The Ledger Book of Vale Royal Abbey. Originally published by Manchester Record Society, Manchester, 1914.
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Fos. 69, 95.
Memorandum of a certain settlement, taken, made and had, by the unanimous consent and assent as well of the abbot and convent of the Blessed Mary of Vale Royal as of the prioress and convent of nuns of Chester, in the year of our Lord 1475, (fn. 1) and the 15th year of the reign of King Edward the Fourth, as to divers parcels of land in the parish of Overee, to wit, as to those parcels of land in that parish from which tithes ought to be paid only to the aforesaid abbot and convent, and their successors, and not at all and no part thereof to the said prioress and convent, and their successors—in the presence of the venerable men William Strattford, abbot of the said monastery, and the convent of that place, the Lady Elizabeth Rixton, prioress of the said nuns, and the convent thereof, Sir William Stanley, chamberlain of Chester, Sir Geoffrey Massy, Sir Hugh Calverley [and] Sir Thomas Manley, knights, William Venables, Thomas Bulkeley of Ayton the elder, [and] Richard Wynnynton, esquires, Sir Thomas Twymlawe, official of the archdeacon of Chester, Master Robert Clerke, notary public, Sir Edward Barker, vicar of Overee, (fn. 2) then being proctor of the said prioress and convent, and many other notable persons and honest and trustworthy men, upon the oath of William Fisher, Edmund Darlynton, Henry Slaver, Warin Sompnour, Richard Young, William Glaseour, Richard Glaseor, John Derlynton, Thomas Garnett, Roger Nicson, Richard Domelawe, and Thomas Bekansawe, sworn, who say:
"A croft negh the crosse at Merton sonde callytt the Wall Crofte.
"Item a howse stonding on Merton sonde, with a crofte lying thereto within the lordship of Merton.
"Item at the Beleawe 2 crofts in holding of Tho. Bower.
"Item from the cowrse of the water unto John house Derlynton; (fn. 3) that is to weete 2 crofts and a medowe, and Paxtons crofte in the holding of the said John.
"Item a croft callytt the Wall Croft in the holding of Will. Fisher, with the medowe within the same crofte.
"Item 5 croftes adjoyneing negh to the forest rownd abowtt now in the holding of Richard Yonge.
"Item 5 croftes in holding of Richard Glaseor negh to the Tewfeld.
"Item [fo. 44d (281d)] a cloyse callytt Tewfeld in holding of Ric. Bower, departyd in two.
"Item a croft in holding of Edm. Derlynton callyt Clerkes feld.
"Item a crofte callytt Pykrakys in the holding of John Derlynton adjoining to the forest.
"Item a crofte callytt Pykrakys in the holding of Tho. Bower.
"Item 2 cloyses in holding of Tho. Bower callytt . . . Heyez.
"Item an other Croft at the hede of the said Pykrakys in the holding of the forsaid Rich. Bower.
"Item 2 felds negh Blakeden lone in holding of Tho. Ewode.
"Item the Blake crofte, lyyng after Blakden grene negh to Henr. Slaver.
"Item Blakden heth that is to say three feldez in the holding of Jo. Bower, lying after Blakden lone.
"Item a Croft callytt Grymvale in the holding of Tho. Garnett, lying negh to Blakden Croft.
"Item ij Blakden heyes, lyying after Chester lone, in holding of Tho. Bower.
"Item the Intake, that is to say 2 Closes and a medowe, lying after Blakden mosse.
"Item all the holding of Maykin-Cokeson, that is to wete, x. croftes and 2 medowez.
"Item 2 crofts in the holding of Ric. Nicson callytt Fyschpitt feeldes, lying by and too Chester lone.
"Item 3 feldes callyt Churnokfeldes in the holding of Tho. Gregory.
"Item the 3d part of the new medowe lying beten Ellwall and Ellwalls lone.
"Item a feld and a medowe negh to Wynsfurth brigge in holding of Roger Nicson.
"Item a medowe lying to Wynsfurth brygge in holding of Will. Glaseour.
"Item a feeld and a medowe negh to Wynsfurth brygge in holding of Ric. Coke.
"Item a feeld callytt Bradwall feld, lying negh the grene att Ric'. dor Coke, (fn. 4) in holding of the said Richard.
