Calendar of royal documents
Richard I (nos. 140-46)


Centre for Metropolitan History



Emma Mason (editor)

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'Calendar of royal documents: Richard I (nos. 140-46)', Westminster Abbey Charters, 1066 - c.1214: London Record Society 25 (1988), pp. 75-77. URL: Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Richard I (nos. 140–46)

140.* Charter of liberties of Richard I (as in the spurious charters of liberties of H I, Stephen and H II). Westminster, 6 Oct. 1189.

WAM XLV (with Great Seal of Richard I); WAD, ff. 58v–59; F, ff. 80–81v; T, ff. 24v–25.

Cal: Acta H II and R I, 179, no. R 328.

Date: Cf. Landon, Itinerary, 10. The attestations are in order for the date given: Richard Fitz Nigel; Godfrey de Lucy and William Longchamps are correctly styled bp.-elect: all had been elected on 15 Sept. 1189 (Diceto II, 69).

Note: The wording of this charter, closely following the spurious charters of liberties ascribed to H I, Stephen and H II (above, 57, 111, 123; cf. Flete, 55: similiter et Ricardus rex eosdem sermones recitat in charta sua), renders it highly suspect, although there is a possibility that the king was prepared to seal a document prepared by the recipient. The precision of the attestations is explicable in that Hugh du Puiset, Richard Fitz Nigel and William Longchamps all attested other charters for Westminster on 6–7 October 1189 (141–2). Prob. a genuine seal was taken from one of these (perhaps 141, which has lost its seal), and attached to the fabrication at an early date. See also note to 141.

141. Writ of Richard I ordering his sheriffs and officers throughout England, in whatever bailiwicks the abbey holds lands, that the abbey is to have its entire liberty, as conceded in his own charter and in those of his predecessors. No-one may exact more from them. Westminster, 6 Oct. 1189.

WAM XLVI (tongue and seal torn off); WAD, f. 59; F, f. 81v, omitting the dating clause; PRO, C52/22, m. 1d, no. 16 (enrolment).

Cal: Landon, Itinerary, 10, 149, no. 71 (his citation of F suggests that he followed an earlier foliation); Acta H II and R I, 178, no. R 327.

Date: Cf. Landon, Itinerary, 10, and no. 71.

Note: The text closely follows a similar writ of H II (131). The reference to liberties conceded in Richard's own charter might be taken to support the authenticity of 140, although that itself may be based on some shorter, genuine grant of the same date. The other possible model would be 142, dated 7 Oct., although its terms were prob. discussed when those of the present writ were being negotiated.

142. Writ of Richard I, ordering his justices, sheriffs and officers throughout England that the land and men of the abbey are to be quit of all pleas, gelds, Danegelds, murder-fines, sheriffs' aids and all other exactions, which he quitclaims for the souls of his parents. Westminster, 7 Oct. 1189.

WAD, f. 59; F, f. 82; PRO, C52/22, m. 1d, no. 17 (enrolment).

Cal: Landon, Itinerary, 10, 149, no. 76 (citing F, f. 81v).

Date: Cf. Landon, Itinerary, 10.

Note: The monks evidently fined a mark (13s. 4d.) for this charter (PR 1 Ric. I, 219, 221; cf. PR 2 Ric. I, 107, where the sum stands at half this amount). Henceforth, murder fines levied on the lands of the abbot and convent in various shires were pardoned per libertatem carte regis (PR I Ric. I, 219; PR 2 Ric. I, 107; PR 3 and 4 Ric. I, 31, 266), or per cartam regis monachis de Westmonasterio (PR 3 and 4 Ric. I, 303, 304; PR 5 Ric. I, 7, 127). Although no similar writ survives from John's reign, at its outset Geoffrey Fitz Peter instructed the sheriff of Worcs. not to exact the murder fine or other common demands from the abbot's lands in the shire (Memoranda Roll I John, 48), and subsequently Abbot Ralph was granted exemption of tallage and other dues per libertatem carte regis (Rot. Canc. 3 John, 132; PR 3 John, 117).

143. Confirmation by Richard I to Alexander de Barentin, butler (pincerna) of his father King Henry II, of all the tenements which he acquired in due form, including the seld in Dowgate, London. Westminster, 10 Nov. 1189.

WAM 657 (with Great Seal of Richard I).

Pd: Formulare, 51–52, no. XCV; NPS Facsimiles, plate 99, preceded by transcript.

Cal: Landon, Itinerary, 151, erroneously stating that the text printed in Formulare is 144; Acta H II and R I, 182–3, no. R 336.

Date: Cf. Landon, Itinerary, 16. See also 139 above.

144. Confirmation by Richard I of the grant made by his father, H II, at the petition of Richard of Ilchester, bp. of Winchester, to Alexander de Barentin and his sons Richard and Thomas, nephews of the bp., ratifying the grants which the bp. made them of lands in London. Westminster, 10 Nov. 1189.

WAM 659 (with Great Seal of Richard I).

Cal: Cf. note to 143.

Date: Cf. Landon, Itinerary, 16.

145. Writ of Richard I, generally addressed, ordering that the monks and their possessions are to be protected as though royal demesne. They are not to be disseised of any free tenement which they held on the day when the king last crossed from England into Normandy; and are not to be impleaded over any tenement except in the presence of the king, his chief justiciar, or the chancellor. Westminster, 16 Dec. [1189]

WAD, f. 59; F, f. 132.

Cal: G. V. Scammell, Hugh du Puiset: a biography of a twelfth-century bishop of Durham, (1956), 294.

Date: Attested by Hugh du Puiset, bp. of Durham. He was appointed co-justiciar at the beginning of the reign (Howden, Chronica III, 16; Gesta Henrici II, 87), but from March 1190 his justiciarship was confined to the region north of the Humber (ibid., 106).

Note: Richard crossed to Calais, 12 Dec. 1189 (Landon, Itinerary, 23). The present writ seems to be the only one issued solely on the authority of Hugh du Puiset (Scammell, 51, 294).

146. Writ of Richard I, informing those in whose bailiwicks the abbey holds lands or rents that he has received the abbey, its lands, rents, men and possessions into his protection. His officers are to protect these as though royal demesne; they are to cause the charters, which the abbot has from the king or his predecessors, to be seen and heard in their bailiwicks, and uphold the liberties and customary rights contained in these charters. No exaction is to be levied contrary to these charters. Westminster, 26 Jan. [1190]

WAM XL VII (fragment of seal), presumably the Exchequer seal used by William Longchamps in Richard's absence (Landon, Itinerary, 173); WAD, f. 59r–v; F, f. 82r–v; T, f. 33r–v.

Cal: Landon, Itinerary, Appendix, 183, no. 12; Acta H II and R I, 212, no. R 398.

Date: Attested by William Longchamps as bp. of Ely and chancellor. He ceased to hold the chancellorship 9 Oct. 1191 (Richard of Devizes, 48–52; Gesta Henrici II, 213–14). Despite its wording this writ was prob. one of those issued by Longchamps after Richard's departure, and in his name, in Jan. 1190 (West, Justiciarship, 67 and n. 4; Landon, Itinerary, 183).