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In 1202 May 18, G. filius Petri (Galfridus filius Petri; Geoffrey FitzPiers; Geoffrey Fitz Peter; Geoffrey de Mandeville) was granted, by John, (In year 3 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Stokes (Stoke Manderville)
Rex etc. Hub' de Burgo etc. Sciatis quod dedimus licentiam dilectio et fideli nostro G. filius Petri firmandi domum suam de Stokes: et ipso vobis mandamus quod illud eum firmare permittatis, ita qua secure possit intus hospitari. Teste me ipso apud Belenc'b', xviij. die Maii. (Hardy)

Granted at Bellencombre.


Secondary evidence of the lost licence. This is a Liberate Roll entry, equivalent to Close Roll entry in practice, where John gives notice to Hubert de Burgh of the licence given to Geoffrey fitz Peter.

The circumstances suggest an irony typical of John in mordant braggadocio. Nothing implies that it should be taken at face value - but rather that 'security' was part of the parade of overt usually ostentatious 'defensibility' considered proper and peculiar to a noble. (Coulson 2014-15)

In Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 316 tentatively identified with Stokesay Castle, Shropshire but surely must be Stoke Manderville a property Geoffrey obtained through his wife (eventual heiress of the Mandeville, earls of Essex) a few years earlier.

Original source is;

(In fact, the original source given is usually a transcription/translation of what are precious medieval documents not readily availably. It should be noted that these transcription/translations often date to the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries and that unwitting bias of transcribers may affect the translation. Care should also be taken to avoid giving modern meaning to the medieval use of certain stock words and terms. Licentia is best translated as 'freedom to' not 'permission'.)

Significant later sources are;

Geoffrey fitz Peter, fourth earl of Essex (d. 1213)
Geoffrey fitzPeter, a career courtier and major civil servant (sheriff, justiciar and even regent) from relatively humble origins gained the earldom of Essex through his wife and with some political trading including a manor at Stoke Manderville, held for a knights fee from the bishop of Lincoln.

Biographical source include;

More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.

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Record created by Philip Davis. This record last updated on Sunday, October 4, 2015.