Patent Roll 21 Henry VI

25 Apr. 1443

Letters [in English] given under the g.s. of Ire. plaqué,

'Most reverende Fadres in Gode and oure right noble and wirchipfull Lordes, we recommaunde us to your gracious lordeshipes, and please hit your seide graciouses lordshipes to witte, that we have writte to the Kinge our Sovereigne Lorde, that hit wolde please his noble grace to advertise the gret costes of oure wirshipfulle lorde James Erle of Ormond, his Lieutenaunt of his lande of Irland, which he susteneth as well in labouring for the salfe garde of the saide lande as in making paiement to the poeple of the same lande for him, his housold and soldejours, to the importable charges of him and his frendes, and that hit wold plaise oure saide Sovereigne Lorde to yeve in commaundement to his Tresorer in England, to make duhe paiement to the saide Lieutenant of alle that is be hynde to hym of his wages for the keping of the saide lande, and that hit pleaset our Sovereigne Lord to consider that his land of Irland is his lordshipe of old tyme annexet to his corone of his noble roialme of England, in the whiche lande our saide Sovereigne Lorde and alle his right noble and worthi progenitours sumtyme Kinges of Engeland and Lordes of Irland of tyme that no mynde rennythe have hade courtes ther; that is to say, Chauncery, Chief Place, Commune Benche, and Escheker, in fourme and manere as he hathe in his saide noble roialme of Engeland, and now late the saide lande is so enpovereshet, and the revenus of hit soo diminnyshet that they sufficethe not by gret somes to the paiement of the officeres of his saide courtes, and others his officeres, as constables of his Castell in his saide lande, and that not withstanding by diverse suytes made to his noble grace he, not lernet of the gret diminycioun of his saide revenus, hath made diverses grauntes to divers persones of his saide revenus, to some for terme of lyve and other for terme of yeres, and other wies after his plesier, the whiche grauntes if they tak effecte will cause the seide revenus so to be diminiset that they wille in no maner suffice to paiement of his saide officers, and also his courtes wille be eminent to cesse and not to be occupiet by anny officers, and his saide Castell noght keptet ne defendet in defaut of paiement, in disheritaunce of hym and subversioun of his saide lande, which God defend, in las that he of his highe grace ordeine in Engeland for paiement of his saide officeres, [and] that hit wold please his saide roiall Majeste that no graunte were made to non persone of his saide revenus fro hens for the, and that such grauntes of his grace so made bi for this tyme of his saide revenus were duhely and graciously refourmet and remediet as hit please his highenesse. Also for as moche as the citees of our saide Sovereigne Lorde of Cork and Lymeryk, and the towne of Galvy, wiche in his saide lande paie not thar fee fermes coketes and custumes duhe to our saide Soveraigne Lord as they didde of old tyme, ne obeyethe his commaundementes directed to hame for suche causes, that shippes and merchaundises of the saide citees and towne comyng to Bristow, other to anny other poorte in Engeland, be pootte under arrest and so to abide tille they fynde suyrte that sufficient persones of the saide cittees and towne shalle wyth in resonable tyme come to accompt to his Escheker in Irlande of ther said fee ferme, coket, and custumes, and mak fulle paiement of that that is duhe to our saide Soveraigne Lorde; beseching yow of your gracious Lordshipes benyngnely to accepte James Aleyne, knyght, presentour of our saide writyng to our saide Soveraigne Lord, and of this our letter to your said gracious Lordshipes [. . . .], and graciously resceyve and heir and so tendir the saide James and writin, that by your gracious fordrance he be soner spedde and anseweret, and made repeir in to the saide lande of Irland, un to gret comfort of us your servauntes. Most reverende Fadres in God, and our right noble and wirchipfulle Lordes, the Holy Trinite have yow in his blesset governaunce.

Writtin atte Drogheda undir that one part of our saide Sovereigne Lorde is Gret Seale of his saide lande, the xxv, day of Apriel.'


PKCI, pp xlv–xlvi (=edition BL, MS Cotton Titus B. XI, f. 22b).

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.