Close Roll 7 Henry VI

[1 Jan. 1429]

MEMORANDUM that on 11 Dec. [1428] at Trim, John Sutton kt, Lt of Ire., declared before the council that (as he had heard) Nicholas Plunket kt, T. of Ire., and departed the land [of Ire.]. And the Lt asked the council how that office should be exercised in the T.’s absence. To this Richard [Talbot], abp Dublin, C., answered and declared that the T., together with a certain clerk of chancery, came to him [the C.] on another occasion and declared that the Lt and council had agreed that the T. might appoint a deputy during his absence, and that he might have the same agreement as Hugh Bavent1 clk, formerly T., had in a similar case. And upon this, the said C., trusting in his fealty, recommended that the said agreement should made. Whereupon the Lt asked the C. if he had known or heard that the Lt had ordered and given his consent to the appointment of the said deputy; and the C. said that he had not. Then the Lt asked the following persons, one by one, if they had known [etc., as above], viz.:

Henry Fortescue, chief justice of Ire.;
James Alleyn kt, chief justice of the common bench;
James Cornewalsh, chief baron of the Ex.;
Roger Hakenshawe, second justice at pleas [etc.];
Thomas Straunge kt, one of the K.’s councillors;
and Christopher Bernevale, serjeant-at-laws.

One by one they said that they had not. Then the Lt said that he never ordered the T. or any clerk of the chancery to make that agreement, nor had he heard anything of it before being informed of it now; nor had he granted his consent to the same; and he asked of the council whether or not the said memorandum and the enrolment should be cancelled. They said that it seemed to them that it was insufficient in law [etc.]; and, after mature deliberation, it was decided that they should be cancelled, and that all the premises should be enrolled in chancery. Furthermore, the Lt and council asked Christopher [Bernevale] if he would be willing to exercise the said office of deputy T. by virtue of the memorandum and letters patent of the deputy made to him. He said that he would not. From this it was adjudged that the said memorandum should be cancelled.

Afterwards, on 31 Dec. [1428] in the council at Dublin, the Lt asked James Butler, e. Ormond, who was then present, if he had known [etc., as above]; and he said that he had not; nor had the earl given his assent. And Reginald Sniterby was questioned similarly; and he said no. And furthermore the C. was asked, considering the said examinations and matters, if he wished to give his consent for the cancellation of that memorandum (as he was absent from the said judgement). He said that, because he himself had ordered the said agreement to be made by the T., according to his declaration, and had caused letters of deputation to the said Christopher to be sealed with the g.s., and also had received the oath of Christopher for his good behaviour in that office, that in no manner did he wish to give his assent to that cancellation; on the contrary, it seemed to him that the memorandum and enrolment ought in no way to be annulled for those reasons. Then the Lt asked him, as one of the council, whether he would he give his assent in the premises if he were not the C.; to which he answered that, as the others of the council had given [their assent], he would give his.

Afterwards, on 1 Jan. [1429] in the council at Dublin, the Lt asked the council what seemed should best be done in this part for the honour and advantage of the K. and the land. And because it appeared to the Lt and council that the said Nicholas was absent from Ire., and the office was unoccupied by his absence; and also that the K., in the letters patent by which he appointed Nicholas as T., had granted him no power to appoint a deputy, it seemed to the council that if the said office were vacant without royal [licence] that much harm might easily come about to the K. and the land. Wishing to avoid such harm, the Lt appointed Thomas [Barry], bp Ossory, as T. of Ire., by advice of the council, according to the custom of the said land used and approved of old in such cases; to have [that office] during pleasure, with the fee pertaining [to it]. The K.’s letters patent concerning this were made out to the bishop in the due form; and all the premises were made of record in the rolls of chancery.1


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


1 The date on which the memorandum was enrolled is not given in RCH; the date given here is that of the council that met on 1 Jan. 1429, as it was during this session of the council that it was decided that the proceedings should be enrolled.

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.