Medieval rolls

14th April 2015

The Library has a complete set of the Calendars of Patent Rolls, except for the years 1248-1280, (this volume can be accessed online.) Those below, of the last quarter of the 13th century, refer to the activities of the infamous Otto de Grandison, amongst other things.

1275. March 2. Windsor.

Writ de intendendo to the tenants of Guernsey and Jersey and the adjacent islands in favour of Arnold Johannis de Cuntis, citizen and merchant of Bayonne, as bailiff there, of the custody of the said islands having been committed to him by the king's lieutenants during his absence in the Holy Land, and the king willing that he continue in the said custody during pleasure.

Grant, for three years from next Easter, to the bailiffs and good men of the islands of Guernsey of a custom of 12 Tournois (turones) from every ship and 6 Tournois from every boat touching at the port of St. Peter Port, to be applied to the construction of a wall or causey between the king's castle there and the town of St. Peter Port, to prevent the many wrecks that occur there.

Mandate to Arnold Johannis, citizen and merchant of Bayonne, bailiff of Guernsey and Jersey, to keep safely until further order all the lands, tenements, rents, liberties, goods and chattels taken into the king's hands as the king's rights and appurtenances by John Wyger and Ralph de Broghton, late inquisitors of the king in the said islands, and to protect all the tenants thereof in their rights and liberties.

March 3. Windsor. Mandate to Arnold Johannis, citizen and merchant of Bayonne, bailiff of Guernsey and Jersey, to keep safely until further order all the lands, tenements, rents, liberties, goods and chattels taken into the king's hands as the king's rights and appurtenances by John Wyger and Ralph de Broghton, late inquisitors of the king in the said islands, and to protect all the tenants thereof in their rights and liberties.

November 7. Westminster. Mandate to Arnold Johannis de Contivo, bailiff of the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, to collect and keep in safe custody, until further orders, all the issues of the lands taken into the king's hands by John Wyger and Ralphde Broghton, lately sent thither to make certain inquisitions.


1281. Inspeximus of a charter dated at Bermondsey, 2 November, 44 Henry III. of Edward firstborn of Henry III, to the abbot and monks of Mont St. Michel, to the effect that whereas by inquisition taken by Drogo de Barenton, his bailiif of the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, it appears that the abbot and monks have of old had a fourth part of all wreck of sea in all places of the isle of Guernsey, as well as wreck coming to shore without aid, as that which by the aid of any coadjutors is drawn to shore, and that they have likewise had within the wall and 'Lyhou' and 'Guetehou' [Lihou and Jethou] all wreck and all flotsam and jetsam (omnes aventuras maris), by view of the bailiff, except gold, silk not worked, scarlet not cut, palls of scarlet, new without spots (novis sine tachiis) which belong to the king's lordship; and that they received in the isle of Jersey all wreck of sea; the said Edward grants that they continue to receive the same as above, saving to the prince wreck in his land which is in the parish of St.Clement, Jersey, unless they can show any right to the contrary.

Witnesses:—Henry son of the king of Almain, Roger de Leyburn, Henry de Bathonia, Drogo de Barentin, William de Chaeny, Adam de Gesemuth, John Burdet and others.


1277. January 25. Worcester. MEMBRANE 25 (Schedule). Acquittance to Otto de Grandison of the farm by which he holds the islands of Guernsey and Jersey and the adjacent islands, and grant of the said islands and their issues for life, and grant, on account of his intimacy with the king, and his long and faithful service from an early age, and for the acquittance of debts incurred in the king's service in the aforesaid time, that his executors shall hold the said islands and their issues for five years after his decease for the acquittance of his debts, and the fulfilment of his will without rendering any account therefor.

1277. Membrane 22 (Schedule 1). Grant to Otto de Grandison of the islands of Jersey and Guernsey in the same terms as above, Membrane 25 (schedule).


1280. June 10. Westminster. The like to Richard de Crepping and Master John de Stroda, on complaint by the men of Jersey and Guernsey that the bailiffs of Otto de Grandison of those islands lately took into the king's hands, without reasonable cause, certain lands whereof the former were enfeoffed there long since by the bailiffs of Henry III, and still detain them, and immoderately amerced them for certain trespasses in the king's warrens in the said islands in taking rabbits unlawfully, of which trespasses they have never been convicted, nor have ever put themselves on the grace of the said Otto or his said bailiffs therefor, nor made any fine with them; and that the said bailiffs distrain them by their beasts and other goods for the said amercements, and refuse to permit them to salt, dry, and sell their fish, as they have always up to the present time been wont to do according to the grant of the king's predecessors, kings of England.

