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In 1414 July 21, Lewis Johan, esquire (Lewys Johnan; Lewes John; Lodowic John) was granted, by Henry V, (In year 2 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate West Thorndon (Thorndon Old Hall, West Horndon)
Grant to Lewis Johan, esquire, of licence to enclose 300 acres of land and wood in West Thorndon, co. Essex, with hedges, dikes and palings and to make the same into a park and to enclose, embattle (batellare) and crenellate a lodge there with walls of 'brike' and tiles, and so hold the said lodge and park to him and his heirs, without impediment. By K. (CChR)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by King.


Grant to impark 300 acres and make a fortified lodge.

Having acquired wealth he seems to have then gone about acquiring the attributes and status of a gentleman; the embattled country hunting lodge and park and the royal appointments. Probably a genuine friend of the king but also loaned the king money and that part of this licence is about rewarding these favours.

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;

Lewis Johan (d. 1442)
Lewis Johan (d. 1442) was sheriff of Essex and an MP. In a tax assessment of 1436 he had the second largest income listed in Essex at £350 per annum. He also appears to have had a number of children with Anne of Salisbury, Lady Montacute (Daughter of the foster mother of Henry V)

Lewis Johan is already known to literary history in a humble way as the person at whose house the sons of Henry IV were taking supper when Henry Scogan read them his moral and poetical address. We might infer from this that Johan was a vintner ... and that he kept a restaurant ... at which young men of the highest rank were accustomed to dine. ... We know further that Lewis Johan was a freeman of the city of London in the second year of Henry IV, and that he was born of a Welsh father and mother. ... In 1414, Henry V granted to Lewis Johan the exclusive privilege for three years of issuing bills of exchange for persons wishing to send money to the Roman Curia, the republic of Venice, or other places where the Pope might be, or other parts beyond the sea. Lewis was to pay at each year's end 200 marks and was to be protected in his monopoly. ... In 1422 Lewis Johan appeared before the Lords of the King's Council at Westminster and asked to be relieved of the office of Master of the Coinage in the tower of London. From all these facts we can asily see what was the life and the station of Lewis Johan. He was a vintner, apparently well-known at court ... and he acquired sufficent wealth to engage in banking. (Kittredge)

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.