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In 1203 May 19, Williami de Albeny (William d'Aubigny; William d'Albini) were supposedly granted, by John, (In year 5 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Beluaco (Belvoir Castle)
Rex etc. G. filius Petri etc. Mandamus vobis quietos esse faciatis homines dilecti et fidelis nostri Williami de Albeny de sectis sirarr' et hundr' quamdiu idem Williams fuerit in Norm' in servicio nostro cum equis et armis per praeceptum nostram. Mandamus ect. vobis qua permittatis eidem Williamo reperare muros et breccas et portas et fossata castelli sui de Beluaco: et praeterea si Williams Briwerr' reddid'it ad scaccarium nostram viijto. marc' quas recepit de scutag' ejusdum Williami de Albany de comes Oxon eas computari faciatis eidem Williamo in debitis suis qua nobis debet ad scaccarium nostram: et si praedictis W. Briwerr' non reddid'it praedictas viij. m. ad scaccarium etc eum distingatis qua eas reddat ad scaccarium, et ibi computentur praedicto Williamo de Albeny in debitis suis qua nobis debus. T.W. de Breosa apud Molinell' xix. die Maii. Per eundem

Granted at Molineux.

Although this document has been considered by some as a licence to crenellate it is rejected as a licence.


Not a licence to crenellate, in that it does not contain the word licentia and is not an patent (open) letter. However this is an example of royal consent for repair of an existing castle. William had been at odds with John in 1201 and his possession of Belvoir was only allowed on surety of one of his sons as hostage and it may be the castle was damaged at this time. In normal circumstance no such royal consent would have been required but at this point Belvoir was partly under royal control and William Albini was still suspect. William did go in and out of favour as John tried to rally support and this seems to be part of such politics.

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'.)

Aubigné, William d' {William de Albini} (d. 1236)

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.