Medieval Latin.

Chat about just about anything else
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

Damn my tangents.

The fitz Alans – why was I so interested in them?

Oh, yeah - John Matravers the younger’s grandaughter, Eleanor, married John FitzAlan on 17 Feb ‘58. When, in or after, ‘76 her elder sister Joan died, then she inherited the Matravers ‘barony’, which then passed to her husband.

Back to the ‘aftermath.’

July 5 ‘82, ‘To the keepers of the passage in the port of Dovorre.

Order under pain of forfeiture to suffer no man of whatsoever estate or condition for any cause or upon any pretence to pass to foreign parts until further order without the king's special command under the great or the privy seal, and to make proclamation of the premises; as the king has learned that great number of his rebellious lieges, having committed many crimes in this insurrection, are purposing not to be justified by the law, but to pass over sea, in order to do the king and realm what hurt they may. By K.

The like to the keepers of the passage in the port of Sandewich and in nineteen other [unnamed] ports.’

… great number of his rebellious lieges … fleeing the law? Maybe, but ‘… to do the king and realm what hurt they may.’ I wonder if that was people rushing off to complain about something to the pope, or to say to the French king – ‘psst, now may be a good time to invade.’ However, nothing seems to have come of it.

‘During the first week of July [‘82] a commission started hearing cases ... sittings-were held each day in different places all over Cambridgeshire ... The commission also went into the liberty of Ely ... The Earl of Suffolk's commission in Norfolk and Suffolk was pursued with equal vigour … The intense judicial activity of these commissions is also illustrated by the Earl of Arundel's commission for Surrey and Sussex, which arrested so many people that the gaol of Guildford castle could not hold them all, and the earl was given permission to keep prisoners in his castles at Arundel and Lewes.’

On Aug 20 there was a reasonably common type of court case in Kyngeston upon Hull, where Gerard de Ousflete and Katherine who was wife of William de la Pole had a bit of a beef with Michael de la Pole ‘concerning a messuage in the town, upon petition of the defendants, shewing that in the late insurrection their charters and muniments concerning the same were burnt by the insurgents ...’

Even though some commissions were ‘... pursued with equal vigour ...’ ‘The parliamentary commissions against the rebels do not seem to have been widely used. In hearings in the exchequer, a number of members of the commissions of March 8th for Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Buckinghamshire claimed that they had not received a copy of the commission and had not taken part in any sessions held under it.’

‘The men of Ware doubtless exploited the popular hatred of Gaunt in rallying support for an expedition against Hertford. The insurgents stormed Hertford castle. Unlike the Savoy palace, Hertford castle was not completely destroyed, but considerable damage was caused. In a trespass
action arising from the attack, Gaunt claimed that goods worth a thousand pounds were taken, from the castle. Extensive repairs were made to the castle in 1382 and 1383, apparently as a result of damage caused by the rebels. Lead had been removed from the roof, battlements and Gaunts own chambers. It is interesting to note that lead from the ruins of the Savoy palace was used to repair Hertford castle.’

Nice to see some recycling.

I certainly can’t find any evidence of what happened in Dorset, but on Mar 8 ‘82 there was – possibly – another rebellion and at the end of the year, there were still – or more - rebellions all around the country.

Dec 21 1382 ‘… treasonable insurrection of divers evil-doers in congregations and conventicles, and their perpetration of treasons, homicides, arsons … to arrest, imprison and punish such rebels and any who incite to rebellion, to suppress their meetings, arrest their goods, or take security as they think fit. If the meetings are suspicious or in excessive number they are to take the posse comitatus both knights and esquires, lead them against the rebels, seize any found committing the offence aforesaid and do justice upon them without delay … power to arrest, imprison, and punish any who refuse to assist them.’

Our fledgling police force in Dorset was: William de Montecute, earl of Salisbury, Guy de Bryene, Robert fitz Payn, Robert Rous, Stephen Derby, Walter Clopton, John Matravers, John Frome, Roger Manyford and William Payn. ... up&seq=256 et seq

Was that the Peasants revolt rumbling on, or was it a rebellion by others who were a bit miffed over something – I don’t know because that never gets mentioned in ‘our’ history?

In response to the Peasants' Revolt, Parliament passed the Treason Act of ‘81, which made ‘the starting of a riot’ high treason, and, Wikipedia, ‘… The Commons stood behind the existing labour laws ...’

Oh goodie – the Commons thought that we rustics shouldn’t be allowed to move around and/or get paid fairly – pah!

Deeeep breath. (I’ve already deleted one rant.)

One of the reasons I’ve been mentioning John Wycliffe is because in 1382 the Heresy Act was passed? ‘The Act stated that the Chancellor should issue commissions for the arrest of heretical preachers by the authority of certificates from the bishops. The Act was repealed in a later Parliament of the same year as the knights of the shires claimed it had not passed the House of Common.’

May 21 ‘82 – John Wycliffe's teachings were condemned by the Synod of London, which became known as the ‘Earthquake Synod’, after its meetings were disrupted by an earthquake, and as the records show that churches were damaged and shocks were felt in London, it’s estimated to have been of c6.0 on the Richter Magnitude scale.

Another reason are Lollards.

In October – the ‘Wonderful Parliament’ was held, which appointed a commission to oversee the court and government. Problems were brewing.

Around about this time :lol: Salisbury cathedrals ‘clock’ was started. It’s now the world's oldest working ‘clock’.

Oh, I do so amuse myself at times! :lol:

SEE, I done it again! :lol: :lol: :oops:

Where was I?

Salisburys ‘clock’. From what I remember – backed up by that pesky internet thingy – it was a means of ringing bells at the right time. I suppose that if you didn’t own a watch then that was probably the best way of telling the time.

A bit of an attempt to show that life continued, and to show how ‘the system’ effected different people. Before Jan 3 ‘83 Theobald Gorges, who’d been our sheriff back in ‘80, died. He had two sons, Ralph who was his heir, and Bartholomew. Ralph ‘attained his majority’ but died ‘before having livery of his lands’. This meant that Bartholomew had to be ‘arrested’ because ‘the marriage of Bartholomew, by reason of his minority, belonging to the king.’

A great way for the king to make money – he controlled inheritance and marriage. If you were a ‘heir’, or very rarely a ‘heiress’, of a decent sized bit of land, then to inherit you had to pay a fine, and then you had to pay another fine to get married. Nice!

As Christianity had two popes this could lead to problems and on June7 Matthew de Gurnay, Guy de Brienne, Walter Romsey, Edmund fitz Herbert, John Weylond, knights, John Matravers and James Lyons, serjeant-at-arms were appointed ‘to arrest and bring before the king and council certain evildoers who endeavoured to expel Francis, prior of Montecute, and his monks from their priory by armed force … after citing him in court Christian as a schismatic and heretic in being an adherent of Robert of Geneva, anti-pope ...’

According to the king, prior Francis had already sworn his allegiance to the ‘real’ pope, Urban.

One more, just cuz it’s fun.

On May 8 ‘84 there was the Appointment of Edward Courtney, earl of Devon, Guy de Briene and nine others ‘upon information that divers disturbers of the peace came armed in routs and unlawful assemblies to Crydyton co. Devon [Crediton], entered the church, seized John Cade, the bishop of Exeter’s servant, to kill and compel him under threat of death to eat the point of a shoe, flourished the wool thereof with knives in his face’.

Sorry, but I’m only copying what ‘they’ say.

The malefactors then chased Cade and other servants ‘through the town with knives, bows and arrows to the bishop’s manor, where they threatened to burn, tore off his body the habergeon which for keeping the peace and in the same town he was wearing*, lay in wait (which they still do) day and night by bridges and roads to kill and maim the king’s lieges.’

They also ‘took Master Calwe from his chamber, brought him into the High Street, compelled him and John Duffield to eat the seals, and John Duffeld to eat a copy of certain mandates of the said bishop’.

Those appointed were told to tell everyone that this was a bit naughty and should stop.

* ‘Habergeon’ translates as Hauberk, and it seems that wearing armour was part of ‘bearing arms’, and it was illegal to ‘bear arms’ unless you were acting as, or for, a ‘peacekeeper.’
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

Remember William Hygon/Hugyn/Hygyn, mayor of Corfe?

On Nov 2 1382/3 he was ordered to finish some work on the bridge into the castle and a wall inside it, that’d been started before 1377.

Then on Jun 20 ‘83 the ‘warden of the Flete prison’ was ordered ‘to receive William Hugyn of Corfe, and to keep him in safe custody there until further order.’

On Aug 6 the warden was told that ‘John Kentebury, John de Weston, John Bersford, William Hulle, William Grendon of Westminster, Thomas Sudcote and John Usburne of London’ had mainperned for Hugyn and he was ‘to set free William Hugyn mayor of Corfe there imprisoned ... to have him before the king and council in the quinzaine of Michaelmas next ...’

On June 16 ‘84, the constable of Corfe was ordered ‘to take William Hugyn of Corfe, and deliver him to Thomas Hore Serjeant at arms, to be brought to the Tower of London and delivered to the custody of the constable until further order for his deliverance.

These next two records don’t have to be linked to Hygyn, but on May 4 ‘84 John Hameryn, Roger Turbeville and Stephen Derby, knights, John Matravers, Walter Clopton, Phillip Walleweyn and John Fitelton were commissioned to ‘enquire what evildoers entered the king’s forest and warren at Purbyk, co. Dorset, hunted therein without licence, and took hares, conies, pheasants and partridges from the warren and deer from the forest.’

And then on July 15, John Cook and John Cradelee who’d already been made ‘keepers of the king’s warren of Purbyk’ were confirmed in their posts ‘for life’, with the proviso that ‘they are not to be removed by any constable of the castle for the time being or by any other person’, unless there was ‘reasonable cause.’

Then I think that Hygyn must have been ‘to court’, as on Aug 20 a ‘Writ de inlendendo in favour of John Loter the younger, and order to admit him to rule and keep the town in room of the mayor until the day of election of a mayor there; as the king is particularly informed that William Hygyn the mayor has committed and is daily procuring divers trespasses and prejudices against the king, his Serjeants of Corfe castle and his tenants there, wherefore the king has removed him.’

What happened to Hygyn next isn’t clear, but March 14 ‘85 he seems to have paid a fine of £200 – presumably to buy his freedom.

‘William Hygon of Corfe to the king. Recognisance for 200L, to be levied etc. in Dorset. Memorandum of defeasance, upon condition that the said William shall suffer the services due to the king's castle of Corfe to be performed, not causing or procuring let thereof by word or deed.’

So long as he behaved himself.

And I’m not entirely sure he did, as on Feb 22 ‘89 he was, ‘at the supplication of the earl of Salisbury’ pardoned after he was ‘seized and put in prison by Morgan Gof keeper of the warren’ for having ‘accepted a portion of doe slain by William Lacer on New Years Day … in ignorance that any harm would result.’

Invasion didn’t end, but the detail seem to get ‘sketchier’. We raided them, they raided us, due to the weather we lost fleets, and presumably they did too.

In 1383, The Hundred Years War was well underway and during the Ypres, or Despenser, Crusade the abbot of Cerne was told ‘to draw to some castle or manor of his nearest the sea coast in Dorset, there continually to abide with his household armed and furnished until Michaelmas next, with other lieges to whom the king has given like command, in order to resist the king's enemies if they shall invade those parts; as the king has information that they have assembled a great fleet of ships and galleys, and are preparing to invade and destroy the said coasts this coming summer ...

The like to the following, with orders to abide in castles or manors as above:

The abbot of Middelton. The abbess of Shafton. The prior of Okebourne. Reynold de Cobham knight. Stephen Derby knight. Robert Turberville knight. Edmund fitz Herbert knight. John Moigne knight. William PajTi. [blinkin' Internet! ?Payn?]. William Clavylle of Alryngton [?Afflington?]

The like to the following, with orders to abide upon benefices of theirs:

Master Robert Corffe parson of Corffe in Purbyk. The parson of Knolle. The parson of Steeple. Master Edward Burnell prebendary of Byre. [Bere Regis].’

It seems that if they didn't comply then they'd be ‘under peril of being regarded as rebels and favourers of the enemy.’

Also in 1383, to the sheriff of Dorset and Somerset, John Streche of Pinhoe, I assume for the anticipated Scottish war, but don't actually know that, ‘Writ of supersedeas omnino in respect of Westminster, the king's late order to buy and purvey 500 bows and 300 sheaves of arrows, and to cause them to be brought to the Tower of London for delivery to Randolph de Hatton keeper of the king's privy wardrobe ...’

It went all round the country with more than one place suggesting that three million arrows were associated with this Writ of supersedeas omnino.

In 1384 John Wycliffe died a natural death. Many suggest that he’d been allowed to live as executing him would have made him a martyr.

I can’t find much detail but it appears that there may have been a small French army in Scotland in 1384 – but it could have been 1385. France may have been making plans to invade England. Rodger says ‘The Franco-Scots alliance was renewed in 1383, and Jean de Vienne planned to lead a French expedition to Scotland. He would invade from the north, while the main French army under Oliver de Clisson, Constable of France, would land simultaneously in Kent. It was a formidable threat to a distracted and enfeebled enemy.’

Vienne landed at Leith on June 1 [‘84 I think] and raided as far south as Morpeth.

Rodger continues ‘The French plan miscarried in the south. The men of Ghent rebelled against French occupation and the invasion fleet was diverted to recapture the port of Damme from the rebels.

Pretty much the same happened in 1385 and on 20 April, ‘Phillip Walwayn, constable of corfe, the mayor, bailiffs and commonalty of Corfe and all residents in the isle of Purbyk’ were warned about ‘preparations by the French against England.’

Then on April 30 ‘To the parson of Knolle.

Order upon his allegiance and under pain of forfeiture, as he loves the king and desires the safety of the realm, in consideration of imminent peril to leave all else and as speedily as may be to draw to his benefice of Purbyke co. Dorset with all his household well armed and furnished, there to abide until Michaelmas next in order, with other lieges to whom the king has given like directions, to resist his enemies if any invade those parts; as the king has information that they have gathered a great fleet of ships and galleys, and are making ready to invade the sea coasts in Dorset this coming summer. By C.

The like to the following, with orders to dwell upon their manors, lands etc. in the parts of Purbike:

William I'ayn the elder. [?Payn?]. John Moulham. William Clavylle of Alfrington. John Claunville. Reynold de Cobham knight. John de Fitelton. Stephen Derby knight.

Also to the following, to dwell upon their benefices: The parson of Corfe. The parson of Stepulle.’

The abbess of Shaftesbury also received an order to ‘as speedily as may be to send men-at-arms well armed and furnished and archers to her benefices, lands etc. within those parts, according to the quantity of such lands etc., there to abide until Michaelmas.

