The English government at work, 1327-1336, Vol. 1 5t34sk404

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The English government at work, 1327-1336, Vol. 1

Table of contents :
I: INTRODUCTION (William A. Morris, University of California, page 2)
Prelude: Complexity and Basic Phases of Administrative Control (page 3)
1. The Monarch (page 4)
2. Parliament (page 12)
3. The Council (page 29)
4. The Chancery and the Privy Seal (page 52)
5. The Household and the King's Special Services (page 77)
II: PARLIAMENT (Theodore F.T. Plucknett, London School of Economics, page 81)
1. Definition of Parliament (page 82)
2. Parliamentary Records (page 90)
3. The Composition of Parliament (page 94)
4. Parliament at Work (page 105)
III: THE KING'S COUNCIL (James F. Baldwin, Vassar College, page 128)
1. The Regency and Mortimer (page 129)
2. The Council after the King's Emancipation (page 139)
3. The Council in Administration (page 147)
IV: THE CHANCERY (Bertie Wilkinson, University of Toronto, page 161)
1. The Issue of Chancery Writs (page 162)
2. Warrants of Issue: The Authorization of Chancery Writs (page 177)
3. The Special Contribution of the Chancery: The Chancery Court (page 188)
4. Chancery Office and Personnel (page 195)
V: THE KING'S WARDROBE AND HOUSEHOLD (J.H. Johnson, Chelmsford, England, page 205)
1. The Position of the Household in the Administrative System (page 206)
2. Domestic Offices (page 207)
3. The Wardrobe (page 221)
4. The Household Staff (page 237)
5. The Household Courts (page 243)
Note on Garton's Wardrobe Account, 24 September 1329 to 16 October 1331 (page 248)
Comparative Table of Household and Foreign Expenses (page 249)
VI: THE QUEEN'S HOUSEHOLD (Hilda Johnstone, Royal Holloway College, University of London, page 250)
1. Scope and Plan of the Survey (page 250)
2. Finances and Resources (page 253)
3. Administrative Agents and Agencies (page 266)
4. Conclusion (page 294)
Note on the Queen's Seals (page 297)
VII: THE MACHINERY OF DIPLOMATIC INTERCOURSE (Henry S. Lucas, University of Washington, page 300)
Prelude: The Major Diplomatic Questions of the Period (page 300)
1. The Direction of Foreign Relations (page 302)
2. Forms and Methods (page 305)
3. Diplomatic Agents and Missions (page 310)
4. Ratifications and Promulgation of Diplomatic Agreements (page 329)
5. The Payment of Expenses (page 330)
VIII: THE ARMY AND NAVY (Albert E. Prince, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, page 331)
Prelude: The Campaigns, 1327-1336 (page 332)
1. Types of Troops in Edward's Army (page 336)
2. Military Service in 1327 (page 344)
3. Eclipse of Feudal Service (page 348)
4. Commissions of Array (page 355)
5. Commissariat Arrangements (page 365)
6. The Navy (page 376)
IX: THE FORESTS (Nellie Neilson, Mount Holyoke College, page 393)
1. The Importance of the Decade in Forest Legislation (page 394)
2. Extent of the Forests (page 397)
3. Administration of the Forests (page 402)
4. Estimated Values and Profits of the Forest (page 424)
5. The King's Hunting and His Great Horses (page 435)
6. Common Use of Forests by Forest Vills (page 444)
Appendix: Particular Forests and Their Officials (page 449)

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The publication of this book was made possible by a grant of funds to the Academy from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Council of Learned Socteties.



Printed in U.S.A.

PREFACE 4 ben enterprise of which this volume is F. a partial fulfilment planned by the late Professor James Willard. His aim was was through the cooperation of various specialists to depict a mediaeval government transacting its business. He was concerned primarily with the actual performance rather than the duties of officials; and he wished to show how the various departments and institutions of government, both central and local, in their operation depended one upon another.

He envisaged a study of administration in mediaeval England for a single decade, a period short enough in general to permit each collaborator

to cover in detail the various series of records of value to him. The decade chosen, that at the opening of the reign of Edward III, from January 1327 to the end of the year 1336, was seen to present special advantages for such investigation. As contrasted with the troubled reign of Edward II this was a period of domestic peace marked by a normal development in government. It was a time when most important institutions of government, ranging from the parliament and the council down, were beginning to settle into usages typical of the four-

teenth century. A royal minority, covering the first three years and nine months of the decade, occasioned little divergence from normal administration. A council of magnates appointed in parliament, obviously intended to assume direction during the nonage of Edward III, and certain members of which were to be constantly at his side, was before long dismissed by Mortimer. Queen Isabella, with whom rested control for

a few months, and later Mortimer carried on administration by the usual forms and methods through the semblance of royal sanction. This regime came to follow less and less the actual will of the young king, but his seizure of power in October 1330 marked a change in political control rather than in method or machinery. The main changes which seem traceable are that a council directly dependent upon the king soon gained more initiative than had been allowed a council kept in leading

strings by Mortimer, and that under the seals was promulgated a real

instead of a fictitious royal will. |

A further advantage of the decade from the standpoint of administrative study lies in the fact that warlike activities against both France and Scotland early in the period, and against the latter power on a more extended scale for the last four years, provide data for examination of Vv

vl Preface the military system. Moreover, the Scottish treaty of 1328 as well as the support accorded by Edward III to the Disinherited occasioned diplo-

matic correspondence with both the king of Scotland and the Balliol claimant; relations with France, ever being subjected to increasing tension, along with the attempts of the papacy at Avignon to avert a clash and those of Edward III to arrange and maintain continental alliances, occasioned constant use of the machinery of diplomatic intercourse. The influence of war conditions extended also to the control of commerce, the administration of the customs, and various forms of war finance, in-

| cluding the final stages of the usual type of parliamentary taxation. Finally, these phases of development, which may be regarded as a prologue to the history of the Hundred Years’ War, were attended by others of even more fundamental significance. The problem of the pres-

ervation of the peace, difficult enough at all times, was made greater by the absence of the nobles and knights on military service, and experimentation with various methods of control was very active. FParliament was taking on some semblance of the institution which comes to the modern mind with mention of the word. The king’s wardrobe, aside

from necessary war activity, was settling into its néwer and more restricted sphere and its relations with the exchequer were approaching their final status. Im many respects there were interesting changes in administration, while at the same time many phases, including the work of common law courts and of local institutions, continued almost without alteration. In reducing to a practical scheme of publication the series of studies originally planned to carry out the project, Professor Willard decided to

drop those on the governments of Wales and Chester. He had earlier abandoned the presentation of the administrative duties of the clergy. It was decided to publish the various contributions under way in three volumes, each with an introduction. ‘The papers included in the first volume, as will be seen below, are those devoted to seven institutions of central government, of which the diplomatic service and the army and

navy were not yet departmentalized, and to the king’s forests, largely under central control. The two remaining volumes will be devoted respectively to financial administration and to judicial and local administration. Each of the volumes will contain, in its table of contents, a rather detailed analysis by subject; a general index for the entire work will appear with Volume 111.

The first and greatest obligation of the work is that to Professor Willard. From the inception of its plan in 1929 to his death in November, 1935, his labors upon it were constant and indefatigable. The college year 1930-1931 he was able to spend in London, on sabbatical leave

Preface vu from the University of Colorado, continuing his stay a second year with the assistance of a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies. The latter year he gave practically all his time to helping contributors settle knotty problems, having records searched or photostats made. All the time he could spare from university work during the last three years of his life was devoted to the criticism of outlines and more fully devel-

oped contributions. The eight published in this volume were all advanced practically to completion during his period as director. It is a tribute both to the prescience of the founder of the enterprise and to the zeal and industry of the collaborators whom he selected that

of the twenty-six studies which he included in this scheme with two exceptions all have either been completed or in the few remaining instances are advancing toward completion. Only in three cases has the present director of the enterprise been compelled to shift the responsibility for topics. These exceptional instances, however, include the study which Professor Willard had undertaken personally to cover but did not live to write, and that which his colleague, the late Professor E. F. Meyer, presented in draft form but had not revised at the time of his death. In another case absorption of the energy of a collaborator in a much larger work made it necessary to release him and substitute another writer. One topic has been dropped because the person to whom _

it was entrusted found that the period was too early for a satisfactory treatment and another because of the health of the writer assigned. I have to apologize for the length of the introduction to Volume I, so disproportionate to the space allotted my individual collaborators. Within a short time after the widely lamented decease of Professor Willard, when the duties of director and editor suddenly devolved upon me, the results of the investigations allocated to this volume were about ready to be assembled. A synopsis of the central administrative system seemed to be a necessary introduction. One requisite appeared to be a presentation of institutional interrelations somewhat more fully than individual scholars had been able to give, each writing separately on his own special theme. Moreover, it became obvious that such a synthesis called for some account of the prerogative and power of the monarch;

also that further investigation should be made of the functions of the privy seal, which had been mentioned somewhat incidentally and from different points of view in different sections of the volume. The result was that the task grew quite beyond the bounds contemplated. The project of which this volume is a part was from the beginning taken under the aegis of the Mediaeval Academy of America, with the generous financial support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Council of Learned Societies. The cost of publication of

V1ll Preface the volume is defrayed from funds allocated by Professor Willard from the general grant for the project. I also acknowledge with gratitude a grant in aid from the Social Science Research Council and further assistance from the Social Science Research Board of the University of California which jointly made it possible for me to carry on other work at the Public Record Office concurrently with the preparation of the introduction of the volume and thus to have access to the essential archive

material. To the University of California I am indebted for a semisabbatical leave. The persons who have extended courtesies to me in the course of my

work, along with those upon whose time, energy, and patience I have made considerable demands, are numerous, and to all these I desire to express gratitude. Several of my collaborators came generously to my aid with their special knowledge. ‘two of them rendered hearty cooperation, under conditions of exceptional difficulty, in adapting what

they had written to the special needs of the series. I wish to make special acknowledgment to Mrs Willard for invaluable assistance—particularly during the strenuous early months of my labors; to Mr Charles Johnson, Nestor of record workers, for guidance at some points and for

friendly encouragement and criticism; to Mr R. L. Atkinson of the — Public Record Office for the privilege of examining certain materials in his custody; and to Mr H. G. Richardson and Dr George Sayles for aid

with difficult chancery problems. Finally, the volume as well as its present editor owes much not only to the good offices of the Mediaeval

Academy of America, customary in such cases, but especially to the painstaking care of its Executive Secretary, Mr G. W. Cottrell, Jr, and of Mr Roger Thomas, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the final revision and in the printing.

W. A. Morris Berkeley, Calsfornia 1 November 1939


Pages List oF ABBREVIATIONS FrequenTLY Usep . . ... . X1X—XX I

INTRODUCTION . . .: . ee 3-81 by William A. Morris, University of California

Control . . . . . . 0... 3-4

Prelude: Complexity and Basic Phases of Administrative

1. The Monarch . . .. . . . . . 4—12 The place of prerogative in administration, 4-5; the impersonal king,

5; the uncontrolled prerogative, 5-6; remedy and grace, 7; the monarch’s fiscal rights, 7-8; personal prerogatives as suzerain, 8-10; the prerogative and the church, 10-11; in military affairs, 11; king in parliament, 11-12; king and council, 12; lack of separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers, 12.

Q. Parliament . . . . . . . . . OU. 12-29 King and council in parliament, 12-13; the representative elements, 13-14; clerical representatives, 14; great councils, 14-15; administrative councillors in parliament, 15-16; their separate réle, 16-17; homage, fealty and allegiance, 17-18; heredity and summons, 19; the nobility and national affairs, 19-20; active participation of nobility, 20; matters of political interest, 20; offences and interests of their order, 20-22; the enactment of legislation, 22; consultation of the magnates by Mortimer, 22-23; by Edward III, 22-23; merging of councillors and magnates, 24; distinctive place of parliament, 24; judicial functions, 25; other distinctive features, 25-26; parliament as supreme authority,

26; judicial and royal action, 26-27; administrative action through parliament, 27-28; upon petition of the commons, 28; parliament and the prerogative, 28-29.

38. The Council. . . . . . On 29-52 Council and king in administration, 29; the council with the king, 29-30; experience and talent of the councillors after 1330, 30-31; known

attendance, 31-32; councillors in parliament, 32-33; the problem of the leading men of the council, 33-34; convening the council, 34-35; ad hoc meetings, 35; the council with the king, 1329-1330, 35-36; the council apart from the king, 1331-1336, 36-37; the council in chancery, 37-38; the council in the exchequer, 39-40; varying phases and oneness of the council, 40; the council as a court, 40-41; activities in foreign

relations, 42-43; in military and naval affairs, 43-44; in war-time 1X

x Contents finance, 44-45; regulation of commerce by king and council, 46; conciliar execution of parliamentary measures, 46; legislative ordinances, ° 46-47; recognized place of the council in government, 47; warrant by king and council, 1327-1330, 47-48; warrant by council alone, 49; its administrative activity, 49-51; the council from 1332 as executive, 51.

4. The Chancery and the Privy Seal . . . .. . 52-77 The chancellor, 52; the chancery force, 52-53; an ambulatory body,

53; dating of chancery letters, 53-56; the issue of law writs and of letters, 54-55; the record of attorneys and recognizances, 55; the chancellor and ecclesiastical patronage, 56; fiscal work of chancery, 56; chancery records, 56-57; administration by writ and return, 57-58; the chancellor’s cognizance of debtors and excommunicates, 58-59; the chancery as a court, 59-60; the chancellor’s jurisdiction, 60-61; in ecclesiastical matters, 61; referred petitions for remedy and grace, 61-62; deference to the council, 62-63; the privy seal and its officials, 63; the privy seal with the king, 63-64; special duties of privy seal clerks, 65; privy seal writs in chancery and exchequer records, 65-66; privy seal and wardrobe, 66; sporadic uses of the privy seal, 66-68; restriction of use in law matters, 68-70; the problems of procured sanction in administration, 70; rejection of the idea of an inner council, 70-71; executive arrangements for the regency of 1331, and acts per tpsum regem, 71-72; immediate warrant, 72—73; ministerial warrant and individual initiative In procuring writs of warrant, 73-74; the chancellor’s departmental initiative, 73-74; promulgation of acts of the council by great seal, and by privy seal, 74-76; varying channels of administrative control, 76-77.

5. The Household and the King’s Special Services... 77-81 , The king’s household and its complicated functions, 77; household and wardrobe, 77-78; the chamber and the secret seal, 78-79; minor place of household officials in acts of state, 79; the peace officials and military side of the household, 79-80; employment of officials and clerks on temporary duty, 80; military organization temporary, 80; administration of the forests, 80-81; permanent features of household administration, 81.


PARLIAMENT . . . . . we ee eee ee 82-128 by Theodore F. T. Plucknett, London School of Economics

1. Definition of Parliament . . . . .... . 82-90 The question as to parliaments not so called in writs, 82-83; illusory distinctions between parliaments and great councils, 83-84; nontechnical use of the words parliamentum, colloquium and tractatus, 84-85; _ list of assemblies of the decade comprising bishops, abbots and peers, 86-87; number of such assemblies, 87; of assemblies comprising representatives of counties and towns, 87; the question as to prototypes of parliament or true parliaments, 87-88; distinction based on petition non-existent, 88—90.

Contents Xl

2. Parliamentary Records Coke ee 90-94 The newer material, 90; Maitland’s idea of parliament as a common law court, 90; nature of parliament rolls, 90-91; Edenestowe’s rolls, 91-92; parliament rolls not an integral part of administration, 92; casual rolls and petitions the total, 92-93.

3. The Composition of Parliament . . . . . . . 94-105 Individual and indirect summons, 94; the bishops, 94-95; abbots, 95; the baronage, 95; territorial titles, the earldoms, 95-96; consistency of summons, 96; number of peers below grade of earl, 96; councillors, 96— 97; number and administrative prominence, 97—98; clerical councillors, 98; importance of the councillors, 98; not present ex officio, 98-99; the lower clergy, 99-100; assemblies for granting clerical taxes, 100; praemunientes summons and the second mandate, 100-101; the commons, 101-102; the knights, 102; illustration in Bedfordshire cases, 102-103; shortcomings and abilities, 103; citizens and burgesses, 104; election, 104-105; criteria of burgality, 105; grand total of numbers in parliament, 105.

4. Parliament at Work . ... . . . . . . 105-128 Attendance of magnates, 105-106; of commons, 106-107; covering Jetters with writs to sheriffs, 107; meeting-places and opening of parlia-

ments, 107; separate groups and plenary sessions, 107-108; clerical forms used, 108-109; the administrative approach to judicature, 109; various forms of procedure, 109-110; parliament as a court of discussion, 110-111; cases in administrative law, 111; parliament and the council, 112-113; as crown of the judicial edifice, 113; petition and Judicature, 113-114; the reception of petitions, 114; triers or auditors of petitions, 114-115; petitions of the commons, 115-116; legislation, 116-117; place of legislation as a parliamentary activity, 117; constitutional legislation, 117; legislation as to purveyance, 117-119; as to par-

Iil |

dons, 119-120; ecclesiastical legislation, 120-121; economic legislation, 121; law reform, 121-125; importance of legislation of the period, 125-

126; taxation of the decade, 126; duration of parliaments, 126-127; writs de exrpensis, 127; wages of knights and burgesses, 127-128; suits to collect, 128.

Tue Kine’s Counciy. . . . . . . . .) «199-161 by James F. Baldwin, Vassar College

1. The Regency and Mortimer . . . . . . . = . 129-139 Official aspects of the interregnum, 129-130; a council in the period, 130-131; the prelates and lords of parliament as councillors, 131; designation in parliament of a council, 131-132; its party character and acts, 132-133; dismissal, 133-134; the ‘reign of Mortimer and Isabella,’ 134— 135; place of Mortimer in the new regime, 135-136; leading figures of the regime, 136-137; opposition to and downfall of Mortimer, 137-138; complaints against his rule, 138-139.

xii Contents 2. The Council after the King’s Emancipation . . . 189-147 Assertions of reform policy and the council, 139-140; special councillors of the next six years, 140-141; official and magnate elements, 141; phases of the council, 142; specially retained councillors, 142144; question as to a clerk of the council, 144; communication between king and council, 144-145; council and parliament, 145-146; differentiation between the two, 146-147.

3. The Council in Administration . . . . . . . J47-161 Petitions in parliament and in council, 147-148; grievances and claims in petitions to the council, 148-150; legal difficulties presented, 150-151; acts and extortion of the Despensers, 151; cases of force and fraud, 152-153; misdeeds of sheriffs and other officials, 153; informality of council procedure and records, 153-154; methods of procedure, 154— 155; evidence, appeal and arbitration, 155-156; the reaching of conclusions, 156; council business and the seals, 156-157; council and chancery warrant, 157; the council and equity, 157—159; place of the chancellor in this scheme, 159; the litigation between Queen Isabella and the Prior of Coventry, 159-161; the decade as a period in the history of the council, 161.


THE CHANCERY . . . . . 2. ee ee eee 162-205 by Bertie Wilkinson, University of Toronto

1. The Issue of Chancery Writs . . . . . . . . 162-177 Ministers and the prerogative, 162-163; organic unity of mediaeval administration, 163; ministers as intermediaries, 163; the fear of excess of formalism, 163; categories of instruments under the great seal, 164— 165; varying ideas as to charter, letter and writ, 165-166; traditional differences between types, 166-167; classification of the department of rolls, 167-168; composition of documents under the great seal, 168; chancery headquarters, 168-169; rules as to writing of letters, 169-170; dating, 170-171; notes on chancery writs, 171-172; formality in sealing, 172; the color of the wax, and the problem of the half seal, 173; problems of enrolment, 173-174; delivery and payment for writs, 174-175; divided responsibility for the issue of writs, 176-177.

2. Warrants of Issue: The Authorization of Chancery

Writs . . . . . Oe a ee «F188

Types of warrant, 177-178; great seal and privy seal, 178; privy seal warrants, 178-179; council and privy seal, 179-181; the Walton ordinances and privy seal warrant, 181-183; chancery writs without warrant, 183-184; extent of this power of the chancery, 184-185; chancery and council, 185-187; ministers and council, 187; complex relationships of the chancery, 187-188.

Contents Xl 3. The Special Contribution of the Chancery: The Chan-

eery Court Cooke ee 188-195

The chancery and law, 188-189; the chancery as a court, 189-190; the chancery court and the issue of writs, 190-192; equity and administration, 192-193; requests in chancery, 193-194; the council in chancery, 194-195; transitional stage of chancery in this decade, 195; not dominated by the household, 195.

. 4, Chancery Office and Personnel . . . . . . . 195-205 Peripatetic conditions of work, 195-196; indefiniteness of sub-departments, 196-197; importance of the chancellors of the period, 197-198; their political significance, 198; greater clerks and cursitors, 198-199; selection of clerks, 199-200; income and sustenance, 200-201; fees and gifts, 201-202; prosperity and defects, 202-203; chancery favors, 203-— 205.


Tuer Kine’s WARDROBE AND HousEHOLD. . .. .. . 206-249 by J. H. Johnson, Chelmsford, England

1. The Position of the Household in the Administrative

System . . . . . . ee... 6206-207

Confusion of private and public capacities, 206; the household of Edward II, 206-207; reduced activity in this period, 207; two main aspects of the household, 207.

2. Domestic Offices Co ke kk ke ee) 6207-221 Hall and chamber, 207-208; officials of the hall, 208-211; the mar-

shalsea, 211-213; pantry and buttery, 213-214; kitchen, 214-216; spicery, 216-217; miscellaneous staff, 217-218; the household account, 218-221.

8. The Wardrobe . . . . ... . . . . . Q81-293'7 Place in household and in general administration, 221-222; its officials as administrators, 222-223; military and naval functions, 223-226; in diplomatic affairs, 226-227; wardrobe messengers, 227; custody of documents, 227—228; the treasury for jewels, 228; accounting, 228-230; wardrobe officials, 230; wardrobe income, 230-233; the audit, 233-236; headquarters, 236-237.

4. The Household Staff . . . toe ew ee Q2BF-242 Appointment, 237-238; remuneration, 238-240; tenure and promotion, 240-242.

XIV Contents 5. The Household Courts. . . . . . . . ) .) .) 243-248 Delegated jurisdiction of steward and marshals, 243; jurisdiction of the court of the verge, 243-244; meetings and business of the court, 244; procedure, 244-245; the coroner of the household, 245; the clerk of the market, 245-247; the marshal’s relation to these offices, 247; an account of his court, 248.

Note on Garton’s Wardrobe Account, 24 September 1329

to 16 October 1331 . . . . . . hh, 248

Comparative Table of Household and Foreign Expenses . Q49 VI

THE QUEEN’s HouUSEHOLD ........ . . 250-299 by Hilda Johnstone, Royal Holloway College, University of London

1. Scope and Plan of the Survey. . . . . . . . 250-253 The queen mother and the queen consort, 250-251; substantial and complex administrative problems involved, 251-252; the queen’s affairs in general administration, 252; aspects of the queen’s administrative machinery, 252-253.

2. Finances and Resources . . . . . . . . . 253-266 Basic sources of revenue, 253; Queen Isabella’s dower of 1327, 253254; lands and income included, 254-255; ubiquity of the queen’s grasp, 255-256; magnificence of the accompanying privileges, 256-257; the

surrender of 1330, 257; remaining dower, 257-259; the dower of the queen consort, 259-260; her relative advantage in Jands and revenues, 260-261; endowment of the queens for chamber expenses, 261—262; the queen’s gold, 262-263; difficulty of enforcing the claim, 264; illustrations, 264-265; miscellaneous queenly resources, 265-266.

3. Administrative Agents and Agencies. . . . . . 266-294 Two phases to be treated, 266; nature of the queen’s household and wardrobe, 266-267; the steward and the keeper of the wardrobe, 267; the wardrobe officials of Philippa, 267-268; her treasurers, 268-271; Isabella’s treasurers, 271-272; dignity and experience of these officials,

272-273; the problem of the size of the wardrobe staff, 273; routine |

duties, 273; Colby’s account of expenditures, 274; items of greatest domestic concern, 274; the account at the king’s exchequer, 274-275; sub-departments of the wardrobe, 275-276; the chamber, 276—278; the queen’s exchequer, 278; its functions, 279; activities as illustrated by its memoranda rolls, 279-280; local work of estate supervision, 280-— 281; the steward of lands and the receiver, 281-282; Philippa’s stewards of lands, 282-284; Isabella’s stewards of lands, 284—285; Philippa’s receivers, 285-286; the account of revenues assigned the household, 286— 287; the account of chamber revenues, 287; Isabella’s receivers, 288;

the bailiffs of liberties, 289-290; activities in law courts, 290; wide range of duties, 290-291; the driving force of the administrative machine, 291; the existence of magnates’ councils, 291-292; the queen’s council, 292-294; clues to its personnel, 294.

Contents XV

4. Conclusion . . . . . eee ee 994-297 Impressive features of the work of the queen’s household, 294-295; resemblances to machinery of the king, 295-296; its merits and faults, 296-297.

Note on the Queen’s Seals te ew ee ee 29F-299 Vil Ture MAcHINERY oF DipLomatic INTERCOURSE . . . . 300-331 by Henry S. Lucas, Unwwersity of Washington

Prelude: The Major Diplomatic Questions of the Period . 300-302

1. The Direction of Foreign Relations . . . . . . 802-305 Supervision of the king and council, 302-303; the king’s personal control, 303-304; letters authorized by king or council, 304-305.

2. Forms and Methods ..... . . . . . 805-310 Form of addressing princes of superior or equal rank, 305-306; princes of equal rank, 306; of inferior rank, 306; the form of letters patent, and privy seal letters, 307-308; form of salutation in letters close, 308-309; form introducing envoys, 309; the letters of credence, 309-310.

3. Diplomatic Agents and Missions . . . . . . . 310-329 King’s clerks as agents, 310-311; king’s yeomen and merchants, 311-— 312; bishops, 312-313; noblemen, 313; the king’s foreign relatives and friends, 313-314; special circumstances dictating choice of agents, 314315; influence of pensions and gifts abroad, 315-316; personnel of im-

portant missions, 316-317; question of the earliest permanent embassies, 317-318; envoys at the French court, 318-319; compensation of envoys, 319-320; of their familia, 320-321; its make-up, 321-322; smaller missions, 322-323; the letter of safe conduct, 323; attorneys of envoys, 323-324; the advance of expenses, 324-325; the crossing to the continent, 325; searching for princes, 326-327; employment of messengers, 327; presentation of credentials, 328; employment of notaries, 329.

4. Ratification and Promulgation of Diplomatic Agree-

ments . . . . . . . eee eS 8B RQ9-3BO

Types of ratification, 329-330; proclamation to subjects, 330.

5. The Payment of Expenses. . . . . . . . . 830-831

XVI Contents Vill

THe Army AND Navy oe ee ee eee = 882-893 by Albert E. Prince, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

Prelude: The Campaigns, 1327-1336 . . . . . . 832-336 1. Types of Troops in Edward’s Army . . . . . . 836-344 Varieties of types, 336; the hierarchy of knights, 336-337; equipment of the knight, 337-338; the men-at-arms, 338; the light horsemen, 338—

339; equipment of hobelars, 339-340; archery, 340; the foot archer, 340-341; mounted archers, 341; cross-bowmen, 341-342; footmen armed with spear and knife, the Welsh foot, 342-343; artificers and workmen, 343.

2. Military Service m 1327 . . 2... ws 844-348 The various military elements, 344; the feudal levy, 344-345; the question of unpaid feudal service, 345-346; the general array, 346-347; foreign troops, 347; the system of indentures, 347-348.

3. Eclipse of Feudal Service . . . . . . .).) .) (848-855 Modification of feudal service under Edward I, 348-349; protest in 1327, 349; uncertainty as to unpaid service, 349-350; the service of 1333, 350; lack of gratuitous service in 1334 and 1335, 350-351; supersession of feudal service by that of military, 351-352; effect of distraint of knighthood, 352; the indenture form of recruitment, 352-353; its advantages in this decade, 353-355.

4. Commissions of Array . . . . . . . . . ~~ . 855-364 The principle of universal service, 355; modifications of the statute of Winchester, 355-356; mobilization of a quota, 356; the procedure of array, 356-357; personnel of the commissions, 357-358; selection of soldiers of best quality, 358; arrayers as temporary leaders, 358; difficulties of the array, 359; disorder and desertion, 359-360; faults of arrayers, 360; abuses of the system, 360-361; burdens upon communities, 362; the introduction of uniforms, 362-363; the provision of victuals, 363; the raising of funds, 363; local deviations from the normal commission, 363-364.

5. Commissariat Arrangements . . . . . . . . 865-376 Living on the enemy’s country, 365; restriction on export of provisions, 365; the receiver and keeper of the king’s victuals, 365-366; loca-

tion of depots, 366; impermanence of the receivership, its duties and wages, 366-368; official purveyors, 368; merchant purveyors, 368-369, the procedure of purveyance, 369-370; local depots for storage, 370; storage at main centers, 370-371; the cost of transport, 372; responsibility of the large-scale purveyor, 372; of the receiver, 372-373; methods of disbursing provisions, 374-375; supply of provisions as a prest upon wages, 375; relay of provisions, 376; depreciation and sale of provisions, 376.

, Contents XVll

6. The Navy... . . . . . . . . 2). »=6876-893 The function of the navy, 376-377; the permanent nucleus, 377-378; the masters of the king’s ships, 378; the admirals, 378-379; number and powers, 379-380; remuneration, 381; the administrative clerks, 381-

383; their remuneration, 383; the clerk of the king’s ships, 383; the captains and crews, 383-384; the part taken by sheriffs, 384; by local communities, 384-385; the claim to sovereignty over the narrow seas, 385-386; naval service in 1327, 386-387; Balliol’s forces in 1332, 387; naval activities of 1333, 387-388; in 1334, 388-389; in 1335, 389-390;

on the western front, 390-391; Ireland and general operations, 391392; naval muster of 1336 and activities of the western fleet, 392; of the northern admirals, 393.


Tun Forests . . . . 2... ewe ee 894-467 by Nellie Neilson, Mount Holyoke College

1. The Importance of the Decade in Forest Legislation . 394-397 Two phases of mediaeval forest legislation, 394; fundamental documents of an earlier time, 394-395; problems of this period as shown by Fleta, 395-396; forest boundaries and disafforestation in the legislation of this decade, 396-397.

Q. Extent of the Forests . . . . . . . . . =. 897-402 Difficulties in determining territory under forest law, 397; the case of Windsor forest, 397-398; action of the chancellor and council concerning Surrey woodlands, 398-399; perambulations of this decade, 399; the forest and the royal chase, 399-400; beasts of the forest and the chase, 400; the term purlieu in this decade, 401; definition of forest subdivisions, 401-402.

38. Administration of the Forests. . . . . . . . 402-424

a. Officials . . . . . . hhh 402-411

The two keepers or justices of the forest, 402-403; keepers north of Trent, 403-404; south of Trent, 404-405; their chief duties, 405; variety of duties, 405-406; keepers of individual forests, 406-407; forests in the hands of the king and the queens, 407-408; Lancastrian forests, 408; foresters of fee, 408; their duties and privileges, 408-409; minor officers of the forest, 409; verderers, 409-410; woodwards, 410; regarders, 410; minor forest officials, 411.

b. Judicial Features . . . . . . . . . . 4411-421 The forest eyre, 411; eyres and justices of the period, 411-412; in forests of the duchy of Lancaster, 412; the regard, 412-413; procedure of the eyre, 413; amercements, 413-414; the roll of the venison, 414; the inquest on the state of the forest, 414; amercements and purpres-

tures, 414-415; the claims of liberties within the forest, 415-416; poachers, 416; their offences, 416-417; pleas of vert, 417-418; the in-

XVlll Contents quest preparatory to the eyre, 418; particulars of attachments, 418419; the swanimote, 419-420; the turnus custodis, 420; special judicial procedure in Cheshire, 420-421.

ec. Common Law in the Forest . . . . . . . 421-424 Indication of encroachment of forest officials, 421; only forest cases on forest plea rolls, 421; forest offences in the king’s bench, 422; other phases of common law jurisdiction, 422-423; verderers and ordinary pleas of the crown in the forest of Dean, 423; general conclusions as to the two jurisdictions in the forest, 423-424.

4. Estimated Values and Profits of the Forest . . . . 424435 Sources of information, and the annual returns of Inglewood, Sherwood and Galtres, 424; annual values of grants to Isabella and Philippa, 425; the accounts of Crumbwell and Neville, 425-426; issues of Inglewood forest, 426—427; little evidence of systematic exploitation of woodlands, 427; wood cutting, 427-429; its profits in various forests, 429430; further particulars of Chute, 430-431; other sources of profit from waste, 431; rents from arrentation, 431-433; payments for agistment, 433; questions concerning agistment, 433-434; rights of pasturage of private lords, 434; pannage, 434.

5. The King’s Hunting and His Great Horses . . . . 435-444 The king’s sport and the forest, 435; the king’s huntsmen, 435; the dogs of the hunt, 435-436; the men in charge, 436; customs of the hunt,

436-437; stud-farms, 437; keepers of the horses north of Trent, accounts of John de Neusom, 437-438; Arnold de Garcy, keeper of horses south of Trent, 438-439; his mission to Spain, 439-440; John Brocas, keeper of the palfreys, 440; designations of great horses, 440; incidental expenses of care of horses, 440; breeding and care of horses, 440-441; the keeper of the stud in the north, 441; profits of certain parks, 441— 442; the account of stud-mares and foals, 442-443; no less centralized management of the stud south of Trent, 443; various studs and keepers, 443-444,

6. Common Use of Forests by Forest Vills . . . . . 444-448 Common usages within the forest, 444-445; common in this decade, 444; common in demesne woods, 444-446; rights of estover, 446-447; rights of common an economic necessity, 447-448.

Appendix: Particular Forests and Their Officials . . . 449-467 Maps (at end of volume)

I. Sherwood Forest II. Wychwood Forest III. Windsor Forest IV. Pickering Forest

: V. Forests of England


K.R.M.R. — King’s Remembrancer’s Memoranda Roll L.T.R.M.R. — Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer’s Memoranda Roll PERIODICALS

E.H.R. — English Historical Review GOVERNMENT DocUMENTS

Cal. Chanc. War. — Calendar of Chancery Warrants Cal. Docs. Scotland — Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland, edited by Joseph Bain Cal. Ing. — Calendar of Inquisitions post Mortem Cal. Ing. Misc. — Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous Cal. Lib. Rolls — Calendar of Liberate Rolls C.Ch.R. — Calendar of Charter Rolls C.C.R. — Calendar of Close Rolls

C.F .R. — Calendar of Fine Rolls. |

C.P.R. — Calendar of Patent Rolls Dignity of a Peer — Reports from the Lords’ Committees Touching the Drgnity of a Peer Foedera — Foedera, Conventiones, Litterae et Cujuscunque Generis Acta

Publica, edited by Thomas Rymer, new edition by A. Clarke, F. Holbrooke, and John Caley, 4 vols. in 7 parts, Record Commission, London, 1816-69 Rot. Hund. — Rotult Hundredorum Rot. Parl. — Rotult Parliamentorum Rot. Parl. Ineditt — Rotult Parliamentorum Angle hactenus Inediti, edited by H. G. Richardson and George Sayles, Camden Society, 3rd

Series, L1, London, 1935 ,

Rot. Scot. — Rotult Scotrae Stats. of Realm — The Statutes of the Realm XIX

XX List of Abbreviations MIscELLANEOUS

Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal — Sir H. C. Maxwell-Lyte, Historical Notes on the Use of the Great Seal of England, London, 1926 Stubbs, C.H.E.—- William Stubbs, The Constitutional History of England,

3 vols., Oxford, 1896 ,

Tout, Chapters — T. F. Tout, Chapters in the Administrative History of Medieval England: The Wardrobe, the Chancery and the Small Seals, 6 vols., Manchester, 1920-33

Tout, Edward II —T. F. Tout, The Place of Edward II in English History, Manchester, 1914 Trans. R.H.S. — Transactions of the Royal Historical Society

Turner, Pleas of Forest — Select Pleas of the Forest, edited by G. J. Turner, Selden Society, Vol. 13, London, 1901






TT ascertain the organs of administration co-ordinated controlledhow during the decade 1327-1336 is awere complex problem. and The monarch exercised wide powers. Institutions of central government were the outcome of various phases of activity originally performed by officials of the king’s court and household. Most of them, nominally at least, still followed the court in the third and fourth decades of the fourteenth century. Certain departments, judicial bodies, and offices, arising through the royal action supplemented by a steady, often a long, process of development prior to this period, followed a routine which was

well established and understood. Such in the field of central government were the exchequer, the chancery where its activity touched common law writs, the central courts of common law, and certain of the king’s household offices. In the field of local government, the offices of the sheriff, the escheator, and others are examples. The latter were largely subject at this time, in various phases of their activity, to the control of one or even several of the central institutions. A series of interrelationships had also grown up among certain of the central institutions them-

selves. The dependence of the household in some respects upon the exchequer and of both more or less, in form at least, upon the chancery are obvious aspects of the period. In this fashion a considerable part of the king’s business was carried on in his name through institutional activity resting upon a large amount of precedent. Surrounding the routine work of the respective agencies of government was the field of the royal prerogative. The exercise of prerogative power

in one form or another was almost a daily feature of government. No minister or official, however important to the conduct of affairs entrusted to him he might find such an act, could safely trench upon the prerogative without the authority of the king or of those empowered to express his

will. Such authority made the act regular and served as a protection Without this authority, expressed through the customary channels, the 3

A The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 official was in a vulnerable position.! It was once contended that during the nonage of Edward III, when the exercise of the royal power was known to rest with others than the boy king, the officers about him had been liable to respond for their offices at their peril for orders contrary to the common law.? First and last, in one way or another, prerogative control extended to all phases of the king’s government. The king’s will might be expressed personally, but the official form in which it was promulgated was by letters under the various seals at his disposal; again, ~ such acts, according to importance or circumstance, were authorized by the king and his council, or in the name of the council alone; and some were passed under the great seal by the chancellor upon the authority of various departments and perhaps also when he found sufficient sanction in a related phase of a matter already authorized. ‘There was no uniform procedure for bringing the royal prerogative to bear upon acts of - government. In a given kind of business the control was formally exer-

cised now by one of the agencies mentioned, now by another. The agencies of general control were the monarch, and three institutions dependent upon him, the parliament (for most administrative purposes, the king and council), the council, and the one general authenticating agency, the chancery.

1. Toe Monarcu The king in the fourteenth century, as even now in theory, was the mainspring of the executive. He exercised an undiminished prerogative

in all matters not regulated by statutes, which were in form his own acts, or by the law and custom of the realm. His direct action in many matters of government was a matter of necessity. This is shown during the minority of Edward III in the control exercised in his name by the Mortimer régime. The accusations against Mortimer in 1330 are largely summed up in the charge that he drew to himself the royal power and

used it with injustice.* During the king’s two brief absences on the continent in 1329 and 1331 he left his brother, John of Eltham, as custos of the realm,* and on the former occasion he specifically delegated a part of the prerogative in ecclesiastical affairs,® as if 1t were purely personal. The operation of any part of his complicated mechanism of administra1 For illustration, see Bertie Wilkinson, below, p. 162. 2 Rot. Parl., u1, 46.

3 Rot. Parl., u, 52-53. A further charge was that the king could do nothing of his own will. An afterthought appears in the declaration that Mortimer and his accomplices annihilated the king’s status (C. Ch. R., rv, 210). 4 Foedera, 11, Pt. 1, 763, 814-815. 5 Ibid., p. 763.

Introduction 5 tion could be made to respond directly in one way or another to the monarch’s expressed will. Even the youthful Edward III could in 1329 retain the great seal in his personal custody for four! days, causing writs to be sealed in his presence. The great field of administration entrusted to customary departmental routine could ordinarily be continued without special intervention save in the appointment of officials. ‘The place of the monarch had become partly traditional and impersonal. The justices of the king’s bench, following a form descriptive of earlier usage, were still said to hold pleas before the king. The exchequer acted in the king’s name in matters of detail with which the monarch in person had nothing to do, collecting the king’s debts and safeguarding his fiscal claims. The chancery issued writs of course which expressed the king’s command as a mere form for

instituting proceedings at common law. The king was said to be informed of matters through returns of various kinds into the chancery when these details could hardly come to his personal attention. Proceedings in chancery, moreover, were said to be before him.? Here the acts of the monarch, to use a modern term, became those of the crown But the distinction between the monarch and the crown made by the barons for political reasons in the time of Edward II? was not used in administration at this time. The estate of the king and the crown as a legal formula might apply to one and the same right or power.* The type of well-established, almost automatic, impersonal administration, was too useful for the king to set aside its customary operation so long as it did not give rise to administrative tangles; and common law process and procedure were too deeply embedded in the usage of the realm to be lightly disturbed. Moreover, the trend of usage in certain matters of administrative routine in the council, the chancery, and the office of

the privy seal was still further to increase the impersonal aspect of monarchy.

The marks of an uncontrolled prerogative are none the less widely visible. The theory was held in parliament,® in chancery,® and in ordi1 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 549. 2 As in C.C.R. 1330-1333, 418; see below, p. 37. 3 See below, p. 9.

4 Rot. Parl., 1, 17: “Pur ceo q’il ad mis tiel exception contre l’estate le Roi et la Corone, soit attache de respondre au Roi.’ 5 It is argued that certain acts of the council are not valid without the making of new law. The council in parliament (Rot. Parl., 11, 83) hold that an exigend in a given case cannot be awarded without new law; so John de Cromwell (tbid., p. 68) complains that the king’s council have made a ruling which cannot be valid without the enactment of new law. See also action (Rot. Parl., 11, 28, No. 51) for the enforcement of a provision of the statute of Northampton (Stats. of Realm, 1, 257-258). 6 A writ of privy seal (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 531) is revoked in chancery because its tenor is contrary

to the statute of Northampton.

6 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 nary matters of justice! that the king’s administration, both in its impersonal and its prerogative sense, was subject to the law of the land and

to the statutes which had been made. It was enacted in 1328 that Magna Carta and all statutes be held.? Yet statutes were enacted by the king, and Edward III in 1333 granted a hundred notwithstanding any statute to the contrary, suspending the one in question until the next parliament. The lax observance of statutes was a failing of the times. The reenactment in 1330 and in 1331 of a statute respecting the qualifications of sheriffs*+ points to this. The issue of commissions of oyer and terminer at times did not comply with statutory requirements. ® The statute of 1328 which limited the king’s power to pardon criminals required re-enactment in 1330° and never seems to have been well ob-

served.’ The monarch, moreover, was in a position through his prerogative to influence or annul the effect of common law procedure in certain cases. He was entitled to a privileged position with respect to claims® against him. When a defendant in a suit alleged that because of a royal grant of lands or of a charter the outcome of the case would be detrimental to the king’s interest, the judges suspended proceedings rege unconsulto and only upon special authorization would they proceed.°®

The king might also supersede a plea,!® respite a hearing, or pardon a crown debtor or a convicted person. Even the routine procedure of the exchequer, the oldest and most self-sufficing of all administrative departments, was subject to these same influences. Furthermore the monarch granted in some instances exemption from taxation.'! By his special mandate he ordered arrests either for law breaking or special offenses !? not covered by usage nor statute, sometimes commanding that the persons taken be held until further order,!® in derogation of existing legal 1 The trial of an offense in the exchequer, rather than in the common law courts, is denounce (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 727) as in conflict with common law and Magna Carta. 2 Stats. of Realm, 1, 261; so in 1334 (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 234). 3 O.C.R. 1333-1337, 114, 216; C.F.R., tv, 255, 218, 219, 227. A subsequent answer of the council in parliament (Rot. Parl., 1, 93, No. 15) was according to the terms of the statute. * Stats. of Realm, 1, 264, 266; cf. Rot. Parl., 1, 8, 11. 5 See Stats. of Realm, 1, 257-258; Rot. Parl., u, 28, No. 51. 8 Stats. of Realm, 1, 257-258, 264.

7 See the complaint of 1334 (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 233); also below, p. 119. By 1340 (Rot. Parl., 11, 108) pardon on condition of military service is accepted usage. Cf. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 110. 8 Rot. Parl., u, '75, No. 14: ‘Assez sont les justices avisez de ceo q’ils ferront pur l’estat de Roy en cel cas.’ 9 C.C.R. 1830-1333, 494; 1833-1337, 299-300, 400, 722. 10 Ag in C.C.R. 13833-1337, 218; so (p. 228) a demand of the exchequer. 11 Asin C.C.R. 1327-1330, 140; see J. F. Willard, Parliamentary Taxes on Personal Property (Cam-

bridge, 1934), Ch. vt. 12 As in C.C.R. 1833-1337, 214; C.P.R. 1830-1334, 371; C.F.R., 1v, 39. 13 As in C.C.R. 1327-1330, 213; 1330-1333, 108; 1333-1337, 228. He directed in 1333 (Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 857) that Scottish captives be not released without his special mandate.

| Introduction 7 requirements with respect to bail.! Following the custom of his predecessors, Edward III licensed the transfer of property to ecclesiastics con-

trary to the provisions of the statute of mortmain.? The statute of 1335, forbidding the carrying of money and plate out of the realm, con-

tained a provision® by which the king might license such action. He also licensed the export of wheat and malt.* Indeed the regulation of commerce was still very largely in the hands of the king and his council. The monarch exercised both a power to extend remedy and a preroga-

tive of grace. The individual who felt aggrieved by the action of administrative or judicial authorities might petition the king® or the king and council. A petition in parliament or direct to the king might request him to grant pardon or ordain action of his® special grace. Exemptions and property grants as well as pardons were of the king’s grace. Some petitions for his grace came directly to his attention.’ It was the duty of various officials* meticulously to preserve the king’s

fiscal rights and even parliament showed the same disposition.? The prerogative in fiscal matters was still wide. The funds accumulated in the exchequer or prospectively due the king were entirely?® at his disposal. Writs of berate ordering the treasurer and chamberlains to make . disbursements were subject to his direct authority. ‘The assent of the commons and the clergy was necessary to the levy of national taxes on movables, but Edward III in 1337 was still to make the attempt to procure such grants from local assemblies!” both lay and ecclesiastical. In 1332 he issued commissions for tallaging!* his demesne lands and the cities and boroughs, the last recorded case of the kind. Although par1 See Rot. Parl., 1, 67, for an attempt to check this practice. 2 C.P.R. 1330-1333, 112; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 480; 1330-1333, 173; 1333-1337, 410-411; Cal. Ing.

Misc., 1, 401. Such action is recorded in detail in C 202, Files H 8, H 9. . 3 C.C.R. 1833-1337, 436, 440. 4 C.C.R. 1330-1338, 305.

5 Rot. Parl., 1, 55. See Ludwik Ehrlich, ‘Proceedings against the Crown 1216-1377,’ Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History, ed. Paul Vinogradoff (Oxford, 1921), Vol. v1, [No.] xii, 185-188.

8 Rot. Parl., 1, 21,'73. See below, p. 27, n. 3. 7 Cal. Chane. War., 1, 589. The order of 1349 (Foedera, 111, Pt. i, 181) was to the effect that matters of grace which the chancellor and the keeper of the privy seal could not concede rege inconsulto were to be forwarded with advisement and without making other prosecution. 8 See the oaths of office taken by officials and even by the council (Stats. of Realm, 1, 247-249). 9 Where the king is inheritor the council in parliament (Rot. Parl., 11, 49) does not wish to oust him. When his ecclesiastical revenue is wrongfully extended (Rot. Parl., 11, 173) the matter is left to the king. 10 See the assignment of the customs (C.P.R. 1330-1333, 52; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 345) and other revenues (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 554) to the Bardi; so to William de la Pole (C.P.R. 1330-1333, 157); also orders to sheriffs to pay funds in their possession. 11 See one (Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 833) in 1332 issued per tpsum regem rege thesaurario annunciante; another (p. 919) authorized by privy seal. 12 C.C.R. 13837-1339, 254-255; Dignity of a Peer, tv, 485; Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 990. 13 Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 840.

8 The English Government at Work, 1827-13386 liament secured the revocation of the commissions by making him a grant in regular form, the right of the king to impose such levies in the future was recognized.!. The king also took his prisage of wine as in the past;? he received the customs on wool and hides which had been collected since 1275; he exercised his power further to increase the new custom of 1303.3 As late as 1333 he laid a tax on wool with the advice of the merchants before the king and council.* In 1332 he asked many

prelates for gifts to marry his sister,’ in 1335 loans of the laity® and voluntary contributions for the Scottish war.’ In the same year he received a money grant from various counties and towns in lieu of their obligation to provide troops’ although such an act touching individuals in the Mortimer period in 1328° had been strongly denounced. In 1334 on an unprecedented scale he allowed communities to make fine for a parliamentary tenth and fifteenth'® to procure ready money. Exactions through purveyance for his household already occasioned legislative attempt!? at regulation. The old prerogative of control over coinage and the mint’? still existed; it was for the king to protect the realm against counterfeit;!* the king’s mines!‘ were his individual enterprise; the administration of his forests still bore hard upon many of his subjects, and its judicial system was

separate from that of the realm.'® The administration of lands in his hands was by his custodians or escheators,'® in some small part by the officials of his chamber.!’7 Household administration had never been regulated except by ordinances of the king and his council. The king was suzerain as well as sovereign. His position as feudal 1 Rot. Parl., u, 66. 2 C.F.R., 1v, 56; for details, C.C.R. 1833-1337, 9; as to the prise in Ireland, Rot. Parl., 1, 90; C.F.R., 1v, 491. 3 C.F .R., 1v, 54; also below, p. 46. 4 Bertie Wilkinson, Studies in the Constitutional History of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centurtes

(Manchester, 1937), p. 68. 5 O.C.R. 1330-18383, 587-593; Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 851-853. For collection, C.P.R. 1330-1334, 509.

Ireland. ,

6 C.C.R. 13338-13837, 504; Dignity of a Peer, tv, 449.

7 See below, p. 45. He also received a grant from the parliament (Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 907) of 8 See below, p. 26. Persons were assigned to assess and levy in the various counties (Patent

Roll, No. 129, 28 June) the amounts fixed. 9 Rot. Parl., u, 52; Stats. of Realm, 1, 263. 10 See below, p. 44; Willard, Parliamentary Taxes, pp. 131-134. 11 Stats. of Realm, 1, 225-226, 262, 266.

12 A study of the subject is to appear in a subsequert volume of this series. 13 As in Foedera, 1, Pt. 1, 814.

14 To be the subject of a section in a subsequent volume. 15 See N. Neilson, below, pp. 411 ff.

16 An account of this is to appear in a subsequent volume of this series. 17 See below, p. 78.

Introduction 9 overlord entailed frequent exercise of prerogative powers in relations with his tenants-in-chief. The baronage of the time of Edward II had attempted to justify their opposition to the king by drawing a peculiar distinction between the king and the crown. Homage and the oath of allegiance, so they held, were more binding by virtue of the king’s crown than his person, and his liege subjects were bound by their oath made to the crown to guide the king back to reason.1. This seems a most inap-

propriate line to draw, in view of the nature of the ceremony? and the implications of homage; the theory was rejected with partisan rancor by the successful baronage in the revolution of 1326-1327. While fealty was often sworn before a delegate of the king,? homage in its very nature required, except in the most unusual cases and these outside the realm, a

personal appearance before him.* By virtue of faith and homage the king, employing old forms, as late as 1327 called upon his lay tenantsin-chief to perform their allotted military service’ and the earls and barons to attend parliament;® the prelates, who rendered fealty but not homage, were summoned upon the faith in which they were held to the king. The feudal relationship resulted in many petitions to the king to settle questions as to tenures and to estates held of him, since the tenantin-chief himself as well as others in such cases raised issues which could

not be disposed of without the king’s consent.’ This was a matter, therefore, which had been closely associated with the rise of the process of petition, and such petitions formed no inconsiderable part of those disposed of before the king in parliament and in council. The control of feudal wardships and marriages,® forfeitures and escheats, the allotment of dowers to widows, and the partition of estates among heiresses of tenants-in-chief, were matters® which called for much administration, 1 Gesta Edwardi de Carnarvon, ed. William Stubbs (Rolls Series, London, 1883), pp. 33-34; Stats. of Realm, 1, 182.

2 As to this, Stats. of Realm, 1, 227.

3'The local escheator is repeatedly told to receive fealty (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 109; C.C.R. 13271330, 444).

4 Thus homage is respited until the next parliament (C.C.R. 1333-1837, 199); or until the earl of Richmond returns from abroad (C.C.R. 1829-1330, 206); or because a tenant is too decrepit to come to the king (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 391). See also Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 883. For the form of homage taken by Edward III to the king of France in 1329, see Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 765. In 1335, however, certain foreign knights were retained (ibid., p. 907), swearing fealty and doing homage to a delegate in the name of the king. In 1334 power was given (ibid., p. 891) thus to receive the homage of the count of Savoy, and in 1336 to the keeper of the Channel Isles (Chancery Warrants, File 1330, No. 26) to receive the homage of one person.

5 Dignity of a Peer, 1v, 373, 407. 6 Ibid., pp. 377, 379 et passim. ? Ehrlich, in Ozford Studies, Vol. v1, [No.] xii, 14-51, 141-185.

8 For the oath of the heiress not to marry without the king’s license, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 104; for the grant of the marriage fine, C.P.R. 1334-1338, 495. ® As to these and some other rights of the crown, see the De Prerogativa Regis (Stats. of Realm, 1, 225-297).

10 The English Government at Work, 1327-13836 some of a routine sort and some at the instance of prerogative mandate. Closely analogous in various respects to the king’s feudal prerogative was that touching prelates and religious houses. ‘The two archiepiscopal

churches, all the English episcopal churches except one,! and a very considerable number of abbeys and priories were under his patronage (patronatus). This meant in general that to the king belonged the custody of the temporalities of these churches during vacancy;? that his consent was required before the chapters or convents? held new elections,

and his approval‘ of the election after it had taken place; and that he exacted the oath of fealty® from the new prelate before turning over to

him the estates held temporarily in the royal custody. Furthermore, the king still claimed the right to fill certain ecclesiastical positions and

offices which fell vacant during the voidance of a see;® he held the advowson of churches whose patron was in the king’s wardship or of the

patronage of baronies or estates which had lapsed to the crown.’ He exercised the same right in perpetuity with reference to some churches® and directed the installation into their livings of clerks of his own selection. He and his officials were alert to prevent loss of these prerogatives through recognition on the part of the English clergy of papal claims in

prejudice of the king’s rights. Until the beginning of this reign the temporalities of a bishop were often seized into the hands of the king?°

for offenses for which a baron would forfeit; and a bishop might be summoned before parliament?! and his temporalities withheld for accepting his see from the papacy in neglect of the procedure designed to protect

the royal rights. A writ of distraint would issue against a bishop omitting to secure the appearance of one of his clergy before a court of com1 The patronatus of Rochester still belonged to the archbishop of Canterbury (Anglia Sacra, ed. Henry Wharton, London, 1691, 1, 357, 361) as at a much earlier period, the bishop none the less doing fealty to the king (Rotuli Chartarum, ed. T. D. Hardy, Record Commission, London, 1837, p. 202).

2 As in Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 723; so C.F.R., 1v, 593. For the right, in one case wrongfully used, C.C.R. 1327-13830, 464-465; the privilege of the church of Carlisle as to the guardianship of temporalities, Cal. Ing. Misc., 11, 270. 3 C 202, File H 8, contains the petitions with the king’s action. 4 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 715, 723, 726. Refused in the case of Robert Graystanes (C.C.R. 13833-1837,

218). ,

5 Foedera, i, Pt. i1, 685, 687. 6 A prebendary (C.P.R. 1330-1334, 196, 204); an archdeaconry (C.P.R. 1327-13380, 235); even a church vacant (C.P.R. 1334-1338, 196) because of the voidance of the abbey of Bec. 7 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 225; C.P.R. 1330-1838, 84.

8 And also churches of the patronage of a lord who had forfeited (Cal. Ing. Misc., 1, 258). 9 As in C.C.R. 1327-1330, 235, 239; Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 685, 723, 726-727. 10 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 697; so in the case of a bishop in Ireland, p. 760; of a church in Wales, p. 764. This was regulated by a statute of 1327 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 255). 11 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 726-727, 733.

Introduction 11 mon law.! It should be noted also that the king had successfully claimed the right to corrodies in some monasteries? for his retired servants, and in some instances, pensions’ for them. The summons, direction and administration of the military forces of the kingdom, both the feudal force and that raised by commission of array, were again matters which remained peculiarly under the king’s authority and which occasioned much action on his part or on that of his ministers or council. They involved the appointment and activity of commissioners of array and the labor of those directed to procure and take charge of victuals. Much of this activity was more or less parallelled in the case of the naval forces. In following the practice of distraint of knighthood by which persons with land or income worth £40 a year were ordered to become knights® the king continued the old arbitrary process by which this class was recruited. Proceedings in parliament were before the king. ‘The presence of the monarch was extremely important; he seems to have been absent but four times in this decade and then, following precedent, authorized by commission a number of persons of rank to open the session for him.® Decisions made and measures ordered in parliament were by his authority, although upon the petition of individuals or the commons or by the advice or assent of the council or the magnates. So it was in the enactment of legislation in parliament.” The judgments passed upon earls

and barons by their peers were given by his request. At times he specifically requested the lay magnates, the prelates and the commons to advise him.® He sometimes laid important petitions and complaints directly before the magnates assembled!°® without submitting them to the

usual preliminary process. In the York parliament of December 1332, In consequence of the old dispute between the archbishops of Canterbury and York upon the question of the right of each to have his cross borne before him outside his province, the king directed that no one hinder his

business by preventing this practice and that he who did so should be

etc.), pp. 261, 316. . 1 Registrum Hamonis Hethe, ed. Charles Johnson (Canterbury and York Society, London, 1914,

2 As in C.C.R. 1827-1330, 205, 523, 527. For a discharge from the obligation, p. 418. 3 Asin C.C.R. 1333-1337, 518. By a statute in 1327 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 256), he was to seek great pensions and corrodies of prelates only where he ought.

4See A. E. Prince, below, pp. 356 ff., 366 ff. 5 As in Foedera, u, Pt. 1, 899. 6 At Sarum in Oct. 1328 (Rot. Parl., u, 433); Westminster in Feb. 1329 (Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 756); York in 1332 (ibid., p. 848); a great council at London, Aug. 1335 (p. 917); also the council at Northampton (p. 940), 25 June 1336, which has not been classed as a parliamentary assembly. 7 See below, p. 22.

8 See T. F. T. Plucknett, below, p. 109. 9 See below, p. 23. 10 C.C.R. 1830-1333, 291-292; below, p. 21.

12 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 held a disinheritor of himself and his crown.! Excepting when he received homage, there were no clearer examples of the personal phase of

the monarchy than in the king’s position and action in parliament,? where he sat attended by his council and the magnates of his realm.

Of the everyday acts of government passed under the great seal a large number bore warrant either by the king (per tpsum regem) or by the king and council (per regem et concilium). With respect to purport it is in general impossible to draw a line between them. The king might or might not act with his council in transacting various kinds of business. The settlement of questions of foreign policy,* the appointment of envoys to foreign rulers, and the conclusion of treaties* and alliances rested entirely with the monarch if he desired. The same was true of his military administration, the conduct of campaigns, the ordering of his household affairs, the appointment of officials, the expenditure of funds and a

host of other matters. It does not follow that upon some of the acts warranted by himself alone he did not take the advice of the council; but the fact is clear enough that such a sharing of the royal power was a matter of administrative convenience rather than of constitutional tradition. The absolutism of the period is exemplified in certain personal assertions of the king’s will or in acts of his council; its constitutional features in his customary action through the automatic operation of his institutions of government. The validity of the well-known doctrine that the fourteenth century knew no rigid separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers® is abundantly illustrated by the kingship of

Edward III in the decade under consideration.* Under the circum-

stances of the time it meant a marked advantage to prerogative power, which, if occasion arose, could ignore precedent and claim for itself that which was not definitely regulated by statute or by the law and custom of the realm. - 2, PARLIAMENT

For some administrative acts the authority was action taken in parliament. The chancery clerks indicate in the record that action is by the king and council in parliament,’ or that it results from a petition in parliament,® while parliamentary petitions are addressed to the king,® 1 Rot. Parl., 11, 67. 2 See below, p. 27.

3 As in Foedera, u, Pt. il, 847-848. 4 See H. S. Lucas, below, p. 304. 5 Tout, Chapters, v, 61. 6 See below, especially pp. 27-28. 7 As in C.P.R. 1827-1330, 243.

8 As in C.P.R. 13827-13830, 39. ° For a very important one, Rot. Parl., 1, 91-93.

Introduction 13 or the king and the council. Authentications may even be abbreviated to say that the proceedings have been in council,! or before king and council, omitting any designation to show that reference is to the council in parliament. If due allowance be made for participation of the representative elements, both lay and clerical, there can still be no doubt that parliament is from the official point of view a meeting of the king and his council. The form in which representatives of the shires and boroughs were returned had sometimes indicated in the past that their part in parliament was to come before the king and his council,? and might even now show that they were to consider the matters thus laid before them.? Appearance at the beginning of the session to learn the nature of the business* in which they were to participate was a regular feature of parliamentary usage, the formal link between the old great council of the nation and the

newer representative elements. The latter in this period reported their petitions in written form.’ In 1332 arrangements proposed by the magnates for the preservation of the peace were read in the assembly before the king, the knights of the shires, and the town members. The commons favored them,® apparently expressing their consent in concert with the magnates by acclamation in a fashion to which there is reference at an earlier time.’ What the years 1332 and 1333 mark is not the beginning of assent by knights and town members but definite evidence of their

joint deliberation. Once in 1332 advice was requested of the knights alone.® From 1333 there is no parliamentary narrative of proceedings until 1339, when, on account of the request of the commons for opportunity to discuss a grant with their communities,!° another parliament was held early in 1340. In its successor three months later a committee, consisting of knights and another of citizens and burgesses, along with certain of the lords, settled the terms of a very important statute!! de1 See below, p. 146.

2 Parliamentary Writs, and Writs of Military Summons, ed. Francis Palgrave (London, 1827-1834), 1, 164-167.

3 In 1335 and 1336 (P.R.O. Transcripts, xtv, 15, 171) the knights of the shire for Middlesex are ‘faciendi recipiendi et consenciendi his que ex parte domini regis et consilii sui erunt injuncta in parliamento suo.’ 4 Below, p. 107. For the pronuntiatio, M. V. Clarke, Medieval Representation and Consent (Lon-

don, 1936), pp. 223-226. See an instance of their presence (Rot. Parl., 11, 67) when there was an adjournment; also upon reassembling (p. 69). 5 Asin Rot. Parl., 11, 5-6; Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 224-227, 232-238. 6 Rot. Parl., 1, 64-65: pleisant a eux touz, and pleynement assentez et accordez by king, magnates,

and commons. :

7 As in the repeal of the Ordinances in 1322 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 189).

8 Rot. Parl., u, 67, 69. See below, pp. 23-24. 9 Rot. Parl., u, 66, 67. 10 Rot. Parl., u, 104; Foedera, 1, Pt. 11, 1098. 11 Rot. Parl., 11, 112; Stats. of Realm, 1, 281-289.

14 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 signed to provide redress of grievances in return for the grant of a ninth. This procedure by committees seems to repeat the main features of that employed in the deposition of Edward II.! But in general at this period appearance before king and council to receive information and instruction or to make response still constituted the principal réle of the commons in official parliamentary proceedings. ‘Their procedure and their deliberations even upon matters of taxation are never described in the rolls of parliament, which record only what occurs before the older and more dignified body of magnates. The representatives may still be dismissed and the council continued in session.’ Concerning the part played by the representatives of the clergy in-

formation is even scantier. These were summoned actually by the bishops and archbishops and met under their guidance and subject to their authority in an ecclesiastical assembly.? There is no indication that in a parliamentary session they had granted the king a tax upon ecclesiastical property since 1322.4 Such taxes had come to be granted in the two provincial convocations meeting separately. There is no evidence that parliamentary assemblies included the representative clergy

of both provinces after 1332. Petitions of the clerical body were of necessity separate’ from the common petitions of representatives of shires, cities, and boroughs. Only once, in 1332,° is it recorded that the king called upon the prelates and representative proctors in attendance

to give their advice as a body upon a public question. ‘This did not occur frequently because for ages the prelates had been members of the national council and spokesmen for clerical interests. That parliament was regarded pre-eminently as a council in the first decade of the reign of Edward III is strongly indicated by a further circumstance, which has not been fully explained upon a basis of parlia-

mentary attendance, business or function. Certain assemblies’ of the period, even assemblies attended by representatives and acting in the usual parliamentary fashion, so far as record goes,® one of which even 1See M. V. Clarke, Historical Essays in Honour of James Tait (Manchester, 1933), pp. 30-42. Incidentally, it shows that knights of the shire and town representatives did not yet form one body.

2In 1332 (Rot. Parl., 1, 65); in 1333 (ibid., p. 69) the prelates, earls, and barons remain until the next day. 3 See W. A. Morris, ‘The Date of the “Modus Tenendi Parliamentum,”’ F.H.R., xurx (1934), 415. 4W. A. Morris, ‘The Beginnings of the House of Commons,’ Pacific Historical Review, 111 (1933),

148. The granting of a tax by the clergy of the Canterbury convocation at Leicester in 1336 is officially said to have been in the great council in which the northern clergy sat at Nottingham (Clarke, Representation and Consent, pp. 144-147).

5 For examples, Rot. Parl. Ineditz, pp. 106-110. 6 Rot. Parl., 11, 64. 7 See H. G. Richardson and George Sayles, ‘The Parliaments of Edward III,’ Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, vit (1930), 66-76. 8 See Plucknett, below, pp. 83, 85; also Richardson and Sayles, Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, vit (1930), 76-77.

Introduction 15 resulted in the grant of a tax to the king, are consistently called councils by the chancery clerks.!_ The idea of a feudal great council of the nation was far older than that of a parliament and apparently even in the third

and fourth decades of the fourteenth century more persistent. The name council might still be given to a parliament in which the idea of consultation upon urgent national affairs was pre-eminent.’ Councils without representatives were summoned, these consisting of prelates, earls, and barons and sometimes a few administrative councillors.2 The normal members, though not so numerous, were those of the council in parliament; and there were other important councils, apparently of this nature, for which no writ of summons survives.* Such assemblies modern writers have called great councils to distinguish them from parliaments, though in the writs of summons of this decade these are colloquia or tractatus. It is possible to show in almost every case®

that between 1327 and 1337 the terms magnum conciltwm and totum concilium® were employed with reference to parliament.

The council in parliament consisted of two elements, an administrative group individually summoned from amongst ‘those of the council’ in its permanent aspect, and the prelates earls and barons. The administrative group have been regarded in the time of Edward I as ‘the core and essence’ of parliament.’ The chief management of affairs in parlia-

ment had been, and in part still was, in their hands.* Some of the business seems to have been transacted by the king and this council in 1 As the assembly at Northampton in Sept. 1336 (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 460, margin) and that at York in 1328 (ibid., p. 384). See below, pp. 86-87; and Richardson and Sayles, Bull. Inst. Hist.

Research, vu (1930), 68. |

2 Notably in Aug. 1335 and Sept. 1336; but all those listed for this period were war assemblies except the one of July 1328. 3 At Windsor, July 1329; Osney, July 1330; Nottingham, Oct. 1330; Westminster, Jan. 1332. See below, pp. 86-87; parliaments and summoned councils are on the same footing with reference to the maintenance of order during their sessions (Rot. Parl., 11, 68, No. 4). 4 At Eltham in the spring of 1331 (Rot. Parl., u, 445-446; Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 783); at London, Aug. 1335 (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 452-453); Nottingham, midlent, 1335 (cbid., p. 441; C.C.R. 18331387, 468); and Northampton, June 1336 (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 458-460). That at Leicester in the

autumn of 1330 (Rot. Parl., u, 59, No. 19) and some of the others may have been councils rein-

forced by a baronial element (see below, p. 20).

5 For some doubtful cases in 1327, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 239-240. The entry regarding the bishop of Worcester in Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 723, may presuppose action taken at the parliament of Sept. 1327. The quoddam magnum consilium at Northampton, July 1338 (Richardson and Sayles, Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, v111, 1930, 66) is in other respects indistinguishable from a parliament. A great and

secret council of 13823 (Parl. Writs, u, Pt. ii, 285) is clearly not parliament. , 6 Petitions are annotated or endorsed coram rege et magno concilio suo (Rot. Parl., 1, '73, 75, '79), or coram magno consilio (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 173). For totum consilium, Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 717,

723, 729-730, 741; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 55; C.P.R. 1330-1333, 8, 33, 35, 43, 401. The last reference | to the Foedera clearly bears upon the council in parliament; so, Rot. Parl., 1, 74, 75, and C.P.R. 1330-1333, 161.

7F. W. Maitland, Memoranda de Parliamento (Rolls Series, London, 1893), p. Ixxxviil. 8 Below, p. 98.

16 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 the presence of the baronial group,'! often, it would seem, as inactive spectators. The influence and the active participation in affairs of the feudal national council had increased in the reign of Edward II. The number of administrative councillors summoned was decreasing in that reign and with the year 1327 shows a further marked decline.?, Although after 1330 there was again some increase, on one or two occasions there were only six or eight called. Some of these were distinguished persons

of much official experience.? Certain judges were regarded as a very important part of the group,* and once the judges were asked to consider a new statute until the next parliament.’ Numerically the judges® predominated, the exchequer officials or those associated with the king’s

household service numbering usually only three or four. Among the administrative councillors were probably not only certain prelates, earls, or barons summoned as such but also members of the regular council, notably the chancellor and the treasurer who were bishops.’ One treasurer not a bishop was included in the list of councillors summoned.® With such a council® on ordinary occasions the king could dispose of

much business. It is fairly clear that he still handled some in parliament with only the passive participation of the nobility, especially in the years immediately following 1327. In that year a process was declared annulled by the king and council with the assent of the whole parliament.'° In 1332 there appears in the remembrances ofparliament?! a clear distinction between the prelates, earls, and barons on the one hand and ‘those of the council’ on the other. Once the recommendation of the council in regard to a petition is given with final assent par le 1 Jn 1327 (Rot. Parl., u, 3; C.C.R. 13387-1839, 105): pleas before the king and council in the pres-

ence of the peers and magnates. This idea had been often expressed (as in Fleta, ed. John Selden, London, 1685, Bk. 1, cap. 2:1). 2In 1322 it was 33; in Nov. 1326, 23; in Sept. 1327, 15; as to the number thereafter, below, p. 97; also Clarke, Medieval Representation and Consent, p. 207. This decline did not affect the judicial element.

3 See Plucknett, below, pp. 97-98, for an excellent account of these men. Some further detail is given, below, p. 32.

4C.C.R. 1327-1330, 244. 5 Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 227, 230.

6 A few serjeants-at-law, often temporarily employed on judicial duty, are here included. 7 The Modus Tenendi Parliamentum (Clarke, Medieval Representation and Consent, pp. 376377) in Secs. vili, ix includes the chancellor and treasurer amongst those in parliament gui sunt de concilio regis.

8 Ayleston (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 413 ff.). 9 To the parliament summoned in 1336, to meet at York, Feb. 1337 (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 472),

were called five judges, the chancellor of the exchequer, three of the king’s law serjeants, and, in addition, four clerics active in administration (C.P.R. 1330-1333, 308), Murimuth, Iddesworth, Offord, and Sampson, besides the former clerk, now a knight, John Shoreditch. 10 It was read and examined separately before the two (Rot. Parl., 11, 429), possibly before the council prior to the larger session. 11 Rot. Parl., 1, 65. So also in 1327 (cbid., u, 428).

Introduction 17 | graunt conseil.1 When a petition bears the notation, ‘it seems to the council that the petition is not reasonable,’? or que a est bon affaire,* the inference is that the small body have deliberated upon the matter. The

presentation in parliament of documents to substantiate a petition,‘ or charters,® or an escheator’s inquest,® implies work which only the group

of experts could do; so also does the examination of a suit and process before the king and his council in parliament,’ or an opinion which in-

volves legal technicality. In many judicial? and administrative activities of parliament, unless for some exceptional reason, the nobility were obviously content to participate in a perfunctory manner. It will possibly require some four or five decades for the latter to lose their position of direction and become mere assistants or legal advisers!° to the lords, who, the records will claim,!! are the council in parliament. The prelates, earls, and barons, the old feudal national council, constituted a more imposing group in the king’s council in parliament than

did the administrative councillors. ‘Traditionally it was a body of tenants-in-chief who held of the crown by barony.!? But in the case of some of the prelates, feudal theory was no longer strictly observed. If tenure by barony meant, as it undoubtedly did in the thirteenth century,!? the holding of lands of the king from which feudal military service was due, then the earls and the ‘barons’ (not summoned under that title), 1 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 169. 2 Rot. Parl., 11, 83; cf. pp. 38, 89; also (p. 11) ‘il semble au Conseil q’il fait a faire, s’il plest au roi.’

3 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 164. When certain manors of the ancient demesne claim as of ancient right (P.R.O. Transcripts, 7, v1, 223), exemption from contributions to the wages of the knights of the shire and the petition bears the notation, ‘Le roi n’est pas avise,’ one may judge that the question was too difficult even for councillors. 4 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 113. 5 C.C.R. 18338-1337, 403; Rot. Parl., 1, 18-14. 6 Thid.

7 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 18. 8 As Rot. Parl., u, 89.

9 In 1339 (Chancery Warrants, File 1538, No. 21) certain prelates, earls, barons, and others of the king’s council were deputed to do right on behalf of parliament to a complainant by writ of error. 10 A. F. Pollard, The Evolution of Parliament (2nd ed., London, 1926), pp. 291-295; Clarke, Representation and Consent, pp. 206-210.

11 Petitions were beginning to be addressed to the king and lords by 1377 (J. F. Baldwin, The King’s Council in England during the Middle Ages, Oxford, 1913, pp. 328-331). In 1383 (Rot. Parl.,

111, 149) the lords are assumed to constitute the body. In the reign of Richard II legislation may be enacted by assent of the lords (Seigneurs) without naming the various elements included in that

term (Stats. of Realm, 1, 13). For the formula prelates, lords, and commons in 1361, ibid., 1 364. As early as 1343 (Rot. Parl., 1, 140) laws are said to have been made by the peers of the land and the commons. 12 This theory is emphatically held by the author of the Modus Tenendi Parliamentum. See the edition of M. V. Clarke (Secs. ii, iii) in the appendix of her Medieval Representation and Consent, pp. 374-375. 13 See Magna Carta, Sec. 2.

18 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 with few known exceptions, continued to qualify.1_ Had there been insistence that the service was due through descent of those specific complexes of estates known in King John’s time as honors or baronies, the proof? is less certain. All the bishops in England except two (those of Carlisle and Rochester)? held military baronies. Yet none of the bishops

of the four Welsh sees* and only twenty-four abbots and priors’ had ever owed military service. Not all the latter were now summoned; yet all the bishops and numerous non-military abbots and priors were summoned. The only theory which could have been consistently urged in support of the practice was that of quasi-baronage, set forth in the Constitutions of Clarendon and exemplified in the fact that these religious houses which did not owe military service were generally of the king’s patronage® and their heads were required to do fealty to him before recelving their temporalities at his hands. In this period an occasional abbot, in virtual protest against the doctrine of quasi-baronage which as a matter of practice had been largely enforced by Edward I, was gaining exemption from attendance at parliament by proving that he held nothing of the king by barony.’ The king in summoning magnates both for military and for parliamentary service took safe ground. In the summons of the earls and barons the basis which is implicit, as in earlier times, 1s faith and homage. The mandate to appear is in fide et homagio quibus nobis tenemini;® in

the summons of the bishops, abbots and the few priors who are called, an fide et dileccione quibus nobis teneminr.® The difference is explained by the fact that prelates in accordance with old usage rendered fealty!° 1 At least as late as 1300, as shown by comparing the names of persons who received parliamentary

summons in March with those summoned for military service the next June (Parl. Writs, 1, Pt. i, 82-83, 327-329). Feudal service was last exacted in its full form in 1327. 2 Investigation is needed with the list of the barons of 1166 as printed in J. H. Round, Feudal England: Historical Studies on the XIIth and XIIIth Centuries (London, 1895), pp. 253-256, for a starting point. There is also the problem of half baronies (as in C.C.R. 1333-1337, 326) and even smaller fractions. See the statute of Westminster of 1285 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 92, cap. 42; Foedera, mi, Pt. 1, 185; Rot. Parl., u, 19, No. 18). 3 Round, Feudal England, p. 249; also Helena M. Chew, The English Ecclesiastical Tenants-inChief (London, 1932), pp. 4, 19, 32; for Carlisle and Rochester, ibid., pp. 12, 77-78, 184-185. £ Ihnd., pp. 13, 77-78. 5 Round, Feudal England, p. 251; Chew, op. cit., pp. 5, 26, 38. The prior of Coventry was included in the number.

6 As to this, above, p. 10. 7 Chew, op. cit., p. 172.

8 For the summons to parliament, Dignity of a Peer, tv, 379, 382, 387, 396, etc.; for military summons, zbid., p. 373.

® For parliamentary summons, ibid., p. 376, etc.; for military summons, p. 374. 10 Rot. Parl., 11, 62, 64; Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 960. Abbots who held only in frankalmoign were not required to do homage or fealty (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 224, 576) unless their houses were of the king’s patronage.

Introduction 19 to the king, the earls and barons, homage. Affection, at any rate, could be regarded as binding the abbots and priors, whose feudal status was

questionable. Edward III stated the matter still more vaguely when in 1332 and 1333 he charged the prelates, earls, and barons in parliament

on the faith and legiance! which they owed him to render him advice. Thus while tenure was hardly negligible, the one general ground of duty

was allegiance. A similar decline from the feudal standard appears in the decade with respect to military service.’ While the king was not bound by rule, he constantly summoned the earls of the time with a baronial group far smaller than that summoned under Edward I and varying less from parliament to parliament. Summons, confined by precedent to a fairly restrictive number of families, was largely becoming hereditary,? and this was highly advantageous

to the new idea of peerage.‘ |

On matters of national concern the nobility (in more limited measure, the commons) might speak with an authority which no administrative council could claim. They took, especially in 1327 and 1330, a very keen interest in the rights and property interests of members of their order who had suffered forfeiture. In this a considerable part of the landholders of England® also had a stake. The magnates were the ultimate interpreters of much law,® whether feudal or not. The pro-Lancastrian nobility were of necessity the chief motive force in the revolution which replaced Edward II. At the parliament called to effect that object in January 1327, the magnates were sworn as a body to give good counsel and this by a form resembling the councillor’s oath, which included the obligation of secrecy.’ When Edward III seized control in 1330 he announced, as an obvious repudiation of some of Mortimer’s high-handed acts,*® that the business which touched the king and the estate of the realm should be conducted by the common council of the magnates (grantz) of the realm and in no other manner.? This conciliatory policy distinguishes the rule of Edward III from that of the genera-

tion preceding and that following his reign, when opposition of the 1 Rot. Parl., 11, 64, No. 5: ‘en les fois et ligeaunces queux ils devoient a nre Seign’ le Roi de lui conseiller’; 66, No. 1: ‘en lur ligeances’; 69, No. 6: ‘en lour ligeances et fois’ (this includes also the commons). 2 See below, pp. 349-352. 3 See Plucknett, below, pp. 95-96.

* ‘Cum praedictus Thomas fuisset unus Parium et Magnatum Regni’ (Rot. Pazl., u, 5). 5 See C.C.R. 1327-1330, 101. Also Rot. Parl., 11, 420-424. 6 Asin Rot. Parl., 1, 23, 24, 42-43, 45. 7 See Baldwin, below, p. 131.

8 It was asserted that at the parliament at Salisbury (Rot. Parl., 1, 52) Mortimer had prevented the peers from speaking with the king or counselling him as they ought. 9 Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 799; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 158.

20 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 baronage to the king was almost the rule. The declaration of the king implies consultation both in parliament and in those assemblies which have usually been called great councils. Moreover, the fact that the parliament which assembled in November 1330 to reform the ‘estate and government of the realm’ was ‘ordained’ by the king ‘with the counsel and assent of the prelates and magnates assisting him,”! is a reminder that the king’s ordinary council might thus be re-inforced in fulfillment of the promise. ‘The king also assembled a council of magnates and others at York in 1332 to ask their advice and counsel concerning Scottish affairs and with their assent summoned the December parlia-

ment of that year.? |

Excepting the part taken by the administrative council and the occasional participation of the commons and the full assembly of the clergy,

the feudal great council was the active parliament. It did not regularly determine petitions, since auditors and triers of these were appointed

throughout most of the period and details were often handled by the administrative council. That the magnates heard the answers so far as they were presented by the latter in parliament is not to be doubted. But their function sometimes extended further.. One petition in 1330 was turned over to the chancery because the magnates and other sages did not have time to hear and satisfactorily discuss it.? Besides participating in this type of business, regarded largely at the time as judicial,* the magnates gave attention to matters of political in-

terest. William Montague and others were by assent of the king and magnates in 1330 pardoned for their violence in taking Mortimer.’ A fair number of pardons were made by assent of parliament.® In 1331 the prelates, earls and barons prayed that Sir Thomas Berkeley, involved in charges relating to the death of Edward II, be admitted to mainprise

and were charged by the king to counsel him concerning the matter.’ In this and the related case of Edmund Mortimer, they asked to take advice until the next parliament. In 1327 Bishop Orleton was ordered to appear before them in parliament to answer for accepting the see of - Worcester by papal provision in derogation of the king’s rights. The magnates participated in business touching the offenses and in1 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 160. 2 Rot. Parl., 11, 69, No. 6.

3 Rot. Parl., 11, 59, No. 19. According to Gesta Abbatum Monasterit Sancti Albani (Rolls Series, London, 1867), 1, 288, a petition read in parliament in 1333 aroused indignation on the part of those “qui ibi erant de consilio regis aliique magnates.’ 4 See below, p. 25.

5 Rot. Parl., u, 60. 6 C.P.R. 1330-1338, 39, 55, 379; Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 760. 7 Rot. Parl., u, 57, No. 16, 62, No. 17. 8 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 783, 787.

Introduction 21 terests of members of their order. At the king’s request the peers gave judgment upon their fellow peers in cases of treason and felony.! In 1330 at the request of the prelates, earls and barons in parliament the bones of the younger Hugh Despenser, executed as a traitor, were committed to ecclesiastical sepulture.? In 1331 Hugh’s son was placed under mainpernors to bring him before the next parliament to answer before the king and magnates and do what was? ordained in council, his friends

requesting the king’s grace in the matter. In 1332 the cases of two barons imprisoned because of ‘hot words’ spoken before the king and council in parliament* were disposed of according to the advice of the magnates which the king had requested.* With their assent was revoked the grant of the wardship of the heir of John de Mohun.® Grants of manors forfeited or lapsed to the crown and of other sources of income

were frequently made with the same assent,’ an outstanding instance being the estates of the earl of Atholl conferred on Walter Manny.® In the same way the lands of the widow of John de Mowbray, which were in the hands of the king, were returned.® In 1327 the lands of the alien priories, taken into the king’s hand because of hostilities with France, were restored by assent of the magnates in parliament.'® ‘To the abbey of Gloucester, as a recognition of expense in performing the obsequies of Edward II, the king and council in parliament in 1328 gave license to appropriate three churches of the king’s advowson.'! In 1333 the complaints of an abbot claiming unlawful molestation of his property were laid directly before the magnates by the king.!? In 1331 it was accorded by the king, prelates, earls, and other magnates!? that no magnate (graunt) 1 Revoking the condemnation of Thomas of Lancaster (Rot. Parl., 1, 3-5; Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 731); condemning in 1330 the earl of Kent (Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 787); later revoking the action and that against the earl of Arundel (Rot. Parl., 1, 55-56); condemning Roger Mortimer (Rot. Parl., 11, 52-53) and Simon de Bereford, the latter not a peer (ibid., p. 53), with protest (Rot. Parl., 11, 53-54) that it

was not their duty to judge him. 2 C.F.R., tv, 175. 3 Rot. Parl., u,61. The charges apparently grew out of his connection with the treason of the ear! of Kent in 1330. 4 They fought in the presence of the king and were imprisoned; see Annales Paulini (Rolls Series, London, 1882), 1, 355. 5 Rot. Parl., u, 68, No. 3. 6 CLF.R., rv, 227.

7 As to Queen Isabella’s grant of £3000 a year, C.P.R. 1330-1333, 48; as to those of William Montague and John Neville, ibid., p. 520, and Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 818; see also C.P.R. 1330-1338, 27, 31, 45, 74, 174, 194, 394. 8 O.P.R. 1330-1338, 73, 392. ° C.F.R., rv, 221. 10 0.C.R. 1327-1330, 18-19. 11 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 729. 12 Rot. Parl., u, 65-66. 13 Rot. Parl., u, 62.

22 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of the realm maintain a misdoer and that they ought to aid justices and sheriffs in making execution of judgments. How poorly this was carried out with respect to maintenance of wrongdoers is shown in a petition of the commons in 1334.!

The abundant statutory legislation of the decade was enacted in a fashion described by the commons in 1328. They petitioned the king that it might please him and his council to ordain in parliament by statute for the protection of the pursuers of the Despensers. ‘The response was that the statute should be ordained by the common consent of the whole

parliament.? The request of the commons and assent of the lords? is the usual procedure. Inasmuch as the participation of the magnates alone is mentioned in the enactment of at least one of the two statutes of the period dealing with money,‘ it would not be safe to assume that the commons had as yet become essential to the legislative process except when they assumed the initiative in it. A statute requiring the resumption of certain hundreds granted away was modified by the assent of prelates and magnates.*° The important articles of 1331 concerning matters of law and government in Ireland were prepared in parliament

and ordained by the king with the consent of the council there.’ The consent of the commons is not clear with respect to the revival of the staples m 1332.8

Even Mortimer found it important to consult the magnates upon business of special concern to the realm. The general lines of the famous treaty with Scotland in 1328 were laid down and the negotiators designated by the king and council in parliament, while the treaty was ratified by the whole council in the succeeding May parliament.® In 1327 with 1 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 573.

2 Rot. Parl., u, 5. See also the request of the commons (Stats. of Realm, 1, 255) in 1327. 3 Also in 1330 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 263) and 1336 (ibid., p. 275); in 1335 (first statute, p. 269) by

petition of the commons and assent of the magnates and the king’s council; in 1331 (p. 265) by assent of the prelates, earls and barons and other grauntz of the realm and ‘at the request of his people.’

4 In 1330 (C.F.R., tv, 250-251), forbidding export of sterling and plate; in 1335 (Stats. of Realm, 1,

273, re-enacting this and forbidding importation of counterfeit and circulation of base money (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 436). The latter, however, in 1336 (Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 937) is said to have had the consent of the communitas regni. 5 Whatever the meaning of the famous statute of 1322 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 189), it is clear that it did not assume participation of the commons in legislation to any greater extent than that cus-

tomary in the past. 6 O.C.R. 13338-1337, 215-216, 222-223; C.P.R. 1834-13838, 14-15.

’ Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 812; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 84; Rot. Parl., u, 61, No. 6. 8 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 362-363. They consented to the abolition of these in 1328 and in 1334 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 239; Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 227-230).

9 Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 730, 741. Edward Balliol in 1332 (ibid., p. 848) undertook that his treaty with Edward III should be ratified by the assent of the Scottish parliament.

Introduction 23

made. |

their counsel the exchequer and the king’s bench were removed to York,! in this case the king asking for consent to support the decision already

Edward III abundantly fulfilled his promise to consult the magnates concerning the state of the realm, a step which in view of prevailing conditions was inevitable. In 1330 the king and his council agreed that

all the sheriffs of England be removed.? In 1331 the king and magnates heard in full parliament that the money of the realm was defective and accorded that the king’s council take action. When next year the probJem of danger to the peace from great companies of people was presented to them,‘ it was agreed that guardians of the peace be assigned. At the end of the session there was read in their presence a new form of com-

mission of the peace. They were consulted concerning negotiations with France in 1330 and with Scotland in 1331. In 1332 they expressed approval of the king’s proposal to journey to France in the interest of a settlement of outstanding differences, and recommended that under existing circumstances he should postpone his proposed crusade until Feb-

ruary 1336.7 The summons of the magnates to the well known great council, as it was termed, at Northampton in September 1336, called them to consider issues with the French king which required settlement preliminary to the proposed crusade, particularly the French policy of assisting David Bruce and the Scots.* In 1331 it was agreed by consent of the prelates and other magnates that the king ought to go to Ireland to restrain his enemies; in 1332 after deliberation upon the news from Scotland in which the knights of the shire joined, he was advised to remain in England;° and in 1334 it was accorded by the magnates along with the commons that he make an expedition against the Scots in the Marches.?° In 1332 Edward IIT asked the advice of all the magnates and also the commons upon the question of suspending the business of

the parliament and proceeding at once to the north.'! Earlier in the year he asked their advice both upon the date of his proposed crusade and the keeping of the peace in his absence, requiring the prelates and 1 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 717.

2 Rot. Parl., 1, 60, No. 21. 3 Rot. Parl., 1, 62, No. 14. See Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 814, for previous action in the matter. 4 Rot. Parl., u, 64.

| 5 After the commons had been dismissed (ibid., p. 65). 6 See Lucas, below, p. 303; also below, p. 42.

7 Rot. Parl., u, 65. 8 Dignity of a Peer, 1v, 360; Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 944. As to relations with France in 1334, C.P.R.

1330-1338, 532. 9 Rot. Parl., u, 66, 67.

10 Dignity of a Peer, tv, 442. 11 Rot. Parl., 1, 66-67.

Q4 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 lay lords separately to counsel him.! At the York parliament assembled

in December for consultation upon the king’s relations with Edward Balliol, the king asked three separate opinions,” one from the prelates, another from the earls and barons, a third from the knights of the shires

and the representatives of the towns. This grouping together of the representative elements, repeated in the parliament at York January, 1333, 1s a well recognized step in the formation of a house of commons. * From 1330 the records show in increasing measure that for legislation and other business of national concern® the magnates and administrative

councillors in parliament were regarded as acting together. Since the commons were not an essential part of a full parliament, and since they did not often appear before the king and his council there, the expression entire parliament (tot de parlement)® ordinarily meant the same as all

the council in parliament.’ The combination of the smaller element with the larger and more influential is an interesting sidelight on the process by which the feudal council came to be the whole council in par-

lament, later a house of lords. The distinctive place assumed in government by parliament as contrasted with that of the king’s every-day administrative council should be emphasized. ‘The former, in addition to the highest affairs of the realm, often handled the same kinds of business as did the latter. Apparently what came before the council in one,form or other might come before the parliament.’ Already, however, appears the contention that what is settled in parliament may not be reversed by the council.® Some

petitions came before parliament after they had been presented one or more times to the council.'®° Because of lack of time parliamentary business was more highly selective and petitions were sifted. There is some 1 Rot. Parl., u, 64. 2 Rot. Parl., u, 67. 3 Rot. Parl., u, 67, 69. . * There is likelihood of previous understandings of knights and townsmen in making petitions and in other parliamentary business (Rot. Parl., 1, 351, 371; u, 5) and there is a possibility of their concurrence in occasional grants (e.g., the twentieth of 1327) which were the same for counties and towns. The grants were necessarily separate in 1340 (Rot. Parl., u, 112) because the ninth of the citizens and burgesses was on all their goods, that of the rest of the realm a fraction of the value of sheaves, fleeces, andlambs. Fora request of the knights in 1328, Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, A.D. 1323-1364, ed. A. H. Thomas (Cambridge, 1926), p. 81. 5 Assent (as in Rot. Parl., 1, 60, Nos. 24, 25) or counsel is given by the prelates, earls, barons,

and other magnates, and petitions (Rot. Parl., u, 58, No. 18), are heard before them. It is clear (see Baldwin, below, p. 145) that the ‘other magnates’ are the councillors. This appears also by a comparison of Stats. of Realm, pp. 271, 275, with p. 277. 6 Asin C.C.R., 1327-1330, 54; Rot. Parl., u, 5, 6 (on p. 5 the commons are possibly included). 7 As in C.C.R. 1330-1838, 346.

8 See below, p. 146. 9 See Baldwin, below, p. 146. 10 See below, p. 146; also C.C.R. 1327-1330, 44-45, 458; C.C.R. 13833-1337, 422.

Introduction Q5 indication that the presentation of private petitions in parliament was on the decline.' The council in parliament might review judgment of the council? and error in the common law courts.? It was called a court and the highest tribunal in the land.* This judicial theory appears in somewhat unexpected instances. One person who petitioned the king for certain property appointed an attorney to prosecute before him in parliament, chancery, and other courts.> In parliament justices were authorized to proceed in cases wherein action has been suspended until the king might be consulted.® Certain pleas of the crown were said to be held in parlia-

ment.’ The son of the younger Hugh Despenser was placed under sureties to answer there in the king’s court;® and mainprise given to appear before the king’s bench was once cancelled there;® offenders convicted before commissioners of oyer and terminer of offences against the peace were in one instance brought before parliament to receive punishment.!° The peers here alone judged the high crimes of their fellow magnates, and in some cases, their action was made semi-legislative!! by the

concurrence of the commons.!? In 1327 the judgment by which the bishop of Worcester had been deprived of his lands for adherence to Roger Mortimer was reversed with assent of the entire parliament.!? In a variety of ways parliament disposed of business easily recognized by

the modern man as judicial, although this jurisdiction was not very widely exercised. In part it duplicated that of the permanent administrative council; in some measure it was unique, rising above anything the council might do. Again, parliament was peculiar in the fact that here were transacted affairs by the participation of the commons. National taxation of mov-

able property required their consent which, unlike that of the lower clergy, was given here alone. In this period lay tenths and fifteenths of 1 Richardson and Sayles, “The Parliaments of Edward III,’ Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, rx (1931), 3-6; but see also below, p. 114. 2 See Plucknett, below, p. 110.

3 See below, ibid. 4 See below, pp. 112, 400. 5 C.C.R. 18338-1387, 464; again C.C.R. 1327-1330, p. 297, ‘at the prosecution of Margaret .. . by petition before the king and his council in parliament.’ 6 See above, p. 6; also C.C.R. 1333-1337, 226, 227. 7 Rot. Parl., u, 32.

8 See above, p. 21. 9C.C.R. 1327-1330, 558.

10 Rot. Parl., 11, 68, No. 19; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 539, 647.

11 Kor the parallel between this judgment by peers and the later act of attainder, see Plucknett, below, p. 109, n. 6. 12 In 1327 in the reversal of judgment (Rot. Parl., u, 5) and proceedings against Earl Thomas and

the Despensers by which the holdings of many commoners are forfeit; in 1322, the pardon to the pursuers (Stats. of Realm, 1, 185) of the Despensers. 13 Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 689-690.

26 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 movables were said to be granted by the magnates and the commons, and the tenth through the supersession of tallage became the sole form of taxation levied by the king upon the towns and the royal demesne. A grant in lieu of providing hobelars and archers requisitioned against the Scots in 1335 and varying in amount from county to county was, however, made before king and council in parliament by certain men on behalf of themselves and other men of the counties.2, The volume of statutes made in parliament was considerable and it was obviously becoming a legislature, a parliamentary development which has been regarded as the most important of the decade. Parliament was the place where the answers or conclusions of the commons were presented, where the common petitions of the representatives of counties and towns were heard, whether they were rejected* or were answered? by legislation or administrative action. Parliamentary authority was the highest that could be cited not only for the determination of state policy but also for the settlement of trouble-

| some and difficult problems, as when the king, because of an issue involving a grant with consent of the prelates, earls, and barons, suspended a statute® or took temporary action in a dispute between two claimants to a castle’ until the next parliament; or when the council directed that

doubtful points in a dispute between the archbishop of York and the town of Kingston-on-Hull as well as the conflict between the archbishop and his church be submitted to the king and council in the next parlia-

ment. The abbot of Crowland and Thomas Wake of Lidell were

charged by the king in parliament not to resort to violence in their dispute and a similar course was followed in the difficulty between John de Grey and William de la Zouch. A concord was made between Henry Percy and John Clavering concerning tenements in Northumberland and carried out with assent of the magnates.'!° The magnates and peers in 1328 ruled that process of ecclesiastical courts to collect the debts of a cardinal was against common law." Although the object of the mass of private petitions presented in parliament was remedy of some sort and this was a very important part of 1 Rot. Parl., u, 66. Also the twentieth of 1327 (ibid., 11, 425). 2C.P.R. 1334-1338, 131-133. Collectors were appointed in 27 counties and the bailiffs were made collectors in various towns. 3 See Plucknett, below, p. 117. 4 See below, p. 148. 5 Upon an article of a petitio communitatis at York, Jan. 1331, is noted the response ‘le roi ordinera’ (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 224). 6 C.C.R. 1333-1387, 174. 7 C.C.R. 1883-1887, 185.

8 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 199; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 422. 9 Rot. Parl., 11, 62.

10 Rot. Parl., u, 62-63. 11 Woedera, u1, Pt. 11, 744.

Introduction Q7 the work of parliament, it by no means follows that petition meant judicial action there. Parliament was more often an agency to suggest means of obtaining justice than a court to give judgment.! Moreover these petitions were of various kinds? and through them attempts were made to gain a variety of ends. A certain number were for the exercise of the king’s grace? which might mean a pure grant or gift. When the authorities of London appeared before parliament to present a petition that the magnates be commanded to observe an arrangement touching the peace of the city, King Edward in their presence, gave the order.‘ When in parliament he revoked the appointment of a controller of customs at London® as well as when he did many other things there, the act was neither legislative nor judicial. The action of the king in 1334, consenting a second time to the abolition of the staples, was simply in form an answer to a petition of the commons.® If authorities may differ as to whether parliament in this period was primarily a court or a legislature, the great importance of the king and the great sphere of executive initiative and action in parliament must not be overlooked. The calling of parliament and much of what was done in them depended directly upon the king’s action or consent. Even when procedure in parliament may be considered judicial and when the council answers petitions, the answer is often an order that a judicial or administrative authority take some designated action. The chancellor, the chancery,’ the treasurer, and barons of the exchequer,® or the judges® are to act. The issue of necessary writs of chancery and of justice is sometimes specifically directed.'° Mandates are given to 1 See Baldwin, below, p. 148, for rejection of petitions. Some are referred to the common law courts (Rot. Parl., 11,71); to the chancery (Rot. Parl., 1, 39, 40, 91, 92); or to the exchequer (bid., i, 31, 38, 341). 2 For some description, Richardson and Sayles, Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, 1x (1931), 3-4. For private petitions, Rot. Parl., 1, 13-51, 57-60, 70-95; also Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 141-223, 240-266, 273-278.

3 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 126; Rot. Parl., 11, 31, 73, 74; as to confirmation of the franchises of Rochester, Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 311. Yet a petition which is in form pur charite (Rot. Parl., u, 31, No. 5) may involve investigation and the doing of right. The restoration of the property of an heir alienated by judgment of the peers (p. 33, No. 17; p. 62, No. 16) is presented as a matter of the king’s grace. The question of whether there should be a review of this judgment before the king in parliament (pp. 55-56) was also a matter of his grace. Again a pardon (p. 21, No. 23) of a heavy sum owed is a matter of grace.

4 Rot. Parl., 11, 54; cf. Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 723. 5 C.P.R. 1330-1333, 33. 6 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 238. According to Rot. Parl., 1, 376, it had been ordained at the king’s pleasure and was now revoked. 7 It is ordered (Rot. Parl., 11, 62, 94) that records be searched in the chancery and in the treasury; again (pp. 13, 20) rolls of chancery. Again (pp. 34, 38, 46) the treasurer and barons are to do right

in the matter of a petition.

8 Rot. Parl., 11, 14, 17. 9 Rot. Parl., u, 49, 89, 99.

10 Rot. Parl., 11, 5, 22; also 68, No. 18. Concerning writs of judgment, see below, p. 175, n. 4.

28 The English Government at Work, 13827-13836 sheriffs! or bailiffs of towns,? in a few instances to the constable of Bordeaux.? Business is assigned to the permanent council.* Parliament is apparently considered most useful as a place to provide settlement of difficult matters and to direct administrative and judicial forces to this end. The answers to the common petitions of the representative knights and townsmen often repeated these administrative features and involved still others. In 1327 it was agreed by the king and all the parliament that certain fines and recognizances imposed upon partisans of Earl

Thomas be annulled in the chancery and the exchequer.’ At the request of the magnates and commonalty of the realm the king once appointed guardians of the peace,® and the appointment of custodes pacis in 1328 was because of complaint in parliament.’ King Edward ordained

in parliament the observance of statutes to regulate the conduct of sheriffs and purveyors.* He directed that the settlement of certain matters be left to his administrative council. He agreed to ordain remedy for the salvation of the march of Scotland,!° and accepted statutes which touched the action of the steward and marshal of the royal house-

hold.': He instructed the judges and other sages to consider drafting a statute before the next parliament.'? By executive pronouncement in parliament were effected administrative action and changes in method requested by individuals or by the commons and approved by the great council.

When the king and council in parliament answered the requests of the commons by enacting legislation the result was sometimes to limit the king in the exercise of his prerogative. The statutes of the period dealt with a wide variety of subjects, and some were designed to reform administration even by regulating the conduct of officials. In 1333 at the petition of the commons was re-enacted the statute which required that sheriffs and bailiffs be persons of sufficient landed qualifications.‘? In November 1330 there was mention of a sweeping act apparently prompted

by the king. It was agreed by the prelates, earls, barons, and the com1 Writs to sheriffs, Rot. Parl., 11, 61, No. 4. 2 The bailiffs of Grantham (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 214). 3 Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 218-219. 4 Rot. Parl., u, 59, 63.

5 0.C.R. 13827-1330, 98. Later (C.P.R. 1333-1337, 645) it was agreed in parliament to annul the recognizances in chancery made by force to Hugh Despenser. 6 C.P.R. 13834-1338, pp. 367-371; Rot. Parl., 11, 64.

7 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 754. 8 Stats. of Realm, 1, 263, 264, 266.

9 Asin Rot. Parl., 11, 43-44, 49-50, 59; also, see above, p. 23. 10 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 224. 11 Stats. of Realm, 1, 262-266; cf. Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 528; Rot. Parl., 11, 62, No. 10.

12 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 230. 13 Thid., pp. 225, 228.

Introduction 29 monalty that grants of lands, castles, wardships, marriages, bailiwicks, and liberties since 1327 be revoked.! The grant of a parliamentary tax, of course, meant executive and administrative action in the appointment of collectors the supervision of their work and the accounting for the

money.2 The grant of the tenth and fifteenth of 1332, described as made by magnates and commons, trenched upon the prerogative in the manner employed in 1301 and 1309. The grant was made upon conditions. The king was to live of his own, pay his expenses and not grieve the kingdom by outrageous prises; moreover, he was to recall the commissions which he had lately issued for tallaging cities, boroughs, and the demesne lands of the crown, and in future was to levy tallages according to reason and not in excess of those of his ancestors.? The restrictions illustrate one method of the fiscal control which is the tradi-

tional basis of limited monarchy. The conditions were ill observed, although the incident marked the end of the old type of tallage. The influence of current ideas of reform is more patent, for, in the first ten years of Edward III, questions of administrative control which gave rise to limitations upon the prerogative were much more numerous than were considerations purely financial.

3. THe CouNcIL |

The council in parliament sitting in short sessions, held usually about twice a year,* concerned itself for the most part with affairs of consequence. Only the small number of those of the king’s council who were summoned were committed to the king’s prerogative and bound to fol-

low his wishes or do his bidding. These men were members of the council which was perpetually at his disposal and with the assistance of which he conducted the everyday affairs of government.

