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In 1294 Dec 6, Abbas de Hales [abbot and convent] were granted, by Edward I, (In year 22 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Hales (Halesowen)
Licence for the abbot and convent of Hales to crenellate some chambers which they have newly constructed within their abbey. By pet. of C. (CPR)

Abbas de Hales ... quasdam cameras quas infra eandem Abbatiam de novo construxerunt kernellare ... Hales, Salop. (Turner and Parker)

Edward by the grace of God King of England and Lord of Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine, to all his bailiffs and faithful to whom these letters shall come, greeting. Know that we have granted for ourselves and our heirs to our beloved in Christ the abbot and convent of Hales that they may crenellate certain buildings {cameras} which they have constructed anew within the Abbey and may hold them thus crenellated to themselves and their successors in perpetuity without interference {occasione} by ourselves or by our heirs or by any of our ministers. In witness of which we have caused these are letters to be made patent. Witness myself at Westminster on the sixth day of December, in the twenty-second year of our reign. By petition made to the Council. (Coulson 1993)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by petition of Council.


Parker transcribed as in Salop. The CPR transcription gives no county, but the index suggests Hailes, Gloucestershire; did the CPR omit the county as an 'error'. It seems unlikely Parker would put it in. Halesowen was part of Shropshire until 1843/4 when it was moved into Worcestershire. In 1982 Coulson recorded this as Hailes, Gloucester, and, given the relative sizes and incomes, this might seem possible but by 1993 he was aware this was Halesowen. The abbot of Halesowen was attacked by his tenants in 1279 and, in the same year, involved in a property lawsuit with the king but the licence may represent part of the proceeding to resolve of a dispute about advowson with the king.

The original issue-copy patent with great seal survives and was sold by Sotherby's in 2002

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;

The abbot, known only by the initial N. (presumably Nicholas), died in 1298.

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.