The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1382 Aug 6, Abbas et Conventus de Thornton (Abbot Thomas Gresham) were granted, by Richard II, (In year 6 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Abbatia de Thornton (Thornton Abbey)
Licence for the abbot and convent of Thornton to build and crenellate a new house over and beside their abbey gate. By p.s. (CPR)

Abbas et Conventus de Thornton ... quandam novam donum (desuper et juxta portam Abbatiae suae de Thornton muro) ... Abbatia de Thornton, {Linc.} (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Woodstock. Grant by privy seal.


Licence repeated in 1389.

The suspicion must be that the abbot and abbey must have been in need of some royal favour because of something Gresham was doing.

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;

Abbot Thomas Gresham
Abbot Thomas Gresham (sat 1364-94) 'a man of very evil life' (Cott. MS. Vesp. D. i, 40-7 sourced from VCH) Pages relating to him in a 16th century history of the abbey were torn out 200 years later – a scribbled note saying it “was to protect the abbey’s reputation”.

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.