Patent Roll 8 Henry IV

12 Mar. 1407

INSPEXIMUS and CONFIRMATION of letters patent in favour of the town of Trim dated at Drogheda, 12 June [1405] 6 Hen. VI,1 with further RATIFICATION of a certain schedule presented in chancery by the provost and burgesses of the town of Trim recounting the liberties, franchises, uses, customs [etc.] that the provost and burgesses and commons of that town were accustomed to have from time immemorial, viz.:

[1] That the provost shall be elected each year on the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14 Sept.].
[2] That the lands of burgesses elected as provost who do not take office lying within the liberty of the town are to be destroyed and laid waste;
[3] That if the provost could not perform his office due to infirmity or in the K.'s service [etc.] that he might appoint a deputy for whom he will answer.
[4] That the provost may appoint a clerk to the office of the common clerk of the town to execute all mandates of the K. and of the provost of that town.
[5] That the provost [etc.] may have a court held within the liberty of the town before him in the same manner and form as those of the city of Dublin and town of Bristol were.
[6] That the provost [etc.] had gaol and prison.
[7] That the provost may have assize of bread and ale, and custody and assay of measures and weights and other things concerning the office of the market; and that all profits of the assize and assay go to the provost and burgesses in aid of the costs of the town.
[8] That the provost [etc.] may have return of writs of the lord K. and the lord of the liberty of Meath, except the four pleas of the crown
[9] That the provost [etc.] may have power to punish and correct all those who made affrays, hue and cry and shedding of blood within the liberty of that town in the same manner of the city of Dublin or the town of Bristol.
[10] That the provost [etc.] may have cognizance of and power to punish and correct all regrators and forestallers of victuals [etc.] coming to that town; and they were committed to the gaol of the town until they made fine.
[11] That if any tallage were assessed upon the town, it is to be assessed by burgesses and not by foreigners.
[12] That no burgess of the town ought to be taken, arrested, imprisoned or distrained for any debt anywhere within the land of Ire. or the K.’s dominions, unless he was a debtor or pledge of the same.
[13] That no foreigner could sell cloth in the town without licence of the provost or his deputy.
[14] That the burgesses might freely marry their sons and daughters and widows without licence of the K. or the lord of the town; and they were also free of wardship.
[15] That the burgesses should testify on assizes or inquisitions concerning external lands.
[16] That if any burgess was convicted [etc.] of treason, felony [etc.], then jurators shall be of the burgesses and not foreigners.
[17] That the provost, burgesses [etc.] should not be made sheriffs, keeper of the peace, coroners, controllers or any other bailiff or minister of the K. against their will.
[18] Free from murage, pannage, pontage, passage, lastage and kayage and of all other customs and privileges of merchandises, goods and other things within the K.’s dominions and territories, both inside and outside liberties, just as the citizens of the city of Dublin and burgesses of the town of Bristol.
[19] Concerning debtors under 6d to be placed in the gaol of the town until the debt is satisfied.
[20] Quit of murdrum within the liberty of that town.
[21]Not take issue or endorsement within the town by assize or delivery of the marshal or harbinger of any minister.
[22] To have the following fairs once a hear from the hour of nine on the eve of the Nativity of St John the Baptist until the hour of 9 on the Translation of St Thomas the Martyr; and to rule, govern and oversee those fairs.
[23] To declare the price of victuals sold in the town and to convict those who sell at other prices.
[24] To have a whipping post, pillory and tumbrel and all pleas belonging to the same to be held before the provost.
[25] That if any resident had money upon a pledge and the said pledge lies with the creditor for a year and a day, that it shall lawfully belong to the creditor.
[24] That if any within the liberty threatens another life or member or of burning of houses or anything, and this is lawfully proved before the provost by witness who heard such threats [etc.], then it is lawful to arrest such persons and commit them to prison.
[25] That if no serjeant or catchboll is present, then a burgess may arrest, at the request of a complainant, the one against whom the complaint is made and hold him under arrest until a catchboll or serjeant arrives to do his office in the due manner.
[26] They may dispose of their lands freely, just as the citizens of the city of Dublin and burgesses of the town of Bristol.

On account of the good place that the town held and now holds in resisting the K.'s Irish enemies, CONFIRMATION of all the liberties, franchises, uses, customs and privileges in that schedule specified and not specified to have and to hold to them and their heirs and successors freely and quietly forever without any impediment from the K. or his ministers.

Witnesses: Robert [Montayne], bp Meath; Gerad fitz Maurice, e. Kildare; Laurence Merbury kt, C. of Ire; William Lynbogh [recte Tynbegh], deputy T. of Ire.; Thomas Fleming kt, baron of Slane; David Wogan kt; Christopher Preston kt; and others.2


Potterton, Medieval Trim, pp 382–90 (=transcript of NAI, MS Co 1814, formerly Phillipps MS 4604); RCH; BL, Egerton MS 76, p. 57; NLI, GO MS 193, p. 55.


Rep. RCI 1816–20, 8th rep., p. 386.


1 CIRCLE, PR 6 Hen. IV, §67.
2 The full text of this document—taken from an antiquarian translation of the enrolment (NAI, MS Co 1814)—is given in Potterton, Medieval Trim, pp 382–90. The date appears there as 'as the twelveth day of March in the eighth yeare of our Raigne'. Both from the list of witnesses and its correspondence to the entry in RCH, it is clear that the correct date is 12 March [1407] 8 Hen. IV, and not 8 Hen. VI [1430], as is suggested by a note at the end of the MS, which states that the inspeximus was: 'Inrolled in the reigne of K. Henry the Sixth [recte Henry IV] in the government of Sir Stephen Lescrop, knight, the deputy to Thomas de Lancaster, seneschall of Eng. and lord justice of Ire. and found among the records at Berminghams tower in the castle of Dublin' (Potterton, Medieval Trim, p. 392).

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.