"Item a medowe callytt Langwall aftyr Wever side, extending to the Rohurst, in the holding of Hug' Gregory.
"Item a medowe betwen Wever and Brownfeld Knoll in holding of Henr. Sammesburye.
"Item a medowe on the north side the chyrche of Oueree devydytt by a lytyll sych dych, and a parcell of ground negh to the vicarage; opon part of the quich grownd Sir Tho. Wolley late Vicar of Oueree (fn. 5) edyfyett a bay of his berne by sufference of the abbott and covent that tyme being.
"Item ij feeldys callytt Langwallys in holding of Hugh Gregory.
"Item ij croftes lying in the Wether grene in holding of Agnes Domelawe.
"Item j crofte callytt Ayne crofte in holding of Will. Yonge, lyynge between Rohurst and Knyghtys lone.
"Item one crofte lying betwene the Knyghts yates and Gregge feld, in the holding of Thomas Kelsall.
"Item 5 felds lying in Caldwall late in holding of Tho. Prykkett.
"Item a feld callytt Crabtre feld in holding of Tho. Henryson.
"Item the Hole in the holding of Robert Fyscher.
"Item xj closes with 2 medowes late in the holding of Parkin Barker.
"Item 2 buttes lying by the yate within the Gale feld.
"Item 4 buttes within the said Galefeld extending opon the Rye crofte.
"Item 3 other buttes lying in the same feeld.
"Item a medowe in holding of Waryn Sompnour and Perkin Barker.
"Item 3 closes in holding of Waryn Sompnour.
"Item one londe and a halfe lying opon the Rye Crofte.
"Item one londe and a halfe shotynge unto the Cokshote.
"Item 2 londes in the same feeld.
"Item 2 croftes in holding of Alyson Clotton with a medowe.
"Item the Blake crofte in the holding of John Bower lying to the forest.
"Item the bonke betwen the Blakfeeld and the forest in holding of the said John.
"Item frome the Marlepytt in the her Blakefeld upon the west side, that is to wete 8 buttes.
"Item in the secund Ryefeeld from the house late in the holding of Tho. Prykkett of the Gale, 6 buttes on the west part and 6 on the est part, shotyng north and sowth.
"Item [fo. 45 (282)] all Foxwyste with all the feeldes pertaineing thereto.
"Item the Bonke late in the holding of Tho. Prykett of the Gale shoting unto the Forest."
On Wednesday next after the feast of St. Edmund in the sixteenth year of the reign of King Henry the Seventh [? Nov. 1500] in the court of Ouere, John Warde came before William, then abbot of Vale Royal, William Westby, Thomas Croston [and] Robert Kyrkeham, monks of that house, Ralph Byrkenhede, deputy sheriff of Chester, Richard Leftewiche and many others, and there did his homage and fealty to the said William, then abbot, and acknowledged he holds the manor of Wodeforthe from the said lord abbot by homage and fealty, and paying 6s. yearly at the feasts of Christmas and St. John the Baptist, and one appearance every year at the eyres (in itineribus) of the court of Over.
[Fines paid to the Abbot.]
Be it remembered that in a certain account of Hugh de Dutton, sheriff of Chester, of the third year of King Henry the Sixth [1424–5], amongst other things it is thus contained: Whereof he is discharged as to 33s. above charged in the estreats of the justices for the amercements of the abbot of Vale Royal of his men and tenants, by virtue of the charter of confirmation of the King to the same abbot and convent and their successors, as is noted and allowed in the accounts of John de Legh, sheriff in the 22nd year of King Richard the Second, and also in the sheriffs' accounts as well of the time of Edward the Third and Henry the Fourth, late kings of England, as also of Henry the Fifth. And the names of these men and tenants with their amercements are recorded as well in the estreats of the justices of this year as in a schedule shown to John Dedwode, attorney of the said abbot and convent, upon this account, and remaining in the exchequer among the memoranda of the accounts of this year there.
Proctors sent to the court of Rome for confirmation of the church of Lampadern'.
