Westminster Abbey Charters, 1066 - C.1214 London Record Society 25. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1988.
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Stephen (nos. 105–21)
105. Writ of King Stephen, informing the bps., sheriffs, and officers in whose shires the almoner of Westminster holds lands, or tithes, that he has quitclaimed the lands and tithes of the abbey from pleas, and certain other actions and specified financial obligations, in the land of Paddington (Mddx.), Fanton (Essex) and Claygate (Surr.), and whatever the almoner held TRE in the wood of Ditton (Surr.), namely the third oak and common pasture, as he held it in the time of King Henry, and as King Edward's charter testifies, lest the archdeacon, sheriff or other officer should intrude on the monk-custodian. The grant is made for the souls of himself, his wife and their children; for the repose and redemption of his father; for the wellbeing of his mother, and for the soul of his uncle, King Henry. London [Dec. 1135 × 1137]
Note: It is remarkable that an archdeacon should have intruded in the matters listed here. At this period, the archdeacons of London, Mddx. and Essex were all members of the entrenched Belmeis dynasty (Fasti I, 9, 12–13, 15), and perhaps presumed to extend their own jurisdiction during the crisis in that of the bishopric of London, 1134–41 (ibid., 1–2). For King Edward's grants, see Sawyer, AngloSaxon Charters, nos. 1040, 1043, 1137.
106.* Writ of King Stephen ordering the sheriffs in whose shires the [minister of the] alms holds lands that the lands of [this minister] in Paddington (Mddx.), Fanton (Essex) and Claygate (Surr.) are to be quit of pleas, shire and hundred courts, and specified financial obligations. The abbey is to have whatever it held in the vill or wood of Ditton (Surr.), TRE or TRW, as the charters of those kings bear witness, namely the third oak and acre, and the third of all other things, as King Henry conceded by charter, lest anyone trespasses on the monk-custodian. [1135 × 1154]
Note: T. A. M. Bishop allows that this text may represent an instance of a genuine charter having been written by the beneficiary's scribe, but suggests that if so, 64 is modelled on it (SR, 8, 8n.). The present writ supplements 62–3 by stating that these privileges were confirmed in a charter of W I, as does the spurious 64, but there is no such grant among his genuine charters, and the writs of H I and Stephen which mention it are prob. forged.
107. Writ of King Stephen ordering the abbot and convent and their officers that Gilbert of Hendon is to have his land of Hendon (Mddx.) which he holds in fee-farm, as peaceably as Abbots Gilbert and Herbert and the chapter granted it to him by charter. Westminster [post 22 Dec. 1135 × c. 1137]
Date: Attested by Robert Fitz Richard, who is said to have d. in 1137 (Geoffrey de Mandeville, 13), and by Hugh Bigod. By 1141 at latest, he went over to the empress, who recognized him as earl of Norfolk in that year (Regesta III, nos. 275, 634). Although this text is only a cartulary copy, it may be significant that the abbot is not named. The writ was prob. issued soon after the d. of Herbert, 3 Sept. 1136 × 1138 (Heads, 77; cf. Flete, 142), when Gilbert would need to seek a renewal of his grant in fee.
108. Writ of King Stephen informing the bp. of London, and the justices, sheriffs and barons of Mddx. that he has conceded to Richard de Balta and his heirs the land of the abbot's fee in Hampstead, rendering £2 annually to the abbot and convent, as they granted by charter. Westminster [22 Dec. 1135 × c. 1137]
Date: Attested by R[obert] Fitz Richard, who is said to have d. in 1137 (Geoffrey de Mandeville, 13). The King was first at Westminster 22–26 Dec. 1135 (Regesta III, xxxix). Although this text is only a cartulary copy, it may be significant that the bp. of London is not named. Anselm, abbot of Bury, was elected 1136 and enthroned in 1137, but his election was quashed by the pope in 1138 and the see remained vacant until July 1141 (Fasti I, 1–2). The attestation of the bp. of Salisbury indicates a date ante June 1139 (Gesta Stephani, 72–8; Historia Novella, 26–8).
