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State Papers; letters foreign and domestic, Henry VIII
The printed calenders of the State Papers, Domestic and Foreign, starting from the reign of Henry VIII contain correspondance to and from royal officials. The selection here deal with leases or sales of estates in the hands of the crown, including the property of the dissolved religious houses and also correspondence relating to the Blount family of Kinlet. There is also an example of resistance to the Protestant reformation from Highley.
Many of the printed calenders are now available online as scanned books.
Extracts from the calenders
24 July 1509 (1 Hen VIII). For HUMPHREY CALFEHILL.
To be bailiff of the manor of Staunton Lacy, and of the liberties of the lordship of Cleobury, Salop, in the same manner as Thomas Madeley, deceased. Greenwich, 17 July, 1 Hen. VIII. Delivered at Oxford, 24 July. [Thomas Madeley owned significant estates in Highley and Kinlet. Calfhill is being made bailiff over part of the former Mortimer estate]
14 Nov 1511 (3 Hen VIII). For THOMAS WILDECOTE, of Hexston, Staff.
Pardon and release as late escheator of co. Salop and the marches of Wales, temp. Edw. IV., Ric. III., and Hen. VII., and as escheator of co. Staff., temp. Hen. VII. and Hen. VIII. Also release to his sureties, John Blount of Knightley, Staff., jun., and Thomas Pigot of Chetwynde, Salop, of their recognizance of 40/. entered into 3 Nov. 17 Hen. VII. Richmond, 10 Nov. 3 Hen. VIII. Delivered at Westminster, 14 Nov. [Wildecotte owned significant land alongside the Severn in Highley, Alveley and Arley (Hexton’s)]
16 Feb 1518 (9 Hen. VIII) For JOHN CROFTE.
Annuity of £10 out of the lordship of Cleobury Barnes, parcel of the earldom of March, Salop. Windsor, 16 Feb. 9 Hen. VIII. Delivered at Windsor, 24 Feb. [The earldom of March was part of the former Mortimer estate].
11 Feb 1519. For JOHN BLOUNT, squire of the Body.
To be keeper of Clebury Park, Salop, for life, vice John Blount deceased. Greenwich, 9 Feb. 10 Hen. VIII. Delivered to Westminster 11 Feb.
11 Feb. 1519. For SIR THOMAS and JOHN BLOUNT, squire of the Body.
To be stewards, in survivorship, of the manors of Beweley and Clebury Mortymer, masters of the hunt, and parkers of the parks in the forest of Wyre; on surrender of patent of Hen. VII., granting the same to the said Sir Thomas alone. Greenwich, 9 Feb. 10 Hen. VIII. Delivered at Westminster 16 Feb.
June 18th 1522 (13 Hen VIII). JOHN ERSELAND.
Lease of the farm of Higley, in the lordship of Higley, late Earl of March, for 21 years at a rent of 30/- plus 4/- of increase
1526 WELSH OFFICERS
John Blount, parker of Cleobury, &c., £16 1s 4d. Sir Wm. Compton, keeper of Beawdelay and Ernewood parks, £7l 11s 8d. John Walaston, from the manor of Cleobury Baynes, £10.
12 July 1526 (18 Hen. VIII) OWIN HENSHEMAN, elk.
To have a perpetual chantry in Cleobury-Mortimer church, Heref. dioc., vice John Taylor. Delivered at. Westminster, 12 July 18 Hen. VIII.
24 Oct 1527 (18 Hen. VIII). WILLIAM. THYNNE, chief clerk of the Kitchen.
Annuity of £10 a year out of the issues of the manors of Cleobury Barnes, in the Lordship of Cleobury, Salop, parcel of the earldom of March. Delivered at Westminster 24 Oct
1531 RICHARD LYTYLPRON to THOMAS CROMWELL.
This summer I intend to my wife’s lands, where there be chaces and parks of the king’s… Their names are Clabre and Yernewood Parks.
21 Feb 1536. KATHARINE BLOUNT to THOMAS CROMWELL.
Hears that the King intends to take into his hands certain abbeys and priories, and put them to other uses. Desires his help that she may have some of them for her two youngest sons, giving for them as another will. Would be glad if her servant might consult him about certain writings touching her son's marriage. Kynlett, 21 Feb.
