The Magna Carta Project

Notification of the King's grant to Le Bec-Hellouin Abbey of the custody of heirs within the abbey’s fee



Notification of the King's grant to Le Bec-Hellouin Abbey of the custody of heirs within the abbey’s fee


Le Bec-Hellouin Abbey (Institutions)

Date of issue

20 April 1203

Place of issue

Bec (Places)


A = Rouen, Archives départementales de la Seine-Maritime, 3H16



Sealed sur double queue, originally cords through 3 holes, cords and seal impression missing, carrying away the centre of the fold. 



(from A) D. Power, ‘The End of Angevin Normandy:  The Revolt at Alençon (1203)’, Historical Research, lxxiv (2001), 459-60 no.2; (calendar from A) Calendar of documents preserved in France, illustrative of the history of Great Britain and Ireland: Vol.1. A.D. 918-1206, ed. J. Horace Round (London, 1899),131 no.391.



Endorsed: carta H(enrici) (sic) reg(is) Angl(ie) de custodia puerorum et omnium aliorum heredum de feodo nostro (s.xiii); xxxiii.a tit(ulus) reg(um)Angl(ie) (s.xiii); various post medieval endorsements. Approx. 190 X 258 + 48mm. Clear pencil ruling to lines (20mm. spacing) and margins (4mm. left and right).

Photo of charter

Iohannes Dei gratia rex Angl(ie) dominus Hybernie dux Norm(annie) Aquit(anie) com(es) Andeg(auie) archiepiscopis, ep(iscop)is abb(at)ibus, com(itibus), baron(ibus), iustic(iis), senesc(allis), vic(ecomitibus), prepo(s)itis, ministris et omnibus balli(iu)is et fidelibus suis salutem.  Sciatis nos concessisse et presenti carta nostra confirmasse Deo et ecclesie sancte Marie de Becco et abb(at)i et monachis ibidem Deo seruientibus quod h(abe)ant omnes custodias puerorum et omnium aliorum heredum de feodo suo unde custodie prouenient, tam militum quam vauassorum, cum terris et tenementis eorum et omnibus aliis ad huiusmodi custodias pertinentibus, et cum maritagiis eorum et maritagiis relictarum militum et vauassorum de feodo suo que per eos maritari debuerint, saluo nob(is) et successoribus nostris hoc quod ad nos inde pertinet, et prohibemus ne aliquis sine assensu predictorum abb(at)is et monachorum de custodiis vel maritagiis illis se intromittat vel in ea man(us) extendat.  Test(ibus) Will(el)mo de Breosa, Roberto de Harecort, Gyr(ardo) de Forniualle, Ioh(ann)e et Petro et Will(elm)o de Pratell’, Gaufr(id)o de Bosco, Petro de Stok’, Rob(erto) de Ropesl’.  Dat’ per manum Hug(onis) de Well’ apud Beccum, xx. die April(is) anno regni nostri quarto q(uand)o com(es) Robertus Sagien’ fecit nob(is) proditionem apud Alenc’.  Test(ibus) Rad(ulfo) Taxone sen(escallo) Norm(annie), W. constab(ulario) Norm(annie), R. de Tresg’ et aliis fidelibus nostris ibi tunc presentibus.


Notification that the king has granted and in this his present charter confirmed to God and the church of St Mary of Le Bec-Hellouin and the abbot and monks that they may have custody of male children and all other heirs of their fee, knights and vassals, with their lands and tenements and all other things pertaining to their custody, with their marriages and the marriages of widows of knights and vassals of their fee who ought to be married by them.

Given by the hand of Hugh of Wells at Bec, 20 April in the fourth year of King John’s reign (1203), when Robert Count of Sées betrayed the king at Alençon.

Original Charters of King John