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In 1385 Oct 21, Edwardo Dalyngrigge (Sir Edward Dallingridge) was granted, by Richard II, (In year 9 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Bodyham (Bodiam Castle)
Rex omnibus ad quos &c. salutem. Sciatis quod de gratia nostra speciali concessimus et licentiam dedimus, pro nobis et hereibus nostris, quantum in nobis est, dilecto et fideli nostro Edwardo dalyngrigge chivaler, quod ipse mansum manerii sui Bodyham, juxta mare in Comitatu Sussex, muro de petra et calce firmare et kernellare, et castrum inde in defensionem patriae adjacentis et pro resistencia inimicorum nostrorum construere et facere, et mansum predictum sic firmatum et kernellatum et castrum inde sic factum, tenere possit sibi et heredibus suis in perpetuum, sine impedimento nostri et heredum nostrorum aut ministrorum nostrorum quoruncunque. In cujus rei testimonium, Rex apud Westmonast. xx die Octobris. – Rot. Pat. 9 Ric. II. p. i m. 21. (Lower)

The King to all persons to whom &c. greeting. Know that of our special grace we have granted and given licence on behalf of ourselves and or heirs, so much as in us lies, to our beloved and faithful Edward Dalyngrigge, Knight, that he may, with a wall of stone and lime, fortify and krenellate the manse of his manor house of Bodyham, near the sea, in the County of Sussex, and may construct and make thereby a castle for the defence of the adjacent country for resistance against our enemies, and may hold the aforesaid manse so fortified and krenellated, and the castle thereby so made for himself and his heirs for ever, without penalty or impediment from us or our heirs or our officers whosoever. In witness whereof, &c- Witness the King at Westminster, on the 21st day of October. (Pat 9. Ric: II. p, 1. m. 22.). (Blaauw)

Licence for Edward Dalyngrigge, knight,to crenellate his manor of Bodyham by the sea in the county of Sussex and to make a castle thereof in defence of the adjacent country against the king's enemies. By p.s. (CPR)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


Although this is possible the most quoted licence to crenellate, as it was one of the first published, it should be made clear the wording 'for the defence of the adjacent country, and the resistance to our enemies' is most unusual in a licence to crenellate (It does occur with some frequency in grants of murage to Irish towns). There was a distinct intense invasion scare at this time and other licences and royal documents do reflect this particular scare of the mid 1380's. Drawing generally conclusions about the meaning of licences to crenellate from this exceptional licence has to be done with exceptional care. Dan Spencer suggests this wording is a response to the failure of the local magnate, the Earl of Arundel, to provide 'leadership in protecting Sussex from raiders', a rather more nuanced interpretation where the licence is part of political manoeuvres designed to secure Dallingridge's place in the Sussex political scene.

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;

Dallingridge, Sir Edward (c.1346–1393)
Dallingridge, Sir Edward (c.1346–1393), administrator and soldier. The archetypal knight done well from the French Wars who's service to great lords and marriage to a wealthy heiress allowed him to build a splendid house fit for his later positions as MP and member of the king's council.

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.