Pleas and evidences: Fos. 7-20

Pages 24-37

The Ledger Book of Vale Royal Abbey. Originally published by Manchester Record Society, Manchester, 1914.

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In this section

PART II - Pleas and Evidences

Fo. 7.

[Forest Liberties]

Edward, (fn. 1) &c., to Richard Doun, Keeper of our forest of Mara and Mondrem, or his lieutenant in the same, greeting. Whereas, according to the proclamation made in the eyre of our forest aforesaid before our well-beloved and faithful Tho. de Ferrers and his associates, our justices in eyre this time for pleas of our forest at Chester in our county aforesaid, the abbot of Vale Royal came by his attorney before our same justices, and there set forth his claim, asserting that he and his predecessors have had, and he and his successors ought to have, a moor and stew (vivarium) called Okmere, with the appurtenances; also pasture, and his reasonable estovers, with other easements, in our forest aforesaid; and a quarry and other things which may be necessary for constructing and maintaining the buildings in the abbey aforesaid, and for making glass; (fn. 2) and that their men and tenants of the manors of Dernhale, Weverham, and Conewardsley shall have their pasture with other easements in our forest aforesaid, as they were accustomed to have in the time of Earl Randolph and of other former lords of Chester; and that all their lands and tenements, and the lands and tenements of their men and tenants, as well in wood as in plain, are deafforested and entirely outside the power of the foresters, verdurers, regarders, agisters and all other bailiffs and ministers of our forest aforesaid; and that he and his successors may make their own profit at their own pleasure, whensoever and as often as it shall seem expedient to them, and that they may assart their woods, and hold them again in cultivation to them and their successors for ever, without any impediment from us or our heirs, or any others our ministers whomsoever; and that they shall have their bee-keeper in our forest aforesaid, as Randolph, Earl of Chester, and the other lords of Chester, were accustomed to have; and that they shall have their reasonable estover in the soil, housbold and haybold, for their manor of Merton: The which claim having been looked into, declared and determined before our aforenamed justices, and an inquisition according to the assize of the forest taken thereupon, our aforenamed justices proceeded to the allowance of the said claim. Wherefore we command you that you permit the aforenamed abbot to receive and have the profits and liberties contained in his claim aforesaid according to the allowance of his claim aforesaid, without impediment from you or from any of your ministers whomsoever. Saving always our right and all other things, which belong to us and our forest aforesaid according to the assize of the forest, and this you shall by no means neglect. Witness: Thomas de Ferrers, our justiciar of Chester, at Mackelesfeild on the second day of September in the 22nd year of the reign of King Edward our father, King of England, and the 9th year of his reign in France [1348].

The King, etc. [fo. 12 (249)], to his beloved John Doune, master forester of the forest of Mara, greeting. Whereas by our charter we lately confirmed to our beloved in Christ, the abbot and convent of the monastery of the Blessed Mary of Vale Royal, the which house is of the foundation of us and our progenitors, certain liberties which we will the said abbot and convent shall use and enjoy in all and singular their particulars, as in the charter aforesaid more fully is contained, we command you not to molest nor hinder the aforesaid abbot and convent, or their servants, nor suffer them to be hindered through you, from using and enjoying their liberties aforesaid in your bailiwick freely and without impediment, according to the form of our confirmation of the aforesaid charters of the abbot and convent. Witness myself at Chester on the fourth day of May in the 21st year of our reign [1443].

"An other of the same verbatim dated" the twenty-fourth day of May in the twenty-ninth year of the reign of King Henry the Sixth [1451].

Fo. 9.

[Taxation of the Abbey.]

Taxation of the temporalities of Vale Royal, £68, 17s. 1d.; the tithe thereof. £6, 17s. 8½d.
The church of Frodesham 36 marks; the tithe. 48s.
The church of Weverham 18 marks; the tithe. 2 marks.
The church of Castelton 18 marks; the tithe. 24s.
The church of Kirkham 80 marks; the tithe 8 marks.
The church of Lampaderuaur 100 marks as concerns the King; tithe 10 marks.
and as concerns all other things it is taxed at 28 marks—
Sum total of the tithe £23, 16s. 4½d.


