stands as the Ferm of the Tithes of Presthorp.


This Vill was, I suppose, a member of the Domesday Manor of Wenlock;- but the Priors granted very early feoffment thereof, for we happen to know that one Walter de Plesentia held half a virgate here under Priors Rainald and Humbald. Though the place cannot now be identified, I think it probable that it was near Presthope or West Bradley. Some interesting documents concern this lost locality.-

[288] Inquisitions, 6 Edw. I, No. 83.
[289] Register at Willey, fo. 39.
[290] Monasticon, V, 81.
[291] Ibidem, pp. 79, 81, and Register, fo. 36, b.


Between the years 1176 and 1190, Henry Prior of Wenlock granted (confirmed, I suppose) to Walter son of Walter de Plasantia, half a virgate in Prestenden, which Hermer and Ralph his son held, together with the meadows pertaining thereto:- to hold in fee and inheritance at a rent of 3s. Witnesses- Malcoline de Harley, Geoldus Chaplain, Robert Silemund, William his son, Hamund Chamberlain, Alured de Wigewic, Walter Bonvadlet, David Walsh (Walensis). [292]

Another deed followed this very shortly, wherein the Grantor was Robert Prior of Wenlock, and the Grantee the same Walter Fitz Walter;- but in this second Deed, the feoffment is increased by the grant of a house in Wenlock, an assart at Bradley (West Bradley), and another assart at Purteley (a lost vill, probably identical with the Domesday Petelie). The original feoffment at 3s. rent is stated to have been given by Priors Rainald and Humbald, and we have seen that it was maintained by Prior Henry. Now, the 3s. rent is increased to 5s. The Grantee was to sell beer in his house at Wenlock, free of toll if he sold it himself, but not so if any one else sold it. This deed passed after the last, and before 1198, but probably very early in the interval, for six out of the ten names mentioned may be identified with six witnesses of Gervase Paganel's grant, already quoted, and supposed to have passed about 1180. [293]

From two somewhat inaccurate copies of this curious Deed, I endeavour to restore the origina1. [294]-

"Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Robertus Prior de Wenloke ex peticione et concensu totius conventus concedo et hac carta confirmo Waltero filio Walteri de Plesente illam dimidiam virgatam terrae in Prestesdena quam antecessores mei Rainaldus videlicet (et) Humbaldus Priores patri ejus pro suo servicio concesserunt, ad tenendam de nobis libere et quiete, tam ipse quam heredes sui pro tribus solidis annuatim reddendis. Concedo ei etiam et confirmo domum unam cum purpriso [295] in Wenloke pro VI denariis [296] liberam a thelonco si ipse in ea fecerit venalem servisiam: alius vero si fecerit, solitam reddat consuetudinem; et (concedo) sartum [297] unum apud Bradeleia pro VI denariis et aliud sartum in Purteleia pro II denariis. Pro hac concessione predictus Walterus super firmam patris

[292] Blakeway's MSS.;- from W. Mytton's Collection.
[293] Supra, p. 236.
[294] Blakeway's MSS.; and Register at Willey, fo. 17, b.
[295] Purprisum- "an enclosure", says Mr. Blakeway"; "ambitus;- locus bus aut muris inclusus". (Du Cange).
[296] xvid (Register).
[297] Sic pro "assartum".


sui, quam pro hiis terris reddere consueverat III denarios adjecit, ita ut integro quinque solidos tam ipse quam heredes sui persolvant ad festum Sancti Michaelis. His testibus- Rogero Dispensatore, [298] Thoma Coquo, [299] Ricardo Pinal, Rogero Welcom, [300] Rogero Baras, [301] Rogero Frond, [302] Osberto fratre ejus, Ricardo famulo Prioris, Henrico de le Le".

Between 1227 and 1287, we have Roger de Prestonden, doubtless a representative of the above Feoffees, attesting a Larden Deed. We have already seen Henry de Prestenden attesting a grant to the Priory after 1262, [303] and the same person was Juror at the Inquisition of Wenlock Liberty in November 1274. [304] Again, at the Assizes of 1292, Henry de Prestenden is the first-named of the ordinary Jurors of the Liberty.

The Vill of Prestenden was still existent in 13 Henry VIII (1521-2). The "Foreign Rental" of Wenlock Priory, which is of that date, introduces the place between Presthope and Corve on the one hand, and Larden on the other. [305] The Prior had only one Tenant in Prestenden, viz., "Arthred Plantaginet". [306]

Who he was I know not, but his rent of 5s. 6d. is singularly near to that reserved in Prior Robert's feoffment of the twelfth Century.

Shirlot Forest.

THE original afforestation of Shirlot was probably suggested by its proximity to Morville or Chetton,- Manors where Saxon Kings and Mercian Earls had their respective demesnes from periods whereunto no Records extend. The Norman Earls of Shrewsbury, holding Morville partly and Chetton wholly in demesne, will have

[298] [299] [300] [301] [302] Written respectively as Roger Dapifer, Thomas Cocus, Roger Welcume, Roger Barat, and Roger Frend, in Gervase Paganell's Charter, which also has Walter Plesent as a witness.
[303] Supra, p. 261, note 143.
[304] Rot. Hundred, II, 110.
[305] It is this juxtaposition of Presthope and Prestenden which has prevented my associating the places still more closely, for the terminations hope and den have the same meaning, viz., a valley. The first part of each name I take to be significant of an ecclesiastical appropriation of both Vills long before the Norman Conquest.
[306] Register, fo. 39.


had good reason to maintain this Forest. King Henry I and his Successors, visiting their own Castle of Brug, or as Guests of the Prior of Wenlock, had obvious grounds for perpetuating at Shirlot those exclusive rights which belonged to every Royal Chace.

There were two "Hayes" in Shirlot Forest which were retained absolutely in demesne, viz., Shirlot Haye and Bentley Haye. The latter was near Walton, and of inconsiderable extent. Shirlot Haye, not very great when compared with such a Forest as Morf had yet a very wide regard or jutisdiction. And this jurisdiction originally extended to certain other woods, which belonged nominally to indifferent persons; but the property of such persons therein was much limited and questioned, till such time as any d these subject woods came, by special concession of the Crown, to be placed out of regard.

Thus we have supposed that Earl Hugh de Montgomery gave to Wenlock Priory the tithe of all Venison which he took in the "Woods of St. Milburg", a matter which may be thus explained:- The "woods of St. Milburg " were already the Prior's Woods, after a fashion, that is, he had no right to take Venison therein himself because they were within regard of Shirlot, or some other of the Earl Palatine's Forests.

I will not recapitulate the various entries which I have already extracted from the Forest Rolls of 1180, 1209, and 1262, and which furnish many incidental illustrations as to the jurisdiction of Shirlot Forest. Neither will I repeat what I have said as to the Custody or Forestership of Shirlot, and the family which held that office hereditarily. [1]

I will pass to other general matters, adding by the way such minor incidents as have not yet been noticed.-

In 1190, the Prior of Wenlock gave the King twenty merks that he might have the Wood of Sirlet (that is, his own part of the wood) exempt from the View of Foresters' (that is, taken out of Regard).

In 1209, the Justices in Eyre ordered the Vivary of Scirlegh (whose it was does not appear) to be seized into the King's hands, because a stag had been drowned therein. [2]

At the Forest Assizes of 1231, Hugh Fitz Robert (Chief Forester of Shropshire) and his fellows accounted 20s. for timber sold out of the Haye of Chirlet. [3]

Pursuant to the King's Writ of October 21, 1235, [4] Four Knights

[1] Vol. II, pp. 78-76.
[2] Forest Roll, No. II, Salop.
[3] Rot Pip. 15 Hen. III, Salop.
[4] Vide Supra, p. 215.


of the County surveyed Shirlot, and what I suppose to have been its original adjuncts, for it was only to Royal Forests that these Knights were ordered to proceed. Their report I give literally:-

"Item,- the Bosc of Sirlet was viewed, to wit, the Haye of the Lord King; and its custody is good as regards oak-trees and under-wood, except that great deliveries have been made by order of the King to the Abbeys of Salop and Bildewas, to the Priory of Wenlock, to the Castle of Brug for the repair of buildings, and elsewhere in many places.

Item,- the Bosc of John Fitz Alan (ibidem) was viewed;- in good custody as regards oak-trees and underwood; which is out of Regard.

Item,-the Bosc of the Prior of Wenlak there was viewed;- much wasted of old time and of late, seeing that he (the Prior) takes therefrom at his pleasure, saying that he can well do so, under Charter of the Lord King, which he has in that behalf, because it is out of Regard. Truly in the aforesaid Boscs there is small abiding (frequentacio) of Beasts, except in going backwards and forwards (in redeundo) from other Forests.

Item,- the Bosc of Westwud, which belongs to the same Prior, was viewed;- well kept as regards underwood and thorn, because nought else grows there, or has been used to grow".

At the Forest Assizes of 1262, several hamlets of the Prior of Wenlock were amerced one merk for non-attendance on some Inquest. At the same time the Agistators of the Forests westward of the Severn answered to the Justiciars for their receipts for pannage since the year 1251. Shyrelet had produced 3. in one year, 10s. in another, and so forth.

The ancient Jurisdiction of Shirlot Forest will best be estimated by a list of those Villages and Lands which were formally taken out of its Regard in the reign of Edward I: but I must observe that some of the Vills now to be named had been partially or wholly exempted from Regard at earlier periods; perhaps also one or two places, omitted to be mentioned, were yet at some similar periods within regard of Shirlot.-

The List is as follows:-

The Vills, of Beddeleswerdyn (Belswardine), Scheynton (Shineton), Buldwyas Magna (i.e.,.the Abbey Manor), Benthale, Posnall, Walton (near Wenlock), Atterley, Barrow, Wiley, Dean, Bold, Linley, Caughley, Little Caughley, Rowton, Swinney, Appeleye (the only vill eastward of Severn), Colemore, Stanley, Rucroft,



THE two syllables of this name are redundant in signification, unless we suppose the first to be Beohp (a hill), rather than Buph (a town). It is however probable that both those Saxon words had a common root, and they are often confused by Etymologists.

Domesday speaks of this Manor as follows: [1]-

"The same Church (St. Milburg's) held, and still holds, Burtune, and Edric (holds it) of the Church. Aluric, Edric's Father, held it (in time of King Edward), and could not recede from the Church. [2] Here are II hides and III virgates of land geldable. In demesne is half an ox-team, and (there are) IIII Villains and IIII Radmans, and III Boors with three teams and a half: and there is I Serf and I Mill serving unto the Manor-House (curiae), and I haye. In time of King Edward (the Manor) was worth 50s. (per annum); now it is worth 40s., and there might be II more teams therein".

Of Edric son of Aluric, the Domesday Lord of Burton, I shall speak again under Hughley. I conceive him to be the same person with Adric de Wenlock, who has been already noticed. [3]- Though a Saxon, his tenure under the Church of St. Milburg seems to have secured him some protection and favour. Nevertheless I do not find that, at any later period than Domesday, Burton was held by a Feoffee of the Priory. It passed wholly into the demesne of the Monks, and was in fact the locality selected for holding the Hundred Courts of their Franchise. I have already given instances where Manors within the said Franchise are said to owe suit to the Greater or Lesser Hundred-Courts of Burton. The former were held twice yearly, the latter every three weeks. Other instances will occur of a similar obligation. Here I should notice, how at the Inquest of 1255, the Jurors of Wenlock Liberty returned Burton as the Vill of the Prior (that is, held by him in demesne), and how the same Jurors gave the hidage of the Manor as two hides and three virgates,- exactly the Domesday estimate. [4]

The Jurors of the Liberty of Wenlock, in November 1274, reported

[1] Fol. 252, b. 2.
[2] Non poterat recedere ab ecclesia;- an expression which I will attempt to explain hereafter.
[3] Vol. I, p. 112.
[4] Rot. Hundred, II, 85.


how William Don and his Associates, "Keepers of the peace" under Robert de Trillek (Under-Sheriff in 1273-4), had arrested William Provost of Bourtone and his wife, had plundered their house of clothing and silver clasps to the value of 10s. 1d., and how at last Trillek had released them from imprisonment without plevin. A similar outrage had been committed on the persons and goods of the wife and son of William de la Pirie of Bourton, who had also been released without plevin. [5]

In 1291, the Prior of Wenlock is stated to derive an income of 5. 16s. from his Manor of Bourton, viz., from two carucates of arable land, 2.; from three acres of meadow, 6s.; from assized rents and a mill, 1. 6s. 8d.; from tallage, 1. 8s. 4d.; from perquisites (of Court) and dues in the shape of manual labour, 1. [6]

The Court-Roll of 15 Edward II supplies the following Fines relating to Burton, and illustrative of local tenures and customs which had probably existed from time immemorial.-

Oct. 7, 1321.- Richard son of Hugh On-the-Hill fined 20s. for the messuage and land late held by Hugh his Father. He was to hold the same for life, performing customary services. The Lord conceded to him the growing corn and other goods (of which probably a third was now due to the Priory) on condition that with his other rent at Michaelmas he should pay fourteen quarters of Cornmol. He had also license to marry.

Oct. 11.- Richard son of Richard Herbers fined 5s. for license to buy five acres from another tenant,- to hold for life.

Also Hamo Cnotte fined 2s. for license to marry Petronilla his daughter to Richard son of Hugh On-the-Hull.

Oct. 15.- Hamo son of Hamo Cnotte fined 40s. for a messuage and land, resigned into the Lord's hand by William ad Cimiterium. The latter received a Cottage from the Lord at a rent of 2s. He was to pay tallage with his neighbours.

Oct. 16.- Two persons take a messuage and land late held by a certain Widow, for the life of said Widow, who is to have dower thereof. The new Tenants to pay all customary services, and the Lord to have his rights at the said Widow's death.

April 5, 1322.- Hamo le Tiller, having recovered Bourton Mill against another by judgment of the Court, now surrendered the same to the Lord, who leases the same to the ousted Tenant and his wife, for the longest of their two lives, for a fine of 50s.

The same day, Hamo le Tiller fined 40d. for having easements

[5] Ibidem, II, 111.
[6] Pope Nich. Tax. p. 164.


within the demesne at a yearly rent of 4d. And he made recognition of blood, [7] and conceded to the Lord a third of his goods and chattels, wherever found at his death. And if by chance he should take any land to be held of the Lord, he should be absolved of the said rent.

June 2.- Two parties fine 20s. each, for license to buy several halves of a place of land and meadow from a third party.

An Extent of the possessions of Wenlock Priory, taken in 1379, gives a very full account both of the territorial profits derived from the Manor of Burton, and of the income arising from the Court there held. [8]-

As regards the Manor,- the Capital Messuage yielded no annual revenue; a Carucate of land yielded 6s. 8d.; two acres of meadow, 2s.; the assized rents of Free-tenants and Natives amounted to 8. Total, 8. 8s. 8d.

There were two great Hundred-Courts held by the Prior at Burton yearly, viz., at Easter and Michaelmas. Of these Courts the Pleas and Perquisites realized 1. per annum.

The Pleas and Perquisites of the Lesser Hundred-Court, held every three weeks, were worth 6s. 8d. per annum.

There were also diverse free Tenants within the County who held in socage various tenements under the Priory, and who owed suit to the aforesaid Hundred-Court, and whose annual rents amounted altogether to 6. 18s. 4d. [9]

A Valuation of the Prior's possessions, taken in 1390, gives the annual receipts from Burton Manor at 10. 11s. The Perquisites and Fines of the Manorial Court were 15s. 6d. [10]

The Perquisites of the Hundred-Court of Burton were at the same time 4. [11]

In 1534-5, the Valor gives the Rental of lands and tenements at Burlton as 10. 18s. 4d. [12] The Rectorial Tithes, given as 13s. 4d., belonged to the Prior, as Impropriator, I presume, of Wenlock Church.

