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In 1447 Oct 28, Adam, bishop of Chichester, and his successors (Bishop Moleynes; Moleyns) was granted, by Henry VI, (In year 26 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Sellsey (Selsey Manor House)
Grant, of special grace, to Adam, bishop of Chichester, and his successors, of licence to impark 2,000 acres of land wood, meadow, heath and furze in Amburley, Rekham and Waltham, co. Sussex. 2,000 acres of the like in Drungewike, co. Sussex, 1,000 acres of the like in West wighting and Cakham, co. Sussex, 2,000 acres of the like in Bixhill co. Sussex, 2,000 acresof the like in Bisshopiston and Hethefeld, 2,000 acres of the like in Bruyll, and 1,000 acres of the like in Tyrischerch, and to hold the same, so enclosed, to himself and his successors;
grant also to him and his successors of free warren in all the demense lands and tenements and in all the fees belonging to the said bishopric;
grant also of licence to enclose, crenellate, provide with turrets, battlements and machicolations (mascolliare) with stones and 'brykes' their manors of Bruyll, Amburley, Alyngbourne, Drungewyk, Byxhill, Preston, Sidlisham, Sellesey, Cakham, Ferrying, Westwythtryng and Tyryscherch, and hold the same so fortified without impediment. (CChR)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal and of the said date etc. {by authority of parliament}.


One of several manors of the Bishops of Chichester covered by this licence (Aldingbourne, Amberley, Bexhill, Broyle, Cakeham, Drungeswick, Ferring, Preston, Selsey, Sidlisham, Turzes, West Wittering). Included in licence to crenellate obtain by Bishop Moleynes in 1447, but as this was numerous sites probably did not result in any building (Additionally the bishop was murdered in 1450).
Is this licence a response to the licence issued to the duke of York earlier in the year - the king being 'even handed' in a dispute between two major government figures. Moleyns association with the increasing unpopular duke of Suffolk may also be a factor.

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;

Moleyns, Adam (d. 1450)
Moleyns, Adam (d. 1450), administrator and bishop of Chichester, ... seems rather to have prospered on account of his legal and diplomatic talents ... also to be closely associated with William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk ... At some point ..., most likely in the autumn of 1446, Moleyns became involved in a dispute with Richard, duke of York (Smith)

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.