Westminster Abbey Charters, 1066 - C.1214 London Record Society 25. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1988.
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John (nos. 147–51)
147. Confirmation by King John, to his treasurer William of Ely, of the houses in Westminster held by Richard, the late bp. of London, and his whole messuage, which William holds of the grant of the bp., and the confirmation of Abbot William. Westminster, 20 April 1200.
148. Writ praecipe of King John, ordering Abbot Ralph to render justice without delay to William Southall and his wife Denise over forty acres of land with appurtenances in Pyrford which William claims that he holds of the abbot by free service of 5s. annually, and of which Walter de Reda dispossessed him. If the abbot fails to render justice, the sheriff of Surr. will do so. Portchester, 25 April [1200 (× 1206)]
Date: Attested by Hugh Bardulf, who was d. by Michaelmas 1206 (PR 8 John, 4,236). John was at Portchester on 25 April 1200 ('Itinerarium Johannis Regis', comp. T. Duffus Hardy, Archaeologia 22 (1829), 129).
149. Charter of King John, restoring to Abbot Ralph and the monks their manor of Islip, Oxon., in which St Edward was born, and which he gave to the abbey at its dedication, since it was recognized in the king's court, by virtue of royal charters, and by the view of law-worthy men of that manor, that it belonged to Westminster and was wrongfully taken away. Abbot Ralph and the convent are to hold the manor peaceably, as their charters of King Edward and William the Conqueror bear witness. Westminister, 1 Nov. 1204.
WAM 15160 (Great Seal attached); WAM 15162 (duplicate, with Great Seal, and additional attestation of William Longsword, earl of Salisbury); WAD, f. 270r–v; F, ff. 82v–83 (from WAM 15162); PRO, C53/6, m. 8 (enrolment); CAY, f. lxxviii verso (memorandum).
Note: Westminster's claim that King Edward had granted Islip was prob. essentially true, although the manor was not held by the abbey after the Norman Conquest. In the twelfth century, Islip was acquired by the De Courcy family, whose English lands were forfeited when Robert de Courcy joined Philip Augustus of France in 1203 (Barbara Harvey, 'Islip', VCH Oxon., VI, 208–9; Harvey, WA, 356), thus presenting the abbey with a belated opportunity of petitioning for King Edward's benefaction. The writs of King Edward (Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters, nos. 1147, 1148) and the charter of William I (3), are all spurious. Whether or not this was apparent to the chancery staff, Westminster was obliged to pay heavily for the restoration of this manor. In November 1204 the abbot fined 200 marks (£133. 6s. 8d.) and two palfreys (Rot. Litt. Claus., 15a, 32b; PR 6 John, 112; Rot. de Oblat. et Fin., 222).
150. Notification by King John, generally addressed, that, at the request of James Salvage, royal clerk and rector of Oakham (Rutl.), he has conceded and confirmed that the tenants of All Saints' church, Oakham, and of its appurtenant chapels, are quit in perpetuity of suit of shire and hundred courts, and of sheriffs' aids and of those of their bailiffs and officers. Anyone disturbing the tenants will incur forfeiture. Lambeth, 28 April 1206.
Note: This royal charter presumably came to the abbey as a result of problems with the payment of an annual pension from Oakham church which James Salvage had earlier made to the abbey (482). See also Mason, 'Rutland Churches', 165; Harvey, WA, 404.
151. Letter patent of King John, ordering his knights, sergeants and other soldiers of his army that they are not to enter within the precincts of the abbey, the abbey church or its cemetery; nor permit others to enter; nor to cause, or permit others to cause, injury to the monks or to the king's men dwelling there, since the abbey, its men and all residents and goods are under the royal protection. Rochester, 24 Oct. 1215.
Note: The monks, in petitioning the king, had presumably cited their earlier deeds of liberties and protection, since none survives in John's name. On the contrary, in 1205 the abbot had fined twenty marks (£13. 6s. 8d.) to have the king's benevolencia (Rot. de Oblat. et Fin., 325). The rebels were in control of London in 1215, from midMay (Flores Historiarum, ed. H. R. Luard (RS, 1890), II, 157).