ROGER OF TILBURY, IN SOUTHCHURCH, ESSEX, WITNESSED DOCUMENTS, 13TH CENTURY, TILBERIA

 
Roger of Tilbury

Bailiff of the Liberty of Rochford
Witness to Documents, Southchurch, Essex

 
"The Hundred and the Hundred Rolls" by Helen M. Cam (Burt Franklin, New York) ISBN:0833704559

Feudal Aspect of the Shire
"... in 1268 ... because John de Burgh and his bailiffs fail to execute the king's writs when they have received them from the sheriff within the hundred of Rochford ... the king ... commands the sheriff to take the liberty into the king's hands and administer it ..."


Canterbury Cathedral Archives
Dean & Chapter

 
Chartae Antiquae

 
Roger porde & wife Margery, lease land in Southchurch to John Samuel & wife Joan for four years, annual payment 24s. (endorsed with 'S' and 'Sucherch' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/29).

c.29 September 1284
Witnesses: 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch, Roger of Tilbury, bailiff of the liberty of Rochford, Walter son of Reginald, Jordan son of Odo, Henry de Gyney, Henry of Potton, [in Little Wakering], Walter Barun.

-o-x-o-

 
Grant from Peter of Southchurch & Joan his wife (daughter of William de Besstenovere, to 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch of all lands and tenements they had in Pevensey: (manor called 'Besstenovere' & manor in Horse Eye called 'wydars') against annual payment of 1 clove (endorsed 'S' Sucherch'' and 'Pevenese' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/32).

23 April 1285
Witnesses: Hugh de Coleworthe (knight), Henry Grapinel (knight), Thomas de stodham (knight); William Samwel, John Samwel, Roger of Tilbury, Philip Serle, Laurence le port', Henry de Gyney, Walter le Barun, all 'of Essex';
John de la haeye (knight), William maufe (knight), John of Rodmell ('Rademele'), Laurence de Ree, Richard de le Eldecherche, Batholomew of Crawley ('Kraule'), Cock ('Koc') de la Dune, all 'of Sussex'.

-o-x-o-

 
Agreement between Richard of Southchurch and his son Roger for payment of sums due, including to the prior and convent of Canterbury Cathedral Priory (endorsed 'Southchche' in late 13thC hands) (ref:CCA.DCc.ChAnt/M/331).

15 April 1289
Witnesses: Henry le Geneye, Laurence le porter, Alexander Quintyn, John Samwel, Philip son of Serle, John [T'mine], Roger of Tilbury.

-o-x-o-

 
Grant and demise in fee farm from Richard of Southchurch (knight) to Henry de Genge & Katherine his wife: land and tenements with houses built on them, had of the demise of Adam Cobe and Robert bret in the vill of Great Stambridge; annual payment of 5 marks (endorsed with description, 'S' and 'Sucherch' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/34 & 35).

12 March 1290
Witnesses: Roger of Tilbury, Philip Serle, William Samuel, John Samuel, Laurence le Porter; Henry of Potton, Robert Edolf, Thomas Penykot.

-o-x-o-

 
Acknowledgement by William de Laffham & Lucy his wife, to Richard of Southchurch: 20 marks paid out of 40. Acknowledged by Richard in the king's court, before 'Dominus' Thomas de Weyland and his fellows, justices of the king's bench at Westminster, and before Ralph de Hengham and his fellows, chief justices of King Edward I in England. (Southchurch [Essex]) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/36).

18 July 1291
Witnesses: William Samuel, Roger of Tilbury, Philip son of Serle, John Samuel, Henry of Potton ('Potone') [in Little Wakering].

-o-x-o-

 
Bond from Andrew de valletorta & Margaret his wife, to William lowis, cook of 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch; 15 acres of land in Eastwood parish from Andrew & to William for payment of 100s., payable in Richard of Southchurch's house; if the payment is made as agreed, the land returns to Andrew & Margaret - if not, William retains the land and a charter of feoffment (Southchurch [Essex]) (endorsed 'in Such'e' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/57).

8 September 1291
Witnesses: Dominus Richard of Southchurch, Thomas de stodham, John of Rocheford (knight, 'milit''), Roger of Tilbury, William Samuel, John Samuel, Philip Serle.

-o-x-o-

 
Quitclaim from Alexander Quintun, son of Roger Quintun, to Peter of Southchurch, son of 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch, knight; for all lands and tenements Alexander had of Richard/Roger in the vills of Prittlewell, Sutton and Shopland; and a payment of 8 marks payable by Peter to Alexander (Peter paid 30 marks + rent of 8 marks in the vill of Paglesham) (endorsed with descriptions and 'Souch'' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/23).

