Sunday, May 12, 2019

Walter Dauntsey: a very medieval birth


Walter Dauntsey: a very medieval birth

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Walter Dauntsey was born on the Vigil of St. Nicholas in 1340.[1] Walter Dauntsey was the third son of Richard Dauntsey and his wife Joan. For some weeks before Walter Dauntsey was born his mother Joan was confined to her chamber. In the chamber she was assisted by the female members of the Dauntsey household, and possibly, by female neighbours of the family.

Joan Dauntsey was married to Richard Dauntsey of Dilton, Wiltshire, sometime before 1321. She had a number of children before the birth of Walter Dauntsey. Her eldest living son was born in 1326 but there may have been previous children who did not survive to adulthood. Childbirth was one of the most dangerous times in the life of a child and the mother in medieval times but there were plenty of other reasons for a child to die before adulthood. It would seem that Walter’s next older brother, William Dauntsey died before adulthood even though he got as far as sixteen years old.[2]

While the women gathered round the expectant mother the men folk departed on their work and play. Even for royal births, where male physicians were usually available outside the door of the bedchamber, the world inside the bedchamber was the exclusive reserve of the women folk. At the birth of Walter Dauntsey, his father, Richard Dauntsey, went fox hunting at a place called La Holte. With Richard Dauntsey were John Everard, John James, Thomas Reynold and Richard de Pound. These men were beaters for the fox hunt. Such was the fun had by Richard Dauntsey and his friends that not only did they miss the birth of Richard’s third son but they also missed the baptism.[3]

This was because on the same day that Walter Dauntsey was born he was baptised in the chapel of St. Nicholas at Dilton. After 1380 a new church, dedicated to St. Mary, was built across the road and the old chapel of St. Nicholas was left fall into ruins.[4] Walter de Park acted as godfather while Walter Shereueton laid his hands on Walter at the baptism. Also there to hear the mass were John Brok, William Athelim and William Bailiff.[5]  

The actual birth of Walter Dauntsey happened late at evening time or very early in the morning.[6] A person called Richard atte Grove was in the Dauntsey house, on what business we are not told, at that early hour. While there Margaret Dauntsey, a daughter of Richard Dauntsey, came out of her chamber to joyfully tell Richard atte Grove that “she had a brother then born, for which God be thanked”.[7]
The birth may not have been so joyful for Joan Dauntsey. She did not attend the baptism of Walter and the fact that the baptism took place the same day of the birth would suggest that the family had a fear that Walter Dauntsey could die before his baptism and if he did the path to heaven would be much harder.

By late evening William Workman had gone from Dilton to find Richard Dauntsey to tell the good news. When he found the fox hunters William decided for fun to extend the tension and drama. He asked Richard Dauntsey “Sir, do you want to hear the news?” to which Richard replied “Friend, what is the news?” And then William Workman told all the company that Walter Dauntsey was born the previous evening and was baptised that day. Richard Dauntsey was happy at such news and gave William Workman 40 pence for his news.[8]

St. Mary church at Old Dilton 

The ancestors of Walter Dauntsey

The districts of Dilton and Bratton form part of the parish and hundred of Westbury. In 1066 Queen Editha, wife of King Edward the Confessor held all of Westbury. After the Conquest, Queen Editha was allowed to keep all her lands until her death in 1075, when they reverted to the crown. Thus in the Domesday Book of 1086 King William held Westbury.[9] The family of Dauntsey possibly take their name from Dauntsey in the hundred of Malmesbury.[10]

In December 1221 Richard of Dauntsey, son and heir of William of Dauntsey, made a fine with King Henry of 100 shillings to have his father’s 4½ hides of land in Dilton and Bratton.[11] Sometime around 1238 the wife of Richard Dauntsey gave birth to a son who was baptised as Richard Dauntsey. This wife of Richard Dauntsey was Mabel, daughter of Elias Giffard of Brimmesfield in Gloucestershire by his first wife, Isabel Musard.[12] Elias Giffard was a son of another Elias Giffard of Brimmesfield.[13]

Before April 1250 Richard Dauntsey senior died. At his inquisition post mortem he held Dilton and Bratton from the king by the service of serjeanty of being in the army for 40 days at his own cost. Richard Dauntsey also held of Avicia de Columbar for 7 marks of rent. These lands were surveyed at 4 carucates and were valued at £32 6 shillings 10½ pence which included the rent charge. Richard Dauntsey senior was succeeded by his twelve year old son, Richard Dauntsey junior.[14]

