Archaeologia Cantiana -
Vol. 63 1950 pages 136
and it is this which gives information about expenditure on Knole manor.
Unfortunately, the series of receiver’s accounts for Otford is incomplete,
but enough details remain from the years 1455-6, 1462-3 and 1465-6 to show
the sort of activity which was on hand at Knole.
and here the operative word is constructura. And yet, in 1463, when
accounts for Knole manor again appear, the reparacio has become the novum
edificium and operations have expanded on to an altogether bigger scale,
with workers in stone more in evidence than workers in wood, and the annual
costs nearly quadrupled. It is impossible to recreate the archbishop’s
intentions, but it looks as though the first task had been to make the place
habitable and, once this had been done, to begin new building in earnest.
According to his register, Bourgchier did not actually stay at Knole until
5th March, 1459, although it had been his for nearly three years, and not
until 1464 did he begin to stop there for appreciable periods. Otford, on
the other hand, housed him at frequent intervals from May, 1456, onwards.
Doubtless he took opportunities to ride over and inspect the progressing
work. Bourgchier loved Knole more than any other of his houses (a taste with
which Henry VIII was later to agree) and possibly made his permanent home
there in his old age. A lost indult from Pope Sixtus IV in 1483 gave the
archbishop the curious permission permutandi suam residenciam de uno loco
ad alium.2 Why such permission should have been necessary is
not clear. At all events,
1 Receiver-General for the archbishop’s non-Kentish estates at this time.
2 Calendar of Papal Letters, XIII, p. 913.
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