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In 1329 Aug 31, William de Montacute (William de Monte Acuto; William Montagu) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 3 of his reign) a Royal Pardon licence to crenellate Doneyate (Park Farm Moat, Donyatt)
Pardon to William de Monte Acuto for crenellating a certain chamber in his dwelling-house of Doneyate without licence; and licence for him to crenellate his dwelling-house and to hold the premises in fee simple. By p.s. (CPR)

Granted at Gloucester. Grant by privy seal.


In 1329 to William de Montacute was pardoned for crenellating a chamber in his dwelling-house without licence, and was given permission to crenellate the dwelling-house and so hold it. The pardon here is clearly about Montacute's position at court and political balancing. It is unlikely to have anything very much to do with the Donyatt house per se although Gatehouse suspects the original complaint about his building will have come from a Gloucestershire neighbour.

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;

Montagu, William , first earl of Salisbury (1301–1344)
William was a major figure at court, at the time this licence was granted he was just about to serve again as an ambassador. A close friend of the king he was a prime figure in the removal of Mortimer as regent in 1330.

As a member of the royal household Montagu served abroad with Edward II in 1320 and 1325, and he received a knighthood in 1326. Summoned to provide military service on the first Scottish campaign of Edward III's reign in 1327, he was elevated to the rank of knight-banneret of the household by June 1328 and was granted the manor of Wark on the River Tweed in January 1329, in part payment for his agreement to serve the king in peace and war for life with a personal retinue of twenty men-at-arms. In October 1329 he was made keeper of the king's stannary and the water of Dartmouth.

Montagu clearly established a close friendship with the young Edward III. He accompanied the king on a journey to Amiens in May–June 1329 and was sent to France in June of the same year to negotiate a marriage alliance with Philip VI. More particularly, in September 1329 he was sent to discuss certain secret business with Pope John XXII at Avignon, as a result of which Edward III wrote to the pope indicating that only those written instruments containing the words pater sancte, written in his own hand, should be considered to express the king's personal wishes, and specifying that only Montagu and Richard Bury, the royal secretary, were apprised of this business. The implication was that the king's mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, earl of March, who controlled the government, were preventing the king from taking charge of his own regime. (Ormrod)

Biographical source include;

More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.

Please do inform Gatehouse if you see any errors, can add information or can otherwise help to improve this resource. Please contact Gatehouse.

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