Jordan de la Chapelle, 1235
A petition from the time of Henry III. Robert de la Rosière, Jordan and his wife are wrongly accused. The King gets angry with Dreux de Barentin, who had recently been appointed Warden of the Isles, and who became notorious through his subsequent oppressive behaviour.
The King, to his beloved liegeman Dreux de Barentin, Warden of the Isles, greetings.1
It has been brought to our attention on behalf of Robert, son of Germain de la Rosière, and of Jordan de la Chapelle and his wife, Fillette, that they were accused of a crime in their absence during the last local assizes, and found guilty by a jury of 12 men, as a result of which they were banished. They fear death if they return to Guernsey, although they claim to be entirely innocent of the crime of which they have been accused.
They have therefore petitioned me that they be allowed to return and be held in custody and be tried for the crime of which they had previously been found guilty, this time by a jury of 24 sworn honest and prudent men, and that they will be bound by the verdict of this jury. We instruct you then that should Robert, Jordan and Fillette come to you and ask to be held in custody in our prison, as has been explained, you should have them tried to establish their guilt or innocence of the crime for which they have been banished, by a jury of 24 upright and honest men. If they are cleared of the charges, you must release them from prison and allow them to remain and live in our islands without future interference, provided they are of unimpeachable behaviour from then on. Signed by the King, at Westminster, the 25th April.
The same order has been issued in the case of Guillaume Le Rey. A similar letter has been written to the Bailiff of Jersey in the case of Guillaume Russel.
23rd August. A similar letter has been written to the Bailiff of Guernsey on behalf of Robert le Bulot and Jehanne, daughter of Guillaume Rycheys. Signed by the King at Waltham, 23rd August.
19th August. The King to the Bailiff of Guernsey, greetings.
Jordan de la Chapelle has brought it to our attention that, having been found guilty of robbery before the Justices at the last assizes in your Bailiwick by 12 honest men, the jury in this case, his land and goods were confiscated. After an enquête [inquiry], held with my permission, before 24 honest men, he was exonerated and recognised as an honest man himself; but his land and goods have not been restored to him. If this is the case, we therefore order you to return all the land and all those goods to him that were taken from him, as we would not like him to have to appeal to us again. Signed as before (At Waltham, the 19th August).
¹ From Latin and French: Documents ... Lettres Closes ... conservés au Public Record Office à Londres, 1205-1327, ed. William Nicolle, Jersey, 1893, on behalf of the Société Jersiaise, pp. 34 ff., in the Library. Ranulph de la Chapelle was accused in 1299 with others of forcing his way into to the Vale Priory and assaulting those inside; he died before he could face prosecution.