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In 1308 July 18, Abbas de Burgo Sancti Petri (abbot and convent of Peterborough) were granted, by Edward II, (In year 2 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Burgo Sancti Petri (Peterbrough)
Licence for the abbot and convent of Peterborough to crenellate the gate of the abbey and two chambers lying between the gate and their church. By p.s. (CPR)

Abbas de Burgo Sancti Petri ... portam Abbatiae et duas cameras inter eandem portam et ecclesiam in eadem Abbatia kernellare ... Peterborough, Northt. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Windsor. Grant by privy seal.


Godfrey of Crowland, who was cellarer at the time of his appointment, was abbot from 1299 to 1321. Of him Gunton writes that he was 'so famous for worthy actions that there was scarce his like, either before him or after.' (Gunton, Hist. of Peterb. 39) In the first year of his rule certain persons fled for sanctuary into the chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr at the gate of the monastery, whither they were pursued and illegally dragged out, blood being shed during the struggle. Bishop Dalderby put the chapel under an interdict, until the fugitives had been restored to the liberty of the place. Eventually the fugitives were brought back, and the bishop authorized the abbot to cleanse the chapel with holy water, and to restore it to divine use. (Linc. Epis. Reg. Memo. of Dalderby, f. 22)

In 1313, the same bishop, in connexion with the purgation of a charge brought against Godfrey of Crowland, of incontinence, licensed that abbot to go on a pilgrimage to the shrines of the Blessed Edmund of Pontigny, and of St. Thomas of Hereford. (Ibid. f. 245. St. Edmund Rich, Abp. of Canterbury, died at Pontigny in 1242, and was there enshrined) In the same year the bishop issued an inhibition of the veneration of the place of burial, in the hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr for the sick at Peterborough, of the body of Lawrence of Oxford, who had been hung on account of his evil crimes, and where miracles were supposed to take place. A further inhibition was issued later in the year, accompanied by a prohibition to the monks of accepting the offerings of those flocking there. (Ibid. ff. 246b, 249. We have not been able to ascertain anything further respecting Lawrence) A visitation of the abbey made by the bishop whilst this strange veneration of a criminal's remains was in progress, caused much dissension among the monks, some of them encouraging folk to visit the grave. Those who took this course were, however, excommunicated, and the bishop issued a third stern inhibition. (Ibid. ff. 250, 263b)

The church of Warmington was appropriated to Peterborough Abbey in 1316. In their petition to the bishop for sanction, the monks stated that they had become impoverished and in debt, (1) by reason of their nearness to an important highway, which necessitated much hospitality, (2) by the wars in those parts, and (3) by divers oppressions, exactions, and expenses. (Ibid. f. 335) The second of these reasons referred to the resistance of the barons to the evil favourites of Edward II., notably Piers Gaveston. When Piers visited Peterborough at an earlier date with Edward II., then Prince of Wales, the abbot sent the prince a present of an embroidered robe, but he declined to receive it unless a like one was sent to Piers. A single entertainment of Edward II. and his courtiers is said to have cost the abbey £1,543 13s. 4d. in provisions and presents.
Bishop Burghersh, in 1321, granted an indulgence to all penitents hearing mass at the Lady altar, the high altar, and the altar of All Saints in the guest-house chapel of Peterborough monastery. (VCH)

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;

Godfrey of Crowland

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.