28 April 1536. HENRY LORD STAFFORD to the EARL OF WESTMORELAND.
I recommend me to you and my good Lady and sister. So does my bedfellow. We are desirous of your returning into Staffordshire. I thank you for furthering my suit with the Queen. I should have been at London before this, but I tarried for you and my Lady. George Blounte makes great suit to have the abbey of Rantone that I sue for. It is within four miles of Stafford, and near my park. He is my lord of Richmond's servant, and has a fair house of his own. Intercede with Mr. Secretary for me. I will give as much as any man living, and do Mr. Secretary a great pleasure besides. If it cannot be had, pray speak for the White Ladies in Staffordshire. It is only £40 rent by year, and is in great decay. Stafford Castle, 28 April. [Stafford eventually obtained Ranton Abbey, rather than George Blount].
5 June 1536. [KATHARINE BLOUNT] to THOMAS CROMWELL.
When the writ came to the sheriffs of Shropshire to choose the knights for the Parliament, some of the worshipful and the justices wished her to labour that her son George Blount should be one of them, which she did, he being at Court. The shire did not want the election held at Shrewsbury as the plague reigned there, but the Sheriff would have it so
that the inhabitants, burgesses, with the franchise of the town, might choose one Trentham, and so they assembled themselves riotously that the worshipful of the shire were not content, saying their voice cannot be heard, and had much ado to keep the King's peace. Whereupon they titled their names and went to the Sheriff, willing him to return George Blount, for they would have no other; but in any wise he would not, because the undersheriff is a dweller in the said town; and then the gentlemen delivered their names to this bearer, an honest gentleman, to make report. Begs him to be good master to her son. Knyghtley, 5 June. Not signed.
15 Jan. 1537. ROLAND bishop of COVENTRY AND LICHFIELD to [THOMAS CROMWELL]. Thanks for your lordship's loving letters to me by bearer. These parts are in as good towardness to do the King service as any subjects living; and little amongst them conceived of the matters in England; for their language does not agree to the advancement thereof. I wrote long ago that at Ludlow was no artillery, but a little harness I gathered from Sir Richard Herberte, who does the King good service. The earl of Worcester wrote to me to redeliver it; but I made him an answer therein. Remember the commission this Council has so long sued to your lordship for. I will repair this castle further if I may have the commission; but without it this Council can do no good service, as Mr. Englefild did inform you, who sends commendations. The proclamations for the shire grounds be not come, and justice cannot be ministered in Wales. I doubt the effect of the tract thereof, for I am daily called upon at this time, being the time of keeping the courts. I thank you for Germyn, and once again "for my servant Lewes' ferme to Whitney, if it may so be." Be good lord to my cousin Robenson. I received the enclosed articles from St. David's, "wherein and in other such like in that person," if you were to stay for the time, the common people would be better content. Here is somewhat spoken towards him that I am sorry to h[ear], but my duty is to report it. An Austin friar, prior of Woodehouse in Cleeland, without authority, despached the goods of his monastery, and changed his vesture in this ruffling time. George Blount attached him, and has him at Beawdeley. If you would put a substantial man in that place it would be good for that country, who are as tall men as any the King has, and are of the honour of Wigmore. All is quiet. Wigmore, 15 Jan.
Have a great many small felonies which we cannot despatch till we know the King's pleasure for shire grounds. [Bishop Roland Lee was president of the Council of the Marches and was largely responsible for enforcing law along the Welsh borders].
13 April. 1537. SIR E. CROFT to CROMWELL.
As Cromwell has long been his good lord, he ventures to write his grief, as he is aged and unable to wait upon him. The King has given him the receivership of the earldom of March, in cos. Worcs., Heref., Salop, and these Marches, in as ample manner as his father, one of his privileges being to have two fee-deer, one in summer and one in winter, out of all the forests within his office, which privilege he has had without let or contradiction till now it has been refused by his cousin George Blount, keeper of the King's forest of Wyre. The matter was examined by my lord President in his cousin's presence and decided in the writer's favour. Begs Cromwell to move the King in his behalf, as the flesh of a red deer is much " restorite " to him in his age. Wigmore, 13 April. Signed.
