Non omnia grandior setas
Quae fugiannis habet.




1. To face page 86. ALBERBURY CHURCH AND CASTLE. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
2. To face page 108. WATTLESBOROUGH CASTLE. North West. Lady Leighton, del.
3. To face page 119. FONT. HANWOOD. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
4. To face page 138. PONTESBURY CHURCH. North West. David Parkes, del. (A.D. 1810).
5. Between pages 196 and 197. MAP OF PART OF SHROPSHIRE.
6. To face page 245. SEALS of William Fitz Alan (II.).
7. To face page 245. SEALS of William Fitz Alan (II.) and Richard de Leighton.
8. To face page 282. HAUGHMOND ABBEY, from the North East. Rev. J. Brooke, del.
9. To face page 282. CHAPTER HOUSE, Haughmond Abbey. From the Monasticon.
10. To face page 312. WROXETER CHURCH. North West. David Parkes, del. (A.D. 1812).
11. To face page 312. DOORWAY. Wroxeter. David Parkes, del. (A.D. 1812).
12. To face page 339. MONUMENT in Leighton Church. Rev. Edw. Williams, del. (A.D. 1794).
13. To face page 348. Ruined Chapel. Malins Lee. Rev. J. Brooke, del.

Ruesset Hundred.

THE Domesday Hundred of Ruesset, or Reweset, was done away with in the time of Henry I., but nearly replaced by the Hundred of Ford. The great feature of this change was that Alberbury ceased to be, and Ford became, the Caput of the Hundred. What with this and later changes, the modern Hundred of Ford is found to be coextensive with the Domesday Hundred of Ruesset, except in the following particulars.-

Dinthill, Great and Little Hanwood, Preston, Montford, Woodcote, and Half of Onslow were in Ruesset Hundred, but are now in the Liberties of Shrewsbury. Bausley, originally a Ruesset Manor, has been annexed to Montgomeryshire. On the other hand, Ford Hundred has gained the township of Gatten, which, as originally a member of Worthen, must have been in the Domesday Hundred of Witentrei. Gatten, as subsequently connected with Stitt and Ratlinghope, must have been for a time in Purslow Hundred; but when Haughmond Abbey was dissolved, all older associations were forgotten, and Gatten was, very anomalously, annexed to Ford Hundred. Besides Gatten, two other townships of the original Manor of Worthen have to be noticed. These are Heath (Upper and Nether) and Habberley Office; and both have been annexed to Ford Hundred, under what circumstances, or when, I know not.

The Presentments of Ford Hundred at the Assizes of 1203 relate only to recent murders, the outlawry of the Murderers, and the value of their Chattels. At the Assizes of 1221, the Jurors reported of the remarriage of a Widow, and the Advowson of a Church, both which were in the King's gift. These topics will recur elsewhere.

At the Inquest of 1255, Roger fitz Erm is the only Juror of this Hundred whose name (as printed) I am unable to associate with any definite locality.

Thomas Hort (or Hord, as I think the name should be written) was a defaulter in respect of due attendance.


[For table, see Ruesset]


The Bailiff of the Hundred appears at this time to have held his Office by payment of 6 merks (4. 6s. 8d.) per annum to the existent Sheriff. [1]

At the Assizes of 1256 the Hundred was represented by its Bailiff (Thomas de Lecton) and 12 Jurors. Among the latter was Roger fitz Iwe, and among the Defaulters was Griffin fitz Eynon, whose estates in the Hundred I have been unable to identify.

At the Assizes of 1272 Roger de Legh was Chief Bailiff of Ford Hundred. Among the Jurors was Roger fitz Mayow, and among the Defaulters was Cadugan ap Howel, but where these persons had any freehold I cannot say.

The Inquisition of Ford Hundred, taken at Shrewsbury on Nov. 27, 1274, states the existent firm of the said Hundred to be only 5 merks (8. 6s. 8d.). With the exception of this Ferm, the rights of the Crown are spoken of as having been unduly asserted or wantonly and venally exercised by provincial Officers. The Hundred-Court had indicted Philip and Richard, sons of Thomas Hord; but John Baril (Undersheriff) had released them for a fine or bribe of 100s. John Filcot and William de Trompiton, former Beadles of the Hundred, had been used, in cases where Inquests had been summoned by Royal mandate, to amerce non-attendant Vills, though the said Inquests had been sufficiently taken by other Vills forming a quorum. John de Tron, John de Herefordshire, and John de Staffordshire, Sub-beadles of the Hundred, had enforced other unjust levies and exactions, specifically on the Vill of Longden, and on a Tenant of Robert Corbet. [2]

At the Assizes of 1292, Richard de Pontesbury appeared as Chief Bailiff of Ford Hundred, and was put in misericordia for repeated trespasses, Alan Sprengeshose, Philip Hord, Roger de Bassechyrch, and John Fylecok, are named as his predecessors in office. Among the twelve Jurors there are three whom I cannot associate with any specific locality in the Hundred. These are Roger le Milde, Roger de Marscote, and Thurstan de Knapton.

[1] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[2] Rot. Hundred. II. 96.


Caus formerly Alretone.

THE identity of Caus with the Alretone of Domesday must not be assumed without a full exposition. Alretone is described in that Record as follows.-

"The Earl himself holds Alretone. Roger (holds it) of him. King Edward held it (in Saxon times). Here are XX hides, geldable. There is (arable) land (enough) for XL, ox-teams. That land, except hides, was waste (when it came to the existing owner). In demesne there is one Ox-team; and V Villains, with one Free-man, have III ox-teams; and certain Welshmen, here tilling the ground (laborantes), pay rents of 16s. The woods are two leagues (leuuedes) in extent. There is waste land here for XXXI ox-teams". [1]

"In this Manor five Knights of Roger (the Earl's Tenant) have six and a half ox-teams in demesne; and II villains, VI boors, II Welshmen, and one Radman, with III Boors [2] and VI neat-herds, have, among them all, in ox-teams. In King Edward's time, the Manor used to pay 8s. (per annum). Now it pays altogether 4". [3]

This entry occurs in a series of twelve Manors which Domesday enumerates consecutively, as having been Demesne-Manors of Edward the Confessor. The List seems to have been drawn up on a further general principle, viz, that these twelve Manors belonged in some sort to the Palatine demesne of the Norman Earl. The details however show a departure from that principle, for the Earl had granted Alretone and three other entire Manors out of the twelve to his vassals. The respective Hundreds of these twelve Manors are not declared in Domesday, except where the Manor happened to be the Caput of a Hundred. This was not the case with Alretone. We have therefore to ascertain the Hundred in which Alretone stood by indirect evidence. This is soon done.-

Alretone follows Minsterley and precedes Alberbury in Domesday Book. Knowing that the Domesday Hundred of Ruesset is, in all its prominent and ascertained features, represented by the subsequent

[1] That is, I presume, for thirty-one teams over and above the forty teams which the arable (or cleared) land would employ.
[2] The three Boors, then, were clearly Undertenants of the Radman; a remark worth making, because it is the text of Domesday that best determines the relative conditions of these husbandmen.
[3] Domesday, fo. 253, b, 1.


Hundred of Ford; finding also that Minsterley is now in Ford Hundred, we conclude it to have been in Ruesset. Alberbury (also in Ford Hundred now) we know to have been in Ruesset Hundred from the direct evidence of Domesday. If then Minsterley and Alberbury were in Ruesset Hundred, it follows that Alretone (the intermediate Manor) was also in Ruesset Hundred, and must now be looked for in the modern Hundred of Ford.

But Ford Hundred has no such Manor as Alretone. Alretone is, in name, therefore lost; and we have, in its stead, and equal to it in all conditions of magnitude, situation, and subsequent importance, the Manor of Caus. Looking, too, at the Map, we find that Caus stands precisely where Domesday would incline us to search for Alretone;- in other words a line drawn from Minsterley to Alberbury will pass very near the domain of Caus. In short, Alretone, as it stands in Domesday, can only be represented by the Caus of the next century, and the Caus of the next century has no fitting antecedent in Domesday except Alretone.

From an identification of places we pass to an identification of persons. The question is, who was that Roger, who, with five knights and other vassals under him, held the whole of the Domesday Manor of Alretone under the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury? Clearly it was the same Roger who held the above-mentioned Manors of Minsterley and Alberbury, also under the Earl: clearly too that Roger was no other than Roger fitz Corbet, whose Baronial descendants, after the forfeiture of the Norman Earls, held the three Manors of Minsterley, Alberbury, and Caus immediately of the Crown. When we thus determine Roger fitz Corbet to have been Domesday Lord of Alretone postea Caus, every difficulty, whether about persons or places, subsides into perfect harmony.

This careful settling of premises, tedious as it may seem, is never thrown away in antiquarian investigations. It often aids the judgment or justifies the imagination in filling up some unchronicled period with a probability or a fact. This is its effect in the present instance. I am entitled, I think, to assume that, soon after Domesday, Roger fitz Corbet built a Castle at Alretone, and called it Caux. This was associating the place with the recollections of his own childhood, or at least with the antecedents of his House; for he himself, or his father, came to Shropshire from the Pays de Caux in Normandy. [4] The permanent fixture of a Norman name on an English locality is so very rare that I must needs mention

[4] Blakeway's Sheriffs of Shropshire, p. 38.


another instance, in many respects very similar to this of Caus. It was where the Norman Earl fixed his own name of Montgomery on a Border Castle of his building. [5]

With regard to the name Alretone, and its synonym Auretone, a very singular, but, as I believe, a mere, coincidence will be apt to mislead the Shropshire Antiquary. Confining himself to observations drawn from his own province, he will see that a place called Auretone in Domesday has vanished, and has never been known since Domesday under any other name than Richard's Castle. [6] He also sees the Alretone of Domesday converted into Caus Castle, and he naturally considers whether the name Auretone or Alretone does not involve some etymological allusion to a Castle, existent or projected. I believe that such an idea cannot be supported. Taking the whole range of Domesday, the name Alretone, or its synonyms, occurs about twenty times, and, so far as I have been able to trace the modern representatives of these Domesday places, I find that the connection between this name and a Castle is not only not constant but quite exceptional. In fact I believe that the connection is confined to the two instances of Caus and Richard's Castle.

Escaping from a false theory, we find the etymology of Alretone simple enough. Alre is the possessive case of the Saxon word Alr,- an alder-tree,- sometimes written AElr and Aler in the nominative. From this root come an infinity of names, such as Allerton, Alderton, Alrewas, Alrewich, Alderley, Ellerton, etc.

To return to our main subject; our history has at length brought us to the first of those Border Castles which, for two centuries after Domesday, served its continuous purposes of aggression or defence. From the Ruins of Caus Castle we obtain no evidence as to its date, and but a shadowy idea of the arrangement of its parts. The masonry which remains, massive though it be, is nothing but the rubble or filling-in of walls, whose facings have long since been removed. We trace the site of a massive Keep and the situation of an enormous Well,- two prime necessities, the last perhaps less obvious than the first; but in cases of sudden irruption of the Welsh, the inhabitants of the district- men, women and children, were wont to seek refuge in these Castles. There are reasons for thinking that the very cattle were not excluded. Imagine a fortress, thus crowded, and in a state of siege, and what word of terror can have equalled that which sometimes announced the Castle-Well to be dry ?

The site of Caus Castle seems to have been well selected for its object. The inherent strength of the position, the large building area, the wide command of prospect, especially of that important

[5] Two other possible cases of such a change I have before alluded to (Vol. I. p. 129, note 6). Malpas, in Cheshire, is perhaps a fifth. The Welsh, I should observe, called the Town of Montgomery Tre-Valdwin. This was from Baldwin de Bollers (who lived in the time of Henry I. and was Lord of Montgomery), not, as Mr. Blakeway suggests (Hist. Shrewsbury, Vol. I. p. 41), from any Baldwin of the family of Hodnet.
[6] Supra, Vol. V. p. 225-6.


pass which we may call the Valley of The Rea,- these are features which tell of dangers and designs too manifold for the page of history, and too complex for the tongue of tradition. Exposed to all the turmoil of a hostile frontier, here dwelt the eldest of the two English sons of Corbet the Norman. On the right hand were the mountain fastnesses of Powis-land, on three other sides Roger fitz Corbet's position was immediately or remotely backed by the Strongholds and the Manors of his own English Vassals, or of his Brother the Lord of Longden. Further off in front, looking over Minsterley and Worthen and across the Valley of the Rea, the eye rested on the Forest of the Stiperstones, once a Chase of Saxon Kings, but appropriated, with all its rights as a Royal Forest, by the Barons of Caus.

To trace the descent of this Barony shall now be my object, and if I do so with unusual caution and minuteness, making the most of every available document, it is for this reason, viz. because the documents hitherto brought to bear upon the subject have been fewer than they might have been, and have been used to establish conclusions which further search shows to be fallacious.

ROGER FITZ CORBET, for an account of whose parentage and brethren I am content to refer elsewhere, [7] was probably a young man at the time of Domesday, seeing that he was living at least thirty-five years after the date of that Survey. A Legend, not indeed very authoritative, has named his Father, Corbet, as one of the Lords who was consulted by William the Conqueror as to the defence of the Welsh Marches. [8] If so, Corbet was probably living in 1080-1, when King William's personal attention was first directed towards Wales, and consequently Roger fitz Corbet cannot have been more than five years in possession at the time of Domesday. However, I hold it to be much more likely that the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury organized the frontier defences of Shropshire, than the King of England. That the Earl was ably seconded by Corbet and by Ralph de Mortimer, is more than probable. Ordericus gives the names of certain faithful and very valiant men whom Earl Roger employed in the government of his province. Corbet and his sons, Roger and Rodbert, are named by the Historian, I presume, in the order of seniority. Corbet's English possessions had been apparently divided before Domesday between these two sons. The far more extensive fief of Roger is another proof of his seniority.

A Charter of Earl Roger to Shrewsbury Abbey, which must have

[7] Sheriffs of Shropshire, pp. 38, 39.
[8] Leland's Collectanea, I. 230.


passed between 1083 and 1086, and so before Domesday, is attested by Roger Corbeth. [9] Again, in the very year of the Domesday return, Roger Corbet attests the Earl's Foundation-Charter of Quatford Church. [10] After Domesday we have Roger, son of Corbet, attesting another Deed of the Earl's, [11] and the Earl's general Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey, passing between 1086 and 1094, is witnessed both by Roger Chorbet and Robert Chorbet.

Earl Roger is said to have died on July 27, 1094; but probably 1093 was the actual year of his decease. We are told, in a very credible manner, that "when the Earl was dead, and when his body was being consigned to the grave in the Church of St. Peter (Shrewsbury Abbey), Roger fitz Corbeth gave to the Monks the Church of Wentnor (printed Nutenora), with the tithe of the same Vill and the tithe of Yockleton (printed Jochehulla)". [12] Earl Hugh, succeeding in 1093-4, and slain in 1098, seems to have been attended in most of his public acts by Roger fitz Corbet. One Charter of that Earl, attested by Roger Corbet, has already been questioned as spurious. [13] It is not the less suspicious, in that it assures the tithes of Lokelthulla (Yockleton) to Shrewsbury Abbey, as if the Earl himself had given them. A less suspicious Charter of Earl Hugh, also tested by Roger Corbet, records how the Monks had, by gift of the said Roger, "the Church of Wontenoure and two parts of the tithes of the demesne of Ihokethul". [14] A third, and undoubtedly genuine, Charter of Earl Hugh has the attestations of "Roger Corbeth and Rotbert his brother". [15]

The next that we hear of Roger Corbet is his adherence, in 1102, to the treason of Earl Robert de Belesme, his defence of Brug Castle, and his ultimate surrender thereof to Henry I. Whether he suffered in estate for his rebellion, more than he profited by his timely discretion, is a question,- a question which can only be settled by summing up those manorial details on which I have as yet hardly entered.

Roger Corbet and his brother Robert appear in company and concert with the Viceroy Belmeis, both before and after the consecration of the latter to the See of London (July 26, 1208). King Henry I.'s Confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey passed undoubtedly in May 1121. The two Corbets attested it with all formality. Ego Rogerius filius Corbet subscripsi. Ego Robertus frater ejus

[9] [10] Supra, Vol. I. p. 110, note 21, and p. 111.
[11] Supra, Vol. I. p. 109.
[12] Monasticon, III. p. 518, a.
[13] Supra, Vol. I. p. 33, note.
[14] [15] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 3, 4.


subscripsi, are words showing that the two Domesday Lords were still living. This Charter also recites Roger Corbet's grants of the Church and tithes of Wantenouura and the tithe of Joclehulle.

Between this time (1121) and 1136 Roger Corbet gave to the Abbey of St. Peter the Vill of Wineslega (Winsley). His Charter is preserved, and is tested in a manner quite consistent with its presumed antiquity, viz. by Robert Corbet, Reinald de Henewode (Hanwood), Osegot de Winesleg, William Furmage, Woret, Eduinus Stabularius, Beccho Faber, Ordricus Sacrimarius. [16]

I have already adverted to a statement that in 1134 Caus Castle, being in the hands of Pagan fitz John (then Sheriff of Shropshire), was taken and burnt by the Welsh. [17] I cannot imagine any cotemporary forfeiture or escheat of the House of Corbet to tally with this story. The unscrupulous mode in which Pagan fitz John is said to have exercised his provincial power is all that I can suggest in explanation of his being thus seized of the Castle of a less powerful Baron.

King Stephen's Charter, confirming, in 1136, Roger Corbet's grant of Wenelega to Shrewsbury Abbey, embodies a valuable piece of genealogical evidence, when it adds that Roger Corbet's act was with the concession of his sons William and Evrard. [18] We conclude that William and Evrard were the two eldest sons of Roger Corbet, but that at the time of their concession the eventual inheritance was expected to be in Evrard, probably because William was unmarried or childless. Between 1136 and 1155 we have an indication that William Corbet was dead, and that Ebrard's prospective heir was his son, or his younger brother Simon. The fact of Ebrard's succession, and the doubt about Simon's relationship to Ebrard, arise in this way.- Henry II., confirming to Shrewsbury Abbey in 1153, recites the following grants.- De dono Rogeri Corbeth ecclesiam de Wantenoura, et decimas ejusdem villae, et decimas de Jocheshulla, et Wineslegam. De dono Ebrardi et Symonis filii ejus unum ferndellum in Wantenover. [19] But I think that Henry III.'s confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey, though much later, embodies a truer reading of this passage. Instead of the words De dono Ebrardi et Symonis filii ejus, etc., it has the words De dono Ebrardi et Simons filiorum ejus, etc. [20] I conclude that when Ebrard Corbet, between the years 1136 and 1155, granted a ferdendel in Wentnor to Shrewsbury Abbey, he expected to be succeeded by his brother Simon. In perfect

[16] Salop Chartulary, No. 258.
[18] Monasticon, III. p. 519, a.
[17] Supra, Vol. V. p. 242.
[19] [20] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 36, 37.


consistency with that idea is the fact that when, in the same interval, Everard Corbeth granted Edestan to Haughmond Abbey he had the consent of Simon Corbeth. [21] The non-statement of their relationship leaves it more probable that they were brothers, than that they were father and son.

The next step in this genealogy brings in to a second -

ROGER CORBET and his younger brother Simon. These two were, I suppose, sons of Simon and grandsons of Roger Corbet (I.). Unquestionably Roger Corbet (II.) was Baron of Caus at the time of Henry II.'s accession to the throne. In the summer of 1155 we have seen him in attendance on that King during the siege of Brug. [22] It was probably in the autumn of the same year that Roger Corbeth, being at Court at Winchester, attests a Charter of Henry II. to Shrewsbury Abbey. [23] In 1159 a Donum was assessed in Shropshire to which William fitz Alan, then Sheriff, contributed 100 merks, while 38 merks was chargeable on the other Knights of the County. Roger Corbet's proportion of these 38 merks was 10 merks, which sum he was excused by Writ-Royal. In 1162 Roger Corbet was similarly excused a debt of 35s., that being his proportion of the Danegeld then levied in Shropshire.

Under the year 1165 the Chronicles inform us of great disturbances in Wales, and one of them gives particulars of three distinct but abortive expeditions, undertaken by Henry II. in person, against North Wales. [24] The Pipe-Rolls give incidental evidence that the year was by no means a peaceful one on the Border. The Sheriff of Worcestershire's account contains the following items. He had paid 19. 1s. 8d. for 509 measures (summis) of corn, sent to Shrewsbury; also, 17. 9s. 6d. for stores carried from Worcester to the army; also, 14. 11s. 8d. in livery of the soldiers (servientum) of Montgomery; also, 48. to William fitz Adeline (the King's Steward), towards livery of the King's knights at Shrewsbury; and lastly, 14. 11s. 8d. to the soldiers (servientibus) of Chaus. Caus Castle was therefore at this period garrisoned by the Crown; and I think it probable that this was in consequence of the previous decease of Roger Corbet, and the minority of his heir. The said heir was his nephew, Robert, the son of his brother Simon.

ROBERT CORBET's first appearance is in the year 1176, when

[21] Harleian MSS. 3868, fo. II.
[22] Vol. I. p. 250.
[23] Salop Chartulary, No. 43. The other witnesses are, Archbishop Theobald, Thomas the Chancellor, Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, William, Earl of Bristol, and Roger, Earl of Hereford.
[24] Powel sub anno.


he was amerced 20 merks by King Henry II. for trespass in the Royal Forests. The fine was paid, by even instalments, in 1176 and 1177.

On January 24, 1190, King Richard I., being at Westminster, expedited a Charter to Robert Corbet relating to the Stiperstones Forest, of which it would seem that Corbet had been deprived. By this Charter the King "restored and confirmed to Robert Corbet the whole Forest of Tenefrestanes with its appurtenances, to hold to the same Robert and his heirs, as that which pertained to the Honour of hie Barony. Wherefore the said Robert and his heirs were to have and to hold the aforesaid Forest, well, and peaceably, and honourably, as Roger, the paternal uncle (patruus) of the said Robert, had held it in the time of King Henry, the Grantor's father. The Charter was expedited by the hand of William, Bishop of Ely, the King's Chancellor, and was attested by H. Bishop of Durham, R. Bishop of London, H. Bishop of Coventry, Henry (read Herbert) Archdeacon of Canterbury, J. Archdeacon of Chichester, William fitz Aldeline, Bertram de Verdon, William Pipard, R. de Witfeld, Michael Belet, William fitz Alan, Hugh Pantulf, John de Strange, Vivian de Roshall, and Helias de Etingeham. [25]

King Richard was at this time preparing for the Crusade; and it has been stated on the authority of an ancient Roll, that Robert, son of Robert Corbet of Caus, was with the King at the siege of Acre. [26] The account, which I quote, farther represents this second Robert Corbet as succeeding to the Barony of Caus. [26] This is a complex error. There was only one Robert Corbet of Caus, and his aera was from 1176 to 1222. He had, it is true, a younger son Robert, but that son cannot have been old enough to have shared in the siege of Acre in the summer of 1191; for his elder brother, Thomas, lived till 1274. Nor yet can we entertain the

[25] Transcript, communicated by Mr. George Morris of Shrewsbury.
[26] Sheriffs of Shropshire, pp. 40, 86. The Roll alluded to, is copied in a Volume in the Ashmoleean Library (No. 1120, fo. 171). The document is not of the slightest authority as a Roll of Knights who served at Acre. One example amongst many is enough to show this. On fo. 172 we have "John le fitz Allen" bearing for arms "Gu. a lion rampant Or langued Gu".

Now at the date of the Siege of Acre, the first John fitz Alan, if born, was a mere infant. The Arms assigned to him are those of Albini, Earl of Arundel (except that Albini's Lion was armed and langued azure, instead of Gules, the latter being in fact an heraldic impossibility). But John fitz Alan can have had no pretension to the Albini Arms till at least twenty-four years after the Siege of Acre, and probably never at all; for he was dead before the coheirship of Albini was recognized or had arisen.


alternative, that Robert Corbet, said to have borne the armorial insignia of two ravens at the siege of Acre, may have been the Baron of Caus himself. A Lord Marcher was little likely to become a Crusader, and I have given evidence already to show that in November 1192 (that is, long before King Richard's return) Robert Corbet of Caus was no further from home than at Buildwas Abbey in Shropshire. The Pipe-Roll of 1193 corroborates this testimony; for in that year the Sheriff of Shropshire had paid Robert Corbet twenty merks wherewith to support himself in the King's service.

In the next year (1194) the Scutage for King Richard's redemption was levied in Shropshire. Robert Corbet was charged, and had paid 4., for his quota in that County. He was further charged 1. for scutage of a knight's-fee in some County unspecified. This he had not paid, and it seems doubtful whether it was ever liquidated. As I have entered on the subject of scutages, I will proceed to give account of all that were assessed on the Barony of Robert Corbet. He was charged 5. on his Shropshire fees to each of the two Scutages of Normandy, as assessed in 1195 and 1197; but 1 was left in arrear in each case, and not paid till 1201. It was probably for a Fee not in Shropshire, though the Record does not mark the distinction. To the first scutage of King John assessed in 1199, at the rate of two merks per fee, Robert Corbet paid eight merks on his Shropshire fees, but left a fifth fee subject to a charge of two merks. To the second scutage of King John, assessed at two merks per fee in 1201, Robert Corbet paid ten merks at once. To the third scutage, similarly assessed in 1202, he paid nine merks down, and owed one merk. To the fourth scutage, assessed in 1203, he paid ten merks on five fees. To the fifth scutage, that of 1204, he was not assessed at all. In 1205 he was assessed ten merks to King John's sixth scutage. Of the seventh scutage, that of 1206, he was quit under a Writ Royal. To the scutage of Poitou, assessed in 1214 at the rate of 2. per fee, Robert Corbet paid 10. In October 1217 Robert Corbet had letters directed to the Sheriff of Shropshire, entitling him to levy his own scutage. [26] Nevertheless in the Pipe-Roll of 1218 he stands assessed ten merks on five fees to the first scutage of Henry III. To the scutage of Biham, assessed in 1221 at the rate of 10s. per fee, he paid 1. 1s. 7d. down, and owed 1. 8s. 5d.

On the whole, we may safely assume that Robert Corbet's Barony was reputed, as far as scutages and military services were concerned,


to be a Barony of five Knights'-fees. A Feodary which belongs to the year 1211 registers this fact in the following terms,- Robertus Corbet, Baro, tenet in capite, et debet servicium V militum. [27] But with regard to one of these five fees we have seen a probability that it was not always acknowledged to be liable to scutage, and that it was not in Shropshire. At the cost of a lengthy digression I must give some account of this fee, for its history involves a point in the genealogy of Corbet.-

The Middlesex Domesday gives an account of Dallega, a Manor of three hides in Helethorne Hundred, held by one Alnod, under Earl Roger de Montgomery. [28] The place alluded to is Dawley, in the Parish of Hayes, the Hundred of Elthorne, and the County of Middlesex. On the forfeiture of Earl Roger's family, Dawley was annexed to the Honour of Wallingford, which Honour, from the failure of heirs, was in 1166 an Escheat, and in the hands of Henry II. At that date we find William Corbet enrolled as Tenant of a Knight's-fee in the said Honour; [29] and I cannot doubt that the fee in question was Dawley. Whether William Corbet thus mentioned was a brother of the second Roger Corbet of Caus, I cannot say. It is only clear that Robert Corbet of Caus was the heir of both Roger and William.

In October 1198 we find Robert Corbet suing William de Cramfield (i.e. Cranford) for 36 acres in Dalling, which Corbet claimed as appurtenant to the Barony which he held of the King in capita. This Plea is entered under the heading Villata de Oxebrug', showing that Dawley, near Uxbridge, was the place alluded to. All I shall say further of this suit is that it was still pending in October 1199, and that William fitz Rannulf, who appears as Robert Corbet's Attorney throughout, was his Feoffee at Dawley. [30] A Roll of the year 1201, recording a fine of five merks proffered by William fitz Rannulf to King John, adds that the said William "holds a knight's-fee which Robert Corbet holds of the Honour of Walingford". [31] A List of the King's Tenants in the Honour of Wallingford, drawn up in John's reign, registers Robert Corbet as holding one knight's fee in Dalleg'he; [32] William fitz Rannulf was still Tenant thereof, though his name is not mentioned. In 1235-6 we find, under Middlesex, that the Auxilium, levied on marriage of the King's Sister, was assessed at 2 merks on Matilda de Albo Monasterio as Tenant of a knight's-fee in the Honour of Walingeford; and a nearly cotemporary Record calls the Lady, Matilda de Blancmustr', and places her fee in Daldeye. [33]

In 1253 the Honour of Wallingford, or a great part thereof, was of the appanage of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, better known as King of the Romans. The Earl was requiring that the services due on Dalling should be discharged by William de Albo Monasterio; but the latter, in Trinity Term of that year, sued Thomas Corbet, to acquit him, as against the Earl; that is, the Tenant asserted the Mesne-Lord to be immediately liable to the Earl. Corbet did not appear. His Sureties, Richard le Mey of Stretton (Stoney Stretton), and Osbert de Yokylton, were judged by the Court to be insufficient, and better Sureties were ordered to be found for the Defendant's appearance on November 2nd. [34]

In March 1316 we find Gilbert de Barentyne entered as Lord of Dailey, in

[27] Testa de Nevill, p. 55.
[28] Domesday, fo. 129, a, 1.
[29] Liber Niger, I. 186.
[30] Rot. Cur. Regis, I. 217, 278, 403, and II. 82.
[31] Oblata, p. 158.
[32] Testa do Nevill, p. 116.
[33] Ibidem, p. 361, bis.
[34] Placita, Trin. Tm. 37 Hen. III., m. 12 dorso.


Middlesex. [35] Further I need not follow this subject, except to say that William fitz Rannulf, Matilda de Blancminster, William de Albo Monasterio, and Gilbert de Barentyne must all recur to our notice under Whitchurch, and that, wherever they are spoken of in connection with Dawley, it must be understood that the cotemporary Baron of Caus was their immediate Suzerain.

I now return to say what remains of Robert Corbet of Caus.- In 1195 we find Richard fitz Robert giving the King 3 merks, that he may have right (pro habendo recto) against Robert Corbet concerning 7 merks. In 1196 the Sheriff of Shropshire pays Robert Corbet 10 merks. It was a present from King Richard "to support Corbet in the King's service in the parts of Wales". In 1198 the Sheriff again pays Robert Corbet 10 merks towards the fortifications of Caus Castle (ad firmandum castrum suum de Chaus). On April 10, 1200, King John, then at Worcester, expedited a Charter, whereby Robert Corbet and his heirs were entitled to hold a weekly market on Wednesdays at Caos. [36] A Letter of King John's, dated August 10, 1204, informs Wenunwin de Kevelloc (Prince of Powis) that the King has appointed Hugh Pantulf and Robert Corbet to ensure a safe-conduct to Wenunwin, if he comes to a Court shortly to be held at Woodstock. [37]

There was in this arrangement a special propriety, which we ascertain from other Records. Wenunwin's wife was Robert Corbet's daughter, and Hugh Pantulf was probably the Lady's maternal relative. William fitz Alan, Robert Corbet, and Hugh Pantulf were witnesses to a convention dated at Shrewsbury on October 7, 1208, between King john and Wenhunwin. The object of this treaty was to secure the fidelity of the Welsh Prince by a number of hostages. One of the said hostages is called Eyneon, son of Hedewin Flam. [38] There is extant on the Patent-Rolls a letter of Robert Corbet to King John. It probably was written in January 1209. Bidding the King greeting and fealty, Corbet certifies his Highness that he undertakes that Hemon, son of Hedenawein, shall well and faithfully serve his Lord Wenhunwin and the King; also, that Howel, who was apparently to be exchanged as a hostage for Hemon, was the said Hemon's legitimate son; and that for greater security Corbet had another of Hemon's sons in keeping at Caus. Corbet therefore entreats that Hemon may be given up to him, and that the King will send a written order for such delivery to Peter fitz Herbert, and will so act in the matter as that Corbet should not have to trouble the King again on Hemon's account. [39]

[35] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 327.
[36] Cart. Cotton, XI. 72.
[37] Rot. Patent, p. 45.
[38] [39] Foedera, I. p. 101. Patent, p. 91.


At the Forest Assizes, held in March 1209, Robert Corbet was involved in a heavy trespass. Robert, his Huntsman, and Robert, his son, had taken a stag near Stratton (Church Stretton). Up came Codigan, a servant of Robert Corbet, and to him the hunters gave a haunch (quissam) and a side (costam), to take to Ruitheton, whither it would seem Robert Corbet Senior was going. The other haunch the hunters had given to Codiwellan (probably another of Corbet's servants), when Ralph, Under-Forester to Walter de Muneton, came upon the party. Young Robert Corbet fled, carryring with him the head and fore-quarter (furcum) of the venison. The Forester, Ralph, arrested the Huntsman, Robert, and seized two of his hounds, as well as the horns and a side of the stag, all which he delivered up to Hugh fitz Robert (then Chief-Forester of Shropshire). The said Hugh, under writ of H. de Nevill (Justice of the Forest), transferred the whole to the custody of certain Keepers or Sureties till such time as Pleas of the Forest should be held. It now appeared that these Keepers produced neither the Huntsman, the dogs, nor the venison before the Justices. They were Robert Corbet (senior, I presume), Roger Purcell, Robert de Hanewode, Hugh de Mersse, Robert de Hope, Ralph de Le (perhaps Ree), Wido de Arundell, Roger Sprenghose, Wido de Mersse, Robert de Laugeford, Robert fitz Maddoc, Reiner de Acton, and Richard de Witon. The Justices seem to have deferred to an excuse of these Sureties, viz. that they all, except Robert Corbet, had fined 60 merks before the trial, that they might be quit of this Suretyship. As to Robert Corbet, senior, he pleaded that the King had excused him this suit (loquelam), and he called the King to warranty. So, because he was one of the King's Barons, and because he called the King to warranty, the Justices gave him a day (Tuesday in four weeks after Easter) to appear before the King, and bring Robert, his Huntsman, with him. As to Roger (read Robert), his son, who fled with the head and fore-quarter of the stag, Robert Corbet said that he was with the Earl of Chester, but where, he knew not. He promised however to send him word to come home (ad Curiam), and, if he so came, he (Corbet, senior) would forthwith undertake to produce him for trial (in posterum ipsum in manu capiet habendi recto). [40]

On May 22, 1209, a King's messenger is despatched from Southampton to Robert Corbet. [41] On June 25, 1209, we have an indication that Robert was in attendance on the King's Court at

[40] Forest Rolls, Salop, No. II. m. 1.
[41] Rot. Misae, p. 112.


Odiham. The King entrusted him with 20 merks, a present which he was to convey to Woenmoen Walensis, as the Prince of Powis is called. [42] On November 13, 1213, King John, being at Woodstock, orders the Sheriff of Shropshire to respite a debt of 100s., due from Robert Corbet. [43] The money, it seems, was a praestitum or loan previously made by the King during some Welsh expedition. On August 18, 1214, King John, being at Angouleme, deputes John le Strange and Robert Corbet as the Royal Commissioners to swear to a truce, which the King had recently negotiated with Lewellyn, Wenunwen, Maelgon, Madoc ap Griffin, and other Welshmen. [44] We have sure proof of Robert Corbet's continued allegiance to King John in the fact of his obtaining Letters of Scutage from Henry III. in October 1217. His eldest son, Thomas, had however taken a different course, and the Castle of the loyal father had been seized by the Crown as a precaution against the malpractices of the son. However a Patent of Henry dated November 13, 1217, informs the Earl of Chester that Thomas Corbet had returned to his fealty, and had done homage to the King. Wherefore the Earl was to restore to Robert Corbet his Castle of Caos, and all other lands whereof he had been disseized by reason of his son's rebellion. On July 22, 1219, Robert Corbet, Vivian de Rossall, and Warner de Wililey are appointed Justices to inquire concerning Forest-Assarts in Shropshire. On August 2, 1220, Margaret Corbet names Nicholas Walsh as her Attorney in a plea of land which she had against Lewellyn. [45] This Margaret I take to have been Robert Corbet's daughter, now the widow of Wenhunwen, Prince of Powis.

On October 17, 1222, Robert Corbet was dead; Thomas, his son and heir, had fined 100. for his Relief, and had done homage to the King. The Sheriff of Shropshire was certified accordingly. [46]

Before I proceed with any account of Thomas Corbet, I must say something of a series of Charters which Robert Corbet expedited to the Monasteries of Buildwas and Shrewsbury.-

1. The earliest of these is his grant of Wentnor Mill to Buildwas. It is expressed to be with the counsel and assent of his wife, and of his heir. The Mill and Suit thereof, a Vivary, messuage, and garden are conveyed in fee; and a rent of 12d. is reserved to the Grantor. The Charter is attested by William fitz Alan; Hugh Pantulfe; William fitz Rannulf (of whom we were lately speaking);

[42] Rot. Misae, p. 116.
[43] [44] Rot. Fin. p. 504. Patent. p. 120.
[45] Placita, 4 and 6 Hen. III. m. 21.
[46] Rot. Finium, I. p. 94.


John le Strange, and Ralph his brother; Hugh, the Grantor's brother; Odo de Hodenet; Adam de Arundel (who was deceased in 1199), Fulco fitz Warin (evidently the third of his name, and, if so, succeeded to his father about 1197); Alan his brother; William fitz Odo, [47] and many others. There cannot be a doubt that the year 1198 is proximately the date of this Charter. [48]

2. Robert Corbet granted all Ritton in frank almoign to Buildwas. The territorial details of the grant belong to a future Chapter of our history. The witnesses were,- Thomas, the Grantor's son, William Corbet; William fitz Odo; Henry and Garin, Chaplains; Guido de Arundel; Roger Purcel; Henry Hager; and Robert de Hanewood. [49] The year 1203 may be named as the proximate date of this Deed.

3. Next in this series comes a Charter whereby Robert Corbet, for himself and his heirs, quit-claims to Shrewsbury Abbey the Advowson of Wentnor, which Roger Corbet, his predecessor, had given to the Abbey, as the Charter of King Henry did testify. He confirms also two-thirds of the tithes, great and small, of his demesne of Jokethiill, which tithes the Abbey had possessed from ancient times. Witnesses,- Richard Corbet, Hugh Hager, Roger de Say, Adam de Pontesburi, Wydo de Arundel, Philip de Stapelton, Roger de Pontesburi, etc. [49]

4. Robert Corbet's grant of Hulemore to Buildwas Abbey involves some territorial particulars which I need not state here. It was a grant in frank almoign, for the love of God, for the health of the Grantor's soul and of all his progeny, and was made with the counsel of his wife and his heir. It was attested by Thomas Corbet (the heir in question); Baldwyn de Hodenet; William Burnel; Wydo de Harundele; Roger de Hastim; Thomas Hager; John de Hondreslowe; Roger Burnel; Simon de Witton; Richard de Linleg; and Robert de Hanewde. [50] This Deed probably passed between 1210 and 1220.

5. Robert Corbet conferred upon Shrewsbury Abbey the tithe of all that share of lead, which belonged to him and his heirs out of the lead-mine of Selva (Shelve). Witnesses,- Thomas, Hugh, and Robert, the Grantor's sons; William, Alan, and Hugh, sons of Hugh Pantulf; Robert de Eyton; Master Stephen de Franketon; William

[47] A younger son of Odo de Hodenet, and a Clerk.
[48] Monasticon, V. 358, No. vii.
[49] Rot. Cart. 20 Edw. I., No. 40.
[49] Salop Chartulary, No. 292.
[50] Rot. Cart. (ut supra).


de Cruce, Clerk; Thomas de Eston; James, son of Martin Beeche; and Girard de Egmundon. [51]

This Deed must be taken to have passed in 1220-1, and so to have been a late act of the Grantor's life. His Son Thomas's inspeximus and confirmation thereof, which probably passed immediately on his succession, is attested by seven witnesses, six of whom had attested his father's charter. The seventh was Richard Corbet. [52]

THOMAS CORBET was probably not far short of forty years of age when he succeeded his father. His presumed assent in 1198 to his Father's grant of Wentnor Mill implies nothing as to his age, though I think he was then about fourteen. A Writ of King John, dated October 15, 1207, indicates that Thomas Corbet had been serving in Poitou, in lieu of James de Newmarch, out of whose chattels Corbet was entitled to a sum of 20 merks. [53] On September 16, 1212, Thomas Corbet appears in the retinue of King John at Geddington (Northamptonshire), and has a present of one merk from the King. [54] On May 9, 1218, he participated in a Donum, made at Canterbury, to the Knights attendant on the King. His share was 3 merks, as were the shares of Baldwin de Hodenet and William Pantulf. [55] His subsequent defection from King John, his reconciliation to Henry III., and his succession as son and heir of Robert Corbet in October 1222, have been already stated. Thomas Corbet ought to have paid 50. of his relief at Easter 1223, but a Writ-Close of March 10, abates the payment by 20., which the King presented to Corbet in aid of the fortifications at his Castle of Caors. [56]

I will now give account of the various scutages and aids assessed on Thomas Corbet's Barony during his tenure thereof. In 1224 he had acquittance by Writ-Royal of the scutages of Montgomery and Bedford. In 1225 he owed the King 1. for the balance of the scutage of Byham, left unpaid by his Father, and 80. the balance of his own Relief. In 1229 he was assessed 10 merks on 5 fees for the scutage of Keri, but had a Writ of acquittance. In 1230 he was excused the scutage of Brittany, but in 1231 was assessed 10. on five fees, to that of Poitou. He was excused the scutage of Elvin in 1232. In 1235-6 he was assessed at the rate of 2 merks per fee, on nine fees, to the Aid in marriage of the King's Sister. He paid the charge by the hand of Richard his Clerk. [57] It would seem therefore that the fees on which he owed military service were fewer

[51] Salop Chartulary, No. 291.
[52] Ibidem, No. 290. Class. I. 94.
[54] [55] Rot. Misae, 14 John, mm. 4, 12.
[56] Claus. I. p. 537.
[57] Testa de Nevill, pp. 60, 61.


than those on which he was assessable to this Aid, and certainly they were fewer than the actual fees of his Barony, as I show in a note. [58] To the Aid in marriage of the King's daughter, levied in 1245, Thomas Corbet was assessed 5. on five fees. He was acquitted of the scutage of Gannok in 1246. In 1254 he was assessed 10. on 5 fees to the Aid for knighting Prince Edward, but was acquitted of the scutage of Wales in 1260.

I return to give other particulars of the career of Thomas Corbet. A Writ-Close, dated at Montgomery, on October 1, 1224, shows his love of the Chase. The Chief Forester of Shropshire is to allow him to pursue any three boars through the Forests of Shropshire, which he might happen to unkennel in his own Forest. [59] Another Writ-Close of May 19, 1226, orders Godescall de Maghelins (then Custos of Montgomery) to acquit Thomas Corbet of all obligation to do suit to the Hundred of Montgomery, if it appeared on Inquisition that Robert Corbet, his father, had been quit of such suit in the reigns of Henry II., Richard I., and John. [60] On August 27, 1226, Lewellyn, Prince of Wales, met King Henry III. at Shrewsbury, and undertook to satisfy Hugh de Mortimer, Thomas Corbet, Fulk fitz Warin, and other Barons Marchers, in respect of certain lands of theirs which he had seized. Lewellyn had appointed Sunday, October 25, to meet the said Barons at Oswestry, and King Henry III., by a Writ of September 2, names the Bishops of Hereford and Worcester, with Walter de Clifford, John de Monemue, John fitz Alan, John le Strange, and William de Cantilupe to attend the meeting and report the result. [61]

At the very time when King Henry conferred with Lewellyn at Shrewsbury, he sat in the Curia Regis, presiding over the business of an ordinary Assize, as well as regulating other matters. Among the latter, the Sheriff of Shropshire was ordered to proceed personally to the Forest of Stenufretames (Stiperstones), and there make Inquest as to whether the Forest of Stenufretames, and the Haye, and Gatesden, and Murthereleg, and Godwynescot, and the Park of Elrenor, were appurtenance,s of the Barony which Thomas Corbet

[58] In or about 1240 we have (Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48) two distinct Feodaries of Thomas Corbet's Shropshire Barony. One list presents a total of 9 1/14, 1/10 fees, including Acton Burnell (1 fee), but excluding Welbatch ( fee). The other list presents a total of 8 fees, but excludes both Acton Burnel and Welbatch, which are given as two half fees of the Honour of Pulverbatch. Acton Burnell was certainly, and Welbatch probably, a Corbet fee, so that on the whole the actual feoffments in Corbet's Barony amounted to at least 9 fees.
[59] Claus. I. 623.
[60] [61] Claus. II. 114, 154-5.


held of the King in capite, and whether his Father died seized thereof, or whether the aforesaid Forest, Haye, and Park were appurtenances of the Honour of Montgomery. The Jury which assembled on this occasion consisted of 25 persons, all probably of knightly degree, and including John le Strange, John fitz Alan, and William Pantulf. Their report, it is sufficient to observe, was followed merely by an order for fuller inquiry. [62]

In October, 1227, Thomas de Muleton and his Fellow- Justices sat at Shrewsbury. The list of amercements and other charges authorized on this occasion contains the following consecutive entries:- Heredes Roberti Corbel 3 sol. de catallis. Emma Corbet 2s. 6d. de catallis. Thomas Corbet 1s. 4d. pro eodem. It would seem that Thomas Corbet and his Father had been remiss in accounting to the Crown for the chattels of certain felons within their jurisdiction. The question whether Emma Corbet was Robert Corbet's widow, I cannot determine on this or any other evidence.

A Letter of Henry III. to Lewellyn, Prince of Aberfraw and Lard of Snowdon, bears date February 2, 1282. A year's truce, commencing November 80, 1231, was current; but Lewellyn had complained of the rupture thereof by Thomas Corbet. The King promises full inquiry and amends, but intimates that only two of the persons, complained of as accomplices of Thomas Corbet, belonged to that Baron's jurisdiction. The others were apparently the King's own tenants, and the King promises special amends for the wrongs done by one Richard Suwerd. [63]

A Patent of June, 1233, shows King Henry dismissing from the custody of Philip de Colevile a hostage of Thomas Corbet's, viz. Reginald Corbet. The Pipe-Roll of the same year shows that any mistrust of Corbet's fidelity had been exchanged for confidence. The Sheriff of Shropshire, by the King's order, presents Thomas Corbet with a sum of 10 merks.

Between the years 1234 and 1239, R. (Ralph de Maidstone), Bishop of Hereford, inspects and confirms the Charters of Sir Robert Corbet and his son Thomas, giving the tenth of the lead from Shelve Mine to Shrewsbury Abbey. Witnesses, Sir H. Abbot of Haghmon, Robert de Gyros, and Robert de Wuteton. [64] About the same time, I find Sir Thomas Corbet, followed by his brother Robert, in the testing-clause of a Haughmond Charter.

On January 10, 1236, King Henry III. confirmed by Charter, to his faithful and beloved Thomas Corbet, the restoration and confirmation

[62] Assizes, 10 Hen. III., m. 4 dorso.
[63] Foedera, I. 202.
[64] Salop Chartulary, No. 339.


which King Richard had made to Robert, father of the said Thomas, of the whole forest of Teynfrestanes, quit of all foresterage and exaction, with such right of hunting and venison (fugacione et venacione) as Roger, paternal uncle of the said Robert, had in the time of Henry II. [65]

The Originalia-Roll of 1287 shows the King respiting a debt of 5 merks due from Thomas Corbet. A Writ-Close of March 8, 1288, shows that the truce between King Henry and Lewellyn would expire on July 25 following, and that the King was much exasperated at hearing that Lewellyn had caused David his son to receive the homage of the Magnates of North Wales and Powys. The King summons a Council to meet him at Oxford on Tuesday after the Quinzaine of Easter, and to advise on these matters. Among those summoned are John fitz Alan, William de Warren of Whitechurch, William fitz Warin, Thomas Corbet, Ralph de Mortimer, Walter de Clifford, and Fulk fitz Warin. [66]

The Pipe-Roll of the same year shows Thomas Corbet amerced 10 merks for some disseizin; and in 1240 he is amerced 5 merks for forest-trespass. In 1242 he gives the King a fine of one palfrey, that he may have judgment in some cause. In 1248 he is amerced 20 merks for trespass.

King Henry III., by a Writ dated January 2, 1246, orders Inquest to be made as to certain of Thomas Corbet's Manors,- whether they were out of the limits of the King's Forest; also, whether Corbet's Men, of the Welsh tongue, had been used to pay toll at Montgomery and Shrewsbury. A Jury of thirteen replied to these inquiries, that Worthin, Forton, Caus, Minsterley, Yokethull, and Wentnor were extra forestam, except a part of Corbet's fee in Worthin, which was infra forestam. Also they said that Corbet's Tenants de lingua Walensi, after they became his tenants, had given toll at Montgomery and Shrewsbury.

This return was not satisfactory. A second Writ, of May 7, 1246, complains that "the Inquisition, concerning Warren to be granted to Thomas Corbet in Worthin, was insufficiently made", and directs a new Inquest. A second Jury of thirteen (three of them members of the former pannel) was assembled. These Jurors declared that Forton, Cauheis, Minsterley, Yokethul, and Worthin were extra metas forestae, but that part of Wentnor was infra metas foreste, and that the residue of Wentnor adjoined the Forest. [67] With these exceptions,

[65] Rot. Cart. 20 Hen. III., m. 8.
[66] Foedera, I. p. 235.
[67] It is evident that the first Jury had confused the Manors of Wentnor and Worthin, saying that of each which was true only of the other. We have seen that Medlicott was the part of Wentnor which was in the jurisdiction of the Forest (supra, Vol. VI. pp. 341, 345).


the Jury knew of no other damage to the King's Forest, which could result from Corbet's proposed Charter of Free Warren. As to the question of Toll, this Jury stated that "the men of Robert Corbet (Thomas's father) of the Welsh tongue were quit of toll at Salop and Montgomery before that the said Robert married his daughter to Wenhunwyne; but afterwards, through the strife and war which arose between them, the said men had paid toll till the present day". [68]

This Verdict seems to have determined the King to allow Thomas Corbet Free-warren in all his Manors, except Wentnor; for a Charter, dated at Clarendon, July 1, 1246, gives Thomas Corbet such a right in his demesnes of Caus, Worthin, Forton, Yokethill, and Minsterley. [69]

As to the question of Toll, a third Writ issued on July 9, 1246, to the Sheriff of Shropshire (then John le Strange). He was, in full Court of the County, and in presence of himself and the Keepers of the Pleas of the Crown, to empanel twelve Knights, who were to be related to himself neither in the way of affinity nor personal grudge; and he was to take care to keep himself free of all suspicion in this business, as he wished to remain unharmed. The Knights were to say whether Thomas Corbet's men of the Welsh tongue, who owed fealty to the said Thomas, ought to be quit of toll in the Markets aforesaid, by ancient right, possessed by Corbet and his Ancestors, or by permission; and how long they had been so quit, and by whose permission. The twelve Knights (seven of whom had sat on one or other of the previous Juries) replied that the men of Thomas Corbet's ancestors had been so quit of toll by ancient right. [70]

A Charter of Feb. 27,1248, entitles Thomas Corbet to hold a yearly Fair at his Manor of Kaus on the vigil, the day, and the morrow of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr (July 7). The appointment of Thomas Corbet (a Baron Marcher) to be Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire in this same year (1248) is an extraordinary one, and

[68] Sed postea per contencionem guerrae inter ipsos motam illud dederunt usque in hodiernum diem;- where the word ipsos is ambiguous, but probably refers to Corbet and his son-in-law, rather than to Corbet's Welsh Tenants. Still it does not appear why a quarrel between Wenhunwin and Corbet should prejudice Corbet's Tenants, when marketing in the King's boroughs, unless Corbet were disaffected and Wenhunwin loyal,- a state of things which we do not know to have coexisted at any time.
[69] Rot. Cart. 80 Hen. III., m. 8.
[70] Inquisitions, 30 Hen. III., No. 24.


has given rise to a discussion whether he, or his namesake of Hadley, was the person so distinguished. When we find that Thomas Corbet of Hadley was deceased in August 1247, we are satisfied that it was the Baron of Caus, whom a Patent of May 18, 1248, entrusts with the Custody of the two Counties, and to whom John le Strange is ordered to give up the Castles of Shrewsbury, Brug, and Ellesmere by a further Patent of June 22, 1248. Thomas Corbet accounted as Sheriff for the half- year ending Michaelmas 1248, the year ending Michaelmas 1249, and the half-year ending Easter 1250. [71] He quitted office deeply indebted to the Crown. The Pipe-Roll of 1251 charges no less a sum than 256. 10s. 4d. as the arrears of Thomas Corbet.

In 1250-1, Thomas Corbet came before the Barons of the Exchequer and made a recognition or statement, which not only shows what great immunities were claimed by the Barons of Caus, but supplies a test whereby we may estimate the accuracy of that genealogical table which I shall give of their descent. Corbet stated that he had had five antecessors since the Conquest of England, and that none of them had rendered any relief to the King or to his antecessors for those five knights'-fees which he (Corbet) now held of the King in capite. [72] If we turn to the subsequent table, it will be seen that, including Corbet the Norman, exactly five generations of this House had passed away before Thomas Corbet's accession. If, on the other hand, we assume that Thomas Corbet could not have intended to enumerate Corbet the Norman among those antecessors whose Relief was a question, it is still possible that he may have counted two of the first Roger Corbet's three sons as antecessors; for, if two of those sons had enjoyed the Barony, the term antecessor was technically applicable to each, even though one left no issue. As to Corbet's statement about Relief, he himself was certainly the first recorded Lord of Caus who had paid the Baronial Fine of 100.

In 1251, Roger de Somery and Robert de Grendon are instructed by Patent to inquire into a complaint made by Thomas Corbet against Hugh de Say and another. It concerned the rescue of some stolen booty, taken on Corbet's land, and the slaying one of his men.

[71] Sir Thomas Corbet stands first witness to a Deed (No. 385) in the Salop Chartulary, dated October 18, 1248. This was during his Shrievalty, though he is not styled Sheriff. The observation is worth making, for it will assist us in determining the proximate date of some undated Deeds, for instance, the one given in Vol. II. p. 22.
[72] Memoranda, 35 Hen. III., Rot. 14, a.


In the same year Thomas Corbet is suing Thomas Purcel for wrongfully erecting a fence in Caus.

A Patent of 1252 appoints Alan la Zouche, Justice of Chester, to inquire concerning certain wrongs committed against the King and his subjects, in the Marches of Salop and Staffordshire, by Thomas Corbet.

In 1258, the Pipe-Roll charges Thomas Corbet with numerous arrears from the period of his Shrievalty, and also with 60 merks for an Aid of the current year, viz. for the King's transfretation into Gascony. This Aid was very irregularly assessed, but Corbet's liability seems penal, rather than proportional to any service he might owe.

At the Inquest of 1255, the Jurors of Chirbury Hundred complained of several diminutions of the King's prerogative, effected by Thomas Corbet in respect of his Manors in that quarter. He had withdrawn certain Pleas of the said Hundred to his Court of Caus, though the Manor of Caus was not within the said Hundred, nor owed any suit thereto. This withdrawal of Pleas of felony, bloodshed, theft, and hue and cry, from Thomas Corbet's Chirbury Fief, had for five years involved an annual loss of 8s. to the Crown. [73] The Jurors of Ford Hundred presented that Sir Thomas Trebec (read Corbet) held the fee of Caus of the King in capite, by service of 5 knights in time of war, and that he did suit to both County and Hundred. [74]

On May 9, 1255, Justices are appointed to try an action of novel disseizin, preferred by Thomas Corbet against Griffin ap Wenunwin for a tenement in Caus. On July 5, 1255, another Patent appoints three Justices to set to rights the wrongs and strifes which subsisted between these same persons, whom we know to have been uncle and nephew. On October 26, 1255, John le Strange, junior (as was afterwards alleged by Thomas Corbet), came upon Corbet's Manors of Worthen, Brocton, Wentnor, Aston, Hanton, Bechesfeld, and Bromlawe, and took goods therefrom to the value of 700 merks. [75] This matter does not concern Caus or its neighbourhood; but I mention it here because it shows the position of two great Border families at the period.

At the Assizes of 1256 a presentment was made by the full

[73] [74] Rot. Hundred. II. 60, 66.
[75] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 11. Corbet's action against Le Strange was pending seventeen years after the alleged injury, and the cumulative damages were rated at 1000. An Inquest was ordered to investigate the case, but with what result I know not.


County-Court of Salop to the effect that the Vills of Cauz, Wallop, and Feniton (Vennington) were within the County of Salop, but had never been used to make any appearance before the King's Justices. With respect to Caus this averment is fully established by the general, but of course negative, evidence of Records. The Pipe-Roll of 1259 shows Thomas Corbet chargeable with the following amercements, inflicted at the Assizes of 1256 or afterwards, viz. 20 merks for disseizin, 10 merks for many trespasses, 5 merks for many defauits, and 5 merks for non-production of some one for whom he was Surety. On July 29, 1259, Roger de Montalt and Gilbert Talbot are appointed to adjust and settle certain breaches of truce between Griffin ap Wenunwen and Thomas Corbet.

On August 1, 1260, King Henry, exasperated by the lawlessness or patriotism of Lewellyn ap Griffyth, and hearing that the Welsh had stormed Builth Castle and slaughtered the English garrison, summoned the Army of Wales to muster at Shrewsbury on September 8. Among the vassals of the Crown to whom summonses were directed, the following were to appear, with horses and arms, and their complement of service due on such occasions. These were Roger de Somery, Walter de Clifford, Griffin ap Wenunwen, John Giffard, Henry de Hastings, Fulk fitz Warin, William de Braose, Roger de Mortimer, Giles de Clifford, John fitz Matthew, William Devereux, Walter de Dunstanvill, Reginald fitz Peter, John fitz Alan and Thomas Corbet. James d'Audley, Ralph Botiller, Simon Earl of Leicester, John fitz Philip, and John le Strange were to muster at Chester. [76]

This magnificent prelude ended in a truce, terminable on the 24th of June, 1262. Meantime I find Thomas Corbet encompassed with litigation, the details of which I shall reserve for more appropriate localities. I should here notice however that in October 1260, Corbet names Robert le Blundel or William Hager as his Attorneys in his suit of trespass against John le Strange, junior. A Patent of March 30, 1261, gives Thomas Corbet an annual salary of 50 merks out of the Royal Treasury.

On July 22, 1262, King Henry III., being then at Amiens, had received from Philip Basset (Justiciar of England) a report (it was a false one) of the death of Lewellyn ap Griffith. The King wrote at once to Basset, apprehensive that David, younger brother to Lewellyn, would set up a title to the sceptre of North Wales, though Owen, the elder brother of the three, was still living. It

[76] Foedera, I. 398, 420.


is obvious that the King intended to allow no claim to the Principality, but to seize it for himself. If the report turned out to be true, Basset was to summon the King's army to Shrewsbury, and to forward letters (enclosed), which the King had providently written to Roger de Mortimer, Reginald fitz Peter, John le Strange (senior), John fitz Alan, Thomas Corbet, Griffin ap Wenunwen, Fulk fitz Warin, Ralph le Botyller, and James d'Audley. [77]

King Henry relanded in England on December 20, 1262, and found Lewellyn, not only living, but in active rebellion. The Spring of 1263 is noticeable for Prince Edward's campaign on the Border. His partial success against Lewellyn was unattended by any great results. The intrigues of Montfort and his party served to withdraw the Prince from Wales to London, and a want of unanimity among the Baron's Marchers, whom he left behind, was probably the foundation of some of the misfortunes which were now awaiting the Royal cause. At this critical juncture, viz. in Trinity Term 1263, I find Thomas Corbet, for instance, intent on a private quarrel. He was suing John le Strange, senior, in the Courts of Westminster, for hunting and taking beasts in his (Corbet's) Warren of Pecton. Le Strange had already failed to appear to the charge on several occasions, and the case was adjourned. A Patent of June 1263 gives protection from all suits, etc., to Thomas Corbet and many of his retainers; such protection to extend to November 1st, or for so much of the interval as the Welsh war should last. The persons named in this Patent are Peter Corbet (eldest son, I presume, of Thomas), Robert Corbet (of Wattlesborough), Robert Blunde, Roger de Merse, Stephen de Boulers, William Hager, William de Horton, John de Hanewod, Roger Gudmund, Robert Pycot, William Bagot, Robert de Wytton, Robert Burnel, Hugh Hacher (Hager), Richard de Hope, Adam de Brerlawe, Roger fitz Baldwin, Alan Corbet, and John de Cotes.

A small detail of Border history is curiously supplied in the attestation of a grant by Robert Pigot, son of William Pygot, to Alberbury Priory. It is attested by Robert Corbet, as yet not a knight, Roger de Merse, Roger fitz Matthew Clerk, Thomas Hord, and others, and is dated (substantively) on February 2, 1264, Henry son of King John, reigning, and Llewelin son of Griffin, then being with Griffin son of Wenhunwen, with no small army, to devastate the March and especially (to destroy) Roger de Mortimer. [78] So then the Prince of Powis was already detached from the English alliance.

[77] Foedera, I. 398, 420.
[78] Hist. Shrewsbury, I. 125, note 4.


But I must return to Thomas Corbet. There is no evidence that he ever swerved from his loyalty. Yet in the interval between the battle of Lewes (May 14, 1264) and the battle of Evesham (August 4, 1265), I do not find his name once mentioned in those Pseudo-patents whereby Montfort endeavoured to get rid of Roger de Mortimer, Hamo le Strange, James d'Audley, and the more zealous Loyalists of the Marches. [79] The cause of Corbet's apparent inactivity can only be conjectured. The infirmities or the caution of old-age may have prevented his co-operation with the more active members of a party, whose chief, Roger de Mortimer, had hardly reached the prime of manhood; [80] or perhaps there was that in Thomas Corbet's temper and character which would have isolated him from any party, even if that party had not included his personal enemies, the Stranges. We certainly know that many of Thomas Corbet's Tenants espoused the cause of Montfort.

A Patent of King Henry III., dated at Kenilworth, on September 20, 1266, certifies that "our faithful and beloved Thomas Corbet at our instance has restored to our faithful and beloved Robert Corbet certain lands in Addeston which he (Thomas) had seized on the ground of the late disturbances, and has remitted his rancour against the said Robert".

Among Pleas classified as coram Rege in February, 1267, we have the following:- "Thomas Corbet presents himself against Odo de Hodnet, Robert Corbet, Robert Pycot, Roger de Mersche, Thomas Hord, John de Arundel, and Richard Pech, as to why, under occasion of the late disturbance of the realm, they seized his (Thomas's) goods at Caus, Jokelhull, Munsterle, Worthin, Schelve, and Aston". The Defendants (who were Thomas Corbet's own Tenants) did not appear, and had already made several similar defaults; but the Sheriff sent word that they were now at St. Edmundbury, coram Rege, with horses and arms. This was however proved to be false, and they were summoned for a day in three weeks of Easter. [81] I do not find the result of this suit, but only several adjournments thereof. In Hilary Term, 1268, the King, at the instance of Hamo le Strange, sent word to the Justices then sitting, that "he had pardoned the Defendants for all their trespasses and would preserve

[79] Supra, Vol. I. p. 284.
[80] Supra, Vol. IV. p. 221.
[81] Placita coram Rege, Hil. Tm. 51 Hen. III., m. 14. In February, 1287, King Henry III. was certainly at St. Edmundsbury (Rot. Pat. 51 Hen. III.) whither also the Army of England was under summons for the purpose of reducing the Rebels who still held out in the Isle of Ely. (Mat. Paris Contin. sub anno 1267.)


them harmless against any person whatever". The only effect of this was, that the Justices ordered the Sheriff to discharge the process of distraint whereby he was seeking to compel the appearance of the Defendants. In Easter and Trinity Terms, 1268, Thomas Corbet was still prosecuting the Suit.

Another of these protracted suits of Thomas Corbet's, originating in February, 1267, was against Peter Knotte, who had seized Corbet's goods and beaten his men. Knotte, it appears, was a Chaplain, and Corbet's suit against him merged in a suit against the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, who in Trinity Term, 1268, was still neglecting his alleged obligation to further the ends of justice against the defaulting Clerk.

A third suit of the same date was prosecuted by Thomas Corbet against Hameline de Bouley, a Devonshire man, who had plundered Corbet's goods at Selverton and Exeter. In this Suit the Bishop of Exeter was implicated.

A fourth prosecution by Corbet was that of Ranulf Payn, a Clerk, who had plundered Corbet's goods at Shrewsbury, Moles, and Horton during the civil war. This suit, like that against Peter Knotte, involved the Bishop of Lichfield, and was pending in Michaelmas Term, 1267.

We have seen Thomas Corbet at issue with his Vassals, his kinsmen, and his Compatriots of the Marches. We next find him involved in a lawsuit with his own son. In the last week of August, 1267, before the King at Salop, Peter Corbet withdrew the suit of novel disseizin which he had against Thomas Corbet for a tenement in Caus and Acton. Peter now quit-claimed the premises to Thomas for a sum of 10 merks. [82]

On September, 12, 1267, Henry III., still at Shrewsbury, expedited a Charter to the Abbey there. Among the witnesses was Thomas Corbet. [83] On September 20, 1267, as was afterwards alleged, Walter, son of Philip de Mungomery, David de Sullan, Robert de Say, and Griffin Seys, plundered Thomas Corbet's goods at Wentnor. They were apparently set on by Adam de Mongomery, and were of the party or faction (de societate) of Hamo le Strange. Corbet's prosecution of these persons I will give in due course.

At Westminster, in October, 1267, Thomas Corbet was suing Adam Cox, Alan Gamell, Hugh Colle, Baldwin le Bulgere, Thomas le Messeure, Roger Pride, Henry Charite, Alan Tanghelard, John le

[82] Placita, 51 Hen. III., m. 3 dorso.
[83] Salop Chartulary, No. 51.


Vileyn, and Ivo de Salop (all well-known burgesses of Shrewsbury), for the following trespasses:- Adam Cox had assaulted Madoc fitz Wymark, Corbet's Villain, and had taken from him a ring of Corbet's. Alan Gamell and the others had, during the civil war, seized Corbet's goods at Shrewsbury, Moles (Meole), and Horton. Moreover John le Vileyn and Ivo de Salop, being at the time Bailiffs of Shrewsbury, had restored sundry goods of Corbet's to certain enemies of the King, whom Corbet had pursued and found with the plunder in their hands. Corbet had apparently attached the goods and left them in the hands of Sureties or Trustees, from whom the Bailiffs had taken them, for the aforesaid purpose of handing them over to the Freebooters. In Hilary Term, 1268, I find Corbet asking leave of the Court to withdraw this prosecution.

The Pipe-Roll of 1269 quotes a King's Writ excusing 33. 9s. 4d. of the debts due from Thomas Corbet to the Crown. He still owed 6.

By Charter dated February 24, 1270, Thomas Corbet, styling himself "Son of Robert Corbet", and "Lord of Caures", gives, as if it were an original grant, the tenth of the lead produced in Schelve-Mine to Shrewsbwy Abbey. The Charter was expedited in the Monks' Infirmary, and was attested by Brian de Bromtone, John Lingayne, Vivian de Roshall, John de Lee and Robert Blundel, Knights, also by John de Prestecote, Adam le Bole, John de Arundell, and William Hager, Clerk. [84]

At the Forest Assizes of November 1271, it was presented that "Peter, son of Thomas Corbet, having roused a stag in his Father's Forest, had pursued it in the King's Forest".

A Patent of February 10, 1272, presents Thomas Corbet with a sum of 400 merks, in return for good services and losses incurred. The money was to be provided out of the first issues of the Eyre of the King's Justices in Herefordshire.

At Shrewsbury Assizes, in October 1272, Thomas Corbet prosecuted Walter son of Philip de Mongomery, and others, who, as aforesaid, had plundered his goods at Wentnor in September 1267. The Defendants pleaded that the King, by a Charter of March 8, 1268, had pardoned his faithful and beloved Hamo le Strange and all of his party (de familia sua) all trespasses, etc., which they had committed in contravention of the Statutes of Oxford, and in the time of civil war, down to the date of the said Charter. Also it was shown that the Defendants were de societate Hamonis Extranei, i.e.

[84] Salop Chartulary, No. 289.


of the following of the said Hamo. To this, Corbet very aptly rejoined that on September 20, 1267, there was no war, and that the King's pardon only extended to the time of civil war (perturbacionis). The parties were ordered to attend and receive judgment coram Rege in the Quinzaine of Hilary 1273, [85]- a period, be it observed, which King Henry did not live to see.

Thomas Corbet was now also approaching his end. In 1272 he seems to have completed his foundation of the Chapel of St. Margaret at Caus. His death probably took place in September or October 1274. On the 23rd of the latter month an Inquest, held at Yockleton, found that the Knight's-fees which constituted his Barony, were 8 in number, and that he owed thereon the service of 5 knights'-fees in time of war. His whole income was put at 101. 11s. 9d. per annum. In Caus itself he had had 4 carucates in demesne. Twenty-eight burgages there paid a rent of 1s. each. The garden was worth 6s. 8d. and the Dovecot 5s. per annum. Peter his Son and heir would hold his estates of the King, as of the Escheat of a sometime Earl of Shrewsbury (Robert de Belesme). [86]

The wife of Thomas Corbet was Isabel, sister and, in her issue, rightful coheir of Reginald de Valletort, of Trematon, Cornwall. His children by her were Peter, his successor, Alice, wife of that Robert Baron Stafford who died in 1282, and Emma, wife of that Brian de Brompton who died about 1287. Thomas Corbet's Will was proved at Hereford in 1275 by the aforesaid Sir Peter Corbet and Sir Bryan de Brompton". [87]

I have been careful to relate many minute particulars in the life of this remarkable, if not great, man, because that life covered a great portion of the aera with which my history has to deal. Thomas Corbet's early childhood was probably coeval with the last few years of Henry II.'s reign. His Christian name, not a common one at the period, was perhaps suggested by a great character and catastrophe which then filled the minds of men. I mean the murder, or reputed martyrdom, of Thomas Becket. As a boy and amid scenes of petty warfare on the Border, Thomas Corbet will have listened to spirit-stirring tales of far distant lands, when all Christendom exulted in the Saracenic exploits of King Richard, or wept at the news of his captivity. The youth and manhood of Thomas Corbet were conversant with the recklessness, treason, and terror which disfigured the

[85] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 8 dorso.
[86] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. I., No. 42.
[87] Sheriff's of Shropshire, pp. 40, 41.


reign of John. His maturity and his old-age outmeasured the fifty-six years during which the third Henry revelled in selfish imbecility, precipitated an anarchy, or exulted in a restoration which reflected less credit on himself than on the meanest Royalist who adhered to his cause.

On November 2, 1274, King Edward I. accepted the homage Of-

PETER CORBET, as heir of Thomas, lately deceased. The Escheator-citra-Trent was ordered to take security from Brian de Brompton and the other Executors of Thomas Corbet's Will, as regarded his debts, and then to allow them to administer. [88]

The Pipe-Roll of 1274-5 leaves a blank space where the sum charged against Peter Corbet for his Relief ought to appear; but I learn from another source that he paid the sum usually charged on a Barony, viz. 100. From the same source I gather that the sum of 100 merks paid by Peter Corbet (II.) in 1300 was thus reduced, in reference to Edward I.'s Carta Magna de Libertatibus. [89] But to return,-

Peter Corbet, son and heir of Thomas, is thus mentioned in the Chirbury Hundred-Roll of November 1274.- "Sir Peter Chorbet holds the Barony of Chaws of the King by service of five-knights. Lewellyn, Prince of Wales, in the time of the late war, demolished his Castle of Wythegruc, and occupied, and now detains from the said Peter, a third part of his Barony, to wit the whole land between Kelemet and Severn, to the damage of the said Peter, whereby the said Peter cannot fully discharge the service of his Barony". [90] This complaint did not relate to any part of the domain of Caus, but I mention it here to show the state of the Border at the time of Peter Corbet's succession. The Ford Hundred-Roll of the same date contains many particulars about Caus Barony and estate. The service due thereon was that of five knights, when the King, in time of war, entered Wales; and Peter Corbet's Predecessors were enfeoffed by Earl Roger for that service. However, the actual fees of the Barony were now stated as nine and a half.-

The late Sir Thomas Corbet had arrogated rights of haut justice, such as having a gallows and imprisoning and releasing at his pleasure both felons and honest men. He would not allow the King's Coroners to enter the Liberty of Kawes. He had obtained rights of Warren from Henry III., but whether he had overstrained them

[88] Rot. Finium, 2 Edw. I., m. 3.
[89] Madox's Baronia Anglica, p. 129.
[90] Rot. Hundred. II. 90.


the Jury knew not. He had maintained a free haye near Kawes, and the free haye of Lochton (now Loton Park); how long or by what authority the Jurors were ignorant.

I next hear of Peter Corbet as summoned with Fulk fitz Warin, Reginald fitz Peter, and a host of Chieftains, to be at Worcester on July 1,1277, prepared for King Edward's invasion of Wales. [92] Hereupon Peter Corbet acknowledged the service of 5 fees to be due for the Barony of Kaus, and proposed to perform it by two Knights (himself and Sir Robert Corbet), and by six Servientes, viz. Thomas de Radeburgh, Roger de Eyton, Adam Haghe (Hager), Richard de Hop, Robert de Fraunketon, and William de Boules. [93]

For a full list of Peter Corbet's summonses, military and Parliamentary, I refer elsewhere. [94] He served in the campaign which closed the career of Lewellyn in December 1282. In 1287-8 he was often enlisted against the fickle and unfortunate Rese ap Meredyth. He was excepted from the summons for Gascony in 1294, but included in that of 1295. In 1297 he was summoned both for foreign service and, later in the year, for service in Scotland. His last military summons was despatched from Berwick-upon-Tweed on Dec. 30, 1299, and was returnable at Carlisle on June 24, 1300.

Meantime, a curious document informs us that Peter Corbet, like his Ancestors, was a lover of the Chace, and that wolves, so far from having been extirpated in England by King Edgar, as the story goes, were existent in the time of Edward I. A Patent of the latter King, dated May 4, 1281, informs all Bailiffs and Officers of the Forest that the King has commissioned Peter Corbet to destroy these beasts wherever they could be found in the Counties of Salop, Stafford, Gloucester, Worcester, and Hereford, using men, dogs, and other devices for that purpose; and the said Bailiffs, etc., are desired to assist. [95]

The Feodary of 1284 states Peter Corbet's tenure of the Barony of Caus to be by service of five knights'-fees. For some other particulars in the life of Peter Corbet I refer elsewhere, [95] leaving to a note a solution of the doubt which has been thrown upon his alleged position as sometime Warden of the Host in the Army of Wales. [96]

In the Autumn of 1292 we find Peter Corbet impleaded under

[91] Rot. Hundred. II. 96.
[92] Foedera, I. 537-8.
[93] [94] Parliamentary Writs; I. 204, 548.
[95] Blakeway's Sheriff's, p. 41.
[96] A Writ of March 25, 1282, orders Peter Corbet to place himself and his forces under the command of Roger de Mortimer in the War against the Welsh.

Now, as Mortimer died in October following, the period when Peter Corbet acted as his Warden of the Host is apparent.

Mr. Blakeway, finding that at the Assizes of 1292 Peter Corbet's conduct in this Office was questioned, could not reconcile the seeming anachronism. He does not seem to have been aware that the Assizes of 1292 dealt with matters of twenty years' standing, no Pleas of the Crown having been heard at Shrewsbury since the Assizes of 1272.


several Writs of Quo Waranto for his privileges and Franchises on the Border. I shall here notice only those Suits which concerned his interests in Ford Hundred.-

He was questioned for the exercise of sundry franchises in Minsterley. He allowed that he claimed infrangenthef and weyf there, and that he held two annual courts there, wherein all pleas were heard, which were ordinarily heard at a Sheriff's Tourn. This he justified by immemorial usage. The case was adjourned to Lichfield, but I do not find that the King's Attorney pressed it further. [97]

He was questioned for withdrawing the Suit of Trevenaunt (Trefnant), Haregreve (Hargrave), Wenneton (Winnington), Wyclefeld (Whitfield, near Woolaston), Baghret, Perendon, Bronrotpoll, Worthin, and thirteen other Vills, from the County of Salop and the King's Hundreds of Ford and Chirbury. [97] Peter Corbet took several verbal and technical objections to the Writ and Form of procedure in this Suit, and particularly pointed out that the Hundred, from which each Vill had been withdrawn, ought to have been specified in every case, whereas the Writ made indistinctive mention of two Hundreds. The King's Attorney defended the Writ and form of procedure, and endeavoured to simplify the matter by stating that, whereas all the above Vills were in that jurisdiction of Corbet known as his Englecheria, he had withdrawn them into his Jurisdiction of Walcheria. The Attorney further pleaded that it was not necessary to specify the Hundred in each instance, as "all the Vills owed Suit to one of two Hundreds". The Court quashed the prosecution, thinking the mode of procedure, by Writ of Quo Waranto, to have been inappropriate.

Another prosecution of Peter Corbet was for holding Pleas of the

[97] Quo Waranto, pp. 677, 681. The last Suit was suggested, in part at least, by a presentment of the Ford Jurors at the previous Assizes. They had alleged that the Vills of Trevenant, Haregreve, Wonneton, Wytfeld, Varegrek, half Perndon, Bromrotepol, and Berleye had done suit to the Sheriff's-Tourn, till forty years since, when Griffin Wenhunwyn appropriated them to his Walcheria; that Peter Corbet held them all, except Bromrotepol and Berleye, which Howel Picot held. The latter appeared and acknowledged that he owed the Suit in question, but Corbet's averment that the Manors were not in Shropshire, produced the Crown prosecution which followed.


Crown, and having waif, etc., in Caus, Feynton (Vennington), Walhope (Wallop), Wytton (Whitton), Hanwood, Wineton (Winnington), Wytfeld, Trevenant (Trefnant), Vagheret, Haregreve, Poredon, Bromtropol, and Borle. [98] Corbet pleaded, as to Whitton, Hanwood, and half Perndon, that he claimed nothing of the kind. As to Woneton (Winnington), Trevenaunt, Wytfeld, Waghort (before called Baghret and Vagheret), Heregreve, and the other half of Perendon, which was not of the fee of Botercus,- he said that these were in Walcheria, and not in Shropshire. The King's Attorney persisted that the said Vills were in Shropshire and in Ford Hundred; and a Jury, which tried the issue, confirmed the Attorney. The conquence was, that the Crown recovered its Franchises in these Vills, and they were reopened to the Sheriff, Coroners, and other King's Officers of Shropshire. Corbet had to compound for arrears of damage to the Crown-revenue by a Fine of 100s. As to Caus, Fenton, and Walhope, Corbet acknowledged them to be in Shropshire, but said that, by immemorial usage of his Ancestors, no Sheriff, Coroner, or other Officer of the Crown, could enter these Vills. For them he claimed all the franchises now in question. They owed no suit to County or Hundred, nor were they bound to appear before the King's Justiciars, Sheriffs, Coroners, or other Officers, to make any presentment, or to do aught else pertaining to the Crown. The King's Attorney made the usual stand for the prerogative of the Crown, viz. that Caus, etc., were in Shropshire; that the King was King of England, Shropshire included; and that it was these very franchises which went to constitute the integral essence of Sovereignty; moreover, that Corbet could show no Charter of any King, divesting the Crown of these franchises, and conferring them on himself, or his Ancestors. [99] The cause was adjourned to Lichfield, but not, that I can find, renewed there.

But at Lichfield, in January 1293, Peter Corbet was sued, under another Writ of Quo Waranto, for exercising Free-Warren in Hemme, Trevenaunt (Trefnant), Haregreve, Weneton (Winnington), Wytfeld, Vaghriet, Perndon, Bronrotpol, Berle, Munstrelegh, and other places. In eight of the places named, he denied that he exercised such right. Haregreve and Minsterley he seems to have held to be members of Caus or Worthen, and pleaded Henry III.'s Charter to his Father, which, by the way, made specific mention of

[98] It is singular that, though the Vill of Borle, or Berleye, haa quite disappeared, the name is preserved in that of a family still resident near Middletown Hill.
[99] Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 686.


Minsterley as distinct from either Worthen or Caus. This same Writ, I should perhaps here observe, questioned Peter Corbet for his exercise of free chace in the Boscs of Letton (perhaps Leighton), Bretten (The Breidden), and Le Haye. [1] To this he replied that the two first Boscs were in Walcheria, and he was not bound to plead in the present Court on such a question; and, as to the bosc of La Haye, that was a free chace, appurtenant to the Manor of Caus, by immemorial usage. To this the King's Attorney rejoined that the Boscs of Letton and Bretyng had been in Englecheria in King Richard's time, till Corbet's ancestors afforested the said boscs, and usurped them into their Walcheria, to the loss of the King's Ancestors. Corbet rejoined that the said boscs were in Walcheria in King Richard's time, and appealed to a Jury on that issue. [2] At an adjourned hearing of the whole case (regarding Free Warren and Free Chace) Corbet at first appeared not, and the Court ordered his said Franchises to be suspended, and seized in manu Regis, till he should make an answer. This he appears to have done forthwith, and to such purpose as to obtain a dismissal sine die. [3]

An Inquest held December 21, 1299, on the death of Hawyse, widow of Reginald, fifth recorded Baron Valletort, is worth notice. The Jurors found that "Peter Corbet, aged 30 years and more" (he must have been at least 52), "and Henry de la Pomeray, aged 32, were heirs of the said Reginald". The facts, as far as Corbet was concerned, seem to have been as follows.- His Mother, Isabel, was a sister of Reginald, third Baron Valletort, who had died in 1246 without issue. The said Reginald had been succeeded in turn by his brother Ralph, his nephew Reginald, and his brother Roger, who had none of them left any now surviving issue; but Roger de Valletort (Peter Corbet's maternal Uncle) had alienated all the Valletort estates, except Herburton, and this was now in the Escheator's hands, "because Peter Corbet and Henry de la Pomeray had not prosecuted their claim thereto". [4]

A Writ of August 10, 1300, announces the death of Peter Corbet himself. An Inquest, held at Caus on August 28th, found the following facts as to the Manors of Binweston and Yokethull, viz. that Thomas, eldest son of the deceased, had married Johanna, daughter of Alan Plukenet, and died without issue; whereupon, that is, on November 11, 1295, Peter Corbet had, without license from the

[1] Le Hay,- whose situation and name are still preserved in Haywood and the Forest of Hayes, west of Caus Castle.
[2] Quo Waranto, p. 718.
[3] Ibidem, p. 720.
[4] Inquisitions, 27 Edw. I., No. 32.


King, given Binweston to his son's widow in dower. Again, on May 3, 1298, the said Peter had, without license, given Yokethull, in marriage, to his son Peter and Beatrice his wife, and the heirs of their bodies; but afterwards, and when 40 days had elapsed, Peter (the son) assenting, Peter (the father) had reseized Yokethull, and had died in possession thereof. The said Peter, Junior, was now said by the Jurors to be heir of his father, and aged 30 years and more. [5]

It has been said elsewhere that Alice, wife of Peter Corbet (I.), was the Mother of his three sons. [6] This is probably a mistake. The Mother of Thomas, his eldest son, was named Joan. She was an heiress, and brought him a moiety of the issues of the Hundred of Bisselegh in Gloucestershire. Her son, Thomas, must have been born in or before 1266, he being of full age in 1287. [7]

Peter, the second son of Peter Corbet (I.), was, as we have seen, born in or before 1270, and was probably another son of Joan. But John the third son of Peter Corbet (I.), may well have been his son by a second wife, for he was not born till March 25, 1298, as we shall see in the sequel.

PETER CORBET II. succeeded his father in 1300, and was summoned to the Parliament of Lincoln, which met January 20, 1301. There, as Dominus de Cauz, he joined in the famous Letter of the Barons to Pope Boniface VIII., asserting King Edward's right to the Crown of Scotland.
[8] For a List of his other Summonses, Parliamentary and Military, I may refer elsewhere. [8]

In May 1303 a Fine was levied by precept of the King, between Peter Corbet and Beatrix his wife (Plaintiffs), and Hugh Bergam, Chaplain (Deforciant), of the Manors of Caus, Minsterley, Yokethull, Worthyn, Wentnor, Schelve, Bynweston, Forton, Hemme, Overe Gorthor, Nethere Gorthor, and Baghaltref, whereof was Plea of Convention. Corbet acknowledged himself to have given the whole to the Deforciant, who in return concedes the Manors to Peter and Beatrix, and the heirs of Peter by Beatrix,- to hold of the King for ever. After the deaths of Peter and Beatrix, and in default of such heirs, the Manors were settled on the right heirs of Peter. Five years afterwards, the Devonshire Estates of Peter Corbet, at Hurburton and Brixham, were similarly settled, except that the remainder was to the right heirs, not of himself, but of his wife Beatrix.

In the Nomina Villarum of 1316 Peter Corbet appears as Lord

[5] Inquisitions, 28 Edw. I, No. 40.
[6] Blakeway's Sheriff's, p. 41.
[7] Quo Waranto, p. 257.
[8]Parl. Writs, I. 549 IV. 715, 716.


of Habberley, Minsterley, Caus, Yockleton, and Wynancton (probably Winnington), also of Worthen, Binweston, Shelve, and Wentnor; and of six Manors in Devonshire. [9]

The Writ of Diem-clausit, on the death of Peter Corbet (II.), bears date at Rothwell, on June 4, 1322. Pursuant thereto, an Inquest was held at Shrewsbury on the 29th of the same month. The Jury found that the deceased had died seized of nothing held in capite, his tenure of all the Manors named in the Fine of 1303 having been conjointly with Beatrix, his wife, who survived him. The Jury further set forth the tenure of these Manors as being a tenure-in-capite, per baroniam, and by service of five knights'-fees. They valued the whole at 200 merks. The next heir of Peter Corbet (II.) was his brother John, a son of Peter Corbet (I.), which John was twenty-four years of age on March 25, 1322. [10]

JOHN CORBET, the last Baron of Caus (if such a title can be assigned to one who never enjoyed his paternal estates and was never summoned to Parliament), died while yet his sister-in-law was seized of his Barony. His legitimacy has been questioned, [11] without, as I believe, the slightest foundation. He was living after the accession of Edward III. (1327), and was still prosecuting a claim on the Valletort estates, of which he was the coheir in right of his Grandmother, the wife of Thomas Corbet. Those estates, which Peter Corbet (II.) had already claimed, were never recovered. They had been settled by the last Baron Valletort in a way which was intended to exclude his collateral heirs, Corbet and Pomeray, that is, on Richard, King of Almagne and Earl of Cornwall, and the heirs of his body. It is true that the heirs of the Royal Earl failed in 1300, and that the next remainder was to the right heirs of Roger, last Baron Valletort; but the King had interest in the matter, as being heir to the general estates of the Earls of Cornwall, and the exertions of Corbet and Pomeray availed nothing against the Crown. Thus was John Corbet, the last rightful Baron of Caus, reduced to a position of comparative beggary, by the legal artifices of his own kindred on the one hand, and by barefaced injustice on the other. [12] He died without issue before 1347.

BEATRIX CORBET, whom, from her position, we may call

[9] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 716.- The learned Editor of this Record points out the circumstance that several Writs were addressed to Peter Corbet after the ascertained date of his death.
[10] Inquisitions, 15 Edw. II., No. 34.
[11] Blakeway's Sheriff's, p. 42.
[12] As a younger son, and indeed as a mere infant he seems to have had a grant of the vill of Leighton in Walcheria from his father, Peter Corbet (I.). (Sheriff's, p. 65). There was also a John Corbet, who by grant of Peter Corbet (II.) and his wife, Beatrix, had a grant of Binweston for the life of Beatrix. I greatly doubt whether this John of Binweston was identical with John, son of Peter (I.). Unfortunately it does not appear what was the status of Binweston on Beatrix Corbet's death in 1347 (Inquis. 21 Edw. III., No. 55); but there was a Sir John Corbet of Binweston living in 1356, and then proposing to settle that Manor (which was his only estate) on his son John, and on Joan, his son's wife, and their issue. (Inquis. 30 Edw. III., 2nd Nos., No. 15.)


Baroness of Caus, lived till 1347. A doubt has been expressed as to whether she was by birth a Fitz Alan or a Beauchamp. [13] I am enabled to state positively that she was sister of that John, Baron Beauchamp of Hache, who died in 1336, and that her eventual heir was her great-nephew, viz. that John, Baron Beauchamp of Hache, who died without issue in 1360. After Peter Corbet's death, Beatrix de Beauchamp remarried with Sir John de Leybourne, whom accordingly we find presenting to Caus Chapel in December 1346. Sir John de Leybourne survived his wife, and enjoyed, till his death (on Oct. 6, 1348), certain Devonshire estates which she had been enabled to settle upon him in 1330. Beatrix, herself, died August 28, 1347, seized in tail of the whole Shropshire Manor of the Corbets, both demesnes and feuds. At her death, the right heirs of Corbet of Caus were the great-grandchildren of her first husband's aunts, viz. of Alice and Emma, daughters of Thomas Corbet. Alice, the eldest, had married Robert, Baron Stafford; their son, Nicholas, had been succeeded by his son and heir, Edmund; and Edmund was now represented by his son and heir, Ralph, Lord Stafford.

The esnecy, or elder moiety, of the Barony of Caus was now therefore annexed to the Barony of Stafford. The other moiety was subdivided; for Emma, youngest daughter of Thomas Corbet, and wife of Brian de Brompton, was now represented by the families of two coheiresses, her great-grandchildren, viz. Margaret, wife of Robert de Harley, and Elizabeth, wife of Edmund de Cornwall. A Table already given will explain this. [14] Suffice it to say that one-fourth part of the Barony of Corbet is now in the heirs of Harley, and another fourth part in the heirs of Cornwall of Kinlet.

In 1350, Ralph de Stafford paid 50 merks as his relief for a moiety of the Barony of Caus, which moiety consisted of the Castle and whole Manor of Caus, half the Manor of Worthyn and of three Mills there, the whole Manors of Minsterley and of Nether-gorthere, and half the Manor of Bynweston.

[13] Sherriff's (ut supra), p. 42, note m.
[14] Supra, Vol. IV. p. 244.


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


Having now done with the Seigneury of Caus and the elder line of its possessors, I should say something of at least one Under-tenant and Cadet of the elder House. We are told that the-

CORBETS of LEIGH AND SUNDORNE are descended from John, the last male Corbet of the elder line. [15] No testimony or opinion can however shake the obvious fact that this John died without lawful issue. I am not suggesting the probability that there was any illegitimate descent in the matter, for I do not think that the Corbets of Leigh were descended from John Corbet at all. The Pedigree in the Visitation names Roger as the first Corbet of Leigh, and makes him to have been a younger son of Robert Corbet of Caus, who died in 1222. This also is false, as chronology and the following facts will show.-

"Peter Corbet (II.)", so we are told, "granted to his beloved nephew, Roger Corbet, all the chief custody of the bailiwick of all his Forest; and this Forestership descended to the Corbets of Lee: hence it is certain that they descended from this Roger, who, it is probable, was the son of John". [15]

Now, I quite think that the Corbets of Leigh were descended from this Roger, but I confidently deny that Roger was the son of John. John Corbet was born March 25, 1298, and it is impossible that he can have had any son eligible to the office of Forester in or before 1322, the last year of Peter Corbet's life.

The word nephew, then (probably nepos in the original grant by Peter Corbet), I take to have been loosely used, and to mean nothing more than cousin. Such a use of the word is not a solecism. [16]

We will now see what Roger Corbet was, besides being Forester of Caus. In 1318, Roger Corbet of Caus was a Knight of the Shire, returned for Salop to the Parliament which met at York in October of that year. (Evidently then he was an older man than John Corbet, his alleged father.) Roger Corbet of Caus was similarly returned to the Parliament which assembled at Westminster on Feb. 23, 1324. He attended and obtained, on March 18, his Writ de expensis for so attending. Pursuant to a Writ of May 9, 1324, Roger Corbet of Legh juxta Caus, Knight, was returned by the Sheriff of Shropshire as summoned to attend the great Council of

[15] Sheriff's of Shropshire, pp. 42, 65.- Leigh, I should state, was not a member of Caus, but of Worthen. It lies about a mile S.S.E. of the latter place. Some remains of the fortified mansion anciently called Lee Castle are still discernible on a rooky knoll above Leigh Hall.
[16] Vide Ducange, sub voce Nepos.


Westminster, on May 80. On August 27, 1325, Roger Corbet of Leghe was put in commission as a Conservator of the peace in the County of Salop. Again, as Roger Corbet of Caus, he was returned as a Knight of the Shire to the Parliament which met at Westminster on Nov. 18, 1325. [17]

In all these entries one person is described as of Leigh or of Caus, to distinguish him from his two cotemporaries, Roger Corbet of Morton, and Roger Corbet of Hadley or Tasley.

This Roger was assuredly ancestor of the Corbets of Leigh; but the question now arises, how he was himself related to the Barons of Caus. On this point I can only offer a conjecture. The Visitation says he was son of Robert Corbet, who died in 1222. That is impossible; but the said Robert had one or more brothers, and several younger sons. One of the latter, also called Robert, was living at least as late as 1256; [18] and from him perhaps was Roger Corbet of Leigh descended. A more immediate ancestor of Roger Corbet of Leigh was probably that Sir Roger Corbet whom we shall presently see to have been living in 1272, and then to have taken precedence of Sir Robert Corbet of Wattlesborough.

Summarily, it may be safely stated of all the families of Corbets, which have branched off from the House of Caus, that none of them can be descended from any later Baron than he who died in 1222, and that therefore to decide their exact affinity to the Parent Stock must be the work rather of a Magician than an Antiquary.


Caus itself was parochially subject to Westbury, as were several of its members, hereafter to be particularized. As early apparently as 46 Hen. III. (1261-2), "Thomas Corbet, Lord of Caus", entertained the design of founding a Chapel of Caus. He then undertakes that "the Church of Westbury shall lose nothing by a Chantry of two Chaplains, whom, with consent of the Bishop of Hereford, he had placed in the Chapel of St. Margaret of Caus, which Chapel was situate in the Parish of Westbury".

[17] Parliamentary Writs, TV. p. 717. There is a List of earlier and unappropriated summonses or writs, addressed to a Roger Corbet of Shropshire, from 1309 to 1317, and other summonses between 1321 and 1326, are similarly and indistinctively addressed. It is probable that most of these relate to Roger Corbet of Hadley, who was a Tenant in capite; but one or two may belong to Roger Corbet of Leigh.

Dugdale (Baronage, p. 516, b.) tells us of a Roger Corbet, summoned as a Baron in 1 Edw. III. (1327-8). It is difficult to say who this was.
[18] Supra, Vol. III. p. 19.


In 56 Henry III. (1271-2) Thomas Corbet seems to have completed this Foundation. He then gives "to the Chapel of St. Margaret in the Vill of Caurs, for the sustenance thereof, and of two Chaplains, a messuage and 120 acres of demesne in the Vill of Caurs, and one meadow called Caldesfares medewe, and common pasture for 16 oxen, 6 cows, 100 ewe-sheep, 2 horses, and 50 hogs (quit of pannage), and housebote and haybote. Witnesses, Sir Brian de Brompton, Sir Roger Corbett, Sir Robert Corbett, etc.

The further history of this Chapel exists only in the names of one or two Incumbents.-

PHILIP DE PONTESBURY, styling himself "Rector of the Chapel of Caurs-Castle", was cited on Dec. 8, 1277, to appear before the Bishop and show what right of ingress he had in the said Chapel. On Dec. 3, 1346,-

JOHN DE ERCALEWE, Priest, was instituted to this Chapel on the presentation of Sir John de Leyborne, Knight, Lord of Caus. [19] On June 8, 1491,-

MASTER THOMAS MORTON, Archdeacon of Salop, was collated as Rector of this Chapel, the Bishop exercising the right of patronage, jure devoluto. [20]

THE TOWNSHIPS OR MEMBERS OF CAUS must have been very numerous, if we may judge by the large area (20 hides) of the Domesday Manor. But it is probable that a great proportion of this hidage was in Walcheria, and was annexed to vills which lay about the Breidden Hill and the Long Mountain. It is a very difficult matter even to identify the vill which constituted the Walcheria of any given Manor of the Borders. So I must leave the Walcheria of Caus almost unnoticed; for even if I could define its boundaries, I could add no account of its vills, for the very essence of a Walcheria excluded it from all but accidental mention in English Records.

The following places in the Parish of Westbury were, I think, manorially members of Caus, viz. Vennington, Forest, Wallop, Westley, Lake, Hurst, and Hem. Of some of these I have made incidental mention already, and can only add the following particulars about two of them.-

WALLOP.- In 1256, when the County Court declared that Wallop, like Caus, owed no Suit to the Assizes, [21] Reginald de Hanwood,

[19] He was second husband of Beatrix, widow of Peter Oorbet (II.) of Caus.
[20] Blakeway's MSS.
[21] Supra, pp. 26, 27.


whom we shall hear of again, held the vill under Corbet. In 1267, there was a Hugh de Wallop, who, at the Assizes of that year, sued Thomas Corben (Corbet) for disseizing him of a tenement in Keneton. The Justiciars could not interfere, for it was proved that no Writ-Royal concerning a tenement in Kenton could run, because Kemton was in Sir Thomas Corbet's Liberty and without the boundaries of the County.

Again, at these Assizes, Richard de Walop sued Thomas Corbet for disseizing him of a tenement in Walop, viz. a messuage and a noke. Corbet replied that Walop was extra metas Comitatus, and that this complaint had previously been heard and quashed at the Eyre of the Abbot of Peterborough and his fellow-justices, whose Roll (the Assize-Roll of 1256) Corbet called to warranty.

VENNINGTON.- When in 1256 Feniton was declared to owe no suit to the County Assizes, it was held, under Corbet, by Roger Burnel and Robert Lowys, of whom we shall hear more under Whitton.

Thus the only notices which we have about these members of Caus are of that exact kind which explains the scarcity of such allusions. The Crown had in short no jurisdiction in Caus or its members.

The following places in the Parish of Alberbury were, I think, members of Caus, viz. Hargrave, Bulthey, Winnington, Whitfield, and Trefnant. I have no further particulars to relate about either, than those already given. In the same district, about the Breidden, were Bromrochpol, Bromrochpol secunda, Perendon, and the place so variously written as Waghort, Vagheret, Baghret, Boghaltre, or Bagheltref. None of these am I able to identify with existing vills, unless the last be identical with Bulthey. It seems however that all the western part of Alberbury Parish was within the land of Gordowr. [22] There is an award by Richard, Bishop of Hereford, dated July 26, 1289, which well illustrates the topography of this much-changed district. It is a decision concerning the tithes of fourteen vills in the parts of Gordowr (Hereford Diocese), which tithes were claimed by Brother Peter de Corcellis, Corrector or Prior of the Religious House of the Grandimontane Order at Alberbury on the one part, and by John (son of the Lord Griffin late Lord of La Pole), Rector of the Church of La Pole, and Griffin fitz Edenweth, Vicar of the same Church, on the other part. The Vills enumerated are, Balislee (Bausley), Bragynton (Bragginton), Berlee,

[22] The British word Gorthir signifies Upper country.


Bromrochpol, Bromrochpol secunda, Wonyntone (Winnington), Wichfeld, Perendon, Haregrene (Hargrave), Trifuant (Trefnant), Trif-Bereved, Hochelprene, Krigion (Criggion), and Orleton. [23] The six identified vills will adumbrate the district which contained the eight others; but I have nothing to say about any of these Vills except Perendon, which, as we have seen, was divided between Corbet and Botreaux. An interesting piece of history attaches to this Vill, which shall be given under Marsh. Meantime it is sufficient to state that, whereas Botreaux's moiety of Perendon was certainly not a member of Caus, it may be doubted whether Corbet's moiety did not originally belong to some other Manor.

COTES, a member of Caus which I cannot now trace, was held in 1255 by Richard de Cotes, whose non-attendance at the Ford Hundred-Court was reported in the Inquest of that year. [24] John de Cotes is one of those Corbet Tenants who were protected by a Patent of June, 1263, as already stated. In November, 1274, Madoc de Cotes was holding one virgate in the estate of Thomas Corbet, deceased, by service of 5s. annual rent.

Having now concluded my account of Caus, the caput of Roger fitz Corbet's Barony, I will proceed first with the Manors which his Successors held in demesne, and afterwards with those which he or they conferred upon their Retainers.


Domesday describes this Manor as follows.- "The Earl himself holds Menistrelie, and Roger (fitz Corbet, I presume) holds it of him. King Edward held it (in Saxon times). Here are VI hides, geldable. In demesne there are II ox-teams, and there might be two more (employed) here. Here are VIII Villains and IIII Boors, with VIII teams. Here are IIII Neat-herds. There are two leagues (leuuedes) of wood. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 60s. (per annum), now it is worth 5s. more". [1]

[23] Register, Swinfleld, fo. 61 a. It must not be understood that the land of Gordowr was confined to this district. It extended far up the Severn to the South-West, including Buttington, Hope, Leighton, and Wolston Mynd.
[24] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[1] Domesday, fo. 253, b, 1.


It is not from Domesday alone, nor from one passage only of Domesday, that I infer Minsterley to have been a much more important place in Saxon times than it has been since. The very name of Minsterley indicates that it was the site of one of those Saxon and Collegiate Churches which I have so often mentioned as the centres of Parishes whose extent we can hardly overrate. Minsterley, I take it, was the Mother-Church of at least Westbury and Habberley, but the Collegiate Church has from time immemorial, that is from before Domesday, been at Westbury; and Minsterley has been the Chapel. Again Minsterley, as a Manor, probably included Habberley, both in Saxon times and at Domesday. In Habberley is a place still called Marstley; and I infer from a curious passage in Domesday, that the Saxon King-Lords of Minsterley had a Park at Marstley.- It is recorded among the ancient customs of Shrewsbury, that when the King visited the Town "the Sheriff used to send thirty-six footmen as his body-guard (ad stabilitionem), for so long as he remained there. But for the Park of Marsetelie (the Sheriff) used customarily to find thirty-six men, for eight days", [2] that is, I presume, the Sheriff provided the King's body-guard when he went to hunt at Marstley, and in the adjacent Royal Forest of The Stiperstones.

Speaking for the present of Minsterley as distinct from its member, Habberley, I find constantly recurring evidences that the Corbets held it almost uniformly in demesne. Its proximity to Caus, and its site, between Caus Castle and the Stiperstones Forest, will make such an arrangement intelligible enough. So close indeed became the association between Caus and Minsterley that neither the Feodary of 1255, nor that of 1284, takes any notice of Minsterley as a distinct Manor. Mindful of this, I have already given under Caus nearly every quotation which treats of Minsterley in connection with Caus.

From the Extent, taken in October 1274, I find that Thomas Corbet, deceased, had held 2 carucates at Minsterley, in demesne, while Robert le Ponde and Robert de la Lake were enfeoffed in small parcels there.

In the final partition of the Corbet estates, Caus and Minsterley went wholly to one coheir, the Baron Stafford.

That which remains to be said distinctively of Minsterley is necessarily little.- At the Assizes of 1203 Robert Corbet surrendered 60 acres in Minsterleg to two females, Sibil and Petronil, who had

[2] Domesday, fo. 252, a, 1.


sued him for the same under writ of mort d'ancestre. [3] In Hilary Term 1243 the Abbot of Buildwas was suing Thomas Corbet at Westminster for a right of road (de placito chemini) in Munstreleg. The case was adjourned to Easter Term, and in Trinity Term was settled by a Fine, wherein it appears that the right of road sought, was through a meadow of Corbet's to a meadow of the Abbot's, which lay beyond. The Abbot (Nicholas) renounced his claim, whereupon Corbet gave him ingress and egress in every or any direction to the said meadow, it being understood that both parties were to adhere to all the articles of a previous and much more elaborate fine, which, as it had nothing to do with Minsterley, I shall set forth elsewhere.

The Feodary of 1316 registers Peter Corbet as Lord of Munsterlegh. [4]

MINSTERLEY CHAPEL.- This Chapel, as I have said, probably succeeded a Saxon and Collegiate Church, which at some unrecorded period was transferred. to Westbury, and on which Minsterley remained, and still remains, dependent. The early Registers of Hereford seldom notice such Chapels; and there is utter silence about Minsterley in the Valor of Henry VIII. and in all previous Records. Not till the year 1694 is the Chapelry mentioned in the Diocesan Registers.


Of this presumed member of Minsterley an early feoffment seems to have been made by one of the Barons of Caus. The Feoffee was some Progenitor of that family of Arundel which I have already shown to have held Tetneshull and Merebrook under the same Barons, and half Cantlop under the Pichfords. [5] I have some further particulars to record of this family as connected with Habberley.

As early as 1180 a number of the Vassals of Corbet of Caus appear as having been amerced pro falso judicio facto Fulkoni filio Warini.

I suppose that Fulk fitz Warin, himself a Corbet Tenant, had been unjustly dealt with in some local Court, and by his Compeers, and had appealed to the Curia Regis. Ten merks, the highest penalty inflicted, was the penalty of Adam de Arundel.

In November 1221 we have William de Arundel standing as

[3] Assizes, 5 John, m. 4 dorso.
[4] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 399.
[5] Supra, Vol. IV. pp. 351-355; Vol. VI. p. 287.


Surety for Gerin Burnell and William Corbet. He was, I think, of this family, and possibly may have been the very William de Arundel, who, in a former Volume, has occurred as the husband of Sibil de Broc, heiress of Chetton. [6] If so, this William de Arundel probably died without issue; and Adam de Arundel (who occurs in or about 1240 as holding half a fee in Habberley under Thomas Corbet) [7] was his collateral heir. The Feodary drawn up on Thomas Corbet's death in 1274 gives John de Arundel as his Tenant, by service of one knight's-fee. The mode in which Habberley passed from the Arundels to the Corbets of Wattlesborough and Morton, has already been shown, and how Matilda, Robert Corbet's widow, died seized thereof in 1309. [8] It is obvious, I think, that this Matilda was heiress of the Arundels, but I am far from being able to assign her place in the pedigree of that family. [9] Her son and heir, Thomas Corbet, was, according to the Inquest on his Father's death, born on December 25, 1281, according to that on his Mother's death, on May 25, 1284. The earlier Inquest and date is in such eases most to be relied on.

On December 13, 1309, the said Thomas Corbet, and Robert his son, are stated by Inquest to have acquired from Sir John le Strange of Ercalwe, the Manor of Habberleye, to hold to Thomas and Robert and the heirs of Robert, under Sir Peter Corbet of Cawes, by service of one knight's-fee.
[10] This was obviously a settlement, made through the medium of John le Strange as feoffee-in-trust. Thomas Corbet died before May 7, 1310, leaving his said son, Robert, his heir; but he having been born on December 25, 1304, had still a long minority before him. Hence, I suppose, it came to pass that in the Nomina Villarum of 1316, the Seigneural Lord of Habberley, Peter Corbet, was enrolled as Lord of the Vill, [11] he having it, at that time, in custodia cum herede.

Of UNDERTENANTS in Habberley I offer a few loose notes. A family named Coudray had an interest here. Ernald de Coudray was, at the Assizes of 1256, alleged by his heirs to have given ingress to Henry Robyn and his wife Edith in half a virgate in Nethercote. Peter de Coudray, son of Ernald, was similarly alleged

[6] Supra, Vol. I. p. 176.
[7] Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48, 50.
[8] Supra, Vol. IV. pp. 354-5.
[9] It is observable that in September 1272 the Jurors of Condover Hundred reported Matilda de Arundel as a Defaulter in respect of due attendance at the Assizes. This was long before the main line of Arundel was extinct, and before Matilda married Robert Corbet. She must at the time have been the Widow of some previous husband.
[10] Inquisitions, 3 Edw. II., No. 22.
[11] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 399.


to have given a terminal interest (now expired) in a noke in Habbeleye to Richard Lune, who had passed the same to Robert Lune. Again, Ernald Atestope, while guardian of Matilda and Edith, daughters and heirs of Peter Coudray, was similarly alleged to have demised three acres in Nethercote to the same Richard Lune, who had transferred them to Robert Lune. Robert Lune and Henry Robyn were now impleaded as having had wrongful ingress in all the premises. The Plaintiffs were Matilda Coudray and her niece Emma, daughter of Edith Coudray. Their suits seem to have failed in every instance. [12]

Early, as I think, in the fourteenth century, "William, son of Sir Roger, Parson of Habberleye, gives to William fitz Madoc of Pontesford, for a sum of money, that messuage and nokate within the Vill of Habberleye, which the Grantor had by gift of John de Arundel, former Lord of Habberleye. The Grantee and the heirs of his body are to hold immediately of the Lords of the Fee at a rent of 2s. 4d. Witnesses,- Edmund de Longedon, Reginald de Hanewode, Fulco de Alberbury, John fitz Roger, Thomas fitz Richard, etc. [13]


This district was in Saxon times probably within the Parish of Minsterley, but when Westbury became the central Church of that Parish, Habberley, if founded so early, was a Chapel subject to Westbury. Whenever founded, its original subjection is undoubted; for neither does the Taxation of 1291 recognize Habberley as a parish church, nor does the Inquisition of 1341 recognize Habberley as a distinct Parish. In the Valor of 1534-5, however, its independence is clearly marked. The preferment of Roger Jenks', then Rector of Haburley, in the Deanery of Pontesbury, was valued at 4. 0s. 2d. per annum, in glebe and tithes, less 6d. payable to the Archdeacon for synodals. [14]


These were not nominated by the Co-Rectors of Westbury, but by the Lords of the Manor. Whatever of the tithes of Habberley may have been given up to them, they probably paid some acknowledgment for the same to the Church of Westbury.

[12] Assizes, 40 Hen. III., m. 11 dorso.
[13] Charter in the possession of Sidney S. Smith, Esq. of Bridgnorth.
[14] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 218.


SIR ROGER, Parson of Habberleye (whose son William has been noticed above) probably lived at the close of the thirteenth century.

THOMAS LE WOLF, Priest, was instituted to this Chapel, June 11, 1339. Patron, Sir Robert Corbet. A Patent of August 28, 1341, sanctions Wolf's exchange of this Church for the preferment of-

WALTER PRIDE, late Vicar of Alberbury. [15]

SIR JOHN LE PARENT, of Eccleshal, Priest, was instituted June 8, 1350, to this Curative Chapel, at the presentation of Johanna Corbet, Lady of Haberleye. [16]

THOMAS DE PLEYLEYE, Priest, was instituted to this Chapel August 8, 1369. Patron, Sir Robert Corbet, Knight.

W * * * J * * *, Rector of Habberley, died in 1425; and on January 2, 1426, the Bishop (jure devoluto) instituted-

SIR NICHOLAS CHAMBERLEYN, Chaplain, to the Living. On February 16, 1437,-

SIR JOHN NORMANTON, Chaplain, was instituted, at presentation of "John Burgh, Esq., Lord of Mowthe and of Haburlegh".