Richard del Halle took to farm the mill of Onston from the feast of St. Michael A.D. 1[3]37 to the same feast in the following year, for 40 quarters of corn for the servants, well winnowed and clean (p' m' sā' Eng' de effrest' (sic) ?= by English measure . . .) at the four terms of the year, to wit, the feasts of Christmas, the Annunciation, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and St. Michael, in equal portions; and two good mill-stones and one mark of silver at the feast of St. Martin in Winter; and he will do the works of the miller and all the works connected with the mill in timber, and roofing of houses and fencing, and also to the pond, which works are not to exceed 12d. Pledges of the said Richard del Halle: Roland de Worath, Robert Fisher the younger, Roger de Aston, Honde Willamessone, William his brother, Jack Fysher.

The Weirs.

Be it remembered that Robert, son of John le Fysser, took the weirs of Warford and Sortfeld at the bounds of the vill of Weuerham for 48 strikes of eels and 12 large eels yearly; and he will make the aforesaid weirs at his own cost, and the abbot will find the timber by livery of the cellarer; and all the fish taken therein he will sell to the abbot in preference to other people; and if he do not do this, he shall forfeit [ad q' fa' (sic)] his aforesaid term. And he found pledges, to wit, the underwritten: Roger de Aston, Thomas son of Roger, Robert the Clerk and John son of John.

[The Ditch to the Weaver.]

Be it remembered that from the convent grange to the water of Wever there are 109 rods, each rod 6d. Total . . . Paid to John Cruwe and his fellows for ditching the same 54s. 9d., besides one quarter of wheat and 5 strikes of [blank] by courtesy.

Fo. 10.

[Kings of England.]

These are the names [fo. 12d (249d)] of the Christian Kings fo. 10. of England from the time of St. Augustine, Apostle of the English, until the present time:

Alfred first reigned 21 years. Edward reigned 23 years. Adreston reigned 24 years. Edmund, his brother, reigned 6 years. Edwyn reigned 4 years. Edred reigned 9 years. (fn. 3) Saint Edward reigned 2 years. Aldred Hundred reigned 38 years. Edmund Hyrenynsyde reigned 1 year. Knowt Kyyr' reigned 24 years. Harald Harefot reigned 4 years and 6 months. St. Edward reigned 24 years. Harald, who lost England, reigned 9 months. William the Bastard reigned 21 years. William Ruffe, his son, reigned 13 years. Henry the First reigned 35 years. Stephen reigned 19 years. [Henry the Second] (fn. 4) reigned 36 years. Richard, his son, reigned 9½ years. John, his brother, reigned 16 years. Henry the Third reigned 56 years. Edward, his son, reigned 35 years. Edward, his son, reigned 19 years. Edward the Third, his son.

Fo. 12.


These (fn. 5) are the bond tenants of the manor of Dernehale, and ought to do carriage for the lord with sack and pricke [? pack] (ou saac e pricke) through Cheshire:
Auard le Bykere, Baldewyn Sabyn, Elyot Emmesone, Wille de Lytell, Inge Howell, Holle the Fremon, Ric' Temere Wyt, Joh' fil' Emmesone, Hugh Falke, Dony de Henull.
And these are the 'cotyeres' of Dernehale:
Gibbe Laueroc, Wilke Ackornedocke, Ric' Crowebryd, Will' the Rowede, Aubyn Fyllessone.

Memorandum of the pieces [? pecc'] received from the underwood (de bosco subt'aneo) of the Park of Dernehale by Robert Cheyneston (fn. 6) A.D. 1337—£14, 11s. Spent in a ditch made round the Park of Dernehale, beginning at a place called Assebroke and continuing round to the same place of Assebrock, with fixing of the paling, £14, 11s. for 309 rods reckoned by the greater hundred.


Be it remembered [fo. 13 (250)] that in A.D. 1347 Sir Roger le Har', chaplain, as seised of the manor of Dutton with the appurtenances, did his fealty on the morrow of St. Mark the Evangelist in his manor, and acknowledged that he holds six bovates of land in the vill of Dutton from the manor of Weuerham by doing suit when summoned to special courts at Weuerham, and those who dwell in the said six bovates will make an appearance once a year for the assize made; and if they can acquit themselves they shall be quit; but, if not, they shall do it [blank] for one sore sparrow-hawk and 2s. only at the feast of St. John the Baptist.

Fo. 13.


