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In 1474 May 28, Laurence, bishop of Durham was granted, by Edward IV, (In year 14 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Bryggecourt in the parish of Bateresey (Bridgecourt Manor, Battersea)
Grant, of special grace, and in consideration of good service, to Laurence, bishop of Durham, and his assigns, that they may make walls and towers with stone, lime and sand about and in their mansion called Bryggecourt in the parish of Bateresey, co Surrey and so enclose the said mansion, and furnish the said walls and towers with turrets, battlements, crenellations and machicolations, and so hold the said mansion to him and his assigns without impediment from the king or his heirs or any other; and that the said bishop and his assigns may impark all their lands and woods in Bateresey and elsewhere in the said county and enclose them with palings and hedges and make a park or parks of them; and that they shall have free warren and free chace in all their lands and woods aforesaid. (CChR)

Granted at Westminster Palace. Grant by King.


Licence granted to Bishop of Durham for to build house with towers and impark at Bridgecourt in Battersea in 1474. Coulson (1995) list this as a, suburban town house. Gatehouse considers it a ordinary country manor close to London, although clearly it's function was to provide accommodation with easy access to the palace of Westminister and the King's court, and a place to entertain, with hunting, his friends and potential allies.

The Bishop had obtained the estate in 1460 but was siezed by the king in 1471 because it had been obtained in contravention of the statue of Mortmain, which forbade the unlicensed transfer of land to ecclesiastical bodies. Bishop Booth found it necessary to apply to the King, and having paid £700, the Manor of Bridgecourt and other lands forfeited by Stanley were granted to him on the 10th July 1471. Booth appears to have built the first house on the site shortly afterwards (Hawkins, 2000). The licence probably obtained after the building was complete may well have been part of more general favours shown to Booth but also secured this property legal status.

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;

Booth , Laurence (c.1420–1480)
Lawrence Booth (d. 1480) was Bishop of Durham and then Archbishop of York. Although a Lancastrian, after the fall of Henry VI Booth accommodated himself to the new realities. He submitted to Edward in April of 1461, and at the end of June beat back a raid led by the lords Ros, Dacre and Rougemont-Grey who brought Henry VI over the border to try and raise a rebellion in the north of England. Edward named him his confessor. Although he temporarily lost control of the Bishopric of Durham, he was restored to it in 1464, when he made submission to King Edward IV, and he was never imprisoned. He took an active part in Edward's government thereafter and on July 27, 1473 was made Keeper of the Great Seal, which office he held until May of 1474. (

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.