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In 1352 Aug 25, Homines villae de Herewycz were granted, by Edward III, (In year 26 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Herewycz [Herewicz] (Harwich)
Licence for the good men and tenants of Herewicz to strengthen and crenellate their town with a stone wall. By C. (CPR)

Homines villae de Herewycz ... villam ... Herewycz. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by Council.


Here civic pride and economic conflict with Ipswich (granted a licence the previous month) seem the most likely motivation for obtaining a licence, although the loss of trade following the Black Death of 1348-9 may have also been significant, since the main function of town walls was to regulate trade and the collection of taxes. Ipswich had protested when Harwich had been granted murage (to be collected on goods coming by land or water) in 1338 and that grant was revoked. Walls where built sometime after 1352 but Ipswich again protested when murage was granted in 1377.

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;

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.