The header for each year is preceded with an @ sign to facilitate searching
The European climate deteriorates. Some newly-settled land becomes unviable for farming.
New Zealand Maoris hunt the giant Moa to extinction. An increased reliance
on agriculture in the
Revival of the Maya civilisation. Inca tribes found the capital,
The 14th.century sees the first use of watermarks, in paper.
Manuel des Pêches, written by William of Wadington, and translated into English verse by Robert Mannyng, in Handlyng Synne (1303), approves of religious plays acted reverently in church, but condemns outdoor performances of miracles.
`By 1300, admissions to the freedom of the City of
`Entry by succession or apprenticeship was normally only possible if the fathers or masters were themselves freemen... In Exeter, unlike other towns, until about 1350 it was possible to enter by succession to an uncle, brother, or other relative, as well as to a father ... In the case of admissions by purchase, the sum varied widely, especially in the early fourteenth century, from five pounds to more or less than one pound. Each entrant made his own agreement with the mayor and bailiffs as to the amount, and in this way the officers had a measure of control over the rate of entry... A much larger group consists of those admitted `at the instance' of an individual, sometimes an influential outsider such as the Bishop of Exeter, the Sheriff of Devon, a local magnate, or one of the more prominent citizens, frequently one of the city officers.'
Bovey manor; near Branscombe village, comes to the Walrond family of Bradfield.
Approximate year of birth of Guillaume de Machaut (d.1377), in
Richard de Brankescomb & his wife Cecilia, hold a quarter fee at Borcombe, parish of Southleigh, in the hundred of Colyton.
`By 1300 the crossbow had largely displaced the longbow on European battlefields, despite being banned in 1139 by the Pope as "... deathly and hateful to God, and unfit to be used by Christians."'
`It was not for some time after the Norman Conquest that the oral tradition [of conducting business] began to break down ... By 1300 laymen were using documents as a matter of course, and even serfs (at least the more prosperous ones) were familiar with them.'
`Raising money to pay the cost of war was to cause more damage to 14th century society than the physical destruction of war itself. The governing fact was that medieval organization by this time had passed to a predominently money economy. Armed forces were no longer primarily feudal levies serving under a vassal's obligation who went home after forty days; they were recruited bodies who served for pay. The added expense of a paid army raised the cost of war beyond the ordinary means of the sovereign. Without losing its appetite for war, the inchoate state had not yet devised a regular method to pay for it. When he overspent, the sovereign resorted to loans from bankers, towns and businesses which he might not be able to repay, and to the even more disruptive measures of arbitrary taxation and devaluation of the coinage.'
A visitation to Branscombe. Among the jury of 13 is Ricardus de Brankescumbe. [another visitation in 1307]
Pevsner says the round window with five trefoils in the west gable of the chapel at Edge Barton, Branscombe, dates from the early fourteenth century.
OED claims first written use of the word coney, for rabbit.
According to Shippey, rabbits were only introduced into
Ricardus de Brankiscomb & his wife Cecilia, hold a quarter fee at Borcombe, Southleigh parish, in the hundred of Colyton.
`Colyton: The manor of Borcombe. Was sometime the land of [Henry] de la Pomeroy, and after of Richard Branscombe, then the Lord Bonville's, and is now my Lord Petre's'.
`In the Middle Ages, the basic unit of administration was the manor, the
body with which the ordinary villager came into closest contact. Manors varied
in size, scope and structure, reflecting differences in local circumstances and
the fact that as an organization they were laid on top of pre-existing
territorial units. Some manors, especially those in central
Edward I dies (reigned since 1272). Edward II succeeds (to 1327).
`Edward II was defeated by the Scots in battle, and suffered the abject humiliation of deposition.'
`Edward II did not understand the importance of patronage, and he lost the trust of the nobility as he turned to unsuitable favourites, such as Piers Gaveston and the Despensers. After the defeat of his main baronial opponent, Thomas of Lancaster , Edward's reign took on an increasingly tyrannical aspect, until it was ended by a revolution headed by his own queen, Isabella . The reputation of English arms had plummeted as Edward had failed to maintain the impetus of the war against the Scots which his father had begun.'
`In 1307 the King agreed to popular demands for a statute directed against the Church ... concerned with the export of proceeds from English livings held by foreign clergy.'
Butters claims the first official mention of Berry Barton, (Bury, or La Biry) in Branscombe village, and of John de Weston's connection with Weston, Brachycome [Branscombe].
March 6: The Mayor of Exeter's Court Roll records admission of Thomas Batyn, spicer, to the Freedom of the City, at the instance of Joice [Jocelyn?] de Brankescumb. [cf 1347]
October 13: "Black Friday" - the Church launches an operation to
arrest, torture and massacre members of the Knights Templar, so named because
the had occupied and secretly excavated the site of Solomon's temple in
16 December, Westminster: Master Walter de Stapleton, bishop-elect of Exeter, going beyond seas, has letters nominating Joceus de Brankescumbe and Robert de Horton his attorneys for one year.
26 December: Joceus de Branscombe named as attorney for Walter de Stapledon,
Walter Stapledon, (1261-1326) Lord Treasurer under Edward II. Born at
`The [Stapledon] family was seated at Stapledon, in the parish of Milton
Damarel, held from the Courtenays, and at Annery, in the parish of Monkleigh.
Stapledon is now a farm house, but the house at Annery [was to pulled down in
1959].' Walter was born on the 1st of February, circa 1260. At
Richard de Brankescumbe & his wife Cecilia hold a quarter fee in Borcombe, Southleigh.
A visitation to Branscombe. Among the jury of 13 is Ricardus de Brankescumbe. [another visitation in 1301]
`In January, King Edward II, at the request of the Pope, ordered the arrest
of all the Knights Templar in England, sequestered their property, and
appointed commissions, (which included certain papal inquisitors) to sit at
London and York to try them on charges of heresy and moral depravity ... Their
fault was that they belonged to a rich order; from their original function as
custodians of Solomon's temple in Jerusalem, they had become wealthy bankers
and owners of substantial estates throughout Christendom. Their French
possessions were particularly valuable, and had attracted the greedy attention
of Philip IV of
Pope Clement V takes up residence at
Richard de Ralegh, son of Richard Russel of Thorverton, admitted to the
freedom of the City of
17 January, The Grove: Jocelyn de Branscombe comes before the King and seeks to replevy (?) land in Whimple (La Wille), confiscated by the King from Luke de Sutton.
Whimple: from the Celtic, "white pool".
`When we stand in such places as this, we are in the presence of a remote
antiquity, going back to the Celtic
19 February, Bridgwater: John de Drokensford, Bishop of Bath & Wells
(1309-1329?), makes Robert de Beauchamp, a minor, (ward?) of the
6 April, Burfordstok: John de Drokensford, Bishop of
June: Piers Gaveston, favourite of Edward II, executed at Blacklow Hill.
13 November: Edward, later Edward III, born at Windsor, the eldest son of Edward II and Isabella, Queen of France.
King Robert I (the Bruce) of
Bishop of Exeter, Walter Stapledon, founds a grammar-school at Ashburton, `for the erudition of children freely.'
`The year opened under circumstances more depressing for
`During the two decades of his reign Edward was engaged in an almost continuous struggle with the barons, which culminated in his deposition and death. In this conflict, Parliament became increasingly important as a political assembly. Edward's personality explains much of his failure. Though physically strong and a good horseman, he was not intelligent.
