Unpublished IPMs: dower for Constance, who was the wife of Thomas lord Despenser, 1415

This document is apparently the only surviving assignment of dower for Constance, wife of Thomas Despenser, who (Thomas) was executed in 1400 after his involvement in the Epiphany rising of January that year. [1. For Constance's biography, see Rosemary Horrox, ‘Despenser, Constance, Lady Despenser (c.1375–1416)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 (http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/57622, accessed 27 Feb 2013; subscription required).] Writs for assignment of dower, directed to  the escheators of 23 counties and London, were only issued after a very lengthy interval, on 18 February 1415. Constance's dower holdings were summarized in a series of inquisitions taken in 1416-17 (CIPM xix.621-31), including one for Yorkshire which supplements the information given here (CIPM xix.631). As is usual, however, the original assignment contains more information than appears in the later inquisition.


Writ de dote assignanda. 18 February 1415. [Gaunstede]

She was restored by Henry IV in the parliament at Westminster, 1404, and permitted to sue her dower [Parliament Rolls, Henry IV: January 1404, item 47]; order to take her oath and assign dower in the presence of those concerned or their attorneys. [CCR 1413-19, 174-5].

YORKSHIRE. Assignment. [Place and date not specified.] [Hay]

In the presence of Thomas Gowar her attorney.


Kimberworth (Kymberworth): a chamber in the site of the manor, at the end of the principal chamber, with buildings annexed thereto underneath, to the west; 1/3 of the kitchen, ?granary, and stable, and another building (dom') called le Oxenhouse in the courtyard (curia)[1. It is uncertain if a third of this building or the whole building is assigned.] and another building (domum) at the end of the stable; and 1/3 courtyard to the south part with ?the wall.

The rents and services of the following tenants:

From Thomas de Reseb[y], chivaler, and John ?Hare, 18d. yearly

From Simon de Mersburgh, for a bovate of land, 12s. yearly

From John son of Robert, for a bovate of land, 6s.yearly

From John ?Breustere, for ½ bovate of land, 6s.yearly

From John Nelson, for ½ bovate of land, 5s. yearly

From Richard Burley, for a bovate of land, 10s. yearly.

From Robert de ?Kent, for a bovate of land, 10s. yearly

From Robert de ?Briksech, for a bovate of land, 10s. yearly

From William ?Soutere, for a bovate of land, 12s. 6d. yearly.

From Nicholas atte Leye, for a bovate of land, 14d. yearly

From the demesne lands, 1/3 of 2/3 of pasture called ‘le Holmes'

Item, ‘le Waweworthfeldes', rendering yearly 33s. 4d., whence ?she renders to the heir (unde r' her') yearly at the usual terms, 18d.

1/3 of 2/3 of the park, and the woods of the same in the west part

1/3 of 2/3 of the foreign woods of the lordship to the west

1/3 of 2/3 of two mills, viz. grain and fulling, and the profits of the same, she to bear her share of costs and burdens during her life

1/3 of 2/3 of the court(s) (cur') of the lordship and their profits, ?supporting the burdens of the same, and paying the fees of the officers.

1/3 of 2/3 of all boons and works (precariis & operibus) owed by the tenants


Bawtry (Bautre): the rents and services of the following tenants yearly.

From Robert ...., ?12s.

From John Bate, 6s. 6d.

From Richard Trull, 18d.

From William ..., 7d.

From Edmund ?son of William, ? 3 ½ d.

From Hugh Drapere, 3 ½ d.

From Robert ?Ikkels, ?4s.

From William Cotes, 6d.

From ?John ..., 4s.

From William ?Maton, 1 ½ d.

From John ?Goille, 2s.

From Robert Morton, ?12d

1/3 of 2/3 view of the court (vis' cur') of the manor, with profits and waifs and strays (vag' & extrahur') in the lordship, supporting the burdens thereof.

1/3 of 2/3 of the wood, to the south of the same

1/3 of 2/3 of the toll ...

1/3 of 2/3 of the ferry with its profits, supporting the burdens of the same.

C 137/29/67 mm. 1-2 (to be published as CIPM xviii.531A)