The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1433 July 8, the mayor and burgesses were granted, by Henry VI, (In year 11 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Pole (Poole Town Wall)
Whereas the port of Melcombe is not sufficiently strong or populous for the protection of goods and merchandise brought thither against the king's enemies, whereby merchants, and notably John Roger, have suffered heavy loss, so that they are afraid to ship there and the king's customs suffer, and whereas the town and harbour of Pole are notably populous and the harbour is safe, and the mayor and burgesses of Pole, with the king's licence, propose to wall, crenellate and fortify the same; the king, by advice and assent of the lords spiritual and temporal and of the commonalty of England in the present Parliament, has granted licence for the said mayor and burgesses to fortify their town and orders that Melcombe shall remain a port until Hilary next, and after that shall be no port but a creek as it was before, and that Pole at the said feast shall begin to be a royal port, and its mayor shall have power to receive recognisances of the staple, and such other liberties and franchises as the mayor of Southampton has. {Cf. Rolls of Parliament, IV. p. 468.} By pet. in Parl. (CPR)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by petition in Parliament.


The obtaining of the privileges for the new port would be the prime motive for this charter but the wording shows the use of the fear of French raids to aid the acceptance of the petition (Note that Poole is described a safe harbour before any walls). The actual walls built were slight and around the quay, not the town, and probably just represented the usual security from thieves and the facilities to levy and collect tolls.

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;

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.