DCD 2.1.Reg.2 and 3.1.Reg.2

Ed. Raine, North Durham, app. p. 141.

Bishop, Scriptores regis, nos. 155 and 172, both scribe xxiv; facsimile of 3.1.Reg.2, pl. I.

Two writs of Henry [II], addressed to Cecilia de Muschamps and Thomas her son, concerning Heatherslaw (par. Ford, Northumb.).

Bridgnorth [1155]; Northampton [c.1157 ?: see below]

The two writs exemplify the curt and peremptory style of the royal chancery. "Increased practice and pressure of business after the accession of Henry II seem to be reflected in advanced cursive and current forms [of script] ... There is no evidence of the scribe's Chancery career continuining after 1155." (Bishop).

In the first writ the king states that, if the Durham monks can make good their claim to Heatherslaw ('Si monachi de Dunel- poterunt disrationare testibus legalibus quod Thomas de Muscampo senior dedit in elemosinam deo et Sancto Cuthberto villam de Hedreslawa. et per gladium suum monachos predictos inde inuestiuerit' [view] ), Cecilia and Thomas [junior] are ordered to seise them of it without delay or "occasio" and permit them to hold in peace and justly. Witness the king, the earl of Cornwall.

In the second writ the king expresses his displeasure that Cecilia and Thomas have not done as he had ordered ('Miror et displicet mihi multum quod de villa de Hedreslawa quam monachi Dunelmenses clamant non fecistis quod uobis precepi per alia breuia mea' [view] ), apparently indicating that there had been more than one preceding writ; he now orders them firmly, on [pain of] his confiscating, that without delay they perform his order so that ('quod') over this he should hear no clamour further for want of full right. Witness the king, the earl of Cornwall. This writ exhibits typical examples of the tongue, partly now missing with the seal, and the tie below it.

The monks' problems over Heatherslaw, in the far north of Northumberland, were long-standing. On a visit to Durham in 1136 or 1138 King Stephen had ordered Rain' de Muschamps and C his sister to hand over Heatherslaw, which their brother Thomas had given to St Cuthbert in his lifetime, offering it on the altar when he became a monk (by laying his sword on the altar, to judge by Henry II's first writ), see Regesta no. 257. From 1139 onwards Stephen's power to control over Northumberland steadily evaporated but with Henry II's accession late in 1154 the monks speedily took the matter up; his first writ predates the surrender in May 1157 by the king of Scots of control over Northumberland. In the event the monks failed to secure Heatherslaw, but were perhaps compensated by Cecilia and her husband Stephen de Bulmer with a half carrucate and a toft in Lowick and another in Barmoor, as recorded in Raine, North Durham, app. no. DCCLXVI, c.f. 3.1.Spec.72.