Charter of Isabella de Fortibus with Metes and Bounds

In: The Cistercian Houses of Devon: Introductory - 1. Buckland. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 7 (1875), pp. 356-359.


J. Brooking Rowe

Prepared by Michael Steer

Isabel de Forz (also Fortibus), or Isabel de Redvers (July 1237 – 10 November 1293) was the eldest daughter of Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon (1217–1245). On the death of her brother Baldwin de Redvers, 7th Earl of Devon in 1262, without children, she inherited suo jure (in her own right) the earldom and also the feudal barony of Plympton and the Lordship of the Isle of Wight. After the early death of her husband and her brother, before she was thirty years old, she inherited their estates and became one of the richest women in England, living mainly in Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, which she held from the king as tenant-in-chief. Metes and bounds are the boundary lines of land, with their terminal points and angles. It is a way of describing land by listing the compass directions and distances of the boundaries. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries.   These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

To all the faithful in Christ to whom this present writing shall come, Isabella de Fortibus, Countess of Albemarle and Devon and Lady of the Isle, health in the Lord; Know ye that ire have granted and confirmed and by this present writing quit claim for ourselves and our heirs, to God and the monastery of the Blessed Mary and the Blessed Benedict of Buckland, and to the Abbot and Convent, and to their successors of the Cistercian order serving God in the same monastery, and to all those who shall hereafter serve him (there), all gifts and grants which the noble woman, our dearest mother Lady Amicia, formerly Countess of Devon and Lady of the Isle, obtained and gave to the same, namely, the manors of Boclond, Bykelie, and Walkampton, according to their metes and divisions, that is to say, from the Lobbapilla, on the western part of Bocland towards the north and east, through the middle of the water of Tavy, and from Walkhampton to the boundaries of Dartmoor, on the northern part of Mistor, and thence towards the south by the boundaries of the Verderers (regardorum) of Dartmoor, that is to say, by Mistorhead (Mistor panna), and by Hysfochres, and by Siwards Cross and Gyllesburgh and Plymcrundla to the Plym, and thence by the Plym towards the west to Yaddabrook, and so by the bounds which surround Bydemore and Smalacumba, that is to say, by the old ditch to the angle of the ditch of Yllalonde, and thence by Hurtwallen to Smalacumbacrosse and Smalacumbalak, and by the water course of Meavy to Olyak, and by the ditch to the road which leads from Plympton to Schitestorr, and so by the stone bounds to Biricombaford and by Crewecumba, and Denebrok, and [along] the course of the river Meavy to Schollaford, and so by the old boundaries to Tanedonecross, and thence by the bounds to Stoford and Lake and Churcheford, and by the divisions between Elleford and Crosseton to Elfordlak and to to the course of the river Meavy, and so to the place where the Meavy falls into the Plym, and along the Plym towards the divisions of Hescombe, and to the cross roads beyond Purpris, and thence by passing along the way which leads from Cadaworth bridge to Plympton through the land of the Schagh towards the east as far as Shitaburgh, and thence by old bound-stones to Haneketorr, and thence towards the west and north through the land of Farnhill to Maynstonktown and Maynstoncross and Horingbrook and to Writewillak, and thence by a certain footpath to Pudehel, including Southpudehel, and so along the bounds towards the east to Horsfoid, and thence along the antient metes to Writewille and Horyngbrok, and so to the Plym and to Wolewillebroke and to Wolewille Cross, and thence by the road which leads from Sutton to Tavistock at Copriscrosse, and thence towards the north along the ancient ditch to Byeacumbayoneda, and so along the ancient bounds to Lobbapilla.

And the lands and villeins of Tor at Shitestorr, lying near to the manor of Bykelie, with the appurtenances and with their villanages and chattels and belongings, and the hundred of Eoborough, and with all profits thence arising with all suits of freemen and bondmen, and with everything which belongs or may belong to the said hundred.

And the manor of Coluinpton according to its bounds, that is to say from Colump by the land of St. Nicholas of Exeter to Smalabrok, and by the outer bounds of the land of la Brok to the road which leads to Padokbrok, and thence by Lutteskeskell and Ponteford, and by the boundaries from Hillesdon to Burn, and by Linor and Sweton, and Morston and Burn to Culump, and so by la Ny welond to Eotherford Bridge, and a certain piece of land on the eastern part of that water near Kyngesmill, and thence by Stonweya, Grundla, Waterleta, Habtrewa, Westerhayes, and Lattemere, to Glifbrigg, with the lands of Halsholte, and the meadows and woods of Swenham and their appurtenances. And the land of Lygh with its appurtenances in Sampford Spiny. And the advowsons of the churches of Bocland Walkamptoa and Bykelie with the Chapel of Scitestorr. And all things which belong to the aforesaid manors and lands, and to the aforesaid hundred whether in suits of courts, rights, seignories, military service, homage, scutage, services of freemen, bondmen, with their services, chattels and suits, wards, marriage righto, reliefs, aids, rents, heriots, and escheats of all kinds, with meadows, pastures, pasturages, ways, paths, woods, arable land, mills with their dams and tolls, dove cotes, waters, fisheries, fish ponds, alder beds, moors, wastes, heaths, turbaries, strays, waifs, together with all liberties and free customs, and all other things, and appurtenances named and not named, which belong to the said manor and land, and to the said hundred or which from them to us, or to our heirs may accrue without any reservation or demand; to have and to hold the aforesaid manors, lands, hundred and advowsons of churches, and the aforesaid chapel with all their liberties, possessions, and appurtenances, by whatever name known, of our lord the king and his heirs, to the aforesaid abbot and convent, and to their successors of the aforesaid order, freely, quietly, entirely, absolutely, well, and in peace, without any exaction or demand, actions, or hindrance from us or of our heirs, in free and pure alms for ever. And we the said Isabella will for ever acquit and defend to the said abbot and convent, and their successors, the said manors and lands, advowsons of churches, and the said chapel, and the aforesaid hundred with all their liberties, things, and appurtenances, named and not named, against all nations, Jews or Christians. In witness whereof we have affixed our seal to the present charter with these witnesses, Brother Richard, prior of Christ Church, Twynham; Brother Thomas, prior of Brommor; Sir Richard, Fitz John, Kichard of Affeton; Hugo of Peverell; Gilbert of Knovile; Reginald of Ferrers Knights; Ralph of Lynham; Stephen Stoil; William of Stapeldon; Simon of Travailesworth; William of Budekeside; Bobert of Coleford; and others. Given at Brommor, the Feast of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, 1291.