Extract from Stamford Hundred Roll A
For a full translation of rolls A and B, see Stamford in the Thirteenth Century: two inquisitions from the reign of Edward I, ed D. R. Roffe (Stamford: , 1994)
THE VERDICT OF THOSE OF GREATER STANDING OF THE TOWN OF
STAMFORD IN KESTEVEN IN THE THIRD YEAR OF THE REIGN OF
An inquiry made of twelve jurors of the town of Stamford, to wit of those men of greater standing within the said town, before lords William de St Omer and Warin de Chaucumbe, justices of the lord king therein duly commissioned, the jurors being Isaac Lucas, John son of Walter le Fleming, Alan de Corby, Hugh son of Henry de Tickencote, William Bylkes, Hugh son of Walter de Tickencote, Henry de Thorpe, William le Noreys, Henry Brond, Thomas Pite, Walter Norman and Reginald Dyer, who reply upon their oaths to the following articles herein appended:
1. How many and what demesne manors the king has in his hand [in every county, that is, both of the ancient demesnes of the crown, and of escheats and purchases].
They reply that the lord king now holds no manor in the town of Stamford.
2. What manors, moreover, used to be in the hands of the kings who were the king's predecessors, and who hold them [by what warrant and from what time, and by whom and how they were alienated].
They say that King John held the vill of Stamford with the castle, four carucates of land, and all other appurtenances, worth eleven score pounds a year, the vill of Ketton which pertains to the vill of Stamford, worth thirteen pounds a year, and the vill of Grantham with the whole of its soke, the value of which they do not know. The same king gave the said vills, that is Stamford with its appurtenances, Grantham with its soke, (and the thirteen pounds worth of land in Ketton), to William earl of Warenne, but on what terms and by what service they do not know. William held these vills for the whole of his life and on his death, King Henry, father of the present king, reseized the same and held them for over sixteen years before giving them to his son the Lord Edward, the present king, who held them for full six years. Edward gave whatever he held in the vill of Ketton to Eblo de Montibus - by what warrant and for what service they do not know - who sold the same to Ralph de Grenham who now holds in chief to the king, but by what warrant and by what service they do not know. Finally, they say that the Lord Edward afterwards gave the aforesaid vill, that is Stamford with all its appurtenances, and Grantham with the whole of its soke, to John earl of Warenne who now holds them in chief of the king, although they do not know by what warrant or for what service.
3. Also concerning the lord king's fees and tenants; who hold them now from him in chief, how many fees each of them holds; [what fees used to be held in chief of the king and now are held through a mesne lord, and by what mesne, and from what time they have been alienated, how and by whom].
They say that the abbot of Peterborough holds ten pounds worth of rents in the town of Stamford beyond the bridge in chief of the king. They do not know how long he has held these rents nor by what licence or for what service. The value is ten pounds a year. Of other holdings they know nothing except what has been said above.
4. Also concerning the lands of tenants of the ancient demesne of the crown, whether free sokemen or serfs: [whether held by bailiffs or by the tenants themselves, and by what bailiffs or tenants, and by whom they have been alienated, how and from what time].
They say that they know nothing.
5. Likewise, enquiry shall be made concerning the farms of hundreds, wapentakes, ridings, cities and boroughs, [and of all other rents whatsoever and from what time].
They reply that they know nothing beyond what has already been said about the value of the town of Stamford.
6. Also how many hundreds, wapentakes, and ridings are now in the lord king's hand, and how many and which are in the hands of others, [from what time, and by what warrant, and how much each hundred is worth a year].
They say they know nothing because they are burgesses and do not concern themselves with hundreds, these things being foreign to them.
7. Concerning ancient suits, customs, services, and other things withdrawn from the lord king and from his predecessors; who withdrew them [and from what time; and who have appropriated to themselves such suits, customs, services, and other things belonging of established custom to the lord king, from what time, and by what warrant].
They say that the abbot of Peterborough was accustomed to make suit twice a year at the court of the earl of Warenne in Stamford castle. He withdrew the said suits six years ago, but they do not know by what warrant.
8. Also, what other persons claim from the king to have return or estreats of writs, [who would hold pleas of vee de naam, who claim to have wreck of sea, and by what warrant, and other royal liberties such as gallows, the assizes of bread and ale, and other things which belong to the crown; and from what time].
They replay that John earl of Warenne has return and estreat of writs in the town of Stamford, view of frankpledge twice a year, the assize of bread and ale, gallows, pillory, and tumbrel. All these liberties were in use when the Lord Edward, the present king, held the town of Stamford and were enjoyed in the time of his predecessors.
