Patent Roll 22 Henry VI

1 Jul. 1444

INSPEXIMUS by Hen. VI of several enrolments in the chancery of Ire. as follows.

[1] 'MEMORANDUM that on 30 March [?22 Hen. VI] in the K.’s council within the house of the Friars Minor of Drogheda | a discussion took place between James Butler, e. Ormond, Lt of Ire., and the following members of the K.'s council, viz.:

Richard [Talbot], abp Dublin;
Richard Wogan, chaplain, C. of Ire.;
Christopher Bernewall [chief] justice for holding the K.’s pleas in Ire.;
Robert Dowdall, chief justice of the common bench in Ire.;
John Cornewalsh, chief baron of the Ex.;
William Chever, second justice of the K.’s pleas;
Peter Clayton, one of the barons of the Ex.
Edward Somerton, the K.’s serjeant-at-law;
and Richard FitzEustace kt.

The Lt declared that for the advantage and benefit of the said land he had directed letters under the p.s. to Giles Thorndon, then T. of Ire., and to others of the K.’s council in Ire. to be with him at Drogheda on Friday after the Annunciation of BMV. Yet notwithstanding that the letter of p.s. was delivered to the said T. and received by him, after the letter so received the T. on the tenth hour after the Nones on the day of the Annunciation of BMV stole away in the night secretly and like a thief out of Dublin castle towards Howth and there took ship for abroad to enter [Eng.] without any mandate of the K. or of the royal council of Eng. directed to him, or that he absented himself for any good of the lord K. in Ire., nor did he declare any such cause to the lord Lt or his council. But because tide and wind were against them the sailors were compelled to return to Ire. on the morrow of the Annunciation, and said T. had to land at Howth as the Lt learned by evidence of bailiffs, wardens, sailors and others who dwell on that coast, duly examined before him. After which declaration Sir Christopher Bernewell showed the Lt how that the T. before his departure from Ire. by Irish letters patent he was appointed as deputy in the office of T. in his absence. Asked by the Lt if he had these letters, he said no. Wherefore, because by due examination both of the C. and also of the deputy clerk and keeper of the rolls of chancery of Ire. it was discovered that the said pretended deputyship was made to Christopher on the 23 March in the above year, which pretended deputyship was before the T.’s first crossing over the sea as narrated abov, the said C. being questioned whether he knew of any later deputyship made by the T. to Sir Christopher or to any else before his later crossing to Eng., viz. was there after the feast of the Annunciation any such deputy-ship sealed under the K.’s seal, said no. Wherefore the Lt, reciting various precedents in such cases made by the Lt, justices and other officers of the K., and moved, as he declared, by reason and the laws and ancient customs of the said land |found the office of T. of Ire. vacant and unoccupied, and declared it so before the said royal council.

The Lt ordered all of this to be enacted and enrolled and to remain on record in the rolls of chancery.'

INSPEXIMUS of a second record enrolled in the chancery of Ire. to this effect, viz.:

[2] 'MEMORANDUM that in the abovesaid day, place and time the Lt before the royal council declared how that by trustworthy evidence he had learned that the said Giles, T., and constable of Dublin castle, had consorted with one Thomas fitz Maurice, a notorious traitor who, with a multitude of Irish enemies and English rebels, had broken the K.’s prison and gaol in which lay Brother Thomas fitz Gerot, styling himself prior of the hospital of St John of Jerusalem in Ire. | whom the Lt had put there on suspicion of felony and treason, and afterwards had been given special mandate by the K. under his p.s. of Eng. to keep him firmly detained and guarded until he should have other command from him | and brought out the said pretended prior and set him at large. He (Giles), knowing Thomas to have committed felony and treason, had in Dublin castle, both in the hall at table as in the room and garden there, and also in the church of St Mary “de le Dam” near the castle, had secret colloquies with him and received him now publicly now secretly. Which Thomas incontinently afterwards went off to the said Irish enemies and traitorously adhered to them and still adheres. Also Giles had absented himself out of the land of Ire. before this on various occasions contrary to the statutes made thereon. Wherefore the Lt, moved by these and other charges made against said Giles, as he asserted, took and seized into the K.’s hand all offices and fees belonging to him; all which he ordered to be enacted and enrolled in chancery and to remain on record.'

INSPEXIMUS of a third record of the chancery of Ire., to this effect.