109. Writ of King Stephen, ordering his justice, sheriff, barons and officers of London that they are to guard and maintain the lands and tenements of his son, Abbot Gervase, as they would the royal demesne, and to enable him to have his rents and dues, and especially St Mary Newchurch, which Gislan gave him, with its appurtenant lands. Westminster [17 Dec. 1138 × 1154]
Date: Prob. issued following the consecration of Gervase by the legate Alberic, 17 Dec. 1138 (John of Worcester, 53). The omission of the bp. of London from the addressees suggests that it was issued during the vacancy in the see, 1138–41 (Fasti I, 1–2).
112. Writ of King Stephen addressed to Andrew Buccuinte and the citizens of London, ordering that the men in the soke of St Peter are to be quit of the Hustings and Folkmoot as fully as their charter attests. If anyone makes any claim against them, let justice be done. Clare [Dec. 1135 × 1139]
113. Writ of King Stephen, informing the justice, sheriff, barons and officers of Essex that he quitclaims to the church of St Peter of Westminster and the monks the sheriff's aid called justice-aid, at the rate of 1s. annually on each hide in Essex. London [late 1138 (x ante May 1152)]
Date: Attested by Robert de Vere, whose d. occ. before that of the queen, May 1152 (Regesta III, xxx; cf. ASC, 202, n. 7). Also attested by Richard de Lucy, out of England until late 1138 (Regesta III, no. 931, n.; Orderic VI, 526). Since Gervase is not named, the writ prob. dates from before his consecration, 17 Dec. 1138 (Heads, 77).
114. Writ of King Stephen informing the bp. of London, and the justice, sheriff, barons and officers of Essex, that he has granted to the church of St Peter of Westminster and to the abbot and monks, in perpetual alms, forty acres of assarts in Kelvedon for the soul of King Henry his uncle, and for those of himself, his wife Queen Matilda, their son Eustace and his other children. London [Dec. 1135 (× 1154)]
Date: Since the bp. of London is not named, the writ may date from the interregnum in the see, 1138–41, or perhaps that during the first months of the reign (Fasti I, 1–2). The wording implies a date close to Stephen's coronation, and the abbot's name is not given, suggesting that the writ was issued in the vacancy between Herbert and Gervase (cf. Heads, 77).
Note: Cf. Harvey, WA, 342. Eustace was prob. named because he was the king's heir, but the wording may be designed not only to include children of the marriage as yet unborn, but specifically to encompass Stephen's other offspring, notably Gervase, whose subsequent appointment to Westminster was perhaps already planned.
115. Writ of King Stephen ordering Gerbod de Scalt that the monks are to be allowed to hold their manor of Doddington (Lincs.) peaceably. Gerbod must not seize anything, nor exact forfeiture, nor intrude into any part of it, since he, Stephen, will warrant that manor to no-one but the church and monks of Westminster. Westminster [Dec. 1135 × 1154 (? Sept. 1136 × 1138)]
Date: Since the abbot is not mentioned, the writ may date from the vacancy between the death of Herbert and the election of Gervase (Heads, 77). The only witness, William Martell, attests Stephen's charters throughout the reign.
116. Writ of King Stephen ordering William Martell to bring justice to bear, without delay, upon the abbot of Chertsey (Surr.) and other tenants of the abbot of Westminster who deprived him of his rights, and did not render from their tenements the Danegeld due to the king. Meanwhile, the abbot of Westminster is to have respite on the balance due on the hidage exacted from his land. Martell is to name a day for agreement to be made between the abbots of Westminster and Chertsey. London [Dec. 1138 × 1143 (or 1149 × 1154)]
Date: Attestation of Henry of Essex without a title. He witnesses from the early years of the reign, and succeeded Robert de Vere as constable 1151 × ante May 1152 (Regesta III, xx). The abbot of Westminster is prob. Gervase, consecrated 17 Dec. 1138 (Heads, 77). The abbot of Chertsey is prob. William of St Helen, appointed by Stephen but removed by the pope at the instance of Bp. Henry of Winchester (Chron. Mon. de Abingdon II, 291–2), prob. during his legateship, 1 March 1139 × 24 Sept. 1143 (Fasti II, 85). William's successor, Hugh, nephew of King Stephen, succeeded to Chertsey in 1149 (Regesta III, no. 169, dated by Chertsey Abbey Cartularies (Surrey Record Soc., 1958), II, x); see also Rob. de Torigny, 218–19; St Benet Holme 1020–1210, ed. J. R. West, Norfolk Record Soc. 3 (1932), II, 194–5.