On the partition of the estates of De Burgh, the Advowson of Habberley went to the Myttons, who occur as Patrons in the sixteenth and aeventeenth centuries. [17]


Domesday classifies this Manor among those held by Roger fitz Corbet under the Earl of Shrewsbury.- "The same Roger holds Loclehuile. [1] Edric held it (in Saxon times), and was a free man. Here are VI hides, geldable. In demesne there are III ox-teams; and (there are) VIII Serfs, XIX Villains, and VI Boors, with VIII teams. Here is a Mill, rendering (yearly) one measure of barley (summam brasii), and a wood which will fatten 100 swine. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 8. (per annum); now it is worth 6". [2]

[15] Patent, 15 Edward III., p. 2, m. 16.
[16] None of the Corbet Pedigrees indicate who this Joan Corbet was. It is clear that Robert Corbet, the Patron of 1339, was identical with Robert Corbet, the Patron of 1369; so that it is difficult to suggest where Joan should appear in any amended Pedigree.
[17] Blakeway's MSS.
[1] The letters L and I are so similarly formed in the original Domesday, that I think it very possible that the Clerk meant to spell this name Ioclehuile.
[2] Domesday, fo. 255, b, 1.


Edric the Saxon Lord of Yockleton, Wattlesborough, Loton, and Hanwood (all in Ruesset Hundred), was probably Edric Sylvaticus. Of him I have already spoken. [3]

Yockleton, anciently written Yocklehull, was almost uniformly held in demesne by the Corbets of Caus. Under Caus, therefore, I have inserted the chief particulars of its history, and especially of that grant of the tithes of Yocklehull which the first Roger Corbet made to Shrewsbury Abbey. That grant had Episcopal as well as Royal confirmation. Bishop Betun's Charter, already stated to have passed about 1138, [4] ensures to the Abbey the tithes of the demesne of Thokethul; and a Confirmation, supposed to be that of Bishop Gilbert Foliot (1148-1164), concedes both the great and small tithes of Jokethull to the Abbey. [5]

In 1255 the Jurors of Ford Hundred made no mention of Yockleton as a distinct Manor, but they reported how the Vill of Yokelcul had ofttimes deprived the King's Bailiff of things taken by him in security for a Crown debt, or for some other attachment. The names of these assertors of a local immunity were John Sire, William Provost of Yokelcul, Robert Lucas, William fitz Osbert, and Roger Furet. [6]

At the Assizes of 1267, Thomas Corbet, William Bont, and Daniel Russel were sued by Roger Gothmund and Agnes his wife for disseizing them of a messuage and virgate in Yoketille, and a messuage and quarter-virgate in Horton. The disseizin in Horton was proved, but not that in Yoketille. [7] A Patent of 1270 shows Roger Gothemund with a new Writ against Thomas Corbet for disseizin in Yokethul.

A Survey of Corbet estates, taken in October 1274, states that Thomas Corbet, deceased, had held 4 carucates in demesne at Yokelehul, while Roger Burnel had held 1 virgates and Roger Coly had held half a virgate there, under the said Baron. [8]

At the Assizes of 1292, Humphrey de Beauchamp and Alice his wife were sued by William fitz John of Stretton for disseizing him of a right of common in Stretton juxta Yokethul, which right he alleged to appertain to his free tenement in Yokethul. The Defendants and the Jury agreed that the said common was in Neweton, and not in Stretton; [9] thus taking a distinction, I think, between

[3] Supra, Vol. III. pp. 48-50.
[4] Supra, Vol. I. p. 35.
[5] Salop Chartulary, No. 331.
[6] Rot. Hundred. II. 66-67.
[7] Assizes, 51 Hen. III., m. 3.
[8] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. I., No. 42.
[9] Assizes, 20 Edw. I., m. 11 dorso.


Newton, a member of Westbury, and Stoney-Stretton, a member of Yockleton.

I have related, under Caus, how Peter Corbet (I.) in 1298 gave Yokelhull as a marriage-gift to his son Peter, and his son's wife Beatrice, and the heirs of their bodies. He soon resumed the estate, with consent of his son, and died seized thereof. When, therefore, we find Peter Corbet (II.) resettling Yockleton in 1303, and entered in the Nomina Villarum of 1316 as Lord of the Vill of Yokelton, we know that it came to him in the regular course of inheritance. His widow Beatrix of course held the Manor for her life, under the said settlement of 1308. In the partition of 1347, between the Coheirs of Corbet, Yockelton, and Stretton went to Robert, son of Robert de Harley and Margaret de Brompton.

PAROCHIALLY both Yockleton and Stoney Stretton belonged to Westbury. The corn-tithes, however, of Yockleton continued with Shrewsbury Abbey till its Dissolution. The Valor of 1534 shows them. to have been then fermed for 1. 3s. 4d. per annum.

STONEY STRETTON.- This member of Yockleton, once perhaps a Roman station, requires one or two notes as regards its later history, and as distinct from Yockleton.- At the Assizes of 1221 Richard Bagot, as heir of his deceased brother Reginald, sued Nicholas Bagot for half a virgate in Stratton. Nicholas surrendered the land; his Surety being Robert de Esmerillum, of whom we shall hear more under Woolaston. In Michaelmas Term 1230, and Easter Term 1231, a Grand Assize was pending at Westminster, between Thomas Corbet (of Caus) and Robert fitz John, concerning a virgate in Stratton, of which Robert asserted his father to have been seized in the time of Henry II., while Corbet arrogated a right of holding it in demesne. The result appears in a Fine of November 23, 1236, whereby Robert fitz John first renounces all claim to the premises, and then Corbet enfeoffs Robert fitz John therein, at a rent of 8s. Perhaps this Robert fitz John was identical with Robert de Esmerillum.

In 1255 we have a list of Stretton freeholders presented by the jurors of Ford Hundred, for repeatedly withholding, or rescuing, things taken in pledge by the Crown Officers for Crown debts. The names of the Difforciants were 16 in number. Among them were William Russel and his son Daniel, Richard le Mey, William Bagot, Simon Burnel, William Blunt, William Grene, and Roger Cely (read Coly). [10]

[10] Rot. Hundred. II. 67.


In 1272 we have mention of one Richard Meriloun of Stratton. His name will recur to us under Woolaston,


This Manor is classified in Domesday among those which Roger fitz Corbet held of the Norman Earl.- "The same Roger holds Wesberie. Ernui held it (in Saxon times), and was free. Here are II hides, geldable. In demesne is one ox-team; and (there are) one Serf, two Priests, and V Villains, with III teams. It was worth (in Saxon times) 20s. (per annum); now it is worth 25s". [1]

The mention of two Priests indicates the existence of a Collegiate Church here. This, as I have suggested, had been transferred from Minsterley.

Ernui, the Saxon, had enjoyed four Manors in Ruesset Hundred. He was living at Domesday, and still holding three of those Manors under Roger fitz Corbet or his brother. Westbury was the exception. At Domesday Roger fitz Corbet held it in demesne; but before the end of the next century, an Ancestor of the Hodnets, hereditary Seneschals of Montgomery Castle, was Corbet's Feoffee at Westbury.-

SIR ODO DE HODNET, the first of these Seneschals of whom I have sure notice, has already been shown to have attested a Deed of Robert Corbet of Caus in or about the year 1198. [2] The same Deed is attested by William fitz Odo, whom I know to have been a Clerk, and a younger son of Odo de Hodnet. The Haughmond Chartulary contains a nearly cotemporary Deed attested by Odo de Westbury, William fitz Picot, William fitz Hodo, Henry Hager, Roger Porcel, and William de Aqua. [3] These were all Tenants of the Barons of Caus, and Odo de Westbury was of course identical with Odo de Hodnet. In Easter Term, 1200, Sir Odo de Hodenet appears as one of twelve Shropshire Knights who were to try the cause of Grand Assize mentioned under Nordley Regis. [4]

It was probably in the year 1201 that the third Fulk fitz Warin, disappointed in certain claims on King John, organized a rebellion

[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b, 2.
[2] Supra, p. 18.
[3] Tit. Modlicote.
[4] Supra, Vol. III. p. 157.


or conspiracy, for which he and his adherents were outlawed. The Fitz Warins and Hodnets were associated as Lord and Vassal, [5] and as Fellow Vassals of Corbet of Caus. An expression in the Fitz Warin Chronicle suggests that they were relations by blood. Certain it is that Odo de Hodnet's eldest son, Baldwin, joined Fulk fitz Warin and shared both his outlawry and exile. Stephen de Hodnet, another of the Outlaws, was perhaps a younger brother of Baldwin's. This Outlawry lasted till November 1203. Meanwhile, that is in 1201, the very year on which I suppose Fulk fitz Warin to have rebelled, Odo de Hodnet seems to have died. His eldest son, Baldwin, was of course, as an attainted person, disqualified to succeed. It would appear that-

WALTER DE HODNET, the second son of Odo, obtained Livery of Hodnet, or of whatever the Hodnets held in capite as Seneschals of Montgomery. I strongly suspect that Robert Corbet of Caus, Seigneural Lord of Westbury, was not so ready as King John to admit the claims of the second son, or to ignore the claims of the exiled Baldwin. It is but a line on a plea-roll which suggests this idea.- On November 25, 1201, Walter fitz Odo had a plea of land, pending against Robert Corbet, and Corbet essoigning himself, the cause was adjourned. [6] Within two years of this time, and while Baldwin de Hodnet was still an Outlaw, Walter fitz Odo, his Brother, died without issue. Forthwith-

WILLIAM FITZ ODO, the Clerk, and probably the next unattainted Brother, put in his claim. The Shropshire Pipe-Roll for the year ending Michaelmas 1203 contains the following Oblatum proffered to King John.- Willelmus filius Odonis de Hodenet debet 20 marcas pro habenda terra quae fuit Walteri fratris sui die quo obiit, cujus haeres est, et pro relevio suo. This Fine, so obvious in its meaning, was never liquidated, and the reason is apparent. On September 12, 1203, a Patent of King John promises safe-conduct to Fulk fitz Warin and Baldwin de Hodnet, if they will come to the King. [7] Another Patent dated at Caen, November 15, 1203, pardons Fulk fitz Warin and his adherents, and revokes their outlawry. The list of the Inlagati contains the names of Baldwin de Hodenet and Stephen de Hodnet. [8] Moreover Baldwin de Hodnet had letters of the King, bearing date at Bonville on the same 13th of November, and ordering that he should "have seizin of the land which was his

[5] Hodnet held Welbatoh and Moston, under Fitz Warin (supra, Vol. VI. pp. 119, 120).
[6] Placita, Roll 3 John (No. 17), m. 27.
[7] Rot. Patent. p. 34.
[8] Ibidem, p. 36.


Father's, as entirely as his Father had it on the day when Baldwin left the King's service". [9]

BALDWIN DE HODNET, thus restored to his tenures in capite, was doubtless repossessed of Westbury by Robert Corbet of Caus, one of whose subsequent Charters has the said Baldwin's attestation. [10] In the year 1204 Baldwin de Hodnet married Cecily, daughter and sole heir of Alan de Hadley, and Widow of Roger Corbet of Tasley. He thus became enriched by this Lady's dower in Tasley, and having by her a son, Odo, he also became Tenant for life of her own much richer inheritance. These things have already been stated, [11] and I may proceed with other facts in the life of Baldwin de Hodnet. In 1210 he accompanied King John to Ireland. He was with the King at Pembroke on June 6, at Dublin on June 28, at the siege of Carrickfergus on July 20, and at Dublin again on August 21. [12] In or about the year 1211 we have it recorded how Baldwin de Hodenet was Tenant-in-capite (in right of his wife) of the Staffordshire Manor of Bromley Regis. [13] In 1215, Baldwin de Hodnet had shown new signs of disaffection to King John; for a Patent of June 2nd bids him come to the King, and promises to pardon his fault and reward his services. The invitation was not accepted; for further Writs, of November 19, 1215, and March 28, 1216, show that his forfeited lands in Staffordshire were in the hands of Geoffrey de Canvill, by will of King John. [14] On November 3, 1217, he had returned to the allegiance of young King Henry; and a Writ to the Sheriff of Gloucestershire orders that he should have such seizin of his lands as he had when he left the service of King John. [15] What lands Baldwin de Hodnet may have had in Gloucestershire I have not been able to discover. On the 11th of July, 1223, King Henry being at Worcester, orders the Sheriff of Shropshire to give Baldwin de Hodenet full seizin of the Castle of Kinardeslegh; and, if anything had been taken thence since its seizure into the King's hands, Baldwin was to have it back again. [16] A similar precept, dated at Montgomery, on October 9th following, relates more especially to the land of Kinardesle, which is described as Baldwin de Hodenet's. [17] The history of the Border Castle here named is somewhat obscure, but may be postponed for future consideration.

A Patent, dated at Montgomery on October 11th, 1223, protects

[9] Rot. Liberate, 5 John, m. 7.
[10] Supra, p. 18.
[11] Supra, Vol. I. pp. 88, 89.
[12] Placita, pp. 177, 183, 200, 218.
[13] Testa de Nevill.
[14] [15] Claus. I. 237, 257, 340.
[16] Claus. I. 554.
[17] Ibidem, page 565.


Baldwin de Hodnet, whilst in the King's service. It appears from a Writ of March 24, 1224, that the King had fully ascertained that his faithful and beloved Baldwin de Hodenet was entitled to the Seneschalcy of the Honour of Montgomery. Godaschall de Maghelines (Custos of that Honour) was to give him full seizin of the said Seneachalcy. [18] Another Writ of June 16, 1224, shows that Baldwin de Hodenet had in hand, or was to receive, as Seneschal, all the issues of the said Honour. He is ordered to hand them over to Hubert Hose and the aforesaid Godeschall, to be expended on the works of Montgomery Castle. The same Hubert, Godeschall, and Baldwin are also ordered to allow the knights and free-tenants of the Honour to take a reasonable quantity of timber out of the Woods of Muntgomery, wherewith to strengthen their fortalices in that district. [19] A Writ dated at Montgomery on October 1, 1224, excuses Baldwin de Hodenet one-half of an amercement of 40s, which had been set upon him by the Justices recently in eyre at Shrewsbury. Other Writs, dated at Hereford on October 4, 1224, show that the King had left Baldwin de Hodnet not only as Seneschal, but as a Custos of the Honour of Montgomery. In that capacity he is ordered to be ready with his account of receipts and disbursements, whenever summoned by the King. [20] But another Summons was awaiting Baldwin de Hodnet. On January 21, 1225, he was dead, and all his lands were ordered to be seized by the Sheriff of Shropshire and to be given up to the custody of that Godeschall de Maghelines who was so lately his Colleague in provincial trusts. [21] A furthur Writ of the King, dated February 12, 1225, orders the said Godescal to retain whatever the deceased held of the Honour of Montgomery, but to give up to Fulk fitz Warin (as Seigneural lord) those lands at Welbatch and Moston which Baldwin had held under him. [22]

ODO DE HODNET (II.), Baldwin's eldest son by Cecilia de Hadley, was a minor at his father's death. It may help us to estimate the circumstances under which the testing-clauses of ancient charters were drawn up, if I state that, in a grant to Haughmond Abbey, Baldwin de Hodnet's attestation was followed by that of Odo his son. [23] On October 5, 1225, William de Hodnet (Uncle, I doubt not, of the Minor) gave the King 40 merks for custody of the land and heir of Baldwin de Hodnet, so far as he was a Tenant-in-capite in the Honour of Montgomery. Godescall de Maghelines had

[18] [19] [20] Claus. I. 591, 605, 623.
[21] Rot. Finium, I. 124-5.
[22] Claus. II. 16.
[23] Chartulary, Tit. Hadenhale.


orders accordingly. [24] On February 5, 1228, Odo, son of Baldwin de Hodnet was of full age; for a Writ-Close of that date orders the Constable of Montgomery to give him seizin of all his lands. The Feodaries of 1240 duly register Odo de Hodenet as holding one knight's-fee in Westbury, of the Barony of Thomas Corbet. [25] By a Fine of November 22, 1248, Thomas Corbeth (Tenant) surrenders for 2 merks to Odo de Hodenet (Plaintiff) two acres in Westbyr', whereof had been suit of mort d'ancestre. In Easter Term, 1250, Odo de Hodnet was again Plaintiff against Thomas Corbet in a Plea of customs and services.

On the Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255, Odo de Hodenet is registered as holding two hides, geldable, in Welbur' of the Fee of Caus. He did Suit to both County and Hundred. [26]

At the Assizes of 1256, a plea, pending between Thomas Corbet and Odo de Hodenet, is mentioned; but the former is Plaintiff, and his object is to compel the Defendant to appear and hear sentence in their previous suit about customs and service. [27] In August, 1257, and May, 1258, Odo de Hodnet has two Writs of novel disseizin against Thomas Corbet and others, for disseizing him of his free tenement in Westbir'. Robert Waleran was the Justice appointed, in the later Writ, to determine the Suit; and in Michaelmas Term, 1260, Corbet was suing Hodnet at Westminster to come forward and hear Waleran's decision. Hodnet appeared not, and the Court ordered the Sheriff to compel his appearance in Hilary Term, by distraint.

In Trinity Term, 1263, Roger de Merse (a Tenant of Corbet's) is suing Odo de Hodenet for the Manor of Westbyr'. [28]

A Patent of September 21, 1265 (the month after the battle of Evesham), shows Odo de Hodnet as a Royalist. He and Philip le Bret are Commissioners to confiscate generally the estates of those who had opposed the Crown in the late civil wars. The people of Staffordshire and Shropshire were to aid the Commissioners, and the Estates were to be forthwith valued. This Patent issued from Winchester, where a Council of Magnates had voted the King seizin of all such estates.

At the Assizes of October, 1272, Sir Odo de Hodenet sat as a Juror on several causes of Grand Assize. In one, he himself, as Tenant of the Manor of Westbyr', got a Verdict of twelve Knights

[24] Rot. Finium, I. 133.
[25] Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48, 49.
[26] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[27] Assizes, 40 Hen. III., m. 13.
[28] Placita, Trin. Tm. 47 Hen. III., m. 9.


on the long-pending claim of Roger de Merse. [29] Odo habet majus jus was the concise decision, so peculiar to a cause of Grand Assize.

The Inquest on Thomas Corbet's death in 1274, registers Odo de Hodeneth as Tenant of a knight's-fee in the Barony of the deceased, and as owing Suit every three weeks to the Court of Caus. [30]

I shall have more to say of Odo de Hodnet under the Manor whence his family took its name. He died probably at the age of sixty-seven. The Writ of Diem clausit announcing his death bears date Feb. 10, 1284. An Inquest, held on the 15th, declares him to have held Westbury under Peter Corbet for one knight's-fee, and values the Manor at 5. 10s. 8d. per annum. William, son and heir of the deceased, was of full age, [31] and had livery of his tenures-in-capite that same year. [32]

At the Assizes of 1292, the Jurors of Ford Hundred made an extraordinary, and, as it seems to me, vexatious presentment, viz. that Richard de Hodenet held a messuage, a carucate of land, and a Mill in Heyford juxta Westbury, of the King's Serjeantry of Hodnet. In vain the Tenant protested that he held the premises under-

WILLIAM DE HODNET, and had acquired them by Fine with the said William's father, Odo, in 9 Edw. I. (1280-1). He had to fine 1 merk to have possession of his estate till the next Parliament. [33]

Sir William de Hodnet, Knight, was a Juror on the Great Forest Perambulation of 1300. It is well known that Matilda, daughter and sole heiress of Sir William de Hodnet, married William de Ludlow. A Fine levied on July 1, 1301, is but a settlement of several Hodnet Estates on William de Hodnet for life, with remainder to his daughter and her heirs. In technical language, "William de Hodenet (Plaintiff in a Plea of Convention) acknowledges his gift to William de Lodelewe and Matilda his wife (Deforciants) of the Manors of Westbury, Welbeche, Moston, and Esheley, also of 5 acres of land, 8 acres of pasture, and 70 acres of bosc in Wylbeleye-Corbet and Wolureton. In return, the Grantees concede the premises to Hodnet for life, to hold at a rent of one rose, payable to themselves and to the heirs of Matilda, and by discharge of all services due to the Lords of the Fees. The premises shall then revert to William de Lodelewe and Matilda, and to the heirs of the latter, quit of Hodnet's heirs, and to be held of the Lords of the Fees". I know not the date of William de Hodnet's death, nor what concessions

[29] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 1.
[30] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. I., No. 42.
[31] Inquisitions, 12 Edw. I., No. 24.
[32] Originalia, 12 Edw. I., Rot. 4.
[33] Assizes, 20 Edw. I., m. 26.


of his life-interest he may have made subsequently to the above Fine. He was living on November 7, 1302, and was then put on a Commission to collect an Aid in Shropshire. [34] In March, 1316, the return called Nomina Villarum, while it makes William de Ludlow to be Lord of Westbury, has William de Hodnet as Lord of Hodnet. [35] The accuracy of this may be doubted; for the Inquest held at Shrewsbury on November 11, 1316, on the death of-

WILLIAM DE LUDLOW, states that he and his wife Matilda had held conjointly the Manor of Hodenet by feoffment of one William, formerly Lord of Hodnet. They had also conjointly held the Manor of Westbury by feoffment of William de Hodnet. It was held (of Peter Corbet) for a knight's-fee, and was valued at 21. 19s. per annum. Laurence de Ludlow, son of the deceased, was apparently in his 16th year. [36] The Inquest taken July 12, 1347, on the death of his mother Matilda, makes Laurence de Ludlow to have been 42 years of age on December 25, 1346, which is probably four years short of the truth. [37]

LAWRENCE DE LUDLOW, it seems, had, about the year 1338, conveyed Stokesay and other estates and effects derived from his father to certain Feoffees-in-trust. On September 27, 1346, he was outlawed at the suit of John Wyard, for assaulting the said John, vi et armis; but, owing to the above settlement, the Sheriff could find nothing of the outlaw's estates or chattels to extend and seize. But on his mother's death the case was altered. Whatever came to Laurence de Ludlow from her, was seized by John Delves, then Sheriff, pursuant to a Mandate of February 18, 1348, and Ludlow himself was arrested. The estates, now valued for the Crown, include 16. 12s., assized rents in Westbury;- 40s., the value of a carucate of land in Welbatch; and certain rents in the latter vill. [38] Laurence de Ludlow probably obtained a reversal of his outlawry, and seizin of his estates. He died October 14, 1353. The Inquest, ordered on October 18, and held on October 31 following, states that Hawise, his wife, survived him, and that John de Ludlow, his son and heir, was thirty-three years of age on May 6, 1353. [39]-

Of UNDERTENANTS in this Manor I have no certain notices. In 1252 Sibil de Westeburi fines 1 merk to have some trial at law;

[34] Parliamentary Writs, I. 132, IV. 397, 399.
[35] Ibidem, IV. 397, 399.
[36] Inquisitions, 10 Edw. II., No. 69.
[37] Ibidem, 21 Edw. III., 1st Nos. No. 9.
[38] Ibidem, 22 Edw. III., 1st Nos., No. 51. For Welbatch, see Vol. VI. p. 120.
[39] Ibidem, 27 Edw. III., No. 68.


in 1259 Stephen de Westbir' is amerced half a merk for some trespass.

NEWTON, presumed to have been a member of Westbury, has been named above. [40]

LAKE.- Of this member of Westbury I can say no more than that one William de la Lake appears on a Caus Jury in 1274, and on a Pontesbury Jury in 1286.


This Church, existent before Domesday, and even then Collegiate, was, I have supposed, originally transferred from Minsterley. [41] The two Priests of Domesday were types of the two Prebendaries or Rectors who appear in all later Records as sharing the emoluments of this Church.

In 1290, two days of Bishop Swinfield's Visitation (May 2nd and 3rd) were passed at Westbury-juxta-Caus. On the first of these days the Bishop and his Suite were entertained at the expense of the Bishop. Kid and Roe-deer were (in character with the district) adjuncts of their feast. Hay, corn, and litter, for the horses of the party, were supplied gratis by John de Lucham (or Ludham) one of the Prebendaries. On May 3, the Bishop and his household were entertained by the "free hospitality " of Sir William de Hodenet. [42]

The Taxation of 1291 names the Church of Westbury as having two Rectors. It was in the Deanery of Pontesbury, and was valued at 20. per annum. [43]

On May 10, 1310, we have a curious entry in Bishop Swinfield's Register, viz. the formal admission by the Bishop, of Sir William de Castle Holegod, Priest, to be Sacristan, or, as we should now say, Sexton, of Westbury. The Patron of the Prebendal Stalls, Sir William de Ludlow, had presented this Sacristan; and the Bishop, instituting him, addressed customary letters to the Parochial Priest of Westbury, who was ordered to induct. [44]

In 1341 the Assessors of the Ninth, quoting the Church-Taxation of 20., rated this Parish at 20 merks (13. 6s. 8d.) to the current Levy. The Glebe land, worth 40s. per annum, the hay-tithes worth 40s., the oblations and small tithes worth 40s. were reckoned in the Taxation, but were not computable in reckoning the Ninth. Also a great part of the Parish lay untilled, the Tenants being poor. [45]

[40] Supra, p. 51.
[41] Supra, p. 46.
[42] Household Expenses, I. p. 80.
[43] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 167, b.
[44] Regist. Swinfield, fo. 168, b.
[45] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 185.


The Valor of 1534-5 puts the preferment of John Kyngeston, Rector of Westbury-in-Dextra-parte, at 14. 7s. in glebe and tithes, less 17s. 9d. for the Archdeacon's Procurations and Synodals. Louis ap Howel, Rector in-Sinistra-parte, had an annual income of 12. 7s. from glebe and tithes, and he paid 14s. 4d. for Procurations and Synodals. [46] The Church continues Portionary at the present day.


It is difficult to fix the respective Portions of the earlier Rectors, but probability favours the following arrangement.-

SIR HENRY CORBETT being deceased on April 24, 1288,-

JOHN DE LUDHAM, Priest, was instituted to a Prebendal Portion here. Patron, Sir William de Hodeneth, knight.

RICHARD, SON OF LAURENCE DE LUDLOW, Clerk, was instituted to a Portion on June 8, 1304. Patron, Sir William de Ludlow. In 1320 the Bishop (Adam de Orleton) orders the Dean of Pontesbury to notify to the Patron of Westbury [47] that the Portions there are void, the Bishop having found on his Visitation that the Portioners were not in Orders. On February, 9th, 1321, the Bishop informs Richard de Ludlow that he can no longer be allowed to hold his Portion; but if he will go to Rome, the Bishop will ask the Pope to enable him to hold another benefice. The next who occurs

SIR THOMAS DOBYN, supposed to have been admitted in the time (1317-1327) of Bishop Adam, "whose Registers were forcibly abstracted and destroyed". On March 30, 1348, Dobyn's Portion [48] has been presented to-

HENRY TATTON, Clerk, "provided his title were found good". Patron,- the King, as "Custos of the lands of Laurence de Ludlow, who was under forfeiture and outlawry at the suit of John Wyard for trespass". On April 21, the King desires that Tatton be admitted. [49] On March 19, 1349, Tatton exchanges preferments with-

ROGER DE AFFECOTE, or ASCOT, Rector of the Chapel of Alcamaston.

[46] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 213.
[47] It appears that Sir William de Wyne was at this time Patron of Westbury. He has occurred to us before (Vol. V. p. 57). Doubtless he had married Matilda, widow of William de Ludlow, whose son, Laurance, was now in minority.
[48] One Grant calls Dobyn's Portion, Sacristariam sive portionem prebendalem; but another Grant, of the same day, calls it medietatem.
[49] Patent, 22 Edw. III., p. m. 15.


SIR PHILIP GENEKYN, Or JENKYN, instituted to a Portion on February 18, 1374, exchanges preferments on August 18, 1384, with-

THOMAS DE BURWEY, late Rector of Alrewych (Cov. and Lich. Dioc.). On June 10,1386, Burwey exchanges with-

WILLIAM HONDERWODE, late Rector of Schele (Linc. Dioc.), who is presented here by Robert de Lodelowe, but possibly was never instituted, for, on March 12, 1388,-

MASTER JOHN TAILLOUR, S.T.B., was admitted to the Portion last held by Thomas Burwey. Patron, John de Lodelowe. Taillour was here in 8 Hen. IV. (1406-7). [50]


MASTER ROBERT DE STOLES, Portioner in 1277, was cited for absence from Bishop Cantilupe's Visitation. [51]

NICHOLAS DE REYGATE, Treasurer of Hereford (1305-1307), had a Portion here, to which, on July 19, 1306,-

RICHARD DE LODELOWE, Clerk, was instituted. I suppose he was already Incumbent of the other portion, and had to resign this; for, on October 10, 1308,-

JOHN DE MEDERLIS, Clerk, was instituted to a Portion late Richard de Lodelow's. Patron, Sir William de Lodelowe, Knight. Mederlis or Medersell has licenses for non-residence in 1314 and 1331.

HENRY DE SHYPTON, on January 18, 1367, exchanges his Portion here for the preferment of-

MASTER GILES DE STANFORD, late Canon and Prebendary of the Canonry and Prebend of Fowechurch and Pottesdon, in the Cathedral Church of Hereford. On September 4, 1369,-

SIR WILLIAM WELINTON succeeded to Stanford's Portion. Patron, Sir John Lodelowe, Knight.

SIR WILLIAM WULVERTON (perhaps the same person) dying in 1370,-

NICHOLAS BORLEYE was instituted to his Portion on November 14. Same Patron. He is called Rector of Westbury in 5 Hen. IV. (1403-4). He died in 1429.

[50] In 9 Hen. IV. (1407-8) one Saundres, Parson of Westbury in Hereford Diocese, has Letters of Protection.
[51] In September 1294, Master William de Kyngescote, Parson of Westbury, has Letters of Protection (Prynne's Records, III. 599). Possibly some other Westbury is meant.



WILLIAM DE CASTLE HOLEGOD, instituted May 10, 1310, has been mentioned above. On March 16, 1335,-

REGINALD DE WHYTTON was similarly instituted, on presentation of Dame Matilda de Hodynet.


AMONG the Manors which Roger fitz Corbet held of the Norman Earl, Domesday states that "the same Roger holds Wineslei. Seuuard, a free man, held it (in Saxon times). Here are II hides, geldable. In demesne are II ox-teams; and (there are) one Villain and one Radman with a team and half. The former and present value of the Manor was and is 15s. (per annum). [1]

I have related, under Caus, how Roger fitz Corbet, between the years 1121 and 1136, gave Winsley to Shrewsbury Abbey. It remains that I illustrate so remote a piece of history by later evidences of the Abbey's possession of the Manor. About the year 1240, as I suppose, "John, son of William de Winesleg, receives into his custody, from the Abbot of Salop, the land and person of Adam, son of Richard le Troser. He pays 6s. 8d. to the Abbot at once, and will pay 15d. yearly. Witnesses,- Sir Richard Hamund, then Prior, Nicholas, then Provost (of the Foregate), and Richard, Provost of Winesleg". [2] This transaction was clearly a sale by the Abbot of a wardship in Winsley.

Perhaps ten or fifteen years later, "Roger, son of Roger de Wynesleg, concedes to the Abbey all his right in that noke in Wynesleg, which Roger surnamed Nolth formerly held; also in that noke which John Clerk formerly gave to Sibil de Westbury for her service; also in half a virgate which Hugh Griseteyl held there. Witnesses,- Nicholas fitz Hamon, Thomas surnamed le Botyler, and Richard de Mamerfeud [3] (deceased in 1259). In 1251, Thomas de Eshm and Sibil his wife have a Writ of disseizin against Hugh Crystel concerning a tenement in Wynesleg.

[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b, 1.
[2] [3] Salop Chartulary, No. 135.


On the Pipe-Roll of 1252 the Sheriff of Shropshire is entered as responsible for the issues of the land of Richard, son of William de Winnesle, an outlaw for felony. This outlawry was an old affair, and it would seem that the issues during the King's year and day had not been accounted for, for at the Assizes of 1256 the Jurors of Ford Hundred presented the Abbot of Salop as owing 20s. pro anno et vasto terrae Ricardi de Winesle, fugitivi viginti annis elapsis. [4] In 1255, the Ford Hundred-Roll says that "the Abbot of Shrewsbury holds four virgates in Wynesleg of the fee of Caures, in perpetual almoign". [4] King Henry III.'s Charter of Free-Warren to the Abbey, dated May 21, 1256, extends to Wynesleg. [5] In August 1256, William, son of John de Winesleye, is suing Henry, Abbot of Salop, and Brother Adam le Waleys for disseizing him of a tenement in Winesle. The Plaintiff's Fine of one merk pro habenda assiza is on the Pipe-Roll of the same year; and the Pipe-Roll of 1259 charges him half a merk for false claim. About this time, "Edith, Margery, Godith and Iveta, daughters of Luke de Winesleg, sell to Shrewsbury Abbey a messuage, croft, and four acres of land at Winesleg, late their father's. Witnesses,- John de Prestecote, Provost of the Foriate; Richard de Preston, Clerk; Alan Knotte".

At the Assizes of August 1267, Christiana de Wilsitthele (Winsley), Hugh de Wygemore, John his son, Sibil widow of Richard Sylle, and others, were sued by Odo de Hodnet for disseizing him of 30 acres of meadow and 100 acres of bosc in Westbury. Their defence gives a picture of the recent civil war. They said that they had wrought no disseizin, but that during the late war some of them fled to the Church, and some to the wood; and that they had taken from the wood wherewith to build dwellings for themselves, and from the meadow wherewith to support themselves. Judgment went against them for disseizin. [6]

At the Assizes of 1272, William de Wynylegh and Agnes his wife recovered from Robert, son of Hugh Corbet, a messuage and half-virgate in Wynelegh, as the right of Agnes. [7]

At the same Assizes, Thomas, son of Herbert le Fevere, having brought an action de ingressu against Richard de Wynesleg for a messuage and 4 acres in Wynesleg, declined to prosecute it. His Sureties were John le Marescal of Wenlok and Richard Meriloun of Stratton (Stoney Stretton). [8]

[4] Hot. Hundred. II. 66.
[5] Salop Chartulary, No. 53.
[6] Assizes, 51 Henry III., m. 6.
[7] [8] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., mm. 4, 3.


On July 10, 1384, Adam, Abbot of Salop, grants to Thomas le Mareschall and his wife Isabel a parcel of land called Wynnesleyeshurst, extending from the Peremeduw to the field of Westleye, and from Wynnesley-more to the Vivary called Tydeswall. [9]

The Valor of 1534 gives, among the Temporalities of Shrewsbury Abbey, 35s. of assized rents in Wynnesley. [10]

PAROCHIALLY Winsley is a member of Westbury.


THIS Manor, also held by Roger fitz Corbet of the Norman Earl, is thus described in Domesday.-

"The same Roger holds Wibetune. Leuenot, Leimer, and Ulchetel held it (in Saxon times), and were free. Here are a hide and half, geldable. In demesne is one ox-team; and (there are) II Neat-herds, I Villain, V Boors, and I Redman, with one team only; and there might be other two teams here. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 9s. (per annum); now it is worth 15s. [1]

Corbet's original Feoffees at Whitton seem to have been of two families, one taking a name from the place, the other a Cadet of that family of Burnel which held Acton Burnel under the Lords of Caus. First, in 1209, we have Richard de Witon, acting as a Surety in a Forest-plea which greatly concerned the Corbets of Caus, and which I have already set forth. [2] Soon after we have Simon de Witton (perhaps Richard's Successor) following Roger Burnel as a witness of Robert Corbet's grant of Hulemore to Buildwaa Abbey. [3] The said Simon and Roger I take to have been joint lords of Whitton. Robert de Wudeton, who has occurred to us in 1221 under circumstances favourable to the idea that he was a Corbet Tenant, [4] may have been Simon de Witton's successor; and if so, there were two persons named Robert de Wudeton, cotemporary in Shropshire. [5]

A list of Thomas Corbet's Barony, drawn up about 1240, gives Robert and Roger de Witton as holding one fee in Witton and its

[9] Ledger of Salop Abbey, fo. 419.
[10] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 189.
[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b.
[2] [3] Supra, pp. 16, 18.
[4] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 124.
[5] Supra, Vol. IV. pp. 261-263.


appurtenances. [6] Roger de Witton's real name I take to have been Burnel, while Robert de Witton is elsewhere called Robert Lowys. Vennington, originally a member of Caus, had apparently been added to Whitton; otherwise we should be unable to account for so high a service as a whole knight's-fee being chargeable on the latter Manor.

In the Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255, Robert de Wylton and Roger Burnel (both Jurors) are said to hold II hides in Wytton of the fee of Caus. They were both liable to geld, and did suit severally to County and Hundred. [7] Here the increase of half a hide on the Domesday estimate of Whitton is consistent with the assumed annexation of Vennington.

At the Assizes of 1256, Robert de Wyton and Roger Burnel were again Jurors for Ford Hundred. Their joint tenure of Vennington has been already shown, Robert de Wytton, however, being in that instance called Robert Lowys. [8]

In 1263 we have had Robert de Wytton and Robert Burnel consecutively named among the Retainers of Thomas Corbet of Caus, Possibly for Robert Burnel we should read Roger Burnel.

At the Assizes of 1272 and the Inquest of 1274, Robert de Witton and Roger Burnel were Jurors for Ford Hundred.

In the Feodary, drawn up on Thomas Corbet's death in 1274, Robert de Witdon and Roger Burnel appear as Tenants of half a fee each, and the former as owing suit to the Court of Caus.

At the Assizes of 1292, Simon Lowys de Wytton was a Juror for Ford Hundred. This same Simon (called Simon de Whitton) and Hugh Burnel stand as Lords of Whitton in the Nomina Villarum of 1316. [10]


ETYMOLOGICALLY, the word Alberbury is equivalent to the Borough

[6] Testa de Nevill, p. 45.
[7] Rot. Hundred, II. 66. A Cotemporary Roger Burnel was one of Corbet's Feoffees in Acton Burnell (Supra, Vol.VI. pp. 125- 127]. I say cotemporary, because there is no evidence to show that the two were identical. Their predecessors in each Manor were dearly distinct.
[8] [9] Supra, pp. 44, 27.
[10] Parlimentary Writs, IV. 399.


of Alberic,- some Saxon Alberic, that is, who settled here long before the reign of the Confessor.

Domesday places this Manor in the same category with Alretone (i.e. Caus) and Minsterley, viz. as a Royal or Palatine Manor, but yet as added to the Fief which Roger (that is, Roger fitz Corbet) held of the Norman Earl.-

"The Earl himself holds Alberberie, and Roger (holds it) of him. King Edward held it (in Saxon times). Here is one hide. In demesne there is one ox-team, and VIII Boors, with II teams; and (there are) II Neatherds here. Reweset Hundred appertains to this Manor. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 5s.; now it is worth 20s. (per annum)". [1]

I cannot suppose that the issues of Reweset Hundred are induded in the above valuation, or that those issues were made over to Roger fitz Corbet. Had it been so, we should probably have seen the Barons of Caus as Lords of the Hundred of Ford in the thirteenth century, whereas the said Hundred was in the Crown.

Alberbury, though a Manor of small extent and value, though shorn of its ancient dignities as an estate of the Crown and as Caput of a Hundred, and though thought unworthy to be retained even in the demesne of the Barons of Caus,- Alberbury has a history of surpassing interest to those who would study the principles and the workings of the feudal system.

Corbet's first Feoffee in Alberbury seems to have been-

RALPH CRASSUS, or THE FAT, who was living in the reign of Stephen. This Ralph Crassus gave the Church of Alberberie to Shrewsbury Abbey. We learn the date of his grant to have been between 1141 and 1155; for it is not mentioned in the Empress's Confirmation of 1141, but is clearly recited in Henry II.'s Confirmation of 1155. [2] Of Ralph Crassus we hear no more.

I have spoken, in a former Volume, of Warin de Metz, of his two elder sons, Roger and Fulk, and of his presumed third son, William. Roger, I suppose, was living in 1145, but dead without issue before the ascession of Henry II. The earliest extant Pipe-Roll of that King, the Roll of 1156, shows that-

FULK FITZ WARIN was then the head of his house. The King had given him the Gloucestershke Manor of Aloestan (Alveston), previously reputed to yield a blanch ferm of 10. yearly to the Royal Exchequer. [3] We know or may presume that Fulk fitz Warin

[1] Domesday, fo. 253, b, 1.
[2] Salop Chartulary, No. 36, 40.
[3] Rot. Pip. 2 Hen. II., Gloucestershire.


had during the civil wars been a supporter of the Empress. He is found in company with, and probably was related to, the Peverels, the staunchest of Legitimatists. Before 1148 the second William Peverel of Dover had given him a Knight's-Fee in Tadlow, Cambridgeshire; and Henry II., soon after his succession in 1154, confirmed the gift in form following. Henricus Rex Angliae (Dux) Normanniae et Aquitaniae et Comes Andegaviae Episcopo de Ely, Baronibus, Vicecomitibus, etc. de Cantabrigg' etc. Sciatis me concession Fulconi filio Warini et heredibus suis tenementa sua de Thadesley quae Willelmus Peverel eidem Fulconi dedit pro servicio I feodi militis. Testibus,- Ricardo de Humet, Constabulario; Willelmo filio Hamonis. [4] In 1158 the King indirectly makes a present of 40 merks to Fulk fitz Warin; that is, he excuses Fulk fitz Warin a crown debt of that amount, which had been paid by the actual debtor to the said Fulk. In the same year Fulk fitz Warin was excused a sum of 12s., his quota of the donum of Essex and Hertfordshire, and 1s., his quota of the donum of Shropshire. In 1165 we find that Fulco fitz Warin had been newly enfeoffed in a knight's-fee of the Earl of Gloucester's demesne. [5] Possibly this fee was in Tadlow, Cambridgeshire, but my evidence on the point is inconclusive. [6] Of Fulk fitz Warin's interests in Shropshire I can only say that, though otherwise favoured by the Crown, his claim upon Whittington seems to have been disregarded by Henry II., but that he probably held Morton of the Barony of Pulverbatch, Alderton (near Middle) of the Barony of Fitz Alan, and Alberbury and Welbatch of the Barony of Caus. Whether he was in any way heir to Radulf Crassus of Alberbury, or whether he had only succeeded to a lapsed tenure there, I cannot say. The period of his death can be fixed to a year.- He was living at Michaelmas 1170, when the Gloucestershire Pipe-Roll assigns the Manor of Aloestan to Folcho fitz Warin: he was dead at Michaelmas 1171, when the Gloucestershire Pipe-Roll assigns the same Manor to Fulko, son of Fulko fitz Warin.

FULK FITZ WARIN (II.), thus introduced to our notice, was he who having married Hawise, daughter and coheir of Joceas de

[4] Sloane MS. 1301, fo. 68, b.
[5] Liber Niger, I. p. 165.
[6] One Feodary (Testa de Nevill, p. 353) makes the Fitz Warin fee in Tadlow to have been held of the Barony of Hugh de Dune (probably Hugh de Diva, a coheir of the Peverels of Brun and Whittington.) Another Feodary (ibidem, p. 855) makes it to be held of the Barony of Mowbray. The same Record shows another part of Tadlow to have been in the Earl of Gloucester's Fief; but we are not told that Fitz Warin held it


Dinan, is stated by Legends to have made a claim upon Ludlow,- a claim which, as I have before pointed out, was never allowed. [7]

The Shropshire Pipe-Roll of 1177 announces that Fulk fitz Warin had been amerced 40 merks by King Henry II., for forest-trespass. He had paid a part of the debt in 1176 to the Sheriff of Oxfordshire. The ultimate balance was paid in 1178 by hand of the Sheriff of Cambridgeshire. The false judgment pronounced by some provincial Court in 1180 against Fulk fitz Warin has already been noticed, and its probable circumstances stated. [8] This was the Fulk fitz Warin who disputed the right of Shrewsbury Abbey to the Advowson of Alberbury and gained his point, though not without giving a consideration. The arrangement between the disputants is the subject of two curious Deeds, both of which seem to me to have passed about 1180.

"Fulcho, son of Fulcho fitz Warin, and his heirs, give and concede to Shrewsbury Abbey a virgate and half in the vill of Tadeslawe, [9] occupied by dwellers (hospitatam), and cultivated. They give it, quit of all services, except the services due to the Crown for its armies. The gift is to set at rest a controversy concerning the patronage of the Church of Alberburi. Witnesses,- Ralph, Richard, and Warin, sons of Fulcho; Master Robert, Dean; Richard, John, and Robert, Priests; Richard fitz Siward; Martin Faber; Richard Sadock; William, the Abbot's Nephew; Hubert; Bernigar; Engelram; Ralph and Peter Mac". [10]

"Robert, Bishop of Hereford, noticing the controversy between Shrewsbury Abbey and Fulco son of Fulco fitz Warin, concerning the right of patronage of the Church of Alberburi, announces that the aforesaid Fulco, with the assent and will of his heirs, has given and conceded to the Abbey a virgate and half in the vill of Tadeslawe, dwelt upon and cultivated, together with the men living on the same. Witnesses,- Ralph, Richard, and Warin, sons of Fulco; Master Robert, Dean, etc". [11]

It is remarkable that the Fitz-Warin Chronicle, as it is called, makes but one person of the two first Fulk fitz Warins, and represents that person as in high favour with King Henry II. I greatly doubt the truth of this as regards Fulk (II.). Though Hugh de Plugenai, one of Joceas de Dinan's sons-in-law, succeeded

[7] Supra, Vol. V. p. 248.
[8] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 103.
[9] Tadlow (Cambridgeshire).- This land continued in the possession of the Abbey in 1291 (Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 269-b).
[10] Salop Chartulary, No. 286.
[11] Ibidem, No. 351, a. The Bishop is evidently Robert Foliot (1174-1186).


to a share of Lamborn in 1167, Fulk fitz Warin obtained nothing thereof during the reign of Henry II. In 1190, we have Fulk fitz Warin fining 100. with King Richard for his wife's share of her inheritance. [12] He paid 20. at once, which shows that the Fine was accepted. In this way, and in right of his wife Hawise, he probably acquired not only a moiety of Lamborn, but that mesne interest in other Wiltshire Manors, such as Westbury, Buribluntesdon (Broad Blunsdon), and Stanton, which we afterwards find held by his descendants. [13] In 1190, Fulk fitz Warin is assessed 10s. to a Scutage of Wales, and in respect of a knight's-fee in Warwickshire or Leicestershire; but I cannot name his estate in either County. In 1193, I find him paying a Fine of two merks in the Warwickshire Pipe-Roll.

On November 6, 1194, Hawise de Dinant names her husband, Fulk fitz Warin, and (Hugh de Plugenai) names his wife, Sibil, as their Attorneys in a suit of mort d'ancestre.
[14] On November 9 the suit came on for hearing. It appears that they claimed lands at Caleston and Stanton (Wiltshire), against Herbert fitz Herbert and his son Peter. The Court would not entertain the suit till the King, in whose keeping the lands were, had rendered them to the right heirs. [15]

In this same year (1194) Fulk fitz Warin was assessed 20s. to the Scutage for the King's Redemption, and had fined ten merks to be excused transfretation (to Normandy). This was probably in respect of his Warwickshire Fee. He had indeed weighty matters to induce his stay in England.-

In 1195 he is entered on the Shropshire Pipe-Roll as owing 40 merks that he may have the Castle of Witinton as it had been adjudged to him in the Curia Regis. He never obtained it, and his Fine remained unliquidated for years. [16] The cause will now appear.-

[12] Rot. Pipe, 2 Ric. I., Wilts.
[13] Testa de Nevill, p. 150.
[14] [15] Rot. Curia Regis, I. 35, 37. A few previous particulars about these lands bear upon a future question,- the genealogy of Fitz Herbert. In 1190, Reginald fitz Herbert paid the first instalment of a fine of 100., pro manerio de Caleston et Stanton (Rot. Pipe, 2 Rio. I., Wilts). In 1192 Herbert fitz Herbert pays 13. 7s., and owes 2. 8s., of a fine of 15. 10s., pro manerio de Culeston et de Stanton quas Reginaldus filius suus habuit. About this time, or, at all events, while Walter, Archbishop of Rouen, was Justiciar (1192-3), Fulk fitz Warin, Hawise his wife, Alan de Plugenoy (as Attorney for his father), and Sibil, Alan's mother, fined 40 merks to have a recognition of mort d'ancestre at Westminster, against Herbert fitz Herbert, concerning the vill of Stanton (Rot. Pipe, 8 Ric. I.). The debt remained unliquidated in 1201.
[16] Rot. Canc. 3 John, p. 122.


In the year ending Michaelmas 1198, Hawise de Dinan fined 80 merks that she might not be obliged to remarry (pro pace habenda ne maritetur). [17] Fulk fitz Warin (II.) was therefore dead.

HAWISE DE DINAN, now a widow, renewed her claim upon Stanton soon after the accession of King John. About Michaelmas 1199, she and Sibil de Plugenay (now also a widow) fine 60 merks to have trial concerning the vill of Stanton by writ of mort d'ancestre, to wit, as heirs of Joceas de Dinan their father. [18] Earlier in the same year I find two tenants in Lamborn refusing to defend an action, because they were Villains of Hawise de Dinant. [19]

In 1201, the Berkshire Pipe-Roll (Lamborn having been annexed to that County) gives Sibil, widow of Hugh de Plugenai, and Hawise, mother of Fulk fitz Warin, as coparceners in Lamburn. In 1204, Hawise de Dinan and her sister Sibil are apparently claiming, against Oliver de Dinan, estates at Bokeland and Corfton in Somersetshire, and at Hertilande in Devonshire. [20] Hawise de Dinan seems to have had part at least of her dower in Alveston. A Writ of King John's, dated August 1, 1214, is in her favour, and relates to some prescriptive right in the Bosc of Alveston. [21] I think that Hawise de Dinan was surviving at least as late as the year 1226; for that seems to be the earliest limit of a Berkshire Tenure-Roll, which describes her as still holding Lamborn, and makes mention of her father, Joceas de Dinan, and of Fulk fitz Warin, her former husband. [22]

FULK FITZ WARIN (III.), with whom I now proceed, is said in the Fitz-Warin Chronicle to have had four brothers, viz. William, Philip, John and Alan, whereas an authentic document, already quoted, names Ralph, Richard and Warin as sons of Fulk. (I.) or Fulk (II.). Now Fulk (III.) had certainly a brother Alan, who has been seen to follow him, about 1198, in attesting a Charter of Robert Corbet of Caus, [23] and we have proof that his brothers William, Philip, and John (identical with Ivo) were no creations of the Chronicler's imagination. The inference is, that Ralph, Richard, and Warin were sons of Fulk fitz Warin (I.), and brothers of Fulk fitz Warin (II.).

In the year ending Michaelmas 1200 (though his father's fine

[17] Rot. Pipe, 10 Ric. I., Wilts.-

It is probable that Hawise de Dinan's Fine was negotiated in 1197, for at Michaelmas 1198 she had paid two instalments (10 merks and 20s.) thereon. We may therefore date Fulk fitz Warin (II.)'s death as in 1197.
[18] Oblata, p. 38.
[19] Rot. Curia Regis, I. 376.
[20] Rot. Finium, p. 221.
[21] Claus. 1. 169b.
[22] Testa de Nevill, p. 128.
[23] Supra, p. 18.


of 40 merks still remained on the Rolls), Fulk fitz Warin (III.) fined 100. with King John "to have judgment concerning Witinton Castle and its appurtenances, as his right, which had been adjudged to him by consideration of the Curia Regis". [24] This Fine was in opposition to a nearly cotemporary Fine by Meuric de Powis, who, being in possession of Whittington, offered the King 50 marks for a confirmation thereof. It is evident that the latter Fine was accepted by the King, and that this was the provocation which, in 1201, threw Fulk fitz Warin and his friends into rebellion.

The Fitz Warin Chronicle gives particulars of this outbreak, and of the mode in which Fitz Warin passed the period of his exile and outlawry. As a record of motives, feelings, and manners, the account has its value. As a statement of facts it is of little weight, unless where corroborated by the other evidences which I am about to quote. Fulk fitz Warin was a giant in strength and prowess, but nothing more, if we take the statements of his panegyrist, who seems however to have been of too coarse a mind to appreciate true chivalry even if it had existed in his hero.

The Gloucestershire Pipe Roll of 1201 speaks of Fulk fitz Warin's Manor of Alvestan as an Escheat, the rents thereof (1. 11s. 8d.) being due to the Crown. I have shown, under Westbury, how Fulk fitz Warin's outlawry was revoked by a Patent of November 15, 1203. Among his inlawed associates I see the names of William fitz Fulk, Philip fitz Guarin, and Ivo fitz Guarin, all perhaps his brothers; also of Roger de Preston, Henry de Pontesbury, William Malveissin, John and Richard de Preston, Philip de Hanewude, Hamo de Wikefeld, and Philip de Wemm, all perhaps Shropshire men, and some at least associated with the neighbourhood of Alberbury. It seems that Hawise de Dinan too had been associated in her son's forfeiture, for the Writ which orders the Justiciar of England to restore Fulk's lands, enjoins a similar reinstatement of his Mother. [25]

In October 1204, Fulk fitz Warin fined 200 merks and two Destriers for possession of the Castle and estate of Whittington as his right and inheritance; and King John, by a Patent of October 17, restored them to him. The Bishop of Norwich undertook to pay the money for Fitz Warin. [26] About this time we see Fulk fitz Warin, followed by Philip his brother, attesting a Deed, given under

[24] Rot. Pipe, 2 John, Salop.
[25] Rot. Liberate, p. 74.
[26] Rot. Fin. p. 234. Rot. Patent. p. 46, b.


Wilderley. [27] I now come to the marriage of Fulk fitz Warin, the circumstances of which are so completely misrepresented in the Fitz-Warin Chronicle, that I must give them with careful minuteness.

On June 29, 1205, died Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England. He is said, in the Chronicle, to have negotiated Fulk fitz Warin's marriage, but the facts are these.- His brother Theobald Walter, Butler of Ireland, was living in August 1205, but deceased on October 8, 1205. Theobald's widow was Matilda, daughter of Robert le Vavasour, [28] to whom King John, on February 19, 1206, made a grant empowering him to take possession of all his widowed daughter's estates, except Amunderness, and to hold them till Midlent. These estates were the Lady's dower, as widow of Theobald Walter, and her re-marriage was now granted to her Father. [29] On July 22, 1207, Matilda le Vavasour was still a Widow, and in her Father's care, [30] but before October 1 she had remarried to Fulk fitz Warin; or, at all events, the said Fulk had replaced Robert le Vavasour as Grantee of her marriage and dower. Fulk and Matilda therefore had King John's precept,

[27] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 259.
[28] Maud le Vavasour was daughter of Robert, granddaughter of William, and sister of John le Vavasour. I think her mother was a daughter of Adam fitz Peter, Lord of Birkyn; for it appears that "Robert le Vavasour gave his share (it was a fourth) of the Vill of Bolton with Matilda le Count, his daughter, in frank marriage to Theobald Walter, and that the said Matilda afterwards gave it to Roger de Birkyn, her Uncle", (Salley Register, Dugd. MSS. D. 2.)

It is not difficult to say why Maud le Vavasour is called Matilda le Count in the above extract. The names Vavasour and Count are treated as equivalent. It is less easy to determine why the Fitz Waris Chronicle calls the same person Maude de Caus. I, however, suggest an explanation.-

The real Maud de Caus, for there was such a person living at the time of Maud le Vavasour's marriage, was probably her Grandmother. She was daughter and sole heir of that Robert de Chaux who figures in 1165 as a great Derbyshire Feudatory (Liber Niger, I. 225), and who was hereditary Warden of the Forests of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Maud de Caus was wife, first of Adam fitz Peter, Lord of Birkyn, and secondly of Ralph fitz Stephen. By her first husband she had issue John de Birkyn, who, on her death in 1224, suoceeded to her great inheritance. I think that Roger de Birkyn above-mentioned, and * * * de Birkyn wife of Robert le Vavasour, were also children of Maude de Caus by her first husband.

Maud le Vavasour, thus supposed to be her Granddaughter, had two children by her first husband, Theobald Walter. These were Theobald Walter (II.) and Matilda. Matilda was entrusted by King John to the guardianship of Gilbert fitz Reinfrid; but in 1220 King Henry III. apprises William de Lancaster (Gilbert fitz Reinfrid's son), that Theobald fitz Theobald was now to have charge of his Sister (Pat. 4 Hen. III., m. 5), This Writ, coupled with another of July 1221 (Claus. I. 463), shows that in 1220-1 Theobald Walter (II.) attained his majority.
[29] Claus. I. 65.
[30] Ibidem, I. 88, b.


ordering them joint seizin of her thirds out of the estates of Theobald Walter, in Ireland and Lancashire. [31] This arrangement seems to have been with full consent of Robert le Vavasour, who joins with William fitz Warin, Fulk's brother, as Security for the enormous Fine of 1200 merks, which had been pledged first by Vavasour, and now by Fulk fitz Warin, as principals. [32] More than 100 of this Fine had been paid by Fitz Warin in 1209. In 1210 I find Fulk fitz Warin at issue with his Father-in-law about the Yorkshire Manor of Edinton. [33] Fitz Warin proffered the King a Fine of "the best horse in Wales" for judgment to be hastened in the matter. In this year also he accompanied King John to Ireland, as I learn from several entries of Praestita to Fulco fitz Guarin at Carrickfergus and at Dublin. His full seizin of Whittington, as recorded in a Roll of 1211, belongs to another page of our history. In September 1212 he accompanied King John on his Northern Journey, and attested his Charters at Allerton and Durham. On April 12, 1213, the King gives him materials out of the Leicestershire Forests wherewith to build at Norborough [34] (an estate of his wife's). On April 30, 1213, he was one of the Knights then at Winchelsea, and prepared to embark for foreign service. He had a donum on the occasion, of 20 merks. [35] On June 27, 1218, he is in King John's Court at Beer Regis (Dorsetshire). In May 1214 he had letters of exemption from the scutage of Poitou, and on June 2 I find him in King John's Court at Roche aux Moins, in Anjou. On December 28, 1214, the King empowers him to take five deer in the Forests of Leicestershire. [36] In 1215 I find it stated that Fulk fitz Warin was enfeoffed by Hugh Bigot, in the Berkshire Manor of Wantage. This grant was "in reward for military services", says my authority. [37] Fitz Warin's heirs afterwards held Wantage under Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. [37]

Matthew Paris includes Fulk fitz Warin among the malcontent Barons who met at Brackley on April 27, 1215. In due course he appears among the Barons who were excommunicated by Bull of Pope Innocent III., on December 16, 1215. [38] About Easter 1216

[31] Claus, I. 92, b.
[32] Rot. Fin. pp. 405-6.
[33] Rot. Pip. 12 John, Everwichsh.- It appears from a Charter (Dugdale's MSS. D. p. 149) that Robert Vavasor had given to Theobald Walter on his marriage with Matilda, the Grantor's daughter, the Manors of Edlington and Veteburg and his land of Boulton, retaining however the Advowsons of the Church and Chapel of Vereburg and of the Church of Boulton.
[34] Claus. I. 129.
[35] Rot. Misae, 14 John, m. 11.
[36] Claus. I. 182.
[37] Fitz Warin Chronicle, Notes, pp. 28-9, Testa de Nevill, p. 123.
[38] Foedera, I. 139.


we have notice that Fulk fitz Warin and others contracted a truce with William Earl Marshall, that truest of Royalists, and with other Barons Marchers. [39] However, on June 30 following, we see his Gloucestershire Manor of Alveston as an Escheat in manu Regis, and granted to others. [40] On September 10, 1217, a Writ of young King Henry declares Fulk fitz Warin to be an open enemy to the Crown, and consigns his Leicestershire Manor of Norborough to the Earl of Warwick, under whom it was held. [41] On November 4 following, Fulk fitz Warin, having made his peace, had the King's order for reseizin of his lands in Leicestershire, Shropshire, Lancashire, Norfolk, and Suffolk. [42] On February 11, 1218, he and his wife, Matilda, have a Writ, ordering her dower in Amundernesse to be given to them. [43] Further Writs of February 6 and November 22, 1220, show the King's favour to Fulk fitz Warin. However, a Writ of June 4, 1221, proves that the King had not permitted Fulk fitz Warin to strengthen Whittington Castle without exacting full security for his loyal behaviour. [44] A second Writ of November 11, 1222, is urgent upon the Earl of Chester to see that Whittington Castle be not made stronger than was necessary as against the Welsh, or than it was before the Barons' War. [45] Before March 1223, Fulk fitz Warin removed all his horses and live-stock from Whittington. Lewellyn, as had been apprehended, laid siege to the Castle, and the King allowed Fitz Warin's cattle to be depastared in the Lyth Forest. [46] Writs of July 11 and October 9, 1223, order the Sheriff to give Fulk fitz Warin full seizin of the Castle and Land of Whittington, and to replace whatever had been taken thence whilst it was in the King's hand. [47] About this time we have seen Fulk fitz Warin attesting, as Fulk de Alberbury, a Charter of his probable relation, Philip de Burwardsley. [48] His connection with the latter family I need not re-discuss.

On October 13, 1225, the King pardons Fulk fitz Warin an amercement of 5 merks, inflicted by Justices of the Forest in Yorkshire. [49] In January 1226 I find young Theobald Walter suing William Pantulf and Hawise his wife for the Leicestershire Manor of Norborough, and suing Fulk fitz Warin for the Yorkshire Manor of Edelinton. [50]

All this is very significant.- From a mass of circumstantial falsehood in the Fitz Warin Chronicle we extract one truth, viz. that Hawise, eldest daughter of Fulk fitz Warin by his wife Maud, became

[39] [40] [41] Claus. I. pp. 270, 276, 321.
[42] [43] Ibidem, pp. 376, 352.
[44] [45] Ibidem, pp. 460, 520.
[46] [47] Ibidem, pp. 537, 554, 565.
[48] Supra, Vol. II. p. 14.
[49] [50] Claus. II. pp. 65-b, 147-b.


Lady of Wem. [51] So, then, the probabilities are that Hawise fitz Warin, born about 1208, was before 1226 married to William Pantulf, Baron of Wem, and, having been her mother's Grantee in the Manor of Norborough, was sued for the same by her elder and uterine brother, Theobald Walter. The suit was a vain one, for the heirs of William Pantulf of Wem were still holding Norborough in the reign of Edward I. [52]

We further gather from the above Lawsuits, that Maud le Vavasour was deceased in 1226, otherwise her son would probably have sued her as a joint Defendant with her husband and daughter. The Fitz Warin Chronicle confirms this, so far as the death of Maud before Fulk fitz Warin is implied. The Chronicle adds that Fitz Warin remarried with Clarice de Auberville. [53] This statement I shall hereafter in part substantiate. On Sept. 1, 1227, King Henry III. granted to Fulk fitz Warin the privilege of holding an annual fair in his Berkshire Manor of Cheping-Lamborn. [54] A Writ-close of August 15, 1228, orders Lewellyn, Prince of Wales, to prolong, till September 10, a truce which subsisted between himself

[51] Fitz Warin Chronicle, pp.118, 216.
[52] Burton's Leicestershire, p. 206. The History of Norborough is found in a Plea-Roll of Trinity Term, 1276. It was originally of the Fee of Roger de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick. Earl William de Newburgh, his son (who died in 1184), gave it to William le Vavasour, whose son Robert gave it to his daughter Matilda. Hence, in 1221, Fulk fitz Warin (as Matilda's husband) was contesting the Advowson of Norborough with the Abbot of Leicester. Again, Matilda le Vavasour gave Norborough to Hawyse, her daughter, who took it to William Pantulf of Wem. Their daughter and heir, Matilda, marrying Ralph le Botyler, concurred with her husband, before 1276, in granting Norborough to their son William and his wife Ankaret. In that year, however, John le Vavasour claimed the Advowson of Norborough, on the ground that in 26 Hen. III. (1241-2) Hawyse fitz Warin (she was then a Widow) had quit-claimed the said Advowson in his favour. His opponents, Ralph and Matilda le Botyler, impleaded John le Vavasour for the presentation, and deduced their title as above.
[53] It is but right to state that the fact of Maud Vavasour dying before her second husband is circumstantially contradicted by a narrative which sometime existed among the Archives of Sallay Abbey.

The writer is showing the descent of that fourth share of Bolton which Robert le Vavasour had given, in marriage with his daughter, to Theobald Walter. He continues the story thus: "On Theobald's death, Matilda was married to Fulco fitz Warin; but Fulk being dead, Matilda, in her widowhood, gave her fourth part of the said vill to Roger de Byrkyn, her uncle (avuncula)".

This testimony is per se as good as, but not better than, that of the Fitz Warin Chronicle. I have, in the text, adhered to the latter, because it seems most consistent with other independent evidences. However, if the Sallay annalist should prove to be right, the whole history of the Fitz Warins will have to be reconstructed; for it would at once appear that he who has been represented in my text as Fulk fitz Warin Tertius, was two persons, a father and son; one the husband of Maud Vavasour, the other of Clarice d'Auberville.
[54] Claus. II. 199.


on the one hand, and Thomas Corbet with Fulk fitz Warin on the other.

In Easter Term 1229, I find Fulk fitz Warin not only engaged in the Lawsuit, already described, with Philip de Burwardsley, but suing Peter fitz Herbert for half the Wiltshire Manor of Staunton. [55] In this suit he apparently succeeded, for a later document assigns half a fee, held in capite in Staunton, to Fulk fitz Warin. [56]

On October 3, 1229, we have Fulk fitz Warin in the King's Court at Westminster. [57] On April 20, 1230, he was at Portsmouth, waiting tb embark with the King, and had a Patent of Protection for his property, etc., during his absence in foreign parts. On February 4, 1233, he fined 600 merks for custody of the heirs and lands of William Pantulf, then deceased. [58] On May 15, 1234, the King desires Fulk and Alan fitz Garin each to supply one Knight for foreign service, and in aid of the Earl of Bretagne. [59] On July 26, 1236, Fulk fitz Warin in North Wales, and William fitz Warin in South Wales, are appointed Dictators, that is, standing Arbitrators, of the truce then existing between King Henry and Lewellyn. [60] In 1237, an entry on the Shropshire Pipe-Roll shows Fulk fitz Warin as responsible for a claim of the Crown on the Barony of Wem, viz. 16 merks for the King's year and waste of the land of Roger de Culshis (an outlaw). Fitz Warin's Sureties were his neighbours, viz. Richard Corbet and Adam de Arunde1. [61]

On March 8, 1238, Fulk fitz Warin was one of the great chiefs summoned to Oxford to consult with the King as to the threatening attitude assumed by Lewellyn, who had caused his son David to receive the homage of the Magnates of North Wales and Powys. [61]

In or about 1240, a Feodary of Thomas Corbet's Barony gives Fulk fitz Warin as holding one knight's-fee thereof in Aldeburi. [61]

It appears that while Fulk fitz Warin had had custody of Pantulf's Barony, he had enfeoffed Ralph de Hodnet in the escheated land of Roger de Culshis (or de Cuneshasel, as he is in this instance called). In 1243-4 Matilda (Pantulf) and her husband, Ralph le Botyler, questioning the legality of this, sued Ralph de Hodnet for the land. The latter called Fulk fitz Warin to warranty. I mention this here because Ralph de Hodnet occurs in other affairs

[55] Placita, Pasch. Tm. 13 Hen. m. 9 dorso.- One Joceus, who was presumed to be entitled to the other moiety of Staunton, would not share in the prosecution.
[56] Testa de Nevill, p. 130,- where also Herbert fitz Peter holds the other moiety in succession to his father.
[57] Foedera, I. 196.
[58] Rot. Fin. I. 237.
[59] [60] [61] Foedera, I. 212, 230, 235.
[62] Testa de Nevill, p. 45.


which I shall have to notice presently, and because I am anxious to show that the Fulk fitz Warin of 1244 was identical with the Fulk fitz Warin of 1233. [63]

Again in 1244 Fulk fitz Warin occurs as a surety for Hugh de Plugenai of Berkshire. [64]

On June 30,1245, an assembly of aggrieved nobles met at Dunstaple and Linton, and deputed Fulk fitz Warin to proceed to London, and there, on behalf of the whole realm, give Martin, the Pope's Nuncio, formal notice to leave the kingdom. [65] The peremptory mode in which Fitz Warin executed his mission is consistent with the character of his youth, though at this time he cannot have been much less than seventy years of age. The Nuncio obeyed the order. On July 5, 1245, Fulk fitz Warin stands first witness to a Charter of Henry III.'s at Windsor. [66] On Nov. 6, 1245, the King, by a Patent dated at Lilleshall, orders Fulk fitz Warin, John le Strange, and Henry de Audley to put an end to a quarrel, about land in Dendover, between Griffin ap Madoc, Griffin ap Wenhunwen, and Roger de Montalt. From this period to the period at which I have reason to suppose that Fulk fitz Warin died, is about twelve years. It is curious that the Fitz Warin Chronicle, growing more accurate at its close, states him to have been blind the last seven years of his life. I can find him in no public employment during this supposed period, and yet I think that I can show him to have been living for a great part thereof.

On November 22, 1248, a Fine was levied between Thomas Corbet (Plaintiff) and Fulk fitz Warin (Deforciant), concerning the customs and service required by Corbet on a Knight's-fee held by Fitz Warin in Alberbury. Corbet required that Fitz Warin should do him the homage and service of one knight, and do suit every three weeks at the Court of Caus, and find one knight or two servientes for ward of Caus Castle at his (Fitz Warin's) cost, for 40 days, whenever there was war between the English King and

[63] The Fitz Warin Chronicle, in one place (p.61), bears an appearance of having been composed in the lifetime of Walter de Lacy, i.e. before 1241, and yet it speaks fully of the death of Fulk fitz Warin, which we might thus conclude to have taken place before that of Walter de Lacy. However, it is plain that the Chronicle is not the work of one time or hand, for the writer of the latter part (pp. 177-183) represents Fulk fitz Warin as surviving Lewellyn ap Jorweth massy years, and the latter we know died in 1240.
[64] Originalia, I. 5.
[65] M. Paris, I.659. Mr. Wright, in his Introduction to the Fitz Warin Chronicle, supposes this Fulk fitz Warin to have been Fulk, junior. I see some, but hardly sufficient, reason for that opinion.
[66] Rot. Chart. 29 Hen. III., m. 3.


the Welsh. Fitz Warin now acknowledged all these obligations, and Corbet in return remitted all damages which he affirmed himself to have suffered by the withholding of these services, down to the date of this concord.

I suppose that a Fine of five merks pro licentia concordandi, charged against Fulk fitz Warin in the Pipe-Roll of 1250 and unliquidated in 1252, was an incident of the above Concord.

In October 1250, Fulco fitz Warin and Clarice, his wife, fine one merk for a Writ in a Kentish Lawsuit. [67] Here we have undoubtedly the Clarice de Auberville of the Fitz Warin Legend, and some proof that the Fulk fitz Warin of 1201 was still living. In another year the last fact is still apparent. The Shropshire Pipe-Roll of 1251 records an amercement of one merk against Fulk fitz Warin, for not producing one for whom he was bound (quia non habuit); but the Chancellor's Antigraph of the said Roll records this same amercement against Fulk fitz Warin, junior. The Pipe-Roll again records an amercement of 20 merks against Fulk fitz Warin for venison trespass (pro trangressione venacionis). Here we have unquestionably, not the man of more than 70 years of age, blind if alive, but his son, aged perhaps about 40. A Record of the next year places, I think, the practical succession of-

FULK FITZ WARIN (IV.) beyond a doubt, though perhaps his Father was still alive. In August 1252, Fulco, son of Fulco fitz Warin, fines one merk to have a Writ relevant to some Wiltshire Lawsuit. [68]

Surely too the Fulk fitz Warin, who in September 1253 has a Patent of Protection, so long as he should be in the King's service in Gascony, was Fulk fitz Warin (IV.).

The Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 shows that, if Fulk fitz Warin (III.) were living, he was not in possession of Alberbury. It says that "Fulk fitz Warin holds two hides, geldable, in Albeburi, of the fee of Caus, and does suit to County and Hundred". It also says (in another place) that "the Grandemontensian Brethren hold two virgates (part, I presume, of the above two hides) in Alberburi by gift of Fulk fitz Warin, senior, and of the Fee of Caus". [69] I shall show hereafter that it was Fulk fitz Warin (III.), whether blind, imbecile, or dead in 1255, who founded and endowed the Grandmontensian Priory of Alberbury. As to Alberbury being now two hides, whereas it was only one in Domesday, that is an unusual change. Possibly Bausley, which stood as an independent Manor

[67] [68] Rot. Fin., II. 89, 138.
[69] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.


of one hide in Domesday, was on the present occasion reckoned as an appurtenance of Alberbury.

I have alluded under Caus to a Patent of July 5, 1255, which appointed Henry de Mara, Geoffrey de Langley, and William de Wilton, as Justices to set to rights injuries and strifes which subsisted between Thomas Corbet and Griffin ap Wenhunwin. A meeting of course took place on this subject; and, by a strange chance, another Record tells us of something, very material to our present discussion, which probably took place at that meeting. We have indeed all but an absolute proof that at the time of that meeting Fulk fitz Warin (III.) was still alive, but that Fulk fitz Warin (IV.) represented him absolutely, as Corbet's Vassal. The Record to which I allude is an entry on the Salop Assize-Roll of January 1256. [70] It runs as follows.-

"An Assize comes on, to make recognition whether Thomas Corbet hath disseized Fulk fitz Warin, junior, of his free tenement in Albebyr, viz. of about 120 acres".

"Thomas says that the land is of his Fief, and that the Plaintiff, before many Magnates and Lieges of the King, rendered back his homage and the said land to the Defendant, and positively declared that he never would hold either that or any other land of the Defendant. For this reason the Defendant put himself in seizin of the said land, as it was lawful for him to do, the moment that Fulk abandoned it (wayviavit) to him".

"Fulk says (in reply) that he never rendered back land nor homage, and asks judgment on this special point,- whether, even if it were true that under anger and excitement he had verbally rendered back his homage, yet had not subsequently changed his state, but had continuously remained in seizin,- whether it was competent to the Defendant to disseize him on the ground of a mere word. As to his never having, spontaneously, and of goodwill, surrendered the land, he puts himself on an Assize" (i.e. appeals to a Jury).

"The Jury declares that a certain day of reconciliation (dies amoris) was fixed upon between Thomas Corbet and Griffin ap Wennonwyn, touching several matters of contention;- that many Magnates met together on the occasion, and that Fulk, the present Plaintiff, was of the number;- that Fulk and Thomas Corbet quarrelled together (corrixati sunt);- that Corbet called Fulk, Fulk's father, a Traitor (Proditorem);- that Fulk announced (mandavit) to Corbet, that, seeing he charged his father with such a

[70] Assizes, 40 Hen. III., m. 15.


crime, he (Fulk Junior) would render back his homage to Corbet, and would never hold land of him again".

"The Jurors, being asked (by the Court) whether Fulk, in his own person, made the said surrender, say that he did not;- indeed that he made the surrender through Hamo le Strange".

"The Jurors, being further asked whether Fulk, after he had sent that message, returned to his seizin, say 'Yes';- and that Fulk is still in seizin of the Castle of Alberbyr', which is the Capital Manor pertaining to the said land;- and that Fulk caused eight days' ploughing to be done on the land, in the interval before Corbet ejected him".

The judgment follows in favour of Fitz Warin.- Consideratum est quod Fulco recuperat seisinam suam; i.e. "The Court decides that Folk do recover his seizin".

It is seldom that I shall have to quote a document so perfectly intelligible, so generally instructive, and so minutely pertinent, to an otherwise difficult question, as the above. The Feudal System, with its exigencies as to homage and personal fealty, is before us. The sound equity of the Curia Regis, already inclining to soften rather than enforce the asperities of that system, is apparent. We have Thomas Corbet in his usual character,- quarrelsome, crafty and vindictive;- the foe of his own relations and his own vassals. We have a Strange, pleased doubtless to bear a defiant message to the enemy of his family. We have Fulk fitz Warin (III.), too aged and too infirm to manage his own affairs, but reproached, nevertheless, with his past irregularities. Lastly, we have his son, as plain-spoken, as reckless, and withal as successful as the father.

It seems that Thomas Corbet was not satisfied with the judgment in favour of Fitz Warin. He took the ordinary means to upset it. In such cases, if an Appellant questioned the plain verdict of a Jury, his course was to get a Writ of Attaint against that Jury. If, on the other hand, he thought that a false judgment had resulted

[71] On folio 66-b of the Sloane MS., 1301, we have a Deed quoted, and perhaps misquoted, whereby "Fulk fitz Warin, Lord of Wytington", is stated to have given "a Release of all actions to Sir Thomas Corbett, on Sunday after the Epiphany, 40 Henry III". This date is equivalent to Sunday, January 9, 1256 just five days before the Justices-in-Eyre commenced their sittings in Shrewsbury.

I will not attempt to explain document, the accuracy of which I altogether doubt. It is impossible to reconcile it with the facts stated at the Trial. Moreover the Transcriber notes that the Seal thereof was Two Ravens. The inference is that it was a Deed of Thomas Corbett, not of Fulk fitz Warin. Possibly, however, it was the Counterpart of some Indenture which involved an act of each party; and so was interchangeably sealed.


from an insufficient examination of the Jury, and that other points might be raised, his course was to obtain a Writ of Certification. In the present instance Corbet appropriately took the latter course. The process of Certificatio was to resummon the Jury to another Court, where they gave evidence as to what passed at the former Trial, and where also it was necessary that the successful Litigant should be in attendance to hear the proceedings. Thus in Hilary Term 1259, Thomas Corbet appeared (by his Attorney) at Westminster, versus Fulk fitz Warin;- "to the end that the latter should come into Court and hear Certification of an Assize of novel disseizin, taken before Simon de Wauton and his fellows, between the said Fulk (Plaintiff) and the said Thomas, concerning a tenement in Alberbur'". Fulk however appeared not, and the cause was adjourned to Easter Term following. [72]

Not till Easter Term 1260 do I find further notice of this Appeal. Then the difficulty was the non-attendance of the Jurors, or some of them. Their names are given. The Sheriff had been ordered to compel by distraint the appearance of Odo de Hodnet, William de Leighton, Stephen de Buterlegh, and Peter de Muneton; also of Reginald Bardulf, William de Hulkinton, Henry de Wodenton, William de Weston and Thomas de Legh, notwithstanding their residence in the Honour of Montgomery and Chirbury. Stephen de Buterlegh and William de Leighton now appeared at Westminster. It was stated, in respect of some of the persons named, that they were not on the Jury in question, and that Peter de Moneton was dead. William de Hulkinton, Henry de Wodenton and William de Weston were reported by the Sheriff to have found Manucaptors (for their future appearance, I suppose). The Court ordered the Sheriff to ascertain who the other Jurors were. [73]

In the troubled period which was now approaching I find no recurrence of this matter. On August 1, 1260, Fulk fitz Warin is included in the great military summons against Lewellyn, returnable at Shrewsbury, cum equis et armis, on Sept. 8 following. Fulk fitz Warin (III.) was probably now dead, or his son would have been still called Junior, as at the commencement of the above lawsuit. It is remarkable that Fulk fitz Warin (III.) left two sons named Fulk, one, that Fulk (IV.) of whom I have been speaking, and one who was afterwards called Fulk fitz Warin of Alberbury, for reasons which will appear presently. In 1262 these

[72] Placita, Hil. Tm. 43 Hen. III., m. 19. Simon de Wauton, John Abbot of Peterborough, etc., were the Justices-in-Eyre at Shrewsbury in 1256.
[73] Plac. apud West., 44 Hen. III., Pasch. Tm., m. 16.


two brethren were distinguished as Fulk fitz Warin Senior and Fulk fitz Warin Junior,- a puzzling circumstance for the genealogist, since the elder had so lately been called Junior, in distinction to his Father. At the Forest Assizes of February 1262, Sir Fulk fitz Warin Senior was reported as having taken a brocket-deer (brokettum cervi [74]) on Sept. 25, 1257. The term senior is, I presume, relevant to the year of the Assize, not to that of the trespass. I have cited under Caus a letter of Henry III.'s, dated July 22, 1262, which seems to recognise Fulk fitz Warin's importance on the Marches. [75] A Patent of January 1263, accords him the usual protection while acting for the King in the parts of Wales. Whether in consequence of his feuds with the Baron of Caus, or out of mere fraternal affection, it is clear that about this time he conveyed Alberbury (except the Advowson of the Church and Abbey, and except the Walcheria pertaining to the Manor) to his younger brother, thenceforth called Fulk fitz Warin of Alberbury, or distinguished from the elder line in some other way. The conditions of this transfer were subjects of after litigation and will recur again to our notice. On May 14, 1264, Fulk fitz Warin (IV.) fell on the Royalist side in that great misfortune of Lewes, not as became a Fitz Warin, in the thickest of the fight, but drowned in the adjacent river. [76] He left behind him a widow, Constance, and a son-

FULK FITZ WARIN (V.), who seems not to have attained his majority till 1273, when Livery was allowed him of his Berkshire estates. [77] I should state that in October 1272, Fulk fitz Warin (V.) was in custody of Hamo le Strange, and Robert le Strange his brother; but Thomas Corbet had for some time been suing those persons for this wardship, on the ground that Fitz Warin held under the Plaintiff per servicium militare. The Sheriff was ordered to compel the appearance of the two Defendants who had already made frequent defaults; but the result does not appear. [78] The Feodary drawn up on Thomas Corbet's death in 1274, gives Fulk fitz Warin as Tenant of one Knight's-fee in the Barony of the deceased. I shall here cease to make the elder line of Fitz Warin the prominent subject of my remarks. Bausley and Whittington will be more appropriate localities for a continuation of their history. As we are now speaking of Alberbury, we must trace the career of its possessor, viz.-

[74] The brocket wee a two-year-old deer.
[75] Supra, p. 27.
[76] M. Paris, I. 996.
[77] Originalia, I. 19.
[78] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 14.



He too was a Royalist, and it is a Pseudo-Patent of December 20, 1264, which commands Fulk fitz Warin, Junior, to surrender Whittington Castle (late Fulk fitz Warin's) to Peter de Montfort. Of course no such surrender was made, and a Patent of January 12, 1266, gives to Fulk fitz Warin, Junior, for his meritorious services, custody of a carucate of land in Staunton (Wiltshire), which had belonged to Fulk fitz Warin deceased, and which the Patentee was to retain till the heir of the said deceased should attain his lawful age. It was subsequently found that this carucate had already been assigned as part of the dower of Constance, Widow of Fulk fitz Warin, Senior, so a Patent of April 16, 1266, promises to Fulk fitz Warin, Junior, wardships or escheats, to the annual value of 10., in lieu thereof. In Michaelmas Term following I find the said Constance suing the Tenant of Staunton (Berkshire) for dower; and on January 20, 1267, she sues Fulk de Leyham for one-third of the Manor of Auberbyr'. The suit does not recur, nor have I any reason to show why Fulk fitz Warin, evidently the Defendant, was called de Leyham. Sir Fulk fitz Warin, who sat as foreman of the Jury in the Inquest of Ford Hundred, taken November 27, 1274, was evidently of Alberbury. He complained that Thomas Corbet (he was now dead) had caused his cattle to be attached, viz. 9 oxen, 1 mare (jumentum), 8 she-goats, and 21 swine, and that William Hager, Corbet's Clerk, still detained the same, in defiance of a mandate of the King's. [79] Again, Sir Fulk fitz Warin was one of four knights who about March 1276 sat on the Inquest after the death of John le Strange. One William de Alberbury was also a Juror on this occasion.

On June 16, 1284, King Edward I., at the instance of Bogo de Knovill, then at Court, granted a Charter of Free-Warren to Fulk fitz Warin of Alberbury;- also license for a weekly market to be held there on Fridays, and for two annual fairs of three days each, viz. June 15, 16, and 17, and September 28, 29, and 30. [80]

A Deed of Richard, Earl of Arundel, which passed at Shrawardine Castle, apparently on March 25, 1292, is here noticeable for some of the names contained in its testing clause. [81] These are Peter Corbet, Fulk fitz Warin, Robert Corbet, and Fulk Glas, all knights. The second witness is clearly Fulk fitz Warin (V.) of Whittington

[79] Rot. Hundred. II. 96.
[80] Rot. Chart. 12 Edw. I., No. 27. 1
[81] Salop Chartulary, No. 275.


and Bausley; the fourth is, I think, his Uncle, Fulk fitz Warin of Alberbury. At the Assizes of October 1292 these two had a Law-suit which quite explains their relative positions.- "Fulk fitz Warin of Alberburi is summoned to answer Fulk fitz Warin of Wytinton, who seeks to make him keep to a Convention, formerly made between Fulk the Plaintiff's Father (whose heir the Plaintiff is) and Fulk fitz Warin of Alberburi (the present Defendant)". This convention (as the Plaintiff stated) concerned the Manor of Alberburi except the Advowson of the Abbey and Church, and except the Walcheria pertaining to the Manor; and the Plaintiff's grievance was that, whereas Fulk fitz Warin of Whittington delivered the said Manor to the Defendant, to hold till Fulk of Whittington should give him 10 librates of land in Anglecheria;- and whereas such quantity of land had repeatedly been offered to the Defendant in Wanetynge, Berkshire;- yet the Defendant had refused and still was refusing to abide by the Convention. In proof hereof the Plaintiff produced the said Convention, which ran as follows:- Ego Fulco filius Warini, Junior, recepi de Domino Fulcone fratre meo manerium de Alberburi exceptis (etc. etc., as described in the above Plea). [82]

To all this Fulk fitz Warin of Alberburi now replied that Fulk fitz Warin, his brother, and the Plaintiff's father, had given him (the Defendant) the Manor of Alberburi simply and unconditionally; and of the truth of this he vouched a Charter. The cause was adjourned to Lichfield, and I trace it no further. It is clear to me that Fulk fitz Warin (IV.) had at different times given a conditional and an unconditional grant of Alberbury to his brother, and that a counterpart only of the former had reached his son and heir. That Fulk Glas retained Alberbury is apparent. At these very Assizes, and described as Fulco de Alberbur', he chose the Jury for Ford Hundred, and he has occurred to us, similarly designated, in the attestation of a Habberley Deed of this period.

Before the year 1311 Fulk Glas (I.) had. been succeeded by his son-

FULK GLAS (II.). On February 9 of that year a Fine was levied whereby Master John de Cherleton (evidently a Feoffee in trust) settles the Manor of Alberbury on Fulk, son of Fulk Glass, and Agnes his wife, and the heirs of their bodies, with remainder to the right heirs of Fullt. [83]

It was Fulco Glas (II.) who in 1316 was returned as Lord of

[82] Assizes, 20 Edw. I., m. 8 dorso.
[83] Pedes Finium, 4 Edw. II.


Abbresbury. On March 12, 1320, Fulk Glas (II.) obtained a formal Quit-claim of Alberbury Manor from Fulk fitz Warin (VI.) of Whittington. The latter as "Fulco fitz Warin, Lord of Whitynton", remits and quit-claims to Fulco, son of Fulco Glas, his heirs and assigns, all right in the Manor of Alberbury excepting the Advowson of the Abbey and Church, and the Walcheria of the said Manor, which shall remain to the Grantor and his heirs, but including the demesne of the said Manor, if the Grantor had any right thereto. Witnesses,- Sir John le Strange, Sir Thomas de Roshall, Sir Roger Corbet, Sir John le Strange, Knights; Richard Hord, Alexander de Shavyntone, John de Lee, and others. [84]

Fulco Glas, as a Man at arms only, and not a knight, was summoned by the Sheriff of Shropshire to attend a Great Council at Westminster on May 30, 1324. [85]

Of UNDERTENANTS in Alberbury I have no particulars to give, unless it be to name Robert Provost of Albebyr', who in 1251 was amerced 6s. 8d., quia non habuit (quem plegiavit). He was probably Fitz Warin's bailiff here.


The original Saxon Church was Collegiate,- a fitting adjunct to a Demesne-Manor of Edward the Confessor. The Church was still Collegiate when Ralph Crassus, in the time of Stephen, gave it to Shrewsbury Abbey, and when that Abbey, in the time of Henry II., surrendered it to the second Fulk fitz Warin. Alberbury is said, on the best authority, to have been sometime an Escheat, and in the hands of Robert Corbet of Caus. This was probably from 1201 to 1203, the period of the outlawry of Fulk fitz Warin (III.). If so, it was then that Robert Corbet conferred two Prebends in this Church on William and Hugh Corbet. Of how many, if of any more, Prebends, the College consisted, I cannot say. The Fitz Warins were doubtless the rightful Patrons of all. When on June 25, 1227, King Henry III., giving a general Confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey, includes the Church of Alberbury, [86] the expression must be taken as a mere matter of routine, a literal but no longer truthful repetition of what had been contained in the confirmation of Henry II. There cannot be a doubt, though there is no

[84] Charter in possession of Sir Baldwin Leighton, Bart.- This Charter has a small seal, with the figure of a Knight on horseback. The Legend is imperfect, but was perhaps as follows.- SIGILLUM FULCONIS (FIL. FULCONI)S LE FIZ GARIN.
[85] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 925.
[86] Monasticon, III, 523, b.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


direct Charter to prove, that Fulk fitz Warin (III.) gave up all Patronage of Alberbury Church and its Prebends to the Priory here founded by himself. On April 13, 1262, Thomas Corbet (of Caus) quit-claimed to the Friars of Alberbury any right or claim which he had, or might have, to the Advowson of those two Prebends in Alberbury Church, to which Robert Corbet, his Father, had presented when the land of Alberbury was his Escheat. [87] The Friars evidently procured an appropriation of this Church, and thus the Prebends were suppressed, and a Vicarage only remained. Of this Vicarage the said Friars were of course Patrons. In case of a presentation dated May 1284, the Vicarage is stated to be worth 15 merks, but Bishop Swinfield, on instituting the Presentee, reserved to himself a power of augmenting that stipend out of the Rectorial Funds.

I have spoken on a former page of a decision between the Prior of Alberbury and the Incumbents of Welsh-Pool relative to the tithes of Bausley and thirteen other Vills in the district of Gordowr. [88] The dispute had originally been, not so much about tithes and parochial boundaries, as about the limits of the Dioceses of Hereford and St. Asaph. I suppose that during the Border wars of Henry III.'s time, the two Lewellyns had so far been successful as to have encroached upon, or at least made debatable, a large tract of Country, East of the Severn. Anian II., Bishop of St. Asaph (1268-1293), seems to have taken advantage of this state of things, by arrogating to his own Diocese portions of the Parishes of Alberbury, Worthen, and Chirbury. The controversy had begun while Cantilupe was Bishop of Hereford (1275-82). At that Prelate's decease it was before the Papal Court, and had since been referred back to competent judges on the spot. A Jury of Welsh and English had at length been assembled to decide the boundary of the two Dioceses of Anian (II.) and Richard Swinfield, now Bishop of Hereford. The award was in favour of Hereford. The Perambulation took place on Nov. 23, 1288, when the true and ancient boundary of the Dioceses was determined to be the filum, or midstream, of the Severn, from the ford called Rhydwymma, where the river divided the lands of Sir Reginald de Montgomery from those of Peter Corbet, to the ford of Shrawarden. On the morrow Swinfield came to Chirbury, and on the 25th (St. Catherine's day) he entered on horseback the ford of Rhydwymma, to the middle of the river, and thus took possession of all places and Vills within the bank assigned to him,

[87] Monasticon, VII. 1032, Num. II.
[88] Supra, p. 44.


with all the Episcopal offices pertaining thereto. The Clergy of the different Parishes tendered their obedience, and thus ended a dispute which had lasted for ten years. The settlement, notwithstanding a subsequent effort of Bishop Anian, to disturb it, governs the question of boundary between these two Dioceses at this very day. [89]

In May 1289 Swinfield settled a dispute between the Prior of Alberbury and Gregory de Clun, the Vicar of the Church. The Vicar had served the Church, with its Chapels, and that of Woolaston, four years, for an emolument of ten merks, and had been engaged in a continuous dispute with his Patrons. Swinfield now decided that the costs of visitations, repairs of chancels, books, vestments, and vessels, as well as all extraordinary charges, should be borne equally by the Vicar and the Friars. The vicar was to provide suitable lights for the Church, to collect the Peter-pence of the Parish, and pay them to the Archdeacon, with 12d. for Synodals. He was also to pay 6s. 8d. yearly to the Prior, in token of subjection, and for the boon of peace (pro bono pacis). [90]

The Bishop awarded to the Vicar the hay-tithes of Woolaston, the offerings of the Altar, and all small tithes, except those of wool and lamb. The latter, with all Mortuaries and Heriots, were to remain to the Priory. [91]

On May 4, 1290, Bishop Swinfield, in course of his Visitation, consecrated the Parish Church of Alberbury. Here it is evident that a distinction is marked between the Parochial and Conventual Churches, and that the former, for some reason or other, had to be reconsecrated. The Bishop and his Suite were entertained that day by the Prior of Alberbury. On May 5 (Friday) hay and corn for the thirty-six horses of the Bishop's Suite were provided by the Prior, but the other expenses of the day were charged against the Bishop by his Secretary. The purchase of Salmon, fresh-water fish, and eels, is appropriate not only to the current fast-day, but to a locality so near the Severn. [92] The Church of Alberbury, I should observe, like that of Chirbury, consecrated three days later, was dedicated to St. Michael. The Warrior-Saint was perhaps selected under some association with the history of a district which had now for two centuries been the nursery and the grave of ever-warring Chieftains.

[89] For most of these details I am indebted to the Abstract appended to Swinfield's Household-Roll, by its accurate and learned Editor (pp. lxxviii. & lxxix.).
[90] Abstract (ut supra), pp. cxcii. cxciii.
[91] MS. at Loton Park.
[92] Swinfeld's Household Roll, p. 81.


The Ecclesiastical Taxation of 1291 values the Church of Alberbury, in Pontesbury Deanery, at 25. per annum. This was the Rectorial Income. The "Vicar's Portion" in the same Church was put at 6. 13s. 4d. per annum. [93]

The Assize-Roll of 1292 gives an instance of the respect which the English Borderers paid to Churches, as Sanctuaries even for enemies. A Murderer, a Welshman, had (probably ten years before) taken Sanctuary in Alberbury Church. He had remained there five weeks, till "in time of war" he was released by his compatriots. The names of him and his rescuers were not known to the Ford Jurors who made this presentment. Sentence of outlawry was nevertheless recorded. [95]

The Rector of Diddlebury had a further Portion of 1. 6s. 8d. here. [94] This I take it was an onus laid on the Church of Alberbury by the Dignitaries of Hereford, when they allowed the Appropriation of Alberbury. Diddlebury was their own Church.

In 1341 the assessment of Alberbury Parish to the Ninth accurately quotes the Church Taxation as being 33. This sum the Assessors reduced to a parochial tax of 10. 4s. Their reasons for so great a reduction seem to have been these.- (1.) The greater portion of the Parish was in the parts of Wales. (2.) The Prior of New-Abbey, as Rector of the said Church, held three carucates of land, worth 50s. per annum, as his glebe. (3.) A certain portion of the said Parish, worth 20s. per annum, pertained to the Church of Andelbury (the pension of 1. 69. 8d. to Diddlebury is meant). (4.) Three virgates of land, in two Vills of the said Parish, were unfilled, through the poverty of the Occupants. [96]

The Valor of 1534-5 gives the preferment of John Poole, Vicar of Alberbury, as 5. in glebe and tithes, less 1s. for Archdeacon's Synodals, and 13s.4d. for Bishop's Procurations. The same Record values the Chapel of Alberbury, of which the Master and Fellows of All Souls' College, Oxford, were Proprietaries, at "5. per annum, in tithes of corn and hay, paid by diverse persons". [97] By this, I presume, is meant an endowed Chapel within the precinct of the long previously suppressed Priory.


GREGORY DE CLON, Priest, was instituted to this Vicarage on93

[93] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 167.
[94] Supra, Vol. V. p. 174.
[95] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw. I., m. 26.
[96] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 185.
[97] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. p. 214.


May 25, 1284. The preferment was stated to be worth 10. per annum, and the Bishop reserved a power of increasing it.

ROBERT DE CLOPTON, Priest, instituted January 14, 1302, is styled Perpetual Vicar in 1317-8.

WALTER PRYDE was presented to this Vicarage by Patent of December 6, 1337, the King being Patron, as having in hand the Temporalities of the Abbey of Grammont and of New Abbey. [98] In 1340, Pryde proposing to exchange preferments with-

RICHARD LE SPENSER, Parson of the Chapel of Eton Constantine, the latter is presented to Alberbury by a Patent of June 8th, the King being Patron as before, [99] but it is not probable that Spenser was instituted, for a Patent of August 28, 1341, sanctions Pryde's exchange of Alberbury for the preferment of-

THOMAS LE WOLF, late Parson of Habberley. [1] A Patent of April 12, 1347, nominates-

JOHN DE IRELAND, of Aston, Chaplain, to this Vicarage. [2] Another of September 15, 1349, nominates-

DAVID DE WYKE, Chaplain, [3] and another of January 23, 1350, nominates-


Meanwhile, on August 8, 1349, the Bishop of Hereford had admitted-

SIR THOMAS DE CHERYNTON, Priest, at the presentation of the Prior and Convent of the New Abbey. Again, on September 17, 1349, the Bishop had instituted-

RICHARD DE BURGHTON on a like presentation, in which it seems that the King afterwards acquiesced. The truth is, that there was a protracted contest between the Crown and the Priory about the right of presentation. By a letter, dated July 30, 1356, the King informs the Bishop of Hereford that the Crown had recovered the said right against the Prior of the New Abbey, by reason of the war with France. The dispute was not about the Presentee, but about the right to present, for the King only reiterates the previous nominations of Richard de Burton to the Vicarage. On August 11, 1357-

JOHN DE RODEN, Vicar of Alberbury, exchanges preferments with-

SIR OWYN AP MAWKDUY, of Melverley, late Vicar of Guldefeld

[98] Patent, 11 Edw. III., p. 3, m. 12.
[99] Patent, 14 Edw. III., p. 2, m. 22.
[1] Patent, 15 Edw. III., p. 2, m. 16.
[2] Patent, 21 Edw. III., p. 1, in. 19.
[3] [4] Patent, 23 Edw. III., p. 2, m. 6, and p. 3, m. 3.


(Dioc. Assav.), the King presenting the latter for the usual reason. Mawkduy resigned in 1362, and on November 29-

THOMAS DE MANFORD, Priest, was instituted. On November 10, 1368, the Bishop appoints a commission to augment Moneford's Vicarage, at his prayer. On November 3, 1371-

RICHARD BREED was nominated Vicar by the King, as having the Temporalities of the New Monastery in his hands; but this must have been cancelled, for on October 12, 1372, the King confirms Thomas de Monford's title. On February 1, 1381-

SIR JOHN DE ALBERBURY, Chaplain, was instituted, the King being again Patron, as having Alberbury Priory in his hand.

Alberbury Priory.

THIS foundation has had various names, such as New Monastery, White Monastery, and New Place.

It has also, and with little propriety, been called the White Abbey, the Black Abbey, [5] and the New Abbey. It was never an Abbey in any sense whatever.

As many mistakes have been made about its Founder and the date of its Foundation as about its name. A misconstruction of Leland ascribes the Foundation to Guarine, Sheriff of Shropshire, [6] which would imply a date previous to Domesday. Tanner says it was founded in the time of Henry I., and Dugdale, in ascribing the foundation to Guarine de Metz, would seem to have paved the way for that error. The Editors of the New Monasticon, rightly ascribing the foundation to Fulk, the son of Guarine (or Fulk fitz Warin), wrongly conclude from this that Henry II.'s reign was the date thereof.

[5] White, from the colour of the building, which was of stone (see Hist. Shrewsbury, Vol. II. pp. 3, 4); black, from the black habit of the Friars.
[6] Monasticon, VII. 1031.-

Leland's only statement on the subject (Collectanea, I. 231) is a quotation from an English Chronicle or Ballad "of the Gestes of Guarine and his Sunnes". The Chronicle differs from the French Chronicle (which I am so often citing) in that it makes Guarine to have been founder of Alberbury Abbey. It does not however represent him as Sheriff, but only as Ancestor of the Fitz Warins. Of course Warin de Metz is the person alluded to by the Chronicler, and the title of Sheriff is a mistake of the Monasticon Editors.
[7] Monasticon, VII. 1031.- The Charter (Num. I.) is erroneously ascribed, by the Editors, to Henry II. It is unquestionably a Charter of Henry III.


The French Chronicle of Fitzwarin adumbrates the truth in the following passage, descriptive of the conduct of Fulk fitz Warin the former Outlaw,- him whom we know to have been in reality the third Fulk fitz Warin of his line.- "Fulk" (on his return home from an alleged campaign in Ireland) "bethought him that he had greatly sinned against God, as by slaughter of people and other great offences; and, in remission of his sins, founded a Priory in the honour of our Lady, St. Mary, of the order of Grandmont, near Alberbury, in a wood, on the river Severn; and it is called the New Abbey. And not long after died dame Maude de Cause, his wife, and was interred in this Priory". [8]

Now we have some proof that the Lady, here called Maude de Cause, was deceased in 1226. According to this evidence we may therefore place the Foundation of Alberbury Priory about the year 1220.

There is another story, to the effect that "Fulk fitz Warin, after founding this Grandimontensian Priory, granted the custody and visitation thereof to the Abbot and Convent of Lilleshall, but that they, finding the right burdensome and expensive, solemnly resigned it into his hands, that he might, with consent of his Diocesan, commit it to any Religious House at his pleasure". This story has probably a germ of truth;- not that the Augustine Canons of Lilleshall ever could or did accept the custody of a House of Benedictine Friars; but that Fulk fitz Warin, failing to affiliate his nascent Monastery on Lilleshall Abbey, sought other patronage, and at length fixed on that of the French House of Grandmont, in Limousin.

The Order of Grandmont had its origin at Grandmont about A.D. 1076. The Monks or Friars adopted the Rule of St. Benedict. They had three subject Priories in England, viz. Grosmont in Yorkshire, founded in the reign of John; Cresswell, in Herefordshire, founded early in the reign of Henry III.; and Alberbury, probably coeval with the last.

In calculating the date of this Priory's Foundation we have still another kind of evidence, that of its own Charters. It is true that the foundation-charter is not known to exist, nor can I trace its former existence, unless a Charter, whereby Fulk fitz Warin is said to have "expressly subjected Alberbury to the Abbey of Grandmont", were the actual foundation-charter. But we have two Confirmations to this House, one by Henry III., dated at Hereford,

[8] Fitz Warine Chronicle (T. Wright), pp. 176, 177.


December 12, 1232, the other by Pope Gregory IX., dated at Anagnia, February 5, 1233.

Of Fulk fitz Warin's own Charters two only are known to exist in any form. They both seem to have been supplementary to the foundation, and one certainly passed later than the Confirmation of Henry III.

I may now state my conviction that Alberbury Priory was founded between 1220 and 1230, and proceed with the contents of its Charters.-

Henry III.'s Charter (as printed) confirms to the Brethren of Grandimontensian Order at Abberburi super Avenam (read Sabrinam) the place where their House is founded at Abberbury, which (place) they have of the gift of Fulco fitz Warin; also (confirms) the meadow of Bradmed, and the land of Hekenhal, and 24 acres of land in Abberbury, and husbot and haybot, and wood for the Brethren's hearth, to be taken there, in the bosc of the said Fulco, and common-pasture in said Fulco's bosc for all sorts of animals, and quittance of pannage for a hundred swine in Fulco's woods of Alberbury and Witinton, when there is any pesson, and tithe of Fulco's horses at Witinton, and (leave) to get marl, wherever they may find it on Fulco's land, and where Fulco and his men may have got it, or may be reasonably able to get it, and to draw the same on to their own land, with free ingress and egress, and quittance from toll and all customs, at all Fulco's markets and fairs; and all the land of Wateburg, [9] with the Mill and Bosc and other its appurtenances; all which things the Brethren aforesaid have by gift and concession of the said Fulco fitz Warin. Among the witnesses to this Charter, which as I have said passed at Hereford on December 12, 1232, are William de Stutevill, Walter de Clifford, William de Cantilupe, Senior, and Thomas Corbeth;- all persons connected with Shropshire.

Pope Gregory's Bull is addressed to the Prior and Brethren of Abberburi, of Grandimontensian Order, and of Hereford Diocese. It merely confirms their "possessions, rents and goods, as they justly and peaceably had them", without enumerating any lands or the names of any Benefactors. [10]

Of one of Fulk fitz Warin's own Charters I have only a

[9] This is Whatbergh in Leicestershire, where the Prior of Alberbury had lands held of the Honour of Huntingdon (Burton's Leicestershire, p. 302). It is perhaps the place called Veteburg or Vereburg in a former instance (p. 74, note). If so, Fulk fitz Warin got his interest there with his wife, Maud Vavasour.
[10] Weever's Funeral Monuments, p. 141.


description. [11] It is a general confirmation, wherein he is styled, Fulco filius Warini tertius, and makes mention of Fulco his father, Hawise his mother, and Matilda his wife. It is attested (inter alios) by William de Hodenet; Randolph de Hodnet; and Randolph, Rector of Wytinton,- names which furnish no proximate date for the Deed. The years 1225 and 1255 are however its probable limits.

The Charter of Fulk fitz Warin I have in a fuller, but very inaccurate, form. "Fulk fitz Warin", as I understand the document, "by consent of Fulk, his son and heir, and for the soul's health of Maud his wife, Fulk his father, and Hawyse his mother, gave (and confirmed) to the Brethren of Alberbury, of Grandemont Order, for the promotion of their houses (buildings) all (previous) gifts and sales in Pemenhull (Pimhill), Alberbury, and Halialey. Witnesses,- Sir William de Hodenet; Sir M. Mehell; Sir Ramund of Alberbury; Sir Ralph le Butiler; Sir P. Peverell; Sir W. de St. George; Sir Ramun (probably Radulf) de Hodenett; Sir Ramon de Felton". [12]

It would be unwise to descant too much on a document so metamorphosed as this is. Suffice it then to say that the attestation of Sir Ralph le Botiler and others would indicate a late period in the Grantor's life, and that the lands granted were granted at a later period than 1232, the date of Henry III's Charter.

The MS. which supplies the last Deed gives an Rbstract of another Deed, whereby "Thomas Corbet" is said "to have confirmed Sir Fulk fitz Warin's grant to the Freres of Graundmont of his Church of Alberbury". [13] This confirmation is distinguished as having been sealed with "two Ravens" (a circumstantial proof of its authenticity), and having been dated in the year 1362 (a positive proof of its falsity, unless we are permitted to supply the date 1262 as a conjectural emendation).

Again, I learn from a MS. authority, credible enough, though unvouched by Deeds, that "Fulk fitz Warin (the founder of Alberbury) gave his body to the Priory to be buried there; and that therewith he gave a certain messuage in Wytmere, in pure and perpetual alms". [14] The date of this grant must needs have been after the middle of the thirteenth century. The same authority

[11] Communicated by Mr. Joseph Morris of Shrewsbury. The original is supposed to be in the archives of All Souls' College, Oxford.
[12] Sloane MS. 1301, fo. 68, b.- This Deed is stated to have been sealed with the effigy of an armed knight on horseback.
[13] Ibidem, fo. 67, b.
[14] MS. at Loton Park.


tells of the possessions of the Priory having been increased by donations of various Benefactors, who conferred lands in "Ballisley (Bausley), Snollinton, Woodmare, Alberbury, Wyllaston (Woolaston), and Pekenhall".

Last, in the form of Charters, or presumed extracts of Charters, we have the undoubtedly genuine Confirmation of Thomas Corbet (of Caus), in which he ratifies every gift made by Fulk fitz Warin to the Grandimontensian Brethren, in his land of Alberbury juxta Sabrinam, towards building the House of the said Brethren, with all its appurtenances. He also confirms the land called Pakenhale; but reserves to himself and his heirs all services due from Fulk fitz Warin and his heirs on the said land of Alberbury, with all the escheat possibly accruing to himself or his heirs in respect of the Site of the Brethren's buildings. He also quit-claims, as I have said under Alberbury Church, the Advowson of two Prebends therein. Of this Charter there were Witnesses,- Brother Geoffrey de Norwis, of the Order of Minorites; Robert Blundell, Knight; Hugh Hagar; Alan Corbeth; Roger de Merse; Robert Pigot; Geoffrey, Chaplain; William Hager, Clerk; and many others. [15] It is dated at Caures on Wednesday in Easter week, A.D. 1262; and therefore some years after the death of the founder of Alberbury, and while Thomas Corbet was at signal variance with that founder's son. Doubtless the Grammont Brethren paid well for this indulgence.

We are assured by the Fitz Warin Chronicle that Fulk fitz Warin's second wife, Clarice de Auberville, was buried at the New Abbey; and that Fulk himself, dying a year after at Blaunche-Vyle (Whittington), was interred with great honour near the Altar of the same Monastery.

My MS. authority adds a circumstance or two (and with great probability) to the latter fact. There was formerly a Chapel, dedicated to St. Stephen, within the Site of the Monastery, in which was buried Fulk Warin, its founder, with many other Benefactors of the Priory. Thomas, Bishop of Hereford [16] in the time of Warden Stokys, [17] ordered the College (of All Souls) to keep this Chapel in repair; to find a Priest to celebrate therein service for the souls of the founders and benefactors; and to distribute yearly among the poor of the Parish 10s. on All Souls' Day". This then was the Chapel which the Valor of 1534-5 notices as yielding 5.

[15] Monasticon, VII. 1032, No. II.
[17] John Stokys, Warden of All Souls' College (1466-1494).
[16] Thomas Milling, Bishop of Hereford (1474-1492).


per annum to its Impropriators, who had apparently got rid of the above charges on their income.

I now return to other matters. About the year 1245, Gilbert Meverel of Shrewsbury gave to the Priory 5s. annual rent of a shop in Shrewsbury. [18] In 1255, the Brethren are recorded as having two virgates in Alberbury by gift of Fulk fitz Warin, senior, and half a virgate in Eyton, of the gift of William fitz Adam. [19] Of him I will say more under Eyton.

At the Assizes of 1256, the Ford Jurors reported of a Brother of this House, one Cadugan, who had been accidentally drowned in the Severn; but, because the Priory of New Place had buried the deceased without View of the Coroner, the Priory was liable to judgment in the Curia Regis.

The Taxation of 1291 makes the Prior of Alberbury's annual income to be, in Temporalities, 2. 7s.; and in Moveables, 1. 9s. The former item is made up of the profits of 2 carucates of land in Pekenhal, 1. 6s. 8d.; assised rents at Wylaweston (Woolaston), 6s. 8d.; net profits of 3 nokes of land at Eyton, 6s. 8d.; and assised rents at Eyton, 7s. 0d. The profits on Moveables were 9s. from 6 cows, and 1. from 60 sheep. [20] These items are variously stated to belong to the Prior, the Custos, and the Proctor of Alberbury. One Officer is probably intended, and the terms Custos and Proctor indicate perhaps the strict subjection of the House as a Cell of Grandmont.

At the Assizes of 1292, the following presentment, by the Jurors of Ford Hundred, informs us of the then existence of a Conventual Church. "Thomas de Boudlers, Robert son of William de Boudlers, and five others, found John Smith of Alberbury getting billet-wood (buscam) in the Haye of Lochton (Loton). They arrested him and took him to the New Abbey, where he outgot them, and took refuge in the Abbey Church. Thither they followed, and there they slew him". One of the murderers had been already outlawed at the suit of Cecily, widow of the deceased. The others were now outlawed, except Thomas de Boudlers, who was declared non culpabilis.

