Close Roll 7 Henry VI

1 Apr. 1429
Drogheda

ENROLMENT of anonymous articles, which John Sutton kt, Lt of Ire., displayed before the council at Drogheda on 1 April [1429] 7 Hen. VI, declaring that he had been informed that these articles were sent by certain persons in Ire. to the K. and council in Eng. in hindrance of articles [§9] sent by parliament to the same. The substance of these dissenting articles [articuli contrarii] (which were written in English) follows here, viz.:

[1] The first article denies that evil administration of the late Lt was the reason for the evils of the preceding year, but [rather] the incitements and exhortations of certain of the peers and gentlemen [procerum & generosorum] of Ire., who stir up the Irish enemies and English rebels to arson and other outrages [ad incendia & alia enormia]; and that neither the peers nor the commons nor the counties nor the boroughs were willing to go in the Lt’s company in resistance of those enemies, although they were summoned by the K.’s writ at the Lt’s order.

[2] In response to the second article: they observe first that it is beyond doubt that lieges should be satisfied of moneys owed to them; since at this time little or nothing has been paid to them, which happened more rarely before this time.

[3] To the third article, which seeks that the Lt should not be changed during good governance [dum rei publice bene est]: they say that, first, that it would be against law to circumscribe royal power in that way; and, second, that the government has never been so ill as it now is.

[4]To the fourth, that allegations against governors [etc.] should be verified in Ire. by information of the parliament or great council of Ire.: they say, first, that the jurisdiction for such defaults pertains to the K. alone; and, second, that the truth would not be ascertained, since those who are sent to parliaments and councils are chosen not for the comfort of the K. and his lieges but rather by the will of the peers and magnates.

[5] To the fifth, concerning robberies [etc.]: they say that such injuries pertain to the common law, to which those affected may appeal.

[6] To the sixth, concerning the gracious actions of the earl of Ormond: they say that insofar as he acted well he assuredly deserved commendation; but insofar as he acted to the contrary, he did not; and that his actions at present tend rather to the ruin and destruction than to the comfort of the land.

[7] And finally, as to the speedy payment of the wages of the Lt, so earnestly requested: [they say that] the payment need not be so speedy, considering the many public subsidies (of which several were enumerated) he received and the large sums he took privately [privatim].'

When these articles had been read out, the following persons were asked one by one if they knew of, or had any part in, the making or transmitting these articles, viz. Richard [Talbot], abp Dublin, C., asked Christopher Bernevale, serjeant-at-laws; James Alleyn kt, chief justice of the common bench; Thomas Straunge kt, one of the K.’s councillors; Henry Fortescue, chief justice of the chief place; James Butler, e. Ormond; Thomas [Barry], bp Ossory; and John [Swayne], abp Armagh, primate;
and the Lt asked the said C.

All those persons said that they did not. Whereupon, by advice of the said council, the Lt ordered that all the premises should be recorded in an act and enrolled in chancery, and that all the premises should be exemplified and sent to the K. and council in Eng. in declaration that the Irish council had no part, nor did it wish to have any, in so great a deception of the K. and his people of Ire.

C: 

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

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).

Abbreviations

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

 

Term

Explanation

advowson

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.

alterage

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.

assize

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

avoirdupois

Miscellaneous merchandise sold by weight.

bonnaght [Ir. buannacht]

The billeting of mercenaries or servants.

cask

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.

chattels

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

dicker [Lat. dacra]

A measure of 10 hides.

dower

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

escheat

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

extent

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.

fee-farm
 

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

fotmel [Lat. fotmellum]

A measure of lead.

engrossment

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

enrolment

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.

hanaper

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.

livery

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.

mainprize

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.

messuage

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.