27. WRITS CONCERNING FEUDAL TENURES
(A) William I: Grant in Free Alms (1070-71)
William, king of England, to Baldwin, sheriff of Devonshire, and to all
his barons and ministers of the province, greeting. Know that I have granted to
my monks of Battle [Abbey] the church of St. Olave in Exeter, with all the
lands of Sherford and Kenbury, and with all other lands and things belonging to
that church. Wherefore I will and command that they shall hold it freely and
peacefully, and that, as my royal alms (elemosina dominica), it shall be
exempt from all custom of earthly service: [namely,] from all pleas and plaints
and shires and hundreds, and from all geld, scot, aid,
gift, Danegeld, and army [service], with sac and soc,
toll and infangeneŝeof, and all work on castles and bridges.
Witnesses: Thomas, archbishop of York; William Fitz-Osbert. At
(Latin) Oliver, Monasticon Dioecesis Exoniensis, p.
(B) William I: Summons for Military Service (1072)
William, king of the English, to Aethelwig, abbot of Evesham, greeting.
I command you to summon all those who are under your charge and
administration that they shall have ready before me at Clarendon on
the octave of Pentecost all the knights that they owe me. Come to me likewise
yourself on that day, and bring ready with you those five knights that you owe
me from your abbey. Witness, Eudo the Steward. At Winchester.
(Latin) Round, Feudal England, p. 304.
(C) William II: Writ for the Collection of Relief
William, king of the English, to all French and English who hold free
lands of the bishopric of Worcester, greeting. Know that, since the bishop has
died, the honour has reverted into my own hand. It is now my will
that from your lands you give me such relief as I have assessed through my
barons: [namely,] Hugh de Lacy £20; Walter Punther £20; Gilbert
Fitz-Turold £5; Robert, bishop [of Hereford], £10; the abbot of
Evesham £30; Walter of Gloucester £20; Roger Fitz-Durand
£10.... And if any one refuses to do this, Urse and Bernard
are to take both his lands and his chattels into my hand. Witnesses: Ranulf the
Chaplain, Odo the Steward, Urse d'Abetot.
(Latin) Ibid., p. 309.
(D) Henry I: Grant Concerning Scutage (1127)
Henry, king of the English, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls,
etc., greeting. Know that to the church of St. Aetheldreda of Ely, for the love
of God, for the souls of my father and mother, for the redemption of my sins,
and on the petition of Hervey, bishop of the same church, I have forgiven
£40 of those £100 which the aforesaid church was accustomed to give
for scutage whenever scutage was assessed throughout my land of England; so
that henceforth forever the church shall on that account give no more than
£60 when scutage is levied throughout the land. And so let the aforesaid
church be quit in perpetuity of the aforesaid  pounds.
Witnesses: Roger, bishop of Salisbury; Geoffrey, my chancellor; Robert,
[keeper] of the seal; William de Tancarville; William d'Aubigny, steward; Ralph
Basset, Geoffrey de Clinton, William de Pont-de-l'Arche. At Eling during my
(Latin) Ibid., p. 268.
(E) Henry I: Grant of an Heiress with Lands (1121)
Henry, king of the English, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls,
and sheriffs, to all his barons, French and English, and to all his faithful
men of all England and Wales, greeting. Know that to Miles of Gloucester I have
given and firmly granted Sibyl, daughter of Bernard de Neufmarché, with
all the land of her father Bernard and of her mother after their death, or
earlier — that is to say, during their lifetime, if they wish — and
with this marriage portion: namely, Talgarth, the forest of
Ystradyw, the castle of Hay, and the whole land of Bryn as far as
the boundaries of the land of Richard Fitz-Pons — that is to say, as far
as Cantref Bychan and Cowarne, a certain vill in England — also the fee
and service of Roger de Baskerville, the fee and service of William
Réveil, the fee and service of Robert de Turberville, and the fee and
service of Picard. And I will and enjoin that all the tenants of the aforesaid
[land given as] marriage portion shall perform liege homage to [the said Miles]
as to their lord, saving my fealty. And all the tenants of all the aforesaid
land of Bernard shall likewise perform liege homage to him as to their lord,
saving my fealty and [saving the rights of] Bernard so long as he wishes to
hold the land. And this I give and grant to [the said Miles] as the purchase of
Bernard which he has given to me — and this at the request of
the said Bernard and of his wife and of his barons.[11 ]And I will and
firmly enjoin that [the said Miles] shall hold it as well and as honourably, as
quietly and as freely, as ever Bernard best and most honourably held it.
