Page:A History of Horncastle from the Earliest Period to the Present Time.djvu/38

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for the health of our soul, and of the souls of our ancestors and descendants, have granted, and confirmed by this present charter, to God, and the church of the blessed Mary of Carlisle, and to the Venerable Father, Walter, Bishop of Carlisle," &c. It then goes on to specify, among other privileges, that the bishop shall have "all chattells of felons and fugitives, all amerciaments and fines from all men and tenants of the manor and soke; that the bishop and his successors shall be quit for ever to the king of all mercies, fines (&c.), that no constable of the king shall have power of entry, but that the whole shall pertain to the said bishop, except attachments touching pleas of the crown, and that all chattells, &c., either in the king's court, or any other, shall be the bishop's." Then follow cases in which chattells of Robert Mawe, a fugitive, were demanded by the bishop, and £24 exacted from the township of Horncastle in lieu thereof; also 40s. from William, son of Drogo de Horncastre, for trespass, and other fines from Ralph Ascer, bailiff, Robert de Kirkby, &c., &c. The same document states that the bishop has a gallows (furcæ) at Horncastle for hanging offenders within the soke; and, in connection with this we may observe that in the south of the town is still a point called "Hangman's Corner."

These extensive powers, however, would hardly seem (to use the words of the charter) to have been "for the good of the souls" of the bishop or his successors, since they rather had the effect of leading him to the abuse of his rights. Accordingly, in the reign of Edward III., a plea was entered at Westminster, before the King's Justices,[1] by which John, Bishop of Carlisle, was charged with resisting the authority of the king in the matter of the patronage of the benefice of Horncastle. That benefice was usually in the gift of the bishop, but the rector, Simon de Islip, had been appointed by the king Archbishop of Canterbury and, in such circumstances, the crown by custom presents to the vacancy. The bishop resisted and proceeded to appoint his own nominee, but the judgment of the court was against him.

A somewhat similar case occurred a few years later. [2] Thomas de Appleby, the Bishop of Carlisle, and John de Rouseby, clerk, were "summoned to answer to the Lord the King, that they permit him to appoint to the church of Horncastre, vacant, and belonging to the king's gift, by reason of the bishopric of Carlisle being recently vacant." It was argued that John de Kirkby, Bishop of Carlisle, had presented Simon de Islip to that benefice, afterwards created Archbishop of Canterbury, and that the temporalities (patronage, &c.) of the Bishopric of Carlisle therefore (for that turn) came to the king by the death of John de Kirkby, bishop. The said bishop, Thomas de Appleby, and John de Rouseby brought the case before the court, but they admitted the justice of the king's plea and judgment was given for the king.

We have said that although Walter Mauclerk, as Bishop of Carlisle, bought this manor from Ralph de Rhodes, he and his successors were still bound to "do suit and service" to Ralph and his heirs, and in the brief summary with which this chapter opened we named Roger le Scrope and Margaret his wife, with Robert Tibetot and Eva his wife, among those descendants of Ralph de Rhodes. We have fuller mention of them in documents which we here quote. In a Roll of the reign of Edward I.,[3] John, son

  1. Roll 104, Hilary Term, 24 Ed. III. (1350). County Placita, Lincoln, No. 46.
  2. De Banco Roll, Michaelmas, 41 Ed. III., m. 621, Aug. 3, 1368, Lincoln.
  3. Coram Rege Roll, Trinity, 13 Ed. I., m. 10, Westminster, 13 May, 1285. Given in Lincolnshire Notes & Queries, vol. v., p. 220.