entry relating to manors in Norfolk, is
wanting. The above manors of Preston, Elmerston, Overland, Elham,
Ashford, Gare, Slayhill, Mere, Easling, Wbdlyng, Leyborne, and
Wateringbury, were all among those included in Juliana's feoffment, cited in note to page 4, supra.
Such was the opulence of our great Infanta, and such
the lavish hospitality with which she supported her state. But
"she shall carry nothing away with her when she dieth,
neither shall her pomp' follow her."
Even so, the Lady of Leyborne, owner, it seems, of
more numerous domains, and wider far than any ever held by one
lord within the bounds of Kent, since the days of Odo,1
is ready for her hour. The settlement of her estates has long been
made. "The day is far spent," and, as the shadows of
evening gather round, her worldly task is done.
Many of her manors she has already bestowed on
religious houses; the rest of her paternal inheritance she
conveyed to the King, five years since, reserving to herself no
more than a life-interest therein; the fees of them all (if I have
rightly interpreted the transaction) to be, at her death, divided
among certain religious houses; and, of her boundless possessions,
all that she can call her own, as she passes away, are the personalities
in her house and on some of her farms. Just two days before her
death, she bequeaths these also to pious and charitable uses.
1 It must be
remembered that the domains of Averanches, Maminot, Crevecoeur,
and the other lordships (eight in all), constituting the great
Constabulary of Dover Castle, must always be exceptional cases in
estimating the possessions of our ancient magnates. It is true
that these were extensive and lordly domains, but they were very
heavily burdened with the maintenance of Dover Castle and keeping
ward there, for which specific purpose they were originally
granted, and though conferring great power and high position upon
their owners, it is very questionable whether they added to their
wealth so largely as at first sight might be supposed.
Of the great historic Clares, lords of Tunbridge
Castle, many manors in this county were held, as of their honour
of Gloucester, but I doubt whether their landed possessions in
this county at all approached in extent those of our Infanta.