It seems that Richard Dauntsey senior had a brother called Thomas Dauntsey. This Thomas Dauntsey held one virgate of land at Dilton from Richard Dauntsey junior and one virgate of land from the Prior of Stinentun. Thomas Dauntsey died before January 1265 when he was succeeded by his fifteenth year old son, Bartholomew Dauntsey.[15]

The land of Dilton and Bratton were taken into the king’s hand during the minority of Richard Dauntsey. In about 1261 Richard Dauntsey came of age and recovered his father’s lands. But Richard Dauntsey was unable to manage the estate properly and became a pauper. Sometime after 1261 Richard Dauntsey changed the crown service rent in the hope of helping his financial troubles. The previous crown rent was to keep the king’s larder. Richard Dauntsey changed this without warrant from the king to the service of finding one servant on horseback to serve in the army for 40 days.[16] But such was Richard’s poverty that he was unable to pay the crown rent. Before 1276 the sheriff of Wiltshire was ordered to collect the rent from the tenants of Richard Dauntsey. One of these tenants was Philip Marmion who held one virgate of land which contained 20 acres and was valued at 6 pence per acre.[17]

Richard Dauntsey junior had a son born in 1287 and was named Richard Dauntsey.[18] Richard Dauntsey junior died before June 1315 when his son and heir was twenty-eight years old. The crown service in 1315 was for half a knight’s fee and to pay 10 marks per year to the castle of Sarum. The manor of Dilton was valued at £12.[19] This was a big fall in value since 1250 when Dilton and Bratton were worth £32. It would seem that Richard Dauntsey junior struggled to manage his estate. The land at Bratton was held by Ralph de Maundeville in chief from the king in 1280 and inherited by his son, Thomas de Maundeville.[20]

As said, Richard Dauntsey was twenty-eight years old in 1315 when he became the next lord of Dilton. By 1321 Richard Dauntsey had married a woman called Joan.[21] In 1326 Richard and Joan Dauntsey had their first known child, a son called John Dauntsey.[22] In 1327 Richard Dauntsey became one of the heirs of his cousin, John Giffard of Brimmesfield.[23]

Walter Dauntsey in life

When Walter Dauntsey was so joyfully born in 1340 he had two elder brothers and at least two elder sisters. His eldest sister, Joan Dauntsey married a man called St. Manyfuy and had a son born in 1357 called John St. Manyfuy. His second sister, Margaret, who thanked God for Walter’s birth, married Ralph de Norton, chevalier.[24]

Walter’s two elder brothers were John Dauntsey and William Dauntsey.[25] Walter’s father, Richard Dauntsey died in January 1348 and was succeeded by his eldest son, John Dauntsey.[26] John Dauntsey died on 18th September 1355 and was succeeded by his brother William Dauntsey. On the day he died John Dauntsey held Dilton manor and a carucate of land at Bratton. He also held land at Turnston and Cheyneston in Herefordshire from Thomas de Chaundos along with more land at Cheneston from John Ragon. The inquisition post mortem for John Dauntsey tells us that William Dauntsey was born in 1339.[27]

As William Dauntsey was only sixteen years old when his elder brother died, the family lands came into the king’s hand. It would seem that William Dauntsey was deceased by December 1362 when the proof of age for Walter Dauntsey was made and for some time before that.[28] When the writ to take the proof of age was issued on 26th October 1361 the lands of Walter’s inheritance were in the custody of William, Bishop of Winchester by the king’s gift.[29] This would suggest that William Dauntsey never attained his majority before his death otherwise an inquisition post mortem would have been produced for William Dauntsey.

The lying-in chamber at childbirth 

Life after Walter Dauntsey

As previously noted Walter Dauntsey was proved as twenty-two years and more in December 1362 and thus entered into full possession of the ancient family estates. Yet Walter Dauntsey had only a few years to enjoy his inheritance. Walter Dauntsey died on 12th October 1369 leaving the manor of Dilton, worth 10 marks, to his heirs. These heirs were Margaret Dauntsey, his sister (wife of Ralph de Norton) and his nephew, John St Manyfuy.[30]

The happiness of Margaret’s joy in 1340 at the birth of a younger brother was now turned to sadness at the loss of all her brothers. Margaret Norton died childless in 1388 and Dilton passed by grant to the rector and Bonhommes of Edington and was so held until the Dissolution.[31] In all that time life at Dilton continued on. The very medieval birth of Walter Dauntsey progressed onwards with thankfully better modern conditions and better help for mother and baby alike. Even the men folk are involved and the foxes all over are happy with that.

