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out a brief notice of the eminent person who during a part of that period held in trust for the King the entire county of Wilts. This was James of Potterne the Justiciary, whose exercise of that still wider office extended from 1197 the 9th Richard I. down to the end of John's reign, as proved by the fines levied before him. In the early part of John's reign he was under-sheriff of York to Geoffrey Fitz-Peter and was the principal instrument in despoiling the Archbishop's lands and goods when that prelate refused to pay the cornage imposed by the King, for which act the Archbishop excommunicated him by name. Three years afterwards the county of Wilts was put under his charge; but we are not told in what form this species of vice-regency was exercised or how far it interfered with the office of Sheriff. Notwithstanding the confidence which this large commission implied, his fidelity seems to have been hardly proof against the example of the numerous revolting Barons, at least it was not unsuspect : for, the manor of Wallop having been granted to him for the support of his dignity, the Sheriff of Hants received an order 17th John to deliver it up to Roger Elys, if it should appear to him that James of Potterne was not in the King's interest “ si Jacobus de Potterna non sit ad servicium nostrum” Rot. Claus. 1. 8. Probably he cleared himself, as so many others did, when John's death and Prince Louis's departure threw the reins of Government into the Earl of Pembroke's hands; for the property was subsequently in his possession; and in 1218 2nd Henry III. we find him entrusted with the custody of the lands of Richard de Neville in Wilts. Foss's Judges.
PHILIP DE ALBINI EARL OF SUSSEX AND ARUNDEL 1218.
This nobleman was also one of King John's adherents throughout the recent war. The grant of Devizes was in his case made for life, a distinction very seldom conferred. His death must therefore be regarded as contemporary with the advent of his successor
WILLIAM DE BREWERE 1221. The name signifies “ William at the heath.” He had been Sheriff of Wilts in 1209-10. See Canon Jackson's List in the Wilts Magazine, No. viii. p. 194. He bore the further title of Lord of Torbay and held lands at Norrington in Wilts. He died in 1232 leaving four co-heiresses, one of whom, Alicia, married Sir Reginald de Bohun.
6th Henry III. William Brewer receives an order from Court directing him in future to permit the men of Richard Pauper Bishop of Sarum to remain free from custom or toll in the town of Devizes. Close Rolls.
7th Henry III. The King to the Sheriff of Wilts. Take notice that we will that a fair be held at Devizes once a year viz. on the vigil, the day, and the morrow of St. John the Baptist for ever. And publish this throughout your bailiwick. Dated at Calne and witnessed by Hubert de Burgh. Ibid. This is one of the seven fairs formerly held in Devizes. It is hardly necessary to add that none of them is to be confounded with the large fair held on the Green, which being within the parish of Bishop Cannings has always been the Bishop's perquisite, and remains so to this day. But while touching on the subject of fairs, it may not be out of place to offer an hypothetical explanation of a term seemingly allied.
THE CRAMMER Pond on Devizes Green. What is the meaning of the word ? We learn from Lord Cockburn's Memoirs that the “Krames" was an Anglo-Saxon word applied to an arcade of booths which long encumbered the High Street of the Old Town of Edinburgh. “These Krames," says he, smiling at the recollections of his youth, “were the Paradise of children.” From Krames came “Kramerie” a term constantly used in Scottish deeds to denote articles bought at the Krames. A similar display of Kramerie at the East end of Devizes Green in connexion with the great fair held at that spot would easily give rise to the expression “the Kramerie Pond.” Kramer is still German for trader.
7th Henry III. It is commanded to the Constable of Marlborough Castle that he allow William Brewer to receive as the gift of the King ten good bream out of the fishponds [vivarium) at Marlborough, to be placed in his own fishponds at Stoke. Dated at Keinton, 20 March. [An old proverb declared that "he that had a bream in his preserves could always welcome a friend,” a proof that bream was a greater favourite then than now. Aubrey tells us that the breeding of fish to furnish the food of Lent was one of the purposes to which the moats round antient houses were not unfrequently applied. Natural History of Wilts, p. 101.]
8th Henry III. “The King to the salesmen of the underwood in the forests of Melksham and Chippenham. We command you to allow our beloved William Brewer Constable of Devizes Castle to apply the proceeds of the underwood of the said forests to the repairing of the drawbridge and palisadoes of the castle and of the houses therein." This mandate is signed by the King in person, then resident at the castle.