Know all men present, who shall see or hear these letters, to whom Brother Peter, abbot of Vale Royal, and the convent of that place wish everlasting salvation in the Lord, that we, for us and our successors have remitted, released and for ever quitclaimed Adam le Fox with all his offspring from all conditions of villeinage for ever. Wherefore we will etc. that the aforesaid Adam and all his offspring shall be free and of free condition without any challenge from us or our people for ever. In witness whereof etc. Given at Vale Royal on the feast of St. Gregory the Pope 1329 [12 March 1329–30].

Also Peter, Abbot of Vale Royal, and the convent of that place granted the same letter of the same tenor to William Lycorys in the same year.

Also the same letter to Henry Hondekyn the cook, son of Henry the cook, for 2 marks.

Also Honde, son of William de Mulleton, whose mother was the lord's bondwoman in the manor of Dernehale, has the same for 30s.

Also Adam Cay, brother of the same Hondekyn, has the same for 20s.

Also Robert, son of John del Wro, our bond tenant of Dernehale, has the same.

Also at the petition of Thomelyn de Wetenhale and Richard de Wetenhale the Abbot manumitted Hondekyn, son of John de Wro, who publicly confessed he was the lord's bondman before the abbot and cellarer and subprior in the abbot's . . . [blank] on the feast of the holy martyrs Marcellinus and Peter [2 June] in the year 1337.


Know all men present etc. that we, Peter, abbot of Vale Royal, and the convent of the same place, have given etc. to Richard, son of Ralph de Bradeford, for his maintenance for the whole of his life, a corrody of bread and convent ale, to wit, one loaf of white convent bread with 'Kybect' and one flagon of the better ale each day, to be received from the aforesaid abbey, to be delivered to the said Richard or his duly appointed servant without delay or neglect twice every week; for the which corrody of bread and ale, granted in form as aforesaid, the aforesaid Ralph de Bradeford has given to us 2½ burgages in the vill of Muriffeld and all the land which Roger Carpenter formerly held, with a warranty of the same. And we bind us and our successors faithfully to keep and observe all these things, with distraint of all our movable goods, etc. Given in the year 1330.

In the same manner and form a grant was made to Ralph de Codynton.

In the same manner a grant was made to Henry Mousz, his companion, who was surnamed Russel; and he has letters in which it was contained that he should never be ungrateful to the abbot and convent and the men [?]. . . .


John, son of John de Weuerham, has a letter of manumission from Abbot Robert for 40s., and he surrendered the land which he held into the lord's hand. It is enrolled in the court of Weuerham in the year 1340.

Fo. 14.


Know etc. [fo. 13d (250d)] that I, Richard de Merton, have given etc. to Stephen my son, and his heirs, one capital messuage, which John le Fatte held from me at farm, with the buildings and gardens, set out and to be set out, as the bounds go round them (criūūt), and one assart, which the said John le Fatte formerly held from me at farm, and another assart, which at that time Henry de Monilegh held from me at farm, then newly assarted, and another assart called le Holrenbarwe, and another assart in le Hey, as the ditches and hedges surround the same. To have and to hold etc., rendering to the said chief lords of that fee the services that shall be due therefrom and of right accustomed. In witness whereof etc. These being witnesses: Randolph de Merton, Robert Daa, Thomas his brother, William, son of Robert le Growenor, John the Clerk and many others.


To all men present, etc. Randolph, Earl of Chester and Lincoln, greeting. Know ye etc. that I have given etc. to Robert, son of Thurstan de Wodeford, for his homage and service, one croft of land called Wodeford, with all the appurtenances, which the aforesaid Thurstan his father held of me, from Assebroke as far as the ditch of Bruere in length, and in breadth from the ford of Vernun to the cultivated land (cultura) of Smaldene. To have and to hold etc. Rendering therefor yearly 5s. and one "reasonable" pig, to be paid, that is to say, 2s. 6d. at Christmas and 2s. 6d. at the feast of St. John the Baptist, and at the feast of St. Martin the said pig, for all services and exactions whatsoever; for the which pig he shall be quit for the pannage of his own pigs in the wood [a word gone]. And I will warrant etc. These being witnesses: Philip de Orreby, then justiciar of Chester, Richard son of Lydulf, Richard de Kingsley, Joceran de Helesby, Richard de Kaswrth [Kagworth], Peter de Frodesham, Richard de Arderne, Simon the Clerk and many others.

