The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1374 May 5, Willielmus de Thorp (William Thorp; Thorpe) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 48 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Makeseye (Maxey Castle)
Licence for William de Thorp to crenellate his manor of Makeseye, co. Northampton. For 1 mark paid in the hanaper. (CPR)

Willielmus de Thorp ... manerium ... Makeseye, Norht. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by For 1 mark paid in the hanaper.


A mark (13s 4d) was paid for the licence.

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 de Thorp (d. 1391)
William de Thorp (d. 1391). This may be the son of Sir William de Thorp, Chief Justice of the King's Bench but Maxey appears to have been a property of Sir Robert Thorpe (d. 1372), chief justice of the court of common pleas and briefly, before his death, Lord Chancellor. Sir Robert died without issue so possibly this licence has more to do with confirming acquisition of the estate than anything else although a small degree of posthumous reward for the father long royal service may also be considered.
Although William was part of the gentry his father had humble origins. (Kaeuper)

William, was pardoned in May 1356 for killing a servant in the New Temple, London. (Kaeuper). This may suggest that the son was following his father in a career in law.
Thorp is a common placename and, therefore, relatively common surname. Some genealogies seem to confuse unrelated individuals.

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.