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In 1200 June 6, William Briwerr (William Briwere; William Brewer) was granted, by John, (In year 2 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Brugewaltii (Bridgewater Castle)
Scan of page 70 of Rotuli Chartarum

Granted at Argentan (in Normandy).


Part of a multiple site licence for Ashley, Hampshire, Bridgewater, Somerset and a property in Devon.

Original source is;

(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;

Brewer , William (d. 1226)
Brewer , William (d. 1226), Sheriff of numerous counties, Baron of Bampton, Warden of the cornish tin mines, justice etc. 'was one of the half dozen or so men closest to the centre of power in England' (Turner p. 71)

Anyone looking for an instance of the exemplary royal servant of the middle ages could hardly do better than to examine the life of William Brewer. Aptly described by one modern writer as a ‘die-hard Angevin’, his career, spanning fifty years, was a model of loyalty and usefulness. He served four Angevin kings, among them King John, who is reported to have attributed to Brewer the ability to know his master's mind; it was John, above all, who made Brewer extraordinarily wealthy, and by the time of his death he was the master of some sixty knights' fees focused in the south-west, with a newly created caput at Bridgwater, Somerset. (Church)

Biographical source include;

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.