Many acts passed under the great seal were warranted by the king and council, others by the council alone. With the exception of general regulations the same kinds of acts at other times were authorized by the _ king alone. The council was the mainstay of the king in government

and an agent of his prerogative. It was a most effective force in administration either in conjunction with him or, as often, when he himself did not act.

The council appears in varying aspects. There was a council which

attended the king. At times it was the intention that attendance of some of the more prominent councillors be constant. ‘This was obvi1CLFR., 1, 241. 2 See Willard, Parliamentary Taxes, Chs. u, U1, VII, X. 3 Rot. Parl., 1, 66. 4 See below, pp. 86-87.

30 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 ously important during a royal minority which also called for a larger council. It is now known that these were features of the plan of February 1327, frustrated by Mortimer;' and the first was in January 1333 revived by Edward III in the midst of Scottish and other difficulties at the parliament of York.? It was not intended that either the fourteen magnate counsellors of 1327 or the six of 1333 should constitute the whole number available, as the summons to parliament of others of the king’s council well shows. The object was rather to supply an element of rank and experience who were regarded both by the king and the nation as necessary to the conduct of weighty affairs. The number who might be called was large.* Throughout this decade it included also various individuals useful to the king abroad whom he retained to be of his council, even for life. These men were not all foreigners whose aid the king sought to enlist® by honorary recognition. Well trained clerks | were often outstanding. John Piers, ‘professor’ of civil law, was employed to treat with the French king concerning the proposed crusade,® then retained of the king’s council with a pension and made envoy to the French and papal courts.’ John Shoreditch, a secularized clerk and a knight sent by the council to France at various times,*® had been active in various administrative capacities? and sworn of the council under Edward II!° before he was mentioned in 1330 as retained to remain with

the king of his council.1!| John Walwayn, another clerk employed on foreign missions, and in 1336 retained of the council with a pension,?? was an escheator and even treasurer of the realm in the time of Edward IT. The council of Edward III for a few years after 1330 was very rich in

administrative talent and experience. So far was this true that, apart from the chancellors'!? to whom this observation applies in striking meas1 See Baldwin, below, p. 133.

2 See Baldwin, below p. 140. Those to be near the king were the archbishop of York and the bishop of Norwich. The barons were Henry Percy and William de Clinton, the judges Denum and Shareshull. 3 Baldwin, King’s Council, pp. 78, 81, 85-86. 4 Baldwin, King’s Council, pp. 72-79. 5 See Baldwin, below, pp. 142-144. 6 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 466, 467; cf. p. 536. He also appears as John Petri (below, p. 143). 7 Issue Roll, No. 279 (13 Feb. and 9 Mar. 1335). 8 Issue Roll, No. 254 (21 Jan. 1331); See Lucas, below, p. 310. 9 See Tout, Chapters, 111, 35, n. 3.

10 Baldwin, King’s Council, p. 81. 11 Issue Roll, No. 254 (19 Dec. 1330). 12 Baldwin, King’s Council, p. 81; Issue Roll, No. 291 (29 Nov.).

13 John Stratford as bishop of Winchester to 1334 and again as archbishop of Canterbury from June 1335; the noted former treasurer Melton, archbishop of York, keeper of the great seal in 1334; Richard Bury, keeper of the privy seal 1328 to 1333, high in the favor of Edward III, treasurer in 1334 and, as bishop of Durham, chancellor Sept. 1334 to June 1335.

Introduction 31 ure, and the treasurers of the period, some of them men of wardrobe training, it is permissible to regard the more prominent councillors not so much in the light of their official position as in the light of their individual qualifications. Though the archbishops were often of the council, for most of these years the two were Stratford and Melton. Bishops were included but those of the moment were Ayrmin, Bury, and Gravesend.! The retention of Geoffrey Scrope and William Herle,?

is explicable quite apart from their being chief justices, although the qualifications of three other judges*® seem to have been more narrowly

legal. The steward of the household,* a prominent councillor, was a baron attached to the king, but his successor was Robert Ufford. The presence of a fair-sized group of nobles as councillors, always a desideratum in this period, is explained largely by relationship to the king.

Of the three earls® of the council, one was the brother of Thomas of Lancaster, another of the king. Of the half dozen barons® two were on confidential terms with the king and had rendered him valuable services’ which were soon to raise them to a higher status. Besides the steward at least one® of these baronial councillors had held an important office, two were strong Lancastrian partisans,°® and a third!® apparently enjoyed the king’s favor because of his importance in the affairs of the north. The exact composition of the council on any occasion is never stated.

Of the twenty or so important councillors just mentioned, men whose names occur after 1330, probably not all were ever available at once. Most of the prelates!! and some of the lay nobles!” were absent now and

then on diplomatic missions. The maximum number named for any 1 Bishop of London. See below, p. 140. 2 As to Scrope, see below, p. 319; as to Herle, C.P.R. 1334-1838, 153.

3 Shareshull and Denum (Rot. Parl., 1, 69) in 1333 and Willoughby in 1336 (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 240). Denum was only a justice of assize (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 134), but had diplomatic experience (Rot. Scot., 1, 223).

4 Ralph Neville of Raby. 5 John of Eltham, earl of Cornwall, John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, and Henry, earl of Lancaster. 6 All appear by 1330 as parliamentary barons (Dignity of a Peer, rv).

? William Montague and William de Clinton (see Tout, Chapters, 111, 29, 36-37). As to Montague’s service as councillor, C.P.R. 1336-1338, 264.

' 8 Ralph Basset of Drayton. See below, p. 34. He was also recommended to the king in 1335 by the chancellor and others at York for appointment as admiral (Chancery Warrants, No. 8381). ®° Thomas Wake of Lidell, the son-in-law of Earl Henry, and William Ros of Hamelake. Ros may have been councillor only for a specific time (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 519). 10 Henry Percy (Rot. Parl., u, 69), also a Lancastrian. 11 Stratford and Bury both temporarily gave up office on this account. Ayrmin was much engaged in such missions (see below, pp. 318-319). 12 Notably Montague and Clinton; also Scrope and Herle, the two chief justices (below, pp. 33, n. 9, 312, n. 4).

32 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 session of the decade so far as known is nine.! Such lists of notables, however, almost invariably end with the words ‘and others.’ The best. additional clue to personnel is found in the lists of those of the council summoned to parliament. They include a number of the judges in addition to those already noticed and often two or three serjeants-at-law. Besides the judicial element there are named for each parliament a few persons, obviously useful, some prominent in administration, who altogether number slightly above twenty for the whole decade. The most eminent (not overlooking Ayleston, a treasurer who was not a bishop) are an ex-treasurer,? a chief baron,? and a baron‘ of the exchequer, both of whom had in the previous reign been acting treasurers, and in the later years of the period two chancellors of the exchequer.> The knightly element of the king’s immediate household is represented by his steward® and once by his chamberlain.’ The rest are clerics of unknown official status, in nearly every case king’s clerks, provided by him with benefices, all but two of whom may be identified as members of the

diplomatic service either before 1337 or slightly later.2 The presence of so many professional diplomats is a striking reflection of the importance of foreign relations of the time. Since as many as twelve notables attended an important council of Edward II*® and these were supplemented by judges, barons of the exchequer, and others, the conclusion 1 At Northampton, 29 June 1336 (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 240): the chancellor, the treasurer (Burghersh, bishop of Lincoln), the bishop of London (Gravesend), Earl Warenne, Thomas Wake of Lidell, William de Clinton, and three judges (Scrope, Herle, and Willoughby), with other justices and lieges. In a grant to the earl of Arundel, dated 24 Sept. 1334 (C 202, File H 9, No. 9/7), are named eight, the chancellor, the bishops of Norwich and Durham (Ayrmin and Bury), the earls of Cornwall and Warenne, with Henry Percy, Montague, and Neville, the steward. The number seems to be conventional and corresponds closely to that of the witnesses of the king’s charters. The lists of the latter end regularly with the words ‘and others.’ 2 Robert Wodehouse, treasurer 1329-1330, in 1331. Identifications are made easily from the list of officials in Tout, Chapters, v1. 3 Walter of Norwich to 1329. 4 William Everdon. 5 Robert Stratford in 1334; John Hildesley in 1335 and 1336.

6 Ralph Neville of Raby (cf. p. 31, n. 4). He as well as Percy (Issue Roll, No. 294, 1 May) and Montague (Issue Roll, No. 285, 28 Feb. 1336) were in military rating bannerets.

7 Gilbert Talbot. _ 8 Including John Shoreditch, Thomas Sampson, John Offord (C.P.R. 1334-1338, 191, 536; also Issue Roll, No. 270, 1 Dec. 1333), and Adam Murimuth. The last named (s.v. ‘Murimuth,’ D.N.B.)

had been sent to the papal curia as early as 1318. Hildesley (below, p. 311) was employed on diplomatic missions, Iddesworth certainly in 1837 (Ancient Correspondence, xxxrx, No. 60) and in 1338 (Chancery Miscellanea, C 47, Bundle 28, 9/7). Master William Weston (C.P.R. 13271330, 361) was once sent to the papal court. Master Richard of Gloucester, provided by the king with the deanery of Tamworth (C.P.R. 1827-1330, 301, 372), was a monk of Hailes employed by his abbot in administration. Master Gilbert Middleton appears early in the reign, but his service to the king, like that of Master Richard, does not seem to be mentioned. 9 Parl. Writs, u, Pt. 1, 285.

Introduction 33 may be drawn that in the decade under study the council with the king sitting to consider greater affairs might sometimes number fifteen but hardly above twenty. The king had the right to call the prelates, earls, and barons to counsel him in virtue of their allegiance.2 Not only were great councils summoned in parliamentary fashion but there is evidence that on some occasions the council was re-inforced by adding magnates.* The description of the council at other times as the chancellor, the treasurer, and others of the council* hints that the great men were few. The ‘many magnates of the council’ mentioned in 13315 are found in the original record to be only guamplures. At a session held the same year before the king at St Albans the chancellor and two judges® appear to be the only official dignitaries present. It was not easy for the king to keep about him the number of councillors of the rank and experience demanded by weighty

affairs of state. The retention of additional councillors in January 1333,’ as Edward established the centre of government at York for the conduct of the war,® indicates the difficulty in a period when the energies of a number of his trusted advisors were absorbed in foreign missions® —

and other unusual activities. When the king was in the war zone the problem was more difficult. Soon after his return from the north in 1335 Edward III, in a letter to Benedict XII, dated at Nottingham 1 April, explained that he had not been able to dispose of matters presented by the papal nuncios because, occupied at a distance in warlike affairs, he had riot had with him the prelates peers and pertti of his council.4°. There is other evidence that, when the council was transacting 1'The approximate number who attended the same type of council towards the later years of Richard II (see the record in Baldwin, King’s Council, pp. 488-504).

2 As Ralph Basset (see below, p. 37, n. 10); also William Ros of Hamelake and 17 others in fide homagio et ligeancia quibus nobis tenemini (Close Roll, No. 156, m. 11d; cf. C.C.R. 1833-1387,

519). The others could have been of the council only ad hoc. More convincing is the summoning of prelates, earls, and barons to Northampton (C.P.R. 13834-1338, 274-275) 25 June 1336. 3 See below, p. 34. 4C.C.R. 1330-1333, 340; cf. C.P.R. 1334-13838, 265.

5 C.C.R. 1830-1338, 370. 6 C.C.R. 13830-1333, 320. 7 The list of councillors designated (Rot. Parl., 11, 69) indicates this in some measure. Melton (archbishop of York) and Ayrmin (bishop of Norwich) seem quite obvious. Of the barons, Percy and Clinton, the former was associated with the north; the names of the two judges, Denum and Shareshull, suggest that Scrope and Herle were occupied with war business at the time. 8 Tout, Chapters, 111, 56-59.

®° For examples, see Lucas, below, pp. 318-319. Ayrmin (bishop of Norwich), Stratford (arch-

bishop of Canterbury), Bury, and Shoreditch were by 18 June of this year engaged upon their mission to the papal court (Chancery Warrants, No. 6428) to procure remission of the payment of the annual cens. On 3 Aug. (Chancery Warrants, No. 7181) Ayrmin, Clinton, Scrope, and Piers, as well as Sampson, were to receive commission to speak for Edward III at the court of Philip VI. 10 Kugéne Déprez, Les Préliminatres de la guerre de cent ans (Paris, 1902), p. 409; also below, p. 142, n. 3.

34 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 business at Northampton or York, the number who were available to the king farther north was quite small. By privy-seal letters he sent directions to the chancellor and the council.!_ In their absence just before, and again just after, the siege of Berwick in 1333 he made an important grant with the assent of the prelates, earls, and barons attending him;? and in February 1335 he summoned the archbishop of York to Newcastle to treat with his prelates, magnates, and lieges on arduous affairs, the margin? indicating that this was pro concilio regis. Summons is not mentioned as the ordinary method of convening the

council and the inference is that the chancellor or other official who called a session employed a more informal method. When Archbishop Meopham was left in charge of business as the head of a small council of six during the king’s brief absence abroad in 1331, he was given authority to call the other five.® In 1325 letters of privy seal were used to summon prelates and magnates to a council,® the purpose of which was consideration of the report of the king’s envoys. This might well have served as a precedent for the practice of convening the council in such fashion in later years. Edward II under the privy seal sometimes directed the chancellor, the treasurer, or the keeper of the great seal to assemble the council’ for specific business, and his successor sent similar mandates to the chancellor. ‘The inference that in these cases the councillors themselves were summoned by privy seal’ is quite misleading. On the other hand, the summoning of individuals under the great seal to re-inforce the council occurred in the first decade of Edward III and at times in his father’s reign.? Not only was Archbishop Melton called thus to Newcastle in February 1335, but Ralph Basset of Drayton, late justiciar of North Wales, was in November 1334 summoned to come to York with all speed to give counsel on urgent business with others of

the council.‘° A council called to meet at Northampton on 25 June 1 Below, pp. 36, 38. 2 O.P.R. 1330-1338, 457, 464. 3 C.P.R. 13338-1337, 467; cf. Dignity of a Peer, rv, 440-441. 4 As to these, see Wilkinson, below, p. 187.

5 C.C.R. 13380-13838, 217. The word in the close roll is praemunire. These were the archbishop of York (Melton), the bishops of London and Norwich (Gravesend and Ayrmin), Henry, earl of Lancaster, and the mayor of London. This call could not have been by the privy seal, which was with the king. 6 At Winchester, 26 Apr. (Registrum Hamonis Hethe, Pt. tv, 277-278). Cf. Baldwin, King’s Council, p. 92.

7 J.C. Davies, The Baronial Opposition to Edward II: Its Character and Policy (Cambridge, 1918), pp. 574-576.

8 In his earlier reference Davies (ibid., p. 176) shows full appreciation of the meaning of ‘faire mettez’ and ‘appellez’; later (pp. 261, 264-265, 284) these words are taken to mean ‘summon.’ 9 Ibid., p. 284, n. 2. 10 0.C.R. 1383-1337, 352. Summoned in fide et homagio quibus nobis tenemini (Close Roll, No. 155, m. 7d).

Introduction 35 1336,! which dealt with an important phase of foreign affairs and also negotiated with the men of twenty towns,” was not certainly composed of notables summoned under the great seal as in the case of great councils? and may have been an ordinary council reinforced by magnates. The fact that ad hoc meetings were held shows that the councillors to whom the king’s secret business* was known® could meet by themselves.

In 1329 it was planned to have the magnates and prelates assembled before Christmas to advise upon articles for the guidance of the negotiators in France.* It was often arranged in advance that definite matters should come before the king and council or before the council. In 1328 a controversy between the university and the town authorities of Oxford was assigned for a hearing at York, but, because of a change in the king’s itinerary, it was prorogued to come up at Woodstock, the chief justice and other councillors who were at York being notified to make no process.’ One of the outstanding sessions of the period, that at Northampton 29 June 1336, was convened to deal with a legal con-

troversy between Queen Isabella and the prior of Coventry.2 Many other war-time sessions at York, held in the king’s absence,® show the setting of specific business!° in advance for a given day. Between 1327 and 1330 the chancery enrollments indicate activity of the king and council in various parts of England where the court stopped for a time, nearly always in fairly prominent towns. In the former year, however, one of the chancery clerks was sent by the council at York to the king at Stanhope.!! For a few months it is likely that affairs were directed by Queen Isabella and the council.!? A session was held at York 29 July 1327 in the presence of the queen,!? while her son, the youthful 1C.P.R. 1334-13388, 274-275; cf. Foedera, 1, Pt. 11, 940, 944. 2 Dignity of a Peer, tv, 458-460, 461. 3 Ibid., p. 461. 4 As to these see Baldwin, below, p. 142, who warns against any assumption that they formed a privy council.

5 Mentioned, Chancery Warrants, File 223, No. 8758; cf. C.C.R. 1383-1387, 37; also Baldwin, King’s Council, pp. 78-79. The council sent messengers on the king’s secret business (Issue Roll, No. 231, 23 Sept. 1827; No. 291, 21 Nov. 1336). For the councillor’s oath involving secrecy, Baldwin, King’s Council, pp. 345-351. 6 Foedera, u1, Pt. u, 775. 7 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 391-392, 394. 8 Rot. Parl. Ineditt, pp. 240-262.

8 On 29 June 1336 the king was at Perth (Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 409). 10 See below, pp. 43, 45. 11 Issue Roll, No. 231 (23 Sept. 1327).

12 See Baldwin, below, p. 135. Messengers were sent by the queen and council on diverse business (Issue Roll, No. 231, 23 Sept.).

13 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 711. Those present were the archbishop of York (Melton), the treasurer (Burghersh), the bishop of Winchester (Stratford), a veteran judge (Geoffrey Scrope), and others of the council.

36 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 monarch, was elsewhere.!. The rule of Mortimer reveals a strong bias toward action by king and council. ‘The sessions at which measures of consequence were presented were held apparently with the king.2 The plan was one which stood to preserve both control and appearances. Acts of Mortimer’s nominees*® over which the young Edward had no influence* could gain through his presence dignity and the seeming sanc-

tion of royal authority. The sharp decline of 1327 in the number of councillors summoned to parliament seems to be another phase of such

a scheme of control through the council. Action in the name of king and council in important respects took the place of action in the name of the king alone.> Not often are there acts warranted solely by the council at periods and places wherein others do not in form originate with king and council. Only after the overthrow of Mortimer does it become clear that councils often deal with important affairs in the king’s absence.

There is evidence that in 1331 some business of consequence was transacted by the council when Edward III was not present. During the king’s absences in the border region or in Scotland under war conditions from 1333 this became necessary, though important conciliar action was by no means confined to these periods. While Edward was engaged in the siege of Berwick in June 1333 the chancellor at York was directed

by writ of privy seal to call the justices and other sages of the council who were about him and to grant speedy remedy in response to a petition which was forwarded.’ Again from Berwick in July in the same way it was ordered that an equity case be discussed by the council.® This body was already transacting important business bearing on the prosecution of the war. In November 1334 the chancellor, the treasurer, and the justices remained at York® while Edward III went with the army to Scotland. Of the more important officials, therefore, only the 1 The official dating of acts of king and council on this day (C.F.R., rv, 60) at Haydon shows where he was.

and council. .

2 For one specific instance, early in 1327, below, p. 48. Action upon petition to the council in 1327 and 1328 (E 208/2, Nos. 49, 53, 90, 351) is sometimes seen to mean by petition to king 3 Stratford and the bishop of Salisbury were excluded (Rot. Parl., 1, 52).

4 This is illustrated well in Tout, Chapters, 111, 27-29. 5 See below, pp. 47-48.

6 Under direction of the chancellor and the treasurer (as in Rot. Parl., 1, 62); so again in 1334 (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 237). In Mar. 1331 (C.C.R. 1330-1833, 540) sheriffs were ordered to appear

before the council. It also assigned Robert Norton (Issue Roll, No. 259, 28 Nov.) to supervise the status of the Channel Isles. 7 Chancery Warrants, File 200, No. 6402.

8 Chancery Warrants, File 206, No. 7100B. For other activities in May and later, see below, pp. 43-44. 9 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 354-356. The chancery is mentioned at York 14 Nov. (ibid., p. 352).

Introduction 37 keeper of the privy seal! and the steward of the royal household attended

him. Yet on 2 January 1335 he indicated in a letter to the chancellor and the treasurer that he had designated admirals on the advice of the council about him.? Mention of the council at York frequently occurs in other periods of the king’s absence in the north,? especially from June 1335 to January 1336 and also from June 1336 for most of the remainder

of the year. From May 1335 for four months its acts at York may be traced, during June and July at frequent intervals.4 When the king departed for the north the next year it was at Northampton,*® whither _ Edward returned for a short time in July. In the autumn and until the king’s final return from the war area at about the end of December it seems to have been continually at York.® Specialized councils, more strictly departmental in nature, were held

in the chancery and in the exchequer. The council in chancery frequently appears. The king and council in chancery’ are also mentioned, but since proceedings in chancery were regularly said to be before the king® this seems to have no special significance. In 1319 one session of the council in the chancery had been attended only by the chancellor and his clerks.? In the years following 1327 attendance is

not described as so limited in range. In 1328 the chancellor was told to assemble, in order to dispose of a petition, the sages of the chancery and others he might see fit to call.!° Accounts both of attendance and of business come from parliament records as well as from privy seal warrants directing the chancellor to deal with petitions forwarded from 1 The stream of privy seal letters dated from places in the north is fairly constant. 2 Chancery Warrants, No. 8387. 3 According to the indication of privy seal warrants these periods were: in 1333, from 20 Apr. to

4 Aug.; in 1334, 6 to 21 June and again from 31 Oct. to 1 Mar. 1335; in 1335, once more from 22 June throughout the year and until 28 Jan. 1336; finally from 10 June 1336 to about the end of December, except for a trip in July as far as Northampton and another of about a month on the way to and from the parliament (great council) held at Nottingham, 23 Sept. Cf. below, pp. 333-335. 4 On 10 May (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 483); 25, 28 June (pp. 503, 504); 8, 25 July (C.P.R. 1334-1338,

504, 510-11); 2, 15, 17, 24 Aug. (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 521, 576, 516, 519); 14 Sept. (C.C.R. 13331337, 579). The chancery is also mentioned at York from 10 May, frequently in June and July (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 483-512), and to 20 Oct. (ibid., p. 20). 529 June (above, p. 35). The chief counsellors were there 14 Sept. (Oeuvres de Frotissart, ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove, Brussels, 1867-77, xvu, 154). 6 Apparently for some time before 21 Nov. (Issue Roll, No. 291). The council, as well as the chancery and the exchequer, were at York 16 Nov. to 5 Dec. (Oeuvres de Froissart, ed. Kervyn de

Lettenhove, xvi, 155); probably the council was attended by the chancery from Northampton where the latter is found on 11, 27 June, 14 July, 24 Aug., and 1 Sept. (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 715, 722, 723).

7 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 418; 1333-1337, 527.

8 As in C.C.R. 1333-1337, 647, 659, 716; on p. 400, the king causes record and process to come before the king in chancery. 9 Parl. Writs, u, Pt. ii, 199-200. 10 Chancery Warrants, File 157, No. 2144.

38 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the king. In parliament and also by privy seal were committed to the council in chancery petitions concerning which various details! were to

be examined and right to be done. In 1330 a parliamentary petition was returned to the chancery with all the documents to be examined before the chancellor, the justices of the two benches, and other sages of the council along with the serjeants.2. On other occasions the chancellor was to call the sages of the council’ or merely the members of the council;*

on still others, to bring together solely those of the council it should seem good to call.5 A complaint of the earl of Atholl shows some trend toward the moving of such business back and forth between chancery

and parliament. The earl declared in 1334, in a matter in which the parliament had authorized the chancellor to proceed with the judges and sages of the council, that he had had a day at one time in chancery, again in parliament, then in chancery. ‘The answer given in parliament was that if the parties were the same the chancellor could do the right otherwise done in parliament. ®

The council in chancery, however, often dealt with business which did not originate in parliament. In 1331 occurred a hearing before this body as to the respective rights of the co-heiresses of the earl of Gloucester’ in a certain manor. In 1327 the king and council referred to the council in chancery the matter of the king’s right to the prise of wine in the port of Hull. In 1335 a former commissioner of array® who had been called to chancery to inform the council upon business touching the realm and to add his counsel failed to come; whereupon the sheriff of Yorkshire was ordered to attach him to respond in chancery for the

contempt and to do what was decided by the king and council.!° In 1336 a person was summoned to be in chancery on a given day!! to 1 Record and process are to be examined with reference to the date of an inquest (Rot. Parl., 1, 70). A charter is to be viewed and such allowance made as can be done by course of the law (zbid., p. 43) and what can not be made reported to the king, apparently as a matter for his grace. With respect to a dispute over a corrody (ibid., p. 43) an earlier grant is to be examined and those called who should be called. The reference of petitions under privy seal with authority to call the council may be found in Chancery Warrants, Nos. 2144, 6402. No. 7191 instructs the chancellor to call the council which is about him for other business. 2 Rot. Parl., u, 43. 3 Rot. Parl., u, 59, No. 19. 4 Rot. Parl., u, 23, No. 29. 5 Rot. Parl., u, 46, 62. 6 Rot. Parl., 11, 87, No. 61.

7 C.C.R. 1830-1338, 363-364. Some phase of the general matter had been before parliament (C. C. R. 1327-1330, 297). 8 Foedera, ur, Pt. ii, 711. ® John de Faucomberge (C.C.R. 1837-18388, 351, 469). 10 Close Roll, No. 156, m. 8d; C.C.R. 1338-1387, 527. 11 O.C.R. 1333-1337, 693.

Introduction 39 treat with the chancellor and others of the council. Before the council in chancery the abbey of Waltham Holy Cross in 1328 was discharged of the claim that it provide support for one of the king’s serjeants.! Furthermore the great dispute between the men of the Cinque Ports and those of Yarmouth was in August 1336 referred to the council in chancery,” as was also in 1336 the case between Queen Isabella and the prior of Coventry® and the dissension between the Claverings and the men of Dunwich.* In its judicial aspect the council in chancery is, of course, to be traced much later.® The holding of sessions of the council at the exchequer was no inno-

vation in this period. As compared with the practice of the reign of Edward II,® the usage would appear now to have been on the decline. In 1334 the treasurer and barons were directed in parliament to settle a matter of petition in the presence of those of the council who were to be called.” In 1327 a similar mandate commanded the assembling of a council to deal with an exchequer problem not financial. Under letter of great seal a petition presented in parliament was forwarded with the instruction to the treasurer to call together at York the justices of both benches, the barons of the exchequer, and others of the council to take good advice and to ordain for the conservation and maintenance of the peace. The petition itself complained of writs of trespass® in the exchequer. In July 1328 the council at the exchequer was most exceptionally occupied with a phase of foreign relations. The king by letter of privy seal sent word that the burgomaster of Bruges had come to treat with the king and council concerning discord with English merchants. Since the next council was to convene at York on the last day of the month, the treasurer and barons were to call justices and others of the council® to discuss the business and to treat in the meantime. A council at the exchequer, however, is at the present time regarded merely 1 0.C.R. 1327-1330, 418. 2C.C.R. 18383-1837, 693-694.

3 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 260.

4The writs of summons in this case survive (C 47/13/3). For the complaints of Dunwich, Ancient Petitions, 5. C., 8/11, No. 579. The Clavering brothers are enjoined in the meantime to refrain from breach of the peace. As to the dispute, see C.P.R. 1330-1334, 199. 5 As in 1883 (Select Cases before King’s Council 1243-1482, ed. I. S. Leadam and J. F. Baldwin,

Selden Society, Cambridge, 1918, pp. 71-72, 72-74). An excellent example occurs in 1402 (K.R.M.R., No. 179, writs to barons, Mich. term, rot. vii) when a decision touching a land case is given ‘de avisamento justiciariorum, servientium nostrorum ad legem, ac aliorum peritorum de consilio nostro in eadem cancellaria.’ Cf. Baldwin, King’s Council, pp. 241-253, 258-261. 6 Davies, Baronial Opposition pp. 264-278. 7 Rot. Parl.,1,90. In Chance. Misc., 47/35/32-34, occurs a writ of privy seal directing the treasurer to receive a messenger, consult with certain of the council, and make arrangements.

8 EK 208/2, Nos. 483, 484. Dated at Pontefract, 22 Nov. Cf. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 360. |

, 9 E 208/2, No. 498 (Bridgenorth, 2 July 1328). .

40 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 as a reinforced meeting of the exchequer.! It could not employ the great seal to summon persons before it, while to do so by exchequer process save in customary cases was held to be a grave breach of the common law and even of Magna Carta.? The council, then, appears in various phases and connotations. The council held in the king’s presence seems often to attend him day after day, especially during his minority, and again assembles at times fixed in advance. There are important sessions held in his absence. There are councils called ad hoc. Certainly smaller councils meet with the king when he is occupied in war® while greater ones meet elsewhere. A council which follows the court and apparently assembles apart from the king handles ordinary administrative affairs* rather than affairs of weighty concern. Finally there are sessions of the council in chancery and at the exchequer which do not imply the king’s presence. All these councils are not distinct and separate; they differ from one another in the business to be handled and they duplicate or shade into one another. All are one in the fact that they consist of ‘those of the king’s council’ who advise or act with the king when present, who deliberate, decide, or

act for him when absent. ‘Their competence is more or less the same regardless of the circumstances under which they assemble. Despite the marked differences between the work of the council and that of the council in parliament they overlap. Each in its own sphere is as effective as the other. The council received and decided petitions in all probability more extensively than did parliament and like the latter prescribed the requisite administrative measures. It provided remedy and did right in much the same matters, as when the judges could not proceed rege inconsulto, when property claims involved the king on one side or the other, when financial obligations of the crown had not been met, and in various other instances.®° The procedure by which this was done had been well estab1 See Baldwin, below, p. 156. Apparently it provided a means of sanctioning certain matters of exchequer routine. The statutes governing the appointment of sheriffs (Stats. of Realm, 1. 160, 174) imply that in the absence of the chancellor this may be done in the council at the exchequer. See

below, p. 76, n. 3. : 2 C.C.R. 1833-1837, 359, 727; below, pp. 156-157.

3 The king had advice of his council at the siege of Berwick in 1333 (Chancery Warrants, File 200, No. 6411) upon the matter of desertions; again by letters of privy seal dated at Roxburgh 2 Jan. 1335 (Chancery Warrants, File 219, No. 8381) he designated Roger Hegham and John of Norwich admirals upon the advice of those of the council with him. So also C.P.R. 1830-13833, 457; and above, p. 36. 4 See above, p. 36, and below, pp. 49-50. © See Baldwin, below, p. 142.

6 See above, p. 27, n. 3; below, pp. 148-153. The people of the honor of Chirk petition the king and council (Cal. Ing. Misc., u1, 295) against the establishment of a forest and warren for which Mortimer had been responsible.

Introduction 41 lished.1. Some parliamentary petitions first came before the council,? others were referred in parliament to the council.2 The council was called a court and occasionally so acted quite apart from anything which had to do with the disposition of petitions.* In 1336 it is recorded that a doorkeeper of the exchequer was sent by the king’s writ to arrest both a former collector of a tenth and fifteenth and a forest official and to lead

them before the council at York to answer for concealments in their accounts.® In the same year three clerks were indicted (impeached, one version had it) at the king’s suit in his court before the chancellor and others of the council® and gave security to be before the king in parlia-

ment because they had notified certain papal bulls in chancery. The council itself exercised powers not only to summon persons before it to aid in its business, but to deal with those who failed to heed such summons.’ In 1332 an abbot gave security to appear before king and council at Westminster to do what the king’s court should decide.? Although general criminal jurisdiction was left to the courts, the reenacted staple ordinance of 1326° had declared that merchants who conspired to reduce prices or hinder other merchants in making purchases or sales were to

be punished by the king and council. A petition before the king and council complained of the breaking of a park to the terror of the people so they dared not complain in the king’s court, and a commission was appointed to arrest the offenders.!° Persons were often summoned to do and receive what the council should ordain,!! but such action was usually confined to administrative matters. The writs of summons before the council were already taking special forms which varied from those used in common law process.!? In some instances an individual was mainperned before the king and council for his appearance later.‘ More drastic action was taken in 1336 when the council after examining forged commissions under both the great and the privy seal, in violation of special arrangements for observance of the peace, notified the justices that if a certain man accused of making ex1 See Baldwin, below, p. 154-156. 2 See Baldwin, below, p. 146. 3 See Baldwin, below, zbid. * Petitions were ‘prosecuted’ (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 47-48) before the council.

5 Issue Roll, No. 285 (21 Jan.). 8 C.C.R. 13883-1337, 647, 539; cf. below, p. 41. 7 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 514, 518, 528.

8 C.C.R. 1330-1338, 419 :

© C.P.R. 1327-1330, 99. 10 C.P.R. 1830-133}, 512-573. 11 CO.C_R. 1833-1337, 515, 518, 715; in one case (p. 516) to hear, do, and receive. 12 See Baldwin, below, p. 154. 13 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 541, 712.

42 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 actions in this way was found guilty they should judge him to be hanged,

drawn and quartered.’ The council in some measure also reviewed cases? already decided and exercised the power to revoke outlawry.? Superiority in the administration of law, however, did not imply that the council could set aside the common law in answering petitions. This would have been tantamount to laying down new law, a power which it was repeatedly asserted the council did not possess.4 On the whole its judicial functions were not well developed® and it had much more to do with the administration of justice than with judgment. Various phases of the activity of the council in matters of diplomacy and wartime administration stand out clearly during the years of Edward III’s war in Scotland. From 1329 to 1336 negotiators and diplomatic agents in France and in Flanders as well as at the papal curia are said

to be sent by the king and council, or by the council. Agents were in the same way sent to Gascony on the king’s business,’ and in 1336 to Scotland.* In 1332 negotiations with the count of Flanders relative to the seizure at sea of the goods of certain of his subjects were for a time in the hands of the council.? In the same year the king and council authorized measures to settle issues with the duke of Brabant.!° In 1329 negotiators with the French king were appointed by advice of the council and were informed that the prelates and magnates of the council before

Christmas would advise upon the articles to be sent them.'! In 1330 the magnates in a council at Eltham diligently treated the matter of the king’s disinheritance and other business touching France and agreed upon the calling of a parliament.!? After the king’s return from the north in 1333, a writ of privy seal directed the keeper of the great seal'* to call to him those of the council to carry out an agreement with the Flemings 1C.C.R. 13338-1387, 721-722. The notification is authorized by king and council. 2 Rot. Parl., 1, 46. It apparently did not actually reverse them (see below, p. 155). 3 Asin C.C.R. 1833-1337, 407. 4 See Baldwin, below, pp. 150, 159; also Rot. Parl., 11, 42-43; and above, p. 5, n. 5.

5 The situation in this decade is in line with the principal thesis (especially Ch. v) of Wilkinson, Studies in Constitutional History of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. Of the instances of peticio consilit on the calendars of the chancery rolls, few involve judicial action and a fair number of these are petitions to parliament. 6 Issue Rolls, Nos. 232 (2 Oct. 1329), 262 (1 July 1332), 267 (3 July 1333), 282 (22 May, 19 July 1335), 291 (20 Nov. 1336). This is shown below, p. 303, by Lucas. 7 Issue Rolls, Nos. 249 (22 June 1330), 267 (7 July 1333).

: 8 Issue Rolls, No. 291 (4, 29 Nov.). By the council at York, John Walwayn to the king for Scottish business; John March to Scotland on arduous business. 9 C.P.R. 1330-13833, 318; difficulties over merchants in Saintonge were also considered by the council in London (Déprez, Préliminaires, p. 87). 10 Prior to the meeting of parliament (Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 833). 11 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 775. 12 Rot. Parl., u, 445-446. 13 Chancery Warrants, File 207, No. 7191 (dated 8 Sept.).

Introduction 43 and to cause proclamation to be made all over England that none molest

them. In a council at Northampton in the spring of 1336! prelates, earls, and barons assented to the appointment of nunci to treat with the king of France upon matters requiring settlement preliminary to the proposed crusade. In 1336 the council directly received reports of envoys. In November and December 1336 it was so much occupied that one diplomatic agent had to tarry sixteen days to make a report upon his mission. ?

In the period of the Scottish war after 1332 the council at York in the king’s absence, and sometimes when he was in England, assumed a large part in the conduct of affairs. In May 1333 nearly thirty persons were summoned before the chancellor and the council at York? apparently in regard to military affairs. In the previous January similar ac-

tion was taken in the case of two leaders of the knights mustered in Nottinghamshire who had made insufficient provision for victuals.* In November 1334 over fifty persons who had failed to respond to the call for military service were ordered to appear with horses and arms before

the council at York.’ In 1335 at least sixty prominent persons were ordered to be before the king and council there on July 25 and in addi-

tion three or four men from each wapentake of Yorkshire. Twenty others were summoned to appear at the end of June and seventeen more on 24 August.” In June 1336 men from various towns were summoned

before the council at Northampton.? Some former commissioners of array were similarly called.®° Late in 1336 individuals contracted before the council to make springalds for the next season. From 1334 the same | direction is obvious in naval affairs. In that year the burgesses of Scarborough undertook before the king and council!® to send seamen. It is mentioned in January 1335 that ships are to be ready for service when the king and council ordain!! and again in 1336 that they have ordained concerning the assembling of the ships at Yarmouth.'? About the end of the year 1335 a chancery clerk was sent by the council to Devon and Cornwall for ships and provisions, another clerk to Bristol to provide ships,/? and about July 1335 another agent to South Wales on the same 1 Foedera u1, Pt. 1, 944. Dignity of a Peer, tv, 461. See above, pp. 34-35. 2 Oeuvres de Frotissart, ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove, xvi, 155. 3 Rot. Scot., 1, 236. 4 Rot. Scot., 1, 313. 5 Rot. Scot., 1, 292.

6 Dignity of a Peer, 1v, 448; C.C.R. 13383-1337, 503, 510-511, 519. 7 C.C.R. 1833-1387, 508, 519. 8 See above, pp. 34-35.

© C.C.R. 1333-1337, 527; cf. pp. 351, 469. 10 0.C.R. 1333-1337, 351.

11 C.C.R. 1833-1837, 367. 12 C.C.R. 1383-13837, 693. 13 Issue Roll, No. 279 (13, 14 Feb. 1335).

4A The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 mission.! By the summer of 1336 a naval menace? was believed imminent and in November directions were given by the council for arresting ships and assembling the king’s naval forces at Portsmouth and Orwell.? The council was also active in victualling the fighting forces. In the summer of 1333 one Maneutus Francisci with two deputies was assigned by the king and council to provide grain and victuals in various parts of the realm and to have them carried to Newcastle-on-Tyne.* From November 1334 to October 1335 are recorded payments of expenses to other

agents sent by the council to provide or hasten the victuals for the war against the Scots, * in one instance to be sent to Carlisle and Skinburness. ®

Amongst those summoned before the council in May 1335 to do what was to be enjoined may be identified one of the receivers of provisions at Carlisle.’ In 1336 also the king and council charged William de la Pole with the purchase of provisions for the army, and in October the chancellor and treasurer before others of the council contracted with a

citizen of Lenne for large amounts of wheat and oats to be sent to Berwick.®

The financial problems of the war were so closely interwoven with the military that, from vague entries, it is sometimes difficult to tell which is the primary concern. An item, recording that in the summer of 1333 a baron of the exchequer and two others were sent per ordinacionem consilit to make extents of various lands in Shropshire and Staffordshire and to inquire into articles of a certain commission,? shows at least the direction of the council in a matter involving revenue. In September 1334 the king and council contracted with the Bardi for a large loan to meet household expenses.!° The exchequer arranged to negotiate with various communities to contribute a fine in ready money for the tenth and fifteenth lately granted in parliament and by 23 October was proceeding to do so.!!_ The council sent an agent to Devon and another to 1 Issue Roll, No. 282 (31 July). 2 From Scots and divers foreign enemies (Rot. Scot. 1, 374, 16 Aug.). See also below, p. 392. An English admiral (C.C.R. 1833-1337, 693) put to sea to meet galleys of the expedition, consisting of Scots and French subjects (Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 951), which was assembling in Norman ports. 3 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 950-951. 4 Issue Roll, No. 267 (14 July). 5 Issue Roll, No. 279 (12 Nov., 21 Jan., 4 Mar.). 6 Issue Roll, No. 285 (25 Oct.). 7 C.C_.R. 13833-1337, 483; see below, p. 367, n. 2. 8 (.C.R. 1333-1337, 608; Rot. Scot., 1, 464.

® Issue Roll, No. 267 (7 July). 10 C C.R. 1333-1337, 345, 445; also Déprez, Préliminaires, p. 132, n. 5; for a similar loan undertaken by William de la Pole in Sept. 1335, C.P.R. 13834-1338, 266, 271, 322, 332.

11 Issue Roll, Nos. 279 (8 Feb.), 282 (4 May 1335). See C.C.R. 1333-1337, 347 (by king and council). |

Introduction 45 Cornwall! upon this business. ‘These were apparently the payments to hasten which the council in the course of the following spring sent one of the doorkeepers of the exchequer to six counties of eastern England.? In June 1335 certain persons, including some of the collectors of the tenth and fifteenth, were summoned to York to give information to the king and council* and to carry out their orders. Agents were sent to assemble and treat with the king’s lieges, giving information of the intention of the king and council.* In September 1335 there is mention of an emissary called by the council to report.* The information that the business bore upon the defence of the realm against the Scots® may refer either to financial dealings or plans for a military levy. The abbot of Alcester amongst others was called upon to give information to the council and do what was ordained,’ a circumstance which seems to link part of the unusual activities of this year with requests for loans*® which were made. Ralph Basset in August was sent to treat with abbots and others in five western counties in pursuance of the plans of the council.® It is to be noted also that in August the merchants of the Society of the Peruzzi were called before the council in regard to money owing the king?!°

and in the latter part of the year the council sent a chancery clerk to Norfolk to levy debts of the king and other money to his use.'! Upon the unusual war activities of the council in the summer of 1335 some light is cast by the fact that William Ros was toward the end of July called to treat with the council at York and give advice concerning a report which had reached the king from overseas.!?, By 6 August it was arranged that Ralph Basset, coming from the king, should concert with various communities measures of defence against invasion reported to be imminent and to inform them of the deliberation of the council at York

on this behalf.!? There is more than a hint that the particular danger discussed was that of French aid to Scotland. 1 Issue Roll, No. 279 (16 Nov.). 2 Issue Roll, No. 289 (31 July). 3 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 504, 514-515. 4 C0.C.R. 1333-1337, 441 (Fastolf). 5 C.C.R. 1833-1337, 518. 6 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 524.

7 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 520. 8 C.C.R. 1833-1837, 504. 9 O.P.R. 1334-1338, 207. One of three such meetings (Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls, London, 13231364, pp. 92-93). 10 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 519. This grew out of their dealings with the younger Hugh Despenser. 11 0.C.R, 1338-1837, 521.

12 O.0.R. 13338-1337, 527. Possibly he was one of the council. See above, p. 31, n. 9). 13 (.P.R. 1334-1338, 207.

14 The summons to the great council at London of 25 Aug. 1335 (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 452) dated 7 Aug. was occasioned by reports of a hostile fleet for invasion of the realm.

46 The English Government at Work, 1827-1336 The regulation of commerce in this period rested with the king and council except when occasionally parliament took some part. The new custom established by Edward I in 1303 in return for trade concessions to foreign merchants was confirmed in August 1328 and the grant some-

what extended.! Again, the ordinance of Edward II and his council which in 1326 re-established the home staples? was temporarily continued

by proclamation ordered on 1 May 1327.3 In July after deliberation with the magnates and peers‘ this was set aside. Staples were formally abolished by statute in 1328,° but in 1332 it was agreed in parliament to revive the home staples® subject to further regulation by advice of the council. The arrest of Flemings in England with their goods in 1330 and the arrest in 1328 of the goods of men and merchants of France was by authority of king and council,’ as was the order in 1333 for the protection of foreign cloth-workers coming to England.®

Measures decided in parliament were often carried into effect by the king and council. The statute of Northampton in 1328 was enforced by order in their name to sheriffs® who were given supplementary instructions concerning the arrest of offenders. The appointment of the collectors of the parliamentary tax granted in 1327 and directions for collection in 1332 were by the same authority.!° In 1335 keepers of the peace were appointed in the various counties by the king and council to enforce the ordinance of the parliament at York.!}! Apart from commercial regulations, the clearest examples of legislative ordinances made by the king and council during the decade were those giving effect to or supplementing acts of parliament. A statute of 1330 provided in general terms that the price of wines was to be regulated and to be reasonable.!? A year later the king and council directed

the sheriffs to proclaim and enforce a stated schedule of prices.1? In 1 Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 747-748. Extended to merchants of Aragon and Majorca. 2C.P.R. 1324-1827, 369. See Tout, Edward II, pp. 261-265.

3 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 98-99. 4 As a concession to native and alien merchants on condition of a war loan and payment of an additional mark on the sack of wool (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 54-55, 169). The deliberation was in the great council held at York: granted by the king ‘par son bon conseil’ (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 238). 5 Stats. of Realm, 1, 259.

6 O.P.R. 1330-1334, 362-363; cf. p. 512; also Foedera 1, Pt. 1, 879: ‘Ita tamen quod per avisamentum concilii nostri inde emendacionem facere possemus.’ For their abolition in 1334, Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 238-39; Foedera, 11, Pt. 11, 879. 7 Foedera, 11, Pt. 1, '745, 948. 8 Ibid., p. 849. 9 0.C.R. 1327-1830, 420. 10 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 172; Rot. Parl., u, 425; Foedera, 11, Pt. 1, 845.

11 C.P.R. 13834-1338, 207. 12 Stats. of Realm, 1, 264. 13 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 820; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 410. Modified in 1332 at the instance of the council. (pp. 557-558).

| Introduction AT 1331 the council were charged in parliament to ordain remedy for the _ defect in the coinage.! In 1333 the king and council gave directions to carry out the statute which forbade the export of bullion,” and exchanges were set up in 1335 by advice of the council’ in consequence of a statute forbidding the export of sterling and plate. In 1334 the king and council enforced the provisions of the statute of Winchester concerning arms

with the addition of two new sections.* In ordaining measures which may be classed as legislative there appears to have been no intention to do anything different from taking other orders concerning administration.®

The recognized place of the council under Edward II had been so high that his bad government was in 1327 charged to bad councillors. ® During the minority of Edward III the council necessarily assumed a

greater authority. Despite the strong bias of the king’s declaration of 1330 that business concerning the king and the state of the realm had been conducted by his officials and councillors to his damage and dishonor,’ it fixes the formal responsibility. This was even greater in the king’s absence. When Edward III went abroad for a short time in April 1331, leaving his brother of sixteen years as custos of the realm, he designated a small council of notables* who were to direct and expedite

the affairs of the king and his realm during his absence. After 1332 both the king’s absence in the Scottish war and the press of business threw upon the council at times the major part of the burden. ‘There was no consistent differentiation® between what was approved by the council with the king and what was approved by the council without

him. All the time many measures of the same type were warranted per tpsum regem. If he was under no obligation to consult his council, the pressure and nature of much of his business made it necessary for him to do so. A list of the acts of the decade authorized at one time or another by king and council, or by the council alone, would include nearly all the varieties of executive measures. From 1327 to 1330 during the minority of Edward III some acts were

warranted in the name of the king and council which more normally would have borne the warrant of the king alone. Notable instances are 1 Rot. Parl., u, 62. 2 C.F.R., 1v, 347. 3 Foedera, u, Pt. 11, 922; C.C.R. 13338-1337, 529. 4 See Prince, below, p. 356.

6 Rot. Parl., u, 8. | 5 Such ordinances were made (as in C.P.R. 1334-1838, 293) even in parliament.

” Rot. Parl., 11, 448; Foedera, u, Pt. 11, 800. 8 See above, p. 34.

®° Except that the king and council enacted ordinances as above. See above, pp. 46-47.

48 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the summoning of parliament?! on certain occasions and also of the feudal array? in 1327. The war arrangements of that year? were at first largely

ordered by this authority. Again, while there was no clear line of division, weighty appointments such as those of judges,* barons of the exchequer,*® some of the sheriffs® and keepers of castles,’ collectors of parliamentary taxes,® escheators,® prominent officials of Ireland,!° and commissioners of oyer and terminer?!! as well as important grants and pardons!? often, and some of them usually, bore authorization of king and council.

Before the king and council Henry Percy at the beginning of the reign assumed custody of the northern marches.!* The placing of Henry of Lancaster and his partisans under heavy recognizance after the riding at Bedford was later attributed to certain!‘ of the council. Yet the increase of the customs in 1328'° and measures of great importance to Mortimer in the summer of 1330,'® including a writ of aid to persons under his direction to survey the array ‘assembled against the king’s enemies’,!” all derived their formal authority from the king and council. The acts warranted in this style dealt with a very considerable range of affairs. ‘Those issued in the name of the council alone were, to judge by routine chancery enrollments, of less consequence, although they might include appointments and some of the other matters just mentioned. 1 Dignity of a Peer, tv, 381, 382, 397; also the prorogation of the Salisbury parliament (cbid., p. 389; Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 756) to Westminster.

2 Dignity of a Peer, 1v, 373, 375. The general array of 1327 (Rot. Scot., 1, 206) by authority of king and council is more normal. 3 Rot. Scot., 1, 206-217.

4C.P.R. 1327-1330, 377, 439, 471-472, 535. In 1335 the king directed the council at York (Chancery Warrants, No. 8758) to take advice upon the matter of appointing a successor to William Herle. 5 O.P.R. 1327-1330, 365.

6 As in C.F -R., tv, 7, 15-16, 21, 24, 31, 64, 110. By statute this was a function of the council (Stats. of Realm, 1, 160, 174); cf. below, p. 40, n. 1. ’ CLF.R., tv, 11. 8 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 172; cf. C.F.R., tv, 95. 9 O.F.R., rv, 11, 110. 10 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 316, 443. 11 (.P.R. 1327-1330, 215, 217-219, 287-289, 297, 521; other commissions, pp. 424, 439. 12 Grants to Queen Isabella (ibid., pp. 389, 508); to William of Juliers (p. 438); to the earl of Athol

(p. 532); others (C.F.R., tv, 23). For pardons, C.P.R., 1327-1330, 500, 513, 519. 13 Tssue Roll, No. 227 (14 Feb. 1327).

14 Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 802, 804; C.C.R. 1330-338, 173; mn the case of Thomas Wake (C.F.R., rv, 175) by king and council, although in this relation the king’s name is usually omitted.

15 See above, p. 46.

16 A writ to aid the king’s serjeants in making arrests (C.F.R., 1v, 54); another for commissions of array in various counties (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 573). 17 C.P.R., 1827-1330, 572.

Introduction 49 Warrants of the council without mention of the king often occur when some of the councillors are obviously attending him upon his journeys, at times even in Scotland.! It is possible that this may sometimes mean action by king and council, which is usually found under these circumstances; but the chancery clerks understood the difference and were not disposed in general to omit mention of the king when he was present.’ Some business is specifically designated as transacted by the council,

though more often this must be inferred from the form of warrant. Warrant by the council alone becomes much more important two or three years after the king assumed personal direction. ‘The acts authorized in such form do not constitute a separate category during the re-

mainder of the decade any more than they did before 1330, but it is possible to find lesser phases of administration at times handled in this

way. In proportion as the council acts without the king it loses the semblance of a counselling body? and takes on that of an executive body.

Petition to the council was frequently assigned as authority for the issue of chancery writs. Judges were instructed by warrant of the council to proceed in the customary type of case* in which proceedings were estopped rege znconsulto. Upon the institution of King Edward’s personal control in 1330 various keepers of manors and castles were ap-

pointed by warrant of the council,> and grants were made to various persons.® In 1334 the appointment of a collector of customs at the wool

staple of Lincoln’ and also that of a collector of customs at Hull were thus authenticated. A fair number, though not a large proportion,® of the writs directed to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer bore warrant of the council. Some of the instructions thus given concerned the respite and the collection of accounts due the king® and authorization of disbursements?° at the exchequer of receipt. Petitions of various 1 See Rot. Scot. for this period.

2 Action upon petition in council is as a rule entirely noncommittal about the king’s presence. The acts of the council at York in 1336 in the king’s absence naturally do not mention him; yet later (C.F.R., tv, 388) a grant is made by assent of the council with the king at Wallingford. Many other examples of such recognition of the king’s presence may be found earlier in this section. 3 As when (C.C.R. 1830-13833, 359) the king has advice with his council. 4 0.0.R. 1833-1337, 470, 473. 5 CLF.R., tv, 209, 211-213, 216, 241-242. More difficult cases are warranted by king and council. 6 Ibid., pp. 367-368, 388. 7 O.P.R. 1330-1834, 519, 520. 8 Shown in the Writs to the Barons (E 208/2). ° The keeper of the king’s victuals at Carlisle is to have respite (C.C.R. 13830-1338, 409); an example of another account (p. 608); the manner in which a former keeper of the wardrobe is to make his account (p. 477). 10 E.g., payment of John Shoreditch (C.C.R. 1330-1333, 522; cf. p. 485); of the clerks of the privy seal upon petition (p. 224).

50 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 persons for sums due from the government of Edward II or from the present king! were answered in council by authorizing payment or allowance. ‘The council, as well as the king and council in some cases, fixed or authorized the wages of its own agents or of minor officials.?._ A ruling of the exchequer was revoked to restore to office a weigher at Hull. Again the council in 1334, when the wool staples were discontinued, di-

rected the treasurer and barons to provide cocket seals and weighing beams for other places where the customs were to be collected.4

In the same form might be warranted instructions to other officials. | Inspection of the chancery rolls was ordered by advice of the council. The butler was directed to forward wine to the household of the king’s son. The bailiffs of Scarborough were forbidden to deliver a certain prisoner without the king’s order.? An escheator was directed in the matter of a widow’s dower.® Sheriffs also received orders of the council. ?

By its warrant disposition was made of hostages at Berwick according to a general order of king and council.!° On petition a supposed Scottish enemy whose arrest had been ordered by writ of privy seal was delivered from prison.!! By an order of the same warrant, a mandate that a hundred be taken into the king’s hand?!? was temporarily revoked. In the summer of 1336 especially, certain acts by warrant of the council touching ordinary aspects of government usually indicated as in the sphere of the king or the king and council, show executive functions reduced practically to routine. ‘These particular acts are almost certainly those of the council at York, for the entries of this season on the Scotch roll are of a very different nature from those on the patent roll.!? Amongst 1 Of a customs collector of Edward II (€.C.R. 1330-1333, 224; 1333-1337, 406); an officer of Edward IIT (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 10). 2As in C.C.R. 1330-1333, 227; 1833-13387, 215, 290; by king and council, C.P.R. 1327-1330, 14, 527. 3 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 227. 4C.C.R. 13833-1337, 225. 5 O.C.R. 1333-1337, 453. 6 C.C.R. 1330-1338, 10.

7 C.F.R., 1v, 351.

8 C.C.R. 1330-1338, 549.

9° C.C.R. 1330-1333, 553, 567, 593; action against armed disturbers of the peace (C.C.R. 13331337, 119, 120; cf. pp. 173-174); appearance before the council (C.C.R. 1330-1333, 540). 10 C.C_.R. 13383-1337, 146.

11 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 228, 12. 12 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 106-107. 13 In chancery enrolments acts were regularly dated from the place where the king was when they were authorized (below, p. 53). If this was in Scotland the fact does not prove that the acts themselves originated there. By a slight departure from the rule, acts bearing warrant of king and council were dated at Northampton 10, 12 June while others of the same warrant or that . of the king on the same days were dated from Newcastle, where Edward III actually was. One item on Rot. Scot., 1, 430, 431, which bears the notation per cons., could hardly have originated except with the council in England.

Introduction | 51 them are measures for the preservation of the peace according to steps already authorized by king and council, orders in a somewhat standardized form for the arrests of felons and suspects,” and the issue according to a routine method of commissions of oyer and terminer,? one of which a petitioner describes as granted by the king par son consail.* Similarly commissions to survey lands or buildings® and safe conducts for merchants and ships® fit into a standardized procedure. A writ of aid 1s authorized for an agent designated by the steward and the treasurer of the household to convey wheat to Scotland.” Once the royal assent to the election of a bishop® is given in this way, though probably this was by virtue of an earlier authorization® direct from the king. ‘The question may well be asked whether these types of business elsewhere approved by the king were not sometimes prepared for him under direction of the council. Moreover the fact that the writs appointing collectors of parliamentary taxes were sometimes warranted by the king and sometimes by the king and council suggests that in both cases the lists were

really drawn up in the exchequer and authorized by the king on the treasurer’s nomination, or else by the council in the exchequer,!° which itself was a mere reinforcement of the exchequer board.

Such an authority, whether in the king’s train or not, yet formally superior to judges and chancery, to exchequer and sheriffs, might dispose of necessary and constant details over which no department in itself

had authority. Apparently even a small group of councillors, sometimes in the absence of most of the dignitaries, could authorize what may often be described as departmental business. Sometimes the coun-

cil carried out general directions of king and council. Especially did councillors exercise direction over wartime affairs in the king’s absence. The king’s official will was expressed also by a less imposing group who might or might not follow him on his journeys but whose importance in administration is unquestionable. After 1332 the council often appeared in an executive rather than an advisory capacity. 1 O.P.R. 1834-1838, 207-208.

2 C.P.R. 1336-1338, 357, 358-359, 363. Once (p. 357) by king and council.

3 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 296. Once on complaint (p. 354); again by fine of a half mark (p. 357); again because of exactions (pp. 289, 367) of arrayers. 4 Chancery Warrants, No. 7187. 5 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 283, 256. 6 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 308, 333; for ships, pp. 310, 311. 7 O.P.R. 1334-1838, 329.

8 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 275. ;

® In July 1335 (Chancery Warrants, No. 8775) the king, in according leave to elect an abbot of Selby, instructed the chancellor when the election was made to signify the royal assent. 10 This is the conclusion of Charles Johnson, whose contribution on the tax collectors is to appear in Vol. 1 of this series.

52 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 4. Tar CHANCERY AND THE PRivy SEAL

The medium for giving effect to executive action upon nearly all busi-

ness of state was the chancery. ‘The bishops who headed this department! between 1326 and 1337 were men of experience who had usually been advanced towards this dignity through the holding of various administrative posts, and some were ministers of exceptional importance to the king in other work.? The growing detachment of the chancery from the court meant that its head could not be the king’s chief personal adviser. None the less his official position as the translator into proper written form of the monarch’s will, whether a personal or merely a routine official will, as well as his pre-eminent place in the council, easily made him the first of the king’s mmisters. He was one of the few high officials not appointed by a royal commission. The king merely placed him in possession of the seal and he took the oath of office. The chancellor as custodian of the great seal was the chief of a numer-

ous body of clerks ranging from the twelve higher clerks,? headed by the keeper of the rolls and recognized as officials of importance and even as members of the council for some purposes,* down to the cursitors,

whose business was merely to copy writ forms under the direction of their superiors. The chancellor maintained a household for at least the higher clerks and provided their robes and food. These celibates, imbued with strong esprit de corps, were well grounded in the traditions of their office. Their mastery of writs gave them a grasp of the common law which was before long to make them the preceptors of beginners in the subject. A chancery clerk kept the rolls of parliament,’ delivering to the keeper of the rolls of chancery the responses to the petitions of the commons® and the judicial decisions of parliament,® so that the proper writs of great seal might be made for execution. Their official function was to serve the king and the court,!° and their skill and eff1 For the list with the terms, Tout, Chapters, v1, 11-12. 2 For some of these see above, p. 30, n. 13. 3 Tout, Chapters, 111, 211. _

4 See above, pp. 37-38. 5 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 14; below, p. 168.

6 Tout, ‘Household of the Chancery and Its Disintegration,’ Essays in Honour of R. L. Poole (Oxford, 1927), pp. 66-81. For background of the subject, Herman Cohen, A History of the English Bar and Attornatus to 1450 (London, 1929), pp. 210-211, 219-223, 311-318, 446-453. 7 Henry Edenstowe, the clerk in this period, held a ‘great place in the chancery’ (C.C.R. 13301333, 619); cf. Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 238. 8 Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 238. But observe the procedure of the triers of petitions (below, p. 115). ® Record of annulment of process against the bishop of Hereford (Council and Parliament, File 45, No. 5); so the execution of action (ibid., 45, File 6, No. 1) upon the petition of the bishop of Durham. 10 Rot. Parl., u, 17.

Introduction 53 ciency caused some of them to be employed temporarily upon special business of the council or the king.! The chancery in theory followed the king in his peregrinations. ‘The sumpter horse to carry its rolls? was still an essential part of its equipment and was to remain so for about twenty years beyond this period. A hearing in the council in chancery might be set for any place in Eng-

land.? The chancery itself is found at Canterbury,* at New Sarum,° at, the Tower of London, ® at Pontefract,’ at Doncaster,’ or at Newcastle-

on-T'yne,® as well as various other places; and the chancellor sat with his clerks in the chapter house at York.!®° The chancery is rarely mentioned as far north as Newcastle, however, and certainly did not attend

Edward III on most of his expeditions into the northern theatre of warfare, remaining at York!! for considerable periods. ‘The public business of chancery had long demanded a fixed location, and, at least since the early years of the preceding reign, a place of business had been assigned in Westminster Hall.!? Yet in 1333 a chancery clerk who tarried

at Westminster upon the king’s affairs received extra wages for this service out of court.1? The conclusion of the decade under examination marks a return of the chancery to Westminster, where it henceforth remained except for fairly brief absences. It was in fact going out of the court, although legal and administrative theory’* was to be slow in recognizing the fact. According to older custom acts of state embodied in letters of chancery were dated from the place where the king was on the day they were authorized. An exception was made during the regency of 1331 when

Edward III was for a short time in France. The centre of government under John of Eltham as custos of the realm was established at Eltham.!® 1 See above, p. 43. James Kingston received £20 for his expenses in prosecuting a plea between the king and the archbishop of York (Issue Roll, No. 282, 6 May 1335). John de Watenhull was in 1337 (Issue Roll, No. 294, 30 July) employed in paying wages to sailors in various parts of England. 2 C.C.R. 1827-1330, 95, 215; cf. C.P.R. 1354-1359, 357. 3 See Baldwin, below, p. 161. 4 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 548 (1329). 5 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 417 (Oct. 1328). 6 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 517 (Feb. 1329). 7 0.C.R. 1327-1330, 399 (June 1328). 8 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 300 (Mar. 1333).

9 O.0.R. 1334-13387, 583 (28 Nov. 1335). 10 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 130, 188, 201; Cal. Ing. Misc., 11, 284. 11 Tout, Chapters, 111, 57, n. 2; the chancellor was in residence at York in Nov. 1334 (above, p. 36)

and in the summer of 1335 (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 314-315). The chancery was there towards the end of the year 1336 (above, p. 37, n. 6).

12 See Wilkinson, below, pp. 168, 172. 13 Tssue Roll, No. 265 (14 Dec.). 14 Required in 1300 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 139) to follow the king; for the discussion in 1338, below, p. 186. 15 See below, p. 71.

54 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 Upon the return of the king to Wingham in Kent he at once resumed the usage of having letters of great seal dated from wherever he happened

to be.!. For passing a large number of acts under the great seal the chancellor received the king’s mandate by letters under the privy seal, often, if not usually, at some distance. Since the dates of many letters patent, letters close, and charters were those of the privy seal warrants, they were actually predated.2 Acts authorized by the council when promulgated as letters of great seal were sometimes attributed to the

place where the king was.? Writs authorizing the taking of profits might be dated as of the day from which they were to take effect and so

were sometimes predated.* The chancery sometimes appeared in inconsistent places on the same day because its higher clerks who constituted the body for the taking of recognizances were in two different localities.6 On account of the time required for transmitting privy seal letters, as well as that necessary for engrossing, sealing, and delivering chancery letters, the latter usually reached their destination decidedly later than the date they bore, three weeks for places at some distance being a usual interval.® It is highly necessary to be cautious in assuming that such letters were issued or delivered according to date indication or that the latter is any guide to the location of the chancery at the time. Moreover the great seal might be affixed by the chancellor out of chancery.’ Engrossment and sealing did not necessarily occur at the

same place. |

The work of the chancery was extremely varied, and it formed a great nexus of administrative devices. First and most extensive was the issue upon application, for a small fee,® of the standardized forms of writs de cursu necessary for ordinary law actions. A petition of the commons in 1334 asked that this be done gratis; but it met the response that the fee of the seal be retained, although fines for granting writs of course should not be charged. As for acts of grace, the king would recommend that the chancellor be gracious.* Writs in special form were also made ' Déprez, Préliminatres, p. 76, n. 7. Edward III directed that letters of great seal be dated from Wingham until further mandate. For variation in dating see above, p. 50, n. 13, and below, pp. 157, 171, n. 2. 2 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 246-247; Tout, Chapters, 111, 57, n. 1.

3 Above, p. 36, n. 1. 4 Charles Johnson, cited in Tout, Chapters, v1, 124. 5 Charles Johnson, cited zbid.

° J. F. Willard, “The Dating and Delivery of Letters Patent in the Fourteenth Century,’ Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, x (1932), 6-10. The Registrum of Thomas de Charlton, ed. W. W. Capes (Canterbury and York Society, London, 1913), pp. 65, 139, confirms this conclusion. ’ Certainly at his lodgings (C.C.R. 1327-13830, 549); in 1335 in the abbey of St Mary’s York (Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 909) at his command. * See Wilkinson, below, p. 184; also Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 15.

° Rot. Parl., u, 376.

_ Introduction 55 up. Judicial decrees, known as writs of judgment, also emanated in theory from the chancery, but it is possible that judges at this time used their private seals for the purpose. Of the special acts which required consent of king or council usage prescribed that exemptions, pardons, grants in ordinary course, charters, and nearly all commissions be

passed under the great seal as letters patent. The king’s assent to the election of prelates was expressed in the same form.? Judges were disposed to assert that a statute was not valid unless it bore this seal.? Administrative mandates to officials were usually issued as letters close

under the same seal. Important acts of state could escape the great seal only in the special cases wherein the privy seal might be accepted as sufficient authorization. The force of tradition in various ways ran

against such acceptance. Letters of credence addressed to foreign princes on behalf of envoys, and apparently in most cases the instruc-

tions of the latter,* received the great seal. An older secretariat is visible when the king directs the chancellor to write letters abroad or to the pope and the cardinals.* The drafting of acts of state required skill and experience, the issue of writs touching law business, sound,

practical, legal learning. The chancery, curiously enough, recorded some business which was usually private. It was the custom to designate there attorneys for the prosecution of private contracts acknowledged in chancery or of claims pending.® A fair number of private loans and grants so acknowledged were recorded’ on the dorse of the close roll. These recognizances of

debt were cancelled upon payment. The nobles and others who opposed Mortimer with armed force at Winchester and Bedford in 1328 were required by the council to make heavy recognizances of this kind,® which after his downfall were cancelled by order in parliament. ® 1 Bertie Wilkinson, ‘The Seals of the Two Benches,’ F.H.R., xi (1927), 396-401; also below, p. 175, n. 4. 2 Thus in Chancery Warrants, No. 6441, the chancellor is to make letters of great seal in due form. 3'T. F. T. Plucknett, Statutes and Their Interpretation in the First Half of the 14th Century (Cambridge, 1922), pp. 11, 23. * See Lucas, below, pp. 309, 328. > As in Chancery Warrants, No. 6413; so File 1330, No. 1. 6 As in C.C.R. 1327-13830, 115. The citizens of Norwich were given special power to make attorneys (C.P.R. 1334-1338, 245) because of their difficulty in coming to the chancery. The special

business in view concerned royal charters. To escheators (Cal. Ing., vu, 22) were issued writs de recipiendi attornatos.

7 As in C.C.R. 1327-1330, 88, 91, 93, et passim. For an earlier aspect of recognizances, Davies, Baronial Opposition, p. 137.

8 C.P.R. 1330-1333, 26, 28, 33, 35, 68, 86, 243; also Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 687. As to the ridings themselves, see Annales Londonienses, ed. William Stubbs (Rolls Series, London, 1882), 1, 355.

° Rot. Parl., u, 443. In a petition to parliament (ibid., 1, 436, No. 59) it was declared as something highly irregular that one of the exactions of the elder Despenser was effected through recog-

56 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 The chancellor dispensed regularly a certain part of the king’s ecclesiastical patronage and with him rested the right of visitation of the royal

chapels. In 1330 he was authorized to grant vacant church livings of small value to chancery and other clerks.2 His authority was wider, for in 1336 he could, in right of his office, present to benefices of the king’s gift to the value of twenty marks.* He constantly received the king’s nomination to benefices and was even instructed to reserve to a certain clerk the next vacant living the latter would accept, notwithstanding any previous designation under the privy seal.* Such instruction was the usual method of notifying the chancellor of presentation by the crown, though the act was officially promulgated under the great seal.

In a few special phases the work of the chancery was fiscal. Into the hanaper were paid fees and fines originating there. The writ ad quod damnum issuing thence ordered that inquest be taken to ascertain at what loss to the king a certain grant would be made.> It was used in many cases and was often requisite to granting a monastic house license to acquire land in mortmain.® Many grants of privilege or exemption,

a fair number of charters, and some types of writs were issued upon consideration of a fine, which was paid into the hanaper of the chancery.’

At the end of each regnal year the chancery provided the exchequer with a record, the originalia roll, containing not only a list of the greater fines® thus fixed, but also a detailed report of the commissions of officials

and other appointments made under letters of great seal and involving the collection of or accounting for revenue. Such a document could not have been compiled without the preservation of various types of record. The chancery was the greatest repository of government records in the realm. The keeper of its rolls took nizances made by a justice of the bench out of his court while those who made the acknowledgment

were in prison. |

1See Wilkinson, below, p. 184; cf. Rot. Parl., u, 77, No. 24; 79, No. 28; 82, No. 39. As to the

visitation of a free chapel, C.C.R. 1327-30, 354. 2 See Wilkinson, below, p. 200.

3 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 196. He could apparently present in 1331 to still greater benefices (C.P.R. 1830-1334, 152). 4 C.C.R. 1327-1350, 46, 114; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 526; 1334-1338, 61. 5 For the form of normal procedure, Lists of Chancery Rolls 1 John Onwards (Rolls Series, London, 1892), xvu, iv—v; see C. Ch. R., 1v, 137, 402, for results of this inquest.

6 Ecclesiastical Petitions (C 208) File 48, Nos. 42, 43. In these cases the authority comes through petition to the council, in Chancery Warrants, No. 9650, by privy seal. 7 Asin C. Ch. R., 1v, 460; cf. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 240. See below, pp. 174-176. 8 This is especially clear in Originalia Roll, No. 86, mm. 32-35. There are grossi fines (for licenses),

fines called cape (for assizes, attaints, and writs), and fines upon those shown by sheriff's inquest to have disseised a person (as in Redisseisin Roll, No. 6) of land already recovered by assize of novel disseisin. Cf. Stats. of Realm, 1, 78.

Introduction 57 rank in its establishment after the chancellor himself. The search of the rolls of chancery was a familiar requirement in certain judicial mat-

ters. But the term ‘rolls’ was generic and was used to include more than! the ten or so classes of outgoing documents of different varieties

enrolled by ‘the chancery clerks. The series of writs of liberate and allocate, by which payments and allowances upon account were author-

ized at the exchequer, formed one of them. Not all writs to the exchequer? seem to have been enrolled, however, for the apparent reason that they were available there in the second great collection of official records. The writs of privy seal received at the chancery were preserved in files? or bundles, as were many other sorts of writs. Some judicial process as well as much administration was dependent

upon the data collected* by the chancery through writ and return. Sheriffs made returns to various writs sent them, from those ordering election to parliament and those requiring information as to who in the country had had land worth £40 a year for the last three years> down to those in response to inquests ordered and those endorsed briefly upon law writs. Writs, record, process, and indictments were upon order forwarded there by judges to be available to the council or to other courts for further action. Through the use of the writ ad quod damnum the chancellor, often without other known authority,’ was able in some instances to arrange details necessary to the issuance or confirmation of charters. The taking into the king’s hands of the estates of a deceased tenant-in-chief, together with the inquest concerning the extent of the property he held in fee and the age of the heir, was effected through the writ diem clausit extremum,® sent to the escheator apparently either upon

application or information from some source. The assignment of the 1 For the classification of chancery records, see Wilkinson, below, pp. 164-168. 2 There are some writs of great seal recorded on the memoranda rolls which do not appear on

the close rolls or the patent rolls. This has not been studied in detail. A search of the Gascon and fine rolls is also needed, and the liberate roll must be taken with the close roll. Some writs of course also appear on the memoranda rolls. I owe this careful analysis of the situation to Charles Johnson. 3 C.C.R. 1327-13830, 529; 18338-13837, 38. So for the time of Edward II (C.F.R., 1v, 32). In the time of Richard II (List of Chancery Rolls, xxvu, 1908, ix, x) called bundles. 4 The chancery even received the records of a deceased justice of the bench and forwarded them to his colleagues (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 453). Dr Sayles, whose work will appear in a later volume of this series, finds that it regularly settled points and collected information needed by the king’s bench. > Necessary for distraint of knighthood. 6 As in Gesta Abbatum Mon. S. Albani, 11, 237. 7 Bertie Wilkinson, The Chancery under Edward III (Manchester, 1929), pp. 33-34. For an example, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 77.

8 Well shown in Inquisitions Post Mortem, File 1, No. 5/3, and File 2, No. 11. In the time of Edward I the issue of this writ to the escheator and his return to the chancery in response thereto of the information upon which rested the king’s right of custody (Rot. Parl., 1, 145) were well established and subjected to legislative regulation.

58 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 widow’s dower in such cases was also authorized by writ of great seal,}

evidently as a matter of routine.” It was in the first instance made by the escheator. The partition of the lands of tenants-in-chief amongst heiresses or those who inherited through them was according to the usages of chancery.* The chancellor, unless the case was too important or difficult, exercised the power to review or take over‘ this work of the escheator and to issue directions according to the settlement made in chancery. In two instances matters growing out of debt cases came primarily under the chancellor’s cognizance. When a debt recorded by acknowledgment in chancery was not paid according to covenant an appraisal of the movables of the debtor was ordered. By the statute merchant,° town officials were required to notify the chancellor when a debtor without chattels in the community failed to meet his obligation. His chat-

tels elsewhere were then ordered to be appraised. ‘The letters from town authorities, constantly forwarded® in accordance with the requirement of the statute, ended with the request that the chancellor compel

the debtor to pay. This meant in the last resort a writ to the sheriff to imprison him. In still another relation the chancellor, in regular course, received notification which involved possible arrest and imprison-

ment. The ordinary regularly notified the chancellor of cases in which

, an excommunicated person after forty days remained contumacious towards the ecclesiastical court and requested the aid of the secular arm.’ The well-known result was in some cases a writ to the sheriff to arrest the excommunicate.’ Incidentally the chancellor had opportunity as the king’s representative to exercise an old prerogative of deciding® whether the cause of excommunication was sufficient. Just as 1 The writ unde nihil habet is mentioned (Stats. of Realm, 1, 38) in 1275. 2 Without warrant (Bertie Wilkinson, ‘The Authorisation of Chancery Writs under Edward III,’ Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vit, 1924, 17; as in C.C.R. 1330-1333, 22). Davies (Baronial

Opposition, p. 238) noted the dependence of the escheator in the time of Edward II, but found the writ sometimes issued by virtue of privy seal warrant. In Inquisitions Post Mortem, File 1, No. 9, it was upon petition. 3 O.C.R. 1330-1388, 495-496; also Select Cases in Chancery, ed. Leadam and Baldwin, pp. 36-37. 4 Dower (C€.C.R. 1333-1337, 568, 605) and pourparties (Cal. Ing., vu, 75; C.C.R. 1330-13838,

450) are assigned in the chancery itself, both clearly upon petition (Cal. Ing., vit, 4, 281). In an important dower case (C.P.R. 1333-1337, 592) agreement was before the chancellor and the escheator directed accordingly. 5 Stats. of Realm, 1, 53-54. 6 These gild certificates (C 202), as they are called, for this decade appear in Files G 66-G 75.

7 The significations of excommunication in the Public Record Office are arranged by dioceses. The files for this decade are Nos. 8-9, 37, 54, 57, 68, etc. 8 Excommunicato capiendo. There was also the writ significavit. ° A prerogative of the Norman king with respect to tenants-in-chief and officials, found in Eadmer (Felix Liebermann, Gesetze der Angelsachsen, Halle, 1903, 1, 520) and in the Constitutions of Claren-

don (Sec.7). In the time of Henry III arrest upon request was held to be a matter of the king’s

Introduction — 59 the issue of writs shaded into the chancellor’s direction over certain phases of administration, so both had come to involve more or less of a judicial element. The chancery devoted much attention to various matters preliminary or incidental to the course of justice,! such as the fixing of fines,? the

manucaption of prisoners to appear in a law court,? in the chancery itself,* or before the council;* it took over cases from the king’s bench to

settle points or ascertain needed facts.* It required record and process of cases in other courts.7 Sometimes justices are mentioned as acting in chancery.® Like parliament and the council, it was more concerned with the means of attaining justice than with the handing down of decisions. The chancellor, however, received petitions and held pleas.® In the chancery were imposed amercements.'° In fact, for a whole generation it had been known as a court;!! and it was so designated in a statute of 1340,!? which aimed to prevent delay in the courts and which required the chancellor, the barons of the exchequer, and the judges to take a special oath bearing upon their judicial duty. Moreover, it stood for the king in his special interests and was known as a court coram rege.

This chancery court is not to be confused with the famous equity tribunal of the next century, the jurisdiction of which, it is generally agreed, sprang from the council; even the jurisdiction of the council in chancery'!* seems to have been absorbed into the later court. A careful authority long ago pointed out,!* that on its equitable side, as well as on special grace, the king’s minister having the right to require the prelate to show proper cause of excommunication (Documents, ed. Henry Cole, Record Commission, London, 1844, p. 355, Art. 1x).

‘The making of acknowledgment (Cal. Ing. Misc., 11, 232); the taking of testimony (ibid., u, 284); the taking of inquest (cbid.); so also order to the sheriff (C 44, File 1, No. 2/3) to have an inquest jury “coram nobis in cancellaria.’ 2 Rot. Parl., 11, 86; C.C.R. 1333-13387, 300, 549; in 1328 (Rot. Parl., u, 47) before suitable judges.

3 C.C.R. 1827-1330, 225, 234. , 4 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 527, 528.

5 C.C.R. 13383-1887, 715. |

81-83. See above p. 57, n. 4. | 6 Select Cases concerning the Law Merchant, ed. Hubert Hall (Selden Society, London, 1930), m1,

” Of an oyer and terminer (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 543).

8 Rot. Parl., u, 435 (to make inquiry); again (p. 437) certain persons are to be assigned in the chancery to inquire. ® Placita in Cancellaria in the New Temple, London, 23 Jan. 1336 (C 44, File 1, No. 5); Placita apud Ebor. coram cancellar,’ Trinity 2 Edward III (C 47, Bundle 86, 10, No. 211). 10 Upon a sheriff for insufficient return (C.F.R., tv, 367) of writ. By 1330 (Placita de Quo Warranto, Record Commission, London, 1818, p. 567) amercement was a familiar feature here. 11 See Wilkinson, below, p. 187. 12 Stats. of Realm, 1, 282, 283. 13 Above, p. 37. 14 Above, p. 37-39.

15 Hale, Jurisdiction of the Lords House in Parliament, ed. Francis Hargrave (London, 1796), pp. 45-46.

60 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 its common law side, the later jurisdiction struck roots in that of the fourteenth century. Since the issue of the proper writ was the actual means of doing justice in any case, hearing upon application for writs might well assume a judicial aspect,' especially when it was necessary to frame these in cases not contemplated by common law. But it is not difficult to show that in various types of cases the chancellor exercised a jurisdiction. Amongst these were some which sprang out of his previous action in administrative matters; he also heard and decided petitions submitted to him by higher authority, some of which were not determined by common law rules. The specific phases of the chancellor’s jurisdiction were numerous. There were hearings concerning dowers.? A claim of Hugh Audley and his wife, involving her pourparty as one of the co-heiresses of the earldom of Gloucester, was discussed and decided 1n chancery, or to use the technical term, before the king in chancery.* Pourparties might be annulled

by process of chancery.* Debt cases arising out of recognizances recorded in chancery were often taken to the king’s bench or common bench? after the preliminary stage of proceedings along with the record and process of chancery. When the debtor was dead, his heirs or tenants were summoned by scire facias to show why® the property involved

should not be taken to meet the legal obligation.” In the type of law merchant case regularly reported to the chancery, it is sometimes possible to find that the jurisdiction had passed to the king’s bench® or even to the common bench. Cases involving piracy and ownership of goods

taken at sea belonged to the jurisdiction of the chancellor but were handled sometimes by chancery writ directed to the king’s bench or to commissioners of oyer and terminer.® Those against whom the king had a claim were ordered to appear at a specified time.!° Writs within a decade after this period show the sheriff directed by venire facias or praemuntre facias to cause various persons to come before the king in 1 See Wilkinson, below, pp. 190-191; also p. 158. 2 See above, pp. 57-58.

3 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 297. For the complaint that a pourparty is erroneous and the summoning of the parties to be in chancery, Cal. Ing., vu, 75-76. * C.F.R., rv, 302-303. 5 King’s Bench Roll, No. 138, m. 112; C 47/60/4, Nos. 76, 85, 86, 92, 229, 254. 6 Select Cases concerning the Law Merchant, ed. Hall, 111, 59, 61; also C 47, Bundle 86, 10, No. 211.

’ The creditor by statute (Stats. of Realm, 1, 82, Sec. 18) had the option of taking the chattels (with the exception of plough oxen) and half the lands of the debtor or a writ of fiert facias. 8 C 202 G 67. Some of the reports of the town officials are endorsed Coram rege, some Coram justic. de Banco.

, 9 Select Pleas in the Court of Admiralty, ed. R. G. Marsden (Selden Society, London, 1894), 1, XXV—-XXVI.

10 C.C.R. 1827-1330, 229.

Introduction 61 chancery.1. When an issue grew out of an escheator’s return into chancery, that official might be summoned at a certain time that he do and

execute.2. In one instance wherein the king was made a party to a land case because he had a right of reversion, the matter came before the king in chancery, though, as a result of the hearing, it was the council which ordered the justices to proceed.? One group of cases grew out of the chancellor’s relation to the royal ecclesiastical patronage, to excommunicates, and apparently to chancery

clerks. Clerks holding churches of the king’s advowson appeared in chancery to establish their right.+ A petition involving an advowson of the king was naturally referred in parliament to the chancellor. About the contumacious person little is said. An excommunication which had resulted in the imprisonment of a man by the sheriff in virtue of the king’s writ,® according to the custom of the realm, was in 1336 appealed

as unjust to the court of chancery and the accuser was given a day to appear before the king in chancery to show if there was reason why he should not be released pending appeal. Furthermore, as closely touching the interest of the king, the matter of jurisdiction over chancery clerks in 1328 is seen to be a high one,’ and a few years after this period it was pronounced in parliament that by ancient custom the chancellor alone® had cognizance of trespasses committed by clerks of the chancery or their servants remaining in their company. To the chancellor and the council in chancery were referred petitions in parliament and petitions were forwarded with privy seal writs that remedy might be done. Fleta® seems to think of remedy as an ordinary common law matter and this was still no doubt true in many cases. The examining of reasons and the doing of right!° or the doing of right and reason!! which are enjoined in many of these cases do not necessarily 1 Placita in Cancellaria (known as common law pleas), C 44, File 1, No. 2, documents 5, 7 (19 Edw. III). For a case in this decade, below, p. 398. 2 Placita in Cancellaria (C 44, File 1, 3/1). 3 0.0.R. 1833-1837, 722.

4C.C.R. 1333-1337, 568. Cotes (below, p. 69) was summoned to show his right. C 47/76/1, No. 4, gives the record and process in such a case, 15 Ed. III, transferred to the court of king’s bench, the matter being decided by inquest. The issue was whether the advowson belonged to the king. No. 5 in the same series is a more complicated case of the same sort, 19 Edw. III. This in its simpler form appears on King’s Bench Roll, No. 340, m. 113. 5 Rot. Parl., 11, 74.

6 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 716. In the close roll, justiciares describes the sheriff’s part. 7 Rot. Parl., u, 17. 8 In 1344 (Foedera, 111, Pt. i, 13; Rot. Parl., u, 154-155). ® Fleta, Bk. 11, See. 3. See Wilkinson, below, pp. 190-192. 10 Asin Rot. Parl., 11, 92; cf. pp. 44, 48, 50, 91. 11 Chancery Warrants, File 200, No. 6417.

62 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 imply a conflict of the two. But the chancery had to do with grace? as well as law and did the complement of justice? in the time of Edward I.

In one instance in which reason, equity, and right were enjoined? it would seem that more than common law procedure was intended. The limitations of the common law were recognized. The chancellor was even directed in parliament to do remedy so far as it could be done by law and then to report to the king,* obviously with the idea of invoking his grace. wardrobe payments by privy seal mandate were an important feature of the king’s financial arrangements. Direction concerning property in the custody of the wardrobe is seen in a privy seal writ of November 1327 directed to the mayor and communalty of London, order-

ing them to return to the former keeper of the wardrobe, so that he might make his accounting, certain chests containing accounts and goods formerly the property of Robert Baldock.® Further use of the privy seal in administration without the mediation of letters of great seal is nowhere recorded systematically, although scattering references may be cited. Constant communication with the chan-

cery in this fashion made easy the forwarding of orders touching its rolls are more generally known. A limited number are to be found on each of the king’s remem-

brancer’s memoranda rolls of this decade amongst the writs directed to the barons. For one, Antient Kalendars and Inventories of the Exchequer, ed. Francis Palgrave (London, 1836), m1, 145— 147, The better known collection found amongst the writs preserved at the receipt of the exchequer,

and listed as Exchequer of Receipt, Privy Seals and Warrants of Issue (E 404/2/9-14 and E 404/3/ 15-21), contains over 500 writs for payment of which many are under the privy seal. 1 In the Walton ordinances (Tout, Chapters, 111, 144-145; Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 1050-1051). Below, pp. 79-80. 6 Cal. Letter Books, London, Bk. E, pp. 224-225.

Introduction 67 affairs, such as the designation of a custodian of the great seal,! or letters

concerning the temporary custody of the latter.? Certain sureties exacted in chancery in the Mortimer period were in 1330 cancelled by order under the privy seal.? It might be used for the king’s informal letters.* Moreover the privacy, directness, and informality of privy seal letters adapted them admirably to the purposes of secret correspondence.®> Bury was once censured for causing to be sealed such a letter to the pope suggesting interference in the affairs of an abbey.® Informa-

tion was conveyed to negotiators in France directly under the smaller

seal,’ and there is substantial reason® to believe that now, or very shortly after 1336, its use in diplomacy was not uncommon. In so far as wardrobe and privy seal officials received commissions, they were under the privy seal, for there is no chancery record. Commissions of : purveyors of the household since 1300 at least might be under either seal.® Various acts, some of which pertained to the king’s personal interests,

were commanded or expedited by privy seal letters. The king thus summoned a former keeper of victuals;!° he also gave direction to the butler concerning the king’s wines, in this case somewhat increasing the formality! of usage; and he made a few special gifts.‘* In ordinary administration there are also some instances of the direct use of the privy seal,!3 and of the delivery of privy seal letters'* by messengers. More

1 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 839. 2 C.C.R. 13827-1330, 547. 3 C.C.R. 13827-13830, 538. Moreover, copies of letters to nobles in Gascony requiring carriage were given under the privy seal so they might be used in the business (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 421) and the originals returned to the chancery. * As in acknowledging the grant of an aid by the Londoners (Annales Londonienses, 1, 248-249).

5 Tllustrated in the well-known arrangement (C. G. Crump, E.H.R., xvi, 331-332) made by Edward III in 1330 for secret communication with the pope.

8 Gesta Abbatum Mon. S. Albani, 11, 288. 7 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 761. 8 Edouard Perroy, Diplomatic Correspondence of Richard II (Camden Society, 3rd Series, London, 1933), XLVIII, vili—xvii, shows this upon the basis of the forms in Hoccleve’s privy seal register. See also Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls, London, 1323-1364, p. 67.

® Stats. of Realm, 1, 187, 263, 266. The appointment of sheriffs and other fiscal officials in Ireland by what were known as great privy seals (C.P.R. 1330-1334, 568) was discontinued in 1334. These were probably letters patent under the privy seal.

10 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 414. 11 C.F.R., 1v, 257; cf. Baldwin, below, p. 148. 12 Lead that had belonged (C.C.R. 1330-1333, 512) to Mortimer; surplus provisions (see Prince, below, p. 374, n. 8) on hand at the end of a campaign. 13 A sheriff is to find carts for the constable of a castle and to meet the costs (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 270); another to see that timber is carried (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 556); still another is to hold an inquest (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 498); customs collectors are to make payment for cables and hawsers

(C.C.R. 1333-1337, 546); in 1335 fletchers in the forest of Dean are to make a large number of darts (C.C.R. 1337-1339, 11). Mortimer as keeper of Pembroke utilized a privy seal mandate (Cal. Ing. Misc., 1, 299) to seize into the king’s hand the barony of Walwins Castle. 14 In 1329 messengers of the wardrobe were sent with such letters (Issue Roll, No. 243, 19 May)

to two persons. In 1333 various messengers, amongst them those of the exchequer and of the wardrobe (Issue Roll, Nos. 282, 285, 16 May, 21 Dec.), took letters of privy seal and great seal to the collectors of the tenth and fifteenth and to divers magnates.

68 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 important was the fact that Edward II in the crisis of 1326 ordered arrests! in this way. ‘The most disquieting instance in the following decade was the employment by Mortimer in 1328 of writs of targe to exact military service in Gascony. In this manner knights and others were summoned and fines and ransoms exacted for remission of the service.? In 1334 Edward III by writs of privy seal called upon many persons for military service? and likewise in 1335 ordered more mounted

men to Newcastle-on-Tyne.* Contributions of prelates to marry the king’s sister were in 1332 requested by letters under the privy seal as well as under letters of great seal. Such action, however, so far as it is known after 1330, may be regarded as a speedy method of accomplish-

ing what the king usually commanded under the great seal. Resort to this procedure seems much reduced since the reign of Edward II.* So far as a consistent direct use of the small seal appears in administration, it seems to be confined to wardrobe and exchequer business, although such a use in diplomacy is distinctly possible. In some matters privy seal mandates were a novelty and regarded by officials’ as insufficient authority. The hatred of the exaction of Mortimer through a seal which he controlled apparently produced a critical popular attitude. ® Since 1300, moreover, there had been strong insistence that the privy

seal, attached immediately to the king, should not be employed in judicial matters in leu of the great seal, the functioning of which was

in the hands of legal experts trained in common law methods. The concessions of Edward I to the baronial party included a prohibition upon issuing under the little seal any writ touching the common law.°® The ordaining baronage added the rule that the law of the land be not delayed or disturbed by letters of privy seal.1° Amongst the safeguards 1 Davies, Baronial Opposition, p. 512; Tout, Chapters, 11, 308-309. Less important orders for arrest under the privy seal occasionally occur even after 1330. See below, p. 154. 2 Rot. Parl., 11, 52. See also (above, p. 64, n. 10) the exaction of a heavy aid from the citizens of London by the same process. 3 Rot. Scot., 1, 292, cited by Prince, below, pp. 350-351. 4 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 37; cf. Cal. Letter Books, London, Bk. F, p. 26. In 1327 by writ of great seal with a privy seal covering letter (Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls, London, 1323-1364, pp. 28, 41). 5 K.R.M.R., No. 109, m. 138. 6 See Davies, Baronial Opposition, pp. 143-155. 7 As to the exchequer, see below, n. 10, and Baldwin, p. 149; for a sheriff who refused to release a

supposed Scottish enemy arrested by the king’s mandate, C.C.R. 1333-1337, 134, 227-228.

8 Something of this seems to appear in a mention in parliament (Rot. Parl., 1, 109-110) that Tawton, the keeper of the privy seal (1334-1337), procured without reasonable cause or due authority that property of the provost of Wells to be taken into the king’s hands. ° Stats. of Realm, 1, 139.

10 In the Ordinances of 1311 (Sec. 32); and in 1317 (Davies, Baronial Opposition, p. 146; C.C.R. 13813-1318, 514) by an executive order to the judges of the two benches and the barons of the exchequer not to heed orders under either seal which denied or delayed justice. The close roll itself indicates that the order was addressed to justices of the bench.

Introduction 69 of the statute of Northampton in 1328 was included an enactment to the same effect.1 Evidently these measures were aimed especially

against the use of the privy seal in matters of justice. Detailed instances are not available, but in a case involving the king’s prise in 1327, the justices were advised by privy seal to do nothing to the king’s pre}-

udice.2. Not only was the baronial constitutional tradition opposed to the intrusion but it was now resented and opposed on legal grounds. The king, or at least the privy seal clerks, for the time® became circumspect in action. When a petitioner, anxious to forward his cause, asked that the king write letters under the privy seal to the judicial authorities, the petition was forwarded to the chancellor with a privy seal mandate to take the proper action. Parliament even passed over a request made by petition that the chancellor be instructed under the privy seal to issue a certain writ and ordered that the justices be directed by writ of chancery. Repeatedly the ruling in parliament when the question was raised by petitioners was that in cases wherein judges were estopped from proceeding prior to consultation with the king justice was to be

done notwithstanding a prohibition made by writ of privy seal.’ In 1335 a sheriff was ordered to proceed to the execution of outlawry in an instance wherein his action had been superseded contrary to the statute of Northampton by a writ of privy seal cunningly procured by a defendant.® Yet one of these writs prohibited an undersheriff and the justices of the bench from taking an assize of novel disseisin to which the hereditary sheriff of the county was a party.’ In 1330 the remarkable petition in parliament of a clerk, Geoffrey Cotes, resulted in an

order to bring the record and process in his case before the council. The charge was that the chancellor had availed himself of the authority of a writ of privy seal to issue a writ, the real aim of which was to aid a papal provisor; that in this fashion he had brought Geoffrey before the chancery clerks and under threat of forfeiture ordered the latter to resign a church. The notable feature of the matter which touches the 1 Stats. of Realm, 1, 259.

2 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 150-151. The matter was settled before the councli in chancery.

3 When the king was abroad in the period of the war (as in 15 Edw. III, C 47/78/1, No. 5; also C 47/71/1, No. 5) writs to the judges under the privy seal were practically inevitable. # Rot. Parl., 11, 88-89.

© An assize is to be taken (Rot. Parl., 11, 72, No. 11); for another instance, zbid., p. 86, No. 57; so the same answer in parliament in an Irish case (Rot. Parl., 11, 433); in 1834 (C.C.R. 13833-13837,

207) such a privy seal order is reversed in parliament. This, however, might still be subject to the condition that final judgment was to be given only after consultation with the king. ® C.C.R. 13383-1337, 531.

7 Chancery Warrants, File 219, No. 8310. The prohibition was addressed to the chancellor, the

justices of both benches, and the assigned justices for Westmoreland. }

70 The English Government at Work, 1827-1336 privy seal, so it has been shown,! 1s Geoffrey’s statement that warrant of privy seal could not excuse the chancellor because he had power to command that such writs be made. Of the substantial element of truth? in this there can hardly be a doubt. Even private individuals obtained them? in many instances. To the extent that these practices prevailed the privy seal ceased to be a real instrument in the king’s hands for the personal control of affairs by privy seal letters to the chancellor. This use of the privy seal must enter into any interpretation‘ of the operation of central government in the decade under study. It is obvious that expression of the king’s will was moved not only through consideration and decision by king and council and by the action of the latter but also by petition direct to the king and by the influence in some matters at least of the barons, prelates, clerks, or others who had access to him. Pardons and minor grants were often made at the suggestion of this or that person.® There is sufficient indication that the king’s ministers were the movers of more significant acts,® mention of which survives only in the formalism of chancery records. Such initiation of administrative measures before the king in person as well as before the council, might well be assumed on logical grounds and is in point of fact

implied in many a record. Moreover, it is well recognized that the chancery had for some time upon ministerial authorization issued letters of great seal bearing upon some phases of administration.’ First of all, the idea of an inner council within the king’s household at this period has rightly been abandoned.® In the days of Pembroke and the younger Hugh Despenser, when a royal confidant correlated activities by exercising more or less control in all departments, council and

wardrobe were often somewhat blended. Under Edward III prior to the Hundred Years’ War the constituents of an inner council appear to be absent. The attention of the steward and the wardrobe officials was 1 The case, which is recorded in Rot. Parl., 11, 45, 46, is presented by Wilkinson in his ‘Authorisation of Chancery Writs under Edward III,’ in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vit (1924), 4; also in his Chancery under Edward III (Manchester, 1929), pp. 32-33. 2 Tout (Chapters, 11, 308-309) cites an example in 1326 of privy seal letters ordered by a secret seal letter directed to both the chancellor and the keeper of the privy seal. Moreover the council could make similar order (below, p.'75) and the chancellor was ordinarily its chief executive officer.

3 As the many grants in the chancery warrants testify. 4 See Wilkinson, below, pp. 176-182, for some discussion of this.

5 By petition in Chancery Warrants, File 100, No. 6412 (confirmation to Richard Feriby); No. 8742 (grant of a church to a prior and canons). See also below, pp. 202-205. 6 See below, p. 187. The concession for a fine to one Thomas Prat of the custody of the lands of a minor by the council and by bill of the treasurer (Originalia Roll, No. 86, 6 Mar.) points to one interested official sponsor. 7 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 200-201, 204. 8 See Wilkinson, below, p. 195; also below, p. 140.

Introduction 71 largely centered upon household accounts and finance! and that of the officials of the king’s chamber upon the administration of certain reserved

lands.2. The meetings of the former group were to arrange accounts. Moreover, some who were of the council were in attendance upon the king whenever there was need. Except the steward and the chamberlain,? the regular household officials were absent from mention of the council, the wardrobe officials notably so. The privy seal staff apparently did not receive recognition beyond that of secretaries who prepared and laid before the king the business brought to their attention. Certain acts of the monarch were fitful to an extent which seems impossible had they come within the view of an intimate council. In official represen-

tation the king often had a bad memory. He authorized the chancery to issue letters making appointments and grants, then recalled that he has already conferred these upon other persons. In such cases it became necessary to issue new patents‘ to rectify the situation, and this was done upon the formal authority of the council or the king and council. Furthermore the king might change his mind to advance a favored clerk and designate him to the chancellor for a living notwithstanding any mandate of the privy seal.®

The two-weeks regency of John of Eltham in April 1331 was marked by a concentration of executive forces and procedure which, under the circumstances, eliminated some of the sources of confusion. Six councillors were designated to act under the direction of the archbishop of Canterbury, who was to establish a headquarters in a fixed place, actually Eltham.® The king from abroad sent directions under the privy seal,’ and the chancery letters placing these in effect, as well as those embodying acts of the council, were witnessed in the name of John of Eltham® as custodian of the realm. Irresponsible action on the part of the executive was reduced to a minimum. An attempt was made in 1319 to stop the reporting of the king’s acts by ministers, or possibly merely by interested persons,? through a regulation of the baronial party then in control, which directed the chancellor not to make execution under the great seal of any mandate to him, conveyed by information of any one coming 1 See J. H. Johnson, below, pp. 218-220. 2 See below, p. 78. 3 Above, p. 32. Possibly also the keeper of the privy seal (below, p. 145). This is in marked contrast to what is known about wardrobe officials (Davies, Baronial Opposition, pp. 231, 281) under

Edward II. 4 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 233 (by council); p. 280 (by king and council). 5 C.P.R. 1830-133}, 523. 8 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 814-815; Close Roll, No. 150, m. 20; C.C.R. 13830-1333, 217.

’ Déprez, Préliminatres, p. '75, n. 4.

, 8 For some details of the arrangement, Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 170-171. 9 See below, p. 72, n. 8.

72 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 from the king, unless the latter spoke his will in the matter to the chancellor by word of mouth or sent him letters under the privy seal.1. With the appointment of a new chancellor and a new keeper of the privy seal in a short time,? the restraint was certainly discontinued. It meant that acts warranted per wpsum regem should have the direct authority of the

king’s word. A dictum attributed to Mortimer, to the effect that the word of the king could not be believed to be contrary to his own,? represents in effect the attitude of his government. Controlling both seals,4 and after a time the council,® he still found it necessary to prevent the king personally from promulgating acts per ipsum regem. 'The appearance after 1327 of a few acts warranted both in this form and by privy seal® again recognizes the distinction between assent by the king’s word

and assent literally or constructively so given but expressed in sealed letters forwarded by his clerks. Acts by the king himself at this time are recorded nowhere except on the rolls of chancery. The king’s authority recorded upon the chancery rolls as communicated by information of some one, has been called immediate warrant.? Under Edward II the information sometimes came from an individual who had obviously obtained a favor,® but from 1327 practically always from a minister of state? who apparently gained this consent to expedite public business. During the revolution of 1326-1327 this form of warrant occasionally introduced a purely fictitious assent of the king.!° Until 1 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 144; Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 405; C.C.R. 1318-1328, 211.

2 In Jan. 1320, Baldock, the keeper of the privy seal, indeed became the chief intermediary between the king and the chancellor. Instances of the older usage occur in Feb. 1320 (C.P.R. 13171321, 423, 428, 430, 431) and again in June (C.C.R. 1318-1323, 195; C.F.R., tv, 25). 3 Rot. Parl., u, 53: ‘que la parole le Roi ne poeit estre creu a contraire de son dit.’ 4 As to the privy seal and the household, Tout, Chapters, 1, 297-298; 111, 18, 27-28. The charge in 1330 (Rot. Parl., 11, 52) was that Mortimer placed in the king’s household his enemies so he could do nothing of his own will. 5 See Baldwin, below, pp. 133-134; also above, p. 36. © As in C.P.R. 1827-1330, 171, 176, 226. 7 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, Ch. v._ For its earlier history, ibid., pp. 141-144.

8 Grants upon request of some persons with influence (as C.F.R., rv, 183) are often recorded; other instances (as C.P.R. 1324-1327, 33, 38, 44, 88) indicate that private aims have been accomplished by the influence of an intermediary. The announcement of the king’s act by his confessor (C.P.R. 1321-1324, 499), by William de Colby (p. 33), by Roger Damory (p. 75), by Brother Philip, and by the archbishop of Canterbury (p. 56) in the matter of the pardon of certain canons for illegal hunting, are good examples after 1319. ®° Persons who thus gave information of the king’s assent, 1327-1330, were the earl of Kent (C.P.R. 1327-13830, 195), the treasurer (C.F.R., tv 27-35), the acting keeper of the privy seal, Ayrmin (ibid., pp. 84-85), the retiring keeper, Limber (C.P.R. 1327-1830, 253), the chief baron of the exchequer, Norwich (C.F.R., tv, 91), the warden of the Cinque Ports, Burghersh (zbid., p. 81),

a farmer of customs, W. de la Pole (tbid., p. 155), the chamberlain, Talbot (C.F.R., tv, 92), and, rarely, Queen Isabella (C.P.R. 1827-1330, 102; C.F.R., rv, 79) and Mortimer (cbid., p. 91). 10 While Edward II was a prisoner, after the new regime had gained control of the great seal, a few letters patent even bore warrant per ipsum regem on information of the queen (C.P.R. 13241827, 343, 344) or Wyvil, her secretary (ibid., p. 341).