117. Writ of King Stephen informing his justices, barons, sheriffs and officers of Sussex and Mddx. that, since Abbot Herbert proved his title to the land of Parham (Suss.) and Mapelefort (Mddx.) against Herbert Fitz Herbert, in the presence of King Henry's barons at the Exchequer, by their verdict, the abbot may hold it in demesne if he wishes, and may do as he pleases with it. The king orders that the (present) abbot is to hold that land peaceably as the said abbot proved his title, and as King Henry's charter bears witness (96). London [post 24 June 1139 × 1154]
Date: The narrowest limits of scriptor xx's chancery career are 1139–Dec. 1141 (SR, facing plate XXI(a) and XXI(b)). Attached to the charter is a fragment of Stephen's second seal, adopted after 24 June 1139, and used for the rest of the reign (Regesta III, xv, following Geoffrey de Mandeville, 50–1).
118. Notification by King Stephen, generally addressed, that he has conceded to the church of St Peter and to the monks there quittance of geld and customary exactions on six and a half hides in the manor of Westminster, since his court and palace, and the infirmary of St Giles, are established there. The grant is made for the souls of his wife Queen Matilda and himself and his children; and for the souls of King Henry and his other predecessors as kings of England. St Albans [c. 1150 × ante 3 May 1152]
Date: Issued before the d. of the queen, 3 May 1152. Attested by R. abbot of St Albans, either Ralph (1146–51) or Robert (1151–66) (Heads, 67), and by Daniel, abbot of St Benet of Hulme, in office c. 1141–46 (deposed), and c. 1150–53 (Heads, 68).
Note: It is interesting both that the grant is made for the king's children (presumably including Gervase and others born out of wedlock), and also that the king styles his predecessors as kings 'of England' (see also 119–20), rather than kings 'of the English'.
119.* Notification by King Stephen, generally addressed, that he has quitclaimed gelds, Danegelds, and specified financial exactions and other obligations on six and a half hides in the manor of Westminster, since the royal court and palace, and also the infirmary of St Giles, are established there, for the souls of himself, Queen Matilda and his children, and the souls of King Henry and his other predecessors as kings of England, with an anathema on transgressors. St Albans [early 1150 × ante 3 May 1152]
Note: A forgery based on 118, and virtually contemporary (Chaplais, 'Original Charters', 97). Scribe discussed by Bishop & Chaplais, xxii; Chaplais, 'Original Charters', 97n.3. In comparison with 118, Abp. Theobald is now styled 'primate and legate', but neither this, nor the additional attestations of Robert de Chesney, bp. of Lincoln, Richard de Lucy and Osbert Martell has any conclusive effect on the dating.
120.* Notification by King Stephen, generally addressed, that he has conceded to the abbey and convent for their manor of Battersea (Surr.) quittance of gelds, Danegelds and certain other exactions on twenty-eight hides; with quittance of geld on forty-four hides which were formerly required to contribute, for the souls of himself, his wife Queen Matilda and his (sic) children, and for those of his uncle King Henry and his other predecessors as king of England, with an anathema on transgressors. St Albans [early 1150 × ante 3 May 1152]
121.* Notification of King Stephen, generally addressed, concerning his grant to the church of St Peter of Westminster and the monks of exemptions for their manor of Battersea (Surr.) as applicable to twentyeight hides; his quittance of geld on forty-four hides there (all as in 120), and on six and a half hides in the manor of Westminster (as in 119), and quittance of all secular service on a virgate in Hanwell (Mddx.). St Albans [early 1150 × ante 3 May 1152]