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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

But in this reign Walter Mauclerk


The granddaughter of Adelias de Cundi, Agnes, {16f} married Walter, son of Walter de Clifford of Clifford Castle, Hereford. Walter Clifford is named in the first great charter of Henry III. (A.D. 1216), along with the great nobles Walter de Lacy, William de Ferrars, Earl of Derby, William, Earl of Albemarle, and others.

William de Cheney, already mentioned as father of Adelias de Cundi, was "Lord of Caenby and Glentham," and Walter de Clifford also is mentioned in the charters of Barlings Abbey as giving to that monastery lands in Caenby and Glentham, along with the above Walter de Lacy. The great feature of the reign of Stephen was the large number of castles erected by lords who were almost more powerful than their sovereign, and Adelias built her castle at Horncastle, where she resided in great state until, on her favouring the cause of the Empress Maud, daughter of the previous king, Henry I. (whereas Stephen was only his nephew), her lands were confiscated, and, as we have already seen, only restored on condition that her castle was demolished. {17a} This restoration was, however, only for life and on her demise the manor reverted to the crown.

The manor was next granted by Henry II. to Gerbald de Escald, a Flemish noble. {17b} This is shewn by a record still preserved at Carlisle, dated 1274-5. In the reign of Edward I. an inquisition was made at Lincoln, before 12 jurors of the soke of Horncastle, among the Commissioners being John de Haltham, Anselm de Rugthon (Roughton), Thomas de Camera (_i.e._ Chambers) of Horncastre, the King's Justices and others, when it was declared that "the Lord Henry III., the father of King Edward who now is, once had the manor of Horncastre, and he enfeoffed Gerbald de Escald, a knight of Flanders, thereof, for his service, viz., by doing one knight's fee for the Lord the King."

Gerbald was succeeded by his grandson and heir, Gerard de Rhodes. This is shewn by a Carlisle document. {17c} A dispute arose between Hugh, son of Ralph (surname not given) and Gerard de Rhodes, concerning the manor and soke of Horncastle, the advowson of the church, &c., which were claimed by the said Hugh; but a compromise was effected, 400 marks being paid to Hugh, and Gerard de Rhodes left in undisputed possession.

It has been thought probable that this Ralph, father of Hugh, was Ranulph, Earl of Chester, who was lord of the manors of Revesby and Hareby, and had other possessions in the neighbourhood. He, it is supposed, held the manor of Horncastle, as trustee, during the minority of Gerard. Gerard was, in due course, succeeded by his son and heir, Ralph de Rhodes, in the reign of Henry III. This again is proved by a Feet of Fines, {17d} which records an "agreement made in the court of the Lord King at Westminster (3 Feb., A.D. 1224-5), between Henry del Ortiay and Sabina his wife on the one part, and the said Ralph de Rhodes on the other part," whereby the former acknowledge certain lands and appurtenances in Horncastle and its soke to be the property of the said Ralph, and he grants to them, as his tenants, certain lands; they, in acknowledgement, "rendering him therefor, by the year, one pair of gilt spurs at Easter for all service and exactions."

We have now reached another stage in the tenure of this manor and find ourselves once more at the point where the present chapter opened. Hitherto the manor had been held "in capite" (or "in chief") of the king by lay lords, or, in the two cases of Queen Editha and Adelias de Condi, by a lady; but in this reign Walter Mauclerk, the third Bishop of Carlisle, purchased the manor from Ralph de Rhodes. He was himself a powerful Norman and held the office of Treasurer of the Exchequer (a common combination of civil and ecclesiastical duties in those days), but now he and his successors were bound "to do suit and service to Ralph and his heirs." This purchase is proved by a Lincoln document called a "Plea Quo Warranto," which records a case argued before the Justices Itinerant, in the reign of Edward I., when it was stated that Ralph de Rhodes "enfeoffed Walter Mauclerk to hold the church, manor and appurtenances in Horncastre, to him and his heirs, of the gift of the said Ralph." {18a} That the Bishop, although an ecclesiastic, was bound to do service to the heirs of Ralph is shown by another document, {18b} in which John, son of Gerard de Rhodes, a descendant of Ralph, makes a grant to certain parties of "the homage and whole service of the Bishop of Carlisle, and his successors, for the manor (&c.) of Horncastre, which Gerard, son of Gerard my brother, granted to me." This is dated the 13th year of Edward I., 1285, whereas the actual sale of the manor took place in the reign of Henry III., A.D. 1230, and was confirmed by the king in the same year. {18c}


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