Page:A History of Horncastle from the Earliest Period to the Present Time.djvu/30

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CHAPTER II.

RECORDS OF THE MANOR, &c., FROM THE NORMAN CONQUEST.


A RECENT historian[1] has said "In the 13th century the northern counties of England were so unsettled that there was little security north of the Humber, and in 1250 the powerful Bishop of Carlisle found it necessary to buy the manor of Horncastle (his own residence in the north, Rose Castle, having been destroyed by marauders), and the Pope granted him the Parish Church (of Horncastle) for his use;"[2] but we can carry our history back to a considerably earlier period than this. As a former Roman station, doubtless, and of even earlier origin than that, Horncastle had become a place of some importance, and so, even before the Norman conquest the manor was royal property, since Domesday Book states that King Edward the Confessor bestowed it upon his Queen, Editha. Edward died January 5, 1066, and his possessions naturally passed to his successor, the Conqueror. Its subsequent history for a few years we do not know, but in the reign of Stephen the manor was held by Adelias, or Adelidis, (Alice or Adelaide) de Cundi, daughter of William de Cheney[3](a name still known in the county), who was Lord of Glentham and Caenby, two parishes near Brigg. She had a castle in this town, the site of which is not now known, but it was probably a restoration in whole, or in part, of the old fortress. She took part against the King in his quarrel with the Empress Maud, and her estates were confiscated by Stephen, they were, however, subsequently restored to her on condition that she should demolish her castle.

On her death the manor reverted to the crown and was granted by Henry II. to a Fleming noble, Gerbald de Escald, who held it for one knight's


  1. Dr. Mansell Creighton, late Bishop,of London. Essays, edited by Louisa Creighton, 1904, pp. 278-9.
  2. The palace of the Bishop was on the site of the present Manor House.
  3. Dugdale, vol ii, p. 336. Monast. Angl., vol. ii, p. 646.