Know all men by the presents that we, Brother Thomas, by sufferance of God abbot of the monastery of the Blessed Mary of Vale Royal, of the Cistercian order, diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, and Brother Robert del Halle, prior etc., and the brethren and monks of the monastery aforesaid forming the convent there, and in full chapter of our monastery, making a chapter specially for this reason, by the presents ordain, make and constitute our well-beloved in Christ the venerable men Master Richard de Wynewyk, canon of Lincoln, (fn. 6) Master Peter de Haknesse and Sir John de Kyrkby, and each of them as a whole, the absent being counted as present, so that no better condition of authorization can be imagined, our true and lawful procurators, agents and special messengers, giving and granting to them and each of them in the name of us and of our monastery, full and free power and special mandate to appear for us and our monastery aforesaid before our most holy father in Christ and lord Urban, by God's providence chief Pontiff, (fn. 7) and before all others whomsoever by him deputed or to be deputed in this behalf, and to solicit the ratification, confirmation and corroboration of the union, annexation and appropriation of the parish church of Lampadern in the diocese of St. David's, canonically united and appropriated to us and our monastery by the diocesan of the place; and with full authority to request, solicit and pursue proceedings in this behalf for the supplementing, correcting and reforming [the act of] the diocesan of the place, if there be any defect therein, and apostolic favour and letters to be granted to us therein, in any wise concerning this business, and to obtain and receive the same, to draw up, set forth and prove petitions in this matter, to produce and exhibit witnesses, instruments and proceedings and to repel those brought forward against us, and to submit the said church and all the rights thereof, with its union, annexation and appropriation, with all things therewith and therefrom emerging, arising, depending and connected, in so far as they relate to the business of this confirmation, to the grace, disposal, ordinance, definition, decree and will of the most holy father abovesaid, and to take oaths upon challenge and as to the truth in the premises upon our souls and pledging our . . ., doing, exercising and arranging all and singular other the things which may be necessary or fitting in and about the premises. And we pledge our goods and give sureties to our said procurators and to each of them to ratify the business and to pay what is adjudged (et judicatum solvere). Given in our chapter house under our common seal 14 Kal. Feb. 1462 (sic) [19 Jan. 1362–3].
[Small Tithes of Over.]
In the year [fo. 45d (282d)] of our Lord 1487 a certain agreement was made between William Stratford, abbot of the monastery of the Blessed Mary of Vale Royal, and the convent of that place on the one side, and Ralph Larden, perpetual vicar of the church of Overee on the other side, concerning the petty tithes of Overee aforesaid, on Monday next before the feast of St. James the Apostle, in the following manner: to wit, that the said abbot and convent, at the instance of the venerable men Sir Thomas Twemlowe, official of the archdeacon of Chester, Hugh Grymesdyche, deputy sheriff of Chester, and John Lech of Broxton Hylles, gentyllman, granted that the said Ralph the vicar should receive the tithes of flax and hemp of Foxwiste during the pleasure of the aforesaid abbot and convent and their successors; but the residue of the petty tithes of Foxwyste and of the other places to the said monastery belonging, should remain to the said monastery, as more fully appears in the real composition arranged between their predecessors on both sides.
[Fines paid to the Abbot.]
Memorandum of the fines and amercements, issues and mercies [fines] and other liberties on divers occasions allowed and considered by the auditors of the King at Chester, according to the form of the charters and confirmation of Henry the Sixth, King of England, to the abbots and convent of Vale Royal, as hereafter appears: to wit,—
In the time of abbot Henry Weryngton petitions allowed by the auditors: to wit,—
Thomas Buyres 6s. 8d., Richard Fisher 6s. 8d., Robert Prekett 6s. 8d., Thomas Prikett 6s. 8d., Tho. Cholford 2s. 0d., Hugh Male 2li. 0d., Robert Prekett 1s. 0d., Tho. Aleyn 1s. 0d., Jo. Sutton and others 4s. 0d., Henry Elkyn 1s. 0d., John Sompnour 1s. 0d.
All these men are in the memoranda of accounts of the xth,
ixth, viijth and vijth years of King Henry the Sixth [1428–32],
and their petitions were allowed to the abbot, by William Horton
and William Ferrour, attorneys of the said abbot.
Total: lxxvijs. viijd.