It appears that in 1357 John Trillec, Bishop of Hereford, returned Alberbury Priory as one of the places in his Diocese which were exempt from Episcopal Jurisdiction. [21] I do not understand how this came about. The Priory, as an Alien House, was at the

[18] [19] Rot. Hundred. II. 79, 67.
[21] Bishop Swinfield's Household Roll. Abstract, p. cxcii. note.
[20] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 163.


time in the hands of King Edward III., by reason of his war with France. It continued an Escheat of the Crown till Henry VI's time. In 22 Richard II., I read of a Canon of Ranton committed to the Fleet Prison for arrears due by him as Custos of this Priory. Queen Joan, widow of Henry IV., had custody of Alberbury Priory for her life. [22]

In 16 Henry VI. (1437-8) the King granted this custody to Sir John Sutton of Dudley and another for 20 years, at the annual rent of 14. 13s. 6d. [23] This Lease was afterwards cancelled by the Lessees, and on May 11, 1441, the King, at the request of Henry Chicheley, Archbishop of Canterbury, granted this suppressed Priory, with all its Tithes, Advowsons of Churches and Chapels, etc., in free and perpetual alms to All Souls' College, Oxford, recently founded by the said Archbishop.

Some rebellious attempts were subsequently made to install two Grandimontensian Friars in this Priory. The Priory-Estate and the Advowson are still held by All Souls' College; but in 1521 the Warden and Fellows were obliged to obtain a pew appropriation of the Church from the Bishop and Chapter of Hereford, in consequence of the original appropriation not appearing on the Diocesan Registers. [24]

PRIORS OF ALBERBURY. The Prior of Alberbury was sometimes styled Corrector, Custos, Curator, or Procurator. He was probably a mere deputy from Grandmont, removable at pleasure. He was consequently, I suppose, more usually a Foreigner than an Englishman.

Peter de Corcellis, the Prior of 1289-90, seems to be the only one whose name is preserved; and that name is clearly foreign.


THIS is one of the Manors which Roger fitz Corbet held of the Norman Earl at Domesday.- "The same Roger", says Domesday,

[22] Monasticon, VII. 1031, note.
[23] Not 44. 26s. 8d., as stated in Duke's Antiquities, p.108. The further statement that an Abbot of Alberbury had military summons against the Welsh in 1260 is a mistake. TheAbbot of Abbotsbury,in Dorsetshire, was the person so summoned.
[24] MS. at Loton Park.


"holds Beleslei. Siward held it (in Saxon times). Here is I hide; not geldable. Here are two Welsh (tenants), with one ox-team. The former and present value (of the Manor) was and is 2s.; and yet it is at ferm for 6s. 8d. (per annum)". [1]

It would seem that the Domesday Commissioners had received conflicting evidence as to the value of Bauseley, and that they left on record the paradox which they were unable to account for. This is not a usual feature in their statements. Another peculiarity in the above account of Bauseley is that it was ungeldable, but this peculiarity has its result, even in the present day. The immunity enabled the Corbets of Caus, or their Feoffees, to withdraw the Manor into their Walcheria, so that the Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 takes no notice of it by name, though perhaps its tenure by Fitz Warin of Alberbury caused the latter Manor to be reputed larger by one hide than it was in Domesday. However, we have proof that Bauseley remained in Walcheria after the conquest of Wales; and it is at this moment in the Montgomeryshire Hundred of Deythur.

I have said, or implied, that Fitz Warin was Corbet's Feoffee at Bauseley. The following proof of that fact is given in an Inquest of 1277. [2]-

"Fulk fitz Warin" (IV.) (that is, he who came into possession about 1252, and who perished at Lewes in 1264) "held the whole tenement of Ballesleg as his right. Afterwards there was strife between Thomas Corbet and Griffin ap Wenhunwin. (We have had notices of this feud in 1255 and 1259.) Griffin occupied all the land of The Gordur, together with the land of Ballesleg, and held Ballesleg till Fulcho, son of Fulcho fitz Warin (that is, Fulk fitz Warin V.), now (1277) living, married Griffin's daughter. Then Griffin restored Ballisleg, and his right therein, to his Son-in-law. Fulk held it till there was strife between Lewellyn, Prince of Wales, and Griffin ap Wenhunwin. (This feud commenced in 1275.) Then the Prince occupied Griffin's lands (the Barony of Pole), and The Gordur, and Ballisleg, and held them all till the Earl of Lincoln and other Magnates of the Marches drove back the men of the Prince. Then Peter Corbet (of Caus) seized upon Ballesleg, asserting as his right that it was within the limits of his land of Gordur". Hereupon there was naturally a strife between Fulk fitz Warin (V.) and Peter Corbet. Fitz Warin, it would seem, petitioned the King, or, at least, the latter took measures to stop a feud which, considering

[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b.
[2] Inquisitions, 5 Edw. I., No. 67.


his own designs on Wales, was most inopportune. The King wrote to Henry de Lacy (the Earl of Lincoln just now mentioned), telling him that he wished for full particulars about this feud, and desiring him to inquire whether Lewellyn ap Griffin (so the Prince is styled), or Fitz Warin, held the land of Bellesleg on the day when Corbet seized it; also, whether Fitz Warin had had any former seizin of the land, and if so, how he had been ejected. De Lacy, having ascertained the facts, was to quell the Feud himself, if he could; but, if unable to do so, was to write to the King.

This Letter of Edward I. is undated, but its result was an Inquest held, in a full Court of the County, at Shrewsbury, on February 25, 1277, by the Sheriff (Bogo de Knovill), and other Knights and Freeholders, assembled "by precept of the Earl of Lincoln". I have given the Verdict of this Jury in the above narrative; for I presume it to have been history of a most authentic character.

Another Mandate of King Edward's follows:- "If Ballisleg had not been seized into the King's hand on the repulse of Lewellyn's men, it was now to be so seized, according to the recent provision of Worcester, relating to lands thus reconquered; and having been so seized, full seizin thereof was to be at once given to Fulk fitz Warin, saving to Peter Corbet his right, when he should wish to urge any, and saving the right of any other". Here, then, at least we have the English Justinian acting on the truest principles of right, though the moment was a critical one, and policy would have suggested the expediency of propitiating the Baron of Caus, far more powerful as he was than Fitz Warin.

It would seem that Fitz Warin, no longer interested in Alberbury, transferred, probably sold, Bauseley to Robert Corbet of Wattlesborough, and that without reserving any service to himself as Mesne-Lord. I have no record of this, in part supposed, transaction, nor does the Inquest on Robert Corbet's death mention his possession of such an Estate. But the Inquest on the death of his Widow Matilda, taken June 20, 1309, says distinctly that "she had held the Villate of Balisleye, in the Marches of Wales, under Sir Fulk fitz Warin, without render or performance of any service (nichil reddendo nec faciendo)". [3]

With the Leightons, as Coheirs of Robert and Matilda Corbet, Bauseley remained till the eighteenth century. [4]

[3] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. II., No. 34.
[4] Bauseley now belongs to a younger branch of the Leightons. It left the possession of the head branch of the family after the death of Sir Edward Leighton, the first Baronet, in 1711.



THIS place, if not originally a Roman Station, has a name strongly associated with Roman ideas. There is good reason too for concluding that this district was traversed by a Roman Road, a branch of the Great Watling Street. To determine this we need not instance the certainty of a Roman settlement at Pontesbury, or argue the identity of Rowton Castle with the Roman Rutunium. We have a readier proof. The open ground South-East of Wattlesborough is still called Stretton Heath, and about three miles off in the same direction is the Vill of Stoney Stretton. Now the name Stretton, wherever it is found, marks, I believe, the course of some Roman Road.

The Manor of Wattlesborough appears in Domesday among those held by Roger fitz Corbet of the Norman Earl.- "The same Roger holds Wetesburg. Edric held it (in Saxon timgs). Here are II hides, geldable. In demesne are III ox-teams and (there are) III Neat-herds, II Villains, I Boor, and I Radman, with V oxen; and there might be II ox-teams more here".

"In King Edward's time (the Manor) was waste. Now it is worth 20s. (per annum)". [1]

We thus see that at Domesday Roger fitz Corbet was holding Wattlesborough in demesne. It came however, in the twelfth century, to be held under the Baronial House of Caus by a race of Knights, who are on all hands admitted to have descended from Roger fitz Corbet. The two races, the Baronial and the Knightly, were already divergent in Henry II.'s time, and so at a period when the mode of their original connexion is not likely to be traced. However, we have a theory on the subject, which as emanating from a great authority, I must treat with the fullest consideration, though I utterly dissent from it.-

Mr. Blakeway explained the connection of these two Houses as follows. [2]- He considered that Roger fitz Corbet was succeeded by his son William; that William, thus becoming Baron of Caus, left three sons, Thomas, Robert, and Philip; that Thomas the eldest, resigned his rights of primogeniture to his brother Robert; that the descendants of Robert remained Barons of Caus, while Wattlesborough (a mere feoffment in the Barony) was reserved by Thomas and his descendants.

[1] Domesday, fo. 256, b. 2.
[2] Sheriffs of Shropshire, pp. 39-43.


Now all that we know of feudal law and usage renders this theory improbable, and all that can be ascertained of the particular facts of the case is contradictory to it. A Tenant-in-capite per baroniam, as Thomas Corbet is represented to have been, could not divest himself of his primogeniture or alienate his Barony in the way supposed. Instant forfeiture would have been the consequence, and, failing that, his act could not have bound his descendants. On his death his son might have recovered the Barony by process of mort d'ancestre, and his descendants, however remote, could have achieved the same end by the process of Grand Assize.

This is the general objection to Mr. Blakeway's theory: and now I will state the particular objections.-

1. William Corbet is not known to have succeeded his father as Baron. Even if he did, a probability has been already stated under Caus, that William died without issue.

2. There is no authentic notice of such a person as Thomas Corbet (whether of Wattlesborough or Caus) having lived at the time supposed by Mr. Blakeway ("the reign of Henry II").

3. Robert Corbet, undoubtedly Baron of Caus in that reign, did not succeed to either a brother or a father, but to an Uncle,- Roger. Moreover the name of Robert Corbet's father was not William, but Simon.

4. The existence of such a person as Philip, son of William Corbet, is imaginary. The document referred to by Mr Blakeway is indeed attested by one Philip fitz William, [3] but he, as I well know, was not a Corbet at all.

This examination of the question will be imperfect if I fail further to state and to consider Mr. Blakeway's reasons for his theory. It was supported by two things, a Legend and an Heraldic phaenomenon.-

1. The Legend is that a Corbet of Moreton, the heir of his family, went to the Holy Land as a Pilgrim; that he was detained in captivity and supposed in England to have perished; that he eventually returned, and generously resigned his lands to a younger brother, then newly married and supposing himself to be the lost Pilgrim's heir. Now in removing this Legend from Moreton Corbet to Wattlesborough I conceive that an unwarrantable license has been taken. A Legend, removed from the place of its tradition, is at once an ineptity.

2. Mr. Blakeway considered that the primogeniture of the Wattlesborough Corbets was established by their armorial bearing,- the single Raven; and that the Barons of Caus, having borne two Ravens, were thereby proved to have been a younger line.

Now it is certain that the Corbets of Caus and of Wattlesborough were divergent races in the reign of Henry II., and so before armorial usages were settled, nay, as Mr. Blakeway himself elsewhere admits, before arms were used by private individuals. [4] Not wishing to press the latter admission, I must still insist on the former truth as cogent. I do not know that in Henry II.'s time, a single Raven and two Ravens, even if then borne by branches of the same House, prove anything about relative seniority. To mark a cadency by repeating a bearing, was a usage not as yet recognized in England. I will prove this by the most patent example which can possibly be alleged.- William the Conqueror and his sons are reputed to have borne two lions passant gardant as their arms. Henry II. and his sons added a third lion. Whether this was because of Henry's marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine (said to have borne a single lion) I am not concerned to prove. Henry II. was representative of William the Conqueror in the eldest extant line. Evidently then in his case, the multiplied bearing wss no mark of cadency, but if anything, a mark of assumption.

[3] Salop Chartulary, No. 16.
[4] Sheriffs of Shropshire, p. 32, note c.


Summarily I conclude that whenever the Corbets of Wattlesborough commenced bearing the Raven, it meant no more than that they were Corbets;- Vassals and Cadets of the House of Caus. Later offshoots from the same stock have marked their cadency in accordance with the rules of a later heraldic usage.

If we are to trust to authentic Records, the first who can be named as holding Wattlesborough under the Barons of Caus was-

RICHARD CORBET. Robert Corbet, the cotemporary Baron, had perhaps several brothers, but as Richard is never named as one of them we conclude that he was a more distant relation.

In the 26th year of Henry II. (1179-80) Richard Corbet is entered on the Shropshire Pipe-Roll, as the second of those Vassals of the Barony who had been amerced for a false judgment pronounced against Fulk fitz Warin. His amercement was 20s., of which he paid half instantly, and the residue in 1181.

In or before the year 1195 Richard Corebett is found among the chief men of the County attesting a composition between Hugh Abbot of Shrewsbury and John le Strange. [5] Roger Corebett, who attests the same instrument in a lower position, may have been Richard's younger Brother. I have discussed that question before. [6]

About the year 1195-6, we have an important Charter of William fitz Alan's, which I notice here, because it is attested by Bartholomew de Morton, by Richard Corbet, and by Roger his Brother. [7] Again between 1203 and 1220, we have seen Richard Corbet standing first witness to a Deed of his own Suzerain, Robert Corbet of Caus.

In 1217, we find that Bartholomew de Morton, here called Bartholomew Turet, and Richard Corbet, having been in rebellion, had both returned to their allegiance. Letters-Close for the reseizin of Richard Corbet in all his lands were accordingly addressed to the Sheriff of Shropshire. [9] Soon after this, or at least before the year 1225, Richard Corbet seems to have died. He was succeeded by-

RICHARD CORBET (II.), his son and heir, who, if I mistake not, had already married the daughter and eventual coheir of Bartholomew de Morton. Between the years 1217 and 1225, Richard Corbet, son of Richard Corbet, with the council and assent of his friends, conceded all Kynwerton to Buildwas Abbey, as his six Feoffees there had already given it. He reserves his own Chief-rent. The Deed is attested by Bartholomew de Morton; Vivian de

[5] Salop Chartulary, No. 16.
[6] Supra, Vol. I., p. 85, note 303.
[7] Harl. MS. 1396, fo. 253.
[8] Supra, page 18.
[9] Rot. Claus. I., 373.


Rossal; Baldewin de Hodeneth; Gerard de Yvelith; Geoffrey de Folevill; William Corbet, Parson; and William de Baschirge. [10] This Charter suggests that Richard Corbet held Kinnerton, a member of Wentnor, under the Barons of Caus; also that he was very young at the time of the grant, and was guided by the advice of Bartholomew de Morton, his presumed father-in-law. In 1233, Richard Corbet appears with a son, Roger, evidently a mere boy. The case was this:- On June 13 of that year, Henry III., then at Worcester, obliged the Barons of the Marches to give hostages for their fidelity till the kingdom should be more tranquil. Thomas Corbet (Baron of Caus), gave Roger, son of Richard Corbet, as his hostage, and the youth was consigned to the care of Walter de Lacy. [11] In 1237 Richard Corbet appears as Surety for Fulk fitz Warin,- his neighbour at Alberbury. In 1240 we have Richard Corbet duly registered as holding one knight's fee in Wetlesbroc, (Wattlesborough), of the Barony of Thomas Corbet (of Caus). [12] In 1241 I find Richard Corbet appointed, with John le Strange and others, a Justiciar to try a special assize in this County. In Trinity Term, 1243, [13] Richard Corbet fines 2 merks for license to accord a suit which he had with the Abbot of St. Peter-super-Dyvam, concerning the Advowson of Houton in Leicestershire. [14] Richard Corbet is entered on the Shropshire Pipe-Roll of the same year as paying 2 merks pro licentia concordandi.

ROBERT CORBET, son and successor of Richard, was of full age in 1255, and seized of Moreton Corbet, which he inherited from his Mother, as well as of those Estates, which, being in the Barony of Caus, clearly came to him from his Father. Thus the Ford Hundred-Roll enters him as holding in hides in Cardel (Cardeston), Wetlesburh and Lohton (Loton), of the Barony of Caus, and doing suit to both County and Hundred. [15] Whether Richard Corbet Junior, one of the Jurors who made this return, was Robert's younger brother, I cannot say. At the Assizes of 1256, Robert Corbet was reported as of full age, and yet not a knight. His estates were beyond the 15 librates, which rendered him liable to

[10] Cart. 20 Edw. I., No. 40. Inspeximus.
[11] Claus. 17 Hen. III., m. 8 dorso.
[12] Testa de Nevill, p. 45.
[13] Placita, Trin. Tm. 27. Hen. III., m. 2 dorso.
[14] Houghton, Leicestershire. In 1235, Richard Corbit accounts to an Aid as holding half a knight's-fee in Houton, apparently in the Barony of William de Beauchamp (Testa de Nevill, p. 92). In another place (p. 95) this half-fee in Howchton is said to be held by Richard Corbet under Ernald de Bois, and by him under the Earl of Ferrars. The last statement is undoubtedly the true one.
[15] Rot. Hundred. II.66.


question in this matter, and in 1258 he fined a merk of gold (equal to 10 merks of silver) for respite of knighthood.

Meanwhile, in September 1257, Robert Corbet is suing Thomas Corbet (of Caus) for disseizing him of his free tenement in Cardeston and Waklesburg. In January 1258, Robert Corbet has a second Writ in this Suit. In December 1260, Robert Corbet was apparently in custody of the Sheriff, and probably for the forest-trespass, presently to be mentioned. However, Thomas Corbet, in the Curia Regis, obtained his release, undertaking to produce him coram Rege, to take trial in case any one had aught to urge against him.

At the Forest Assizes of February 1262, it was presented that on May 2, 1258, Robert Corbet, Thomas Hord, his Seneschal, and Robert, his huntsman, had taken a hind (bissam), that Dawe de Morton and Robert de Stanton were present. The parties appeared. Roger Springhose and Richard de Petton stood sureties for Robert Corbet, whose amercement of 40s., pro transgression venacionis, was still due in 1267.

In June 1262, we have Robert Corbet, accompanied by his wife, Ida, fining 2 merks for a writ of Pone. [16] This also was a debt in 1267.

In May 1263, we have seen Robert Corbet's name associated with that of Thomas Corbet of Caus, and apparently as engaged in Border warfare. In February 1264, we have seen him attesting a Charter, accompanied by Thomas Hord; and we notice how singularly his delay in taking knighthood is contrasted with the dangers which threatened the Border. [17] In September 1266, as we have seen, Thomas Corbet, at instance of the King, restores to Robert Corbet, at the King's request, certain lands in Addeston. As the Patent is dated at Kenilworth, and as the King calls Robert Corbet "faithful and beloved", it is probable that he served at the memorable siege then in progress. In 1270, Roger de Merse is suing Robert Corbet of Morton, for disseizing him of a tenement in Bredeshull (Bretchel). In the same year we have noticed Robert Corbet's apparent interest in Cantlop. A Patent of March 20, 1271, certifies that Robert Corbet of Morton, having been an adherent of Hamo le Strange, is therefore included in the Pardon already granted to the said Hamo and his Followers.

[16] Rot. Finium, II. 374.
[17] Supra, page 27. This association with Thomas Hord is constant. As early as 1257 an amercement of Thomas and Philip Hord is secured by pledge of Robert Corbet. (Rot. Pipe, 41 Hen. III., Salop.)


In Hilary Term 1272, Robert Corbet appeared coram Rege to question Thomas Corbet as to wherefore the said Thomas had imprisoned him at Chaors (Caus). The matter was adjourned. [18]

At the Assizes of October 1272, Robert Corbet was once more presented by the Jurors of Ford Hundred as of full age, as holding a knight's-fee, and yet as not a knight. At these same Assizes Robert Corbet was sued by Fulk fitz Warin (Fulk Glas, I presume) for disseizing him of certain common-rights in Watlesburg, which belonged to Fulk's tenement in Alberbury. The result is not stated. [19]

On October 25, 1272, King Henry III. grants to Robert Corbet license to hold a weekly market, on Tuesdays, at Wattlesburg; and an annual fair, of three days' duration, on the vigil, the day, and the morrow of St. James the Apostle (July 24, 25, and 26). [20]

In this same year, and, I presume, towards its close, Sir Robert Corbet, at length a Knight, attests a Deed of Thomas Corbet of Caus already set forth. [21] The Feodary drawn up after the said Baron's death, in 1274, includes Robert Corbet's tenure of a knight's-fee, and mentions his obligation to do suit at the Court of Caus.

In 1277, as we have seen, Robert Corbet, Knight, was prepared to do full military service under his suzerain, Peter Corbet of Caus, against Lewellyn. [22]

By Charter, dated at Rhuddlan, March 20, 1284, King Edward I. grants Free-Warren to Robert Corbet in his demesnes at Morton Corbet and Watlesburg, provided they were not within boundary of the Forest. [23] On May 8, 1288, I find Sir Robert Corbet attesting a Charter to Buildwas Abbey. [24] To the Westminster Parliament of July 15, 1290, he was returned as a Knight of the Shire of Salop. In October 1292 he was one of the Knightly Jurors empanelled to try several Pleas of Quo Waranto. To the Westminster Parliament of November 1295 he was again returned as a Knight of the Shire. As holding lands and rents of 20. yearly value and upwards, he was summoned for Foreign Service in 1297; and to attend Muster at London on July 7. He was twice appointed Assessor and Collector of Taxes in Shropshire, viz. in 1295 and 1297, in which last year he was also appointed a Commissioner of Array for Shropshire and Staffordshire, a service more suited

[18] Placita coram Rege, 56 Hen.III., m. 6 dorso.
[19] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 14.
[20] Rot. Chart. 56 Hen. III., m. 1.
[21] Supra, p. 43.
[22] Supra, p. 33.
[23] Rot. Chart. 12 Edw. I., m. 49.
[24] Monasticon, V. 358, No. X.


probably to his years than that of foreign warfare. On the 10th of May 1300, he was appointed a Justice of oyer and terminer for Shropshire. [25] On the 6th of June 1300, he sat as a Knight and Juror on the great Forest Perambulation of the County, and this, as far as I can learn, is the last public appearance of a man, who, by his evident activity and prudence, raised the fortunes of his family to no mean position. His marriage with Matilda de Arundel, his second wife, brought an accession of property as great as that which he inherited from his mother, the heiress of the Saxon Torets. In addition to what I have said of him now, under Wattlesborough, and previously under Evelith, Tetneshull, and Habberley, I shall have more to add under Moreton Corbet. On the 14th of November 1300, King Edward's Writ of Diem clausit, dated at Carlisle, announced his decease. On the 15th of November, a second Writ shows that the King had received a complaint from his widow, Matilda, provoked by the Escheator having seized certain Manors (viz. Habberley, Besford, Halghton, Tetneshull-under-the-Clee, and certain lands, etc., at Balderton, Burleton, Edgbold, and in the suburbs of Shrewsbury), of which she had been jointly enfeoffed with her husband. In return to the King's wish for more certain information, a Jury sat at Moreton Corbet, on Sunday, January 15, 1301, and reported (inter alia) as follows.-

That Robert Corbet and his wife had been jointly enfeoffed in certain tenements in Loghton (Loton) by Eynon ap Griffith, which tenements were previously held by the said Eynon under Robert Corbet himself.-

That they had been jointly enfeoffed in 11 acres in Breddeshill (Bretchel), by Howel, son of Robert Pygot, which land they held under the said Howel.

That Robert Corbet had held the Manor of Watlesburgh under Sir Peter Corbet for one knight's-fee; also a place of land called Bredeshull under William de Eyton; also 56s. rent in Cardeston, a member of Watlesburgh; also 24s. rent at Leghton (read Loton), a member of Watlesburgh; also 4. 10s. rent at The Hey; near Watlesburgh; also diverse assized rents at Bragginton, near Watlesburgh. [26]

I have quoted enough for my present purpose from this almost defaced Inquest. The Leicestershire Inquest, which sat on February 8, 1301, says that Robert Corbet had held the Manor of Houcton (Houghton) for half a knight's-fee, under Master William

[25] Parliamentary Writs, I. 549.
[26] Inquisitions, 29 Edw. I., No. 45.


de Bois; that its value was 11. 18s. 10d. yearly; and that Thomas Corbet, son and heir of the deceased, was 19 years of age on December 25, 1300. [27]

THOMAS CORBET appears to have obtained possession of all the above estates, either on coming of age or else during the lifetime of his mother, Matilda; for, at her death in 1309, she was not seized of one of them. I have spoken under Habberley of Thomas Corbet's death in 1310, when, at most, he cannot have been 29 years of age. He and his son Robert had (December 13, 1309) made a settlement of Watlesburgh, precisely similar to that which through the medium of Sir John de Erkalewe they had made of Habberley. "Watlesburgh", adds the Inquisition, "is held of Sir Peter Corbet, Lord of Cawes, by service of one knight's-fee". Thomas Corbet's son and heir, viz.-

ROBERT CORBET (II.), born December 25, 1304, was, notwithstanding his evident minority, entered as Lord of Watlesbury in the Nomina Villarum of 1316. [28] King Edward II., by a Writ, dated at Kenilworth on April 25, 1326, excuses Robert Corbet of Morton, by special favour, from taking knighthood until Michaelmas then next coming. [29] I here suspend a narrative which I propose to continue more fully under Moreton Corbet. We will there take a synoptical view of the various and extraordinary settlements which Robert Corbet made of his estates, and which has resulted in their distribution among the several descendants of his younger sons.


After evolving the intricacies of remote genealogy, or endeavouring to mark the changes of Border topography, the mind rests with satisfaction on any tangible monument which symbolizes certain broad features of the forgotten Hera, though it fails to solve a doubt, or fix a single event.

As regards scale, and when compared with Caus, Wattlesborough must be placed in the second class of feudal residences. In respect however of hereditary associations, the Stronghold of the Vassal surpasses the Castle of the Baron; for Wattlesborough is one of those few Shropshire estates which have never been bartered for gold since they were first occupied by Normans. The remains too of Wattlesborough Castle, though confined to a single Tower and

[27] Inquisitions, 29 Edw. I., No. 45.
[28] [29] Parly. Writs, IV. 399, 717.


its Northern wing, exhibit several architectural features of interest. Tradition tells of the sometime existence of four such Towers, and of large quantities of stone having been removed from Wattlesborough, and used in the construction of part of Alberbury Church. That the remaining Tower was originally designed as part of a system, and not as an isolated building, is evident from the greater security against external attack which two of its sides exhibit when compared with the third and fourth sides. In all directions bricks and fragments of wrought stone are discoverable by a few strokes of the spade. Some traces of the Moat remain, but we can hardly determine its sweep, or judge what area it was primarily intended to enclose.

As regards the details of the existing Tower, the annexed Engraving will supply a better idea than any written description. One feature, the flat buttress of the Normans, bespeaks for the Relic a high antiquity. There are indications that the original Tower either extended to an additional Story, as tradition says it did, or was finished off with a parapet, or battlements, several feet higher than the eaves of the present roof, and with perhaps a little oversail or projection of the upper portion of the work. A Roof, which, with two or three courses of stone, was removed early in the present century, may have contained fuller indications of the original plan of the Tower than the present Roof, though, as compared with the rest of the Tower, it was itself modern. This Roof was of higher pitch than the present Roof; and it had a flattened top, surmounted with a simple square turret. Possibly the original Norman Roof had a central turret. On an exact level with the tops of the external buttresses there are the remains of an internal platform, quite strong enough to have supported such a superstructure. It is impossible, however, to say whether this platform was intended as the base of a central turret, or merely supplied a floor for the defenders of the battlements, or combined both those uses.

Wattlesborough Castle descended from the Corbets to the Mouths, from them to the Burghs, and from them to the Leigh-tons. It was maintained as a residence by these successive families till the year 1712. It is now inhabited as a farmhouse.


[For engraving, see pdf.]

LOTON. 109


LOTON and The Hayes are now considered to be appurtenances of the Manor of Wattlesborough. At Domesday, however, they formed a distinct Manor, held by Roger fitz Corbet of the Norman Earl.- "The same Roger holds Luchetune. Edric held it (in Saxon times). Here is I hide, geldable. In demesne there is I ox-team, and I Serf; and I Haye. [1] The Manor is worth 5s. (per annum), and there might be two additional teams thereon". [2]

There is a great difficulty in reconciling this notice of Loton with the circumstances under which the Manor next occurs to view. Within forty years after Domesday it would seem to have belonged, not to Roger fitz Corbet, but to his brother, Robert. Between the years 1108 and 1121, Robert Corbet gave to Shrewsbury Abbey "terram unam nomine Loketonam". Richard, Bishop of London, and the Barons of Shropshire attested the grant, and, in 1121, Henry I. confirmed it. [3] King Stephen's Confirmation (in 1136) mentions Robert Corbet's gift of the Vill of Locheton, as one allowed (conceded) at the time of its passing by his son Robert, and attested by Richard, Bishop of London. [4] Henry II.'s and Henry III.'s Charters to Shrewsbury Abbey both confirm Locheton as given by Robert Corbet.

I must leave the alternative which here presents itself undecided, though I state each side of the question. Locheton, thus given to Shrewsbury Abbey, was either Loughton, near the Clee Hill, or Loton, near Alberbury. If the former, we know that Shrewsbury Abbey obtained it, though we cannot in any way account for Robert Corbet's having it to give; [5] if the latter, it is probable that Robert Corbet exercised a power which was not fully his, for nothing in Loton remained with Shrewsbury Abbey, nor was anything in Loton abstracted ultimately from the Seigneury of Roger Corbet's descendants, the Barons of Caus.

One of these Barons added Loton and Cardeston to the Fee of Wattlesborough, that is, to the feoffment of that younger branch of Corbets which held Wattlesborough. We have seen that, in 1255,

[1] Still preserved in name, by the place called The Hayes.
[2] Domesday, fo. 255, b. 1.
[3] Salop Chartulary, No. 35.
[4] Monasticon, III. 519, a.
[5] Supra, Vol. V. p. 202, note 15.

110 LOTON.

Robert Corbet's tenure in Wattlesborough, Cardeston, and Loton was put at 3 hides. That was one hide in excess of the Domesday estimate of Wattlesborough singly, but yet (as was often the case in these changes) it was one hide short of those 4 hides which should have resulted from the combination of the three Domesday estates.

As a result of Loton and Cardeston having been thus annexed to the fee of Wattlesborough, some mention has been made, under Wattlesborough, of both places, as well as of The Hayes (a member of Loton). I will here add the substance of a Fine levied at Westminster on November 18, 1278, and which I take to be rather a recognition and limitation of Robert Corbet's accumulated tenures under the Barons of Caus, than to imply that he had asserted the slightest claim to the Barony itself.-

The Fine purports to be between Robert Corbet (Plaintiff) and Peter Corbet (Tenant) of the Manors of Canes, Yokethull, Munstreleg, and Wordyn, whereof was Plea. Robert acknowledged the whole to be the right of Peter, who conceded to Robert the tenements called The Haye of Luton (The Hayes of Loton), and also the tenement which Robert held under Peter, in Bragynton, in Wales, on the day of this concord; to hold to Robert and his heirs for ever; doing for the same, and for all the other tenement which he held under Peter on the aforesaid day, the service of one knight's-fee. Peter moreover reserves to himself and heirs free liberty of hunting in The Haye, so that no damage be done to corn. Robert also was to have power of assarting in The Haye. [6]

We have seen how Robert Corbet subsequently bought up the Undertenancy of Eynon ap Griffith in Loton, and in a way which settled it on his own widow for life. We have also seen how Robert Corbet died seized of various interests in Loton, The Hayes, and Bragginton. Hence it comes to pass that these three places (two of which formed a distinct Domesday Manor, while the third was perhaps originally a member of Caus) are at the present day manorial appurtenances of Wattlesborough.

[6] Fines Divers. Comitat. 6 Edward I. No. 69. It is possible that Robert Corbet resigned some tenure in Caus, or Worthen, or elsewhere, by this Fine.



THIS Manor was also one which Domesday registers as held by Roger fitz Corbet of the Norman Earl.-

"The same Roger holds Cartistune, and Gislebert (holds it) of him. Leuenot held it (in Saxon times) and was a free man. Here is one hide, geldable. In demesne there is I ox-team, and IIII Serfs, I Villain and I Boor; and here there might be III ox-teams more. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 30s. (per annum); now it is worth 20s". [1]

Whoever Gilbert, Roger Corbet's Tenant, may have been, it is plain that he or his successors made way for the Corbets of Wattlesborough, to whose fee we have seen that Cardeston was annexed before 1255. I have nothing to say distinctively of this Manor while it was a member of Wattlesborough, except that at the Assizes of 1292, Roger de Forde failed to prosecute a plea against Robert Corbet (of Wattlesborough) concerning 5. 4s. rent in Cardeston. [2]


This was perhaps originally a dependency of Alberbury Church, but was independent thereof long before that Church became appropriate to the Priory. The Abbot of Wigmore, by some extraordinary chance and in some unrecorded way, got the Advowson of this Chapel; but his right of patronage seems to have been commuted for a pension, and for the usual right of presenting (not of nominating) any Incumbent. It is well understood that this mean-right of patronage, as we may call it, was nothing more than a method of securing an undertaking from each succeeding Presentee that he would punctually pay the reserved pension. The real Patrons of Cardeston were the Lords of the Fee, the Corbets of Wattlesborough. This was the state of the Chapel in 1276.

The Taxation of 1291 puts the Chapel of Cardinton or Cardiston (Pontesbury Deanery) as worth less than 4. yearly. [3] In 1341 the Assessors of the Ninth rated Cardeston as a distinct Parish, whose

[1] Domesday, fo. 256, b, 2.
[2] Assizes, 20 Edw. I., m. 10 dorso.
[3] Pope Nich. Taxation, pp. 167, 175.


Church Taxation was 6 merks or 4. This they reduced to 16s. for the current levy, because the glebe, offerings, and some of the small tithes, were worth 12s., and other small tithes, belonging to the Mother Church, were worth 12s.; because also half the Char pelry was in Wales. [4]

The Valor of 1534-5 gives the preferment of John Hogg, Rector of Karston, as worth, in glebe and tithes, 3. 6s. 8d. (per annum). That sum was liable to deductions of 6d. for Archdeacon's Synodals; and of 8s. for an annual pension paid to the Abbot and Convent of Wigmore.
[5] The cotemporary return of the Monastery of Wigmore includes among its Spiritualities an annual pension of 8s. from the Rectory of Karston. [6] The Ministers' Accounts also, in 1539-40, include a pension of 8s. from Carston among the assets of the then dissolved Monastery. [7]

I have not a doubt that this Wigmore Pension is still represented by an annual sum of 8s. 10d., which is paid by the Rector of Cardeston, under the name of a Crown-rent, or a Fee farm Crown-rent; [8] but why it has been increased by 10d. I cannot say.


WILLIAM DE CARDISTON, Subdeacon, instituted February 20, 1276. Patrons, the Abbot and Convent of Wigmore, on the presentation of Robert Corbet, the true Patron.

FULCO, SON OF SIR ROBERT CORBET, instituted June 20, 1304, at presentation of the Abbot and Convent of Wigmore. [9]

THOMAS DR AREWE, Priest, instituted February 7, 1310. Patron Sir Thomas Corbet, Knight.

THOMAS DE MORTON, Chaplain, instituted November 22, 1336. Patrons,- The Abbot and Convent of Wigmore.

SIR JOHN DE RODENE, Priest, instituted to this Free Chapel November 14, 1349. Same Patrons.

WILLIAM DE BALSCHAWE, Priest, instituted July 22, 1369, On a like presentation, was here in 1374.

JOHN JOLYF, Rector of Cardeston in 1386, is perhaps identical with a second-

[4] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 186.
[5] [6] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 213, 203.
[7] Monasticon, VI. 356, b.
[8] The present Receiver of this rent is Thomas Escolme Fisher, Esq., who purchased it, as I understand, from Bowdler's heirs.
[9] It was clearly this Fulk who became Rector of Culmington in 1311 (vide Vol. V. p. 186).


JOHN DE RODENE, who occurs as Rector in 13 Richard II. (1389-90).


THIS also was a Manor held at Domesday by Roger fitz Corbet under the Norman Earl.- "The same Roger holds Willavestune. Uluiet held it (in Saxon times) and was a free man. Here is half a hide, geldable. It was and is waste, and yet it produces a rent of 12d". [1]

It is probable that this notice refers rather to that part of the Manor now known as Little Woolaston than to Woolaston proper, whose hidage seems never to have been authoritatively assigned. I will treat of each member of the Manor separately.-

WOOLASTON PROPER came to be held under Corbet of Caus by a knightly race which took name from one Picot, its Ancestor. The first of these of whom I find any notice was-

RALPH FITZ PIKOT, who in 1180 was amerced 20s., among other Feudatories of Caus, for false judgment passed against Fulk fitz Warin. He seems to have acquired Aston near Worthen, with his wife Susanna, daughter of Henry and sister of Roger de Aston. Thus Aston got the name of Aston Pigot, and under that place I shall speak more fully of Ralph fitz Picot's descendants. Here under Woolaston I will next notice-

ROBERT PIGOT, who in 1240 is entered as holding a knight's-fee of the Barony of Caus in Wilaston or Wylaveston. [2] At the Inquisition of 1255 this Robert Pigot, being one of the Jurors for Ford Hundred, was found to be holding two carucates of land in Willaveston, which were geldable, but not hidatae. He held them of the Barony of Caus, and did Suit to both County and Hundred. Also the Abbot of Pole (i.e. Ystrat Marchel) held half a virgate in Willaveston, of the Fee of Caus. [3] I suppose that it was in respect of this tenure in Woolaston that the Jurors of Ford Hundred presented the Abbot of Pole as non-attendant at the Assizes of 1256. In 1256 Robert Pigott was one of those who held 15 librates of land in

[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b, 1.
[2] Testa de Nevill, pp. 46, 48, 49.
[3] Rot. Hundred. II. 66, 67.


Shropshire, and yet was not a Knight. At the Assizes of that year he was again a Juror for Ford Hundred. In March, August, and September, 1257, Robert Pycot has Writs against Thomas Corbet and others for disseizing him of his free tenement in Wylaveston or Wylaston. A similar Writ appears on the Patent-Roll in June 1258. In 1263 we have seen Robert Pycot associated with Thomas Corbet in the war with Wales, and we have also seen that in the following year Robert Pigot, son of William Pygot, made a grant to Alberbury Priory. At the Assizes of 1272 Robert Bigot is entered as a Juror for Ford Hundred.

The Feodary drawn up in October 1274 registers Robert Pigot as holding a knight's-fee in the Barony of Thomas Corbet deceased, and as owing suit to the Court of Caus. Again Robert Pigot appears as a Juror for Ford Hundred at the Inquisition of November 1274. Among the statements made on the last occasion was this one.- "Whereas the men of Robert Pigot had been used to hold by English law, and to follow the King's peace, as Englishmen, they had been compelled within the last 30 years, by Sir Thomas Corbet, to hold their land by Welsh law, although the said Robert Pigot holds all his land by military feoffment. The said men (Undertenants) were at the present moment in the hands of Lewellyn, Prince of Wales". [4] It seems that William Hager, Corbet's Clerk, had also injured Robert Pigot by seizing a cow of his; and that the King's Officers in Ford Hundred had not left him undisturbed. The Under-Beadles of the Hundred (John le Tron and John Budell) had taken 6d. each from him, ad faciendum officium suum, as their pretext is worded.

HOWEL PYGOT appears as a Corbet Tenant at the Assizes of 1292. We have seen that this Howel had in 1300 enfeoffed Robert Corbet of Wattlesborough, and his wife, in 11 acres in Breddeshill (now Bretchel). In the Nomina Villarum of 1316 Howil Pygot is entered as Lord of Wylaston, which closes what I have here to say of the family.

LITTLE WOOLASTON was held under Corbet of Caus by a family whose name is spelt as Esmerulum in the first notice I have of it. Thus at the Assizes of 1203 Robert de Esmerulum had a Grand Assize concerning half a virgate in Wullaveston against William de Etton, who surrendered the same before trial. In November 1221 I find Robert de Esmerillum named as Surety in Stretton (Stoney Stretton)

[4] Ibidem, p. 96.- Lewellyn's seizure of the Gordowr was later than this. It was his ally, Griffin ap Wenhunwin, who first conquered the district (supra, p. 98).


Lawsuit. Perhaps Thomas de Eshm, who has occurred to us in 1251 under Winsley, was of this family. In 1255 we have it fully stated that Robert Merilun holds half a hide, geldable, in Willaveston parva, of the Barony of Caus, and does suit to County and Hundred. [5]

At the Assizes of January 1256 we have Roger (quaere Robert ?) Merilun as a Juror for the Hundred of Ford. From a trial which took place at Shrewsbury in August 1267, it would seem that there had been three brothers of this family. Robert, William, and Richard, of whom only Richard was then living, whilst William had left a son and heir, also named William. The question was whether Robert Milun, uncle (avunculus) of William, son of William Milun, had died seized of 3 messuages and two virgates of land in Stretton (Stoney Stretton) and Wilauston; and whether William Milun, Junior, was his next heir? Richard Milun, who held the premises, deposed that William junior, the Plaintiff, was his Nephew (nepos), and that such a writ as the present (a writ of mort d'ancestre) ought not to run between such relations. The Court acquiesced and ordered the Plaintiff to seek another remedy if he chose so to do.

I suppose that the Defendant retained some right in this neighbourhood, for I find Richard Meriloun of Stratton standing Surety in 1272 for one of the parties to a Winsley Lawsuit. [7]

Of UNDERTENANTS here I have these notes.- At the Inquest of 1255 the Jurors of Ford Hundred reported John, son of John de Parva Wylaston, and John Marescal, of the same vill, as non-attendant at the general summons. In May 1271 John de Parva Wilaston proposes to sue Philip Hord for disseizing him of a freehold in Wylaston.


This was undoubtedly from the first a Dependency of the Church of Alberbury, and so it continues at this day.

In 1289, as we have seen, [8] Woolaston and other Chapels were being served by the Vicar of Alberbury. Presentations to this Cure are of course not to be expected in the Diocesan Registers.

The present Curate of Woolaston receives an annual charge of 1. 10s. from Plas y Court farm, but has no other income in the nature of original endowment. Such was the condition in which

[5] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[6] Assizes, 51 Hen. III., m. 5 dorso.
[7] Supra, p. 64.
[8] Supra, p. 88.

116 THE REA.

Monastic appropriations in the first instance, and Royal confiscations in the next, left numbers of our parochial Churches and Chapels.

The Rea.

Domesday alludes to an unnamed Manor, held by Roger fitz Corbet of the Norman Earl, in these terms.- "The same Roger holds half a hide in this Hundred (Ruesset), which Earl Morcar held (in Saxon times). Here is one Villain with half an ox-team. Its former and present value was and is 32d. (per annum)". [1]

There can be little doubt that this was the Manor which was afterwards called The Rea. It must have been situated upon the River Rea, between Caus and Minsterley, and was probably bounded on the West by Worthen, another of Earl Morcar's Manors, though not in Ruesset Hundred. The family which Corbet of Caus enfeoffed here, took a name from the place, but eventually Corbet resumed the Manor into his own demesne. Its exact locality, thus became lost, and its name as obsolete as it was at Domesday.

I have in a former Volume remarked that the name Rea is indistinctively applied to several streams, as meaning nothing more than stream or water. This seems to have been well understood in the 12th and 13th centuries; and I doubt not that-

WILLIAM DE AQUA, whom we have seen associated with several Corbet Tenants about 1198, was Corbet's Feoffee at Rea.

RALPH DE REE, who has occurred in a similar position in 1221, was undoubtedly Corbet's Tenant here;- for the Feodaries of 1210 concur in making him hold something in Ree of Thomas Corbet's Barony, though his service is variously represented as one-fourth and one-tenth of a knight's-fee. [2]

In 1243 Radulf de Ree was amerced half a merk for some trespass. About 1251 this Ralph de Ree seems to have exchanged The Rea with Thomas Corbet, who gave him some land in Minsterley. This was probably questioned by Ralph de Ree's son, for I find that in 1252-

RALPH, SON OF RALPH DE REE, fined 20s. pro habenda assiza;

[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b.
[2] Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48, 50.


and his object appears on the cotemporary Patent Roll, where Ralph, son of Ralph, has a Writ against Ralph de Re and Thomas Corbet for disseizing him of a free tenement in Westlegh (Westley) and Re. In 1255 the Ford Hundred-Roll duly records how Radulf de Ree had held half a hide in a certain hamlet at Ree under Sir Thomas Corbet and his Barony of Caures. The said Radulf was used to do suit to both County and Hundred for the said half-hide; but, four years since, Thomas Corbet exchanged that land with the aforesaid Radulf for other land in Munsterleg. The said Thomas had, during the interval, withdrawn the said suits of Ree, whereby the King was damaged 8s., i.e. at the rate of 2s. per annum. [3]

WILLIAM, SON OF RALPH DE REE, who, in 1260, fines half a merk for a Writ of Pone, was perhaps a member of this family, and still contesting the validity of the above exchange. From that day to this I can find no mention of The Rea as a Manor or Hamlet, and conclude that it was absorbed into those Corbet demesnes which must have surrounded it.


Domesday notices this Manor as follows.-

"The same Roger (fitz Corbet) holds Hanewde (of the Earl). Edic (probably Edric) held it (in Saxon times), and was free. Here are II hides, geldable. In demesne there is half an ox-team, and (there are) V Serfs, III Villains, and II Boors with 2 teams; and there might be one team more thereon. Its former and present value was and is 10s. (per annum). [1]

A very early feoffment must have been made of Hanwood;- made even by Roger fitz Corbet, whose grant of Winsley to Shrewsbury Abbey, between 1121 and 1136 is attested by-

REINALD DE HENEWODE. The next in this succession of Tenants seems to have been-

JOHN DE HANEWDE, who, besides his tenure under Corbet, held in 1165 a muntator's fee of the Barony of Fitz Alan. [2] The

[2] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b, 2.
[2] Liber Niger, I. 144.


locality of the latter tenure I leave for future discussion. In 1180 John de Hanewde appears with other Corbet Tenants as amerced 20s. "for false judgment pronounced against Fulk fitz Warin".

About 1203, and again between 1210 and 1220, we have seen-

ROBERT DE HANWOOD attesting the Charters of Robert Corbet of Caus. [3] In 1209 we have had a different instance of his connection with that House, he having been a Security for the appearance of Corbet's Huntsman, charged with a grave trespass against the Forest. [4] In 1244) we have-

REGINALD DE HANEWDE holding half a knight's-fee in Hanewde, of the Barony of Thomas Corbet. The Tenant's name is printed Roger in two cotemporary Rolls, but with small probability of accuracy. [5] In 1255 the Ford Hundred-Roll gives Reginald de Hanewodde as holding II hides, geldable, of the Barony of Caus, for which he did suit to both County and Hundred. [6] In 1256 Reginald de Hanewode is returned among those who holding 15 librates of land in Shropshire, were not yet knights. The appearance of Roger de Hanewode as a Juror for Ford Hundred at the Assizes of 1256 is probably a mistake for Reginald; but if so, it is a mistake of the original. In 1259 we have Reginald de Hanewod owing half a merk of gold (equal to 5 merks of silver), for respite of his duty to take knighthood. In 1263 we have seen-

JOHN DE HANWOOD, associated with Thomas Corbet of Caus, and in the position of a military Retainer. At the Assizes of 1272, and the Inquisition of 1274, both John and William de Hanewode were Jurors for Ford Hundred. William de Hanewood also occurs on a local Inquest in 1280, and was a Juror for the Hundred at the Assizes of 1292; but John was the representative of the family, as we know from his being registered in 1274 as tenant of half a knight's-fee in the Barony of Thomas Corbet deceased, and from his attestation of a Charter on May 8, 1288, where he is styled Dominus de Hanewode. [7]

Within four years of that time, Hanwood and Wallop seem to have passed to collateral heirs, but in what way, I cannot declare, except that Robert and Reginald, two sons of a Reginald de Hanwood, settled both estates, first on Robert for life, and then on Reginald and his heirs. The Fine by which this was done bears date October 27, 1292. It is between-


[3] [4] Supra, pp. 16, 18.
[5] Testa de Nevill, pp. 48 (45, 50).
[6] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[7] Monasticon, V. 358, No. x.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


REGINALD, SON OF REGINALD DE HARWOOD, Plaintiff, of two messuages, I carucate, and I virgate of land, and 32s. rent in Hanwood and Walhope, and of the Advowson of Hanwood Church, whereof was Plea of Convention. Robert acknowledges himself to have given the premises to Reginald. Reginald in turn concedes them to Robert, for life, at a rose-rent;- with remainder to Reginald and his heirs, quit of any other heirs of Robert,- to hold of the Lords of the Fee. This remainder soon took effect, if I may judge from Reginald de Hanewode's place in the testing clause of a Habberley Deed, which must have passed early in the fourteenth century. [8] The Nomina Villarum of 1316 accordingly gives Reginald de Hanewode as Lord of the Vill of Hanewode.


This was, I suppose, originally subject to Pontesbury; but no Record of its dependence exists. The Taxation of 1291 places the Chapel of Hanewode in Pontesbury Deanery, and values it at 4. 6s. 8d. per annum. [9]

This value is quoted by the Assessors of the Ninth in 1341; but they taxed the Parish only 6s. for the current levy. The small-tithes, oblations, and glebe went to swell the Church-Taxation, but were not to be reckoned in estimating the Ninth. Moreover, there were no sheep or lambs in the Parish; the tenants had thrown up their holdings under stress of poverty; and 4 virgates of land lay untilled. [10]

The Valor of 1531-5 gives the preferment of John Hogg, Rector of Hanwode as 2. 6s. 8d. per annum in Glebe and tithes, less 6d. for Archdeacon's Synodals. [11]


No institutions to Hanwood appear on the early Registers of Hereford. Mr. Blakeway names from other sources the following.-

R., Rector of Hanwood in 1277.

RICHARD DE PRESTON, Priest, occurs February 7, 1362.

HUGH DE WARDE, occurs 1386.

RICHARD HASTON, or PASTERNE, occurs in 1397.

[8] Supra, p. 49.
[9] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 167.
[10] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 185.
[11] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 213.

120 EYTON.


EYTON, near Alberbury, was a divided Manor at Domesday. Elric, a Saxon, and Roger fitz Corbet, held it in different proportions under the Norman Earl. The two estates are thus described.-

1. "Elric holds Etune of the Earl. Siward and Uluric held it (in Saxon times) for two Manors. Here are III virgates of waste land".'

2. "The same Roger (fitz Corbet) holds Etune. Elmar held it (in Saxon times). Here are one hide and three virgates. Here be two Boors ploughing with five oxen. The value (of the Manor) is 8s. (per annum). The (arable) land is (sufficient) for two oxteams". [2]

I observe that a Saxon AElric, probably identical with Elric, above-named, had, before Domesday, made way for another Saxon, viz. Alward fitz Elmund, in the Manor of Hundeslit, i.e. Stapleton. [3] I think it very likely that the same transfer of Elric's share of Eyton took place soon after Domesday, and that Alward being in turn dispossessed, this share of Eyton went, as in the case of Stapleton, to constitute that Honour of Montgomery, which I have often alluded to as a creation of Henry I.'s. It is not yet time for me to trace the descent of the Honour of Montgomery through the families of Bollers, Courtenay, Cantilupe, and La Zouche. I will here give some account of their Tenants in that share of Eyton, which, to distinguish it from Corbet's share, I will call the-

MONTGOMERY FEE.- In the end of the twelfth century there was one Henry de Aston. He had a son, Roger, and a daughter, Susanna, who became the wife of Ralph fitz Picot, already mentioned, under Woolaston. Roger de Aston, as being Lord of Aston, near Worthen, gave that vill its name of Aston-Rogers, to distinguish it from Aston Pigot, another member of Worthen, which belonged to Ralph fitz Picot. This connects Roger de Aston with the Fief of Caus rather than with that of Montgomery. However, what he held in Eyton was held under the Lords of Montgomery. He was in fact their principal Tenant here, but how he obtained the estate I cannot say. The printed Calendar of Charter-Rolls

[1] [2] Domesday, fos. 259, b, 1, 255, b. 1.
[3] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 109.

EYTON. 121

tells us of a grant of Free Warren in Eyton, Salop, obtained by William de Cantilupe in 21 Hen. III. (1236-7). [4] This assignation of the County in which Eyton was, is altogether unwarranted by the original entry on the Rolls. The place alluded to was probably Eaton-Bray in Bedfordshire. I do not suppose that Cantilupe, though Seigneural Lord of a part of Eyton-near-Alberbury, ever held anything there in demesne.

In 1240, among the Fees of William de Cantilupe (then Lord of the Honour of Montgomery), we have-

ROGER DE ESTUN and his Coparceners holding 1/10th of a fee in Eyton. [5] Again a Record of about eleven years later, particularizing three hides which William de Cantilupe, then dead, had held in Ford Hundred, names Roger de Estun as Tenant of one of the said hides, in Eton. [6] In 1255, I learn that Roger de Aston had been blind for seven years; [7] and in January 1256, that he was dead. His heir was his nephew, John fitz Peter, an infant. His widow, Margery, was, in 1256, suing his various Tenants at Aston Rogers, Bromlawe, etc., for dower, but she made no such claim in Eyton. The fact is, that Roger de Aston must have parted with his estate at Eyton during his life, for the Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 records that-

ROGER FITZ MATTHEW holds in Eyton half a hide, geldable, of the said Barony (the Barony of Montgomery is meant), and does suit to both County and Hundred.

The same Record states that the Friars of Grandimont (that is, the Monks of Alberbury), hold half a virgate in Eyton, by the gift of William fitz Adam, and of the Fee of Montgomery. [7]

Here the three virgates of Domesday are reproduced within half a virgate,- a trifling discrepancy in such cases: but who William fitz Adam was, or any further particulars of his grant to Alberbury, I cannot declare.

The same Record gives Robert fitz Matthew as a Juror of Ford Hundred. This is hardly a mistake, for the name is repeated on the Jury-list for the same Hundred, at the Assizes of 1256. However, we have had Roger fitz Matthew, Clerk, attesting a grant to Alberbury Priory in February 1264, and we shall see in the sequel that there was a Robert fitz Matthew besides.

The Inquest taken in 1273-4, on the death of George de Cantilupe, is, as regards his Barony of Montgomery, lost. An old Abstract

[4] Calendar, p. 55.
[5] Testa de Nevill, p. 46.
[6] Testa de Nerill, p. 60.
[7] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.

122 EYTON.

thereof, however, informs us that he was Lord of half the manor of Eiton juxta Alberbury. [8]

In 1274 the Jurors of Chirbury Hundred represented that John le Knicht, of Aston (Aston Rogers, I presume), had withdrawn 3s. annual rent of a moiety of the vill of Eyton, which (moiety) he ought to hold of the Honour of Montgomery. [9] This I cannot explain otherwise than by suggesting that John le Knicht was identical with John fitz Peter, the infant heir of Aston Rogers in 1256, and that his interest in a moiety of Eyton was mediate between the Lords of Montgomery and Roger fitz Matthew, being such as he may have inherited from his uncle, Roger de Aston, who died in 1255-6.

From 1280 to 1284, Milisent la Zouche, sister and coheir of George de Cantilupe, was suing various Tenants in her late Brother's Barony, for the services due to herself. It is clear that she claimed the Seigneury of a moiety of Eyton, but it is not clear who were the Tenants thereof, against whom she proceeded. The following extracts from the Rolls show the confusion to which I allude:

Easter Term. 1280. "Milisenta, quae fuit uxor Eudonis la Zuche optulit se versus Willielmum de Stanwardyn, Hugonem de Patinton, et Rogerium de Eaton, pro dimidio feodo militis in medietate manerii in Eton-Stokes et Monentun".

Mich. Term. 1282. "Milisencia, etc., etc., versus Rogerium de Eyton de dimid. feodi in Eyton juxta Alberbury".

Easter Term. 1283. "Milisenta la Zouche, etc. etc., versus Willielmum de Underlowe et Willielmum de Hochton de dimid. feodi in Weston juxta Alberbury, et versus Rogerium de Stanworthin, Hugonem de Patinton, et Rogerium filium Matthaei de Eyton-Stokes, de dimid. feodi in medietate manerii de Eyton-Stokes".

Easter Term. 1284. "Milisenta, etc. etc., implacitat Rogerium de Stanwarthyn, Hugonem de Patington et Rogerium filium Matthaei de Eyton pro dimid. feodi militis in Eyton-Stokes".

All that I shall here say about these extracts is, that they contain allusions to Stanwardine-in-the-Fields, to Weston Lullingfield, and to a place called Monentun, which places, and the Tenants thereof, belong to other pages of our history: that the only person with whom we have here to do, was he who is called Roger de Eaton, or Roger de Eyton, or Roger fitz Matthew de Eyton; and that the only place which now concerns us, is the place called

[8] Calendar, Vol. I. p. 49.
[9] Rot. Hundred. II. 89.


Eyton juxta Alberbury, or Eyton-Stokes. The Feodary of 1284 simplifies the matter much, when it states that "The Prior of Alberbury, Roger de Horton; and Roger fitz Matthew, hold half the Vill of Eyton under Milisenta la Such; "-but the nature of Roger de Horton's interest I have yet to learn.

We shall see, under Amaston, that about the year 1290, some tenement in Eyton passed from Walter de Ailesbury to Philip Burnet. This, I take it, was held under La Zouche, but how Walter de Ailesbury acquired it, or what became of it in the hands of Burnel, I cannot say. The Tenants, of what name and number soever, who were holding this moiety of Eyton in the fifteenth century, were holding it under Zouche of Haryngworth.

CAUS FEE. Of that part of Eyton which was held by Roger fitz Corbet in 1086, we have abundant notices. Corbet's Feoffees here were also his Feoffees in a part of the Manor of Marsh (near Westbury). They are therefore sometimes called "De Marsh", and sometimes "De Eyton",- an observation which will explain much of the following narrative.-

HUGH DE MERSE, the first of these Feoffees that occurs to my notice, is said to have lived in Henry II.'s reign. He was certainly surviving twenty years afterwards, for in 1209 he and Wido de Mersse are named among those Corbet Tenants who were Sureties for the appearance of Robert Corbet's Huntsman, indicted for a grave breach of the Forest-laws. Both Hugh and Wido de Merse were deceased in 1220. The former left two sons, William and Robert, and nine daughters,- Edith, Godith, Sibil, Isolda, Alice, Margaret, Petronil, Ascelina, and Mirabel. In Trinity Term, 1220, Margery, widow of Wido de Merse, was suing Alice fitz Hugh (one of the said daughters) for thirds of a bovate-and-half in Eyton, which thirds she claimed as dower. [10] The suit was adjourned to Michaelmas Term, and then transferred from Westminster to the next eyre of the Justices. This took place in November 1221, and then Margery, Widow of Wido de Merse, sued, not only Alice, but all the nine daughters of Hugh de Merse for thirds of 13 bovates in Eton and Bradeshull (Bretchel), that is she sued each of the nine for a third of 1 bovates. The Jury declared that Wido de Merse had never been seized of the premises; and so his Widow was non-suited. [11]

The Widow seems to have taken a different course as to some land at Marsh; for, at the same Assizes, Margery de Brerlaue (the same

[10] Placita, 4 Hen. III., m. 25 dorso.
[11] Assizes, 6 Hen. III., m. 2 recto.


person clearly), with Roger her son, and Alan de Langedon, were found to have disseized Edith fitz Hugh and her eight Sisters of their free tenement in Marshe. Damages of 10s. were given. Adam de Wygmore and Roger de la Hulle were Sureties in the case. [12]

With this judgment the Defendants were dissatisfied.- On April 7, 1222, Roger fitz Margery and Margery de Brerlawe, fine half a merk for a Writ of attaint against the twelve Jurors who had tried an assize of novel disseizen against Edith, Godith, and Ysolda, daughters of Hugh de Merse concerning a tenement in Merse. [13] I here leave the nine daughters of Hugh de Merse and return to speak of his sons; and first of the youngest,-

ROBERT FITZ HUGH. He, I take it, was that Robert de Eyton who about 1220-1 attested a grant of Robert Corbet of Caus to Shrewsbury Abbey. [14] As Robert de Heyteton, he gave to Haughmond Abbey, together with his body in burial, that half virgate in Mershe which William de Notone held. [15] He was dead in November 1221, for, at the Assizes then held, a Suit of novel disseizin, instituted by William Blund against Robert fitz Hugh, for a tenement in Eyton, was adjourned sine die, because the Defendant was dead. [16] Of-

WILLIAM DE MERSE, eldest son of Hugh, I have but few particulars. Possibly it was he who, as William de Etton, has been named in a Woolaston lawsuit of 1203. If so, this was in his Father's lifetime. He was, whatever were the time of his decease, afterwards represented by a son-

ROGER DE MERSE, who, as "Roger, son of William de Merse, confirmed to Haughmond the half-virgate in Mershe which Robert his Uncle had given. Witnesses,- Odo de Hodenet; Geoffrey, Clerk; John Thete; and Richard Dod. This is that Roger de Merche whom the Feodary of 1240 enters as holding half a knight's-fee in Eyton of the Barony of Thomas Corbet. [17] A Lawsuit of Michaelmas Term 1242 proves a great part of this Roger's pedigree. As Roger de la Merse, he sued Isabel de Wythbelond for 8 acres in Eyton, whereof Hugh, his grandfather, was said to have been seized in the time of Henry II. From Hugh the right claimed had descended to William, his son and heir, and from William to his son and heir, the present Plaintiff. Isabel, for her part, denied

[12] Assizes, 6 Hen. III., m. 2 dorso.
[13] Rot. Finium, I. 84.
[14] Supra, p. 18.
[15] Haughmond Chartulary. Tit. Mershe.
[16] Assizes, 5 Hen. III., m. 2.
[17] Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48, 49.


that Hugh, the grandfather, had died seized of the premises, for that he gave them to his (second) son Robert, which Robert had enfeoffed the Defendant. [18] The cause was adjourned, but it terminated on the Quinzaine of Easter 1243, in a judgment for Roger de la Merse, seeing that "Isabel de la Wylaithland had made many defaults". In the same Term of Easter 1243, Roger de Merse recovered 8 acres in Eyton from Robert de Cakinton, who had made similar defaults. A third case which Roger de Merse had against Ascelina de Bradeshull (Bretchel), for 3 acres in Eyton, was adjourned. I think that the Defendants in these three causes must have represented some of the Plaintiffs Aunts, and possibly Ascelina de Bradeshull was herself his Aunt.

It is evident to me that a Fine bearing date at Westminster on November 12th, 27 Hen. III. (i.e. November 12, 1242) is misdated, and belongs to the same day of the 28th year of Henry III., i.e. to November 12, 1243 [19] Be that as it may, the Fine is between Roger de la Merse (Plaintiff) and Ascelina de Bredeshull (Tenant) of 30 acres in Eyton, and 3 bovates (less one messuage) in La Merse, whereof was suit at law. Ascelina now surrendered the whole, and Roger in return conceded to her for life half a virgate of the premises at the rent of a pair of white gloves or one penny. Moreover Roger covenanted to pay Ascelina a life annuity of 19 pence, and, at Ascelina's petition, he conceded to Robert, son of Matthew de Eyton, Ascelina's nephew (nepoti), twelve of the aforesaid thirty acres in Eyton, to hold to him and his heirs, paying a glove-rent to the Grantor, and performing all forinsec services.

The Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 enters Roger de Merse as holding one geldable hide in Eyton of the Barony of Caus, and as doing suit to both County and Hundred. [20] At the Assizes of 1256, Roger de Merse was found to have disseized Reginald de Eyton of common pasture in Eyton. Roger de Merge also impleaded Roger fitz Matthew, of Eyton, for 12 acres in Eyton, but the latter showed that he held the premises for life under the former. Whether Roger de Eyton, a Juror for Ford Hundred at these Assizes, as well as at the Inquest of 1255, was identical with Roger de Merse, is not quite clear. [21] In 1263, Roger de Merse appears associated with Thomas Corbet, of Caus, and as if employed in the wars of Wales. The

[18] Placita, 26 Hen. III., m. 26.
[19] The Clerk, in the press of business, perhaps forgot that Henry III.'s regnal years set in on October 28th.
[20] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[21] The Juror in question may have been Roger, son of Matthew de Eyton, before mentioned (p. 121): but he was a Clerk.

126 EYTON.

same Roger de Merse has been seen in 1264, attesting a grant to Alberbury Priory, [22] and I believe it was Roger de Merse (I.) rather than his son, ROGER DE MERSE (II.), who in 1270 was suing Robert Corbet, of Morton, for disseizin in Bretchel. [23] At the Assizes of 1272, Roger de Merse and John, his son, got judgment and 20s. damages, against Richard Kempe and others, who had unlawfully rescued certain cattle which Roger and John had seized in Merse, being the property of the Defendants. [24] I think it was Roger de Merse (II.) who appears as Tenant of half a knight's-fee in the Caus Feodary of 1274, and who, being called Roger de Eyton, was nominated by Peter Corbet in 1277 as one of the Servientes ready to perform a share of the military service due from the said Peter for his Barony. It was also Roger de Merse (II.), I think, who described himself as "Roger, son of Roger de Eiton", and who in the time of Alan, Abbot of Haughmond (1263-1281), covenanted for himself and heirs, to pay the Abbey 3s. annual rent for that half-virgate in Merse which the Abbey had before acquired.

I shall have more to say of this family under Marsh itself, a vill on whose history I have already trespassed too far. It will there appear fully, that the Roger de Marsh of 1280 was son and heir of him who was living in 1256.

Of UNDERTENANTS in the Caus moiety of Eyton, it is difficult to say anything with precision. I suspect that a number of small tenures arose in the allotments made among the nine daughters of Hugh de Marsh. Robert fitz Matthew, already mentioned as a Feoffee here in 1243, was at the Inquest of 1255, and the Assizes of 1256, a Juror for Ford Hundred. At the said Assizes, Roger, son of William de Eyton, and Robert, son of Petronilla de Eyton, are named as Sureties in a Rowton Lawsuit. At the same Assizes, Roger, son of William, and Isabel his wife (Tenants), surrender three nokes in Eyton (save a messuage and half acre) to John, son of Roger de Eyton, quit of themselves and the heirs of Isabel. In return, John, who had sued for the premises by Writ of Grand Assize, paid 4 merks. It seems improbable that Roger son of William, named in these entries, was identical with Roger de Marsh (I).

In Michaelmas Term 1282, William de Eyton failed to make good a charge of disseizin in Eyton, against Peter Corbet, Roger

[22] [23] Supra, pp. 27, 95, 104.
[24] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 7 dorso.- I presume the cattle had been taken in lawful distress.

MARSH. 127

de Hanton, and William Hagher. The Plaintiff was excused all amercement. [25]

In 1303, Roger, son of Richard de Aula, demises to Richard, son of Thomas Hord, a messuage and virgate in Eyton juxta Alberbury, which John Avelynemon formerly held, for a term of 16 years, commencing on St. Mark's day 1303. If Roger should fail to pay an annual charge of 4s. 6d., due on the said tenement, to Roger Mayou, then the present Lessee should be entitled to deduct that sum from the gross annual rent of 12s., now reserved to the Lessor. Witnesses:- Sir Richard de Leghton, Knight; Howel Pigot; Richard de Hope; Roger Mayou, Henry de Wesseleie (Westley), Richard Hord, of Ruton, Henry de Sperchford, Clerk, and many others. [26]

THIS also was a divided Manor at Domesday, Roger fitz Corbet holding one part under the Norman Earl, and his brother, Robert, the other. These parts are thus described.-

"The same Roger (fitz Corbet) holds Messe. Leuiet, and Dainz, and Weniet held it (in Saxon times) for three Manors, and were free. Here are III virgates, geldable. In demesne there is one ox-team and two Neat-herds. It used to be worth 9s.; now it is worth 5s. (per annum)".

"The same Robert (fitz Corbet) holds Mersse. Aluric held it (in Saxon times), and was a free man. Here are II hides, geldable. In demesne there are II ox-teams, and VI Serfs, I Boor, and I Radman. There might be IIII ox-teams here. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 15s. (per annum). Now it is worth 12s". [2]

CAUS FEE. This share of Marsh lay, I imagine, in the direction of Breddeshill (now Bretchel), if it did not include part of that vill. Corbet's Tenants here seem to have been that same family of Marsh, or Eyton, who held his share of Eyton. I have given, under Eyton, all such notes of the family as apply to its tenure under Corbet of Caus in Marsh and Bretchel.

LONGDEN FEE. Robert fitz Corbet's share of Marsh descended

[25] Placita, 10 Edw. I., m. 8 dorso.
[26] Charter at Loton Park.
[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b, 2.
[2] Ibidem, fo. 256, a, 1.

128 MARSH.

to his coheirs, the Boterells, Lords of Longden. Boterell's chief Tenants here were those identical Marshes, alias Eytans, who held the Caus shares of both Marsh and Eyton. Hence the Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 says that Roger de Mersse holds one hide in Mersse, of the Manor of Longedon, and does suit to both County and Hundred. [3]

The Abbot of Pole (Ystrat Marchel) had also 5s. annual rent in Merse, of the fee of Roger (read Reginald) de Botereus. It was perhaps owing to some territorial dispute that this Abbot had impleaded Roger de Mersse and Robert, Provost of Mersse, before Judges Delegate (i.e. in a Spiritual Court) at Rothelan (Rhuddlan). The immediate ground of action is however stated to have been bloodshed (de sanguine fuso). [3]

PERNDON.- I cannot quit the only Manor divided between the Lords of Caus and Longden, without noticing the now lost Vill of Perndon, which was similarly divided, and half of which (the Longden half) was held under Botterell by that same family of Marsh which held Marsh. The other half of Perndon was apparently retained by Corbet of Caus in demesne. I have alluded to this division of Perndon before. [4] It is usually mentioned next to Hargrave, which confirms my impression that it was near Marsh. The divided status of this lost vill of Perndon supplies us with a curious piece of Border history.-

We have heard of Griffith ap Wenhunwen's feud with Thomas Corbet of Caus. We know that it was burning in 1255 and 1259, and that the Prince of Powis so far prevailed as to occupy the tract of country known as The Gordowr. We know that Griffith's feud with the English Baron ripened into rebellion against the English King, and that, in February 1264, Griffith was preparing in conjunction with Lewellyn to devastate the Marches, and that this alliance between the Prince of Wales and Prince of Powis lasted till about 1275. The story of Perndon, as given in an Inquest of September 1280, illustrates all this.- "Griffin ap Wenhunwin and Owen his son, during the time of civil wars (1264-5), occupied half the vill of Pernedon to the exclusion of Roger de Mershe, the owner thereof. Afterwards, when there was dissension between Lewellyn and King Edward I., Lewellyn occupied the said half of Pernedon, together with the other lands of Griffin ap Wenhunwen and his son Owen.

[3] Rot. Hundred. II. 66, 67.
[4] Supra, pp. 35, 45.
[5] In turbacione in regno,- an expression hardly extending further back than 1264.


But when King Edward approached the parts of Wales, [6] Peter Corbet occupied this moiety of Pernedon" (as well, I presume, as his own). Roger, son and heir of that Roger de Mershe who had been originally ejected, hereupon seems to have petitioned King Edward to interfere against Corbet. The King, by Writ tested at Westminster on January 2, 1280, orders the Sheriff of Shropshire to ascertain by Inquest the state of the case, and whether a moiety of Pernedon was the "right of Roger, son and heir of Roger de Mershe, formerly disseized thereof, and was of the Fee of William de Boterell"; or whether "it was the right of Peter Corbet and of his own proper fee, and an appurtenance of the said Peter's own half of the aforesaid vill of Pernedon". If the Jury found the right to be Roger de Mershe's, they were to report how it was his right. The Inquest was held in September 1280, before Roger Sprenghose, then Sheriff, and the facts above related were found. Summarily said the Jurors, "The moiety (in question) is the right of Roger, son of Roger de Mersh, of the Fee of William de Boterell, because the said Roger is next heir of Roger, deceased; and in this way his right is of the fee of Boterell". [7]


"THE Romans" (says Mr. Blakeway) "are known to have been at least as near Pontesbury as the Lea Cross, and certainly they worked lead-mines in the Stiperstones Hills. Pontesford and Pontesbury are in a line between the Lea Cross and the Stiperstones; and if the Romans found it necessary to erect a bridge at Pontesford over the rivulet, which is occasionally a considerable stream, and if the locality was thence denominated Pontes, the Saxons, coming after the Romans, might call a road across this rivulet the Ford or way of the Pontes. Similarly, a rude fastness at Pontesbury might be called the byrig or bury of the Pontes".

[6] This was in the Autumn of 1277, and we know that Lewellyn had previously retired from The Gordowr, being beaten back by the Earl of Lincoln (supra, p. 98). The rupture between Lewellyn and Griffin ap Wenhunwen seems to have taken place in the Autumn of 1275. For its cause, see History of Shrewsbury, I. 138.
[7] Inquisitions, 8 Edw. I., No. 60.


This etymology, which Mr. Blakeway leaves to the judgment of his readers, is fortified by other considerations. The Romans have left other marks of occupation in this neighbourhood. Such names as Stoney Stretton and Wattlesborough indicate as much, to say nothing of the probability that the lead-mines of the Ponsert (or Pontesford) Hill itself were originally a Roman discovery.

Again,- the Romans left England in the fifth century, and we have evidence that, in the seventh century, Pontesbury was called by a name, the last half of which was Saxon, while the first half was so spelt by a native writer as to show that probably it was Latin, but that certainly it was not Saxon. In the year 661, Cenwalh, King of the West Saxons, fought with Wulfhere, King of Mercia, at a place which the Saxon Chronicler denotes as Possentes-byrig. Pontesbury was undoubtedly meant, but the Latin portion of the name was not familiar to the Saxon scribe.

Domesday describes this ancient settlement as follows.- "The same Roger (fitz Corbet) holds Pantesberie (of the Earl). Ernui held it (in Saxon times) and still holds it under Roger (fitz Corbet). Here are 4 hides, geldable, and 1 hides, not geldable. In demesne are IIII ox-teams, and (there are) VII Serfs, X Villains, V Boors, and I Radman with V teams; and there might be III more teams hereon. A Mill here renders an annual corn rent (annonam), and there is a wood which will fatten XL swine. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 8. (per annum). Now it is worth 6". [1]

The Saxon Ernui, or Ernuin, had been a man of considerable property in the Confessor's days. Besides two small tenures in Conodovre Hundred, he had held four manors in Ruesset Hundred, viz. Westbury, Pontesbury, Fairley, and part of Onslow. The first he had lost before Domesday, the three others he still held under Roger and Robert fitz Corbet. Eventually he was dispossessed of all.

In reviewing the Records of the two centuries which followed Domesday, a superficial observation will show us the name of one of Robert, not Roger, Corbet's descendants to have been generally associated with Pontesbury. A deeper search, however, proves that Roger Corbet's heirs still retained the Seigneury, and that the Fitz Herberts, though they held elsewhere in capite as coheirs of Robert Corbet, were, at Pontesbury, only Feoffees of the Barons of Caus. Thus it is that we are recurrently warned not lightly to question the accuracy of Domesday,- the greatest territorial Record which

[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b, 1 and 2.


Royal wisdom ever planned, official zeal ever executed, or clerkly skill ever engrossed.

After these remarks it will be improper to give any detailed account of Fitz Herbert's Barony under Pontesbury, for though Pontesbury was his chief Shropshire estate, it was no part of his Barony,- no part of what he held in capite as coheir of Robert fitz Corbet. Of the Fitz Herberts as Feoffees in Pontesbury I offer the following particulars.-

The feoffment was probably made in the time of Henry II., and if so, by Robert Corbet of Caus to Herbert fitz Herbert (II.).

In October 1203, as we have already seen, Herbert fitz Herbert was found to have disseized Philip de Stapleton and his wife Emma of their tenement in Pontesbury. [2] At the same Assizes, Edric, Provost of Pontesbir', probably Fitz Herbert's Steward here, was amerced half a merk, apparently for preventing the Sheriff from taking Security for some debt, or appearance.

In Michaelmas Term 1233 I first hear of litigation between Peter fitz Herbert (son of Herbert fitz Herbert, last named) and Thomas Corbet (of Caus). One of their Suits was a Placitum terrae which was to be tried by Grand Assize; the other was a Placitum audiendi electionem. An Attorney, Walter Prudhome, and a Surety, Roger de Duntenull, are named in this instance, but all proceedings were adjourned. In June 1235, Herbert fitz Peter succeeded to Peter fitz Herbert, and in Easter Term 1236 the litigation with Thomas Corbet had recommenced.- Thomas Corbet sued Herbert fitz Peter for two-thirds, and Isabella, widow of Peter fitz Herbert, for one-third, of the Manor of Pantesberi. Corbet alleged that Simon Corbet his grandfather (avus) had been seized of the Manor in the time of Henry II., taking esplees thereof, etc. etc. of 20s. value, etc. (as in the usual form of such suits). Herbert and Isabella appeared in reply, and asked View, which the Court ordered, adjourning the case to July 1st, for such View, or local Inquest, to be taken and reported. Isabella (of whom we have often heard before) names Hugh Corbet, or Ralph the Dean, her Attorney. [3]

This case, which so accidentally proves a part of the never-yet-established descent of Corbet of Caus, ended in a fine, levied at Westminster on Jan. 27, 1237. It purports to be between Thomas

[2] This must be the result of a suit of mort d'ancestre, originally preferred by Emma de Stapleton in Easter Term 1200, concerning land in Boicot (i.e. Boycott, near Pontesbury). (Vide Rot. Curiae Regis, Vol II. p. 166.)
[3] Placita apud Westm. Pasch. Tm: 20 Hen. III., m. 5 dorso.


Corbet, Plaintiff, and Herbert fitz Peter, Tenant, of two parts of the Manor of Pantebur', and between the same Plaintiff and the same Defendant (as called to warranty by Isabel, his Father's widow), of one-third of the same Manor. Corbet now acknowledges all three parts to be Herbert's right;- to hold to Herbert and his heirs, under Corbet and his heirs, for ever; Herbert and his heirs performing for the same to Corbet and his heirs the service of half a knight's-fee, in lieu of all services. For this Fine, Herbert paid 20.

Notwithstanding this Fine and the lucid clearness of the whole case, a Feodary of 1240 classes half a fee in Pantebur' as held by Herbert fitz Peter in his own Barony. [4]

In Michaelmas Term 1242, Herbert fitz Peter was suing Thomas Corbet for the purpose of keeping him to the terms of the Fine levied about the Manor of Pauntesbir'. Corbet, it appeared, required suit every three weeks from Pontesbury to his Court of Caus, and also distrained Herbert, though he had paid scutage (on half a fee), to perform the said service by a Serjeant-at-arms. Corbet explained that it was "the custom, when any Army was summoned in the Marches of Wales, for the Tenants by knight's-service to perform their service in the person of a soldier" (per corpus hominis), and not by scutage, I presume. He and the Plaintiff, however, came to an agreement in Court; and the Law-Clerk was going to enter it on the Roll, but the entry closes with the words Et est concordia talis; [5]- nor do the Fines of the period supply the omission. Herbert fitz Peter, dying in May 1248, was succeeded by his brother Reginald. He, in 1249, is found suing Thomas Corbet as to the observance of a Fine levied between Corbet and his late Brother, whereof a Cyrograph was alleged to have been made. This Suit was still pending in Hilary Term 1250 (when Reginald fitz Peter names Master Nicholas de Breskyniho as his Attorney therein), and was still unsettled in Hilary Term 1272. The Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 seems to put Reginald fitz Peter's tenure in Pontesbury at 2 hides, paying geld. This included Mailhurst. Reginald fitz Peter did suit to County and Hundred, and his tenure is rightly stated to be under the Barony of Caus. [6] At the Assizes of 1256 his non-attendance is reported among the presentments for Ford Hundred.

In Hilary Term 1259 Reginald fitz Peter is seeking by process of law to compel Thomas Corbet to have boundaries drawn between

[4] Testa de Nevill, pp. 48, 50.
[5] Placita, Mich. Tm. 26 Hen. III., m. 9.
[6] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.


Pauntesbir' and Caus. In Michaelmas Term 1266, 500 acres of land, and 500 acres of bosc in Pauntesbir' were in dispute between Reginald fitz Peter and Thomas Corbet. A day in Hilary Term following was given to the parties for hearing judgment.

At the Assizes of October 1272 Reginald fitz Peter is entered as not prosecuting his Plea de fine facto against Thomas Corbet. His suit about 500 acres of land and 500 acres of bosc in Pauntesbir' was still unsettled, and likely to remain so.

It seems indeed that there had been some shifts to avoid a direct issue in the matter, for Thomas Corbet, the original Defendant, called William Corbet, Senior, to warranty, William Corbet called Brian de Brompton, Senior, and he called Nicholas, son of Robert de Stafford. Now Brian de Brompton (III.) (called Senior in this instance to distinguish him from his Grandson) was Thomas Corbet's son-in-law, and Nicholas de Stafford was Thomas Corbet's Grandson, so that whatever either of them may have had in Pontesbury must have been derived from him. [7] The case was adjourned, and I do not find it renewed. It is probable that that unscrupulous and experienced Litigant, Thomas Corbet, now on the verge of the grave, had devised or feigned a circular system of feoffments among his own kindred, so as to perplex the question and avoid a direct issue. The Feodary drawn up after his death, in October 1274, duly reports Reginald fitz Peter as holding half a fee in his Barony and as owing Suit to the Court of Caus. King Edward's Writ of Diem clausit announced the death of Reginald fitz Peter on May 5, 1286. An Inquest held at Pontesbury on August 26 following, declares that he had held nothing here, of the King in capite; but that he had held the Vill of Pontesbury, of Peter Corbet in capite, for half a knight's-fee, doing such service at Cauus Castle as pertained to half a knight's-fee. The Capital messuage, a garden, the moorland, a Mill, etc. realized an annual revenue of 18. 14s. 2d. John, son and heir of the deceased, was of full age;- "thirty years and over", says one of the Inquests. [8]

William de Bolers, a tenant of John fitz Reginald at Marrington (near Chirbury), is said, in the selfsame Inquisition, to have owed certain appearances at his Suzerain's Court of Pontesbury. [9] It is singular that the Fitz Herberts should have thus obliged a Tenant in their Barony to do suit at a Court which did not belong to the same Fief.

[7] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 8 dorso.
[8] Inquisitions, 14 Edw. I., No. 18.
[9] Inquisitions, 28 Edw. I., No. 23.


By Fine levied at Westminster on July 1, 1305, John fitz Reginald fitz Peter seems to have sold the Manor and Advowson of Pontesbury, for 100., to Rese ap Howel. John, as Deforciant, acknowledges the grant in the usual form, and the Plaintiff (or Grantee) is to hold the premises thereafter, of the Chief Lords of the Fee.

It seems that about two years after this John fitz Reginald surrendered lands in Talgarth to King Edward II., who regranted them to the said John for life, with reversion to the Crown. On February 26, 1309, the King gives the reversion of these Talgarth lands to Master Rese ap Howel, Clerk, and his heirs, in exchange for the Manor of Pontesbury, which the said Rese had already given to the King in fee. [10] On March 20, 1309, the King confirms his acquisition, viz. the Manor of Pontesbury, to John de Cherlton, in reward for his good services. The Grantee and the heirs of his body are to hold the same by service of nth of a Knight's-fee, payable to the Crown, and by the usual services due to the Lords of the Fee. In default of heirs of the body of the Grantee, the Manor was to revert to the Crown. [11] It is evident that these Charters were formal memoranda of transactions which belonged to the period of Edward II.'s accession; for a Charter of September 18, 1307 (when the King had not been three months on the throne), recognizes John de Cherlton as already Lord of Pontesbury, and, styling him the King's beloved Valet, allows him the privilege of Free-Warren both in Pontesbury and Cherleton. [12]

The Nomina Villarum of 1316 duly enters John de Cherlton as Lord of Pontesbury. [13] The Manor remained with his descendants, the Barons Cherlton of Powys;- but of him and them I prefer to speak more fully in a future Chapter.

Of UNDERTENANTS here I may notice Adam and Roger de Pontesbury, who about 1210 attest a Charter of Robert Corbet of Caus. The former was perhaps identical with Adam fitz Eylmund, who will occur under Woodhouse.

MAILHURST, a member of Pontesbury, was held under the Fitz Herberts by a branch of the Corbets. Thus in 1255 we are told that Richard Corbet of Mathelhurste holds half a hide, geldable, in

[10] Rot. Chart. 2 Edw. II., No. 32. The Manor of Talgarth had belonged to Rese ap Howel, before he got the reversionary grant of John fitz Reginald's lands therein. He had in fact held the Manor is capite of Edward I., and had had that King's license to settle the same in tail, with diverse remainders. (Inquisitions, 2 Edw. III., No. 62.)
[11] Rot. Chart. 2 Edw. II., No. 20.
[12] Rot. Chart. 1 Edw. II., No. 35.
[13] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 399.


Mathelhurste, which was included in the two hides [14] which Reginald fitz Peter held of the Barony of Caus. Richard Corbet did Suit to both County and Hundred. [15]

At the Assizes of 1267 Amelia, widow of Richard Corbet, withdrew a Writ of novel disseizin which she had against Reginald fitz Peter concerning a tenement in Mathelhurste. Reginald restored it to her, at the accustomed rent and services, but saving the right of any third claimant [16] Whether Richard Corbet, Juror on a Pontesbury Inquest in August 1286, was of Mailhurst, I cannot say.

LITTLE HANWOOD. This member of Pontesbury was, I think, the subject of the following Deed, which I suppose to have passed towards the end of the twelfth century.- "Reginald, son of Christiana de Salopesbury, gives Henewod to his brother Adam, son of Heilmund de Tucfor;- to hold in fee and inheritance, by performance of such services to the Lords of the soil as the Grantor had previously performed, viz. by paying an annual rent of 12d. to Distill de Henewod and an annual rent of 5s. to Dame Alice de Pontesbury. Witnesses,- Reginald du Lee, Philip fitz William, Herbert Mauveysin".

I think it possible that the Grantor in the above Deed was identical with "Reginald, Parson of Pontesbury", who has occurred to us already. More surely he was identical with Reginald de Pontesbury, who, by another Deed, grants land in Wudehus, near Little Hanwood, to Petronilla, daughter of Hugh de Merse, and to her brothers and Sisters in tail, exempt from suit of Hundred and from Halemott.

The place called Wudehus in the latter deed is not that Woodhouse which lies south-west of Pontesbury, but another-

WOODHOUSE, far to the north-east of Pontesbury, and now known as WOODHALL. The latter vill seems to have been closely associated with Little Hanwood; for instance that Adam whom we have seen to have been his brother's Grantee in Little Hanwood, subsequently occurs as "Adam fitz Eylmund de la Wodehus", and grants half a virgate in La Wodehus to Petronil, daughter of Hugh de Merse, already a Grantee there. [17]

Again, the person called Distill de Henewod in the Deed above, had a son, Matthew, who calls himself "Matthew, son of Distil de

[14] It should be two and a half hides.
[15] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[16] Assizes, 51 Hen. III., m. 5.
[17] This, and the other Deeds quoted under Woodhouse, are from abstracts taken by Mr. Blakeway.


la Wodehous", and so grants to Adam fitz Eylmund for 100s. half a virgate in La Wodehous, which was his father's.

At the Assizes of November 1221, David fitz Henry sued Robert fitz Sewal for a virgate in Wudehus. Robert, putting himself on a Grand Assize, showed that Henry, the Plaintiff's father, in whose right the Plaintiff claimed, had been outlawed for homicide in the Curia Comitatus, and been in fact executed (decollatus): and the Defendant asked judgment of the Court whether he ought to be questioned about any land, claimed by descent from such a father. Moreover the Defendant pleaded that he had the land in marriage with Emma, his wife, who was present, and deposed that she had it from her father, Adam de Pontesbury. The parties agreed in Court, David fining half a mark for license so to agree, and Philip de Stapleton standing his security for such Fine. [18] Their Fine is preserved.- David fitz Henry, Plaintiff, yields the premises to Robert fitz Sewal and Emma his wife (Tenants), as the right of Emma. In return, Robert and Emma concede one-fourth of the premises to David, viz. half that half-virgate which lay eastward near Schorthell (Shorthill);- to hold to David and his heirs, under Robert and Emma, and the heirs of Emma, at 12d. rent for ever. For this Robert and Emma paid one merk.

By a subsequent Deed, David, son of Henry de la Wodehous, granted for half a mark to Thomas, son of Thomas de Leton, that noke and that half of a garden which he formerly held under Robert fitz Sewart. The rent to be a pair of gloves or one halfpenny.

Thomas, son of Thomas de Leton, in turn gave the premises to Juliana, his sister. She, again, gave them to William de Stapleton.

It would seem that Arundel of Habberley had some interest here; for, at the Assizes of 1256, William fitz Roger, Matilda fitz Juliana, and Ida fitz Emma, were suing John de Arundel, Richard Wynt, William fitz Cecil, and Emma, his wife, for a moiety of half a virgate in Wodehus. John de Arundel appeared not, but Richard Wynt showed that he was merely Arundel's tenant by the year. So the land was seized in manu Regis till further hearing. [19]

I suppose that it was the second John de Arundel who as "John, son of John de Arundel", granted that messuage and land in Wodehus, which Richard Buscart held, to Philip, son of Reginald de Pontesbury. [20] If so, this grant will have taken place before

[18] Assizes, 6 Hen. III., m. 2.
[19] Assizes, 40 Hen. III., m. 15 dorso.
[20] This Reginald de Pontesbury may possibly have been identical with the person, so named, who has occurred above (p. 135), in the beginning of the century.


1292. Again, Philip, son of Reginald de Pontesbury, grants to William de Stapleton a messuage and lands in the vill of Wudehous juxta Parvam Hanwode;- the Grantee to discharge the service of 2s. 6d. due thereon to the Lords of the Fee.

These extracts will serve to identify the Woodhouse mentioned in a former Lawsuit; where, in 1292, Isabel, widow of the second John de Arundel, was suing Isabel, widow of William de Stapleton, for the Plaintiffs thirds in La Wodehouse. [21]

It further appears that a family named Sale or De Aula, was resident at Woodhall, alias Woodhouse-juxta-Shorthill. Thus at the Inquest of November 1274, Richard de Aula was one of the Jurors of Ford Hundred. The same person sat on a Lythwood Inquest in July 1280; on a Longden Inquest in August 1283; and, as Richard de la Sale, on a Pontesbury Inquest in August 1286. On November 3rd, 1286, Thomas le Hore and Alice, his wife (Impedients), acknowledge by Fine their grant of a messuage and quarter virgate in Le Wodehous juxta Shorthil to Richard de la Sale,- to hold to him and his heirs, under the Grantors and the heirs of Alice, at a rose rent. For this the Grantee pays a Sore hawk. At the Assizes of 1292, Richard de Aula was a Juror for Ford Hundred.

On November 18, 1299, Vivian de Roshall and Eve, his wife, acknowledge by Fine that they have granted to Nicholas Dod, one messuage, one carucate of land, one acre of meadow, three acres of bosc, and 9s. 6d. rent in La Wodehus juxta Longedon,- to hold of the Lords of the Fee. For this the Grantee paid 100 merks.

HORTON. This place, still within the Parish of Pontesbury, was, I think, anciently, a member of the Manor of Pontesbury. However, Fitz Herbert's Feoffment in Pontesbury did not include Horton, probably because Horton had been already granted to another Feoffee of the Corbets of Caus.

There was one Helyas de Horton living in 1221, and I think he was of this place. In 1240 we have William de Horton holding one half, or one quarter, of a knight's-fee in Horton, under Thomas Corbet of Caus. [22] This William de Horton had also an interest in the adjoining Manor of Woodcote. The Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 states that William de Horton holds one geldable hide in Horton, of the Barony of Caus, and does suit to both County and Hundred. [23]

[21] Supra, Vol. IV. pp. 353-4.
[22] Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48, 49.
[23] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.


In 1263 we have seen William de Horton associated with Thomas Corbet in the wars of Wales, and at the Assizes of 1272 he was a Juror for Ford Hundred. Roger de Horton was another Juror at these Assizes, and he appears to have been Corbet's immediate Tenant here, for a Feodary of October 1274 registers him as holding one-fourth of a knight's-fee under Thomas Corbet, deceased. He occurs as a Juror on the Hundred-Inquest of 1274. On a Pontesbury Inquest of 1286, and at the Assizes of 1292 he figures in a similar capacity.

ROGER GUTHMUND, a Juror for Ford Hundred at the Assizes of 1256, had, I think, a freehold in Horton. Roger Gudmund is named in a Patent of 1263 as employed with Thomas Corbet in the wars of Wales. We have seen that in 1267 Thomas Corbet and others were found to have disseized Roger Gothmund and Agnes his wife of a small estate in Horton. It would seem that this Roger had a much graver quarrel with his Suzerain, of which this was perhaps only a contingent. Roger de Goumond (as he is called) was Castellan of Corbet's Welsh Castle of Wythigruc. It was taken and demolished by the Welsh towards the close of Henry III.'s reign, and, as Corbet alleged, was traitorously surrendered by his lieutenant. In Hilary Term 1272, Thomas Corbet was suing Roger de Goumond for 300. damages on this account; but the Defendant appeared not. [24] We shall hear of his name again under Onslow.


Pontesbury gave name to the Deanery in which it is situated, and that is a presumption at least in favour of the antiquity of its Church. [25] Something is usually ascertainable about the foundation of every Collegiate Church which has risen up since the Conquest. Collegiate Churches not thus remembered are unquestionably Saxon, and Pontesbury is of the number. The mention of Churches in Domesday is incidental, depending very much on the land held in demesne by the Incumbent of such Church. Domesday says nothing about the Church of Pontesbury, but I strongly suspect that that part of the Manor (1 hides) which was free from geld, was Church land; was in fact the privileged domain of the National Saint.

At all recorded periods down to the present day the Church of

[24] Plac. coram Rege, 56 Hen. III., m. 12.
[25] Vide supra, Vol. V. pp. 293-4.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


St. George has consisted of three Portions, Rectories, or Prebends.

On May 1, 1290, Bishop Swinfield, in course of his Visitation, reached Pontesbury. The journey from Church Stretton was in those days not to be accomplished without a Guide. Swinfield's Guide cost him one penny, a sum which according to the then value of money, was by no means disproportionate to the service. One of the Rectors of Pontesbury provided hay and corn for 35 horses of the Bishop's train. The other expenses of the day were charged in the Bishop's Household accounts. [26]

In the Taxation of 1291 the Portions of two of the Rectors of Pontesbury, David and Nicholas, were valued at 10. 13s. 4d. per annum each. The other Portion, Robert de Ratford's, was 5. 6s. 8d. [27] With reference to the names of these Portioners, thus appearing on a standard Record, their respective Prebends were afterwards distinguished as the David Portion, the Nicholas Portion, and the Ratford Portion.

In 1341 the Assessors of the Ninth quoted the Church-Taxation of Pontesbury correctly, as 40 merks (26. 13s. 4d.). They reduced this to 17. 15s. 8d., for the current assessment on the Parish, because 9. 6s. 8d. of the Church-Taxation was produced by glebe-land, hay-tithes, and other small-tithes, and offerings. [28]

The Valor of 1534-5 gives the Prebends of John Coole, William Gwyn, and Louis Baker, Prebendaries of Ponsbury, as collectively worth 42. 17s. per annum, in glebe and tithes. From this sum there were these deductions, viz. 17s. 9d. for the annual proportion of what was payable at the Bishop's triennial Visitations, and 1s. for Archdeacon's Procurations and Synods's. [29]


REGINALD, Parson of Pontesbury, who occurs may in the 13th century, [30] may have had either of the three Portions.

DAVID FITZ REGINALD was a Portioner here in January 1272, when as "David, Parson of the Church of Pontesbur'", he was sued by Richard de Salebyr', Parson of the Church of St. Michael in Shrewsbury Castle, for seizing the said Richard's goods at Edwardesleg, worth 10 merks, and being in the King's protection. In David's

[26] Household Roll, pp. 79, 80.
[27] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 167.
[28] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 185.
[29] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 213.
[30] Vide supra, Vol. VI. p. 202.


defence, and absence, it was stated that he had no Lay fee; so the Bishop of Hereford was ordered to deal with him, before a day in Easter-Term following. [31] In 1277 David fitz Reginald, Portioner, was cited for non-appearance at the Bishop's Visitation, and for holding the Church of Lonesboruk (Ebor. Dioc.). He was, as we have seen, still here in 1291, but on August 18, 1300, the Bishop institutes-

WILLIAM DE MONCKTON, Clerk, to the Prebendal Portion formerly held by David fitz Reginald. Patron,- Sir John fitz Reginald. On Monckton's decease, and on February 21, 1308, the Bishop institutes-

PHILIP AP HOWEL, Clerk, to this Portion. Patron,- Sir Rees ap Howel. Philip ap Howel, it seems, considered his Portion to be non-curative, and he refusing to do any duty, Walter Reynol, Archbishop of Canterbury, commanded Swinfield, Bishop of Hereford, to collate another person. Swinfield neglected to do so. The Archbishop reproved him. Swinfield's defence, embodied in a Letter of October 1316, remains on his Register. Its substance is that the Bishop had till now believed that Ap Howel's Portion, as well as another Portion in the same Church, were without cure annexed. So he had learned of old, and so, as was affirmed, it might still be proved. In 19 Edward III. (1345-6) Philip Howell was still here. He and his Comporcioner, Lodowyc de Cherleton, had subtracted diverse tithes, as was alleged, from the Chapel of St. Michael, Salop. John le Strange, Rector of that Chapel, got an Inquest on the subject, where it was decided that diverse tithes of the demesnes of the inhabitants of Cruckton, Sibaldescote (Siberscote), Newenham (Newnham), Cruck Meole, Ardescote (Arscott), Lee, and Saxcote (Sascott), and of four Mills, in Cruck-Meole, Hanwood, and Cruckton, belonged to St. Michael. Ap Howel objected to the jurisdiction of a temporal Court in such a matter, and apparently with success. [32] The result does not appear. On November 18, 1352, the Bishop institutes-

WILLIAM DE CHERLETON, Clerk, to the portion, late Philip ap Howel's. Patron,- Sir John de Cherleton, Knight. On September 4th, 1356, Cherleton exchanges preferments with-

JOHN DE SCHEYNTON (Lord of Scheynton), late Rector of Edgemond. On Scheynton's death, and on December 1, 1356, the Bishop institutes-

HUMPHREY DE CHERLETON, S.T.D. Patron,- Sir John de Cherleton,

[31] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 15 dorso.
[32] Hist. of Shrewsbury, II. 423, note 4.


Knight. On this Prebendary's resignation, and on August 17, 1359, the Bishop institutes-

MASTER GRIFFIN DE CHERLETON, Clerk, who On February 15, 1372, exchanges preferments with-

MASTER HUMPHREY DE CHERLETON, late Portioner of Childshall, who is presented by Sir John de Cherleton, Lord of Pontesbury.


WALTER FITZ REGINALD FITZ PETER, Incumbent of this Prebend, was cited in 1277 for non-appearance at the Bishop's Visitation, and also cited for holding the Church of Staunton (Sarum Dioc.). On Oct. 4, 1278, he submits. He will pay 100s. at the Bishop's pleasure for his numerous contumacies, and will take such Orders as the Cure of his Benefice requires, and will obey the Bishop's commands concerning Staunton.

NICHOLAS, his Successor, was here in 1291. At the Assizes of October 1292, Nicholas Portioner, of Pontesbury, and five others, acknowledged a debt of 96. 13s. 4d. to Robert de Retford, another Portioner. [33] Nicholas being dead on August 13, 1306, the Bishop institutes-

MASTER WILLIAM DE AYSTONE, Acolyte, to this Portion. Patron,- Sir Rese ap Howel. Ayestone, or Asheton, was still here in August 1316.

WILLIAM DE RODE, Sub-deacon, a Portioner here, has license of non-residence studendi gratia, but the date is not given. On January 29, 1322, the Bishop institutes-

WILLIAM DE ASTON, Acolyte, to the Portion late William de Rode's. Patron,- Sir John de Cherleton, Knight.

GRIFFIN DE CHERLETON, Portioner of the Nicholas Portion, exchanges preferments on Oct. 22, 1345, with-

JOHN DE SKEYNTON, late Canon and Prebendary of Pyon, in the Cathedral Church of Hereford. On Feb. 15, 1372-

HUMPHREY DE CHERLETON having this Prebend, exchanges it with-

GRIFFIN DE CHERLETON, late Portioner of the David Prebend. Griffin de Cherleton was instituted here on the nomination of Sir John de Cherleton. He died in 1384.


This Portion was endowed with the tithes of Choulton, in the

[33] Assizes, 20 Edw. I., m. 8.


Parish of Lydbury North. They were probably given by one of the Fitz Herberts, deriving his interest in Choulton from Robert fitz Corbet, its Domesday Lord.

MASTER THOMAS DE WYNTON had this Portion in 1278, on October 13, of which year the Bishop, reciting that "Sir Reginald fitz Peter had broken the locks and doors of the Prebendaries' barns, carried off their goods and fruits, and done other injuries to Thomas de Wynton and his Comporcioners, to the prejudice of the liberty of the Church", commands Walter fitz Reginald, another Portioner, to cite Sir Reginald, and enjoins Sir Reginald de Asthele, Parochial Chaplain of Pontesbury, to assist.

ROBERT DE RATFORD had this Portion in 1291 and 1292. On his death, and on March 6, 1316-

MASTER THOMAS DE CHERLETON, Deacon, was instituted on the presentation of Sir John de Cherleton. [34]

MASTER LODOWIC DE CHERLETON, Licentiate in Theology, had this Prebend in 1340, when Adam de Coverton, Custos of St. Michael's, Salop, had complained to the King that this Lodowic, Parson of a moiety of the Church of Pontesbury, had obstructed him in gathering the tithes of Cruckmeole, Sibaldescote and Ardescote (Arscott), which places the Custos alleged to be within the Parish of his Chapel, and which tithes he and his Predecessors had taken from time immemorial. [35] The King issued a Commission of inquiry; but we have seen that this dispute was pending in 1345, and had extended to more tithes, and to two of the Pontesbury Prebendaries, of whom Louis de Cherleton was still one. [36] On August 17, 1359, he exchanges preferments with-

MASTER HUMPHREY DE CHERLETON, late Portioner of the portion of Nether hall, in the Collegiate Church of Ledbury, Herefordshire. Cherleton, as we have seen, held all three Prebends in succession, and one of them twice over. He must have resigned this before 1369, when-

JOHN DE RODEN, or ROUDON, had this Portion, in which he continued till 1395, when he resigned it.


I have thought it better to speak of the Church before I entered

[34] Thomas de Cherleton became Bishop of Hereford in 1327, having previously had a Canonry at York, and been Chancellor of Ireland.
[35] Hist. Shrewsbury, II. 423.
[36] Louis de Cherleton, being already Canon of Hereford and Chancellor of Oxford, became Bishop of Hereford in 1361.


on the subject of its estates. These, I have suggested, were the 1 hides named in Domesday as not subject to geld. The immunities seem to have discontinued but the estate to have increased, for the Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 says, that Robert Wyscart holds one geldable hide in Estleg' (Asterley) under the Church of St. George of Pontesbury, and does suit to County and Hundred; also that "Thomas Rabaz, Sibil de Preston, William de Lye, Richard Worneu, Richard fitz Acelline, Petronil Vodekoc, Margery fitz Oliva, Flory her sister, Richard fitz Roger, and William fitz David, hold one geldable hide in the same vill (Pontesbury I presume) under the aforesaid Church, and each Tenant does separate suit to County and Hundred". [37]

In 1274 the Ford Inquest states how the men of Asterleg had in 1272 paid 18s. to the Clerk of the Justices then in Eyre, for the escape of one Hugh fitz Roger, a Felon. For this amercement, thus paid, William de Ludlowe was still distraining the men of Asterleg. By a Fine of January 20, 1278, William de Lake and Isolda his wife enfeoff William le Clerk, of Acton, and Isabella his wife, [38] in a messuage and half-virgate at Asterleg;- to hold to them and the heirs of William le Clerk under the Grantors, and the heirs of Isolda at a clove-rent; the Grantees performing all capital services. For this a sore sparrow-hawk is the alleged consideration. In October 1292, William, son of Hugh de Wlonkeslowe, and Juliana his wife, acknowledge themselves to have given 3 messuages, 3 acres, and half a virgate of land in Asterleye-juxta-Cawes and Magna-Drayton-in-Hales, to Ralph de Longeford, to hold of the Lords of the respective Fees. Ralph gave for this a sore sparrow-hawk.

At the Assizes of 1292, Roger, son of William Glasweyn, recovered a messuage, half a virgate of land, and an acre of meadow in Pontesbury, against William, son of William Champeneys of Pontesbury. [39]

In the Nomina Villarum of 1316, William Banastre is set down as Lord of the Vill of Asterlegh. [40] He was, I presume, a Tenant of the Church, and had the estate formerly held by Robert Wyscart.

[37] Rot. Hundred. II. 66, 96.
[38] For William de Acton and his wife Isabella, see Vol. VI. p. 24.
[39] Assizes, 20 Edw. I., m. 7.
[40] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 399.



WE now arrive at the last Manor held by Roger fitz Corbet in the Domesday Hundred of Ruesset.-

"The same Roger holds Fernelege (of the Earl), and Ernuin holds it of him. He (Ernuin) held it in the time of King Edward, and was free, together with his land. Here is I hide, geldable. In demesne there is I ox-team, and III Serfs, and III Boors; and there might be two teams more here. The former value (of the Manor) was 4s. (per annum). Now it is worth 3s". [1]

Fairley being within the Parish of Pontesbury, and only a mile from the Vill of Pontesbury, and having the same Lords with Pontesbury, both in Saxon times and at Domesday, naturally was absorbed into the Manor of Pontesbury, and, I presume, came to be part of Fitz Herbert's tenure under Corbet of Caus. Not a word do I gather distinctive of this place from any other early Record except Domesday.

It is worth observing that the Domesday hidage of Pontesbury and Fairley together, was 7 hides, but that the hidage attributed to the same territory in 1255 was only 5 hides, viz. Pontesbury-proper, 2 hides; Asterley, and other Church lands, 2 hides; and Horton, 1 hide. This illustrates a very general phenomenon, viz. that where Domesday Manors have been subdivided, or differently combined, the reputed hidage is sometimes reproduced, sometimes diminished, but hardly ever increased.


WOODCOTE and Horton form an outlying Township of the Shrewsbury Parish of St. Chad. But Woodcote was a distinct Manor at Domesday, one of those which Robert fitz Corbet held of the Norman Earl.- "The same Robert holds Udecote. Uluric held it (in Saxon times), and was a free man. Here are a hide and a half,

[1] Domesday, fo. 255, b, 2.


geldable. In demesne there is I ox-team; and (there are) I Villain and I Boor, with I team, and there might be one additional (team); and there is one Burgess paying 8s. (rent). In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 8s. (per annum). Now it is worth 15s". [1]

My purpose in introducing a series of Robert Corbet's Manors with Woodcote is this.- I wish not merely to say something of that Baron himself, but of the descent, from him, of the Fitz Herberts. Now Woodcote was the only Manor in Ruesset Hundred which went to the Fitz Herberts, as Robert Corbet's Coheirs.

ROBERT FITZ CORBET'S Domesday Fief was considerably less than that of his elder Brother Roger. I have already traced the joint history of the two brothers down to the year 1121, when they appear together attesting Henry I.'s Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey. I have also shown, under Loton, that Robert fitz Corbet's grant to Shrewsbury between 1108 and 1121 was allowed, at the time of its passing, by his son Robert. We have further seen that after 1121 Robert Corbet attested his brother Roger's grant of Winsley to the same Abbey.

There is a very remarkable, but ill-rendered, Charter, by Milo, Earl of Hereford, to Lanthony Abbey (near Gloucester). It passed undoubtedly in the Autumn of 1141, and the part thereof of which I speak, passed at Gloucester. [2] Prominent among the attendants of Earl Milo, that great champion of legitimacy, stands the name of Robert Corbet. There is nothing extravagant in supposing that this was the Domesday Baron whose relations with Henry I., though less than reputable, will have bound him to the cause of the Empress. If, however, the witness of Earl Milo's Charter was Robert Corbet's son, this is the only evidence we have of the son having lived to succeed the Father. Certain it is, on the whole, either that Robert Corbet (I.) was living in 1141, and died soon after, without male issue, or else that Robert Corbet (II.) was living in 1141, and died without any issue whatever. Robert Corbet, the Domesday Baron, had two daughters, Sibil (sometimes called Adela, and sometimes Lucia) and Alice, eventually his heirs. Sibil, probably the eldest of these daughters, was one of the numerous mistresses of King Henry I., and it was for this respect that the King bestowed upon her Father the Royal Manor of Alcester in Warwickshire.

SIBIL CORBET was Mother, by King Henry I., of two Sons at least, Reginald and William, and probably of a daughter, Gundred. Reginald, the elder son, was surnamed De Dunstanville. There is

[1] Domesday, fo. 256, a, 1.
[2] Monasticon, VI. p. 137, No. III.


some doubt about the period of his birth, but I think that there can be no doubt that he and his Sister Gundred were seized of lands in Wiltshire as early as 1130, though he is, on respectable authority, called a youth five years later. [3] I shall have more to say of him under Ford. There are very sufficient grounds for supposing that the latest of Henry I.'s liaisons and of the births of his illegitimate children were of earlier date than the year 1121. Sibil Corbet, thus enfranchised, became the lawful wife of Herbert, a son of Herbert, the King's Chamberlain, and her descendants by him were legally entitled to a moiety of Robert fitz Corbet's Barony. How far they obtained it, is a question of special import to Shropshire History;- a question which obliges me to deal generally with the descent of the Fitz Herberts, and remove, if I can, some part at least of the errors which at present beset it.

I should first conclude what I have to say of Sibil Corbet. She was apparently living in 1157; for the Pipe-Roll of that year records how the Mother of Earl Reginald had been paid 10. in respect of two years' income to which she was entitled out of the issues of Mienes,- an estate then fermed for the Crown by the Sheriff of Sussex.


