Editorial Conventions

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Introduction

The language used by the Irish chancery was highly formulaic. This section explains how these formulae and standard phrases are translated in CIRCLE. It begins with the opening and closing protocols (the diplomatic formulae used to open and close chancery letters), attestation and dating clauses, and other formulae. The next section (‘Standard Phrases’) lists a range of standard translations used for frequently-occurring phrases. The final section (‘Other conventions’) gives the conventions for translating for offices, titles, family names, place-names (especially larger settlements), dioceses and monastic houses. These names have been standardized in CIRCLE because they occur so frequently in the letters.

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Protocols and Formulae

Opening and closing protocols

The opening protocols of letters patent are formulaic and universal:

Edwardus, Dei gracia rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie et dux Aquitanie omnibus ad quos presentes littere pervenerint, salutem.

These are normally omitted from CIRCLE.

The opening protocols of letters close are rather extended. Most of our sources, including the best transcripts, abbreviate the formula, although it is found in full in the few engrossed letters that are extant. For the sake of brevity, CIRCLE follows the practice of other calendars of chancery rolls and condenses the clause as follows:

  • Edwardus, dei gracia rex Anglie et Francie et dominus Hibernie venerabili in Christo patri M. eadem gracia archiepiscopo Ardmacano […], salutem.
    = To M[ilo Sweteman], abp Armagh.
  • Rex [etc.], superiori et ballivis ville de X, salutem.
    = To the sovereign and bailiffs of the town of X.
  • Rex [etc.], thesaurio et baronibus suis de scaccario Dublinie, salutem.
    = To the T. and barons of the Ex.
  • Rex [etc.], thesaurario et camerariis de scaccario suo Hibernie, salutem.
    = To the T. and chamberlains of the Ex.
  • Rex [etc.], dilectis armigeris suis Thome filio Simonis Cruys […], comitatus Dublin, salutem.
    = To the K.’s beloved esquires, Thomas s. of Simon Cruys […] of co. Dublin

Attestation clauses

  • Teste X ,custode terre nostre Hibernie
    = X, keeper of Ire[not ‘keeper of the K’s land of Ire’]
  • Teste X, justiciario nostro Hibernie
    = X, Jcr [not, ‘the K’s Jcr of Ireland’]
  • Teste X, locum tenente nostri Hibernie
    = X, Lt of Ire
  • Teste X, tenente locum justiciarii nostri Hibernie
    = X, deputy of the Jcr

Letters issued by the king himself are normally witnessed, Teste me ipso, which CIRCLE renders simply as ‘The K.’. In the case of English chancery letters enrolled in the Irish chancery, CIRCLE uses the fullest text available (drawing, for instance, on CPR, CCR, Foedera, and where appropriate the original Mss), and will note the fact that the letter was issued under the great seal of England in the attestation clause, as follows: ‘[English g.s.]’.

Authorization clauses

  • Per billam ipsius justiciarii
    = By bill of the Jcr [omit ‘himself’]
  • Per billam ipsius locum tenentis
    = By bill of the Lt
  • Per ipsum justiciarium et consilium
    = By the Jcr and council
  • Per ipsum locum tenentem et consilium
    = By the Lt and council
  • Per manus Y
    = By the hands of Y.
  • Per peticionem de consilio
    = By petition of council.
  • Per peticionem de parliamento
    = By petition of parliament.
  • Per peticionem de consilio sigillo ipsius locum tenentis consignatam
    = By petition of council sealed with the seal of the Lt

Other formulae

  • Rex assignavit  = APPOINTMENT of  
  • Rex commisit   = COMMISSION to
  • Rex concessit  = GRANT to 
  • Rex concessit [to X & Y]ut valeant  = LICENCE to X and Y to 
  • Rex dedit [to X] potestatem  = GRANT to X of power 
  • Rex ei in diversis summis de feodo suo tenetur  = The K. owes him various sums of his fee 
  • Rex inspexit et confirmavit  = INSPEXIMUS and CONFIRMATION 
  • Rex intellexit  = The K. has learned 
  • Rex pardonavit X  = PARDON to X 
  • Rex scire facit X  = NOTIFICATION to X 
  • Rex statum X ratificat  = RATIFICATION of the estate of X 
  • quis propinquus heres ipsius sit  = who is his next heir 
  • se accepisse per inquisitionem  = the K. has learned by inquisition 
  • se querelam X accepisse de eo quod  = the K. has heard the complaint of X that because 
  • suggessisse sibi =  the K. has been informed 
  • X habet litteras Regis de presentatione ad ecclesiam de Y  = PRESENTATION of X to the church of Y 
  • X habet litteras de gen’ attorn’ sub nominibus Y et Z  = X has letters nominating Y and Z as his general attorneys 
  • X, profecturus ad Angliam, habet protectionem  = X, going to England, has protection 
  • X cognovit se debere Y  = X acknowledges that he owes Y 

Mentions of service

In addition to the authorization or warranty clause, engrossed letters patent often include a 'mention' of the clerk or clerks who oversaw the engrossment. These 'mentions of service' were not normally enrolled in the chancery rolls (although when letters issued under the g.s. of Eng. were transmitted to Ireland and transcribed onto the Irish chancery rolls, the 'mentions of service' was sometimes enrolled with the text of the letters). In CIRCLE the 'mention' of the clerk is recorded in the footnotes, signaled by the words 'Mention of service'.

