Friday, June 29, 2018

Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Indenture June 22, 1303


Summary: An inventory from the second Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid helped audits May 27 and June 20 and an indenture June 22, 1303, after the third.


screenshot of beginning of John de Drokensford's June 22, 1303, indenture, as presented in Sir Henry Cole's Documents Illustrative of English History (1844): Public Domain via Internet Archive
John de Drokensford (1260-May 9, 1329) audited the Chapter House's royal Crypt informally May 27, 1303, after the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid April 30-May 3, 1303, and formally June 20, 1303.
Drokensford bore responsibility for the two audits as Keeper of the King's Wardrobe and as royal official in charge of the Royal Treasury in Westminster Abbey. He consulted the most immediately previous inventory that the prior Cofferer conducted after the unsuccessful Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid by Westminster Abbey monks in 1300. He drew up his own inventory document that described treasures still stored in the Crypt May 27 and June 20 and treasures from searches and seizures.
King Edward I (June 17, 1239-July 7, 1307) estimated, from Drokensford indenture June 22, 1303, Crypt losses through the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid at £100,000.

The 20-plus page inventory three years earlier by Ralph de Manton (died Feb. 26, 1303), as Cofferer of the King's Wardrobe, furnished Drokensford with pre-raid audits.
Drokensford gathered details only from the inventory record since its author lost hands, head and life to Sir Simon Fraser (died Sep. 7, 1306) in Scotland. Walter de Bedwyn, as successor Cofferer of the King's Wardrobe and keeper of Royal Treasury keys, had to head over to Westminster Abbey's Chapter House Crypt.
An indenture is a "document drawn up in duplicate or triplicate then divided in a jagged fashion, validation is proved if the pieces fit exactly together." Drokensford's indenture June 22, 1303, juxtaposed witness with six others to Bedwyn's breaking the sealed pouch, extracting treasury keys and unlocking the door to interior disarray.

Drokensford's inventory kept as witnesses Justices Bakewell and Southcote; Prior William de Huntingdon; Mayor le Blund; Thomas Queorle, Cofferer of the Queen's Wardrobe; and Constable Sandwich.
Bedwyn let witnesses "in a nearby place, examine the keys of the said treasury which had been brought in a pouch of leathers, its seal unbroken." Doherty mentions the Abbey sacristy and the Chapter House Ostia ("Gates") to the Crypt's Royal Treasury for managing inspection of the sealed pouch and tethered keys. The indenture noted that the eight official witnesses "found the treasury had been broken into, its coffers and chess shattered and many goods furtively taken away."
Drokensford observed that "many of the jewels, which were taken by the thieves were later replaced" and many "jewels stolen were afterwards found in different places."

Sir Henry Cole's (July 15, 1808-April 18, 1882) Documents Illustrative of English History in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries in 1844, preserves the indentures' Crypt-inventoried treasures. The three-part indentures, published on pages 277-84 of H. Cole's Records in 1844, presented the list of non-stolen treasures put in one chest for Tower storage.
The three-part indenture queued up Crypt treasures for Tower storage, descriptive inventories and jewels in "the care of the Sacristan" Adam de Warfield June 20, 1303. Warfield retained in his chamber "A silver gift-edged flagon with fleur de lys"; "A silver gilt-edged cup, the same used for the reservation of Christ's Body." Drokensford showed searches and seizures June 20 and June 23-30 and nothing subsequent, such as "precious coins" in money markets through Kings Lynn, Norfolk, fall 1303.
The third Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid, after failures in 1296 and 1300, turned out a charm for transposing royal treasures permanently to the Tower, 1303-1649.

tomb of John de Drokensford, Cathedral Church of St. Andrew (popular name: Wells Cathedral), Wells, Somerset, Southwest England: Rodw, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credits:
screenshot of beginning of John de Drokensford's June 22, 1303, indenture, as presented in Sir Henry Cole's Documents Illustrative of English History in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (1844), page 277: Public Domain via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/documentsillustr00greauoft#page/277/mode/1up
tomb of John de Drokensford, Cathedral Church of St. Andrew (popular name: Wells Cathedral), Wells, Somerset, Southwest England; March 19, 2008: Rodw, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Johndrokensfield.JPG

For further information:
Cole, Henry, ed. 1844. "De Jocalibus a Thesauro Garderobae Surreptis -- Anno Regni Regis Edwardi XXXI." Documents Illustrative of English History in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, Selected From the Records of the Department of the Queen's Remembrancer of the Exchequer: 277-284. London, England: George E. Eyre and Andrew Spottiswoode.
Available via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/documentsillustr00greauoft#page/277/mode/1up
Doherty, Paul. 2005. The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303. New York NY: Carroll & Graf Publisher.
Keay, Anna. 2011. The Crown Jewels. London UK: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
Marriner, Derdriu. 20 April 2018. "Richard Puddlicott and the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/04/richard-puddlicott-and-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 4 May 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid in April and May 1303 in England." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/05/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 11 May 2018. "Mysteries of the April-May 1303 Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/05/mysteries-of-april-may-1303-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 1 June 2018. "King Edward I's Letter on the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/king-edward-is-letter-on-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 8 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Royal Proclamation June 16, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid_8.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 15 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Palmer Confession June 17, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 22 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Arrests June 18-19, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid_22.html


No comments:

Post a Comment