The Magna Carta Project

Another Magna Carta Find from Pennsylvania: The Arms of Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk (d.1221)

November 2015, by Professor Nicholas Vincent

Figure 1: Charter of Roger Bigod

Figure 1: Charter of Roger Bigod

In April this year, I was able to report a remarkable find from Lancaster Pennsylvania: a sealed charter from the time of Magna Carta, supplying our earliest evidence for the arms of Henry de Bohun, earl of Hereford (d.1220).1 In accordance with the London Bus Law of historical probability ('Things always come along two or more at a time'), I can now report that a second such Pennsylvanian treasure has been unearthed.2 This supplies our earliest evidence for the seal and heraldry of another Magna Carta baron: Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk (d.1221). In Philadelphia, in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library of the University of Pennsylvania, there survives a charter that in the nineteenth century formed part of the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps (fig.1). From the residue of the Phillipps library, this was offered at auction, first in 1974, and again in 1982.3 In 1995, it was sold (by the London dealer, Sam Fogg) to John Stanitz, via whom it came (in 1997) to Lawrence J. Schoenberg, a major benefactor of the University of Pennsylvania.4 Schoenberg was a discriminating collector particularly of early scientific manuscripts and of items touching upon the history of technology.5 His interest in our charter may have been sparked by its mention of a (very early) windmill.6 The windmill in question, clearly a portable object, was offered together with a small plot of land and a palfrey worth two marks, as purchase price for a grant by Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk. In return, Earl Roger conferred upon Walter, Simon, Eustace and Peter, the four sons of Master William of Rising, the land that their father had previously held from the earl in Earl Soham (Suffolk), next to the earl's apple orchard and adjoining the barrier with which the vill of Soham was closed. Earl Roger further confirmed to Master William's sons land in Dunwich (Suffolk) that they had received from other benefactors, including the Premonstratensian canons of Leiston Abbey. It is interesting in this context to note that Master William, although himself a celibate clerk, fits into a wider pattern in which clerical marriage, even as late as the 1230s and 40s, remained a frequent though shadowy phenomenon.7 It is also interesting to find so early an example of a prohibition against land being passed on by its holders, the sons of Master William, to any religious institution: a clear sign of fear on behalf of the barons, and ultimately of the King, that their ability to raise rents or military service from such land would be impaired if it were granted away to monks or the religious.

Figure 1: Framlingham Castle

Figure 2: Framlingham Castle

Earl Roger's charter is undated, and in theory can be assigned only to an approximate date range, after his recognition as earl in 1189, and before his death in 1221.8 In practice, however, since various of the parties, including several of the witnesses and the father of the beneficiaries, Master William of Rising, were active into the 1220s, we are able to assign it rather more confidently to the reign of King John, perhaps indeed to within a few years of 1215 and Roger's participation in the Magna Carta rebellion. Master William of Rising is probably the same man who occurs elsewhere in the household of Geoffrey de Burgh, bishop of Ely (1225-8), subsequently as precentor of St Paul's Cathedral (perhaps in succession to the rebel preacher, Master Gervase of Howbridge), and thereafter as archdeacon of London (c.1229-c.1234).9 Of the witnesses to our charter, at least four were active in the rebellion of 1215. Roger 'de Braham' (i.e. Brantham, Suffolk), Geoffrey and Henry de Gruville (alias Grimille), and William de Verdun, were amongst the many knights of earl Roger Bigod forced to make terms with the King when John obtained the surrender of Framlingham Castle, the chief Bigod fortress, in March 1216 (fig.2).10 Despite pledging their future good conduct, and in the case of Roger of Brantham, offering a hostage, at least three of these four subsequently rejoined the rebellion. Roger of Brantham, indeed, seems to have left the King's fealty as early as May 1216.11 Having succeeded to his estates c.1202, following the death of his father, Eustace of Brantham, he appears for a time as steward to earl Roger.12 Another of the witnesses, Norman of Peasenhall, seems to have been succeded by his son before October 1217.13

Figure 3 (equestrian side) and Figure 4 (Bigod's arms)