Introduction 73 1330 it obviously represented the authority of a king whose assent was not entirely his own. Immediate warrant does not appear in any large

| number of instances during the decade. Another form of warrant which has been named ministerial, conveyed to the chancellor in writing what he accepted and recorded as authority for the issue of letters of great seal. Such communications came to the

chancery from departments or usually from their heads. Warrants by bill of the treasurer,? of the exchequer,? of the wardrobe,* and of the steward? all appear. They clearly bore upon departmental business but apparently were not of wide use. For other administrative business the alternative, so far as any record indicates, was to apply to the king or the council. The privy seal warrants by which wardrobe accounts were so frequently cleared® must have been procured in some way by the interested officials themselves. Many writs addressed to the exchequer were clearly obtained by individuals, whether from the king, the privy seal clerks,’ or by petition to the council. The prominence of the council in its connection with exchequer business has already been noted.® The preliminary work in the appointment of collectors of parliamentary taxes was apparently done in the exchequer and the council in the exchequer almost certainly was the body which on some occasions warranted® the commissions.

The most frequent action upon departmental initiative originated with the chancellor himself. Letters of great seal which by fine of a certain amount confirm charters, make new grants,!° or set up commissions of oyer and terminer,!! citing no other warrant, may well be accepted as proof of a sphere of routine activity wherein authority, other than now and then that of an inquest ad quod damnum, was unnecessary. Occa1 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, Ch. vim. 2 As in Rot. Scot., 1, 215; Originalia Roll, No. 86, mm. 29, 30; for some treasurer’s warrants by

letter, Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 200-201; also a treasurer’s warrant for appointment of a weigher of a port, Hubert Hall, A Formula Book of English Oficial Historical Documents (Cambridge,

1908), p. 120. Some good examples of warrant by bill of the treasurer which concern his departmental business occur in Originalia Roll, No. 90 (5 Edw. III), mm. 8, 23, 39. 3 As in Writs to Barons, E 208, File 2, No. 388. 4 In 1327 a protection to a purveyor (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 103) is thus warranted; in Originalia Roll, No. 89, m. 13, ‘per billam thes. de garderobe’; in Originalia Roll, No. 86, m. 30, a bill sealed with the seal of Robert Wodehouse, custos of the wardrobe and delivered into chancery; the appointment of a purveyor is warranted (C.P.R. 1330-1334, 510) by the cofferer.

5 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 109. |

6 Above, p. 66.

’ A letter taken by a messenger from the treasurer to the keeper of the privy seal at a distance in the autumn of 1335 (Issue Roll, No. 280, 28 Oct.) suggests a ministerial use of this avenue. 8 See above, p. 49. ® See above, p. 51.

‘0 Of frequent occurrence in the charter rolls. Cf. C. Ch. R., 1v, passim. 11 As C.P.R. 1334-1338, 366.

7A The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 sionally a letter of the chancellor,' or at any rate his sole authority,? is the warrant cited. Sometimes he assumed the responsibility by assent of the treasurer.? Without doubt the chancellor in certain cases took it for granted that his authority was made clear by custom. When the king prepared to go abroad for a prolonged stay in 1338 and undertook to direct the activities of government so far as possible from a distance by privy seal, he specifically reserved to himself the authorization of writs of liberate and all matters touching the king’s grace, perhaps an intimation that these had sometimes fallen to the chancellor’s own sphere; but clear exceptions from privy seal control were made in matters which touched

the common law or solely the office of chancery. The second of these exceptions apparently included the chancellor’s customary power to issue writs of great seal. That this authority is expressed in the very considerable number of documents on the chancery rolls for which no known® warrant exists is one possible interpretation. It should be observed, however, that these documents are much wider in scope than the range of chancery departmental business’ and embrace various kinds of executive orders usually made by king or council.

Acts of the council might be placed in effect by letters under either seal. Decisions upon petition to the council were carried out through the issue of chancery writs, and probably a written petition with an endorsement® was a ready means of communicating the information. Appointments and other acts, of course, frequently bear the warrant per conciium. Authorization of payments to diplomatic or other agents of the council also appears on the chancery rolls by the same warrant.® For the type of judicial business which came before the council in chancery the great seal was the only means of providing execution.'®° The chan1 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 831; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 353. 2 As in a case involving an escheator’s commission (C.C.R. 13383-1337, 11). 3 C.F.R., tv, 143; also by virtue of a fine levied before the treasurer (ibid., 140-143); in Originalia Roll, No. 89, m. 16, per canc. et thes. 4 Later survivals of usage point to the conclusion that in cases which raised no legal doubt this held for the issue of confirmations, other charters, and protections (Rot. Chart., 1, p. v; also ibid., n. 4). The best treatment of the whole matter is that by Wilkinson in his paper published in The Bulletin of the

Rylands Library, vu (1924), 1-25. 5 The Walton ordinances, Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 1051; Tout, Chapters, 11, 148. 6 See Wilkinson, below, p. 183. Warrants not recorded on the chancery rolls have frequently been found, as the Record Office annotations upon the calendars show. * Some examples occur in C.P.R. 1327-1330, 360, 361-367, 379, 429; 1834-1338, 72-73, 99, but

they are quite numerous elsewhere. , 8 As in the case of parliamentary petitions. See below, p. 154; ef. p. 115.

® See Lucas, below, p. 320; in C.C.R. 1833-1337, 240, appears an instance of such warrant to pay expenses of an agent of the king. On the Issue Rolls (No. 291, 12 Dec. 1337), ordinance of the council is sufficient authority for diplomatic agents going on the king’s secret business to foreign ports. 10 Thus (Rot. Parl., 11, 70) a petition before the council is to be disposed of by writ of chancery.

Introduction 75 cellor’s connection with the council suggests that his personal knowledge

was a close link, although the reduction of some acts of the council to wieldy written form was a matter of known difficulty.! It is tempting to surmise that many of the letters of great seal which bear no recorded warrant and which at first sight seem to belong to the departmental province of chancery came through action of the council, the chancellor without more formality issuing the appropriate letters.2. Mr Davies, on the other hand, discovered direct evidence that in the reign of Edward II privy seal clerks on some occasions placed in effect decisions of the

council. Aside from the fact that various acts of the council and the king and council in the first decade of Edward III are known to have led to chancery warrants under the privy seal,* a presumptive, though not a very strong, claim has been adduced® on behalf of this use of the privy seal as the normal scheme. When the privy seal was with the king in the northern area of warfare such employment of it was obviously impossible in sessions at York or Northampton; yet for the few sessions mentioned

in that area privy seal clerks were almost certainly available. ‘There exist memoranda of action by the council in the war period which show that commissions and mandatory letters under the great seal were to be made, and more infrequently letters of privy seal as well. The council, 1 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 182-183. 2 This seems to explain the commissions of sheriffs (below, p. 76, n. 3) without warrant. For the

process of selecting sheriffs at this time, Stats. of Realm, 1, 174. An act of the council (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 146) might be warranted on information of the chancellor. * Davies, Baronial Opposition, p. 153; Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 84, prints evidence. 4 See Wilkinson, below, p. 180; cf. Tout, Chapters, 11, 290. The following are other instances of council and privy seal action: C.P.R. 1330-1334, 467, 473; C.C.R. 1827-1830, 178, 495-496; C.F.R., Iv, 358.

5 By Wilkinson, below, p. 181. The document involved is undated and other data essential to the defence of the claim are lacking. One apparent piece of evidence must be rejected. A document in the Cal. Letter Books, London, Bk. E, p. 267, ostensibly a writ of privy seal witnessed by a group, most of whom were of the council, upon inspection proves to be only a charter in the usual form issued by warrant of privy seal. 6 One of these, evidently of 1335 (Chancery Warrants, File 1538, No. 13), consists of mandates (beginning with the word fait) for making writs authorizing a large annuity to the count of Nemours and other payments to his followers; also a commission and a safe conduct for an exchequer official engaged in carriage to York; also a writ to a sheriff to deliver to the latter the issues of the county

in his hands. The later items correspond with Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 919. A second (Chancery Warrants, File 1538, No. 14) provides orders (soit mandez) to the justice of Chester that he elect 200 archers and that he have a commission du grant seal; also to arrayers of those going to Scotland to be

at Newcastle the day of Magdalene to go in the company of the earl of Cornwall and Anthony de Lucy; also for a commission to array archers and hobelars of the earl of Lancaster; there are also ordered letters of great seal and under the targe for assembly of the hobelars of Norfolk on the Monday

of St Margaret. Some items resemble Rot. Scot., 1, 436b. A third memorandum (Chancery Warrants, File 1538, No. 15) probably of 1332, directs that commissions be made to Thomas Benton and Sir Thomas Crosse to send war provisions to Ireland and that a mandate under the targe be sent to the archbishop of Dublin. Still another remembrance of the same type (ibid., No. 16), according to Record Office identification, contains items on the close roll by warrant of the council.

76 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 like parliament, might order letters under the great seal. It might also order letters under the privy seal, although the actual necessity for this was probably infrequent, as the previous study of privy seal functions would indicate. None the less in the interest of speedy action a privy seal letter to the chancellor might well be more effective in many Instances

than a council memorandum sent to the chancery clerks; here the chancellor may have had power to command that letters of privy seal be made. Whether the clerk who kept the occasional memoranda of the council and annotated a long petition of 1328 or 1329 to indicate the items which

, were granted! by it was a chancery clerk, no evidence shows. There is no reason? to assume that he was attached to the privy seal. One need not anticipate by some years the activity of the privy seal clerks with the king in France in the absence of the chancellor, nor by a full generation the known days when privy seal clerks did the work of the council in England. Central administrative control, therefore, did not follow closely defined

channels. The business itself is the concern of the administrator, not rules or classifications. ‘The same kind of act is authorized now by the king himself, at another time by writ of privy seal, at still another by the council. The variation occurs almost daily.2 Again the chancellor executes the same acts without any warrant which his clerks record. ‘The

powers of authorities show slight traceable delimitation, and there is much duplication of function. The council in greater matters has a power superior to the chancery,* but often their ways seem to run parallel. The control of the privy seal over the chancery, though prominent in form, is often seen to be unreal. The chancellor, at least as head of the council, can procure letters of privy seal for necessary matters of

administration. There is little doubt that department heads can do as much in this respect as can private persons. The moving force in ordinary administration is usually concealed beneath forms, although petition is a usual course for individuals. Some council business is clearly departmental in origin and action is merely formal. In this the exchequer is one powerful agency. The chancery is a clearing house for 1 Parliamentary Proceedings, C 49, 6/11. The petition of John Darcy going to Ireland (cf. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 316, 373).

2 One consideration pointing to the contrary conclusion is that at times the office of the privy seal is clearly shown to be understaffed (Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 37-38). 3 See the series of pardons in C.P.R. 1327-1330, 14-15, 25. The commissions of sheriffs present

a remarkable variety of warrants. See C.F.R., 1v, 15-16, 20-21, 39-40, et passim. One of these, in 1328, is warranted by the council by assent of the treasurer (C.F.R., Iv, 86) on information of Adam Limber. Warrant by bill of the treasurer (Fine Roll, No. 127, mm. 1-12, 18-23) is also to be added. In some cases there is no warrant whatever. So the commissions of the peace in 1329 (C.P.R. 1827-1330, 427).

4 See above, pp. 61, 62, 69. 5 See above, p. 73.

Introduction 7 business of various types, and the council almost certainly prepares busi-

ness to be submitted to the king as do the privy seal clerks. In conclusion it is to be noted that the chancery is the last of the four great institutions of central control and that the privy seal in this period, as well as the wardrobe and other household institutions, exercises a much more limited and specialized authority. 5. Tur HousreHoLp AND THE KING’S SPECIAL SERVICES

With the chancery ends the central institutions of general admuinistrative control, yet the exchequer and, from the legal point of view, the two

benches, held wide powers. These institutions have been reserved for separate treatment in subsequent volumes of this series. The king’s household, however, well illustrates a complicated series of functions often interlocking, sometimes conflicting, with those of other administra-

tive bodies, and sometimes arousing popular enmity through certain phases of its activity. It is well recognized that its work often transcended the purely household sphere and became of national significance. The king’s household was a many-sided organization which is described in the following pages;! and the problems of this type of administration

are further developed in the account of the queen’s household.? The household organization not only provided food for a numerous force of knights, clerks, serjeants, and valets or ‘yeomen’; through the wardrobe it provided them with pay and with robes, or at least cloth for these; it provided shelter, when there was need, through purveyance? of the marshals.

The head of the organization was the steward of the king’s household,

the only one of its officials except the chamberlain who in this period seems to have been shown recognition as a high official and a member of

the council. He was almost invariably, along with other high officials and dignitaries, one of the witnesses of the king’s charters. Next in importance was the keeper or treasurer of the wardrobe, who figured most prominently through the financial side of his activities and who during the war period of this decade, in addition to the usual types of household expenditures,‘ disbursed such large sums for military objects that he almost restored his department to the status of a leading national financial agency,® much as it had been under Edward 1. A lesser wardrobe, called 1 See J. H. Johnson, ‘The King’s Wardrobe and Household,’ below. , 2 See Hilda Johnstone, ‘The Queen’s Household,’ below. 3 As in C.P.R. 1330-1334, 534. 4In 1330 the custos of the wardrobe (Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 798) was even authorized to pay 500 marks from the farm of Chester payable at the exchequer for the expenses of the king’s first-born son.

5 For its receipts and expenditures year by year, Tout, Chapters, v1, 78-88. When Garton was keeper of the wardrobe Richard de Castello, a wardrobe clerk (Issue Roll, No. 291, 4 Nov.), received 54s. for grain bought by him for the household.

78 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the great wardrobe because it had been a repository of storable or bulky

commodities, had a keeper of its own who also is known best in the records through his accounting. The wardrobe in both phases, since the famous reform of 1323, received its funds from the exchequer to which it rendered account.!_ The issue rolls contain many entries bearing upon the accounts which the keeper and the keeper of the great wardrobe rendered for sums allotted in advance and actually expended through bills and warrants, the latter most frequently by privy seal, authorizing specificitems. It was a matter that obviously occasioned difficulty, especially where the payments of a former keeper of the wardrobe were concerned.? A special resort to the authority of the king or the council was frequent and writs of issue under both seals were almost constant. The wardrobe, moreover, with its necessity for food and carriage, employed much the largest force of purveyors in England, whose unpopular activ-

ities were beginning to be regulated by act of parliament.* It was an institution constantly with the king and it provided a place of temporary carriage and deposit.*

The chamber, which at times past had made marked contributions towards the king’s expense was in this period subject to exchequer accounting. It still had something of an income from assigned lands which

the king had described as his private account. There was an organization of which the chamberlain was acting head,® staffed by knights and clerks,’ of whom the receiver was the most prominent. The secret seal, so it has been held, was the seal of the chamber. This was a period of quiescence in chamber activity because the practice of reserving lands to the chamber had been largely discontinued at the revolution of 1326.8

It was slowly resumed after 1335.° From that year the chamber used a specialized form of the secret seal known as the griffon.'° To settle administrative difficulties there was issued in 1339 an order of the king

that warrant of this seal should be accepted at the exchequer!! as au1 As to this, Tout, Edward II, pp. 175-180, 314-315; Chapters, 1, 259-262; Red Book of Exchequer, ed. Hubert Hall (Rolls Series, London, 1896), 111, 909-919.

2 Tout, Chapters, 1v, 94-96. For the problem of the account of Taunton, a deceased keeper, C.C.R. 1338-1837, 567, 592; for difficulties of Wigton, former keeper of the great wardrobe, Rot.

Parl., 1, 46, No. 62. The accounting of Ingelard de Warle also came to the attention of parliament (Rot. Parl., 11, 437). 3 See below, pp. 117-118.

* Once in 1329 for the great seal (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 425); in Aug. 1333 for commissions to be delivered to envoys going to France (Chancery Warrants, No. 7181). ° Tout, Chapters, u, 357. 6 Thid., u, 333. 7 Tbid., 11, 325.

8 Ibid., rv, 230-282. 9 Tbid., Iv, 238-243.

10 Thid., v, 182. 11 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 1076; Tout, Chapters, v, 185.

Introduction 79 thority for allowing credit upon the accounts of receivers and keepers of lands reserved to the chamber. The chamber still preserved records of the day when its keeper, like an escheator, was so important a custodian of lands that he received the fealty of those who held them.!

The idea that there were within the household the elements of an ‘inner council may be rejected, as is shown above, because of the slight rec-

ognition in national affairs accorded its officials. Even the household steward, the head of the organization, is not very prominent, though at least some stewards? were of the council. The wardrobe officials appear in the records as buyers of supplies,? payers of wages,* and accountants at the exchequer. The privy seal clerks were still so far connected with the household that they were paid by the wardrobe.’ Wardrobe clerks gained valuable financial experience and, like keepers of the privy seal, were later promoted to high position, but their actual rank in the household does not seem so high as under Edward II. Only under war conditions after 1338, when the secretarial work of the privy seal clerks abroad often placed them in the position of an acting chancery, did the keeper of this seal® appear as a great official. For the preservation of peace, the household had its own coroner, and

also the court of the verge, held by the steward and the marshal. This court exercised a jurisdiction not by common law,’ limited to an area within twelve miles of where the court happened to be. This was vexatious and led to no little complaint. A household force of serjeants-atarms, of the time of Edward I, re-inforced later by a guard of footmen, presented a decided possibility of expansion in war-time into a military force® of some importance. Moreover, under Edward III, as earlier, various members of the royal family and of the household led contingents

of armed men® to Scotland. Even the clerical keeper of the privy seal, William de la Zouch, headed his company?!° in 1336. The rolls of the ward1 Chancery Miscellanea, C 47, 49/2, No. 27; cf. Tout, Chapters, u1, 354.

2 Above, p. 32. ] 3 Above, p. 77, n. 5.

4 Below, pp. 224-227. 5 Tout, Chapters, v, 30, 47. : 6 Although in the reign of Edward II the chancellor, the treasurer, and the privy seal appear as a special inner group or committee (Tout, Chapters, u1, 55), in this decade only the former two (as in C.C.R. 1833-13387, 514-515; Chancery Warrants, No. 8381; Stats. of Realm, 1, 264) assume such a position in the council and elsewhere. The privy seal force (Tout, Chapters, 111, 54) constitutes ‘a restricted office of state.’ “In 1300 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 139) this jurisdiction was limited to trespasses committed within the household or the verge and to contracts made within the household. But see below, p. 244. 8 Tout, Chapters, u, 135-141, 163. 9 See Prince, below, p. 353; also p. 224.

10 Tout, Chapters, v, 9-10. Robert Ufford and John Mowbray, bannerets, in 1336 retained menat-arms in the king’s comitiva (Issue Roll, No. 285, 21 Oct. and 17 Nov.). The earls of Oxford and Warwick also received military wages (Issue Roll, No. 290, 30 Apr., 18 May) through the wardrobe, as did the garrisons at Edinburgh and Berwick.

80 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 robe are frequently cited as proof of the service of individuals in the Roxburgh! campaign in 1335. ‘The steward of the household at the siege of

Berwick in 1333 appears as the veritable head of an army. To prevent desertion it was forbidden that any man depart without the king’s leave or that of the marshal or the steward.?, Under these conditions the payment of military wages by the keeper of the wardrobe raised his importance as a disbursing officer nearly to the level of an earlier time. The administrative service of Edward III is distinguished by frequent

employment of officials and clerks upon temporary duties. Chancery and privy seal clerks and those of the exchequer often performed such service out of court. The king and the council found capable agents in this way. For some services there was no permanent organization and no permanent personnel. Diplomatic agents were recruited temporarily from the highest officials of state, including the chancellor and other admuinistrators? and magnates, from a certain number of clerics skilled and experienced, and, in minor positions, from comparatively obscure per-

sons.* The king and the council were responsible for the instructions and even the latter received reports and sometimes arranged for the pay of these agents.®

In military administration® the same conditions largely prevailed. The hereditary constable and the marshal of England were the traditional leaders of the feudal force and the judges of the adequacy of its equipment, the marshal, the keeper of its muster roll.’ Other leaders were the temporary heads of temporary forces. Commissariat arrangements were in the hands of the most capable persons, often clerks,? who

were available. Payment other than that through the wardrobe was, upon the customary basis, subject to such delays and difficulties that clerks of the court were sometimes employed for this special purpose.

The administration of the forests,® to come to the last of the topics included in this volume, was remarkable for its varied aspects. There was Angevin centralization, under great officials, and a distinct judicial system, including eyres, to deal with special offenses; there were hereditary foresters holding in fee, and there were humble local officials of the ancient communal variety. The financial responsibility for the forests, 1 Chancery Warrants, Nos. 8909, 8915, ff.; so in many other instances. 2 Chancery Warrants, File 200, No. 6411. 3 See Lucas, below, p. 319; see also above, p. 32. 4 See above, p. 32; below, p. 320. 5 See Lucas, ‘The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse,’ below. 6 See Prince, below, pp. 356-357; also above, p. 43. 7 Rot. Parl., 11, 43; Chew, Ecclesiastical Tenants-in-Chief, pp. 87-88. 8 See Prince, below, p. 365; also above, p. 43. ® See Neilson, “The Forests,’ below.

Introduction 81 like that of the household, was being shifted to the exchequer. The king’s great horses, partly supported through the forests, were under keepers, whose payments for their own wages and for those of the valets and grooms, as well as that for the fodder and special care of their charges, were assured by special writs addressed to the exchequer. For the king’s hunting dogs, again, provision was made in practically the same fashion.

The king’s household made its permanent imprint upon administration. It had produced the office of the privy seal with its clerks, already anational institution. Ifit failed to create a second national treasury, it retained a treasury of its own, while the chamber provided a privy purse. Better organization of the army and the diplomatic service was required in the course of time, but it was to be long before a permanent personnel appeared. Finally, some features of the forest system were retained for ages, provision for the king’s horses and his sport being continued up to modern times.



N | Oso English institution hasas been studied with ardor, and with little definite result, parliament. For asuch century and a half the larger part of its records have been accessible in print, and yet the more they are scrutinized, the more obscure and varied are the interpre-

tations put upon them.! This is not the place for a general review of parliamentary problems, yet they cannot be altogether avoided. The aim of this series of monographs is to present, in as objective a fashion as possible, a picture of the English government at work during the first ten years of Edward III. The obvious first step is to establish a list of the parliaments which met during that period — and immediately we are faced with the much disputed problem: what is a parliament? Writing with especial reference to the period now under review, Mr

Richardson and Dr Sayles have put forward a theory that only those assemblies are to be accounted parliaments which have been summoned by writs in which the word ‘parliament’ appears. Their remarks deserve quoting: It may be asked how a great council is to be distinguished from a parliament: can we rely on the form of the writ of summons, seeing that in previous reigns the formulas were not settled and undoubted parliaments were summoned by 1 An elaborate bibliography of recent work on parliament would overburden this essay. Access to the modern literature of the subject is easily obtained through the notable articles by H. G. Richardson and George Sayles in the Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, v (1927), 129-154; vi (1928), 71-88;

VI (1928), 129-135; vu (1930), 65-82; rx (1931), 1-18, and in E. H. R., xivir (1932), 194-203, and in Richardson’s articles in the Trans. R. H. S., 4th Series, x1 (1928), 137-183, and in the Law Quarterly Review, u (1934), 201-223, 540-570; much valuable chronological and_bibliographical material appears in the Interim Report of the Committee on House of Commons Personnel

and Politics (1932, Cmd. 4130). Much interesting new material will be found in Rotult Parliamentorum Anglie hactenus Inediti, edited by Richardson and Sayles (Camden Society, 3rd Series,

Vol. 11). We shall cite itas Rot. Parl. Inediti. Further material and comment is to be found in M. V. Clarke, Medieval Representation and Consent (London, 1936), Bertie Wilkinson, Studies an the

Constitutional History of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (Manchester, 1937), and J.E.A. Jolliffe, Constitutional History of Medieval England (London, 1938).


Parlhiament 83 writs which omitted the word parliamentum? There seems no doubt, however,

that although the practice had hitherto varied, the tendency from about the year 1300 had been to insert the word parliamentum in writs summoning to parliament: this is the invariable rule under Edward III.!

The last phrase of this quotation looks very much like begging the question; if we reject all summonses which omit the word parliamentum then indeed we can establish a rule that all true parliaments were sum-

moned under that style. But how can such an ‘invariable rule’ be deduced until we have proof that the word parliamentum from 1327 onwards was a technical term for an institution with a technically precise identity? There are really two problems here. First, did there exist during our period a technical distinction between parliaments and those other assemblies of lords spiritual and temporal and commons which these two writers describe as ‘great councils’? Second, is the word parhamentum the infallible touchstone which will distinguish the one from the other? From time to time a variety of functions have been suggested as distinctive of parliament, but it is now well established that great councils also performed identical duties. During the first half of the fourteenth century we find great councils legislating, adjudicating, taxing, and answering petitions.” It is safe to say that, in the present state of knowledge, there is no function which was the exclusive right of parliament during our period. An examination of what a particular assembly did will therefore provide no answer to the question whether that assembly was a parliament or not. Furthermore, the distinction between parliaments and great councils based upon their composition, which was currently drawn down to the days of Stubbs, has likewise proved to be illusory. An assembly of king, lords spiritual and temporal, and elected commons may be a parliament,

but it may equally well be (according to the distinction drawn by Mr Richardson and Dr Sayles), a great council.2 Conversely, it is generally recognized that many early assemblies were described by contemporaries as parliaments although the commons were not summoned tothem. The

examination of the composition of a particular assembly is thus of no

service whatever in determining its constitutional character, if the Richardson-Sayles theory is adopted.

The first of our two problems, then, leads us to the conclusion that 1 Richardson and Sayles, “The Parliaments of Edward III,’ Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, vu (1930), 67.

2 Detailed citations in support of this are collected by Richardson and Sayles in the Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, virr (1930), 75~76. 3 A striking example is the assembly at Lincoln on 10 Sept. 1327 (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 376; Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, vii, 1930, 66, 71), which will be discussed later.

84 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 neither the functions nor the composition of large assemblies will serve to determine whether they are parliaments or great councils. Is it still possible that the word parliamentum should possess some significance? Mr Richardson has provided rich material for attacking this, the second of the two problems involved in the passage quoted on an earlier page. This historic word began its public life as a colloquial expression which careful writers seemed to avoid. Official documents, in particular, hardly

ever employed it, and only very gradually did its popularity and undoubted convenience win it a place in the political vocabulary of Englishmen. Its original sense might vary considerably; any sort of conference or discussion might be a parliamentum.: ‘The expression ‘great council’ was equally loose in its significance, and had to wait even longer before it obtained the sanction of official recognition. ‘The chancery contented

itself with the expression colloquium et tractatus, which was its usual formula for summonses to all sorts of large deliberative conferences — and this term persisted in summonses to parliaments even when, in the fulness of time, parliament had become a true institution. It 1s likewise true that these later parliaments were summoned by writs which usually contained the word parliamentum as well as colloquium et tractatus. But it is impossible to maintain that parliamentum was a technical term until

there was an idea to which it could be attached with precision. Mr Richardson and Dr Sayles have shown that the word parliamentum was sometimes misused — from the standpoint of their theory — in various documents, official and unofficial. As explanation they cite the inevitable slips and even ignorances of contemporaries.? The explanation is surely too simple. If parliamentum were a technical term with a precise meaning, it would have been used, like other legal expressions during this period, with technical accuracy. It would, moreover, correspond to an institution with precise distinguishing characteristics. In short, it would be a distinction corresponding to a constitutional difference. ‘The prin-

cipal objection to the Richardson-Sayles theory is that it asserts that there was a verbal distinction, but no actual difference; and this objection

seems fatal. Soon after our period the powers and composition of parliament became settled and distinct from those of other assemblies and it therefore became possible, and indeed, necessary, to have a technical word for a 1 This is well discussed and illustrated by Richardson (Trans. R. H. S., 4th Series, x1, 1928, 137 ff).

2 Bull. Inst. of Hist. Research, vu (1930), 71. As we shall have occasion to observe later, there is a similar lack of definition in the use of the terms parliamentum and convocatio in connection with

the meetings held under the premunientes clause: see Felix Makower, Constitutional History and Constitution of the Church of England (London, 1895), p. 356, n. 14. 3 For the suggestion that a ‘right to petition’ may have constituted the difference between parliaments and other similar bodies, see below, p. 88.

Parliament 85 technical thing: that word was parliamentum. It 1s, however, an anachronism to apply such a distinction to our period, and especially to the earlier years of it. In 1327 the clear-cut technical distinction which separated parliaments from other great assemblies was still unformed, and to understand the position of these colloquia et tractatus! in the national economy we must forget the future and think solely of those who

lived during the first ten years of Edward III’s reign. If we confine our- | | selves to that period we shall find that the king frequently summoned assemblies of notable persons to give him advice generally, or on some

specific matter; sometimes, too, for other purposes (especially financial | and military) as well. One feature is common to them all, and that is the individual summons by writ under the great seal of the more distinguished of these persons, if not of all of them. The writ of summons will describe the meetings in various terms — colloquium, tractatus, parliamentum, constlium, deliberacio, or some combination of these expresssions — but the writ of summons is the product of a simple and significant fact: these persons are not, for the most part, ordinarily attendant upon the king and so must be summoned away from their ordinary activities. As soon as they have discharged the duties for which they were called, they will disperse. By the year 1327, moreover, about half these assemblies will be further enlarged by the addition of the commons — knights of the shires, citizens, and burgesses — whose election is ordered by writs in regular forms. In the course of history it was these larger assemblies attended by the

commons which became the most important. A prescient statesman with some political imagination might have guessed this even in 1336; but there still remained several fundamental questions. Was this particular type of assembly to acquire peculiar constitutional powers differ-

entiating it from other types of assembly? Was it to receive a name which should be technically its own? Was its composition to be more settled, or less settled, than that of the other types of large assembly then in common use? The fact that we can now answer these questions must not tempt us to ascribe this knowledge to the councillors of Edward

III; on the contrary, it will be a warning that when we single out for special emphasis those meetings which consisted of lords spiritual and temporal and commons, we are placing an emphasis on these assemblies

which contemporaries would have regarded as exaggerated, and are slighting those great councils which then occupied so prominent a place in public life. ’ The ancient formula colloquium et tractatus might even be used of very small casual consultations without implying the existence of any institution, e.g., the summonses dated 5 Nov. 1331, in Dignity of a Peer, 1v, 405.

86 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 Bearing these considerations in mind, we can now make a tentative list, such as the following: CHRONOLOGICAL List

of all assemblies summoned by writ under the great seal which comprised all the bishops,

abbots, and peers usually summoned; in the second column an asterisk indicates that the sheriffs of all the usual English counties were ordered to return two knights of the shire and two citizens and two burgesses from every city and borough; a dagger indicates that the premunientes clause was used, and a double dagger that it was repeated in a second letter. The third column shows the styles used in the writs, and the fourth, gives the reference to the text of the writs in Dignity of a Peer.

. _ |Compo- , ,

Date and Place of Meeting sition Style in Writs of Summons Page 1 Edw. III

3 Feb. 1327, Westminster * +f | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 111, 369 15 Sept. 1327, Lincoln * +t | Colloquium: tractatus (parliamentum in

| 2 Edw. III .

the margin of the roll) Iv, 376

7 Feb. 1328, York * +f | Parliamentum: colloquium: deliberacio 378

24 Apr. 1328, Northampton| * f Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 381

31 July 1328, York * ++ | Consilium: deliberacio: tractatus 384 16 Oct. 1328, Salisbury * +f | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 386 3 Edw. III

1328) 389

9 Feb. 1329, Westminster * Parliamentum (adjourned from 16 Oct.

23 July 1329, Windsor Colloquium: tractatus 390

| 4Edw. TI.

11 Mar. 1330, Winchester * +7 | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 391

9 July 1330, Osney Colloquium: tractatus 394 15 Oct. 1830, Nottingham Colloquium: tractatus 395

26 Nov. 1330, Westminster | * f+ Parliamentum: consilium: tractatus 397 5 Edw. III

(cancelled) 400

15 Apr. 1331, Westminster | * Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus

30 Sept. 1331, Westminster | * f Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 403

, 20 Jan. 1332, Westminster Colloquium: tractatus! 406 6 Edw. III 16 Mar. 1332, Westminster | * + + | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 408

9 Sept. 1332, Westminster * Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 411

4 Dec. 1332, York * Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus (prorogued to 20 Jan.) 416 20 Jan. 1333, York * Parliamentum (prorogued from 4 Dec.) 418 No great assemblies were summoned for the 7th regnal year 1 A writ of military summons dated 28 Jan. 1332 seems to refer to this assembly as a parliament (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 407).

Parliament 87 Date and Place of Meeting Compe. | Style in Writs of Summons | Page

9 Edw. Il

8 Edw. Il

21 Feb. 1334, York * ++ | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 422

19 Sept. 1334, Westminster | * ¢ ¢ | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 427

26 May 1335, York * ++ | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus 443 10 Edw. III 11 Mar. 1336, Westminster | * ¢ t+ | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus ASA 23 Sept. 1336, Nottingham | * +f | Colloquium: tractatus: consilium (in margin; also contained 4 elected and

37 nominated merchants) , 460 13 Jan. 1337, York * ++ | Parliamentum: colloquium: tractatus , (prorogued until the 11th year) 464

The exclusion of several assemblies of merchants, some nominated and

some elected, of all provincial convocations of clergy, and of a few assemblies of selected peers, still leaves us therefore with the above list of twenty-five assemblies to which the whole body of lords spiritual and

temporal was summoned. If we omit the seventh year of our period when the crisis of the Scottish war prevented normal political activities, we get an average of very nearly three summonses a year, and, considering the expense and difficulty of travelling, these summonses must have been burdensome to the prelates and peers, whose reluctance to obey was not without foundation. Of these twenty-five assemblies, four may immediately be set aside,

for no commons were summoned to them. We shall follow the convenient modern convention of calling them ‘great councils,’ although recognizing, as Mr Richardson and Dr Sayles have remarked, that this is not a contemporary technical term. We are left with twenty-one assemblies whose composition is identical:

all the bishops, an ascertainable list of abbots and peers, certain councillors, two knights from every county, and two citizens and two burgesses from a more fluctuating list of cities and boroughs. This, in fact, is the classical constitution of parliament, and we suggest that no study of parliament is complete which neglects any of them. In writing the history of parliament as an institution, all the assemblies which contained the later parliamentary elements must evidently be considered.

Furthermore, serious consideration must be given to the question whether we are justified in describing them, not merely as prototypes of parliament, but as true parliaments. In our period the writs vary slightly * Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, virx (1930), 69. The four great councils were all styled colloquium et tractatus, the last having the word consilium in the margin. They were on 23 July 1329 (Windsor), 9 July 1330 (Osney), 15 Oct. 1330 (Nottingham), 20 Jan. 1332 (Westminster).

88 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 in the style they employ. In fourteen of these twenty-one cases the words used are parlhamentum, colloquium et tractatus;! once we find parhamentum, colloquium et deliberacio,? and once parliamentum, consilium et tractatus,;? the two writs of prorogation use parliamentum simply.* As for the remainder, one is called colloquium et tractatus (with parliamentum in the margin),® another is a constlowm, deliberacio et tractatus,® and the third is colloquium et tractatus with consilium in the margin.’

What significance have these variations in terminology when the assembly, in any case, was the same, and the functions were the same? In any study of the history of parliament all these meetings should surely be considered as forming part of an unbroken series of parliamentary assemblies, with the sole peculiarity that the word ‘parliament’ had not yet become the exclusive technical designation for them. If we follow the insistence of Mr Richardson and Dr Sayles upon the need for the word ‘parliament’ in the writ to constitute a valid parliament, then we have to find some other category in which to place the

| three assemblies of 15 September 1327 (Lincoln), 31 July 1328 (York), and 23 September 1336 (Nottingham), and we shall have to find some ra-

tional distinction to accompany the verbal difference. It is quite incredible that there should be two distinct institutions consisting of the same people unless there was a substantial difference in powers or func-

tions to justify the technicality. These two authors have in fact felt the difficulty, and they suggest (with obvious hesitation) that assemblies of lords spiritual and temporal and commons under the style of parliamentum conferred a general right to petition, and that such assemblies without the word parliamentum gave no such right: In one respect, at least, parliament seems to be distinguished from a great council — in the one there is or ought to be a general opportunity to petition and a right to be answered, in the other this opportunity is not given, and the right is not recognised.®

In support of this novel theory® no evidence whatever is produced. 13 Feb. 1327 (Westminster), 24 Apr. 1328 (Northampton), 16 Oct. 1328 (Salisbury), 11 Mar. 1330 (Winchester), 15 Apr. 18331 (Westminster), 30 Sept. 1331 (Westminster), 16 Mar. 1332 (West-

minster), 9 Sept. 1332 (Westminster), 4 Dec. 1332 (York), 21 Feb. 1334 (York), 19 Sept. 1334 (Westminster), 26 May 1335 (York), 11 Mar. 1336 (Westminster), 13 Jan. 1337 (York). 27 Feb. 1328 (York). 3 26 Nov. 1330 (Westminster). 49 Feb. 1329 (Westminster), 20 Jan. 1333 (York).

515 Sept. 1327 (Lincoln). € 31 July 1328 (York).

7 23 Sept. 1336 (Nottingham). This assembly, besides the normal prelates, peers, and commons, also contained 37 nominated and 4 elected citizens and merchants who were called ‘to advise.’ 8 Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, vu (1930), 76. ° In the introduction to Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. x, this position is stated with less emphasis than in the Bulletin; it does not seem to have been expressly withdrawn, however.

Parliament 89 We are given no contemporary statements that this right existed in parliament or was absent in great councils. Indeed there is direct evidence

to the contrary. These two authors have themselves shown that on occasion petitions were answered in great council, sometimes even petitions which had not been answered in a previous parliament.! Examples will be found in Stubbs, C.H.E., m1, 459; cf. H. M. Chew, The English Ecclesiastical

pp. 172-179.

Tenants-in-Chief and Knight Service, especially in the 13th and 14th Centuries (London, 1932),

96 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 a baron;' on the rolls he is simply John Pecche, Simon Warde, or Henry de Percy. The only territorial titles during our period are the earldoms,

of which there were six at the beginning and ten at the end. Three of them are notable since the titles were derived from Scotland, the English

holders of them claiming by inheritance from Scottish ancestors.? An Irish title, Ormond, was conferred on James Butler, who had married Edward III’s aunt. There is a good deal of consistency in the summonses of magnates, although anomalies occasionally occur. Once summoned, a magnate is almost always resummoned,? and it is already general for his heir, if of full age, to succeed him. Once we find the son of an aged magnate summoned in his stead during his father’s lifetime;* it is also a general practice not to summon minors, although there are exceptions here too.®

In numbers, the lay peers below the degree of earl naturally varied, and even within the short period of the present ten years they were as few as forty-seven on one occasion, and as many as sixty-seven on another. Hence the lay lords together could hardly have out-numbered the bishops and abbots by more than a very small figure; generally both classes seem to be about evenly balanced. We now pass to the fourth class of persons who received individual

summonses, and with them we are conscious of approaching the true centre and heart of Edward III’s parliaments. A curious circumstance that must first be noted is that when writs are enrolled on the dorse of the close roll, those to the spiritual lords come first, then come the writs to the lay lords, and then the writs to the sheriffs for the elections to commons; last come the fourth group, whom we shall call the councillors. It seems, therefore, to have been felt that there was a distinct difference 1 It has been suggested that some of the lords of parliament were not barons but bannerets; on this obscure point see Tout, Chapters, u1, 296, n. 1; Tout, Collected Papers (Manchester, 1934), 11, 180.

2 They were Henry of Beaumont, earl of Buchan (by his marriage with a Comyn), Gilbert of Umfravill, earl of Angus (through his mother), and David Strabolgi, earl of Atholl (through his father who was regarded in Scotland as having forfeited the title). The facts were simple: Edward III summoned three pretenders to Scottish earldoms to his parliaments, on the assumption, no doubt, that their presence there would be politically useful; Edward I had adopted the same device, but modern theory has found it necessary to confer on them imaginary English baronies. 3 The suggestion that some of the irregularities may be due to military service in Scotland did not commend itself to the late J. H. Round, Family Origins (London, 1930), p. 191. Thus John Cobham was apparently summoned instead of his father, Henry, in Jan. 1333 (D*gnity of a Peer, tv, 418). Both before and after this exceptional summons among the lords, John was an elected knight of the shire for Kent. His father, Henry, died in 1339 but John’s summonses to the lords do not become a regular series for some years after (1350); his summons in 1333 seems to hive escaped G.E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom (London, 1887-1898; 2d ed., 1910— , 9 vols. published).

> John of Eltham (the king’s brother) was summoned as earl of Cornwall eleven times during our period, although he was only twenty when he died in 1836 (Cokayne, Peerage).

Parliament 97 between the councillors and the lords spiritual and temporal. Moreover, the prelates and peers are called to be ‘present with us and with the other prelates, lords and magnates’; the fourth group, however, are

to be ‘present with us and with the others of our council.’ Again it seems implied that the councillors will be rather a group apart from the

prelates and peers. Marked as it is, too much emphasis must not be placed upon this distinction; it seems the rule indeed with parliaments, but in the summonses to great councils where no commons were called, it is usual to find that the councillors and peers are named together in one list as receiving identical summonses.! Clearly, then, there was no great social gulf between the councillors and the peers (several of them in fact rose to be prelates and chancellors), but the grouping was an administrative one which was felt to be requisite in parliaments, although not in the great councils. In numbers the councillors were never very considerable in comparison

with the lords spiritual and temporal. During our period they reached a maximum of twenty-three in September 1334, although they had been but eight in February 1328. A list of all such councillors who had been summoned at any time to parliaments within our period would contain forty-two names, from which it will be apparent that fluctuations were frequent. Indeed, only two of them — Geoffrey Scrope, chief justice of the king’s bench, and William Herle, chief justice of the common pleas — were summoned to every one of the parliaments during this period. The group is sometimes referred to by modern historians as ‘the judges,’ but not all the judges were summoned, nor was a puisne judge who had once

been summoned necessarily re-summoned.? A seat on either of the benches did not carry with it a summons to parliament, therefore; nevertheless, the judicial element, as we have seen, was constant, if not strong. No doubt the legal business before parliament required the best expert

attention, but it must also be remembered that these judges did not confine themselves to legal problems. They were men of affairs and administrators who had sometimes reached the bench after careers in the civil service as well as at the bar. Bourchier was a soldier, who like Baynard, Willoughby, Cambridge, and Parning, had been knight of the 1 Dignity of a Peer, tv, 390, 395, 396-397, 406. In all three of the disputed parliaments of our period—1327 (Lincoln), 1828 (York), and 1336 (Nottingham)—the summonses of the councillors were enrolled separately, as for normal] parliaments. 2 It must be remembered that during this period judges were removed from court to court and

promoted or demoted in grade with bewildering rapidity. Many, but probably not all, of these changes appear in the patent rolls. When they can be traced they do not always coincide with summonses to parliament. Several English lawyers and judges were commissioned to the Irish bench, but the late Dr F. E. Ball, The Judges in Ireland (London, 1926), doubted whether some of them ever acted.

98 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 shire before becoming judge, while Travers’ tenure of a seat in the common pleas merely interrupted a long career at the head of the finance of Gascony.!. Many of them were, or had been, barons of the exchequer, while Travers and Norwich had been lord treasurer’s remembrancers and were therefore experts in the inner working of the accounting machinery. Useful as their legal learning was, it is clear that the king did not want merely judges, as such, but a few judges whose experience in many fields of activity made them especially valuable as advisors and in selecting them he was unfettered by tradition or prescriptive rights. Beside judges we sometimes find that there were summoned prominent serjeants-at-law, especially from those who were retained as king’s serjeants; unfortunately, the absence of reliable lists makes it difficult to say whether all of the latter class were summoned; Toudeby and Parning

were the best-known members of this group. On the border between law and finance were the barons of the exchequer who were occasionally summoned, although many of the judges held (or had previously held) these offices; two chancellors of the exchequer were summoned during our period (but not regularly), while the treasurer was also occasionally

called. |

Finally, there was among the councillors an interesting little group of clergy. Indeed, those chancellors and treasurers of the exchequer who were summoned were, in fact, clergy, well provided with archdeaconries and prebends; other councillors, however, were doctors of law, civilians, and diplomatists, like Shoreditch and Sampson, or canonists managing the king’s litigation at Avignon, like Adam of Murimuth and Weston. These, then, were the curiales, lay and clerical, men of undoubted ability, who in offices, in courts, on the bench, and on foreign missions bore

the hard, steady toil which alone would keep the machinery of state in : motion. In experience and in ability they could hardly have had any equals among the lords, save those prelates who had already obtained the rewards for similar careers of devotion and untiring work for the crown. It is hardly possible to imagine a mediaeval parliament working unless such men as these were at the centre. The very fact that they were to be initiators and actors, rather than mere onlookers in the work of parliament, must be taken as the explanation of the shifting character of the group; officials they were, but they were not present ex officio. As we approach the centre of parliament, it becomes more difficult to

speak with assurance on several matters. One in particular must be mentioned: did this group of separately summoned councillors coincide

with the king’s council? If it did, it would be sufficient to search the . ! For the nature of his office of constable of Bordeaux see Tout, Edward II, p. 392, and E.C. Lodge, Gascony under English Rule (London, 1926), p. 140.

Parliament 99 parliamentary writs in order to establish a list of the king’s council at any particular date. It has generally been recognized that this is quite an inconclusive method, and so it would seem that, although these persons were summoned as councillors, yet the council en bloc was not sum-

moned by means of individual writs to its members. It is highly probable, however, that some of them attended, if not openly, at least behind the scenes, while it would obviously be superfluous to issue an elaborate summons under the great seal to persons who held no high dignity, and

who were always at hand. We ought probably to assume, then, that the enrolled lists of councillors were not exhaustive of this group.! We now come to the large group of persons who were summoned to

parliament indirectly. Within this class are two main groups, clergy and laity. The position of the lower clergy in the early parliaments of Edward III is of particular interest, for the king was trying an experiment which, if successful, would have given us a very different sort of parliament from

that which in the event grew up. The story is complicated and only the main outlines have as yet been established. Unfortunately, the subject has been studied, except in recent years, entirely from political motives at moments when history was being used in connection with a succession of crises in ecclesiastical affairs.

In the thirteenth century it was admitted that the clergy were an order apart, and that their spiritual property was not subject to taxation unless they, as an organized body, gave their consent.?_ This assent was 1 The recent suggestion made by J. E. A. Jolliffe (The Constitutional History of Medieval England, London, 1937, p. 340), that the council was of the essence of parliament needs mention here in spite of

its exaggeration. He writes: ‘An assembly embodying prelates, magnates, knights and burgesses without the council, and summoned ad colloquium habendum, would be no parliament — in the reign of Edward III it would be called a Magnum Consilium. we learn that only three out of twenty-one bishops turned up, only three out of thirtyone abbots, and only thirty-four out of seventy-six peers. The disparity between the defaults of the clergy and those of the peers is striking; so, too, is the fact that the absentees included not only those who took little interest in politics, but such outstanding figures as John Stratford, bishop

of Winchester, and Adam Orlton, bishop of Worcester, and the Mowbrays, Zouches, Beauchamps, and Courtenays among the baronage. It is now generally agreed that the commons attended in fairly large numbers. The writs de expensis which they sued in order to get their wages show conclusively that many of them attended, and it 1s now known that those who did not sue the writ (or whose writ was not enrolled) cannot be assumed to have been absentees. We now know that 1 The parliament for Nov. 1330 was called at 31 days’ notice; the 40 days’ rule goes back to Magna Carta (1215), c. 14.

2 The summons is in Dignity of a Peer, tv, 389, and part of the record is in 4 Inst., 15-16; the report is in Year Books 3 Edw. III, foll. 18-19; for further references see H. G. Richardson, ‘Year Books and Plea Rolls as Sources of Historical Information,’ Trans. R.H.S., v (1922), 59. 3 Dignity of a Peer, tv, 408: procuratores seu excusatores, the latter probably being the ‘essoins in parliament’ mentioned in Year Books Edward II (Selden Society, London, 1934), xx, 38-40. By means of a proxy an absent prelate or peer could appoint deputies to serve in his place, undertaking to abide by whatever they had consented to in hisname. Alternatively, a letter might be sent praying to be excused from attendance. In the P.R.O. Special Collections 10 are some 450 ‘parliamentary

proxies’ within our period. Many of them are appointments of deputies to replace absent bishops, abbots, priors, and archdeacons, and a very few such proxies created by temporal lords. There are also a number of procurations by capitular bodies appointing their parliamentary representatives. When the crown knew that attendance was impossible the writs might omit the clause de comparendo personaliter (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 461).

4 Rot. Parl., 1, 67b. Even the lawyers failed to attend. > Dignity of a Peer, 1v, 418-419.

Parliament 107 not all writs were enrolled, and that wages were obtainable without suing the writ.! Writs to the sheriff were sometimes accompanied by covering letters. Thus in 1330 the sheriffs were required to return non-partisan knights or sergeants, for in the past there had been returned unscrupulous persons

who made it their business to prevent the discussion and redress of grievances;? similarly, the writs for the Easter parliament of 1328 recall

the losses caused to localities where parliament meets, owing to the tumult of armed followers, and so magnates and commons alike are told to bring only reasonable and orderly retinues.? The political and military situation is clearly responsible for the fact that more than half the parliaments during our period met outside Westminster — in the north (York, Lincoln, Nottingham) with variations in Oxford, Salisbury, Windsor and Winchester. When they arrived at the appointed place, the lords and commons generally heard a proclamation, partly based on the statute of Northampton, (c. 3, 1328), forbidding the bearing of offensive weapons by all degrees, while children are not to play ‘bar’ nor snatch at people’s hoods, under pain of imprisonment.* Then came a formal oration on the causes for summoning a parliament, delivered by some distinguished prelate or officer. On one occasion there were three such speeches, one by the archbishop of Canterbury, one by the bishop of Winchester (as chancellor), and finally one by Sir Geoffrey

Scrope, the chief justice. It was Scrope, in fact, who seems to have made the really important speeches which placed details of policy before the parliament with definite proposals upon which debate was to follow. After petitions were presented, a deliberative stage was reached, when it seems to have been most usual for the magnates to consult apart from

the prelates, but permanent grouping can hardly be discerned in this period. In due course each group returned and announced its decision by the mouth of a spokesman,® and sometimes even the individual mem1 The problem is discussed with references to recent controversial literature in Miss McKisack’s excellent study, Parliamentary Representation of English Boroughs, Ch. 1v; also J. G. Edwards, “The Personnel of the Commons in Parliament under Edward I and Edward II,’ Essays in Medieval History Presented to Thomas Frederick Tout (Manchester, 1925), pp. 197-214.

2 Foedera, u, Pt. 11, 800; Rot. Parl., 11, 443. Generally it was immaterial whether the person elected was a knight, as long as he was of knightly rank; for sergeants see Tout, Collected Papers, Il, 282, n. 1. 3 Dignity of a Peer, 1v, 383 ff.

4 2 Edw. III, c. 3; Rot. Parl., 1, 64; for ‘hot words’ between two lords in the presence of the king and council, see Rot. Parl., 11, 65a. 5 During our period it would seem that the commons were not always present at these opening

6 Rot. Parl., u, 64b. .


108 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 bers gave their opinion separately as well as in a group.!. Once we find the bishops and the proctors of the inferior clergy consulting together,’ and once we find the curious grouping of six named prelates, two earls

and four barons into one group, the rest of the earls, barons and the clerical proctors into-a second, and the knights of the shire and the commons into a third group.?- The admission of the commons into the work of deliberation seems directly due to the failure of many of the prelates and magnates to attend. In any case, the joint deliberation of the lay barons and the clerical proctors shows how very flexible the internal organization of parliament still was. Groups such as these sometimes drew up valuable reports upon the problems referred to them,* which provided reasonable bases for action. One further point needs

mention: the habit of separate deliberation in temporary groups has every appearance of being normal, and so a united public session of prelates and peers might be reserved for the preliminary orations, the statement of problems, the delivering of opinions, and the announcement of decisions. ‘These occasions seem to be what is meant by plein parlement

—or, to borrow the language of Geneva, plenary sessions. It is clear that plein parlement does not necessarily imply the presence of the commons. °®

Our period has a somewhat archaic air. Very shortly after its close parliament underwent profound changes. The knights of the shire became more prominent, and even the citizens and burgesses played a more

important part, with the result that the prelates and peers drew closer together as the commons grew more powerful.

As we have observed, this machinery could hardly work without clerical assistance. Hence we find the approval of set forms of words drafted beforehand: ‘un accord se fist en mesme le parlement en cest forme,’ the text whereof follows.* Occasional scraps of parchment which 1 Thid., p. 60b.

2 Ihid., p. 64b. 3 Ibid., p. 69. 4 See the long reports by lords and bishops separately, ibid., pp. 64-65.

5 Occasionally it is explicitly stated that the commons were present in plein parlement (Rot. Parl., u, 61, No. 6; 65, No. 5). More generally it is apparent that plenum parliamentum included the prelates, earls, and barons only (Rot. Parl., 1, 56-57; 64, No. 4). The suggestion made above that plenum parliamentum implies a united session of lords in contrast to sectional meetings is offered

with some hesitation as an alternative to the two conflicting views at present held. According to one of these, the word ‘full’ does not refer to the numbers present but to the openness of their proceedings (A. F. Pollard, The Evolution of Parliament, 2nd ed., London, 1926, pp. 33-34, 57-58); hence

even the councillors alone without magnates could describe themselves as plenum parliamentum. This view has been criticized by Wilkinson (Studies in the Constitutional History of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, Manchester, 1937, Ch. 1), who holds that the phrase implies the presence of the

general body of lords. The sense of the phrase may well have varied at different dates and in different contexts, and the suggestion above is confined to the period of the early years of Edward III. 6 Rot. Parl., u, 62, No. 9.

Parliament 109 appear to be drafts of resolutions or speeches are yet to be found in the Record Office. !

Judicature in parliament is a many-sided subject which is obscured rather than clarified by studying parliament as an institution. A body of such varied origins cannot be treated as if it were the court of common pleas. ‘The best approach to the jurisdictions of parliament, the council, chancery, and like bodies, is an administrative one; for the ultimate form is the result of developing procedures, rather than of developing institutions. Examining the procedures in use during our period, we find that parliament might employ several different forms. ‘Taking first the criminal cases, we see two well-defined courses. The first is that which brought

Lancaster to the block in 1322 and Mortimer in 1330. The fact that the former case was out of parliament, and the latter in parliament, is of little moment; the really important element is the procedure rather than the institution. In the former, the king assembled some magnates and ‘recorded’ his personal knowledge that Lancaster had committed various treasons which were notorious to all the world.2, Judgment immediately followed. Mortimer’s case ran the same course.* The recordatio was here represented by a schedule of charges, followed by a demand for judgment from the assembled earls and barons. In like manner Simon de Bereford was condemned, although the lords made the notable protest that Simon was not their peer and so they were not bound to judge him, whereupon the king promised that this case should not be taken as a precedent.® Clearly, the lords deemed it a duty based upon their feudal position to render judgment in such cases, and a feudal-romanesque

origin for the procedure may be suspected.® It is natural that there should have been dissatisfaction with this old procedure; in 1327 Lancas1 Chancery, Parl. Proc., 6/13, may be an example. E 175/2/18 seems to be notes of the king’s speech to a parliament. 2 The record of Lancaster’s trial is printed in Foedera, 1, Pt. i, 478, from the patent roll, and is recited verbatim in the reversal of the judgment in 1327 printed in Rot. Parl., 11, 3, from the close roll. For a fuller discussion of this and similar cases, see T.F.T. Plucknett, “Rise of the English State Trial,’ Politica, 11 (1937), 542-559.

3 This denial to the accused of any opportunity of defending himself is the result of the principle that the prosecution could only succeed if it made out an overwhelming case; defence was therefore superfluous; see J. F. Stephen, History of the Criminal Law of England (London, 1882), 111, 351-

354. For the incontrovertibility of the king’s word, see Frederick Pollock and F. W. Maitland, The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I (Cambridge, 1895), 11, 669, and the additional material in S. E. Thorne, ‘Courts of Record in England,’ West Virginia Law Quarterly, xu (1934), 350, n. 11.

4 Rot. Parl., u, 52. 5 Rot. Parl., 1, 53. 6 Slightly modernized by the association with it of the commons, this procedure seems to have

grown into the act of attainder. |

110 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 ter’s case had been reversed and condemned, but this did not prevent Mortimer’s trial by substantially the same method. The second course available in criminal trials was clearly based upon the common law. The prisoner, Sir Thomas de Berkeley, was arraigned, allowed to defend himself, and tried by a jury of twelve knights, for he, too, was not a lord of parliament. A third procedure, available both in criminal and civil cases, was the correction of error on the records of inferior courts, and even of errors in pleas held ‘by the council in the new exchequer.’? It is obvious from the year books that these proceedings in parliament closely resembled those in the common law courts, and were argued by counsel. They began by petition to the king in council; the approval of the petition was authority for issuing the writ of error which brought up the record complained of, and served as the commission by which parliament was empowered to examine and redress the errors.? Parliament was therefore exercising a jurisdiction delegated from the council, just as the chan-

cellor did at the end of the century. Throughout the middle ages error was but rarely brought in parliament, as far as we can ascertain, and such trace as it may have left would normally be on the roll of the lower court,* for as we have seen, parliament soon abandoned the attempt to keep a plea roll. Rather more frequently we find parliament acting as a court of discussion to which courts of first instance would adjourn difficult points. ® Examples of this are fairly frequent in the reign of Edward II, for which we have available modern editions of the year books and the accompany-

ing records.’ The best-known example is Staunton ». Staunton, just after our period,® which shows how a case could move from court to court, including parliament, without discontinuing the record — such removals could be made by the court itself when faced with a difficulty, or procured by a party if he successfully petitioned the king in council or in parliament.® Although some magnates may have attended pro1 Rot. Parl., 1, 57. The peers made a general protest saving the principle that they were not bound to judge commoners (ibid., p. 54). 2 Year Books 2 Edw. III, foll. 24-95. 3 Lancaster’s case is typical (Rot. Parl., 11, 3).

4 This is explained in Y. B. 33 Hen. VI, fol. 17. ,

Edw. III, fol. 14.

5 By 1366 the common pleas declined to recognize such activity of the council in the name of parliament, saying that the council ‘is not the place where judgments can be reversed,’ Y. B. 39 6 In the fifteenth century the exchequer chamber often took its place for this purpose. 7 Year Books Edward II (Selden Society), 1, 52; xu, 83; xvi, 179; cf. xx1, 58-60. 8 Year Books 13-14 Edward III (Rolls Series), pp. xxxvii—xliv, 18; Year Books 14-15 Edward ITT (Rolls Series), pp. 288-300. The judges showed some resentment at the proceedings and in fact. frustrated them. 9 Year Books Edward II (Selden Society), x1, 130.

Parliament 111 ceedings such as these, it is not necessary to assume that the whole peerage took part unless the case was closely associated with party politics;! on such occasions we may even find the commons mentioned as participating in the judgment. In more normal cases it is clear that the council, the judges, and the officials were those most concerned. Although these are all well-defined procedures, the bulk of parliament’s

judicial business falls into a fifth category. The matters involved are immensely varied in type and importance, but we suggest that they have one element in common, that is to say, their connection with adminis-

trative law. One of the results of the system of feudal law was that matters of public concern often arose in litigation between private parties,

and a further result was that the crown had claims of a feudal nature arising out of countless private estates. The office which managed most of this huge mass of business was the chancery, and it was recognized that proceedings in common law courts might often be interrupted while the chancery ascertained how the crown’s rights were affected. Every mediaevalist is familiar with some of the great heads of chancery’s common law jurisdiction — inquests of office, ad quod damnum, and the like.

To these must be added matters arising out of the king’s grants (and hence the interpretation of grants of, and the title to, franchises of all sorts), all kinds of litigation which had been suspended rege inconsulto, and all matters relating to lands in the king’s hand, whether by escheat, wardship, forfeiture, or otherwise. Much of this work was purely administrative and was transacted by the chancery clerks, but some of it

was quasi-judicial and came before the council. It is not surprising therefore to find that the close and patent rolls contain abundant traces of this sort of adjudication credited to parliaments. As Mr Richardson and Dr Sayles have observed: There come before parliament questions of property in which the king is, or is supposed to be, interested: if complaints are made as to the action of the escheators, or if there is a question of a man’s accountability for the issues of a manor, the case is likely ta be settled in parliament. Questions of franchises, disputes between town and gown and other university affairs, disputes between a bishop and his chapter, disputes between native and alien merchants, grants by the king, a countess’s dower, a whole miscellany of petty administrative questions are parliamentary business.? 1 Examples are Lancaster’s case (1327): Rot. Parl., 11, 5a; the record and judgment of Mortimer’s case was shown to the ‘knights of the shires and other commons’ as well as to the lords when it. was reversed for error in 1354: Rot. Parl., 1, 255 (cf. ibid., p. 257, No. 15).

2 Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, rx (1931), 5. Matters of this sort generally reached parliament after having been raised in earlier private litigation. If the crown wished to initiate litigation on these subjects, the chancery, exchequer, or king’s bench would be the more usual place. The reason given for this in 1342 is that ‘the king will not sue by petition in parliament for matters which concern him’

112 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 In a sense it is true, for the documents expressly associate parliament with these affairs; but it is unnecessary to assume that parliament, as we understand the institution, was troubled with any but the most important of them. ‘There is every cause for believing that, while parliament

was sitting, the council regarded itself as part of parliament, and its acts might therefore be described as the acts of parliament. It is likewise important to remember that parliament was a convenient occasion, since several officials and judges were taken momentarily away from their posts and assembled in conference. In short, whether we examine

parliament as a court or as an administrative body, it is for the most part only a reflection of the council, which exercised its powers in parlia-

ment, and was, in fact, the very core and heart of parliament. It is, however, to be noted that during our period we do get a few significant assertions of the dignity of parliamentary judicature: a decree of parliament ought not to be revoked save by a parliament;! it is ‘the highest place in the realm’? and the tampering with its endorsement is a serious offence, although the chancellor seems unaware of it.? Politically, too, parliament becomes more and more self-conscious and eventually will even oppose the policies of the court and council. We must therefore beware of over-simplifying the constitution of parliament, especially during this period. The growth of the idea of peerage and of the representative principle was certainly changing the political complexion of parliament so that finally parliament could consider itself as not only distinct from, but also as antagonistic to the council to some extent. But

even when this development had been accomplished, it was still the council that organized parliament’s work, and on many occasions spoke in parliament’s name without causing thereby any constitutional scandal. This close intimacy between parliament and council was in fact essential if parliament was to serve any useful purpose. All this, however, must

not lead us to the opposite extreme of denying the fact that there are broadly two different institutions. Thus the assertion that ‘a meeting only of the king, council and the justices to try placita and hear petitions was perfectly a parliament’* would be much better expressed in terms of

functions rather than of institutions; we should prefer to say that the council, a small group of official experts surrounding the king and forming

the heart and core of parliament, would often describe its decisions as (Year Books 16 Edward III, Rolls Series, 1, 110). In Ireland, however, on one occasion at least the king presented a petition through the justiciar (M.V. Clarke, Fourteenth Century Studies, Oxford, 1937, p. 22; Harly Statutes of Ireland, 1, 263 ff.), although not on that sort of subject.

1 Rot. Parl., u, 7. 2 Ibid., p. 24, No. 31. 3 Ibid., p. 45b.

4 Jolliffe, Constitutional History of Medieval England, p. 341. :

Parliament 113 those of parliament, especially in matters which did not raise important questions of politics. That is by no means the same as the assertion that institutionally council and parliament were one. Taking all the evidence, we suggest that parliament was nominally, rather than actually, the crown of the judicial edifice, and as the four-

teenth century advances, its position was hardly improved. The rise of the present appellate powers of the house of lords dates mainly from post-mediaeval times,’ when a thin stream of mediaeval authority was

| rapidly developed. If we seek an answer to the very pertinent question which Mr Richardson and Dr Sayles have posed,? we may suggest that one of the principal reasons why our parliament did not go the way of the French parlements and become an assembly of jurists and adminis-

trators sitting as a court lies in the fact that the council was strong enough to dominate the situation; parliament’s judicial powers are as yet indistinguishable from those of the council,* and the council never parted

with its own, but used them freely out of parliament as well asin. The council, moreover, was continuously available, although parliaments be-

came less frequent soon after our period. The growing prominence of political, peerage, and representative elements in parliament was accompanied by a corresponding decline in the position of the conciliar and offcial group. These persons, judges and others, were reduced before the

end of our century to the position of mere assessors to the peers. This turn of events must have contributed largely to the decline of parliament

as a judicial body, and we need hardly be surprised that litigants addressed their complaints to the council, chancery, or exchequer, where they could be sure of their affairs coming before expert officials who were

equally competent in administrative and in judicial matters. Above all, the council supervised the working of the common law side of chancery which handled the vast business arising out of the crown’s feudal rights, and so parliament was likewise prevented from becoming a true feudal jurisdiction for practical purposes. It is now time to turn to the petitions, which, as we have remarked, were the principal method by which parties could set in motion and direct the machinery of parliamentary judicature. It was not the primary duty of the commons to present petitions — even from their own constituents; the city of London will therefore send its officers, and not its representatives, to present its petitions.* Still less was parliament at this time a body that could be petitioned. ‘The almost universal form 1'W. 5S. Holdsworth, History of English Law (London, 1922), 1, 370.

2 “The King’s Ministers in Parliament,’ #.H.R., xtvi (1932), 397. 3 Jurisdiction in error had become an exception by 1366 (see above, p. 110, n. 5), but after this date such proceedings in parliament are rare. * Rot. Parl., 1, 54b; cf. C. H. MclIlwain, High Court of Parliament (New Haven, 1910), p. 208.

114 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 of address is to the king and his council, and generally parliament is not even mentioned. The evidence from our period as to the procedure governing petitions is somewhat obscure. We do hear, however, of both receivers and triers of petitions in 1333.1 The receivers for English petitions were Edenestow (the clerk of the parliament), Sir Thomas de Bamburgh, and Sir Thomas

de Evesham, while the receivers for petitions from Gascony, Wales, Ireland, and the Isles were Mr John de Blebury and Sir Thomas de Brayton.? All of them were senior chancery clerks. In the reign of Edward II it was certainly the duty of receivers to enroll the petitions, Jeaving spaces for the triers to insert the answers, and to assist the triers,®

and they may have done so during our period. Several problems are raised by the fewness of these enrollments during our period. It has been suggested‘ that this indicates a diminution in the number of petitions, and that this diminution was due to the competition of the chancellor’s equitable jurisdiction. A simpler explanation may perhaps be found in purely procedural changes: thus, it may be that enrolment ceased because the use of the original petitions, suitably endorsed and forwarded to the administrative departments concerned, was found to be more expeditious. There is also the possibility that some of the petitions printed in the Rotult Parliamentorum from Hale’s transcripts were originally enrolled.”

More important than the receivers were the auditors,® as they were 1 Not 1332, as in Bertie Wilkinson, The Chancery under Edward III (Manchester, 1929), pp. 81, n. 2, 82, 150 ff., etc.; Rot. Parl., u, 68. 2 Biographies of all five will be found in Wilkinson, op cit., pp. 151-5.

3 Richardson and Sayles in E.H.R., xtvu (1932), 196, n. 5., 380, n. 1; cf. the rolls of petitions mentioned above, p. 93. 4 By Richardson and Sayles, ibid., pp. 379-380; also Ludwik Ehrlich, ‘Proceedings against the Crown 1216-1377,’ Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History, ed. Paul Vinogradoff (Oxford, 1921), Vol. v1, [No.] xii.

5 It is very improbable that the chancellor exercised any equitable jurisdiction during our period. Care must be taken to distinguish the casual granting of favors from the settled jurisdiction to ad-

minister equity to all comers. This latter cannot be placed with certainty before the reign of Richard IL. Similarly, the occasional granting of relief by parliament in circumstances which later were typical of equity (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 47; cf. Plucknett, Concise History of the Common Law, London, and Rochester, N.Y., 2nd ed., 1936, p. 161, n.) does not show that parliament had

equitable jurisdiction. Dr Wilkinson antedates the rise of equity by a whole century (Chancery under Edward ITI, pp. 48 ff.). 6 As Wilkinson suggests, op. cit., p. 81. It is clear that at this moment extended use was being

. made of filed writs (much the same as filing cards today) in the exchequer (Select Cases in the Exchequer of Pleas, ed. Hilary Jenkinson, Selden Society, London, 1927, p. exxvii). Cf. below, p. 115, n. 4. As Maitland, (Memoranda de Parliamento, p. lxv) says, enrolment was all along something of a luxury. 7 This is quite certain in some cases (Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 104, 141).

8 Auditor was a word which might imply (as it does here) judicial functions: at this moment there were auditors in the parlement of Paris, and the high court of the Rota consisted of auditors; cf. McIlwain, High Court of Parliament, p. 251.

Parliament 115 generally termed, although in 1333 they are styled triers. English petitions were to be tried by three prelates, two ‘barons,’ and four justices; the rest were assigned to another group of three prelates, two ‘barons,’ and two justices. The preponderance of magnates clearly shows some distrust of the curzales and the rise of the pretensions of the peers. Both groups were empowered to call in the chancellor, treasurer, and the chief justice if they saw fit. The rules laid down for them were simple. Peti-

tions were to be kept by the clerks (possibly the receivers) under the seals of the triers until dealt with. Those which had been tried and determined were to be sent under the triers’ seals to chancery.! Petitions reserved for the king himself were to be sent to him under seal and

tried by him and any assistants he might call in. There is evidently here an attempt to prevent tampering with petitions, which was complained of in 1330.?

We have remarked that the commons in parliament were not there primarily to put forward petitions. Certain steps in the development of parliamentary petitioning, however, are to be found during our period? in those common petitions‘ which are engaging the attention of constitutional historians. The varying uses of this phrase, and the fluctuating meanings of la commune, les communes, and la communaulte make the

study particularly difficult. It may be that these common petitions at first originated outside of parliament (as petitions regularly did) and that the commons in parliament were induced, by a species of lobbying to take an interest in them.’ Some of these petitions concerned purely private or sectional interests, but from time to time we find more general

matters involved. In either case it is probable that during our period common petitions went direct to the council instead of to receivers and auditors.® This procedure was obviously open to abuses, and in 1327 the commons took the precaution of putting the common petitions on an 1 Observe that enrolment is thus unnecessary. 2 Rot. Parl., u, 45b. 3 By 1352 they were formally invited to petition (Rot. Parl., 11, 237, No. 8). * Contemporary terminology is varied and obscure. For a long time occasional petitions had been presented in the name of the community of England, which seems to mean that the promoters re-

garded their grievance as nation-wide. It is difficult to distinguish this type from another (often beginning prient les communes) which implies that the commons in parliament are the petitioning body. A third stage is reached when additional emphasis is conferred upon this type by collecting

the petitions of the commons and putting them together on a single roll. By the end of the fourteenth century such a roll may be headed ‘common petitions.’ It is convenient to use this later expression for those few examples which occur during our period, viz., in 1327 (Rot. Parl., u, 7, and Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 116), in 13833 (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 224), and in 1334 (Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 232). See generally H. L. Gray, Influence of the Commons on Early Legislation (Cambridge, 1932).

5 Thus the commons might ‘disavow’ (Rot. Parl., 11, 11, No. 38) as well as ‘avow’ (Rot. Parl., 11, 203, No. 30) as they saw fit.

6 Richardson and Sayles in E.H.R., xivir (1932), 388.

116 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 indented roll in order to safeguard their authenticity.!. By the end of the reign, the common petitions come to occupy the most important place on the parliament roll. This discussion of common petitions naturally leads to the next subJect, that is to say, legislation. Here again many questions must be left to the political and constitutional historians, such as the definition of statutes and ordinances, the influences which moulded them, their content, and their legal characteristics.2, Here we are concerned with only part of the problem, legislation as one of the normal activities of parliament. Parliament now had a large share in stimulating the government to legislate, and, on paper at least, a well-nigh exclusive right of enactment. ‘The common petition was an important element in this development, for it was the origin eventually of most of those statutes which were parliamentary.? Whether all statutes during our short period were based on common petitions is hardly provable, for there are serious gaps

in the extant collections of parliamentary documents.* Two or three propositions, however, can be established. First, although we have only three common petitions surviving during our period, one of them seems to have been wholly ineffectual. ‘This 1s Chancery, Parliament Roll, No. 4.5 Although the heading asserts that ‘ascuns furent accordez en dit parlement de faire en estatut,’ no such statute seems to have been

actually made and published; later parliaments had to return to the attack in order to obtain, years later, the legislation desired. This seems to have been often the case, but it 1s difficult to conclude whether recommendations were kept in mind by the government, or whether they were

reiterated in fresh common petitions.* In either case, there remains an impression of continuity from year to year in the work of legislation which testifies to the growing position of parliament as a continuous ele-

ment in national life. ,

Secondly, it is clear that during our period the petition and the answer

1 Rot. Parl., u, 11, No. 38; the original seems to be Chancery, Parliament Roll, No. 1 (Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, tx, 1931, 16). 2 See in general, Mcllwain, High Court of Parliament; T. F. T. Plucknett, Statutes and Their Interpretation in the First Half of the Fourteenth Century (Cambridge, 1922), and Richardson and Sayles, “The Early Statutes,’ Law Quarterly Review, L (1934), 201-224, 540-571.

| 3 Non-parliamentary legislation is henceforth extremely rare; there is none during our period, for the assembly of 1336 at Nottingham is indistinguishable from a parliament in all but name. 4 Gray, Influence of the Commons, p. 286.

° There is an English abstract in Rot. Parl., 11, 376-377. The text is now available in Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 231-239. 6 The date of the petition is 8 Edw. III, but c. 15 became law only in 9 Edw. III, st. 2; c. 16 in 10 Edw. III, st. 2; ec. 3 in 10 Edw. ITI, st. 1, c. 2; ec. 8 had no result until 18 Edw. III, st. 3; c. 2 and c. 9 remained fruitless until 31 Edw. III, st. 1, c. 4. So, too, c. 20 of the petition of 1 Edw. Hl received the royal assent (Rot. Parl., 11, 9, 11) but no statute was made until 5 Edw. II], c.6. Such instances (which could easily be multiplied) suggest a certain degree of continuous pressure.

Parliament 117 to it were only the basis, in a general way, of the resulting statute. The council, with the expert help of the judges, acted not only as a drafting committee, but also exercised a wide discretion in amending the substance of the demand. Indeed, there is one chapter of the common petition of 1327 which duly received the royal assent, but failed altogether of enactment.! Thirdly, it is undoubted that many of the parliaments of our period produced no statutes whatever. Of the twenty-one parliamentary as-

semblies now under consideration, only seven have left us statutes. Nevertheless, the statute roll during our period is made up with regularity, and (so far as is known) with the omission of only one statute. ? From 1328 onwards, each statute is followed on the roll by the form of the writ which was directed to every sheriff in England requiring him to

proclaim it. We thus have a systematic method of enrolment and a settled practice of publication. The one product of parliamentary activity, therefore, which is regularly recorded is its legislation. If we examine the subject matter of the statutes passed during the ten years of our period, we shall find confirmation of what seems an irresistible conclusion — namely, that the legislative side of parliament’s work has by now become its most characteristic and important activity, second only to its general political and adminis-

trative supervision of the country. The particular ten years before us are not conspicuous in the general legislative history of England either for the volume or the importance of their output, but even so the following notes will show that parliamentary statutes had an assured position at the very centre of legal and constitutional life. On the constitutional side we have the important statutory pronouncement requiring annual parliaments*— which during our period was substantially observed — and an impressive statement that the course of Justice was not to be diverted by letters under the small seals set up a standard to which practice slowly conformed.* + Numerous branches of

the royal prerogative were defined and limited; two of these reforms seem to have been particularly urgent, those touching purveyance and the prerogative of pardon. Purveyance included the pre-emption of food at prices fixed conveniently low, against mere promises to pay which seem often to have been forgotten by the crown; it might also comprise the use of horses and carts 1 Rot. Parl., u, 9, No. 19, 11, No. 19.

29 Edw. III, st. 2 (on the transport of coin) is on the fine roll only. “The entries on the first statute roll are contemporary from about the year 1299’ (Richardson and Sayles, Law Quarterly Review, t, 1934, 213). 3 4 Edw. III, c. 14 (which London had petitioned for in 1327; Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 134 [27]). * 2 Edw. IT, c. 8; for its enforcement see Plucknett, Statutes and Their Interpretation, pp. 142-143.

118 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and the services of carters. The right to exact these dues was certainly old, and the abuse of them was by no means recent. The great charter, | the statute of Westminster the first, and the Articult super Cartas had

already stated a few important limitations, but during the reign of Edward II purveyance became a major grievance, constantly appearing

in the constitutional documents of the time. In our period a serious attempt was made to deal with the problem by statute. In 1330 it was enacted that the value of goods and services taken should be appraised

by sworn valuers, that the quantities should be measured by razed bushels and not by heaped bushels, that cartage should be voluntary, and that purveyance should be made only by the king, the queen, and their children.1. The very next year, however, a statute declared that the abuse of purveyance was as serious as ever, re-enacted the valuation clause of 1330, and required the making of tallies for goods and services

purveyed. The most remarkable of its provisions, however, was the declaration that if any purveyor executed his office otherwise than in the

mode prescribed by the statute, he should be arrested and committed to gaol, and, if convicted, he should suffer the pains of larceny.? This was a drastic extension of the provision of the Articult super Cartas which

: in 1300 had made purveyance by persons unauthorized a statutory larceny, and therefore capital; properly commissioned purveyors under the Articult of 1300 who exceeded their powers were merely imprisoned;? they, however, were now (1331) put under the shadow of the gallows. This was a remarkable provision, for contemporary law was very loath to extend the scope of larceny beyond the extremely narrow limits which the common law imposed upon it and declined to apply it to persons who took goods under color of right. Whether any purveyors were actually hanged it is impossible to say, but it is equally impossible to believe that

the terrors of this statute prevented future abuses. It was in fact reenacted five years later by a statute which also dealt with a special aspect of purveyance, namely, the taking of ‘great horses.’ The existing system of sending special keepers of the king’s horses for this type of

purveyance was replaced (according to the statute) by charging the sheriffs with the task, while commissioners were to be appointed to hear

and determine the accusations which hung over the late keepers.’ No permanent benefit seems to have resulted, and purveyance continued to be a serious grievance throughout the reign of Edward Ill. The statutes 14 Edw. III, c. 3; c. 4 confirmed Articult super Cartas (1300) as to purveyance. 25 Edw. ITI, c. 2 (1331). 3 Articuli super Cartas, 28 Edw. I, ec. 1 and 2 (1300).

* Plucknett, Concise History of the Common Law, p. 396 fi. ; ° 10 Edw. III, st. 2, ce. 1-3 (1336).

Parliament 119 of 1331 and 1336 both confirm the limitation placed by the Articuh super Cartas on the jurisdiction of the court of the steward and marshal of the household, apparently in order to exclude it from dealing with contracts of purveyance. The legislation on pardons during these ten years is equally volumi-

nous. The importance of the subject is evident when it is remembered that the royal pardon was the only point at which the criminal law became in any degree flexible. For example, the common law treated all sorts of homicide as felony. It knew nothing of the modern distinctions between murder and homicide by misadventure, in self-defense, by negligence, and similar refinements of modern law. If questions of this sort

were to be raised at all, it was only in the form of an application for a royal pardon, and, as a matter of legal history, these distinctions only entered the law at last as a result of further statutory regulation of pardons during the reign of Richard II and subsequently. The royal power of pardon therefore fulfilled an important function in rendering the crimi-

nal law more just, but it is equally evident that a power so wide, exercised by the monarch without guidance (in many cases) from the judiclary, was open to grave abuses. Moreover, by common law and statute the procedure in several civil actions was conducted under criminal forms, and outlawry might be incurred by the persistent failure of defendants to

appear. The serious results of this outlawry were frequently remitted by royal pardons.

On the criminal side, a statute of 1328 recites that malefactors are greatly emboldened by the fact that charters of pardon are so easily obtainable for homicide, robbery, felony, and other trespasses against the peace; wherefore it was enacted that charters should not be granted save in the already well-established cases of homicide in self-defence or by misadventure.? This statute undoubtedly went too far in restricting

pardons and left many circumstances in which (as criminal law then stood) a pardon was the only available way of doing justice. Nevertheless it was re-enacted in 13303 and again in 1336. This last statute* made the further requirement that the validity of a pardon should expire _ unless the grantee should find within three months six mainpernors who would enter into bonds for his good behavior. This was in practice an

impossible condition, and the statute was unworkable; it became the custom, in fact, for the crown to insert in charters of pardon a clause 1 The historical importance of pardons is discussed by Stephen, History of Criminal Law, u1, 38-43. Legislation on benefit of clergy had a similar result; see briefly, Plucknett, Concise History of the Common Law, pp. 395-396.

2 2 Edw. III, c. 2, ‘ou le Roi le poet faire par son serment.’ 34 Edw. III, ec. 13. #10 Edw. ITI, st. 1, c. 3.

120 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 dispensing with this statute. The real solution to this difficult problem was not found until 1390 when it was enacted? that no pardon should

avail for what later statutes called wilful murder; this was a sound distinction which allowed the crown to experiment in the punishment of those homicides which did not amount to wilful murder. The problem of pardons of outlawry in civil proceedings was different, for private as well as public interests were involved. It was therefore enacted in 1331 that outlawry after judgment® should not be pardoned until the plaintiff was satisfied of the damages he had recovered, and that no pardon of outlawry incurred before appearance should be effective until the outlaw had actually surrendered to the court.‘ As for ecclesiastical legislation, the reign opened, as might be expected,

with a gesture of friendliness towards the church and a declaration that no illegal seizures of episcopal lands and goods should take place'— a promise which the church caused to be reiterated thirteen years later.® The crown likewise promised not to demand more corrodies for its dependents than were due.” Another clause in the same statute, however, reminds us that relations between church and state could hardly be free from friction as long as both exercised criminal jurisdiction. It is known that a large majority of the persons who were indicted were acquitted at their trial;* the statute® adds that many persons so acquitted take proceedings in ecclesiastical courts against members of the grand jury for defamation. It therefore gives the latter remedy by a writ of prohibition. This no doubt helped honest jurors and established the judicial immunity of the grand jury, but robbed the victims of malicious prosecutions of their only effective remedy until the nineteenth century.!° Fair promises and the adjustment of jurisdictional details did not exhaust Edward III’s ecclesiastical policy, and the great crisis in the middle 1 This is explained in the preamble to 5 and 6 Will. and Mary, c. 13 (1694). 213 Rie. II, st. 2, ¢. 1. 3 That is, consequent on defaults after the capias pro fine. 45 Edw. III, c. 12. 5 1 Edw. III, st. 2, ec. 2.

6 14 Edw. III, st. 4 (1340). A very interesting judicial opinion based on this statute is printed by Richardson and Sayles in Law Quarterly Review, L (1934), 555, n. 73. 71 Edw. ITI, st. 2, c. 10. 8 In Kent in 1322 out of 64 persons indicted, 57 were acquitted; in Staffordshire in 1597 we still find that 12 trials produced only one conviction (Kent Keepers of the Peace, ed. B. H. Putnam, London, 1933, p. xxxvi; Staffordshire Quarter Sessions, ed. S. A. H. Burne, William Salt Archaeological

Society, London, 1933, m1, xxv). Very similar results were obtained in B.H. Putnam, Select Proceedings before the Justices of the Peace in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (Ames Foundation, London, 1938), p. exxvii.

91 Edw. III, st. 2, ¢. 11. 10 Where indictments were ‘procured,’ there was the ineffective writ of conspiracy and a statutory action on the case (8 Hen. VI, c. 10); as to which see P. H. Winfield, History of Conspiracy and Abuse of Legal Procedure (Cambridge, 1921), pp. 107, 120-121.

Parliament 121 of his reign with its radical legislation on provisors and praemunire can be seen approaching when in 1330, and again in 1331, parliament formally confirmed and re-enacted! the most contentious of his grandfather’s statutes, the statute of Carlisle,? which in 1307 forbade in sweeping terms the export of money by ecclesiastical bodies, whether by way of taxation or by way of contribution to the mother-houses of English priories.

This last measure might be equally well considered as part of the voluminous economic legislation of the period. In 1335 there was a general statute of money® whereby sterling was not to be melted, bullion

was not to be exported, and the exchanges were to be regulated. In order to enforce these provisions, tourist traffic (7.e., pilgrims) was all to pass through the port of Dover.* Informers were promised rewards, searchers were commissioned, and innkeepers were sworn to search their guests. The same concern to maintain the wealth of the country may perhaps lie behind the great sumptuary statute® of the following year, 1336. If overeating impoverished the individual, did it not thereby im-

poverish the realm? And so, whereas the rich ruin themselves with costly viands, and others ruin themselves trying to keep up with the rich, thus doing great harm as well to the body as to the soul, it was therefore enacted that the number of courses and messes, and the composition of the sauces, should not exceed the limits set out in the statute. A commercial experiment of great interest was made in 1328, when all staples in England and on the continent were abolished.® These institutions were the machinery by which trade was brought under the control of the fiscal authorities, since it had to pass through certain ports. In accordance with mediaeval tradition, the merchants in those ports were organized for their own self-government, and in practice seem to have established a monopoly of the trade in foreign goods; it was very possibly the jealousy of those who were excluded from this monopoly which prompted the abolition of the staples. Seven years later it became apparent that abolishing the staples had not prevented the traders

: in foreign goods from re-establishing their monopoly through informal arrangements, and so the statute of York (1335)7 explained in a long preamble that merchants in ports of entry have prevented foreign importers from selling to anyone except themselves, thus enhancing the price of foreign wines, victuals and provisions; this (the commons tact14 Edw. III, c. 6; 5 Edw. ITI, ec. 3. 235 Edw. I. 39 Edw. ITI, st. 2. 4 Cross-channel fares were fixed by 4 Edw. III, c. 8 (1330). 510 Edw. III, st. 3. 6 9 Edw. III, c. 9. 79 Edw. ITI, st. 1, ¢. 1.

122 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 fully observe) is to the great damage of the king and all the nobility, and the oppression of the people. One is tempted to connect this emphasis on the cost of foreign table-delicacies with the sumptuary statute of this same year just mentioned. If that is so, the problem was attacked from two sides. The sumptuary law tried to reduce unreasonable con-

sumption, while the statute of York proceeded to enact that foreign merchants could sell to anyone, within franchise or without, and that if any town endeavored to restrict this freedom of trade, its franchise should be forfeit. A point of great constitutional interest is contained in a clause which declares that this provision shall override all charters and franchises. The remaining economic legislation of our period is more normal. Cloth measures were standardized? in 1328, while two statutes? of 1328 and 1331 deal with the situation when a fair has been continued for a

longer time than was permitted by the charter or by custom. The former threatened the lord thereof with the loss of his fair, and the latter imposed on traders the loss of twice the value of all goods sold out of time. It is in the realm of law reform, however, that the quality of a legislature is best seen, and during our period it is undeniable that parliament

seriously endeavored to amend and strengthen the administration of justice. Powers of trial, as well as of enquiry, were given to justices of the peace* in 1328, and in 1330 sheriffs were forbidden to bail persons committed by them save for lawful cause;> the commissions of assize were strengthened by restricting them to men ‘who know the law,’ and only justices of one of the benches were to be put on oyer and terminer.®

The ordinary justices of gaol delivery were to have jurisdiction over prisoners committed by the justices of the peace;’ even justices on nisz prius were given some criminal duties,® and all were required to return their criminal records annually to the exchequer. ®

Mediaeval law made little provision for what we may loosely call appellate proceedings, including under that head all means of reviewing in superior courts the judgments given and verdicts found in lower courts. 1 Tt was a difficult question how far a general statute would override local privileges by charter; see Plucknett, Statutes and Their Interpretation, pp. 138-139; Richardson and Sayles in Law Quarterly Review, u (1934), 552, 554; Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 128, No. 5.

29 Edw. III, c. 14. 39 Edw. III, c. 15; 5 Edw. III, ec. 5. 42 Edw. III, c. 6 54 Edw III, c. 2. 8 9 Edw. ITI, ec. 2.

’ & Edw. III, ec. 2.

8 4 Edw. III, c. 11. ® 9 Edw. ITI, st. 1, ¢. 5.

Parliament 123 The only way of reviewing a jury’s verdict was by the writ of attaint, whereby a jury of twenty-four was invited to convict the former jury of perjury. This remedy was originally available only to reverse the recognitions of assizes, but was now extended to verdicts given in actions of trespass, both on the main issue, and on the assessment of damages. ! The procedure was soon afterwards made very speedy,? and further ex-

tended to trespass brought without writ if the damages exceeded forty shillings.?

‘False judgment’ was a procedure equivalent to a writ of error where the judgment complained of was given in a seignorial or county court.

It frequently happened that the plaintiff denied the accuracy of the lower court’s record of its proceedings, and, if so, trial would have to be by battle between the champions of the plaintiff and the court respec-

tively; by 1 Edw. III, st. 1, c. 4, jury trial was substituted. The next chapter of the same statute allows the averment to be tried by a jury when a party disputes the truth of a bailiff’s return; this was already possible in respect of returns made by a sheriff. The little known jurisdiction of the steward and marshall of the household was brought into line with other courts of record by enacting that error should lie from it to the king’s bench.®

One other statute of this nature is principally interesting for the evidence it affords of a changing view of legislation. Its history begins with a petition presented to the king and his council early in the spring of 1328 by Robert Fitzpayn and his wife showing that, in a sctre facias to execute a fine of lands brought against them by Robert Burnel the sheriff falsely returned that the Fitzpayns had been garnished to appear in the king’s bench. In consequence, the Fitzpayns did not appear and judgment went against them. Thereupon the petitioners state that they brought a writ of deceit against Burnel, the sheriff, and the garnishers, and the falseness of the return was duly proved; the court, however, refused to proceed any further without the advice of the council — hence this petition. The reply to the petition was a short sentence granting that a writ of deceit should lie where garnishment had been falsely re-

turned, in the same way as it already lay where summons had been falsely returned.® A lengthy writ dated 16 May 1328 ordered the justices of the king’s bench to proceed “as it is agreed by the king and his council in the present parliament at Northampton.’’ 11 Edw. ITI, st. 1, c. 6.

2* Westminster 5 Edw. III,II,c.c. 6. $5 Edw. WI,c. 7. | 39. 5 5 Edw. III, ec. 2. 6 Ancient Petitions, No. 13130, printed in Rot. Parl., 1, 26; the earlier stages of the case are in Y.B. 1 Edw. III, fol. 24. 7 C.C.R. 1827-1330, 289.

124 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 So far, then, we have a specific case disclosing a specific defect in the existing procedure, followed by a reply to a petition, which in general terms relieved the petitioner and all others who in the future might be

in his predicament. Such a situation was not unusual in the years before our period opens, a well known example being the case of Butler v. Hapeton which soon acquired the name and character of a ‘statute of

waste.’! ‘That, however, was in the reign of Edward I; in our period more precise views were held, and adjudication could be separated from

legislation — at least in an easy case such as this. Consequently we find that the general remedy which was given in answer to the specific grievance of Fitzpayn was carefully separated, re-drafted, and duly pub-

lished as the statute 2 Edw. III, c. 17. At least five notable reforms (other than those mentioned above) took

place during our period. An improved procedure of indenting indictments was designed to prevent them from being embezzled.? The wellnigh impossible task of getting all the executors, who were joined as co-

defendants in actions, present in court at the same time was met by allowing cases to proceed against whichever appeared first, without wait-

ing for his fellows*— and the Year Books show that this reform was sorely needed, and gratefully appreciated. Another means of indefinitely delaying cases was removed by enacting that deeds made within liberties

may be proved (in certain circumstances) before a jury of the county without waiting for the bailiffs of the liberty to secure the presence of the witnesses;‘ it is implied that parties too often took advantage of the delays which could be caused with the connivance of bailiffs of liberties. A further reform of great importance was the right given to defendants in real actions to require that the issue be tried at nist prius; formerly it was at the choice of the demandant only.°® The last example we shall mention is not only of interest for the reign

of Edward III, but is also a topical question at the present moment. For many centuries there was a principle that personal actions died with

the person. ‘This rule, which was doubtless already felt to have its inconveniences, was particularly troublesome in the effort to settle political accounts on the accession of Edward III. A statute® therefore allowed a peculiar privilege to the executors of deceased persons who had 1 Rot. Parl., 1, 79; Plucknett, Statutes and Their Interpretation, pp. 22-23; cf. the interesting case of Lady Stuteville (1307) given in Richardson and Sayles, Law Quarterly Review, u (1934), | 571. In the course of Edward II’s reign the council realized that such an extension of individual relief to all the world was really legislation, and so could be done only in parliament (Cal. Ing., v, 353).

21 Edw. III, st. 2, c. 17. Cf. the indented common petition of this same year. 39 Edw. ITI, st. 1, c. 3. 4 9 Edw. ITI, st. 1, c. 4.

5 9 Edw. III, ec. 16. 6 1 Edw. IIL, st. 1, c. 3.

Parliament 125 suffered loss and damage in their goods and chattels in the quarrel of the Despensers; executors of these favored persons were to have their actions of trespass to recover damages in the same way as those members of the quarrel who were still alive. In 1327 this was perhaps a rash invasion of legal principles by a victorious party, but by 1330 people seem to have wondered why the whole of the public should not have the benefit

thus accorded to a few, and the result was the really important statute of 4 Edw. IIT, c. 7, which converted a party privilege into a general law reform by enacting that executors may have actions on trespasses done to the testator’s goods and chattels during his lifetime. Once again we see a trace of continuity from parliament to parliament in the urge for law reform, resulting in a momentous break with an old established principle. It is noteworthy that the statute of 4 Edw. III has been re-

enacted as recently as 1925,! and that the ravages of the motor car (added to those of the Despensers and the Mortimers) have finally compelled the abolition of most of the rest of the ancient principle. ? An examination of the statutes passed in the first ten years of Edward ITT is ample proof of the intrinsic importance of legislation at this period,

and that next to politics, legislation was the most striking attribute of parliament in the early fourteenth century. Social and legal problems were attacked skilfully and for the most part successfully and, above all,

In a spirit of practical common sense. Neither parliament nor courts show the slightest interest in the philosophical problem of the nature and limits of legislation. No one doubted that parliament was competent to carry out the multifarious changes which we have described; and no one thought of asking whether parliament was omni-competent. The common lawyers, whose influence in the council, on the benches, and in the commons was so powerful, were true to the administrative origins of their system. The king’s court did the work the king assigned to it

in a spirit of marked practicality, for the common law itself grew up without the aid of political or juridical theory. Indeed, the intrusion of theory is apt to result in confusion rather than clarity, as may be seen from the attempts to distinguish between statute and ordinance: those attempts came to nothing, and as Mr Richardson and Dr Sayles conclude, ‘Nomenclature was, in truth, a matter of indifference.’? Likewise intrusive and unpractical is the notion that law cannot be changed. Of this we read but little in the sources, although the modern literature 1 Administration of Estates Act, 1925 (15 and 16 Geo. V, c. 23, sec. 26). 2See Law Revision Committee: First Interim Report, 1934 (cd. 4540); Plucknett, Concise History of the Common Law, pp. 333-334; Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1934 (24 and 25 Geo. V, c. 41). 3 Law Quarterly Review, u (1934), 562.

126 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 is considerable. The preceding pages will have shown that parliamentary statutes six hundred years ago did most of the things they are doing to-day undeterred by fundamental law, and yet without laying claim to sovereignty. !

When we turn to taxation, we find another of the major functions of parliament which was only intermittently performed. Of our twentyone parliaments, only five made grants of supply. Later, when parliaments kept regular rolls, these grants duly appear on them, but during our period evidence of them has often to be sought elsewhere — on the patent rolls (where the taxors’ commissions, and sometimes instructions, ?

are enrolled) and in the financial records. Parliamentary taxation was not yet the only means of direct taxation, but it was rapidly becoming so. In 1332 the crown imposed a variety of tallages, but withdrew them when parliament protested and offered a vote of supply instead. Most of the grants took the form of a tenth from the towns and a fifteenth from the counties, but this discrimination was not yet the invariable rule; in 1327 a twentieth was granted by town and country alike.* As for the clergy, half of a crusading tenth levied by the pope was granted by him to the king (and it is said that the king got the other half, too), while in addition the clergy made grants of tenths on most occasions

when parliament voted grants from the laity. The clergy generally granted theirs in convocation, but there are two occasions when they seem to have voted grants in parliament.’ A point of some interest is that the present form in use in England is not so ancient as it looks. Grants are now made by the commons alone,® but during our period it is clear that the bishops and magnates joined with the commons in a united grant.’ Such, then, was the work of parliament. As we have several times suggested, the bulk of it fell upon the council, and so parliamentary sessions were not long. The great resettlement of 1327 required seven weeks or more,® and in 1328 parliaments lasted two, three, and even five weeks. ‘Thenceforward, we find shorter sessions varying from four days

to a week and a half. Not infrequently the commons were dismissed 1 For the claim that the king may repeal a statute by prerogative, see Plucknett, Statutes and Their Interpretation, p. 144, and contra, Richardson and Sayles, Law Quarterly Review, L (1934), 549-555.

2 Rot. Parl., 1, 425-427. 3 Rot. Parl., u, 66.

*° Canterbury Ibid.,(March p.1336) 425 (from the patent roll). | and York (September 1336); W. Wake, State of the Church (London, 1703), p. 285. 6 E. C. S. Wade and G. G. Phillips, Constitutional Law (London, 1931), p. 395. ” Rot. Parl., u, 425, 66, 447; it is not suggested that they sat together for this purpose. 8 Prynne, Brief Register, 1v, 81.

, Parliament 127 before the lords, without thereby terminating the parliament; similarly, the commons themselves might not be dismissed all at the same time,

for some would be retained longer than others. A parliament might therefore fade away by slow degrees.!

Our information of these dates is derived mainly from the enrolled writs de expensis, and with these this discussion — like the mediaeval parliament itself — may fitly conclude. There has been some controversy concerning these writs of late, but their nature seems now estab-

lished. In form a writ de expensis is an order to the sheriff (or to the bailiffs of a town) ordering them to ‘cause A.B. and C.D. to have’ a certain sum by way of expenses for a certain number of days spent in going to, attending at, and returning from a parliament. It was not a draft upon funds already in the hands of the sheriff, but an authority for

him to raise the sum from those who were liable to contribute to it. Many of these writs are enrolled on the close rolls and have been printed by Prynne in The First Part of a Brief Register of Parliamentary Writs

(1659-1664). Why they should have been enrolled at all is not clear, for they are most closely related to such judicial writs of execution as fiert facias, which were never enrolled. In fact, the writ might issue, and yet not be enrolled,? probably to avoid fees. The normal payment during our period (subject to few exceptions) was four shillings a day for knights of the shire, and two shillings for citizens and burgesses; these payments were, of course, based on the electoral status of the member and were independent of the actual possession of knighthood by either county or town members. Private arrangements between members and their constituents were, however, fer-

quent, and this will explain why so many towns do not appear in the enrolled writs de expensis. In some cases the rate was much higher; London paid about twenty shillings a day and provided clothes and furs to deck its members. Several towns paid three shillings and fourpence,

and some on the other hand bargained for less than the standard rate of two shillings.? County members, however, seem generally to have been content with their standard wage, and relied on the writ to collect it. In the earlier part of our period separate writs of expenses were issued for each session if there were two, but in the parliament of 1332-1333

we find the new departure of a combined writ, which, however, gave no wage for the period of the recess.‘ 1 Prynne, Brief Register, tv, 81, 83; the dates are tabulated in the Interim Report. 2 McKisack, Parliamentary Representation of English Boroughs, p. 76; Wood-Legh, ‘Knights’ Attendance in the Parliaments of Edward III,’ E.H.R., xvi (1932), 398-401; Prynne suspected this centuries ago (Brief Register, 1v, 89). 3 Details are collected in McKisack, op. cit., Ch. v. 4 Prynne, Brief Register, 1v, 128.

128 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 The payment of parliamentary expenses was a heavy burden, and even

London was sometimes hard put to it to find the money. Other towns found it difficult, too, and sometimes paid in kind or by granting priv-

ileges. The counties found it harder still, for they had no common fund! and so the money had to be raised by direct taxation of individuals.

There naturally resulted a scramble to escape liability, and so inevitably there arose a mass of divergent local customs and great obscurity in the law. ‘The tenants of anyone who had personally appeared at the parliament were sufficiently represented by him, and therefore could not be called upon to meet the cost of additional representation;

ancient demesne claimed to be quit, and so did gavelkind.? Most of these claims appear after our period and embody views upon representation and the nature of parliament of very doubtful validity from a historical point of view. The ingenuity of tax-evaders, then as now, frequently introduced confusion into legal theory. If the first writ de expensis was fruitless, then it could be repeated, like other writs, with the clause sicut alias. Possibly there could be a pluries as well, and certainly in the last resort the member could sue the sheriff in the court of exchequer upon his account. Examples of such actions have been printed from various reigns by Madox, and one of

them actually falls within our period.* It was brought by John de Bourne against William de Orlaston, sheriff of Kent. The defendant pleaded that by arrangement with the plaintiff he had commissioned two of the plaintiff’s friends to levy the wages and so was quit of any further liability. The plaintiff replied that however this might be, the sheriff had in fact levied the money and received it. On this, issue was joined. We are left with the suspicion that perhaps the sheriff had got the money, and then proceeded to authorize the member’s agents to get it a second time.* 1 Cambridge took exceptional measures much later by setting up a trust and incorporating its members (Prynne, Brief Register, p. 540). 2 Material can be found through the index to Prynne. 3 Thomas Madox, Firma Burgi (London, 1726), p. 102, n. z.

4 For a still darker tale of suspicion, involving the member as well as the sheriff, see Putnam, Select Proceedings before Justices of the Peace, p. 80, No. 280.

Iil |



1. Tue ReGENcy anp MorTIMER

HE revolution which brought about the downfall of Edward I and "Tine accession of Edward III began with the landing in England of Queen Isabella and a band of refugees and hired soldiers 24 September 1326.! In their progress through the country they gained adherents at every step, while clergy, barons, the city of London, together with the

exchequer, the chancery, and most other departments of government turned away from their former allegiance and joined the winning side. Within a month the fall of the favorite, Despenser, and a little later the capture of the king and his chancellor Baldock completed the victory of the usurpers. Neither in the reign of Henry III nor in the previous uprisings under Edward II had there been any such unanimity in an attack upon a reigning king, and not again until the fall of Richard II was there a revolution so easily accomplished. For the victorious party to establish themselves in full control took a longer time, making an interim of four months in all. The guidance of events inevitably fell into the hands

of a few. Queen Isabella, though she manifested little independent strength, found herself the nominal head of a de facto government, together with her son, the young Edward, duke of Aquitaine. With faint semblance of parliamentary form an assembly at Bristol, 26 October, attended by a strong body of bishops and lay lords, spoke for the whole communitas in electing the young Edward as keeper of the realm to act in behalf of the king during his pretended ‘absence.’? Until the great seal was secured with the capture of the king, the duke’s privy seal was the only instrument of the usurpers.? After 30 November writs were 1 The events which follow are recounted in Stubbs, C.H.E., u, 255, and in Tout, Chapters, 111, Ch. rx, Sec. i. Also I have obtained much assistance from an unprinted thesis by S. T. Gibson, The Minority of Edward III, University of Manchester, 1921. 2 Parl. Writs, u, Pt. i, 349; C.C.R. 1323-1327, 655. 3 Grants under the privy seal while the son was keeper of the realm in the absence of his father (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 18, 19).


