Close Roll 19 Henry VI

[23 Jun. 1441]

PETITION of the parliament at Naas, concerning grievances:1

'Soverayn lorde liege, thes ben the articles whiche your humble and pouer lieges of your land of Irland before James erle of Ormonde, depute to Lyone lorde of Welles, your lieutenaunt of your saide lande, and al othir lordes espirituelle and temporelle and your communes at your grete counseille nowe holden at the Naas, the Fryday next before the fest of the Nativite of seint John Baptist that last was [23 June 1441] have shewed, praying humbly your saide leigez your roialle mageste the saide articles graciousely to resceive and remedy, by the advyce of your right wirshipfulle and wyse counseille, with esployt ordeyne, and al the estates of your saide lande at this your said counseille have chosen Stephen Roche, your attourney in your saide lande, to come to your high presence the sayde articles to declare in the fourme that folowith.

First that the articles sende to you, soverayne lorde, by William Welles esquyer, messenger chosen in a parliament holden before Lyone lorde of Welles, your Lt of your saide lande, in the Fryday in the fest of seint Martyn the Bishop last passet, at your towne of Drogheda, the yere of your graciouse reigne xix [11 Nov. 1440], by the advyce and assent of lordes espirituelle and temporelle and communes beyng present in the saide parlement, to goo to your graciouse presence with the saide articles and that it wolde please your saide highnes that the saide articles were tenderly consideret, remedyet and answeret.

Also theras the saide lande of Irland is your lordship of oolde tyme annexet to your crowne, in the whiche ye and al your progenitours some tyme kynges of Engeland and lordes of Irland of the tyme that noo mynde rennet have had courtes, that is to say chauncery, kynges bynche, commune bynche, eschekker and grete counseils in the whiche courtes al maner of plees and querelles of al maner of thing within the same lande as welle touchyng the kyng as eny othir persone have to be determinet and ben determinable, and that noone your liege man ther dwellyng have not uset to plede ne to be empledet of suche plees and querels oute of the saide lande by force of any of your writes and pryve seales oute of your saide roialme to hym directe ne noon of your ministers your saide liege peple ne noon of hem by colour of any suche writtis or privy seale to hem directe have be take oute of the saide lande in to the saide royalme to answere of any suche plees othir querells, treson touching the kynges persone and a writt of errour aftir that right faylith in the kynges parlement oonly out take, the whiche lawes, consuetudes and privileges alle the kynges liege peple in the saide lande of alle tyme hath optenet and enjoyet, and also in the tyme of the right noble kyng, kyng Edwarde the thredde, your progenitour, in his parlement holden at Westminster, it is contenet that theras untrewe suggestiouns of some of the saide lande comyng in to the saide roiawme purposing to deprave and sclaundir fame and opinione of the kynges gode ministers and othir trewe men in the parties as welle by bille as by suggestiouns wherthrough the profit of the kyng and of the saide lande have be letted, the saide noble kyng wolde and ordeynet that suche bille or suggestiouns sholde be writte and sende to the justice, chaunceller and tresourer of the saide lande fore the tyme beyng under the sealle of the chaunceller of Engelande that they calling to them suche as them semed to be callet in presence of suche accusours the whiche also sholde be sende in to the saide lande to enquire diligently apon the matiers contenet in the saide bille and suggestiouns and if the saide bille and suggestiouns contenet verite that rightfully to correcte and amende the defautes and if the saide accusours made untrewe suggestiouns thay to be punished that suche peyne sholde yeve ensample to othirs to abstene them froo suche untrewe accuses and suggestiouns, that hit pleas you, soverayne lorde, that your saide peple of your saide lande might have, use and enjoye the saide lawes, usages and privileges and were not vexet ne inquietet contrary to the saide lawes, usages and privileges.

