14th Century Gateshead
To illustrate life in the Fourteenth Century in Gateshead, here are a number of official records which are still in existence.
1300) Parts of Gateshead, Whickham and Lamesley used as select residences by Newcastle merchantmen, seizing ownership for non-payment of debts.
1310) Gateshead timber felled for two warships being built on the Tyne for Edward I. They were galleys with eighty oars.
1311) Gilbert Gategang of Gateshead given the custody of the lands and properties of any Knights Templar, arrested in the North Country.
1315) Gateshead men ordered to appear with bows and arrows to “assist the king in repelling the Scots.”
1322) Heated discussion between Newcastle Corporation and Bishop of Durham as to whom the water belonged on the South side of the river.
1323) A Sir Ralph Fitz Robert was having his breakfast in Gateshead, and was mysteriously poisoned. Looked like a “frame-up” against the Gateshead folk.
1334) King’s writ against Newcastle Corporation for interfering with the mooring of ships and keels on the Gateshead side.
1336) Gateshead keels, coming down the river from the Team, seized and pirated by “certain members of Incorporated Companies.”
1339) Warning to Gateshead parishioners, “who, not having the fear of God, had withheld tithes.” They had to pay or suffer the major excommunication.
1340) The first known school in Gateshead established in the church yard of St. Mary’s. It was run by a nun who taught the children through a hole in the wall.
1345) Still at it. Newcastle seized more Gateshead keels and forcibly unloaded them on the North side.
1350) Is a record concerning the affairs of Alan Gategang. He was Lord of Pipewellgate.
1361) Gateshead had to pay a ten shilling rent for a road across the Bishop’s Park.
1364) For what price it is not quite clear, but the Bishop sold a twenty four year lease of Gateshead coal and allowed free timber from someone else’s forest.
1369) And then, his Lordship appointed one, William Forrest, keeper of his park at the rate of three and a half pence per day, later, adding another half penny – if the said keeper also looked after the palace.
1385) Royal order to Bishop permitting ships to unload on the Gateshead side met by Newcastle Burgesses who served a writ on the Bishop.
1387) A slight variation of the theme unearths “indulgences” granted to Gateshead folk who helped to repair St. Andrew’s Church in Newcastle. Such was a common practice in those days when Bishops required the repairs to a castle, the building of bridges and ot her works.