The like to the following: The abbess of Tarent. The prior of Warham. The abbot of Cerne. The prior of Crichirche. [Christchurch]. The abbot of Byndon. The prior of Okebume. [?Oborne? ?Ogbourne?]. The abbot of Abbotesbury.’

The bishop of Winchester was ordered to gather ‘all abbots, priors, men of religion and other ecclesiastical persons of his diocese’ to resist an invasion of the Isle of Wight.

The French probably occupied some of it on 21 August.

‘The French persisted with their invasions … successfully taking the north, landing over 1700 men, destroying Newport and surrounding villages and laying siege to Carisbrooke Castle. Eventually the French went home ...’

The main French invasion was thwarted by another rebellion – but this time, in Flanders. So we invaded Scotland, burning lots of stuff but not meeting them in battle, cuz they knew that they couldn’t defeat the English army, so waited until the money ran out and they had to go home.

In 1386 Winchelsea was attacked and there were also landings in Kent and the Benedictine monks of Abbotsbury, complained to pope Urban VI that, ‘as their house was situated on the coast, they were frequently invaded by Spaniards, Normans, and Bretons, and garrisoned by the king’s forces, and that the expense was threatening the continuation of religious services at the house.’

‘... the repetition of the ‘great cost which they daily incur for defence against hostile attack’ in the letter suggests that the monks position was perilous to some degree.’

This years parliament was named as ‘The Wonderful Parliament.’

1387, Vienne and Clisson were planning another invasion. This time it went wrong because Clisson was imprisoned by his enemy – the Duke of Brittany. And there was the small matter of the battle of Margate, which ‘… ended the threat of a French and Castilian invasion for the next decade ...’

Richard II was really annoying a lot of his lords, so they set up the Lords Apellant. ‘They achieved their goals, first establishing a Commission to govern England for one year from 19 November 1386. In 1387, the Lords Appellant launched an armed rebellion against King Richard and defeated his army at the skirmish of Radcot Bridge. They maintained Richard as a figurehead with little real power.’

1388 The Merciless Parliament.

Seven years after The Peasants Revolt, the Statute of Cambridge was passed;

It prohibited any labourer from leaving the hundred, rape, wapentake, city, or borough where he was living, without a testimonial, showing reasonable cause for his departure, to be issued under the authority of the justices of the peace. Any labourer found wandering without such letter, was to be put in the stocks until he found surety to return to the town from which he came. Impotent persons were to remain in the towns in which they were living at the time of the Act; or, if the inhabitants were unable or unwilling to support them, they were to withdraw to other towns within the hundred, rape, or wapentake, or to the towns where they were born.

But, ‘… each county "Hundred" was made responsible for relieving its own "impotent poor" who, because of age or infirmity, were incapable of work. Although lack of enforcement limited its effect.’

Finally - a truth emerged - in 1399 Lyme Regis was ‘so wasted and burned by frequent attacks of the sea and assaults of the kings enemies and frequent pestilences that scarcely a twentieth part of was inhabited.’

In May 1399 Richard II went on a military campaign to Ireland. On July 4 Henry Bollingbrook arrived by boat in Yorkshire with a small army. As Henry made his way south, his army grew larger. Richard II was abandoned by his supporters and was forced to surrender to Henry at Flint Castle in Flint, Flintshire, Wales on August 16 ‘99. He was then taken to London where he was held at the Tower of London.

Henry used the precedent established when King Edward II was forced to abdicate by Parliament in favour of his son King Edward III. However, Henry had a complication that his grandfather Edward III did not have. Henry was descended from Edward III’s third son and so, unlike Edward III, he was not the direct heir. Because Richard II was childless, the heir presumptive was eight-year-old Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, the great-grandson of King Edward III’s second son Lionel of Antwerp. Because Edmund was a young child, Parliament saw no benefit in his succession and agreed Henry should succeed. On September 29, 1399, Richard was forced by Parliament to abdicate the crown to his cousin Henry. Henry IV was crowned in Westminster Abbey on October 13. Another thing that made Bollingbrok attractive was that he had four sons. Henry IV was probably the first king since 1066 whose mother tongue was English.

Returning to - 20 April ‘85, ‘Phillip Walwayn, constable of corfe, the mayor, bailiffs and commonalty of Corfe and all residents in the isle of Purbyk’ were warned about ‘preparations by the French against England.’

A year ago I got hold of Albans thesis.

‘The defenders of the Isle of Wight in 1311 were compelled to pay 1000 marks for the withdrawal of the French, while in 1385, Studland and Swanage in Dorset were among a number of coastal places which were licensed to pay ransom to the enemy if circumstances warranted it without fear of future impeachment.’

And this year – cheers RollyShed – I got hold of ‘Safeguard’.

‘In August [1377] they returned to ransom the Isle of Wight and burn Poole and Hastings ...’

Clunk, clunk, CLUNK.

Nov 22 1400.

‘Commission to Humphrey Stafford, ‘chivaler’. John Moigne, ‘chivaler’, William Tybenham, constable of the castle of Corff, Robert Rempston, Robert Craford and the sheriff of Dorset [Richard Boyton of Currypool in Charlinch] to enquire by oath of good men of the isle of Purbeck and the view of the same what townships or tithings of the isle and the parts adjoining are bound to keep nightly and daily watches on the sea-coast within the isle from time to time and to certify to the king concerning the names of all who are bound to keep such watches and have refused, through which divers lieges of the king of the isle have been captured by the king’s enemies of France and taken to foreign parts and put to no small ransoms.’


But then, I wasn’t there, and I have no idea what was actually going on - but bloody hell!!!!!!

Does that imply that Swanage and Studland – maybe the whole of Purbeck – had, as first recorded in ‘38, been invaded for years? Had they just given up on keeping their nightly and daily watches?

Imagine – you follow the king’s orders and watch your coast. Invaders land. You light fires, ring bells, send out riders – and what happens? Did anyone – the posse or the militia - ride to their rescue? Did they just give up – ‘oh bloody hell, here are the French again, I wonder how many people they want this time?’ Had they lived in fear of attack for 60 years? Or …. were they a bunch of ‘snivelling cowards’?

But in 1385 they ‘were licensed to pay ransom to the enemy if circumstances warranted it without fear of future impeachment.’

Surely that can only mean that the king admitted that he couldn’t physically protect his subjects – doesn’t it?

Ransoming knights and lords is well known, but I can’t find anything about, we, commoners. Apart from that.

Why was Swanage attacked so frequently?

I think it’s because it faces the east. When the prevailing westerly wind ‘blew up’ then it made a great place to shelter. Geographically, pretty much the same applies to Melcombe and Weymouth, as Portland makes a damned good ‘wind-breaker’.

Swanage also has a nice beach and, although not documented until c1500, it may have had a pier. I just can’t imagine that there was any other reason that made Swanage so attractive. I think it was a ‘service-station’ where you could hide from the gales, round up a few sheep, maybe hunt a few deer, grab any grain, recharge your water supply and have a bit of fun with the locals.

A side issue is that Purbeck Marble had been fantastically popular until c1350, when Alabaster become the new favourite. Was it an enforced change? If Purbeck had been ravaged by the Black Death and if parts of it were under frequent assault had it been de-populated?

However, kings and big lords still used Purbeck Marble until the end of House Plantaganet.
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

1401 ‘Regarding the burning of heretics’ - ‘burn her, she’s a witch’ - nope, the ‘heretics’ were those Lollards.

Another problem for England was Owain Glyndŵr. He’d fought for Richard II but fell out with his neighbour, Baron Grey de Ruthyn, so declared himself Prince of Wales and led the Last War of Independence. In June 1402, Glyndŵr defeated an English force led by Sir Edmund Mortimer at the Battle of Bryn Glas, where Mortimer was captured. Glyndŵr offered to release Mortimer for a large ransom but Henry IV refused to pay probably because Mortimer's nephew could be said to have had a greater claim to the English throne than Henry himself. In response, Mortimer negotiated an alliance with Owain and married one of Owain's daughters ... The French were certainly hoping to use Wales as they had used Scotland: as a base from which to fight the English.

In 1401 Scottish ships appeared in the Menai Strait and helped the Welsh to seize Conwy. The Scots briefly took Bardsey, although one of their ships was chased all the way to Milford. In 1403 French ships under ‘pirate’ Jean d’Espagne were off Kidwelly, and they continued to operate in Welsh waters until 1404. In July of the same year Glyndŵr signed a treaty with Charles VI. More French ships appeared in the Irish sea, and the results were momentous. Criccieth castle fell to Glyndŵr, as did Aberystwyth and Harlech, mainly because they couldn’t be resupplied from the sea.

In 1405 a French fleet of up to 120 ships under Jean de Rieux arrived at Milford Haven bringing 2,600 troops to support Glyndŵr. The Franco-Welsh host took Carmarthen and then invaded England ultimately confronting Henry IV at Woodbury Hill in Worcester, while Rieux’s ships blockaded Tenby and sailed up the Severn in support. The armies sat looking at each other for a while, but then the Welsh and the French went home – possibly due to supply problems

Parallel to that, Rodger says that ‘Henry IV pursued a cautious policy towards France … Many French pirates operated under the Scottish flag. A Castilian squadron patrolled the Channel to protect trade. Though some of the galleys under Petro Nino indulged in unauthorised piracy and attacked West Country ports … In 1403 a force of French and Bretons attacked Plymouth by night and burnt it. Dartmouth, Plymouth and Bristol retaliated, taking a total of eighty prizes off the coast of Brittany and burning St Matthews. Just before Christmas a French force landed in the Isle of Wight, but were driven off. In 1404 they returned, with no more success and in April a Breton force attacked Dartmouth. There they made the fatal mistake of showing themselves in the offing for several days before landing … The Dartmouth men were ready, and the Bretons were driven off with heavy losses, including their commander.’

The Breton force may also have attacked Portland, as in 1404 there was a commission to William Wroth, sheriff of Dorset, Thomas Daccombe, and three others to ‘levy on those persons who took prisoners at the late victory over the French at Portland a tenth of their ransoms, for distribution among those who took no prisoners.’

As Rodger doesn’t go into it in detail, I guess that things aren’t too clear, but, was there a sea battle off Portland, or had the Portlanders put to sea to aid the Dartmouthians, or had Portland been invaded and fought back? No idea, but it’s nice to see the booty being divided up.

This could well be the the Battle of Blackpool Sands.

1404. The unlearned parliament. Unlearned Parliament.

As I’ve mentioned pirates, so it’s time to mention, Harry Pay. He was a ‘pirate’ based at Poole – possibly on ‘Green Island’ - but others tell the tale of Admiral Henry Pay …. of Faversham.

‘… it was a September morning, just before daybreak in the year 1405, when five war galleys,
three Spanish, two French, slid silently into Poole harbour. ...’

Obviously, I’m biased, please make up your own minds.

Pooles 'Ghost Walls’.

Glyndŵr didn’t give up until 1409 which kept Henry IV very busy, as his health began to fail. He died on 20 March 1413, and his son, Henry, became the V, when he was crowned on April 9. The ceremony was marked by a terrible snowstorm, but we common people couldn’t work out whether this was a good or bad omen.

His reign was generally free from serious trouble at home, except that on Jan 11 ‘14 a commission under Richard Veer, earl of Oxford, were told by the king that ‘many of the king’s subjects commonly called Lollards … have traitorously planned his death … arrest all whom they may find guilty … imprison them until the king shall give orders for their punishment ...’

There were also a few people who still thought that Henry IV should never have been king and so neither should Henry be the V. This led to the ‘Southampton Plot’ of July 1415, in favour of Edmund Mortimer. There was one problem with this plot - Mortimer stayed loyal to the king.

Probably in 1410, Melcombe asked for ‘a grant of murage upon the goods and merchandise of people coming to the town. They state that the town has been burnt and destroyed by the King's enemies, and that very few people remain.’

1408–1415. Raids on Isle of Wight and two on Dartmouth by French privateers.

1415 Agincourt – after that no-one doubted Henry V’s right to rule, as God was obviously on his side.

1418: Winchelsea raided.

In 1426 Hugh Luttrell was a justice of Oyez and Terminer looking for ‘witches and Lollards in Somerset.’

I haven’t done a thorough search for ‘witches’, but that’s the first mention I’ve found of them locally.

In 1427 there’s a record saying that Melcombe was made a Staple Port – but it’s not clear that it’s a ‘good’ record. On June 8 ‘33 Poole was definitely made a Staple Port. Melcombe though ‘shall remain a port until Hilary next, and that after that shall be no port but a creek as it was before, and that Pole … shall begin to be a royal port ...’

Henry VI was crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey on 5 Nov ‘22. In ‘28 Joan d’Arc stirred up the French, but was captured on 23 May ‘30, convicted and burned at the stake on 30 May ‘31 and Henry VI was crowned king of France at Notre-Dame, in Paris, on 16 Dec ‘31.

We Won The Hundred Years War! We Must Have!

* Martyrs and afterlives. Even though he probably didn’t exist, some would say that king Arthur will return in order to save England. Some would say that king Harold lived on after his official death in 1066. Some would say that Edward II lived on. Some would say that Richard II lived on. Everyone ‘knew’ that John Wycliffe died. It’s said that Joan’s pyre was extinguished so that all could see that she was dead. Then re-lit.

After Joans death, the fortunes of war turned dramatically against the English. Even though Henry VI was king of France, the ‘French’ didn’t really want that, so ignored him. in the summer of 1435 the Congress of Arras was held in order to end the Hundred Years War. It seems that the English were ‘unrealistic in their demands’, so one of their main allies, Phillip the Good, duke of Burgundy, suddenly became ‘French’, signed the Treaty of Arras that returned Paris to the ‘French’ king of France - Charles VII.

For the first time in the Hundred Years War, ‘France’ actually became ‘FRANCE’. Relieved of near-permanent, near-civil-war they kissed and made up, got organised, learnt new tactics and began to win battles.

But, on 17 Oct ‘52, the very elderly, John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his son, landed near Bordeaux with a force of 3,000 men. A feared and famous military leader, he, with the cooperation of the townspeople, easily took the city on October 23. The English subsequently took control over most of Western Gascony by the end of the year. The French knew an expedition was coming, but had expected it to come through Normandy. After this surprise, Charles VII prepared his forces over the winter, and by the spring of 1453 he was ready to counter-attack.

‘… the English were decisively defeated at the Battle of Castillon on July 17 1453. Talbot had been persuaded to engage the French army at Castillon near Bordeaux. During the battle the French appeared to retreat towards their camp. The French camp at Castillon had been laid out by Charles VII's ordinance officer Jean Bureau and this was instrumental in the French success as when the French cannon opened fire, from their positions in the camp, the English took severe casualties ...’ Talbot and his son amongst them.