They also say that Alexander de Tickencote, the prior of St Leonard's, Lord John de Burgh, the abbot of Thorney, John Sampson, William Bylkes, Walter le Fleming, the abbot of Bourne, the abbot of Croxden, Thomas son of Stephen, and the parson of the church of the Holy Trinity each claim to have a free court of all their tenants within the town of Stamford, but they do not know how long they have held these rights nor by what warrant.
They also claim to have aletol and breustergeld of the same tenants, and this they collect, but it is not known how long they have done so nor by what warrant.
9. Also concerning those who have liberties granted to them by kings of England and have made use of them otherwise than they should have done, [how, from what time, and in what way].
They say that, whereas John earl of Warenne had the aforesaid liberties by leave of the Lord Edward, who had them by gift of King Henry his father, he has, by what warrant they know not, levied tronage for four years past, to the loss of the king and the merchants of one mark a year. They say that never previously was tronage levied in the town of Stamford.
They say that, whereas no free man ought to be amerced in his lord's court except by his peers and then according to the gravity of his crime, the bailiffs of the said earl in Stamford, namely Walter Dragun and Philip de Stambourne, Hugh Bunting and John the Apothecary, and various other under-bailiffs, gravely and beyond custom amerced the men of the town of Stamford at will, to the loss of the town of 100s. a year.
10. Again concerning liberties which obstruct common justice and overturn the king's power [and by whom they were granted and since when].
They say that, although no free man ought to be distrained within the confines of his own house except for the purpose of levying the dues of the king or recovering unpaid rent owing to the lord of the fee, Walter Dragun and Philip de Stambourne seneschals of the earl of Warenne, Hugh Bunting bailiff of the same, and all their under-bailiffs unjustly and maliciously distrained all manner of burgesses within their own homes of cloth and all sorts of utensils for the payment of small amercements. This they have done against common justice for the last six years or more to the loss of the town of ten pounds a year.
11. Who, moreover, have recently appropriated to themselves free chases or warrens [without warrant, and likewise who have had such chases and warrens of old by the king's grant and have gone beyond their bounds and landmarks, and since when].
They say that the prior of Newstead outside Stamford has appropriated to himself a free fishery in the River Gwash from the River Welland to Smalebriggs. They do not know by what warrant he has done this, but it has occasioned loss to the town of Stamford of 2s. per annum, for the aforesaid river is by custom free and common to all the men of the town for the pursuit of fishing. They know nothing of chases and warrens.
12. What persons also, whether lords or their seneschals or bailiffs of any kind or even the lord king's officials, have not upheld the execution of the lord king's commands [or have even scorned to carry them out, or have hindered the doing of them in any way, since the time when the constitutions were made at Marlborough in the fifty-second year of the reign of the lord king Henry, father of the king that now is].
They say that when Ralph de Stoke brought a royal writ to the bailiffs of John earl of Warenne in Stamford, he took it to Philip de Stambourne, seneschal of the said earl, who refused to accept it. Then Ralph took it to Hugh Bunting and Peter London, bailiffs of the said earl, and they declined to accept it. Thus, the aforesaid Philip, Hugh and Peter refused to execute the king's command. This they did in the second year of the reign of King Edward to the loss of the said Ralph of one mark, and indeed they still refuse to accept royal writs.
13. Again concerning all encroachments whatsoever upon the king or upon the royal dignity, [by whom they have been made, and how, and from what time].
They say that Robertde Aunby encroached upon the River Welland within the liberty of the abbot of Peterborough in the town of Stamford by raising a wall in the same river further out than he ought by twenty feet in length and two feet in width, to the loss and hurt of the town of 12d. a year. He did this some seven years ago.
They say that Richard de Wardley encroached on the king's highway in St Mary's Street by building steps measuring eight feet in length and four feet in width at the entrance of a cellar, to the loss and hurt of the town and all who pass through it of 2s. a year. He did this eight years ago.
They say that Gilbert de Chesterton obstructed the king's highway by building three flights of steps at doors of three cellars opposite the west gable of the church of All Saints, Stamford, to the hurt of the town and all those passing through of half a mark a year. This he did eight years ago.
They say that David son of Meyr obstructed the king's highway opposite the gable of All Saints (Church), Stamford, by building a shop front measuring eight feet in length and four feet in width, to the hurt of the town and all those passing through of 6d. a year. This was done some eleven years ago.
Moreover, they say that Dyay son of Abraham de Holm encroached on the king's highway in St Peter's parish by erecting the wall of a house (further out) than he ought on the highway to the extent of one and a half feet in breadth and six feet in length, to the hurt of the town and all those passing through of 2s. a year. This was done some six years ago.
They say that John le Fleming de Clypsil made an encroachment in the fields of Stamford by appropriating to himself part of the king's highway (which leads towards Casterton) half a furlong in length and eight feet in width, to the loss of the town of 6d. a year. He did this some four years ago.