Randolph, Earl of Chester and Lincoln, to all men present etc. Know ye that I have given etc. to Robert, son of Turstan de Wodeford, for his homage and service certain land, with its appurtenances, within these bounds: to wit, from Wyldemareford to Heppedene in breadth, and from Heppedene to le Wytesyche in length, and from Witesich to the road of Wyldemarefort; and in exchange for his meadows of Wodefordd occupied for my stew of Dernhale. To have and to hold, etc., rendering therefor and for the land of Wodeford yearly 5s. and one pig etc. (fn. 7) In witness whereof etc. These being witnesses: Philip de Orreby, then justiciar of Chester, William de Malpas, Richard de Sondbach, then sheriff of Cheshire, Richard de Kingesley, Peter de Frodesham, Stephen de Merton, Robert Grosvenor, William de Weure, Godfrey de la Lawe, Roger de London, Peter the Earl's Clerk, William de Wode, Robert . . . [c. 1225].

Be it remembered that Philip de Egerton did homage to the abbot of Vale Royal in the year 1329 in the court of Oure, and acknowledged his services for the manor of Wodeford, which he holds from the lord abbot, to wit, that he holds the said manor for homage and fealty and 5s. yearly at the feasts of Christmas and St. John the Baptist, and one "reasonable" pig at the feast of St. Martin, and one appearance at the eyres every year at the court of Ouer, and for (p[ro]) pigs.

[Bondmen as Burgage-holders.]

Be it remembered that in the year 1329, on the feast of St. Gregory the Pope [12 March 1329–30] the Abbot Peter took from Randolph son of John, surnamed Horlepot, one burgage, because bond tenants cannot hold free land. Afterwards, of his kindness of heart, he gave the said Randolph 10s. and the said burgage, paying 4s. a year to the abbot. And the aforesaid abbot received from Richard le Dunne half a burgage, because he was a bondman.

[The Abbot of Dore.]

Be it remembered [fo. 14 (251)] that in the year 1329 an agreement was made between the abbot of Dore, visitor of the monastery of the Blessed Mary of Vale Royal, and the abbot of the said monastery of Vale Royal, to wit, that whensoever it should please the said abbot of Dore to visit the said monastery of Vale Royal for reason of necessity or reformation, or on any occasion [? crortuni'tts], the said abbot of Dore should receive from the said abbot of Vale Royal, for his expenses in journeying thither and thence, 33s. 4d., and the chaplain of the said abbot of Dore, as a guerdon, 3s. 4d., and every attendant of the said abbot of Dore, as a guerdon, 1s. etc.

Fo. 15.

[The Bondmen of Darnhall.]

Be it remembered that in the year 1329, and in the third year of the reign of King Edward [the Third] after the Conquest, the bondmen of the manor of Dernehale plotted maliciously against their lords, the Abbot Peter and the convent of Vale Royal, and they all assembled together at night in a place called Cunbbestyl, and declared against (confringentes) the liberty of the aforesaid house, [saying] that they would not grind at the lord's mill of Dernehale, and that it was not lawful for the abbot to punish them for any offence, except by the assessment of their neighbours. They asserted, moreover, that it was lawful for them to let their lands to farm to any free man for a period of three years, without licence from the lord; and finally they denied that they were the abbot's bondmen. Wherefore at a court held at Merton (? M'th) on Friday the feast of St. John before the Latin Gate [6 May] (fn. 8) Thomas de Erdeswyke, then the abbot's steward, the abbot himself being present in court, accused all the bondmen of the aforesaid trespasses. And they all, with one accord, rose against the lord in court, and flew to arms; but a great number of them were induced, by pardon in the court itself, to submit themselves entirely to the lord's grace. Nevertheless, ten of them were found rebels, to wit, Henry, son of Roger, Pynperpoint, John, son of Richard Parker, John Christian, Robert Janekoc, Waren Horne, William Horn, Geffe Dony, Adam Lychekyn, Richard Holden [and] Robert his brother. These were all put in shackles in the court at Weuerham, until they acknowledged their fault, and submitted themselves wholly to the lord's grace. And the abbot seized all their goods, and had all their cattle driven to the abbey. Afterwards all the bondmen [came] together at the manor of Dernehale on the Friday next after the feast of St. John before the Latin Gate in the second (fn. 9) year, in the presence of Abbot Peter, Thomas de Erdeswyke, the steward, John de Oldynton, Randolph, his son and heir, [the said John being] then sergeant of the peace, and Randolph de Bradeford, and pledged all their goods to the lord abbot, at his mercy, for the abovesaid trespasses, and offered him £10. And the said abbot, being moved to pity, released £6 out of those £10, and received from them £4 on the feasts of St. Peter ad Vincula and the Nativity of the Blessed Mary in equal portions. And thus, acknowledging their wickedness, and being hemmed in by the lord in all things, these discomfited servants were restored to their own.