Although we remained ‘at war’ for another 20 years, Castillon is considered to be the effective end of the Hundred Years War.

As we couldn’t defeat the French, we turned our aggressive instincts on ourselves, and had the war of the Roses, 1455 - ‘85.

During which, in ‘61, the French invaded Jersey. There were probably also two other raids on Winchelsea, but the dates aren’t clear.

In ‘69, Abbotsbury abbey said that ‘… few tenants dare dwell there for fear of the enemies of the king frequently arriving and coming by sea there’.

In ‘82 as we invaded Scotland, in Dorset we were told to ‘prepare in our best array to wait upon the defence of the realm’, and in the next year Lyme was granted reduced taxes for sixty five years due to the ‘devastation of their town and port by the sea.’

Nov 13 1483. ‘Precept to the sheriff of Devon to issue a proclamation [in English] denouncing Thomas, late marquess of Dorset, who holds the unshameful and mischievous woman called Shore’s wife in adultery, Sir William Noreys, Sir William Enevet, Sir Thomas Bourghchier of Barnes, Sir George Broun, knights, John Cheyne, John Noreis, Walter Hungerford, John Russh and John Harecourt of Staunton, who have assembled the people by the comfort of the great rebel the late duke of Bukyngham and bishops of Ely and Salisbury, and offering rewards for their capture and pardon for all who withdraw from them. By K.

The like to the sheriffs, mayors and bailiffs in the following counties, cities and towns of’ - nearly

April 1484. ‘Grant to the king's servant William Claxton, esquire, and the heirs male of his body, for
his good service against the rebels, of the manors or lordships of Godmanston, Wareham and
Stoweborough, co. Dorset, late of John Trenchard, traitor, of the yearly value of 40L Qs. 1d., and
Meriot, Bukland St. Mary and Long Sutton in the said county, late of John Bevyn, traitor, of the
yearly value of 26L Ss. 2d., to hold with knights' fees, wards, marriages, reliefs, escheats,
advowsons, lands, waters, woods, underwoods, stews, fisheries, stanks, mills, meadows, warrens,
parks, courts, views of frank-pledge, fines, amercements, heriots, rents, services, reversions,
liberties and commodities by knight-service and a rent of 100s. yearly.’

1485 – the end of House Plantagenet – and thus history!

1487: Lambert Simnel, a pretender to the throne, landed in Lancashire, backed by a foreign force.

1491: Perkin Warbeck, another pretender, landed in Ireland to gain support for his claim.

1495: Warbeck invaded Kent.

1497: Warbeck invaded Cornwall.

But he ‘met strong resistance from the King's men and surrendered in Hampshire in 1497. After his capture, he retracted his claim, writing a confession in which he said he was a Fleming born in Tournai around 1474. Dealing with Warbeck cost Henry VII over £13,000 (equivalent to £10,301,000 in 2019), putting a strain on Henry's weak state finances.’

A far too modern story for me. But at least the many and various ‘invasions’ seemed to have stopped.

Um, well, maybe. Before 1 August 1714 England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland surrendered to the Dutch. Or was it to the Germans?

Even today, some bits of the UK are still in dispute over who the real queen/king is.
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

Sometime in the late 1800’s, Mr F J Pope published Extortions by Harry Uvedale and others in the Isle of Purbeck. - About the year 1500. (British Museum, Roy Roll, 14 B 21.)

First problem – ‘Roy Roll’. So far as I can find, no such thing exists.

Second problem - The National Archives has ‘Bills of complaint against Henry Uvedale, late constable of Corfe Castle’, but that’s c1600, and is ‘constable’ Henry, whereas I want Harry the ‘bailiff’ c1500. In Popes document ‘Cornishmen’ as ‘rebels’ are mentioned, which could imply one of the rebellions in Cornwall in 1497.

OK, I’m off to do some research …

In ‘The Wars of the Roses and Henry VII: Turbulence, Tyranny and Tradition ...’ Colin Pendrill says ‘People were able to make these official complaints about Harry Uvedale’s behaviour but it seems pretty clear that Uvedale did not suffer loss of royal or local power since he is still recorded as an MP and member of the king’s household after 1500.’

And in his PhD thesis*, Lorne Cameron George Greig has ‘Harry’ as ‘Henry’.

* Court Politics and Government in England, 1509 - 1515. Department of Medieval History Faculty of Arts University of Glasgow April, 1996.

‘Henry [Uvedale] had been sheriff of Somerset and Dorset for one year from November, 1503. While William Uvedale was granted the office of bailiff of two ports in the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, Henry, having held this office, had become embroiled in an extortion claim here in 1498. Described as Henry Uvedale of Corfe Castle, he was charged, with William Rawlins, with a quite remarkable series of offences ... Numerous offences were listed, including purloining treasure trove and the cargoes of shipwrecks, failing to help save ships in distress in order to acquire their cargo when holed, robbing prisoners in jail, exporting wool without the payment of duty, making false accusations in order to extort money. Uvedale was also charged with extorting bribes for hunting rights in the Isle of Purbeck, receiving from men money, oxen, sheep and wheat. One man, John Clavyle, a gentleman of the Isle of Purbeck, constructed a bill regarding these bribes and extortions three years previously, "and delyvered it to Morgan Kydwelle, justice of the pease; which byll he promysed the said John Clavyle to delyver to the kyngis councill for the reformacion of Harry Uvedale and William Rawlyns extortionous demenor; which byll the seyd Morgan Kydwelle incontynent delyverd to Harry Uvedale, enbesylyng hitfto the kyngis councell." Such was the extent of Uvedale's influence in this area that he could intercept a justice of the peace, no doubt with some form of financial reward passed his way.

Any irregularities which Uvedale may have committed in this area had little effect on the progress of his career and certainly did not influence the king in any future appointments. Henry Uvedale had been one of the king's stewards in 1490 but soon found himself with an amount of localised power. Through his offices he was playing the part of oppressive landlord. He may have believed that his offices were not as permanent as grants of land and acted accordingly, making quick and relatively easy financial gains through extortions and bribes. He would also have been a little intoxicated with his new positions, having moved from relative obscurity at court to what amounted to local baron, albeit in a geographically limited sense. That he continued to secure appointments points to a distinct lack of concern on Henry VII's part, assuming that he was aware of Uvedale's schemes in the first place. Three years after the accusations, in August, 1501, he was appointed, during pleasure, comptroller of customs in the port of Poole, 'so that he write the rolls with his own hand and continually abide there and do all other things touching the said office in his own person.' The following March he received a pardon and release for all matters connected with this office previous to the 1st of that month. By 1508, Henry Uvedale, being described as a gentleman usher of the chamber, had been granted the office of serjeant of the king's dogs for taking stags, with 7 1/2d a day to be paid to him out of the issues of the counties of Somerset and Dorset. He was now in a position to advance his own cause at court once more. It is with no little amount of irony that Uvedale was one of those appointed in December, 1509, to a commission to hear and determine all felonies in the county of Dorset. Unless he had mended his ways over the years, here was another opportunity to illicit backhanders.’

His main source being - ‘Richard III/Henrv VII Letters and Papers Illustrative of the Reigns of Richard III and Henry VII, 2 volumes (1861).’ Which I can’t access.

Damn, now there’s no need to show Popes original. Oh, well.

‘This roll contains a curious list of charges of bribery and corruption against Harry Uvedale of Corfe Castle who is described as bailiff of the hundreds of Haselor and Rowbarrow and of the borough of Wareham, and who is said to have been abetted in his iniquities by William Rawlyns, alias Bayle, of Wareham. The interest in these allegations now must lie entirely in the picture they present of some of the conditions of mediaeval life in Purbeck, of the duties and powers of bailiffs, of matters relating to wrecks on the coast, and so on. The exact character of the document cannot be told, for the heading of the paper has decayed; it is not signed and there is no clue to the personality of the writer. The date is fixed approximately by the reference to fines paid by the adherents of Perkin Warbeck. The writer states that both Uvedale and Rawlyns, some eight or nine years past before they came to Purbeck, had been ‘of lytell substauns', but now had grown so rich that ‘the wurst of them’ was worth 1000 marks or more. Moreover, Uvedale had appointed as under bailiff of Wareham one Richard Alen, alias Bayle, ‘that came thider within thes iij or iiij yere not wurthe a grote, now be it by his sotell practyce and fals ymaqinacons is as well apwynted in his house at this owre and as clenly appareld as any man of his degre within that towne.

The specific accusations made may be classified as follows:

Taken extorcyously by Harry Uvedale of Mr. Nicholas Ingylsent, parson of Stepyll in Purbyke six score shepe.

Taken by William Rawlyns alias Bayle at the same tyme of the seyd Mr. Nicholas extorcyously a geldyng of the valwe of xxvi.

Also that Thomas Shott of Stepyll found by the see syd a cofer at Cristmas last past and ther in a purs and x crownys of goold and xl of sterlyng grotys with other thyngys wher as William Bayle toke thes away from the seyd poreman with manysshyngs and thretenyngs rewardyng the poreman never a farthyng for his fyndyngs but rezervyng all to the use of Uvedale and himself contrary to the custom of the Ile.

That Harry Uvedale toke extorcyously of John Okeley of Wareham corueser vi- viii - for strykyng of John Bowcher of Corff payed in Thomas Bowcher is house at Wareham.

That Thomas Tru of Langton was arested apon suspecon of felony and never was indited nother fled apon the same yet Harry Uvedale by the advyse of William Rawlyns toke from him certein rother bestys and also corne growyng in the feeld to the valwe of x marke and above.

That ther was one John Hyll alias Laborer taken at Stoborow apon suspecon of felony and was sent to the Jayle of Dorchester and ther fyll sick and died and Harry Uvedale toke from his wyfe ij kyne with ther calvys and a mare and xx shepe.

Also that Harry Uvedale with his servaunts fayned a mater for the sevd John Hyll to John Holeney of Stoborow and extorcionisley toke from hym a cowe and xx of money.

Also that Harry Uvedale and William Rawlyns had of John Sly late of Wareham and now of Salysbery, glover, xxxiij iiij<*-" in connection with the recovery of a debt from Thomas Glover of Wareham.

Misappropriation of money due to the King.

Rawlyns' mother who lived at Castle Cary, Somerset, had ‘ayded supported and cumforted the Cornysshmen’ [ie, the rebels] but it is said that Rawlyns ‘made fyne with the kyngys Comysshioners at iij - refusyng to pay anything with his pore neghtbors at Wareham.’

Uvedale in his capacity of bailif with some of the inhabitants of Wareham had been called before the Commissioners at Sherborne, where Uvedale made a declaration that no persons from his hundreds or borough had ‘cumforted nother supported none of the Cornysshmen, which aunsuer was then taken for the exscuse of the seyd hundredys and borow.’ Notwithstanding this, ‘Richard Alen bayle of Wareham under Uvedale sate by his master's comaundment as well apon the inhabitantys of the seyd ii hundredys as of the borugh and sett thois tethyngys to pay as pleased his master William Rawlyns’, and the money it is suggested, though paid to sir Amias Paulet, had never reached the king's exchequer.

Rawlyns, it is explained, had two holdings, one at Wareham and the other at Gastle Cary, and when the king called for men ‘if he have been at Cary he aunsuerd that he hath found forth men with my lord Chamberlayn oute of Wareham.’ While if he was at Wareham he said ‘that he hath found forth men at Castell Cary with my lord Brooke and thus by fals and sotell wayes disseyvith the kyngs good grace and his comyns and passeth his tyme here presumptuously as he that may despend C or ij by the yere and disdaynyng them that be farr his betters as in this Shire is not unknowyn.’

That the xth yere of the reigne of the Kyngys good grace there was a bote of iiij Tun and more was lade at Stowdelond within the Ile of Purbyke with woll by one William Barfote of the same Uvedale is servant which is now ded and for the knowlege of the trowth of this ther is an old man dwellyng there called John Howchyn and he zayled in the bote at that time and so hath he shewed dyvers tymes to John Clavyle gentylman and as for the seyd William Barfote had not past iiij or v weight of his owne a yere wherfor it is to be presupposed that the residew was his masters.

Also that apon Estereve was xij moneth ther came a shipp oate of Lulworth havyn into a cryke in Purbyke called Wyrbarow and by tokyns that were left there he [the master of the ship] laded wull and fellys. For one John Colyns sheperd to Jerard called thider John Jerard the yonger and John Clavell jentylman and shewed them lockys of wall and pesys of fellys and the tray-lyng of the packys. And by lycklyhode this shipp was laden apon Esterday at Resurrezion tyme. Though the ship had often been seen by Uvedale’s servants, he had never made any search in the matter wherfor it is to be presupposed thyt was Uvedale is dede. Also for the lycklyhode of the same Uvedale sheryth every yere of his owne shepe growyn a xl or 1 weight of wull and it is not knowen in this cuntre where or to whom one weight of wull growyn of his owne shepe wherfor it is to be presupposed that he conveyeth hit oversee.

Concerning Wrecks and Shipwrecked Mariners.

Also that wrakkys hath fallyn oftymes by fortune of tempestys within the Ile of Purbyke syn Harry Uvedale was ther officer where as the custum is that at the tyme of such wrackys that the jentylmen and other men of substauns shuld be called and enpaneld to make a tru inquere and presentment of such wrackys he hath ever enpaneld his owne servaunts and those that be longyng unto hym by the reson of the which my lady the kyng is moder is disseynt rezervyng the most parte of his owne use as apperyth by his sone goten riches and this is done by the avyse and councell of William Rawlyns.

As ther was a shipp of Flaunders in handfast bay in Purbyke uppon the sandys in a grete tempest and iiij of the maryners came to land and desyred food and helpe to save ther goodys, Harry Uvedale with his servauntys came thider and wuld suffer few or none to helpe them but such as pleased hym. And so he savyd the goodys to his owne use for the more parte the which was wax waynscote holond cloth mastys salys ankers cabyls gunys with other merchandyse to the valwe of xx and above as men seyde. And the iij pore men departed with litell or nothing abowte ther bodyes.

Also that ther was a Frensshipp lost at the foreland of Seynt Aldenn and vij of the mariners came to land alyve and fayn wuld have had food and helpe to have saved ther goodys to ther owne use. Harry Uvedale and his servants savyd the seyd goodys to his owne use, the which was oxhidys Hand mantels and fissh with mastys saylys ankers cabyls and gn'nys to the valwe of x and above as men seyd and so the pore men departed with litell or nothyng hangyng apon ther backys.

Detention of goods found on a felon.

