The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 
In 1311 Jun 17, Robertus de Holland (Robert Holland; Holand) was granted, by Edward II, (In year 4 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Meleburn (Melbourne Castle)
Licence to Robert de Holland to crenellate his dwelling-house of Meleburne. By p.s. (CPR)

Robertus de Holland ... mansum suum ... Meleburn. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Berwick-on-Tweed. Grant by privy seal.


Robert was a close friend and chief agent of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. The manor was granted by Lancaster to the king in 1307 but regranted to Holland, at Lancaster's request in 1308. In 1309 Holland received the king's permission to grant Melbourne to Lancaster for life. The 1311 licence is to Holland but it was Lancaster who spent £1300 on the castle in 1313-14 alone. (Maddicott, 1971, p. 455-6)

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;

Holland, Sir Robert (c.1283–1328)
Robert was a close friend and chief agent of Thomas, earl of Lancaster.

Holland's linkage with the most powerful noble of his generation, and the scale of his consequent enrichment, made his career in some respects sui generis. In another way, however, it typified one of the main routes to social advancement in the middle ages: through service in the following of a great man. (Maddicott, 2004)

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.