A source written in 1315 describes his interest in such rustic pursuits as making ditches, and his unconventional tastes separated him in outlook from the majority of the feudal magnates. He thus turned to favourites such as Piers Geveston for friendship and advice, while his faults in character lost him any more widespread support.'
21 December, Clipstone: Jocelyn de Brankescombe owes Richard de Ivingho of
The earliest official parliamentary record which gives a reasonably full account of the proceedings in chronological order, is the roll for the Lincoln Parliament of 1316.
Latin liturgical plays at
Richard de Brankescombe holds a knight's fee assigned in dower at Alre
Prince Edward, eldest son of Edward II and the future Edward III, summoned to parliament as Earl of Chester.
16 March: Humphrey de Bohun, eighth Earl of Hereford & Essex, killed at
An indenture is `... a deed executed between two or more parties and written out in as many copies as there were parties - all on one sheet of parchment or paper. An `indented' or wavy line was drawn between the copies, sometimes with the word chirograph written through it, and the sheet was then cut into parts along the line. The copies could later be identified as tallies when brought together. The term is now used of any sealed agreement, and particularly for a contract of apprenticeship.'
`The period after Boroughbridge saw reforms which make the reign a turning point in administrative history. The work of the Chamber was expanded under Hugh le Despenser the younger, and that of the Wardrobe restricted more closely to the affairs of the [royal] household. At the Exchequer, Walter Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter, was responsible for the re-organisation of the exchequer records.'
May: Statute of
12 May, Cowick: Edward appoints Jocelyn de Branscombe to the office of Constableship of The Exchequer.
10 July, Faxfleet: Edward appoints Jocelyn Branscombe as Chancellor of The
Robert Baupel granted permission by the King to dig up kistvaens and barrows
`Before 1324, the slave proper had become non-existent in
1300-1325: Dux Moraud; the part of a single actor in a moral play, Interludium de Clerico et Puella, written in English. An early milestone in the history of English theatre.
Prince Edward, eldest son of Edward II, and soon to become Edward III
(1327), made Duke of Aquitaine. In September, he is sent to
14 April, Exeter: Richard de Brankescombe, Walter Gaboun of Blakepol, John atte Hulle & others hold a fee in divers places in the manor of Warkele, Devon, of William Martyn.
Ricus de Brankefcomb assessed at 12d for the Devon Subsidy of this year.
Geoffrey Gilbert is a member of Parliament.
`Early in the year, Edward's queen, Isabella was in
The Queen provided a natural focus for the development of a movement against
her husband; she publicised her estrangement from him by taking Mortimer as her
lover. On September 23rd., she and Mortimer sailed for
After the accession of his son in 1327, there was no place for the deposed
monarch, and he was murdered in
15 October: `The revolution revealed its nastier side in the lynching of the Bishop of Exeter, Walter Stapledon, who was dragged from his horse by the mob and beheaded with a butcher's knife.' [Hingeston-Randolph believed Stapledon had with him in London the Episcopal Register of Walter Branscombe, and that when Stapledon's house was was sacked, following his murder, his goods were dispersed, including the Register. Most of it was recovered later, but sections are still missing]
`The deposition of Edward II ... is the great divide in our later medieval history, the greatest since 1066.'
`Previous kings might have had their setbacks, but no king since the Norman Conquest had been deposed and murdered.'
Until 1752, the year began in
25 or 29 January,
Bishop of Hereford, Adam Orleton: A former royal servant elevated to a see
by papal decree. Joined Isabella in
8 May: Patent Rolls,
18 May, Eltham: John de Kemel owes Richard de Branscombe £300, on
forfeit of his lands in
5 June, Patent Rolls, York: Presentation of Jocelyn de Branscombe, parson of
Ermington: St.Peter's church is a spacious fourteenth-century structure.
21 September: Edward II murdered at
`The final chapter of Edward II's life has often been told, with the aid of an emotional and highly-coloured account, written by the chronicler Geoffrey le Baker some thirty years later, which culminates in the disgusting scene in which Edward is murdered by means of a red-hot plumber's iron thrust up his anus. Much in this story belongs to the world of romance, rather than of history. But the most remarkable story about Edward's fate is not Baker's, for all the chronicler's horrific accounts of the foul chamber in which Edward was confined. It is the account of a Genoese priest, Manuel Fieschi, who claimed to have heard confession from Edward. It tells the story of how Edward, having been forewarned that his life was in danger, escaped from Berkeley Castle where he had been sent, killing a porter, who was buried in his place.
After a period in
He may have been deceived by an imposter, but the story is almost too
surprising to have been invented. When Edward III was in
`Within hours of the crown being placed on the young Edward's head, the Scots; showed their defiance by crossing the Tweed at night, and attempting (unsuccessfully) to overpower the garrison of Norham.'
`Edward III won great triumphs against the French, but his reign also saw the population, which had reached its medieval peak, cut down by the ravages of plague.'
`Under Edward III, the wheel of fortune turned again. News of the great
victories of Sluys, Crécy and
Edward learned the political lessons of his father's reign, restored the prestige of the monarchy, and established a remarkable rapport with the nobility. Only in the last years of his life, with the onset of senility, did the underlying strains of many years of warfare begin to threaten his achievement.'
The first manufacturing tutors of the English were the Flemish. These
artisans, though living amongst the splendours of
`Rising early, and going to bed late, toiling the whole of the day, subsisting upon herrings and mouldy cheese.' Edward III invited a large number of them to settle in
. [Some ended up in Beer village, and began the famous Honiton lace industry - called "Honiton" by Londoners, because it arrived by road from there, although sourced in a wide surrounding area, including Branscombe and Beer] He promised them plenty of beef and mutton, good beds and pretty wives, and assured them that the yeomen would dispute among themselves for the honour of marrying their daughters to them. They accepted the offer, and the event proved that they enriched themselves at the same time as they brought into England a fresh source of national wealth. England
The same historian adds:
`The yeomen who received the artisans into their houses soon grew more wealthy than the gentry they acquired large possessions and emblazoned their estates.'
28 Richard Champernon
29 Jo. Dabernon
30/31 Will. Yeo
32 Richard Bramscomb
40 Richard Bramscom
41/42 Thomas Champernon
44 Thomas Champernon
48 Richard Branscombe & Will. Ashthorpe
49 Nicholas de la Pomeray
There were still great irregularities attending the appointment or choice of sheriffs, as well as the extent of their jurisdiction, and their continuance in office.
We find sheriffs chosen by the inhabitants of the several counties, in confirmation of which it was ordained by statute, (28th. of Edward I) that the people should have the election of sheriffs, where the shrievalty was not of inheritance. But by the 9th. statute of Edward II, it was enacted that sheriffs should from thenceforth be assigned by the Lord Chancellor, the Treasurer, and the judges...
Richard Branscombe, a man learned in the laws in the age of Edward III, was repeatedly Sheriff of Devon county.
The arms used by Richard are the same as those used by Walter, Bishop of Exeter:
Or on a chevron sable, three cinquefoils of the first, between two keys erected in chief, and a sword of the second. The motto: Patientia Vincit.