They say that Agnes Stykeling appropriated part of the king's highway twelve feet in width and half a furlong in length to the loss of the town and neighbourhood of 6d. at year. She did this some four years ago.
They say that Master Reginald, formerly master of the hospital of St Thomas on the Bridge in Stamford, encroached on the king's highway in the fields of Stamford by quarrying stone in an area forty feet in length and eight feet in width, to the loss of the town and all those passing through of 12d. a year. This he did five years ago.
They say that William Reyner diverted the course of the River Welland by means of a wall built in the river bed in the liberty of the abbot of Peterborough next to the courtyard of Robert de Aunby on the west side. This encroachment was made some ten years ago, to the loss of the town of 6d. a year.
They say that Richard Faderman diverted the course of the aforesaid river in the same way as William Reyner, to the loss of the town of 12d. a year. He did this some ten years ago.
They say that John Plouman encroached upon the king's highway in St Mary's Street by building steps (at the entrance) of a cellar next to the door of his house further out than he ought, to the loss and danger of all those who pass through of 12d. a year.
14. Concerning knight fees, of whomsoever held, and lands or holdings given or sold to monks or to other persons to the king's prejudice, [by whom, and from what time].
They say that in the town of Stamford the abbot of Bourne holds in alms rents from houses worth 40s. a year which he has held for the last ten years. He bought them from the prior of Kyme who held them for five years having bought them from Beatrice de Tickencote. They were sold to Beatrice by Gerald Daungerus who held the aforesaid rents of King Henry, father of the present King, in chief from the time when King Henry held the town of Stamford in his hands. However, they do not know by what service or warrant he held them. This fee of the said rents is therefore alienated to the prejudice of the king from the aforesaid time. By what warrant they know not.
They say that the abbot of Vaudey holds certain houses in St Paul's parish in Stamford worth 20s. a year. He has had them for the last fourteen years by the gift of Master Alexander Spillecause, who held them in chief of the lord of Stamford, but they do not know by what service or licence.
The prior of St Leonard's outside Stamford holds certain houses in the parish of St Mary at the bridge of Stamford which are worth two marks a year. He received them sixteen years ago by grant of David son of William, who held them in chief from the lord of Stamford, by what warrant and by what service they know not.
The prior of Newstead outside Stamford holds certain houses in the parish of St John the Baptist in the town of Stamford which were sold by Geoffrey the scribe who held them in chief of the lord of Stamford. They do not know by what warrant nor by what service he held them. They worth 100s. a year.
The prior of Fineshade holds houses in the parish of St Michael (the Great) in Stamford worth one mark a year which were bought from Master Alan Mor of Stamford ten years ago. Alan held them from the lord of Stamford, although again, they do not know by what warrant or service they were held. These fees of the said rents are therefore alienated from the aforesaid time in prejudice of the king. They do not know by what warrant.
16. Concerning sheriffs and all manner of bailiffs who take gifts to remove recognitors [from assizes and juries, and at what time].
They say that Water Dragun, seneschal of the earl of Warenne, corruptly accepted 2s. from Robert Brond in order to remove him from an assize.
Moreover William le Freyner, the earl's bailiff, corruptly accepted 2s. from Toke the wool merchant for the same.
20. Again, whereas fines for redisseisins or for encroachments by land or sea, for concealment of treasure [and such like matters belong to the lord king, and sheriffs ought to attach them, what persons have taken such fines, and from whom and how much].
They know nothing.
They say that a chalice and patten were found in All Saints' Church and handed over to Andrew Arketel coroner of Stamford who now has them.
21. Again who by the power of their office have maliciously harassed anyone [and have thereby extorted lands, rents or any other contributions, and from what time].
They say that Hugh Bunting, bailiff of John earl of Warenne, took half a mark from Thomas Pite because he stood pledge for Ralph Waldechef's appearance in the earl's court on a certain appointed day. Ralph appeared on that day and Hugh the bailiff told him that the court was not sitting that day. Whereupon Ralph returned to his lodgings. Afterwards Hugh maliciously accosted Thomas Pite as Ralph's pledge, saying that Ralph had not attended the court as he ought to have done and on that account unlawfully extorted the aforesaid half a mark from the said Thomas.
Moreover, Nicholas Pot under-bailiff of Hugh Bunting took 12d. from the aforesaid Thomas Pite on account of an unlawful summons, that is that he summoned him after curfew to a court to be held in the castle on the morrow before the seneschal of the earl. Thomas was then at Yaxley, and when he did not appear on the morrow as summoned by that writ, Nicholas unlawfully took the said 12d. from him.
On the same pretext Nicholas took 12d. from Robert Bruselaunce, Toke the wool merchant, and William le Noreys.