HERBERT, Chamberlain to King Henry I., is found to have been in office little more than a year after that Prince's accession, viz. in September 1101, when as Herbertus Regis Camerarius, he attests two Royal Charters at Windsor. [4] Between the years 1109 and 1114 Thomas (II.), Archbishop of York, grants to Sir Herbert the Chamberlain, and to his son, in fee, several Manors and estates in Yorkshire (among which are Laundesbrough and Wiverthorpe), and in Glouceatershire. [5] Among the witnesses is Herbertus Pius, that very son, I presume, of the Chamberlain who was included in the Grant. The service reserved on this feoffment was 3 knights'-fees. Collective evidences drawn from the Pipe-Roll of 1130 go to prove that Herbert the Chamberlain had not then been long dead. A quittance of 20s. Danegeld is recorded in his favour under Bedfordshire, but in Hampshire, Herbert, son of Herbert the Chamberlain, pays 90 merks of a fine of 353 merks for the land of his Father. [6] The deceased Chamberlain had had lands in Yorkshire, Hampshire,

[3] Supra, Vol. II. p. 269, note 15.
[4] Monasticon, IV. 15, 16, Nos. III. V.
[5] Monasticon, VIII. 1196, No. CIX.
[6] The 353 merks is evidently a balance, and we may conclude that the original Fine was proffered at least as early as 1129.


and Bedfordshire. Of two of his daughters one had already been disposed of in marriage, for Robert de Venuiz's fine for her and her dower (i.e. portion) is evidently a balance. William Croc's fine of 200 merks of silver, and 2 merks of gold, for another daughter, looks like a recent transaction. Another entry on this Roll almost implies that the Chamberlainship did not then descend to the son of the deceased, for William de Pontearch purchases the Ministerium Camerae Curiae for his Brother Osbert. However, Henry I. had more than one Chamberlain. Herbert, the Chamberlain, left two sons at least, besides his successor, Herbert. I will say something of each.-

WILLIAM FITZ HERBERT was already a Wiltshire Landowner in 1130. About the same time he is stated to have held the ecclesiastical office of Treasurer of York. There is a Charter of King Stephen, dated at York, which, notwithstanding two errors of transcription in its testing-clause, I venture to date in February or March 1136. Thereby the King concedes to William, Treasurer of York, his Chaplain, the Churches which the said William holds of the Fee of his brother, Herbert, and among them the Churches of Laundesbrough and Wiverthorpe. He is to hold them as freely, etc., "as his Father and his brother Herbert gave them to him, and as the Charter of King Henry doth testify". [7] On Sunday, September 26, 1143, William fitz Herbert was consecrated Archbishop of York by Henry, Bishop of Winchester, and in defiance of Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was deprived of his See by Pope Eugenius III., in 1147, but was restored by Pope Anastasius IV., in 1153. He died on June 8, 1154, and was Canonized by Pope Honorius III., in the thirteenth century.

STEPHEN FITZ HERBERT, usually called "Stephen the Chamberlain", undoubtedly held that office in the Household of Henry II. All I shall say of him here is that he was deceased in 1165, and that he left a son and heir, Ralph fitz Stephen, and other issue. Ralph fitz Stephen married twice. By his first wife he had a son and heir, Ralph, who in 1222 had livery of half a knight's-fee in Lincolnshire. His second wife was that Maud de Cauz who has been already alluded to in these pages. She was the widow of Adam fitz Peter, Lord of Birkyn, and survived both her husbands. On her death in 1224, John de Birkyn was found to be her heir. In 1225, Ralph, son of Ralph fitz Stephen, was apparently dead, and Richard de Gloucester (or de Waleys) was next heir of Ralph Fitz Stephen himself, in respect of the Gloucestershire Manor of Winterburn,

[7] Monasticon, VIII. 1196, No. CX.


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


which Maud de Cauz his wife had had in dower. I now return to-

HERBERT FITZ HERBERT, the husband of Sibil, or, as she is sometimes called, Adela Corbet. Herbert fitz Herbert, with William, Treasurer of York, his brother, and by consent of Turstin, Archbishop of York, granted the Church of Wivertorp to the Yorkshire Priory of Nostel.
[8] There can be no doubt that this grant was made, but if the Confirmation of Henry I., which embodies it, be a genuine document, and accurately transcribed, the grant must have taken place previous to the year 1127, when Richard, Bishop of Hereford (one of the ostended witnesses of the Confirmation) died. I know of nothing to back the idea thus suggested, that Herbert fitz Herbert and his brother William were in a condition to grant so early. Herbert fitz Herbert had a suit with Herbert, Abbot of Westminster, about lands at Pereham and Maseleford in Sussex. The Suit was settled by judgment of the Barons of the Exchequer in favour of the Abbot, and a Writ of King Henry I. certified the result to the Sheriffs of Sussex and Middlesex. [9]

We have seen Herbert fitz Herbert liquidating his Fine on succession in 1130. Of his conduct in the civil wars between Stephen and the Empress I can learn nothing, but as one of his sons married Lucia, a daughter of Milo, Earl of Hereford, we may presume that this branch of the Fitz Herberts took the side of legitimacy. It is probable that Herbert fitz Herbert (I.) died during Stephen's reign, and that Robert fitz Herbert, Herbert fitz Herbert, and Henry fitz Herbert, [10] who appear soon after the Restoration, were his sons.

ROBERT FITZ HERBERT succeeded to the Office and estate of his father, ere Henry II. had been three months on the throne of England. This is proved by a Charter of the said King, which, by its

[8] Monasticon, VI. 92, No. II.
[9] Abbrev. Placitorws, p. 84.
[10] HENRY FITZ HERBERT was cotemporary with Robert fitz Herbert and with Herbert fitz Herbert (II.). He is entered as paying two merks in the Wiltshire Pipe-Roll of 1158. In the Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Pipe-Rolls of 1159, this Henry accounts for a donum of five merks and owes 100 marks for some convention about lands. The last debt is probably the same with one of 100 marks, which is entered on the Worcestershire Pipe-Roll of 1160, as resulting from a Plea heard by William fitz John,- a Justiciar of that period. In 1161, a Scutage at the rate of two merks per fee was assessed on many Counties: Henry fitz Herbert paid five merks thereto in Wiltshire. This Henry was, I take it, the same person with that H. fitz Herbert who in 1165 acknowledges a tenure in capite of one knight's-fee in Wiltshire (Liber Niger, I. 114). It is probable that he was a younger brother of Robert fitz Herbert and Herbert fitz Herbert (II.).


testing-clause, combined with the place of its date (Lincoln), may be shown to have passed in February or March 1155. The substantive part of this Charter is as follows. Henricus Rex Anglie, etc. etc. Sciatis me reddidisse Roberto filio Hereberti Camerarii, totam terram patris sui et Ministerium patris sui de Cameraria mea. Quare volo, etc. etc., sicut pater suus vel avus suus liberius tenuerunt tempore Regis Henrici avi mei vel aliorum antecessorum meorum. Testibus, Philippo Episcopo Baiocensi; Ernulfo Episcopo Lexoviensi; Toma Cancellario; Rainaldo Comite Cornubie; Ricardo de Humex, Constabulario; Johann Marescallo. Apud Lincolliam. [11]

The notable points in this Charter are,- first, that the King's act was in the nature of a restoration, expressed by the word reddidisse; secondly, that Robert is proved to have been the third lineal Chamberlain of his family; lastly, that Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, is appropriately made a witness, where the Grantee was his own uterine brother.

In 1161, I find Robert fitz Herbert assessed at five merks to a Scutage in Wiltshire. There is something remarkable in the low position which Robert fitz Herbert occupies in the testing-clause of a Haughmond Charter which seems to have passed about this time. [12] Of his attendance at the Court of Henry II. I cannot cite a single instance. This, considering his official position, is not without its meaning. The younger brothers of Robert fitz Herbert seem, even in his lifetime, to have been more important personages than himself. I venture to suggest that some cloud obscured his short aera. He appears to have died without issue before the year 1165, and to have been succeeded in estate by his next brother, whom I will call-

HERBERT FITZ HERBERT (II.). In 1156, I find Herbert fitz Herbert excused his quota of scutage, as a military Tenant under the Abbeys of Hide and Abingdon.

A Monastic Stemma assures us that Herbert fitz Herbert, having (as his wife Lucia's share of the Earldom of Hereford) the Forest of Dene and other lands, quit-claimed the said Forest to Henry II. for some political offence against that monarch. [13] This surrender the Chronicler dates in the fourth year of Henry II., that is, in the year 1158, when we know from better authority that Earl Milo's male issue was not extinct, and that therefore the coheirship

[11] Cartae Antiquae, R. no. 33. Dugdale, and I think all Writers on the Extinct Peerage, have misrepresented this Charter as in favour of Herbert fitz Herbert.
[12] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 103.
[13] Monasticon, III. 264, a.


of his daughters could not have arisen. In the year 1165, Earl Milo's sons were all dead, and Margaret de Bohun, the eldest of his daughters, duly appears with her share of Earl Milo's estates. [14] The Record however bespeaks no similar recognition of the claims of Herbert fitz Herbert. His only tenure-in-capite was four knights'-fees, entered under Berkshire, on which he owed the Serjeantry or Service of his own person; that is, the discharge of his duties as a Royal Chamberlain. [15] Herbert fitz Herbert also held two knights'-fees under the Bishop of Winchester, three knights'-fees under the Archbishop of York, one knight's-fee under the Abbot of Abingdon, one knight's-fee under John de Port of Hampshire, and half a fee under the Earl of Gloucester. All these were apparently of the old feoffment, and therefore inherited from his ancestors. The Bishop of Winchester's statement of Fitz Herbert's tenure proves his descent as I have drawn it. It is as follows- "Herbert, son of Herbert the older Chamberlain, held a fee of two knights (in the time of King Henry I.): and now Herbert his son holds it". [16] The succession of three generations of Herberts, and when they lived, is as clear as Record can make it.

It is now time to advert to various marks of disfavour discernible in the dealings of Henry II. with Herbert fitz Herbert (II.). It is evident that he was admitted to far less than a full share of the inheritances which should have come to him by his wife and his mother; and there is some proof that at one period he was under total forfeiture. The cause of all this is merely matter of conjecture, but what I have to offer will at least bear the test of chronology. It is probable that Robert fitz Corbet's legitimate coheirs were not allowed to enter on his Barony during the lifetime of his illegitimate Grandson, Reginald, Earl of Cornwall. Of Alcester, at least, it is certain that Earl Reginald held the whole Manor for his life, and that it remained an Escheat long after his death, which happened in December 1175. [17] Herbert fitz Herbert, the Earl's half brother, was not as yet in disfavour with Henry II., if we may judge from the following fact. Early in May 1177, the King held a Council at Oxford about Ireland, and there granted the Kingdom of Limerick to "Herbert fitz Herbert, to William, brother of Earl Reginald, and to Joel de la Pumerai, their Nephew (nepoti eorum). [18] At another Council, at Marlborough, about a fortnight after, Herbert and William, brothers of Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, and Joel

[14] [15] Liber Niger, I. 167, 182.
[16] Ibidem, p. 69.
[17] Benedictas Abbas, p. 128.
[18] Ibidem, p. 206.


de Pumerai, their nephew, declined receiving the said Kingdom; [19] and King Henry forthwith granted it to Philip de Braose. [20]

The Herefordshire Pipe-Roll of 1185, gives us ample evidence that previous to Michaelmas 1184, Herbert fitz Herbert had incurred summary forfeiture. Geoffrey fitz Piers had custody of his Manors. He accounts 20. 0s. 10d. for the old ferm thereof, that is, he hands over to the Exchequer that amount, received previous to Michaelmas 1184. The current year's receipts amounted to 121. 19s. 2d.; a noble income in those days. Out of these receipts the Justiciar had disbursed 5. in the maintenance and hire of seven of his own servants, who had been set (assisi) to keep the said land. He had also, by the King's order, bestowed 4. 10s. 8d. in the livery of Herbert fitz Herbert himself; whose personal liberty seems, on this evidence, to have been abridged. Before King Richard had reigned a year, we know that Herbert fitz Herbert recovered his part of his wife's inheritance. The Wiltshire Pipe-Roll of 1190 records his payment of 33. 3s. 10d., or nearly half of a Fine of 100 merks, which he had negotiated for his said share. It is probable that, during the reign of Richard I., Herbert fitz Herbert (II.) was also restored to his moiety of Alcester, and to such a share of Robert Corbet's Barony as is afterwards found in his Successors. A meagre share indeed it was; for of five Domesday Manors already reviewed in these pages as members of Robert Corbet's Fief, Herbert fitz Herbert appears to have had an interest, and that temporary, in only one, viz., Ratlinghope. Woodcote, now under notice, is the first that I can trace to his descendants. The Knight's-service which the Fitz Herberts owed to the Crown for their Shropshire Fief, was merely that of half a fee. The first and only Shropshire Scutage to which Herbert fitz Herbert was assessed, was the 4th Scutage of John, levied in 1203. He was charged one merk for half a knight's-fee, and paid it. Before June 1204 he had been succeeded by his son and heir, Peter fitz Herbert, of whom we have already had mention as associated with the Wiltshire Law Suits of his Father in the previous reign. [21]

Of LUCIA, wife of Herbert fitz Herbert (II.), I would just state, that she must have lived to a great age, having survived him at least 15 years. A Feodary of the Bishop of Worcester's Estates, drawn up in 1219 or 1220, tells us of a share of two Gloucestershire Manors still held by Dame Lucia, Widow of Herbert fitz Herbert. [22]

[19] Benedictus Abbas, p.220.
[20] Hoveden, p. 324.
[21] Supra, p.70.
[22] Testa de Nevill, p. 42.


She was buried in the Chapter House of Lanthony (near Gloucester), where were the tombs of Earl Milo, her Father, of three of her Brothers, and of her two Sisters. [23]

PETER FITZ HERBERT, about June 1204, gave King John 20 merks "to have seizin of that moiety of the Manor of Alen (Alcester) which his Father had held". [24] It would seem that the Father's tenure at Alcester had been somewhat qualified, for King John, by a Writ of July 18, 1204, orders that a permanent equivalent for his land of Alcester be provided for Hamo Falconer, who, it seems, was ejected by force of the restoration made by the King to Peter fitz Herbert. [25]

For the general career of Peter fitz Herbert, I may safely refer to the usual authorities. His connection with Shropshire too, slender as it was, will be, or has been, marked under the localities concerned. His Scutages in that County, with one or two other matters, I will give here.-

Of the fifth, sixth, and seventh Scutages of King John, assessed in 1204, 1205, and 1206, he had special quittance in Shropshire. The Shropshire Feodary of 1211 has this entry.- "Peter fitz Herbert, Baron, holds in capite of the King, and owes the service of half a knight". [26] For the Scutage of Poitou, in 1214, he had quittance, but his liability is stated as that of a whole fee. In 1218 he paid one merk on half a fee to the first scutage of Henry III. In 1221 and 1224 he had quittance of the scutages of Biham, Montgomery, and Bedford. To the scutage of Keri in 1229, he was assessed on a whole fee, but afterwards excused. In 1230 he was assessed on one fee to the Scutage of Brittany, but was excused. In 1231 he was assessed, at the current rate of 3 merks, to the Scutage of Poitou. He was excused the assessment on one fee for the scutage of Elvein in 1232.

Peter fitz Herbert is stated by different authorities to have been married at least three times. His first wife, I take it, was Alice, daughter of Robert fitz Roger, whom Dugdale calls "a great Baron of Northumberland". [27] This match took place in 1203; for, in Michaelmas Term of that year, Herbert fitz Herbert conceded all his Yorkshire lands to his son Peter, to the end that the latter might provide a dower for his aforesaid wife. [28]

Another wife of Peter fitz Herbert is said to have been the third

[23] Coll. Topogr. et Genealog. I. 169.
[24] Rot. Finium, p. 200.
[25] Rot. Claus. I. 3.
[26] Testa de Nevill, p. 55.
[27] Baronage, p. 624.
[28] Abbrev. Placitorum, p. 44.


daughter and coheir of that William de Braose who W1113 hanged by Lewellyn in 1229-30. [29] This Lady is stated to have brought to her husband the land of Blayntheleveny and of Thalegard;- estates which certainly were held by subsequent Fitz Herberts. However, about this match there is some confusion and doubt. A Writ of October 30, 1234, speaks indifferently of all the coheirs of William de Braose as infants in ward to the Crown; [30] and we know too that Peter Fitz Herbert, having married Isabel de Ferrars in or before 1225, left her surviving at his own decease in 1235. [31] These considerations seem to leave no room for such a second and intermediate wife of Peter fitz Herbert as the alleged daughter of Braose. [32] According to Dugdale, Blayntheleveny and Thalegard descended to Peter fitz Herbert from his father, and did not accrue by any marriage of his own.

HERBERT FITZ PETER, son and heir of Peter fitz Herbert, succeeded him, his homage being accepted on June 6, 1235.

The Aid levied on marriage of the King's sister, was collected in Shropshire at Michaelmas 1235 and Easter 1236. Its incidence on this Barony is remarkable as showing, what I have before observed, that it was levied, not like a scutage or composition for military service, but on the knights'-fees actually existing in a particular Barony. Thus to the Aid in question, Herbert fitz Peter paid four merks, being (at the current rate of two merks per fee) an assessment on two fees, rather than on half a fee. He paid it by hand of Ralph de Alleston, and one instalment is stated to be on the "Honour of Pontesbiri", [33] a mistake which I need hardly again rectify by stating that his tenure of Pontesbury was no part of the tenure for which he was liable to a Royal Aid.

In 1245, the assessment in. aid of the marriage of the King's daughter was 1. per fee. One fee was charged in the name of Peter fitz Herbert, whereby Peter fitz Herbert's son was of course

[29] Monasticon, VI. 482, No. VIII.
[30] Testa de Nevill, p. 199.
[31] Supra, Vol. VI. pp. 196, 214.
[32] There is other mention of a fourth daughter of William de Braose and Eve Marshall, besides the three who undoubtedly married Mortimer, Cantilupe, and Bohun. A Monastic Stemma (Monasticon, VI. 134) calls the said Lady, Isabel, and gives her as the wife of David ap Lewellyn, Prince of Wales. Chronology does not contradict, nor does the Welsh Chronicle support, this. David ap Lewellyn died issueless in 1246.

If this story be true, it bears curiously on another, already sifted and questioned (Vol. IV. p. 215, note 84). The two combined would prove that Isabel de Braose, in marrying David, married the son of the man who hanged her Father!
[33] Testa de Nevill, pp. 60, 61. Alleston waa probably Auston, near Pontesbury.


meant. In 1246, the Scutage of Gannok is with the same inaccuracy excused to Peter fitz Herbert. As I have said under Pontesbury-

REGINALD FITZ PETER succeeded to his brother (Herbert) in May 1248. In 1254 the Aid for knighting Prince Edward was assessed on one Shropshire fee of Peter fitz Herbert;- but an attempt has been made to rectify the misnomer by the cotemporary Clerk of the Pipe. His interlineation however is still inaccurate, for it only extends to the Christian name of the debtor, and thus leaves Reginald fitz Herbert (a non-existent person) on the Roll of Shropshire Tenants-in-capite. However, to the Scutage of Wales, assessed (and excused) on one fee in 1260, the person excused is duly registered as Reginald fitz Peter.

From this time the Fitz Herberts are seldom mentioned in connection with their Shropshire estates. It has been seen how John fitz Reginald, son and heir of the above-named Reginald fitz Peter, divested himself of his tenancy at Pontesbury, but how or when the Seigneury over the several members of his Barony was lost, I will not discuss. Suffice it to say that I find no proof of a Fitz Herbert having the Seigneury of Woodcote after 1255. John fitz Reginald was the last of the elder line who was summoned to Parliament as a Baron. The Arms borne by him were Three Lions rampant, two and one, as I find them described on his seal. [34]

I should now return to speak of the tenure of Woodcote under these Fitz Herberts. One hide in the Manor was held by the family of Horton, already noticed under Horton; the remaining half-hide was held by a family named De Woodcote. Thus in November 1221, when Helyas de Horton was suitor for land at Albrighton, near Shrewsbury, Alexander de Wodcote was his security.

By a Fine of November 12, 1240, William le Sermon, Tenant of half a virgate in Wodecote, acknowledges William de Horton's claim thereto. The latter concedes the land to William le Sermon, in fee, at a rent of 2s. The Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 says that "William de Horton does suit to County and Hundred for half a hide which he holds in Wodecote under Sir Reginald fitz Peter"; also, that "Nicholas, son of the said William, holds

[34] Blakeway's MSS. The Seal was a Warrior on horseback, with those Arms on the shield and trappings. The same Coat, differenced with a party per pale, was afterwards borne by the Herberts, the presumed descendants of his Brother.


half a hide in the same vill, of the same fee, and does suit to both County and Hundred". [35] Later notices of this family have been given under Horton.

As to the Woodcotes, I cannot tell when that Meyler de Woodcote lived, who gave two virgates here to Buildwas Abbey, that is whether Meyler preceded or succeeded Alexander above mentioned. In 1255, William de Woddecote was paying 32s. rent to the Abbot of Buildwas for the two virgates which the Abbot had acquired here. William de Wodecote was a Juror for Ford Hundred at the Assizes of 1272, and on a Caus Inquest in October 1274. Nicholas de Woodcote, who probably succeeded to the tenure under Buildwas, was Juror on a Pontesbury Inquest in August 1286, and, at the Assizes of 1292, was one of the Jurors for Ford Hundred. Neither in the Taxation of 1291, nor in any later Record, can I find any distinct mention of the Buildwas estate at Woodcote.


THIS again was a Manor described in Domesday as held by Robert fitz Corbet under the Norman Earl.-

"The same Robert holds Langedune. Leuric held it (in Saxon times), and was a free man. Here are III hides, geldable. In demesne are II ox-teams: and IIII Serfs, I Villain, IX Boors, III Radmans, and VI Cottars have among them all II ox-teams, and there might be III more teams here. A Wood (here) is capable of fattening 60 Swine. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 4. (per annum). Afterwards it was worth 30s. Now it is worth 40s". [1]

Alice, daughter and eventual Coheir of Robert fitz Corbet, married William Botterell of Cornwall, and whatever were the hindrances which the Botterells had in obtaining their moiety of Robert fitz Corbet's Barony, those hindrances seem to have been removed by the death of Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, nephew of Alice aforesaid. Longden was thenceforth reputed to be the Caput of Botterell's Shropshire Barony, and it is clear that the Botterells obtained a much better share of Robert Corbet's Domesday estates than ever came to the Fitz Herberts. Here, therefore, I propose,

[35] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[1] Domesday, fo. 256, a, 1.


so far as the subject has been neglected by former Writers, to give account of-


ALICE CORBET was, I suppose, very much younger than her Sister Sibil, for at Alice's marriage with William Botterell, Reginald fitz Roy, Lucia's son, was old enough to provide the marriage-portion of his Aunt. But I can prove the date of Alice's marriage still more nearly, and show that it was later than the marriage of her Nephew, Reginald fitz Roy. He gave with her, as his own Deed declares, in frank-marriage to William de Boterells, two estates called Cracunton and Bidun. I need only to identify the first of these estates. It is Crackington, in Cornwall, about five miles north-east of Botreaux Castle. Now Reginald fitz Roy had nothing in Cornwall to grant, till the year 1140, when, having married the daughter and heir of William fitz Richard, a great Cornish Baron, he was made Earl Of Cornwall, by his half-brother, Robert the Consul. [2] Thus having fixed the earliest possible date of Alice Corbet's marriage as in 1140, we know that it was her husband-

WILLIAM DE BOTERELL (I.), who accounts, as Sheriff of Devonshire, for the years ending Michaelmas 1158, 1159, and 1160; for Alice Corbet's son-

WILLIAM DE BOTERELL, (II.) cannot have been then old enough for such an office. I have good reason to think that the termination of the first William Boterell's Shrievalty was not in consequence of his death, [3] but the following Charter [4] is, to all appearance, coincident with the succession of his son. It must have passed between the years 1163 and 1175, and the plurality of reasons would incline me to date it in the later portion of that interval. This invaluable document I give in the original Latin, only resolving the contractions.-

"Reginaldus, Henrici Regis Filius, Comes Cornubie, omnibus hominibus suis, Francis et Anglis, et amicis, salutem. Sciatis me concessisse et dedisse Willielmo de Boterell, filio Aliziae Corbet, materterae meae, totam terram quam dederam Willielmo de Boterells in Cornubia, patri scilicet predicti Willielmi; jure hereditario, sibi et heredibus

[2] Not, as Dugdale says, by King Stephen. (Vide Gesta Regis Stephani, p. 950, and W. Malmasbury, p. 105.)
[3] William de Boterell seems to have retired from the Shrievalty of Devonshire in disgrace. The Pipe-Roll of 1161 presents him as paying 93. 6s. 8d. towards an amercement of 200., with which he had been visited.
[4] Cartae Antiquae, B. 2.


suis, tenendam de me et heredibus, videlicet Penhel et Widenine, cum omnibus pertinentiis et libertatibus quas dederam Willielmo de Boterell seniori pro servicio suo per servicium dimidii militis, et Cracuntonam et Bidun, cum pertinentiis, sicut liberum maritagium quod dederam predicto Willielmo cum matertera mea. Hiis Testibus B. Exon. Episcopo; [5] R. Abbate Malmesbiriae; [6] Nicholao folio meo; [7] Pagano et Rogerio Capellanis meis; Herberto filio Herberti; [8] Baldwino et Ricardo nepotibus meis; [9] Willielmo de Vernun; [10] Willielmo fratre meo; [11] Hugone de Dunstanvill; Hugone de Valtort; Nicholao filio Galfridi, et multis aliis".

Thus we see that, though Earl Reginald withheld from his Half-Brother and Cousin their inheritance of Alcester, and probably their other shares in Robert Corbet's Barony, he seems to have patronized them in other ways. One is found in his Court; the other is his Grantee.

In accordance with what I have suggested about the period of the second William Boterell's succession, I presume it to have been his Father who in 1165 is entered as holding twelve knights'-fees in Earl Reginald's Cornish Fief. [12] This Fief may have included the grants of Earl Reginald himself, just now named, but more probably they were the essence of Boterell's original Barony in the then Palatine County of Cornwall. A Knight's-fee, which William Boterell held cotemporarily under the See of Exeter, is clearly marked as of old feoffment; that is, it was acquired by him, or his ancestors, before the death of Henry I. [13]

[5] Bartholomew, Bishop of Exeter,- consecrated 1161, died December 15,1185.
[6] Robert, Abbot of Malmesbury,- succeeded after March 1163, and occurs in 1174 and 1180.
[7] A son of the Earl's;- not elsewhere heard of, I believe.
[8] Herbert fitz Herbert (II.), I presume, and if so, the Grantor's Half-brother.
[9] Baldwin and Richard, my Grandsons;- that is,- sons of the Earl's daughter, Dionisia, by Richard de Redvers (II.), Earl of Devon, who died in 1161-2. These boys each succeeded to the Earldom of Devon in turn, and Richard, the youngest, died without issue in 1198.
[10] Possibly William, brother of Richard de Redvers (II.). If so, he became Earl of Devon on the death of his Nephew in 1193, and died in 1216. I have not however, seen other authority for presuming that this William ever bore the name of Vernon, though many members of the family did so. There was a William de Vernon, paternal Uncle of Earl Richard de Redvers (II.), who is known to have been living in January 1166, and though his age at that time must have been very great, he may perhaps be considered as the witness of this Deed.
[11] Otherwise known as Willielmus frater Comitis. He held 4 knights'-fees under the Earl in 1165 (Liber Niger, I. 131), and was living in 1177 (vide supra, p. 151). I suppose he was son of Henry I. and Sibil Corbet.
[12] Liber Niger, Vol. I. page 131.
[13] Ibidem, page 115.


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


It must have been between the years 1163 and 1178 that William Boterell sold a House in the Great Street of Exeter to Richard, Archdeacon of Poictiers, [14] a well-known character of that day, and who was elected Bishop of Winchester in 1173. I now come to the great event which associated William Boterell (II.) with Shropshire History more than the claim which, sooner or later, he established to a share of Robert Corbet's Barony. Isabel de Say, in her own right Baroness of Clun, had lost her first husband, William fitz Alan, in 1160, and her second husband, Geoffrey de Vere, in 1170. She had issue by her first husband a son, William, who was not admitted to livery of his Father's Barony till the Summer of 1175. It is probable, therefore, that the Lady of Clun was about thirty-five years of age at the time of her second husband's death, and it is certain that she remarried to William Boterell (II.). Boterell was, therefore, Lord of Clun during this Lady's life; and if she bore him any issue, and I have no doubt that she did, he was entitled (per legem Angliae) to hold her Barony for his own life also. These considerations will explain some otherwise unintelligible incidents.

Assuming that William Boterell married Isabel de Say about 1171, the next notice I have of him is his neglect to attend the King's expedition to Galway in 1186, whereby a Scutage of 7. 10s. was assessed (at 12s. 6d. per fee) on the 12 fees of his Cornish Barony. [15]

On June 14, 1188, I find William de Boterell and Ysabel, his wife, parties to a Fine levied before the King at Gaitington, which concerned a member of their Barony of Clun, and Philip de Stapleton, their Tenant at Wistanstow. [16] A year later, or thereabouts, and I find, from good evidence, that William Boterell was sitting in the Curia Comitatus of Shropshire, accompanied by William fitz Alan and Geoffrey de Vere, [17] the first certainly his stepson, and the last probably so also.

A Confirmation by Richard I. to Haughmond Abbey, bearing date at Portsmouth on April 25, 1194, has the attestations of William fitz Alan and William de Botereus. [18] In 1195 the Sheriff of Shropshire (the same William fitz Alan) had, by order of the Archbishop

[14] Monasticon, VI. 436.
[15] Liber Ruber, fo. xlix. Boterell's Cornish Fees were those usually called Minuta Feoda, or Fees of Moreton. The ordinary Rule was to assess such fees at two-thirds of the sum assessable on ordinary fees. The Scutage of Galway was ordinarily 1. per fee, but we see that the equivalent of 13s. 4d., for a Moreton fee, was in this case reduced still lower.
[16] Lilleshall Chartulary, fo. 83.
[17] Hist. of Shrewsbury, II. 418.
[18] Harleian MSS. 2188, fo. 123.


of Canterbuty (then Viceroy), paid to William de Boterells 10 merks towards fortifying his house of Matefelun. I will not discuss this entry further than to argue therefrom that William Boterell was engaged in the warfare which was raging at the time on the Shropshire Borders.

As to the accounts of William Boterell's three Shropshire scutages during the reign of Richard I., they only add confusion to an already intricate subject. It is clear that he was not assessed in any way as a coparcener in Robert Corbet's Barony, but he was assessed largely in respect of his wife's inheritance, and in the manner following.- To the Redemption Scutage of 1194, William de Boterell was assessed "9. for his scutage of the Honour of Geoffrey de Vere, and 5. for his scutage of the Honour of Eudo Dapifer". Of this assessment he paid 3. at once, and 2. more in 1195; but the balance of 9. was left as a debt till 1202. It was not then discharged, yet it was never afterwards repeated on the Rolls. Exactly the same assessment of 14. was made upon William de Boterell for the two scutages of Normandy in 1195 and 1197. On each he paid, one time with another, the same quota of 5., and on each an arrear of 9. was still marked against his name in 1202, but never paid, and never afterwards repeated.

To quote the original documents of this period correctly, is an easy matter; to explain them is far from easy. I can see why William Boterell was assessed to nine fees "of the Honour of Geoffrey de Vere". It was the scutage of the Barony of Clun, or nearly so, as returned by Gleoffrey de Vere himself in 1165. But I cannot see why William Boterell should be assessed on five fees of the Honour of Eudo Dapifer. Those five fees had indeed accrued to Geoffrey de Vere with his first wife, and she had only had them in dower from her previous husband, Warin fitz Gerold. That Geoffrey de Vere had held them for his life is certain, but still it does not appear how they could devolve on his second wife and widow, Isabel de Say, or on her third husband, William Boterell. Still more inexplicable is it that William Boterell paid the scutages on five fees, on which we cannot make out his liability, and neglected to pay the scutages on nine fees where the payment would seem to have been most natural.

To pursue this subject of scutages a little further;- I observe a still more extraordinary assessment made against the name of William des Boterell in 1199 for the first scutage of King John which was at the rate of 2 merks per fee. The charges are "18 merks


for scutage of the Honour of Geoffrey de Vere; 100s. for scutage of the Honour of Eudo Dapifer; and 10 merks for scutage of the Fee of Clun". Here, even according to the precedent of King Richard's Pipe-Rolls, there is a manifest redundancy. The second and third charges should have stood as one, viz. "10 merks for the Honour of Eudo Dapifer". The Fee of Clun was in fact the Fief assessed in the first item at 18 merks. However not a farthing of the three charges was ever paid, nor were they permanently renewed. In short, I suppose that William Boterell's wife was dead, and I think that his Shropshire liabilities, real or supposed, had before this time been compounded for by his step-son, William fitz Alan, the latter undertaking to pay 100. to the Crown in quittance thereof, and in lieu of all demands which his step-father may have had on Isabel de Say's estates. This very Pipe-Roll of 1199 records that "William fitz Alan owes 100., which he is bound to pay for William des Boterell, by authority of Justiciars, and according to Fine made between them (Fitz Alan and Boterell), which money had previously been put in charge of Cornwall". William fitz Alan paid, in 1202, the last instalment in the Fine of 100., "which he owed for William de Boterell;and he was quit".

I must briefly allude to the Charters whereby Isabel de Say and William de Boterell granted and insured the Churches of Clun and the surrounding district to Wenlock Priory. These Charters have genealogical significancies which bear upon our present investigation. Both Charters probably passed in the reign of Richard I., and I should imagine that Boterell's Charter was expedited immediately after his wife's, that is during her life, not upon her decease. Both Charters have the same witnesses, or nearly so, a further symptom of their having followed each other quickly. Instead of Boterell's joining in his wife's grant, or even attesting it, it is curious that he expedites a separate Charter, granting the aforesaid Churches "according to the tenour of the Charter of Dame Isabel de Say, his wife". The reason of this severance, where a single Charter would have been legally sufficient, is apparent in the different Movent Clauses of the two Deeds. Dame Isabel's Deed is, pro amore Dei et pro salute animae meae, et pro salute Domini Willielmi filii Alani et mei et pro anima patris mei et matris meae et omnium antecessorum et successorum meorum. Boterell's is pro salute animae meae et Willielmi filii mei.

I take the William fitz Alan, named in Isabel's Deed, to have been her living son rather than her deceased husband; and I take


William de Boterell's son, named in his Deed to have been his son, whether living or dead, by Isabel de Say. It is probable that William fitz Alan's inspeximus and confirmation of his Mother's Charter passed after her death, for the movent clause contains the words pro animabus patris et matris meae et pro salute mea. [19] This Charter, I further think, passed some years after his mother's death, and in the reign of King John. It shows that William de Boterell survived Isabel de Say, for it is attested by him and his nephew Robert. This Charter has another pair of witnesses whose occurrence is remarkable. It is attested by William, son of the Grantor, and by John his brother, who were present at the expediting of the Charter (qui interfuerunt hujus cartae donacioni). Now in the year 1210 the last year of William fitz Alan's life, the eldest of these boys cannot have been more than sixteen years old. This then convinces me of what I long since heard from a very competent authority, [20] viz. that mere boys were occasionally alleged to be formal witnesses of mediaeval Charters.

I should now notice that John Plantagenet, while Earl of Moreton, made a grant of certain lands in Ireland, first to Reginald de Boterell and afterwards to William his brother. One Maurice fitz Philip, alleging himself to have had Charters of these lands from both Earl John's Grantees, was suing another claimant thereof in 1199. [21] I take it that Reginald and William de Boterell, here alluded to, were the sons of William de Boterell (I.), and that Reginald, the younger, had died without issue. I now proceed with William Boterell (II.). One of the earliest Oblata proffered to King John after his Coronation (May 27, 1199) was as follows.- "William de Boterell gives the King 300 merks and two Destriers for Seizin to be had of land in Cornwall, viz. Penhell, with its appurtenances, and half the Vill of Alencestre (Alcester, Warwickshire), and for his Charter to be confirmed, which Charter (being the act or Deed) of Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, concerning the same land, he (Boterell) has". [22]

[19] Wenlock Register at Trentham, fo. 24.
[20] Mr. George Morris, of Shrewsbury.
[21] Oblata, p. 36.
[22] Oblata and Fines, p. 2. The Cornish Pipe-Roll of Michaelmas 1199 shows Boterell accounting for this Fine in terms which, after what has been said above, will be quite intelligible if I give them verbatim.

Nova oblata. Willielmus de Boterels r.c. de 200 et 2 dextrariis pro habenda saisina de Penhull et dimid. de Alcest' et pro confirmacione terrae quam habuit de Comita Reginaldo. In thesauro 100, et debet 100 et 2 dextrarios; sed dicta 200 debent requiri in Salopescire a Willielmo filio Alani qui attornatus est per Justiciarios ad reddendas predictas 100 pro fine facto inter predictos Wm des Boterell et Wm filium Alani.


King John's Charter in return to this Fine says nothing about Alcester, which in fact had not been named in Earl Reginald's Deed. The King's Confirmation, dated at Northampton on June 7, 1199, is in these words.-

Johannes D. G. Rex, etc. Sciatis nos concessisse, etc. Willielmo de Boterell totum manerium de Penhel cum omnibus pertinentiis, quod habet ex dono Reginaldi filii Regis Henrici quondam Comitis Cornubiae, tenendum de nobis et heredibus nostris sibi et heredibus suis sicut Carta predicti Comitis testatur. Hiis Testibus. H. Cantuar. Archiepiscopo. Hugone Pantul. [23]

I submit that these documents indicate that the present Grantee was identical with Earl Reginald's Grantee, and not heir of that Grantee. I say this, although it is difficult to see why so high a Fine should have been offered, that the King, as Earl of Cornwall, might merely confirm the act of a preceding Earl, unless the Fine were one on succession of the Grantee.

By the Devonshire Pipe-Roll of 1201 it would seem that William Boterell had been serving King John in his French wars, for he is debited with a praestitum of 20 merks, made to him by the King de ultra mare. The Palatine Earldom of Cornwall was now in the Crown, so the Sheriff of Cornwall enters 13 Librates of land held by William Boterel in Penhel, and 6 Librates, held by him in Bideni and Winenine, as so much deducted from the Ferm of the County.- This is a complete proof that the lands granted to William Boterell's father by Earl Reginald were distinct from the ancient Barony of Boterell, which of course could not be brought into the Firma Comitatus at all. The Barony is alluded to in another part of the same Roll, where the Sheriff records that William Boterel is acquitted by Writ, of the second Scutage of King John, assessable on 12 fees of the Honour of Moreton. To the same Scutage in Shropshire, William fitz Alan is charged in respect of the Barony of Clun;- again a proof that the Boterell who had been Lord of Clun was no longer so.

The year 1203 introduces William Boterell to his Shropshire Barony as a coheir of Robert Corbet, but how he obtained recognition of his claims I know not. At the Shropshire Assizes of October 1203, he, as a Knight, chose several Juries to try causes of Grand Assize. He was also found to have disseized Philip de Stapleton of a tenement in Stapleton, and had to pay damages of half a merk. Obviously he had annexed to his Manor of Longden something

[23] Cartae Antiquae, B. 3.


which belonged to Stapleton, and, as we have seen, his Coparcener, Herbert fitz Herbert, had similarly wronged Philip de Stapleton at Pontesbury. In the next few years we have seen, under Ratlinghope, that William Boterell was exercising another kind of supremacy over his Shropshire estates. [24]

Between September 1203 and June 1204, William Boterell fined for, and obtained, the marriage of Albreda, widow of John de Ingeham, and daughter and coheir of Walter Waleran. For this marriage he paid two horses for the great saddle and a Norway Goshawk, besides 300 merks, which Albreda had previously offered, for her remarriage to any loyal subject she might choose. [25] This Fine, being charged in the Warwickshire Pipe-Roll, indicates that William Boterell had recovered his share of Alcester. I suppose that this match with Albreda Waleran did not eventually benefit the Boterells, for the Lady's descendants, by her first husband, succeeded to her estates on her death, which, it is singular to relate, is not reported of, till sixty-six years after her marriage with Boterell.

On April 5, 1204, King John appointed William Boterell to be Sheriff of Cornwall, [26] an office which he held till 1208-9. Many instances occur on the Rolls of the trust and favour with which King John regarded him, but we are surprised to see, that though Sheriff of Cornwall, he was obliged to compound for foreign service by a payment of 40 merks, in addition to the ordinary Scutage. [27] The latest notice which I have of William de Boterell as apparently living, is of date Jime 28, 1210, when three of his Knights were in attendance on King John in Ireland. [28] I return to say a word about the Shropshire Scutages of William Boterell. In 1203 and 1204 he was excused his quota of the fourth and fifth scutages of King John. In 1205 he paid 1 merk (the proportion due on half a knight's-fee) to the sixth Scutage. In 1206 he was excused his contribution to the seventh Scutage.

A Roll of Shropshire Tenures-in-Capite, which I date in 1210, gives the services of Peter fitz Herbert and William de Boterell as half a knight's-fee each. [29] In Warwickshire they owed, conjointly, (for Alcester of course), the service of ths of a knight's-fee. A Shropshire Tenure-Roll, evidently returned in July 1211, marks the previous death of William Boterell in these words.- "Willielmus Botrealus, Baro, tenuit in capite de domino Rege per servicium

[24] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 164.
[25] Rot. Pipe, 6 John, Warwickshire.
[26] Rot. Patent. p 40.
[27] Fines, p. 294.
[28] Praestita, p. 184.
[29] Liber Riber, cxxxvii, cxxxviii.


dimidii militis". [30] Most of William Boterell's Shropshire estate was clearly assigned, in the first instance, as part of the dower of his widow Albreda. He left two sons at least, William aid Reginald. I will first speak of the eldest, styling him-

WILLIAM DE BOTERELL (III.). A Devonshire Roll, about the year 1211, states his Manor of Mouland to be in custody of Roger de Mortimer, by reason of his minority. [31] A Writ-Close of January 16, 1215, shows his Cornish Fief committed to the care of Hugh Peverel, of Sandford, who is to account for the issues to the Crown. [32] On December 13, 1220, William, son of William Boterell, had fined 80 merks, with King Henry III., for seizin of his Father's lands; and the Sheriff of Cornwall was ordered to invest him therewith accordingly. [33] It is evident then, either that William de Boterell (III.) was his father's son by a previous wife to Albreda Waleran, or else that he obtained his livery more than four years before he was of age. Be this as it may, he was at the siege of Biham with King Henry in February 1221, and had letters for assessing scutage on his Tenants in respect of his personal services. [34] All I can say further of William de Boterell's Shropshire interests, is involved in those of his Mother, or Step-Mother, Albreda. Of him, personally, I may say that a Patent of Protection, dated April 20, 1230, shows that he then accompanied King Henry to Brittany, and that on June 7, 1243, he being dead without issue, livery of his Warwickshire Estate was given to Reginald de Boterell, as his brother and heir. [35] The Shropshire Pipe-Roll of 1243 shows that Reginald paid 100s. for his Relief, and that the seizin accorded to him extended to lands held in capite in Langedon by his deceased Brother. I now return to-

ALBREDA, widow of William Boterell (III.). In 1214 she, as Albrea de Boterells, had quittance of the Scutage of Poitou in respect of one Fee held in capite in Shropshire. We have seen under

[30 [31] Testa de Nevill, p. 55, 194.
[32] Rot. Claus. I. 183.
[33] Fines, I. 58. The Fine was paid in 1222. (Madox's Exchequer, p. 341-9.)
[34] Rot. Claus. I. 475. It is a mystery to me who was the mother of William Boterell (III.). I have considered it probable that William Boterell (II.) had a son, William, by Isabel de Say, but it is almost impossible to identify such a son with him who came of age in 1220. At that rate Isabel de Say would have been a mother at two periods, with the improbable interval of 40 years or more. And as William Boterell (III.) seems too young to have been the son of Isabel de Say, so he seems too old to have been the son of Albreda Waleran. I leave the difficulty as a difficulty, for it is vain, without an atom of direct evidence, to suggest that William Boterell (II.) may have married three wives, the second unknown and unnamed, but the Mother of his heir.
[35] Rot. Finium, I. 400.


Woolstaston that in August 1216 the Shropshire Fief of Albreda de Boterell was in custody of John de Monemue. The cause is not stated, but probably was suspicion as to the Lady's loyalty. In 1218 the first scutage of Henry III. is assessed in Shropshire on half a fee, held by William de Botterell, and he pays the merk proportinate thereto; but in 1221 it is Albreda de Boterell who is excused the Scutage of Biham in the Shropshire Pipe-Roll. We know that Albrea de Boterell had letters of Scutage on this occasion as well as William. [36] The Shropshire Pipe-Roll of 1224 assesses William de Boterell one merk to the Scutage of Montgomery, and assesses and then excuses him the Scutage of Bedford. The assessment to the Scutage of Keri in 1229 adds a new element to this confusion. It charges nothing on William de Boterell, but it charges two merks on a whole knight's-fee, quod fuit Albredae de Botterell, and gives John fitz Alan as the person charged and apparently paying the impost. Again in 1230, to the Scutage of Brittany, John fitz Alan is charged 2. on one Fee of Albreda de Boterell; but the same Roll also charges William de Boterell 20s. scutage, on half a knight's-fee, and adds that he had since had an acquittance of this debt.

In 1231 the Scutage of Poitou is excused in respect of half a fee held by William de Boterell, but assessed, at the current rate of 8 merks, on John fitz Alan, for one fee, quod fuit Albrede de Boterell.

In 1232, 20s. of the Scutage of Elvein is charged on John fitz Alan for one fee, quod fuit Albredae de Boterell, while William de Boterell is excused Scutage on half a fee. I have before noticed that the Aid on marriage of the King's Sister, assessed in 1235-6, was charged in some instances on the actual fees of a Barony, and not on the same conventional basis as governed the assessment to a Scutage. To this Aid "William de Boteraus of Longedon was charged and paid 2. 2s.", that is, about two merks per fee on 1 fee, fee, and 1/15 fee of the Honour of Longedon. William, brother of Geoffrey Orry, paid the assessment on behalf of Boteraus. [37] In 1245, though William de Boterell was dead, he is still charged 10s. on half a fee to the Aid on marriage of the King's daughter, and John fitz Alan is also charged 1. as usual on one fee. Of the Scutage of Gannok, in 1246, John fitz Alan and William Boterell are acquitted in respect of 1 fee and fee. To the Aid for knighting Prince Edward, both are assessed at the current rate of 2. and 1. on a whole and a half fee. To the Scutage of Wales in 1260 William

[36] Rot. Claus. I. 475.
[37] Testa de Nevill, pp. 60, 61.


de Boterell is entered as paying 20s. on half a fee, while John fitz Alan stands acquitted of the proportionate charge on one fee, quod fuit Albredae Boterell.

If we turn to the Feodaries of 1240 we meet with confusion of a different kind. (1.) In one place Albreda de Botereus is represented as having the Seigneury of 1 fee in Longedon and fee in Woolstaston. (2.) In another place Longdon ( fee), is classified under the Barony of Herbert fitz Peter, and said to be held by Albreda de Botereus. (3.) A third Feodary has Woolstaston ( fee) as held under Hugh de Kilpec. [38] All that is correct in these entries is that Longdon ( fee) and Woolstaston ( fee) were members of the Barony of Boterell. As to Scutages, we must conclude that the whole Shropshire Barony of Boterell was liable to military Aids, as a Tenure of 1 fees. How Fitz Alan became answerable, instead of Albreda de Boterell, for the whole fee, I cannot say. I shall be able however to show elsewhere that Fitz Alan, at some time or other, did obtain the Seigneury of a very small portion of Boterell's Barony. William Boterell's liability for the fee, as long as he was alive, is intelligible enough.

REGINALD DE BOTERELL, whom we have seen succeeding to his elder brother William in 1243, was in 1254 returned as holding 20 librates of land in Shropshire or Staffordshire.

In 1255 the Jurors of Ford Hundred said with great apparent accuracy that "Sir Reginald de Boterel holds two hides, geldable, in the Manor of Longedon, by service of half a knight's-fee, and of the King in capite. He did suit to both County and Hundred". [39] At the Assizes of 1256 the same Jurors reported him as not in due attendance. On August 1, 1270, Albreda de Boterell being dead, the King received the homage of Oliver de Ingeham as her heir. [40] He was, I think, her Grandson, son of her son Walter, who was deceased in 1253.

In July 1271 Reginald de Botreaux has a Writ of mort d'ancestre against Philip Marmion and Joan his wife, concerning 40 acres of bosc in Longedon.

At the Assizes of 1272 the Ford Jurors reported Reginald de Botereus as non-attendant.

The King's Writ of Diem clausit on the death of Reginald de Botereus bears date February 4, 1274. Several Inquests reported of his Estates in Devonshire, Warwickshire, and Shropshire. The

[38] Testa de Nevill, pp. 46, 48, 50.
[39] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[40] Rot. Finium, II. 519.


last, sitting at Longdon, on September 26, 1274, said that he had held Longden in capite, as half a knight's-fee, but the service thereon was now, it seems, a Serjeantry, viz. "to provide two Servientes, one with a lance, the other vrith bow and arrows, for 40 days in time of war". The deceased did not die seized of Longdon, for he had enfeoffed his son and heir William therein on August 1, 1273; and the said William was of full age. [41]

In November 1274 the Inquest of Ford Hundred has

SIR WILLIAM DE BOTEREUS (IV.), as Tenant-in-capite of Longedon, and as holding it by service of two Servientes, as aforesaid. [42] From a mere fragment of a Deed I learn that within the next ten years this William alienated Longdon to Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, in exchange for lands in Somersetshire. [43] That the Bishop was seized of Longden before the year 1283 is apparent from an Inquest which I have set forth under Pulverbatch. In accordance with this view, the Feodary of 1284 states precisely that the said Bishop holds Langedon of the King in capite, for half a knight's-fee, doing the service of two foot-soldiers in time of war, for 40 days, at his own cost. At the Assizes of 1292 Philip Burnel being questioned as to his tenure of the Manor of Longedon, worth 10. per annum, and held by Serjeantry of finding two foot-soldiers, etc., stated that he had held it of his deceased Uncle, the Bishop, all whose muniments were in the King's hands. He fined 1 merk to be undisturbed in this tenure till January following. The Inquest on Philip Burnel's death records his tenure-in-capite of Longedon, by service of a Lancer and an Archer, etc. [44] The Inquest taken in October 1315, after Edward Burnell's death, would make it appear that the Tenure of Longden had been changed. It was now held of the King, as of the Honour of Montgomery, for th of a knight's-fee. It was valued at 12. 15s. 9d. per annum". [45] This Inquest includes among the appurtenances of Longden the rents of certain free tenants in Bishop's Castle and Priest's-Weston. How these rents became associated with Longden, I need not here discuss.

In the Nomina Villarum of 1316 John de Hawelou (Haudloe) is entered as Lord of Longedon. [46]

Longdon, then, like Woolstaston, was thus severed from the Barony of Botterell, and annexed to that of Burnel. We shall see

[41] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. I., No. 3.
[42] Rot. Hundred. II. 96.
[43] Harleian MS. 1982, fo. 52. Sir Oto de Grandison and Ralph Sprenghose attested the exchange.
[44] Inquisitions, 22 Edw. I., No. 45, c.
[45] Inquisitions, 9 Edw. II., No. 67.
[46] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 399.


that another of Botterell's estates (Priest Weston) fell to the same Seigneury.

Of UNDERTENANTS at Longden, we have Alan de Longdon, already mentioned under date of 1221. [47] At the Inquest of 1255, the Assizes of 1256, and on a local Inquest of the same year, we have Roger de Langedon sitting twice as a Juror for Ford Hundred, and once as a common Juror. He held land at Roriton near Chirbury under the Fitz Herberts, which makes it probable that his tenure in Robert Corbet's Fief dated from a period anterior to its partition. At the Assizes of 1272 William de Stapleton, Tenant of one messuage, 2/3rds of half a virgate, and half a noke in Pontesbury, was impleaded by Isabella, wife of Roger de Alleston, who claimed the premises as Sister and Heir of William fitz Walter. It was proved that the premises were in Longdon, so the Defendant was dismissed sine die. [48]

In June 1280, Robert de Longdon occurs on a Shrewsbury Inquest, and early in the next Century Edmund de Longedon attests a Habberley Deed.

PAROCHIALLY Longden is a member of Pontesbury. Its Chapel belongs to a much later period than any with which I am concerned.

Wigmore. THIS place, now a Township in Westbury Parish, was one of the Manors held at Domesday by Robert fitz Corbet under the Norman Earl.- "The same Robert holds Wigemore. Aluric held it (in Saxon times) and was a free man. Here is I hide, geldable. Here are IIII Villains, with I ox-team; and yet there might e another team. The former and present value, was and is 5s". (per annum). [1]

This Manor descended to Boterell, as Robert Corbet's Coheir. Boterell's Feoffees here were a family, named De Wigmore from the place; but oftener called De Brerlawe, from a member of the Manor,4747 Supra,st.

[47] Supra,p. 124.
[48] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 3 dorso.
[1] Domesday, fo. 256 a. 1.


In 1221 we have had mention under Eyton of Margery de Brerlawe, of her son Roger, and their Surety Adam de Wygmore. [2] In 1227 I have notice of one Adam de Brerlawe, doubtless of this family, but not named in connection with this immediate locality. The same person was a Juror on a Worthen Inquest in 1246. In 1255 the Inquest of Ford Hundred says that "Adam de Brerlawe (himself a Juror) holds one hide, geldable, in Wygimor and Brerlawe, which pertain to the Manor of Longedon", that is, I suppose, were held under Boterell. "Adam did Suit to County and Hundred". [3] He was a Juror for Ford Hundred at the Assizes of 1256 and 1272, a Juror on a Longden Inquest in September 1274, and a Juror on the Inquest of Ford Hundred in November following. Meantime, that is, on June 3, 1259, Matilda de Stretton has a Writ of mort d'ancestre against Adam de Brerlawe and Roger Pigod concerning two messuages and some land in Wigmore. In the Welsh Wars of 1263 we have seen Adam de Brerlawe associated with Thomas Corbet of Caus and other inhabitants of the frontier. Adam de Brerlawe was in fact Thomas Corbet's Tenant at Lower Mellington (near Chirbury), and there we shall hear of him again. To mention a Tenant of Thomas Corbet is to name a victim or a personal foe of that Ishmael of the Borders.- At the Assizes of 1267 Thomas Corbet was found to have disseized Adam de Brerlawe of a Water-Mill in Brerlawe. Hugh de Wigmore and John his son, indicted at the same Assizes for trespass in Westbury, were probably poor people.


A MOIETY of this Manor was in the Domesday Hundred of Bascherch, and was held by the Church of St. Chad. I am here to speak only of a moiety which was in Ruesset Hundred, and was held by Robert fitz Corbet under Earl Roger de Montgomery.- "Robert (fitz Corbet) holds Andreslaue of the Earl, and Ernui (holds it) of him. The same Ernui held it (in Saxon times) and was a free man. Here is I hide, geldable. In demesne there is I ox-team, and (there are) III Villains with I team. The former

[2] Supra, pp. 123, 124.
[3] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.


value of the Manor was 10s. (per annum). Now it is worth 12s". [1] Onslow, or rather this moiety thereof, descended to the Boterells, as Robert Corbet's Coheirs, and seems to have been held under them by that family of Arundel whose tenures under Corbet, of Caus, I have so often alluded to. The only evidence I have of the Arundels thus being Mesne-Lords of Onslow, is in the Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255, where John de Arundel is said to hold one geldable hide in Ondeslawe, under the Manor of Longedon, and to do suit to both County and Hundred. [2]

Arundel's Tenants at Onslow, or at least the chief of them, were also Tenants of St. Chad's moiety of the Manor. I will not therefore undertake to say, that all the following entries relate to Arundel's moiety.

In 1190, Adam de Hundreslawe was amerced 3s. 4d. pro falso dicto. [3] At the Assizes of 1203, a Suit between John de Ondeslawe and William de Bikedon (Bicton) concerning a right of common between Onslow and Bicton was settled in this way.- John was for three years to plough and till 12 acres of the pasture in question, and after the said three years expired, the said 12 acres were to remain common to both parties, so that neither of them should till the same. [4] By Fine, levied November 23, 1236, Roger de Ondeslawe concedes a disputed right of common in Ondeslawe to Nicholas, Abbot of Buildwas, who allows that Roger and his heirs shall have 120 sheep in the said Common. I presume some right appurtenant to the Abbot's estate at Woodcote had been in dispute.

This Roger de Ondeslawe appears as holding the St. Chad's share of Onslow in 1255 and 1284, unless there were two persons of the same name. Also there was a Roger de Hundeslawe, who chose the Jurors for Ford Hundred at the Assizes of 1272, who sat on a Caus Inquest in October 1274, and who, as Roger de Eydeslawe, was on the Inquest of Ford Hundred in November 1274. He appears too on a Longden Jury in 1274, on the Inquest after the death of John le Strange in 1276, and on a Bausley Jury in 1277. There was, further, a Roger fitz Warin of Onslow, a Juror at an Eyton Inquest in 1256, and at the Assizes of 1272, and at the Inquest of 1274. Again, there was a Richard de Ondeslawe, Juror

[1] Domesday, fo. 256, a. 1.
[2] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[3] The falsem dictum had probably been pronounced by some Jury of which Adam de Hundreslawe was a member.- The Law Clerks of that day did not, as we do, talk about a false Verdict. They knew that falsum veredictum was a contradiction in terms.
[4] Assizes, 6 John, m. 5 dorso.


at the same Eyton Inquest of 1256, and, at the Assizes of that year, Juror for Ford Hundred. Lastly, John de Ondeslawe was a Juror for the same Hundred at the Assizes of 1292.

On October 6, 1302, John le Mouner and Katherine his wife (Impedients) acknowledged by fine their grant of 2 messuages and two several parcels of land in Ondeslowe, to Richard Goumond and Agnes his wife, to hold in fee of the chief Lords of the Manor. For this 10. was paid. We have had this name of Goumond under Pontesbury.


Domesday describes this Manor as follows.-

"Elmund and his son Alward hold Enbaldestune [1] of the Earl. He himself (that is Elmund) held it (in Saxon times) and was free. Here are II hides, geldable. The (arable) land is sufficient for three and a half teams. Here IIII Villains and III Boors have one team and a half. The former value (of the Manor) was 10s. (per annum). The present value is 7s". [2] I need not recapitulate all that I have said under Condover, Stapleton, and Eyton, as to Elmund and his son Alward having been displaced from their Domesday Tenures, and the latter having been generally conferred by Henry I. on the Honour of Montgomery, which Honour descended through the families of Bollers, Courtenay, and Cantilupe, to Zouche of Haryngworth.

We have seen one Roger de Say with a mesne-interest at Hope Bowdler, in 1201-2, where he was Tenant of Robert de Bullers, Lord of Montgomery. [3] We have also seen Roger de Say attesting a Deed of William de Courtenay, a succeeding Lord of Montgomery. This Roger de Say was Tenant of Amaston under the same Suzerains. On November 8, 1208, a Fine was levied whereby Richard fitz Robert and his wife Isabel, Alexander de Estreleg and his wife Ascelina, and Oliva, sister of Isabel and Ascelina (Plaintiffs), renounce, for 4 merks, their Suit of mort d'ancestre against Roger de Say, Tenant of 2 virgates in Emboldeston.

[1] The contraction from Enbaldestune, or Enbald's-town, to Amaston, is not unparalleled. Adbaston (Staffordshire) stands in Domesday as Edboldestone.
[2] Domesday, fo. 259, b, 1.
[3] Supra, Vol. V. p. 115.


By a Patent of September 15, 1235, Justices are appointed to try a charge of novel disseizin, preferred by Amice and Lucia, daughters of Roger de Say, against Thomas Corbet (of Caus), concerning a tenement in Anbaldeston. It appears that the wood of Amboldeston was in dispute, and that these Coheiresses recovered it in the following year. [4]

Correcting an Inquest, or Tenure-Roll, which must have been drawn up about 1251, I gather the following meaning from an entry under Ford Hundred.- "William de Cantilupe held three hides of land in Eton (Eyton, near Alberbury), Sunton (read Rowton) and Amboldeston, of the King in capite, of the Fee of Montgomery; whereof Nicholas Murel (Meverel) holds I hide in Stanton (read Rowton) and Amboldeston; John le Poer holds I hide in Stanton (read Rowton) and Amboldeston; and Roger de Eaton holds I hide in Eton" (Eyton). [5]

The meaning of this, as far as it concerns us now, is that Nicholas Meverel and John le Poer having married Lucia and Amice, daughters and coheirs of Roger de Say, held Amaston and Rowton under the estate of William de Cantilupe, who died in 1251.

The Ford Hundred-Roll of 1255 says that "John le Poer and Nicholas Meverel hold in Dunton (read Rowton) and Ambaldeston two geldable hides of the Barony (add of Montgomery); and John le Poer does suit to County and Hundred for the said hides. Also William de Bikidon, Tenant of one virgate, included in the said hides, does suit to County and Hundred for the said hides", as a consideration for this tenancy. [6]

As early as Hilary Term 1250, a second suit had commenced between the Coparceners of Amaston and Rowton, and Thomas Corbet of Caus. Nicholas Meverel on that occasion had merely appointed Richard Meverel his Attorney. In July following, the Suit of Nicholas and Lucia Meverel and John and Amice le Poer against Thomas Corbet, concerning land, was adjourned till January 1251. [7] Lucia Meverel had essoigned her attendance on account of sickness (de malo lecti). The Sheriff of Staffordshire was ordered to send four knights to Geyton to ascertain the honesty of the essoign. This shows us that Nicholas Meverel was of Gayton (Staffordshire). I must refer elsewhere for some account of the family of Meverel of Gayton, though the descent given does not include

[4] Dugdate's Baronage, p. 515.
[5] Testa de Nevill, p. 60.
[6] Rot. Hundred. II. p. 66.
[7] Placita, 34 Hen. III., m. 26 dorso.


Nicholas Meverel, and is otherwise inaccurate. [8] The Suit above mentioned was decided at the Salop Assizes of 1256, where it appears to have been a question whether one acre of bosc and 2 acres of land were in Yokeshull (Yockleton), as Thomas Corbet averred, or in Hambaldeston, as the Tenants and Defendants maintained. The sentence was against the latter, and Corbet recovered his seizin. [9]

At the same Assizes, John and Avice le Poer and Nicholas and Lucia Meverel, having taken out Co-Writs (conbrevia) against David Boylin and Robert Gerebonde concerning a tenement in Alvaldeston, neglected to prosecute. Their Sureties de prosequendo were Howel de Ambaldeston and Hugh Coly of Ruton (Rowton).

In Easter Term 1263, Roger Gumund, being sued by Lucia, daughter of Roger de Say, for 40 acres in Amblaston, called Roger Gumund, Senior, to warranty, and was ordered to have him in Court at Westminster on June 25 following.

By a Fine, levied at Westminster on October 6, 1261, it appears that Roger Godmund, Richard and Emma Gronow, John fitz Petronil, William Welin, Richard fitz Asceline, Floria fitz Olyva, and Margery her sister, had been jointly suing John and Amice le Poer for 23. acres in Amboldeston:- and had also been suing the same John and Amice, as called to warranty by Geoffrey le Poer, for other 23 acres there. The Plaintiffs now renounced their claim (for themselves and the heirs of Roger Gudmund, Emma Gronow, John fitz Petronil, William Welin, Richard fitz Asceline, Floria and Margery fitz Olyva) to the said John and Amice le Poer, and the heirs of Amice, for 4 merks.

From the ancient Calendar of Inquisitions, I infer that the lost Inquest, taken in 1273 as to the Montgomery Fees of George de Cantilupe, deceased, did not mention Amaston, but mentioned Ruton. [10] We may partly infer what was said, from the Ford Hundred-Roll of 1274, where the Jurors of Chirbury Hundred declare that "Roger de Say, deceased, had held, all his life, the Vills of Ruton and Ambaldeston, of the Honour of Montgomery, by service of one knight's-fee; but that now it (the service) was withdrawn, by the two daughters of the said Roger, which daughters were still holding the two Vills in question".

I know from other evidences that, previous to this, Nicholas Meverel was deceased and that Lucia de Say, his Widow, had remarried

[8] Erdeswich's Staffordshire (Edition, 1844), p. 483.
[9] Assizes, 40 Hen. III., mm. 6 dorso, 12 dorso.
[10] Calendar, Vol. I. p. 49-b.
[11] Rot. Hundred. II. 89.


to Walter de Aylesbury. In Easter Term 1280, we find Milisent la Zouche (sister and coheir of George de Cantilupe) impleading John Poer and Walter de Aylesbury for the services said to be due on half a fee in Ruton. [12] Here Amaston and Rowton must be understood. How the said Walter became entitled to alienate his share of this estate, I cannot say. Whatever he had, passed, with something in Eyton, about the year 1290 to the Burnels. This appears from a Deed, whereby Walter de Alybury gives to Philip, son of Hugh Burnell, all his lands in Eaton and Ambaldeston. Witnesses,- Sir John le Strange, Sir Peter Corbet, Sir Robert Corbet, Sir Peter Pauncefot, Sir Roger Sprenghose, Sir William de Stapleton, Knights; William de Hambleton, Malcolumb de Harlee, William de Erkalewe, and Ralph Sprenghose. [13]

About this time Bishop Burnell acquired the neighbouring Manor of Rowton, as I shall show hereafter. These estates were not retained by the Burnels in demesne. They seem to have enfeoffed Corbet of Wattlesborough in the whole thereof. Hence in the Inquisition taken January 9, 1376, on the death of Robert Corbet (II.) of Wattlesborough, it is stated that the deceased had held Routon and Ambaston under Nicholas Burnel, by service of 9. per annum. [14]


THIS was another Manor held by Alward, son of Elmund, under the Norman Earl. Domesday describes it as follows. [1]-

"The same son of Elmund holds Rutune. Four Thanes held it before him for four Manors, and they were free. Here are II hides geldable. The (arable) land is (sufficient) for IIII ox-teams. Here are II Radmans. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 9s. (per annum); now it is worth 3s. They (the two Manors of Enbaldestune and Rutune, I suppose) were waste (when the son of Elmund obtained them, I presume), and still they are generally so". [2]

[12] Abbrev. Placitorum, p. 198.
[13] Harleian MSS. 1982, fo. 51b.
[14] Inquisitions, 49 Edw. III., No. 30.
[1] Domesday, fo. 259, b, 1.
[2] Wasta fuerunt et adhuc satis sunt;- an expression too concise to afford a determinate meaning. The word satis is an insertion, but coeval with the original.


The history of Rowton, as far as its annexation to the Honour of Montgomery, its tenure by Roger de Say, and its descent to his two daughters, are concerned, has been substantively given under Amaston. I shall here mark only a few variations from that account, proper to Rowton. It appears that Robert de Budlers (Lord of Montgomery circa 1200) gave a virgate in Runton to Shrewsbury Abbey, and that the Abbey held the said land in 1255. [3]

At the Assizes of 1256, David ap Yagon failed to prosecute a suit of mort d'ancestre against Nicholas Meverel and others, concerning half a virgate, less 2 acres, in Rueton. His sureties were Roger fitz William and Robert fitz Petronil, both of Eyton. [4] At the Assizes of 1272, John le Marescall and Sibil his wife failed to prosecute their Writ de recto against Geoffrey de Forde for a messuage and 16 acres in Ruton, and against Mabil fitz David of Alberbury for 16 acres, also in Ruton. The sureties de prosequendo, viz. Hugh Hager and Roger Burnell, were excused amercement at the instance of Thomas Corbett. [5]

By a Fine of November 18, 1272, Walter de Aylesbury and Lucia his wife grant to Henry de Bray a carucate in Rutone, whereof was plea of warranty. The Grantee gives 100 merks. He is to hold in-fee, paying a clove rent to Walter and Lucia, and the heirs of Lucia, and performing all services due to the Lords of the Fee. Salomon de * * * (Roffa, I think) is said to appose his claim to this Fine.

It is probable that this Fine left Walter de Aylesbury and his wife with a merely nominal interest in Rowton and Amaston. We have seen however that Walter de Aylesbury was still held responsible in 1280 for a share of the services due to Milisent la Zouche.

The Feodary of 1284 mentions John le Poer only, as Lord of Ruton. He held it of Milisent la Zouche by service of finding two footmen in time of war, for 40 days, at his own cost.

How Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, obtained possession of Rowton I cannot say. The Inquest, taken December 10, 1292, after his death, states him to have held Routon in capite of the King, by Serjeantry of providing two archers at Montgomery Castle in time of war. A messuage and small garden, worth 2s. per annum; a virgate and half of land, worth 30s.; an acre of meadow, worth 2s.; the easements (pasturage and firewood) of a

[3] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[4] Assizes, 40 Hen. III., m. 4.
[5] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 4.


small bosc, worth 2s.; a free tenement of 10 acres, let at 2s.; tenements, let to customary tenants at 4. 7s. 2d.; a tallage, assessable on the latter at Martinmas, and producing 10s.; the personal labour-dues of the same customary tenants, worth 4s. 3d.; Pleas and perquisites of Court, worth 2s.; [6]- these were the constituents of Robert Burnell's estate at Routon.

On June 17, 1294, when the King's Bailiff seized a moiety of the Manor of Ruton, in satisfaction of Philip Burners debts to certain Merchants of Lucca, the said moiety was calculated to produce 3. 6s. 3d. per annum. At Philip's death, nine days after, the Escheator seems to have seized the whole Manor and to have ousted the Merchant's Attorney; but the latter was reinstated by a Writ Royal of July 30, following. Philip Burnel's mortgages, for such I presume was the nature of his debts, were probably paid off during the minority of his heir.

I shall mention more fully, under Ford, an Inquest taken on the death of Roger de Forde in 1317. He was found to have held (inter alia) a bosc in the Manor of Ruton, called Snodde. He had held it of the King in capite as of the Honour of Montgomery, without any service. He further had held three nokates in Ruton of the Abbot of Shrewsbury, by a rent of 1s. 2d. Lastly, he had held 3 nokates in Ruton under William la Zouche, who had the rights of wardship and of marriage of the heirs of the deceased, by the terms of this tenure. [7] So then, the Burnells were by no means seized of the whole of Rowton, though they and their Feoffees doubtless had the greater part of the Manor.


THIS was another Manor held by Alward fitz Elmund of the Norman Earl. Domesday describes it thus.-

"The same (son of Elmund) holds Benehale. Elmoer held it (in Saxon times) and was a freeman. Here is I hide, geldable. The (arable) land is (enough) for III ox-teams. Here are I Radman, II

[6] Inquisitions, 21 Edw. I., No. 50.
[7] Inquisitions, 12 Edw. II., No. 40.

POLE. 179

Villains, and II Boors, with one team. The former value (of the Manor) was 18s. 8d. per annum. Now it is worth 5s". [1]

Elmoer, the Saxon of Edward the Confessor's time, was probably identical with Elmar, Lord of part of Eyton at the same period. Again, Alward fitz Elmund, Domesday Lord of Benehale, was alao Lord of Rowton. These considerations seem to support our identification of Benehale with Benthall; for Benthall, Eyton, and Rowton are contiguous estates or townships. Another consideration is not so favourable to this identification, for we expect to find any Manor of Alward fitz Elmund subsequently annexed to the Honour of Montgomery. This however is not the case here. The only conclusion is that King Henry I., having Alward's Manors in hand as an Escheat, did not annex them all to the said Honour, but finding one of them, Benehale, adjacent to the Royal Manor of Ford, annexed it thereto. Of Benthall, except as a member of Ford, we consequently hear nothing after Domesday. It will recur to us hereafter in that condition.

PAROCHIALLY, Benthall is a member of Alberbury, and in this respect it differs from all other manorial Members of Ford. The latter are and have ever been in Pontesbury Parish. This exceptional status of Benthall proves beyond a doubt its identity with the Benehale of Domesday.


Domesday notices this Manor between Rowton and Benthall.- "The same (Alward, son of Elmund) holds Pole (of the Earl), and Ordmer (holds it) of him. Lemer and Elmer held it (in Saxon times) for two Manors, and were free men, and paid geld. [1] Here is half a hide. The (arable) land is (enough) for a team and half. In demesne there is half a team, with one Serf, and one Boor. The former value (of the Manor) was 4s. (per annum). Now it is worth 2s". [2]

[1] Domesday, fo. 259, b, 1.
[1] The parts of the sentence are misplaced in the original.- Lemer et Elmer tenuerunt, et liberi homines fuerunt; ibi dimidia hida, pro duobus maneriis, et geldabant.
[2] Domesday, fo. 259, b, 1.

180 FORD.

The name of Elmer inclines us to look for this lost Manor in the direction of Eyton and Benthall, the name of Lemer or Leimar in that of Whitton, the name of Alward fitz Elmund, in that Amaston, Rowton, Benthall, or Preston Montford. We find no such place as Pole in either neighbourhood. Here therefore I must resort to a mere conjecture, and identify Pole with Polmere, afterwards a member of the Manor of Ford. The analogy of Benthall will then supply the further history of Pole, viz. that on the forfeiture of Alward and his Tenant Ordmer, Pole was annexed to the Royal demesnes at Ford, not to the Fee of Montgomery. If Pole thus became Polmere and a member of Ford, we shall hear of it again in that condition. If it had any other destination, I am unable to trace it, and am therefore incompetent to speak about its history.


Domesday gives the following account of this important Manor.- "The Earl himself holds Forde. Earl Edwin held it (in Saxon tithes) together with fourteen Berewicks. Here are XV hides. In demesne there are X ox-teams; and (there are) XX Serfs, VI Female-Serfs, L Villains, and XIIII Boors, with XXIX ox-teams. Here is a Mill rendering 3 ores (i.e. 60 pence), and half a Fishery (rendering) 2s. In King Edward's time the Manor used to pay 9. (per annum). Now it pays 34". [1]

Among the Domesday Berewicks of Ford, I reckon Cruckton, Newnham, Sascote, Pontesford, Plealey, Sibberscott, Cruck-Meole, Arscott, Little Hanwood, Hinton, Auston, Edge, Lea, and Halston. The fourteenth Berewick may have been Nox or Pansom.

The Manor on the Forfeiture of the Norman Earls devolved to Henry I., who, as I have suggested, added thereto the small adjacent Manors of Benthall and Polmere. The whole continued an estate of Royal demesne till after the accession of Henry II., who, in the year 1155-6 granted it to his Uncle, Reginald Earl of Cornwall. At the time of this grant, Ford was reputed to pay an annual ferm of 5. 13s. 4d. to the Royal Exchequer. From the year 1156 to

[1] Domesday, fo. 253, b, 2.

FORD. 181

the year 1175 inclusive, the Sheriff of Shropshire deducts that sum from his own annual liabilities, and assigns it under the head of Terrae datae to Earl Reginald.

REGINALD, surnamed DE DUNSTANVILL, was son of Henry I. by Sibil, daughter and, in her issue, coheir of Robert Corbet of Longden. I suppose him to have been born between the years 1110 and 1115, but need not recapitulate the somewhat conflicting evidence which bears upon that question. He and his Sister Gundred already held lands in Wiltshire, in 1130. In March 1136, I find him in the Court of the Usurper, Stephen, under the name of "Reginald, son of King Henry". [2] In 1138 Reginald de Dunstanvill appeared in arms in Coutance. Backed by Baldwin de Redvers (afterwards Earl of Devon), he seems to have materially aided the cause of the Empress in that quarter. [3] Returning into England, he leagued himself with William fitz Richard, a great Cornish Feudatory, who in 1140 began to oppose the usurpation of Stephen. [4] By marriage with this Baron's daughter and heir, Reginald de Dunstanvill acquired a great Fief in Cornwall. In the same year, and apparently with reference to these circumstances, the Earldom of Cornwall was conferred upon Reginald de Dunstanvill by the provident Council of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, his half-brother, on whose wisdom and energy the cause of the Empress was mainly dependent. The Author of the Gesta Stephani, a strong partisan, tells us of the sacrileges of Earl Reginald, of his excommunication by the Bishop of Exeter, and how, in his estate as a husband and a father, he was visited with domestic misfortunes, too horrible for repetition or investigation here. The monastic mind was ever prone to identify and point out the specific judgments of heaven on reputed acts of wickedness; but in seasons of personal fear and political hatred, no vengeance was too appalling for the cloistered ascetic to imagine and to portray, as levelled against the Chiefs of a hostile party.

That Earl Reginald during the war of succession recognized the associations which bound him by birth at least, if not yet by interest, to Shropshire, is evident. In the year of the Empress's prosperity (1141) we see him attesting her Charters to the Abbeys of Shrewsbury and Haughmond. In the summer of 1155 he accompanied his young Nephew, now King Henry II., to the siege of Bridgnorth. [5] That the King should grant a Shropshire Manor like Ford to this Earl of the far-west is after all no irrelevant circumstance. Ford

[2] Liber Niger, II. 808.
[3] Ordericus, p. 915.
[4] Gesta Regis Stephani, p. 950.
[5] Supra, Vol I. p. 250.

182 FORD.

stood very centrally in regard to the bulk of Robert fitz Corbet's Domesday Manors, and these, we have every reason to believe, were held, in seigneury at least, by Earl Reginald for his life. The Pipe-Roll of 1156 shows Earl Reginald as Grantee of Crown-lands in Shropshire of the value of 5. 13s. 4d. per annum. This we know to have been in effect a recognition of his title to the Manor of Ford, and subsequent Pipe-Rolls state categorically that Ford was the Manor represented by that fiscal value. The same Pipe-Roll of 1156 exhibits the Earl with estates in Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, Devonshire, and Herefordshire, in each of which Counties he was excused his quota of Danegeld. In Somersetshire, Dorsetshire, and Devonshire he had had recent grants of Crown-lands, to say nothing of his Cornish estates, fiscally reputed to be worth 122. 10s. per annum. His mother was still living, and had lands or revenues in Wiltshire and Sussex, the latter acquired by a recent grant of Henry II.

But I must adhere more particularly to his connection with Shropshire. In 1158 he was excused 14s. 2d. of a Donum then collected in that County. In 1160 he was excused his proportion (l. 7s.) of another donum assessed on the same County. In 1162 he was excused his proportion (3. 6s.) of the Danegeld of Shropshire. In 1167, Earl Reginald's Manor of Alcester (Warwickshire) is described as his, and is amerced 1 merk by the Justice of the Forest. He died about December 1175, if we accept the date given by Benedictus Abbas, but on July 1, 1175, if we take the date of Diceto. The Pipe-Roll would make his death to have been about the end of April, for at Michaelmas 1175, a sum of 2. 7s., or about five months' ferm of Ford, was accruing to the Crown, the Manor "having returned into the King's hand at the death of Earl Reginald".

I am spared any investigation of that difficult question, the number of Earl Reginald's legitimate children, by the fact that none of his descendants asserted any claim on his Shropshire estates, whether at Ford, or in Robert Corbet's Barony. Ford continued for years in the Crown, the Sheriff increasing the Firma Comitatus by 51. 13s. 4d.;- the reputed annual value of the Manor.

In 1185 we have Aluric Provost (i.e. Steward) of Forde, amerced 6s. 8d. for false clamour. In 1197 John le Strange was among the most active of the Lords Marchers. He had in fact the custody of Pole Castle (now Powis Castle) on behalf the Crown. From the Shropshire Pipe-Roll of that year it appears that Archbishop Hubert

FORD. 183

had, about Midsummer, made to John le Strange a grant of 10 Librates of land in Ford; but the grant took no effect, and the Sheriff, in lieu of the first quarter's income, pays 50s. in money to the said John.

The year 1215 has usually been assigned as that in which Lewellyn ap Jorwerth surprised and occupied Shrewsbury. Previously however to this, the Welsh incursions must have been carried far and boldly over the Border. In the Pipe-Roll for the two years ending Michaelmas 1214, the Sheriff reckons an aggregate loss of 30. on the Ferm of Forde-propter combustionem per guerram Walensium. Nothing but wholesale destruction by fire and sword can here be alluded to.

Ford was among those Royal Manors, which, in the early years of Henry III.'s reign, cost so much more, than they produced for the revenue of the Crown. [6]

At the Assizes of 1221 the Vill of Forde appeared by a Provost and Jury of six men;- a proof of that independent Jurisdiction of which we have an indication on the earlier Assize-Roll of 1203. Thus, though Ford was the Caput of a Hundred, the Manor itself was extra-hundredal.

I have elsewhere classified. the TALLAGES which were assessed upon Ford in the reigns of Henry II., Richard I., John, and Henry III. [7] A reference to that synopsis will show, that Henry II. took tallage from the Manor, even while it was in Earl Reginald's hands. This reservation was a common one, especially where, as in this case, the Manor was only granted for life. The tallage of 1214 is extraordinarily high when we look at the circumstances of the district. That of 1227, which appears on the Table as 6. 13s. 4d., was originally 12., but had been reduced by a special Writ of King Henry III. [8] The Tallage of 1230 was the last which the Crown ever received from Ford. The cause will presently appear.

At this time a name was growing in repute, in Shropshire and Staffordshire, which had been almost unknown to the aristocracy of the twelfth century.-

HENRY DE AUDLEY, whose loyalty and zeal had been tested in the reign of John, was of a Staffordshire family, of knightly degree, and nothing more. His genius, fostered in the Court of Ranulph Blundevill, Earl of Chester, could not remain unnoticed by Henry III., whose obligations to the Earl were of no ordinary character.

[6] Supra, Vol. III. p. 69.
[7] Supra, Vol. p. 11.
[8] Claus. II. 184.

184 FORD.

Thus much I say here of the antecedents of Henry de Audley, who, at the time whereof I am now to speak, was amassing a Barony. On June 22, 1229, at which time Henry de Audley was Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire, the King ratifies, by Patent, a Perambulation which he and William fitz Warin had been commissioned to make between the Woods of Montgomery and Kery. A Patent of November 7, 1229, gives Henry de Audley formal custody of the Counties of Salop and Stafford, with the Castles of Salop and Brug. This must be taken as a renewal of an existing trust. Leaving his Shrivalties to Deputies, Henry de Audley is found at Portsmouth on April 20, 1230, ready to accompany the King into Brittany. The Patent of protection which ensured the integrity of his estates while absent, extends to a number of names, more or less connected with Shropshire. On the list are John fitz Alan, John le Strange, William de Cantilupe, Senior and Junior, Walter de Dunstanvill, Herbert fitz Matthew, Ranulph Brito, Roger Anglicus, and others, whom I have mentioned elsewhere.

On August 5, 1230, the King, then at Bordeaux, grants to his faithful and beloved Henry de Aldithele, the Manor of Ford, with its appurtenances:- to hold in fee-farm, of the King and his heirs, to the Grantee and his heirs, for an annual rent of l2., payable at the Exchequer, in lieu of all services. The Grantee is to be quit of Suits to County or Hundred, and his men are to be quit of all tallage, for the King's use; but the Grantee may talliate the Manor for his own use, as often as the King talliated the Royal demesnes. [9]

At Michaelmas 1230, Henry de Audley accounted on the Pipe-Roll for l2., the ferm of the Manor of Ford, and was quit. The Pipe-Rolls of subsequent years contain this account, with no material variation; but it is remarkable that, for ten years and more, the ordinary fiscal value of Ford (viz. 5. 13s. 4d.) was not deducted from the Corpus Comitatus. During that interval therefore, the Sheriff was a yearly loser of the latter revenue, for he accounted at the Exchequer as though he had received it, while in fact, and as Sheriff, his concern with Ford was at an end. [10]

At Worcester, on June 13, 1233, Henry de Audley was one of the Barons Marchers who had to give the King hostages, in guarantee of their fealty, till the Realm should be at peace. He gave Ranulph his Son, whom the King committed to the custody of Hugh Despenser. [11]

[9] Cartae Antiquae, F.F. 7.
[10] See Vol. III. p. 71, for an explanation of this, in the parallel case of Claverley.
[11] Rot. Claus. 17 Hen. III.


A Patent of December 19, 1283, appoints Henry de Audley (now no longer Sheriff) to be Custos of the Town of Shrewsbury, in place of the Earl of Lincoln. A Patent of June 15, 1237, desires Henry de Audley to make residence in the parts of Cheshire, in place of John, Earl of Chester, lately deceased, and for the conservancy of those parts. On March 9, 1238, Henry de Audley is one of the Justiciars appointed to inquire into, and amend, certain breaches of the truce with Lewellyn. His commissions as a Lord Marcher are so numerous, that I am content to state their essence, viz. that they constitute a mass of testimony to his skill as a Diplomatist, and his loyalty as a subject. On the 19th of November, 1246, this prosperous and, I think I may add, great man, being deceased, the King received the homage of-

JAMES DE AUDLEY, his son and heir, and gave orders to the Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire, to take security for his relief, and to give him seisin of all the lands, Castles, and tenements of his late Father. [12]

In 1253, James de Audley obtained a Charter of Free-Warren for extensive estates in Staffordshire, Shropshire, and other Counties. The Manor of Fordes was among them.

Some presentments of the Jurors of Ford Manor at the Inquest of 1255 are so supported by other evidence, that we must take the whole of their statements for true. We may thus learn the enormous profits which a Sheriff got as Fermor of a County, and also what was the net value of a grant in Fee-farm in the particular instance of Ford. The Jurors said that "King Henry III., at his first transfretation into Brittany, gave the Manor of Forde to Sir Henry de Audley, then Sheriff of Salop; and that the Manor at that time paid 30. per annum to the King at four different terms". The meaning of this is that the Sheriff got 30. a year from the community of Ford as the rent of their Manor. What the Sheriff forwarded to the Exchequer was 5. 13s. 4d. The difference therefore (24. 6s. 8d.) was his own, except that out of these profits on Manors he had to pay an annual Fine, or composition, called the Proficuum Comitatus.

"Henry de Audley", continued the Jurors, "set the Manor at ferm to the men, or community, of the Manor, but at a rent of 60. per annum, payable half-yearly to himself. This arrangement was still continued by James de Audley". So the Audleys, paying a fee-farm-rent of 12. to the Crown, must have realized 48. per

[12] Rot. Finium, II. 2.

186 FORD.

annum by thus reletting the Manor. But besides this, "Henry de Audley had taken 34 merks from the Manor within sixteen years".

It will be found that, between the years 1231 and 1246 inclusive, exactly three tallages were levied on the King's demesnes. "Sir James de Audley", added the Jurors, "had taken 55 merks in tallages within the last nine years". [13]

These Jurors further expressed, in language very unusual to such bodies, their annoyance at the destruction of a grand feattwe of their Manor. "King Henry", they said, "had a certain fair wood, large in extent, and perfect in condition, within the Manor. Now, Richard Pride, a Shrewsbury Burgess, had, by license of James de Audley, entered the said wood, and made havoc thereof, felling 1000 oak-trees and more. Also, James de Audley had caused a smaller wood, called Serthul, to be assarted, and had put an annual rent of 5s. on the land thus gained". Lastly, these jurors mentioned the King's recent Charter of Free-Warren in Ford, to James de Audley.

A Patent of July 31, 1258, addresses James de Audley after Peter de Montfort, then Sheriff. Audley was a Loyalist; Montfort's name is enough to declare what he was. The matter on which they were addressed was trivial in itself (it was a license to enable the Preaching Friars of Shrewsbury to turn a road), but it shows that the King distrusted Montfort, who had been in fact thrust upon his choice as Sheriff, by the Mad Parliament. In less than two years Audley was appointed Sheriff in Montfort's room. Some particulars of his conduct in that office, and during the whole period which followed, till the Battle of Evesham tranquillized the kingdom in 1265, have been sketched in a former Volume. [14] For other events of his life I may refer to a still fuller Biography. [15] The following notes relate to his position as a Baron Marcher. In the second month of his Shrievalty, viz. on june 29, 1260, he was "with the King on the King's affairs at Westminster". On October 26, the King grants him an annuity of 40., till an equivalent in Wardships or Escheats should be provided. In November, James de Audley is again at Westminster. He was suing Fulk fitz Warin in the Curia Regis for the following alleged outrage. The said Fulk, with Griffin ap Wenunwen and John le Strange, Senior, had, on the 29th. of June above mentioned, and during Audley's absence at Court, sent certain Welshmen, under Griffin Seys and Griffin ap Owen, to Audley's vill of Forde. The said

[12] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[14] Supra, Vol. I. pp. 280-286.
[15] Dugdale's Baronage, I. 747.


vill, with two other adjacent villa, the Welshmen had burnt; they had slain eight men, wounded ten to death, and led away ten prisoners. They had taken off a prey of 260 oxen and cows; 80 sheep, and 57 horses. Fitz Warin had been previously summoned to appear on July 26, but had neglected to do so, and was now again a defaulter. Him the Sheriff of Shropshire was ordered to distrain for appearance on February 3, 1261. The same day was given to John le Strange, Senior, and Griffin ap Wenunwen, against whom there was a separate process.

Such were the suspicions and feuds which divided the Royalists at that critical period, for this quarrel was no political one. The elder Le Strange and Fulk fitz Warin were soon afterwards found among the ranks of those who stood for the Crown, though the Welshman, Griffin, adhered to the opposite party. In 1261, James de Audley was excused by the King an amercement of 100 merks which had been set upon him by Justices Itinerant in Buckinghamshire. It was for unjustly detaining certain cattle.

I have spoken of Henry III.'s Letters, written from Amiens on July 22, 1263, when the King had heard a report of Lewellyn's death. One of these Letters was to James de Audley, urging him to prevail on Griffin de Bromfield, who had married Audley's sister, to oppose the apprehended claims of Prince David to the sceptre of North Wales. [16] On May 13, 1364 (it was the eve of the disastrous day of Lewes), a Patent gives the custody of the lands and heir of John, son of Robert de Beauchamp, to James d'Audley, the said heir having married Audley's daughter Joan. [17] In the Pseudo-Patents, which are marked by the duration of the King's captivity, James de Audley's name is usually associated with Roger de Mortimer's of Wigmore and Hamo le Strange's. At this period an invitation to Court or a promise of safe-conduct is a sure mark of the steadfast loyalty of the Patentee. But I do not observe that Montfort's gracious invitations to certain Barons Marchers to retire to Ireland were extended to Audley.

A Patent of Protection for the Crucesignati, dated May 21, 1270, includes the name of James de Audley. It is hence inferred (by Dugdale) that Audley went on the Crusade of that period; but the premises are too slight to warrant such a conclusion. A Monastic Chronicle dates his death in 1272 (when the Crusaders had not

[16] Foedera, I. 420.
[17] Dugdale says that at the time of the Battle of Lewes, Roger de Mortimer and James de Audley were campaigning against Lewellyn, and only heard of that event. Audley surely witnessed it.

188 FORD.

returned), and ascribes it to a cause by no means associable with Oriental Romance, viz. a broken neck. [18] Certain it is that King Henry III., on July 29, 1272, knew of the recent decease of James de Audley, and accepted the homage of-.

JAMES DE AUDLEY (II.), his son and heir, who forthwith had livery of his inheritance on the usual conditions. [19] A precaution was likewise taken by the King for securing the dower of his deceased servant's widow. On November 22, 1273, James de Audley (II) had followed his father to the grave. The Inquisition of his Shropshire estates values Edgmond, Ford, Marehumley, and Weston (under Red Castle) as yielding collectively 107. 14s. 6d. per annum. His brother Henry was his heir, and was at the time of the Inquest more than 22 years of age. [20]

On January 16, 1274, the Eacheator is ordered to assign 100 Librates of land to Matilda, widow of this second James de Audley, till such time as her dower should be fully allotted. The Manor of Ford, with other lands in Staffordshire, was found to constitute the prescribed income, viz. 100. 8s. 4d. She soon remarried with John d'Eivill, but the ultimate settlement of her dowry did not include the whole of Ford.

HENRY DE AUDLEY (II.), succeeding his brother in November 1273, was accordingly Lord of Ford in November 1274, when the Jurors of the Manor gave, with the minutest accuracy, an account of its descent from the first Henry de Audley, and of the terms on which it was held in capite.

These Jurors complained of extortions committed by the King's Officers:- each one ever ready to make a private profit out of a temporary escheat.- John Baril, Undersheriff, had unjustly taken 4 merks from the men of the Manor on the decease of Sir James de Audley (James de Audley the first, is meant). On the same occasion apparently, John fitz Aer, Subescheator, had seized the Manor into the King's hand, and had taken 10 merks from the men of the Manor, for whose use, no one knew. Peter Milisent, Fitz Aer's Clerk, took half a merk more for his own use; and Robert, Fitz Aer's man, took 5s. for himself. Another 100s. is apparently spoken of as extorted by these officers from the Tenants of Ford. [21] It further appears from a presentment by the Jurors of Ford Hundred that the Manor was at this time worth 66. 8s. per annum to its Owner. [22] The King's Writ of Diem clausit, announcing the death

[18] Baronage, p. 748.
[19] Rot. Finium, II. 574.
[20] Inquisitions, 1 Edw. I., Nos. 80, 60.
[21] [22] Rot. Hundred. II. 87, 88.


of Henry de Audley (II.), bears date April 22, 1276. An Inquest held at Shrewsbury on May 21 following, found him to have died seized of a third only of Ford, and valued the said third at 25. per annum, less 4., for the proportionate part of the Crown-rent due thereon. Eight days after the death of Henry de Audley, another third of Ford had accrued to his estate in consequence of the death of his Sister-in-law Matilda. The remaining third I conclude to have been in the hands of his Mother.

WILLLAM DE AUDLEY, brother and heir to the deceased, was found by the above Inquest to have been 22 years of age on October 18, 1275. [23]

A Writ of July 19, 1276, summons William de Audley to be in attendance on the Quinzaine of Michaelmas following, when the King proposed to settle the dower of Lucia, his deceased brother's widow. On September 25th a Valuation of six members of Ford (viz. Egge, Poulmere, Newenham, Sibaldescote, Ardescote, and Lee) was probably in reference to this partition; [23] which however, owing to the neglect of the Sheriff of Shropshire, had still to be made on May 5, 1278. A second Writ and Inquest followed, when the above six hamlets of Ford were found to produce 25. 10s. 8d. per annum in assized rents, 4. 13s. 4d. per annum in Pleas and perquisites of Court, and 20d. in the Pound added to every Tenant's rent, by way of Tallage, in such years as a King's tallage was levied. [24]

On December 28, 1282, King Edward, then at Rhuddlan, issued his Writ of Diem clausit on the death of William de Audley. The Inquest taken at Newport in January following, states that the deceased had held the Villate of Forde in capite, at a fee-farm rent of 8. (not 12.), and that its clear and annual value was 44. 17s. 1d. [25]

From this I conclude that it was only two-thirds of Ford of which William died seized, and that the remaining third was held in dower either by his Mother, Ela, who was still living, or his Sister-in-law, Lucia. William de Audley fell, it seems, in the wars of Wales.

NICOLAS DE AUDLEY, his brother and next heir, was at this period more than 24 years of age. I have little to add to what Dugda1e has said of Nicholas de Audley's career. His wife was Catherine Giffard, daughter and coheir of Matilda de Clifford, by her second husband John Giffard of Brimesfield. [26] The King's

[23] Inquisitions, 4 Edw. I., No. 50.
[24] Inquisitions, 6 Edw. I., No. 46.
[25] Inquisitions, 11 Edw. I., No. 34.
[26] Supra, Vol. V. p. 147.

190 FORD.

Writ of Diem clausit, announcing his death, bears date August 28, 1299; but the Inquest, taken at Shrewsbury on September 26, is too defaced for quotation. [27] Suffice it to say that his son and heir-

THOMAS DE AUDLEY, was at this time only ten years of age. The said Thomas while yet a youth was married to Eve, daughter and heir of John de Clavering.

A Writ of January 16, 1308, announces that Thomas de Audley, son and heir of Nicholas, had died whilst in ward to the King. Ford was stated at the subsequent Inquest to be held at a fee-farm rent of 12., and with its members, was extended at 68. 4s. 8d. per annum. The Jurors who took this Inquest at Red-Castle on February 23, 1308, said that Nicholas, son of Nicholas de Audley (and therefore brother of Thomas) was next heir to Thomas, unless the wife of Thomas were enceinte. The said Nicholas was now 17 years of age. [28]

NICHOLAS DE ADDLEY (II.), who in due course succeeded his brother, is returned in the Nomina Villarum of March, 1316, as Lord of the Vill of Forde. [29] He in turn was deceased on December 6 following. The Inquisition on his death values his interest in Edgmond, Newport, and Ford, at 39. 16s. 6d. per annum. He left a widow, Joan, and a son and heir, James, who was only 3 years of age on January 1, 1318. [30] This James, for whose career and descendants I must refer elsewhere, [31] lived to the age of 71, and so was the first of seven successive heirs of this Barony who was not cut off in infancy, youth, or the flower of manhood.


Under this head I shall include all I have to say of the Tenants of this Manor; for, in a close and privileged community like that of Ford, local details are seldom apparent except by accident.

At the County Assizes the Manor was represented by its Provost and Jurors. The Roll of 1203 records none of the presentments of Ford, though it shows the Manor to have had its independent jurisdiction. The same may be said of the Assizes of 1221, though the Manor appeared by an unnamed Provost and six Jurors.

[27] Inquisitions, 27 Edw. I., No. 46.
[28] Inquisitions, 1 Edw. II., No. 63.
[29] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 399.
[30] Inquisitions, 10 Edw. II. No. 73. Dugdale says that the Widow Joan was widow of Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, and sister and coheir of William Martin.
[31] Dugdale's Baronage, I. 748-9.


At the Eyre of Thomas de Muleton in October 1227, I find the Vill of Crukemole responsible for 30s. 1d. de catallis,- for the chattels of some Outlaw, probably, who had resided there.

At the Manorial Inquest of 1255 the twelve Jurors were: 1. Richard Noc (probably of Nox). 2. Robert de Mele (probably of Cruckmeole). 3. William de Ardescote (i.e. Arscott). 4. Robert de Sibaldescote (i.e. Sibberscot). 5. Geoffrey de Pleyvile (Plealey). 6. Madoc de Plemleg' (Plealey). 7. Roger de Pontesfort (Pontesford). 8. Henry de Egge (i.e. Edge). 9. Ralph de Neunam (Newnham). 10. Richard Eylwart of Ford. 11. William de Saxcote (Sascott). 12. Nicholas fitz Ala. [32]

At the Assizes of 1256 John de Haueston (Halston) appeared as Bailiff of Ford. The eight Jurors named were Robert de Mele, Madoc de Pleyle, Roger de Pontesford, Henry de Egge, Ralph de Newenham, Nicholas fitz Ela of Etton, Nicholas Wartinneri, and Richard fitz Godith.

At the Assizes of 1272 William de Wrime appeared as Chief Bailiff of Ford. The twelve Jurors were Roger Lance, Adam de Mele, Adam de Sybescote (Sibberscot), Madoc de Pleyleye, Philip de Pleyleye, William de Egge, Thomas de Pontesford, Richard de Poulmere, William de Forde, Jenkyn ap David, William fitz Eugenie, and Nicholas de Cracton (Cruckton).

At the Inquest of 1274 the Jurors for Ford were Roger Lance, William fitz Thomas, and Geoffrey fitz Robert, both of Pleyley, Richard de Poulmere, William fitz Ogin, and Richard fitz Reginald, both of Ford, Richard fitz Nicholas of Cructon, Thomas le Warthiner of Cructon, William Ogyn of Sayscot, Roger de Ardescot, John fitz Symon, and Reginald le Colt.

These Jurors complained of several encroachments upon their Liberty by officers of the Crown. Geoffrey de Forde and Hugh de Lee had suffered unjust imprisonment in Shrewsbury Castle. [33]

At the Assizes of 1292 Robert de Bykedon appeared as Chief-Bailiff of the Liberty of Ford. The Jurors were William de Pleylegh, Roger de Ardescote, Reginald de Lee, Thomas de Newenham, Robert son of Roger de Cructon, William Burt of Mele (Cruck-meole), John le Ster, Reginald de Saxcote, Geoffrey fitz Adam of Forde, John fitz Henry of Newynham, Roger de Sybascote, and John de Pleylea.

The Inquisition of 1308, on the death of Thomas de Audley, is much defaced; but the following apptutenances of Ford will give a

[32] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[33] Rot. Hundred. II. 87.

192 FORD.

proximate idea of the vills which constituted its Domesday Berewicks. These are Pontesford Mill; a Mill at The Lee; Hanewood (i.e. Little Hanwood) Mill; Pasture at Espeleye; Saxcote; Pontesford; Pleyleye; Sybascote; Newenham; Ardeskeye (probably Arscott); Lee; Krokton (Cruckton); Schrawarden hamlet; Egge (Edge); and Moele (Cruckmeole). Besides these, Benthalle and Poulmere, which I take to be the Benehale and Pole of Domesday, were now considered members of Ford.

During the minority of James de Audley (III.), that is on July 23, 1317, and June 12, 1319, two Writs of Diem clausit issued on the deaths of Roger de Forde and John, son of John Forde. Roger de Forde's tenure in Forde, under Audley's heir, was by service of 20s. rent. His son, Hugh, was 26 years of age on August 15, 1317. The same Hugh, son of Roger de Forde, was found by the Inquest of 1319, to be Uncle and heir of John, son of John de Forde, whose tenure under the Audleys was by a rent of 7s. 4d. Hugh's age in this Inquest is said to have been 27 years at Michaelmas 1318. [34]


The whole of the Domesday Manor of Ford, except the township of Ford itself, and except a part of Little Hanwood (which was in the Parish of St. Mary's, Shrewsbury), was in the Parish of Pontesbury. The Parish, therefore, which was attached to Ford Chapel, was merely the vill of Ford, and this Chapel was annexed, or subject, to the Chapel of St. Michael, in Shrewsbury Castle. The attempts made by the Rectors of St. Michael to obtain the tithes of Cruckton and other townships of Ford Manor, have been already alluded to. [35] The question was intrinsically one of ancient parochial boundary, and the Rectors of St. Michael wished to extend the Parish of Ford at the expense of the Parish of Pontesbury. We see at this day that they never succeeded, for the Parish of Ford is still confined to the single township of Ford, while the spiritual jurisdiction of the Church of St. George extends to every vill and acre of its original Parish.

Ford Chapel, being annexed to St. Michael's, at Shrewsbury, was, of course, within the limits of that Royal Peculiar. From Diocesan Records we shall therefore obtain nothing illustrative of its history.

[34] Inquisitions, 12 Edw. II., No. 40.
[35] Supra, pp. 140, 142.


The Rectors of St. Michael of Ford are usually found, as we should expect, to have been also Rectors of St. Michael's, Shrewsbury. Of them we have a list already, [36] to which I add a few particulars.-

WALTER DE DUNSTANVILL, Rector of St. Michael's, Shrewsbury, in the reigns of Henry II., Richard I., and John, has already occurred to us under Shiffnal. [37]

WILLIAM DE HAVERHULL, his successor, was presented, by King John, to St. Michael's, on January 18, 1215. [38] Him we have also heard of as a Prebendary of Bridgnorth from 1241 to 1252. [39] The Assize-Roll of 1221 enters him as then Incumbent of St. Michael's, Salop; and another Assize-Roll of 1227, says that "the Church of Forde is of the King's gift, and is worth 1 merk (yearly), and that William de Haverhull holds it". [40]

WILLIAM DE LA BATAIL is entered as Incumbent of the King's Chapel of Forde in 1255, by presentation of the King. The Chapel is here valued at 100s. (per annum).
[41] The same person was co-temporary Incumbent of St. Michael's, Salop (worth 14 merks per annum), [41] and of a Prebend in St. Julian's, Salop (worth 4 merks), [41]- both by the King's gift.

RICHARD DE SAY was Incumbent of St. Michael's, Salop, in 1272.

ADAM DE DYSIACO, OT DE SAVARNE, occurs in the same position in 1291 and 1292. The Assize-Roll Of the latter year says, that the "Chapel of Forde pertains to the Church of St. Julian's, Salop, [42] and is of the King's gift, and Master Adam de Dysyaco holds it by collation of the King".

The Taxation of 1291 gives the Chapel of Forde as in Pontesbury Deanery and Hereford Diocese, and values it at 10. per annum. [43] In 1296-

ROBERT HERUN, Parson of Forde, had King Edward's Letters of protection; [44] and in 1297 similar letters were vouchsafed to-

ROBERT DE COTINGHAM, Parson Of St. Michael's, Salop. [45] Whether these two were identical, or whether Ford was really the place concerned in the first entry, are questions. A further list of the presumed Incumbents of Ford would be mainly a transcript from

[36] Hist. Shrewsbury, II. 422-3.
[37] Supra, Vol. II. p. 334.
[38] Rot. Patent. p. 127.
[39] Supra, Vol. I. p. 121.
[40] Testa de Nevill, p. 54.
[41] Rot. Hundred. II. 66, 78, 79.
[42] The connection between St. Julian's and St. Michael's I leave to Mr. Blakeway's explanation.
[43] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 167.
[44] Prynne, Vol. III. p. 684.
[45] Ibidem, p. 715.


the List of the Rectors of St. Michael, Salop, to which I have already referred. I may however add to that List the name of-

SIR THOMAS KAYNYS, who occurs in 1352 as Parson of St. Michael's in the Castle, of St. Julian's, and of Ford. In 1341 Ford was not assessed to the Ninth as a distinct Parish. The Advowson of Ford Chapel seems to have gone with St. Michael's and St. Julian's to Battlefield College, founded and endowed by Henry IV. Hence in the Valor of 1535-6 the Master of Battlefield returns among his annual receipts a sum of 3. 16s. 8d., being the ferm of the tithes of the Chapel of Foorde, in the Diocese of Hereford. [46]

Preston, now Preston Montford.

THIS Manor was a divided one at Domesday. A very small portion thereof (one virgate) was held by Roger fitz Corbet, and was reputed to be in Bascherch Hundred. With this pprtion I have, strictly speaking, nothing here to do; but I may say that it seems to have been annexed at some remote period to the larger share of the Manor, and, with it, to have fallen into the Liberties of Shrewsbury. There was, if I mistake not, another Manor (Charlton, near Shawbury) which Roger fitz Corbet shared with St. Alkmund's at Domesday, but in which his interest never subsequently recurs to notice.

Of St. Alkmund's Manor of Preston, in Ruesset Hundred, Domesday speaks as follows.- "The same Church held (in Saxon times) and still holds Prestune. Here is one hide, geldable. In demesne there is one ox-team, and (there are) two Villains with one ox-team. Its former value was 8s.; its present value is 5s. (per annum). Eluuard holds it (of the Church)". [1]

Of the descent of St. Alkmund's Manors to Lilleshall Abbey, I need not speak here, except to say that it was a rule, permanently departed from in only one instance, and that, after the Canons of Lilleshall had stoutly asserted their universal and particular right. It is strange however that, in the case of Preston, the tenancy of Elward (son of Elmund) lapsed with most of his escheated rights

[46] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 195.
[1] Domesday, fo. 253, a, 1.


to the Lords of Montgomery, and the Lords of Montgomery asserted, and for a time maintained, that the Seigneury, and not the mere Tenancy, of Preston had devolved upon them.

Robert de Budlers or Bollers we know to have been Lord of Montgomery as early as 1176, and that he died in 1203. "He, for the health of his soul and of the soul of his wife, Hillaria Trussebut, gave to Lilleshall Abbey all the land of Preston near the Bridge of Moneford, which land R. de Cota held". [2] By another Deed the same Robert de Budlers quit-claims to the Abbey the said Vill of Preston, "acknowledging it to be the right and fee of St. Alkmund, confessing that he and his ancestors had unjustly held it, and asking pardon from the Lord Jesus Christ for that sin. [3]

On August 31, 1199, King John, confirming the possessions of Lilleshall Abbey, names Preston juxta Moneford in the same category with Dunthull (Dinthill) and other Manors, viz. as appurtenances of the Church of St. Alkmund. [4]

We next have the Abbot of Lilleshall buying up, for 2 merks, the dower in Preston, of Ysabel, widow of the above-named Tenant, Robert de Kotes. Her Deed expresses the sale to have been made in urgent necessity, but she reserves the right of Matilda her daughter, wife of William Pung, to a moiety of the said land after her own death. When Henry de Audley was Sheriff of Shropshire, that is about 1227-1232, Robert Hunger, [5] being I suppose the Abbot of Lilleshall's Tenant at Preston, used to do suit to County and Hundred for that Vill; but, the said Robert Hunger dying about 1235, the Abbot of Lilleshall entered on the Vill in virtue of the grant by Robert de Budlers of Montgomery, and withdrew Preston from the aforesaid suits, whereby, said the Jurors of Ford Hundred in 1255, the King had suffered a loss of 40s. (i.e. 2s. per annum during the period of withdrawal), unless the Abbot had some warranty. [6]

It appears from an undated entry in the Lilleshall Chartulary, that the Abbot was accustomed to pay, among other dues to the Crown, one shilling at Michaelmas in lieu of the suits of Preston and Dinthill to the Hundred-Court. [7]

Even in 1274, the Jurors of Ford Hundred remarked on Robert

[2] [3] Lilleshall Chartulary, fos. 61, 55.
[4] Rot. Chartarum. p. 17.
[5] Robert Hunger may have been identical with Robert de Cotes. If so, the date of his widow's release will have been later than 1285.
[6] Rot. Hundred. II. 66.
[7] Lilleshall Chartulary, fo. 134.


Wright of Coten having done suit to the Hundred in Henry II.'s time, and stated how the Abbot of Lilleshall had withdrawn that suit. [8]

As Dinthill and Preston are not given in the Taxation of 1291 among the estates of Lilleshall Abbey, I will quote an Abbey Rent-Roll in lieu thereof. At Michaelmas the Abbot received a ferm of 5s. 4d. from Dunthull, and 6s. 11d. from Preston Moneford. At Midlent, the receipts were 5s. 4d. and 7s. from the same places. [9]

The Nomina Villarum of 1316 gives the Abbot of Lilleshull as Lord of Preston and Dunthull.

By an Inquest of September 1317 it appears that Roger de Forde, deceased (already mentioned under Rowton and Ford), had held a virgate in Preston-juxta-Moneford under the Abbot of Lilleshall at 3s. rent.

The Valor of 1535-6 probably indudes the Abbot's receipts from Preston and Dinthill in the 26. said to arise from the "Vill of Salop". [10] The Minister's Accounts of 1541-2 are not much more clear. The dissolved Abbey had received an annual ferm of 2. 6s. 8d. for the Manor of Dynthill, and 12s. for profits of the tithes of Preston Mountforth, [11]- an item which I do not understand.

PAROCHIALLY, Preston Montford and Dinthill were subject, like all St. Alkmund's estates in or near Shrewsbury, to the Church of St. Alkmund's. They still remain so.


OF this estate of St. Alkmund's Church, Domesday says-

"The same Church held (in Saxon times) and stills holds Duntune. Here is I hide, geldable. In demesne is one ox-team, and there are one Villain, and one Boor, with half a team. The Manor was and is worth 8s. (per annum)". [1]

I have combined my account of this estate of Lilleshall Abbey with that of Preston Montford. Some particulars, however, belong more exclusively to Dinthill.

[8] Rot. Hundred. II. 96.
[9] Lillesball Chartulary, fo. 93.
[10] Valor Ecclesiasticus, IV. 399.
[11] Monasticon, VI. 265.
[1] Domesday, fo. 253, a, 1.

[For map, see pdf.]