`In England before the Norman Conquest, the scirgerefa, also called scirman,
was a high officer, the representative of royal authority in a shire, who
presided in the shire-moot, and was responsible for administration of the royal
demesne, and the execution of the law. After the Conquest, the office of
sheriff was continued, the title being retained in English documents, while in
Latin and French the usual term was vice-comes or vicecounte,
which had been applied to similar functionaries in
`The sheriff has custody of the County on behalf of the monarch.'
`Edge, or Egge, in this parish, situated on an oval hill, was the dwelling-place of Richard Branscombe in the time of Edward III [1327-1377]. It soon afterwards came to Sir John Wadham, the judge.'
Hoskins claims the Wadham family moved from Knowestone to Branscombe before this year, to Edge Barton. [But perhaps he meant 1377?]
`Moving east and south from Honiton Barton we enter a wide upland district of lonely farms and hamlets, with few villages, and with much moory ground seven or eight hundred feet above sea level, where the curlew is heard all day long in the spring.
Here in the parish of Knowestone, we find the remote
They moved across the country before 1327 [1377?], from the cold, unrewarding
clays of the
Henry de Weymouth mentioned in Patent Rolls. (EBMI)
`By the year 1327 the House of Commons had become an essential part of the constitutional machinery. The knights of the shire, who at first might have been expected to act in conjunction with the barons through their common interest in the ownership of land, had instead shown a tendency to join with the burgesses of the towns as the other representaive element in parliament. During the reign of Edward III we find these two elements sitting together apart from the clergy and nobles, and we also observe a gradual weakening of the social distinction between town and county members, although up to 1832 the latter had the exclusive enjoyment of certain ceremonial priveleges, such as being girt with a sword in the county court, and being entitled to wear spurs within the Chamber. They were paid higher fees for their attendance, and had heavier fines imposed on them for absence. There is also a tradition that in the early days, they monopolised the front benches of the assembly.'
2 June, Wanton: John de Drokensford, Bishop of Bath & Wells
(1309-1329?), appoints Richard de Brankescombe [Branscombe - studies at
Plympton joins Tavistock, Ashburton and Chagford as an official stannary
town, where all tin mined in
Joan Branscombe, daughter of Richard. Her intended husband was William de Kemel [both minors - their guardian is John de Chuddelegh]. (EBMI) [cf:1327 William de Kemel]
15 June: Edward, later called the Black Prince, born to Edward III and Philippa.
October: Edward III successfully throws off his degrading dependence on his
mother and Mortimer. While a council is being held at
November: Edward executes Mortimer. He discreetly ignores his mother's liaison, and treats her with every respect, but her political influence is at an end.
`Edward III now began to rule as well as to reign. Young, ardent and active,
he sought to restore
`During the 1330's
Richard de Branscombe and 5 others defend a bill of £200 served on
them by Adam, Bishop of Worcester. [cf:1326
- Adam Orleton - a former royal servant elevated to a see by papal decree.
Joined Isabella in
Thomas de Gurney arrested in
15 July: Richard de Brankescombe granted a licence to study for one year at
In the Hundred of Shebbear (Sheftbeare) [nr.Bideford], at Littleham, Richard de Brankescombe paid 40d.
In the Hundred of Colyton, Richard de Brankescomb paid 40d.
In the Hundred of Crediton, Walter de Brounescomb paid 12d.
Names in Dawlish at this time include: Adam Pyk, Edward, William and John Bearde, Alexander Brounyston [Branscombe?].
10 July: Richard de Brankescombe's licence to study at
21 March: Richard de Brankescombe, formerly rector of
Approximate birth-year of William Langland, probably in the
Edward, the Black Prince, aged 3. Already has the title Earl of Chester.
William de Burgh, Earl of Ulster is murdered. English power in
Approximate year the Gilbert family settled at
`They were at the heart of a movement which led
Mounted archers first appear in the records in 1334, but they were almost certainly used in the previous year. Mounted archers were paid 6d.or 4d.a day - at least double the rate of an ordinary infantryman.'
10 May: Richard de Brankescombe's licence to study at
Richard de Branscombe owes John de Sancto Paulo, clerk, 20 marks.
`In 1335 Hugh de Courteney was given the title Earl of Devon, of which he
had long despaired.' Revived by peremptory crown mandate in favour of Hugh ...
then heir-at-law (through Lady Mary his daughter) of William de Redvers of
26 September: Commission from the King to Richard de Branscombe.
27 September, The Tower of London: Richard de Branscombe represents Thomas de Courteney at Chancery.
18 October: Richard de Brankescombe's licence to study at
Both before and after the emergences of the jurisdiction of the Chancery court, the medieval Chancellor, custodian, like the present-day Lord Chancellor, of the Sovereign's Great Seal, combined the duties of all the modern secretaries of State. Prominent among the administrative records of his department are the several series of Chancery Rolls, which contain copies of documents issued under the royal Great Seal.
`Until 1337, the highest rank in secular society was that of the earl, whose title was hereditary.'
`In 1337, the King rewarded his associates in the revolution by which he had seized power from Isabella and Mortimer. The four leading members of his household were all given earldoms: William de Montague became Earl of Salisbury; Robert Ufford, Earl of Suffolk; William Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon; William Bohun, Earl of Northampton.
William Clinton: A younger son of a man who had once sat as a knight of the shire, in parliament. (cf: 1381)
William Bohun: A younger son with few lands. But marriage to Elizabeth de Badlesmere brought him riches; not only was she an heiress in her own right, she had also acquired estates through her first marriage, to Edmund Mortimer.' (cf: 1347)
The Black Prince becomes the Earl of Cornwall. Bradninch, with other estates, is absorbed into the Duchy of Cornwall, to which it still belongs. [cf: 1342]
Bishop Grandisson of
The Hundred Years' War. (to 1453) `It's thought that the V-sign originated with the archers of the Hundred Years' War ... the English archers used these two fingers to draw their bowstrings; the French threatened to cut off those of anyone they caught. The robust response was to wave the fingers at the enemy as if saying: "Here they are - come and get them!"'
Bishop Grandisson complains of the behaviour of Hugh de Courteney since his
elevation to the earldom of
Manor of Aller (Overaller, or Branscombe's Aller, Abbotskerswell) purchased by Richard Branscombe. (EBMI)
January: `Edward III assumes the title King of France. At first he may have
done this to satisfy the Flemings, whose scruples in fighting their overlord,
the French king, disappeared when they persuaded themselves that Edward was the
rightful king of
`The fleet ... was not a royal navy: it was composed of the merchant ships
of many different towns, temporarily conscripted to fight under a royal
admiral. Cannon had as yet no place in warfare at sea. Still, as at
July: Adam Branscombe elected to represent
`The normal type of man to be chosen for shire representation in parliament was a knight of middle age, no longer particularly active in war, but knowledgeable in administration. Chaucer's picture of the franklin could easily be applied to a knight of the shire of an earlier generation:
`At sessions there was he lord and sire;
Full oft time he was knight of the shire.
An anlaas and a gipser al of silk
Heeng at his girdle, whit as morne milk.
A shirreve hadde he been, and a contour,
Was nowhere such a worthy vavasour.''
Parliament made a liberal grant of money for the war, but it was insufficient, and the Crown Jewels had to be pawned.
Richard Branscombe and wife Ejidia living at Abbotskerstwell. [Abbotskerswell - Overaller or Branscombe's Aller. Cf: 1289, a Richard & Ejidia Branscombe own land at Colyton]
`In Abbotskerswell, which is said to have belonged to Torr Abbey, is Aller. This barton, occupying one quarter of the parish, was in possession of Mr.Bealy's family for upward of 150 years.'
