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Court Rolls 31 to 35

Introduction to Willington Manor Court Rolls

Willington Court Rolls Index

Arundel Revised Roll A1642

Receiver's Accounts for Willington. 1421-1422

The Willington account is followed by details for Bedford Castle, Newnham, Bromham, Linslade, Wing, Seagrave.

The original account is the copyright of the Duke of Norfolk. The transcription is by Lucy Moye and the translation by Dorothy Jamieson.

  • The accounts show that this was a difficult period in the history of the manor. The bailiff, William Rydere, was in arrears, and that two former warreners owed money, although the earlier Bailiff's Accounts of 1382 to 97 show that this was not unusual. The appointment of Robert Willington, described as surgeon and warenner, for life, by letters patent at Rouen in January 1419 is mentioned. His wages were 2d a day, payable in two instalments to his wife while he was away.
  • An annuity had previously been paid out of the income from Willington to a William Bachiler, who had been involved in the sale of lands belonging to Lord Mowbray in Bedford, but this had ended with his death during this accounting year.
  • Although the translation of A 1642 on this web-site ends with a statement that the totals credited to the accounts are £7 12s 3½  greater than the auditors' total, further examination of the text indicates that £7 16s 8d of Robert de Wyllyton's wages were paid in earlier years and that the differences were much smaller, just over 4s.  

Full transcription of A1642 (pdf)

Court Roll 31

October 22nd 1422

Welyngton View of Frankpledge with court of John Mowbray earl of Nottingham and Marshall of England held there on the Thursday next after the feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist [18th October] in the first year of the reign of Henry the sixth after the conquest.

  • The heading is written in a much larger and clearer script than previous rolls. The body of the text is written in a small, cramped hand, similar to others in the series.
  • Six tenants were essoined. A further three did not attend. As usual the Prior of Newnham did not pay a fine for non-attendance.
  • The usual common fines were paid.
  • There was a stray draught horse; one ditch flooding and causing a nuisance; the miller taking excess toll; one stable needing it's roof repaired.
  • One servant was outside a tithing and his master, John Gostwyk, was ordered to see that he joined one.
  • The two Constables reported that all was well and the Tasters of Ale reported that seven tenants paid fines for brewing ale.
  • Three tenants had grazed animals in Fulwellefeld, against a bylaw agreed by the tenants, so they incurred penalties of 6d to tle lord and 6d to the church, each.
  • One tenant surrendered his holding and there was no new tenant to take it over. An insethouse on the holding needed repair, and further enquiries were to be made to find out what repairs were necessary.

Full transcript of Court Roll 31 (pdf)

Court Roll 32

June 1st 1423

Court of the aforesaid Earl held there on Tuesday after the feast of Saint Petronilla the virgin [31st May] in the first year of the reign of Henry the sixth after the Conquest – with roll 31a, and an account on the reverse dated 29th September 1423.

Thomas Bekyngham, the head steward. The text of the manor court roll, catalogued as 31a, has been added by Dorothy Jamieson to this one, as it appears to complete the record. The difficult period in the history of the manor continues.

  • One holding is granted to a husband and wife, but tenants were not found for two other holdings made vacant by a death and a surrender. A further seven holdings are still without tenants and several buildings have not been repaired. The mill is ruined and arrangements are made for repairs to be done. Three tenants are fined for offences against the lord: one ploughed some land illegally, another overstocked illegally and the third used a different court to air his grievances.

The document on the reverse of this parchment is from Michaelmas (29th September) that year and contains a long list of buildings needing repairs.

Full transcript of Court Roll 32 (pdf)

Court Roll 33

October 5th 1423

Welyngton Court of John Mowbray, earl of Nottingham and Marshall of England held there on the Tuesday next before the feast of Saint Dennis [9th October] in the second year of the reign of King Henry vjo [6th]

  • Thomas Bekyngham, the head steward
  • Loss of income for the lord from vacant holdings is spelled out

  • One tenant did not come to court and was fined.
  • Three holdings formerly held by widows were without tenants after their deaths.
  • 19 tenants have ruined buildings and a tenant who had still not repaired his buildings, as ordered at an earlier court, was deprived of his holding. His goods and chattels were taken to pay for the repairs and a new tenant found.
  • The Lord allowed four tenants to be given timber for repairs. Six tenants were fined for cutting down elms illegally.
  • Seven holdings are still without tenants and the lord agreed to pay for the repairs to the buildings of one of them.

Full transcript of Court Roll 33 (pdf)

Court Roll 34

September 30th 1423

Welyngton View of Frankpledge with Court of John Mowbray earl of Nottingham and Marshall of England held there on the Thursday next after the feast of Saint Michael in the second year of the reign of Henry Vl after the conquest.

This document is also dated 1423, it is possible that this is a scribal error. Also it names Geoffrey Aubrey as Warrener, suggesting that Robert de Wyllyton's employment in this post was short-lived.

  • One man excused attendance, Geoffrey Aubrey fined for non-attendance. The Prior of Newnham was not fined for non-attendance, but another tenant was.
  • John Maryon is linked with Coppydhall. He does not serve as a head of tithing, and was probably a free tenant, but still subject to the custom of the manor. He and another tenant were ordered to repair their ditches.
  • The miller was fined for taking illegal toll and a cow had been stolen
  • A bakehouse needed to be repaired and two tenants have not made repairs ordered in a previous court. Five holdings without tenants need repairs. The bailiff was ordered to repair four of them, the fifth one should have been paid for by the former tenant, but another man agreed to do it.
  • The hue was lawfully called once, but the constables did not fine the guilty party, so they were fined.
  • Single brewings of ale were fined 3d, an increase.
  • One holding was surrendered and taken over by a husband and wife.
  • The second jury accused the vicar of Aylesbury of taking at least 20 pairs of rabbits from the Warren, and he was to be prosecuted.
  • The chief steward, and perhaps other men, stayed in Willington for a day and a night.

Full transcript of Court Roll 34 (pdf)

Court Roll 35

October 10th 1425

Welyngton. View of Frankpledge with Court held there the x [10th]day of October in the fourth Year of the reign of king Henry the sixth.

  • One man excused attendance.
  • Five young men were sworn into tithings.
  • Nineteen tenants have ruined buildings; of these six men agreed to repair buildings for their sons. One father also agreed to repair a watercourse for his son.
  • The miller was fined for charging unjust and excessive toll.
  • One colt and one sheep had been stolen. One building had been taken down without permission.
  • Three swarms of bees came as strays and Roger Hunte was named as steward in this entry.
  • Three men have Dovecots within the demesne without sufficient free land to occupy and keep them – this is a unique entry, and Roger Hunte was to talk to the lord's council about them.
  • There had been one house-breaking and one assault. The constable was fined for not doing his job properly. The ale-tasters were also fined for not doing their job properly. The fine for a brewing is once more shown as 2d. There were six brewers.
  • John Gostwyk has two headlands which are too wide. He is to put them right or pay a penalty of 12d.

This is the end of the roll.

Full transcript of Court Roll 35 (pdf)