130404 In the King’s Mercy

And here is Rosecraddoc Manor in twenty-first century splendour, now a holiday destination.


Our text is the record of a trial in the roll of the General Eyre of 1301 (or 1302) the place was called Retcradek, which is to say the roll refers to the tithing of Retcradek.

It seems the men of that tithing (who were responsible for maintaining a degree of good order locally) harboured the felon Adam Trota and are to be fined as a result. The term for this susceptibility to fining is being “in (the King’s) mercy”.

It seems entirely possible that Adam Trota was suspected of the drowning of Alice of Miriefeld (? Now Merryfield) in the Water of Seythin (Seaton). According to my great help Adam (whose surname Trota puts me in mind of the Latin word for trout) had no chattels to seize and had gone missing.

Here’s a link to a photograph of the court record –


We have Robert C. Palmer, Cullen Professor of Law and History at the University of Houston to thank for this photograph whose second paragraph begins “Adam Trota”.

The king in question is Edward I, Longshanks, Hammer of the Scots.

Bridge Club is obliged to Daniel Klerman, Professor of Law and History at the University of Southern California, for help in beginning to understand the English legal system in the time of Edward I.

Professor Klerman’s paper “Women Prosecutors in Thirteenth Century England” is well worth a read.

Just up the hill from the gates of the modern manor is a small bridge over the Seaton.

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This just in from Domedaymap.co.uk – the lord at Rosecraddoc in 1086 was Hamelin  – pop. 7 villagers, 16 smallholders and 6 slaves. No wild mares mentioned.


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