Abbotskerswell, Abbottes Cressewell, Carssewell Abbates
September: The Pope intervenes in the Hundred Years' War, and negotiates a truce.
Geoffrey Chaucer born.
11 December, The Tower: Adam de Branscombe (appeals?) on behalf of Geoffrey
19 January: Adam de Branscombe goes security (? mainpernor) for
Geoffrey Gilbert of
Black Death starts, in
William Edington in Edward's service. Nonetheless, the King turns increasingly to lay ministers, angry that church clerics claimed exemption from lay jurisdiction.
30 November: Richard de Brankescombe appointed rector of Lustleigh,
11 December: Richard de Brankescombe studying at
13 February, Langley: Commission of Oyer and Terminer to Hugh de Courteney, Earl of Devon, and others, to investigate a claim by Hugh de Audele, Earl of Gloucester, that Richard de Branscombe and son Adam were among a long list of people who had re-taken by force cattle impounded at Lydford, Devon, for straying on the earl's land. Also at Bradenach. (Bradninch)
6 June, Westminster: Appointment of Richard Branscombe and others to seize lands and goods in the King's name, regarding piracy of a ship of Brittany; carrying, amongst other cargo, salt, to England, belonging to Maurice de Conquest of St.Mathieu, by 14 men of Plymouth (named). These 14 to be delivered to the King, as prisoners.
8 July, Westminster: Commission of Oyer and Terminer to Richard de Branscombe and others, regarding list of alleged robbers, who carried away the goods of Henry Audit (or Dudyt), of Exeter.
16 October, Kennington: Appointment of Richard de Branscombe and others to seize goods and persons relating to the Maurice de Conquest case. (above)
18 November, Kennington: Appointment of Richard de Branscombe as surveyor of
weights and measures, in
Edward III's rape of the Countess of Salisbury - a spectacular scandal of the time.
16 February: Richard de Brankescombe appointed rector of Diptford,
2 July: Petition to Pope at Villeneuve,
Pope intervenes in The Hundred Years' War. Three-year truce signed. (? cf: 1340)
Black Prince made Prince of Wales.
17 November, Orsett: Richard de Brankescombe Sheriff of
24 November, Hoxne: Mandate to Richard de Branscombe, as Escheator for
Gold first minted in
The Treasurer of the King's court presided over the
The sheriffs handed over to the Exchequer the royal dues from their shires; dues from the royal demesnes, from wardships and marriages, fines from the royal courts, dues from towns for the right to hold markets, temporalities from vacant sees, and certain customs duties.
`In 1344 the three estates in Parliament were informed by Edward [III] of a breach of the truce by the King of France and asked to "show their opinion". The advice of Lords and Commons was "to end the war either by battle or honourable peace" ... Clergy and Commons voted subsidies and in 1345 Parliament authorized the King to require all landowners to serve in person or supply a substitute or a monetary equivalent. A man with £5 of income from land or rents was to supply an archer, a £10 income supplied a mounted spearman, £20 supplied two of these, income over £25 supplied a man-at-arms, meaning usually a squire or knight. Towns and shires were required to raise a given number of archers, and the system as a whole was to be administered by sheriffs and county officials.'
20 January: Licence to Hugh de Courteney (Courteneye), Earl of Devon, to
enfeoff William de Chebesey and Richard de Branscombe of the manor of
Broadwindsor, and the hundred of the same manor, held in chief, and for them to
re-grant the same to him, Margaret his wife, and his heirs. By fine of 5 marks.
4 May, Reading: Adam Branscombe, son of Richard, owed £200 by John de Cobham of Kent, knight. (cancelled on payment)
22 November, Buckingham: Richard de Branscombe transacting land in Colyton.
Arrival of Aztecs in central
Black Prince dies, at
William Edington becomes Treasurer to Edward III (to 1356).
Lydiard Millicent is in the diocese of
7 January, The Tower: Commission to Richard de Branscombe, Hugh de
Courteney, John de Chiveston, and Geoffrey Gilbert, to investigate malefactors
and disturbances of the peace in
`The medieval cog which evolved for trading [among the Northern peoples] was
single-masted, with rounded bow and stern. It was a versatile ship, capable of
sailing in deep or shallow water, which could take the ground safely if
stranded or when unloading cargo, and which was sufficiently manoeuvrable under
sail in tideways. It was round-bottomed and had the high-sided profile which
made it a profitable cargo carrier. More efficient ships [than the
Mediterranean oar-propelled galleys] allowed the Northern merchants to trade in
bulk goods. The problems facing them were similar to those of the Venetians:
how to organize the commerce, how to suppress or at least contain piracy, and
how to minimise losses by storm and stranding. To surmount these problems the
merchants and mariners of the Baltic and
July: `Accompanied by his eldest son, fifteen-year-old Edward, Prince of
Wales, [Edward III] set sail for Normandy with 4000 men-at-arms and 10, 000
archers, plus a number of Irish and Welsh foot-soldiers. (Another force, sent
earlier on the longer voyage to
Commission to Richard de Branscombe and others, to investigate the circulation of counterfeit king's writs, which Hervey Tyrel, Sheriff of Devon, and others, are thought to have forged.
8 August, Windsor: Commission of Oyer and Terminer to Richard de Branscombe and others, to investigate alleged poaching on lands owned by the Earl of Devon, Hugh de Courteney, at Norton, Dartmouth.
20 August, , Westminster: Edward III revokes a commission to Adam de Branscombe, to investigate what levies were paid to three assessors of sheaves, lambs and fleeces tax in Devon.
Adam de Brankescomb (held?) land at Tavifolys and Tamerton Folyet, in the
honour of Plympton, hundred of Rouburgh,
Ricardo de Brankescomb (owned?) land at Stoke, in the hundred of Rouburgh [Stoke Damarel], says Johannes de Kemel, who (now holds it?).
`Stoke Damerel: Stoke, separated from Stonehouse by a small creek, bears the adjunct of the Damarell family, its hereditary lords from the Conquest to Edward II. In the 19th. year of Edward III (1346), Richard Branscombe owned it. He was succeeded by the Britt family, whose properties were brought by marriage to the Wise family.' [cf: 1360, 1423, Branscombe/Britt/Wise]
William Edington the King's Treasurer (1345-1356), appointed Bishop of the
Mention of a John Ralegh de Brunescombe, in this year. (EPNI)
10 June: Richard de Branscombe appointed collector of wool for
The king placed customs duties - it was a great source of royal revenue.
To facilitate this, the wool had to pass through certain towns, called "Staple Towns". The chief wool-exporters had combined into an organisation known as "The Merchants of the Staple".
