The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 
In 1381 Dec 8, Johannes Rous (John Rous; John le Roos) was granted, by Richard II, (In year 5 of his reign) a Royal Pardon licence to crenellate Ragele (Ragley Hall)
Pardon to John Rous for crenellating a house above the gate of his manor of Ragele, co. Warwick, without licence; and licence for him to crenellate the remainder of the manor. By p.s. {1991.} (CPR)

Johannes Rous ... domun supra Januam manerii sui de ... Ragele, Warr. (The Roll says, "Perdonavimus Johanni Rous transgressionem quam fecit kernellando et fortificando quandam demum supra Januam manerii sui de Ragele in Com. Warr.," &c. "Et," &c., "concessimus et licentiam dedimus," &c., "quod ipse residuum manerii predicti muro," &c., "fortificare et kernellare," &c.) (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


Rous may had made some money from the French wars and had brought and started to (re)build Ragley. Deciding to extend his plans and apply for a licence made the 'pardon' form inevitable but this does not mean that the application was not a formality. The Peasant's Revolt was probably not at all a consideration.

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;

John Rous of Ragley (d. 1396)
Identifying this John Rous is difficult because of the prominence of his late C15 name sake - the antiquarian and priest.

In 1370 John Rous of Ragley exchanged with the abbey (of Evesham) lands in Ombersley, Worcs., for land and rent in Ragley and Kingley. In Dec. 1381 he received a pardon for crenellating a house above the gate of his manor of Ragley without licence, and was given leave to crenellate the remainder of the manor. John Rous died before the close of 1396, followed shortly after by his eldest son John. (VCH)

There are several branches of the Rous family all minor knights.

More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.

Please do inform Gatehouse if you see any errors, can add information or can otherwise help to improve this resource. Please contact Gatehouse.

Record created by Philip Davis. This record last updated on Sunday, October 4, 2015.