Patent Roll 19 Richard II

26 Jan. 1396
Dublin
To all and singular archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, seneschals, sovereigns, provosts, mayors, bailiffs, serjeants, subserjeants and all other ministers and faithful persons.

The K. has considered that the town of Galway in Connacht—which is the key of those parts of the K.’s land of Ire., in which all his faithful people and lieges, both strangers and others coming to those parts, are received, protected, comforted and relieved—is surrounded both by the K.’s Irish enemies and English rebels, so that the burgesses of that town and others dwelling there dare not come to that town or leave it for the purpose of trade or transacting other business, either by land or water, without a great guard. For the safe custody of that town against the malice of the K.’s said enemies and rebels, the burgesses continually by day and night find and sustain various men-at-arms at their own costs, to the manifest impoverishment of their estate.1

[1] In aid of the relief and comfort of the town, and so that merchants and others might be more induced and encouraged to reside and dwell there, GRANT and LICENCE to the provost and burgesses forever, for the better resistance of the said enemies and rebels to elect a sovereign among themselves each year by their common assent, who shall take oath after the first election before the provost and afterwards before the sovereign of the preceding year to rule and govern that town well and laudably, and to maintain the K.’s laws and the good customs hitherto used and approved in that town, and to do and exercise all things that by right concern the office of sovereign in similar boroughs for the good rule and profit of that town.
[2] Further GRANT that no merchant or other person residing in the town who is not a burgess shall buy or sell merchandise or victuals at retail within the liberty of the town;
[3] and also that the burgesses shall have all liberties, franchises, jurisdictions, privileges, recognizance of pleas, and customs that the burgesses of Drogheda on both sides of the water have, saving to the lord of the town and his heirs, the rents, services, fines, amercements, issues and profits belonging to him and them from that town and its courts, just as they and their ancestors were accustomed to receive.

Witnesses:
Roger Mortimer, e. March and Ulster, the K's cousin and his Lt in the land of Ire;
Stephen le Scrope, deputy of the Jcr of Ire.;
Alexander [Balscot], bp Meath, C. of Ire.;
James Butler, e. Ormond;
Gerald fitz Morice, e. Kildare;
Peter Rowe, justice of the K.'s bench;
John fitz Adam, justice of the common bench of Ire.

T: 

Mac Niocaill, Na Buirgéisí, i, pp 225–8; James Hardiman, History of the town and county of Galway from the earliest period to the present time (Dublin, 1820), appendix 3, pp vi–vii.

C: 

CPR Ire., Hen. VIII–Eliz., pp 195–6; CPR 1401–5, p. 86, item 1 (=an inspeximus dated at Westminster, 12 March 1401).

Footnotes: 

1 The numbered clauses below are summaries of the Latin text, the numeration corresponding to the edition in Mac Niocaill, Na Buirgéisí, i, pp 225–8.

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.