7 August, Reading: Richard de Branscombe excused from wool-collector duties,
as he is attendant on the affairs of William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton, at
that earl's request. (Bohun is engaged in war with
13 November: `Commission of oyer and terminer to Richard de Braunkescombe and others on a complaint of Master Richard de Braylegh, dean of St.Peter, Exeter, and parson of the church of Coleton (Colyton), that Peter de Ralegh, knight, Henry Batyn [cf: 1307] and others... coming armed, contrary to the statutes of the peace to the chapel of St.Theobald, Coleton [Colyton]... and by grievous threats demanding, nay extorting, toll and other unwonted customs from men coming to the chapel for the cause of pilgrimage... and from others selling victuals to the pilgrims in the cemetery, and sanctuary of the chapel... have by force prevented those and others who would have come as pilgrims from doing their oblations and other pious works, and have carried away his goods and assaulted his men and servants, whereby he has lost the profit and emolument of the said oblations and the service of his men and servants for a great time.' (Patent Rolls)
Letters Patent, so called from being issued "open", with the Sovereign's Great Seal pendant, announce royal acts of the most diverse kinds, including grants and leases of land, appointments to offices, licences and pardons, denizations [naturalisation] of aliens, and presentations to ecclesiastical benefices. From 1516, the sort of royal grant that had hitherto been made by charter took the form of letters patent. (P.R.O.,
`Edward III's eldest son was dubbed "The Black Prince" in the sixteenth century, possibly because he was thought to have worn black armour.'
Margaret Branscombe a nun at Polsloe.
`Nunneries were a refuge from the world for some, the fate of others whose families offered them as gifts to the Church, the choice of a few with a religious calling, but generally available only to those who came with ample endowment.'
January: Adam de Brankescombe attends parliament as a Knight of the Shire of Devon.
13 February: Papal letter from
20 February, Westminster: Appointment of Richard de Branscombe, Adam de Branscombe and others, to arrest persons presenting appeals in derogation of the judgement of the Court of Common Bench whereby the King recovered his presentation of the vicarage of the church of Yealmpton (Yalmpton), against John de Flisco, prebendary of Teignton in the church of St.Mary, Salisbury, and bring them before the Council.
4 April, Westminster: Commission of Oyer and Terminer to Richard de Branscombe and others, in regard to counterfeit documents, and forgers claiming to be officers of the late Sheriff of Devon.
18 May: Appointment of Richard de Branscombe and others, to bring an outlaw before the King.
`In the early summer, two ships hailing from
`The date of the initial outbreak is given as just before the 24th of June, by the best chronicle evidence. But records show that the Sheriff of Devon [Richard de Branscombe?] failed to appear at the Exchequer on the 15th of June, because of illness. None of his staff could take his place, as they had all died of the plague.'
During the ensuing year, an estimated one-third of
The resultant breakdown of the feudal system and the commutation of the serf's labour services into money rents was the first stage in a process accellerated by enclosures and engrossment (the combining of many small farms into a few large ones) in Tudor times, and ending with the Civil War in the mid-seventeenth century, whereby the English landed class turned lordship into ownership, becoming landlords instead of feudal lords. This was the most important change in the whole of English history, as it set in place a freedom to determine land use which was vital to the Industrial Revolution.
Unofficial war on Continent continues, led by "Free Companies"
Richard de Brankescomb & his son Walter mentioned in enfeoffment of lands at Wykyngesheghs, Southleigh. (EPNI)
Probable year of birth of Thomas Beauchamp of Ryme, Dorset, [brother-in-law of Richard Branscombe junior from 1353].
20 April: Richard de Brankescombe appointed to the prebendary of Farringdon,
in the see of
28 March, Saturday: Orders conferred by William Edington, Bishop of
Winchester, (1346-66) in the chapel of
Subdeacons: Walter de Brankesombe, rector of St.Mary, Weld.
(Wield/Wyle/Welde/Wile) [Whitechurch, Diocese of
6 June, Saturday: Orders conferred by the bishop in the chapel of the Hospital of St.Mary, Sandown, Ember Saturday, vigil of Trinity Sunday.
Priests: Walter de Brankescombe, rector of St.Mary, Weld. [see above]
`William Edington, Bishop of Winchester, served (Edward III) loyally both as treasurer and chancellor. He was described by one chronicler as a friend of the common people, who by hard work did much to save them from royal extortions, and achieved much for the King and the realm.'
`Edington is on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain, three and a half miles
east of Westbury. The character of the man responsible for having the parish
First Statute of Labourers. (cf: 1351, 1357)
Edward III had a particular devotion to Saint George. [cf: 1089, 303] On
St.George's Day in 1349, he founds the Order of the Garter, placing it under
his patronage, and dedicating to him the chapel of the order at
Richard de Branscombe a freehold tenant at Southleigh. (EBMI)
Main colonisation fleet sails from
Manor(s?) of Compton and Eke Brokeland [Eggbuckland], Roborough hundred, go(es) to Walter de Branscombe and his wife, Margery.
Polwhele says buckland refers to one of the two traditional Saxon ways of land tenure; oral tradition, or folkland, and written evidence, or bookland. [Eggbuckland = Edge Bookland?]
Possible date of manufacture of east window at St.John the Baptist,
The Pride of Life; a morality play fragment from about this year, preserved in a manuscript of c.1400-25
`The evidence for the system of restrictions, freedom from which constituted the privileges of the franchise, derives largely from the period before 1350, since it seems clear that even in the early fourteenth century, and increasingly thereafter, the rigour of the mechanism of enforcement was already in decline. This decline was not in fact caused by the economic changes of the middle of the century, but simply by the increasing complexity of trade in the period. This is reflected in the growing infrequency of prosecutions of individuals by the mayor and bailiffs for infringements of the freedom, which are much less common in the 1340s than they had been 50 years earlier.'
`The monks in Chaucer's England were wordly and well-to-do, living lives of
sauntering comfort in the monastery, or roaming the land dressed like laymen,
to hunt game or look after their estates. They were not numerous - probably not
more than the 5000 at which they were estimated at the time of their
Dissolution in the reign of Henry VIII. But, having themselves abondoned the
manual labour practised by their predecessors, they maintained armies of
servants to carry on the daily routine of their great establishments ... The
monks performed in person their obligations of prayers and masses for the
living and the dead, their patrons and their founders. They gave daily alms in
money and broken meats to the poor, and showed a lavish hospitality to
travellers, many of whom were wealthy and exacting guests ... The monasteries
had by this time accumulated vast endowments in land, tithes, appropriated
churches, treasures, and clerical patronage - enough to cause them to be
bitterly envied as idle drones, living at the expense of the impoverished
kingdom. The Commons declared that a third of the wealth of
A rider, a roamer by streets
A leader of lovedays [manor-court sittings]
and a land buyer
A pricker on a palfrey from manor to manor,
An heap of hounds at his arse as he a lord were.
And the poet looks forward to a day which indeed came in the fullness of time -
Then shall the abbot of Abingdon
and all his issue for ever
Have a knock of a King and incurable the wound.
Already it was to the kingly power that Church reformers, baffled by Pope and bishops, were beginning to turn their hopes. Parliament was already demanding a large disendowment of the Church, which had swallowed so much land from countless generations of benefactors and gave not an acre back. But the time had not yet quite come when the general conscience considered that lay power could dispose of the sacred endowments of the Church. The omnicompetence of the King in Parliament was not yet an established constitutional doctrine. The parallel authorities of Church and State, of Convocation and Parliament still represented the actual balance of society.'