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[1] Ethel Stokes (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire inquisitions post mortem in the reign of Edward III (British Record Society, 1914), p. 311
[2] C.B. Dawes & others (eds.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. XI, Edward III (Stationery Office, London, 1935), no. 385
[3] Ethel Stokes (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire inquisitions post mortem in the reign of Edward III, p. 312. These fox beaters often appear in jury lists of other inquisitions in the 1360s.
[5] C.B. Dawes & others (eds.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Vol. XI, Edward III, no. 385
[6] Ethel Stokes (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire inquisitions post mortem in the reign of Edward III, pp. 311, 312
[7] C.B. Dawes & others (eds.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Vol. XI, Edward III, p. 299. Richard atte Grove often appears in various inquisitions in central Wiltshire in the 1360s.
[8] Ethel Stokes (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire inquisitions post mortem in the reign of Edward III, p. 312
[9] William Henry Jones (ed.), Domesday for Wiltshire (R.E. Peach, Bath, 1865), pp. 13, 14, 239
[10] William Henry Jones (ed.), Domesday for Wiltshire, p. 211
[11] Paul Dryburgh & Beth Hartland (eds.), Calendar of the Fine Rolls of the reign of Henry III (Boydell Press & National Archives, 2007), Vol. 1 (1216-1224), no. 6/42
[12] J.E.E.S. Sharp (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. VI, Edward I (Kraus reprint, 1973), no. 78
[13] Edward A. Fry (ed.), Abstracts of Inquisitions Post Mortem for Gloucestershire, part V, 1302-1358 (British Record Society, 1910), p. 214
[14] Edward Fry (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem Henry III-Edward II (British Record Society, vol. 37, 1908), pp. 11, 30. Avicia de Columbar died in 1259 and was succeeded by Matthew de Columbar.
[15] Edward Fry (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem Henry III-Edward II, p. 42
[16] Edward Fry (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem Henry III-Edward II, p. 103
[17] Edward Fry (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem Henry III-Edward II, p. 100
[18] Edward Fry (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem Henry III-Edward II, p. 395
[19] Edward Fry (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem Henry III-Edward II, p. 395
[20] Edward Fry (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem Henry III-Edward II, p. 129
[21] R.B. Pugh (ed.), Abstracts of feet of fines relating to Wiltshire for the reigns of Edward 1 and Edward II (Wiltshire Record Society, vol. 1, 1939), p. 108
[22] E.G. Atkinson (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. IX, Edward III (Kraus reprint, 1973), no. 22
[23] J.E.E.S. Sharp (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. VI, Edward I (Kraus reprint, 1973), no. 78
[24] Ethel Stokes (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire inquisitions post mortem in the reign of Edward III (British Record Society, 1914), p. 352
[25] C.B. Dawes & others (eds.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Vol. XI, Edward III, no. 385
[26] E.G. Atkinson (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. IX, Edward III (Kraus reprint, 1973), no. 22
[27] E.G. Atkinson (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. X, Edward III (Kraus reprint, 1973), no. 230
[28] Ethel Stokes (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire inquisitions post mortem in the reign of Edward III, p. 311
[29] C.B. Dawes & others (eds.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Vol. XI, Edward III, no. 385
[30] Ethel Stokes (ed.), Abstracts of Wiltshire inquisitions post mortem in the reign of Edward III (British Record Society, 1914), p. 352

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Confirmation of borough charters by Henry VIII in 1510


Confirmation of borough charters by Henry VIII in 1510

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Sometime before the 17 April 1510 David Savage, merchant of Kilkenny, travelled to Bristol on behalf of Robert Rothe the elected sovereign of Kilkenny and the council. David Savage brought with him the royal charters previously granted to Kilkenny by various sovereigns of England as lords of Ireland.[1] Henry VIII had just succeeded the throne (April 1509) and desired the various boroughs of England and Ireland to seek confirmation of their previously received royal charters. When Henry VII took the crown of England from the dead King Richard III much of Ireland was reluctant to acknowledge the new king. Instead many temporal lords and towns had supported rival claimants like Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck. In fact on 24th May 1487 Lambert Simnel was crowned king at Dublin as Edward VI. Only the archbishop of Armagh, Waterford city and the Butler lordship, which included Kilkenny, held out for Henry VII.[2]

