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In 1544 July 28, Sir Anthony Browne, K.G., Master of the Horse was granted, by Henry VIII, (In year 36 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate 'within the site of the late mon. of Battle' (Battle Abbey)
Sir Anthony Browne, K.G., Master of the Horse. Grant, in fee (for his services), of the site, &c., of the late priory of St. Mary Overey, Surr., with its demesne lands and all messuages within the priory close in the parish of St. Saviour, in tenure of Wm. Potkyn and 12 others (named), and messuages, &c., in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen in Southwark in tenure of Cornelius Nevell, Chr. Fowler, and Sebastian Hillary, all which belonged to the said priory.
Also grant of liberty to embattle and fortify buildings within the site of the late mon. of Battle, Suss. Del. Westm., 28 July 36 Hen. VIII.—S.B. (countersigned by North, Williams and Bacon). Pat. p. 3, m. 17. (LP Hen. VIII)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by s.b. (counter signed by North, Williams and Bacon).


His elder half brother, with whom he had a close working relationship, was Sir William Fitzwilliam, who had received a licence to crenellate Cowdray House in 1533 (qv). Browne inherited Cowdray in 1542. Presumably this inheritance funded further building at Battle, but this licence, tagged onto the end of a list of substantive financial rewards is probably just another reward for service, possibly prompted by the licence given to another of Henry's main courtiers, Thomas Wriothesley, for Titchfield in 1542 (qv).

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;

Browne, Sir Anthony (c.1500–1548)
Browne, Sir Anthony (c.1500–1548), courtier, was the son of Sir Anthony Browne (d. 1506), a cadet of the Browne family of Betchworth, Surrey, and his wife, Lucy (d. 1534), widow of Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam of Aldwark, Yorkshire, and daughter and coheir of John Neville, Marquess Montagu... probably grew up in Henry VIII's household.... Never as powerful as the king's great ministers, Browne nevertheless maintained an intimate friendship with Henry throughout the latter's reign. He was regularly at court when not engaged in diplomatic, military, or other official duties, and avoided the disgrace that befell many courtiers... In 1539 Henry made him a privy councillor, master of the horse, and captain of the gentleman pensioners, and visited his house at Battle in Sussex... An increasingly influential figure at court, Browne became a knight of the Garter on 23 April (1540)

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.