In 1541-2, the late Priory's interests here are stated as 15. 5s. 8d. for rents of diverse lands and Tenements, and 16s. for

[7] Et fecit recogniciosem sanguinis;-a phrase which I cannot explain.
[8] Monasticon, V, pp. 77, 78.
[9] In this Category we may reckon Linley, Willey, Badger, and Deuxhill,- places already described;- also Beckbury, and some others, henafter to be noticed.
[10] This Item is not included in the Valuation of 1379. The Manorial Court was quite distinct from the Great and Lesser Hundred-Courts.
[11] Register at Willey, fo. 35, b.
[12] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 215.


rent of a Water Mill. Total, 16. 1s. 8d. The tithes seem to be included in the Rectorial tithes of Much Wenlock. [13]

BURTON CHAPEL is one of those which Bishop Charlton confirmed to Wenlock Priory in 1331 as a Dependency of the Church of the Holy Trinity. This Dependency seems to have resulted in something like absorption; for neither of Church, Chapel, or Chaplain at Burton do I hear again till after the Dissolution.


Sceaptun was probably the Saxon name of this place; and it is one of that multitude of local names which originated with a race devoted to pastoral and agricultural pursuits.

"The Church of St. Milburg held Scipetune in Saxon times, and still retained it at the date of Domesday. Here was half a hide not geldable, and III hides geldable. There was in demesne one ox-team, and there were IIII Villains and V Boors, with V Teams, and there were II Serfs. Its ancient value had been 30s. per annum. At Domesday it was worth 4d. per annum more". [1]

Of Shipton itself I have nothing to relate till the year 1255, when the Inquest of Wenlock Liberty mentions it as a Vill of the Prior, which, with its appurtenances (Upper and Lower Larden), contained three hides and a half of land. It had thus preserved its Domesday measurement. [2]

In 1291 the Prior held in his Manor of Shipton one carucate in demesne, of 1. annual value. Two acres of meadow were worth 4s. The Assized Rents and a Mill realized 2; the annual Tallage, 1.; the Perquisites of the Manor-Court, and the dues in the form of manual labour, were estimated at 5s. The gross income was therefore 4. 9s. [3]

The following extract from the Wenlock Fine-Roll of 15 Edw. II shows probably how an incompetent Tenant at Shipton contrived to retain his Copyhold.-

On April 16, 1322, the Lord (i.e., the Prior) allowed Hugh Lovekyn of Schipton to give up all his land to William le Kyng, to

[13] Monasticon, V, p. 81.
[1] Domesday, fo. 252, b. 1.
[2] Rot. Hundred, II, 85.
[3] Pope Nich. Tax. p. 164.


be cultivated in champarty [4] for four years commencing at Michaelmas next, saving the Lord's right in all things. "The said Hugh shall yearly find half of the seed of all sorts, and do customs and service to the Lord. The said William shall do the ploughing, and shall give Hugh the tenth garb of his share of produce in aid of Hugh's Cornmo1. [5] William shall have half the meadow-land. Hugh shall give the Lord 2s. on August 1st next for maintaining this agreement".

On June 24, 1322, Roger de Esthope resigned into the Lord's hands the Mill of Schipton. Roger Schakel of Syenton took the same for his life, paying an entrance-fee of 10s., and covenanting to pay an annual rent of five merks (3. 6s. 8d.), and to keep the said Mill in good repair, the Lord finding timber "in the rough" for that purpose.

In the Valuation of 1379, the receipts from Shipton (where the Prior had neither Capital Messuage nor demesne lands) were 9. 18s.: viz., for two acres of meadow, 2s.; for a water-mill, 12s.; for Assized Rents of Free Tenants, 9. 4s.

The rent of the free Tenants in Larden is given separately as 5s. [6]

In 1390 the receipts from the Manor of Shipton are not entered against the name of the place on the Rent-Roll. They were probably 25. or thereabouts. [7]

In 26 Henry VIII (1534-5) the Rental of Shipton was 31. 8s., out of which a Bailiff's salary was 1. 6s. 8d. [8]

After the Dissolution, viz., in 1541-2, the Prior's former interests in Shipton were valued as follows:- Assized Rents, 4. 3s. 11d. Rents of Tenants at Will, 2s. 8d. Rents of Copyholders, 20. 11s. 10d. Ferms of two messuages, 3. 1s. 10d. Ferm of Tithes, 5. 6s. 8d. Total, 3s. 6s. 11d. [9]

SHIPTON CHURCH.- An extraordinary antiquity is established for this Church by the merest accident. The Patent of Richard de Belmeis, Bishop of London, already quoted, [10] shows how, in a great Synod at Wistanstow, he judicially determined and utterly ignored

[4] "Colendam ad compi partem". The context sufficiently explains this expression. The term "champarty" was used metaphorically in law, when a person, having no share in a thing litigated, undertook to conduct the litigation for a share of the gains.
[5] That is of the Cornmol or tithe chargeable on the whole.
[6] Monasticon, V, 77, 78.
[7] Register at Willey, fo. 85, b. The Total entered at the foot of the column of figures is 25. 2s., in excess of the other items given.
[8] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, p. 215.
[9] Monasticon, V, pp. 80, 81.
[10] Supra, pp. 232-3.


the unjust claim of one Grenta on St. Milburg's Sciptune. The claim was doubtless one of ecclesiastical independence, asserting Shipton Church to be no affiliation of the Church of St. Milburg. Grenta, the claimant, was probably the Incumbent of Shipton, and his discomfiture must needs be of date about A.D. 1110.

At a long interval, viz., on May 22, 1275, we hear of JOHN DE WYNO, Subdeacon, being instituted to this Church on presentation of the Prior and Convent of Wenlock. [11] He is said to have been deprived in 1282. And this may well be the case; for in the previous year John de Peckham Archbishop of Canterbury visited the Diocese of Hereford, and, as we have already seen, [12] his Commissaries gave sentence as to the subjection of the Chapel of Schypton to the Church of the Holy Trinity of Wenlock, and the Incumbent of Shipton, "John de Eynho", acknowledged that subjection. Further, we have seen [13] how, on January 29, 1284, Richard Bishop of Hereford, recording the deprivation of John de Eynho, ordained that the "Chaplain" who served the Chapel of Schypton should pay 2s. annually to the Vicar of Wenlock.

In 1291 the Church or Chapel of Shipton is returned as belonging to the Prior of Wenlock, and as of 6. annual value. [14] In his general Charter, dated May 23, 1331, Thomas Bishop of Hereford enumerates Shiptone among the "Chapels dependent on the Church of the Holy Trinity".

In 1341 the Assessors of the Ninth charged this Parish, or rather district, with 2. 5s. instead of 6. The reasons were, that the corn was in great part destroyed, there were no sheep here, a third of the land lay untilled from inability of the Tenants, and the glebe and altarages of the Chapel went to swell the Church Taxation, but could not be reckoned in assessing the Ninth. [15]

In the year 1369 the Prior of Wenlock was receiving 13. 6s. 8d. from Shipton Chape1, [16] which of course was served by a mere Deputy at the time, officiating without any institution or Episcopal license.

In 1534-5 the Rectorial or Corn-tithes of Shipton were returned under the Spiritualities of the Prior of Wenlock as worth 5. 6s. 8d. per annum; and a Portion, as it is called, receivable from the Vills

[11] Blakeway's MSS., from Hereford Registers. There seems to me to be some question about the date of institution being correctly given. The See of Hereford was vacant at the time.
[12] [13] Supra, p. 267.
[14] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 167.
[15] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 187.
[16] Register at Willey, fo. 36.


of Larden and Brockton, was stated at 1. 6s. 8d. [17] The Chapel of Shipton, in conformity with its dependent and unendowed condition, is not even mentioned.


This place is not mentioned in Domesday, being then involved in Shipton. The etymology of the name, and its successive changes, are curious.-

The same usage which has contracted the Saxon word Hlapopb (Hlaford) into the modern "Lord", has changed Hlapopb-ben (i.e., Lord's Valley) first into Laverden, and now into Larden.

The earliest mention which has occurred to me of this place seems to intimate its manorial separation from Shipton. In the year 1167 a fine of 6s. 8d. is assessed by Alan de Nevill on Leverdon Prioris, i.e., Prior's-Leverdon. [18] The fact is, that whilst the Prior continued to hold Shipton in demesne, he granted one or more early feoffments in Larden. Thus the status of the two places became dissimilar, and the evidences which we have about one are of a class essentially distinct from those which we have about the other. The Tenants in Fee of Larden took name from the place. The first of whom I find mention was Roger de Lavendene, who has already been named as attesting a Badger Deed about 1174. [19]

On Sept. 26, 1199, a Fine was levied at Salop, which I associate with this place.- It was between Richard de Hungerford, plaintiff, and Odo de Leverton, tenant, of a quarter-virgate in La More, whereof was recognition of mort d'ancestre.- Richard renounced his claim for 10s. paid to himself, and 10s. more to Walter Fitz Radulf, his elder Brother, who was present in Court, and consenting to the Fine. [20]

In October 1199, I find one William de Leferden a Recognizor in a Suit concerning land at Clee St. Margaret; [21] and in November 1201, Odo de Loverdon and William de Loverdon appear to be the names of two Recognizors in a great Shropshire cause long pending at Westminster. [22]

At the County Assizes, Nov. 1221, William de Laverden was

[17] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, p. 216. From another Record (Register, fo. 36, b) it would appear that the tithes of "Schypton" and "Moor House" were specially appropriate to the sustenance of the Convent.
[18] Rot. Pip. 13 Hen. II, Salop.
[19] Supra, Vol. II, p. 66, note 5.
[20] Pedes Finium, 1 John, Salop.
[21] Rot. Curiae Regis, II, 21.
[22] Placita (No. 17), Mich. Term, 3 John, memb. 26 dorso.


amerced 6s. 8d., being found to have disseized Laurence Fitz Laurence of the third part of a virgate of land in Laverden. [23] Some previous circumstances are given. Laurence's Grandfather and two Aunts had sometime sued the Prior of Wenlock for a virgate in Laverden, as their right in pourparty. At length they obtained their object by paying the Prior six merks, whereof two merks were paid by Laurence's Guardian, his Grandfather being, I suppose, dead. Laurence in time had full seizin of his share, and held it till William de Laverden disseized him.

On March 12, 1227, William de Laverdene, Thomas de Laverdene, and Walter More, were in attendance at the Prior's Court at Burton. This we learn from their attestation of a Deed which passed in the said Court. I imagine them to have been the Prior's Tenants at Larden and Moore House.

Within the next ten years the following Deeds seem to me to have passed.-

William Fitz Nicholas of Brug quits to Humbert Prior of Wenlock all right in that third part of a virgate in Laverden which Walter Wigot formerly held. William Fitz Nicholas, holding this land of the Priory, had an Under-Tenant, viz., William son of Thomas de Laverden, whose tenure was in fee and for homage, and 2s. 8d. rent. Him the said William Fitz Nicholas attorns to the Priory: in short, the Grantor in this Deed merely quits his mediate interest between the Prior and William son of Thomas. [24]

Again, Philip de Gasam, for one merk, quits to Wenlock Priory all right in the third part of a virgate in Laverden, which virgate Walter Wigot sometime held. The quittance is of homages, reliefs &c. [25]-

I suppose this Deed to relate to another share of the same virgate with the last, and that the Prior thus bought up the interests of two of Walter Wigot's coheirs, the third coheir being Laurence Fitz Laurence above mentioned.

About 1245 we have Hamo de Laverden (whom we know to have held Upper Larden) attesting a Lutwyche Deed. We have a good account in the year 1255 of the Prior's Feoffees here. Then

[23] Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 2 and 18. Henry de Brocton was Surety for William de Laverden's amercement.
[24] Quoted by Mr. Blakeway, from the Collection of "Godolphin Edwards".- Witnesses: Richard de Middelhope, Thomas de Beggesoure.
[25] Witnesses: Hervey, Vicar of Wenlock; Reginald de Leg; Thomas de Asterton, Clerk; Stephen de Patinton; Henry de Calewinton; John Rese; Roger de Prestonden.


Hamond de Laverden, late Tenant of Higher Laverden, was deceased. His Son William, a Minor, in custody of his Mother, was to be the Prior's Tenant. His future obligations would be to do suit to the Prior's Court by aforciament, and to pay a rent of 10s. per annum. This Tenement had done suit to Munslow Hundred till the reign of Richard I.

Hugh de Laverden was the cotemporary Lord of Lower Laverden. His rent and conditions of tenure were in every respect the same with those of William. So had his vill formerly owed suit to Munslow Hundred. [26]

On July 7, 1259, we have Adam de Laverden and his wife taking out a writ of mort d'ancestre against John Cusyn of Laverden, concerning a messuage and land in Laverden. Their fine for this writ was 6s. 8d. [27]

At the Assizes of September 1272, Richard son of Thomas Fitz Bernard sued Richard Fitz Bernard (his Uncle, I presume), under writ of mort d'ancestre, for one virgate in Lake and half a virgate in Laverden. The Defendant said that Adam Fitz Thomas and Alice Stirch were Tenants of two parts of the half-virgate in Laverden; moreover, he denied altogether that the Plaintiff was Thomas Fitz Bernard's heir. The Jury further found that Agnes, widow of Thomas Fitz Bernard, was Tenant of the remaining third of the half-virgate in Laverden:- so the Defendant was dismissed sine die. [28]

About this time we find mention of Alan de Laverden (successor, I think, to Hugh); of Master William de Laverden, of Richard Smalemon of Laverden, and of Henry le Hethene of Laverden. The latter also occurs at later periods of the Century, viz., as a Juror of Wenlock Liberty at the Assizes of 1292, and on a local Inquest in May 1296, besides as a witness of some undated Deeds.

Meantime, William son of Hamo de Laverden, though a Minor in 1255, had attained full age. As William de Lavergrene he is entered among the Jurors of the Liberty at the Assizes of 1272, and as William de Lardegrene occupied a similar position on the Inquest of November 1274.

In 1379, the Prior of Wenlock's interest in Laverden is represented only by 5s. rent receivable from free Tenants; [29] but that

[26] Rot. Hundred, II, 85.
[27] Patent, 43 Hen. III, dorso; Rot. Pip. 43 Hen. III, Salop.
[28] Assizes, 56 Hen. III, m. 12. Lake is, I suppose, represented now by Lake-House, near Rushbury. The Kitchen of Wenlock Priory had sometime rents of 5s. 2d. in Le Lak, but in 1495-6 it seems that they were quite or nearly lost. (Register, fo. 33).
[29] Monasticon, V, 78, a.


Valuation probably annexes to Shipton receipts which were ordinarily classed under Larden, Moore House, and Skimblescott.

The "Foreign" Rent-Roll of Wenlock Priory in 1521-2 adopts a different arrangement, including Moor House under Laverden, and giving Shipton and Kylmescote separately. Thus, under Laverden we have Edward More paying a chief-rent of 17s. 4d., and Laurence Ludlow paying 4s. 10d. and 4s. for two tenements, the last of which is the Morehous. Under Shypton we have only one rent, viz., 2s. 4d. receivable from John Peramor; and under Kylmescote only one, viz., 13s. 4d. receivable from Thomas Laken. [30]

The Valuations of 1534-5 and 1541-2, already given under Shipton, probably included the rents of these adjuncts.


This was undoubtedly an appurtenance of the Domesday Manor of Shipton. I have already mentioned one member of that family of More, which seems to have held here under the Priory of Wenlock, and to have taken a name from the place. From what I have just said under date of 1521-2, it would appear that the Mores had before that time been transferred from this place to Larden.

To return to more ancient times.- After Walter More, occurring in 1227, the next whom I find of this family is Richard de la More, attesting a Lutwyche Deed after the middle of the same century. Then we have Thomas de la Merhous attesting a Patton Deed in 1305.

But a Deed bearing date July 12, 1306, is much more to our purpose. It is an agreement between Brother Henry Prior of Wenlock and his Convent on the one part, and Richard son of Henry of the Morehus on the other. Richard covenants that he and his Heirs shall pay to the Prior a third part of the goods of every Tenant dying in his (Richard's) tenements of Merhus and Larden. The Prior in return allows Richard the liberty of taking marl in the field of Cyptone (Shipton). Witnesses- Sir Richard de Harley, Sir Roger Tyrel, Henry de Bradelegh, John de Presthope, Roger son of Roger de Westone, John de Plouden. [31]

[30] Register at Willey, fo. 39.
[31] Blakeway's MSS. (from Godolphin Edwards' Collection). The Seal of this Deed was charged with the devices of a Swan and a Cinque-foil. The former is still well known as a cognizance of the family of More.



