In 1350 Feb 18, the good men of were granted, by Edward III, (In year 24 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Port St. Peter in Gerneseye (St Peter Port Town Defences)
Licence, with the assent of the good men of Port St. Peter in Gerneseye, in view of the fact that the castle of Chirburgh, in that island, wherein in time of war the people used to find refuge, is destroyed and cannot be repaired to the king's advantage, as he is informed, to enclose their town with a good and strong wall, and to crenellate such wall, and to take towards their expenses therein, for 1 year from 1 April next, a custom at the rate of four tournois on every pound of merchandise sold and brought in the island in money of Tours, one half to be paid by the vendor and the other by the buyer. By K. & C. (CPR)
Granted at Westminster. Grant by King and Council.
Fundamental a document enabling taxation but defence does seem to be the motivation.
Original source is;
Lyte, H.C. Maxwell (ed), 1906, Calendar of Patent Rolls (1348-50) p. 478 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., 1995, 'Battlements and the Bourgeoisie: Municipal Status and the Apparatus of Urban Defence' in Church, Stephen (ed), Medieval Knighthood Vol. 5 (Boydell) p146
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.