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In 1433 Jan 30, Humfridus, Dux Gloucestr. et Alienora uxor ejus (Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, and Eleanor his wife) were granted, by Henry VI, (In year 11 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Estgrenewich (Greenwich)
Licence, by advice of the council, for Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, and Eleanor his wife, to impark 200 acres of land, pasture, wood, heath and furze at Estgrenewich, which are outside the forest, notwithstanding that 17 acres of the said pasture, heath and furze have been granted to the said duke and duchess, in exchange for other lands, by the prior and convent of the house of Jesus of Bethlehem, Shene, having formed part of the manor of Estgrenewich, with which the said duke and duchess to enclose their manor house and mansion of Estgrenewich with walls, to crenellate the same, and to build a tower of stone and mortar in the park. By p.s. (CPR)

Humfridus, Dux Gloucestr. (avunculus Regis) et Alienora uxor ejus ... manerium sive mansionem suam manerii sui (Batellare et turellare ac quandam turrim infra parcum praedictum similiter petra et calce de novo constuere et edificare) ... East Greenwich, Kanc. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


A further licence, granted by petition in Parliament is granted for 'Grenewych' in 1437. Apart from the differences in name this has very similar wording and would appear to be for the same building, or possibly a different building in the same complex, although a more likely explanation of the second licence is the ending of Henry VI's minority in 1436/7. Coulson (1995) list this as a, suburban town house. Gatehouse considers it a ordinary country manor close to London.

In 1433 the duke appears to have been briefly sidelined as head of government and the licence may be part of re-establishing status between Humphrey and other members of the privy council.

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;

Humphrey (Humfrey or Humphrey of Lancaster), duke of Gloucester (called Good Duke Humphrey) (1390–1447)
Humphrey (Humfrey or Humphrey of Lancaster), duke of Gloucester (called Good Duke Humphrey) (1390–1447), prince, soldier, and literary patron, was the youngest son of Henry, earl of Derby, later Henry IV, and his first wife, Mary de Bohun (d. 1394). He was protector of England during Henry VI's minority and the first English patron of Italian humanism. (Harris)

Biographical source include;

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.