I will not say that this tenement, consisting of a virgate, was part of the Domesday Manor of Shipton. [32] It is because it is now in Shipton Parish that I prefer to treat of it here, and not indeed knowing of any other Manor with which I can more reasonably connect it. It was at all recorded periods held in fee under the Prior of Wenlock.

In 1221, William de Kelmescott is named as Surety in a Lawsuit concerning land in Wenlock.

About 1240 and 1260, we find mention of Richard de Kylmescote; but he, I think, was only an Under-Tenant in Lutwyche. Cotemporary with him was Roger de Kilmescott, the Prior's Feoffee here. At the Inquest of 1255, this Roger was returned as Lord of Kilmescot in Wenlock Liberty. He held it of the Prior, paying a rent of 13s. 4d. per annum (the very sum paid by Thomas Laken 250 years later). He did Suit to the Prior's Court by afforciament, as his Ancestors till Richard I's time had done to Munslow Hundred. [33]

Soon afterwards, Roger de Kylmescote precedes the Lord of Lutwyche in the testing clause of a deed; and he officiated as a Juror for Wenlock Liberty at the Assizes of 1272 and the Inquisition of 1274.

The following Deed, though undated, seems to me to have passed in the reign of Henry VI. I introduce it here because it shows the parochial and manorial relations of Skimblescott in a satisfactory way.-

Certain Feoffees in trust of Edward son of Thomas Clerks of Wenlock, demise to and re-enfeoff the said Edward in all lands, tenements, rents, &c., in Kylmescot in the Parish of Shipton which they lately had of his gift;- to hold to said Edward and the heirs of his body of the Lords of the fee.- Remainder to William, Edward's brother, and the heirs of his body.- Remainder, in default of such heirs, to the Prior and Convent of Wenlock for ever. [34]

[32] Shipton, including only the two Lardens, maintained its Domesday hidage in 1255, without the addition of Skimblescott. Hence my doubt whether the latter was a member of Shipton.
[33] Rot. Hundred, II, 85.
[34] Register at Willey, fo. 9, b. Witnesses: William Laken, Esq. (of Willey); Fulk Sprenchehose, Esq. (of Plash); Thomas Horde, Esq.; Edward Leyghton.


Tichelvorde, or Tichelworthin.


I HAVE already alluded to the termination worth, or worthing, as being sometimes taken to denote a village. [1] If so, the change from worthin to ton (a town) is slight, as far as meaning is concerned.

Tichel, or Tihel, was a Saxon name still known in Shropshire in the twelfth century, as I shall hereafter show under Leighton. The Tihel, who gave name to the Manor now under notice, will have belonged to a very remote aera.

Domesday notices the said Manor thus:-

"The same Church (St. Milburg's) holds Tichelevorde, and held it in time of King Edward. Here are VII hides geldable, and III other hides quit of geld. In demesne is I ox-team, and there are VI Villains and VI Boors and I Radman, with V teams, and still there might be VI teams (more, employed) here. Here are III Serfs, and a Wood (sufficient) for fattening LX swine. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 100s. (per annum) Now it is worth 50s". [2]

Though Tichelevorde, alias Ticheleworthin, be, as far as the name is concerned, represented by the present township of Ticklerton, yet the Caput of the Domesday Manor was at a very early period transferred elsewhere. Whilst therefore I am treating of the Manor generally, it will be much more to my purpose if I entitle it the Manor of-

Eaton-Under-Heywood. [2]

Which vill was originally a member only of Tichelevorde. The Manor was held chiefly in demesne by Wenlock Priory; and I meet with no earlier Record of its general status than is detailed in the Inquest of 1255, when the Jurors of Wenlock Liberty returned "Eton with its appurtenances as the Manor of the Lord Prior".

[1] Vol. I, p. 137, note 2.
[2] Domesday, fo. 262, b, 1.
[3] Sometimes called "Eaton in the Vale of Longefeld" (Longville), sometimes "Eaton Priors".


These appurtenances they stated to be Herton (now Harton), Tycleworthin (Ticklerton), Longefewd (Longville), and Lussekote (Lushcote), which, with Wolverton, made up a Manor of eight and-a-half hides. [4] Add to these Hatton, a vill then reckoned to contain one and-a-half hides, and originally a member of this Manor, and we have the aggregate ten hides of Domesday. Of these members I shall speak hereafter in detail, but shall at present treat only of the paramount interests of the Prior of Wenlock.

At the Assizes of 1256, the Prior of Wenlock, Roger Fitz Thomas, and others, were found to have levelled a stank in Eton, to the injury of Richard Cleck's free tenement. The stank was ordered to be restored. [5]

In 1291, the Prior derived from one carucate of land at Eton 6s. 8d. per annum; from eight acres of meadow, 16s.; from assized rent, and two Mills, 5.; from tallage, 5.; from Perquisites of the Manor-Court and labour dues, 1. 6s. 8d. Total, 12. 9s. 4d. [6]

The following entries occur on the Wenlock Fine Roll of 15 Edward II:-

Ticleward. Oct. 14, 1321.- Richard, son of Richard Keyne, and his two sons, gave the Lord 10s. to have liberty and easements in the Manor of Etone, and that they may hold the land which they now hold, peacefully, and not be distrained to take more land against their will. Each of them will pay 12d. per annum for the easements.

Etone. Same day.- Isota, Widow of Roger Fitz Hugh, fined 40s. for the messuage and land held by her late husband, with the crop already sown;- to hold for life by performance of accustomed services.

Ticleward. Nov. 5, 1321.- John Fitz William Fitz Thomas fined 10s. for easements, and not to be distrained to take other land than the acre he now held, till he was able to do so, and the Lord should approve.

Eton. Sunday, Dec. 13, 1321.- The Lord allowed Roger Fitz Faber and another certain fixed days for payment of the gross arrears of their Accounts. (They had probably been Bailiffs).

Ticleward. Sunday, June 27, 1322.- The Lord allowed Richard Fitz Thomas to enter upon that moiety of the bailiwick of the custody of woods which said Richard had bought from Richard de Walle. The Fine to the Lord is 5., the future rent 5s. yearly.

In 1379, the following was the Prior's income from his Manor of

[4] Rot. Hundred, II, 85.
[5] Assizes, 40 Hen. III, m. 14.
[6] Pope Nicholas' Taxation, p. 164.


Etone:- The Capital Messuage, of no net value; a carucate of land netting 3s. 4d. per annum; a water-mill paying 10s.; two acres of meadow paying 2s., when they could be mown and carried; assized rents of free and native tenants, 7. 6s. 8d.; Pleas and perquisites of Court, 1s. [7] The Total of 8. 3s. exhibits a considerable falling off from the valuation of 1291; but the Tallage there reckoned is here omitted. But it shows how variable these estimates were when we look to a third Valuation in 1390, and find that the Rents and Ferms of Eton amounted to 19. 9s. 8d., exclusive of all profits of Court, or of lands held in demesne. [8]

In 1514-15, a Rent-Roll of Eton gives the ferm of Eton at 4. 6s. 8d., which, with the rents of five other Tenants in Eton, three Tenants in Lushcote, six in Longville, two in East Wall, eight in Tyclewardine, five in Harton, and a charge of 6d. on the Mill Pool of Hope Bowdler, made a Total of 25. 11s. [9]

In 26 Henry VIII (1534-5) the Rents and Ferms of Eton were stated at 24. 14s. 2d., less 1. for a Bailiff's Salary.

In 1541-2 the same Rents and Ferms appear as amounting to 30. 9s. 4d.; the Perquisites of Court being 1. 3s. 6d. more. [10]


The Parish of Eaton is not conterminate with what we have supposed to constitute the Domesday Manor, but somewhat more extensive. The parallel between Eaton-under-Heywood and the Holy Trinity of Wenlock, as parishes, should be kept in mind. Each was a large constituent of the far greater spiritual Fief of St. Milburg. As Wenlock Parish included Willey, Oxenbold, Broseley, and other places which were not originally of the temporal fee of St. Milburg, so did Eaton parish include Upper Millichope and, with it, Hungerford, which were acquired by the Priory after Domesday. In the latter cases it would almost seem that the spiritual jurisdiction was allowed as a result of the temporal acquisition. If so, the boundaries of Parishes must actually have been altered to satisfy this extraordinary prescriptive right.

The earliest notices which I have of Eaton Church have already been set forth under Wenlock Church. [11] The two Rectories were cotemporaneously appropriated to the Priory by Bishop William

[7] Monasticon, V, 78.
[8] Register at Willey, fo. 85, b.
[9] Register at Willey, fo. 38, b.
[10] Monasticon, V, pp. 79, 81.
[11] Supra, p. 265.


de Vere (1186-1199), which appropriations were confirmed by Bishop Giles de Braose as before stated. But in the time of Bishop Hugh Foliot (1219-1234) the Prior's rights as regards Eaton were disputed. A Charter of that Prelate informs us how "the Prior appeared before the Chapter of Hereford, renouncing his right to the Church of Eaton, and committed himself to the Bishop's grace, asking for mercy and not judgment". The Bishop proceeds to concede the said Church to the Priory, but specially devotes it to the better provision of the Monks' Kitchen (in augmentum Coquinae), and saving the due maintenance of a Vicar there. [12]

On April 29, 1290, Etone was visited by Bishop Swinfield, and the Prior of Wenlock gave forage for thirty-six horses which were of the Prelate's train. [13]

The Taxation of 1291 gives the Church of Etone as belonging to the Prior of Wenlock, but set apart (deputata) for the Pittance of the Monks, its value being 10. per annum. The Vicarage was at the same time worth 4. 6s. 8d. [14]

On May 23, 1331, Bishop Thomas de Cherlton, visiting Much Wenlock, saw the Prior's "Titles for the Church of Eton with the Chapel of Millingchop", and pronounced them sound. [15]

In 1341 the Parish of "Eton-Priors" was assessed to the Ninth at 6. 8s. 4d., not at 10. (the Church Taxation), because the corn had suffered from tempests, there had been a general murrain among sheep; also the small-tithes, offerings, and glebe-land were computed in the Taxation, and could not be reckoned in the ninth; lastly, the land of eight tenants lay unfilled, having been surrendered. [16]

The Kitchen Rent-Roll of Wenlock Priory, taken in 1495-6, gives ample evidence that Bishop Foliot's appropriation of the Rectorial tithes of Eaton Church had been maintained.

The tithes of Eyton (perhaps Eaton) 7. 15s. 4d., of Eton (perhaps Hatton) 3. 3s. 8d., of Millichope and Hungerford 1. 10s., of Wall-under-Heywood (probably Eastwall) 8s., of Longville 1. 3s. 4d., and of Lushcote 14s., were all receivable by the Kitchen, and make a Total of 14. 14s. 4d. [17]

In 1534-5 the Rectorial or Corn Tithes of Eton were returned

[12] Patent, 22 Edw. III, pars 3, m. 34.
[13] Household Roll of Richard de Swinfield (Camden Society), p. 79.
[14] Pope Nich. Tax. p. 167; Decanatus de Wenlak.
[15] Patent, ut supra.
[16] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 186.
[17] Register at Wiley, fo. 33.


among the Spiritualities of Wenlock Priory aa worth 8. 15s. 4d. annually.-

The Vicarage of Eton (John Upton, Incumbent) was worth in Glebe and other Tithes 5., on which 7s. 8d. was charged for Archdeacon's Procurations and Synodals. [18]

In 1541-2 the Ferm of the Rectorial Tithes of Eaton is put at 8. [19]


Sir OSBERT, called GODMAN, Priest. Instituted to the Vicarage, October 25, 1289, on presentation of the Prior and Convent of Wenlock.

RICHARD DE LAVERDEN, Priest, instituted October 11, 1309, on a like presentation.

ROGER DE BERSTON, Priest.- Instituted Jan. 19, 1313, on a like presentation.

Master JOHN DE ORLETON, Deacon, instituted Jan. 17, 1321, the Bishop of Hereford presenting. He resigned on Jan. 24, when-

RICHARD DE ESTENOR, Sub-deacon, was similarly presented and instituted.


On the iter of Alan de Nevill in 1167, a fine of one merk was laid upon Hatton, [21] which I take to be this place.

At the County Assizes of October 1203, one Richard de Hatton is found essoigning himself for non-attendance. His Essoignor was Henry de Ticlewrthin, which inclines me to think he was of this place.

During the time of Joybert Prior of Wenlock, that is, between the years 1204 and 1215, one William de Hereford, being Bailiff of the said Prior, demised a hide in Hatton to Robert de Hatton. This probably was the first feoffment given by Wenlock Priory within its Manor of Eaton. The Feoffee was afterwards impleaded in respect of the services reserved to the Prior, not on the ground of the said Bailiff's incompetency to grant. This dispute was in Easter Term 1227, the Plaintiff being Prior Imbert. Robert de Hatton demanded View of the premises, and the case was adjourned till the Quinzaine of the Holy Trinity. [22] At the same time there

[18] Valor Ecclesiasticus, pp. 216, 210.
[19] Monasticon, V. 81.
[20] From Blakeway's MSS.
[21] Rot. Pip. 13 Hen. II, Salop.
[22] Placita, Easter Term, 11 Hen. III, m. 4 dorso.


was another Feoffee here, viz., Geoffrey Fitz-Baldwin. Of him I will speak presently.

Prior Imbert's dispute with Robert de Hatton, after being in abeyance for ten years, was settled, by Final Concord, at Salop, on May 8, 1237. [23] The Fine purports to be between Imbert Prior of Wenlock, complainant, and Robert de Hatton, deforciant,- of customs and services which the Prior required from the same Robert, for a hide-and-half in Hatton. The Prior's demands were, that Robert should pay him 20s. per annum for the said land, and should do suit to the Prior's Hundred Court of Burton, and should provide ten men for one day in Autumn, to carry the Prior's Hay, at the said men's own cost; also that Robert and his Tenants of Hatton should do suit to the Prior's Halimot of Eton three or four times a year, which customs Robert did not recognise. Moreover the Fine was to extend to a question of boundary to be drawn between Robert's land of Hatton and the Prior's lands at Thikelwrthin and Horton, the Prior alleging that Robert had attracted five acres to his fee.-

On all these points there was a recognition of Grand Assize between the parties, and the Fine was that Robert de Hatton and his heirs should pay the Prior 25s. annually, on February 23, at Wenlock, and should do suit at the Prior's Hundred Court of Burton, by afforciament of Hundred Court, to wit, when a robber was there to be tried, or judgment to be given, in pursuance of any Writ Royal. Moreover all the land eastward of a stated boundary, [24] fixed by twelve Knights, was to remain to the Prior, all to the westward to Robert de Hatton. For this Fine and agreement the Prior remitted all other customs and services.

Very consistently with the above, the Inquisition of Wenlock Liberty, in 1255, states that "Robert de Hatton is Lord of the Vill of Hatton, and he holds of the Prior of Wenlock, and pays the Prior 25s. per annum, and does suit to the Prior's Court by afforciament, and his antecessors used to do suit to Munslow till Richard I's time, and Hatton is a hide and a half". [25]

[23] Pedes Finium, 21 Hen. III, Salop.
[24] From the Ford of Herebrok, along the watercourse to Duningpittes, thence straight, along the boundary fixed by twelve Knights, towards Berchelesiche, near the assart of Henry de Tykelingwrthin, and thence going up from Berchelesiche to the ditch which divided Berchele from the field of Hatton, and so along that ditch to Sumerbeche.
[25] Rot. Hundred, II, 85. The Valuation of 1291 gives the Prior as in receipt of 25s., assized rent in Hatton;- which the printed Taxations (p. 164) has converted into Actone. The Register at Willey (fo. 7) gives the true reading.