In the accounts of Ralph de Brereton, sheriff of Chester, concluding at Michaelmas in the tenth year of the reign of King Henry the Sixth after the Conquest:
The same sheriff is discharged as to lxxvijs. viijd. charged as well under the heading of Arrears as under the heading of Estreats of the Justices this year, of the fines, issues and amercements of divers men and tenants of the abbot of Vale Royal, because Edward son of Edward, late Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, granted to the abbot of Vale Royal and their successors the fines and amercements of their artificers, labourers, men and tenants in the county of Chester, the which grant the now Lord [the King], that is to say, Henry the Sixth, ratified and confirmed by his letters patent dated on the xvjth day of October in the ninth year of his reign , as is contained in the King's writ of privy seal dated on the 20th day of October in the said ninth year, directed to the auditors of the said account, and delivered in with this account and remaining among the memoranda of the account of the preceding year in the exchequer of Chester.
Thomas Cholford because he did not come to answer Thomas
Mosley in a plea of debt, 1s.
The same Thomas because he did not come to answer Robert de Smethewik in a plea of debt, 1s.
The petitions of Henry, abbot of Vale Royal upon the account of Randolph Brereton, sheriff of Chester, allowed to the said Henry by the auditors, to wit, in the 13th year of the said King Henry the Sixth [1434–5].
Henry, abbot of Vale Royal, because he did not come to answer the Lord the King in a plea of trespass whereof he was indicted, 1s.
William Chere indicted and outlawed for trespass by pledge of William Wode 20s.
Issues of the lands and tenements of the aforesaid Abbot Henry, because he did not come to answer William Hasewalle in a plea of debt 3s.
Issues of the lands and tenements of the aforesaid abbot because he did not come to answer the King for divers trespasses whereof he was indicted 2s.
Issues of the lands and tenements of the aforesaid abbot for the like with regard to William Hasewalle in a plea of deception (? decept), 4s. 4d.
Issues of the lands and tenements of the aforesaid Abbot Henry for the like with regard to the aforenamed William Hasewalle, 4s. 4d.
The same Abbot Henry for the like in a plea of debt with the aforenamed William, 1s.
The same Abbot Henry for the like in a plea of deception (decept') with the same William 1s.
Total: xxxvjs. viijd.—Petitioned for and allowed.
Petitions [fo. 46 (283)] of Thomas Kirkham, abbot, made and allowed in the seventeenth year of the said King Henry the Sixth [1438–9]: to wit,—
The township of Merton for the price of a staff (gestri) with
which Robert Brodefeld, a monk, was killed, price 6d.
The township of Weverham for the price of a stick with which Hugh Wotton was killed near Sondeway, price 2d.
John Brunley, because he did not prosecute his plea of detention of goods against Robert Chakley js.
Thomas Atkinson, because he did not prosecute his complaint in two pleas of debt against Robert Warton of Torperley, ijs.
Thomas Kirkham, abbot of Vale Royal, because he did not come to answer Matthew Broune, husband of the sister's daughter of John Borowes of Cholmonaston, and executor of the will of the said John in a plea of [blank] according as he had been attached, 1s.
Total viijs. viijd.—Petitioned for and allowed by . . . and Walshe, auditors of Chester, and in the time of Robert Bothe, sheriff of Chester.
Petitions of the said Abbot Thomas Kirkham in the 18th year
of the said King Henry the Sixth, and in the time of the
said Sir Robert Bothe, knight, sheriff of Chester, and
allowed by Richard Bedford the auditor: to wit,—
For the price of one stick with which Richard Hoton was killed, ½d.
William Bower of Overe for breach of agreement with William Troutbek, whereof he was convicted— 1s.
John Baxter of Ouer, because he did not prosecute his complaint against Robert Moreton— 1s.
Thomas Kirkham, the abbot aforesaid, for his cattle forfeited at the suit of William Haselwall, whereby he was attached in two pleas— ijs.
[Collection of Tithes.]