1 November 1292
Witnesses: Dominus Roger Barnard (knight), Dominus John of Rochford (knight), Dominus William of Lambourne (knight), Dominus Thomas de Stodham (knight), William le Sondon', Hamo le parker, Robert le mariner, Henry de Gynges, William Samuel, Roger of Tilbury, John Samuel, Philip son of Serle, Henry de Ponton'.

-o-x-o-

 
Acknowledgement and quitclaim from Henry le Waleys, citizen of London, to 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch (knight): payment of 10 marks acknowledged before 'Dominus' Gilbert de Thornton and his fellows, the king's justices; quitclaim for 10 acres of land called 'Cheleseyecroft' in Southchurch parish (given at London) (endorsed with description in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/40).

8 December 1293
Witnesses: Dominus Richard de Tany (knight), Dominus John of Rochford (knight), Dominus Richard of Barrow (knight), Dominus Henry of Grapnells [in Wallasea Island] (knight), Philip perdriz, Roger of Tilbury, Robert Doget, William Samuel.

-o-x-o-

 
Memorandum from Richard de merston', bailiff of the hundred of Rochford: Richard came to Southchurch after the death of Richard of Southchurch and took his goods and chattels into the king's hands (ndorsed 'Sucherch'' in 14thC hand) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/236).

2 April 1294
Roger of Tilbury, William Samuel, John Samuel and Philip Serle valued animals, grain and crops growing in the field; the total value was 88 11s. 2d.; Richard handed the goods and chattels to Peter of Southchurch for safe keeping to the king's use by the plea of Roger, William, John and Philip.

-o-x-o-

 
From Walter barun to Peter of Southchurch, lease of 3 acres of land in Southchurch parish, for 6 years, 36s. paid (Southchurch [Essex]) (endorsed 'Sowcherch'' in 14thC hand) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/39).

27 October 1294
Witnesses: Roger of Tilbury, William Samuel, John Samuel, Philip Serle, Henry of Potton.

-o-x-o-

Grant, surrender and quitclaim from Richard kokerel, to 'Dominus' Richard Sucherche, for a messuage with other messuages and the lands belonging to them in the vill of Southchurch; Richard paid 12 marks (endorsed 'In Southch'ch' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/89)

Undated [late 13th century]
Witnesses: William Samwel, Roger of Tilbury, Philip son of Serle, Laurence le porter, John Samwel, Henry de Gyney, Henry of Potton, Walter Barun, Dominus John the chaplain.

-o-x-o-

Grant, surrender and quitclaim from John Somer son of Godwin of 'la Napeltone', to Richard of Southchurch: for all homages and service which were of Godwin, John's father, and Margaret, John's sister, in the vill of Bures and outside in the hundred of 'Burestapele'; Richard gave John a messuage and land, annual payment 10s., and suit of court from 3 weeks to 3 weeks at Richard's manor of Southchurch (endorsed with description, 'S' and 'S bures' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/92).

Undated [late 13th century]
Witnesses: John son of Simon, John de lanetot jnr. (knight), Roger of Tilbury, Henry de Ginges, Bartholomew of Mucking, Hubert of Bromfords [in Nevendon], Robert [Godsalm], Philip Serle, Walter Picard.

-o-x-o-

Grant from Roger son of Arnulf Purde of Prittlewell, & Margery his wife, to John Samuel of Southchurch, & Peter his son, of 8 acres of land with a messuage at Prittlewell; for annual payments of 9d to the chief lords of the fee and a rose to Roger & Margery; John & Peter have paid 12 marks as a gersum fine (endorsed 'Pret'well'' in 14thC hand) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/116).

Undated [late 13th century]
Witnesses: Henry Grapinel, John son of Simon, John Chaunceans (knight), Henry de Ginge, Roger of Tilbury, William Samuel, Philip Serle, John Odin, Laurence porter, Walter Barun.

-o-x-o-

Quitclaim from Simon le Bober of Southchurch, to 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch, for 1 acre of land in the vill of Southchurch; Richard has paid 36s. as a gersum fine (endorsed with description and 'in Souch'che' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/145).

Undated [late 13th century]
Witnesses: William Samuel, John Samuel, Roger of Tilbury, Philip Serle, Henry of Potton.

-o-x-o-

Quitclaim from Walter Baru' of the vill of Southchurch, to 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch, lord of the vill of Southchurch, for 1 acre of land lying with Richard's marsh to south; Richard has paid 20s. (endorsed with description and 'in Southch'che' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/161)

Undated [late 13th century]
Witnesses: Roger of Tilbury, William Samuel, John Samuel, Jordan odin, Philip son of Serle, John Jacop, Henry of Potton.