A Fine levied at Salop, Feb. 8, 1256, perhaps relates to this place.- Margery de Hetton is plaintiff, and Robert de Hetton deforciant,- of a messuage and fifteen acres in Hetton, whereof was Plea of Convention. Robert concedes that be can give or alienate nothing of the premises, so as that they shall not revert to Margery after his death,- to hold to Margery and her heirs, of the heirs of Robert, at 1d. rent. Margery gave for this concession a sore sparrow-hawk. [26]

Hatton came afterwards to be held by the Lords of Harley, under Wenlock Priory, at the old rent; [27] but I can say nothing further of its earlier history, except in connection with certain persons whom I take to have held here under the Hattons.-

On January 14, 1222, at Warwick, Johanna widow of William Fitz Baldwin, sued Geoffrey Fitz Baldwin (probably her husband's Brother and Heir) for dower. She was non-suited. [28]

When the Prior of Wenlock and Robert de Hatton were at issue, in 1227, Geoffrey Fitz Baldwin came into Court, and said that he held two carucates in Hatton, and took part with the Prior in his claim rather than with Robert de Hatton in his defence. [29] He seems however to have misapprehended the Prior's object, for the latter forthwith stated that "his claim was only for services".

March 12, 1227, one Walter Fitz Baldwin was a witness in the Prior's Court at Barton.

TICKLERTON and HARTON.- Of these two members of the Manor of Eaton I can give no early account further than has already been implied. They seem to have been held by Copyholders at variable rents. In 1495-6, 18s. rent of the Vill of Tyclardyn, and 4s. 4d. rent of Tyclardyn Mill, were devoted to the Kitchen of the Priory.

In 1521-2, a Rental of Tyclewardyne gives a list of eight Tenants paying in all 4. 14s. 0d. per annum, whilst five Tenants in Herton paid 3. 17s. 4d. [30]

WOLLERTON was originally another member of the Manor of Eaton; but here the Prior had a Tenant in Fee.

[26] Pedes Finium, 40 Hen. III, Salop.
[27] On June 26, 1338, Sir Robert de Harley, doing his homage for Willey as before recited (Vol. II, 57, note), acknowledged also that he held Hatton of the Prior of Wenlock, by service of 25s., at the accustomed terms. (Register at Willey, fo. 2. b).

A Rent Roll of 1621.2, in the same Register, enters Thomas Laken as paying 24s. 11d., under the head of "Foreign Rental- Item, Hatton".
[28] Placita apud Warwick, 6 Hen. III, memb. 1 dorso.
[29] "Ponit se in clameo Prioris non in defensione Roberti".
[30] Register at Wiley, fos. 33, 38.


Hence the Inquisition of Wenlock Liberty in 1255 states, that "John de Westhope is Lord of the Vill of Wolverton and holds of the Prior of Wenlock, and pays the Prior 12s. per annum and does suit to the Prior's Court by afforciament". [31]

The Wenlock Fine-Roll of 15 Edw. II gives the following under Wolureton:- "Feb. 12, 1322.- Thomas le Walsch fined 20s. in names of himself and his daughter Margery for four acres in the Heath of Hertone, which Alice his mother held;- to hold for the longest of their two lives by accustomed services, they obliging themselves that 3s. 4d. shall be paid on the death of each to the Priory in the name of thirds for the produce of said four acres, whether sown or not".

LONGVILLE, LUSHCOTE, and part of EASTWALL.- These three now form an isolated township chiefly in Eaton Parish. The other part of Eastwall is in Rushbury Parish. This parochial division exactly corresponds with an ancient manorial distinction; for while Longville, Lushcote, and part of Eastwall belonged to the Prior's Fee of Eaton, the other part of Eastwall was a member of De Lacy's Fee of Rushbury.

I find one William de Longavill attesting a Charter of Joybert Prior of Wenlock between 1194 and 1215.

The Tenants here seem however to have been Copyholders. The Fine-Roll of 15 Edw. II gives the following entries.-

Lussecote, February 12, 1322.- Thomas Millesone gives the Lord 12d. for license to sell one acre, the Purchaser similarly fining 12d. to buy it and hold it for life.

Lussecote, April 26, 1322.- Two parties fine 1s. and 2s. for similar license to sell and buy an acre-and-half.

Lussecote, June 2, 1322.- John son of Richard Lovekyn fined four-and-a-half merks for a messuage and land held by his late Father,- to hold for life by accustomed services. He has license to marry. He finds eight Sureties for his fine.

In 1514-15, the Priory had three tenants in Lushcote paying 3. 3s. 8d. rent, six tenants in Longville paying 3. 17s. 11d., and two tenants in Astewall paying 2. [32]

[31] Rot. Hundred, II, 85. The vill of Wollatan continued to be held in fee for Centuries. The "Foreign Rental" of Wenlock, already quoted as of the year 1521-2 (18 Hen. VIII), gives the following (fo. 89):- "Wolverton.- De Rolando Jeynkys, 17s. 1d".
[32] Register at Willey, fo. 38, b.



THE Saxon termination leas, or ley, has already been explained. I have also stated that the Brook which takes its rise in Madeley, and is still known at its confluence with Worfe as the Mad-brook, gave a name to Madeley. [1] It will perhaps be safer to say that both the names of stream and district may be referred to the primitive form Maeb (a mead or meadow). [2]

Domesday notices this Manor thus:-

"The same Church (St. Milburg's) holds Madelie, and held it in time of King Edward. Here is I hide not geldable, and III other hides geldable. In demesne are II ox-teams and VI Villains; and (there are) IIII Boors with IIII teams. Here are IIII Serfs, and there might yet be VI teams more here. There is a wood sufficient to fatten 400 swine. In time of King Edward the Manor was worth 4. (per annum). Now it is worth 50s". [3]

After Domesday, I find no mention of this place till the year 1167, when Prior's Madeley (Madelega Prioris) appears on the Amercement-Roll of Alan de Nevill as fined 10s.

In Michaelmas Term 1224, the Prior of Wenlock has a suit against William Hovis of Madeleg, about land.

Madeley, or a great part thereof, was within jurisdiction of the Royal Forest of Mount Gilbert. At the Iter of Geoffrey de Langley in 1250, the Prior was found to have erected houses on this exclusive territory, and that without license. His Houses were ordered to be thrown down; but the Prior, before Michaelmas 1250, proffered to the King 100. for "having his houses and for assarts". [4] Hence the King's Charter, dated Nov. 4, 1251, which grants, inter alia, that, for 100. now paid, the Prior and Convent may have the said houses in peace, although within bounds of the Forest; and Geoffrey de Langley and John Fitz Hugh (Forester of the County) are ordered accordingly. [5]

In 1255, the Vill of Maddeleg is merely noticed as being in the

[1] Vol. II, 124, note 67.
[2] Thus Madeley and Meadowley are in fact synonymes.
[3] Domesday, fo. 252, b, 1.
[4] Rot. Pip. 34 Hen. III.
[5] Rot. Cart. 36 Hen. III, memb. 27, apud Bruer. The Inspeximus of 3 Edw. III (p. 1, m. 9) recites this Charter as if dated Nov. 18, at Gloucester.


Liberty of Wenlock and belonging to the Prior; but it is remarkable that its reputed hidage (still the four hides of Domesday) is not increased by whatever the Prior held at Badger and Beckbury being ostensibly included in the estimate. [6]

On July 6, 1269, a Charter of Henry III empowers the Prior of Wenlock to hold a weekly market on Tuesdays in his Manor of Maddele, and also an annual fair of three days, viz., the vigil, the day, and the morrow of St. Matthew the Apostle (Sept. 20, 21, 22). [7]

In January 1271, John Sprowe had a writ of mort d'ancestre against the Prior of Wenlock for a carucate in Madeley. [8]

In Nov. 1274, Lovekin the Fisher of Caldebrook was one of the inhabitants of Wenlock Liberty who had suffered from the extortion and injustice of the Officers of Robert Trillek. [9]

On Nov. 8, 1288, King Edward I, being informed that it would not be to the detriment of his Forest of Mount Gilbert if the Prior and Convent of Wenlock should enclose their Wood of Madeley (though within limits of the Forest) with a ditch and fence (haia) and should make a Park there, allows them so to do. [10]

The Valuation of the Prior's temporalities in 1291 gives the Income from Madeley at 13., viz., five carucates of land, 4. 10s.; six acres of meadow, 10s.; Assized Rents and Mill, 5.; Tallage, 2.; Perquisites and dues in labour, 1. [11]

There is no appearance of the Priors of Wenlock having granted any feoffment in Madeley down to the time at which the Fine Roll, already quoted, tells us something of the then state of tenure in all the Wenlock Manors.

I give some extracts regarding Madeley and its principal member, now called Coalbrookdale.-

Madele. Sund. Oct. 25, 1321.- The Lord allowed Richard le Rede to have easements in Madele Manor, paying 3s. 4d. on entry, and 6d. annual rent.

Madele. Mond. Oct. 26, 1321.- Henry Bedell took a messuage and lands which another had surrendered. He will perform customs and services.

Madele. Sund. Dec.18,1321.- William Chaunterel, when elected

[6] Rot. Hund. II, 85.
[7] Rot. Chart. 53 Hen. III, No. 9. According to King Edward III's Inspeximus (Chart. 3 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 9), this Fair was to be on the eve, day, and morrow of the Translation of St. Martin, i.e., July 3, 4, and 5. The present Madeley Fairs correspond with neither grant.
[8] Patent, 55 Hen. III, dorso.
[9] Rot. Hund. II, 110.
[10] Inspeximus (Chart. 3 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 9), dated at Acton Burnell.
[11] Pope Nich. Taxation, p.164.


to take certain land which was in the Lord's hand, fined 10s. (I suppose, to be excused taking it).

Madele. Thursd. Feb. 4, 1322.- Eight Fines concerning this Manor were entered on the Roll. They were chiefly for small parcels of land, [12] or for burgages to hold for life of the Lessee. But Walter de Caldebrok, for a fine of 6s., was to be allowed to have a man for a year, to dig sea-coal (carbones marinas) in Le Brocholes.

Madele. Monday, March 1.- Roger de la Lude of Borewardesle fined 6s. 8d., to have easements and profits of the land of William Bastard, in the Hay, viz., in pasture and culture of land, till Michaelmas.

Caldebrok. Monday, March 29.- Thomas Bercar and his wife fined 8s., to buy small parcels of new land in the fields of Madele end of Caldebrok, of William the Bailiff (Preposito);- to hold for their lives.

Madele. Mond. April 12.- A surrenders to the Lord a parcel of land, which the Lord delivers to B, on condition that if A save B harmless, before June 24, as regards a quarter of wool and 10s. to be paid to C, then the land shall return to A. But if A fail, then B may treat with the Lord for a further lease of the land for his life. In any event, whatever B sows on the land, that shall he have.

Madele. Thursday, June 10, 1322. [13]- John Sutor fines that a cottage and croft in Neweton, which he then held, might be held by his wife for her life.

In 1379, the Valuation of this Manor was as follows:- Capital Messuage, netting nothing.- Garden, 6d.- Water Mill, fermed for 10s.- Fishery of two Vivaria, 3s.- Three carucates of arable land, averaging yearly 1. 10s.- Three acres of meadow, worth, when carried, 3s.- Herbage of the Park, 3s. 4d.- Assized Rents of Free Tenants, 6. 16s. 2d.- Pleas and Perquisites of Court, 2s. [14]

The Total (9. 8s.) probably indicates a fictitious estimate, for

[12] Meriotesbache and Bocshawe are localities specified.- The frequent mention of "Burgages" indicates an increasing population, but I cannot see that the mineral treasures of the district were as yet so recognised as to have caused that increase.
[13] Die Jovis in novo festo Corporis Christi.- The festival of Corpus Christi was first instituted in 1264. It was to be held on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday.
[14] Monasticon, V , 77 .


in 1390, the Rents of Madeley, with the ferm of coals, and the pleas and fines, yielded 22. 18s. 0d. [15]

In 1534-5 the Rental of this Manor was returned at 39. 18s. 8d.; [16] and in 1541-2 (i.e., after the Dissolution) the Temporalities of the late Monastery of Wenlock here seem to amount to 45. 11s. 8d. [17]


I shall give, under Stoke St. Milburg, the history of this Church, from its taxation at twelve merks in 1291, to the license, granted June 21, 1342, for its appropriation to Wenlock Priory. Meanwhile, that is, in 1341, the Parish had been assessed only 2. 16s. to the Ninth.- Great storms, want of sheep-stock, and the surrenders of six Tenants, were the chief causes of the low assessment Also the small tithes, offerings, and glebe, valued in the greater taxation, were not reckoned in the Ninth. [18]

John Aaron, late Rector of Madeley, resigned his preferment very shortly after the appropriation, viz., on November 29, 1343; he also executed a formal deed of resignation, in the Prior's Hall at Wenlock, on 17th January, 1344.

On March 12, 1343 (i.e., 1344 N.S.), the Prior in full Chapter appoints William de Swynoie, Rector of Little Wenlock, his Proctor, to obtain his induction to the vacant Rectory of Madeley.-

The See of Hereford was vacant, but on March 19, the Commissary of the Vicar of the Archbishop of Canterbury gives mandate to William de Eyton, perpetual Vicar of the Holy Trinity of Wenlock, to induct either the Prior or his Proctor into corporal possession of Madelei Church. [19]

On March 21, 1344, a Certificate by a Notary Public deposes to the induction of the Prior's Proctor by the above-named William de Eyton, on the day stated, and in presence of John Aaron, (now) Rector of Broseley Chapel, Sir John de Stirchley, Parochial Chaplain of Madeley, and Sir Roger de Kemberton, Chaplain of the Blessed Mary in the same Church.

Already, viz., on March 10, 1344, had Guychard, Prior of Wenlock, appointed Sir John de Brugg perpetual Vicar of Madeley. He gives him a House and the small tithes as his Vicarial portion,

[15 [16] [17] Register at Willey, fo. 86, b; Valor Eccles. III, 215; Monas. V, 80.
[18] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 187; Decanatus de Wenlok.
[19] Fragment of Wenlock Chartulary at Trentham.-The Archbishop's Commission to his Vicar General, and the letter of the latter, appointing his Vica, are also given.


saving out of the same a pension of 2s. 6d., anciently assigned to the Precentor of Wenlock for the small tithes of La Newton. [20]

In 1369, the Prior's income as Rector of Madeley is put at 5. The same was stated at the Inquest of 1379, when also the Vicar's income was put at 3. 6s. 8d.

In 1534-5, the Rectorial Tithes of Madeley seem to be returned at 2., under the head of Portions receivable from certain Vills. [21] William Warram's income as Vicar was 5. 5s., chargeable with 7s. 2d. for procuration and synodals. [22]


The first Rector of Madeley of whom I find any notice was-

RICHARD DE CASTILLION, who, at the instance of Peter de Nevill, had the King's license, dated at Salop, Sept. 25, 1267, to hunt throughout the Royal Forests of Shropshire. [23]

MASTER ODO DE ARBOSIO, Clerk, instituted March 14, 1299, on presentation of the Prior and Convent of Wenlock. Instituted again, June 4, 1300.- Has license to study and attend to the business of himself and friends, August 2, 1300.

WILLIAM DE FOWEHOP, presented by the Bishop of Hereford (by lapse) on March 18, 1318, exchanges on June 13, 1322, with-

Sir WILLIAM HODYNET, Rector of Westbury, in Dene Forest, who, on August 5, 1322, exchanges with-

JAMES DE TIFFORD, Portioner of Wroxeter, who, on Dec. 27, 1322, exchanges with-

JOHN AARON, Rector of Borugh Waleys (Ebor. Dioc.), who resigned the Rectory of Madeley Nov. 29, 1343.