Constitution of Alexander of blessed memory, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. (fn. 8)
On account of the diversity of customs in collecting tithes for different churches there have frequently arisen between rectors of churches and their parishioners inopportune strivings and contentions, scandals and misunderstandings; we will that the collection of the tithes of the revenues of the churches shall be by one uniform method in all the churches throughout the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield. First therefore we will that tithes of the crops shall be paid without deduction of expenses, entirely and without any diminution, and [also] of tree-fruit, seeds and all garden produce, unless the parishioners make a sufficient composition (redempcionem) for such tithes. Further we will that tithes of hay, wheresoever it may be, whether in large meadows or small, shall be demanded and paid as may be convenient to the church. Of the increase of animals, to wit, of lambs, we will that for six lambs or less 6d. shall be given for a tithe, but the seventh lamb and above shall always be given for the tithe, provided that whenever the rector of a church receives the seventh lamb from a parishioner as a tithe, [he shall give] 3d. in recompense to him from whom he receives that tithe; if he receives an eighth he shall give a penny, and if he receives a ninth he shall give a halfpenny; or the rector of the church may wait till the next year, if he pleases, and then he shall have the full tithe; and because he waited, he shall always demand the second best lamb or the third at least of the lambs of the second year, and this for having waited the first year. And in the same way it is to be understood concerning the tithes of wool, but if the sheep are fed in one place in winter and in another place in summer, the tithe shall be divided. And if any one shall have kept sheep for part the time, or shall have sold them, and it is certain from what parish those sheep came, the tithe shall be divided as in the case of two domiciles. As to milk we will and appoint that the tithe shall be paid while it lasts, and of cheese in its season, and of milk in autumn and winter, unless the parishioners are willing to make a sufficient composition for such tithes, and this at the convenience of the church. Of the issues of mills . . . we will that tithes shall be exacted. From artificers, to wit, from merchants of the profit of their business, likewise from carpenters, plasterers, smiths, weavers, and all other workmen and wage-earners, tithes shall be demanded, unless those wage-earners will give some certain thing yearly to the light of the church or to the use of the church, if the rector of the church is willing. Concerning pastures and feedings, as well commons as not commons, we appoint that the tithes shall be faithfully paid, and according to the number of animals and days, as may be convenient to the church, provided nevertheless that the parishioners shall have no just occasion for complaining [fo. 46d (283d)]. Of fishings and bees, as of all other goods justly acquired, which renew themselves, we will and appoint that the tithe shall be demanded and duly [collected ?]. As to the exaction of a "principal bequest," we will that the custom of the province with the possession (possessione) of the church shall be observed; provided, nevertheless, that the rector of the church, or vicar or chaplain, shall have the lord's principal beast (? animus d'ni h'eat p'cicul' [sic]). But, since there are many people who are unwilling (fn. 9) to pay tithes, we appoint that parishioners shall be warned once, twice and three times, to pay their tithes faithfully to God and the church. Then, if they do not comply, they shall in the first place be suspended from entering the church, and then, if necessary, compelled to pay the churches by ecclesiastical judgment; but when they request release of suspension or absolution they shall be sent to the ordinaries of the place to be absolved and punished in due manner. And the rectors of churches, vicars or chaplains, who, setting the fear of God before them, do not thus effectually collect their tithes, by reason either of fear or favour of men, shall incur the penalty of suspension, until they have paid half a mark of silver to the archdeacon of the place.
The following documents have been copied on the blank leaves at the beginning of the Ledger-Book, as explained in the Introduction to the present volume.
Know [fo. 4 (241)] ye etc. that we, the abbot and convent of Vale Royal [by the] present [writing] drawn up [acknowledge that we have received] from Henry Russell and Richard de Kelshall for our tenements being in the city of Chester and demised to farm to them by a certain indenture, 8 marks sterling in which they were bound to us for all times past up to the feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord in the year 1338[–9], of the which 8 marks [we acknowledge] ourselves to be paid, and the said Henry and Richard to be quit in form [aforesaid]. In witness whereof to these presents we have affixed our seals. Given at Vale Royal on the day aforesaid.
Item, he had another (? an' a) acquittance of the same tenor for two years, the date of which is on the feast of the Purification [? p'is], A.D. 1339 [c'. xxxix].
Deed of the corrody of John de Trentam.
