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In 1308 Oct 25, Abbas Sancti Augustini, Cantuar (Abbot Thomas de Fyndone) was granted, by Edward II, (In year 2 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Abbatiae Sancti Augustini, Cantuar (St Augustine's Abbey)
Licence for the abbot of St. Augustine, Canterbury, to crenellate a chamber, which he is building without the gate of the abbey. By K., on the information of W. de Melton. (CPR)

Abbas Sancti Augustini, Cantuar ... quandam cameram ultra portam Abbaci suam, quam de novo fieri faciunt, kernellare ... Abbatiae Sancti Augustini, Cantuar., Kanc. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by King, on the information of W. de Melton.


The abbey had a long standing dispute with the Archbishops of Canterbury.
'Ultra portam' meant a gatehouse tower - over the gate rather than 'without' as translated in the Calendar.
The abbots were not summoned to parliament because they were mitred, but because they held their lands in capite per baroniam, and received their temporalities from the king; and of these, only such had this privilege as were especially, as through the king's favour, called thither by writ. (Hasted p. 158-77n29)
Perhaps the most curious incident in the history of the abbey is the story of Peter de Dene. He had been a distinguished ecclesiastical lawyer, and was at one time counsel to the abbey, to which he was a generous benefactor; but, getting into trouble in politics, in 1322 he sought admission there as a monk, and was received under a relaxed form of profession with many privileges, after bringing a present of silver and making his will in favour of the abbey. Eight years later he wished to leave it again, but the abbot refused to permit him; and he thereupon fled to Bishopsbourne, but a few days later was captured and brought back. He managed, however, to appeal to the pope, who in 1331 ordered the prior of the cathedral to inquire into the matter. Great resistance was offered to the prior, and it was not till he had entered the abbey church with a powerful force that he was able to get any conversation with Peter at all; and then from a distance, surrounded by monks, Peter declared himself perfectly contented. It seems certain that Peter must have been forcibly detained and impersonated by someone else, but nothing more could be done for him; and the abbot and monks received pardon from the king for what they had done. (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;

Abbot Thomas de Fyndone (d, 1310)
William de Melton - Lord Privy Seal to become Archbishop of York. No obvious link to the Abbey.

Abbot Thomas de Fyndone, appointed 1283, died 1310.

Biographical source include;

More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.

Please do inform Gatehouse if you see any errors, can add information or can otherwise help to improve this resource. Please contact Gatehouse.

Record created by Philip Davis. This record last updated on Sunday, October 4, 2015.