JOHN DE BRUGG, first Vicar of Madeley, was appointed March 10, 1344, [24] as before stated. His appointment originated, or was sanctioned, by the King's Letters-Patent. In 1346 he exchanged preferments with-

[20] Wenlock Chartulary (Fragment at Trentham). The Episcopal Confirmation of 1381 speaks of a pension and a portion receivable by the Priory from Madeley Church; and the Ministers' Accounts of 1541-2 indicate a pension of 3s. chargeable on the Rectorial Income. All other accounts omit it.
[21] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 216.- The Ministers' Accounts of 1541-2 give the same sum (2.) as the "ferm of the Tithes of Madeley".
[22] Ibidem, p. 210.
[23] Forest Rolls, Salop, No. vi. Mr. Blakeway quotes (from Prynne) the name of a Vicar of Madeley in 26 Edw. I.- Some other place must be meant.
[24] Pat. 18 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 43.


JOHN ATTE OKES, late Incumbent of Tutbury (Staffordshire), who is appointed to Madeley Priors by Letters-Patent. [25]

Sir WLLLIAM DE SYNDON (OR LYNDON), Priest, instituted Vicar August 7, 1350, on presentation of the King, then having Wenlock Priory in hand.

THOMAS REDEHODE, Chaplain, instituted August 20, 1393, on a like presentation. [26]

Little Wenlock.

THE Domesday notice of this Manor may be distinguished from that of Much Wenlock by the comparative smallness of extent. It runs thus:-

"The same Church (St. Milburg's) holds Wenlock, and held it in time of King Edward. Here is I hide not geldable, and other II hides geldable. In demesne is I ox-team and IIII Villains, and there are II Boors with III teams. Here are II Neat-herds, and a Wood which will fatten 300 swine, in which (wood) are two enclosures (haiae) and a hawk's aerie. In time of King Edward the Manor was worth 70s. (per annum). Now it is. worth 40s". [1]

This notice aptly illustrates the close proximity of Little Wenlock to the great Forest of Mount Gilbert; and when, in 1180, the Prior of Wenlock was assessed in the large sum of 40s. for his collective wastes and purprestures, the entry on the Forest Roll stands between Leighton and Dawley, indicating, I think, that Little Wenlock was the principal locality of these encroachments. Moreover, Richard Clerk of Parva Wenlock is assessed 2s. on the same occasion, apparently for building a workshop. [2]

In 1255, the Jurors of Wenlock Liberty said that the Vill of Little Wenlock, with its appurtenances, was a Manor of the Prior of Wenlock, and that it contained three hides. [3]

At the Assizes of August 1267, Henry, the Provost of Wellington, and others, were found to have disseized the Prior of six acres in Little Wenlock. [4]

[25] Pat. 20 Edw. III, p. 2, m. 6.
[26] Blakeway's MSS.
[1] Domesday, fo. 252, b, 1.
[2] Forest Rolls, Salop, No. I.
[3] Rot. Hund. II, 85.
[4] Placito apud Salop, 51 Hen. III, memb. 7.


In 1291, the Prior's receipts from Little Wenlock were returned as follows:- Two carucates of land, 1. 6s, 8d.; an acre of meadow, 2s.; Assized Rents, 1.; Tallage, 1.; Pannage of swine, 3s,; Perquisites (of Court) and Labour-dues, 6s. 8d.: Total, 3. 18s. 4d. [5]

The Fine Roll of 15 Edward II has these entries under Parva Wenlock:-

Nov. 15, 1321.- Thomas le Becher and Agnes, daughter of Roger de Huntidon, fined 3s. for license to marry one-another.

Nov. 27, 1321.- Walter, son of Reginald de Garmeston, took a messuage and noke for life of himself and wife.- Rendering 6s. rent, suit of Court, and thirds at the decease of each.

Henry de Keyrwent (who had surrendered the last premises) took a cottage and three acres for life. Rendering customary services and thirds at his death.

March 14, 1322.- Roger le Eyr of Aldescote (Allscot) took a messuage for life:- Rendering 5s. rent, two hens at Christmas, 2s. for tallage and suit of Court like his neighbours; also undertaking to build on the said messuage.

March 28, 1322.- John Wayte took a cottage in Huntidone, and had license to enclose a seylion of land which he had already taken. Rent, 12d.

In 1379, the Prior of Wenlock was found by Inquest to have no Capital Messuage or demesne lands in the "Hamlet" of Little Wenlock, but to be in receipt of 4. 2s. 1d.,- assized rents of free tenants there. [6]

A Valuation of 1390 gives however the assized rents at 12. 4s. 8d., the pleas and fines at 1. [7]

In 1510-11, the Prior's Rent-Roll enumerates four tenements in Huntyngton and seventeen (one of which is a Mill) in Little Wenlock. Nearly all of these paid three distinct classes of acknowledgment, viz., ordinary rent; a rent called Woodsilver, varying from 9d. to 4d. on each tenure; and a rent of fowls in kind,- generally one or two to each holding. The whole ordinary rent was 14. 16s. 5d., including a pension of 20s. due from the Rector; the Woodsilver was 8s. 5d.: the fowls (gallinae) were in number twenty-four. [8]

The Valor of 1534-5 gives the Rental of Little Wenlock very consistently at 14. 8s. 8d. [9]

In 1541-2, the receipts from Wenlock Parva and Huntington,

[5] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 164.
[6] Monasticon, V, 77.
[7] Register at Willey, fo. 35, b.
[8] Register, fo. 38.
[9] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 215.


including rents of all classes, [10] ferm of coal-mines, sales of wood, pannage, and perquisites of Court, and the Rector's pension of 1., amount to 23. 15s. 5d. [11]


It is well to observe the irregular boundary which is given to Hereford Diocese, from its including the Parishes of Badger, Beckbury, Madeley, and Little Wenlock. The River Severn in this quarter seems to suggest a much more natural limit. The anomaly evidently resulted from the ancient boundary of St. Milburg's lands having been adopted as that of the Diocese.

Now, the See of Hereford was not founded till the year 676, the very period on which we have fixed as the aera of St. Milburg. If her influence and sanctity were such as to determine the boundary of a Diocese, and we have before our eyes strong evidence that it was so, then the other traditions about St. Milburg become proportionably strengthened, and the Antiquary learns with delight that certain legendary truths are not invalidated by the lapse of a thousand years.

The Parish of Little Wenlock was conterminate with the Manor, including the hamlets of Huntington and Coalmoor.

The Priors of Wenlock never obtained any appropriation of the Church, which is therefore a Rectory to this day. Its annual value in 1291 was taxed at 4. 6s. 8d. [12] The Prior's pension is not mentioned in the said Taxation, but the Bishop of Hereford's Confirmation of 1331 ratifies the pension, though it does not specify its amount.

In the Inquisition of 1341, the Church of Little Wenlok is called a Chapel. Its Taxation, of 4. 6s. 8d. was reduced to 1. 12s. in assessing the ninth on the Parish. Destruction of crops by weather, absence of sheep-stock, non-cultivation of land, were the reasons. The small tithes, offerings, and glebe, were also to be allowed for in the current estimate. [13]

In 1379, this Church is said to be of the Prior's donation, and valued at 5. [14]

There was a Composition or award, made apparently in the fifteenth Century by the Prior, between the Rector and Parishioners of Little

[10] Three classes of Tenants are enumerated, viz., Tenants at Will, Copyholders, and Tenants by Indenture.
[11] Monasticon, V, 81.
[12] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 187; Decanatus de Wenlak.
[13] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 187.
[14] Monasticon, V, 78, b.


Wenlock. The latter, holding tenements or cottages there, were to pay annually charity-pence (denarios caritatis), and bread for each tenement, according to local custom. Also every Communicant should pay d. on each day of Oblation. [15]

In 1534-5, the preferment of John Powes, Rector of Little Wenlock, is put at 11. 10s. for glebe and tithes. His charges were, Procurations and Synodals, 2s. 2d., and the Prior of Wenlock's pension of 1. [16] The latter seems indeed to have been a constant and invariable condition of presentation.


PETER DE LANGON, a Burgundian, is the first Rector of whom I find mention. He was also Prebendary of Preston, in the Cathedral Church of Hereford. In both preferments his Patron was Peter de Aquablanca, his fellow-countryman, and then Bishop of Hereford; but we have no account of the mode in which a presentation to Little Wenlock devolved in this instance to the Diocesan. Aquablanca died Nov. 27, 1268, and John le Breton, his Successor (consecrated June 2, 1269), deprived Langon of both his preferments. Langon instituted proceedings in the Papal Court against his Diocesan,- proceedings which, in course of time, implicated Bishop Cantilupe, the Successor of Le Breton, and Bishop Swinfield, the Executor and Successor of Cantilupe. [17]

Meanwhile I find that-

JOHN DE KEMESEYE, Acolyte, had custody given him of this Church on June 25, 1276, till Michaelmas following, [18] Bishop Cantilupe's Official being ordered to induct him.

ROBERT DE WYCH was incumbent here when, on July 26, 1290, sentence was given in the Pope's Palace at Orvieto for the restoration of Langon to all his preferments. Wych was moreover ordered

[15] Register at Wiley, fo. 2, b.
[16] Valor Ecclesiastius, III, 209.
[17] Langon's career is connected with many interesting matters,- the state of political feeling about Foreigners in Henry III's reign, the tardy and expensive justice obtainable in the Roman Court, the character and conduct of Cantilupe, Bishop, and at length Canonised Confessor.-

The whole subject has obtained the recent attention of an Antiquary, whose facts I shall often, and thankfully, appropriate. (Household Roll of Bishop Swinfleld, with Abstract and Illustrations, edited, for the Camden Society, by the Rev. John Webb (1854-5)).
[18] Kemeseye, as Steward of Bishop Swinfield, was the very person who, in 1289-90, kept the accounts, and wrote the Roll just referred to. (See Abstract, p. lxxxij, et seq. et passim, for fuller particulars about Kemeseye).


to pay expenses of the suit, and 12. for each year of his unlawful Incumbency.-

An appeal made against this sentence seems to have been ineffectual, but I have no actual Record of Langon's reinstatement in this Rectory. The fact is however likely, for Langon died about November 1299, and-

Sir THOMAS SEMAN, Acolyte, was instituted to Little Wenlock April 29, 1300, on presentation of the Prior and Convent of Wenlock. On Dec. 2 following, under the name of Thomas de Wenlok, this Rector has a seven-years' license to study "according to the constitution of Pope Boniface in the Sixth Book of Decretals".

RICHARD, called DOD, of Brugges, Clerk,- instituted 13th July, 1308, on a like presentation. In 1335, he occurs as Richard Dod, late Rector.

Sir GEOFFREY DE LAMM, Priest,- instituted 8rd May, 1330.- Same Patrons.

WILLIAM DE SWYNEYE, Priest- instituted 17th June, 1333.- Occurs 1349 and 1357, as still Rector.

Sir STEPHEN,- instituted in 1386.

Sir JOHN CROFT,- instituted 1398. [19]


Domesday notices this place as follows:-

"The same Church (St. Milburg's) held and holds Petelie. Here is half a hide, not geldable. In demesne is I ox-team, and (there are) III Boors with I team, and (there are) II Serfs, and a Wood (sufficient) for fattening forty swine, and therein is I enclosure (haia). Its former value was 8s. Its present value is 6s. per annum". [1]

This name is now lost, and the situation of the place can only be surmised. Domesday mentions it between Shipton and Burton, while a Deed of the twelfth Century grants an assart in Purteleia in conjunction with another assart in Bradeley.

These facts would induce me to look for Petelie in the district which lies South and South-East of Patton and Bradley; and this

[19] Blakeway's Extracts from Hereford Registers.
[1] Domesday, fo. 252, b, 1.


very district, as it has been the scene of all manner of changes, so must I treat of it hereafter with all manner of conjectures.

Petelie has doubtless been absorbed into some greater Manor, held by the Prior of Wenlock at Domesday, or acquired by him afterwards. A comparison of hidages will hardly facilitate our search, for the conventional hidage of the greater Manors of Saint Milburg was not affected by small additions of territory.

The situation of Petelie is one of those questions which I must leave to future discovery or conjecture. Meanwhile, to facilitate such discovery and narrow the area of such conjecture, we proceed with the history of places better known and more clearly identified.

Ditton Priors.

THIS Manor is one of those which, being held in demesne by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, was perhaps exempt from all external jurisdiction at the time of Domesday. Its Hundred therefore is not specified in that Record, but its position attaches it to Patintune rather than to any other Hundred; and Ruthall, which was in the same parish, is identified in Domesday as a Patintune Manor.

The older name of Ditton was Dudinton, itself a contraction of the still more ancient form, Dudding-tun, i.e., the town of Dudding, or of the Sons of Dudda.

Domesday thus notices the Manor: [1]-

"The Earl himself holds Dodintone. Earl Eduin held it (in Saxon times) with IIII berewichs. Here are XII hides geldable. In demesne are V ox-teams and X Serfs, and (there are) XX Villains and VIII Boors with VI teams; and there might be other XIII teams here. In Wich there is one salt-pit returning 2s. In time of King Edward (the Manor) paid 10. (per annum). Now it pays 11".

I have before noticed and explained the circumstance of Salinae having been attached to a Shropshire Manor of Earl Edwin. [2]

The other important feature in the Domesday notice of Ditton is the attachment of four berewichs to the Manor. Two of these I take to have been afterwards represented by the townships of Ashfield and Middleton-Priors; whilst Sidnall, Derrington, Great and

[1] Domesday, fo. 253, b. 2.
[2] Vol. II, 174, note 1.


Little Hudwich, and Powkesmore, or some two of them, should constitute the remainder.

Ditton passed as a whole from the Norman Earls to the Crown, and came to the hands of Henry II at his accession, unshorn of any of its members, except perhaps Ashfield, which seems to me to have been granted in Serjeantry by Henry I.

Ditton was one of three great Manors with which Henry II, soon after his accession, rewarded the services of one of his foreign partizans.

There is a Charter of "Henry Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and Earl of Anjou", to the Cistercian Abbey of Radmore, [3] which will be found on examination to contain some valuable significancies for any general Historian who may be engaged with the period at which that Charter passed. Suffice it here to say, that it belongs to the year 1153, when the Duke was in England struggling for his Crown, that it passed at Coventry, which City may well have been visited by the Duke during his summer campaign in the midland Counties, and that it is tested (inter alios) by one whose name is given as "Hugh de Pirie".

Hugh de Periers, or Pirariis, was of Periers-sur-Andelle, in Normandy. King Henry, within the first year of his reign, gave him the Shropshire Manors of Corfham, Culmington, and Ditton, whose collective fiscal value was 42. per annum. By so much, from and after Michaelmas 1155, was the King's Ferm of the County reduced, seeing that they were all Manors of ancient demesne, and the Sheriff accountable for their issues. [4] This interest of Hugh de Periers ceased about Christmas 1175, for the Sheriff, accounting at Michaelmas 1176, awards to the name of Hugh de Periers, only 10. 10s. for a quarter of the fiscal year then expired. As to Corfham and Culmington, they had for the remaining three-quarters of the year been in the King's hand, or rather in the ferm of the Sheriff. Dodinton had however passed at once from the tenure of Hugh de Periers to that of the Monks of Wenlock. Its fiscal value, as distinct from the other two manors, was 11., and so the Sheriff, at Michaelmas 1176, assigns to the said Monks 8. 5s. in Dodinton

[3] Monasticon, V, 447, Num. iv.
[4] The Pipe Roll of 2 Hen. II (i.e., for the year ending Michaelmas 1166) gives this deduction from the Sheriff's liabilities, first of its series.- Et in terris datis. Hugoni de Periers XLII, li. And so the Rolls of each year till that of 6 Hen. II (1160), which also gives the localities concerned;- thus, Et in terris datis. Hugoni de Pirariis XLII, li, in Coliminton et Corfham et Dodinton.

Hugh de Periers had also lands in Warwickshire, and once at least I find him in Henry's Court after the restoration.


for three-quarters of the year then ended, as he had been ordered to do by Writ of the King; which Writ further enjoined, that for the future the whole Manor, represented by the full value of 11., should be assigned to the said Monks. [5]

In the year 1177, and at all subsequent periods of which we here give account, the Sheriff deducts from his annual ferm the sum of 11. for lands given to the Monks of Wenlock in Dodinton.