130 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 sealed and ran in the king’s name in the usual manner. First among Isabella’s actual counsellors was Roger Mortimer, the marcher lord who had joined the party in exile, and whose illicit intimacy with the queen

was by this time generally suspected. He assumed as yet no special prominence, while the front line of attack was taken by such reputable

lords as Henry of Lancaster, then earl of Leicester, and the king’s brothers, Edmund, earl of Kent, and Thomas, earl of Norfolk. Among the bishops, Orleton of Hereford, once outlawed for his adherence to Mortimer, is credited with being the guiding spirit of the revolution; Airmyn of Norwich was temporarily keeper of the great seal, and Stratford of Winchester, treasurer.? Lesser men holding key positions were

Robert Wyvill, a queen’s clerk and keeper of the duke’s privy seal, Henry Cliff and William Harleston, clerks of the chancery who also acted as keepers of the great seal, Walter of Norwich, chief baron of the exchequer, and Sir Oliver Ingham, lately justice of Chester? and a close follower of Mortimer. In the scramble for office there were made, as a matter of course, numerous ministerial changes which had no political significance; neither was every possible office filled at once. Thus far nothing was done to reorganize or to define the king’s council. Even the meeting at Bristol was not attended in the usual manner of a parliament by judges and ‘others of the council.’ It was the pretentious claim of Isabella that she came to remove the ‘false and seditious counsellors,’* but, because of the bad name that the council had suffered at the hands of the late favorites, both Gaveston and the Despensers, there

was a reason for not hastening the step of supplanting them. Still in matters of routine there is evidence of a king’s council at work. For, during these transitional weeks, writs and letters were being issued under

the great seal, warranted not only by the queen but in some cases by the council.* There also began to be seizures of land made under pretext of forfeitures declared against rebels, concerning which certain ques-

tions at once arose.® In regard to a large group of manors spreading

: out into several counties that had thus been taken in hand, the deputy treasurer and barons of the exchequer were ordered to appoint under their seal men ‘sworn of the council’ to take extents of the said manors

and to send returns into the chancery without delay. Under the same abnormal conditions suitors began to indite petitions. In doubt whether 1 “Jam tunc secretissimus atque principalis de privata familia reginae’ (Geoffrey Baker, Chronicon Angliae Temporibus Edwardi II et Edwardi IIT, ed. J. A. Giles, London, 1847, p. 21). 2 All are in D.N.B. 3 Also seneschal of Aquitaine (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 268, 296).

4 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 442. 5 O.C.R. 1823-1327, passim. 8 C.C.R. 1323-1827, 622; K. R. M. R., No. 103, m. 25. Needless to say the tenure of officers and sworn councillors of Edward ITI continued without any break.

The King’s Council 131 to address the king or the queen, some of them made address to the queen, or the queen and her son, while a certain few named the queen, the duke, and their council.1_ Thus during a season of virtua! interregnum a certain continuity was maintained in the life of the council. It was not until a parliament could be summoned under conditions of complete regularity, including a full representation of the several estates of England and Wales, that the final stage of the revolution was reached. This parliament, meeting 7 January 1327, proved to be the climax of a feudal reaction that had long been preparing. Strongly imbued with the so-called Lancastrian tradition, in the reforming spirit of the lords ordainers, the ruling party was now resolved to take the government out of the hands of courtiers and to place it fully in the control of magnates.

On the day of opening the prelates and lords in a body, we are told, took an oath in the Gildhall of London, the form of which was partly derived from the councillor’s oath of Edward [.? It reads as follows: My lords. You shall swear that you will safely guard the persons of Our Lady Queen Isabella, by the grace of God Queen of England, and of Edward her son; and that with all your power you will maintain the quarrel which they have against Hugh le Despenser and Master Robert de Baldock and their adherents; that when called upon you will give good counsel; and the secret counsel

with which you shall be acquainted you will conceal .. .

At this moment, before any selection of a council was made, it seemed

to be felt that all the lords were potentially king’s councillors. The same disposition on the part of the lords to regard themselves as the natural hereditary councillors of the king is immediately expressed in the six articles drawn up by Bishop Stratford to bring about the deposi-

tion of Edward II, declaring that the king had been guided only by ‘evil counsel,’ and was unwilling to do what was required by ‘the great and wise men of his realm.’? Carried along in the same current of enthusiasm for a thorough reform of the government on these reactionary lines, the commons in a long joint petition are the first to propose that suitable wise men elected by the magnates be placed about the king to give him good counsel; and they earnestly add that none of these or of

any other lords or ministers shall maintain quarrels. The same desire 1 Ancient Correspondence, xxxvu, No. 19; Ancient Petitions, No. 15309; Rot. Parl., 11, 381. One petitioner alleges that when the queen and her son landed, he put on his armor to serve them, but a certain Robert Newbotele came charging him with being a traitor to the king, tore off his armor, and imprisoned him until he was delivered by ransom and mainprise; wherefore he prays for release and restitution (Ancient Petitions, No. 2899). 2 Titerae Cantuariensis, ed. J. B. Sheppard (Rolls Series, London, 1887-89), 1, 204-205. - 3 Roger Twysden, Historiae Anglicanae Scriptores Decem (London, 1652), cap. 2765; G. B. Adams and H. M. Stephens, Select Documents of English Constitutional History (New York, 1901), No. 55.

# Rot. Parl., u, 10.

132 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 that the king’s government be henceforth managed by noble lords of the realm to the common profit is echoed in a separate petition of the city of London.' The request of the commons was fully granted and carried forthwith into effect. In spite of the prominence that was given to the act not only at the time but later, the rolls of parliament are singularly

deficient in regard to the formation of this council. That Henry of Lancaster, now at the height of his influence, was to be the head of the council is the only point clearly established. Among the first acts of the parliament in fact were the reversal of the judgments against his predecessor, Earl Thomas, and the rehabilitation of the house; Henry was thus qualified to succeed to his great inheritance.? At the same time he held Edward II a prisoner at Kenilworth, and was given the honor of knighting the young king. The names of the other councillors, however, we should never know except for a single private source of information, which would be very dubious indeed were it not well corroborated. This work is cited in Leland, Collectanea, as ‘a Booke of Chroniques in Peter College Library.’? No such book, however, now remains in Peterhouse, but it is evidently the same as the so-called Chronicle of England, an unprinted book in the hand-writing apparently of the time of Henry VITI, now in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The important pas-

sage runs as follows: |

Wherefore hit was ordeyned at the kings crownynge that the king for tender of age shulde be gouuede by xii grete lordes of Engelond withoute the whiche nothing shulde be done that ys forte seyn the erchebisshop of Caunterbery the erchebisshop of York the bisshop of Wyncestr and the bisshop of Hereford and the erl of Lancaster and the erl Marchal and the erl of Kent that were the

kinges uncle and the erl Warraune, Sire Thomas Wake, Sire Henry Percy, Sire Olyver of Ingham, and John of Roos barouns. Alle these were s[{wlore treuliche for to conceile the king and they shulde ensuere every yeire in the parlement of that shulde be done in the tyme of that governayle.

The selection of these councillors is mentioned in connection with the king’s coronation, which occurred 29 January. ‘There is reason to believe, however, that they were virtually nominated before that day, possibly on 24 January when Edward was proclaimed king, inasmuch as the new chancellor, Hotham of Ely, appointed 26 January,° 1s not included in the list. Certainly the members thus chosen were sufficiently 1 Ibid., p. 436.

2 Ro!. Parl., u, 3. ~ 8 John Leland, De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea (London, 1770), 1, 476. 4 No. 174, cap. 216. 5 C.C.R. 1827-1330, 98.

The King’s Council 133 Lancastrian and baronial to satisfy the dominant party.! Equally striking was the absence of Mortimer from the twelve, among whom only Ingham and the new treasurer Orleton were surely of his affiliation. Whether out of self-denial or a yielding to necessity, Mortimer must then

have been satisfied with smaller honors like the knighting of his sons.

A further arrangement that is remembered later was that out of the twelve at least one bishop, one earl, and two barons were to be in constant attendance,” not a large proportion certainly, in view of what was expected of them. No important business was to be undertaken without their assent, and each member was to answer for his actions. Important duties like choosing keepers of the peace were immediately assigned to the new council? which evidently continued to function until the end of this parliament, 9 March.* Not only was there a stream of letters by warrant of the king and council, but at least one definite act is attributed

to the earl of Lancaster and his fellow councillors. The earl of Kent too is mentioned some months later as staying continuously with the king, wherefore he was allowed to be represented by an attorney in the eyre of Kent.® Nor did any of the lords according to the testimony of the charter rolls and patent rolls lose their rewards in the way of grants and patronage. While Lancaster was predominant in parliament, the court fell adversely under the control of Isabella and Mortimer, and so the council of magnates was soon broken up. According to accusations afterwards made by Lancaster himself they were not permitted to speak with or to | counsel the king as they ought; for Mortimer caused the king to dismiss

them so that they were forced to depart sorrowfully to their homes (chiaucher).” Moreover, it was alleged that Mortimer by poisoning the king’s mind against them had removed even the nurses and personal attendants whom he had trusted; all this he did in the presence of the 1 Superficially it was a representative body of lords, but actually there could not be much compatibility between self-seeking ecclesiastics like Melton, Reynolds, Stratford, Orleton, and the earls, Kent, Norfolk, and Warenne, whose chief claim was their royal blood. Thomas Wake of Liddell, a son-in-law of Lancaster, was at the time constable of the Tower and justice of the forest south of the Trent. John Ros was steward of the household from 4 February to 3 March, very close to the time that this council was held together. He was then displaced by Maltravers, a friend of Mortimer. 2 Rot. Parl., 1, 52. 3 Rot. Parl., u, 12. 4 *T] plest a notre Seignur le Roi et a touz les Grantz du Conseil’ (cbzd.). 5 This was a grant to the mayor of London, who acted as butler at the coronation, of a cup of gold with cover and a ewer of gold enamel, ‘par assent du Counte de Lancastre et d’autres Grantz qui adonges y furent du Conseil nostre Seigneur le Roy’ (cbid., p. 96). 6 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 242.

7 Rot. Parl., u1, 52; Chronicon Henrici Knighton, ed. J. R. Lumby (London, 1889-95), 1, 447.

134 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 queen, Burghersh of Lincoln, Mortival of Salisbury, and others then of the council.! Such were the charges supported by the Lancastrians in the parliament of 1330, when in their ferocity toward the fallen favorite they labored under a temptation to exaggerate their grievances. In the meantime, however, Lancaster had by no means been ignored in the distribution of favors, while it was the manifest intention of the court to placate him.? His reputation as ‘the most honorable gentleman of them all’ he undoubtedly deserves, but he was by no means crafty in politics or assiduous in public duties, and the rebuilding of his private fortune

continued to be his principal concern. |

During the next four years, or in the contemptuous words of a chron-

icler, ‘the reign of Mortimer and Isabella,’? the council as a political power was quite overshadowed. ‘For the king and all the lords that should govern him were themselves governed and ruled by the king’s mother Isabel and Sir Roger Mortimer.’ After dismissing the council of regency, with the young king in their hands and the old king taken over as their prisoner, the entire patronage of the government was for the moment under their control. Of the two Isabella, vain, haughty, and grasping, was the more conspicuous, posing as the real regent though without any legal sanction. After her long contest with the Despensers and separation from her husband, she had come home to enjoy the spoils of victory. The recipient of immense grants, she held properties amounting in the exaggerated opinion of a chronicler to a half of the kingdom, and soberly estimated by a historian of the queen’s household as equal to £13,333 annual revenue, besides the honor of Pontefract, which was still withheld from the earl of Lancaster.* She maintained a fiscal system centering in an exchequer all her own.® Without any acknowledged position in the regency or the council, she went about attending parlia-

ments and council in quite royal estate. On one such occasion she was lodged in the palace of the archbishop of York, where a council was being held,® and again was holding a council in her own castle of Pontefract.’ 1 Rot. Parl., u, 53. Burghersh was treasurer, but no special reason can be given for the presence of Mortival. 2 Among other incidental appointments he was named on a commission to go to France on the king’s affairs (Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 775).

3 “Regnavit Rogerus de Mortuo-mari et Regina imperavit circiter iv annis’ (Henry Wharton, Anglia Sacra, London, 1691, 1, 368). * Hilda Johnstone, in Tout, Chapters, v, 275-276. 5 O.C.R. 13827-1330, 143.

6 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 711; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 214.

7 The chancellor to his clerks: ‘qe madame la Royne et les grantz dentour lui qi nagaires furent au consail au Pontfrayt nous ont her hercez les choses qi furent illoeqes ordeners par le dit Consail’ (Ancient Correspondence, xxxvi, No. 90). Again: ‘qe madame la Roigne et le seigneur de Mortimer oue autres du conseil sount assentuz,’ etc. (ibid., No. 93).

The King’s Council 135 More than once the delivery of the great seal, which was usually a dignified occasion, was staged in her private chamber. Accompanied by the chancellor and treasurer on her travels she required purveyances on every side.? Sensing the situation, suitors would address their petitions to the queen, or to the king and queen and council. One sorrowful woman begs the queen to pray to her son, the king, for grace.t The queen’s hand intervenes in grants of patronage, whether to name the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk,® or to alter a commission of oyer and terminer because she was frankly interested in the matter pending.* Her authority was also sufficient for a pardon and even an arbitrary arrest.’ Yet Isabella with all her properties and revenues never gained much political strength. As was evident as soon as she was dragged down by the fall of Mortimer, the queen-mother enjoyed a certain immunity from attack, while Edward placed her in comfortable if not honorable retirement with an assignment of £3000 and other funds which she long continued to draw upon.® A far more powerful, sinister, as well as more elusive figure was that of Roger Mortimer. After suffering extreme reversals of fortune in the previous reign, including condemnation and exile, he had learned from the example of Gaveston and the Despensers to conceal his hand as much

as possible in public affairs. Under Edward II he had been the king’s justiciary in Wales and a sworn member of the council. A moderate fee for attending the king he continued to enjoy,?° and in the chronicles he is commonly rated as chief councillor. But, unlike the Despensers, he held no prominent position at court, his name Is given in no warrants, nor are any grants recorded as made at his solicitation. Much less would any private petition be addressed to him for his mediation or authority.

It is true that he was one of the lords at Bristol who sat in judgment on the elder Despenser, and his name occurs now and then as one of 1 C.C.R. 1323-1327, 655; C.C.R. 1827-1330, 547. 2 Ancient Petitions, No. 750; Rot. Parl., 11, 396. 3 “Au conseil notre Seigneur le Roi et de la tres noble Isabell’ Regine Dengleterre’ (Ancient Petitions, No. 13921); ‘a notre Seigneur le Roi et a notre dame la Roigne e tut lour consail’ (zbid., Nos.

3748, 1877); ‘Pleise a votre hautesse mettre votre bone eide devers notre Seigneur le Roi’ (2bzd., Nos. 2488, 3179). # Ancient Correspondence, xu, No. 110.

57 0.C.R. Ibid., xxxv, No. 182. 6 Tbid., No. 185. | 1327-1330, 67; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 6. 8 There remained a fund of £20,000, perhaps the Scottish indemnity that had been assigned to

her, which continues to be noticed in the Issue Rolls, No. 244, m. 1; No. 255, m. 5; No. 263, m. 7, ete.

Further grants are in C.P.R. 1330-1334, 529. ® This is mentioned when the former judgment against him was revoked and annulled (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 142).

10 Pro mora sua cum rege, £160: Wardrobe Accounts, Richard de Bury, Prestita, E 361, 2, m. 30; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 327, 528, 535.

136 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the witnesses to a charter, as well as among the attendants at a delivery of the great seal. His predominant influence, however, would be hard to trace except for the universal testimony that he was the real power guiding the queen and so behind the throne itself. But vaulting ambi-

tion, arrogance, and greed he could not conceal. The judgment that had been passed upon him in 1322 being now reversed, he was loaded with grants that vastly increased his hereditary estates. As justice of North Wales, justice of South Wales, justice of Ireland, keeper of the peace in the border counties, and in 1328 earl of the March of Wales — a title the like of which was said never to have been heard of before1—

he was well on the way toward founding another palatinate. While nominally attending the king, he was actually following the queen constantly on her migrations about the country, even occupying a chamber

next to hers. One of the few traces of his own movements during the plenitude of his power is a claim of the burgesses of Leicester that when Mortimer and his company came to that part his purveyors took victuals to the value of £300 which they had never paid for.2. According to the charges that were soon to be made against him, the favorite appointed ministers to suit his own caprice. What with as many as eight changes during the time in the office of the great seal, five treasurers in turn, and similarly frequent shifts in lesser offices, the appointments indeed seem capricious, if they do not evince a measure of distrust.° Among the magnates Bishop Orleton, who had been one of the foremost advocates of the revolution, having obtained a papal provision to the see of Worcester, was less in favor at the court.* Neither Burghersh nor Ayrmin could longer be counted on as staunch in their adherence to the queen and her favorite. Among the lesser lords Oliver Ingham continued to be rated among the followers of Mortimer, but at the crisis of 1330 after a brief imprisonment he was pardoned, restored, and long re-

mained in the service of the king. The truest henchmen of the earl were found among still lesser gentry, like John Maltravers, John Wysham,

and Hugh Turplington, who were in turn stewards of the royal household. John Wyard, a mere yeoman, was one of the minor agents whom Mortimer was said to have placed with the king to spy upon him.® As 1 Annales Paulint, ed. William Stubbs (Rolls Series, London, 1882), p. 343.

2 Ancient Petitions, No. 6129. To another complaint of the kind it was answered that the king holds the chattels of traitors and felons but he is not bound to pay their debts (zbid., No. 13294). 3 The lists of such ministers are in Tout, Chapters, v1, 11, 21, 42, 51. # A prohibition of his procuring letters to the injury of the crown, and a summons to come before the king and council, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 239, 244. ° In Chancery Warrants, File 176, No. 4077, he is named as an adherent of Mortimer, pardoned,

and retained to stay with the king all his life. See C.F.R., tv, 174. 6 Rot. Parl., u, 52.

The King’s Council 137 an intermediary in procuring small grants and favors Wyard’s hand was

surely in evidence.! But in all this company of followers none came into so much obloquy as did Sir Simon Bereford. Formerly a fermer of Queen Isabella,? now under the system of the larger escheatries which had been favored by the barons,? he was made escheator south of the Trent. This position afforded such extensive opportunities for extortion that reversion to the system of smaller escheatries was henceforth advo-

cated. Performing the tasks of the office through a deputy, Bereford was also retained as one of the king’s military attendants with a guard of 200 men,‘ and was soon rated among the most notorious ‘evil counsellors.” How far his extortions were for his personal profit, and how much they were in the interest of his master, it is impossible now to judge. With the fall of Mortimer he was captured, sentenced, and put to death, one of the few for whom there was no pardon.* His bad reputation was sustained for years by the complaints of people who had suffered from his maintenance and oppression. Yet with all his arrogance Mortimer was by no means indifferent to

Lancastrian interests, and, among the lords, he exercised no little political skill in holding off his rivals. Parliaments and great councils continued to be called with excessive frequency, as many as four in 1328,° but instead of bringing them to London the court took an advantage in shifting them from place to place, in spite of groans on the part of poorer

members over the labor and expense.” There is reason to believe that Lancaster made an effort to reassert himself as chief councillor in the parliament at Northampton in 1328. The later parliament of Salisbury in the same year he refused to attend, being supported by Kent, Norfolk, and many other lords and bishops, while the military forces of both sides were gathering. On this occasion Mortimer with a large army of Welsh

and English soldiers struck first and broke up the coalition. By the infliction of severe fines and other punishments on the contrariant lords, the power of Mortimer seemed to be stronger than ever. Even so, now 1 A license at the request of John Wyard, C.P.R. 1327-1330, 32; a pardon, wbid., p. 161; a grant,

ibid., p. 300. In 1330 he is credited with having aided the king in the rebellion, that is on the side of Mortimer against Lancaster (zbid., p. 540). 2 Cal. Ing. Misc., u, No. 1152. 3 A treatment of the escheatries, 1327-41, by S.T. Gibson is in the E.H.R., xxvi (1911), 218-225. 4 Wardrobe Accounts, E 361, 2, m. 30. 5 Rot. Parl., u, 53. 6 Of these assemblies only three are classified as parliaments by Richardson and Sayles, ‘Parliaments of Edward III,’ Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, v1 (1930), 65-82.

7 ‘Quia difficile, grave et sumptuosum foret pauperi Episcopo Roffensi Parliamenta Regis et Concilia ubique in regno sequi’ (Wharton, Anglia Sacra, 1, 369). On his assertion that he was willing to attend parliaments but not councils the bishop was excused from the latter, and need come to parliament only in London (ibid., p. 374).

138 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 that his position was publicly avowed, his doom was sealed. ‘The end came when the young king, eighteen years of age in 1330, himself resolved to break the cords by which he was bound. Although, as we are told, Mortimer had been warned of plots,! Edward in complete secrecy planned the attack in company with William Montague,? Richard Bury, and a small band of knights. Taken by surprise Mortimer was seized in Nottingham castle where, in a chamber next to the queen’s, he was conferring with the chancellor and other ministers;* Ingham and Bereford* were made prisoners, while Turplington was slain in the mélée. The charges that were laid against the fallen favorite at the next parliament, leading to his hasty trial, conviction, and death, give us much of the evidence that can be gathered about his meteoric career. The fall of Mortimer was followed by a proclamation in all the counties

that whoever wished to complain of recent oppressions, such as were alleged to have been inflicted by ministers, councillors, and others, might come and be heard in the next parliament.® A host of claims and com-

| plaints arose against Mortimer, mentioning false arrests, seizures, and maintenance especially in Wales,® likewise malice and oppression in Ire-

land.” If possible even greater vindictiveness was shown toward Bereford® and Maltravers. After all is said of the maintenances of Mortimer 1 The ‘Corpus Christi Chronicle,’ cited above, says of this point: ‘And somme that were of the kinges councele loueden the Mortymer and tolde him in priuite how that the kinge and his councele were aboute fram day to day him for to shen and undone, wherefore the Mortymer was sore annoyde and angry’ (cap. 221).

2 Much is made of the king’s secret counsel with Montague (Rot. Parl., u, 56). That this intimacy and perhaps the plot itself went back into the previous year is suggested in Chancery War-

rants, No. 2563, wherein he was to be granted the Manor of Werk with a retainer to attend the king all his life. The grant of the manor but not the retainer follows in C.P.R. 1327-1330, 386. At the behest of the magnates in parliament, on the ground of his part in the ‘secret design,’ he was rewarded with lands to the value of £1000 a year (C. Ch. R., rv, 199, 210, 358, etc.). Still later he was given a pardon of debts, in consideration of his services as one of the king’s council (C.P.R. 1334-13838, 264).

3 An incident in the capture of Mortimer appears in a petition of Robert Walkefare, who says that he was at Nottingham when William Montague delivered to him and others Mortimer a prisoner to be taken to London and guarded in the Tower. This Robert did with no more than 100 men, wherefore he asks that a former grant of Beaumaris Castle in Wales be revoked and the place be given to him; this was afterwards done (Ancient Petitions, No. 7583; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 7 Edw. III, 465). 4 An item of expense appears in the keeping of Geoffrey Mortimer and Simon Bereford as prisoners in the Tower, the former at two shillings a day, the latter at twelve pence (Issue Roll, No. 255, 5 Edw. III, m. 2). 5 O.C.R. 13830-1333, 161; Foedera, 1, Pt. 11, 800.

6 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 298; Ancient Petitions, No. 15790. 7 Ancient Petitions, No. 12105.

8 For example, Isabel Klynton alleged that James Coterell and other malfeasants had slain her husband and when she sued before justices in eyre in co. Nottingham there came the said James with 400 men by maintenance and aid of Simon Bereford, causing James to be acquitted by men of his alliance; so that the plaintiff did not dare to challenge the inquest for fear of death. It was

The King’s Council 139 and his men, the misdeeds of this régime do not bulk large compared with the extortions alleged to have been practised by the Despensers, complaints of which were still being heard. Not much devotion to a fallen favorite was ever shown, but in the present case it is possible in passing to find a word that was spoken in his behalf. For example, there came from Pembroke a petition to the chancellor asking that a good steward be appointed for the county, for, since the death of the earl of March, barrators and malfeasants were said so to have multiplied

that people were being robbed, beaten, and killed.1. By implication times were better while the earl was living.? 2. THe CoUNCIL AFTER THE KING’s EMANCIPATION

From the time of his emancipation the king not only reigned, he governed. ‘The first assertion of his policy was to reaffirm and strengthen the aristocratic tradition in which he had grown up. Amidst promises of reform he proclaimed that henceforth the realm should be directed by common counsel of the magnates and in no other manner,’ a sentiment that was equally popular with the commons. It was also promised that all sheriffs should be removed and men assigned to hear complaints of their oppressions.* Likewise there should be a commission to survey

and examine all grants made by the king during his minority.> As to new councillors nothing at the moment was said in parliament. There was plenty of admonition, however, from private sources, particularly in the curious tract entitled Speculum Regis which is now believed to pertain closely to the time of Edward’s assumption of authority. °®

Alluding to the fall of Mortimer, the author vehemently denounces purveyance as the ‘accursed prerogative,’ and exhorts the king to reform his household ‘according to the counsel of spiritual men.’ Furthermore, answered that she should declare the names of the malfeasants in chancery, and have the record and process before the king’s bench (Ancient Petitions, No. 12808); other illustrations of the escheator’s severity are in C.C.R. 1827-13380, 274; C.C.R. 1830-1383, 522; Cal. Ing. Misc., u, No. 1153.

1 Ancient Petitions, No. 14840. 2 A pathetic petition of Joanna, widow of the deceased earl, prays for sufficient safeguard of her own lands in Ireland, and since she has been granted by the king and council the body of her husband, asks for letters to the Friars Minor of Coventry, who have the body in their keeping (Ancient Petitions, No. 3027). 3 Rot. Parl., u, 60; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 158.

* C.C.R. 1330-1338, 287; Rot. Parl., u, 54.

5 I find no appointment of such a commission, but a petition is answered as follows: ‘Certeines gentz sont assignez a surveer et examiner les douns facez par le Roi durant son tendre age et pur ce soit la condition des autres ge sont en le cas’ (Ancient Petitions, No. 8264). 6 This is the well-grounded conclusion of Professor Tait in his examination (Z.H.R., xvi, 1911,

110-115) of the edition of Joseph Moisant, De Speculo Regis Edwardi III (Paris, 1891). (The author is found to have been not Simon Islip but Simon Meopham.)

140 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 let the king, he cries, beware of beginning any war ‘without great council,’ or ‘lacking good counsel day by day.’! In the light of past experience, however, there was evidently a strong prejudice against any per-

manent council at court. Instead of a council of concentrated power, the magnates favored the alternative of diverse commissions for one purpose or another as the occasion required. ‘Thus in 1331 we find a commission in parliament to consider relations with France,? and in 1333 another such commission for Scottish affairs.2 Likewise, in providing -remedy for the malfeasances of former ministers the first resort was to commissions of inquiry or of oyer and terminer, which were assigned in

indefinite number.

While the expedient of commissions answered the demand for division of power, their fault lay obviously in a lack of responsibility, so that the

work was oftentimes thrown back upon the council, which was thus proved indispensable. While no council equivalent to that of 1327 was again appointed in this decade, nevertheless from time to time certain councillors were named in parliament. Thus in the first parliament of the new régime it was agreed that Bishop Gravesend of London should remain with the king until the next parliament, to give him good counsel

with the aid of the chancellor Stratford, the treasurer Melton, and others.* In the parhament at York in 1332 there is found the unusual arrangement of three separate bodies, namely a group of twelve bishops and lay lords treating apart by themselves, other lords by themselves,

and then the knights and commons.> The twelve have been thought of by some historians as composing a council, although they are not so

designated in the record. It seems more likely that they were the members of one of the committees or commissions such as were frequently

brought together. In the same parliament, in fact, a demand for a council was met by the selection of six men who should remain with the king to counsel him; namely, Archbishop Melton of York, Bishop Ayrmin

of Norwich, Lord Percy, William Clinton, and the justices Denum and Shareshull.° How far they may have attended to the duties thus laid upon them we have no knowledge whatsoever. Whenever the king went abroad, it had long been customary to appoint a council of regency. It

, is noticeable however that, when Edward left the country in 1329 for a 1 ‘Ttem, cave ne absque magno consilio (cum aliquo) guerram incipias christiano . . . Sed adverte, domine rex, quod sine bono consilio facis guerram singulis diebus’ (De Speculo Regis, ed. Moisant, p. 156). 2 Rot. Parl., u, 61. 3 Ibid., p. 69. * Rot. Parl., u, 62.

5 Ibid, p. 69. 8 Ibid.

The King’s Council 141 brief time, his brother John of Eltham was appointed regent, no associates being named.! But when the king departed for France again in 1331 six men were commissioned to assist the regent, the same John of Eltham, who were to give not constant attendance but their counsel as often as they might be summoned.? Thus at every point the difficulty of securing assiduous attention from the lords was too great to be overcome. The preference for special commissions 1s evident again in 1336, when during the absence of the king five men were named to treat for the defense of the realm, of whom four, three, or even two might act at any time provided Archbishop Stratford should be one.? In spite, therefore, of the magnates being in so favored a position, the stability of the council continued to depend on officers and courtiers, whose attention to business was always better than that of any group of lords. In the words of contemporary usage, it was the chancellor, the treasurer, and others of the council, the chancellor and treasurer calling those of the council whom they saw fit, the justices and other wise men of the council, the treasurer and barons and those sworn of the council, whose advice was required according to the occasion.* Between the bishops and barons on the one hand and the ministers and courtiers

(curiales) on the other, there were in the personnel of the council two distinct elements that might prove to be not always compatible. Yet when there was no overweening favorite like Gaveston or Mortimer to rouse the jealousy of his barons, Edward III was more successful than his predecessors in reconciling the two. Different from the council as it may be traced in Ireland® and in Gascony, different also from the

councils of other lords, there was never a separation of the great men : from other councillors. Whether in council or on commissions, the preference was rather for an association of the two elements, the lords for

their political strength and the jurists for their learning. It may well be imagined that in the presence of the former the latter stood in the position of assistants, as would have been consistent with the deference due from lower to higher rank. Now and then we are vaguely told that ‘the council is advised’ upon a point. ® 1 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 547. 2 0.0.R. 1827-1330, 217. 3 Foedera, u, Pt. u, 953. 4 A petitioner asks the king, ‘ge li pleise commander a son Chanceller, ses justices et autres sages de son Conseil’ (Rot. Parl., 1, 50).

5 “While the Justiciar and King’s Council held private session apart the prelates, earls, barons, and other magnates of Ireland were in the hall’ (M. V. Clarke, ‘Irish Parliaments in the Reign of Edward II,’ Trans. R. H. S., 4th Series, rx, 1926, 531).

6 Rot. Parl., u, 96. In connection with the retirement of justice Herle he is retained on the following conditions; ‘ipsis vero justiciariis ac aliis universis et singulis qui sunt vel erunt de consilio nostro pro tempore’ (Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 913).

142 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Quite infrequently in the documents names like privy council, secret council, or chief council occur, but the adjectives are merely descriptive. ! No smaller or inner council, analogous to a modern cabinet, was set off

at any time. True, the council was sometimes larger and sometimes smaller, now attended by lords and again by officers only, and it might be secret or open, but according to all common understanding it was legally one and the same. In time there might arise a division between privy council and ordinary council, but to project such distinctions into the fourteenth century, as some historians do, is premature and misleading. The sole classification of value at this time, as many of the preceding citations show, 1s between the councillors attending the king?

and those attached to the fixed courts like the chancery and the exchequer. Of the two branches the latter was the more active and stable and upon it the formal work mainly devolved, the branch following the king, whether at home or abroad, appeared and disappeared in a quite

fortuitous manner.* Between the king and the council at a distance there were incessant communications. At Westminster in the exchequer building there was an upper chamber, antecedent to the Star Chamber, wherein we are informed the king’s council was usually held. More than once in our records the following contrasting expression is used, ‘en la presence le Roi ou place du conseil.’® A certain status of councillor seems to be implied in the passage, “qe

nul Pere de la Terre, Conseiler, n’autre Grant ne Petit." Men were further said to be sworn or retained of the council, although it is by no means assured that every one giving counsel was duly sworn. While departmental officers could always be counted upon whenever they were needed, there were also a certain few who were retained with fees for special services, such as foreign allies, law-doctors, and emissaries. Among these was Reymund Corneli of Aragon who came to England in 1329 with messages from the government of that kingdom, and before his return under secret instructions was honorably attached to the king’s. council and household with a yearly fee for life of £200 to be paid out

of the revenues of Aquitaine.’ The house of Cuyck in Brabant had long been in alliance with the king of England, and now Odon, lord of 1 “Monstreit soit a notre Seigneur le Roy et son Prive Counseil’ (Rot. Parl., 11, 50) ‘Q’il covendroit ge notre Seignur le Roi et son Secrez Counseil pres de lui’ (Rot. Parl., 11, 107). 2 ‘Ceux qi feurent entour le Roi adonges’ (Rot. Parl., 11, 31).

3 A petition of the people of Durham, having been shown to the king at Clarendon, was disallowed because he had not there sages of the council (zbid., p. 99). 4 “In quadam camera ad scaccarium ubi concilium Regis communiter tenetur’ (Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 839; C.C.R. 1830-1333, 573). 5 Rot. Parl., 11, 64, 66, 68. 6 Tbid., p. 56. 7 C.P.R. 13827-1830, 416; C.C.R. 1330-1833, 532.

The King’s Council 143 Cuyck, is induced to continue for life as one of the king’s council with a

fee of £250 a year. Antonio Pessano, a Genoese merchant, moneylender, and purveyor, was honored by the king as his faithful knight and councillor, and was once sent in company with John of Shoreditch as an emissary to Aquitaine with data to be used in the court of Paris.’ This John of Shoreditch was a noted civilian and canonist, an advocate of the court of arches, who, having been sworn of the council in the previous reign, was still retained and repeatedly sent to France and also to Rome as the king’s proctor.? Cardinal Annibald, who acted in the king’s communications with Avignon, was engaged as one of the council for life with a fee of fifty marks a year out of the issues of Aquitaine.‘ Bernard, lord of la Brette, was another foreign ally named as councillor, and Master John Petri, a doctor of civil law, was engaged as one of the council with an annual fee of fifty marks in the likelihood of his being sent abroad. Master John Walwayn, a canon of Lichfield,’ and Henry of Geldres, a law-doctor, were similarly retained and employed.* Robert of Shirburn claimed that he had been retained from the eighteenth year of Edward II into the sixth year of his successor, but had never received either the promised forty shillings a year or the price of a robe; neither had he been given any signal commission.® William Herle, one of the Justices of the common bench, was permitted to retire from office on condition that he remain as one of the secret council, coming to parliaments and councils together with other justices on summons;!° in this

group his name continues to appear. In 1336 Niccolo de’ Fieschi, a citizen of Genoa, was engaged as one of the king’s council with a yearly

fee of £20, and was straightway sent from Genoa to hire galleys and ships for the transportation of horses in the king’s service, mention being made of the long friendship existing between the king of England and

the city of Genoa.!! Probably many others who attended the king, or 1 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 773; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 445, 533; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 573. 2 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 573, 582; Tout, Chapters, 11, 315 n.

3*Quem dominus Rex ad commorandum secum de consilio suo . . . pro mora sua per annum ad scaccarium suum £50’ (Issue Roll, 5 Edw. III, No. 255, m. 10). A writ to the treasurer and barons to give him access to all records relating to disputes with France: see Chancery Miscellanea, Bundle 28, File 8, No. 9. See also C.C.R. 1333-1337, 446, 578; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 111; Rot. Parl., I, 41. * Foedera, 11, Pt. 11, 894; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 29.

5 “De nostro speciali consilio et familiaritate retinemus et communioni consiliariorum nostrorum specialiter agregantes’ (Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 701; C.P.R. 1334-1388, 27). ®° C.P.R. 1830-1334, 437; Issue Roll, 8 Edw. ITI, No. 278, m. 21; 9 Edw. ITI, No. 282, mm. 6, 20. As to Petri, above, p. 30, where he is called Piers. 7 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 341, 347.

8 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 969. ° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 266. 10 Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 913; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 153, 318. 11 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 247, 321, 328; C.C.R. 13338-1337, 686, 733.

144 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 otherwise served him, were considered as belonging to this outer circle of the council. Especially in the employment of foreign agents the ad-

vantage of binding them under the terms of the councillor’s oath to secrecy and loyalty is sufficiently obvious.

At this time no particular prominence was given to any clerk who

, may have remained with the council for writing its acts and letters, although just such a clerk was temporarily employed under Edward II.? It is not unlikely that the clerk of parliament acted also for the council, while their respective records were closely related and thrown together. Because the king and the council were frequently, perhaps usually, separated from each other the employment of messengers was a matter

of some importance. In such correspondence the letters that survive are often disappointing, because they merely commend a ‘dear clerk’ who is personally to convey the real message. It is in the payments for such services that the rolls of the exchequer tell of one clerk after another being sent from the council to the king, or vice versa, ‘on certain secret business.’? Besides clerks of the chancery, clerks of the wardrobe and the privy seal were coming into greater prominence. Among the latter class a notable career was being begun by one Master Richard Bury, sometimes honored as Sir Richard Bury.* Having risen in the service of Edward when the latter was earl of Chester, he also attended Queen Isabella and is recommended by her as ‘our dear clerk.’ In 1328 he was made cofferer of the wardrobe, in 1329 keeper and treasurer of the wardrobe, and later in the same year keeper of the privy seal. Turning his back on Mortimer and Isabella he was, with Montague, one of the organizers in the coup d état of 1330. The mystery that has enveloped this plot is considerably lightened by the discovery of a letter to the pope written by the hand of Bury, who styles himself the king’s secretary, a communication that may be dated possibly as early as September 1329 and is to be regarded as an early step toward the overthrow of Mortimer.®

From this time his services and preferments were much greater. In 1In one case this is stated: ‘Quod corporale praestitit sacramentum domino nostro Regi praestare et impendere consilium, auxilium et favorem contra quoscumque’ (Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 980).

2 Roger Northburg, to whom compensation was paid: ‘moranti apud London ad consilium .. . pro diversis litteris juxta ordinacionem consilii Regis ibidem faciendis . . . pro litteris et aliis per consilium Regis ibidem sibi injunctis’ (Exchequer Accounts, 375/8, foll. 6, 8, 11d.; cited in MaxwellLyte, Great Seal, p. 84). 3 For example, ‘Williamo de Thorleye misso per Reginam et consilium Regis cum litteris et allis

negotiis dominum Regem tangentibus de Ebor’ in comitatum Gloucestr’, Wylts’, Suth’, Dors’, Somers’, Devon’ et Cornub’ pro expensis suis et pro restauro unius equi sui per assensum consilil predicti, £6 13s. 4d.’ (Issue Roll, 1 Edw. III, No. 228, m. 10); and many other items. * Tout, Chapters, 111, 26-27.

5 This autograph letter has been printed and explained by C. G. Crump, E. H. R., xxv1 (1911), 331. It is also notable as containing the first known signature of any English king.

| The King’s Council 145 1332 the treasurer and barons of the exchequer were ordered to audit his accounts despite his absence when it was declared that the king could not be without him as well because of things pertaining to the privy seal

as for other reasons.! Some of the reasons appear in the communications that he was carrying to and fro between the king and council. As the most important of the intermediaries thus employed, he must have tarried with the council to some extent and perhaps wrote some of the notes. Quite frequently petitions were endorsed to the effect, ‘let this petition be delivered to Richard Bury that he may make it known to the king who may declare his will.’ In 1330 he was appointed with Anthony Pessano to borrow as much as £50,000 for the use of the king; although the letters were vacated, they show the position of trust both men then enjoyed.’ At this stage of development one does not expect to find a complete differentiation of council and parliament in respect either of organization

or of the course of business. As two branches of the same primitive stem they continued to have much in common. But in response to the renascent feudal influences that have already been noted ‘the council in parliament,’ according to the phrase by which the organization of Edward I was best known, was yielding, with a changed emphasis, to the designation ‘the lords spiritual and temporal and others of the council.’ In the older sense a parliament was essentially an expanded, more dig-

nified, and authoritative session of the council. The transition meant an aggrandizement of the lords and a depression of the official councillors.* During the period now under review there were in turn both great councils and parliaments, and the difference seems to have lain in the degree of formality and dignity that pertained to them rather than

in any feature of organization. But in regard to the lesser council it evidently mattered whether it was sitting, as our records say, in parliament or out of parliament. Contemporary documents in fact use varying expressions, some denoting the distinction of council and parliament quite clearly, while others imply a merging of the two. Thus we find ‘placita coram rege et consilio in presentia procerum et magnatum,’ and again ‘coram domino rege, magnatibus, et consilio.”®> Likewise there are

proceedings ‘before the king and council and also in parliament’; ‘by 1 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 517, 518, 607.

2 Ancient Petitions, Nos. 2234, 4579, 7065, 7750, and many others. A license at his request: C.P.R. 1827-1880, 534. Again he is sent forth on the king’s business to Avignon with a payment of £200 (Issue Roll, 7 Edw. III, No. 265, m. 26). 3 O.P.R. 1830-1334, 98.

4 By a different line of reasoning this is the view also of Richardson and Sayles, ‘The King’s Ministers in Parliament,’ E.H.R., xivir (1932), 377-97. ° Rot. Parl., u, 3.

146 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 king and council with the assent of the whole parliament’; ‘by assent of prelates, earls, barons, and commons and by advice of the council.”! A certain warrant is issued ‘par assent des grantz de notre conseil,’ which in the ensuing letters patent is transformed to the assent of parliament,? thus showing that for the purpose the two phrases were interchangeable. On the other hand the utmost of a distinction is observed when a petition of the prelates, earls, and barons is answered by the king’s council. All these variations of form bespeak the transition that was in progress from the council to the nascent house of lords. It was without breach of continuity, therefore, that business was carried over from council to

parliament, and from parliament to council. One suitor complains of the continuance in his case from parliament to parliament, and from council to council.2 Another sues in parliament and out of parliament, and finally before the council in chancery.* In the frequent parliaments of this period, some of them brief and ill-attended, the grievance of unanswered petitions and suits delayed was constantly expressed.’ The archbishop of York in his conflict with the town of York was first ar-

raigned before the council, and then after a long postponement was finally acquitted in full parliament. Another case dragged on after being heard at first in the chancery, then in parliament, again before the council in chancery, and finally in parliament again.” In the ordinary course of business no distinction had to be made between council and parliament nor was there any subject-matter that be- | longed to one body to the exclusion of the other.* And yet there were occasions when the supreme authority of parliament was recognized, as when a matter once decided in parliament could be reversed only by the same body.® So when the burgesses of Bedford asked for a writ to the exchequer to surcease, the council was advised to refuse because cog-

nizance of the matter had already been given in parliament.'° When the mayor and a deputation of London protested before the king and council against the removal of the exchequer to York, the king and the whole council refused to change the order, inasmuch as the matter had 1 C.C.R. 1827-1330; 105; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 280; C.F.R., tv, 452; Statute 9 Edw. III, 1, c.1 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 270).

2 Chancery Warrants, File 157, No. 2151; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 330. 3 Ancient Petitions, No. 7327. 4 Ibid., No. 7830.

5 Ibid., Nos. 3869, 10323; Rot. Parl., 11, 70. | 6 Rot. Parl., u, 31. 7 Rot. Parl., 11, 87.

8 This holds of course only for routine business. For distinction elsewhere, see below, pp. 155, 161.

® It was claimed by the commons that parliamentary approval should have been obtained for the recall of the Despensers, who had been exiled in parliament (cbid., p. 7). 10 Thid., p. 96; Ancient Petitions, No. 3011.

The King’s Council 147 been ordained by the magnates. Sometimes a petition was treated with successive endorsements, the first being made by the council in usual course, and another confirming it or adding to it coram magno constlho.? As to whatever enlargement or reinforcement was connoted by the great council we are left in doubt, nor was any definition of a great council ever given. At present the inference is that the assemblage amounted to a great council whenever a sufficient number of magnates was present. While the trend of the times was less favorable to the official councillors in parliament, still a group of jurists and other skilled men was usually summoned to parliament, and the need of them in dealing with legal

questions is amply acknowledged. In the first years of the reign the king suspended the eyre of Kent, because in the parliament then being summoned he could not dispense with the presence and services of the justices. Again in a parliament called at Westminster 1n 1331, because certain of the magnates as well as men of law did not appear, the hearing of all petitions was postponed to another parliament.‘ 3. Tur CouNciL IN ADMINISTRATION

Much of the business that came both to parliament and the council lay in the form of petitions, that is to say, private bills. While it would be impossible among the hundreds of these petitions to make a division between those treated in parliament and those in council, it seems evident that the bulk of this business was being turned away from the former toward the smaller body wherein the lawyers predominated. The political distractions of the parliaments of this time were enough to preclude concentrated attention on private bills, nor do the enrolments display a comparatively large number of them.® In the claims of public over private interests, it was at one time necessary to decide that the king’s business should take precedence over any other.® In the first parliament of 1332 no petitions were received or answered because the discussion bore upon such matters as a projected crusade, relations with France, and the keeping of the peace.’ In the next two parliaments there were again postponements for similar reasons,® and not until 1333 1 0,C.R. 1327-1330, 165. 2 Ancient Petitions, No. 1890..

3 C.C.R. 13827-1330, 244. * Rot. Parl., 11, 67. > Messrs Richardson and Sayles have noted a distinct slackening in parliamentary petitions after 1330, and believe that the stream was thenceforth turned toward the chancery under the chancellor’s equity jurisdiction (Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, rx, 1931, 3-4; E.H.R., xivu, 1932, 379-381). I do not find, however, that it is the chancellor’s jurisdiction that is now growing so obviously as that of the council. Of this more will be said below. ® Rot. Parl., u, 60.

7 Ibid., p. 65. 8 Tbid., pp. 67, 68.

148 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 was the hearing of petitions fairly resumed. Some petitions were refused a hearing with the summary endorsement, ‘non est petitio parliamenti.’! And so the majority of petitioners apparently turned more hopefully to the council, some of them also to the chancery. Moreover the very language of the petitions themselves, which were addressed in

the majority of cases to the king and council and in turn answered in the name of the council, points to the same conclusion. The recurring phrase ‘petitio de consilio,’ which appears most frequently in the warranting of letters of the great seal, has been systematically translated in the calendars as ‘petition of council.’ The term is misleading unless it be understood as conciliar petition, in a sense analogous to parliamentary petition, the Latin phrase de consilio being necessary because of the lack of any cognate adjective for consilium.

| These petitions are the voices that express every kind of grievance, claim, and legal difficulty for which a remedy is sought ‘for God and in way of charity.’? Some of them represent the experience of individuals in the revolutionary events that were passing, others suggest the peculiar difficulties that the government of the time was facing. Of purely oral complaints at this point we are not informed, but evidently the petitioner sometimes came in person to urge his case,? and again both parties in a quarrel are said to be ‘now here before the council.’* Moreover, a complainant might leave out certain details in the writing which were afterwards to be supplied. Among the problems that pertained to the transition from Edward II to Edward III was that of the suitors who found that all pleas pending in the courts of the former king were suspended. They asked, therefore, that all such pleas be continued by the renewal

of writs of summons and attachment, a request that was reasonably granted.> There had also been a variety of purchases made in behalf of the late king, either without due warrant or any warrant whatsoever,

that called for compensation. Thus the butler of Edward II claimed allowances for wine, for which he had no regular warrant, and which the exchequer refused to pay. Testimony being taken before the council that the late king was accustomed to give such orders by word of mouth

and that the deliveries had actually been made as the butler claimed, 1 Rot. Parl., ua, 75-77.

2 The files of Ancient Petitions, as kept in the Public Record Office, are without dates, and there-

fore have been very difficult to use with reference to any particular period. But, in recent years, with great labor a ‘key’ has been compiled, which undertakes to give the date of a petition exactly or approximately as the case may be. It is only by the aid of this work that the following citations can be made. 3 “Et puis vient en counsail notre seignur le Roi et de ceo pria remedie’ (Ancient Petitions, No. 7327).

4 bid. No. 2251; also an anonymous petition, No. 7650. > [bid., No. 3935.

The King’s Council 149 the king ordered the treasurer and barons to make the allowance.! There long continued to be a stream of more or less irregular royal debts for which collection by the creditors was difficult. A claim of the keeper of the wardrobe in the previous reign was disallowed at the exchequer because the bill of the wardrobe was sealed with the personal seal of the keeper; the king now orders to allow.? In one case a pur-

veyor of victuals could show only a tally in token of his purchase.? Bills of the wardrobe were evidently honored at the exchequer only when accompanied by a writ to pay or to allow. Another creditor of Edward

II, as late as 1331, alleged that because of the present king’s recent councillors he had not dared previously to approach the court.*4 Amidst

the claims that poured forth involving deficient warrants or writs, one man offered to prove that his letters and records had been accidentally burned, another that his bills of the wardrobe were lost, still another that a roll had been taken away by the Scots of Stirling. A purveyor of supplies in the Scottish war claimed £96, according to a bill under the seal of the chamberlain of Scotland; but the treasurer and barons refused to make payment when ordered by letters of the privy seal instead of by warrants under the great seal. A foreign merchant sued in parliament on account ef certain purveyances which he had made to the late king, alleging that he had been robbed of the goods. This matter having been diligently examined by the council, it was agreed that the merchant should be paid, provided he could prove the robbery.’ A certain Roger Huse had lost a case in the court of common pleas by default because he was at the time on the king’s service in Scotland. A letter of the privy seal to the justices was considered by them to be insufficient, because it mentioned an absence of three weeks without specifying which three weeks. In response to the difficulty it seemed to the

council that there could be no recovery in the court wherein the party had once lost by default, but that there might yet be a recovery if he would bring a suit in error to the king’s bench. One William Brinkel declared that he had for seven years been seeking a commission of oyer

and terminer for the wrongs that he had suffered in the town of St Edmunds, while his enemy procured for himself a false acquittance of the trespass. It was explained that, the town being a franchise within 1 Rot. Parl., 11, 383; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 338. 2 0.0.R. 1827-1330, 165. 3 Ibid., p. 187. # Ancient Petitions, No. 4516; C.C.R. 1330-1338, 239, 250. 5 C.P.R. 1830-1334, 221, 1834-1338, 226, 264-265; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 265. ® C.C.R. 1830-1338, 97. 7 Rot. Parl., wu, 32.

8 Ibid., p. 89.

150 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 a franchise, no justice of the king could make any inquiry therein and so there was a barrier against any recovery. The plaintiff was answered

that there could be no amendment of the acquittance without a new law: Ideo expectet.1_ A litigant named Thomas Nerford was not succeeding in his suit for the repossession of his tenements. The council was of the opinion that the original writ was not maintainable at law because

it failed to state who his baron was.? One Bernard Boer already had an acquittance under the seal of Gascony, when for greater security he asked for its confirmation under the seal of England. He was answered that in such cases the king was not accustomed to use the seal of England, as it seemed to the king and council that the seal of Gascony was sufficient for the purpose. ?

The acts of fallen ministers have always been subject to review and

reversal. But never was there such a trail of desolation as that left behind by the Despensers. A statute passed in the first parliament of the present reign declared that any deeds that they had procured by force and duress should be annulled, and at the same time all grants made to them and other evil counsellors should be revoked.* So many were the claims at once raised on all sides that the validity of some was

doubtful. In one case where the extortion of a fine was alleged, the party was told that if the fine had been levied since the exile of the Despensers in 1321 he might sue according to the statute, but, if it was before that time, there could be no action.* The heir of a tenant of a manor which had once been held by the elder Despenser, but which had now come into the hands of Queen Isabella, had difficulty in recovering his tenement of forty acres. Having sued to the queen and her council,

he is told to sue to the king and council. The latter answers that his remedy is at common law.® More frequently the council gave the matter to a commission of inquiry, or for final settlement to a commission

of oyer and terminer. A certain suitor who had been an adherent of the late earl of Lancaster against the Despensers had gained release from prison only by a ransom of 500 marks for which his mainpernors were

still under obligations. It was decided that the amercement should be annulled in the exchequer, but that no restitution could be made of what had already been paid in.’ Another adherent of the Lancastrians had suffered from the malice and tormenting of the younger Despenser, 1 Ancient Petitions, No. 4517. 2 Rot. Parl., u, 82. 3 Ancient Petitions, No. 14472. 4 Statute 1 Edw. III, 1, c. 3 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 253); C.C.R. 1327-1330, 101. 5 Ancient Petitions, No. 4001. 6 Ibid., No. 3610. 7 Ancient Petitions, No. 3102.

The King’s Council 151 who would have hanged him just as he had treated others, so that he dared not come to court; he now prays that a sentence of outlawry be repealed. The council after hearing sufficient testimony answers that the outlawry should be repealed.!| Another claimant declares that as a reward for his services in the Scottish war Edward II had made him a grant of £40 a year, but that the younger Despenser before all the coun-

cil at Westminster had destroyed his letters. It was answered that the chancellor should search the records to see if the grant had already been repealed; if not, the chancellor and treasurer should treat with the claimant to see what could be agreed upon.? Whenever lands that had been wrongfully acquired by the Despensers came into the king’s hand, they might on sufficient proof be restored to

the former holder, but restitution did not include intervening profits. In one instance an inquiry was begun whether anything could be found

for the king that would bar the claimant from recovery.? Certain manors that had been held by the younger Despenser of the church of Durham were now claimed by the bishop as an escheat, but the council determined that as they were forfeitures of war the king’s hand should not be removed.* In the way of recognizances, enfeoffments, and quitclaims there seems to have been a veritable system by which such deeds were extorted, whether by duress, threats, or fraud. The names also of the late chancellor Baldock and William Cliff are connected with the same outrageous traffic. Some of these deeds were condemned as contrary to law and reason. Alexander Bergh alleges that, by an ingenious arrangement of the younger Despenser, the custody of the castle and town of Scarborough had been obtained in his name, the money then levied by another and that now the exchequer seeks to charge the complainant. Although it was testified before the king and council that the custody had been obtained in Alexander’s absence, it was not proved to their satisfaction that he had failed to profit by the transaction, and so he was required to join in the payment of £10 a year to the exchequer until

the debt should be paid up. Against Mortimer in turn there were likewise charges of maintenance, but nothing to compare with the innumerable frauds of the Despensers. To allay all question as to the legality of the government in his time, it was finally declared that the validity of a grant was not to be impeached on the ground that it had been made in the time of evil counsellors, even though they had brought the realm into ruin and disgrace.’

1 Thid., No. 2759. 2 C.P.R. 1827-1330, 498. 3 Ancient Petitions, No. 2106; Rot. Parl., u, 413.

* Ancient Petitions, No. 2154. 5 Rot. Parl., u, 440.

6 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 45. 7 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 242.

152 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 : The revolutionary time was inevitably attended by all the most dangerous forms of criminality, especially maintenance, forcible dispossession, procurement, and fraud. Under these conditions a small tenant had little use for an action of novel disseisin against a powerful lord like _ Badlesmere, who had withheld the land by force after it had been declared confiscated.! The same thing, in some measure, was true of many other dissentient and contrariant lords, Lancaster, Arundel, Kent, and Norfolk. Apparently out of fear of retaliation complainants represent the malefactors as unknown, the names being disclosed in the final writs. In one instance besides the petition we find the names and elaboration of the charges given in a separate schedule.? In 1334 the commonalty made a sweeping complaint of the whole matter, charging that, in spite of many appointments of keepers of the peace, felons and transgressors escape because they are maintained by magnates and others, who retain them in their households in their pay and livery, while gaol deliveries take place sometimes before the men can be indicted, often by surreptitious means, or else they are released by dishonest and cowardly jurors.? As a result general commissions of oyer and terminer were appointed for Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the other counties most afflicted. The council rarely heard such cases to a conclusion, but might summon the individuals to come and answer the charges. If it did not turn the parties back to common law for a writ of trespass, the most effective method was by a commission of oyer and terminer, under the statute 2 Edw. III that such commissions should be granted for ‘grievous and horrible trespass.’ In the worst cases parties would ask for such a commission, sometimes naming the men whom they would like to be appointed,‘ a practice that was open to the charge of procurement. More often the commissioners were chosen by the king, or else the warrant bade the chancellor select suitable persons. As has been pointed out in connection with the Despensers, the procuring of deeds by force and fraud was a common evil.

A curious case of this kind came up in the first year, wherein it appears that a recognizance for a debt of 1000 marks had been secured by the late earl of Arundel, and then on pretext of greater security another deed of 1000 marks, making 2000 marks which the earl afterwards sought

to exact. After the Arundel estate had come by forfeiture into the king’s hand, the aggrieved party petitioned the king for remedy. Before the king and council, Bishop Orleton of Hereford testified that on his 1 Ancient Petitions, No. 3656. 2 Chancery Warrants, No. 7731 A, B. 3 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 573.

4 Ancient Petitions. No. 780; the justices asked for are assigned in C.P.R. 1330-1334, 207.

The King’s Council 153 deathbed the earl had acknowledged the facts, and for the release of his

soul requested the bishop to bear witness to this before the king and council. In a spirit of equity, that would preclude even a valid claim when tinctured with fraud, the council advised and the king ordered the entire debt of 2000 marks to be cancelled. ! On taking the government into his own hands, Edward had promised the removal of sheriffs and a hearing of all charges that might be made

against them. How many of the sheriffs were removed by reason of this promise it is impossible to determine, so much was it the custom

to change them from year to year in any event. It is true that commissions were assigned and suits against sheriffs, bailiffs, and fermers , turned over to them. None the less hearings were taken before the council. For example, the commonalty of Norfolk and Suffolk accused their sheriff of having procured his office in the first place, of making false returns, and of obtaining false presentments and amercements so

that many people dared not pursue their rights. The request that he be removed and some better man be appointed was treated coram rege et magno consilio, but no action is recorded.? On the other hand the people of Bucks were more successful in complaining against their sheriff,

Richard Warde, for the council concluded that the testimony was true and that the offender should be removed.* Again, Renold Dyk of Kent is bold enough to declare that the array of archers in that county had not been duly attended to by the sheriff, whereupon the informer was required to come before the council to set forth the circumstances more fully.4 On a bill of complaint alleging torts and trespasses committed by ministers in the forest of Rockingham, especially the chief forester, Robert de Vere, the council found that the scandal was notorious and advised the removal of that officer, while the plaints should be heard by

a commission of oyer and terminer.® . Because the council was not in the usual sense a court of record,

neither its proceedings nor modes of procedure are so easily followed as those of other bodies. The utter lack of binding formality was indeed its chief characteristic. Accordingly what evidences remain are of on particular class, while much of our knowledge is derived indirectly. In the way of notes and memoranda a few scattered remnants survive, ® but much more is to be found in the so-called rolls of parliament, as well 1 C.0.R. 1327-1330, 47, 50. 2 Ancient Petitions, No. 3200. 3 Tbid., No. 4552.

4 Ibid., No. 14774.

° Ancient Petitions, No. 3330. Another case of the kind is in Rot. Parl., 11, 38. ° These are collected in the files known as Council Proceedings, Chancery; also Council Proceedings, Exchequer.

154 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 as in the rolls of other courts, wherever contacts were maintained. Endorsements of petitions are of course exceedingly numerous, but these

are as a rule marked by brevity and succinctness. Warrants to the chancery are likewise abundant, and whenever these emanate from the council they come quite nigh to being minutes at first hand. Then letters of the great seal, both close and patent, containing the final commands, whether by authority of the king or the king and council, often contain the most substantial evidence. In the line of procedure, it is needless to repeat, actions were properly begun by petition or bill. The king also constantly referred matters to the council, often with full authority so that no further reference need be made to him. Instead of acting on a petition, the council might also proceed on its own information or on common knowledge. Sometimes

it is noted that ‘some of the council testify.’ Next in order were the writs of summons or arrest for the parties wanted. Hitherto these processes did not vary from those used in other courts. According to the simplest formula, one was to come on a given day to do and to receive whatever shall be determined by the king and council. Coming into vogue was a more cogent form of writ, containing the words ‘quibusdam certis de causis,’ a decided departure from the rule of common law that no one should be taken by surprise and that a defendant should always be given cause. Already in the seizure of freeholds belonging to contrariants, writs containing the objectionable phrase had been adjudged

invalid in parliament. Notwithstanding its doubtful propriety the clause was being carried into writs of certiorari as well as those of summons and arrest.2. At the same time another innovation was started in the addition of a penal clause, according to which one is commanded ‘under pain of forfeiture’ to keep the peace until the next parliament, when what is reasonable will be ordained by the king and council.? Still another practice which was to be of great importance in the history of

the council was the issue of orders under the privy seal. Despite the ordinance that the common law be not disturbed by letters of the privy seal, orders to the judges to proceed and to surcease were being issued in this guise, regardless of the doubt as to their validity. Even more confidently, not only under the great seal but now and then under the privy seal,> were orders issuing for arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. Thus a gaoler is commanded to imprison, until further orders, all sus1 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 25, 32, 286. 2 0.C.R. 13383-1837, 516.

3 Ibid., pp. 185, 510. 4 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 185, 385. 5 Ibid., p. 227.

The King’s Council 155 pected persons, or to arrest certain persons wherever they may be found and bring them safely before the king and council.!. The parties having been given a day on which to appear, their names were then called out at the council chamber. On one such occasion when a defendant, after being called many times, failed to appear, the matter was continued to

another day before it was decided that his lands should be taken.? More often than instances of default were those in which parties were compelled to suffer delay by adjournment from one session to another. The most satisfactory method of securing the attendance of the party when wanted was by pledges known as mainpernors. Since it dealt with a multiplicity of cases, the council rarely gave a full hearing. Most petitions, in fact, were speedily endorsed, either with an acceptance or a refusal, with an opinion or instruction, or with a commitment to the proper court or commission. Whenever evidence

was required the parties were called to answer, to inform, to bring charters and other evidences, while witnesses might be required. Neither was the council averse to hearsay evidence. ‘The parties being present

were freely examined, and there is at least one suggestive example of witnesses being put under oath and examined,? a practice that was then only beginning. But the most regular method of ascertaining the facts was by a commission of inquiry, whose findings were duly returned and

considered by the council. Needless to point out, this method was a constant cause of delay. In cases of appeal from lower courts the record and process might be brought up and examined. In the case of Bishop Orleton, who had been convicted in the former reign of being an adherent of Mortimer and who was a rebel against the king, the record was recited and examined before the king and council in parliament; after being considered by the council, with the assent of the whole parliament, the judgment was finally annulled.4 While there are other examples of the council reviewing the record of a court on error, it is doubtful if a judgment was ever reversed, except in the presence of parliament or a great council. Quite as likely

the council would instruct a court to correct its own record. Indeed | the council on its own authority was reluctant to come to final judgments.

It would give an opinion, point out the error, instruct the judges very closely, and then leave it to the regular court to pronounce and record the judgment. Especially when the rights of the crown seemed to be involved, the matter would be fully examined in the council before a 1 C.P.R. 1334-1838, 210, 212; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 437, 516. 2 0.0.R. 1327-1330, 27. 3 Rot. Parl., u, 436. 4 0.C.R. 13827-1330, 45.

156 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 writ to proceed issued to the justices.1_ Quite as often the justices themselves were unwilling to proceed without advice from the council. Another expedient countenanced by the council to avoid judging a dispute? was that of arbitration. In a violent altercation between Henry and Roger Grey over the custody of the castle of Ruthyn in Wales, it

was agreed before the council with the assent of the parties that the matter should be submitted to arbitration; but if the arbitrators could not agree the disputants were to accept whatever should then be ordained

by the king and council. In seeking to quell the dissensions that were arising between the Cinque Ports and Great Yarmouth, the council being

assembled in the Tower of London laid down the course of procedure that was thenceforth to be observed by the two sides to the effect that neither party was to move forcibly against the other, and that quarrels when they arose were to be laid before the admirals, who should act according to right and reason.4 As to how the council reached its conclusions we are very slightly informed. After a reading and hearing of the matter, there might be an examination of the evidence, a discussion or debate, and a final deliberation. Sometimes a question was interposed and the testimony of councillors added. Finally, what seemed best, what was agreed to, considered, or adjudged closed the record. Probably a formal vote was seldom necessary, while the opinion of a minority was usually silent. The only example that the writer has noticed of individual opinion being called for occurred in open parliament, when to the proposal that no magnate should maintain robbers and other felons each of the lords, it is said, was examined and assented thereto. In most points of procedure parliament and council were thus far alike. A great deal of the business of the council, as has already been intimated, was put into execution through the chancery, its writs, letters of the great seal, and final enrolments. In former times much could be said of the exchequer as the seat of the council, and it was still the practice of the treasurer and barons to call others to their assistance. But any such assemblage may be regarded as a reinforced session of the exchequer rather than a sitting of the council. A certain restriction of the exchequer in this connection was authoritatively laid down when it was noticed that a writ under the exchequer seal had been issued to summon

parties to come before the treasurer and others of the council. In a sharp reprimand the king was said to be astonished, because such writs 1 C.C.R. 13338-1337, 538.

2 Geoffrey de la Pole had recovered his lands by judgment of the king and council only to find himself ejected again. The matter was then given to a commission (C.C.R. 1330-1333, 379).

3 0.0.R. 1327-1830, 395. 4 0.0.R. 1333-1387, 737.

The King’s Council 157 were not to be issued from the exchequer without his knowledge, while no one was bound to answer for a freehold under grant except on the king’s writ.!_ In other words, for the purpose at hand the great seal was

superior to the exchequer seal. This rule was observed again when a commission to arrest and bring a certain party before the council was renewed because it had been previously issued under the seal of the exchequer.”

The intimate connection of council and chancery is manifest in the abundant series of chancery warrants, consisting mainly of letters of the privy seal, some also of the signet, which were accepted in the depart-

ment as authority for the outgoing letter or writ. Petitions with endorsement, acts, and memoranda were also sent and accepted for the same purpose. These warrants were evidently kept in files according to some system that has been lost to us, since the original files have been

entirely broken up. Many of the letters as we find them in the close rolls and patent rolls are consequently marked with attestations such as per regem et consilium, per consilium, per petitionem de consilro, per pro-

vatum sigillum, etc. A comparison of the warrants with the consequent letters shows little consistency of usage in respect of the attestations. An act in which the council evidently participated is warranted by the king, or by privy seal; whether an order is marked by authority of the king and council or simply by council seems to be a matter of indifference; again even if the council has really acted there may be no attestation of the fact. The dating of the letter of the great seal may be identical with that of the privy seal, or it may differ by a day or a month. From what the present writer has read of these files and rolls, he is inclined to believe that it depended upon the individual clerk who handled the business how the file was made up. To him it mattered not whether the instrument was by king or by council or by parliament, for one au-

thority was as good as another. He might again classify by dates or locality. In any case all that he needed was to find on demand the warrant proving his right to draft the final grant or letters.

Furthermore, a study of the warrants is of great help to an understanding of the authority that was given to the chancery. The endorsement or other warrant commonly gave to the chancellor and his clerks a measure of discretion not only in the choice of formulae and of the names to be filled in, but even of the remedy to be applied. Thus the chancellor was to ordain speedy remedy, either by oyer and terminer or otherwise as may seem best;® he was to act according to law and justice, 1 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 194-195. 2 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 361. 3 Cal. Chane. War., 1, 575.

158 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 right and reason, in good faith and conscience; or again, ‘let there be given a writ if it please the chancellor.’! ‘A place of equity,’ the chancery was broad y declared to be, ‘in that for which the common law does not serve, remedy is given in the chancery.’? The chancellor’s equity however as yet contained nothing of the substantive justice which came into existence at a later time. As clearly as we can trace its oper-

ations up to this time its bent was to expedite the ways and means of justice already known, usually in the devising or sanctioning of a writ. In any case the discretionary power belonged not to the chancellor alone

but to the council sitting with him.? Under these conditions the chancellor was commanded to call the justices and other wise men of the council, those whom he sees fit, or those who are with him; in one instance he is to call all the king’s council to the chancery.* In any such assemblage few lords were likely to be present simply because of their reluctance to come. As a certain petitioner in a suit to annul a recognizance explained: while the statute of Westminster had ordained the calling of bishops, earls, and barons together with the justices, the said bishops, earls, and barons could not be induced to come by force of any law yet ordained.* Conversely, when in the course of business legal difficulties arose, the chancery refused to proceed without just such consultation. When the abbot of Battle claimed a writ of gaol-delivery by virtue of his franchises, the clerks of the chancery were unwilling to grant such a writ saunz comun consatl, in order first to determine whether gaol-

delivery had been the abbot’s privilege. Petitions that were delayed in parliament were frequently given to the council or the chancellor and council for consideration. After a continued suit in various parliaments, finally because of the absence of both magnates and jurists in 1331, one such petition was committed to the chancery, where the evidence was finally to be examined before the chancellor, the treasurer, the justices, the barons of the exchequer, and other sages of the council.’? And so it

was with all other petitions then pending. It was before the council in chancery that a record and process in the king’s bench was brought up and examined in order to advise whether a writ to proceed should be 1 Ancient Petitions, No. 2515.

2 Anthony Fitzherbert, Les Reports des Cases, ed. Robert Brooke (London, 1568), 1-10 Edw. III, 1. 7, 20. 3 The chancellor is told to call before him men learned in the law and then cause to be o dained by the king’s ec uncil, etc.

4 Ancient Petitions, No. 4811; Chancery Warrants, File 155, No. 1960. Also he is told, ‘quil appellez les justiz et autres sages et grantz de la terre’ (Ancient Petitions, No. 7199). 5 Ancient Petitions, No. 14788. 6 Rot. Parl., 1, 15. 7 Rot. Parl., u, 59.

The King’s Council 159 issued to the justices.' A certain Richard Holand alleged that while he was on the king’s service in Gascony he had been indicted of felony and outlawed, wherefore he sought a writ to reverse and annul the outlawry.

But as no such writ was known in the chancery, it was the opinion of ‘the whole council’ that to be in the king’s service was no cause for reversing an outlawry, unless a new law should be ordained.? Wherever there is a likely course of procedure it is soon known to suitors who press for it in their petitions. One of them asks that his petition be given to the chancellor, others take the straighter course of addressing the chancellor himself. One in particular requests the chancellor to urge upon (znstare) the king and council,? another obtains the

answer that he may come before the council. The style of address varies: ‘au chaunceller,’ “au chaunceller et conseil,’ ‘a honourable pieres en dieu chanceler et tresorer et as autres honourables seigneurs sages du conseil notre seigneur le roy,’® etc. One party makes a primary distinction when he asks to appear “devant le chaunceller ou devant le conseil.’® In most of these cases the propriety of dealing with them in chancery is evident, whether because they turned upon records deposited in the de-

partment, or because they required subsequent writs. But sometimes it was not so clearly a chancery subject as a matter of general policy. Once the chancellor and other councillors were called upon to discuss matters preliminary to a parliament, and at another time after a parliament a similar group was to put into a statute the things that had been _ decided.” At a time when the archbishop of Canterbury and his fellow commissioners were in France it was a question whether they should be sent on to Avignon or brought back to England. The king commanded the chancellor and the treasurer to call the chief justice and other wise men of the council to advise what to do.* In the midst of such a multiplicity of duties, it is not surprising to find a petitioner who was discouraged because of the ‘diverse occupations’ of the chancellor.?®

Since most of the business before the council was treated piecemeal, its records are usually fragmentary, but in at least one instance there appears a long and complete record of a case. This is part of a long1 [bid., p. 70. In a plea before the council in chancery that a certain partition had been erroneously made, it was considered that the partition should be made anew (C.C.R. 1330-1338, 316). * Ancient Petitions, No. 2593. 3 Chancery Miscellanea, Bundle 28, File 4, No. 6. 4 Ancient Petitions, No. 14774. 5 Ibid., Nos. 8377, 10516, 15119, ete. 6 Ibid., No. 7190. ” Cal. Chane. War., 1, 531, 552. 8 Chancery Warrants, No. 8354. ® Ancient Petitions, No. 397.

160 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 drawn litigation between Queen Isabella and the prior of Coventry, being a conflict over the seigniorial rights belonging to the two sides of the town of Coventry and its environs, known respectively as the earl’s-half and

the prior’s-half.1_ The former half having passed by bequest to the queen, the situation was complicated by the fact that the prior bought back for an annual ferm the manorial rights of the queen. But did such

franchises as view of frankpledge go with the manor? That was the issue. The record,? consisting of four membranes, is a kind of original memorandum such as was likely to be engrossed either on the rolls of parliament or on the close rolls. Of this process, however, there was no enrolment because it proved to be of no value as a final settlement. Its importance lies in a clear presentation of the claims involved and of the procedure characteristic of the council. The petitions of the prior and the counter-petition of the queen having been presented in the lenten

parliament of 1336, the matter was taken up in a council sitting at Northampton in the following June, in the presence of the chancellor, the treasurer, and a suitable number of lords and justices. Besides the petitions the pleadings of counsel for each of the parties in turn are set forth fully in the writing, very closely after the method of replication and rejoinder. On behalf of the prior it was argued that the franchises in question had rightfully belonged to the church from the

beginning, until the queen had lately usurped them. On the part of the queen it was urged that she had exercised these rights not only inside

the manor of Coventry but in other vills and hamlets beyond. A question was interjected by the council whether there had been one view or two views of frankpledge, and it was answered two. For the queen it was maintained that view of frankpledge is a royal liberty which can never be alienated or divided but is always integral into whosesoever hand it comes. Incidentally the prior introduced a bill of complaint against many violent acts by the agents maintained by the queen. 1 The history of this curious situation is given by Mary D. Harris, History of Coventry (London, 1898), Chs. v, vi. The present record, however, was unknown to her. 2 Parliament and Council Proceedings, Exchequer, E 175, Roll 88. Since this study was finished the record in its entirety has been printed in Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 240-266. 3 The introduction is as follows: ‘Processus super quibusdam demonstrationibus et petitionibus Prioris de Coventre et Petitione domine Isabelle Regine Anglie exhibitis coram domino Rege in parliamento suo apud Westm’ convocato die Lune proxima post mediam quadragissimam anno Regis Edwardi tercii a conquestu decimo. Et postea per preceptum domini Regis coram consilio ipsius domini Regis apud North’ die Martis in crastino Sancti Johannis Bapti’ tunc proximo sequenti in presentia venerabilium patrum domini J. Archiepiscopi Cantuar’ ipsius domini Regis Cancellarii et H. Lincoln’ Episcopi ipsius domini Regis Thesaurarii, S. Episcopi London’, Johannis Comitis Warenne, domini Thome de Wake domini de Lidel, Williami de Clynton, Galfri le Scrop, Williami de Herle, Ricardi de Wylughby et aliorum Justiciariorum et fidedignorum domini Regis tunc ibidem presentium recitatis, quarum quidem demonstrationum et petitionum ipsius Prioris sequitur.’ Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 240.

The King’s Council 161 Several times the hearings were postponed to another time and place, and one day was given coram consilio in cancellaria ubicumque. Charters and other records were brought in, and at one point an inquisition of the

facts was taken in the county. The final result must have been disappointing to all parties concerned, as it certainly is to the reader who has followed the matter thus far; for after diligent deliberation the council merely decided for diverse reasons not to proceed to final judgment in the question of frankpledge or even in the matter of injuries. The queen then should depart sine die, while the prior might sue in another way if

he wished. As the historian of Coventry has shown, the dispute was ended only when the corporate borough secured its liberties.!' In this manner the council with all the instrumentalities in hand for quelling the disorders that were afflicting the country, being swayed by sentiment or political influence, proved to be supine and evasive.

Altogether, the ten years under review formed an abnormal period for the council. Whereas the nonage of a reigning king, according to the example of Henry III and later of Richard IJ, might be expected to bring the council into unusual prominence, the luckless intervention of Isabella and Mortimer thwarted any such development during the minority of Edward III. After that the msurgent spirit of the lords hindered all concentration of political power. But the unprecedented frequency of parliaments and the diffusion of commissions proved also the

inadequacy of government by the magnates, who defeated their own purpose by mutual jealousies and inconstancy. As a result the king’s council, especially in dealing with administrative and legal problems, was more needed than ever. Under these conditions a certain dichotomy of parliament and council is evident, as the former was advancing toward greater political and legislative activity, while the more technical work fell inevitably into the hands of professional councillors. Although no marked steps were taken as yet toward claiming a special field of jurisdiction, a constant activity on normal lines was encouraged, an activity which in time prepared a unique place for the council as well as for the court of chancery. 1 Harris, op. cit., p. 77.




1. Tue Issuz or CHANCERY WRITS

A STUDY the office of main the great seal! between 1327 andheld 1337at must beofmade with the principles of administration that time constantly in mind. Government was still in a real and effective way government by the king; the king alone was central and essential to the whole. AJI ministers carried out the king’s commands, however expressed, or stood in his place. Standing in place of the king, a minister exercised a power narrowly limited and defined; the great and only universal distinction in administration was that between acts which

did and acts which did not involve the prerogative of the king. Not even the council was above this general law.?. It applied equally to the ministers of state and to the familia et servi? of the king; the distinction between the theoretical and even the practical independence of these two categories of officials is largely modern and unreal. Where the prerogative of the king was involved, all ministers steadily refused to act alone.* Nothing had happened since the days of Henry II to invalidate the administrative ideals of Richard Fitz Nigel (or Fitzneal), so carefully articulated and yet perhaps sometimes misunderstood. A civil ser1 T should like to express here my gratitude to Mr Charles Johnson for his generosity in reading through this essay before it went to press.

2°To W. Bishop of Chester treasurer and R. Bishop of London Chancellor. Mandate to call those of the council who should be called and see the showing of Sir Geoffrey de Camville in the matter of franchise which he has used in Ireland, and make such order as shall seem reasonable; and, if the showing demands grace, to certify the king what he can do’ (Cal. Chance. War., 1, 263, 30 May 1307). Cf. Bertie Wilkinson, ‘The Authorisation of Chancery Writs under Edward ITI,’

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vir (1924), 107-139. But I did not there sufficiently emphasize the fact that some privy seal warrants may be traced ultimately to the council. 3 The latter phrase is from the Annales Londonienses, ed. William Stubbs (London, 1882-83), 1, 198; it was used in connection with the ‘second’ ordinances of 1311, corresponding to the household ordinances of 1318: see Bertie Wilkinson, Studies in the Constitutional History of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (Manchester, 1937), pp. 227-246.

# Cf. Ancient Correspondence, xu, No. 164, ‘. . . La cedule estoit aussi monstree a Tresorer, et il ne la savoit entendre nene voleit sur ce doner aucune conseil pour cause qele demandast grande

declaracion .. .’ 162

The Chancery 163 vant could still thankfully assume that ‘it is necessary to be subject to and to obey, with all fear, the powers ordained by God.’! The chancellor had the duty of safeguarding the interests of the crown, but hardly that of ‘constitutional’ opposition to the king. In the last analysis the king was, from the administrative point of view, supreme; to question his judgment beyond a certain point was to transmute administrative zeal into political opposition; it was to go countre lestat de la Coronne.?

Mediaeval administration was an organic unity; any part can only be examined in relation to the whole. The whole was held together by a complex system of warrant and counter-warrant, all strands of which

ultimately led back to the king. Next to the king, in one sense, was the council. With no definite sphere of action of its own, the council touched administration at every point; as yet scarcely a ‘court’ itself, it entered into the activities of every other court. Protean in form as in function, it was at times indistinguishable from the departments it superseded or afforced. Next to the council was the chancery,*® sharing in all the functions of the council, with perhaps even wider activities, but with more restricted powers. After this the concentric circles of administration came to an end; the relations of the chancery to other officials and offices were conditioned by the specialization of function of every other department. The king worked through the council and the chancery to direct and control the administration of the state. Yet one must not be led astray by a figure. Looked at from another point of view, the council was not at the centre but at the circumference 1 William Stubbs, Select Charters and Other Illustrations of English Constitutional History from the

Earliest Times to the Reign of Edward I (9th ed., Oxford, 1921), p. 200; Richard Fitzneal, De Necessartis Observantiis Scacearit Dialogus, ed. Arthur Hughes, C. G. Crump, and Charles Johnson (Oxford, 1902), p. 55. The administrative historian is tempted to interpret this passage differently from Charles Petit-Dutaillis and George Lefebvre in Studies and Notes Supplementary to Stubbs’ Constitutional History (Manchester, 1930), 111, 311. It is only on some such assumption as the above

that an efficient civil service can be built up. The civil servant, as such, must obey orders; it is no

part of his duty to discover whether the orders are constitutionally justifiable or not. He must assume that they are. The mediaeval view of the divine sanction for monarchy was convenient for Richard Fitz Nigel; but we may not say that he was not well aware also of the normal mediaeval corollary of a limited monarchy. He was expressing, in the words of the day, the sound administrative view that the first duty of the exchequer official was to do his job of providing the king with money; how the king spent it, or whether he was morally entitled to it, were questions which might trouble him as a citizen, but not as an official. Cf. Paul Kirn in Historische Vierteljahrschrift, xxv1 (1932), 523-548, ‘Die mittelalterliche Staatsverwaltung als geistesgeschichtliches Problem,’ especially p. 539, ‘Sie stehen den Befehlen der Krone nicht unbedingt zur Verfiigung,’ etc. Similarly the chancellor’s duty was to safeguard the interests of the crown; this applied equally under a good king ora bad. Both the chancery and the exchequer had strong departmental traditions; but they were traditions neither of subservience to nor of independence from the king. 2 Revocatto Novarum Ordinationum, 1322 (Stats. of Realm, 1, 189). 3 Of course the ‘office’ of privy seal was nearer to the king than either; but it had not yet, it seems

probable, important independent duties of its own — a place in the scheme of administration apart from king and council; see below, p. 179.

164 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of the administrative system.! In its powers it came between the king and his ministers; in its actions it often began where the minister left off; the minister was the intermediary between king and council, not the

council the link between minister and king. The king did not act through, but with his council. Standing alone, the council was in no sense the vehicle of the unimpaired and unlimited prerogative of the crown. Similarly, neither was the chancery ‘controlled’ by the council or by the privy seal, on the one hand; nor, on the other, was the chan-

cery the channel through which king and council conveyed all their commands. It is utterly misleading to conceive the administrative system as symmetrical and concentric, with either the council and chancery or the household ‘system’ as the innermost circle next to the king. There is no simple pattern; the whole had grown, not been made. The relations between its component parts were varied and complex. The principles on which it was based must be thought out afresh; they cannot be discovered ready-made, in modern analogies and terms. But though administrative relationships and ideas may vary, administrative minds remain very much the same; and mediaeval administrative procedure is not to be disparaged because it is not easy to understand. Not lack of formalism and precise routine, but excess of these characteristics was the enemy to be feared. The chancery may be approached with a readiness to find significance and intention behind every detail and formula of the office. A microcosm is to be studied within which a vacuum or a superfluity was theoretically as abhorrent as in nature herself. Understanding of the great mass of records of the chancery of Edward III is only at its beginning. We may never — we may never wish to — understand the whole; but, until we do, it is safer to pay the official who has left no mean monument behind the tribute of a considerable respect for his work which, in spite of lapses and crudities, was purposeful and inherently sound. The chancery was the office of the great seal; and by 1327 the procedure for drawing up instruments under the great seal was elaborate and, in some of its aspects, precise.2, Much has been discovered about the nature of these instruments, but much still remains obscure. They are commonly regarded as falling into four main categories — charters,

letters patent and close, and writs, distinguished from each other by their form or their contents; but modern research has made it necessary 1 The question how far the council was an executive body in 1327 cannot be discussed here; but see some remarks below; also Wilkinson, Studies in Constitutional History, pp. 120-131. 2 Careful descriptions have been given recently in Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, and in Tout, Chapters, v, 122-127.

The Chancery 165 to modify this traditional view. These categories have been derived from the office of chancery itself; but the office was not entirely consist-

ent in its attitude towards them. Professor Tout has shown, for instance,! how the hanaper department seems to have used the term carta differently from the office of the rolls. On the other hand, the chancery clerks seem to have made no consistent distinction between a ‘letter’ and a ‘writ.’ The two were, indeed, apparently interchangeable terms.?

The hanaper department talked of ‘writs’ patent and close, when it obviously meant what are now commonly called ‘letters’ patent and close.2 The term ‘writ’ was specialized to the extent that it was invariably applied in common usage to the original writs which began actions in the courts and to judicial writs which were issued in the course

of those actions. The writ was preeminently an instrument of the law courts. But the term writ also seems to have been generally applied, as it was by the clerks of the hanaper, to any letter patent or close,‘ just as any letter under the privy seal was described by chancery officials as a writ. Sir Henry Maxwell-Lyte, indeed, seems to identify the writ with the letter close:® ‘in general outward appearance there was no material dif-

ference between the royal mandates which were entered in the Close Roll, and the much more numerous instruments which were prepared by the cursitors. Both classes belonged to the category of writs (brevia), and as such were easily to be distinguished from others issued by the

chancery.’ But, as the writer of Fleta observed, as early as the reign of Edward I, ‘some original writs are closed and some open’;® and, as we shall see, there was no clear distinction, as regards the instruments themselves, between a letter patent and a letter close. It seems probable, we shall have to conclude, that there was no consistent distinction

between a letter and a writ, either in the chancery or outside. The 1T, F. Tout, Collected Papers (Manchester, 1932-34), 11, 161. 2 As H. E. Salter seems to find the case, in Medieval Archives of the University of Oxford (Oxford,

1920-21), No. 14, p. 23, when he describes a document as a writ, though it proclaims itself a letter patent. It was an order addressed to the constable of Oxford castle. 3 On the other hand, fees were classified as those from charters, letters patent, and writs (e.g., Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 339). This (for the purpose of fees) seems to equate letters close and writs. 4 See Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., p. 303: ‘At some unknown date in the reign of Edward III, one Nicholas of Combes . . . applied for a writ patent ordering any of the King’s bailiffs to arrest goods . . . A writ close to that effect had, he said, proved useless . . .” Nicholas may well have been referring to a letter patent and a letter close, as defined by the department of the rolls. 5 Ibid., p. 304.

6 Fleta, ed. John Selden (London, 1685), p. 76, ‘originalia quaedam sunt clausa et quaedam aperta.’ Writs patent and close are referred to in the hanaper account, Pipe Roll, No. 178, and Pipe Roll, No. 184, m. 43d.

166 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 great distinction in the chancery was apparently between the charters and the letters patent and the letters close; this was expressed by the existence of different rolls in which they were recorded, charter, patent, and close rolls. What were the differences between the types of instrument enrolled on these three rolls in the period under review? Some of the well-known traditional differences between the three types may be enumerated. Charters were addressed to ‘archbishops, bishops,’ etc.; letters patent ‘to all whom it may concern,’ or in some similar way;

letters close to one person or a number of persons, generally given by name. Charters were attested by witnesses; letters patent ended with the clause ‘In cuius rei testimonium has letteras nostras fecimus patentes,’

whilst letters close ended simply “Teste me ipso’ etc., without defining the nature of the letter. Charters were sealed with the great seal pendant, usually affixed with silken threads, letters patent with the great seal pendant affixed with a strip of parchment, and letters close with

the great seal so affixed that, to read the letter, it was necessary to break the seal. Charters conferred solemn grants from the crown; letters patent were concerned with public business of more than transitory importance; letters close contained orders to an individual, important only to the recipient, and of no further use when once they had been read.

Of course, scholars have long known that the differences could not really be set forth, for the fourteenth century at least, as simply as this. They have known that letters patent, for example, did not always bear the features characteristic of their class. ‘They were sometimes addressed to individuals or groups of individuals;! they might contain concessions

as important as those contained in some charters; and they might end simply “Teste me ipso,’ as did a letter close.?,- On the other hand, letters

close might be issued with the seal pendant, as a letter patent was.? There are plenty of examples of letters which have been enrolled on the

close rolls, which still have the seal, or fragments of a seal adhering, which do not seem to have ever been closed up.* It was perhaps one of these which Roger Rivers had exhibited in the previous reign, when he ‘came here to the exchequer .. . and showed forth . . . certain letters 1 See, e.g., Salter, Medieval Archives of the University of Oxford, pp. 123-124; zbid., pp. 126-127;

Walter de Gray Birch, The Royal Charters of the City of Lincoln, Hen. II-Wm. III (Cambridge, 1911), p. 28.

2 E.g., the letter printed by Salter, No. 81, op. cit., pp. 123-124; abid., Nos. 51, 52, ete. 3 See Tout, Chapters, v, 126. On the other hand, compare two copies of a royal letter of 1367, a letter patent, with the clause ‘has litteras nostras fieri fecimus patentes, quamdiu nobis placuerit

duraturas.’ Both bear the great seal in white wax and although they are letters patent, both are sealed on a strip of the parchment in the manner of letters close (Oriel College Records, Oxford Historical Society, Lxxxv, 1926, 28-29). I owe this reference to my friend, Mr C. R. Cheney. 4 Examples are to be found in Salter, op. cit., Nos. 53, 101, 103, 137; see also Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 392, and my review of this book in History, x11 (1927-28), pp. 158-159.

The Chancery 167 close.”!_ The seal might be affixed to a letter patent in a variety of ways, including that with threads, as in a charter. It seems probable that some features of an instrument, like the ad-

dress of a charter (but not, apparently, the terminal clause and witnesses”), or the ‘In cuius rei’ etc., of a letter patent, were sufficiently decisive to determine the category of a document. Documents bearing these characteristics of charters or letters patent do not seem to have been enrolled in the close rolls. The confusion, if confusion it may be called, was mainly between letters patent and close; and it arose largely through addressing letters patent to individuals, or issuing letters close with the seal pendant, through a natural and sensible flexibility in the chancery,

to suit the needs of the moment, a readiness to set aside occasionally the strict traditions of the office. We are driven (as above) to take as the sole criterion in our classification the official classification of the department of the rolls, where this 1s available. But this fact itself partly explains the difficulties of any attempt to divide the documents under the great seal into the three great categories enumerated above. It was too limited a classification to cover all the differences existing by 1327. As Professor Tout has pointed out,? ‘enrollment in the close roll did not make the “libelous famosus”’ issued a second time under the privy seal a letter close under the great seal.’ Moreover, the truth is that these categories were now not very impor-

tant to other members of the chancery, outside the office of the rolls, who did not normally think of the documents they composed simply as charters, letters patent, or letters close. On the one hand they had a classification far more elaborate, into writs de expensis, certiorari, inspeximus, etc., which may have obscured the older distinctions; on the other, they tended to ignore these distinctions by using the term breve to apply equally to letters patent and letters close. Even the office of the rolls ignored them in the fine, Gascon, and other rolls, in which, presumably, both letters patent and letters close might be enrolled. Finally, we must remember that the purpose of enrolment was record. Each type of letter had its traditional place in the records, a place dic-

tated at this period by its contents alone. The form of a letter, for certain business, did not usually change; but even if it did, the letter would, as far as possible, be enrolled in the traditional place. Its category for enrolment was now determined by its traditional rather than its actual form. When we talk of a charter, a letter patent, or a letter close today, we mean only, in the last analysis, what the department of 1 Printed by J. C. Davies in The Baronial Opposition to Edward II (Cambridge, 1918), p. 548. 2 Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., p. 392. 3 Tout, Chapters, v, 126, n. 2.

168 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the rolls called a charter, a letter patent, or a letter close; and we must always be prepared for a considerable variation from the traditional forms (especially in the matter of sealing), not because the chancery officials were ignorant or careless of the traditions of the office, but because the practices of the department had become far more intricate and flexible than was reflected in the old, traditional, and simple classification of the department of the rolls. The composition of the various documents under the great seal was subject to elaborate rules. The important letters were committed to the clerks of the first form, or ‘greater clerks,’ to be drawn up under their

supervision. It is probable that they did not usually write the letters themselves; each leading clerk had one or two subordinate clerks writing ‘in hisname.’ The less important letters, especially those de cursu, which were in a set form, and were mainly used (as ‘original’ writs) to begin cases in the law courts, were composed by cursitors, who wrote in their own hand unless, by a special dispensation, on account of age or infirmity,

they were granted a clerk. Inferior clerks could only compose letters which were ‘commanded’ by greater clerks called “commanders’; each letter was scrutinized by ‘exantiners,’ who were ‘greater clerks,’ before it was handed in to be sealed; and only certain of the greater clerks could hand in letters to the seal. Special clerks (one or two), called ‘clerks of the crown,’ seem to have been responsible for the letters (such as those required for his household) which more directly concerned the king. It is possible that some letters had, in theory, to go before the king himself, before they were finally sealed. The keeper of the rolls, often the working head of the office, was responsible for very many writs. Requests

for letters to be issued were often addressed to him instead of to the chancellor.

It is not certain where the letters were prepared; it hardly seems probable that all were constructed in the chancery proper. ‘This was a section of the great aula at Westminster, where the chancery had its headquarters, at least from 1310, when we read of ‘the great bench upon which the chancellor was wont to sit.”"! In 1339 we again get a glimpse

of the chancellor sitting ‘at the great marble table,’? at Westminster: the hall there was, in 1348, described as ‘the king’s hall of Westminster where the place of the chancery is held,’? though we should not interpret

this to mean that the chancery could not be anywhere else. In France the chancery was only the place where the chancellor affixed the great 1 C.C.R. 1307-1818, 326. 2 C.P.R. 18388-1840, 327.

3 C.C.R. 1346-13849, 453; cf. Bertie Wilkinson, The Chancery under Edward III (Manchester, 1929), p. 96.

The Chancery 169 seal to writs which had been approved; the clerks attended at the various departments of government and then went home to construct the neces-

sary writs. It was not until 1370 that they were given a special room in the palace where they were to do this.! It hardly seems probable that in England all the construction of writs was carried on in the hall at Westminster, but there is, before 1400 at least, no evidence of an allocation of a special room for this purpose. In the oath of the chancery clerks in 1346, the cursitors were made to swear that ‘Ye shall not bring, nor to your knowledge suffer to be brought, any writs which ye make out of the court not sealed, thereof to do execution’;? but this does not seem to prohibit all construction of writs out of court. On the other hand it seems probable that by 12 Richard IL some letters were drawn up outside chancery; otherwise it is difficult to understand injunctions like that in the ordinaciones cancellarie, ‘that all the clerks attending the greater clerks of the first and second form . . . shall swear that they will write with their own hands each and every writ which they are called upon to make in their masters’ name.’? Already, perhaps, there existed a situation comparable to that in the time of Pepys, who, when wanting to get his patent as clerk of the acts engrossed, had ‘to run all up and down Chancery Lane and the Six Clerks’ office to find somebody who could do it, eventually finding a Mr Spong, who

gown. 4 7

did most of the engrossment at home the next morning ‘in his night-

The composition of the letters, wherever it occurred, was governed by very precise rules. In the ordinaciones cancellarie it was laid down that ‘the keeper of the hanaper of chancery, of whatsoever standing or repute he is or has been, shall not in future in any manner of way cause

writing to be done for the aforesaid (great) seal . . . unless he be a clerk of the first form, and, skilled in the traditional ways, know the 1 Octave Morel, La Grande Chancellerie royale et Vexpédition des lettres royaux de lavénement de Philippe de Valois d la fin du XIV® siécle, 1328-1400 (Paris, 1900), pp. 115-116. 2 Stats. of Realm, 1, 306. 3 Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 222. 4 Cited by Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 271. The following note would be quite compatible with

such a situation; it was written shortly after the period 1327-1337 and was from John Branketre (see Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 169) to David Wollore (cbid., p. 162): ‘Mon trescher sire et frere Jai devise la note la quele vous me ordonnastes affaire pour les fruitz sour la terre a meulx qe ie savoie par vostre devis, attendue aussi la grande maladie qe iai suffert depuis Lundy antea, dont vraiment jie ne quidoie avoir passe; dautrepart vous plese savoir qe iai resceu le reschaungement de Johan Dipper Burgois Damiens parmy les lettres du Roi et les Mareschalx de France et aussi lobligacion de celui qi demora en lieu de lui; vouse plese lui faire quiter pour sa demoere de lan passe en hostage, et li doner sauf conduit par lettres souz le grant seal nostre seignur le Roi pour. sen partir franchement vers son palis par manere et fourme qe fait ad este en tieu cas as autres. Nostre seignur encreste voz honoures. Escript a Londres y ce Joedy, vestre frere — J. de Branketre’ (Ancient Correspondence, xx, No. 65).

170 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 style (cursus) of the said court.’! The writer of Fleta has described how, as early as Edward Is reign (and, in all probability very much earlier), certain clerks of chancery examined each writ before it was sealed, ‘in ratione litera dictione et syllaba.’? The ‘course and style’ of chancery was a familiar thing. Exactly what it included one may hardly venture to decide without an exhaustive examination of the writs. The example of the papal curia suggests interesting speculation.* Certainly it encourages the belief that this was something more than the ‘Latin forms to be used in writs and . . . the conventional hand of Chancery,” which seems

to be suggested by one great authority on the mediaeval chancery.® Parts, at least, of the foreign correspondence of the chancery were written ‘with due heed to the rules of the Roman Cursus’&— rules, that is, governing the rhythmical ending of sentences and clauses.

At least one may be confident about one thing: every phrase in a normal chancery letter was, as Thomas Carlyle would have said, ‘significant of much.’ It is well known that exception might be taken to a single word in an original writ, though to be sure, in 1337, a writ was allowed to stand on the grounds that the word in question did not contradict the matter of the writ.” But the careful use of formulae extended far beyond original writs. There were special formulae for the letters of diplomatic correspondence, added to when Edward III assumed the arms and title of king of France in 1340.8 The distinctions between the formulae of different writs were on occasions very fine, and are now frequently very obscure; it is yet to be discovered, for instance, which formulae distinguished a parliamentary writ.°® The same sort of detailed regulation seems to have governed the dating clause of a letter or writ. No simple rule will suffice to explain every

case. Normally the date on the chancery letter or writ would be that of the original warrant; but when the original warrant bore no date, or 1 Printed in Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 218. 2 Fleta, p. 77. 3 Chancery Warrants, Nos. 415, 427. 4Cf. R. L. Poole, Lectures on the History of the Papal Chancery down to the Time of Innocent III

(Cambridge, 1915), pp. 76-97. . 5 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 15. But we should notice that the ‘cours de la Chauncellerie’

in 1337 (Year Books 11-12 Edward III, ed. A. J. Horwood, Rolls Series, London, 1863-83, p. 227)

seems to refer only to the customary phraseology. |

6 The question of the Cursus in England has been recently discussed by Noél Denholm-Young in Oxford Essays in Medieval History Presented to Herbert Edward Salter (Oxford, 1934), pp. 68-104.

’ Year Books 11-12 Edward III, p. 127; cf. ibid., p. 226. 8 See my ‘Letter to Louis de Male Count of Flanders,’ Bull. John Rylands Lib., rx (1925), 181. Cf. Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 237. 9 I have discussed this problem in my Studies in Constitutional History, pp. 25-54. Mr. Richardson and Mr Sayles do not seem to be very sanguine as to the possibility of discovering the character-

istic formulae of a parliamentary writ, “The English Parliaments of Edward II,’ Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, v1 (1928), 82-83.

The Chancery 171 where the date was not a formal part of the warrant, there is some reason

to believe that the chancery clerks adopted, in their letter to be issued, the date and place when and where the original warrant had been received.! There are still exceptions to this;? but there are well-observed and very precise rules.

A similar minute regulation is to be discovered, finally, in the notes recorded at the foot of chancery writs and in the enrolment of each writ. The significance of some of these notes (discussed further in Section 2), in both the chanceries of England and France, was very nearly, though not quite the same. They indicated the ultimate source of, or the additional authority for, the issue of the writ, and were a protection for and a control over, both the chancellor and his clerks. Despite the fact that Geoffrey Cotes, in 1330, claimed that the chancellor could obtain whatever warrants of privy seal he desired,? and despite the fact that his statement was so far true that some of the warrants were but the formal sanction for acts already done or being done, there is ample evidence that the notes represent a system, elaborately regulated at different times and on the whole carefully maintained.* Other notes were

the name of the clerk, corresponding to the signature du notaire in France,® appearing either on the front or on the back of a writ, occasionally on both. The use of these notes was restricted and their meaning Is uncertain. The name of the clerk on the front was probably that of the person who was responsible for the writ; on the back, it may have corresponded to the French visa of the chancellor, which indicated that the chancellor had personally examined and approved of the letter. ° 1 Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., pp. 248, 247.

2 See a striking example from the fifteenth century, observed by M. E. Curtis, ‘A Note on the Dating of an Exeter Charter,’ E.H.R., xiv (1930), 290, and Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 248-249. Of course, not all chancery writs were based on warrants. In any case, Mr Charles Johnson informs me, the places and dates given in the chancery writs cannot all be explained by reference to the

warrants. In cases of grants the date had often to be that from when they were valid, e.g., the date at which the last holder was discharged from his account. In such cases the clerks seem to have put the place at which the king was deemed to have been on the day named. But no doubt they sometimes got it wrong. Some writs seem to have been dated simply at the place where one -or other of the clerks happened to be. 3 Rot. Parl., 11,46. See alsoWilkinson, Chancery, p.32, and Bull. John Rylands Lib., vir (1924), 4.

#See Wilkinson, Bull. John Rylands Lib., virr (1924), 107-139, and Chancery, pp. 20-23. For the French chancery see Morel, Grande Chancellerie royale. In 1291 Edward I carefully defined a number of writs which in future were not to issue from chancery without his special order (C.C.R. 1288-1296, 201).

5 Morel, op. cif., pp. 58, 59, 156, etc. In France the signature may have indicated that the notary had actually drawn up the letter. In England it signified the clerk who was responsible for the letter; see Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 77. 6 Morel, op. cit., pp. 178-180. The names on the back are normally those of superior chancery clerks, such as Henry Cliff, John of St Pol, Henry Edwinstowe (Inquisitions Miscellaneous, Chancery, Files 117/16; Inquisitions ad quod damnum, Files 237, 252).

172 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 Important letters or charters usually had, however, a note of examination at the foot, with the names of one or two higher-grade clerks. A

few had still further a note of enrolment, but this seems to have been : comparatively rare. Altogether, we have ample evidence of a careful system and a rigorous control over the issue of writs, a system and a control which should teach us to regard with respect even the apparently most casual and irregular memoranda appearing on the writs of chancery or on the departmental rolls.

, There are the same indications of great precision and formality, with the same inadequacy of present knowledge, when we turn to the process of sealing and recording. The great seal was in the special care of the chancellor, formally deposited (and normally sealed up) in a velvet bag. In his absence a commission, usually of chancery clerks presided over

by the keeper of the rolls, took his place. The seal was periodically taken out of its bag and used; but there was no invariable place for seal-

ing. Thus, on 6 April 1334, Robert Stratford received the great seal from his brother and caused writs to be sealed in the chapter-house of the Friars Preachers, London.! On 26 March 1337, he caused writs to be sealed at the New Temple, London.? But the Great Hall at Westminster was clearly the normal place; instances have already been cited; on 16 November 1348, for instance, John Offord caused writs to be sealed ‘in the accustomed place in the hall at Westminster.’® Although he was responsible for all the letters issued under the great seal, and indeed had a certain duty of refusing to seal those prejudicial

to the crown or against common law,* the chancellor could not know what was in them all. Some were brought to the seal already ‘folded’; and the actual sealing was performed by subordinate officials, the spigurnel and chafewax. It was apparently a very solemn business. No description of it from the period 1317-1337 has survived, so far as is known; but if we may, for this once, stray somewhat far afield, we may perhaps obtain some idea of it from a picture of a century later, described by Sir Henry Maxwell-Lyte. An interesting illumination of the fifteenth century shows the process of sealing being conducted in the open court. The bench is occupied by six persons, of whom two are clad in scarlet robes trimmed and lined with white. One of these is obviously the chancellor. The other, seated on his right, tonsured, and 1C.0.R. 1333-1337, 309. Mr Charles Johnson informs me that the precise statement on each transfer of the seal that the chancellor or keeper ‘sealed writs,’ is for the legal reason that he must be able to prove he had seisin of the office.

