John (nos. 147–51)
147. Confirmation by King John, to his treasurer William of Ely, of the
houses in Westminster held by Richard, the late bp. of London, and his
whole messuage, which William holds of the grant of the bp., and the
confirmation of Abbot William. Westminster, 20 April 1200.
WAD, f. 342; PRO, C53/2, m. 10 (enrolment).
Pd: Rot. Chart. 49a, m. 10, from enrolment: only the first two witnesses
Cal: Cf. Richardson, 'William of Ely', 50.
Note: This royal charter was acquired as a result of William of Ely's
subsequent grant of this property to the abbey (439).
148. Writ praecipe of King John, ordering Abbot Ralph to render justice
without delay to William Southall and his wife Denise over forty acres of
land with appurtenances in Pyrford which William claims that he holds of
the abbot by free service of 5s. annually, and of which Walter de Reda
dispossessed him. If the abbot fails to render justice, the sheriff of Surr.
will do so. Portchester, 25 April [1200 (× 1206)]
WAD, f. 176v; LN, f. xlviij verso, (Southaule); CAY, f. li.
Cal: Bentley, 24, no. 187, from CAY.
Date: Attested by Hugh Bardulf, who was d. by Michaelmas 1206 (PR 8
John, 4,236). John was at Portchester on 25 April 1200 ('Itinerarium
Johannis Regis', comp. T. Duffus Hardy, Archaeologia 22 (1829),
Note: Cf. Harvey, WA, 359.
149. Charter of King John, restoring to Abbot Ralph and the monks
their manor of Islip, Oxon., in which St Edward was born, and which he
gave to the abbey at its dedication, since it was recognized in the king's
court, by virtue of royal charters, and by the view of law-worthy men of
that manor, that it belonged to Westminster and was wrongfully taken
away. Abbot Ralph and the convent are to hold the manor peaceably, as
their charters of King Edward and William the Conqueror bear witness.
Westminister, 1 Nov. 1204.
WAM 15160 (Great Seal attached); WAM 15162 (duplicate, with Great
Seal, and additional attestation of William Longsword, earl of
Salisbury); WAD, f. 270r–v; F, ff. 82v–83 (from WAM 15162);
PRO, C53/6, m. 8 (enrolment); CAY, f. lxxviii verso
Pd: Rot. Chart., 139b, from enrolment.
Cal: Bentley, 40, no. 284 (item 4), from CAY.
Note: Westminster's claim that King Edward had granted Islip was
prob. essentially true, although the manor was not held by the
abbey after the Norman Conquest. In the twelfth century, Islip
was acquired by the De Courcy family, whose English lands were
forfeited when Robert de Courcy joined Philip Augustus of
France in 1203 (Barbara Harvey, 'Islip', VCH Oxon., VI, 208–9;
Harvey, WA, 356), thus presenting the abbey with a belated
opportunity of petitioning for King Edward's benefaction. The
writs of King Edward (Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters, nos. 1147,
1148) and the charter of William I (3), are all spurious. Whether
or not this was apparent to the chancery staff, Westminster was
obliged to pay heavily for the restoration of this manor. In
November 1204 the abbot fined 200 marks (£133. 6s. 8d.) and two
palfreys (Rot. Litt. Claus., 15a, 32b; PR 6 John, 112; Rot. de
Oblat. et Fin., 222).
150. Notification by King John, generally addressed, that, at the request
of James Salvage, royal clerk and rector of Oakham (Rutl.), he has
conceded and confirmed that the tenants of All Saints' church, Oakham,
and of its appurtenant chapels, are quit in perpetuity of suit of shire and
hundred courts, and of sheriffs' aids and of those of their bailiffs and
officers. Anyone disturbing the tenants will incur forfeiture. Lambeth, 28
WAM 20615 (seal now missing); WAD, f. 594r–v; F, f. 273v (attestations
and dating clause omitted); PRO, C53/7, m. 1 (enrolment: the
church is named as Beati Petri de Hocham).
Pd: Rot. Chart., 165b, from enrolment.
Date: James Salvage, alias Savage, fined three palfreys for these exemptions in 1206 (Rot. de Oblat. et Fin., 365; PR 8 John, 53).
Note: This royal charter presumably came to the abbey as a result of
problems with the payment of an annual pension from Oakham
church which James Salvage had earlier made to the abbey (482).
See also Mason, 'Rutland Churches', 165; Harvey, WA, 404.
151. Letter patent of King John, ordering his knights, sergeants and
other soldiers of his army that they are not to enter within the precincts of
the abbey, the abbey church or its cemetery; nor permit others to enter;
nor to cause, or permit others to cause, injury to the monks or to the
king's men dwelling there, since the abbey, its men and all residents and
goods are under the royal protection. Rochester, 24 Oct. 1215.
WAD, f. 650v; PRO C66/14, m. 10 (enrolment).
Pd: Rot. Litt. Pat., 157v–158a, from enrolment.
Date: John was at the siege of Rochester by the date of this document
(Memoriale Fratris Walteri de Coventria, ed. W. Stubbs (RS, 1873),
Note: The monks, in petitioning the king, had presumably cited their
earlier deeds of liberties and protection, since none survives in
John's name. On the contrary, in 1205 the abbot had fined twenty
marks (£13. 6s. 8d.) to have the king's benevolencia (Rot. de Oblat. et
Fin., 325). The rebels were in control of London in 1215, from midMay (Flores Historiarum, ed. H. R. Luard (RS, 1890), II, 157).