30th March 1538 JOHN HARFORD to CROMWELL (SP1/141)
To the right honourable and high My Lord Privy Seal. Truly certifyeth unto your good Lordship your Lordship’s daily orator John Harford of Coventry, yeoman of the Crown unto our Sovereign Lord the King. That which there hath been in times past a long time of offering or seeking to an image of our Lady within the diocess of Hereford in the country of Shrewsbury and in the parish of Hygley, called our Lady of Hygley. That the vicar of the same parish hath now or late time new gilded and garnished the same picture or image to this intent, to bring that country, shire or diocess to the former old usuage of idolatory. For so it is my good lord, that oppression of the poor and ignorant people of the country was and yet is that there was one poor blind woman came by the way and a certain maid met her at a stile and gave her a penny to offer to the same picture and immediately their opinion is she hath sight. And over that, that the clapper of the bell then remaining in the dwelling house of one Pulteney there, notwithstanding the same, the said bell did ring without clapper or handles by means of miracle of the same picture. These idolatories with others there be thought to be true for the lack of reformation, as God knoweth who preserves your honourable Lordship in the favour of God and our Sovereign Lord the King with honour long to continue. [John Harford may have been a member of the Harford or Hereford family of Cleobury, who left the area early in the 16th Century. A John Harford gave up his lease on Earnwood Park in 1547 and a man of the same name was mayor of Coventry in the 1550s. Coventry was noted as a centre of Protestantism in the early 16th Century.]
18th Nov 1539 (31 Hen VIII). LORD LAWARR.
Warrant to Sir Chr. Hales, muster of the Rolls, to cancel a recognizance for £3,000 made 22 Dec. 30 Hen. VIII. by Sir Th. West, lord Lawarr, Thomas duke of Norfolk, Charles duke of Suffolk, Robert earl of Sussex, Sir John Dudley, Sir Owen West, Sir Wm. Goring, George Blunt, and John Goldistbrde, for the appearance of the said Th. West lord Lawarr before the King's Council for sundry high offences and trespasses. Hampton Court, 18 Nov. 31 Hen. VIII.
15th March 1541 (32 Hen VIII). RICHARD MORRISON
Grant to Richard Morysine of the hospital of St Wulfstans, including lands at Higgeley [The hospital of St Wulfstan, in Worcester, owned land at Brooks Mouth in Highley].
5th May 1543. To EDWARD BLOUNTE.
Lease of meadows called Pyttesfeld and Sevarne Mede within the lordship of Ernwoode, Salop, parcel of the earldom of March; for 21 years; at 56s. 8d. rent and 12d. increase. Delivered at. Westminster, 5 May. 35 Hen VIII S.B. 'signed by Sir John Daunce and Sir Elc Southwell.
20th Feb 1543 SIR JOHN WILLIAMS AND ANT. STRINGER.
Grant (for £5112 15s) of monastic lands including two valectal and coppices of wood in the lordship of Dowles beside Bewedeley in Dowles parish, Wore, and Salop (one, called the Priors Valett, lying between Barkhill and Dowles brook and between Kinges Wood and the prior of Malvern's pasture beside the Severn, the other, called Dowles Valett, between Dowles brook, Connyngesbres coppice in Stourton lordship, and the said pasture), in tenure of Wm. More, Great Malvern
March 1543 SIR JOHN WILLIAMS AND ANT. STRINGAR.
Licence to alienate two valetts or coppices of wood in Dowles beside Bewdeley, Salop (No. 226, Grant 79, 17) to Robt. Burgoyn. (blank). Pat. 34 Hen. VIII.