I must now give particulars, borrowed from far different sources, as to the mode in which Ditton became Ditton Priors, that is, how it passed from the Feoffee of the Crown to the Prior of Wenlock.

Hugh de Periers then (if I understand my authorities rightly), about the end of the year 1175, feeling his end approaching, surrendered himself, according to the custom of his time, to the Monks of Wenlock;- that is, he wished to die a member of their fraternity, and to be buried within their walls. He gave them on this account his Manor of Ditton, or rather the reversion thereof, after the decease of Alice de Cheney his wife. He gave it, specially reserving the tenant-rights of his men;- that is, they, whom he had enfeoffed there, were to hold under the Priory by the same conditions as had previously been stipulated with himself.

But a deed of such interest and antiquity should speak for itself: [6]-

"In nomine Sanctae Trinitatis.- Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Hugo de Piris pro salute domini mei Regis Henrici et pro salute animae meae dedi et concessi Deo et Sanctae Mariae et Sanctae Milburgae, cui meipsum reddidi, et monachis de Wenloc, in liberam puram et perpetuam elemosynam, manerium de Dudintuna post decessum uxoris meae, Aliziae de Clemez, cum omnibus pertinentiis suis in bosco et plano et pratis et pascuis et aquis, ita libere sicut dominus meus, Rex Henricus, mihi pro servicio meo idem manerium in hereditatem dedit; salvo jure et hereditate hominum meorum scilicet, Achillis, Walengerii, Alberici fratris sui, et Adamae Pincernae, ut ipsi et heredes eo servicio teneant de monachis, quo de me tenuerunt et sicut carta mea eis testatur. Hiis testibus, Engelardo de Strettuna, Willielmo de Piris, Petro de Gamages, Randulfo

[5] The entries here amplified ran thus in the original Pipe Roll of 22 Hen. II:- Et is terris datis. Hugoni de Pirariis 10. 10s. in Colminton Corfham et Dodinton de quarta parte anni.-

Et monachis de Wenlock 8. 5s. in predicta Dodinton de tribus partibus anni per breve Regis, et amodo totum.
[6] Taken from the Inspeximus. (Patent, 22 Edw. III, p. 3, m. 34.) The original seems to have suffered a little by transcription, but not materially. We get an unmutilated name for Hugh de Periers' wife from another Record. Two names of witnesses, which I have given in Italics, seem less intelligible.


de Muun, Willielmo, Aughto, Magistro Herberto, Walengerie, Hugone de Kenford, Schinardo, Achille, Magistro Rogerio, Adam Pincerna, Toma de Myllincheope et multis aliis".

It would seem probable that immediately on Hugh de Periers' death the Monks of Wenlock made such an arrangement with his Widow as enabled them to go to King Henry II, and procure that writ to the Sheriff of Shropshire which the latter quotes as a Voucher for his account already set forth, and dated in 1176. Accordingly this Writ virtually transferred the Manor of Ditton at once to the Monks, without so much as mentioning any lien or immediate interest of Hugh de Periers' Widow.

The Monks also went to Henry II for a Charter confirmatory of Hugh de Periers' bequest.

That too they obtained, when the King was at Bridgnorth,- and in 1175 or 1176, as I have before supposed. [7]

This Royal Charter mentions and confirms the act of Hugh de Piris as a testamentary one. It further stipulates for the life- interest of Aelicia de Caineto, "who was his wife", and whose dower Dudinton is said to have been. It reserves to the King a right of redemption, that is, if he or his heirs should ever wish to resume the Manor, and should assign the Monks an equivalent revenue (11.), in Churches or other things. [8]

What was the precise composition between the Monks and Alice de Cheney I cannot learn. It seems to have endured for less than five years, and then to have been altered, not, I imagine, to the advantage of the Priory. The Lady had in fact remarried to Geoffrey de Say, and he, I have little doubt, reseized the Manor of Ditton, that he might more effectually negotiate with the Monks. A very extraordinary coincidence between two distinct documents leads to this idea.-

At the Forest-Assize of 1180, the Justices laid a fine of two merks on Geoffrey de Say and the Prior, for waste in Hudwic, and of one merk on Geoffrey de Say for waste in Dodinton. [9]

In the very same year, "Geoffrey de Say, with consent of Adelisa de Cheney" his wife, delivers to the Prior his Manor of Dudintun, which was Adelisa's dower on the part of Hugh de Piris. He gives it for a sum of 160 merks paid down, which is to cover all his claim for eight years to come, and for an annuity of 14. payable to his wife after the said eight years should have expired.

[7] Vol. I, pp. 263, 264.
[8] Monasticon, V, 73, Notes, No. 8.
[9] Forest Rolls, Salop, No. I.


This deed, which is dated in 1180, evidently passed in Normandy, [10] for, except "Roger Porter of Wenlock", the witnesses do not seem to be connected with Shropshire.

Henry II, who was in France from Easter 1180 to July 1181, confirmed the last agreement. The Royal Charter is dated at Ivrey (i.e., Ibreium, on the South-Eastern Frontier of Normandy). [11]

Removing a scribal error from a return of the year 1211, we learn accurately enough that the Prior of Wenlock holds the Manor of Dudinton by gift of Hugh de Periers (de dono de Ferrer) and concession of Henry II, and that the same Hugh gave it with his body to the House of Wenlock in almoign. And it used to render 11. (to the Exchequer). [12]

Again, the "Verdict of the Liberty of Wenlock", in 1255, states the Prior to be Lord of the Manor of Dodinton, and that it was once a King's Manor; that King Henry gave it to Hugh de Peres, and he gave it to the Prior; lastly, that it contained twelve hides. [13]

On Feb. 6, 1262, Aymo Prior of Wenlock obtained King Henry III's confirmation of this Manor to his House. [14]

The Verdict of the Manor of Corfham in the year 1274 embodied an entry (now mutilated) which related to Ditton. Thus much we obtain from the Record, viz., that Doditon was still remembered to have been sometime associated with Corfham, and to have been a Manor of Hugh de Periers, and that the change of tenure had taken place in the reign of Henry II. [15]

In 1291, the Valuation of the annual proceeds of this Manor was given under the Temporalities of Wenlock Priory as follows:-

Two carucates of land, 1. 12s.; Meadow (four-and-a-half acres),

[10] This remark induces a further statement, extracted from the Rotuli Normanniae.- In 1180 the Fermor of the Vicomte of Arques acquits Geoffrey de Sai of 10s., chargeable on the land which he had with the wife of Hugh de Periers. In 1198, Geoffrey de Sai was himself Bailiff of Arques, and acquits himself of 10s., similarly chargeable; and his wife seems to be still living.-

Again, Martin de Hosa, first witness of Geoffrey de Say's Deed of 1180, was in that year Bailiff of the Norman Vexin and Castellan of Gisors; and Peter de Tigerville, the fourth witness, is named on Martin de Hosa's account of his Bailiwick, which was not far distant from Periers-sur-Andelle.
[11] Monasticon, V, 73, Notes Nos.1 & 2.
[12] Testa de Nevill, p. 56.
[13] Rot. Hundred, II, 85.
[14] Rot. Chart. 3 Edw. III, p. 1, m. 9. See also Monasticon, V, 74, Notes No. 4, for a translation of this Charter, which quotes the Exchequer (i.e., Pipe) Rolls of Henry II, Richard I, and John; and refers to the custom of crediting the Sheriff with an annual equivalent for any Royal Manor thus conferred. The Charter is attested by Ebulo de Montibus, of whom I have already spoken (supra, p. 243).
[15] Rot. Hundred, II, 94.


9s.; Assized rents, 6.; Tallage, 5.; Pleas, perquisites (of Court), and labour-dues, 2. Total, 15. 1s. [16]

At the Assizes of October 1292, Henry Prior of Wenlock sued Roger Cold for a messuage in Dodinton, and recovered it, on the ground that Roger had no ingress therein save through John Tubbe, to whom John (de Tycford), formerly Prior, demised the premises, without consent of his Convent. [17]

A few extracts from the Fine-Roll of 15 Edw. II Win show how the original tenancies-in-fee of this Manor had given way to the system of life and copyhold Tenures, so generally and so anciently adopted by Wenlock Priory.-

Deritone, Oct. 7, 1321.- The Lord conceded to Thomas Clerk and Sibil his wife a place of land of demesne, to enclose and to bold for the longest of their lives. Rent, 1s. per annum.

Mitleton, Sun., Oct. 25.- A Tenant took a messuage and half-virgate at the accustomed rent, paying also for ploughing, sowing, polwerks, and cerclature, 2s. 2d.

Deritone, Oct. 26.- A Tenant took under compulsion (coactus) a surrendered tenancy:- to hold for life by usual services. The Lord conceded him half an acre of new ground, out of the wood, to assart, and acquitted him of a rent of 6d. which he had previously paid for easements. (A space, left for the names of Sureties to hold and maintain the premises, is, not unnaturally, vacant).

Doditone, Nov. 5.- Thomas Martyn fined 20s. that he might be removed from the office of Bailiff (de officio prepositurae).

Mitleton, Dec. 7.- A Tenant fined 1s. 3d., to sell an acre in Sidenhal to another.

Mitleton, Feb. 12, 1322.- A Tenant and his Wife have license to sell to Sir Roger de Deritone, Chaplain, two acres in Lythewode, to hold by performance of usual services. Fine, 3s. 4d.

Doditone, and Hoddewik, Sund., March 28.- Alice, Relict, and Richard, Son, of William de Hoddewik fine ten merks for the messuage and land lately held by the deceased;- to hold to Alice for life, and then to Richard for life, by usual services. Also Alice fined 13s. for one jar (olla) and three brazen plates (patellis), which fell to the Lord on her husband's death.

Mitleton, March 29.- Another Fine by Roger de Deritone, Chaplain,

[16] Pope Nich. Taxation p. 164.
[17] Placita de Juratis &c. m. 7 dorso. This is the entry to which I have already alluded (supra, p. 251) as having been so misconstrued as to have placed John Tubbe on the list of Priors of Wenlock.


for two-and-a-half acres lying on La Hethe and near Oldeburybach.

Doditone, April 20.- A Fine of 12d. for license to buy an acre in Pokesmore, to hold to the purchaser's daughter for life.

Deritone, April 20.- Fine of 2s. to sell a cottage in Deritone, to hold to the purchaser for life, by accustomed services.

In 1379, the Valuation of Dodyton Prioris was as follows:- A Capital Messuage, yielding nothing; Water Mill, 6s. 8d.; Two carucates of land, 12s.; Two acres of Meadow, 2s.; Assized rents of free and native tenants, 9. Total, 10. 0s. 8d. [18]

In 1390, the Rents from Dodyton Manor, including those of Deuxhill (perhaps 1.), were put at 16. 3s. 6d., while the Perquisites of Court and Escheats were 1. 4s.

The Wenlock Register supplies us with a good Rental of Dytton, drawn up in 2 Henry VIII (1510-11). The items were as follows:-

Dytton,- Ferm of Dytton (the Capital Messuage, I think), in tenure of Wm. Smalman: 3 13 4
Rents of eleven other tenements in Dytton, including the Vicar's Cottage (3s. 8d.): 7 7 3
Dodyton,- Rents of three tenements: 3 6 9
Myttelton,- Rents of fourteen tenements: 8 11 11
Sydenhall,- Capital rent of the ferm;- from Richard Bullock: 0 8 0
Hudwyke,- From John Marcus for the tenement in which he lives: 1 6 8
Powkesmore,- Ferm thereof: 1 6 8

Total (as in the original): 26 0 7 [19]

In 1584-5, the Prior returned the gross Rental of Dutton at 28. 15s. 6d., less 1. 6s. 8d.,- the Salary of John Smalman, Bailiff there. [20]

In 1541-2, the Rents of Dutton are of four classes, viz., Assized Rents, 1. 12s. 10d.; Rents of Tenants at the Lord's will, 19s. 8d.;

[18] Monasticon, V, 77. b.
[19] Register at Wiley, fo. 37. A sum of 8s. 1d. goes to make up this Total. It is composed of several smaller payments, included in the items above given, but which in the original are given separately, and in a distinct column from that which contains the ordinary Rent; e.g., "De Thoma Blakewey, pro messuagio suo 1. 2s. 6d. at 1s. 4d. ad firmam". The Total, in the original, is thus stated:-"Summa Totalis 25. 12s. 6d., ultra diversas summas quae ad firmam pertinent, viz., 8s. 1d".-

I conclude that the Tenants, or several of them, as a community, rented some right (of pasture or pannage perhaps) under the Priory, which was thus apportioned on the individuals of the Company.
[20] Valor Ecclesisticus, III, 215.


Rents of Copyholders, 19. 3s. 8d.; of Tenants by Indenture, 11. 18s. 4d.: Total, 33. 14s. 6d. The Pannage was stated further to yield 11s. 8d., and the Perquisites of Court to be 3. 16s. 2d. [21]


The Composition which about 1196 left the Advowson of this Church in possession of Wenlock Priory has been already set forth. [22] On what the Dean of Brug's claim thereto rested, I am still at a loss to conjecture, for, though Earl Roger had originally given tithes at Corfham and Culmington to his Collegiate Foundation at Quatford, his Charter says nothing about Ditton. Perhaps, however, the connection of the three Manors in other respects had something to do with the Dean's claim.

I find no evidence that the payment which this Composition obliged the Prior to make annually to the Dean was perpetuated.

The next notice which I have of this Church involves another anomaly.- Its Incumbent is called a Vicar, and yet the Church was not appropriated to Wenlock Priory till his death, at least twenty years afterwards.

William Bishop of Hereford (1186-1199) concedes to the Monks of Wenlock license to appropriate the Church of Dudentun after the decease of Master Nicholas de Hamtun, Vicar. [23]

Nicholas de Hamtun became Archdeacon of Salop (Hereford Diocese) [24] either before May 16, 1214, or else after July 1, 1219, and certainly died in that office before 1227. And between the years 1219 and 1226, Hugh Foliot, Bishop of Hereford, reciting the deed of his Predecessor William, concedes to Wenlock the appropriation of Dudenton Church "after the death of the aforesaid Nicholas, then Archdeacon of Salop, and also, the said Archdeacon being actually dead, institutes" the Priory. [25] The first witness of this Deed is Simon Archdeacon of Salop, who was in office in 1227.

John the Dean and the Chapter of Hereford recite and confirm these two Episcopal Charters by Deed dated Oct. 2, 1282. [26]

In 1291, the Church of Dodyton in Stottesden Deanery is said to be the Prior of Wenlock's, and valued at 12., besides the Portion of the Vicar therein, which was 4. 6s. 8d. [27]

[21] Monasticon, V, 80.
[22] Supra, Vol. I, p. 322.
[23] Inspeximus (Pat. 22 Edw. III, p. 3, m. 34).
[24] The Lists of this Dignity are imperfect. The above, instead of quoting them, will somewhat add to them.
[25] Inspeximus (ut supra).
[26] Ibidem.
[27] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 166.


Bishop Charlton's Confirmation of 1331 mentions the Church of Dodyton as rightly belonging to the Prior, and also approves of a portion receivable from the Chapel of Mittleton.

In 1341, the Taxation of Dodyton Church is rightly quoted as twenty-four merks and a half (16. 6s. 8d.), but the Assessors taxed the Parish to the Ninth, only at 5. 4s. Storms, absence of sheep-stock, and the surrender of nine impoverished Tenants, were the chief reasons for this reduction. Also, the greater taxation included glebe-land and other profits, not to be reckoned in estimating the Ninth. [28]

The Valuation of 1379 gives the Rectorial Income of Dodyton, deducting charges thereon, as 8. 3s. 3d.; and the Vicarage as worth 3. 6s. 8d. Both are probably understated. Nevertheless, in all subsequent statements till the Dissolution, I find the Prior's or Rectorial receipts to be limited to a charge of 4. (perhaps a modus) on Ditton. The great tithes of Middleton Priors seem to have been partly allotted to the Vicar of Ditton, but at one time the Prior received a "portion" thereof valued at 26s., and later he received a pension of 10s. from the Vicar of Ditton as a charge thereon.

