Patent Roll 3 Richard II

14 Dec. 1379

INSPEXIMUS of the tenor of the record and process of a plea held before Thomas s. of John, sometime earl of Kildare, and Jcr of Edward III, late K. of Eng., grandfather of the present K., and sent into the chancery of Ire. by the K.'s order, in these words:

'Pleas and plaints held at Dublin before Thomas s. of John, e. Kildare, Jcr of Ire., Wednesday, the octaves of Hilary, 1 Edward III [1327].

Richard of Swords and John Crok, bailiffs and coroners of the city of Dublin, complain both for the K. and themselves concerning Thomas Kent, the K.'s coroner of Fyngall, which is 'foreign' [de forinseco] and lies outside the bounds and metes of the city of Dublin, of this: that the same Richard and John, bailiffs within that city, are the K.'s coroners within the bounds of the city, doing all things pertaining to the office of coroner there. And they and their predecessors, bailiffs of that city, have exercised that office from the time when the progenitors of the present K. granted that city to its citizens at fee-farm, such that no other 'foreign' coroner should interfere within the bounds of the city, except by defect of the bailiffs being the K.'s coroners within the city. The said Thomas, the coroner, in prejudice of the liberties of that city and contrary to its customs, came to the abbey of St Thomas the Martyr, Dublin, which is of the liberty and within the bounds of the city, and—by favour and subornation, and for gifts received—made view of the body of William Stilham, drowned in the mill of that abbey; and he also came to the abbey of the Blessed Mary of Oustmanton, within the said bounds of the city, and there made view of the bodies of Robert del Rath and Thomas le Mouner, monks of that abbey, who had been killed, without showing any defect in the same Richard and John, bailiffs and coroners of that city, in prejudice and breach of the liberty of that city, and in contempt and damage of the K. and the citizens of that city, of £100. They seek remedy.

Thomas came and said that he did not do the premises maliciously in prejudice or contempt of the K., nor did he receive any gift for performing that office. He acknowledged that he had made view of the bodies of the said William, Robert and Thomas in those abbeys, who had died, as aforesaid, but said that those abbeys are not within the bounds of that city, but lie outside in the K.'s geldable land [in gildabulo Domini Regis].1 And he was prepared to verify this to the court.

John and Richard, bailiffs and coroners of the city, for the K. and themselves, said that the abbeys are within the precincts of the liberty of the city [as above]. And they sought an inquisition. And so the sheriffs were ordered to cause a jury to come before them [etc.], and a day was given to the said Richard and John, bailiffs and coroners, and also to Thomas, the coroner.

On that day, Richard and John, bailiffs and coroners; and Thomas, the coroner; and also the jurors came before the justice. The jurors said upon their oath that those abbeys are within the metes and bounds granted to the citizens of that city by royal charters; and that the said Thomas, the coroner, made view of the said bodies thinking those abbeys to be outside that city; and that he did not perform that office there maliciously, nor for payment. The jurors being asked who ought and was accustomed to perform that office in the said places, said that the bailiffs of the city are entitled to act as coroners.

Therefore it was decided that the Thomas should be committed to gaol for that trespass. And because it appeared by the said jury that Thomas performed that office in those places by negligence, and not maliciously, at the instance of Nicholas Verdon, that sentence was remitted to him. And Richard and John, bailiffs of that city, were informed that they might use that office in those places as often as necessary.'

EXEMPLIFICATION of that record at the request of the mayor and bailiffs of the city of Dublin.

John Bromwiche, Jcr

DCA, Royal Charter §40.


CStM, i, 7–10.


1 i.e. geldable or non-franchisal land, where the K.'s writ ran. Originally this referred to land subject to geld.

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.