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In 1487 Oct 6, Richard Guldeford, knight was granted, by Henry VII, (In year 2 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate 'le Camber' (Camber)
Grant in tail male to the king's councillor, Richard Guldeford, knight for the king's body, of the lordship or manor of Higham, alais Iham, co. Sussex, and the increase there (accrescenciam maris), which said manor is worth 40s. a year, as appears of record in the Exchequer; to hold with liberties and the appurtenances thereof by fealty and the service of supporting a tower in a marsh of his near the port called 'le Camber' in Sussex, to be built at his own costs within two years from this date, for the defence of the laws and the king's subjects of the parts of Kent and Sussex against all rebels and enemies of the king navigating the sea there; and licence for him and his heirs at their will to build with stone, lime and sand walls and towers in the said marsh as well as around and in the said lordship or manor in the county of Sussex, and to crenellate such walls and towers. By p.s. (CPR)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


This licence appears to be an enabling act to allow for the building and financing of a coastal artillery tower. As Richard was particularly bad at money management, and often indebted, this may explain why the tower doesn't seem to have been built until 1513, when his son started it (A pardon for his debts in 1506 led to many of his former duties being assigned to Edward.)

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;

Guildford, Sir Richard (c.1450–1506)
Guildford, Sir Richard (c.1450–1506), administrator, was born at Cranbrook, near Rolvenden, Kent, the son of Sir John Guildford of Rolvenden (1430–1493) and his first wife, Alice Waller... Both Richard Guildford and his father were attainted following the abortive rebellion against Richard III in October 1483. Richard escaped to join Henry Tudor in exile, and landed with him at Milford Haven in August 1485, where he was knighted. Guildford's later service as master of the ordnance probably indicates that he was prominent in organizing Tudor's campaign to Bosworth, but his presence at the battle is not recorded. After Bosworth, Guildford's earlier associations and services brought him rapid promotion. He quickly became master of the ordnance and armoury in the Tower of London... He was master of horse and a privy councillor by 1487... Although he fulfilled the normal role of a royal councillor (arbitrating in regional disputes, obtaining royal favour for associates, and enforcing royal prerogative rights), Guildford also displayed more unusual skills. He had a major role in the organization of security within Henry VII's regime. In 1487 a grant of the manor of Higham in Sussex required him to construct a defensive tower at Camber. (Cunningham)

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.