-o-x-o-

Quitclaim from Roger son of Arnold porde, & Margery his wife, to 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch, for 7 acres of land in the territory of Southchurch, lying with the land which was of William de Herber' to east ... also for the land called 'la Bruere' which was of William de Herber' in the same vill, for this Richard has paid 40s. as a gersum fine (endorsed with description and 'in Southch'che' in 14thC hands) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/165).

Undated [late 13th century]
Witnesses: Roger of Tilbury, Richard de Dydeling', Henry de Gyney, William Samuel, Alexander queintin, Henry of Potton, Laurence porter, William de Hautevil', Peter de Lyons.

-o-x-o-

Quitclaim from William le Bober of Southchurch, to 'Dominus' Richard of Southchurch, for a way through the middle of Richard's demesne lands in Southchurch from William's house to the church of Southchurch (endorsed with description in late 13C hand and 'Sutche'' in 14thC hand) (ref.CCA-DCc-ChAnt/S/237).

Undated [late 13th century]
Witnesses: Henry de Gynges, William Samwel, Roger of Tilbury, Philip son of Serle, Henry de Gyney, John Samwel, Laurence le Port', Walter son of Reginald.

 
Dominus: more probably lord of the manor, a local lord, having power over property ownership and as a judge within his area of authority; or, a cleric, a learned person. (1381: Peasants' Revolt)


 
An Ancient Custom

 
From "The Every-day Book and Table-book; or, Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements" by William Hone, 1837 (under October 1)

Lawless Court
"This is the season of holding a remarkable court, which we are pleasantly introduced to by the relation of a good old writer [Fuller]".

"Ryding from Ralegh towards Rochford, I happened to haue the good companie of a gentleman of this countrey, who, by the way, shewed me a little hill, which he called the Kings Hill; and told me of a strange customarie court, and of long continuance, there yearely kept, the next Wednesday after Michaelmas day in the night, upon the first cock crowing without any kinde of light, saue such as the heavens will affoard: The steward of the court writes onely with coales, and calleth all such as are bound to appeare, with as low a voice as possiblie he may, giuing no notice when he goeth to execute his office. Howsoever, he that gives not answer is deeply amerced; which servile attendance (saith he) was imposed at the first vpon certaine tenants of divers mannors hereabouts, for conspiring in the place, at such an vnseasonable time, to raise a commotion. The title of the entrie of the court hee had in memory, and writ it downe for me when we came to Rochford."

"Fuller speaks of its running 'in obscure barbarous rimes,' which he inserts nearly in the words of the legal authorities who give the following account:-"

Lawless Court. On Kingshill at Rochford in Essex, on Wednesday morning next, after Michaelmas day, at Cockscrowing, is held a court vulgarly called 'The Lawless Court'. They whisper and have no Candle, nor any Pen and Ink but a Coal; and he that ows Suit or Service, and appears not, forfeits double his rent every hour he is missing. This Court belongs to the Honor of Ralegh, and to the Earl of Warwick; and is called 'Lawless,' because held at an unlawful or lawless hour, or Quia dicta cne lege. The Title of it in the Court Rolls runs thus,-
Kingshi in Rochford. ss.
Curia de Domino Rege,
Dicta sine Lege.

Tenta est ibidem
Per ejuadem consuetudinem,
Ante ortum solis,
Luceat nis polus,
Senescallus solus
Nil scribit nisi colis,
Toties voluerit,
Gallus ut cantaverit,
Per eujus soli sonitus,
Curia est summonita,
Clamat clam pro Rege,
In Curia sine Lege,
Et nisi cito venerint,
Citius poenituerint,
Et nis clam accedant,
Curia non attendat,
Qui venerit cum lumine,
Errat in regimine:
Et dum sunt sine lumine,
Capti sunt in crimine:
Curia sine cura,
Jurati de injuria,
Tenta ibidem die Mercurii (ante Diem) proximi post Festum Sancti Michaelis Arch-angeli, Anno regni Regis," &c."

"This Court is mentioned in Cam. Britan, though imperfectly; who says this servile attendance was imposed on the Tenants, for conspiring at the like unseasonable time to raise a Commotion."

 
From "The History of Hawkwell" by Margaret Chambers, Local History Recorder

"Near Rochford the Lawless or Whispering Court, a remarkable survival of unknown origin, is held by a manorial tenure on the Wednesday following Michaelmas Day, beginning at midnight. No light is permitted, nor may voices be raised above a whisper."

Read a present-day account of the custom, its original site, and its continuation in the Rochford area:

http://members.fortunecity.com/hawkwell/history.html


(September 2006) (fonts: Technical, Times New Roman)

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