Figure 3 (above): Roger Bigod's seal, equestrian side. Figure 4 (below) Roger Bigod's privy seal

The chief glory of our charter resides in its seal. Broken at the top and bottom, this supplies our very earliest evidence of the Bigod coat of arms. On one side the seal displays a standard equestrian image (fig.3), albeit one suggesting fine workmanship and therefore manufacture by the best goldsmiths either of London or East Anglia. On the other (in this instance appearing at the front of the document as prepared for sealing) appears what seems to have been earl Roger's secret or privy seal: a lion rampant, flanked by a facing pair of winged serpents or dragons (fig.4). The seal impression is broken, with one small fragment reattached beneath the main piece of wax. This small fragment may nonetheless suggest that the equestrian side of the seal originally displayed a further animal, perhaps another dragon, beneath the horse on which the earl is shown riding.

Now this is most interesting. To begin with, it allows us to attribute a lion rampant to Roger Bigod as his principal heraldic symbol. This appears some years before the cross that occurs subsequently on Bigod seals, either on its own or in association with the device of the lion.14 As drawn to my attention by Marc Morris, a similar lion appears on the seal of Roger's son, earl Hugh Bigod (d.1225).15 Even more intriguingly, the flanking dragons on earl Roger's seal take us further into the realm of symbolism. As I have argued elsewhere, by the 1180s, both the lion and the dragon had been appropriated as identifiably 'Plantagenet' royal symbols, the lion by inheritance from Henry II's grandfather, King Henry I, the winged serpent or dragon perhaps by descent from the she-devil Mélusine, claimed by Henry II and his sons as their mythical ancestress.16 Courtier or baronial seals displaying Plantagenet lions can often be read as signs of flattery towards the ruling dynasty. Nonetheless, there are exceptions. The seal of Reginald of Cornhill, for example, the King's chief supplier of luxuries and in due course the man who surrendered Rochester Castle to the rebel barons, shows a magnificent lion but surrounded by what appear to be at least a dozen distinctly Capetian or French royal fleur-de-lys (fig.5).17 Gerald of Wales, writing c.1217, famously reports that, like pards and lions, John and his allies, were inclined to flee the scent of the flower of France.18 The counterseal of Saher de Quincy, earl of Winchester, and a member of the baronial twenty-five, shows the earl fighting with a lion, perhaps as a symbol not only of general bravery but specifically of resistance to Plantagenet tyranny (fig.6).19 Might barons shown on their seals contending with dragons or serpents also be indicating their resistance to the Plantagenet kings? Certainly, this might be inferred from the seals of Robert fitz Walter, chief baronial trouble-maker, who both before and after 1215 broadcast a magnificent image of himself decked in heraldic symbolism, riding into battle with a dragon cowering beneath the hooves of his horse (fig.7).20 If this were so, then the dragons on Roger Bigod's seal might suggest a similar determination to signal resistance by Roger (the true lion) to misrule (symbolized by now subservient dragons).

Figures 5, 6 and 7: seals of Reginald de Cornhill, Saher de Quincy and Robert fitz Walter

Figured 5 (left): seal of Reginald de Cornhill. Figure 6 (centre): counterseal of Saher de Quincy. Figure 7 (right): seal impression made from Robert fitz Walter's surviving seal matrix

Figure 8: Pine's engraving of Magna Carta, showing the arms of Henry de Bohun (above) and Roger Bigod (below)

Figure 8: Pine's engraving, with arms of Henry de Bohun (above) and Roger Bigod (below)

There is satisfaction in thus identifying the Bigod arms, and rather more so in suggesting that these arms may themselves carry political as well as purely heraldic significance. By happy coincidence, Roger Bigod's arms (shown as a cross) appear immediately beneath those of Henry de Bohun (shown as a bend cotised between six lions rampant) as fifth and sixth shields in the left hand margin of John's Pine engraving of Magna Carta, published in 1733 (fig.8).21 Thanks to our new evidence from Pennsylvania, both of Pine's suppositions here are now proved incorrect. What is most remarkable is that the proofs in both instances should emerge from the far side of the Atlantic, from a part of North America not generally famed for its medieval past, and from fragile pieces of 800 year-old beeswax, weighing only a few grams, whose survival must itself be accounted little short of miraculous. To adapt the words of Pliny the Elder, 'Ex archivis semper aliquid novi'.