Also be it remembered that Hondekyn, son of Randolph de Holden, on the day and year abovesaid, not willing to obey the lord, fled with all his cattle etc. Afterwards the said Hondekyn was taken and imprisoned in the prison of Weuerham. And he pledged to the lord for that trespass 100s., out of which the abbot took 40s. on the feasts of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary and of St. Martin next etc.

[Tithes of Edale.]

Be it remembered [fo. 14d (251d)] that in the year 1328 the prior of Lenton claimed a tithe of the cattle fed in Eydale of the stock of the Lady the Queen; and the Abbot of Vale Royal refused it, and addressed the following petition to the Queen: (fn. 10)

To the most honourable lady, our Lady the Queen Isabel. The abbot of Vale Royal prays that of your grace, for the love of God and of holy Church, you will grant him a letter to Raffe, your bailiff of the Peak, that he should deliver the tithe of Eydale, which is in his parish of Chastelton in the Peak, whereof he has always been seised.

Here follow the proceedings had thereupon:

Whereas the abbot of Vale Royal, as rector of the church of Castelton, has petitioned our Lady Isabella, by the grace of God Queen of England, Lady of the castle and honour of the High Peak, that she would order her bailiff of the High Peak to deliver to the same abbot the tithe of the cattle of the said Queen, bred and fed in Eydale, which is in his parish, and that he has hitherto always received the tithes of all domestic cattle bred there as the right of his church, [as] by his petition aforesaid [appears]. And thereupon the aforesaid Lady the Queen commanded Ralph de Spaynyngue, her bailiff of the High Peak by her letter of command in these words: (fn. 11)

Isabel, by the grace of God Queen of England, Lady of Ireland and Countess of Ponthieu, to Raufe Despa'ngne, our bailiff of the High Peak, greeting. We send you herein enclosed the petition of our wellbeloved in God, the abbot of Vale Royal, touching certain tithes belonging to his church of Castelton, of which he and his predecessors have always been seised, so he says. And we command you, on the arrival of the said petition, to enquire by inquest or otherwise, in order best to ascertain the truth, whether the said abbots and their predecessors have always from time immemorial been seised of the said tithes in right of their said church; and, if so, to deliver to him the tithes mentioned in the said petition. And, if you find that they have not been seised of the tithes in right of their church abovesaid, and if they ought not by right to have them, you shall certify us by your letters of what you have found, returning to us also these our letters. And this you shall in nowise omit. Dated on the second day of October in the second year of the reign of King Edward, our dear son [1328].

And the aforesaid letter being read in a full court held at Castelton on Wednesday next after the feast of St. Lucy the Virgin in the second year of the reign of King Edward the Third after the Conquest [14 Dec. 1328], the aforesaid Ralph caused to be summoned before him the men underwritten, to wit, Gervase le Gardiner, Robert le Tayllour, Peter Norreis, Adam le Gardiner, William Note, William, son of Ote de Hope, John son of Tele, John Bithkirkoyrthe, John Balgy, Roger Herring, Robert de la Halle and Roger de Thornhulle, who were sworn. And it was asked them to whom the tithe aforesaid belonged and of right ought to belong, and they say upon their oath that the abbot of Vale Royal ought of right to have the tithe aforesaid, and that he and his predecessors, rectors of the same church, have been seised of the said tithe from time immemorial as a right pertaining to their church of Castelton, and still are so seised; wherefore he delivered to the same abbot the tithe aforesaid according to the tenor of the command aforewritten, to wit, two calves and for every cow 1d. In the same year Walter Waltesch' delivered his tithe to the abbot's proctor, to wit, John de Halle,—two calves and for every cow 1d.

Fo. 18.

[The Church of Kirkham.]