Also theras your noble progenitour kyng Edwarde before saide considering that divers his ministers and officeres within his saide lande unsufficiente and unconnyng by force of lettres patents under the kynges grete seale of Engelande withoute duhe examinacioun by prayer and giftes have ben admittet to ther offices whereof grete hurte have falle to the kynge and to his peple within his saide lande, wherefore he by the advyce of his counseille in Engelande ordeinet that noo ministre ne officer lowir than the office of the tresourer by colour of any suche lettres patentes shulde be admittet unto suche offices lasse than he were able to governe the said office to him grauntet but that the kyng sholde be asserted of the names of suche that were sufficient that the kyng might ordeyne fore the saide officeres. And nowe in late dayes divers persouns unsufficient and unconnyng ben admitted to divers offices in the saide lande as welle by force of your letters patentes, soverayne lorde, under your grete seale of Engelande as by lettres patentes by your lieutenauntz and other governours under you here under your grete seale of your saide lande unto grete hurte unto youre saide peple and subversioun of your lawes and courtes here. Wherapoun pleas it you, soverayne lorde, thes matiers consideret, by the advyce of your saide counseille in Engelande to ordeyne that noo maner man be admitted by force of any lettres patentes made under your grete seale of Engelande or Irlande to noon suche office but by duhe examinacioun made by your governour of the saide lande fore the tyme being and the kynges counseille of your saide lande he be founde sufficient, able and connyng to occupie such offices. And if any persoun be admittet contrary unto the saide graunt that the saide governour and counseille have power to examine them and they be found unsufficient and nounable to amove hem.'


TNA (PRO), E 101/248/16, §1.


NLI, [Harris] MS 4, ff 336–9.


RCH; BL, Egerton MS 78, p. 28.


1 The item was badly damaged by 1828, and nothing further is recorded in RCH except that the petition was written in English [Anglice script']. The vernacular text is based primarily on NLI, [Harris] MS 4, ff 336–9. The date attributed to this item here is that on which parliament is known to have met at Naas.

The following abbreviations are used within in the text of CIRCLE

  • abp = archbishop [of]
  • BMV = beate Marie Virginis [of the Blessed Virgin Mary]
  • C. = chancellor [plural: chancellors]
  • co. = county (i.e. medieval shire: lower case ‘c’) [plural. cos.]
  • dcd = deceased
  • e. = earl of
  • Edw. = Edward (used when giving dates by regnal year)
  • Eng. = England
  • esq. = esquire [plural: esquires]
  • Ex. = exchequer
  • g.s. = great seal
  • Hen. = Henry
  • Ire. = Ireland
  • Jcr = justiciar [plural: justiciars]
  • JP = justice of the peace
  • K. = king
  • kt = knight
  • Lt = lieutenant
  • O.Carm. = Order of Carmelites
  • O.F.M. =  Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans)
  • O.P. = Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
  • Ric. = Richard (used when giving dates by regnal year)
  • s. = son
  • sen. = seneschal of
  • T. = treasurer [plural: treasurers]
  • w. = wife

This glossary is by no means comprehensive. Readers may also wish to consult standard references books such as Joseph Byrne, Byrne’s dictionary of local Irish History from the earliest times to c.1900 (Cork, 2004); P. G. Osborn, Osborn’s concise law dictionary, ed. Sheila Bone (London, 2001).


  • AN = Anglo-Norman
  • Ir. = Irish
  • Lat. = Latin
  • ME = Middle English
  • OED = Oxford English Dictionary





The right of patronage or presentation to a church benefice.

allocate, writ of

A writ authorizing allowance to be made by the officers of the Ex. of a specified amount: often this amount is to be off-set against the debts owed to the K. by the beneficiary.


A form of affinity proscribed in late medieval Ireland between the Irish and the English, whereby a man stood sponsor for a child at baptism; (also) gossipred.


Technical term for legal proceedings or various kinds. See mort d’ancestor, novel disseisin.

avener [Lat. avarius]

provider of oats, esp. for the household of the K. or his chief governor


Miscellaneous merchandise sold by weight.

bonnaght [Ir. buannacht]

The billeting of mercenaries or servants.


See tun.

certiorari, writ of

Letters close issued by the K. to his officers commanding them to supply information to him concerning a specified matter, normally by searching the records.


Property, goods, money: as opposed to real property (land).

dicker [Lat. dacra]

A measure of 10 hides.


Portion (one third) of a deceased husband’s estate which the law allows to his widow for her life.


The reversion of land to the lord of the fee to the crown on failure of heirs of the owner or on his outlawry.


A survey and valuation of property, esp. one made by royal inquisition.

falding [Ir. fallaing]

A kind of coarse woollen cloth produced in Ireland; the mantle or cloak made from the same.


A fixed annual rent payable to the K. by chartered boroughs.

fotmel [Lat. fotmellum]

A measure of lead.


Technical term: the action of writing out, for instance patent letters and charters; (also) the documents thus written out.


Technical term: the action of recording in the records of the K., esp. the registering of a deed, memorandum, recognizance; (also) the specific item or record thus enrolled.