[3] 'MEMORANDUM that in the said year, day and place, viz. 30 March, the same Lt declared to the K.’s counsellors of Ire., then assembled, that he had for various reasons decreed the offices and fees of said Giles to be vacant and seized unto the K.’s hand, and because it was not to the advantage of the K. and public weal that they should remain vacant and because Easter was approaching, in which the K.’s revenues in Ire. by various means were likely to accrue, and be received into the treasury if a good, diligent, faithful and industrious man were appointed to the said office. And because it is the custom of the land of Ire. ever since the conquest of the same that whenever it happens that the office of C., T., or other office belonging to the K. has in any way become vacant, then the Lt or justice for the time being with the K.’s council of the same land shall ordain for such offices, and by advice of the royal council shall appoint suitable men in place of those vacating them, as long as it shall please the K. and until the K. out of Eng. by his letters patent shall otherwise ordain – the Lt therefore required and directed the counsellors to name and choose a suitable man for the said office. And first he called upon Edward Somerton, serjeant-at-law, to name and choose someone whom he knew to be suitable; and he after deliberation said that whereas Robert Dyke, archdeacon of Dublin, was a man of honest life and conversation and also famed from his youth up in various courts of the K. and in various honourable offices under him both in Eng. and Ire., and already on various occasions had been named deputy C. and deputy T. in Ire., he declared the said archdeacon able and suitable for the office, whom the other counsellors also named and chose. It was therefore agreed by the Lt and the council, according to the custom of the land of Ire., that Robert Dyke should be T. of the same, as long as it should please the K.; receiving the usual fees. And that on this the K.’s writ patent should be made under the g.s. of Ire. to the same Robert in the form accustomed.'

INSPEXIMUS [on the dorse] of a fourth record enrolled in the chancery of Ire. to this effect.

[4] 'MEMORANDUM that on the 21 June [1444] 22 Hen. VI in the vestry of the chapel of St John within the church of St Peter in Drogheda, James Butler, e. Ormond, Lt of Ire. – Richard [Talbot], abp Dublin, Richard Wogan, C., Brother Hugh Midilton, ‘turcupellarius’ of Rhodes, prior of Kilmainham, Christopher Bernevale, chief justice of the K.’s pleas in Ire., William Chever, second justice of the K.’s pleas, John Gogh, second baron of the Ex., Peter Clynton, another baron of the Ex., and Edward Somerton, K.’s serjeant-at-law, counsellors of the K. in his said land of Ire., being then present – summoned one Brother Thomas Talbot of the hospital of St John of Jerusalem in Ire. then present and required him on the part of the K. that there | before the royal council and before Robert Manseld, esquire, usher of the chamber of the lord K., who had been sent to the Lt and council with credence, letters and writs from the K. in order to make a true relation thereupon to the K. | to offer testimony how that Giles Thorndon, late T. of Ire., at the time when the K.’s parliament was held at Dublin before the said Lt, slandered James, e. Ormond, then K.’s Lt in Ire.; which Brother Thomas humbly begged the said Lt to have him excused in the same, who again required Brother Thomas on the part of the K., and because Thomas was related by the tie of kinship to the said Lt, to offer true testimony on this matter. Which Brother Thomas said that he heard Giles Thorndon in the archbishop’s palace of St Sepulchre’s near Dublin say to the archbishop of Dublin, that he would make sedition against the Lt and that he Giles was the first who would cut his head off and that he would bear it in a napkin to the lord K. because he knew that he would get pardon from the K. for that deed and reward to the value of £1000. Also he said that if said Giles were present and wished to deny said words that he would repeat them before him and would offer to prove it by his body.

Afterwards then and there immediately the Lt before his council and before Robert Manseld required on the part of the K. and Christopher Bernivale that he would relate what violence and insults Nicholas Woder had done in the city of Dublin to himself, then justice, to the shame of the lord K., which Christopher, justice, replied that in the time when Leo, Lord Wells, was Lt of the K. in Ire., he, Christopher, as justice sat at Dublin, over the chief pleas there and as chief justice of the K.’s pleas, going from the street in which the pillory is to the archbishop’s palace met the said Nicholas and a certain notorious felon of the K. by name Tirrelagh Machenoy, indicted of felony and outlawed, with him, which Nicholas, looking him in the countenance openly and proudly questioned Christopher in these words: “why do you prosecute this Tirrelagh?” To which the same justice replied and said “because he is a felon of the K. and is indicted and outlawed for felony.” To which the said Nicholas said “behold he is here present. I shall now see what you wish to do with him.” Which justice then arrested the said felon, as he said, and ordered him on the part of the K. that he should come with him, but Nicholas rashly and irreverently answered him and said that the said felon should not go with him for the same reason or for any other reason. And said Nicholas violently broke the said arrest and took him with him by force, not permitting the said felon to go with the said justice, to the dishonour and contempt of the K. and the insult and reproach of said justice. Which all and singular the said Lt then ordered to be enacted and enrolled and to remain on record in the chancery.'

EXEMPLIFICATION of the above memorandum for certain reasons specially touching him and the benefit and advantage of the land of Ire.


NLI, D 1716.


COD, iii, §159.

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.