Patent Roll 5 Henry IV

12 Mar. 1404

INSPEXIMUS of a certain enrolment of a memoradum made in a certain council last held at Castledermot and enrolled in the rolls of the K.'s chancery of Ire., in these words:

'MEMORANDUM that in a certain council held at Castledermot after St David the Bishop last past [3 March 1404], the prelates, magnates, peers, clergy and commons summoned and appearing there discussed before the council how the K.'s beloved and faithful Stephen Lescrope kt, deputy of the K.'s beloved son Thomas of Lancaster, steward of Eng., Lt in his land of Ire., now lately suddenly withdrew from that land, without having made provision for its governance or rule before his departure or afterwards. Consequently the land is in great desolation, and the K.'s enemies and rebels of that land, having seen and understood the premises, prepared themselves, and are ready and prepared, to wage war and destroy the K.'s faithful lieges of that land unless their malice can be speedily resisted and repulsed with force; and that little or nothing remains in the K.'s treasury of that land for the payment of soldiers in aid of the resistance of the said malice or the fees and wages of the justices or other ministers or constables of the K.'s castles in that land, as was sufficiently declared there.

Whereupon the same prelates, magnates, peers, clergy and commons― considering the damage, destruction and other unbearable evils which (God forbid!) might truly occur within a short time if they were not aided― granted of their common assent and consent to the K.'s beloved and faithful cousin James Butler, e. Ormond—as soldier and governor of the wars of that land [tanquam eorum Soldario et Gubernatori Guerrarum terre nostre predicte], in aid of his expenses both in resisting the malice of those enemies and rebels and also in sustenance of the wars in the same land, and also for the salvation and defence of the said lieges—6s 8d to be levied of each carucate of cultivated land in the whole of Leinster and the counties of Meath, Louth, and also Waterford and Tipperary, in the manner and form that is more fully contained in the K.'s commissions made concerning this. Furthermore the prelates and clergy of those parts and counties similarly agreed to contribute for themselves, their lay tenants, gavellers and chattels; and similarly the commons of [the cities]1 Dublin and Waterford, the town of Drogheda on both sides of the water, and of other towns from those parts and counties appearing there, also agreed to contribute for the citizens and burgesses aforesaid, in aid of the aforesaid expenses for their part, according to the rate of 6s 8d on each carucate of land in those counties, just as they used to contribute before this time in such grants.

Furthermore they agreed to pay half of the said subsidy into the hands of receivers appointed by the said earl as quickly as it could be had and levied; and the other half is to be paid at the Nativity of St John the Baptist next coming [24 June 1404], on this condition: that if the K. should sufficiently ordain in the meantime for the good governance, salvation and defence of his land and the resistance of the said malice, such that that ordinance be manifest before the Nativity of St John next, that then the levy and payment of the second half of the subsidy should cease; but that otherwise it should be levied and paid to the said earl in the said form.

And also the same prelates, magnates, clergy, peers and commons similarly granted to the same earl that if the K. does not sufficiently ordain for the said good governance, salvation and defence within the half-year now following, and the same earl well, manfully and with force saves and defends [that land] in the meantime against the malice of the said enemies and rebels, and castigates and punishes all manner of Irish rebels, that then whenever the earl wishes after that he may cause them [the prelates, magnates etc.] to be convoked, so that they and each of them should contribute reasonably in aid of his expenses from time to time, according to their faculties.

And also the same prelates, magnates, clergy, peers and commons granted the premises to the said earl as their soldier and governor of wars of the said land, as is said before, and not as Jcr or any other officer of the K. of that land, compelled by urgent necessity, as aforesaid, and under this condition: that coygnes of the said earl and the taking of victuals without making due payment into hands for the same, and also liveries in that country [liberaciones in patria] should cease and be nullified from now on for the time he is Jcr of the K.'s land; and they also protested that they do not wish nor intend that this grant, made by them for their salvation and defence in this their exceptional necessity, should be taken as an example henceforth, nor as a precedent in new appointments of justiciars or other governors of that land in future times. And furthermore they asked that this become of record in the K.'s chancery.

EXEMPLIFICATION of that enrolment at the request of the K.'s beloved and faithful William FitzGeraut.2

James Butler, e. Ormond, Jcr

PKCI, pp 269–72.


1PKCI reads 'communes commitatum Dublinii et Waterfordie', but it is likely that this is an error for 'commons of the cities of Dublin and Waterford'.
2 The exemplification concludes with the following 'mention of service': Everdoun (=Thomas Everdon).

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.