Mandate to Otto de Grandison, keeper of the said islands, to cause his bailiffs to make without delay full amends to the men aforesaid for the said injuries and trespasses, otherwise the king has enjoined on certain persons, whom he is about to send, to hear the plaints of these men and do justice to them in the matter.


1281. November. Mandate to Otto de Grandison, and such as shall supply his place in Guernsey and Jersey, not to suffer Peter le Valeys, priest, to be molested in his peaceable possession of the church of St. Peter in Port, Guernsey (de Gerneroio), which is in the gift of the prior of Heauville, and to which he was provided by the Pope: as it appears, by complaint of the said Peter, that the lay power has been unduly used in favour of Master William (Guillermus) de Sancto Remigio, clerk, who claims that lie was presented to the same church by the said prior, so that the said Peter, for fear of the menaces and molestations, and of the occupation of the goods of the said church by the lay power, has not dared to approach the said church or to reside there.

For similar a century later, see An ancient petition.


1282. April 10. Devizes. Commission to Reginald de Ayswell, Master William de Sancto Remigio and Philip le Evesk', to go on a general eyre in Guernsey and Jersey.

Grant to Joan de Sumery of the year waste and day, together with the goods of James Elfrych of Honstanston, forfeited to the king by reason of a felony for which he has abjured the realm.


1285. January 28. Commission to Reginald de Asshewelle, Master William de Sancto Remigio, Philip Lesvesk and Ralph Odonis to go on a general eyre in the islands of Jersey and Guernsey.

June 12. The abbot of Mont St. Michel, staying in Normandy, nominating brothers John de Porta and Denys de Nealsa, in Jersey and Guernsey, for five years.


1291. February 3. Enstone. Pardon to Eleanor the wife of Thomas Suerand of Guernsey, convicted of a theft of a small quantity of flax worth 7 Tour[nois], and therefore, by the law and custom of the island exiled, if her trespass be no greater, provided that she answer in the king's court for any other trespasses charged against her.

March 3. Bruern. Appointment of Peter de Sancto Hillario, Master William de San Remigio, Peter de Arcis and Ralph Odonis as justices to hold assizes and other pleas in Guernsey and Jersey.

March 6. Long Itchington. Pardon to Gilbert Simonis, in prison in Guernsey for a theft of beans, a quarter of mutton and a small quantity of wool.


1292. April 8. Westminster. Notification to the bailiffs and others of the island of Guernsey (Gwener'), of the king's pardon to Guiilotus, called 'le Barber' of his forswearing of his country which he foolishly made when in prison, provided that he surrender of his own accord, and stand his trial if any one wishes to charge him with any crime in the said island punishable with loss of life or limb.

April 17. Stepney. Writ de intendendo directed to the free and other men of the island of Jersey for Peter, called 'Darcis,' to whom Otto de Grandisono has demised the island for a term of years at farm. The like directed to the men of the island of Guernsey for Master William de Sancto Remigio. The like directed to the men of Sark and Alderney for Ralph Odonis.

April 24. Fulmer. Notification to bailiffs and others of the Islands of the king's confirmation of the sale by the abbot and convent of Cormery to Master William de Sancto Remigio, in fee simple, of the rents and liberties held by them in any way in the island of Guernsey, and belonging to the priory of St. Elena in Hagna, for which sale Reginald de Ayssewell, then bailiff in the said island, received, according to the custom of the place, 100.s. of Tours, gave licence to the said William to possess the premises, and affixed the seal of the bailiwick of the island to the said charter, together with that of the dean of the priory and of the jurats of the island. Vacated because surrendered and cancelled.

Mandate to Peter de Arcis, the king's bailiff of the island of Jersey, and Ralph Odonis, bailiff of the islands of Sark and Alderney, to deliver to the same William the custom on fish (esperquerias), demised to him at farm by Otto de Grandison by letters patent which the king confirmed.