Notification by Roger Bigod earl of Norfolk of his grant of land at Earl Soham and Dunwich (Suffolk) to the four sons of Master William of Rising. [1189 X 1221, ?c.1210]

Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, Kislak Center for Special Collections ms.LJS 211. No medieval endorsement. Approx. 165 X 89 + 20mm. Sealed sur double queue, parchment tag through a single slit. Fragmentary seal impression in light brown/natural wax, on the front a lion rampant on a shield, beneath it, left and right, two dragons, legend mostly defaced .....LL.......I .IG... (?SIGILLVM ROGERI BIGOD+)., reverse equestrian image, central portion only, but with some indications that there may originally have been an animal (?a dragon) beneath the horse.

Formerly (part of) Phillipps ms. 27838. Offered for sale at Sotheby's 26 June 1974 lot 3057, and again 22 June 1982 lot 29, whence Paul Grinke. Subsequently Sam Fogg catalogue 16 (1995) no.44, whence John Stanitz ms.42. Purchased in 1997 by Lawrence Schoenberg with the rest of the collection of John Stanitz. Cf. Transformation of Knowledge: Early Manuscripts from the Collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg, ed. C. Black (London, 2006), 147 no.6, with facsimile.


Rog(erus) Bigot com(es) Norf' omnibus hominibus et amicis suis Francis et Anglis presentibus et futuris salutem. Sciatis me concessisse, dedisse et presenti carta mea confirmasse Waltero, Simoni, Eustatio et Petro filiis magistri Will(elm)i de Risinges pro homagio et seruitio ipsorum totum mesuagium cum purprisio quod idem magister Will(elmu)s tenuit de me in villa mea de Saham quod iacet iuxta aquam que currit de marra de Saham versus Brantestun', cum pastura que iacet ante portam eiusdem mesuagii que se exstendit a domo Will(elm)i Leuailiant et a barra de Saham usque ad capud pomerii mei quod est proximum predicto mesuagio in eadem villa, et preterea totam terram quam teneo de canonicis de Lestun' in Donewico quam Adam de Fordle eis dedit, et totam terram que fuit Sefare in villa de Donewico, illis et cuicumque ipsi de eorum communi consilio terras istas conferre voluerint preterquam religioni, habend(um) et tenend(um) de me et heredibus meis in feodo et hereditate, libere et quiete, reddendo inde annuatim octo solid(os) et quatuor denar(ios), scil(icet) ad festum sancti Michael(is) iiii.or solid(os) et iiii.or denar(ios) et ad festum sancti Martini proximo sequens iiii.or solid(os) pro omni seruitio, consuetudine et exactione. Et pro hac concessione, donatione et carte confirmatione ipsi dederunt m(ich)i unum palefrid(um) de pretio duar(um) marcar(um) et unum molendinum ad ventum cum una roda terre quam tenuerunt de Theobaldo Alfgar pro duobus denar(iis) per annum. Test(ibus) Rogero de Braham, Henr(ico) et Gaufr(ido) de Gruuill', Normanno de Pesenhaull', Will(elm)o de Verdun', Rog(ero) de Ribof, Will(elm)o de Ram', Rob(erto) de Senges, Rad(ulfo) de Wandringefeld', Will(elm)o de Shadenefeld', Simone de Gunetun' et Nichol(ao) clerico et multis aliis.


