Strongbow's GRANT OF RAGLAN TO WALTER BLUET by BRUCE COPLESTONE-CROW The castle to be seen at Raglan today dates almost entirely from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but it stands on the site of a much older motte and bailey castle that came into the hands of the Bluet family in the twelfth century. As it happens the actual charter of grant by which earl Richard 'Strongbow' of Clare, lord of Chepstow (then known as Striguil) and Usk, gave his vill of Raglan to Walter Bluet, his man, has survived into the present day. This paper will explore both its content and the circumstances under which it was granted. The text of the charter is as follows Comes Ricardus filius comitis Gilberti universis amicis et hominibus suis Francis et Anglis et Gualicis presentibus et futuris salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et firmiter concessisse Gualtero Bloet pro servicio suo villam meam de Ragalan cum omnibus pertinenciis tenendum de me et de meis heredibus sibi et suis heredibus in feodo et hereditate libere et quiete et honorifice in bosco in piano in pascuis in aquis et in omnibus libertatibus per servicii unius militis Gualici. Hiis sunt testibus: Hugone de Lacy, Willelmo filio Aedelini, Gilberto de Munemutha, Alfredo de Sancto Martino, Hervico de Montmorenci, Hugone de Claal', Gollengo de Pomereia, Milone de Cogan, Willelmo Makerel, Willelmo Venatore, Reimundo filio Willelmi, Radulfo de Bosco Roh[ardi], Guimdo' britone, Willelmo de Sudleie, Radulfo de Bendeville, Nicolao de Sancta Brigida, Radulfo filio Willelmi, Nicolao clerico.1 Translated into English it reads: Earl Richard son of earl Gilbert to all his friends and men French, English and Welsh, present and future, greetings. Know that I give and firmly grant to Walter Bluet for his service my vill of Raglan and all its appurtenances to hold of me and my heirs by him and his heirs in fee and inheritance, free, quit and honourably, in wood, in plain, in pastures, in waters and in all liberties, by service of one Welsh knight. These are the witnesses: Hugh de Lacy, William fitzAdelin, Gilbert of Monmouth, Alfred de St Martin, Hervey de Montmorency, Hugh of Clothall, Joscelin de Pomeroy, Miles of Cogan, William Maskerel, William the huntsman, Raymond fitzWilliam, Ralph de Bosc-le-Hard, Guy Brito, William of Sudeley, Ralph de Bendeville, Nicholas of St Bride's, Ralph fitzWilliam, Nicholas the clerk. The witness list makes it almost certain that the charter was issued while earl Richard 'Strongbow' and the king were in Ireland between 17 October 1171 and 17 April 1172, and possibly within the narrow limits of the king's sojourn in Dublin between 11 November and 2 February, since it is unlikely that they were all together in one place on another occasion.