`The sense of sin induced by the plague found surcease in the plenary
indulgence offered by the Jubilee Year of 1350 to all who in that year made the
15 March: Commission of the Peace to Richard de Branscombe.
Second Statute of Labourers. (cf: 1349, 1357)
25 November: Commission of Oyer and Terminer to Richard de Branscombe and others, regarding evildoers who came armed to Torre Moun [Tormohun], Devon, and broke by night the close, church and treasury of the abbey, and carried away chalices, vestments, books and ornaments and goods of the abbot. For 20s to be paid to the King. (John, Abbot of Torre Moun)
The accounts of the Receiver of Exeter show the gift of 13 gallons of wine,
costing 8s 8d to Richard Branscombe and Richard de Bortone `at the assizes in
Lent before their crossing to
Richard de Branscombe marries Margaret, widow of John de Beauchamp of Ryme (Dorset). (EBMI)
20 November, Westminster: Order to Richard Hody, escheator in Devon, to assign dower to Margaret, late wife of John de Beauchamp, tenant-in-chief, who has married Richard de Branscombe by the king's licence, and to Richard, of the lands that belonged to John at his death, including a third part of the manor of Woburneford, Devon.
Talaton: The manor of Estcot. Domina Lucia de Estcote, a widow, dwelled in
this place in 1249, and was succeeded by Baldwyn de Leshe, her son. The land
was afterwards possessed by the family of Beauchamp, and after the death of
Thomas Beauchamp [after
Approximate year Ibot de Brannscombe marries Richard Champernowne of
Modbury. (IGI) [poss Sheriff of
William Branscombe, Dominican Friar of Oxford Convent in 1382, is ordinated as a sub-deacon in this year.
Oxford: `one of the periodic town-gown riots ... exploded in such fury, with the use of swords, daggers and even bows and arrows, that it ended in a massacre of students and the closing of the university until the King took measures to protect its liberties.'
Black Prince burns
Edward III had certain anti-clerical instincts he resented the claims of churchmen to be exempt from lay jurisdiction. It was this that had caused him to turn to lay ministers in 1341. In 1355 he took the part of Blanche Wake, Henry of Grosmont's sister, in her feud with the Bishop of Ely. When Thoresby and Edington were remiss in seizing the bishop's temporalities, Edward wrote angrily to them:
`We are of the opinion that had the matter concerned a great peer of the land other than a bishop, you would have acted differently.'
`On the face of it, popular demands coincided with the King's prejudices to produce anti-papal legislation. The reality however was more complex.'
10 January, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Richard de Branscombe witness of a deed
signed at Ridelcomb,
14 November: Richard de Branscombe witness of a deed signed at Whiteford,
Richard de Branscombe a justice in
26 November, Westminster: Order to Sheriff of Southampton to pay Richard de Branscombe in Devon 10 pounds for the current year, and 10 pounds for the past year, for being a justice, appointed to keep the statutes of labourers, servants and craftsmen.
Edward's Statutes of Labourers arose from the shortage of labour after
This led to a spiral of wages and prices, and large areas of land went uncultivated. The first statute regulated wages, which were pegged at the pre-1349 rate. The second forbad over-award payments, and regulated prices at pre-1349 levels. Both were difficult to enforce.
12 January: The King orders John de Ferrers, James de Cobham, Walter de Brankescombe and the Sheriff of Devon [Richard de Branscombe] to furnish sixty archers to accompany the King by Sunday in mid-Lent. This is one of 27 similar commissions.
1 October: Richard Branscombe appointed Sheriff of Devon & Keeper of
According to Dalton Clifford, Sir Richard is the last of a line of three Branscombes who were High Sheriffs of Devon. He was "a man well learned in the laws of the land", and held the office on four occasions for a total of six years between 1359 and 1375. [Polwhele says 5 years, 3 occasions]
6 October, Sandwich: Licence for Hugh de Courteney, Earl of Devon, to enfeoff Richard de Branscombe and another, of the manor of Broadwindsor (Brodewyndsore), and the hundred and manor of Morton held of the King in chief. (Thomas de Courteney - heir.) [cf: Mortesthorne, 1288 & Branscombe of Mortham - 1620. Broadwindsor is in Dorset, on the B3164, near Bettiscombe]
13 October, Westminster: Walter and Margery de Branscombe have lands at Compton Giffard, Plymouth, which are to go to their daughter Emeline, and her husband John Chambernoun, on the deaths of Walter and Margery. Should John and Emeline die without male issue, the land is to go to John, son of Henry Sampson. If he dies without an heir, it is to switch to the heirs of Margery's family. [Walter, son of Richard & ? of Edge Barton?]
3 November, Westminster: A dispute between Richard and Margaret de Branscombe, and Master Roger de Boggsworthy, parson of the church of Bukyngton, with John de Galmyngton, parson of the church of Stokereveres, regarding ownership of the manor of Stoke Damarel (Devonport). It's agreed that Richard gave it as a gift to Roger. Roger and John now grant it back to Richard and Margaret for their lives. At their deaths, it will pass to Richard, son of Adam de Branscombe, and Elizabeth his wife [grandson of Richard & ? of Edge Barton]. It will then be passed down through his male heirs, forever. Should Richard die without an heir, it will go to John, son of Richard and Margaret. If he dies without an heir, it will go to his brother, Walter. In case Walter dies without an heir, it will pass to his other brother, Hugh. If Hugh dies without an heir, it will be subject to a further judgement. [Richard, John, Walter, Hugh & Adam - five sons of Richard & ? Branscombe of Edge Barton]
3 December: Richard de Branscombe and wife Margaret (Beauchamp - m.1353), make a will designating [Richard's] grandson Richard, son of Adam, as the heir to Edge Barton. Thence to their own son John [brother of Adam]. If John had no heirs, Edge Barton was to go to Walter, brother of John. If he had no heirs, Richard's third son Hugh was to get the property. [Richard, his son Adam and his son Richard, were all sheriffs of Devon & M.P.s. Margaret was Richard's second wife. Richard seems to have died in about 1376, after which Edge passed to the Wadhams. Adam married Agnes Doddescombe, but had no sons]
Richard & Margaret Branscombe's sons: John, Walter, Hugh. (EBMI) [what about Adam & Richard?]
Richard Branscombe sen., his son Adam, and his son Richard jun. were all
Elizabeth & Richard Branscombe, son of Adam [& Agnes Doddescombe?], own land at Stoke Damerel. (EBMI)
`Doddescombleigh [Doddiscombsleigh] was the inheritance and dwelling of Sir Ralph Doddescombe, knight, in the days of Henry III. This patrimony ended in the days of Edward III, in John Doddescombe, which by Cecily his wife, had issue of 5 daughters. One, Agnes, married Adam Branscombe. From Agnes, by Britt, Thomas Wise esquire is descended. Not any of their lineage at this time enjoys it, says Sir W.Pole. [Pole, cf: 1635. Also cf: 1346, 1423, Branscombe/Britt/Wise]
Treaty of Bretigny: King John of
William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton, dies.
Butters claims the Wadham family takes over [buys?] Edge Barton from the
Branscombes, in this year. He says they moved from their manor of Wadham at
`In Chaucer's England we see for the first time the modern mingling with the
medieval, and England herself beginning to emerge as a distinct nation, no
longer a mere oversea extension of Franco-Latin Europe. The poet's own works
register the greatest modern fact of all, the birth and general acceptance of
our language, the Saxon and French words happily blended at last into `English
tongue' which `all understanden', and which is therefore coming into use as the
vehicle of school teaching and of legal proceedings. There were indeed various
provincial dialects of English, besides the totally distinct Welsh and Cornish.