Roger Bigod earl of Norfolk sends greetings to all his men and friends both French and English, present and to come. Know that I have granted, given and by my present charter confirmed to Walter, Simon, Eustace and Peter, the sons of Master William of Rising, in return for their homage and service, the whole of that messuage with purpresture (enclosed land) which the said Master William held from me in my vill of Earl Soham, lying near the waterway that runs from the pool at Soham towards Brandeston, together with the pasture lying before the gate of this messuage, extending from the house of William 'the Valiant' and from the town-bar of Soham as far as the top of my apple orchard nearest to the aforesaid messuage in the same vill, also granting the whole land that I hold from the canons of Leiston in Dunwich, that Adam of Fordley granted them, and the entire land that belonged to Sefara in the vill of Dunwich, to be held by them and by whoever they may wish, by common agreement, to grant these lands, forbidding only grants to the religious, to have and to hold of me and my heirs in feet and heredity, free and quit, rendering thence eight shillings and four pence each year, namely four shillings and four pence at Michaelmas (29 September) and afterwards four shillings at Martinmas (1 November), for all service, custom and demand. In return for this grant, gift and confirmation of charter, they have given me a palfrey worth two marks, and a windmill together with a rod (five and a half yards) of land which they held from Theobald Alfgar for a rent of two pence a year. Witnessed: Roger of Brantham, Henry and Geoffrey de Gruville, Norman of Peasenhall, William de Verdun, Roger de Ribeuf, William de Ram', Robert de Senges, Ralph of Waldringfield, William of Shadingfield, Simon of Gunton and Nicholas the clerk and many others.




N. Vincent, 'Feature of the Month: April 2015 - A Magna Carta Relic in Pennsylvania: Henry de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, and the Heraldry of Runnymede', The Magna CartaProject.


For their assistance here, I am indebted to David McKnight and John Pollack in Philadelphia, and elsewhere to David Crouch, Marc Morris and Jean-François Nieus. My visit to the University of Pennsylvania on 11 November 2015 was the direct outcome of my visit to Pennsylvania earlier in April. On that previous occasion it became plain to me that there were other collections in the vicinity that required attention.


Catalogue of English Manuscripts, Autograph Letters and Charters, Bibliotheca Phillippica n.s. part 12 (London, 26 June 1974), 145 lot 3057, and thereafter 22 June 1982 lot 29.


Cf. Transformation of Knowledge: Early Manuscripts from the Collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg, ed. Crofton Black (London, 2006), 147 no.6, with facsimile. In a Sotheby's sale of 1981 (Catalogue of English Charters and Documents ... from the Celebrated Collection Formed by Sir Thomas Phillipp, Bt. (1792-1872) (London, 13 April 1981), lot 157), since untraced, was a charter of Roger Bigod from the same section of the Philliipps collection (Phillipps ms.27838), acknowledging a rent owed to Walter de Basingham (?Bessingham, Norfolk) for twelve acres in Alby (Norfolk). Lot 136 of the same sale (Phillipps ms.28136), reproduced in facsimile in the published catalogue, was a charter of Roger's father, Hugh Bigod earl of Norfolk (d.1176): 'H(ugo) com(es) Norf' omnibus suis hominibus Franc(is) et Angl(is) salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse Ric(ardo) fil(io) Bondi omnia illa tenementa que pater suus vel ipse de patre meo vel postea de fratre meo Will(elm)o vel postea de me tenuit pro seruicio suo, scilicet terram et homines de Belhus cum tenuris suis et Alwine Lympe de Basingeham et Wluiat Bunting de Berningeham cum tenuris suis pro his omnibus reddendo annuatim de firma xii. solid(os) argenti et de auxilio si contigerit me ab hominibus meis accipere t(un)c reddat quantum xii. solidatis affert in soca et Hagene et Rad(ulfum) de Aldeburc cum tenuris suis pro xviii. sol(idatis) et Scule et Hagene Spine de Aldeburc et xiiii. acc(ras) et ii. brusces in Kaletorp pro ii. sol(idis) et Basingeham sicut illam tenuit de Rad(ulfo) de Curzun et sic(ut) mecum finiuit per seruicium dimid(ii) militis. Quare volo et firmiter precipio quod predictus Ric(ardus) et heredes sui teneant et possideant h(ec) omnia predicta tenementa hereditarie de me et heredibus meis bene et in pace, libere et quiete per seruicium prenominatum in bosco et plano, in pratis et pasturis, in turbariis cum omnibus pertinentiis et libertatibus eisdem tenementis pertinentibus. Ut autem h(ec) donatio rata permaneat sigilli mei impositione eam confirmo. T(estibus) Will(elm)o de Frax', Will(elm)o de Nouilla, Will(elmo) d(e) Vals, Barthol(omeo) de Crec, Guido de Verdun, Rog(ero) de Turlauila, Rog(ero) de Valeins, Henr(ico) de Nouilla, Rad(ulfo) fil(io) Norm(anni), Gaufr(ido) de Grun, Iohanne de Ouedale'.


