Patent Roll 22 Edward IV

15 Feb. 1483
Limerick

The K. has considered the many losses, dangers, burnings and other grievances that the town of Kilmallock and the K.'s liege inhabitants had sustained from Irish enemies and English enemies, whereby they were so impoverished that they could no longer defend themselves or keep the town unless they were granted relief. Therefore, for the better governance and defence of that town, LICENCE to the burgesses and their successors to elect from among themselves on Monday after Michaelmas each year, by assent of twelve of the better and chief burgesses or the greater part of them, one of the burgesses to be sovereign; and in case of his death within the year to chose another.

The sovereign and burgesses are hereby created and incorporated as a lawful and representative body and one community under the name of the sovereign and burgesses of Kilmallock, to sue and be sued, and to act in all cases concerning the burgesses and community of the town.

The sovereign, burgesses and community may receive certain customs on articles for sale in that town, to be expended upon the enclosing of the town with a wall; and the collectors are to account before the sovereign and council of the community or before auditors appointed by them. The sovereign and council are to assess the inhabitants for payment of the town expenses; and the sovereign may distrain for the same, and should render a just account. A sovereign who accepts the office and refuses to act in it is to forfeit 100s, to be applied to the defence of the town. Persons insulting or injuring the sovereign are to be punished by amercement or otherwise at the will of the town council. No person is to exercise the liberties of the town without the licence of the sovereign and council, under a penalty to be imposed by them; and that penalty is to be employed on the repair of the town.

The sovereign and council are to regulate the prices of markets. No person is to sell or export grain out of the town without the licence of the sovereign and council, on pain of forfeiture of the goods. No person is to have a dunghill or heap on the streets from one Saturday to another, under penalty of 3d for each offence. The sovereign and council are to amerce all persons making aqua vite within the town, contrary to the prohibition of the sovereign. All amercements are to be expended upon the repair of the walls and the enclosure of the town, and should be accounted for before the council or auditors appointed by them.

The sovereign is to act as escheator and clerk of the market, and is to impose amercements and forfeitures, by assent of the council, to be expended as before. No burgess is to be impleaded for lands within the borough, but a recognizance is to be made before the K.’s justices; and burgesses are not to be placed on assizes or recognizances before the judges itinerant unless for their external tenures.

The sovereign and community are to take, for a term of 40 years, one quarter of all rents of burgages, both inside and outside the town, to be expended upon the repair of the walls, to be accounted for as above. The sovereign and community are to amerce all persons obstructing the roads, walls or ditches of the town and are to have power to make walls and ditches through he grounds of any inhabitant, allowing a right of passage to such grounds.

With POWER to the sovereign and common council to assess the inhabitants from time to time to pay the salary or stipend of the sovereign and other expenses for the common good of the town. Saving to the bishop of Limerick and his successors all liberties, services and customs due to the crown.

C: 

CPR Ire., Hen. VIII–Eliz., pp 217–18; BL, Egerton MS, p. 44.

N: 

Lib. mun. pub. Hib., p. 25.

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.