Close Roll 9 Henry VI

[No date.]

'Righte hie and mightie Prince, Reverent Faders in God, and oure righte worthie Lordes, the Lordes Spiritueles and Temporeles, and Comones of the londe of Ireland, we recomande us unto you as louly as we cann, certifieying you that all the Irish ennemies and English rebelles to our soveraigne Lorde in the saide londe with grete multitude of Scottes sende unto thaym oute of Scottelond, seying oure nonne poayre and nonne ordennance made by oure said soverayne Lorde nor by you for the savegarde of the saide londe, bene confedered and sworne togedyr, and have labored overmore, and zet do, to make a finale conqeste of the said londe, and to put the liege popull therof to be tributarie unto thame, and under thame to payze obeisance, notwithstaunding the grete labour that oure noble lorde, th’Erchebyshop of Dyvelynn, Justice of the sayde londe, doth and shows dayly, hym to importable coste in resistence of the malice and defetyng of the evyll purpose of the enemyes and rebelles aforesaide. And yet for all the labour and resistence that the saide Justice can and do the mak ageynst the sayde enemyes and rebelles, more than any other Lieutenaunt or other Governour did in thayre tyme before this, the saide enemyes and rebelles have conquered and put under thayre obeisance and tribute in the parties of Mounester wel negh all the countees of Lymerik, Tiperary, Kilkenny and Weysford, and now in the nother parties wel negh all the countees of Carlagh, Kildare, Mith, Urrioll so that ther is lafte unconquered and out of tribute but the counte of Dyvelyne, and litill other noghte of the countees forsaide, so that all is like to be conquered upon, lesse then there come stronge helpe and manfull succour unto us frome oure saide soveraigne Lorde in haste.
Where upon the said Justices by th'advise of oure saide soveraigne Lordes Counsaile have ordeyned a Gret Counsaile, to be held at the Cittee of Dyvelyn the Saterday nexte afer Migholemasse day that last was, to purveye for some hastie remedie in this mischiefous case and distresse that we stoned in, and this maters diligently communed among us in the saide Counsaile we cann none ordenaunce make to withstonde the malice of the saide enemyes and rebells withoute that oure said soveraigne Lorde throghe youre gracious purveyaunce sende hidur comforte and strength of popull in haste and a notebull and manfull chiefetayne havynge sufficeante of gode to paye his sowdiors and the trewe liege popull. For the which cause we have chosen by holle assent and autoritie of the saide Counsaile Thomas Strange, Tresorer of the saide londe, and Richard Wellesley, knightes, our messyngers to come to oure saide soveraigne Lord, other to you, with oure message conteyned in thies our letters endented, besechyng you at the reverence of God and in salvacioune of oure saide soveraigne Lordes lond and of his liege popull theron to accept graciously thies lettres of oure saide messyngers, and the message in the same lettres expressed benynglie and tendyrlie to here, and some hastie remedie therupon to ordeyne, and with that to commande our saide messyngers to repayre again with all haste possibull in comforting of us and rebuking of oure enemyes, and that thies our lettres mout be putte of recorde in the Tresorie of oure said soveraigne Lorde there for oure excuse in tyme comyng, in case there falle a mischief or other perill to the saide londe in tyme comyng by the said enemyes and rebelles, as it is abovesaid, that God defende, for in oure poyer it is not to withstonde thayre malice. And also that it like you of youre hie rightwisnesse to gif none affiance to any certificate or other message contrarie to this sende, other to be sende oute of this londe to oure saide soveraigne Lorde, other to you, but oonly to this. For if it happe any suche for to come, it comes for parcialte and for singular affiaunce and not for the comune profite of all the popull of the londe abovesaid.

Righte hie and mightie Prince, Reverent Faders in God, and oure righte worthie Lordes, in witnessynge and autorizacione of this oure said message, the chancellor of the said londe at our request to this oure lettres hathe putte the grete seale of our said soveraigne Lorde of this londe abovesaid, the place and day aforesaide the yere of the reigne of oure saide soveraigne Lorde the ninth.'1


NLI, [Harris] MS 4, f. 314.


Ir. parl., p. 163 note 4.


1 This letter of grievances, addressed to the K.'s council in Eng., is said in NLI, [Harris] MS 4, f. 314, to have been enrolled in the Irish close roll of 9 Hen. VI.

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.