Transformation of Knowledge, ed. Black, 7-10.


For windmills in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, see Edward J. Kealey, Harvesting the Air: Windmill Pioneers in Twelfth-Century England (Woodbridge, 1987); Richard Holt, The Mills of Medieval England (Oxford, 1988).


See here B.R. Kemp, 'Hereditary Benefices in the Medieval English Church: A Herefordshire example', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, xliii (1970), 1-15; Julia Barrow, 'Hereford Bishops and Married Clergy, c.1130-1240', Historical Research, lx (1987), 1-8; Nicholas Vincent, ‘New Light on Master Alexander of Swerford (d.1246): The Career and Connections of an Oxfordshire Civil Servant’, Oxoniensia, lxi (1996), 297-309.


I am indebted to Marc Morris for a preliminary list of Roger Bigod's other charters, of which roughly two dozen survive, for the most part as cartulary or chancery copies. Originals or drawings of such are to be found as Sir Christopher Hatton's Book of Seals, ed. L.C. Loyd and D.M. Stenton (Oxford, 1950), pp.231-3 no.335, 337 (the first before promotion as earl, the second apparently with counterseal as in our example from Pennsylvania); BL ms. Cotton Julius C vii fo.200v (with s.xvii illustration, equestrian figure with conical helmet, shield with device of what appears to be a decorated eight pointed star, with fleurs de lys at the end of each ray, this perhaps the result of the artist's wishful thinking); BL Harley Charter 46.D.42; TNA C 146/1169; E 40/2176 (before promotion as earl); E 40/3464 (with fragments of seal); E 40/14361; London, St Bartholomew's Hospital Archives 528/1330 (whence Cartulary of St Bartholomew's Hospital, ed. N.J.M. Kerling (London, 1973), 131 no.1406) (with seal fragment, from the lower part of the equestrian side of a seal that it seems is not that of Roger Bigod); Ipswich, Suffolk Record Office HD 1538/202/1 nos.9, 12 (whence Dodnash Priory Charters, ed. C. Harper-Bill, Suffolk Charters xvi (Woodbridge, 1998), 73-5 nos.54, 56).


English Episcopal Acta 42: Ely, 1198-1256, ed. Nicholas Karn (Oxford, 2013), nos.139, 143, 145-6, 148, 156, 162-5; Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Greenway, i (London), 11, 23-4; English Episcopal Acta 26: London 1189-1228, ed. D.P. Johnson (Oxford 2003), nos.160, 229; CRR, xiv, no.2452; Sibton Abbey Cartularies and Charters, ed. P. Brown, 4 vols, Suffolk Charters vii-x (Woodbridge, 1985-8), iii, 127 no.671, 141-2 no.703, and for his land in Darsham (Suffolk), Blythburgh Priory Cartulary, ed. C. Harper-Bill, 2 vols, Suffolk Charters ii-iii (Woodbridge 1980-1), i, 134 no.236. Of his sons, Master Simon occurs as rural dean of Hoxne in 1221 and as an occasional witness to Suffolk deeds; Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, ed. V. Brown, 2 vols, Suffolk Charters xii-xiii (Woodbridge 1992-4), i, 65-7 no.62; Dodnash Charters, ed. Harper-Bill, 115 no.120; CRR, xi, no.2259. Peter of Rising, who with his brother Walter held land at Westleton, and perhaps by right of his wife in Bruisyard and Peasenhall, died after 1237, leaving a widow, Joan, and at least four sons: Sibton Cartularies, ed. Brown, i, 89; Leiston Abbey Cartulary and Butley Priory Charters, d. R. Mortimer, Suffolk Charters i (Woodbridge, 1979), 153-4 nos.149-50; CRR, xiii, no.2464; Patent Rolls 1225-32, 295.


