The Charter of Henry I

A photograph of the Charter has been given to the Church and which can be seen there ere long.

The Charter runs as follows –

Notu sit presentib; et futuris qd ego Heinricus [Rex Ang] lorrum concedo do et scis aplis Petro et Paulo ad locu Sci Pancratu p. anima patris mei & matris & pro [sal] ute anime mee et uxoris mee Matildis ac filii mei Willelmi donatione qua Willelm de Warenna comes suthregie sci Pancratio dedit. Scilicet ecclam de Bristelmestuna & ecclam de hangeltuna & ecclam de cleituna & capell[am] de kiemela & ecclam de berca & ecclam de erdingelega & XLta solidatas tre de illa soca de gelingeham p decima denariorum de placitis suis et decima feui sui & molendinu unu apud mecing[a]s cu quattuor a[cri]s et dimidia hidam tre in bristelmestuna & rusticum unum nomine brihmeru cu tre illa qua tenebat de Radulfo filio Warenn et terra qua Willelm de griunosa villa tenebat de pdito comite in ercheham & dece solidatas tre & octo denariatus quas hugo de griunosa villa dedit sco Pancratio in catestona p decimis terre sue.
T. Randulfo cancell. + Ricardu de Capella + Everardo filii Rogg’ comitis + Johanni debaioco + Gribaldo medico + Henrico de alb. Rod’ de? Rodbto de Gomeri + Willmodepetroponto. Ricardo lupello.


Be it known to all present and future that I, Henry, King of England, concede to GOD and the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. at the place of S. Pancras, for the souls of my father and mother, and for the Salvation of my own soul and that of my Wife, Matilda,and that of my son, William, the gift which William of Warren, Earl of Surrey, gave to St. Pancras. That is to say, the church of Brighelmstone and the church of Hangleton and the church of Clayton and the chapel of Keymer and the church of Barcombe and the church of Ardingly and 40/s- of land of the soke of Gilingham for the tithe of pence of its pleas and the tithe of hay and one mill at Meching (Newhaven) and four acres and half a hide of land in Brighelmstone and one villein of the name of Brihmer with that land which Ralph, son of Warenn, held, and the land which Williain de Grigneuseville held of the aforesaid earl in Heacham (Norfolk) and ten shillings of land and eight pence that Hugh de Grigneuseville gave to S. Pancras, in Caston (Norf. ?) for the tithe of his land.
Witnesses: Randolph, chancellor; Richard of the chapel ; Everard, son of Earl Roger;
John de Bayeux; Grimbaldo, the doctor; Henry de Albini ; Rd? Robert de Gomery :
William de Pierpoint; Richard lupello.

This charter has been chosen because it is one of the very earliest original documents mentioning Ardingly. It is the confirmation by Henry I of the gifts of William, 2nd Earl Warenne, and others, to the Priory of St. Pancras, at Lewes. William also gives 40/s – worth of land at Gillingham (Norfolk) to redeem the tithe on the profits of his court there, a soke meaning an estate where the lord had the right to hear cases in court and to take fees for judging them. All the persons are Normans except the labourer Brihmer, Who, it should be noticed, goes With the land. The date of the Charter is between 1107-18, Within 50 years of the Conquest. It is beautifully written and though damaged in one or two places is quite legible. It is at the Record Office and its reference number is Ancient Deeds Box A 271 f. 41. 3. It is well for us to see the definite proofs of our inheritance from the past, to thank God for those who have placed His House in our midst and to maintain that Witness for ourselves and our successors.

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