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In 1348 Oct 13, Abbas de Holmcoltran (Abbot of Hulme Cultram; Abbot of Holme Cultram; Abbot Robert de Southaik) were granted, by Edward III, (In year 22 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Wolmsty (Wolstey Castle)
Licence for the abbot of Holmcoltran to crenellate the manor of Wolmsty, which is within the limits of Holmcoltran, co. Cumberland. By p.s. (CPR)

Abbas de Holmcoltran ... manerium infra limites de Holmcoltran ... Wolmsty, Cumbr. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


The Abbey, and the general area, were subject to Scottish raids, although not actively during the the 1340's. The abbot was a collector of the 'ninths' tax for the French war in 1340 and 1341, an activity likely to bring income and unpopularity, and to require a strong hold to store the revenue. However the licence may represent royal support for a tax collector who may have been Scottish.

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;

Robert de Southaik (Sothayk or Sitthayk)
Robert de Southaik (Sothayk or Sitthayk) must have been of the family de Southaik, originally of Southwick in Galloway (Register nos. 131, 132). A namesake was ordained acolite at Carlisle in 1317, but certainly earlier was the man who was Official of Carlisle in 1303 (Bishop Halton's reg.) and about 1335 and 1341, and Vicar General in 1353 (C. & W. Trans. N.S. xi, III, 113). He was presented by Carlisle priory to the rectory of Bewcastle in 1306, ordained deacon in 1310, and acted as proctor at York for the bishop of Carlisle in 1314 (Bp. Halton's Reg.). In this Register he is named (no. 115b) as rector of Bewcastle and arbitrator in company with Richard de Resindon at a date not stated but probably 1334–50. The abbot is named on July 5, 1351, when the Pope at Avignon granted him leave to eat flesh on lawful days in consideration of his weakness through labour and sickness (Papal petitions i, 215). If the abbot was Official in 1303, he was then seventy or older, but he seems to have lived on for another ten years or more. In 1362 he occurs in a dispute with William, vicar of Wigton, about the will of William de Bromfield (V.C.H. as above, quoting Bp. Welton's register). Towards the end of his life he received moneys from the creditors of Thomas Bridkirk, formerly rector of 'Stanhoe' and prebendary of Bishop Auckland, who had been outlawed; and when his successor was appointed, question arose about these moneys (Cal. Doc. Scot. iv, 210, quoted by Rev. G. E. Gilbanks). (Grainer and Collingwood)

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.