Also that William Wolf of Alton was robbyd by a servaunt of his owne and in the Ile of Parbyke the felon was taken by Harry Uvedale his servaunts and apon hym was found gyrdels of sylver and gylt broken sylver and viij of halfepens. This felon was sent to the jayle of Dorchester and at Shaftesbery damned and hanged. But Uvedale kept the goods himself, contrary to the kyngys lawys.

Taking away Mr, Clavelfs gulls.

Also that Harry Uvedale and his servaunts doo yerely cum into the grownd of John Clavell liyng in the Ile of Purbyke called Tyneham and ther owte of his inheritauns with owte licens or leve of the foreseyd John Clavell fecchith away his gullys yerely bred in the clevys with in his seyd inheritauns of Tyneham.

Concerning hunting in the Island.

The namys of them that Harry Uvedale by the councell of William Rawlyns hath extorcyously taken brybes of for huntyng in the Ile of Purbyke, apeched by one Harry Chattock now his manuell servaunt.

Inprimis of the por of Holme yerely a glebe lying in the parissh of Worth with a tenement in Corf by the yere xxvi viii
Item of Syr William Lillyngton parson of Stowdelond, quarters of whete.
Item of John Barfote of Wydows an ox.
Item of John Fowke of the same an ox.
Item of John Ricard of Ulwell x.
Item of William Smyth of the same iiij.
Item of William Sykett of the same ij oxen and xvi in mony and a geter of wheate.
Item of Richard Ricard of Whitesclyff ix.
Item of William Ricard of the same vii Item of Water Ricard of the same vii
Item of John Delamere of Swanwyche x
Item of John Parmenter of Swanwyche ix
Item of John Cull of Langton vii
Item of John Spicer of Godlingston fled for fere of prisenyng and so had of his threescore shepe. Item of Thomas Barfote of Estholme a bore and in redy money x
Item of John Carter of Bradeley for settyng of a halter xx.

The list of complaints ends with the statement that three years previously John Clavyle had made a bill of many of these charges and gave the same to Morgan Kydwelle, justice of the peace, who promised to deliver it to the Kings Council. But Kydwelle ‘incontynent delywered it to Harry Uvedale embesyling it from the Kyngs Councell which hath caused grete anoyans unto the cuntre ever syns and specially to the seyd John Clavyle which never had syns of Harry Uvedale good wyll but by lokys and many thretenyngs of hym and his unto this day and all thorow the dowbylness of the forseyd Morgan Kydwelle.’

Thank you Mr F J Pope.

A few comments.

‘j’ probably equals ‘v’. When you see something like ‘iij’, today it would be ‘iiv’. (I think)

Most of the recordings of money are a mess. The numbers are possibly correct, and I left one example ‘… glover, xxxiij iiij<*-" in connection …’ but what the <*-" means, I have no idea, so I removed such things.

If you’ve ever seen ‘the He of Purbeck’ or ‘the He of Wight’ etc, then I think that, originally, ‘Isle’ was ‘Ile’ - phonetic French? - which has been mis-copied as ‘HE’ - or ‘HE’ was the original which has been rendered as ‘Ile’.

This has gotten too long – more to follow.
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:36 pm

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by longblackcoat »

Reading this thread made me want to re-read the book series on the Angevin kings. Edward III and his mother (Isabella) are among my fav historical figures.
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

longblackcoat wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:50 pm
Reading this thread made me want to re-read the book series on the Angevin kings. Edward III and his mother (Isabella) are among my fav historical figures.
Hi longblackcoat.

I wish I could pick a favourite – I just find the whole ‘thing’ fascinating – but - Isabella and her influence on the situation around her, is truly fantastic.

I must start this bit with an apology because, historically, this is ‘bad practice’, as I’m going to go even further into the ‘future’, before dipping back into the dim and distant past.

The Isle of Purbeck – king’s land - on which he built one of the most impressive castles ever built, and installed constables who had oversight – or a reign of terror – over the whole area. It was a fantastic hunting ground and with Wareham being a major port c700 to c1200, a very sensitive area - that he rented out bits of, to a very few people, some of whom we’ll meet – but probably not ‘til the next post.

Things changed in 1572 when queen Elizabeth I sold Purbeck to sir Christopher Hatton, for £4061 18s 7 1/2d. Hatton, the son of Northamptonshire gentry was a self-made man, who’d caught the eye of Elizabeth I through his good looks and skill as a dancer, and quickly established himself as a court favourite. He grew rich through his political connections and by backing risky sea voyages to the New World, among them those of sir Francis Drake, who repaid his support with Spanish treasure and by renaming his most famous ship, ‘The Pelican’, as ‘The Golden Hind’, in Hatton’s honour.

Sorry, I'm having one of those 'moments', but this Image is Hattons coat of arms, with its Golden Hind.

With the Queen’s patronage he rose to become Lord Chancellor, the most senior judge in England, despite having left Oxford University without a degree and apparently never having qualified as a lawyer.

Among his titles was Admiral – maybe vice-admiral - of the Purbeck Fleet which gave him the right to fit out warships both to defend England against invaders and to capture enemy vessels as prizes – licensed piracy.

Back to Hatton, who put Francis Hawley in place as, in effect, constable of Corfe castle.

‘Hawley was the creature of Sir Christopher Hatton, the absentee vice-admiral of Purbeck, who thrice brought him into Parliament for Corfe Castle. A weak and avaricious man, Hawley lived largely upon subventions of one kind or another from the pirates he was supposed to suppress. ‘They are my masters’, he stated on one occasion. Sometimes he failed to give them the protection they paid him to provide. One example must suffice. When Clinton Atkinson bought two French prizes into Studland Bay he set out his wares for Hawley to take first choice. In return he was to have leave ‘to make sale in the Island’. But, disagreeing on the terms, Hawley ‘fell into a great displeasure’. When later Atkinson was arrested Hawley suggested a scale of charges: £20 to have the trial in Purbeck, £40 to let him escape, £100 to obtain him a pardon ‘if the worst happened’. Atkinson paid the £100, was found guilty and hanged. Hawley—and the pirates—took full advantage of the fact that Hatton’s area of Dorset was excluded from the normal jurisdiction of the county, and Hawley also exploited the uneasy truce that reigned between the vice-admiral of Purbeck and the vice-admiral of Dorset, eventually becoming deputy to each of them. Equally scandalous was Hawley’s appointment as a piracy commissioner just when his reputation with the Privy Council was at its lowest. But he was ‘deputy vice-admiral to the vice-chamberlain’, and Hatton was a great man. Still, the lords of the Privy Council were not fools, and they saw to it that such an inadequate rogue was not employed in a sensitive area at a critical time: in June 1588 the Isle of Purbeck was transferred from his care to that of Richard Rogers.’

Ok. This is the end of my ‘comfort zone’. From here on, this is all new to me.

Richard Rogers, is ‘Described by a modern historian as ‘a very great landlord ... and a very great pirate promoter’, Rogers was deeply involved in the Dorset piracy scandal of 1577, being fined £100 and bound over to return his loot. Four years later, on the Elizabethan principle of setting a thief to catch a thief, he was granted a commission to eradicate piracy. In 1584 he was again in trouble, the Privy Council making him cool his heels at Windsor for 15 weeks before he was allowed to depart to attend the Dorset assizes. Yet the government knew he could be relied upon in time of danger. When the Armada threatened he travelled the county to inspect defence arrangements, submitting a detailed report to the Privy Council on forts and castles. From 1587 to 1600 he commanded one of the five Dorset defence divisions, and his estate near Blandford was used for training the musters and was designated an assembly point in case of invasion.’

Another involved local, John Clavell. Barneston – excluding castles and churches – contains the oldest extant building in Purbeck – probably Dorset – as one of its walls is dated to late 12th century.

Even this far forward in history, dates can still be a problem.

‘On 11th February 1589, Walter Meryet, owner and master of the Bountiful Gifte was sailing out of Poole with a cargo of copperas bound for London. Because of the international situation, a year after the great Armada, the authorities had put a stay on shipping in case vessels might be needed for naval purposes. Any ship wanting to leave port needed a special pass from the correct authorities. Meryet had a pass from the port authorities at Poole and went ashore at Brownsea to present this to the gunner, Walter Partridge. However Partridge told him that this was not good enough and that he needed a proper pass from Francis Hawley at Corfe Castle. Meryet replied that he had sent someone to fetch this pass and pressed Partridge to let him pass. Apparently a similar situation had arisen before between the two men because Partridge again refused, saying that Meryet had caused him trouble before with his master, Mr. Hawley.

Meryet went back on board his ship, but instead of sailing back to Poole, he defiantly set sail for the harbour entrance. Partridge’s response was to open fire. His first shot passed over the ship but the second, according to one witness, fell short, grazed the water and then hit the vessel. Other witnesses reported that Partridge deliberately aimed ‘between wind and water’, in other words, at the vulnerable part of the ship just below the waterline. The shot hit Walter Meryet behind his right knee, shattering his thigh bone ‘fower ynches long on the owt side of his legg’. It also hit crew member William Drake in his right thigh, giving him a six inch wound. After firing, Partidge got up on the wall to try to see through the smoke and asked witness Peter Peers if he had seen the shot. Peers said that it had struck the barque and done some harm to which Partridge replied ‘I cannot help it nowe.’ The two terribly injured men were put on board the Primrose moored nearby to be taken back to Poole but William Drake died as they came up the channel. Walter Meryet was landed alive at Poole Quay and taken to his house where he died the following day.

Electrified first by the sound of shots across the harbour and then by the news of the deaths, the people of Poole must have been incensed. An inquest was convened and evidence heard, resulting in a verdict of wilful murder against Walter Partridge. At his trial at the Admiralty Court at Corfe Castle, Partridge was found guilty of manslaughter and condemned to death, being unable to plead benefit of clergy because his offence had been committed at sea. However this was not the end of his story because in December 1590 he received a grant of pardon for the killing of William Drake and Walter Meryet ‘by the glancing of a bullet, which he shot at a ship wherein they were, intending to stay the said ship.’ Obviously his masters Francis Hawley and Christopher Hatton looked after their own.’

In theory - ‘Pirates and robbers by sea are condemned in the Court of the Admiralty, and hanged on the shore at low-water mark, where they are left till three tides have overwashed them. Finally, such as having walls and banks near unto the sea, and do suffer the same to decay (after convenient admonition), whereby the water entereth and drowneth up the country, are by a certain ancient custom apprehended, condemned, and staked in the breach, where they remain for ever as parcel of the foundation of the new wall that is to be made upon them, as I have heard reported.’

Some pirates were caught locally and met justice, as in the chapter ‘The hanging of a gang of pirates at Studland Beach’ in her ‘Dorset Elizabethans: At Home and Abroad’, Rachel Lloyd says ‘There in full view of the crowd, at the turn of the tide, Piers and his companions were strung up; one by one they were jerked off the gallows, and hung with lolling heads, peering at their toes. When the tide came in, a row of corpses gyrated gawkishly upon the waves.’

Sorry, I don’t know who ‘Piers’ was, but as it may contain more info on Hawley and the ‘Dorset piracy scandal of 1577’, that’s another book to buy!

Or is it? Just to prove that old dogs can learn ... tan&te=ILS but I’ll have to be patient.

Also available in our, free to access, but currently comatose, book repositories is L’Estrange Ewen, The Pirates of Purbeck, Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, 1950, vol. 71, p. 88-109.

Looking for easily accessible things on ‘the great piracy scandal’ found Pirates and Communities: Patterns of Activity and Enterprise.

‘As the commissions of the 1560s and 1570s acknowledged, organised piracy around England and Wales flourished with the cooperation of land-based supporters. The interdependency between sea and shore was widespread and varied. It ranged from irregular and opportunistic contacts to sustained and regular relations, often based on pre-existing links between family, friends or neighbours. These contacts were vital for equipping, victualling and manning pirate ships, as well as for the support and maintenance of their companies, which included protection from arrest and
imprisonment. In addition they provided access to markets for the disposal of plundered cargoes. In some regions the economic structure of piracy was sustained by far-reaching patterns of commerce, exchange and credit, including gift-giving. At times of intense piratical activity the disposal of plunder was a significant commercialised enterprise that represented a concealed and unregulated business beyond the supervision and control of the early modern state. The influx of pirate loot amounted to an uncertain trade in a varied range of commodities, untaxed and available at cheap prices or rates of exchange, which were widely dispersed to the benefit of local and regional economies.

The commissions of the later 1570s furnish a mass of evidence that illuminates the nature of the relations between pirates and communities. In some regions, particularly south-west England, piracy was based on a long and vigorous tradition of maritime depredation, which was undergoing change in the light of growing Anglo-Spanish rivalry and hostility. Elsewhere, in areas like south Wales, it appears to have been a short-lived activity linked with the emergence of resourceful pirate
captains of local origin, who attracted support or patronage from the inhabitants of Cardiff and its wider hinterland. In other remote, but thinly populated coastal regions, such as north-east England, piracy was more occasional and opportunistic in character, and often the result of incursions by strangers. Wherever they visited, however, pirate bands appear to have expected hospitality. Where this was lacking, they were prepared to use intimidation and force to acquire provisions.

In south-west England, custom and tradition continued to favour widespread support for plunder, including piracy. Many of the pirate captains and their companies who operated in local waters came from the fishing and trading communities of Devon, Cornwall and neighbouring counties. Pirate ships haunted safe harbours, with the tacit approval of the inhabitants and usually under the protection of local landowners and officials, such as the Killigrews or the Rogers. During the 1570s
and early 1580s pirate groups particularly favoured congregating about Lulworth and Torbay. With the vital support of coastal landowners, it has been argued that a carefully constructed network of piracy operated during these years, ranging from Kerry in south-west Ireland to the English West Country. In reality this network was probably more haphazard in structure, partly as a result of the instability of pirate activity and of local and regional variations among communities for whom
piracy was either a popular crime or a problem that needed to be handled locally.

