Patent Roll 19 Richard II

20 Jan. 1396

For the salvation and defence of the town of Callan, which lies among the K.'s Irish enemies and rebels, and for fortifications and repairs against their malice, GRANT to the sovereign, provosts and community of that town, by advice of the council, that for 24 years they may take and receive the following customs on all articles for sale coming to or going out of that town in order to build a wall and pavements, viz.:

from each pound of ginger, 1d;
from each pound of saffron, 2d;
from each pound of pepper, ¼d;
from each pound of galyngale, 1d;
from each pound of cloves, 1d;
from each pound of grain of Paris [gryndeparys], 1d;
from all other kinds of spices to the value of 12d, ¼d;
from 100 pounds of wax, 6d;
from 100 pounds of Alleyn, 3d;
from each hide, tanned, fresh or salted, in ships arriving or leaving, ½d;
from each pound of cherries, 3d;
from each piece of legys, 4d;
from each piece of English cloth, 6d;
from 12 yards of English cloth, 3d;
from each piece of Irish cloth containing 12 yards, 1d;
from each piece of linen […];
from 12 measures of iron, 1d;
from 100 spits of Spanish iron, 4d;
from each fotmell of lead, ½d;
from 100 pounds of soroff, 1d;
from all kinds of avoirdupois worth 12d, ¼d;
from 1000 spike-nails, 1d;
from each frail of batry [kitchenware], 8d;
from each gross of pots or bowls, 4d;
from each hundred-weight of batry [kitchenware], 4d;
from each gallon of wine, 6d;
from each pipe of wine, 3d;
from each crannock of ordinary malt, 1d;
from each crannock of first-grade malt, 2d;
from each crannock of grain, 2d;
from each sum of grain, ½d;
from each sum of butter, 1d;
from each last of butter, 1d;
from each stone of onions, ½d;
from each mease of herrings, 1[…];
from each crannock of salt, 1d;
from each crannock of barley, beans and peas, 1d;
from each crannock of oats and other grain, 1d;
from each stone of wool, 1d;
from each sack of wool, 4d;
from each hide, tanned, fresh or salted, ½d;
from any hides valued at 12d and other skins of sporlyng, 1d;
from 100 woolfells, 1d;
from 100 lamb-skins, 2d;
from other fells worth 12d, ¼d;
from each horse worth 40s and more, 6d;
from each draught-horse, nag, cow or pig, 1d;
from each calf, ¼d;
from each large pig, 1d;
from each small pig, ½d;
from each 100 rabbit-skins, 2d;
from 100 wolf-skins, 3d;
from each sum of fish, ½d;
from 100 dried fish, 2d;
from each salmon, ¼d;
from 1000 eels or whiting, 1d;
from timber, carts and boards valued at 4s, 1d;
from each falcon or goshawk, 1d;
from each hawk or little hawk, ½d;
from each millstone, 1d;
from 2 grindstones, ¼d;
from 12 crocis of coal, 1d;
from each stone of butter, onions and cheese, ½d;
from each gallon of honey, 8d;
from each pipe of salmon, 18d;
from each hundred weight of glass, 1d;
from each hundred-weight of shellfish or other slated, dried or hard fish, 1d;
from 2000 onions, ¼d;
from 8 sheaves of garlic, ¼d;
from 8 stone of canvas and linen, 1d;
from each new chest and each 1000 dishes or vessels of wood, ¼d;
from 100 pounds of pitch or resin, ½d;
from 100 measures of slabs, ½d;
from all merchandise to the value of 6s 8d not already mentioned, ½d;
and on merchandise to the value of 13s 4d not already mentioned, 1d;

ORDER to receive those customs until the end of the said term by themselves or by deputies. The money derived from these customs is to be spent on the repair of the walls and pavements, and not otherwise. And they are to render a faithful account each year before the bishop of Ossory and the seneschal or sheriff of Kilkenny, and not at the Ex. of Ire.

Roger Mortimer, e. March, Lt

NAI, Ferguson Coll. 2, pp 178–9 (=an inspeximus under the g.s. of Ire., dated at Dublin, 20 Jan. 1403).

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.