And some classes of society had a second language: the more learned of the
clergy had Latin, and the courtiers and well-born had French, no longer indeed
their childhood tongue but a foreign speech to be learnt, after the scole of
Richard Branescombe becomes Abbot of Newenham (to 1391). [a Cistercian house nr Axminster. The (monastery?) was founded in 1245 by William de Mohun]
10 October, Plympton: Gift of £10 to Richard de Branscombe, for
levying £587.12.10d out of the estreats of the session of Sir William de
Shareshull and his fellows, late justices of "traillebaston" of
Chief Justice Shareshull left office in 1361. The Commissions of Trailbaston; were named after the staves carried by criminals, and were the result of measures introduced by the Royal Justices in 1306, to combat a breakdown in law and order They were not popular, as a contemporary poem shows: -
`They take 40 shillings for my ransom,
and the sheriff comes for his fee,
so that he will not put me in prison.
Now, consider Lords, is this right?'
Black Prince given the inaugural title of Prince of Aquitaine.
`Hugh Courteney, Earl of Devon, together with Richard de Branscombe,
"high sheriff", Henry de la Pomeroy, etc., with the consent of the
county, and by the King's mandate, gave orders to Robert Piperel and Thomas de
Affeton, collectors of the assessments, to pay Henry Percehay and Nicholas
Whiting, knights, £16 for their charges in serving the county as knights
of the shire, in the parliament held at Westminster.' [Watkin says this was
The great gatehouse of St.Alban's Abbey is completed.
Sir Richard Turberville, second husband of Cecily Beauchamp of Hatch, dies. [her first husband was Roger Seymour]
10 December, Saturday, Feast of St.Thomas the Apostle, Crewkerne, Somerset:
Richard Branscombe is mentioned in the case of the King v Matthew Gournay,
knight, who incurred forfeiture by crossing the sea and engaging in wars
wherefore he'd been inhibited. Matthew had evidently given £1000 of gold
under security of a statute merchant, to John de Bellocampo [John de Beauchamp
of Hatch] of
12 July, London: A reference to a letter of protection issued by the Black Prince to Walter Branscombe, for his crops, beasts, hay and oats, carriage, and all his other goods, that none of them be taken by the Prince's ministers in Cornwall.
William Edington, Bishop of Winchester, dies.
16 November: Richard de Branscombe appointed Sheriff of Devon & Keeper
5 July: Commission to Richard de Branscombe, Sheriff of Devon, and others, to seize the lands and goods of John Uphull, clerk, and bring him to Marshalsea prison.
The "fines" from which the Fine Rolls take their name were payments made for writs, grants, licences, pardons etc., of various kinds, most of them under the Great Seal of the Sovereign, relating to matters in which the Crown had a financial interest. The documents enrolled include writs to enquire post mortem, writs to the Barons of the Exchequer to assign terms for the payment of debts due to the Crown and to cause fines to be taken from prisoners for their release, licences to marry, appointments of sheriffs and other royal officers who would be required to account at the Exchequer, writs to remove causes from inferior tribunals into the King's courts, etc..
Izacke says Richard Branscombe is Sheriff of Devon for two years, from this year. Polwhele agrees.
Geoffrey Chaucer (b.1343/4) `... appears frequently in the records of the household of Edward III as one of the King's gentleman attendants [from 1367 onwards].'
Establishment of Ming Dynasty,
Enfeoffment of lands at Borcombe, Southleigh, by Richard de Brankescombe, junior. (EPNI)
Mention of Rewe Branscombe. [cf: 1375] (EPNI)
Philippa, wife of King Edward III dies. `Edward entered his dotage to fall under the malign influence of his mistress, Alice Perrers and her accomplices.'
Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, dies.
28 March: Parliament makes levies against the parishes. Walter de Branscombe is a collector. With four others, he collects £2,149 16s. [levy for the defence of the realm, in particular the building and maintenance of the navy?]
The Lords in Parliament resolve that none but laymen "who could answer for their misdeeds in the King's courts" could henceforth hold the offices of Chancellor, Treasurer, Barons of the Exchequer, and Clerks of the Privy Council.
Dartmouth: `Bayard's Cove was the port's principal quay when Chaucer, fresh
from a diplomatic trip to Italy, came down from London, in 1373, to settle a
matter of a Genoese ship held under arrest at Dartmouth. We can well imagine
the delight of that customs official in the teeming wharfside life of the
medieval town then at one of the high peaks of its prosperity. Was it, we may
wonder, as a boy in London or here in Dartmouth, with its flourishing wine
traffic with France; and Spain, that the vintner's son first noticed a cunning
trick of the wine trade of his day which he later recorded in The Pardoner's
Tale, that of slyly mixing fine Bordeaux with the cheap Spanish white
wines? It was at any rate in
It has been suggested that the original of this portrait may have been John
Hawley, already one of
`Of nyce concience
took he no keep.
If that he faught, and hadde the hyer hand,
By water he sente hem hoom to everyland.
Hardy he was, and wys to undertake
With many a tempest hadde his berd been shake
He knew wel alle the havenes, as they were,
From Gootland to the
And every cryke in Britayne and in Spayne... '
`... as a rule the English had no respect for church property. In 1373 an eye-witness said he saw over one hundred mass-chalices, robbed from churches, being used as drinking bowls at a supper given by Sir John Harleston and his men.'
Butters claims the first mention of Edge Barton, Branscombe, in official records, but this is clearly wrong.
`Between 1374 and 1386 [Geoffrey Chaucer] served as Controller of Customs in
Return of the Black Death to
John Wyclif serves as the King's envoy in efforts to reach a settlement with the Pope.
Mention of Rewe Branscombe [cf: 1368] (EPNI)
Polwhele says Sir Richard Branscombe was appointed Sheriff of Devon again this year, jointly with Will. Ashthorpe.
`Seventy-four knights of the shire and sixty town burgesses made up the Commons of the Good Parliament. Acting with some support from the Lords, they demanded redress of 146 grievances before they would consent to a new subsidy. Their primary demand was the dismissal of venal minsters together with the King's mistress, who was generally credited with being both venal and a witch. In addition, they wanted annual Parliaments, election rather than appointment of members, and a long list of restraints upon arbitrary practices and bad government. Two of their strongest discontents were directed not against the government, but against abuses of a foreign Church hierarchy and the demands of a labouring class grown disobedient and disorderly. These issues, too, were great with significance: one was to lead to the ultimate break with Rome and the other, much sooner, to the Peasants' Revolt ... The tumultuous assembly was held at Westminster, with the Commons meeting in the chapter house of the abbey and the Lords in the White Chamber of the palace nearby ... Taking the offensive, the Commons, for the first time in its history elected a Speaker in the person of a knight of Herefordshire, Sir Peter de la Mer...'
September: Pope Gregory XI ends papal residence at
Richard de Branescombe, late husband of Margaret Beauchamp, mentioned in a quitclaim. (EPNI) [m.1353]
Black Prince dies at age 40, `his body swollen and distorted by disease'.
21 June: Edward III dies (reigned since 1327). Richard II succeeds (to 1399). Richard of Bordeaux, the Black Prince's surviving son, was aged only 10. He took no effective role in government until after 1389. He ended just over 100 years of rule by the Edwards.
