Berstede, Walter de (DNB00)

BERSTEDE or BURGSTED, WALTER de (fl. 1257), justice itinerant, is first heard of in 1257 as sub-sheriff of Kent. In December of that year Reginald de Cobham, sheriff of the county, dying, Berstede succeeded to his office for the remainder of the annual term, viz. till Easter 1258, paying the same rent. He afterwards was appointed constable of Dover Castle (Hasted, Kent, i. lxxxi). A commission of assize, consisting of Martin Litilbiri, Galfrey de Leukenor, Richard de Hemington, and De Berstede, travelled in 1262 through Leicestershire, and in the following year through Norfolk, Suffolk, and Lincolnshire. According to Hasted (Kent, 4, 69), he was for a short time again constable and warden of Kent in 1263, succeeding Edward and Robert, de Gascoigne in July. Richard de Grey was his successor. In February 1266 a fine was levied by him, and Dugdale makes him a justice of the bench, and in September of the same his name appears to a writ of asize. He was possibly connected with one John de Benstede, who, in this reign, was possessed of the manor of Bensted, in the parish of Huntington, as one quarter of the knight's fee of the barony of Crevequer (Hasted, ii. 298).

[Foss's Lives of the Judges; Dugdale's Origines Juridicials; Hasted's Kent; Jeakes's Charters; Rot. Fin. 2, 268, 446.]

J. A. H.