The confirmation of Pope Alexander III. to Lilleshall Abbey must date between 1159 and 1181. It confirms Hencot, Dunthull, and Preston, [2] to the Abbey.

At Westminster, in October 1200, an assize of mort d'ancestre, preferred by John fitz Simon against the Abbot of Lilleshull, for a virgate in Dunthull, is postponed to the next Eyre of the Justices. At the Assizes of 1203 we accordingly find John de Dunthull suing the Abbot, but under a Writ of novel disseizin, not of mort d'ancestre. The Abbot's objection (that the "day given" before the Justices itinerant was for a suit of mort d'ancestre) was fatal to the Plaintiff. [3] John fitz Simon then seems to have proceeded with the latter suit, but here he was met by the objection that the Abbot against whom he had taken out the original Writ was dead. [4] I find no more of this Suit.

We have heard more than once of Giles de Norfolk, Clerk, a Portioner of Burford, and yet the Father of two daughters, and an accessary to a murder. [5] He seems to have claimed something in Dinthill, for in September 1257 he has a writ of novel disseizin against William de Dunthull for a tenement in Dunthull. Again, a Writ of August 8, 1270, gives Giles de Norfolk and Alice his wife as having a similar suit against William de Dintehill.

All that I can collect further of Dinthill is as an estate of Lilleshall Abbey, and has been given under Preston Montford.


Recordin Hundred.

THIS was the largest of the Domesday Hundreds of Shropshire. When, in the time of King Henry I., the Domesday Hundreds were rearranged, those of Recordin and Odenet were in some sort combined, and went mainly to form the modern Hundred of Bradford.

Such was the general aspect of the rearrangement; but there were some deviations at the time and some have been added since: so that Bradford Hundred does not strictly represent the combined Hundreds of Recordin and Odenet. For instance,- Bradford Hundred contains the following Manors which were in the Domesday Hundred of Bascherch, viz. Moreton Corbet, and that part of Preston Brockhurst which is in Moreton Corbet Parish. Bradford Hundred also contains Cheswardine, which at Domesday was in Staffordshire, and Buildwas, which was in the Shropshire Hundred of Conodovre.

On the other hand, the following were in Recordin, but are no longer in Bradford Hundred, viz. Albrightlee, Longner, Monkmoor (once a member of Uffington), and Pimley (once probably a member of Upton Magna).

It will be seen by the foregoing Table that the modern division of Bradford Hundred into "Bradford North", and "Bradford South", is far from a reproduction of the old distinction between the Hundreds of Odenet and Recordin.

The same observation will recur when I come to classify the

[2] This is Preston Gubbalds, not Preston Montford.
[3] Assizes, 5 John, m. 4 dorso.
[4] Ibidem, m. 5 recto.
[5] Vol. I. pp. 378-9, Vol. III. p. 108 n., and Vol. IV. pp. 323, 337-8.


[For table, see Recordin]


Manors of Odenet Hundred in a similar Table. Then, also, I shall hope to give some account of the Ferm and Jurisdiction of Bradford Hundred, as a whole, and during the first two centuries of its corporate existence.

I may here state that the name Bradford was derived from a vill in the Manor of High Ercall, which has long been destroyed. The caput of this vast Hundred having thus been a member of High Ercall, and High Ercall having been a seat of the Newports, the Newports very appropriately selected Bradford as the Title of their Earldom in the seventeenth century.

In the annexed Table of Recordin Hundred, two liberties have been taken with the letter of Domesday.-

1. The Manor of Cerlecote, which the Record places in Recordin Hundred, [1] is not accounted so to have been. I have elsewhere identified it with Charlcott, and assigned it to its undoubted Hundred,- Alnodestreu. [2]

2. The Manor of Cerletone, in respect of a hide thereof, which the Record places in Culvestan Hundred, [3] is, as I have elsewhere explained, erroneously so placed. [4] Charlton, near Shawbury (the Manor in question), is now lost, but was a divided Manor. Part of it was declaredly in Recordin Hundred. The other part (that which is misplaced in Domesday) was perhaps in Bascherch Hundred, which came up close to Shawbury. I have, however, preferred to consider both parts as in Recordin hundred, because they were subsequently united in one Manor, and that Manor was probably in Bradford Hundred.

In several instances I have found it more or less difficult to assign the Modern representatives of Recordin Manors. Such questions of identity I will discuss more fully under the Manors themselves.

Upton Magna.

WHEN Earl Roger de Montgomery divided the rich Manors of Recordin Hundred among his Barons, he allotted the largest share to

[1] Domesday, fo. 258, b, 1.
[2] Supra, Vol. I. pp. 24, 151-2.
[3] Domesday, fo. 253, a, 1.
[4] Supra, Vol. V. p. 1.


his Sheriff,- Warin. Of the ten Manors, thus bestowed on one individual, in one Hundred, Upton Magna was the largest; and the history of Upton Magna happens to be so interwoven vrith the history of the early Sheriffs of Shropshire that I must needs take the two things in conjunction. Here manorial details become mere accessories of a greater subject. We are to speak not so much of the ancient Lords of Upton Magna as of the-


There is no institution in which the patrician genius of the Normans is so contrasted with the utilitarianism of the Anglo-Saxons as that of the Shrievalty. The Norman Vicomtes were provincial Ministers, nobly commissioned, highly trusted, and munificently rewarded. An English Sheriff fills an office as thankless as it is unlaborious, as involuntary as it is irresponsible,- unless indeed it be accounted a responsibility that certain costs of executive administration should be periodically discharged by an individual. Again, as to the duration of office;- the annual change of English Sheriffs is well known as a matter of the merest routine; but the Vicomte of the Normans was the subject of no periodical appointment. It was not even limited to the life of an individual, but, with all its contingencies of wealth and power, it descended to his heirs. Such was the Shrievalty which Roger de Montgomery, first Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, designed to found in Shropshire. Small likelihood was there indeed that the Earl would affect to remodel the Norman Institution. He himself was hereditaly Vicomte of the Norman Oximin. Right competent to estimate the toils and to apportion the emoluments of such an office, he endowed the Shrievalty of Shropshire with a Fief which stamped its possessor at once, as the second man in the County;- as the genuine Vicecomes, or Prime Minister of the Comes. Besides several Manors in Sussex, Warwickshire, and Staffordshire, more than seventy Manors in Shropshire were thus attached to the Shrievalty of the last-named County.

WARIN, surnamed THE BALD, first Norman Sheriff of Shropshire, was doubtless selected for that post on account of his qualifications. He was further honoured with the hand of the Earl's niece, Amieria. Ordericus, who as a boy must, have frequently seen the Sheriff Warin, naturally describes his personal appearance with some minuteness, but speaks more generally of his reputed abilities and of the results of his administration. The Historian, describing the


character and policy of the Earl, devotes but one sentence to his appointment of a Sheriff. Warino autem Calvo, corpore parvo, sed animo magno, Amieriam neptem suam, et praesidatum Scrobesburie dedit; per quem Guallos aliosque adversantes fortiter oppressit, et provinciam totam sibi commissam pacificavit. [1]

To extinguish the last struggles of Saxon nationality in the West, and to fasten the Borders of Shropshire up to and beyond the site of Montgomery;- these were the results of Warin's lieutenancy, probably alluded to by Ordericus, and fully established by the testimony of Domesday.

A Charter of Earl Roger to St. Evroult of Uticum mentions Guarin Vicecomes among those Vassals of his who had benefited that Monastery by grants in England and in Normandy. Ordericus, himself afterwards a Monk of Uticum, recites the Earl's Charter. [2]

We have further a Charter of William the Conqueror, to the same House of St. Evroul, which bears most directly on our present subject. It is dated at Winchester in 1081. Guarinus Vicecomes de Scrobesburia is one of its witnesses, and his specific grants to St. Evroul are enumerated. He had given Neuton to that House; he had given the Church of Halis with the tithes of that Manor; he had given the tithes of Guestona in Estafordescire;- and these gifts, his Lord, Earl Roger, had allowed. [3]

Again, when, on February 24, 1083, Earl Roger had made up his mind to the Foundation of Shrewsbury Abbey, he communicated his design to Guerin Vicecomes, to Picot de Sai, and to his other Nobles. The plan was approved of by all, and Guerin was in the same year actively assisting the first Monks of Shrewsbury in the construction of their Conventual Buildings. [4] This too we learn from Ordericus, who at the very time was a schoolboy in that Suburb of Shrewsbury now known as the Abbey Foregate. This truthful and earnest Historian tells us no more about Warin Vicecomes. Whatever can be further collected on the subject must be looked for in the Chartulary of Shrewsbury Abbey, and in Domesday; for if we listen to the statements of Dugdale and other writers, we shall be perplexed rather than enlightened. In fact Warin the Sheriff is to this day identified by many with Warin de Metz, the ancestor of the Fitz Warins,- a person who lived thirty years later, and whose Shropshire Fief, so far from involving the seventy Manors which

[1] Ordericus (Paris Ed. 1855), Vol. II. p. 220.
[2] Ordericus (ut supra), p. 414.
[3] Ordericus (ut supra), III. pp. 19-29.
[4] Ordericus (ut supra), III. 420,421.


pertained to the Shrievalty, never comprehended a twentieth part of such a domain.

In the year 1085 (the year in which Domesday was compiled) Warin the Sheriff was dead. His previous grant of Tugford to Shrewsbury. Abbey has already been fully discussed. [5] Of the only two passages in which Domesday makes direct mention of Warin, this passage which treats of Tugford is one.

The Church and Tithes of Berrington constituted another of Warin's alleged grants to Shrewsbury Abbey. This is confirmed, as I have shown under Berrington, by a series of Charters, and by the indirect evidence of Domesday.

Earl Roger's Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey, passing within ten years of Warin's death, recites other grants of his to that House. These were the tithes of Oppeton (Upton Magna),- the Church and tithes of Mutla (Middle),- the Church and tithes of St. Oswald (usually supposed to be Oswestry),- and a house in the marketplace of the city (Shrewsbury), wherewith to provide lights to burn before the Altar of the Innocents (in the Abbey Church). These grants, if made by Warin, were probably of a testamentary character. Domesday corroborates no one of them, and other Charters of the Abbey assign them variously to Warin's successors;- but all this does not determine the question of their truth, for Domesday does not necessarily speak of the appropriation of tithes or Churches, and we know that Charters, which were only confirmatory, often assumed the form of initiatory grants.

Warin, at his death, left his wife, Amieria, surviving. He also left a son and heir, Hugh, and at least one other child. Hugh, son of Warin, was evidently a Minor at the time of Domesday, and Amieria having taken a second husband, Rainald, the latter appears in Domesday as Vicecomes of Shropshire, and as holding every Manor, whether in Shropshire or elsewhere, which pertained to that Honour. The question whether Rainald held the Shrievalty in jure uxoris or by appointment of the Earl, during the minority of Hugh, it is perhaps impossible to determine. The only recorded act of Amieria, during her short widowhood, is a grant to Shrewsbury Abbey out of her dower, and not out of her fee. The inference from this would be, that she was not regarded as Vicomtesse of Shropshire in her own right, and so, that Rainald obtained the Honour independently of her. The grant in question was as follows. - "After her husband's death, she gave for his soul a house which

[5] Supra, Vol. IV. p. 80.


she had in Shrewsbury, of her own proper dower, her children conceding the grant. She covenanted that she herself, living in the said house (as tenant to the Abbey), should provide candles (ceram) to light the Church through every night of the whole year".

RAINALD, second Sheriff of Shropshire, with whom my narrative should now proceed, has not been made the subject of any such unintentional mistakes as have befallen the history of his predecessor. The truth is that the better class of Antiquaries have failed to discover who he really was, and so have been properly cautious as to what they said about him. On the other hand certain less wary and more ignorant Heralds, intent upon heading a genealogy with a good name, have fixed upon his without any apparent fear of detection. I cannot regret being able to expose their presumption.-

In the Norman Diocese of Seez, on the Eastern verge of the great Forest of Gouffern, was the Town of Oximae or Exmes, the caput of Roger de Montgomery's Vicomte of the Oximin. About ten miles North-west of Exmes, and within the Forest of Gouffern, was the Bourg of Bailleul, usually called Bailleul-en-Gouffern, to distinguish it from another Bailleul.

About the same distance North-east of Exmes was the Monastery of St. Evroult-en-Ouche, or St. Ebrulf of Uticum, where Ordericus wrote his history and ended his days. Bailleul-en-Gouffern was a Fief which that Rainald, of whom we are speaking, held under Roger de Montgomery, when he was called to fill the more important position of Sheriff of Shropshire. The identity of Raynaldus Vicecomes of Domesday, with Renaud de Bailleul, being thus premised, I proceed to give a chronological account of the individual in question.- He appears in the Shropshire Domesday, generally as Raynaldus Vicecomes, but in one or two instances he is called merely Rainaldus. Among the seventy Manors which are consecutively mentioned as in his tenure, Upton Magna was one. Domesday describes it as follows.- "The same Rainaldus (Vicecomes) holds Uptune (of the Earl). Seuuard held it in the time of King Edward. Here are five hides, geldable. In demesne there are III ox-teams, and (there are) VII Serfs, XXV Villains, and one Free-man with XII ox-teams; and VIII teams might be here in addition. Here is a Mill of 16s. (annual value), and a Fishery rendering what it is able, and half a league of wood. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 10. (per annum). Now it is worth 7". [6]

The Staffordshire Domesday, in one place, enters Rainaldus as

[6] Domesday, fo. 254, b, 2.


holding three Manors under the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury. One of these Manors is Halas (now Sheriff Hales), the very Manor whose Church and tithes we have seen given to St. Evroult of Uticum by Rainald's predecessor, Warin. One line of the Domesday entry under Hales I must quote.- "In this Vill", says the Record, "St. Ebrulf hath one ox-team; with a Priest who has two oxen". [7]

Another Chapter of the Staffordshire Domesday gives Rainald Bailgiole as holding four Manors, not of Earl Roger, but of the King, in capite. [8] Two of these Manors are Westone and Niwetone, assuredly that very Gueston, whose tithes Warin Vicecomes has been shown to have granted to St. Evroult, and that very Neuton, which he is said to have granted wholly to that House. It is true that Domesday verifies neither of these grants, and we have other evidence that they never took effect, for Weston-under-Lizard and Newton, near Blithefield, continued for ages appurtenances of the Barony, held by Rainald's successors, and without any appearance of St. Ebrulf having an interest in either. The probability is that, though William the Conqueror's Charter of 1081 had allowed Warin's grants in Weston and Newton, they were disallowed before Domesday;- for they had been allowed under the erroneous impression that these places were part of the Fief held by Warin under the Norman Earl (whose consent had been obtained), whereas they were held immediately of the King, whose consent to the primary grant had never been asked.

Domesday further mentions three Manors in Sussex held by Rainaldus under Earl Roger. [9] Of these I name one, viz. Stoches, with a view to a future question, rather than to any present remark.

In Warwickshire, Rainaldus held four Manors under the same Earl. It will be at present sufficient to name them. They were Stratone, Uluricetone, Leileforde, and Ulvestone. [10]

Immediately after Domesday we have Raynald Bailial, as his name is written, attesting an exchange between Earl Roger and Wenlock Priory. [11]

Within ten years after this, Earl Roger expedited his General Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey. Rainald's name is twice mentioned therein. As a witness, he follows Richard de Belmeis, but precedes

[7] Domesday, fo. 248, a, 1.
[8] Ibidem, fo. 250, b, 1.
[9] Domesday, fo. 24, b, 2.
[10] Domesday, fo. 239, a, 2. The places are Stretton-super-Dunsmore, Woolston, Church Lawford, and Woolston (the latter being a divided Manor).
[11] Supra, Vol. I. p. 109.


the two Fitz Corbets; his name being given as Reinald de Bailloc. As Reinald, brother of Guarin Vicecontes, the Charter mentions and confirms his grant of Lega (Lee, near Ellesmere) to the Abbey. Before I follow the different notices of Rainald in the Shrewsbury Chartulary, it will be better to state that where he is called Brother of Guarin, the term only means Brother-in- law, or rather, husband of Warin's Widow. Thus the Charter of King William II., after enumerating Warin's grants in Tugford, Upton Magna, and Berrington, adds,- Rainaldus frater ipsius Warini dedit eis villam quae dicitur Lega.

I have already denounced one of Earl Hugh's alleged Charters to Shrewsbury Abbey as a fabrication. [12] Its falsity is nowhere more apparent than where it instances the following grants as if made out of the Earl's demesne, viz. decimam dominii de Optona (Upton Magna is meant), et de Prestona Supra (Preston-super-Severn, now Preston Boats, is meant), et decimam dominii de Oswaldestre (Oswestry is meant), et de Nesse (Little Ness), et de Mulde (Middle).

Earl Hugh's less suspicious Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey mentions (inter alia) two-thirds of the demesne tithes of Nesse and of Optone as having been given by Warin Vicecomes; but this Charter does not mention Rainald at all.

Earl Hugh's undoubted Charter to the same Abbey is not conversant with territory or tithes, but one version of the document names the following among those who were present at the transaction. These were Richard de Belmeis, Rothbert Vicecomes (probably Robert fitz Tetbald, Sheriff of Sussex), Rainaldus Vicecomes, and Fulco Vicecomes (Under-Sheriff, I think, to Rainald).

Henry I.'s Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey passed in 1121, but its retrospect of the grants of the Norman Sheriffs claims attention. It attributes to Warin Vicecomes grants, already noticed, in Tugford and Berrington; but adds, in reference to his other grant of the tithes of Obton, that the Church (meaning the original Church of St. Peter at Shrewsbury) had always had those tithes from the time of King Edward. To Rainadus, Warin's brother, this Charter further attributes the grant of Lega. Lastly, it says that "Rainald, who, after the death of Warin, received the wife of Warin, together with his Honour, and Hugh, son of the same Warin, gave to the Abbey the Church of St. Oswald, the Church of Muthla, the tithes of Nesse, and the tithes of Seraordina;- Earl Hugh conceding, and, with many others, giving his testimony to the said grant". The

[12] Supra, Vol I. p. 33, note 12.


question as to who really originated all these grants, and the evidence as to their permanence, will properly belong to the localities themselves. We have recited enough of them for our present purpose, which is to show that Rainald de Bailleul remained during the time of Earl Hugh (1194-1198) the acknowledged Successor of Warin, but that, at the same time, the consent of Hugh, Warin's heir, was adhibited to Rainald's territorial dealings.

I now recur to Normandy, where we find Earl Roger, between the years 1086 and 1094, expediting a Charter to St. Evroult of Uticum. The said Charter has this important passage.- "Moreover I, for the love of God, concede the Altar of St. Leonard in the Church of Bailol, and one part of the tithe of that vill, together with the land which Rainald de Bailal and Amieria his wife, my niece, have given by their proper gift". This Charter was cotemporarily signed by the Earl himself, and afterwards subscribed at Alencon by his sons Robert and Hugh; by Rodbert fitz Tedbald and his son Hugh; by Hugh filius Turgini; by Rainald de Baillol himself;- and by William Pantulf; [13]- all of whom are more or less associated with Shropshire History.

It is extraordinary that Ordericus, who must have known every particular of Earl Robert de Belesme's rebellion in 1102, tells us nothing of the conduct or sympathies of the greatest of the Earl's Vassals, the Sheriff of Shropshire. This is still more extraordinary if we consider that Renaud de Baileul's Norman estates were not far distant from the Monastery of St. Evroult, where Ordericus was at the time domiciled. It is evident that this silence of Ordericus was not intended to shield the reputation of any partisan of Belesme, for the Earl himself is stigmatized, in no measured terms, by the Historian. The inference is, that the Sheriff took the safer but less conspicuous part, and sided with King Henry. This general conclusion, drawn from the silence of Ordericus, is backed by a particular inference drawn from the Welsh Chronicles, and which I have already discussed, [14] viz. that Rayner, being the King's Lieutenant in Shropshire at the close of the year 1102, and, so after Belesme's expulsion, was then confidentially employed by Henry I. in the affairs of the Border. I have further given reasons for thinking that this was Reyner's (or Rainald's) last official act as Sheriff of Shropshire, and that his Shrievalty at once merged into the Vice-royalty of Richard de Belmeis. [15]

The almost total absence of direct evidence obliges me to leave it

[13] Ordericus, Vol. II. pp. 414, 415.
[14] [15] Supra, Vol. II. pp. 193, 194.


a question as to how, or why, Rainald ceded his Shropshire Fief as well as his office. That he incurred no forfeiture is nearly certain; that he was living many years after his connection with Shropshire had ceased, is still more clear. The only inference that remains, seems to be, that Hugh, son of Warin, was now (1102) old enough to succeed to his paternal inheritance, though not to the duties of his office. Again, one scrap of evidence is all that bears directly upon this complicated question. A monastic Charter tells us that a subsequent Sheriff "received Warin's honour after Warin's son". We cannot escape the conclusion that Warin's son (probably Hugh) did at some time obtain livery of his Father's lands. I suppose then, on the whole, that this succession took place about 1102-3, and I infer, from subsequent events hereafter to be stated, that the said Hugh died very shortly, and without issue.

I will, before I enter upon the question of Hugh fitz Warin's successor, relate what I have gathered of the ulterior career of Renaud de Baileul. The narrative of Ordericus supplies no internal means for dating a Norman expedition which he describes as having been undertaken by the Comte de Perche against the Moors of Spain. [16] The most signal successes attended the Christian arms, and several persons, both Norman and French, decided upon settling in Spain; "but", says the Historian, "Rainald de Bailol, and many others went back to their native land, preferring their hereditary possessions to foreign acquisitions". The marginal dates given in the best Edition of Ordericus would fix these events in the year 1114, but Mariana, the Spanish Historian, relates the events of, I think, this same Crusade with great minuteness, and unless there were two crusades, it would seem that the year 1118 was the true date of the Christian successes. [l7]

It appears, from another passage of Ordericus, that in the Spring of 1119 the inhabitants of Curceium [18] and the Oximin, opining that the Normans were generally favourable to the cause of the King's Nephew, the son of Courte-heuse, determined to espouse it. The King appears to have been at Falaise, and Rainald de Bailol attendant at the Court. The King, suspecting his loyalty, seems to have demanded the surrender of his Castle or Stronghold,- Le Chteau Renouard. [19] The Borderer gave a haughty refusal, renounced his

[16] Ordericus, (ut supra), Vol. V. p. 7.
[17] Historia de Espania (Ed. 1678), Tom. I. lib. x. cap. x. pp. 348 et segq.
[18] Courci sur Dive,- near Falaise.
[19] Situated apparently in the Department of Orne, Arrondissement of Argentan, and Canton of Vimoutier.


fealty to the King, and quitted Falaise. The King had declined to take measures for his arrest whilst at Court, but as soon as he was gone, called out the Royal body-guard, and arrived that same evening at Chateau Renouard, almost as soon as its Master. Next morning Rainald surrendered the Fortress (lapideam domum) with all its stores; and the King burnt it to the ground. The measure stifled the incipient rebellion of that district;- but we hear no more of Renaud de Bailleul. [20] This man, however, whose Fief, while yet he remained in England, was vast enough to grace any Earldom,- whose after-fame, as a Crusader, was of European rather than provincial stature,- whose prestige or whose pride was so great as that he dared to confront the ablest Monarch of the age in his own Court,- this man has received no better treatment at the hands of our Antiquaries and Heralds than that his name should figure at the head of two respectable county pedigrees. [21]

I here close my account of the Norman Sheriffs of Shropshire, but before I commence that of their Successors in land and office, I must once more mark the twofold distinction between the Sheriff-in-fee and the Viceroy on the one hand, and the Sheriff-in-fee and the Deputy-Sheriff on the other. Thus, in the first ten years of the twelfth century we have the Viceroy, Belmeis, called Vicecomes, and we have the Deputy, Fulcuius, called Vicecomes; but the Sheriff-in-fee was first Rainald, then perhaps Hugh son of Warin, and thirdly Alan fitz Flaald. These three, or at least the first and last of them, successively held the Sheriff's Fief, and were called Vicecomites, whatever may have been their official duties.

Passing over Hugh son of Warin, of whom I have said all that I can learn, I must give a distinct Chapter to-


as the next declared and evident occupant of the Fief which Rainald Vicecomes held at Domesday. The first question is as to who this Alan fitz Flaald was. That he was Progenitor not only of the great House of Fitz Alan, but of the Royal line of Stuart, is beyond doubt, but that fact constitutes per se no part of his own

[20] In the next generation, Hameline, nephew of Raynald de Balloil, was a grantor to St. Evroult, and Rozceline de Baillol attests his grant. (Ordericus, Appendix to Vol. V. p. 194.)
[21] A Pedigree by Henry Lily, Rouge-Rose Herald, makes Rainald de Balliole, Lord of Weston, to have been Ancestor of the Westons of Weston-under-Lizard. Other Heraldic Pedigrees make Rainald, the Domesday Sheriff of Shropshire, to have been father of one Hugh de Le, and so Ancestor of the Lees of Lea Hall, Roden, Langley, Coton, etc.


antecedents. However, Scottish Histories and English Legends declare that the Stuarts were descended from Banquo, Thane of Lochaber,- the victim of King Macbeth: and whereas the first Steward of Scotland, if not Alan fitz Flaald himself, was a son of Alan fitz Flaald, it follows either that Alan fitz Flaald was the said Banquo's descendant, or else that those declarations are false.

Before I enter upon the intricate investigation which now pre-sents itself, I must discharge the subject of certain previous mistakes, which if allowed to remain will encumber it with some such chrono-logical difficulties as usually pave the way to wild conjecture and double error.

"In the time of William the Conqueror", says Dugdale, "Alan, the son of Flathald (or Flaald), obtained by the gift of that king, the Castle of Oswaldster, with the tenitory adjoining, which belonged to Meredith ap Blethyn, a Britton".

This statement seems to have been originally derived from the "Fitz Warine Chronicle", which (purporting to give an account of William the Conqueror's visit to Wales and disposal of the Marches) says that the king "came to a country joining to the White Laund" (the district about Whittington is meant) "which belonged formerly to a Briton, Meredus son of Beledins; and besides it is a little castle which is called the Tree of Oswald; but now it is called Osewaldestre. The king called a knight, Alan Fitz Flaeu, and gave him the little castle with all the honour appertaining to it; and from this Alan came all the great lords of England who have the surname of Fitz Alan. Subsequently this Alan caused the castle to be much enlarged". [22]

John Leland, abridging another version of this same metrical romance, says- "Alane Fleilsone had gyven to hym Oswaldestre". [23]

The particulars thus asserted require some observation.- In the first place William the Conqueror's only visit to Wales was in A.D. 1081;- earlier rather than later. Domesday (compiled five years after that date) says not a word about Oswestry, under that name. It gives, however, a full account of all the manors in the district; and a brief comparison with later documents will show that Rainald, Sheriff of Shropshire, was then holding all the lands in that quarter which were subsequently held by Fitz Alan. The Shropshire Domesday, moreover, makes no mention of Alan fitz Flaald, either under that or any similar name. There is, in short, no coeval mention of such a person in Shropshire till the reign of Henry I.

[22] Fitz Warin Chronicle, pp. 13, 14.
[23] Collectanea, Vol. I. p. 261.


In the next place Meredyth ap Blethyn, whose era one would fix from the above as earlier than the visit of William the Conqueror, was a Prince of North Wales at the very time. The death of his father, Blethyn ap Convyn, was in 1073. Meredyth did not succeed him as King of North Wales, nor as anything more than Prince of Powis Land. He died in 1133. Whether Madoc ap Meredyth, his son, is truly said by the Welsh Chronicles to have first built Oswestry Castle, in 1148, is a question on which I will not enter here.

Dugdale further relates how "Alan fitz Flaald married the daughter and heir of Warine, Sheriff of Shropshire, and had in her right the Barony of the said Warine".-

That Alan fitz Flaald had Warine's barony is true, but that it was after the era of Rainald the Sheriff, Warine's successor, we have seen. Moreover, the documents to which Dugdale refers in proof of the alleged marriage, prove nothing of the kind. I discredit this supposed match altogether; and for three reasons:- 1st. Because it is nowhere authentically announced. 2ndly. Because, if it had taken place, there are authentic documents which traverse the very ground in which it would have constituted an important fact, and yet these documents say nothing about it. 3rdly. Because there are good reasons for thinking that Alan fitz Flaald's only wife was another person than any supposed daughter of Warine, Sheriff of Shropshire.

Another story has yet to be told and contradicted. The Fitz Alans held a considerable fief in Norfolk, the tenure of which was made matter of report by a provincial jury in the year 1275. These Jurors said that, "Melam (Mileham) with its appurtenances, was in the hand of William the Bastard at the Conquest, and the said King gave the said manor to a certain knight, who was called Flancus, who came with the said King into England; and afterward the said manor (descended) from heir to heir till (it came) to John fitz Alan, now (1275) in the King's custody". [24]

There was, therefore, a Norfolk tradition, the counterpart of that current in Shropshire, except that it made Flancus, or Flaald, the feoffee of the Conqueror, and not his son Alan. We will examine this tradition by the same test as the last. The honour of Mileham, with its adjuncts, as subsequently held by Fitz Alan, is readily identified in the Norfolk Domesday. It had belonged to Archbishop

[24] Rot. Hundred. I. 434. The Jurors made a mistake ss to the name of the Minor then in custody. It was certainly Richard.


Stigand (deprived in 1070), and was then (1085-6) in the King's hand, William Noiers having custody thereof. Neither in Mileham itself, nor in any of its adjuncts, does the name Flancus, or aught associable therewith, occur. After the completion of Domesday, William the Conqueror passed so little of his remaining life in England, that it would be idle to attribute his alleged feoffment of Flancus to that brief interval.

Having now got rid of certain traditions about Flaald and his son Alan, as untrue in each essential particular, we pass to certain other traditions, which only relate to those persons by implication, which are also inaccurate in many points, but which may possibly contain a germ of truth well worth searching for.

Shakespeare knew of a legend which made Banquo ancestor of the Stuarts. The story in his hands became a matter of world-wide fame. We attend first, therefore, to his, as to the most known version thereof, and we must attend with caution. The fundamental study of the dramatist is the human mind, its motives, its workings, and its passions: his art is to exhibit those principles in appropriate though imaginary action. With the historian it is otherwise. His knowledge should be primarily that of actions themselves; from these, well and honestly investigated, he will infer or suggest what were the characters and motives of the actors.

When Shakespeare sought in a remote and obscure period of Scottish story the materials of a drama which was to exhibit, in one phase, his consummate knowledge of the human heart, no secondary considerations were suffered to interfere with his engrossing purpose. Among adjuncts altogether subsidiary to the main object, we trace rather the flattery of a courtier than the accuracy of an historian. Waiting on the smiles of royalty, Shakespeare was by no means careful to memorialize the circumstance that when Macbeth rebelled against and slew King Duncan, Banquo, Thane of Lochaber, was of Macbeth's party; but Shakespeare did not omit another matter of tradition, viz. that this same Banquo was progenitor of the Royal House which at length occupied the throne of England. The existence of this legend being established, Shakespeare's personal belief therein, or particular use thereof, are no longer matters for our consideration. We proceed to present it in its other forms, [25] accompanied by such external tests of date and circumstance as remain for our guidance.-

[25] For the best version of this tradition I depend on the following authorities.- Powers History of Wales (Edition of 1811, page 73) contains an abstract thereof compiled apparently from Holinshed and from the Scotch historians, Hector Boece and George Buchanan, who both wrote in the first half of the XVIth century.

Robert Wells, alias Stewarde, last Prior and first Dean of Ely, being a vain man (homo ventosus) and proud of his ancestry, compiled in the year 1522, a genealogy of the Stuarts. It is printed by Wharton in the Anglia Sacra (Vol. I. p. 686). The author, who was really a Stuart, surrendered Ely Priory Nov. 18, 1539, and being a great promoter of the Dissolution, was appointed dean of the same cathedral by Henry VIII. on Sept. 10, 1541. He died Dec. 23, 1557. Among the armorial insignia attached to this genealogy, is the ancient Stuart coat- Arg. a fesse cheque, az. and arg.


Macbeth reigned in Scotland about seventeen years, viz. from 1039-40 to 1056-7. A date varying between the years 1048 and 1053 is assigned for the period when Macbeth, suspecting that certain of his subjects were plotting the restoration of Malcolm Canmore (eldest son of Duncan), endeavoured to fortify his throne by confiscations, imprisonments, and executions. Some nobles, more fortunate than the rest, fled the kingdom, and awaited in foreign countries the turn of events. Of those who perished by the axe or the dagger was probably Banquo, Thane of Lochaber; of those who escaped, was Fleance, Banquo's son. He sought the protection of the king or prince of North Wales,- Trahern ap Caradoc, says one account; Gruffyth ap Lewellyn, says another. We must adopt the latter, whose era (1037-1063) is entirely consistent with the facts above stated, whereas Trahern ap Caradoc did not succeed to the throne of North Wales till 1073, i.e. seventeen years after Malcolm Canmore had been restored to that of Scotland.

As the guest then of Gruffyth ap Lewellyn, Fleance secretly became either the husband or the paramour of his protector's daughter, a deception or a crime for which he atoned with his life. The issue of this alliance, doubly ill-fated if, as it is said, the Welsh princess died in prison, was a son whom I find called Walter in both versions of this tradition, but whom I shall here call only Son of Fleance.

It does not appear where the Son of Fleance was brought up: it was "in the country", says one authority, by which, I presume, is meant, not in the Welsh Court. He was, says the same authority, in his eighteenth year when some Welshman having insulted him with the supposed illegitimacy of his birth, he slew the over-curious genealogist, and was obliged to fly the country. Naturally enough he returned to Scotland, where Malcolm Canmore was at length reigning. The period of his return can be ascertained by a circumstance given. It was, says the legend, at the time when "Queen Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling, sought refuge there with many


English". Though Margaret's royalty is here somewhat anticipated, the event alluded to, and its date, are obvious enough. It was in the summer of 1067 that Edgar Atheling, his mother, and two sisters, with many Saxons, left England to the triumphant Norman, and placed themselves under the protection of Malcolm, who soon afterwards married Margaret, the elder of the said sisters.

The Son of Fleance then, born about 1050, and returning to Scotland in 1067, is said to have soon distinguished himself in the service of Malcolm, who knighted him, gave him lands, and made him Seneschal, or Steward, of Scotland.-

Of the which office, says one authority, [26] he and his posteritie reteined that sername of Steward ever after, from whom descended the most noble kings of Scotland of the family of Stewards, besides many other Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, and Barons, of great fame and renowne.

My second authority, after a similar flourish, ends his account of the son of Fleance, whom he calls Walter throughout, by saying that he died about the forty-second year of his age (constructively then about 1091), and left a son Alan. [27]

"Alan Seneschal, or Stuart", continues this writer, "was also a famous knight. He performed great things in the Holy Land under the standard of Godfrey of Bouillon" (the crusade of 1096-1099 must be here intended). "He demeaned himself bravely against Stephen, King of England, at Abarton". (The battle of Alverton, otherwise called the Battle of the Standard, must be the event alluded to. It was fought on August 22, 1138. No Alan of this family can have been present thereat.) The same writer proceeds to give Alan a son, Alexander, whom he makes to have been founder of Paisley; but we happen to know that Paisley was founded in or about 1163, by Walter Fitz Alan, Steward of Scotland, whom this author altogether excludes from his proper place in the genealogy. In fact the known descent of the earlier Stuarts is quite irreconcilable with this part of the account which I have quoted, and which we may here dismiss, having better authorities to depend upon than those which, at the best, were merely legendary.

Before, however, we can compare the Scottish legends with the English accounts of the origin of the Stuarts, the latter must be collected and arranged, for at present they exist in only a fragmentary form. To this business I now address myself.-

[26] Powel, ut supra.
[27] Robert Stewarde, ut supra.


It is well known how Henry I. endeavoured to strengthen his hold on a sceptre, to which his title was doubtful. His uniform policy was to create a new aristocracy, unconnected with that older one with which Domesday acquaints us.

This policy had a double result. It secured to himself, and his daughter after him, the steadfast loyalty of a small but able band of chieftains; but it alienated the affections of the nobility created by his father, which underrated the new favourites, and in the sequel adhered generally to the usurper Stephen.

Further, it is not probable, nay in some instances we know the contrary, that Henry selected his favourites from among the Normans. Foreigners, or men whose origin was unknown or problematical, were preferred. Such, in Shropshire, were Warin de Metz, a Lorrainer, the three Peverels, and, greatest of all, Alan son of Flaald.

King Henry had occupied the throne of England about three months, when (on Nov. 11, 1100) Matilda, daughter of that Malcolm and Margaret, of whom we have spoken, became his queen.

The first mention which I can find of Alan Fitz Flaald belongs to the year following. On September 3, 1101, the King was holding a great court at Windsor. A charter, which he granted to Herbert, Bishop of Norwich, is attested by Alan Fitz Flaald (whose name, however, is printed as Alan Fitz Harald). The charter designates the witnesses as the "illustrious of England, ecclesiastical and secular", and the list (headed by Queen Matilda) warrants the description. Alan Fitz Harald's name occupies no mean position thereon. It stands before those of Gilbert and Roger Fitz Richard, of Robert Malet, and of Herbert, the King's chamberlain. [28]

The charter by which Herbert, Bishop of Norwich, founded the cathedral priory of his See, passed on this same occasion. It is attested by the King and Queen, and by a set of witnesses who nearly all appear in the King's charter. Among the rest, Alan Fitz Flaald is a subscriber. But this charter contains something still more to our purpose. It confirms the "Church of Langham, which had been Alan's, and his (Alan's) tithes". [29] Now Langham was afterwards a recognized member of Fitz-Alan's Honour of Mileham, from which it was not far distant. Summarily, then, we conclude that Alan Fitz Flaald had acquired a part of his Norfolk fief before September 1101, and had already granted a church and tithes therein towards the endowment of Norwich Priory.

[28] Monasticon, IV. 17, No. V.
[29] Monasticon, IV. 17, No. III.


Continuing to investigate Alan Fitz Flaald's connection with Norfolk, I should point out that Henry I. seems to have been seized in demesne of the Manor of Eaton. Eaton was near Norwich, and so not a member of Mileham. This manor the King gave to Alan Fitz Flaald, and Alan transferred it to Norwich Priory, apparently before November 1109; for that I take to be the date of a charter, whereby Henry I. gives to the said Priory "his (the King's) Manor of Eaton, which Alan Fitz Flahald had before given thereto; and this, with soc and sac and other customs, as the manor was when in the King's demesne". "And hereof", says the King, "I will confirm unto them (the monks) a charter, when Alan shall come to my court". [30] I suppose the King was waiting for some fuller information as to the grant before he gave it a more formal sanction.

Alan Fitz Flaald's interest in Norfolk is further illustrated by his grants to the Priory of Castle Acre, a Cluniac house, whose site and precinct formed the western boundary of his Honour of Mileham. His charter, already printed, [31] I will not here recite, but only remark that Adelina, his wife, is a party thereto; that he gives land at Kameston (Kempston), and "apud Sparlacum" (at Sporle), also three solidates of rent out of his mill of Newton, with other things; and that three of the witnesses to this deed, viz. Ruald le Strange, Gorhannus, and Henry de Pagrave, were probably ancestors of John le Strange, Herbert Fitz Gurant, and William de Pagrave, who held three of the five knights'-fees, which, in 1165, constituted the Norfolk fief of Fitz-Alan. [32]

A confirmation of King Henry I.'s to Castle-Acre, which seems to have passed in 1109, does not include Alan Fitz Flaald's donations, [33] which I therefore take to have been later. He seems to have otherwise benefited this house, and a different confirmation of Henry I., which I have no means of dating, alludes to his further grants. [34]

A grant by William de Bosevill, to the same Priory, conveys the

[30] Monasticon, IV. 17, No. VI.
[31] Monasticon, V. 51, No. IX. Kempston, Sporle, Great and Little Palgrave, Mileham, and Castle Acre, all lie within a circle of less than eight miles in diameter.
[32] Hearse's Liber Niger, I. 142.
[33] Harl. MS. 2110, fo. 112.
[34] Harl. MS. 2110, fo. 112.- Alan Fitz Flaald's interest in some of the places wherein he granted to Castle Acre, was not the sole interest. His grants, too, were afterwards confirmed and augmented by persons whom I cannot make out to have been descended from Alan. One of these, Simon de Norfolc, mentions his "ancestors from the time of Alan Fitz Flaald", speaks of his (Simon's) mother, Avelina, and of the day when he (Simon) acquired (conquisivit) the Honour of Mileham.


church of Newton, and is tested by Alan Fitz Flaald. This grant I believe to have been earlier than 1109. [35]

I should notice parenthetically that the foreign Abbey of St. Florant, near Saumur, on the Loire (diocese of Angers, province of Anjou), had several very ancient cells in England. I here instance Andover (Hampshire), Sele (Sussex), and Sporle (Norfolk), because I can show a connection between Alan Fitz Flaald, or his descendants, and each of these cells.-

Sporle to wit, was near to, if not a member of the honour of Mileham: and its endowments lay chiefly in Alan Fitz Flaald's Norfolk fief, viz. in Great and Little Palgrave, in Dunham Magna, Mileham, Hunstanston, and Holme. [36]

Early in the reign of Henry I., the privileges of their church or cell of Andover being in question, the monks of St. Florant defended the same. An inspeximus of the record, which details the consequent proceedings, calls the said record, by great error, a charter of King William I. Whatever of royal charter is involved in the narrative is by Henry I., and must have passed between 1103-1107, probably in the former year. The royal memorial favours the immunities of the monks of St. Florant. It passed at Storunell, in the New Forest, where the King was probably hunting, and is attested amongst others by Alan Fitz Flaald. [37]

As regards the cell of St. Peter's at Sele, both a son and a grandson of Alan Fitz Flaald were benefactors thereto, as the charter testifies; wherein the grandson (called Jordan, son of Jordan, son of Alan Fitz Flaald) is said to have confirmed the mill of Burton to the Abbey of St. Florant, as his father had previously given it. [38]

The evident connection between the Ancestor of the Fitz-Alans and an Anjovin Monastery possibly points to some fact in their early history; but to me that fact is latent.

I now pass to a much more important and more difficult subject, the connection of Alan Fitz Flaald with Shropshire. We have seen

[35] Ibidem, fo. 23, b.
[36] The foundation of Sporle has been attributed to Henry II., probably because he was an Anjovin. I should suppose it to have been earlier than his day, but little is known about it.
[37] Monasticon, VII.992, No.I. Another attestation of Alan Fitz Flaald's to a charter of Henry I., was at York (Monasticon, VI. 683, No. V.). I can only guess its date as circa 1109.

[38] Dallaway's Sussex, Vol. II. pt. II. p. 225, No. X. The grandson's grant seems to have been in the way of restitution, and to have been made "during the sickness whereof he died, and in the presence of the Archbishop". The original deed, with other Sele charters, is, I presume, in possession of the President and Fellows of St. M. Magdalene Coll., Oxford.


that he must have been enfeoffed in Norfolk before the period of that great Shropshire catastrophe, the forfeiture and exile of Earl Robert de Belesme. We have also seen that the latter event occurred in the autumn of 1102, and that, a month or two later, Rainald, the Domesday sheriff of that county, was apparently unaffected in credit or estate by the fall of his suzerain. [39] Lastly, we have seen a probability that Hugh son of Warin succeeded for a short interval after the cession of Rainald, and died without issue.

Then came the event thus described in the only, but very authoritative document, which touches the question.- "Alanus filius Fladaldi honorem Vicecomitis Warini post filium ejus suscepit". [40]

From these words has arisen the unwarranted statement that Alan fitz Flaald acquired his Shropshire fief by marrying a supposed daughter and eventual heir of Warin. Had it been so, I think the precise and nearly coeval document which I have quoted, would have stated the fact.

My conviction is that Alan fitz Flaald received by a new investiture, and by grant of Henry I., the whole Honour of the Sheriff of Shropshire, whether we call it the Honour of Warin, of Rainald, or of Hugh;- that he so received it during the first ten years of Henry's reign, but under no claim whatever of hereditary right or succession.

This "Honour of the Sheriff" still lay, as it did at Domesday,- chiefly in Shropshire, but involving lands in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Sussex. [41] In three out of these four counties I have now to speak of Alan fitz Flaald's further concern.-

In the autumn of 1109, Henry I. paid a visit to Shropshire. It was during that visit I suppose that the King, Richard (de Belmeis) Bishop of London, Alan fitz Flaald, Hamo Peverel, Roger and Robert Corbet, and Herbert fitz Helgot, attested a judicial decision of the Bishop, which regarded some right of Shrewsbury Abbey. [42]

To the same Abbey, and probably at the same period, "Alan fitz Fladald, with ready devotion, conceded all things which had been bestowed by his predecessors" or by his barons, whether in his time

[39] Supra, Vol. II. pp. 193, 194.
[40] Monasticon, III. 519, col. a.- This document is a narrative of their endowments, drawn up by the monks of Shrewsbury, and confirmed by King Stephen soon after his accession.
[41] Viz. all which Rainaldus, Rainaldus Vicecomes, or Rainaldus Bailiole had held under King or Earl at Domesday.
[42] Salop Chartulary, No. I.
[43] "Antecessoribus" is the word usad, which, if translated "Ancestors" might lead to error. The latter implies hereditary precedence, a meaning which the usage of the time did not attach to the word "antecessores".


or previously". Of this were witnesses Richard Bishop of London, Hamo Peverel, Roger fitz Corbet, and nearly the whole county. [44]

We learn this from a recitatory charter of King Henry I., which passed in 1121. The statement is repeated in Stephen's confirmation (above noticed), with the additional clause about Alan fitz Flaald having received the Honour of Warin.

Confirmations of Henry II. and Henry III. mention and ratify a grant of tithes in Opton (Upton Magna) to Salop Abbey, by Alan Vicecomes. This was doubtless Alan fitz Flaald, but I know of no other instance of his being described by a title, which probably indicated rather his right as of fee, than any active discharge of the office of sheriff. In fact, we know that during the whole of Alan's life the official deputy of Belmeis in Shropshire was Fulcuius.

Dugdale estimated the period of Alan Fitz Flaald's tenure of Wolston, Warwickshire (it was part of the fief of Rainald under Earl Roger at Domesday), to have been as early as the time of the said Earl or one of his sons, that is, as early as the year 1102. [45] In this antiquity of dates, Dugdale was mistaken. Dugdale constructively intimates that Dame Adeliza, who granted in Wolston to Burton Abbey, before the year 1114, was Alan Fitz Flaald's widow, and the mother of that Sibil who, with her husband Roger de Freville, confirmed Dame Adeliza's grant in the year 1132.- Here, I doubt not that Dugdale was right; but it does not at first appear how Dame Adeliza, as a widow, could grant definitely in her husband's fief. That difficulty is solved by a further piece of evidence in the Burton register, viz. that the monks of Burton "redeemed the grant by a payment of six merks to Roger de Freville and Sibil his wife in 1132". [46] I shall say nothing more as to Alan Fitz Flaald's Warwickshire fief, than that it involved the Manor of Stretton super Dunesmore; that that manor had constituted part of Rainald's Domesday fief, and that there Alan Fitz Flaald himself sometime made a specific grant to Burton Abbey.

As succeeding to the shrievalty and estates of Rainald, Alan Fitz Flaald will have been a tenant in the Honour of Arundel. I have,

[44] Salop Chartulary, No. 35.
[45] Dugdale's Warwickshire (Thomas's Edition), Vol. I. p. 33.
[46] Dugdale's MSS. in Bibl. Ashmol., 13 G. i, fo. 529. The same Roger de Freville and Sibil, his wife, also made a grant in Walston to Kenilworth Priory. Dugdale has given us, under Wolston, a tabular statement of their succession, as suggested, not asserted by him. It may help to clear a difficult question if I add that, in 1165, Engelram de Wlfricheston and Hamo Radulfi, held jointly a knight's-fee under Fitz Alan, and that that fee was Wolston. Dugdale's Genealogy takes no notice of these two persons.


however, no notice of his personal concern in Sussex. A Feodary of the Honour of Arundel, which I have elsewhere ascribed to the year 1135, [47] enters this tenure as "Stokes II. milites", without giving the name of the then tenant. [48]

The widow however of Alan Fitz Flaald, called in this instance Avelina, seems to have had part of her dower in these Sussex estates; for William Fitz Alan, her eldest son, granting, between the years 1155 and 1158, the land of "Piperinges" to Haughmond Abbey, added to his grant such rights of common-pasture in the neighbouring vill of Stokes as had been previously enjoyed by "his mother Avelina". [49]

On the whole, therefore, we conclude that Alan Fitz Flaald was enfeoffed by Henry I. in Norfolk, in 1100 or 1101, in Shropshire, etc., after 1102 and before 1109; that he was living in the latter year, but dead in 1114.

His wife and widow, variously called Adelina, Adeliza, or Avelina, perhaps survived him many years. [50] Their marriage must have taken place, as we shall presently see, between 1100 and 1105. Who she was, shall now be our inquiry, and I think that that point can be settled without doubt.

The various fees in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and elsewhere, which formed the Domesday Barony of Ernulf de Hesding, are found in 1165 to be divided among coparceners. A third of this fief, or thereabouts, was then vested in the representatives of Alan Fitz Flaald.

Now, that Ernulf de Hesding, who for his brave defence of Shrewsbury in 1138, was so mercilessly put to death by Stephen, was, as Ordericus informs us, maternal uncle (avunculus) of William Fitz Alan. Therefore William Fitz Alan's mother and Alan Fitz Flaald's wife was Aveline de Hesding, and she was in her issue a co-heiress. [51] These are the undoubted conclusions to be adopted from a mass of difficulties which beset the succession of the Domesday Ernulf de Hesding. With the residue of those difficulties we have nothing here to do. We are content to have demolished the old error, which made the wife of Alan Fitz Flaald a daughter of Warin, sheriff of Shropshire. I proceed now to name the children of Alan Fitz

[47] Supra, Vol. II. p. 202, note.
[48] Liber Niger, I. 65.
[49] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 166.
[50] I also think that she re-married, but my evidence on the point is too much a matter of detail to bring forward.
[51] In 1165, that part of the Barony of Fitz Alan, which lay in Wiltshire, is expressly said to have previously belonged to "Ernulf de Hesdinges " (Liber Niger, I. 145). My idea is, that this Ernulf, being son of him who was hanged by Stephen, had died without issue, and that his estate had devolved on his collateral heirs.


Flaald and his wife Avelina de Hesding. These were William, the heir of both, Walter, Jordan, Sibil, and possibly some others. [52] Of William Fitz Alan, as he was called, I shall speak fully hereafter. I here add, or rather deduce, that he must have been born about 1105; not much later, as his ybunger brother was of age in 1129; not much earlier, otherwise Ordericus could hardly have called him a youth in 1138. [53]

Of Jordan Fitz Alan I have spoken briefly above. It remains to say of him that in the year 1129 and 1130 he seems to have been farming for King Henry I. some royal manor in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire; [54] also in 1130 he was excused his quota of the Danegeld, then assessed on those counties and on Lincolnshire. In Lincolnshire too the sheriff is allowed to deduct 4. 16s. from his yearly ferm in respect of "land of Jordan Fitz Alan"; that is, I presume, land then first granted by the King to the said Jordan. [55]

Of Sibil, married to Roger de Freville, in or before 1132, I have before spoken.


It remains now to treat of Walter Fitz Alan, the undoubted ancestor of the Royal House of Stewart, and therefore the person around whose name some of our previous arguments and some of our future conclusions must assemble as their centre. I shall, in my notice of Haughmond Abbey, show how Walter Fitz Alan attested the earliest grant which his brother William is known to have made to the canons of that house. I shall further exhibit Walter Fitz Alan as in the court of the Empress at Oxford, in the summer of 1141; where also were David, King of Scots, and William Fitz Alan.

Again, a charter of the Empress, made somewhat later to Haughmond, has the attestation of Walter Fitz Alan. So also has a grant of William Fitz Alan to Shrewsbury Abbey, which I cannot date with any certainty, but think it must have passed between

[52] Simon, a brother of Walter Fitz Alan, attests a charter of the latter about 1163. I know nothing further of him with any certainty. He is the reputed ancestor of Boyd, Earl of Errol.
[53] He would then be thirty-three, according to my estimate, and I believe it was the custom of that age to use the term "juvenis" much later than is consistent with our ideas. A singular instance of this occurs with regard to the second William Fitz Alan, son of the person here spoken of. He came of age in 1175; and in 1188 (when he was thirty-four years of age) Giraldus, his guest, calls him "a noble and liberal young man".
[54] Probably Clipston.
[55] Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I. pp. 7, 11, 12, 121, etc.

One of these entries seems to place Jordan Fitz Alan's Lincolnshire estate in "Louendeue Wapentac".


1155 and 1160. [56] Within the same limits of time, William Fitz Alan "invested" his brother Walter in his Sussex Manor of Stoke, [57] and this feoffment must have been over and above those two knight's-fees of new feoffment, which in 1165 Walter Fitz Alan is said to have held in the barony of his nephew. [58] The locality of the latter I cannot determine, except by stating that the Knights Templars held in 1185 a virgate of land in Coneton, which they had originally by gift of Walter Fitz Alan. The place alluded to was undoubtedly in Shropshire, and was perhaps Cound. [59]

This is all that I can say of Walter Fitz Alan, as connected with England. Notwithstanding his re-appearance in this country on his elder brother's restoration (1155), it is quite elear that during the reverses which began to attend the cause of the Empress in 1141, Walter Fitz Alan had taken refuge in the court of her uncle,- David, King of Scots. He attested a grant of that Monarch to Melrose Abbey, which seems to have passed in June, 1142, at Ercheldon. [60] He also attests King David's Charter to May Priory, which is dated at Kyngor, and must have passed between August 1147 and May 1153. [61] Also he attested a Charter of Prince Henry of Scotland to Holm Cultram, [62] which must have passed after the foundation of that house in January 1150, and before the death of the Prince, in May or June 1152. Malcolm IV. ascended the throne of Scotland on May 24, 1153. On June 24, 1157, being at Roxburgh, he expedited a Charter to Walter Fitz Alan, his Seneschal (Dapifero). It confirms to the said Walter and his heirs the donation which King David, the grantor's grandfather, gave him, viz. Renfrew and Passeleth. It also gives to him and his heirs the Royal Seneschalcy, as King David gave the same. [63]

The Scottish Abbey of Paisley, near Renfrew, is said to have been founded in 1163. Its founder was Walter Fitz Alan, and it was colonized with monks from the great Cluniac house of Wenlock, in Shropshire. The latter event is placed, by the Melrose

[56] Salop Chartulary, No. 84.
[57] Harleian MS. 2188, fo. 123.
[58] Liber Niger, I. 144. The Sussex fees of Fitz Alan are not entered in the Liber Niger, that is, not under Fitz Alan's barony. They were no part of Fitz Alan's tenure-in-capite, being held of Albini Earl of Arundel.
[59] Vide supra, Vol. VI. p. 70.
[60] Liber Sanctae Mariae de Melros (Bannatyne Club, p. 4).
[61] Monasticon, IV. 62, i. Ernald, Abbot of Kelso (the flrst witness), did not become so till after August 1147, and King David died May 24, 1153.
[62] Monasticon, V. 594, iii. A search among Scottish Chartularies would, I doubt not, strengthen this evidence.
[63] Douglas's Peerage of Scotland (Wood's edition, 1813), p. 45.


Chronicle in 1169, when it says that "Hunbaudus Prior de Weneloc adduxit conventum apud Paaselet qui est juxta Renfrieu". [64] A charter of the founder is mentioned by a great Shropshire Antiquary, as containing names of several witnesses, which associated their bearers with that county. He instances Robert de Mundegumbi, Robert and Geoffrey de Costentin, Richard Wall and Roger de Nesse. [65]

Walter Fitz Alan, Seneschal of the King of Scotland, was a benefactor also to Melrose Abbey. He granted to that house the lands of Machline in Kyle, about the year 1170, says my authority. His charter seems to be yet in existence. Its seal presents on one side the figure of an "armed Knight on horseback, at full speed; a lance, with pennon, couched in his right hand, and a shield on his left arm". The legend is- Sigillum Walteri filii Alani Dapiferi Reg. The counter-seal presents "a Warrior with a spear in his right hand, leaning against a pillar, and with his left hand holding a horse". [66]

Here then we have another authentic notice of Walter Fitz Alan as Steward, or Seneschal of the King of Scots.

At his death, in 1177, the Melrose Chronicle accords him the same title, as well as commemorates the ties which had bound him to that house.- "Obiit Walterus filius Adam, dapifer Regis Scotiae, familiaris noster, cujus beata anima vivat in gloria", Walter Fitz Alan was succeeded by his son Alan, called Alan Fitz Walter.

He also granted (or confirmed) Machline in Kyle to Melrose Abbey, and apparently early in his life. The seal of his charter has the figure of an "armed knight on horseback, with a sword in his right hand and a shield on his left arm. The legend is as follows,- S'Alain L. Fi. Watir L. Fi. Al. Senescall. Re. Seo.,- which

[64] Vide supra, Vol. III. pp. 234-5.
[65] Blakeway's MSS. Parochial History, Vol. III. Tit. Wenlock.- A better transcript of this charter is in the Paisley Register (Maitland Club, 1832, p. 5). It gives Alan, the grantor's son, Walter and Nigel de Costentin, and Alexander de Hasting (Hesding) as witnesses.-

The Paisley Register strengthens many other points in the above statement. Its amplitude of evidences forbids more than this general reference to a work of great interest, and most consummate editorial skill. The same may be said of the Luber Sanctae Mariae de Melros.
[66] Laing's Scottish Seals, p. 126, Nos. 769, 770, quoting Melrose Charters. See also plate iii, fig. 1. These seals, says Mr. Laing, afford a presumption that as yet the family used no coat armour.

The Charter itself is printed in the Liber de Melros (Bannatyne Club, 1837, p. 55). Its witnesses are Alan the grantor's son, Robert de Costetin, Robert de Montegumeri, Walter Costentin, Richard Wallensis, Adam de Neutun.


I suppose in full is,- Sigillum Alain le Fitz Watir le Fitz Alain Senescali Regis Scotiae". [67]

This same Alan, renouncing at a later period his claims to certain lands in Blenselei, in favour of Melrose Abbey, sealed his charter with a seal which indicates some progress in art as well as fashion. On the knight's shield the remains of a fesse cheque are quite apparent, "and this", says Mr. Laing, "is perhaps the earliest instance of that well-known bearing of the Stuarts". The legend is,- Sigill. Alani filii Walteri. [68] At his death, in 1204, this Alan was succeeded by his son Walter, called Walter fitz Alan.

A confirmation by this Walter to Melrose Abbey, assures certain land at Edmunstune, as granted by Walter Fitz Alan, his grandfather. The shield on his seal is charged with a fesse cheque. The legend is- Sigill' Walteri filii Alani. [69]

This is the same Walter Fitz Alan who, as Seneschal, attests the deed whereby Alexander II. of Scotland fixed the dower of the English Princess, Johanna. The charter passed at York on 18 June, 1221. [70] He also, in September 1237, was one of the Commissioners named by the same king to swear to the peace then agreed upon with Henry III. [71]

He died in 1241, says the Melrose Chronicle, calling him "Walterus filius Alani Junioris", which shows that the Scotch annalists recognized an earlier Alan in this descent than the father of Walter fitz Alan (II.).

Alexander Stuart, son of the latter, occurs in various deeds and diplomatic matters of King Alexander III., and under dates of 1252, 1255, 1258, 1260, 1262, and July 1281. [72]

[67] Laing's Seals, p. 127, No. 771, and plate iii. fig. 3. Mr. Laing estimates the date of this Charter as about 1170; perhaps on better grounds than would induce me to place it after 1177. The mixture of Norman-French and Latin in the legend is singular.

The witnesses to this deed were Reginald de Asting, William de Lindesei, Walter de Constentin, Adam de Neuetun.
[68] Laing's Seals, p. 127, No. 772, and plate iii. fig. 2. The original coat of the English Fitz Alans was Arg. a Chief Az. (Harl. MS. 5804, p 121). They assumed the Lion Rampant after the marriage with the Coheiress of Albini.
[69] Laing's Seals, p. 127, No. 773, and plate iii. fig. 4. The date assigned by Mr. Laing for this deed (circa 1170) is probably a typographical error. Another deed of the same person is dated by Mr. Laing circa 1200. Mr. Laing also quotes a deed of Alexander Stuart, son of this Walter, which he dates circa 1226, and deeds of James Stuart, son of Alexander, which he dates circa 1270 and 1296. Some of these dates must surely be very wide of the mark.
[70] Rymer's Foedera, Vol. I. p.165.
[71] Ibid. p. 234.
[72] Foedera passim, and Fragmenta Scoto-Monastica, p. xlii.


Soon after the last date he will have died. He left two sons, James and John, the former of whom occurs as Seneschal of Scotland on February 5, 1283, and throughout the reign of Edward I. of England, to whom he did formal homage as Seneschal of Scotland, on October 28, 1306.

But without entering upon the various political changes of that period, it is necessary that I should descend one step further in my notices of the Stewardship of Scotland. It is to mark the insidious craft with which Edward III. endeavoured to undermine that national institution. From a Writ of the year 1339, we learn that the King, affecting to consider Richard Fitz Alan (then Earl of Arundel in England) as Hereditary Steward of Scotland, actually purchased the Earl's title to that office for a sum of 1000 merks. [73] Here then is a token that one fact was well understood in that day, viz. that the English Fitz Alans and the Stuarts of Scotland were descended from a common ancestor, i.e. from Alan Fitz Flaald, and that the Fitz Alans were the elder representatives of the line. I now leave this matter to the more intelligible form of a tabular pedigree, and proceed to state my own belief as to that part of it which at present has not been fortified by proof.-


My belief then is, that the son of Fleance was named Alan, not Walter, and that he whom the English called Alan Fitz Flaald, was the person in question. [74] The change from Fleanchus to Flaaldus is not very great, when we compare it with other instances where a foreign name had to be accommodated to the English ear. We must remember, too, how a Norfolk Jury, wishing evidently to designate the father of Alan Fitz Flaald, called him Flancus, though this probable approach to etymological correctness was adulterated with a great historical inaccuracy.

As to the Prior of Ely's genealogy of the Stuarts, so fully quoted above, I can take it for nothing more than a conjectural embodiment of certain traditions preserved in the family. Possibly, what

[73] Dugdale's Baronage, p. 316-b.
[74] The alternative is, that there was a Walter, son of Fleance, and father of Alan Fitz Flaald. That supposition is not inconsistent with chronological possibility, and it has the support of the Scottish legends. But it makes Alan Fitz Flaald to be in reality Alan Fitz Walter. However, these patronymic surnames were sometimes perpetuated to a second generation; to which it may be again replied, that when so perpetuated, they were usually carried on to the third and fourth generation.


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


he says of each of the four Stuarts whom he puts after Fleance, may have been true of some Stuart; but he gives names, whose order of succession is known, in a wrong order, and connects persons and events in a way which chronology shows to have been impossible. Between Fleance and Alexander he inserts four generations, the number of the annexed pedigree; but his four successive names are Walter, Alan, Alexander, and Walter, whereas I have given them as Alan, Walter, Alan, and Walter. About the second and third he is demonstrably wrong, probably, therefore, about the first and more remote.

But to continue.- The equivocal circumstances which seem to have attended the birth and education of the Son of Fleance may well have affected him and his immediate successors in such a way as that they were disinclined to make any parade of their origin, even if they did not studiously conceal it. Alan Fitz Flaald's supposed changes of country, from Wales to Scotland, and from Scotland to England, gave unusual facilities for such concealment.

I take it to have been Henry I.'s marriage with a Scottish princess which first brought Alan Fitz Flaald to the English court. He came, I should suppose, in the suite of Queen Matilda, and if he had been formerly distinguished as a servant of King Malcolm, and more recently as a Crusader, nothing is more probable than that he was retained by Henry I. on account of capabilities which, at that period of his reign, were greatly needed by the King. The enormous Fief with which the King so promptly advanced a stranger, does not help us to determine who that stranger was; for, as I have explained, no specific claim to the shrievalty of Shropshire could have accrued to Alan Fitz Flaald, either by inheritance or by marriage. I say no specific claim to the shrievalty, because I am not sure that Alan Fitz Flaald had not a large claim on the King's consideration, and one of an hereditary nature too, though not amounting to a legal right, nor to any claim on the particular lands which he obtained. And here I introduce one hypothesis more, which possibly may be relevant to the whole subject. Algar, Earl of Mercia, who died in 1059, left two sons, the Earls Morcar and Edwin. They both suffered forfeiture after the Conquest; both, perhaps, died by violent deaths, nor is either of them said to have left any surviving issue. But Earl Algar is said also to have left two daughters. About one of these alleged daughters, Lucia, there is much mystery, but the same legends which name her relationship to Earl Algar, make her also to have been ancestress of the Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester


and of Lincoln. The other daughter of Earl Algar is called Alditha, and said to have been wife, first of Griffyth ap Lewellyn, Prince of North Wales, and secondly of Harold, son of Earl Godwin. With this supposed remarriage to Harold I have nothing here to do; but if Alditha was a daughter of Earl Algar, and the wife of Griffyth, she may also have been mother of Griffyth's daughter,- of that Guenta, I mean, whom legends would teach us to have been the wife of Fleance, or at least mother by Fleance of Alan Fitz Flaald. Again, if Alan Fitz Flaald was the legitimate son of Fleance and Guenta, and if the other circumstances alleged above be true or probable, it is also true or probable that Alan Fitz Flaald was the great-grandson of Earl Algar, and (setting aside attainders) one of the legitimate representatives of the Saxon Earls of Mercia. Then, again, if Henry I. were prevented by law, custom, Norman prejudices, or Norman interests, from recognizing in Alan Fitz Flaald an hereditary right to particular estates already in the hands of others, it is still possible that the husband of a Scoto-Saxon princess may have seen something of justice in placing a descendant of Earl Algar in a prominent position, especially when this supposed scion of an ill-fated house was a Scot, able and brave, a courtier likely to return a voluntary favour with gratitude, not a demandant likely to treat involuntary gifts as concessions.

Then, too, we may suppose a policy in the King's measure.-

By giving to Alan Fitz Flaald the specific fief of the Sheriff of Shropshire, he encouraged no notion of hereditary right, such as might have led to further and extravagant expectations, but he placed in the very van of border warfare a chieftain, who, if our assumptions are correct, could trace his descent from the native Princes of North Wales.

We certainly conclude, then, that the personal favour and peculiar policy of Henry I. were two causes of Alan Fitz Flaald's advancement. We suggest that a compassion for misfortune and a sense of justice may have had their influence on the King's conduct.

Whatever the motives and whatever the facts, they are worth an investigation, even fuller than that which I have here given them; for they concern the foundation of a most illustrious house, a house which still numbers among its representatives the Queen of England and the highest of her subjects, [75] while there is hardly an

[75] The Queen represents one branch of the Stuarts. The Duke of Norfolk, the premier peer (after princes of the blood royal), represents Fitz Alan.


ancient and noble family, whether in England or Scotland, but can name among its ancestors a Stuart or a Fitz Alan.


If, as I suppose, William fitz Alan was born about 1105, and his father was deceased in 1114, it is evident that he must have had a long minority. It will hereafter be shown probable that his Foundation of Haughmond Abbey was the work of his youth or early manhood, and so took place at a time when we do not hear of him in public life. Haughmond Abbey, though located within that very Manor of Upton, which is now our subject, requires a separate notice, and I shall say little of it in the present Chapter. I shall here confine myself as much as possible to the political career of William fitz Alan.

This illustrious person probably attained his majority at a time when Pagan ftz John, the second Viceroy of Henry I., was all-powerful in the West. If King Stephen's Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey passed in 1136, it contains the earliest mention of William fitz Alan, otherwise than in connection with Haughmond. It recites how William son and heir of Alan fitz Flaald, in presence of the whole County and with his own seal, had confirmed all things given by his Father to Shrewsbury Abbey. It also quotes a grant made by Hamo Peverell since Stephen's accession (December 26, 1135), of which William fitz Alan stands the first witness. [76] About the same period we have seen William Fitz Alan attesting Bishop Clinton's Foundation Charter of Buildwas Abbey, and there is great probability that Robert the Consul, Earl of Gloucester, was a witness on the same occasion. [77] Further, I think it likely that on the fall of Pagan fitz John in 1136, William fitz Alan's hereditary Shrievalty was recognized by Stephen; I mean his capability of discharging the office, as well as holding the estates, of the Sheriff-in-fee. Certain it is that Fitz Alan in the Spring of 1138 was, with Stephen's concurrence, Castellan of Shrewsbury, an office which in later times usually devolved on the acting Sheriff. In May 1138, Robert the Consul formally renounced all allegiance to Stephen; and, in the course of the summer, from ten to twelve of the strongest Castles in the Kingdom were armed against the Usurper. Stephen was never slow in military action. He reduced or disabled two Castles at once, but failed in his attacks on Bristol

[76] Monasticon, III. 519.
[77] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 322.


and Dudley. From the latter place he marched upon Shrewsbury; but I will translate the whole affair from the language of cotemporary Writers.- Henry of Huntingdon says as follows:- "William fitz Alan held the Castle of Salopesbiri against the King. This Castle the King took by assault, and hanged certain of his prisoners; at news whereof Walkeline (Maminoht) who was holding Dover Castle surrendered it to the Queen (Stephen's Queen), who was besieging it".

Ordericus is much more full.- "William fitz Alan, Castellan (Municeps) and Vicecomes of Scrobesbury, who had in marriage a niece of Rodbert Earl of Gloucester, inclining to favour the said Earl's cause, rebelled against the King, and held the aforesaid town in spite of him nearly a month. At length, in the month of August, worsted by the royal prowess, he fled, and the King by a determined assault reduced the Castle. Arnulf de Hesdinge, a brave and rash knight, and uncle of the said youth (Fitz Alan), had often rejected with pride the King's offers of peace, and had moreover presumed to utter injurious language against the King, and had constrained some to persist in rebellion who were willing to surrender themselves. So at length when the Castle was reduced, Arnulf, with many others, being taken prisoner was brought before the insulted Prince. But the King, seeing that by his forbearance he only gained the contempt of the contumacious, and that so, many of the Nobles who were summoned to his Court scorned to attend, commanded in his anger that Arnulf and about ninety-three others who had resisted should be hanged or put to other modes of instant death. Arnulf, penitent too late, and several of the rest, entreated the King for mercy, and promised vast sums for their redemption. But the King preferring revenge on wickedness to any weight of gold, they were forthwith executed".

Ordericus we see was a Stephanite, and it is to be regretted that we have not the counter-testimony of William of Malmesbury on this transaction. The Continuator of Florence of Worcester, a more violent Stephanite than Ordericus, tells the story in a way far from creditable to Fitz Alan.- "Stephen (having ravaged the neighbourhood of Dudley) set out with a great force to besiege Shrewsbury Castle, which William fitz Alan held against him. But the said William, having previous tidings of the King's approach, clandestinely got away with his wife and children and some others, leaving in the Castle certain persons sworn not to surrender it. After a siege of many days, an engine of the following nature was


constructed to storm it, as men who knew the particulars describe it. A great heap of wood was got together, close under the Castle; then the Castle-ditch was filled up; the wood was set on fire; the smoke rose up, and reached and suffocated all the garrison (omnes infumigat et exfumigat). The gate was forced open by the King's attack. Men, tumbling down from, or creeping away from the walls, began a pitiable flight. Pursuit and slaughter was the Royal command; but five fugitives of the nobler class were hanged".

The persons thus ignominiously put to death by Stephen were not only of gentle blood, but were fighting in the cause of conscience and honour, the cause of legitimacy and of a disinherited woman. The infamy of a transaction, which, at any ordinary period in the age of chivalry, would have overturned a rightful throne, does not appear to have shaken that of Stephen. The cotemporary success of his Lieutenants against the Scots perhaps obliterated his personal enormities at Shrewsbury. Next year, flushed with success, he ran into courses far more hazardous, as the event proved, than that of hanging open foes. He began to persecute suspected Bishops. Execrated if not banned by the Church, it was on February 2nd, 1141, that he marshalled his troops on the fatal field of Lincoln. From that field he was led a prisoner to the dungeons of Bristol Castle. Now came the day of prosperity to the Empress, and she misused her opportunity more speedily and more arrogantly than even Stephen had done. Slighting and thwarting her best supporters, the seventh month of her ascendency had hardly set in, when she is found before Winchester, besieging Henry of Blois, Bishop of that See and brother of Stephen. Here again William fitz Alan recurs to our notice. A cotemporary writer, though a partisan of Stephen, pays him a noble compliment. He names him with four other Barons who fought on the side of the Empress, and whom he declares to have been "in no way inferior to the great Earls who supported her cause,- neither in fidelity, merit, valour, nor high repute". [78]

The story of the Empress's retreat from Winchester is well known. Her uncle, the King of Scots, and her brother, the Earl of Gloucester, fell into the hands of the enemy. The Earl was soon afterwards ransomed, but Stephen's enlargement was the condition and the price of the Earl's. Through the twelve years of war and terror which now ensued it is difficult to trace the career even of one as great as William fitz Alan. I do not as heretofore find

[78] Gesta Regis Stephani (1846), p. 81.


him attesting Deeds in the Court of the Empress, neither in England nor after her retirement to France. Nor yet, like his younger brother, does he appear in the Scottish Court of King David. There is perhaps an indication that at times he asserted a right of interference in his Shropshire estates, but of his presence in the County we have not a hint.

One of the most remarkable characters of this period wss Ranulf, surnamed de Gernons or de Briquessart, Earl of Chester. With influence and resources too great for a subject, endowed as to his person with strength, activity, and courage of the highest order, fertile in expedients, and never daunted by misfortune, his vacillation was so great that his friendship was deemed as ominous as his enmity often proved to be formidable. His usual demonstrations, perhaps his only sincere ones, were in favour of the Empress. Whenever allied with Stephen he was suspected by that Monarch, whom in truth he never seems to have treated as more than an equal. Under this Earl, William fitz Alan held the two Cheshire Manors now known as Dunham on the Hill and Wimbolds Trafford. It is more probable that Fitz Alan had them by feoffment of Earl Ranulph than that he inherited them from Alan fitz Flaald. I find indications, too few to constitute a continuous proof, that during the twelve years above mentioned William fitz Alan found an asylum in the Palatine Court of Chester. His wife, being a niece of the Earl of Gloucester, was necessarily near of kin to the Countess of Chester, who was the said Earl's daughter. It was doubtless in some of these relations, that is, as the Suzerain, the Protector, or the friend and connection, of William fitz Alan, that Ranulph, Earl of Chester, befriended the infant Monastery of Haughmond at a time (1141-1153) when it must have been bereft of the immediate care of its Founder. By his Charter dated at Chester the Earl grants to the Monastery "one boat (batum) in his water of Dee, and quittance of all toll on eels (caught there) to the extent of 6000 eels per annum". This Charter was attested by William fitz Alan himself, by Richard Pincerna, Richard Phiton, Ralph Mansell, and William Chaplain. [79]

King Henry II.'s Confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey passed in July 1155. It enumerates the three following grants, viz. the tithes of Dunham, and 4 bovates in Trohford, as having been given by William fitz Alan, and the Church of Trohford as having been given by Richard, a Chaplain of Fitz Alan's. These Grants had

[79] Haughmond Chartulary, Tit. Chester.


certainly been made during the usurpation, for Ranulf Earl of Chester, who died in December 1153, had previously confirmed a part of them. The Earl's Charter confirms the Chapel of Trohford and 4 bovates of land, both as granted by William fitz Alan; and William fitz Alan attests the confirmation, with Norman de Verdon, The Abbot of Chester, and Robert de Stafford. [80]

It is probable that other Charters of Earl Ranulf de Gernons to Salop Abbey are to be associated with this same period and with his relations to Fitz Alan. The latter not only founded Haughmond Abbey and facilitated the foundation of Wombridge Priory, but was a benefactor to other religious Houses in Shropshire. He seems to have had a special regard for Shrewsbury. By one Charter he gives the Monks that bank of the river Severn which was part of his land (at Cound probably), in aid of a Mill which they had made at Eiton (Eyton on Severn). Witnesses,- Fulk fitz Warin; Richard, Chaplain; Heming, Priest; John, Seneschal (Dapifero). [81] He also gave half his fee in the Wich of Worcestershire (Droitwich I presume), both in salt and in land. Witnesses,- Walter my brother, Richard my Chaplain, John le Strange and Wido his brother. [82] Both these Charters are included in Henry II.'s confirmation of 1155. They probably passed during the usurpation, or at least immediately after the restoration. The same may be said of a third Charter, already noticed under Cound, [83] but which, perhaps from its temporary nature, was not included in any Royal Confirmation.

Henry Duke of Normandy landed in England to claim the Crown in January 1153. It is probable that Fitz Alan at once joined his standard and shared in the campaign of the following summer. At least I shall be able to show, under Haughmond Abbey, that he was with the Duke at Leicester in June.

A treaty of pacification between Stephen and the Duke was entered upon in November following, and the Duke left England on April 4th, 1154. It does not appear that in the treaty with Stephen the Duke stipulated for the restoration of his disinherited supporters. Fitz Alan to all appearance did not regain his Shropshire estates till Henry, having succeeded to the throne in December 1154, had reduced Hugh de Mortimer in July 1155. The King then reinvested Fitz Alan not only in his estates, but in the Shrievalty of Shropshire; and to show how complete the change

[80] Salop Chartulary, No. 377.
[81] Ibidem, No. 310.
[82] Ibidem, No. 84.
[83] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 70.


was, from absolute forfeiture to full enjoyment, Fitz Alan on July 25, at Bridgnorth, received the homage of his Tenants, as though he were an heir just attaining his majority, and had never received such homage before. The events of that year and Fitz Alan's participation therein, I have already made part of the history of Bridgnorth. [84]

At this time Constantia, niece of the Earl of Gloucester and wife of William fitz Alan, was deceased, and it is probable that any sons she may have borne him were deceased also and without issue. The richest heiress of Shropshire, Isabel de Say, Baroness of Clun, became his second wife, and doubtless this was one of the first marriages which fell to the disposal of Henry II.

William fitz Alan held the Shrievalty and enjoyed his restored estates for less than five years. Beyond the routine duties of his office and his grants to religious foundations we hear nothing of him during this period. He died about Easter 1160, and was buried in Shrewsbury Abbey, if we may judge from a Deed whereby he gives 100 Solidates of land in Iseham, together with his body, to that House. [85] The testing-clause of this Deed probably indicates the personages who were assembled around the death-bed of the illustrious chief. There was Roger the Archdeacon of Salop, who held that office for nearly 60 years, more than half of which had already expired. There were the Abbots of Haughmond, Lilleshall, and Buildwas, and the Prior of Wenlock. There were John and Guy le Strange, Herbert de Castello, William fitz Odo, William de Bancis, William Trussel, Roger fitz Adam, Ivo Pantulf, Reiner de Clun, Richard fitz Beringer, Master Roger, Robert fitz Alured, and Robert Pincerna; [86]- names which all or nearly all belong to the known history of the period.

On the day of the anniversary of William fitz Alan, his Lord, and for the soul of the said William fitz Alan, John le Strange gave one Tenant, and all the land held by the said Tenant in Yseham, to Shrewsbury Abbey. Witnesses,- Humbald Prior of Wenloc, Wido his (the Grantor's) brother, Hamo his (the Grantor's) nephew, Roger Grent, and Roger fitz Adam. [87]

At Fitz Alan's death his son and heir by Isabel de Say cannot have been more than five years of age, and though he had livery

[84] Supra, Vol. I. pp. 250-252.
[85] Iselham was in Cambridgeshire, but a member of Fitz Alan's Norfolk Honour of Mileham and inherited from his father. Some facts in the later history of the Manor have already been given (Vol. II. pp. 294, 300).
[86] [87] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 285, 287.


in 1175, it was probably by special favour, abridging the period of his minority. Meantime I should give a full account of the mode in which his estates were managed, and how the Shrievalty of Shropshire was bestowed.-

Guy le Strange was apparently appointed to the latter Office immediately on the death of William fitz Alan I. He was also appointed Custos of the deceased Baron's Estates. His tenure of both trusts has, as far as he was personally concerned, been already described. [88] Some entries on his accounts relate more particularly to the affairs of the Fitz Alans, and those I shall quote here. In 1160 he, as Sheriff, charges 4. 10s. for his outlay on certain Falcons which having been William fitz Alan's were now the King's. In the same year his receipts as Custos of the Fitz Alan estates, during six months were 59. Out of this sum he had paid 7. 15s. in livery of the Servientes of three Castles of the deceased Baron, viz. Clun, Blancminster (i.e. Oswestry), and Ruthin. He had further paid 4. 10s. in restocking some Manors, and 18. in matters relating to Fitz Alan's Widow (in negotiis Dominae).

In 1161 the year's income from the estates was 155. 10s. 8d. The Servientes of the three Castles had cost 54. 15s.; and 4 merks had been paid to the Monks of Bermondsey, i.e. two years' arrears of an annuity of 2 merks, doubtless bequeathed by Fitz Alan to that Monastery. The accounts of 1162, 1163, and 1164 are substantively the same; but in the last year an additional receipt of 5. is acknowledged as the ferm of the escheated land of Plumsted. This was one of Fitz Alan's Norfolk Manors, but who had held it, or how it had escheated to the Seigneural Lord, I know not.

The account of 1165 presents some new features. A deduction of 47. 8s. 4d. is claimed in respect of lands now held by Geoffrey de Vere. Two hundred Servientes for Blancminster had cost 5. 3s. 9d. The waste of Blancminster had been 4. 15s.-

The meaning of all which is, that Geoffrey de Vere had now married Isabel de Say, had carried off with her, as dower, nearly a third of the income of the Fitz Alan estates, and therewith had become responsible for the custody of Clun and Ruthin Castles. The income from Clun Barony had of course never entered into these accounts; for that, being Isabel's own, had been no Escheat, though the King had previously thought proper to provide for the safe custody of Clun Castle.

The next year (1166) presents Geoffrey de Vere as Sheriff of

[88] Supra, Vol. III. pp. 126, 127.


Shropshire. On the other hand, Guy le Strange, still Custos of the Fitz Alan estates, accounts for two years' ferm thereof at Michaelmas 1167. The receipts had increased to 165. 10s. 7d. per annum, on which Geoffrey de Vere and the Monks of Bermondsey had their usual lien of 47. 8s. 4d. and l. 6s. 8d. respectively. The Monks of Shrewsbury are now first accredited with their annuity of 5. in Iselham. The expenses at Oswestry had been enormous, in consequence of war with Wales; but that matter belongs to a future Chapter in our History. Lastly, on adding together the two sides of Le Strange's account I find that he debits himself at the Exchequer with 10. more than the actual balance which the figures show against him. He states in a Postscript that he claims 10. which the Earl of Chester and Hugh de Beauchamp detain from him. This mode of balancing an account, though perhaps intelligible, was not usual even in that rude age. The interference of the Earl and Beauchamp I cannot explain.

There is no alteration in the substance of this annual account, which need be noticed here, till the year 1170, when Geoffrey de Vere died; but credit is taken for his full annuity out of the Fitz Alan estates up to Michaelmas. The word habuit is however used instead of the word habet in respect of the lands which furnished the said annuity and which he had ceased to hold. In this year also, it appears that a daughter of the deceased William fitz Alan had married, and that the King had allotted as her portion the land of Badminton, worth 10. per annum. The said marriage had taken place about March 1170; for Guy le Strange only allows half the issues of Badminton as having yet accrued to the Lady; but he quotes a separate Writ of the King authorizing him to allow 7. for her outfit. [89]

It is far from certain that this daughter of Fitz Alan's was not the daughter of his first wife Christiana. I rather incline to think that she was. The Pipe-Roll does not tell us whom she married, but I can have no hesitation in anticipating a future discussion by saying that her husband was Hugh, son and heir of Ivo Pantulf, Baron of Wem. Badminton, I should add, was in Gloucestershire, and under the name Madmintune stands in Domesday as a Manor of Ernulf de Hesding.

In 1171 Guy le Strange accounts again as Sheriff of Shropshire,

[89] Et in quietantia terre de Badminton quam Rex dedit cum filia Willielmi filii Alani, 100 sol. de dimid. anno, per breve Regis.

Et pro pannis filie Willielmi filii Alani 7 lib. per breve Regis.


and continues to account as usual for the Revenues of the Honour of Fitz Alan. He charges Isabel de Sai's dower of 47. 8s. 4d. as so much in lands, quas Isabel de Sai tenet de eodem honore. He also claims a quittance of 10. in respect of the land of Badminton, bestowed as aforesaid by the King.

The annual account continues unaltered in these respects till 1175, when only three-quarters of the current year's revenue had come to the hands of Guy le Strange, and he had consequently disbursed only three parts of each annual item of outlay. The fact is then, that about Midsummer 1175, William fitz Alan (II.) was allowed livery of his inheritance; and so Guy le Strange's trust had ceased. He continued to hold the Shrievalty, however, till the close of 1179, when probably he died. In this office he was succeeded by Hugh Pantulf, who held it for ten years, and who, I think, was appointed with reference to his connection with young Fitz Alan, and because the latter was not as yet qualified for so important a post.

Before I enter on the career of the second William fitz Alan I must recur to the Feodary of 1166, known as the Liber Niger, and which contains important evidence as to the state of his Barony, and many other contingent subjects.

In the first place, though the return in question is entitled Carta Willielmi filii Alan, it is not made by the Baron himself, speaking in the first person, but contains internal evidence of having been drawn up by Inquisition. The testimony of the ancient Feoffees of Norfolk is alleged in support of one averment: the testimony of old-men is quoted as to the amount of service due on the Shropshire fees, and a doubt as to the service due on the Wiltshire fees is thus expressed,- Sed non sumus certi quod servitium debeat Regi de hoc tenemento, quod fuit Ernulfi de Hesdinges.

The Norfolk fees were five in number, all apparently of old feoffment, but the military service due thereon was in proportion to one fee only, and it was returnable at Carlefli, against the Danes. [90]

The Fief of William fitz Alan in Salopescire and in the appurtenances (by which we must understand some scattered fees in Staffordshire and Warwickshire) consisted of 14 knights'-fees, and 34 Muntators'-fees of old feoffment, and 8 knights'-fees of new feoffment.
[90] Reckoning the Muntator's-fee as equal to half a knight's-fee, we have here a Fief equivalent to 39 knights'-fees. But the personal services due on this tenure were Castle-guard at Blancminster

[90] Liber Niger, I. pp. 142-145.


(Oswestry) only; the aid of ten knights in any array or expedition (in exercitu et chevalehia) within the County of Salop; and the aid of five knights without the said County. In Wiltshire 8 knights'-fees were held under Fitz Alan, but the personal service due thereon to the Crown was unknown to the Jury. These fees seem to have been of old feoffment, and had once belonged to Ernulf de Hesdinges. It appears from a Gloucestershire entry in the Liber Niger, that seven fees (four at least of which are identical with fees named in Fitz Alan's Wiltshire list) were held in 1166 by Geoffrey de Vere. It seems, then, that the dower of Isabel de Sai, out of her first husband's Barony, was apportioned in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, and consisted of estates inherited by Fitz Alan from Hesding. Some further remarks on this subject I consign to a note. [91] As to the Barony of Clun, that, being Isabel de Sai's own, of course appears in the Liber Niger, as held in capite by her second husband, Geoffrey de Vere. [92]


This Baron seems, as I have said, to have had livery of his Shropshire Barony about Midsummer 1175. Dugdale represents him as accounting in 1173 for livery of certain Fees in Oxfordshire, but the original Pipe-Roll does not apparently furnish such a statement. Before the period of his actual succession, William, son of William fitz Alan, appears in the testing-clauses of several Deeds, which affected his Fief or his Vassals. About the time of his succession he married a daughter of Hugh de Lacy of Ludlow and Ewyas, and

[91] Under Gloucestershire and Wiltshire the Liber Niger makes confused and contradictory statements about a large Fief, divided apparently between three principal and one or two subsidiary Coparceners. A study of the names of persons holding fees in this Barony shows me that it was the Domesday Barony of Ernulf de Hesding (I.) which had thus been divided. Patrick Earl of Salisbury (the chief Coparcener) held his share in right of his mother, who is known to have been a Chaworth. Pagan de Munduble, elsewhere called "de Chaworth" (the second Coparcener), held his share as Grandson of Patrick de Chaworth, living in 1135. Fitz Alan (the third Coparoener), or his stepfather, Geoffrey de Vere, seem, according to one passage, to have held in succession to some Ernulf de Hesding; but another passage (corrupt in the original MS., and ungrammatical) suggests a question whether Patrick de Chaworth had not been seized of this third portion also, in 1135. (Vide Liber Niger, pp. 108, 170, 171.) The dispersion of the Domesday Barony of Ernulf de Hesding is no matter for Shropshire History, further than to repeat that a nominal third thereof came to Fitz Alan through Avelina de Hesding, wife of Alan Fitz Flaald. The whole question, however, is worth the attention of any Student of Baronial Genealogy.
[92] Liber Niger, I. p. 145.


thus increased his Shropshire Seigneuries to the extent of three Manors, viz. Higford, Middleton Higford, and Upper Ledwich. Lacy's daughter was probably a mere Infant at the time of this contract, for I cannot suppose that the eldest of her children was born before 1190.

I shall mention the name of the second William fitz Alan much more frequently in connection with local or monastic Charters, than with political actions. In 1188, Archbishop Baldwin and Giraldus Cambrensis, preaching the Crusade, left Chester immediately after Easter (April 17). They slept the first night at Oswaldstre, where they were "entertained, after the English manner, by William fitz Alan, a noble and liberal young man". [93] I have elsewhere remarked on this expression, as compared with the fact that Fitz Alan was upwards of 30 years of age at the time. In the Summer of 1189, William fitz Alan accompanied Ralph de Ardern, Hugh Pantulf, Maurice de Berkeley, William fitz Stephen, and Thomas Noel, or some of them, as a Justice-in-eyre. He thus visited Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire, besides acting in his native County, Shropshire. On January 24, 1190, I find him in the Court of King Richard at Westminster; and it was probably about this time that he fined 60 merks, "that he might have the County of Salop", that is, the Shrievalty. At Michaelmas following he pays one-third of this fine, and accounts, through Reginald de Hesdin his Deputy, for the whole fiscal year then ended. He continued to hold this office till Easter 1201, when his last account closes, and Geoffrey fitz Piers assumed the Shrievalty. The change was probably one of King John's early stretches of prerogative. Up to that time there is at least an appearance that the Shrievalty was held to be hereditary. Since that time there is not a semblance of its having been so granted or so claimed.

Meantime, that is, on November 22, 1192, we have seen William fitz Alan in company with Bishop Hugh de Novant at Buildwas. On November 9, 1198, he was with King Richard at Roche Andely. [94] In June 1199 he fines 60 merks that he may remain in England, and not cross the seas with King John. [95] The Pipe-Roll of the year says that he paid the whole sum at once, in the King's chamber, and was quit. In May 1201, he fined 20 merks that Hugh Pantulf (his Predecessor as Sheriff) should be judicially ordered to render to the King, such stock and stores of the Castles

[93] Hoare's Giraldus, II. 172.
[94] Supra, Vol. III. p. 237, note.
[95] Oblata, p. 2.


of Shropshire as were in his possession, and had been received by him with those Castles. So the King ordered that Geoffrey fitz Piers (the new Sheriff) should not distrain William fitz Alan to render up the said stock and stores, except so much thereof as he (Fitz Alan) had received when the said Castles came into his keeping. [96]

Giraldus, the Welsh Historian, tells an anecdote about William fitz Alan, which would suggest, at first sight, that he was either of a cautious and timid disposition, or else that his political consequence was far less than his possessions in Shropshire would have led us to expect.- Early in September 1202, the affairs of Giraldus called him across the Border. He slept a night at Haghmon Abbey, and the next night he was entertained on the estate of William fitz Alan, with whom he records himself to have been previously on terms of intimacy and affection. Fitz Alan had recently been in conference with Archbishop Hubert at Worcester, and had heard that powerful Minister inveigh warmly against Giraldus and his schemes. Fitz Alan now sent his Chamberlain to Giraldus, warning him of his danger in the neighbourhood, and stating his own insufficiency to control Archbishop Hubert's partisans in Shropshire. He regretted his inability to show his own attachment to Giraldus by a hospitable reception. [97] Giraldus at once proceeded to Oxford, well content, as it would seem, to view the Archbishop's enmity and Fitz Alan's scruples as so many tributes to his own importance. Thus do we often see that an Egotist is blind to ordinary slights. We know something of Giraldus, Archdeacon of Brecon, from his own writings. They show him to have been not merely a fussy intrigant, but an intolerable coxcomb. It is just possible that the vanity, which makes his lucubrations painful, rendered his social presence disgusting, and that it was Fitz Alan's refinement, rather than any policy, which led him to shun the office of Host on the above occasion.

In March 1204, William fitz Alan is acquitted of a tallage of 10. which had been assessed on the men of his Oxfordshire Manor of Norton. [98] In the same month he is named by Patent as one of those who were to give safe-conduct to Lewellyn, then coming to the English Court. [99] On May 12, 1204, we find him in attendance on the King at Southwick, in Hampshire. On October 15, 1204, King John writes to William fitz Alan concerning the custody of several

[96] Oblates, p. 147.
[97] Angliae Sacra, II. p. 566.
[98] Rot. Liberate, p. 91.
[99] Rot. Patent. p. 39.


hostages, given on behalf of Lewellyn. The King approved of certain Barons Marchers, already nominated to be Keepers of these hostages; but if the Keepers were changed, the King desired to know who were to be substituted. [1] On December 24, 1205, William fitz Alan was in King John's Court at Oxford, and there delivered to the King two Coursers (catzuros), part of a Fine which he had promised to the King. [2] A Writ of February 11, 1206, shows William fitz Alan rendering up, by order of the King, certain Welsh hostages, whom he had in keeping, and who were now to be entrusted to William de Cantilupe, Walter de Clifford, and another. [3] On November 3, 1207, William fitz Alan appears in King John's Court at Malmesbury. On October 8, 1208, a Treaty was negotiated at Shrewsbury, whereby King John, on receipt of 20 hostages, was to enlarge Wenhunwyn son of Hoen de Keveliac, then his prisoner. William fitz Alan, William de Cantilupe, Robert Corbet, Hugh Pantulf, and John le Strange, were witnesses of the bargain. [4]

At the Forest Assizes of March 1209, William fitz Alan's name comes into frequent mention. Among other things he is charged for certain imbladements in the Long Forest.

We have only one authority (a Register of Dunstable Priory) which directly states the year of William fitz Alan's death. [5] It gives it as in 1210, and all secondary evidences corroborate the date. It is probable that he was buried at Haughmond Abbey, for the Chartulary of that House contains a Deed whereby William, son of William fitz Alan, confirmed, for the souls of himself, his ancestors, and his heirs, together with his body, to that Abbey, all the land he had in Downton. He further gave with his body, all his wood, lying between the road, which led from the Abbey towards Shawbury, and the wood of Uffington. This Deed, which we must assume to have passed in 1210, was attested by Sir Huctrad, Abbot of Buildwas; Sir Ralph, Abbot of Lilleshull; John le Strange; Robert Corbet; Hugh Pantulf; Reiner de Lee; Hugh de Beccheberi; and Warner de Wililey. [6]

I now propose to notice those Charters of the second William fitz Alan, which I shall not be able to introduce under any appropriate locality, but which are nevertheless illustrative of his personal history. His earliest Deeds are perhaps those already alluded to under Buildwas Abbey, as having passed about 1175, and as being

[1] [2] [3] Rot. Claus. I. pp. 12, 60, 65.
[4] Foedera, Vol. I. p. 101.
[5] Cotton MS. Tiber. A. a. fo. 9.
[6] Chartulary, Tit. Dounton.

Seal used by William Fitz Alan II.

[For engravings, see pdf.]


confirmatory of previous grants of his Father. One of these Charters (that relating to Brockton Grange in Staffordshire) is attested by John le Strange and John his son; by Wido le Strange, and Wido and Hamo his sons; by Thomas Noel; Richard de Stanewrdin; Marescot, and Henry and Hamo his sons; Ralph Hose; Henry Malveisin; William de Bruna; Adam de Erleton; Herbert de Brelectun; Roger Muisun and Ralph de Cleia. [7] The Seal of this Deed has the effigy of a knight on horseback. I annex an Engraving thereof, together with an Engraving of two Seals used by the same Baron, one about the year 1184, the other about the year 1200. [8] A comparison of the three will show the change, in some points, of military costume rather than any improvement in the Engraver's art. It is further to be noted that in all three Deeds the Grantor styles himself as "William, son of William fitz Alan". The same person, calling himself "William fitz Alan", expedited two Charters to the Oxfordshire Priory of Cold Norton. Both Charters are attested by Robert Corbet, Reyner de Le, and Warner de Withel (read Wililey), and both passed between the years 1203 and 1210, the only period during which the Grantor was seized of Norton. [9] These Charters are printed elsewhere, [10] but one of them is most inaccurately entitled De fundatione.

Lastly, under this subject of Charters, I should notice a Grant by William, son of William fitz Alan, to Shrewsbury Abbey. It was of 12s. rent out of the Grantor's Manor of Stoke (probably in Sussex), to provide lights for the High Altar. It passed evidently between the years 1203 and 1210, and probably at the end of that period. Ralph Abbot of Lilleshull, Ralph Abbot of Haghmon, John le Strange, Robert de Gireus, and Reiner de Lee attested it. [11]

At his decease in 1210 William fitz Alan (II.) left two sons, William and John, and two daughters, Agnes and Petronilla,- all probably infants at the time, though the two sons had attested more

[7] Harleian Charter, 50, A, 2.
[8] The Deed and Seal of the latest date are in the possession of Robert Gardner, Esq., of Leighton. Under that Manor I shall give the contents of the Deed.
[9] Norton (Oxfordshire) was a Domesday Manor of Ernulf de Hesding. By some means or other it was in 1201-2 in the hands of Reginald de Dammartin, who was Earl of Boulogne, in right of his wife Ida, granddaughter and sole heir of Stephen, King of England. Earl Reginald forfeited all his English estates in 1202 by his adherence to Philip Augustus; and in 1202-3 William fitz Alan recovered Norton, sicet jus suum, by a Fine with King John. The Fine alludes to the lapsed tenure of the Earl of Boulogne, but to account for the previous cessation of Fitz Alan's rights I am unable.
[10] Monasticon, VI. p. 420, Nos. I., II.
[11] Salop Chartulary, No. 310-b.


than one of their Father's Charters, and though Agnes was already married.

AGNES FITZ ALAN'S husband was Philip, son of Simon de Kime. Twenty Librates of land and rents constituted the marriage-portion assigned to her by her Father; and it would seem that the Oxfordshire Manor of Norton was charged with the burden. But, in May 1212, Reginald, Earl of Boulogne, returned to the allegiance of King John; and Norton, with all the stock which the Earl had had there, when disseized thereof in 1202, was restored to him. Hence we have a Writ of the King dated November 23, 1213, ordering John Mareschall to value twenty librates of land and rents, out of the estates of the late William fitz Alan, for Philip, son of Simon de Kyme, in lieu of those twenty Librates which Fitz Alan had given to his daughter in marriage, and which the King had restored to the Earl of Boulogne. [12] Of the further history of the Baronial family of Kyme, sometime Lords of Kesteven in Lincolnshire, I forbear to speak.

PETRONILLA FITZ ALAN, another of the children of William fitz Alan (II.), was in April 1213, wife of the second Walter de Dunstanvill of Idsall. Of her and her descendants I have treated elsewhere. [13] I now pass to-

WILLIAM FITZ ALAN III.,- eldest son and heir of William fitz Alan II.-

The first event which I shall notice during this youth's minority is King John's invasion of North Wales, the last of two invasions which the King undertook in 1211. The King went and returned by way of Oswestry, where we find him to have been on July 8th and August 15th. The Welsh Chronicle assures us that John, son of William fitz Alan, was at this crisis Lord of Oswestry. [14] This substitution of the heir eventual for the heir existent must not mislead us. It only proves that parts of the Welsh Chronicle were not obtained from any cotemporary authority. It is probable that the Castles and Estates of Fitz Alan were at the time in custody of the Crown. The King's expedition was a successful one, and he brought home certain hostages. In August 1212 we have seen that Oswestry Castle was in the keeping of Robert de Vipont. It is probable that all Fitz Alan's Shropshire estates were entrusted to the same person,

[12] Vide Rot. Claus. I. pp. 116, 117, 140, 155.
[13] Supra, Vol. II. pp. 288, 293, 297.
[14] Powell, p. 191.


of whom I have already given some particulars, especially how in the same month of August he was the Executioner of one of the Welsh hostages of the preceding year. [15]

The Fine-Roll of King John's 14th year (ending May 22, 1213) is lost, but one of its entries is preserved on the Pipe-Roll of 16 John, which contains all the Shropshire Fines, proffered between Michaelmas 1212 and Michaelmas 1214. This entry implies that before May 22, 1213, William, son of William fitz Alan, proffered to the King the enormous sum of 10,000 merks that he might have the lands of his said Father, except such lands as his Father had given to his daughter Petronilla. The whole Fine was entered as a debt at Michaelmas 1214, no instalment having been paid thereon. In fact it was ultimately abortive, though we have evidence that on one occasion at least the King respected it as valid;- for on June 10, 1213, the King orders Robert de Vipont to deliver to John Mareschall custody of the Castles of Oswestry and Shrawardine, and of the land which had been William fitz Alan's, "saving however to William, son and heir of the said William, the Fine which he had made with the King for the same land". [16]

On November 10, 1213, King John presented to Shrawardine Church, "because Fitz Alan's lands were in manu Regis",- a proof that no livery had as yet been accorded to the heir. John Mareschall continued Custos of the Shropshire Castles and estates of Fitz Alan eight months longer, and I presume that it was in consequence of the Heir finding it impossible to complete his engagements, that the King had recourse to other means of raising money on this valuable wardship. In the beginning of July 1214, Thomas de Erdinton purchased it from the King for a fine of 5000 merks. The following conditions of the bargain I gather from collating the mutilated Fine-Roll with the Shropshire Pipe-Roll of that year.- Erdinton was to have the land, late William Fitz Alan's, together with the marriage of his sons and heirs; the elder son was to marry Erdington's daughter, but, in case of the elder son's death, the younger son was to take her to wife. Erdington was to pay 2000 merks in the first year of his guardianship, and to find Sureties for the balance of 3000 merks. As soon as this was done, the marriage, first provided for, was to take place at once, or, if young Fitz Alan were sooner deceased, then the other marriage. Erdington was himself to hold all Fitz Alan's lands for a full term of five years.

[15] Supra, Vol. I. pp. 270, 271.
[16] Rot. Patent. p. 100.


The Sureties for a greater part of the above sum of 3000 merks may be gathered from the Fine-Roll. The first Security was for 500 merks. It was probably that of the Earl of Chester, though his name is obliterated. Hubert de Burgh, Nicholas de Verdun, Walter de Clifford, John de Monemue, Hugh de Mortimer, Henry de Vere, Walter de Lacy, and Robert Marmion, were also Sureties for sums of various amount.

King John was at this time in France. He therefore ordered Peter, Bishop of Winchester (then Justiciar or Viceroy), to give Erdington full seizin of all Fitz Alan's lands, and of Oswestry Castle, directly his Securities were completed. Erdington was further empowered to levy a scutage of 3 merks per fee on the military Tenants of Fitz Alan's Fief. [17]

Another Writ of King John bears date at Rochelle on July 11, 1214. It orders John Marescall, on receiving the further mandate of the Bishop of Winchester, to deliver up the above-named lands and Castle to Erdington.

Again, a Writ of August 19, 1214, dated at Coigne, informs the Bishop, that, out of the 3000 merks, only 270 remained unsecured by Sureties. It further provides that if the scutage of Poitou (at 3 merks per fee) had already been levied on Fitz Alan's Tenants, the product was to go to Erdington's credit in liquidation of his Fine. [18]

On September 7, 1214, the Bishop of Winchester issues diverse Writs, administrative of the Royal Writs (de ultra mare) received by himself, and relating to the contract with Erdington; e.g. the Barons of the Exchequer are to credit Erdington with the sum received off Fitz Alan's Fief for the scutage of Poitou;- the Sheriffs of Norfolk, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire, Shropshire and Staffordshire, are to allow Erdington to levy a further Aid of 4 merks de scuto on the Fitz Alan Tenants in their respective districts, to enable him to pay his Fine;- lastly, the Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire is to find Sureties for the still unsecured sum of 270 merks, and to give Erdington seizin, the rest of his Securities being certified by the Bishop as complete. [19]

Now it probably was, that William fitz Alan (III.) married Mary, the daughter of Thomas de Erdington, and the event will show that the very haste with which this match was hurried on, ended in the frustration of Erdington's whole scheme. He looked

[17] Rot. Finium, p. 531.
[18] Claus. I. 170.
[19] Claus. I. 212.


to be the Ancestor of the future line of Fitz Alan. He fenced his expectation with all that money, interest, and human foresight could provide. All however that eventually resulted to his daughter was the dower of a childless Widow.

On March 3, 1215, King John, then at the Tower of London, received the homage of William fitz Alan, and addressed Letters-Patent to all the Knights and Tenants of the young Baron, ordering them to do homage and fealty to their Lord; but a clause in the Writ reserves all the rights of Thomas de Erdington, accruing from his fine and Convention with the King. [20]

It is probable that in the following month (April 1215) William fitz Alan died. A high authority quotes an undated Writ or Certificate, which stated that "William fitz Alan, being at Clun in company with his brother John, died there at Easter last (ad hanc Pascham)". [21] It is obvious that Easter 1215 is the time here alluded to. Easter-day fell on April 19th in that year; and, when Matthew Paris enumerates John fitz Alan among the confederate Barons who met at Brackley on April 27th following, we are assured that such a notoriety can only have attached to John fitz Alan, as the representative of his house, and in consequence of his elder Brother's death. The haste with which the young Baron threw himself into the ranks of the Anti-royalists is easily accounted for.- Was he to submit to the same coercion which had been practised on his unfortunate Brother? Were his Estates to be enjoyed by Erdington for four years yet to come, and he himself to be married to another of Erdington's daughters, or else re-marketed among the would-be Fathers-in-Law of the King's party? The rebellion of John fitz Alan was as excusable as his youth and circumstances could make it. We shall see that he eventually chose a wife for himself, a lady whose expectations were small at the time, but whose children's inheritance was nothing less than an Earldom.

But I must return for a moment to speak of the Widow of the third William fitz Alan. She had for her dower the Oxfordshire Manor of Norton and the whole Honour of Mileham in Norfolk. Hence a Writ of King Henry III., dated October 13, 1217, orders

[20] Rot. Patent. p. 129, b.
[21] Tierney's History of Arundel, p. 194.

Since I wrote the above, Mr. Tierney has communicated to me full particulars of this very remarkable Writ. It was addressed by King John to the Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire, soon after the death of William, fitz Alan (III.). As the subject must be resumed under Oswestry, I shall only state here, that the Writ confirms my idea that John fltz Alan rebelled instantly after his brother's death; in fact he had seized Oswestry Castle before the Ring had heard of William's decease.


the Sheriff of Oxfordshire to give seizin to Thomas de Erdington of the Manor of Nortun, "which was of the dower of his daughter Mary, out of the lands of William fitz Alan, late her husband". [22] Another Writ of October 30, 1217, gives Thomas de Erdington power to levy scutage on his Tenants in Norfolk and Suffolk. [23]

On March 20, 1218, Thomas de Erdington, having taken the cowl of a monk, died at Worcester; [24] and two days afterwards his widow, Roese de Cokefield, obtained possession, from Henry III., of Mary de Erdington's dower in Mileham. [25] Another Writ of November 10, 1218, shows that the two Hundreds of Landich and Sudgreneho were appurtenances of Mileham, and so were a part of the same dower. [26]


As early as August 28, 1212, we have a notice of "John son of William fitz Alan", as he is called. He was then in the service either of King John or of the Earl of Salisbury; for the King, then at Scrooby, had entrusted him with 25 merks, due to the Earl as Custos of certain Royal Castles. [27] His succession to his elder brother, and his defection from King John, belong, as I have said, to the month of April 1215. On August 2, 1215, King John was at Worcester, and John fitz Alan was in occupation of the Royal Castle of Stretton. I presume that this was in defiance of the King, though the Letter which the King wrote on the subject does not determine the matter. It merely commands John fitz Alan to give without delay such seizin of the King's Castle of Stratton to William Barat, deputy of Hugh de Nevill, as the said William had before the King had quarrelled with his Barons. [28]

The following year (1216) King John was at Oswestry from the 6th to the 10th of August. He burnt the town, if not the Castle, to the ground. The Historians of Shrewsbury have supposed this measure to have been a precaution lest the place should fall into the hands of Fulk fitz Warin; [29] but it was much more probably a stroke of direct vengeance on John fitz Alan. On October 3rd, King John presented to Cound Church, claiming the patronage in virtue of the attainder of John fitz Alan, his enemy. [30]

[22] Claus. I. 330.
[23] Ibidem, p. 371.
[24] Annales Wigorn; p. 484.
[25] [26] Claus. I. 356, 382.
[27] Rot. Misae, 14 John, m. 3.
[28] Rot. Patent. p. 151.
[29] Hist. Shrewsbury, I. 95.
[30] Rot. Patent. p. 198, b.


The death of the King did not at once bring John fitz Alan back to his allegiance. On April 20, 1217, King Henry III. gives John fitz Alan's Wiltshire Manor of Kivele to John Marescall, to support him in the King's service, and for so long as the King should please. [31] But in October following he had made his peace, for then the King empowers him to collect the scutage of his Tenants in Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Oxfordshire, and Shropshire. [32]

This reconciliation is more plainly declared in a Writ of November 14, following; for thereby the Sheriff of Shropshire is ordered "to give John fitz Alan such seizin of his estates as Thomas de Erdington had, on the day when he fined with King John, for the marriage of William fitz Alan, John's brother". [33] Similar Writs were directed to the Sheriffs of Warwickshire, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk, and Staffordshire. This shows how completely Erdington's schemes had been frustrated, for he himself was still living; and the five-years' tenure of Fitz Alan's lands, which King John had promised him, had nearly two years to run.

In November 1219 a question as to the Crown-debts of John fitz Alan was referred by the King to the Barons of the Exchequer. They were to decide whether he was responsible for whatever was due of Erdington's Fine with King John; also, whether he was responsible for his quota of some unspecified scutage in Shropshire; and lastly, whether he ought to pay that 174. which had long since been charged on his Father, for deficiency in the stores left by him on quitting office as Sheriff, and which deficiency (as we have seen) his Father had thrown back on Hugh Pantulf. [34] I have not thought it worth while to inquire how these questions were decided. Such debts were seldom paid, and the Pipe-Rolls are silent as to the liquidation of those under notice. [35]

On January 26, 1220, we find that John fitz Alan had left England on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. James (of Compostella).

