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In 1201 March 24, Alano de H'tiland (Alan of Hartland) was granted, by John, (In year 2 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Hertiland (Hartland Castle)
Scan of page 103 of Rotuli Chartarum

Granted at Faversham.


King writes "A remarkable licence to Alan de Hertiland to fortify one house on his land of Hartland, against William de Marisco, then holding Lundy in defiance of the King."
de Marisco was a pirate quite capable of raiding properties on the north Devon coast so defence a real issue although the licence may have had more function in pointing out the harm that de Marisco was causing. It was not until the 1240's that final royal military action was taken against de Marisco. However, in practice, the relationship between the Dinham family and local magnate William Briwer, granted licence for several houses the previous year, may be a more significant issue here. Additionally there was some complexity within the Dinham family with branches competing so the licence may have also been about getting royal support for ownership of a contested manor.

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;

Alan of Hartland
No biographical details of Alan of Hartland seemingly available. This Alan of Hartland was probably a member of the Dinham family who, at this time seem to have a complex genealogy with two competing branches. 19th century genealogies of the Dinham family are not reliable. The court scribe may have used the de Hartland suffix to clarify the complexities of several Alan Dinhams although, from 800 years later, it has obscured the situation.

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.