Patent Roll 2 Richard II

9 Mar. 1379

INSPEXIMUS of the following documents, viz.:

[1] A writ of certiorari dated at Clonmel, 22 Feb. [1379] 2 Ric. II.
[2] The return to that writ.
[3] A petition in French displayed by the Jcr to the K.'s council in Ire.
[4] And the endorsement of that petition.

[1. Writ of certiorari.]

'Wishing to be informed concerning how much is owed to the K.'s dear cousin, James [Butler], e. Ormond, Jcr of Ire., both of his fee of £500 which he receives as Jcr, and also for other sums owed to him by the K. and not yet paid, ORDER to the T., barons and chamberlains of the Ex. to search the rolls and memoranda of the Ex., returning their findings to the K. in his chancery of Ire.

Attested by James Butler, e. Ormond, at Clonmel, 22 Feb. [1369] 2 Ric. II.'

[2. Return to writ of certiorari.]

'Having searched the rolls of the Ex. of Ire., it is found that the following sums are in arrears to James [Butler], e. Ormond, Jcr of Ire., viz. £301 8s of his fee annual fee of £500 from 7 Oct [1377] 1 Ric. II until 22 Feb. [1379] 2 Ric. II, viz. 1¼ years and a day; and £50 of a reward granted to him for the retinue of Robert Tame and Edward Perers, 7 men-at-arms and 67 archers, from 7 Oct. [1377] until 20 Jan. [1378] next in the K.'s wars. And £18 from payments made by the Jcr to Tyrelagh Obrien, appointed chieftain of his lineage in the K.'s court, to maintain him against Obrien Shramagh, the K.'s enemy.'

[3. Petition.]
'To the K.'s council in Ire., James [Butler], e. Ormond, shows that on 8 June last, by advice of the council—considering and perceiving how McMurgh, chieftain of his lineage [cheveteyn de sa nacioun], had wickedly arisen in open war, claiming to be K. of Leinster and being confederated and allied with all the Irish of Leinster, and Murgh Obreen and Okerwyll and various others, both Irish and English rebels of Munster, with a great number of men on horse and foot supporting him, with intent to destroy the parts of Leinster and make a general conquest of the K.'s lieges there—, it was ordained in order to resist and overthrow this wicked design and to save those parts that the said Jcr should retain from time to time as many men-at-arms, archers, hobelars and foot beyond the armed men included within the K.'s commission of office, as seemed to him good and necessary for the resistance of those enemies, and for the salvation and good government of the said land, to be paid by Thomas Everdon clk from the revenues of the said land. Whereupon a writ of liberate was ordered and directed to the T. and chamberlains of the Ex. authorizing the clerk to deliver £300 in part-payment of those wages, as more fully appears by the accord.

Perceiving that those enemies were assembled and ready to come upon the liege people to fulfil their wickedness and that there was nothing in the K.'s treasury, as was shown by the bishop of Leighlin, then deputy of the T. of Ire., the Jcr retained certain men-at-arms [etc.] for the resistance of those enemies, and for the payment of their wages lent £254 to the K., and delivered it by indenture to the said clerk, to be paid in wages. The said clerk is chargeable for that sum in his account at the Ex.

The Jcr seeks a writ [of certiorari] concerning the premises to pay him that sum, and to charge the said clerk for the same in his account. And if he cannot be paid by the T., he asks the council to inform the K. and council in Eng. of the sums owed to him that cannot be paid owing to the poverty of the treasury of Ire.'

[4. Endorsement of petition.]
'Having viewed this petition, the K. issued the writ of certiorari; and having viewed the return, viz. that James, e. Ormond, was owed £369 8s, and having been informed by the T.of Ire. that there is nothing in the K.'s treasury in Ire. with which to pay him, it was agreed to inform the K. and council in Eng. concerning the premises by a patent of inspeximus under the g.s. of Ire.'

EXEMPLIFICATION at the request of the said Jcr [James Butler, e. Ormond].

James Butler, e. Ormond, Jcr

NLI, D 1258.


COD, ii, §237; Paul Dryburgh and Brendan Smith (eds), 'Calendar of documents relating to medieval Ireland in the series of Ancient Deeds in the National Archives of the United Kingdom', AH, no. 39 (2006), 36–7.

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.