27th October 1290. Decline of Peripatetic Kingship.

Nowadays parliaments and the receiving of dignitaries are London-based, but in the Middle Ages these were held where the king happened to be.

Clipston was to see eight Plantagenet kings, and one Scots, William the Lion, from Henry II in 1181 to Richard II in 1393.

Today in 1290 at the King’s House in the middle of his Sherwood Forest Nottinghamshire hunting ground, Edward I summoned a parliament, which lasted until the 13th of next month.

So many people and retainers along with their horses, were present that nearby abbeys and large houses were called upon to help with accommodation and feeding. Clerks were lodged at nearby Warsop.

The site, with its many building, would have housed kitchens, stables, chapels and lodgings for the large retinues of those times.(1)


Clipston Palace 1775

King’s House, Clipston 1775. Samuel Hieronymus Grimm.

Today from the south-east.

Today from the south-east.






One item on Edward’s Agenda was that of the succession of the Scots throne along with 251 Pleas with Petitions. Petitions would include mundane matters such as later noted in the reigns of Edward II and III, when the men of Clipston and Warsop petitioned about loss of ‘husbote’-timber for building, and ‘haybote’-timber for hedging, along with compostable material and pasture.

It was also the first time, when as recorded by Thomas de Merk, the Queen’s Remembrancer, we hear of  ‘Clipston Regis’ (King’s Clipston). It was also the time when Queen Eleanor of Castille escaped from all the men’s talk and  hustle to Harby on the Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire border, where she was to die on 26th November 1290.(2)

At the time of Domesday Book (1087) a Saxon manor was held by Osbern and Ulsi when it passed to the powerful Roger de Busli one of the 107 he held.(3)

Clipston in the second year of the reign of  William II (Rufus) was still in the hands of de Busli and his wife Muriel and passed to their son c1098, but then reverted to the King.

Records 1164-65 of the time of Henry II show the first mention of King’s House when £20 from the ‘honour of Tickhill’, was spent on the property’.

However the residences of English monarchy in the later Middle Ages gradually focussed on the south-east of the country with the number of castles and palaces dwindling, with more grandiose palaces being built, to accommodate the rising number of the Royal Household.

Parliament had also settled at Westminster, London.(4)

By 1525 the King’s House, Clipston, was described: ‘ther is a great dekay & ruyne in stone tymber and plaster’. By the 18thc it was a ruin, not helped by the Portland Estate robbing the stonework for land drainage, unthinkable today in a more sentimental age.

(1) David Crook, Clipstone Park and Peel.

The great pond supplied 100 pike and 1600 roach for the visit of Edward II in December 1315.

(2) Eleanor’s funeral cortege to London was marked by ‘Eleanor Crosses’.

(3) Roger had 1 ½ caracutes of arable land and a mill and his bondsmen of twelve vill(eins) and three bordars had three caracutes, which was the amount of land that a team of oxen could work in one year.

Villeins were free tenants allowed to farm in exchange for supplying labour during harvest; bordars (cottars), later cottagers were allowed a cottage and small amount of land in exchange for year-round labour.

(4) In the time of Henry I c120 was the number per household, but by the time of Henry VI in the 15thc it had risen to c 800. J.M. Steane, 2001, Architecture of Power P.43.

Ref: nottshistory.org.uk/Pic 1775.

Ref: en.wikipedia.org/king_johns_palace/Pic.


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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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