They say that when Henry Cobbe de Ingthorpe took a stone tomb in his cart through the West Gate of Stamford, Henry Tanner, the gatekeeper there, came and demanded toll from him. Henry proffered his cloak until such time as he should find out whether he should pay toll or not, but at this point Hugh Bunting, the earl's bailiff, arrived, and, seeing that he had gone through the gate with his cart, confiscated his horses until he paid half a mark. This was done unjustly.
They say that the bailiffs of Stamford, namely Philip de Stambourne and his under-bailiffs, unjustly took 4s. from Henry Brond because he said that his wife did not have a gallon measure.
(Walter Dragun) the (earl's) bailiff, and (his under-bailiffs) unjustly took 4s. from Walter (Norman) before permitting him to have his cart which they had attached on account of a debt which was unknown to him.
They say that the (same) bailiff (and his under-bailiffs) in Stamford unjustly distrain twelve men called lawmen to make suit at the court of the earl of Warenne in Stamford Castle even though they owe no suit there since they hold in chief of the king by the serjeancy of being with him when he was with the army in Wales, to their great loss each year.
They say that when Ralph de Stoke had a wool cloth being woven at the house of Simon de Elsthorpe, the weaver, Hugh Bunting came to Simon's house and attached that cloth for the 5s. which Ralph de Stoke owed on account of a tallage. Ralph paid the same to Robert de Maxey, the collector of the aforesaid tallage, and then the said Simon released his cloth to him. For this reason Hugh Bunting the earl's bailiff took half a mark from the said Simon.
They say that Hugh Bunting unjustly took half a mark from Robert Picard of Stamford because he took two quarters of corn out through one of the gates of Stamford and did not give toll, even though he did not owe any because he was from Stamford.
They say that Walter Dragun, seneschal of the earl of Warenne in Stamford, Andrew Arketel and Alexander Lucas, coroners of the same town, Matthew de Easton, Lucas de Weldon, Andrew Mor, John Gerneys, Walter the clerk, and Adam Herloth all went to the house of Thomas Sauvage in the liberty of the abbot of Peterborough and entered his chamber. They then broke open his chest and took from it a silver cup worth 30s. and a cup of mazer worth 10s., maliciously accosting the same Thomas and accusing him of harbouring thieves. They kept the aforesaid cups until Thomas redeemed them for 4s. which he was unjustly required to pay to the said seneschal.
They say that Hugh Bunting, the earl of Warenne's bailiff, unjustly and without cause took 10s. and a chest worth 3s. from the aforesaid Thomas Sauvage by abuse of his office.
They say that the same Hugh Bunting unjustly took a toll of 5s. from William Gabecokey of Stamford on his millstones when he took them through the centre of town (although he was not subject to toll). The gatekeeper at the East Gate unjustly took 3d. from him on the same account.
43. Also concerning the keepers of works, as murages and the lime, wherever undertaken by order of the lord king, etc.
They say that King Henry, father of the present king, granted to the burgesses of Stamford (a murage) for ten years. Walter le Fleming, Walter de Bourne, Robert son of Isaac, and Ralph de Stoke were the keepers of this murage in the first year, and Walter de Bourne retained for his own benefit assets worth one mark. Thereafter, Richard de Cottesmore and Hugh de Weldon were keepers of the murage for five years and Richard de Cottesmore had therefrom eight marks for his own profit and Hugh de Weldon assets worth 40s. After these five years, the said Hugh de Weldon and Matthew de Easton were keepers of the murage and have been to the present day. Matthew has had therefrom twenty marks for his own benefit and Hugh de Weldon one mark.
They say that Robert le Barbur, Henry de Lindsey, William de Pickworth, Simon de King's Cliffe, (Thomas le Barbur), and John Kyme were collectors of the said murage at the gates of the town of Stamford. They retained for their own benefit from this murage the sums that appear below, viz: Robert le Barbur one mark, Henry de Deeping and William half a mark and more, Henry de Lindsey and Thomas le Barbur 30s., William de Pickworth 4s., Simon de King's Cliffe 30s., and John Kyme 5s.
44. Again, concerning magnates and their bailiffs who have taken distresses outside their fees [and have imposed and taken ransoms for such distresses; what they have taken, how much, from whom, and from what time].
They say that the aforesaid bailiffs of the earl of Warenne have taken unjust distresses in the fees of the abbot of Peterborough in Stamford of the tenants of the same abbot and through such distresses they take great sums for recovery from the same, to the loss of the abbot and his tenants of half a mark each year. They do the same in the fees of others in Stamford, to the great loss of the lords of these fees which they do not know how to assess. This has been done since the time of Roger de Stoke, (bailiff of the late King Henry), until the present time and in the time of Stephen de Rixton, Walter Dragun, and Philip de Stambourne, seneschals of the earl of Warenne, and their bailiffs, namely Hugh Bunting, John the Apothecary, and others, to the loss of the said fees of half a mark a year and more, and this has been done for the last six years and more.