Margaret of France to Edward II

A Royal Petition of 1310 referring to Hadleigh

Cover note for file SC/8/126/6270
The National Archives
Petition as downloaded
The National Archives
A stage of cleaning up SC/8/126/6270
The National Archives
Processed image of SC/8/126/6270
The National Archives
Cover note from SC/8/126/6270 original download
The National Archives
Section of petition magnified to show Ledes (now Leeds), and Hadleigh Castles named
The National Archives
Margaret of France, Queen Consort of England
Public domain

The National Archives is a treasure house of documents, one of which, SC/8/126/6270 can be downloaded to your computer, free of charge.   

However, it is rather difficult to read, so the first step is to clean up the downloaded picture with a standard image processor.

Now we can see that it is written in the court language of the time, a form of French. Accordingly, Andrew Summers kindly arranged for Dr Daron Burrows to translate it;  with the following results.

{ Margaret of France to her son-in-law Edward II.
To you, dearest lord and son, King of England, Margaret, Queen of England, makes it known that while your most noble father, our husband, – may God have mercy on him!  –  assigned to us cities, market towns, towns, manors, hundreds,  and other places, which we hold in dowry from your inheritance, together with all kinds of profits issuing from the aforementioned places, just as wholly, freely, and unreservedly as he himself held them, without  keeping back anything for himself – which assignation, lord, you have confirmed throughout your lands – the treasurer and the barons of your Exchequer do not permit us to levy or to obtain the tallage*  from our tenants residing in the same cities, market towns, towns, manors, hundreds, and other places thus assigned to us, in contravention of the tenor of the aforementioned assignation and confirmation, and in contravention of the will of our husband, your aforementioned father – for which  we request redress.

And because, lord, certain castles which were assigned to us, such as Odiham, Leeds, and Hadleigh, as well as the profits from certain parks such as Rayleigh and Princess Risborough have been taken from us, we request of you that you should cause them to be returned to us. And if it should please you to have certain of the aforementioned castles, we grant them willingly, as long as you provide us with somewhere else of the same value as at the time when they were thus taken from us. }

[ * Tax imposed by a superior on feudal dependants ]

Translated by Dr Daron Burrows

School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester. M13 9PL. United Kingdom

With many thanks for this translation. For further information on the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, please use this link:

Historical note at the time of writing above

Margaret of France was the second wife and widow of Edward I of England, (the so called Hammer of the Scots). Edward I and Margaret married in September 1299. The King was 60 years old and Margaret 18. Edward I died in 1307. Margaret retired to Marlborough Castle after Edward’s death and never remarried. She died aged 36 and was buried at Greyfriars Church, Greenwich. Edward I was succeeded by his son from his first marriage Edward II. There is no evidence to confirm that Edward I or Margaret ever visited Hadleigh Castle.

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