Be it remembered that in the year of our Lord 1337, and in the eleventh year of the reign of King Edward the Third after the Conquest, Sir William de Clifton, knight, because Peter, abbot of Vale Royal, refused to sell him the tithes coming from the lordship of Clifton and Westby at his pleasure (to wit, for 20 marks), maliciously inflicted the following injuries upon him and his church of Kirhaham (sic).

First the said knight [fo. 15 (252)], in the chapter of the monastery of Vale Royal, in the presence of the abbot and convent in solemn assembly publicly bound himself as a brother of that house, and not long afterwards, to the hurt of his soul, he falsely broke his oath. And again, he detained 20 marks, in which he was bound in writing to the abbot and convent, that thus he might unjustly burden them with expense and trouble. And whereas, from time immemorial, all the parishioners of Kirkham are bound to carry the tithes of their sheaves from the fields to their barns, and there keep them safely till they are fetched by the rector's servants, the aforesaid knight, in contempt of the church, wickedly left his tithes and the tithes of his tenants to waste away and to rot, and on many occasions drove off the collectors of the tithes by violence; and he obliged the rector's cart, laden with hay, to stand for a month and more in the field, and out of the rector's draught-horse he mockingly made a hunting palfrey for himself. Moreover, he dared wickedly to detain the tithes of his calves, doves, conies, orchards, hunting and hawking, nor would he suffer the proctors of the church to enter his . . . [blank] to collect the rector's debts, except at peril of their lives. But, with a crowd of followers, he irreverently entered the sanctuary of God, and terrified the priests and clerks there with insults and threats, so that for some time he most damnably hindered the celebration of divine service. Moreover the aforenamed knight would not suffer his tenants, notoriously living in carnal sin, to be corrected or summoned before the ordinaries, nor to be punished in any way by other ministers of the church. In contempt, also, of the church, he had his infant baptized elsewhere than at the font of the parish church. In addition to this the aforesaid knight caused Thomas, the abbot's clerk, being in the vill of Preston, to be beaten to bloodshed, and approved and justified it before a number of persons standing round. And a number of people were assenting and consenting to these things, which, as I have said above, were done by this knight. Their names are as follows: Richard de Plumpton, Richard de Trefal, Henry his brother, Nicholas Catfort, William the Reeve, William son of Jordan, John Deuee, William Sictor, William his son, Robert Carter, John Garlegh, Adam, son of Thomas de Scalez, Richard Walker, William, son of William the Reeve, John son of Agnes, John Mydelar, Henry Thillan, Thomas son of Adekoc, William Rundell, Adam del Wodes, John le Reste, William de Mydelare, John son of Richard, William the Smith of Morhouse, Thomas de Wytacres, William, son of Roger Danays, Robert de Scyngulton, John Miller of Westby, Richard de Neuton, dwelling in Westby, and Alexander le Pynder of Clyfton, Adam le Harper, Thomas de Wolfall.

Then the aforesaid abbot, fearing that grave prejudice to him and his church would arise out of all these things, narrated the whole to the lord abbot of Westminster, guardian of the rights and privileges granted by the Apostolic see to the monks of the Cistercian order, demanding that he should provide some remedy. And the said lord abbot by his letters patent forthwith gave it in charge to the official of Richmond to cite the aforesaid knight, by apostolic authority, to appear in person before him at Westminster, together with all the above named persons. Which was done accordingly. And on the appointed day they did not appear, but contumaciously withheld themselves, and for their manifest contumacy in not coming they were all excommunicated.

At length, by the intervention of common friends, this dissension was settled in the following manner. The arbitrators on both sides, having obtained an oath from the parties to abide by their award after it should be given, and having examined and discussed the merits of the case, unanimously declared their judgment as follows: to wit, that the aforesaid knight should publicly, with his own voice, confess himself guilty of all the things above charged upon him, and should voluntarily submit himself and all his people above-named to the will and grace of the abbot, humbly begging pardon and absolution from him; and this was done accordingly. And the aforesaid arbitrators decreed, and enjoined upon the said knight in virtue of his oath, that he should forthwith pay to the abbot of Vale Royal the 20 marks in which he was bound to him by bond, which he reverently consented to do. They enjoined upon him, moreover, in like manner, to satisfy the abbot concerning all those things in which he was bound to him, as well as to tithes of corn destroyed by him as lesser tithes by him detained and occupied. The said arbitrators further decreed that the aforesaid knight should restore his cart to the abbot, with the draught horse, and likewise the tithe of calves, doves [fo. 15d (252d)], orchards, hawking and hunting of all kinds. And the aforesaid knight bound himself by his corporal oath before the aforenamed arbitrators to do all the aforesaid things without grudging, and swore that henceforth he would firmly abide by the mandates of the church; and for this he obtained the benefit of absolution in due form of law. Moreover the aforenamed knight promised that he would never rebel against the monastery of Vale Royal, or the church of Kirkham, but that, so long as he should live, he would maintain and defend it in its rights. Now the arbitrators on behalf of the abbey were William de Baldreston, rector of the church of St. Michael [on Wyre], and his brother Robert, rector of a certain other church, and Richard de Ewyas, a monk of Deulacre; and on behalf of the knight the arbitrators were William Laurence, John de Croston and Robert Mareys. The arbitrators decreed, moreover, that the knight should pledge 20s. to Thomas the Clerk, for the violence done to him, out of which he should pay him 40d.