2 0.C.R. 1387-1339, 117. : 3 O.0.R. 1346-1349, 605.

4 See Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 17. This, at least, is what Geoffrey Cotes said in 1330 (Rot. Parl., 11, 45).

The Chancery 173 holding a charter, is almost certainly the Keeper of the Rolls. On each side of them are two persons in mustard coloured robes, presumably masters in Chancery. Below the bench is a long table covered with green cloth, at which sit several clerks with rolls of parchment before them. Another clerk 1s apparently reading a document aloud. The usher of the court near him holds a rod. At the bar stand three serjeants at law wearing wigs, and two other persons, who

may be apprentices of the law . . . a dozen writs lie as yet unsealed on the table, and . . . the Sealer is in the act of sealing a Charter or Letters Patent. To do this, he presses the matrix of the Great Seal, lying on the table with a rod tipped with metal.!

Even here the complex nature of chancery regulations is illustrated by different colored wax, green and white, and different colored silk, for the different documents under the seal;? and by the problem of the ‘half

seal,’ or of documents issued sub pede sigillt, which seems to refer to the same thing — the use of only half the great seal on a document, instead of the whole.* It has been questioned ‘whether the use of part of the Great Seal as a substitute for the whole was confined to common writs, * but on the one hand there is no evidence that all ‘common writs’ were issued sub pede sigillz, not even all original writs, and, on the other, it is certain that some letters patent were issued in this way.> The most commonplace of chancery writs, we are driven to conclude, was a won_derful and somewhat fearful creation, equally formidable to the counter-

feiter and forger of that generation and to the unfortunate student of diplomatic in this. The enrolment of letters presents similar problems. A number of letters or writs were not enrolled for obvious reasons, such as the fact that they were to be returned; but some were not enrolled for no reason which

can at present be discerned.® Still, the great bulk, apart from original writs and writs of judgment,’ were probably enrolled, the rolls being 1 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 311. It is well known how conservative the chancery was in its procedure.

2 As is well known, green, the sign of perpetuity, was used for charters, white for letters close and writs, green or white, for letters patent. But was green wax used for all letters of permanent importance, or those containing permanent grants? It seems very unlikely. It is not really known when green wax was used. Cf. Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., p. 310. 3 For this problem see especially C. G. Crump, in a review of Medieval Archives of the University of Oxford, by H. E. Salter, E.H.R., xxxvur (1922), 269-272, and Maxwell-Lyte, op. ctt., p. 306. * Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 306; C. G. Crump, loc. cit. 5 One of the two unquestionable examples of the half seal preserved in the Public Record Office

proclaims itself a letter patent and was enrolled on the patent roll: Duchy of Lancaster, Royal Charters, No. 271; C.P.R. 1330-1334, p. 495. The other document, Duchy of Lancaster, Royal Charters No. 248 (much better preserved), is not in the form of a letter or writ. It is ‘la forme darraier les gentz darmes qi se deivent appareiller solonc la forme des proclamacions.’

6 Tt is not that they had never been claimed; it is certain that some were enrolled which had not been claimed (Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 398-399; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 127). 7 See below, p. 175.

174 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 distinguished on three grounds: (a) according to the type of letter, etc., enrolled — patent, close, charter; (b) according to locality — France, Scotland, Germany; (c) according to contents — fine, liberate.! Some of the enrolments were probably made from the original warrants, some from the letters issuing from chancery, before or after they were sealed, and some from drafts. The second was the method normally adopted in France.? On the whole it is probable that drafts were more regularly __ employed in England,? though in 1345 a clerk of the prince of Wales ‘came into chancery at Westminster, took away the said letters patent and sought to have them enrolled.’* This may help to account for the very rough chronological order in which the letters are recorded in the

chancery rolls. But there is no hope, as yet, of accounting satisfactorily for the many exceptions to this rule. Certainly one ought not to find an easy explanation for them all in the ‘unmethodical ways of the chancery, or regard them as instances of the ‘innumerable errors in the rolls." Contemporaries, at any rate, had great faith in these records;’ and the chancery rolls were used not only for recording letters under the great seal, but for a good many other transactions, such as transferences of the great seal, departure of the king overseas, the receiving of at-

torneys, and recognizances of debt. They were the largest body of records in the kingdom, not even excepting those of the exchequer. They are not, on the whole, unworthy of the great office in which they were

produced. Exactly where they were compiled is not known. Most of them, during the period 1327-1337, were stored in the Tower of London, the great storehouse for them at this time.* Some may have been at the house of the keeper of the rolls, as in the case of John of St Pol in 1340.°

It is possible that they were compiled at the house of the keeper, but more probable, perhaps, that there was some room allocated to the clerks

of the rolls at Westminster. The letters and writs under the great seal did not pass out of chancery by way of the department of the rolls, but by way of the hanaper. Many 1 There is no contemporary list in the period 1327-1337. The nearest in time is from the period _ 1871-1378 (see List of Chancery Rolls 1 John Onward, Rolls Series, London, 1908; Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 54). 2 Morel, Grande Chancellerie royale, pp. 334-336; Wilkinson, Chancery, pp. 55-56. 3 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 360-361; Cal. Chanc. War., 1, 235. 4 0.C.R. 1343-1346, 669.

5 It seems probable that each membrane of the roll, back and front, was enrolled at the same time; but two or three membranes might be written together. Some groups of letters occur which are in a comparatively good chronological order. 6 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 366. 7 E.g., C.C.R. 1330-1338, 189, 194, 220, 237, etc. 8 C.C.R. 1330-1388, 151; C.C.R. 18383-13837, 113, 295; Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 57. 9 C.C.R. 1339-41, 657.

The Chancery 175 were sent out by nunci, or by local officials, or by a combination of both.! They were not always welcome. Shortly after the period under review,? ‘Richard de Paunteleye and John Cachepol, bailiffs of Ludlow informed

the chancellor John Thoresby that whereas they had been requested by John Evesham in the name of the chancellor, to convey to Henry Colemon Taverner a writ which was addressed to him, although they had offered it to him and commanded him three times to receive it, in the name of the king, he in no wise would do so’; and they called several local worthies to bear witness that they had done this, and witnessed it

themselves with their seals. Other letters were eagerly desired, and would be fetched and paid for; and they were paid for according to definite rates, which went back in their origin at least to the reign of King John?— the keeper of the hanaper accounting for £7 11s. 8d. for each charter of great fee, 16s. 4d. for each charter of small fee, 2s. (perhaps) for the letters patent which were not reckoned officially as charters, and 6d. and 7d. for each original writ and writ of judgment,‘ the extra penny on the latter being the cost of the judge’s seal. The main distinction between the first two categories seems to have been that charters in the former contained grants in feodo, the latter, grants only ad vitam.® All the fees might be diminished or remitted by the chancellor or the

king. They were, on the other hand, usually supplemented by payments to chancery officials,’ and sometimes by fines; in 1334 there was a petition in parliament ‘that all may have their writs out of chancery for only the fees of the seal, without any fine,® and this was accorded for

writs of course. Other fines (and perhaps even these) continued, and had to be paid, through the chancery or exchequer or even the privy seal, unless they were remitted by the official concerned or by the king. The 1 See J. F. Willard, ‘The Dating and Delivery of Letters Patent and Writs in the Fourteenth Century’ in Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, x (1932), 1-11. 2 In 1353, when John Thoresby was chancellor and archbishop of York. The letter is in Ancient Correspondence, xu, No. 136.

3 Foedera, 1, 76; Rotuli Chartarum, 1199-1216, ed. T. D. Hardy (London, 1837), p. vii. These were, of course, not the actual rates fixed by John; one change seems to have been made in 1293 (Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 332). They do not, apparently, represent the whole tariff of fees. By the end of the reign of Edward I, the total great fee of the seal was £8 9s. (ibid., p. 335). 4 ‘Writs of judgment’ is the expression normally employed in the records, though they are sometimes now called judicial writs. Original writs are those which originate an action, writs of judgment presumably contain the decision of the judges. The term ‘judicial writ’ is occasionally applied to both categories. 5 Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., p. 334; Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 59. 6 E.g., Exchequer Accounts, 211/15. 7 See below, p. 201. 8 Rot. Parl., u, 376.

9 See, for the situation in 1299, Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., pp. 343, 344. For a detailed history of the fines under Edward III see Bertie Wilkinson, “The Seals of the Two Benches under Edward III,’

E.H.R., xu (1927), 397-401.

176 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 keeper of the hanaper kept careful account of his receipts and expenditures, and answered yearly at the exchequer. Small though the income was from the petty exactions on the great seal — the fines were normally almost negligible throughout the period 1327-1337, and the total income of the hanaper averaged only about £1068! — it was something not to be

despised by a penurious government.

It will have become evident that, in the issue of these writs, there was in the chancery an elaborate and ingenious distribution of functions and powers. ‘There was a meticulous organization; each clerk and each offi-

cial had his alloted functions and his proper place. Every safeguard was taken that the authenticity of any document under the great seal should be beyond question or doubt. The great administrative principle of divided responsibility had been worked out to a high degree. , Nor did the system end there; the chancery was far from being a selfcontained and isolated office; it was bound to the rest of the administration by a complex bond of warrant and counter-warrant. Just as the various notes on chancery writs acted as a safeguard for and a control over the clerks who compiled them, so they did in the case of the chancellor himself. They showed what letters had been commanded or sanctioned by the king, or by the council, and what letters the chancellor

had felt able to issue alone. They mark off the limits of his power. For all letters outside these limits, the chancellor would normally feel compelled to have some warrant for his act. Thus the earl of Lancaster asked John Stratford for a letter of licence to journey overseas, for his esquires, assuring him: ‘and since we have not yet discussed the matter with the king, we undertake to have you absolved from any blame by the king because of this.*2,» An unknown person wrote to the chancellor saying that he had caused Henry Edwinstowe, a chancery clerk, to pre-

pare a document for the great seal as had been agreed; but he had not had time to obtain a warrant of the privy seal: ‘and if there is any need, sire, for you to have a warrant to act in this matter, you shall have it 196 Nov. 1330 to 26 Nov. 1331, account of John Wodehouse (Pipe Roll,

No. 176, m. 51; Exchequer Records, E 101/211/15) £1365 Is. 4d.

26 Nov. 1331 to 26 Nov. 1332, the same (Pipe Roll, No. 177, m. 35) £1182 13s. 8d.

26 Nov. 1332 to 26 Nov. 1333, the same (Pipe Roll, No. 178) £840 Os. 4d. 26 Nov. 1333 to 26 Nov. 1334, the same (Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 35) £902 Is. 26 Nov. 1335 to 26 Nov. 1336, the same (Exchequer Records, E 101/211/18) £994 35. 4d. 26 Nov. 1336 to 26 Nov. 1337, the same (Exchequer Records, E 101/211/19) £1120 lls. 2d. 2 Tt falls between 1330 and 1334, when John Stratford was bishop of Winchester and chancellor. It was not addressed to William Edyngton, also bishop of Winchester and chancellor 1356-1363, be-

cause it was written by the earl, not by the duke of Lancaster. I have not been able to find the ensuing letters under the great seal. For another illuminating example, from 1336, see Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 104. The letter is in Ancient Correspondence, xi, No. 109.

The Chancery 177 immediately according to your requirement.’! ‘Thus the real nature of the independent activities of the chancellor — and of the chancery — in administration is to be discovered by an understanding of the chancery warrants for the great seal, and the corresponding memoranda on the chancery rolls. But this is not to say that it can be easily discerned. The chancery warrants are a great problem in themselves. To understand them aright would be to understand the whole complex system of administration by which they were produced. Only one or two of the outstanding points, particularly the problem of privy seal warrants,? can be discussed below. 2. WarRRANTS OF IssuE: THE AUTHORIZATION OF CHANCERY WRITS

Warrants to the chancery were of four main types— from the king or the king and council, from the privy seal, from the council, and from

other departments or officials. The first expressed the wishes of the king, subject only to limitations of a general constitutional kind; the last were mainly concerned with matters which might reasonably be consid-

ered to fall within the scope of the particular department from which the warrants had come.? The letters authorized by the council were very little different from those issued without warrant,* a fact which will have considerable importance for us at a later stage. Warrants by the council do not appear as frequently in the chancery records as we should have expected from our general knowledge of the functions of the council; and there is no series of original warrants by the council corresponding to the memoranda on the chancery rolls. These memoranda, we may reasonably suspect, recorded in part the less formal and Jess important warrants from the council which could be given verbally; others would surely be written down. In what form would written au1 Edwinstowe was clearly ceasing to be active in chancery about 1334. The business with which the letter is concerned is responsible work, so that it would occur well on in Edwinstowe’s career. The possible dates are 1302, 1308, 1313 (though the great seal was under commission on 17 June of this year), 1319, 1324, 1330, 1336. The letter is in Ancient Correspondence, xu1, No. 144. It has been printed in Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 79, n. 1. 2 The use of the secret seal in administration was still very restricted. See an example in Maxwell-

Lyte, op. cit., p. 103. In 1335 Edward III wrote to his chancellor ‘souz nostre secre seal pur ce qe nostre prive seal nest pas devers nous en present,’ cited in Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 14, with a similar phrase from a letter of secret seal from Edward II. The use of the secret seal under Edward II and Edward III is dealt with at length by Tout, Chapters, v, pp. 161-194. The ‘griffin’ seal need hardly be considered in this connection; its use was always very narrowly limited and closely defined. 3 E.g., treasurer’s warrants often asked for the payment of a figure which had been arrived at by

agreement between the exchequer and a creditor. See Wilkinson, Bull. John Rylands Lib., vim (1924), 107-139.

4 Ibid., p. 125. The various types of warrant to the chancery have been examined at length in this article.

178 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 thorizations from the council be given? Partly, perhaps, in the form of unsealed memoranda, of a type which still survives; partly, we may suspect, in more formal documents authenticated by a seal. For this purpose, the privy seal suggests itself as probably the most suitable; and there are grounds for believing that a good many privy seal warrants

actually originated in the council. This is of great importance in the history both of the chancery and of the council; 1t has hardly yet received

the attention it deserves; and the important class of chancery warrants under the privy seal must therefore be examined at considerable length. Very little is known about the use of the privy seal in general. It was not quite so solemn and formal as the great seal; for weighty public matters, or matters of permanent record, such as grants of office or land, at this period, the great and not the privy seal would be used. Some types of letter, not yet fully ascertained, were properly issued only under

the great seal.!. But, as far as executive orders by the government are concerned, it does not seem possible to distinguish between the use of the great and the privy seals. The ordinances of Walton in 1338 would

: apparently, either as an innovation or a systemization of existing practice, have insisted upon privy seal warrants for the most important administrative acts. In administration the great and privy seals seem to have been used indifferently and to have had almost equal weight.’ The privy seal warrants to the chancery itself contained many appointments and grants, the latter including solemn charters, many orders to administrative officers, and pardons for crime. But they also contained, as opposed to those ‘by king’ and ‘by king and council,’ great numbers

of letters to the two great receivers of the subsidy of a ninth, directing the expenditure of money, letters of ratification, license to enfeoff or alienate land, 1 Thus a privy seal writ of 1322 was endorsed, ‘Et postmodum venerunt in Cancellariam Regis. . . Magister Robertus de Baldock et Ricardus de Ayrem’, et nunciarunt custodibus sigilli quod hujus,

modi breve fieret sub magno sigillo Regis. Et sic fiebat.’ Printed by Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 36. Cf. Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 11. 2 This is, however, a large question, on which I am reluctant to be dogmatic. Privy seal warrants may not have been valid for all purposes, but I have failed to discern the administrative acts for which they would not suffice. More warrants under the great than under the privy seal were enrolled by the exchequer on the memoranda rolls, as warrants for action, e.g., in 1336-1337 and 1341-1342 (Exchequer Records, E 159/113, 118); but the exchequer actually kept more original privy seal warrants for issue in some years (e.g., Exchequer Records, E 404/15). Though many writs of privy seal contained orders which involved the exercise of the king’s grace, so also did some of great seal — ‘volentes dilecto nobis Johanne de Bohun de Kyeport sorori et heredi Alani de Plokenet defuncti graciam facere specialem’ (K. R. M. R., 2 Edw. III, m. 17). A writ of privy seal might supplement one of great seal: ‘ . . . et exploiter selonc la tenour du bref de nostre grant seal qe vous est venuz avant ces houres. Issint qil ne soit plus delaiez . . .’ (Exchequer Records, E 404/15/755). It is clear that we cannot regard the privy seal, in this period, as expressing the king’s personal wish, whilst the chancery is (for administrative purposes) a departmental seal. Both seals were at different times ‘personal’ and ‘departmental’ seals, with equal or almost equal, weight in administrative affairs.

The Chancery 179 exemption from duties, pardons for acquiring land, and directions to escheators to restore land to heirs on the performance of homage. And on the other hand, they contained few orders to officers abroad or solemn public announcements

in England, very few appointments of important officers such as Justices, escheators, or sheriffs, and no summons of members to parliament or council. They differed from letters in the first two groups firstly in that they seldom contained solemn and public business, and secondly in that they were often concerned with the routine work of administration that could not be allowed to take up the time of either king or king and council.!

Where then did the privy seal warrants to the chancery really originate in 1327-1337? Some came directly from the king, of course, but we have evidence that the privy seal was not always by the king’s side

at this time.? It is certain that every privy seal writ did not express the personal wishes of the king. Geoffrey Cotes would have us believe

that the chancellor could obtain whatever privy seal warrants he required. Did they then come from the ‘office,’ or keeper of the privy seal alone? That would be very hard to believe.2 We should have to assume that a keeper of the privy seal, like Richard Bury or William de la Zouch, had more liberty of action and greater power than a chancellor like John Stratford. The only other alternative seems to be the council; nor is there lacking a certain amount of evidence in support of such a view.* As early as 1308 letters under the privy seal had been commanded by the council;® in 1312 and 1313 its keeper received payments for staying for considerable periods ‘at the king’s council, in order to give effect to the king’s business by means of the privy seal,’ or in order to write and seal divers letters according to the ordaining of the king’s council.’"* We find commands of the council resulting in letters 1 Wilkinson, Bull. John Rylands Lib., vir (1924), 116-117. This summary applies to the year 1341.

2 When the king wrote to the chancellor in June 1336, for instance, he did not know the whereabouts of the privy seal (Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., p. 104). See the example of the privy seal away from the king’s side, zbid., p. 103.

3 The relative importance of the two offices, standing alone, may perhaps be illustrated by a comparison of the later ‘court of requests’ (privy seal) with that of the ‘court of chancery’ as a

court of equity; see Tout, Chapters, 111, 468. 4 Tout (Chapters, v, 18, 19) stresses the connection between privy seal and council about 1341; it is suggested above that this connection can be assumed also, with some confidence, for the period

1327-1337, though there is not the same conclusive evidence as at the later date. See especially his conclusion (p. 19) that ‘the privy seal was already so important as the seal normally used for giving executive force to consiliar action that it was more necessary for its keeper to be with the council than with the court’; and see ibid., p. 30, where Tout describes the attendance of Roger Northburgh at the council, even under Edward I, and ibid., n. 7, and p. 68. > Davies, Baronial Opposition, p. 569; Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 84. 6 Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., pp. 84, 104. The same passages are quoted in Tout, Chapters, 11, 288, n. 3, with an additional one, from 1315, ‘custodi priuati sigilli regis, existenti extra curlam per preceptum regis cum sigillo predicto, tum apud Londonias quam apud Northampton, Lincolniam, et alibi,

180 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of great seal warranted by the privy seal.! Petitions endorsed ‘Erit per Consilium,’ and ‘Por ce ge tesmoigne est devant le Conseile...eit en Chauncellerie sur ce Breve de pardone,’ will give rise to chancery writs warranted by privy seal.? A letter of Edward III in 1335 reads: ‘Our dear clerk, master William la Zouch, has informed us how you have given orders that all the magnates of our realm shall be summoned by letters under the privy seal to come to us at Newcastle-on-Tyne, on the feast of the Trinity ...and we are well pleased with this news and thank you heartily for this decision, begging you affectionately that you will cause the letters to be made in the chancery, very urgent, and will send them to us hastily, to be sealed, pur amur de nous.’* William de la Zouch was keeper of the privy seal. It looks as if he had received a command to isue the letters summoning the barons to war, and had obtained the king’s permission that they should be made, not in his own office, but in the chancery. The command must have come from the council in England; but if William had carried out his orders, we should not have known that these had come in the first place from the council and not from the king. In any case we have here orders made under pro litteris juxta ordinationem regis et consilii sui scribendis et consignandis.’ The keeper had with him the clerks of his office, and the period was from 13 July to 10 October. The use of the privy seal by the council on this scale was probably exceptional as early as this (though it is hard to see in it a deliberate policy of the ordainers); but it is surely significant of the rapid development of the use of

the privy seal by the council. In the same reign, Tout says (ibid., 1, 290), ‘the privy seal was becoming an instrument of the council, when that body was by no means always of the king’s way of thinking.’

1 Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit. pp. 70, 84-86. 2 Rot. Parl., u, 21; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 265. Another, endorsed ‘. . . et mesme l’enqueste returne en Chauncelery, et veuez illoeqes face le Chanceler outre ceo ge fet a faire,’ will give rise to a chancery writ with a similar warrant; Rot. Parl., 1, 73-74; C.C.R. 1833-1337, 215-216; Chancery

Warrants, No. 7703. See Tout, Collected Papers, 1, 194; Baldwin, op. cit., p. 257. Of course, Professor Baldwin’s remarks were not intended to go into the problem deeply. But cf. his remark that the privy seal was ‘for a time the special instrument of the wardrobe, until in the reign of Edward IJ the clerk of the privy seal was drawn away from that department; later it became the

direct and authoritative organ of the king’s council, while the king for his private purposes was thrown back upon the signet.’ In the reign of Edward II, of course, the privy seal was essentially the seal of the king. It was not within the scope of Professor Baldwin’s work to trace out in any detail the process whereby the privy seal became the seal of the council, and he seems to have thought that the process was substantially achieved only a considerable time after the period now under review. Moreover, he did not stress the importance of this development for the study of the privy seal warrants, or for that of the functions of the council itself. Indeed, whilst historians seem generally to have agreed that the privy seal did, about this time, become the seal of the council, nobody has gathered together the evidence on the subject, and nobody has pointed out the significance of this

fact and its importance for the study of administration as a whole. Hence the lengthy treatment above.

3 Ancient Correspondence, xxxIx, No. 24; cited by Maxwell-Lyte, op. cit., p. 37. Sir Henry regarded it as showing that a document might be prepared in chancery to be issued under the privy seal. Part of the chancery and probably the chancellor as well, with the great seal, were with the king (C.C.R. 13833-1337, 533, 498; Adam Murimuth, Continuatio chronicarum, ed. E. M. Thompson, Rolls Series, London, 1889, p. 76).

The Chancery 181 the direction of the council, in the chancery, and issued under the privy seal. This was of course a very special council, operating in the king’s absence; but it is still very significant that it had such an influence in the office of the privy seal. The same influence is expressed in the letter of an unknown correspondent to the chancellor, referred to above.!| With regard to the business touching Navarre, which was agreed upon in the chancellor’s presence, he has given the form to Henry Edwinstowe to engross under the great seal, as was agreed; the business was so complicated that it was not possible to have it set out in a privy seal writ without too long delay; but if the chancellor wished to have a warrant under the privy seal, he should have it immediately according to his requirement. The writer may have been the keeper of the privy seal; assuredly he was not the king. Whoever he was, he was apparently able to provide privy seal

warrants on his own authority, if required. But perhaps not any sort of warrant; the matter had quite plainly been discussed in the council. The business was business of the council, and it 1s worth noticing that although the chancellor had been present, and the matter was finally being executed under the great seal, yet a privy seal warrant was formally required. If the king was present at the council meeting, his presence was not apparently of great formal importance: the warrant does not seem to have been regarded as coming from the king. It is tempting to

see in the letter an instance of a perfectly normal privy seal warrant issuing from a deliberation of the council, and only prevented from appearing — for the benefit of our understanding of chancery procedure — by the accident that the business was too complicated to be easily expressed in the privy seal warrant in the available time.? It seems probable, we may conclude, that a good many privy seal warrants were inspired in this way. How many it is impossible to say. The famous ordinances of Walton issued in 1338 ought to throw some light on that question, but unfortunately their meaning is still very obscure.* They were probably occasioned by the prospect of Edward III's stay abroad for a long period; one of the most important questions which they settled was that of the way in which warrants for expenditure should be issued by the council in the absence of the king. It is possible that these elaborate arrangements for the issue of warrants by the council were necessary not only because the council was to possess exceptional powers in the king’s absence, but also because the absence of the king would mean the absence of the privy seal, which he was taking overseas. 1 See p. 176; Ancient Correspondence, xu1, No. 144. 2 One or two instances from a later period are cited by Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 85. 3 'The ordinances are printed in Tout, Chapters, 111, 143-150, and discussed ibid., pp. 69-102; see also Wilkinson, Chancery, pp. 107-109, and Bull. John Rylands Lib., vit (1924), 130.

182 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 In the absence of the privy seal, the councillors had to make warrants under their own seals, and these warrants were to be reissued on the king’s return, under the privy seal. It looks very much as if, when the privy seal was available, it would be used by the councillors, though not for the same important commands as the councillors would be called upon to give in Edward’s absence. !

In point of fact, the ordinances were drawn up not only to regulate the issue of warrants when the king was abroad. Perhaps their most important clauses were those which defined the way in which privy seal warrants were to be issued to authorize expenditure, clauses which ap-

plied, apparently, when the king was in England. They insisted that the privy seal writs be commanded by the king himself and another man appointed for this purpose. In this section of the ordinances the council was not mentioned. The purpose of the clauses may have been simply to insist for the first time that privy seal warrants be provided for grants and expenditure. An examination of the system of warrants before 1338 makes this seem unlikely. Nor did the ordinances bring about any considerable increase in the number of privy seal warrants received by the various departments of state. On the whole it seems probable that their real purpose was to ensure, not that privy seal warrants were received by the departments, but that they had been authorized by the king and the specially appointed officer. But who else could authorize privy seal writs? We have seen one body at least — the council; and a study of the circumstances of 1338 leaves a strong impression that the strictest limitations which Edward III made were likely to be on the powers of the council, rather than on those of the individual ministers of state.? There are grounds for believing that an important purpose of the ordinance of Walton was to restrict the authorization of privy seal warrants, not by individual ministers, but by the council. Thus, it seems probable, the privy seal was so extensively employed by the council, by the end of the period under review, that the practice had created an administrative problem of first-class importance; and regulations which contained an attempt to restrain it caused a minor political crisis on the eve of Edward III's departure overseas. The general situation may perhaps be summarized as follows. The 1 Of course, it is possible that, when Edward was in England, councillors would not be called upon

to authorize grants, etc., and so would not command the privy seal writs at all, for any purpose. Thus the arrangements for sealing with their own seals would not be required except when the king was away and they had exceptional duties. But it is almost impossible to believe that the duties of the council were so restricted in 1338. 2 Besides, it is very doubtful how far an individual minister could properly command a privy seal writ.

The Chancery 183 system of chancery warrants, properly understood, shows the chancery receiving important authorizations for the issue of letters, mainly from the king and from the council. The latter might be direct warrants “by the council,’ or they might be warrants of privy seal. A considerable number of the privy seal warrants to chancery were actually commanded by the council. We have no means of telling how many; but the wellknown ordinances of Walton seem to be best explained on the assumption that the use of the privy seal by the council was, by 1338, an important feature of administration. In any case there is no evidence for the belief — and it would on other grounds be very hard to accept — that the chancery was ‘controlled’ by the office of the privy seal itself. Privy seal warrants to the chancery were by no means simply orders from

another department, which the chancery had to carry out. A further examination of the issue of writs by the chancery seems to make this very clear. It will also give some idea of the very important administrative processes which took place within the office of chancery itself.

Chancery writs issued without warrant show that the chancery alone performed almost every kind of administrative work, notably in the administration of law, the direction of local officials, and the supervision and effecting of less important changes in the church.! Some governmental commands, such as those relating to finance, would normally be issued from some other department; but there was no sphere of administration, it seems probable, from which the chancery was completely shut out. Thus orders for the payment of salaries and some other similar recurrent disbursements were regularly issued from the chancery, in some cases directly to the local official who was to pay. It is, indeed, impossible to define the chancery as the office for any particular kind, or

kinds of work; nor would it help matters much to give a long — and tedious — analysis of the types of letter habitually issued by the chancellor alone. It is best to say, simply, that the chancery was the office of, and had the functions of the unspecialized great seal of the king. It was the other departments which, historically, had taken over specialized functions; the chancery had begun, and remained, as the office of the king’s seal, with functions defined in the terms of those of its instru-

ment, ‘to deliver all the common needs of the land.’? The great seal The subject has been treated at length by Wilkinson in Bull. John Rylands Lib., vir (1924), 107139, and in Chancery, pp. 26-40. Other aspects of the work of chancery officials are touched upon in

Section 4 below. The system of recording warrants was clearly different in the reign of Henry III; see A. E. Stamp, ‘Some Notes on the Court and Chancery of Henry III,’ Historical Essays in Honour

of ” ames Tait (Manchester, 1933), pp. 305-313. It would be very rash to argue from one to the other. 2 C.C.R. 1339-1341, 451.

184 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 was the only departmental seal whose use could be so defined;! the chancery was the only department (with the exception of the council) whose duties can be defined only in terms of the government as a whole,

not of a part. The real limitation on the activities of the chancellor, it is apparent, is not to be represented by a vertical but by a horizontal line; it was not so mucha limitation of extent as of power. The power of the chancellor (and of the chancery), on the contrary, was normally limited and defined. The writ of course, sold ‘over the counter,’ serves to remind us constantly that only the writs so designated could be issued in this way; and the restrictions on the issue of other writs seem to have applied to the chancellor as well as to his clerks. He was given, in 1285, power to issue writs in consimili casu; and this was an

extension, though a cautious extension of his power.? Writs of course were essentially (though perhaps not exclusively) original writs for beginning cases at law; but our examination of letters issued without warrant brings out clearly the general limitation which existed on the use of the great seal by the chancellor alone. In some directions, e.g., in law and in representing the king in those matters of ecclesiastical discipline and appointments which concerned the crown, the chancellor was

given a fairly wide discretion; he could also make small appointments, and grant petty favors; he could sell licences, wardships, and marriages; but unless he deliberately set aside the traditions of his office he could not, acting alone, undertake anything of very great weight.? Exactly how far a chancellor could go on his own responsibility, it would be difficult to say. Geoffrey Cotes accused Henry Burghersh of repealing a judgment of the king’s courts, of changing a decision of the council, and of generally perverting and setting at nought the whole system of law. The somewhat different discretion of the chancellor in

refusing to act is well illustrated by letters of that impetuous lady, Isabella, in the reign of Edward II. She had obtained from her husband 1 Unless we regard the privy seal as a departmental seal, the seal of the council; see above, p. 183. Whether or not the ‘office’ of the privy seal (apart from the council and the king) had independent functions, on the lines of those of the chancery, will perhaps be elucidated elsewhere in this volume.

I am aware of no evidence on this thorny problem. In any case they were as yet (from our point of view) negligible in extent. We must relinquish the conception that the keeper of the privy seal, a ‘household’ official, had a liberty of independent action (needing no warrant), denied to both the chancellor and treasurer. 2 It has been regarded as a restriction, but this seems to be against the weight of evidence; see Wilkinson, Studies in Constitutional History, pp. 223-226.

3 The responsibilities of the chancellor in appointments to the smaller livings in the king’s gift, and in the royal administration of religious houses, are discussed in Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 31, and in K. L. Wood-Legh, Studies in Church Life in England under Edward III (Cambridge, 1934), pp. I-11 et passim. * Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 32.

The Chancery 185 a grant that Geoffrey of Meldeburne of London and his wife be free of impositions, etc., and the king had directed her to obtain letters of great seal. She then informed the chancellor, “We have told you of this matter previously but, as it is given us to understand, you have done nothing

to put it into effect. We pray you once more that you will do it in such manner that there will be some result evident of our request.’! This was a curt request, by mediaeval standards, but worse was to fol-

low. The chancellor still did not obey; whereupon the queen again wrote:2 ‘. . . As to the letters which we have sent you . . . it Is given us to understand that you wish the matter to be delayed until you have

spoken to the mayor of London. We hereby inform you that we do not wish you to discuss the matter with the said mayor or anybody else in London. For we did not beg our lord the king either to ask for this thing from anybody or to cause it to be discussed with anybody; on the contrary, we begged him to do it of his grace, as far as he could, for

love of us; and he heard our request favorably, and told us that we should inform you, in his name, that you were to make the letters . . . which matter we have conveyed to you by our aforesaid letters. Will you please carry out the said grant in the appropriate way. And if it happens that you wish the king to command another warrant for you, inform us of this and we will cause you to have it.’ There was contempt as well as anger in the last passages. Somewhat similarly, it will be recalled, Edward III had to admonish his chancellor and treasurer for failure to obey his command, in 1355.3 We must clearly allow for considerable latitude, and for the personal factor in administrative affairs. On the other hand, we cannot ignore the uniform testimony of the records,

year after year. Constitutionally the mediaeval chancellor, at this period, had no great power; to talk of his independence of the monarch in state affairs is to miss the essence of his office. He was, in fact, almost as limited in his discretion in England as the papal chancellor (or rather, vice-chancellor) at Avignon. Yet (unlike the papal vice-chancellor) he was the most important single official in the state. His office gave him the right and the opportunity to influence administration at every point; in particular, it gave him a commanding position on the council. Behind or alongside the chancellor was the council; and our conception of the council will decide our view of the relations between the two.

It must accordingly be set out at some length. The council has been 1 Ancient Correspondence, xxxv, No. 153 (4 Sept.), to John Sandale. 2 Ibid., No. 154.

3 Bertie Wilkinson, ‘A Letter of Edward III to His Chancellor and Treasurer,’ E.H.R., xr (1927), 248-251.

186 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 conceived as an indeterminate body, almost indefinitely elastic in its composition, and expressing in its functions the unlimited prerogative of the king. From this central, authoritative body, it has been suggested, the great chancery court of equitable jurisdiction of the later middle ages was derived; it grew by exercising powers which in the first place had been

delegated by the council. But all the evidence, from the point of view of the chancery, agrees in suggesting that the relations of chancery and council were of a very different kind. The council was in the overwhelming majority of cases a small and clearly defined group;! it was nothing more than a number of the leading ministers, under the presidency of the chancellor or (less frequently) some other great official like the treasurer

or possibly the keeper of the privy seal.? Exceptionally, in 1331, the king and all the magnates agreed that ‘since it is necessary that our lord the king should have good counsel on the matter, the bishop of London should remain by the king’s side until the next parliament, to counsel him well, with the help of the chancellor, treasurer, and others.’? In 1338 the council was apparently discussing the advisability of the chancery’s moving from place to place, and one objection was ‘that if the chancellor and the office (la place) and the others of the council were separated from each other the king’s business would be confused, since all the [remaining] council would not be sufficient to conduct the business.’* The chancellor and chancery clerks formed an 1mportant, perhaps the important element

in the council. We must rid ourselves of the conception of a standing council of magnates at any normal period when the king was accessible to his officials of law and administration. The council was the chancellor, 1 Partly by the councillor’s oath which, apparently, was rarely taken by magnates. We cannot be sure that the oath was taken by all councillors; but we have no grounds for believing that it was not generally taken. In any case, the councillors seem to have been definitely marked out either by their administrative office or by appointment. See, for instance, the appointment of a special councillor (an old civil servant in retirement) to be a member of the king’s council whenever he is summoned to parliaments or (presumably) magna concilia, 1337 (C.P.R. 1834-1338, 434). I am indebted for this reference to Professor Morris. 2T have not encountered an instance of this; but instances may well exist and, if so, will no doubt be pointed out elsewhere. Tout (Chapters, v, 59) has brought out the vital activities of the three officials, chancellor, treasurer, keeper of the privy seal: “These three began to form a committee, either by reason of their offices, or as a permanent committee of the council, to which the final decision in many important matters was delegated.’ But innumerable privy seal warrants and the vast majority of incidental references refer to these officials as something more than a committee; they were the head and essential part of the council. Tout believes that the keeper of the privy seal ‘had a special influence on the council, since its secretariat was largely under his control’; but he recognizes also elsewhere that this did not place him in an equality with the older officials (zbid., p. 59). Cf. zbid., 11, 73.

3 Rot. Parl., 1, 62. I discuss this problem more fully in my Studtes in Constitutional History, pp. 1385-159.

4 Parliament and Council, Chancery 7/9. This has been quoted by Baldwin, op. cit., pp. 478-479, and Tout, Chapters, 111, 90, n. 1.

The Chancery 187 treasurer, Justices, and others, with the occasional presence and exceptional presidency of some magnate. !

The ministers were not the servants of the council; in some cases, it is true, they carried out the council’s orders, but in many others the council was called in to advise and support the ministers in their more difficult work. The main function of the council was still advice,? and to advise was neither to supersede nor even necessarily to transform an inferior court. Any great minister could summon the council — the chancellor, the treasurer,? even the justices;* and they exercised a large discretion as to whom they should call. In 1345 it was claimed that the chancellor, chief justice, and the chief baron of the exchequer did not represent the council; but the claim was rejected because the chancellor was acting on a privy seal writ commanding him to call ‘as many learned in the law, of the king’s council, as is necessary.’> Thus ‘soen tresnoble conseil de la Chancelerie’® might well be a body summoned and domi-

nated by the chancellor himself. It was the council in chancery “quod vobis assistit’;’ the chancellor “having called before him men learned in the law may cause to be ordained by the king’s council what shall be just’;* or, ‘appelez a vous nostre tresorer et autres de nostre conseil queux vous verrez qe a ce serront apeler et eu bon avaisement . . . facez ent ordeiner outre selone ce qe vous verrez ge soit a faire pour nostre profit.’®

Thus the chancery was not simply ‘controlled’ by the council, any 1 A nominated council of magnates, as in 1258, was much more revolutionary than has been supposed; and we begin to understand more clearly the importance of Thomas of Lancaster’s nomination as chief councillor in 1316. We read, to be sure, of nobles of the council (e.g., C.P.R. 13271330, 20, ‘some nobles of the king’s council’), but this was an exceptional time, during the king’s minority, and they were councillors for a very special purpose. The whole subject is discussed in Wilkinson, Studies in Constitutional History. 2 Tout (Chapters, v, 59) goes so far as to conclude that in the reign of Edward III the ‘council

was still regarded as an advisory, not as an executive body.’ At the same time (ibid.), however, he concludes, ‘the council of the fourteenth century was largely responsible for the administra-

tion of the kingdom.’ This seems to suggest a body with executive powers. It is the change from one to the other which is the central problem of fourteenth-century constitutional history. 3 E.g., Baldwin, op. cit., p. 211. 4 This seems probable in the case of Ancient Petitions, No. 1808 (c. 1301): ‘Mandetur Justiciariis quod congregato Consilio procedent in placito ad iudicium secundum legem Regni.’ It is worth noting that the justices were apparently to proceed according to common law, in spite of the presence of the council. 5° C.P.R. 1345-13848, 137. See also Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 45.

6 Ancient Correspondence, xxxvu, No. 205. For reference to the council in the exchequer, see C.F.R., tv, 213. ’ Chancery Warrants, No. 311E. This is from the reign of Edward I. 8 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 113. Or, ‘qe eu bon auis od deliberacion od noz Justices des Baunks sur les choses contenue en mesme la peticion ent facez ordeiner outre tieu remedie come vous verrez qe soit a faire par reson’ (Chancery Warrants, No. 5467). ® Chancery Warrants, No. 5415.

188 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 more than it was by the household system or by the office of the privy seal. Our long examination of the chancery warrants seems to suggest one or two important points. Both the system of warrants and the relationships which these represent were infinitely complex. Administration, in the period 1327-1337 was still, alongside its formality and precision, marked by much informal co-operation and elasticity of procedure.

The seemingly precise and uniform system of warrants to the chancery covered a very great variety of authorizations actually received. Warrants of privy seal, for example, far from representing one simple and uniform procedure, might indicate an authorization to the chancellor from the king himself, from an important meeting of the council, or from

one or two advisers called in to help the chancellor in his work. They covered a great variety of relationships between the chancery and the council, as well as a great variety of processes by which the warrant had actually been obtained. And the same is true, though perhaps to a less degree, with regard to warrants from the king and council or from the king. In the system of warrants, as in administration as a whole, the council (next to the king himself) played the most decisive part; but the most important single member of the council was normally, it is probable, the chancellor himself. Despite the increasing evidence we have found as to the supreme importance of the council’s work, it still remains

true that one of the strongest impressions to be derived from a study of the chancery warrants is that of the importance and variety of the work which originated within the office of the chancery itself. The chancery remained, in 1327, the great central office of administration, with its functions and its authority essentially unimpaired. It still provided, by its own authority and as a result of processes begun and completed within itself, very many of the royal prohibitions and commands by which the government of the country was carried out; many others it provided by a co-operation with the council which was far removed from a relationship of obedience and control. It was still the real centre of the administrative system, the great office of the king’s seal, through which he normally acted and by which he was represented to the country at large. 3. THE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE CHANCERY:

THe CHancery Court The special work of the chancery, apart from the purely secretarial, should perhaps be illustrated at a little greater length. Its general characteristics will have become sufficiently clear. The chancellor had simply, as far as he could, to take the king’s place in his absence from the

The Chancery 189 details of administration, and see that the king’s business was carried out. On the one hand he supplied the necessary warrants for action to the rest of the administration; on the other, he supplied the king’s writs to his subjects, either those which the king wished to send, or those which his subjects came to seek. ‘The last were in some ways the most important of all; the chancery officials were those, in the words of Fleta, ‘whose duty it is to hear and examine the supplications and complaints of petitioners, and to provide due remedy through the royal writs, according to the nature of the grievance displayed.’! It was in this spirit that Burnell, leaving the king to hunt in the New Forest betook himself to London as to a fixed place where ‘all seeking writs and prosecuting their rights could reach him,’? and that in 1285 Edward I had empowered the chancellor to issue writs 7m consimili casu, so that ‘in future those seeking remedy should not depart from the king’s court without redress.’® At bottom, we may perhaps conclude, the problem of the chancery func-

tions will be a problem of law. It was no accident that the future of the office was to be that of a great court. But we must not let the future prejudice the facts as they were in 1327. In that year the chancellor made no distinctions, so far as we have any evidence, between the various aspects of his work. It was inevitable that the chancery should be regarded as, and should

in fact become, a court. The phrase curia cancellarve is found in the records of the reign of Edward I, though, of course, the term ‘court’ was still a very elastic one. In 1327 the condemnation of Thomas of Lan-

caster was revoked on the ground that it had been made without due process of law, although all that time the chancery and other places (placee) of the king’s court were open;* in the same year a writ of score facias was issued ‘to the aforesaid James, to be in our said chancery on the aforesaid day, to prosecute his right, if anything is disclosed on his

behalf in the matter, and to do further and to receive what our court shall decide’ ;5 in 1335 a certain Thomas put three chancery clerks in his place to ‘prosecute and seek against the king and his council, in parliament, chancery, and other courts of the king, divers lands, etc.’® This use of the expression has long been known; it is important, however, to 1 Fleta, 11, 13. Compare these words with those of Andrew Horn, Mirror of Justices, ed. F. W. Maitland (Selden Society, London, 1895), p. 122: ‘And therefore our forefathers ordained a seal and a chancellor to keep it, and to grant remedial writs to all plaintiffs without [charge],’ and zbid., . 10.

" 2 Annales Monastici, ed. H. R. Luard (London, 1864-69), 11 (Annales Monastertide W averleia), 393.

3 Stats. of Realm, 1, 84. This enactment is discussed in Wilkinson, Studies in Constitutional History, pp. 223-226. 40.C.R. 1827-1330, 106. 5 Placita in Cancellaria, File 1, No. 3. °C C.R. 1333-1337, 464.

190 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 make it clear that the expression was never, so far as we know, applied to a part of the chancery, but to the whole. ‘The whole office was a court,

and all its functions were the functions of the court. Much ingenuity and learning have gone to build up theories of the chancery at this early period, which were based on nothing more substantial than distinctions arbitrarily imposed and definitions carried back from the nineteenth to

the fourteenth century. As late as 12 Richard II the curta cancellarie was plainly the whole of the office,! the office of the great seal.

In the court of chancery, in the Great Hall at Westminster, hard by the justices of the common bench, and next door to the exchequer, sat the chancellor (or his deputy) with the chancery clerks. ‘To them came an unending stream of requests for writs, letters imperative from above, more formal from administrative colleagues, or supplicatory from the

general public. Those who wanted the king to grant a request — in other words, to issue a letter under his great seal — might approach the

king himself, and obtain their letter by warrant to the chancery from the king; or they might approach the council, possibly the chancellor, or even a chancery clerk.?. Again, a favorite and effective way was to obtain a letter from some magnate to the chancellor endorsing the request. The more important the request the more important the person who had

to be approached. In the main, it seems probable that important requests were already at this period put into writing; they were ‘bills,’ like ‘bills’ of parliament, and they served exactly the same purpose. Often the ‘bills’ of parliament themselves, addressed to king or council, would

be sent to the chancellor with a covering warrant. This was not so much a delegation of authority, at least on the part of the council, as a recognition that some kinds of petitions ought to be dealt with by the chancellor’s court. A certain type of request had been recognized as the special concern of the chancellor as early as 1280; they were petitions ‘ke

tuchent le (grant) seal,’ the largest class of all. Every request to the chancellor, great or small, had to be dealt with on its merits. A privy seal warrant could not absolve the chancellor from all responsibility; whilst at the other end of the scale, even writs of course were in each case — according to Maitland — in the terms of a later age ‘a writ upon the special case.’*

Every demand for a writ had to be considered by the chancery; and some demands, especially when no particular writ was requested but there was a vague and general request for the remedy of wrong, needed 1 In the ordinaciones cancellarie; see Wilkinson, Chancery, pp. 218-219. 2 Other petitions were, less frequently, made to other ministers, particularly the treasurer. 3 C.C.R. 1279-1288, 56; Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 48. 4 “The History of the Register of Original Writs,’ Harvard Law Review, 111 (1889), 107-108.

The Chancery 191 very great consideration indeed. In so far as he could, the chancellor would answer all the requests himself. If a request could not be answered by an original writ, for an action at common law, but involved litigation and a defendant, he would summon the parties before him in chancery,! in person or by their attorneys,? and hear evidence, if necessary taking an inquisition or summoning a jury.* He would not follow common law, but the rules and regulations of his office.* This was not equity, for the conception of equity as distinct from common law had not been fully worked out in the chancery of 1327—1337;° nor was it, so far as we know, envisaged as a legal as distinct from an administrative code. But it was that from which equity was later to develop; it essentially involved the exercise, though inevitably the limited exercise, of the king’s grace. The chancellor was appealed to: ‘vous pri pour lamour de dieu et les almes de touz cristiens ge voillez ordiner,’® “de quey eux ly prient remedie pur dieu.’’? If he was not commanded to give the zusticie complementum,® or to act cum gratia mediante iustitiam,® or In some

such way, as in the days of Edward I, at least he was directed ‘facez ordiner sur mesmes les choses tieu remedie come vous verrez ge soit a faire pur reson et solonc la ley et lusage de nostre roialme,’!® or “tieu remede come vous verrez ge soit afaire auxibien pour nostre droit en cele partie sauver come pour lestat de noz ditz burgeis garder et meintenir,’!! or ‘facez ordiner tieu remede come vous verrez qe soit a faire de reson, !? or ‘facez faire outre ce qe vous verrez ge mielz soit a faire.’?® It may be that what the chancellor would do and would be expected to

do alone, had slightly diminished since the days of Edward I; but he 1 Rot. Parl., 1, 318; C.C.R. 1330-1338, 11.

2 See above, pp. 188-190; see e.g., C.C.R. 1330-1333, 311: ‘William de Wytheton puts in his place Hugh de Bardelby, clerk, in the suit in chancery . . . between him and John de Oxendon.’

Ibid., p. 418: ‘Mary .. . puts in her place John de Pokelyngton and William de Baumburgh [chancery clerks] in the plea in chancery between her and William de la Beche.’ Louis, bishop of Durham, puts in his place David de Wolloure and John de Pokelyngton against the archsbishop of York, in a plea in chancery that the archbishop shall show cause why a certain prohibition which issued from chancery at the king’s suit ought not to be revoked (ibid., p. 616). 3 Ludwik Ehrlich, ‘Proceedings against the Crown,’ Ozford Studies in Social and Legal History (Oxford, 1921), Vol. v1, [No.] xii, 74, n. 2, 173. * See e.g., Chancery Warrants, Nos. 225, 234B: ‘de iure et gracia Cancellarie nostre.’ °'T. F. T. Plucknett, Statutes and Their I nterpretation in the First Half of the Fourteenth Century, (Cambridge, 1922), pp. 397-402.

® Ancient Petitions, No. 14883 (1335-1337), to the archbishop of Canterbury, chancellor. ” Ibid., No. 14840 (c. 1331): ‘To the bishop of Winchester, pray the comonalty of the county of Pembroke concerning misdeeds done after the death of the earl of March.’ Cf. C.C.R. 1330-1333. 270, 405.

8 Chancery Warrants, No. 339. 9 Ibid., No. 9.

10 Chancery Warrants, No. 5248 (6 Edw. III). 11 Chancery Warrants, No. 5277 (6 Edw. III). 12 Chancery Warrants, No. 5312 (6 Edw. III). 13 Chancery Warrants, No. 5367 (6 Edw. III).

192 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 was not, we may be reasonably sure, bound in these cases by the strict procedure of common law. From this point of view indeed, the later court of equitable jurisdiction

of chancery was in existence, and had been at least since the days of Edward I; but its work was not differentiated from the other work of the office, from the issue of writs in which no great problems, or in which

other kinds of problems, were involved; and it was not defined. Cases involving such procedure as the above were supremely important but comparatively rare. Innumerable requests of a different kind might be quoted; on the other hand the most numerous applications of all, for writs of course, have left virtually no trace. Anthony Lucy writes to Henry Burghersh, saying that he has received a command to come to York before the chancellor and others of the council; he prays to be excused as he is ‘si grandement greve de la comeime maladie ge ioe ne poay travailler a cheval ne a pee.’! Richard Bentworth has to receive the weighty complaints of the earl of Arundel, who has just been informed that the place of assembly of the navy has been changed, since the last discussion on the point, which he aitended; it has been moved from the Isle of Wight to Winchelsea, ‘de quoi sire nous emervoillons’; and the earl wishes letters to be sent out expressing the earlier and not the later decision.?, Geoffrey Cotes writes saying that ‘those of the ports (sic) of Pevensey are so proud and disobedient on account of their franchise that they have no inclination to obey any commission that I can make on behalf of my lady the queen’; will the chancellor issue a commission under the great seal to Henry Romyn to be constable?’? The abbot of Croyland writes a long epistle to John Stratford, explaining exactly how he cannot supply to the king a strong cart ‘bound with iron, with five sound horses,’ on account of the innumerable afflictions of the monastery, including those ‘due to the burdensome proximity of the lord Wake and his men, as you have beard’; and will the chancellor please hold him excused, for these and other reasons, “which the bearer of this will be able to explain to you viva voce.’* Robert of Colleuyle writes a brief note to the effect that he cannot obey the summons to Scotland, ‘qar du men demeygne ne sui de power dialer saunz autre aide avoir.”> William of Ferriby wants a writ to enable him to purvey a ship for the king’s service, as he has been commanded.® John of Stirlyng 1 Ancient Correspondence, xxxvu, No. 198. 2 Ihbid., xxx1x, No. 76.

3 Ibid., No. 74: ‘Et trescher seignur voyletz remembrer ge vous avetz autre garaunt de nostre seignur le Roi soutz son prive seal fait a Walton sur son passage de moy faire aver tantz des briefs et commissions sous le graunt seal come busoignable serront pour les bosoignes ma dame.’

# Ibid., No. 5. © Ibid., No. 4.

6 Ancient Petitions, No. 14864; probably connected with the entry in C.C.R. 1333-1337, 99.

The Chancery 193 wants a protection for one of his'‘followers who has been impleaded in his absence.! James of Bonecroft wishes to have payment for wine received from him for the king by Robert Emeldon amounting to £14 18s. 4d., -— ‘vous pri pour lamour de dieu et les almes de touz cristiens ge voillez ordiner quil ust son pai.’? Isabella wishes him to send a writ to the chief taxers of Kent, commanding them to supersede their demands on her manor of Eltham, exempt from taxation.2 The commonalty of Pembrokeshire are oppressed by malefactors since the death of the earl of March; they pray ‘ge ly plese ordeyner un seneschal sachant et covenable’; they ‘prient remedie pur dieu’ for their ills. A ship has put in at the port of Bristol the owner of which has given security that it will be discharged in London; will the chancellor send letters to the mayor and bailiffs of Bristol, permitting the vessel to be discharged?® All kinds of requests and prayers poured into the chancery, only a small fraction of which can have survived. An example of a petition for remedy (1337) is that of Thomas of York, ‘overrir pour la Sience de Alconemie,’ who, because his secrets had been apprised by unscrupulous individuals, by whom he had then been cast into prison in Newgate, by

craft and force, so that they might make profit of their knowledge at leisure, wants to be delivered and have his instruments restored, so that he ean prove his science® (evidently there is more in this case than meets

the eye). Another example of petition for remedy is that of William Boultel, who, because he notified the king’s justices of the names of malefactors in Essex ‘sur quey mesmes ceaux mesfesours furent grantment entaggles devant le dit monseignur,’ has been indicted by the said

malefactors ‘par hatye...fausement e maliaousement’ before the justices of trailbaston, and is languishing in gaol in Colchester,’ seeking a

writ to the justices or other remedy. Other types of petition range through the varied requests illustrated in the preceding paragraph to the countless formal and official warrants from the chief officials of the crown. It is impossible to mark off one category of request clearly from another.

The most formal warrant left some responsibility to chancery; the most

innocent-seeming request might usher in a bitter litigation. The real 1 Ancient Petitions, No. 14871, to the archbishop of Canterbury, chancellor. 2 Ibid., No. 14883, to the archbishop of Canterbury, chancellor. 3 Tbid., No. 14837, to the chancellor of her dear son, the king. 4 Ibid., No. 14840, to the bishop of Winchester. 5 Ancient Correspondence, xu, No. 172, directed to the bishop of Winchester, chancellor, dated 23 July; the merchant is Angell’ de Ceba of Genoa. 6 Ancient Petitions, No. 14806. It has been set out at length in Select Cases before the King’s Council 1243-1482, ed. 1. S. Leadem and J. F. Baldwin (Selden Society, Cambridge, 1918), p. 127. 7 Ancient Petitions, No. 14765. The justice of the forest was Bartholomew Burghersh. William was indicted before Henry Grey and his companions, justices of trailbaston in Essex.

194 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 distinction, in the eyes of the chancellor, was between those he could and those he could not answer alone. In all important cases he would call in some additional advice. That petitioners and others in chancery who had business of any importance had to do with the council, was well understood. Cases would be summoned to chancery ‘ut tunc inde fiat quod consilio nostro videbitur faciendum,’! or ‘la certification de Excheqger retourne en Chauncellerie, et monstre devant le Conseil,’? or ‘monstrent les lettres en Chauncellerie

et iloekes serra ceste peticion delivres par consail.’? Individuals were summoned into the chancery “to do and receive what shall be ordained by the council,’* or they appeared ‘in chancery before the council.’® It is hardly enough, though it is probably substantially correct, to say with Dr Ehrlich that this body ‘might be the King’s council in chancery and yet it was a court by itself.’® Council and chancery were on occasions distinguished.’ Nevertheless we must conclude that the process of distinguishing the two bodies was far from complete; the one still shaded off into the other. As we have seen, in the Molyn’s case in 1345 it was still, as late as this, hard to know, on occasions, whether the council had been summoned or not; it would be rash to conclude that the presence of one or more councillors invariably constituted the council. The difficulty was enhanced by the real similarity between the attributes of chan-

cery and council. Chancery and council were, on occasions, almost interchangeable terms. Outside the more formal questions of authorization, there was little inducement and no real necessity to distinguish between the two. They overlapped or even coalesced; they had similar functions, occupied the same premises, shared in part the same personnel.

Of the two, it was the chancery, not the council, which had tradition, definition, and procedure; the council rather than the chancery was in 1 Placita in Cancellaria, File 1, No. 3. 2 Rot. Parl., u, 59. 3 Ancient Petitions, No. 1807 (1324?). 4 0.0.R. 1333-1337, 528. 5 Ibid. Cf. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 560 (‘before the council in chancery’). 6 Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History, Vol. v1, [No.] xu, 168. 7 In 1327 a petition (Ancient Petitions, No. 9989) was endorsed ‘soit ceste peticion livere en Chauncellerie et le Chauncellier . . . delivre la bosoigne contenue en ceste peticion sanz delai. Et si cause y soit par quoi la bosoigne ne peust illoeges estre esploite, porte les choses touchantes cele bosoigne devant le consail sanz delay, et illoeqes soit deliures en sa presence.’ But this was during the minor-

ity. Cf. a similar distinction in 1328 (Ancient Petitions, No. 12888). 8 See above, p. 187. Which body is referred to, for instance, in an endorsement which bids the chancellor call the justices and others of the council to his aid, but limits his action to ‘ceo ge y poet estre fait par cours de ley’? Rot. Parl., 11, 43: ‘Soit ceste Peticion mande en Chancelerie, ge le Chanceller veue illoeges la Chartre, et appellez les Justices de l’un Bank et de l’autre, et autres Sages du Conseil, et auxint les Serjantz le Roi si mest(er) soit, et ewe informacion des allowances qe ount este faitz as ditz Abbe et Covent einz ces heures en tiel cas, ceo ge y poet estre fait par cours de ley lui soit fait, et ceo qe ne poet mie soit reporte devant le Roi.’

The Chancery 195 process of becoming.! It was still so far advisory in its functions that its presence in the chancery introduced no suggestion of a conflicting jurisdiction or a different court. Council and chancery had grown up and continued to function almost as different aspects of the same thing. In both the thirteenth and the fourteenth centuries it was customary for officials to seek further advice in any important act; the council in chancery in 1327 only represented this age-long tradition; as far as the chancery was concerned, it represented nothing new. The new element in the situation was the increasing influence of both the conception and the activities of the council as an executive body. But this had not yet created a new relationship between the councillors and the office of the great seal. The chancery was, in 1327-1337, halfway in the process of transition from that of Thomas Becket to that of Thomas Wolsey, from the personal secretariat of the king to the great court of equity and the depart-

ment in which was kept the official seal of the crown. Its secretarial functions had not yet become mainly formal; its own responsibility for the issue of writs had not been elaborated and refined into the doctrines and procedure of a court of law. In the steadily increasing withdrawal of the monarch from personal control over the details of government — perhaps the most fundamental and important of all mediaeval administrative developments — the chancellor and treasurer, but especially the chancellor, had taken part of the vacant place. The administrative system — apart from the king — still pivoted on the chancellor and treasurer, either alone or in conjunction, forming the

core of the council. The conception of a domination of chancery and exchequer by a household system will not bear the test of a close scrutiny of all the offices at work. The ‘control’ over the chancellor and treasurer by the council was still in reality not very much more than an extension

of their own functions and powers. Their combined functions and powers, in spite of limitations, were so extensive that they called forth at this point the drastic but futile ordinances of Walton in 1338. The development of the council in their hands and largely as a result of their administrative needs was perhaps the greatest constitutional revolution of the fourteenth century. 4. CHANCERY OFFICE AND PERSONNEL

Some part of the organization of the chancery will already have become apparent. Long before 1327 the office had developed headquarters of its own and lost direct contact with the king, but it still, on occasions, moved 1 Tn the sense, that is, of a court with executive functions, as contrasted with the advisory council of the thirteenth century. I discuss this problem in my Studies in Constitutional History.

196 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 about the country so as to be near the king and council. During Edward’s Scottish wars in the first ten years of the reign it was frequently moved to the North. Only after 1337 did its departure from London or the suburbs become quite exceptional.! The conditions under which it worked before this date militated against the growth of strong sub-departments within the office. Alongside a considerable specialization of function on the part of individuals, there was still a disinclination to distinguish between the various aspects of the work of the department, derived from more primitive and peripatetic conditions of work. It preserved a greater unity In its organization than either the papal chancery or the chancery in France. The only definite sub-departments seem to have been the offices of the rolls and of the hanaper, the former for keeping records, the latter, ac-

counts. Nor were these very distinct from the rest; the keeper of the rolls at least was one of the most active in the general work of the chancery, and even the keeper of the hanaper does not seem to have confined himself to the duties of his sub-department alone. We do not even know that the two departments had rooms permanently assigned to them in which to carry out their work.2, No other separate sub-department was created for any one of the very important special duties of the office arising out of the care of the great seal. As we have seen, those duties which were later to be performed by the court of equity were not yet clearly distinguished from the unspecialized function of writing the king’s writs. The ‘court’ was still the office of chancery in the great hall at Westminster, and the ‘judges’ were the chancery clerks. It was much the same

with regard to other aspects of the departmental work. One of the chancery clerks of first grade — in this period it was Henry Edwinstowe?

— held a very important position in parliament. He compiled the rolls of that assembly, and other clerks may have helped, on occasions, in the administrative work entailed by a meeting of parliament, over and above the issue of writs of summons and of expenses. But there was no sub-department of chancery to do this work; it was simply one of the multitudinous functions of the whole office. Similarly, certain chancery clerks acted regularly as special agents of the king in diplomatic and other affairs of state. They were often marked out by possessing the rank of

public notary; but that was not a rank accorded in the department. There seems to have been no special position or grading in the chancery itself for these important officials of state. The most evident distinctions

within the chancery were those connected with the issue of the letters under the great seal. As to the rest — and as in the civil service as a 1 Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 97.

2 Tbid., pp. 57, 59. 3 Ibid., p. 81.

The Chancery 197 whole — most of its members, though they had special responsibilities and duties, were willing and able to turn their hands to almost any kind of work.

At the head of the office was, of course, the chancellor himself, origi-

nally perhaps, the keeper of the king’s seal, but who had long before this evolved duties and responsibilities which made him probably the most important official in the state. The chancellors of this period will, in their official power, bear comparison with any of the great ministers of mediaeval England.!| Many others are better known; it would be idle to pretend that men like Henry Burghersh or John Stratford can be compared, in fame, with personalities like Thomas Becket, Robert Burnell, or the great ministers of a later age. But they deserve to be better known; and it 1s safe to prophesy that the more we know of

them the more important they will seem. Henry Burghersh almost achieved, and John Stratford did achieve, the highest position in the English church. John Stratford ‘who used to be called by nearly everybody patricius of the said lord king,’? together with his brother, for long held the reins of government during the king’s absence overseas, dictated the king’s policy in England, and was chief councillor to the keeper of the

realm.*? The ascendancy of the Stratfords was, as is well known, the prelude to the crisis of 1340-1341; but there were no portents of the min-

isterial reverse of 1341, in the first ten years of this reign. John Stratford held the office of Robert Burnell, almost, we might say, that of Thomas Becket himself. He was the chief minister of the crown, the ‘prime’ minister, still owing his importance to his office and to his influence with the king, not to the political affilations which became normal

at a later time. Nevertheless, signs of transition are not wanting; the party strife of Edward IT’s reign had affected, if it had never drawn com-

pletely within its orbit, the greatest office under the crown. Political strife between ministers was to be the prime factor in the crisis of 18401341.4 1 Where not otherwise recorded, references and confirmatory details will be found in Wilkinson, Chancery, pp. 98-107. 2 Robert of Avesbury, De Gestis Mirabdilibus Regis Edwardi Tertiit, ed. E. M. Thompson (Rolls Series, London, 1889), p. 324. 3 Foedera, u, Pt. 1, 1091; Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 109; Dorothy Hughes, A Study of Social and Constitutional Tendencies in the Early Years of Edward III (London, 1915), p. 75. 4 See my ‘Protest of the Earls of Arundel and Surrey in the Crisis of 1340-1,’ E.H.R., xtvi (1931),

177-194. There was no direct attack on the monarch in this crisis, except that barons and commons took advantage of the quarrel between John Stratford and Edward III to safeguard their liberties and establish old claims. The vital struggle was the one between the Stratfords and ministers like Kilsby who had been overseas with the king; when Kilsby and his associates were eliminated the quarrel was soon brought to anend. But the Stratfords did not triumph; the fruits of victory went to the lay officers, the barons, and the commons.

198 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 It is quite certain, however little one understands them, that the changes in the office of chancellor during this period are of very great account.! Indeed, it is clear that they did not stand alone; one or two of them formed part of veritable changes of ministry, complete transformations of the council.2, We may dismiss John Stratford’s excuse for resigning in September 1334 —‘alleging that he could not, on account

of infirmity . . . labor any longer in the said office of chancellor,’? equally belied by the length of his subsequent career and the vigor of his opposition to the king— as hiding the real cause. We can only guess at the motives underlying other changes — there were six from January 1327 to January 1338; but we may perhaps discern the dim traces of a growing tension, a clash of personalities between the Stratfords, with Lancastrian traditions and a ministerial outlook, and men like Hotham and Burghersh, with traditions and associations of a very different kind, or like Richard of Bury or Robert Bentworth, devoted to nothing but the personal interests of the king; we may even guess at a clash of principle, culminating in the ordinances of Walton, both a sign and a consequence of the grave problems and stresses confronting and disturbing the new reign. Chancellors were inevitably amongst the foremost statesmen and poli-

ticlans of the age. Edward III had no doubt, at a later time, that Stratford had been the presiding genius of the early years of his reign.+ His activities, which need not be chronicled here, as diplomat and envoy extraordinary, were immense. Few chancellors could spare the bulk of their time for duties within the office; these fell, to a greater extent than is commonly recognized, on the greater clerks, and more particularly on the keeper of the rolls. It was these officials who not only supervised

the whole work of the department, but also, and frequently, held the great seal itself under commission. The twelve greater clerks of chancery had existed long before the reign of Edward III. They included the keeper of the rolls, the “commanders’

of writs, the examiners who, as early as the days of Fleta, scrutinized the finished article ‘in ratione litera dictione et syllaba,’ and the clerk 1 The changes are not reproduced here; they are already set out in full in Wilkinson, Chancery, Appendix 111, and in Tout, Chapters, v1, 11-12.

2 Wilkinson, Chancery, pp. 103, 104. 3 Foedera, 11, Pt. u, 1129. Robert of Avesbury, op. cit., p. 330, in the king’s letter of complaint of 10 Feb. 1341: ‘vestra et eorum memoria non credimus excidisse quod nos, dudum in annis adolescentiae ad regni solium exaltati, in ejusdem suscepto regimine sanis consiliis dirigi cupientes, quia Johannem, tunc Wyntoniensem nunc vero Cantuariensem archiepiscopum, fidelitatis et discretionis virtute credebamus praeeminere aliis, ejus consilio, super his quae animae nostrae saluti expediunt et regni nostri

augmentum et conservationem respiciunt, spiritualiter et temporaliter usi sumus, et in tantam familiaritatem est a nobis susceptus, ac illam in se humanitatem expertus, ut pater noster vocaretur et adoraretur ab omnibus post regem secundus.’

The Chancery 199 responsible for the parliament roll. Twelve clerks of the second grade may or may not have existed by that name.! But cursitors certainly existed; as early as 1298 Edward I wrote to his chancellor: “Mandate at the instance of Roger la Warre, who has done good service to the king in Gascony and elsewhere, to take William de Stouford as a clerk of the course of chancery, permitting him to write the writs of the same.’? It is doubtful if they were mainly younger clerks, as in the time of Fleta.? There were also the spigurnel,* portejoie,®° and minor officials.® Possibly

there were not yet the ninety-eight clerks suggested by the ordinaciones cancellarve of 12 Richard I], but there may have been nearly this number.’ It was later declared® that clerks of the first grade should be elected

by the chancellors with the advice and assent of some of the greater clerks, and this, no doubt, sometimes occurred. It was possibly during the period under review that Nicholas Lyndewode petitioned the chancellor that ‘he would assign to him an appropriate place in the chancery,

on the left of Henry de Edenstowe and between the said Henry and Richard de Birland; and that his name should similarly be entered on the roll of the chancery.’® But in 1333 John de Langetoft was nominated by the king, with the assent of the council, and there is evidence of similar nominations both at an earlier!® and at a later date.!!_ The clerks of the second grade were said, in 1388, to be elected in the same way as the greater clerks;!? whilst later still, cursitors are said to have been chosen by the chancellor, from among the clerks of the office.4? But 1 They were only mentioned, so far as we know at present, in 1351 (Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 83); and in the appointment of Hildesle in 1323, quoted elsewhere, the scribe talks about the king’s twelve clerks, as though there was only one group of twelve. On the other hand we catch a glimpse of clerks sitting at a ‘second table’ in chancery in 1317 (Cal. Chanc. War., 1, 478). 2 Cal. Chance. War., 1, 90.

3 See also the oath taken by chancery clerks in 1346, with references to the work of cursitors (Stats. of Realm, 1, 306). We cannot say how far there was a system of training the younger clerks, as under Richard IT; cf. Tout, Collected Papers, 11, 143-173. 4 Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 86. He had charge of the process of sealing. 5 The portejoie was in charge of transportation. 6 E.g., Theobald Poleyn, ‘the king’s serjeant of chancery,’ cruelly wounded and beatenby Thomas, son of Simon de Waltham, ‘fhisser’ in 1337, C.C.R. 13837-1339, 276. 7 See Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 65; we can make out 38 different names in chancery writs in 1338: Inquisitions of ad quod damnum, Files 244~—7; Chancery Miscellaneous Inquisitions, 104/4; and a number are mentioned in C.C.R. 1337-1339, 447. 8 Ordinaciones cancellarte; Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 69, and Appendix v1, p. 214. ® See zbed., p. 69; Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 12. No roll of chancery of this sort has survived;

would that it had!

10 Tbid., p. 4: by an order under the secret seal in 1323. ; 11 Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 69; Chancery Warrants, File 264, No. 12898, printed by Richardson and Sayles, H.A.R., xtvir (1932), 380, n. 6. 12 In 1309 a clerk had been nominated by the king ‘to write to the great seal — if he is seen to be suitable and sufficient’ (Cal. Chanc. War., 1, 283). 13 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, p. 15.

200 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 if you were wise you crept into the chancery under the wings of the great; you did not, on that account, necessarily fail to maintain the efficiency and enhance the prestige of the office.

The payment and promotion of the chancery staff has been dealt with at length elsewhere.' A bishopric was almost a necessity for the chancellors of the period, for its dignity as well as for its income; the appointment of lay chancellors in 1341 was a tangible sign of a decrease in the fortunes and a temporary diminution in the eminence of the office. So much did the chancery clerks depend on their income from the church, that in 1330 they demanded that all the ‘chancellor’s livings’? should be

reserved for themselves.? Direct grants of money from the king were of small importance.* There was a reasonable expectation of promotion within the department itself. Most of the chancellors of this period had themselves risen through the various grades of service in the office. Occasionally there was promotion to administrative pcsitions outside; but normally chancery clerks were faithful to the office in which they had

begun, and promotion was naturally slow. Only the exceptionally fortunate could expect more than the rank of greater clerk. The twelve greater clerks obtained robes and food from the chancellor, but not lodging in his household; his £500 a year was apportioned out at £48 for winter robes, £32 for summer, and £420 for the table of chancery.° The chancellor is described as providing only food and drink in 1326-1327. As early as 1304 Edward I wrote to the chancellor ‘to make letters granting to the king’s clerk, Master Ralph de Odyham, and his heirs a vacant plot in the parish of St Clement Danes and St Mary de la

Stronde . . . rendering to the king 2s. yearly at the exchequer . . . so that he may build upon and inhabit it.” Ralph de Odyham was a chancery clerk. In 1326 Henry Cliff had separate lodgings of his own.® In 1335 Michael Wath had a house and three servants in York.'!° How far 1 Wilkinson, Chancery, pp. 87-94; Tout, Chapters, 111, 210-217; ‘The Household of Chancery and Its Disintegration,’ and ‘Civil Service in the Fourteenth Century,’ in Tout, Collected Papers, Vols.

i and it.

2 For these see Wilkinson, Bull. John Rylands Lib., vir (1924), 121, 126.

3 Rot. Parl., 11,41. It was replied that they should be reserved for the use of clerks of chancery, exchequer, and the two benches. 4 John Langetoft in 1333 received 10 marks yearly ‘in regard to laudable witness to his character and learning’ (C.P.R. 1330-1333, 474). In the year 1332-1333 seven chancery clerks received

£2 each from the hanaper (Pipe Roll, No. 178). There were occasional grants recorded in the chancery rolls, e.g., C.P.R. 1338-1340, 308; C.F.R., tv, 314; C.C.R. 1337-1339, 85. ° Pipe Roll, No. 189 (Hanaper Account); Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 91 © C.C.R. 1330-1838, 442. 7 Cal. Chance. War., 1, 226. 8 Ibid. 9 C.C.R. 13823-1327, 620; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 619.

10 (.P.R. 1334-1338, 174.

The Chancery 201 the lesser clerks shared in the table of the household is not clear; in 1317, as we have seen, there was a ‘second table’ in the household.! It seems probable that some, at least, did. One important source of revenue does not appear in the records. The

chancellor probably received 13s. 4d. for every charter of ‘great fee’ which he sealed, and 2s. on every charter or letter of ‘little fee’; and, in the latter case, the same amount was shared among the clerks who had

compiled the document and other officials, such as the chafewax.? In addition, chancellor and chancery clerks probably received ‘gifts’ and ‘presents,’ universal aids to official action in the mediaeval world. We have nothing to suggest that the experiences of, say, John Shillingford, mayor of Exeter, in the fifteenth century would have been uncommon

in the fourteenth. Whilst the chancellor was adjudicating upon a dispute between the bishop and the mayor and citizens of Exeter, Shillingford wrote home to say’ ‘y didde as me thoght aughte to be done, and by

avys (of the Justise and of oure Counseill) and sende thider that day stately pikerellis and stately tenchis’; and again he awaited impatiently the arrival of some ‘buk horn’ before approaching the chancellor, ‘for hit

hadde be a gode mene and order after spekyng and communication above-seid, the buk horn to have be presented, and y to have come there after, etc., and so to have sped moche better; but now hit is like to faille

to hyndryng.’ Another account, also from the fifteenth century,‘ includes, Item Magistro Rotulorum xl.s. Item clerico de Pety Baggez xx.s. Item pro sigillo brevis vi.d. Item pro scripcione brevis xvi.d. Item clerico de le Hanaperio, in brybez iii.s. tii.d.

A petitioner claimed between 1323 and 1325° that ‘Bernard de Brocas, Parson of the church of St Nicholas of Guildford... gave such rich gifts to Sir Robert Baldock, chancellor, and Sir Walter de Stapeldon, treasurer, that the wishes of the lord king were completely changed, through my poverty, against me.’® William Edyngton, chancellor 1356-1363, ' Cal. Chane. War., 1, 478. For other privileges of the office see the accounts mentioned above. 2 Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 332-5. In 1343 the master of King’s Hall, Cambridge, also paid 4s. to Elias Grimsby, then a clerk of the first grade, for the composition (dictamen) of a document, and 2s. to his clerk for writing it (ibid., p. 265). It is not known what the lesser officials of chancery received for a charter of ‘great fee,’ perhaps 4s. The greater clerks of chancery seem to have had little share in these perquisites of office. 3M. E. Curtis, Some Disputes between the City and the Cathedral Authorities of Exeter (Manchester,

1932), p. 33. Miss Curtis shows that these gifts scarcely amounted to bribery.

* Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 358-9. ° Rot. Parl., 11, 378. 6 For Stapeldon and Baldock’s official careers see Tout, Edward II, pp. 326, 327, 332.

202 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 was bribed to override the wishes of the council: ‘Before which day our abbot, going to London, made very considerable gifts to the chancellor of the king . . . (so that) the chancellor promised, although the others

of the council contended against it, that he might reply there by his attorneys. ’!

With their income from church and state, their immunities,? their legal practices,? their money-lending,* their influential patrons and friends, their prospects of promotion within and without the office,® it is

no wonder that chancery clerks, were a prosperous and much-envied community, and that in 1381 at any rate ‘there has been, and 1s, great rumor about all the realm, that they are for the great part too fat, both in body and in purse, and with wearing too much fur, and their benefices

are badly tended, because of the oppressions they suffer, inflicted by clerks of chancery on the people by virtue of their office."* The chancery staff was a microcosm, with all the virtues and defects, or nearly all,

of the world without. The chancery was a great achievement, the pioneer office of the great bureaucracy which had been built up since the days, only three centuries before, when Edward the Confessor kept his treasure under his bed and issued his elaborate diplomas and his writs (soon to be the pivot of a new governmental system and method) with the help of a handful of chaplains and clerks. We might, in fancy, look on the great office of the seal as a symbol and a promise, a symbol and a promise of the triumph of reason over brute force. It was the great expression of order and the supremacy of government and law, which stood, and still stands, a thin barrier between civilization and barbarism; but despite its imposing facade there was inevitably much weakness within. Too often, we may suspect, the office was, as individuals were, a lackey of the great, an oppressor of the poor. It needed a revolution to enable Geoffrey Cotes to bring a successful complaint against Henry Burghersh,’ and even then his action was attended by a very limited success. On the other hand the power of a great lord could 1 Thomas Burton, Chronica Monasterti de Melsa, ed. E. A. Bond (Rolls Series, London, 1866-68),

11, 135. The phrase ‘aliis de consilio renitentibus’ throws an interesting light on the chancellor's relations with the council. 2 Chancery clerks had the privilege of being tried before the chancellor or keeper of the seal, except in pleas which affected the king or freehold or for felonies or appeals (Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 87). 3 See ibid., p. 88.

4 This is a well-known feature of chancery practices, probably encouraged by the facilities for recording recognizances of debt, and obtaining writs to destrain, on default. In this period Henry Cliff, Thomas Brayton, Thomas Escrik, John Blebury, and many others indulged in the practice (C.C.R. 1330-1338, et passim). ° Wilkinson, Chancery, pp. 89, 90. 6 Rot. Parl., w1, 101. ’ Rot. Parl., u, 45; Wilkinson, Chancery, p. 32.

The Chancery 203 make itself felt in the very antechambers of the king. William Cliff would hasten to forward the interests of the great but unfortunate family of the Despensers;! Ralph de Lepyngdon owed his position to the earl of Pembroke; Thomas Brayton was a confidential servant of the queen

Isabella; John of St Pol was ‘nostre Clerk’ in the eyes of the earl of Devon; William of Stoke was a clerk of the countess of Ulster. At the very head of the office, the Stratfords had bound their interests up with the earls of Lancaster; Richard of Bury had been deep in the confidence

of (and had probably betrayed) Mortimer and Isabella.? More than one promising career in the chancery was cut short, like that of William of Herlaston, by the fall of some great family; conversely, the fortunes of clerks like Thomas of Bamborough were made by the revolution of 1330.°

It is not surprising that the great magnates, natural companions of the king, centres of patronage and power, looked with confidence to the favors in chancery which were no more than their due. The earl of War-

wick writes for a writ of ad quod damnum, ‘as hastily as you can... for know that we have the matter greatly at heart because a lady in the said house is a cousin of our dear and well-loved valet, Gibon Chastellyne.’* Queen Isabella, at the height of her power, writes to Henry Burghersh, to carry out the king’s letters for the abbot and convent of Evesham ‘in the most gracious manner that you can’; she has the matter much at heart, ‘because our dear clerk, Sire Richard

oe . . )

de Bury, has warmly petitioned us (tenderement requise) on their behalf.’®

Even John Cook, suing for a writ of debt, gets the earl of Arundel and 1 For further information, see ibid. 2 See ibid., p. 103. Evidence of his close association with Isabella is in Ancient Correspondence,

xxxvul, No. 195. 8 How far the effects of the ‘revolutions’ of 1327 and 1330 affected administration it is not yet possible to say. That they had considerable repercussions is more than probable. An example of this is to be found in the following letter from Ancient Correspondence, xxxvi, No. 187. ‘A reverent Pere en dieu nostre cher et bien ame seignur J. par la grace de dieu Evesque de Ely Chancellier nostre trescher fuiz le Roi Dengleterre Isabel par y celle grace Roine Dengleterre Dame Dirlande et Contesse de Pontif salutz et bone amour. Pour ce ge nous auons entendu pour certain qe nostre bien ame seignur William Thunnerk clerc de la dite Chancellerie soleit auoir estat en Court descrire au grant seel nostre trescher seignur le Roi et de manger en loustel du Chancellier qui feust pour le temps tanque au darrain ge il feust ouste de cel estat sanz coulpe par le commandement Hughue le Despenser et Robert de Baldoc adonq noz ennemis. Et nous aians reguard a ce qe le dit sire William est bon et souffisant pour la dite Chancellerie et ge il feust malicieusement ouste de son dit estat et sanz cause vous prions et chargons tant come nous pouons ge non contrestant le dit commandement vous receuez le dit seignur William et remetez en meisme lestat ge il soleit tenir ouen meilleur. Et ce ne vueillez laisser en nulle maniere pour lamour denous. Nostre selgnur vous guard, Donne a Eltham le xxx Jour de Januier.’ 4 Ancient Correspondence, xxx1x, No. 142. It was whilst Robert Parvyng was chancellor (1341-1343), but worth quoting here.

° Ancient Correspondence, xxxvu, No. 195. |

204 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Surrey to speak for him, ‘nostre homee et tenant,’ with the usual request, ‘luy vuillez estre auxint gracious come vous pourrez bonement.”! Lionel, the king’s son, writes on behalf of William Stoke, clerk of ‘nostre

treschere dame et miere en lay la Countesse Dulvestre.’? Edmund of Kent ends a letter to Henry Burghersh, ‘And if there is anything you might wish of us, which we may faithfully perform, will you inform us,

and we will (faithfully) perform it. God keep you, Sire. Written at Brodehamton the 29th day of May. And will you cause to be made keepers of the peace in Sussex Monseignur Rauf de Camoys and Mon-

seignur Nicholas Gentil for love of us.’? Isabella sends a request to John Thoresby, probably not yet chancellor, for her ‘poor tenant,’ John de Tigheler of Hertford, whose pardon for felony she had already been promised by the king. The duke of Lancaster writes, on behalf of one of his clients, for the office of chancellor of the exchequer at Dublin. The chancery was the bottle neck through which an infinite range of favors was squeezed out of the king. It was the bargain counter of the individual, just as parliament was, in theory, the bargain counter of the nation. Any decade of its history must have contained a curious story of favors asked for and usually received. But if favor was king, it was a favor, we may believe, tempered with discretion. The gracious Queen Philippa wrote to the chancellor ‘et les autres du conseil’ before 1340 on behalf of Henry de Harewedon, asking for a writ of nist prius to be recalled, which had been bought to his disadvantage, and which he could not answer, (nor did any attorney dare to appear on his behalf, for fear of his adversaries, as he has informed us); but only if the matter could be done rightly —‘if you can do it honorably, without any prejudice to the right of our lord king, and without offence against the law, out of respect for charity and for love of us.’® But Queen Philippa stood high, for the very qualities here displayed, in the opinion of the age. The med1 Tbid., xt, No. 149. This was addressed to the bishop of Winchester, chancellor. John Cook was from Chipping Norton. The letter was written at Lambeth, ‘this Monday after dining’ (manger).

2 Ibid., No. 54. This was in 1347 to John Offord; he asks for a living for William, the clerk of the countess, ‘en oevre de charite et pour amour de nous et de nostre dame et miere en lay avantdite.’

3 [bid., xxxvi, No. 197. 4 Ibid., xu, No. 93. The wording of this request seems to suggest that certain petitions were set apart as ‘billes de la corone,’ to be submitted to the king in person, by an official of chancery, possibly the keeper of the rolls. Thoresby is nowhere alluded to as chancellor; and there 1s no suggestion that parliament is assembled. 5 Ibid., No. 126. But this the client begged not from the chancellor, but from the king. It will be seen that this illustration comes from a period later than 1327-1337. The petition was addressed to the archbishop of York. The petitioner was John of Pembroke. He was examined by Bartholomew Burghersh, Thomas of Brembre, and others of the council. The letter to the chancellor was dated 1 May. 6 Ancient Correspondence, xii, No. 80 (written 1 July).

The Chancery 205 laeval state possessed a robustness and a promise which some find difficult

to perceive in modern times; but it was also rank with the corruption of patronage and intrigue. The chancery could not, and did not even wish to, revolutionize the system of which it formed a part; it could be, and was efficient and just within the limits imposed by the habits of the age.




[* the fourteenth the English administrative stillearly bore strong markscentury of the original confusion between thesystem king’s public and private capacities. By this time the older branches of the administration, the chancery and the exchequer, had largely lost their domestic connections, but the king’s household still continued to confuse the two aspects. The constitutional opponents of the royal power were still trying to ensure that the direction of public affairs should be in the hands of great officers of state who would be a check upon the arbitrary exercise of royal power; the king was still struggling to retain in his own hands some machinery which he could use untrammelled by such con-

stitutional checks. It was mm the royal household that he found such machinery ready to his hands, and Professor Tout has shown the part

| played by the wardrobe, the chamber, and the smaller seals in the struggle between crown and barons.!

In the middle of the reign of Edward II, the king’s household had comprised a large number of subordinate departments. In addition to what were known as the household offices — the kitchen, pantry, buttery,

hall, and marshalsea, which dealt with the more purely domestic work, there were the wardrobe (which included the clerks of the privy seal),

the chamber, the great wardrobe, and the department of the king’s butler, all of which were of wider administrative significance. The house-

hold also included a permanent military establishment in the king’s knights, serjeants-at-arms, and archers, a nucleus which might in time of war be expanded to include all the military forces of the crown. With

the exception of the chamber, the other departments all accounted to the wardrobe, which was the financial and secretarial department of the household, and whose keeper shared with the steward the general direction of the household administration. 1 Tout, Chapters and Edward IT.


The King’s Wardrobe and Household 207 As a result of the reforms of the latter part of Edward II’s reign,} however, the departments of the great wardrobe and of the king’s butler became Independent of the king’s wardrobe, while much administrative and even some more properly domestic work, such as the keeping of the

royal stud of horses, was brought more fully under the control of the exchequer than of the household. At the same time the keepership of the privy seal had been separated from the controllership of the wardrobe, although it still remained to some extent connected with that department. With this pruning had gone a severe restriction of the financial resources of the household, which were brought more closely under exchequer control, and a limitation of the household staff to the exercise of their domestic functions. Thus the first years of Edward III are a period of very much reduced

household activity, a reduction reflected in the paucity of household records compared with those of the preceding reign. ‘Towards the end of the first decade we can see a revival beginning under the impetus of war with Scotland and France.

The work of the household must be examined under two aspects: first, as a domestic organization, concerned with the lodging and feeding of the king and his court; second, as a part of the general administrative

machinery of the realm. But it must be borne constantly in mind that in practice these two aspects were closely interwoven, and that the same individuals were playing both parts. The distinction between the public and the private capacities of the king was not yet clearly drawn. 2. THe Domestic OFFICES

On its domestic side the household was divided into departments or offices, each with its staff of clerks and laymen, all under the supreme control of the steward and the treasurer of the household, the latter more often called by the alternative title of keeper of the wardrobe. Of these offices the hall made arrangements for the lodging of the court and for the due service of the meals; the marshalsea looked after the horses and the transport, and also kept a roll of the household staff and paid their

wages; the spicery, the pantry, the buttery, and the kitchen with its subdivisions of scullery, saucery, larder, and poultry, were concerned with the feeding of the household. There was, as Professor Tout has pointed out,? a fundamental division 1 For these reforms and for the system of wardrobe accounting generally in the reign of Edward II, see, besides Tout, op. cit., Charles Johnson, ‘The System of Account in the Wardrobe of Edward I,’

Trans. R. H. S., 4th Series, vi (1923), 50-73, and J. H. Johnson, ‘The System of Account in the Wardrobe of Edward II,’ zbid., x11 (1929), 75-105. 2 Tout, Chapters, 11, 248.

208 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 | in the household between the hall and the chamber. The king’s immediate followers lodged and ate in the chamber; the greater number of the household staff had the privilege, which was at the same time an obligation, of dining in the hall. The officials of higher rank were allowed their own chamber, and the household ordinances laid down an elaborate scale of food, drink, fuel, and light allowed to each. Allowances were also made to those who were unable to mess in the hall on account of sickness or because of the periodical bleedings which were customary. The chief officials of the hall were the ushers and the marshals. The

chief usher,! who was a knight, was responsible for seeing that the serjeant ushers and the yeomen ushers? did their work, that the hall was properly served, and that no one ate there except those who ought to do so. He was also supposed to enter the household offices daily in order to see that the stores sent there by the purveyors were sufficient

and that no unauthorized persons were there. Under him were two serjeant ushers, who were to keep the door of the hall and must count each

day the number of messes sent in, one at one meal and one at another, information which was required at the household account as a check upon the accounts of the kitchen and other offices.

) The discipline of the hall was maintained by the marshals and their staff. According to the ordinance of 1318 there were two knights marshal of the hall,* of whom one acted as harbinger, while the other maintained order and regulated the seating in the hall. When there was no

lodging to be arranged, as during the court’s stay in any place, both marshals were to be on duty in the hall, one at one meal and one at another. Each of them was assisted by a serjeant. The ordinance also mentions a marshal appointed by the earl marshal and having under him a serjeant* to make attachments and to act as harbinger, a yeoman to keep the prison of the household, and a clerk or clerks. These officers were associated with the market,° their chief functions apparently being disciplinary. 1 Tout, Edward II, p. 282. My account of the work of the domestic offices is very largely based upon the description given in the household ordinances of Edward II's reign, controlled by reference to the accounts and other records themselves where possible. There is no way of finding out whether all the details of the ordinances were observed: there must, of course, have been a certain amount of elasticity. 2T have, throughout, used the words ‘serjeant,’ ‘yeoman,’ and ‘esquire’ as equivalents for the Latin ‘serviens,’ ‘vallettus,’ and ‘scutifer.’ The words were used sometimes in a general and wider sense in which ‘serviens’ may be translated ‘servant,’ and include the others; they were used also in a particular sense, as denoting definite ranks in the household. In this sense ‘serjeant’ is the highest of the three and ‘yeoman’ the lowest; while ‘esquire’ has so lost its original meaning that the king’s washerwoman ranks as an esquire.

3 Tbid., p. 283. 4 Tbid., p. 314. 5 See below, p. 245.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 209 Professor Tout seemed to be of the opinion that the lieutenant of the earl marshal was quite distinct from the two marshals of the hall;! but

I think that this is erroneous. In the Constitutio Domus Regis of Henry II a magister marescallus and four marshals are mentioned. The

master marshal became known later as marshal of England, or earl marshal;? the four marshals under him appear to be those from whom the various marshals of the household (including the marshals in the sense of farriers) are descended. In the ordinance of 1279,? immediately after the two stewards follow two marshals, both knights, with 10 marks

a year each as fee and 8 marks for robes. ‘There are also two submarshals of the hall, not knights, each receiving 714d. a day and 3 marks a year for robes. Later in the same ordinance the marshals, or one of them, are ordered to clear the household of unauthorized followers, and the marshals of the hall (they are not called sub-marshals this time)

and the usher are ordered to keep the hall clear of strangers. In the ordinance of 1318 there are two marshals of the hall, knights, and their

two serjeants. One of these knights has to act as harbinger and they both have charge of the discipline of the hall. In the same ordinance the deputy of the earl marshal also seems to be mainly occupied with discipline and his serjeant acts as harbinger.* In 1334 only two marshals are named in the list of members of the household as in receipt of robes;

they appear among the knights and one is called marshal of the hall, the other marshal harbinger (marescallus hospitator). In 1336 the only difference is that the office of marshal harbinger has changed hands.® In 1323 Robert de Morby, the marshal harbinger, and Robert de Grendon, the marshal of the hall, had similarly appeared in the list of robes, although without any note as to their respective offices.° These seem clearly to be the two marshals of the hall whose several duties are described in the ordinance of 1318. John de Weston, who in 1320 was marshal harbinger of the king’s household,’ was in 1331 lieutenant of the earl marshal there. In 1316-1317, as lieutenant of the earl marshal, he held pleas of the court of verge with the steward,° and in 1322 he was

the marshal before whom Roger de Amory was tried for treason.!° In 1 Tout, Chapters, 11, 252.

2 J. H. Round, Commune of London (London, 1899), pp. 302-320. 3 Tout, Chapters, 11, 158.

* Tout, Edward II, p. 314. 5B. M., MS Nero C vu, foll. 223-224. ° B. M., MS Stowe 553, foll. 27d, 105; C.P.R. 1321-1324, 246. 7B. M., Add. MS 17362, fol. 15. 8 Chancery Miscellanea, 2/9.

° Exchequer, Treasury of Receipt, Placita Aule, Roll 2. In C.P.R. 1321-1324, 343, 358, he is directed to make arrests. 10 Tout, Chapters, 11, 252.

210 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the same period he was several times sent forward by the king to provide lodging for the household. } These facts seem to establish that the judicial functions of the marshal and those of providing lodgings were at this period in the hands of the earl marshal’s deputy and that the deputy was also one of the marshals of the hall. Fleta speaks of the steward as associating with himself the

marshal of the hall, the chamberlain, and the ushers, or one of them, for hearing pleas.2, He was also to order the ‘foreign marshal’ to attach

prisoners. Presumably the foreign marshal is the marshal harbinger, whose duties lay largely outside the household. Whether he alone was appointed by the earl marshal, or whether the knight marshal of the

hall was also a deputy of the latter is not clear. No case has been found in which both marshals are called deputies of the earl marshal, although that magnate certainly appointed other officers in the household. In 1337 it was stated that Thomas de Brotherton, as earl marshal, was wont to pay to the marshal supplying his place in the household 2s. a day while the earl was in the court and 4s. a day when he was out of court.2 The claims made in 1377 at Richard II’s coronation certainly seem to imply that both marshals were substitutes for the earl marshal.‘ In 1318 the service of the meals and the due arrangement of the seats in the hall were in the hands of a serjeant surveyor of the dresser and three esquires who acted as sewers. It is by no means easy to check the validity of these arrangements in the records, since the exact nature of each man’s office is not always given. In two lists of the household staff for 13345 there is no serjeant who seems to hold this office at the dresser; in each list there are only four serjeants attached to the hall,

two ushers, and two marshals. In 13 Edward II the surveyor of the dresser was classed among the serjeants of the kitchen;® but this does not seem to be the case in the period under study. In the only one of the lists for 1334 which details the functions of the numerous esquires two sewers only are mentioned; but there is always a possibility that temporary absence from the household made such lists incomplete. The provision of lodging for the members of the household and their horses was part of the duties of one marshal and his staff. The lodging of the king’s own horses seems to have been in the province of the office of the marshalsea, which by this time was under a separate officer, the

clerk of the marshalsea. For the lodging of the household elaborate

1 Exchequer Accounts, 375/8, fol. 16; C.P.R. 1321-1324, 449. , 2 Fleta, ed. John Selden (London, 1685), p. 66. 3 0.C.R. 1337-1339, 79. * Round, op. cit., p. 303; Nero D v1, fol. 86.

° Exchequer Accounts, 387/9, and Nero C viu, foll. 179-326. 6B. M. Add. MS 17362, fol. 56.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 211 regulations are given in the ordinance of 1318.1 Those followers of the court who could not be accommodated in the same house or town as the king were to be lodged by the harbingers within the verge, as near-at-

hand as was possible, on a scale varying according to their rank; the household officers were to have the lodgings nearest to those of the king. The king’s followers were not to be distributed in such a manner as to overcrowd any house so that the owner and his people would be inconvenienced. They were not to take victuals from the owner of the house against his will as long as they could buy them elsewhere; if it became

necessary to take them, they were to do so ‘in the most courteous and pleasant manner possible, and pay the value in money.’ The lodging of a large and disorderly household must have presented considerable difficulties, and, despite elaborate regulations, complaints

abounded. There are numerous cases in the records of the court of verge of resistance to the exaction of lodging and victuals. In 1331 the inhabitants of Westminster petitioned? against abuses which were stated

to have grown up since the last reign. Premises were said to be frequently charged with more men and horses than they could accommodate, so that the occupiers were driven from their homes; livery was

made in taverns, where it had not previously been wont; doors and windows were broken open and other annoyances offered. ‘The steward and marshals were therefore ordered to have due regard to the capacity of the houses in allotting accommodation. The trouble was particularly acute at times of the meeting of parliament and of the great feasts, and the burden of providing lodgings must have fallen with especial weight

on those places where the court most frequently sojourned. In 1328 letters patent addressed to the marshals and harbingers of the household state that, of late, magnates have frequently taken lodgings without livery by the king’s officers, and they are ordered to make a proclamation

against this practice. But complaints still continued. Although the word marshalsea is used in a general sense to cover all the departments which had sprung from or were connected with the functions of the marshal, it is also employed in a more restricted sense to denote an office which was concerned with only two of those functions. 1 Tout, Edward IT, pp. 305-306. The household was still an itinerant body. In 1336, between 25 January and 13 October it wandered from Berwick to London and Windsor, then north again by Northampton and Durham to Perth, back to Coventry, then north again to Newcastle (Exchequer Accounts, 378/19). In 1329, between 25 January and 3 September it moved 64 times, travelling from St Albans to Windsor, thence to London, into Surrey, back to Woodstock and Wallingford, and so to Windsor and Eltham; then by Dartford, Canterbury, and Dover it crossed to Boulogne and Amiens; returning to Eltham, it stayed at various places in Surrey and Sussex, and then moved westward by Windsor and Wallingford to Gloucester (Exchequer Accounts, 384/9). 2 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 219. 3 Foedera, 1, Pt. ii, 733.

212 The English Government at Work, 1827-1336 It was primarily concerned with the care of the king’s horses, but it also kept a record of the attendance of each member of the household and paid his wages. The head of this office was the chief clerk of the marshalsea; whether at this time he was appointed by the earl marshal is not clear. The earl undoubtedly appointed a clerk marshal, but this clerk appears to have been a different officer, whose functions were rather connected with the court of the verge.!

The chief clerk of the marshalsea kept a roll of his office on which were recorded the daily comings and goings of the various members of the household entitled to wages, and he also kept lists of the household showing the rate of wages due to each member. The wages for each day were entered under the heading vadia on the great roll of household expenses. They were not, however, paid daily or even at any regular intervals. ‘The clerk made periodically an account with each member of the household and then gave him a ‘bill’ stating the amount due to him, which was paid either in the wardrobe or, at the wardrobe’s order, in the exchequer.?. The rather clumsy system sometimes made it necessary to carry out adjustments of account when the amount so paid out did not agree with the total allowed on the roll of household expenses. The chief clerk of the marshalsea was responsible not only for the payment of wages, but also for the accounts of hay, oats, litter, harness, and other things pertaining to the horses and carts and their upkeep,

and for the livery of them.? Another clerk, the clerk of the avenery, had charge of the work of purveyance for the marshalsea, which was carried out under his direction by a number of yeomen purveyors. These

went about the country buying the hay, oats, litter, and other necessaries for this office, giving in exchange tallies,+ the foils of which they

delivered to the clerk of the avenery. He kept a record of the names of the vendors and then passed the foils on to the chief clerk of the marshalsea to be entered on the roll of the office.® There were two serjeants attached to the office. One acted as keeper of the king’s palfreys and destriers, being responsible for their stabling and for purveying the necessary harness for them, by view of the chief 1C.P.R. 13388-1840, 55; Records of the Borough of Leicester, ed. Mary Bateson (Cambridge, 1899-

1905), 11, 27. I have not found either Ashurst or Grete acting as clerk of the marshalsea in the sense used above. See also below, p. 240. 2 For examples of wardrobe bills or debentures see Tout, Chapters, 11, 126, 329. There are large numbers in the Exchequer of Receipt, Warrants for Issues. 3 Tout, Edward II, pp. 297, 317. 4 For tallies see the following articles by C. H. Jenkinson: ‘A Note on Tallies,’ Proceedings of the - Society of Antiquarians, 2nd Series, xxv (1912-13), 29-39; ‘An Original Exchequer Tally of 1304,’ ibid., 2nd Series, xxvi (1913-14), 36-40; ‘Exchequer Tallies,’ Archaeologia, Lx11 (1910-11), 367-380; “Medieval Tallies,’ ibid., Lxx1v (1924-25), 289-351. 5 For an example from the reign of Edward II, see Chancery Miscellanea, 3/51.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 913 clerk of the marshalsea or of the clerk of the avenery. He was to ride in the king’s company and attend him with his horse, receiving it from him when he dismounted. The other acted as farrier, whose work included that of veterinary surgeon. He received the money for medicines from the wardrobe, but accounted to the chief clerk of the marshalsea. Under these serjeants and clerks were a number of yeomen, grooms, carters, and sumptermen. In 1334 the office included thirteen yeomen purveyors and farriers, twenty carters, each with his outrider, fifty-four sumptermen, and one hundred and eight palfreymen of the king’s stable. In 1330 the numbers had been slightly less: twenty-nine carters, thirtyseven sumptermen, and ninety-two palfreymen.? The feeding of the household was the work of two offices. ‘The pantry and buttery together formed one department, and the kitchen another. At the head of the pantry and buttery was a clerk,? who drew up the

roll of the office and answered each night at the account before the steward and treasurer. It was his duty to be at the receipt of bread, wine, and ale, and to supervise their weight, measure, and quality. To assist him he had a sub-clerk, who acted as usher of the office. This sub-clerk had to be present every day at the receipt of bread in the pantry and to count it; he was to receive the foils of the tallies and make a list of the vendors’ names, both in the pantry and in the buttery;

and he was to make the liveries of bread, wine, and ale. He and the chief clerk were to be on duty alternately in the hall at meals. The lay staff was divided into two sections, for pantry and buttery respectively. A yeoman purveyor obtained the bread and delivered it

to the pantry, giving tallies to the vendors in exchange. ‘The chief serjeant of the pantry received the bread in gross by view of the subclerk and was responsible to the chief clerk for its issue. A yeoman assisted him and took turns with him in serving in the hall at meals, and two yeomen porters took turns in carrying the bread for meals. Another serjeant with a yeoman performed the same duties for the king and chamber. A serjeant baker made bread of various grades for the whole household, being assisted by two yeomen bakers, one to attend to the oven and one to the grinding of the corn. He had also to make the necessary purveyance of corn, under the orders of the steward and treasurer of the household, giving tallies to the vendors and handing in the foils to the

chief clerk. A waferer made wafers for both hall and chamber. A

serjeant of the napery* received the napery from the clerk of the spicery

1 Nero C vu, fol. 226d. 2 Exchequer Accounts, 385/4. 3 Tout, Edward IT, p. 284. 4 Ibid., p. 287. This officer was paid on the scale of an esquire in 1334.

214 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and was answerable for it to the steward and treasurer at the account, returning the old cloths into the wardrobe in order that they might be

handed over to the almoner. The ewerers and laundresses for both chamber and hall seem also to have been classed under this office.

