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In 1379 July 30, Thomas, episcopus Exonien (Bishop Thomas Brantingham) was granted, by Richard II, (In year 3 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Chudele or elsewhere in the bishopric (Chudleigh Bishops Palace)
Licence for Thomas, bishop of Exeter, at his manor of Chudele, co. Devon, or elsewhere within his bishopric on his own lands to make and crenellate a fortalice. By p.s. (CPR)

Thomas, episcopus Exonien ... fortalicium ... Chudele, Devon. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


A licence to crenellate the episcopal manor was granted to Bishop Thomas Brantingham in 1379. The licence was to build (make and crenellate) a fortalice at Chudleigh or elsewhere within his bishopric on his own land.

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;

Brantingham, Thomas (d. 1394)
Brantingham himself said that he had served Edward III and Queen Philippa ‘from our adolescence to our time as a bishop’ ... A financial account for the year between February 1353 and February 1354 names Brantingham as an attorney for the comptroller of the household. He was appointed cofferer on 5 October 1359, with executive responsibility for finance during the French campaign of 1359–60... On the accession of Richard II, with the king a minor and consensus the government's objective, Brantingham was recalled as treasurer on 19 July 1377 after a year of severe political crisis. (Davies)

The post of treasurer was becoming increasingly unpopular but the licence is probably a reward for taking on a difficult job rather than as a defence from potential attack.

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.