The situation in Dorset is indicated by evidence collected and assembled in a Book of Presentments by local juries for the piracy commissioners during May 1577. According to their report, three pirate captains, including [John] Callice, had visited Lulworth and other havens within the previous six months. The jury for Melcombe Regis reported that one of the pirates, Court Hellenborgh (usually referred to as Court), brought three prizes, laden with wheat, wines, sugar and other goods, into the creek at Lulworth, where his company ‘came comonlye Alande ... and ther were lodged and supported in dyvers howses’. Earlier in the year, Callice, in consort with Hicks, arrived in Portland Bay with a ship of 100 tons and another vessel, both laden with salt, raisins, almonds, sack and other commodities. Several sick members of Callice’s company, in addition to two who were wounded, were lodged ashore; at least five more of the pirates stayed overnight in Weymouth.
Despite instructions from the privy council to the mayor for the search and apprehension of the pirates, evidently they returned aboard Callice’s ship with the assistance of one of the town’s bailiffs. In addition to such assistance, local people flocked aboard the pirates’ ships. At least 25 representatives from the surrounding area were reported to have visited Callice and Court, including Henry Howard, several of his servants, and another servant of Lord Thomas Howard. Among the
others were Henry Rogers, gentleman; Henry Veale of Weymouth, who returned from Callice’s ship with a lading of salt; and a variety of tradesmen and suppliers. Two men of Lulworth provided the pirates with beer. Webbe, a butcher from Dorchester, returned from visiting Callice with a report that he was well supplied with victuals, including two sides of beef. For a time the pirates’ ships became the equivalent of a floating bazaar, operating as an informal market for commodities which were subsequently redistributed ashore. These transactions ranged from small-scale exchanges to larger commercialised dealings. John Pillerd of Dorchester returned ashore from a visit to Callice’s ship with an iron bar and hatchet; another visitor from a neighbouring parish returned with a frying pan and a bag of salt. Thomas Paddington, a member of the jury for Wareham, confessed that he purchased a small quantity of wheat, along with several others, out of Court’s ship. By contrast, a small group of dealers were involved in extensive exchanges with the pirates. Thomas Parkins and Christopher Anckell bought a boat from Court which was laden with two tons of iron, 30 hogsheads of lime, one hogshead of vinegar, two cases of glass and a variety of similar commodities. Various amounts of plunder, including fish, hides and hemp, were resold ashore: Lawrence Hardinge of Wareham, for example, bought 100 Newfoundland fish at Lulworth, which the local jury claimed were pirate goods.

A report made by the serjeant of the admiralty concerning the ‘chiefe Boatemen, lodgers, goers abourde, carriers, buyers and vittellers’ of the pirates, corroborated and elaborated the evidence collected by the juries. While confirming widespread contact between Callice and his associates and the inhabitants of Lulworth and neighbouring communities, the serjeant’s report gave some insight into the informal social and economic infrastructure on which trafficking with pirates depended. It
identified 32 men who went aboard the pirate ship: 19 were described as the chief buyers and 11 were listed as victuallers. The lists included 21 boatmen and six carriers who were responsible for the transportation of the pirates’ plunder. In addition 12 inhabitants of Lulworth and Weymouth, including one woman, were identified as the chief lodgers of the pirates.

According to the serjeant’s accompanying notes, Francis Rogers of Lulworth was the ‘principall buyer and victuler’ of the pirates, though he appears to have been acting on behalf of, or in association with his brother, Sir Richard Rogers, and several other kinsmen. The visitors to the pirates and one of the leading purchasers of their goods included Robert Coker, the steward for Sir Richard Rogers, and several of his servants or tenants. A group of the latter carried various
quantities of wine and fish, in the night time, to the house of their landlord from Francis Rogers. When one of the pirates’ ships was driven ashore at Meyhope by bad weather and forsaken by the company, Sir Richard Rogers reportedly came to the rescue. Arriving early in the morning, Rogers set his mark to the main mast as a warning that no one else should meddle with the vessel, which was recovered and restored to the pirates in exchange for a ton of wine and a chest of sugar. Although pirates and their supporters tended to have distinct, if interrelated, functions, members of the Rogers family network were directly engaged in piracy. During August 1577 Francis Rogers sent out a small vessel of five tons, manned with twelve men and armed with ten muskets, which robbed a ship off Alderney. Conditions in and around Lulworth illustrate the importance of shore-based support for the maintenance of piracy. The relations between pirates and their supporters served varied purposes. In many parts of the West Country, moreover, the participation of local landowners encouraged and validated the support for pirates among the wider community. While pirate companies were provided with hospitality, aid and entertainment, they were able to dispose of their plunder unhindered by local officials. This assistance included protection: at no time during
their stay in the region was any serious attempt made to apprehend Callice, his consorts or their companions. For many local dealers, such as victuallers and alesellers, piracy was a small-scale commercial adventure which at times appeared to adopt the characteristics of the coasting trade. On several occasions, indeed, Walter Leverton, the customs official in Lulworth, attempted unsuccessfully to levy duties on pirates’ goods. After reporting the landing of a cargoe of fish by
the pirate George Pinfolde, on which customs were not paid, Sir Richard Rogers ‘willed him [Leverton] to go and demaund the same of the Pirate, which he so did, but could not geat any thinge’. Indeed the traffic in stolen commodities depended on the non-payment of duties for its appeal to potential dealers.

The importance of small, strategically located coastal communities in the promotion and commercialisation of piracy is strikingly demonstrated by the emergence of south Wales as a secure haven for pirates during the 1570s.’

Another source says ‘In 1576 and 1577 we have an interesting lot of papers relating to the pirates for whom Cardiff was notorious all through the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. The second paper of the series begins with a letter from Fabian Phillips to the Secretary of State. Phillips was the senior Commissioner appointed for investing and suppressing piracy in South Wales, and the letter contains his first report on the subject. It is ludicrously verbose, and I have cut it down considerably. The letter contains a hint that a confession might be extracted from the prisoners by torture, and ends by intimating that certain prominent officials at Cardiff were in league with the pirates. The enquiry was partly conducted before the Council of the Marches of Wales, at Ludlow.’

April 3 1577 from Cardiff. ‘Fabian Phillips and Thomas Lewys to the Council. Detail their proceedings in the examinations of upwards of sixty of the pirates and their maintainers at Cardiff. Sir John Perrot's absence. Difficulties of their service, the town's people being unwilling to give any information.’

A few more Cardiff ‘snippets’ - 1581 ‘Before a Special Commission of the same Court of Great Sessions, six persons were tried for piracy. All of them were from other parts of the realm. Of these, only Henry Moore, of London, sailor, was sentenced to be hanged.’

‘In 1584 eleven strangers were tried at Cardiff for piracy, and a Gelligaer man was presented "for playing at tennis in the time of the Service."’

Another source, from Exeter on Nov 14 1580. ‘Information of the escape of Clinton Atkinson the pirate, out of Exeter gaol, not without the consent or great negligence of the Mayor and gaoler, the Mayor having given him two very favourable testimonials. [On the 24th of November, the Justices of Assize in Devon were directed to inquire into the particulars of Atkinson's escape from Exeter gaol. Co. Reg.]’

And, stolen from The Culture of Piracy, 1580–1630: English Literature and Seaborne Crime
By Claire Jowitt, ‘… in July 1582 … Clinton was once more a pirate at large, Gilbert Peppit complained to the Privy Council ‘of Simon Knight, late mayor of Exeter, who marvellously vexed him in the law for accusing him of escape of Clinton Atkinson the pirate, two years since’ … Clinton’s escape must have provoked a considerable row amongst West Country local government officers as to who should take the blame for it. Furthermore Clinton’s frequent attacks on shipping were unlikely to have eased the tension. His success at sea continued to attract attention of the government - in May 1583, for example, depositions were made by Dundee merchants about the capture of their ship The Peter by Clinton and his accomplice Vaughan off the coast of France. The consequences of their activities continued to be felt after their deaths in 1583.’

With all this ‘modern’ stuff, I’m now so far out of my comfort zone that I’m going to stop and return to where I’m happier.
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

In the late 14th century, the ‘mayor Hygyn incident’ provided a bit of colour, and then Uvedale, Hawley et al showed ‘local’ problems on a greater scale. If I go back even further, then there’s another person who may help to flesh things out, but first, a bit more on Uvedale.

As the ‘bailiff of the hundreds of Haselor and Rowbarrow’ he should really have been ‘a representative of the crown’, and ultimately, he’d be under the control of the sheriff, but, as in Misappropriation of money due to the King. Amias Paulet gets mentioned ‘… though paid to sir Amias Paulet, had never reached the king's exchequer.’ so he was possibly – probably - corrupt and he was our sheriff in 1491 and 1500, but is otherwise fairly anonymous.

Bailiffs were considered to be ‘the chief officer of a hundred’, and it may need to be borne in mind that ‘of the 628 hundreds in England, 358 were in the hands of lords of the manor’ which could cause problems because as the lord had his court, so the hundred had its court and the county had its court and the king had his court. The lords court, possibly the whole manor, was often run by his steward*, the hundred court by its bailiff and the county court by the sheriff. ‘Every manor and town had their own bylaws, but the king’s law was the common law which applied to everyone, in theory.’ I guess that the bailiffs role could have been ‘between a rock and a hard place,’ but I can also imagine the steward being the bailiff.

* Oct 13th 1283/4, Sir John de St Loe, Dorset and Somersets sheriff, was ordered to ‘distrain Richard Lovel for 90L 18s 9d for his relief, and henceforth not to take the oath of his steward.’

I thought that it would be a good idea to try to ‘establish’ the Isle of Purbeck in legal terms. Unfortunately, due to a lack of records and sweeping assumptions made by some ‘olden’ historians, it turns out to be impossible.

I thought that I’d just do a brief summary – but that’s also impossible. This is a time of few records, some of which contradict. ‘The Law’ was developing, but in certain cases there was no, and I mean ‘no’ issue, eg, mining rights.

The south of Purbeck was stuffed full of stone, and the king owned it all. Probably from 1100 but definitely by 1200, his main agent in Purbeck was Corfes constable, who undoubtedly considered himself to be the king of Purbeck. Another legal aspect is ‘The Forest’. Land that the king put aside so that he and his friends, could hunt anything from rabbits, through wolves, to the king of animals, the deer. The kings main agent in Dorset was the sheriff – who had no power in the Forest.

Then there’s the ‘Warren’, where both the sheriff and the constable had power – but.

Then there were, a few, local ‘landowners’ who held their land – ‘manor’ - directly from the king.

Then there were the ‘Hundreds’. Purbeck had two – Hasler and Rowbarrow*.

Each Hundred had its court. Each Manor had its court. Each Town had its court. Corfes constable had his court. The sheriff had his court. The king had his court.

As there are no local court records, it may not be surprising that legal statuses were a little confused.

* Just once in a while, Corfe was also listed as a Hundred.

Please can you accept that, legally, Purbeck was a mess, and then from c1220 ‘we’ started to stand up for ‘our’ rights. This has lead to sweeping statements along the lines of ‘Purbeck was disafforested c1220’.

However, sometimes, you can’t see the wood for the trees, because you’re standing in the middle of a flaming great forest.

First of all - at some point in Henry IIs reign, 1154-89, he ‘afforested’ all ‘the hilly parts of Dorset.’

The Isle of Purbeck has the Purbeck Hills running through the middle of it – and is generally ‘hilly’ in the south-west.

The first real evidence emerges in 1219 when the men of Dorset and Somerset gave ‘the king £100 for making a perambulation between those parts in the counties of Dorset and Somerset that are to be disafforested.’

Then c1225 the people of Purbeck put together a ‘jury’ who said that ‘king John afforested the whole of Purbeck which ought not to be forest, except only a warren for hares belonging to the Castle of Corfe.’

That seems to have led to the sweeping statements about the ‘disafforestation.’


Unfortunately it ignores the fact that on Sept 3 1220 the sheriff of Dorset and Somerset, Peter de Maulay, was ordered to ‘place in respite the demand he makes from the men of his county for the £100 by which they made fine with the king for having a perambulation of the forests of their county, which, they say, was never carried out ...’

However, there’s no evidence that Purbeck remained as a forest. Evidence that it was a warren is plentiful, but there’s also plenty of evidence that the forest wasn’t eradicated, eg:

Aug 27 1240, ‘To the sheriff of Dorset [Hugh de Vivonia]. Contrabreve to cause the venison that Robert des Mares shall take in the forest of Purebic to be salted and carried to the king at London.’

But things weren’t clear, and although the forest was mentioned again in 1255 [below], on June 2 1278 ‘To the keeper of the warren of Purbik. Order to cause John Giffard to have in that warren four harts, of the king's gift.’

To confuse things further, on Jun 27 1317, the sheriff of Dorset, John de Kyngeston, was ordered ‘to pay to John Peverel and Roger le Westminster .... knights of that shire, their expenses in coming to Westminster concerning the perambulations of the forest.’

Then in 1326 there was a survey of ‘The castle and chase of Corfe Castle’ which made me wonder if Purbeck had finally been disafforested. However, ‘forest’ and ‘chase’ were pretty much interchangeable back then, and in Aug 28 1348, ‘... Richard Pupplington, the king's Serjeant, one of the foresters of Purbyk forest ...’

1401, ‘... the king at each arrival to hunt in his forest of Purbyk.’

Dec 15 1473, ‘Grant for life to William Brecher of the office of one of the king's foresters of the
forest of Purbik ...’

However, it seems that Purbeck was mainly a warren, that lived side-by-side with the forest. Even more likely – from, say 1350ish - warren and forest weren’t geographical terms, and ‘warren’ referred to the smaller animals, eg, hares and rabbits, and ‘forest’ to the larger ones, eg, boars, wolves and deer. That goes further in showing the legal aspect of Purbeck. As said, the forest was the kings. The warren was the constables. Sheriffs had no power in the forest, but did in the warren.

As we’ve had the bailiff/steward ‘difficulty’, now we’ve got a constable/sheriff one, where the two ‘kings agents’ could have had problems sorting out who was actually in charge.

How was this resolved? Records for Corfe begin in the early 1200s and the sheriff was often also Corfes constable, and this ‘set-up’ seems to have pleased the king. As sheriff and constable, he was the kings main agent in Purbeck, so he had almost unrivalled power. I also need to bear in mind that from c1200 to 1267, there were major changes in some ‘landowners’, who held their land directly from the king, and didn’t always think that the sheriff/constable did a good job, and so appealed directly to the king – well - his bureaucrats – but y’know.

Dorset and Somersets sheriffs and Corfes constables are generally known for what they did elsewhere, and their appointment can be seen as a reward for what they’d done - elsewhere.

Hugh de Vivonia is an excellent example of this, but, from Purbecks point of view, Elias de Rabayn, may be a better one.

Just a note – As there were many courts and many officials, I haven’t even mentioned ‘Boroughs’, ‘Liberties’ and ‘Ecclesiastical’ courts, which just confuse a vague sketch even further. In an attempt to establish ‘common law’ across the whole country, ‘eyres’ were set up, c1124.

On top of any local courts, or manorial courts or shire courts, was the eyre. In effect, this was the kings court, and trumped them all. There were ‘General eyres’ and ‘eyres of the Forest’, and although they died out in the late 1200s, they were resurrected at times.
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

Elias de Rabayn – a snaphot.

