Social and EconomicSource Material

Plumpton Estate Management

The Plumpton letters cover a wide range of issues, from national politics and economic issues to their manors’ day-to-day administration. The estate management aspect of the letters is quite revealing, as they show the family undertook the way lordship. In the example below, this administration continues in the middle of a national political crisis, illustrating that for most people, life went on as usual regardless of high politics. It combines protecting the families interests with ensuring tenants are correctly treated.

Estate management by the officers of the Plumpton family

This letter was written by one of the Plumpton officials, George Greene, to Sir William Plumpton on 5 December 1469:

“…Sir, I have sent to you by the bringer of this letter a venire facias against the minister of St. Roberts, for he hath pleaded not guiltie for fishing your ponds att Plompton. If so your writ be well served and the issue tried for you, be punishments will be grecuieous to them, for it is gyffyn by a statute. Also I haue sent you a venis facias against Dromonby, parson of Kynalton; he hath pleaded he withholds you nothing in accion of detynue of the goods deliuered him by Heynes. Also the copie of the pleadings betwixt you and the minister for your milne at Plompton; it were wele don the ye had a speech with Mr Middleton of the forme of pleadings, and of the matter of both sides the water, soe that your council may haue instuccion thereof… next tearme at the pleasure of be partis.

Mr Midleton had great labour thereof; I profferd him no rewards because ye may reward him yourselfe as it please you. Maister Fairfax has xs for that matter allon. Mr Suttil laboured effectually; I tould him he should be rewarded of the money in his hands, and said lightly he would haue none, so I wot whether he will take, or no; he hath not all paid yet…”

LInks on the Plumpton Family

Sir William Plumpton

Enfeoffment. The Plumpton’s and Earl of Warwick

The Earl of Shrewsbury and the Plumpton’s

The Plumpton Letters (via

Image Credit

St Michael and All Angels parish church, Plumpton, East Sussex, seen from the south. Samuel Grimm c1780. Via Wikimedia.



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