[31] [32] [33] Rot. Claus. I. pp. 307, 372, 343.
[34] Rot. Finium, I. p. 39.
[35] It is not to be assumed that the disappearance of charges from the Pipe-Roll is any proof of their liquidation, unless the latter fact is stated; nor yet is the appearance of charges on the same Record a proof of their validity. Thus as late as 1221, the Pipe-Roll charges John fitz Alan with the great Fine of 10,000 marks, proffered eight years before by his brother; but this charge disappears from succeeding Rolls, without any evidence or probability of its liquidation. The entry was of course a mere mistake, as the Fine in question had been virtually cancelled by Erdington's Fine.


Writs of protection from all suits, etc., till his return, were addressed to the Sheriffs of Wiltshire and Shropshire. [36] On February 19, 1221, he was empowered to collect his own scutage, he having been at the Siege of Biham with the King. [37] On February 11, 1225, he attests at Westminster the Carta de Forestis of Henry III., and in May following he was on the Committee which was to convey the tax of the Fifteenth from Shrewsbury to Gloucester.

At the close of the year 1233 I find evidence on the Patent-Roll of some mistrust entertained by the King against John fitz Alan. His Castle of Clun was in custody of a Nominee of the Crown, and he himself had to give hostages for his fidelity. One of these hostages, being confided to the care of John le Strange, was restored to Fitz Alan by a Writ of February 6, 1234. The others were liberated by the Sheriff of Shropshire, pursuant to a Patent of May 15, following. A Patent of March 8, 1238, orders John fitz Alan, Walter de Clifford, and Herbert fitz Peter, to take measures, preventive of any danger which might threaten the King's territory from the insolence of Lewellyn.

The exact date of John fitz Alan's death is nowhere stated, but may be proximately determined by the following documents.-

On March 15, 1240, Writs-Close were addressed to the Sheriffs of Sussex, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire, relative to the assignment of the dower of Hawyse de Albo Monasterio, widow of John fitz Alan. A Writ of March 30th, enjoins John le Strange to assign the Shropshire part of such dower elsewhere than in Oswestry, Shrawardine, or Clun. [38] A Writ of June 16, 1240, allots the following Manors (of demesne) for the dowry in question, viz. Trogford (Cheshire), Kyvelegh (Wiltshire), Cound, Acton (Round), Wroxeter, Upton (Magna), Nesse cum Mulford, Edenesdon (Ensdon), Forton, and Wallegh (all in Shropshire). Lastly a Writ of June 19, 1240, assigns to the same Hawyse, her dower in the knight's services which went to form her late husband's Barony. This allotment was made up of the services of 2 fees in Warwickshire, a fee in Oxfordshire, 1 fees in Shropshire, 1 fee in Gloucestershire, 4 fees in Staffordshire, about 3 fees in Wiltshire, and 2 fees in Cheshire, appurtenant to the Manor of Trogford. [39] John fitz Alan (I.) had been twice married. His first wife, and the mother of his son and heir (John), was Isabel, sister, and in her issue coheir, of Hugh de Albini, last Earl of Arundel of his line; but, whereas the said Earl

[36] [37] Claus. I. pp. 410, 475.
[38] [39] Clais. 24 Hen. III. mm. 11, 14.


Hugh did not die till 1248, the coheirship of his Sister Isabel was not determined till after her own and her husband's death.

The second wife of John fitz Alan (I.) was Hawyse de Blancminster. She survived her husband but a short time, and was deceased before September 19,1242, [40] when her dower devolved to the estate of her step-son John fitz Alan (II.), who was a Minor at the time. Hence a Patent of October 3, 1242, empowers John le Strange to put out at farm the demesne lands, late held by Hawyse, widow of John fitz Alan, in dower.


with whom my narrative proceeds, appears to have been born about May 1223. In his father's lifetime he was married to Matilda, daughter of Theobald le Butiler and Rohese de Verdon. At his father's death, in 1240, he was of course in minority. Accordingly, from June 16 to September 29, 1240, the Shropshire estates of John fitz Alan, deceased, were (with the exception of the dower of his widow) in the hands of John le Strange, Sheriff of Shropshire, who acknowledges himself responsible for the issues of the "Manors and Castles" of Oswestry, Clun, Shrawardine, and Montford, during that period. A similar responsibility continues to be acknowledged by John le Strange on the Pipe-Rolls of 1241, 1242, 1248, and 1244. Meanwhile, that is, in October 1242, the Executors of John fitz Alan deceased, were suing Roese de Verdon for certain moneys said to be due to his estate. It is probable that these moneys constituted her daughter's fortune, for Roese de Verdon fined 5 merks with the King to prevent the said Executors distraining for this debt, till it could be shown whether the debt was indeed due to the deceased, and not rather to John fitz Alan, son of the deceased, and son-in-law of the said Roese. [41]

We are assured that John fitz Alan (II.), though still in minority, did homage at the close of the year 1243.
[42] However, on February 8, 1244, when Earl Hugh de Albini's Manor of Waderington was to be divided among his four Coheirs, the share of his Nephew, John fitz Alan, was retained in the King's hands because he was still in ward to the Crown. [43] The Writ certifying his arrival at majority bears date May 3, 1244. He then fined 1000. for livery and seizin of his Father's lands and Castles. Orders were issued accordingly

[40] Rot. Finium, I. 384.
[41] Rot. Fin. I. 387.
[42] Tierney's Arundel, p. 195.
[43] Rot. Fin. I. 411.


to the Sheriff of Shropshire, concerning his lands in that County, and to another Officer concerning his Oxfordshire Manor of Cheping Norton. [44] Also John le Strange was by a Patent of May 24, ordered to give up to John fitz Alan the Castles of Oswestry, Clun, and Shrawardine. Before Michaelmas 1245 three-fourths of John fitz Alan's Fine of 1000. had been paid. In the partition of the Estates of Earl Hugh de Albini, Arundel Castle fell to his share; and further, the Seigneury of 22 knights'-fees which William de Percy held under the Earls of Arundel, and which constituted that Honour of Petworth, which has already been mentioned in these pages. [45] Arundel Castle was given into his hands by a Patent of May 24, 1244.

In August 1253 John fitz Alan was apparently one of those Barons who accompanied King Henry III. into Gascony, for his name is among those who had the Letters of Protection usual on such occasions. Moreover a Charter dated at Bazats on January 28, 1254, gives him the privilege of Free-Warren in a number of Manors which appear to have been of his demesne, and some of which I here enumerate, endeavouring to fix the Counties in which they lay. Upton (Upton Magna), Wroxeter, Cound, Harnage, Acton (Acton Round), Rodington and Shrawardine seem to belong to Shropshire. Norton (in Oxfordshire), Lavinton (in Wiltshire), Troghford (in Cheshire), and Stokes (in Sussex) seem to be also indicated in the list. [46] Some others I shall identify and speak of on a future occasion.

In the Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 Upton Magna is entered as Hupton.- John fitz Alan was Lord thereof, and held it in capite of the King as a member of the Barony of Oswaldistre. He did suit to the County, but not to the Hundred. [47]

John fitz Alan (II.), in regard to public services, makes no conspicuous figure in the Records of his time. In 1258, indeed, he was made Captain-General of all the forces designed for guarding the Marches; but, two years later, his authority in the West was made secondary to that of Roger de Mortimer. [48] In June 1259 he was on a Commission, to settle some breaches of truce between the King and Lewellyn, and generally to treat of peace. In a quarrel which he had with Shrewsbury Abbey in 1260, he is styled "Lord of Arundel", but I do not find that the title of Earl was accorded to him or his

[44] Rot. Fin., I. 417.
[45] Supra, Vol. III. pp. 1-6.
[46] Rot. Vascon. 38 Hen. III. m. 10.
[47] Rot. Hundred. II. 56.
[48] Dugdale's Baronage, p. 315.


son after him, except in the accidental and unauthoritative way, of which I shall speak presently. The assumption that the possession of Arundel Castle constituted an Earldom-by-Tenure, though it may rest on a legal decision, and though it is supported by some strong considerations, does not rest on any basis of invariable use. A Patent of April 29, 1263, gives protection to John fitz Alan, and to Vivian de Roshal and John de Chetwynd (two of his chief Vassals), so long as they should be with Prince Edward in the parts of Wales. A Patent of December 24, 1263, names John fitz Alan, Roger de Mortimer, John de Verdon, James de Audley, and Hamo le Strange as Keepers of the Peace in Shropshire and Staffordshire. If the proverb, noscitur a sociis, involve an invariable truth, Fitz Alan was a Royalist of the first class. He was one of the Barons who under Roger de Leyburne held Rochester Castle against Montfort in April 1264. [49] He also fought for the Crown at Lewes on the disastrous 14th of May, and, as Matthew Paris relates, was taken Prisoner. It is that Historian who styles him Earl of Arundel.

One of the Pseudo-Patents of the period next ensuing bears date at Canterbury on September 18, 1264. The captive King is represented as ordering John fitz Alan and others to quarter themselves, with horses and arms, at Pevensey, and there to be aiding Simon de Montfort the younger in besieging that Castle and subduing the King's enemies. It would seem then that at this critical juncture Sussex, and not Shropshire, was the abode of the most powerful, if not the most distinguished, of the Barons Marchers. Another Pseudo-Patent of April 26., 1265, is a witness that John fitz Alan was mistrusted by Montfort's faction. The King is represented as ordering that he should either give up his son, as a hostage for his fidelity, to young Simon de Montfort, or else, if his son was not with him, that he should give up Arundel Castle as a security.

The Will of this John fitz Alan is in part preserved. It bears date at Wroxeter on Thursday, October 6, 1267. He styles himself "Lord of Arundel", and being of sound mind and counsel, bequeaths his body to be buried with his predecessors at Haghmon, in a place already prepared. He gives 20. and his Cross in

[49] Dugdale (quoting Leland's Collectanea, Vol. I. p. 321) implies that the Barons who held Rochester Castle in April 1264, were on the Rebel side, John fitz Alan being one of them. This is a misconstruction of the Chronicle transcribed by Leland. The Barons who defended Rochester Castle were for the Crown. All that Leland says of a contrary kind is, that Roger le Leybourne, who conducted the defence, had previously been an Anti-royalist.


subsidy of the Holy Land. He gives, with his body to Haghmon Abbey, his Mill of Muleford and two carucates of land in Upton; also one of his Destriers, accoutred fully and honourably as for a Knight. [50]

It is evident that this Will was made in prospect of his approaching end, for the Writ of Diem clausit, on his death, is dated November 10, 1267. His lands, by a Writ of the same date, were committed to the Escheator-citra-Trent.
[51] His widow, Matilda de Verdon, survived him, and remarried to Richard de Mundeville, as I have before related. [52] I should here add that Upton Magna was part of this lady's dower. At the Inquest of 1278, the Jurors found that the Haye of Uptone, pertaining to the Manor of Upton, and not being within the King's Forest, had been wasted by Mundeville and his wife; also that the Bosc, called Duntonesclive (Downton Cliff), in the Forest of Hawemon, had been wasted by Henry de Rodinton, Wood-warden-of-the-Fee therein. The said Wood-warden having absented himself, the Sheriff was ordered to arrest him, and keep him in prison till further orders. The woods also were seized into the King's hand.

The Inquest which sat at Upton Magna on December 18, 1283, and on the death of Matilda de Verdon, valued the Manor as worth 12. 19s. 5d. per annum. Richard fitz Alan, grandson of the deceased, was, as I have said under Acton Round, her heir. I now turn to-


son and heir of John fitz Alan (II.) and Matilda de Verdon. This John fitz Alan was born on September 14, 1245, as I gather from the Inquest on his father's death. [53] Consequently he was at the latter period more than twenty-two years of age. Accordingly, on December 10, 1267, the King accepted his homage, and issued the usual Writ, ordering the Escheator to take security for his Relief, and to give him seizin of his inheritance. The said Relief was only 100., for his Barony in Shropshire and elsewhere, and 25., for his fourth share of the Barony of the Earls of Arundel. [54]

[50] Haughmond Chartulary, Tit. Muleford.-

The grant of Muleford Mill is the subject of a formal Charter (preserved in Harl. MS. 446, Quatern. x. fo. 12). The Deed is a simple conveyance by "John fitz Alan" in pure alms, and is tested by Sir Roger fitz Alan his brother, Master Walter de Peshall, William de Aldefeud, William de Dreytone and William de Muchale.
[51] Rot. Finium, II. 463.
[52] Supra, Vol. IV. pp. 122, 123.
[53] Inquisitions, 52 Hen. III., No. 37.
[54] Rot. Finium, II. 464.


John fitz Alan had been married in his Father's lifetime, that is, previously to May 14, 1260, to Isabel daughter of Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore. I have given the Fine or Settlement then made on the Infant couple, [55] and would merely observe that while the said Fine states John fitz Alan to have been under 14 years of age at the time when it was levied, the Inquest on his Father's death would make it appear that he was more than 14, though under 15. [56] The Fine is obviously the best authority, and we may thus learn to suspect whether Provincial Juries were not apt to overstate the age of an heir in order to exclude all pretence of the Crown to wardship.

On December 27, 1268, "John son of John fitz Alan", as he styles himself, confirmed to Haghmon Abbey the grant of Muleford Mill which his Father had given "with his body,- to be buried in that Monastery".

A King's Writ, bearing date April 12, 1269, shows something of the character of the third John fitz Alan, but more of the enormous privileges which were occasionally asserted by the Lords of the Marches. The Writ recites that John fitz Alan (II.) had died in debt to the Crown; that the King had granted 200. of the said debt to Matilda, widow of the deceased, to be levied on his goods and chattels, and to be by her bestowed on the poor for the health of his soul: further that John fitz Alan (III.), having undertaken to pay his father's Crown-debts by instalments of 100. per annum, had been allowed to take possession of his Father's goods; but, though he had been repeatedly ordered to pay the above 200. to his Father's widow, he delayed to do so, asserting in contempt of the King, that in the Parts of the March where he now resided, he was obliged to do nothing at the King's mandate, and that nothing would he do. The King is hereat "surprised and greatly moved". He orders the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer to levy the said 200. on the goods of the Recusant, according to Exchequer custom and law, and to give the proceeds to Matilda. [57]

We have seen in a former Volume that within a month after the above Writ, viz. on May 6, 1269, John fitz Alan was at Arundel Castle. [58] By a Patent of January 1, 1271, the King, at instance of Roger de Mortimer, cancels a certain debt which John fitz Alan owed

[55] Supra, Vol. IV. p. 356.
[56] Mr. Tierney, in his History of Arundel, gives John fltz Alan's birthday as September 14, 1246. This is probably correct, but I know not the authority for ths date.
[57] Rot. Finium, II. 486.
[58] Supra, Vol. III. p. 6.


to a Jew. John fitz Alan (III.) died, as I have elsewhere stated, on Friday, March 18, 1272. Himself in the prime of life, his son and heir, Richard, was now a mere Infant, five years old, having been born on February 3, 1267. [59] The Inquisition on John fitz Alan's death, though it surveyed the members of his Barony of Oswestry, does not seem to have noticed Upton or Wroxeter, probably because they were held in dower by his mother Matilda.

I have said or implied that there is no authoritative instance of this John fitz Alan having assumed, or being directly described by, the Title of Earl, in his lifetime. Dugdale assures us that his son Richard came to enjoy the title, as being seized of Arundel Castle, and without any formal Creation or other Investiture. Of this I think there cannot be a doubt; but when Dugdale proceeds to say that "John fitz Alan had the Title", that statement requires qualification. All that Dugdale proses on the point is that King Edward I. in 1307, speaking of the hereditary debts of Edmund, then Earl of Arundel, describes them as debts which stood on the Rolls of the Exchequer under the name of John fitz Alan, formerly Earl of Arundel, ancestor of the said Edmund. Here I take it that the words quondam comitis Arundelliae, etc., are not cited verbatim from any Exchequer Roll, and never stood thereon, but that King Edward used them as explanatory of his intention, and perhaps under an impression that the third John fitz Alan had sssumed the title. I must here defend my view of this question from a very possible and obvious objection. A Patent of Henry III.'s, dated February 18, 1272, that is one month before the death of John fitz Alan (III.), is addressed to "Isabella, Countess of Arundel". Now, if this were Isabella, wife of John fitz Alan (III.), it would follow by implication that her husband was recognized as Earl in his lifetime. But the fact is that the Lady, here addressed, was not Isabella de Mortimer, but Isabel widow of Hugh de Albini, last Earl of his line, which Isabel survived her husband nearly forty years, and died in the year 1282. It has always been my impression that this very thing, viz. the prolonged existence of this Dowager Countess, operated to suppress the revival of the Earldom till after Earl Hugh de Albini's Great-Great-Nephew (Richard fitz Alan) had obtained his majority.

ISABEL DE MORTIMER, with whom I now proceed, is spoken of in a Patent of May 18, 1272, just in the way in which the above considerations would lead us to expect, viz. as Isabella quae fuit uxor Johannis filii Alani. The Patent reciting that her dowry had not been awarded, because Extent was yet to be made of her late husband's Estates, proceeds nevertheless to give her a third of all wardships and Escheats which might accrue instantly, out of the said Estates. Another Patent of the same 18th day of May, promises to Roger de Mortimer (Isabella's father) one of Fitz Alan's Castles, and 100 Librates of Fitz Alan's lands,- to hold during the minority of the heir. If Mortimer died in the interval, the grant was to be made good to his Executors, and, if the King died, his heir was to be bound by his promise. The King (Henry III.) lived long enough

[59] Inquisitions, 56 Hen. III., No. 36.


to complete this undertaking. A Patent of August 6, 1272, first recites the former Patent, and then assigns to Roger de Mortimer the Castle and Manor of Clun, yielding 82. 9s. 5d. per annum, also rents of 6. 7s. 9d. issuing from Edeneston, a member of Shrawardine, and 11. 2s. 9d. per annum, being two thirds of the produce of Oswestry Mills. In 1273 the wardship of young Richard fitz Alan was given to Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore (his grandfather); but on June 3, 1280, Isabel de Mortimer obtained custody of the Castle and Honour of Arundel during the rest of her son's minority. She was to hold this trust, together with 35. 10s. 6d. income, from lands and rents in Westden and Cherleton, and from a moiety of the Hundred of Stokbrugg, which income the King had previously assigned to her; but she was to pay a rent of 100. per annum to the King for the grant. [60] It seems that Dame Isabel also became Fermor under the Crown of the Castle and Hundred of Oswestry, but the following Writs show that she was not permitted to retain such important trusts for the whole period of her son's minority. On August 10, 1282, King Edward, then at Rhuddlan, commits the Castle and Manor of Oswaldestre, till the heir should be of age, to Edmund de Mortimer (Isabel's brother);- and Roger Springhose, being then Custos of the said Castle, was ordered to deliver it up accordingly. For this trust Edmund de Mortimer was to pay an annual rent of 200 merks to the Abbot of Vale Royal,- that noble Foundation in Cheshire on which the King was then bestowing a munificent patronage. The same Edmund de Mortimer was also to receive, from the hands of his sister, the Castle and Honour of Arundel, and to pay a further rent of 100. for that trust to the aforesaid Abbot. [61] On November 7, 1282, King Edward, still at Rhuddlan, orders the Barons of his Exchequer to audit the account of Isabel, widow of John fitz Alan, for such period as she had been Custos of Oswestry Castle, and to allow her all the mises and expenses which she had bestowed on the fortifications of the same, since the commencement of the existing war with Wales. The King further certifies, that Isabel had, out of the ferms of the Castle and Hundred of Oswaldistre, and the Castle of Arundel, paid 668. 10s. to the Abbot of Vale Royal, by the King's order, and "towards the works of the said Abbey, which the King had founded". [62] At this time Isabel de Mortimer had taken a second husband, viz. Ralph de Arderne. An Inquest ordered Feb. 13,

[61] Rot. Finium, 8 Edw. I., m. 9. Patent. 10 Edw. I., m. 8.
[62] Claus. 10 Edw. I., m. 1.


1283, establishes the rights of the said Ralph in certain fees, and which had constituted part of Isabel's dower. [63] Again, I learn from good authority, that, on September 2, 1285, Isabel de Mortimer was married at Poling (Sussex) to a third husband, Robert de Hastinges. [64] Whatever further particulars may be traced relative to the career of Isabel de Mortimer, it would seem that her remains ultimately rested by those of her first husband at Haughmond. In the month of August 1811, two sepulchral slabs of blue slate were disinterred from the Ruins of the Abbey-Choir. A rude cross was the only ornament on either, except that on the first monument and at the base of the Cross were some remains of a shield of arms. The Epitaph inscribed round the edge of the first monument ran as follows.-


The second monument had this Epitaph.-



Richard fitz Alan, having been born, as I have said, on February 3, 1267, cannot have attained his actual majority till the same day in 1288. Nevertheless it is clear that he had livery of his inheritance much earlier, though I cannot name the exact period of his obtaining it. The Feodary of 1284 usually styles him Richard fitz Alan, but in one or two instances as the Heir of John fitz Alan. His tenure of many Manors in capite, and, amongst the rest, of the Manor of Upton cum membris, is registered without allusion to his nonage. For proof that he was in full possession of Arundel in 1285, I refer elsewhere, [65] as also for a list of his military summonses, [66] the earliest of which, addressed to him in 1287 and 1288, relate to the cotemporary rebellion of Rese ap Meredyth, and order his Bailiffs to levy forces for the suppression of the same, while he himself is desired to reside on his Lordships till that end should be accomplished.

At the Assizes of 1292, that is, in October of that year, I first find him styled Earl of Arundel. A Writ of Quo Waranto required him to show his right, to hold pleas of the Crown and have wayf, in

[63] Inquisitions, 11 Edw. I., No. 86.
[64] Tierney's Arundel, page 193.
[65] Dugdale's Baronage, p. 315.
[66] Parliamentary Writs, I. 599.


his Manors of Upton-subtus-Haweman, Wroxeter, Westhope, Acton-Round, and Shrawardyne. He pleaded (by Attorney) his right of holding two Great Courts wherein questions of the Peace were recognizable, and also of having weyf and infangenthef;- all which he justified by usage immemorial of his Ancestors. As to any other Franchises or Pleas of the Crown, he claimed them not. The King's Attorney replied as to Weyf, that it could not be justified by usage, without special warranty of the Crown, seeing that it was a right inherent in the Crown; moreover, that the Earl claimed none of those Pleas of the Crown to which weyf was ordinarily appurtenant. The cause was ultimately adjourned for hearing Coram Rege.

In October 1294, Richard Earl of Arundel was appointed Commander of the Forces destined for the relief of Bere Castle, whilst Roger le Strange, Peter Corbet, Fulk fitz Warin, and Bogo de Knovile were ordered to muster under his command. His first Summons to Parliament bears date August 1, 1295, and therein he is duly entitled Earl of Arundel. His latest Military Summons was against the Scots, and was returnable at Carlisle on June 24, 1301. The King's Writ of Diem Clausit, on the death of Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, bears date January 15, 1302. In the Inquests held soon after, Edmund, his son and heir, was found to have been 18 years of age on May 1, 1301. [68] The wife of Earl Richard fitz Alan is said by Dugdale to have been Alizon, daughter of the Marquis of Saluce, an Italian. It is evident that this marriage was consummated long before Richard fitz Alan attained his majority, in fact, before he had completed his sixteenth year; for his son Edmund was born within three months after that anniversary.

This alleged marriage of Richard Fitz Alan to an Italian Lady invites another observation. It must have taken place nearly at the same time as the marriage of his Uncle, Edmund de Mortimer of Wigmore, who, as we have seen, married a Spaniard. The parallel does not end here. The eldest sons of either marriage became deadly foes. They died within five years of each other, both by the hands of the Executioner, and Fitz Alan by the contrivance of Mortimer.

Some particulars of the minority of Edmund Fitz Alan, son and heir of Earl Richard, have been given under Acton Round. [69] For a sketch of his career and his tragical end I must refer elsewhere, [70] insmuch as the history of this family and Earldom becomes at this

[67] Quo Waranto, p. 687.
[68] Inquisitions, 30 Edw. I., No. 30.
[69] Supra, Vol. IV. p. 123.
[70] Dugdale's Baronage, p. 316.


point a thing too great for my limits. Suffice it to say that, owing to his marriage with Alice Plantagenet, Edmund Fitz Alan's descendants became entitled to the Earldom of Warren and Surrey,- an honour fully equal to those of their paternal inheritance.

Having now given some account of eight successive representatives of Alan fitz Flaald, this retrospective observation suggests itself, viz. that not one of these eight Fitz Alans attained the age of sixty years; only two passed the age of fifty; three died between forty and fifty, one between thirty and forty; the two others died under thirty.


Under every Tenure-in-capite I have given some account of the Scutages and other services to which that Tenure was liable in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. I propose here to continue that plan and to review the liabilities of this greatest of Shropshire Fiefs with some degree of care.

We have seen that in 1165 the Barony of Oswestry, including its appurtenances in Warwickshire and Staffordshire, was parcelled out by feoffments into 39 knights'-fees, or the equivalent of that number, and that the Baron of Oswestry owed the personal services of ten knights in any array within the County of Salop, and of five knights without the same County.

The last liability seems to have been scarcely maintained; for in the Inquest on the death of John fitz Alan (II.) in 1267 it is stated indeed that the deceased held by service of five Knights for 40 days in the Wars of Wales; but then, this service was chargeable on the Baronies of Clun and Oswestry conjunctively.

As to Scutages and Aids, charged on the Barony of Oswestry, as distinct from that of Clun, they not only varied at different times with one another, but bore no ascertainable ratio to the Knight's-Fees actually existent in the Barony.-

To the three Scutages of King Richard (in 1194, 1195, and 1197), William fitz Alan was assessed at 27 knights'-fees. Subsequent Rolls prove that he acknowledged only a liability for 13 fees, nor have I any evidence of his paying the arrears left due on the difference. To the Scutages of 1199, 1201, and 1202 he was assessed at 27 fees, but in neither instance did he pay on more than 13 fees. To the Scutage of 1203 William fitz Alan was assessed on 10 fees; to that of 1204 he was not assessed at all; of the Scutages of 1205 and 1206 he had special acquittance.


An Exchequer Record (probably of the year 1210) enters William fitz Alan as Tenant-in-capite of 27 knights'-fees in Shropshire. [71] A Record of the following year, when he was dead, represents him as having held 5 fees in Staffordshire and 7 fees in Shropshire, in capite. [72] In June 1214, John Marescall, as Custos of his lands, was assessed to the Scutage of Poitou on 22 fees of old and 8 fees of new feoffment.

To the Scutage of 1218 John fitz Alan was assessed on the Shropshire Pipe-Roll at 22 knights'-fees. Of the Scutage of 1221, and the two Scutages of 1224, he had special quittance. To the Scutage of 1229 he was assessed at 22 knights'-fees, but subsequently acquitted. His acquittance on 22 fees to the Scutages of 1230, 1231, and 1232 is duly recorded. In 1235 he was assessed, to the Aid in marriage of the King's Sister, as Tenant of 32 fees of old feoffment. He duly paid 32 merks and 2d. over by the hand of Ralph Clerk. This was only the first half-yearly instalment. The Record (evidently inaccurate) leaves it uncertain whether he paid more than 1 merks for the other half-year. [73] Three Feodaries drawn up in or about the year 1240 vary as to the number of fees existent in this Barony. The accounts I quote are of Shropshire fees only, and are exclusive of the Barony of Clun. The first list sums the said fees as 24, but the actual amount of items given is 25. The second and third lists each amount to 28 fees. [74]

In 1245, the Aid in marriage of the King's daughter is assessed at 22 fees on one Tenure of John fitz Alan (II.),- the Barony of Oswestry being clearly intended.

Of the Scutage of 1246 the same 22 fees were acquitted. In 1254, to the Aid for knighting Prince Edward, one of John Fitz Alan's assessments was on 22 fees. Similarly one acquittance of the Scutage of Wales in 1260 was in respect of 22 fees of John fitz Alan.

The above recital of bare facts must suffice for the question of Scutages. It is impossible to suggest any principle which may be taken to have guided such changes as have been enumerated. It is vain to point out that between the years 1165 and 1260 the Seigneury over four Lacy fees and one fee at Kemberton was added to Fitz Alan's Barony. There were perhaps other changes of smaller import, but it is evident that no changes whatever, in the number of Knights owing service to this Barony, effected a

[71] Liber Ruber, fo. cxxxvii.
[72] Testa de Nevill, pp. 54, 55.
[73] Testa de Nevill, pp. 61, 60.
[74] Ibidem, pp. 44-5, 47-8, 49.


corresponding change in the liability of the cotemporary Baron to Scutages and Aids.


I have already quoted various documents relating to the Tithes of Upton Magna. We have heard on the one hand that in Edward the Confessor's time these Tithes belonged to the Church of St. Peter at Shrewsbury. On the other hand we have seen the same Tithes conveyed or ensured to the same Church or Abbey, by successive grants of Warin Vicecomes and Alan fitz Flaald, and by Confirmations of Earl Roger, Earl Hugh, King William II., King Henry I., Stephen, King Henry II., and King Henry III.

One at least of these Confirmations makes additional mention of the Tithes of Preston. The allusion is to Preston-upon-Severn, now known as Preston-Boats, which was parochially and manorially a member of Upton Magna, and was probably held in demesne by the early Sheriffs.

As yet however we have no mention of Upton Church. But such a Church must have existed in Saxon times, for in the 12th century it had more than one of those dependent Chapels, which were attached to none but the original Mother-Churches of a district. The earliest Episcopal Confirmations to Shrewsbury Abbey are those of Bishop Roger de Clinton (1129-1148). One of them confirms two-thirds of the tithes of the demesnes of Opton and Prestone in aid of the Monastic Buildings. [75] Probably the remaining third was left to the endowment of the Parochial Church, the Advowson whereof belonged immemorially to the Abbey, while the Incumbents were charged with a pension to the Abbey;- a pension, which I take to have been not merely a token of subjection, but a composition in lieu of such tithes as the said Incumbents were allowed to retain.

I have on a former occasion described the second Charter of Bishop Clinton to Shrewsbury Abbey. [76] This explicitly confirms "the Church of Uptona, together with its Chapels and its pension of 20s". Bishop Durdent's Charter (also before described) is still more explicit. It confirms "the Church of Opton with the tithes of the Vill, and with the Chapel of Widinton and the tithes of that vill, and with the tithes of Preston and with the Chapels pertaining to the aforesaid Church" (of Opton). We have other Episcopal and Archiepiscopal Confirmations, renewing or reciting one or

[75] Salop Chartulary, No. 325.
[76] Supra, Vol. II. pp. 331-2.


other of the above, but with no material variation as to the facts of the case. I conclude this quotation of Charters with the Confirmation of Henry III. to Shrewsbury Abbey which passed in 1227. It first confirms the tithe of Upton and the Church of the same vill, with a virgate of land, as originally given by Warin Vicecomes. It then redundantly confirms the tithe of Opeton as given by Alan Vicecomes.

Upton Church, sufficiently impoverished by the withdrawal of the bulk of its tithes, was never sought to be appropriated by the Monks of Shrewsbury. The Taxation of 1291 registers it as in the Archdeaconry and Deanery of Salop, and as worth 10. per annum, over and above the pension of l., which the Incumbent paid over to Shrewsbury Abbey. [77]

In 1341 the Assessors of the Ninth improperly quoted the above Taxation as one of 10. They reduced that sum to 8., as the value of the Ninth now assessable on the Parish, because the Glebe, Small-tithes, and other profits, collectively worth 2., went to form the reputed Taxation. Of the gross assessment of 8., the Commissioners allocated 8s. on the Temporalities of Haughmond Abbey within the Parish. [78]

The Valor of 1534-5 gives the Rectory of Upton Magna, then held by Richard Strete, as worth 12. per annum, a sum which was apparently undiminished by any payment of Procurations or Synodals. [79] This immunity was perhaps only temporary; for Richard Strete was himself Archdeacon of Salop at the time. [80] The Pension of 20s., due to Shrewsbury Abbey from this Church, is returned among the assets of that Monastery, which was also in receipt of 20s. per annum more, being the ferm of the tithes of the demesne lands of Upton Magna. [81] It would appear then that those early grants which seem to convey the whole tithes of Upton and Preston to the Abbey had been inoperative, or else that the Abbey had relaxed its rights in a very unusual way.


ALARD, Rector of Upton, had a dispute with Haughmond Abbey about the tithes receivable upon all mills, meadows, novalia,

[77] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 247.
[78] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 184.
[79] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 186.
[80] His emoluments as Archdeacon were 20. 3s. 4d. per annum, out of which he paid 1. 3s. 4d. to his Official, his Scribe, and his Apparitor.
[81] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 189.


food of stock, pannage, and fisheries which belonged to the Abbey in this Parish. The Chancellor of Oxford (appointed to decide the matter) settled that the Abbot should pay 8s. in lieu of tithe on his Fisheries, and should pay tithes of pannage from whomsoever received. The award, which bears date December 8, 1244; decides that in respect of the other items the Abbot's privileges protected him from tithes.

SIR JOHN LE ENFAUNT, Rector of Upton, died June 11, 1309, and on January 27, 1310,-

MASTER JOHN DE BRUNESHOPE, Subdeacon, was instituted at the presentation of the Abbot and Convent of Salop. On April 4, 1331, this Rector has license for a year's non-residence, and meantime to put the fruits of his benefice to ferm. On July 14 following, he exchanges Livings with-

WILLIAM DE LANGELE, late Rector of Ryburgh, or Ribursh, Magna (Norwich Dioc.).

SIR ROBERT DE ALSTON occurs as Rector here in 1373. A suit which he had with John de Smetheote, Abbot of Haughmond, about the tithes of Blakewalmore, was settled on Oct. 5 of that year. Alston was to have the said tithes for life.

MASTER ROGER WYHE, Rector in 1407-8, died in 1411-2, and on February 10, 1412,-

SIR WILLIAM WALLEFORD, Chaplain, was instituted on presentation of the Abbot and Convent of Salop. He resigned in 1434.

BEFORE I PROCEED with an account of the several members of Upton, it may be proper to point out a few minor transactions which relate to Upton itself. William fitz Alan (I.) gave the Mill of Upton to Haghmon Abbey, and the Grant was included, as his, in the Confirmation of Pope Alexander III., dated in 1172.

About the year 1200, William, son of William fitz Alan, increased this grant. He gave the Mills of Upton, with their appurtenances, and also the Suit thereto of his Manor of Wroxeter, whenever the Mill of Wroxeter could not work. And if any inhabitant of Wroxeter or Upton should be found grinding in any other Mills, when the aforesaid Mills could grind, such person should be in misericordia of the Grantor. The Abbot and his Millers resident at Upton Mills were to have right of common in all pastures, roads, and paths, which pertained to the Manor of Wroxeter and to Norton. The Grantor moreover covenanted that neither he nor his heirs would from henceforth build any Mill upon the bank of Tirne,


in the territory of the Manor of Wroxeter. Witnesses,- John le Strange, Reyner de Lee. About the year 1195, William, son of William fitz Alan, gave to Gilbert, his Forester of Upton, for his homage and service, and for a rent of 4s., half a virgate in Upton, which Robert, father of the said Gilbert, held. Witnesses,- Helias de Say (of Stokesay I presume) and Reyner de la Lee. [82]

At a less certain period Warin, son of Talun del Hewe, gave the bosc, which extended between his house of Hewe and Upton Mill, and also a meadow in Upton, to Haughmond Abbey, reserving a rent of 1s., and receiving half a merk and a mare on the instant. Witnesses,- William fitz Alan, John le Strange.

Between the years 1292 and 1302, as I suppose, Richard, Earl of Arundel gave to the Canons of Haughmond a parcel of land (called a Biflet) near Upton Mill. He gave it in exchange for the site of a certain Wind-Mill on the Canons' estate, at Piperinges in Sussex. Witness,- John de Arundele, the Grantor's Brother. [83]

This Earl Richard was, it seems, buried at Haughmond, for on March 1, 1326, Walter de Hibernia, being at Clun, bound himself to Edmund, Earl of Arundel, to find and maintain six wax candles of six pounds weight (each) about the place or tomb of the said Earl Edmund, wherever in the said Abbey he might happen to be buried;- to be renewed yearly at the feast of Easter, so that the said candles might burn in the vigils and masses in which the candles about the tomb of Richard, Earl of Arundel, father of the said Edmund, were accustomed to be burned;- and the said Walter de Hibernia charged his lands of Upton near Haghmon and elsewhere, to provide the said candles. Witnesses,- Sir William de Ercalive, Sir John de Lee, and Sir John de Chetewinde, Knights. [84] I have said that this Earl Edmund perished on the Scaffold, but whether at Bristol in October, or at Hereford in November of this very year, 1326, I will not here inquire. It is improbable that his wish to be buried at Haughmond was fulfilled, and to that I attribute the changed arrangements which are implied by the following Deed.-

[82] It does not appear why this document was inserted in the Haughmond Chartulary, but we shall see that Gilbert the Forester was probably Ancestor of some who gave Benefactions elsewhere to the Abbey.

[83] This shows that John fitz Alan de Arundel, whom I have supposed (Vol. IV. p. 17) to have been a kinsman and grantee of John fitz Alan (III.), was in fact his younger son.

[84] This interesting document is given in the Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, Vol. I. p. 367. The date there assigned, viz. 19 Edw. I., is at variance with possibility and with fact. It stands as 19 Edw. II. in the original Chartulary. I have already (Vol. II. p. 324, note 231) observed on the nature and frequency of similar mistakes.


On Sunday, September 23, 1341, it was agreed between the Monastery of Haghmon and John, son of Walter de Hibernia of Upton, as follows.- The Canons were to find twelve wax candles, to burn in the Church of Haghmon, about the tomb of the Lord Richard, Earl of Arundel, and Alice his Countess, [85] to be renewed yearly, so that, after such renovation, they should be of the weight of six pounds each; and be burned at High Mass in the feasts of the Nativity, St. John the Evangelist, Epiphany, Purification of the Virgin, Annunciation of the Virgin, Easter, Pentecost, Nativity of John the Baptist, Assumption of the Virgin, Nativity of the Virgin, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, All Saints, All Souls, and St. Michael, and on the anniversaries of the said Earl Richard and Countess Alice. And the said John de Hibernia, for the maintenance of this right, assigned all his lands, to pay yearly to the Sacrist of Haghmon the sum of 10s.;- and charged his lands at Upton therewith. Witness,- Sir William de Ercalwe. [86]


This member of the Manor and Parish of Upton Magna was held, partly at least, in demesne by Warin Vicecomes and his Successors.

There was a Weir or Fishery here from a very remote period, and which to this day occupies and commands the principal Channel of the Severn by the prescription of more than seven centuries.

The said Weir or Fishery being in the demesne of the first William fitz Alan, was granted by him about the year 1135 to the support of Fulk, Prior of Haghmon, and his Brethren. The Charter which conveyed it is a document so relevant to the early history of the Monastery of Haghmon that I shall recur to it again.

Before this I imagine that the general estate of Preston had been added to the feoffment of one of Fitz Alan's chief Vassals.-

At Domesday the Manors of Acton-Reynald and Stanton-Hineheath had been held under Rainald Vicecomes by one Ricardus. It is very possible that this Ricardus was Ancestor of a family which subsequently took a name (De Stanton) from one of the said Manors. But before the death of Henry I. (1135) great additions were made to the feoffment of Ricardus, his heirs, or his successors. These additions seem to have been as follows, viz. Preston Boats, Hunkington, and Rea (members of Upton-Magna), and Roden and Rodenhurst (members of Rodington).

[85] The Italian Lady already described as Alison, daughter of the Marquess of Saluce (vide supra, p. 261).
[86] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 219, b.


Seven estates went therefore to constitute that tenure under Fitz Alan, which was subsequently known as the "Fee of Stanton". In 1165 the service due to Fitz Alan on this Fee was that of one Knight and two Muntators,- the whole equivalent to the service of two Knights. At the same period the person who is entered in the Liber Niger as Robertus filius Halufri [87] was undoubtedly the immediate Tenant of the Fee of Stanton, and the ancestor of that family of Stanton which flourished for a century afterwards in the position of his heirs.

Very little shall I say here of these Stantons. In 1231 William de Stanton was head of his house, but before 1240 he had been succeeded by his son Stephen. This Stephen is duly registered in the Feodaries of 1240, as holding two knights'-fees under John fitz Alan. [88]

He seems to have had an Undertenant at Preston, one Roger de Stanton, and Roger de Stanton again had for his Undertenant one Richard de Preston, a Clerk. Richard de Preston, Clerk, was a person much concerned in the affairs of Shrewsbury Abbey. He was in fact the Abbot's Clerk, for the Liberty or local Court of the Abbey Foregate, and at one time he appears to have held the higher office of Provost of the Foregate.

This Richard de Preston, Clerk, about 1240-1250, gave to Haughmon Abbey an acre of land in the field of Preston, whence the Canons might take and draw marl for the improvement of their land at Uffington. Witnesses,- Sir John, then official of Shrewsbury; Sir Thomas de Roshall; Master Alan Corbet; and Thomas, Chaplain of Roshall. Roger de Stanton, holding over Richard de Preston, as I suppose, confirmed and quit-claimed the above grant. Witnesses, -Stephen de Stanton and Sir William Chaplain of Uffington.

The first of these witnesses, styling himself "Stephen, son of William de Stantone", and probably as Lord of the Fee, also confirmed the grant, for half a merk paid him by the Canons. Witness,- Sir William de Hedleg.

Subsequently to this, as I suppose, there was an agreement between the Abbot of Haughmon and Stephen de Stanton, whereby Stephen gave and confirmed part of an adjoining acre in Preston, where the Canons were to take marl as long as they pleased; and afterwards to restore the land to Stephen. Witnesses,- Sir William de Hedleg, Hugh Parson of Stanton, and John de Hodnet.

About this time William de Doniton (another Undertenant in

[87] Liber Niger, I. 143.
[88] Testa de Nevill, pp. 44, 47, 49.


Preston) gave to the same Abbey part of an acre which he had bought of William fitz Ivo. The land in question joined up to the River Severn, near to the Weir or Fishery of the Canons, and it was given to enable them to make a road. Witnesses,- Nicholas fitz Hamo, Bailiff of the Foregate, and Richard de Preston, Clerk.

The Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 describes this Vill as "Preston juxta le Goord". It was half a hide and held by Stephen de Stanton (son of the last Stephen), who, being a Minor, was in ward to Thomas de Lee, by gift of John fitz Alan, his Suzerain. [89] Preston was at this time reputed to be a distinct Manor, and paid 2d. for Stretward, and 2d. for Motfee,- the sums proportionable to any Manor of half a hide in Bradford Hundred.

The eventual heir of this second Stephen de Stanton was his daughter Petronilla. As her husband, or as her Guardian, or in some way not as yet ascertained by me, John de Erkalewe appears in 1284 as seized of the Fee of Stanton. The Record states that John de Erkalewe holds the Vills of Preston, Stanton, Roden, and Rodenhurst, under Richard fitz Alan, for two knights'-fees.

A Feodary of Bradford Hundred, drawn up perhaps three years later, has exactly the same statement. It is however certain that Petronilla, Lady of Stanton, eventually married to Thomas de Lee and transmitted her estates to her descendants by him.

This Thomas de Lee was, I believe, next brother of John de Lee of Hadnall, The Lee, Alderton, and Hunkington, of whom and of whose wife, Alice Botterel, I have said something under Berrington. Thomas, by his marriage with Petronilla de Stanton, became a much more important personage than his elder brother. This marriage took place before June 1289, and the issue thereof was at least four sons, viz. John, Oliver, Thomas, and Stephen.

In 4 Edward II. (1310-11) Thomas de Lee and Petronilla his wife gave to John, their eldest son and heir, the whole Manor of Stanton-super-Hyneheth, and the whole Manor of Preston-juxta-le-Were. [90]

The Deed, thus abridged, may have been part of some settlement or trust; at all events it seems to have been ultimately inoperative, for it is clear that the same Petronilla (probably when a Widow, and so between the years 1316 and 1326) settled the Manor of Preston-on-the-Were-juxta-Downton on Oliver her son, and the heirs of his body, with remainder to her son Stephen, and the heirs of his body,

[89] Rot. Hundred. II. 57.
[90] Harleian MS. 1396, fo. 253.

REA. 271

with remainder to her son Thomas, and the heirs of his body, with remainder to her own right heirs.

It further appears that two of the said sons (Oliver and Thomas) died without issue, but that Stephen had a daughter, Catherine, who married Richard de Dreyton. The said Richard and Catherine being seized of the Manor of Preston, in or before the year 1384, were ousted by Robert Lee of Roden, who claimed the Manor on the grounds that Catherine was illegitimate, that her father Stephen, as well as her Uncles Oliver and Thomas, had died without lawful issue, and that he, Robert, was heir to Preston under the last remainder of Petronilla's settlement,- that he was in fact her great-grandson, being son of John, son of John, her eldest son before-mentioned. In March 1384 Richard de Dreyton and his wife Catherine sued Robert Lee of Roden for thus disseizing them. His only plea was Catherine's illegitimacy; this in March 1385 was found to be a false plea, and she and her husband recovered seizin accordingly. [91] When therefore the Feodary of 21 Richard II. (1397-8) enters Robert Lee as holding Staunton by service of two knights'-fees under Fitz Alan, [92] the statement implies at most a mesne tenure in Preston.

Of UNDERTENANTS in this vill I can only name Roger de Preston and Roger fitz Henry, both of Preston super Sabrinam, who were amerced by the Justices of the Forest in 1262.


This member of Upton Magna lies on the River Tern. I have before noticed that the word Rea means simply River.
[93] Accordingly we find that the vill under notice was described in Latin documents of the twelfth century as Aqua.

I think that about the year 1155 Robert fitz Halufri held Rea as well as Preston under Fitz Alan, but that he had an undertenant at Rea, viz. one Roger fitz Hunald. Further, it appears from a literal construction of two documents that Robert fitz Halufri and Roger fitz Hunald were brothers;- uterine brothers I presume, for the patronymics Fitz Halufri and Fitz Hunald, being distinct, we conclude that the two brethren were not sons of the same Father. However it is just possible that some Hunald was the father of both Robert and Roger, and that Fitz Halufri was a generic rather than

[91] Placita apud Salop, 8 Ric. II.
[92] Inquisitions, 21 Rich. II. See printed Calendar, Vol. III. page 323.
[93] Supra, Vol. IV. p. 230.


a patronymic appellation. Thus the names of Fitz Alan, Fitz Odo, and Fitz Aer, were common to many successive generations of the same family. In short, Robert fitz Halufri may have been so called from his grandfather, while his Father's name may have been Hunald.

Between the years 1155 and 1160 William fitz Alan certifies that Roger fitz Hunald had given all his land of Aqua to Haghmon Abbey, in almoign, and quit of all services, he (Fitz Alan) being present and consenting thereto. The testing clause of this Charter runs as follows.- Teste R. folio Halufri fratre suo et concedente cum R. fratre suo et Johanne le Strange. [94]

This testing clause is partly explained by the Confirmation of Pope Alexander III. to Haghmon Abbey, dated in 1172. It confirms,- ex dono Rogeri Hunaldi terram de L'ewe, assensu Willielmi filii Alani domini sui et Roberti filii Halwredi fratris sui et heredum quorum.

So then at this period (1155-1160) there were three brethren, Robert fitz Halufri, Roger fitz Hunald, and R. (perhaps Richard or Ralph). I have assumed Robert to have been the eldest, not merely from the evidence of the above Deed, but because under various names he appears attesting Charters of this period. For instance, in a Charter, which I shall quote presently under Downton, he is called Robertus filius Hellunrici; in a Charter already quoted under Eton Mascott he is written as Robertus filius Chaleurici (probably a mistake for Haleurici); lastly, as Roberts filius Aluredi he has been seen to attest in 1160 the grant which William fitz Alan made cum corpore suo to Shrewsbury Abbey.

Robert fitz Halufri was, as we have seen under Preston, living in 1165, and then holding an equivalent of two knights'-fees in the Barony of William fitz Alan, deceased. I have not a doubt that the son and successor of Robert fitz Halufri was that Stephen fitz Aluric who appears on the Shropshire Pipe-Roll of 1177 as amerced one merk by Henry II. for trespass on the King's Forest. If so, my former suggestion, that Fitz Halufri, or Fitz Aluric, was a generic rather than a patronymic name, is somewhat strengthened. Stephen fitz Aluric seems to me to have abandoned this generic name, and to have styled himself De Stanton from his principal Manor of Stanton Hyneheath. As Stephen de Stanton we have surely seen him attesting Bishop Novant's Charter to Buildwas on November 22, 1192. Again, in 1199, I find Stephen de Stanton

[94] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 171.


giving 20s. to Hugh de Nevill, Justice of the Forest, "for license to fence his haye, which stood within the King's Forest, and his own moor which was without the Forest". [95]

I will not here follow the further descent of these Stantons, seeing that their ancestor's grant to Haghmon dissolved their connection with Rea.

The Haughmond Chartulary cites another grant about Rea, completive, I presume, of Roger Hunald's. Thereby "William fitz Alan (the second I think) gives to the Abbey the land of Aqua, to wit, of Ree, in moors and wastes, together with Aqua itself and all its appurtenances".

The Feodary of 1287 gives Magna Ree and Parva Ree as members of Richard fitz Alan's Manor of Upton. It then states, of Parva Ree alone, that it was held under the said Richard in frank almoign by the Abbot of Haghmon. The inference is, that Magna Ree, which I have no means of distinguishing from Parva Ree, remained in Fitz Alan's demesne.

The Taxation of 1291 reckons among the Temporalities of Haghmon Abbey a Mill at Upton, worth 10s. yearly; a meadow at The Ree, worth 2s.; and 5s. of assized rents receivable from The Ree. [96] In 1340, the Abbot of Haghmon concedes to John son of John de Lye two parcels of land in Ree. On June 3, 1390, King Richard II. commissions Robert de Cherleton and John Hill to try a suit of novel disseizin which Ralph Abbot of Haghmon had arraigned against Henry de Ree concerning a tenement in Ree-juxta-Upton-subtus-Haghmon.


Fitz Alan's Tenants in this member of Upton were the Lees, originally of Lea near Pimhill. Their feoffments there or elsewhere were of later date than the Liber Niger. In fact the first mention which I find of any member of this family is of Reyner de Lee, who towards the close of the twelfth century acquired Alderton near Middle, by purchase from Fulk fitz Warin, who held it under Fitz Alan, and whose posterity continued to be Mesne-Lords thereof. [97]

[95] Rot. Pipe, 1 John. Salop.
[96] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 260.
[97] Almost everything printed in Mr. Blakeway's Sheriffs as to the descent or connections of Rayner de Lee is unfounded or inaccurate. He was in nowise related to the Lees of Hughley; far less was he any descendant of Rainald Vicecomes. His purchase of Aldsrton is dated, by Mr, Blakeway, much too early.


REYNER DE LEE was a person much conversant in the affairs of the second William fitz Alan, at the close of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th centuries. His numerous attestations of that Baron's Charters, more especially those which related to Upton and its neighbourhood, are an illustration of this. Moreover, Reyner de Lee was Fitz Alan's deputy, as Sheriff of Shropshire, in the year 1201, when Fitz Alan quitted office. At the Iter of 1203 he appears as a Knight and Juror in cases of Grand Assize.

I think that this Reyner de Lee, besides his estates at Lea juxta Pimhill, Alderton, and Hunkington, held something under Fitz Alan at Weston near Clun; for "Reiner de Lee, with consent of Thomas his son and heir, and for the souls' health of himself and Hawise his wife, gave to Haghmon Abbey 2s. rent which David de Weston held, William Chaplain of Clun attesting the grant". Again, "Thomas de Lee confirmed the said grant of Reiner his father, and appointed that the said David de Weston and his successors should pay the said rent of 2s. to the Abbey. Witnesses,- William Banastre, Alan Burcton, and Reiner his son".

About 1220-30 we have seen Thomas son of Reiner de Lee attesting a Buildwas Charter, [98] but I cannot connect him with the persons or places named therein. In 1221 and 1255 we have seen that Thomas de la Lee was a Coparcener in Aldon, [99] showing, I think, that he or one of his ancestors had married a coheiress. His wardship of young Stephen de Stanton in 1255 was probably the result of a speculative purchase.

His son John, marrying Petronilla de Draiton, acquired estates at Chatwall and Berrington. [1] Him the Feodary of 1287 directly associates with Hunkington, saying that Honkynton was a member of Upton, and that John de Lee held it under Richard fitz Alan

I presume that Hunkington descended, with the other estates of this line, to John de Lee, the husband of Alice Botterel, which John I take to have been elder son and successor of John de Lee, husband of Petronilla de Draiton; but, as I have stated under Berrington, the question is doubtful. [2] This elder line of the Lees seems to have fallen into obscurity, nor do I find any further notices of Hunkington, to show what became of their interest here in the fourteenth century.

Of UNDERTENANTS here I can name but one, viz. Walter de Hunkiton, a Juror in a cause concerning Albright-lee in 1272.

[98] Supra, Vol. II. p. 218, note 66.
[99] Supra, Vol. V. p. 27.
[1] Supra, Vol. V. p. 125.
[2] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 39.



This member of Upton constituted a part of that new feoffment which between the years 1135 and 1160 was conferred on Marscot by the first William fitz Alan. Of Marscot I have spoken under Eaton Mascott. It remains then that I set forth the Deeds by which his grant of land at Downton to Haughmond Abbey was secured.-

Between the years 1155 and 1160 William fitz Alan (I.) certifies that he has given, for the souls of himself and his ancestors, to Haghmon, the whole land which Marescote held in Dounton in his demesne. He has given it free of all earthly customs and aids, of all labour-dues (operacionibus), scutages, tallages, arrays (exercitibus), danegelds, hidages, and hidegelds. Witnesses,- John le Strange; Wido le Strange; Ivo Pantul; William fitz Odo; Robert fitz Hellunric; Walter fitz John; Marescote; Adam, his Esquire; Richard the Priest; "the Grantor's wife Isabella herself, to whom the Grantor had given two goblets (cifos) and one cup of silver that so she might concede his donation aforesaid, because it was of her dower"; and Herbert de Castello.

So then Marscote gave the land, Fitz Alan released his seigneural rights and expedited a Charter conveying the land with its immunities, while Isabel de Sai, his newly married wife, waived her right of dower in return for certain articles of domestic use or ornament.

Between the years 1165 and 1170 Geoffrey de Ver and Isabel de Say his wife, confirm to the Abbey all the land which Marescott held in Dounton in demesne, as William fitz Alan had given it. Witnesses,- Richard de Camvill, William de Caineto, William fitz Adeline, William fitz Hervey, and Osbert his brother, Gilbert de Ver, William de Ver, Ralph de Ver.

This Charter shows how important a person Isabel de Say's second husband was. It passed, I doubt not, in the Court of Henry II., for the five first witnesses were either officers of that King's Household, or attendants, more or less frequent, on his person.

Pope Alexander III., confirming the endowments of Haghmon in 1172, enumerates these, viz. Ex dono Willielmi filii Alani fundatoris predictae ecclesiae, dominium de Dontona et dimidiam virgatam in eadem villa; piscariam super Sabrinam cum dimidia virgata terae; molendinum de Uptona cum dimidia virgata terrae et insulis quae ad illud pertinent. This shows that Fitz Alan's respective grants


in Downton, Preston, and Upton were somewhat fuller than the extant Vouchers would imply.

The Confirmation of William fitz Alan (II.) extends to other things besides Downton. It probably passed about the year 1190. I will give it in the original Latin.-

Omnibus Sancte Ecclesie filiis Willielmus filius Alani salutem. Notum sit vobis me dedisse et confirmasse pro Dei amore, inperpetuam, puram et liberam elemosynam Canonicis meis Hagemanie, Ecclesiam de Stokes cum omnibus pertinentiiset libertatibus suis; et terram de Piperinge cum pertinentiis suis; terram de Aqua scilicet La Ree cum moris et vastis, et cum ipsa Aqua et cum omnibus pertinentiis suis; et totum nemus meum quod est de Abbathia de Hageman versus Schagebury; totam Duntonam assensu Marescoti cum omnibus pertinentiis suis, tam cum liberis tenentibus in ea quam villenagiis et eorum sequelis, cum housbote at omnimodis aliis estoveriis, habendis inperpetuum ad opus hominum suorum in Duntona de bosco meo de Upton, per visum et liberacionem Wodewardi mei; et totam Nagintonam cum hominibus in eadem et eorum sequelis, et liberam communam pasture at turbarie et glebarum ubique in bruera de Ercalewe pro se et dictis hominibus suis inperpetuum cum omnibus aliis pertinentiis, libertatibus, et aisiamentis. Hii sunt testes;- Robertus filius Aeri; Marescotus; Ricardus de Costantine; Helyas de Hetingeham; Galfridus de Ver; [3] Willielmus filius Johannis; Ricardus de Acton; Jordanus de Girros et multi alii.

The same William fitz Alan (II.) gave, as we have seen, other land in Downton, shortly before his decease in 1210. He also gave a wood as before described. His Grandson, John fitz Alan (II.), describing himself as "John son of John fitz Alan", gave and confirmed all that Wood "which William fitz Alan, his Grandfather, had given cum corpore suo to the Abbey". The Grandson's Charter describes the boundaries of the said wood. It was circumscribed by the Nemus de Uffinton and by Sachebury-wey as one goes from the Abbey and from the field of Sundorn, also by that footpath which leads near the bosc of Asteley to the Blakelake, towards Wideforde, and so down to the White Sichet, and along the said Sichet to the land of Halghton. [4] The Grantor further gave and confirmed pasture and pannage, for all flocks and cattle of the Canons and their

[3] Probably son of that Geoffrey de Vere who died in 1170; possibly his son by Isabel de Say, and so a uterine brother of the present Grantor.
[4] Chartulary, Tit. Dounton.-

The Rubricator of the Chartulary has appended a testing clause to this Confirmation, which can only have belonged to a Charter of the first William Fitz Alan Such a mistake we have seen made by other Transcribers (supra, Vol. II. pp. 55, 56, note 25). The Witnesses' names thus misappropriated are however per se important. They are John le Strange, Wido le Strange, William fitz Odo, Walter fitz John; Adam his Esquire, and Alan fitz Oliver.- The name of Marscote probably stood in the original after that of Walter fitz John.


men of Dounton, within all his demesnes of Upton, wherever there was pessan.

The Taxation of 1291 enumerates, among the Temporalities of Haughmond Abbey, two carucates of land in Domynton (Downton), worth 30s. per annum, and 19s. 6d. of assized rents, receivable from the same estate. [5]

On February 1,1294, Richard Earl of Arundel, to prevent constant disputes between his Bailiffs and the Canons of Haghmon, caused the men of Upton to make perambulation between his estate of Upton and the Canons' estate of Downton. The result is embodied in a Charter of the Earl dated at Haghmon on February 2, 1294, and attested by Sir William de Huggeford, and John de Sibbeton, knights; Thomas de la Hyde, the Earl's Seneschal; Philip de Guldeford; and Roger de Kynlet. Estovers in the Earl's Woods are further guaranteed by this Charter, and facilities for repairing the Mills of the Canons.

A Charter of Edmund, Earl of Arundel, confirms that of Earl Richard, incidentally tracing part of the parochial boundaries between Downton and Uffington, between Upton Magna and St. Alkmund's, Shrewsbury, and between Upton Magna and the Demesne of Haughmond Abbey, which I presume was then recognized as extra-parochial.

The same Earl Edmund granted Estovers in his Wood of Upton to the Canons and their men of Dounton. This Charter bears date at London on June 29, 1326, that is within a few months of the Earl's ruin and death.

On April 19, 1339, a Jury of the Manorial Court of Upton found that the Abbots of Haghmon had customarily taken timber from the Lord's Woods to repair their Mill of Upton, and that the Abbot's Tenants at Downton had customarily taken firewood from the same boscs like other tenants in the Manor, but the antiquity and warranty of these customs the Jury knew not.

Some other Charters relate to the acquisitions of the Abbey at Downton, and mention incidentally the names of some of Fitz Alan's Tenants in this quarter.-

About the year 1220, Roger Chusin gave to the Canons a virgate

[5] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 260.


in Dounton, which William son of Walter de Mungomery held. Witnesses,- John fitz Alan; Robert de Girros; Vivian de Rossall; William, Seneschal; Herbert Maveisin; and Stephen de Pimlega (Pimley).

About the year 1249, Richard de Preston, Clerk (of whom we have heard under Preston Boats), gave and quit-claimed to the Canons all their assarts in Dounton which were assarted before the passing of this Deed, and which were in the Grantor's common-pasture of Preston. Witnesses,- Thomas de Rossall; Odo de Hodenet; Saer Mauveisin; Henry Mauveisin; Thomas, his brother; Ranulph de Rodinton; Richard de la Beche. [6]

In February 1298, William Vaghan, Burgess of Salop, his wife Alice, and their son William take a life-lease under the Abbey of half a virgate, consisting of several parcels of land in Dounton, at a rent of 5s.

On January 10, 1473, Master Richard Preyers, Rector of Upton, exchanges a messuage and half-virgate which he, as Rector of Upton, had in the vill and fields of Dounton, for similar premises in Upton given to him by Master John Ludlow, Doctor, and Abbot of the Monastery of Haghmon.


This member of Upton Magna was held under Fitz Alan between the years 1155 and 1157 by one Alan fitz Oliver, probably represented afterwards by the Mauveysins of Berwick, near Atcham.

Alan fitz Oliver gave his estate of Sundorn to the Church of Haghmon, with consent of William fitz Alan (that William who died in 1160). His Deed runs as follows.-

Notum sit omnibus hominibus Salopsirae, presentibus et futuris, Alanum filium Oliveri et Matrem ejus et fratres illius, Osbertum quoque filium Frogeri, et Alanum filium Toci Sacerdotis de Etingham, necnon, omnes parentes [7] ipsius Alani filii Oliveri concessisse et dedisse in perpetuam elemosynam terram de Sundra, libere et quiete sicut elemosynam, Ecclesiae Sti Johannis Hamonensi, et hoc concessu Willielmi filii Alani. Testibus, Ricardo de Pichefordia, Engelardo fratre ejus, etc. [8]

[6] There is some obscurity in the wording of this Deed, but it either passed before the King's Justices-in-eyre in 1249, or refers to some dispute which they settled. The Eyre alluded to is that of Roger de Thurkelby and his Fellows in November 1249. The Roll thereof is lost.
[7] Parentes, i.e. relations.
[8] For some remarks on this Deed and its date, see Vol. II. p. 82.


In 1172, Pope Alexander III. confirmed the above Charter to the Abbey in the following words. Ex dono Alani filii Oliveri Sundr', assensu Willielmi filii Alani et Osberti filii Rogeri qui inde heres erat.

How Osbert fitz Roger, or fitz Froger, could be Alan fitz Oliver's expectant heir, when the latter had brothers, it is difficult to say. The said brothers might have been his half-brothers, and Osbert fitz Roger may have been his Uncle, Brother, or Nephew on the Mother's side.

Between the years 1180 and 1210, "Herbert son of Henry Mauveisin", being, I suppose, Alan fitz Oliver's eventual heir, "concedes and confirms to Haghmon the whole land of Sondre, with all common rights (communitatibus) and free of all services. Witness,- Sir William son of William fitz Alan".

On October 15, 1226, the Abbot of Haghmon came to the following agreement, in the Curia Comitatus of Salop, with Sir Herbert Mauvesin, Knight. Sir Herbert for 10 merks quit-claimed all that part of the assarts of Sundorn in the Bosc of Haghmon which belonged to the Manor of Upton, and which was disputed between him and the Abbot. The Abbot was to pay 1d. per annum to Herbert and his heirs, and to make no further assarts in that wood, except with Herbert's consent. Herbert was to have easements for himself and his men of Berwick in that bosc of the Abbot of Hagemon which belonged to Upton Manor. Witnesses,- Sir John fitz Alan, John le Strange.

In, or shortly before, the year 1240, Herbert Mauveysin quit-claimed to the Canons of Haghmon a pourpresture or encroachment, which they had made on his common pasture in the bosc towards Sundrene. The Nemus of Asteley, and the Vivary of Pimbeleg, are named in defining the boundaries of this concession, which was attested by William de Pimbeleg, Philip de Peninton, Thomas de Withinton, and William de Rodene. A Confirmation of this Quit-claim, by Alan son of Herbert Mauveisin, is attested by the same witnesses, and must have passed between 1240 and 1242.

Between the years 1255 and 1260 (as I suppose) John fitz Alan and Seer de Berewike (as Seer Mauveysin is here called) give two several quit-claims to the Abbey, in respect of a certain foss made by the Canons, and which is described as extending from Stanweiesdor towards Ydeburiate. Each Quit-claim was attested by Sir Ralph le Botelere, Sir Thomas de la Lee, Sir Vivian de Rosall, and Sir John de Chetewind.


About the year 1270, Saer Mauveisin, Lord of Berewike, quit-claims all right to Estovers in the Bosc of the Abbot and Convent of Haghmon. Witnesses,- Odo de Hodenet, John fitz Hugh, John de Ercall, Walter de Hopton, and John fitz Aer, Knights; William de Drayton, Elias de Stoke, and Hugh de Eton. These Estovers, it seems, had been matter of litigation before Sir E. de Torkeby and others, Justices itinerant in Shropshire. [9]

I have quoted, under Golding, a Deed, perhaps fifty years earlier than the last, which shows that another of Fitz Alan's Vassals, viz. Hugh de Beckbury, had certain asserts at Sundorn which he made over to Haghmon Abbey.
[10] The acquisition thereof by Hugh de Beckbury was probably under some Fine or grant of a Fitz Alan, rather than by inheritance. The great Baronies of that period had been so parcelled out by feoffments, that when the Suzerein wanted to raise money, or to reward a Servant, he was obliged to have recourse to the Manors of his Demesne, for that purpose.

In 1250, five acres and eight perches of Forest-land in Sundr' were allotted to the Abbot of Haghemon at an arrentation of 3s. 9d. Again, at the Forest Assizes of 1262, the Abbot exhibited to the Justices a Royal Charter, which was allowed as a warrant for his having long before (de veteri) assarted 17 acres in Sondre.

The Taxation of 1291 includes two carucates of land in Sondene, worth 1. per annum, among the temporalities of Haghmon Abbey. [11]

On June 11, 1461, the Abbot of Haghmon, demises his Grange of Sondron to William Higges for 30 years, for a sum of 7. 3s. 4d., and reserving Suit of Court and a Heriot.

PAROCHIALLY the status of Sundorn is curious. It was originally in the Shrewsbury Parish of St. Alkmund's, and so, when (in 1155-7) the Canons of Haughmond got the estate, they made a composition with the Abbot of Lilleshall about the tithes of Sundorn. Their agreement, though not extant, was confirmed by Pope Alexander III. in 1172. The result is clear, viz. that Sundorn was thus detached from St. Alkmund's Parish and annexed to the extra-parochial liberty of Haghmon. It remains extra-parochial to this day.


This was a divided Manor at Domesday, or rather a part of it (one hide) was a Manor in itself, and held by Roger Venator, while the other part is not mentioned in Domesday because it was involved

[9] Haughmond Chartulary, Tit. Haghmon.
[10] Supra, Vol. VI. pp. 98-99.
[11] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 260.


in the Manor of Upton. This distinction has its reflex in the present day;- for part of Haughton is in the Parish of High Ercall, and part in the Parish of Upton Magna. It is of Haughton, only so far as it was a member of Upton, that I am now to speak.

I cannot tell who held this part of Haughton under Fitz Alan in 1165, but in 1240 Reyner de Acton is said to hold half a knight's-fee in Halekton (Haughton) and Grinsill, of that Barony. [12] The Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 puts all Halihton down as 1 hides. One moiety thereof was held by Thomas Boterel as Guardian of P., son of Reginald (i.e. Reyner) de Acton. It was held of the Fee of John fitz Alan and did ward at Oswestry for 40 days by one horseman; [13] a service equivalent to half a knight's-fee, and probably due on Haughton and Grinsill collectively.

How Sir Richard de Leighton (who succeeded to his paternal inheritance in 1262) acquired the Acton Fee in Haughton I cannot say. About 1270-80, as "Richard, Lord of Leighton, knight", he gives in aid of the Sacristy of Haghmon Abbey 4 acres and 1 seilion of land in Haughton, whereon the Canons might build a house. Witnesses,- John de Ercalwe, John fitz Aer, knights; and Robert de Peninton. [14]

The Feodaries of 1284 and 1287 both enter Richard de Leighton as holding half Haughton under Richard fitz Alan. Subsequently Richard de Leyghton enfeoffed Robert Corbet of Moreton and his wife Matilda, conjointly, in certain tenements in Halughton. Leyghton ultimately retained no mesne interest in this feoffment, for the Inquest, taken on Robert Corbet's tenures in 1301, states that he and his wife had held the premises under Philip Burnel's heirs, by a penny rent. [15] I suppose that Burnel's Seigneury came with his wife Matilda fitz Alan, but possibly it was purchased from Leyghton, and was a mesne interest only.

Between 1304 and 1310, Edmund Earl of Arundel gives to Haghmon Abbey four shillings rent, receivable from his Tenants in Haghton, in exchange for seven burgages at Ruyton (near Baschurch).

[12] Testa de Nevill, pp. 44, 47, 49. The first entry states the tenure to be in Acton (Acton Reynald) and Grinsill;- but it is probable that Reyner's tenure in Acton Reynald was not immediate under Fitz Alan, but under the Lords of Stanton.
[13] Rot. Hundred. II. 56.
[14] Chartulary, fo. 96. Thomas fitz Roger of Haughton, John de Doniton, and Thomas Crasset, are named in this Deed as Tenants of adjoining lands. It further stipulates that the Sacristan of the Abbey shall provide, maintain, and burn, one decent (honestum) candle in St. Mary's Chapel at Haghmon, while the daily Mass of ths Holy Virgin was being celebrated.
[15] Inquisitions, 29 Edw. I., No. 45.


Witnesses,- Thomas de Roshall, Richard de Leighton, John de Blancminster, knights; Roger de Cheyney, John Huse, John de Berewyke and John de la Lee.

By Patent of May 26, 1318, the King allows Henry and Richard Beaufrere, each to convey a messuage and virgate in Halghton juxta Haghmon to the Abbey of Haghmon,- to be held by the Abbey of the Lords of the Fee. On July 3, 1319, Henry and Richard, sons of Roger Beaufrere, make such conveyances; John de Lee, Geoffrey de Peninton with his brothers John and Philip, John de Withiford, William Reginald of Withiford, and Master Robert de Preston, attesting their Deeds. I cannot say that these two virgates were part of the Fitz-Alan Fee in Haughton, but it seems probable that the Abbey gradually acquired a greater part of both moieties of the Manor. On March 24, 1336, King Edward III. empowers Robert Corbet of Moreton to convey to Haghmon Abbey 9 messuages and 5 virgates in Haughton and Egebaldenham (Edgebold) in exchange for 16 messuages, a Mill, a Vivary, and 10 virgates in Stokyate, Kenewike, Brome, and Newton (all near Ellesmere).

In the same year it seems that certain tenements in Haughton held by John le Strange of Ercall, deceased, escheated to Haughmond Abbey, because the said John was illegitimate, and died without heirs. On July 18, 1336, Robert Corbet of Morton, being then at Wattlesborough, instructs John Horde, his Valet, to give the Abbot seizin of these escheats, which the Abbot claimed against Corbet. [16] From this I judge that Le Strange had previously held the said tenements under Corbet, and that they were part of the recent exchange between Corbet and the Abbey. In 21 Richard II. (1397-8) the Abbot of Haughmond and John Mouthe are said to hold half a fee in Halghton and Grinsill under the Barony of Fitz Alan. [17] Whatever John Mouthe may have had in Haughton, it will have descended to him from Corbet of Moreton.

Haugbmond Abbey.

THE spot which was afterwards graced by this noble foundation is unmarked in Domesday, except that Domesday notices half a

[16] Charty. Tit. Halghton juxta Haghmon.
[17] Calend. Inquis. Vol. III. p. 223.



[For engravings, see pdf.]


league of wood among the adjuncts of Upton Magna. The days of Rainald Vicecomes and Alan fitz Flaald passed away without material change. Haughmond-Hill, with the wood-land and waste to its north, remained unvisited save by the Traveller, the Hunter, or the Forester;- untenanted, save by the Robber, or the Hermit. As to the time and mode of the Foundation of Haughmond Abbey, we have a variety of statements, which, as being discordant with each other, must involve some degree of error. To detect that error shall be our first concern.

The first statement which I shall cite upon the matter is embodied in the Abbey-Chartulary. [1] It has been printed in the 'Monasticon', [2] but with much verbal and grammatical incorrectness. This is not chargeable on the original, which runs as follows.-

Fundata est Abbathia de Haghmon anno Domini millesimo centesimo, et in anno ultimo regni Regis Willielmi Rufi, et anno regni Regis Henrici primi primo, per Willielmum filium Alani, ut patet in pluribus, et specialiter in duobus Bullis sub plumbo Alexandri Papae Tercii vocantis eum Fundatorem predicti loci. [3]

This document then asserts Haughmond Abbey to have been founded in 1100, and William Fitz-Alan to have been its Founder. It alludes to much unspecified evidence of the fact, or facts (for it is ambiguously worded), and particularly cites two Bulls of Pope Alexander III. in support thereof. Now we happen to know something of Pope Alexander's two Bulls to Haughmond. One, dated apparently in 1172, is of "Privileges". It is preserved in the Chartulary [4] in all its essential parts, and says not a word about the Founder or date of foundation, nor indeed is it a document of the class which would be likely to contain such allusions.

The other Bull also exists in the shape of a full and apparently accurate transcript. [5] It is dated at Tusculanum, May 14, 1172.

[1] Chartulary of Haughmond Abbey (in possession of D.R. Corbet of Sundorn, Esq.), fo. 76.

This valuable Chartulary is that which Tanner speaks of as, in 1653, in possession of Dame Margaret Barker.

The Harleian MS., No. 446, which once belonged to Peter le Neve, is a fragment (less than a quarter) of an original Chartulary. A few of the missing contents of this seem to be transcribed or rather abridged in Harleian MSS., 2188 and 3868.

All Deeds quoted in the following pages, and of which the particular authority is not given in the notes, are from one or other of those Chartularies.
[2] Monasticon, VI. 108, No. I.
[3] The words De cede et loco abbathiae ibidem, which, in the Monasticon, are added to this sentence as if part thereof, form, in the Chartulary, the title of the succeeding document.
[4] Monasticon, VI. 112, No. XII.
[5] Harl. MS. 3868, fo. 11.


It is a confirmation of "grants" to the Abbey. It distinctly indicates William Fitz-Alan as the Founder thereof, but says nothing about the date of foundation. In short, a matter so irrelevant and discursive can hardly be conceived to have crept into a Papal Bull of any kind. We therefore have no other authority for dating the foundation of Haughmond in 1100, than the assertion of that Abbot or Canon of the House who wrote the above extract at least 72 years after the events he affects to describe (otherwise he could not quote the Bulls of 1172). [6]

Any one acquainted with those monastic documents, usually entitled De Fundatione or Histaria Fundationis, will know that they are not to be received without caution. The antiquity of a house was a matter of pride as well as of advantage. It was therefore seldom underrated by any member or the house concerned.

We have external evidence which is very strong against this alleged date of foundation. William Fitz-Alan, the undoubted Founder, was, as we have seen, called a youth by Ordericus in 1138, and was therefore not born so early as 1100. Also, no Canons-regular of St. Augustine, such as were those of Haughmond, had not found their way into England, till 1105 at the earliest. [7]

A second date has been assigned for this foundation under the following circumstances.- In the year 1253 a Shropshire jury had been empanelled to try an issue as to the right of patronage over this House. Their return, made to the Courts at Westminster, in Michaelmas Term of that year, remains on the Plea-Rolls, and a seeming copy thereof is given in the Abbey Chartulary. The latter however enlarges on the text of the Plea-Roll. Part of the verdict as recorded in the legal document is, Dicta Abbacia est de feodo Johannis Alani et a predecessoribus suis fundata;- to which words the Chartulary adds, "anno xxxvii Regis Henrici Secundi". [8] Henry II. did not, however, live to enter on his 37th, or even on his 36th regnal year. This inaccuracy is not, I imagine, to be explained by charging it on a false chronology of the jurors,

[6] The extract is written in red ink throughout, and is therefore the work of the Rubricator of the Chartulary. All documents professing to be copied from original deeds stand in black ink. The Chartulary was probably written as late as the reign of Henry VII.; but I have allowed in the text for a possibility that the writer got his information from some older source.
[7] Their first houses seem to have been at Colchester, founded in 1105,- Christ Church, London, founded about 1108,- Brisett, in Suffolk, founded about 1110,- and Nostell, Yorkshire, founded about 1114. See Monasticon, VI. 37.
[8] Compare Monasticon, VI. 111, No. VIII., and Abbrev. Placitorum, p. 129.


who probably did not make any date part of their verdict. It rather belongs to the transcriber of the Chartulary, who has assigned the year in which the trial was taken (viz. 37 Henry) to the foundation of the Abbey, and so incorporated it in the supposed verdict, altering, however, the style of the King to suit his own ideas.

The third date assigned for the foundation of Haughmond is 1110, [9] which may be possible, so far as that about that time Augustine Canons were settling in England, but is inconsistent with the known era of the Founder.

We may now dismiss all previous statements on this subject, and investigate the question of date on other evidence.-

The mistakes which have given to Haughmond a too high degree of antiquity, may possibly be connected with a circumstance which Leland heard and recorded, viz. that there had been a Hermitage and Chapel there, previous to the erection of the Abbey. [10]

The Chartulary contains no Charter of Foundation by which we may estimate the date when the Abbey was begun. The document purporting to be a Foundation-Charter is in fact nothing of the kind, but, as I shall presently show, belongs to a much later period. The next object of search must therefore be the earliest deed which the Chartulary contains. This, when found, though it may say nothing about foundation, will probably belong to the period immediately succeeding that event. The deed then which I fix upon hypothetically, as the oldest in the Chartulary, is one whereby William Fitz-Alan gives, to "the Church of St. John the Evangelist at Haghmon, the fishery of Upton, which is upon Severn, and the man and land pertaining thereto, free and quit of all service, for the maintenance (victum) of Fulco the Prior, and all his brethren, living in the aforesaid church, in right perpetual, so long as faithful brethren shall serve God in the same church. Witnesses,- Walter, his (the grantor's) brother, and Christiana, his (the grantor's) wife, and Matthew Dapifer". [11]

Now this Deed exhibits, I think, the church of Haughmond as a Priory, and so in an intermediate state between the previous Hermitage and the subsequent Abbey. As no other Charter to

[9] Tanner assigns this date on the evidence of a MS. chronicle, formerly in possession of Thomas White, Bishop of Peterborough (1685-1690).
[10] Itinerary, Vol. VIII. fo. 113, a.

Leland also gives 1101 as the date of the Abbey, and William Fitz-Alan as the founder. He says too that William Fitz-Alan and his wife were buried at Haughmond. If the founder is hereby meant (and Leland's words can only be so taken) it is a mistake. He was buried at Shrewsbury Abbey.
[11] Chartulary, fo. 168: Tit. Preston.


Haughmond has so obvious an appearance of being a grant to a Priory, we have thus far justified our selection of this as the earliest of its Charters.-

The difficulty of dating this Charter is not so great as its very brief testing-clause would promise. The Grantor was a "youth", [12] and became an exile from Shropshire in 1138. He is not heard of at any earlier period than the close of Henry I.'s, or beginning of Stephen's reign. To that period (1130-8) I therefore assign the deed. With this agrees all that can be ascertained of the two witnesses; e.g. Walter Fitz-Alan had no feoffment in his brother's barony till after 1135. In 1141 he appears as an active partisan of the Empress. He died in 1177. Christiana, the wife of William Fitz-Alan, was a niece of the Earl of Gloucester. The latter was the eldest of Henry I.'s illegitimate children. It is not probable that he should have had a marriageable niece much before 1135. At the same time Fitz-Alan must have been married at least as early as 1136, for, in August 1138, he was father of more than one child by this very wife, of whom we are speaking.

There is another very early grant by William Fitz-Alan to Haughmond. It does not speak of the church either as a Priory or an Abbey, but I cannot help looking on this Charter as nearly coeval with the last. "William Fitz-Alan with his wife, Dame Christiana, give to God and to the Church of St. John of Hamon, and to the Canons there serving God, two carucates of their own demesne (de proprio nostro fundo) of Hales" (Sheriff Hales): they give the same "for support of the Canons' necessities, in perpetual alms, for the remission of the grantors' sins and the souls' redemption of their parents and ancestors, and specially for the soul of their son Alan, whose body they had bestowed in burial there" (i.e. at Haughmond). [13]

The next Charter which I shall cite is one of which the date can

[12] Ordericus calls him so, but the expression must be construed with some latitude. Fitz Alan was probably upwards of thirty years of age in 1138.
[13] Chartulary, fo. 53. The land given was Cutteston, then a member of Sheriff Hales. The forms of expression used in this Charter are more antiquated than in many other deeds of William Fitz-Alan. Two of the witnesses, viz. Roger Fitz-Siward and Gluric the Priest (Sacerdos), do not appear in any other or presumptively later deed hitherto seen by me. The other witnesses are John le Strange and Marescote, whose feoffments in Shropshire were later than 1135. Marescote, unless this deed be the exception, does not appear till after Fitz-Alan's restoration in 1155. John le Strange held indeed a fee in Norfolk under Fitz-Alan, which was apparently of old feoffment, i.e. granted to him or his ancestors before 1135. However, the early history of the Stranges is itself too great a problem to allow of its yielding any facts for the clearance of other difficulties.


be proved within a year, almost within a month, but it does not inform us whether Haughmond was as yet an Abbey, or only a Priory.-

"Matilda, the Empress, daughter of King Henry, and Lady of the English", addressing the Bishop of Chester and others, informs them that "she has given to God and to Saint John the Evangelist of Haghmon, and to the Canons Regular, there serving God, three carucates of land in Walecote, with the men and all things belonging, with soch, and sach, and thol, and infangetheof, for the remission of her sins. Witnesses,- David, King of Scots, R. (Robert) Bishop of London, A. (Alexander) Bishop of Lincoln, W. (William) the Chancellor, R. (Richard) de Belmes, Archdeacon (of Middlesex), Rainald, Earl of Cornwall, W. (William) Fitz-Alan, and W. (Walter) his brother, and Alan de Dunstonvill. At Oxenford". [14] This Deed passed in June or July, 1141, [15] and so during Stephen's imprisonment and the temporary ascendency of the Empress.

Another grant of the Empress to Haughmond I can say little of. It was of Walcot Mill, and was attested by Robert fitz Heldeber, Walter Fitz-Alan, and Nigel de Brac. The infamy of the first witness happens to furnish us with the proximate date of this charter. It must have passed before ll44, when Robert Fitz-Hildebrand, having betrayed the interests of the Empress to Stephen and the Bishop of Winchester, and being tainted with the further crimes of adultery and sacrilege, expired by the same horrible death which is recorded as the judgment of Heaven on Herod Agrippa.

There was a Charter of King Stephen to Haughmond, in which, addressing the Bishop of Chester, he gives three carucates and the mill of Walcote, as if his own original gift, and without any reference to the previous Charters of the Empress. [16] This was the usual course pursued by these great antagonists. It is again to be noted in this Charter, that the grantees are described only as the "Canons Regular of Haghmon". Another early grant to Haughmond is by Walcheline de Maminot, a noted partisan of the Empress, and who, early in Stephen's reign, succeeded, in what way is not known, to a

[14] Chartulary, fo. 220, collated with Harleian MS. 2188, fol. 123.
[15] Robert de Sigillo, Bishop of London, was so appointed by the Empress in June 1141, when she visited the Metropolis. From London she and King David went to Oxford, thence to Gloucestershire, and back to Oxford, where they are known to have been on July 25. On August 2nd, they had invested Winchester. Thence, after their disastrous defeat, King David fled to Scotland. He never saw his niece afterwards.
[16] Chartulary, fo. 221. Stephen calls Walcote a member of kis manor of Welinton.


share of the Shropshire Barony of the Peverels. This Charter is to the "Church of St. John of Haghmon", to which it conveys the Mill of Bradeforde, [17] then involved in the Manor of High Ercall. It is attested by Roger fitz Warin and Fulk, his brother, whom I believe to have been tenants of the Peverels at Whittington. This deed passed before the year 1147, as we know from the concurrent act of William Peverel of Dover, at that time a Coparcener in the Peverel estates. William Peverell's grant, the original of which still exists, [18] is verbally to "St. John and the Canons of Haiman". Its date, as well as the date of Walcheline Maminot's deed (to which it refers), is fixed as in or before 1147, for William Peverel went on the crusade of that year and perished therein.

"Henry, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Earl of Anjou", confirmed his mother's donation to Haughmond, according to her Charter. The Prince was at Leicester, and William Fitz-Alan attests his Deed. [19] It can be dated almost to a day, and so is not only a fact for history, but a monument of Fitz-Alan's constancy. The Prince attained the titles which he uses in 1151 and 1152. On January 6, 1153, he landed in England to fight for his crown. He was at Leicester on June 7, at Warwick on June 12, and, on August 18, he entered on that pacification with Stephen which at length ended in his leaving England about Easter 1154. In eight months he returned, not however as Duke of Normandy only, but as Stephen's successor on the throne.

In 1155, the Haughmond Chartulary supplies us with another interesting circumstance and its date. In the beginning of July a great council of the nation had been summoned to Bridgnorth to settle the terms of the King's peace with Hugh de Mortimer, hitherto in rebellion. William Fitz-Alan, now no longer under attaint, had restitution of his lands and honours from the King. On the 25th of July, the day on which he took the homage of his tenants at Bridgnorth, and in presence of a great concourse of barons and knights, Fitz-Alan gave the church of Wroxeter to the Abbot and Canons of Hageman in perpetual alms, for the well-being of the Lord the King, and the souls'-health of himself; his ancestors, and successors. [20]

[17] Chartulary, fo. 39.
[18] In possession of Mr. George Morris of Shrewsbury. It is printed in the Collactanea Topographica et Genealogica, Vol. V. p. 175.
[19] Chartulary, fo. 220, b.
[20] Most of these particulars are taken from two curious certificates of John le Strange and Roger de Powis, who (perhaps in consequence of a question as to the Abbot's title to Wroxeter Church) were called upon to state their recollection of the grant, long after the grantor's death.

The grant by William Fitz-Alan, as preserved in the Chartulary, is a most curious document, and shall be given elsewhere. I should state, however, that he gives Wroxeter Church to his Canons (Canonicis meis de Haghmon) "to in-crease their number, so that they may thenceforth have a full convent". He also stipulates certain conditions which the "Abbot of Haghmon " is to observe. Here, therefore, we have not only the first assurance of Haughmond having become an Abbey, but also a specific assertion of its previously low condition.


At Michaelmas 1156, the same William Fitz-Alan, as Sheriff of Shropshire, discharges his account of the ferm of the King's demesnes of a sum of 3. 11s. 4d. It was for "land given to the Abbot of Hageman"; [21] and we know from later records that this sum represented the annual revenue arising from those grants in Walcote which the Empress had made long before.

Between his restoration and his death, which happened about Easter 1160, William Fitz-Alan made and encouraged various other grants to Haughmond Abbey. He gave them land at Downton, Marscot, his tenant there, acceding, and also Isabel (Fitz-Alan's wife) to whose dowry the premises belonged. He gave them the Mill of Tipton, with half a virgate of land, and the islands belonging thereto, which grant appears on the Chartulary as if originally made by his son, which it was not.

He gave them the land of Piperinges (in Sussex) with a right of such common-pasture in the neighbouring vill of Stokes, as had been enjoyed by Avelina, his mother. This grant he made while Ingenulf was Abbot of Haughmond, and before he (Fitz-Alan) had enfeoffed his brother Walter in Stokes. He gave them the church of Stokes with consent of his wife, Isabella.

He gave them half a salt-pit in South Wich (Cheshire), a grant afterwards, it would seem, increased by his son, but again without reference to the previous gift of the father.

He further encouraged and confirmed several grants of his tenants, viz. of Hamo le Strange in Naginton; of Gilbert de Hadnall in Hardwick; of Osbert de Hopton and others in Hopley; of Alan Fitz Oliver and others in Sundorn, and of Roger Fitz Hunald in Ree. [22]

I have said that William Fitz-Alan died about Easter 1160. By his first wife, Christiana, he left no surviving male issue, but by his second wife, Isabel de Say, Baroness of Clun, whom he seems to have married about 1153-4., he left a son, William, an infant, whose minority seems to have expired about June, 1175. It was during

[21] Rot. Pip., 2 Hen. II. Salop.
[22] Chartulary, passim: and Harl. MS. 2188, fol. 123.


this minority that King Henry II., at request of Alured, Abbot of Haughmond, who seems to have sometime been the King's tutor, [23] granted to William Fitz-Alan and his heirs, custody of the Abbey and its possessions in all future vacancies; and this, notwithstanding any grants which had been or might be made, by the King or his heirs, to the said Abbey. [24]

This was in effect a cession of the right of patronage by the King to the youthful heir of the Founder of Haughmond. The Deed passed unquestionably either between 1163 and 1166, or else in 1170. [25] The favour thus granted at petition of Abbot Alured, rather than of Fitz-Alan, is curiously consistent with the known minority of the latter.

Another Charter remains on the Abbey-Register, which requires a few remarks here, inasmuch as its expressions are such as to render it easily mistaken for the Foundation Charter. It is entitled, "De Sede et Loco Abbathiae ibidem", and, in fact, conveys the site and precinct of the church, with all appurtenance's, to the Canons". This is done without any reference to a previous grant thereof. The Charter is, however, by the second William Fitz-Alan, and so is really only a Charter of confirmation. I could quote several other Charters of the same Baron, which have a similarly delusive appearance; but avoiding a matter of such detail, I will merely say that this deed passed positively between the years 1175 and 1196, probably towards the close of that period.

Summarily, then, we conclude the Augustine House of Haughmond to have been founded as a Priory between 1130 and 1138, to have grown into an Abbey in or before 1155, and that its Founder in all respects was the first William fitz Alan; that its other benefactors, during the life of the Founder, were the Empress Matilda, King Henry II., Walcheline Maminot, William Peverel of Dover, and several of the Founder's tenants. We need not include Stephen, whose grant was either an act of usurpation, or a piece of mimic

[23] Ad preces Aluredi Abbatis de Haghmon, nutricii mei.
[24] Monasticon, VI. 108, Num. III.
[25] The Deed passed at Woodstock and purports to have been tested by Geoffrey, "Archbishop of Canterbury " (a person who never existed) and Richard de Camville. The first witness, whose title I have seen similarly misrepresented elsewhere, was Geoffrey Ridel, Archdeacon of Canterbury, so appointed in 1163, and who was elected Bishop of Ely in 1173.

A grant of land which the King made cotemporarily to Haughmond has the two witnesses rightly described (Chartulary, fol. 132). It also is dated at Woodstock, and it received the Papal Confirmation in May, 1172. These facts, when combined with the known movements of the King, limit the date of both deeds as stated in the text.
[23] Printed Monasticon, VI. 108, No. II.


piety; but we must add the names of Ranulph de Gernons, Earl of Chester, who was poisoned by the partisans of Stephen in December 1153, and of Walter Durdent, Bishop of Chester, who died in 1159.

The foundation of Haughmond was therefore associated with a distinct political creed; for those whom I have named were, for the most part, either the representatives or champions of that cause of legitimacy which was at issue during the twenty years that followed the death of Henry I. All, or nearly all, were sufferers, either from the eminence of their position, or the greater loftiness of their principles. Thus out of calamities such as Shropshire has never again experienced, were elicited at least two beneficial results- the increase of its religious establishments, and the triumph of those hereditary rights which it has ever since venerated as divine.

Thus far I have treated of the Foundation of Haughmond Abbey as distinct from its development. In proceeding with the latter subject the multiplicity of evidences obliges me to be select. I propose, then, to take in chronological order such documents as refer to the site, the precinct, the home-estate, or the internal affairs of the Monastery. Charters of General Confirmation, and Charters having reference to acquisitions which cannot be conveniently treated of under specific localities, shall also have due notice.-

The following Charter of King Henry II. passed between 1155 and 1160.-

Henricus Rex Anglie et Dux Normannie et Aquitanie et Comes Andegavie Archiepiscopis, etc., salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse Deo et Scto Johanni Evangeliste de Haghmon et Canonicis Regularibus ibidem Deo servientibus pro anima Regis Henrici avi nostri et pro salute mea et heredum meorum ipsam sedem et locum Abbatiae et LX acras quas ipsi ibidem assartaverunt, [27] et tres carucatas terre in Walcota (Walcote) quas domina et mater mea, Imperatrix, eis in elemosynam dedit, cum omnibus rebus ad eas pertinentibus et cum molendino ejusdem ville. Quare volo, etc. Testibus, Ricardo de Humez, Constabulario; M. Biset, Dapifero; Warino filio Geroldi Camerario; Roberto de Donnstonvill; Waltero Hosato; et Willielmo filio Alani. Apud Newa. [28]

In 1172, Alured, Abbot of Haghmon, procured the two Bulls of Pope Alexander III., already alluded to. That which confirms the possessions of the House has the following clauses.-

[27] Haughmond Abbey was founded within the jurisdiction of that part of the Royal Forest of Mount Gilbert which was afterwards known as the "Bailiwick of Haughmond".
[28] Chartulary at Sundorn, fo. 77.


Ex dono sancte recordationis Walteri Episcopi mansuram unam in Cestria. Ex dono Regis Henrici Secundi sedem et locum Abbatie de Haghmon cum essartis;- ex dono Regis Henrici Secundi Walletone et molendinum ejusdem ville. Ex dono Willielmi filii Alani, Fundatoris predicte ecclesie, dominium de Dontona et dimid' virgatam eadem villa. Ex dono Radulfi Comitis Cestrie batum unum in Dee et quietantiam de 6000 allecium a teloneo. In Salopesbiria ex divisa Willielmi Palmarii XXX acras in campo de Coleham cum decimis ejusdem terre et V acras in campis de Cotes, etc.

Pope Alexander's Bull of Privileges is in the form usually granted to Augustine Houses. As printed elsewhere, [29] I need not minutely describe it. It exempts all lands brought under cultivation by the Canons (novalia), and all the produce applied to feeding their live-stock, from tithes. It gives them the right of free sepulture within the Abbey, and forbids any one to resist the last Wills of those who should have given themselves in burial there. Such were the provisions which operated to make Sundorn and Haughmond extra-parochial, a status which remains to this day. The same Bull gives the Canons the uncontrolled right of electing their successive Abbots; the right of celebrating divine services, in a prescribed way, even during the time of a General Interdict; a freedom from tithes as regarded all their meadows and mills, unless previously tithed; and it forbids any one to erect either Church or Oratory within Parishes, whereof the Canons had the Advowson, except with the consent of the Diocesan Bishop and of themselves.

The same, or other privileges were enlarged or conferred by successive papal Bulls of Honorius III. (1216-1227), Nicholas III. (1277-1280), Martin IV. (1281-1285), and Boniface IX. (1389-1404). Richard Peche, Bishop of Coventry (1161-1182), completed the parochial independence of this House, by allowing that one of the Brethren, holding the office of Sacrist under the Abbot, should administer the Sacrament of Baptism to both Jews and Infants within the Monastery, and should have right parochial over all familiars or domestics of the House, as regarded the administration of Church Sacraments in general. [30]

The following Charters of King Henry II., [31] passed at Shrewsbury, probably towards the close of the year 1176.-

Henricus D.G. Rex .Anglie, Dux Normannie et Aquitanie et Comes Andegavie, Archiepiscopis, etc., salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et

[29] Monasticon, VI. 112, No. XII.
[30] Chartulary, fo. 81.
[31] Harl. MS., 2188, fo. 123;- collated with the Sundorn Chartulary.


concessisse et presenti carta confirmasse Deo et Scto Johanni Evangeliste de Haghemon et Canonicis Regularibus ibi Deo servientibus pro anima Regis Henrici avi mei, etc., ipsam sedem et locum Abbatie et LX acras quas ibidem assartaverunt et tres carucatas in Waletone quas domina et mater mea Imperatrix eis in elemosynam dedit; et preterea concedo eis et confirmo quicquid Willielmus filius Alani rationabiliter eidem Ecclesie dedit, videlicet terram de Piperinges cum suit pertinentiis et libertatibus in campis, etc., liberam ab omni terreno servetio et auxiliis, operacionibus, scutagiis, etc., necnon et communitatem propriis animalibus in pasturis qua pertinent ad villam de Stokes, in bosco, in plano, et in alneto, sicut animalia Aveline matris ipsius Willielmi filii Alani eandem communitatem aliquo tempore melius habuerunt, etc. Et ecclesiam de Stokes quam ipse Willielmus eia dedit assensu Isabelle uxoris sue, etc. Et ex dono Alani filii Oliverii et matris ejus et fratrum ipsius et Osberti filii Frogerii, etc. [32] Ex dono Johannis Extranei ecclesiam de Hunestaneston et ecclesiam de Cheswordin, etc. Ex dono Widonis Extranei molendinum de Stretton quod est super Avenam, etc. Ex dono Willielmi Peverell molendinum de Bradeford, sicut Walchelinus Maminot eis antea dederit. Ex dono Simonis Corbet Eadeston quam Everardus frater ejus antea donaverat. Testibus, R. Cestrie et A. de Sto Assav. Epicopis; Ricardo de Luci; Willielmo filio Adelini, dapifero; Hugone de Laci; Roberto Marmion; Wallielmo Malovicino; Bertram de Verdon; Saero de Quinci; Waltero de Dunstanville; Gerardo de Camvill; Willielmo filio Radulfi; Widone Extraneo. Apud Salopesburiam.

Henricus D. G. Rex Anglie et Dux Normannie et Aguitanie et Comes Andegavie Justiciariis, Vicecomitibus, etc., Anglie et Wallie salutem. Sciatis me dedisse, etc., Canonicis Regularibus de Haghmon quietanciam de theloneo de omnibus rebus quas emerint ad proprios usus suos et de omnibus rebus suis dominicis quas vendiderint per totam terram meam de Anglia et Wallia. Et ideo prohibeo, etc. Testibus, Ricardo de Luci, Wallielmo filio Andel' dapifero, Hugone de Laci, apud Salop.

The following Charter of Richard I. bears date at Portsmouth April 25, 1194, and shows what grants had recently been made to the Abbey.-

Ricardus d. g. Rex Anglie, etc. Sciatis nos (confirmasse), etc., racionabilem donacionem quam Emma filia Reginaldi de Pulrebeche fecit eis de villa de Beebrugge et donacionem quam Robertus de la Mara et Agnes filia ejus fecit, etc., et donacionem quam Emma soror

[32] Confirming the grant of Sundorn.- Supra, p. 278.


Regis Henrici patris nostri fecit eis de Stochiete cum pertinentiis. Testibus, H. Cantuar. Archiepiscopo; Hugone Dunelm. R. de Sto Asaph. Episcopis; W. Marescallo; Gaufrido filio Petri; de Ste Marie Ecclesia; filio Alani; Hugone Pantolf; Johanne le Strange; William de Botereus et allis. Dat. per manum Willielmi Eliensis Episcopi, Cancellarii nostri, xxvo Aprilis apud Portesmues, anno regni nostri quinto.

Not a single Patent, Privilege, or favour can I find vouchsafed by King John to this House. Between 1198 and 1208, Geoffrey de Muschamp, Bishop of Coventry, confirmed that mansure of land in the Foregate of Chester, which the Canons had held in the time of his predecessors (the allusion is to Walter Durdent). This Confirmation was attested by Master Robert, Archdeacon of Salop. [33]

The Charta de Foresta promulgated by King Henry III., on February 11, 1225, was conceived in a liberal spirit. It was followed by a Perambulation of the Forests of Shropshire, a document now lost; but full advantage seems to have been taken of the King's liberality. Among other lands, disforested by this perambulation, were lands in the Forest of Haghmon and in Mittelwode. The Canons took immediate opportunity to assart 16 acres in these localities. A Writ-Close of the King, dated January 10, 1227, shows that the King was greatly dissatisfied with the first Perambulation of Shropshire Forests, and wished to reinvestigate its particulars. [34] We learn from the Haughmond Chartulary that a second Perambulation shortly took place, and that the localities where the Canons had made their assarts were reafforested. But on August 10, 1232, the King being at Wenlock, the Canons of Haughmond obtained from him a special Charter, acquitting the aforesaid 16 acres from regard and view of the King's Foresters for ever. The Bishops of Winchester and of Coventry and Lichfield, the Earl of Chester and Lincoln, and John de Lacy, Constable of Chester, attested the King's Charter. [35]

On May 10, 1253, a Writ of King Henry III. directs that Inquisition be made as to the Jus Fundatorium of Haghmon Abbey, that is, who had been used to have custody of the Abbey during vacancies, and who had been used to grant the license for an Abbot, to be at any time elected, and to grant assent to such election when made? The Jury replied hereto that the Ancestors of John fitz Alan had been used to have custody of the Abbey on the death or cession of any Abbot, that from them license to elect a new Abbot

[33] Chartulary, fo. 42.
[34] Rot. Claus. II. 206.
[35] Cartae Antiquae, P.P. 31.


had always been asked by the Prior and Convent, and that they had always assented to such election; that the only instance to the contrary was in the case of the election of Gilbert, the late Abbot, which, having occurred while John fitz Alan was in ward to the Crown, had been conducted by the King's previous license and subsequent assent; lastly, that the Abbey was of John fitz Alan's fee, and had been founded by his Ancestors. This Verdict and John fitz Alan's seizin of the right of patronage were sanctioned by process of the Courts of Westminster, in Michaelmas Term 1253, and by a Writ of the King himself, dated October 18 of the same year. [36]

On October 10, 1283, King Edward I., being at Acton Burnell, allows the Abbot and Convent of Haghmon to assart and fence 14 acres of land in their Bosc of Bottewode and 14 acres of meadow in their Bosc of Haghmon. [37]

By comparing a statement in the Chartulary of Haughmond [38] with the Taxation of Pope Nicholas, we get an estimate of the extent and value of the Monastic possessions in 1291.

The following Table will give this synoptically.-

Temporalities. Spiritualities. Temporalities and Spiritualities. . s. d. . s. d. . s. d.

Lichf. Dioc.- Salop Archdeaconry: 50 4 0. 18 9 6 Do. -Stafford Archdeaconry: 6 13 4 Do. -Chester Archdeaconry: 10 0 0 Wigorn. Dioc: 3 10 0 Heref. Dioc: 30 10 0 Bangor Dioc: 5 3 4 St. Asaph Dioc: 8 0 7 Chichester Dioc: 6 13 4 Norwich Dioc: 18 0 0

Totals: 84 17 4. 28 12 10. 43 13 11

[36] Chartulary, fo. 76.
[37] The Chartulary supplies us with the mode of measuring an acre of bosc. "The foot was thirteen thumbs and one barley-corn in length. Twenty-two and a half such feet went to the Rod (virga). A space, measuring 40 such rods in length, by 4 in width, constituted the acra bosci regalis. A space measuring 900 feet long and 90 feet across, was similarly an acre. Two sides of the acre would therefore jointly measure 1000 feet, less 10 feet".

Such is the curious mode in which Monastic arithmeticians, unused to algebraical signs, expounded their meaning.
[38] Chartulary, fo. 81, b.


There are some latent errors in the above items, not discoverable by the process of collation. However the total presented, viz. 157. 4s. 1d., is within 40s. of the total, apparently produced by the Accountant who wrote the Chartulary.

By the Great Forest-Perambulation of 1300, the Abbey of Hagwemon with its boscs, roads, and plains, as well as the Earl of Arundel's bosc of Upton, were disforested.

It appears from a letter of Bishop Walter de Langton, dated January 23rd, 1306, that in his late Visitations of this Abbey, he had been scandalized at finding that five professed Canons of the House were living loose and irregular lives. As they remained incorrigible, he now orders his Official, and the Archdeacon of Salop, to cause them to be severally deported to five other Augustine Monasteries of his Diocese, and there to be subjected to a discipline which he prescribes. John de Sarum, Peter de Sumerford, Richard de Peppelawe, William de Leighton, and Thomas de Bruges, were the Canons thus dealt with. [39]

On August 31, 1310, Edmund Earl of Arundel, being at Haughmon, gave leave to the Canons to improve, as they might, the waste and bosc which lay between the road, which led from the Abbey towards Shawbury, and the wood of Uffington.

On April 7, 1313, a Patent of Edward II. allows the Canons to enclose 60 acres of their bosc which lay within the Royal Forest of Haghmon. [40]

On May 1, 1313, Edmund Earl of Arundel, then at Castle-Isabel, quit-claims to the Abbey a disputed parcel of wood between the Abbey wood and Upton wood. He also grants a place of waste land to the Abbey, near Upton Mill. Witnesses,- Sir John Peschel, Sir John Blangmoster, knights; Sir Roger de Kynlet, Clerk, Roger Cheney, and Roger Careles.

On May 16, 1314, Edmund Earl of Arundel demises to the Abbey, for a fee-farm rent of 2 merks, a parcel of land in the bosc of Haghmon, called Blakewellemor, lying, in length, between the Shrewsbury and Haughton road, and the road from the Abbey towards Shawbury, and in breadth between the field of Haghmon and the field of Haughton. Witnesses,- Sirs Walter de Huggeford, Richard de Leghton, and Thomas de Roshall, knights; Roger de Cheyne, Hugh his son, Thomas de Wythenton, John Husee, etc. Dated at Haghmon.

[39] Lichfield Reg. A., fo. 25.
[40] Patent. 6 Edw. II., p. 2, m. 15.


Walter de Ireland, appointed the Earl's Attorney in the above demise, soon afterwards quit-claims all his own interest, whether as a Bailiff or as a Tenant in the premises. Witnesses,- Master Robert de Preston, Clerk; John Husee of Adbrithtone; Richard Gery of Acton; William de Schettone, William Reigner of Withiford, etc.

In the last year of his life (1325-6) the Earl quit-claimed to the Abbey the above rent of 2 merks. [41]

On June 10, 1315, Bishop Walter de Langton visited Haghmon Abbey. He made certain alterations in a plan for the support and treatment of Gilbert de Caumpedene, the late Abbot, which plan had been framed by a Commissioner of the Bishop's, pursuant to an order made at a previous visitation, when the said Abbot's resignation had been tendered and accepted.

By another letter, immediately after the Visitation of 1315, Bishop Langton rebukes the Convent for having granted a corrody for life to one Roger de Oi without Episcopal sanction; also for allowing each Canon a sum of money wherewith to provide clothing and shoes for himself. He forbids such practices in future, and directs that a Chamberlain be appointed, who should provide garments, etc., for all members of the community indifferently. "The Bishop will not on this occasion inflict punishment for the above excesses". [42]

On July 2, 1315, the same Bishop approves of the step which the Convent had taken in apportioning specific revenues, wherewith their Chamberlain was to provide the vesture of the Brethren. The fruits and profits of Cheswardine Church, and the rents of Nagynton and Hydesland, were thus appropriated. [43]

On August 12 (1316) Edmund Earl of Arundel, then at Arundel, advises Walter de Yrlond, Warden of his Wood of Upton, that he has granted a parcel thereof, in farm, to Haghmon Abbey. The Canons are to have seizin thereof.

On Sept. 28, 1316, the Earl, being at Clun, gives a similar commission to his dear and well-beloved Roger Carles, who, on October 12 following, certifies his fulfilment of the Earl's behest.

On May 26, 1318, King Edward II. issues a Patent allowing Edmund Earl of Arundel to demise, at a fee-farm rent of 20s., to the Abbot and Convent of Haghmon, 60 acres of his boscs in Upton Manor.

On February 27, 1320, King Edward II. confirmed, by Patent, all the principal possessions of the Abbey. This Patent (printed

[41] Harl. MS. 446, and Chartulary, fo. 36.
[42] [43] Regist. Langton, fos. 66, 68.


elsewhere) [44] I need not recite, especially as it does not embody any digest of grants by the Fitz Alans, or any matter relative to the site and precinct of the Abbey.

King Edward II.'s Charter of Free-Warren, to the Abbot and Convent of Haghmon, followed on April 27, 1320. It extends to their demesnes at Haghmon, Uffington, Downton, Grinsill, Hardwick, Muriden, and Linley, besides places already mentioned. [45]

In September 1326 Bishop Northburgh sends a letter to the Abbot and Convent, in which he sets forth the destitution of the bearer,- a man, who having been formerly ordained Priest by Bishop Langton, on a Title provided by the Abbey, had been so maltreated by Robbers, as to be utterly incapable of discharging any duties of his Office. The Bishop advises and exhorts the Convent, in common charity, to provide necessaries for a man so circumstanced, and in common decency not to allow a clergyman to beg. He concludes his letter with a hint about legal compulsion in case milder arguments were unavailing. [46]

We next come to a reminiscence of the unfortunate Edmund Earl of Arundel, dated seventeen years after his execution.- On November 18, 1348, John de Cherleton Senior, John de Cherleton Junior, and John Tromwyn, Knights, and John son of Richard de Leighton, Knight, being at Salop, bind themselves to the Abbot of Haghmon in a penal bond of 50., unless the first-named John de Cherleton should convey to the Abbey the Advowson of the Church of Lydom, to provide three Chaplains regular in the Church of Haghmon, to chant for the soul of the Lord Edmond Earl of Arundel for ever.

A document of the year 1443 informs us of a design originated by Henry V. and encouraged by Henry VI., of founding a College without the walls of Oxford, for the special training of Students of the Augustine Order. An estate in the Oxford Parishes of St. Peter le Bailey and St. Michael, had now been bought for this purpose, by the Prior and Convent of the Holy Trinity, London, as representatives of that Order. I presume the Abbot and Convent of Haughmond had subscribed to this purchase, for the London community binds itself in 40. to the Haughmond community in case the said estate should be alienated or applied to amy second purpose. [47]

The Valor of Henry VIII. gives us Abbot Thomas's account of the gross and net income of his House in the year 1535-6.-

[44] Monasticon, VI. 109, Num. IV.
[45] Rot. Chart. 13 Edw. II.
[46] Northborgh Regist. III. fo. 19, b.
[47] Monasticon, VII. 110, No. VII.


Its income in Temporalities and Spiritualities was 294. 12s. 9d. Its outgoings, in Chief-rents, standing dues, official salaries, Church-pensions, Episcopal and Archideaconal dues, and alms, were 34. 19s. 1d. The net income was therefore 259. 13s. 7d.-

Among the details, I should here remark, that the whole income from the demesne lands of Haughmond, viz. 19. 19s. 4d., was reserved for the use of the Hospice, or Guest-room. The alms for the poor were scanty indeed.- On Maundy-Thursday (coena domini) 40s. were distributed by ordinance of the original Founder. By the same ordinance seven paupers, who prayed daily for the Founder, divided 6. 13s. 4d. among themselves in a year:- in other words, each person had about one halfpenny per week.