On 17th April 1510 David Savage entered the Guildhall at Bristol where before John Caple, the mayor, and John Williams and John Wilkyns, town sheriffs, he had the king’s great seal affixed in green wax placed on the charters to ratify their liberties and confirm such for their heirs and successors. The transaction was then entered in the Red Book of Bristol, on folio209, by Philip Ricart, the town clerk.[3] The journey to Bristol for ratification of the Kilkenny borough charters had two reasons. First the road to Dublin was blocked by Irish controlled territory and although Henry VIII renewed the Lord Deputyship in the hands of Garret Mór Fitzgerald, the Kilkenny delegation would not hope for a favourable reception from an enemy of the Butlers, Earls of Ormond.[4] Also, in 1510, Dublin Corporation was not wholly approved by London. In 1489 Henry VII had issued a pardon to the citizens of Dublin along with the mayor and council with a confirmation all their royal charters. But in 1510 Henry VIII only issued a general pardon to the mayor and council while not mentioning the citizens or giving any confirmation of all previous royal charters.[5]

Henry VIII circa 1509

The second reason for using Bristol was ratification was economic. Having the charters confirmed by the mayor of Bristol, using the king’s seal, would ratify Kilkenny’s charters with a royal seal but also show the mayor and council of Bristol that Kilkenny was a loyal town in Ireland and the both towns could freely trade with each other without fear of trouble. Merchants coming from Kilkenny to Bristol for trade would have a letter of introduction in the Red Book of Bristol.

On 2nd May 1510 Bristol town and council also received a royal confirmation from Henry VIII of all previous royal grants with especial mention of a previous charter of confirmation given by Henry VII in February 1488 and the major charter of Henry VII given on 17th December 1499.[6]

Other towns also had their charters confirmed by Henry VIII in 1510. In 1483 Richard III issued a reconfirmation of previous royal charters given to the town of Gloucester and then added a lengthy charter of his own including a remission of £45 from the fee-farm rent payable by the town. The charter of Richard III was rectified and confirmed by Henry VII in 1489 but omitting the remission of £45 from the fee-farm rent. On 26th March 1510 Henry VIII rectified and confirmed his father’s charter while again omitting the remission of the £45.[7]

On 10th October 1510 Henry VIII issued a letter patent confirming his father’s grant of March 1487 which in turn was a ratification and confirmation of letters patent issued in July 1461 by Edward IV allowing a remission of £5 due from Oxford University while allowing the chancellor powers to clean the streets and banish any unwanted people beyond 10 miles around Oxford.[8]

Yet, interestingly, after all these borough and university confirmations issued by Henry VIII in 1510, the confirmation written into the Red Book of Bristol in favour of Kilkenny, seems to have disappeared between 1510 and 1950 when E.W. Veale edited the relevant section of the Great Red Book for the Bristol Record Society.[9] Folio 209 of the Great Red Book deals with regulation of linen cloth coming into Bristol and no outsiders can sell wares in the town without first presenting them for sale in the Common Hall.[10] Of course it could have been the Little Red Book of Bristol which Philip Ricart used.[11] This book started in 1344 and continued until the mid-fifteenth century but could have included later items not directly connected with Bristol.[12] The Great White Book has entries ranging in date from 1491 to 1598 but has no reference to the Kilkenny charters of 1510.[13]

The absence of the Kilkenny charters in the Bristol records is one thing but the personalities involved also raises questions. The Liber Primus Kilkenniensis gives the people involved in 1510 as John Caple, mayor, along with John Williams and John Wilkyns as the sheriffs. Bristol records for 1509-10 record the town officials as Master John Cabell (alias Caple), mayor, with John Williams and John Chapman as sheriffs.[14] John Cabull was sheriff of Bristol in 1501-1502.[15] In 1510-11 the town officials were Master Popeley as mayor with Raff Apprice and Robert Hutton as sheriffs.[16] In 1519-20 John Williams was mayor of Bristol while John Wilkyns was mayor in 1523-24.[17] Philip Ricart, the common clerk, is a more elusive character to find. Robert Ricart was town clerk from the late 1470s until 1508.[18] Philip Ricart appears to have succeeded Robert Ricart and was mentioned as common clerk in 4th and 5th year of Henry VIII (1512-13 & 1513-14) and later years.[19] In October 1484 Philip Ricart was made deputy of the ports of Bristol and Briggwater.[20] The odd man out, John Chapman, was possibly sick on the day and sent John Williams to act in his place. David Savage, perhaps unfamiliar with Bristol politics, assumed that John Williams was the sheriff and not a stand-in. 