All the other persons abovenamed, in place of penance, publicly carried a great wax candle, made at their joint expense, round the church on Palm Sunday, and offered to Blessed Michael, their patron. And they bound themselves by a solemn oath that they would never do any further evil against the church of Kyrkham. One of them, called Adam le Harper, swore to the abbot, as to his superior lord, that he would never rise against the church of Kyrkham nor the abbot. And the same thing was done by Thomas de Wolfall to the abbot in the monastery of Vale Royal.

Fo. 19.

Dere & worshipfull Sir & Maister I comawaund me to you with all myne entire hert desiryng gretly to her of your worshipfull estate the which God encrece and preserre; & if hit like to you to here of myne worship and welfare at the makyng of this lettur, I was in mendyng, louet be God. And forthermore as towchyng the lettre which yee senden mee, I haue wele understonden hit & as to the Kyrke of Kyrkeham I doe you to wete that Kyng Edward the furst purcheset the advowson of the same Chirch of oon Thegbald Butler be fyne oon the same advowson at Westminstre Beret & presentet diuerse parsons to the Forsaid Chirch, & afterward he gafe hit to the Abbot & the couent of Vale Roiall to hom & to horre successoures for euermore: the Copye of the which fyne Maister William Torfot ther present (fn. 12) has geten nowe at London. And as to the evidenses of the forsaid chirch, when Sr Jo: Stanley clamet the forsaid chirch at that tyme they weren right redy. And forthermore I consell you fully for to asspie what tyme that John Kokeyn, (fn. 13) oone of the justices of Lancastre, gose to Lancastre & mete with hym sumwhere by the waie. And make sum other twayne your attournes for fere lest he sue any writt upon you & recover be defaute; for securely & withouten dowte he has no more Right to that Chirch than I haue, for als myche as I knowe. Also I certifye you that I haue spoken with Maister Will: Torfot & consellet hym to go to the Archedeken of Richemonde & enforme hym of this presentment & praye hym that he admitt no nother therto. And [I pray] that yee wolden orden me sum money agaynest Aster, & that [yee] wolden be gode Lord to my cosyn John Starky. No more at this tyme, bot the Holy Goste haue you in kepynge.


  • 1. The Black Prince.
  • 2. The glass-making is referred to in 1284 (Cal. Close Rolls, 1279–88, pp. 26). Again in 1309 (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1307–13, p. 128). There are many other references to the building operations in these volumes, the names of the architects or master-masons being sometimes recorded (Cal. Close Rolls, 1272–9, p. 460; Deputy-Keeper's Report xxxvi, App. 483).
  • 3. Edgar is omitted.
  • 4. "Edward" crossed out in the MS., but no other name inserted.
  • 5. This is in French.
  • 6. Afterwards (1340) abbot.
  • 7. "As in the deed before."—H.
  • 8. This feast fell on Friday in 1328, the second year of Edw. III.
  • 9. Secundo—perhaps correcting the date first given.
  • 10. The petition is in French.
  • 11. In French.
  • 12. William Torfot became vicar of Kirkham in 1418, and the letter obviously refers to a dispute over his nomination.
  • 13. John Cokayne was a judge in the first quarter of the fifteenth century. He was one of the judges at Lancaster on several occasions; for example, in August, 1401, at which time Stephen, abbot of Vale Royal, had two suits about Kirkham (Pal. of Lanc. Plea Roll 1).