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In 1426 July 28, Hernricus, episcopus Winton. et alii (Henry (Beaufort), bishop of Winchester, Thomas, bishop of Durham, William Babyngton, knight, Henry Merston, clerk, William Alyngton, Simon Flete, Robert Frampton, William Flete and John Deryng) was granted, by Henry VI, (In year 4 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Rykmersworth (The More, Rickmansworth)
Charter licencing Henry bishop of Winchester, Thomas, bishop of Durham,William Babyngton,knight, Henry Merston, clerk, William Alyngton, Simon Flete, Robert Frampton, William Flete and John Deryng to enclose, crenellate, enturret and embattle, with stones, lime and 'brik' their manor of More in Rykmersworth, and also to empark 600 acres of land in wood in Rikmersworth and Watford; grant also of free warren there, unless the land be within the metes of the king's forest. Witnesses: H. archbishop of Canterbury, J. archbishop of York and king's chancellor, W. bishop of London, P. bishop of Ely, W. bishop of Norwich and keeper of the privy seal, John duke of Bedford, Humphrey duke of Gloucester, Thomas duke of Exeter, John duke of Norfolk, Humphrey earl of Stafford, John earl of Huntyngdon, Henry earl of Northumberland, Walter Hungerford treasurer of England, John de Talbot, Ralph de Cromwell and John de Tiptoft steward of the household, knights. By p.s. (CPR)

Hernricus, episcopus Winton. et alii (... cum petris, calce et brike ... kernellare, turrellare et batellare) ...manerium in Rykmersworth ... More. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


The licence of 1426 also allow the emparking of 600 acres of land in Rikmersworth and Watford.
Renting this manor, from the Abbot of St Albans, allowed all these men access to hunting on an estate not too far from Westminster so they could fairly readily available during the minority of Henry VI. A gentlemen's hunting club dressed up with crenellations and royal licence to reflect the status of the members? Or was William Flete under some attack and in need of named powerful allies to confirm his holding of the manor? (cf. Wycroft 20 May 1427)

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;

Beaufort, Henry (called the Cardinal of England) (1375?–1447), bishop of Winchester and cardinal, was the second of four illegitimate children of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster (1340–1399) (ODNB)

Langley, Thomas (c.1360–1437), administrator and bishop of Durham. Following the death of Henry V on 31 August 1422, Langley resigned the great seal, but was reappointed as chancellor by parliament on 16 November. He finally surrendered the great seal on 16 July 1424, although he continued, with decreasing frequency, to came to meetings of council until excused further attendance on the grounds of age in December 1433. (ODNB)

Babington (Babyngton), William (d. 1453), later abbot of Bury St Edmunds, distinguished canon lawyer and ecclesiastic. (ODNB) If the knight is the same person, as seems likely, then the soldier was to become a cleric after this date.

Henry Merston (d. 1434), Probably a civil servant.

Allington, William (d. 1446), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons. Henry VI's minority council appointed him sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire in 1423 and in January 1424 formally co-opted him into its ranks, with an annual fee of £40, a promotion perhaps owed to Bishop Henry Beaufort and Ralph, Baron Cromwell. (ODNB)

Simon Flete. Councillor and Keeper of the Privy Wardrobe to Henry V.

Robert Frampton (b. before 1400 d. 1465). Dorset gentry. Was he a MP?

William Flete (d. 1444) Often MP for Hertfordshire. The named tenant of the manor.

John Deryng. No biographical details identified.

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.