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Standard phrases

  • ad querelam = at the complaint 
  • annuatim =annually 
  • comperto per inquisitionem = It has been found by inquisition 
  • concedo = to grant (cfcommito = to commit) 
  • confirmatio super inspeximus = confirmation upon inspeximus
  • consanguineus = kinsman 
  • coram = before [not ‘in the presence of’ or ‘in front of’] 
  • custos = keeper [not ‘custodian’] 
  • custodia [of lands] = custody [not ‘keeping’] 
  • de feudo suo aretro = arrears of his fee 
  • deforciantes = deforciants
  • defunctus = deceased 
  • deguerro = to fight 
  • de habendo corpus ejus = to produce him [not to have his body]
  • de precepto = by order of [not ‘by the order of’] 
  • devasto = to destroy 
  • diversis arduis negotiis = concerning various important matters 
  • donec Rex aliud inde preceperit = until the K. orders otherwise 
  • duas partes = two thirds 
  • durante bene placito= during pleasure 
  • ei commisit custodiendum = he has committed to him to keep 
  • exigere = to exact [not ‘to demand’] 
  • ex nunc = from now 
  • ex parte eius = on his behalf 
  • fideles = faithful people [not ‘the faithful’ or ‘lieges'] 
  • finem fecit = he has made a fine 
  • firmiter iniungendo = firmly enjoining 
  • gurgitus = weir 
  • in crastino = on the morrow 
  • infra etate = a minor 
  • juxta = near 
  • legali homines = law-worthy men 
  • libero = to deliver [not ‘release’] 
  • liberate = pay [only in writs of liberate
  • licet in nullo dilinquerint = although they were guilty of nothing 
  • manucaptor = mainpernor
  • maxime = especially 
  • minoris etatem = minor 
  • nuper = former / late 
  • occasione obsequii laudabilii sui = on account of his laudable service 
  • oneratus = charged 
  • ad partes Ulton’ = to Ulster [omit ‘the parts of’] 
  • participes hereditatis = sharers of the inheritance [not ‘parceners’
  • per annum = p.a
  • per breve de recto = by writ of right 
  • per manucaptionem = by mainprise of [not ‘by the mainprise of’] 
  • per servicium = by service of [not ‘by the service of’] 
  • per visum et testimonium = by view and testimony 
  • plegium, plegius = pledge [not ‘surety’] 
  • possessor = owner 
  • postea = afterwards 
  • precium = worth or value [not ‘price’] 
  • predictus = the said [not ‘the aforesaid’]
  • prefatus = the said 
  • pretextu cuius mandati = by reason of this mandate 
  • pro conservatione pacis = for keeping the peace 
  • probi homines = worthy [not ‘trustworthy’] men 
  • pro omnimodum prodicionibus = for all manner of treasons 
  • pro reformacione pacis = for the restoration of the peace 
  • pro justiciando = for doing justice [against] 
  • quamdiu domino Regi placuerit = during pleasure 
  • quamdiu bene se gesserit = during good behaviour
  • quantum in nobis est = so far as pertains to the K.
  • que extenduntur ad = extended at 
  • quidam W. Burgh = one [not ‘a certain’] W. Burgh 
  • quondam [vir= previous [husband] 
  • racione min’ et’ heredis eius = by reason of the minority of his heir 
  • recogno = to acknowledge 
  • reddo = to render [not ‘to hand over’] 
  • respondere ad scaccarium = to answer at the exchequer [not ‘to respond’] 
  • retorno = to return [not ‘to reply’] 
  • salvo custodias = he is to keep safely 
  • scire facias = he is to notify 
  • sede vacante = sede vacante
  • sicut predictum est = as aforesaid 
  • simul et semel = at once and together 
  • sub colore = under colour
  • supplico = to plead 
  • terra que fuerit ei = lands which belonged to him 
  • thesauri inventio [or thesaurus inventus] = treasure trove 
  • trado = to hand over [not ‘to surrender’] 
  • tradere morti = to put to death 
  • tuicio pacis = protection of the peace 
  • ulterius = further 
  • usque ad etatem heredis = until the heir comes of age 
  • ut de [castro de Trym= as of [the castle of Trim] 
  • ut dicit = as he says 
  • ut dicitur = as is said 
  • vi et armis = by force and arms 
  • sic eciam = likewise for 
  • statim visis litteris = immediately after having viewed these letters 
  • vasto = to waste 
  • videlicet = viz. [not ‘i.e.’, ‘namely’, ‘that is’ or ‘to wit’] 
  • vigilia = eve [not ‘vigil’] 
  • villa = town [regardless of the size of the settlement and the reality of its urban function] 
  • vulgariter noncupatus = commonly called 

