John De Staunfordham or John de Stamfordham

Is there no end to the perfidy of the rectors of Eversholt?

Eagle-eyed Venetia Barrington of Brook End turns up this scandal, from the 1321-1324 legal proceedings index
The like to Roger de Tiryngham and Philip de Aylesbury on complaint by John Paulyn of Eversalt that Thomas der Clifton juxta Olneye, chaplain, John de Staunfordham, parson of the church of Eversalt, Walter Dor of Eversalt, William de Staunfordham and John le Scriveyn of Eversalt, assaulted him at Eversalt, co. Bedford, and broke his legs and arms.


“The like” is a “commission of oyer and terminer” which is basically just the opening of an investigation. Roger de Tiryngham and Philip de Aylesbury are the investigating magistrates. A prize (value to be determined) to anyone who finds out what was going on!

Spent a lot of time in court, did John. He is listed as plaintiff (page 4 of that link) in 1327 in a suit against Walter Beynyn and others for Maiming a hawk at Segenhoe.

John also appears in the legal document listing warrants obtained in the circuit court at Bedford in Edward III’s time, probably 1330. Placita de quo Warranto temporibus Edw. I et II et III  is online (thanks, Google!) Edward III, perennially short of cash, thought it would be a good wheeze to make priests pay a fee to regularise their traditional rights of glebe and other sources of income. The rights of a priest had probably been set up by the Lord of the Manor who originally paid for the construction of the church. By 1330, these rights would be at least a century old, and all originally involved would have been dead. If there was no documentation, priests had no proof they were entitled to their privileges, and Edward capitalised on this to raise money. He issued a warrant saying they really were entitled, in exchange for a one-off payment of half a mark, which, by some reckonings, would be about £11000 today. The warrants were recorded in the vellum rolls of the court. Eversholt’s is on page 78 of the above link.

The full text of the original handwritten vellum documents was transcribed into print in 1806, and it’s the 1806 version that Google publishes. Unfortunately, the text is in heavily abbreviated Medieval Latin legalese, so it’s not quite straightforward! I really should put a bit more effort into this, but here’s my current attempt at translation. You will need really modern unicode fonts in your browser to reproduce some of the scribal abbreviations properly, I’m afraid. For each section of text, first is an image of the 1806 printed transcription, then a text version of the abbreviated latin, then an expansion of the latin into full medieval words, then a translation into English. Sort of. This my first ever attempt at translating abbreviated medieval Latin legalese and it’s not great, but you can get the gist.
Any better translations? It would be hard to have a worse one! Leave a message at the bottom if you have better ideas, please!


Joħes ſona eccƚie de Everesholt dat đno Regi dimidiam marcam licencia ħenda clamandi billam has liƀtates ſubſcriptas pⁱmo die itin…is hic n clamat·

Johannes persona ecclesie de Everesholt dat domino Regi dimidiam marcam pro licencia habenda clamandi per billam has libertates subscriptas primo die itineris hic nota clamator.

John, the parson of the church of Eversholt, gives to the lord King half a mark for a licence to be held by bill, for these rights written below, from the first day of the court circuit, here known as the claimant.


Et ei conceditͬ ad clamanđ & pƚitandū &c.

Et ei conceditur ad clamandum & placitandum etcetera.

And it is granted to cry and plead etc.


Et clam· ħere weyf & ſtray & viſum francipleg· de om̄ibʒ tenentibʒ & residentibʒ ſuis in Everesholt

Et clamator habere weyf & stray & visum franciplegium de omnibus tenentibus & residentibus suis in Everesholt

And the claimant to have [right of] waif and stray & … frankpledge from all tenants and residents in Eversholt. [suis = his, but his tenants would probably be wrong]


Et dicit qđ ip̃e tenet unam carrucatam terre cū ꝑtin· in Eversholt ut dotem eccƚie pređce ad quod pređce liƀtates ꝑtinēt & ab antiquo ꝑtinuer·

Et dicit quod ipse tenet unam carrucatam terre cum pertinentibus Eversholt ut dotem ecclesie praedicte ad quod pred…ce libertates pertinent & ab antiquo pertinuerunt
And say that he holds one carucate of land with appurtenances in Eversholt as glebe of the church aforesaid to which the aforesaid rights pertain and from antiquity have pertained.


Et dicit qđ ip̃e & om̃es p…deceſſores sui ꝑſone &c. a temꝑe quo nō extat memoria ſeiſiti fuerūt de p…đcis weyf & ſtray & de p…đco viſu tenenđ ſemel ꝑ annū ſciƚt dio Martis in ſeptia Pentecost· videlt ħendum p…ſentac͠oem emendas aſsīe panis & c…vis frac͡te purpreſtur· effuſionis ſanguinis & hutes· levat· de om̄ibʒ tenetibuʒ & reſidentibʒ in Everesholt ut de jure eccƚie p…đce et eo waranto clam· ip̃e ħere liƀtates p…đcas &c.

Et dicit quod ipse & omnes praedecessores sui persone et cetera a tempore quo non extat memoria seisiti fuerunt de praedictis weyf & stray & de praedicto visu tenendo semel per annum scilicet dio Martis in septimana Pentecost· videlicet habendum praesentacionem emendas assisae panis & cervisiae fractione purprestura effusionis sanguinis & hutesium levatum de omnibus tenentibus & residentibus in Everesholt ut de jure ecclesie praedicte et eo waranto clam· ipse habere libertates praedictas et cetera.

