ID: MARG_327

TitleLetter Queen Elizabeth to East Mersea Manor 1559
AbstractEast Mersea Book: ELIZABETH (letter) Essex Record Office D/DRc M12

Transcribed by: Trevor Hearn 14th October 2020
There is a Translation to Modern English further down the page

1At the Fyrst Cou[er]t of o[ur] Sov[er]aign Ladye Quene
2Elizabeth: e[t]c / in the Fyrst year of hir Raigne, It is
3Eliz[abethae] prim[0]InRoulled /
4M[emoran]d[um] in the year above sayd & at this Cou[er]te Came John
5Abell gen[t] and bringeth the Letters of o[ur] Sov[er]aign Lady
6the quen upon hir previe Seall or Signett, To hir
7Stiward & Surveyo[ur] of hir mann[er] of Eastm[er]sey & to eyther
8of them derected The tenou[er] wherof Followeth in thes words
9Trustey & welbeloved we greet you well. Lettinge you to understand
10we ar contented & well pleased That o[ur] well beloved John Abell
11shall have <..> <...> <.> of us to him & to his heyers for A resonable
12Fyne, Acordinge to the costom of the mann[er] of Eastm[er]sey, in the Countye
13of essex / One pece of Custom[er]ie Land by estemacion xv acres called
14Stone Lande, and Fower acres of Salt m[er]she in Eastm[er]sey aforsayd
15beinge \Late/ p[ar]cell of the possecions of Thomas Abell Clarke, attaynted of
16Fynn v.lihighe treason: yeldinge & payinge therfore to us & o[ur] Successors
17yearlye Eighte shilling[es] & eight pence beinge the accostomed Rente
18And doinge all other services as A Costom[er]ie tenant of that one
19mann[er] oughte to doe, Requiringe & chardginge you therfor, To mak[e]
20A good & sufficient Copye of the sayd costom[er]ie Lande unto the sayd John
21Abell & \to/ his heyers, in sutch mann[er] & sorte as you accostomablye use to
22make to the costom[er]ie tenants of the same o[ur] Lordshipp, to the Intent
23the sayd John Abell may Inioyee the same Accordinge to o[ur] graunte as apper[eth?]
24And this o[ur] Letter shalbe yo[ur] sufficient warrant & discharge in that behal[f]
25yeven under o[ur] Signett at o[ur] pallayc of westm[inster?] the xv day of may in the
26Fyrst year of o[ur] Raign / By vertue wherof Tho: wallenger dep[uty?] <..> unto
27Anthony Broune one of the Justices of o[ur] Sov[er]ain Lady the quene of hir Ben[ch]
28principall Steward of hir hignes mann[er]s aforsayd, doth graunte out of the
29hands of o[ur] sayd sov[er]aign Lady the quene all & singuler the p[re]misses \w[it]h the Appurt[ena]nces/ above expre[ssed]
30& specifyed. To the aforsayd John Abell his heyers & assignes forev[er], of o[ur] sov[er]a[ign]
31Lady the quene & hir successors, by the rod [ Note 1 ] at the wyll of o[ur] sayd sov[er]aigne
32Ladye the quene acordinge to the Costom of the mann[er] afforsayd by the Rente of
33Eighte shillings & eight pence by year & services therof due & of right Acost[omed?]
34for ever And doth gyve o[ur] sayd sov[er]aign Ladye the quen[e] for hir Fynne as apper[eth?]
35and dothe his Fealtye etc. /
36And at the same Cou[er]t & in open[n] Cou[er]te acordinge to the costom of the mann[er], the aforsayd John
37Fynn:Abell Surrendred all & singuler [ Note 2 ] the p[re]mises into the hand[es] of o[ur] sov[er]aign Lady the Quene
38xxxsby the hands of the Steward: unto the use of myche[al] mydelton his heyers and
39Assignes for ever / etc / ut patett [ Note 3 ]