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Other Conventions

Titles and designations of status

  • armiger = esquire
  • capitaneus sue nationis = chieftain of his lineage
  • comes = ‘earl’ in Britain and Ireland, but ‘count’ in France, so comes Mertonie becomes ‘count of Mortain’ [women are always ‘countess’]
  • dominus = ‘Sir’ in reference to knighted individuals; otherwise ‘lord’
  • dux = duke
  • generosus = gentleman
  • marchio = marquis [not ‘marquess’]
  • vicecomes = sheriff
  • senescallus = seneschal [not ‘steward’] of liberties in Ireland; but ‘steward of England’
  • valettus = yeoman

Offices

  • (capitalis) justiciarius ad placita  = chief justice at pleas
  • (capitalis) justiciarius de banco Dublin’  = (chief) justice of the Dublin bench 
  • custos magni sigilli domini regis in Hibernia  = keeper of the great seal (g.s.) of Ire.
  • custos brevium et rotulorum  = keeper of the writs and rolls 
  • custos pacis  = keeper of the peace 
  • gaugarius vinorum  = gauger of wines 
  • justiciarius = justiciar (Jcr
  • locum tenens = lieutenant (Lt) 
  • narrator Regis = K’s pleader 
  • supervisores custodes pacis  = supervisors of keepers of the peace 

Family names

Spellings are regularized for the following names of families and individuals (especially royal ministers) who are prominent in the records:

Archbold

Ashton

Balscot

Barry

Barret

Beauchamp

Bellew

Bermingham

Bicknor

Burgh

Butler

Caunt(e)ton

Carew

Charleton

Cheyne

Clinton

Colton

Darcy

Desmond

Despenser

Dowdall

Fleming

Freigne

Fulbourn

Furnival

Gaveston

Geneville

Gormanston

Grandison

Grey

Hastings

Holywood

Howell

Lacy

Lawless

Ludgate

Mandeville

March

Morice

Mortimer

Nugent

Ormond, earl of

Outlaw

Petit

Plunket

Poer, le

Portlester

Prendergast

Preston

Roche

Rochefort

Rokeby

St Amand

St Lawrence

St Leger

Sandford

Savage

Scrope

Stanley

Sutton

Taaff

Talbot

Tyrell

Ufford

Ulster, earl of

Vere de

Verdun

Walsh

Welles

Windsor

White

Wogan

Place-names

Spellings are regularized for the following provinces, cities, large towns, castles, manors, counties and liberties, and other commonly occurring place-names, where identification is beyond doubt

Ardee

Ards

Arklow

Athboy

Baltinglass

Bannow

Bray

Buttevant

Carbury

Carrickfergus

Carlingford

Carlow

Carrick

Cashel

Castledermot

Castle Kevin

Chapelizod

Clane

Clondalkin

Clonmel

Coleraine

Connacht

Cork

Crumlin

Dalkey

Dingle

Down

Drogheda

Dublin

Duleek

Dunboyne

Dunbrody

Dundalk

Dundrum

Esker

Fethard

Galway

Greencastle

Gormanston

Gowran

Howth

Jerpoint

Kells

Kildare

Kilkenny

Kilmainham

Kilmallock

Kinsale

Knocktopher

Leinster

Leixlip

Limerick

Louth

Maynooth

Malahide

Mullingar

Munster

Naas

Navan

Nenagh

Newcastle Lyons

Newcastle McKynegan

New Ross

Nobber

Rathmore

Rathwire

Ratoath

Rindown

Roscommon

Saggart

Santry

Skreen

Swords

Tallaght

Termonfeckin

Thomastown

Thomond

Tralee

Trim

Tullow

Uriel

Ulster

Waterford

Wexford

Wicklow

Dioceses

Spellings are standardized for dioceses and archdioceses, as follows:

Achonry

Annaghdown

Ardagh

Ardfert

Armagh

Cashel

Clogher

Clonfert

Clonmacnoise

Cloyne

Connor 

Cork 

Derry 

Down 

Dromore

Dublin 

Elphin

Emly

Ferns 

Glendalough

Kilfenora

Kildare

Killala

Killaloe

Kilmacduagh

Kilmore [not ‘Tirbrunensis’/Triburnensis]

Leighlin

Limerick 

Lismore

Meath

Mayo 

Ossory

Raphoe

Ross 

Tuam

Waterford 

Monastic houses

Spellings are standardized for monastic institutions, as follows:

All Saints near Dublin, priory

Baltinglass

Bective

Connell

Duiske

Dunbrody

Finbarr’s Cave (Cork)

 

Holy Trinity (Dublin), priory

Jerpoint, abbey

Lismullin

Llanthony Prima and Secunda [not italicized]

Maigue [Monasteranenagh]

St John of Jerusalem in Ireland, hospital

 

St John the Baptist outside the New Gate of Dublin, hospital

St Mary’s near Dublin, abbey

St Thomas the Martyr near Dublin, abbey

Tintern, abbey

Tracton, abbe