And say that he and all his predecessor persons etc from time immemorial seised of aforesaid waif and stray and of aforesaid [from the view?] [will hold?] once per year specifically on the holy Tuesday in the week of Pentecost namely to be held an exhibition of fines for assize of bread and ale, damage, encroachments, spilling blood, raising the hue and cry of all tenants and residents in Eversholt, to the right of the church aforesaid and by this warrant the claimant to have the rights aforesaid etc.

[Pentecost is the Sunday 7 weeks after Easter Sunday, also called Whitsun. The week of Pentecost is that day and the following 6 days, I think.]


Et Ric̃us de Aldeburgh qui ſequitͬ ꝑ đno Rege dicit qđ p…đce liƀtates non fuerūt clamate hic in ultimo itin…e unde petit qđ liƀtates ille capiantͬ in manū đni Reg·

Et Ricardus de Aldeburgh qui sequitur pro domino Rege dicit quod praedicte libertates non fuerunt clamate hic in ultimo itinere unde petit quod libertates ille capiantur in manus domini Reg·

And Richard of Aldeburgh, who sues for the King, says that the aforesaid rights have not been claimed here in the last court circuit and so he asks whether the rights could be taken in the hands of the lord King.


Et pređcs Joħes hoc nō dedicens petit reħere liƀtates illas ꝑ plevinam

Et praedictus Johannes hoc non dedicens petit rehabere libertates illas per plevinam

And the aforesaid John [hoc non dedicens is a phrase unique to this document. What does it mean?] asks to retake them by surety.


And offered to the lord King half a mark for surety thenceforth to be held.


Et ei conceditͬ. Et admittitͬ ad clamand & pƚitand. Et clam· easdem liƀtates ut ſup… &c.

Et ei conceditur. Et admittitur ad clamand & placitand. Et clam· easdem libertates ut supra et cetera.

And this is granted. And admitted to the claimant and pleader. And [to?] the claimant the same liberties as above.


Et ſuꝑ hoc idem Ric̃us petit qđ inquiratͬ qualit… & a quo temꝑe pređcus Joħes * p…deceſſores ſui uſi ſunt liƀtatibʒ p…đcis Iŏ ven· inde jur… hic die Ven…is ꝑx̃ia poſt feſtū Sc̃i Martini &c.

Et supra hoc idem Ricardus petit quod inquiratur qualitercumque & a quo tempore praedictus Johannes & praedecessores sui usi sunt libertatibus praedictis ideo veniat inde jurata hic die Veneris proxima post festum Sancti Martini et cetera.

In addition to this, the same Richard asks that it be inquired in what manner and from what time the aforesaid John and his predecessors the aforesaid rights are employed. Therefore [let it be sworn this day?] on the next Friday after the Feast of Saint Martin etc.

[St Martin’s day is now November 11, but I’m not clear whether that was also November 11 in the Julian Calendar, or was October 31.]


Ad quem diem ven· p…đcus Joħes et ſimiƚr jur· qui dicunt ſuꝑ ſacr̄m ſuū pređcus Joħes & om̄es p…deceſſores ſui ꝑſone eccƚie p…đce a temꝑe quo nō extat memoria uſi ſunt p…đco viſu tenenđ in forma p…đca videƚt ħenđ emenđ aſsïe panis & c…vis pͬpreſtur· [ſf…]ce ſuꝑ Regiam ſtratam in feodo eccƚie p…đce & hutes· levat· de tenentibʒ & reſidentibʒ p…đcis & weyf & ſtray ſuꝑvēientibʒ in feodo p…đco et hoc modo debito excepto qđ p…đcus Joħes cepit fines & am…ciament· de tͬnſgreſſoribʒ contͬ aſsĩam panis & c…vis· infra viſum p…đcm delinquentes in caſibʒ quibʒ ad judiciū pillorii & tūbrelli adjudicar· meruerūt usꝙ ad ſūmam duodecim denar… Iõ cons· eſt qđ p…đcus viſus capiatͬ in manū đni Reg·

Ad quem diem ven· praedictus Johannes et similiter jurato qui dicunt super sacrum suum quod praedictus Johannes & omnes praedecessores sui persone ecclesie praedicte a tempore quo non extat memoria usi sunt praedicto visu tenend… in forma praedicta videlicet habenda emendas assisae panis & cervisiae purprestura fractione super Regiam stratam in feodo ellesie praedicte & hutesium levatum de tenentibus & residentibus praedictis & weyf & stray supervenientibus in feodo praedicto et hoc modo debito exceptio quod praedictus Johannes cepit fines & amerciamentum de transgressoribus contra assisae panis & cervisiae infra visum praedictum delinquentes in casibus quibus ad judicium pillorii & tumbrelli adjudicar… meruerunt usque ad summam duodecim denarii. Ideo consequens est quod praedictus visus capiatur in manuus domini Regi.
On that day came aforesaid John and similarly [people ?] on oath who state on his sacred [oath] that the aforesaid John and all his predecessors, people of the church aforesaid, from time immemorial are to employ the aforesaid [view?] which is to be held in the form aforesaid namely to have the fines for assize of bread and ale, encroachments, damage on the King’s highway, in fee of the church aforesaid, and raising the hue and cry of the tenants and residents aforesaid, and [right of] waif and stray, [in addition to?] the fee aforesaid and this is due to an exception that aforesaid John took fines and penalties from transgressors against the assize of bread and ale under the view aforesaid transgressors in cases where the judgement of pillory and tumbrel was adjudicated deserved up to a total of twelve pence. Therefore it follows that the aforesaid view is taken into the hands of the lord King.


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