Know all men etc. that we, Brother Robert, abbot of Vale Royal, and the convent of the same place, have given etc. to John de Trentam a corrody of bread and ale and a pittance for all the life of the same John for his service to be rendered to us and our successors, to wit, one loaf of convent bread and one black loaf called a kibett, and one flagon of convent ale to be received every day at our cellar, and as a pittance one dish to be reasonably cut up in the kitchen for the members of our household, and one gown every year of the suit of the . . . office of our house; and the same John shall serve us in the office of parker so long as he shall be able (qm' da concede . . . poterit) in return for the corrody and gown aforesaid. And if the same John, by reason of old age or infirmity, be disabled altogether from performing the said service, he nevertheless shall have the room assigned to him so long as he shall live, but the gown above-specified he shall not receive during his said infirmity or weakness, but [shall receive] by special grace as shall seem most expedient to us and our successors. And if the said John shall offend (derit) in the said office he shall make fitting amends to the house in accordance with the degree of his fault. And we bind ourselves and our successors to give and deliver the corrody and robe aforesaid, in manner and form abovesaid . . . In witness whereof etc. A.D. 1349 [c'. xlix].
Deed of the corrody of John, son of Robert le Fisher of Weverham.
Know all men etc. Brother Robert, abbot of Vale Royal, etc. have given to John, son of Robert le Fisher of Weverham, for the whole of his life a corrody to be received every week on the Saturday from our cellar at . . . in the manner following, to wit, seven loaves of white convent bread and an equal number [of black loaves] called kybectes, and seven flagons of convent ale, provided that the said John for this corrody shall well and faithfully keep our woods of Weverham and le Henwode [so long] as he may be able, and when the aforesaid John, by reason of infirmity or extreme old age, shall no longer be able to serve in the aforesaid office . . . (fn. 10)
[The King's gift of Wine.]
In the account of the Chamberlain of Chester for the term of St. Michael the Archangel 9 Henry VII , among other things, it is thus contained:
And for 108 casks of wine received from the prise of wine, as well of the red Gascon wine as of the sweet, from divers ships putting in to the port of Burton, whereof the Prince, as Earl of Chester, has of ancient custom two casks from every native ship putting in to the port aforesaid, for this year as appears more fully set forth in the same account under the heading of "Prise and Custom of Wines for this year."
The same chamberlain accounts in delivery to the abbot of Vale Royal for two casks of wine by virtue of divers charters, made as well by Edward, late Prince of Wales, as by his predecessors, formerly Earls of Chester, to the same abbot and his successors [fo. 4d (241d)], of two casks of wine to be received every year in frankalmoin of the prise of wine of the city of Chester, to wit, for the same alms this year by custom. Two casks of wine have been accustomed to be allowed in previous accounts, to wit, in the sixth year two casks, in the seventh year two casks, and in the eighth year two casks of wine are due to the aforenamed abbot beyond the two casks of wine retained in the said abbot's manor for the year to come. (fn. 11)
[Income and Expenses in 1336.]
Moot [fo. 5 (242)] concerning the taxation of the rents of Vale Royal made before the commissioners of the King, A.D. 1336.
To the reverend father in Christ and Lord, the Lord Abbot of Morimonde, (fn. 12) Brother Peter, Lord Abbot of Vale Royal, greeting, reverence and honour. By these present letters we declare unto you, reverend father, that the state of our monastery aforesaid of Vale Royal, as regards annual value and capacity of rents, and as regards charges, also as regards the number of religious to be put there, is as follows, according to the deposition of officers of the said monastery sworn upon the subject, in the presence of Brother Bernard de Laudun, monk of Clairvaux:
First, as regards property and rents. In the grange of Conewardesley there are two carucates of land, which are worth 30s. a year, with a certain wood. Also there is a pasture there for sheep and other animals, worth 60s. a year. Also of the rents of tenants there, 50s. by the year. Also in the grange of Bradeford there are 3 carucates of land, worth £4 a year, and pasture for all the animals of the said grange in one wood, which [pasture] is worth 20s. a year. Also there is one mill there worth 53s. 4d. a year. Also in the grange of Bieurepeir or of Knythtes, three carucates of land worth £4 a year, and the pasture there is worth 30s. a year. Also in the grange of Merton there is one carucate of land worth 12s. 4d. a year, and the pasture there is worth 6s. 8d. a year, and the rents of tenants belonging to the said grange £4, 18s. a year. Also in the grange of Twemelowe, of the rents of tenants and newly tilled lands there, with one mill, worth £9, 8s. a year. Also in the grange of Moresbarwe there are two carucates of land, with a meadow and a small wood, worth 40s. a year.