A memorial of such of these palisades as faced the town seems to survive in the name of a street leading towards the castle, called “The Brittox,” evidently a corruption of the Danish “Bretesca" still in use in Denmark and simply meaning wooden : though it is quite possible that the Bretesque, which in this case appears to have flanked the entrance to the castle, partook of a more permanent form than wooden piles alone, and included the idea of an earthwork whose perpendicular face was sustained by timber and stone, just such a wall, in short, as Julius Cæsar attributes to the Gauls, in the 7th Book of his Commentaries, 23rd chapter. It is observable, that so late as the time of the civil wars in Charles I.'s reign, the financial accounts kept by the Wilts Committee (acting for the Parliament) contain references to “Britische money” which by means of the explanation above given may be conjectured to refer to a levy made on the Hundreds to furnisb stockades for the houses where that Committee sat from
time to time, viz. at Marlborough, Chalfield, Longford, and Falstone. A primitive Bretesque or Bretache was generally something salient or projecting. It has been described in some glossaries as a vantage point from which proclamations might be addressed to the citizens; also as a wooden defence raised over a drawbridge. In a psssage descriptive of a siege, in Gulielmus Armoricus de gestis Philippi, 1202, it evidently refers to temporary wooden fortifications, built not to defend but to take a place. But whatever be the form or purpose of a bretache, the generic idea is wood. This is evident when it occurs in the mandates issued by Henry III. to his architects. At Southampton for instance two bretaches are to be rebuilt because they had become rotten. Liberate Roll 40th Henry III. Its design in the following case seems also plain enough (occurring in a precept issued from Marlborough to Winchester 25 Henry III.) “Complete without delay the works of the new gateway and the new bridge, and the turrets of the same gateway, and joist these turrets and cover them with lead : and cause the bretache over the new bridge to be garreted and covered with lead: and remove the old bridge and cause the ditch there to be prepared and flooded.' Liberate Roll. Finally: in the simple sense of balconies, it is just possible that the Brittox Street may have acquired its name from displaying in early times an unusual number of these architectural accessories. In an anonymous letter from Devizes published at Oxford in 1643, to be hereafter noticed, written apparently by Sir Edward Hyde, the author evidently takes the word Brittox in a plural sense, for he spells it “Briteaux.”
On this and other kindred subjects the reader is referred to T. Hudson Turner's work on Domestic Architecture, containing a selection from Henry III.'s copious directions to Sheriffs and others, to carry out his Majesty's household arrangements in his various places of residence, principally Clarendon near Salisbury; embracing the various crafts of building, furnishing, decorating, image-carving, and frescopainting. Under a monarch ever craving gratification in so many branches of the fine arts, the office of Sheriff could have been no sinecure. “The Sheriff of Wiltshire is ordered as he loveth his life and chattels to take diligent care that the Queen’s new chamber at Clarendon be finished before Whitsuntide, whencesoever monies for the completion thereof may be procured,” &c., &c. Liberate Roll, 30 Henry III. Here is another, dated from Potterne in 1255, possibly while the King was on a visit to the Bishop of Salisbury at Potterne Park.
“The Sheriff of Wilts is ordered to paint the doors and windows of the King's chamber at Clarendon, and the tablet over the altar of the King's chapel at the same place : to make a glass window in the King's wardrobe there, and to repair the other glass windows of the houses at that place, where necessary: to make a privy-chamber in the house of Robert de Stopham there: to buy a rope with a bucket for the well there, and a carrate of lead to repair the gutters: to repair the houses over the rock, the King's almonry and the aisles of the King's hall, where necessary: and to make a chimney in the Queen's chamber in the castle of Devizes. Dated at Potterne, 12 July, 40 Henry III.” Liberate Roll.
JOHN MARESCHALL EARL OF WARWICK 1224. Has already appeared as lord of Devizes, 1st Henry III. He acquired his Earldom in right of his wife Margery, sister and co-heir of William de Newburgh sixth Earl of Warwick, and left one only daughter and heiress, of whom more hereafter.
Ralph LORD WILLINGTON OF DEVONSHIRE 1231. Had previously held Bristol Castle with the forest of Keynsham; and on the death of the Earl of Warwick, he obtained for his active support in the King's service the fur. ther promotion which made him lord of Devizes and of Exeter.