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In 1374 Feb 3, Johanna quae fuit uxor Willielmi de Sancto Quintino (St Quentin; St Quintin) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 48 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Harpham (Church of St John of Beverley, Harpham)
Licence for Joan, late the wife of William de Sancto Quintmo, to crenellate a belfry which she purposes to make in the churchyard of the chapel of Harpham. For mark paid in the hanaper. (CPR)

Johanna quae fuit uxor Willielmi de Sancto Quintino ... quoddam campanile quod ipsa in Cimiterio Capellae de Harpham facere proponit ... Harpham. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by For half a mark paid in the hanaper.


A licence to crenellate a belfry that Joan proposed to build in the churchyard of the chapel of Harpham was obtained in 1374, for half a mark (6s 8d) but although this presumable resulted in the west tower this is not a defensive structure, although it does have some, very sedate, low crenellations. Part of a manorial complex of the chief seat of one branch of St Quentin family. Coulson (1994) calls this a memorial by Joan to her husband. This is, perhaps, the most extreme example of a licence to crenellate being an expression of noble status, but it is not an abnormality.

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;

William St Quentin (1327-49) and Joan nee Thwenge (1326-1380)
William St Quentin (1327-49) and Joan nee Thwenge (1326-1380). William was certainly a knight but not know if his death was due to fighting in France (or wounds obtained there - a cousin was killed at Crecy), due to the Black Death or to other causes. 25 years seems a long time to wait to erect a memorial but the economic effects of the Black Death may explain such a delay.

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.