A repository for the keeping of money. The ‘clerk of the hanaper in chancery’ was the chancery official responsible for the receipt of fines for the issue, engrossment and ensealing of writs, patents and charters issued by the chancery.

herberger [Lat. herbergerius, hospitator]

One sent on before to purvey lodgings for an army, a royal train (OED).

galangal [AN galyngale]

The aromatic rhizome of certain Asian plants of the genera Alpinia and Kaempferia, of the ginger family, used in cookery and herbal medicine; (also) any of these plants (OED).

generosus [Lat.]

Term designating social status: translated as ‘gentleman’.

king's widow [Lat. vidua regis]

The widow of a tenant in chief: so called because whe was not allowed to marry a second time without royal licence.

knights’ fees

Units of assessment of estates in land. Originally a single knight’s fee was the amount of land for which the military service of one knight (=knight service) was required by the crown. ‘Fee’ derives from the Latin feudum, which in other contexts translated as ‘fief’. In practice the descent of landed estates meant that many knights’ fees came to be subdivided and, in the later Middle Ages, personal service was frequently commuted to money payments (=scutage).

liberate, writ of

A chancery writ issued to the treasurer and chamberlains of the Ex. authorizing them to make payment of a specified amount, often the annual fees, wages and rewards of the K.’s officers.

linch [Lat. lincia]

A measure of tin.


The delivery of seisin, or possession, of an estate hitherto held in the K.’s hand, for instance when a minor reaches the age of majority.


Legal term: the action of undertaking to stand surety (=‘mainpernor’) for another person; the action of making oneself legally responsible for the fulfilment of a contract or undertaking by another person (OED).

mass [Lat. messa]

A standard measure of metal.


A portion of land occupied, or intended to be occupied, as the site for a dwelling house; (also) a dwelling house together with outbuildings and the adjacent land assigned to its use (OED).

mort d’ancestor, assize of [Lat. assisa mortis antecessoris]

A legal process to recover land of which the plaintiff’s ancestor (father, mother, uncle, aunt, brother sister, nephew or niece) died seised (=in possession), possession of which was since taken by another person.

nolumus, clause of [Lat. cum clausula nolumus]

A standard clause inserted especially in letters of protection by which pleas and suits are delayed for a specified period of time.

novel disseisin, assize of [Lat. assisa nove disseisine]

A legal process to recover land from which the plaintiff claims to have been dispossessed (=disseised).

pensa See wey.
piece [L. pecia] A standard quantity of merchandise.
pendent seal Seal hanging from engrossed letters patent attached to a tongue or tag of parchment.
perpresture An illegal encroachment upon royal property.
plica A fold along the foot of engrossed letters patent and charters to create a double thickness of parchment, used for attaching the ‘great seal pendent’ to the letters. An incision was made in the plica and through which a tag of parchment was attached. A wax impression of a seal was then affixed to the tag.
protection An act of grace by the K., granted by chancery letters, by which the recipient is to be free from suits at law for a specified term; granted especially to persons crossing overseas or otherwise out of reach of the courts in the K.’s service.
quare impedit, writ of An action brought to recover the advowson of a benefice, brought by the patron against the bishop or other person hindering the presentation.
scutage The commutation of personal military service to the crown for a money payment. Normally called ‘royal service’ in Ireland.
seisin Formal legal possession of land.
sendal [Lat. cendallum; ME cendal] A thin rich silken material (OED).
stallage [Lat. stallagium, estallagium] Payment for a market stall.
tun [Latdolium] A large cask or barrel, esp. of wine.
valettus A term designating social status: translated ‘yeoman’.
Vidua Regis [Lat.] See King's widow.
volumus, clause of [Lat. cum clausula volumus] A standard clause inserted esp. in letters of protection by which pleas and suits are delayed for a specified period of time. In full the clause runs: volumus quod interim sit quietus de omnibus placitis et querelis (=we wish that meanwhile he be quit of all pleas and plaints).
waif A piece of property which is found ownerless and which, if unclaimed within a fixed period after due notice given, falls to the lord.
waivery [AN weiverie] The technical term for proceedings of outlawry in the case of women.
wey [Lat. pensa, peisa, pisa] A standard of dry-goods weight.
worsted [ME wyrstede] A woollen fabric or stuff made from well-twisted yarn spun of long-staple wool combed to lay the fibres parallel (OED).
writ [Lat. brevis] Letters close containing commands by the K. to certain specified persons, esp. royal officers. Returnable writs, which were not normally enrolled in the chancery rolls, were to be returned by the officer to chancery with details of the actions taken by the officer in response to the contents. See also allocate, certiorari, liberate.