Witnesses: Roger, bishop of Salisbury; Robert, bishop of Lincoln; Ralph
the Chancellor, Robert the King's Son, William de Tancarville, Nigel d'Aubigny,
Payn Fitz-John, Geoffrey Fitz-Payn, Geoffrey de Clinton, Ralph Basset, William
Brito d'Aubigny. In the same year that the king took in marriage the daughter
of the duke of Louvain, between Easter and Pentecost.
(Latin) Round, Ancient Charters, p. 8.
(F) Subinfeudation by Charter (1121-22)
William Peverel of Dover to Hamund Peverel, his brother, and to William
Peverel, his nephew, and to all his faithful men, French and English, as well
as to all his friends, both present and future, greeting. Know that, for his
service, I have given to Thurstan, my steward, and to all his heirs Gidding and
Daywell, to be held of me and my heirs in fee and inheritance, with sac
and soc, toll and team, and infangeneŝeof, in
wood and in plain, in vill and in street, in fields and in meadows, in waters
and in all other places, in return for the service of half a knight.
(Latin) Stenton, English Feudalism, p. 273.
(G) Exchange and Enfeoffment of Dower Land (c.
We desire [hereby] to make known that Walter of Gloucester has given
Little Hereford in fee to William de Mare, his nephew, for the service of two
knights. But since Walter of Gloucester and Miles, his son, earlier gave that
aforesaid [Little] Hereford in dower to Sibyl, wife of the same Miles, they
have given Bardsley in exchange to the same Sibyl, by the favour and grant of
the said Miles. Moreover, the said Sibyl, by the counsel of her good men, of
her own will and without any compulsion, has gratuitously ceded Little Hereford
to William de Mare on account of the above-named exchange, having received, by
way of token and testimony, a certain gold ring from the same William. Now of
this grant and donation the witnesses are....
(Latin) Round, Ancient Charters, p. 19.
(H) Stephen: Confirmation of a Serjeanty
Stephen, king of the English, to the archbishop of York, to his barons,
sheriffs, and ministers, and to all his faithful men of Yorkshire, French and
English, greeting. Know that I have granted and confirmed to John, my larderer
of York, and to David, his son, all his land which he holds of me in chief
together with his office of larderer and his livery, and all his
lands, from whomsoever he holds them, as he was seised of them on the day that
King Henry was alive and dead. Wherefore I will and command that he shall hold
them well and in peace, freely and quietly, in wood and in plain, in meadows
and pastures, in waters, mills, and marshes, in roads and in sown fields, and
in all other places, with sac and soc, toll and
team and infangeneŝeof, and with all the customs and
liberties with which he ever held best and most freely in the time of King
Witnesses: Robert de Vere, Robert Fitz-Richard. At Nottingham.
(Latin) Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1385-89, p.
 See Pollock and Maitland, I, 240 f.
 See above, p. 49, n. 2.
Donum, a frequent substitute in the pipe rolls for
auxilium or tallagium; cf. no. 37B.
 As Round pointed out, the abbot commanded the military
forces of a considerable region; his owed service was only five knights.
 The feudal custom of northern France quite justified the
seizure by a lord of a vacant bishopric or abbacy, but not the collection of a
relief from the prelate's vassals. Abuses such as this led to Henry I's
exaggerated promises on his accession (see no. 23). It is apparent that reliefs
from lay baronies were already customary in the time of William II.
 Here in the text follow twenty-two other names with amounts
ranging down to 20s.
 Despite the pious language of this charter, Henry's
concession was not gratuitous; see above, p. 52.
 See above, p. 47, n. 3.
Haia Talliata (Haie Taillé) a trimmed
 So that the king might bestow it on Miles.
 Note that the term baron did not as yet refer solely to a
vassal of the king.
 See below, p. 67; also Round, The King's Serjeants and
Officers of State, pp. 233 f. Besides his central larder, the king
maintained various local larders, the chief function of which was the
preservation of meat from his forests.