Kilkenny castle

Yet even with this absence from the published Bristol records, the ratification of the Kilkenny charters at Bristol ensured that merchants and apprentices from Kilkenny could show that they came from a loyal town in Ireland. As early as 1439 the guild of hoopers in Bristol enacted that no apprentice from Ireland would be accepted except if they came from a loyal town or territory.[21] Even after 1510 Kilkenny apprentices at Bristol had to still show that they came from a loyal town.[22] It is said that the 1510 ratification at Bristol allowed Kilkenny merchants to have borough freedom at the great Bristol fair in August every year but this is not what the entry in the Liber Primus Kilkenniensis says.[23] This freedom was implied by specially referring to folio 209 of the Great Red Book. This folio, as mentioned above, was concerned with the exclusion of traders from outside Bristol selling linen and wares in the town. The exclusion order was made on 12th November 1466 when William Canynges was mayor.[24] By linking the liberties of Kilkenny to these exclusion orders it implied that Kilkenny merchants were included among those allowed to trade in linen and wares at Bristol.

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[1] McNeill, C. (ed.), Liber Primus Kilkenniensis (Dublin, 1931), p. 118;  Otway-Ruthven, A.J., Liber Primus Kilkenniensis (Kilkenny, 1961), p. 18
[2] Otway-Ruthven, A.J., A history of Medieval Ireland (London, 1980), pp. 403, 406
[3] McNeill, C. (ed.), Liber Primus Kilkenniensis (Dublin, 1931), p. 118;  Otway-Ruthven, A.J., Liber Primus Kilkenniensis (Kilkenny, 1961), p. 18
[4] Lennon, C., Sixteenth Century Ireland: The Incomplete Conquest (Dublin, 2005), p. 79
[5] Gilbert, J.T. (ed.), Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin (19 vols. Dublin, 1889), vol. 1, p. 33
[6] Seyer, Rev. S., (ed.), The Charters and Letters Patent granted by the Kings and Queens of England to the town ad city of Bristol (Bristol, 1812), pp. 121, 123, 165
[7] Stevenson, W.H. (ed.), Calendar of the Records of the Corporation of Gloucester (Gloucester, 1893), pp. 16, 19
[8] Salter, Rev. H.E. (ed.), Mediaeval Archives of the University of Oxford (Oxford, 1920), pp. 247, 254
[9] Veale, E.W.W. (ed.), The Great Red Book of Bristol, text, part III (Bristol, 1950), pp. 80, 81, 82
[10] Veale, E.W.W. (ed.), The Great Red Book of Bristol, text, part III (Bristol, 1950), pp. 80, 81, 82
[11] Bickley, F.B. (ed.), Little Red Book of Bristol (Bristol, 1900)
[12] Stanford, M. (ed.), The Ordinances of Bristol, 1506-1598 (Bristol, 1990), p. xviii
[13] Ralph, E. (ed.), The Great White Book of Bristol (Bristol, 1979), pp. 2, 148
[14] Burgess, C. (ed.), The Pre-Reformation records of All Saints’ Church, Bristol, part 2: The churchwardens’ accounts (Bristol, 2000), p.197.
[15] Burgess, C. (ed.), The Pre-Reformation records of All Saints’ Church, Bristol, part 2: The churchwardens’ accounts (Bristol, 2000), p. 166
[16] Burgess, C. (ed.), The Pre-Reformation records of All Saints’ Church, Bristol, part 2: The churchwardens’ accounts (Bristol, 2000), p. 204
[17] Burgess, C. (ed.), The Pre-Reformation records of All Saints’ Church, Bristol, part 2: The churchwardens’ accounts (Bristol, 2000), pp. 250, 288
[18] Veale, E.W.W. (ed.), The Great Red Book of Bristol, text, part III (Bristol, 1950), pp. 63, 64, 98; Hollis, D. (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book, 1532-1565, Part 1, 1532-1542 (Bristol, 1949), p. 4
[19] Rich, E.E. (ed.), The Staple Court Book of Bristol (Bristol, 1934), pp. 103, 149
[20] Seventh Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records (1846), p. 99
[21] Hollis, D. (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book, 1532-1565, Part 1, 1532-1542 (Bristol, 1949), p. 9
[22] Hollis, D. (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book, 1532-1565, Part 1, 1532-1542 (Bristol, 1949), Ms. pp. 74, 100, 151
[23] Edwards, D., The Ormond Lordship in County Kilkenny 1515-1642: The Rise and Fall of Butler Feudal Power (Dublin, 2003), p. 43
[24] Veale, E.W.W. (ed.), The Great Red Book of Bristol, text, part III (Bristol, 1950), p. 80