As with Hugh de Vivonia, Elias de Rabayn was French, and Henry III seems to have liked him. He’s thought to have come from la Rochelle, and to have been a friend of Henry IIIs ‘French’ family – the Lusignans – often referred to as ‘the Poitevin’s.’ Rabayn is also the first, and only, constable to have become ‘famous’ for what he did in Purbeck.

But before that, on Dec 28 1248, as ‘king’s yeoman’ he was granted ‘the wardship of the land and heirs of John de Hodebovill, with the marriage of the heirs.’

This meant that took the income from the land and got paid when the children got married.

Then on Apr 7 ‘50 he was, again as as ‘king’s yeoman’, granted ‘that if Stephen de Baiocis* die before his heirs attain their age, the said Elias shall have the wardship of the lands and heirs of the said Stephen, with the marriage of the heirs.

* More usually, ‘Bayeaux’.

Baiocis must have died before May 21 ‘50, as Rabayn was then granted ‘the land and heirs of Stephen de Baiocis, during the minority of the heirs, with the marriage of the heirs.’

‘Bayeaux’ had two daughters, and Rabayn married Maud. Joan, her sister, ‘took the veil’ – whether she wanted to or not, meaning that Rabayn took control of Bayeauxs land. (More below)

Apr 6 ‘51 ‘Grant to Elias de Rabayn, and his heirs, of free warren in his demesne lands in Stiveton,
Calestorp, Calestern, Linwode, Tarewey and Welebom, co. Lincoln, and in Waye, Littlepidel,
Emodesham, and Lym, co. Dorset.’

From the marriage he gained a lot of land in Lincoln, and locally, ‘Emodesham’, which is now ‘Edmonsham’, ‘Littlepidel’, nr – um – the river Piddle, ‘Waye Baiouse’, said to be nr Weymouth, and ‘Lyme’, which is now part of Lyme Regis – or possibly the capital of, what became, Lyme Regis, as on Feb 22 ‘70, Rabayns ‘burgesses of Lyme’ were granted that their goods ‘shall not be distrained or arrested for any debts whereof they are not principal debtors or sureties.’

Sorry, getting ahead of myself - on 21 Oct ‘51, Henry III ‘committed his counties of Somerset and Dorset to Elias de Rabayn to keep for as long as it pleases the king, rendering 100 m. for them per annum at the Exchequer for the profits of the aforesaid counties, and he is to keep the castles of Corfe and Sherborne, which the king has similarly committed to him at his costs.’

In effect, that’s the sheriffs contract. The only limit is that he must pay 100 marks a year into the Exchequer [£66.66]. No doubt he was expected to act ‘within the law’, but y’know. That ‘contract’ is the most explicit and, in peaceful times, the last appointment of the sheriff/constable.

Originally, sheriffs held their courts each month, but that was then reduced to three weekly – which may suggest that there was quite a bit of crime about! In the sheriffs eyes that may not have been a problem as more crime meant more fines, and if he raised more than 100 marks, he could then give the excess to charity. :wink:

As Rabayn was sheriff of Dorset and Somerset until 1255, he should have been a very busy person, but I have to wonder. Wikipedia says that Vivonia was an ‘absent’ sheriff, and if Rabayn had a sufficient number of deputies, then his role could also have been supervisory.

Is there any evidence for that?

Rabayn has a reputation for being a bit harsh, and in Oct ‘52 - during peacetime - he obtained a large consignment of crossbows for Corfe – but, officially, why, is not clear.

His rule brought complaints of extortion and in Feb ‘53 his under-sheriff Walter de Burges, was violently assaulted at Shaftesbury, ‘a rare experience even for Henry III's sheriffs and unprecedented in Dorset.’ Then in Oct ‘53 Rabayn was ordered ‘to act against any resistance’, but what he needed to resist against wasn’t specified – and guess what – he was abroad.

On Mar 12 ‘53 he’d been granted ‘Protection, with clause’, for one year, and in August, he and Henry III went to ‘Gascony.’ He either stayed or returned as on May 29 ‘54 he was ‘mandated to allow Vidal Pelu to take from the town of Bergerac to Bordeaux 40 tuns of wine.’ Then on June 2 he was also mandated to ‘permit Matthew Mercer, merchant, and Peter Caillau, citizen of Bordeaux, who bought 80 tuns of wine at Bergerac to take them by water whither and whensoever they please this side of Midsummer.’

A professional interpretation of those records is that Rabayn was the constable of Bergerac. If so, the constable of Corfe, who was also the sheriff of Dorset and Somerset, lived in the Dordogne – nice!

I think that he must have returned, as on June 20 ‘55 he was replaced as sheriff, as there was a ‘Commission, during pleasure, to Ellis de Rabayn of the keeping of the corpus of the castle of Corfe, saving to the king the warren, forest and all other things without the walls …’, immediately followed by an ‘Appointment, during pleasure .... of John de Aure to keep the counties of Somerset and Dorset with the castle of Shireburn … Mandate to Ellis de Rabayne to deliver these to the said John; and also the warren and forest of Corf and all other things without the walls of the castle of Corf belonging to the said castle ...’

One interpretation of that is that Henry III was getting unrealistic in his financial expectations of the sheriff, ie, he demanded that Rabayn increase the profits of the shire from 100 to 165 marks a year, and so Rabayn resigned.

That idea may well hold water, as John de Aure resigned after only three months because he couldn’t cope. He was succeeded by Stephen de Ashton, who died in office in ‘57, and was replaced by Rabayns former under-sheriff, Walter de Burges.

It could be said to have been a bit of a mess.

However, back to ‘55, and Rabayn seems to have been purely the constable and had nothing to do with the land around the castle. That’s also the first time that I’ve found the sheriff running both the warren and the - supposedly ‘disafforested’ - forest of Purbeck, but in 1256, Henry III ‘committed to Elyas de Rabayn his warren of Corf …’, which must have reduced the sheriffs income, but re-established Rabayn as ‘the king of [most of] Purbeck.’

Then in June 1258, when Simon de Montfort was, um .... not the king .…, out of the ‘Mad Parliament’ came ‘The Provisions of Oxford’, and Rabayn was kicked out of the country because he was a foreigner. His lands were taken into the kings hands – whoever the king was!

Maud and Elias’ marriage.

Stephen de Baiocis/Bayeaux wasn't well and had just inherited his brothers barony of Bayeux.

‘Suggestions are that he was was bullied or bribed ‘at the king’s request’ into this marriage
and, most extraordinarily, to give the estate to the couple, disinheriting the other sister, Joan.
This charter was witnessed, among others, by Richard, abbot of Cerne. Joan was packed off
to Sixhills priory, Lincolnshire, only to be abducted from there in 1253 (presumably by
Rabayn’s henchmen with the king’s connivance) and shipped abroad to be married to a Poitevin nobleman. This was exactly the misuse of royal rights of wardship and marriage condemned in caps. three and six of the Petition of the Barons of 1258 and for which the regime of the Provisions of Oxford punished de Rabayn.’

There was some further investigation as, also in ‘58, ‘Concerning lands that are to be taken into the king’s hand.

Whereas Joan of Braose (Baiocis or Bayeau), who died a short while ago and held a barony from the king in chief, has two daughters as heirs, and the king had given the marriage of one of them to Elias de Rabayne, by pretext of which grant Elias withdrew from the king the custody and marriage of the other daughter and took her overseas, so that the king has been defrauded both of the custody of a moiety of the aforesaid barony and she of her inheritance, order to the sheriff of Dorset and Somerset to take into the king’s hand a moiety of all lands formerly of Joan in his bailiwick, together with the corn and all chattels in a moiety of those lands, to cause that corn to be safely collected and to cause those chattels to be kept safely, so that he might answer the king for them in full.’

That sounds like there might be some justice afoot.

At some point in 1261 – presumably fairly early - the pope condemned the Provisions of Oxford and Henry III began to re-establish his rule. Very interestingly, on Apr 14 ‘61 there was a grant to Rabayn ‘that he may safely come to the king in England’ with ‘all speed.’ This was followed by a mandate ‘to the constable of Dover to let him have safe conduct through his parts.’

Then on Apr 25 he was ‘released’ ‘of the king’s rancour’ and he was granted the ‘reception of him into the king's favour and restitution of his lands …’

Oh well.

Henry III regaining power wasn’t a simple process and in Sept ‘61, ‘ironically at the height of Henry III's struggles to recover power, the community of Somerset and Dorset successfully petitioned him ‘to correct unjust distraints for debt by the exchequer.’

‘Debt by the exchequer’ seems to be a way of saying that the sheriff fined us too often and/or too much, and we didn’t like that. Due to the national situation, this could be a hint that the Provisions of Oxford had left their mark on us.

After some political struggles, Henry III, kind of, regained power and on 16 March ‘64, ‘For the praiseworthy service which Elias de Rabain gives him, the king has pardoned to him £29 of the arrears that he owes him for the time when he was sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, the £28 in which he is bound to him for the time he was his farmer of Bere, and the £20 that he owes him for the time he was keeper of his warren of Corfe.’

However, things change and later in 1264, during the reign of King Simon I – sorry – while king Henry III was Simon de Montforts puppet, the pro-Montfort ‘constable of Corfe castle, Sir Robert de Verdon; with his following of strangers pillaged frequently in Purbeck and elsewhere.’

On Aug 4 ‘65 de Montfort ‘passed away’, and as Rabayn wasn’t ‘out of favour’ with Henry III, he
returned to Corfe.

(Should you read that it was 1270 when Rabayn returned - Patent rolls 1265, 'Whereas Edward, the king's son, has by his letters prayed the king to cause Gerald de Castro Novo and his fellows, detained in the king's prison of Corf, to be delivered out of prison, and sent to him by Emery, monk of the abbey of St. Sever, it has been commanded to Ellis de Rabayne to do this; and he is to keep other prisoners of Gascony detained in the said prison safe, until he receive other orders from the king.')

But something must have needed clearing up, as on Nov 25 1269 there was an ‘Inspeximus and confirmation of a charter, whereby Stephen de Baus, at the request of the king, gave to Elias de Rabayn, in free marriage with Maud his eldest daughter, all the land which he had of the barony of
Baus, with the escheats that might thence arise, to be held from the king by the said Elias and Maud and their heirs lawfully begotten ; but the said Elias has remitted to the said Stephen for life all the said land for 80L. to be paid yearly to the said Elias; and has moreover paid beforehand 100 marks for this charter; witnesses. Sir John Maunsell, Sir Bertram de Criull, John de Rissington, Ralph son of Nicholas, Richard abbot of Cerne, John chaplain le Bath.’

Presumably, as it was confirmed, then, in the kings eyes, all was well.

And on Aug 20 ‘71 there was a ‘Grant to Elias de Rabayne, and his heirs, of a weekly market on
Wednesday at his manor of Lym, in lieu of the market there on Monday granted to him by a charter dated 34 Henry III.’ [1250]

Things change.

On 16 Nov 1272 Henry III died and it was announced that his eldest son, Edward – who was on crusade* – would become Edward I. Compared to the chaos of Henrys reign, England entered a comparatively settled period, where Edward started trying to re-establish the idea of a good, strong, king – who had ‘rights.’ He had to try really hard to ensure and formalise those rights, and I wonder if that, and/or the Provisions of Oxford, led to his subjects to doing the same.

* Rabayn is said to have ‘taken the cross’, but he’s also said to have witnessed charters, in England, whilst he was ‘on crusade’. However, it’s possible that his steward could have ‘witnessed’ for him.

Back to Purbeck, and on May 12 1275 there was a ‘Commission to John de Sancto Walerico to enquire touching a complaint by the abbot of Cerne’ who thought that because he had ‘charters of Henry II and Henry III which the king has inspected’, and because he says that ‘his predecessors have had hitherto without interruption, wreck of sea on the coast of their lands in Brunkeseye [Brownsea] and Remescomb’ until Rabayn, said – oh no, good king Edward has ‘possessed wreck of sea on the said coast and in all lands within the liberty of the said castle’ so he took ‘two tuns of wine of such wreck’ which he ‘seized and carried to the aforesaid castle, where he still detains them.’

That’s important because Rabayn said ‘within the liberty of the said castle’, implying that he thought he had total control. One thing that he did seem to have control of was local hawks, as on Jun 4 ‘76 he was ordered ‘to deliver to Thomas de Hauvill, the king's falconer of fee, four laner falcons of the falcons that Elias took in his bailiwick for the king's use, to be kept by Thomas until the king shall cause them to be sent for.’

When hunting was meant to be one of their favourite pastimes, it’s amazing just how little contemporary info there is about it.

On Mar 15 ‘76 the bailiffs of Southampton were ordered ‘to cause Elias de Rabayn ... to have two tuns of the king's wines, to do therewith as the king has enjoined him.’

On April 23, a £28 debt of Rabayns, ‘who is intending the king's affairs’ was ordered to have ‘respite until the quinzaine of Michaelmas next ... as he claims to have quittance thereof.’

On Sept 2 ‘76 Rabayn was told to give John Giffard ‘four stags of the king's gift’ from ‘Corfes chase’ and to ‘permit the aforesaid John to survey the chase of Corff ... and to report its state to the king.’ Sadly, that survey’s missing.

Possibly a little strangely, on June 2 ‘78 ‘To the keeper of the warren of Purbik. Order to cause John Giffard to have in that warren four harts, of the king's gift.’

Chase? Warren? But no ‘Forest.’ Goddammit!

Back to Sept 10 ‘76, when Matthew Columbaris and Walter de Wymburne were told to look into a complaint by Ingram le Waleys that Rabayn ‘impedes him in the exercise of his just rights in his wood of Langeton in Purbik ... and attaches his men coming there for their estovers, and imprisons them and extorts heavy ransoms and amercements, and that the said Elias and many others by him cut down and carry off trees and in divers manners devastate and consume the said wood.’

Somewhere up above, I mentioned that local landowners changed between c1200 and 1267. In 1267 Ingram le Waleys had ‘purchased’ the land owned by the last of the ‘de Lincoln’ family, who was Albreda, and she had a ‘priory’, or more likely a ‘chantry’, that had three priests in ‘Wilkswood’.

These days, Langton Matravers is the main ‘manor’, and Wilkswood, just a farm. In 1267, that situation was the reverse.

Going back to ‘complaint by the abbot of Cerne’ and his ‘two tuns of wine’, and I think justice may have moved slowly as on 24 Oct ‘76 Rabayns bailiffs were blamed for taking the wine and Rabayn was told to give it back – and pretty much – to re-educate his bailiffs. Which shows that the constable didn’t have every right under the sun, and should have been respectful of others.