RLC, i, 254b-5, 269b, and cf. RLP, 171 (letters of protection for Roger of Brantham, at the same time that the huntsmen of Roger Bigod were licenced to take the earl's hounds and harness from Framlingham to London).


For Roger's hostage, RLC, i, 254b. For confiscation against him by May 1216, at Sproughton (Suffolk), RLC, i, 267. For subsequent restorations, in October 1217, at the end of the war, to Henry de Gruville ('Grimeles') and William de Verdun, see RLC, i, 333b-4.


Leiston Cartulary and Butley Charters, ed. Mortimer, 65-6 no.13n.; Dodnash Priory Charters, ed. Harper-Bill, 84 no.71n.


RLC, i, 337b, and cf. Hatton's Book of Seals, 212 no.306n.


For subsequent seals of the Bigod earls, see W. de Gray Birch, Catalogue of Seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (London, 1887-1900), ii, 250 no.5708 (the seal of earl Roger (d.1270), grandson of our earl Roger, from BL Additional Charter 17735: a charter of 1233 X 1234, equestrian with shield of arms: a cross, in base, a lion passant, with counterseal a cross SECRETVM ROGERI COMITIS NORFOLCHIE+, whence Hatton's Book of Seals, 209-10 no.303, and the seal caste reproduced in facsimile (from Phillipps ms. 34744) in English Charters (Sotheby's Sale Catalogue, London, 13 April 1981), 89 lot 164, and a fine drawing in BL ms. Lansdowne 229 fo.51v.  The counterseal here, with cross, is perhaps the same as that attached to BL ms. Additional Charter 19823, whence Birch, Catalogue, ii, 509 no.7469. As Earl Marshal (c.1255), Roger employed a distinct counterseal, equestrian with shield of arms displaying a cross, legend: SECR':R:COMITIS:NORF':MAR':ANGLIE: BL ms. Additional Charter 7207, whence Birch, Catalogue, ii, 250-1 no.5709, and probably 5710.  The lion rampant returned to use by the time of earl Roger Bigod (d.1307): Ibid., ii, 509 no.7471; R.E. Ellis, Catalogue of Seals in the Public Record Office: Personal Seals, Volume II (London, 1981), 11 no.P1037 and plate 4, per pale, a lion rampant, legend SIGILLVM ROGERI BIGOD +, with further examples now BL Additional Charters 5736, 46995; Cambridge University Library ms. Buxton 7/30, as drawn to my attention by Marc Morris.  The lion of Roger (d.1307) is without the dragons of the device of the earlier Roger (d.1221).  For the reuse of recutting of seals more generally, see J.-F. Nieus, 'L'Hérédité des matrices de sceaux princiers au XIIe siècle, entre conscience lignagère et discours politique', Pourquoi les sceaux? La sigillographie, nouvel enjeu de l'histoire de l'art, ed. M. Gil and J.-L. Chassel (Lille 2012), 217-39.  Matthew Paris reports the arms of earl Roger's son, earl Hugh Bigod (d.1225), as a cross, and the arms of this Hugh's second son, Hugh Bigod the justiciar (d.1266) are subsequently recorded as gules, a lion rampant in 'bend' or: Rolls of Arms Henry III, Aspilogia ii, ed. A. Wagner (London, 1967), 20 no.39, 132 no.89.