Also in the city of London annual rents of 40s. Also in the city of Chester, of the rents of certain tenements, with perquisites of court there, 41s. Also in the salt-pans in Northwich, which are worth £4, 13s. 4d. a year.
Also in the manor of Dernehale there are six carucates of land, worth £12 a year. Also there are three mills there, worth £10 a year. Also of the perquisites of the court of the said manor, and of the goods of villeins at death [decedentium] there, worth 60s. a year. Also in the manor of Weverham there are three carucates of land, with the pasture of one wood, worth £6 a year. Also there is one mill there worth £6, 12s. 4d. Also of the rents of villeins and free tenants there by the year £20. Also of the perquisites of the court of the said manor and the stallage thereof 13s. 4d. a year.
Also of the church of Kirkham, by taxation, £53, 6s. 8d. a
year, besides the portion of the vicar and the archdeacon of
Richmond. Also of the church of Frodesham, £24. Also of
the church of Weverham £12 a year. Also of the church of
Castelton in the Peak, worth £12 a year.
Total: £248, 17s.
Now the charges incumbent on the monastery are these:
First in farms and fees to clerks and esquires for defence of the
monastery by the year £30. Also to the abbot of Chester for
certain tithes of two of the churches abovesaid, by the year £4.
Also in receiving of guests and in otherwise providing for the
justices and other ministers of the lord of the country, by the
year £60. Also in gifts, damages and contributions, by the
year £50. Also in wages of the servants of the abbey by the
year £16. Also in journeys on horseback for the business of the
house for the abbot and other officers, by the year £21. Also
in maintenance (resumptionibus) of all the granges, repair of the
houses, with the harvest and collection of tithes, by the year £20.
And the total remainder of the receipts: £48, 17s.
out of which 20 monks with the abbot can hardly be maintained according to the poor way of living in the district.
In witness whereof we have thought fit to affix our [seal] to the presents. Given 4 Ides of May [4 May], A.D. 1336.
But you should bear in mind, reverend father, that in our said monastery we have one very large church, commenced by the King of England at our first foundation, but by no means finished. For at the first foundation he built it with stone walls, but the vaults remain to be built, with the roof and the glass and other ornaments of the church. Moreover the cloister, chapterhouse, dormitory, refectory and other offices of the monastery, still remain to be built in a style corresponding with the church; for the accomplishment of which the rents of our house are not sufficient. And this we have written to you, in order that you may know that, if there should remain anything over from our expenses, it should all be applied to the work above indicated.
[Debts of the Abbey.]
Be it remembered [fo. 5d (242d)] that in the year etc. 1340, and in the first year of the creation of Robert de Cheyneston the abbot, which was celebrated towards the end of the year and in lordly wise, the same Robert found his house in debt, acknowledged and unacknowledged, £20. The same abbot found his granges of Knythtes, Bradeford and Hefferton burnt down, with all the corn that was in them at the time; and so the same abbot was obliged to buy corn from that time until harvest-time. The same abbot was indicted, moreover, before the escheator Richard de Merton concerning 12 burgages in Over, and the land of Robert Hykedon, etc., acquired without licence, concerning which he made a fine with the Earl of Chester, £10, and he had his charter of licence for the same confirmed, and the trepass pardoned. Afterwards a number of his servants and certain monks were falsely etc. indicted for the death of Robert Hykes and John Bulderdog, for which they made a fine £10 and suit to the Court for Pleas, £10.
Moreover the same abbot repaired all the granges aforesaid and the weirs of Darnale; the choir of the church and the north part of the church he covered with lead, all which is estimated to have cost in hard cash, besides the timber, £100. Also, in a plea of the church of Kirkham against the abbot of Shrewsbury, he spent £ . . . [sic]. And afterwards he made a fine with the said abbot for £100. These things were done in the first and second years of his rule. In the third year of his rule he bought corn to the actual value of £40, and he had the mill of Kirkham made for £13.
[The death of Abbot Peter.]
