Select Documents of the English Lands of the Abbey of Bec

Select Documents of the English Lands of the Abbey of Bec

Select Documents of the English Lands of the Abbey of Bec

Select Documents of the English Lands of the Abbey of Bec

Excerpt

It has been difficult to decide which charters should be included in this publication. The thirteenth-century charters recording small transactions at Cottisford, Blakenham, Bledlow and Weedon are so numerous that they would require a small volume to themselves. I have therefore followed the general rule of including only the charters of the eleventh and twelfth centuries relating to the estates administered from Ogbourne. A special exception has been made for the one surviving charter roll, now amongst the muniments of the Dean and Chapter of Windsor (XI, G. 11), which has been printed in entirety (Nos. I-XXXIX), even though not all the charters refer to the block of estates which is the special subject of this volume. The roll is written in several different hands, all of the early thirteenth century, and is rubricated. Since the scribe noted by the last charter 'Scriptum est in libro novo', we may conjecture that this early roll of charters was superseded by a more complete cartulary, probably about the middle of the thirteenth century, when William de Guineville was proctor-general in England and the records of the abbey were augmented and re-organized. The charters printed in Dugdale Monasticon have been included; but not those published by Dr. H. E. Salter in the English Historical Review.

These early charters cover a period of a hundred years, and their provenance is so wide that they show a variety of different forms. Some are writs addressed to the leading men in the county where the gift is made. William II's writ, confirming the gift of Combe, is addressed to the Bishop of Winchester and the sheriff and men of Hampshire (no. XV) ; one charter of Theobald archbishop of Canterbury about the church of Glynde greets all his men of the hundred of Malling (no. II); Nigel of Albiny instructs Aubrey de Vere, sheriff of Essex, to give the monks of Bec seisin of Dunton (no. XXV); William de Roumare more summarily orders R. de Clive to give them seisin of Cleeve 'et nisi feceris Robertus de Cantelop' faciat' (no. XXXVI). Others are records of past ceremonies that may be mentioned in the charter; Henry I confirms the grant of Ogbourne St. Andrew 'as Brian fitz- Count and Matilda his wife, whose manor it was, gave and granted before me' (no. XVIII); Archbishop Theobald recounts how Philip and William of Malling resigned the church of Glynde into his hands and he invested the convent of Bec with it (nos. I, XI). Roger de Hottot's charter to Bec refers to witnesses both of his original grant and of the ceremony when the completed charter was laid on the altar of Bec (no. XXXIII). In a few the charter is becoming a normal part of the ceremony and the present tense is used. Robert earl of Leicester in granting Weedon . . .

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