Patent Roll 16 Edward IV

[...] Jan. 1477

Warrant: 'It is granted by authority of parliament that letters patent be made authorizing William [Sherwood], bp Meath, and others named to found a chantry in the chapel of BMV in the parish church of St Nicholas, Greenoge, in the diocese of Meath, in the form that follows:

"Whereas William [Sherwood], bp Meath, Roland fitz Eustace kt, lord of Portlester, Richard, abbot of the house of St Thomas the Martyr near Dublin, Thomas Bathe kt, Thomas Scurlagge esq., Robert Kerdyef esq., William Whitside, John White, chaplain, Robert Elize, chaplain, Edmond Lounsby, Richard Bermingham, Nicholas Dowdyng and Philip Lang inflamed with the fervour of devotion and charity purpose to begin anew and found a certain perpetual chantry of one chaplain in honour of God, BMV and St Nicholas the Bshop, to celebrate divine service in the chapel of BMV in the parish church of St Nicholas the Bishop of Greenoge, diocese of Meath, for the K.’s welfare and the souls of the said founders, their relatives and friends, and also the souls of all the faithful departed; whereupon they have besought the K. to deign to grant them his royal licence for the same. The K., commending the pious and salutary purpose of the same William, bp Meath [etc.], and desiring that divine worship should be increased in his time and willing the more favourably to assent to their prayer for that consideration and in order that he may able to be made partaker as perfectly as possible in their charity, has granted and given licence to the said William, bp Meath [etc.], that they and every of them may begin anew, found, make, institute and erect such a chantry forever, and that the same William, bp Meath [etc.], and every of them may be able to give and grant to the chaplain, established in the chantry, lands, tenements, rents and services, with the appurtanences to the value of £10 p.a. beyond the charges and reprises thereof, whether they be held of the K. or of others, without any writ of ad quod damnum, to have and to hold to the chaplain in the chantry established and his successors for ever, without any other licence thereof to be obtained or sued, of the K., his heirs or successors.

And further, the K. has granted and given licence that the chaplain and his successors may purchase and acquire lands, tenements, rents and services, with their appurtenances, to the value of 100s p.a. beyond the charges and reprises thereof, whether they be held of the K. or of others, to have and to hold to him and his successors for ever without any writ of ad quod damnum in this behalf to be purchased or obtained. The statute published of lands and tenements not to be put in mortmain or whatsoever other statute, act, ordinance, provision, thing or matter to the contrary thereof published, made, provided, ordained or had notwithstanding. And moreover, the K. has granted and given special licence that the chaplain in the chantry established and his successors may receive and occupy all the lands, tenements, rents and services with their appurtenances given and granted to them and enjoy them, to him and his successors for ever without any other licence thereof from the K., his heirs or successors to be purchased or obtained. And further, the K. wills and by the presents grant to the bishop and his successors for ever that every of them successively, for defects, culpable causes, bad government, negligence, ignorance, or for example on account of deficiency of knowledge, death, resignation, translation or surrender, with the assent of the bishop and twelve parishioners of the parish by the bishop and his successors for the time being for that purpose to be summoned and sworn to declare the truth as to every of the premises, may exonerate, depose and remove such chaplain in the chantry established from such service, and so often as it shall be necessary and expedient from time to time may make, ordain and constitute another fit chaplain in the stead and place of him so exonerated, deposed, and removed, with the assent and will of the bishop and twelve parishioners. Not willing that the said William, bp Meath [etc.] or the chaplain or any of them or their heirs or the heir of any one of them or their successors or similarly the parishioners or their successors, by reason of the premises or any of them, shall be troubled, troubled or aggrieved by the K., his heirs or successors, justices, lieutenants, deputies, governors, escheators, sheriffs, bailiffs or ministers of the K., his heirs or successors." '


Stat. Edw. IV, pt 2, pp 576–82.

End of Roll

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.