The Officers, who were receiving the income of the dissolved Monastery of Haughmond in 1541-2, returned items amounting to 297. 9s. 6d.,- an extraordinary approximation to the return of Abbot Thomas; but we must remember that in the later account a fee-farm rent of only 2. 8s. 7d. was received for the site and demesne-lands of Haughmond. [48] These had been granted in the previous year (32 Henry VIII.) to Edmund Littleton.


Though it was only by accident that the Crown was called upon to sanction the election of an Abbot of Haughmond, and though we may search Patent-Rolls and Public Records in vain for anything like a list of these dignitaries, yet a very full account of their succession may be compiled from other sources.- While the House was still a Priory, that is, about the year 1135,-

FULCO was at its head as Prior. It is not apparent that he ever assumed the title of Abbot.

INGENULF, Abbot of Haghmon, is Grantee in a Charter of the first William fitz Alan, which passed between 1155 and 1158. [49]

ALURED, having been apparently Tutor (Nutricius) to King Henry II., when a youth, occurs as Abbot of Haghmon in or before 1170, and again in May 1172.

WILLIAM was Abbot here between the years 1176 and 1182.

RICHARD occurs as Abbot before 1180;- also in 1186-7,
[50] in November 1192, in October and November 1194, in October 1203, and in or after 1204. [51]

[48] Monasticon, VI. 113, 114.
[49] Harl. MS. 2188, fo. 123.
[50] Supra, Vol. V. p.42.
[51] John, Abbot of Haughmond, is said in one List to occur in 5 John (1203-4). I cannot verify this, and greatly doubt it.


RALPH, Abbot of Haghmon, attests a Charter of Bishop Muschamp in 1206, [52] and is a frequent witness of other Charters between 1204 and 1210.

NICHOLAS occurs as Abbot between 1217 and 1222.

OSBERT occurs between 1217 and 1222, and between 1220 and 1226. [53]

WILLIAM (II.) occurs in August 1226 and October 1227.

RALPH, whom we must call Ralph (II.), is said to have succeeded William, but on evidence which in some particulars is erroneous. [54] However, I have seen a Deed which shows that there was an Abbot Ralph at this period. [54]

HERVEY was Abbot on June 25, 1236. In March 1241 the Abbacy was vacant, and in consequence (as I presume) of the coincident minority of John fitz Alan (II.), the King's sanction was necessary to the election of-

ENGELARD, a Canon of this House, to be its Abbot. Such assent is expressed in a Patent of April 1, 1241. Engelard soon vacated by cession or death; for other Patents of August 10 and August 24, 1241, addressed to the Bishop of Lichfield's Official, to the Sheriff of Shropshire, and to the Abbey tenants, certify the Royal assent to the election of-

GILBERT, late Prior of Stanes, as Abbot. Gilbert occurs in office in 1245, 1246, 1248, and as late as August 1252. [55] It is probable that the question about the right of Patronage, mooted in May 1253, [56] was relevant to a then existing vacancy; indeed Gilbert is spoken of as the "late Abbot" in the Inquest held in that year. I presume that his successor was-

ALEXANDER, who appears to have been in office in January 1256; [57] and perhaps three or four years later.

JOHN is said to have been Abbot in 48 Hen. III. (1263-4); but I cannot verify this statement, or say whether this was the Abbot John who is exhibited in one List [58] as of the House of Le Strange, and (erroneously) as having held office as early as 28 Hen. III. (1243-4). We have an indication that an Abbot John survived the accession of Edward I. (Nov. 20, 1272), [59] but I hardly trust it.

ALAN is said to have been Abbot in 2 Edw. I. (1273-4), and I

[52] Wombridge Chartulary, Tit. Lopinton, No. VII.
[53] Supra, Vol. V. p. 185.
[54] Collect. Topogr. et Genealogica, I. 362, note. Chartulary, fo. 140, b.
[55] Monasticon, VII. 750, No. XIV.
[56] Supra, pp. 294, 295.
[57] Harl. MS. 446. Quatern. xii. fo. xii.
[58] Willis's Mitred Abbies, II. 191.
[59] Collectanea (ut supra), p. 362, n.


have quoted him already as Abbot between 1272 and 1281. [60} He is definitely named as Abbot in a Fine of October 1277.

HENRY DE ASTLEY received the Temporalities by Patent of December 4, 1280, when it will be remembered that Richard fitz Alan, Patron of the Abbey, was in ward to the Crown. This Abbot has occurred to us in 1281-2. [61] Upon his death-

GILBERT DE CAUMPEDEN was elected, and his election was confirmed by a Patent of July 27, 1284, a period which must have nearly coincided with the termination of Richard fitz Alan's minority. Gilbert was yet in office on October 21, 1304, and, though he resigned within two months afterwards, we have seen that he remained an inmate of the Convent in June 1315. Meanwhile, that is, in December 1304, Hugh de Mortimer and Ralph de Leycester, Canons of Haghmon, went to King Edward I., and sought from him (because Edmund fitz Alan was under age, etc.) license to elect a new Abbot in place of Gilbert. The King gives the said license by a Writ of December 25, 1304. Another Writ of February 1, 1305, confirms the election of-

RICHARD DE BROKE, Canon of Kenilworth. At his death in 1325, Richard, the Prior of Haghmon, and his Brethren elected-

NICHOLAS DE LONGENORE, a Canon of the House, as their Abbot. In a long letter written at Eccleshall on June 10, 1325, Bishop Roger de Northburgh minutely recites and examines the process of this election, and pronouncing all things to have been well and canonically done, confirms it. He commits the care of the Abbey to the Abbot elect. A second letter, entitled Inductio, is addressed to the Archdeacon of Salop or his Official, and contains the mandate for the installation of the new Abbot. A third letter, entitled Admissio, is addressed to Brother Nicholas de Longenore himself, and admits him to the office of the late Abbot, whose name is here contradictorily and erroneously written as Thomas. By a fourth letter the Bishop apprises Edmund Earl of Arundel of what had been done in this matter, leaving the Earl to perform his part at his pleasure. [62]

In consideration of the increased means of the House, Abbot Nicholas built a new Kitchen at Haughmond, endowing it with the

[60] Supra, Vol. III. p. 85.
[61] Supra, Vol. V. p. 36.
[62] Regist. Northburgh, fos. 205, 205, b. The occurrence of Abbot Nicholas in 1317 (as stated Vol. V. p. 28) is altogether a mistake. The true date of that transaction was 1377, as I find by reference to the original Chartulary.


Revenues of the Churches of Hunstanston (Norfolk) and of Ruyton (near Baschurch). His ordinance for a more liberal diet, and the general regulation of the culinary department of his Convent, bears date in the Chapter House, on January 5, 1332 (1333, N.S.). [63] Bishop Northburg, visiting Haughmond on March 21 following, confirmed it.

On April 5, 1336, Abbot Nicholas grants to Hugh, son of Sir Roger de Cheyne, a Perpetual Chantry in the Church of Haghmon, to be held by a Priest of the Monastery, celebrating daily services for the good estate of the said Hugh, and after his death, for the souls of himself, his ancestors, and successors. Witnesses, - Roger Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, Sir Thomas de Halghton, Roger de Cheyne, Robert Corbet, knights; Robert de Stepulton, Richard Horde, and Richard Husee.

On the death of Abbot Nicholas, about January 1346, the Canons duly and canonically elected-

RICHARD DE BRUGGE, one of their number, as his successor. By writs of February 7, 1346, Bishop Northburgh confirms the election, admits the new Abbot, orders his installation, and apprises the Earl of Arundel of such proceedings. [64]

Abbot Richard occurs as in office on July 28, 1348; [65] but on November 23, 1348-

JOHN occurs as Abbot of Haghmon. [66]

Richard is named by one authority [67] as Abbot in 1359; but I cannot verify this. I think it to be a mistake, and suppose that-

JOHN DE SMETHCOTE who occurs as Abbot in 1371, and on October 5, 1373, was identical with the former John.

NICHOLAS BIRITON was Abbot in June 1377, and in 3 Richard II. (1379-80).

RALPH occurs as Abbot in 10 Richard II. (1386-7), and on June 3, 1390. [68] On May 5, 1415, Abbot Ralph, at request of Thomas Earl of Arundel, grants a corrody for life to Thomas Lee of Uffington, who was to serve the Abbey in the capacity of Esquire. For the conditions and emoluments of that service I refer to the Abbot's Deed, printed elsewhere. [69]

In 3 Henry V. (1415-6) I find mention of an Abbot-

WILLIAM, and in 6 Henry V. (1418-9) of-

[63] Monasticon, VI. 111, No. X.
[64] Regist. Northburgh, fo. 220. The Bishop addressea the Earl by the name of Edmund. It was Richard.
[65] [66] Supra Vol. IV. pp. 331, 70.
[67] Collectanea (ut supra), p. 362.
[68] Supra, p. 273.
[69] Monasticon, VI. 110, No. VI.


ROGER WESTELEY as Abbot. On his death in 9 Henry V. (1421-2), the election of-

RICHARD BURNELL was approved by Patent; the King exercising the right hac vice, by reason of the minority of John fitz Alan (afterwards Duke of Touraine). Abbot Burnell's ordinance, for the duties and emoluments of the Claustral Prior and the Sub-Prior of Haughmon, bears date September 29, 1459, and is printed elsewhere. [70] Abbot Burnel resigned in 1463, and in November 28 of that year the Canons petitioned William, Earl of Arundel, and Lord Maltravers, their Founder and Patron, for license to elect a new Abbot. On December 7 the Earl grants such license, though it appears that on the day of their petition the Canons had elected-

JOHN LUDLOWE, D.D., Canon professed and Priest of Haghmon, to the office. The Earl being at Northampton on January 26, 1464, consents to this election and appoints the Abbot of Shrewsbury to receive the fealty and obeisance of the Abbot Elect, the Earl wishing to save the Convent the expense of a journey.

On December 1, 1476, Abbot Ludlowe concedes to John le Strange, Lord of Knokyn and Mohun, and Jacinta his wife, a perpetual Chantry in the Monastery, with a daily mass to be said at the Altar of St. Anne, Mother of the Virgin, for the souls of the said John and Jacinta, of Richard, late Lord Strange, and Elizabeth his wife, parents of John, and of Constancia, former wife of the said Richard. The endowment of the said Chantry is charged by John le Strange on the vill of Willecote in the demesne of Ness-Strange, if it should happen that the Church of Hanmer (which the Canons had by gift of the said John and his Ancestors, for the support of the said chantry) should realize less than 10 merks per annum, by reason of any Welsh rebellion or otherwise. [71]

John de Ludlowe was still Abbot in 18 Edward IV. (1478-9).

RICHARD PONTESBURY is said to have been Abbot in 1495.

CHRISTOPHER occurs as Abbot on March 22, 1526.

THOMAS CORVESOR, the last Abbot, was in office in 1535-6.

On September 9, 1539, he, with ten other Canons, surrendered his Monastery to the King, when a pension was assigned to him of 40. a year.


To set down Pimley as a member of the Domesday Manor of Upton is more than I will venture to do dogmatically. I will

[70] Monasticon, VI. 112, No. XI.
[71] Chartulary, fos. 85 b, and 86.


merely state negative reasons which induce me so to consider it.-

It is not mentioned in Domesday;- therefore it was involved in some other Domesday Manor. That Manor was probably in Recordine Hundred;- because Pimley was subsequently in Bradford Hundred. The Recordine Manors abutting on Pimley were only three, viz. Albrightlee, Uffington, and Upton. There is hardly a possibility that Pimley, from its subsequent history, can have been a member of Albrightlee or Uffington. Therefore I suppose it to have been a member of Upton. It is true that Pimley is not in Upton Parish: it is in the Parish of St. Mary's, Shrewsbury. But this is no conclusive objection to my view; for Upton had another manorial member, viz. Sundorn, which was once in the Shrewsbury Parish of St. Alkmund.

The history of Pimley is of some antiquarian interest. In the reign of Henry I. it was held by Fulcoius Vicecomes, a person whom I have often mentioned, and whose position was analogous to the Under-Sheriff or Deputy of the next century. As his chief was the Sheriff-in-fee, that is, Rainaldus, first, and Alan fitz Flaald, and William fitz Alan, afterwards; there is nothing more probable than that Fulcoius should have been enfeoffed in some part of a Sheriff's Manor, for instance in Pimley, a supposed member of Upton.

In 1121 Falcoius Vicecomes attests Henry I.'s great confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey. He had not as yet been a Grantor to that House; but King Stephen's Confirmation, which passed in 1136, tells how Fulcoius Vicecomes, at the burial of his wife, and with the consent of Henry his son, had given Pimelega to the said Abbey. [1]

This gift of Fulcoius is recorded in the later Confirmations of the Empress Maud, Henry II., and Henry III. to Shrewsbury Abbey; and we know that the Seigneury of Pimley remained with that House till its Dissolution.

In the reign of Henry II. the Abbot's Feoffee at Pimley was that Stephen de Pymbelg whose Fine, dated February 8, 1189, and settling certain disputes with the Abbot of Lilleshall, has been recited under Hencot. [2] In another, but nearly cotemporary, transaction with Haughmond Abbey, this Stephen appears as Stephen son of Unerard de Midleton; and in the Seal which he used on that occasion is called, I think, Stephen de Sidenun. The Canons of Haughmond had, it seems, a Mill in Uffington Manor, but situated on the Rivulet of Pimley or Pimbroc, which Rivulet divided Uffington

[1] Monasticon, III. 519, II.
[2] Supra, Vol. VI. pp. 368, 369.


from Pimley. The Mill was called Pimley Mill.- "For the sum of half a merk, Stephen, son of Unerard de Midelton, gives to the Canons of Haughmond his part of the bank of Pimbelega, to which the Canons' Mill was attached. He concedes also that they may fix their Mill, anywhere they choose, between the present Mill and the ford next below it. He further gives them the Moor which lay between the said ford and the Mill. Witnesses,- William fitz Alan, Hugh Pantulf, William de Botereus, Robert de Girros, Peter fitz Toret, Marscot, William de Wudeton, Alan de Etlega (Hadley), William de Ercaloua (High Ercall), Odo de Hodnet, Wido de Sauburi, Robert fitz Aer, and Ralph Hose". [3]

The Haughmond Chartulary contains a Deed of less certain date, whereby Stephen de Pimbel gives to the Abbey a piece of land, defined by trees, on the rivulet of Pimbroc. Witnesses,- Robert de Giros, Vivian de Rosall. By a third deed, which must have passed after the year 1215, and so twenty years later than the Deed first quoted, the same Stephen allows the Canons of Haughmond to make a stank for their Mill and Vivary of Pimbeley. Witnesses,- Sir John fitz Alan, Sir Thomas Maudut, and Robert his brother.

Meantime, that is, on September 26, 1199, Stephen de Pimbelee, Plaintiff, renounces by Fine, a claim to one virgate in Erlavescote (Harlescot), for which he had sued Adam fitz William of Erlavescote, by process of Grand Assize. For this quit-claim the Tenant, Adam, paid 10s.

On the Plea-Roll of Michaelmas Term 1201, I find several essoigns, or other allusions to a Suit, which Stephen de Pimbeleg seems to have had with the Provost and certain Burgesses of Shrewsbury, viz. as to "why they would not allow him to hold his land and pasture at Pimbeley in good peace, and in accordance with the right which he had established thereto in the Curia Regis". The Defendants named are Thomas the Provost, Alberic de la Cote, Geoffrey fitz Terric, Henry Wildegose, Robert Sitte, Thomas Puer, and Alberic fitz Tefric.

At the Assizes of 1203 Stephen de Pimbileg was amerced half a merk for trespass. At the Forest-Assizes of March 1209 he was assessed 6d. for some imbladement, within the Shiffnal (Hideshal) Bailiwick of the Forest of the Wrekin (Mount Gilbert).

At the Assizes of November 1221, the Jurors for the Borough

[3] Blakeway's MSS.- The Seal of this Deed was very large, and charged with the figure of a dog or other quadruped, demi-rampant. The Legend was imperfect, but these letters remained.-



and Hundred of Shrewsbury represented that Stephen de Pimbelee had erected a certain weir in the River Severn, thereby obstructing the usual passage of boats, and so making a pourpresture on the rights of the Crown. The Burgesses of Shrewsbury seem to have been rather prone to this kind of complaint. From a similar process which they had instituted against the Abbot of Shrewsbury, it appears that the Abbot's weir had not obstructed any usual passage, but that the usual passage had become choked, no one knew how. The Justices-in-Eyre gave no redress to the Plaintiffs in either case. It is evident that the ordinary channel had become choked, not by pourpresture of private parties, but by neglect of those who should have kept it open. [4]

During the course of his known career (1189-1221), I find Stephen de Pimley attesting Charters of both Shrewsbury and Haughmond Abbeys. In the Lilleshall Chartulary is preserved a Deed of his, whereby, with the consent of William his heir, he surrenders nearly all the advantages secured to him by the Fine of 1189;- that is, he gives to the Canons of Lilleshall "all his share of the Bosc which lay between Hennechot and Pymbelee, and which had been in dispute in the Curia Regis". He reserves a right of common for his own cattle only, and "surrenders to the Canons the Cyrograph (of 1189), which had been levied, before the King's Justices". I suppose that William, the above-named son of Stephen de Pimley, succeeded him, for I find a William de Pimbeleg attesting certain grants to Haughmond Abbey, which must have passed about 1240 and 1241. This William had, by different wives, two sons, Geoffrey and William. He seems to have intended to disinherit the eldest son, Geoffrey, but to have failed. to do so in a legal way. He actually executed a charter enfeoffing his younger son, William, in two-thirds of the Manor of Pimley, except a capital messuage and 6 acres of land, which I suppose, with the remaining third, constituted the dower of his second wife. It appears, however, that he died seized of the premises, having never divested himself of the actual possession, or changed his state. His son Geoffrey accordingly entered the same as heir-at-law. This we know took

[4] A similar case has been the subject of a Lawsuit within the present Century. A Company interested in the navigation of the Severn, having neglected to keep open the ordinary channel at Preston-Boats, had taken an easy alternative by breaking up an adjoining Weir, which had been private property since the reign of Stephen. The Company was sued for damages, and, if I recollect the sequel, the Judge, who heard the cause, exhibited the same deference to private rights as the Justiciars of King John had done six centuries previously.


place before January 1250, when an acre of Forest-land in Pymbel is included among Langley's arrentations as set to Geoffrey de Pymbel at an annual rent of 9d. In 1254, however, William de Pimbel appears on the Pipe-Roll as fining one merk pro habenda assiza. We know, from another Record, that the said assize was one of novel disseizin against his elder brother Geoffrey, and that the cause was heard by Simon de Wanton. William de Pimley maintained that he had been seized of two-thirds of Pimley long before his Father's death, and for three weeks after that event, till disseized by Geoffrey. Geoffrey, on the other hand, averred that William had never been seized at all, and consequently never disseized. The Jury of twelve found for Geoffrey. William now proceeded to convict these Jurors of perjury by the verdict of a Jury of twenty-four. [5] The cause came on at the Assizes of 1256, Simon de Wanton again presiding; but Reyner le Rus, Richard de Pimley, and Cecily his wife, being associated with Geoffrey de Pimley in the defence. The whole of the above facts was now detailed, the verdict of the twelve Jurors was confirmed, and the Plaintiff was committed to prison. [6]

On the Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 it is stated as follows.- "Geoffrey de Pembeleg is Lord of Pembeleg, and holds it of the Abbot of Salop for 5s. per annum. And there is a certain assart of that vill in the Forest of Haweman, which contains one acre and a quarter, and pays 9d. yearly to the Exchequer. The Vill does no suit to County or Hundred, and pays neither motfee nor stretward". [7] Except as regards a slight discrepancy as to the extent of the Pimley arrentation, this statement is very intelligible. The immunities of Pimley probably resulted from its connection with Shrewsbury Abbey.

In what way Robert Burnell acquired Pimley I cannot certify. I think that he had it in 1272, and that Robert le Keu, who occurs at that date as a Tenant at Acton Burnell and as Bailiff of Pimley, was Burnell's Servant. [8]

A fragment of a Deed is preserved whereby Bishop Burnell gives his Manor of Pymbeleye (which he had previously given to William Burnel), to Thomas de Wythington and his wife Isabella, which Isabella was sister of the said William, and Cousin (consanguinea) of the Bishop. [9]

It is difficult to say who this William Burnell, cousin and grantee

[5] For the process of Attaint, as this was called, vide supra, p. 81.
[6] Assizes, 40 Hen. III., m. 7 dorso.
[7] Rot. Hundred. II. 57.
[8] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 137.
[9] Harl. MS. 1982, fo. 52.


of Bishop Burnell, can have been. There were several of the name, cotemporary with the Bishop, but all of them, except two,- the Outlaw and the Bishop's own brother,- seem to have survived him. [10] Is it possible that the Bishop had lent a helping hand to his outlawed relative?

Thomas de Wythington's aera seems to have been from about 1289 to 1318, but I have nothing further to say of him under Pimley.

The Seigneury of Pimley remained with Shrewsbury Abbey till its Dissolution. In the Minister's Accounts of 1541-2, the assized rent of Pymley is put at 6s., and clamed under the receipts from the Abbey-Foregate estate of the late Monastery. [11]

PIMLEY MILL and its annexed farm, though only partly in the Manor of Pimley, may be further spoken of here. On August 19, 1252, Gilbert, Abbot of Haughmond, assigns to the pittance of his Convent the Vivary of Pimbeleg, as well as 100s. rent due from Ronton, by ordinance of Roger, Bishop of Lichfield. [12]

The Abbot of Lilleshall had, it seems, a charge of one merk per annum on the Abbot of Hanghmond's Mill of Pimbeleg. [13] This was, apparently, in compensation for such uses of the stream called Pimbrook, [14] as, having belonged to the Abbot of Lilleshall's Manor of Albrightlee, had been conceded to the Canons of Haughmond for the benefit of their Mill at Pimley. The Valor of 1535-6 acknowledges this due, both as paid by Haughmond and received by Lilleshall. It is expressed to be pro cursu aquae stagni de Pympley, or pro cursu aquae de Pymley. [15]

[10] There was a William Burnell of Chatwall, but he was living in November 1292; a William Burnell, Archdeacon of Taunton, but he was living in 1294. Another William Burnel, being Dean of Wells, is stated to have died in 1295; and a fourth William Burnel, being a Prebendary of Lichfield, seems to have died in 1305.
[11] Monasticon, III. 527.
[12] Ranton Priory, in Staffordshire, was subjected, at its first foundation in the 12th century, to Haughmond Abbey. This subjection was often disputed, but was fortified by Deeds of Robert Noel, Founder of Ranton, and of his son Thomas, by the ordinances of several Bishops, besides Roger de Weseham (alluded to in the text), by a Bull of Pope Alexander III., and by judicial Writs of King Edward I. The rent of 100s. was in token of subjection.
[12] Lilleshall Chartulary, fo. 93.
[13] Pimbrook is the stream which now feeds the artificial waters west of Sundorn Castle. The site of the ancient Mill is probably submerged.
[14] Valor Eccles. III. 193, 197.



THE older and greater associations which belong to this place must not tempt me beyond my sphere. I will not enumerate those tombs and relics,- those various evidences of Roman oocupation, which have already been classified and described, with scrupulous care and learned sagacity, by another. [1] I will not even discuss the etymology of names which have been fully examined by the same competent authority. [2]

Uriconium, or Wroxeter, at the date when my history commences, was no longer a City, or only a City of the dead. The fields which covered the ashes of the Proconsul and the Legionary are described in Domesday under far other relations. Wroxeter was a demesne-Manor of the Norman Sheriff of Shropshire.-

"The same Rainald holds Rochecestre. Toret held it (in Saxon times) and was a free man. Here is one hide, geldable. In demesne there is an ox-team and half, and there are seven teams among the Serfs, male and female. Here are VII Villains, IIII Boors, IIII Priests, and one Radman. Amongst them all, they have IIII ox-teams. Here is a Church and a league of wood. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 40s. (per annum); now it is worth the same". [3]

There is something extraordinary in the figures here given. An Annual value of 2. was not above the average for a hide of fertile soil; but the team-power employed, viz. 12 teams, is far in excess of such a hidage and such a value. I cannot help thinking that this excess of team-power may indicate the cotemporary progress of some extensive building operations. The once Collegiate Church of Wroxeter was richly endowed and greatly cherished by the Norman Lords of the Manor. Probably the fabric was of their construction. Moreover the Fitz Alans, Rainald's successors, are known to have had a Residence at Wroxeter. Perhaps Rainald was its builder.

Of Toret, the Saxon, I spoke last under Langley. [4] Though living at Domesday, he had lost certain of his former possessions, and Wroxeter among the number. There is some appearance of

[1] [2] See Hartshorne's Salopia Antiqua, pp. 117-133, 90 and 91.
[3] Domesday, fo. 254, b. 2.
[4] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 140.


his being alive long after Domesday, and what is more extraordinary, of his being still called Toret de Wroxeter. [5]

Of the central Manor of Wroxeter, as held in demesne by the Fitz Alans, I have very little to say beyond what has transpired under Upton Magna.

The Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 says that "John fitz Alan holds Wroccecestre, with its appurtenances, of the Barony of Osewaldistre, and of the King in capite". The Jurors knew not by what service he held it. He did suit to the County by his Seneschal, but not to the Hundred". [6] The Assize-Roll of 1256 records, in part, a perambulation then made, between the land of the Abbot of Lilleshall in Uckington, and the land of John fitz Alan in Wrokecestre. A foss which descended to the bank of the River Tirne was part of the boundary.

This John fitz Alan seems to have died at Wroxeter. The Manor constituted part of the dower which his widow Matilda carried to her second husband, Richard de Amundevill. On the death of this Lady in 1283, Wroxeter, with its Mill and Fishery, was valued at 12. 9s. 2d. per annum; and it then reverted to the estate of Richard fitz Alan, Matilda's Grandson. The Feodary of 1284 does not name Wroxeter, but a Tenure-Roll of Bradford-Hundred, not three years later, classes Wroxeter and Norton as members of Upton Magna, and as held by Richard fitz Alan in demesne. One Manorial Court seems indeed to have sufficed for the whole. In the said Court, the Lord held Pleas of bloodshed and hue-and-cry, twice a year, and maintained a gallows. At the Assizes of 1292, Richard Earl of Arundel was presented as exercising a right of Free Warren in Upton and Wroxeter, but the right does not seem to have been questioned. [7] In the Nomina Villarum of 1316, the Earl of Arandel is duly registered as Lord of Wroccestre.

[5] "Thoret de Wrochecester gave to Shrewsbury Abbey a piece of land in Salop called Rumaldesham, to make a garden".-

The first notice we have of this gift is in Henry H.'s Confirmation of 1155. It is not mentioned in Stephen's Confirmation of 1136. The ordinary inference is, that it took place in the interval, but it is very improbable that the Toret who was in possession of his estates before 1066, can have been living after 1135. Perhaps Henry II.'s Confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey includes some small grants which, though very early, had been omitted in the Confirmations of Henry I. and Stephen. The Toreth of Domesday was undoubtedly living in 1108 (supra, Vol. II. p. 48).
[6] Rot. Hundred. II. 56.
[7] Placita Coronae, 20 Edw., I. m. 5.

Among these Pleas of the Crown, heard at the same Assizes, there is a very curious entry.- Certain persons, whether prompted by antiquarian zeal, and having knowledge of the antecedents of Uriconium, or actuated by less laudable motives, had been pursuing their researches at Wroxeter in an illegal way. Such Excavators, as they would be called in the scientific language of the nineteenth century, were deemed to be criminals in the thirteenth. The Record solemnly tells us how "William son of William de Hodeney, Walter de Drayton, William Parson of Ledewych, and Richard Tyffe, had dug by night at Wroccestre, in search of treasure";- how the first-named Digger was in prison, and how the second had died. The Justiciars had ordered the arrest of the two others, when they appeared in Court, and took their trial. They got their dismissal under the following verdict;- viz. "that though they had dug as aforesaid, they had found nothing". So then, antiquarian searches, which we laugh at now, if abortive, were once dangerous, if successful.



The history of the Demesne-Manors of a great Fief cannot be expected to exhibit much variety, but the history of a Saxon and Collegiate Church is seldom deficient in interesting particulars. We have seen that four Priests were among the Domesday inhabitants of Wroxeter. Doubtless they, or some of them, were Canons of the Collegiate Church.

I have already told the story how William fitz Alan (I.), having assisted King Henry II. in the siege of Bridgnorth and the reduction of Hugh de Mortimer, and being himself, after long exile, restored to his Shrievalty and estates, received the homage of his Vassals at Bridgnorth, and on the same day (July 25, 1155) gave the Church of Wroxeter to his Monastery of Haughmond.

This gift is supported by a series of Charters so ancient and so instructive, that I can do no less than give some at least of the number in their original language.

Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Willielmus filius Alani, die Sancti Jacobi apud Bruggiam, habito certo rumore vacacionis ecclesiae de Wroxcestre, dedi, in perpetuam elemosynam, advocacionem dictae ecclesiae, ac ipsam totam ecclesiam cum Nortona et omni dote [8] sua et omnibus pertinenciis suis, tam in villa de Wroxcestre quam extra, Canonicis meis de Haghmon in Salopsyria, ad augendum numerum eorum, ita quod habeant amodo plenum Conventum, et ad sustentacionem eorum habeant dictam ecclesiam, quam Dionisius patronus [9] meus propter eos resignavit. Et volo quod quinque Canonici de Haghmon sint in dicta ecclesia de Wroxcestre annuatim in festis Sancti Andreae, [10] Sancti Georgii, et Sancti Dionisii; et ordinet Abbas de Haghmon

[8] Dos here means endowment.
[9] Patronus I take to mean Godfather, rather than Confessor or Spiritual Adviser. It would seem that Denys was the sole Incumbent, but the previous and subsequent history of the Church incline me to think that he was the Survivor of a Chapter of three Canons.
[10] The Patron-Saint of Wroxeter.


quod perpetuum sint in dicta ecclesia quinque servientes seculares qui reddant ei omnes proventus bona fide. Et ut haec mea donacio firma et stabilis inperpetuum, [11] eam sigilli mei impressione roboravi. Hii sunt testes,- Rogerius de Powicia, Johannes Extraneus, Hugo de Lacy de Colemere. [12]

A second Charter by the same Grantor is as follows.-

Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Willielmus filius Alani, die Sancti Jacobi Apostoli apud Brugiam, pro salute animae meae omniumque antecessorum meorum, dedi, concessi et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi Deo et Ecclesiae Sancti Johannis Apostoli, et Evalengelistae de Haghmon et Canonicis ibidem Deo servientibus, jus patronatus ecclesiae de Wroxcestre in Salopescira cum omni dote sua et cum omnibus pertinenciis et libertatibus suis, in liberam puram et perpetuam elemosynam. Et ut haec mea donacio firma et stabilis inperpetuum permaneat, presentem cartam meam sigilli mei impressione roboravi. Hiis testibus,- Rogero de Powys, Johanne Extraneo (qui litteris suis testificatoriis de ista donacione sigilla sua apposuerunt), [13] Waltero de Dunstanvile, Hugone de Laci, Roberto Dardif, Willielmo de Perepount. [14]

It is remarkable that William fitz Alan's grant of Wroxeter Church is not mentioned in the Confirmation vouchsafed by Pope Alexander III. to Haughmond Abbey in 1172. There was evidently some doubt about the efficacy of the above Deeds, then and afterwards; a doubt which probably caused the Canons of Haughmond to procure the following Certificates from John le Strange and Roger de Powis, as to their recollections on the subject. Both these Certificates may be proximately dated as having been drawn up about the year 1175, and both are undoubtedly genuine.

Omnibus sanctae Dei ecclesiae filiis ad quos presentes literae pervenerint Johannes Extraneus salutem. Quod vidi et audivi, ut in futurum ratum habeatur, et nulli liceat contraire, testificari dignum esse credo. Willielmus filius Alani die itaque qua homagium ab hominibus suis apud Brugiam suscepit, adunata multitudine Baronum et militum, coram omnibus, ecclesiam de Wroccestre, pro salute domini Regis, qui terram suam sibi reddiderat, et pro salute animae suae, omniumque antecessorum suorum et successorum, ecclesiae Sancti Johannis Evangelistae de Hagamon et Canonicis ibidem Deo et Sancto Johanni servientibus in perpetuam elemosinam, me etiam presente, dedit et concessit.

[11] Sic; permaneat omisso.
[12] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 236.
[13] The words which I have placed in parentheses are evidently supplied by the Transcriber of the Deed.
[14] Harleian MS. 446. Quatern. x. fo. 9.



[For engravings, see pdf.]


Et ut certius sit testimonium meum, presenti scripto et impressione mei corroboro et confirmo. Hujus donacionis et concessionis testes sunt Abbas de Wighem, Walterus de Dunstanville, Hugo de Laci, Wido Extraneus, Hugo Pantulf, Simon de Perepunt, Willielmus filius Radulfi, Willielmus filius Walteri, Robertus Dardif, Willielmus de Perepunt, et multi alii. [15]

Omnibus sancte Dei ecclesie filius ad quos presentes litterae pervenerint Rogerus Powis salutem. Quod vidimus et audivimus, ut in futurum ratum habeatur et nulli liceat contraire, testificari dignum esse credimus. Willielmus igitur filius Alani postquam terram suam a domino Rege susceperat, die qua homagium ab hominibus suis apud Brigiam recepit, adunata multitudine Baronum et militum, coram omnibus, pro salute domini Regis et pro salute animae sue omniumque antecessorum suorum et successorum, ecclesiam de Wroccestre cum omnibus pertinenciis suis, Abbati et Canonicis de Hageman in perpetuam elemosinam, me etiam presente, contulit. Et ut firmius sit testimonium meum presenti scripto et sigilli mei impressione canfirmo et corroboro. Concessionis hujus et donacionis testes sunt Walterus de Dunstanevile, Hugo de Laci, Johannes Extraneus, Wido frater ejus, Hugo Pantulf, et multi alii. [16]

Richard Peche, Bishop of Coventry (1161-1182) confirmed the above grant (inter alia) to the Haughmond Abbey in these words.- "Ex dono Willielmi filii Alani ecclesiam de Wroccestre". The Bishop, moreover, allowed to the Canons of Haughmond, "ut in omnibus ecclesiis Capellanos constituant, reliquum autem in proprios usus retineant".
[17] This unholy permission, equivalent to the dismemberment of a Parish Church, makes us little sensible of the secular injustice which denied to the Canons of Haughmond their title to this Advowson till nearly two centuries after it had been given them. By six generations of the Fitz Alans the claims of Haughmond Abbey to the Church of Wroxeter were utterly ignored.

The Taxation of 1291 estimates the Church of Wroxeter as worth 23. 6s. 8d. per annum. There were three Rectors thereof. The Portion of the first was 20 merks, of the second 10 merks, and of the third 5 merks. [18]

In the years 1331 and 1332, Richard, Earl of Arundel, by various Charters, restored the Advowson of Wroxeter to Haughmond Abbey. [19] On October 21, 1341, "Roger Charles, Seneschal of the Earl of

[15[ Chartulary, ut supra.
[16] The original Deed, in possession of Mr. George Morris, of Shrewsbury.
[17] Harl. MS. 3868, fo. 9.
[18] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 247.
[19] Chartulary, ut supra.


Arundel in the Marches" (of Wales), gave the Abbot of Haughmond seisin of 3 acres of waste in the wood of Norton-juxta-Wroxeter. [20] In 1341, when the Parish of Wroxeter was taxed to the Ninth, there were still three Portioners here. These Portioners held all the land of the Vill of Norton in demesne, as glebe of the Church, and the said Vill was a good part of the Parish. For this reason, and because the Portioners, in common with other Clergy, paid Tenths to the King on their glebe land, and were not subject to the Ninth, the Assessors rated the Parish at 10 merks only, instead of at 35 merks,- the Church-taxation. This assessment, however, included the Temporalities of the Abbot of Shrewsbury within the Parish; [21]- alluding to his estate at Eyton-upon-Severn.

A manifesto by Richard (de Brugge), Abbot of Haughmond, dated October 3, 1347, announces the virtual dissolution of the Collegiate Church of Wroxeter, and the consent of Bishop Northburgh to the measure. The document recites how Richard (Peche), Bishop of Coventry, had anciently allowed an appropriation of the Church to Haughmond Abbey; how the Abbey had held it for a long time in a state of appropriation; how the Canons had then been ejected by power, wrongfully exercised; and how at length Bishop Roger (not the Earl of Arundel) had of late restored them to their rights. The Abbot proceeds to ordain the future Vicarage and its portions. He gives the Vicar that manse in the vill of Wroxcestre in which the Parish Priest (Sacerdos parochialis) had been used to dwell, also two messuages, now inhabited by Edith Crowe and Joan de Rodyngton, with the curtilages adjacent, also all the arable land which Sir Robert le Notinge had in demesne, as pertaining to that portion in the Church which he held when living. The Vicar was further to have the tithes of wool, lamb, hay, curtilages, fisheries, weirs, milk (lactunii), geese, little pigs, bees (i.e. honey), goats, dove-cots, eggs, flax, hemp, and apples; also all annual heriots, alive or dead, except those which belonged to the Abbot, in virtue of his demesne (racione dominii); also all oblations, charity-pence (denarios caritatis), and the whole altarage of the Church, by whatever name it might be described. He was also to have an annual pension of 5s. from Little Buildwas, 8s. rent in the vill of Eyton, and 2s. in the vill of Clotleg (Cluddley); also the tithes of the Abbot of Shrewsbury's demesnes at Eyton, and all the tithes of the vill of Ruscheton (Rushton). On the other hand, the Vicar was to pay 10s. to the Archdeacon for procurations, and 2s. for synodals, yearly. He

[20] Chartulary, ut supra.
[21] Inquis. Nonarum, p. 184.


was to serve the Church of Wroxeter and the Chapel of Eyton by proper Ministers, and as they had been served from ancient time. All other burdens of the Church the Abbot takes upon himself and his Successors. The above Ordinance was sealed, by the Abbot's wish, with the Seal of the Archdeacon's Official, as well as with the common Seal of the Abbey. [22] On November 11, 1347, the first Vicar of Wroxeter was admitted by Bishop Northburgh, at the presentation of the Abbot and Convent of Haughmond.

The Haughmond Chartulary preserves another partition of the tithes of Wroxeter, in which the following items are assigned to the Vicar, viz. the whole tithes of all fields in Norton, except glebe; the whole tithes of Rushton; the fortieth Sheaf of the demesne-lands at Eyton; the thirtieth Sheaf of three tenements there; two waggon-loads of hay therefrom; and the tithes of his own glebe there. The Rector, or Abbot, had, on the other hand, the whole tithe of all the fields of Wroxeter;- except that, as regarded the demesne-lands, two out of every three Tithe-Sheaves went to the Chaplain of St. Mary, [23] while the third Sheaf only remained to the Rector. The Rector further had the whole tithes of the field of Okinton (Uckington), called Austaneshill, near Beslow; the whole tithes of all fields of Beslow, Donington, Drayton, and Sewallesdon (a place now lost); of five tenements in Eyton-Abbots, and of one furlong in Drayton, between Eyton and Drayton; and of 18 half-virgates in the fields of Opynton (Uppington).

The Valor of 1531-5 gives the preferment of John Hall, Vicar of Rockcetor, as 12. per. annum, less 10s. for procurations and 2s. for synodals. [24] At the same time the Rectory of Wroxcetour was returned by the Abbot of Haughmond as yielding an annual ferm of 8. There was in Wroxeter Church a Chantry, dedicated to St. Mary, to the Chaplain of which the Abbot paid 2. yearly, "by gift of the Founder". [25]


There are no means whatever of assigning to the earlier Digni-

[22] Regist. Northburgh, fo. 221, b.
[23] The framers of this document could not account for this right of the Chaplain of St. Mary. - Capellanus Ste. Marie ibidem habet garbas, qua racione nescitur. The allusion is to an endowed Chantry in Wroxeter Church, dedicated to the Virgin.

Who was the Founder of this Chantry I cannot say, but it had probably been established during the period when the Fitz Alans were holding the Advowson, to the injury and exclusion of the Canons of Haughmond. The reinstated Canons naturally objected to such an encumbrance.
[24] [25] Valor Eccles. III. 184, 192-3.
[26] The following Lists are compiled


[For engraving, see pdf.]


Presentee, reserving to himself a power of revocation. In 1305, King Edward I., as Custos of the said Earl's heir, presented-

JOHN DE CLONE to the Portion held by Master Walter de Clone, late Rector. [32] John de Clone was accordingly instituted, on May 25, 1305, to a third part of the Church of Wroxcestre. On August 2, 1308, the Bishop institutes-

JAMES DE TIFFORD, Priest, to a third part of this Church, Ed-mund, Earl of Arundel, presenting. On September 28, 1322, Tifford exchanges preferments with-

WILLIAM DE HODENET, late Rector of Madeley, who is admitted at presentation of the same Earl Edmund. Hodenet is the second-named of the Portioners of 1341, and remained a Rector till 1347, when, it would seem, he accepted the Vicarage.


ROBERT DE WARREWYK occurs as a Portioner of Wroxeter from 1283 to 1293. [33] On December 21, 1323, being in a state of dotage (senio confractus), Hugh Wilchar of Lichfield, Chaplain, is appointed his Curator, by the Bishop.

ROBERT NOTEKYN, [34] Portioner of Wroxeter, died February 17, 1333; and, on March 11, the Bishop admitted-

JOHN DE LONGELEYE, Clerk, on the presentation of the Abbot and Convent of Haughmond. John de Longeleye is the third-mentioned of the three Portioners of 1341; and, at Michaelmas of that year, he died. On December 30 following-

WILLIAM DE BRUGGE, Clerk, Wag instituted to the vacancy, "Richard, Earl of Arundel, presenting (hac vice), and having power so to do from the true Patrons, the Abbot and Convent of Haughmond". I suppose it was this Portioner, who, as "Sir William de Wroccestre, Portioner of a (or the) third Portion of the Church of Wroccestre", appears in 1346, as failing to prosecute a suit about Uppington Chapel, which he had promoted in the Court of Canterbury against the Prior and Canons of Wombridge and others. [35] William de Brugge was here in 1347.


WILLIAM DE HODENET, Chaplain, was instituted November 11,

[32] Patent, 33 Edw. I., m. 7.
[33] He had a protracted litigation in the spiritual Courts with the Prior of Wombridge, relative to certain tithes in Uppington. He failed in the suit, though, apparently to forward his own interests, he visited Rome during its progress.
[34] Called Robert le Notinge, p. 314.
[35] Wombridge Chartulary, Tit. Upinton, No. LXV.


1347. Patrons, the Abbot and Convent of Haughmon. He died Jnue 26, 1349;- probably of the prevailing pestilence.

NICHOLAS DE CARDYNTON, Chaplain, was admitted July 7, 1349.

ADAM DE BROMPTON, Priest, admitted December 4, 1361, exchanges preferments, on November 16, 1381, with-

WILLIAM ARRUGAS, [36] late Vicar of Condover, who resigned in 1393.

WILLIAM OPYNTON, Priest, admitted October 22, 1393, died in 1401.

WILLIAM AMYAS, Priest, admitted May 25, 1401, died in 1409.

The Patrons in the five last instances were the Abbot and Convent of Haughmond.


This member of Wroxeter is said in one instance to have been all Glebe. [37] Another document assures us that there were fields in Norton which were not glebe. [38] It is clear to me that an estate in Norton, or Wroxeter, or both, was separated from the demesne of the first William fitz Alan, and given by him to Robert Dardif, or De Ardi. Hence we find that in 1165 Robert de Ardi was holding one fee of new feoffment in the Barony of Fitz Alan. [39] I do not suppose that what De Ardi had in Wroxeter constituted the whole of this fee, but whatever he had, probably lay on that side of the Manor which was bounded by Beslow and Uckington.

As very little is known of Robert de Ardi, every fact is of importance, and I venture to suggest that he was the same person with Robert de Hardif, who, in the same year, 1165, was Coparcener with one Adam de Eton in half a Staffordshire fee,- held by them under Hervey de Strafton, and by Hervey de Stratton under the Baron Stafford. [40]

Again I should notice how about 1175 Hugh de Laci and Robert Dardif attest John le Strange's certificate concerning Wroxeter Church. [41]

It seems that Robert de Ardif and Milana his wife had a vivary, or fish-pond, near Okinton (Uckington), and were in receipt of a rent of 12d. from the Canons of Lilleshall, for a watercourse which ran from this pond to the said Canons' Mill. [42] This rent Robert and his

[36] Called Amyas under Condover (Vol. VI. p. 32), and again on his readmission here in 1401.
[37] [38] Supra, pp. 314 and 315.
[39] [40] Liber Niger, I. 144, 136.
[41] Supra, p. 313.
[42] The Mill alluded to, as belonging to the Canons of Lilleshall, seems to have been Duncot Mill.- The Charter is rubricated as follows.- De reddita duodecim denoriorum pro quadam fossa juxta Doncotemille et in brueram de Okinton.


wife gave to the maintenance of the house of the infirm poor at Haughmond Abbey. They gave it for the souls of themselves, their ancestors, and heirs, and for the soul of Hugh de Lacy. Witnesses, Robert Chaplain of Withington, Reyner de Acton. [43]

It is evident, I think, that D'Ardif's feoffment in Wroxeter reverted to the Fitz Alans as Seigneural Lords.


This Vill must not for a moment be confused with the Bishop of Chester's Manor of Buildwas. The River Severn divided the two, and Little Buildwas was, parochially and manorially, an isolated member of the distant Church and Manor of Wroxeter. This ancient status was primarily obliterated by a grant made by the first William fitz Alan to Buildwas Abbey. He gave the Vill of Little Buildwas to that House, probably at the time of its foundation, and if so, early in the reign of Stephen. The second William fitz Alan coming into possession of his estates in 1175, confirmed and increased his Father's gift by a Charter which I will give in full.-

In nomine Sancte et individuae Trinitatis, ego Willielmus, filius Willielmi filii Alani, pro salute animae meae, et pro animabus patris et matris meae, concessi et confirmavi, sicut pater meus concessit et dedit, Deo et Sanctae Maria et monachis de Buldewas, tam presentibus quam futuris, villam quae vocatur Parva Buldewas, cum omnibus ad eam pertinentibus, in terra et aqua, in silva, in pratis et pascuis: ita scilicet liberam et quietam ab omni exactione seculari, ut nichil in ea retinuerim, nisi solummodo tutelam contra aliorum incursiones. Confirmavi ergo eis liberum et quietum a me et a meis successoribus, Alanum filium Beringeri, cum suo servicio, quod patri meo, propter praefatam Parvam Buldewas facere solebat. Ut autem firma sit et integra haec mea elemosyna, omnia exsarta quae circa Parvam Buldewas facta sunt praefatis monachis concedo et confirmo, simul et totum nemus de Wroccestria, [44] ut illud habeant in sua custodia jure haereditario, et in ipso habeant omnia sua necessaria; scilicit in pastura, in pasnagio, et in omnibus aliis rebus abbaciae necessariis; sed non exartent illud, neque vendant, nisi meo concessu. Et in ipso bosco

[43] Haughmond Chartulary, Tit. Okynton.
[44] It is evident, I think, that the nemus de Wroccestria was nearer to Little Build was than to Wroxeter.


retineo mihi necessaria et pasnagium ad porcos meos proprios et ad porcos hominum meorum de Wroccestria. Haec itaque omnia, ut firma et inconcussa in perpetuam elemosynam ecclesiae de Buldwas, permaneant sicut pater meus dedit ea, et carta sua confirmavit, in praesenti cartula mea proprii sigilli mei impressione communio, manus meae subscripcione corroboro, et testes assigno. Testes: Johannes Extraneus, et Wido frater ejus; Johannes Pius Johannis Extranei; Wido et Hamo filii Widonis Extranei; Thomas filius Roberti filii Noelli; Ricardus de Stanewrdin; Marescot et Henricus et Hamo, filii sui; Willielmus de Bruna; Radulfus Hose; Adam de Herletone; Rogerus Muisun; Henricus Malvisin; Herbertus de Brolecurt (read Brelectun); Radulfus de Cleia. [45]

Alan fitz Berenger, whom I may safely call Lord of Little Build-was, became, of course, under the above-mentioned provisions, a Vassal of Buildwas Abbey. Accordingly we find Alan de Bildwas attesting two grants to that Abbey in the time of Henry II., one of which is precisely dated in 1176. [46] Again we have Alan de Buildwas attesting two Charters of Richard I.'s time, one of which passed in November 1192. [47] Whether these attestations belong to two persons, father and son, I cannot say; but we have had evidence under Posenall that an Alan de Buildwas was deceased in 1226, having left a widow, Agnes, and a son and heir, Alan. [48] On August 30, 1228, this second Alan de Buildwas, as I may hypothetically call him, is found impleading his Suzerain, the Abbot, concerning a stank in Buildwas. In January 1230, the same Abbot and Roger Springhose were at issue concerning their respective rights to the custody of the lands and heir of this Alan. I think Springhose sought the right as a relation, for in the agreement to which the Litigants came, he acknowledges the Abbot's right, "because the deceased had held under the Abbot". In turn, the Abbot conceded the custody and marriage of the heir to Springhose, for a sum of 8 merks. [49] The Abbot paid the King half a merk pro licentia concordandi in this case. The Pipe-Roll of 1232 records an amercement of 20s. pro falso clamore against Alan de Buldewas, who, I presume, was now of age. We have had repeated

[45] Monasticon, V. 359, No. XVIII. Two emendations in the testing clause are supplied from the cotemporary confirmation of Brockton (Staffordshire) by the same William fitz Alan (II.). The original of the latter Deed is the Harleian Charter, marked 50, A. 2. Of its seal I have given a representation among the Illustrations. (Vide supra, p. 245.)
[46] Supra, Vol. II. p. 175, note 3, and p. 264, note 4.
[47] Supra, Vol. I. p. 359, Vol. VI. p. 329.
[48] Supra, Vol. III. pp. 285-6.
[49] Plac. Hil. Tm. 14 Hen. III., m. 2.


mention of this third Alan de Buildwas under Posenal, and between the years 1248 and 1267. In the same interval he attests a Buildwas Deed (which I shall give under Leighton) as Alan de Parva Buldewas. In 1251, I find the Abbot of Buildwas taking out a Writ against John fitz Alan for some disseizin in Parva Buldewas.

The Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 not only assures us that Little Buildwas was still remembered to have been manorially a member of Wroxeter, but shows us that Alan de Buildwas's services to the Abbot had become a kind of Serjeantry, which satisfactorily accounts for his, and his Ancestor's, frequent attestations of the Abbey Charters.- "Alan de Buldewas", says the Record, "is Lord of Parva Buldewas, and holds under the Abbot of Buldewas by this manner of service, viz. that he shall ride with the Abbot anywhither in England at the Abbot's will and at the Abbot's charges. And (the Vill) is hidated together with the Manor of Wroccester, and does no suit to County or Hundred". [50]

At the Forest Assizes of 1262, Alan de Buldewas was in due attendance,- optulit se primo die. He, it seems, and Robert de Stanton, stood indicted for taking a stag. At the same time we have Geoffrey de la Holte of Little Buildwas amerced 2s. for default. The Taxation of 1291 gives the Abbot of Buildwas an assized rent of 6s. 8d. in Little Buildwas. [51] I cannot tell how this could arise unless it were the estimated value of the Tenant's services.

It seems that Alan de Buildwas (III.) left a daughter and sole heir, Alice, who became the wife of Edmund de Leynham. This lady, as yet unmarried, and being styled Alice de Buildwas, was sued at the Assizes of 1292 for a toft and half virgate in Posenhall, in which the Plaintiff (Thomas le Frensche of Bradeleye) alleged that she had no ingress save through Alan de Buldewas, who had held the same for a term, now expired, by demise of Agnes de Bradeleye, the Plaintiff's mother. The defendant, Alice, acknowledged that she had ingress by Alan (her Father, I presume), but denied that the said Alan had been demisee of Agnes, for that the latter had never been seized of the premises. In this the Jury acquiesced, and the Plaintiff was in misericordia pro falso clamore. [52]

[50] Rot. Hundred. II. 58.
[51] Pope Nich Taxation, p. 260, b.
[52] Assizes, 20 Edw. I., m. 5 dorso.-

I have no doubt that these premises were those quitclaimed absolutely to Alan de Buildwas, in 1248, by a Fine which I have given under Posenhall (Vol. III. p. 286). It there appears that William de Bradeley and his wife Agnes only claimed, but were not seized of, the premises. This is quite consistent with the technical defence set up against their son in 1292.


In pursuance of a King's Writ, dated Dec. 7, 1302, an Inquest was held on Dec. 28 following at Little Buildwas. It was found to be no injury to the Crown, if Edmund de Lenham and his wife Alice should have license to give the Manor of Little Buildwas to the Abbot and Convent under whom they held it. Their services to the Abbot were as follows.- Edmund and his wife were to place the first dish on the Abbot's table at Buildwas every Christmas-day, and were to ride with the Abbot anywhither within the four seas, at the Abbot's charges. The Manor contained a capital messuage, six cottages, 120 acres of arable and five acres of meadow land, and was worth 1. 18s. 6d. per annum. The Grantors would still have a messuage, a carucate of land, three acres of meadow, 20s. rent, and 60 acres of bosc in Posenhale,- an estate quite sufficient to bear all the customs and services accruing to the Crown from both tenements. [53]

We have a double and very instructive proof of the way in which such transactions were closed. By a Deed, dated at York on May 1, 1303, Edmund de Leynham and his wife, Alice, daughter of Alan, formerly Lord of Little Buildwas, grant and quit-claim that Manor to the Abbot and Convent for ever;- to hold of the Chief Lords of the Fee by accustomed services. Witnesses,- Sirs Walter de Beyseyn, John de Lee, Richard de Leyghtone, Augo (i.e. Hugo) le Fizeyre (Fitz Aer), Reginald son of Reginald de Charnes, and Michael de Moreton. [54]

Again we have a Fine, levied June 25, 1303, whereby the same Edmund and Alice, as Deforciants of the Manor of Parva Buldewas (whereof was plea of convention), quitclaim the same to Henry, Abbot of Buldewas, Plaintiff. The latter covenants to pay the Recognizors an annuity of 20 merks, terminable with their lives; and in default gives them a power of distress on his estates at Edweneye, Stirchley, and Walton. This Fine purports to be levied per preceptum Regis, and is indorsed with a memorandum that Geoffrey son of William del Holt (whom we know to have been an Undertenant in Little Buildwas) apposes his claim.

At Buildwas Abbey, on June 24, 1312, the son of this Geoffrey, calling himself Geoffrey, son of Geoffrey de la Holte, quit-claims to the Abbot all his right and interest in Little Buildwas or any part thereof. Witnesses,- Sirs Richard de Leighton and Hugh le Fizeyr, Knights; Hugh, Lord of Cheyntone (Sheinton); Roger

[53] Inquisitions, 31 Edw. I., No. 127.
[54] Monasticon, V. 359, No. XX.


Careles; Richard de Harreys de Dableye (Query Dalileye or Dawley?); William Payne of Leighton; John Constantyne of Etone; and William Hed. [55]

In the Nomina Villarum of 1316, the Abbot of Buildwas is returned as Lord of Little Buildwas. The proceeds of this estate, immediately before and after the Dissolution of Buildwas Abbey, have been already given. [56]

Of UNDERTENANTS here I may name three persons, Orin, William, and Acer, who, at the Forest Assizes of 1180 were amerced 1s. each for pourpresture. About 1210-15, one Alan de Bellewas, Clerk of Bellewas, attests a Leighton Deed. On Oct. 29, 1227, Adam, a Chaplain, being Tenant of 16 acres in Parva Bildewas, whereof was suit-at-law, surrenders the same to William fitz Geoffrey. The latter in turn concedes the premises (except two messuages, held by Ralph de Calvedon and Adam de Tibreton), to the Recognizor;- to hold for life at a rent of 18d., and for two merks now paid down. At the Chaplain's death, the premises are to revert to William and his heirs. I take it that this William fitz Geoffrey was father of that Geoffrey de la Holte who occurs in 1262 and 1303. If so, we have four generations of this family complete, viz. Geoffrey (sans date), William (1227), Geoffrey (1262-1303), and Geoffrey (1312).


This was, at its foundation, a mere Chapel, subject to Wroxeter. The Pension of 5s., which the Incumbent of Buildwas paid, first to the Co-Rectors, and afterwards to the Vicar, of Wroxeter, was probably a composition in lieu of the tithes of Little Buildwas. Inasmuch as William fitz Alan's Charter of 1175 says nothing about the Chapel or Advowson of Little Buildwas, I conclude that the Chapel was founded at a later period by the Monks of Buildwas. The latter too appear as Patrons of the Living, before they acquired the fee-simple of the Manor, so that the foundation must not be ascribed to any descendant of Alan fitz Berenger.

It is very remarkable that the Monks of Buildwas managed to annex the parochial cure of the Abbatial Manor of Great Buildwas to the Church of Little Buildwas. It is most probable that Great Buildwas was originally in Cound Parish. This change of a parochial boundary, so rare in occurrence, must be attributed to the

[55] Monastican, V. 359, No XIX.
[56] Suprs, Vol. VI. p. 332.


influence of a Cistercian House, backed by that of the Diocesan Bishops, its Founders.

Little Buildwas is neither mentioned as a Chapelry in the Taxation of 1291, nor distinguished as a Parish in the Inquisition of 1341. I take it, however, that the Chapel existed at an earlier period, and that-

ALAN DE BUILDWAS, Clerk of Buildwas, who occurs about 1210-15, was its Incumbent. The following names of later Incumbents are from the Diocesan Registers of Lichfield, the Patrons in every case being the Abbot and Convent of Buildwas.-

SIR RICHARD DE MORTON, Chaplain, instituted Nov. 28, 1298, to the Chapel of Parva Buldewas, died August 5, 1311.

SIR THOMAS DE BROCTON, Priest, admitted Sept. 10, 1311, is certified on the Register, to be "liable to a pension (pensionarius) to the Mother Church of Wroxcester, of 5s. per annum".

WILLIAM, Rector of Parva Buldewas, died June 4, 1349 (probably of the prevailing pestilence), and-

WILLIAM, surnamed TANDY, Chaplain, was admitted on June 29 following. On December 27, 1349, William Tandy was collated by the Bishop to the Chapel of Eaton Constantine, and on March 18, 1350, was instituted to the Vicarage of the Holy Cross, Shrewsbury. [57] Tandy is stated on the Register to have vacated Buildwas about Feb. 2, 1350.

HUGH BOLDYNG, Chaplain, admitted here on March 21, 1350, resigned on June 15 following; and on July 24, 1350-

THOMAS DE ASTON, Chaplain, was admitted here.

After this the Incumbents of Little Buildwas cease to be instituted by the Diocesan Bishops. In this extraordinary way the Church became a Peculiar, and remained so to the present century. It is not mentioned in the Valor of 1534-5. We have seen that in 1536-7, the Rectorial Tithes of Buildwas were accounted among the assets of the dissolved Monastery. [58]


IN Domesday this Manor appears as out of those held in demesne

[57] Vide Hist. Shrewsbury, II. 145, where the order of William Tandy's preferments is wrongly given.
[58] Supra, Vol. VI. p.


by Rainald Vicecomes.- "The same Rainald holds Lestone. Leuui held it in King Edward's time. Here are three hides. In demesne are III ox-teams; and VI Neat-herds, IIII Villains, and VII Boors, with a Priest and one Frenchman, have V teams. Here is a Mill of 4s. (annual value) and half a league of wood yielding 11d. (annually). In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 20s (per annum); now it is worth 40s. He (Rainald) found it waste". [1]

The reign of Henry I. closed about 50 years after Domesday. Within that 50 years Rainald, or one of his Successors, enfeoffed a Tenant in Leighton. That Tenant was Ancestor of the knightly family which took a name from the place, and which has borne its part in Shropshire history from that day to this. The labours of Heralds have been bestowed on the early part of this genealogy with ruinous effect. Invention has supplied the place of fact, and thus an ancient pedigree, which needed no adornment or addition, has been supplanted by an incredible myth.

TIHEL, or TIEL, the known ancestor of the Leightons, was probably the first Feoffee who held the Manor, and his aera was, if so, the reign of Henry I. His name is apparently Saxon, but the Arms borne by the Leightons point, I think, to some early alliance with the influential House of Fitz Warin. Tihel de Lahtune, as he is in this instance called, survived the restoration of Henry II. to the throne, and of the first William fitz Alan to his Shropshire estates. Between the years 1155 and 1160, he attests two Charters;- one where Gilbert fitz William of Hadnall makes a grant of land to Haughmond Abbey,- the other a cotemporary confirmation of the said grant, evidently by William fitz Alan himself. [2] Before the year 1165 Tihel had been succeeded by his son, who appears in the Liber Niger as-

RICHARD FITZ TIEL, and as holding one knight's-fee of old feoffment, in the Barony of Fitz Alan. [3] In 1177 we find Richard fitz Tiell paying the half of a sum of 40s. in which he had been amerced by King Herury II. for forest-trespass. The Justices recently in-eyre, had also amerced Richard fitz Tihel 20s., apparently for giving false evidence (quia negavit quod postea recognovit). [4] In the year 1178 he had discharged both his debts, and was quit. [5] The Shropshire Forest-Roll of 1180 commences with a series of persons and places which we see at once to have belonged to the Jurisdiction or Bailiwick of the Wrekin. Among the number one Eliot is amerced

[1] Domesday, fo. 254, fo. 103, b, 1.
[2] Haughmond Chartulary.
[3] Liber Niger, I. 143.
[4] [5] Rot. Pipe, 23, 24 Hen. II. Salop.


12d. for a pourpresture in Lecton, and Richard de Lekton is assessed 7s. for an imbladement of 7 acres of corn. Also Richard de Lehton is amerced 2s. for waste. The Pipe-Roll of 1188 shows Richard de Leocton paying a fine of 6s. 8d. which the Justices-in-Eyre had put upon him for disseizin. On December b, 1194, Richard de Letton having a suit pending at Westminster against William de Hetleia (Hadley), excused himself from attending, by the essoign called de malo veniendi. His Essoignor was John de Rile. [6] I am inclined to think that all the above extracts relate to Richard de Leighton (I.), alias Richard fitz Tiel; but inasmuch as he was succeeded by a son and grandson of the same name, it is not easy to mark the points of interval in this succession. It was perhaps-

RICHARD DE LEIGHTON (II.), who, as Richard de Lecton, was subjected to a charge of half a merk in 1200 by Hugh de Nevill, then Justice of the Forest, and who paid the debt in 1201. Perhaps also the following Deed, which certainly passed about 1200 or 1201, may be looked upon as a Confirmation, granted by the Suzerain, at the period of the Grantee's succession. So interesting a document should be given in its original language.-

"Omnibus Christi fidelibus ad quos presens scriptum pervenerit, Willielmus filius Willielmi, filii Alani, salutem. Noverit universitas vestra me concessisse et hac presenti carta mea confirmasse Ricardo de Lectona et heredibus suis totam villam de Lectona, cum omnibus pertinentiis suis, in bosco et plano, in viis et semitis, aquis et molendinis, et in omnibus locis ad predictam villam pertinentibus, cum advocacione ecclesiae ejusdem villae, tenendam de me et heredibus meis, sibi et heredibus suis, in feudo et hereditate, libere et quiete et honorifice per idem servicium quod ipse et antecessores sui mihi et antecessoribus meis inde facere solebant. Et quia volo hanc concessionem firmam et inconcussam permanere, eam sigilli mei impressione confirmavi. Hiis testibus, Roberto Corbet, Hamone Extraneo, Warino de Burwardell, Reinerio de Le, Roberto de Wodescota, Bartholomeo filio Petri, Hamone filio Marescot, et multis aliis". [7]

At the Assizes of October 1203, Richard de Lecton appears as a Knight and as a Juror, in several causes tried by the process of Grand Assize. For some false finding as a common Juror, he and his associates were amerced half a merk each. Again, in the Pipe-

[6] Rot. Curiae Regis, I. p. 132.
[7] Charter in the possession of Robert Gardner, Esq., of Leighton.- The Seal of this Deed is among the Illustrations.


Roll of 1207 Richard de Lethon appears paying an amercement ot similar amount for some unspecified offence.

Not without hesitation I fix upon the interval between the years 1210 and 1215 as the probable date of the following Charter of Richard de Leighton (II.).-

"Notum sit tam presentibus quam futuris quod ego Ricardus filius Ricardi de Lehton, pro amore Dei et pro animabus antecessorum et successorus (meorum) concessi, etc. Deo et Sanctae Mariae et Monachis de Buldewas totum pratum de Ewewere, tam illam partem quae fuit de dominico patris mei, quam illam quae fuit Ricardi filii Lamberti, scilicet quicquid est inter terram arabilem et Sabrinam fluvium, cum duobus seylionibus qui juxta sunt per terminos ibidem factos;- tenendum et habendum, ipsis et successoribus, in liberam, puram, et perpetuam elemosynam; excepto quod dabunt inde annuatim mihi vel heredibus (meis) quatuor denarios ad festum Sancti Michaelis pro omni servicio. Et habebunt in ipso prato pasturam bobus et quibuslibet averiis suis, et liberum introitum et regressum averiis suis ad ipsum pratum, et ab ipso per terram meam et hominum meorum; ita tamen ut non noceant feno vel blado meo vel hominum meorum. Et ego et heredes mei ipsum prenominatum pratum, cum prenominatis aisiamentis, eis garentabimus contra omnes homines. Hiis testibus,- Hugone de Seinton, Thoma de Costentin, Willielmo de Middelhope, Ricardo filio ipsius, Willielmo de Bassechirche, Hugone de Bolinghal, Alano de Billewes clerico de Billewes, Radulfo de Erleton, Willielmo fratre ejus, et multis aliis". [8]

Besides the effective bearing which this Deed will be seen to have on the Leighton Pedigree, some heraldic interest attaches to its Seal. Leaving that matter to a note, [9] I proceed to state my opinion that the next Richard de Leighton who occurs was son and heir of the above Benefactor to Buildwas Abbey. With this idea I class the following extracts under the name of-

RICHARD DE LEIGHTON (III.), though I leave it a question whether some of the earlier ones relate to him or his Father.

In the struggles which closed the reign of John we have seen that Sir Hugh de Sheinton, being one of the Coroners of Shropshire, remained a Royalist. Richard de Leighton, on the other hand,

[8] Blakeway's transcript from W. Mytton's MSS. The Deed was in 1734 in possession of Richard Boycot, Rector of Whittington.
[9] The Seal is that represented in the Illustrations (supra, p. 245). From Richard de Leighton's thus using the cognizanoe of a Lion or Leopard it would seem that the family had not yet assumed those Fitz-Warin arms, which I cannot but think point to some latent fact in its history.


and Thomas de Constantine took the same side with young John fitz Alan, their Suzerain. Hence a Writ-Close of April 10, 1216, orders the Sheriff of Shropshire to hand over to John fitz Philip the lands of Richard de Leghton in Leghton and Garmundeston (Garmeston), which lands, together with those of Thomas de Costentin, unless they were of more than 20. (annual) value, the King had granted to the said John. [10]

A Writ of King Henry III., dated Nov. 3, 1217, certifies the Sheriff of Shropshire that Richard de Letton had returned to his allegiance. [11] Such a Writ was of course tantamount to an order for the restoration of his estates. Accordingly, at the Assizes of Nov. 1221, we have Sir Richard de Lechton, as a Knight, and as a Selector of other Knights, who tried certain causes of Grand Assize. At these same Assizes he was called to warranty by his Tenant, Robert de Wodecot, who was impleaded for a part of Leighton Mill. A Writ of King Henry III., dated at Ludlow on October 2, 1224, orders that Richard de Lecton, Richard de Middelhope, and Thomas de Constantine, being three of the King's Verderers for Shropshire, shall not, as long as they hold that office, be put on any Assizes, Juries, or Recognitions; but the Sheriff was not to remove them from any panel on which they were already serving. [12] However, in August 1226, all three persons appear on a Jury of the chief men of Shropshire, to try certain issues connected with the Stiperstones Forest.

The Pipe-Roll of 1231 exhibits Richard de Lecton and Thomas de Constantine once more in conjunction, viz. as sureties for Gilbert de Bukenhull. It would be tedious to requote the various deeds already set forth, which show Richard de Leighton and Richard de Middelhope in each other's company about this time. In Michaelmas Term 1237, Richard de Middelhope, Thomas de Constantine, and Richard de Lecton appear as Fellow-Jurors in a great cause heard before the King at Worcester.

The Feodary of 1240 duly registers Richard de Letton as holding a knight's-fee in Letton, in the Barony of John fitz Alan. [13] In the same year Richard de Legton was impleaded by William de Erleton for refusing to allow the said William reasonable estovers in Legton bosc, such as he had been used to have, viz. husbote and other estovers. By Fine levied on November 18, 1240, Richard de Legton allows the demand, subject to the purview of his own Forester. For this the Plaintiff gave a sore sparrow-hawk.

[10] [11] [12] Rot. Claus. I. 260, 373, 623.
[13] Testa de Nevill, p. 44.


A Patent of July 14, 1241, again associates Richard de Leghton and Richard de Middelhope as Justices, to deliver Shrewsbury Gaol, and to try a civil suit at the next County-Court. I shall elsewhere give proof that in or after the year 1242 Richard de Leighton was still acting as a Verderer of the Shropshire Forests. On two Inquests, held pursuant to Writs of May 7 and July 9, 1246, and which have been set forth under Caus, [14] Richard de Leighton was a Juror. Perhaps the year 1249 is the latest date which can be assigned to any of the numerous attestations of Sir Richard de Leighton (III.). Even at that rate his activity would seem to have been nearly coextensive with his life, for within the next three years he was certainly deceased.

WILLIAM DE LEIGHTON, who in the year 1256 appears in the important post of Constable of Oswestry, was son and successor of Richard. He attests, apparently as a knight, and at a somewhat earlier period, a Charter to Buildwas Abbey,- which I have set forth under Ragdon. [15]

I find notice of a Charter whereby in the year 1252- "William, son of Richard, Lord of Leithone, grants his Mill of Leithone to God and Saint Milburg and the Monks of Wenlock". [16] 1 have never seen any evidence that this gift held good; indeed it is strange to find a Leighton thus granting to Wenlock in preference to Buildwas. The latter House, as we shall see, obtained a Mill in Leighton the very next year, and, though not by William de Leighton's grant, yet apparently with his sanction.

The Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 gives important evidence about Leighton. "William, Lord of Leheton, holds the Manor of Leheton of John fitz Alan by service of one knight's-fee in time of war, at Oswestry Castle, for forty days, and at the Tenant's charges. And the Manor is III hides (the Domesday estimate) and pays 12d. per annum for stretward and 12d. for motfee, and does due suit to County and Hundred".-

"The Abbot of Buildwas obtained entry into the said Manor in respect of one meadow, in the time of the said William's Grandfather; and he holds the said meadow in pure alms; and it is worth one merk yearly".-

"The same Abbot bought a certain Mill from Robert de Wodecote

[14] Supra, pp. 22, 23.
[15] Supra, Vol. V. p. 119.
[16] Sheriffs of Shropshire, p.74, note.-

This Deed had a Seal of the ordinary Fitz-Warin Arms, viz. Quarterly per fesse indented; and had this Legend.-



two years ago, and he holds the said Mill, in the said Manor of Lechton, of the fee of William de Lechton, and it is worth 16s. per annum". [17]

When we see that William de Leihtton himself was the second Juror who reported on the Tenures of Bradford Hundred, we are satisfied of the accuracy of the above return, and not surprised at its fulness. It helps to prove four generations in the Leighton Pedigree, for we learn that Richard, son of another Richard de Leighton and Grantor of the meadow aforesaid, was William de Leighton's Grandfather.

At the Assizes of 1256, William de Leighton was one of the two Jurors of Bradford Hundred who chose the rest of the Panel. The Justices pronounced him and other knights in misericordia for refusing to make some Perambulation which they had ordered.

On April 2, 1258, we have Sir William de Leghton, Knight, Constable of Oswestry, testifying in full Court of the Hundred of Oswestry to a grant then made to Haughmond Abbey. [18] In Easter Term 1260, William de Lecton was one of the only two Jurors who appeared at Westminster to certify as to their previous verdict in the famous Trial between Thomas Corbet of Caus and Fulk fitz Warin. [19] I shall hereafter cite evidence to show that Sir William de Leighton died in 1263, apparently about the month of March. In perfect consistency with such a date we find early mention of his son and successor, whom I will call-

RICHARD DE LEIGHTON (IV.); for a Patent of February 18, 1263, includes Richard de Lecton among those who were to be protected from all Law-suits, etc., till June 24 following, and as long as there should be war with Wales. Richard de Leighton then undoubtedly shared in the toils of that period, so memorable on the Shropshire Borders, when the Princes of North Wales and of Powys stood leagued with De Montfort against the English Crown.

This Richard de Leighton succeeded his Father as a Coparcener in the Manor of Stanwardine-in-the-Fields. How this arose I shall consider elsewhere; but I may here state that in the course of a Suit which, in 1272, Richard de Leighton had, concerning a lease of lands at Eyton (near Stanwardine), he was obliged to prove incidentally the date of his Father's death. Of this information I have already availed myself.

[17] Rot. Hundred. II. 57.
[18] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 234-b.
[19] Vide supra, p. 82.


On January 27, 1282, a Fine was levied at Westminster between Robert (Burnell), Bishop of Bath and Wells, Plaintiff, and Richard de Leghton, Deforciant, of a messuage and one acre of land in Leghton, whereof was Plea of Convention. Richard acknowledged the premises (which I presume were glebe), together with the Advowson of Leghton Church, to be the Bishop's,- to hold to the Bishop and his heirs, under Richard and his heirs for ever at a clove-rent. For this the Bishop is said to have given a sore sparrow-hawk.

We know that Bishop Burnel forthwith conveyed the above premises and Advowson to Buildwas Abbey. We have also seen how the Monks propitiated or rewarded their Benefactor. [20] As regards their recent acquisition they of course took immediate steps to obtain permission to appropriate the Rectory of Leighton, and we know that they were successful. In prospect of such success, and with reference to the territorial interests which they would have in Leighton, as appropriators of the glebe-land, the Monks seem to have had some negotiation with Sir Richard de Leighton. By one agreement, dated in 12 Edward I. (1283-4), Sir Richard covenants that, in case the Monks "shall possess the Church of Leighton in proprios usus", they shall keep a certain quantity of stock in the common pastures of Leighton, over and above what they were already entitled to keep under grant of Sir William, father of Sir Richard. Sir Richard further commutes his present hay-tithes for a plot of meadow in Addeley, to be conveyed to the Monks; and in lieu of certain plots already given in commutation of other hay-tithes, Sir Richard undertakes to measure, and convey to the Monks, a plot of equal extent, before Christmas 1284. In lieu of houseboot and hayboot Sir Richard will give the Monks a small meadow of 2s. annual value, besides a certain quantity of fuel under view of his Forester. Sir Richard was to keep the meadow called The Rea, fenced in, and the Monks were to have no common-right in that. Both parties bound themselves in 40. to the Church of Lichfield to fulfil the above agreement as soon as practicable. [21]

Another, and probably earlier agreement, [22] is without date, and a little less definite than the above, but contains nothing worth reciting. I must however give at length, a Deed which I conceive to be Sir Richard de Leighton's fulfilment of a part of his undertakings,- a supposition which as regards date is quite consistent with the known aera of the attesting witnesses.-

[20] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 326.
[21] [22] Dukes's Antiquities, pp. lxvi, lxvii.


"Sciant, etc., quod ego Ricardus dominus de Leghton, pro amore Dei, etc., dedi, etc., Abbati et Conventui de Buldewas et eorum successoribus quandam placeam terrae meae in territorio de Leghton, cum pertinentiis suis; illam videlicet quae vocatur Moseruding, et jacet inter terram meam ex una parte et pratum dictorum Abbatis et Conventus ex altera sicut rubis et una, haia circumquaque includitur; habendam etc. in liberam, puram, et perpetuam elemosynam, etc. Hiis testibus,- Domino Adam de Lacy, Hugone domino de Scheyntone, Waltero de Dreytone, Henrico de Garmundestone, Willielmo Peyn de Leghtone, Willielmo Brun de eadem". [23]

The Feodary of 1284 says that "Richard de Lechton holds the vills of Lechton and Garmonston under Richard fitz Alan, who holds of the King in capite". A somewhat later Feodary expresses Richard de Leighton's service to be that of a knight's-fee, and adds that his estate in Leighton and Garmston was geldable.

Again at this point of the Leighton genealogy, I am uncertain as to the time when Richard de Leighton (IV.) was succeeded by a Son of the same name. A Sir Richard de Leighton occurs, either with the express title of Knight, or in the position of a Knight, under the following dates, viz. on a Jury of December 1285, in a testing-clause of 1286, as a Knight in August 1290, and as a Witness in March 1294.

Again we have a Richard de Leighton, apparently a Knight, attesting a Buildwas Deed in May 1303, and sitting as Foreman of a Jury at Wellington in March 1304. This person I shall call-

RICHARD DE LEIGHTON (V.), and proceed to say what is further known of him. By some means or other he came into collision with the Consistory Court of the Diocese, and having been repeatedly pronounced contumacious by Bishop Langton's Commissary in the said Court, was at last excommunicated. On January 12, 1310, the Bishop absolves Sir Richard de Leghton, Knight, from this sentence, but enjoins that under a penalty of 40 merks he shall, before Michaelmas next ensuing, journey to Rome, and there offer 12 pounds of wax-candles in the Church of St. Peter, and make a like oblation in the Church of St. Paul. [24]

I presume that the Knight preferred the penalty to the journey, but of this we have no evidence. His employments and trusts at home were as follows.-

During the reign of Edward II., he was returned as a Knight of the Shire for Salop, to five Parliaments, viz. three in 1313, one in

[23] Rot. Cart. 20 Edw. I., No. 40.
[24] Register, Langton, fo. 65.


1314, and one in 1318. In four instances we have evidence of his attendance, and in the last case his Manucaptors were Roger de Leighton and William de Leighton (of Eaton Constantine). In 1308, and 1316, Sir Richard de Leighton acted as a Commissioner of army, and for raising levies in Shropshire. [25] In the Feodary of March 1316, he is returned as Lord of the Vill of Leighton, and in May 1324 he was summoned from the County of Salop to attend a Great Council at Westminster. [26]

I must conclude my account of this family with showing the mode in which this Richard de Leighton settled his estate. The Deed, of which I give an abstract, passed on July 13, 1315, and must be taken as a feoffment-in-trust.-

"Ricardus Dominus de Leghton, Miles, dedi, etc., Willielmo filio Ricardi Pride de Salop, pro quadam summa quam dedit, etc., totum manerium meum de Leghton cum dominio ejusdem manerii.- Habendum et tenendum cum wardis Releviis, Escaetis, homagiis, fidelitatibus, sectis, serviciis, boscis, moris, etc., dicto Willielmo et heredibus et assignatis, de capitalibus dominis inperpetuum sine retinemento mei, etc. Hiis testibus,- Dominis Ricardo de Harlegh, et Willielmo de Lodelawe, Militibus; Rogerio de Cheney, Hugone de Sheynton, Rogerio de Mokeleye, Hugone de Besselowe, Johanne Rondulf, et aliis. Dat' apud Leghton, Dominica post Translacionem Sti Thome Martyris anno Regni Regis Edwardi octavo finiente". [27]

A Fine levied at Westminster on October 13, 1315, shows that the above feoffment was by Royal Licence, and declares the uses of William Pride's Trust. The Fine purports to be levied between Richard de Leghton and his wife Agnes, Plaintiffs (William son of Richard de la Fountain of Upton being put in Agnes's place by Writ Royal), and William son of Richard Pride of Salop, Defor-ciant, of the Manor of Leghton, etc., whereof was Plea of Convention. Richard acknowledges the right of William, who in return concedes and surrenders the premises to Richard and Agnes, to hold to them and to the heirs which Richard shall have begotten of Agnes, of the

[25] [26] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 1090-1.
[27] Charter at Leighton.-

The dating clause of this Deed is very remarkable. The Clerk neglects to distinguish Edward II. from his Father or Son. Moreover he was ignorant that Edward II.'s regnal years terminated on July 7, and so that the Deed really belonged to the beginning of the King's ninth, not the end of his eighth, year.

The Seal of the Deed is also remarkable. It is of white- wax, and gives the Grantor's Arms as- Quarterly per fesse indented, over all a Bendlet.


Chief-Lords of the Fee. If Richard die, without heirs by Agnes, then after the deaths of Richard and Agnes the premises shall remain to Walter son of Richard, and to the heirs of Walter's body;- to hold of the Lords of the Fee. On Walter's death without such heirs, there are further remainders to John, brother of Walter, and to William son of Richard de Leghton.

As it is impossible to draw a Pedigree from any Fine couched in such technical language as the above, I will not discuss how this entail took effect.- will merely state that on April 10, 1347, John de Leighton appears as Lord of Leighton, and that he had a brother, another John, and a Sister Agnes, tenants in the Manor. [28]

AMONG THE UNDERTENANTS in Leighton I must mention several who will occur to us elsewhere in higher positions. Among others, the Woodcotes, who were Lords of the adjoining Manor of Eye, held Leighton-Mill under the Lords of Leighton, and, as it would seem, had their own Undertenants at the said Mill. At the Assizes of November 1221, Lecia, widow of Damian de Lecton, sued Robert de Wodecot for a third of Leighton Mill, which she claimed as her dower. Robert de Wodecot called Richard de Lecton to warranty;- who was present, but claimed to have reasonable notice before he could appear in warranty. The cause was adjourned till January 14, when also it was to be shown what interest Milisent, widow of Robert de Wodecot, the present Plaintiff's Father, had in the Mill; for the said Milisent, although summoned by the Plaintiff for the present hearing, was not forthcoming. Lucia had named her son Philip, or else Geoffrey de Dunnoc, as her Attorney, when Robert de Wodecot reappeared in Court and surrendered what was claimed. [29] The Fine which ensued is preserved.- Robert de Wudecot concedes the said third of Lecton-Mill to Lucia for life, to hold under himself and his heirs, at a rent of 2s. 1d.

A Deed which, if I may judge from the handwriting, belongs to the early part of Henry III.'s reign, is evidently the act of two persons of less importance at Leighton than elsewhere, but I must confine myself to the substance of this document.-

"Aldith and Agnes, daughters of Walter fitz John, under advice of friends, and with consent of their Mother Aldith, quit-claim to their Lord, Richard de Lehton, and his heirs, all the right in all meadews and assarts which they had claimed against the said Richard under the King's writ of mort d' ancestre, viz. as heirs of

[28] Dukes's Antiquities, p. lxviii.
[29] Assizes, 6 Hen. III., m. 4 dorso.


their father, Walter fitz John. Witnesses,- Thomas de Costentin, Hugh de Sheinton, Thomas Parson of Lehton, William le Rus, and Alan le Mer". [30]

About the year 1253 "Robert son of Robert de Wodecote, gives to Buildwas Abbey the Mill of La Merchaye, and the Vivary thereof; to hold of him and his heirs in pure almoign, the Monks rendering to William Lord of Lethon, and to his heirs, 6s. for all services, and being entitled to easements off the said William's land, in all such places as were specified in the Charter of Sir Richard de Lehton to the present Grantor's father. He also grants to the Monks the site of a Mill anywhere they may choose in the Valley of Bachstanesbache, rendering to William de Lehton one pound of cumin when such Mill should be completed. Witnesses,- Sir William de Lechton, Hugh de Scheynton, Alan de Parva Buldewas, William de Erleton, William de Pyvlesdon, and others". [31]

At the Assizes of 1256 Richard de Lepton was returned as one of the Coroners of Shropshire qui debet jurare, that is, I presume, give an account upon oath of matters pertaining to his office. It is possible that this refers to the then deceased Lord of Leighton, rather than to any living member of the family.

William Payn, another Undertenant in this Manor, occurs as a witness or a Juror, from 1284 to 1312.

GARMSTON. The Undertenants of Garmston took their name from the place. William de Garmunston, who occurs about 1248, seems also to have had an interest in Orleton. Thomas de Garmundeston occurs on a local Jury in 1249, Henry de Garmston occurs on various Juries from March 1281 to March 1304. On March 18, 1303, an Inquest was held at Berwick to prove the age of John Mauveysin. I cannot help citing the testimony of the Witness first examined; showing as it does how a Yeoman of the time of Edward I. kept his diary.- "Henry de Garmeston, aged 60, deposed that John Mauveysin was born at Astley on August 6th, 1281; and the Deponent remembered the date, because his own daughter Anable was born on All Saints' day in the same year". [32]

[30] Charter at Leighton.- This Deed had originally two seals of considerable size. A fragment of the second (probably that of Agnes fitz Walter) exhibits the device of a winged quadruped, tripping. Of the Legend the following letters remain, SIGILL xxxxx D x LEGT'; so that it seems possible that the claimants were related to the House of Leighton. In or about the year 1248 William de Garmston appears using a Seal with a similar, but not identical, device.

[31] Rot. Cart. 20 Edw. I., No. 41.
[32] Inquisitions, 31 Edw. I., No. 178.


A Deed of feoffment, granted by Sir Richard de Leighton to Hugh, son of the above Henry de Garmeston, on October 1, 1300, combines some names already mentioned.- "Richard, Lord of Leighton, Knight, gives and quitclaims to Hugh son of Henry de Garmeston, his heirs and assigns, all right in one virgate in the vill of Garmeston which William de Wyllarscote and his wife Christiana held; to hold for ever, for the Grantee's homage and a rent of 10s., and for 10 merks paid down". The Grantee may feed such swine, as shall be bred on the said land, in the Grantor's wood of Leghton:- he may build two messuages, with curtilages; on the said land, doing suit to the Grantor's Court of Leghton, when it shall be necessary to pass any judgment by a full Court. [33] The Grantor reserves a power of making a Park in his Manor of Leghton. [34] Witnesses,- Hugh Lord of Sheinton, Nicholas de Borewardesleye, John de Costentyn, John Mauveysyn of Berrewyk, and William Payn of Leghton. [35]

In November 1316, I find Hugh de Garmeston's name on a local Jury.


This may be looked upon as a Saxon Foundation, although the Parish of Leighton must at any time have been far short of the usual Saxon dimensions. It seems in fact to have been surrounded on all sides by the greater Saxon Parishes of Cound and Wroxeter. Nevertheless, Leighton Church can be shown to have had one affiliation, viz. the Chapel of Eaton Constantine. The right of Burial which Leighton has always maintained over the latter Parish, is an infallible proof that it was originally the Mother Church. With this view Domesday is in perfect harmony, for the Priest, who is registered under Lestone, was doubtless the Rector of the pre-existent Church.

We have seen how the Advowson of Leighton was conveyed in 1282 by Richard de Leighton to Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and how within two years that Prelate conferred it on

[33] Cum necesse fuerit de judicio reddendo per afforciamentum Curiae.
[34] Some of the localities named as boundaries of the prospective Park may be worth naming, e.g. "a certain spot where the watercourse in the Baxtonebache, towards Eye, falls into the Severn;- the Middelfeld of Garmeston;- the land called Le Helde;- Rudenefeld;- Le Portwey;- the Leemore furlong;- Spedehelde;- the Nether Mulne (Lower Mill) in Leghton;- the Edene furlong;- the bridge in Leghton;- the Impeyord;- the Grantor's Orchard;- and the Severn".
[35] Charter in possession of Robert Gardner, Esq., of Leighton.


Buildwas Abbey. The Bishop's Charter in this matter is not, as far as I can learn, extant; but a synopsis of benefactions to their House, drawn up by the Monks of Buildwas, recorded the gift in the following terms.- Episcopas Bathon' dedit Abbati et Conventui de Buldewas unum messuagium, et acram terrae in Leghton et advocacionem Ecclesiae de Leghton. [36]

A Patent of King Edward I., dated in 1285-6, seems to have sanctioned this grant to Buildwas; and I find it stated that Bishop Langton ordained the Vicarage of Leighton (that is, assigned the portion of the future Vicars) in 1288. [37]

In a former Volume I stated the great difficulty which I anticipated in accounting for the pension of 5s. which the Vicars of Leighton used to pay to the Church of Holgate. [38] I now have little hesitation in suggesting that this impost was laid upon the Church of Leighton by Robert Burnell (Lord of Holgate) during the short period in which he was Patron of Leighton.

The Taxation of 1291 gives the Church of Lehton, in the Archdeaconry and Deanery of Salop, as worth 4. per annum. [39] In 1341 the Assessors of the Ninth call the Church of Leghton a Chapel, and reduce the Taxation of 4. to an assessment of 1. 13s. 4d. Two caracates of land which were Roger le Taillour's, and two virgates besides, lay unfilled. Moreover, the Glebe and other income of the said Chapel was, in the current year, hardly as much as two merks. [40]

The Valor of 1534-5 gives 8. as the income of John Barnys, Vicar of Leighton. The Rector of Holgate's pension of 5s. (already alluded to) was the only charge on the Vicarage. [41] At the same time the Abbot of Buildwas was in receipt of 4. per annum for the ferm of the (Rectorial) tithes of Leighton. [42] Out of this income the Abbot paid 6s. 8d. for procurations to the Archdeacon of Salop. [43]


THOMAS, Parson of Leighton, occurs early in the thirteenth century.

SIMON BAGOT was Rector of Leighton, when Bishop Langton ordained the Vicarage, in 1288.

RICHARD DE HATTON, Priest, was instituted Vicax of Leighton, March 2, 1298.

[36] [37] Blakeway's MSS.
[38] Supra, Vol. IV. p. 72, note 91.
[39] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 247, b.
[40] Inquis. Nonaram, p. 182.
[41] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 184.
[42] [43] Ibidem, pp. 191, 192.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


ROBERT DE MUNSTERTON, Deacon, was instituted Vicar, October 14, 1307,- on presentation of the Abbot and Convent of Buildwas.

SIR HUGH DE BOTTEFELD was instituted February 7, 1359, on a like presentation. He died in 1875, when, on December 9,-

HENRY MODAY was instituted on a like presentation. He resigned in 1394, when, on April 7,-

WILLIAM DE WESTON, Chaplain, was instituted. Same Patrons.


Tradition says that the Monument, of which an Engraving is annexed, was brought hither from Buildwas Abbey at the Dissolution, and that it is the monument of a Leighton. So far tradition is entitled to implicit faith. The next question is, to which of the seven first Lords of Leighton, of whom we have authentic accounts, shall the Monument be assigned? Tradition, with a less definite voice, speaks of a Sir Richard de Leighton. Such was its dictum at least in the year 1814. [44] We have seen that the Seal used by Sir Richard de Leighton (V.), in 1315, had the usual Leighton Arms, differenced by a Bendlet. [45] The same Shield is observable on the Monument under notice. As to the costume of the Effigy, that again is consistent with the aera of Richard de Leighton (V.). [46] His social eminence, and his transactions with Buildwas Abbey, make it quite supposable that he was buried there; though I think it possible that some of his ancestors may have been also buried at Buildwas,- in fact, that the Abbey Church was the ordinary burial-place of the family.

Lega, afterwards Lee Cumbray.


This again was a Manor held by Rainald Vicecomes under the Norman Earl. Domesday describes it as follows.-

[44] When David Parkes made a drawing of tho monument (vide MS., 21,180 (Brit. Museum), p. 95). The annexed Engraving is from the Rev. Edward Williams's drawing, taken in 1794. (Vide MS., 21,236 (ibidem), p. 152.)
[45] Supra, p. 334, note 27.
[46] The knee-plates and half-gauntlets were characteristic features of the aera to which I assign the monument.


"The same Rainald holds Lega, and Toret (holds it) of him. The said Toret held it in time of King Edward. Here are III hides. In demesne there is one ox-team, and (there are) five (ox-teams) among the male and female Serfs; and there are II Villains, and IIII Radmans, with two ex-teams; and there might be two other teams (employed). There are two leagues of Wood. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 20s. (yearly); now it is worth 15s". [1]

I have already observed that nothing which Toret the Saxon held, at or before Domesday, can be proved to have remained in his family, or to have descended to his heirs, the Corbets of Moreton. In this respect the history of Lega is in keeping with all analogy; for the Corbets of Moreton never inherited any interest in Lee-Cumbray. In another respect the descent of this Manor is almost exceptional; for, though it belonged at Domesday to the Fief of Rainald Vicecomes, it did not afterwards belong to the Fief of Rainald's ordinary successors, the Fitz Alans. Lega and, with it, Rainald's Manor of Little Dawley, were lost to the Domesday Fief of which they formed a part; but when this happened, or how, we know not. An exchange, a surrender, or an insufficiency of title, are more probable causes of the change than any forfeiture; but the change, however caused, took place during that dark period of Shropshire History, of which we have neither Record nor Tradition. Suffice it then to say that within fifty years after Domesday, Lega and Little Dawley had reverted to the Suzerain, whether Earl Palatine or King, and were thenceforth held in capite as one Manor, by a family which had no known connection with Rainald Vicecomes, or with Fitz Alan.

The House of De Cambray was dearly of Norman origin, but without attempting to trace it to its remoter sources I shall content myself with saying that it was established in Cheshire at least as early as the reign of Henry II. Thus-

ALURED DE CAMBRAI stands first witness of a Charter which Hugh Cyvelioc, Earl of Chester, expedited, between 1155 and 1180, to Shrewsbury Abbey. [2] And this Alured we know to have been Lord of Lee-Cumbray; for in the year 1167, when Alan de Nevill, Justice of the Forest, set an amercement of 10 merks on this Manor, it is described on the Pipe-Roll as Alured's Lee (Lega Aluredi). Again the Forest-Roll of 1180 records a fine of 2s. against Alured de Cumbrai for waste in Dalilea;- that is, in Little

[1] Domesday, fo. 254, b, 2.
[2] Salop Chartulary, No. 315.


Dawley. The same person is assessed 7s. for imbladements in Legh, viz. 4 acres of wheat and 16 acres of oats. Also one Alured is assessed 12d. for pourpresture in Ketel, which I take to be Ketley. The successor, probably the son, of Alured de Cambrai was-

JOHN DE CAMBRAI. Between the years 1187 and 1197 John de Cumbrey, for the souls'-health of himself, his father, mother, predecessors, and heirs, gave to Wombridge Priory a virgate of land in Wethmundeshall (Wappenshall), with 8 acres and an adjacent meadow in addition. Witnesses,- Master Robert de Salopia; Roger Corbet; Robert fitz William; William de Hedleg, and Hamo his brother; Peter de Eiton; Pagan de Preston, and Eustace and Roger his brothers; Reginald de Tirn; Philip de Welinton; Master Richard of Ideshall; William Pantun; Herbert Malveisin; Walter de Eppele; Walter Clerk; Hugh Forester; Eilwin and Henry de Lega; and many others. [3] John de Cambrai was deceased in 1199. He left a son Roger, an infant under ten years of age. His Widow, Alina, soon became the wife of Robert de Hamarz. Lee Cumbray, as being a tenure-in-capite, naturally appears as an escheat at this juncture. Hence we find on the Pipe-Roll of 1199 that the Villate of Lega had been assessed 40s. to a King's Tallage. At Michaelmas 1200 the Sheriff of Shropshire accounts at the Exchequer for 100s., being the year's proceeds of the land of Lega quae fuit Johannis de Cumbrai. The same thing is repeated at Michaelmas 1201, but at Michaelmas 1202, the Sheriff pays 50s. for one half-year, and owes 50s. for another half-year. This item of account does not recur on succeeding Rolls, but why, I cannot say.

Meantime, I find these notices of John de Cambrai's Widow. She had, it seems, either as dower or inheritance, a moiety of the Staffordshire Manor of Warslaw. Being Widow of a Tenant-in-capite, her estates and remarriage were a subject of presentment at the Lichfield Assizes of September 1199 and September 1203. On the first occasion the Jurors of Totmanslow Hundred reported how the "wife (widow) of John de Cumbray was holding a moiety of Werfelawe in that Hundred, which moiety was worth 29s. 3d. per annum". [4] The Report of 1203 (as printed) is that "Alina, widow of John de Pumerai, was of the King's gift (as to remarriage), and was married to Robert de Hamarz, the Jurors know not by whose authority". [5] An Inquiry in the County of Salop was ordered to be made.

[3] Wombridge Chartulary, Tit. Lega Prioris No. xliij.
[4] [5] Abbreviatio Placitorum, pp. 70 and 43.


At the Forest Assizes of March 1209, one Robert de Cumbrais is assessed under Regard of Mount Gilbert. I cannot help thinking that this was Robert de Hamarz, though Robert de Lee Cumbrais would have been a more distinct description of the person who doubtless was holding a third of the said Manor at the period.

ROGER DE CUMBRAI, son and heir of John de Cumbrai, was still an infant in 1212. In that year "Baldwin de Hodnet fined 40 merks and one good palfrey to have custody of the land of Roger de Cumbrai, son of John de Cumbrai, together with the marriage of the said Roger". The money had been paid, but the palfrey was owing. [6] Roger de Cumbrai must have died without issue very shortly after this; otherwise the marriage and land of-

AGNES DE CUMBRAY would not have appeared in the market of such commodities. It seems that John fitz Philip (of Bobbington, I presume), fined 20 merks for this marriage; but he had it not, for a Writ of King John, dated August 4, 1215, orders the Barons of the Exchequer to cancel the Fine and to acquit John fitz Philip of all liability in respect thereof. [7] I cannot suppose that Agnes de Cumbray and Petronilla de Cumbray (presently to be mentioned) were the only or the principal claimants of Roger de Cumbray's estates. Nor do I think that they were his Sisters, far less his daughters. The Cumbray estates seem to me to have been divided among coheirs, remotely collateral, and the share of the principal claimant, Thomas Tuschet, to have devolved on him from his mother or some more remote ancestor; but certainly not to have accrued to him in right of any wife. By what means soever-

THOMAS TUSCHET became Lord of Lee Cumbray before 1221, but not, as it seems, without some dispute. The Shropshire Pipe-Roll of 1218 tells us how Petronilla de Cumbry had fined 30 merks "to have her reasonable part of the lands which had been Alured de Cumbry's", and how the debt had by Writ-Royal been made a present to the Earl of Chester (then Sheriff of Shropshire). I suppose that Petronilla got her share of the Cumbray estates generally, but Lee Cumbray remained ostensibly with Thomas Tuschet, except so much thereof as still formed the dower of Alina, wife of Robert de Hamarz. At the Assizes of November 1221, Robert de Hamet and his wife Aline sued Thomas Tuschet for disseizing them of their tenement in Lega. The Defendant appeared not, and could not be found. The Jury decided that he had disseized the Plaintiffs of a certain bosc, whereof one-third was of Anna's dower. So he was

[6] Rot. Finium, p. 162.
[7] Ibidem, p. 562.


in misericordia. [8] About this time, that is, between the years 1215 and 1224, Thomas Tuschet gave to Wombridge Priory all his share of the common wood of Wombridge, which was common between himself and John le Strange. Stamforde in Watlingestrete, Richelin, Sprungwellsich, and Watlingestrete, are named as boundaries of the grant, which was attested by Baldwin de Hodnet, William de Ercalew, Hugh fitz Robert, Robert fitz Aher, Philip Parson of Wellington, Robert de Hammas, Robert de Brocton, and John Walsh. [9] On January 2, 1235, Thomas Thushet being dead, the King received the homage of-

HENRY THUSHET, his son and heir, who had fined 100s. for his Relief for the Vill of Lee Cumbray, which was held in capite by Serjeantry. [10] On November 20, 1242, Henry Tuschet was deceased, and his brother and heir-

ROBERT TUSCHET fined 10 merks for relief of all his lands. He had already done fealty for the same, and was to do homage on the King's return to England. [11] John le Strange, justice of Chester, was ordered to give Robert Tuschet seizin of all such lands as were in his bailiwick, saving the dower of Henry Tuschet's widow, Emma. Robert Tuschet died in the month of October 1248, but the King's Writ of Diem clausit did not issue till August 23, 1249. In the interval, Ysambel, Robert Tuschet's Mother, died, seized in dower of 2 virgates in Lee Cumbray. [12] One Inquest stated this fact, and that Robert Tuschet's tenure was two-thirds of a carucate held in demesne, and four virgates held in Villeinage, and two-thirds of a messuage, garden, and mill;- the whole worth 2. 15s. 4d. per annum. A second and a third Inquest stated the Serjeantry by which the deceased had held Leg-Cumbre, viz. by service of providing for the King, in his army, one serviens with a horse, a hauberk (habergello), a chapel de fer (capello ferreo), and a lance, whenever the King went into Wales; and this at the King's cost.

One of these last Inquests valued Robert Tuschet's interest in Leg-Cumbre at 5. 17s. 4d., or at least stated that that revenue was already in menu Regis, but that three Ladies (dominae) were portioned (dotantur) in the same fee, and a certain child (puer),

[8] Assizes, 6 Hen. III., m. 4 dorso.
[9] Chartulary (ut supra), No. xlij.
[10] [11] Rot. Finium, Vol. I. pp. 271, 390.
[12] It is this clause which decides Thomas Tuschet's wife to have been no co-heiress of the Cumbrays. Her interest in Lee Cumbray was only dower. Neither is it supposable that she was the second of two wives, the first of whom was such a coheiress; for then Robert Tuschet, not being the son of such supposed first wife, could not have inherited Lee Cumbray.


whose name the Jurors knew not. Again, it was stated that a boy of five years of age was Robert Tuschet's heir, and that the said heir had about five merks revenue in Tatenhal in the County of Cheshire, subject to the dower of a certain dowager. [13]

I cannot altogether explain these Inquests. It is impossible to conclude that the three Dominae were surviving Widows of three Lords of Lee Cumbray, and yet I have no direct evidence to show that the Manor was still held in coparcenary, or that more than one of John de Cumbray's coheirs wss represented there. One of the three Dominae was, I think, Emma, widow of Henry Tuschet, and I shall show a probability that she carried her dower in Lee Cumbray to her second husband, Griffin de Bromfield. She was a daughter of Henry de Audley, and had several children by her second husband.

By a Patent of August 4, 1251, King Henry III. gives custody of certain lands in Lee Combray and in Tatehal (Cheshire) to John Maunsell, "which lands the King had found by Inquisition to belong to the heirs of Robert Tuschet, of which heirs John Maunsell had the custody". We have heard of John Mansel before, [14] and can easily account for his obtaining this or any other wardship in Shropshire.

The Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 says as follows.- "John Mansel holds the vill of Lega Cumbray in ward, of the fee of Robert Thochet; and it is IIII hides with its appurtenances; and it pays 16d. per annum for stretward, and 16d. for motfee. Ralph de Lega does suit to County and Hundred, hereditarily, for the Manor of Lega. Robert Thuchet, Lord of the said Vill, holds (read held) it, in capite of the King, by service of one muntorius, in war against Wales, for forty days, at his own cost, and according to the King's pleasure, as regards the time or place of invasion". The Muntorius was, it seems, to be armed "with a hauberk, a chapel de fer, and a lance". "The said land was worth 100s. per annum". [15]

I have here to observe that the four hides thus attributed to Lee Cumbray, clearly consisted of its own three Domesday hides, and the single hide which Domesday had allotted to Dalelie (Little Dawley): the latter being now reputed a mere member of Lee Cumbray.

A King's Writ, dated March 9, 1258, certifies that Griffin de

[13] Inquisitions, 33 Hen. III., No. 54.
[14] Supra, Vol. I. p. 339.
[15] Rot. Hundred. II. 57.


Brumfeld had renounced his fealty to the King, and orders that "Leyes Cumbray (which Griffin held as dower of his wife, and of the inheritance of Henry Thuchet's heir, which heir was under age and in custody of John Mansell, Treasurer of York)" should be extended or valued. [16] Notwithstanding the general terms of this Writ, it is evident that all which the Prince of Powis Vadoc held or forfeited in Lee Cumbray was his wife's dower. It is time now to give some account of the Minor so often alluded to. Calling him-

THOMAS TUSCHET (II.), I proceed to observe that he can hardly have attained his majority before the year 1265, when his Guardian, John Mansel, was already deceased. A Grant of Free Warren however had been allowed as early aa the year 1252, to Thomas son of Robert Tuschet in respect of the Manor of Markenton (Markeaton in Derbyshire). [17] There is no doubt that this Thomas was the Minor of whom I am speaking, and I suppose it was the great influence of his Guardian which procured so unusual a favour.

About the year 1269, Thomas Tuschet expedited two Charters to Wombridge Priory. [18] Styling himself "Thomas Tuschet, son and heir of Robert Tuschet", he concedes to the Canons free ingress and egress in his bosc of Ketley, with their carriages, carts, and work-people, to hew and get stone in his quarry there, and to convey it away for their buildings and repairs, whenever necessary. The grant was for the souls'-health of himself, his ancestors, and successors, and on condition that the Canons should yearly on the day of St. Valentine the Martyr (Feb. 14) perform solemn services for the souls of Robert, the Grantor's father, of Sir John Maunsell, and for the souls of the Grantor and his wife Margery, whenever they should depart this life, and for the souls of the Grantor's children, etc. Witnesses,- Sirs John de Ercalewe, John fitz Aer, John fitz Hugh, and Walter de Pedewardin, Knights; Robert de Stanton, John de Stewynton, Herbert de Wyke, and Michael de Moreton.

Thomas Tuschet's other Charter to Wombridge has the same witnesses. It was but a counterpart of Walter de Dunstanvill's Deed already alluded to: [19] that is, he gives to the Canons all his share of a wood which was in dispute (in calengio) between Dunstanvill and himself.

The Feodary of 1284 says that "Thomas Thuschet holds the

[16] Inquisitions, 42 Hen. III., No. 5.
[17] Rot. Chartularum, 36 Hen. III., m. 26.
[18] Chartulary (ut supra), Nos. xij., xiij.
[19] Supra, Vol. II. p. 298, No. 6.


Manor of Leye Cumbrey with its members, for one knight's-fee of the King in capite. The members enumerated in this Record are Parva Dalileye (Little Dawley), Malineleye (Malins Lee), and Watmundeshale (Wappenshall). I have a Tenure-Roll of nearly even date with the above and of greater accuracy. It very properly names Ketley as a member of Lee Cumbray, and gives Thomas Tuchet's service as a Serjeantry, viz. "to provide a man at his own cost, to proceed (with the King's host) for 40 days in time of war". In January 1287 Thomas Tuchet was appointed one of the Conservators of the Peace in the Couuty of Derby. At the Assizes of 1292, the Bradford Jurors, under the title De Serjanciis, gave account of Thomas Thochet's tenure of Leye Cumbrey, and valued the Manor at 15. per annum. Hugh de Louther, the King's Attorney, alleged that the services due from the Manor were in arrear for two campaigns in Wales, viz. those of 1277 and 1282. Thomas Tochet appeared in Court, and showed that he had compounded for his service in 1277 by a Fine of 10 merks; but not being able to say anything as regarded the campaign of 1282, the Court ordered his Serjeantry to be seized in manu Regis, but he fined 40s. to retain it till the next Parliament, Roger son of Thomas de Pulesdon and Master Richard de Pulesdon being his securities. [20] Among those who were summoned to muster at London for Foreign service, on July 7, 1297, Thomas Tochet was one. His liability arose from his holding lands, of 20. annual value or upwards, in the Counties of Derbyshire and Shropshire.

Again, he was summoned to a Military Council, to be holden at London by Prince Edward on Oct. 6, 1297; and again, to attend muster at Berwick upon Tweed on June 24, 1301, prepared for military service against the Scots. [21] This last summons alludes to his lands in Rutlandshire as well as Derbyshire. In 1299 Thomas Tuchett obtained a Charter of Free-Warren in his Cheshire Manors of Tatenhale (Tattenhall) and Lauton (Bug Lawton). [22] In 1314 Thomas Tuchet was twice put in commission as a Justice of oyer and terminer and of gaol delivery for Lincolnshire, and had also military summons against the Scots, returnable at Berwick-upon-Tweed on June 30th of that year. In 1316 two Writs were addressed to him as a Commissioner of Array in Derbyshire, and in the Nomina Villarum of that County he was returned as Lord of the Vill of Mark Eaton. [23] All this was however erroneous, for

[20] Plac. Coronae, 20 Edw. I., m. 16.
[21] Parliamentary Writs, I. p. 872.
[22] Rot. Chart. 27 Edw. I. No. 20.
[23] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 1529.


the King's Writ of Diem clausit announcing his death bears date May 1, 1315. The Inquisition which sat at Wellington on the 22nd of the same month described the Serjeantry by which he had held Leys Combray in the usual terms, except that the Serviens, who performed it, was to be mounted on an unbarbed horse, and his service was returnable at Montgomery. His tenure of Aswelle (Rutlandshire) was by service of one-third of a knight's-fee. The Manor was held of that part of the Honour of Chester which having fallen to the pourparty of Robert Bruce was now an Escheat of the English King.
[24] A Derbyshire Inquest likewise describes his interest in Mark-eton, but I may refer to an earlier Record on that point, and state that that Manor had been held by his ancestors of the Honour of Chester, and by service of 1 and 2/3 knight's-fees. [25] The Rutlandshire Inquest states the age of Robert son and heir of Thomas Tuchet to be 40 years; the Shropshire Inquest with more probable accuracy states the heir to have been 50 years of age on December 25, 1314.

ROBERT TUCHET (II.) appears in the Nomina Villarum of March 1316, as Lord of the Vills of Ashwell and Teigh in Rutlandshire, and of Lee Mumbray, in Shropshire. [26] In the same year he was summoned to be at Newcastle upon Tyne on October 6, for military service against the Scots. A similar summons returnable at Newcastle on July 24, 1322, was served by the Sheriff of Rutlandshire at the Manor House of "Sir Robert Tuschet, Lord of Assewell", but the Knight was absent from home. In 1324 he appears as Custos of certain escheated lands in Derbyshire. The same year he was summoned both in Derbyshire and Rutlandshire to attend a great Council at Westminster on May 30th. [26] This Robert Tuchet is said to have been succeeded by a son and heir, Thomas; and I quite concur in the statement, though Dugdale has erroneously attributed to-

THOMAS TUCHET (III.) those grants to Wombridge Priory which were made by his Grandfather. In 1342 Thomas Tuchet was endeavouring to obtain view of frank pledge at Marketon Harneys, Derbyshire. [27] He died in 1349 seized apparently of Leghe Cumbray, and leaving a son and heir,-

JOHN TUCHET, then 22 years of age, and already distinguished in the Wars of France. This John had livery of Lee Cumbray in

[24] Inquisitions, 8 Edw. II., No. 40.
[25] Testa de Nevill, pp. 5, 10, 21.
[26] Parliamentary Writs (ut supra).
[27] [28] Inquisitions, 16 Edw. III. (Second Numbers), No. 65, and 23 Edw. III. (Second Numbers), No. 3.


1351;- but I am passing my usual limits, and must conclude this account by stating that this John took to wife Joan, the elder sister and in her issue coheir of that Nicholas Baron Audley who died childless in 1392. From them the existent Barony of Audley is derived through an unbroken descent.

