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In 1377 Dec 10, Willielmus, episcopus Cicestr (Bishop William Rede) was granted, by Richard II, (In year 1 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Amberle (Amberley Castle)
Licence for William, bishop of Chicester, to crenellate his manor of Amberle. By p.s. (CPR)

Willielmus, episcopus Cicestr ... manerium ... Amberle, Sussex. (Turner and Parker)

The King to all persons to whom, &c., greeting. Know that of our special grace we have granted and given licence on behalf of ourselves and our heirs, to the venerable father in Christ, William, Bishop of Chichester, that he may fortify with a wall of stone and lime his manor (manerium) of Amberle, and krenellate it, and may hold that manor so fortified and krenellated for himself and his successors for ever, without penalty or impediment from us or our heirs or our officers whosoever. In witness whereof, &c. — Witness the King at Westminster, on the 10th day of December. (Pat 1, Ric. II. p. 2. m. 13.). (Blaauw)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


Bishop William Rede gained a licence to crenellate in 1377, and built the present castle between 1377-1382. Re-licensed with other manors of the see of Chichester in 1447.

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;

Rede, William (c.1315–1385)
Rede, William (c.1315–1385), bishop of Chichester, theologian, and astronomer... Rede was active in public life: he lent money to the king, ... he was a trier of petitions in various parliaments from 1369 to 1380. (North) However, not a major figure in government and main achievement seems to be constructing a set of astronomical tables (for astrology).

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.