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In 1547 Sept 20, William Paulett, K.G., lord Seynt John (William Paulet) was granted, by Edward VI, (In year 1 of his reign) a Royal Pardon licence to crenellate Letley (Netley Castle)
Whereas William Paulett, K.G., lord Seynt John, president of the Council and Great Master of the Household, at the desire of the king's father, built within the site of his manor of Letley, upon the sea coast, Hants, a stone tower or fortress (fortilicium) and two barbicans annexed thereto, for defence of the realm, without letters patent of licence;
Pardon to the said lord Seynt John and his heirs for the making of the said tower etc., and licence to them to maintain, enlarge and crenellate or embattle them; and to provide therein guns (bombard'), gunstones both of stone and iron, powder and other armament for their safekeeping against the king's enemies and for defence of the coast.
Also licence to Seynt John, his heirs and assigns to appoint under them nine men for defence of the premises, of whom the first shall be called the captain, the second the porter, the third the "master gonner" and the other six "soldyers" of the said tower; with authority to make rules for their governance. And grant that Seynt John, his heirs and assigns, and their captain or lieutenant of the said tower and barbicans, may on holidays (diebus festis seu profestis) assemble the tenants or inhabitants within the manor at the said tower and train them for war.
{Considerable grants of various lands "To hold to the said Lord Seynt John, his heirs and assigns, for the maintenance of the captain and soldiers in the fortress aforesaid, the repair of the premises and the defence of the sea coas"}
All which premises the king knows that his father intended to grant and remit to Lord Seynt John in the above form.
This without fine or fee. By p.s. {II. 874. Otelandes, 14 Sept.} (CPR)

Granted at Otelandes. Grant by privy seal.


Very much a Tudor PPI and the 'pardon' is really a continued authorisation and support. As a senior member of the council of Regency during Edward's minority he would certainly have been able to remove the term 'pardon' if this was in anyway derogatory to him. The term seems to be there purely to honour the boy king.

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;

William, first marquess of Winchester (1474/5?–1572)
Paulet, William, first marquess of Winchester (1474/5?–1572), administrator and nobleman... His main primary residence of Basing House was acquired through the marriage of Paulet's great-grandfather Sir John Paulet (d. 1437) to Constance (d. in or before 1428), daughter and coheir of Sir Hugh Poynings, eldest son and heir of Thomas Poynings, fifth Baron St John of Basing. Though a cousin, John Bonville, sued for title to Basing House, the Paulets appear to have sustained their claim, as in January 1531 Paulet was granted a licence to fortify the manor and create a park, and in 1537 was able to produce legitimate title to the lands... Paulet appears to have made little impression on local and central politics until the accession of Henry VIII. He was named sheriff in Hampshire on 8 November 1511, after being nominated, but not chosen, in each of the previous two years. He was again appointed to the post in 1518 and 1522. He was named to a commission on 2 May 1512 in Southampton to review, muster, and certify numbers of troops going to France, and named JP for Hampshire for the first time in January 1514. He was again on commissions of muster in Wiltshire in March 1539. Lucrative and important offices began to fall his way during the 1520s, but there is no clear evidence for how, or through whom, he came to the notice of the king... Paulet was knighted between 1523 and 1525 and was a member of the council from at least February 1526. (Ford)

Winchester was an accomplished courtier, if not as able an administrator, though his final years as lord chancellor taint the estimation of his earlier fiscal capabilities. His greatest achievements were his rise from obscurity to great status, his magnificent building, Basing House, which was the largest private residence in Britain, and his ability to thrive under successive regime changes; his career served as an inspiration for ambitious men rather than idealistic ones. (Ford)

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.