This document reveals that those given the responsibility of overseeing the repair and expansion of Portchester Castle struggled to find craftsmen and labourers to work on the project. The King gave them the authority to ‘arrest’ people and force them to work on the castle. If anybody who was arrested refused to work on the castle, they were to be imprisoned.
Forced labour and threat of imprisonment, 1396. Catalogue ref: C 66/343 m. 14, Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1391-1396, p. 702
Appointment of John Cook of Wykehamm, Peter Geveyn, Walter Walton, mason, Walter Weston and Thomas Clevere, carpenter, to arrest the masons, carpenters, sawyers, artificers and labourers necessary for the repair and fortification of the castle of Porchestre and set them to work at the king’s chargers, also to provide the necessary stone, lime, lead, boards, tiles, cinders, timber and materials, with power to imprison contrariants. By bill of treasurer. The like of John Grenford, John Wrythoke and Thomas Clopton, for the works at Calais.’ 1396. April 29. Westminster.
John Cook of Wykeham, Peter Geveyn, Walter Walton, mason, Walter Weston and Thomas Clever, carpenter, are ordered to arrest all masons, carpenters, sawyers, artificers and labourers necessary for the repair and fortification of Portchester castle, and they are given the power to imprison contrariants [those who refuse to work]. They are also to arrange for the provision of stone, lime, lead, boards, tiles, cinders, timber and materials for the building work.
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- Compare this document to Source 5.
- Does this change your impression of what Portchester Castle represented for John Cook and Peter Geveyn?
- Does this change your impression of what Portchester Castle represented for the masons and carpenters employed to work on the castle?