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FROM THE TIME OF KING JOHN
CONTAINING SOME BRIEF TOPOGRAPHICAL
REV. W. BUCKLER, M. A.
QUID DIGNUM TANTO FERET HIC PROMISSOR HIATU?
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY W. H. COATES.
In the Autumn of 1858, several Packets of old Deeds, relating to the Property of the Almshouse at Ilchester, were restored by the Representative of the late Lord Huntingtower, (formerly Sir William Manners) to the custody of the newly constituted Board of Trustees of the Ilchester Almshouse
These Manuscripts follow in regular succession, from the time of King John and Henry III., through the reigns of Edw. I, Edw. II, and Edw.. III, Richard the Second, Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI, Edward IV, Hen. VII, Hen. VIII, Queen Elizabeth and James the First.
In some of them, the Regnal Date is wanting;. and these undated Deeds are, most of them, anterior to the reign of Edward the First. One may probably be assigned to the time of King John, or to a period certainly not later than the commencement of Henry the Third's reign. The earliest recorded date is the seventh year of Edward I. Feb. 3rd, 1279.
They are written for the most part, in the usual contracted Latin; and some of the oldest of the manuscripts are very fine specimens of Calligraphy. A few, of the time of the Third Edward, are in Norman French; and two or three, belonging to the latter part of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries, are in the quaint old English of the Period.
From the Reign of Henry VIII, the Deeds are few in number, of less comparative interest, and chiefly in the vernacular tongue.
These Deeds are in the keeping of the Clerk to the Board.
The Documents thus unexpectedly brought to light, by their restoration to the right owners, refer to Lands and Tenements situate in the Parishes of Stocklinch Magdalen, Stocklinch Ottersay, Montacute, Chilthorne Domer, the Manor of Sock Dennis, Ilchester, Northover, Limington, Somerton Erleigh and the Parish of Somerton; and a large proportion of the lands therein dealt with, including the Manor of Stocklinch, constitutes the Property of the Ilchester Almshouse Charity at the present time.
The most important of these Manuscripts, in relation to the Charity, are the two which bear date, respectively, on March 12, 1426, in the fourth year of Henry VI, and on Feb. 12, 1477, in the sixteenth year of Edward IV.
The former is the DEED OF FOUNDATION, executed by ROBERT VEEL; wherein he provides, that subsequently to the fulfilment of certain specified obligations, the Trusteeship of the Almshouse, and of the Charity Lands, should be vested in the Bailiffs and Burgesses of Ilchester and their Successors, for ever. The other Deed, is the Indenture made. by Swanne, a Canon of Wells, and others, to the Bailiffs and Burgesses; by which the intention and will of the Founder in this respect, were fully carried out.
These TRANSCRIPTS are arranged in Chronological oderr; the contractions of the original text are for the most part omitted, and the abbreviated syllables are given in extenso. After each Transcript, is added an abstract of its contents, in English. The Appendix contains some brief notices of Mediæval Ilchester, arranged under separate heads, and elucidated by a Plan of the Town, on the basis of Dr. Stukeley's ISCHALIS.
THE RECTORY, ILCHESTER, 1865,