Patent Roll 28 Henry VI

[24 Apr. 1450]

Letters issued under the g.s. of Ire. plaqué, addressed to the K. from parliament held at Drogheda on Friday next before St Mark the Evangelist [24 April 1450], thanking him for acquittal of Ormond, viz.:1

'Most high most excellent most mightie Prince and most redouted soverayne liege lord We recomaunde vs unto your most noble grace as lowely as we your trewe liege men con or may certifieng your most roiall mageste for as moche as in your grete Counseill holden at your Cite of Diuelyn w{t}yn [within] this yo{r} land of Irland the ffriday next afor the feste of Seint Luk the-u{a}gelist the yere of yo{r} most gracieux Reigne xxviij afor the gode and worthie Prince Richard Duk of York yo{r} lieunten{a}nt of this yo{r} saide land the lords spiritell and temperell and commones in the saide Counseill assembled it was considered whon that James le Botiller Erle of Ormond your trewe liege man wickedly untrewly and of forcast was of late time accused unto your highnes of the crime of treison done unto yo{r} most Roiall persone in this yo{r} saide lande of Irlande for whoos trewe acquitaill the substaunce of the lordes espirituell knightez Esquiers and Gentils of this yo{r} saide lande wrote under their seeles unto yo{r} most Roiall mageste certifieng that they knewe never ne herd of such treason done to your most Roiall persone byt that the saide accusement was of forcast malice and ill will ymagined And after that the saide lordes knightes Esquiers and gentils by yo{r} dredfull comaundement as by writtez under yo{r} grete seell of England sende unto this yo{r} saide lande of proclamacion on peyn of their ligeaunce appiered in yo{r} most rigtvous persence at Westminster and othir placez w{t}yn [within] yo{r} said Realme as they were assigned for their trewe acquitayll and the said Erles affermyng by worde of mouth in trouth whate they hadde wrytt in declaracion of the saide Erles trewe acquitayll which lordes knightes Esquiers and gentils effectuely and rightfully examined sped and herd of yo{r} most rightuousnes ye licenced theim to reto{r}ne unto this yo{r} saide land to grete comfort of all yo{r} subiectez and liege people shame and confusion to yo{r} Enemies and Rebelx And so by your rightuous dilligence and wisdom trowth knowen it plesed yo{r} most habundaunt rightuousnes by yo{r} lettrez patents made at Westminster the xv day of September the yere of your Reigne xxvj to acquite and declare yo{r} trewe liege man the saide Erle not gilty of the saide treason ne cryme willing that from thensforward to the promotour or promotours of the said empechement and accusement none feith to be yeven charging moreover all your subiectez and liege people on their ligeaunce and yo{r} continuell indignacion that nethir in worde nethir in dede nethir by none othir exquisite colour they shold not reprove the said Erle nethir his blode cont{a}rie to yo{r} most notable and rightuous declaracion and him so declared licenced to reto{r}ne in to this yo{r} saide lande to the singular relief and defense of the same as it hath bien ofte afor grete comfort to all yo{r} trewmen and subiectez Wherefor all your trewe liegemen and subiettez in the said Counseill assembled in thair most lowely wise thank yo{r} most rightuousnez and Roiall mageste of the saide declaracion and trewe acquitaill and in taking soo grete and shamfull a sklaundre fro this yo{r} saide lande as by your saide lettrez patents and consideracion of yo{r} saide grete Counseill more pleyne it appereth And nowe in thes yo{r} present parlement holden befor your saide lieuten{a}nt at your Town of Drogheda w{t}yn [within] this yo{r} saide land the ffriday next afor the feste of Seint Mark the-u{a}ngelist the saide xxviij yere of yo{r} most gracieux Reigne the premisses tenderly considerate We yo{r} saide lieuten{a}nt lordes spirituell and temperell and commones assembled in this yo{r} saide parlment in oure most humble and lowely wise thank yo{r} most Roiall mageste of the gracieux exploit and tendrenes of the said lordes spirituelx knightes Esquiers and gentilez in yo{r} saide glorious Roialme shewed to them and yo{r} most rightuousnes and just saide declaracion of the saide Erle and in putting away of so grete shamfull a sklaundre and inaudite infamie of such matiers fro this yo{r} saide lande. And we continuelly shall pray the blissfull Trinite for yo{r} most Roiall mageste to thencresse of yo{r} Roialmes in continuell felicite to his plesir Yeven in yo{r} saide parlement holden at yo{r} saide toun of Drogheda the ffriday next afor the feste of Seint Mark the-u{a}ngliste undir that one parte of yo{r} grete seell of this your saide land. By your most humble trewe subiectes and liegemen Richard Duk of York yo{r} lieuten{a}nt of this yo{r} saide lande the lordes spirituell and temperell and commones in yo{r} saide parlment being.'


Stat. Hen. VI, pp 240–2.


1 The letter was written in English. Superior letters are printed here within curly brackets. Contractions are expanded and printed in italics. The date given here is that on which parliament convened.

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.