Another example, when on Jan 17 ‘78 Salomon de Roffa and Master Thomas de Sodington were
commissioned ‘touching the trespass committed by Elias de Rabayn, constable of Corfe Castle, in
taking and imprisoning therein the men and tenants of Robert son of Payn* for no reasonable cause,
extorting money from them for their release, and daily annoying them.’

* He held Worth (Matravers).

Returning to Ingram at ‘Langeton in Purbik’, and I would guess that, unless Rabayn relented, then Ingram would have been a bit annoyed until April 24 ‘78, when Salomon de Roffa and Master Thomas de Sodynton were again ‘commissioned’ but this time ‘on complaint by Ingram le Waleys that whereas he holds the wood of Langeton in Purbik ... Elias de Rabayn ... prevents him from having his rights there, attaches and imprisons his men coming for estovers there, and fells and carries away wood himself.’

Was there any outcome or justice?

There was the ‘Appointment of Richard de Bosco to the custody, during pleasure, of the castle of Corffe, so that he answer at the Exchequer like Elias de Rabayne, the late constable’, and that was March 4 ‘80.

At some point in ‘80 Rabayn must have approached the king, who ordered the sheriffs of Dorset and Lincoln ‘to restore to Elias de Raban his goods and chattels, which were taken into the king's hands for the trespass that he was said to have committed before the justices last in eyre in cos. Dorset and Lincoln, as he has made fine with the king therefor.’

Then we get a bit of detail, as there was also an ‘Order to acquit Elias de Rabayn of 5 marks for wreck of the sea, 6 marks 5s. .... from William de Lolleworth, 20s. from the hundred of Haselor, 6L 6s. 4d. from the abbess of Shaftesbury, half a mark from Philippa de Cruyl, 2s. from John Campyon, one mark from John le Teyntur, 2s. from the men of Henlegh, 3s. 6d. from the chattels of Hugh Dygon, dOs. from a tun of the wine of wreck of the sea, which he was said to have received and extorted, and to cause to be delivered to him his goods and chattels taken into the king's hands for this reason, as the king for a fine of 500 marks, pardoned Elias all trespasses whereof he was indicted before the justices last in eyre in co. Dorset and also all amercements in which he was amerced before the justices in the eyre aforesaid for any reason.

Then on Jun 25 ‘80 there appears to be a conclusion. ‘Order to the treasurer and barons of the Exchequer to cause enrolment to be made pursuant to the king’s pardon to Ellis de Rabayn of 200 marks of the 500 marks in which he made fine for pardon of his flight to the church of Dorcestre for certain trespasses charged against him before John de Rygate and his fellows, justices last in eyre in Dorset, and of all trespasses whereof he was indicted before the same justices and of all amercements at which he was there amerced, and pursuant to the king’s grant to him that of the residue he pay 50 marks a year.’

JIC - ‘pardon of his flight to the church of Dorcestre’, means that he took sanctuary in the church – he must have been worried – very worried. It just makes me wonder if he was frightened of being lynched? Why would he run from a fine?

Unfortunately ‘trespass’ had a much more generalised meaning, but, I hope, that was in answer to
the Waleys/fitz Payn complaints and the various commissions. But then Edward I, partially, pardoned him.

Oh well.

Nice to think that’s a legal end to Rabayn in Purbeck.

However, he must have kept on pleasing the king as on July 11 ‘81 there was another ‘conclusion’, when there was a ‘Pardon to Elias de Rabayn of 300 marks, out of a fine of 500 marks, of which 200 have already been pardoned, for certain trespasses put upon him, and pardon also of £28 for the scutage of knights' fees late of John de Baouse, deceased, for the last army of Henry III in Wales; also of £10, to wit, 100s for the escape of a robber in Styveton, and 100s for pannage taken and herbage sold in the king's forests of Chipeham and Melkesham.’

A 500 mark fine is a ‘biggie’, but he must have been doing something that Edward I appreciated – or – had he been on Edwards crusade and earnt the kings favour?

Aug 6 1285 ‘Order to the escheator on this side Trent to take into the king’s hand the lands late of Ellis de Rabayn, deceased, tenant in chief.’

Although, locally, his ‘fame’ is for breaking the law, he was ‘rated’ by both Henry III and Edward I – but nobody knows why. Bloody History!

In sweeping terms, Purbeck in the mid/late 1200s. Rabayn must have been a bit of an ogre, but this was during a time where our law was still being established.

Late 1300s, Mayor Hygyn could be seen as standing up for the rights of the people - but that’s only one view.

Around about 1500, Uvedale could be seen to have put personal gain above everything and everybody - but that’s only one view.

Then c1600, Corfe became a private estate, and Hawley et al could be seen as part of a corrupt ‘society’, or ‘club’, or ‘group’ - but that’s only one view.

To me, there just isn’t enough evidence to form any strong conclusions, but where evidence does exist, eg Rabayn, it would be easy to tell a story about a domineering sheriff and an evil local lord, who had the favour of the king, and the poor locals who had to fight for their rights.

Oh, that reminds me of something – can’t think what? :wink:


On Feb 28 1264 there was a ‘Licence for Richard Foliot and his heirs to enclose the dwelling place of his manor of Grymeston, co. Nottingham, with a dyke and a wall of stone and lime and to crenellate it at their will.

The like for Ellis de Rabayn as to the dwelling place of his manor of Waylim*, co. Dorset.’

There’s no evidence that Dorset was being invaded at that time, but could it have been? Or was Rabayn really unpopular and needed to fight off the locals? Could we locals have been pro-Montfort? Or could Rabayn have been showing off? Or was it all four? Or any one, two or three of them? Or something else?

* Waylim – presumably that’s a new name for ‘Waye Baiouse’. It’s, possibly, now known as Upwey, which does have ‘Bayard Hill’ and ‘Bayard Barn.’

‘Baouses’, ‘Baiocis’, ‘Baiouse’ or more normally, ‘Bayeux’ – which isn’t that far from Bayard - maybe?

To finish this bit - I hate Rabayn as he is the only – recorded - person in the whole history of the world to have used stone that isn’t classed as ‘Purbeck stone’ in Corfes castle - even though it came from Purbeck – grrrrrr.

I also love Rabayn as he is the only – recorded - person in the whole history of the world to have
used stone that isn’t classed as ‘Purbeck stone’ in Corfes castle - even though it came from Purbeck – innovation!

Penny-pinching git.
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:47 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by Fisonaka »

dorsetUK wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:18 am
Elias de Rabayn – a snaphot.

As with Hugh de Vivonia, Elias de Rabayn was French, and Henry III seems to have liked him. He’s thought to have come from la Rochelle, and to have been a friend of Henry IIIs ‘French’ family – the Lusignans – often referred to as ‘the Poitevin’s.’ Rabayn is also the first, and only, constable to have become ‘famous’ for what he did in Purbeck. (...)
it's very interesting. thank you very much. I really want to learn Latin and read books that were written a long time ago in the original language, without translation into English. Even books written in Old English are difficult to read at times. For example, I recently discovered Macbeth after reading some essays on this site about this work by Shakespeare. Although for the most part the language and the essence are clear, it is very difficult to read some constructions.
Last edited by Fisonaka on Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

Fisonaka wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:06 am
it's very interesting. thank you very much
Hi Fisonaka

I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Hopefully, more to come.
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

Part One.

With thanks to Steven Muhlberger, an effective outline.

So righteeho, let’s get this road back on the show.

(I know, I know, but I like the rhyme!)

Unfortunately, my ‘road’ is unmade, sometimes goes up a rocky slope before turning and going off somewhere not quite where it should, but these c5,000 words* – not the incredibly confusing c20K that I originally scrawled off – are the best I can do. Hopefully this remnant will create a sketch that shows how complicated and confusing I found this, whilst …. um .…

* In two parts.

Justice had been a bit of a mess and there’d always been the ‘kings prerogative’ where he could announce or override ‘things’, and his justice could be brutal. Ferinstance, William I didn’t stand for any nonsense, see e.g The Harrying of the North.

His son, Rufus, as described by The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 'was very harsh and fierce in his rule over his realm and towards his followers and to all his neighbours and very terrifying. Influenced by the advice of evil councillors, which was always gratifying to him, and by his own covetousness, he was continually exasperating this nation with depredations and unjust taxes. In his days therefore, righteousness declined and every evil of every kind towards God and man put up its head. Everything that was hateful to God and to righteous men was the daily practice in this land during his reign. Therefore he was hated by almost all his people and abhorrent to God. This his end testified, for he died in the midst of his sins without repentance or atonement for his evil deeds.'

His brother, Henry I was also a bit of a rogue, not only imprisoning his other brother – Robert Curthose* - but also whilst off scrapping with the neighbours, some ‘moneyers’** – people who physically made the money - were found to be being a bit naughty. Henry got in touch with his vice-regent, Bishop Roger of Salisbury, and told him to sort it out. Christmas 1124–5 at Winchester; in response to the royal order from Normandy, Bishop Roger castrated the corrupt moneyers.

* Curthose was, possibly, initially imprisoned in Wareham castle.

** Wareham had two moneyers – but whether they were corrupt or not, is unknown.

After Henry’s death his embalmer got an infection and died. He was described as ‘the last of many that Henry killed.’

Returning to Sept 10 1276, when Matthew Columbaris and Walter de Wymburne were told to look into a complaint by Ingram le Waleys that Rabayn ‘impedes him in the exercise of his just rights in his wood of Langeton in Purbik … and attaches his men coming there for their estovers, and imprisons them and extorts heavy ransoms and amercements, and that the said Elias and many others by him cut down and carry off trees and in divers manners devastate and consume the said wood.’

An oversight. :oops:

I forgot this bit about Elias de Rabayn’s Reign of Terror.

1277 ‘in the same year the abbess of Shaftesbury accused Rabayn of stealing her trees and the abbot of Cerne complained about him cattle rustling.’

Returning to Jan 17 1278, when Salomon de Roffa and Master Thomas de Sodington were commissioned ‘touching the trespass committed by Elias de Rabayn, constable of Corfe Castle, in taking and imprisoning therein the men and tenants of Robert fitz Payn for no reasonable cause, extorting money from them for their release, and daily annoying them.’

They’re my ‘target’, but first, some background.

Salomon de Roffa is interesting as he’s quoted as being one of the ‘itinerant’ judges, aka justices and/or justiciars, and he’s also ‘parson of Corfe.’

As he was ‘itinerant’, he could link to ‘eyres’, which were nationally ‘itinerant’. They were the kings travelling courts and could be ‘eyres of the forest’ or ‘general eyres’. I don’t think that Roffa was a direct part of the eyre, as I think his ‘itinerant’ role was in Dorset, and as they shared a sheriff, maybe in Somerset as well. He would probably have been summoned by the eyre, if cases he’d been involved in needed further ‘judging’.

Eyres - officially they didn’t start until 1176, but many ideas were trialled and tested before becoming official. In her PhD thesis, The Forest Eyre, 1154-1368. King's College London 1999, Jane F Winters says ‘The 1130 pipe roll records revenue that is clearly derived from a general forest visitation.’

Winters confirms that Purbeck was a forest and that no records remain.

Then we had a slight problem when England slipped into THE Anarchy.

A personal ‘God’, prof David Carpenter has confirmed that ‘magnates’ could be found to be retaining justices and sheriffs before 1154.

That’s a tad of a loaded quote, cuz from 1135 to ‘53 we lived and died as The Anarchy tore us apart.

Stephen, Henry I’s cousin, and the only king Stephen we’ve ever had, ruled but Empress Matilda, Henry I’s daughter – quite rightly IMO – believed that she should have been our first queen. Luckily for her, she won when Stephen made her son, Henry, his heir – and then died. This left us with one of our most – I’m not sure whether to write ‘powerful’, ‘dynamic’ or ‘successful’ kings – maybe it’s all three – so long as we ignore things like the problems with Thomas Beckett, his wife and sons rebelling against him and the fact that nobody seems to have liked him!

However, Henry II was Europes most powerful king and Englands first Plantagenet – oh the irony!

He’s usually the person most associated with establishing ‘common law’, but it may be better to view him as the first person to document it – in a very basic but not quite so violent manner - with ‘eyres’ beginning in 1176. (Or earlier!).

To understand ‘king’s justice’ I think we need to look at ‘The Forest’. This was land where the king could really exercise his power. It was land directly under his jurisdiction – no pesky Lords or Earls or Manors or Hundreds to worry about.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle noted that William the Conqueror

preserved the harts and boar
and loved the stags as much
as if he were their father.

Henry of Huntingdon noted that 'he loved the beasts of the chase as if he were their father. On account of this, in the woodlands reserved for hunting, which he called the 'New Forest', he had villages rooted out and people removed, and made it a habitation for wild beasts'.

Winters says ‘The evidence is far from clear, but the reign of Henry I [1100-’35] seems to have witnessed a development both in the extent and organisation of the royal forest. That new land was added to the forest is apparent from Stephen's charter of 1136. In this document Stephen promised to return land added to the royal forest by his predecessor. It had clearly expanded to embrace more than the royal demesne. As far as the organisation and administration of the royal forest is concerned the single surviving pipe roll from the reign of Henry I is invaluable.

The 1130 pipe roll records revenue that is clearly derived from a general forest visitation. The efforts of the justices were concentrated in the south of England, although the forest of the bishopric of Chester was visited and pleas were heard in Gloucestershire and Huntingdonshire. The forest was already becoming more than simply a royal game preserve. It would not be until the second half of the twelfth century that the unique financial potential of the forest began to be exploited systematically, but the change in emphasis had begun. The development of the royal forest was interrupted by the upheaval of Stephen's reign, when 'wild animals ... which before had been most
scrupulously preserved in the whole kingdom ... were now molested in every quarter, scattered by chance-comer and fearlessly struck down by all.’

It was, however, only a short-lived setback. ‘A regard, yielding significant financial returns, was undertaken as early as 1155.’

Ok, so ‘eyres’ – or their forerunner – began in 1130, but, W M Morris says, ‘How much earlier than 1130 the exchequer was able to make regular use of the itinerant justices in levying and collecting the king's revenue it is impossible to say. The Pipe Roll of that year mentions amounts due from placita held by Ralph Basset ... The special session over which he presided at Huncote in Leicestershire in 1124 seems to be the earliest which is definitely recorded as transacting criminal business.’

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle adds that Basset ‘hanged more thieves than ever were known before; that is, in a little while, four and forty men altogether; and despoiled six men of their eyes and of their testicles. Many true men said that there were several who suffered very unjustly; but our Lord God Almighty, who seeth and knoweth every secret, seeth also that the wretched people are oppressed with all unrighteousness. First they are bereaved of their property, and then they are slain. Full heavy year was this. The man that had any property, was bereaved of it by violent guilds and violent moots. The man that had not, was starved with hunger.’

