In 1345 Nov 9, Prior et fratres ordinis Sancti Augustini de Salop were supposedly granted, by Edward III, (In year 19 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Sancti Augustini de Salop (St Augustines, Shrewsbury)
The prior and Austin Friars of Shrewsbury have made petition to the king that, whereas by inquisition taken by Thomas de Swynerton, escheator in the county of Salop, it is found that it is not to the damage of the town if he assign in mortmain to them a stone wall without the town with two round towers built on it and a crenellated house along the wall adjoining the wall of the town, as well as a plot of land by the same wall containing 20 perches of land in length, and part of the same contains 2 perches in breadth without the town adjacent to the water of Severn there, for the enlargement of their manse, he will do this, and he has assented to their petition. By p.s. (CPR)
quendam murum lapideum extra villam predictam una cum duabus turribus rotunis superedificatis et una domo kernellata desuper eundem murum constructa, muro ejusdem villae adjunctum, &c. ad elargationem mansi, &c. (Turner and Parker)
Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.
Although this document has been considered by some as a licence to crenellate it is rejected as a licence.
In Turner and Parker as a licence to crenellate. The licence to crenellate allegedly issued in 1345 was in fact a mortmain grant. However, in 1337 the friars were granted a stone wall extending from the priory to the river on condition 'that they built a substantial embattled house there'. In 1342 mention is made of 'a certain crenellated house constructed upon the aforesaid wall'.
Original source is;
Lyte, H.C. Maxwell (ed), 1903, Calendar of Patent Rolls (1345-48) p. 11 online copy
(In fact, the original source given is usually a transcription/translation
of what are precious medieval documents not readily availably. It should be
noted that these transcription/translations often date to the nineteenth or
early twentieth centuries and that unwitting bias of transcribers may affect
the translation. Care should also be taken to avoid giving modern meaning to
the medieval use of certain stock words and terms. Licentia is best translated as 'freedom to' not 'permission'.)
Significant later sources are;
Coulson, C., 1994, 'Freedom to Crenellate by Licence - An Historiographical Revision' Nottingham Medieval Studies Vol. 38 p. 92n18 Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 73 (reject) Coulson, C., 1982, 'Hierarchism in Conventual Crenellation' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 96n8 (reject) online copy Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 part 2 p. 414 online copy
More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.
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Record created by Philip Davis. This record last updated on Sunday, October 4, 2015.