In 1373 March 5, Abbas et Conventus de Wynchecombe (Abbot Walter of Winferton. At request of John Branketre) were granted, by Edward III, (In year 47 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Wynchecombe (Winchcombe Abbey)
Licence, at the request of the king's clerk, Master John de Branketre, for the abbot and convent of Wynchecombe to crenellate their abbey and the houses and buildings of the same. By K. (CPR)
Abbas et Conventus de Wynchecombe ... Abbatiam suam ac domos et edificia ejusdem ... Wynchecombe. (Turner and Parker)
Licencia Regia batallandi et kernellandi Abbathiam de Wynchecumbe. Edwardus Dei Gracia, Rex Anglie et Francie et dominus Hibemie, Omnibus Ballivis et fidelibus suis, ad quos presentes littere pervenerint, Salutem. Sciatis, quod de gracia nostra speciali, ad requisicionem dilecti clerici nostri, lohannis de Banketre, (Receiver of Petitions and Notary) concessimus et licenciam dedimus pro Nobis et heredibus nostris dilectis Nobis in Christo, Abbati et Conventui de Wynchecumbe et eorum successoribus, quod ipsi Abbathiam suam de Wynchecumbe ac domos et edificia eiusdem muro de petra et calice firmare et kernellare, et ea sic firmata et kernellata tenere possint sibi et successoribus suis, imperpetuum, siue occasione vel impedimento Nostri vel heredum nostrorum, lusticiariorum, Escaetorum, Vicecomitum, et aliorum ballivorum seu ministrorum. In cuius rei testimonium has litteras nostras fieri fecimus patentes. Teste Meipso apud Westmonasterium, quinto die Marcii, anno regni nostri Anglie quadragesimo septimo, regni, vero, nostri Francie tricesimo quarto. (Royce)
Granted at Westminster. Grant by King, at the request of the king's clerk, Master John de Branketre.
At the request of the king's clerk, Master John de Branketre. Loss of revenue after the Black Death was cited as problem by the abbot and convent and the buildings had become ruinous by 1373. The Abbey's income of under 500 marks was been used up in hospitality and vexatious lawsuits. Clearly the direct intervention of John Branketre (A Chancery clerk) was important in obtaining the licence but more careful management of the Abbey, after years of incompetence, seems to have allowed the building work to be funded. In reality it seems that the incompetent governance was the real reason for the poverty that had allowed the buildings to become ruinous rather than any significant effects of the Black Death.
Original source is;
Lyte, H.C. Maxwell (ed), 1914, Calendar of Patent Rolls (1370-74) p. 260 online copy Royce, D., 1903, Landboc sive Registrum Monasterii de Winchelcumba Vol. 2 p. 129 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., 1982, 'Hierarchism in Conventual Crenellation' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 89, 94 online copy Page, Wm (ed), 1907, Citation: 'Houses of Benedictine monks: The abbey of Winchcombe' VCH Gloucestershire Vol. 2 p. 66-72 online copy Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 part 2 p. 417 online copy
Abbot Walter of Winferton.
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.