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In 1347 Dec 22, Humfridus de Bohun, Comes Hereford (Humphrey de Bohun, 6th earl of Hereford and 5th earl of Essex) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 21 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Depeden (Debden)
Licence for Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, to crenellate the dwelling-places of his manors of Writele, Brymshoo, Apechilde, Depeden and Waleden, co. Essex, Enefeld, co. Middlesex, Wockeseye, Uphavene and Sende, co. Wilts, and Whitenhurst, co. Gloucester. By p.s. (CPR)

Humfridus de Bohun, Comes Hereford ... mansum manerii ... Depeden, Essex. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Guildford. Grant by privy seal.


De Bohun, wealthy with land and recent French booty and ransoms, probably would have had the resources to do some building at all of these sites, although possibly full programmes of new building works were not intended at every site. The arrival of the Black Death the next year certainly would have curtailed the building programme.

Parker identifies this as Depden, near Saffron Walden, now spelt Debden.

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;

Humphrey de Bohun (1309-1361), 6th earl of Hereford and 5th earl of Essex
Humphrey de Bohun (1309-1361), 6th earl of Hereford and 5th earl of Essex. Lord High Constable of England 1335-1361 (the office was hereditary). Cousin to the King. As Lord High Constable Humphrey must have played a part in the successful French wars (His younger brother William, a close friend of Edward III, commanded the right flank at Crecy.)

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.