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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 86  1971  page 115
Eynsford Castle and its Excavation. 
By S. E. Rigold, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S.
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de Ruxley, had died in her father's lifetime. We know from the deposition of 1261 that the William de Eynsford VI, recorded as tenant in 1254,31a was their son, not a male-line de Eynsford, and that he died young, leaving an infant William VII, who too was dead in 1261. With this pathetic child the united lordship ends, but Phase 'B' may represent the short-lived household of his parents.
   The outcome of the enquiry of 1261 was to ignore the claims of the Lese line and divide the whole inheritance—not only the barony of Eynsford, but every other tenure, great and small—such was the pedantic impracticality of later feudalism, compared with the policy of Lanfranc and Theobald—between the representatives of two sisters and ultimate co-heiresses of William V, Joan, for whom he had bought the wardship of a potential husband, Hugh de Aubeville, in 1212-1213,32 and Beatrice, wife of Stephen Herengod. The result, for the Castle, was effective desertion. Joan's grand-daughter brought her share to the Criols (Keriels), a powerful family in east Kent (Westenhanger), and elsewhere. Beatrice's brought hers to the neighbouring and poorer Kirkebys of Horton Kirby. In 1265, neither line was enjoying their share, since the heads of both were on the losing side in the recent baronial troubles, and it was the turn of rival royal officials to quarrel over the custody.33 One can imagine the aggrieved feeling of Alan de la Lese, who lived in the neighbourhood and would have run the business better as a whole. The Kirkebys were ready to dispose of their share, first by 1292 as a life-lease to Half de Sandwich,34 who may have had some hereditary interest too shadowy to argue here, and then, by 1307, by outright sale to William Inge,35 a judge who was buying up unwanted tenures in all directions and treating them as brass-bound parvenus do. In three years or so, he made himself well enough hated to bring old rivals together. In doing so, he seems to have put his own caretaker into Eynsford Castle, or even thought of occupying it himself, when in the district—at least he made sure of his hunting rights. Certainly, in Phase D, there are clear signs of a short but intensive re-occupation, after a long interval, about, or soon after, 1300, and then a final cataclysm, of which we have both the archaeological and the legal record. The roll only preserves Inge's side of the case; excavation shows that he did not exaggerate the physical facts of it. In June 1312, a commission of oyer and terminer was issued on Inge's complaint that certain persons had broken down the doors and windows of 'his' (there is no mention of partnership) manors of Eynsford, Ightham
   31a  Arch. Cant., xii (1878), 234.
32  Pipe Roll, 14 John (P.R. Soc., N.S., 30), 15.
   33  Cal. Inq. Misc., I (1219-1307), 220, no. 719 (Ralph of Farningham versus Geofirey de Marisco).
   34  Placita de Quo Warranto, Ed. I-IH (1818), 188, 363.
   35  Cf. Cal. Ch. Rolls, III, 107. (Free warren to Inge in 1307.)

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