In the buttery there were three serjeants. The chief butler or purveyor of wine was, since the Stapledon reforms of 1324, independent of the wardrobe for accounting purposes; but he still appears in the wardrobe accounts as a serjeant of the buttery, receiving robes in the king’s household.! The head of the office, however, was the serjeant butler of the household, who received by indenture from the chief butler the wine required for the household and accounted for its expenditure to the clerk

of the pantry and buttery. He also bought the cups, tankards, barrels, and other vessels for the service of the hall, was responsible for their safekeeping, and answered for them to the wardrobe.? The third serjeant received from the butler of the household the wine required for the king and chamber and accounted to the clerk of the pantry and buttery. _ He had in his charge the vessels required for the service of the chamber, and was assisted by a yeoman of the cuphouse.

To assist In the buttery there a yeoman drawer of wine, who also helped in the service of the hall when necessary, a yeoman to pour the

wine and ale and to help discharge carts, and a purveyor to buy ale and deliver it to the buttery. Two yeomen of the pitcherhouse served the hall with ale and wine and washed the tankards and other vessels. Two yeomen porters had to cleanse the barrels, carry both wine and ale

from the cellar to the buttery and cuphouse, or from the carts if the cellar were not near the court, and to take the empty barrels back.? The king’s chief butler kept an ‘attorney’ constantly in the household to see that wine was delivered to the butler of the household when and where necessary. This deputy was paid his wages of 6d. a day by the king’s butler, and does not appear to have ranked as a member of the household.4

The kitchen, with its subordinate departments (larder, poultry, scullery, and saucery),> was under the control of a chief clerk, who had to compile the roll and actounts of the office and was responsible for them to the steward and treasurer. He supervised the purchase of meat and fish and their cutting up, at which the controller of the wardrobe, the knight usher of the hall or knight marshal, and the sewer of the king’s 1 Nero C vin, fol. 225d. 2 K.R.M.R., No. 111, m. 65d. 3 Tout, Edward II, pp. 288-290. * Exchequer Accounts, 78/4, 8, 12, 18. ° Tout, Edward IT, pp. 290-296.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 215 table were also supposed to be present. His sub-clerk made the daily liveries of meat, fish, and poultry, answered for them to the chief clerk,

and compiled the particulars of account for the office. The clerk and sub-clerk took turns on duty at meal-times. Two buyers of the kitchen, who ranked with the serjeants of offices, made the purchases of meat and fish for the household. They were to pay either in cash or in tallies,! delivering the foils to the chief clerk so that the vendors might receive payment in the wardrobe. ‘They were to inform the clerk of the price of the provisions when they were delivered, in order that the clerk, usher, and sewer might satisfy themselves that the value was good.’ There were four serjeant cooks, two ‘for the king’s mouth’ and two for the hall, each pair being assisted by five yeomen. Of the yeomen for the king’s own kitchen, one acted as usher and fetched the meat from the larder, the wine, ale, and bread from the pantry and buttery, and the spices from the spicery. A second was ewerer, receiving the vessels from the scullery and being responsible for their safe custody; he also cooked the gross meat® and prepared the first course. A third yeoman was potager, and the other two cooked the roast and other courses. Of the yeomen cooks for the hall, one was potager, one cooked

the gross meat and fish, the other three cooked the roast and other courses. ‘Two yeomen, called akers, received the vessels from the scullery and were responsible for the custody of them.

In 1318 each of the subordinate departments of the kitchen was under a serjeant; in 1334 this 1s true only of the scullery and saucery, the larder and poultry being under esquires.* The larderer received the meat and fish from the buyers, from the king’s huntsmen, or from those who made presents, and he then delivered them as required for the use of the household, under the supervision of the controller of the wardrobe, usher of the hall, marshal, clerk of the kitchen, sewer of the king’s table,

and the master cooks. He also kept the meat at the dresser and ac1 A case on Exchequer Plea Roll, No. 49, m. 1, seems to show that purveyors sometimes gave not a wooden tally but a ‘bill,’ signed with their seals. This may explain the order in Stats.of Realm,

I, 266, (5 Edw. III, c. 2) that purveyors were to give sealed tallies. The same case seems also to imply that purveyors might personally be held responsible for debts due by their bills when these were not paid by the wardrobe. 2 In 1334 there appears among the serjeants, next after the buyers, R. de Bury, supervisor coquine (Exchequer Accounts, 387/9), an office which is not mentioned in the ordinances; he may be the surveyor of the dresser. See above, p. 210. 3 In the household ordinance of 1318 gross meat seems generally contrasted with roast, but no details are given. In the list of debts in Exchequer Accounts, 384/1, the kitchen is divided into the kitchen of gross and the poultry; under the head de grosso coquine is included pork, mutton, beef, boar, flesh, fish, lampreys, herrings, calves, salmon, and porpoise. * Exchequer Accounts, 387/9; Nero C vi, fol. 225 d.

216 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 counted each day to the clerk of the kitchen for the expenditure. He might be sent out of court by the steward and treasurer to make purveyance, and in that case the keys of the larder were kept and his work

performed by the usher of the larder, a yeoman. This usher was responsible for seeing that no unauthorized persons entered the great kitchen. He answered at the household account for the meat and fish received, and, whenever the sub-clerk of the kitchen was out of court, made the liveries from the kitchen and fetched the bread, ale, and spices.

Two yeomen porters of the larder received the meat and fish from the

butchery or the buyer, delivered it to the larder, and thence to the kitchen and dresser. When one of the buyers of the kitchen was sent out on purveyance, he took one of the porters with him to arrange for the carriage. The poulterer and his assistant seem to have been mainly concerned

with the work of purveying poultry and delivering it to the kitchen. Unlike most purveyors, the poulterer does not seem to be expected in the ordinance of 1318 to pay by tally, but ‘on the nail.’!| The preparation of the poultry was done in the kitchen. The serjeant of the scullery, with the help of two yeomen, bought and purveyed wood, coal, and all manner of vessels, answering for them to the clerk of the kitchen. He also received the silver vessels from the wardrobe and accounted for them both in number and in weight to

that department at the end of the year.? In 1318 this had been the duty of a second serjeant of the scullery, but by 1334 there seems to be only one.?

The serjeant of the saucery, with his two yeomen, bought and purveyed the flour and other material for his sauces, and accounted to the clerk of the kitchen for their expenditure. He was also responsible to the wardrobe for the custody of the silver vessels used in his office. The purveyance of wax, napery, linen, cloth, canvas, and spicery was the work of the great wardrobe, a department which was now separated

from the wardrobe of the household and subordinated directly to the exchequer, though the clerk of the great wardrobe still ranked as one of the first-grade clerks of the household. The household, however, had

its own office, the spicery,* for the receipt of such articles from the great wardrobe and for their distribution to the various household offices. This office was under the clerk of the spicery, who was at the same time

chief usher of the king’s wardrobe. It was his duty to receive from the 1 “Sur Dongle’ (Tout, Edward IT, p. 295).

2 Nero C vin, fol. 198d; K.R.M.R., No. 111, m. 92d. 3 Nero C vit, fol. 225d. 4 Tout, Edward II, pp. 274-276; Exchequer Accounts, 383/8, 384/9, 385/19.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household Q17 great wardrobe everything pertaining to his office, by indenture, making

express mention of the price, measure, weight, and cost. He was to make out a daily account of the value of everything expended in his office and render it to the steward and treasurer; and he had also to arrange and pay for the carriage required by the wardrobe. He was assisted by a sub-clerk, whose especial duty it was to make out the accounts, and by a yeoman,! whose duties are not specified in the ordinance of 1318, unless he represents the esquire fruiterer who purveyed apples, pears, and other fruit and received figs, raisins, and spices from the spicery for the king’s own use. The chandlery? formed part of the office of the spicery. A serjeant — chandler, assisted by two yeomen, received the wax and lights by weight from the clerk of the spicery and prepared them for use.? This wax was to be weighed both before and after being made up into candles and in the presence of the clerk of the spicery. ‘The serjeant was then to make the necessary liveries of lights by view of the sub-clerk of the spicery; on the following day he was to collect the remains of the candles, etc.,

and to weigh them again before the sub-clerk, in order to be able to certify the daily expenditure at the household account. In addition to the domestic offices and the clerical departments, which we shall examine later,* the household contained numerous other mem-

bers not attached to any office. There were minstrels, falconers, and huntsmen of various sorts, messengers, archers, and serjeants-at-arms. A number of bannerets, knights, esquires, and yeomen were available for personal attendance on the king and for general military and administrative duties. For example, Exchequer Accounts, 378/3, 12 Aug. 1319, ‘isto die dominica domini Thomas de Brotherton et Edmundus de Wodestok fratres regis facti fuerunt milites’; Exchequer Accounts, 386/17, 19 June 1333, ‘Isto die fecit Rex Scotie homagium suum domino Regi.’

220 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 margin together with the total of the foreign expenses, of which the full details are contained on a separate roll. At the end of the roll was usu-

ally compiled a stock account of the receipt and issue of the victuals whose value was not included under the ordinary heads on the roll. A considerable quantity of food was received otherwise than by purchase and thus accounted for. Much of it came from presents received by the king on his progress through the country, some from the king’s huntsmen and fishermen, and, on occasion, from plundering raids in Scotland. !

Material of the previous reign? (unfortunately none survives for the period under study) shows that 1t was customary for the clerk of each office to keep a roll of the daily expenditure of his office, somewhat sim-

ilar in form to the great household roll itself. No doubt these were produced at the account before the steward and treasurer and furnished the material from which the great roll was compiled. Besides the daily account from which the great rolls of household expenses were drawn up, the clerks and serjeants of the various offices had to render periodically to the wardrobe an account of the money receipts and expenses of their offices.2, Here the sums received by the officer in cash or paid out on his account by the wardrobe or exchequer to those from whom he had made purchases were set down as his receipts; against them were set down the value of the food or stores purchased by him according to the roll of daily household expenses, and any other disbursements made by him. If he were shown to have received more than he had expended, the balance was required of him and he might be impris-

oned by the exchequer if it were not forthcoming.* If, on the other hand, he had a surplus of expenses, the balance became payable to him. The ordinance of York laid down in 1323 that the clerks of offices should render such accounts either monthly or quarterly at the discretion of the keeper of the wardrobe, and that any who remained in arrears after the account should be delivered to the marshalsea and detained there until he had made satisfaction.> This rule seems to have been disregarded, however, during the last years of Edward II; but not enough evidence survives to make the practice clear. 1 Exchequer Accounts, 387/19; the list of presents includes bread, wine, oxen, sheep, pigs, sturgeon, whale, lampreys, pike, bream, and oats; there are deer and boars from hunting, and rabbits from ferreting. 2 There is a roll of the daily expenses of the pantry and buttery for 1 Edw. I, a roll of the spicery for 17 Edw. II, and a roll of the marshalsea for 1 Edw. II (Exchequer Accounts, 373/12, 379/20, 6).

ad None of these survives for our period, but there are one or two of the previous reign in Exchequer Accounts, 379/1, and in Nero C vu, Liber de Compotis. Exchequer Accounts, 383/11, is an account between the clerk of the kitchen and a buyer for the first two years of Edward III. 4 E.g., Robert de Welles, the king’s baker, in K.R.M.R., No. 107, mm. 117-118, 220d. 5 Tout, Edward ITI, p. 315.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 221 The household expenditure varied very considerably from time to time.

The average weekly expense from 25 January to 20 August 1328 was £201; from 25 January to 23 September 1329, £190; in the corresponding period of 1330 it rose to £215 and in 1332 fell to £172; from September 1332 to September 1333 it was £177. The weekly expenditure during any one year may vary very much more; for example, in 1328, when

the average weekly expenditure was £201, the actual sum varies from £521 for the week ending 30 January, when the court was at Knaresburgh, to £114 for the week ending 16 July, when it was travelling in the midlands. !

Similarly, the expenditure of the various household offices varied widely. As the total for each office is not given separately at the end of the rolls, it would be a laborious task to work out the average expenditure over any considerable period. However, by taking the expenditure

of each office for about sixty-five days at different times of the year and under different conditions, spread over the third, sixth, seventh, and tenth years of the reign, a fair average can probably be obtained.? The figures are as follows: The spence expends a daily average of £1 13s. 6d., the actual expenditure varying from 16s. to £4 11s. 10d. The buttery, which ranges from

£10 (at Easter) to £1 12s., averages £3 19s. 9d. The wardrobe, which | includes the spicery, and whose expenditure seems to consist largely of wax,*® varies from £27 at Easter and £22 at Whitsun, down to 10s., with an average of £3 4s. 1ld. The kitchen has the next to the highest average, £5 15s. 6d., its daily expenditure varying from £1 5s. to £17 at Whitsun and £16 at Easter. ‘The scullery, with an average of 14s. 2d., the saucery, with 3s. 6d., the hall, with 5s., and the chamber, with 2s. 9d.,

spend the least. The stable has the highest expenditure, ranging from £2 16s. to £10 14s., with an average of £6 4s. 2d. Wages fluctuate less rapidly than the other items, remaining constant for considerable periods, but they vary at different times from £2 7s. to £5 5s. 6d. As will be seen, the expenses rose sharply at the times of the great feasts, especially in the feeding departments and in the wardrobe. The expenditure under stable and wages also increased, but not as a rule to the same extent. 3 THE WARDROBE

From the administrative point of view, the most important of the household offices was the wardrobe. This was primarily the accounting 1 Exchequer Accounts, 383/20.

2 The averages are perhaps a little high, through the inclusion of the great feasts. 3 Exchequer Accounts, 377/13.

229 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and secretarial department of the household, uniting by its all-embracing

activity the diverse nature of the other parts of that body. During the latter part of Edward I’s reign and most of that of his son it had ex_ panded its functions and had become the great spending department of the central government. This development had been sharply arrested by the reforms of 1323-1324, and during the early years of Edward III the wardrobe was again restricted to its original scope. ‘Towards the end of the first decade of that reign, however, we can trace clearly a revival of its activities, which in the second decade, under the stimulus of war, become as great as ever.

In its wider sense the wardrobe included those parts of the central administration which had not yet become separated from the household

and ‘gone out of court.’ It is true that just at this time the wardrobe itself was to some extent becoming less closely attached to the king’s person than had formerly been the case; it was being ousted from that

position by the chamber. At the same time much of the secretarial work was becoming detached through the separation of the staff of the

privy seal. The staff of the chamber, however, and of the privy seal still received their allowances and pay from the wardrobe, and, being part of the household staff, might be employed upon general administrative work for which the wardrobe had to account. Professor Tout has drawn attention to the importance of the interconnection between the various household departments during the fourth decade of the four-

, teenth century:

In the developments which took place, chamber, wardrobe, and office of privy seal all worked together with a common purpose. They were so interdependent that it 1s difheult and misleading to study any one of them out of relation to its fellows. They were part of a great household system through whose expansion the king hoped to win back his own. The chancery and exchequer represent the national offices of state; the chamber, the wardrobe of the household, the great wardrobe, and the privy wardrobe of the Tower stand for the mainly domestic administration. The office of the privy seal in these days of transition became the bridge between the two groups, though it was still closely related to the household system from which it had originated.!

Both keeper and controller of the wardrobe were important officers of

state and were so frequently engaged in general administrative work that they were forced to delegate their accounting functions to substi1 Tout, Chapters, m1, 55-56. The privy seal was apparently still housed with the wardrobe; see K.R.M.R., No. 103, m. 67, for the return of a writ of privy seal into the wardrobe to be emended, and No. 105, m. 50d, for a case where the exchequer sends to the wardrobe the answer to an enquiry

made under the privy seal.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 223 tutes.! On occasion practically all the members of the household staff might be pressed into service for general work, although the staff of the household domestic offices was naturally not very often used. Beside those members of the household who had definite services to perform there were many who were available for any business that might need to be done. There were the chaplains and clerks of the king’s chapel, the household bannerets and knights, the esquires and yeomen of the hall and chamber, and the king’s serjeants-at-arms and archers. For the early years of the reign there are few detailed wardrobe accounts surviving, and what remain show little general administrative business; but with the revival of the Scottish wars, and especially with the French war, comes a marked renewal of wardrobe activity. The household, even in time of peace, always contained a military nucleus in the shape of the king’s bodyguard of serjeants-at-arms and archers. By the ordinance of 1318 thirty serjeants-at-arms were attached to the household (there had been only twenty in 1279), each having three horses, ‘un chival darmez un hakene et somer’; their duties were to ride armed each day before the king, unless otherwise ordered by the king or the steward. Four, chosen by the king, were to assist

the usher of the chamber and were to sleep outside the door of the chamber and as near to it as they could. The remainder were to lie in the hall ready for the king’s service whenever he needed them. In none of the wardrobe accounts for the years 1327-1337 did the full number receive allowances for robes.2. This may be due to reduction in numbers, or more probably to the absence of certain serjeants from the household when the allowances for robes were made; for they were frequently employed on administrative work away from the household.’ There were in 1318 twenty-four foot archers (garde corps le rov), who

were to go before the king as he rode about the country. In 1334 there were apparently only twenty. Like the serjeants-at-arms, these archers 1 See Drokensford’s statement in 17 Edw. Il — K.R.M.R., No. 97, Hil. Recorda. The household duties of these two officers were considerable in 1318. The keeper was jointly responsible with the steward for the general discipline and working of the household, held accounting sessions, heard complaints against purveyors, sent out messengers and purveyors, ordered the disposal of disused carts and harness, instructed the chief butler where to send wine, decided what allowances should be made to wards living in the household, and what quantity of sugar and eggs should be

| allowed to the waferer. The controller had, in addition to his accounting, to supervise all the offices and to see that the wines and victuals were of good quality. He was to check the expenditure and remainder of each office weekly and to watch the cutting up of meat and fish. 2 In 1328 only 27 appear, in 1330 only 23, in 1333 the same, and in 1334 there are 26 (Exchequer Accounts, 383/10, 385/4, 387/9; Nero C vii, fol. 225d). 3 E.g., Robert Ledred, sent to various parts of Wales and Ireland on the king’s private affairs

(Nero C vii, fol. 218). |

224 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 came into close contact with the king, and were sometimes employed on

administrative work.' | In time of war the military side of the household could be expanded

indefinitely. Not only could the bannerets and knights of the household bring numerous followers, but other magnates might also be engaged to serve with their knights and men-at-arms in the king’s pay, and often the king’s household clerks attended with a warlike following.? Thus in 1334 the steward had eleven knights and forty-eight men-at-arms in

Scotland on the king’s service; Sir Henry de Percy had twenty-three | knights and ninety-seven men-at-arms; the king’s son, John of Eltham, had three bannerets, sixteen knights, and sixty esquires; and numerous others had followings of from sixty to ten each. All these were in addition to the knights and esquires of the household with their men. On the same occasion seventy-two esquires, clerks, and serjeants of the household offices received additional wages for military service.?

At the beginning of the reign, although the campaign was managed by the household staff, the wages of the troops were paid by the exchequer; the wardrobe merely issued bills authorizing payment. This — method was always employed to some extent, but in the later years the wardrobe itself often received the cash and paid it out on the spot. The wardrobe staff acted as paymasters for large numbers of infantry levies and archers raised by various counties or sent from Wales, or in some cases retained by magnates. Household chaplains, wardrobe clerks, and clerks of the offices (for example, the sub-clerk of the pantry)

were not only assigned to act as paymasters of these troops while in the king’s service, but they were often sent to Wales and other parts of the country to bring the men to the king and to meet the expenses of the soldiery on the way.* The wardrobe paid out large sums to meet the expense of garrisoning the castles and towns held in Scotland. During Ferriby’s keepership of the wardrobe, from 1334 to 1337, Edinburgh absorbed £4403 15s. 6d., 1 £.g., Thomas de Holford, sent on the king’s secret business (Exchequer Accounts, 387/9). 2 A. E. Prince, ‘Indenture System under Edward III,’ Historical Essays in Honour of James Tart (Manchester, 1933), pp. 283-297.

3 Nero C vu, fol. 233, ete.; all these were paid by the wardrobe under the heading vadia hominum ad arma. In Wodehouse’s account for 1327-1328 this section amounted to £37,527 19s. 144d. It then disappears until 1332-1333, when for the 7th year Tauton expended £5629 5s. 7d. In Ferriby’s account the expenditure under this head is £6344 2s. 11d. in the 8th year, £15,629 8s. 9d. in the 9th, and £9359 17s. Od. in the 10th (Enrolled Accounts, Wardrobe and Household, No. 2, mm. 27-36). 4 Sometimes one clerk was appointed to act as controller of another in such work. In 13271328 the payments to such troops came to £2130 3s. 4d. (Enrolled Accounts, W. and H., No. 2, m. 27). Inthe 8th year Ferriby accounts for £6361 6s. 1ld., in the 9th for £9772 18s. 10d., and in the 10th for £5654 4s. 4d.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 225 Berwick £5551 10s. 8d., Roxburgh £3896 7s. 9d., and Perth £5191 5s. 10d.!_ In addition the department supplied a considerable quantity of victuals both for provisioning the garrisons and for the army generally,? and paid for works in the castles and towns of Berwick and Edinburgh.? A great many miscellaneous items of military expenditure were borne by the wardrobe, and the household staff was kept busy with a variety

of tasks. In Professor Tout’s words “The exchequer at York was at the base of the king’s operations. ‘The wardrobe, closely following the court and the army, was the executive agent in the field.** The usher of the king’s hall, for example, took material to Roxburgh for building a peel there, and superintended the moving of five large machines from

Berwick to the banks of the Tweed. The wardrobe paid £20 for a windmill to be taken to the castle of Edinburgh; it bought long-bows and cross-bows of various grades of quality; it sent the king’s fletcher to the forest of Dean to get arrows; it employed two burgesses of Newcastle to transport a peel in 2108 pieces from Newcastle to Berwick in eleven ships; it sent Master Nicholas, the king’s engineer, to take ten springalds from Leicestershire to London; it bought a large hammer and

a gavelock to break and raise stones; it purchased picks and coal at Newcastle and sent them to Perth. John de Grimsby, a wardrobe clerk, was sent from Newcastle to York for money, and from Windsor to Lon-

don to get harness and dispatch it to the north. An esquire of the household went to the exchequer to get money (money is a constant reason for journeys), and another to fetch carpenters and masons from York to Roxburgh. A wardrobe clerk was assigned to pay the wages of workmen repairing and strengthening the peel of Strivelyn.> Professor Tout has given many details of the wardrobe’s share in military operations in the French campaigns which opened just at the end of this period; he points out also that the wardrobe was not entirely burdened with the conduct of the war, as it had been in the time of Edward I;

the work now was shared by the king’s chamber and by the newly separated departments of great and privy wardrobes. ® Even in time of peace the king always had a certain number of ships

and mariners in his pay, although not necessarily connected with the household. In time of war, however, the number of ships in use, including those employed for transport, was considerably augmented, and the section called vadia nautarum becomes an important item in the ward1 Nero C vit, foll. 248-250. 2 Exchequer Accounts, 386/12. 3 Exchequer of Receipt, Warrants for Issues, Bundle 492. 4 Tout, Chapters, tv, 99. 5 Nero C vit, foll. 209-218d, 235. 8 Tout, Chapters, rv, 96 ff.

226 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 | robe accounts. In 1337 Sir Walter Manny, still one of the knights attached to the household, became admiral of the fleet of ships north of the Thames, and drew from the wardrobe pay for 1844 sailors, 76 masters, and the same number of constables and pilots. The total expended under this heading during the eighth, ninth, and tenth years of the reign was £1688 Is. 7d.? This included payments both to the king’s mariners and to others, and for the freightage of ships carrying victuals to the north for the king’s household and army. In some cases these ships were impressed by royal clerks, in others contracts were made with the owners in the wardrobe. Walter Wetwang, who afterwards became keeper of the wardrobe, was employed during these years in supervising the transport of victuals by sea and in paying mariners; several other of the household clerks were similarly employed. During the previous reign a great deal of diplomatic business? passed through the wardrobe, which, as the home of the king’s privy seal, was the natural place for more confidential correspondence; and envoys very frequently drew their expenses from the wardrobe keeper or on his ac-

count. The exchequer ordinance of 1324 had stated that ambassadors were in future to receive their money from and render their accounts to the exchequer. For the remainder of. Edward II’s reign this order seems to have been observed; in 1325 a number of envoys going to France received imprests from the wardrobe keeper for their expenses, but particulars of these imprests were sent to the exchequer, to which the envoys had to account.‘

In the early years of Edward III there are a few instances of envoys receiving their expenses from the wardrobe, and apparently rendering their account toit.° That it was, however, now normal for the exchequer to deal with such matters seems clear from the great increase in the number of envoys’ accounts now enrolled on the pipe rolls; for the first ten years of the reign these fill about three pages in the printed list. Very few of these envoys seem to have been members of the household. There is no way, apart from the accounting, of ascertaining to what extent the wardrobe staff now dealt with diplomatic matters; but the separation of the privy seal from the wardrobe under a keeper who now 1 Tout, Chapters, tv, 101. 2 Nero C vin, foll. 264—-266d.

3 See H. S. Lucas, below, p. 314. 4 Exchequer Accounts, 381/15; K. R. M. R., No. 102, m. 40.

5 In 1328 Sir J. de Ros received money on the wardrobe account for his expenses in going to Hainault at the order of the king and council (Exchequer Accounts, 383/14). Geoffrey le Scrope was sent to France in Oct. and Nov. 1333, and Sir N. de la Beche was sent to Rome from Oct, 1333 to Jan. 1334; each drew the whole of his expenses from the wardrobe after his return, presumably rendering an account before drawing them; neither appears in the list of accounts enrolled at the exchequer (Exchequer Accounts, 387/9).

The King’s Wardrobe and Household Q07 became an important officer of state, of at least equal rank with the keeper of the wardrobe, took the bulk of such business out of the control

of the latter. The separation of the two departments, however, in fact as distinct from theory (the privy seal staff were still considered as a part of the household for pay and allowances), is not yet so clearly marked that it can be determined to what extent wardrobe and other household clerks still shared in the work of the privy seal. Payments to ambassadors and envoys, who were usually known as nuncit, must not be confused with those to the other class of nunciz, the messengers, of whom a number were attached to the household and

who were employed in delivering letters and writs. The payments to these form a small but regular item of wardrobe expenditure, varying from about £15 or £20 a year in normal times to £50 or £60 in times of war or of unusual activity. Twelve were allowed by the ordinance of 1318 and in the period from 1327 to 1337 the number seems to be no greater, although it is difficult to be sure. They were often supplemented by messengers from outside the household, and the descriptions in the accounts do not always distinguish clearly between the two classes. Messengers were employed not only in carrying letters of privy and secret seal or personal letters of the king or of the household officers, but they quite as frequently carried writs of great seal. They delivered letters close under the great seal to bishops, magnates, and sheriffs for the summoning of parliament, and commissions to collectors of taxes.

They sometimes took letters of privy seal to the chancellor and then delivered the resulting commission. Though not employed on foreign missions as ambassadors, they were sometimes sent abroad bearing letters of the king to English envoys abroad, to Roman cardinals, or to other foreign magnates. ‘They took letters from the wardrobe keeper or controller to various places or fetched wardrobe accounts and memoranda from one place to another. Down to the latter part of Edward II’s reign the wardrobe had kept a considerable quantity of important muniments. While the privy seal

was still an integral part of the wardrobe organization, under the con- | troller, diplomatic correspondence, except of the most formal sort, was in the hands of the wardrobe and privy seal clerks, and the wardrobe must have kept registers and files concerning such matters. Important documents were not infrequently drawn up in triplicate so that wardrobe,

exchequer, and chancery might each preserve a copy. Indentures of service entered into by the magnates in wartime were kept in the wardrobe, which had to pay the troops. Mr V. H. Galbraith has described? 1“The Tower as an Exchequer Record Office in the Reign of Edward II,’ Essays Presented to Thomas Frederick Tout (Manchester, 1925), pp. 237 ff.

228 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 how the documents concerning the English possessions in Gascony were kept in the wardrobe treasury in the Tower, and after being calendared

were handed over to the custody of the exchequer in 1318. He considers 1t doubtful whether any large collection of records was thereafter retained by the wardrobe. A considerable number of accounts would, of course, be temporarily held for use; but they seem to have been regarded as the personal property of the keeper himself, or, in the case of subordinate accounts, as that of the clerk to whose office they referred.

After the wardrobe account for any period had been submitted to the exchequer and passed, such subsidiary documents as had not been submitted with it probably remained with the keeper. As a treasury for Jewels and plate the wardrobe seems to have lost much of its importance at the time when it became practically subject to exchequer control late in the reign of Edward II.! Of course, a certain quantity of plate and jewels always remained in the charge of the wardrobe keeper for the use of the king and household. Each keeper had to render a special account to the exchequer for such plate and jewels, showing the articles (in detail, with the description and value of each) taken over by him from his predecessor, received from various sources during his tenure of office, lost, sold, or otherwise disposed of,

and the balance remaining in his custody at his outgoing and handed over by indenture to his successor. Such accounts were always enrolled in full upon the exchequer rolls. They do not give any indication of the place where the jewels were kept, but they show that the plate used in each of the household offices was placed in charge of the appropriate officials, who were held responsible for its safe custody and were obliged

to make good its loss, unless excused as a favor.? Broken plate was usually sent to a goldsmith to be remade into some other article. Jewels were often presented by the king both to members of the household on special occasions and to distinguished foreigners; and purchases of such things make a not infrequent appearance among the wardrobe expenses.

But the wardrobe does not now seem to have stored the plate which was not in actual use.? The main business of the wardrobe in its narrower sense was accounting, and in this the lay officers of the household took no part, except for

the steward’s share in the daily session of account for the household 1 A clerk of the wardrobe was sent from Newcastle to the Tower to see to ‘quaedam privata jocalia’ of the king; but it is not clear whether these jewels were there in the custody of a wardrobe officer or of the exchequer (Nero C vuut, fol. 210). 2 Tind., foll. 312-313. Richard Caleware, the butler, is excused payment for a gold cup stolen from

his keeping at Newcastle. See also K. R. M. R, No. 3, m. 65d. 3 Notes at the end of Exchequer Accounts, 387/17, rather imply that wardrobe property was kept. at the Tower in exchequer custody.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 229 offices. Even in this it seems probable that the steward’s concern was rather with discipline. The head of the household in its financial aspect was the treasurer of the household, or, as he was more often called, the keeper of the wardrobe. He was responsible for the proper receipt and expenditure of money and for the drawing up of the necessary accounts, which were submitted to the exchequer either annually or at the end of the keeper’s term of office. A duplicate set of accounts was kept by the controller of the wardrobe! and sent to the exchequer along with

those of the keeper. At the time under consideration these were no longer really drawn up independently, if they ever had been. They were usually a verbatim copy of the keeper’s set and were probably intended not so much as a safeguard against mistakes as a guarantee that the controller approved of and testified to the expenditure therein. In case of necessity the exchequer might be ordered to accept the controller’s testimony as sufficient evidence for expenditure for which formal vouchers or warrants were lacking.’

Both keeper and controller, who in the past had actually done or supervised this accounting personally, were by this time great officers of state, and were so frequently away from court on administrative business that they had little time to devote to the drawing up of the accounts. The keeper’s duties were delegated to the cofferer, who had originally been the cashier of the wardrobe, charged with receiving and issuing the money, but who was now supervisor of the accounts of the department.

The keeper’s accounts were drawn up and prepared for audit by his cofferer,? who was frequently authorized to appear at the exchequer in his place.* In the keeper’s absence the cofferer often sealed wardrobe debentures. ° The controller also had a clerk to whom his accounting functions might

be, and usually were delegated. In the previous reign the controller’s clerk was occasionally distinguished by name,® but during this period he is not so mentioned, although it is evident that such an officer existed.”

Where the controllers were authorized to appoint deputies at the exchequer for purposes of audit they do not usually seem to have appointed 1 The controllership was often a stepping stone to the keepership. Of the 6 keepers during the first 11 years of the reign, 4 had been controllers under their predecessors.

2K. R. M. R., No. 108, m. 82d. 3 Nero C viu, fol. 218d. 4 William de Northwell, the cofferer, was thus empowered to act for Tauton at the exchequer on the audit of the latter’s account (K. R. M. R., No. 109, m. 23). 5 The bill or debenture was an acknowledgment of the wardrobe’s indebtedness; for examples, see Tout, Chapters, 11, 126, 329.

6 E.g., John de Houton in 9-10 Edw. II (Exchequer Accounts, 376/7, fol. 28, and Society of An-

tiquaries MS 120, p. 62). , 7 Nero C vu, fol. 218d.

230 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 any of the ordinary household clerks. Keeper Wodehouse and his controller Hugate both chose the same deputy, Master John Brunham, to present their accounts at the exchequer; such a procedure shows how much of a formality the double account now was. Besides the keeper, controller, and cofferer there were two or three other clerks de garderoba. Very probably the clerks of the cofferer and controller were additional to these, although in the absence of names or detailed description we cannot be sure. In fact, it is always possible that the ordinary household clerks had their own personal clerks, who, not being officially on the force of the household, do not appear in the records.

The usher of the wardrobe, who also acted as clerk of the spicery, purchased the material for the wardrobe clerks, their books, coffers, bags,

ete., and arranged for the carriage of the office on journeys. He was assisted by a serjeant sub-usher, who was immediately responsible for the lodging and carriage and who slept in the wardrobe to guard its contents. A yeoman porter did the carrying, loaded and unloaded the carts, and travelled with them. He and the sub-usher also did the general work of fetching and carrying for the wardrobe clerks.!

The wardrobe classified its income under two heads, the money received from the exchequer and that received from other sources, called the ‘foreign receipt.’ At the times of its greatest activity the wardrobe had tended to procure more and more of its income in the latter way; but the magnates had always viewed this procedure with dislike and repeated attempts had been made to ensure that the ‘issues of the land’ should all pass through the exchequer. The most recent of these attempts, in the reforms of 1323-1324, had met with at least temporary success.2 Allowance should, however, be made for certain items included in the foreign receipt, which appear quite regularly as a result of the re-

forms. Notable examples are the value of the wine received from the king’s butler and of the cloth and other things received from the great wardrobe. If these be excluded from consideration, the figures during the first ten years of Edward III seem to bear out the conclusion that the ordinance was pretty well observed; for the foreign receipts form (ex-

cept in the disturbed period between the two reigns) only a small proportion of the total receipts.‘ 1 Tout, Edward II, p. 274. 2 See J. F. Willard, ‘An Exchequer Reform under Edward I,’ The Crusades and Other Historical Essays Presented to D. C. Munro (New York, 1928), pp. 225-244. 3 See my paper on wardrobe accounting under Edward II in Trans. R.H.S., 4th Series, x11 (1929), 75-105.

4 Enrolled Accounts, W. and H., No. 2.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 231 A closer examination of the sums received from the exchequer, how-

ever, shows that the distinction between the two classes of receipt is not so sharp as might be imagined. The practice was for the chancery to issue a writ of liberate, ordering the exchequer to pay the wardrobe keeper a large sum of from £10,000 to £100,000.!_ The exchequer then doled this out in small sums to the wardrobe or its creditors upon the

authority of writs of privy seal or wardrobe debentures. These payments might be made in cash to the wardrobe itself.2, The intention of the ordinances seems to have been that all payments should be made in this way; and in the last three years of Edward IT’s reign with a few insignificant exceptions, they were. From the beginning of Edward III’s reign, however, there is a return to the usage that had prevailed before the reforms of 1323-1324. This was for the exchequer to make payments direct to the creditors of the wardrobe upon production of their debentures or on other authority; and these payments again might be made either in cash or in the form of an assignment. There was yet a third method of payment, against which the reforms of the last reign had been expressly aimed; the wardrobe itself, or its agents or creditors, drew money direct from local officials, such as sheriffs or collectors of taxes or customs. When these officials rendered their account to the exchequer and claimed allowance for such expenditure, producing their authority and evidence of payment, the exchequer gave them a tally and entered the amount on the issue roll as a payment to the wardrobe. If this procedure took place upon the authority of a writ from the exchequer, it might be regarded as merely a form of assignment; but very frequently it was done by virtue of a writ of privy seal,? whose clerks,

it must be remembered, still formed part of the household. In such cases the local official was obliged by the barons of the exchequer to render his account to the wardrobe first and obtain a letter of acquittance* from the keeper, which was then treated as a sufficient authority for his acquittance at the exchequer.® It is evident that in such cases there was little real difference between those sums which nominally came from the exchequer and those which were classed as foreign receipts. It 1 For an example of the larger sum, see Nero C vu, fol. 181. 2 The proportion of cash payments direct from exchequer to wardrobe varied greatly from oneeleventh to two-thirds. 3 Exchequer of Receipt, Warrants for Issues, Bundle 492, contains numerous examples. 4 These letters were not in the same form as the ordinary ‘debentur in garderoba.’ They were epistolary in style, addressed affectionately to the treasurer and the chamberlains by the keeper of the wardrobe or in his name, and bore his seal appended by a tongue, not applied on the face. The exchequer endorsed them with the date when the allowance was made—‘alloc. xviii die Mali anno xi’ or ‘inde levatur tallia xvii die Aprilis anno xviii.’ 5 K.R.M.R., No. 109, m. 112d.

232 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 does not seem possible to decide with any degree of exactness what proportion such transactions bore to the whole receipt, but they were cer-

tainly not negligible in quantity.' It had been by no means uncommon in Edward II’s reign to anticipate revenue by borrowing money from financiers such as the Frescobaldi

and the Bardi, and the government of the young king was soon obliged to have recourse to the same expedient. In 1328 the practice was systematized by an agreement between the king and council on one side and Richard and William de la Pole on the other, that they should provide £20 a day for the expenses of the household in return for assignments on the customs.” At the same time money was also being received

on loan from the Bardi and they too were granted assignments on the customs.’ In 1330 they took the place of the de la Poles and agreed to pay £20 a day for the expenses of the household.* In 1334 they made a fresh agreement to pay 1000 marks each calendar month for one year in return for the customs of London, Southampton, Hull, and Boston. In 1335 they renewed the agreement, but this time at the rate of 500 marks each calendar month. At the same time William de la Pole undertook to pay, for one year from Michaelmas 1335, £10 daily to the keeper of the wardrobe, and in 1336 received a grant of the issues of the old and new customs of Hull and Boston.® Concurrently with these regular grants the household was continually borrowing large sums not only from the same agents but from others.® Money borrowed in this way for the wardrobe and repaid by the ex-

chequer in the form of assignments appears on the issue rolls of the exchequer as paid to the keeper of the wardrobe, and in the wardrobe accounts it is included among the sums received from the exchequer.’ The foreign receipt included all money not received in fact or name

from the exchequer, that is, not recorded on the issue rolls. Several classes of foreign receipt appear regularly: the profits received from the clerk of the market and from the pleas of the household court, the value 1The accounts do not always give enough detail to make it clear whether payment was made on an assignment or only on an order by privy seal. 2K.R.M.R., No. 104, m. 84d; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 301; Tout, Chapters, rv, 86.

3 O.P.R. 1327-1330, 421, 553 |

£ Tout, Chapters, 1v, 87. 5 Ibid., p. 89.

6In 1332 the king acknowledged his indebtedness to the Bardi to the extent of £10,000, not

necessarily all on the wardrobe account (C.P.R. 1330-1334, 273). 7 Examination of the sums received from the exchequer by the wardrobe in 1331-1332 shows that a considerable proportion consists of repayments to the Bardi for their advances—over £6300 out of £7331 (Exchequer Accounts, 385/19). In Tauton’s account for 1333-1334 repayments amount

to over £4882 out of £22,269, of which most consisted of cash (Exchequer Accounts, 386/13). There are no wardrobe accounts extant for this period showing loans, such as we have for the previous reign (see Trans. R.H.S., 4th Series, x11 (1929), 83).

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 233 of wine received from the chief butler, and of cloth, spices, and wax from the great wardrobe. There were also a great many miscellaneous sums: payments from the Bardi and other financial agents to members of the household abroad or for goods bought for the household, the value of victuals supplied to troops on the border, aids from bishops and other magnates, gifts of food made to the household, the value of forfeited goods, the proceeds from the sale of jewels and plate, a few receipts from sheriffs and collectors which for some reason or other were not included among the sums received from the exchequer, and a few technical bookkeeping entries. From the reforms of 1324 down to 1334 it was customary for the wardrobe to enter the account of its receipts in a separate book, along with the outstanding imprests and debts, and the stock account of the jewels and plate in the keeper’s charge. Ferriby, however, in his account for the years 1334 to 1337, reverts to the older procedure, and includes both receipts and issues in one large book.? During the intermediate period, when the issues were entered separately, they were drawn up not in book form, as in the Liber Quotidianus for 1300 printed by the Society of Antiquaries of London,? but in rolls. Like the receipts, the expenses of the wardrobe were divided into two classes: foreign expenses and household expenditure proper. The foreign expenses were recorded separately upon a large roll, each day’s expenses being grouped by themselves and further divided under sub-headings —

| alms, gifts, payments to messengers, and necessaries, a miscellaneous group which contains anything not included under the other three. The alms include payments for meals for large numbers of poor persons at the greater church feasts or on other special occasions, food for the friars in the towns at which the king stayed, oblations to those participating in masses celebrated in the king’s presence, offerings at shrines, and sums

bestowed in charity on poor individuals. The gifts are to envoys from abroad, to servants of the household, to minstrels performing before the king and to others assisting to amuse him, to mariners of the king’s barge, to grooms bringing gifts of horses and dogs to the king, and also New Year gifts to the household. Under the same heading are included payments to those whose horses were lost or killed in the king’s service, a sum amounting to considerable proportions in wartime.‘ The household expenditure was recorded on the great roll of daily 1 See note at end for example of the details of foreign receipt.

2 Now a part of Nero C vim. 3 Inber Quotidianus Contrarotulatoris Garderobae, 28 Ed. I., A.D. 1299-1300 (London, 1787). 4 In wartime other heads were necessary, and this probably explains the return to the older, book form of account in 1334. For a description of the Liber Quotidianus, as it was called, see Trans. R.H.S., 4th Ser., vr (1923), 50 ff.; cbid., x1r (1929), 75 ff.

234 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 household expenses in the form established in the reign of Edward I.! In addition, at the end of each day’s household expenses was set down the total of each head of foreign expenses and the daily sum total. Thus this roll gave a complete summary of the day’s expenses. At the end of the roll was usually shown the total amount expended under each of the two divisions, household and foreign, together with a stock account of the receipt and issue of victuals whose value was not included under the ordinary headings of the roll. For details of expenditure one must go back of this roll to others. Behind these final accounts indeed lay a multitude of partial and special accounts from which they were compiled. The roll of daily household and foreign expenses was compiled from the detailed rolls of the various offices and the roll of daily foreign expenses. A record had also to be kept of all loans and their repayment, and of imprests, or sums which must be accounted for by numerous people. The term imprest was used to cover any payment which would become the subject of an account. An envoy going abroad would receive an imprest for his expenses; on his return he would render an account, and would either refund any surplus or receive any balance due to him. Wages were paid not at fixed times but at irregular intervals; the payments were normally classed as imprests, and at the end of each year or other stated period the recipient appeared at the wardrobe and an account was made with him of the sums which he had so received, of what was due to him for

that time, and of the balance. If the wardrobe paid for fish bought for the household, for example, the sum was entered as an imprest to the clerk of the kitchen, for he would have to account for the value of the fish so bought. Similarly, if the clerk of one of the household offices showed himself on his account to have received more than he had expended, the balance was set down as an imprest to him, for he would have to include it in his next account. Imprests which were still outstanding at the end of a keeper’s term of office were reported to the exchequer in order that that department might exact an account of them. In order that the account of money received from the exchequer might be compiled, it was necessary for the wardrobe to have a copy made of the sums paid out on its account on the issue roll of the exchequer. Such

a large proportion of the money received from that department never actually went through the wardrobe, being paid out directly to wardrobe creditors, that there was no other way for the keeper to know what sums were set down against his account. The cofferer kept a journal, recording the money received and issued each day, with a note of the balance in hand each night. Unfortunately 1 Ibid.; see above, pp. 219-220.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 235 no journal for this period survives; those of the previous reign contained a considerable amount of information with regard to such things as loans and temporary transactions, which does not find its way into the other accounts. In addition to this business of compiling its own account, the wardrobe staff had to audit the accounts of sheriffs and other local officials who had incurred expenses on its behalf and who came to receive their acquittance; it also had to make out debentures for creditors who brought in the tallies which they had received from the household purveyors. All these tallies had to be compared with the foils which had been handed in by the clerk of the office concerned; then, if everything was in order, the creditor was given a debenture, or statement of the wardrobe’s indebtedness to him. He could take this to the exchequer and exchange it for cash or for an assignment, or have it set off against his own debt

to the exchequer. Some time frequently passed before the exchequer would pay off the debenture in full, and even then the payment often took the form of an assignment. As a natural consequence, a wardrobe debenture had become a negotiable instrument, and at a little later period a regular business of discounting them can be traced.? Periodically an account had to be made with the clerks of the household offices for the receipts and expenses of their departments, and with all the individual members of the household (over seven hundred in 1330)

for their wages and allowances. In addition to this there was the adjustment of accounts with the independent departments connected with the household — the great wardrobe, the king’s butler, and the chamber. When the keeper’s term of office was over there was still much to do in drawing up his final accounts. The creditors and local officials would continue coming in for their debentures and acquittances; in fact, there were almost always some still outstanding when the account was submitted to the exchequer. ‘These were recorded on the list of debts sub-

mitted by each keeper with his account, and were then paid off by the exchequer itself. Bury’s account, covering a period of thirteen months, took his cofferer, controller, and clerks one year to compile, at a cost of £91 5s.2 Ferriby’s account for the years 1334-1337 occupied eight hundred working days, not being completed until 1340, and cost £200.? Professor Willard has pointed out that even in Edward II’s reign the wardrobe seems to have had some establishment in London or West. minster to which accountants could go to render their accounts and 9ob1A. B. Steel, “The Negotiation of Wardrobe Debentures in the 14th Century,’ E.H.R., x1iv (1929), 439; George Sayles, ‘A Dealer in Wardrobe Bills,’ Economic History Review, ut (1929), 268. 2 Enrolled Accounts, W. and H., No. 2, m. 30. 3 Nero C vu, fol. 218d.

236 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 tain some form of acquittance which they might produce at the exchequer. He has found numerous instances of accountants being told by the barons of the exchequer to get some such acquittances and then producing them at the exchequer one or two days later; this procedure would have been manifestly impossible if they had been obliged to travel any considerable distance in order to appear at the wardrobe. Professor Tout has remarked that when the Bardi in 1334 undertook to pay the king 1000 marks a month for his household expenses they were to pay the money to the king’s wardrobe in London, although the

court was at that time established in the north.1. He was inclined to think that this might be a case of the great wardrobe acting for the wardrobe of the household; for it is significant that the wardrobe of the household arranged in 1331 for the Bardi to pay money for the household

to the keeper of the great wardrobe in London. It is true that in the earlier years of Edward III’s reign earth was bought for flooring the chamber of the wardrobe clerks near the inner gate of Westminster palace, and by 1355 there certainly seems to have been a permanent wardrobe establishment at London.? But in 1346 the exchequer had to pay for the erection of a building at Westminster for the wardrobe controller.

At an earlier time the wardrobe treasuries had been at the Tower and at Westminster, and the privy wardrobe at the Tower had in its beginning some loose connection with the wardrobe of the household.* No trace, however, has been found of any regular payments to clerks

mentioned as staying out of court in the wardrobe, except for limited periods when making up accounts for a retiring keeper. It 1s known that on such occasions the clerks compiling the accounts did stay in the neighborhood of the exchequer. For example, in Edward II’s reign, Richard de Ferriby received money for the keep of himself and of two clerks staying with him in London for six days in April 1316, and for one hundred and twenty-five days from November 1316 to March 1317, to hear and enter certain particulars of the wardrobe and accounts of divers officers (i.e., clerks or serjeants of household offices), knights, esquires,

and others of the king’s household.* Similarly in 1333 William de Norwell, the cofferer, stayed at York to render the wardrobe account.® It is possible thus to explain the ease with which accountants could go from exchequer to wardrobe and back without postulating the existence of any really permanent establishment in the capital. There is no doubt 1 Tout, Chapters, tv, 87-88. 2 Tbid., 11, 177.

3 Tout, Chapters, tv, 177. 4 Tbid., u, 51, and also V. H. Galbraith, Essays Presented to Thomas Frederick Tout, pp. 231-247. ° Exchequer Accounts, 376/7. ® Exchequer Accounts, 387/9.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 237 that the bulk of the wardrobe records and most of the staff itinerated with the king; but the compilation of the final account at the end of each accounting period took a considerable time, and during that time there must have been a group of clerks sitting in some fixed place. They were, however, clerks of the ex-keeper, rather than of the keeper of the wardrobe, and the books and other documents were regarded not as the property of the office but as those of the responsible accounting officer. 4. Tur HovusEHOLD STAFF

With few exceptions, the appointment of members of the household seems to have been made personally by the king, or on his behalf by the steward and treasurer. No letters under the great seal were issued; con-

sequently the only record that can usually be found is an entry in the accounts, indicating the dates on which the office was taken up and vacated. It is possible and even probable, that commissions were given under the privy seal in the case of the chief officers at any rate, and of those responsible for rendering accounts. ‘The fact that the exchequer refused to audit Langley’s chamber accounts because his controllers could

not produce any commissions of appointment! seems to indicate that it was customary to have them. In a few special cases appointment was made by other methods. The marshal of England had the privilege of appointing some of the officers in the household connected with the marshalsea. The patent rolls include confirmations of grants by him of the offices of serjeant of the marshalsea of the household and clerk of the marshal of the household.? The name of the serjeant, Geoffrey Quincy, has not been found in any

household list of the time. The name of the clerk, Peter de Greote, appears among the clerks of the household offices and chaplains, but with no note of his functions.* He was not the clerk of the marshalsea who had charge of the horses, but apparently the clerk of the marshal for pleas. He was acting as such in the second year of the reign (before the patent of confirmation),* and in 1335 he was one of a group of five commissioned to act in place of the steward in hearing pleas while that officer was absent with the king. He appears as clerk of the marshal in the mayor’s accounts for the borough of Leicester® in 1335-1336. There seems little doubt, however, that whether these officers were ap1 Tout, Chapters, iv, 234. 2 (.P.R. 1330-1334, 40. 3 Exchequer Accounts, 385/4.

4 Exchequer Treasury of Receipt, Placita Aule, Roll 33. 5 C.P.R. 1834-1338, 187. 6 Bateson, Borough of Lewcester, 11, 27.

238 The English Government at Work, 1827-1336 pointed in the first place by the earl marshal or not, in practice they were entirely under the authority of the steward and keeper. A few exceptional cases have been found of letters patent appointing to household offices. For example, in 1329 Robert Howell received at the request of Queen Isabella a grant of the offices of clerk of the market

and coroner of the household for five years.! This is probably to be explained by the term of years noted in the grant, but in spite of this the offices were held by others in 1331-1332, although Howell then resumed them.” Examples are also found of appointment to membership of the household apparently as a privilege or reward. There are several cases in the previous reign. From this period an instance of 1334 may be cited, when H. de Bufenas, the pope’s serjeant-at-arms, was engaged by letters patent as a serjeant-at-arms of the king’s household for life with wages of 12d. daily and 40s. a year for robes to be paid out of the

issues of the duchy of Aquitaine.2 The unusual method of payment supports the conclusion that the office was intended to be an honorary one.

The remuneration of the household staff was of two kinds, fees or wages and allowances. While at court the staff received free lodging with the household and dined in the hall or chamber. If they were allowed a separate chamber, either individually or as members of a group, they received, on a fixed scale, a due allowance of litter, fuel, and light. The superior officers might have their meals in their own chambers, and so might others occasionally, by permission of the steward and treasurer,

especially if they were sick. When out of court officers were allowed their expenses on a scale varying with their rank. All members of the household, both clerks and laymen, received an annual allowance of robes, or, at this time more usually, a money payment in lieu thereof. Sometimes, however, the livery was still made in cloth from the great wardrobe.* Bannerets, with whom was classed the keeper of the wardrobe, received 8 marks twice a year. Simple knights received 4 marks twice a year, as did the clerks of the highest grade (clerict de statu), such as the controller of the wardrobe, the keeper of the privy seal, the clerk of the great wardrobe, the cofferer, almoner, chief chaplain, physician, surgeon, and clerk of the market.’ The chaplains and the clerks of the second grade, the serjeants-at-arms, and the serjeants of the offices drew 2 marks for winter robes and 20s. for summer. ‘The esquires and a few clerks, such as the clerks of the chapel, received 20s. for each season. When the lower grades are reached — the

1 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 380. 2 See below, p. 247. 3 O.P.R. 1334-1338, 29. 4 Nero C vir, fol. 228d. 5 The clerk of the market is placed in the second grade in Exchequer Accounts, 387/9.

The King’s Wardrobe and Household 239 huntsmen, minstrels, sub-clerks, yeomen, messengers, carters, etc.— there

is only one payment each year for their robes, ranging from 10 marks to 10s.; but they receive in addition an allowance of 4s. 8d. a year for shoes.

Knights and bannerets received fees; bannerets had 10 marks in winter and 10 marks in summer; knights received half that amount. When on campaign they received no household fees, being ad vadia Regis in guerra. !

The lower ranks received wages, but it is less easy to discover the exact amount that each was paid, owing to the fact that the individual amounts do not appear in the accounts. The total only is given each day on the roll of household expenses under the heading vadia. This sum was obtained from the roll of the marshalsea for wages, which recorded the attendance of each member of the household; unfortunately no such rolls survive for this part of the reign. Although allowed each

day on the household roll, the wages were not actually paid daily. Periodically an account was made with each member of the household for the amount due to him for wages according to the marshalsea roll, deducting any sums which he might have received as imprests; he was given a wardrobe debenture for the balance, which he could then draw from the

exchequer. In March 1331, in aid of household expenses, the king granted her £300 out of the issues of the chamberlainship of South Wales, and £173 from the forfeited goods of Roger Mortimer;® while in July, William de la Pole was given £840 from

the Hull customs in return for advancing that sum to Philippa before Michaelmas.’ Early the following vear a gift of £950 from the king to the queen was paid by the Bardi, who were to recover it from the papal first-fruits.2 In February 1333, the same firm was claiming in all £2268 15s. ‘paid at divers times, at the king’s request, to Queen Philippa for her

household.’® Yet the same month the king was issuing orders to the exchequer to deliver to the queen £2000, “which the king has granted her

for paying her debts therewith.’!° The tale of financial stringency and attempts to relieve 1t becomes monotonous as the years go by. A grant in February 1335 of 350 marks, due yearly to the exchequer from Thomas de Lucy during the heir’s minority, for lands n Cumberland formerly held by John de Multon, as well as of the custody of all other lands of John’s, was made to Philippa ‘towards the support of the heavy charges she has _ to meet daily as well in her household as in her chamber,’!! and in the fol-

lowing May the custody of two other minors was given to her, to be granted out again by Philippa in June.!2 The last substantial grant during the decade was that made in September 1336 of a third of the king’s prise of wines at Hull, Southampton, and Bristol.+% There still remains for consideration what the antiquary Prynne, when 1 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 34, 37.

2 It is plain in the original enrolment (Patent Roll, No. 174, m. 17) that the custody was of half the seal only (altera pars). The calendar rendering of ‘the cocket seals’ is misleading (C.P.R. 18301334, 34). On 4 Jan. 1331 she appointed her clerk, Hugh de Glanville, to receive half the cocket seal from the customers of Hull (Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 3d) and on 5 Mar. Wychardyn de Florence to receive the money assigned and have custody of the cocket seal (zbid., m. 4d). 30.P.R 1330-1334, 52-53. 4 Ibid., p. 34, and C.C.R. 1330-1333, 86.

5 Letters close, dated 28 Mar. 1331, ordered the collectors to pay up arrears (ibid., p. 291); in the following Aug. £99 1s. 4d. and in Oct. £61 11s. 4d. were still unpaid (ibid., pp. 257, 272). But her treasurer had meanwhile included the whole sum in the receipts for which he was to be held responsible in Jan. 1331 (Enrolled Accounts, Wardrobe and Household, No. 2, m. 10). 6 C.C.R. 1830-13338, 212; cf. also zbid., p. 223.

7 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 157; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 507.

8 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 256. 9 Ibid., p. 399.

10 (.0.R. 13833-1337, 10. 11 O.P.R. 1334-1338, 79, 84.

12 Tbid., pp. 99, 123. 13 Thid., p. 319.

The Queen's Household 263 he dedicated his Aurum Reginae to Katherine, the consort of Charles II, called ‘one of the Antientest, Royalest, Richest Civil Prerogatives, Duties and casual Revenues belonging time out of minde in England and

Ireland . . . to the Queen-Consorts of England.’! This was queen’s gold, a sum accruing automatically to the queen consort when anybody entered into a voluntary obligation or fine with her husband, reckoned at one-tenth the value of such fine, but payable in addition to it.2. Philippa enjoyed this prerogative from her marriage in 1328; Isabella, though

as queen mother no longer entitled to any fresh levy, was concerned between 1327 and 1336 (and long after) in recovering arrears due to her from the time when she had been queen consort.* Such fines, nominally voluntary, were actually a matter of course for the recipient of a royal grant, or licence, or pardon, or exemption, in an enormous number of

; . . ops

connections, and brought considerable wealth to the crown.* The queen’s tenth of this would be a substantial sum, if, in the first place, she could prove that the fine was of that voluntary type on which alone her gold was due, and if, in the second place, she could bring to a successful end the slow process of collection. 1 William Prynne, Aurum Reginae (London, 1668). William Hakewill, solicitor-general to Queen Anne, consort of James I, had already dedicated to that queen a MS treatise on the subject. One copy is in the British Museum (Add. MS 25255) and the others are at Exeter College (No. cv1) and in the Public Record Office. Prynne used Hakewill’s work, but enlarged its scope by his own searches

among records, many of which he transcribes in full. Where possible, I have given a reference to these, rather than to the originals, since Prynne is more accessible. 2 See Richard Fitzneal, De Necessartis Observantiis Scaccarii Dialogus, commonly called Dialogus de Scaccario, ed. Arthur Hughes, C. G. Crump, and Charles Johnson (Oxford, 1902), pp. 156-157.

3 A letter of privy seal, dated 12 Mar. 1330, commended to the exchequer John de Oxendon, whom Isabella had appointed her receiver to levy her debts, both from the issues of her lands and from her gold (K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 84). 4 Prynne, op. cit., pp. 109-111, prints the writs of fieri facias issued with regard to queen’s gold during the Hilary term of the exchequer year 1333-1334. The forty-six fines in question may be classified as follows:

Miscellaneous trespass... 00.0.0... cece cece teen een eves. 14

Trespass of conspiracy... 0c eee eee ee ee eres 8 Grants of wardship, marriage, or the custody of lands................. 10

Licences to acquire lands........0..0 00000000 cece eee eee ees 8 Licences to alienate lands, in one case in mortmain................... 4 Licence to recover a wife’s inheritance................ 0.0.00 e eee eee 1

Licence to hold lands at farm during a minority...................... 1

Licence to marry... 0... ce cece etn cence nee ae Q Fine for concealment.... 000 ccc cee cece e eee ee ee |

Trespass of tax-collectors..... 0.000000... cee eee eee sees eeeeeee L

Fine for relief... 0... eee eee eee eee ee | From men of Scarborough. ............0.0 00000 ccc cece eee eee eeee 1 From Sussex knights and men-at-arms failing to join Edward II in 1321, or

released from service..........0. 00000: cece eee e eee e eee ee eeeceeaee I For release from service in Gascony..........0.. 00000: e cece ee eaeaee 8 For other possible types of fine see Prynne, op. cit., pp. 6, 7.

264 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 The first problem was one in which the wits of her friends and officials

were pitted against the ingenuity of those from whom fines were due. Edward III was not the first or the last king who found it necessary to enquire into his wife’s rights in this respect,! and the exchequer’s answers often seem surprisingly evasive or slow. As early as 12 November 1331 the king asked ‘in what cases Queen Philippa ought to take and have her gold and how and in what fashion,’? yet on 2 October 1336 he was again

bidding the treasurer and barons to certify him ‘on what and how great sums of money and from what kinds of debtors queen’s gold ought to be raised and levied in the exchequer.’? Apparently he got no answer until pressure was brought to bear in a writ of 15 March 1338, which informed them that ‘certain persons, scheming craftily to defraud our consort of her gold, are labouring to convert the fines and obligations on which the said gold ought to be paid into another nature and shape, in order to secure

exoneration therefrom.’* After scrutiny of their records, the barons returned a copy of the relevant chapter in the Dialogus de Scaccario.® This began with the warning that those who enter into a voluntary obligation to the king in coined money must know that they are similarly bound

to the queen, even though this may not be expressly mentioned, and went on to state the proportion due and the procedure necessary. It did little to settle the real problem, which was to ascertain exactly which types of payment fell within this category of obligation. An interesting illustration (which may indeed have inspired the royal enquiries in 1336 and 1338) is offered by the attitude of the borough of Bristol with regard to taxes on movables.6 When a tenth was demanded, Bristol accounted separately, and thus paid £220 as its share of the tenth of 1334. On this the exchequer demanded £22 as queen’s gold, but in July 1336 the mayor and burgesses secured a writ of supersedeas on the ground that the payment was not in the nature of a fine.’ Trouble arose with regard to the grant of a tenth for three years in the autumn of 1337. 1 Edward II, for example, enquired whether gold was due to the queen on fines for military service in Scotland. See writ quoted from memoranda roll (H. M. Chew, English Ecclesiastical Tenants-in-chief and Knight Service, London, 1932, p. 82, ns. 1 and 2). For some difficulties in the days of Edward I and Richard II see my ‘Queen’s Household,’ in Tout, Chapters, v, 266. 2K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 62d. 3 Prynne, op. cit., p. 35, transcribes this in full.

4 Ibid., p. 34; C.C.R. 1337-1339, 330. , 5 Dialogus, U1, XXvl.

6 See J. F. Willard, ‘The Taxes upon Movables of the Reign of Edward III,’ E.H.R., xxx (1915), 69-74. 7 C.C.R. 13833-1337, 689. London secured a similar writ (Calendar of Letter Books of the City of

London, ed. R. R. Sharpe, London, 1899-1912, F., pp. 66-67, 68-69, 74, 78, 83, 85-86, 90, 164). The argument between the attorneys of the queen and the mayor and aldermen (pp. 85-86) is particularly interesting.

The Queen’s Household 265 Everard le Frensshe, mayor of Bristol, on that occasion entered into a recognizance in chancery for the £220; the king in return granted that his taxers should not make any levy within the town and its suburbs.! When in due course queen’s gold was claimed, Walter Derby, bailiff of Bristol, appeared in person to deny that the payment was in the nature of a fine, or the recognizance in place of a fine. Against this the queen’s attorney urged that the recognizance belonged to the class of payments described in the Dialogus as offerings made by the giver to secure profit or honor for himself,? since Bristol had thereby obtained the double privilege of doing its own collecting and of postponing its payment to a date

later than that appointed for others. The exchequer verified this second statement, and apparently gave judgment against the town, since as late as 1353 the sheriff of Gloucester was still trying, though failing, to collect the sum due.? That the matter was prominent in men’s minds about this

time is suggested by the fact that, when in 1340 parliaments made for war purposes their famous grant of the ninth fleece, lamb, and sheaf, they stated expressly, on the one hand, that it should not be ‘had in example’

to their prejudice and, on the other, that it should not be liable for queen’s gold. Another question, as to whether the levy applied to fines in the Irish courts as well as in the English, does not seem to have come up till after the period under consideration.°®

To complete the survey of queenly resources, various miscellaneous

revenues must be noted. For example, in Philippa’s Welsh lands, a payment known as amobr (amobragium) was due to the lord when a woman married.® Philippa farmed this right, and in the earliest account

—that of the treasurer Colby’—farmers in west and north Wales are seen paying in £173 6s. 8d. between April 1330 and January 1331. Between the latter date and the following October farmers in north Wales and Chirk paid £71 13s. 4d. In the twelve months between April 1336 and April 1337, on the other hand, only £56 6s. 8d. in all came into 1 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 564-565.

2 ‘Si quis . . . pro quovis alio quod ad suam utilitatem vel honorem accedere videatur, sponte regi . . . offerat’ (Dialogus, p. 154). 3 Prynne, op. cit., pp. 112-114, gives a full transcript of the exchequer plea roll in which the case occurs.

* Stats. of Realm, 1, 298; a similar proviso was made as to the fifteenth granted in 1357 (cbid., p. 352).

5 Venry III had had to make special provision, when his son Edward married, for the separation of the Irish portion for the benefit of the bride Eleanor, who was ‘to have her gold as well of fines as of voluntary offerings in the land of Ireland as Eleanor queen of England the king’s consort .. . has in the realm of England’ (C.P.R. 1266-1272, 198). Philippa complained in 1360 that she was unable to get her gold upon fines made in the king’s courts in Ireland (C.C.R. 1360-1364, 60, 61). © See Paul Vinogradoff, Survey of the Honour of Denbigh (London, 1914), p. Ixxii; Flintshire Minis-

ter’s Accounts, ed. Arthur Jones (Prestatyn, 1913), pp. xvili-xx. ” Described below, pp. 267, n. 10, 273.

266 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 Philippa’s wardrobe from this source.1_ Another addition to income was made by selling off the surplus stock in the different household depart-

ments when the end of an accounting period was reached. Wine and beer were disposed of by the pantry, kitchen, and buttery; carts and horses by the marshalsea; corn by the bakery. Goldsmiths of London and other merchants bought gold and silver plate; clerks and squires of the household bought surplus cloth and furs. Colby’s account includes

various transactions of this sort. Further he records miscellaneous

items, such as rent for shops belonging to the queen’s household in La Réole, London, and issues from pleas in the king’s hall concerning the

queen. In all, no doubt, such additions amounted to a substantial, though a fluctuating, sum. 3. ADMINISTRATIVE AGENTS AND AGENCIES

A congeries of properties and privileges, interests, and responsibilities, such as must now be examined, obviously raised complex administrative problems and offered employment to numbers of people, small and great.

The heterogeneous tasks involved may conveniently be treated in two divisions, as long as it is remembered that both are part of a single administrative system. First, there was the direct service of the queen in her household, including both the expending of her revenues and their collection; second, there were the obligations incurred through her possession of liberties of various kinds. At the centre were the queen’s household and the financial and secretarial office known as the wardrobe. The household, of course, included all residents at the queen’s court, humble or exalted, lay or clerical, useful

or ornamental, with functions social, religious, domestic, or administrative. Within it were many sub-divisions besides those concerned with administration: the domestic offices, such as kitchen, pantry, and buttery

indoors, or the marshalsea out-of-doors, with its charge of horses and transport; also the chapel, with a staff responsible for the queen’s devotions and charities. General discipline and supervision depended upon the officer known as the steward of the household, who called to his assistance the chief officer of the wardrobe, described as keeper or treasurer,

when, daily if possible, he went through the accounts which were pre-

| sented to him by a clerk on behalf of each of the domestic offices. At court, no doubt, the figure of the steward of the household bulked large, and the men thus acting in the households of the queens are of the dignified type familiar in the household of the king—experienced knights and landowners of ripe age. Such, in Isabella’s case, were Robert de Staun1 Exchequer Accounts, 387/23.

The Queen's Household 267 ton, already in her train during Edward II’s reign,! and released in 1327, while steward of her household, from the arrears of his account as sheriff of Lincoln, because of his services to her,? or Sir Edmund Hakelut, her steward in 1332-1333,? in favor with Edward II as early as 1319, when he was made constable for life of Dynevor castle,‘ yet desirable in Isabella’s

eyes as having been an enemy of the Despensers in 1321.5 Philippa’s _ steward in 1331, Sir Amaury la Zouch,® was a member of a well-known family; a year earlier Queen Isabella had given him the custody of Whittlewood forest on the ground of his service to ‘the king, queen Philippa, and herself.’7 Sir Walter de Shobdon, who succeeded Amaury in 1332,° was usher of the king’s hall in 1827, when Edward III confirmed a grant made previously to him by Edward II.?® The duties of the steward of the household were concentrated within the sphere indicated by this title, whereas the staff of the wardrobe, which included court affairs as part only of its comprehensive outlook, established wider contacts and interests, and therefore demands closer atten-

tion. The difference in position between the steward of the household and the keeper of the wardrobe may be suggested by a modern parallel, so long as we do not press this too far. The steward of the household was like the manager who today is responsible for the smooth running of some

great hotel. The guests all know him, all complaints reach him, the domestic staff do not look beyond him, he may be called into consultation on many matters of general policy. Nevertheless, to those who are financing the concern, as essential or more so is the bookkeeper with his staff of clerks, who must set forth for audit at intervals, in detailed and intelligible form, a statement of receipts and expenditure. The latter was the work which the wardrobe did. In Isabella’s case, no wardrobe accounts are available for this decade, but it seems pretty certain, in the light of her earlier and later records, that even in the period of its inflation her office would differ from Philippa’s in size rather than in shape. Hence we may venture to use Philippa’s surviving records as a clue to the nature of both.!° The noticeable 1 See, e.g., C.P.R. 1313-1317, 86; C.P.R. 1317-1321, 453, and C.P.R. 1324-1327, 126. He carried the news of the birth of her daughter Joan in 1321 (C.P.R. 1321-1324, 23). 2 C.P.R. 1827-1330, 11. He was dead by 1333 (C.F.R., tv, 345). 3 Cotton MS, Galba E 11, fol. 184. 4 C.P.R. 1307-1318, 291. 5 C.F.R. wi, 154, 170, 171.

6 K.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 180. 7 C.P.R. 1330-133}, 4. 8 Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 2; Galba E 111, fol. 184.

° C.P.R. 1327-1830, 18, 19. He must not be confused with a namesake who was a king’s clerk (ibid., p. 368).

10 We have in a very fragmentary state the account of Philippa’s treasurer, William de Colby, from 12 Apr. 1330 to 23 Oct. 1831 (Exchequer Accounts, 385/5); a duplicate of the portion from Jan. _

268 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 feature of the wardrobe is that it was an office of clerks—as seemed almost

inevitable in view of the nature of the work. The three chief officers were the treasurer or keeper, the controller, and the cofferer. The treasurer was thus described in the records of his own office, but entries in the papal registers concerning favors granted call him ‘chancellor and treasurer,’? a misnomer which indicates the impression correctly formed at the papal curva as to his duties. The final responsibility for everything connected with the wardrobe rested upon the shoulders of the treasurer, but he received substantial assistance from his colleagues, the controller

and the cofferer, both of whom accompanied him when he went up to present his account at the king’s exchequer. ‘The controller, whose title originated in the fact that he was required to keep a counter-roll as a check upon that prepared by the keeper, still performed this checking function, though both he and the keeper in this decade presented their statement in book instead of roll form. The cofferer, who seems to have been steadily rising in importance during Edward III’s reign,? sometimes acted with the controller in the keeper’s stead when the account was being audited at the king’s exchequer;? and when the cofferer and the keeper

were separated there was constant correspondence between them.* It seems unnecessary here to deal biographically with all the officers of the wardrobes of both queens during the decade, for an examination of the treasurers will provide examples typical of all.

Three treasurers served Philippa during this period—William de Colby, William de Kirkeby, and William de Culpho. Colby, who held this office from the time when, in April 1330, Philippa first “began to keep house by herself,’> till 23 October 1331, had acted for twelve months®

as controller to William de Langley, clerk of Edward II’s chamber during the critical years between the triumph of the Despensers and the fall of to Oct. 1331 by the controller, John de Amwell (Rylands Latin MS 235); and an enrolment of the whole (Enrolled Accounts, W. and H., No. 2, m. 10). Books concerned with cloths and liveries are preserved in the British Museum (Galba E. u11, foll. 174-192d) and in the Rylands Library (Latin MS 234). 1 See, e.g., Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, ed. W. H.

Bliss, J. A. Twemlow, Charles Johnson (Rolls Series, London, 1893-1933), 1, 319, 328, 394. Too much stress need not be laid on this. A similar mis-description of Peter of Rivaux by the clerks of

Hugh of Lusignan in the days of Henry III led both Dr W. W. Shirley in his Royal and Historical Letters Illustrative of the Reign of Henry III (Rolls Series, London, 1862-66) and later the writer of Peter’s life in the D.N.B. to invent a mythical ‘chancellor of Poitou’ (Royal Letters, 1, 209, No. elxxxviili).

2 T deduce this partly from his improved position in the livery lists. See Hilda Johnstone, ‘Queen’s Household,’ in Tout, Chapters, v, 254. 3 See below, pp. 274-275. # This can be traced in the nuncii section of the treasurer’s accounts. 5 K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 210. 6 6 Mar. 1323 to 15 Apr. 1324 (Tout, Chapters, u, 345).

The Queen’s Household 269 the king.!. Between 1324 and 1326 he appeared constantly as the intermediary by whom the king’s approval of a request submitted to him was conveyed to the chancery.? It is interesting to find that after giving up the keepership of the queen’s wardrobe he became clerk of her privy seal.?

Evidently in her case, as in the king’s, the privy seal was rising in importance, if it was considered promotion to leave the treasurership to take up its charge. Colby’s value to his employers is suggested by the vigor with which they exerted themselves to secure preferment for him. Edward II had bestowed on him the living of Willoughby, Lincolnshire,® and Pope John XXII’s complaisance—declaring Colby in April 1330 to be worthy of any dignity short of the archiepiscopal*—was exploited to secure his provision to canonries held simultaneously at Lincoln, York, and Salisbury,’ till finally in 1332 he became dean of York.® Apparently when Colby left the treasurership in October 1331, he was at once succeeded by William de Kirkeby,® who, however, had already

left office when the summer robes for 1332 were being distributed.!° If Kirkeby is the man whom Edward II presented to a benefice in 1319,1! his connection with the royal service was already prolonged. As king’s clerk he had acted with John de Sturmy as keeper of Berkeley castle in 1322, and he had also taken over for the king the possessions of Thomas of Lancaster in the same year.!2 In 1323 he was one of the vendors of the king’s victuals at Newcastle-on-Tyne,'* and in 1325 was supervising the 1In June 1330, when Langley’s account came up for settlement at the exchequer, Colby was already so much occupied with the queen’s business that he was unable to be present in person and sent the counter-roll up by his clerk (K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 210). 2 See O.P.R. 1324-1327, 33, 121, 227, 244, 246, 247, 278, 309, and C.C.R. 1323-1327, 252. On this method see Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 141-147. 3 Galba E u11, fol. 184d.

4 Cf. Tout, Chapters, v, 5. 5 C.P.R. 1821-1324, 331. 6 Calendar of Papal Registers, 11, 349. 7 [bid., loc. cit., and also pp. 319, 328. The only time Philippa was unsuccessful in her requests on Colby’s behalf was when she asked for the prebend of Thame, already reserved by the pope (zbzd., p. 500).

8 Ibid., p. 394. He was dead before Nov. 1336 (John Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, ed. Thomas Hardy, Oxford, 1854, 111, 122). ® Among the receipts in Colby’s account for 24 Jan. to 23 Oct. 1331 was £10 from William de Kirke-

by ‘treasurer of the queen immediately after William de Colby’ (Enrolled Accounts, W. and H., No. 2, m. 10, and Rylands Latin MS 235, fol. 5d), while an account of the queen’s great wardrobe for 1332-1333 mentions cloths ‘remaining from the time of William de Kirkeby’ (Galba E m1, fol. 174). 10 Thid., fol. 184d.

11 Though he had to revoke his gift owing to a dispute about the advowson (C.C.R. 1318-1323, 127). In 1320 William was commended to the abbot and convent of Cirencester for a pension till a suitable benefice should be available (zbid., p. 343). 12 C_F.R., 11, 94, 111. 138 C.C.R. 1323-1397, 5.

270 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 freighting of ships with stores for Gascony.! There is no hint in the records of the reason why his first tenure of the treasurership was so short, but later, probably just after the close of the decade,” he returned to the post, this time to hold it for several years.? The records from 1338 onwards are full of references to his services to the king and queen* and to his preferment in the church. °®

Between Kirkeby’s first and second periods of office, the treasurer was William de Culpho, of whose administrative experience little is known, except that in 1327 he had a responsible post in the household of John of

Eltham, Edward III’s younger brother,® and that in January 1331 he was preparing to go abroad in the train of Adam de Orleton, bishop of Worcester.” He was probably an East Anglian, for Culpho is a village a few miles northeast of Ipswich. He acted in 1325 as an executor for John, bishop of Norwich;® and he held the benefices of Scoulton, in Norfolk, and Oakley, in Suffolk. Since he was illegitimate, dispensation on

this account had to accompany the various preferments he received, of 1C.P.R. 1324-13827, 96. From references to his personal affairs in the records we gather that he was a Worcestershire man. With Hugh de Dufford he presented a clerk to the benefice of Bredicot, near Worcester, in 1326 (Register of Thomas de Cobham, Bishop of Worcester, 1317-1327, ed. E. H. Pearce, Worcestershire Historical Society, London, 1930, p. 247, and cf. The Victoria History of the County of Worcester, ed. J. W. Willis-Bund, H. A. Doubleday, William Page, London, 1901-24,

wu, 277 ff.). In 1327 a commission was set up to examine complaints by William and Hugh of assaults on houses and crops at Smite (Smyde) and Bredicot (C.P.R. 1324-1327, 352), and in 1348 a similar commission for similar reasons was set up for William ‘at the request of Queen Philippa and by fine of half a mark because he is of the king’s household’ (C.P.R. 1348-1350, 248). William was himself on a commission of oyer and terminer in co. Worcester in 1338 (C.P.R. 1338-1340, 75).

2 He is seen transacting business for the queen as her treasurer in Mar. 1338 (C.C.R. 13871339, 312), but it is quite likely that he was already in office in 1336 and 1337, when he makes frequent appearance as the queen’s attorney (C.P.R. 1333-1337, 672, and C.C.R. 1837-1839, 111, 284). 3 His livery as treasurer appears in the accounts for 1344-1345 (Exchequer Accounts, 390/8, fol. 1), but Roger de Clonne is described as treasurer in June 1346 (Calendar of Papal Registers, 111, 219). 4 As commissioner of oyer and terminer in 1338, 1343, 1345 (C.P.R. 1338-1340, 75; C.P.R. 18401343, 588; C.P.R. 1343-1345, 100, 162, 164, 495), and in connection with what the Bardi and Peruzzi described as an unfair audit of their accounts in 1344 (ibid., p. 274). 5 In Oct. 1338 he was offered ‘the first void prebend or dignity in the king’s gift which he will accept” (C.P.R. 1338-1340,158). As parson of Worfield, near Bridgenorth, in Shropshire, he emphasized his connection with the queen in a double way, since his intervention secured for the ear] of Huntingdon licence to alienate in mortmain so as to endow a chaplain in Worfield church, and the chaplain’s masses were to be said not only for the ear! but for the king and queen (C.P.R. 1343-1345, 56, and C.C.R. 1343-1346, 83). He became a prebendary of Hereford in 1344 (C.C.R. 1343-1345, 225, 241) and in 1349 obtained a canonry and prebend at Lincoln, where he already had a perpetual vicarage (Calendar of Papal Registers, 111, 342, 416), only to resign it in 1351 (ibid., p. 416). In 1350, as prebendary of Eardington in Bridgenorth, he was given by a fellow prebendary endowment for a chaplain to celebrate daily in the chapel of St Lawrence, Eardmgton, for the king and queen with their children, the grantor, and Kirkeby himself (C.P.R. 1348-1350, 546-547). 6 Issue Roll, No. 225, m. 5. 7 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 42. 8 C.C.R. 18238-1327, 518.

9 And, previously, Alfreton, co. Derby (Calendar of Papal Registers, 11, 264).

The Queen’s Household 271 which the highest was a canonry of Southwell in 1333.! On 23 September

1334 Philippa appointed him keeper of the hospital of St Katherine by the Tower, London,? a charity first founded by Matilda, queen of Ste-

_ phen, and refounded by Eleanor, wife of Henry III. It was a special object of interest to subsequent queens, including Philippa herself, who in January 1334 had successfully asserted her right to deal with the pres-

entation of keepers or disputes concerning this without interference from the king. An incident just before the end of the decade hints on the one hand at the solidarity of the staff of the household and on the other at the favor with which Culpho was regarded. As one of the executors of Isabella de Cokefeld he had been given the manor of Kenton, Devon, on 16 July 1336, and had to find two mainpernors in chancery.* One of them was his colleague, John de Heigham, of whom we shall hear more.

In due course the executors finished their work and the escheator was told on 23 April 1337 to resume the manor into the king’s hands;* but on 13 June it was handed back to Culpho to hold during the minority of the heir.? On 21 June, because ‘the king wishes to deal graciously with William and his co-executors in this respect, in consideration of the service rendered by William to himself and Queen Philippa,’ he was given the same privilege which Isabella had enjoyed, a deduction from the rent due from the manor.® The succession of Isabella’s treasurers during the period is harder to establish. John de Oxendon, keeper of her wardrobe in 1327,° had obtained that office in the autumn of 1325 while she was still in France.!° He had been abroad with her on her earlier visit in 1820! and as early as 1315 had been presented to a benefice at her instance.!? His connection with her, however, may be still earlier, for in 1307 he had received the church of Great Stanbridge, Essex,!* previously held by Isabella’s trusted clerk, William de Boudon, only to resign it in Boudon’s favor in 1309.4 1 [bid., 11, 388. See also zbid., 111, 59, 70.

2 Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 5d. He held this post till 20 Jan. 1339 (C.P.R. 1338-1340, 377). ‘Master’ is the term used in contemporary documents more commonly than ‘keeper.’ 3 C.0.R. 1833-1387, 171. 4 C.F.R., rv, 492; cf. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 696-697. 5 See below, p. 282. 6 O.F.R., v, 14. 7 Ibid., p. 20.

8 O.0.R. 13387-1339, 77. Cf. C.F.R., 1v, 230, 278, and C.C.R. 1346-1349, 315 (where Kenton is wrongly described as in co. Kent), 338. 9 C.C.R. 1323-1327, 629. 10 Exchequer Accounts, 381/7, m. 3. 11 O.P.R. 1317-1821, 453. 12 Overstone, Northamptonshire (C.P.R. 1313-1317, 338). 13 C.P.R. 1307-1318, 17. 14 For further references see Johnstone, ‘Queen’s Household,’ in Tout, Chapters, v, 246, n. 6.

Q72 The English Government at Work, 1827-1336 This looks like an amicable arrangement between friends and colleagues. In Edward III’s reign Oxendon advanced more rapidly, till in December 1329 he was provided to a canonry at Salisbury; he held already canonries

at Hereford and in the king’s chapel of St Martin’s le Grand, London, and was rector of Tring in Hertfordshire.!| Though a royal writ, dated 24 October 1332, addressed him as treasurer,? he was undoubtedly already in 1329 acting as the queen’s receiver, for he was thus described in the memoranda roll of her exchequer for 1329-1330. He was succeeded as treasurer by a colleague who resembled him both as a pluralist and in

administrative experience. Thomas de London, described in papal letters, dated 22 September 1333, as Isabella’s ‘chaplain and treasurer,’® had been overseas on her service in 1320,° and had been appointed by Edward II to deal with the expenses of the queen’s household when, after the confiscation of her lands, she was sent to France in 1325.7 By 1333 Thomas was rector of Barton Seagrave, Northamptonshire, and held canonries at Abbeville in Ponthieu, Chichester, Salisbury, and St Martin’s le Grand. In 1325 his responsibilities had soon ended, for John de Oxendon succeeded him, perhaps by Michaelmas, certainly by Novem-

ber;* but his second appointment lasted throughout and beyond this decade, for there is record of an indenture between him and Isabella’s receiver covering the period from Christmas 1338 to July 1339.9

Evidently, then, the chief posts in the wardrobes of both the queens were held by men fully comparable in dignity and experience with the occupants of similar positions in the king’s service. They became canons and deans, if they did not become bishops; they belonged to that class to which Bishop Cobham of Worcester was referring, when he told the king that he regretted the appropriation of churches, because bishops would thus ‘lose forever the advice, aid, and service which they were wont to have from wise persons from your court and other great places who were advanced to these [benefices].’*° It is interesting to hear contemporary _ educated opinion upon what posterity has been apt to regard as, at bests 1 Calendar of Papal Registers, 1, 301; cf. ibid., p. 289; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 94; 1334-1338, 80, where John’s preferments are described as ‘granted because of his service to the king, and his mother.’ A new presentation was made to Tring in 1337 (ibid., p. 344). 2 Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30, m. 8. 3 K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 41d. 4 Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30, m. 1. 5 Calendar of Papal Registers, 11, 395. 6 C.P.R. 1317-1321, 416. 7 Exchequer Accounts, 380/10. 8 Exchequer Accounts, 380/10, and 381/7, m. 3. 9 Ministers’ Accounts, 1090/10. 10 Register of Thomas de Cobham, p. 185.

The Queen's Household 273 an unavoidable evil—that of rewarding administrative work by clerical preferment. Controllers and cofferers, of course, had behind them experience comparable with that of the treasurers and hoped for promotion

when opportunity served; the same might be said in a lesser degree of the subordinate clerks. It is impossible to determine the exact size of the staff in the wardrobe

of either of the queens. Philippa in 1332 spent £55 on cloth for clerks and sub-clerks, as against £62 13s. 4d. for knights, £47 5s. 6d. for squires, and £63 Os. 4d. for her own clothes;! but this is a slender clue, considering

obvious differences of requirements, both in quantity and quality. Measure does not help much either, though in 1330-1331 Philippa’s clerks needed 240 ells of cloth, whereas the knights had 144 and the squires 306.2. There again allowance must be made for varying size and splendor; moreover, some of the clerks concerned must have belonged not to the wardrobe but to the chapel. On the whole it seems best not to venture on any hypothesis as to numbers.

The routine duties of the queen’s wardrobe must have run on lines similar to those of the king’s. The treasurer, in co-operation with the lay head of the household, the steward,’ had to supervise every detail of the household’s daily life, passing in frequent review, probably daily when possible, the accounts presented by the heads of each domestic department. Every payment ‘delivered into the wardrobe’ as it travelled about with the queen must be acknowledged by the treasurer’s ‘letter of

quittance.’ The clerical staff would be kept busy preparing these and other necessary documents, as well as compiling the elaborate final statement* which would have to be presented in duplicate when the exchequer called upon the queen’s treasurer to account before it. In Colby’s case, both his original book and the exchequer’s enrolment are available,® as well as record on the memoranda rolls of orders received from king and queen concerning the audit. Colby’s book began in the normal way with a detailed list of receipts, showing the date and source of each, followed by expenses similarly detailed and arranged under eight headings (ftiulz). The account was divided into two parts, the first from 12 April 1330 to

24 January 1331, the second from that date to 23 October 1331. Summarized, his outlay was as follows: 1 Galba E 111, foll. 174d—175.

2 Rylands Latin MS 234, fol. 1d. 3 See above, p. 267.

* But part at any rate of this must have been written actually during the time of audit, as it includes allowances for expenses then freshly allowed. See below, p. 275. ° See above, p. 267, n. 10.

QT The English Government at Work, 1327-1336

£ s. d. £ S. d. 2.Necessaries Alms 431192 4 rf 111 10 3 3. 5 Q79 1055 First Period Second Period

1. Bread, wine, etc. 2238 17 814 3085 6 11%

4. Shoes 13 13 1 44 5. Gifts 64819 19 45 316

6. Jewels Messengers 4 85 389 4 10158 59 7. 976 11 8. Great wardrobe 1122 9 AY 1095 9 314 Total 6245 18 2 6045 8 1% Of the above ‘titles,’ perhaps the first and last would be of deepest domestic concern at the time, while posterity, looking for human interest,

is most likely to find it in the second and fifth;! but for the purpose of this study, the examination of wardrobe activity, the third and sixth are most fruitful. Under ‘necessaries’ appeared expenditures of the most varied kind. There, for example, was the sum for robes and shoes agreed upon between the queen’s confessor and his fellow friar on the one hand and her treasurer and steward on the other; there were the expenses of a clerk going to Westminster to ‘expedite business of the queen’s in the king’s exchequer’; there was the cost of an escort for money brought by William de Kingston, the queen’s receiver north of Trent;? and there were the fees due to all the queen’s chief officers—£20 to the steward of the household, to be paid at Easter and Michaelmas in equal portions; 65s. 8d. as winter fee to William, son of Warin, knight, who is her chamberlain; 100 marks a year to the steward of her lands; £20 to the auditor of

her accounts; and 3d. a day to a clerk for writing the books and rolls of the queen’s wardrobe.? Under the heading ‘messengers,’ again, is 1ncluded much coming and going on wardrobe business. Letters go from . the cofferer at Hertford to the treasurer in London; writs are taken to the keepers of the various castles and manors; the queen’s treasurer writes to the king’s; and so on. Treasurer Colby was in London from 15 November 1331 to 12 March 1332, with his controller, cofferer, and other clerks, engaged on the one 1 Alms, for example, may range from a present to ‘a poor woman keeping the queen’s cows in the vale of Edale near Peak castle,’ or to ‘a poor woman of Spain who said she was the daughter of the

king of Portugal,’ up to a substantial subscription towards the construction of the Lady-chapel at Ely (Rylands Latin MS 235, fol. 8). 2 Kyngeston’s account of work of this kind with interesting particulars of the numbers of horsemen and archers required on different occasions and the time taken over different journeys, together with Colby’s letter of quittance for the sum paid over, may be seen in Ministers’ Accounts, 1294/2, No. 1. 3 There are, of course, many more miscellaneous entries, such as that of 2s. paid to a London goldsmith for drawing on parchment a design from which a silver ship for alms can be made, or the 40s.

paid to an illuminator for illuminating two small books for the queen with various pictures, and ‘etters of gold both small and large.’

The Queen’s Household Q75 hand in hearing the accounts of the queen’s officials and on the other in presenting his own at the king’s exchequer. ‘The matter seems to have been tedious rather than arduous, for his own book reveals that he was working on only 50 of the 84 days, and that on ten occasions the cofferer acted in his stead. The business from the other end is shown in the orders addressed to the exchequer by king and queen. Edward’s letters of privy seal, dated 26 November 1331 and 16 January 1332, ordered the appointment of auditors to hear the account;! Philippa wrote on 22 January to bid these make allowance ‘without debate or challenge’ for what Colby had spent on her behalf, and to express her desire that when out of court on her business he should receive ‘for the expenses of himself, his folk, and his horses’ one mark a day.2, On 9 March she wrote again to point out that William had now been living in London for a considerable time

at great expense and that he, the controller, and the cofferer ought to receive for this period the same allowance they would have had while he was still treasurer.? Colby’s book shows that he duly received his 13s. 4d. a day, the controller and other clerks 4s. a day, and the cofferer Qs. a day while he was acting instead of William. ‘The relative sizes of the allowances suggest the relative importance of the different offices. Colby, however, had been in London not only to present accounts, but to hear accounts, and this brings us to our next subject, the sub-depart-

ments of the wardrobe and the duties of the queen’s exchequer. Both Philippa and Isabella had a privy wardrobe and a great wardrobe. The parva garderoba or garderoba robarum was specially connected with the queen’s chamber, dealing with personal necessities ranging from clothes to bathtubs, while the magna garderoba dealt with bulky stores such as

wax, cloth, furs, sugar, and spices. Both were often itinerant with the household, but both, presumably, had offices in London, though it is in Philippa’s case alone that there are during this decade abundant and varied references. These show that the premises were also used for general wardrobe business. Edward, on 22 December 1330, had granted to his consort for her wardrobe his houses in La Réole in the city of London,* which were not far from the river,® in the parish of St Thomas the Apostle.* Work progressed so rapidly in the conversion of these to the queen’s uses that by October 1333 both great and privy wardrobe moved 1 K.R.M.R., No. 108, mm. 69d, 101. 2 [bid., m. 101. 3 Tbid., m. 113. 4 O.P.R. 1330-1334, 37.

° So near that three boys, while the building was going on, could find nightly employment in cleaning up and dumping refuse in the Thames (Galba E 111, fol. 178d). 6 A mark was subscribed for work on the bell tower of this church ‘in whose parish the household of La Réole of the queen’s wardrobe is situated’ (zbid., fol. 178).

276 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 in—the former from ‘Servat’s tower’ in Cheap Ward, a convenient situation for its special needs, among the grocers and apothecaries,! the latter from a house in Milk Street.?

Already in the decade under study there is evidence of a chamber appropriated to the treasurer at La Réole, while later references show that

wardrobe officials transacted business with each other or with outside accountants in the same place.? The most constant and regular occupants, however, must have been those connected with the sub-departments. Here the buyers of the great wardrobe arrived with the cloths and furs and other commodities which they had been to seek at distant fairs and markets; here the queen’s tailor and his staff fashioned the stuffs into garments in readiness for the date at which the summer or winter delivery of liveries should fall due; here stores were packed away

as they accumulated; and here were prepared the careful accounts by which the sub-departments acknowledged their receipts and justified their expenditure to the wardrobe, of which they were branches. The most conspicuous officials were the queen’s tailor, William of London, and her clerk of the great wardrobe, Thomas of Tetbury.* As the privy wardrobe was associated directly with the queen’s person, toilet, and bedroom, it seems to play a less public part in the documents, except when the court was travelling; then its varied needs and the nature of its belongings made it even more of a problem than the great wardrobe to those responsible for arranging transport.°®

In close connection with the wardrobe, and resident like the wardrobe in the queen’s company, though separated more distinctly than either of the wardrobe sub-departments, was the chamber. In the case of both queens this term was used in the double sense of the queen’s bedroom and 1 Rylands Latin MS 234, fol. 6d. See John Stow, A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster and the Borough of Southwark, ed. C. L. Kingsford (Oxford, 1908) p. 329, for descriptions of this tower

and ward and their history. 2 Galba E m1, fol. 177d. 3 See, e.g., Ministers’ Accounts, 1091/5; C.P.R. 1367-1370, 464.

4 Treasurer Colby’s account includes the particulars delivered into the wardrobe at London by Thomas de Tetbury of purchases made for the great wardrobe and repairs to the queen’s houses in La Réole (Rylands Latin MS 235, fol. 33). A controller’s account of 1349-1350 shows a wardrobe clerk at London with the treasurer from 9 July to 9 Sept., on business which included “the arraying and rendering of the account of Thomas de Tetbury’ (Treasury of Receipt, Miscellaneous Book, No. 205, p. 22). 5 Good comparative material may be had in an account of Isabella for 1315-1316. For example, on a one-day journey between London and Eltham, the great wardrobe needed 2 carts, each with 3 horses, and one cart with 2 horses, while the wardrobe of robes required 4 carts, each with 3 horses. On a journey from St Albans to Maidwell, near Market Harborough, the former used 3 carts, each with 3 horses, the latter 7 carts, one drawn by 4 horses, the others each by 3. The cost of the whole tour, which began at London in July and ended after much wandering at Lincoln in the following January, was only £9 2s. 2d. for the great wardrobe, as against £18 19s. 5d. for the wardrobe of robes (Exchequer Accounts, 376/20).

The Queen's Household QT7 of an administrative unit associated with her in a specially intimate and

personal way. The institution in its second phase seems to maintain a privacy which might be forgiven in the first, but which is particularly irritating to the administrative historian anxious to form a clear concep-

tion of its nature and functions. Certain facts are obvious enough. Both queens! had a separate endowment for their chamber expenses, which had been defined in Isabella’s case as relating to ‘jewels, gifts and

necessaries.’2 Philippa during this decade allocated to her chamber expenses not only the issues of lands specifically given to her for the purpose, but also all her non-manorial revenues, such as queen’s gold and amobrages, judicial perquisites of various sorts, and direct money grants from the king’s exchequer. Business relating to revenues thus allocated was regarded as a separate branch of the administrative work to be done; so a proportion of the fees due to her receiver, chief auditor of accounts, and general attorney, was deducted from the chamber revenues before they were handed on, in recognition of the work done in this connection. In 1337 each of the three took half his fee from this source, and their receipts from chamber revenues were over £1700 as against over £2000 obtained from revenues assigned to the household.? Evidently, then, chamber business was a considerable task, and chamber revenues a substantial portion of the queen’s whole income. Unluckily, once the money had safely reached the chamber, it disappears from sight, and nothing at all is known of how it was spent or accounted for there.

It had come to the queen either in sums paid to her clerk at the king’s : exchequer when he produced a tally, or in instalments paid in by her receiver and acknowledged in each case by a letter of quittance, described as being under her secret seal.* This definitely associated the secret seal with the chamber business after the fashion which Edward ITI followed

when he set aside certain lands for chamber administration, treading in this respect in the footsteps of his father in some earlier experiments.°® The money thus received was at the queen’s personal disposal and in her personal possession.® ‘Transactions may often have occurred similar to that recorded at the end of a list of debts collected by Isabella’s receiver between 1333 and 1336; where no less than £400 out of £473 18s. 914d. 1 See above, p. 261. 2 O.P.R. 1317-1821, 112.

3 Exchequer Accounts, 387/23. This account is analyzed in detail below, p. 287. * Ibid... m. 4. That this was not, as it might have been earlier, a synonym for the privy seal is proved by such references as that in Exchequer Accounts, 387/22, m. 3, to ‘letters of the queen, one of which was given under the privy seal at York on 12 May and the other under the secret seal of the same queen at Rockingham on 29 June.’ ° Tout, Chapters, v, 178-179. ° When Isabella died, more than £300 in gold were found in her chamber, and were handed over to be accounted for ‘in the receipt of the queen’s chamber’ (Exchequer Accounts, 393/4, fol. 10).

278 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 collected was ‘paid into the chamber of the queen that she might do her will therewith,’ at her own bidding given verbally (oretenus), while the rest was presented to her receiver in recognition of his hard work.!. The seal must have had a custodian and the office a staff responsible for the safe-keeping and record of the sums with which it dealt; but since none of the chamber accounts of either queen have been preserved one can only rely on the analogy of the king’s chamber and a few allusions. It is likely that the seal was kept by ‘some high domestic of the household in constant attendance’? upon the queen; and perhaps ‘there was no single

important officer of the camera, but ... various clerks and laymen worked together mm discharging very similar functions,’? if the queen’s

chamber was on lines similar to that of the king. Certainly in 1331 “William son of Warin, knight, chamberlain,’ received 65s. 8d. in Philippa’s household as his winter fee,* but the records give no clue as to the duties which earned this. One clear impression is gained, and one only —that the obscurity of the facts to be discovered is itself a witness to the intimate and personal nature of the chamber.

Firmer ground is reached on turning to the queen’s exchequer. This had been in existence at least since the days of Eleanor, queen of Edward I,° and numerous references testify to its continued activities during the period. In Isabella’s case, indeed, some of its rolls have been preserved. ®

It must be made clear from the outset that the queen’s exchequer had limitations more definite than those implied in the fact that it was not directed by a king and dealt with affairs narrower than those of a kingdom. It was not supreme, even in the queen’s own affairs. In the first place, the queen’s receiver was not accountable to her exchequer, but either to the treasurer, that is to say to the head of her wardrobe, or else to special auditors, according to the type of revenue he was dealing with.’

In the second place, as has been shown already, the treasurer of the queen’s wardrobe did not present his final account at her exchequer but at

that of the king. On the one hand, then, the queens themselves seem to have made no differentiation in favor of their exchequer as against their wardrobe; on the other, the king’s exchequer had asserted its superiority over the queen’s wardrobe as over the king’s. 1 Ministers’ Accounts, 1090/8, m. 3. 2 Tout, Chapters, v, 178. 3 Tbid., 11, 330.

4 Rylands Latin MS 235, fol. 13d. 5 Its development has been traced by Johnstone in Tout, Chapters, v, 239-241. 6 See below, pp. 279-280. 7 See below, p. 287.

8 Thus Treasurer Colby’s account for 1330-1331 is preserved among the exchequer enrolments (L. T. R. Enrolled Accounts, W. and H., No. 2, m. 10).

The Queen’s Household 279 What, then, were the functions of the queen’s exchequer? In the main, apparently, to act as an office both of receipt and audit in connection with the queen’s lands. Of the first function we catch only occa-

sional glimpses. On the general administrative removal to York rendered necessary by Edward III’s campaigns against the Scots, the sheriff of York on 12 June 1333 was ordered to use timber from a ruinous house on the south side of the castle to build on the north side a house ‘for the receipt of Queen Philippa, with exchequers and other things necessary

therefor.’! Among Isabella’s expenses for 1333-1334 were the wages of carpenters repairing a table ‘in the house of receipt of the queen.’? Probably for receiving purposes the office was open throughout the year,? whereas accounts were presented, as in the king’s exchequer, twice

a year. This is shown by the orders which Edward III gave on 5 July 1327 to the treasurer and barons of his exchequer “to compel all keepers,

_ fermors and bailiffs of the castles, honours, manors, etc. that the king has granted and assigned to his mother to make their proffers of the issues and ferms of the same at her exchequer at Westminster twice a year.’* Similar orders were given with reference to Philippa on 10 October 1331.5 Normally, it is to be presumed, therefore, the queen’s exchequer was housed at Westminster, and convenience might suggest that it should be under the same roof as that of the king. That its furniture and equipment resembled his is shown by the purchase for Philippa in 1341-42 of ‘a striped cloth for covering the queen’s exchequer matching the cloth of the king’s exchequer.’® Both queens laid out money on

sacks, tallies, and parchment, and the discomfort in which the work might have to be done is suggested when Isabella’s receiver had to buy ‘canvas to place in the windows at the queen’s exchequer on account of wind and other tempest.’’? This was in July! The activities of Isabella’s exchequer are well illustrated by its own surviving memoranda rolls, covering the period from the fourth to the eighth

year of Edward III. Their contents, classified in an order roughly 1 C.C.R. 1333-13837, 154. This should be connected with orders given on 8 June to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer to make preparations (ibid., p. 50). As Professor Tout has pointed out, the phrase used in the calendar, ‘for receiving Queen Philippa,’ obscured the technical phrase of the

original document. 2 Ministers’ Accounts, 1090/8, m. 3.

3 An annual payment of £10 was assigned in 1342 to two clerks ‘writing writs and memoranda of the queen’s exchequer’ (Ministers’ Accounts, 1091/5). This is asum equal to that allotted in Eleanor of Castile’s time to ‘clerks remaining at the queen’s exchequer throughout the year’ (Exchequer

Accounts, 352/7, m. 2). 4 O.C.R. 1327-1330, 143.

> K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 31d. But the word ‘Westminster,’ if once written, is now illegible.

6 Ministers’ Accounts, 1091/5. 7 [bid., 1090/10, m. 4.

8 Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30. My attention was originally drawn to these by the kindness of Miss M. H. Mills. In their present form they are fastened together to form a single document of eight membranes, the first four of which relate to the period in which Isabella’s possessions were still

at their widest. The rolls shrink in size with her shrinking fortunes.