Note 1 The property was officially handed over to the new tenant 'by the rod'. This was a public ceremony in which the steward of the manor gave the tenant a rod as a symbol of the transfer. Many tenants did not appear in court in person, but were represented by an attorney.
Note 2 all and singular means "every one of" or "all"
Note 3 Ut patet means "as it appears"

Translation to Modern English by Trevor Hearn 14 October 2020

1At the first court of our sovereign lady Queen
2Elizabeth, etc., in the first year of her reign. It is
3Elizabeth I [ Note 1 ]enrolled [ Note 2 ] :
4Memorandum: in the year above written and at this court came John
5Abell, gentleman, and brought the letters of our sovereign lady
6the Queen under her privy seal or signet [ Note 3 ]. The following
7words are directed to the steward and surveyor of her manor of East Mersea,
8or to either of them as appropriate:
9Trusty and well loved, we greet you well. We let you know that
10we are contented and well pleased that our well loved John Abell
11shall have from us to him and to his heirs for a reasonable
12fine [ Note 4 ] according to the custom [ Note 5 ] of the manor of East Mersea in the county
13of Essex, one piece of customary land, by estimation 15 acres called
14Stone Land, and four acres of salt marsh in East Mersea aforesaid,
15being recently a part of the possessions of Thomas Abell, priest, attainted of
16Fine: £5high treason. This land yields and pays to us and our successors
17yearly eight shillings and eight pence, being the accustomed rent,
18and doing all other services as a customary tenant of that
19manor ought to do. We therefore require and charge you to make
20a good and sufficient copy of the said customary land for the said John
21Abell and to his heirs in a similar way to that normally provided for
22the customary tenants of our Lordship, with the intention that
23the said John Abell may enjoy the same according to our grant as it appears.
24This letter shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge in that regard.

Page 2

25Given under our seal at our Palace of Westminster the 15th day of May in the
26first year of our reign. By virtue whereof Thomas Wallenger, deputy to
27Anthony Brown, one of the Justices of the Queen's Bench,
28principle steward of her highness's manors aforesaid, grants out of the
29hands of the Queen, all the premises with the appurtenances [ Note 6 ] above mentioned
30and specified to the aforesaid John Abell, his heirs and assigns forever.
31At the behest of our sovereign lady, the Queen, and her successors, transfer is made by the rod [ Note 7 ]
32according to the custom of the manor aforesaid; and by the payment of the rent of
33eight shillings and eight pence annually together with all usual services due to the lord
34for ever; and gives to the Queen, the amount above stated,
35and does fealty Note 8 ] etc.
36And at the same court and in open court according to the custom of the manor, the aforesaid John
37Fine         Abell surrendered all premises into the hands of our sovereign lady, the Queen,
3830sthrough her steward, for the use of Michael Middleton, his heirs and
39assigns for ever, etc. As it appears.

Note 1 Elizabeth I means in the first year of the reign of Elizabeth the first, i.e. 1558
Note 2 "enrolled" means to write an agreement, deed, obligation etc. upon a roll or parchment
Note 3 A small seal used for formal or official purposes either instead of, or in addition to, a signature to give authentication or authority to a document
Note 4 A "fine" is a sum of money payable on admission to a holding (so called because it was "final" i.e. it only had to be paid once by that person); it was payable by every copyholder on his being admitted through inheritance or purchase. In nearly all manors the amount was at the discretion of the lord of the manor, or his steward. (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 5 "Custom" means the body of manorial laws detailing conditions of tenure and the services to be rendered by tenants to the lord of thre manor.
Note 6 Appurtenances are other items belonging to a property such as yards, gardens, rights etc.
Note 7 The property was officially handed over to the new tenant 'by the rod'. This was a public ceremony in which the steward of the manor gave the tenant a rod as a symbol of the transfer. Many tenants did not appear in court in person, but were represented by an attorney.
Note 8 Fealty is the obligation of fidelity on the part of a feudal tenant or vassal to his lord

Published15 May 1559
SourceMersea Museum