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In 1346 Dec 10, John Grey of Retherfeld (John Grey of Rotherfield) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 20 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Sculcotes (Sculcoates)
Licence for John Grey of Retherfeld to crenellate his dwelling-places of Retherfeld Grey, co. Oxford, and Sculcotes, co. York. (CPR)

Granted at Calais. Grant by {King}.


Licence to crenellate granted to John Grey of Rotherfield in 1346 and repeated in 1348.

From about 1312 until 1330 Robert de Moreby, who had married the widow of John de Grey the elder, shared the lordship of the manor with John de Grey the younger. In 1376 Robert de Grey granted the manor to John de Neville. (VCH)

16 years after getting sole possession suggests the licence to crenellate was not about confirming ownership. Possibly money from the french wars allowed the funding of a new building although, little building probably took place before the Plague and that this was never much of a residential manor for the de Grey's which made it's disposal, in the more financially difficult 1370's, fairly easy.

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;

John Grey, first Lord Grey of Rotherfield (1300-1359)
John Grey, first Lord Grey of Rotherfield (1300-1359) from 1338 he was regularly summoned to parliaments and councils; he is consequently regarded as having thereby become Lord Grey of Rotherfield. In 1340 he was appointed an assessor of the ninth in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, but his principal occupation remained as a soldier, and between that year and 1347 he was almost continuously employed in Scotland, Flanders, and France. A founder member of the Order of the Garter, he fought at Crécy in 1346 in the King's division, and took part in the siege of Calais a year later in the retinue of William Clinton, earl of Huntingdon. No doubt it was as a reward for such services that on 10 December 1346 he was licensed to crenellate his principal residences of Rotherfield and Sculcoates, near Hull. (Summerson)

Grey had had a notable and occasional violent quarrel with William, first Lord Zouche of Mortimer, but this was resolved by 1333.

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.