The Valor of 1534-5 gives the Vicarage of Ditton Priors, held by John Alen, as worth 6. 13s. 4d. in glebe and tithes; but chargeable with the last-named pension of 10s., and with 7s. 8d. for procurations and synodals. [29]


Master NICHOLAS DE HAMTUN was Vicar, or Incumbent, here at the close of the twelfth Century. He died, as Archdeacon of Salop, before 1227.

THOMAS, Vicar of Ditton, occurs about 1329.

JOHN DE DERYTON, Vicar, on July 14, 1346, exchanges with-

HUGH DE WESTON, late Vicar of Atyngham (Atcham). Patron, the King;- by reason of Wenlock Priory being in his hand. Hugh occurs as Vicar May 9, 1350.

Sir HENRY LE WARDE, Chaplain, was instituted Vicar here on Aug. 21, 1355, the King presenting as before. On Nov. 4, 1401, he exchanges with-.

RICHARD DE ARDERNE, who resigned Thongland Chapel for this Vicarage.

[28] Inquisitiones Nonarum, p. 190.
[29] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III, 211, 216.
[30] From Blakeway's MSS.



Of this member of his Manor of Ditton it is clear that Hugh de Periers had given feoffment before the transfer to Wenlock Priory. There were four Vassals, whose rights were reserved by the said Hugh in his Charter of 1175. Which of them was Lord of Middleton must be matter of mere conjecture, but I am inclined to think that it was Adam Pincerna.

At the Forest-Iter of 1180, one William Fitz Adam and his Fellow were fined 1s. 6d. for an imbladement in Hudewic. [31]

In the next Century there were several Tenements in Middleton, probably subdivisions of an estate originally entire, but held by Feoffees between whom we can trace no relationship. On the other hand, we observe the Prior of Wenlock availing himself of every opportunity to buy up the fee-simple of any such parcel; for, as I have before hinted, the system of this House was adverse to tenancies-in-fee.

The first instance of this which I shall offer is derived from a succession of Charters relating to a virgate in Middleton.-

About the year 1200, Richard de Eaton grants to Emma daughter of Ernald le Fleming a virgate in Mittilton, to wit, sixty acres, for three merks paid on entry;- to hold in fee at an annual rent of 5s., payable to the Grantor and his heirs in even half-yearly portions on the feasts of St. Milburg (February 23) and of St. Mary Magdalen (July 22). Witnesses- Warin de Burwardel, Roger de Bagisoure, Robert de Girros, Adam de Beysin, William de Bardel, Walinger de Sidenal, William Clerk of Mittilton. [32]

After the lapse of half a Century or more, I find Engelard de Acton to be the representative of Richard de Eaton, whilst Adam, son of the last witness in the above deed, had succeeded to the relative interest of Emma Fleming. Accordingly, Adam, son of William Clerk of Mitleton, sells and quit-claims to Richard Clerk, son of Alan, Rector of the Church of Borewarton, for fourteen merks (said to be paid down) [33] all his right in the same virgate;- to hold to Richard and his heirs, of Engelard de Acton and his heirs, of whom the Vendor and his Father had held it, and by the same

[31] Forest Rolls, Salop, No. I.
[32] This Charter, as well as all others which I shall quote without further reference under Middleton, is in possession of Robert Gardner, Esq., of Leighton.-

The witnesses of this prove a date between 1196 and 1220.
[33] "Pro quatuordecim marcis argenti quas mihi pacavit prae manibus".

Prae manibus is thus explained in the Glossaries.- Continuo,- Sur le Champ.


services, viz., 5s. rent &c. (as in the former Charter); which "original Charter" the Vendor hands over to the Purchaser. If the Purchaser die without heir or assign, Hugh his Brother shall succeed him. Witnesses: Sir Thomas de Costintin, William de Upton, Brice de Cleyburi, Roger Bonost of Borewarton, Henry de Bolde, and others.

Engelard de Acton confirms the said Sale, in all particulars, accepting in fact the new Tenant at the old rent.- Witnesses: the same as the last, except Henry de Bolde, for whom we have "William Fitz Symon of Mitleton".

It is impossible to disconnect these three Deeds from a fourth, which I derive from a different source; [34] but I cannot reconcile the full payment of fourteen merks, so clearly stated above, with the fact that for 13 merks thereof, Richard son of Alan remained a Debtor.

Adam Fitz William, Clerk of Mittleton, grants to the Prior of Wenlock all his right in a virgate at Mittleton, such right evidently consisting in a sum of "13 merks, which Richard son of Alan, the Priest of Burewarton, owed the said Adam for the land". The Prior thus became entitled to a sum of 9. (13 merks), receivable from Richard son of Alan, and, in default of payment, I suppose he would have a claim on the land itself. It further appears from the Deed that the Prior paid Adam Fitz William 5. for this transfer, whilst the latter devoted the balance of 4. to the works of Saint Milburg's Church, for the good of his soul. [35]

I believe that Richard son of Alan eventually paid his debt to the Prior, and so continued Tenant-in-fee of this virgate in Middleton. Under the name of Richard Clerk of Middleton, he attests a great number of Deeds, which concerned other lands here, and which passed in the last half of the thirteenth Century. His Son Roger occurs as a witness August 29, 1314, and as Lessor or Grantor of several small parcels in 1319, 1322, 1323, and 1331. One of these leases, that of 1323, is to Alice, the Lessor's Sister, of four acres, to hold for her life, at 5d. rent.

On June 11, 1319, John, son of Roger le Clerk de Muttultun, is a Grantor of land in the Manor. Further than this I will not pursue the subject, except to say that the Prior of Wenlock seems sometime to have obtained Engelard de Acton's mesne interest in this virgate, and so to have become immediate Seigneur over the

[34] Monasticon, V, p. 74, Notes, No. 6.
[35] Witnesses: Roger de Pyvelesdon; Roger, Parson of Stirchley; Thomas le Mercer; Peter, Son of Peter de Caleweten (Calloughton); Richard Chamberlain; Walter Bon-Valet.


Clerks. Hence, I doubt not, comes it to pass that among the Prior's Middleton rents in 1510-11 the only one of 5s. is charged on "the Heir of William Clarke, for the Messuage called Hyggs". [36]

I now revert to other parts of this Manor, and an earlier period. At the County Assizes, November 1221, one Richard de Rothal, an extensive holder in Middleton, being dead, his Widow Alice, now remarried to Roger Fitz Tropinel, joined her said husband in suing the Prior of Wenlock, for dower in five virgates here, which she claimed in right of her first marriage. The Prior pleaded that the Plaintiffs had already, in full Court, at Wenlock, renounced their claim of dower, for 16s., which sum had been paid them; and thereof he makes appeal to a Jury. The parties are however stated to have accorded by license of the Court. [37]-

Their Fine, dated Nov. 12, 1221, is preserved. It merely restates the plea in the usual form, exhibiting however Alice's claim as to a third of eight and a half virgates. This she and her husband forego, Prior Humbert giving them half a merk. [38]

At the same Assizes another estate, of half a hide, in Middleton, seems to have been litigated between Coparceners.-

Emmeline, wife of Gerard the Anjovin, makes the said Gerard her Attorney in a suit of mort d'ancestre, which Sibil and Dionisia, daughters of Alice, had against her. Elsewhere, on the same Roll, I find Gerard le Angevin giving half a merk for license to accord a suit of mort d'ancestre with Sibil and Dionisia, called "daughters of Cleibury". [39]-

Their Fine is preserved.- It is between Sibil de Cleiberie and Dionisia her Sister, Plaintiffs, and Gerard le Angovin and Emeline his wife, Tenants, of half a hide in Midelton, whereof was assize of mort d'ancestre. The Plaintiffs forego their claim in favour of Gerard and Emeline and the heirs of Emeline, for which they receive 3 merks. [40]

About this time one William de Middleton seems to have been Tenant for life of a virgate here, under the Prior of Wenlock. At his death, his Son, another William, supposing probably that the tenure was in-fee, intruded on the premises for some time. Eventually he seems to have been brought to reason by process in the

[36] Register, fo. 37. A previous Rental (of 1495-6) gives a 5s. rent, chargeable on John Walter, in Myddilton. It was assigned to the Priory Kitchen.
[37] Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 6 dorso.
[38] Pedes Finium, 6 Hen. III, Salop.
[39] Assizes, 6 Hen. III, memb. 8 dorso. 4 dorso. "Filiabus de Cleibur" is the expression;- where we should perhaps read "Filiabus Aliciae de Cleibur".
[40] Pedes Finium, 6 Hen. III, Salop.


Hundred-Court of Burton. His Quit-claim, dated there, on March 12, 1227, is a curious and instructive document, showing the large attendance which was given on such occasions. [41]

At the Assizes of January 1256, the Prior of Wenlock sued Stephen le Chamberleng under a placitum servitii, viz., to compel him to pay half a merk yearly for the tenement which he held in Mutlinton, moreover to pay seven merks for fourteen years' arrears thereof, and also 100s. damages. Stephen acknowledging the Tenure, the Court ordered that the Prior should have his demand out of Stephen's lands. [42]

I will now give extracts from a series of Middleton Deeds, which seem to me to have passed between the years 1260 and 1314. They all relate to tenures in fee-simple; and it is worth observing that, though the Prior of Wenlock was Lord of the Fee and Suzerain over all the parties, his interference is never once implied in these, his Tenants' mutual transactions.

1. Stephen Chamberlain of Mitleton gives to Agnes his daughter half a messuage and six acres in the fields of Mitleton;- in fee;- at 6d. rent. Witnesses:- John de Rothale, Richard Clerk, Osbert Clerk, Robert de la Hulle, William de Kinefare, Roger Simon, Roger de Weston.

2. William son of Stephen le Chamberleng of Mitleton grants to John de Mora, Forester of the Lord Prior of Wenlock, sixteen acres in the fields of Mitleton, and all the meadow which he had in the field of Eddesley and in the Crustinge;- to hold in fee, for 4 merks on entry, and at a halfpenny rent, in lieu of all suits of the Grantor's Court, escheats, aids, stretwart, and motfe. Witnesses:- John Lord of Rohale, Roger de Peton of Mitleton, John Simunt of the same, Richard Clerk of the same, Richard de Holonde, William Adam, Reginald Felip.

3. The same, as "William le Chambreleyn of Mitlyton", grants to

[41] Printed Monasticon, V, p. 74, Notes No. 6. The Witnesses' names seem, many of them, to be mis-written by the Transcriber. They are, William, Chaplain of Drayton; Robert, Chaplain of Stokes (Stoke St. Milburg); Roger de Burwardsley; Thomas de Cestreton (probably Costentin); Hugh de Bracton (Brocton); Hugh de Ley; Ralph de Lantor (perhaps Lauton); Nicholas de Optun; Philip, Parson of Grete; Adam, Parson of Acton (Acton Round); John de Beckeburton (read Beckbury); Henry de Botten (perhaps Burton); Walter Fitz Baldwin; John de Rochale (Ruthall); William de Mughale; William de Laverdene; Thomas de Laverdene; William Kangelot (probably Kangefot); William Ward (probably Wiard); Alan de Longevill; Alan Fitz William; Richard Fitz William; Walter More; Walter de la Lee; and many more.
[42] Placita 40 Hen. III, m. 15 dorso


Peter de Somersete an acre and three seilions; for 18s. paid and d. rent. Witnesses:- Roger Symund, John Symund, Walter de Stottesden, Ric de Holonde, William Fitz Adam.

4. The same grants to Richard, son of Thomas de Beggesovere, an acre in the direction of Cleobury North;- in fee, for 5s. paid and a pepper-corn rent. Witnesses:- John de Esthope, John de Drayton, Roger de Tugefort, Peter de Rohale, Richard Clerk of Mitleton, Richard de Holonde, Simon Clerk of Cleybury.

5. The same to the same, another acre in the same direction. Witnesses:- All the last except the fifth, adding John Juvenis (Young) of Cleobury North.

6. The same gives to William Fitz Geoffrey of Castle Holegod half his mesauage and curtilage, and a tenement and a curtilage in his garden, and half his garden &c., and some meadow-land and twenty-two acres of other land, and 6d. rent, payable by Edith, the Grantor's Sister, and 1d. rent, payable by Roger Fitz Stephen;- in fee, for twelve merks paid down and 3s. 4d. rent. Witnesses:- John Lord of Rohale, Roger de Weston, John Scimund of Mitleton, Roger Yve of Peton, Richard Clerk of Mitleton, Richard de Holond.

7. Agnes, daughter of Stephen Chamberlain of Mitleton, delivers to Osbert Fitz Hamon and his one assignee, for life, an acre in the fields towards Deriton;- for 4s. paid down and a d. rent. Witnesses:- Richard de Mitleton Clerk, Richard de Holond, Walter de Mitleton, Reginald Fitz Philip, and William Fitz Adam of Mitleton.

A second series of Deeds chiefly concern the Grantees in the above:-

1. William, son of William Simunt, grants to John de Mora, Forester of the Lord Prior of Venlake, an acre,- in fee, for 10s. paid and a rent of one rose. Witnesses:- Roger de Peton of Mitleton, Richard de Holonde, Richard Clerk of Mitleton, Walter de Stotesdon, Reginald Felip, William Adam.

2. Roger de Peton grants to the same an acre,- in fee, for 6s. paid and 1d. rent. Witnesses:- John Symunt of Mitleton, and the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth, of the last.

3. John Forester of Mitletone grants to Roger, son of Richard Faber of Westone, living in Mitletone, for his own life and that of one assignee, an acre towards Dorintone, for 12s. paid and 1d. rent. Witnesses:- Thomas Lord of Sydenhale, Robert de Monte de Dodinton, Richard de Holond, William Fitz Walter, Richard Clerk, and John Fitz William Symon, all of Mitleton, Hugh de Sydenhale.


4. John le Vodevart of Mitleton grants to Hamund de Ley six acres in fee,- for 40s. paid down and 1d. rent. Witnesses:- The first, seventh, fifth, and third of the last; also William Adam, Reginald Felip, and John Symunt. [43]

5. Peter le Somerceter of Mitleton grants to Hamo de Ley two acres in fee, at 1d. rent. Witnesses:- Thomas Lord of Sydenhale, Hugh de Sydenhale, Richard de Holonde, John Forester, William Adam, Reginald Phelip.

6. Osbert Fitz Hamund of Mitletone gives to Roger his son and assignee the acre which he bought from Agnes Fitz Stephen Chamberlain.- To hold for life, of the capital Lord, at 1d. rent. After Roger's death, the said acre shall revert to the nearest heir (of Agnes Fitz Stephen, I suppose). Witnesses:- Thomas Lord of Sydenhale, Richard Clerk of Mitleton, Richard son of Richard de Holonde, Roger son of William Adam, Adam Fitz Walter of Mitleton.

A Series of dated deeds now succeeds. I give a few names which occur in each, as affording a means of approximately dating the foregoing. Their other contents are of little import.-

1. April 27, 1314.- William, son of John Forester of Mitleton, Grantee. Witnesses:- Thomas de Sydenhale, William Symond.

2. August 29, 1314.- Roger son of Richard Clerk exchanges. Witnesses:- Thomas de Sydenhale, Roger de Weston, Richard de Holond, William son of John Forester.

3. May 9, 1316.- Christiana, Widow of John Forester, grants to William her son and heir. Witnesses:- Thomas and Hugh de Sydenhale, Richard de Holond, Roger Adam, Roger son of Richard Clerk. [44]

4. July 10, 1319.- Roger son of Richard Clerk of Mitleton is Lessor. Witnesses:- Thomas de Sydenhale John son of John Symont.

5. June 18, 1322.- The same Roger grants. Witnesses:- Thomas and Hugh de Sydenhale, Richard de Holonde.

6. March 29, 1323.- The same leases to Alice his Sister. Witnesses:- Sir Richard de Laverden, Thomas de Sydenhale, William son of John Forester.

[43] The Seal of this and the last Deed is neatly executed. The device is a Bugle-horn, strung; the legend, S' JOHANIS DE MORE. It in hardly necessary to observe that John de More, John Forester, and John le Vodevart (i.e., Woodward) are the same person.
[44] The Seal is charged with a Fleur-de-lys. Legend: SI' CRISTINE WODEWARDIS.