280 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 corresponding with that followed in the king’s memoranda rolls of the same date, namely brema, dies datt, manucaptores et securitates and recognicrones, reflect the doings of a busy office. Note is made of money paid in by the queen’s debtors, and of money still due. Assignments are made

to this person or that, by tally or letter, out of the issues of manors and farms; the queen’s officials are bidden to certify her of the value of lands or to hold inquisitions, the result of which must be returned to her exchequer. Dates in the Michaelmas, Easter, and Trinity terms are appointed to farmers and bailiffs for the rendering of their accounts, while in one case at least there is a warning from the king’s exchequer to a former sheriff of Cornwall and steward of Isabella that he is not to leave till he

has fully satisfied the queen.! Those who had made full satisfaction received quittances under the seal of the queen’s exchequer. Finally, Isabella’s officers can be seen putting to practical use the records preserved in her exchequer, as when the steward of her lands borrows the extents of certain manors before he visits them, or rolls of manorial accounts are lent to Hugh de Glanville or John de Amwell.? The storage problem, in view of the exchequer’s own accumulating records? plus those

deposited there for safe keeping must have been considerable. If for Philippa’s exchequer there are no details so precise as those contained in the memoranda rolls of Isabella, there is no reason to suspect any startling divergency of practice. Both offices presumably would do much the same work in much the same way, after a fashion similar to that followed in the king’s exchequer. The queen’s officials, like the king’s, would be

faced by an exacting and prolonged routine, and victimized by the unpunctuality or remissness of those from whom revenue was due. There remains to be considered the local work of estate supervision and

revenue collection, with its relation to the central departments. Here it is Queen Philippa who supplies information in greatest abundance. There is a general register of her letters, appointments, indentures and miscellaneous documents, ranging in irregular order over the whole of this period and full of varied interest.* Further, Peter de Belawe, who 1 Cf. K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 203.

2 Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30, mm. 6, 6d. ‘Postea restituit’ is added after each such entry. Cf. the loan of documents to bailiffs of liberties (below, p. 291). 3 In Isabella’s first memoranda roll reference is made to an entry in magno rotulo of the previous year. What was this ‘great roll’? Interesting comparisons on this point, and indeed on the whole organization of the queen’s exchequer, may be made with the help of an unpublished London M.A.

thesis by Miss Eleanor Swift, ‘The Machinery of Manorial Administration; with Special Reference to the Lands of the Bishopric of Winchester (1208-1454).’ A brief summary is printed in Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, vit (1928), 30-31. One of the bishop’s pipe rolls contains a reference to a magnus rotulus other than itself. 4 Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58. Mrs Margaret Sharp was kind enough to draw my attention to this some years ago. Though its fifteen membranes are stitched together, they do not form a docu-

The Queen's Household 281 was her receiver south of Trent from 4 February 1333 to 15 April 1336, has left four rolls of his receipts during the period,! while John de Eston,

who succeeded not only to Peter’s duties but also to those of Peter’s colleagues, the receiver north of Trent and the receiver of the queen’s gold, prepared a magnificent series of accounts both of receipts and expenditure, a great many of which have survived. The first, running from 15 April 1336 to 20 April 1337,? falls within the decade chosen for obser-

vation. Adding these to the entries on the central records which concern local officials and business, a clear impression can be obtained of the way in which the machine worked. The chief liaison officers, so to speak, between the queen’s needs and

their satisfaction were the steward of lands* and the receiver. The former was perhaps the busier and certainly the better paid, with a salary of £50 a year.* All sorts of estate business came within his pur-

view. A great deal of care was given to the terms upon which the queen’s castles, towns or manors were leased to farmers, the conditions being embodied in indentures to which the steward set his seal in the queen’s name, though his action would receive confirmation by her let-

ters patent. He had to supervise the sale of timber from forests in her hands, as in 1333, when seven commissions were appointed for this

purpose and Philippa’s steward was on every one of them.® When questions were raised at the queen’s exchequer in connection with ac-

counts presented there, orders would go to the steward to hold an enquiry and send up the result under his own seal and the seals of those whom he had summoned to his inquisition.’ He was sure to be a member when commissions sat to inquire into trespass, violence, or encroachment, or to make a survey of her estates.* His main activities, in fact, were local, and he had opportunities for initiative and independent mentary unit, are not in chronological order, and are incomplete. On m. 1 are entered indentures of 1332, on its dorse letters ranging from 1333 to 1337. M. 3 is shaped as though the last of a roll, being cut to a point, upon which is written, ‘Register of the time of William de Colby,’ but m. 4 also contains entries relating to the period between 1330 and 1331 in which Colby was the queen’s treasurer. 1 Ministers’ Accounts, 1091/1. Though the membranes are united at the head by a parchment string, the total given at the end speaks of four rolls for the 7th, 8th, and 9th years and part of the 10th, following this by separate totals for each. 2 For full description see below, pp. 286-287. 3 Senescallus terrarum, so called in distinction from the senescallus hospicit. In both cases steward seems a more suitable English equivalent than seneschal. 4 This fee was assigned to Philippa’s steward in 1832 (Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 5) and to Isabella’s chief steward of lands in 1338 (Galba E xiv, foll. 55, 55d). 5 Many such indentures may be studied in Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, especially mm. 1 and 2. 6 Tbid., m. 5d.

7 See Queen Isabella’s instructions in Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30, m. 1. 8 For examples, see C.P.R. 1330-1334, 199, 296, 386; C.P.R. 13834-1338, 63, 201, 206, 285.

282 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 action which could easily be abused by any untrustworthy person.! Of the three men who acted as steward of lands for Philippa during the decade, the first, Sir Robert de Aspale, and the third, Sir John de Montgomery, were laymen, while the second, John de Heigham,? was a

clerk; but all were experienced royal servants. Aspale, who assumed office in January 1331, had acted previously as steward, first of Isabella’s

lands south of Trent and afterwards of her surrendered lands. When he had inherited his father’s estates in 1312 he was already thirty-eight, according to one jury, and ‘30 or more,’ according to another;* and

: throughout the reign of Edward II he had served the crown as envoy, or collector of subsidies, or justice. Heigham succeeded him as steward on 20 January 1332.5 On more than one occasion he had been in charge of the writs and rolls of an eyre in which Aspale was acting,® and was probably a much younger man. The first mention of him found’ in Edward II’s reign is as late as 1322, when letters patent dated 17 July described him as ‘clerk, constantly attendant upon the king’s service,’®

a description which served equally well fourteen years later, in letters dated 15 April 1336.9 On three occasions in Edward II’s reign John acted as a commissioner of oyer and terminer in cases connected with officers of the royal household;'° and in July 1331, with his old friend Robert de Aspale and others, he was enquiring into trespasses in the forests held by Queen Philippa in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire. !! He had been in office only eight days when royal letters close, dated 28 1 As was seen in 1353, when parliament petitioned the crown against the ‘too grievous fines and amercements’ inflicted by John de Molyns, at that time steward of Philippa’s lands. She stated that he had acted without her knowledge or order, and Molyns was unable to produce to the exchequer warrant for many of his actions (Ministers’ Accounts, 1091/12, and Tout, Chapters, rv, 296, n. 2).

2 This is the form of the name used in Philippa’s own register (Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58), where John is prominent. ‘Hegham’ is the form often used by the clerks of the king’s chancery. 3 Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 23. 4 Cal. Ing., v, 196. His father Roger held lands in Suffolk and Kent, among them Stonham Aspall. 5 Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 5. 6 C.P.R. 13827-1330, 522; C.C.R. 13830-1338, 31.

7 The name was not uncommon, and it is difficult to assign every entry to its rightful owner. But it seems both justifiable and desirable to dissociate this John from a namesake of Northampton who was involved in more than one case of particularly ferocious assault (C.P.R. 1313-1317, 582; C.P.R. 1317-1321, 82, 177, 278, 292, 402-403; C.C.R. 1318-1323, 71, 84), and was an adherent of Thomas of Lancaster in 1318 (C.P.R. 1317-1321, 233) and a contrariant in 1322 (C.P.R. 1321-1324, 105). 8 C.P.R. 13821-1324, 174.

9O.P.R. 1334-1338, 242. It is possible but does not seem probable that John de Hegham of London, clerk of the chancery, who in 1324 acknowledged a debt to be levied on his property in the City, is the same man (C.C.R. 1323-1327, 305). 10 O.P.R. 1324-1327, 136, 138, 139.

11 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 199. Letters patent, dated 16 July 1331, made him keeper for life of the hospital of St Margaret without Huntingdon, but the appointment had to be withdrawn, as it proved that the king had no right to make it (zbid., p. 154).

The Queen’s Household 283 January 1332,' instructed him in a matter resulting from the neglect of one of his predecessors in queenly service. Ever since 1327 the prior of Worksop had been hammering away, by repeated petition to parliament, about his grievances in connection with his mill at Gringley, Nottinghamshire, to which, he claimed, the tenants of that manor ought to take their corn to be ground. When Constance de Bearn had held Gringley in dower, she had ‘moved the mill out of the prior’s soil, and placed and erected it elsewhere’; then the prior, by permission of the king’s justices,

re-erected the mill, but the keeper of the manor would not allow the tenants to take their corn to it. An inquisition was held, but before it had had time to make its return, to the effect that the prior’s claim was Just, Gringley had passed to Queen Isabella. When, after more petitioning, the king ‘ordered Simon de Bereford, the said queen’s keeper of the manor, to do justice to the prior,’ Simon instead removed the mill “by engines and the draught of oxen and horses’ to the manor of Wheatley, which he held at farm from Isabella, who had both Gringley and Wheat-

ley as appurtenances of Tickhill. After fresh inquisition fresh orders were issued that the mill must be replaced and the Gringley men allowed to take their corn there;? but the manor had in the meantime passed from Isabella to Philippa, so it fell to Heigham to take action. The incident, trivial though it is, well illustrates the kind of rural problem which might assail a steward amid the larger obligations of his office. John de Montgomery, who succeeded Heigham by July 1336,? came from Shropshire. Like so many marcher lords he had joined the attack on the Despensers in 1321, fallen into disgrace in consequence when the

latter returned triumphant in 1322, and been rehabilitated by the first parliament of Edward III.* Thereafter, as king’s yeoman and usher of the chamber,’ Montgomery was in close contact with the king, and did him service acknowledged by various favors, such as the grant of custodies in Hampshire and Cardinganshire,® of exemption from compulsory service on juries or the like,’ and the gift of land and a rent in Gloucester

shire.? Even after entering Philippa’s service he continued to be employed by the king. By December 1336 he had become a knight and was 1 €.0.R. 1330-1338, 433. 2 Ibid., p. 197. 3 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 356. 4C.F.R., wi, 154, 170.

° C.F.R., Iv, 112. ‘Yeoman’ in this sense, the accepted (but perhaps unfortunate) equivalent of the Latin ‘vallettus,’ implied no social inferiority, but merely represented the lowest rung of the ladder for men of good family in the royal household or chamber, from which they would rise to be successively squire and knight.

6 Tbid., pp. 112, 142. 7 C.P.R. 1330-1834, 456. 8 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 82.

284 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 accredited for work as an envoy overseas, which occupied him for a con-

siderable time;! consequently he must have performed his duties as queen’s steward by deputy.’ Concerning Isabella’s stewards of lands during the decade, information

is rather scattered. After the crash of 1330, Edward appointed as steward and surveyor of her surrendered lands John Giffard and Robert de Aspale, north and south of Trent respectively.? Both had been previously acting in the same districts for the queen,* and though Aspale was transferred to Philippa’s service in January 1331,° Giffard apparently

continued to serve Isabella. I find no mention of him with the title of steward later than 1332, but in 1335 he was on a commission of oyer

and terminer dealing with persons who had hunted and assaulted the queen’s servants in one of her Yorkshire parks.* A glimpse is given of his scrupulous care for her interests in earlier days in his reply to an enquiry made of him in 1328. Kirkstall abbey at that date held in frankalmoin, as a gift from Henry Lacy, sometime lord of Blackburnshire, the manor of Barnoldswick in Yorkshire. Isabella was now lord of the free chace of Blackburnshire, and though Barnoldswick was outside its limit,

her chief forester and others had been exacting puture, that is to say, hospitality or its equivalent, from the abbot of Kirkstall every Friday. On the abbot’s petition, the king ordered Giffard, as Isabella’s steward, to put a stop to the exaction unless he could show good reason why it should continue. Giffard replied that though Barnoldswick was outside the chace, he dared not cease to exact puture without consultation with the king and queen, because he heard from ‘the said queen’s minister and by others’ that the foresters had always done this, during the time in which John de Lacy, Edmund his son, Henry his grandson, Thomas of Lancaster, Edward II, Edward II], and Isabella had been successively lords of Blackburnshire. Further back than John he could not go, because ‘he did not find anyone living who remembered any lord of the chace

before John’s time.’ The king, however, bade Giffard order the foresters to desist from their exaction, ‘notwithstanding the cause aforesaid, which

is naught.’ On this occasion, therefore, patient investigation had not secured the continuance of a privilege.” It is clear, however, that Gif1 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 731; and cf. C.P.R. 1334-1338, 341, 347, 486, 532, 539. 2 In 1339 Geoffrey de Cotes received a fee of £40 of which half was for hearing accounts and the other half for acting as locum tenens for the steward of lands (Exchequer Account, 389/1; cf. in 1340, C.P.R. 13838-1340, 549). Montgomery was constantly employed by the crown in the later years of the reign, e.g., on business concerning the lands of the alien priories in 1342 (C.F.R., v, 295) and on naval business in 1343 (cbid., pp. 339, 343). 3 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 22, 23.

4 Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30, passim. 5 See above, p. 282.

° C.P.R. 1334-1338, 201. 7 C.C.R. 1827-1330, 262.

The Queen’s Household 285 fard’s services were appreciated both by the king and the queen. As long before as 1312 Isabella had sought from Pope Clement V dispensation for Giffard to hold two benefices together. John XXII in 1318 provided him to a canonry of Wells, though he was already canon of York and rector of Halton in Northumberland, and a year later reserved for him a benefice in the gift of the archbishop of Canterbury, “to whose province his family belongs,’ on condition that he should resign Halton when he got this.!- Since in 1335 Edward III, ‘in consideration of his service to Queen Isabella and the king,’ ratified Giffard’s position at Halton, Wells, and York,? this condition does not seem to have been fulfilled. Letters patent dated the same day confirmed his appointment, first made in 1326, as warden of the hospital of St Leonard, York.? Giffard is an excellent example of the man who spends his whole life in administrative work, and uses the rewards he receives for the grateful commemoration of those with whom he has been associated. Having in 1336 purchased the manor of Cotterstock, Northampshire,* which he had been farming for some time, he alienated it in mortmain in 1337 for the endowment of one

of the largest and most highly privileged private foundations of the chantry type in all England. Hus college, consisting of a provost, twelve brethren, and two clerks, were to celebrate daily for a list of names which, as it were, epitomizes the relationships of a lifetime—the king, Queen Isabella, Queen Philippa, the king’s children, and John himself.® The receivers must next be examined. These were officers whose business was to collect the queen’s revenues, whether from lands or other

sources. In Philippa’s case, this responsibility was at first divided. Queen’s gold, for example, had its own receiver. Peter de Compton was made receiver of gold on 25 March 1331 in succession to Peter de Blaston, only to be himself superseded on 29 November 1331 by John de Amwell. Amwell’s appointment was notified by letters patent on 28 April 1332,°

but he was replaced on 15 February 1333 by Hugh de Glanville.? The latter was made receiver of queen’s gold, the issues of green wax, fines, amercements, the chattels of fugitives and felons, assarts, purprestures, amobrages, and all other non-manorial sources of income; he was to answer for these in the queen’s chamber. As to receivers of the revenues 1 Calendar of Papal Registers, 1, 97, 177, 188. 2 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 86. 3 C.P.R. 1324-1327, 342.

* The Victoria History of the County of Northampton, ed. W. R. Adkins and R. M. Serjeantson (London, 1902-37), u, 555. ° C.P.R. 1834-1388, 515. For history of the college, see Victoria History of Northampton, u1, 166-170.

6 Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 4d. 7 Ibid., m. 5d.

286 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 from lands, the first arrangements, made when Philippa was dowered with Loughborough, Pontefract, and Glamorgan,! had to be revised after

Isabella’s fall at the end of 1330. On 16 September 1332 William de Kyngeston, formerly receiver of Pontefract and Loughborough,? was made ‘receiver of our lands in Yorkshire, Nottingham and Derby,”? at a fee of 20 marks a year, while on 4 February 1333 Peter de Belawe was made auditor of accounts and receiver of issues south of Trent, at the same salary.* Finally, on 15 April 1336, John de Eston was made receiver of the issues of lands granted in dower or otherwise for life, or given

for the expenses of the chamber, and keeper of queen’s gold and amobrages, at a fee of £40 a year. Glanville, Belawe, and Kyngeston were instructed to pay their money to him.® The old distinction was, however, still preserved between revenues, according to the source from which they came and the purpose to which they were to be applied. Eston kept his record of receipts and expenditure in connection with dower lands and other lands assigned to the expenses of the household in documents separate from those in which he entered the revenue derived from lands assigned to chamber expenses, the issues of gold, amobrages, and liberties, similarly devoted to the chamber, and money received at the king’s exchequer. Half of his fee was paid under the first category, the other half under the second. His accounts for the first group were presented before the queen’s treasurer, those for the second before auditors specially appointed. How the arrangement worked, and the kind of work the receiver did, can be seen by examining in detail the two accounts presented for the period between 15 April 1336 and 20 April 1337. The account for revenues assigned to the household® was heard before Treasurer Kirkeby at Clive on 12 June 1337. It began by a statement of

receipts during the Easter and Michaelmas terms, in the former case from both sides of Trent, in the latter from the northern lands only, amounting in all to £2174 1s. 4d. Next followed a list of outgoings, of very varied kinds. Sums had been delivered at different dates to PhilIppa’s successive treasurers, Culpho and Kirkeby, in return for quittances.

By orders from the queen, Eston had paid Terricus de Capella of Hainault his annual pension. He had met the expenses of Philippa’s stallions at Pontefract and paid the wages of the keeper of her stud. He had paid dues to Kirkstall abbey and the priory of Helagh Park, as well as fees to 1 Thid., mm. 3, 3d. 2 [bid., m. 3d. 3 Tbid., m. 5.

4 Ibid., m. 5d. His accounts from 4 Feb. 1333 to 15 Apr. 1336 are preserved in Ministers’ Accounts, 1091/1. > Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 12. 6 Exchequer Accounts, 387/22.

The Queen’s Household 287 the constable, janitor, and watchman at Pontefract castle and to the steward of the honor. He paid money to workmen at Boroughbridge; and advanced to the clerk of the queen’s great wardrobe £40 which he owed to a London furrier. He purchased various necessaries, such as sacks for keeping money in, wood for tallies, and parchment. Finally, there were the sums due to Glanville the auditor (£20), himself (£20), and Belawe, the queen’s general attorney (£6 13s. 4d.), for that part of their work which related to these household revenues and must be paid out of

them. The total outlay was £2173 12s. 3d. All Eston had left to hand over was 9s. ld., and this sum was given back to him as an allowance for the transcribing of the register. The account of revenues assigned to the chamber for the same period! was presented later, before Hugh de Glanville and Geoffrey de Cotes.? Like the other, it began with the receipts for the Easter and Michaelmas terms, including those from queen’s gold, lands, amobrages, liberties, and special royal grants, among them the 440 marks a year which Edward had granted Philippa ‘on account of the magnitude of the expense which she had been put to at that time for the necessaries of her chamber.’ The

total was £1762 15s. 1ld. Of the outgoings, amounting in all to £1759 2s. 3d., more than £1000 had been delivered to the queen in her chamber,

by twenty-one letters of quittance under her secret seal; and the sums due from the king’s grant had been delivered to Robert de Chikewell, her clerk, by five tallies. Substantial repayments had been made to John de Pultney, London citizen, and William de la Pole, who had made loans to the queen; £50, ‘which the queen received in her own possession into

her chamber’ from the farmer of the manor of Saham and assigned to the expenses of her household, had been paid to Treasurer Kirkeby; the remaining portions of the fees of Eston, Belawe, and Glanville had been deducted, namely £20 each for Eston and Glanville and £6 13s. 4d. for Belawe. The rest had gone for the expense of transporting money and for the purchase of parchment and tallies. On this chamber account, therefore, Eston was £3 13s. 8d. to the good. Several points of interest are raised by this study of the receiver’s work. It will be noticed, in the first place, that the receipts from the household revenues only exceeded those from chamber revenues by a little over £400, and the relation of the outgoings was very similar. Clearly, the chamber must be given an important place in Philippa’s affairs. Further, though in all over £3936 had passed through Eston’s 1 Tbid., 387/23.

2 A writ under the queen’s privy seal is attached, dated 12 July 1338, ordering Kirkeby, Cotes, and

Glanville to hear Eston’s account up to Easter Day, 12 Apr. 1338. It seems as if this must have got stitched to the wrong account.

288 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 hands, this was still nearly £600 short of the total income of more than £4500 which the queen was by this time supposed to be receiving. The explanation probably lies in the fact that certain sums had been paid direct into the wardrobe or the chamber, without passing through the hands of the receiver. This was certainly the case later on—witness a marginal note which Eston added opposite the total of £455 9s. 8d. recorded as receipts from revenues assigned to the household in 1342-1343— ‘Not more, because the greater part of the receipt of the lands this side of

Trent is made in the wardrobe of the queen by Roger de Clonn her cofferer.’!

Isabella’s receivers during the decade were, in succession, John de Oxendon and John de Baddeby. Oxendon, already a familiar figure when treasurer, can be seen busy at Westminster with the auditors of the accounts of the queen’s lands on various occasions up to 1332, but Baddeby rendered account before Isabella’s auditors as ‘receiver of the fee farms assigned to us by our dear son the king in divers parts of England and Wales and also for all debts due to us’ from 24 May 1333 to 1 August 1336.2. His most interesting record, however, is an account just after the

decade under study,? where, in addition to entries of the sort to which Eston’s returns have already accustomed us, are found such entries as 5s. paid to the ushers of the king’s exchequer, who take 20s. a year for sealing writs of the queen; 2s. to John de Newenham, writing writs and other memoranda of the queen for two weeks; 2s. 7d. in March to messengers of the king’s exchequer carrying 250 writs of the queen to various

sheriffs, and 2s. 5d. in May for 257 more; 12d. a week to a clerk writing estreats and memoranda for the queen; 40s. to the queen’s attorney in the court of common pleas for his winter and summer robes; and 40s. to a clerk of pleas in the king’s exchequer for examining writs of the queen. Baddeby himself is an elusive figure, for references to him in the chancery rolls are rare and unilluminating. It may be conjectured that he actually came from Badby, near Daventry, in Northamptonshire, from various hints, of which the strongest is the fact that in 1321 he appeared as witness to a grant made by the abbot of Evesham, to Thomas de

Evesham, rector of Badby, of land in Newnham, an adjoining village.* Thomas was a chancery clerk, and his name was associated with John’s in a protection in 1326.5 In June 1336 John was described as king’s clerk when appointed ‘to receive debts and arrears of farms due to queen Isabel, who has granted the same to the king.’® 1 Ministers’ Accounts, 1091/8. 2 Tbid., 1090/8. 3 Tbid., 1090/10.

4 0.P.R. 1317-1821, 577. 5 (.P.R. 1324-1327, 255.

6 C.F.R., 1v, 486. John de Baddeby appears as receiver in an undated and partly illegible letter from the queen (Ancient Correspondence, xxxvi1, No. 100). It seems likely that he was a relative

The Queen’s Household 289 The survey of the offices and officers responsible for conducting the affairs of the queen’s household and supervising her estates and the revenues from them has been completed; but the machinery required and the tasks to be performed in connection with the franchises which had been bestowed so liberally upon both queens have still to be examined. This brings forward those very hard-worked persons, the bailiffs of

liberties. Each queen appointed by letters patent officials with this title to take charge in a particular area, which might include one county or several according to the distribution of her estates. Thus Philippa’s great possessions in Hampshire, Northampshire, and Yorkshire com_ pelled her to assign a special bailiff to each county, but she was able to put her liberties in Middlesex, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire in the care of a single bailiff.1. Such an officer found himself accountable to both a mistress and a master, for though he was In many aspects of his work acting for the queen, in others he was doing work which the sheriff would have done had not the queen been privileged and in this respect was acting for the crown under the king’s command without actually being a royal official. Since the queens had the right of return of writs, the sheriffs would pass on writs to these bailiffs for execution. The amount of work involved may be surmised from the fact that in 1333-1334 the sheriff of a single county received 2000 writs in seventeen months.” Again, by estreats from the exchequer the bailiff of liberties must levy debts due to the king as well as to the queen, and constantly appeared at the exchequer of receipt to make their payments.?

At the exchequer of account, too, they were familiar figures, and the memoranda rolls indicate what they did there.* To begin with, the exchequer received from the king a writ informing the treasurer and barons of Richard de Baddeby, who was constantly, as attorney for Isabella, paying in sums at the king’s exchequer in 1328 and 1329 (Receipt Rolls, Nos. 278, 279, 282, 285, 288). I owe these references to Professor Willard. 1 These and other appointments may be seen in Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 4, while in Isabella’s memoranda roll is a list of the sureties responsible for the good conduct of her various bailiffs

of liberties (Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30, m. 3). Philippa’s letters appointing the collector of her forest rights in Wiltshire on 26 Sept. 1368, with a good impression of her privy seal, may be seen in the original sheepskin bag, with handle, strings, and tasselled corners, labelled as containing the particulars of his account (Ministers’ Accounts, 1292/2, No. 11). The text is printed in Hubert Hall, A Formula Book of English Official Historical Documents (Cambridge, 1908-09), p. 102.

2 C. H. Jenkinson and M. H. Mills, ‘Rolls from a Sheriff’s Office of the 14th Century,’ E.H.R., XL (1928), 24. 3 See Receipt Rolls, Nos. 288, 291, 295, 299, for 18 such payments by bailiffs of Isabella’s liberties between Feb. 1330 and July 1331; and ibid., Nos. 309, 314, 320, 326, 329, 332, for the payments by the bailiffs of both queens during the rest of the decade. I must thank Professor Willard for these references. 4 For example, in Isabella’s case, in K.R.M.R., No. 106, mm. 42, 177d; in Philippa’s, in 2b:d., mm. 27d, 205.

290 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 that the queen had appointed certain persons to levy his and her debts within her liberties, persons who must be admitted upon the account of sheriffs of the counties concerned. In due course each bailiff appeared and presented the queen’s letters patent, in which the levying of debts was only one among many obligations laid upon him, including the duty of claiming, executing, and defending all royal liberties assigned to the queen in any of the king’s courts and guarding all fees and profits per-

taining to the queen in his sphere of office. If everything was in order he was admitted and took an oath to perform his duties well and faithfully. If there was a hitch, confirmation had to be sought, as when William le Mareschal, Isabella’s bailiff in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, failed to produce his letters patent, but was allowed to act when John de Oxendon, her receiver, and Walter de Fulham, her auditor, had borne witness

that he really was the right man.'' Then business began, and one must hope that not many bailiffs of liberties withdrew before they had completed their accounts ‘in contempt of king and delaying the payment of the debts,’ as Isabella’s William de Luteryngton did in 1330.?

In the law courts, too, these bailiffs had an active part to play, for it was their duty to put in claims for the queen’s liberties before any of the king’s courts—whether before the king and in chancery, or the exchequer, or forest courts, or the court of the steward and marshals, or the coroner of the household, or the clerk of the king’s market, or the justices in eyre.? Of this last there is a good example in the eyre of Kent in 1333, when claims of liberties were made on behalf of both queens.* By that time, many of Isabella’s former possessions in the county had passed to Philippa, who claimed the hundreds of Milton and Marden, with very full powers of franchise, including return of writs and view of frankpledge,

justice over thieves with the right to tumbril, pillory, and gallows, to many profits of jurisdiction which ordinarily would belong to the king, and also to a number of dues such as pontage and stallage. Moreover, for herself and her tenants she claimed freedom from similar dues in all her lands. In fact, Philippa’s franchises were as comprehensive as gen-

1 [bid., No. 106, m. 177d. | 2 Ibid., m. 278. 3 See C.P.R. 1330-1334, 530, for the list of courts to which Isabella’s liberties apply.

* Assize Roll, No. 388, mm. 1, 4. I owe this reference to Professor Willard. Such claims ought to be made on the first day of the eyre; if later there was risk of losing the liberty. ‘You have not come soon enough,’ a bailiff of the franchise of London was told in an eyre in Kent in Edward II’s reign. ‘You have been so long making up your mind that the court has acquired jurisdiction through appeal counted and defence made’ (The Year Books of Edward II: Eyre of Kent, ed. F. W. Maitland,

L. W. Vernon Harcourt, and W. C. Bolland, Selden Society, London, 1903-14, 1, 115-120). Cf. the order to admit Isabella’s claims to liberties, through her attorney, by the justices in Kent in Jan. 1328, ‘as she cannot come before them in person on the first day of the summons of the eyre’ (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 242).

The Queen’s Household 291 erosity could possibly make them. Isabella claimed in the manors of Eltham and Leeds view of frankpledge, the assize of bread and ale, park and warren, and further, thanks to a royal grant made at the time when she surrendered her lands, everything due to her of the chattels of felons and outlaws during the period in which she had been in possession. Claims of this sort had, of course, to be supported by documentary evidence. Isabella, for example, in 1329-1330 sent charters to her bailiffs of liberties in two counties where an eyre was going on, in one case to replace

a charter previously sent and found insufficient. These were to be returned as soon as the eyre ended.! There is no need to continue to illustrate at length and in detail, in all its many ramifications, the work to be done and the responsibility to be borne by these bailiffs of liberties.. Little historical imagination is required to grasp how many-sided were their duties, how serious the matters dependent upon their efficiency and probity, how precious the documents entrusted to their care, how numerous the connections in which they must work with or under the direction of royal offices or officers, leaving their impress at every turn upon the king’s records as well as on

the queen’s. Few civil servants can have had a larger acquaintance in official circles of their time than the bailiffs of the queen’s liberties.

The queen’s administrative machine in its entirety may be viewed as a great wheel, with many spokes radiating from its hub, the household. But there remains one question. What was the driving force that turned the wheel? It seems natural, and is within limits correct, to reply, “The queen herself.’ Every writ and order was phrased as though it embodied the queen’s own command; and apart from this nominal supremacy, it may well be that the queen could, if she chose, exert a real influence. Isabella’s meteoric career bears witness to a personality fully capable of expressing itself, even if there were not such hints as mention of ‘the order which the queen gave verbally’ to the auditors of a certain account.? As to Philippa, the complete financial collapse which forced the king in

1363 to resume responsibility for her affairs? may possibly suggest an individual factor of wilfulness or extravagance which threw out the calculations of her officials. Yet for the everyday direction of the administrative routine there was something more professional and less intermittent than the intervention of the queens themselves. This was the action of their respective councils. Councils, whether royal or other, have much exercised the minds of 1 Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30, m. 1. 2 Ministers’ Accounts, 1090/8 m. 3. 3 Foedera, ui, Pt. 11, 687.

292 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 historians of those critical centuries, the thirteenth and fourteenth, in which they were taking organized shape. As long ago as 1920 Professor Tout emphasized the fact that ‘just like the king, the great magnate had his council, and if our period saw a great development in the organization of king’s council, it witnessed an even greater consolidation of the councils of the more important feudatories.”! ‘The statement as to the universality of the council was at that time something of a guess, but truth has become increasingly clear as the administrative material has been

further explored.2. The queen’s council, occupying a position intermediate between that of the king, which had a whole kingdom as its sphere, and those of lay or ecclesiastical magnates not of royal rank, should have a special interest. Its history, however, depends upon the laborious tracing of scattered references through scores of accounts, central and local, many of which have not been fully searched. All that can be done here is to suggest the main aspects of the problem. It is clear, in the first place, that each of the queens had a council; in the second, that the council’s work was judicial, administrative, and advisory. In the judicial area, one point of interest was the delimitation of the sphere of the king’s and queen’s council. In 1334, for example, some of Philippa’s tenants at Tunstead in the honor of High Peak petitioned the king’s council because a rent was being levied which, so they said, had only got into the rental through a clerk’s blunder. ‘The answer was that they must sue for their discharge before the queen’s council. Complaints from the men of the forest of Macclesfield against her bailiff were Tout, Chapters, 11, 149. 2 In 1904, a study of John of Gaunt’s council was made by Sir Sidney Armitage-Smith (John of Gaunt, King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, Earl of Derby, Lincoln and Letcester, Seneschal of England, London, 1904); and seven years later he illustrated these council proceed-

ings by John of Gaunt’s Register (Camden Society, 3rd Series, London, 1911). In 1923 my pupil, Miss C. A. Musgrave, in a thesis which gained the London M.A. degree, on the household of Elizabeth de Burgh, lady of Clare, described that lady’s council and the business it did. In 1927 Professor Baldwin noted the work of the ‘assiduous council’ of Henry Lacy, earl of Lincoln (‘Household

Administration of Henry Lacy and Thomas of Lancaster,’ E.H.R., xu, 1927, 187). Whereas in 1925 Professor Levett was of opinion that ‘there appears to be no evidence that . . . thebishop of Winchester had a council’ (Mélanges @ histoire du moyen age offerts a Ferdinand Lot, Paris, 1925,

p. 425), in 1930 her pupil, Miss E. Swift, in a London M.A. thesis, demonstrated the activities of such a council from Winchester registers and accounts. Miss M. Midgley, in a thesis which gained the Manchester M.A. degree in 1930, noted an order for the taking of a proof of age before the council

of Edmund, earl of Cornwall. In 1931 I drew attention to the dignity and authority of the council of Edward, prince of Wales, in 1304-1305 (Letters of Edward, Prince of Wales, Roxburghe Club,

p. 73). |

Cambridge, 1931), and in 1932 Professor F. M. Stenton discovered a case as early as 1140 where the

dapifer of Roger de Mowbray made proposals as to a household problem ‘when his lord secretly discussed his affairs with his council’ (First Century of English Feudalism, 1066-1166, Oxford, 1932,

3 Rot. Parl., 1, 81, No. 35. Iwas put on the track of this and other entries in the parliament rolls

by Appendix A, m1, in Ludwik Ehrlich, ‘Proceedings against the Crown, 1216-1377,’ Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History (Oxford, 1921), Vol. v1, [No.] xii.

The Queen’s Household 293 similarly referred to her council.!_ When, on the other hand, Geoffrey de Lucy sued before Philippa’s council with regard to a rent which he used to have from the manor of Milton, but which had been withdrawn by the order of ‘Sir Hugh de Glanvyll, who is of the council of Madame the queen Philippa,’ her council’s reply was that they could not try the matter without the king’s council, while the king’s answer to Lucy’s petition was a command that the queen’s council should be called before the king’s, that right might be done.? These instances are perhaps sufficient to suggest that the lawyers may often have had trouble over the niceties of the technical position. The administrative and advisory importance of the council 1s more abundantly illustrated. Philippa’s records shed light on this at every turn. John de Heigham, her steward, and the mayor of Bristol had made an agreement, to last in the first instance for ten years, as to the farm of the town. At the end of that period, it was to become permanent only if the queen and her council so decided.? In 1336-1337 and 1337-1338 the clerk who was to pay workmen busy about the water mills at Boroughbridge was ‘assigned by the queen’s council.’ Examples of a date later than the decade under study show activities more varied, as when messengers took rolls of names of debtors and delivered them into the queen’s wardrobe, as the receiver had been ordered by the queen’s council;> or when Peter de Belawe was sent “by ordinance of the queen’s council’ to various parts of England while the exchequer was closed;° or when,

‘by special grace and the consideration of our council’ Philippa released a cart laden with wool which was forfeit,’ or when ‘the great chamber in the queen’s hostel at La Réole, London, which was for the most part fallen down’ was rebuilt at her council’s bidding. Finance, it will be noted, 1s concerned in one way or another in most of these references. It is ina financial connection that we get our clearest picture of her council actually at work, when in 1342-1343, ‘out of courtesy, by the consent of the whole council of the queen, then sitting in the exchequer of the same queen,’ a present was made to the ushers of the king’s exchequer over and above their fixed fee.? Isabella’s records, similarly, bear witness to her council’s work. ‘It was agreed by the council of the queen’ on 11 Oc1 Rot. Parl., u, 95, No. 22. 2 Thid., p. 395, No. 99. In 1318 Edward had submitted to his council a report sent in by the council of Queen Isabella on the state of Ponthieu (Cal. Chanc. War., 1, 482-483). 3 Chancery Miscellanea, 9/58, m. 1. 4 Exchequer Accounts, 387/22, m. 4, 388/7, m. 3. 5 Ibid., m. 4. 6 Ministers’ Accounts, 1091/3, m. 2. 7 Ibid., 1294/2, No. 4, m. 7. 8 Ibid., 1091/3, m. 2. 9 [bid., 1091/9, m. 5.

294 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 tober 1331, that if a certain collector of debts of green wax in Yorkshire could produce £40 by the following Easter, he should get 100s. as his fee, but less if he collected less, at the discretion of the receiver;! a gift made

to Robert Parvyng and his clerk coming from York to the council of Nottingham for a suit between Isabella and the prior of Coventry was ‘by the ordinance of lord Edmund Hakelut and others of the queen’s council.’?

Evidence of the activities of these councils, then, is abundant; but they

are taken so much for granted by contemporaries that clues to their composition are much rarer. In Philippa’s case, the only mentions of specific names found are of “William de Kyrkeby and others of the queen’s council’ in one of her receiver’s accounts,? and of ‘Hugh de Glanvyll, of the council of Madame,’ in Geoffrey de Lucy’s petition already quoted.*

In Isabella’s case, there is the reference to Edmund Hakelut. Kirkeby was Philippa’s treasurer, Glanville at one time her receiver of revenues assigned to her chamber, later her auditor; Hakelut was steward of Isabella’s household in 1332-1333.° It seems, then, that the chief officers of the household formed the nucleus of the council. Since most of them were men of considerable legal experience, it should have been necessary

only occasionally, if at all, to call in expert advice from outside. The probability is that the council was made up of those same persons, grouped collectively, whose activities as individuals have been already explored, but there remains the question of the point at which the line was drawn between officials who had, and officials who had not, a right to membership. 4. CONCLUSION

No lover of the middle ages could remain for months in a contact with

records and personages of the queen’s household as intimate as that necessitated by the present study without beginning to feel a friendship for and pride in the circle to which his work has introduced him. He has handled so many documents obviously written with an eye to seemliness as well as usefulness; traced such meticulous balancing and checking of accounts; watched careers and personalities so varied, yet so similar in

outlook and loyalties; and in the process been admitted almost to a speaking acquaintance with the persons concerned. The administration of the queen’s household, investigated at the outset in a spirit of purely scientific enquiry into one section of the governmental machinery of the 1 Exchequer Miscellanea, 4/30, m. 6. 2 Ministers’ Accounts, 1090/8, m. 3. 3 [bid., 1091/5. 4 Above, p. 293. ° Galba E 11, fol. 183d.

The Queen’s Household 295 period, has developed under his eyes into so vivid a reality that he finds

himself jealous of its reputation and even prepared to be blind to its faults. He is proud of trivial instances of departmental ingenuity. Did not the queen’s clerks, as early as 1317, use a method of slitting a folded letter of privy seal and winding a parchment tag in and out of itself and

the slits before applying the seal, a method which had such merits of security and neatness that twenty years later the king’s clerks either took over the same method or were driven into inventing it afresh for themselves?! A small matter, it may be, yet bearing witness to exactly that attention to detail which marks the efficient administrator in his daily routine. In fact, the investigator’s friendly familiarity with his subject has made him unwilling to believe that the queen’s system is but

one star in the governmental constellation. He prefers to think that a new planet has swum into his ken. Unfortunately, this is an illusion. Though due weight must be given to the corporate feeling and similarity of tradition which bound together _ workers united in common service of the queen, there is no doubt that the resemblances between the administrative machinery of the queen and that of the king are more striking than the contrasts. ‘The component parts are the same—wardrobe, great wardrobe and privy wardrobe, exchequer, chamber, and council. The broad outlines of operation are the same—a similar division of functions between the wardrobe and its subdepartments, the double duty of receipt and account performed by the exchequer, the privacy and elasticity of the chamber. Finally, the men who keep the machmmery in motion are of the conventional administrative

type, receiving rewards of the familiar sort, often trained in the king’s service before entering that of the queen, and ready as a matter of course when required to transfer themselves either from one queen to another or to some fresh branch of the royal service. This is exactly what should be expected from an organization serving the wife or mother of a reigning sovereign, often resident with her in the king’s company, always in close

touch with those who served him. A separate wardrobe office for the queen had been in existence for less than a hundred years when the decade

opens;? a separate exchequer was perhaps still younger.* Obviously, both at the outset were likely to be modelled upon the king’s offices of the same name, and there seems little reason, given the closeness of connection between king and queen, why any startling individuality should

appear in their development. Personal factors, such as the rupture between Edward II and Isabella, hardly affected the general framework 1 For an account of this method and illustrative diagrams see Tout, Chapters, v, 118-20. 2 It originated in 1236, when Henry III married Eleanor of Provence. 3 T have not found evidence of its existence before the reign of Edward I.

296 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of the queen’s administrative system, though, so far as personnel is concerned, it may well be that indiscreet expression of sympathy with the husband might put barriers in the way of a career beginning in the service of the wife, while conversely a prudent enthusiasm for her cause might accelerate promotion. As a whole, then, we must envisage the queen’s machinery as approximating, mutatis mutandis, to the royal type, and her agents as men with

no more than the ordinary proportion of merits and defects. On the credit side may be placed the fact that during the decade not one of the chief officials of either queen declined from favor or was found incompetent in the duties of his office, while the fullness and neatness of the queen’s records bear witness to patient and accurate labor or the part of subordinates less conspicuous but equally essential. On the debit side, it is easy to collect evidence of complaints, but not always to discover whether they were justified. Official delinquencies normally belonged to one or other of two categories. Either the minister had abused his powers in the real or fancied interest of the queen, or else he had used his

position to his own advantage instead of hers. To the first group of offences belong the alleged illegal seizures by the purveyors of the queen’s household, which figure in the patent rolls side by side with similar action

_ by the purveyors of others.1. The temptation was an obvious one and the queen’s servants need not be singled out for exclusive censure. Alleged excesses of bailiffs in parks or forests constituted another well-worn

grievance,” which in one case is exposed in detail when the men of the forest of Macclesfield in 1335 state that the queen’s bailiff has wasted the forest, has refused to allow juries to make indictments when the justices in eyre came to Macclesfield, and has permitted other lords and their bailiffs to make encroachments, to the disinheritance of the crown and the impoverishment of the tenants.? The petition was referred to the queen’s council, but there is no trace of its further history. In a case in 1334, already briefly referred to,* the grievance is that “by the oversight of an ignorant clerk’ two names have been entered in the rental of Tunstead, in the honor of High Peak, whereas ‘at no time within memory were such names found, nor did they hold land or any parcel of land.’® Here indeed was carelessness or officiousness, if the statement be correct.

When the petition was dealt with by the council of the queen it was en1 For example, letters patent dated 6 July 1331 appointed commissioners of oyer and terminer to enquire as to illegal prises taken by purveyors for the household, for the household of Queen Philippa and for other magnates of the realm (C.P.R. 1330-1334, 198). 2 Ibid. p. 336 (1332).

3 Rot. Parl., 1, 95, No. 22. : 4 See above, p. 292. 5 Rot. Parl., u1, 81, No. 35.

The Queen's Household 297 dorsed, ‘Let the bailiffs of the queen be ordered to do right after hearing the complaint of the parties with regard to the matters contained in this petition.”! A last accusation may be quoted because it falls within the

decade. Complaints were made in 1335 of ‘oppressions by colour of their office by ministers of queen Philippa in the counties of York, Nottingham and Derby.’? As to the second category of offences, the most striking examples of disloyalty occur much later, such as the misdeeds of John de Molyns, Philippa’s steward of lands, in 1353,? or the charges investigated by a commission of oyer and terminer in 1352 against ‘a great number of her ministers and others’ who ‘by conspiracy had between them, have concealed and withdrawn rents, escheats, wards, marriages and other profits pertaining to her and intruded themselves into those escheats and wards, and other of her lands, rents and possessions, usurped these and have taken and still take the profits to their own use.’* The fact that juries were required from twenty-two counties would suggest that the mischief was extensive; but, since the same commission was also ~ concerned with breaches of her parks and assaults on her servants, the evidence is not conclusive. If peculation of this kind went on on a large scale it would be quite enough in itself to account for Philippa’s ultimate failure to make means meet ends. ‘If these Collections shall excite any Gentlemen of my Profession or

others to a more industrious search . . . I shall repute my pains... sufficiently reeompenced.’ So wrote Prynne from his study in Lincoln’s Inn when completing, on Lady Day 1668, his treatise on the queen’s gold, and the present writer has something of the feeling in bringing to a close

this study of the queen’s household. There is no doubt, in view of the innumerable cross-connections between the queen’s and king’s machinery, that additional detail concerning the subject would reward future exploration, not only of the miscellaneous collections made by chancery or exche-

quer but also of the regular series of legal and financial records. In the meantime it is hoped that this preliminary survey has provided an outline, suggested problems, and introduced the reader, as it has introduced the writer, to some new friends in the administrative world of the early

fourteenth century. , Note on the Queens’ Seals

To be at all adequate, any survey of the sphragistics of Isabella’s and Philippa’s documents should extend over the whole period during which they were queens, exhaust every possible avenue of enquiry for impres1 Ancient Correspondence, xi11, No. 120. 2 C.P.R. 1834-1338, 137.

3 See above, 282, n. 1. 4C.P.R. 1350-1354, 287.

298 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 sions of their seals and specimens of their formulae, and be made by a writer with the requisite technical knowledge. All that can here be done is to list the seals known to have been used by each queen, with a brief description where possible.

A. Isabella

1. Great seal. This was a seal of one piece,! in shape a pointed oval 314 by 214 inches. It bore a full-length woman’s figure in a niche, the sides charged with shields of arms.?. In the only specimen I have seen the legend, too fragmentary to reconstruct completely, runs as follows:

S ... Vsabellis ... regis. Francie. ..e. Dei... lie.

of arms. |

A round counter-seal was used, 12% inches in diameter, bearing a shield

2. Exchequer seal. This was a round seal of one piece, 144 inches in diameter, bearing a shield of arms in a traceried quatrefoil. In a specimen attached to a receipt given in 1331? the legend runs: Szgillum scac[cari] Isabellis* [regine] Anglie.

8. Privy seal. This was a round seal of one piece, 1/4 inches in diameter, bearing a shield of arms within a cusped lozenge. There was no legend. An impression dated 1333 may be seen in the Public Record Office. ®

4. Signet. I have found no traces of this, but among the objects inventoried after Isabella’s death in 1358 were a pyx ‘sealed with the queen’s signet’ and a ‘ring with asignet of gold,’® while a letter preserved among Ancient Correspondence was ‘given under our signet.’”

B. Philippa 1. Great seal. This was a seal of one piece, similar in shape and design to Isabella’s but measuring 35¢ by 21 inches. The legend on an impression appended to a charter to Wells in 1365 may be reconstructed from the 1 The great seals of the three preceding queens had been of two pieces. See description by Hilda Johnstone in Tout, Chapters, v, 286-288. 2 Walter de Gray Birch, Catalogue of Seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London, 1887-1900), 1, 101, No. 800. The wax is red, a color ordinarily reserved for small seals. 3 Public Record Office, Exch. T. R., Deeds, Series W.S., No. 300. * This form of genitive appears also on the great seal. 5 Exch. K. R., Deeds, Series D.S., No. 19. This has been illustrated in Tout, Chapters, v, plate ui,

facing p. 447. Another specimen, appended to a grant made in 1347 to a merchant of Coventry, may be seen among the muniments of that city (Coventry Charters, B 19). The Town Clerk has kindly had this and other grants examined, and procured me a rubbing of the seal.

67 Ancient Exchequer Accounts, 393/4, foll. 8d, 9. | Correspondence, xxxvi, No. 75.

The Queen's Household 299 remaining fragments to read as follows: Philippa det gratia regina Anglie domina Hibernie duchissa Aquitanie. It was used with a round counterseal bearing a shield quartering the arms of England and Hainault.?

2. Exchequer seal. ‘This presumably existed but I have found no impression of it.

3. Privy seal. This was a round seal of one piece, 1°% inches in diameter, bearing a shield with the arms of England quartering Hainault and a legend of which the first word was secretum. If it followed the precedent of the privy seal of Eleanor of Castile, the next words were probably Philippe regine Anglie.2 An impression upon letters patent of uncertain date is preserved in the British Museum.?

4, Secret seal. I have found no specimen of this. 1 These are described in D. O. Shilton and Richard Holworthy, Wells City Charters (Somerset Record Society, Frome and London, 1932), p. 7, No. 10. Red wax was used. My attention was drawn to these seals by the kindness of Mrs Margaret Sharp. 2 Illustrated in Tout, Chapters, v, plate iii, facing p. 447. 3 Harleian Charter 43 E 11 (not 110 as in de Gray Birch’s catalogue). This is illustrated in Tout, Chapters, v, plate viii, facing p. 452. A broken specimen of 1350-1351 may be seen in the Public Record Office (Exch. T. R., Deeds, Series W. S., No. 122).



Bree’ describingby thethe machinery method of diplomatic inter-it : course employed Englishand crown from 1327 to 1336, appears advisable to set forth briefly the major diplomatic questions with which Edward III was concerned during those years and from which the examples to be mentioned in the subsequent paragraphs are drawn.!

The first of these questions was the perennial problem of Scotland. Ever since 1290, when Edward I had acted as arbiter in the succession to the Scottish crown, the question of English overlordship had irked the

Scots. Conquered in 1296, they rose under Edward II, defeated his army at Bannockburn in 1314, and in 1323 were able to secure a truce for thirteen years; but the English title to overlordship remained unsettled. At the accession of Edward III the Scots broke the truce by crossing the border and so began the long series of this king’s difficulties

with the northern neighbor. Not only did this disturb the Scottish 1 For the political history of this period see, besides the books mentioned in the following footnotes: T. F. Tout, The History of England from the Accession of Henry III to the Death of Edward ITT, 1216-13877 (London, 1905); K. H. Vickers, England in the Later Middle Ages (London, 1926); J. H. Ramsay, Genesis of Lancaster or the Three Reigns of Edward III, Edward III, and Richard II, 1807-1399 (London, 1905); A. A. Leroux, Recherches critiques sur les relations politiques de la France avec l Allemagne de 1292 a 1378, Bubliothéque de V Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Fascicule 50 (Paris, 1892);

Helen Jenkins, Papal Efforts for Peace under Benedict XII, 1334-1342 (Philadelphia, 1933); W. I. Lowe, “The Considerations Which Induced Edward II to Assume the Title King of France,’ Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1900, 1 (1901), 534-584; Karl Kunze, Die politische Stellung der niederrheinischen Fiirsten in den Jahren 1314 bis 1334 (Gottingen, 1886); Karl Hoffman, Die Haltung des Erzbistums Kéln in den kirchenpolitischen Kiémpfen Ludwigs des Baiern (Bonn, 1908); Carl Miiller, Der Kampf Ludwigs des Baiern mit der rémischen Curie (Tiibingen, 1879-80); Heinrich Schrohe, Der Kampf der Gegenkinige Ludwig und Friedrich um das Reich bis zur Entscheidungsschlacht ber Miihldorf (Berlin, 1902); Friedrich Von Weech, Kaiser Ludwig der Baier und K6nig Johann von Bohmen (Munich, 1860); Wolf Stechele, ‘England und der Niederrhein bei

Beginn der Regierung Konig Eduards III, 1327-1337,’ Westdeutsche Zeitschrift fiir Geschichte und Kunst, xxv (1928), 98-151, 441-473.


The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 301 border, but Scotland became a focal pomt of French intrigue against England. The second and more serious problem was the relationship of the English king as duke of Aquitaine to his suzerain, the king of France. The

fatal heritage of the Norman conquest of William I and the Angevin marriage of Henry II embittered relations between the two countries as the power of the French kings grew. Since it was impossible to produce a modus vivendi in Aquitaine, there was an inevitable tendency among the enemies of the English crown to unite against Edward. Inthe face of these problems the position of the papacy in Avignon, which still

possessed vast moral and therefore diplomatic influence throughout Christendom, was certain to be important. It 1s not strange that the English king was in constant intercourse with the papal curia. As relations with France and Scotland became more and more embittered Edward III put forth determined efforts to secure alliances with influential foreign princes, particularly those of the Low Countries. Of these the most important was the count of Flanders, whose lands formed the most advanced industrial and commercial community north of the Alps. These populous centers manufactured cloths from English wool

and, being economically bound to England, were certain to adopt an Anglophil attitude in spite of the fact that Flanders was a fief of the crown of France and, therefore, according to every canon of mediaeval politics, bound to follow the French king.!

Other Netherlandish princes were subjects of the Empire, but, like the Flemings, were deeply influenced by their economic connections with England. And furthermore, though less than the Flemings, they had abundant reason to resent the aggressions of the Capetian and Valois

kings of France, who had long sought to extend their power into the Low Countries. Particularly influential was William, count of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland, and seignior of Friesland (d. 1337), who trans-

mitted some of his bitterness toward his brother-in-law, Philip VI of France, to his relatives and political allies, Count Reginald of Guelders

and Zutfen? and Count William of Juliers. Duke John II of Brabant and Limburg had special reasons of his own to hate Philip VI. Besides he was influenced by his friend William, count of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland, and seignior of Friesland, whose son and successor, William, 1 A part of Flanders, however, was a fief of the German imperial crown. See Ferdinand Lot, ‘La Frontiére de la France et de Empire sur le cours inferiéure de l’Escaut du 1x® au xir® siécle,’ Bibliothéque de lV Ecole des Chartes, uxx1 (1910), 5-32.

2 “An Account of the Expenses of Eleanor, Sister of Edward III, on the Occasion of her Marriage to Reynald, Count of Guelders,’ Archaeologia, 2nd Series, xxvui (1928), 111-140. 3H. S. Lucas, The Low Countries and the Hundred Years’ War, 1326-1347 (Ann Arbor, 1929), Chs. rv and v.

302 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 was the husband of Johanna, daughter of the duke of Brabant. The economic power, geographic position, and numerous population of Flanders, Brabant, and neighboring Netherlandish states made them desirable allies in the great struggle with France, which began in 1336 and to which the early years of Edward II’s reign form a natural diplomatic prelude. This is the reason why so much of the diplomatic activity of the period in question concerned the rulers of these lands. The Empire also had long-standing grievances against France;! and the emperor, Lewis the Bavarian, needed little encouragement from his father-in-law, Count William of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland, to

unite in an alliance with Edward III against France.? Finally, there were diplomatic relations with other powers such as Castile, Aragon, Majorca, Sicily, Genoa, and Scandinavia; but in comparison with France,

the papacy, and the Low Countries they were less important.

| 1. Tur Direction or ForrEIGN RELATIONS Relations with foreign princes were discussed by the king, as head of

the government, and his advisers in the royal council. Such matters demanded consideration whenever they came to the royal attention wherever the king happened to sojourn. ‘This leadership of the king and

his council in diplomatic matters is well revealed by the fact that the expense accounts of diplomatic agents presented at the exchequer upon 1 Fritz Kern, Die Anfénge der franzdsischen Ausdehnungspolitik bis zum Jahr 1308 (Tiibingen, 1910).

2 Georg Sievers, Die politischen Beziehungen Kaiser Ludwigs des Baiern zu Frankreich, 1314-1337 (Berlin, 1896), p. 16.

3 The following collections of documents, in addition to those mentioned in the succeeding footnotes, are indispensable for a study of the diplomatic relations from which the present study is drawn: J. F. Boehmer, Die Urkunden Kaiser Ludwig des Baiern, Konig Friedrich des Schénen, und Johanns von Bohmen (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1839); Jules de Saint-Genois, Inventaire analytique des chartes des comtes de Flandre (Ghent, 1843-46); Henri Laurent, Actes et documents anciens intéressant

| la Belgique conservés aux Archives de Etat a Vienne (Brussels, 1933); H. J. Smit, Bronnen tot de Geschiedenis van den Handel met England, Schotland, en Ierland, Vol. 1 (The Hague, 1928); Z. W. Sneller and W. S. Unger, Bronnen tot de Geschiedenis van den Handel met Frankrijk (The Hague, 1930); E. E. Stengel, Nova Alamannia: Urkunden, Briefe, und andere Quellen besonders zum deutschen Geschichte des 14. Jahrhunderts, [ste Halfte (Berlin, 1921); P. L. Muller, Regesta Hannonensia (The Hague, 1881); Alphonse Verkooren, Inventaire des chartes et cartulaires des duchés de Brabant et de Limbourg et des Pays @ Outre-Meuse, 1°¢ Partie, 1 (Brussels, 1910); Alphonse Wauters, Table chronologique des chartes et diplémes imprimés concernant Vhistoire de la Belgique, Vols. 1x and x (Brussels, 1866-1912); Frans Van Mieris, Groot Charterboek der Graven van Holland en Zeeland en Heeren van

Vriesland, Vol. 1m (Leiden, 1754); M. L. Mirot and Eugéne Déprez, ‘Les Ambassades anglaises pendant la guerre de cent ans,’ Bibliothéque de l’ Ecole des Chartes, tix (Paris, 1898), 550-577; Arnold

Fayen, Lettres de Jean XXII (1316-1334): textes et analyses (Rome, 1908-09); Alphonse Fierens, Lettres de Benoit XII (1834-42) : textes et analyses (Rome, 1910); W. H. Bliss, Calendars of Entries in

the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Papal Lettres, A. D. 1305-1342, Vol. u (London, 1895); Friedrich Bock, ‘An Unknown Register of the Reign of Edward ITI,’ F.H.R., xiv (1930), 353-372.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 303 the conclusion of their duties often stated that their missions were under-

taken ‘at the command of the king and his council.”!. When John de Thrandeston, king’s yeoman, left the king’s council at Nottingham in the autumn of 1336 and proceeded to the Low Countries to further the crown’s diplomatic interests, he received instructions from the council.?

The extent to which the king, with prelates, earls, barons, and other nobles, considered diplomatic matters is revealed in the approval by parliament in March 1328 of the negotiators with Scotland as well as the general terms® of the proposed treaty and later by its ratification in the parliament at Northampton. The entire council in the parliament+ then in session ratified the treaty on 4 May.® In 1331 when relations with France were becoming strained, the king once more consulted with

the prelates, earls, barons, and other nobles at Westminster as to the steps to be taken.® Similar consultation took place at the meeting at York in the next year.’ In August 1336, the king issued summonses to the prelates, earls, barons, and others to assemble on 23 September for the specific purpose of advising him in the crisis which had arisen in his

relations with France, particularly in diplomatic matters.’ It is clear, therefore, that the great council (totum concilium) as well as the councillors in immediate attendance upon the king were consulted on diplomatic matters. At the completion of diplomatic tasks assigned to them, envoys invariably reported to the king and his council.® Very often also, if the nature of diplomatic business demanded it, envoys on mission kept king

and council informed of any important developments. Thus in 1328 when Bartholomew de Burghersh was sent to the papal curia in Avignon he sent a messenger (clericus) from Dover to Stamford in order to inform the king of certain rumors important for the royal interest.!° On occasion the king personally conducted negotiations with foreign 1 See, for example, Exchequer Accounts, 309 /37; 310/20, 21; and 311 /9, 22, 27.

| 2 See the bill of expenses presented for payment by John de Thrandeston in Oeuvres de Froissart, ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove (Brussels, 1867-77), xvu, 154: ‘A deprimes, en nom de Dieu, le dit Johan de Thrandeston prist son viage odvesque ces lettres de credence de conseil nostre seigneur le roy devers le counte de Henaud .. .” 3 Foedera, u, Pt. 11, 730.

4 This parliament assembled three weeks after Easter (Dignity of a Peer, tv, 381-384).

7 Ibid., p. 69, No. 6.

5 Foedera, u, Pt. 11, 740-741. 6 Rot. Parl., 11, 60-61, No. 2.

8 Dignity of a Peer, tv, 460-463.

9 When John de Thrandeston returned to England from his first mission to the Low Countries, he went to York (Nov. 1336): ‘la ou le chauncelerye et le escheker et le conseil nostre seigneur le roy esteit . . . ’ (Oeuvres de Froissart, xvitt, 155). 10 Exchequer Accounts, 309 /37.

304 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 princes. ‘There were two instances of such personal diplomacy from 1327 to 1336: the first was King Edward’s appearance at Amiens in June

1329 to render homage to Philip VI for the duchy of Aquitaine; the second was in April 1331, when the king crossed from Dover to Wissant

and had an interview with the French king.! The first of these is particularly interesting. The passage of the king to foreign parts was an elaborate affair, requiring extensive preparations. Money had to be borrowed from the Italian banking house of the Bardi, ships had to be engaged, the earl of Cornwall was named regent as the king left Dover, and, in the presence of important notables and persons connected with

the royal household, the custody of the great seal was committed by order under the privy seal to Master Henry de Cliff. A large company thereupon fared forth, among whom, besides the king himself, were the chancellor, Henry de Burghersh, a number of prominent nobles, and a large following of lesser personages, for the most part, it appears, members of the wardrobe and other officers of the king’s household. Negotiations took place directly between the two monarchs, and finally on June 6, in the choir of the cathedral in Amiens, the English king, attended by his following, personally did homage to the French king, who likewise was attended by a large company of bishops, abbots, nobles, and lesser personages, many of whom belonged to the royal household. ? Although these instances of the king’s personal negotiations with a foreign prince are the only examples to be found during the decade from 1327 to 1336, it must not be assumed that they were the last. Edward III took with him his wardrobe and other branches of the royal administration to the Low Countries in 1338, and as soon as he arrived in Ant-

werp began direct negotiations with his allies on a scale hitherto unparalleled in the history of the crown. There was constant coming and going at the English court and foreign princes were hastening there in great numbers. It was in the autumn of this year that Edward made his famous expedition to Coblenz in order personally to secure in an impressive ceremony his title as imperial vicar which gave him the legal right to

summon princes of the Empire for the invasion of France.? Personal interviews with foreign princes occur as late as the sixteenth century as, for example, that of the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520. Direct negotiation, however, became more and more impossible with the incessant growth of the royal administration, and during the earlier 1 This second visit of the king to the continent is described at length by Eugéne Déprez, Les Préliminaires de la guerre de cent ans (Paris, 1902), pp. 73-76.

2 Foedera, u, Pt. u, 764-765. | 3 Edward’s journey to Coblenz may be traced with great minuteness in Wardrobe Account, E 36 /203.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 305 reign of Edward IIT almost all diplomatic activity was carried on by paid agents. Such envoys received letters of credence at the recommendation

of the king and his council. These letters were drawn up in the chancery | upon proper authorization of the king, the council, or the king and coun-

cil. Traces of such authorization are to be found in the notes of warranty as, for example, per 1wpsum regem, per conciluum, or per regem et

conciltum, appended at the close of the document.! These chancery writs appeared as letters close or letters patent, as the situation demanded, and received the great seal by authority of the chancellor, to whose keeping it was entrusted. The great seal was the ‘key of the realm,’ as Matthew Paris? neatly expressed it, ‘the most solemn and important instrument of the crown,’? the authentic expression of the king’s wishes. The royal attestation is further indicated by the words teste me vpso.*

2. Forms anp MetuHops Letters close addressed to princes of superior or equal rank invariably contained in the opening words the name of the prince and his complete

address, followed by the name of the king and his complete address. Thus the letters to the pope, the spiritual head of Christendom and, to the mediaeval mind, supreme among princes as Christ’s lieutenant on earth, read as follows: Sanctissimo in Christo patri domino Benedicto, divina providencia sacrosancte Romane et universalis ecclesie summo pontifici, Edwardus, eadem gracia, rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie, et dux Aquitanie, devota pedum oscula beatorum.°®

Next to the pope stood the emperor, the head of all secular government which God had entrusted to him. Letters addressed to him by Edward

Ill faithfully followed the order observed in letters addressed to the pope: Serenissimo princip! domino Ludowico, dei gracia Romanorum imperatori, semper augusto, fratri nostro carissimo, Edwardus rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie,

et dux Aquitanie cum debite sincereque dilectionis constancia promptum in omnibus complacendi affectum.® 1 For these notes of warranty, see Bertie Wilkinson, “The Authorisation of Chancery Writs under Edward ITI,’ Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vim (1924), 107-139, and Maxwell-Lyte, Great Seal, pp. 179-199. 2 Chronica Majora, ed. H. R. Luard (Rolls Series, London, 1872-83), v, 139. 3 Bertie Wilkinson, The Chancery under Edward III (Manchester, 1929), p. 11. 4 For the phrase teste me ipso, see the comments by Tout, Chapters, 1, 135-136. When the writ was enrolled, the words were changed to read teste rege. 5 Déprez, Préliminaires, pp. 408-410. 8 Foedera, ur, Pt. ii, 991.

306 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Princes of equal rank were addressed in the same manner, as in the following example: Excellentissimo principi, domino Philippo, dei gracia regi Francorum illustri, consanguineo suo carissimo, Edwardus eiusdem gracia, rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie, et dux Aquitanie, salutem, felicibus semper successibus habundare.!

Cardinals also were addressed in this manner: Venerabili in Christo patri domino Petro dei gracia tituli Sancti Stephani in Monte Caelio presbitero cardinali, amico suo carissimo, Edwardus eiusdem gracia rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie, et dux Aquitanie, salutem et sincere dilec-

tionis affectum.? |

In letters to persons of inferior position, however, the name of the king

together with his titles appeared before the name and address of the person to whom the letter was addressed. This was the invariable rule in addressing dukes, counts, bishops, officers of towns, and seigniors of

the lowest rank. The following examples will suffice: . Edwardus dei gracia rex Anglie dominus Hibernie, dux Aquitanie, ac sacri Romani imperii per totam Alemaniam et Germaniam ac universas et singulas earum provincias sive partes, vicarius generalis, illustri principi Johanni Lotharingie, Brabancie, et Lemburghie duci consanguineo suo carissimo, salutem et omne bonum.?

Edwardus dei gracia rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie, et dux Aquitanie nobili viro domino Lodowico comiti Flandrensi et Nivernensi amico suo carissimo, salutem et sincere dilectionis affectum.+ Edwardus dei gracia rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie, et dux Aquitanie, venerabili in Christo patri, domino Adolpho, dei gracia episcopo de Legis, amico suo carissimio, salutem et sincere dilectionis affectum.®

_Edwardus dei gracia rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie et dux Aquitanie, nobili viro

duci Venetiarum ac communitati civitatis Venetiarum amicis suis carissimis, salutem et sincere dilectionis affectum.®

Edwardus dei gracie rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie et dux Aquitanie, burgimagistris, scabinis, consulibus, ac communitati ville de Bruges et eis adherentibus, salutem cum sincere dilectionis affectu.? Edwardus dei gracia rex Anglie hominus Hibernie et dux Aquitanie dilecto sibi Gerardo de Spinula magnifici principi regis Cesilie marescallo, salutem.® 1 Déprez, Préliminaires, p. 407. 2 Foedera, 11, Pt. 11, 866.

3 Laurent, Acts et documents intéressant de la Belgique, pp. 125-126. This letter was dated 18 Oct. 1338, after Edward had been named imperial vicar. 4 Foedera, u, Pt. u, 948.

5 Ihid., p. 952. 6 Tbid., p. 783. 7 Ibid., p. 747. 8 Ilnd., p. 974.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 307 Letters patent invariably opened with the royal name and titles. The persons for whom the instrument was intended were indicated only by their general addresses, as the following examples illustrate: Edwardus dei gracia, rex Anglie et Francie, dominus Hibernie et dux Aquitanie’ archiepiscopis, episcopis, ducibus, marchionibus, comitibus, baronibus, ac personis aliis quibuscumque in dicto regno Francie existentibus, salutem.!

Edward par la grace de dieu, roi d’Engleterre, seignur d’Irlande, et duc d’Aquitain, a touz ceux qui ces presentes lettres verront ou orront, saluz, et connissance de verite.?

Besides these chancery writs issued as letters close and patent, there also were writs issued under the privy seal which likewise might be issued

as letters close or patent. Such writs were, as a rule, not enrolled and none of them addressed to foreign princes during the first decade of the

reign of Edward III appear to have been preserved.? That there were such writs is evident, for, when the king in 1329 crossed the Strait of Dover to France, he left the great seal in England,* so that whatever written communication with Philip VI he may have had when in France must have been by means of letters under the privy seal which the king

always carried. This likewise was true when the king again visited France in 1331, leaving the great seal in England.’ Privy seal letters were carried by faithful messengers attached to the wardrobe, and many instances of the transmission of such letters during the king’s long sojourn on the continent, from August 1338 to February 1340, are recorded in the wardrobe account covering those years.® It appears that, as the diplomatic activity of the crown increased enormously with the opening of the Hundred Years’ War, the office of the privy seal, which by that time had become independent of the wardrobe, became more and more the ordinary channel through which the crown addressed its missives to foreign powers. ‘This was inevitable, for the chancery was bound by old rules, was too rigid to be adapted to newer needs, and very often also was too far removed from the royal presence to be of use in ordinary business. Sometimes also the king did not wish to entrust to his chancery matters

requiring special secrecy. This is shown by a remarkable letter pre1 Ibid., p. 1001. 2 Ibid., p. 985.

3 For the evolution of writs issued under the privy seal, see the sketch by Edouard Perroy, The Diplomatic Correspondence of Richard II (Camden Society, London, 1933), Introduction, pp. villxviii, and Eugéne Déprez, Etudes de diplomatique anglaise de l’avénement d’Eduard Iér a celui de Henri VIT, 1272-1485 (Paris, 1908), pp. 9-72. Some of these writs were preserved in the chancery and may be found listed in C.P.R. and C.C.R. 4 Foedera, 11, Pt. ti, 764. 5 Ibid., p. 815.

6 E 36/203, under the caption Nuneit.

308 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 served only by the merest chance. When making deep plans for the removal of Roger Mortimer, Edward was eager to express his innermost wishes to the pope, a desire not possible through the customary channel of the chancery, for this office was at that moment under the influence of Mortimer and the queen-mother, Isabella. The difficulties of the king and his plotting friends were made known at the papal curia and in the spring of 1330 William Montague brought with him from Avignon an oral message from the pope which suggested that the king give a special and private sign whereby the pope might know what was peculiarly near the royal heart. The royal response was couched in the simplest language omitting the more pompous titles contained in chancery writs. The opening phrase merely read “Tresseint pére.’ The document, written in French, was drawn up by the royal secretary, Richard de Bury, because, as was stated in the letter, the king was too occupied with other

matters to attend personally to the composition of this letter. He stated that only those writs under the privy seal which contained the words “Pater Sancte’ were to be regarded as expressing the royal wish. This letter was not provided with a seal, the secret phrase written by the royal hand itself being regarded as equivalent to a seal.! It will be observed that in the foregoing examples of letters close addressed to foreign princes the salutation which appeared after the names and titles of the parties varied according to the rank and dignity of the person for whom the letter was intended. The form employed in letters

addressed to the pope and to the emperor apparently never changed. But in other missives the order varied often without any apparent sig-

nificance, especially in letters intended for kings. The form most usually employed read: ‘salutem et successus semper ad vota prosperos

et felices.2 But on one occasion Philip VI of France was greeted: ‘salutem et sincere dilectionis affectum’;* the king of Castile: ‘felicem regnandi gloriam cum salute’;* the king of Sicily: ‘votivis semper gratulari successibus cum salute’ ;° and the king of Aragon: ‘salutem et felicibus

se per successibus habundare.’® A greater regularity obtained in writs addressed to the papal chancellor, cardinals, bishops, dukes, counts, councillors of kings, the doges of Venice and Genoa, and burgomasters of

towns. In many cases the clerks of the chancery inserted before these words of greeting some words indicating some degree of relationship, respect, or friendship, as was desired. ‘Thus Edward greeted the pope as 1C. G. Crump, ‘The Arrest of Roger Mortimer and Queen Isabel,’ E.H.R., xxvi (1911), 331-332. 2 Foedera, ti, Pt. ii, 724, 727, 732, 760, 770, 836, 850. 3 Ibid., p. 913. 4 Ibid., pp. 909, 961, 977. 5 Ibid., p. 917. 6 Thid., p. 870.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 309 ‘sanctissimo in Christo patri’?; Emperor Lewis, the Bavarian, as ‘fratri nostro carissimo’; Philip VI of France and the duke of Brabant as ‘consanguineo suo carissimo’; and the count of Flanders as ‘amico suo carissimo.’

In letters patent, however, the simple word salutem was most commonly used.

After the salutation in case of letters introducing diplomatic agents followed some statement of the royal confidence in the envoys appointed as ‘de fidelitate probata et circumspectione provida dilectorum et fidelium

nostrorum .. . plenarie confidentes,’ or some similar phrase.! Next appeared the names of the principals of the mission, or nuncium, together with their titles. If the group comprised several individuals, a statement

usually was given as to how many and which of them possessed the necessary and indispensable power to transact business. The range of diplomatic powers authorized in these letters, generally described as letters of credence, varied greatly. Sometimes the envoys were said to possess full power (plena potestas) to arrange all points and, occasionally in urgent matters, a special mandate (mandatum speciale) was given to negotiate definitively, without further consultation with the

king or his council, some specific point as a matrimonial or political alliance or some economic problem as the establishment of the staple of wool at Antwerp. The subject of negotiations normally was given in the letter of credence but the details were rarely, if ever, stated, the agent

having been fully instructed by the king in person and his council. Sometimes nothing was said about the subject to be discussed, in which case it often was stated that the principal, having been instructed viva voce by the king or council or both, would divulge to the party to whom he was accredited what was in the royal mind.? Urgent and secret matters often were treated in this manner.? One such letter was ordinarily sufficient because the envoy’s activity was, as a rule, limited to some specific problem. But the topics of diplomatic business were sometimes so varied and the envoys were required

to approach so many persons often widely scattered and of doubtful political leanings that several letters were needed. It was the custom to give the principals of each diplomatic mission a letter covering each separate topic. Thus, by letter patent dated 6 July 1336, at Perth, the bishops of Durham and Winchester, William Trussel and Richard Bentworth (Bynteworth), were instructed to negotiate with Philip VI about the proposed crusade to the Holy Land; by a second letter of the same 1 Ihid., pp. 760, 998; cf. ibid., p. 977. 2 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 336-337. 3 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 790.

310 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 date they were directed to request an adjournment of all quarrels and litigations between Edward III and Philip VI, and by a third to treat with David Bruce, pretender to the Scottish crown. ! Such letters as a rule bore in the clause preceding the last a promise or

statement that whatever the agents just mentioned might transact would be regarded as binding upon the crown (‘promittentes pro nobis et heredibus nostris nos ratum et gratum habituros quicquid per pre-

fatum .. . actum fuerit in premissis’). These words were used especially in letters empowering the agents to treat for matrimonial or political alliances, but the language varied greatly. In documents providing less sweeping authority the words varied even more. Letters granting the most extensive powers were not, as a rule, given a time limit, but there were exceptions. On the other hand, letters of safe-conduct which were given in addition to letters of credence were invariably in the less significant and often in the more important missions given a time limit, expiring usually on some prominent date such as Christmas, Easter, St John the Baptist, or Michaelmas. 3. DipLtomatic AGENTS AND MiIssIoNns

Diplomatic agents were drawn almost exclusively from the king’s most intimate friends, confidential advisers, or trusted helpers. Many of these were men of humble station, who, having received training in civil and canon law, had begun their career as king’s clerks, and by loyal discharge of duties had slowly risen in the royal service until they had become clerks in the chancery, the wardrobe, the council, or the chamber.

Such servants were ever faithful in the royal service and it was only natural that the crown should depend upon them rather than upon the old feudal nobility, from whose overweening ambitions mediaeval princes

always sought to free themselves.? A typical example of such an off-

cial was John de Shoreditch, who repeatedly acted as an envoy.2 As _ early as October 1321, he was sworn of the king’s council* and in Sep-

temper 1323, appeared as custodian of the rolls and writs before the justices of the king’s bench.® He won the royal confidence during the disturbance of 1329 and in that same year was sent with the bishop of

Norwich on a mission to Philip VI.6 Other diplomatic tasks were 1 Tbid., pp. 941-942.

2 See the illuminating essay, ‘The English Civil Service in the Fourteenth Century,’ T. F. Tout, Collected Papers (Manchester, 1934), 111, 191-121. 3 D.N.B., uu, 152. 4 C.C.R. 1318-1323, $40. 5 C.P.R. 1321-1324, 340. 6 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, '7'75.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 311 entrusted to him.! In recognition of this faithful service he was granted in 1334 the order of knighthood with an income of £ 40 a year.’ John Walwayn (Wauwayn) was another clerk who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the king’s agents and was employed on so many diplomatic expeditions that the story of Edward III’s diplomacy in the Low Countries at the eve of the Hundred Year’s War cannot be told without mentioning him many times. He long was escheator south

of the Trent and frequently served as commissioner of oyer and terminer.? In 1308 he was proctor in the negotiations between Edward II and William, count of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland.‘ In 1315 and 1318 he was commissioned to perambulate the royal forests’ and soon after was appointed keeper of a castle in Wales. In 1318 also he was made treasurer of the exchequer’ and in 1322 became viewer and superior

keeper of royal castles in Wales.? He received numerous ecclesiastical livings in the royal gift.° Another of the king’s clerks frequently employed in diplomacy was John de Hildesley. He served Edward II faithfully in Northamptonshire as purveyor of victuals for the Scottish war!° and repeatedly as agent to foreign princes.!! In 1338 he appears as chancellor of the exchequer’? at which time he was also canon of Chichester.!? These men were ecclesiastics, trained in the civil or canon law or in both, and are constantly referred to as masters (magistrz). William Trussel, Gilles de Ispannia,

Richard Bentworth, Nicholas de la Beche, John Scarborough, and Thomas de Kelingworth were king’s clerks, attached to some one of the offices of the royal household.

There also were some very important agents who never were called clerrct. Among them was John de Thrandeston, a native of Cologne, king’s yeoman (valettus), whose acquaintance with foreign lands, particularly the Low Countries, was most helpful for Edward’s diplomacy. ! 4 1 C.P.R. 1321-1324, 271, 347, 427. 2 0.C.R. 1333-1337, 170. 3 C.P.R. 1813-1317 and C.P.R. 1321-1324, index, s.v.

4 C.P.R. 1313-1317, 332-333.

5 Ibid., p. 296; C.P.R. 1317-1321, 248. 6 C.P.R. 1317-1321, 341.

7 Ibid., p. 55. | 8 C.P.R. 1321-1324, 82.

9 C.P.R. 1313-1317, 200-201, 334, 550; C.P.R. 1317-1321, 15, 35, 38, 51, 61, 219, 222; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 195. 10 C.C.R. 1318-1328, 629-640. 11 Tbid., p. 345; C.P.R. 1317-1321, 401; C.P.R. 1324-1327, 56, 58, 98, 104. 12 C.0.R. 1337-1339, 401. 13 C.C.R. 1323-1327, 359.

14 Foedera, 11, Pt. 1, 952. For his expense account, see Oeuvres de Froissart, xvut, 153-156. He also was known as John de Frandeston (foedera, u, Pt. ii, 952, and Wardrobe Account, E 32/203, p. 337). This John de Thrandeston is not to be confused with John de Colonia, king’s yeoman, mentioned in a letter close dated 20 Nov. 1335 (Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 926).

312 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Another such agent was John de Woume, apparently also a king’s yeoman, who seems to have been particularly acquainted with Flanders. A

number of prominent merchants had attracted the attention of the crown; because of their business activities they were useful in dealing with the trade disputes with the Flemings. Among them were Simon Fraunceys of London,? John de Causton, one-time sheriff of London,? and William Fox of York.* Among the more important of the nuncit were a number of bishops who had entered the royal service in some humble capacity, gained the royal

favor during the first few years of Edward’s reign, and subsequently became prominent members of the council. One of the most interesting of these was Richard de Bury. Such was the favor he found in the king’s eyes that he was jomed to the wardrobe staff, becoming keeper of the

wardrobe® and keeper of the privy seal. He was given a number of church livings in the royal gift.7 In 1333 he became dean of Wells and

bishop of Durham. The next year witnessed his advancement to the chancellorship, to be followed two years later by the gift of the post of treasurer.2 Another prominent agent was William Ayrmin, bishop of Norwich, who had served in the wardrobe, becoming in 1324 keeper of the privy seal. He received his due reward in the form of livings in the royal gift. In 1325 he became bishop of Norwich and supported Edward III vigorously in 1326 and 1330, whereupon in 1331 he became treasurer.° Most prominent in the early negotiations of the Hundred Years’ War was Henry de Burghersh, a nephew of Lord Badlesmere, likewise an enthusiastic supporter of Edward and Isabella in 1326. He became 1 Oeuvres de Froissart, xvu, 50-55.

2 C.P.R. 1334-13838, 1-2. Fraunceys was a citizen of London and sheriff (C.C.R. 1330-1333, 174, 564). 3 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 89, 96-97; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 277.

4 Foedera, 1, Pt. 1, 884. William Fox long was purveyor for the household of Queen Isabella (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 61, 176, 259, 323, 385, 451). The following is a fairly complete list of such diplomatic agents as have not been mentioned above: Thomas Sampson, John Petri, and Simon de Stanes, trained in civil and canon law; the abbots of Dore and of Langedon; William Trussell, William Fitz Waryn, William de Weston, William de Martheleye, Geoffrey le Scrope, John Darcy, Reginald de Cobham, John de Chidiok, knights; William de la Pole of Kingston-on-Hull, Robert de Kellesey,

William del Cotes, Reginald de Conductu, and William de Preston, merchants; and Henry de Cantuaria, Henry de Colecester, John de Wyndesore, Simon de Drayton, Thomas de Brayton, Edmund de Grymmesby, William de la Rue, Nicholas de la Beche, Paul de Monte Florum, canon of

London, William de Herle, Hugo Elys, dean of Wolverhampton, and William de Cusance, who were clerks, yeomen, or notaries. 5 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 342. 6 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 534. 7 Ibid., pp. 193, 319, 324, 495, 537. 8 D.N.B., vu, 25-27. 9 Thid., 1, 290-291.

The Machinery of Dvplomatic Intercourse 313 chancellor in 1328, accompanied Edward III to France in 1329, and in 1334 was made treasurer. Edward III also employed a number of noblemen as diplomatic agents. These had won his confidence, as in the case of the above-mentioned

bishops, by aiding Isabella and later putting a check on the career of Mortimer. William Montague and Robert Ufford were in Edward’s confidence from the first days of the reign.? Henry of Lancaster’s father was instrumental in convincing the youthful king that it was necessary to put an end to Mortimer’s ascendancy, and served the crown well in the wars against the Scots. Finally, William de Bohun also aided in the suppression of Mortimer. ‘These men served on important diplomatic missions during the critical negotiations which preceded the out-

break of hostilities with France. To reward them for their long and faithful service, they were promoted to earldoms in March, 1337: William Montague to be earl of Salisbury, Robert Ufford, earl of Suffolk, William de Bohun, earl of Northampton, and Henry of Lancaster, earl of Derby.?

_ The king also chose foreign relatives and friends to further his diplomatic interests. The numerous connections of Queen Philippa in the Low Countries made relations with princely families and influential per-

sonages in those parts peculiarly intimate. Among these, the queen’s uncle, John of Hainault, seignior of Beaumont, a man of great integrity and loved for his chivalric character, was especially esteemed. He had taken part in the expedition against Edward IT in 1326 and had helped in

its preparation in Hainault and Holland.’ He attended the royal coronation in February 1327, rendered excellent service in the campaign against the Scots during the following summer, and aided in securing the papal dispensation for the marriage of Edward III to Philippa.* He enjoyed the full confidence of his niece and her royal husband, and received handsome rewards at the exchequer,’ while his name often appeared as a

witness to documents in which many of the noteworthy princes of the Low Countries and France were peculiarly interested.

Another important agent employed by the English court was the 1 Thid., vit, 335-338. 2 Foedera, 11, Pt. 11, 800.

3 Chronicon Galfridi le Baker de Swinbroke, ed. E. M. Thompson (Oxford, 1889), pp. 58-59; Adam Murimuth, Continuatio Chronicarum, ed. E. M. Thompson (Rolls Series, London, 1889), pp. 78-79. For the patents of creation, see Dignity of a Peer, v, 29-32; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 400. 4J. A. Waller-Zeper, Jan Van Henegouwen, Heer Van Beaumont (The Hague, 1914), gives a very

full account of this person’s many activities. . 5 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 100.

8 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 706, 708, 713, 714-715; Willelmi Capellani in Brederode Chronicon, ed. C. Pi-

jacker Hordijk (Utrecht, 1904), p. 181. ’ Foedera, u1, Pt. uu, 686, 706, 800.

314 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 queen’s father, William, count of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland, and seignior of Friesland. He too was a man of great ability and enjoyed the confidence of his neighbors, thus being able to exert extensive influence

among the princes of the Low Countries, France, and the Rhineland. He had arrived at a modus vivendi about the lands of the bishop of Utrecht with Count Reginald of Guelders and Zutfen and induced the latter to marry Edward’s younger sister, Eleanor, in 1332.! Count William of Juliers, who had married Johanna, Philippa’s older sister, had from the beginning been a close friend of his royal brother-in-

law. In 1327 he appeared in the company of John of Hainault in the campaign against the Scots.? Eight years later he came to England to

| help his brother-in-law against the Scots and after the futile campaign was over tarried at Edward’s court for several months, discussing with the king and the council the crisis in the relations with Philip VI and laying plans for the diplomatic activity which in three years was to range most of the Low Countries on the side of England against France. His extensive acquaintance with princes of the Rhineland, most of whom were his immediate neighbors, greatly enhanced Edward’s diplomatic

prestige. Furthermore, since Philippa’s sister Margaret had married Lewis the Bavarian, Edward was guaranteed first place in the imperial affections,? and an annual pension at the exchequer.* Relations between these families were intimate and cordial. Thus in 1330 the birth of a child to Count William was promptly announced to Edward and Philippa.®

Special circumstances often dictated the choice of agents for diplomatic

missions. Clerks and other servants in the wardrobe or in some other branch of the government were thoroughly acquainted with every aspect of the royal policy and its problems. Special acquaintance with countries

, was sometimes a deciding factor in the choice of an agent. Thus Gilles de Ispannia, a knight and undoubtedly a Spaniard, was sent to Castile to bring back the ring-leader in the murder of Edward II, Thomas de Gour-

nay, who had been arrested in Burgos.* A number of merchants, including William Fox of York and Simon Fraunceys of London, were re1 Tbid., pp. 826, 832, 834-835; I. A. Nijhoff, Gedenkwaardigheden wit de Geschiedenis van Gelderland, (Arnhem, 1830), 1, 263-272. 2 Jehan le Bel, Chronique, ed. Jules Viard and Eugéne Déprez (Paris, 1904-05), 1, 41.

3 A.M. H. J. Stokvis, Manuel @ histoire, de généalogie, et de chronologie de tous les élais depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu a nos jours (Leiden, 1888-93), 111, Ch. x, Table No. 22. 4 Foedera, 11, Pt. u, 759, 793, 800.

5 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 792. The count’s yeoman who bore the tidings was given a handsome gratuity of 25 marks. 6 Joseph Hunter, ‘On the Measures Taken for the Apprehension of Sir Thomas de Gournay, One of

the Murderers of Edward II,’ Archaeologia, Ist Series, xxvu (1837), 274-297. This article illustrates how criminals were extracted from a foreign Jurisdiction.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 315 peatedly employed by the crown in its interminable disputes with subjects of the count of Flanders. As merchants they could more effectually discuss problems rising from trade difficulties and so represent the interests of their own class.!. John de Thrandeston of Cologne and John de Woume, who possessed special knowledge of conditions in the Low Countries, have been previously noted.?, They proved most useful, the former

In preparing the reception of Edward’s envoys and in discussing the project of a staple in Brabant, and the latter in reporting to Edward the state of affairs in Flanders during the difficult days following the embargo of August 1336 which led to the emergence of Van Artevelde dur-

ing the closing days of 1337. John de Haustede, formerly the king’s seneschal in Gascony, also acted as an envoy in France for which his previous experience eminently fitted him.?

Pensions and gifts were regularly given to prominent persons and played an active role in building up a circle of friends.* The fief of £ 600 annually was given to Count William of Juliers. In November and December 1335, he and the countess, as well as the count’s attendants received additional gifts of money and other valuable articles.5 Herman Blankart, dean of the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle and important because of his influence in the Empire, was given an annual pension of 100 marks

sterling. Henry de Jodoigne, canon of the cathedral of Cambrai, received an annual pension of 500 florins. His friendship was deemed valuable because it was well known that the see of Cambrai was pecuharly open to French influence and Henry de Jodoigne was very hostile to any further extension of it.’ Important noblemen of inferior rank also were secured by similar in-

ducements. Thus William Van Duivenvoorde, seignior of Oosterhout and the chamberlain of the count of Holland and Zeeland, was given an annual sum of £ 500.8 Particularly interesting are the gifts to Otto, 1 The mission of these men to Flanders in 1334 is discussed in H. 8. Lucas, ‘Diplomatic Relations between England and Flanders, 1329-1336,’ Speculum, x1 (1936), 59-87. 2 See above, pp. 311-312. 3 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 750, 773, 799.

* For the numerous examples belonging to an earlier date, see Walther Kienast, Die deutsche Fiirsten im Dienste der Westmichte bis zum Tode Philipps des Schénen von Frankreich (Utrecht, 1924), Vol. 1. 5 Foedera, 1, Pt. 11, 926, 927.

6 Ibid., pp. 973, 1000. 7 Ibid., pp. 969-970. 8 For William van Duivenvoorde, see Joseph Cuvelier, ‘Les Origines de la fortune de la maison d’

Orange-Nassau: Contribution 4 Vhistoire de capitalisme au moyen-fge, Académie royale de Belgique, Classe des lettres et des sciences morales et politiques, mémotres, 2° Série, xvi (1922). Foranin- ©

structive study of the chancery of the counts of Holland and Zeeland, see Th. Van Riemsdijk, De Tresorte en Kanselarij van Holland en Zeeland uit het Henegouwsche en Beyersche Huis (The Hague, 1908).

316 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 seignior of Cuyk, a petty Brabancon feudatory on the Meuse, whose family had for many years shown great friendship for the kings of Eng-

land.! In 1329 an attempt was made to retain him as a member of the king’s council.?. Similar grants were made to cardinals as, for example, 50 marks or more annually to each cardinal bishop, John of Albano and Annibaldo of Tusculum.? In the more important diplomatic transactions the crown often chose its envoys from among the clerical hierarchy or the nobility, probably

because such agents enjoyed greater prestige. Thus in August 1327, Bishop Adam of Worcester, who had represented the crown at the papal , curia during the previous winter,* was again sent to negotiate a dispensation for the marriage of Philippa to Edward III.° He was assisted by John of Hainault® and Bartholomew de Burghersh.” Bishop Roger of Coventry and Lichfield was sent to Valenciennes to act as proctor in _ Philippa’s marriage to Edward III. The youthful monarch’s freedom was so carefully restricted during Mortimer’s ascendancy that when he wanted to put an end to the intolerable situation he could not rely upon his household officials, who apparently were controlled by the queen and

her paramour, and so relied upon a number of his friends, particularly William Montague. The latter, with Bartholomew de Burghersh, was entrusted with a secret message to the pope about the intolerable situation at the English court, a trust which he discharged most creditably.® In the very crucial negotiations with Philip VI, the king relied chiefly upon the bishops of Norwich and Worcester, and upon his relative, Henry, earl of Lancaster. The first of these was sent on as many as eleven separate missions from 1329 to 1337,'° while the archbishop of Canterbury!! and the bishops of Durham!? and Worcester!* each served as principals of at least two missions. To such missions of important nobleman or clergyman it was custom1 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 832, 895, 914. For the house of Cuyk, see Frantz Funck-Brentano, Les Origines de la querre de cent ans: Philippe le Bel en Flandre (Paris, 1897), pp. 156, 197, 205, 206, 208, 251, 322-324, 472, 491, and J. J. F. Wap, Geschiedenis van Het Land en de Heeren van Cuyk (Utrecht, 1858). 2 Foedera, u1, Pt. ii, 773.

3 Ibid., pp. 838, 854. 4 Issue Rolls, No. 226 (sub 6 Mar. 1327). 5 Exchequer Accounts, 309 /38; Foedera, 11, Pt. 11, 712.

6 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 712-713. 7 Exchequer Accounts, 309 /37. 8 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 718. 9C. G. Crump, E.H.R., xxvi (1911), 331-332. 10 Exchequer Accounts, 309 /39; 310/9, 11, 12, 13, 30, and 35; 311/16. 11 Thid., 311 /6, 35. 12 Ihid., 310 /40; 311 /22.

13 Tbid., 309 /38; 310/8, 14.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 317 ary to join one or more clerks of the household. So when in 1329 and 1330 the bishops of Worcester and Norwich and Henry, earl of Lancaster, were negotiating in France, John Walwayn and John de Shoreditch were

appointed to act with them.! Very often, however, the king even entrusted some of the more important diplomatic tasks to his faithful clerks as, for example, when in 1336 he delegated William FitzWaryn and

John de Shoreditch to negotiate for the marriage of his daughter, Johanna, to Duke Otto of Austria.? At this time John de Shoreditch and William Trussel, jointly with Count William of Juliers, were discussing with the archbishop of Cologne, the duke of Brabant, and the counts of Guelders and Zutfen and of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland the proposal

of an active alliance against the king of France.* John of Hainault’s many diplomatic activities have been noted. His brother William, count of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland, served Edward in his negotia-

tions with Philip in 1331, and later, in 1336 and 1337, with Count Reginald of Guelders became the very center of agitation against Philip


It is pertinent to consider the subject of permanent resident embassies which, it is usually stated, began only in Renaissance Italy during the second half of the fifteenth century. This view was well illustrated by Otto Krauske’ in an elaborate monograph and was likewise discussed in a remarkable study by Adolf Schaube.® Since then Professor Heinrich Finke

has shown that these views are not well founded and that resident embassies which transmitted reports more or less regularly to the govern-

ments they represented began to appear at least as early as the closing years of the thirteenth century. He based his opinion upon a study of the documents of King Jayme II of Aragon (1291-1327), whose court played a prominent part in the development of diplomatic practice. ® In spite of its remarkable centralized government and the development of an elaborate organization of departments, the English crown during the first decade of the reign of Edward III never established permanent 1 Foedera, u, Pt. ii, 772, 775, 777. 2 Ihid., p. 929. 3 Ibid., p. 928. 4 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 48. 5 Lucas, The Low Countries, p. 249.

6 For example, by D. J. Hill, A History of Diplomacy in the International Development of Europe (London, 1924) mu, 153-154.

‘*Zur Entstehungsgeschichte der stindigen Gesandschaften,’ Mittheilungen des Instituts fiir oesterreichische Geschichtsforschung, x (1889), 501-552.

8 “Die Entwicklung der standigen Diplomatie vom fiinfzehnten Jahrhundert bis zu den Beschliissen von 1815 und 1818,’ Staats- und Soctalwissenschaftliche Forschungen, v (1886). ® Acta Aragonensia: Quellen zur deutschen, italienischen, franzisischen, spanischen, zur Kirchen- und

Kulturgeschichte aus der diplomatischen Korrespondenz Jaymes II, 1291-1327, ed. Heinrich Finke (Berlin and Leipzig, 1908-22), Vols. cxxLII-CLVI.

318 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 embassies. It would, however, be an error to assume that English diplomatic activity remained peculiarly primitive even though it lagged behind the example set by the Mediterranean states. The king sent envoys as

often as it appeared necessary and, since relations with the crown of France during this entire period were seriously strained over the question of Gascony, there was a busy coming and going of English agents between

Philip VI and Edward III. Although the crown was not represented by a permanent agent, it was nevertheless almost constantly represented at the court of France during the entire period. This fact is brought out by the following list of envoys sent to the court of Philip VI.! It should be noted that the accession of Philip in 1328 to

the throne of France was attended by some discussion regarding his rights to the crown and was followed by the important battle at Cassel in August, which destroyed the long and dangerous rebellion of the Flemings. ‘There also was some confusion in the English government because of the deposition of Edward II in the previous year and the overweening

ambition of Mortimer. For these reasons diplomatic questions, it appears, were ignored during the year. 1327, 9 Mar.—Oct. 10: William, bishop of Norwich. 9 Mar.—30 June: John, bishop of Winchester. 27 Mar.—19 Aug.: Bartholomew Burghersh. 30 Mar.—22 Jan. 1328: Adam, bishop of Worcester.* 1329, 8 May—17 June: Thomas Brayton. May—June: King Edward in person.

| 29 Sept.—4 Nov.: William, bishop of Norwich. 1330, 31 Jan.—25 Mar.: William, bishop of Norwich, Adam, bishop of Worcester, and Henry of Cantuaria. 1 Apr.—25 May: Henry of Cantuaria. 11 Apr.—30 June: Adam of Worcester. 20 Apr.—17 June: William, bishop of Norwich. 16 July—6 Sept.: Roger, bishop of Chester. 16 July—6 Sept.: William, bishop of Norwich. 1331, 21 Jan.—25 Mar.: Henry, earl of Lancaster.

23 Jan.—25 Mar.: William, bishop of Norwich, and Adam, bishop of Worcester. 4 Feb.—7 Apr.: Simon Drayton. 1 The list was drawn up from the documents in the Exchequer Accounts, Bundles 309, 310, and 311. The dates preceding the names of the envoys indicate the moment they left the royal presence and when they returned. 2 With these were associated John, earl of Richmond, John of Hainault, and Hugh de Audeley. See Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 693.

3 John of Hainault went to Paris and also visited the curia and, through him and possibly through other channels, the envoys sent to Paris kept in contact with the agents in Avignon. See WallerZeper, Jan Van Henegouwen, Heer Van Beaumont, pp. 83-112.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 319 8 Feb.—11 Mar.: William Montague. 5 July—7 June 1332: John Hildesley. 1 Aug.—21 Sept. 1331: John Darcy and William Trussell. 1332, 27 Apr.—6 June: William Clinton. 9 Nov.—21 Jan. 1333: William, bishop of Norwich. 9 Nov.—24 Dec. 1332: Bartholomew Burghersh. 1333, 8 Feb.—5 Apr.: John de Wyndesore. 13 Aug.—9 Jan. 1334: Thomas Sampson. 30 Sept.—8 Jan.: William, bishop of Norwich. 1334, 6 Apr.—5 July: John, archbishop of Canterbury. 7 Apr.—6 July: John Shoreditch. 14 Aug.—24 Nov.: Thomas de Kenilworth. 10 Oct.—6 Feb. 1335: Abbot of Dore. 24 Oct.—15 Jan. 1335: John, archbishop of Canterbury. 3 Nov.—2 Jan. 1335: William Clinton. 1335, 12 July—15 Oct.: Abbot of Dore. 8 Aug.—30 Oct.: William, bishop of Norwich. 12 July—29 Sept.: Richard, bishop of Durham. 1336, 21 July—5 Sept.: Adam, bishop of Winchester.

22 July—20 Sept.: Henry of Cantuaria. .

The compensation of envoys was determined by rank and in each case was granted by the king and his council. Thus the archbishop of Canterbury, John Stratford, received 100s. per day,! apparently the largest sum

paid to any envoy. Bishops were uniformly paid 5 marks a day. The abbot of Langedon received 20s. per day? and the abbot of Dore was paid 30s. while in England and 40s. on the continent. Envoys drawn from among the peers of the realm received the very large amount of 100s.

per day. This was the sum paid to Henry, earl of Lancaster, on his return from a mission to the continent in January 1331.4 But other members of the nobility who were the king’s confidential friends and were repeatedly sent on diplomatic missions received less than the great ecclesiastical figures or the peers of the realm. William de Clinton was

paid 40s. per day. Bartholomew de Burghersh on one occasion recéived 30s. per day and on another 53s. 4d. or 4 marks.® Geoffrey le Scrope, a knight, was granted 40s. per day.’ 1 Exchequer Accounts, 311/6. The documents mentioning compensation invariably state that it was fixed by the king and his council. But in one case, that of William de Twenge, who went to Sicily to bring back Thomas de Gournay, accused of complicity in the murder of Edward II, the compensation of 10s. per day was fixed ‘iuxta discrecionem thesaurarij et baronum de scaccario’ (ibid., No. 2). 2 Ibid., 310/18, 19. 8 Ibid., 311/17. 4 Ibid., No. 24. 5 Ibid., 310/29, 311/10.

§ Iind., 309 /37, 310/31. 7 Tbid., 310/5.

320 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Clerks received smaller sums. Nicholas de la Beche was paid 2 marks

per day! and William FitzWaryn 2 marks per day. The sum of one mark was more usual, this being the amount allowed to William Trussell,

John Darcy, John Petri, and Thomas Sampson.? Richard Bentworth was paid one mark while in England and 20s. for each day when out of the realm.* Others received smaller sums: Henry de Cantuaria, 5s. per day while in England and a half mark while abroad;> William Fox, 10s. a day;® Thomas de Brayton and John de Wyndesore, a half mark each;’ William de la Rue, 40d.;8 and the notary Henry de Colecester, who went to Flanders in 1334, 4s. while in the realm and a half mark while abroad;? William de Syreston, also a notary, who went to Scotland for diplomatic reasons, received 3s. 4d. per day;'!° and John de Thrandeston, king’s yeoman, received while in the realm, 1s. per day but while abroad 5s.1} The king or his council determined in advance the exact compensation which envoys were to receive. Thus, the bill of expenses presented to the

exchequer by Laurence Fastolf on his return from the curia in 1336 stated that his fee of 20s. was ordained by the king’s council,!? and William FitzWaryn, arriving on 16 May 1336 from his visit to the courts of German princes friendly to Edward, declared that the allowance of 20s. per day for his expenses had been granted by the king.?? The amount allowed included not only the expenses of the principal of

the mission but also that of his entire familia. It did not, however, include the sums paid for customs dues and such moneys as were paid for

passage from Dover or Wissant or at other places. As the envoy’s familia often was quite large, it would seem that this remuneration could hardly be sufficient reward. It should be borne in mind, however, that serving the king was honorable service and the faithful discharge of tasks imposed by the crown was certain to be rewarded. Many a clerk of the wardrobe, the chamber, or the chancery was handsomely repaid, particularly by ecclesiastical livings. Laymen were recompensed in num1 [bid., 311/28. 2 Ibid., No. 19. 3 Ibid., 310/20, 21, and 36, and 311/15. 4 Ibid., $11/8. 5 [hid., 310/15; 311 /20. 6 Ibid., 311/14. 7 [bid., 310 /6, 311/1. 8 Ihid., 310 /38. 9 Ibid., 311/9. 10 Thid., 311 /7.

