A Hat of Mystery

Descriptions of physical and mental infirmities often translate poorly into modern language. This one is a real puzzle:

“Mapperton House lies in a beautiful glen approached by an avenue of trees. It is one of the most famous houses of Dorset, and one of the most charming and picturesque. The building belongs to the time of Henry VIII. In the reign of that sovereign the manor was possessed by Robert Morgan , who had the following patent granted to him : “Forasmoche as wee bee credibly informed that our wel biloved Robert Morgan esquier, for diverse infirmities which he hath in his hedde, cannot convenyently, without his grete daungier, be discovered of the same. Whereupon wee, in tendre consideration thereof, have by these presents licensed him to use and were his bonnet on his hed at al tymys, as wel in our presence as elsewher, at his libertie.”

In spite of the “diverse infirmities which he hath in his hedde”, Robert Morgan bult the beautiful manor house. According to Hutchins, the inscription was formerly in the great hall to record the deed:-

“Robt. Morgan and Mary his wife built this house in their own life time, at their own charge and cost.

“What they spent, that they lent :

What they gave, that they have :

What they left, that they lost..”

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