`... he was a shrinking, fearful creature, gifted with no great intellectual ability nor even with much power of application. Up to a point, he could learn, for he learned to be cruel and ruthless, but he never learned when to stop. He never had any political common sense. To crown it all, he had to deal with a situation which, from the beginning, was too much for him. It would have taxed the full powers of a much abler man. In quiet times, Richard might have managed, but not in his own age. The dominant theme of the history of Richard's reign is the renewed outbreak of political disorder in high places; the same malady which had destroyed Edward II and was now to compass the ruin of his great-grandson. All else was subordinate, even the French war and the great crisis of 1381.' [Peasants' Revolt]
Sir John Wadham, one of Richard II's judges (1388-97), raised the family fortunes, greatly adding to their estates and social position.
Dalton Clifford says Sir John Wadham had purchased (?) Edge Barton from the Branscombe family before 1377.
Vision of Piers Plowman first appears.
Robin Hood's legend takes on great popularity with the people.
There is a Poll Tax this year which could prove useful in determining who's alive and where they're living. Especially look at Plympton, Abbotskerswell & Branscombe.
9 August, Anagni: Cardinals declare the election of Pope Urban VI as null and void, beginning the schism which was to last forty years.
20 September, Anagni: Cardinals elect Robert of Geneva, the "Butcher of
Cesena", as Pope Clement VII. [moves to
Richard Braunsecombe [Branscombe] mentioned in Muster Roll. (EBMI)
Poll Tax levied.
John Wycliffe begins a translation of the whole of the Bible into English,
with the help of several collaborators, to encourage ordinary folk to read it
for themselves. English versions of the Scriptures were not a new thing, however;
vernacular versions of many parts of the Bible had existed since King Alfred's
day. [cf:1382 - William Branscombe of
Sir John Wadham, son of Sir John who purchased Edge Barton, becomes
Justice of Common Pleas (to 1397). `He was still resident in Branscombe in
1411/12, although in the meantime he had acquired a house in
Tamurlane (Timur) begins conquest in
The Peasants' Revolt: Wat Tyler demands the Church should be disendowed. He leads an armed revolt to oppose the King's levying of a 1 shilling poll tax on every person over 14. The revolt quickly spread after the execution of three unfortunate clerks, sent to investigate Poll Tax fraud. Wat Tyler, and other leaders of the revolt failed, and lost their heads.
The poll tax returns list 29,000 inferior clergy in
`The story of the rising of 1381 reminds us how ill policed was the
Oxford English Dictionary claims the first written use of the word shoe-maker, when Johannes Stotbury is described as a child-shoemaker. According to the Dictionary, the word shoe itself first appears in the Lindesfarne Chronicles of 950. `By medieval times the trade was well established in the British Isles and northern Europe, the first receoded use [as a surname] in Britain being Hugh Shomaker in 1365, hence the surnames Shoemaker, Schoemaker, Schumacher and similar throughout Europe.'
`In 1381, a council of twelve doctors of the
Writs and orders under the Great Seal addressed by the Sovereign to individuals were folded or closed up, and are hence called "letters close". Until Tudor times, the Close Rolls contain royal instructions for the performance of multifarious acts: the observance of treaties, the levying of subsidies, the repair of buildings, the payment of salaries, the provision of Household requirements, the delivery of their landed inheritances to heirs, and the assignment of dower to widows, and so forth. private deeds enrolled for safe custody on the back of the Close Rolls are especially numerous from 1382, and from 1532-3 such deeds form the entire contents of the roll.
William Branscombe, a Dominican friar of
Richard II is aged 17
Walter Branscombe of
(cf: Humphrey Passour/Rassour?, 1384)
22 January, Westminster: Walter Branscombe called before the King to give evidence about three Spanish ships driven into Plymouth by a storm which, on surrendering, were attacked, the crews imprisoned, and their ships and goods taken by men of the town.
John Wyclif dies. `When Jan Hus was burned at the stake for heresy by the Council of Constance in 1415, Wyclif's bones were ordered dug up and burned at the same time. Even riddled by the schism, the Church was still in control. The cracking of the old and famous structures is slow and internal, while the façade holds.'
Sir Philip Courtney, the King's cousin, made Lord Deputy of
`[Geoffrey Chaucer] was Justice of the Peace for
4 February, Westminster: Richard de Branscombe, Sheriff of Devon, mentioned as a key figure in a "fixing of the bounds" by perambulation, between Taunton, Somerset, and Cheristaunton (Churchstanton), Devon.
The "Wonderful" parliament. King Richard II, his council and his household are placed under close supervision.
(Impact re: fall of the House of Branscombe and rise of Wadhams?)
Christening of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of
`From 1389 to 1391 [Geoffrey Chaucer] acted as Clerk of the King's Works.'
`Scotsman Sir David Lindesay, Earl of Crawfurd, Scotland, having fallen out with Lord Welles, ambassador at the Scottish Court, a duel was decided on, and Lindesay chose London Bridge as the place of combat. He crossed the length of the Kingdom, furnished with a safe passage from King Richard II, and the duel solemnly came off at the place fixed, in the presence of an immense concourse. The first shock was so violent that the lances were shivered, but the Scotsman remained immovable in his saddle. The people, fearing for the success of the Englishman, called out that the foreigner was fixed to his horse, against all rules. Upon understanding this Lindesay, by way of reply, leapt lightly to the ground, with one bound returned to the saddle and, charging his adversary anew, overthrew and grievously wounded him.'
Year of birth of William Wadham, son of Sir John, the judge. Possibly born
at Edge Barton, Branscombe, as Merifield in
`One of [the de Bronescombes of Edge] was Abbot of Newenham (near Axminster) in 1391' [Richard Branescombe, 1361-1391]
10 April, Westminster: Reference in Close Rolls (Spanish) to the manor of Northpole, previously in the gift of Richard de Branscombe and William de Chebesey, given to Margaret [de Bohun?], wife of Hugh de Courteneye, (deceased) Earl of Devon. Margaret now also being deceased, the manor goes to William, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Thomas Branscombe represents Plympton Erle constituancy at the Parliament.
Probably related to Adam Branscombe, Knight of the Shire for
`In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Plympton had evidently been a
busy and flourishing market centre. Commerce increased following the decision,
in 1328, that it should join Tavistock, Ashburton and Chagford as an official
stannary town, where all tin mined in
William Fortescue married Elizabeth Branscombe, widow, daughter of Sir John
Beauchamp, and sister & co-heir of Thomas Beauchamp of Ryme,
William Branscombe, Friar of Oxford Convent in 1382, is now a Prior of Canterbury Convent.
Mention in an Inquisition of (bishop) Walter de Brankescombe granting North(tawton?) church rents and one third of Hegheyeampton manor to John & Margaret de Cary.
William Branscombe, Prior of Canterbury Convent in 1395, serves as
Diffinitor for the
Earliest surviving books printed with moveable type, in
15 September (approx): William Branscombe, Prior of Canterbury Convent in
1395, is a Vicar of the London Visitation. [he died at some date after this.
His obit was observed in
OED claims first written use of the word `rabbit'. According to Shippey
rabbits were imported to
Richard II deposed (reigned since 1377). Bolingbroke, Henry IV of
`The five names, Henry, John, Richard, Robert and William, together accounted for 38% of recorded men's names in the twelfth century; for 57% in the thirteenth; and for 64% in the fourteenth.'
© 1996-2006 Ronald Branscombe
Email: genealogy (at) branscombe (dot) net