Be it remembered that on the Ides of February [13 Feb.], A.D. 1344[–5], in the monastery of Vale Royal, Thomas de Venables, Alan son of Alan le Noreys, William son of Ralph de Bostok, Robert son of Thomas de Acton and Roger de Hulgreue, present in person, satisfied the abbot and convent of the said monastery for the death of Lord Peter, the late abbot, and Brother Walter le Walche, a monk of the said monastery, and for other trespasses and injuries inflicted upon the said abbot and convent and their monastery, in this manner: to wit, that the aforesaid Thomas, Alan, William, Robert and Roger, will do and procure to and for the said abbot and convent now in being, and for the time to come, and their monastery, all the good which they can do and procure, as well in the persons of themselves and their tenants, as in all their goods and chattels whatsoever, so long as they shall live. Each of them, moreover, will give so long as they shall live, every year on the day of the death of the aforesaid Lord Abbot Peter, unless they be lawfully prevented (and, if so prevented, then on another day in the same year), two pounds of wax to the light of Blessed Mary of the monastery aforesaid. And to do the same faithfully and observe them firmly, the aforesaid Thomas, Alan, William, Robert and Roger, having touched the holy gospels, took their corporal oath in the presence of the venerable father Roger, Lord Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, (fn. 13) the abbot and convent of the said monastery, and other trustworthy witnesses.
The following documents have been copied on the blank leaves at the end of the Ledger-Book, although belonging, by their nature, to Part II.
A jury [fo. 57d(294d)] was taken at Lampadervaur on Saturday next before the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary in the 12th year of the reign of King Edward [12 Aug. 1284], before Robert de Staundone and Richard de Pullesdone, justices of the King, between William de Estame, parson of the church of Lampedervaur, plaintiff, and Hoel ap Kedynor ap Heylyn and others in the original writ contained, deforciants.
The jury came to recognize whether thirty-two carucates of land, with their appurtenances, lying between the river (ripariam of Rydaul and the river of Claraught in Lampadervaur, (fn. 14) are frank almoin belonging to the church of Lampadervaur, of which the aforesaid [William] is parson [fo. 58 (295)] or the lay fee of the aforesaid Hoel and the others in the original writ contained. And thereupon the aforesaid William says that Thomas, abbot of Gloucester, formerly parson of the said church, his predecessor, was seised of the said tenements as of frank almoin belonging to his church aforesaid in time of peace in the time of King Richard etc., and thereupon he complains that the aforesaid Hoel and the others in the writ contained unjustly deforced him therefrom, the which tenements the ancestors of the aforesaid Hoel and of the others occupied in time of war. And the aforesaid Hoel and the others come and say that the aforesaid tenements with their appurtenances, and also with suits of courts and all other liberties to the same tenements belonging, are a lay fee and not frank almoin belonging to the church aforesaid. And they say that their ancestors from time immemorial were seised of the tenements aforesaid with their appurtenances, and the liberties aforesaid, as of their lay fee; and concerning this they put themselves upon the jury.
And the jurors disagreed. The parties were asked if they wished a jury to be taken by other jurors, to which they agreed. And therefore the sheriff was ordered to cause a better jury to come. And therefore the jury aforesaid was put in respite until Saturday next after the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the year aforesaid etc. [16 Sept.].
On which day the aforesaid William and the others come, and the aforesaid Hoel and the others in the writ [contained] say that they will not make answer to this writ, and they demand a day according to the law of Hoel Da; and being asked several times if they wish to object anything else against the jurors, they say No. Let the jury be taken etc. The jurors say upon their oath that the aforesaid tenements with their appurtenances, and also with all their liberties aforesaid, are frank almoin belonging to the aforesaid church of Lampader-vaur, of which the said William is parson, and not the lay fee of the aforesaid Hoel and the others in the writ contained. And therefore it is considered that the aforesaid William shall recover his seisin of the aforesaid tenements with their appurtenances and liberties as of frank almoin belonging to his church aforesaid of Lampader-vaur; and the aforesaid Hoel and the others in mercy etc.
Edward, by the grace of God King of England and Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine, to his well-beloved and trusty Walter de Peterton, his justiciar of West Wales, greeting. We send you a transcript of the record and proceedings of a certain jury lately taken upon our writ before Robert de Staundone and Richard de Puellesdone, our justices appointed for that purpose, between William de Estame, parson of the church of Lampader-vaur, and Hoel ap Kedynor and others etc. Dated at Stebenheth 16 May in the 27th year of our reign .