In 1198, Roger of Howden described eyres as ‘another kind of torment to the confusion of men and of the kingdom’ when he complained of the general eyre being closely followed by an eyre of the forest.

One medieval chronicle asserts that the 1233 Eyre of Cornwall provoked terror in the populace, with men having "fled into the woods" in fear of the judges.

Lots of potential criminals in Cornwall – or lots of people ‘out for justice’ - or both?

Eyres, ‘begat fear and awe in the whole population.’

Roger of Howden also said that the ‘scrupulous bishop of Lincoln Roger Grosseteste refused to admit Robert de Passelewe to a church at Northampton because he had headed the forest eyre in 1246 and punished clerks as well as laymen before that court.’

Church law versus civil law – a long fight. Whilst eyres could hand out some pretty brutal punishment, if you could prove that you were a priest then you should appear before the church’s court, and your punishment would involve a ‘penance’, or at worst – for rape or murder - being kicked out of the church - but no physical pain.

However it doesn’t seem to have been entirely consistent as ‘An assize held in Dorset reported five cases involving criminal activity of clerics: four involved killing and one involved burglary, robbery and housebreaking. From those cases, three sought Court Christian and “had it”, and in the other two cases, the clerk was remanded to the Church official to await the coming of the justices in eyre.’

It could be that the two who were ‘remanded’ could have used ‘self-defence’ as part of their defence - which, at least some ‘witnesses’ agreed with.

Unfortunately, except for ‘some time during king Johns reign’, I can’t date that bit. I’m also uncertain about this one, but it could be 1244.

‘… an outlaw, who had been harboured for three weeks by the bailiff of Hyde, attempted to return to his house at Whitclyve [Whitecliff] and was met by William son of Thomas, who raised the hue and cry, and in company with Helyas le Bercher pursued him and cut off his head.

Thereupon Helyas, for some reason unspecified possibly for fear of the bailiff, who had befriended his victim took fright and fled. It was probably well for him that he did so, for the coroner* came and viewed the body of the dead man and gave William son of Thomas over to the sheriff as a felon, whereupon he was detained in prison nearly a year, and it was not until the justices in eyre visited the county again that full justice was done upon the bailiff, and Helyas was given leave to return
from his voluntary exile if he chose.’

* Coroners. ‘It was the coroner's duty also to view the body of anyone who had met with a violent or accidental death, and all the vills of the neighbourhood were expected to be present at the view on pain of a fine, which was very frequently incurred. Upon one occasion the prior of Wareham was charged with having buried Nicholas Miller who had been drowned in the mill-stream at West Holme without this view. He was sentenced to amercement, but denied the charge and put himself on the county, whereupon the jurors found that he was not guilty, and proceedings were taken against the original jury for concealing the truth in their presentment. In the same eyre the vill of Winterborne Steeple was charged with having buried a suicide before the coroner had arrived.’

In Boroughs, it seems that they could have even more power. ‘Henry III gave charters to Bridport and Shaftesbury in 1252, by which the former was incorporated, while Shaftesbury obtained freedom that its burgesses should not be impleaded outside the borough during the visits of the justices in eyre, and that they should elect from among themselves two coroners to determine the pleas of the crown in the said vill.’

Before ‘eyres’ it’s probable that local judges could be prone to showing their own loyalties or being pressurised, so, possibly from 1124, ‘eyres’ – or more likely, what became ‘eyres’ - were instigated so that every three years they would tour around the country bringing justice to all. Or that was the original idea. More generally they were appointed to visit certain counties every six or seven years, and they were complex beasts.

‘Every so often a ‘general eyre’ would visit a county bringing the Kings government with it. Large throngs of people attended, to account for themselves or to seek justice: special regulations were required to control the rates of board and lodging during the crowded sessions; the writs were read and the Justices’ authority publicly proclaimed, local officials delivered up their insignia of office as if to the King in person, and the Justice started into their long agenda (the ‘chapters of the eyre’), investigating crimes and unexplained deaths, misconduct and negligence by officials, irregularities and shortcomings of all kinds, the feudal and fiscal rights of the crown, and private disputes.

The general eyres were not merely law courts, they were a way of supervising local government through itinerant central government.’

Did they work? Fines rocketed in the counties they visited – so in the king’s eyes, they sure did.

Sorry that’s a bit negative. Before ‘eyres’ you had to pay a fine to have your case heard under ‘common law’, so justice was limited, and locally, possibly biased – how do you complain about your ‘lord’ in your ‘lords’ court? Eyres, at least, opened up the market and gave the right of appeal – which of course meant that many more cases could be prosecuted in front of unbiased judges.

Less biased?

It’s tricky because ‘itinerant justices’, maybe even, ‘judges of the eyre’ could know the local lords eg, Rabayn, fitz Payn, Ingram and Roffa – ‘parson of Corfe’ - which doesn’t mean that there was any bias, but in a dramatic ‘take’ – Rabayn was the ogre who the locals stood up to.

Imagine that you were sentenced by the local justices, and thrown into prison to await the eyre. Should you survive that, you could wait for years before it arrived to give you ‘justice’. Or if you were Robert fitz Payn or Ingram le Waleys then you complained, and had to wait for up to four years before there was judgement – and from the late 1200’s, eyres didn’t run regularly – if they ever did. They largely finished c1290, but were still used occasionally.

However ‘… with the decline of the eyre by the fourteenth century, the ability of poor local residents to obtain justice without formality or expense declined, since they would usually lack the means to buy a writ or to cope with the technicalities of the common law, with all its complexities, without legal representation.’

The National Archive has, amongst many others, the ‘Dorset eyre of 1280, roll of claims of liberties.’ [JUST 1/216]. But ‘This record has not been digitised and cannot be downloaded.’ Mind you - ‘you can request a quotation for a copy to be sent to you.’

Anyone speak Medieval Latin?
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Medieval Latin.

Post by dorsetUK »

Part Two.

The ‘commission of oyez and terminer’, largely replaced the eyres, where, usually, four knights were appointed to look into – ‘oyez’ – and judge – ‘terminer’ - or more accurately - to ‘hear and determine’. Thanks Liz.

They were certainly more flexible and could respond in much better time, but having ‘locals’ investigate ‘local’ behaviour could, maybe, be a bit, um, subjective.


A word that’s changed its meaning – ‘jury’.

At first there was ‘compurgation’. Under this, an accused person who swore he did not commit the crime, and found a sufficient number of his neighbours to swear that they believed him, was acquitted. Henry II wasn’t overly happy with this.

Juries, composed of eg, ‘the true and good men of the …..’ village, county etc, were used by many courts but, in effect, they were the locals describing what had happened – or their version of what had happened. The judges then judged. The modern idea of the unbiased, listening, being advised, and then deciding jury took a while to form and it was the Judges job to – probably* - listen to both sides and then pronounce their judgement**, which could be appealed in the kings court – often referred to as ‘the bench.’ There was a slight problem though because if you were sentenced to death or disfigurement, then that usually happened immediately.

* Court records are an outline of what happened, so no-one’s entirely sure that the accused were allowed to defend themselves – they could have just been allowed to make a statement. In their belief system, the ‘true and good men’ wouldn’t lie, a Priest wouldn’t lie, the local Lord wouldn’t lie – the accused? This probably led to the rise of the Lawyer – who, of course, wouldn’t lie either. In 1166, officially, the jury was composed of ‘twelve of the more lawful men of the hundred, and through four of the more lawful men of each township, upon oath that they will speak the truth.’ In more modern terms they were a jury of presentment – which seems to be the forerunner of the American Grand Jury.

** Should you read things along the lines of ‘All accused by the presenting juries were to be put to ordeal of water, a test whereby those who floated were regarded as guilty, since they were rejected by the water which had been blessed by a priest.

In the ‘witch hunts’ of the 16th and 17th century ‘witches’ who were found guilty through the ordeal by water, were often killed, but originally guilt could, in certain circumstances, be purged by paying a fine.

Many ‘crimes’ were ‘settled out of court’ or cleared up at Hundred or County level and many that weren’t, were punished – in the eyre - by fining, with only certain crimes being tried by the ordeal. And there were ways to avoid that, as in the Assize of Clarendon 1166, point 13.

‘And if any one shall confess before lawful men, or in the hundred court, concerning robbery, murder, or theft, or the harbouring of those committing them, and afterwards wish to deny it, he shall not have law.’

So if you said ‘I want to change my plea’, you would be ‘outlawed’, losing the kings protection and having to ‘leave the realm’ – or, more likely, ‘live on the lam’.

In 1176 The Assize of Northampton added some clarity as the loss of the right hand shall be added to the previous punishment of the loss of one foot for those who failed the ordeal.

So the ordeal was survivable – although I wonder how many one footed and one handed people there were?

After the pope banned the clergy from taking part in the ordeal in 1215, Henry III outlawed it in 1219.

I turned to Wikipedia.

According to a theory put forward by economics professor Peter Leeson, trial by ordeal may have been effective at sorting the guilty from the innocent.[47] On the assumption that defendants were believers in divine intervention for the innocent, then only the truly innocent would choose to endure a trial; guilty defendants would confess or settle cases instead. Therefore, the theory goes, church and judicial authorities could routinely rig ordeals so that the participants—presumably innocent—could pass them.[48] To support this theory, Leeson points to the great latitude given to the priests in administering the ordeal and interpreting the results of the ordeal. He also points to the overall high exoneration rate of accused persons undergoing the ordeal, when intuitively one would expect a very high proportion of people carrying a red hot iron to be badly burned and thus fail the ordeal.[47] Peter Brown explains the persistence and eventual withering of the ordeal by stating that it helped promote consensus in a society where people lived in close quarters and there was little centralized power. In a world where "the sacred penetrated into the chinks of the profane and vice-versa" the ordeal was a "controlled miracle" that served as a point of consensus when one of the greatest dangers to the community was feud.[49] From this analysis, Brown argues that the increasing authoritativeness of the state lessened the need and desire for the ordeal as an instrument of consensus, which ultimately led to its disappearance.[50]

Which, to me, makes sense.

Another way of getting around being judged was to refuse to plead – presumably ‘the right of silence’ – and so the accused would be subjected to Peine forte et dure. Which, although an ‘ordeal’, wasn’t originally, quite as bad as it is usually portrayed, where you would be ‘pressed’ by having weights placed on your chest until you confessed – or not.

The Standing Mute Act 1275, part of Statute of Westminster of 1275, states:

'It is provided also, That notorious Felons, which openly be of evil name, and will not put themselves in Enquests of Felonies that Men shall charge them with before the Justices at the King's suit, shall have strong and hard Imprisonment (prison forte et dure), as they which refuse to stand to the common Law of the Land: But this is not to be understood of such prisoners as be taken of light suspicion.'

It appears to have initially meant imprisonment under harsh conditions:

'… in the worst place in the prison, upon the bare ground continually, night and day; that they eat only bread made of barley or bran, and that they drink not the day they eat …’

Naturally, there’s a but.

‘The first clear reference to pressing turns up outside the legal record in Bartholomew Cotton’s Historia Anglicana. Cotton recounts the 1293 Norfolk trial of fourteen men accused of atrociously and cruelly murdering sailors from Holland and Zeeland, then stealing their goods and setting fire to their ships. The incident resulted in the king’s justices sentencing thirteen to hang. One refused to submit to jury trial. He was remanded to prison to suffer the diet, but the Historia notes also “that he should sit naked save for a linen garment, on the bare ground, and he should be loaded with irons from the hands to the elbows, and from feet to the knees, until he should make his submission.”’

Constable of Corfe, Robert fitz Payn, was frequently appointed on ‘commissions of oyez and terminer’, all over Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.

On June 4 1315, To the sheriff of Wilts.

Whereas Stephen de Brightmereston*, indicted for certain felonies before Robert fitz Payn and his fellows, justices of oyer and terminer in that county, and committed to Salisbury prison. Was afterwards before the said justices adjudged to his pain because he remained dumb when impleaded before them, in which pain he died; and Joan, his wife and executrix, prayed the king to have his goods, seized into the king's hands as forfeited, delivered to her for the execution of his will, asserting that of right they ought not to be confiscated because he was not judicially convicted of any felony; wherefore the king has ordained that the goods should be delivered to her upon her finding the sheriff sufficient mainpernors to answer for the goods at the next parliament if it were then found by the king's council that they ought to be forfeited: wherefore the king commands the sheriff that, as she has found the mainprise aforesaid, he is to certify thereof William Warde and John Cutewyn, in whose custody the goods are, the king having ordered them to deliver the goods
to her when so certified by the sheriff.

July 14 1315, Robert fitz Payn .... to take twenty harts in the king's warren of Purbik.

Aug 30 1315, Robert fitz Payn, deceased ...

And then on Aug 28 1316, To the treasurer and barons of the exchequer.

‘Order to cause to be delivered to Joan, late the wife of Stephen de Brighmerston, his goods and chattels, upon her finding mainpernors to answer to the king for the same at the next parliament if they ought to pertain to him as forfeitures, as the sheriffs of Southampton and Wilts have done nothing in execution of the king's order to deliver the same to her upon her finding security to answer for the same, although she often offered them sufficient security, as she has shewn the king, which goods and chattels were taken into the king's hands as forfeited because her said husband, who was indicted of certain felonies and trespasses before Robert fitz Payn and his fellows, justices of oyer and terminer in the above counties, remained mute and would not answer before them, wherefore he was adjudged the pain, in which pain he died.’

To me, that’s not very nice, but I guess that it actually makes it into the records because a woman stood up for her rights. Joan seems to have ‘fought’ the sheriffs – presumably through the kings court – to ensure that she got what was hers.

I think that it shows that ‘justice’ was available, if you knew and could afford ‘the system’. Presumably, as Stephen was ‘indicted’ and used his ‘right to silence’, and so never ‘judged’, then Joan, so long as she fought, could inherit.

Much as I like fitz Payn, I love both Joan and Stephen.

That could show a system that may have been functioning – if maybe somewhat erratically. fitz Payns actions don’t seem to have bought him any censure, so presumably, what he did was OK with the king – unless his death had wiped out any personal liability?

Note - ‘… in which pain he died …’. I have seen that translated as ‘ which penance he died ...’

* Brighmerston, possibly

One last thing, from above, ‘… That notorious Felons, which openly be of evil name ...’.

Later, certainly in 1330, that was shortened to just ‘notorious’. If you were charged in Parliament and everyone agreed that you were guilty, then you weren’t even allowed to speak, let alone defend yourself. There was simply no argument, you were guilty.


Justice in development?

The kings prerogative overriding the law?

(His law).

And I still haven’t hit my target.

Bloody history.
Post Reply

Return to “Open chat”