Recorded in a drawing by Robert Glover, now BL ms.229 fo.26r: a rather pathetic lion, probably rampant rather than passant, facing to the left, legend: SECRETVM HVGONIS BIGOTI, without supporters, and with the following note by Glover describing the equestrian side of the seal apparently with shield also displaying a lion: 'Hec est forma posterioris partis sigilli, in qua leonis salientis ymago quam eleganter expressa erat. Anterior pars maioris latitudinis et longitudinis erat, prae se ferens ymaginem hominis equo insedentis dextra gladium et sinistra manu clypeum gestientis. In quo quidem clypeo anterior pars leonis visui emergebat.'  The charter to which this was attached ran as follows: 'Hugo Bigot comes Norfolch' omnibus hominibus et amicis suis Francis et Anglis presentibus et futuris salutem.  Sciatis me concessisse, dedisse et presenti carta mea confirmasse Hamoni Lenueise pro homagio et seruicio suo totum manerium meum de Stoctone cum omnibus ad idem manerium pertinentibus, scilicet in bosco et plano, in viis et semitis, in pratis et pascuis, in mariscis et turbariis cum warennis et piscariis, in homagiis et seruitiis hominum, in redditibus et in omnibus rebus ad manerium illud pertinetibus exceptis aduocationibus ecclesiarum et excepto molendino meo de Dunebrige illi et heredibus suis habendum et tenend(um) de me et heredibus meis in feodo et hereditate libere et quiete, honorifice et hereditarie per seruicium vicesime partis feodi unius militis.  Quare volo et firmiter precipio quod idem Hamo et heredes sui post eum habeant et teneant totum predictum manerium de me et heredibus meis cum omnibus libertatibus et liberis consuetudinibus ad illud pertinentibus.  Testibus: domino Oliuero de Vallibus, Rogero le Bigot, Radulpho le Bigot, Henrico de Grimilles, Rogero filio Oseberti, Ricardo de Seinges, Willelmo de Hemgham tunc senescallo, Willelmo Lenueise, Hugone Rufo, Ranulpho de Braham, Iohanne Lenueise, Willelmo de Burnauill', Hugone de Vallibus, Reginaldo de Pirho, Reiner(o) de Burg', Roberto filio Oseberti, Geruasio de Bradefeld, Simone le Bigot, Willelmo de Verdun, Hugone de Bocsted et aliis'.


Nicholas Vincent, ‘The Seals of King Henry II and His Court’, Seals in Context in the Middle Ages, ed. P.R. Schofield (Oxford, 2015), 7-33, esp. pp.14-16.


London, Metropolitan Archives CLA/007/EM/02/A/034 (Bridge House Deeds A34), a grant of London property by Reginald to Ralph fitz Asswy, witnessed by Henry fitz Ailwin (d.1212) as mayor, legend: SIG..... REGINALDI DE CORN...LLIA+.


Gerald, 'De Principis Instructione ', in Giraldi Cambrensis Opera, ed. J. S. Brewer and others, 8 vols (London, 1861-1891), viii, 320-1, as noticed by A. Ailes, 'Heraldry in Medieval England: Symbols of Politics and Propaganda', Heraldry, Pageantry and Social Display in Medieval England, ed. P. Coss and M. Keen (Woodbridge, 2002), 85.


For example, Oxford, Magdalen College Muniments Brackley Charter A.2, as counterseal to Saher's second seal, adopted as earl of Winchester, the equestrian side decorated with heraldic arms of four mascles, the counterseal with legend: DOMINE COMENDO SPIRITVM MEVM. As earl of Winchester, Saher also used another counterseal, a bar with label of seven points, legend SECRETVM COMITIS WINTONIE, apparently attached to the charter copied into BL ms. Cotton Julius C vii fo.190r. Subsequently, and with different legend, adopted as the counterseal of Saher's son, Roger de Quincy, earl of Winchester, whose obverse shows an equestrian figure riding over a wyvern or dragon: Ellis, Catalogue of Seals in the Public Record Office: Personal Seals, Volume II, 87 no.P1916, reproduced in photographic facsimile on the front and back covers of Ellis' book.


Robert's seal is generally known from a silver matrix found at Stamford in the reign of Charles II, now in the British Museum: A.B. Tonnochy, Catalogue of British Seal Dies in the British Museum (London 1952), 69 no.332, whence Birch, Catalogue of Seals, ii, 292 no.6016.  However, as I shall demonstrate in a forthcoming paper, this is distinct from the seal, of similar format, and with cowering dragon (but without the Quincy arms shown on the British Museum seal matrix), used for a number of Robert fitz Walter's charters that still survive either as originals or in facsimile.


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