11 Qeuvres de Froissart, xvuit, 153-157.

12 Exchequer Accounts, 311/27: ‘ordinatum fuit per consilium quod pro qualibet dieta eundo morando, et redeundo idem Laurencius percipet xx solidos sterlingorum pro vadiis suis et recepit, in nuncio, xl hi.’ 13 Thid., No. 18: ex concessione regis.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 321 berless ways, sometimes by being elevated to the peerage, as in the case of William de la Pole, who received various offices from Edward III and

whose son became earl of Suffolk. In addition to such compensation obtained as envoys for diplomatic work, they frequently received as clerks, robe money in the wardrobe. The wardrobe accounts list many persons who received each year 8 marks for winter robes and a like amount for summer robes. The wardrobe account of 1338-1340 lists a number of men prominent as envoys during the first ten years of Edward III who received such sums, among them John Darcy and Geoffrey le Scrope. Others, such as Galvanus Corder and William Trussell, received

only 4 marks in each season. Some received only 20s., estimated as being sufficient for one robe. Shoe money, about 4s. 8d. a year, also was given, apparently only to lesser members of the wardrobe.! Furthermore, the humbler members of the wardrobe who served as messengers invariably received handsome gratuities when they reached their

destination. Thus when Edward’s messenger arrived in Bruges with the king’s letters on 7 February 1334, he was given £3 12s. Flemish.’ Similar gratuities are recorded in the accounts of Ghent? and in those of

Jeanne, countess of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland, the mother of Queen Philippa. *

The delegation, or familia, which accompanied the principal of an im-

portant mission usually was an Imposing company. ‘The journey of Edward III to Amiens in 1329 to render homage to Philip VI was a striking occasion. Besides the king and chancellor there were at least 77 persons, among whom menials were not counted. In the familia were to be found the king’s confidential friends, Robert Ufford, William Mon-

tague, Thomas de Bourn, and such useful and trustworthy clerks as John de Hildesley, John Walwayn, and many other persons who constituted the personnel of the royal wardrobe.*® Bishops and noblemen were attended usually by as large or even a larger familia. Thus John Stratford, archbishop of Canterbury, on his mission to the court of Philip VI in 1335, was attended by 107 men with 83 horses.® Usually the following of bishops was somewhat smaller as in the spring of 1329 when the bishop of Norwich went to France accompanied by a train of 84 men and 45 1 Wardrobe Account, 36/203, under heading Robe et Calciatura. 2 Archives of Bruges, Rekeningen der Stad Brugge, 1332-1333, fol. 71. 3 Napoleon de Pauw and Jules Vuylsteke, Rekinengen der Stad Gent: Tijdvak van Jacob Van Artevelde, 1836-1349 (Ghent, 1874), 1, 428; Jules Vuylsteke, Oorkondenboek der Stad Gent: Gentsche Stad en Baljuwsrekeningen, 1280-1336 (Ghent, 1900), p. 906. 4H. J. Smit, De Rekeningen der Graven en Gravinnen uit het Henegouwsche Huis (Utrecht, 1924), 1, 190.

5 Foedera, u, Pt. i, 764. 6 Exchequer Accounts, 311 /6.

322 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 horses,! which was substantially the number in each of his subsequent missions.?2 These were stately missions befitting the majesty of the king, but the bishops occasionally had a somewhat smaller following, as, for example, the bishop of Worcester who in 1330 went to France attended by 57 men with 26 horses.?

As compared with these delegations headed by prominent members of the clergy, those of secular personages entrusted with important tasks were, as a rule, somewhat smaller. During the negotiations at the papal court at Avignon for a dispensation for the marriage of Philippa of Hainault to Edward III, Bishop Adam of Worcester was accompanied by 70 men and 46 horses,* but Bartholomew de Burghersh, constable of Dover Castle and warden of the Cinque Ports, had only 32 men and 22 horses.> In the spring of 1332 William de Clinton was attended by 54 men and 42 horses when representing his king at the court of Philip VI. Later, in the autumn of 1334 when on a similar mission he had with him 60 men and 40 horses.’ Missions which were intended to smooth the way for the final conclusion of alliances, such as those which thronged the Low Countries from 1335 to 1337, were small even though very important. Edward’s relations with most of the princes of the Low Countries and the Rhineland and also with the emperor were peculiarly intimate and apparently did not demand the elaborate attention which was bestowed upon the mis-

sions sent to the French court. Thus the abbot of Langedon went to Hainault, Brabant, and Germany in 1331 in the interests of the marriage of Edward’s sister Eleanor to Count Reginald of Guelders and Zutfen

with but 13 men and 8 horses. When in 1329 King Edward sent the clerk, John de Hildesley, to. Brabant with Reginald de Cobham at the moment when his relations with Philip VI were seriously strained and he eagerly desired allies in the Low Countries, Hildesley was attended by but two squires (armigert) and five horses.® Another clerk, John de Shoreditch, who also went on several missions to the Low Countries had only

a very small number of attendants and horses.!° A notary, Henry de Colecester, who went with William Fox and William de Stanes to Flan-

ders in 1334, was accompanied by a squire (armzger) and a servant 1 Ibid., 310 /9.

2 Iind., Nos. 11 and 13. 8 Iiid., No. 14. 4 Ibid., 309 /38. 5 Ibid., No. 37. 6 Tbid., 310/29. 7 Ibid., 311/10. 8 [bid., 310/18. 9 Tbid., No. 1. 10 Thid., Nos. 27 and 29; 311/35, 26.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 323 (garcio).1 On his missions to Flanders from 8 February to 16 April 1334, and from 16 May to 7 July 1335, William Fox had three men and four horses and four men and three horses respectively.? John de Thrandeston, a king’s yeoman who visited many prominent personages in the Low Countries and the Empire from the autumn of 1336 was attended by only one yeoman.? John de Woume who was busy watching events in Flanders in 1337 had but one yeoman and two horses. The embassy which brought the efforts of all these negotiators to a formal conclusion in the summer of 1337 was headed by the bishop of Lincoln and the earl

of Salisbury and was attended by a very large train of men.® This brilliant embassy, which spent money with the utmost liberality, produced a profound impression. °®

The principals and other prominent men of a diplomatic mission were given letters of protection or safe-conduct in the form of a letter patent. The name of the bearer was duly set forth, followed by a statement of the purpose of his travel and the period during which the letter recommending him for considerate treatment was valid. In addition such letters usually contained the clause beginning with the word volumus, stating that the bearer was not to be molested by any process at law or to be summoned

before any justice while discharging the duties to which he had been assigned. The scope of this exemption varied according to circum-

stance.’ ,

As envoys and other royal servants who were not diplomatic agents were absent from England for many months and could not attend to their business at court, they appointed attorneys with power to treat for them in chancery or exchequer. Attorneys, with a certificate giving them power to act had such evidences of their appointment duly enrolled. Thus Adam, bishop of Winchester, on 8 July 1336, named William de Etyndon and Robert de Hoo to act as his representatives in chancery until the following Christmas, and the letters of their nomination were enrolled among the letters patent.’ If attorneys were appointed to represent their clients at the exchequer, their certificates 1 [bid., 311 /9. 2 Thid., 311/4, 14.

3 Oeuvres de Frovssart, xvi, 153-165. 4 Ihid., pp. 51-55. 5 O.P.R. 1334-1338, 417-423. 6 Jehan le Bel, Chronique, 1, 119-128. 7 These letters of credence with clause columus may be found enrolled among the letters patent. See C.P.R. For a sample text, see Hubert Hall, A Formula Book of English Official Historical Docu-

ments (Cambridge, 1908), Pt. 1, pp. 70-71. For an historical sketch of passports and like documents, see Enciclopedia Italiana, xxvi, 458, s. v. ‘passaporto,’ and G. P. Bognetti, Note per la storia del passaporto e del salvacondotta (Pavia, 1933). 8 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 306.

324 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 _were enrolled in the memoranda rolls. Some of the envoys mentioned presented their accounts to the exchequer through their attorneys. So in February 1328, Henry, bishop of Lincoln, tendered his account through Nicholas de Falle, and William, bishop of Norwich, his through John de

Stanhowe.! Besides collecting moneys, such attorneys discharged the

absence. ? |

many duties which the envoys were bound to perform during their To defray at least a part of the expenses or the wages of their journey, the envoys usually received an advance of money at the exchequer before their departure. These allowances were made upon the presentation of a writ of liberate, bill of wardrobe, mandate of privy seal, or writ of the great seal to the barons and the treasurer of the exchequer. Such sums were paid directly to the bearer of the writ (per manus proprias) out of the exchequer; if there was no cash, tallies were issued in the anticipation

of moneys coming in from one of the various sorts of taxation. Frequently the sum needed was advanced by some Italian banking fraternity

such as the Bardi or Peruzzi. Thus, when Master John de Weston, king’s clerk, was about to set forth on royal business to the curia in May 1328, he received a tally in the sum of £186 13s. 4d. issued against the collectors of the twentieth in the county of Sussex. This tally was pre-

sented to John Fraunceys of the Bardi who advanced the sum demanded.* The issue rolls of the exchequer contain a full list of such instances, llustrating by innumerable examples the complicated system of the financial activity of the government. The clerks of the exchequer also were required to secure the exchange of English into foreign coin. On 28 March 1327, they received a writ under the privy seal dated 24 March directing them to give to Bishop Adam of Hereford, who was going to the curia in Avignon, 2000 Floren-

tine florins which cost £333 6s. 8d. On 27 March the king, by writ under the privy seal, further ordered the treasurer and chamberlain to convert 200 marks into Florentine florins for use at the Roman court, which exchange was effected on the 28th at the rate of 3s. 104d. for each florin, leaving 8d. unused.* It appears that the clerks of the exchequer were required to secure various foreign coins and that they kept them on hand to satisfy such demands. ‘These recorded disbursements in the issue rolls, it should be noted, were merely formal memo1 Exchequer Accounts, 310 /2, 4.

2'T. W. Simons, “Chancery and Exchequer Clerks Serving as Attorneys, 1327-1336,’ University of Colorado Studies, xx11 (1935), 381-396.

~ 3 Jssue Roll, No. 236, Easter, 2 Edw. III. 4 Issue Roll, No. 226, Michaelmas, 1 Edw. III.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 325 randa of accounting and later, upon the envoy’s return, were referred to when his bill for final settlement was presented at the exchequer. When all preparations had been made—the personnel of the familia determined, letters of safe-conduct and credence drawn up, and full instruction orally received from king and council—the envoy and his train set forth, travelling over the routes customarily used by merchants, pil-

grims, and other travellers. They might sail from Hull, Harwich, or Orewell and land at Middelburg, Brielle, Dordrecht, Antwerp, or Sluis. If the envoy was going to France he might sail from Portsmouth or some other port in western England. But in most cases the crossing chosen was the one used from time immemorial, that from Dover to Wissant, conveniently situated for all travelers to central and western Europe. At Dover stood a hospice (hospicium),? regularly patronized by diplomatic missions.°

These places often presented scenes of bustling activity, especially when a large ambassadorial party wished to cross. Elaborate preparations had to be made for the crossing and customs regulations had to be complied with. Travelers were watched and their letters of safe-conduct might be scrutinized, especially in time of war. This is revealed by the mission of one John de Sancto Edmundo (July 1338) to Wissant to ascer-

tain whether the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of Durham would be permitted to land on soil belonging to the French king without the customary letters of safe-conduct. The sums which were paid at Dover and Wissant or at other places chosen for the crossing may be found in nearly all the expense accounts presented by the envoys to the exchequer upon their return. There was a charge for the use of boats (batillagium), dues for landing equipment (portagium), escort (conductto),

and custom dues (custwma) for each person. ‘The crossing sometimes was rough and ships were blown off their course. Thus in January 1330, the bishop of Norwich was driven by contrary winds into the harbor of Calais. A severe storm, it appears, forced the returning archbishop of Canterbury out of his course in April 1335, scattering his ships, some

making the port of Dover, some Hythe, and others Winchelsea. The crossing from Wissant to Dover sometimes was very dangerous, especially

when war threatened. Pirates often took advantage of the general insecurity. Relations between Edward III and the French crown were 1 Kadmert Historia Novorum, ed. Martin Rule (Rolls Series, London, 1884), pp. 88, 148. 2 Exchequer Accounts, 310/9; 311/15. 3 Ibid., 311/36. 4 Jbid., 310/9. 5 [bid., 311/6.

326 The English Government at Work, 13827-13836 very strained in the spring and summer of 1327! and a number of English attendants of the mission of the bishop of Norwich were slain and their boats seized. ?

Arrived at their destination, the envoys had to search out the persons

to whom they were accredited, which sometimes was no easy task. Although by this time some of the branches of the governments of Euro-

pean states, particularly the financial and judicial ones, were fixed at certain centers, princes and their courts continued the roving habits

characteristic of feudal days. In their efforts to find the princes to whom they were accredited, diplomatic envoys usually visited castles or

monasteries which were known to be important in the governmental

administration. Such places were Nijmegen, ancient abode of the counts of Guelders, Nidekken, ancestral home of the counts of Juliers, Antwerp, Louvain, and especially Brussels, belonging to the dukes of Brabant, Mons, important for the counts of Hainault, The Hague, Dordrecht, and Middelburg, for the counts of Holland and Zeeland, and Bruges, Ghent, Ypres, Courtrai, and especially Oudenarde, where the counts of Flanders had castles. Other places frequented by envoys were towns centrally situated on the then important routes of travel. Among these were Schiedam, at that time much more important than Rotterdam, on the way from The Hague to Dordrecht,* and Geertruidenberg on the Old Meuse, a convenient spot on the way to Antwerp. Mechlin (Malines), a fief of the bishop of Liége, was an inevitable point in travel to Brussels and Hainault, especially for the count of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland. Maastricht on the Meuse could not be avoided, for it was built on the ancient route from Brussels and Louvain to Cologne and was a busy point.* The occasion of a tournament might attract envoys. Thus in 1327 John of Hainault, who acted as King Edward’s agent to look after the royal diplomatic interests on the continent and was appointed to collect a force of men-at-arms for the campaign against the Scots, appeared at Condé in Hainault whither a large number of noblemen had gone, attracted by the prospect of seeing brilliant jousting and meeting friends and relations. Here he began recruiting gentlemen from Hainault, Namur, the Cambrésis, Brabant, the Liégeois, Artois, Juliers, 1 Lucas, The Low Countries, pp. 56-60.

2 Exchequer Accounts, 309/39: ‘Item quibusdam nautis conductis cum nave ad transfretandum de Dovarria usque Whitsaund pro novis reportandis pro eo quod naute et alij ex parte regis Francie post redditum dicti domini Norwycensis episcopi in Angliam prima vice ceperunt naves et homines Anglicos et eos interfecerunt propter quod domini Herefordensis et Norwycensis episcopi non audebant quousque haberunt certa nova de partibus Francie predictis—Ixxjj s. iij d.’ 3 Robert Fruin, ‘Naar Aanleiding der Vereeninging van Delfshaven met Rotterdam,’ Verspreide Geschriften, v1 (1902), 116.

4 Oeuvres de Froissart, xvi, 52-54, 157-158.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 327 and other parts, all of whom later in the year crossed the channel to strike a blow for King Edward.' It often proved difficult to find princes. In August 1334, the envoys Simon de Stanes and Simon Fraunceys proceeded to Bruges, thinking to meet Count Louis of Flanders there at the Feast of the Assumption, in

order to discuss with him and the three towns of Bruges, Ghent, and Ypres the trade difficulties between English and Flemish merchants. But the count was at Amiens whither all important princes of the Low Countries and the Rhineland had gone to learn the decision of Philip VI of France, chosen to arbitrate between themselves and the duke of Bra-

bant. Count Louis apparently had forgotten the agreement made in the previous spring about the negotiations at Bruges in August. The envoys waited in vain for the count to appear, and finally decided to go to

Ghent where it was reported that he might be found. The count’s officials at Ghent, as at Bruges, were loath to act in his absence and advised the agents to go to Oudenaarde where they might learn more about his

movements. They hurriedly set out and at the count’s castle learned that Louis was at Amiens whither they set out with all speed.? Such experiences were common and envoys usually expected to go in search of

princes to whom they were accredited. In the case of ecclesiastical personages the difficulties were not nearly so great, for archbishops and bishops usually stayed in their palaces and could readily be found. Envoys were certain to find the pope in Avignon. Whenever necessary, envoys employed special messengers, called messengertt, cursores, and also nuncit. There were innumerable occasions when it was imperative to convey or receive some special informa-

tion. During the negotiations at the curia for a dispensation for the marriage of Philippa of Hainault, the English envoys kept in close con-

tact with Count William, Philippa’s father. Thus Bishop Adam of Worcester, when on his way to the curia in Avignon early in 1327 sent an envoy from Wissant with some attendants to Count William at Valenciennes, who also went to Middelburg in Zeeland and finally rejoined the

bishop at the curia.* Later in the year Bartholomew de Burghersh, likewise sent to the curia, dispatched an envoy, Radulphus de Brok, to Count William in Hainault, who thereafter proceeded to Paris. Especially instructive in this respect is the bill of expenses presented at the

exchequer by Bishop John of Winchester who had been sent to the French court on 8 March 1327. He dispatched an attendant, Adam, 1 Jehan le Bel, Chronique, 1, 33-34, 39-42. 2 Lucas, Speculum, x1 (1936), 59-87. 3 Exchequer Accounts, 309 /38. 4 Ibid., No. 37.

328 The English Government at Work, 1327-13386 who travelled from Wissant to Paris and from Paris to Peterborough and thence back again to Paris.’ Special agents carried oral messages as well as letters. One such messenger named John went from Paris bearing letters to the king in Nottingham and returned to Clermont.? Minor agents often were employed to spy upon the enemy’s movements and report secretly whatever the royal agent ought to know. Thus, in 1337 when the English fleet was about to bring a large quantity of wool to Dordrecht, John de Woume repeatedly sent out spies to observe the hostile movements of the French.#

Richard de Bury, bishop of Durham, on one occasion sent Robert de Fremyngham, described as a garcio, to Norman ports to spy upon the galleys and naval preparations. Another person, William de Coem, king’s squire (scutifer) was sent to Burgundy to observe the status of a local war and other secret matters.* Such special envoys were, in fact, called upon to discharge all sorts of tasks. Particularly interesting are the many duties of the envoys sent out by William de Martheleye, who was sent on 1 July to Gascony to look after the king’s interest there and to help in the plans for the defense of the country. These envoys carried letters from the seneschal of Gascony, Oliver de Ingham, and the bishop of Norwich.® These agents as a rule were paid by the principal of the mission, but sometimes wages and expenses were paid upon order of the king to the exchequer. ®

Admitted into the presence of the persons to whom they were sent according to the wording of the letter of credence, the envoys presented

their credentials. In the case of towns, the envoys approached the burgomasters as, for example, at Bruges in 1334 when Simon de Stanes and Simon Fraunceys appeared before them in behalf of the claims of English merchants. In the case of princes it was the chancellor to whom

they addressed themselves. The great seal was first of all carefully noted, next the names were considered, and the range of powers to nego- . tiate conferred by the letter was scrutinized. In the discussions which followed, the councillors of the prince, the canons of the cathedral chapter, or the scabinz of the town were called in to discuss the matter, and a direct exchange of ideas followed. Such interchange of opinion was tedious and not infrequently futile.’

1 [bid., No. 40. 2 [bid., 309 /40.

3 Oeuvres de Froissart, xvii, 53-55. 4 Exchequer Accounts, 311/22. 5 Tbid., 309/36. For the difficulties of the English crown at this time in Gascony with the French, see M. Jusselin, ‘Comment la France se préparait 4 la guerre de cent ans,’ Bibliothéque de I’ Ecole de Chartes, Lxx111 (1912), 209-236.

6 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 950. , 7 For a long document illustrating these points, see Lucas, Speculum, x1 (1936), 73-87. There is a most instructive document recounting minutely the reception of Count Louis of Flanders in 1336

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 329 Notaries were employed sometimes, at least on the continent where they were far more common than in England.! A striking example of the employment of notaries 1s furnished by the ceremony in which Phil-

ippa of Hainault was married to Edward III. Four notaries witnessed the proceedings and the words of Philippa and of Edward, who was represented by a proxy.?, Another interesting example of the employment of a notary is in the long and minute report made by one Henry of the tedious

negotiations in 1334 by Simon de Stanes and Simon Frauncys with Bruges, Ghent, Ypres, and with Count Louis at Amiens. This Henry apparently was none other than Henry de Colecester who formed part of the mission and whose expense account was separately rendered to the exchequer. ? 4. RATIFICATION AND PROMULGATION OF DipLomaTic AGREEMENTS

The decisions reached in such negotiations, after being reported to the crown and council, were not all treated alike. The less important were accepted as official acts and were not accorded a solemn ratification with the great seal. In such cases a report was presented to the king and his council, as in the case of the notarial report drawn up in Bruges by Henry de Colecester and presented by Simon de Stanes and Simon Fraunceys. Thereupon the king’s patent was duly issued, commanding his officials and subjects to take the steps prescribed.* In the case of the more 1mportant missions, even when plenipotentiary powers or a special mandate had been given, it was customary to ratify all agreements or treaties by

a letter furnished with the great seal. The negotiations for the establishment of the staple of wool in Brabant and the conclusion of alliances against Philip VI in 1337 illustrate this latter practice. John de Thran-

deston was empowered in February to open preliminary discussions about the matter with Mechlin and the towns of Brabant.> Soon he was assisted by far more important agents of the crown, Henry de Burghersh, bishop of Lincoln, William Montague, earl of Salisbury, and William de Clinton, earl of Huntingdon, who on 5 April were given the fullest powers, including a special mandate if needed, to arrange the terms under which wool might be imported into Brabant® in spite of the general embargo by Pope Benedict XII in Avignon. See P. Thomas, ‘Une Source nouvelle pour l’histoire administrative de la Flandre: Le Registre du Guillaume d’Auxonne chancelier de Louis de Nevers, comte de Flandre,’ Revue du Nord, x (1924), 33-38. 1 For notaries in general, see Arthur Giry, Manuel de diplomatique (Paris, 1894), pp. 824-834, and for England in particular, Tout, Chapters, 1, 122-123. 2 Archives de l Etat 4 Mons, Trésorérie des Comtes de Hainaut, No. 443. 3 Hxchequer Accounts, 311 /9.

4 0.C.R. 1333-1337, 346-347.

© Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 959. 6 Ihid., p. 966.

330 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 which Edward had laid upon its export in August of the previous year. Definitive arrangements were arrived at and the king, sojourning in York,

issued a letter patent dated 24 May, setting forth all the points agreed upon.! In April the bishop and the earls were also given the fullest power to contract alliances with the princes of the Low Countries against

Philip VI. Associated with them were John Walwayn, John de Montgomery, Reginald de Cobham, and Nicholas de la Beche. The results of their activities at Valenciennes, Brussels, and other centers were striking, for alliances were contracted with all Netherlandish princes of 1mportance, save Count Louis of Flanders, King John of Bohemia, who was count of Luxemburg, and the bishops of Liége and Cambrai. In each case the envoys gave a letter patent setting forth the terms arrived at.? Finally, the king, undoubtedly at the advice of his council, issued his letters patent of inspeximus and confirmation, dated at Westminster in August.? Qn one occasion, at least, the parliament (totum concilium) solemnly ratified the negotiations, as in the case of the treaty of Northampton in 1328.4 Sometimes it was necessary to proclaim treaties of truce or peace to

the officials and subjects of the realm. Such was the case in the negotiations with Flanders, for the king’s agents had to gather information about damages inflicted by his subjects upon the Flemings. ‘Thus

by letters patent dated 8 September 1333, Edward ordered each of his sheriffs to proclaim the terms of the treaty whereby all Flemings and Flemish goods arrested should be released and the merchants of each country permitted full freedom in trading peaceably and lawfully in the territory of the other.> In some cases the king besides ordering such proclamation emphasized responsibility to the sheriffs by specifically commanding each of them not to neglect execution.® 5. Tue PaymMrent or EXPENSES

At the conclusion of an envoy’s diplomatic mission, besides the report

of his activities to the king and his council as shown above, there was presented to the exchequer a bill of wages and expenses. These varied but little in form and a general statement will suffice for all. At the head ‘appeared a preliminary statement setting forth the name of the agent, his destination, the purpose of his mission, its dates, beginning with the 1 [bid., pp. 971-972. 2 Iind., pp. 970-973.

3 Ibid., p. 992. 4 Ibid., pp. 740-741. 5 Ibid., p. 869. 6 Ibid., p. 918.

The Machinery of Diplomatic Intercourse 331 day of departure and closing with the day on which he returned and his labors ceased, and the daily wages (vadia) allowed the principal of the mission for the entire period. Next followed a note of the amount of the money which had been advanced at the exchequer to help pay some of the expenses incurred in going to his destination. Then were entered, as a rule, expenses (expense), those incurred at Dover and Wissant in going abroad, while tarrying at the court to which the envoy was accredited, and when returning. In nearly every case the sums expended for such items as conductio, pontagium, portagium, batillagyum, and cus-

toms dues were carefully recorded. Finally the entire list of expenses was added and, after subtracting the amounts advanced at the beginning of the mission, the total sum to be disbursed by the exchequer was set down at the foot of the document. A writ, usually under the privy seal, was issued to the exchequer ordering payment. The officials in the exchequer received the bill of expenses, examined it, and compared it with such previous recorded facts as could be found in the issue rolls.

Any error in the bill thus was detected in the audit. Many of the exchequer accounts contain corrections or supplementary data added by another hand. When checked and rectified, the word probatur was writ-

ten after the total amount to be paid. The balance (superplusagium) in favor of the person who had submitted the bill was determined and final payment (persolucio) was made. A letter of acquittance was given and this was filed as a receipt. The pertinent facts of the mission such as the day of the envoy’s departure and return, his wages, and his expenses were duly recorded in the issue rolls of the exchequer for purposes .

of reference. The record of accounting was set down also in the pipe rolls. The duties of the envoy had now been discharged, his bills had been paid, and, should the king and his councillors wish to employ him again, he was ready for another mission.



I; seems needful to prelude main theme military administration by a brief account of the the campaigns in theofdecade 1327-1336. King Robert Bruce and the Scots could not resist the temptation to fish in the troubled waters of England, produced by the deposition of Edward II

and the accession of the boy-king, Edward JII. Preparations were feverishly made by the young king’s advisers to counter the threatened Scottish invasion. Edward and his entourage left Westminster for the north on 31 March 1327,! and from Ramsey he issued his summons for a formal feudal muster.?

Reaching York by 23 May 1327, the army was joined by John of Hainault, uncle of the prospective wife of the king. This distinguished knight brought with him some 780 men-at-arms? and other attendants, including Jehan le Bel, the bellicose canon of Liége and the most circumstantial chronicler of the campaign. Possibly John of Hainault was in charge of those small cannon, the ‘crakys of war,’ which were to amaze the Scots by their newness and noise. However welcome he may have

been in court and military circles, his Hainaulters roused that xenophobia which Jehan le Bel declared to be characteristic of the masses in the England of that day. The smouldering resentment was fanned into flame by a dispute over a game of dice, a murderous attack on the aliens

resulting in much bloodshed and strained relations throughout the campaign.

News came that the Scots under the earl of Moray and Sir James Douglas were ravaging the northern counties of England. Their tactics 1 For the itinerary, see Exchequer Accounts, 382/9; he was at Huntingdon on 3 Apr. and at Ramsey the next day. 2 See below, pp. 344-345 ff. 3H.S. Lucas, The Low Countries and the Hundred Years’ War, 1826-47 (Ann Arbor, 1929), p. 64. 4 For the earliest instance of the use of artillery by the English in this year, see A. E. Prince, “The Importance of the Campaign of 1327,’ E.H.R., u (1935), 301. Cf. J. H. Ramsay, Genesis of Lancaster (Oxford, 1913), 1, 194, and Charles Oman, History of the Art of War (London, 1924), 1, 212-213. 5 Chronique, ed. Jules Viard and Eugéne Déprez (Paris, 1904-05), 1, 17.


The Army and Navy 333 are familiar from the account enshrined in Froissart, based on Jehan le

Bel’s observations. Edward III thereupon moved from York on 1 July,? arriving at Durham on 15 July. Thence he moved on to Stanhope, arriving on 30 July. For three days the two armies faced each other, the Scots in a strong defensive position on the hill awaiting a frontal attack which the English would not essay in the light of their own new defensive tactics. On the fourth night,* the Scots stole away around the English flank.’ Pursuit was impossible, and Edward was back in Durham on 7 August, whence he withdrew to York and the south. There is no need here to expatiate upon the renewal of war in Scotland, and the expedition of Edward Balliol and the other ‘Disinherited.’ The latter were soon expelled from Scotland, and Edward III prepared to prosecute his own and Balliol’s claims. An army muster was ordered for Newcastle by the end of May 1333,° and the king arrived there on 17

April,” moving on to the banks of the Tweed by 9 May.® He joined Balliol, who, with William Montague and other English magnates, had laid siege some six weeks previously to Berwick, the key to south-east Scotland. This fortress was blockaded by land and sea, much destruction being wrought by ‘gonnes’ and other siege engines—probably the first time in English history that cannon were employed in siege opera-

tions. The Scottish relieving force risked a battle on 19 July. The English army made those tactical dispositions!® which were to wrest victory so often from Scottish, French, and Spanish foes. It was drawn up

on the slopes of Halidon Hill outside Berwick, in three divisions with 1 The Scots were mostly mounted on hardy ponies, attended by gillies running on foot. They transported no baggage train, nor provisions in bulk. But each man carried a large griddle under his saddle, and behind it a little bag of oatmeal—akin to the modern soldier’s iron ration for use in dire necessity. Usually, however, their food consisted of the flesh of the cattle they captured, or the

beasts baked in their skins. Water neat was the Scottish drink in those days. | 2 Not ‘about the 10th July,’ as Ramsay surmised (Genesis, 1, 190). 3 For the significance of these operations as a link in the chain of development of tactics between the battles of Boroughbridge and Dupplin Moor, see Prince, E.H.R., u (1935), 301. 4 John Fordun (Chronica gentis Scotorum, ed. W. F. Skene, Edinburgh, 1871, 1, 351-352) is correct in fixing the Stanhope period at 8 days. Froissart puts it at 18. Cf. James Mackinnon, The History of Edward the Third (London, 1900), p. 24, who follows Froissart. 5 They left carcasses of cattle, pots and spits, and thousands of worn-out brogues, as well as five prisoners, tied naked to trees with some of their legs broken. 6 See below, p. 350.

7 Ramsay says that he appeared there on 22 Apr. (Genesis, 1, 228), but the household accounts (Exchequer Accounts, 286 /8) supply the correct date. 8 Ramsay, loc. cit., sets the date as the 14th, whilst Mackinnon (Edward ITI, p. 64, n. 40) suggests the 20th. 9 See Prince, E.H.R., u (1935), 301. 10 For a valuable account of the tactics used in this battle, see J. E. Morris, ‘The Archers at Crécy,’ E.H.R., x11 (1897), 427-436, and his Bannockburn (Cambridge, 1914), pp. 96-99.

334 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 archers thrown out at an angle on the wings of each division, and another division detailed to counter a sortie from Berwick. All were dismounted, with the exception of a contingent ordered to prevent a body of two hundred Scots cutting their way through to the beleaguered city. The com-

bination of archers, with their nerve-shattering enfilade fire, and the men-at-arms on foot proved irresistible against the Scots, whose advance

turned into a retreat, the retreat into a rout, the rout into a sauve qut peut."

In spite of Halidon Hill, the national independence of Scotland was not seriously menaced. ‘The king of England ordered a muster of feudal tenants and levies from counties and boroughs.? Despite Sir James Ramsay’s view of the futility of the levies of 1334, the evidence afforded

by Ferriby’s wardrobe accounts shows that the English army totalled some 6200 men.* ‘The first extant army pay rolls of the reign reveal the earliest appearance of the mounted archer, as distinct from the foot archer, a type of soldier which was to play so prominent a part in Edward IIT’s campaigns, not only in Scotland but throughout the Hundred Years’

War. In 1334-1335 the retinues of the magnates consisted almost entirely of horse archers, in numbers almost equal to those of the menat-arms. On 14 November 1334, the king with his army left Newcastle for Roxburgh.* Here Edward passed most of the next three months.® It has not heretofore been realized that after Edward III’s departure for England on 11 February 1335 he left behind him John, earl of Cornwall, with a fair-sized contingent. ®

Edward III rejected the peace overtures suggested by the French envoys, and projected a much more ambitious campaign for the summer of 13835. Orders for the muster of men’ resulted in the biggest army ever to invade Scotland during the reign, one indeed which outnumbered any of the continental expeditionary forces, with the exception of the

huge Crécy-Calais armament. Altogether some 15,000 soldiers were on active service, the majority serving a complete quarter of a year, from

23 June to 23 September.® Edward III’s army marched up through Annandale, joining Balliol’s division at Perth. 1 See below, p. 340. 2 See below, pp. 350-351; Rot. Scot., 1, 279-293. 3A. E. Prince “The Strength of English Armies,’ E.H.R., xtv1 (1931), 353-356. Details are there given of the strength of the various categories of troops.

4 Nero C vit, fol. 233d. Ramsay thought that Edward spent most of November at Newcastle (Genests, 1, 236).

5 For the raid as far as Glasgow, see ibid., pp. 233-236; Mackinnon, Edward III, pp. 72-78; and. William Longman, The History of the Life and Times of Edward the Third (London, 1869), pp. 64-69. 6 Nero C vit, fol. 233; Cornwall was ‘designated by the king and council as captain in custody of

the March of Scotland.’ 7 See below, p. 351.

8 For full authoritative details see Nero C vu, utilized first by the present writer in “The Strength of English Armies,’ E.H.R., xtv1 (1931), 356-358. The share of the count of Juliers, etc., in the

The Army and Navy 335 The subsequent truce signed at Perth in August 1335, prolonged from

time to time, expired on 5 May 1336. But prior to that date preparations for the renewal of warfare were being made. Indeed they had never really ceased, as military and naval arrangements had been authorized to meet the possibilities of war with France and a French invasion of England. An array of all men between sixteen and sixty was ordered in August 1335.1| In April Henry of Lancaster was assigned by king and council as “captain and commander of the king’s army in Scotland.’? He was in pay from 1 May, on which day his horses were appraised. On 14

June, Edward himself left Newcastle for Scotland.? The Ferriby pay rolls lend countenance to Edward’s statement in the illuminating desspatch sent to his queen that his escort up to Perth was merely fivescore

men-at-arms.* On 12 July with some 400 men-at-arms and as many hobelars and archers, he started on his most daring and romantic Scottish expedition, his destructive dash into the Highlands.

Edward returned to Perth on 28 July. A considerable proportion of those troops who had been serving under Henry of Lancaster since May were permitted to return home.® Probably some of these escorted the king and several of his intimate household staff from Perth back to Nottingham for a meeting of parliament. Edward was in Bothwell on 21 October 1336, and 1t remained for the next six weeks his centre of operations; one of his activities was the erection of peels there and at Stirling.’ But the first two weeks of December 1336 saw a withdrawal of Edward III from Scotland with most of his army; the formal demobilization from active service took place at Berwick. expedition is described by Lucas, Low Countries, pp. 182-184; but he was not aware of the further light thrown by these valuable Ferriby household accounts. For the Irish forces under Justiciar Darcy, the earls of Ormond, Desmond, etc., see Pipe Roll, No. 187, m. 55, and No. 191, m. 49d; also Exchequer Accounts, 19/16; cf. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 448. 1 See below, p. 356.

2 Ferriby’s accounts in Nero C viu, fol. 240; Prince, E.H.R., xuv1 (1931), 358, n. 4. Cf. Rot. Scot., 1, 414.

3 For the king’s itinerary, see Exchequer Accounts, 387/19. For the month of June, see MaxwellLyte, Great Seal, pp. 408-409. 4 Henry Ellis, Original Letters Illustrative of English History, 3rd Series (London, 1846), 1, 33-39.

Cf. Ramsay, Genesis, 1, 243, and Tout, Chapters, tv, 99, n. 1. Neither Mackinnon nor Longman makes use of this valuable narrative.

> Thus half of Lancaster’s personal retinue of 100 men-at-arms departed on 8 Sept. (Nero C vit, fol. 240). 6 Edward left Perth on 4 Sept., and arrived at Nottingham on the 22nd (Exchequer Accounts, 287 /19). The parliament lasted from 23 to 26 Sept., and was primarily concerned with the French negotiations; cf. Stubbs, C.H.E., u, 397, n. 2. Edward left Nottingham on 30 Sept., Newcastle on 14 Oct., journeying by way of Hexham, Howick, and Peebles, to Bothwell. 7 Exchequer Accounts, 287/19. In his references to the king’s ‘wanderings’ in 1336, Tout mentions his presence at Peebles on 18 Oct. and Stirling 2 Nov. (Chapters, rv, 99, n. 1); but he ignores these activities at Bothwell.

336 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 1. Typrs or Troops in Epwarp’s ARMY As diverse as the multi-colored habiliments and accoutrements of the soldiers of Edward III were the types of troops contained in his army. The main classes, however, may be differentiated as follows: the knights

and other men-at-arms, the hobelars, the archers, both mounted and foot, and finally, the other footmen and the auxiliaries such as miners and engineers. Of the men-at-arms, the knights formed the cream.! As described in the manuals on chivalry, every knight, from the king downwards, had been solemnly admitted to the order of knighthood, either with the elaborate peacetime ritual or with the simpler but no less

effective ceremony on active service. Suffice it here to recall that on the eve of expected battles it was customary to dub to knighthood many esquires.2, Newly created knights, especially if attached to the king’s household, were sometimes provided with a grant of money or lands, the

better to maintain the dignity of the order. To augment this class of knights, proclamations were issued that all men of substantial position and wealth were to assume the obligations of knighthood.‘

There was a hierarchy within the body of knights, revealed in the records by differences in the rates of wages. For, indeed, by the time of Edward III, everyone was apparently willing and ready to accept pay for military service.° ‘There was no opposition to the principle of pay such as had been manifested under the first Edward by the earls, who entertained notions that ‘great feudatories on becoming stipendiaries would lose caste.’® The earls, of exalted rank in the hierarchy,’ were normally

paid 8 s. a day during this first decade of Edward III’s reign. Below 1 [Immediately after his accession, Edward III was knighted by Henry Wryneck, earl of Lancaster (Thomas Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series, London, 1863—64, 1, 188).

2 When the English faced the Scots at Stanhope in Aug. 1327, 4 esquires in the retinue of the bishop of Ely were knighted (Exchequer Accounts, 18/16).

3 Grants to Edward Chaundos, father of the famous knight of the Garter, of £10 a year till he should be provided with lands and rents of that value (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 39; Liberate Roll, No. 104, m. 10). 4 All with lands worth £40 a year in their possession for 3 years or more were to assume knight-

hood, if they had not already done so (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 93). The distraint of knighthood was an old practice; cf. J. E. Morris, Welsh Wars of Edward I (Oxford, 1901), p. 73, and Stubbs, C.H.E., 1 115, 221.

5 Except the king himself. But Edward Balliol, king of Scotland, did not disdain to draw 30s. a day in peacetime and 50s. in wartime (Cal. Docs. Scotland, 11, 239). 8 Morris, Welsh Wars, pp. 57 ff.

7 Later in the reign the king’s eldest son, the Black Prince, received pay at the rate of 20s. daily (Exchequer Accounts, 397/11). The dukes who filled a new rank in the peerage from 1337 were usually paid 13s. 4d. (ibid.). 8 Nero C vutt, fol. 233. The earliest instance of an earl drawing so high a wage as 8s. wasin 1296; see J. E. Morris, ‘Mounted Infantry in Mediaeval Warfare,’ Trans. R.H.S., 3rd Series, vit (1914), 80.

The Army and Navy 337 the earls came the category of bannerets, who were allowed 4 s. a day.! With regard to the status and qualifications of a banneret, there has been much discussion, but it is now fairly well established that this was essentially a military title and did not represent a social and political distinction.2 Any soldier could earn promotion from the lower knightly class ad modum banerettt. 'Though such elevation was based primarily upon

military pre-eminence, a secondary condition had to be satisfied, the possession of wide acres. A knight who was honored by conversion of his pennon into the bannerets’s rectangular banner had to provide himself

with a more elaborate equipment. In the field a banneret commanded a considerable retinue, comprising knights as well as esquires and other types of troops.* Moreover, he captained garrisons in castles, supervised the arraying of contingents, served as an administrator, and conducted military and political missions. The king’s bannerets, attached to the royal household, functioned as general staff officers. The ordinary knights, sometimes called knights bachelor to differentiate them from knights banneret, were drawn from the youthful scions of noble families or from the class of minor tenants who had been distrained into knighthood. There is no need here to dwell upon the familiar topic of the arms and armor of a typical knight of the period under study,® the haqueton, the hauberk, the gambeson, the cyclas, the helmet, the mixture of plate with

mail, and the other features of his body armor, his sword, lance, and dagger in sheath. Although the English normally fought on foot at this epoch, they moved from place to place on horses and frequently utilized their steeds in the pursuit of fleeing foes; a knight was therefore accom-

panied by three or four horses, including one or two destriers (heavy horses). ‘These war-horses were carefully registered with their distinctive markings (e.g., a white star on the forehead) and color; a value was fixed, and in case of their loss on active service, compensation was paid 1 Nero C vit, fol. 233. 2 See Tout, Chapters, 111, 296, n. 2, and 1v, 100-101.

3 Thus Ralph Neville led 11 knights, 48 men-at-arms, and 60 horse archers in 1334 (Nero C viu, fol. 223).

*# Antony Lucy, warden of Berwick in 1335, had a garrison of 50 men-at-arms, 60 hobelars, 48 watchmen, etc. (ibid., fol. 248). Henry of Lancaster (or his deputies) was instructed to array a certain number of horse and foot archers in Derbyshire by a writ dated 18 Apr. 1335 (Rot. Scot., 1, 337). Henry Percy was guardian of the Scottish marches in 1327 (see below, p. 348). Ralph Neville functioned as steward of the household and keeper of the forest north of the Trent (Tout, Chapters, 111, 36, n. 2). Henry of Lancaster was put in charge of the advance expeditionary force as ‘captain and leader’ from 1 May to 14 June 1336, when the king himself moved into Scotland (zbid., p. 10). William Montague was despatched by the king and council at London in Jan. 1336 to treat with the Scottish council at Edinburgh (Nero C vu, fol. 212). ° For an illustration of the armor at the commencement of the reign of Edward III, see Sir John

D’ Aubernon’s brass in the church of Stoke D’Abernon, Surrey. :

338 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 (restauratio equorum).' Each knight had one or more ‘pages.’ On the knight’s divesting himself of his armor, it was the duty of these pages to make and keep it bright and clean, so that when their master went into action his accoutrements shone like a looking-glass, giving him a terrifying appearance.” It was a detachment of these pages or grooms who led the horses to the rear, whilst the knights and other men-at-arms went on

foot for the actual battle; if the battle proved successful, the pages pricked forward the horses, their masters leapt to the saddle and engaged in a fierce, wild pursuit; these tactics were employed at Halidon Hill in 1333.°

The Latin and French terms which may be translated as ‘men-at-arms’, *

were employed with wide, loose, and ambiguous connotations that are bewildering and baffling to modern students. Sometimes chroniclers

and record-compilers used them generically to denote the heavily equipped military forces, as distinct from the lighter armed archers.® Often however they were chosen to designate the special class of troopers or ordinary men-at-arms, differentiated from the higher ranks, such as

the knights and bannerets;® these troopers were also described as esquires.’ Their normal rate of pay was a shilling a day. Like Chaucer’s ‘yong Squyer,’ they might be well-born, youthful aspirants to knighthood;° or they might be more plebeian, as were many of the centenars or captains in county levies.!° Probably the troopers were somewhat more lightly equipped than the knights, wearing a little less bodyarmor. A notable development in the period was that each man-at-arms

in a retinue tended to bring with him one mounted archer. . Dr J. E. Morris has pointed out the great importance of the share of the light horsemen in winning England’s triumphs in the Hundred Years’

War.'! He has declared that Robert Bruce became the savior of Scotland not so much because of his tactics on the battlefield of Bannockburn as because of his strategical plan of operations, which proved efficacious in averting English subjugation of the Scots. ‘Bruce’s great contribution 1 See below, p. 353.

2 Villari, quoted in S. D. Scott, The Britush Army: Its Origin, Progress and Equipment (London, 1868-80), 1, 311. 3 See above, p. 334; Bodleian Library, Rawlinson MS 179, fol. 159.

4 “Homines ad arma,’ ‘homines armorum,’ ‘homines de armis,’ ‘hommes d’armes,’ and ‘hommes armez.

5 Nero C vin, fol. 233. , 6 Loc. cit.

7 Scutifert (especially in the records), armigeri, esquiers. 8 Prince, E.H.R., xuv1 (1931), 362. ° Such as Nigel Loring or John Chandos. 10 See Nero C vin, foll. 252 ff., for examples of such leaders in 1334-1335. 11 Notably in his monograph, Bannockburn, and in his article on ‘Mounted Infantry in Mediaeval Warfare,’ Trans. R.H.S., 3rd Series, Vu (1914), 77-102.

The Army and Navy 339 to military history is that he mounted his men on ponies to avoid battle,

to starve out the English and to retaliate by devastating raids. ... Therefore more important than the combination of horse and foot in Anglo-Scottish wars was the discovery, by the English, of some method to catch the Scots and bring them to battle; this means that light cavalry or mounted infantry had to be evolved.’! Morris proceeds to describe the development in the English army of the two main types, the hobelars, who were ‘the true light horsemen,’ and the mounted archers. Hobelar was the term applied to the light horseman, who was mounted on an ambling pony or ‘hobyn.’2 Hobelars were light lancers, specially useful for ‘reconnoitring, carrying intelligence, harassing troops on a

march.’ In addition they often took part in pitched battles,* dismounted and flanked by the archers. Their equipment normally consisted of a hacqueton (a padded doublet of buckram, linen, or leather), a bascinet, or burnished helm, a visor, iron gauntlets, a sword, a knife, and a lance. Hobelars rode light horses,* and their customary rate of pay was 6d.aday.’ In the early Scottish expeditions,*® frequent appeals 1 Thid., p. 79. He illustrates Bruce’s methods from the well-known story of the Scottish raid into England in 1327 given in Jehan le Bel and adapted by Froissart. Cf. Oman, Art of War, 11, 108: “When she (Scotland) got the better of England in war, it was always through a careful adherence

to “Good King Robert’s Testament.” Similar methods of avoiding pitched battles were to be adopted half a century later by Bertrand du Guesclin and other saviors of France from English domination. ? Morris has argued convincingly for their origin in Ireland (Trans. R.H.S., 3rd Series, viu, 1914,

80). The earliest use of the word was in 1296, when a considerable force, including 260 hobelars, was brought over from Ireland by the justiciar of that country, to effect a diversion against the south-west of Scotland. Soon it occurred to somebody to mount and equip Englishmen like these Irish hobelars. Andrew Harclay in Edward II’s reign did most to develop the hobelar system. 3 Francis Grose, Military Antiquities respecting a History of the English Army from the Conquest

to the Present Time (London, 1786-88), 1, 107; cf. N.E.D., s.v. ‘Shobbler.’ As an example of this function of reconnaissance, note that Hugh of Wales was owed £40 for the wages of 40 hobelars of Tynedale retained in the Stanhope park campaign of 1327, ‘ad explorandum et discooperiendum invasiones et imbuscamenta Scotorum equitantium de guerra” (Exchequer Accounts, 18/9).

4 E.g., at Halidon Hill. ,

5E.g., Rot. Scot., 1, 328-329, 345. Cf. V. H. Galbraith, ‘Extracts from the Historia Aurea,’ E.H.R., xu (1928), 206, 214, n. 6.

6 Worth about 40s. The hobelars chosen for the Gascon campaign of 1325 were instructed to be mounted on horses ‘other than mares’ (Gascon Rolls, 18 Edw. II, m. 36). Morris believes that the hobelars’ horses were not barded or covered with armor, and quotes the definition, ‘scutiferi cum

equis discoopertis qui dicuntur hobelarii.’ In view of the hobelars’ special functions and the development of the new tactics of dismounting for battle, it is very unlikely that hobelars rode armored horses. 7 John Stirling, warden of Edinburgh Castle, about 1335 complained that whereas he had paid to the hobelars in his garrison 6d. a day, the chancellor of the king’s lands had disallowed that amount,

and only provided 4d. a day ‘at which none will stay’ (Cal. Docs. Scotland, 111, 219). If hobelars lacked horses, their pay dropped to 4d.; e.g., at Perth under Thomas Ughtred (C.C.R. 1339-1341, 157).

8 For example, in the futile 1327 campaign, in the Halidon Hill operations, and the subsequent expeditions of 1334-1336. See Prince, E.H.R., xtv1 (1931), 354 ff., and ibid., u (1935), 300-301.

340 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 were made for the services of hobelars; they formed part either of the shire and urban levies, or else of the retinues of the magnates. The de- , mand for this particular type of fighting force grew less, and mounted archers were usually summoned instead from 1334 onwards. The story of the origins and early development of archery and the class of archers in English armies has already been told in authoritative, definitive form.' Dr Morris has shown that it was from the Welsh, especially the men of Gwent, who were proficient in the long-bow, that ‘the English

learnt its use, and finally made it the chief English weapon.’ Under the reorganization of the national militia enjoined by the statute of Winchester of 1285, every citizen had to provide himself with suitable arms

and equipment, and familiarize himself with the use of his weapons; more and more the long-bow became the favorite as well as the authorized sport of the people,” practised at the butts behind the churchyard.? With regard to the training in archery, Hugh Latimer gave a description of the methods followed by his father, doubtless resembling those

of the early fourteenth century, two centuries earlier: “He taught me how to draw, how to lay my body in my bow, and not to draw with strength of arms as divers other nations do, but with strength of body.’4 With wonderful skill the English archers on the victorious battlefields of Scotland and France showered their arrows so rapidly that, to a chronicler of Halidon Hill, they seemed ‘as thick as motes on the sonne beam.’ It is said that when James Douglas captured an archer, he either cut off

the latter’s right hand or tore out his right eye, permanently incapacitating him.>

The equipment of a foot archer normally consisted of a hacqueton, a

bracer (a guard for the arm to catch the string when the shaft was loosed), a knife, a short sword, a bow, and one or two sheaves of arrows,

each containing two dozen shafts. The foot archers in the armies _ might be drawn from the shire or borough levies, pressed under the system of commissions of array, or they might be volunteers;’ leaders of

retinues occasionally included foot archers in their contingents.* The 1 Morris, Welsh Wars, pp. 15 ff.; see also Oman, Art of War, 11, 59-61.

2 Morris, op. cit., p. 15. In the Scottish campaigns, notably at the battle of Falkirk, its deadly efficiency was illustrated. But at Bannockburn many of the English archers were left unsupported and consequently were badly cut up by the light horse contingent of Keith (W. M. Mackenzie, The Battle of Bannockburn, Glasgow, 1913, pp. 78-79; Morris, Bannockburn, pp. 88-90). 3 And even on the highway (C.P.R. 1367-1370, 42).

4 Ramsay, Genesis, 1, 231. ‘ 5 Chronicon Henrici Knighton, ed. J. R. Lumby (London, 1889-95), 1, 460. 6 Cf. Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Prologue, Il. 101-117. 7 Prince, E.H.R., xuvi (1931), 354 ff.; Rot. Scot., 1, 225.

8 Prince, loc. cit. Included in this category of foot archers were the mounted archers who were lacking in horses through delay in transport, war losses, etc.

The Army and Navy 341 customary rate of wages for foot archers in the early years of the reign was 2d. a day,! although subsequently it was to be raised to 3d.?_ At

times these bowmen behaved in a turbulent fashion. Their hostility to the grasping Hainault ‘foreigners’ found vent in that ugly fracas at York in 1327, recorded at some length by Jehan le Bel.?

The mounted archers were a most important fighting force in this reign. The earliest instances of their use found by the present writer® date from September 1334, three years earlier than any instances hitherto

cited. Nearly a thousand then appeared in the retinues of the leaders, and over two hundred, specially chosen for the king’s bodyguard, were drawn mainly from Cheshire. It is of interest to note that the practice’ of including in a retinue a number of horsed archers exactly equivalent to that of the men-at-arms was being adopted in many cases. Not only were mounted archers provided by the magnates in 1334, but they were

also furnished by the northern counties, notably the ridings of Yorkshire. As yet the horse archers were fewer in number than the foot archers; but in the French expeditions most of the archers were mounted. In the early days of their employment, the horse archers received 4d. a

day, although the royal archers and some others drew the 6d. a day, which was to become the customary payment in the Hundred Years War.

Many of the mounted archers attached to retinues, or mobilized by cities, boroughs, and shires, seem to have been men of some substance and social importance. ®

The cross-bow, or arbalest, had been virtually superseded by the long1 K.g., in the winter campaign of 1334-1335 (Nero C vit, foll. 235 ff.) and in 1336 (ibid., fol. 259d).

2 Morris, in a review of Oman’s Art of War in the Middle Ages (E.H.R., xv, 1899, 134), says that in the Dunbar siege pay roll of 1337-1338 the ‘normal wage of 3d. per day for foot archers appears,

and the increase from 2d. a day to 3d. was doubtless due to their winning Halidon Hill.’ Did it take four years to garner the fruits of that victory? Was not the increase due rather to the desire to attract men in view of the approaching war with France as a second foe? 3 Chronique, 1, 43-46; see above, p. 332. # See above, p. 334.

® Prince, H.H.R., xiv1 (1931), 355, citing the valuable Nero C vin. Since the publication of that article, I have found an isolated example of the use of mounted archers as early as Mar. 1333. Mr John de Ayleston, clerk of the exchequer, sent on various missions in connection with war preparations, was escorted not merely by three serjeants-at-arms, but also ‘tribus sagittaribus ad equos,’ each serjeant being accompanied by two horses and each archer by one. Ayleston was paid £10 on 18 May 1333 (Issue Roll, No. 267, m. 10). 6 Morris, Trans. R.H.S., 3rd Series, viz (1914), 93, and Bannockburn, p. 100; Oman, Art of War, 11, 119.

’ To become normal in the later Scottish and French wars. 8 Nearly 500 hobelars and horse archers.

° Members of apparently the same family appear both in the lists of men-at-arms and of horse archers contained in retinues; William Hudson (‘Norwich Militia in the 14th Century, Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, xtv, 1901, 263) points out that ‘it is plain that the Norwich archers were many of them men of good standing.’

342 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 bow by the time of Edward III, but on a few occasions crossbowmen appeared in the English forces,! receiving 6d. a day. In the armies of Edward III, there were foot-soldiers, armed with other weapons than the bow, such as the spear and knives.2, Contemptuously characterized as ribaudaille by courtly chroniclers,? they rendered

useful if humble service in military operations. Prominent amongst these foot were the Welsh. Froissart has familiarized us with their tactics, for example, at Crécy, especially their habit of creeping in amongst the enemy men-at-arms, with their long knives and daggers, stabbing horses and men from beneath and behind,® murderously and mercilessly striking terror into their foes. This mode of fighting earned withering scorn from the admirers of the code of chivalry; moreover, racial antagonism to the Kelt, surviving from the heated passions of the Welsh wars of Edward I, may have tipped the pens of English chroniclers with gall; at all events the latter dwell constantly and with acerbity on the unruly conduct of the Welsh.* The records supply some justification for these

complaints.’ Nevertheless, the picture of the Welsh foot as a mere rabble of lawless, plundering marauders has been badly overdrawn. Their organization, at least, was considerably above the rudimentary stage. ‘They were arrayed in ‘millenaries’ (battalions), ‘centenaries’ (companies), and ‘vintenaries’ (platoons), like the rest of the foot; whilst 1 E.g., on the ships in Oct. 1336 (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 622, 624). Also in the Halidon Hill campaign (Rot. Scot.,1, 225). Gerard, attillator from Hainault, was employed in making cross-bows from 20 Nov. 1335 to 18 Apr. 1337, receiving for himself and his two servants 8d. a day (Nero C vin, fol. 215d). 2 Prince, E.H.R., xivi (1931), 354 ff.

3 Like Jehan le Bel, Chronique, 1, 51, and Jean Froissart, Chroniques, ed. Siméon Luce (Paris, 1872), 1, 187. * In the Dupplin Moor campaign, the foot distinguished themselves; at Edward Balliol’s landing, they disembarked rapidly, and practically routed the Scots before the men-at-arms had left the ships (Chronicon Henrici Knighton, 1, 462; Adam Murimuth, Continuatio Chronicarum, ed. E. M. Thompson, Rolls Series, London, 1889, p. 66; Chronicon Galfridi le Baker de Swinbroke, ed. E. M. Thompson, Oxford, 1889, p. 45). 5 Froissart, Chroniques, 111, 187. L. van Velthem (Spiegel Historiaal) describes the strange impres-

sion made by the Welsh upon the Flemings in 1297 with their bare legs and uncouth garb, their peculiar methods of eating and fighting, their proneness to the temptation to loot and quarrel, but withal their fortitude and the effectiveness of their weapons (Annales Gandenses, ed. Frantz FunckBrentano, Paris, 1891, p. 7, cited by T. F. Tout, The History of England from the Accession of Henry IIT to the Death of Edward III, 1216-1377, London, 1905, p. 210).

6° E.g., Walsingham (Historia Anglicana, 1, 223): ‘ubi Wallici multa damna fecerunt per illam moram; qui noxil sunt ubique’; and ‘Wallensibus, qui in omni loco erant importabiles et nocivi’ (loc. cit.). Cf. Chronicon de Lanercost, ed. Joseph Stevenson (Edinburgh, 1839), p. 283. 7 At the end of Edward II’s reign, Welsh troops had accompanied an expeditionary force sent to Gascony. They had scarcely landed at Bordeaux in May 1326, before they raised a ‘turbacion ou ryote vers les gentz de Burdeaux, come de plaies, moedres et robberies’; although the citizens behaved ‘coi et courteisement,’ the Welsh seriously hampered the king’s affairs (Ancient Correspond-

ence, Lv, No. 2).

The Army and Navy 343 various supernumeraries were attached to Welsh contingents, several in line with modern military requirements, but unknown comparatively to other branches of a fourteenth-century army. Such were the surgeons (medici), the chaplains (capellani), the standard-bearers (standariz), the heralds (proclamatores or criours),! and the interpreters (interpretatores),

the latter probably versed in Welsh, English, and Latin.? Above all the Welsh were amongst the earliest to receive uniforms.* Sometimes their weapons were miscellaneous in character, consisting of gisarmes or

clubs, but normally their equipment was quite good, with swords and spears as well as daggers.4 This organization may have broken down at times, but it should be stressed that strong influences were at work to produce discipline and order. The ordinary Welsh footman drew 2d. a day, whilst the surgeon, chaplain, standard-bearer, vintenar, and herald

received 4d. a day.> Irish foot also served in Scotland.* For home defense, the commons of England were armed with swords, bills, gisarmes, pavises, and any other weapon available.’ Lastly among the foot there were the engineers, artificers, and work-

men of various kinds attached to the army. The miners proved extremely useful in siege operations; normally they were drawn from the Forest of Dean. Then there were masons,°® carpenters,'° smiths,'! armorers, '? fletcherers, '* pavilioners,!* and minstrels to discourse music and keep up the morale of the troops.'!> 1 Prince, E.H.R., xvi (1931), 355, n. 1. 2 Indeed, in one document (Exchequer Accounts, 23 /22) the latter functionary was designated as

a ‘latinier’; the medicus was here translated as ‘phissien.’ 3 See below, p. 362. 4 For an excellent study of the features of the Welsh levies during the French campaigns, see D. L. Evans, ‘Some Notes on the Principality of Wales in the Time of the Black Prince, 1343-76,’ in Trans. Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (1925-26).

5 In 1334-1335 (Nero C viu, fol. 254).

6 E.g., under Walter Birmingham in 1335 (Pipe Roll, No. 191, m. 49d; Prince, E.H.R., xiv, 1931, 357).

7 Exchequer Accounts, 19/37, contains a description of the array in Norfolk in 1336. Cf. Rot.

Scot., 1, 419-420 (“Forma parandi ad arma,’ in 1336). 8 Prince, E.H.R., xvi (1931), 354. ® Master Richard Goushill in 1334 was the leader of some 60 masons, himself and two others drawing 8d. a day, and the rest 4d. and 6d.; they were accompanied by over a hundred servants carrying materials, 2 receiving 6d., 6 4d., 10 3d., and the others 2d. (Nero C vin, fol. 254). 10 In 1334 there were 35 in commission, 2 drawing 6d., 21 4d., and 11 3d. (loc. cit.). 11 In 1334 there were 3, of whom 2 were paid 6d. and 1 4d. (loe. cit.). 12 For the king’s armorer, pavilioner, erubiginator, lanceator, galeator, attillator, and broudator, see

Tout, Chapters, 1v 389-391. Gerard, attillator, was brought from Hainault to make cross-bows, serving from 1335-1337 at 8d. daily (Nero C vim, fol. 215d). 13 In 18335 Adam Gerne and his 9 colleague fletchers from the forest of Dean were paid 6d. daily (Nero C vu, fol. 258). ‘4 Alan Kirke and 10 pavilioners served in 1334, 2 at 6d. and 9 at 4d. (loe. cit.). 15 These were included in the royal household. E.g., Roger, Giles, and Nicholas Trumper, John Naquirer (drummer), Godescalus Piper, and others were granted an extra 7)4d. a day beyond their usual 414d. for their war service between 7 Aug. and 10 Dec. 1336 (Nero C vin, fol. 244).

344 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 2. MuILiITaARY SERVICE IN 1327

The military service of the first year of Edward III’s reign illustrates the various elements composing an army of the period, viz., the military

tenants rendering their due feudal service founded on the claims of homage, the national militia serving under the general obligation of allegiance with quotas of the whole mobilized under commissions of array, and foreign mercenaries and sundry English troops raised by special bargains or agreements under what is usually described as the system of indentures—although this latter system was of no great importance prior to the outbreak of the Hundred Years’ War.

The year 1327 supplies the first and only occasion in Edward III’s reign when the full and formal feudal levy was called out and scutage exacted. To repel the Scottish attack Edward issued writs of military summons dated 5 April to his tenants-in-chief, from Thomas, earl of Norfolk and marshal of England, downwards,! The wording of the writs was of the ancient formal feudal type; the vassals were ordered on the fealty and homage, in which they were bound to the king, to attend him at Newcastle-on-Tyne on the Monday before Ascension Day, pre-

pared to set out against the invading Scots ‘with horses and arms and all the service which you owe us.’? As the Scots burst precipitately across the border, the place of assembly was changed from Newcastle to York; the levies were to be mustered there by 28 May at the latest.? The customary incidents of feudal service, namely fines and scutage,

were brought under notice.* Proclamation, dated 26 April, was made that all abbots, priors, and other ecclesiastics, widows and women unable to perform their service, and also all those not possessing a whole knight’s fee, were to make fines for their due service at the exchequer. ® Although no detailed scutage rolls seem to be extant for this feudal muster 1 Those receiving writs included 6 earls and 80 other laymen as well as 2 archbishops, 19 bishops,

and 24 abbots and priors. 2C.C.R. 13827-1330, 118. These writs were issued from Ramsey since the king had already started forthe north. In the writs to the ecclesiastics, the phrase ‘in fealty and love’ was substituted for ‘in fealty and homage.’ The sheriffs were enjoined to proclaim the summonses to all who owed knight service throughout their shires; see Chancery Miscellanea, 2/25, m. 14, for the writ to the sheriff of Oxfordshire and his return to the chancery. Further writs of summons were directed to Thomas Lathom and others on 7 May and other dates (Rot. Scot., 1, 210, 212, 219-220). The proclamation was issued on the advice of the ‘prelates, magnates and nobles,’ the commons of the realm receiving no mention. 3 Jehan le Bel, Chronique, 1, 37; see below, p. 345.

4D. J. Medley (English Constitutional History, Oxford, 1925, p. 541) is therefore mistaken in saying that ‘after the reign of Edward I, there are only two traces of it [scutage],’ in 1322 and in 1385.

5 Rot. Scot., 1, 208. Thus Joan Botecourt paid a fine for exemption (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 198). For the practice of imposing fines see Thomas Madox, The History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the Kings of England (2nd ed., London, 1769), 1, 657-658.

The Army and Navy 345 of 1327, it appears that the military tenants who had performed their due service and those who compounded for it with the exchequer were given writs de scutagio habendo; the scutage levied from sub-tenants was as-

sessed at the rate of 40s. on each knight’s fee.1 Towards the end of 1337, probably in view of the impending French expedition, energetic ef-

forts were made by the king to collect the arrears of this scutage of 1327.2, This caused considerable irritation, and provoked a protest from John of Warenne, ear] of Surrey, against the officiousness of the collectors in Wiltshire.2 On 16 February 1338, however, the collectors throughout the realm were ordered to supersede the levying of the scutage

till further orders, in consideration of the generous grants made by the community of the realm to the king.* As to whether any arrears of this scutage were ever demanded after this date, the records searched give no information. Feudal service was recognized as becoming obsolete, and it may have seemed imprudent to the king to press for the collection of small issues from an antiquated and detested due, when he was receiving such lavish subsidies from his parliaments. The question whether the military tenants performed unpaid service for the traditional forty days during this campaign cannot be satisfactorily answered, since, unluckily, evidence as to the details of service does

not appear, except in the case of John, bishop of Ely. This prelate in his accounts required payment for his retinue from 28 May 1327, ‘on which day the said men-at-arms were assembled at York in accordance with the king’s mandate,’® although the bishop cannot have performed

any forty days’ service prior to that date. There is uncertainty, however, with regard to the earls and the other tenants-in-chief. They are known to have received large sums of money as prests on the wages of 1 E.g., to the abbot of Glastonbury : ‘Rex vicecomiti Somerset’ et Dorset’ salutem. Quia dilectus nobis in Christo Abbas Glastoniensis finem fecit nobiscum pro servicio suo in exercitu nostro Scocie

anno regni primo sicut per certificacionem Thesaurarii et Baronum de Scaccario nostro in Cancellario nostro missam nobis constat, tibi precipimus quod eidem abbati habere facies scutagium suum de feodis militum que de ipso tunc tenebantur in balliva tua, videlicet, xu solidos de scuto pro exercitu supradicto —Reading, 10 Dec. 1337 (Scutage Roll, No. 13, m. 2). In Jan. 1338 Edward, duke of Cornwall, was granted by his father as a special favor all the proceeds of the scutage required from the vassals of his domains, although in fact he was not born till 1330, three years after the date of the campaign (loc. cit.). 2 See C.C.R. 1337-1339, 385: ‘to have the money at the exchequer as soon as possible’; cf. zbid., p. 277. 3 O.C.R. 1337-1339, 285.

4 In deference to a petition of the community of the realm in the recent parliament, which sat 38-14 Feb. (zbid., p. 385). The rolls of parliament do not contain any mention of this petition in 1338, although in the parliament of Oct. 1339 the commons asked release from old debts; scutages and reliefs were explicitly named (Rot. Parl., u, 105). A clause added: ‘up to the coronation of the present king.” Would this exclude the scutage of 1327? > Pipe Roll, No. 175, m. 46, and Exchequer Accounts, 18/6.

346 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 their retinues;? but these payments do not, of course, preclude the possibility of some unpaid service. The bishop of Ely led a force of no less than 172 men-at-arms, including 2 bannerets and 35 knights;? the nominal feudal obligation of the Ely bishopric was 40 knights’ fees, of which 6 had been ‘recognized’ as the customary quota in Edward I’s reign.? These facts, coupled with the largeness of the sums disbursed as advances upon wages, suggest that the retinues in 1327 were of a size far exceeding strict feudal obligations, and of a nature which had probably departed

from the ancient traditions of gratuitous feudal service. If it was the voice of feudalism which uttered the call to arms in 1327, it was the voice of a dying feudalism.

The principle that every able-bodied man between sixteen and sixty years of age was bound to serve with suitable weapons, in case of invasion of the realm,* was put into force in this crisis of 1827. The arrayers and sub-arrayers in the six northern counties® were first commanded to prepare and hold in readiness all available fighting men,* and subsequently. in company with the sheriffs, they were ordered to lead the whole posse

partuum, sparing no men, to the king’s muster at York.” When facing the foe located in a strong position at Stanhope, the king made an urgent appeal to all, horse and foot, knights, men-at-arms, and others, to come to his aid at once.* Besides this levée en masse in the counties immediately concerned with the Scottish incursion, a partial mobilization was demanded from the counties adjoining them, e.g., Nottingham, Derby, and Stafford. ‘The characteristic features of the system of commissions of array, by which experienced officials selected a quota of all the fighting men available, appeared; thus the commissioners were assigned to choose

2000 footmen in Nottingham and Derby out of the best and strongest men in those counties assembled together by the sheriff.2 To some 43 1 Thus Edmund, earl of Kent, received £1000 at York on 8 June from Robert Wodehouse, keeper of the wardrobe; the earl marshal drew £250 (Exchequer Accounts, 383/8; L.T.R. Enr. Accts., 2/27; Pipe Roll, No. 177, m. 3). Advances were also made to them to buy horses and provisions. 2 Four of these knights were newly created at Stanhope on 25 July. For a certificate by Ely to the chancellor that Robert Digby and John Swynford served in his retinue, see Ancient Correspondence,

xxxvuu, No. 189. 3 Morris, Welsh Wars, p. 44.

#* . . . considerantes etiam quod in tantae necessitatis articulo, omnes et singuli manus apponere tenentur adjutrices ad tanta pericula evitandum’ (Rot. Scot., 1, 206 ff.). 5 The bishop of Durham had a similar writ to muster all ‘defencible’ men in his liberty (cbid., p. 206). 6 Writs dated at Stanford on 20 Apr. 1327 ordered distraint on those unable to fight to supply the expenses of the able-bodied (cbid.).

7 Writs to the arrayers on 17 June (ibid., p. 214) and to the sheriffs on 26 June (ibid., p. 215). Repeated demands to hasten all the “defencible’ men were made throughout July and later.

81 Aug. 1327 (ibid., p. 220). ,

9 Ibvd., pp. 207, 212-213; these forces were to be armed, arrayed under centenars, and sent up to the place of muster of the army, Newcastle, ‘at the cost of the county,’ and from there ‘at the king’s wages.’

The Army and Navy 347 cities and towns the king made a request that they would send as many men as they should deem fit, considering the emergency.! This request was tantamount to a command; when the mayor of Lincoln delayed in sending the 40 armed men of the city, arrayed for this purpose, he re-

ceived a sharp reprimand.? London made answer to the request by sending 70 men-at-arms, 30 hobelars, and 164 foot-archers, led by John

Bedford, a skinner.? The county of Chester granted a thousand men, ‘willingly and of their own free will,’* and, as in the case of London,? it

was expressly stated that this liberal offer should not prejudice their rights, nor be drawn into a precedent. An appeal also was made to the Welsh lordships for soldiers. °®

Besides the national levies, recourse was had to the aid of foreign troops in 1327, especially from the Low Countries, foreshadowing the extensive use of mercenaries from that region in the early expeditions

of the Hundred Years’ War from 1338 onwards. In 1327, John of Hainault, uncle of the future queen of England, came to Edward III’s assistance, along with the flower of chivalry from Flanders, Brabant, and

Hainault.” But these mercenaries proved so heavy a strain upon the king’s financial resources that the pawning of the royal jewels kept in the treasury and the Tower was seriously contemplated. These Hainaulters also put an intolerable strain on the tempers of the anti-foreign English foot-soldiers. °

In this first year of Edward III’s reign, the system of indentures, which

was to reach so high a development in the French wars,!° was dimly 1 Rot. Scot., 1, 212; to be armed with suitable weapons and provided with a horse of the value of 30s.

or 40s. for riding thither. Cf. C.C.R. 1327-1330, 118, and Jehan le Bel, Chronique, 1, 53, ‘xxx mille hommes armez, la moytie montez sur petites hagenez, l’aultre moytie sergans a pye envoyez par Velection des bonnes villes et a leurs gages.’ See Prince, E.H.R., i (1935), 300-301. 2 Rot. Scot., 1, 212; he was ordered to appear before the king in person and offer an explanation of his remissness. 3 Exchequer Accounts, 18/7; for fuller details of this array, see V. B. Redstone, ‘Some Mercenaries

of Henry of Lancaster,’ Trans. R.H.S., 3rd Series, vit (1913), 151 ff. 4 Rot. Scot., 1, 211-212.

> A clause in the charter granted to London a month or two previously stated that the citizens should not be compelled to go or send to war beyond the city (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 135; see below, p. 364).

6 Thus John de Crumbewell was asked to furnish as many men from his lordship of Hope, both horse and foot, as he could spare from its defence—22 Apr. 1327 (Rot. Scot., 1, 207, 211).

7 See above, p. 332; also Lucas, Low Countries, p. 64. They brought many horses with them; some were distributed to Englishmen (Exchequer Accounts, 383 /8). 8 Foedera, 11, Pt. ii, 713; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 160. See the writ of liberate for £7000 on 24 Aug. charged to the keeper of the wardrobe (Liberate Roll, No. 104, m. 3; cf. Issue Roll, No. 131, m. 2). The patent, close, and Scottish rolls are full of references to the expenses incurred on behalf of the

Hainaulters, e.g., C.C.R. 1827-1330, 165, 168, 247. .

9 See above, p. 332. The conflict at York made needful the ‘medical supplies,’ whose cost forms one of the items charged by John of Hainault upon the king’s account. 10 See Prince, ‘The Indenture System under Edward III,’ in Historical Essays in Honour of James Tait (Manchester, 1933), pp. 283-297.

348 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 adumbrated. In February, Henry Percy undertook the custody of the Scottish marches with at least a hundred men-at-arms and as many hobelars.! Again, the king and William de la Zouch made an indenture, whereby the latter agreed, among other conditions, to maintain 30 menat-arms for the siege of Caerphilly castle.? 3. Ecuipse oF FEUDAL SERVICE

The policy of Edward I of eliminating the importance of tenure from public life met nowhere a greater resistance than in the sphere of military affairs. The great feudatories, especially the earls, carefully kept alive and active the system of knight service by tenure, scrupulously performing the exact letter of their feudal obligations, and requiring of the crown as strict an observance of its corresponding obligations. Thus, while insisting that the king had no legal claim upon the feudal tenants to serve beyond the Channel, the earls always took care to furnish their due and proper service in wars at home; rarely indeed did they accept pay,® normally performing their service gratuitously and often serving for long periods over the legal forty days. Some significant modifications had

been produced in the conditions of feudal service. Military tenants were bound to bring to the muster a quota and not the full number of knights due from their fees. Payment had become usual for all service done before or after the orthodox forty days, the unpaid retinues of the earls alone being excepted. ‘The beginnings of the system of indentures, and demands made for service based merely on the value of property (e.g., £40 worth of lands or chattels) were other influences which, in the reign of the first Edward, tended to weaken the strength and vitality of the feudal idea in military affairs. Nevertheless that king had partially failed in substituting a general system of mobilization with common obligations upon all classes of his subjects, irrespective of distinctions in the methods of holding land. His son, Edward II, met with little more success. To what extent was the doctrine of feudal service relied upon by Edward III as the basis for recruiting horsemen for his armies? How far did the earls and other magnates slacken the bonds of military service 1 C.P.R. 1827-1330, 18; Privy Seals, 1 Edw. II, No. 112. Cf. Rot. Parl., 1, 163. 2 Exchequer Accounts, 18/1; cf. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 18. See below, p. 353. Indentures to serve the king for life with specified contingents, in return for an annual fee, were also drawn up about this time, e.g., C.P.R. 1327-1330, 243. See Prince, in Historical Essays in Honour of James Tatt, p. 285; Tout, Chapters, 111, 24.

3 Stubbs, C.H.E., u, 290 fi., and Morris, Welsh Wars, passim. 4 Morris, op. cit., p. 276. 5 They did draw pay, for example, in 1287 in Wales, and in the winter of 1297-1298; for the paid service of Guy of Warwick, see Pipe Roll, No. 184, m. 39. 6 Morris, Bannockburn, passim.

The Army and Navy 349 by tenure, and consent to supply their aid on the obligation of allegiance in lieu of homage or as the result of new pacts and agreements with the crown, functioning as paid soldiers? At the very outset of Edward III’s reign, protests were lodged, if not against feudal service as a principle, at least against abuses of the service

to which it was prone. In the session of parliament held immediately after Edward’s accession,! the commons entered a petition that ‘no one in future should be distrained to go in war against his will in lands where he is not bound contrary to the manner of his tenure, nor in lands where he is not bound to do service in any other manner than that due according to the form of his tenure.’? The king ignored this petition, and no statute

was passed in this matter. It seems probable that Gascony was mainly at the back of the mind of the commons in drafting their request.? Although there is some doubt as to whether the traditional forty days’ unpaid service was done by the military tenants in 1327, yet the orthodox, formal wording of the writs of summons and the commutation of personal attendance by fines and by imposition of scutage sufficiently attest the nature of this service. It was manifestly feudal, based on the obligation of homage. But there is not the same degree of certainty about the levies in the later campaigns. No writs were again couched in the fully formal and orthodox terms, accompanied by their feudal incidents; less peremptory phraseology was employed. In 1332 disturbances arose in Ireland, and the king contemplated an expedition thither. Writs of summons were directed to Thomas, earl of Norfolk, and a score of other vassals having possessions in that country;4 1]t was this parliament which had carried through the deposition of Edward II; it sat from 7 Jan. to 9 Mar. ? Rot. Parl., u, 8, 9; Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 120. The succeeding petition referring to abuses in the system of array concluded with a phrase that may possibly apply to feudal service: ‘qe nul soit destreint daler en Escoce nen Gascoyne, ne nul part hors du Roialme ne autre service faire qe ses tenementz ne deyvent de droit faire.’ 3Two expeditionary forces had been despatched thence in 1324-1325. For the second force, most peremptory writs of summons, couched in the strictest feudal terminology, were issued on 21 Dec. 1324; all the leading figures in the feudal hierarchy, from the king’s son and the earl marshal downwards, were commanded on their fealty and homage ‘with horses and arms and all the service you owe us for the lands and tenements you hold of us in England to attend the muster’ (Parliamentary Writs and Writs of Summons, ed. Francis Palgrave, London, 1827-34, u, Pt. i, 683). This phraseology implied unpaid feudal service. Perhaps this petition of the commons sounded once more the opposition to feudal service abroad. However, in point of fact, this formal levy of the feudal host was never made according to the instructions; an alternative plan was adopted, that of ordering specified magnates to proceed to Gascony, no unpaid service being expected from them. Nevertheless, there was some neglect in the payment of wages there (e. g., in the case of the earl of Surrey, as mentioned in Exchequer Accounts, 17/5). Probably the petition of the commons was pointed by this inability to pay up the wages in Gascony, especially when, as in the case of Surrey, his period of service had been prolonged beyond the time originally stipulated (Gascon Rolls, No. 38, m. 6). 4 Dignity of a Peer, tv, 407.

350 The English Government at Work, 13827-1336 these tenants were urged to muster on fealty and homage.! The expedition, however, never materialized.? Despite the striking victory of Dupplin Moor in 1332, Edward Balliol was driven out of Scotland, and renewed his appeals for aid to Edward III. By the treaty of Roxburgh, Balliol acknowledged the English king as his overlord and offered him the town and county of Berwick with other

Scottish territory. In the early months of 1333, Edward III was preparing an army to prosecute Balliol’s claims upon the Scottish throne and secure the promised lands for himself. On 21 March, writs were directed to forty-five military tenants commanding them on their fealty, homage, and allegiance to attend the king’s person ‘with horses and arms as powerfully as possible.”? Unfortunately, details of the service done and pay-

ments made are not available. The king, however, promised to pay wages to all men-at-arms, hobelars, cross-bowmen, archers, and others who should come voluntarily to the army,‘ and there is documentary proof that the total wages of the soldiers and sailors for these operations

amounted to the comparatively large sum of £5629.° No dogmatic answer can be given to the question whether any unpaid feudal service was performed. Sir Walter Trikingham, who had received the summons to muster by 30 May, drew pay for himself and an esquire from 8 July to 20 July.® Itis faintly possible that he may have done his forty days’ unpaid service prior to 8 July.’ But it is hazardous to generalize from this single instance. The usual concomitants of formal feudal service, the levy of scutage and the like, were not in evidence on this occasion. Upon the expulsion of Edward Balliol from Scotland the English king in 1334 felt compelled to raise an army to assert his challenged authority and superiority. There were cases in 1335 when the counties and

towns commuted for lump sums the services of hobelars and archers previously imposed upon them; the arrayers, however, refused to refund the expenses levied for the equipment of the men thus excused.® Parliament had to move in this matter and enjoin restitution.’ The very first parliament of Edward III’s reign concerned itself with serious abuses that had crept in during the time of his father, abuses with respect to payment of wages, costs, and expenses of the forces raised under commissions of array. Statutes were passed against the require-

ment of heavier equipment than formerly authorized, and against the burdensome provision of military service outside the realm at the cost of the communities, instead of at the cost of the kg. The phraseology 1 Robert Tapele, selected as leader of 20 archers from Devon ‘avoit trouve seurte de seruir le Roi’ but afterwards ‘retreia q’il ne poait estre trouve’ (Chancery Miscellanea, 2 /48). 2¥E.g., of Hugh de la Sale of Laxton on 4 June 1333 (C.C.R. 1383-1387, 117). 3 Rot. Scot., passim, notably for the months of July 1327 and Dec. 1334.

4E.g., ibid., 1, 206, 496. 5 Thus on 20 Dec. 1334 (ibid., p. 304). 6 When Bucks. had been excused the levy of 40 hobelars on payment of 200 marks, Robert Malet had levied more than 800 marks, and kept the greater part for himself, so the king ordered an enquiry on 20 Aug. 1336 (C.P.R. 1334-1338, 289). 7 The commons petitioned ‘come ascunes gentz Dengleterre nadgairs assignez pur arraier hobelours

et archers a certein noumbre pur la guerre d’Escoce, elent levez diverses summes des deners pur armures, chivaux ... . desqueuz deners . . . grante partie uncore demoert es meyns des ditz arraiours’ (Stats. of Realm, 1, 278). Restitution was required. 8 Stats. of Realm, 1, 255-256; cf. Rot. Parl., 1, 8, Nos. 9, 10; Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 120. Noyes is mistaken in his assertion that this legislation dealt with the ‘army other than the militia’ (Military Obligation, pp. 141-142).

The Army and Navy 361 of the statutes is open to misconstruction,! and Stubbs seems to misinterpret their significance when he implies that until 1339 Edward III abandoned the evil practice of his predecessor in requiring the communities to maintain arrayed troops beyond the limits of their own counties. Says Stubbs, ‘in 1339 the men provided for the Scottish war were directed

by the parliament to be paid by their counties until they reached the frontier, and from thence onwards by the king. The statute of 1327 was

contravened, by competent authority perhaps, but without being repealed. As a natural consequence, the king regarded himself as freed from his obligation.’? A crowd of oppressive commissions which followed is cited. If indeed the parliament of 1327 had imposed this royal obligation to pay arrayed forces from the time they crossed the hmits of their counties, the king broke this obligation within three months of its formulation, and in almost every Scottish campaign between 1327 and 1339. In June 1327 writs were issued directing the footmen of Derbyshire to be armed, arrayed, and led at the costs of the county up to the place of muster, Newcastle, and from there to go at the king’s wages.? Similar instructions were given in respect to the subsequent expeditions.‘

The pay rolls extant confirm this procedure.® In one or two rare instances, however, the arrayed troops were at the king’s wages from the moment they set out from their own areas, as in the case of certain York-

| shire levies and also in that of Welsh troops from the various lordships.® The statutes of 1327 then, did not, as Stubbs believed, directly anticipate the statute of 1344 which provided that all troops going out of England were to be at the king’s wages from the day they left their own counties. The former forbade the irksome maintenance of arrayed forces for long periods after mobilization, e.g., seven weeks or sixty days, such as had

been demanded under Edward II, without prohibiting the king from requiring the communities to pay their troops until they reached the place of muster for the Scottish campaigns. 1 The discussion of the problem turning on the significance of the petitions of the commons and the emendations in the statutes is one outside the scope of this paper. 2 Stubbs, C.H.E., u, 571-572. 3 Rot. Scol., 1, 213.

4 E.g., 1333 (ibid., pp. 225, 246); 1834-1335 ( 'The two upper rooms (solaria) of William de Burnton in the Close, Newcastle, were cleansed for 4d. The storerooms of Robert de Musgrave were each supplied with a big lock on the outer door and two serure pendule on the inner (loc. cit.). Halton in 1333 was paid £20 for providing and repairing granaries (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 44).

6° . . . iactantium blada pro bladis de calefacione et putrefaccione salvandis’ (Exchequer Accounts, 18/31). These men were paid 3d. a day. Roger Noreys received 3d. a day in 1334-1335 for guarding the wine in cellars. Walter Corbrigg and Henry Derby were hired to assist in the receipt and delivery of provisions and ‘ad oleandum vina,’ earning 3d. a day (ibid., 19/3). ’ For 12 nights outside the walls of Berwick (abid., 19/3; ef. ibzd., 18/31). 8 In the ship ‘Jovette’ were loaded 50 barrels of flour and 2 tuns, 4 pipes of wine—‘in expensis unlus supervisoris nichil causa paucitatis vini’ (zbid., 19 /3). ° Such were Robert Dunstaple, John Rose, and Gilbert Frend in the fleet going from Berwick to

Perth 1334; each drew 3d. a day (ibid., 19/3). The two former performed a similar duty in 1336- , 1337, carrying victuals to Leith and Stirling (cbid., 20/6). 10 For the ship ‘Plente’ ‘in expensis unius supervisoris nichil quia unus de familia domini Regis erat in eadem navi et eadem causa assignatus’ (ibid., 19/3). ‘1 On the ‘Seintemarebot’ carrying supplies from Berwick to Perth in 1336 were Hugh Hampton and two other men-at-arms drawing 6d. a day and John le Blake and his fellow archers receiving 4d. a day (ibid., 20/4).

372 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 It was customary for the purveyor to be charged with the costs of carrying the provisions from the place of purchase to the local depot or

port. By agreement, however, between the purveyor and the seller, the purchase price might embrace the cost of transport.? If a sheriff was making the provision, or helping a purveyor,*® he bore the cost of conveyance of the victuals to the receiver of victuals. Mounted clerks,

usually drawing 6d. a day, were put in charge during transport. At times the corn was required in the form of flour and the receiver was then charged with the costs of grinding.* The purveyor on a large scale, however, chartered vessels on his own account, loaded the victuals,> and transmitted them from the local port

to the port of the receiver of victuals. Here a deputy of the merchant purveyor awaited the arrival of the ships, checked the cargo, and formally handed it over to the receiver of victuals.” If the victuals were freighted

at the purveyor’s cost, they were carried at the king’s risk. For in case of shipwreck or other ‘act of God,’ whereby provisions were lost in course of transport, the king took upon himself the loss, and allowance was accordingly made to the purveyor. ®

The receiver of victuals was responsible for the charges from the 1 Manent Francisci in 1333 burdened himself with the cost of carrying the 20 quarters of corn bought from William Brown at Lincoln to the depot of St Botolph’s, the rate being 2d. a quarter. Transport from the water at St Botolph’s to the granary, and later to the ship, cost another penny a quarter (Exchequer Accounts, 18/28, and 21/4). 2 Richard Walpyn of Louth sold Francisci 110 quarters of corn, the price being agreed at 5s. a quarter ‘cum cariagis eorundem de Luda usque Saltfietehaven’ (ibid.). 3 The sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk sent the corn provided by John Maners and Eudo de Stokes in the former county up to Newcastle and Berwick (ibid., 19/2). 4 Stephen le Blount had 135 quarters of the corn, supplied in Somerset, ground into flour at Bridgewater (ibid., 20/30). The sale of by-products produced some revenue; thus Maners and Stoke received 69s. 3d. for the sale of 1384 quarters of ‘furfur’ coming from the grinding of 554 quarters of corn, 1.e., 6d. a quarter ‘and not more because there were so many purveyors for magnates

at. that time in Lynn that it could not be sold dearer’ (ibid., 19/2). 5 The loading (portagium cum levagio et skippagio) of 700 quarters of corn and 400 quarters of oats

at Lynn in 1333 was at the rate of 2d. a quarter for corn and 1d. a quarter for oats (ibid., 18/28). This difference in rate should be remarked. It is also of interest to note that the ‘sealed’ bushel measures and sacks used to measure the grain were handed over to the sailors ‘ex certa convencione facta cum els.’ 6 The freightage (pro fresto et dennagio nauium) of this corn and oats from Lynn to Newcastle by

John Crony and three other master mariners of Lynn in 4 great ships cost £22 18s. 4d. (abid.). 7 Richard Saundre acted in this capacity on behalf of Francisci at Newcastle in 1333, drawing a wage of 6d.aday. But William de Caldecote at Berwick seems to have drawn only 3d. a day (cbid.). 8 The kind ordered the treasurer and barons of the exchequer to allow Thomas Melchbourne 7s. 6d. for each of 180 quarters of wheat, and 4s. for each of 238 quarters of oats, as the king had ordered Thomas to cause the wheat and oats to be taken at his own cost, but at the king’s risk, to Berwick to be delivered to Robert de Tonge, keeper of the king’s victuals there; but the ship ‘Godeyer’ of Lynn

was wrecked in a storm and the corn therein totally lost; after inquisition by Thomas de Burgh, chancellor of Berwick-upon-Tweed, it was agreed that the ship had been lost without fault of the master and mariners (C.C.R. 13837-1339, 209).

The Army and Navy 373 moment the ships bearing victuals entered the harbor. He undertook the costs of measuring the grain,! of unloading and delivering to the porters,? of porterage of grain from the ships to the granaries,* and of conveyance of casks of wine to and from the cellars.* None of the king’s porters were specially attached to the receiver of victuals for this duty.

Reliance had to be placed on the casual labor of the port. The consequences of this haphazard system were felt severely in 1327 when a woeful dearth of porters in Newcastle resulted from the fact the magnates had forestalled the receiver and appropriated the services of most of those available. When provisions had to be sent from a victualling headquarters, Newcastle, for instance, to replenish either another centre,

such as Berwick, or an outlying castle, such as Perth, or the English expeditionary army as it moved through the enemy’s country, the recelver, in each case, was responsible for the charges of transport. He hired the ship, making an agreement with the master as to the cost either for the whole journey, or for each week of transit, or for each cask carried

in the vessel. The pilot of the ship, and the supervisor, 1f one was needed, were paid separately.” John Hardeurray, master of the ship “Holigost,’ had loaded her with 9 barrels of flour, 21 tuns of wine, 100 quarters of oats, and 100 iron stones (petris ferrets) to be carried from Berwick to Perth. But three Scottish war-vessels chased the ship from the Firth of Tay to the Forth and from the Forth to Coldingham. From Coldingham, tempests drove the hapless bark to Grimsby and thence to Berwick, where it managed to put in for repairs. Altogether the ship was in commission for 8 weeks, costing the receiver 52s. a week during that length of time.§ 1E.g., by Robert Hare and Richard del Hough ‘communibus mensurationibus bladarum ville Novi Castri’ (Exchequer Accounts, 18/9). The cost in 1333 was 12 quarters a penny (ibid., 18/31).

2°... halagium ... trahendi de navibus ad manus portitorum’ (7bid., 18/9). In 1333 the cost was 16 quarters a penny. 3'The normal cost of porterage at Newcastle was 2 quarters of grain for 1d. (zbid., 18/9, 18/31).

In 1327 an extra farthing a quarter was allowed for conveyance to the church of the Augustine friars ‘propter longam et distantem viam.’ Porterage of the carcasses of oxen cost ld. each, 4 bacons 1d., 12 codfish 1 farthing, 1000 stockfish 5d., and a barrel of sturgeon or of horseshoes ad. (ibid.). 4 In 1333 the cost of bremanagium was 4d. a tun, ‘ex consuetudine’ (ibid., 18/31).

5°... et quia portitores ville adeo occupati fuerunt in servicio dictorum magnatum quod vix aliqui inveniri potuerunt ad portandum victualia propter parcitatem et defectum granariorum et portitorum’ (zbid. 18/9). See above, p. 371. ° John Ychorin, master of the ‘Jovette’ carrying 164 quarters of corn from Newcastle to Berwick, received 4 marks in grosso (Exchequer Accounts, 18/31). John Archer of the ‘Wynespon’ transporting wine and oats from Berwick to Perth received 20s. a week, in accordance with an indenture made

with the receiver (ibid., 19/3). Richard de Ledbeter, master of the ‘Fauconer’ carrying 8 casks of flour and 14 tuns of wine, was paid at the rate of 3s. a cask ‘pro cariagio cuiuslibet pecie’ (ibid.). “ Robert Turk, for the lodemanagium of the ‘Wynespon’ received 3s. 6d. ‘ex certa convencione,’

and 3d. a day for his expenses (ibid.). * Tbid., 20/4.

374 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 There were two ways of disbursing provisions. First, they were handed over for the maintenance of the royal household. A bill of the keeper of the wardrobe was the normal form of authorization, and delivery was usually made in this official’s name directly to the under officers of the household, e.g., the king’s baker, the household butler, or the clerk of the marshalsea;! the recipient testified to the receipt in an indenture.

Sale of provisions was sometimes made to the keeper of the wardrobe , himself.? Secondly, disbursements of victuals were made to individuals as gifts of the king. Certain of these grants had the warrant of the great

seal. Such in particular were those benefiting various ecclesiastics dwelling in the neighborhood of the victualling headquarters. Perhaps they earned the king’s gratitude by sheltering troops on campaign. In one instance, at least, the service is made perfectly clear, for the priory of Tynemouth was defending itself at great cost against Scottish marauders.* Others were given victuals because their granges of corn had been burnt by raiding Scots.’ Most of the grants of provisions were authorized by writs of privy seal. The recipients included such personalities as Edward Balliol, ‘king of Scotland,’ Beaumont, Atholl, and others of the Disinherited.6 Naturally enough those foreign leaders who came over to help Edward in his struggles with the Scots shared in the king’s bounty, for example, the count of Juliers in 1335.7 Native magnates and distinguished members of the household received abundant

gifts of provisions from the king.* Even the lower ranks were not en1 Roger Pate, king’s baker, received 638 quarters, 7 bushels of corn from Gilbert de Halton, receiver at Newcastle ‘super expensis hospicii Regis per billam Roberti de Tanton custodis garderobe Regis et indentura ipsius Rogeri receptum testificante’ (Exchequer Accounts, 18/31). In the enrolment of Halton’s account on the pipe rolls, Tanton, the keeper of the wardrobe, was charged

with this item (Pipe Roll, No. 178). For this cost, viz., £177 9s. 7d., see his account (Enrolled | - Accounts, W. and H., No. 2, m. 34d) and that of his controller, Richard de Ferriby (Exchequer Accounts, 286 /12).

Thomas de Scoteneye, butillarius Regis, received 113 tuns of Gascon wine per mandatum Regis; John Cokham, clerico marescallte hospicii Regis, received 105 quarters of beans and peas and 1548

quarters, 6 bushels of oats, ‘super sustentacione equorum hospicii Regis in mora sua in partibus Marchie Scocie mensibus aprilis, maul, juni, juli et augusti, littera ipsius Johannis receptum testificante.’ William de Culpho, treasurer of the queen’s household, received 105 quarters of oats, and Halton also liberated a tun of Gascon wine to John de Yakesle, king’s pavilioner, for which the keeper of the wardrobe held himself responsible (cbid.).

2 Tonge, receiver at Berwick, Dec. 1334 to Sept. 1335, sold oats to the value of £278 6s. 8d. to Richard de Ferriby ‘thesaurius hospicti Regis super expensis hospice et exercitus sui in partibus Seocie’ (ibid., 19/3). 3 In 1333 the abbot of Alnwick received 20 quarters of corn (ibid., 18/31). 4 Carleton was to deliver victuals worth £20 (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 170). 5 The prioress of Halystane and others in Aug. 1333 (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 69). 6 Balliol was granted 100 quarters of corn in 1333 (Exchequer Accounts, 18/31). 7 Tonge handed over to Count Juliers 12 casks of flour (ibid., 19/3). 8 John Eltham, earl of Cornwall, drew from Halton at Newcastle 2 tuns of wine, Henry Ferrars 40 quarters of wheat (zbid., 18/31). For the text of the writ of privy seal, ordering delivery of 1 tun of

The Army and Navy 375 tirely disregarded. Barrels of flour were handed over by Edward to the

Welsh levies and their leaders.! Perhaps one of the most important functions of the work of the receiver of victuals was the supplying of provisions as prest upon wages. In this matter he acted as the agent of the keeper of the wardrobe, not only in the latter’s capacity as superintendent of the household admuinistration, but also as treasurer of the wars. Under one aspect the receiver would hand over victuals to a member of the household as an advance upon his official wages.2, Under the other, he would release them as a prest upon ‘wages of war.’ The latter practice was much used in 1327. In the early part of that campaign the English army abandoned its commissariat wagons to facilitate the pursuit of the Scots.2 At Stanhope, when face to face with the foe, the English suffered dire extremities of hunger and besought the receiver of victuals and the inhabitants of Newcastle to bring food to relieve their distress. The receiver liberated to the leading soldiers huge quantities of provisions® the cost of which was credited to the keeper of the wardrobe and, in effect, if not explicitly stated, functioned as advances made upon wages due for military service. In the case of the bishop of Ely, chancellor, and of the bishop of Lincoln, treasurer, it was definitely asserted that the delivery of flour was made to them as ‘a prest on the maintenance of their men-at-arms serving the king at Haydon Bridge and Stanhope.’* Sometimes the rank and file received provisions in part payment of their wages of war; the hobelars, retained in the 1327 expedition to act as scouts, were supplied with corn and malt as in part recompense of their wages.” On occasion the recelver also made release of victuals to sailors as remuneration for service on the seas.® wine and 6 quarters of corn by Tughale, receiver at Berwick, to Robert Clifford, and for Clifford’s letter certifying the receipt, see ibid., 18/33. 1 One barrel of flour was granted to the Welsh soldiers of the company of Hugh Tyrel, and three casks to the leaders of Welsh levies (cbid., 19/3). 2 Halton, on receiving a bill of the keeper of the wardrobe, handed over to John de Yakesle, king’s pavilioner, one tun of wine “de prestito super vadiis suis’ (zbid., 18/31).

3 Mackinnon, Edward ITI, pp. 21-22. 4 Rot. Scot., 1, 219. > Carleton delivered to Earl Thomas the marshal £38 worth of victuals, to the earl of Kent goods worth over £125 (Enrolled Accounts, W. and H., No. 2, m. 27d). Altogether Carleton disbursed provisions ‘tam per billam garderobe quam alio modo’ to the value of £1870 8s. 6d. In the particulars of Carleton’s account, these disbursements are not expressly detailed, but it is stated that he sold, e.g., 278114 quarters of corn to various men in northern parts (Exchequer Accounts, 18/9). 8 The bishop of Ely received 2 barrels of flour and the bishop of Lincoln 5 (zbid., 18/9). ” Hugh de Wales of Tyndale received from Carleton 60 quarters of corn valued at £12 in part pay-

ment of £40 due him for the service of 40 hobelars. The authorization for delivery came from a letter of the earl of Kent, one of the king’s lieutenants, who had retained the hobelars (ibid.). 8 Carleton, instructed by writ of privy seal, handed over corn to Thomas Springet, mariner, of the “Rodecogg’ of Greenwich, and 37 of his fellow sailors serving in the company of John Perbroun, admiral (ibid.).

376 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Provisions were also despatched by the receiver of victuals at, for example, Newcastle to the receiver at Berwick,! or to places in Scotland, such as Perth and the fair of Airth,? not only to replenish stores for purely local defence, but also to supply relays of provisions for the king’s army

on an incursion into Scottish territory. Sometimes the destination was less definitely fixed; ships transporting victuals were sent to the parts of Scotland ‘wherever the king and his army should go.’® Despite all precautions, provisions in the care of the receiver suffered a certain loss from the depredations of rats and mice and from decay. ‘The

recelver was given allowance for this depreciation in his financial account. ‘To prevent a greater loss from too long storage, the receiver was occasionally instructed to sell off those victuals which were in the worst state of preservation.» When the functions of the receiver had been fulfilled, he proceeded to sell off the provisions left in his custody; in 1328 Robert of Nottingham, a baron of the exchequer, supervised this

last duty of Carleton as receiver at Newcastle. The sale of these victuals was made to the men of Newcastle and of the Durham bishopric, payment being extended over a period of time.’

: 6. THe Navy -

During the period 1327-1336, the royal navy could not claim the later proud distinction of being the senior service, for it functioned mainly as a 1 Halton, receiver at Newcastle, sent to Robert Tughale, receiver at Berwick, 420 quarters of corn, 2283 horseshoes, and 25,000 horseshoe nails (Exchequer Accounts, 18/31). 2 Thomas de la More carried 15 tuns of Gascon wine and 11 of white wine from Berwick to Perth

in 1334. Thomas Springet transported 4 tuns of wine to Scotland: viz., to the fair of Airth (abid., 19/3). 3 Hugh de Reppes in the ‘Rodecogg’ carried 8 barrels of flour from Berwick ‘versus partes Scocie vid. ubicumque dominus Rex fuerit in eisdem partibus super expensis ipsius domini Regis et exercitus

sui.” So Richard de Ledbeter with 8 casks of flour and 14 tuns of wine (ibid.). * Carleton was allowed 118 quarters and one bushel of corn on this head (ibzd., 18/9). Tonge was allowed 114 quarters and 3 bushels of wheat, which was at the rate of 6 bushels to every 20 quarters, ‘secundum discreciones baronum’ (ibid., 20/4). 5 “In vendicione per Johannem de Carleton de frumento debiliore, quod se absque olifacione et perdicione diu conseruare non potuit, per brevem de priuato sigillo quod victualia que se conseruare non putuerunt vendicioni exponeret’ (zbid., 18/9). He sold no less than 2780 quarters of wheat apart from other provisions. § Thus Carleton disposed of 1542 quarters of corn for £273 18s. 214d. Nottingham’s appointment dated from 9 Aug. 1328, and he drew 16s. 8d. a day as his expenses whilst supervising the sale of victuals and collection of the king’s debts in the north (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 441; C.F.R., 1v, 100). 7 Richard de Emeldon and two other inhabitants of Newcastle signed a bond on 10 Oct. 1328 that they owed the king £4 14s. for 1 barrel of flour, 314 quarters of corn, and 1 tun of wine sold to them by Carleton, by the testimony of William Acton of Newcastle, the deputy of Robert Nottingham, and they promised to pay half at the Feast of Purification and half at Easter. So also the abbot of Alnwick (Exchequer Accounts, 18/10). See Pipe Roll, No. 175, m. 54, for the account of Robert of Nottingham.

The Army and Navy 377 subsidiary of the army. Its chief service lay in the transporting of men, provisions, and other supplies for the army. Withal, by averting alien invasion of England’s shores, it ‘kept the ring’ within which the army could deal with the Scottish foes. Its work was negative in character, rather than positive or aggressive. It is true that on one or two occasions, as in the Berwick campaign of 1333, the navy fought enemy ships

and participated in combined naval and army operations with much success. But during this decade it triumphed in no such major decisive battle as at Sluys in 1340, partly because Scotland could not muster any formidable fleet. Pretensions were voiced to English dominion of the seas, but at least on the advent of the French menace in 1336, with the disquieting raids on the English coasts, practice did not conform perfectly

with theory. Yet, although Edward III did not realize adequately in the first decade of his reign the importance of sea power in history, the navy on the whole executed its functions in its limited sphere with a considerable degree of efficiency and success. The extemporized and i1m-

provised methods of organization deemed sufficient by the soldierminded authorities were offset by the excellence of England’s sailors and the public spirit of her seaport officials and merchants. In this period, there was no permanent navy on any considerable scale. But it does not seem to have been realized, even by the erudite Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas,! that, at least as early as the end of Edward II’s reign and the beginning of that of Edward III], there was a small nucleus of a

permanent fleet and a slender cadre of royal captains. The number of these master mariners receiving the king’s wages was about fifteen, and the names included sailors ike Thomas Springet, Richard Fille, and Ralph Rosekyn, who were to be prominent as captains of the king’s ships

in the eventful years to come.? Probably there was approximately the same number of royal ships, including two or three cogs, as many galleys and a like number of barges.* These ships when not employed on royal errands were laid up at anchor, for example, at Winchelsea; the gear was removed to shore and the master, accompanied by one sailor, was left on guard, the master drawing 4d. a day for these custodian duties, and the 1 His great work, A History of the Royal Navy (London, 1847) has garnered rich stores of hi