Thus in tracing out the history of a Shropshire Manor I have been fortuitously enabled to add something and correct much which had been previously forgotten or misapprehended by Writers of Baronial History. [29]

Of UNDERTENANTS in Lee Cumbray, we have Ralph de Lega already noticed in 1255, and Robert de Leg Cumbray, a Juror on a Bradford Inquest in May 1264. The latter is he, I think, who is empanelled as Robert de Lega in a Wellington Inquest of September 1279, but who appears again as Robert de Leycombre in February 1283.

WAPPENSHALL. This member of Lee Cumbray is variously written in ancient documents as Whatmundeshal, Quatmundeshale or Quappynsall. The earliest notice which I have of it is in a Fine of May 31, 1228. Thereby John le Reve and Cecily his wife, Plaintiffs in a suit of Grand-Assize, quit-claim for themselves and the heirs of Cecily a virgate of land in Whatmundeshal to Stephen de Whatmundeshal (Tenant), who pays one merk for the recognition. We have the same or another Stephen de Watmundeshal as Juror on a Lee Cumbray Inquest in 1258, and on an Inquest concerning Bradford Hundred in 1264.

KETLEY. This member of Lee-Cumbray, written as Ketel, was assessed 12d. for pourpresture at the Forest Assizes of 1180; whilst William and Alexander, two residents in Ketel, were charged 6d. for an imbladement of one acre of oats. At the Forest Assize of 1262, Alan Ruffus of Keteleg was fined 1s. for vert. Henry de Ketteleg occurs as a Juror on a Wellington Inquest in 1279.

MALINS LEE. This member of Lee Cumbray was probably called after some Saxon owner thereof, whose real name may have been Maelden. At the Forest Assizes of 1262, Nicholas Huberd of Malineleg was amerced 12d. for vert; but the place must have been held under the Lords of Lee Cumbray by Tenants of greater consequence at an earlier period. There was at Malins Lee-

A NORMAN CHAPEL, of which some remains still exist. This is not likely to have been founded by the Lords of Lee Cumbray, who

[29] Compare Dugdale's Baronage, Vol. II. p. 28; and Collins's Peerage (ed. 1779), Vol. VI. p. 301.


[For engraving, see pdf.]


would have selected a site nearer to Lee Cumbray itself. At the same time it is clear that the Chapel must have been founded by a Layman, and if so, by some Feoffee of the Manorial Lords. Of course no notice of such a Chapel is to be expected in Ecclesiastical Records or Diocesan Registers. Both the Church of Great Dawley and the Chapel of Malins Lee were originally founded in the Parish, and subject to the Church, of Idsall; but when Dawley became an independent Parish, Malins Lee was involved in the change, and losing all connection with the Mother-Church was rather associated with the daughter.

Little Dawley.

I HAVE said that Domesday treats of Little Dawley as an independent Manor, but that in later Records it appears as a mere member of Lee Cumbray. The Domesday notice runs as follows.- "The same Rainald (Vicecomes) holds Dalelie, and Benedict (holds it) of him. Sistain held it (in Saxon times). Here is one hide. In demesne there is half an ox-team, and (there are) I Serf, I Villain, and II Boors with half a team; and there might be two additional teams. There is one league of wood, which the Earl holds in demesne. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 24s. (per annum); now it is worth 5s". [1]

It is just worth remarking that the above-named Benedict appears in Domesday as holding the Staffordshire Manor of Morton, immediately under Earl Roger de Montgomery; [2] and that whereas Rainald Vicecomes or his Successors, the Fitz Alans, lost the Seigneury of Little Dawley, they gained the Seigneury of Morton, which, except in Domesday, always appears as a member of the Barony of Oswestry. This circumstance induces a suspicion that whatever was taken from the Fief of the Sheriff, as in the cases of Lee Cumbray and Little Dawley, was replaced elsewhere.

After insisting so often on what I may call the permanent in-tegrity of the Sheriffs Fief, as transmitted to Fitz Alan, it is satisfactory to find that one of the few exceptions to that theory rather

[1] [2] Domesday, fos. 254, b, 2; 248, a, 1.


strengthens it than otherwise. I now pass to another of these exceptions, about which I have nothing so satisfactory to suggest.-

Rainald's Anonymous Manor.

BETWEEN the Domesday notices of Dalelie (Little Dawley) and Lega (Lee Cumbray) stands the following entry.-

"The same Rainald (Vicecomes) holds, of the Earl, two hides and two parts of one hide, for a Manor. Wige held it in King Edward's time. Richard holds it of Rainald, and has one ox-team in demesne, and two Serfs and three Villains, with two teams. Out of this land, one free-man (francus homo) holds half a hide and two parts of a virgate; and together with his three Boors, has six oxen ploughing thereon. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 25s. (per annum). Now it is worth 20s. There might be a team and half (additional) here". [1]

My attempts to identify this nameless Manor with any Manor of later notoriety have been vain. No estate in Recordine Hundred, corresponding with the above in hidage or any other circumstance, can be traced down to Fitz Alan; nor does any Recordine Manor of Fitz Alan appear subsequently with any such increased hidage as to warrant a suggestion that it had absorbed the Manor unnamed. I may go even further than this, and state summarily that of all the later Manors of Recordine Hundred, whether held by Fitz Alan or others, there is not one, which cannot be traced to its Domesday antecedent. We have then to account for the destination of a Manor, unquestionably lost or suppressed, after Domesday.-

Judging from position in the Record we should expect to find the territory, which then constituted this anonymous Manor, in the neighbourhood of Little Dawley or Leegomery. The surrender or loss of all three Manors, by Rainald or his Successors, makes it still more supposable that they were in the same district. Again, Wige, the Saxon Owner of the nameless Manor, was also a Coparcener in Eyton (on the Wealdmoors);- a fact which leads to a similar conclusion as to the situation of the lost Manor.

Now we have seen under Little Dawley, that though that Manor

[1] Domesday, fo. 254, b, 2.


had been annexed before Domesday to the Fief of the Sheriff, Earl Roger retained a league of wood there, in the Palatine Demesne. This league of wood I take to have been the nucleus of a Palatine or Royal Forest, formed subsequently to Domesday; and I think it very possible that the Sheriff (whether Rainald or one of his Successors) surrendered his Manors in this quarter in aid of such a project. Leegomery and Little Dawley, as we have seen, eventually regained their Manorial status, but regained it in a form different from that of which Domesday informs us; that is the Domesday Seigneury vanished in both, and they became a combined Manor, held in capite by a tenure newer than, and quite irrelevant to, that of Domesday.

But I repeat that there is no symptom of Rainald's unnamed Manor having been reproduced in any manorial shape whatever. Surely then it remained absorbed in the Palatine or Royal Forests: and this conclusion will become more plausible, when we consider that one principal department of the Forest of the Wrekin, lay in the exact situation where we should expect to find the anonymous Manor now in question. In the following pages I shall frequently have to speak of the Forest of Wombridge. It was not disforested till the year 1300. Its jurisdiction, though it was only a member of the Wrekin-Forest, was compact in itself. We have seen how two named Manors of Domesday (Womerton and Netley) became depopulated and absorbed by The Forest. [2] I see no alternative but to conclude that Rainald's Manor, ill- distinguished in Domesday, soon vanished utterly in the obscurities of Wombridge Forest.

As to Ricardus, Rainald's Tenant at Domesday, in this anonymous Manor, I have suggested under Preston-Boats, that he was Ancestor of the Stantons of Stanton Hineheath, etc. I have also shown that before the death of Henry I. great additions were made to the Domesday Fief of Ricardus, that is, he or his successors, the Stantons, were holding five estates under Fitz Alan, in which he had no concern at Domesday. [3] It is quite consistent with, and rather auxiliary to, my former arguments, if we suppose that what Ricardus lost by the afforestation of the Manor now under notice was made up to him elsewhere.

[2] Supra, Vol. VI. pp. 158, 298.
[3] Vide supra, p. 268.



Domesday describes this Manor as follows.-

"The same Rainald holds Hatlege, and Goisfrid (holds it) of him. Witric and Elric held it (in Saxon times) for two Manors. Here are II hides. In demesne there is one ox-team, and II Serfs and VII Boors with half a team, and vet there might be two and a half teams additional here. Here is a Mill of 2s. (annual value), and a league of wood. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 37s. (per annum); now it is worth 15s. He (Rainsld) found it waste". [1]

Goisfrid's connection with Hadley is established by further evidence than the above. Within ten years after Domesday he gave half a hide in Hadley to Shrewsbury Abbey. Various Confirmations to that House speak of the grant;- for instance, Earl Roger's Confirmation says,- Goiffridus (dedit) dimidiam hidam in Herlega: the Charter of King William II. says,- Goffridus (dedit) dimidiam hidam Herleia; and that of King Henry I. says,- Goisfridus (dedit) dimidiam hidam in villa quae dicitur Herleia. King Stephen's Confirmation speaks the same language, but King Henry II.'s is more accurate than any, when it confirms, ex dono Gaufridi, dimidiam hidam in Hetlega. Notwithstanding this cumulative proof as to the identity of the Grantor and the locality of the Grant, it is pretty certain that the Grantees eventually retained nothing in Hadley except the tithes, and these, I think, accrued to them as Impropriators of the Church of Wellington. Returning to Goisfrid it is quite clear that before the end of Henry I.'s reign he wss succeeded in his tenure of this Manor by one whom I can hardly think to have been his son. This was-

WILLIAM DE HADLEY (I.), who, by his marriage with Seburga, daughter of Hamo Peverel, acquired a position for himself and his descendants, which the genealogical obscurities of the twelfth century have affected but little.

There are two Charters by Hamo Peverel to Shrewsbury Abbey, which passed towards the close of Henry I.'s reign, i.e. about the year 1134. Both these Charters are attested by William de Hedlega and his sons Alan and William. [2] A later Grant of Hamo Peverel to the same Abbey passed immediately after Stephen's accession to

[1] Domesday, fo. 254, b, 2.
[2] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 19, 24.


the throne, and almost certainly in the year 1136. It is attested by Alan son of William de Hedlega. [3]

The Wombridge Chartulary contains a curious grant by Hamo Peverel to his daughter Seburga, which, though it belongs more properly to Wellington, I prefer to recite here.-

"Hamo Paperellus heredi suo et omnibus amicis suis etc. tam Angligenis quam Francigenis salutem. Notum sit, etc. me dedisse Seburgae meae quendam frondellum, [4] in Waletonia, scilicet frondellum Siwardi cum hominio ejus, in feodo et hereditate, etc. Testibus Ranulfo Abbate de Salopesbia, Roberto fratre suo, Radulfo filio Tealdi, Roberto filio Nigelli, Roberto de Meleburn et multis aliis". [5]

Now it is quite certain that this Deed passed between the years 1137 and 1141, for Ranulph did not succeed to the Abbacy of Shrewsbury till 1137, or after, and Hamo Peverel was dead in 1141. I think too that at the time of this Deed, William de Hadley (I.) must have been dead, and Seburga the Grantee, a widow, otherwise her husband would have been named. I further think that, when, about the year 1136, Alan son of William de Hadley, attested Hamo Peverel's grant to Shrewsbury, the said Alan had already succeeded to his father. It is important thus to ascertain the date of the first William de Hadley's death, for we are thereby enabled to fix proximately the period when Wombridge Priory was founded. Whatever has been said to the contrary, the said William, with Seburga his wife, and Alan their son, were the joint Founders of that House, and William fitz Alan, the reputed Founder, had nothing more to do with the matter than, as Seigneural Lord, to confirm the acts of his Tenants. The site of the future Priory was in Hadley Wood. It was bounded on one side by a rivulet, which divided the said wood from the King's adjacent Forest; on another side, by a rivulet called Sprungewella-broc; on a third side, by Watlingstreet. The Priory was founded for Augustine Canons, and if, as I suppose, towards the close of Henry I.'s reign, it was very nearly cotemporary with William fitz Alan's similar Foundation at Haughmond. Before I close my notice of William de Hadley (I.), I should observe that his wife, Seburga, the daughter of Hamo Peverel, was to all appearance illegitimate, and that she survived him at least 20 years. There is a curious but authentic story of something which happened to this Lady in her old-age. Henry II. had been restored to the

[3] Monasticon, III. 519, b.
[4] A Frondell and a Ferdendel were synonymous. Vide supra, Vol. IV. p. 89.
[5] Tit. Wellinton, No. V.


throne, and was visiting the neighbourhood of Hadley for the purpose of hunting in the Forest of Mount-Gilbert. The King took up his quarters at Ayldulveston,- now known as Arleston, a township of Wellington. Seburga is (not I think inaccurately) described in this instance as Domina de Hedlegh, which means, I think, that, having Hadley wholly as her own, and not partly as in dower, she was still resident there. She sent King Henry a present, to his lodgings at Arleston, and followed up the compliment by a personal visit. Hereupon the King gave to Seburga that parcel of land, consisting of 40 acres, where the visit took place,- to hold to her and her heirs, at a rent of 4s. per annum; and Seburga retained the land to her death. In the year 1253, or nearly a century after this grant, King Henry III. impleaded Roger Corbet, then Lord of Hadley, for this parcel of land, which the King claimed as an appurtenance of the Royal demesnes at Wellington. Roger Corbet was Great-Great-Grandson of Seburga, but he proved his title by the above narrative, and got the verdict of a Jury in his favour. William de Hadley (I.) left certainly two, and probably three sons by his wife Seburga. The second son William, sometimes called William de Hadley, and sometimes William de Ercalew, became Lord of High Ercall, in a way which I shall state elsewhere. The supposed third son, Jordan de Hadley, is found attesting a Charter of his Cousin, William Peverel, about the middle of Stephen's reign.

ALAN DE HADLEY, eldest son and heir of William de Hadley (I.), succeeded his Father about 1136, but came to his mother's estate at Hadley much later, if what I have said above is correct. In 1165 he appears in the Liber Niger as Alan de Headleg, and as holding the Fee of one Muntator in the Barony of Fitz Alan. [6] It is not probable that this entry refers to or includes that estate at High Hatton which Alan de Hadley is known to have had. It refers to Hadley only, and his interest at High Hatton will require a distinct notice elsewhere. Alan de Hadley made several grants to Wombridge Priory, one of land in High Hatton, one of land in Cherrington, and another consisting of a ninth part of all his tithable property. The first of these grants was probably a Confirmation of the original endowment provided by himself and his Parents for the Priory, but all three were recorded as his in a Charter of King Henry II., which must have passed about 1181. A Deed of Alan de Hadley himself may possibly be of later date than the

[6] Liber Niger,I. 143.


King's Charter, and if so must be taken as a security for benefactions conferred long before. It runs as follows:- "Sciant, etc. quod ego Alanus de Hedlega pro salute animae meae et uxoris meae et parentum concessi, etc. unum frondellum terae in Chorrintona et dimidium frondellum in Hethonia (Hatton) quod Moyse Iherosolymitanus tenuit, etc. Hiis testibus,- Ricardo Abbate de Hageman, Waltero Abbate de Lyleshul, Willielmo de Ercalew, Payn fratre ejus, Rogerio de Prestuna, Henrico Malvesin, Petro de Heyton, Philippo de Welinton, Adam de Horleton, Richard de Chorinton et multis aliis". [7]

Alan de Hedley had from King Henry II. a grant of the Staffordshire Manor of Bromley Regis. The Grant seems to have been in fee-farm, at an annual rent of 4. per annum, and by service of one tenth part of a knight's-fee. The King also appears to have retained his right to assess tallages in Bromley. [8]

In the year 1195, the Custos of the King's Escheats in Staffordshire accounts 7s. 1d. for the issues or ferm of Bromley during such time as it had been in the King's hand. [9] The inference from this is that Alan de Hadley had died between Michaelmas 1193 and Michaelmas 1195 (for these Escheators' accounts have a retrospect of two years); and that Bromley had remained an escheat for little more than a month. Subsequently we know that it was handed over to Roger Corbet of Tasley, as husband of Cecilia, daughter and sole heir of Alan de Hadley. On independent grounds I should fix on the year 1194 as that of Alan de Hadley's death and Roger Corbet's succession to Hadley.

Alan de Hadley left his wife, Alice Pantulf, surviving. She was probably a daughter of that branch of the Pantulfs which was seated at Great Dawley. She had her dower in High Hatton.

Of CECILIA DE HADLEY, as wife, first of Roger Corbet and then of Baldwin de Hodnet, and of her descendants and heirs, the Corbets of Hadley and Tasley, I have spoken at length already. [10] Some few facts in the history of this branch of the Corbets are supplementary to that general account, and belong locally to Hadley. It was Roger Corbet (II.), the grandson of Cecilia de Hadley, who, in Michaelmas Term 1253 was impleaded by King Henry III. for 40 acres in Ayldulveston, as appurtenant to the King's demesne

[7] Wombridge Chartulary, Tit. Hadeleg. No. vij.
[8] Vide Rot. Pipe, 1 Rio. I. p. 247.
[9] Custos r. c. de 7s. 1d. de exitu de Brunaega dum fuit in manu Regis. The word firma is written over the word exitu as a correction.
[10] Supra, Vol. I. pp. 86-101.


of Wellington. Egidius de Erdinton, who prosecuted for the Crown, was more than a mere agent in the case, being in fact the then Tenant-in-capite of Wellington. Roger Corbet's first Plea was, that King Henry II. had never been seized in demesne of Wellington, though he had been seized of the 40 acres in question. The Court seems to have disregarded this Plea, and indeed it can only have been true by some technical refinement. Corbet then told the story of the feoffment of his ancestress Seburga, as I have before related it. He further showed how his Grandfather, Roger Corbet, had married Cecilia, heiress of the said Seburga, and had done homage to King Richard for the land now in question, and had held it all his life. He also showed how the said Roger had been succeeded by his son, Thomas, father of the present Defendant; how Thomas Corbet had done homage to King John for the land, and again had done homage to Thomas de Erdinton when the latter was enfeoffed by King John (in Wellington), [11] and thirdly had done homage to Egidius de Erdinton, when the latter succeeded to his father, Thomas de Erdinton. Roger Corbet (II.) wound up his claim, as son of Thomas Corbet, and so heir of Seburga, to whom and to whose heirs Henry II. had given the land. The case went from Westminster to a provincial Jury, which sat at Sheriff Hales, before William Trussel, on September 5, 1254, and found the story of Seburga's feoffment by Henry II. to be true. This finding was returned to Westminster, and the Court determined that judgment should be given by the Justices next in eyre. [12]

The Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 states as follows.- "Roger Corbet holds the Manor of Hedleg', of the fee of John fitz Alan, for one sparrow-hawk, payable yearly to the same (John) at the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula; and he (Roger) is to provide one Muntor, at his own cost, for 40 days, at the said John's Castle of Oswestry, in time of war; and it (the Manor) is two hides, and half a knight's-fee; and it pays 8d. motfee and 8d. stretward (per annum); and it does suit to the Great Hundred-Court, at the Sheriff's Tourn, twice yearly; and it does no suit to the Lesser Hundred nor to the County, but the Jurors know not the warranty (for this exemption)". [13]

[11] I doubt the truth of this, unless it was the custom for an heir prospective to do homage. It will be remembered that Cecilia de Hadley, through whom Thomas Corbet ultimately claimed, was living in 1221, that is, several years after the deaths both of King John and of Thomas de Erdinton (supra, Vol. I. p. 90). However, this does not affect the merits of the case.
[12] Placita, Mich. Tm., 37 Hen. III., m. 6 dorso.
[13] Rot. Hundred. II. 57.


I have reason to suppose that the services above recited included the services due on Hatton Hyneheath, and that the sparrow-hawk was the specific rent for that Manor, while the Muntor's service, equal to half a knight's-fee, was due on Hadley. Another half knight's-fee, due on Tasley, made Roger Corbet Tenant of a whole fee under Fitz Alan, and I find no instance where his collective military service is stated at more than a knight's-fee. I refer to a similar confusion in a previous Record, where Hadley and Hatton are said to constitute Corbet's single fee. [14] Roger Corbet's marriage with Edelina, sister and in her issue co-heir of John fitz Philip (II.). of Bobbington, was only alluded to under Tasley, but more fully set forth under Quat. [15] It was this marriage doubtless which secured to his descendants an interest in the Staffordshire Manor of Barlaston.

The Feodary of the Barony of Oswestry, drawn up on the death of John fitz Alan (III.) in 1272, is so defaced, that we only know Hadley to have been mentioned therein from an ancient abstract. The Feodary of 1284, and a Tenure-Roll somewhat later, merely show Thomas Corbet (II.) as Richard fitz Alan's Tenant at Hadley, and that the Manor was geldable. I may add to what has been before said of this Thomas Corbet that he occurs as a Knight on August 11, 1290; as a Verderer of the King's Forests in May 1296, and that in 1297 he was returned from the County of Salop, as holding 20 librates of land and upwards, and was therefore summoned to attend muster at London on July 7, to perform military service, with horse and arms, in parts beyond the seas. [16] Though the Inquest on his death, in 1300, excludes all mention of Hadley, it particularizes his Tenures at Hatton super Hyneheath, King's Bromley, and Barlaston. In the latter Vill he had a messuage and 80 acres of land.

Meanwhile the Assize Roll of 1292 makes mention of Thomas Corbet's mother, as Edelina widow of Roger Corbet. She had, it seems, at some previous period disseized certain persons of land in Quat.

Of ROGER CORBET (III.), son and successor of Thomas, I have said little more under Tasley than that he was 28 years of age at Michaelmas 1300, and that he accounted as Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire for such ferm as his Father, at his decease, had left in arrear. On October 21, 1302, "Roger, son of Sir Thomas Corbet, Lord of Hadley", came to an agreement with Wombridge Priory concerning a right of common, asserted by Roger and denied

[14] Supra, Vol. I. p. 92.
[15] Supra, Vol. III. pp. 178, 180, 183.
[16] Parliamentary Writs, I. 291.


by the Priory, in certain lands held by the Priory in the fee of Hadley. Corbet now abandoned such right of interference in the monastic tenements, and covenanted that he and his heirs would not so neglect their fences as to produce trespass on the said tenements. The Priory was however to retain its own usual common-rights throughout the whole fee of Hadley. For this arrangement the Canons paid Corbet 10 merks. Witnesses,- Peter de Eton (Eyton); Pagan de Preston; John de Stivington; William Hode; and John de Bekeburi. [17]

In 1305, as we have seen, [18] Roger Corbet was one of the expectant coheirs of John fitz Philip of Bobbington, whose male line was shortly to expire with himself.

Shaw gives two Bromley Deeds of Sir Roger Corbet, bearing date in 1 and 2 Edw. II. (1307-9). The second of these Deeds was sealed with these Arms, viz. Arg. two bars and a Canton Sa. with a Label of five points. [19]

There was a Roger Corbet returned as a Knight of the Shire for Salop, to three Parliaments in 1309 and 1311, and who in 1314 was a Commissioner of array in Salop and Staffordshire. I am doubtful whether this Roger Corbet was of Leigh [20] or of Hadley. Meantime we have a Deed ostensibly dated on October 13; 1309, whereby Roger Corbet, Lord of Hadelege, grants to William son of Richard Bleyn of Hadelege his two burgages in New-Street, Wellington;- to hold of the Lords of the fee, but charged with an annual rent of 2s. to Wombridge Priory, for the souls of the Grantor and his wife Hawyse. Witnesses,- John Prior of Wombridge, William de Leversich, John de Diton, and Hugh Vicar of Welynton. [21] This Deed is but a sample of many which purport to be transcribed in that most inaccurate of Records,- the Wombridge Chartulary.- It is probably misdated by more than 40 years.

In March 1316 the Nonaina Villarum gives Roger Corbet as Lord of the Vills of Hadley and Hatton in Shropshire, and of Barlaston and Bromley Regis in Staffordshire, also as Lord of the Vills of Ebrington and Fancott (Gloucestershire) and of Assington (Suffolk); also as Joint-Lord of the Vills of Marcham, Tubnay, and Frilford (Berkshire) and of Standlake and Brighthampton (Oxfordshire). In the same year, and in 1317 several Writs, of military summons against the Scots, were addressed to some Roger Corbet. A Roger

[17] Wombridge Chartulary, Tit. Hadeleg. No. ii.
[18] Supra, Vol. III. pp. 179, 180.
[19] Shaw's Staffordshire, I. 143.
[20] Vide supra, p. 41.
[21] Chartulary, Tit. Wellinton. No. ij.


Corbet sat as a Knight of the Shire for Salop in July 1321, and was a Commissioner of array and for arresting malefactors in that County in January and November 1322. More distinctively a Commission, as Conservator of the Peace in Salop, dated 12 December, 1321, is addressed to Roger Corbet of Haddele; and, in February 1322, the same person, though described as Roger Corbet of Tasley, was Constable of the Castle of Helegh, which was garrisoned for the Crown. One Writ of May 1322, two of June 1322, one of December 1322, and two of January and May 1323, are addressed to Roger Corbet of Tasley, as a Commissioner of array in Shropshire. In May and October 1324, Summonses to attend a Great Council and a Parliament, are addressed to Roger Corbet of Hadley; but the Roger Corbet, who in January 1326 is named as an Inspector of array in Shropshire and Staffordshire, may have been of Moreton, of Leigh, or of Hadley. [22] Meantime, that is on May 8, 1323, Roger Corbet, Lord of Hadley, charges his manor of Hadley with 5s. annual rent, wherewith the Canons of Wombridge were to purchase wine for the celebration of masses in their Church for ever. Witnesses,- John, the Grantor's eldest son; Sir Walter de Huggeford, Knight; and Peter de Eyton. [23] Shaw gives a Deed of 1 Edward III. (1327), whereby Roger Corbet of Hadley gave his Manor of King's Bromley to his son William, to hold for life and of the King in capite, but paying a rent of 4. to the Grantor. This Deed is attested by William le Botiler of Wem, John le Strange of Whitchurch, and other persons, whose names are quite consistent with its alleged date. However, Shaw has, without explanation, described its Seal as being the Seal of some Robert Corbet, whom he makes out to have been Uncle and afterwards heir of Roger, son of William, the Grantee. [24] Of this statement I shall presently show the inaccuracy.

On August 18, 1328, Roger Corbet, Lord of Haddelege, gives 10s. annual rent to Wombridge Priory, chargeable on a messuage and half a virgate in Hadley, in exchange for that ninth of his possessions at Hadley, which was claimed by the Priory. Witnesses,- John Corbet, the Grantor's son and heir, Thomas de Halughton, William de Ercalew, John de Boulewas, knights; John de Eyton, John de Preyers, and Thomas de Styvinton. [25]

A Grant of lands in Uppington, which, on September 21, 1331, was made to Sir Roger Corbet of Hadley, Knight, was attested by

[22] Parl. Writs, IV. pp. 717, 718.
[23] Chartulary, Tit. Hadeleg. No. iiij.
[24] Shaw's Staffordshire, I. 143.
[25] Chartulary (ibidem), No. viii.


Sir John Corbet of Hadley, Sir William Corbet, Sir Robert Corbet, Knights, and by Sir Hernal Corbet, Clerk. These I take to have been the four sons of Sir Roger, named in order of seniority. Another Uppington Deed of January 6, 1333, mentions Sir Roger Corbet as Lord of the lands thus conveyed, and is attested by Sir John Corbet. Another Deed of June 29, 1344, is a concession to Sir Roger Corbet of Hadley; another of August 1, 1344, is a similar concession, and is attested by Sir Robert Corbet, Knight, and passed at Hadley. Again, a Deed of July 1, 1349, indicates that Sir Roger Corbet of Hadley was still living, and still interested in Uppington.

This is the latest notice I have of Sir Roger Corbet, whose age at the period cannot have been much less than 77. Now therefore I proceed to say something of his sons.-

SIR JOHN CORBET, the eldest, appears on the Roll of the Battle of Boroughbridge, in 1322, his armorial bearings being described as- Arg. two bars and a Canton Gu. with a label of the first. [26] In May 1324, he was summoned, to a Great Council at Westminster, as Sir John Corbet de Haddeley, Knight. [27] We have seen him attesting his Father's Deeds from 1323 to 1333. It will be shown that he was living in 1346, but it is probable that soon after the latter year he died;- whether with or without issue, I will not here conjecture.

SIR WILLIAM CORBET, second son of Sir Roger, was, as we have seen, Grantee of King's Bromley in 1327, and a witness of a grant to his Father in 1331. In 1337 he is mentioned in connection with the Hertfordihire Manor of Pyriton. The Inquest on his death says that he died on October 14th, 1345. The King's Writ announcing that event is dated October 20, 1345, and the Inquest, taken in Hertfordshire on February 7, 1346, states that his next heir was his brother John, aged 30 years and more [28] (he must have been nearly 50). Thus Bromley and Pirington will have gone for a time to Sir John Corbet, though his Father was living.

SIR ROBERT CORBET, third presumed son of Sir Roger, has been seen to attest a grant to his Father in September 1331. I find him a fellow-witness with his father still earlier, viz. on April 1, 1325, and it is possible that it was his Seal which was appended to a Deed of his Father's in 1327. [29] If so, the engrailed border, which

[26] The mark of cadency here used is worth observation.- John Corbet's Arms are distinguished from those of his living Father, by changing the tincture of the Ordinaries from Sable to Gules.
[27] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 715.
[28] Inquisitions, 20 Edw. III., No. 13.
[29] Supra, p. 359.


surrounded the Coat of Arms, was distinctive of the third son, as I know it to have been in some other cases. 1333-4 we have seen that Sir Robert Corbet of Hadley was husband of Matilda, probably the widow of that Sir Fulk Pembruge who died in January 1326. [30] This Sir Robert Corbet was he who has appeared above as a Witness on August 1, 1344. He was living, as I know, in 1348, and was then the husband of a second wife, Elizabeth, by whom he had a daughter, Hawyse, born on December 6th of that year. It is also clear that Sir Robert Corbet had Kings Bromley from, or after, his elder brother John, who was living in 1346, for Sir Robert, conjointly with his wife Elizabeth, died seised of Kings Bromley. His death and that of his wife took place before 1354, for a King's Writ of January 17, 1354, announces the death of "Elizabeth, widow of Robert Corbet". The consequent Inquisition found that Hawyse, daughter and heir of the said Elizabeth, was aged 5 years on December 6, 1353. [31] Another Writ of February 10, 1354, is to inquire why Kings Bromley had been seized into the King's-hand; to which the Escheator replies that he had so seized it because Elizabeth, widow of Robert Corbet, had held the Manor in capite conjointly with her late husband on the day of his death. [31] A third Writ of May 28, 1354, shows that the King was inquiring as to the merits of a petition presented in the name of Hawyse, "daughter and heir of Robert Corbet and of his wife Elizabeth", and complaining that Kings Bromley, being held in fee-farm, and not by military service, should have been seized in manu Regis. An Inquest taken on the subject found that Kings Bromley was held in socage, for a rent of 4. per annum, and not by knight's-service. [31] On October 12, 1361, the King's Writ of Diem clausit announced the death of Hawyse, daughter of Robert Corbet. A Jury which sat on November 21, fixed the day of her death four days later than that of the King's Writ, but found that she had held Kings Bromley in capite, but no other lands in Staffordshire, and that her heir was-

ROBERT CORBET OF HADDELEYE, aged 30 years and more. [32] The question is,- who was this Robert Corbet of Hadley, and I can have no hesitation in saying that he must have been Grandson of Sir Roger and son of Sir John, and consequently first cousin of Hawyse. The Wombridge Chartulary shows him to have been in possession of Hadley in 1354, that is, five years after the latest

[30] Supra, Vol. II. pp. 228, 239, 240.
[31] Inquisitions, 28 Edw. III., No. 25.
[32] Inquisitions, 35 Edw. III., No. 46.


known period of Sir Roger's life. By Deed dated at Hadley on March 25, 1354, Robert Corbet, Lord of Haddeley, leases all his lands in Uppington, to John Prior of Wombridge, for forty years. Witnesses, as the next Deed. [33] By a second Deed, dated at Hadley on May 3, 1354, Robert Corbet, Lord of Hadley, concedes to John Prior of Wombridge all his lands and tenements in Uppington, together with the annual rent of 10s., which the Prior had been accustomed to pay him for the same. Witnesses,- Peter de Eyton, Roger le Praes (read de Prayers), Thomas de Leversete, and others. [34]

In 39 Edward III. (1365-6) we have a Staffordshire Deed of "Sir Robert Corbet of Hadley, Knight, Lord of Kings Bromley". [35] And another Deed in 1368-9, by the same person, is sealed with Arms appropriate to the head of the house, viz. two bars and a canton, without any mark of difference. [36]

On May 21, 1377, Sir Robert Corbet, Knight, Lord of Hadley, concedes to John, Prior of Wombridge, a messuage, a half-virgate, a Mill, and a croft in Hadley, for a term of 99 years, during which the said Prior was to provide a brother-canon and a Chaplain, to celebrate services, in the Chapel, within the gates of Hadley Manor-house, for the souls'-health of the said Sir Robert, his wives, children, ancestors, and heirs, on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, weekly. Witnesses,- Sir John Appeley, Knight; Peter de Eton, Philip de Rodenton, William le Forster of Wellington, and Roger le Freynche of Wellington. [37]

I suppose that Robert Corbet, Junior, who occurs as granting in Kings Bromley, in 19 Rich. II. (1395-6), was son and heir expectant of the above Sir Robert, and that it was the Father who appears in 21 Rich. II. (1397-8) as holding a knight's-fee in Hadley of Fitz Alan's Barony. [38] It was the Father too, I presume, who died in 6 Henry IV. (1404-5), seized not only of Kings Bromley, Hadley, and Hatton, but of estates in Berkshire, Northamptonshire, Suffolk, and Gloucestershire, some of which have been already alluded to. For further particulars of this family I refer elsewhere, [39] but not without a doubt as to the accuracy of statements which form a sequel to premises the most erroneous.

[33] [34] Tit. Uppinton, Nos. clxxvi., ccj.
[35] Shaw (ut supra), pp. 148, 144.
[37] Chartulary, Tit. Hadeleg, No. 1.
[38] Calend. Inquis. Vol. III. p. 223.
[39] Shaw's Staffordshire, I. 144, Blakeway's Sheriff's, pp. 62, 72. I hate already commented on Shaw's great inaccuracy in the earlier part of his history of the Corbets (Vol. I. p. 86, note 305).


Wombridge Priory.

WOMBRIDGE PRIORY was founded for Augustine Canons, by William de Hadley, his wife Seburga (daughter of Hamo Peverel), and their son Alan. Its site was in the Fee of Hadley. The probable date of its foundation was in the last five years of the reign of Henry I.,- that is, between 1130 and 1135,- so that it was nearly cotemporary with Haughmond and Buildwas, and, as we shall hereafter see, not much earlier than Lilleshall.

The earliest direct Grant which the Chartulary of this House exhibits, is in a mutilated form. It is the sanction given by the first William fitz Alan, as Seigneural Lord of Hadley and High Hatton, to the previous act of his Feoffees, as regards the foundation of Wombridge. It runs as follows, if I read it rightly.-

"Willielmus filius Alani, etc. Notum sit me concedere et carta mei confirmare donacionem et uxoris ejus Saburgae de Hedlega, [1] et Alani eorum filii, etc., quam ipsi in perpetuam elemosynam Canonicis de Wombrug pro salute animae suae (sic) dederunt, videlicet, locum illum in silva de Hedlega, qui, ex uno latere, rivulo uno terminatur, qui silvam de Hedlega et silvam Regis discriminat, secundo vero latete, alio rivulo finitur qui dicitur Sprungewallabroc, tercioque latere sui terminum facit Watlingestret;- et dimidium frondellum illud (quod) Morfan (sic pro Moyses) quidam Iherosolimitanus tenuit in Hectona (High Hatton), libere et quiete, etc. H. T. Waltero filio Alani; Willielmo, fratre Alani de Hedlega; Willielmo B (sic) Burnello; Johanne Extraneo; Magistro Rogerio, et aliis".

I almost incline to date this Confirmation, or rather the original Deed which it undoubtedly represents, before Fitz Alan's expulsion from Shropshire in 1138. If so, it suggests a far earlier limit for the aera of the first William Burnel than that which I have hitherto been able to assign, [2] and it shows the first John le Strange as a Shropshire Vassal of Fitz Alan at a period when there is another shadowy hint that he might have been so. The alternative is to

[1] An expression hardly qquivalent to donacionem Willielmi de Hedlega et uxoris ejus Saburgae. The inference from the exact words of this Deed would be that Seburga was Fitz Alan's original Feoffee in Hadley, and that her husband's interest arose only in jure uxoris. We have had another hint (supra, p. 354) that Seburga was the real Tenant-in-fee.
[2] Vide supra, Vol. VI. p. 122.


date the Charter during the short period of the Empress's ascendency in 1141, or else after Fitz Alan's restoration in 1155, and before his death in 1160. Between these three dates I will not here attempt to decide, as they do not affect the immediate question, via. the period of actual foundation;- for the Suzerain's Confirmation may have passed long afterwards.

The acquisitions made by this Priory during the first fifty years of its existence were very few. They are marked in a Charter of Confirmation granted by Henry II. at Feckenham (Worcestershire), and which probably passed in the Autumn of 1181. This Charter indicates St. Leonard as the Patron Saint of Wombridge, and confirms the following grants to the Canons, viz. Alan de Hadley's grants of a forndell in Cherrington, half a forndell in Hecton (High Hatton), and a ninth of all his tithable possessions;- William de Ercalew's [3] grant of a similar ninth;- the grant by Seburga, mother of the said William, of a forndell in Wellington; [4]- a forndell in Tibberton, given by Ralph Pantulf;- a forndell in Hosberton, given by Hamund Pichard;- and the grant made by Walter de Dunstanville and his father, as it has already been described under Shiffnal. [5] This Confirmation of Henry II. was attested by Godfrei de Luci; Master Joceline, Archdeacon of Chichester; Humphrey de Bohun, Constable (of England); Roger Bigod; Robert fitz Bernard; Ralph fitz Stephen, Chamberlain; and Michael Belet. [6]

The same witnesses attest another Charter of Henry II., which passed at Lichfield, evidently during the same Iter of the King. Thereby the King gives to the Priory 80 acres of assarts at Wombrugge, quit of all regard and exaction of the Forest. [6]

The earliest Papal recognition of Wombridge Priory is by Pope Urban III., and bears date at Verona on June 23, 1187. This imposing document is in the form usually granted at that period to Augustine Houses. It takes the Canons of St. Leonard into the protection of St. Peter, enjoins on them the observance of Augustine Rule, confirms their possessions, acquired and to be acquired, allows them to celebrate divine services under certain restrictions, during the period of an Interdict, gives them right of free sepulture in their Church under certain limitations, fortifies them against the erection of other Chapels or Oratories in their Parish, and gives them the right of electing their own Priors. This Bull further contains a

[3] He was Alan de Hadley's brother.
[4] The same frondell as that which we have seen Hamo Peverel give to Seburga.
[5] Supra, Vol. II. p. 278, note 50.
[6] Wombridge Chartulary, Appendix, No. xii.


Schedule of previous benefactions to the Priory. They are for the most part identical with, or slight variations of, the grants confirmed by Henry II., but there are one or two additions. The Site of the Church of Wombridge with all appurtenances is confirmed. Sutton Church had come to the Advowson of the Canons in the mode already described; [7] and Rainald, a brother of the House, had given two manses, and four acres in Newport (Novoburgo). The ninths granted by Alan de Hadley and his brother William, are confirmed by the Bull, as "the tithe which the Canons had in Hetleia (Hadley) and Herkolina (Ercall)". [8] Lastly, this Bull exempts from any tithes, all lands (novalia) brought into cultivation by, and farmed by, the Canons, and all fodder of their live-stock. [9]

Before the end of the twelfth century Wombridge Priory had obtained footing in the Manors of Uppington and Harrington, and had got the Advowsons of Loppington Church and of Uppington Chapel. With reference to the last acquisition and to that of Sutton Church, the earliest Episcopal Charters, which were preserved by the Priory, were drawn up. They were three in number, all by Bishop Hugh de Novant, and all were obtained in or before the year 1190.

The earliest Archiepiscopal Confirmation to Wombridge is that of Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbuq, concerning the Church of Sutton Maddock. I have already alluded to it, and fixed its date as between 1187 and 1190. [10]

I will now cease to speak of those small but innumerable grants, which the Canons of Wombridge were so indefatigable in securing, but which belong more especially to the localities of the grants themselves. The House never attained great wealth or influence. The reasons were, that it was deficient in prestige, and unfortunate in position. It was not, like Haughmond, founded by a Fitz Alan, but only by one of Fitz Alan's Vassals. It was rivalled in every direction by Monasteries, whose antecedents threw it completely into shade. Haughmond, Buildwas, Shrewsbury, and Lilleshall, founded by Barons, Bishops, Earls, and Kings, were formidable competitors for elemosynary benefactions, and all stood within twelve miles of Wombridge. The Augustine Priory, too friendless to

[7] Supra, Vol. II. pp. 137, 138.
[8] The difference between a ninth and a tenth only existed in the two modes of computation. Hadley and Ercall were tithable to their Parish Churches before they were charged in favour of the Priory. One-tenth gone, the second tithe, or tenth, was of course a ninth of what remained.
[9] Appendix (ut supra), No. iiij.
[10] Supra, Vol. II. p. 138, note 116.


be ambitious, was not however deficient in pertinacity or in adequate success.

I find, by a mere accident, that the Suffolk Priory of Brisett sometime claimed a superiority over Wombridge. Brisett was an Augustine House, dedicated to St. Leonard. Its very great antiquity was probably connected with its claim to dominion over certain other Augustine Houses. The Canons of Brisett, it seems, impleaded Haughmond Abbey for the two subject houses of Wombridge and Ranton. Haughmond made good its title to Ranton as an affiliation of its own, but paid the Brisett Canons 40s. for remitting their claim. [11] As to Wombridge, the Canons of Haughmond asserted no right over that, but what further proceeding took place between Wombridge and Brisett, I cannot say. I only know that Wombridge did not eventually succumb.

I will now take a chronological view of such Records and Documents as relate to the internal ceconomy of this Priory, or are evidences of its general prosperity.-

It obtained no leas than three Bulls, apparently from Pope Innocent III., granting protection to the House and its possessions. These, if rightly ascribed to that mighty Pontiff, bear date June 20, 1199, April 11, 1205, and August 5, 1205. Another Bull of the same Pope is dated on April 12, 1205, ind is addressed to the Abbot of Shrewsbury. The Canons of Wombridge had petitioned the Pope, that they might not, under pretext of any Letters of the Holy See, or its Legates, be compelled to pay any debts, unless it could be clearly proved that such debts had been contracted in furtherance of the interests of the Priory. The Abbot of Shrewsbury is informed of the Pope's assent to the prayer of this petition, and he is to enforce the immunity of the Wombridge Canons from all such debts, and against all who molest them unduly for payment thereof. [12] A fifth Bull of Pope Innocent, dated on the 5th of August, 1205, is addressed to the Prior of Wenlock. It forbids that any Delegate of the Papal See shall utter sentence of Interdict, excommunication, or suspension against the Fraternity of Wombridge, without special license so to do, obtained from the Pope

[11] Haughmond Chartulary, fo. 173.- This composition between Brisett and Haughmond was ratified by three Commissioners, appointed to settle the dispute by the Pope. They were R., Abbot of St. Osyth, P., Abbot of Cogoseh, and R., Prior of Colum; that is, I take it, by Ralph, Abbot of St. Osyth, or Chich (Essex), Peter, Abbot of Coggeshall (Essex), and the cotemporary Prior of Colne (Essex). I suppose the transaction to belong to the reign of Henry II., or Richard I.
[12] Appendix (ut supra), Nos. x. and viii.


himself. The Prior of Wenlock is ordered to prevent all persons from troubling the Canons, in any way contrary to the tenour of the above indulgence. [13]

In the Shropshire Forest-Roll of 1209 the Prior of Wombridge is twice assessed for some privileges or encroachments within the Forest of Mount Gilbert. On May 12, 1224, a Bull of Pope Hoflorius III. vouchsafes the protection of St. Peter to the Convent and its possessions, and especially confirms its ecclesiastical acquisitions at Sutton, Loppington, and Uppington. [14]

On November 22, 1248, a Fine was levied at Shrewsbury which shows perfectly what family had founded, and who retained, at least the nominal patronage, of Wombridge Priory. The Fine was between Roger Corbeth, Plaintiff, and Baldwin, Prior of Wombridge, concerning a complaint of Roger Corbeth, viz. that the said Baldwin, to the disinheritance of the Plaintiff, had permitted himself to be presented to the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, before he had been presented to the Plaintiff, as the Priors elect, Baldwin's predecessors, had customarily been presented to the Plaintiff's ancestors. The Plea, which had been set on foot touching this matter, was now compounded as follows.- The Prior conceded that the Plaintiff and his heirs, in case of any future vacancy by death of a Prior, should take a certain simple seizin in the Priory, by their Serviens, who was however to have no rule or administration of things in the Priory, but was to stay therein till a Prior-elect was admitted by the Bishop and confirmed in his office. The Canons were to elect such Prior without the Plaintiff's license, to present the Elect to Corbet and his heirs, if in England;- if not, then to his principal servant, Bailiff for the time being, at Hedleg. And Corbet and his heirs were to go in person or send Letters-Patent, presenting the Elect to the Bishop; otherwise the Canons were to present. In return for all this, Corbet renounced all right to any custody of lands, without the Priory, and to any other custody whatever, within the Priory, except as aforesaid.

On Dec. 28, 1258, Bishop Roger de Molend, having inspected certain Charters of his predecessors, Geoffrey and Alexander, relative to the appropriations of the Churches of Sutton and Loppington and the Chapel of Uppington by Wombridge Priory, allows the validity of those instruments, and confirms the Priory in its rights. The Bishop did this out of consideration for the devoutness of the

[13] Appendix (ut supra), Nos. x. and viii.
[14] Appendix (ut supra), No. xiij.


Convent in religious observances, and out of compassion for its poverty. [15]

In two instances this Priory obtained a relaxation of the Statutes of Mortmain from Edward I. One was in 1281, and has been described under Houghton. [16] The other was on November 26, 1290, when the Priory was allowed to acquire a messuage and virgate in Brockton from John le Clerk of Brockton. [17]

The Taxation of 1291 exhibits the Temporalities of Wombridge Priory, scanty though they doubtless were, as ridiculously low. Three carucates of land at Cherrington, worth 30s. per annum, three carucates at Wycleye (in Uppington) worth 36s., and one carucate at Surlowe (in High Ercall) worth 12s.; these, together with 12s. for the profits of live stock, realized a total of 4. 10s., and that was the whole reputed income of the Convent. [18] I need not say that it had several other estates, or remark that the assorted lands, contiguous to the House itself, are not included in the above estimate. Perhaps the said assarts fell under the title of Novalia, and so were justly exempt from Papal Taxation.

In 1315 or 1316 Bishop Langton visited this Priory, and a Letter which he subsequently wrote to the Prior and Canons is reprehensive of many things which he had discovered or observed. The Prior forsooth was too solicitous about the temporal prosperity of his House. The Prior had been selling Liveries (i.e. Corrodies) without assent of his Chapter or of the Bishop;- at least he is forbidden to do so. Brother Thomas de Broughton, a Canon, is not to intromit in secular Courts, or in matters which had not the smallest relation to the Priory. He is to be recalled home, and remain with his Brethren, and under Religious Rule. A common Chamberlain is to provide the Canons' vestments. [19] Silence is to be observed at the proper hours and in the proper places. Women are not to enter the choir or cloisters so often and so indiscriminately as at present. The sick are to be more carefully and more generously dieted than the healthy. The pains of the Greater Excommunication, and other threats, are held out in case of disobedience to these orders. [20]

The Charters and Patents of Edward II. to this Priory require our next notice. One of these is quoted by Tanner as authorizing

[15] Chartulary, Tit. Lopinton, No. vi.
[16] Supra, Vol. II. p. 322.
[17] Chartulary, Tit. Brockton, No. xci.
[18] Pope Nich. Taxation, p. 261.
[19] Compare Bishop Langton's injunctions on the same subject to Haughmond Abbey (supra, p. 297).
[20] Regist. Langton, fo. 53, b.


the Canons to assart 30 acres in Wombridge,- that is, in the adjacent Forest. Another dated at York on March 15, 1319, is an inspeximus and Confirmation of the three Charters of Henry II. and the two Charters of Edward I. already noticed. [21] A third, which, as printed elsewhere, [22] I need not minutely describe, is a general recitation and confirmation of all benefactions to the Priory, except Royal Grants and Grants of Advowsons. This Charter, I should observe, alludes to the gifts of the Founders of Wombridge, without mentioning the Founders' names, but only citing the concession and confirmation thereof by William fitz Alan. This is not contrary to, but is less than, the truth; and hence it has come to pass that William fitz Alan has been reputed to have founded Wombridge.

On July 18, 1323, Bishop Northburgh, then at Worfield, allows the Fraternity of Wombridge, in consideration of their necessities, to sell a Canon's corrody to Henry de Tonge, Chaplain, for his life. [23] A mandate of this same Prelate, which should apparently be dated on March 2, 1325, is for the absolution, readmission, and punishment within the Convent, of Brother Roger de Eytone, a Canon of the House, who under pretext of going on a pilgrimage had left the Priory, and then, casting aside his regular habit, had lived a secular life for some time, but had now submitted himself to the Bishop, and to whatever sentence the Bishop might pass on his crime. [24]

A document in the Wombridge Chartulary purports to be an "Indulgence for the Church and the New Chapel of St. Mary and St. Leonard of Wombridge". [25] Its object is to increase the attendance of the liberal and pious at services of the said Church and Chapel; and I suppose that the Chapel, dedicated to the Holy Virgin, had recently been built. The document is in the names of six foreign Bishops sitting in conclave at Annucium on January 25, A.D. 1328, and in the twelfth year of Pope John. [26] It promises 40 days' indulgence from penance, on behalf of each of the conclave, and with consent of the Diocesan Bishop, for such persons as the following:- all the confessed and truly penitent, who shall attend the said Church or Chapel on any feast of St. Mary, on the feasts of the Nativity and Translation of St. Leonard, on the day of the said Church's dedication, or on other specified occasions, as worshippers, supplicants, or pilgrims (causa devocionis, oracionis vel peregrinacionis);- all who shall attend masses, sermons (predicationibus), or other divine

[21] Appendix (ut supra), No. xij.
[22] Monasticon, VI. 388-390.
[23] Regist. Northburgh, fo. 203-b.
[24] Ibidem, Vol. III. fo. 15-b.
[25] Appendix (ut supra), No. vij.
[26] John XXI. or XXU., crowned 1310.


offices, etc., there;- all who shall walk round the cemetery of the said Church, praying the while for the souls of those who rest therein;- all who shall contribute to the fabric, lights, or ornaments of the said Church and Chapel, or give or bequeath gold, silver, or vestments to the same;- lastly, for all who shall repeat the Lord's Prayer with the Anglican Salutation for the souls of Philip, former Prior of Wombridge; of Richard de Kemberton, Canon of Wombridge, his brethren and his sisters; of a certain Gregory and his wife Alice and their children, whose bodies repose in Kemberton Churchyard; and for the souls of all the faithful departed.

I now pass over two centuries, and arrve at some details of a very different character. In the 27th year of Henry VIII. (1535-6), William, last Prior of Wombridge, made his declaration before the King's Commissioners of the Receipts of the Priory. [27] Its Temporalities realized 62. 9s. per annum, of which I should here specify one or two items, more particularly arising from its precinct and home estate.- Four messuages and one cottage in Okynyate (now Oaken Gates) produced 3. 15s. 4d. An Iron Forge (molendinum ferrarium) in Woborne (Wombridge) produced 13s. 4d. A coal-mine there produced 5. The demesne-lands, meadows, and pastures, lying in Woborne and occupied by the Prior and Convent, produced 6. 13s. 4d. The perquisites of Court in all the Manors of the Priory were 5s.

Again, the total Spiritualities of the Priory were valued at 10. 6s. 8d., of which sum 13s. 4d. resulted from the tithes and alterages of four messuages in Okynyate, and 10s. from the average Oblations, offered yearly to St. Leonard, within the Priory Church.

The Gross Income of the Priory, viz. 72. 15s. 8d. per annum, was charged to the extent of 7. 8s. 4d., leaving a net income of 65. 7s. 4d.

Among the said charges were the following.- . s. d.

To William Chorleton, Chief Seneschal of the Priory: 1 0 0
To Richard Salter, Seneschal of its Manorial Courts: 0 10 0
To the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield for pensions on the Churches held by the Priory: 0 6 8
To the Archdeacon of Salop, for the same: 0 6 8
To the Bishop at his triennial Visitation 45s., or at the rate per annum of: 0 15 0

[27] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 194.


. s. d.

In alms, distributed yearly to the poor, at the Lord's Supper, on Wednesday before Easter, by ancient ordinance of the Founders of the Priory: 2 13 4

The Ministers'-Accounts of the dissolved Priory date only a year after the Valor, viz. in 1536-7. They exhibit a gross income from Temporalities and Spiritualities of 83. 5s. 8d. [28]

The items which should be stated here are- . s. d.

Ferm of messuages and lands in Wokynatt (Oaken Gates): 5 3 8
Ferm of the site of the Priory, with lands and meadows, etc.: 10 11 4
Ferm of a coal-mine at Wombridge: 5 0 0
Ferm of the Rectory (Rectorial tithes) of Wombridge: 2 6 8

The site of Wombridge Priory was in 31 Henry VIII (1539-40) granted to James Leveson.


ROGER was the name of the Prior, addressed in Pope Urban's Bull of June 1187. He remained Prior in and after 1204.

HENRY was Prior, at least as early as 1220, and remained so in November 1236. [29]

BALDWIN occurs as Prior in a Fine of April 30, 1245, and there are reasons for thinking that his appointment was then recent. He occurs again in November 1248. Two versions of a Deed which perhaps passed about 1260, respectively give B. and S. as the initial letters of the then Prior's name. If the former be correct, as most probably it is, Baldwin's tenure of office will have been longer than we can decide it to have been, on any good evidence.

WALTER was Prior here in October 1270.

PHILIP occurs as Prior in March 1284, [30] and thenceforward continuously till April 21, 1321, when a Letter of Bishop Langton's informs us that in consequence of his recent decease, the Canons of Wombridge had elected-

BROTHER RICHARD DE MESTON, to be their Prior. The Bishop first annuls the election as informal; but, referring to the good character and antecedents of the Nominee, concludes by ordaining him to the office, by special grace. [31] Richard was still in office in

[28] Monasticon, VI. 391, No. II.
[29] Supra, Vols. II. p. 133; IV. p. 107.
[30] Supra, Vol. II. p. 322.
[31] Regist. Langton, fo. 81.


October 1346, when he and John de Laueleye, a Canon of this House, are named in an authentic document. [32] On June 12, 1348, Bishop Northburgh appoints Adam de Walcote, Prior of Haghmon, and another Commissioner, to inquire into the manner in which-

BROTHER JOHN DE LAUELEY, Canon of Wombridge, had been elected Prior of that House, and to confirm the election, if legal. The Commissioners reported on July 27, that they had found the said election to have been rightly and canonically conducted, and that they had ordered the installation of the said Prior elect. [33] This Prior is, I presume, the same with him who is called-

JOHN LANGLEY, and who, being dead in 1373, was succeeded by-

JOHN DE WATFORD. [34] This John, I presume, it was, who occurs as Prior in 1377.

A Patent of indemnity, granted, I think, by Henry VI., will, if so, fix the date of another-

JOHN, Prior of Wombridge, as holding office in July 1425. [35]

A similar Patent, certainly by Henry VI., and being of date November 13, 1446, names-

WILLIAM RUSSHTON SS the then Prior of Wombridge. [36]

Fulk Eyton, a member of the family seated at Eyton on the Weald-Moors, by his Will, dated February 18, 1451, bequeaths "a vestiment to Wembrege, to pray for my fadre soule and my moderes". I rather think that-.

JOHN DE EYTON, another member of the same family, was Prior of Wombridge at the time. Certainly he held that office in January 1460.

THOMAS FORSTER, sometime Prior of Wombridge, Warden of Tong and Vicar of Idsall, died in 1520, and was buried at Idsall, where his tomb may still be seen.

WILLIAM, last Prior of Wombridge, was in office in 1535-6, and till the Dissolution.


This Church, dedicated to St. Leonard, and containing a Chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, was at first merely Conventual. The privileges granted to the Priory, at length made its home-estate extra-parochial, and in this way Wombridge first became a Parish of itself,

[32] Wombr. Chart., Upinton, No. lxv.
[33] Regist. Northburgh, fo. 225, b.
[34] Monasticon, VI. 388.
[35] Wombr. Chart. Appendix No. V.
[36] Ibidem. Appendix No. I.


carved probably out of Wellington and Shiffnal. How the Parish, thus formed, has increased to one of nearly 700 acres I cannot say. The ordinary Ecclesiastical Records, previous to the Dissolution, take no notice of this Church or Parish except as involved with the Priory.


"The same Rainald (Vicecomes) holds Rodintone, and Toret holds it of him. The same (Toret) held it in King Edward's time. Here are IIII hides and I virgate. In demesne there are I ox-team, II Serfs, and III Female Serfs. The Church, the Priest, II Villains, III Boors, and III Radmans have, among them all, two teams and a half; and yet there might be III more teams. Here is a Mill of 6d. (annual value). In King Edward's time the Manor was worth 27s. (per annum). Now it is worth 20s". [1]

I suppose that the Manor, thus described in Domesday, included Sugden, Roden, and Rodenhurst, places which afterwards had little connection with Rodington proper, and were held by other Feoffees, though Fitz Alan retained the Seigneury over all.

After what has been observed under Willey, Norton, Langley, and Leegomery, we are of course not to expect to find Toret's descendants inheriting anything, even in a Manor which he retained at Domesday. It was probably on Toret's removal from Rodington that the Manor was subdivided.-

At all events it was before the death of Henry I. that Rodington and half Sugden were made a distinct Tenure, and given (with the exception perhaps of one tenement) to a Feoffee, who, himself or his heir, was in 1165 holding a Muntator's fee in Fitz Alan's Barony, and who is called Gwomar le Rotur in the Liber Niger, [2] his name being, I suppose, Le Roturier.

This Gwomar, or his successor of the same name, occurs to us as Daumer de Rodington in April, [3] and as Guomar de Rodinton in October 1203, when he essoigned his attendance, at the common

[1] Doom fo. 254, b, 2.
[2] Liber Niger, I. 143.
[3] Supra, Vol. VI. p. 351.


summons, to meet the King's Justices at Shrewsbury. A Deed in the Haughmond Chartulary which must have passed within five years after these Assizes has the attestation of Guimar de Rodintone.

This Guimar, or rather his father, was, it seems, a Benefactor to Haughmond Abbey. As Gymer de Rodinton, he "concedes to the said Abbey the meadow of Erwileie, which his Father had previously given in frank-almoign, receiving however 9s. from the Canons for the same"., For the present concession and confirmation the Canons now pay 2 merks more to the Son. Witness,- William fitz Alan. [4]

Cotemporary with Guimar de Rodinton, for a few years at least, was one whose relationship to Guimar I altogether doubt. This was-

RANULF, SON OF GILBERT DE RODINTON. [5] Under that name he concedes to Haughmond Abbey "the Ley (Legam) which was at the head of Beddeslega, which was of his inheritance, according to the boundary of the ditch which extends through the Schedoc of Tyrne up to Roden, which Ley his Father and mother gave to the same Canons in pure almoign". He not only confirms the above grant of his Parents, but sells to the Canons, for 40s., another meadow of his inheritance, which was near his Fishery of Tirne. He directs that none of his heirs (ne aliquis heredum meorum) shall trouble the Canons in regard to the premises. This Deed is attested by Robert fitz William (who was dead in 1203) and by William de Ercalwe. [6]

William fitz Alan confirmed the sale above negotiated, as the sale of a meadow, called Rondulfuseie, situated near the Fishery of Ranulph de Rodinton, and for which the said Ranulph had received 3 merks, towards paying his debts. Gregory the Priest and William fitz Wido attest Fitz Alan's confirmation. [7]

Another Grant by this Ranulph, I will give as it stands in the Haughmond Chartulary.-

"Notum sit tam presentibus quam futuris quod ego Ranulphus de Rodintona concessi et confirmavi vendicionem prati quod dicitur Sistannes-eie, quod Gilbertus nepos meus, sicut de hereditate vendidit Canonicis Sancti Johannis Evangelistae de Haghmon ad opus ecclesiae eorum, pro decem solidis;- libere et quiete ab omni

[4] Chartulary, fo. 222.
[5] It is clear to mo that this Gilbert, Ranulf's father, was identical with Gilbert the Forester, already mentioned (supra, p. 267). That the family held an hereditary Forestership under Fitz Alan will appear presently.
[7] Chartulary, ut supra.


servicio quod ad eum et ad heredes illius pertinet, inperpetuum tenendum et habendum. Et ut ista confirmacio rata et firma inperpetuum permaneat presentis cartae et sigilli mei attestacione roboravi. Hiis testibus,- Johanne Extraneo, et Hamone fratre ejus, Stephano de Stantona, etc". [8]

Two other Deeds I abridge from the Originals. [9]

"Sciant tam presentes quam futuri quod ego Ranulfus de Rodintuna dedi, etc. Willielmo filio Willielmi de Hercalun pro servicio suo et pro v marcis quas accepi, totum pratum meum de Wrennemor cum pertinenciis secundum divisam fossatae qui includitur usque in aquam de Tyrne, et secundum divisam aquae de Tyrne qua includitur ex alia parte;- sibi et heredibus, tenendum de me et heredibus, etc., reddendo 2 solidos in festo Sanctae Julianae. Preterea, concessi de terra nostra, predicto proxima prato, ad reparandam predictam fossatam, et de bosco meo ad pratum claudendum, etc. Hiis testibus,- Johanne Extraneo, Hamone Extraneo fratre ejus, Bartholomeo de Mortuna, Stephano de Stantuna, Roberto filio Roberti filii Aheri, Philippo de Penintuna, Hamone de Penintuna, Johanne de Chetewind, Johanne de Bubintuna, Baldwino Wiscardo".

"Sciant omnes, etc., quod ego Willielmus filius Willielmi filii Alani concessi, etc. Willielmo filio Willielmi de Hercalewe et heredibus donacionem quam Ranulfus filius Gilberti de Rodintun fecit Willielmo et heredibus de toto prato de Wrennemore, tenendo, etc., cum aysiamentis, etc., reddendo Ranulfo 2 solidos, etc., sicut carte Ranulfi testatur, etc. Hiis testibus,- Johanne Extraneo, Reinero de Lee, Philippo filio Willielmi, Petro Clerico, Willielmo Mascone, Hugone de Becburi, Philippo de Peninton, Baldwino Wischard, Johanne de Hopton, Hamone de Peninton, et m. a".

It is probable that all the Deeds which I have quoted under Ranulf de Rodinton's name passed between 1200 and 1210. It is clear too, I think, that whatever Ranulf had in Rodington was held immediately under Fitz Alan, that it descended to Ranulf from his father, Gilbert, and not from Guomar de Rodinton. We see then that the Manor of Rodington-proper was not a single tenement held by one Feoffee, and it is exceedingly probable that Ranulph de Rodington's interest was quite distinct from that Muntator's fee, or half knight's-fee, which I shall hereafter show to have passed

[8] Chartulary, fo. 172.
[9] In possession of Mr. George Morris, of Shrewsbury;- and and forming part of the Newport Evidences.


from Guomar de Rodintone to certain Coparceners, of whom Ranalf was not one. For the present, continuing my account of-

RANULF DE RODINTON, or of his son of the same name, I observe that Ranulf de Rodinton occurs on an Inquest which must have been held in the summer of 1220, and that a Patent of August 30, 1228, directs William Pantulf of Hales and others to try a cause which was pending between the Abbot of Haghmon and Randolf de Rodenton, concerning a Watercourse in Rodinton. On May 13, 1234, Ranulf de R,odinton attests an agreement between the Abbot of Shrewsbury and William de Ercalwe. About the year 1249 we have Ranulph de Rodinton attesting a Deed, already cited under Downton. In 1255 the Bradford Hundred-Roll names Ranulf de Rodinton among Fitz Alan's Tenants of the Manor, but estimates the gross tenure to be three parts of a knights'-fee. [10] I doubt whether the original ha1f-fee was thus increased by any service due on the feoffment of Ranulf de Rodinton.

Ranulf de Rodinton was deceased in 1274. He left a Widow, Agnes, and at least two sons, Henry and William. William sold something in Rodington to his brother Henry, and perhaps it was this William who as William de Rodinton is found attesting a Charter of Shrewsbury Abbey between 1259 and 1266. [11] Be this as it may, a Writ of King Edward I., dated November 27, 1273, orders an Extent to be made of Rodinton, seeing that Isabella, widow of John fitz Alan (III.), claimed a third of the Manor (i.e. of the Seigneurial rights there) in dower. The return to this Writ, made probably in January 1274, valued the whole Manor of Rodington at 3. 10s. 11d., excepting the tallage of Rodenhurst and the dower of Agnes, widow of Ranulf Rodinton. Among the items included in the valuation was a rent of 9s. from land, which had been Ranulf de Rodinton's. This, I presume, was the chief-rent due to Fitz Alan, and it would seem that Ranulf de Rodinton's heir was not yet in possession. The following Deed must however have passed soon afterwards.-

HENRY SON OF RANULPH DE RODINTON gives to Haghmon Abbey, towards the lights of the Greater Altar, for the souls' health of himself and his wife Alice, his ancestors and successors, a rent of 2s. issuing from half a virgate in Rodinton, which rent Isabella de Rodinton had already assigned to the Canons, [12] and which land

[10] Rot. Hundred. II. 56.
[11] Salop Chartulary, No. 404.
[12] Unde Isabella de Rodinton eundem redditum memoratis Canonicis prius assignavit.-

It is difficult to translate the word unde in such passages as the above. By the way is perhaps the vulgar expression which approaches nearest to the meaning. The Rubricator of the Haughmond Chartulary has entitled Henry de Rodington's Deed as a Confirmation of Isabella de Rodington's previous deed. Her Charter shall be given in its proper place;- but I should here say that so far from Henry de Rodington's Deed being a Confirmation thereof, the two Charters have every appearance of being independent acts of two rival claimants, renouncing, at different times, their respective claims, in favour of a third party.


Henry bought from his brother William. He further gives a summary power of distress to the Abbey, if any hindrance in regard to the receipt of the said rent should be presumed to be offered by any one possessing the said land. Witnesses,- John de Ercall, John fitz Aer, Knights, etc. [13]

We have seen, under Upton Magna, that in 1278 Henry de Rodington was holding office as Wood-warden-of-the-Fee on the Fitz Alan estates in this neighbourhood. [14] The Office was probably hereditary, and we have already had a hint that Gilbert, Henry's Grandfather, or Great-Grandfather, had, in his time, held it. We shall presently see too, that the Feodary of 1284, enumerating Fitz Alan's Feoffees in Rodington, names Henry Forester as one of them. This was undoubtedly Henry de Rodington, but I can learn nothing afterwards of him or his successors. I now return to speak of the feoffment and the presumed descendants of-


The inheritance of half a knight's-fee in Rodington, as held under Fitz Alan, can be traced from Guimar de Rodington, living in 1203, to three coparceners, perhaps his daughters. Their names were Isabel, Clarice, and Petronilla;- and I will say something of all and each. Clarice married Roger de Apley. Hence the Feodaries of 1240 say that "Roger de Appeleg and his coparceners hold half a fee in Rodinton of the Barony of John fitz Alan". [15] The name of Isabel de Rodinton's husband I cannot discover, but he was dead in 1246. Petronilla de Rodinton married Robert de Kaynton, otherwise called Robert de Rodinton on account of this marriage. Both were dead in 1246, and their only daughter and heir, Juliana, was then the wife of Richard de Flotebroch. Hence a Fine about Rodington Advowson, levied April 22, 1246, gives Isabella de Rodyngton, Roger de Appelegh with Clarice his wife, and Richard de Flotebroch with Juliana his wife, as joint Plaintiffs.

Before 1255 another change had taken place in this estate, for Roger and Clarice de Apley were now represented by their son

[13] Chartulary, fo. 172.
[14] Supra, p. 256.
[15] Testa de Nevill, pp. 44, 47, 49.


John. Hence the Bradford Hundred Roll of that year has the following entry.-

"Rodinton (is) a hide and half and pays 6d. stretward and 6d. motfee. Dame Ysabella de Rodinton, and Richard de Flotisbruc, and John de Appilleg and Ranulf de Rodinton hold Rodinton (for) three parts of a knight's-fee, of the fief of John fitz Alan; and they do ward at Oswaldistree for 30 days, in time of war, with one horse, a hauberk, a chapel de fer, and a lance; and they do suit to the Hundred-Court every three weeks; and the Manor is geldable". [16]

After remarking that Richard de Fletesbrok appears as a Juror for Bradford Hundred at the Assizes of 1256, I will illustrate the descent of this Manor, as above drawn, by three extracts from the Haughmond Chartulary.- About the year 1230-

1. "PetronillR, wife of Robert de Rodinton, with assent of her husband, her heir, and her sisters, gave to Haghmon Abbey, with her body to be buried there, two shillings per annum in her share of Rodinton Mill. Witnesses,- Hugh fitz Robert, William de Hedley, Geoffrey Griffin", ete. About the year 1250-

2. "Clarice, Widow, formerly wife of Roger de Apelegh, grants to the same, for the lights of the High Altar, an annual rent of one shilling, from her share of Rodinton Witnesses,- Sir William de Hedley, John his son, Stephen de Penninton, Ranulph de Rodinton", etc. About the same time-

3. "Isabella de Rodinton, Widow, gives to the same, and for the same purpose, two shillings rent from half a virgate of land in Rodinton, viz. that which Hugh son of the Parson held. Witnesses,- Sir William de Hedley, John his son", etc. [17]

At the County Assizes in October 1272, Isabel, widow of John fitz Alan (III.), was suing several tenants in her late husband's Barony for dower. Among others, Geoffrey le Taylur and his wife Agatha were sued for one-third of the Manor of Rodinton. [18] The result of this Suit is not to my present purpose; but it will render the sequel more intelligible, if I suggest that Agatha, thus named, must have been the daughter or other heir of that John de Apley who was seized of a share of Rodinton in 1255. The Inquest which, about January 1274, valued Rodinton with regard to Isabel fitz Alan's suit, I have already quoted. All that I need add here is that a messuage, "held wholly by Geoffrey le Taylur", is stated to be worth 4s. per annum, the assized rents of free-tenants

[16] Rot. Hundred. II. 56.
[17] Chartulary, Tit. Rodinton.
[18] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 7 dorso.


and of the Mill to be 14s. 6d., whilst other items amounted to the net value of 3. 10s. 11d. [19] as already indicated.

Geoffrey le Taylur occurs in a lawsuit of 1277, which I will notice under Sugden, and as a local Juror in 1278. Richard de Rodinton, Juror on a Wem Inquest in January 1284, was perhaps identical with Richard de Flotesbruc. The Feodary of 1284 says that "Philip Mavesin, Henry Forester, Richard de Flosbrok, and Geoffrey le Taylur hold the vill of Rodinton and half the vill of Suggedon, of Richard fitz Alan, for half a knight's-fee". The Bradford Tenure-Roll of (nearly the same date) repeats the statement, except that the first coparcener's name is written Mueyson. I conceive that the said Philip Mavesin, or Mueyson, held the share which had previously belonged to Isabel de Rodinton.

Soon after this, Richard de Flosbrok was succeeded by his son Jordan. The latter, as Jordan de Flossebroc, inspects and confirms the Charter of "Petronilla his Grandmother (aviae meae), formerly wife of Robert de Kaynton", by which she had given 2s. rent in Rodinton Mill to Haghmon. He further allows that, if he or his heirs should in any year fail to pay the said rent-charge, then it should be lawful for the Canons of Haughmond to levy one or more distresses upon Rodinton-Mill, and to drive or carry away whatever effects should be so taken in distress, either to Haughmond Abbey or elsewhere within the county of Salop, and retain them without replevin (contra vadium et plegios), till such time as the said Jordan or his heirs should pay the said rent, with all arrears thereof. The only witness of Jordan de Flossebroc's confirmation is Philip de Peninton. [20]

By Deed, bearing date at Rodinton on Sunday, March 25, 1313, John son of Geoffrey le Tailor of Rodinton inspects and confirms the Charter of Clarice, formerly wife of Roger de Apelegh, relative to a rent of 12d. in the same Mill. Witnesses,- Thomas de Lee; Thomas de Withinton; Henry de Ree; John son of Robert de Staunton; Ralph de Asteley; Robert, Clerk of Preston; Roger de Halghton, Esquire to the Abbey; etc. [21] John le Taillour again occurs attesting a Haughmond Deed in 1316. [22]

I shall not attempt to trace the succession of these Coparceners in Rodington to any later period: but, before I proceed with other branches of the subject, I should at least rearrange the above scattered notices in a tabular or synoptical form.-

[19] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. I., No. 51.
[20] Chartulary (ut supra), fo. 172-b.
[21] Ibidem, fo. 173.
[22] Sheriffs of Shropshire, p. 147.


[For pedigree, see pdf.]



It is singular that Domesday should mention a Church and a Priest under Rodington, and make no such allusions under High Ercall; for it is certain that both these Manors belonged to one Saxon Parish, and that within nine years after Domesday the Mother Church of that Parish was reputed to be at Ercall, and was given as the "Church of Archalou, with all its appurtenances", by Earl Roger to Shrewsbury Abbey. What remained at Rodington vas a Church or Chapel, dependent on Ercall, and so in the presentation of the Abbot of Shrewsbury.

The only occasion on which this status of Rodington Church was disputed, ended in a way which proves the Abbot's title.- On April 22, 1246, a Fine was levied at Westminster, whereby Isabella de Rodyngton (Robert son of Baldwin Wychard being her Attorney), Roger de Appeleg and Clarice his wife, Richard de Flotebroch and Juliana his wife, Plaintiffs, quit-claim to Adam Abbot of Salop, Deforciant, the Advowson of the Church of Rodyngton, whereof an assize of dernier presentment had been pending between the parties. Moreover the Plaintiffs conceded to the Abbot and his successors a right of estovers in Rodyngton Wood; for all which the Abbot received them into the prayers of his House for ever.

The Taxation of 1291 does not name Rodington Church. In 1341 the Assessors of the Ninth distinctly state that Rodington and Upton Parva were Chapelries of Ercall; though they taxed the three as separate Parishes. Their assessment of Rodington was 18s., and not more, because the income of Rodington Chapel consisted chiefly of small-tithes and oblations,- things which were not to be accounted of, in estimating a tax on wheat, wool, and lamb;- because also the corn in this Parish was very deficient. [23]

The Valor of 1524-5 gives the preferment of Roger Grene, Rector of Rodyngton as netting 6. 13s. 4d. per annum. [24]


PHILIP DE PONTESBURY, Rector of the Church of Rodinton, being worn out with age and infirmity, resigned his benefice on Sept. 30, 1298.

RICHARD SON OF JOHN DE ALBERBURY, was ordained Subdeacon on December 26, 1299, and thereupon had custody of the Bishop's

[23] Inquis. Nonarum, pp. 184, 192.
[24] Valor Ecclesiasticus, III. 185.


sequestration in this Church. On June 7, 1300, he was instituted thereto, at presentation of the Abbot and Convent of Salop. On December 17, 1300, being still a Subdeacon, Richard de Alberbury, Rector of Rodington, has the Bishop's license to attend the Schools for seven years, and meantime not to be compelled to take higher Orders.

WILLIAM, Rector of Rodington, died August 18, 1349 (probably of the Pestilence), and on October 17-

JOHN DE RODENHURST, Chaplain, was admitted, on presentation of Shrewsbury Abbey. He occurs as Rector in 1359 and 1363, and died in 1369, when, on November 20,-

RICHARD DE LA MORE, Priest, was instituted, on a like presentation. On May 12, 1388, this Chapel being vacant by death-

WILLIAM DE RODENHURST, Priest, was instituted, on the usual presentation. He held Waters Upton for a time, together with this. He resigned this in 1392, when on April 3-

THOMAS HARLYNG was instituted on the usual presentation.


This Vill constituted one out of the 4 hides which were involved in the Domesday Manor of Rodington. Half of it, as we have seen, continued to be held together with Rodington, by the Coheirs of Guomar de Rodington, under Fitz Alan. These Coheirs, however, had, I think, their Feoffees or Undertenants here,- persons who took their name from the place. The first of these De Sugdons was-

DAUMAR DE SUGGEDON, who attests a Charter of William de Ercalewe, early in the thirteenth century. Also, Daumar de Soggedon gave to Haghmon Abbey, with his body in burial, and for the souls' health of himself, his father, and all his friends (parentum), half a virgate in Soggeden, viz. that which William le Waleis held. He gave it with rights of common, in wood and in plain, etc., and quit of all secular service. Witnesses,- William de Ercalwe, and Hugh Forester (i.e. Hugh fitz Robert, Forester of Bolas). [25]

It seems that this Daumar was son of another Daumar, and that he had a brother Geoffrey, to whom the Canons of Haughmond regranted the above half-virgate at a rent of 2s. per annual. Thus I

[25] Chartulary, fo. 211-b.

It is not impossible that Daumar de Suggedon was identical with Guomar de Rodington. The identity of the two Christian names, Daumar and Guomar, is nearly certain.


explain a Deed whereby "Geoffrey son of Daumar de Suggedon grants and confirms to William son of William le Franceis of Berewike and Sibil his wife, for his homage and service, and for a sum of 5 merks, 3 shillings, paid to the Grantor in his urgent necessity, half a virgate in Suggedon, viz. that which William Walensis held:- To hold to the Grantees, their heirs and assigns, under the Grantor and his heirs, in fee;- paying therefore a penny rent to the Grantor, and 2s. rent, on the Grantor's behalf, to Haghmon Abbey. Witnesses,- Sir Peter, Chaplain of the Church of St. Alcmund, Salop".

Two other Deeds show how the Canons got rid of the mesne interest, thus retained for Geoffrey de Sugdon, by negotiations with his Heir and his Widow.-

1. Richard, son of Geoffrey Daumer of Suggedon, gives to Haghmon Abbey that rent of 1d., which he had been wont to receive from the land which William Bridde (identical with William Walensis) held in Suggedon. He gives it with all his demesne and other right therein, in pure and perpetual almoign. Witnesses,- Robert de Staunton, etc.

2. Margaret, Widow of Geoffrey de Suggedon, sells to Haghmon Abbey for 23s. all her right, as of dower, in a third part of a half virgate in Suggedon, which right she had by gift of Geoffrey, her late husband. Witness,- Alexander, then Official (of some Church Dignitary, I presume).

There was also a Convention between the Abbot of Haghmon and William de Berewic relative to the above half-virgate, by which the Abbot's rent of 2s. was nearly doubled. "The Abbot concedes and quit-claims to William de Berewic and his heirs that half-virgate in Suggedon, which Daumer bequeathed with his body to the Abbey, and which William de Berewic bought from Geoffrey, brother of the said Daumer. But the said William is to pay 3s. 6d. rent to the Abbey, besides discharging forinsec services, and all services due to the said Geoffrey. There is a further clause, preventing the said William from assigning the premises to any Religious body, except to the Convent of Haghmon. Witnesses,- Robert de Kaington, and Richard de Pecton". [26]

All these Deeds I take to have passed before 1230.

In the middle of the same century, one Pagan de Sugdon occurs, but how he was related to the above Sugdons, I cannot say. He was a Juror on an important Inquest in 1253, and in 1255 he is

[26] Chartnlary, Tit. Sugdon.


expressly stated to be Lord of that moiety of Sugdon, of which I now am speaking. He did ward at Oswestry Castle for 10 days, at his own cost;- a service which, being thus rendered immediately to Fitz Alan, would seem inconsistent with the idea that the Coparceners of Rodington had a mesne interest over Pagan de Sugdon.

At the Assizes of 1267, John Mussot and Adam le Bere were found to have disseized Alice de Dammaur of Sogedon of a right of common-pasture in Sogedon. [27]

In March 1274, we have Richard de Sogdon on a local Jury. In the year 1277, this Richard de Sugdon failed in a claim, against Geoffrey le Taylur and others, for a messuage and 3 acres in Rodington. It appears that one Roger de Sugdon, from whom Richard derived his claim, had never been seized of the premises. [28] In Easter Term 1282, Richard de Sugdon and his wife Alice (Impedients in a Fine), acknowledge themselves to have given a messuage and carucate in Sugdon to Hugh Burnel. The latter in turn concedes the premises to the Recognizors for their lives, to hold by payment of a rose-rent to himself, and by performance of all capital services. After their deaths the premises were to revert to Hugh and his heirs.

On November 2, 1287, William Brid and Alice, his wife, give by Fine to Henry de Tyrley a messuage, 23 acres of land, and half an acre of meadow in Sugedon; to hold in fee at a rose-rent payable to the Grantors and the heirs of Alice, and by performance of all capital services. For this the Grantee gave a sore sparrow-hawk.

The Inquest taken in July 1294, on the death of Philip Burnel, son and heir of Hugh above-mentioned, states him to have held lands in Suggedon under the Earl of Arundel, by service of doing suit every three weeks to the Court of Shrawardine. [29] Again Edward Burnell died in 1315, seized of a messuage, 30 acres of land and 2 acres of meadow in Suggedon. [30]

BOLAS FEE. The other moiety of Sugden was held immediately under Fitz Alan by those hereditary Foresters of Shropshire whose chief seat was at Bolas, and whose descent I have already adverted to under Cantlop. [31] They again had their Feoffees here, the first of whom, viz. William son of Reginald de Rodinton, with assent of his wife and heirs, gives to Haghmon Abbey that half-virgate in Suggedon which John his brother held. The interest of the said

[27] Assizes, 51 Hen. III., m. 6.
[28] Abbrev. Placitorum, p. 267.
[29] Inquisitions, 22 Edw. I., No. 45, c.
[30] Calend. Inquis. I. 275.
[31] Supra, Vol. VI. pp. 287-90.


John, viz. to hold the premises by a rent of 2s., is reserved. This Deed is attested by William de Hedley. [32]

And this Deed was confirmed by the Mesne Lord, under whom the same William fitz Reginald held land at Isombridge; but the Confirmation must have been after William's death, for it extends to a grant which Alice his daughter and heir had already made in Isombridge to Haghmon. Hugh fitz Robert's Confirmation is in substance as follows.-

"Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Hugo filius Roberti, Forestarius domini Regis, concessi et hac carta confirmavi Ecclesiae de Haghmon, donacionem quam Willielmus heres de Rodinton fecit de una dimidia virgata terrae in Suggedon quam Johannes tenuit, et donacionem quam Aliza filia ipsius Willielmi fecit de alia dimidia virgata in Einesbrugg quam Willielmus Wallensis tenuit. Hiis testibus,- Willielmo de Erchaloe, etc". [32]

All these Deeds passed before the year 1235, when Alice de Rodington, as she is called, was the Widow of Richard Crurder. I can trace this descent no further.

The Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255 states as follows.-

"Suggedon is one hide and pays 4d. stretward and 4d. motfee. John fitz Hugh (he was of Bolas) is Lord of one moiety and Pagan de Suggedon of the other moiety; and they hold it of the fee of John fitz Alan". [33] Pagan's obligation to do ward at Oswestry is then stated, as I have given it above.

I suppose the Grantor in the following Deed was the heir or assignee of John de Rodington, the Undertenant above-mentioned.-

"Richard son of William Sorlawe sells to William son of Hulger de Sugedon a messuage, curtilage and appurtenances in the vill of Sugedon, viz. that which Reginald Palmer formerly held;- to hold to the Grantee, his successors, assigns, or legatees, under the Grantor. For this 9s. in money, and two quarters of wheat, were paid down. A rent of 2s. to Haghmon Abbey is to be paid by the Grantee. Witness,- Sir John de Ercalwe". [34] This Deed passed between 1256 and 1280. Again, "William son of William Hulger of Rodenhurst releases to Haghmon Abbey all his right in the said messuage and curtilage, which he had heretofore held under the Abbey. Witness,- Sir William de Ercalwe". [34] This Deed passed between 1280 and 1304.

An Inquisition taken in 1301 states that Roger fitz John of Bolas

[32] Chartulary, Tit. Sugdon.
[33] Rot. Hundred. II. 56.
[34] Chartulary (ut supra).


was then holding half a virgate in Rodynton (Sugden I think was meant) under Richard Earl of Arundel, by a rent of 1d. The tenure was worth 5s. per annum. [35]

In July 1335 the Convent of Haghmon leases a messuage and croft in Sugdon, which John le Beore formerly held, and the meadow called Sexteynesmedowe in Rodinton, to Roger Toffe of Cherrington and his wife Agatha, for their lives, at a rent of 9s.


I have spoken, under Preston-Boats and elsewhere, of the great additions which were made to the Fee of Stanton, as it was called, between Domesday and the death of Henry I.; I have also said that Roden and Rodenhurst, though originally members of Rodington, were part of the said additions to the Fee of Stanton. [36] I have further shown that in 1255 the representative of the House of Stanton was Stephen de Stanton (II.),- a Minor, then in custody of Thomas de Lee. The entry on the Bradford Hundred-Roll of that date will thus become perfectly intelligible. It is as follows.- "Rodene, with its appurtenances, is a hide and half; and pays 6d. motfee and 6d. stretward. Thomas de Le is Custos (thereof) by (grant of) John fitz Alan, and it is a member of Stanton, of the Fief of John fitz Alan; and it does Suit to the Hundred at the Sheriff's-tourn twice yearly". [37]

I should here notice that, whereas the Domesday Manor of Rodington was 4 hides, that measurement is nearly reproduced by its supposed constituents, which in 1255 were Rodington (1 hides), Sugdon (1 hide), Roden and Rodenhurst (1 hides).

At the Forest Assizes of February 1262, Thomas de Lee essoigned his attendance by Geoffrey de Roden.

In or about 1285, as I have said under Preston Boats, John de Ercalowe was seized of the Fee of Stanton, and held it under Fitz Alan. His Tenant at Rodynhurst is specified in the Tenure Roll of that period. It was Hugh de Woderton.

John de Wodenorton, son of the said Hugh, died in 1296. I shall have to speak of him elsewhere. Suffice it here to say that the Inquest on his death found him to have had rents, etc. in Rodenhurst of the yearly value of 13s. 1d. which he held of Thomas de

[35] Inquisitions, 29 Edw. I., No. 76.
[36] Supra, pp. 268, 371.
[37] Rot. Hundred. II. 56.


Lee and Petronilla his wife by service of 6d. rent, and by doing suit every three weeks to the Court of Staunton (Hineheath). [38]

On April 16, 1312, Thomas de Lee and Petronilla his wife (Deforciants in a Fine) entailed the Manor of Rodene on John de Lee (he was their eldest son) and Matilda daughter of Henry de Erdynton (she was John's wife). The settlement was on John and Matilda, and the heirs of John's body, to hold of Thomas and Petronilla, and the heirs of Petronilla for ever, by a rent of one rose and by performance of capital services. In default of any heirs of John's body, and after the deaths of John and Matilda, the premises were to revert to Thomas and Petronilla and the heirs of Petronilla, quit of any other heirs of John,- to hold of the Lords of the Fee.

A fuller account of the Fee of Stanton, as held, first by the Stantons, and then by the Lees, must appear on a future occasion, when something more will be said of their Lordship of Roden and Rodenhurst. I here name one or two-

UNDERTENANTS in the Manor. Hugh le Cir of Roden was a Juror of Bradford Hundred at the Inquest of 1274. Hugh de Rodenhurst and William fitz Hugh of Rodenhurst were Jurors on a local Inquest in February 1283.

In 42 Edward III. (1368-9), William son of William Heyvusson of Peninton, gives and concedes to John Abbot of Haghmon, and his Convent, all his lands and tenements in the vill and fields of Rodenhurste;- to hold of the Grantor, his heirs and assigns, in pure almoign, by payment of a rent of one red-rose, yearly, on the feast of St. John the Baptist's Nativity, if such rent should be demanded. Witnesses,- Roger de Rodenhurste and Nicholas Cresset. [39]

Berwick Malvoisin, now Berwick Maviston.

Domesday describes this Manor as follows.-

"The same Rainald (Vicecomes) holds Berewic. Uluiet held it

[38] Inquisitions, 24 Edw. I., No. 55.
[39] Chartulary, Tit. Rodenhurst.


in the time of King Edward. Here is half a hide. In demesne there are II ox-teams, and there are IIII Neat- herds, IIII Villains, and III Boors, with II teams. Here is a league of wood paying 16d. (per annum);- and there might be one team additional here". [1]

The manorial value of Berwick is not stated in the above entry. Perhaps it was included in the valuation of Upton Magna, which Manor precedes it in the Record.

Before the end of Henry I.'s reign, Berwick was bestowed on a Feoffee. Who this Feoffee was I cannot suggest, for I cannot suppose that Alan fitz Oliver, who, as we have seen, [2] held Sundorn under Fitz Alan at the beginning of Henry II.'s reign, was also Fitz Alan's Tenant at Berwick. All that we know certainly of this matter is, that Henry Malveisin held a Muntator's fee of old feoffment in 1165-6, and in the Barony of Fitz Alan; [3] and that the said fee was Berwick,- afterwards called Berwick Malvoisin, with reference to this tenure. It is probable too that Henry Malvoisin acquired Berwick with his wife Avelina, whom I take to have been the heiress of some previous Lord of Berwick. Lastly Henry Malvoisin's son seems to have been eventually Alan fitz Oliver's heir, in respect of Sundorn.

I am utterly at a loss to det,ermine how Henry Malvoisin was related to that great House of Malvoisin which held Mavesyn Ridware and other Staffordshire Manors under Fitz Alan. However, it is from a Staffordshire Record that I gather something of the antecedents of the Berwick branch of the family. Henry Malvoisin was brother and heir of Nicholas Malvoisin, who, in the reign of Stephen, held Stallington (near Stone). Nicholas held that Manor under Ivo Pantulf in the first instance; but the Seigneury was afterwards changed, and Stephen de Buthlers, by some unknown process, came to occupy Ivo Pantulf's place. This will appear from a series of interesting Deeds which I now proceed to quote.-

1. About the year 1150 "Nicholas Malvesin informs his brethren and heirs that he has sold his land of Stalinton, to the Canons of Stone, for 7 merks, and for consideration that the said Canons had granted to him and his brethren the fraternity of their House. This sale the said Nicholas, with his brothers, viz. Henry, Elias, and Herbert, now confirm. The Canons are to pay 5s. yearly to Ivo Pantulf, and, if the Lord should be changed, 5s. (similarly) to such

[1] Domesday, fo. 254, b, 2.
[2] Supra, pp. 278, 279.
[3] Libor Niger, I. 143.


other Lord. The Witnesses present at this Settlement (Fine) were,- Alduwine, Chaplain; Alexander, Dean; Rannulf, Deacon; Alan de Vilers; and many others".

2. "Afterwards, when Henry Malveisin conceded (his brother's grant), there were present these witnesses:- Hugh Hose (Hosatus); Walter Meverel; Alduwine, Chaplain; (and the others, as mentioned above). And because (the said) Henry made such concession to the Canons, they gave him 4 shillings".

3. Another Deed indicates the change of Seigneury above alluded to.- "Stephen de Buthlers greets Walter (Durdent), Bishop of Chester, and advises him that he has given Stalinton for the souls of his father and mother, and for the health of himself and his wife, to the Church of Stone;- which (Stalinton) was of his fee. He has given it, as N. Malveisin and his brethren had sold it for 7 merks and 4 shillings". It was moreover certified by this Grantor that "the aforesaid N. (Nicholas), to whose inheritance the said land pertained, had done homage to the Grantor for the same, and was bound to pay 5s. yearly (to the Grantor), in lieu of all services. But if perchance a quarrel should arise between the Grantor and any other, no more than the said 5s. was to be required. For this (confirmation) the Canons paid 20s. to Stephen de Buthlers, and the following persons were witnesses of the transaction;- viz. Maria, Stephen's wife; Robert, his son; Philip de Buthlers; Leonius de Buthlers; Ernulf, nephew (nepos) of Balduwin de Buthlers; and others". [4]

The above three Deeds certainly passed before the year 1160. Stone Priory was subject to the Priory of Kenilworth, one of Henry II.'s Confirmation to the latter House, passed at Westminster, almost surely in the year 1164. It confirms among other things,- terram de Stallinton de dono Nicholai Mauveysin, et concessu Stephani de Budlers, pro v solidis annuatim. [5]

HENRY MALVOISIN'S feoffment at Berwick, however obtained, is illustrated in several ways. About the year 1175 he attests two Charters of William fitz Alan (II.) to Buildwas Abbey. [6] Soon after he attests Alan de Hadley's Charter to Wombridge Priory: [7] and about the year 1190 he attests a confirmation of William fitz Alan (II.) to Haughmond Abbey. [8]

[4] Cotton MSS. Vespas. E. xxiv., fo. 9.

[5] Kenilworth Register (Dugdale's MSS. F. 2.) fo. 303. The attestation of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, all but proves the date of the Kiug's Charter. The King and the Archbishop had no friendly intercourse, in England, except for a short period in the summer of 1164.
[6] [7] Supra, pp. 245, 321, 355.
[7] Monasticon, VI. 108, No. II.


The Lilleshall Chartulary preserves two Charters of this Henry Malvesin. By the first he gives to that Abbey certain tithes of his demesne of Berewick, viz. two-thirds of the tithes of his demesne, in wheat (garbis) and other things. He does this by concession of his wife, Avelina, and of his heirs. He also gives "his son, to serve the Lord", that is, I suppose, his grant was accompanied by the reception of one of his children among the fraternity of Lilleshall.

By a second Charter, Henry Malvesin bestows the same tithes on the Canons of Lilleshall, "in whose House he has chosen that himself, his wife Avelina and his heirs should have burial" (apud quos sepulturam, mihi, et heredibus, et uxori meae Avelinae, eorum assensu elegi). [9]

HERBERT MALVOISIN, son and heir of Henry, appears at least as early as the year 1196, when we have seen him attesting a Charter to Wombridge Priory. [10] At the Assizes of 1203 Herbert Malveisin was amerced half a merk, pro falso dicto, having been apparently on some Jury which had made a false return.

At the Assizes of November 1221, Sir Herbert Mauveisin appears not only as a Knight, and as a Juror to try causes of Grand Assize, but he was one of the four Coroners of Shropshire. Having enfeoffed his son Thomas in half a virgate in Berewic, he was now called to warranty by the said Thomas, who had been impleaded for the same by Muriell fitz Helias. Herbert vouched the required warranty, stating that he had acquired the premises by gift of Alan Walsh, Muriell's former husband, who was seized thereof jointly with Muriell. This Muriell could not deny, so the Court dismissed the Suit, giving her leave to seek a remedy in some other form. [11]

The following Confirmation to Stone Priory passed before the year 1233.- "Herbert Malveysin, with assent of Alan, his son and heir, concedes to the Priory, the Vill of Stalinton, which was of his inheritance, and which Nicholas Mauvesin his Uncle (avunculus), whose heir he was, sold to the said Priory, as his Charter did testify, and as the Charter of Stephen de Burlers did confirm it. For this concession, the Canons of Stone gave Herbert 24s. in the County-Court of Stafford. Witnesses,- Henry de Audley, then Sheriff; William de Erdinton, and others". [12]

The Pipe-Roll of 1231 records two amercements against Herbert Malveysin and his son Henry for not producing one for whom they

[9] Lilloshall Chartulary, fo. 66.
[10] Supra, p. 341.
[11] Assizes, 6 Hen. III., m. 4 dorso.
[12] Cotton MS. (ut supra).


were Sureties: the Son's amercement, one merk, was double that of the Father. On November 12, 1236, a Fine was levied at Shrewsbury, which probably was a sequel to the Suit, above-mentioned under date of 1221.- Robert Corbechun and Murilda his wife (Plaintiffs) obtain a recognition from Thomas Mauveisin, that half a virgate held by him in Berewyk was the right of Murilda. In return the Plaintiffs concede half the premises (as bounded by the lands of Herbert Malveisin, etc.) to Thomas;- to hold, under the Plaintiffs and the heirs of Murilda, at a rent of 7d. Murilda here named was, I doubt not, the widow of Alan Walsh, now remarried to a second husband.

The Feodaries of 1240 give Herbert Mauveisin as still holding half a knight's-fee in Berewik of the Barony of John Fitz Alan. [13] His death must have taken place very soon after this. We have seen that he was Father of three sons, Alan, Henry, and Thomas. The eldest of these, viz.-

ALAN MALVOISIN, cannot have survived his Father two years; for a Writ of March 5, 1242, apprises the Sheriff of Shropshire that Master Peter, Archdeacon of Salop, has obtained custody of the land and heirs of Alan Mauveysin for a Fine of 25 merks. The Archdeacon was to retain the said custody till the said heirs should be of age, and to dispose of them in marriage. [14] It is obvious that this wardship had fallen to the Crown by reason of the cotemporary minority of the second John fitz Alan. In Michaelmas Term 1242, Master Peter de Radnor (the Archdeacon in question) was suing John Tece, for forcibly taking away the hay from a meadow which pertained to the land, late Alan Mauveysin's, which land the Prosecutor had in custody. [15] It appears that the Prior of Wenlock was John Tece's Principal in this matter, for later in the same Term the Prior appoints Brother Henry de Northampton, a Monk of Wenlock, to be his Attorney in Master Peter de Radnor's Plea of trespass. [16] In Hilary Term, 1243, the Prior justified his having abstracted the said hay vi et armis on the ground that Alan (Malvoisin) had, two years before his death, demised the aforesaid meadow to the Prior. So the Prior was dismissed sine die. [17]

SAER MALVOISIN, son and heir of Alan, was probably in possession of his estate in 1249, when we have seen him preceding his two presumed Uncles, Henry and Thomas, in the testing clause of a

[13] Testa de Nevill, pp. 44, 44, 49.
[14] Rot. Finium, I. 373.
[15] [16] Placita, Mich. Term, 26 Hen. III., mm. 9 dorso, 16 dorso
[17] Placita, Hil. Tm., 27 Hen. III., m. 3 dorso.


Downton Deed. [18] It is Saer Malvoisin's Tenure which is thus alluded to in the Bradford Hundred-Roll of 1255.- "Berwic, being half a hide, pays 2d. motfee and 2d. stretward. Corlmauveisin, Lord of the Vill, holds half a knight's-fee, of the Fief of John fitz Alan, and does ward at John fitz Alan's Castle of White Minster (Oswestry), for 40 days, in time of war, by one horseman, with a hauberk, a chapel de fer, and a lance, at his own cost. The Vill does suit every three weeks to the Hundred-Court, and it is geldable". [19]

At the Assizes of 1256, Seer de Berwick, as he is called, was one of the Jurors for Bradford Hundred. Among the presentments of this very Jury, Saer Mauveysin is entered as a Tenant of a whole knight's-fee, as of full age, and yet not a knight.

Another Return of the same year makes him Tenant of 15 Librates of land, and yet not a knight. The Shropshire Pipe-Roll of 1259 registers Robert Mauveysin as having fined half a merk of gold for respite of knighthood. Here I suppose the Christian name of the recusant has been mistaken. The same Pipe-Roll gives Hugh de Cheny and Saer Mauveysin as jointly owing one merk for some Fine of the previous year.

At the Forest-Assizes of February 1262, Saer Mauveysin's name appears on the list of Regarders for the Forest of Mount Gilbert, Wombridge, and Haughmond. The Verderers and Foresters of the County concurred with the Vills of Preston, Horton, Downton, Wappenshall, Kynnersley, and Muckleston in the following presentment, viz. that "on Friday, May 23, 1253, Adam, a servant of Saer Mauveysin, had taken a stag in the King's Forest and had carried it to Saer's house, at Cotes", [20] and that "Saer had received it:"- further that "the said Saer had been imprisoned at Shrewsbury when Robert de Grendon was Sheriff". (This must have been in or before the year 1255.) It was now ordered (by the Court) that the Sheriff should compel Saer and Adam to appear. Several persons who had failed to produce Richard de Wrocworthin, a partisan in the business, were pronounced in misericordia. After a while Saer appeared in Court, and was committed to prison; but fined one merk (a kind of bail, I presume), his Sureties being John de Muneton and Hugh de Eton. So also did Adam fine half a merk, his Sureties

[18] Supra, p. 278.
[19] Rot. Hundred. II. 56.
[20] It is difficult to say what Cotes is here meant. I am far from thinking that any interest, which Saer Malvoisin may have had, now or afterwards, at Cotes near Stafford, points to that locality as the one here alluded to. Possibly he had a residence at Coton Hill (formerly Cotes), near Shrewsbury.


being William Banastre and Thomas Dod of Adenhal (Hadnall). [21]

I can gather nothing more from the Inquisitions, taken on the death of John fitz Alan (III.), in 1272, than that Birewike was a Manor of his Fief. [22] Meantime Saer Malvoisin had married Alice, one of the daughters and coheirs of Peter de Muneton, the Royal Forester of Haycrust and Bushmoor. Hence at the Assizes of October 1272, we find Agnes (another of Peter de Muneton's daughters) and her husband, Richard de Grynneshull, impleading Saer Mauvesyn and his wife Alice, for disseizing them of one-third of an acre in Munyngton (Myndtown). Saer and his wife pleaded that the King's Escheator had given them ingress, but the Plaintiffs recovered what they sought. [23] I shall recur, under a more proper locality, to further notices of Saer Malvoisin's interest in Myndtown.

It is very difficult, and, without a long search among Staffordshire Records, almost impossible, to decide what was the connection of the Malvoisins of Berwick with the Malvoisins of Cotes (near Stafford). Nevertheless we are sure, from the following Deed, that Saer Malvoisin was Lord of Cotes; for- "Saer Mauveysin of Berewich grants to Sir William de Kavereswalle, Knight, all his Manor of Cotes-juxta-Stafford, for 40 merks. Witnesses,- Sir John de Chetewynd, and Philip his brother, Knights; Philip Nuel (probably Noel); William de Aston; Robert de Hagenegate; and Master Robert de Suinesheld". [24]

King Edward's first Writ of Diem clausit, on the death of Saer Mauveysin, bears date at Hereford, on Nov. 21, 1283. It was to inquire what the deceased had held of the inheritance of his wife Alice, daughter of Peter de Muneton, and what of his own inheritance. A second Writ issued from Worcester on November 26 following, and inquired what the deceased had held under John fitz Alan's heir (Richard), who was a Minor, in ward to the Crown. The Return to these inquiries bears date Dec. 15, 1283, and states, as regards Berewyk, that the deceased had held one carucate, etc., there, under Richard fitz Alan, for a whole knight's-fee; and by service of Castle-guard at Oswestry, with one horseman, not heavily armed (non cooperto), for 40 days in time of war. Peter, son and heir of the deceased, was of full age. [25]

PETER MALVOISIN is duly entered in the Feodary of 1284 as

[21] Placita Forestae, 46 Hen. III., m. 4.
[22] Calend. Inquis., Vol. I. p. 40.
[23] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 7 dorso.
[24] Newport Evidences (Blakeway).
[25] Inquisitions, 12 Edw. I., No. 2.


holding the vill of Berewyke, under Richard fitz Alan, for a knight's-fee; while Richard fitz Alan held the same in capite. The Bradford Tenure-Roll, of nearly the same date, repeats this statement, merely adding that the Manor was geldable.

On a Forest Inquest of May 1292, Peter Mauveysin appears as one of the Foresters of Shropshire. The Writ of Diem clausit on his decease bears date at Ely on January 17, 1299. He died, seized, like his Father, of a tenure-in-capite at Myndtown, and seized also of Berwick, which he had held under Richard, Earl of Arundel. [26] His son and heir-

JOHN MALVOISIN was a Minor at his Father's decease. There appear to have been some doubts as to his exact age. The Inquest on his Father's death, saying that he was aged 18 on August 1, 1298, would make him to have been born on August 1, 1280; but this, as we shall see, was a misrepresentation, calculated to abridge the period of his wardship. A Writ of King Edward I., bearing date at Hereford on Febraary 20, 1303, directs the Escheator to inquire whether "John, son of Peter Mauveysin, born at Berewyk, and baptized in the Church of Aningeham (read Atingeham), who affirmed himself to be of full age", was really so. [27] In consequence of this, one of those curious Inquests; called Probationes aetatis, was taken at Berewyk on March 1303. I will give in detail the evidence of the witnesses.

1. Henry de Garmeston, aged 60, deposed that John Mauveysin was born at Astleye-juxta-Berewyke, and baptized in the Church of St. Mary there, on August 6, 9 Edward I. (1281), so that he was of full age on August 6 last (1302). The Deponent knew this, because his own daughter Anable was born on All Saints' Day in the same year. [28]

2. Walter de Burton, aged 50, deposed to the same facts and dates. He knew them because his Son-in-law (filiolus), Stephen de Felton, was born in the same year with John Mauvesyn, and had proved his age in the current year, before John de la Lee, under whom he held certain tenements. [29]

3. Richard Braz, aged 40, gave similar evidence. He remembered, because in King Edward's ninth year he purchased the corn-tithes

[26] Inquisitions, 27 Edw. I., No. 20.
[27] Inquisitions, 31 Edw. I., No. 178. It is a curious coincidence, that two Berwick, should chance to be mixed up in this matter. The Inquest evidently sat at Great Berwick, near Shrewsbury; and John Malvoisin was baptized, not at Atcham, but at Astley, near Great Berwick.
[28] Vide supra, p. 336.
[29]Vide suprn, Vol. VI. p. 37.


of Upton-subtus-Haghmon, [30] and, in returning home through the vill of Asteleye, he heard of John Mauveysin's birth.

4. Henry del Ree, aged 44, recollected the fact, because his own Father died in the year preceding John Mauveysin's birth.

5. William Payn, aged 43, recollected the date, because he was himself married in the year following the said John's birth.

6. Roger Fox, aged 52, had a son Reginald born in the same year with John Mauveysin, and so remembered the date.

7. Geoffrey de Morton, aged 47, recollected the same, because, in the year of John Mauveysin's birth, he went to live with Sir Robert Corbet, at Morton, where he still lives, and in passing through Astley he heard of the said birth.

8. Hugh de Norton, aged 52, had a daughter Petronilla, born in the same year with John Mauveysin.

9. John Robylots, aged 44, was serving his uncle Godefrid, a Chaplain, who died in that year.

10. John Russell of Donynton, aged 43, was living in that year with a certain Sir Thomas Boterel, whose son John died in the same year.

John Mauveysin seems to have died in 1323, but the Escheator, who had been ordered to seize his lands, being removed from office before he could do so, a supplementary Writ of January 18, 1324, resulted in an Inquest, held at Shrewsbury, on May 16 following. It appeared that John Mauvesyn, of Berewyk juxta Attingham, besides his tenure-in-capite at Muneton, had held Berewyk under the Earl of Arundel, by service of finding one guard at Oswestry Castle, for 20 days, in the time of any Welsh war. The Capital messuage was worth 8d. and 18 acres of land yielded 6s. per annum. The assized rents were 1s. 5d. John, son and heir of the deceased, was aged 19 years on August 15, 1323. [31]

JOHN MALVOISIN (II.) appears, by a Writ of April 20, 1326, to have petitioned the Crown for livery, as being no longer in minority. An Inquest, held at Shrewsbury in July following, repeats most of the facts stated in 1324, but values the capital messuage of Berewick at 1s., because the buildings were in a ruinous state. The Mauveysin Estates had been in manu Regis since Dec. 8, 1323. This Inquest states John Mauveysin to have attained the age of 21 on Sept. 8, 1325, substituting the Nativity of the Virgin as his

[30] That is, he farmed the great tithes of Upton Magna in that year.
[31] Inquisitions, 17 Edw. II., No. 48.


birthday instead of the Assumption of the Virgin, aa given in the first Inquest. [32]

For some further particulars of the Malvoisins of Berwick I refer elsewhere; [33] though I cannot think it probable that the male line continued here so late as the reign of Henry IV.; for in 21 Richard II. (1397-8) we see on good authority that Richard Otley was holding half a knight's-fee in Berewyk Mauvesyn under the Earl of Arundel. [34]

I will not attempt even to enumerate the various families of Malvoisins which were flourishing in Shropshire and Staffordshire in the thirteenth century; much less will I offer any theory as to their original connection. This however is the fittest place I can select for showing how one of these families was an offshoot of the Berwick branch.-

HENRY MALVOISIN, probably the second son of Herbert Malvoisin of Berwick, was, in the same ratio of probability, of full age in 1221. We have seen him attesting a Deed about the year 1249. [35] Perhaps, seven years later than this, we have "Henry Mauveysin of Berwick and Thomas his brother" following "Saer de Berwick" (their presumed nephew) in the attestation of a Wombridge Charter. We also learn, from another Wombridge Deed, that Henry Mauveysin of Berwick was Tenant of a share of the Mill of Uppington, having been enfeoffed therein before 1243, and dying seized thereof after 1255.

Now I have good reason for thinking that this Henry Malvoisin was the identical person who has already been spoken of, as having been grantee of a virgate-and-half in Ashfield in the year 1252, and as holding that estate in 1255. [36] I further think that this Henry had two sons, Thomas and Philip, and that it was the former who, as-

THOMAS, SON OF HENRY MAUVESYN, sold lands in Cotes (near Stafford) to Stephen Goldsmith of Stafford. [37] Again, we have Thomas Mauveisin as Juror on a Rodington Inquest in January 1274; and Thomas de Berewyk as Juror on a Woodcote Inquest in 1278. In 1292 we have seen, under Ashfield, that Thomas de Berewyk was dead. In the account there given, it was made to appear that the

[32] Inquisitions, 20 Edw. II., No. 29.
[33] Dukes's Antiquities, p. 159.
[34] Calend. Inquis.,Vol. III. p. 223.
[35] Supra, p. 278.
[36] Supra, Vol. III. pp. 347, 350.
[37] Newport Evidences (ut supra).


[For pedigree, see pdf.]


said Thomas was in 1292 represented by a Grandson, then in minority. [38] This was not the case. Philip son of Henry Mauveysin, deposed that the land, which he held in Ashfield for life, "was held of the inheritance (de heretate, not de herede) of John son of Thomas de Berewyk, which John was in minority". This Philip I take to have been Uncle of the Minor in question, and to have been identical with that Philip de Berewyk, who, at the Assizes of 1292, appears as fourth Juror for Bradford Hundred. It was doubtless-

JOHN DE BEREWYK, the Minor of 1292, who is stated by Inquest to have died on Sept. 25, 1349. He held in capite, by knight's-service, a messuage and half-virgate in Ashefeld. He also held a messuage, a virgate and 2 acres in Magna Ercalewe (High Ercall), in socage, under Sir William de Careswell. Thomas, son and heir of the deceased, was now 18 years of age. [39]

The above surmises and facts I have classed together in a tabular form, rather that they may bear the test of comparative examinanation than that I depend upon the truth of every particular.

[38] Supra, Vol. III. p. 350.
[39] Inquis., 23 Edw. III. pars 2, No. 57.

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