Patent Roll 3 Edward IV

28 Feb. 1464

Letters testimonial addressed to Edward IV in favour of George duke of Clarence, Lt of Ire., issued under the g.s. of Ire. plaqué, viz.:1

'Moost high and mightie xpen [Christian] Prince our moost Redouted liege Lord with all maner of duhe Reverence and moost lowliest oubeis{a}unce unto your moost excellent mageste and mightie estate Roiall as your faithful subjectes and true liegemen in our moost lowliest wyse humblie Recommaunder us.

Advertisyng your highnesse of the full grete and notable service that your faithful subject and true liege man o{r} especiale good Lord yo{r} moost derrest Brothir of Clarence lieuten{a}nt of this your land of Irland hath dooun aswel unto yo{r} highnesse as to the Right noble and famouse Prince your fadre of blessed memorie whom god Rest of thimportable charges and costes by the same depute aswel afore thoffice of depute lieuten{a}ncie of this yo{r} said land as after unto the said Erle committed hath daiely susteigned he þerof not faylying but daiely contynuyng his faithful s{r}vice right ordinate and worshipfull at al tymes puttyng his lyf with all his kynnesmen and adherentes enhabitauntes in his lordshippes within certain of yo{r} Countees within this yo{r} said land in full grete jeopertie of their lyves the saide depute guydying and reulyng himself with all yo{r} true liege people accordyng unto yo{r} lawes and by suche as ben welwillers unto yo{r} moost pre-eminence profite and dignite Roial And by noo persoun ne persouns that ben contrary to yo{r} m[oost] gracieux desire and entente but right faithfull and true acordyng to their ligeaunce the said depute having tender respect unto [the] lawes and custumes laudably used in the daies of yo{r} full noble progenito{r}s w{t}in [within] this your said land whereunto he hath applied him [to] set and put tranquillite peix and rest among yo{r} subjectes and true liege people of this you said land in suche wyse as by goddis gra[ce] and this his said labo{r} pollitique with reule manhode wisdom and streyngthe couth reche yo{r} said land restheth in Reisonable peas and tranquilitie at this tyme aswel with yo{r} rebelx as Irish Enemyes Moreover pleas it y{r} moost excellente mageste Roiall to have notice of the grete jeopertie whiche þe said depute w{t} [with] his kynnesmen and othres his waget men and adherentes with their bodyes and godes stode in by force of were and bataile hadde betuixt him and yo{r} grete Rebel John of Ormond and adherentes at the said Johuns furst arrivale in to this yo{r} said land at the which bataile by the fortune and gracieux disposicion of o{r} [our] blissed creato{r} and yo{r} vray true Just title of yo{r} full noble Coroun were slayne of your said adversarie and rebell Ormondis adherentes and sequel so grete a nombre that for certaine it may not be knowen and the þe said Ormond by bataile sconfuted and put to flight And also the continuel were al the last Somer had betuixt the said depute and the said Ormond and his adherentes The said depute undrestandyng grete Incoveniencies jeoperties and mischiefes as by likeliot were possible to fall in þe said land caused him to call and assemble of his owen kynnesmen adherentes and their sequel to the nombre of xx. Ml. oon his owen propre costes and with his said puissaunce rode in to the parties Contre and lordships where as the said John Ormond was moost abiding and kept ther residence to the space of xvij days brannyng destruyng and wastyng al the said Ormond is lordships for the more partie by cause theinhabitantes thereof wold by noo mene submitte theim to the duhe and restful oubeisaunce of yo{r} moost high and mightie estate Roiall. Also it wold pleas yo{r} highnes to have notice howe the Communes of your Counte of Mith to the nombre of v. Ml. made insurreccioun and risyng ayenst the said depute him to have slayne at the furst takyng upon him thoffice of the depute lieuten{a}ncie of this yo{r} said lande he by his high pollitique Wit Reule manhode Wisdome and governuance in presence of yo{r} right Worshipfull and right discrete Counseil of this yo{r} said land of Irland cesed the said insurreccioun and Risyng w{t}out [without] eny hurte off eny persoun by yo{r} moost gracieux auctorite and power Roial toke the said communes unto yo{r} moost gracieux pardoun and noble good grace byndyng thaire Capitayne and many othres of the said communes in the name of theim al by their oothes right straitly sworne and yeueun to be true unto yo{r} highnes acordyng to their liegeaunce and never to offende yo{r} goode grace ne lawes in tyme commyng Wherfor pleas it yo{r} said hignesse off yo{r} benivolent good grace and renommee that the forsaid notable s{r}vices intollerable charges ful grevous costs and jeopartiez by the saide depute at al tymes doon and susteignid to the right grete tuicioun and garde of this yo{r} said land and of yo{r} treue subjectes and liege people inhabitantes þer. It might like yo{r} moost excellente mageste Roial the premisses tendrely to be considered and the circumstances therof to be emprented in yo{r} moost noble and gracieux Remembraunce Wherthrough the said depute may stande in the tendrenesse and right especiale favo{r} of yo{r} moost excellente good grace and him to thank hertly So that therby he may have occasion and courage to continue and persever in yo{r} moost notable s{r}vice the better in tyme to come. And of yo{r} moost habundaunte grace him to reward for his notable merites after yo{r} moost gracieux wisdom and bounte. Yeving no feith ne credence to eny persoun or persouns of what astate condicioun or degree that they ben that wold and hath accused the said depute in eny poynte that is contrary to yo{r} moost gracieux highnes or your lawes ne to noon accuse upon the said depute herafter to be made til it shal like yo{r} excellent good grace to ascertain the s[aid] depute of such accusementes And therupon the said depute to acerte yo{r} highnesse of the trouth and a lawful answere therupoun More[over] it might like yo{r} nobley and good grace to have in tender respect howe yo{r} Irishe Enemyez traito{r}s english Rebelx vsen yere[ly to] goo to were in the Somer seasoun whos malice streyngth and grete power may not be resisted neither yo{r} true subjectes defended witho[ut] a notable sume of gode Wherfor we beseche yo{r} moost excellent magest Roial that it wold like þerunto in tendrenes of yo{r} said land an[d] sauf garde of the same neither to yeue ne graunte noo parte of yo{r} Revenuz growing w{t}in [within] yo{r} said land to eny maner persoun or persouns But that the said Revenuz may remayne to be imploied by the said depute upoun the defense and sauf garde of ye same your land and subjectes thof [thereof]. And in that the said revenuz by grete werres afore this tyme fallen w{t}in [within] your said land hath and beun grete and merveleuxly diminued and wasted It wol like yo{r} highnes to send some refresshing of goode and power out of yo{r} noble Roialme of Eng. ayenst this next somer to the same depute to resist the malicieux po{r}poses might and strayngth of your forsaid Irishe Enemyez traitours and English rebelx Moost high and mighty xpen prince oure moost redouted kyng and Souverayn liege lord the holie trinite preserve your moost excellente mageste with victorie of yo{r} Enemyez after the disposicion of yo{r} Soverain hertes desire and moost gracieux pleasire Written at yo{r} Cite of diuelin undre onn parte of your grete Seele in yo{r} ful high Courte of pleyne parliament the xxviij day of ffebruary [28 Feb. 1464].

By your trewe liege men and moost humble subjectes the lords spirituelx and temporelx prokat{r}s and Communes and your Counseil of your land of Irland in your ful high Courte of parliament ther assembled.

Memorandum that ther is a lettre of the same tenoure and fourme directed to the Chaunceller and Tresourer of Eng. and to the remnaunt of the kynges Counseille ther mutates mutandis.'


Gilbert, Facsimiles, iii, no. 48.


Stat. Edw. IV, pt 1, pp 184–7 (reproduced also in Isobel D. Thornley, England under the Yorkists, 1460–1485: illustrated from contemporary sources (London, 1921), pp 253–5).


1 The letter was written in English. Superior letters are printed here within curly brackets. Contractions are expanded and printed in italics.

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.