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In 1377 March 28, Abbas et Conventus Abbatiae Scoe. Werburgae [Sancte Warburgae] (Abbot Thomas Newport) were granted, by Edward III, (In year 51 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Abbatiae Scoe. Werburgae [Sancte Warburgae] (Abbey of St Werburgh)
Licence for the abbot and convent of St. Werburgh's, Chester, to crenellate their abbey. By p.s. (CPR)

Abbas et Conventus Abbatiae Scoe. Werburgae ... abbatiam ... Chester, Cestr. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


The abbey paid half a mark for a confirmation of the licence 8 months later (7 Nov 1377) after Edward's death.

The abbey had had some considerable internal disputes and was an unpopular landlord, so either legitimacy or insecurity may be reasons for obtaining a licence. However the abbey was also a major place of hospitality for people using the port of Chester to go to Irish estates so the licence may also reflect the status of these visitors.

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;

Abbot Thomas Newport (d 1386)
Abbot Thomas Newport, elected 1363, died 1386.

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.