12 July 1543 (35 Hen. VIII). JAMES LEVESON, merchant of the Staple.
Grant, in fee, for £2,725 13s. 6d. of the manor and lordship of Lylleshull, Salop, which belonged to Lylleshull mon., the manor of Hundes Chedull, Staff., which belonged to Croxden mon., the manor, farm and tenement of Sutton, in Sutton parish, Salop, which belonged to Wenlok priory, the manor and lordship of Dowles, Wore, and Salop, and the manor and tenement of Meaton Magna and Meaton Parva in Kinlett parish, Salop, which belonged to Major Malverne priory, and all appurtenances of the premises in Lylleshull, Hunnyngton, Hemyngton, Muxton, Donyngton, Meaton Magna, Meaton Parva, and Kyndlett, Salop, in Hundes Chedull, Staff., in Sutton, Salop, and in Dowles, Worcs, and Salop. Also the farm called Asteley Abbottes with lands in Asteley Bridge alias Abbottes Asteley, Salop, in tenure of John Oseley and Margery his wife, and a messuage in the town of Hoppeforde in Morvelde parish in tenure of Juliana Oseley and Thos. Oseley her son, which belonged to Shrewsbury monastery. Lands in Sutton and Colneham, Salop, leased with the aforesaid manor of Sutton to Wm. and Thos. Prowde, and two water mills in Sutton in tenure of Eic. Oseley, and lands specified (and tenants named) in Dewxhill or Deuxhill, Salop, which belonged to Wenloke monastery. Lands named and tenants named in Dowles, which belonged to Major Malverne monastery. And the advowsons of the rectories of Dowles, Newport and Longdon, Salop. Subject to certain charges. Hampton Court, 12 July 35 Hen. VIII. Delivered at. Terling, 14 July.
[Note Shropshire Archives 6000/6918; 29th August 1546 (37 Hen VIII). Deed between Robert Burgoyne Esquire and Thomas Grey of Enfield (Staffs). Conveyance of 2 vallets and coppices of wood called Penns Vallet, extending from Barkhill to a little river called Dowles Brook and from Kings Wood to a pasture by the Severn, part of the possessions of the monastery of Much Malvern, the other called Dowles Coppice, lying from the coppice called Conyngbyes (in the Lordship of Stottesdon) otherwise called Sterton to a pasture by the Severn, formerly of the same monastery.. also all lands in Dowles… those granted by Henry VIII to John Williams, knight and Ant Strynger, gent.]
April 1544 (36 Hen VIII). RICHARD MORRISON
Grant to Richard Morysine of rents reserved upon a grant in tale male to him, by Patent 15th March 32 Hen VIII, of the late hospital of St Wulfstans, Worcs, …. land in Higgeleye, Salop
12th Nov 1545 (37 Hen VIII) RICHARD CUPPER of London and WALTER, his brother.
Grant in fee to the said Richard for £330-6-2 paid by him, of the lordship and manor of Huggeley, Salop and lands in Huggeley in the tenure of John Oresland and a wood called Huggeley wood or Higley wood (40 acres) in Huggeley… and the advowson of the vicarage of Huggeley alias Higley.
29th May 1546 (38 Hen VIII). JOHN LITTLETON
Grant from Richard and John Cupper to John Lyttleton of the lordship and manor of Huggeley and lands in the tenure of John Oresland in Huggeley, Salop and a wood there called Huggeley wood alias Higley Wood (40 acres).
December 1546 (38 Hen VIII). DEAN AND CHAPTER, CHRSITCHURCH, OXFORD
Grant to the Dean and Chapter of Christchurch Oxford of messuages and lands in Higeleye, Salop, tenant John Holloway, lately purchased of Richard Morryssyn.
May 1576 RICHARD BISHOP AND THOMAS THORNTON OF CLEOBURY
Richard Bishop and Thomas Thornton of Cleobury entered the Wyre Forest on 4th April 1574 and cut down 10 oaks worth 2/- each, 16 at 6/- each and 30 carts of underwood worth 4d each in Hedgwick Wood, 10 oaks value of 3/- each and 20 loads of underwood worth 4d each in Hawkyard Wood and 6 oaks value of 3/- each and 6 loads of underwood worth 4d each in Stirtwood, as servants of Robert Dudley.
Since 1 Ed IV, the woods have belonged to Cleobury manor, which was granted to William Paget. In 1Ed IV a contest arose between Paget and Ann his wife on the one part and Thomas Seymour of the other when it was decided that the woods belonged to Seymour as gift of Paget and Seymour should give Paget 400 merks. On attainder of Seymour in 2 Ed IV [he was executed for treason in 1549], the woods reverted to the crown. On 9th June 1563 “the manor, Lordship, park and borough of Cleobury Mortimer, with the appurtenances thereof and all and every lands and woods belonging to the said manor of Cleobury Mortimer or heretofore deemed part or parcel of the same manor” were granted to Dudley. On 8th March 1566 the Queen gave to Rowland Hayward and Thomas Dixon the reversion of all these premises [ie the right to inherit them after Dudley’s death], which they sold to Dudley on the 30th March for 100 merks. As Bishop and Thornton were Dudley’s servants, the case was dismissed.