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In 1262 Feb 5, Roger de Sancto Johanne (Roger de St. John) was granted, by Henry III, (In year 46 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Lageham in Walkested (Lagham Manor)
Licence for Roger de Sancto Johanne to fortify (firmare) his house of Lageham in Walkested with a dyke, stockades (brethachiis) and a paling; and for his heirs to keep it so, so long as they are faithful to the king. (CPR)

Granted at Westminster.


Licensed for dyke, stockades and paling. The express condition of loyalty is exceptional for an English licence, but this licence was issued in the build up to the 2nd Barons War.

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;

Roger St John (b.c. 1221-1265)
Roger St John (b.c. 1221-1265). In his early manhood he was in evident connection with the Court, and (like his mother) had gifts of deer from the King. He was going with the King to Gascony in 1253; was a knight by 1256; was summoned in August 1260 for service against Llewelyn (and again in May 1263); and in October 1261, to London with all possible forces, in a matter touching the King and Crown. Already in 1258 his sympathies were plainly with the baronial reformers. After the Baronial victory at Lewes (14 May 1264) He became the king's secretary (in 1265), constable of Oxford and a member of the, de Monfort set up, royal Council of Nine. He was killed at the battle of Evesham.

A fine example of the difficulties of the C19 view of licences to crenellate as documents of royal control over 'over mighty' lords. How could Henry III refuse a request for a licence to crenellate from this ambitious and well connected knight (He was married to Hugh Despensers sister). It would take a king as arrogant as Henry to put in the proviso about being faithful but any other king would know he needed as many friends as he could get and would be doing their utmost to not offend an effective soldier like Roger.
The St John's obtained the manor in parts up to 1251. However, Roger may have been a younger son and this may have been his portion requiring some additional confirmation of ownership.

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.