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In 1294 May 11, Johannes de Cokefeld (Cokefend; Cockfield) was granted, by Edward I, (In year 22 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Melton (Stonehall Manor, Moulton)
Licence for John de Cokefeld to enclose his capital manse (capitale mansum) of Melton with an earth wall and stakes (bordis), and to crenellate the same. By p.s. (CPR)

Johannes de Cokefeld ... capitale mansum de Melton muro terreo et bordis includere et kernellare ... Melton. (Turner and Parker)

March 11. Barsham
Order to make letters patent to John de Cokefeld granting that he may enclose his capital mansion of Melton with boards and earth and crenellate the wall thus built. (CChanceryWarrents)

Granted at Otford. Grant by privy seal.


Suggested by Parker as site of house given licence to crenellate in 1294. Stonehall Manor was held, from the de Clares, by the Cockfield family from 1210. Coulson writes "Only very irritable neighbours could make such a homestead of royal concern as a cause of breach of the peace."

The identification is problematic as the manor was held by Robert Cockfield until 1296/7 when he died, his sister Joan, wife of William Beauchamp, was his heir and she, in her own name, seems to have held the manor in 1313. (Copinger, W.A., 1909, Manors of Suffolk Vol. 5 p. 271-73)

It should also be noted that it took two months from the order to make the letter patent until they were actually dated as enrolled.

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;

A John de Cokefeld, knight, son of John de Cokefeld, knight is mentioned in a deed dated 13 Edward II. but other biographical details not found. The Cockfield holdings seem mainly to be in East Anglia but also Yorkshire. John de Tregoz married, c.1297, Joan, daughter of Adam de Cokefeld of Feltwell, Norfolk, and Moulton, Suffolk, by his wife Joan. (Complete Peerage XII/2:20-2). This John almost certainly a knight but no particular royal service.

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.