Autonomy and Community: The Royal Manor of Havering, by Marjorie Keniston McIntosh

By Marjorie Keniston McIntosh

This heritage of the English royal manor of Havering, Essex, illustrates existence at one severe of the spectrum of private and collective freedom throughout the later center a long time, revealing the types of styles that can emerge while medieval humans have been put in a surroundings of surprising independence. As citizens of a manor held through the crown, they profited from royal administrative overlook. As tenants of the traditional royal demesne, that they had distinctive felony rights and fiscal privileges. Havering's dominant households managed the felony and administrative lifetime of their group throughout the strong manor court docket. The tenants mixed successfully to avoid outdoors interference of their affairs, regardless of the individualistic self-interest appear of their financial dealings. In 1465 the tenants got a royal constitution which tested Havering as a proper Liberty, with its personal justices of the peace. via the top of the 15th century Havering displayed many features typically linked to the Elizabethan and Jacobean classes.

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Hoyt, The royal demesne in English constitutional history, 1066-1272 (Ithaca, New York, Cornell Univ. Press, 1950), esp. chs. 4 and 5, and Wolffe, Royal demesne, chs. 1 and 2. PR 10 Richard I, p p . 126 a n d 138, a n d PR 1 J o h n , p . 103. PR 5 John, p. 135, and PR 11 John, pp. 190-1; PRO E 159/5, m. i5d, E 368/3, m. 5d, and E 368/5, m. 5d. See App. I. PRO C 60/18, m. 10. The author is grateful to Henry Summerson for this reference. See also PRO SP 14/94/101 and PR 14 Henry III, p. 142. 23 Havering, the crown and external control, 1200—1300 account for its own profits, at the same value, through 1230 and probably until 1236.

The crown could utilise Havering's park and other resources for its own supplies or as gifts to others. Units of tenant land which came into the king's hands were granted to royal servants or followers. Honorific offices connected with the crown's estate could be bestowed as acts of patronage. Because the records concerning royal use of Havering are particularly good during the middle decades of Henry Ill's reign, we may examine these years in more detail. The Angevin monarchs seem to have made relatively little direct use of the crown's palace or hunting lodge within Havering.

The best and perhaps the only way to increase profits substantially was to capitalise upon the tenants' use of the woodlands, especially assarting. At a national level, desire for immediate profit motivated the investigation into encroachments upon the royal forests ordered in 1243—4. 75 In Havering, however, the crown's actions were more complex. Forest justices and Exchequer officials between c. 1243 and 1251 did indeed try to learn about, define and enforce all royal rights, provoking active resistance by the tenants.

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