TO conclude these extracts- William son of John Forester occurs again in February 1331; and Margery, daughter of John le Wodeward by Christiana his wife, occurs in July 1345, and apparently was not till then married.

Another Record of this period shows Wenlock Priory as still intent on buying up any tenancy in Middleton. The Prior having a license to acquire two merks of land and rent, the King, by Patent, dated Oct. 10, 1342, allows that 19s. 8d. of such re,nt may be purchased from Hugh Sherere, in Mittelton juxta Dodyton. [45]

The further history of the Prior's interests here has been embodied in the general account of Ditton Priors.

MIDDLETON PRIORS CHAPEL.- Of this Chapel and it's Incumbents I have said nearly all that can be said under Ditton or under Deuxhill, with which latter, Middleton was combined. I should observe that "Richard, Rector of the Chapel of Mittelton", who has been mentioned above, [46] under date of March 28, 1343, was probably Richard de la More, at that time Incumbent of Deuxhill and Middleton Priors.-

His Rectory I take to have been Deuxhill rather than Middleton; for, had the latter been a Rectory originally, and independent of any other Church, it is difficult to conceive how the Wenlock Monks can have worked out its total suppression without the fact being recorded. On the other hand, it is strange that Middleton, if only a Chapel, should be associated with Deuxhill, a distant Church, rather than with Ditton, which was near at hand, and whose Vicar seems at one time to have enjoyed the Tithes of Middleton, and to have been charged with a pension thereon.- All this mystery and anomaly serves probably to cover some scandalous piece of Monastic jobbing.

The Chapel of Middleton Priors, though disused before the Dissolution, and not mentioned in the Valor of 1534-5, long survived its uses. Some remains thereof, adjoining a dwelling-house, are still, or were lately, in existence. [47]


This place, though now parochially a member of Chetton, [48] seems to have been manorially an adjunct of Ditton.

[45] Pat. 18 Edw. HI, p. 2, m. 5.
[46] Supra, Vol. I, pp. 220, 221.
[47] Mr. Blakeway and Mr. Dukes both notice these remains. Mr. Blakeway further says that Middleton Priors was united to Ditton in 1587. The parish, I conclude, is meant.
[48] However, 5s., corn-tithe of Sidnall, was payable to the Convent Kitchen of Wenlock. (Register, fo. 32. b).


Walinger was one of those Feoffees of Hugh de Periers whose rights were reserved when the latter bequeathed Ditton to Wenlock Priory. This Walinger was sometimes called De Sidnall; sometimes he took a name from The Dykes, a locality of not unfrequent mention in early deeds of Ditton Manor. It is probable that he was Hugh de Periers' Executor.-

At Michaelmas 1176, the Sheriff, among other arrears, owed the King a sum of 19. 10s. This was part of the revenue chargeable for Corfham and Culmington, which should have been in the King's hand three parts of the fiscal year then ending. At Michaelmas 1177, the Sheriff renders account of this arrear, saying, that "Warenger ought to answer for the same", and then adding, that the whole had been paid by Warenger to four Jews, as a Writ of the King himself had enjoined. [49]

In the Forest-Roll of 1180, the name of Walinger is twice repeated among the assessments of this neighbourhood. He is charged 18d. for an imbladement, viz., three acres sown with oats, and again 3s. 6d. for three acres of fine-wheat and one of oats, which are said to be in "Dickes".

In 1199, one Walinger had been Visor of repairs at Shrewsbury Castle; and on October 13 of the same year, Welinger Desdiches essoigned himself as Recognizor in a suit then pending at Westminster, and which seems to have related to lands at Clee St. Margaret. [50]

We have lately noticed the same person attesting a Middleton Deed of this very period under the more intelligible name of Walinger de Sidenal.

An association of ideas rather than of available facts leads me to notice the name of Walinger Fitz Hugh, who in 1221 was a landowner at Culmington, and also at Richard's Castle in Herefordshire. At this time there was also a Walinger de Sydenhal, perhaps the second of his name. I have already mentioned him as occurring in 1226. [51]

I have no distinct evidence about the succeeding Feoffees here. In August 1266, William, son of Philip de Sydenhal, had arraigned a suit of mort d'ancestre against the Prior of Wenlock concerning six acres, and a suit of novel disseizin against Simon Baret and others concerning a tenement in Sydenhal. [52]

On March 15, 1301, the Inquest on the death of Roger de Bagesore

[49] Rot. Pip. 28 Hen. II, Salop.
[50] Rot. Curia Regis, II, 21.
[51] Supra, Vol. II, p. 134.
[52] Pat. 50 Hen. III, dorso.


of Cleobury-North found that he had held half a virgate at The Dykes under Thomas de Sydenhale by service of 2s. 10d. rent. [53] I should here observe, that this Roger de Bagesore was a different person to Roger son of Richard, son of Thomas de Baggesovre, which Richard we have seen purchasing land in Middleton a little earlier, and which Roger we shall hear more of presently.

Thomas Lord of Sidnall has occurred to us before, attesting some undated deeds of this very period (1301), and still living in 1323. Hugh de Sidnall, perhaps brother of Thomas, had a son William, who occurs in 1346. Thomas also was succeeded by William de Sidnall, Lord of Sidnall, who occurs from 1338 to 1349, in the deeds to which I have so often alluded.

Sidnall probably remained a tenure in fee till the Dissolution, owing and acknowledging nothing to the Priory of Wenlock but 5s. corn-tithe, payable to the Convent Kitchen, and a chief-rent of 8s., [54] due to the Prior, as formerly Devisee of Hugh de Periers.

HUDWICH, DERINGTON, POWKESMORE.- Of these members of Ditton I have said enough, as involved in the capital Manor. I do not understand them to have been held in fee at any time. A rent of Hudwich (6s. 8d.) was in 1495-6 payable to the Convent Kitchen. The rents of 1. 6s. 8d. each, mentioned already [55] as chargeable on Hudwich and Powkesmore in 1510-11, I take to have been settled by recent lease rather than by ancient feoffment.


This Vill, originally a member of Ditton, became separated before the latter Manor passed to Hugh de Periers. The two were never again manorially united, though their parochial connection exists at this day.

Ashfield, I think, must have been granted to the Ancestor of the Beysins at least as early as the time of Henry I. It was a member of their Serjeantry, and held by service of keeping the King's Hawks. The bulk of the lands thus held in capite by Beysin lay at Wrickton and Walkerslow, some distance from Ashfield.

There we will resume the history of a family which, under Billingsley, Broseley, and Badger, has already engaged much of our attention. That which relates particularly to Ashfield shall be given here.-

At the Forest-Assize of 1167, the Vills of Assefeld and Rohale

[53] Inquisitions, 29 Edw. I, No. 7.
[54] [55] Supra, p. 335.


(Ruthall) stand together;- each as being amerced half a merk by Alan de Nevill. [56]

A Roll of Shropshire Serjeantries, which appears to date in the very commencement of the thirteenth Century, estimates Adam de Beisin's tenure in Effeld at a quarter of a carucate, held under him in Pillanage. [57]

About the year 1225, Adam de Beysin gave Ashfield to his daughter Margery, then espoused to Thomas de Baggesore.-

This entailed some litigation on the Grantees, who had apparently to satisfy a claim set up by a Cadet of the Beysins to a part of the premises.-

A Fine was levied May 31, 1228, between Nicholas de Beisin, Plaintiff, and Thomas de Bachesour and Margery his wife, Tenants,- of two virgates in Essefeld, whereof was assize of mort d'ancestre. The Plaintiff renounced his claim to Thomas and Margery and the heirs of Margery, receiving two-and-a-half merks. [58]

In 1246, Thomas de Baggesore was deceased, leaving his Widow Margery surviving. His eldest son Philip was his successor as Lord of Badger. His younger children (I suppose there were three) were probably under age at this period.

In 1255, their Mother Margery had apparently been portioning Ashfield among them. The Munslow Inquisition of that year, in reply to a question as to the total or partial alienation of any Serjeantry in the district, states as follows

"Adam de Beysin formerly held Eysfield, pertaining to his Serjeantry which he holds (read 'held') of the King, and he (Adam) gave the said vill in frank-marriage to Thomas de Baggesovere, with Margery his daughter, thirty years ago. Thereof, Richard de Baggesovre holds one virgate by gift of the same Margery in the past year: Henry Mauveysin holds one-and-a-half virgates by gift of the same Margery three years ago: and Avice de Baggesovere holds half a virgate by gift of the same Margery in the past year".

Another return of the same Jurors was nearly consistent, viz., that Richard de Beggesovre, Henry Mauvesin, and Amicia de Baggesovre held the vill of Oysfeld for a hide of land, of Margery de Beysin, and they did no suit to County or Hundred, nor paid they stretward nor motfee, the Jurors knew not by what warrant. The said vill, they added, was given in frank-marriage with the said Margery

[56] Rot. Pip. 13 Hen. II, Salop.
[57] Testa de Nevill, p. 61.
[58] Pedes Finium, 14 Hen. III, Salop.


by Adam de Beisin her father, who held by Serjeantxy of keeping the King's Goshawks. [59]

RICHARD DE BAGGESOVRE, whom we find thus enfeoffed in a virgate at Ashfield in 1254, was probably the second son of his Parents, and coming of age at that period. He seems to have had other lands besides a share of Ashfield. The latter tenure does not explain his sitting as a Juror for Stottesden Hundred at the County Assizes of 1272, and at the Inquisitions of Nov. 1274. We have further had him purchasing two small parcels of land in Middleton Priors, but adjacent to Cleobury North rather than to Ashfield.

The Munslow Inquisition of 1274 says of Esfeld, that its suit to the Sheriff's Tourn had been withdrawn by the King of Almagne when Lord of Castle Holgate. [60] This I cannot account for, not knowing what seigneury the Lords of Holgate could possibly have at Ashfield. I suspect that the Jurors, if right as to the withdrawal, were mistaken as to its Author.

The Feodary of 1284 assigns the whole of Ashfield to Richard de Baggesovre, who is said to hold "Effeld" of Walter de Beysin for one-sixth of a Knight's fee, whilst said Walter holds of the King in capite.

At the Assizes of 1292, it appeared by presentment of the Munslow Jury, that Margery widow of Richard de Baggesovere was living, and that she had a part of Ashfield, viz., "one virgate held of the Serjeantry, once Adam de Beysyn's". Margery was ordered to appear in Court, but I find no instant result of that summons. [61] However, I cannot doubt that Margery's estate at Ashfield was for a time forfeited, as being a member of a Serjeantry and having been alienated without license. I find that King Edward I, in 1304, intrusted to Reginald de Rochehale one-and-a-half virgates and three acres in Asshefeld, "which", says the Record, "were once Margery de Baggesworth's, and were in the King's hand by reason of unlicensed alienation". Reginald de Rochehale, thus ferming the premises, accounts to the Escheator citra Trent, between Michaelmas 1305 and Michaelmas 1306, for the current year's issues thereof. [62]

[59] Rot. Hundred, II, 72, 70. The position of Ashtleld, in Munslow Hundred, requires remark. The general rule is, that all places situated in the Domesday Hundred of Patinton fell into Munslow or Stottesden Hundred, and remained there in 1266,- unless Wenlock Priory had acquired an interest therein.
[60] Rot. Hundred, II, p. 101.
[61] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, memb. 4 dorso.
[62] Rot. Forinsec. sub anno.


It appears, from a totally different Record, [63] that while Richard de Baggesore was living (that is, sometime between the years 1254 and 1292) he enfeoffed one Adam le King in a messuage and half-virgate in Ashfield, being part of certain lands which he, Richard, held in capite by service of 2s. 10d. rent. The Feoffee was to pay the same rent to his Feoffor as the latter paid to the Crown.

On Richard de Boggesore's death, his son and heir, Roger, [64] assigned this rent of 2s. 10d. as part of his Mother Margery's dower. Adam le King dying, his successor William le King apparently paid the same rent to Reginald de Rochale for a time, and then to Margery, widow of the said Reginald, for her life.

On July 6, 1319, William Kyng of Esshefeld being dead, his estate was seized by the Escheator as a Tenure in capite, and a Jury which sat at Brockton on Jan. 27, 1320, confirmed this view of the Tenure, saying that the messuage and half-virgate in question were worth 18d. per annum more than the rent of 2s. 10d. reserved to the Crown, and that Nicholas, son and heir of William Kyng, was aged twenty-four years on July 22, 1319.

Hereupon Nicholas appeared in Chancery, affirming his Father's Tenure to have been under the Baggesores, and not in capite. After stating the feoffment of Adam le Kyng by Richard de Baggesore, he further deposed that Roger, son and heir of Richard de Baggesore, made over the reserved rent of 2s. 10d. to Reginald de Rochale, since deceased, and that Margery, Reginald's widow, also deceased, had continued to receive the said rent for her life from William le Kyng. In this statement it is clear that the alleged transfer of rent by Richard de Baggesore to Reginald de Rochale was a falsehood. The latter had doubtless received the rent from the Kyngs, not as Grantee of Richard de Beggesore, but rather as Fermor of the Crown when Ashfield was an Escheat.

However Edward II, by writ, dated March 14, 1320, set forth Nicholas Kyng's grievance, and ordered the Sheriff to make full inquiries. A Jury, which sat at Shrewsbury on Sept. 12, 1320, traced the right to the rent from Richard de Bagesore to Roger his son and heir, then as assigned by the latter to his Mother Margery. The Jurors did not allude to the temporary forfeiture any further than to deny that Richard de Baggesore had ever made any grant to Reginald de Rochale. This Inquest was taken in presence of

[63] Inquisitions, 14 Edw. II, No. 20.
[64] This Roger, son of Richard de Baggesore, I have already distinguished from Roger de Baggesore, who died in 1300.- Both perhaps had lands at Cleobury North.


Roger de Baggesore and his Mother, both of whom the Sheriff served with a praemunire,- that is, I suppose, with a caution lest they should trespass on the King's rights in receiving any fealty from a Tenant in capite.

However, I think that Roger de Baggesore recovered his mesne rights in Ashfield. This I infer from a Lease, [65] dated at Eshfeld, May 1, 1346, whereby Roger de Baggesore demises to Roger le Taillour a messuage and six acres of land in Eshfield, for thirty years. The land was bounded by lands of John le Kyng and John de Berewyke, and the Lease is attested by the former.-

The Lessor in this Deed, though perhaps not identical with Roger de Baggesore of 1320, was at least his Successor. He attests some Deeds at Cleobury North in 1346 and 1349.

I now return, to give some account of that virgate-and-half in Ashfield which Margery de Beysin gave, in 1252, to Henry Mauveysin. He perhaps had married her daughter, but I can say nothing further of him.

In 1292 the Munslow Jurors presented that Philip, son of Henry Mauveysin, was holding a virgate-and-half of Beysin's Serjeantry. The said Philip appeared in Court, and stated that he held the premises for life only, and under the Infant Heir of John, son of Thomas de Berewyk. [66]

I shall have to recur to this subject on a future occasion, and now proceed with the half virgate which Margery de Beysin had given in 1254 to Avice de Bagesore. This Avice was doubtless her daughter. In 1292, by presentment of the same Munslow Jurors, Thomas de la Cole appears as holding this half virgate, but how it descended to him from Avice I cannot say. At the same time, John de Esthope had 4s. rent in Ashfield, but how he acquired it does not appear. Certain however it is that all these alienations from Beysin's Serjeantry were questioned by the Crown, and subjected the Tenants to prosecution, if not to forfeiture.

An Escheator's Roll, which belongs to one of the last years of Edward II (1320-7), shows that the King had then in hand a messuage and eight acres in Ashfield, which belonged to the estate of Peter Chese, deceased, whose heir was in ward to the Crown. Also the King had in hand six acres in Ashfield, which had been escheated because John de Sturchesle had obtained them without license from John de Esthope, who had held them in capite.

[65] In possession of R. H. Cheney, Esq., of Badger.
[66] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I, memb. 4 dorso.

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